The Karalis

by

Tags: Spies, Science Fiction, Space, Futuristic, Alternate Universe, Royalty, Pulp Classic, Young Adult, .

Desc: Science Fiction Story: Tricked into helping with a suspicious passenger, this taxi driver is in for some unwarranted activity and some scary surprises.

She stood by the entrance, sun to her back Taller that 99.999% of humans. The space port had few incoming passengers that morning so when she motioned me towards her, with an index finger, I went, feeling the command. She was so beautiful I couldn’t resist all three meters of her and went eagerly, looking up into that tall Rombant figure and beautiful face. They were an aloof race, proud, and always a bit scary, expecting obedience, while looking down on most peoples, I’ve always had the feeling. So I had no desire to upset this tall alien.

She looked tougher than any four or five men of earth size but it was her beauty that intrigued me most. Dangerous, yes, I could sense that, and she was armed to the teeth as well. Not one to cross in the wrong way, I knew, but absolutely gorgeous.

“Where is the Quarent district?” she asked, in a deeper feminine voice, apparently having just landed and not familiar with this big city, here on Rillord. Her lips had a gorgeous though hesitant smile to them, almost like someone speaking down to a child, but that would change I was betting.

I hesitated, too, trying to understand why she would want to go into that district, that area of the spralling city, looking into her almond shaped and piercing eyes, but failed in my clairvoyant wonder. It was an industrialized area and full of security gates, armed men and women, and businesses with lots of secrets to keep. Nobody went there unless they had business with one of those secretive companies. With what she was carrying, all those weapons, I had my doubts and concerns about what she wanted in there, what she might want to do in that district, my suspecians flashing through my brain.

“Its directly west of here,” I told her, soon enough, hoping I wasn’t collusive in some murder/robbery/or vengeance scheme. Rombant’s are known to be vexing, vengeful, and touchy.

She looked where I pointed, her jaw muscles flexing, her mouth tightening into a scowl, then back to me.

“I want to hire you for 28 hours. How much?”

Twenty-eight hours? That was a windfall to a taxi driver. A full days wages here, on Rillord, with very little effort other than staying awake, driving my taxi.

“It’s seventeen gold plasis an hour,” I said, overcharging her, but if I was going to be her driver for that long, she would have to pay a little extra, just in case of trouble. I didn’t trust her to be entirely peaceful, carrying all that weaponry, and if she intended to use those tools, and violence turned out to be a factor, I wanted something to take care of any fines the city might want to tack onto me or damage to my cab.

“Agreed,” she said, without hesitation, handing me some hundred gold plasis coins from under her utility, or weapons, belt, which ever it was. “Lets go,” she ordered and stepped into my taxi. It was a tall transport that could carry just about any size alien, or human, that came out of the space port terminal doors, and lucrative enough.

In spite of my trepidations, I got in and headed for Favor passageway. That pavement would eventually guide us into the spiral grid pattern of the Quarent district.

“Drive to the 52nd block, in front of Pequad Biometrics,” she said, and I did, knowing the town well enough from memory.

“It’s coming up on the right, passenger,” I said. “That’s the entrance there, with the triple gate.”

“Keep going and don’t stare,” she ordered. I had been looking in the guardhouse’s way.

I turned my head forward but not before noticing all the cameras out front and the roaming guards outside and near the buildings, fifty meters away from the fence. Pretty consistent with these businesses.

“Keep driving,” she ordered again. “I’ll tell you when to stop.”

She told me to turn around and as I did she began charging her weapons. I could hear the humming, the clicks of the various internals of pistol and rifles going through their com-checks. When she slapped in a magazine of poison glass beads, I protested.

“Hey, listen! I don’t want any trouble,” I said. “What do you think you’re going to do?”

“When you get to the entrance, slow down and turn into it. We’re going in,” and with that put a roll of gold plasis in my hand. It was enough for a new cab. I didn’t know what to think but did as she said.

When we got to the entrance I slowed and was about to stop when I felt a painful pressure on the top of my foot that was just coming off the accelerator. The Rombant was pushing down with her rifle muzzle and the cab shot forward, instantly smashing through the three barriers. We were blasting through the other side, now, heading for the big concrete building, the guards now raising their weapons to their shoulders.

“Stop it,” I yelled. “You’re going to get us killed,” but before I could protest more, trying to pull her rifle tip off my foot, the cab suddenly lurched to the side and I felt it tipping. She had yanked on the steering wheel, and then there was a huge pressure on my body, like I was thirty fathoms under water, her hand grabbing my arm as the cab swayed violently to the right with centripetal force, I thought but was way wrong.

We resurfaced, or that’s the way it felt, a hundred meters down the side of the plain concrete building, trying to keep our balance. She had some kind of portable teleport device with her. Gadfry. And, I could hear gun fire behind us and turned around to see my poor cab turning over on it side, out of control, the metal and plastics protesting against the asphalt while being turned into Swiss cheese. The guards were riddling it with gun fire as they converged on its location. The yellow paint of it soon burst into orange and white flames as the penetrating teflon and phosphorus bullets lit it up.

The Rambant was in front of me and I felt her grab the middle of the back of my jacket and pull me down the side of the building where I barely maintained my footing taking giant leaps to keep up with her huge strides while she half lifted and half dragged me away from the guards who now saw us and were running in our direction and taking aim, probably.

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