Chronicles of Han Storm - Book 1
Han Starts working with his abilities, confirms his destiny and comes face to face with his previous life on Creata.
*** Sixteen ***
We bounced back up the mountain and started the dreadful trek to the makeshift airfield. There was no chance for communication while trying to stay inside the vehicle.
By the time we reached the airfield, we were all physically exhausted and were extremely relieved to find Ray had a four-seater aircraft available for our return.
The take-off was a near disaster with Ray pulling the plane up at the last possible moment, managing to only clip a few top branches of the surrounding trees.
Everyone spoke Creatan, out of consideration for Panam. We settled comfortably in our seats and all except Ray caught up on lost sleep. For a change, I received some rest too.
We refuelled ourselves and the aircraft at the little sleepy town of Lone Wolf where Peetra, who was also the owner of the Diner and Uncle to Racewater, was brought up to speed with events.
Peetra seemed relieved that I was not in the building that was destroyed in Gancor, Racewater's home village, and wished us Universal Speed when we left.
We landed at New Haven’s airport in the early morning hours, refreshed and thankful that we did not have to drive all the way back to my home city.
Captain Truman and Lieutenant Stone met us at the aircraft. Stone took over Racewater’s position as the Head of Homicide when I lost my partner, Tucker. Racewater became Tucker’s replacement.
The Captain quietly spoke to Racewater while Stone ushered Panam and me into an unmarked vehicle. It was nondescript and just one of many seemingly rundown vehicles.
We waited for Racewater to finish with the Captain before Stone drove us into the slums on the outskirts of New Haven. We eventually turned into an area for mobile homes, neatly parked in rows and marked with numbers. After a few twists and turns towards the middle, we stopped in front of one.
These units were demarcated Government Housing. It was free to everyone who wished to have housing, on condition that they could keep up with the utility bills.
The sun was sprawling over the horizon and the inhabitants were starting to stir. Stone hurried us inside the small home that turned out to be amazingly spacious inside.
Panam busied himself with making refreshments, while Racewater took me by the arm and steered me into a sleeping area, securing the door behind us.
I pulled one of the lower bunks down and sat on it. He did the same with the one across from me.
We eyed each other. This was the first chance we have had to speak privately.
“I know that you are supposed to be on this mission to find a Portal and open it, and all that” Racewater started.
I kept my features relaxed and non-committal.
“Right now, we need to adhere to the policies of the people we work for. We cannot afford to put you in any spotlight. Do you agree?” he wanted to know from me.
I nodded the affirmative.
“For now, we start our new jobs as part of the Planetary Security Forces. We are to report to Prosia in two days. We will do so.
We will continue normally, until we know for sure what else we need to do regarding your mission. Am I still right?”
I gave him another affirmative nod.
“So you agree to follow my orders?”
I sighed. I could not commit totally, especially if I was needed by the Other Side.
“For now” I answered.
He seemed relieved and stood up.
“Stone also wants a private word with you.”
He left, indicating to Stone that I was ready for him. He closed the door behind Stone.
Stone took the seat vacated by Racewater. He lent forward slightly, folding his hands in front of him, resting his elbows on his knees.
It was either threatening body language, or indicated severe nervousness from him. I did not want a confrontation and pretended that it did not intimidate me.
I slouched back on the narrow bunk, letting my buttocks catch the edge of it, resting my shoulders on the wall.
Stone’s harsh voice crossed the silence between us. It was barely louder than a whisper but every word was pronounced.
“You know what I did” he stated. “You have your reasons why you kept me out of it. I do not like to owe people favours. What is your price?”
The favour came back very clearly. This man murdered the Low-life that was responsible for putting his daughter in a coma. I helped investigate the murder and came across the truth, but never revealed it to the authorities. It was still an unsolved case.
“I want Custos Morgan” I replied in the same whispered tones, sitting up, imitating his pose.
Stone’s eyes widened.
“The man you murdered was his eldest son from a secret lover.” I placed emphasis on the word. “And he knows that I know who did it.
Justice was not served in his eyes and he will hunt me down until he feels that his son's death had been avenged. I cannot continue with what I need to do until he is out of the picture.”
I was listening to myself.
Dear Universe! We were planning a man’s demise!
What am I?
*A realist* Sensaii announced into my thoughts. *Enemies need to be eliminated.*
With that phrase came flashes of memory.
People, places, dark figures, blue lightning!
Death and destruction.
Stone’s loud voice penetrated my sudden vision. He was shaking my shoulder.
“Sorry, I sometimes go away like that. Tucker was used to it” I apologized.
“You two worked well together. Tucker and me went back a long way. He thought the world of you, you know.”
“Yes, I do.”
“How do you want this done?”
We discussed the details in hushed tones. Stone’s eyes widening at times. He finally left with a huge grin on his face.
If all went according to plan, we both would have our revenge before the sun went down.
Mara was right. I had a definite dark side and I was just getting reunited with it.
I lay down on the bunk pretending to sleep.
Panam came in with some coffee. He left me and closed the door behind him.
“He’s sleeping” I heard him telling Racewater. They dropped their voices not to disturb me. They were probably very relieved that I was resting. I had been giving the two a hard time the last few days and they needed a break.
I returned to my train of thoughts.
Small wonder the Government wanted to control all of us.
I lay thinking about the man that had killed Tucker. I had followed his life-memory before. I could find him if I concentrated.
Relaxing, I slipped my spirit out of my body onto the plane of active entities. This place presented itself to me as a dark background with tiny pinpricks of light moving around within it. Every light represented a living entity with a distinct aura around each one.
This was how I found ‘missing’ people. By concentrating and matching their vibrations to their auras, I could pick them out of the crowd.
I orientated myself by concentrating again on the aura I had seen within the recordings. I knew the area where I should start seeking and the intuitive response to the ‘feel’ of the energy always helped me.
I soon came across the group of entities I was looking for, the group where I would find Regent, my enemy.
I forcefully bumped my enemy out of his body. He knew immediately who I was and what was happening.
Untrained and with no natural psychic abilities, it was like taking sweets from a baby.
I excused my stolen body from the card-game and went to a public comm in the passage.
While dialling Morgan’s private line, I ignored my enemy’s silent screams.
“Yes!” Morgan shouted.
I did not waste time. Speaking with my enemy’s voice, I gave him the ultimatum.
“I have him with me. I’ll bring him to your yacht. One hour. Be there.” I hung up before he could say anything.
Fear welled up in my enemy’s body.
*Keys?* I requested.
*Right pocket* came the answer. It was an involuntary response.
I went outside, ignoring questioning glances from colleagues. They knew better than to ask uninvited questions.
This was probably too easy.
I squashed any doubt.
I found the topless sports-vehicle. It turned out to be a real joy to drive. A feeling of pride from the owner came through telepathically. It was followed with a feeling of regret.
We made good time to the pier where the yachts were moored. We arrived early and I invaded my enemy’s memories to confirm that his boss’ vehicle was not there.
I drove past the parking bays and hid the little yellow vehicle behind some containers at the water’s edge.
Checking the firearm in the shoulder-holster, I thought it would do perfectly for my purposes. Using my enemy’s memory, I found the right yacht.
I expanded my senses to check that no-one was on board before hiding in the cabin.
I did not have long to wait. Morgan walked into the cabin a few minutes later. He did not have his usual body-guard with him.
It was a foolish thing to do. He had a habit of coming alone onto his yacht, which I was counting on.
He was totally surprised to see Regent here. Surprise turned to fear when I lifted the fire-arm.
It kicked into my palm, but the hand holding it was strong and the body well trained. The sound was deafening in the small area.
Morgan dropped to his knees, a red patch forming over his heart.
I was trained as an accurate shot in the Academy. My enemy never missed a target. We made a lethal combination.
Once more the trigger was pulled.
A second explosion and a second patch of blood on Morgan’s chest.
His body-guard should be on his way already.
A third explosion and Mr Custos Morgan’s body perished.
I left the body of my enemy. He was done for anyway . . .
I opened my eyes feeling dreadful. Maybe this was not such a wise idea.
This body, this mind, which I knew was basically good, just killed a man in cold blood. I saw myself standing on the yacht, covered in blood up to my elbows.
I flew off the bunk, ripped the door open and lunged for the ablution.
Both Racewater and Panam poked their heads around the door.
“You okay?” Panam wanted to know.
I waved a hand at them to let me finish in peace.
I thought I would feel better, but I did not.
I could not see straight.
I could not think straight.
I had a hell of a headache.
I just murdered a man.
Racewater grabbed me by the arm, dragged me out of the ablution and propped me into a seat in the kitchen area. Panam gave me a mug of revolting coffee and two tablets to drink.
I drained the mug.
The headache increased tenfold.
I closed my eyes and groaned in pain.
*Sensaii. I thought this was supposed to get better. Why is this happening?*
*You subconsciously asked for possibilities when you lay down. You had one possible option presented to you. The option you most wanted.*
*So this did not happen in real-time? I did not murder Morgan? He is still alive?*
*Yes. You were in a relaxed state of semi-consciousness. Did you have your full attention present at all times?*
*No. Then I can still follow a more acceptable route?*
*Yes, a path that would allow you to live with your own conscience.*
I thought about it. *I did not see and feel myself integrate back into my body. This can become a dangerous game.*
*Only if you adhere to your darker side.*
My darker side.
That probably made sense.
It still did not help with the headache. A tourniquet had been placed around my head and was being tightened all the time.
My attention was required by Panam. I found myself sitting on the floor.
Panam was talking to Racewater.
“I cannot give him a knockout now. We just gave him tablets and they work against each other. It could kill him if we overload his body with these drugs. You also need him for tonight to bring that other guy to the boat.”
“So we just let him suffer through this?” Racewater did not sound impressed.
“Yes” Panam confirmed.
Great! No help from that side either.
I wanted to retreat from this physical pain. I was feeling so good before my supposed nap, now everything was back to square one.
Sensaii’s words regarding possibilities came flooding back.
I needed to find another, acceptable possibility to do away with Morgan, once and for all. Something not involving me pulling the trigger.
I held my head in both hands, trying to relieve some of the pressure with energy healing. It seemed as if I was starting to succeed.
A face came up.
A face of a dead man.
This was so easy. Why did I not think about it earlier?
I laughed out loud.
It made the pain worse.
Racewater and Panam looked on helplessly while I struggled to bring my breathing under control.
I asked Sensaii to help me locate Morgan’s eldest son.
Or as I knew him from my first case-files, the Little Low-life.
The tablets, combined with the energy healing, kicked in and the flashes of pain shifted to a dull throb.
This was bearable.
I knew now why Panam always said it was a risk every time I had a vision.
It was so real, it could just as well have happened. The only thing was, it was only me that kept an imprint of the memory – no-one else was involved.
I focused and stood up.
“We need to start communicating like you and Tucker did” Racewater said. “I cannot be of any assistance if you do not talk to me.”
I took the fresh mug of coffee Panam offered and found a chair. Taking a sip, I gave myself time to think about how best to respond to this request.
“Sometimes things happen and it takes time to sort it out for myself. This is one of those times. I am sorry if I gave you a scare. I was terrified myself. But it is over now. I just need some time to adjust and I will be my old self again.”
Racewater turned away from me, throwing his arms into the air in a sign of helpless exasperation. He went outside, his jaw clenched tight.
“That was not needed” Panam remarked. “He is really trying his best to help you. Besides, you will never be your old self again.”
I stared at him. He was busy preparing some sandwiches.
“You are no longer the psychic I met in an apartment on Market Square” Panam explained. “You have grown beyond what I consider normal skills. You have matured and your body has aged. Just take a look at yourself.”
He opened the ablution cubicle’s door. It had a full-length mirror on the inside.
I saw my own reflection. My body was lean, a bit on the thin side. The muscle-tone was firm.
My soft boyish looks were gone. My face and eyes had grown harder, more determined.
I smiled at myself. Even that was different. There was a trace of sadness about my features. The skin was still smooth and pale.
I stood up to take a closer look at my face.
Yup! There were some grey hairs at my temples.
The mop of black hair also needed a cut.
I somehow expected to find some facial hair on my chin. I was relieved to see none.
Some Clans had this distinct feature in all the males and called it ‘beard’. They wore their facial hair with pride. I personally never thought much about it. It was simply something unique to them.
Other Clans were born with different skin colours. My skin was a very pale creamy colour. Panam had the more usual pinkish, reddish hue, typical of the lighter haired, blue or green eyed Clans.
Racewater belonged to the mountain Clans. They generally had darker brown skin tones. The plains peoples had a yellow hue. Sensaii presented himself as a plains ‘Oriental’. The people in the tropical areas varied from light brown through to black and a very dark purple-black.
Variety was at the order of the day on Creata. Most Clans only procreated within their own groups. But no-one worried or cared if two people form different Clans loved each other. All children were considered equal. (Except psychics of course). Every person had something to offer.
It was said that my mother was from the southern regions. She apparently had green eyes and flaming red hair with a very pale skin. Moira should be born with a light tan skin tone. Both Mara and I had dark eyes and hair which we should hand down to her.
Panam interrupted my thoughts.
“You done staring at yourself?” he asked, closing the door.
Sitting down at the table, I helped myself to a sandwich from one of the plates.
So what if I have changed. It was not going to be a problem. Or was it?
Panam took the two other plates outside and closed the door behind him. He was upset with me too.
Too bad. I was upset with myself, and I had work to do anyway. I needed to find the Little Low-life.
I finished lunch and retired back to the ‘room’.
It turned out that I did not need to find him. Sensaii had him waiting for me in the room.
“I received a message to come see you” the Low-life told me.
I smiled and kept it short and sweet.
“I now know who cut your life short” I told the Low-life.
“Interesting, it is no fun hanging around my grand-parents. They are so thick they do not even notice when I move things around the house. I am quite good at that now. But continue.”
He was as cocky in death as he was in life. I really disliked him.
“Do you know a man called Custos Morgan?” I asked.
“Yes, the financier. I had a few deals with some of his smaller money lending companies. A very hard businessman.”
“Well, he is the guy that sunk you.”
“Now really. We all knew he was dirty, but not even we could prove anything. You say he had me killed?”
“Yes. Purely a business decision” I confirmed.
“And the man that did the actual killing?”
“Oh, I know him very well.”
“Then how can I go about having my revenge?”
I proceeded to explain the scenario I had lived through only a little while before.
He seemed impressed. “Excellent! Now just one question. How do I take over this assassin’s body?”
After much explanation the Little Low-life departed on his last mission.
I sat back, still feeling devilishly cruel. It was both thrilling and revolting at the same time. I kept my emotions closed off to the inevitable end result. I knew what was to happen to the Low-life when he realized his mistake.
*The stage is set. The players are in place. Your work is done* Sensaii soothed.
At that moment, I hated myself.
A vehicle pulled up outside. The door slammed and Racewater greeted Stone. Panam knocked on the door and said they were waiting for me.
I was not yet ready for this, but pulled myself together.
It was already late afternoon. We all entered the vehicle and Stone wound his way back to the main entrance of the housing park. From here we took the shorter route through the slums to the pier.
Part of me was looking at the people that had either very little ambition, or very little hope in this life. They survived from day to day.
To live this way was their choice. They called themselves the Free Peoples of the Cities. The people that do not acknowledge the Cities’ authority and therefore any help they wished to offer. Yet they were dependent on the Cities for their survival.
The other half of me was busy helping the Low-life getting acquainted with his new body.
I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear-view mirror.
My body was stiff with an intense expression of concentration on my face. I was leaning forwards and had my hands tightly folded in front of me. Panam was eyeing me suspiciously.
I visibly relaxed my outward appearance to take Panam’s attention off me. The rest of me was at breaking point. The Low-life was on the deck of the yacht now.
We left the slums and drove past privately owned properties. This was one of the medium-income housing areas that created a buffer for the slums on the outskirts of New Haven.
Office-buildings followed the neat residential area, followed by our destination, the docks.
The Low-Life pulled the trigger.
My body jerked, bumping my knee on the side of the vehicle.
All three men briefly stared at me.
“You okay?” Panam asked.
I was relieved that he had actually kept quiet for so long.
Should I tell them?
*You are supposed to be the psychic. Is it not your function?* Sensaii reminded me.
“Custos Morgan just died” I calmly notified them.
Racewater and Panam gaped at me. Stone kept a straight face, being forewarned of events. He simply placed a blue Security light on the top of his vehicle and proceeded at high speed towards the pier, the screaming of the siren clearing the way.
We arrived, hearing another shot being discharged. Racewater and Stone raced to Morgan’s yacht. I stepped out of the vehicle, but stayed where I was, expanding my senses to ‘see’ what was going on.
Morgan’s body was indeed dead. My enemy’s body lay slumped over Morgan’s.
The little Low-life blew away his borrowed body’s brains. I did not pick up on any spirits. Everything felt peaceful, as if peace had been made and the essence of this feeling was left behind. Racewater and Stone were securing the area.
I closed my senses and called the incident in. Back-up would be here soon.
I had worked hard this day and saw the toll on my body this morning. I climbed back into the vehicle, closed my eyes and relaxed into the seat next to Panam.
Copyright © H Gibson Chronicles of Han Storm. All rights reserved. 2009-2014