Jewel’s Place

The next episode for Jamison’s Battlefields. Here are the previous episodes in order. Zilkas Asteroid Belt, Jamison’s Rescue,  Dinner with an Alien, Dibolocos Attack, Departure Orders, Homecoming, Into the Darkness, and The Family Business

 

The elevator dropped down a floor and the doors opened up into a club, Jewell’s Place. Jamison had never visited a club, but the things going on in her were worse than any of the stories he heard in the CDF.

His mind was spinning from the discoveries up above and the sights down below. He was beginning to realize businesses were commonly hidden below ground now. He was dragged into an office area. The room was lit far better than the business area. An angry man sat at a desk watching several monitors.

To his left was a couch, black leather, with a skinny, beat up girl smoking a cigarette. The man behind the desk made a motion toward the couch and the men pushed him that way. He stumbled into the lap of the girl when she began speaking.

“Jay, what are you doing here?”

Jay was the name his family had called him. His brain got hung up on the use of that name. How would anyone here know it? Why would they use it? He focused on the girl to sort it out. A slow realization gripped him, first by the gut, as a horrible suspicion. Then it became a hard reality, he was looking into the eyes of his kid sister.

“Jenny?”

“Don’t call me that!  My name is Jewell now. I am a famous performer and this is the business I scratched together after mom and dad. . .” She hesitated before saying, “After mom and dad died. This is my business and if you come around here you won’t like what you get. What you see.”

Jamison didn’t have any doubt believing that.

“So these men are going to take you back upstairs and you’re going to leave. Do you understand me?”

“Jenny, if you’re in trouble maybe I can help.”

“Shut up!” she yelled. “I am telling you this is my little piece of paradise. I am sorry if it doesn’t meet your old world standard of morality, but this is what it took to survive and I decided to survive. The world has changed.”

“Jenny, please. Let me get you out of here.”

She drew her hand sharply across her face. In response to this signal one of the men beside Jamison threw a punch across his bottom jaw. There was no delay. As he waited for his head to clear he thought about how automatic the response by the goon had been. Apparently they had used the signal before.

“Jay these men are going to take . . .” She stopped mid-sentence. Her eyes latched to a spot behind him to the right. He glanced that way instinctively and saw a Dibolocos materializing.

The men who had been holding him let go and searched for some corner of the room to hide in. Jamison positioned himself between the alien and his sister. But the creature slapped him carelessly aside. When he stumbled back to his feet he saw in profile the alien holding his sister’s face, and reaching down as if it was about to kiss her.

He saw his weapon in the belt of the man beside him. Without thinking about everything he had been told about the Dibolocos he snatched it out and fired at the alien. The shot passed right through him and exploded into the wall on the other side of the room. The Dibolocos never even flinched. His sister flinched but never diverted her eyes from the alien.

“Let go of her.”

A voice shouted inside his head. It was louder and harsher than anything he had ever heard before. “Shut up. She is ours, and there is nothing you can do about it. She wisely aligned herself with the Dibolocos. She is forever under our control.”

Jamison wanted to argue, to fight for his sister. But no ideas came to mind.

Then both the alien and Jenny turned toward him. Jenny had started sobbing hysterically. She cried out, “Jay, I am sorry. I can’t help you.”

The alien said nothing but approached him quickly and grabbed him up with an impossibly strong grip. He then dematerialized again, taking Jamison with him. Next thing Jamison knew he was rematerializing on the bridge of a space ship.

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