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Naweth
09.11.2013 , 09:32 PM | #25
Statement: Master wishes this unit to inform the Meatbags---
"Ah, ah! Readers!"
Correction: Meatbag Readers.
"Eh, good enough."
Continuation: That the following Chapter contains Bounty Hunter spoilers and Chapter One END spoilers for the Sith Inquisitor.

A/N: As stated previously, I intend to spoil just about every Imp storyline, but in my own way. This chapter does reference the BH companions and definitely spoils the SI ending of Chapter 1. Just a friendly warning!

Thank you to all who are reading!

Chapter Three: Zash

“Something tells me you know something about this ritual Zash is performing,” Ignite eyed Khem warily. The Dashade remained impassive, staring with unblinking eyes at his Master. “Care to tell me what Tulak Hord used these for?”
“I served on the battlefields of Yn and Chabosh and have never seen such things, little Sith,” Khem rumbled. “Tulak Hord kept many secrets, and I was not privy to all of them.”
Ignite raised an eyebrow. “Then how do you know these are Tulak Hord’s artifacts?”
“It is inscribed on the artifact,” Khem gestured with a claw to the base on the artifact.
Pipsy jumped up and snatched the artifact from Ignite, turning it over and rubbing the dust away with the sleeve of her robe. Her yellow eyes peered up at Ignite, questioning. “Boss! What say?”
“Property of Tulak Hord,” Ignite smirked. “Really, Khem? He had to label his things?”
“I don’t see us carting around an artifact of your making,” Khem countered.
Statement: The Hulking Meatbag has a point.
“Stay out of this, HK,” Ignite pointed at the droid. HK ignored his Master, for the time being, and snatched his Mandalorian blaster from his back, flicking the safety off and reveling in the feeling of being allowed weapons free.
Acquiescence: This unit will obey and liquidate the undesirables.
Ignite sighed as he noted the Dark Temple looming in the distance; all they had to do was go up a winding road infested with large, hungry, beasts and then climb several sets of stairs with corrupted Imperials loitering around. The Sith glanced at his datapad one more time to confirm the coordinates sent by Zash and gave a disgusted grunt.
“Who thought to make this place, anyway?” He gestured at the looming monolith in the distance. “The Dark Temple,” he said sarcastically. “Spooky!”
“Pipsy no like scary place,” the Jawa pointed. “Feel bad energies. Very very bad.”
“Tulak Hord helped build the Dark Temple,” Khem pointed out. “What did Ignite build?”
Ignite prepared a scathing retort when HK gave a cry of triumph and raised his arm. Exultant Statement: You’re already dead! Just lie down! The droid’s hand suddenly shot from his arm like a cannon, disappearing over a hill; Ignite could’ve sworn he heard an ulp! The Sith waited and HK appeared to consider something before the droid turned to stare at Pipsy.
Genuine Query: How do I reel in the grappling hand, Pipsqueak?
“That easy!” Pipsy babbled, beckoning HK to bend over; the droid complied. “Hit button on arm, right here.” Pipsy smacked the button. “Send Mean Droid to bad ones!”
Alarm: What?! HK flew through the air, vanishing over the hill. Seconds later smoke erupted into the air. Ignite and Khem shared a glance.
“Guess the smoke she installed is working.”
“Smoke good! Very very good!” Pipsy nodded enthusiastically. “Confuse enemies!”
Several blaster shots flew through the air, and Ignite sent one into the dirt with his lightsaber. “It also confuses HK,” he noted.
“Pipsy fix!” The Jawa promised. “Give Mean Droid better eyes!”
HK stomped over the hill and down the path with his blaster gripped tightly in his remaining hand. Ignite raised an eyebrow and his lekku twitched in amusement as he noted HK’s other hand, the one launched, was nothing more than a metal cord dragging through the dirt.
“Where’s your hand?” The Sith pointed.
Reply: There seems to be a problem with my functions, Master. The Pipsqueak did not explain how to retract the grappling hand.
“That other arm,” Pipsy responded. “Press button.”
HK blinked once. Agitated Query: With what hand?
Pipsy drew her finger to her chin, thinking.
Request: This unit wishes to liquidate the Pipsqueak, Master.
“You know I can’t allow that,” Ignite frowned.
Diagnostic: It would seem this unit’s efficiency has decreased by one point three percent then.
The Sith rolled his eyes. Pipsy gave a squeak and babbled something at HK. The droid blinked again.
Command: Repeat that, Pipsqueak.
“Use face!” Pipsy jumped at HK. “Hit button!”
HK turned his photoreceptors to Ignite, pleading with his Master. The Twi’lek shrugged. HK slammed his face into his arm, and the grappling hand immediately began to retract. Soon enough the droid’s hand was reattached along with his victim, a crazed Imperial who had long turned blue from lack of air. Ignite blanched.
“Can you release the dead one, HK?”
HK cocked his head to the side. Acknowledgement: Yes, Master. The droid released his death grip on the man’s throat and the body began to fall down to the ground. It wasn’t fast enough. In a blink Khem was there, snatching the body out of the air and roaring with victory. Ignite managed to cover the Jawa’s eyes so she didn’t witness the horror.
“You just ate!” Ignite screamed at Khem. “Poor two vee had to do a freaking—“
Khem whirled on his Master, an arm sticking out of his mouth. “Do not mention that, little Sith.”
Threat: The Hulking Meatbag will not steal this unit’s kills, or face liquidation. Demand: Do not chew with your mouth open, Hulking Meatbag. Statement: Master, this one makes my core buzz with horror. Even by your own meatbag standards he is an abomination.
Khem burped and rubbed his stomach.
“Pipsy look now?” The Jawa questioned hopefully.
“Ah, right,” Ignite removed his hands from her eyes. “Well that was…interesting. HK I think you should continue your weapons free liquidations to work out the kinks with your—ah—improvements. Stay on my com frequency in case I need you.”
Agreement: Very well, Master. The droid meandered off, intent on liquidating many undesirables.
“And you,” Ignite poked Khem in the chest; he may as well have poked a stone wall. “No more eating!”
Khem glared.
“Next time I’ll just let you pop!” The Sith warned, snatching Pipsy by the hand before she wandered off. “Now let’s focus and get this done.”
Khem merely contemplated his options, knowing full well what horrors awaited his so-called Master in the ancient tombs of the Dark Temple. The Dashade would obey, for now, and bide his time; striking whenever the opportunity presented itself.

*****

“Mako, are you really sure those are the culprits?” The Champion of the Great Hunt, Waresh, questioned his beautiful sidekick as he leaned against a rocky outcropping overshadowing the steps leading up the Dark Temple. “I’ve seen better circus acts!”
“According to the holofeeds and cameras I’ve managed to slice, it’s definitely the red Twi’lek.”
“Sith,” Waresh nodded. “Powerful one too, if rumors are to be believed.”
“With him, no doubt,” Mako agreed. “Remember we’re only supposed to detain him, not kill him.”
“No promises,” Waresh quipped.
“Tell me again,” Gault interjected, his voice grating on both Waresh and Mako. The pair still questioned their lunacy in letting the despicable, wily, creature live. “Why we’re hunting down one of the most powerful Sith Apprentices in the galaxy?”
“Because the pay is good?” Mako retaliated.
“I’ve killed stronger Jedi,” Waresh shrugged.
“You’re both suicidal, I’ll give you that,” Gault rubbed his chin. “But there’s money in it, so I’m in.”
Waresh shook his head and continued to monitor the progress of the odd group. He noted the droid break away and glanced at Mako curiously; the young woman shrugged. “No idea,” she whispered.
“Let me at him,” Gault removed his rifle. “One shot. One kill.”
Waresh halted the Devaronian when he witnessed HK explode into action, single-handedly wiping out an entire group of crazed Imperials with practiced ease. Both Gault and Mako paled.
“We’ll leave that one alone,” Waresh informed the two. “Focus on the target. The droid will fall in line once the Sith is contained.”
“I hope you’re right, Hunter,” Gault whispered. “Because if you’re not, we’re all dead.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll protect you,” Waresh assured.
“That’s comforting,” Gault rolled his eyes.
“I wasn’t talking to you,” Waresh replied, gently pulling Mako into a small embrace.
“That really warms my heart,” Gault leaned against the rocky outcropping with a heartfelt sigh. “Sadly, it does nothing to fill my pockets.”

*****

“Just remember, Pipsy,” Ignite knelt down. “Stay behind Khem so the Scary Lady doesn’t see you.”
“Pipsy be good! Make boss happy!” Pipsy gave a thumbs up, clinging to Khem’s leg.
Ignite nodded and entered the tomb dictated by Zash, surprised when the narrow corridor opened up into a vast room with several pillars and a giant stairway leading up to a tomb, opened, where the four pedestals stood; two containing artifacts. Ignite shrugged and placed the remaining two in their places and cleared his throat. Khem took a position further away from the Sith, his eyes watching intently.
Zash lifted her head but did not turn around. “Ah, Apprentice, excellent! You are right on time.” The Sith Lord turned and Ignite blanched.
“Even on the battlefields of Yn and Chabosh I never witnessed such horror,” Khem admitted solemnly.
“Quiet!” Zash shrieked at the Dashade. “Soon you will serve me!”
Khem’s eyes narrowed in agitation.
“You look hideous,” Ignite spat in disgust. “What happened?”
“I’m old, Apprentice,” Zash winked; the action was sickening.
“Scary Lady very old! Very very old!” Pipsy pointed.
“You brought that?!” Zash pointed incredulously.
Ignite smirked. “Problem?”
“Not at all, Apprentice,” Zash hissed out the title. “I’m promoting you to Sith Lord, effective immediately.”
“Finally!” Ignite laughed.
“Too bad you won’t be able to enjoy it, seeing as how I’m going to take your body.”
The Twi’lek paused. “What?”
Zash called upon the Force, sending it crashing into the newly appointed Sith Lord, who staggered under its weight and grit his teeth. He could feel Zash’s will imposing on him, threatening to steal his mind, body, and soul. He fought back, but the effort was in vain; aided by the power of Tulak Hord, Zash was unbeatable.
Khem watched, knowing full well what was happening, and rolled his eyes. The Dashade had been a slave to Tulak Hord in his earlier days and, although he’d lived well in the full glory of the great Sith and feasted much, he was forced to admit to himself that Ignite wasn’t that bad of a Master. He looked at the cackling hag and felt an involuntary shiver run up his spine. Nothing would be as bad as that. Sad thing was, however, Khem knew that if jumped into the fray he’d have to share his own body with the hag. Not that that bothered the Dashade entirely; he loved a good challenge and the chance to impose his will on something for once. A shivering at his leg caused him to look down and a grin split his face.
Pipsy squeaked when she felt the Dashade grab her by the robes and toss her between the two Sith. Pipsy landed and there was a flash of light. Khem removed his vibrosword and cut the defenseless body of Zash in half, watching as it fell to the floor and turned to ash. Ignite blinked several times and felt his body, realizing he was still in full control.
“Thanks,” he breathed at Khem.
The Dashade nodded.
“You knew, eh?” Ignite chuckled.
Again the Dashade nodded.
“Guess I’m not as bad as the hag?”
“No,” Khem shook his head.
“You’re free, buddy,” Ignite gave the Dashade a pat on his shoulder. “You’ve earned it.”
“I will follow you, little Sith. Your mannerisms remind me of Tulak Hord. For now, I am still your slave.”
Ignite paused and eyed the Dashade for signs of deception. After a minute of silence he was satisfied. “No. You’re my friend.”
Pipsy whirled on the two and stamped her foot, babbling in something Ignite didn’t understand. She threw her head back and let loose what sounded like a Jawa’s evil cackle.
“The witch has realized the Pipsqueak is connected to the Force,” Khem gestured.
Ignite blinked. “She’s in my Jawa?”
“Yes.”
“Can we get her out?”
“I am not sure, Master.”
Ignite frowned when he noted Pipsy, or Zash, raise her hands. The Sith Lord felt the Force ruffle around him and his robes moved slightly by a passing gust of wind.
“Yeah…” Ignite trailed off. “I haven’t taught Pipsy how to control the Force quite yet, Zash.”
Pipsy stomped her foot.
“Okay, time for time-out,” Ignite muttered, snapping his fingers. Khem hefted the possessed Jawa by the collar and followed his Master out of the tomb. “HK is going to have a field day with this,” Ignite muttered, reaching up to his ear to contact the droid. There was static on the line for a brief second. “HK.” Ignite winced when he heard the dying scream of a man blaring in his ear.
Query: Yes, Master?
“Having fun?”
Amused Acknowledgement: Yes, Master.
“We have a—complication.”
Intrigued Inquiry: Can you elaborate, Master?
“The Pipsqueak is possessed.”
There was silence on the other end of the com. Finally, HK spoke. Remorseful Realization: This unit cannot laugh because I have no programming to assist me.
“Pipsy can install that, you know,” Ignite informed hopefully.
Emphatic Statement: We must repair the Pipsqueak at once.
“He’s really easy to manipulate,” Ignite whispered to Khem.
Agitated Retort: I heard that, Master.
Ignite winced.
Assurance: But this unit still wishes to fix the Pipsqueak.
“Well that’s awfully nice of you—“ Ignite was cut off.
Interruption: So I can liquidate her.
Ignite smacked his forehead. “Always a catch…”