Chapter 11

He spent the majority of the journey in a cramped cargo hold, amid the stench and musty feel of his own sickness. His two 'heavys' stood right outside of the hold, while it seemed Scourge piloted this vessel. He had not seen the design, size or anything else except for this room. It was a medium size room with several cargo cylinders and crates scattered through the room. He had substantial food, and comfort compared to the cell he had spent the last few years (which was his best guest) and he relished the chance to eat and rest at his own will. Food was supplied in the cylinders, and he received a bunk at one end of the room. He was final supplied with a refresher, so he felt as though he were less of a prisoner than he was under Nyriss' eye; this Sith had some decency in his body, even though minimal at that.

Another thing Revan had been pondering; he was being allowed to regain his strength. Did the Sith no longer fear him? And why would his captor let him escape-no, why would he escape with him? Had he finally decided that working for Nyriss was a waste of time, an obstacle in his way of the eventual goal of defeating the Emperor? Or was something else behind this entirely?

But today he wasn't cooked up in the cargo hold. Today one of the heavys, Green Smear, was guarding him in the cockpit while he sat in one of the passenger seats. He didn't have the bag over his head so he hoped that his captors were beginning to trust him, hopefully trust him enough for some answers.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" the Sith Lord said from the pilot's seat, his back to Revan. He was indicating the blue swirl of the ship at lightspeed.

"Respectfully, my lord, I'm no stranger to the space travel. But hyperspace has always been a refuge for a troubled mind like mine." Revan responded casually.

The Sith laughed. "Very poetic, Revan." He responded jokingly, turning around in his chair to face the Jedi Master. "How are you feeling?"

Revan was taken aback, but he did he best not to display it in his countenance. "I'm slowly recovering my strength, my lord," he replied. "Slowly, but I'll be fine."

"Good." The Sith responded. "You're going to need it where you're going."

Iradros wished his speeder could move faster than it was permitting. He tried to move as fast as he could to the merchant district, where several other Vods were waiting with several garrisons. He pulled his speeder over at the ramp leading to the cantina, where several men and women were gathered round a table strewn with schematics, cold cups of caf, and weapons.

Iradros hopped of his swoop and walked slowly up to the table. He did not know most of the men and women gathered at the table, besides Vod Ether, who stood at the head of the table, both of his hands in planted fists upon the table, looming over a datapad. His countenance was of serious focus and Iradros came to stand on his right hand.

"Any news?" Iradros said in a whisper, just enough to escape the chatter of the table.

"None yet, kid." Ether responded quickly. "Apparently they three hostages, two male, one female. And they claim they have high-grade explosives, and if any one comes near the door, they blow the whole hospital."

Iradros turned to look at the small complex on the far corner. Some two dozen men all stood 15 feet from the door, all rifles drawn. "Anybody try approaching the door?"

"Of course not!" one of the other men at the table said. "We can't take the risk of losing three lives."

Iradros didn't acknowledge the man and turned back to Ether. "This was Dhagon Ghent's place, wasn't it?"

The elder man nodded. "He took off shortly before Vaklu took power. Don't know where he is now, but he was a lousy doctor."

"What do the terrorists want with this place?"

Ether shrugged. "Why do you think they're attacking citizens in the first place? They're trying to start a rebellion. Or convince Vaklu to step down. Neither will work." He looked back down at the datapad and Iradros kept looking back at the hospital's closed entryway. It was a diminutive hospital compared with others, on Coruscant, Corellia, and the like. One way in, one way out, a perfect place to trap someone. So why did Iradros feel uneasy about the terrorists designated?

Iradros asked for an incident report from one of the scouts. He quickly skimmed over it; the terrorists had dropped via drexl, barely getting past the automated turret defense systems on the south side of the city. A group of about half a dozen fragged bits of the Residential quarter and were then pursued by Sanctum officers, right into Ghent's old hospital.

Where they got high-grade explosives, like they had claimed, was also another troubling bit; Beast Riders were already dangerous enough, but Beast Riders with military grade weapons was another matter entirely.

How the hell did they manage to get past the turret defenses? The only thing that could penetrate before was the Mandalorian assault vehicle…

Iradros walked back to the table. "Permission to speak freely, sir." He said to Ether.

"Granted." was the reply. "This better be good kid."

"We need to flush these scumbags out, sir."

There was some scoffing and stifled laughter at this but Iradros had no smile etched on his face.

"How so?"

"Respectfully, sir, I have a plan that is our answer."

His senior officers considered his plan ludicrous but frankly he didn't care of others' opinions of him. He didn't require their permission but then again he had learned many things from Ether: experience births experience.

"Vod Iradros, we're ready to launch."

"Affirmative."

Iradros sat back as the pilot fired up the dropship's engines. His plan was simple enough, but still could reap consequences from uptop: he would bomb a small opening in the roof of the building, just enough for one being to get in through the ventilation system. If he moved fast enough, the outlaws wouldn't have enough time to trigger their device. He strapped on his breath mask, and clipped the visor on over it; he needed his vision to skydive through the hole in the maintenance shaft. Many thought it wouldn't work; he thought differently.

He made his way to the rear of the vessel, and commed the pilot to drop the ramp. As it squealed open, gusts of wind and smoke entered the ship, and Iradros steadied himself on one of the racks lining the walls. He slowly made his way to the edge of the ramp and peered over the edge to see the sprawling cityscape of Iziz below him. The dropship began to lower its elevation and Iradros pulled out his blaster and set the ammunition cartridge to stun; he had explicit orders to take anyone alive, and as much as he'd like to kill the Beast Rider traitors, he would comply.

Slowly, the east end of the Merchant Quarter became more visible and Iradros crouched to get a better look; he could see the Sanctum guards with rifles locked on the hospitals entrance (for now.) The rest of the quarter was deathly silent, citizens locked away within their homes. He wanted to preserve this peace with what he was about to do.

"You're close to the jump, sir!" The pilot called over the comm. "Better get into position!"

"Already ahead of you, kid." Iradros replied. "Just keep her steady."

Iradros could see the building directly below the ramp and the pilot's voice came back on the comm. "About to drop conc grenades. Should give you a decent sized hole."

Iradros replied with his affirmation and shut off the comm. He wouldn't need it now. A loud blast filled his ears and the smell of carbon scoring filled his nose and the roof of the hospital had been opened.

Iradros activated the H.U.D. in his visor and checked the time. He had fifty seconds.

He quickly sprinted off the edge of the ramp without a second's hesitation, (or thought) and dived through pin nosed to the building. He wouldn't need a chute for this job as he tucked and rolled the twenty-foot drop. He had landed in the ventilation shaft that would lead into the hospital room, flames, smoke, and melted durasteel was left from the blast. He checked the H.U.D. again: forty seconds. He crouched and entered the intact shaft and quickly moved through the network. He took a rapid turn left, and there was a drop of about ten feet. He braced himself and lowered quickly like with Cathar-like reflexes.

He checked the H.U.D. again and pulled up schematics of the hospital: he was directly below one of the kolto tanks. He cursed himself, knowing he had rushed himself, and now couldn't turn back. He would have to move fast. He looked up and saw the chemical filled relays for the kolto tank directly above.

He had to be nuts to try this.