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Posted:|| September 25, 2020 Views: 43|
Chapter 20 of the book Killer Candy
Keur and Neu help Skerry and Aunt Lieu
"Request for help, Part 2"
Serria and Keur stay busy not only investigating child deaths, but help others.
Keur unstrapped himself and began pacing the deck of the BRIGHT STAR.
How are we going to be able to convince them not to search us, to let us leave?
A fast, deep lilting voice came over the comlink, but it echoed all through the bays.
“This is Mel Silverscales,” he said. “I demand you let the BRIGHT STAR, RAINBOW DREAMS, SILVER MOON, and any others with them go. If you do not, I will blast a hole in your crimson done.”
Aunt Lieu gasped. “Would he really do that?” She gripped the armrests until her hands turned white.
“Yes, Aunt Lieu,” Keur said as he stopped in front of her, his stomach starting to churn. “He really would.”
The comlink on the BRIGHT STAR lit up like a chandelier in a place like Jero’s house.
Neu hit the button.
“What is going on?” Vik asked.
Keur walked to the console. “Seems like Serria’s cousin has come to our rescue. Sure didn’t know he was in the area.”
“Last I knew he was on Alosia,” Rogel said. “At this point, I’ll take all the help I can get.”
“This is Kaskellia Spaceport Security,” a male voice said. “BRIGHT STAR is cleared to leave, followed by RAINBOW DREAMS, SILVER MOON, and LEGAL LIMIT.”
Keur dashed back to his seat, buckled himself in as Neu got settled, and they lifted. As each reached the upper atmosphere, they waited on the others. Then beginning with the BRIGHT STAR, they jumped to hyperspace with the Alosian Space Station as their next stop.
“Where will Skerry and I be staying?”
“With Serria’s friend, Alyci McCready,” Keur answered.
.”But what about my belongings?”
“I’ve already taken care of that,” Neu said. “There’s an empty warehouse my folks own near the spaceport. You can use that. And maybe so after we arrive, I might have a place for you to rent.”
“Thank you,” Aunt Lieu said.
They landed on Alosia a couple days later, unloaded the ships, and the BRIGHT STAR took off for the station while the others left on missions of their own.
After Alyci helped the ladies get settled, she gave each a compad with a copy of the Alosian driver’s manual, so they could eventually get their licenses.
The next morning after the breakfast dishes were cleared, Skerry, Lieu, and Alyci sat at the table. The trio had the compads in front of them.
“First thing we need to do is open a bank account and deposit our money.” Skerry frowned and shuddered. “And I dread hearing how bad the exchange rate is with the Kaskellian government in turmoil.”
“The best bank is the Aloisan National Bank,” Alyci said. “We all have our money there.” She tapped a few buttons on her compad. “Uh-oh. Until this revolution the rate had been one Alosian credit to two Kaskellian ones. However, in the last week, that has changed from one to four. Better get you to a bank before that gets worse.”
Both older ladies shuddered as the doorbell chimed.
Alyci rose and left the kitchen.
“I brought all my money with me,” Skerry admitted.
“So did I,” Lieu said. “Unless things calm down a lot, I’m not going back to my homeworld.”
Alyci returned with Neu Knott who dropped into a chair, and Alyci slipped into hers.
“What brings you here, Neu?” Lieu asked.
“My parents own some property on Alosia and have a house on it,” he said. “It needs cleaning and painting. There’s no furniture in it, but it does have appliances. If you ladies will clean it and paint it, you can live there rent free.”
“That sounds like a great deal,” Skerry said.
“We still need furniture,” Lieu commented.
“I know of a store with excellent second hand stuff,” Neu said. “My folks will supply all the cleaning supplies, paints, and painting supplies. They’ll order the paints and let me know which color for which room.”
Skerry and Lieu glanced at each other and nodded.
“We’d like to look at it first,” Skerry said.
“Figured you would,” Neu said. “I’ll take you down there.”
“We need to go to a bank first,” Skerry said.
“I would’ve suggested that,” Neu told them. “Then we can arrange for aircar service until you get your licenses.”
“I’ll do the dishes,” Alyci said. “You three get going.”
Skerry and Lieu changed into old clothes fit for cleaning chores, retrieved their purses and travel money, and followed Neu to the ship. Once strapped in, they got clearance and flew to Kondreal.
After Neu rented an aircar, they walked over to the aircar service.
The tall Alosian man did a double-take when he spotted the two Kaskellian women with Neu. “What can I do for you, Mr. Knotts?”
“It’s not for me, it’s for these ladies,” Neu said.
Used to being underestimated because of her small stature and her race, Skerry said. “I am Skerry Royk. Lieu Kwan and I would like to make arrangements for aircar service.”
He swung his head to Lieu. “We love your tea. Are you moving to Alosia?”
“Yes,” Lieu said. “And as soon as we can get settled, I’ll get back to making more of the same, not to mention some new ones.”
“Set the account up in the ladies’ names, but I’ll pay for the first month until they can set up accounts to take care of everything,” Neu said.
“We have the money, just not in Alosian currency,” Skerry said and turned to Neu. “And we’ll pay you back.”
He nodded as the man handed them the paperwork.
Once it was filled out and the money exchanged, they strode from the spaceport, down three blocks to the large brown stone building with a big gold sign on top with Alosian National Bank.
They entered onto a silver tiled floor and marched over to the new accounts desk.
“We’d like to open accounts here,” Skerry said.
The woman with streaks of gray in her hair said, “Sit.”
Skerry did so and accepted the paperwork.
After she filled it out and handed over all her money, the woman whose tag read Wilma, left to do whatever she needed to do.
Neu moved off to the side, took out his mobile comlink, and made a call.
When Wilma returned, she said, “Our usual exchange rate today is one Alosian credit for four Kaskellian ones. However, considering the amount you’re switching, we’re willing to do two Kaskellian credits for one Alosian one. Now do you want any in cash?”
“Three hundred in cash,” Skerry said. “Six thousand in a checking account and the rest in a savings account. Do you have online banking?”
“Yes,” she said. “I’ll sign you up for that too.”
Skerry and Wilma finished their work, and then Lieu replaced Skerry in the chair.
After her account was set up, they left the bank and claimed the aircar.
Their first stop was the paint store where they picked up the paints and supplies. From there, they went to a grocery store for cleaning supplies, food, and all the necessary items needed when setting up a new household. The furniture store was next where they chose decent furniture for each room, paid for it then made arranged for delivery when the house was ready.
As they rode out to the house, Neu said, “I guess you ladies have already decided to accept my parent’s offer.”
Skerry looked over at Lieu. “Neither one of us are afraid of hard work.”
“I believe it after what I’ve heard about you two from Vik and Keur.”
The city vanished quickly, and trees and bushes lined both sides of the road. About an hour later, Neu settled the aircar in front of a large, one story, red brick house.
“This here property has been in the family ever since the Knotts family started about five hundred years ago,” Neu said and climbed out.
“Been around a while,” Lieu said as she and Skerry alighted.
“I’ll give you two a tour, and then we can haul everything in,” Neu produced a key, marched over to the door, unlocked it, and the trio entered.
They immediately held their noses at the dust and odors of dead animals and droppings.
“Dad had the exterminator in last week,” Neu said. “Nothing should be alive.”
Dust and dirt plumed into the air, and they all coughed.
Neu strode over windows and began opening them. “Get that breeze blowing and clean up the dust and stink.”
“This here is the living room,” Neu said.
The walls were so coated with webs and dirt Skerry couldn’t tell what color the walls were.
“They want the living room to be a calming cool gray,” Neu said. “And the hallways to be the same color.”
“Good choice,” Lieu said.
He led down the short hallway to the kitchen.
Again, everything was filthy, and some kind of rodent lay dead in the sink. However, the stove, quick cook oven, fridge, dishwasher appeared to be only a couple of years old.
“Good to see lots of cabinets,” Skerry said as she glanced around.
“Can never have enough of them.” Lieu laughed.
“This here kitchen and the nook are to be pale green,” Neu told them.
“Goes with the brown,” Skerry said. “At least, I think they’re light brown cabinets.”
“I think so too,” Lieu commented.
They turned left at the far end of the kitchen and found a nook ten feet long and six foot wide.
Lieu hurried to the window, yanked a cloth from her purse, and began rubbing it.
“Can’t see much,” she grumbled. She turned around to Neu. “Would your parents mind if I planted a garden for my herbs?”
“Or vegetables for us?”
“Nope,” Neu answered. “There are all kinds of berry bushes on this here property which extends beyond the tree line. You’re free to use whatever you like for your teas. In fact, there are probably different than what you had on Kaskellia.”
“And I’ll help you gather them.” Skerry offered.
“Thanks,” Lieu said.
They turned right, walked down a dozen stone steps to two doors.
“The backdoor to the house,” Neu pointed to the one directly ahead of them.
He opened the one to their left, and they walked into a long room of gray stone blocks.
“Storage,” he said. “Though Lieu will probably want to use half this for storage and the other half for making tea. No need to paint this.”
“Yes,” Lieu said. “After it gets a thorough cleaning.”
They returned to the hallway and walked to the main bathroom on the left. Another two rodents had died in the white tub.
“Mom wants a pale pink for this room,” Neu said
The ladies nodded as Neu let them to the bedroom across the hall.
“This here bedroom is to be painted teal blue.”
“Nice compliment to the pink bathroom,” Lieu said.
They turned left again to go into another room.
“Could be a bedroom or a study,” Neu said. “Dark brown.”
Skerry gazed around. “Yes, this would make a good place for me to work on my project.”
They spun around, walked out into the hallway, and into the master bedroom.
“Ocean blue for both the bedroom and the bathroom,” Neu told them.
Lieu strolled into the bathroom. “Oh, Skerry,” she exclaimed. “A whirlpool tub.”
Skerry scurried in and almost ran into Lieu. “Nice way to relax after a long work day. Get rid of tired, achy muscles.”
On their way back to the front, they passed two more bedrooms.
“My folks want this here bedroom to be yellow, and the other to be forest green,” Neu said.
At they the front, they began unloading the aircar. Once that was done, Neu brought out the lease for the ladies to sign, which day did.
Two vans arrived and four men tumbled from each. They marched up to Neu.
“We’ve been hired by Keur Matiason and Vik Juleskova to help clean and paint this house,” the driver of one truck said. “And we brought lunch.”
The other driver and another man hefted two large baskets with the rider of the other truck carrying a cooler, another basket, and a big blanket.
Skerry and Lieu stared at each other and shook their heads.
“How long are you hired for?” Lieu asked as the men began spreading out the blanket and opening the baskets and cooler.
“However long you need us,” he answered.
Once they were seated with plates of sandwiches, salads, drinks, and deserts, everyone introduced themselves.
They talked about the supplies they had and what the men had brought, and then Neu told them about the colors for each room.
After eating, Neu asked. “Could these ladies ride back to Kondreal this evening to take the shuttle back to the space station?”
“Most certainly,” Olaf said. He seemed to be the leader of the group.
“Then I’ll leave you two here,” Neu said. “And don’t forget to download the driver’s license manual.”
“No, we won’t and thank you for everything,” Skerry and Lieu chorused.
“You’re welcome,” Neu answered and left.
Skerry began issuing jobs as the men unloaded their equipment and supplies. Then they all got to work.
Skerry and Lieu went back to the station at night and returned to the house along with the men to clean and paint it.
After Vik had made arrangements for help for her mother and Aunt Lieu, she showered, ate, and slumped in the pilot’s seat, not knowing where to go or what to do next.
Her comlink chimed, and she hit the button to hear the message.
“Vik, I need your help.” Lady Natalia said in a frantic voice. “Gather all the ships you can and meet me at the Ice Maiden on Kollic as soon as possible. Natalia out.”
“I’ll get who I can,” Vik said. “Vik out.”
Neu was busy helping her mom and Aunt Lieu. Rogel and the Brimsens left on their adventure in the Osanic system. She combed through a contact list of all the traders and sent the following message. “Lady Surmenscova asks for anyone in the vicinity to come to the Ice Maiden on Kollic. She didn’t explain the reason, but I know she wouldn’t ask for help to come as soon as possible if it wasn’t a dire situation. Vik out.”
“We’re headed to Kollic,” Vik said and strapped in.
As soon as clearance was granted, the RAINBOW DREAMS departed the station and went to light speed when they could.
Dramatis Personae of Deadly Sweets
Cultures of Deadly Sweets
Alosian—canary yellow skinned, Nordic culture
Crescenji—brown-skinned, warrior culture
Jetahn—white-skinned, Russian culture
Kaskellia—red/crimson skinned, Chinese culture
Muswella—black-skinned, Scottish culture
Muswella—desert, brown-skinned, Meiglan, Islamic culture
Muswella—desert, brown-skinned, Nutmeigs, Radical Islamic culture
Serria Stripeclaw—Crescenji Warrior, private investigator, partnered with Keur
Keur Matiason— Half Alosian, half Kaskellian, computer expert, private investigator, partnered with Serria
Vik Juleskova—Half Jetahni, half Kaskellian, trader, owner of RAINBOW DREAMS
Mike Brimsen—Alosian, trader, co-owns the SILVER MOON
Shaylyne Brimsen—Alosian, trader, co-owns the SILVER MOON
Alyci McCready—Muswellan, black-skinned, agent at Thair and Thatt Agency
Lieu Kwan—Kaskellian, Keur’s aunt, famous for her teas
Skerry Royk—Kaskellian, Vik’s mother, bioengineering specialist
Rogel Irriksohn—Alosian, rich, owner of Irriksohn Corporation
Mak Redtail-- Crescenjian, doctor on Alosian Space Station, Serria’s boyfriend
Neu Knotts—Alosian, rich, trading partner with Keur Matiason, owner of BRIGHT STAR
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