Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Somewhere with a balance between ice and rain
CHAPTER IV: WORK ASSOCIATES:
The winds of nighttime Nar Shaddaa breathed through the abyss of the perpendicular limits, flurries of air nipped at her black coat. A pair of matching boots balanced over the building’s ledge, firm hands gripped the Disruptor Rifle. A single icy blue pupil gazed through the Tenloss scope, the monk and the New Republic agent idly stood through the lens, suspended between the two buildings. A set of three diagonal scars ran over the sniper’s white face, the middle scar crossed over the left eye, leaving a hollow socket. Violet tipped lips pierced open as the comlink buzzed in her ear, “We have a new plan.”
Dust let out a snarl followed by a growl, nudging a shoulder to her ear, “What?”
“This Jedi was too much, but we’ve reached a compromise.”
Her black cloak waved, the air caught dark strands of hair. Jo only ever compromised with people in their non-biological family. Then again there was more at stake here than just a payday. That was why she let Jo call the shots on this job, “Alright, what do you want done?”
“Get in here, I think Vin’s hurt. And jump into the control room, turn the lock-down off.”
Dust sighed, that stupid Mandalorian. She remained in her crouch for a moment longer, the former assassin had to admit this was a very nice shot. All she’d have to do is charge up a disruptor round, stand up, take aim and release the trigger, repeat process. Then again wasn’t a usual job, her boots scraped against durasteel. Upon moving Dust deactivated her rifle with a dying drone. She slipped it beneath her cloak and clipped the weapon to a back holster, letting the fabric conceal it. Dust stepped towards a descending step, she slid over the broad case and came to a green-lit door. With a soft whisper the darkened interior appeared.
Clunky soles clanked to the overhead walkway. Through the meshed floor shone a pale blue light, a bleached hand ran along the grey side rail. Dust looked down into the dim hanger, both figures lingered below her feet. She recognised the smaller one as Jo, and the other held a white sceptre of energy, obviously Kyle Katarn. His lightsaber spun in a single arm and it deathly tip pointed right at her. Katarn knew she was up here.
How she hated Jedi.
Her feet clambered across an intersection and a deep groan filled the darkness. She planted her boots and Dust gazed down to that lump of flesh and armour, in a hushed tone she spoke, “Vin...”
“Yeah, he got me good.” Vin breathed out in a half gasp.
Her boot knocked into something, it was too dark to see even if Dust looked down but she knew it was his preferred Imperial Heavy Repeater. With another sigh Dust advanced forward, “Let me turn the lights on.”
He spewed out a few choice foreign words, brother-in-law or not he was still a pain in the spine. Ahead was another doorway that led to a crimson lined booth. She swept through the hollow frame, countless consoles and dials dazzled within the control room. A view screen looked upon the hanger, beneath the sheet of transparasteel steel stood one more console. To the right of the keyboard glowed a square shaped ruby red button.
Dust pressed her index finger to the glowing block and a deep hum echoed throughout the bay. The vibrating noise deepened and illumination shone from the wall panels and ceiling mounted glow lamps. Her single eye gazed down to the hanger floor, where the bounty hunter and the Jedi master turned to the door as it opened with a distance whine.
* * *
The passage to the suspended bridge cleared as the door swung open, Jan Ors held her blaster rifle at the ready, guarding Odem Meck. Her target reticle trained over the black and red armoured woman who stood at the ready despite being unarmed. Next to her stood Kyle, he raised his free hand in an urgent gesture, “Jan, wait!”
“Kyle,” spoke up Jan as she carefully toddled into the hanger bay. Her mouth almost opened again before a monstrous melody seared their ears. Eyes shifted to the blast doors, the heavy-duty durasteel sheets ground apart to the night skylanes, giving way for the Raven Claw. Once silence reigned Jan tried to speak, “what’s going on?”
“It’s a long story,” the blue tipped lightsaber creased with a hiss.
Jan lightly narrowed her brown eyes onto Kyle, “Then give me the short version.” Another set of footsteps trailed behind her, Odem almost shyly entered.
“She,” Kyle nudged his head to Jo, “claims her boy was kidnapped by Lannik Racto, so she would capture Odem for I’m guessing the Remnant.” He gave a mild shrug, “that’s the only reason I could think of why he’d want Odem. I can’t sense any deception in her motives.”
Dark brown eyes crossed onto the bounty hunter, “Her being?”
Piercing green pupils intercepted the gaze, “Jo Sider.”
That surname caused Kyle to pause, there was something familiar about that name. Sider? Where had he heard it before... The Jedi shook out of his contemplation, “I realise this could be a set up, but Jan you’re really going to hate me for this...”
Her expression was dull, Jan spoke as if reciting her words from a data-pad, “You want me to take Odem to the Core while you go after... I thought Racto was serving time?”
“I can tell you he’s not,” chirped in Jo.
“Well I don’t trust you,” retorted Jan bluntly.
“While I don’t trust either of you, so that makes it fair.” Jo glanced between the New Republic agents, “I need Katarn to get to Racto and if this was a set-up, you’d know by now.”
“I’m sure,” Jan twisted her head back to Kyle, “How will you get back if I take the Claw?”
“We’ll drop him off,” the bounty hunter spoke in a low tone.
“You and who?”
Adding to the inquiry Kyle contributed, “Just how many of you are there?”
Jo gave the bluff answer, “Six, four vets, too apprentices.”
“Dark Jedi,” implied the Ors woman.
Green eyes glared back to her, “Dark Hunters. Don’t worry, if I get my kid back then I’ll drop Katarn off where ever he likes.”
“And if this works out we’ll get our hands back on Racto again,” Kyle tuned in, “and I have a feeling that he’ll know something about Jaden.”
“Okay,” Jan’s voice was hesitant, “if you’re sure.”
An electronic squeak shrilled in her ear, breaking attention from the current conversation and Jo twisted her neck at Dust’s voice, “Vin’s hit, but nothing a syringe full of bacta can’t fix.”
“Alright,” Jo whispered to the ear-mounted comlink, “keep him safe.”
“So Jo,” intervened Kyle, ignoring her mumbling, “what is the plan?”
“Racto uses a contact called Dante to conduct his day to day affairs,” a hint of disgust entered her voice, “they both operate out of the business district. They only opened the door for us to prove that they weren’t bluffing about my son, and they’ll only open them again if I show up with Meck, or someone who we can trade for him.”
“You mean,” Odem broke his silence, his voice trailed off.
“Oh,” the Jedi’s words were dry, realising his part in her scheme, “great.”
“You’re kidding,” choked out Jan, “right?”
Jo shook her head, in the place of her words screamed a high-pitched whine. To the far corner of the hanger, an insipid grey platform lowered to the floor. On this lift stood the black-cloaked sniper, beside the scar-faced woman towered a bulky man in a suit of black and silver armour, his eyes were grey and his head was cleanly shaved. Vin’s gloved hand held over his blood-coated rib. Dust’s boots snapped onto the floor panels and her voice travelled, “Now here’s what is going to happen,” green eyes softened at the sight of the wounded man, “we’re going to take the Jedi to see Racto, because if we don’t then my nephew is going to die, and that will make me one angry aunty. And if that happens then I’m going to shoot you,” her paled finger pointed to Odem, “because this whole thing is about you. I’m sure as hell going to shoot you,” her sharpened nail trained over Jan, “because it’s better to kill than be killed. And I’ll shoot you,” she finally aimed at Kyle, “because you being a Jedi is a good enough reason for me. And if you think we can’t kill Jedi, then ask yourself where did my sister get her lightsaber from...”
“Sure as hell not from the merchant sector,” Jo intervened, “speaking of which, mind giving it back?” That request received her a suspicious glance from Kyle, “You trust me enough to take you into a crime lord’s lair but not enough to give me my own weapon?”
A scoff escaped Jan’s mouth, “Not like,” her words were cut off by a screeching buzz.
Dust had retrieved her Disruptor Rifle and activated it, “Make it? No, but she did earn it. And the plan isn’t up for debate, so take the monk and get out.”
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