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Old 10-02-2006, 03:27 AM   #67
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Chapter 16
He watched them as they fought. He especially watched the Jedi he was after. He’s good. He has a lot of heart, a thing not common in Jedi, he thought as he watched through the view scope of his sniper rifle. “You are as good as he says,” he muttered at no one in particular.

Jaqrand had tracked his Jedi ever since he left Coruscant, being crammed in a cargo hold with Force knows what to just watch a group of dissenters attack. At first he thought they were stupid or something because they made no attempt to kill the group and looked clumsy. The more he watched, the more he realized that they were toying with them. They’re after something else, he thought. At that, he pondered at what it could be.

The Jedi turned towards the leader of the group. They faced off with blades wielded. The poise was so perfect that they appeared to be statues. If Jaqrand wanted to, he could have taken a shot, a killing one. What he wanted was to get close. He wanted to smell the fear, the mercy; the look was what he wanted. The same look that the Jedi before had given him. The mere memory of the last Jedi he had killed gave him a surge of pleasure much like that of his girls in every spaceport.

His attention was drawn towards a scruffy looking male dressed in gray Jedi robes. Using his scope, he adjusted to get a better view of the face. He saw the brown locks, the hazel eyes and a face that had the look of a broken man but hid the familiar look of the lust for the kill. As he watched the man, Jaqrand let out a snort of disgust. So you have joined them then? Traitor. Traitor…

He was tempted to squeeze the trigger of his rifle and fire a shot. He wanted to kill the traitor to everything that they had done together. One thing was holding him back. The traitor was once a friend. Loyalty belonged to a friend though, not a traitor. He just kept watching the man through his scope. He was in his sights, just squeeze the trigger and he could be rid of a traitor.

All too soon, the attackers fled leaving his Jedi struggling to get up. He watched the worried expression on the Jedi’s face. It masked the true emotions: fear. So unlike a Jedi to have fear. Then again, that was how the others turned. Jaqrand was pleased. It would make his job easier in isolating the Jedi from the others. He watched with the eyes of a predator as the others followed the Jedi down the street. You will be mine Jedi. My prey.

“What do you mean you don’t have them?” The shouting could be heard in the next room. The figure slouching on the couch didn’t care though. He was amused and it showed upon his face.

“They were guarded by droid of some sort and the brats had us chase them,” the man on the comm replied with a firm yet sullen look.

“How hard is it to blast in and snatch three blasted children? It’s not like they can use the Force yet if they could,” Keegan spoke getting red in the face. He was beginning to wonder if their plan would work at all with all the bumbling idiots that they had running around for them.

“Actually they can. I think. One of my men reported getting hit with a flying broom or…”

“They’re children. They’re weak as newborn kith pups not full grown Jedi.” Keegan somehow managed to get his temper under control. His face was still red and showed his anger. He continued, “Look, you get those brats any way you can. Blast their pet droid into scrap if you have to but I want those kids NOW!” His fist pounded on the console making the comm shake.

The man looked at Keegan, gave a brief nod and replied, “I’ll report when I have them.” The comm went blank.

Keegan left the room with the comm to join Draconis who was lounging on the couch and looking as if he had just won a high stakes Pazaak game. Keegan was still simmering from the report he had received and the look Draconis was giving him wasn’t helping. Sure he learned enough how to torture the mind of an Avalonian but what good was it if he couldn’t penetrate the mind of Draconis? He said, “I’m not in the mood.”

“Of course you’re not. I wouldn’t be either if I just found out that one of my hired thugs failed to get their hands on three mere children. Then again they aren’t normal children anyway. All three have at least one parent that is Force Sensitive.” Draconis looked at Keegan with a bemused yet cold look.

“But they are kids. They shouldn’t be able to do anything significant yet,” Keegan replied, his temper rising.

“What you fail to realize my dear Admiral is that two of them are spawn of two powerful Jedi. Of course they will know a few things,” Draconis had stood up and patted Keegan’s shoulder as if he were a small child. He then crossed across the room to where the marble ball rested where he had placed it after Keegan threw it at him. He picked it up and held it in his hand looking at. All of a sudden it started to levitate and rotate like a planet would. He then said, “Harnessing the Force is not hard, if you know how to do it.”

Keegan looked on not knowing whether to be surprised or angry. It seemed that every time he thought he had Draconis figured out, he would do something to throw him off. He replied through clenched teeth, “But they shouldn’t be able to do what our hires went through at that age. They wouldn’t have learned control.”

“You don’t get it do you?” Draconis replied dangerously soft. He let the marble ball float back into his palm and he set it down. “The Force flows strongly between the three of them. It is no effort for them at all.” He then turned to face Keegan with a business like face, “Now about our bounty hunter?”

“No word from him. For all we know he burned sky,” Keegan replied still gritting his teeth. He had gritted any harder, he would have broken a tooth.

“No. He’s still on the job. The only reason I specifically asked for him was that he had…a past. A good one to boot, at least in terms of association,” Draconis smiled, once again revealing that he knew more than what was going on. Keegan knew that he was in for a very long game in this dangerous game of live dejarik. He wondered if he would be one of the pieces still standing. He knew he was a pawn and Draconis played him well. It made him wonder if Kirabaros were just like him, cold and calculating. It then struck him with the possibility that all Avalonians could be that way, always seeing five moves ahead.

The predator looked on through darkened eyes as he watched the Jedi search the room. His scope was trained on him, in the spot that he wanted and he watched. When he saw three children appear, he stopped. Children are a more interesting prey, he thought with malicious glee. Still he had one target, one prey. He didn’t let his mind dwell on the kids. Then he saw him.

The traitor had entered in the room. He had a look of concern, which broke into relief as he grabbed a small boy with hair that unmistakably was his. The hunter broke into a smile. He would have to modify his job involving the Jedi to extend to the traitor. The opportunity was too good to pass up. The stakes were higher and he was willing to bet the extra amount if only to make the traitor suffer as they had suffered.

The shadows hid him well as he pressed against the wall where he was leaning with his high-powered rifle. He heaved in a sigh and marveled at the beauty of this planet. Never before had he seen a place where so many men and women looked as if they were ready for war. There were also a few of them pussy types, the artisans; the ‘innocent civilians.’ No one noticed him for he was wearing dark clothing and had wedged himself in such a way that he couldn’t be seen unless you knew what you were looking for.

The view was good as he watched the others gather around and began to talk. The two women went towards some other rooms to get supplies while the men seemed to be talking. The brats weren’t around either. They must have been taken by their pet droid, he muttered. The Jedi began to assess the damage done to the door. He was talking to the other two who were looking around the room. Now was the perfect chance.

Aiming carefully, the hunter brought his trigger finger around the trigger gently. Almost as if not breathing, he gently squeezed the trigger and was met with the powerful recoil of his rifle. He didn’t miss. He knew it because he heard the shouts and the screams. He stood up slowly and began to walk away with a big grin on his face.

Jaqrand knew that this day wasn’t a kill day. It was a warning day. He had targeted his Jedi and sent a message. He had left a fairly good signature for the traitor as well. He will know. He will know that it was I, Jaqrand that sent that calling card. He walked away knowing that he had all the time in the world to follow them. Even if they lost him, he would find them again. He was good at finding things.

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