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The Janus XI Chronicle
Part 2: Petrol in my Veins
by Montystalin

"Wake up you little grot! Time to die."

He finally had feeling in his arms and legs and he didn't like the pain that came with it. He tried to move his arms but realize they are tied on to something. He opened his eyes slowly and his visions swirled making him feeling dizzy. The image slowly became sharper and he readies he is in a dark room with a table in front of him. Behind this table sat a humanoid with his head hidden in the shadows. Ka-Neda has no idea who was hidden behind the shadows. He manage to only catch a glimpse of a grey humanoid hand waving here and there and a wisp of blue smoke emitted from the alien's respirator during expiration. Flanking him are 2 Gamorrean guards, big and ugly and intimidating, they make the perfect thugs.

Life was never easy for Ka-Neda. Born as an Ostigan, a native humanoid species of Janus VI with pale blue feathery skin, he was automatically born into a world of poverty and hardship. Although an intelligent species the Ostigan civilization began just only a few thousand years ago and was too primitive to defend their home world when the invaders came. After a brief war, the Ostigans were driven away into small areas where the majority now grow crops which they then sell to the invaders in return for vile narcotics. The narcotics allow then to escape from their suffering which results in the majority of the Ostigans being dependent on the drugs.

Ka-Neda had to run away. He saw what was happening to his people and he didn't like it. He heads off for Sursk, the capital city of Janus XI. Sursk is full of gigantic refineries and factories processing minerals and ores being dug from surrounding areas. However with no knowledge of the city he was easily lead along and tricked by unscrupulous people. The only things he possessed were the his share of drugs which he tried to sell. This angered one of the crime boss who mistook this as an aggressive move into his territory. He only remembered being mugged by the 2 Gamorreans who are now standing in front of him.

"I can't believe anyone would move into my area and sell ryll patches without my permission. Hit him again boys."

The Gamorrean to the left moved forward and planted his heavy black leather boots onto Ka-Neda's chest. Ka-Neda wince at the pain and suddenly had the feeling he was falling backwards. After crashing down on the floor did he readies he is bound onto a chair. Not long after falling he received another boot onto his mid section and then another onto his face. The Gamorreans then backed off standing next to the stranger.

"Ok. You now owe me a favour and this is what I want you to do. I need a swoop racer in 2 days time. You are going to ride that swoop until you die or I find someone better than you. The last Bantha fodder I had manage to fall off and collected a few concrete barriers on his way down. If you can win me a race I'll let you live. I'm sure you find my offer. Very generous indeed."

After coughing out more blood Ka-Neda manage to just cough out a reply "Yes I will race for you."

2 days later Ka-Neda sits on his swoop and eyeing the rest of the racers. A couple of them are like him, scared and tired, they are most likely racing for their lives as well. The others seemed cocky and confident that they are going to win. They are probably juvenile scumbags that are trying to show how good they are to their boss and hopefully climb up the ranks within their gang. The repulsor floats effortlessly on the starting lineup which is nothing more than an alleyway.

Inside his leather jumpsuit he felt the cold steel head of a large hammer. No doubt at all that the others are brandishing weapons as well. Although there is a "course" mapped out along the streets this is more of a demolition derby where most competitors die before they reach the finish line.

When the flag was waved Ka-Neda released the brakes and accelerated away and just concentrated on advancing pass the first corner. Behind him he hear screams followed by 2 explosion as 2 speeder bikes crash into a nearby house. He manage to get a quick glimpse behind him and saw a ganger brandishing a steel rod accelerating towards him. Pulling the hammer out of his jumpsuit he feels the deadly weight of the weapon before sitting up to strike his opponent.

Having an advantage over Ka-Neda because of the longer length of his weapon the young ganger gains the first strike over Ka-Neda. His swing barely misses Ka-Neda's shoulder as Ka-Neda manage to jink his speeder bike to the side at the final moment. Ka-Neda then leaned right back over to the ganger and manage to land a blow on the ganger's hip. The pain resulted in a clumsy backswing from the ganger but it was enough as it caught Ka-Neda on a rib broken 2 days ago by the Gamorreans. However before the ganger recovered and take advantage of the situation he was struck off his bike by the other ganger who was flying pass him.

This other ganger, obviously lost his weapon, is brandishing a large spanner from his speeder bike's toolbox. The other ganger close in on Ka-Neda very quickly and in a matter of seconds was taking wild swings at Ka-Neda. Both now had short weapons and both now are very close to each other. The ganger manage to strike a blow at Ka-Neda's hand holding the hammer and in return Ka-Neda manage to hold on to the hammer and struck the spanner arm of the ganger at the elbow. Both riders are now in great pain but are still in control of their speeder craft and their weapons.

The ganger tried a bold move of decelerating and starts to tail Ka-Neda in order to hit him from the back. Knowing that he will loose control of the speeder if he tries to hit backwards Ka-Neda accelerates all the way to top speed hoping to loose his tail. However the bike seems to be in a less well maintained condition compared to the ganger's bike and the ganger slowly close in on Ka-Neda. In desperation Ka-Neda wildly throws his hammer backwards hoping to hit the ganger. However the ganger manage to duck his head under the path of the hammer and continues to chase after Ka-Neda.

Finally within striking distance the ganger swings his spanner back for the fatal blow and at the final second Ka-Neda banks hard right into a 180. The ganger swings but misses and as he struggle to regain control he veered off the road and crashes into a building.

Looking around he readies that he is the only racer left in the race and slowly makes his way back to the start. When he finally arrived he saw that the others have left and only Ka-Neda's new crime boss, busy counting his money, and his 2 Gamorreans are left.

Without looking up the crime boss said "That was some good riding you did there. You can consider ourselves even..but if you still need more money I can always lend you my bike for certain money venturing purposes."

With that Ka-Neda dismounts the bike and starts limping away. He cradles his hammer arm which was very badly bruised. His pale blue feathery skin has lost it's feathers and now looks pink and purple from the bruise and the exposed flesh. Trying to walk away with dignity he struggles to stand up straight while walking but finds it hard with the urge to curl up and soothe the pain from his broken ribs.

Amused from this display the crime boss finally said "You are a talented grot. I'm sure you'll be back because from the way you ride, so fast, so evasive and so wildly reckless. I'm sure you'll be back. Admit it grot, you've got petrol in your veins."

To be continued...

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