Through the Eyes of a Kemyyon
a Shadowed Stars story by Steven Koutz
(this story takes place well before the events that will be in book 2 coming soon and the upcoming book 4)
A massive metal environmentally controlled docking ring stretched horizontally and completely around the extreme heat planet of Kemyyo. It was a technological marvel and much more than just a docking ring. Many mixed races lived and worked here. For the non-Kemyyon races it was much more pleasant than the extremely heated temperatures of Kemyyo where one hundred degrees above zero was considered a cool day.
It was standard procedure to dock at the Ring, as it was dubbed, before advancing to the planet. There were those that had special passes and privileges of course. The stay on the Ring was usually quite eventful. There was shopping, dining, drinking, theater, art shows and even a dancing academy. There was not much you could not get on the Ring. It could be compared to a shopping mall on Earth.
The Kemyyons on the planet were always naked due to the extreme heat and simply custom of the people. The Kemyyon were one of few races in the universe that did not understand the obsession and etiquette of covering oneself for fear of offense or judgement. That said, there was a matter of courtesy to those outsiders that spent great amounts of wealth here. The Kemyyons did wear minimal clothing on the Ring and off Kemyyo. It was extremely minimal in some cases and left little to the imagination. There were designated areas also on the Ring that were for those Kemyyons or not, that just simply did not wish to cover themselves with cloths of any kind.
Governor Samira of the Kemyyon people was visiting the Ring this very day. He was met by the security chief of the ring, Skitch. Both male Kemyyons were like all the others. They were built in the humanoid form, bald and had thick orange skin with dark red, small but pronounced bumps that covered their bodies. The males and females of course had the standard body parts of each gender and each of those body parts like the humanoid form varied in size and shape. The only other noticeable difference between the Kemyyon people were that a small minority had more of a reddish skin cover than orange but they also had the dark red bumps.
There had been an ore mining accident just two rotations ago and Governor Samira had come to the Ring’s medical facility to check on the recovery of the victims. He also planned to take care of a few political matters as well that had caused abrasive relations between the Kemyyons on the Ring and the planet. Skitch was a fine specimen of Kemyyon. He was muscular and well-endowed throughout his body. He was wearing tight and thin leather that just barely covered what others would call the more private features. He had been walking with Governor Samira, who was dressed in thin regal robes as they visited the victims in the hospital section. Skitch may have appeared like a muscular thug but he was exceptionally good at his role as Ring security chief. One of those skills that made him exceptionally good was his skill at observance. He had noticed a door in the corridor just slightly ajar.
He excused himself from the political assembly after making certain that the other security guards had the event well in hand. By the time Skitch had reached the suspicious door, it had been closed completely. He did wear a belt around his waist and drew his blaster pistol from the holster before he cautiously entered the room. The room was a medical research lab that dealt with viruses, vaccines, infections, poisons, and antidotes. Skitch kept the minimal lighting in the room at its level, as he with great effort searched the room. He rounded a few corners and then saw the open vault. He quickly but quietly stepped to the side of the vault and peered inside. He saw a female squatted down and searching through a low mounted chemical rack. He thought she was Jaskan at first with her slender build and long green hair. He then noticed the long and pointed elf-like ears that extended just above her head. That and the dark skin as well as the cat-like nose when she took a quick look behind her confirmed that she was a Helven female. She had found the small case of vials that she was looking for and stood up. She backed out of the vault and carefully closed the door to it. She removed a device that she had attached to the lock and a power grid that obviously prevented the vault alarm from sounding.
She turned around with her stolen prize and directly faced the barrel of Skitch’s blaster pistol. Her beauty had caught him just slightly off guard. Her build was thin and sexy as well. Before Skitch could speak, she stated that she needed this and there was no way he was stopping her. Skitch held his blaster pistol on her and replied that there was no way that she was escaping. The reply only brought laughter from the sexy female Helven thief. She followed that laughter with her claim to never have been captured. Skitch stepped forward and took the small antidote case from her tightly clutched hands. He placed it on a table and placed her wrists into a pair of energy binders. He stated that she was captured now. The woman laughed again and corrected her earlier statement, “Oh dear man, I meant never been held in capture for long.” With that, she had moved her fingers and released a mist from her wrist gauntlet. It blew outward and Skitch dropped from its sleep gas effects instantly.
The female thief knelt to Skitch’s fallen body and took the controller for the energy binders. She stated that he was fine looking for a Kemyyon. She deactivated them and stood back to her feet. She retrieved the small case of antidotes from the table and started to leave the room. She stopped to take one more look back at the Kemyyon male that she had just dropped. He remained unconscious. She looked him over and was extremely impressed with his well-endowed body features. She excitedly said, “Damn fine indeed good sir!”
Skitch had awoken a bit later in the hospital section. He assured the doctors and nurses that he was well and rushed out of the room. He was now completely naked as he quickly darted through the corridor with many eyeballs on him. He darted into the security office and waved his officers away. He rushed to the computer and began a scan of all security footage. He found a single blurred image that when enhanced revealed the female thief that had eluded him. He ran a facial recognition program. Images of many Helvens flashed across the screen. The male Helvens all had pale white skin and blond hair. The female Helvens had dark skin and black hair except for one. He brought up the security file of Sibrafell Toy. It listed her as a mixed breed. She was half Helven and half Jaskan which explained her green hair. She had a rap sheet longer than anyone that Skitch had ever seen. It was mostly for thievery and many warrants for her arrest by many governments. Her self-corrected claim that she had made about never being captured for long was proven true. She had been only momentarily caught a handful of times but had always slipped away.
Skitch had spent the rest of his rotation, a term for a day on Earth, tracking her movements off the ring. She had escaped on a public shuttle transport. He tracked that transport to a mixed-race settlement world of Jaltroo that just so happened to be the junk capital of the universe. He had booked himself passage the following rotation to Jaltroo.
Kemyyo and Jaltroo were both in a territory of space that was disputed between Black Guard, Derth, and Ubide rule. Despite the loose Black Guard presence on Jaltroo, the bureaucracy was strong. It had taken Skitch a full rotation to get to Jaltroo and another to freely travel and track Sibrafell’s movements. His frustration only grew when he had learned that Sibra, as she was known here, had left on a ship piloted by a Kro named Irksters Glumm and travelled even further into Derth and Ubide space to the Kro colony world of Stygol 2. It was ignored by the Kro homeworld of Stygol. It was no secret that it was a world of great suffering and disease not to mention territories run by local Kro warlords. Even the Derths that claimed that area of space refused to hunt there. Derths were an intelligent carnivore race that refused to pass on any planet that offered a meat source, to hunt, sentient or not.
The Kro race itself resembled what those on Earth would refer to as orcs of myth. They looked like dark elves with shorter ears pointed at both ends and pitch-black but scaly skin. Their society was savage but they were a space faring race.
Skitch had travelled another three rotations to reach Stygol 2. As he flew his shuttle over the terrain, he could not imagine why Sibra would have come here. The planet looked like an apocalyptic ruin. His shuttle was even fired upon by numerous warlord factions. He found the designated safe space to land that the various Kro warlords had all agreed to in a treaty. Once he disembarked his shuttle, his opinion of the world, despite his disbelief sank even further. The stench was overpowering and horrible. It was like a sewer world. Fecal matter and urine were everywhere. The water was obviously terribly polluted. There was famine everywhere as well. Dead bodies lay unburied and even some Kro had resorted to cannibalism. If there was a place in the universe that nobody should be, this was it.
Skitch had taken what cloth material he had on his shuttle and covered himself more than any Kemyyon ever had done. He even crafted a multi layered scarf to help him prevent some of the inhale of the staggering stench. He walked through the paths of dead, toxic and all kinds of waste. It was at a large tent that he saw the small case of stolen antidotes on a table and a line of young Kro children being inoculated with the antidote.
From behind Skitch, approached Sibra. She asked if he was here for her or the antidote. He was caught with disbelief that a thief would risk so much for such unfortunate people. He had observed the area closely and concluded that there was not much for these Kro to offer in payment for her services. Sibra informed him of his correct assessment of the situation. She directed his attention to the Kro children. She stated that they had been infected by an insect bite that thrived in the filth of this cesspool environment and only affected the young. The Kro on Stygol cared nothing about their own people that suffered here. Skitch asked about evacuation options. Sibra claimed that many here were so sick and infected that no other world would take them. She added that settling on an uninhabited world would even be too dangerous with the condition that most of these people were in. She then stated, “If an intelligent carnivore race that would feed off other sentient beings would not even feed off these people, what does that say to others.” Sibra admitted to many great heists that she had and none of the stolen goods did any good like the stolen Kemyyon antidote would do here. She then surrendered herself to him and promised no tricks to escape.
Skitch looked around at all the despair. He told her that he would talk to Governor Samira and work out some kind of aid deal. Sibra laughed. She claimed that nobody had been willing to help to date and being in the middle of Derth and Ubide claimed space did not scream hope. Skitch said that maybe there was a need to push people to act. There was a need here, a cause to fight for. The Black Guard government would not care but there were others out there. He promised Sibra to help her find those that will help. He looked around once more. He said, “Even the littlest is better than no help at all.” He then offered to take her home. Sibra asked if home was a jail cell. Skitch smiled and said that he might look away at any point in the voyage. She smiled with him and they walked away.
As they walked, Skitch mentioned that the Luth Biks could get help here. Sibra stated that the Luth Biks were too involved in their resistance fight against the Black Guard. Skitch mentioned that once they learned of this crisis, they would do something. Sibra laughed and made the remark that the Luth Biks did have the reputation of being the bleeding hearts of the universe.
The End? Maybe just for now. The short story universe of the Shadowed Stars universe is only being set up.