CH 9 CAPTURE
Black Star waited, crouched in the undergrowth, at the edge of the reservation. He was far enough from the settlement that he would not come into contact with anyone he did not want to see. It wasn’t long when he saw the one named Kim walk along the leaf strewn path. She was small and slender. The top of her head came only to his chin. He saw her cheeks blush and his heart skipped a beat.
Kim passed Black Star without seeing him. His skills as a hunter came in handy. Quietly he approached her from behind. He noticed her body tense and she looked around. Then he grabbed her hand and she let out a startled scream.
Black Star was amazed at Kim’s strength as she wrenched her hand from his. He saw the amazement and confusion in her eyes. A smirk crossed his face as he enjoyed her reaction. He laughed when she bought out her golden star from her back pocket. He backhanded her and all the items in both hands were knocked away. Little Miss Kim didn’t realize that the power was within her and she didn’t need the star. It had only been a means of awakening something already inside her. She was going to be fun to play with.
Black Star leaped at Kim but she dived and rolled to evade him. Perhaps she had some talent after all. Then he saw her go to her communicator on her wrist. He did not want the others to get involved just yet. He backhanded her again. Kim fell into the bush where her things had fallen and lay still.
Cautiously he approached her. He crouched down beside her and watched her slow, even breathing. He raised one of her hands and let it go. It dropped to the cool earth. He had knocked her out, but she was alive.
After Black Star had gathered the things she had dropped he gently picked up the slender form of Kim and teleported away.
A short time later Kim woke up in a room filled with mist. “Where am I?” She asked herself. She went for her communicator, but it was gone. Then she grabbed for her star. It was gone as well.
“I’m in big trouble,” Kim whispered as she remembered the fight and where her star was.
Kim heard someone near. She thought for a moment, and then laid flat on her stomach. There was a thin layer, near the floor, where there was no mist. She saw white boots, just like the ones she and the other Shooting Stars wore, walk into the room. She thought of the man who had attacked her and knew it must be him. She was still confused. Why would a fellow Shooting Star attack her? In a distant corner a light blinked and attracted her attention. Relief filled her as she noticed her things, though she couldn’t get to them.
“Show yourself, Purple Star,” a deep voice ordered. “I know you have regained consciousness. The sensors in this room picked up your movement.” His feet passed very close to her as he walked to the back wall. “Perhaps you don’t care to hear the news of your friends. You see I know that your leader, White Star, will be captured by Red Star very soon. It is rather amusing really. Without him the remainder of the Shooting Stars will crumble.”
“Who is White Star? And who is Red Star?” Kim thought as her captor spoke of what he would do to her friends. “If I’m Purple Star and White Star is our leader than that would make . . .” Suddenly it became clear to her and she jumped up in protest, “Don’t harm Chris!”
“Don’t worry. I won’t do anything to White Star. My orders are to destroy you, Purple Star. Or should I say Kim?”
“How do you my name and how do you know the color that my power has become when I just found out about it myself?”
“I know a lot about you and your friends. Your kindness is your weakness. Now, get down on your knees and beg for mercy. Perhaps I will be merciful and listen to your pitiful pleas.”
“I will never beg mercy from you,” Kim said as she dove for her star and communicator.
“Bad move,” Black Star said, pointing his crooked sword at her. Kim quickly transported herself out. She appeared in Star Command with Brandon and Kit staring at her.
“Chris is in trouble,” Kim said suddenly.
“What are you talking about?” Brandon asked. “Chris just left with Terra to the Commons Area to have lunch.”
“Terra’s back. Then they’re both in danger.”
“Slow down Kim and tell us what you mean,” Kit said.
“I was captured by a Shooting Star. His uniform had what looked like a galaxy and he had on a black mask. He bragged about how we will crumble without our leader, White Star, and that Red Star was going to capture him. The one who captured me must be called Black Star and White Star must be Chris. He’s our only leader,” Kim explained rather quickly.
“Those colors again,” Brandon whispered as he looked at the lighted pillars.
“Who’s Black Star?” Kit asked.
“Black Star is a very evil Shooting Star, although he can be freed from the spell,” Ryan explained. He appeared out of nowhere to answer the question. “The color black is one of the evil colors, thankfully, one of the weaker ones.”
“Why would a Shooting Star want to kill another Shooting Star?” Brandon asked.
“When the powers are forced on someone, it puts them under an evil spell. It doesn’t take much. Zeniff must have found a star and a way to force it onto a person.”
“Black Star said something about a Red Star. Is red another evil color?” Kim asked.
“Yes, he has found two of the many stars. Red is one of the most evil colors. Only a person with a very strong good side could have such an evil color when under the spell. I can tell you no more. You must find everything else out for yourself.”
“We need to warn Chris and Terra,” Kit remembered.
“Try contacting them,” Kit suggested.
After several attempts Brandon answered, “He’s not responding, or he can’t hear it.”
“Or they already have him,” Kim sighed. Together they decided to go look for themselves.
Christopher and Red Star were on a course for the Commons Area, when suddenly Corps appeared. Chris stepped in front of Terra to protect her. Red Star bent down, picked some dust up, and sprinkled it over his head, saying, “Sleep, White Star.” After that he knew no more.
Kit, Kim, and Brandon ran past the spot where Christopher and Red Star had been, but they hadn’t seen them disappear seconds before. They continued on to the Commons Area.
“Eric, has Chris recently stopped by this location?” Brandon asked.
“No. If I see him, though, I’ll let him know you’re looking for him.”
“Thanks Eric,” Kit said.
Kim motioned her friends to come back to her. “I’m sure they’ve been captured. What are we going to do?”
“We need to go back to Star Command,” Kit replied. “And tell Marie. Who knows what they’ll do to them and what they have in store for us?”
The team returned to Star Command and contacted Marie. She seemed very worried, for Christopher more than Terra, but could not leave work for fear she would get fired.
Terra watched while Red Star took them back to Zeniff’s ship. She was relieved that she had not done anything to Chris yet. Now she waited, in the bloody uniform, beside an unconscious Christopher, held up by chains. Several hours had passed when he started to stir and Terra felt Red Star change her position so that she faced him. His eyes fluttered and finally he looked around.
“What happened? Where am I?” Chris whispered to himself. He paused a moment. It looked like he was remembering what had happened. “Where’s Terra?” He looked up and his eyes fell on Red Star. He yelled at his captor, “Where is Terra?” And struggled against his chains.
“She’s safe, for now. You know, you humans heal very slowly,” Red Star said, coldly.
“Who are you and what have you done with Terra?” Chris ordered to know as he tried to break free of the chains. Terra knew that he wanted to get at the forbidding Red Star.
“I am Red Star, the greatest Shooting Star.”
“Just because you have the power and wear the armor doesn’t mean you’re a Shooting Star.”
“Terra would give her life for you or anyone else. Is she a Shooting Star?”
“Yes, she’s the greatest Shooting Star,” Chris said. Then he added, “She’s greater than you.”
“Chris, Chris,” Terra called. She realized the danger he was making for himself as he made Red Star mad.
“Terra?” Chris called. “Terra, where are you?”
“Terra can’t answer you. She’s far away.”
“Chris. Chris, help.”
“I can hear her. What is happening to her?”
“I didn’t hear anything. Since when did you last sleep?”
Christopher didn’t answer. His eyes kept the steely guise. “I know I heard someone,” Chris thought.
“You did hear someone,” Terra cried. “You heard me, Terra.”
“Can you hear me when I think? I can hear you in my mind like a thought,” Chris thought. “You must be telepathic.”
“I never thought that I could hear you when you think. It would give us a private conversation, for once. I haven’t been able to contact anyone until now. I missed you guys so much. I thought about you all the time.”
“Where are you?” Chris asked.
Christopher’s eyes had taken on a look of deep concentration. Red Star snarled and lashed out at him.
“Chris, Chris. Oh this stupid spell. I have to get myself out of it somehow.”
“What were you thinking about so hard?” Red Star asked. Christopher kept his mouth shut. “No matter. No one can save you now.”
“What do you plan to do?”
“I plan to kill you, and then one by one I will kill the others. Or maybe I should just imprison you and kill the others in front of your eyes. Which would you like?”
“You won’t get away with this. There are four other Shooting Stars against you and Zeniff’s army.”
“Actually there is Black Star, Zeniff, Corps, and Zeniff’s army, and myself against four. Or if my companion does his job, there will be only three or two.”
“Leave them alone!” Chris demanded. Terra could see his love and concern for his friends in his eyes.
“You are in a fine position to be giving me orders,” Red Star laughed.
“Let me free of these chain and I’ll give you my orders,” Chris whispered, harshly.
“Do you think I am so foolish? I was schooled by the highest teachers of Corba. Our schools are much more advanced than your schools ever could be.”
“So you’re a Corba, like Terra. Why do you betray your loyalty to your Princess, King, and Planet?”
“I don’t have to show any loyalty to anyone. Not even Zeniff. I am my own person.”
“I am the leader of the Shooting Stars, as well as you. I command you to release me.”
“I take orders from no one,” Red Star said as she walked up to Christopher so that he would be able to feel her breath. “I am sick of listening to you. It is a good time to die, is it not?”
With all her strength, Terra shielded Christopher. Red Star’s sword swung down as he held his eyes open with pride. There was a crash as the sword shattered and she dropped it, pain stealing her control.
“What did you think you could prevent?” Red Star scolded.
“What did I do?” Chris asked. His eyes were wide.
“Terra,” Red Star whispered as she left the room, slamming the door behind her. Christopher didn’t cease to try to break from his chains.
“Chris,” Terra called. Her voice reached him, but it was very faint.
“I hear you, Terra. But your voice is very faint.”
“I’m sorry I put you in such danger. All of you.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s Red Star and her comrade I’m worried about. Red Star is powerful, but at least she listens a bit.”
“Chris, I am Red Star,” Terra said sadly. “I brought you here.”
“What? You tried to kill me and save me at the same time?”
“It’s not really me. It’s my body. I’m trapped inside my mind.”
“Do you know who Red Star’s companion is?”
“Black Star is Sky, the native Marie and Kim met and are helping.”
“Kim went back to the reservation.”
“Black Star probably has her already, then, because Red Star sent him to capture her.”
“Can you contact Kit, Brandon, and Marie?”
“I’ll try, but I want to free you first.”
“You can’t do that?”
“Why not? One of my powers is to manipulate objects. I can move the instruments within the cuffs to release you. I have never done this before but, if I give it all my effort, I can do it. Afterwards, I shall be tiered and you shall be on your own. The shield was a little difficult. Your star and communicator are in the corner to your right.”
“I see them. Terra, you need to gain your strength back. Worn the guys and don’t worry about me.”
Terra did try to contact the team, but she wasn’t able to contact anyone. She was very tiered and she knew that if she tried to set Chris free, she could possibly do Red Star’s work for her. Kill her.
“I must rest so I can gain control, or I shall soon die in here. And then Red Star will rule forever.”