Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Somewhere with a balance between ice and rain
I make no claims on owning the Mando'a language, it belongs to the author Karen Traviss.
CHAPTER III: AMBITIOUS HUNTERS:
With a snap hiss crackle the blue-coated lightsaber sprung to life, fending off the dominant purple residue. Kyle’s heel crunched into the metal floor, he turned to face the source of this light. He wasn’t the slightest bit surprised to see a snow-white blade levelled in the darkened air, the violet illumination shimmered from the single hilt. Kyle’s eyes shifted to the pale fist that clasped this lightsaber, a smooth black sleeve ran over the sword arm, the dense fabric ran over a pair of narrow shoulders. A thin suit of crimson armour curved over the chest and dulled with a stomach guard. A hood curled against long black hair. This cloak resembled those worn by long dead Sith Lords, not by Desann’s Reborns or Tavion’s Cultists. There were no insignias or incisions woven into the plain black garment. Kyle gazed up to the woman’s head, her lightsaber’s glow smothered the pale face with a violet smear, a pair of streaks ran through black hair.
Jo spoke with a vertical blade, “Kyle Katarn?”
The words weren’t threatening as if from just another bounty hunter, nor respectful like out of the mouth of a New Republic agent. Either way she was strong of will, yet the Force did not flow through her.
“Yeah,” retorted Kyle with a dry soreness, “I take it you want something...”
“Yeah,” she briskly stepped aside, twisting the hilt to a diagonal guard, “your friend.”
“And how do you plan to do that, you locked in the wrong man.” With the inquiry Kyle gave a feint swipe, which was retaliated with a block and golden sparks.
She stepped back with the purple lightsaber held upright, “We also locked Ors and Meck outside, both doors.” Her plastoid black boots creaked to the floor, “I’ve already got one of my people above them with a Tenloss Disruptor Rifle and the only way from her is down.”
“Her,” repeated Kyle as he gave a full horizontal sweep of his blade, “and how many of you are there?”
“Enough,” more sparks erupted as the lightsabers clashed, “your choice if anyone gets hurt here...”
“What do you think will happen to Odem after you collect on him,” Kyle brought his free hand forward. With a surge of concentration the saber lock was shattered and the woman was thrown across the hanger.
Jo’s form spiralled into a back flip and she elegantly landed on her boot soles. She held the blade on a parallel edge, a growled escaped her violet lips, “I’m not doing this for the credits.”
Kyle’s opposite fist came to the lightsaber hilt, his mouth parted and a twinkle of life entered the darkness above them. Brown eyes gazed up to the unseen ceiling, momentary he glanced back to the female saberist, “Your people?”
“One of them,” She grumbled at twisting the violet blade forward and Jo begun to move with a steady grip, “drop your weapons now and we can do this the peaceful way.”
He did indeed drop his hands, only to have the blue saber pierce the shadows at his knees, “You really think you can take me hostage?”
Jo’s head slanted to her right shoulder for a few moments, she tilted back up before answering, “We could’ve tried trapping Meck or your girlfriend in here, but you would’ve found a way in and that would ruin our day.”
“I can still ruin your day,” Kyle spoke with closed eyes for a moment.
Kyle could feel the invisible scope beam on the back of his neck. His fists tightened on the hilt and he looked back to the woman, “since you won’t be taking Odem.”
Red strands flicked aside and Jo launched fourth, dividing the space between her and Kyle. A clash of servos erupted between the blue and violet shades. Boots slammed as electric ripples roared through out the bay. Jo delivered an overhead stroke, silver rain against the opposing sabers, she adjusted her stance and forced forward with gritted teeth. His hilt twisted and Kyle lurched back and Jo to staggered forward. Spinning on his heels Kyle slashed to her lower back. She barely executed a parry, which caused her to twirl over the steel and plummet with an extinguished lightsaber. The empty hilt idly rolled.
A rapid succession of suppressive fire showered from above, Kyle flicked his blade aside and turned to the deflect volley of bullets. A silver stream redirected to the ceiling, until a pained groan echoed and the barrage stopped.
Jo rose from her knees with a scowl itched to her paled face, knuckles clicked as she clasped her reclaimed lightsaber. Once she returned to a ready stance a crimson beam expelled from the hand-held cylinder. Boots clambered to metal and a blazing half arch splintered to Kyle, his blade countered the strike. A rage filled lunge wrapped against Kyle’s defence.
Brown heels scraped against durasteel, this woman’s style had changed almost as much as her blade colour. He had seen this countless of times, with how the disciples of the Dark Side had fought. With such hatred and aggression. But this woman lacked any control over the Force, but her skill for melee combat seemed to compensate for that. This had to end.
Kyle retreated from the deadlock, her crimson tip formed a full halo. The red lightsaber lashed through empty air and Kyle had evaded in a Force enhanced back flip. His silver and black hilt slipped to a single hand, Kyle’s bare left palm crackled with purple and white bolts. Jo’s black cloak flew out with darkened hair strands, the gleaming saber was held to her back in the charge. Lightning filled the air, energy discharged from Kyle’s outstretched arm and wrecked through Jo’s flesh and bones.
She collapsed again with a seared robe and stained ruby red armour. Her hands fell limp and the lifeless grey tube rattled over the floorboards. Kyle glanced to the weapon and twisted his wrist. The hilt flew to his free hand. A fabric covered thumb clicked the activation button, a grass green spire of light emitted. Brown eyes examined the lucid sword with curiosity and a mild wonder. A lightsaber that could change colour, interesting. Kyle switched off the green blade with the usual whiz.
His eyes closed once more, within the hanger no lives had ceased. The saberist was merely dazed from the lightning and the sharpshooter was down, but tended to his wounds. As for outside... Jan was still trapped on the bridge with a male, Odem, both were unharmed. And vaguely above them was a female, the sniper. Kyle wasn’t particularly surprised by today’s events on Nar Shaddaa.
Kyle opened his eyes and looked to the woman who gave a disorientated groan. Within a few strides his ocean blue blade came just above her throat and he grunted, “Hey, wake up!”
If she could endure lightsaber training and drills, then this woman was a lot tougher than she looked. Another growl escaped her lips, hands patted the smooth metal floor as she searched for her weapon. Green pupils caught the unlit hilt in his hand, her gaze shifted down to the live blade, “I hope you’re ready to answer some questions.”
“Gar narir hettir ner ad’ika, gar di’kute” the foreign words came out in a poisonous whisper as they slid off Jo’s tongue effortlessly.
Kyle didn’t understand a word of it, yet he recognised it as Mando’a. He adjusted the grip over his silver coated lightsaber, “I know you can speak Basic, so are we going to cooperate or do I have to call in Nar Shaddaa Security?”
The woman gave a heavy gulp upon drawing a conclusion, this plan had fallen to pieces, “Fine.”
“It’s pretty obvious that you’re a bounty hunter, and I bet there’s a decent price on Odem’s head, but you said you weren’t doing this for credits. Then why?”
“I was,” Jo’s voice stiffened, “black mailed.”
“Black mailed,” repeated Kyle, “how?”
“My,” her eyes hardened into a pair of emerald halos, “son was kidnapped.”
“A human called Racto.”
“Lannik Racto,” replied Kyle hesitantly.
“Brown hair, brown eyes.” The lightsaber’s energy begun to sear her skin.
“Can’t be,” Kyle steadied his hilt, “he’s in a prison colony on Dosuun.”
“I know who it is, osik it!” Snapped Jo, frustrated from weeks of the absence of her young, “I’ve seen him face to face, I’ve seen him hold a vibro-knife to my son’s neck. And when he finds out we don’t have Meck, he’ll have him killed!”
Kyle’s eyes briefly shut, Jaden captured Racto himself back on Coruscant before, but only the Imperials wanted Odem, Jaden, no... His eyes focused back to the huntress, “Where is Racto?”
Jo’s eyes narrowed up at him, “I’m not telling you anything else unless you do something about our situation.”
“You’re in no position to barter,” retorted Kyle with his lightsaber tip to her jugular vein, “And what do you mean, our?”
“Our, as in you shot my husband you di’kutla, and my son’s aunt still has her Tenloss Rifle trained on your girl and Meck. She’ll only back off if I say so.”
Kyle clenched his jaw, how he wished he brought a comlink with him, “What are you proposing?”
“I want my son back, and I know how to get into Racto’s base. It seems that you want Racto and I have a sniper on your friends.” Jo paused for a moment, “I call my sniper off, take you to Racto’s and I get my son. I know you could storm through Nar Shaddaa on your own or with the New Republic Fleet, but that’ll warn Racto and he’ll disappear.”
As much as Kyle loathed it, she had a few good points, “Alright,” he clenched his jaw again, “one condition.”
“Name it,” her voice was almost desperate now.
“You leave Racto to me,” announced Kyle, “New Republic Intelligence will want to interrogate him, and corpses don’t talk so well.”
Jo scowled, as much as she wanted to hang him over a Vertical City high-rise to burn his skin off before letting Racto descend to the earth below, getting Mike back was far more important, “It’s a deal.”
“Good,” Kyle stepped back from her, his lightsaber still at the ready, “call her off.”
Jo sat back now, freed from the Jedi’s weapon. Two of her fingertips touched to the skin of her neck, pressing up towards the ear, “Dust, stand down.” Deep green eyes lingered over the lightsaberist, “we have a new plan.”
Remember the breeze across your face
Remember the swaying sleeves in the wind
Remember the grains of sand beneath your feet
between your toes
Remember the freedom in the never ending waves
Remember I'll be at the beach.
Jedi Academy - Renaissance