Only one more chapter to go after this!
“By the time you open this,” Karr said, “your spy will be in my hands. I let him leave Tython due to the wishes of a Jedi named Kira Carsen. Now that he is offworld, he cannot be permitted to give the Dark Council information on the Jedi.
“If you want your man back alive, bring me the information he gave you, and never speak of it again. Oh, and one more thing.” Karr’s face looked bleak. “Give Jaesa back, or the man dies. Come to these coordinates on Hoth. Nomen Karr out.”
Jaesa had tears welling in her eyes, and Methic could sympathize. No doubt she was thinking that Quinn’s capture was her fault. Rage grew in his gut, and he whirled to her.
“Jaesa, it’s Karr, not you.” He patted her arm. “Don’t worry, we’ll get Quinn back.”
Jaesa nodded. “You’re right. Because I am going to go back with Master Karr.”
Methic shook his head. “I beg to differ.”
“It’s the only way!” she exclaimed.
“Maybe not,” Pierce noted. “Listen, hear me out–a classic double-double cross. We go to Karr’s place on Hoth, and we bring Jaesa. But after we do the deal, I bring in Broonmark and Vette and we put the smack down on Karr.”
Methic considered. “I don’t like trickery; I much prefer straight out dealings. But I will not risk either Jaesa or Quinn.”
“It could work,” Vette admitted.
Methic nodded. “Okay, here’s how we do it…”
Quinn struggled against his restraints and wondered who these blasted Jedi were. Had Carsen betrayed him? He snarled and tried to reach a small knife lying on the floor a few meters away.
“Now, now,” a voice said. “We can’t have that.”
Suddenly the knife flew through the air and into the hands of a man too familiar for Quinn’s tastes.
“Nomen Karr,” he snarled.
Another man joined him. “Master Karr?” Master Timmns said. “What is this? This is that Sith Lord’s companion.”
“I know,” Karr replied. “He was caught spying on the Jedi on Tython. We captured him and demanded the Sith Lord return the data.”
“That Sith Lord was the most honorable I ever met,” Timmns argued.
“But he is still our enemy!” Karr roared. “He will use every opportunity to hurt us!”
“Master Karr, you are not well,” Timmns insisted.
“I’m fine,” he snapped. “Or at least I will be once that data…and Jaesa…are in our hands.”
“Jaesa?” Quinn asked. “You touch her and I’ll murder you, you sadistic piece of trash! You ever come near her and I’ll–”
“Oh-ho,” Karr said. “It appears we have some attachment here. See, Timmns? It’ll be better for Jaesa to be away from such a man.”
Quinn shot to his feet and tried to approach, but Karr roughly blasted Quinn into the wall of the cave. Timmns quickly stood between them.
“I don’t like this, Karr,” Timmns said. Quinn noted he’d dropped the honorific title ‘Master.’ “But I’ll hear you out if you leave this man alone.”
Karr nodded. “Fine, he’s not my target anyways.”
Methic and Jaesa approached the cave. Jaesa looked nervous, and with good reason. Methic had not missed the change Jaesa and Quinn’s friendship had taken.
“Relax,” he said. “He’ll be fine. And so will you.”
“Thank you,” she said quietly.
They entered the cave. Methic drew his lightsaber and shone its red blade around, wishing he had his blue blade, but it was still damaged and he’d been unable to procure a backup in time.
“Karr!” Methic called. “We’re here. I have the information. Bring out Quinn. Now!”
Karr appeared, lightsaber in hand. Quinn knelt next to him, and Karr’s lightsaber was in front of his throat.
“Malavai,” Jaesa breathed.
“Forget him, Jaesa,” Karr said quietly. “You can come home now, and never worry about these people again. I’ll get help for you and the Jedi can heal your brainwashing.”
“I never brainwashed her, Karr,” Methic said.
“I wish I could believe you, Sith. Now hand over the information and back out of the cave.”
Methic pulled the tube from his belt and tossed it to Karr. Jaesa crossed the room to stand beside him, between him and Timmns.
“Back out, Sith,” Karr repeated.
“Give me Quinn, first,” Methic argued.
“If I do that you may just attack and take back Jaesa and the information. No, you leave the cave and I’ll send him out to you. I’m a Jedi. You can trust me. Go.”
“You’re corrupt, Karr. You just can’t see it.”
Karr raised his blade. “Last warning, Sith. Go now or die.”
“Now!” Methic said.
Pierce, Broonmark, and Vette charged in. In a flash, Timmns drew his lightsaber and deflected the blaster bolts sent by Pierce and Vette, while Karr leapt at Methic.
Methic blocked Karr’s blade and redirected it, and then kicked the man in the gut, followed by a pommel strike to the chin. Karr went with the blow, letting the momentum spin him in an arc and cutting his blade toward Methic’s neck.
Methic brought his lightsaber up to block the blow, whishing again he had his second blade. He Force pushed Karr back against the wall.
Quinn looked up in surprise as Jaesa slashed his shackles. Thankfully, he leapt to his feet and took his blaster from her.
“Thank you,” he said.
She nodded happily. Quinn watched as Timmns battles Broonmark, all while deflecting bolts from Vette and Pierce.
“Vette!” he called. “Pierce! Forget Timmns!”
Suddenly, Karr used the Force to disable Methic and leapt at Quinn. Surprised, Quinn didn’t have a chance to move. Karr’s blade neared his throat…and Jaesa’s lightsaber lit and blocked it.
“You are corrupt!” she said. “He was right.”
Then she began to battle Karr.