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                       Kandar Episode 39 Colors of Death part 2

      “What colors?” Jack asked startled and befuddled.

      Jessie beamed with excitement. “Well, some of them anyway. You see, it was just so simple I kept over thinking it.” Jack kept staring at him with this blank look waiting for some punch line. “The colors on those sheets for my kill list.” Jessie shook Jack again. “My first kill was selfdefense, the color is black, right? Your darkest times. All of the ones on my hit list where I was paid to kill, are green like a 100 credit note. The ones after my mothers death were all in anger and have red on them, as I was seeing red.”

      “Umm, thats great.” Jack managed as he began to reel in his own imagination and grasp what Jessie meant. “Yes, I suppose that does makes sense and would be a good start. Perhaps with that, we can make some sense of the rest of the nomenclature.” He paused as he looked sideways a moment, it helped him concentrate as he sorted through the list open programs that he had running. “I am bringing up the files on one of my holotablet now and making the changes.” There is a moment of silence between them as Jack worked remotely, before he waved Jessie on. “Go ahead and get ready. I’ll bring it up with my shopping list and the surveillance equipment.”

      “Thank you.” Jessie said with nod. Both men rush through their tasks to get back to the new found light on the ‘answers’ that the old Breema had sent them. They felt they were getting closer to finding the right ‘questions’ to ask to make sense of this information. Jack was the first back to the dinning room. He used the table to set up two holotablets to make it easier to work with the data. Jessie was not far behind him in a clean set of black clothes that looked just like the ones he was wearing before. Only these were a higher rating of protecting from melee and ballistic weapons, with a video recorder disguised as the second button down from the collar. This was normally the first button Jessie had fastened on his shirts. He also had a audio device that slid into the inner ear so he could hear Jack as well as speak to him. This took a special tool to insert and remove, but without an otoscope, you would never know it was there.  

      On the corner of the table lay Jack’s list on a plain peice of paper that was folded neatly in half. Next to it lay a black, metal case that was 50mm square and no more than 20mm thick. Jessie slide them off the table and stuck them in his front left pocket. Jack was still playing with the view on the holotablets, he was a perfectionist on such things to the point of being obssesed.

      Jack looked up from his work for a moment to acknowledge Jessie’s presence before diving back into his work. “Those are the new tags I ordered in the case. They are only 1mm round by 0.5mm thick so try not to loose them when you tag someone. They only respond to this new frequency and only when pinged, making them very hard to detect. If I piggyback off the large tower on the west side of town, I should be able to track them up to 200Km radius from there. Other than that, they work the same, light sticky side for your finger, very sticky side for your target. No audio or visual with these, sorry.”

      “Duely noted. I hope I wont need them.” Jessie leaned forwards watching Jack play with the color and size of the text. “I am sure this is fine, it’s easy enough to read where you have it.” Jack had set the color of the pages to match the color on the nomenclature, then changing the text to the corresponding color of the metal in the same. “I hope this visual enhancement will help us some. I believe you were right, and we have just been over thinking the reason behind this. Both codes he used were very simple as well, just relied on things we already knew.”

      Jessie took one of the tablets and flipped through the some of the pages. The colors did not seem to follow any sequence. “Can you group them by colors first, metal second and dates last?”

      With what looked to be just a wave of his hand inside the hologram, the documents on both tablets aligned in the order as Jessie requested. “Lets look at green first to test my theory, if you would.” Another flick of Jack’s fingers and green colored documents filled both screens. “Leave the documents green, but change the word green in the nomenclature to mark, please.” After Jack made the simple change Jessie started flipping through the green documents. He was just scanning the names not really looking at the dates or any other details. “All of these are paid kills sure enough, though not all were assassination per say.”  Jessie flipped back through them and pulled up a group that had the same date on them. “These people here were not specific kill, like a mark, but I was paid to go into this warehouse and make sure there was no one left alive.” Jack made a face at him. “It was some heretic group that I would not even bat an eye at now however, back when I worked for the Cross, I did just what I was told to do. Though there are two odd things about this one. The first is that they knew someone was coming, maybe not me, but at least someone from the Cross. The second, is that this would have been the birth of my gun fighting style. They had an ambush set up and came at me from all direction at the same time.” Jessie studied the names for a few moment with Jack watching his expressions intently.

      “I never counted the bodies, nor did I know their names, I just remember the date. How did he get this information? Was he there or at least knew someone there that I could have missed?” Jessie furrowed his brow as his kept rereading their names. “I was sure there was no one else alive when I left there.” Jessie scratched his chin while stared at the hologram documents.

      Jack stepped in trying to change the mood. “Blue seems to be tied to the slavers, so that would make it training, right?“ He reached in the hologram, gave another hand commands, and both screens jumped to the royal blue pages.

      There were a lot of people in this group, it took Jessie several minuets to sift through all the names. “What you said is true however, there are others that are marked blue as well. The guards at Amenti Prison are here also, so training cannot be right.” Jessie scanned the names again. “Here, these people.” He had another group of names all with matching dates again. “You should recall this event.”

      Jack leaned over closer to Jessie’s hologram so he could read the names. He read them several time before shaking his head. “Am I suppose to know these people?” he asked confused.

      “No, I didn't know their names either, until we got this list. But, look at the date and think about the number of people here.” Jessie wanted Jack to figure it out on his own.

      “That’s the date of the Helen assassination.” Jack looked at Jessie completely lost.

      “Right, I sniped her from that abandoned factory...” Jessie gave a half smile as he remembered the events. “Who else did I kill that day?”

      It oly took a second and Jessie could see the light come on in Jack’s eyes when he finally remembered. “We had only been working together a short while, and in my defense all I asked was for you to stop them,” he stammered out.

      “When you kill people they normally stop what ever they are doing at the time. And, dead gang members cannot rape anyone... ever again.” The coldness in Jessie’s voice brought back the chilling vision of that day flooding back into Jack’s mind. He thought Jessie would spook them and they would just run off.

      Jack was watching through a recorder on Jessie’s hat. Jessie was laying in a dark covered spot at an abandoned factory, where he could see down the road to a hotel, where the mark was confirmed to be staying for the night. They were waiting for the mark to leave that evening on her way to a musical that was playing in town. A girl screamed off to the side catching Jessie’s attention. When he turned to look, Jack was also able to see. Six guys with gang colors proudly displayed, were dragging two girls kicking and screaming into the factory. It was very easy to determine what was happening.

      Jack began pleading with Jessie to stop them. Jessie repeatedly tapped the microphone three times in response to signal no each time.  There was an audible ripping of cloth followed by the girls pleading for their lives. The guys were just laughing at their cries. Jack began pleading with Jessie again. As the begging and screaming showed no sign of stopping, Jessie eased his rifle down and rolled over on his back with a long sigh. He drew his two handguns he kept at his side in turn adding silencers to them. Jack held his breath as Jessie stealthily eased out of his hiding spot and walked through the darkness silently towards the commotion like a cat stalking it’s prey.

      He walked right up to the crowd and without the slightest pause any or warning and started shooting. His aim was on point, he did not miss even once as he put two bullets into each one of them, head and heart. In just a few quick seconds the six guys lay dead on the cold concrete floor. Jessie never looked at the two women, he just pointed the way out with a gun and told them to “Run, don’t look back, and don’t call the constable. Take your live and be content.”

      After the girls were long gone, he drug the bodies to a open pit in the floor and dumped them in like throwing away bags of trash. Without a word he crawled back in to his hiding spot, laid back down and went back to watching through the scope for his mark as if nothing had happened. Three hours of complete silence passed before the mark showed and Jessie was able to complete the job. Jessie didn't seem bothered by it in the least and Jack was to horrified to speak.

      “So, blue is helping people?” Jack asked trying to shake the feeling. Though he had grown more accustom to watching Jessie kill people in his cold and detached manor since that time, it still gave him chills to think about it.

      “Don’t feel so bad about those guys.” Jessie interrupted Jack’s thoughts. “They were no different than any of the slavers or pushers I have killed, and that doesn't seem to bother you.” Jack made a face at that comment. “Beside, they would have killed those girls after they had their fun, then found more victims.” He points at the hologram of their names. “This list marked them blue, so we were helping people. Think of it this way, you saved two people that night, and who knows how may others.” Jessie gave Jack a smile a pat on the back. ‘Be glad you were not along for the ride the day they shot my mother,’ Jessie thought to himself.

      “You said red could be anger, right?” Jack changed the direction again, though it was for his own sake this time. “It seems to be just a few dates, but there are a lot of kills each time. Is your temper really that bad.” Only after the words came out of his mouth, did he realize how bad that sounded.

      ‘As if you were reading my mind Jack,’ Jessie thought as he continued to smile. “Yeah, It seems pushing a well trained assassin to the breaking point is not a healthy idea.” Jack could not stop himself from laughing at that comment and the harder he tried the worse it got. Jessie shook his head at his friends amusement. “And you were just upset over six gangbangers, really?”

      “Sorry mate, it’s just the way you said it.” Jack took a moment to compose himself.

      “There should be only five dates. The first three are related, the second two, you saw,” Jessie stated very matter-of-factly without actually looking at any of the red documents.

      Jack to be certain ran the dates on a chart. “There is six, the first is only two people. Going by the date, you would have been around 17. Does that ring a bell?” Jack highlighted both names on Jessie’s holotablet.

      Jessie read the names and remembered right away a giggle. “Oh yeah, that would have been the day Eldritch’s guys captured me. It was two agents... they had it coming.” Jack look of bemusement turned abruptly to shock. “it’s the only time I have ever surrendered, not sure what made me do it. We had no hope of winning and their arrogant banter got on my last nerve. I shot them point blank range right in the face.”

      Jack took a moment to put the two together. “So, what you told those girls was true?”

      “Kandar are hard to lie to, they can smell the change in your pheromones. So the best way to lie, is to use some of the truth, and believe every word you say.”
                          Kandar Episode 38 Colors of Death Part 1

      Back at the house, Jack started in on Jessie again about his health. "Ya ne’ ta rest and shant be out in tha woods alone where none can find ya if ya have ‘nother one of those attacks. Ya need ta take batter care of ya’self and..."

      Jessie listens to Jack rant on for a few moments, when he  paused to catch his breath, Jessie seized the opportunity to jump in.  “First off, you need to watch that accent of yours, remember there are people around here that can hear very well. Secondly, you know how many times I have been beaten, tortured, poisoned, shot, and stabbed and you are still more upset over this sickness.”

      Jack cleared his throat, then continued without the accent. “First off, I ordered sound dampening curtains and film for the windows plus the new painting we have are also for sound dampening, so...” Jack stuck his tongue out at Jessie to punctuate the comment. “Secondly, bullets can be removed, stab wounds can be sewn up, poisons have antidotes, but this.... we have no clue what it is, what compound or combination of compounds that are causing the effect. What the effects will be tomorrow, how sever they will be or even how long you have left.”

      "How long I... Really?” Jessie glared at Jack, but Jack just stared back at him defiant. “Five years we have known each other and you have known what I do for a living. Most of that time you have been listening and watching through your devices aiding me in my missions. You know I have not gotten this far by playing it safe all the time. I am not going to start now because I have a cold."

      "A COLD! This is much more serious than a simple cold. Ya need rest in my opinion however, I do know you and if you insist on this reckless behavior, it would be a jolly good start if you would at least stay here or somewhere I can get help to you."

      Jack was like a parent at times. It got on Jessie's nerves when he went on like this, even though he knew Jack meant well. “Ok, I will agree with your safety this time. I will concede that it is not just a simple cold and I need to work out in a more populated place with other people around.” Jack had started to feel good about how things were going, until Jessie gave him a devious smile that told him, something was about to be said he was not going to like. "Thats why I agreed to work out every morning in the main park... with Donnie and students."

      Jack could only stared at Jessie in utter disbelief for several minutes before he could muster the capacity to speak. "Do you seek out these things just to drive me mad, or are you just really this insane?"

      Jessie bust out laughing. "No, I'm just lucky I guess."

      "You call that lucky!?" Jack moved towards Jessie reaching toward his forehead with the inside of his wrist. "Come here I think your fever has begun to spike," his words were full of contempt.

      Jessie brushed his hand away. "We needed a way in with the Breema for information and this just fell in my lap. I know it seems crazy but, I am also going to be learning some of the Breema's gun katas as well."

      "A Breema's what?"

      "You know the gun exorcise routines you and I put together?" Jack nodded dumb founded. "Well, there are others of them dating back to the beginning on the war. Donnie agreed to teach me the ones he knows, if I teach him and his pupils ours." Jack was lost and unsure of what to say at all. "It will take some time to teach them mine and learn his, which will give me time and an avenue to work on him about the dragon riders and others things we need. Also, he does seem strangely giving in the area of knowledge, so I am intent on taking advantage of it."

      "You know after five years you would think I would be use to the constance near death experiences, narrow escapes, crazy things happening all the time, and your amazingly, absurdly, dumb luck. It is what managed to get myself and my colleagues out of that hell hole...but I'm not. I just...we agreed in the beginning that..." Jack wrings his hands nervously, "You know my life depends on you staying alive, right?"

      Jessie places a hand on Jack shoulder to comfort him. "First of all, I don’t plan on dieing here. Secondly, I am sure Miss Kitty would make a great leader for the guild and keep all of you safe though, she may have some degree of difficulty with our next projects. And last, my job is by its nature, dangerous. I kill people for a living. People pay me a lot of money to kill other people, and not everyone is happy about who I kill. In fact, enough people are unhappy enough, they are willing to pay other people even more money to kill me. To me, that means I am doing my job well. We also have to consider the League of Lazerous, A group of assassins who hunt only other assassins. Back at the Cross I was ranked against the other assassins in the order, out here, I can only rank myself by the bounty on my head. However, the main reason we took this job was to remove that bounty and stop the growing hunt for me, so we can work on others things. The way the old Breema set this up is training and a test of my skill all rolled into one. The fact the it frustrates me at every level just mean it is a very good test for me and I hope I learn a lot for this. I need to find and kill, correction, we need to find and kill the last person that links me to my past so we can be free to move on to our main two projects."

      "If you live that long." Jack retorted. He studied Jessie face for a moment trying to read his mood before asking "How do you deal with such an abnormal life."

      "I could ask you the same thing about your computer world you live in. You have to check every line of every program, on every device, stream, airwaves or laser light path that might could maybe come in contact with anything any of us are doing, then you check again. However, for me, this live is not abnormal. This life, is the only life I have ever known. I made my first kill at 10 and got an 'atta boy' for my efforts, moved up the ranks, and given more training." Jessie gives a good thumbs up with both hands and a stern look on his face. "It's not just what I am, it’s all I am. As disturbing as it sounds, that is the truth." He sighed as he took a seat at the new dinning room table. He studies the finish for a moment before he knocked on the table like a door. "This, is odd to me. Here and there, I get to pretend to be a normal person, with some sort of normal life, like a writer. Inside I am still me, and I don’t understand this kind of life. I can read the script and act the part but, when I look at people I see muscle structure, to evaluate possible strengths and weaknesses. Do they have a limp or favor one arm? Are they left or right handed? Only so I know what defense or offense to use. By the way, Breema all seem to be ambidextrous.”

      Jessie leaned forwards propping his arms on the table. “I notice more than just the habits of people around me. For example, we have been here 3 weeks and I already know most everyone schedule in this neighborhood. I know what time they get home, when they walk their pets, go jogging, or stroll through the neighbor with their kids. There are a few in particular that bother me. Specifically, there are four Kandar men, different spices, in this neighborhood that take way to much notice of all movement around them to be normal ‘civilians’ and they don’t appear to be old enough to have been in the war per say. I have spoken with only one of them, the others seem to keep their distance, which makes me more skeptical of them. I have noticed that they all have very similar builds, which is very athletic with good combat qualities, meaning their muscles look like they are more from weapons and melee training than just working out at the local gym or having done manual labor all their lives. The one I spoke with, Jonathan, claims to be single, two others appear to have wives with children, two each, and the last one is just dating a girl two streets over.” Jessie was always very animated when he spoke, unless he was holding a sniper rifle. Jack often though if you tied Jessie's hands to his side he would be rendered speechless. “Normal for me, is to figure out the easiest and quickest way to kill everyone I met and...if they all attacked at once, what order I would need to kill them in to have the best chance of survival."

      "That's sad, from an outside point of view of course." Jack joined Jessie at the table, sitting across from him.

      "That's just it, I don't feel that way, those tendencies are what has kept us alive. Just like, your paranoia of all things electronic do as well. And, in so many cases, you are right on target. I am sure I would not have made it this far without you. Honestly, for the work I do, I doubt I could have found a better partner." Jack smiled at the compliment.

      “Now back to the topic at hand. I have to say, that after all things considered, I don't think Donnie is the mark. I truly doubt a Breema would have sent me here to kill another Breema. Especially if you consider that there are not that many left in the world. For over a thousand years they have been the main target of every human army and the Cross Agency. Also, I am completely and totally sure he has nothing to do with my past what so ever. For the time being, I feel that I am safe around these Breema. I will keep my eyes and ears open at all time, you should know that about me. So if there is nothing else you would like to add here...” Jessie paused to give Jack a moment to respond, but Jack just sat there quietly. He could see Jessie was right about this and decided to just let it go. Donnie had even seemed honestly concerned the night the Murine Breema had delivered the last files, so being in a park with him would seem to be a good thing. “Then, I would like to add what a great honor it is to have the chance to train with the most revered warriors on the planet. So, if there is no farther objection, I need to get started towards town, we have let have the day slip buy already. I need the list of things you need and want. I will even go to the swap store for you."

      “Will you wear a recorder?” Jack asked on the off chance Jessie would accept. He had been so distance from the idea recently he was unsure.

      “Yes,” Jessie nodded “that is a good idea. I’ll take an ear piece and some tracer tags too, just encase. You never know what kind of fish we might catch.” Jessie stood up from the table and started down the hall to his room to change into rinse off and change clothes before heading to town. Without warning he spun around almost running into Jack who was right on his heels. “Why didn't I see it before!” he exclaimed suddenly. Jessie grabbed Jack by the shoulders and shook him. “The colors! I know what they mean!”
Kandar Episode 37 Path of the Breema

      After a long debate with Jack about what was actually safe, prudent, and sane for a trained assassin, Jessie made it out of the house. Armed with his wrist and leg weights he headed north up the street, towards the wooded area just outside of the neighborhood. He had found a clearing in the woods that was just over three miles north. The spare bedroom was nice for calisthenics and weight training, but he needed more room to do his forms properly ad this worked perfectly. The main park, where the cook out was held, was more than large enough, but he preferred places of privacy. Even in the cities he often traveled through, he sought out abandoned warehouses or the like, instead of going to a local gym.

      He had found the place on a satellite view of the area, then confirmed the location by foot. He had gauged that wearing 25lbs wrist and ankle weights along with a 75lbs weight vest serve as a good warm up on his jog there. There was even a convenient nature trail that lead into the woods from the main road. From there slipping off into the forest without being noticed would be easy.

      Just two blocks from his house he was sure there was someone following him. He slowed his jog in a couple places and feigned looking at the houses or the landscaping around on the way to allow himself more chances to look around without being noticed, but he could not spot anyone, just a quick shadow here and there. It was enough to keep him on edge.

      After a few turns and an extra lap around the block, and still catching the shadow, he moved onto the nature trail hoping the fallen leaves and dry grass would give away the shadow. Still no closer, Jessie headed into the wood and ran an irregular zig zag pattern through the trees. After a bit of no shadow or sounds from this tail, he headed on towards the clearing. ‘Maybe it was just an after effect of this incident and Jack’s added paranoia on top of my own that is making me see things,’ he wondered.

      After reaching the clearing, he did some stretches and some basic warm ups shifting the direction he was facing constantly watching for someone or anything to come out of the woods at him. Deciding it was nothing but his mind playing tricks on him, Jessie began his forms.

      Halfway into the first one he heard a sound in the direction of the neighborhood, though quick and faint, it answered the question firmly. Yes, there was someone there watching him, but the who and why still eluded him. He thought it could be his mark chasing him. He had no trouble envisioning that old Breema pulling a trick like a unknown mark that knows you just to test your skills. He slowed his form and readied himself for an attack. Time slowed to a crawl as he stretched his senses to their max trying to gleam a hint of where they would be coming from. He knew if he heard the sound, they would know he had and would certainly change position before advancing.

      The leaves moved close behind him, not much more than a summer breeze would stir them, but there was no breeze this day. It was east and the neighborhood was south, so they did move. He spun around hands poised ready to strike, only to see Donnie leaning against a tree with his arms crossed, calmly watching him.

      Jessie looked around for a moment before speaking. He was positive Donnie would know better than give himself away like that. He relaxed his stance and waited a moment still looking around before asking, "Just you brave enough to show yourself, or is your friend going to join us?"

      Donnie’s eyes gleamed as he gave a big smile, exposing his long eye teeth. The left one was broken about a third of the way up. Jessie wondered why he left it like that, as it would not cost much at all the have it fixed. Donnie look to his right and up into the tree, then back at Jessie. His sleek tail swished back and forth playfully behind him and long, dark whiskers shook as he laughed. "Come on down," Donnie called up to the trees.

      Kitara jumped down from a near by tree to stand next to Donnie. He made surprisingly little sound as he landed in the dry leaves. It was the first time Jessie had been in the presence of two Breema at the same time. Breema were something he had avoided until recently and as such he knew little about them. Most of what he knew was just hearsay and rumors. The old Breema, Socks, was a bit of a hard read and the time he actually spent face to face with him was limited.

      Jessie noticed Donnie’s fur was a tortoiseshell pattern of mostly black like Socks, where Kitara’s was more of a patchwork of different colors and patterns. Both of them seemed to blend into the background of the forest like a natural camouflage. Where Kitara’s fur was sleek and full while Donnie’s had thin spots, even in the little he showed, that was most likely from battle scars. Even his ears and tail were a bit tattered compared to Kitara’s. Donnie was older and possible even fought in the war for sometime before the peace, while Kitara might even be younger than Jessie.

      "Dude, you are really hard to follow without getting caught. You gotta tell me, how did you know I was there?" he asked confounded.

      Jessie smiled at Kitara. "I never actually caught sight of you, just a shadow darting behind things here and there. For most people in my old line of work, thats enough. However,” Jessie smiled “when you opened your Holocom, I heard it beep."

      Donnie glared sideways at Kitara, who just bowed his head in shame. "You should know better than that Kitara, on both accounts."

      Jessie studied them both for a moment, as there seemed to be an unspoken conversation going on between them that he was not privy to. As their ears and tails twitch and shifted position he noticed that Donnie’s ears also had a couple of bullet holes in them. ‘I’m sure he has seen more than a few battles’ Jessie contemplated. When it appeared that they had stopped Jessie took the chance to ask the question that was troubling him most, "Kitara, why were you following me to begin with?"

      There was a glance at Donnie before he spoke like he was asking permission to speak. "I was really just testing my skills. I can tail everyone in the neighborhood with ease, save the older Breema, and you as it turns out." Kitara answered sheepishly. "After Donnie recognized you as a warrior, I thought you would be a good test to follow around. I didn't mean to spook you or anything, just wanted to see if I could do it."

      Jessie read the concern on Donnie's face and wanted to defuse the situation a bit. These guys were an inside line on Breema information that he needed. Spooked or not a calm stance here would be his best move."It never hurts a warrior to try to better themselves. In this case, no harm, no foul." Jessie extended a hand to Kitara.

      With a nod from Donnie, Kitara extended his hand, but was a bit taken when Jessie reached straight to a warrior's pass. "You honor me, Jessie," he managed to stammer out astonished.

      "Nonsense, you are a Breema," Jessie replied.

      "In training," Donnie added quickly. "We don't want any bad blood here. We do test each others skills by doing this, however, I promise you the next time he tails anyone else for sport or training, he will let them know he is going to try ahead of time." He turned from Jessie to give Kitara a stern look with his ears folded back. "Right?" He commanded more than asked.

      "Yes, sir." Kitara's ears were slouched forward and his tail was low, just barely moving. Body language was a large part of the Kandar culture, even today. Donnie’s stood out to Jessie as them seemed to be forced. He wondered why he had not caught that before now.

      "I can't say that it doesn't make me a bit jumpy because of my past,” Jessie submitted. “But, I will trust your word here. You are his... master?" Donnie nodded an agreement. Jessie was working this angle as best he could to his advantage. "So, in return I would like to ask, why he needed to call you here? I really doubt he felt threatened by me."

      Donnie's eyes widened and that big smile came across his face again. "Because you were doing a Chestafol, or gun kata in the common tongue. We have been talking about them recently and he was asking me which one it was that you were doing. I was not getting much from his description so, I came over to see for myself." A slight look of surprise came over Jessie's face at this comment and did not go unnoticed by Donnie. "Honestly, I didn't recognize that one. I only know a few myself, but I have seen most of the others, so..."

      "Wait! What?” Jessie cut him off, his excitement getting the better of him. “There are others? How many others?"

      "Well, yes. Where did you learn that one from?" Donnie asked, but was met with a serious look from Jessie. Donnie held his hand directly in front of himself, with the palms up saying "Rock for rock..." This was on an old term used to ask for an honest trade for thousands of years. Initially It was just information at an honest level, but later people used it to mean honest trade of any kind. Donnie's curiosity was peaked and he wanted to test Jessie a little more.

      Jessie extended his hands out with his palms down and spoke the words "And tree for tree." The second part was no long custom, telling Donnie that Jessie was taught in an old and honorable path of a warrior. "You have a deal, and since you have offered the plate, I will fill it." Another old phrase that made Donnie smile. He knew whoever was teaching Jessie was very old traditionalist. "Though, I don't think you will like my answer.” Jessie hesitated before continuing “I invented it.” Both Donnie and Kitara looked at him perplexed.  “With Jack’s help, we used the recordings of several close quarters fights I had been in to compile the best and most useful movements with needed movement for strength, speed and congruent flow of battle. Then worked to find sequence flow for them that fit together."

      Donnie stood there a moment in awe, then his curious nature kicked in. 'I need to draw him in closer so he will open up some more. I cannot shake this feeling about him, and he just confirmed to me that he is not some run of the mill, new age, wanna be, warrior,' he lamented. "You made your own gun kata? I am impressed by you, for the second time today. You are a true gun slinger of the old world. So, in return, I will fill your plate, to the rim. There are 8 forms with 8 katas to each, Four live animals and 4 mystical. At least as far as the Kandar go. History says there was most likely more at the start of the war, but so much has been lost in fray i cannot not attest to that one way or the other."

      "I don't really consider myself a gunslinger, I am more of a long range guy. I do however, use hand guns in close combat. I just never thought that made me a gunslinger, per say." He regretted saying that as soon as he said it. He still did not know who his target was and as such was giving away too much about him self. He needed this in with the Breema, so he justified it to himself as a necessary and worthy bet. "Eight for each, you say?" scratched his left ear in thought. "I only did four. You say you know a few, do you know also know where I could see or even learn these other katas or are they secret?"

      Again Donnie was slow to answer as he studied Jessie. He wanted to make sure he read him correctly and did not give away so much that his own master would be upset with him. The Breema were famous for keeping most details about themselves, to themselves. "Did your master not teach you any history with your arts?"

      Jessie shook his head no. "I have had only random instructors and a few passing mentors, no masters, although, you told me that is what I have been calling Eldritch."

      "Ahh. So, you have been back down there since your Rite of Passage?" Donnie grinned having gleamed another piece of Jessie history from him.

      Jessie left mouth gapping open,'Damn it!' he screamed inside his mind.'How does he do that to me?' He had to make a quick recovery or lose more here than he felt he could afford. "Well, if that's what you want to call what he and his torture squad did to me...Yes, a few times."

      Donnie watched his reaction to the question, but was not sure if he was hiding something there or just that he had spent a lifetime playing his pieces from a closed hand. Either way, what information he had about the gun kata was not that great a secret to the Breema save one certain kata that he knew. So, he thought he would open up a little. He needed to get a little closer to Jessie to really see what he was hiding, and gauge if he was a threat to the Queen, the Princess, or both. "At the start of the war, the gun katas were used by gunslingers of both sides. They kinda fell by the wayside with bigger and better ships, tanks and such being invented on both sides. Today there are few left that know whole systems. Most of those, that I know of anyway, are Temple Breema. I myself, as I stated before, only know a few katas and most are from different systems. My master wanted everyone to learn a little bit of everything, before choosing their weapon or style of mastery. I tried a few different ones before going with a more traditional weapon."

      Jessie sensed a change as Donnie offered more information than asked and decided to push that line a bit to see what he could get. "You did this rite with Eldritch also, is he then your master too? Sorry, I have more questions for you than I have answers."

      "Oh, I'm sure I could come up with a few extra questions for you." He gave Jessie a knowing wink before continuing, "But, we drift from our subject at hand. I have nothing to hide there. Yes, Eldritch is my current master. My original master was also his, however he was killed in the war. Which is just one of many reasons Eldritch hates Humans so much." He paused a moment and his ears twitched just for a second. Donnie grabbed Kitara by the shoulder suddenly. Kitara had been quietly watching and listening, content to be only a witness, practically jumped out of his fur at the unanticipated contact. "Jessie,” Donnie continued “how much do you know about the Breema?"

      "Enough to know to keep a safe distance in combat from them, like, far sniper rage of two or three miles."

      Donnie had a good laugh at that comment. He knew only a few Breema had been taken down by snipers since the end of the war. Also, there was a short list of snipers that could pull off a two to three mile shot. Was Jessie one of these? Or just joking around about how far away he felt safe? "Now, it will be Kitara's turn to offer something to this barter. He has heard our truths, now we shall hear his. Kitara here will offer some common Kandar knowledge about the Breema, that most humans don't know." Kitara looked at Donnie completely lost. "Start with the the three paths. I think he will find it interesting."

      "Yes sir. Ummm...yeah...ok." He took a deep breath looking back and forth from Donnie to Jessie a few times before starting. "Common Kandar knowledge on Breema paths, right. First there is the Horde: Long ago in the days of Donnie's youth they..." There was an audible smack and Kitara winced. Donnie had slapped him on the back of the head pretty hard. "Ok, ok, ok, damn take a joke, will ya?"

      "You need to be serious here, cub." Donnie gave him a stern look with his ears folded back.

      "Yes, sir." He turns his attention back to Jessie who, is was unsure if it would be ok to laugh and was trying his best to hold it in. "In ancient time they were just that, a horde, now they are called the Commandos. They are the military side of the Breema. They are like the Kandar version of the humans special forces or black ops guys. They focus on the physical aspects and ballistics weaponry. They can drive or fly anything that moves with great proficiency. Many weapons and vehicles have been designed just for them. They are often found guarding royal family members and their leader is called the Commandant. He is also part of the Great Kandar Council." He paused a moment eying Donnie like he was about to pull another joke, but thought better of it.

      "The next would be the Temple. These guys focus on the mental or spiritual side of things. They are hand to hand specialist know as the keepers of faith and form. Meaning they are all very Orthodox and where you, well a Breema, could go and learn all the known forms of any fighting style we know. They are also a great resource to help work on learning the uses of Sol, what you humans call Chi or Spiritual energy. All Breema are said to be able to use it in some aspect. The Temple Elders tend to keep to the Temples where they teach. The younger ones venture out often for experience in life and to do things for the temples. Their leader is called the Abbot, he stays out of politics altogether."

      "Last, would be us," he pointed to Donnie and himself, "The Mystics, or Mystic Warriors. Our path is somewhere in between the two other. The balanced path of physical and spiritual force. Wisdom is sought through experience, guidance, and discipline. Ours is said to be the oldest path going back to the birth of the Breema at the dawn of time."

      We, all Breema, all paths, are the protectors of the Kandar. Our honor is not measured by how many we have killed, but by how many we have saved." He looked over at Donnie for approval.

      "Thats good. I see you have paid attention. Now, our ranking."

      He gave Donnie a look that said 'Are you sure?' Donnie gave him an approving nod in return. Jessie thought there seemed to be some other unspoken words there, but he was not sure what. "All Breema” Kitara continued “regardless of path, follow the same ranking system. The Goddess choices you and you are born Breema. Any family, any species, male or female are born Breema, though Breema are, by a large margin, male. There is no rhyme or reason to our births, only the Goddess herself knows why and who. We all feel the calling to a master, so to speak. There are those that come up from gangs or out in the wilderness, but they too usually reach a point where by chance or design they find a master to lead them. Tales do exist of rouge Breema, but little is written about them. All Breema seem to naturally want to protect and save all Kandar, even at the cost of our own lives."

      "You start as a cub, and move up to squire then sword. Normally at puberty your master or parents will take you to a rites master for your right of passage. The Horde have a drooling week long physical test of strength and endurance that takes you to the edge of your limits and then some. Running, swimming, climbing, shooting, sparring. The temple tests your spiritual might and will by maxing your use of Sol for days on end while you fast...I know sounds horrible. The Mystics use the old way of pain and temptation, followed by a spiritual cleansing and a vision quest. It is suppose to test your will and constitution. A very long, drawn out process that you have completed the first part of, based on your markings." Kitara pointed at Jessie's ribs, remembering the dark scars he saw in Jessie's garage.

      "Staying inside of our information swap," Donnie interjected, "if you would be willing to teach my pupils and myself your gun katas, I will teach you, and my pupils, mine. It could be a great chance to get to know each other better, show more solidarity between the Kandar and Humans, plus it would be a great chance for them to start learning some gun katas."

      "I get the feeling you don't like guns, Donnie."

      "It’s not that I don’t like guns, it’s that I like swords more, and swords do not run out of bullets."

      "Bullets have a greater range, and its better to show up at a knife fight with a gun, than gun fight with a knife."

      "I suppose that depends on how good you are with a sword." They all chuckled at that one. "So, do we have a deal Jessie?" Donnie extended a hand to Jessie. Jessie took Donnie's arm in a warriors pass accepting the deal. Both thought this would be a great opportunity to get to know the other and learn a new style on the way. "Morning training starts at dawn in the main park. We don't need to hide, and nobody will bother us there. At that time of day, there is only a few runners and they stay on the paths. That is if it's not to early for you."

      "Sounds great to me. Can we start tomorrow?" Jessie smiled with a feeling he had won a round against Donnie.

      "I'll pass the word along to the rest of my students." Donnie smiled with a feeling he had won a round against Jessie.
Kandar Ep 37 Path of the Breema
Jessie heads off to practice his forms alone in the woods but is being followed by someone. What do they want? Is this his mark after him?

this one is a little longer than my normal episodes but there was no good place to break this one at. I feel that all of this must be together. please drop me a line or two to let me know what you think. 

if you are just joining the story here is episode #1…

here is the last one if you missed it #36…

next episode is still in the works at this time.…
                        Kandar Episode 36 Mission Review.

      Jessie descended the stairs to the basement where Jack had set up his workstation. The stairs ended just before the back wall and was open to either side at the bottom. The stairs were just the basics, hand rail and treads with no risers, so from the basement you could see anyone coming down the stairs, well before they could see you. The main room opened up behind the stairs, with Jack's workstation on the opposite wall facing the back of the stairs. To Jack's right was a wall that closed off one third of the basement with a single door in the center, that was his bedroom. To his left the room opened up to a sitting area, with a full bathroom in the adjacent corner from him.

      The sitting area had two overstuffed chairs with a small, finely crafted, wooden, table sitting between them. There was a high end Zipptek Holoviewer mounted on the wall across from the chairs for easy viewing. The position was also set to allow view of the stairs from either chair. The other walls of the main room were lined with shelves filled with a various sundries of books, files, holocubes, and other knickknacks Jack had collected in the few years since his freedom. In Jacks Command center, as he calls it, there were two, small, flat viewers to his left side; a single, large, flat viewer to his right side; with four holoviewers of varying size in front of him allowing him a clear view of anyone entering the basement. His chair was custom wired to be his ‘rig’ to jack-in.

      Jack waved at Jessie as he headed to the sitting area. "Your looking much better," he added.

      On the table was a fresh hot cup of tea and notebook sized tablet. Jessie chose the far seat for a better view of the whole room. Jessie smiled at jack as he took his seat. "Thank you very much. I don't know what I would have done if I was alone." He was stretching things a bit, but then he could not be sure if he fell the right direction to keep himself safe or not. "I am going to the market district after we finish the review for some supplies. Is there anything you need or want?"

      "I do have a small list of food items we need and I have found a top line electronics store in the district. I will give you the directions with a list for both if you would be so kind." Jack slided the last of the five connectors into it’s prospective port on the back of his head. Jessie watched quietly with a morbid fascination. He always thought it would hurt or at a minimum feel weird, but Jack never showed any expression as he preformed this task. Jessie knew there was a sleeve in Jack's brain that it went into, however watching jack stick five, four inch long, 12 gauge wires, into the back of his head gave him an uneasy feeling no matter how many times his saw it. "No cartoons or..." he said trying to distract himself.

      "They are not..." Jack sighed knowing Jessie was just picking at him for fun. "If you are brave enough to venture into a trade shop for me..." He gave Jessie a look as he laid his head back into the headrest. It was shaped in to a "U" to allow the connectors to hang free while still supporting the head. He then leaned the chair back to it's recliner position resting his arms on the plush arm rests. There were buttons at the end of the armrest right at the finger tips, normally used to switch the jacks on. Jack no longer had need of them, with his extensive experience of being jacked in for so many years, he was able to ‘slip’ his thoughts in and out of the web.

      "Gladly, I owe you." Jessie said, before taking a sip of his tea.

      "I've preloaded everything on the tablet for you, so all you have to double tap the video you want and it will come up on the holoviewer, with the controls on the tablet," Jack mentioned. "I am going in to have a better look at Deletekey's work, she had a lot going on just on that buck of bolts your friend calls a ship."

      "Call it what you want, but he is always there and always gets me in and out safely," Jessie quipped. Jack rolled his eyes as Jessie tapped the first video and sat back with his tea. “Wow, this is really great tea, you have out done yourself,” Jessie added taking another sip.

      For the next few hours they poured over the recordings and reports from the different crews involved in the strike. Jessie and Jack worked as a team to review all missions the guild did, even Jessie's own. The idea was started as a training tool and progressed from there. The review help to add to a training list for everyone, what to do, what not to do, and suggest what exorcises they may want to add to their training list to help them in the future. Here and there they find something that was missed on the mission. In the heat of battle things can get by even the most skilled. "I am ready when you are, but I am going upstairs for another cup of this wonderful tea and some sort of snack first. Do you need a refill?"

      "Yes, please, and some of the sweet cakes too," Jack’s voice came over the speakers. Jessie grabbed jack’s cup as he passed by. "And, I should be ready by the time you get back."

      Jessie returned down to the basement with the tea and sweet cakes for both of them. Jack unplugged from the ‘Hard Frame’ and slipped in his small wireless. With his fresh cup of tea in hand, he joined Jessie in the sitting area. "We have really shook up a bad hive of Death Stingers here," Jessie began. "We knew they were leading us there and fully expected a trap of some kind, just not to this extent. I think Miss Kitty did a great job with what we had there, even including our loses. That being said, there are a couple of thing about this place that jump out at me," Jessie began. "Most are in the area of the cages or are in correlation with what I see there. I marked a few spots on Klink's recorder, can you jump us to the first one?"

      With his wireless remote Jack could control everything in the house with ease. Moving a holorecording to a preset place was no harder to him than moving his pinky. In an instant the holoviewer light up. They were looking at a view of the stairwell as Klink was rushing in to finish off the last of the bio-soldiers.

      "After all the explosions in this stairwell, the floor and this back wall here..." Jessie stood to point in the hologram view of the last remaining wall of the stairwell.  "Are completely on scratched, a bit dirty and bloody, but not hurt.” He stuck his hand in the hologram it’self and advanced the recording a bit with a small motion. “Just like the floor in this cage room." He pointed at the area around the stairwell. “They were most likely built by the same material and, I would venture to say, at the same time. So, I would bet the stairwell and everything above this is new. "

      “There were some tunnels that lead off the main tunnel they took to the train station. However, if you would please jump to the spat I marked number two please.” This time they were looking at a rock wall inside the cage room. "This is the west wall of the cage room, seen from Klink's helm. He missed this door here." He reaches his hand inside the hologram and uses hand commands to enlarge the view of the wall. "See this line," then slides the view forwards to another spot, "and here. The coloration of the rock is good, but not good enough, the edges give it away. It's looks like a large door about twenty foot wide." Jessie looked back at Jack who seemed lost. "Can you mark the edges for me?"

      "I don't see anything," Jack shrugged.

      "You don't see this door?" Jessie asked.

      "No." Jack responded shaking his head.

      "Not even a little?" Jessie looked back at the holoviewer.

      Jack sneered at Jessie. "Is there some part of 'no' that you are not understanding? Please, enlighten me, and I will expound upon it for you, in detail." Jack quipped.

      Jessie just glared at Jack over his shoulder for a moment. "Ok, can you place a line here?" He asked as he pointed to a place on the wall. A blue line appeared running from the floor to the ceiling. Jessie moved the view back to the first spot and pointed at another spot. “And, here please.” Again, a line appeared. “The outline of the door is irregular to match the natural line of the rack here, but your lines are at the mean of both.”

      Jack highlighted the space between the two lines for future reference. "Interestingly your lines are nineteen feet eight point two two inches apart, or six meters on the tail."

      "And, it is on the west wall of this cage room. The mechs above came from somewhere west of all the recorders inside this complex and the helm recorders we have. The ones inside this complex also seem to have come from the west. I looked over the town recorders and satellite feeds and could not find anything over in that direction. We have nothing close enough to see another door like this one, but I bet there is one, somewhere close to the base of the mountain on the west side of the town. Which means this base we hit, and the base that was destroyed by those those 'Dragon Riders,' were not the only ones there.”

      "Well, that is interesting. It concurs with the data I have as well. Deletekey set several spiders out at this place from several different locations. The ones from the town showed us the town and the complex under the town as well. The ones she back-feed into the system of the Tedo's showed us the air base that they came from. The ones she released in the system of this ‘cage room’ ,as you are calling it, never got back to her. Which would validate your theory that there is another base or something hidden there and says something about what level of people we are talking about. Her spiders are really good, for someone to capture them or even have written a program that can is quite impressive."

      Jack pondered for a moment before speaking. "Let me show you this way." He created a holographic view of the whole town, complex and air base small lines ran everywhere in what appeared to be the walls and floors. "This is the electrical systems of all we could see. To the south we tie into the main grid as would be expected. There are some programs in place that allow all of this to pull from the main grid, but it blocks the main grid Internet from entering or even seeing this town. The same set up is done for the airbase, which we only found through the Tedo's.

      "Since working with you one of my guys has come up with a program that sends a signal out along all wires and tracks their placement in a 3D grid. We have started using this on all missions as well as the spiders. What it created is what we are looking at now. We run this program to look for things like this..." Jack highlights several power lines that run from the complex and the base that just end at no apparent building, substation or notable object. All of them were running in the direction of the mountain Jessie had pointed out as another possible hidden base.

      "Along with this I can see several programs that have skips, or hidden lines and commands in them, some that seem to be incomplete, and a few that act as a prompts for nothing at all. So, I completely agree with you, there is more here than meets the eye."

      Jessie nods an agreement. "There is one other issue I saw in this we need to look at."

      "The place you marked on Chase's recorder?" asked Jack.

      "Yes, if you would please, bring that up." The holoviewer jumped to a long hallway next to a glass wall running floor to ceiling and spanning twenty feet, in the reflection of the glass was Chase. In the center is a single three foot wide door, to it's right is a palm scanner. Through the glass can been seen a second wall and door mirroring the first, complete with a palm scanner. Beyond it is room that opens to the left and is only partially visible from his location. What can be seen is a standing coolers with a glass door holding a slew of vials of unknown contents and a couple pieces electrical equipment.

      "With what we can see and the double entryway that with the air vent on the sides here and here.” Jessie points to something square on the wall between the doors that Jack didn't see at first. “We can deduct that this is a vacuum sealed room. From that, I think we can safety assume that is a lab. Then assume that this lab is where there are making some portion, large or small, of the drugs they are spreading around the world. Chase had the idea to break into it and even shot it once. His bullet bounced off, so we are looking at clear steel. He was setting up to give Deletekey a shot a opening the doors, but this is when the mechs attacked. He abandoned this to go help the others, and rightfully so. I would love to know what all is in there and who was supplying them this equipment."

      Jessie studied the view for a moment before continuing. "There is enough to warrant another mission into this area. I would like a smaller group and try to go in unnoticed. If they have brought in more slaves by that time we will have to forgo their rescue for the safety of the mission. I really want to know who is pulling the strings, before they figure out who is targeting them."

      "Kandar Nation has taken control of the area, with much protest from the Topock Kingdom that the base lies in. I would expect to see the fallout of this in the news over the next few days. I do wonder what there interest is in this area." Jack stood and moved back to his regular ‘command center.’

      "There are more questions here than just that.” Jessie “Now, it is true that if those Dragon Riders had not shown up when they did, we may have lost everyone. But, you don’t ask someone to come fight and not consider that you could lose. So, if they were willing to gambled all that product and money, what are they still hiding?" he let that sink in for a moment before asking his next question. "Also, who knew about this and who sent them?"

      "Very good question to consider.” Jack responded reconnecting himself to his rig. “If the 'Dragon Riders' are truly Breema only pilots, then they are controlled by the Kandar Nation, regardless of whether they exist on paper or not. So, the question is who tipped the Kandar Nation off to our operation?" He thought hard about this as he laid back in his chair.

      "I don't think the Three King and Eldritch are part of the Kandar Nation, but Eldritch is a Breema, and from what Donnie told me, he is well known. I have never told Eldritch what we are hitting or when, they just supply and guard the hospital where the slaves go for rehab. That, and keep giving us new lists of faces to look for." Jessie lamented.

      "Hotel Paradise would be the logical answer, but not if the Breema shut it down that long ago." Jack returned.

      "At that time, the front line of the war was much farther to the east, this place would have been deep in Topock’s territory. Did the Breema really shut it down? Or, maybe it was reopened. Or, maybe the Breema...” Jessie’s words trailed off as he weighted the possibilities.

      "Not sure about that Jessie. Maybe you could ask your new friend across the street?" He said it in jest, but Jessie lit up with the idea.

      "That's a great idea. We are surrounded by Breema, why not ask one. I am going to have to find a reason or angle to start the conversation in that direction, but it could work. He should be old enough to know about the 'Dragon Riders'. It’s so hard to tell their age."

      "Great." the sarcasm was not hard to detect in his voice. "On a positive note, I will let you know if Deletekey's spiders find a route back to her. We will know more about this place then."

      "Oh, there is one more thing, I hesitate to mention it, but you need to know this. The nomenclature on those cages...I have seen before. Not the same actual numbers, but the It was on some papers or on the door in the place where I pulled you guys from. I can see the image in my mind, but can't quite place it, there was a lot going on there. Maybe it was on a clipboard one of the guards was carrying."

      "We have a lot of files from there, I can look into, but that would tie the Cross into this."

      "That it would."

      "Then my last question, what about the Shadow Reich?"

      Jessie’s face and voice took a very serious tone, "I was told by a trusted friend, long before I met you, that was a question that, in no uncertain terms, did I ever want to know the answer to even if I were to make X rank. I implore you to leave it alone. We have enough on our plate right now.” Jessie laid the tablet on Jack’s desk before gathering up the dishes. “Send a copy of all the faces of the people there to the investigation teams. We need to know where all those mafia and army troops came from. It may help us. Also, we need to make sure we are not on anyones kill list because of this. Last, when they are ready for action again, put everyone on regular jobs. Drop all operations against the slavers for now, we need to lay low and just watch for a while."

      "What about the new list?"

      "Hope that we found some in this last mission, just to keep Eldritch happy for a little while." studied Jack for a moment. "Before Eldritch, I had seen only two Breema in my life, now there is Eldritch, the old man Socks out in the desert, Donnie and his gang, oh and I suppose I should include the Dragon Riders. I feel like there is a connection here I am missing." Jessie headed upstairs with the dishes. "Enjoy some downtime, I'll be back later."
Kandar Ep 36 Mission Review
With Jessie is feeling better and all cleaned up, he joins Jack in the basement to review Miss Kitty's mission.

If you are just joining me here is Episode #1…

here is the last one incase you missed it #35…

and the next Episode will be forthcoming soon. 
                             Kandar Episode 35 the journal

      A soft whisper interrupted the steady rhythm of the drums. The voice was weak and cracking, but it was just enough to register on Jack's ears. His mind jumped back to his own body from the computer downstairs, where he was searching for a clue to the drugs the Cross had been feeding Jessie. He knew it was a dead end as he had done this search many times before, but it made him feel better. The pills did not match any shape, design or color of any known brands or manufacturer. The compounds they had derived from the few tests they had managed to get back were completely unknown. Their origins were as much a mystery as the Breeding program, Project Nephilim, that Jessie claimed to be a part of; the truth behind the mind prison, Amenti, that Jack was in; and the enigmatic God code that 30 Bit System and the Cross were obsessed with.

      With his full attention on Jessie now, he tried the tricks Jessie had tried to teach him. 'Has the target's breathing changed?' He listened carefully trying to compare it to the rhythm that he had been listening to for hours. He was unsure, it was so very close to the same. 'Did the body temperature change?' No, he still felt cold. 'Screw it!' he thought. "Jessie?" he spoke softly, as if he was afraid to know the truth. Afraid that Jessie would not wake up. "Jessie?"

      The cold dull ache from his waist down, told Jessie that he had been laying on the tile floor for a long time. He could feel the softness and warmth of a body behind him and there was an arm around his neck. The arm was not tight nor did he send any ill intent, it seemed to only to be there for support. Drums were playing softly through nearby speakers. It was an upbeat rhythm, using several different kinds of drums, no other instruments enter to song in the few moments he had listened. 'Tribal maybe?' he thought confused. The scent of dried blood and bile brought the events before he passed out, crashing suddenly back into his mind.

      "Are you..."

       He reached up slowly, fighting the pins and needles in his arm, and patted Jacks arm that was around his neck. "I'm ok, Jack... I'm ok now."

      "Oh, thank the Gods you woke up!" Jack exclaimed hugging Jessie tightly. "Though, I hardly believe that you are fine, just look at yourself, you're a bloody mess." He released his hold on Jessie and helped him sit up straight.

      "I'm..." his eyes focused on the mess in the floor by the table and the bloody trail leading to himself. His clothes were all matted to his skin with the dried blood. "I'm sorry, Jack, I'll clean this up." Jessie's strength had not yet returned to him and he struggled to get up in vain. With a sigh, he succumb to just sit on the floor a while longer.

      "Like hell you will!" Jack blurted out. "You're gonna' sit hea' till you are fully ready, then you'll go clean yourself up," he commanded. After seeing the look on Jessie's face as he looked over his shoulder at him, Jack dropped his tone down to a solemn timber, "I'll take care of the floor mate, just...just rest."

      There was a long spell of only the drums playing, as they just sat there staring at the kitchen floor. Jessie was still collecting his wits and Jack was unsure of just what he should say, he had never seen Jessie in this bad of shape before. Jack scrambled to his feet to fix Jessie a glass of water, which Jessie took gratefully. Jessie nursed the glass of water with small, slow sips at first, making sure it was going to stay down. The cool water from the tap helped his dry, scratchy throat and he was able to speak clearly. "How long was I out?" His voice was full of concern, something Jack was unaccustomed to.

      Jack had only rewind the recording on the main frame to the moment Jessie had passed out.  For Jack, this action was nothing more than a thought in his mind, all the house recorders were time stamped, so it was just simple math from there. "Eighteen hours twenty three minuets and fourty one seconds, from the time you hit the floor, until you awoke just now. Thirteen hours eleven minutes and twelve seconds since your last upheaval and convulsion."

      "Convulsions?" Jessie quizzed "There were convulsions?" Jack just nodded. Jessie shook his head slowly in disbelief. He looked up at the ceiling then rubbed his eyes for a moment, trying to clear the sleep sand away. He made a face and squinted as he looked back up to the ceiling at the speakers. A futile gesture as the view did nothing to help his comprehension of what was being played. "Umm... what are we listening to?"

      Jack looked embarrassed as he scrambled for an answer. He did not want to sound desperate as Jessie seemed to be a bit of a fatalist on the topic of his own demise.  "Oh, that? It's nothing important, it's just...these drums...from...umm" Jack had nothing up his sleeve for this and stumbled. He was desperate, and willing to try anything that might help regardless of how minute the chance might be.

      Jessie sensed his friends nervousness and stepped in. "Nice rhythm, and seems kinda familiar. Is it from one of those cartoons you watch?" There were other things to worry about right now, this held no importance it was just curiosity.

      "They aren't cartoons, and no, it's from...umm... Ceiling Kitty." He was unsure if he should tell Jessie what they were really for. He knew Jessie would worry more about his reaction to what happened than his own self. "She said it was a... soothing kinda... thing like...meditation stuff?" He was stumbling on his words badly. 'That was mostly half right, I hope he does not sense me lying.' He watched Jessie stand slowly onto shaky legs. He wanted to help, but held himself from doing so. Jessie would have to do this on his own. It was nothing that Jessie had ever said, it was just something about him Jack had observed over the few years they had been working together.

      Once on his feet, Jessie leaned back against the counter to brace himself as the blood returned to his leg muscles. He rubbed his temples with the heel of his hands hoping his vision would clear faster somehow. 'This is not good,' he thought.

      "Why don't you go take a shower and relax for a bit...on something softer than a tile floor. I'll brew some tea, while I clean this up."

      "What the hell did they do to me?" he looked at Jack who seems just as lost as he was as he shrugs. "It can't be some insurance policy against going rouge, or there wouldn't be other rouge agents or hunters. Do we have any, I bet that's what they want, keep me strung out on their drugs just like the slaves, so I have to come back."

      "We are workin' on a solution, mate. None of the medications you were takin' had a name of any kind on it, just some strange set of markings, so we can't ask any one for it or research it. We have not found what the numbers on the bottles meant as they don't match any nomenclature, anywhere. We have been through a lot of the Cross' data bases without even finding the breeding or training program you were in. Though, on the bright side, Skygod sent me a note saying they found a blood expert that might be able to help." Jessie raised an eyebrow at that comment. "They are arranging transportation for him to the hospital. You are going to have to go down there and let him have some blood, and that's an order." Jack stuck his chest out trying to look bigger and imposing.

      Jessie just smiled feebly at Jack, he knew they are trying hard to help him and that all of Jack's bravado was well intended. "It's almost morning," he exclaimed, pointing at the digital clock on the counter. "Miss Kitty was suppose to hit that mock town last night, what happened?"

      "They are on the way to New Cannon now. I will give you her full report, after you shower and eat something, and not until then."

      Jessie chuckled at Jack, "you are a great friend." He felt weak, but for the first time in over a year his head was not hurting, it was a great relief. "You, all of 30 bit, Miss Kitty and the whole gang, you're all stupid for following me, but I'm grateful for each and everyone of you."

      "On the contrary, following you though hazardous, has been the best decision any of us have made. Now, I'm not letting you die yet, so stop it, and go take a shower." Jack stood resolute pointing down the hall towards the bedrooms and the bath.

      Jessie started towards the hallway, but stopped short. He looked over his shoulder with a quizzical look on his face. "Stop what?"

      Jack furrowed his brow at Jessie, before walking away towards the pantry to get the floor steamer. "Being sentimental, it's not you, and it worries me."

      Jessie watched him walk away, wondering if he was now endangering the rest of the guild. He was always so sure of himself, but as more and more lives depended on his action he had started to question himself more. "Not many people would go this far, just for a friend."

      "And yet, you have so many that would around you." Jack turned with the steamer and pointed it at Jessie. "Think about that while you shower or I'll wash you with this." Jessie couldn't help himself and laughed hard. "Better yet, think about how far you have already gone for them."

      He did mull over the question as he wondered down the hall to his room. 'I have only done that which needed to be done for each of them, kill, nothing more.  I am no savior. We are all in this life because we...' His thoughts stopped there as he contemplated the real reason. He retrieved some clean clothes from a bag in his room, a towel from the cabinet in the hall and headed to the bathing room. 'Before now, I had never given it any thought. We did this because we were good at it, but thats not really true. We do these jobs because that is how we survive. Have I really done something special? How can a killer be special?'

      After a long, hot shower, Jessie dressed in the clean clothes then went back to his room and sat alone for a while to finish gathering his thoughts. After a long spell, he brought out his backpack from the closet. It was close to the one he had while he worked for the Cross, but this one had a few extra options and did ot have a Cross logo on it anywhere. The pack was also heavier, not just for what was inside, but also because of it's design; Nanotech cloth for bullet proofing, Shantcy Coat under that for a water tight seal, and PowerDome lining for an added electrical shielding layer to protect the high value electrical components he had stashed inside from surge or EMP's. The carbon-aluminum frame did not add much weight, but with all that he kept inside it still weighed close to 85lbs.

      Though there were lots of side pouches and clips for holding various items, he went straight for the main pouch. He slipped his thumb under a small outside pouch and pressed in an opening. A small pin took a tiny blood sample and the top flap unlocked. After emptying the contents of the main pouch, he was able to open a hidden compartment in the lining on the bottom. From inside there, he withdrew a medium sized journal that appeared to be leather bound. It was well worn from years of use and abuse from his travels, though still plain to see on the cover was an embossed thick silver X, extending to all four corners. Entwined around the cross was a gold rose vine with a few white roses and lots of thorns. It the top triangle space created by the cross was the great seal of New Cannon, in the left was the agency's symbol for assassin in red, to the right the symbol for his rank in white and to the bottom, embossed in black, was the face of a wolf.

      He opened the lock on the seal with his thumb print, just like the back pack. The journal opened up to a tri-fold. The right leaf held a nice pen set made of silver, two memory sticks, two small steel tubes not much thicker than the pens, and a well worn holograph  picture of a beautiful lady in a elegant blue dress with fine white lace trim. A black velvet ribbon held his place close the three quarters of the way through the journal. He studied the last entry for a moment remembering where he was and what had happened. Seeing that the page was almost full, he turned to a new page. He drew one of the silver pen from the side and began to write. He started with the curret date and his location as each of his entries did.

      4TH Age 2213th year 6th month Mechi 35th day Fenrisdag

      'I passed out vomiting blood yesterday, making this the fourth time. Again, I was lucky that it was not in the heat of battle, but it did happen in front of ZeroJack. There will be no denying I am getting worse now. ZeroJack says they have found another someone that might can help, maybe. They are moving them to the underground hospital first, so they cannot call the cross on me or suddenly decide to kill themselves like the others. I need to stay here until the mission is done. My hope of this passing is fading. The events are getting closer and I am out for longer each time. 18:23:41 this time according to ZeroJack and he is always spot on. The only upside is this is the first day in well over a year that the headache has actually stopped. Jack thinks it comes and goes only because I do not want to tell him it just varies in intensity. He worries enough as things are. I know they did something to all of us that were in Project Nephilim. We all showed special abilities and aptitudes, greater speed, and strength than normal Humans. We all showed much greater hearing, sight, and sense of smell. They told us it was generation of breeding, but I really question that now. Only two others left there alive, that I know of. Five years later, I still cannot find even the first clue as to what happened to them. It does not help that I only have their code names, but that was the design of the project. If I make it to the end of this mission, that will move to the front of my list along with training the others. Should I fall here, I am certain Katrina will lead them well, I'm just not ready to die yet, to much left undone.'

      He closed and resealed the journal, tucked it back into it's secret compartment in the backpack, then carefully placed everything back into the pack in correct order into it's own special place. After he closed and locked the backpack, he removed one of the panels of the wainscot on the interior wall to the bathroom, and stuffed the pack inside. With the panel neatly back in place he headed for the basement to see Jack.
Kandar Ep35 The Journal
Jessie wakes up from his sickness to find himself still on the Kitchen floor. After some encouragement from Jack he take head off the shower ad rest. Afterwards he adds an entry into a secret journal. This raises more questions than answers.

If you are just joining me here is episode #1…

here is the episode before this #34…

episode #36 is still here…

thank you for reading, please leave me a comment on story :) 
    When the door bell rang he thought it would be the movers coming back having forgot some piece of equipment. His eyes and mind strolled around the rooms as he made he way to the from door searching for something not belonging there. When he opened the door he was quite shocked as his eyes beheld a Beautiful young Kandar woman instead of three sweaty human men. "Hello" A musical voice drifted to his ears but his mind was still caught in another thought.
    Her fur was pure white from her regal, tall, fluffy ears to her long arched feet and cute toes. Long waves of soft white hair framed in her face and cascaded down her body to her waist like a waterfall. her Silky smooth fur shone in the daylight behind her highlighting her gentle natural curves. A plain black midriff hung loosely over her modest bust and black denim shorts hung low on her hips stood in great contrast of her dazzling white fur.  Many silver bracelets jingled together on her wrists and silver studs and hoops with small gems sparkled in her ears. Her thin soft pink lips matched her cute pink nose, but it was her eyes that captured him so. The long black slits of her pupils were surrounded by luminescent lavender with a star burst of brilliant blue streams. "I..." was all he could summon.
    Though still sweet and musical the irratation in her voice began to reach him. How long have i been lost here he thought to himself. "Heeellloooo, you do speak common tongue dont you human?"
    "I'm so sorry Miss i thought you were...i mean..." Closing his mouth and shaking his head at him self for a moment.
    "Did you think in a mixing neighborhood you would not see Kandar? You do know this in a mixing community."
    "No and yes, er..." he opened the door the rest of the way extending his hand out palm up right foot forwards head slightly bowed in a formal Kandar greeting.  "A pleasure to meet you Miss" This seemed to take the wind out of her vexation. She placed her hand palm down on his and curtsy. "Veratessa White good sir." Her speech switch to high regal out of reflex.
    "Well met Miss White, Jessie Dire to you." His tongue also in high regal both surprised her that he would know and embarrassed that she had in a common environment use such speech.
    Taken her hand back and now on the defensive slightly, "Please call me Tessie," returning to common speech. "there is no need for formals here. I came by to invite you to the cookout. Each month we have a social event and you have arrived on that day this month. Please join us in the center park. We have lots of different foods and treats and sweet drinks of all kinds. This is family affair so please limit the fuzzy drinks." giving him a stern look and shaking her forefinger at him.
    "I would be honored to attend. I have just started to unpack so i would need to buy something to bring..."
    "Your new and we all saw you just move in so nothing is asked of you, just you and your... mate?"
    "I'm single though i do have a colleague of mine staying with me, Jack..." looking to his right Jack stood in the hallway in his normal attire of gym shorts and bunny slippers holding a bowl of cereal wide eyed shaking his head no vigorously. Jack was very antisocial and as such awkward is social settings. He could talk all day with complete strangers in virtual but face to face he studdered horrible around new people. In a crowd he would be rendered utterly speechless. "Though I think he is interested in getting things unpacked right now."
    "As you wish." spoken to the darkness of the room behind Jessie "We look forward to your arrival." She turned and started towards the front steps of the porch.
    "Ummm, where's the park?"
    Without looking back she pointed "End if the driveway left, go three houses look right and follow the path, at the fork stay right." She glanced back over she shoulder to see him nod and down the stairs she went. Her walk so feminine and graceful her tail long fluffy and beautiful, he could not pull his eyes away. 'So beautiful' he whispered to himself. Her ears twitched and she turned her head looking over her shoulder again at him. With a coy smile and swinging her tail and bottom at him "You like my tail?" before skipping off giggling. 



Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
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attempting to be a painter with words


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UnHolyOska Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2016
GothicNarcissus Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much for the :+fav:! :hug:
timnaas Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2016
Hello, thanks for the +fav
wytherwing Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2016
thank you for the +watch :peace:
TheFelineAlchemist Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Many thanks for the 2 faves
flickrBLITZshimmer Featured By Owner May 1, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for the follow
Chikara-Redwing Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just so you know I haven't forgotten about you.  I already read chapter 5, and since it's short I'm going to do my comments on it and chapter 6 tomorrow.  My work life has been a little crazy the last couple of weeks.
DarkMoonWolf70 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
ok thanks, i have 6 episodes written and ready to edit before i post, trying to finish up the scene i have going, so i can get back to Jessie and that crowd. I have been picking at some other stuff to come as well. I have been keeping busy, along with studying the Voynich manuscript. :)
Chikara-Redwing Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's gonna take a while before I get to the next stuff, though each chapter is written better, and is easier to get through.  Never heard of the Voynich Manuscript before though.  Looks like an interesting little oddity.  The letters in the text look really cool.
nancorocks Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the +fav +fav +fav !
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