CHRONICLES PRESENT, 14: In which win conditions are met (II/II)
Time period: After Andronikos Revel comes aboard the Helicarrier
“At last,” said the Kaleesh.
“You looked like you could use the challenge. Come on, show me what you’ve got.”
“As you wish, my lord.” Xalek struck a pose, his yellow saber hissing. “Peace is a lie.”
“It kills me that Nis is raising such an adorable traditionalist.” Nalenne set her feet in Soresu form. “There is only passion.” Even Soresu had its aggressive moves, of course. Nalenne charged.
“Through passion, I gain strength.” Xalek blocked her first attack, then created a creditably dramatic Force Lightning arc between his hands and stretched the non-saber-holding hand well above his head before splitting the shining Force arc into a forked rush in Nalenne’s direction.
Nalenne absorbed most of it with a little concentration and a lot of lightsaber. “Through strength, I gain power.” She twirled, pressed Xalek back with a series of staggeringly powerful blows.
“Through power, I gain victory.” Xalek jumped back and settled in a balanced stance before shooting forth a perfect coruscating blast of Force lightning.
Nalenne paused mid-implacable-pursuit. She kept augmenting her saber enough to hold the onrushing Force current while she stood there. “Wait, you get ‘victory’?”
“I counted those lines off wrong.”
“Ha.” Xalek intensified the crackling Force rush. “That is why you fail.”
Half a second later, the lightning died. Xalek grunted and fell to one knee.
Quinn stood behind him, fiddling with one glove while keeping his blaster idly pointed toward the Kaleesh’s undamaged leg. “You, on the other hand, fail for a number of reasons,” said the officer. “I’m really not sure where to start.”
Nalenne stamped her foot. “Quinn! I had this in hand!”
“You couldn’t give me an opening like that and expect me not to take it, my lord. Do you wish to subdue him from here?”
“Through victory,” pronounced the Kaleesh, “my chains are – “
“Shut up,” said Quinn and Nalenne. Without having to verbally coordinate, Quinn stepped aside in time for Nalenne to Force push Xalek mid-leap into the far wall. The Kaleesh’s saber bounced and skittered away. The Kaleesh himself dropped.
“How’s Jaesa?” asked Nalenne.
“Do I care?” said Quinn.
“Master,” yelped Jaesa.
Nalenne turned and leaped in the same motion. It took a rapid midair correction to get her saber deactivated and her feet set safely on the floor next to a thoroughly unconscious Khem Val.
“I did it, master,” panted Jaesa.
“Wow! You’ll have to show me how!”
Jaesa’s eyes widened. Her lip quivered. “You weren’t watching?”
Nalenne gestured helplessly. “I was fighting Xalek, and then Quinn did his thing. You know I can’t function while he’s doing his thing.”
“You threw me into that knowing it was life or death, and I prevailed. It was the greatest battle of my life.”
“He was straightening his gloves out. You know the glove thing. And he was sneering at the fallen foe. What was I supposed to do?”
“He definitely only shot Xalek and did his sneering thing to keep Nalenne’s attention on this side of the room,” reported Vette. “In fact, he specifically put his gloves on for that maneuver. But I was watching, Jaesa. You did awesome.”
“We’d better get these two home.” Nalenne shook her head and looked to where Andronikos was still leaning against the wall of the entryway. “Oh, and you. Whose side are you on?”
Andronikos gave her a lopsided smile. “Check the scorch marks on old Khem Val there. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been dreaming up excuses to do that.” He nodded at Jaesa. “Doesn’t detract from your work, Jaesa. You did good, for a Jedi.”
“Thank you for your assistance, Andronikos,” said Jaesa.
“Thanks for not shooting her and Nalenne in the back,” added Vette.
“Vette, most days I would call you smart. Were you really expecting me to side with Nis’s two most abject toadies over you guys?”
“Our side has Quinn.”
“Fair point. If I’d’a thought of that to start with this might’ve gone down differently.” Quinn scowled, and Andronikos grinned at him. “I know your girl doesn’t stand for friendly fire, but it ain’t friendly fire if I'm the one shooting.”
Vette nodded. “Now can we either leave, or dispose of them? They’re not gonna be any more cheerful when they wake up.”
Nalenne considered. “But if we could set Khem Val on Jaesa again once he’s awake, she could demonstrate…”
“No!” said Jaesa.
“Fine. Let’s go. I’ll let Nis know her pet acquitted himself very Sithily.”
“I’ll let her know her other pet got whipped by a twentysomething Jedi.” Andronikos picked up an unfinished glass of wine, smiled broadly at it, and drained it before heading out the door.