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04.29.2013 , 01:02 PM | #4
Chapter 3

Gareb stood on the precipice–literally. Below him, a thousand-foot drop presented itself with deadly indifference. He let out a breath to calm himself, to keep himself balanced. One misstep and he'd fall...and fall, and fall. He sucked in another breath, let it out again.

"There is no emotion..." he said quietly.

He nodded to himself. Yes, this was exactly what he needed. Time alone, to calm himself, to keep his passions at bay. He was generally serene–never once had he stricken a foe in anger or malice, only with dispassion and justice. He had rarely lost his temper. But Methic drew out all his negative feelings. How could his cousin be one of the Sith? Methic himself had admitted to knowing the Sith were wrong, and he wished to change the Empire, yet he remained with them.


The same reason you remain with the Jedi, he told himself. They took you in when you had nothing.

Specifically, after the Empire had invaded Gareb's homeworld Phaeda, he and Jasin had retreated to Coruscant and been taken in by the Jedi. Methic had been captured by the Sith, but a sympathetic Sith Lord, one of high standing, had adopted Methic as his own son. That was why Methic stayed a Sith–they were there for him when no one else was.

But the man who had adopted Methic had defected to the Jedi shortly after the Second Great Galactic War broke out. Methic had not found out until months later, after Darth Baras had been killed. Though Methic had always been disgusted with the Sith's corruption, his father's defection had cemented his choice to follow the light side.

He finished, "...there is peace."

Gareb looked down. The drop was still the same distance, but it no longer seemed so daunting. In relief, he stepped back onto the grass behind him.

"Back to the Temple," he muttered quietly.

* * *

Dankin crossed his arms and grinned as the spaceport authorities approached. Normally he would've had to do some fast talking to circumvent their attentions, maybe even included a bribe. Not today. Bowdaar and Corso had done exceptional work hiding the cargo. No one would suspect it.

"Name," the captain said.

"Captain Dankin," he replied. "Captain of this fine ship, the Goodvalor."

He used a different alias for his ship in every spaceport, but he'd always had trouble deciding on an actual name for it. Just a few months ago he'd decided on Emerald Talon.

"Goodvalor?" asked the captain. "As in, the Republic hero Benegryph Goodvalor?"

Dankin resisted the urge to laugh. "Benegryph Goodvalor" was no hero. Centuries ago, during the Mandalorian Wars, a conman named Marn Heirogryph had inadvertently saved an entire platoon–or more–of Republic troops when the Mandalorians had attempted to bomb them. His Trandoshan friend, Slyssk, had panicked, picked up Gryph bodily, and boarded a Republic ship and flown it away. Many of the crewmen had been asleep–Gryph and Slyssk had been accidental heroes. However, because of his wanted status, he'd come up with the alias Benegryph Goodvalor. He'd ended up as a war hero, with his own line of restaurants, holovids–even toys. Even today he was considered a hero by and large.

"Yep," Dankin replied.

The captain nodded. "I'm a fan myself. Owned a vintage 'Benegryph In Mandalorian Armor' action figure when I was a kid. Cost my dad a fortune to get, but it was worth it. I still have the think in a blasterproof glass case in my office."

"That's...great." Dankin tried really hard not to laugh. "I've seen all his holovids."

One of the troopers kicked the captain gently in the shin. "Sir."

"Oh, uh, right...cargo?"

"Dantooinian spherefruit," Dankin replied. "Straight to the public markets."

The captain nodded. "Mind if we inspect it?"

"Sure, have at it."

He led them into his ship and to the cargo hold. Corso glanced up and nodded. The ten crates around the room did, in fact, hold spherefruits. The other goods were elsewhere.

"Mind if I taste one?" asked the captain. "Just to be sure."

Dankin pulled out a fruit and tossed it to him. "No charge."

The captain bit into it. When nothing exploded, he nodded. "All right, good. Deliver your goods. You have two days to get offworld or you'll be charged extra."

Dankin nodded. "Got it, no worries. We're not staying long."

As soon as the captain left, Dankin popped open the floor panels and grinned.

"All right," he said. "One hundred rifles to the anti-Imperial insurgents. Unload those spherefruits and get the rifles back in the crates."

"That guy seemed pretty pro-Republic," Corso noted.

Dankin chuckled. "Maybe he's a member of the resistance. Not my business. In any case, let's get this stuff to them and get out of here."