Author’s Note: This is the sixth and final excerpt of Jade’s Dish that I will be publishing. I will warn you some spoilers are present. If you do not want to see spoilers please read these excerpts below.
We kept walking. We enjoyed a brief silent walk until we got to the observation deck. It was a wood paneled room, amber’s distinctive tone, and elegant gold fixtures were present. A vacant throne in the corner was there. A vexilloid was draped on the wall behind the throne it was the insignia of the Bivitawaldex Crime Family. They were a defeated space pirate clan that had once been pretty powerful, but after a decisive defeat at Tulmossa, they were no reduced to being a terrestrial threat on some other planet as a motorized bandit gang. Perhaps this was their secret base that my pal Peter was looking for, and never could find.
It was quiet too quiet. I looked out the viewport and could see tiny dots in the distance. At the same time Thuringer hailed me.
“The task force has arrived, Detective. Place that beacon now.”
I was focused on my wristcomm and I had tunnel vision.
“DROP YOUR WEAPONS OR THE WOMAN DIES, HUMAN!”
I turned around. A massive, larger Dar-Shawn immortal was present. He wore the armor of that corps. The adornments of a gold and green-like color suggested he was high-ranking. He resembled the captain I had seen in the communications with Slyeth’rai in his recreational lander. He had a knife to Jade’s throat. I dropped my weapons. The rifle, the Sig, and the plasma subcompact all were now on the floor. I had no choice. I didn’t want her to die. He didn’t have a gun I could see he just had a knife and it was just him. It was an eleven-inch blade with a hook point. That point was going to rip open her jugular vein like a fish hook does to the lips of a wide mouth bass that picked the wrong day to be dumb.
Life was going to be hellish without her. Were these the gates of hell? Was hell in this life? This was no time for a philosophical question. I’m not often the kneel and pray type but if I could I’d kneel and pray or ask others to do it for me. This was a situation I was a participant in. I wasn’t a passenger in a ride. No, this was real. Real as the spike in the heart beat I felt, and as real as the beams of light striking those outer nodes of the station were. This was ugly and getting uglier. I gained my composure.
“What do you want? Speak the Lingua Franca?”
“Hahahah! Of course, I do. I want your surrender, or this woman dies. You obviously love her. Dashan tells me the way you look at her. The father knows all. He loves us all, and he elevates his children who accepts them and exiles all who do not love him. I’ve watched the way you look at each other, it is fascinating how two beings can fall in love so fast. If you lose her, your life will be empty, yes?”
“If humanity loses to you, life will be empty. She’ll die anyway. Especially after the change being in one of your mute exoskeletons I’ve heard about.”
“You’ve heard wrong. They are a choir of angels at our high holy day services. They’re servos and actuators make music more beautiful than you can fathom. These creatures serve the master well. Their lives are more beautiful than ever in his service. Now, if you’ll surrender you will have a chance to live peaceably for a while. I cannot fathom the length, but you may have time to raise a family. It will take us a while to conquer every world.”
“I wouldn’t want to raise children in a world where they are forced to serve an ideology that quashes free thought and hates their kind. I’d rather fight you.”
“What can I do to change your mind?”
“Why do you seek to change my mind? My name is Rod? What’s yours?”
“Captain B’naz Kitraz of the Holy Forces of the Dar-Shawn State. What is your title?”
“What does that mean, human?”
“I look for things. I look for people and I make sure the truth gets found out. But you can call me, Rod. I’ll call you, B’naz. It is interesting you know our language. Tell you what. You look like a military man. You like unarmed combat? Martial arts?”
“I am the best in the ways of the empty-handed fighting yes. Open or closed style, yes.”
“My hands are empty. You’ve got me where I want you. I’ll fight you empty handed if you’ll let the lady go. Maybe she can take an escape pod off the station? Just leave her out of it.”
“For now, yes. Do not go anywhere, woman. Sit on that throne.” He looked at me again. “This is what you call love, Yes? Dashan is love and Dashan purifies the universe by calling for the destruction of infidels and apostates. Dashan is Greatest!” He pricked her with the knife in her leg just slightly and she yelped as his massive leg kicked her over in the direction of the throne. It was built like a four-inch-wide pipe. It was like a swinging hammer and it caused her to move effortlessly. He then dropped the knife and removed his breast plate. He then backflipped several times, a complete contradiction to his weight it was almost beautiful in a sickening sort of way.
After his acrobatics, he took to dancing. This being was a hammer and like any hammer every problem was a nail to be driven with force. Jade was a driven nail. I turned to her in the throne. She was tired and her leg was punctured. Thuringer was trying to hail me. I didn’t reply. The task force appeared closer. He performed his last moves which were a series of jobs, head butts, and lastly punches followed by a jump kick which placed him a little closer. He was fifteen yards away from me. It was my turn.
I hold an intermediate rank in two disciplines. I respect the martial arts, don’t get me wrong. But the ones I took felt more like dance classes to say the least. I wanted to know practical techniques for surviving muggings in BT to give me time to draw an edged or ranged weapon. I started with bringing both of my fists up and then bringing my legs into a ‘saddle position’ these martial arts I was trained in were from Ancient Japan, on Old Terra, the land of the samurai. I then did a kiai and made a few aggressive noises. Followed by a step forward and then a punch, I repeated this action swiftly and then did it to the right and left forming a box.
Then I did it again and I made another box like this. To the rear and front of me. I was now ten yards away from him. Finally, I stood straight at him. Six yards away. I made a prayer like gesture, then opened my hand to show him they were empty. I then performed four uppercut punches, and bowed and then stood up straight in a fighting position. My upper body was in a W-shape. I had my fists up. I had my hands open. Not the best fighting position but who said we were going to fight this way.
He started coming towards me I could see the muscles underneath his shirt work as he twisted his trunk in a punch. I stepped back a bit, and rolled to the left twice as he charged at me with leapfrogging jump kicks. I pulled up my pant leg during the roll and drew my ancient Smith & Wesson .357 magnum snubbie loaded with five of the finest .357 Magnum cartridges which could bring down a bear or in this case a Dar-Shawn. The son of a bitch had a look of disbelief when I pointed the jet-black steel and aluminum revolver at the center of his body. I fired twice slamming the trigger sending two of the 140 grain hollow point slugs which travelled at 1600 feet per second into his solar plexus.
He thought I’d try to punch him there. He didn’t know he’d be shot dead there. He was knocked down and bleeding He was still moving though towards me lunging. Had I only made this bear mad? He was moving his left hand back to the small of his back for something. A knife? A laser? Hard to say, He didn’t reach it as I sent the remaining three rounds in the five-shot cylinder into him not more than a millisecond after I saw this. This time I aimed for just above the clavicle. These rounds were tightly grouped, they made one big hole.
With him being dead as a door nail, I got up from my position and dumped my spent shells on him. I then reloaded the cylinder, and threw out a beacon with my wristcomm while walking over to Jade. I hailed Thuringer.
“Put the commandos here, Thuringer. Teleport Jade over to a medical facility she’s been wounded. Nothing serious but she needs medical attention at this point.”
“Acknowledged. ETA of the commandos is in one minute. Are you staying or are you going with Jade, Detective?”
I looked at her and nodded yes to let her know I was staying. “I’m staying for now, Lieutenant. I need to see this through. I was here for the start, I need to cross the finish.”
“Acknowledged, Detective. The commandos are inbound.”
Again, Jade’s Dish is available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) and Barnes & Noble.com.