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Old 12-13-2006, 06:34 PM   #135
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Here is another chapter. I finally finished 32 so now 31 can be posted. This is a prelude to the rescue coming up.

Chapter 31
Mission was excited and bored, if that were possible. After begging Jolee to be allowed to come and help rescue Kirabaros, she felt that she shouldn’t have. First they had to stop at Dantooine to fetch supplies and then they met up with HK on of all places, Kashyyyk. Big Z had been pleased to see them and had been saddened that Revan didn’t come there. He roared that his people would have protected them. Not just because of the life debt to Revan but of an understanding between him and Kirabaros that was hard to put into words.

On Kashyyyk, she practiced her slicing skills and other handy skills that Kirabaros had encouraged her to keep up. The unsuspecting victims were the doors to the ship that they had taken from the Jedi hangar bay. Juhani wasn’t much fun for she kept practicing with her lightsabers. HK was too…murderous to be around. Ever since she found out that Kirabaros had been able to restore his assassination protocols, she didn’t want to be caught in the same room as the crazy droid. She could seek out Jolee but he was securing supplies, mostly medical. It was as if he knew it would be bad.

She hated feeling left in the dark. She wanted to help but nobody was telling her anything. It didn’t occur to her that everyone who seemed to know something felt the same way. She had no way of knowing that everyone on that ship had only a piece of the puzzle. She didn’t have time to think for Jolee was coming back with Zalbaar to get ready to leave. She raced down the ramp to give Big Z a hug. “Nice to see ya again Big Z.”

[Nice to see you too Mission. I am sorry that I cannot go this time.]

“Don’t worry about it Big Z. We’ll find them both and you can give them a Wookiee hug,” Mission replied.

Jolee gave a chuckle at that. He said, “Well best be going. If HK activated the tracking device, we should be able to catch up with Kirabaros.”

[May Bacca guide you.] Zalbaar replied after getting Mission to relinquish her hold on him.

Mission let go and allowed Jolee to guide her back up the ramp of their ship. Once inside Jolee headed for the cockpit to begin take off. He passed by HK who uttered, “Statement: The signal is coming loud and clear. It seems that our target is located near the Yavin system.”

Jolee replied, “Fine, fine let’s get moving.”

Mission took her place in the co-pilot’s seat. Carth had been teaching her to fly and she needed practice. She couldn’t do it solo but at least she could be helping that matter. Juhani joined them in the cockpit and said in her soft purr, “All systems are go. I sent the message as you asked.”

The ship left the dock on Kashyyyk with a few jumps. This was commented on rather strongly by the young Twi’lek who insisted that an old man could not handle a ship blindfolded. This was met with comments to not talk back to elders and that kids had no respect for their elders nowadays. It was topped with a certain droid who cocked his Aratech sniper rifle and called out, “Ready!”

This was meant with desperate calls for the droid to stop what he was doing. Once into hyperspace, everyone calmed down. Each turned inwardly to what they were about to do. They kept their private thoughts to themselves as they discussed how their plan was going to work. Dangerous times were coming ahead and they had no clue that things were already bad at home.

The base was dank and it stank of aliens who looked like they hadn’t bathed in a month. The inhabitants were nothing but hired mercenaries and the recruited bounty hunters from the cantina, which was the entrance to the base. The mercs had drawn their weapons and were charging at the three racing through the base towards the exit tunnels. Michaela led the way with Rowan at her back. Covering their flanks was a bounty hunter named Kiera. Together, the three of them fought their way through the cantina. They had to make their way back to the ship and get ready for take off. Some where along the way, Atton got separated.

They had reached the main corridor of the base and were at the point of getting pinned down. Rowan was wielding a blaster and aiming at the mercs gathering at the door. Kiera was across the way picking off the mercs one by one with a deadly accuracy that could have only come from years of practice. Together, both were a formidable team in a fire fight. Meanwhile Michaela was trying to rig an explosive device. Though she didn’t look like it, she knew how to put together and set a detonation pack quicker than a trooper could draw his weapon. She had her husband to thank for that.

Kiera ducked behind her wall while she check her power charges. She glanced over and saw that Michaela, or Lethe, she couldn’t decide which, was whipping up the detonator. She called over, “Almost done?”

“Just about,” Michaela called back. It wasn’t easy with the occasional sparks coming down but she kept her calm. She had survived one of the bloodiest battles two years ago.

“We’re almost out of power,” Kiera said. She had no idea why she was with the them but she did know that they weren’t there for the job. She herself had misgivings about this big plan that played a lot of credits. Sure she’d kill people before, but only when necessary. She hated to do it. She had met the two of them in the cantina and they got to talking, well, she did. It was Michaela who convinced her to come with them. That was before the guy in charge had his cronies try to capture the handsome, cocky scoundrel at the pazaak tables. The two with her had no reason to step in unless they were friends. She had no time to think about it now that she had her blaster ready to go.

Michaela finished the last bit and locked the panel into place. She activated it and said, “Ready!”

Both Rowan and Kiera stood up and doubled their fire to provide cover. Michaela made a dash for Kiera and slid across the floor. Halfway there, she threw the device at the scoundrels stationed at their way out. She was stopped by the wall and pulled out her blaster though she was sorely tempted to pull out the lightsaber that she had built those many years ago. She had no time to change her mind as the explosion sounded and there were men and aliens moaning as they were hit by the blast. They didn’t wait for the dust to settle when they charged through the door out onto the docks. They were met with blaster fire from all sides as they made their way to the ship.

The darkened tunnels reminded him of the rooms he used to torture Jedi. It caused his lungs to want to seize up for he found it difficult to breathe when he thought about it. He was able to push it from his mind as he tried to make his way through the tunnels. He wasn’t sure how he got separated from the others but there was a lot of smoke from grenades and the general toss of bodies, had to banish the thought. The last thing Atton knew was that he was playing pazaak with a bounty hunter, a Duros he thought, and the next thing he knew he was being jostled by two big fellows who said that the boss wanted to see him. He had refused of course and that led to a fight in which Michaela and Rowan blew their cover to help him. They had to fight to get back to their ship in order to burn sky. Now here he was in some tunnel, maybe the sewer and he had to get out.

There was a strange feeling that hung about the air as Atton walked through the tunnels. The only comfort he had were images of his son that kept coming to mind. His thoughts strangely drifted to the brunette that had been talking to Michaela and Rowan. He had only caught a glimpse of her but she seemed familiar. It didn’t matter now. Instead he followed his instincts and trusted the Force to guide him. He walked until he found himself in a strange room. It overlooked the docks where they were and it put him ill at ease. I have a bad feeling about this, was all that ran through his mind.

The lights were dimmed. The only true source of light came from the lighted panels that indicated the function of them. He glanced around, looking for a way out when he heard a voice that was very familiar sound behind him, “It’s been a long time Boss though time has seen fit to make you into one of them.”

Atton turned slowly to face a man that he thought he wouldn’t ever see again. He replied, “It’s been a long time Falen.”

“I see you remember that part of me. Unfortunately that part died when you took me under you wing,” Jaqrand looked at Atton with mixed feelings of amusement and contempt.

“A past that I gave up…”

“Yes after that Jedi wench you killed. Well actually, the one I helped you to kill,” Jaqrand interrupted.

Atton winced when he heard that. It hurt when his dark past was brought up and even after all this time, he still had to work at suppressing it. He looked at Jaqrand who pulled out a large doubled bladed war blade. His hand instinctively wrapped around the hilt of his lightsaber. He then said, “I felt her die.”

Jaqrand snorted as he twirled his war blade in front of him. He retorted, “You are weak. You are just like them, a traitor.”

Atton just shook his head at Jaqrand. It was true that he had changed since his Jedi killing days. Darius opened him to something more than just running and hiding and it was Mira who opened his heart. He gazed at his former self in Jaqrand as the blade twirled before him. He said softly, “You went to a lot of trouble just to find me.”

“Actually I was hired to kill your Jedi friend but now that my client has him, I am in the process of building a force to attack the Avalonians. Since you are here, I can have the pleasure of killing you for betraying what you are,” Jaqrand smiled at Atton. His face then got deadly serious as he added, “Enough talk. Now it is time.”

Atton saw that he wasn’t going to get out of this with scoundrel’s luck. He recalled what Kirabaros once said about facing the past in order to move on. It went something like: “The past is what feeds the river to the future but you choose the river’s path.” It was one of those things that didn’t make sense until the right moment. Well, this is one of those moments, he thought to himself. He drew out his lightsaber, the one that he built after Mira died. It was made with parts of his old lightsaber with hers so he would have a piece of her. He ignited it to reveal an orange-yellow single blade in which he twirled into a stance that Kirabaros had been teaching him. He said, “Let’s do this.”

Jaqrand let out a sinister chuckle as he watched the traitor ignite his lightsaber. He was impressed that his former comrade could wield a weapon of the Jedi skillfully. Then again he had the opportunity to practice for some time now. He readied his war blade and then ran full charge at Atton and swung.

Kiera and Michaela had been able to hold off the mercs and bounty hunters while Rowan powered the ship. They used the automated guns of the ship as cover fire while they picked off the enemy. It was there that Michaela sensed it. Atton was somewhere nearby and he was not alone. She shouted over the noise, “Kiera, get on the ship.”

Kiera nodded and turned to run up the ramp. She headed towards the main hold while Michaela backed up the ramp, still firing her blaster. Once inside, she locked the hatch and shouted, “Rowan takeoff!” She then ran towards the cockpit. Once there, she could see the platform as it shrank while they were still being fired upon. She spoke to Rowan in Avalonian, “Stay low between the buildings. That’ll keep us off the sensors and we need to wait for Atton. He’s somewhere in there.”

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