Disclaimer: The only clones I actually completely and legally own are my Denal bobble head and Captain Rex key chain. Therefore, I obviously I have no ownership of SW or Lucas Books. Damn, you're going to drive me into therapy, making me say that!
A/N: I'm sorry, I know I haven't updated in several months. Marching season finally ended so I should have more time now. I also apologize in advance for any errors I missed in my once-over edit.
"Mandalorians... I don't like them. They have no issues dwelling with us scum and criminals, but they aren't us, despite it. Just as illegal, but they're a whole different ball game. Their own class. They'll make sure you remember it, too. Seeing them swarming around here makes me nervous. As soon as the we've got our parts, I say we blow this place early and get another freight some where else. Whatever they're doing, we don't want to get caught up in it. That's one of the quickest ways to get very thoroughly dead."
-Salishee, a Vahla smuggler, to her ship's Captian
Esau's Ridge, Tholatin,
1091 days ABG
Tholatin wasn't meant to be paradise; just a planet with lots of rocks, even more dust, and far too much sun. The rocky terrain was filled with canyons that might have once held rivers, but now lay in thirsty silence that was broken only by sound of smugglers' ships.
Etain's heart thundered in her throat, for a minute in time with Sev's even pace and then quicker, louder, until it sounded like a Wookiee's tribal drum. The locals eyed her as she walked weaponless beside the commando. She had to suppress the urge to flee under their sharp, weighing gazes.
Tholatin was not Republic friendly. It didn't belong to the Separatists either, but that was no comfort. Tholatin was on its own side, the side of the pirates, mercenaries, criminals and profiteers who had marked it as their territory. Dangerous territory for a wounded Republic soldier and a hunted Jedi Knight.
"Careful, ma'am" Sev growled a warning as they approached the edge of the crevasse that made up Esau's Ridge. A few figures were waiting up ahead, "I don't like the look of this."
Etain didn't need retelling. She kept her head down and walked faster, envying Sev her Trannie, which rested firmly in his grip. Shab, she had never wanted that thing so badly as she did now.
It was all part of the ruse, of course. He could no more carry his distinctive Deecee than she her lightsabers. Etain felt naked with out her blades, though, and almost panicked with out her conc rifle. Going in unarmed went against all of her survival instincts, no matter what the plan was. And those sabers were more than just weapons to her. No doubt by the time she and Sec got back, they'd be stolen. For some reason she found that unbearable.
"Two beings up ahead, right before the entrance," Sev told her. "They don't look like guards."
Etain looked up a little and strained to make out the beings, reaching out in the Force as well. One Rattataki and one Rodian.
"They know something's up," she shook her head, "and what ever it is they want, I don't think they'll take no for an answer."
"Then I'll just have to give them something they like even less," the commando replied. His grip on the rifle tightened.
The two beings were no longer so distant; they had left their speeders behind them to approach Sev and Etain. She could see a nasty looking longblaster on the Rodian and Firelance rifle cradled in the Rattataki woman's arms. Again she looked with longing at her Trannie. Tholatin was not only no paradise; she was getting the feeling it might be hell to get out of again.
"Haven't seen you around here before," said the Rattataki, her eyes filled with cool disdain, "have I? We don't take well to strangers here."
Her companion seemed much more excitable.
"Heard from watch a Republic shuttle land here, yes? You on that shuttle?!"
Sev made a irritated noise at the back of his throat, but Etain hastened to be the first one to speak, ignoring the Rodian's accusation.
"We're no one important. We haven't come to bother you..."
The Rattataki snorted. "Well you failed."
"We just need some fuel," Etain continued,her voice rising slightly, "And then we'll leave."
"What do we look like, a fuel depot? Regulars only," scowled the Rattataki, "Outsiders should stick to the Republic way-station on Algara V."
"We just need fuel. We'll leave as soon as we get it, and won't stick our noses in anywhere. You have my word."
"Not worth much, word is," the Rodian told her. His blaster shifted in his hands. "Worth very little, on Tholatin for sure! Not like credits! And what you give us for this fuel? Not words, me hope!"
Etain blinked. She had been wondering the same thing herself since before they landed. It wasn't as if she and Sev had any funds. Jedi weren't payed any more than commandos were, and Republic shuttles sent to worlds like Kashyyyk weren't exactly stocked with emergency funds. It would have to be played by ear, like everything else.
"You will be repaid." She tried to put the Force behind her words. She failed.
The Rodian took a step forward, and behind her Sev tensed.
"You seem awfully eager to leave yes? You running from something, me think. You come in Republic ship, but say you no with the Republic. You need fuel but you no have creds. You want to be far, far from Tholatin. What you running from, girlie?" The Rodian's bulbous eyes narrowed in a hard glare.
Etain couldn't help but swallow hard. The Rattataki woman went from annoyance to none-too-friendly interest.
"We're not running. But being stuck on some dustball Mid Rim planet would be a waste of my ... colleague and I's time." She meant it to sound bold and brash, but it came out for what it was, just a small, scared woman biding for time.
The Rodian began to grin now. The expression looked comical on his face, but everything she felt from him read feral.
"You know what me think? Me think you steal that ship from the Republic. Yes. Steal ship, and now they after you. Many ship thieves come to Tholatin."
Etain began to nod in relieved acquiescence, willing to be charged with the small sin of theft rather than the crime of being Jedi, but the Rodian continued, cutting her off.
"But that not all! No, no, no! Who that with you? A clone! One of the Republic's new living droids! Bah! No plain ship thief be with clone! They programmed, they is, to serve the Republic. Republic or the Jedi. You no look like Jedi, girlie, you just look like snack. But you running from Republic and you got clone. So me thinking you must be a murdering Jedi."
There was the silence of three blasters still aimed and ready. Then a deep growl from Sev as the Rattataki laughed.
"A Jedi? Surely even they wouldn't be such idiots as to show their faces right now. Not when they were finally shown for what they were.
Then the woman considered them for a moment longer, her eyes narrowing in a hint of greed.
"But maybe you're right, Gaal. You know, you just might be. Can't say they look like much though. A kid and a flesh droid. Hell, I bet even you could take them. How much you think they'd catch us at the bounty office?"
Even as Etain opened her mouth to speak again, the sound of blasterfire came from beside her.
Sev hadn't waited to be fired on. True to his nature, he shot first, and the Rodian hit the ground with a heavy thud. The Rattataki was quickly falling back, not willing to be taken at point blank range like her partner.
Etain, being unarmed, dashed for cover behind a jagged shard of rock, and used the Force to pull the dead Rodian's longblaster to her. She fumbled with it for a moment and swore, unused to the design, then fired, hitting the woman's leg.
Sev, however, didn't miss his next shot. Etain watched the Rattataki gasp and a bloody hole appear in her chest, then a second. Even as she hit the ground, Sev was turning his attention back to the Rodian. One, two, three, four. Bang, bang, bang, bang. The blood and the smell were awful.
"Always," said Sev "make sure they're dead." His voice seemed to hold the tremor of a grudge.
Etain remained still for a moment as her brain absorbed the carnage. The she flung around, beige tunic flapping at the sleeves.
"What the hell was that?!" she demanded, "I was still talking to them! You didn't have to shoot!"
Sev's eyes narrowed.
"Sorry, ma'am, just thought you might want me to save our hides."
"I could have still talked them down, Force-persuaded them, something!"
"Your way wasn't working, Mine did. They would have turned us in or shot us momentarily anyway."
Etain bit her lip hard enough that she tasted blood. She had to pull her temper back under control. It was unneeded here as it had been in the Temple. It was a distraction she couldn't afford. The Masters had been right about that much, at least.
Sev had a point, she guessed. They couldn't be trusted. And she couldn't afford to be a Jedi here, not when it would get them both killed.
She managed to tear her eyes from the bodies and turn to Sev. Still clutching the Rodian's longblaster tightly in one hand, she raked her fingers through her tangled hair.
"Fine. But how do we explain this inside the settlement?"
The slight air of confusion Sev had worn as he watched her try to calm disappeared, replaced by hard certainty.
"We don't. Strip them of weapons, valuables, and ID, ransack their speeders, then hide the bodies. We'll have banged out by the time they're found. If they ask about blasterfire inside..."
Etain had spent enough time with Kal Skirata to know the answer. "We went strangely deaf."
With a sigh she went to search the Rattataki's corpse, leaving the Rodian to Sev and trying pointedly to ignore the blood that got on her hands. She found a paltry amount of creds in the dead woman's pocket, and some kind of pin or broach with a tiny gem that might be convertible to cash creds. No ID card, no identichips, but a pocket of the Rattataki's belt revealed a comlink. Her heart leapt for a moment, then sunk as she realized it was only short-range.
"The chakar's broke and dead," Sev grumbled as she turned back around. He nudged the Rodian with a boot in disgust, "50 creds and some holochips. And from the looks of it there won't be much else on the bikes either. Her jacket might fit you, though.
Etain, spotting it, held it up. The jacket was nice, and probably the reason for the Rattataki's lack of credits. Ballistic mesh didn't come cheap. It was at least two sizes too big, but she slipped it on over her conspicuous Jedi tunic anyway.
They still looked like a pair of sore thumbs, Sev in his black bodysuit, Etain in her ascetic trousers and hand-me-down coat. But they'd just have to take that as it was, too. Now if she could just...
Then she saw Sev's possessive grip on her conc rifle, and sighed before she picked up the Rattataki's Firelancer.
Sev hauled the bodies away out of sight and they headed for the entrance to Esau's ridge. It was meant for a ship to land in and had no way for a human to scale the sheer walls of the crevasse in which the settlement was situated, but the stolen speeder bikes seemed to work just fine. No doubt they had been specially equipped for this.
The two landed near the farthest edge of the long ravine in order to draw as little attention to themselves as possible. The sky was clear and bright though, so no doubt they had been spotted by someone scanning the horizon.
The hum of ships was even louder in the depths of the canyon, blending with the sounds of Jizz music, yelling, and somewhere in the background, more blasters being discharged. The place they had landed was already crammed with vehicles just like theirs, and the buildings up ahead were all in a state of disrepair. Every shop or bar seemed to be haphazardly sprawled on top another, in total disregard for Coruscanti safety regulations.
"We've walked into downtown Keldabe..." Sev muttered.
Etain walked forward a few steps, towards the buildings.
"Somehow I think this is exactly the kind of place my Master would have warned me away from. We had better find the spaceport, or whatever serves here. The sooner we get fuel, the sooner we can go. We had better hide these bikes too, some one might recognize-"
"Are you looking for the docks, then?" interrupted a voice from somewhere to their left. A Cordu-Ji woman emerged from the shadow of the canyon. Her eyes glittered in her sharp, wolfish face. Two of her four hands rested on her hips, and the others each held a pistol. At her slight nod, a few other ragtag beings, all armed, stepped forward to join her.
"My name is Lisysos, and I'm Tholatin's chief enforcement officer. We have some questions for you. Let's start with who the hell you are."
"Paying customers," Sev said before Etain could speak.
"Fair enough," the woman replied, tilting her head to the side, greying dark hair pooling over her shoulders "But that's not all. We had reports of trouble upside. First an unknown ship lands some clicks off and spooks off clients, then there's a firefight by the cliff. Would you care to explain how you came across those speeders?"
"Abandoned-" Etain started, but again, Sev cut her off.
"Their owners don't need them anymore," he said, fingering the trigger on his- Etain's- concussion rifle, "Will that be an issue?"
And to Etain's surprise Lisysos chuckled darkly. "Not in Esau's Ridge. Don't make a habit of it though, or I'll get testy. I'd also advise you to leave the big guys alone, for your own good. But second-rate mercs like Hakja Delvita and Gaal won't be missed."
If she's not here about the deaths, wondered Etain, then what's all of this about? What exactly is she enforcing?
She looked to Sev in confusion, but he wasn't looking her way. His eyes were still on Lisysos, like an animal sizing up a rival predator. The Cordu-Ji even seemed a bit weary of the intensity behind that look.
"You think we might be spooks," he said finally.
"Who's conducting this interview?" snapped the enforcement officer. "But would you blame me? Yej thinks the unidentified ship is Republic, and here you two come strolling into town withing half an hour of its arrival with stolen bikes, no ship, and the strangest wardrobes I've ever seen."
Sev gritted his teeth loudly.
"Trust me, chakaar, the last thing I am is grateful to the Republic."
It wasn't untrue.
Lisysos seemed to pick up on the fact that she was being offended, even if she spoke no Mando'a. She tensed, her men tensed, and then so did Sev.
"Which you would say even if you were Republic trash. But do you have proof? This looks awfully funny from where I'm standing."
Then Sev was silent, looking as if he'd like very much to simply open fire on them all and remove the obstacle that way, but even he could win against the whole of the Ridge. It looked like they were fracked one way or the other.
Kenobi would have just Force-persuaded Lisysos to let them go free, but Etain wasn't Kenobi and didn't have that kind of skill. Besides, the woman seemed strong minded, so maybe even Kenobi would have failed. It was a little comfort, but not much.
Then a thought struck her. She discreetly opened a pouch on her belt, but not discreetly enough. Suddenly all the blasters were facing her way, even with the Firelancer now dropped to her side.
"Keep your hands where I can see them!" cried Lisysos, her eyes widening as she looked, no doubt for a thermal detonator. But what Etain pulled out wasn't a grenade; it wasn't even dangerous. Just a small access identichip, taken from the body of a dead mercenary on Kashyyyk. She had at one point, before Order 66, intended to pass it on to Jaing and see what he could do with it. She held it out to Lisysos.
The Cordu-Ji took it with great caution, and perhaps some sense of foolishness, because she didn't speak until after she had inserted it in a datapad and scanned the contents.
"Your name is Briseis Novem?"
"And you're with the Seps?"
Lisysos looked up again. "There's no picture, no way of confirmation."
With a shaky breath, Etain decided she'd simply have to try it, strong mind or no.
"It's me," she said empathetically, her hand moving ever so slightly at her side.
Lisysos's eyes grew a little hazy for a moment, but still her voice came out strong.
"How do I know?"
"Would I claim to be on the loser's side of a war if I wasn't?" Etain asked, putting all her effort behind it now. There was too much riding on this for her to give into her panic. "I'm Briseis, just like it says on the ID."
Lisysos simply looked at them for a minute, gaze inscrutable, and Etain knew she'd failed.
Oh Force... I'm sorry Sev. I'm sorry Dar...
But then Lisysos began to nod. With a wave of the hand, she ordered her men to stand down. Several looked disappointed.
"Briseis, then. We have no overwhelming loyalty to the Separatists here, but as you said, you've lost the war. It's just the Republic we have to be concerned with." Seeming confident now in this fact, Lisysos gave an acid little smile. "Our docks aren't discriminate. Your legal status will only matter to the bounty hunters."
Etain didn't quite dare to look and see Sev's expression.
"May I ask where I'd go about getting fuel then, if we're free to go?"
"The docks are on the other side of the market," said one of Lisysos's followers, a gap-toothed Devaronian, seeming slightly more friendly than the woman herself. "Just past Habetaa's bar."
Lisysos nodded, impatient to be going now that the two mysterious strangers had proven inconsequential and a waste of her time.
"Enjoy your business here."
And with a flourish of her long hisp-silk sleeves, Lisysos left for other, more worthwhile targets. The small crowd of thugs dispersed.
Once they were alone, Etain looked again to the clone beside her. "Do we even have enough credits for the fuel?"
"No. We'll have to appropriate it and then bang out, fast."
"Well we might as we do a recce first, then."
Sev moved to head deeper into the settlement, and Etain quickly matched his pace.
"My way," she said as they walked, "works."
Kirim Spaceport Bar and Restaurant, Capital City, Randon
Three days later
"Maybe a few creds will..."
The Kirian hit the wall with a hard thud, but Darman's grip didn't slacken. He had the man pinned in a heartbeat.
"Don't mess with me, hutuun," the clone warned, eyes dangerously dark, "I'm not in the mood for any osik. Did you or did you not see them?"
The Kirian only stared on in wide-eyed fright, unable to find the courage to speak in the presence of the sudden rage shadowing Darman's face. He blabbered something unintelligible, screwing his eyes shut and trying to shrink away.
Darman was almost shouting now; he was beginning to draw attention but at this point, he didn't care. All that mattered was to get the filthy shabuir to talk. Darman needed to know if he had seen Etain. He needed to know if she was alright. Nearly a week's silence had left him frantic.
"I said answer me!"
The Kirian whimpered as he was again slammed against the rough plasticrete wall. Darman felt someone coming up behind him and turned, fully prepared to deal with them, too, but then he saw the familiar green armor.
"Darman," Jusik said, his voice low and warning, "Put him down Dar. People are staring."
Darman bit back the urge to tell Jusik that he'd take care of them next. This chakaar had baited him, and if he knew anything about Etain, Darman fully intended to get it out of him, by any means necessary. He had to, she was counting on him, was out there somewhere and maybe hurt-
"Darman!" said Jusik more firmly, reaching out to put a hand on his brother's shoulder. "He doesn't know anything. He was just looking for credits." Disgust crept into the blond man's voice.
And as quick as it had come that split-second, eye-blink anger was gone, replaced by a sinking in his chest like ballast sinking in the depths of Manaan. He left the Kirian go, grudgingly, then turned to Jusik.
"It's okay Dar," said Jusik voice still quiet and controlled, "We'll find her. But you won't make things any better by slotting conmen. Try and just ignore them next time, will you? One Sev is bad enough."
"Sorry, Bard'ika," Darman replied remorsefully, "It just... came over me. Every time I think of what could have happened to them by now... I just... it's like I'm crazy-"
"I know," Jusik cut him off. "C'mon. Let's go check with the others, see if they found anything."
Darman followed Jusik obediently through the crowd of people, his thoughts a mess. He tried to clear his mind, but to no avail. Etain still danced through his mind, laughing and joyful, then screaming in pain.
Why hadn't she commed him yet?
He could understand, could appreciate, that it probably wouldn't be wise for her to use her old comm right now. It would be all too easy for the Empire to look up those codes, to somehow track her through the comlink. And he guessed that there must be some sort of reason Sev hadn't been able to contact anyone before Order 66 was even given.
But she knew his codes, and if he knew Etain, she knew them by heart. Kal'buir's, too. It didn't take much, just a long-range comlink and some kind of uplink or the holonet. Most civilized worlds had public terminals to use even.
So why hadn't she commed?
The only things he could think of were that she was either in a place with no reliable public comm or holonet to use, or that she was badly injured -he wouldn't let himself think 'dead'- and unable to place a call at all.
Assuming it wasn't the latter, he realized it had been a bad idea to come here to Ralon. This was a flourishing trade planet, filled with bazaars and gleaming corporate towers. Exactly the kind of place the Empire would be interested in placing a strong foothold on in the first place. It made no sense for Etain to come here, not if she was on the run with nothing but her lightsabers and a clone for company. Dar had spotted at least two spooks already, enough to justify his use of hair and iris die.
Jusik lead him to a table very close to the exit. Sitting around it were the other members of the aliit helping search for Etain and Sev- Kal'buir,of course, and Vau, Niner, Parja and Fi. One look at their faces and Darman knew they also had found nothing.
"I'm sorry son," Kal said, pained, as Darman and Bardan took their seats, "This is looking more and more like a bad lead, isn't it? I should have guessed from the beginning."
"You couldn't have known, Kal," said Parja, using that special tone of Mando females that left no room for debate, "None of us could. If we knew that much, we'd already know where to look to find them."
Absentmindedly, Fi tossed Mird a scrap off of his plate of roba melts. The strill caught the bit of meat delicately in its long jaws, but didn't immediately set to chewing. It kept the treat in its mouth but lay its head dejectedly on its paws.
Kal raked his fingers through his hair.
"We've ruled out the Kashyyyk system itself, and Enacca's got eyes and ears out in the Wookiee colonies in the Kwookrrr and Rakhuuun system. I don't think they'd head to another Wookiee planet though. The furballs are noble enough but you know Etain. She wouldn't want to endanger them. Damn, I'm going to kick her shebs when we get a hold of her. Sev too."
Vau, still looking into his ale, said nothing. Darman glanced at him, feeling some strange new empathy with the man, but the old Mando seemed determined not to acknowledge it.
"Ah c'mon Kal'buir," Fi said. He was doing what he had always done, trying to ease the stain, but his face said it was a strain this time. Parja watched protectively. "Sev's just a psycho. He doesn't know any better."
Kal ignored the interruption.
"We don't have time to check all the systems in the Mytaranor sector. It'll take too long."
Parja tapped her fingers slowly on the table.
"Then let's narrow it down. Radon, Kwookyrrr, Rakhuuun, Kashyyyk are out. The Mytaranor system itself is probably a no-go as well; too many slaver groups. What's that leave?"
"Chamble, Ota, and Tholatin."
"Or they could have left the sector. Have we considered that?" Jusik asked.
Vau slowly shook his head.
"No. Enacca checked their fuel gage before she ran off the rip the arms of the Trandoshans who'd followed them. They would have had to stop somewhere in-sector before they went on. That means stories, that means disguises or stealth. That means time. They're probably still here somewhere, we're just not looking hard enough."
Jusik looked hard at Vau for a minute, maybe sensing something, then spoke. "My guess would be Tholatin or Messert, then. Chamble will be crawling with Palpatine's thugs right now, all those droid factories. And Ota's all ice with a primitive people. Not a good place to stop and refuel."
"They wouldn't be dumb enough to head to Tholatin, would they?" Parja asked, "While they're on the run? That places is crawling with two-cred mercs and bounty hunters."
Darman saw for a minute the flash of a blaster firing, heard a scream, then shook his head and spoke up.
"Etain might try anyway. It all comes down to whether she though the Republic- sorry, Imperial presence in Messert was more dangerous than the lowlife on Tholatin."
There was a moment's grim silence. Jizz music floated idly from the front of the bar, and a server droid wheeled over to refill their drinks.
"Well," Fi said after it had left, "Etain never had any trouble with slumming it with us criminals before. And Sev should feel right at home; maybe he'll run into someone from the same mental institution."
"Tholatin it is, then," Parja looked to Skirata, "If that's alright, Kal."
"Of course, ad'ika. The sooner we find them, the better. Let everyone finish up first; tracking isn't something to do on an empty stomach. Then we'll leave."
Darman couldn't still that long. Just as before, he wanted to act now. He rose from his chair, leaning forward on the table, and the others looked at him. The soldier part of him was embarrassed by his own impatience and lack of focus, but worried Darman the husband won out.
"I'm going for a walk. I'll meet you back at the Aay'han."
Jusik stood up as well, perfectly calm. "I'll go with you."
Darman knew Jusik meant well, but resented it. He didn't need a babysitter. Still, he didn't try to protest as they walked out into the streets towards one of the less reputable bazaars.
The noise and smells were obnoxious, but welcome for their distraction. Plenty of strange beings with stranger goods filled the narrow paths. Here a Trandoshan munching on an unidentified haunch of meat that Dar was reluctant to identify, the smell of spices thick enough to make him gag, and there a Chadra-Fan scuffling hurriedly by with a bulging coat.
The two men drew attention themselves as they examined racks of mostly illegal weapons. Jusik in green beskar'gamand Darman in borrowed black and red were both easily identifiable as Mandalorians, even with their buy'ce tucked under their arms. Mandos weren't too common here, and the sudden influx of them seemed to be making the locals uneasy.
One merchant, however, seemed bolder than the others, a filthy Duros with a grinning face. He came out some from behind his stall and looked them over, Jusik in particular, then gestured to the lightsaber still hanging from Jusik's belt.
"Ah, Mandalorians. It's been a long time since I've seen any of you. Not since I was in the Outer Rim, but that's another story. I noticed your weapon. You collect trophies?" he asked in his native tongue.
"Yes, Traveler," Jusik said using a polite address but a hard voice, "What is it to you?"
"I have something you might want to see," the Duros said with a chuckle as he went back behind his stall to grab the item in question, "Just got it off a scrapper from Tholatin this morning. Worth much more than he usually brings in, but you don't care about that. You know, no offense to you guys but I've always wondered how a regular old Duros like me could really know those trophies you wear aren't just bought, other than the scalps I mean."
He shuddered a little, then placed something wrapped in stained durasilk on the counter. The shape was odd; Darman's interest peaked. "Not that I really care one way or the other of course. In fact, I'd be happy to help keep their reps up... so long as they have the creds."
"Just get to it already," Darman told him.
"Of course, sir." With a discreet look around the neighboring stalls, the Duros unwrapped the package. In the midst of the cloth lay two lightsabers, both in perfect condition and recently cleaned.
Two very familiar lightsabers.
Darman's heart stopped, and then the rage was back. The Duros took an uneasy step back as the clone looked back up again, and pounded his fist against the counter. Several glass vials rattled; one fell off and broke.
"Where did you get these?!"
"I told you, I told you! Off a scrapper, a scrapper from Tholatin. I don't know anything about them, he just came in with them earlier this morning, same time as he brings his usual haul. Those and some kind of rifle. I didn't recognize it, but it's already sold. I swear, that's all I know!"
"Darman!" Jusik warned.
"Did he tell you anything about how they were found, or where?! Who the hell is he anyway?!"
His first thought was to brush off the warning, to demand from the Duros information, violently if necessary. Instinct, however, sometimes went deeper than conscious thought and he turned around a mere second after Jusik.
Someone, also in armor, was barreling through the crowd towards them. A few of the vendors panicked as the stranger came closer and as he passed began pulling down the covers of their stalls or gathering their goods in their arms. He didn't stop to hassle them; he seemed to be locked on Jusik and Darman.
This was a bad place to have a fight, but the figure was already aiming. His armor was made of familiar white plastoid in an unfamiliar design. His weapon was the familiar DC fifteen.
"Freeze, Jedi" the clone's voice ventured from his strange helmet, somehow Darman's not yet Dar's at all, "and you too, brother."
Hello everyone. Yes, I'm still alive. :) Su'cuy gar to you too.
*holds out peanut butter cookies and uj cake as an apology offering for her absence*
I meant to have something about Delta or the cast still at Kyrimorut in this chapter, but the rest just got too lengthy. Besides, reading Imperial Commando had made me realize I completely forgot Ny, Uthan, Scout, and Kina Ha. Whoops. -_-' Still coming up with a way to work them in to the plot...
Last chapter I asked if anyone could find the Kal quotes. In case you're curious they were when Dar told Kad "It's okay. I'm here, son. I'm here." (the same thing Kal told Ordo the first night on Kamino) and when Ordo told Reidel "You're safe, I promise you." (I love that entire first chapter of Trip Zip...)