Methic spun his lightsaber and its blue blade cut through the throat of the assassin. Then he turned and rammed his red-bladed saber into the chest of a second black-clad opponent. Each of them dropped their lightsaber. Methic scowled down at the bodies, squeezing the hilts of his saber.
"Are they the same ones?" he asked.
"No," Jaesa replied. "The ones who got Quinn were in blast armor, and they used rifles, not lightsabers."
"Then who are these beings?" he wondered aloud.
[Blorrp,] suggested Broonmark.
Methic shook his head. "No, the Dread Masters are still reeling at the death of Styrak. They're busy licking their wounds."
"Wish Quinn were here," whispered Jaesa. "He'd have an idea."
Vette frowned. "Whoever these assassins were, they were after Methic, not one of us."
Jaesa nodded. "You're right. Those other attackers would not have hit Quinn and myself if they were after Methic."
"One man I know wants me dead this badly," Methic hissed.
* * *
Nox whirled as Methic entered and reached for his lightsaber. Before he could even draw it off his belt, Methic snapped it in half and threw the remnants across the room. Nox hissed and blasted at him with Force lightning. Methic drew one of his lightsabers, the red one, and blocked the energy into the floor. Nox hissed and threw a cabinet at the Wrath's head.
Methic grunted as the cabinet slammed into him. Nox lifted the cabinet off his rival's body and threw it aside, and then grabbed Methic with the Force and lifted him into the air. Methic tried to break the grip, but Nox threw him against the wall and then dangled him in the air again.
"You're...making a...mistake," Methic growled.
"Am I?" Nox hissed. "No, you're too big a threat to leave alive."
"Did I?" Nox sneered. "No, I would have sent Xalek or Khem, and you'd be dead now."
Nox sensed Methic's intent–too late. Methic had been faking the whole time. With a powerful blast of Force energy he broke Nox's hold. He leapt forward, lightsabers ignited, and crossed them over Nox's throat. Nox managed to blast him back a few feet and roll aside just as Methic hurled his blue blade into the ground where Nox had been.
"You'll regret attacking me here," Nox snarled.
Methic sneered and charged at Nox. Nox put up a Force shield just in time, and the lightsaber bounced away from it. Methic grabbed Nox in a Force choke. While Nox was still countering that, Methic blasted him against the wall. Nox grunted and sent wave after wave of Force lightning at Methic. The warrior fell back under the assault, picked up a table with the Force, and threw it at Nox.
Nox stopped it a centimeter from his face and threw it aside, but Methic was on him. Nox pulled a training lightsaber from a rack on the wall and barely blocked Methic's blow, but the warrior's powerful strike knocked the feeble weapon away. The next few moments were very confused, but they ended with a lightsaber centimeters from Nox's throat, and Nox's hand, encased in Force lightning, hovering just over Methic's ear.
"This fight could go on for hours," Methic said, "with neither of us gaining the upper hand. Let me leave, and I won't return."
Nox hissed. "Why should I believe you, Wrath? If you ever find me at a disadvantage you can merely skewer me on your lightsabers. I have no martial skill; my advantage is in the Force."
"You are correct," Methic said. "If it comes down to it, I am confident I can defeat you, but...not in this space. Not in your little laboratory. And neither can you defeat me here."
"Fine," Nox replied with a laugh. "Who am I to kill the Emperor's Wrath, anyway? Go."
Methic did. Nox turned away, back to the experiment table he'd been at before Methic had entered. He waved the holocron before him alive, and the gatekeeper, an image of an ancient Sith, reappeared. Nox returned to his experiments, more determined than before.
Suddenly, Khem and Ashara stormed into the room. Nox turned to look at them.
"Better late than never," he muttered.
"My lord," Ashara said. "They took him. They took Andronikos."
"What? Who did?"
"Men in black, Nox," Khem hissed. "Men in black."