KnM Blade - In Destiny's Way

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Kixi Rajki, a professional high speed racer, is a seemingly average citizen of the United Systems of Sol in the 31st century. Going by the alias of Kay Blade, she is also a secret agent for an underground resistance cell intent on bringing down the powerful freedom restricting government. Mako Jhasmin Zaneca, alias eM Blade, and Kixi's lover, recently trained up as an agent, is also an expert computer slicer and hacker in her own right. She must accompany Kixi on what will be her first mission, and with all certainty, an extremely dangerous mission. Choosing arrest in order to save her lover, the two narrowly escape death, and consequently trigger in motion an unprecedented course of events. Unwittingly, her actions will forever change the balance of power, and with it the face of humanity as a space faring species.

Author's note

All my completed professional published eBooks can be found on my smashwords.com site below:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Kixi

Books are available in ePub, Kindle and PDF. These books are part of Smashwords' "Premium Catalog" and have been approved to ship to retailers that Smashwords works with. These then get distributed to online book stores such as Apple, Amazon, Kobo, Scribd, Ficton DB, Livraria Cultura, Barnes & Noble, that's just naming a few. :-)

Also note that for the proper published books for this title, each "Part" is published as a separate title and all in progress parts such as part 3 and the eventual part 4 will be separate titles as well. The professional published versions are also called just "KnM Blade" rather than KnM Blade in Destiny's Way.

Information regarding timelines of the KnM Blade universe including proposed timelines, current titles, in progress titles and other things about me can also be found on the site below:

https://kixi-rajki.wixsite.com/knm-blade
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108. Imogen - Part 4

Chapter 89: Imogen - Part 4.

 

One week later...

 

And there it was. Pluto’s only settlement. Ixmucane, as it was properly called. A miniature city encased in a dome that looked like glass but was actually something much more complicated. Imogen pressed her hands against the window of the spacecraft. She knew that the view was actually deceptive: eighty percent of the Plutonian city was underground. Hollowed out from the surface of the planetoid itself, the material ground down and remade into concrete to construct buildings and roads many metres under the ground.

Imogen’s chest constricted with emotion until she could hardly breathe. This was the furthest she’d ever been from Mars, her homeworld. She could almost taste the air. Just a few more minutes. Ixmucane would be her sanctuary, her safe haven, even if only for a little while— provided to her by none other than Kristy Langley. It seemed that my being an advocate for Skycom did have its benefits in more ways than one.

She tilted her head towards the window and looked at Pluto. And the visible part of the city, stuck on its side like a parasite.

A minute later the spacecraft had passed Pluto’s thin and tenuous atmosphere and was passing into an underground road or tunnel of some kind, so the view of the planetoid was gone. The shuttle moved along the corridor, and as it did, flashes of light on the walls as it passed by gave her a sense that it was moving fast, although the ride was smooth enough. Finally, the shuttle gave a lurch and Imogen saw the strip of LED lights come on next to the shuttle exit.

She grabbed her bag, headed for the door of the spacecraft, and climbed up on to the platform. Imogen couldn't help but be a little disappointed when she exited the spacecraft. She had expected something like the spaceport’s back on Mars, Earth, and the various other places she’d been at— ultra modern, sanitised white with high glass ceilings. She realised as soon as her feet hit the floor that she had been stupid to expect something similar here. Space was at a premium on Pluto, where every piece of real estate had to be chiseled out of the very rock itself. The spaceport was long and low, the ceiling only three metres high. There were doors off to each side where people could access shuttles and various other types of spacecrafts, although there only seemed to be a couple actually in use.

Arrows on the floor pointed the way through the terminal. Imogen passed a dozen spacecraft bays before the space opened up into the main floor of the terminal. Still, it was much smaller than those at Aries Prime and New Rome on Mars, her homeworld. There were people about, sure, but not the busy throngs that there were on Sol’s inner worlds, Zerentia 3, or the moons and artificial habitats of the outer world gas giants. It made sense: Earth ships for example went all over the Sol System and to other star systems; Pluto's ships only went back and forth to a limited set of destinations. Plastic barriers corralled Imogen and the other passengers towards a bank of security booths. Only two were open and Imogen took her place in line.

A woman with a beautiful headdress that Imogen thought made her possibly Venusian in origin checked her paperwork with a thoroughness that Imogen found unnerving. 

"Permit?" 

Did it matter that her hands shook as she handed over the comm pad? Imogen pressed her palm onto the screen in front of her and tried not to dwell on the moist mark she left behind her. Damn, it was hot down here. 

"Hot, isn't it?" She said inanely while the woman tapped away on a view screen. 

"Always is," the woman replied. "— SkySec has granted you special clearance,” she raised an eyebrow at her as she then handed her the comm pad back. “Enjoy your stay on Pluto, Imogen." 

"Thanks."

Like every other new visitor to Pluto, she headed straight for the dome. Only the central promenade there was open to the public, but it was enough.

She walked along the promenade to the viewing platform at the edge of the dome and stared out at space. Pluto’s moon Charon was in what Imogen knew was called its quarter illumination. Knowing the physics didn't make it look any less weird. The way Charon hung in the dark sky, only partially illuminated like someone had covered it up with a dark shawl, was very, very strange. A small surge of power pulsed at her temples, nothing that she couldn't control, but just enough to serve as a warning. She wasn't here for sightseeing. Feeling more subdued than usual, she turned away from Charon and headed straight for the city’s core where she wandered the streets in a deep, reflective mood. Her gaze wandered away in reflective thought; brooding about her life; pondering how things would have panned out had I not turned up when I did.

In the week since I had taken her back with me to my home in Celestia City, we chatted nonstop about a decade’s worth of experiences. We both savoured the time, sharing much needed time together; stories of our adventures; of our lives apart; memories of the good old times of our childhoods with each other. She felt saddened, grief and regret that she had lost what little of what she once had; her hunk of junk of a ship; and especially Tinker. She’d trusted the latter as if he were blood— and then he simply turned against her when he thought she had reached her end; turned himself in to Sage; to the services of the Gexin Combine; never to be seen or heard of again. Maybe she really couldn’t trust anyone in this life, she thought after having made her speedy recover, despair had threatened to overwhelm her.

And then she remembered me landing a heavy hand on her shoulder, not a slap, but with enough weight to remind her of the meaning behind the gesture. Imogen had moaned something that was more of an emotional indication: sadness, support, sisterhood. “I’m wrong to think I can no longer trust anyone in this life.” She had finally said the words in a voice that had dropped to a whisper. “I can trust you Kixi— sister. We are of the same blood.” 

I hadn’t been able to find words that were strong enough to express how much that had meant to me; how much she meant to me. So, I simply told her that I needed her, and that she needed me— which— in the end— was perhaps the most truthful thing I could have said to her.

Imogen had also understood that I wasn’t done yet, and that in actual fact, I hadn’t even began; that I would still be faced with far more difficult problems; bigger battles; more complex situations. It wasn’t as simple as killing Sage, and that cutting off the head would make the monster go away. There was still the question of Ilias Iklipso and the whole Gexin Combine to deal with. Yet despite all that had happened, they were not my true enemy, but rather their enemy was the very same enemy I sought to take down— Skycom Corporation and the Drex Dynasty. Ironically enough, as my real self, as Kixi, Skycom was my friend— I was close to SkySec’s director of security— trusted by her— was an advocate for Skycom. If only Kristy had really known the truth of my alter ego, of Kay Blade, and that it had been I that had assisted Paige, her younger sister in killing Cerberus, their mother. But she didn’t, and so I had used her to have me help find a safe haven for Imogen and ultimately have Imogen safety reallocated on Pluto, which, after I had set Imogen up with a line of credit and organised to pay her rent, Kristy had only been too glad​ to do for me. Oh, the irony of it all.

— And then, her mind returned back in the now. The noise, the lights, the people, and the smells of the core had overwhelmed her. Part of the reason for this was that there were few barriers to sound. The central shaft of the Plutonian city went down thirty floors, and each floor was connected to it by metal walkways. All of this was open to the air, although of course the entire structure was completely sealed by the dome to stop the air leaking away into Pluto’s atmosphere and leaving them all to suffocate in an instant.

Imogen checked her comm pad for the address of her apartment. It was on the second level, which meant it was average. The more expensive establishments were on level one along with most of the restaurants and entertainment. The really posh places were up in the dome area, but that was for celebrities and high ranking Skycom and Drex Dynasty officials.

Imogen had decided not to stay in those more upmarket housing establishments. Initially I had insisted, but she had eventually reasoned with me, and with Kristy who had arranged the paperwork that it would be too expensive— and a second rate one bedroom apartment would be much better for someone who needed sanctuary and work out how to start a new life.

So the tiny apartment in the visitor's sector suited Imogen just fine. If she stretched out her arms she could touch both sides of the room. A sofa and table folded down into a bed at night time. There were no windows. To afford a view of the stars took considerably more spending money than Imogen was willing to allow me to spend on her. Ninety percent of the architecture on Pluto was underground. Only the homes of the superrich and a few special buildings allowed access directly to the dome— it wasn’t like she hadn’t been to places before to experience similar such views for her to really care anyway: Earth’s moon Luna, Ganymede, the moons of Mars, Oberon to name but a few. Instead of the window was a large view screen with an irritating flicker in the corner.

Throughout the other more populous worlds of the Sol System, people generally milled about, measuring their lives to the second, absorbed in gossip and politics. But here, in Ixmucane, on the isolated world of Pluto, it would be nonsense to measure time that way. Imogen swiped the menu on her comm pad and synced it up with a larger screen in her apartment so that she could sit back and view her files. No messages yet. That was good— and it’s just what Imogen needed right now. Lay low, live a quiet life— yes, this would be her perfect sanctuary.

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