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Old 12-06-2006, 06:30 PM   #121
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Another chapter to placate the huddled masses. This chapter I let a sadistic nature nearly run loose. I hope the imaging is pleasant to all your delicate ears.

Chapter 28
What else could possibly go wrong? They had come pretending to be the scoundrels that swamped Nar Shaddaa and in so doing they were able to find out about a ringleader of the bounty hunters that was riling up the Outer Rim worlds, at least those that wanted Revan’s head on a platter. Now they were in the middle of the kinrath nest and it seemed that their cover might be blown. Michaela and Rowan blended in as if they had always been the profession that Atton had been before becoming a Jedi. Atton, on the other hand, had a bad feeling about the whole thing.

They had come to the cantina, a special cantina where all the bounty hunters tend to meet and hang out. Once inside, they had begun circulating asking about the big job that they were supposed to do soon. Michaela hung around the females and Rowan was like the silent loner who attracted attention because he appeared to be the kind that wasn’t to be messed with. Atton easily slipped into the role that he had held for so long, before Darius came along and just made due with the pazaak cards. It was sitting there that he started to get that feeling he got when something was going to get real wrong real quick.

Jaqrand was angry and uncomfortable. He didn’t like that Jedi his client had for making him feel this way. When questioned, he appeared to not care. He was too dammed calm when most Jedi would have demanded to be let go. It was disturbing that he didn’t seem to care what would happen to him but what was worse, he seemed to know all about him. It didn’t occur to him that the Jedi had carefully worded his responses so as to seem he knew everything just to wheedle it out of him. He left when Draconis buzzed his comm to go and recruit bounty hunters and the like to start riots in the Outer Rim. So here he was sitting in a special room and viewing all those that came here on Nar Shaddaa on the view screen. He thought he recognized a female that had accompanied his Jedi captive but taking a closer look, he decided he was mistaken. It was the pazaak tables that drew his attention.

Atton sat winning some hands and losing hands trying to get some information. It didn’t help that the bad feeling he had when they walked in was getting stronger. He hoped that Michaela and Rowan would be able to sense it as he sat playing his fourth or fifth match with a guy that seemed to have a lot of credits to burn. He had the feeling that he was being watched. He could do nothing about it except play it cool and finish this round of pazaak.

Jaqrand stared long and hard at what was being shown to him. He couldn’t believe his own eyes. The traitor has come to me, he thought. He was surprised and pleased. He probably wasn’t alone but he couldn’t see who looked out of place. He beckoned to a right hand man and began to whisper his orders into his ear.

Draconis was pleased that he finally had Kirabaros. What he wanted was to know where the children where since Tulre was his son and the other two were unusually strong in the Force. He knew that Kirabaros had too much of a strong will to be tortured for the information but he also knew that his love for the brats was a weakness. He knew this and he intended to use it to the fullest capacity.

He had been watching Kirabaros for the past several days after he told Jaqrand to head for Nar Shaddaa. He had elaborated his plan to destroy the fragile relationship between the Republic and Avalon by breeding distrust in the senators and encouraging assassination plots against Senator Amstar. He thought her to be a traitor but he respected her since she dared to brave the tempest of Coruscant, the cesspool. His latest scheme involved the bounty hunters going in and cause trouble for the Avalonians that lived in the Outer Rim territories. In the past two years, a migration occurred where some Avalonians moved to Republic space to seek their fortunes there. It was as it was in the beginning but Draconis forgot that.

Sitting there in a chair, watching his Jedi trying to sleep with that Force inhibitor on gave him pleasure at the prospect that he was going to succeed in returning Avalon to her former glory. To no longer have her surface tread upon by the Republic scum that tainted the far reaches of the galaxy. Also the divisions that had existed before Kirabaros would return. Everyone would know their place and stay there, No more of the back talking that he got from hot tempered tribesmen who insisted that they had every right as he did. The brutes dared to compare themselves to him? It was an intolerable thought and one brought by the great Kirabaros. He would end this once he had killed him and had the children in his grasp. He breathed to obtain a sense of calm as he got up from his seat and went to the door to where the holding cells were. It was time to show the great Kirabaros what it truly meant to be a son of Avalon.

Jolee was too old to be going on missions, so he said, but this was a special case. He had received a transmission from an old friend telling him that the psychotic bucket of bolts that Revan was so fond of was gone and would meet him at the designated spot. He grumbled as he made his way through the vast corridors of the Jedi Temple down to the hangar bay. He was too old to be getting young whippersnappers out of trouble. You’ll be the death of me yet sonny.

He was stopped at the bay doors by a blue Twi’lek and a limber Cathar. He knew why they were there and had no desire to indulge their whims. He didn’t say anything about needing more help, raced through his mind as he greeted Mission with, “Got something on your mind don’t you?”

“You’re going out there aren’t you?” Mission asked, not mincing the issue.

“I’m an old man dammit! I can go wherever I please,” Jolee answered a bit grumpily.

“Jolee we want to help too. Kirabaros is our friend too,” the Cathar purred her sweet accent.

“I suppose you both are going to nag me until I tell you aren’t you? Yes, yes, I am meeting up with that walking tin can that Revan is so fond of and we are heading out to find them in the Outer Rim. You happy now?” Jolee stood there with annoyed look. He couldn’t be mad at them. After all Kirabaros was the one who told them that Revan was alive and well and offered a place to live in peace, something he was considering before this whole mess.

“Can we come?” Mission asked being like a teenager even though she was an adult. She never had to beg this bad before but she didn’t like being left behind when she could be a big help.

“Perhaps we can provide some assistance should you run into trouble,” Juhani added.

Jolee thought about it for a moment. He knew that Kirabaros was good but not that good. Or maybe he did figure that they would ask to help? It was too complicated to think about it and Jolee often wondered how Kirabaros managed to do it and still raise a family. That last bit made Jolee’s heart soften a bit. Kirabaros may not be considered a Jedi because he loved but he was one in heart and spirit, at least when it came to the ideals of the order. He looked at the two expectant faces and realized he couldn’t deny them. He replied grudgingly, “Alright you can come. I need someone around to make sure that bucket of bolts doesn’t get trigger happy on me.”

Mission let out a yelp of pleasure and grabbed Jolee into a big hug. Juhani just smiled and silently picked up her belongings. She owed Kirabaros much and he held her most precious secret along with many others. She did worry as to whether or not that because he held so many that he might end up betraying himself. She quickly admonished herself for such thoughts as she boarded the ship. She was going to rescue a friend.

He knew they would come. He knew they would follow his advice. He knew that they felt a sense of loyalty to him. He knew this because they were his friends. He told them that he owed them times over before but they insisted that it was they who owed him. It disturbed him and yet he was familiar with that feeling of loyalty. She has it, Darius had it; he was a natural leader, a rare talent.

He knew the old man wouldn’t be alone. The droid had a loose sense of loyalty to him but it didn’t surpass that of his master. Thinking of the droid’s master had him think about her. He had cut her off from him when he sent her packing towards the ship to escape. He didn’t want to but he had to, if only for her sake and his family’s sake. Family was a precious thing to him. He never had one save for them and he would fight to keep them safe. It was the way of the Jedi; protect the innocent. True he was no more a Jedi than her but he still lived his life by their principles. Just picturing them in his mind brought him comfort, especially that dream vision he had of the sprats.

Here he was waiting. They had come earlier and knocked him out. When he had awakened, he found himself strapped to a bunk or table of some sort. He was still deafened to the Force but that wasn’t what bothered him; there were times that to not feel the Force would be a blessing. What bothered him was the gut wrenching feeling that he had that the one behind all this wanted something more than him dead. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that it had to do with the children. He didn’t have long to wait to wonder everything for he walked in.

Draconis didn’t have to introduce himself again for Kirabaros needed no introduction of someone who betrayed his own kind. Exhausted, energy wise, Kirabaros gave him a bland look that revealed nothing much to the dismay of Draconis who expected fear or anger. Instead he was staring at a calm and serene man, much like a Jedi. When the thought crossed his mind, he smiled and gave a chuckle. He thought to himself, Still clinging your precious code of the Jedi order I see. A pity that it will not help you with what I am about to do to you.

Upon seeing him, Kirabaros let out a firm and soft, “Traitor.”

“Oh no my friend they have gone too far this is madness,” Draconis mocked him. He walked towards the table that restrained Kirabaros and gazed into his eyes with a pure hatred. His dark eyes glittered like black pools as he continued, “I see that you still cling to the Jedi principles though you are no more fit to be a Jedi than a coral lizard is to be a bird.”

Not intimidated by the glittering black pools of hatred, Kirabaros replied calmly, “At least I am more an Avalonian than you, traitor.”

Draconis held his temper. To be acknowledged as a traitor meant that he could lose face. It was a good thing that they were in the dead of space near Yavin so that Kirabaros could be incapacitated and not utter anything. He smiled a dangerous smile and replied, “Maybe you can make this easier one everyone if you tell me where they are.”

“Where who are?” Kirabaros asked. He knew whom Draconis was referring to but he’d be damned to the dark side before he’d say anything. For that, he was rewarded with a sharp pain that burned him from the inside out. Force Lightening. It’ll do that to you every time.

Draconis knew that Kirabaros would more likely play dumb. He was ready for it and sent a powerful Force lightening, fueled by his hatred. It gave him pleasure when he heard Kirabaros groan as it coursed through him. What he really wanted was for him to cry out in mercy. He said enticingly, “Make this easier on you. With the three of them, they could become very powerful and in turn can claim what many have tried but couldn’t have: power.”

Kirabaros was breathing a bit heavily before he replied, “A tempting offer for even the most willful person but knowing you, you would as soon as bend them to your will.”

It was a statement of fact or truth and one that had Draconis send another bolt of lightening at Kirabaros. He increased the intensity when Kirabaros refused to cry out but was satisfied that he was causing pain. “Your words mean nothing if you won’t cooperate.”

Kirabaros retreated into his world of pazaak and called to Atton or anyone to play a round. Settled in his mind he stared at Draconis and said, “Cooperation means that you torture and I tell. Unfortunately pazaak doesn’t work that way.”

“You think this is a game? Perhaps bringing in those you care about and torturing them in front of you will persuade you to see our point of view.” Draconis’ voice had an edge to it. He was clearly tired of the mental games that Kirabaros was throwing up.

“A river can flow in one direction but when stopped, it finds another path. Should it not work, fire can change it to fly,” Kirabaros responded. He had remembered the vision he had when Draconis spoke before him and he remembered the response he gave but that wasn’t now. He knew they would come which was why he said what he said. He knew that Draconis had no connection to the mysteries of the earth and sky having been brought up in nobility and lived by separation.

When Draconis heard that sentence, it became the straw that broke the dewback’s back. He threw all of his anger and hatred into this round of lightening and aimed it on Kirabaros. When Kirabaros finally cried out, he laughed.

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