I took my time getting to Rish. I even did a little hunting along the way. I scanned out two pirates and sent one of them home in his pod and the other one back to his clone. The combat had been exhilarating and it reminded me how a few months ago my biggest concern was finding the next juicy target.
I entered Rish’s system and went directly to the only station. CONCORD singed my shields a little, but did not put up much of an effort to stop me. On the way to the station I scanned the system out of habit. There was a fairly large presence of Blood Raiders for a high security system. Hopefully that meant Tasha was still here.
I docked and prepped my ship for undock out of habit. In order to try and keep the plan on track I waited about a half hour before I sent a message to Tasha. Once that was taken care of, I hopped out of the pod and waited. The cavernous bay was empty of people. The massive machines that normally would have been clunking away were silent.
Before too long, the lift opened and two Blood Raiders stepped out. I put my hands in the air to let them know I wasn’t a threat. Both of them marched toward me, feet pounding the ground with a purpose. As they got closer one pulled out a gun and the other pulled out restraints.
“I surrender,” I said, as they closed in around me.
Without warning the one holding the restraints punched me in the stomach. I stumbled back against my pod, breath pouring out of my lungs with a whoosh. I smiled then looked up at him waiting for the next swing. It did not come so I steadied myself and took small breaths trying to cool the burning in my stomach.
“Put out your hands,” he demanded.
I complied. He put the restraints on then pulled my blaster out of its holster. With a shove on my back we started toward the lift. The man with the gun kept his distance as the other held onto my arm. They were not much for conversation. I thought about pushing their buttons a bit and seeing what kind of response I would get, but decided to save my energy and witty comments for whoever was waiting upstairs.
The ride in the lift was short. The door opened to a large lavishly decorated hallway. To our left was a smaller hallway that looked like a maintenance tunnel. If this station was like any other it was actually a private entrance to the very expensive rooms that lined the corridor. They usually included access to a private lift to the hangers as well.
After a short walk we were standing outside of a door at the end of the hallway. The raider holding my arm reached forward and hit the buzzer. The door slid open and I looked up into the eyes of Omir, leader of the Blood Raiders. The two men pushed me in and the door slid closed with a bang.
The room was a mix between a lab and living quarters. The living room was filled with tall tables and electronic devices. The most chilling addition to the room was Peter, tied to a chair in the corner. He was a bloody mess. I wondered how beating the poor man would help him produce another transmitter. I could not tell if he was breathing or not.
“Nice place,” I said, looking up at Omir and giving him my best pirate smile. He responded by slamming his fist into my face with a jaw crunching pop. The world went black for a second and when my vision returned I was on my knees on the floor. I shook my head trying to clear my blurred vision.
“Fuck Omir, is this how you treat all your guests?” I wheezed, and then spit a mouthful of blood on the carpet.
“Welcome to our home, Lakasha. You should make yourself comfortable.” The two raiders behind me laughed hysterically. Omir was quite the comedian. I had to be careful. Getting myself knocked out or killed before I had a chance to confront Tasha would do me no good.
“I am here to talk to Tasha.”
“Why should I stop myself from killing you right now? Your blood will be pleasing to God.”
“Well, it looks like Peter is not going to help you anymore. So unless Tasha has become an expert on whatever it is Peter does then you are going to be short a transmitter. All that clone blood you are wanting for your God isn’t going to happen. I have Peter’s data.”
“Give it to me!”
“I’m not giving it to anyone but Tasha,” I stated, choking back fear that he would kill me before I confronted her.
“We will see. Find her a chair in the back. I have a feeling my love will sacrifice this one in the most pleasing way.”
The two men behind me grabbed an arm each and yanked me from the floor. The room spun enough from the movement to make me wonder if I had a concussion. I was able to walk on wobbly legs into the next room with my two jailers, yay me. Inside there was a chair and two tables filled with what looked like a mix of dental tools and surgery devices. I was shoved into the chair and tied up quickly and efficiently.
Sooner than I would have liked, Omir came into the room followed by Tasha. She walked up to me, gently grabbed my chin, and proceeded to yank my face to the left and then the right evaluating the damage Omir had done. She stepped back shaking her head and letting out a loud sigh.
“Oh baby, why didn’t you just die?” she asked, as she stomped her foot on the ground.
“I have all of Peter’s data,” I stated, struggling to keep the anger out of my voice.
Her eyes lit up like a child getting a gift. “Give it to me and maybe we can make this painless. I promise hon, really.”
“I will give it to you. I just want to know one thing.”
“What’s that hon?”
“When exactly did you become a psyco bitch?” I asked, letting the hate pour into my words. It probably wasn’t the best move on my part but I needed to stall as long as I could.
“Oh Laka. I’m so sorry we are going to have to do this the hard way.” I could tell by the look on her face she was not.
“Soften her up and come get me when she is ready to talk,” Tasha commanded, and the Blood Raiders looked happy to comply.
With that, she turned her back on me and headed toward the door.
“The data is going to be released to the top three implant producers in less than two hours,” I yelled at her back.
She lifted her hand into a little waive as she exited the door. Omir turned to follow. I was left with my two guards and an unknown amount of future pain.