Posted by: Natasha A. Morea | 04/17/2011

Taris part 5

The next morning was awkward to say the least. Both Aiden and I tried to act as if nothing had happened between us the night before, but it was always in the back of our minds. That is one of the main reasons not to get involved, it effects the way you work together.
I heaved a sigh of frustration, as my companions and I walked along the crowded streets, making our way to the location of the day’s Swoop races. As we maneuvered our way through the streets, I glanced around and kept my senses sharp, for any sign of Sinka or any clue to her whereabouts. The Lower-city was an eyesore. Everywhere I turned, there were broken windows, burned out speeders, the streets were littered with trash and debris from recent swoop gang wars. The people moved about with a certain wariness, never knowing when another fight might break out. I could almost feel the oppression of the people. Poverty, and gang rule, had taken its toll on the citizens. I shook my head inside my helmet. People should not have to live like this, no matter how poor. The thought of what these people must deal with on a daily basis, left a bad taste in my mouth.
I had heard about these swoop races, but I had never seen one in person. It was too bad that I couldn’t just enjoy the show, but the reason I was here, was to find out more about the Blade Vipers; how they work, where they hang out, how they race. You want to defeat an enemy, learn what makes them tick.
As we neared our destination, I glanced in Aiden’s direction. Last night’s argument flooded my thoughts. I closed my eyes, clinching my fists at my side. Haar’chak! I had to keep my mind from wandering to things best left alone! No time to wish things were different, no time to daydream, I needed all of my senses focused and in full warrior mode, a young girl’s life depended on it.
The track was packed with fans, both young and old. Terminals on the far side of the track, were filled with people, placing their bets on their favorite pilot. Racers could be seen, bustling around, making preparations and last minute checks of their swoop bikes. Spectators weren’t allowed to chat with the racers, so I wandered over to find a spot from which to watch.
“Hey, you guys! Aiden, over here!”
I turned to my left. Waving his hands enthusiastically over his head, was Dak Kallos. Aiden returned his wave and we walked over to where he and his swoop bike stood. Two guards stepped toward us.
“ It’s ok boys, they are with me.” Dak shot a smile in our direction. “So glad you made it.” I watched as the guards walked away. “ Why the strict security?”
Dak laughed. “They are a little intimidating aren’t they?  We sort of have a problem in this sport. Gangs and independents alike are prone to stealing each others parts and upgrades. Sabotage is pretty common as well. No one likes losing money on a bet, you know.”
“Sounds like a ruthless sport.” I snorted.
“ I guess it is,” Dak replied, finishing up his last minute checks.
The loud speaker blared out the next contestant.
“Well, that’s me, wish me luck.” With a wink, Dak made his way to the starting line.
Aiden gave me a quick look and then moved away slowly, taking the opportunity to investigate while we were lucky to be in the racer’s section. I removed my helmet, and continuing to watch intently, as Dak’s first trial began. The crowds cheered and the announcer gave out information about the pilot, as he moved his bike onto the course. Lights flashed: red , yellow and then green. Dak’s swoop bike shot off like a rocket. The crowd went crazy. I found myself fully engrossed in the race. The bike dove and ducked around obstacles, hitting acceleration pads in certain areas, boosting the speed so much, it was hard for my eyes to keep up.
“You don’t belong in the racer’s section, sweetie.”
I jerked out of the trance that the race had put me under.
“Its alright, I am a friend of Dak Kallos. He’s just finishing up a trial.”
The man standing before me was a tall, lean figure, decked out in obvious gang attire.
“ Lucky him.”
The man’s eyes slid down my armored frame, traveling back up slowly, to reach my face.
“ A place like this can be dangerous for a lady.”
I met his eyes firmly. “ Well, as I see no lady here, I don’t think we have anything to fear.” The man chuckled, raking a hand through wavy hair as he spoke.
“ I like your attitude, my lovely.” His smile faded. “But around here, attitude can get you killed.”
Just as I was about to give him a piece of my mind, Aiden appeared, possessively placing an arm around my shoulder. He leaned in, kissing my cheek.
“Everything, alright, my pet? Who is your new friend?” Aiden and the man eyed one another warily.
“I was just warning the pretty lady about the perils of the racing world.” His eyes narrowed, as he switched his gaze to mine. “I think she and I understand one another. I will be on my way.”
I felt, more than heard, Aiden growl beneath his breath as the man turned to leave. I gasped at the emblem on his jacket, as he walked away. A serpent entwined around a vibroblade. He was a Blade Viper!

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Responses

  1. yet another enjoyable installment. nice cliffhanger to end as well


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