Disclaimer: I still don't own Star Wars or KotOR. Dang. Any references to KotOR do not belong to me.
A/N: Thank you for all the reviews, favs and follows. I am amazed how many have already found this story and truly appreciate the support! 2015 was a bad year in terms of writing and I have to apologize for the lack of updates in all of my stories, but also need to thank you for your patience and encouraging feedback.
I had to divide this chapter into two parts due to it spreading a bit too long and complex for a single update. The second part is well on the way and shouldn't be too far from release.
With no further ado I give you:
Chapter 9: Face of the Dead Man (part 1)
Through the scope of his rifle he saw desolate scenery of darkness and death. Everything was overshadowed by the gigantic plate supported and fixed a hundred meters above his head. In his strained mind the environment, both overcast and oppressive, felt perfectly suitable in many ways.
A true hunt, but he could never call it so.
No – he should not call it so. Think of it as such. Rather here, amidst predators of many kinds, was more fitting to say that he was the prey and not the hunter.
He had taken a position on a platform circling a pillar several meters off the ground. It was a platform the construction naturally offered purely due to architectural and not aesthetical choices, and such were seen in many structures similar to this throughout the galaxy.
Simple physics, intended to enlarge the area the foundation of the massive pillar supported to the dead ground of Taris. The foot of the pillar distributed the enormous weight of the plate on an area larger than the diameter of the pillar itself. It was not an optimal platform for his purposes, inclining a couple of degrees downward and forcing his muscles instinctively fight against gravity when he should have stayed relaxed. Not perfect in any manner in a situation where even a slightest increase in heart rate made a difference, but it gave him visibility further and kept his skin away from jaws of Rakghouls, nonetheless.
At this point only those two things mattered.
This particular pillar appeared to provide an access to the ancient sewer network of Taris. He had seen a few similar old pathways to the maintenance sections of the sewers, assuming at the same time that the crisscrossing series of pipes and tunnels under his feet hadn't seen much maintenance in a century. Although the old doorway showed signs of recent movement, the rusty brown door leading to the interiors of the pillar stood locked. Since anyone potentially walking out of the door would have been straight in his sights, he wasn't too concerned of it.
He had chosen this spot purely based on location.
No obstructions blocking visibility to the crash site – there was a perfect, open sightline and an empty field in front of him. This, approximately one hundred and fifty meters away from the Jedi's battered escape pod was a sufficient distance to observe. Far, yet also close enough to give him an opportunity of reacting efficiently should the need arise.
Although the lack of light decreased his visual range, darkness shrouded his form from eyes all around him. It was beneficial. Where this desolate and starving shadow of the nature itself failed to provide adequate feedback to his senses, technology closed the gap and gave much more. The large, red-shaded lenses of his mask filtered and strengthened all available light from surroundings, and for him it was clear and bright as on a sunny midday far on the top of the tallest plate. A series of filters which covered his mouth and nose sorted fresh air from the dust to his lungs, as if he was residing within a personal pocket with its own micro environment.
A sensation of vibration against the skin on his wrist informed him that someone sought his attention. He had expected this. It had been far too long since he had reported back to his superiors and he knew they were growing frustrated and likely suspicious.
He could not avoid the feeling of uneasiness when he saw who was on the other side of the transmission.
"Weyron, we are tracking your signal to the Undercity. Any signs of the Jedi?" Admiral Saul Karath's demanding and sharp voice crackled to his ears.
"Negative. It's confirmed that she never reached the Upper City, sir," the Lieutenant replied. "Tracks lead to the Lower City or Undercity."
He had to buy some time, which meant that he had to give them something. Not all. Not much.
So he did not mention that he assumed Bastila Shan was injured. Equally, he did not have an intention of bringing up that there were multiple clues pointing towards one of the Lower City swoop gangs holding the Jedi captive.
…At least the Exchange was not the reason why there was a mutilated corpse of a Gamorrean near the escape pod, literally torn to gruesome pieces. A small and not very impressive group of goons led by no other than Canderous Ordo had visited the pod just an hour back and stripped it empty from whatever trash was still left. They never saw him.
He was taken aback by Karath's answer.
"She is in the Undercity, Lieutenant. Not far from your coordinates. Several Dark Jedi in the Upper City have reported a fluctuation in the Force no more than fifteen minutes ago - a clear indication of Force use, they say. They are very certain that the suspected location of this disturbance is near the Undercity village area."
A Jedi - she is here. That confirms that…
Trask licked his lips, feeling the sudden dryness in his mouth.
"Any surveillance data?" he asked, succeeding in keeping his voice steady.
"None. There's no surveillance. Cameras broke down a decade ago and apparently no-one over here saw the need of fixing them," Karath informed him, a sharp edge of irritation distinguishable in his voice.
"Within the past twelve hours the guards at the elevator have let through only three patrols of friendly troops, reinforcements in civilian clothing, a group of hirelings of a local businessman…and a couple of locals. They have performed as per the protocol and checked and recorded all IDs. Everything seems to be in order. She's still down there."
"There is another door, another path," the Lieutenant told him.
"Expectable. Not many swoop gang members have sought passage through the lifts, but patrols in the Undercity have reported numerous sightings of them… Nonetheless, the Jedi is caught now, Weyron. All patrols have been alerted of the potential Jedi presence and they will sweep the area gate onwards. You close the search ring from the other side. Ensure that she does not escape."
"She will not, sir," the Lieutenant answered automatically, thoughts already absolutely elsewhere than in Bastila Shan.
After cutting the transmission he took a short while to watch the horizon and steady his restless thoughts.
Reinforcements in civilian clothing.
It made a bloody lot of sense and confirmed the hypothesis that had been the main driver of his actions after realizing that the group seemed to move effortlessly between cities. Since the group was using false Sith identification documents they had been close to invisible. Apparently no-one had verified the names in the IDs - he strongly suspected that these could not be found in the logs of Mission Command.
That increased the risk of additional complications.
How in the heck they'd even got a hold of functional Sith identification cards to reproduce believable forgeries?
He did not want to know. Considering who were involved, he could not see a reason to be surprised about it.
Trask activated his comlink again and opened a transmission.
"Soldier, I need every single name that has entered your position from the Lower City direction within the last one-hundred and twenty minutes. Name, rank, reason of entrance," he ordered.
"Requesting authorization," the voice said.
"Lieutenant Weyron. Dorn-three-seven-Cresh…" he recited all the eight symbols that formed the code.
A minute of silence ensued as the code was being verified.
"Yes, sir," the voice acknowledged hurriedly.
The soldier had done a reasonably good job. The Lieutenant concentrated, thoughts buzzing, as the man listed meticulously all locals who had used the route, before moving on to Sith troops. The soldier reported nine groups of two or more people. Mission Command was clearly pinpointing the search effort to the Undercity and increasing the number of men and women on the actual ground of Taris.
While listening to the report, the Lieutenant had mentally removed all impossible options from the list. A few groups could easily be classified as highly unlikely, and some just plainly having a low probability. After this only three names remained. They were very ordinary names, names so common on many planets that they drew no attention nor sparked any interest in populated areas of space. In his mind they were perfect false names.
He thanked the soldier before moving on to instructions.
"Inform immediately all parties in the area of the names I will list to you. It is of utmost importance that if encountered, they should be…"
When explaining the orders to the officer he already knew with damning certainty that he was running out of time. The comlink on his arm felt as if it was on fire and about to burn through his skin, scorch muscle and bone. Soon he would shut it down to remove any chances of distraction, but also and more importantly, take one step towards the state of invisibility.
Technically, if he was to follow the orders he had received just prior to this mission, at the moment of being assigned to the Endar Spire, a certain member of the group was on his kill list.
In any case it had to be considered. He opened the retractable bipod of his rifle and started preparations.
What a bloody mess, I thought.
This is approximately the time which can be spent in the Undercity…before one learns to absolutely hate the whole place.
Grimacing and feeling nothing but dull disgust, I discarded my blaster pistol in favor of the vibroblade. The latter I spun to block the snarling mouth of the beast - whilst the slime-oozing jaws armed with one-hundred razor-sharp teeth aimed to the direction of my armored forearm, growling and snapping the empty air all around it. The agile blade vibrating at ultrasonic speed penetrated the Rakghoul's skin at its neck and cut through meat and tendons, making its way to the esophagus. A trail of dark blood sprinkled from the wound and the thin, black river of liquid snaked towards the beast's grey, muscular shoulder.
The creature let out a half shriek, half growl. My brain ignored how humane it sounded.
Utilizing the opening gained by destroying the beast's momentum, I smashed my left fist straight to its temple. I heard and felt the thin shell of bone yield and break under the impact of the punch with a sickening crack.
Blasters blazed all around me.
The mutant screeched and twitched due to pain, probably experiencing what-the-kriff a Rakghoul saw in place of stars. The grey-skinned beast stumbled backwards, growling. Poisonous saliva dripped between its teeth and met the ground as a shower of large drops of slime.
Come, I thought, my lips twisting and revealing a portion of my teeth. I spun the blade so that it faced the Rakghoul horizontally, in a form of an uninviting opening stance.
…Make your move!
The creature hesitated, black eyes fixated to me and it circled around my location as if searching for a direction to attack. The claws met the yellowish ground one by one, each of the dark one-foot long nails digging into the soft soil. How much those bony yet muscular limbs still resembled a human's hands… Probably I should have found the realization disturbing, but I did not have the time or interest for that.
I assumed there was not much going on within its skull. But whatever there was, I had managed to plant a seed of doubt within the ocean of endless hunger. Its instincts were at war: battling between the potential threat produced by the presence of the sharp-edged creator of pain…and the hunger, which had no limits.
Starving. Eat. Feed. Pain? It seemed to think.
The Rakghoul's hesitation was ended to an abrupt intervention provided by Carth's blaster rifle. The Commander let his rifle sing one last series of red notes and a long line of black, scorched holes appeared to the grey skin. The beast took one more meaningless, faltering step without a destination and fell wailing down on its side. I took no time to smash my blade through its skull. The blade met the small brain to ensure that the creature had no plans of getting up.
The complete and utter silence around us was a welcome visitor.
I glanced at my companions. They appeared to be unharmed. Sandra's hands were closed tightly around the grip of her blaster pistol and the slender red-haired Jedi was scanning the field around us with sharp eyes, as if expecting another pack of Rakghouls to appear from any direction available… Or from all at the same time. Likely it was not exaggeration. Not here.
"Are you okay?" I asked roughly. The hectic, physical battle had generated moistness to my hairline.
"No bites or scratches?"
There was no room for guesswork. I had to be bloody certain.
Sandra's chin made a small sideways movement, her eyes never leaving the dimly lit area around us. Onasi acknowledged. The Commander was examining the corpses around us, poking grey heads with the barrel of his rifle to make sure they were as lifeless as they looked. There were altogether seven corpses lying in various positions of Death like a grim puppet show gone terribly wrong. And we knew very well that there were two more were further away from the main pack since our weapons had cut through those, too.
"What about you, soldier?" Carth countered. "It was a pretty close call. Thank the Force you have swift reflexes, or…"
"I am fine," I interrupted dryly, not interested in digging further into the memory. Momentarily the stench of the Rakghoul's breath flashed through my mind and I wanted to grimace; rotten flesh, decay and putrid death, and so very close to my face.
"There isn't much movement inside their heads, but – by the Force – why do they need to move in packs?" Carth muttered, brows furrowed and not really directing the question to anyone.
I looked at my blade in disgust, noting the blood and the grime on the surface. It likely also was deathly poisonous due to the venom splattered all over on it.
Bloody irony, I thought, mentally picturing myself scratching a finger open to the sharp blade and then developing a taste for human flesh as a result.
What a heroic ending.
I wiped what I could to a dead Rakghoul's stiffening corpse and saw Carth shaking his head in disgust. The weapon had to be cleaned better at a later time. The same applied to my blaster. I knelt to pick up the weapon from the ground and clicked in a new power pack to replace the one, which was already blinking yellow as a warning of reduced performance. The barrel was still hot and I frowned when examining the current state of the weapon. It was literally dying…dying for a good, throughout cleaning or I was about to see it fail on the most critical moment. I very much wanted to avoid that.
I kriffin' hate gun failures.
In situations like this I prefer distance. Although the galaxy knows much more powerful weapons, I tend to go for the blaster due to the accuracy at low to mid distances, conventional size and non-existent recoil. I think it applies to all situations where a point blank contact results as turning into a mindless, flesh-eating monster. It is just friggin sensible to have a ranged weapon at hand.
Stealth would have been an even better tactic. Here, the environment itself cut this option out. Our shapes probably stood out hundredths of meters away. Whizzing blaster bolts were probably heard even further. If the firefight itself had not drawn curious souls towards us, it was going to happen soon and just because there were not many places to hide. The numerous, massive pillars supporting upper plates generated some natural obstructions of vision, but the battle had driven us away from the more shadowy parts of the Undercity.
To put it short, we were exposed and presented like a nice, enjoyable afternoon snack on a plate.
I assumed that a pack of Rakghouls or a patrol of Sith troopers were en route to our location, but quickly observed my supposition wrong.
The intruders were neither.
The group of people caught my sight as soon as they appeared to the field behind one of the massive pillars looming in the distance. I counted five - five human men, heavily armored and equipped for direct battle. Each one of them carried a powerful blaster rifle. Three of them had a heavy equipment bag weighting them down. I froze and let my hand rest on the familiarly textured grip of the blaster pistol.
Just in case.
"They are not Sith," Sandra analyzed, her voice as loud as a whisper.
It was a decided course of action and showed that she understood how sounds traveled far on open ground. Her blaster pistol stood still in her hands and the barrel was yet pointed towards the ground in a forty-five degree angle - the safe direction, no intention to attack. To me her demeanor spoke that she did not sense immediate danger and I quietly wondered how reliable her so-called Jedi senses where.
A confrontation was a matter of a couple of minutes.
They didn't need to close the distance for me to realize how mentally strained four out of the five were. This definitely was going to add some unpredictability to the unavoidable confrontation. They were like an array of springs pulled to extreme lengths – so stressed that next to nothing was enough to toss them fully out of control. Any rapid movement promised instant bloodshed and viciously flying red ammo. Standing on an open field and without cover, no, I wasn't tremendously excited about that option. Not to mention the fact that two out of five rifles were already at the ready and pointed to my torso.
Although I'm not sure if they're able to hit anything with those shaky hands… Way too much death down here for some, I see.
For some and not for all. It was effortless to spot which one of the group was in charge and the situation wasn't so in his case.
Their leader was an exception due to both his imposing posture and the nasty 'bug me and I'll kill you' type of an aura openly surrounding him. Whilst the majority of the group moved forward with stiff, cautious and hesitant steps, he marched like the desolate world around him had been just emptied of all creatures producing any forms of threat and filled with mosquitos instead. It was not only the attitude and the massive, muscular build, but also the openly and very heavily modified massive repeater rifle in his hands, which made multiple bells ring inside my head. At the same time.
I knew a son of Mandalore when I saw one.
"Let's stay put. They don't seem to be a direct threat, but it may change bloody quick…" I muttered quietly, evaluating the situation within my mind.
I was right.
"D-don't move!" a young man shouted already far away. "I- I don't hesitate to use this if I need to!"
I needed no Jedi senses to analyze that he was close to soiling himself.
What a waste of…
"Calm down, boy," I heard the Mandalorian order. "We've already lost enough men to those bloody Rakghouls. A pointless firefight is the last thing we need." The massive man, openly frustrated, pushed the barrel aside and off its target – me.
There was sense in the Mandalorian's words. I released my grip from the pistol, letting it rest untouched in its holster, and watched him close the distance, followed by the few almost-soldiers.
His hair had already lost its former color and turned grey. The scarred, rugged features reminded me of something which had been carved out of a rock by using a large chisel, the artist not being too concerned about precision. He probably carried fifty to sixty years on his shoulders – which in turn meant that the man had likely fought in the Great Sith War and the full extent of the Mandalorian Wars. That meant altogether about forty years of bloodshed, weapons and Death.
His clan symbol was tattooed to his left shoulder. It was a black shape circling around itself and I recognized it immediately.
Not just any Mando'ad… Someone like him, here, can only mean…
In my mind he was a perfect hound of the Exchange.
I realized that the recognition had not been only one-sided when the Mandalorian greeted me with a serious, short nod. Although I wasn't exactly lacking height myself, I had to tilt my head slightly up to meet his features.
"Stranger," the Mandalorian stated, addressing me with the pseudonym I had hoped to never hear again. "I see you've kept yourself busy."
I was ready to curse out loud. A Mandalorian never forgets, it was said. And apparently the aphorism had not been born out of thin air. Out of all beings watching the duel, this probably was the only one who could easily see through the little show.
…On the other hand… This can yield some uncharted opportunities, I decided.
"A bit," I said dryly. "This is one way to spend time around here, I suppose."
"Instead of getting your ass kicked in cantina fights?" the Mandalorian inquired.
"It can get tiresome. There are times when I long for variety."
"Bullshit," he grunted.
"That also," I admitted. I glanced towards the pathetic group of people behind him.
"Tion'jor Mando'ad verd atinii ibic or'diniise?" I enquired in a near casual manner.
"A necessity," he replied and not openly taken aback by the change in the dialect. "Akay…" the Mandalorian continued, and one single finger rose up to point up at the upper plates of Taris.
I gave him a short nod, understanding what he ultimately referred to.
"Bal'ban, Mando'ad. Ni balyc dajuna ven vaabi ibic..." I explained with a steady, blank tone and saw his stare intensify.
"Ven banar venjii t'ad tuure… Venjii parjai."
I put some weight on the two final words. If he was what I assumed him to be, he'd get it. No need to go into specifics – the longer the discussion grew, more alerted and suspicious my companions became. I wanted to avoid that.
His steel-grey eyes stayed directed at mine for a short while, before moving on to my armored and armed companions, and stopping one-by-one at each of the already stiffening corpses of the seven dead Rakghouls on the ground. It was one of those sights, which were used when classifying beings useful…or utterly useless. Mandalorians like to keep things straightforward and simple.
"Interesting," he murmured. The flat tone of his voice hid emotions and thoughts of any kind.
The Mandalorian turned to give orders to the small, shaky group.
"Boys, let's get out of here before I lose someone else. These goods don't move on their own and Davik's gotta play with his toys. Move on!"
The group obeyed, continuing the automated march to the direction of the village gates. Unlike them, the Mandalorian stood still.
"If you are wise you do the same," he said. "You are too late for anything valuable. Even we were. Doesn't pay for cutting through the Rakghouls."
"We are hunting moving prey," I answered. "Anything noteworthy on the field?"
"Typical. Packs of Rakghouls. Hordes of Sith. Nothing a skillful group cannot get rid of."
He heaved out a growl of irritation, and gestured angrily towards the backs of his group.
"They call themselves mercenaries. I call them worthless di'kute who wet themselves due to fear while expecting to be bitten by their own shadow. Initially there were eight," he stressed – clearly more frustrated due to the incompetence of the group than moved by the fact that they had lost a couple of men on the way.
"I slayed one of them with my own hands after the bastard got bitten by a mutant."
"Thank you, Mando'ad," I said, offering him a short nod.
He replied with a similar wordless gesture, shouldered his rifle and strode after the group, catching them within a few seconds. Our direction was exactly opposite. The bait had been set, if I could call it so. There was a lot of work ahead and even more uncertainties to be overcome in order to see things proceed to the favorable direction, to witness this encounter turn out anything even mildly resembling useful.
Sandra was the first one to break the silence. It took slightly longer than I had anticipated.
"Daraz, I wasn't aware that you speak their dialect. It is not typical. Where did you learn Mando'a?" she asked.
I shrugged and searched for an answer within my mind. There were many.
…When I understood that I need to see into their soul… Find their heart…
"A few years back... I traded with them," I explained.
…to destroy it…
"That was before the war. I had to quit eventually; didn't want to give out an impression of an allegiance when there was none."
It was an answer I had chosen, but not the one that had come instinctively into my mind. Giving that particular answer disgusted me and the words came out sounding weary.
"Soldier, you need to clarify what happened there," Carth demanded. The older soldier was openly annoyed and wasn't attempting to hide it from his tone.
"A short explanation?" I asked dryly.
"I reminded him of his honor. Mandalorians take their honor very seriously. I raised his curiosity. In addition...I told where to find us, should he see it useful."
It was time to wait for the explosive to detonate.
"Two days…" Sandra pondered quietly, not being completely wrong. "He mentioned something about two days…"
"You did…what?" Onasi cut in.
"Shall I repeat?" I queried curtly.
That clearly irritated him. The Commander's mouth turned down in anger and the rage in his words was poorly disguised.
"Soldier, you don't drive this mission. Negotiating a deal of any kind with a Mandalorian, under these circumstances, is unacceptable - Republic does not cooperate with Mandalorians, and it should be perfectly clear for you. Get your act together!"
Although I had known Onasi long enough to expect the outburst, the shortsightedness, but also the words immediately heated my blood above the boiling point. A flood of curses in galactic basic, Mando'a and Huttese washed through my mind. All referred to inefficient utilization of a certain space between ears, and I wanted to give a completely new kind of an example of my versatile language skills. Pulling the rank had bit something very deep within me, rubbed salt to an old wound I was yet trying to locate.
Even more than this it sparked within my mind a flash of a mental picture of a cage without visible walls and shackles. It reminded me of the existence of a pawn, of a marionette, of a puppet - of what I was; a creature attached to strings pulling my limbs and lacking control over direction and actions.
…When control is power… However, not physical force, but deception is the most powerful weapon one can wield in battle. In its purest form, true control is never detectable…
I remained silent, encasing the swirling dark emotions and poisonous thoughts within my soul, and meeting his flaming glare with my own.
A cold, emotionless voice within my head rationalized that should be evaluated whether the usefulness of Commander Onasi was soon to be overridden by the potential issues he caused; if he should eventually be considered a risk and a liability. And had to be estimated how his potential removal from the equation affected the aimed outcome of this mission.
It made a lot of sense. Possibly I should have been troubled of even considering taking this path – or equally disturbed by the fact that I was not.
"Noble thoughts, Onasi," I said between my teeth. "You can be certain that the Republic will honor your memory."
"Daraz," Sandra said in a calming manner, misinterpreting. "This is not useful."
Onasi's eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"Is that a threat, Daraz?" he asked, a warning tangible in the tone.
He was tense, hands closed tightly into fists and posture leaning forward. Maybe only one word - one insult lacking respect for his authority, here - was enough to toss him over the edge, I analyzed.
Not really worth the hassle, but theoretically an entertaining option.
"No. I am merely pointing out that there may be only one way out of this planet. Bloody ignore it and you stay here," I stated with the emphasis on the last sentence and let the words sink in.
That piqued their interest and I was forced to add some additional flesh to the bones of details I had previously provided. I explained that I had suspected the Mandalorian was working for the Exchange – a fact he had later confirmed by his own word choices. Other than the Sith, possibly only the Exchange had resources; they were in possession of credits, heavy weaponry and…
"Ships," Carth noted, understanding.
"Exactly. A highly modified and fast smuggling vessel might be the only way through the barricade of Sith star fighters."
Although the Mandalorian's connection to the Exchange had to be revealed, I left out that I had recognized the man. I had known his clan symbol, linked it easily to a name. This in turn had pulled information from somewhere within my mind, from a compartment I had not known even existed. The revelation would have raised too many questions, majority of them of kind I did not want to figure out answers to.
Hell - had I even known these answers.
It was again one of those snippets of occurrences and information that did not seem to be logically attachable to anything I had come across. Although I had grown used to these inexplicable, deeply hidden glimpses from a life beyond memories, without exception these suddenly surfacing unexpected revelations felt like a stab to the gut. I knew there was a puzzle, I was even able to distinguish some patterns and pieces, yet it always flickered and blurred when I attempted to take a closer look. But the urge, the hunger to cut the strings and be the sole being in charge of my own fate was always present, every single time stronger than ever.
"How can you be sure that we will ever hear of him?" Sandra asked.
Is this how little you know of the Mandalorian mind, Jedi?
"It depends…" I answered in a firm manner, scanning the field in front of us. "It depends on us. Whether or not we are able to prove our worth to him. Nothing more and nothing less."
Partially, it was a lie.
In reality I knew that only my actions had an impact from now on. The Mandalorian was only interested in what I was planning to do. What I was planning to present. During the short discussion I had not brought up an intention of leaving the planet in the presence of the people currently accompanying me. For all the very good reasons: I strongly doubted that either of my companions shared similar travel plans to mine. Although our target was identical for now, it could not last.
…True control. It is hidden…
If anything, the Lieutenant was an excellent shooter.
Some of the Jedi Hunters were Force Sensitive, or so was told. If he had any talent as for the abilities often linked to Jedi, his strength was abysmal and so he had always considered the Force a useless asset to him. Ever since he had been chosen, he had only assumed that the selection had been made due to reasons other than an ability to read and interpret fluctuations of the Force, and likely he was correct.
However, he understood the concept of hunt better than many of his infamous colleagues. Rakghouls hunted with their sight. So did a human.
That caused him to meet some restrictions. For the time being, he had been able to rely on the cloak of invisibility generated by his stealth field generator.
The Lieutenant very well knew that covered by the field he would not be able to do what possibly was required. The stealth field was out of question.
He had supported the weapon against the platform and on the bipod, and aligned it so that the barrel pointed to the direction where the escape pod had crashed days before. The long and powerful rifle itself was a hybrid of Republic and ancient Star Forge technology. It was more than accurate enough for his purposes. So accurate that when using the semi-automatic mode, it hit a target that was located five hundred meters away and same size as the human eye. Always.
He repeated the action plan in his head.
Locate the target. Verify. Evaluate the situation.
Then there was the fourth and final step. It had a conditional linked to it.
Pull the trigger.
Thanks for reading! This was the first part of a two-part arc, so the next chapter should give you at least some answers to the questions probably raised during this.
And yes: there will be a confrontation of Revan and the Lieutenant in the next chapter.
Here are the translations from Mando'a. Didn't want to have these in the middle of the text because it would have destroyed the flow. I spent a lot of time trying to get a hold of the language and forming these sentences, and hope that they are correct. If you see any mistakes, let me know and I will make the corrections.
"Tion'jor [cuyi] Mando'ad verd atinii ibice or'diniise?" - Why is a Mandalorian warrior putting up with these fools?
"Akay" – Until
"Bal'ban, Mando'ad. Ni balyc dajuna ven vaabi ibic." – Indeed, Mandalorian. I also plan to do this (in the future).
"Ven banar venjii t'ad tuure, venjii parjai." – Will happen after two days, after victory.