Comes from a rough draft novel I wrote as a sequel to the one I’m nearly finished polishing. It’s just to pure words on the page and probably won’t look a think like the final product, but I decided to share some of it. I hope you enjoy. This one has a different side to Talia. She’s darker than in the first novel (believe it or not, she’s not really that dark in the first novel at all) due to some things in her past. I hope you enjoy.
Talia sucked in a deep breath and sighed sadly. Three hundred credits was all it took for a human to commit one of the biggest act of cruelty against their own race? While greed had always ruled the galaxy, it seemed the humans took it to a new level. The slavers of old, she thought, had more honor then this bunch did.
“I’m not worried about De’Zahna,” the woman said. “Get her away from her sisters and she’s just another person.”
“Who killed the entire Wraith race,” Kleno reminded her.
“With her sister’s help. If I saw her, the only thing that bitch would be seeing is her heart in my hand after I cut it out.”
Ok, that’s it, time to end this little soiree.
“You know many have tried and failed, kid.”
The woman’s head snapped around as the Captain’s face paled. “Who said that?”
She killed the camouflage and smiled as all three of her enemies gasped. “Well, this is something you don’t see everyday, a civilian, a former soldier, and a Mector at the same table. It’s almost worthy of a picture, if I do say so myself.”
The woman reached for her gun until Talia brought hers up.
The warrior clicked her tongue. “I don’t think you want to do that, kiddo. The last person I warned didn’t listen and ended up dead.”
Kleno closed his eyes and sighed in resignation. “De’Zahna, is there any possibility of us making a deal?”
“It’s all about the money with you guys. I’m surprised, Kleno, that your race made it this long, because you’re really, really dumb.”
The Mector sighed. “Insulting me won’t get you anywhere.”
“I never expected it to,” She looked at the two humans. “And you guys, what a pathetic looking bunch. You think you’re so good, so bad, and in reality are nothing but pitiful and weak children.”
The woman just growled.
Talia smiled. “Oh, nice sound! I’d call it a bear, but I don’t think a Chellios is in the room.”
The Captain shook his head. “You’ve got one big mouth on you.”
Talia shrugged. “Oh, come on guys, I’m just trying to lighten the mood…spread the cheer a bit…”
Kleno looked at her. “What do you want, Talia?”
She made a theatrical display of thinking. “Well let’s see her, first off, I’d like my stocking to be full at Christmas…”
“Quit prattling!” The woman snapped.
“Aw, am I getting on your nerves? I’m sorry, thought you might find it funny.” She shrugged. “Since you want to be all serious and all, kid,” Talia looked away from the woman and turned her attention towards Kleno. “I want to know who’s the next person up, and where are the humans being taken.”
The Mector chuckled. “And just what makes you think I have a superior?”
“Ah, come now, Kleno, and I thought we were becoming such friends.” She snapped her head around to look at the woman. “Don’t bother trying to transmit, because I’ve jammed all the communications.” Except mine, of course.
“I don’t have a superior, it’s all me,”
Talia shook a finger at the Mector. “Now, now, Kleno,” Her tone sounded like a mother scolding a child. “I’m twenty thousand years old. I stopped falling for that line by the time I was two.”
“And just what makes you think, if I have one, that I’ll tell you?”
“You know, if you don’t they’ll be a nice lump of coal in your stocking…”
“You’re not funny.”
“Kleno, you Mector have no sense of humor.” Her voice turned cold as ice. “If you don’t tell me, then I’ll just eliminate the captain and his friend over here.”
The woman reached for her gun but stopped when Talia snapped her hand up and aimed the barrel at the mate’s head.
“You do know they’re expendable to me?”
“I’ve never seen someone who wants to play the role of ‘The Grinch’ so much in my life. If you tell me who your superior is, and then accompany me, Kleno, this’ll all end.”
Kleno was silent.
She looked at the humans. “You do know how mister sourpuss over there works, don’t you? Oh, his race is very good at smuggling, I’ll give them that, but when the chips are down, they’ll kill you and your crew to cover their tracks and then disappear. So, if I were you, I’d start wondering if he’s really worth the trouble.”
The two humans looked at Kleno.
The Mector sighed before eating another fork full of food. “You know, Talia, exaggeration seems to be your style.”
She laughed. “I know, but I do it so well.”
The woman looked at her. “Is that true? What you said?”
Talia looked at her, raised and eyebrow and then shrugged. “Pretty much. Your friendly ‘associate’ over there,” She waved the gun at Kleno. “His race are like cockroaches. Once the light comes on, they scamper. Now, if he had his way, you would be dead right now. In fact…” She narrowed her eyes. “Drop that weapon on the floor, Kleno and keep your claws where I can see them.”
The Mector sighed and then complied.
Time for them to start spilling their guts.
“Ok, time to start talking. Kleno, who’s your contact, and I’m not going to keep waiting. If you don’t answer,” She leveled the pistol with his head. “I’ll put a round in your head and figure it out on my own.”
“I don’t think so,” Kleno said. “Shoot me and you lose your link to the chain.”
“Frankly, at this point, I don’t care whether any of the three of you leave this room alive. However, Scrooge, I doubt security could do anything with me if I did shoot you.” She looked at the nails on one hand. “What you have to ask your is, ‘will she really do it?’ And I suggest your look at my distant-and recent-past for the answer.”
Kleno sighed. “You’re not bluffing are you.”
Talia rolled her eyes. “Do I look like I am? Now, here’s how this is going to go down, Kleno, you’re going to contact the next person up and tell them you need to meet them here.”
“He’s likely to refuse. What if I take you to him?”
“I’m not the Easter Bunny. He’s coming here where it’s public.”
“You certainly have a way with words,”
“Well, I am a genius.”
She opened one channel for Kleno to call out on and let the processor monitor it for any code words or hidden messages. If the Mercon tried something funny, she thought, it wouldn’t take much to go back into hiding and take down whoever came within seconds of their arriving. While they weren’t known for being super bright at times, the professional smugglers wouldn’t risk their lives for no reason.
The com call flowed through her mind as Kleno worked to contact his superior. It took several seconds for the connection to be made and another being to answer. Interesting, she thought, another Wickham. They weren’t known, at least during her previous life, as being a race that got their paws dirty with the slave trade. If a dealer needed drugs, weapons or computer parts, then they were the carrier of choice.
I’d like to know when they decided to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
“Traner,” Kleno said. “We have an issue with the next shipment that needs to be discussed.”
The canine growled slightly. “Are you sure it can’t wait for tomorrow? I’m busy.”
“No, it can’t. The issue is up the up most importance.”
Way the throw it on heavy, crab.
“Fine, I’ll be there in twenty.”
Kleno killed the connection. “Done. What do you want now?”
She smiled. “We’re going to sit here and get acquainted. I want to know how you two,” She waved the gun at the humans. “Got yourselves into something this seedy. Especially a former Alliance solder. And don’t hold anything back either.”