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Old 04-19-2006, 03:39 AM   #109
machievelli
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Cover up

“Sir! Two pirate vessels are approaching!” The sensor officer aboard Duroc painted the targets red.

“Stand down!” Antilles roared. He turned toward the sensor officer. “Stand down, Mr. Queek.”

“But sir, they attacked the Tokara Requiem!”

“Sir, the lead ship is trying to contact us.” The com officer shouted.

“They’re trying to confuse us, sir!” Queek pleaded. “All weapons-”

“If you finish that order, I will kill you.” Antilles warned. Queek looked at his Admiral, then turned back to his console. “All Weap-” The panel sparked as a bullet plowed into it.

“I said I will kill you. There will be no further warnings.”

“Sir!” The com officer flipped a switch, the call coming over the speakers.

“Shani aboard Millennium Falcon. Admiral, Corona admitted to murdering-”

“Fire!” Queek screamed. Antilles turned smoothly, his weapon coming up. The next bullet blew Queek’s body over the console.

One of the defensive guns opened fire, the shuttle staggering before Antilles could regain order.

“Emergency rescue teams, get aboard that shuttle, now!” He ordered. “Have Millennium Falcon brought aboard.”

Docking bay open. The ship is- Crap!” The ship crumpled as it veered right, spinning to crash on the deck.

Antilles ran through the passageways, stopping at the carnage on his deck. A team were cutting into the Falcon. Beyond the force field of the entry hatch, he could see the rescue team jetting back, towing stretchers.

“Report.”

The team leader turned. “She’s pretty badly banged up, sir. But it is definitely the Millennium Falcon.”

“The crew?”

“Professor Shani was banged up, but should recover.” He held his hand to his ear. “The rescue team reporting. Three occupants. One dead, two wounded.”

*****

Sev ran down one side of the atrium, Anak down the opposite side. As they passed each supporting pillar they stopped, making a figure eight whip, slicing the supports through top and bottom. They reached the forward end of the mall, and set down their short beams. Anak ducked as someone on an upper deck fired down at them. He switched to armor piercing.

“Anak-”

The boy fluidly lifted the weapon, aimed not at the man shooting at them, but farther forward. His rifle coughed, and there was an explosion far overhead. Like a glittering missile the chandelier plummeted down four decks, slamming with a crash onto the sculpture in the center of the atrium. Shards of the crystal rattled off the supports, and two were knocked free as heavier shrapnel took it’s toll.

“Was there a reason for that?” Sev asked.

“Artistic freedom. That was a really bad sculpture.”

Sev sighed, setting his rifle for armor piercing as well. “Now!”

Both boys fired, each at different pillars. The shells penetrated, then exploded, shattering the supports one by one. They had gone only halfway to where they were when there was a creaking and groaning sound from above. They ran forward as several million credits of shops crashed into the lower deck. A bank machine slammed into the deck, and suddenly high denomination notes began spewing from it’s ruptured insides.

“Well we’re rich, brother.” Sev joked.

“Can’t spend it when we’re dead.” Anak replied. They shrugged and picked up their short beams again.

*****

Corona stalked onto the bridge, glaring at the Jedi. He walked over, and swung backhanding her onto the deck.

“Do you know what this ship cost?” He screamed.

“More than it is worth now.” Breia replied, wiping her mouth.

Corona screamed, snatching up a pistol, pointing it at the woman with a quivering hand. “We are going to call those maniacs of your off!”

“Why?” She rolled to her knees, standing. “They are having so much fun.”

Corona stepped forward, catching her robe and slamming the woman against the wall. “They will stop or you will die!”

“All they have been doing is punishing you for insulting them.” Breia answered. “That and having a bit of fun. You want to see what they will do if they get angry instead?”

“Sir, put her down.” Magtyar said softly.

“Shut up, Captain. You work for me!” Corona had lost any shred of calm he might have possessed. Foam flecked his lips, and his teeth gleamed like a hunting predator. “They may have fun. but you won’t live to enjoy it!”

The gun came up, and Breia’s hand moved. The knife she held was only 75 mm long. But she had forged the blade herself. It went through muscle, bone, and the grip without even slowing down. Corona stared at the hand as the blade came back, removing three of the fingers from the other hand, forcing him to let go.

Breia stepped back from the bloody fountains. “Mr. Sunrider, I would suggest you either use that gun, or help him.” She looked up at the young man. He stood undecided.

“Kill her Dasa. Kill them all!”

“No Uncle.” Sunrider dropped the weapon. “It’s over. We lost.”

“You fool!” Corona screamed, leaping to his feet. pounding the stumps of his hands on his nephew’s chest. “We have money, we won’t lose!”

Dasa pinned the arm with the missing hand. Magtyar stepped forward, catching the other.

“Magtyar, a million credits. Just kill that-”

“Money doesn’t mean anything to me.” Magtyar snapped. “Not if it means a death sentence.”

Breia turned to Tor. “Surrender, and you will be granted justice.”

Tor stood frozen. Then his hand went for his pistol. There was a shot, and he collapsed backwards, a hole the size of a fist in his chest. Dasa dropped the gun he had snatched up, turning back to his uncle.

*****

The shuttle landed in what was left of docking bay one of Tokara Requiem. The soldiers spread out as Admiral Antilles marched down the ramp. The people there to meet him were bloody but unbowed. Captain Magtyar and what was left of his crew, Breia, and Dasa Sunrider. Two men carried a litter with a screaming lump in it. There were thuds from aft, and he looked up at the noise.

“What in the name of all the gods has been happening here?”

“I am sorry, we just called the boys, and they have stopped dismantling the ship.” Breia replied. “That I believe was the first class swimming pool.”

“Admiral, as the senior-” Magtyar began

“Captain, it is my last act, allow me the privilege.” Dasa said. The captain waved graciously. “Admiral, as the senior representative of the company in the system, I request that you assist Professor Shani in communicating with the native species below. I now turn myself over to you for judgment.”

Antilles looked at him coldly, then walked past them to the litter, drawing his sidearm. Corona’s eyes fixed on him, though he obviously didn’t recognize the admiral. “Ten million credits.” He husked. “Kill the Jedi, we’ll cover it all up. They’ll never arrest us. We make the laws after all...” He fell to mumbling, then his eyes locked on the Admiral again. “Fifteen million. Kill the Jedi, we’ll cover it all up. They’ll never arrest us. We make the laws after all...”

Antilles turned away, holstering the weapon. “Put them aboard the shuttle. Captain, damage estimate?”

“Over half the ship has been gutted.” Magtyar could barely keep the pleasure from his voice. “Engines destroyed, everything except fuel tanks and electrical mains gone aft of the mall. I would classify her as a total loss.”

Antilles hid his grin. “Then we’ll have to salvage it, won’t we?” He turned to Breia. “One of my men, the sensor officer was in their employ. I am afraid the shuttle and your ship have been damaged.”

“Oh dear.” Breia felt a chill.


'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
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