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Old 09-28-2006, 01:22 PM   #17
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Chapter XVI

''You are very clever,Commander. Someday that cleverness will turn against you.''
Siv Kav

After a long run through Lower Coruscant, Cade and his three bounty hunter friends returned to their shuttle back in the Space Traffic quarter. Syn was still frowning at Cade, but Rav was more than glad that he and Deliah showed up when they did. Deliah was just glad that she and Cade found the other two alive and that they arrived in time to keep them that way. As the four approached the shuttle Master Sazen came down the ramp to greet them.

''More Jedi.'' Syn mumbled, ''How many of them did you bring along, Deliah?''

''Can it, Syn.'' She snapped, ''If it weren't for Cade you'd most likely be dead right now.''

Syn mumbled something unintelligible and after another angry look from Deliah he was quiet. Master Sazen had a serious expression on his face. Cade knew this wasn't going to be a pleasant talk.

''Greetings, Master Jedi.'' Rav politely said to the Zabrak, ''I thank you for taking the time to come to our assistance.''

''I only hope that when the time comes you will be able to come to ours.'' Sazen replied.

Rav slowly nodded with a slight and devious smile. He knew that this Jedi didn't trust him and he didn't care. As far as Rav was concerned that was smart thinking. If he were a Jedi he would act in the exact same way.

''What's going on, Sazen?'' Cade asked finally, ''Your face gives you away, what's wrong?''

''I'm... not sure. I feel a great disturbance in the Force. An unknown darkness is rising and if we do not act, it will consume us all.'' The Jedi Master replied with no pleasure in doing so.

''What does that mean?'' Syn asked, ''Are the Sith on to us? I wish you Jedi could for once speak clearly.''

''I know why you fear us and why you hate us.'' Sazen replied, ''But your fear is unfounded, I assure you and I apologize for not being more clear, but I really don't know the exact proportions of what I felt.''

''Does it perhaps have anything to do with that?'' Deliah asked pointing at the sky. The rest of them looked up and saw an armada of Pellaeon-class Star Destroyers covering most of the sky around the planet.

''The Destroyer fleet has been there for almost an hour, a notification was given. I'm surprised you didn't hear it, Coruscant is under quarantine.'' Sazen explained, ''No ships are allowed to leave the planet.''

''Well isn't this just peachy?'' Syn frowned.

''Yeah...'' Cade wanted to say something, but his trail of thought was interrupted by four persons walking out of a ship not ten meters away from theirs, one of them looked awfuly familiar, ''Look.'' He said to the others, ''Over there. Isn't that Marasiah Fel?''

''The Princess? What is she doing here?'' Rav wondered.

''No idea, why don't we ask her?'' Cade suggested.

''Sure, but you might wanna watch out for the three Imperial Knights she brought along, or couldn't you guess who her companions are?'' Syn warned.

''I think she saw us too.'' Deliah noticed, ''They seem to be coming this way.''

It was indeed Marasiah, along with Sigel Dare, Ganner Krieg and Antares Draco and yes, she had noticed the Jedi and their companions. ''What the blazes are they doing here?'' She thought.

''Are you sure this is wise, Princess?'' Draco asked quietly.

''Yes. If there's any chance of them helping us, we better take it.'' Marasiah replied, ''Besides, I've already met some of them.'' Sigel and Krieg simply nodded in agreement.

''Princess Marasiah Fel.'' Sazen greeted her, ''What brings you to the Capital?''

''I'm here to return the galaxy under the rule of the Fel dynasty.'' She replied, ''How about you, Master Jedi?''

''A similar reason.'' Sazen said, ''The only difference is that it involves a reestablishment of the Republic and the destruction of the Sith.''

''That was some quick thinking, Sazen. Were you planning on letting the rest of us in on your little scheme?'' Cade sent a thought to Sazen.

''We have little choice left, Cade. As a Skywalker you of all people should support me.'' Sazen sent back his reply in another thought.

''A Skywalker? Now that's interesting.'' Marasiah interrupted them. She allowed herself a slight enjoyment in seeing the look on their faces when they realized that she heard every word they telepathically sent to each other, ''You never did reveal your last name when we met back on Socorro six months ago.'' Marasiah said.

''I like your style, Princess.'' Cade said smugly, ''When you wanna know something you just eavesdrop on the conversation. Kind of like me.''

''I'm nothing like you.'' She said with resentment, ''Now, to get back to the matter at hand the most important question is how will we deal with the Sith. We can work on the details of the next form of government if we get out of this one alive.''

''Agreed.'' Sazen said, ''We need a smart plan. Darth Krayt and his Sith are not to be underestimated.''

''My first question is are there any more Jedi, besides the two of you?'' Marasiah asked and noticed a Twi'Lek and a Bothan in Jedi robes emerge from the shuttle. It was Shado Vao and Hosk Tre'lyis, ''Never mind, so there's four of you and these three...''

''Bounty hunters.'' Rav enlightened her proudly.

''I know, I have met Skywalker and these two before.'' She said pointing at Deliah and Syn, ''Now, let's work on the plan. As you said...'' She addressed Sazen, ''the Sith are not to be underestimated.''

''The time has come.'' The two hours since Ralik gave the order to the Lenari officer have passed. Grand Admiral Morlish Veed was standing on the bridge of his Pellaeon-class Super Star Destoryer flagship Vindicator, looking through the bridge viewport when his first officer came.

''Grand Admiral, our sensors are detecting a huge armada of ships emerging near our position.'' The officer said.

Veed looked at the viewport and saw a fleet of black spherical ships materializing from out of nowhere, small orange-yellow lights glowed from the viewports of the ships' many decks. ''Inform the rest of the fleet and prepare for battle, I doubt a fleet this size is here for a social call.''

The events that were playing out in Coruscant's orbit couldn't be seen from the surface at this point, but it was of no consequence. What happened next made every being on the planet painfully aware of the situation. Every single comercial screen on the planet changed into a picture of a strange hexagonal insignia with a line on each side shaped like the number one and its mirror image. Every sound message was silent and a few seconds later a sinister voice replaced it. The voice relayed a completely new and terrifying message. It wasn't heard only on Coruscant, it was heard on every planet in the Sith Empire.

''Residents of the galaxy, I hereby inform you that the days of the Sith Empire are over. The days of my Empire have arrived. I am Lord Ralik, master of the True Teachings and I say to you: submit or die. The True Teachings will spread across the galaxy and any who dare oppose us will be swept away like little flakes of dust!''

Cade noticed a strange expression on Sazen's face when he heard the announcement. It was like he knew this was going to happen. This must have been the darkness he was talking about.

''Sazen, is there something you want to tell us?'' Cade asked his master.

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