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01.12.2012 , 10:43 PM | #3
Chapter 3: Surprise Attack

Three days had passed since Zura's last nightmare. Of course, in the void of space, there was no day or night. Time had no meaning. However, using the Galactic Standard of time, a total of seventy-two hours had passed.

Regardless, Zura was not one for details. What did matter for her was that, following her master's guidance, the dreams had stopped. There was no guarantee they would be gone forever, but even a few nights of undisturbed dreams was a gift to the Padawan.

If the freedom to sleep wasn't enough, the fact that Altronz had made good on his word to teach Zura new techniques made things even better. Training was slow, but the young Togruta was learning how to heal through the Force. It was an ability that not all Jedi had potential for, but Altronz was sure that Zura was capable of performing it.

After the three days of training, Zura was only able to heal minor wounds. Scratches and bruises were the only thing she could handle at the time, but with practice she would be able to mend broken bones and other severe wounds. The idea made her joyful, knowing that she would be able to help others. It was truly the best ability in her mind. The reason being that should the premonition of the tortured man ever come true, she would have the power to take away all his suffering.

While the joy she felt was something she never wanted to rid herself, she remembered that the Jedi Code taught against emotion, even those that made one feel good. Taking a breath, Zura sat on her bed and crossed her legs, entering a meditative state.

"There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is-"

Before she could finish the mantra, a violent explosion rocked the vessel, sending Zura to the floor. Shaken by the sudden action, Zura could only struggle to her feet, although her lack of trust in her own limbs at the moment forced her to rely on her hands as well. While the desire to figure out what was the cause of the explosion, Zura's first thoughts shifted to her master.

"Master Altronz! Are you alright!?" the Togruta cried out, crawling for the door. At first, she heard nothing. There was no response from her teacher, which brought fear into Zura's heart. After a moment though, Zura heard footsteps heading for her, convincing her that the Jedi Master was still alive. Scrambling to open the door, Zura was surprised to find that the door was opening right as she made a move to do so herself.

However, instead of finding her beloved master, she found a red-skinned Sith, glaring down at her already weakened form. Before she could make a move, the man backhanded her with a gloved hand, causing pain to spread across her face. For good measure, the Sith then grabbed her by the shoulder and spun around, throwing the Padawan behind him.

Taken back by the short succession of blows, Zura could do nothing by lie on the floor in pain. The thud of the Sith's boots following after her made every cell in Zura's body scream to move, but the blow to the face was causing her mind to lag. When one of those heavy boots planted itself right between her shoulder blades, Zura knew it was impossible for her to get out of this situation.

"Get off my Padawan!"

Suddenly, the weight on Zura's back disappeared as the image of Altronz's feet appeared a few feet before her. The Jedi Master had sent a wave of energy forward, tossing the Sith off his student and into the private quarters he had dragged Zura from. Wasting no time, Altronz retrieved his lightsaber, causing a blue blade of glowing plasma to appear from the hilt, and flew forward.

Despite his desire to check on his Padawan, Altronz knew he had to take care of the intruder before anything could be done for her. At the very least, as he leapt over her, Altronz commanded his student. "Wait at the escape pod! If I don't call for you in five minutes, get out of here!"

Zura didn't want to leave her master, but she knew that in her condition, she would only be a hindrance. Dragging herself through the small ship, Zura had to pass by the holoterminal at the center of the vessel. Zura was shocked to find that there was a boarding pod piercing the hull of the ship, right above the holoterminal itself. It seemed foolish to her. A ship of this size was too small to guarantee the boarding pod would have hit. If it had missed, then the occupant would have to wait for someone to retrieve them.

As Zura pondered the Sith's bold move of boarding the ship, Altronz was in the middle of a duel with the intruder. Red and blue blades clashed as the two exchanged blows. Being older, wiser, and generally more experienced, Altronz appeared to have the upper hand. The fact he gained the first blow advantage when he used the Force to send the Sith into the private quarters made things better.

Unfortunately for him, the Sith was no slouch. While Altronz knew just how to move his lightsaber, the Sith was much stronger than him. Even in his prime, Altronz knew that the Sith would have given him problems. Having been out of his prime by a few years, the Sith's youthful strength and passion was making him a match.

Altronz kept himself above the Sith by staying on the offensive and at a distance. Using a series of jabs directed at the Sith's midsection, he forced his opponent's movements to be either close range blocks or evasive maneuvers to avoid being skewered. Altronz even kept it intentionally easy to deflect or dodge, as he knew fear of death would only give the Sith power. He needed to stall until he could think of a plan.

Despite Altronz's skillful tactics, the Sith was not planning on waiting for him to make a new move. Throwing his arm out, Altronz could sense the Force gathering in the man's hand. Being much faster and controlling the Force, Altronz was quickly able to draw a defensive veil around himself, protecting himself from any Force-based attack the Sith was planning.

Sensing the accumulation of energy around Altronz, the Sith smiled, causing the older male to look at him in confusion. That's when he realized that the Sith wasn't directing an attack at him, but focusing on something else. Before he could blink, the blur of an object passing over his shoulder and into the Sith's hand made the trained Jedi fearful.

It was his Padawan's lightsaber. It must have fallen off her belt during the Sith's initial assault on the young Jedi. With a second weapon in hand, a green blade emerged from the hilt. Bringing it down on Altronz's lightsaber, the Sith swung his own forward, just barely clipping the Jedi's outstretched arm. The damage was minor, but it did all it needed to give the Sith an advantage.

Hissing in pain from the attack, the human combatant's grip on his weapon weakened. Combined with the force of the Sith pressing the stolen lightsaber's blade down on the Jedi Master's, the lightsaber was knocked out of Altronz's hand. With the advantage of two lightsabers to none, the Sith shot a leg out, landing a heavily clad foot in the his opponent's chest.

With the wind knocked out of him, Altronz stumbled backwards. He tried to focus on gathering the Force to help him fight, but the Sith was relentless. Striking with only the tips of the blades, the Sith landed blow after blow on the more experienced enemy. Scorch marks began to cover Altronz's limbs, until finally, he collapsed under the pain of the wounds.

The Sith sneered at the crumpled form of the Jedi Master, but realized something quickly. "Padawan! If you want your master to live, I suggest you come out right now!"

The Sith could feel that the Togruta hadn't yet left the ship, so now was his opportunity to draw her out. His declaration had two possible paths. He had overheard the master's command to leave the ship if he didn't get to her in time, so his defeat would be a definite sign she had to leave. However, Jedi were weak in their desire to save others. Hearing that her master was defeated, she would more than likely come out to confront the Sith. Given that she had no hope of beating him, but her surrender would provide some possibility of the human's survival.

For a minute, there was no response. The Sith began to believe that Zura may have actually given up on her master. The fact he could still senser her presence through the Force told him otherwise. Then, the unsteady footsteps of the stumbling of the female passenger confirmed the Sith's senses.

Leaning against a wall for support, Zura cast the Sith a glare and finally vocalized a reply. "Don't hurt him... I'll come willingly"

As the corners of his mouth curved up, the Sith answered her statement. "I don't care whether or not you're willing to come with me, I'll be taking you and your master"

Before Zura could protest the Sith's response, he cast a hand forward, imitating the same move Altronz used on him mere moments ago, sending Zura crashing into the wall behind her. This time, the impact caused her to lose consciousness, leaving the two Jedi defenseless to the Sith.

Nodding at a job well done, the Sith pulled a holocommunicator out from his robes. The image of protocol droid appeared. "Master, I am most glad to see you are alive. How may I serve you?" the protocol droid asked.

"I've completed my task and am ready to return to Darth Virales. I want you to contact his men and warn them that I will be arriving in a Republic ship. I don't want them to fire on me" the Sith ordered the mechanical entity.

"Of course master. I shall swiftly warn them of your approach" the droid responded before disappearing.

Pleased with himself, the Sith recovered Altronz's lightsaber to make sure it could not be used by the Jedi should he wake up, then moved to place both the light side wielding Force user in the cargo hold. The mission had been a success. More than a success really. He was asked to retrieve one Jedi and got two with less trouble than he would have suspected. Now all he had to do was return to his lord and he would be rewarded for his efforts.