Thread: Acceptance
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Old 02-04-2006, 01:57 PM   #18
machievelli
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Nar Shadaa

Jaden ran, leaping across the gap between the building ledge and a passing air-car. The pilot had time to scream at him before he was gone to the next building.

idn’t like this when it happened on Coruscant. I like it even less today grumbled inwardly. The pack of toughs that worked for Nardo Lanci hurled weapons blasts and invective at him. The only weapon that reached him was the invective. Jaden waved gaily at them, then ran along the ledge, looking toward where his ship sat. A few more minutes...

He leaped onto a passing garbage scow, and waited as it trundled down the side of the building. When it made it’s turn, he leaped across two floors below the landing stage. He straightened his cloak, and ran toward the lift to the landing stage above him.

As the elevator opened, he sighed, raising his hands. Five beings watched him, each with a weapon aimed at him. He scanned them carefully. Like a lot of criminal gangs, this group was an egalitarian mix. An Aqualish, two humans, a Twi-lek, and a Gran. They were in a semicircle facing inward.

“Lanci doesn’t like people messing around in his business.” One of the humans said. “He especially doesn’t like Jedi messing around.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” Jaden said.

“Yeah, for as long as you’ll live. Five seconds after he gets here is my estimate. ” The human thumbed his com-link. “Got him.”

In the distance, one of the lighted vehicles became a paired set of lights, green on the right side, red on the left. In a few seconds it was close enough to see the Baruk Industries limo they were attached to. It slowed, and set down on the landing stage. The door opened, and three more beings climbed down. One was a Rodian, the other two humans. The larger of the two humans waddled forward. Everyone had the right to overeat. From the 250 kilos he weighed, this man had abused the privilege.

“Well Jedi, you’ve led my men a merry chase.” He wheezed.

“I hope they enjoyed the exercise.”

“Oh they do few things because they enjoy them.” The man disagreed. “But they are happy to know that having you run them around town ends with your death.” The Rodian beside the door stiffened and folded silently.

Jaden looked around the seven beings still watching him. “You know this is what I anticipated.” He motioned toward the men facing him. “You can be predictable, Lanci. With the proper stimulus.”

“Oh really?”

The human behind Lanci just disappeared. Jaden could see one foot twitching. but nothing else.

“Yes. You see, you tend to react predictably when people stiff your businesses. So when someone like me walks in, buys 1500 credits worth of spice, then walks out with the money and the drugs, you tend to get, shall we say pensive?”

“Oh do go on.”

“Like when it happened a couple of years ago. The smuggler from Ord Mantell who went missing with that shipment.”

The Gran looked around, then settled back against a crate. Jaden could see the wire tied to his wrist holding him up.

“Yes, he was fun.” Lanci agreed.

“But not as much fun as the ones you have tracked here at home, eh?” The human on the far left opposite the Gran caught his throat, then staggered back a couple of paces.

“Yes, I do so love the hunt.”

“And you know that the local authorities won’t let you be arrested let along come to trial here. How much do you have on the Oligarch I wonder?”

Lanci laughed. To his right the other human shook his head, weapon dropping to aim at the ground as he folded. “Oh enough that no court on the planet would ever convict me.”

“Which is why we set ourselves up as bait.” Jaden dropped his hands to his belt. “To bring you personally to a landing stage where we can get you off planet.”

“Oh spare me the histrionics. Just kill him please.” When the fusillade he had expected didn’t happen, he turned to his right. The Twi-lek had a wide-eyed expression as he fell forward. The young girl behind him grinned, and the silent tranquilizer gun hissed. Lanci caught at the dart in his thoat then folded forward.

“What did I tell you about shooting at some
one?” Jaden admonished. “Always aim at the center of mass.”

“With all that blubber it would have taken him a week to figure out it was supposed to put him to sleep.” She retorted.

“I stand corrected. Well done, Twyna.”

“Tell me again how you are training me.” The girl had filled out in the last six months. She was still small and wiry, but it was the body of an athlete now, not a starveling.

“Every apprentice has to learn to stand on their own two feet. At least those that have feet.”

“But what about teaching me what to do and how to do it?” She snapped.

“It’s simple really.” He pointed at the weapon. “Don’t point it unless you intend to use it. Point and pull the trigger. Don’t get you hand in the way. What is so hard about that?”

“But you didn’t do anything but stand there!”

“Yes I did. I made sure I had their full attention, which meant they weren’t paying attention to you.”

“But I did all the work!”

“Yes, and I had to stop myself from laughing as you took them down. That was very well done.”

“What would you have done if I hadn’t been here? Pray?”

“Probably.”

She shook her head in disgust, but Jaden could detect a small smile. Twyna had grown confident enough with the Jedi and the other students at the Academy that she no longer went off like a trembler mine when someone got close. Touching her without warning could still get you hurt, but at least she warned people now instead of just hitting them. She looked at the crime boss they had captured. “Now how do we get this ton of lard aboard, oh Master?”

“Remember the force training I have given you. Just pick him up.”

The girl blew out a snort, then looked at the huge man. She couldn’t see moving him with a forklift! “It’s all well and good to say the force can move mountains, but I haven’t seen you moving any yet.”

“That’s because I usually go around and over them.” He admonished. “Much cleaner that way. Now just reach out with the force-”

“Spare me the apprentice crap.” She lifted a hand, and the body lifted, then she flung him toward the ship. He fell, rolling in the boneless manner of the heavily drugged.

“Now Twyna, he can’t stand trial if he is dead. Can he?”

“Why should I care?” She pushed with the force, and the body rolled up the ramp into the ship. There was a bleeping tirade from R9J7 as the body fetched up against a bulkhead. “After what you saw in his records-”

“Twyna.” The tone stopped her. “Yes he is a slaver, among other things. But we can’t very well roll up his organization if he’s dead now can we?” She shook her head. “Think of the slaves we can free when he is interrogated.”

“I have.” She looked at the man, and fury burned in her eyes. “I just wish I could be the one-”

“No. Don’t even think about going there, Twyna. The dark side beckons, and you’re putting on your running shoes!”

She sighed, and nodded. All of the present masters had told her about their own struggles with the dark side. Luke and his Father, Kyle and his fall, return to the Jedi then almost falling again. Jaden and his problems with Rosh. She thought of the Dark side as something always there, like a shadow in a room with only one lamp. As a child the shadows were her only friend. Where she hid. Now they were the most danger. She understood that she had come so close herself when she had killed those that had hurt her.

“Emotions are good in their place, but to use them to direct the force is wrong. When you are angry you are not thinking, you are feeling. That is all well and good for those without the Force but for those with it such is a subtle trap."

She walked aboard, grabbing a litter, and rolled the body into it, then activated the anti-grav, pushing the mass toward the cell they had jury-rigged. The stasis field kicked on, and she glared at him. “We’ll find them all, or so help me I will interrogate you myself.” She promised.

The CEC YT1400 was a disc like all of the 1000 series products of the Corellian Engineering Corporation products. Unlike the YT1200 which had the cockpit on the left hand side or the YT1300 which had it on the right side the cockpit rose like a gooseneck lamp in the center of the forward mandibles looking like a hooded snake about to attack. Jaden was already in the pilot’s seat, warming the ship up.

“When do I get to fly the ship?”

“When I let you.” Jaden answered. “The Sable Griffin is my ship, not something we got from the Jedi.”

“But I know how to operate it!”

“There you go again. The Griffin isn’t an it. A ship is always she.” He looked aside at her. “Maybe I don’t want anyone touching my best girl.”

She sighed as the ship rose on her thrusters. It (No, she) swooped forward, climbing steeply.

“Do you know the most important thing about flying?”

“Not hitting the ground.” Twyna replied.

“No. You have to love your ship. All the training in the world doesn’t help when you don’t love her.”

Twyna shook her head. “Let me know when the wedding is.” She leaned back, closing her eyes.

Jaden smiled.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by machievelli; 09-25-2006 at 05:48 PM.
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