Now to tie up some loose ends.

The astromech seemed like the best place to start. It would be a simple thing to just disassemble it, but Jaq dismissed that idea out of hand. Down the road, they'd need him to tend to the ship.

He left Jade in the starboard dorm and headed to the engine room. It was cozy and familiar in here, with the smell of oil and the purr of the hyperdrive. T3 was within, using one of his gadgets to monitor ship systems. The thing didn't even look up as Jaq approached. So unassuming. So trusting. It was used to going about its own business. He was good in a scrap and handy to have on board, but he kept to himself, mostly, a live and let live attitude that was the main reason why Jaq planned on keeping him around.

He stepped up behind the droid. Sliding his hand into his pocket, he gripped the cold durasteel of his favorite knife. He squeezed the handle in his fist. It was best to just sort of run on "autopilot" when you got down to the fun stuff. Planning these things too carefully was a good way to get yourself killed, especially against Jedi.

Thinking quickly, he pulled his knife free and used it to pry open T3's maintenance panel. The droid had just enough time to swivel its head around before a few swift cuts powered him down with a low hum.

Piece of cake.

Taking a deep breath, he tucked the knife back into his pants. All that remained now was the old woman. Jaq admitted to himself a feeling of hedonistic pleasure at the thought of killing the nasty hag. Considering the price she could fetch with the Exchange, he didn't really need to kill her himself, but he couldn't be bothered to knock her out, truss her up, and leave Jade alone on the ship while he dropped her off. And this way he wouldn't need to worry about her popping up later and stopping everything that he had planned.

Then there was the not so insignificant matter of the "bond" she shared with his lovely little Exile. As attractive as the idea of the mean old woman feeling some of the more painful things had planned for Jade might sound, he wanted this entire Force Bond thing nipped in the bud. And the best way to do it was to get rid of her for good.

And to keep things personal, he reminded himself that he just really wanted her dead. That shit she'd pulled back on Telos was the far side of enough. She'd been consistently cryptic and rude since they'd first met, but the mind-fuck she'd put him through - forcing her slimy way into his head... There was simply no way he could let her get away with such a thing.

He made sure his tread was good and heavy, stomping his way back to the port dormitory. He knew she was aware of everything that was happening, and he wanted her to know he knew. He wasn't quite the fool that he'd led them to believe he was. It was something Jaq liked to use; his ability to make people underestimate him. Made them a little more docile. Open. And then they were always so surprised when they learned the truth. It would be interesting to see how this went, with Kreia, and everything she thought she knew about him.

He crossed his arms across his chest and leaned against the doorjamb, watching through narrowed eyes as Kreia got to her feet and turned toward him.

Her voice was very unnerving, and coupled with her sightless eyes, it completed a picture that made it fairly easy to imagine that she was already dead. "And now, murderer, what is your plan for me?"

"I think you already know the answer to that," he said, sounding bored. They had some time, so he really didn't mind a little verbal sparring session before they got down to business. He cradled his right elbow in his left hand and looked down at his fingernails. They were nicely trimmed, if a bit dirty underneath.

"Oh, I know what you've got planned for her, you vile thing, I'm just curious as to why. These things you think you know about her, how are they enough to make you risk so much? Why break that promise you made to yourself so long ago?"

Jaq smirked. "Call it intuition. A scoundrel's luck. Or if you want to get nasty, I can bring up that crazy Jedi bitch from my past that showed me the Force. I'm sure you remember her?" His hands dropped to his sides as he spoke, and he began filling up his mind with guilt and lust, forcing emotions to help cloud the air. "I'm tired of running scared, of living hand over fist. If I have the ability to be some kind of Jedi, I've seen both sides up close, and I know the one I'm gonna chose. And Jade is the one I want to teach me. You've got that nice little bond going with her now, but guess what? So do I. And it's pretty amazing, all the things you can see when you're that close to someone..."

He was finished talking. He didn't owe her an explanation. All that really mattered was that she was in his way.

He'd been here before, too many times to count, staring into the face of a Jedi that knew he was there to kill them. Kreia may have been a formidable opponent under different circumstances, but as things stood now... She was recently wounded and weak. The ship was cold and lifeless, bare metal. There was no energy here, light or dark, for her to fuel her powers, which were minimal at best. She didn't even have a light saber to defend herself with.

He looked into her dull, unseeing eyes as he slowly pulled a sonic detonator out of his jacket pocket. It wasn't the strongest explosive they were packing, but it would get the job done. Crude, to be sure, but he couldn't exactly snipe at her while she cowered inside this metal chamber.

"You will not succeed," she said to him calmly. Then he felt it. Pain started to burst through his skull, like she was squeezing his brain in her gnarled old fingers. She was in there again, inside his head, trying to bring him to his knees. He gasped, and shoved against it. She wouldn't budge, and he fought panic as the pain began to sharpen. Squeezing his eyes open, he grit his teeth, and taking careful aim, he tossed the 'nade at her feet.

The impact of the detonation knocked Kreia on her ass.

She lay there, battered and bleeding. Jaq took some deep breaths, pushing strands of hair back from his face with shaking hands.

He walked over to her, and kneeling down, he grabbed her head in his hands. She'd probably be alright if she got some medical attention. Her lip was split and he watched a dribble of blood trickle down to her chin. Smiling maniacally at her, he gave it a vicious twist, listening with satisfaction as her neck snapped with a crack.

As she went limp under him, he dropped her head back onto the deck with a thunk. He looked dispassionately down at the odd angle in which she lay.

"Watch me," he said into the ensuing silence.


A/N: Ack. I'm going to have to go ahead and mark this complete. I'm sorry; I did have some very big plans for this, but I got distracted by other projects, other fandoms, and this fell to the wayside (and let's face it, if you look at the reviews you'll notice a lack of interest).