This is a completed sequel to the one I’m editing. It hasn’t been touched yet so I’m sure there’s errors galore. I just thought I’d show a different side to Talia then’s been seen so far.
Talia rolled onto her side and pulled Marcus close as he snored softly. The feel of his skin, the warmth, and the companionship filled the emotional hole that the previous experience created. Her body and soul was something that was hers to freely give, and not for another person to take for their own pleasure.
A tear wound down her cheek as she thought of the other women who’d been sold into sexual slavery and how they’d never know where they went. How many were being forced to submit their bodies, involuntarily, to other men and beings on a daily basis? Talia buried her head against his neck and sobbed softly.
In twenty thousand years of living, she’d never encountered anything like the pipeline the humans had created. Yes, slavery existed back during the Great War, but none of it involved making another being give up their bodies for sex. That was something new that man created, in fact had done for centuries on Earth, and spread upon the Galaxy at a whole. Now, she thought bitterly, no woman would ever be truly safe.
What would’ve happened to her if she hadn’t planned on keeping the Valiant in a position to shadow the transport? How many times would Marrant assault her during the voyage and there wouldn’t have been anything that could’ve been done to stop him?
Marcus groaned softly, and started to move as she continued to sob. The young man rolled over, looked at her sleepily, before wrapping his arm around her and pulling Talia tight to his chest. For several minutes they lay like that, with her head against his chest as she freely sobbed, and he started to rub her back.
She just buried herself against him and let the tears flow freely. He started to stroke her hair and bent his head to whisper in her ear.
“It’s ok, Talia, it’s over now…”
She looked up at him, eyes red from crying. “But it’s not…how many others could I not save?”
He reached down and wiped the tears from her eyes. “Hon, you’re going to find more, and you’ll free them.”
“But there’s more I won’t. If only I hadn’t convinced everyone to walk away!”
Marcus lifted her chin and looked deep into her eyes. “You needed that time away, Talia. What happened with the Wraith…it was horrible, something you should never have had to do.”
“They deserved it after killing my people…”
“’bly so, but it took a toll on you.”
Talia just looked at him.
“You’re entire life has been having to make one tough decision after another.” He continued. “You were created to fight a war, to make calls that influenced billions of lives.”
“It’s who I am,”
“Yes, but even the most special person needs to walk away at times. You, and your sisters, needed the past three years to deal with what you learned.”
She shook her head. “All the while, man sold themselves into sexual slavery…”
“You can’t stop everything, Talia. Right now, you know what’s going on, and that’s more then before. It’s time you do what you do best.”
“And what’s that?”
“Protect the defenseless and the innocent.”
“Yeah, I do that well…”
“Quit with the self loathing, it’s unbecoming and…you know it’s not true.”
She looked at him. “Maybe it is.”
Marcus shook his head and then reached over to a table beside the bed and pushed a button. The holo vid projector activated and the beginning of a movie started. She looked at her lover, raised an eyebrow, and then back to the film. Just what, she thought, was he up to this time??
She furrowed her brow. “Dr Who? Marcus, what are you up to?”
He rolled onto his back, and then pulled her close again. “The Doctor has to make tough decisions, like you, to protect people.”
“And this helps me how?”
Four hours later she sat down her book of Poe and leaned back in the chair. Yes, there would always be the terrible decision to have to make, but they were made by the one’s who could be entrusted with such choices. To be in the positions life had put her in, showed how much trust the scientists, and politicians, had put into her all those years ago.
One more day and they’d have the liner and transport back at Earth, and then they’d be on their way to Hurculos Five. The only way to arrive there while keeping the time frame Marrant was supposed to, would be to make a dimensional jump. While it wasn’t something difficult to do, she’d resisted doing so over the past three years to keep from displaying too much of their technology in case others were watching.
The next question would be, once they got to the system, whether to use to active camouflage or not. While it’d keep their existence a secret from those they were hunting, one the other hand, it gave away one of their biggest ace cards Then, she’d have to figure a way to reach the surface without being detected otherwise Kleno would run.
Perhaps…it was a long shot but it just might work. Smugglers moved in and out of the system regularly since they could exchange goods without worrying about the system authorities interfering. She’d saved several smugglers over the past three years from true pirates, and accumulated a lengthy list of favors she was owed. It might be time to call a few of them in…
While their government tried to downplay their roll in the field, the fur balls had their own share of smugglers operating in the area. She’d saved a ship six months ago, leaving a very thankful Captain owing her, which left an option open. Besides, Talia thought, they only dealt in mechanical items so she wouldn’t feel bad about taking advantage of the situation.
How to reach them would be the next trick to work out. A direct message to the government would, more then likely, be leaked to the slavers, which would leave her back at square one. Another option would be to hop a transport, or join the crew on a smuggler craft heading there.
Grios and Aran owe me a major favor for saving their families. Aran would be in contact with their smugglers on a regular basis.
Talia made a decision.
She reached over and thumbed on the com. “Steven, I want to meet with the command staff in fifteen.”
“I’ll notify them, Talia. Anything you want to tell me?”
“I’ll explain it when everyone gets her.” She killed the connection.
“Back in action again now?”
She looked over her shoulder at Marcus. “Time to quit blaming myself for what’s happened and get down to fixing the problem.”
He leaned against the wall. “Good thing, too. You know, you’re a real pain in the back when you’re in full on ‘I hate myself’ mode.”
She blushed slightly. “Sorry…”
“‘Tis ok. Just do what you do best.”
He straightened out his shirt before crossing the room and stopping just short of the door. “And don’t forget I love you.”
She smiled crookedly. “I won’t.”
Marcus waved and then left.
I won’t ever forget, Marcus, trust me.