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08.05.2012 , 01:20 PM |
Another Scourge and Remi story that takes place just after chapter 3 ends.
The Jedi had been acting strangely. He had decided to stay with her crew until he was certain the Emperor was truly dead. Her crew did not want him there. The doctor avoided him, which was a benefit, the other Jedi complained and whispered about him to her former master every chance she had. If the other two had anything to say, he never heard it but he was certain they were hoping he would leave on his own.
The Jedi, on the other hand treated him the same as she always had. When he questioned her about it, she told him once she accepted him there was no point in hostility unless he did something to change that. If she were Sith, she would know there was always a point in hostility. He had learned to tolerate her jovial nature, her penchant for teasing, her annoying habit of returning his insults with a smile, but now she was acting strangely, perhaps she had changed her mind.
She stared at him sometimes when she thought he could not see, it was appraising, calculating. She had bumped into him once, an accident supposedly, but someone as nimble as she would not stumble like that unless it was intentional. He had gone to ask her questions and she had quickly hidden a console or a datapad from his view. He wondered if she was looking for a way to dispatch him. Perhaps the Council had given the order, she was still loyal to them no matter how she pretended she thought for herself.
Today she had sent everyone on various ‘errands’ ridiculous ones meant to take a day or more. The ship was empty except for them. A course was plotted in to a numbered planet in neutral territory, the course she plotted was odd, meant to confuse, as if she did not want anyone to know where they had been or where they were going.
“We have a mission.” She had said, but would not elaborate.
He prepared himself for a fight, he probably could not stand against her, he had not been able to the first time, but he knew some of her weaknesses. If she made a mistake, he could get the upper hand. He checked his lightsaber and his armor. He was as ready as he could be, it was interesting to think he would die by the hands of the Jedi he had accepted immortality to find in the first place.
“I see you’re ready to go,” the Jedi said from the cargo bay door. She was unusually serious. He met her eyes and could not read anything there, her expression was closed. He realized now that her smiles and affable expressions were masks of a kind, designed so that learning to read her was impossible. He nodded and she prepared to land the ship.
They walked for a long while on a dusty yellow planet, they came to a cliff, she maneuvered to stand behind him. The back of his neck tingled with warning. He heard a sound of something igniting, he spun reaching for his lightsaber.
Remi stood with a palm sized cake and a sparkler sticking out. The sparkler sent off little bursts of light.
“Happy Birthday, Lord Scourge.” She smiled as if she thought his expression was hilarious. He had not celebrated the day of his birth in centuries. That was something done among family and friends which he no longer had. He had forgotten today was that day, how had the Jedi figured it out?
“How did you know?” he asked suspiciously.
She grinned insolently, “That’s my secret. Now blow out the sparkler.” He considered walking away from her, a show that he was not going to play her games. Then he looked into her eyes and saw the challenge there. “I made it easy on you, there’s only one, I figured three-hundred-thirty-five sparklers would be more like a bonfire.”
He walked up to her and put the sparkler out between his fingertips.
“Can we go now?” he asked scowling. Instead of answering, she walked to the edge of the cliff and pointed down, less than a dozen meters below them was a bandit hideout. Planets like these were a common place for thugs and mercenaries to build a stronghold. The signs of activity indicated roughly fifty bandits living there.
“These guys used to be Exchange members,” she explained. “They wanted a bigger cut from their bosses so they stole the last big hit they made and branched out on their own.”
Scourge snorted, he hated greed.
“Of course, when the Exchange came after them, they didn’t have the resources to run, hide, or fight so they struck a deal.” She paused, “With a Republic Senator.”
Scourge eyed the Jedi who looked almost angry.
“The Senator supports them with food, and weapons, in exchange they rob and raid Imperial trade ships traveling through this sector.”
“They work for the Republic.” He stated.
“They attack civilians, Imperial civilians, but civilians nonetheless, all on the permission of a Republic Senator.” She said with no emotion.
He scowled, he hated Republic authority.
“I thought we’d kill them all.” Remi concluded putting the cake down, neither of them was going to eat it.
Now he stared at her in shock, the gentle Jedi who spared everyone, speaking of wholesale massacre. “What no mercy? No warning? No chance to let them give themselves up? What about your Council?”
“The Council knows, but they don’t interfere with the Senate. These mercenaries have Senate immunity and they run a child slavery ring, mostly prostitution. I’m good with killing.” She shrugged, but he could see she had debated this for a long time.
“Is this my gift?” he asked mockingly.
“If you want,” she was already looking down, analyzing the best angle of attack.
He studied her face; the knowledge of this place had stained her views of her Council, and her precious Republic. The way she chose to deal with it, would stain her views of herself. He grinned darkly and drew his lightsaber.
She drew hers and her smile matched his, “Try to keep up, old man.”
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Remi the Grey