Chapter 4 – A layer revealed
Alderaan to Hoth
I left Ilum both feeling better and not. I was also a little sore from my spar with my mom. I made the quick stop to Alderaan to pick up the gang.
When Mako saw me, my little slicer jumped on me and kissed me, right in front of everybody. Nothing too risqué mind you, but still it made my good mood return in full force. How did you not feel like the man after a greeting like that?
“Torian’s teaching me how to speak Mandalorian,” she said getting back down on her feet.
“Oh yeah? Nice. We need to get back to Hoth.”
“Figured you’d say that. All right, let’s go.”
I glanced over at the rest of the gang, watching as Gault swaggered away from a group of soldiers, putting a pile of credits in his pocket. Torian bid a respectful good-bye to Chanya. She was an odd bird with her Order of Killik killers or whatever they called themselves, but she was a hunter with a code and I could respect that. In fact I’d made sure that Lord Serjay Thul, one of the contenders for the throne had left her alive during my brief visit to this planet.
I shook my head amusedly at my strange little crew as we got back on the Mantis.
During the ride, Mako chatted at me. I’ll admit I was only half listening but I liked the sound of her voice as a background to my thoughts so I didn’t mind it. I was paying attention enough that I could respond with the typical male fill in when needed.
Back on Hoth, Blizz had finished modifying a blaster so I could penetrate the shield of the three eyed droid I was chasing. It was a nice piece of tech; Blizz certainly lived up to the Jawa rep where those things were concerned.
Blaster in hand, Mako and I took off. Short story shorter; I found Ayro and put him down. Crazy frakkin droid he was. It wasn’t the hardest fight I’ve ever been in and it got me one step closer to the name on my black list – Reneget Vause.
After checking in with Blizz, I got the next location for another of Reneget’s Captain’s. Reneget had refused to fight me because I wasn’t worthy, and disappeared before I could make him. I was getting his attention by knocking off all his top people one by one.
Mako and I were headed towards Imperial Outpost Zerek. Every now and then I’d do some odd jobs for the Imps while I was running around tracking down my Bounty. I also had a… list of things to keep an eye out for while I was on my travels. It was Imperial Agent Fixer 308 that set off one of the items on that list.
I had earned myself quite the reputation so far on Hoth for being able to handle the jobs the Imps elite squads hadn’t. Fixer 308 was cute, level headed, and professional. She seemed to have more brains than half the other Intelligence lackey’s I’d come across so I didn’t mind her updating me on her current situation and what she needed.
“We’ve been hitting the White Maw operation so hard they’ve called a meeting,” Fixer 308 said. The White Maw Pirates were giving the Imperials and Republic a problem on Hoth. The Pirates were also a group that could be real valuable to the right kind of person.
“Every one of their gangs will be represented. We intend to get you into that meeting and capture or kill everyone present. The hard part is getting there,” Fixer continued.
Things the Imps thought were difficult usually weren’t, at least not for me. Though, to be a little fair, I’d had some serious training growing up. “I’m listening, Fixer.”
“The shuttles of the leaders trusted captains will have the meeting coordinates programmed into their navicomputers. Find a lieutenant with a shuttle, kill him, get his access card and steal his ship. After that, all you have to do is fly it to the meeting.”
“Haven’t stolen a ship since I got mine. This should be fun.”
“Your enthusiasm is heartening. We won’t get another opportunity like this again.”
“Then I ought to charge you extra.” I was only half serious.
“Pull this off and I’ll see to it you get double,” Fixer 308 said.
“Done. See you soon.”
My mind was going a mile a minute on this one for a few reasons. The big one was I hadn’t told Mako anything yet. It looked like I wasn’t going to be able to keep everything from her much longer.
We got on my speeder and she snuggled up close to my back as we speed away from the Outpost. When we were far enough into the wild I wasn’t worried about my transmission being picked up I pulled over.
“What are we stopping for?” Mako asked.
“I need to make a call.”
She looked at me curiously as I pulled out my holocom and dialed up my mother.
Her form appeared. Mako looked all kinds of surprised but said nothing.
“You’ve found something.” Always right to the point my mother.
“Yes ma’am. All the current White Maw Pirate leaders are about to have a big meeting. I’m off to snag an access card and a shuttle to their location.”
“Excellent work. Once you get the coordinates transmit them to me. The others will meet you there.”
I switched off the holocom. Mako just stared at me.
“Okay... what’s going on? Who was that?”
Mom had said let Mako show me who she was first. I thought I knew, but I was about to get a real good glimpse right now. I hesitated, choosing my words carefully.
“We need to keep this just between us but… my mother is a Sith Lord.”
Mako’s eyes widened. “What? Really?”
“How big of a Sith Lord?”
“Remember all that buzz a while back about the Sith Lord that killed her master in front of the Dark Council?”
“That was your mom?!”
“Wow. Whoa. That’s… okay give me a second.” Mako looked like she was furiously processing. “Wow. So many things about you just… make sense now.”
My mouth quirked at that. I hadn’t told her the half of it.
“What about your dad?” She asked.
She just looked at me for a long moment, her gaze searching. “You’re not telling me the whole story.”
I said nothing, an answer in itself.
“So wait, since your mom’s a Sith Lord does that mean you’ve got this secret loyalty to the Empire?
“Not exactly. That’s… complicated too.”
I could see the relief pass through her eyes. Mako didn’t have any deep love for the Republic or the Empire. I had to bite back a laugh though when her eyes widened almost comically. “Wait, is she coming right now? Am I about to meet your mom?” She looked a little panicked. Out of everything I had, and had not said, Mako was nervous about meeting my mom.
“Not sure if she’ll join. She’s in the middle of something important on Ilum. She’s probably sending two of our closest allies though.”
“You are seriously connected aren’t you?”
“Kinda. We don’t really make our family tree public knowledge. Mom expected us to make something of ourselves on our own.” We weren’t any good to her, or dad, if we couldn’t.
“We? Do you have like, brothers and sisters?”
“I have an older brother and a younger sister. I’m the middle kid.”
“Will you tell me about them?”
“Eventually.” Maybe. I hoped so.
Mako mulled over that for another moment, then nodded. “Okay. We better go get that access card if you’ve got a whole posy coming.”
I fought back a grin. “Not too weird for you?”
Mako laughed. “Really? After everything you know, or actually we don’t know about me? Your story is kinda boring so far, Coro.”
I smiled faintly. “Solid point.”
I climbed back on the speeder and Mako retook her spot against my back. I grinned as we pulled out. Just maybe everything would work out after all.
Chapter 5 - Sith Stuff
Electricity attacked, a vicious seemingly endless wave of it from the stretched out fingers of Darth Shadishan Storm. Next to him, Darth Miji Minamoto watched with a bored expression on her face.
“I could kill him faster with my lightsaber,” she said.
“What fun is it, if they don’t stuffer?”
“He didn’t piss me off that much that I cared.”
Shadishan glanced at her. “Why don’t you like fun?”
Miji rolled her eyes at him. One of the Imperial troopers at her feet groaned and she flicked a glance down at him. She withdrew her lightsaber, called out the blade, and nonchalantly drove it into the trooper’s eye.
Her holocom rang and her expression brightened. Leaving the lightsaber embedded in the trooper’s skull, Miji used that hand to answer it. Darth Jinobie appeared and Shadishan stopped electrocuting the Imperial Sergeant. The man collapsed with a groan of pain, twitching uncontrollably.
“Did your hunter find them?” Darth Shadishan asked.
“We have the location. I’m sending you the coordinates,” Darth Jinobie said. “Tell Agent Rystaan we will need his services, Miji.”
“He’ll meet us there,” Darth Miji said.
“Will you join be joining us?” Darth Shadishan asked.
“No. There is some advanced mining equipment the Republic and Imperials are fighting over. If either of them gets their hands on it, it will speed up their ability to out produce the other. I think we have greater need for it.”
“Excellent idea. We’ll call you when we’re done on Hoth,” Darth Shadishan said.
“Good hunting,” Darth Jinobie ended the call.