The Guest of the Adeyemi Estate
Bahati had slept during his ship ‘The Onyx Spear’s’ travel through hyperspace. He awoke moments before the shuttle was close to the planet’s atmosphere. Through spies, he had tracked King Akachi to the planet of Melanin. He rubbed his eyes as the planet slowly came into focus. It was wise to have Libra space pirates on the payroll. They were always able to track space movement throughout the eight planet solar system. Even if a preserver ship was released from the generalship, they knew how to trace it to the planet. It was a talented skill that Bahati found to be invaluable. He and a thousand other ransom hunters were looking for the wayward king. He had disobeyed a direct order from Lord Toma Tau to destroy a section of his home planet, Alkebulan. There were rebels that worked the mines of the planet that demanded more benefits so a strike began. Lord Toma Tau’s solution was to destroy them all and have them replaced. King Akachi wasn’t fond of genocide; not particularly of people from his home planet. Lord Toma Tau thought that it would send a message but Akachi didn’t see it as just. It was a blatant sign of disrespect that Lord Toma had to address quickly. The disobedient king chose to flee his home planet of Alkebulan and expose Lord Toma’s intentions. This forced Toma Tau to not carry out his plan but he wanted Akachi captured immediately. Bahati hadn’t reached this planet based on any moral obligation. He was simply on this tiresome journey for the sake of its ransom and the acclaim it would hold to be the one responsible for catching such a high priced target.
He yawned as he orbited into the planet’s atmosphere. Tracking him on the planet would be much easier than tracking him in open space. The huema-orc were simple beings but kings stood out even if they were trying to blend in. Their aura’s emanated a certain power that can be hidden for only a period of time. No doubt, he would hear of tales of a man doing an impossible feat that would be considered simple to a king. Bahati himself was of royal blood but he was no king of an estate or planet. He was a proud member of the Salamuu Estate and only stood as a lowly cousin under the king. That’s why it was best for ransom hunters to have the royal blood in their veins, to capture powerful criminals that also carried royal blood.
The Onyx Spear broke through the ozone layer of Melanin so he began the process of finding a place to land. He would naturally try to find a place where there were very few inhabitants so his shuttle wouldn’t alarm an entire population. Common people were not allowed in space travel except in travel accommodations from space line fleets. Once someone spotted him piloting his own space ship, it would be obvious that he was of the royal class. He found an empty beach on the planet close to the capitol estate, Adeyemi. When he landed, he could feel the presence of someone of substantial power. He was no longer close by but his presence had still left an impression on the land area. He took a deep breath and inhaled the auric scent. It wouldn’t be long before he was upon his prey. Bahati could see the tall skyscrapers many kilometers from where he landed. He would have to travel on foot for a long period of time to find lodging.
Akachi sat meditating in the corner of the stone domicile. He had just wed a peasant woman with a powerful aura. She was beautiful in her own right, though she was of the Lumonite lineage. Akachi rarely saw their women as beautiful. She was of a rare beauty that emanated from her spirit. Her gentle soul touched the former king and made him fall in love with her. He insisted that their wedding be a private matter. He didn’t want to alert the authorities of the Adeyemi Estate to his presence on their planet. He even had her go down to the capitol to gain the marriage license. His thoughts were focused on the present but he kept flashing back to the recent past. It was probably the happiest he had ever been. The former king had been surrounded by riches his entire life. He was once the king of a planet. His humble garments were now comfortable wardrobes that helped him farm more efficiently. His woman, Lesedi was a woman whose voice was filled with so much tenderness it inspired the laziest men to awake from slumber. Since she was a small child people called her the prophetess. Rumor has it, when she was a small child, the seven devils were casted out of her. The ritual brought her insight and developed her prophetic abilities instantly. The thought of her made him dwell on his newlywed wife. Serenity surrounded his aura until he was suddenly shaken out of his blissful trance.
His eyes opened suddenly. Lesedi must have felt it too. She ran into the living space where he usually meditated with an alarming expression.
“You felt it as well?”
“The time has come for you to leave, my love.” She replied.
The strain in her voice indicated she knew more than he did. Akachi slowly stood up, studying her face.
“How much time do I have, beloved?”
“He has reached our planet. He is close to the estate that protects us. You have no more than two days to flee from here.”
She was sure about her calculations. He sensed her urgency, but Akachi didn’t fear death as other huema-orcs did. He was a great and powerful king who invited death.
“Your objective for meeting me has been fulfilled. I carry your seed. The Weusi universe will once again return to its natural order.”
“The return of Alpha.”
“Yes, my love. Do not allow your pride to misguide you. This is not the place where this epic battle will take place.”
“Will I fall?”
“I have not been granted such a privilege to know.” She sighed.
He had asked her before and yet he expected a different reply. Her prophecies would come at different times. He was hoping that her intuitive insight would reveal his fate. He leaned in so that their lips could touch gently. It was so much in a kiss. He exited the living area and went into one of the bedrooms. All Lesedi could do was lower her head in silent lament. The man that she fell in love with instantly, would now be forever from her arms. She knew this to be true, though she did not know his fate. Akachi returned from out of the room with a prepared duffle bag. They both knew that this day would eventually come. He grabbed her small waist and pulled her closer to his body.
“There is no woman such as you.”
They exchanged one final passionate kiss before he whisked himself out the door. She allowed a tear to fall while lowering her head.
Bahati traveled for many miles before his intuition led him to a small village in the Adeyemi Estate territory. He would have to seek lodging among the common people. His eyes darted in the surrounding area to find a smith standing outside of his shop. It appeared the man was taking a break. Bahati decided to approach the stranger.
“Hey friend, I seek lodging in this village. What path will I take to reach my destination?”
He lifted his head slowly after inhaling smoke from his paper-rolled cylinder. Bahati had come across such things before. It was a practice mostly done by peasants. Those with royal blood knew better. He didn’t see the logic in the peasant’s actions but chose to ignore his foolishness. When they made eye contact, he suddenly dropped his cylinder. His mouth had come agape.
“You are of royal blood?” He asked rhetorically.
Bahati gave a stiff nod. The man trembled when the ransom-hunter came closer. He attempted to stand upright out of respect.
“I seek you no harm. It appears that you have a skill. Let me see your talent then I will need you to direct me to a place of lodging.”
“There is no place worthy enough in this village for one who has royalty in his blood. You will find that they will not have the amenities that one of your stature would expect.”
“I don’t expect my stay to be long. I will find what I have come for then depart not only this estate but this planet.” Bahati stated while walking in his shop.
“By your horns, I can tell you are a Sulphurite.”
“And by your horns, I can tell you are a Khidrite.” Bahati replied casually.
“Yes, some say that Alpha will return through one of us.”
“I believe the way the scripture goes; he will also be of the Lumonites.”
Bahati picked up a battle axe that was crafted superbly. He glanced at the lowly peasant with a small sense of admiration.
“What is your name?”
“My name is…Eno of Adeyemi. The third of my name.”
“Yet if you are a Khidrite, your original lineage would be on the planet Alkebulan or Nubia. Do you know of your original heritage?”
“That I do not, King…?”
“I’m not a king! I am of royal lineage but I myself am not a king. I will purchase this battle axe. I see that you’ve gotten your metal from another planet.”
“Yes, my lord. I have been able to receive metal from Nubia ever since the strike has been quelled by the glorious Lord Toma Tau. It has been said that he loves Huema-Orcs of all lineages despite their heritage.”
“Hnnnfff!” Bahati scoffed.
“I didn’t mean to offend.”
“You did not offend. You spoke of a man you know nothing about. Do you know what his plans were for those huema-orcs that sought to strike against his labor practices?”
“No, I do not.”
“I suspect the telescreen wouldn’t reveal his true intent. He wanted to kill every worker that refused to work.” Bahati cracked an evil grin.
“No, not the merciful Toma Tau.”
His ignorance began to irritate Bahati. He decided it wise to change the subject. There were several weapons that also brought interest to him.
“With a further look at your wares, I may need to purchase more than one item. As I purchase these weapons I would like you to tell me stories.”
“Tell you stories? What kind of stories?”
“The ones that appear to be a miracle. Something that appears to be impossible to do but yet someone has proven it possible.”
“In this small village? I only know of one person that has done the unbelievable. And that is a woman.”
“Yes, they call her the prophetess but I know her as Lesedi. She is such a kind woman and friendly as well. She helped cure my son of a fatal illness and she has helped many people in our village. She recently married a stranger in secret.”
“Who is this stranger?”
“I know not of him. I was commissioned by her to prepare her wedding bands and that is the only reason I know of her marriage.” Eno shrugged.
“Where does this woman reside?”
“My lord, she is a good and humble woman. I wasn’t trying to draw attention to her. You mentioned stories of impossible feats and she’s the only one that came to mind.”
“I mean her no harm. I am interested in knowing her and maybe befriending her husband.”
Eno the smith raised a suspicious eyebrow without looking directly at Bahati. He didn’t want any harm to come to his friend but he was powerless. If he refused to direct him to her residence, he knew he would probably torture him and still find her home. His hands were tied. He hoped the lord would be a man of his word. The smith sent a prayer to Alpha in the name of Khidr for her safety.
“That is honorable of you to send a prayer to Alpha in the name of Khidr for a Lumonite. She must be a remarkable woman.” Bahati was able to interpret a wave of his thoughts.
“How did you know she was a Lumonite? I never mentioned her race.”
“If this is the woman I think her to be, the entire Weusi universe has been expecting her.”
“So, you still want to meet her?” Eno worried his lower lip.
“I do, my friend, but the hour is late. I will secure lodging for the night and we will journey to her residence tomorrow.”
“Of course but I must warn you, you may not like the accommodations.”
“I have lodged in meager surroundings before, my friend Eno. Tell me, what is the calendar date today?”
“It is the 5th day of the month of Gyasi, my lord.”
“Thank you but refer to me as Bahati.”
“If that is your desire.”
Bahati calculated the months it would take for a child to be born on the Alpha Holy Day referred to as Vuai Day. It being a leap year also fulfilled certain timetables that his people were well aware of. The Sulphurites were the Timekeepers of the universe. He would actually get the privilege of meeting the woman that would return Alpha back to the universe. Now he understood why it was so difficult to find King Akachi. He was destined to fulfill prophecy. The thoughts of meeting such a woman crowded his mind for the rest of the night. He wouldn’t rest well. He still would have to find King Akachi for the accolades and reward. But he would not seek to harm the woman or unborn child.
The following morning, Bahati dragged slowly out of his bedding. Eno promised to return to the lodging so that he could direct him to the prophetess woman. He always prepared for confrontation but his inner being was telling him it would be none at the woman’s residence. As he finished gearing himself, he heard a knock at the door. He opened the door to see Eno staring at him oddly.
“You vowed that you would mean her no harm.”
“And I intend to honor that vow.” Bahati replied dismissively.
“Yet you dress as though you are ready for combat.”
“This is the clothing of those that are above your station. We carry ourselves with the thinking that someone may challenge our position. So, we must always be prepared. Don’t worry yourself, Eno, I will not harm your friend. This is, in fact, a glorious time.” He smiled.
Eno grudgingly walked out the door with Bahati close behind him. It would take several hours on foot. Bahati suspected that the smith was trying to prolong the journey for fear of what might become of his friend. They could have easily taken a land-mobile to reach their destination faster. For some reason, the long journey didn’t bother the ransom-hunter. When they reached the destination, Bahati wasn’t surprised by the humble abode. It was a stone house built from stones that were always rooted in the ground.
“Lumonites love their caves.” Bahati sighed.
He knocked one time and waited patiently. He could feel her presence inside the small domicile. He also could feel that she was not afraid of him. Normally, he would think she was foolish for such thinking but she was born from the will of the cosmos. She was fulfilling her destiny, regardless of who came in her way. Finally, her footsteps could be heard coming closer to the front door. It swung open and she smiled graciously at Bahati.
“Do you know who I am?” Bahati asked.
“I know your purpose so that means I know you. Greetings Eno, you are both welcome to enter.”
Eno attempted to shake his head to indicate that she shouldn’t extend an invitation. He stood still when the ransom-hunter turned to glare at him. Lesedi smiled and assured him with the blink of her eyes that everything was fine. She moved aside, giving them room to enter.
“We are grateful.” Bahati began.
They both walked inside and found a seat on the sofa in her living space. She walked into the kitchen area and spoke to both men.
“Would you like refreshments?”
“We won’t be here that long…”
“That will be wonderful.” Bahati interrupted him.
“I can tell by your horns that you are of the Sulphurites but your accent sounds like you grew up on the planet Libra.” Lesedi pointed out.
“I have had dealings with people from the planet Libra. I have developed their accent after years of interaction. I am of the planet Melanin in origin.” Bahati clarified.
“The timekeepers. So you know the time and what must be done.”
“Indeed, I’m well aware, my lady.”
“I am not a lady of any estate. I am simply a humble peasant woman seeking destiny in my life.”
“I know who you are. Lord Toma Tau, the ruling king of the universe aided in the murder of many male babies to avoid what you carry in your womb now.”
“You are with child, Lesedi?” Eno asked joyfully.
She nodded without speaking. She gently touched her stomach and returned to the kitchen. It didn’t take long for Lesedi to prepare glasses of sour-juice for everyone. The tray was filled with large jugs befitting the large men in her presence.
Bahati gulped down his drink within seconds of receiving it. The long unnecessary walk had found him in need to quench his thirst. The serenity in the humble domicile allowed everyone to be lost in their thoughts. The ransom-hunter was grateful to meet such a holy woman. He smiled at her with interest.
“What is my future? Do you know of such things?” Bahati broke the silence.
“You will gain acclaim for a great capture but your world will change forever around you. Insecurity will be swept over the royal estates of all eight planets and your family will feel the sting of its ramifications.”
“Will they all die?”
“I’m not clear but many will fall because of the cleansing. Your fate is decided by your actions shortly after your famous capture.”
Eno’s eyes nervously bounced back and forth between Bahati and Lesedi. The man seemed as though he was always ready to break out in rage. He wasn’t a warrior though he made weapons for warriors. He was merely a smith with no abilities to protect a woman carrying a child.
“Calm yourself, Eno, he means me no harm.” Lesedi assured him.
Bahati stood up, realizing that he had taken the allotted time needed to meet her. Eno stood up as well following his lead.
“What kind of man will he be? There has been many speculations, on his return, but I want to hear from the woman that will give birth to him.”
“He will be jovial but stern. He will be tender but brutal. He will be just but merciless to the wicked. I have been told through my dreams that he will be the accumulation of all the universal kings in one before the great migration to Pallid.”
Pallid is the home planet of the Lumonites. King Omari of the Adeyemi Estate drove the Lumonites to this planet when he realized they possessed a plague that caused them to murder, lie, and cheat among the people. They were gathered together and sent through space portals to the planet Pallid. It was their prison for hundreds of years. Some Huema-Orcs hid the Lumonites in their homes and these people were never sent to Pallid. Lesedi is such a Lumonite. She had never visited the planet nor was she a descendent of those sent.
“I am grateful for your hospitality and your graciousness to allow me to be in your presence.” Bahati sincerely stated.
“You are welcome. Eno, I will expect a visit from you and your son soon.”
“You will see us soon enough, Lesedi. The second anniversary of his birth will be next month on the 9th of Jima.”
“I haven’t forgotten. I had tea with your wife two days ago.” Lesedi laughed.
She had such an infectious laugh that everyone joined in. Eno and the ransom-hunter turned to walk off but she spoke.
“Bahati of the Salamuu Estate, your morals will change when you witness the divinity of the moment. His life is in your hands.” She smiled then closed the door.
Standing stiff, he began to rub his chin. Eno didn’t know how to respond or to have an opinion so he patiently waited for Bahati to gather his thoughts.
“How did she know that I was of the Salamuu Estate?” He thought aloud.
“That is why she is called the prophetess. She told me that she would have a son and her and my son would become best of friends. And now she carries a child.”
“Your son will become best friends with the Regal Prince? What is your boy’s name?”
“Eno, the younger.”
“If I had time I would request to meet your son as well. If you’ve had access to the scriptures of the royal estates, you would be excited for your son.”
“I have a copy of the Divine Book.” Eno shrugged.
“The book they reveal to peasants is nothing but increments to the holy book Dodecahedron. The public is not privy to such knowledge.”
Eno pondered on his words for a moment then followed the ransom-hunter out of the village. Once they reached the edge of the village limits, Bahati stopped and turned toward the smith.
“This is where we part, friend. I must capture my ransom and reach the acclaim that this woman, Lesedi speaks of.
“How will you pick up his trail? Our travels took a better part of the day so he has created distance from you. He may have left the planet by now.” Eno pointed out.
“I knew that you prolonged our trip to Lesedi’s house because you feared for her life. She was never my real target but I understood the significance of the moment. A woman such as her would leave her aura on any man. So, the trail of her aura mixed with his, will lead me to where he hides. I have picked up his scent for some time now. That is why I began to lead you when we departed from her house. He is not far from here. Return to your home, smith, and prepare for a great time in the Weusi Universe.”
Bahati turned from Eno and walked away. Eno stared at the man until his naked eyes could no longer see him. Bahati paced himself because he knew the journey would be long. He also understood that he would have to confront a king who naturally carries an auric blade. The purchases that he made from Eno would help him capture the rebellious king. The darkness would reach the sky by the time he could strongly feel King Akachi’s aura. He decided to run towards the powerful waves of energy being dispersed. The center of the aura source seemed hurried and bothered. He couldn’t spot anyone until he ran up a large mountain and reached the top. Down on the other side was a small but efficient space shuttle. It was a Mystic Midnight model 14. It was a small shuttle for even one or two passengers but it traveled in space at top speed. It’s hyperspace capabilities were impressive for such a small ship. Most ships that size would take serious wear and tear during hyperspace portals but not the Mystic Midnight. Only a king could afford such a small but powerful shuttle. He had found his prey. He heard the clanking of metal and parts suddenly stop. Bahati had carelessly forgotten that kings are the most sensitive to powerful auras. When he felt the aura, the wise thing to do was cloak his own before climbing the mountain. Letting out a sigh, the ransom-hunter slowly and carefully trekked down the mountain. King Akachi emerged from the bottom of the ship. Their eyes met on the grassy knolls of the Adeyemo Estate. Bahati carried a battle hammer for his confrontation. Akachi didn’t have a weapon in his hand but he stood just as firm. This might be a test that Bahati might not pass.
“You’ve come on the behest of Lord Toma Tau?”
Bahati nodded. He lowered his hammer but extended his arm out for preparation to swing. Akachi noticed the gesture and a cruel smile formed on his face.
“You seek to bring my corpse to your wicked leader?”
“I would prefer to bring you to him alive. I will bring him your lifeless body if I am forced to do so. You have become infamous for your traitorous deeds. The newsreel has reported that you attempted to kill your own people for their labor protests. You have been labeled a villain throughout the entire Weusi universe.”
“Your tone shows doubt that what the newsreel says is true.”
“I think that you wanted to save your people from genocide which was a contradiction of Lord Toma Tau’s directive. And your attempt to save your people forced you to become a fugitive.”
“Yet, you still hunt me, for him?”
“For his ransom. I am not morally obligated to anyone except gaining prominence and filling my coffers. With that in mind, my son may come closer to becoming a king.”
“You are of royal lineage. I can feel your aura. I assume that you could not afford the auric blade.”
Bahati nodded without a verbal response. He could see the former king was plotting a way to escape the confrontation. It suddenly dawned on him why Akachi was plotting to flee instead of fight.
“Where is your auric blade?”
“I left it on the shores of a lake in an Adeyemo Estate village. It is buried in a stone.”
“Close to where your woman and unborn child reside.” Bahati noted.
An alarming look flashed across Akachi’s face. His panic made him stand to full height to confront the ransom-hunter with only his hands and willpower. Bahati felt the threat and understood that he would be fighting a king in desperation. Akachi’s hands stretched out and his fingers balled up into two fists. His eyes tightened and his chest heaved up and down at a steady pace.
“I’ve met your woman and did her no harm. The smith Eno was concerned of my intentions as well but we sat with her after she invited us inside her home. She offered us sour-juice and she told me of my future after I captured you. I was told by her that I would have a moral decision to make that would decide my fate. Your wife and seed were unharmed when I departed.”
“Yet, you will inform Toma Tau of your discovery?” Akachi asked through clenched teeth.
“I will not. I seek the ransom alone. He needs not know what is being fulfilled in the Holy Book.” Now it was Bahati’s turn to smile.
“I will surrender to you if you vow to leave my woman and child in obscurity.”
“Agreed. Though when your child comes of age, I do not believe that he will stay in obscurity. His destiny is too great. I must admit, King Akachi, I have other concerns.”
“Lord Toma Tau will kill you the moment I turn you over to him. He will accuse you of trying to assassinate him or attempting to escape. We must devise a way to force him to let you live.”
“I will be tortured for the end of my days. Death is definitely a better choice.” Akachi replied.
He was secretly touched by the man’s concern for his life. It was obvious that he had some morality in his being.
“I know the honor of a king and I know that death doesn’t frighten a man such as you. However, you are not thinking of Lesedi and the pain it will inflict on her and your unborn child. Live long enough to have the child come and rescue you. The universe may grant you the chance to be reunited with your beloved.”
King Akachi lowered his head in defeat. The ransom-hunter was right. The best course of action would be to live so grief would not encompass Lesedi’s pregnancy. His wife warned him to not allow his pride to get the better of his reason.
“What do you propose?”
“You will announce that you tire of running and have surrendered to the rule of Lord Toma Tau publicly. As a former king, you have access to newsreel channels so you will use those resources to announce that I have captured you alive and you submit to the consequences. This will force Toma Tau to grant you mercy publicly though he may torture you in private.”
“Your point is reasonable. I will send out the signal through my Mystic Midnight shuttle. Then I will return to your ship as your prisoner. How long is the travel from my ship to yours?”
“Two days on foot. It would only take a day if we had a land-mobile.”
“I have one attached under my shuttle. That is what I used to reach my ship.”
“Why did it take you so long to leave? You could have left the planet before I arrived.” Bahati asked out of curiosity.
“I had to lay the groundwork for my son to inherit his rightful claim. I had to secure the auric blade in stone, hide his wealth, and lead him to this space shuttle. He would eventually find my brother and introduce himself to the universe.”
“So, you never intended to leave in the Mystic Midnight?”
“No, I sought to fight you to the death until you informed me that you met my woman. I learned early that my union with Lesedi had significance. So the ransom-hunter that was clever enough to find me would also be clever enough to make the right decision. I invited you to the Adeyemo Estate as my guest. You will return me to the affairs of the universe and prophecy will be fulfilled.”
“That is why you left your auric blade. You knew you had a lesser chance of winning without it.”
Akachi nodded. Bahati almost shed a tear, knowing his valor would be written for years to come. Bahati bowed down on one knee.
“I, Bahati of the Salamuu Estate, am honored to be your guest and be a part of such a significant destiny.”
“Rise Bahati of the Salamuu, and prepare yourself to take me to my fate.”