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Old 06-07-2006, 08:50 PM   #83
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Chapter 14: Old Wounds and Memories
Republic space. I never thought I would see the sights again. Telos was just ahead with Citadel Station hovering above it. I sat back in my seat and just gazed at the planet as we approached. T3 beeped to bring me out of my reverie. I answered, “You know where to land?”


“Alright then guide the ship in,” I replied.

T3 was a resourceful little guy and he seemed to know where to go. If I didn’t know any better he had been there before. I had no idea what to expect so I pulled my hood over. It didn’t look like traditional Jedi robes so I thought that I might be able to get away with it. I ejected T3 and opened the cargo hold for Kapu and got out of the fighter. I decided to leave my lightsaber in the fighter to prevent any unnecessary unpleasantness. We left the hangar bay and headed for the shuttle to take us to the entertainment module.

The cantina was loud and full of people. I left T3 and Kapu outside since I didn’t know how people would react to a wolf and a droid inside a cantina. I left my hood up for I wanted to be left alone while I conducted my search. I passed the pazaak tables and watched a bit as the players played for high stakes. I passed these guys and headed straight for the bar. I stood at the counter and ordered a gentle alcohol drink. I stood there and just sipped my drink when a young punk came up and asked, “You wanna buy some spice sticks?”

I used my Jedi mind trick, “You don’t want to sell me spice sticks.”

Almost mechanically he replied, “I don’t wanna sell ya spice sticks.”

“You want to go home and think about your life.”

“I wanna go home and think about my life,” and he took off. I smiled and continued to sip my drink. I could sense through the drunkenness that many people came here to drown out their sorrows and pain. A typical thing I guess. Getting drunk always seemed to stop the pain even if it was only temporary.

I was minding my business when a female Twi’lek tapped my shoulder and asked in a seductive voice, “Hey handsome. What’s a fellow like you doin’ in a place like this all alone?”

“Just mindin’ my business,” I replied. I could smell powerful alcohol on her and I didn’t want to get into any entanglements.

Apparently she wasn’t satisfied with my answer and she leaned in close. She made her lips turn into a pout and said, “Come on handsome. Surely we could have a little fun?” and she placed her arms around my neck.

I took her hands and was trying to unclasp them from my neck when I received a rude shove from my left. We both tripped and she fell and I gripped the counter to keep from falling over. I heard a gruff voice say, “Talkin’ to my girl?”

I straightened my hood and looked to find a rather angry and slightly drunk human staring at me and holding a blaster pointed at me. I stood up slowly and tried to calm him down, “I was just having a drink here and I told her I didn’t want company.”

“Did ya? It looked like you wanted something,” and he poked his blaster at my middle.

“Sir, you don’t want to do that.” A crowd had started to form around us and I had the unpleasant feeling that this was not going to go down well. I silently wanted to curse myself for leaving my lightsaber behind but I was convinced that it was for the best. From what I had learned from Darius, Jedi were not very welcome at this point. I forced my self to remain calm and maintained my strong posture. The Twi’lek woman who had fallen had stood up and had moved away slightly.

The bully grabbed her by the arm and pulled her viciously to him. He sneered at me and said, “Don’t do what? You afraid to get a little down and dirty?” He again jabbed the weapon at me.

Maintaining my calm, I spoke, “Sir, I don’t want to cause a problem. This incident is not worth the effort. Let me get you another drink,” and I made a motion to summon the bartender. What happened next probably was somewhat for the best.

The human then grabbed me and threw me across the room and into a table. He aimed his blaster at me. I made a charge to disarm him using the hand-to-hand maneuvers that Cronus taught me in addition to lightsaber forms. Once I managed to wrench the blaster away from his hand, I was greeted with a punch across the face that sent me to the floor. The angry human jumped on top of me and began to punch me wherever he could make a contact. I blocked most of his blows but he managed to get a few in.

We managed to get to our feet and he pushed me away. Somehow he managed grab a hold of a few bottles and began to throw them at me. I managed to duck and my hood came off in the process. He then grabbed something heavier, a chair and ran at me swinging. I tried ducking but he gave me a good clout at my ribs. I then grabbed it and flung it away but he gave me another good punch. I fell and landed on the ground. He jumped on me and tried to strangle me.

At that moment, the authorities came in and began trying to break it up. At that instant, Kapu came running in, as always to my rescue and gave the guy a huge bite on his rear. The drunk stood up and tried to make a swipe, but Kapu growled at him and bared his teeth. The TSF pointed their guns at us and told us to stand down and that we were being arrested for disturbing the peace. I was still on the ground trying to get up while my ribs burned like fire. I guessed that they may have been broken but I guess that was nothing compared to my face, which was starting to welt where he hit me.

The lieutenant of the TSF told the both of us to put our hands up. Kapu was growling. I said softly, “Kahae, washte washte,” and he calmed down and laid down. He still gave a low growl in his throat. I winced slightly as I raised my hands and indicated that I had nothing in my hands. One of the officers slapped some cuffs on my wrists and led us both out. Kapu submitted to a collar and followed. As we were leaving, I noticed T3 hiding and waiting to follow. I had no idea what was going to happen. I thought to my self, Great. Your first day here and already you are going to prison.

“You will stay here until we can sort out the mess in the cantina,” the lieutenant known as Dol Grenn said to us as he activated the force cages. A chain in the wall restrained Kapu and I could tell he didn’t like it. He laid down with his head on his forepaws and just gazed at the door. I winced as I sat on the ground of my cell and replaced my hood on my head. I noticed a small cut on the top of my wrist, which I healed quietly using Force Heal. I painfully drew my knees up and wrapped my arms around my legs and placed my head down on my knees.

The drunk was mad and was saying, “Grrr. When I get out of here I’m gonna rip your head off.”

I ignored him and just closed my eyes to try and sleep my pain off. As I dozed I began to hear whispers through the Force. Mostly they were lessons that Tergis taught me growing up. They were more of a comfort as I sat there in that position for what seemed like hours than staring at the wall. Gradually the pain dulled to a bearable level but it was still there. I didn’t say anything about it. In fact I remained silent the entire time.

It must have been a whole day or something when Lieutenant Grenn came back in the room. Kapu lifted his head but didn’t move. I just raised my head and placed my chin on my knees so I could hear what he had to say. He deactivated my cage and said, “Due to the security recordings that we recovered we discovered that you did not throw the first punch nor start the fight. Therefore, you are to be released and placed under house arrest until you can be summoned to the Telosian government council and your identity confirmed.”

I just looked at the lieutenant and motioned my head towards Kapu. He apparently caught my meaning and replied, “Yes, he will be released too but he is to be kept tethered at all times. If you just come with me, we will get your paperwork sorted out.”

I slowly lifted myself to a standing position. I must have winced from my ribs for the lieutenant said, “Why don’t we do that later and get you to the medbay.”

I never made it to where he was standing. I woke up on a bed hearing a voice talk to the lieutenant. It was more of a scolding as to why I wasn’t given any medical treatment sooner. It gave me a headache and I think my moaning distracted them. I sat up only to be restrained and told that I needed to be examined. I resisted because I was getting tired of being manhandled and touched. I voiced out, “Just leave me alone. I want to leave.”

“Calm down there,” the doctor said.

I jumped to my feet and made way for the door. I turned to the lieutenant and said, “Just show me where to go so I can get this mess over with.”

Seeing that I was that insistent, the lieutenant summoned one of his officers and instructed them to take me to the apartment. I didn’t see the officer in the shadows watching me nor did I sense his emotions for I was thoroughly annoyed. Kapu was waiting outside the apartment along with T3. How he managed to find me, I had no idea. I got the feeling that this little droid was capable of a lot of things. The officer left me alone in the apartment with my companions.

The apartment was simply furnished, almost as if it were a rest point. Along the wall was a communicator for the most part being silent. I ran my fingers along the furniture and the communicator. I got a sudden vision of Darius, a fool and an old woman resting in here. I realized that Darius must have come here and stayed here before. I removed my hand from the surface of the comm and moved towards the window. I slowly sat in the same position as I had in the cell and fell asleep and hoped that this would be over soon. Kapu nestled next to me and T3 took position near the comm and all was quiet.

“Hmm. I thought you’d be a little more older up close and personal,” a gruff voice sounded.

I woke up and looked up to see an old bald man with kind eyes and a gray-white beard standing and staring down at me. I cocked my left eyebrow but didn’t say anything. I could sense that he meant no harm and apparently Kapu didn’t either for he was still snoozing by me. I didn’t move but gazed into those eyes that looked as if he were judging me. When I didn’t say anything he said, “I see you are not a talkative thing judging by how still you are. Heck a tach would have eaten you by now. Maybe it will make you a willing listener. I never thought I’d see the day when a Jedi would get himself involved in a bar fight. Yes, yes I know you are a Jedi. You send it out like a viper kinrath tail gland.”

An amused grin spread across my face as I listened to him. I had a sudden flash of this same old man five years earlier telling someone that he was old and allowed to be enigmatic. I guess it annoyed him slightly for he said, “So now I am amusing to you. You’re just as bad as someone I knew,” and his voice drifted. I removed my grin and sat up straighter to show that I was willing to listen. He continued, “I don’t know why you are here or where you came from but I am guessing that is not happy news.”

The old man talked some more but I was getting drowsy. I guess he could see that for he muttered, “Inconsiderate little…” I feel back asleep. I don’t know if it was a dream or something but I do remember feeling exhausted and I just couldn’t take the rambling anymore. So I slept, for how long? I don’t know but I do remember waking up or something.

A fool was approaching an old woman. He said, “Explain something to me.”

“I do not have the years required nor the desire to entertain you.”

“He’s a Jedi right? I thought they were supposed to be tough, capable.”

“Yes and what are they without the Force? Take the greatest Jedi Knight and strip away the Force. They rely on it depend on it more than they know. Watch as one tries to hold a blaster or a lightsaber and you see nothing more than a man, a woman or a child”

“But to lose so much…”

“He has been gone from war for quite some time. It is conflict that strengthens us and isolation that erodes us. Add that he turned away from war, did everything to forget it and the last piece clicks into place. But we have spoken enough of this and we do a great disservice to him by not speaking of it when he is present.”

The image faded and I heard a noise and a voice…

Lt. Grenn had entered just as I opened my eyes. I stood slowly allowing my stiff muscles to stretch. I adjusted my hood as he said, “We have further investigated and you are not to be charged. You are free to leave when you wish. Your ship is waiting in the hangar and will be released as soon as you fill out the paperwork.”

I gave no response and he didn’t expect any so he turned and left. I stifled a slight yawn and tied a rope to Kapu’s collar, courtesy of the TSF. T3 warbled that he was ready to go. We left the apartment and headed to the TSF headquarters to pick up my ship. For some reason I wanted to get off that planet, mainly because of that dream/vision I had. The other was that there was a constant haze of uneasiness throughout the station. It looked and felt thick.

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