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YoshiRaphElan
05.28.2013 , 02:45 PM | #28
Chapter 24

There was a tale told amongst the Chiss people, of a man who went out to collect gemstones from an asteroid field in a system near his homeworld. He went alone, with a mining ship and a charric rifle, and spent months of his life working in the asteroid fields. He did not return home for many months, and the family assumed he was dead. So they moved on with their lives, spent the appropriate time mourning, and though they always remembered him, they did not look for him. A year after his funeral, the man finally returned, wealthier than anyone could have ever imagined, but his family had moved offworld in the time and because of it, they never had a chance to share in his wealth.

Merok wondered if it would be like that with the Republic–would he be with Black Sun so long that, when he finally got back, the Republic had progressed so far that anything he could possibly offer would not only be rejected, but that the Republic would never even realize what he had brought them.

Sitting in his room, Merok sifted through the clothes he'd brought. Most of them were gray or black uniforms that fit in with the general underworld appearance of those in Black Sun who did not wear enforcer armor. In addition he had the "uniform" of an SIS agent–a white shirt with whatever vest he could scrounge up, and brown or blue trousers, and a dress uniform–similar to Imperial cut, but blue and tan rather than gray and black. Sighing, he pulled out a black trenchcoat with blast armor hidden underneath the shirt, and slipped it on.

His second suitcase held his vast armament of weaponry. He flipped it open. Sitting strapped to the bottom of the case were two rifles–the traditional assault rifle he'd used since well before he even went to Hutta and started his long adventure with Imperial Intelligence. He also had a Chiss charric, a weapon he'd carried with him since he left the Ascendancy to work first with the Empire and then, at the Ascendancy's bidding, the Republic. Then there was a flap in the middle of the suitcase. To one side of the flap was strapped a series of different vibroknives and blades, varying in length from a handspan to almost half a meter. The other side of the flap had five different pistols, from sleeve-sized holdout blasters to the sidearm he carried at his hip at all times. On the top of the flap were two weapons he'd bought on the black market as birthday presents for Kaliyo–which, after using them for a week, she had subsequently re-gifted to him. They were a Gamorrean vibroaxe, a fairly common weapon and not one which Merok would probably ever use. The other one, and rarest of all, was a unique weapon that Merok had spent years and half a million credits to buy–an Adumarian blastsword. It looked somewhat like a traditional vibroblade, being the length of Merok's arm from shoulder to fingertip, and it had a guard over the hilt to protect the user's hand. The blade was sharp but did not vibrate like a vibroblade, and the tip was not pointed–it had a round indention that fired off a low-power blaster bolt that only fired when it was stabbed into an object.

Merok pulled out his rifle and strapped it across his back, and also took a sleeve gun, a vibroknife which he slid into his boot, his pistol, and the blastsword, which he put in a traditional sheath and tied to his belt. Then he stepped out into the hallway and moved toward the office of the vigo in charge of the ship. He'd summoned Merok, saying that he was ready to take Merok to the "next level" of employment in Black Sun.

He turned the corner–and jumped to the ground as a blaster bolt shot overhead. Two Zabraks and a Weequay stood in the hallway, each holding a blaster pistol and wearing anonymous black clothing. They stepped forward, grinning, and aimed their weapons at him.

Merok whipped up his pistol and fired, killing one of the Zabraks instantly. Unfortunately they had reinforcements, and a Rodian grabbed Merok by the shoulders while the Weequay knocked the pistol out of his hand. Merok jerked his arms down. The surprised Rodian tumbled away, and Merok turned, knifing his fingers into the alien's throat. He pulled out his rifle and fired, killing the injured Rodian and the Weequay. The other Zabrak leapt forward, slashing a vibroblade at Merok. Merok ducked, and as he did he pulled out the vibroknife from his boot, turned it backhand, and held it in his left hand, dropping his rifle at the same time to yank out the blastsword with his right hand.

"What are you going to do with that antiquated thing?" laughed the Zabrak.

Merok grinned, and the Zabrak leapt. Merok raised his knife, blocked the blow, and swung his blastsword at the Zabrak's side. The alien dodged the blow, but the blade slashed across his left bicep. The Zabrak groaned and stabbed. Merok slashed, and the tip of the blastsword "fired," burning an instant hole in the Zabrak's abdomen. With a groan, the Zabrak dropped in a crumpled heap. Merok sheathed his weapons, and then retrieved his rifle and pistol, holstering them. He stormed into the vigo's office.

"Vigo Ad'ran," he grated, "what is the meaning of this?"

Ad'ran, a Zabrak, smiled amicably. "What is the meaning of what?"

"The assassins you had come for me."

"I–"

"Don't pretend you don't know."

Ad'ran lost his smile. "Very well, then. I was testing your combat skills."

"And what if I'd died?"

"Then you would have been useless to me, and it would have cost me nothing. As it is, I gain an amazing fighter, and lose four slightly above-average assassins."

Merok nodded. "Fine, then I passed your little test?"

Ad'ran nodded. "Yes. Now, are you ready for your first target?"

Merok smiled. "I thought you'd never ask..."