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Old 11-10-2006, 04:31 PM   #4
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Chapter 3


“Your success in killing Tanith Vessa has taught us two things,” Reibé said when Jast and the other Sith Hunters had come back to the circle of chairs. “But before I get to that, you need to understand something about the Sith Hunters.”

“We are warriors,” Aysana said quietly. “Taken captive by the Sith three hundred years ago, we were genetically altered and in some cases cybernetic enhancements were added. We age approximately one year for every thousand and have been constantly training and fighting since we left the Sith.”

“Thank you, Aysana,” Reibé said. Turning to Jast, she said. “You defeated Tanith Vessa when one who had three hundred years of training could not. That tells me our friend was arrogant and cocky and so are we. We are back to training, Kevannis and we want you to train with us. Vessa will be stronger now, having returned from the dead. She will be more than she was.”

“When does our training begin?” Jast asked.

“It begins here,” Reibé answered. “Now. The Jedi know you will be with us for the next three months at least. They have given their permission for you to be here.”

“Then let us begin,” Jast said firmly.

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

“Lady Vessa,” a young Sith warrior said cautiously, entering Tanith's workshop. He ducked to avoid a Force-propelled scrap of metal hurled in his direction.

“I'm busy!” Tanith snapped. Her back was to him and she was hunched over a workbench, her face nearly touching whatever she was working on and her blonde hair was uncharacteristically in a simple ponytail, draped over her left shoulder.

“Oh, you'll like this interruption,” the young man said. Sighing, Tanith straightened and turned to face him.

“What is it, then?” she asked, sounding more like a bored teenager than a 29 year old Sith leader. She caught sight of a dark blue crystal in his hand and her eyes lit up.

“Yeah, that's right,” he said, nodding. “We found another shard of the type of crystal you had in your old lightsaber...” He hesitated for a moment. “It'll work, right?”

Tanith took the shard and examined it closely for a moment. A wide grin spread over her face and she nodded.

“Oh, I was trying to synthesize another,” she explained, glancing over at the workbench. “But you... oh!” She excitedly threw her arms around him. Startled and a little nervous, he flinched and returned the hug. Tanith pulled away, taking the dark blue gem to the workbench and resumed her work. The young man stared at her back for a moment before turning to the door.

“Oh, one more thing,” Tanith called, still working. The young man turned.

“Yes, Lady Vessa?” he asked.

“That... display,” she said, turning again to face him. Shaking her head solemnly, she went on, “Never happened. Right?”

“Of course not, Lady Vessa!” the young Sith warrior exclaimed, blushing slightly. He bowed and left, allowing Tanith to return to her work.

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

Jast opened one eye and glanced around the room. He and the Sith Hunters had been sitting in the same position for nearly three hours, sharing their knowledge of the Force through a Force link that connected all seven of them. They learned from him and he learned from them.

We have shared, learned, and taught. The voice was a combination of all of their voices. The day is over. The night comes on. We need rest.

“Then let us get it,” Reibé spoke aloud. She rose slowly. “Jast, come with me.”

Jast followed her out of the room. “The connection,” he began.

“I know,” Reibé interrupted. “It's still there. It will be until you leave us.”

We intend to fight Tanith Vessa with our one joined mind. The inclusion of one who defeated her once already will help us. We see her weaknesses. We see her strengths. Together, we can defeat her.

“Together, we will defeat her,” Jast said aloud. Reibé nodded.

“Yes, we will,” she agreed. They left the building and jumped up to the speeder they'd left hovering forty feet above the ground.

We will gather again in the morning to begin the physical practice of our knowledge.

“Where do we go now?” Jast asked Reibé. Before she answered, he said, “Don't say. I know. I am joined to you.”

We scatter. Two go to Reibé's apartment. The rest scatter as normal.

The rest of the trip was spent in relative silence. The comfortable droning of seven different trains of thought remained and Jast fell asleep to it. When they reached Reibé's apartment, her train of thought nudged Jast out of his sleep and he followed her in.

We sleep now. Re-gather in the morning.

Again to the droning, Jast fell asleep. Three hours later, Reibé also slept.


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Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

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