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01.27.2013 , 06:09 PM | #23
Thanks! You'll be (hopefully) very interested by what happens with Tran'thar.

Chapter 19

Outskirts of Keldabe, Mandalore
100 days ABDK

Dha beamed as he looked at the open lot twenty-five miles from Keldabe. This would be home. Sure, the ship was home, but this…this would be home when they were not on missions. Mako, Torian, Gault, the baby…even Skadge, would have a place to live.

“Thanks, Corridan,” he said.

“I just pulled a favor,” Corridan replied, grinning. “My bud Torian needs to be around for my kids. They need their uncle Torian.”

“Uncle Torian,” Mako said from across the lot. “I like that!” She patted her belly. “One more nephew or niece for you, Torian.”

“Great,” he said with a grin.

Skadge rumbled. “Hey! Are we going to excavate or what?”

Dha chuckled and glanced at Gault, who pulled out a holoprint of the building that would one day be their home.

“We need to start by making a hole in the exact center of the clearing,” Dha said. “A traditional home on Mandalore is mostly underground, which makes it harder to find and easier to defend.”

[So we get to blow big hole?] Blizz jabbered.

Dha roared out a laugh. “Yes, Blizz. Big hole.”

Blizz chirped excitedly and started rummaging in his giant backpack. Dha’s eyes widened a little bit. He turned to his crew and Corridan.

“Clear!” he said.

Keldabe Hospital, Mandalore
100 days ABDK

Dankin sat down beside his father’s bed. Chernan’s white-and-tan armor was sitting neatly stacked on the floor beside the bed, and his blasters sat on the side table. Dankin shook his head. Mandalorians.

Apparently a large animal had gravely injured Chernan, but none of the other Mandalorians in his hunting party had seen the beast. By the time they had reached his side, the beast had withdrawn into the forest.

“He’ll be fine,” Dinua, Chernan’s wife, said. “He is a tough old di’kut.”

Dankin glanced at her and shook his head. “I don’t get you Mandalorians. Your husband, my adopted father, is torn to shreds by a monster, and instead of worrying, you insult his intelligence?”

Dinua put her hand on his shoulder. “That is our way of showing affection. I do worry, but I do not show it.”

Backblast entered, looking extremely large in his off-duty uniform. In a strange way, his armor hid his bulk. But outside of it, he was a true beast of a man.

“How is he?” he asked.

“Just fine,” Dankin snapped sarcastically. “He’s a fighter apparently. But that doesn’t really matter when he’s been out cold for about a week, and he’s got tooth marks all over his torso!”

“Relax,” Backblast said. “Just cool off.”

“Cool off?” Dankin asked. “Cool off! What is it with you people? Am I the only one worried about my father’s health?”

That statement scared him. He thought he’d been aloof from his family. He supposed that it was his relationship with Akaavi that allowed him to forge these bonds anew.

“Where are your friends?” Dinua asked.

“The cantina,” he replied. “Akaavi is teaching Corso, Guss, and Risha a Mandalorian drinking song. Like they need more encouraging. You know what? Call me if he changes. I’m leaving.”

Jedi Temple, Tython
100 days ABDK


Gareb ran to catch up to his cousin. He hadn’t seen Jasin in a couple of days–he’d been busy with Council meetings and Jasin had been on his ship or on the training field.

Jasin saw him coming, turned, and slowed so he could catch up. Gareb silently wondered if Jasin was mad at him for being mad at Methic.

“Jasin, the Jedi Council said there’s something urgent going on.”

Jasin nodded. “Isn’t there always?”

Gareb smiled. “Well, yes. But they told me that they wanted you at the meeting, too.”

“Okay. Why?”

“They wouldn’t say.”

Jasin reluctantly nodded. Gareb motioned down the hallway. Together they walked to the Council chambers. Gareb didn’t admit it, but he was worried. Obviously, something big was going on.

As they entered the Council chamber, Jasin slowed. As Gareb crossed to his seat, he glanced at the other Council members. Satele Shan, Degan, Gnost-Dural and Bela Kiwiiks were there in person; Timmns and Bestros were holograms.

“What is going on, Masters?” Jasin asked.

“Master Jasin,” Gnost-Dural said. “Welcome.”

“We have summoned you regarding Tol Braga,” Satele said. “We believe a suitable amount of time has passed since he healed for him to retake his seat on the Council. However, since you were directly involved in his capture and subsequent imprisonment, we want your opinion.”

Jasin considered. “Does he show any signs of still being controlled by the Emperor?”

Bestros shook his head. “None.”

Gareb raised a hand. “In case there is any doubt, I can use my shielding power on him.”

“Not something to do lightly,” Satele observed. “It leaves you weak, and we may need you on the front lines before you can fully recover.”

“If it returns another Master to duty, I believe it is worth the risk.”

There was a pause.

“No,” Satele said. “We would be able to feel if he was still under Sith control.”

“Not Sith control,” Jasin argued. “The Emperor’s control.”

Gareb groaned silently. Jasin was on this again? Gareb was as cautious as the next Jedi, but Jasin had been in the room when the Emperor had died! How could he possibly doubt his death?

“The Emperor is dead,” Bestros argued. “If Braga was under his control, he isn’t anymore.”

“The Emperor’s control is more sinister,” Jasin insisted. “He doesn’t just control his victim’s minds. When the Emperor controlled me, I knew what I was doing. But I couldn’t stop myself. And somehow, I know that if he’d died while I was under his control, it wouldn’t have changed a thing. I still would have been a servant of the dark side, if not for Orgus.”

“Perhaps we should, then, allow Gareb to shield Braga,” Degan said.

“Do not make the choice for me,” Gareb said. “I will do it.”

He stood and walked for Braga’s containment cell, disturbed. He didn’t know where that outburst had come from, or why.

“Gareb–” Jasin said.

He turned. Over half of the Council had followed him, with only Satele and Gnost-Dural remaining in the Council chambers.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“No need,” Degan replied. “We were governing you, after all.”

Gareb frowned. “That’s the Jedi Council’s job, though. I shouldn’t have been so quick to anger.”

“It is no matter,” Timmns said. “It’s over, so let us check on Master Braga.”

Gareb nodded. They entered the containment cell. Braga was in the center of the room, sitting cross-legged on the floor, meditating. He glanced up as they approached.

“My friends,” he said. “I am honored by your visit.”

“Are you feeling all right, Master Braga?” asked Gareb.

“I still feel him…sometimes,” Braga said. “But it is rare. And only…only when he is strong.”

“Strong?” Jasin asked.

“He is very weak from his fight with you,” Braga explained quietly. “But when he has long periods of meditation, he becomes strong again. He does not stay that way long, though.”

“We need to find him,” Jasin said. “Before he can recover fully.”

“Alas,” Braga replied, “I cannot help you with that. I cannot discern a location.”

“Could Syo?” Gareb asked.

“Syo? Why should he?”

“He was the Emperor’s First Son,” Degan said.

Braga seemed concerned. “Indeed? No. He will not know. The Emperor’s location is too clouded by the dark side. By…his servants.”

“Master Braga, I can shield you from him,” Gareb said. “Do you wish me to do so?”

“Yes,” Braga said. “I wish to rejoin the fight.”

Gareb reached out with the Force to shield Braga. When it was done, he sagged. Degan reached out and held him up.

“It’s done,” he said quietly.