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Old 08-13-2006, 08:48 PM   #114
JasraLantill
No One Liners
 
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Scotland, UK
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Current Game: SWOTR
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Chapter 13 - Part 3

“But how?” Bastila asked. “I mean, he might have tracked where we went, but he couldn’t possibly know about the Gem having been moved from Degos V.”

“Oh, he knows.” Kye pulled out a datapad from her inside jacket pocket. “I wasn’t going to share this with you, but…there’s just too much at stake, and too little time.” She talked as she began to hook up the datapad to the main console. “Co’Vanni is, well, was my business partner. We owned the Miscreant Miner together. When I….”

“So you lied to me when you said you never met him,” Rade interrupted.

“No,” Kye said. “As I recall, you asked if I had met him, and I told you that I had eaten at the restaurant, which is true, and that I had met Horace, which is also true. I didn’t lie.”

“You just deliberately withheld information.”

“Lying and withholding are not the same thing.”

“They are in my book.”

Kye stared at him blankly. “Do you want to hear my story or not?”

Rade let out a sigh of resignation and waved his hand for her to continue.

“When I first came to Degos V, the Gem was all that I had. Well, that’s not ‘entirely’ true.” She flashed Rade a quick grin. “I had the clothes I was wearing and half of a burned out ship, and I think a handful of those horrible food capsules, and a datapad, and a comlink, a really tiny, black, or was it blue.…”

Rade rolled his eyes. “Okay, okay! I give! Just tell your story.”

“So, it’s alright with you if I skip the minor details?” Kye asked him.

“Yes!”

Kye grinned victoriously. “So, as I was saying, I didn’t have much, but I needed someplace to stay, food, a job—you know, the usual things you need when you’re stranded on a strange planet. So, naturally, I wandered into one of the cantinas. That’s where I met Co’Vanni. Well, not ‘met’ as in for the very first time. He used to work for my friend, Krex before he….”

“Li-ar,” Ithra sang out.

Kye blinked. “Excuse me?”

“Efram Co’Vanni was the traitorous Prefect who helped you betray our people,” Ithra said. “He went up with you to Revan’s ship when Revan first arrived on Jantessa. Every Jantessan knows that.”

“Actually, Prefect Efram Co’Vanni died on board Revan’s ship,” said Kye. “My Co’Vanni just assumed his…erm… identity.” Ithra raised a dubious eyebrow. “It’s complicated,” Kye said dismissively. “I’ll explain it to you later. So, as I was saying, there was Co’Vanni, playing Pazaak, and losing pretty badly that day I might add, so I sort of... helped him out a bit."

“You used the Force to help him cheat?” said Mission.

“Well… cheat’s a rather harsh word. I just used my powers of persuasion to cast a little doubt in the other players’ minds, or by persuading someone that they saw a different number than what was actually on their card, or….”

Mission crossed her arms over her chest. “You used the Force to help him cheat.”

Kye rolled her eyes. “Alright, fine. If you want to get picky about it, yes. I helped him cheat. But that’s not important. What is important is that Co’Vanni won, and since he won because of me, I persuaded him that it was only fair that he share half his winnings with me. So, I got a credits for a place to stay and to buy some food.”

“Doesn’t ‘cheating’ violate one of those Jantessan laws that your people seem to have such a penchant for?” asked Jolee.

Kye shot him a deadpan look. “I wasn’t on Jantessa at the time, so, technically… no. Besides, figuring out if someone’s cheating is part of the game. That’s why they call it ‘gambling’. Otherwise, they’d just call it ‘playing’. If you can’t afford to lose, and you can’t figure out when you’re being cheated, then, in my opinion, you shouldn’t be gambling in the first place.” She paused then, then gave Carth a strange look. “Where was I?”

“Place to stay, credits for food,” said Carth, grinning slightly.

“Right. Anyway, I didn’t think it was very wise to keep on ‘helping’ him win. So, I suggested to him that he might want to try a different method of earning credits, by investing in a business—the Miscreant Miner.”

“’Suggested?’” said Rade, raising an eyebrow.

Kye raised an eyebrow at him. “Suggested,” she said firmly. “Can I continue, please?” she asked. There was silence. “Thank you,” she said, then continued with her story. “Co’Vanni and I had some credits, but not nearly enough to buy the restaurant. But, I still had the Gem. So, I figured I would use it to secure financing for the business from Hedra the Hutt. And, once that was done I cou…”

“Wait, wait, wait….” This time it was Canderous who interrupted her. “Are you saying that you took your planet’s most sacred relic, this very rare and very powerful Gem that, in the right hands, has the power to dominate people’s thoughts and wills, and you….” He stifled a laugh. “You pawned it to a Hutt for credits to open up a restaurant?”

While Ithra’s mouth dropped in speechless shock, Kye gave Canderous a disparaging scowl. “No,” she said irritably. “I only showed Hedra the Gem as proof of collateral. So, technically, I didn’t pawn it.” She looked around. “Anyone else have any more questions?”

“Please continue, Kye,” said Bastila.

“Anyway…,” Kye dragged out the word emphatically, “after business started to get pretty good, and it didn’t look like anyone was going to come looking for me, I took the Gem and hid it deep in a mine infested with mynocks for safe keeping. Then, over the next year or so, I paid Hedra back the loan.

“But, even though business was good, Co’Vanni still liked to gamble. Fair to say, he’s not bad at it for the most part, but he had a bit of a losing streak. Actually, he had a very long, losing streak,” she revised, “and he ended up borrowing a lot of credits from Hedra, and a few other less than savoury people—much more than he could possibly pay back, even if he sold his share of the business.”

“So Co’Vanni stole the Gem from you to pay back Hedra,” Rade concluded.

“Erm… well… sort of….” Kye hesitated. “He took it, although he probably views it more like ‘borrowing’ rather than ‘stealing.’ But he didn’t take it just to give to Hedra.”

“So Co’Vanni’s a Force user?” Bastila asked.

“Erm…n-o,” Kye said slowly. “He’s a …” She frowned a bit. “Why would you think he was a Force user?”

“Because we found a group of dead Mandalorian mercenaries in your mynock infested mine,” said Bastila. “And the only reason we got out alive was because your sister used her abilities to trick the mynocks into leaving. So if Co’Vanni has the Gem, and he’s not giving it to Hedra for payment of his debts, I’m assuming that he must be a Force user to want to keep it, and to have escaped that mine unscathed.”

“Well, Co’Vanni’s…erm… tricky, sometimes,” said Kye. “If he hired the mercenaries to go in the mine with him, he certainly didn’t have any intention on paying them. Most likely, he just used them to distract the Mynocks so he could escape with the Gem. He’s an opportunist, and he can be very sneaky when he wants to be.”

“Kye, if Co’Vanni left just before Rade got there,” Carth said, “and you were in Oasis with me and Mission, how did you know he had stolen the Gem and was heading to Onderon?”

“Same way we found out,” said Bastila. “Horace. Ithra used her power to seek his mind. I have no doubt that Kye did the same.”

“I did, but I’m sure I did it with more finesse,” Kye said proudly. “At any rate, I still was too late. I had just missed Co’Vanni leaving the port, when I bumped into Carth and Mission.”

“That’s why you were in such a hurry to leave,” said Carth. “You wanted to catch him up.”

Kye nodded. “But seeking Horace wasn’t the only reason I knew Co’Vanni was headed to Onderon.” She looked down at her datapad now connected to the console. “Co’Vanni received this transmission before he disappeared, just before your ship arrived on Degos V.” She pressed a single button on the datapad.


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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