Shatterer of Worlds: A Novel

Tag: Real’c

The Outer Rim Part Ten

by on Dec.14, 2012, under Chapter Eight: The Outer Rim, Uncategorized

Despite being the middle of the night, the space port was bustling. The crowds were perfect for the four members of the Chran family, allowing them to easily blend in. They easily made their way to the craft Dennethom purchased through Ninsun, a brand new state of the art ship manufactured by the Lo’Kar Corporation.

The ship was built right there on Regat. The engines were as quiet and advanced as they came. The ship’s stealth capabilities made it the perfect craft for any high-ranking Boentu warrior. Up until this insanity occurred, Dennethom had considered a proposal to introduce this very craft to the Boentu home fleet. However, it was an expensive ship, not at all cost effective. But for a wealthy Boentu trying to sneak off a planet unseen, it was just right.

The craft, which Arronanto had dubbed the Aluen, was already warmed up, the engines purring by the time they arrived at the docking bay. Jora, the Boentu Atten’s pilot came down the ramp to greet the family. He was unable to hide his sheer relief as he helped Yasana up the ramp and assisted Arronanto and Arjuna with their overnight bags. What little belongings they had been able to take with them had already been loaded on the Aluen.

Dennethom turned to Real’c. “Real’c, what is your wife’s name?”

“Shalya.”

Dennethom smiled and repeated the name to himself. “Please thank Shalya for me. You both took such great risks in helping us. I cannot tell you how grateful I am,” Dennethom said, taking Realc’s hand in both of his. “Ninsun will have a payment waiting for-”

Real’c waved a hand. “I do not wish for payment, my liege. My wife and I are helping you because we believe you are the rightful leader of the Boentu people. And if a plot truly exists, then as a citizen I must help you. It is my duty.”

Dennethom was appreciative of his words and he bowed to Real’c. “Thank you. There are some that don’t recognise my claim as future leader. It means a lot to me that you do.”

Real’c’s expression darkened. “If I can find any proof at all that Wydun was behind this plot to kill you, I will make very sure the evidence gets into the right hands.”

Dennethom bowed once more. “I appreciate that.” He hesitated. “Real’c, you have already done so much for my family and yet there is one more thing I must ask of you.”

“You are the future leader of the Boentu, it would be an honour to aid you,” Realc responded, his expression grave.

“I will need to keep abreast of news in the Boentu System, particularly here on Regat. Especially if Wydun suspects anything.” Dennethom reached into his pocket and brought out a small handheld comms unit. “I’ve pre-programmed this link so you can contact me directly.” He opened the device. “This is how you can encrypt or decrypt messages.” He showed Real’c twice more before handing the device over to him. “If you hear anything- if my cousin Lossepharr arrives and has suspicions, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

Real’c took the communications link, studying the device for a moment, practising the encryption and decryption function before placing it in his pocket. “It has been an honour,” he said, bowing to Dennethom.

Dennethom placed his right arm on the horticulturalist’s left shoulder and bowed his head once more. Real’c couldn’t hide his surprise. The gesture was reserved for those that warriors considered their equal. Without another word, Dennethom hurried up the ramp to join his family.

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The Outer Rim Part Nine

by on Dec.12, 2012, under Chapter Eight: The Outer Rim

Real’c and the Chran family carried on in silence, staying close to the shadows. Only once did they have to duck out of the way when a guard walked by with a large metal carrier, presumably to capture the rogue badens. When the guard was out of sight they continued on.

Dennethom found himself wondering whether Wydun slept right now, knowing in the morning he would be woken with the news of their deaths. Would he be able to sleep? Or was he too anxious to sleep? Had he stayed up, hoping all went well and Lossepharr sticks to their agreement? Not that it mattered. The important thing right now is that they leave Regat alive.

Eventually they found themselves out in the night air. Real’c had left a ground vehicle parked outside the Steward’s house. The four members of the Chran family crammed into the back of the vehicle. Real’c instructed them to hide beneath a pile of plastic sheets.

“What about the gate guards?” Arjuna asked as she struggled for room in the cramped vehicle.

“We’re leaving. They won’t bother checking the vehicle.” Real’c wandered around for a moment, arranging the sheets here and there so the family was completely concealed, then he got in the driver’s seat and drove away.

Dennethom felt the vehicle stop, but the engine remained on. A strange voice could be heard.

“Leaving already? You just arrived.”

“I brought the wrong fertilizer. This stuff will kill all of the flowers. Lady La’Nar will not be happy.”

The guard chuckled. “We don’t want that. They say she spends a small fortune on these Arthemian imports.”

“Oh they’re expensive all right,” replied Real’c. “And difficult to grow. But they are pretty.”

Dennethom heard the guard chuckle again, and the vehicle began to move once more.

The next time the vehicle stopped, the engine shut off and Real’c helped them out. As he exited the vehicle, Dennethom saw tools scattered across the back.

“You’re a gardener,” he exclaimed.

“Horticulturist, yes,” Real’c affirmed. “Because of Lady La’Nar’s love of off-system plants, which need special care, I have access to the Steward’s residence day and night.”

Dennethom was stunned. When Ninsun had suggested Real’c, he never imagined it would be up to a simple gardener and his wife to save the line of Chran.

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The Outer Rim Part Eight

by on Dec.10, 2012, under Chapter Eight: The Outer Rim

Glancing at the camera Real’c leaned over and whispered, “Do not worry, T’salu. I have someone in charge of the security cameras.”

“Who?” Dennethom demanded. He wasn’t sure which part he hated most. The idea of a tampered camera getting back to Wydun or that Realc had brought someone else in on their plan without his consent.

“It is all right, my liege,” Real’c assured him. “My wife works in security. She will have access to the recordings. We’re confident we can change the times on the recordings so it will look as though you left later.”

Dennethom breathed a sigh of relief, but Arjuna was still suspicious. “If your wife works in the security office, why couldn’t she take this shift? It would make our escape much easier.”

Real’c beckoned for them to continue on their way. They were running short on time. “She’s not in charge of the schedule,” he explained in low whispers. “She can only request a shift change if she has a valid reason and there must be advance notice. We have children in school during the day, it would look unusual if she suddenly switched to the night shift.”

“We don’t want to endanger your fmaily. It is better she doesn’t make any unusual changes to her schedule,” Yasana replied, gently patting Real’c on the shoulder.

Real’c bowed his head once to Yasana, touched that the mother of the future leader of Boentu would treat him so kindly.

“When the Boentu Atten explodes,” he continues, “there will be chaos at the security office. They’ll have all off-duty personnel come in to work. Steward Wydun may be expecting this explosion, but it is doubtful he has brought many others in on the plan. While everyone in security is running around like conogs with their heads cut off, my wife can slip in and make the changes. We’ve even fabricated footage of you going to the landing strip, so it won’t be an issue either. If the steward is looking for signs of your escape, he won’t find any in those recordings.”

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The Outer Rim Part Seven

by on Dec.07, 2012, under Chapter Eight: The Outer Rim

“The guards change shift soon,” said Real’c. “We must hurry. We only have a little while to get you off the Steward’s residence and to your waiting ship.”

“Any guards patrolling?” Arjuna asked, gazing past him.

“I haven’t spotted any save the usual security detail. As for them, I managed to create a disturbance which should keep them busy for a while.”

Dennethom frowned. In order for the plan to work, Wydun could not suspect they had somehow made it out alive. “What kind of disturbance?”

Real’c waved a hand in the air dismissively. “Nothing too unusual. I left a couple of baden cubs outside a window close to Wydun’s quarters.”

Dennethom smiled in appreciation. Baden’s were creatures not dissimilar to the Boentu. They had thicker fur which covered their entire bodies, and had four legs and a tail. But there were enough similarities in their DNA to prove the two species were related. Similarities such as their retractable claws and the shape of their ears. In the central planets, Dennethom hadn’t seen a baden outside a zoo enclosure. However, in the outer planets badens were everywhere. Though for the most part they were relatively harmless, they yowl, spit and generally made a nuisance of themselves. The worst of which was their tendency to mark their territory. The baden cubs would certainly be enough of a distraction to the guards without appearing out of the ordinary.

Dennethom helped Yasana gather up her things, while Arronanto grabbed the rest of their belongings. Slowly, quietly, they exited their sleeping quarters and crept on their way. At the end of the hall, Dennethom spotted a camera. He was surprised to see one. Not that there weren’t cameras throughout Boentu Palace, but never inside the private wing where the family slept. The Boentu Leader, unlike some other system’s politicians, had a fair amount of privacy. Unfortunately, Wydun’s residence seemed to be the exception. He held up a hand to the group to keep them back and pointed to the camera.

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The Outer Rim Part Six

by on Dec.05, 2012, under Chapter Eight: The Outer Rim

La’Nar was thrilled to have Tsalu Dennethom and his family spending the night in her home. She, at least, seemed oblivious to her husband’s plans. She set them up in a stunning suite, with two bedrooms, one for Arjuna and her mother, and one for Arronanto and Dennethom. Even so, she was concerned with offending the future leader. “You really ought to have private rooms,” she apologised.

Dennethom smiled and patted her hand. “It is fine, really.” Actually he preferred it this way. He wanted to keep his family close together. He wished he had kept his engineer and pilot with them, but it would look too suspicious.

“What time should I have breakfast brought to you?” she asked, batting her lashes at him.

Dennethom shook his head. “I am afraid we may not be here for breakfast. I really do have a busy schedule. I must attend a meeting with the Arthemians tomorrow. We will probably be gone before first light.” It was true. If Wydun checked with his assistant, he would find the future leader very busy tomorrow and the next few days.

“Of course,” La’Nar replied with a gracious smile.

“Are we certain this will work?” Yasana asked. She sat on the edge of a lounge chair, her body erect, absentmindedly clawing at the soft cushion. They had the lights off, since they wanted to appear to be sleeping, but Arronanto had lit a small lantern so they were not sitting in total darkness.

“No,” Dennethom replied in hushed tones. “But the plan is in place. We have no choice, mother.”

“What I want to know is why we can trust this Real’c?” Arjuna said.

Dennethom shrugged. “Believe me, I pulled in a lot of favours to find someone like Real’c. He’s loyal to Ninsun. Loyal to our father.”

“And he’s certain about the security shift rotations?” Arronanto asked.

“Yes. Apparently someone close to him works in Wydun’s security.”

“So I suppose we wait,” Arjuna muttered. She had pulled out her kentarr and began polishing it. The act was almost as soothing to her nerves as meditation.

“Who will fly the Boentu Atten?” Yasana asked.

“Everything has already been arranged, mother. Jora and Xien have made arrangements to fly the Atten remotely,” Dennethom reassured her. The Boentu Atten, a title bestowed upon any ship carrying the Boentu Leader, or, in Dennethom’s case, the future Boentu leader, had an advanced autopilot function, in case all passengers were incapacitated. Still, it had taken money and expertise for Dennethom’s pilot and engineer to modify it to remote pilot.

“Where are Jora and Xien?” Yasana asked with concern.

“They’re meeting us there, mother,” Arronanto replied, and laid a shawl around her shoulders, because she looked cold.

As time drifted by, Dennethom began to pace, anxious to get things started. He hated feeling helpless.He was ready to give up the charade and leave. Arjuna and Arronanto stood, alert, waiting. It was almost time. Yasana lay, dozing on the lounge chair. She looked frail and exhausted.

A light tap sent Yasana bolting upright. She glanced fearfully at the door. Arronanto and Arjuna were already acting. They both held weapons as they flanked the entryway, just in case. Dennethom tapped a button and the doors slid apart to reveal a middle age Boentu. Dennethom recognized him from their brief communications. Real’c.

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