The Betrayal Chapter 45 snippet

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She heard the com system in the fighter chime for her attention as she finished dressing herself. With a distracted eye, she looked up and noted that the message was from within the spaceport. Who would be calling her from there, she wondered. Could it be Kosloski letting her know where he was?

She reached for the button to activate the com unit, and felt her torso muscles go into spasms. Fatigue was starting to really effect how her body was reacting to her commands. If she didn’t get some sleep soon, she admonished herself, then she was going to find herself collapsing, and most likely, at the worst possible time too!

“Captain Almir,” Kosloski said. “You there?”

“Yes,” she said with a tired groan.

“I’m outside your fighter,” he said. “Can you come out?”

“I’ll be right there,” she said as she hit the canopy controls. Grabbing her sword, she hit the button for it to seal after she stepped out, and for the security system to activate in three minutes.

When she stepped off the ladder on the ground, Kate found herself nearly falling over. She had no idea how much farther she could go, but it wasn’t going to be much longer. The best thing she could do was to send Kosloski away to another world while she got lost herself.

And if someone jumped me right now, she thought with a moan. I couldn’t do anything about it if I wanted to!

She reached out to the fighter and used it to steady herself until she felt her balance return. It was time to send Kosloski on his way, she thought, and let him find his own place to hide. Both of them were wanted now, and they were going to have to live the life of a criminal for the rest of their lives, and that broke her heart. Wiping away a single tear with her gloved hand, she looked him in the eyes.

If I knew that things were going to be like this,
she thought bitterly. Then I would have stayed on Necko!

“I was worried about you, Captain,” Kosloski said as his thumb ran over the keypad of his pocket computer.

“Why was that?” she asked, feeling a twinge of suspicion grow in her stomach. The man certainly wasn’t acting like the same man she knew before the gunfight!

“Well, because,” he said as he pressed a button. “I would have been out my retirement money?”

“What are you talking about-“ Kate said as she went to take a step towards him, and all hell broke loose.

Electrical currents ran up her arms and legs, giving her the sensations of thousands of spiders crawling across her skin. A burning pain raced up her spine as her limbs ceased to work and she toppled forwards. Without being able to use her hands, she slammed face first into the concrete, her nose bloodied by the impact. A frightening thought crossed her mind as she realized with had happened.

The bastard! She thought. He has the shut down codes!

“I’m really sorry I had to do that, Captain,” he said as he rolled her onto her back. With a gentle touch, he used a tissue to wipe the blood coming from her nose. “But I needed you compliant if I was going to get my money.”

“You bastard,” she spat. “You work for Johansson, don’t you?”

“Actually no,” he said. “I had a very generous offer financially for your return to someone.”

“Who would that be?” Kate asked as she tried to make her body move, but the bionic parts of her wouldn’t respond.

“That would be me, Katie,”

The voice that came around her fighter was so full of genteel malice that it moved like slime. Coating the wheels of her fighter, it enveloped her in its grasp, taking her breath away, as the shock struck her full on. It couldn’t possibly be him, she protested, he’s dead! Blinking her eyes rapidly, she hoped that she would find it was just a nightmare and she was going to wake up.

“It can’t be…” she whispered, her voice tiny and barely audible. “You’re dead!”

“Oh but it is me,”

A man stepped around from behind her fighter, his blue uniform glittering with real gold inlay. Several gold necklaces hung around his neck, and every finger was covered in a ring with a priceless gem. Moving with him, where six men in similar uniforms, sans the gold, and two more with antigravity gurney.

Fereni knelt beside her, and he ran a hand softly, almost like a lover, down Kate’s cheek. Running it up her other cheek, and over her chin, he reached down towards her chest. He watched Kate growl as her eyes grew harder, and he chuckled in response. There was nothing she could do about it, he mused, and she knew it too.

“Get your dirty hands off me,” Kate snarled, the threat empty in her current condition.

“Now, now, Katie,” Ferini said as he wiped a damp bang from her face. “Is that the way you speak to your lover?”

It took every bit of her discipline to keep from throwing up at that comment. Yeah he had been her lover, she thought, rage burning in her head. The man had repeatedly raped her during her time on Necko, and he claimed he “loved” her the entire time. It sure as hell was one funny way to show someone you love them, she snorted.

“**** you,” she said.

“There will be time for that later,”

“How are you alive?” she asked, the idea still not registering to her brain. He had been closer to the grenade explosion then she had been, and it had nearly killed her. In fact, she thought with a frown, it had killed her depending on your perspective.

“Every Games Master is cloned upon his or her’s death,” he said with the same half smile he always had. “So we live perpetually.”

Kate felt herself stunned into silence at that admission. So, she told herself, they cloned the bastard? How many lives had he lived then with the technology they had? Two? Three? Or was he even older then that, she wondered.
With the cloning process, they were no way to know.

“Load her up,” he said to the men with the gurney. “We’re leaving.”

“Don’t trust him,” she said in a cold tone towards Kosloski. “This man can’t be trusted.”

“Speaking of trust,” Kosloski said. “Where’s my money?”

Ferini looked at him with the same half-smile he gave everyone. He looked at one of his guards, ever cultured to the end, and nodded at him. The man, in a move that was so quick it took Kate’s breath away, produced a silenced pistol. He pumped the trigger once and a small circle appeared on Kosloski’s forehead as his body toppled over backwards onto the concrete.

With a slight chuckle, the Games Master picked up Kosloski’s fallen pocket computer. Everything had gone exactly as he had planned, he told himself, and he hadn’t had to give up any of his money to boot! Now, he had Almir back, and she wasn’t going anywhere as long as he had the shutdown codes to her bionics, and the repeaters all over the complex. She was at his mercy, and she would learn that whatever he wanted she would do!

“You’re a bastard, Ferini,” Kate said as the man started to push her towards his ship, which had been hidden from her sight.

“You’ll learn to love me yet, Katie,” he said. “Because now I will have all the time I need to win your over.”

Kate barely kept herself from screaming.
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