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Old 09-28-2006, 01:17 PM   #14
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Chapter XIII

''You have paid the price for your lack of vision.''
– Palpatine

The reign of the Sith could be felt in Coruscant's air. The people tried to live their lives, but the grip of opression tightened around them. But the Sith were the least of Rav's and Syn's concerns. It took them long enough to get here, evading every Sith and Imperial patrol. It took them too long and a day more, but they were here now and it was time to pay Queen Jool a visit.

The Hutt operated her dealings from a sleazy cantina named Rik's. It was located in the lower city levels, on the border of the middle class residential areas between the part of the planet where only the poorest citizens dwelled. A perfect place to get lost. The guest list consisted of many kinds of lowlives, from bounty hunters to spies, from smugglers to spice dealers. Every illegal business had its representative here.

The air inside wasn't very clean, it reeked of various cigars and alcocholic beverages. It was the first thing Jariah Syn and Rav noticed when they entered the place. The cantina itself had two sabacc tables, one jhabacc table for the wealthier scum, three dejarik tables and four divot tables. It also had a dance show, a common accessory of any self-respecting club owner, with young dancer girls that inclided Twi'Leks, Zeltrons and a few Zabraks. The most important part about the danceshow was that the services of dancers extended beyond simple dancing. The cantina also had a number of ordinary tables for those who came only for the drinks.

Queen Jool lived in a swamp beneath the cantina, but this time she decided to go up and greet her two guests in an area more suitable to them. The one-legged Feeorin and his human companion spotted the Hutt in the back of the gambling area.

(''Ah Rav, you finally arrived.'') Jool greeted in Huttese.

''I'm sorry for the delay. We had to make sure that no one was following us.'' Rav replied politely.

(''Certainly. We wouldn't want any unwelcome visitors here.'') The green skinned Hutt seemed to agree, (''Now, let's talk business.'')

''That's why we're here.'' Rav replied. He appreciated the direct approach.

While Rav did the talking, Syn did the watching. He spotted two interesting characters in the cantina. One of them was a crude-looking Gotal male who was trying his best to inconspicuously watch the two of them. ''I know I saw that face somewhere.'' Syn thought to himself, ''But where?'' Something didn't feel right. And then he recognized the Gotal.

''Rav, take a look to your left.'' Syn whispered. Rav heard him perfectly and did a casual glance at the told direction.

''Recognize him? It's Attatag Gosem, the Sith spy.'' Syn whispered again. Rav did a slight, almost unnoticable nod in confimation.

''Now take a look to your right. See that guy?'' Syn asked. Rav glanced to the right and saw who Syn was referring to.

That other interesting character he spotted. He was barely visible in the crowd, but they both recognized the red hood and the golden hexagonal insignia on the chest of his Vonduun crab armor from numerous Sith bounty posts. The figure didn't even look at them, he was looking straight at Queen Jool. This was all going from bad to worse.

Jool realized that the game was over. The Hutt signaled her men and the Gotal spy and he and four more thugs, two Togorians, a Wookie and a Weequay, converged on Rav and Syn with blasters pointed straight at them.

(''I hoped to do this quietly, but this will have to do.'') Jool said as her cybernetic eye focused on Rav.

''What's this all about, Jool?'' Rav asked.

(''Believe it, or not the Sith have posted a handsome bounty for your heads. Too bad that the Zeltron isn't here with you, but I suppose the two of you will do just as well.'') Jool said, not even trying to hide the satisfaction in her voice.

''The Zeltron. Deliah. Where the Kessel is she?'' Rav wondered.

(''Silent, are you, Rav?'') Jool gloated, (''Nothing to say?'')

''Actually I have a proposition for you.'' Syn jumped in, ''See that guy over to the right? The one with the red hood?'' He said quietly. Jool recognized him from the Sith bounty posts, ''Wouldn't you rather collect the bounty on his head? Let us go and get the bigger prize, Jool. Otherwise this could all get messy and you probably won't get a second chance at him.'' Syn goaded the Hutt. He didn't believe for a second that Jool would just let them go, but he had to stall somehow until he or Rav figured something out.

''Let them go.'' Attatag spoke up, ''Lord Krayt will pay you an enormous fee if you can get that man.'' He said referring to the hooded figure.

Jool signaled her thugs and they started to converge on the seemingly unsuspecting figure. He suddenly spotted them and they drew their blasters in order to shoot. They knew what happened to all the other bounty hunters who moved against this guy and they weren't taking any chances.

Rav and Syn slowly moved toward the exit and then a flash of red laser fire came from that direction hitting one of Jool's thugs. The remaining three turned around and started shooting at Rav and Syn and everyone else that got in the way. All hell broke loose at Rik's. Rav and Syn hit the floor and noticed three more shots of red laser fire coming from the entrance, each shot hitting and killing one of the thugs. Syn glanced at the entrance and, just for a second, saw a rusty-red droid with a laser rifle, but before he had a chance to take a good look at it, the droid fled. He then took a look at the direction the hooded figure was and noticed that he too had disappeared. He and Rav rose up to their feet and noticed Attatag pointing his blaster at them again and two more of Jools thugs doing the same.

''Looks like we'll have to settle for the two of you after all.'' The Gotal spoke.

''No, you won't!'' A female voice came from the cantina entrance, followed by a white laser shot straight at Attatag. Rav and Syn turned to see Deliah and Cade there. So she made it.

''What took you so long?'' Syn asked, trying to make a joke.

Deliah answered by smiling and firing a shot at one of the remaining two of Jool's thugs. Cade fired a shot at the other one and seconds later there were two more corpses next to Attatag's. Rav then turned to Jool, anger sparking from his one good eye.

''You made a bad move, Jool.'' Rav told the Hutt, ''And it will be your last.'' He raised his mechanical leg and pointed it towards her.

(''Rav, what are you doing?'') The Hutt panicked, (''Wait a minute! We can work something out, we can—'')

The Hutt didn't get to finish her sentence. A flash of light came out of the small hole on the center of the sole of the mechanical foot and it hit the Hutt straight in the heart. Queen Jool, the crimelord of Coruscant was dead.

''Let's go.'' Rav ordered.

''You and I have a lot to talk about, Cade.'' Syn hissed out as he passed Cade and went toward the entrance.

''Sure, Syn, but it'll wait until we're somewhere safer.'' Cade replied with a smug smile.

''Yeah, we don't want that red droid to return.'' Rav said.

''You saw him too?'' Deliah said with a hint of surprise.

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