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Old 04-29-2006, 08:13 PM   #7
Walruseater
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Chapter 3

Finding Jaden

(two weeks have passed)


Yep, this is just like old times, Kyle Katarn thought as the Raven's Claw dropped out of hyperspace. He was seated in the co-pilot's seat, next to Jan Ors. It had already been agreed that she would drop him off on the planet's surface and be ready to pick him up if things turned ugly.

Jan was an excellent pilot, and she had more than proved herself time and time again as one of the best pilots in the Republic. But even she looked uneasy now, for a Star Destroyer loomed nearby, and she had to take the Raven's Claw in for a landing without being spotted.

They both knew that the Star Destroyer had previously been Tavion's flagship, but now Jaden had taken it over. They'd heard through various sources that that vessel, the Iron Fist, was a tough ship. But of course, Star Destroyers in general had a reputation of being tough, and deadly.

It had taken them several days to discover the whereabouts of the Iron Fist, but they had finally managed to track it down. They were approaching a remote world located within the Outer Rim known as Saurus.

After scanning the area, Jan finally brought the ship in for a landing. "We'll make this quick," she murmured, her brow furrowing in concentration.

A few minutes later, she brought the ship in for a smooth landing.

"Thanks, Jan," Kyle said, rising from the co-pilot's seat. He made sure his lightsaber was secure on his belt, then I grabbed a blaster. "Now, as soon as I'm out, get the ship out of here. But be ready if I shout for help."

"Roger," Jan said. "Just don't get yourself killed."

"I won't. Just take care of the Raven's Claw. Keep her from being seen or shot down out of the sky."

"Oh, so now you care more about the Raven's Claw than you do me?" Jan teased, raising her eyebrows in mock indignance.

"Are you jealous of the ship?" Kyle asked, widening his eyes, feigning a look of surprise and bafflement at the idea.

"I've heard all the nice things you've said about her to Luke," Jan said, turning away. She folded her arms and pretended to pout.

Kyle tried to continue his part of the act by glaring at her, but he broke into a wide grin instead. He and Jan would sometimes play these games... although both of them knew this really wasn't the time or the place for fooling around.

"I'd better get going," Kyle said, and the moment of levity faded. He started to turn away, but Jan hopped up out of the pilot's seat and rested a hand on his arm. "Do what you have too," she said, and kissed him on the cheek. "I'll be ready with the ship when you need me."

He took her hand gently, and squeezed it. He looked into her dark brown eyes and held her gaze for a moment, then he simply nodded and walked out of the cockpit.

--------------------

Jaden Korr walked into the Imperial compound, closely followed by a pair of Dark Jedi. They were a couple of Desann's leftover Reborns, who had followed Tavion loyally after Desann's death. They seemed loyal enough, but it was obvious they were observing Jaden closely, watching her for any sign of weakness or vulnerability.

But she showed them niether. Her stride was full of strength and confidence, and she sensed admiration radiating off of them. She could feel their piercing gaze on her at all times, yet she did not let it get too her. Let them see how someone who is truly strong in the Force bears herself, she thought smugly.

She was going to talk to the leader of the Imperial Remnant. The Republic had discovered several of their bases, and after Tavion's defeat, they had been forced to relocate. So they had settled down on this remote world, and Jaden had sought them out.

Jaden thought carefully over what she was going to say as she walked toward the man's office. One of the things she thought about was her name, and she narrowed her eyes. I'm not Jaden Korr anymore! Her hands clenched into fists. She was someone else. Someone who blindly followed the counsul of those weak Jedi. I am...

She approached the door leading to the office of the man she came to see. The guards looked at her wearily, and one of them said, "You may enter, but your... companions must wait out here."

Jaden sighed. "Very well, I will go in alone." With that, she walked in.

The office was fairly large, but it really didn't have much in it. Just a large, white desk covered with paperwork, and a couple of portraits hanging on the walls. Behind the desk sat a man with graying black hair, who was dressed in an Imperial uniform.

He glanced up from his work when she entered, and pushed away from the desk. He got up and walked around the desk and saluted her. "I am Admiral Jason Staryoung. I understand that you have you killed Tavion and have taken her place. What is your name?"

Jaden opened her mouth, then closed it. After a moment of thought, she finally said, "I am Darth Eviwy. The new Empress of the Sith."

"I see," Admiral Staryoung said. He sighed softly. "It's ironic. First we lose Desann to Katarn, and now we lose Tavion to Katarn's student. I--"

Jaden--Darth Eviwy--placed her hand on her hip, a little too close to her lightsaber. "If you are about to say that I might be next, I'll--"

"You might want to think carefully about your next words," Admiral Staryoung interrupted firmly. "I am the only person who is holding the Imperial Remnant together. If you do anything to me, every man here will--"

Eviwy snorted. "I killed my own master, and I killed most of the Jedi who opposed me on Korriban. Both light and dark. I think I can handle everyone in this base."

"You may think that you and those two, ah, gentlemen waiting outside can handle us," Admiral Staryoung said, "but the three of you--along with whoever else is on your Star Destroyer--cannot hope to defeat an entire planet. Literally the entire Remnant is here, on this world."

"The Iron Fist is in a position to open fire," Eviwy said. "I could give the order to wipe all of you out."

"And how would that benefit you?" Staryoung asked. "Let's say that you did wipe out every life on this planet. Then all that would be left are the people on your Star Destroyer. What would you do? Take on the entire Republic alone? You know as well as I do that, while the Iron Fist is a powerful ship, it can't take on the entire Republic. You're going to need allies. And, if you help us retake the worlds that rightfully belong to the Empire, and help us rebuild the Empire, then we will help you."

Eviwy thought for a moment, then nodded. "It seems that we will be working together, then," she said.

"Not so fast," the Admiral said. "Before we agree to start working together, you must... prove yourself."

"What do you mean prove myself?!" Eviwy thundered.

"We need to know that you truly are the strongest Jedi," Staryoung said patiently. "As I said a moment ago, we have lost Desann and Tavion. Luke Skywalker and Kyle Katarn are very strong in the Force, and they are legendary heroes. If you can kill both of them, and bring their heads back to me, then I'll be quite sure that no Jedi could possibly stand against you."

"Kyle Katarn is dead already," Eviwy sneered. "I killed him on Korriban. I can have someone go and retrieve his head if you need proof."

"Katarn is not dead. He's been spotted numerous times on several worlds." Staryoung sighed. "Next time you face you him, be sure to remove his head. Thay way you can be sure the job is done," he said dryly.

Eviwy was about to reply, but she suddenly closed her mouth and glanced away, her eyes narrowing. She stared at the wall, as if looking past it at something only she could see.

"What is it?" Staryoung asked.

Eviwy's lips quirked into a smile as her eyes darkened. "I sense that my master is here," she said. "He can't hide from me. He doesn't have any idea how powerful I've become with the Sceptor."

----------------

After Kyle left the Raven's Claw, he headed for cover as the ship lifted off the ground and moved off. He got out a pair of electrobinoculars and began to survey the area. It looked like he would have a bit of running to do, because it looked like the nearest settlement--where Jaden was--was several clicks away.

He put the binocs back in his carrybag and threw it over his shoulder. But, just as he started to move, he stopped dead in his tracks.

Oh no... she knows I'm here, he thought.
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