Status: Super Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2005
Current Game: Guild Wars 2, VtMB, TOR
Well, it's been a busy couple of weeks. Traveling went very well, the event last weekend was fabulous, and I've finished almost all my current projects. Dad is out of the hospital and doing well, if tired. My cat is recovering nicely.
So, I had a bit of time to plug away on the latest chapter, and here it is.
Chapter 25: The Story of the Firaxan
“We’re meeting with De’layn again,” Jolee announced the next morning.
“I certainly hope it’s at a different cantina. I’m not looking forward to another episode like yesterday,” I drawled.
“Yeah, blaster fire does tend to have a bad effect on your hairdo. Thank goodness I don’t have much to lose.” Jolee rubbed the top of his bald head and grinned.
“What has she learned?” Talin asked.
“She has a contact in Norelden’s organization, and he’s going to meet us to discuss some of the recent happenings. He thinks there’s something bad going on, and he’s thinking of getting out.”
“If he’s seen with us, he’ll be out his life instead,” Talin warned.
“I’m betting a certain captain could help us out.” Jolee looked over at me with a smile. “I have a plan.
“I think I’m learning to be scared of your plans, Jolee,” I said.
“Your faith in me is underwhelming.”
I grinned back at him. “Count me in.”
* * * *
“Sure, I would love to help out,” Carth said. “What do you have in mind?”
Jolee delineated his plan. “Well, I was thinking that you have a little problem with a sailor named Rineldo who has gone AWOL a long time ago, maybe when you were still a normal person and not a captain of a big ship.”
“I shudder to think what your opinion will be of me once I make admiral.”
Jolee grinned at Carth’s quip and went on, “One of your men sees him in the cantina, calls you, you come and make a big production of how long it’s been, Admiral Dodonna will be glad to see him in the brig, you might consider airlocking him, blah, blah, blah.”
“Do I look like the kind of guy who would airlock someone?”
“Well, come to think of it, no. You’re too damn nice. Make something up, then.”
“We’ll need to know how long he’s been with the Exchange and on Telos. If we’re going to do a little play-acting, we have to make it good.”
A little later the cantina, the three of us met up with De’layn, who had found a table before us.
“Jolee, dear, do come sit next to me,” she said in her sultry voice.
“I’m delighted as always. Carth has the information,” Jolee said, sitting down next to De’layn.
Talin and I sat down oppposite them and looked around the cantina. A small Bith band played some quieter music as background, suitable for a room that was not filled with people. We discreetly noticed a couple of off-duty sailors, one of whom was twice the age of the other. They walked in and found another table in a corner where they had a good view of the room. They ordered a round and appeared to be chatting like any other off-duty service members. It took me a few moments before I realized I recognized one of them.
“Carth must think this is really important, because he put Raxton on the team,” I observed. “His disguise is pretty good.”
Talin said, “Not surprising, considering how badly they have been trying to break the Exchange open on Telos and eliminate any threat of Sith involvement.”
Jolee continued, “De’layn, you get to go do a little flirting with your contact. We’re just going to sit and talk a bit here first before you pretend like you have to find the refresher. Jae, you’ll stop and chat with those sailors a bit, and after you leave the table, they’ll get up and ‘discover’ he’s an AWOL sailor. Now, I have to get something to drink—all this talking makes my mouth dry.”
“Where are my manners? Would you like me to order the same for everyone?” De’layn pointed to her drink. Talin and I nodded yes.
Jolee answered, “No, just juma for me. I never drink anything blue and fizzy before dinner.”
“Always the jokester.” She turned her eyes to us and smiled. “You should have seen him when he was a Padawan.”
“Please, do tell us.” I said, leaning forward to capture every last detail.
“You’re not going to tell them that story, are you?”
“Why of course I am, my dear.”
“I’m never going to live this one down.”
She began, “Jolee, Mik’oth, and I had a night off one time, and we decided to go see a new holovid that came out. We went out to dinner, had a few drinks, and before you know it, those two were quite sauced.”
“De’layn had to help the two of us walk, as I recall. The three of us meandering down the sidewalk must have been quite the sight.”
“We finally made it to the theater, and sat down. Actually, Jolee collapsed down.”
“I must have had a defective chair.”
“Uh-huh. Just what did you do to the chair, Jolee?” I asked.
“Well, let’s just say I sat down a little too hard, and the seat dropped out under me, but the sides stayed put. I ended up sitting with my arms just about over my head resting on the arm rests, though I could sort of swing my hands around a bit.” Jolee demonstrated his position in the chair. “I couldn’t figure how to get out of there, and I thought I was comfortable, so I decided to stay that way, kind of folded up.”
De’layn continued, “He was happy there, we were happy that he couldn’t get up at all to go wander anywhere, life was good. We were watching some kind of horror holovid. What was it about again, Jolee?”
“It was a show about a killer firaxan. It’s a pretty good holovid, actually, but I think we ruined it for some people by laughing all the time. I’m surprised we didn’t get kicked out.”
“Some time in the middle of the holovid, the firaxan came up to attack one of the minor characters. Jolee got Mik’oth good there.”
“So what did you do?” Talin asked Jolee, a mild smile on his face.
“Picture a giant firaxan who has eaten several of the extras already. Here he comes again, mouth wide open and full of huge razor-sharp teeth, taking up the screen. He was about to chomp down on another poor soon-to-be-dead minor character. I got a wild idea. Just as the firaxan’s teeth bit the guy, I grabbed Mik’oth’s leg.”
“Oh, no, you didn’t!” I said.
“Oh, yes, I did. It was hilarious. He screamed ‘I’m being eaten! I’m being eaten! I'm being eaten!’ and then he nearly wet himself. Ever hear a Twi’lek scream like a gizka that’s just been stepped on?”
“No, and I hope I never do,” Talin said.
“There was just a little problem with that, though,” De’layn explained. “Some Twi’leks emit certain pheromones when they experience extreme emotions. Mik’oth must have created a huge cloud of them. That generally would not have been a problem because there were only a couple Twi’leks in the theater, and they were the only ones who could have a reaction to the scent. If they had been far enough away, they might not have even been affected.”
“However, sitting right in front of us were a couple of Twi’leks, one of whom was about as pregnant as you can get and still not have the baby in your arms.”
“I think, Jolee, that she was actually a week overdue at that point. The pheromones made her go into labor, and it was her fourth child so we knew things would happen fast,” said De’layn.
Jolee went on, “We were about to call for an ambulance when the male Twi’lek, her husband, informed us in no uncertain terms that we were not going to call the authorities and that he was going to take her to her doctor for care. I told him that baby was about ready to come out and insisted that she needed help now. Well, he was immune to our persuade attempts and insisted with his blaster that we were not going to call anyone, and that now we were going to come with him while he got his wife to safety.”
“And you went with him?” I asked, surprised.
“We could have gotten out of the situation easily enough, but we knew that the baby was coming at any minute, and her dear husband didn’t have a clue about what to do. We could not abandon her to whatever he had in mind,” De’layn said.
“We got in the back of his transport with her and used the Force to sober up and help her with her pain. It was a very nice transport, I might add, with plush seating and gold plating on anything metal, wet bar, linens, about as richly appointed as it gets. Husband drove like a maniac to their home, calling the doctor and everyone else he could think of while weaving around and dodging traffic. The baby decided he couldn’t wait any longer, and out he came, right into De’layn’s hands.”
“He was a handsome little thing—had the cutest lekku, too. The only problem was that he didn’t want to start breathing, and then the mother started hemorrhaging,” De’layn smiled at the memory of the baby, and then frowned at the images of a severely bleeding mother.
“Here we were, still in the back of the transport while all this is going on, and the idiot husband refuses to listen to us telling him to stop at a hospital. Mik’oth held the mother’s hand, I worked on the baby, and De’layn focused her Force powers on stopping the bleeding. When we got to their mansion, the doctor met us with his bag, took one look at all the blood and me using the Force to breath for the baby, jumped in, and ordered the husband to get over to his hospital immediately. He told me to keep doing what I was doing while he worked on saving the mother’s life. You have no idea how relieved I was when the baby finally started crying a few moments later.”
“We all smiled at that one, including the husband. We got to their hospital, mother and baby were rushed inside and all turned out well after a few hours,” De’layn said.
“What could possibly be more important than stopping at the nearest hospital?” Talin asked.
“He was one of the senior leaders of a crime syndicate on Coruscant with ties stretching all over the galaxy, and he knew the authorities were looking for both his family and him. He didn’t want his wife to give birth in a holding cell,” De’layn replied. “‘His’ hospital was private and the staff there knew how to keep quiet.”
Jolee continued, “The doctor explained to him how we had saved both his wife’s and his son’s lives. This crime boss was so grateful that he just about offered us the entire planet in thanks and asked us what we wanted.”
“So what did you ask for?” I inquired.
“Mik’oth and I looked at each other and said, ‘Help with stopping the Ukatis blockade.’ ‘That’s it?’ he asked. We nodded yes. He said, ‘Done.’ About three days later, a packet arrived for us at the Jedi temple. It was full of juicy and very detailed gossip about the Ukatis king, his ties with a rival crime ring, and what he was doing to his people. The Senate was forced to act after that. They sent in the cavalry and broke the blockade. Then they captured the king and brought him up on charges of crimes against sentients. The crime boss also gave all three of us more cash than we knew what to do with. When we tried to refuse, he told us that refusing his gifts would offend him, and offending him had rather nasty consequences. So, we decided to invest it and use it for our favorite charities and pet projects.”
“You single-handedly broke a system blockade because you played a practical joke on Mik’oth?” Talin could not contain a chuckle.
“Well, when you put it that way, that’s pretty much how it went,” Jolee replied.
“I can’t believe it,” Talin said.
“I can’t believe I’m going to have to write this up for my history project. How in the world am I going to write‘Jolee got plastered, scared the bejeezers out of Mik’oth who passed enough pheromones to send a woman into labor, which eventually led to the Ukatis king being deposed’ in a way that is inspirational to future Jedi?” I shook my head in amazement.
“I am sure you will do just fine,” Talin said, putting warmth and reassurance into his voice and gave my hand a tiny squeeze. I smiled back.
Jolee looked at De’layn and said, “Aw, aren’t they cute?”
De’layn gave Jolee a small indulgent smile. Her eyes shifted abruptly to the door. “Riki is here.”
“OK, people, here we go,” Jolee said, eyes bright with excitement.
Riki ordered his drink and sat down at one of the more secluded tables. De’layn got up, smoothed down her close-fitting dress, brushed her lekku back, and put on her seductress act. She walked slowly, hips swaying, ordered a drink at the bar, and then pretended she had just noticed Riki. She glided his way, smiled brightly and said a few words. He looked her up and down with appreciation and a certain longing look, and then he motioned for her to join him. She batted her eyelashes at him as she settled slowly into the booth, and he waved to the server for another round of drinks before turning his attention back to De’layn, gazing at her in rapt attention.
About ten minutes later, Jolee motioned to me. I stood up from our table and walked over to the Republic sailors.
“Good evening, gentlemen. Always good to have a Republic presence in a cantina. It makes me feel safer,” I gave them an admiring but vapid smile.
“Thank you, ma’am. I was wondering if you had tried the same drinks as they have,” Raxton asked, turning only his eyes to indicate Riki and De’layn and asking in this coded phrase ‘are they the ones?’
“Yes, I especially recommend his drink,” I replied with the code that told them that it was indeed Riki.
“It’s very kind of you to stop by to talk to us, ma’am. We’ll have to give your recommendation a try.”
“Keep up the good work, sailors,” I said, moving on to the refresher lounge.
Not too many minutes later, De’layn came through the lounge door. She went to the mirror to check her outfit, and I joined her.
“I have good news,” De’layn said, her face animated in her excitement. “Riki has good evidence that points to just who the Sith Lord may be in Norelden’s organization.”
“It can’t be Norelden himself, since you said he has no Force ability.”
“Riki is pretty sure that it is Antin Thorn, his second-in-command.”
“Now we just have to make sure it’s him and figure out a way to draw him out,” I said.
We heard the commotion of some shouts and a table falling over outside the lounge door.
“It sounds like the Republic’s men have found their AWOL sailor,” De’layn noted dryly.
“I hope that they don’t play too rough with Riki.”
I opened the door to the lounge, only to be assaulted by the cacophony of flying blaster bolts and more falling tables.
“We’d better go help,” I said, and both of us pulled out our lightsabers.
Last edited by Jae Onasi; 05-31-2006 at 10:39 PM.
Reason: fixed typos