Carlz looked at the seven Jedi in front of him. They were suffering from the side-effects of senislug gas, but that was alright. If he didn't get what he wanted, they would soon be suffering from much more than mere physical irritations.

"What brings you to Nal Hutta? I hardly think it is the most happening plce in the galaxy right now," he said, signaling to the guards, which started moving the energy cage.

"You've been up to something here, and we're supposed to find out what," replied Kirana Ti, glaring at him.

"Really? I'd just have to interrogate you, then," said Carlz, "Guards, take them to Buter's torture chambers."

"Wait, did you just mention Doctor Ernst Buter?" asked Jacen, curious, "The former authority on genetic engineering?"

Carlz laughed, "The reason he got dismissed is the reason why I'm here."

With that puzzling statement, Carlz walked of laughing, leaving behind six confused Jedi, and one slowly-understanding Jacen.


The guards maneuvered the energy cage through dark, winding, musty-smelling corridors. They came to a stop in front of a large blast door, which was studded with rivets the size of a humanoid's fist. The door opened, and the guards pushed the cage inside. The door slammed shut upon their entry, leaving them in darkness.

Jaina turned to Jacen, "Who is that Buter guy?"

"That would be an interesting question," said Kirana Ti, "Jacen, kindly explain."

"From what I know, Professor Ernst Buter was the galaxy's leading authority on genetic manipulation and genetic engineering. But, five years ago, he was dismissed from his post as Mon Calamari University's Head of the Bio-Sciences department. I'm not clear about WHY he was fired, though. I think it was dangerous experimentation involving cross-breeding," said Jacen, running a hand through his hair.

"I WAS FIRED! THEY FIRED ME!" angry shouting came from somewhere in the dark room, "THEY SAID I WAS MAD, AN INSANE LUNATIC! BUT THEY WERE WRONG…"

A tall, scarecrow-like man with white hair came into sight. Dorsk 82 noticed that his skin seemed to be emitting some sort of greenish light, like a bioluminescent organism. The man's eyes were large and solidly yellow. He had no visible pupils, making him look rather Chiss-like. He was clad in a standard laboratory lab coat, with the handles of various surgical instruments sticking out of hi pockets. He walked out of sight, and the lights came on, revealing a room jam-packed with instruments of torture and interrogation. Along one wall resided a rack of sinister-looking droids, and placed all over the room were surgical repulsor-trolleys, with what looked like Dr. Evazan's clinic laid out on them. On the ceiling were large pipes with numerous ysalamiri clinging to them. Jaina's eyes narrowed as she realized what had nullified their abilities to use the Force.

Buter walked up to them in the cage, and was followed by a brass-colored droid that looked sadistic. He stopped in front of a helmet that was suspended from the ceiling on a heavy chain. It was spherical, about two feet in diameter, with a polymer seal-collar and several transparisteel portholes. It looked like a diving helmet from ancient times, complete with several hoses and pipes attached to it.

"Now, my good friend Crix Carlz has requested that I torture you until I know every reason for your presence here on Nal Hutta. Don't bother using your mystical religion here-I've packed the room with ysalamiri."

"We won't tell you anything, you filth-eater," hissed Dorsk 82, "You can kill us, but you'll get nothing."

Buter sighed, and turned to the brass droid next to him, "Eve dear, get the Khommite."

The droid nodded and opened the cage. She leveled a Glottalphib swamp stunner at them, and used a teras kasi grip to pull Dorsk out of the cage. The cage was locked again. Dorsk was hauled up to Buter.

"The 'Galactic Encyclopedia of Sentient Life-Forms' states that a Khommite can hold its breath for four standard minutes," said Buter, caressing the suspended helmet, "But I think that the book stated that in a hypothetical manner. Therefore we shall test just HOW long a Khmmite can hold its breath."

By now, the droid called Eve had put the helmet over Dorsk's head. He had been restrained using several sets of stun cuffs.

"Is there anything you'd like to tell me?" asked Buter, looking at the six Jedi left in the cage.

"What are you doing to Dorsk?" asked Jaina, staring at Buter.

"That would be up to you. Eve, start the machine."

The Jedi watched in horror as water was pumped into the airtight helmet. Dorsk appeared to be screaming through the transparisteel, but the water soon covered his mouth. The water level kept on rising until his whole head was submerged. A stream of tiny bubbles left Dorsk's mouth.

"Let him out of that thing!" shouted Jacen, as Dorsk started to show signs of discomfort.

"Young Jedi, do you know what this instrument is called?" asked Buter, who was watching Dorsk in the helmet.

"I DON'T GIVE A FRELL! LET HIM OUT!" bellowed Jacen.

"This helmet is called a Givin Breath-Holding Helmet," said Buter. Dorsk was looking beseechingly at his friends. Buter continued, "Givin pilots in cantinas used to bet on how long they could hold their breath using these. Of course, the helmet's seal-collars were built with a timing device. If the bet was five minutes, then the sel would only disengage after five minutes. If it was an hour, it would unseal in an hour. And Givin, with their abilities to hold their breath, have built the timers with a minimum unsealing time of half a standard hour."

Dorsk was now visibly struggling in the helmet. His limbs trashed around in their restraints.

"Let him out, Buter!" cried Jaina, as blood began to ooze out of Dorsk's nostrils.

"My information first, thank you very much."

As the other Jedi panicked Kirana Ti was trying to reach a large blaster that was on the floor two feet from the cage. Judging from the empty hook above it, the blaster must have fallen off the hook.

Kirana Ti was throwing her fiber cord in an attempt to get th blaster, and finally snagged it. A quick glance at Dorsk told her time was short-his eyes had rolled over and only the whites were visible.


TSEEEWWW! A large blaster bolt tore through the cage's circuitry, shutting the cage down. As the Jedi jumped out towards Dorsk, Buter and Eve had each picked up large, deadly-looking objects from a rack on the wall.

Dorsk's mouth was moving like a fish's, opening and closing, puppet-like. Blood oozing from his nostrils was turning the water red.

"Move!" shouted Kirana Ti, using the blaster she had picked up to try and melt the transparisteel. At its lowest setting, the blaster made small holes in the transparisteel, letting the water out slowly.

Dorsk suddenly went limp in his restraints, and one of the Chaa triplets snapped.

"GEEYAH!" hissed the reptilian Jedi, as he viciously punched the helmet's largest porthole. A spider's web of cracks appeared.

Another hard punch was doled out, fast. The transparisteel gave way, blood-filled water rushing out of the broken porthole. Dorsk lay limp in the helmet, not breathing. The seal disengaged, and Dorsk fell out of the helmet. His body showed no signs of life.

Before the Jedi could try any form of resuscitation, Buter's angry voice cut through the tension like a vibroblade.

"He lasted for five minutes. And you broke one of my favorite toys, and now there'll be shit to pay for that!"

They turned to face him, and saw Buter and Eve approaching them, massive shock prods in their hands. The two torturers pressed several buttons, and large arcs of electricity shot out of the rods, towards the seven Jedi.