Chapter 16: Meetings and Distrust
As soon as I was able, I took off and decided to head for NarShadaa. I don’t know why but I had remembered that Darius mentioned NarShadaa when he had arrived. I figured that might be a good place to refuel and get some provisions considering that it is the smuggler’s moon. T3 warbled that it would be a good place. I think the little guy knew something that I didn’t about this place.
When we approached the smuggler’s moon, T3 beeped in excitement. He had located a landing pad with a ship and was telling me to set down there. I saw that there was plenty of room for the both of us so I brought the fighter down. I was perfectly willing to let T3 call a few shots here in the Outer Rim since I hadn’t been here in years. I landed without so much as a hitch and released the hatch for Kapu and T3. I stood up and jumped out. This time I was going to play it smart and take my lightsaber.
I had just locked the cockpit and started walking towards the main part of the sector when I was stopped by a, “Hey you!”
I turned to see a dark haired man that I instantly recognized as the fool in my dream on Telos. He was wearing grey Jedi robes and was holding a hydrospanner as if he were trying to make repairs. I was going to say something when a droid came out wielding a huge blaster and said, “Query: Is there someone that needs to be killed Fool Meatbag?”
When I heard the word ‘meatbag’ I busted out with a laugh that clearly started to annoy the dark haired fool. T3 bleeped from behind me and the droid with the blaster stood down not without saying, “Statement: The Handsome Meatbag is a friend. Apparently a friend of the Master.”
I didn’t miss the ‘handsome’ part and thought that this psycho droid had a sense of humor but just how much was something that I would find out later. I was still chuckling when the dark haired man said, “All right stop. What in space are you doing with that T3 unit? Who are you?”
I knew better than to tease but I couldn’t resist, “I found him. He led me to a fool and a psycho droid.”
“Statement: The Handsome Meatbag has a sense of humor. An admirable quality. Much like my Master,” and the thing sighed.
“Thank you,” I said with a mock serious look. Then being gentle I answered his question, “I’m Jacen Credo and the wolf is Kapu. As to the T3 unit, he came with my ship. What’s it to you?”
“Well I’m Atton. Atton Rand and I have been trying to fix this bucket of bolts ever since Darius left. Now that you brought our T3 unit back, we can get this rust bucket space worthy and burn sky.”
T3 began to shrilly beep. Apparently he didn’t want to leave me, or something. Half of the beeps were protest and others were cussing that had me shocked. I stopped it by saying, “Alright T3. You’re not going anywhere. I’m sure we can work something out.”
“Hey something wrong?” a voice sounded from the ramp.
“Statement: An altercation was about to happen between the Fool Meatbag and the Handsome Meatbag though sadly it did not get bloody.”
“Stay out of it Mira.”
“Ya know Atton if you were a little more nicer someone would dump you out of an airlock,” the woman, Mira replied.
I could see that this could be an awkward situation so I tried to calm everyone down by saying, “Look I don’t want any trouble. My T3 unit…”
“Your T3 unit? That’s our T3 unit,” the dark haired man known as Atton interrupted.
I responded, “My T3 unit indicated that this was the landing pad to land on. If I intruded on your space, then I’ll move my ship elsewhere. Either that or I could probably help you fix the ship and earn my spot.”
“No dice,” Atton said. Apparently he was trying to square me up and see what I was going to do. Damn Darius. You never told me how tender hooked your friends were.
Mira by now had made her way down the ramp of the freighter looking at me. She was rather petite but I could tell that looks could be deceiving. She was well built and physically fit as if she may have been a warrior or a bounty hunter or something. Her orange red hair was like the crystals used for the unique lightsabers and her eyes and interesting shade of brown. She interrupted my thoughts when she said, “Well one thing is for certain, HK knows a good man when he sees one.” She then looked at me as if to size me up. She then asked, “Just what are you doing here, Handsome?”
To be honest I was rather taken aback by the coming on by various women. I didn’t want to get into another mess like on Telos so I just backed away slowly as if I wanted to bolt. When I was what a sure safe distance away, I said, “I am looking for someone. Maybe you can help?”
“Sure but why did you move away? Afraid I’m gonna jab ya with a Bothan stunner?” Mira asked a bit playfully. I could tell then that she used her beauty to capture her targets. It was actually quite amusing.
Atton was actually impatient and tried to make a move for T3. Needless to say, Kapu broke the ice by giving a lunge that had Atton fall backwards and into a can of grease that he had been working with. Kapu was still growling and barking. Apparently he thought that little droid was his and he aimed to defend it. Mira was laughing at Atton covered in grease and T3 was beeping doing what I think was laughing as well. While they were laughing, they didn’t notice the shadows creeping up on us. The presence was familiar, like what happened on the mountain trail.
I think I startled them when I made a huge Force Jump, igniting my lightsaber in the process and started swinging at the air. When I struck one of our attackers on the arm, he reappeared. I recognized him as a Rashikian and proceeded to make the other four appear. By the time this occurred, Atton and Mira had their lightsabers out and were swinging them at their attackers. The stench of burnt flesh and grease penetrated my nose like a bad stink of Bantha poodoo. This group was a lot tougher to beat as they dodged our strikes and laid down powerful ones of their own. I remember growing tired as I locked my blade with the Rashikian’s sword. With were both pressing hard against each other and our blades were crossed at an angle allowing us to look at each other’s face.
The Rashikian gave a menacing, evil smile and said in the corrupted language, “He was right. You are strong. You have fear, anger, hate and yet you don’t use them. They are buried deep.” Then in Avalonian he said, “You don’t think you can defeat us and what is to come,” and with a hard shove he pushed me back onto the ground. With a flip, I jumped up and twirled my double bladed saber and got into position. He was amused that I was persistent and came at me swinging hard. I played it smart and he played into my hands. With deft twists, I had cut the arm off wielding the sword and he fell to the ground. I stood there looking at him and shut my blade off and kneeled to look him in the eye.
By this time, Atton, Mira, and to some extent the psycho killer droid managed to down the other three. I think Kapu helped for he was growling but whimpering at some point. They joined me as I was kneeling next to the Rashikian. I demanded that he tell me who was the he and why was he following me in Avalonian. All he did was laugh and say in Basic, “No matter where you run it will find you. We are everywhere; we are watching you. He is watching you,” and he injected himself with a poison I didn’t see and he died.
I stood up slowly and looked at the body. All that came out of my mouth was, “They are here.”
The common room of the Ebon Hawk, as the stock freighter was called, was a little cozy in that ship way. I was sitting at the table with Kapu at my feet. His shoulder was stitched up and on the mend, nothing serious. T3 was going about making repairs. I was actually thinking about what the Rashikian had said. It couldn’t be true. Could they have infiltrated the Republic without them knowing? Why are they showing themselves now? Why?
“I told you he’s mental,” Atton was saying. I broke out of my reverie to hear him say, “Mental.”
“Shut up Atton. He probably knows what that thing was and what it was saying,” Mira was saying.
I turned to see the two of them arguing. I rolled my eyes and stood up. Softly I said, “Yes I do know. He is from where I am from.”
“Really. Why should we even trust you? After all you talk like them, you stole our T3 unit…”
“He knows where Darius is,” a sultry voice sounded. A woman with a veil over her eyes approached us. She came right up to me and turned her head to look at my face. She spoke again, “He knows where he is and,” she touched my cheek, “he knows that the enemy is here.”
There was actually a dumbfounded silence from everyone. I was slightly mesmerized by this woman dressed in dark magenta clothing and her veil was something of a mystery. I had closed my eyes when she touched my cheek and I reached out with my senses. I then saw her as she was. I opened my eyes and saw that I was getting a strange look from everyone. I just said, “What? I never met a Miraluka before nor did I meet someone attached to Darius.”
Apparently that broke the ice and I answered questions as to the whereabouts of Darius and what not. They seemed sad that I couldn’t just give them the coordinates to my home. I couldn’t because a matter needed to get settled and the sooner that I found Carth or whoever was in charge of the fleet, the better. I made apologies and explained that I had to warn the Republic with Atton snickering at me. I started to head to my fighter and T3 started to beep sadly. I could tell that he was torn between staying and going. I swear the little droid had more of an attachment issue than me. I told him he could stay and I couldn’t help but make the snide comment at Atton, “At least you’ll get the Hawk working better than the fool.”
“Statement: I have the desire to travel with the Handsome Meatbag. If he knows where the Exile Meatbag has gone then he surely knows where my Master has gone as well.”
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. The last thing I wanted was a psycho killer machine following me and threatening to shoot everything that moved. I said, “Thanks, but I’ll pass.”
“Yeah and maybe when your done playing politics you can come back and fight like a real Jedi,” Atton said, “or at least tell us where to go.”
“Go with the Force,” the Miraluka said, “we will wait until you give the word.”
I merely nodded and opened the hatch for Kapu who settled in. I jumped in the cockpit and sat pinching the bridge of my nose and sighing relief. Man Darius. Where did you pick up this crew?
I took off not noticing that they were watching me leave or that the same balding, wrinkly Jedi that I listened to on Telos approached them.
**************************************************I had fun figuring out HK's dialogue considering his bloody and violent nature. I tried to convey the characters that I mentioned as best that I could.