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01.22.2013 , 06:01 PM | #9
Chapter 4

Nal Hutta- Jiguuna Spaceport

The Master's servants watched The Harbinger follow after the Hutt's servants. Using their affinity for stealth, The Shadow and Assassin quickly followed after them, completely invisible to all but the most powerful of Jedi. The spaceport halls were in even greater disrepair than the landing zones. Wall panels were scored with blaster fire, circuits fired out sparks and the foul stench of the marshes dominated the air.

The two Twi'leks watched The Harbinger turn left out of the spaceport, but they would not follow. Their mission had changed, as their master commanded. They continued to walk the halls of the spaceport until they came across a bright yellow sign indicating the presence of another landing zone.

The Assassin touched the console to open the door to the zone. It flashed red, denying them entry. He pressed several buttons... red again. "We don't have time for this." He whispered to his brother before punching the console.

Sparks shot out of the console before the door squeaked open. They stepped inside to find a small band of four Weequay pirates standing next to a large, bulky cargo freighter. Under cover of stealth, the two Twi'leks moved behind the group. They activated their double-bladed lightsabers and cut down the group before they could react.

They removed their shrouds and unlocked the freighter's boarding ramp. The ramp hissed as it slid down to touch the wet ground. They knew security would arrive soon, but by the time they would arrive, the two Twi'leks would be gone, leaving nothing but the dead pirates in their wake. They quickly boarded the freighter. Their mission was of the utmost importance to The Master, and failure would not be tolerated.

*** *** *** ***

The Prism- Solitary Confinement

"Talk?" The prospect of speaking to the killer of The Historian was preposterous. "You killed one of my students. Why should I talk to you? We are enemies."

Jaina nodded with a smile. "I have questions for you. Enemies or not, you are stuck here. What's so bad about answering a few questions?"

That innocent tone of hers made him sick, but she was right. "Very well. Ask your questions."

She grinned with victory. "Who are you?"

"That's your first question?" He scoffed at her. "I am known by many names, but you shall know me as 'The Master.'"

It was her turn to scoff. "'The Master?'" She laughed at the name. "What possessed you to name yourself that?"

The Master did not suffer fools, but he was forced to suffer these indignities. "I was a great Jedi Master, the most powerful of my time. I founded The Watchers and taught them what I know. My power is undying... as am I. I am the master of The Force!" He was almost yelling at her, but he quickly calmed down.

She rolled her eyes. "Sure." She let out a sigh. "During your trial you spoke of the Vong. You said that they were more powerful than you remembered, what did you mean?"

"Is it not obvious?" It wasn't entirely a question. "I had an encounter with those creatures. It was over a century ago. I encountered Vong scouting party during one of my sojourns to the Unknown Regions. We fought... they won. But I returned with my students and defeated their scout party. Strangely, I never encountered them ever again."

Jaina studied The Master with intrigue, but he was done with questions. "I have had enough of your questions girl! You think I am defeated, but you could not be further deluded!" He rose from his uncomfortable seat on the bed and stepped up to the Ray Shield. "When I escape this place, I will bring a war greater than this galaxy has ever seen. I will see Coruscant burn, your Temple in ruins and Luke Skywalker kneeling before me!" He watched her face contort in fear. "Nothing will remain but ashes and dust! My power is limitless, you can only delay your inevitable death!"

The Master's words struck fear into her heart. She quickly centered herself. The Master backed off of the shield. "Leave me, child." She did so, taking the steel chair with her. No doubt she would tell Skywalker of their meeting.

*** *** *** ***

Nal Hutta- Palace of Ardunna The Hutt

The Harbinger followed the pale Twi'leks down the wide halls of Ardunna's Palace. The Palace once belonged to Nem'ro The Hutt during the Great Galactic War, and had been passed down to his descendants, eventually ending up in the hands of Ardunna. The Palace's halls were in better condition than the rest of Nal Hutta, at least until she entered the Cantina. Drunk patrons threw their glasses of ale at the walls, others engaged each other in fist-fights. The only sober people in the Cantina were guards and bartenders.

The two Twi'leks showed her the entrance to Ardunna's Chambers. As she passed a table sitting next to the entanceway, a suave-looking patrons at the table winked at her before sipping some ale from his short glass. She blushed slightly, but quickly banished any thoughts from her mind.

She entered Ardunna's Chambers with the Evocii slave in tow. Ardunna surrounded himself with several guards and Twi'lek slaves. As she stepped into the chamber, two Gamorreans crossed their axes in front of her. She raised her hand and knocked them aside with The Force.

The Hutt laughed, seemingly enjoying her display of power. After recovering from a fit of laughter, Ardunna spoke. The Harbinger understood Huttese enough to understand what he was saying.

<"Little girl show same power as her father! Ho Ho Ho Ho! You come with a message?">

The Hutt was grotesque, his lips slathered in his saliva and the juices of the container of large insects that sat next to him. His fat body pressed against the female Twi'leks that he kept chained to him, their eyes begged The Harbinger for help.

"I come with a message from my father, but why not let him tell you himself?" Her words caused a stir as the guests of Ardunna quickly stared down the entrance hall to the chamber. She pulled out The Master's Holocron and activated it.

The Master's life-size image appeared from the small cube. "Ardunna. It is time to settle your debt, Hutt."

The Hutt laughed at The Master... fool. <"You think me a fool?! You are imprisoned, you hold no power over the Hutt Cartel!">

"Indeed?" The Master's presence in the chamber made many of the Hutt's guests cower in fear. "You owe me a debt, Hutt. This prison cannot hold me. Honor your debt, or I will destroy the Hutt Cartel."

More laughter from the bloated slug. <"You wouldn't dare attack the Hutt Cartel. Only fools would think such."> The chamber erupted with the laughter of its guests.

"You don't know the power of The Force. Your Cartel is meaningless compared to me. Honor your debt to me."

The Hutt hesitated for a moment. <"There may be a way for the Hutts to join you."> He waited a moment, keeping the chamber in suspense. <"If she can survive my challenge, the Hutt Cartel will join you.">

The Master paused, thinking. "Very well, Ardunna. What is your challenge?"

<"Not for you to know. The challenge will be revealed to your offspring when it begins!">

The Master's image nodded and turned to The Harbinger. "Complete his challenge quickly. We cannot afford the delay. Be careful, child." His image returned to the Holocron, its bright glow turning into a soft green glow.

She placed the Holocron in the left pocket of her black robes. "I'm ready for your challenge Hutt!"
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus