A Shadowed Stars short story by Steven Koutz

In the Agalwing Lagoon and under the moonlight shine on the Helven homeworld of Tiridani, two Helvens were tightly embraced and heavily kissing with unbridled passion not allowing their lips pause. It was a moment that they seemed to not dare to break from each other. She was Inilish. Her hands held each side of Balakeel’s head. Her legs were tightly secured around his upper legs and his hands supported her there as well with a tight squeeze to each of her thighs. They were in the center of the lagoon and with the level of their passionate kiss, it seemed as they were the last two Helvens alive. Inilish was like other Helven women. Very skinny yet with all the proper curves and firmness to her sexy body. Highlighted even more by her fully exposed skin midsection. She had the darker exotic skin color and long straight black hair like other Helven females. Her elf-like pointed ears extended just above the top of her head and her cat-like mouth and nose twitched with each stroke of Balakeel’s tongue on her neck. Balakeel could not stop tasting her flesh. He was a standard Helven as well with the elf-like pointed ears and cat-like mouth and nose. Helven males however had the paler white skin and long blond hair. As Balakeel moved his tongue and lips across Inilish’s throat, she flung her head back feeling full pleasure and flashing her memory back to when they first met.

It was on the wild colony world of Tiridani 2 that Inilish laid down both her blaster pistols. She was one of the few honest law officers in the remote town of Shoris Clover. There was little law there and she had just shot Getcherann, the brother to the Helven, Lekall and the crime boss of the organization known as Fallan Shaw. Her hands trembled as she felt the wrath that would soon befall on her. The Helven surgeon walked out with the blue glittery blood of Getcherann still on his surgical gown. His head was down as he claimed he did all that he could but the damage was too severe. Inilish looked around at the Helvens in the infirmary corridor, trying to detect who was the spy for Fallan Shaw. Her scan of the crowd finished as she laid her emerald green eyes on him. Balakeel’s sky blue eyes met those of Inilish’s at the exact same time. Their eyes locked and it was love at first sight.

They began seeing each other immediately and became lovers after their first stroll here at this very lagoon. Their romance filled other Helvens with envy. They had taken several pleasure vacations to many paradise planets.

While they were running off on romantic getaways, Lekall was planning his revenge for the loss of his younger and only brother. Fallan Shaw operatives kept constant surveillance and reports on Inilish. The fact that she was enjoying happiness and love while Lekall buried his brother on the cemetery planet of Forvress Kit was not setting well. Getcherann’s grave was visited often by his brother. This day, Lekall rose from his knelt position at his brother’s grave and instructed his right hand Helven man and enforcer, Jeked that Inilish’s happiness has went on long enough. It was now her time to pay for his brother’s life with her own.

Inilish was called back to duty and given an assignment to break up a newly formed Honsho Piracy haven just outside Shoris Clover. Havens were there terms used by Honshos for a stash point of stolen goods or hideout from pursuit. Inilish arrived to find the camp abandoned. She initiated a video comm to her Honsho contact, Challis Batteray. Challis was like all other Honshos with long blond hair, a long-dropped chin to what would be past the throat on a human and three fingers and two thumbs on each hand.

Challis Batteray claimed that she nor any other Honsho had set up any haven on Tiridani 2. They had come to an arrangement on a previous encounter and Challis had honored that arrangement. She also mentioned that she had heard Inilish had retired her badge. Inilish replied that she had been called back due to her connections with Challis. Challis delivered a sigh of almost disappointment as she stated, “I thought we were more like friends than just connections.” Challis recalled that time on Eenekia where they were even more than just friends and how their bodies felt pressed against each other. Inilish smiled pleasantly at the memory and quickly apologized for any offense. Challis was near the Helven homeworld of Tiridani at the current time and offered to send her Wobmat for assistance and to scan the area for a possible idea for which Honsho may have set up a temporary haven there.

Wobmats were a race of humanoids. They appeared human except for their full yellow eyes. They were a race largely ignored and seen as nothing except to the Honshos. The Honshos saw real value in a race that went largely unseen by all others. Be it by choice or as some Honshos felt it a design in the race, Wobmats were not noticed and if they were, they were simply pushed aside as nothing without thought. That trait made them excellent operatives to gather intelligence.

It took one rotation for the Wobmat to arrive. Inilish inquired of his name. It was clear that among others, even Honshos, that Wobmats were either called by numbers, or in Inilish’s past experiences with Challis, the name “you” accompanied with a finger point was sufficient. Inilish asked again what his own people called him. The Wobmat thought with great intent at his reply as if it were a question never asked before. He asked, “Would it be okay if you called me, Yige?” Inilish replied, “If that is what you want? I want it as well.”

Yige took out a scanning device and began to take readings of the entire layout of the abandoned haven. It took him less than an ara, the equivalent of an hour, to reach a conclusion. He stated that it was not a Honsho haven. He declared it as a particularly good attempt at replicating one except for two mistakes. The loot pile or what was left of one was right at the entrance. No Honsho would ever leave stolen loot right at an entrance with such easy access of retrieval. The other mistake was the solo nest, as he called it. The leader of the raiding party or even the legion often sat alone in the haven. There was evidence of that here. However, the area set up to look like the nest here was in the direct center of the layout. It would give a solid 360-degree view that most races would find advantageous but no command rank Honsho would leave their back exposed for a prolonged period in fear of betrayal. Havens were meant for long rest periods and a command rank Honsho would have their back to the wall in that case. He had also detected no Honsho or Wobmat DNA scans. He did find a lapel pin made of a diamond with a red gem in its core. It was well hidden that only a full intense scan looking for non-Honsho materials and signs would detect.

Inilish instantly grabbed the pin from Yige with quick and panicked intent. She recognized it immediately as a pin worn only by high level members of the Fallan Shaw. She got on her comm to report to her superiors and was interrupted by a report to go to her home.

Inilish raced to her home. She had left Yige standing at the falsified Honsho haven, Wobmats were accustomed to being randomly left, even by Honshos. The all Helven authority force was already there with the scene blocked off. Many tried to slow her traverse inside but she pushed them all away. Inside she followed the trail of bluish glittery blood through the dwelling and into her bedroom. She dropped to her knees in panic and a heavy rain of tears flowed from her eyes. She had seen many gruesome things in her career of law enforcement but none before were personal.

Her one true love, Balakeel was cut into pieces and his head was on a pike drove right through the head of the bed. A clear message was written in blood on the domed wall above the bed, “You shot my brother and he could not save him. Now you will live as I do in great and unending pain.” It was even signed with Lekall’s name. It was a clear sign of his power and statement that even the law would not pursue him for this crime.

In the Agalwing Lagoon, as the sun began to rise, Balakeel and Inilish continued to grope and kiss each other in deep passion until the image of Balakeel faded away and Inilish was left going through the motions still as if he was there with her but he was not and would never be again. After a few more moks, she stopped and straightened her posture. She knew it was an illusion but to her this spot and that moment would always feel real. Inilish waded through the lagoon water to the edge. She was helped out by the hand of the Wobmat named Yige. He presented her with a gesture of his hand and a wave to move forward.

They walked to a cave side by side. She had asked her friend Challis for only one favor and that was the release of Yige’s services to her. He was now a personal servant to Inilish but her idea of servitude was much different. He walked at her side and was encouraged to give his opinion. He was her servant in name but functioned as a conscience and an ally. She did not always take his advice as her conscience but it was always offered. They walked side by side into the cave to where she had bound Lekall. She raised her blaster pistol that once served the law that was blind to power but would from this day serve not just justice but the helpless people to that blind law. She asked for any last words, not that they would matter to her at all. She had abducted him when the law let him walk freely from the obvious murder of her love, Balakeel. Lekall told her that she could not do this because she was the one true and honest officer of the entire force. She tilted her head as if struck by the remark. He had spoken truth. At least it was a truth until this moment. She wanted to put the blaster pistol down but could not. She asked Yige what she should do. He reminded her that she was everything Lekall had just said. He felt that killing Lekall would be a heavy burden forever on her soul.

Inilish thanked Yige and blasted Lekall three times in the chest. Once for her, once for Balakeel and the last for their love. She turned to Yige and stated that her soul was already burdened with the loss of Balakeel. They walked from the cave and once clear, Yige used a device to collapse the entrance with an explosion. Inilish stated further that nobody would be hurt any longer by people of power as long as she breathed. She asked for their next target. Yige answered, “An Abolish con-artist that hides out at Kahda’s Underworld.” Inilish asked if that was still operated by Sansua. Yige replied that Sansua was still the director under Kahda’s payroll. Inilish replied that they would likely find many targets there. She also added that it was long journey. Yige said that he had already prepared the ship. He then asked how far away her quest would take her. Inilish responded that she would go wherever justice needed her to go. She then told Yige to wait for her at the ship. Once she was alone, Inilish looked out to the center of the lagoon to that special spot. She said, “I love you Balakeel and I always will.”