Quinn, dressed in the white plastoid armor of a Republic soldier and wearing a helmet that resembled that of a fighter pilot, goggles down, walked through the Jedi Temple and tried not to sweat through his bodysuit.
He didn’t belong here. It was made obvious by his badly hidden accent, his unfamiliarity of Republic standards and tradition, and the fact that he was constantly getting lost in the Temple.
Miraculously, the Jedi never said anything to them and so far he’d only spoken to two: one on his initial landing, when the young Padawan had given him directions to the trooper in charge of Temple security, and once when he’d gotten lost and accidentally gone into the Temple’s ramshackle cantina rather than the armory.
Now, Quinn was outside in the courtyard, and practically shaking in his boots as he watched his target, Jedi Master Gareb, walk through the trees with his Padawan, Nadia Grell.
Quinn had a spycam installed in his helmet where the spotlamp should have been, and he activated it with a blink of his eye. The camera snapped a holo of Gareb and the girl. Quinn moved to a different angle, trying to look like he was on patrol as he did. But, try as he might, he was a military officer, not a blasted Intelligence agent.
“You, trooper!” called a voice.
A dark-skinned Jedi Master approached, hailing Quinn. Malavai’s heart nearly stopped, for he was sure the Jedi had discovered him somehow.
“Trooper,” the Jedi said. “I need you to report to the Gnarls. There’s been an injury, and I need you to heal the injured.”
Quinn was thankful he’d chosen armor with a medic’s patch on it–who knew what he’d have done if the only armor available had been a demolitionist’s kit.
“I’m on my way,” Quinn replied.
As the Jedi walked off, Quinn pulled the spycam from his helmet and activated its auto-roll feature. Then, pointing it at Gareb, he set off for the Gnarls.
Malavai found a group of Jedi kneeling over a girl with red-brown hair. She didn’t appear conscious, and upon further inspection, Malavai realized that she appeared to have been bitten.
“A poisonous snake,” one Jedi explained. “Come on, Kira. You can’t die.”
Malavai’s heart skipped a beat. Kira. That was the name of Jaesa’s friend. Could it be the same girl?
He couldn’t take that chance.
Kneeling, Malavai wrapped a bandage around her upper arm so the poison wouldn’t flow from her wrist anymore.
“Stay strong, for Jaesa,” he whispered to her.
Then he pulled out a manual removal system and planted it over the wound. As he turned it on, it began to suck out the poison.
“She’ll be fine,” Malavai said to the man beside her. “Master…?”
“Jasin,” the Jedi replied. “Thank you for saving her.”
Malavai nodded. “Let’s say I did it for a friend.”
It was time for Jaesa to visit Nomen Karr again, and this time Pierce was assigned to guard her. They met on a neutral space station above Nal Hutta.
Pierce clipped his rifle over his shoulder and nodded for Jaesa to enter the room. Karr was inside, his hands clasped in front of him and his head down as if ashamed. A pair of Jedi, each with a lightsaber drawn but not ignited, guarded him.
“Jaesa,” Karr said. His face brightened. “Good to see you.”
Jaesa smiled. “And you, Master Karr.”
“I’m sorry, Jaesa. I was a horrible Master…I was a hypocrite and if not for me, you might still be with the Jedi.”
“No, Master Karr. The Force guided us to this. I am with perhaps the only Sith Lord who is aligned with the light side of the Force.”
“Impossible,” Karr replied. “The Sith only draw on the dark side.”
“Remember, Master?” Jaesa insisted. “He could have killed you, but he did not. And he did not try to corrupt me with the dark side.”
Karr snorted. “He tricked you, Jaesa. He learned from Baras.”
Jaesa shook her head. “I have traveled with him for two years now, and he has always acted fairly, even to his enemies. Your old apprentice, Master Timmns, worked with us to stop Darth Ekkage. My Master had a chance to kill him, but he did not, in honor of our alliance.”
Karr hesitated. “Timmns told me. I found it hard to believe…but your story matches his.”
“So you believe me?”
Karr shrugged. “I am not certain. Maybe.”
“Master Karr, your time is up,” one of the Jedi said.
Karr nodded, then looked at Jaesa. “Be safe, my child.”
She nodded. “Be safe, Master Karr.”