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03.08.2013 , 06:00 PM | #45
Chapter 32

Silent Sun cantina, Coruscant
130 days ABDK

Sitting around the same table they’d occupied so long ago, Jasin, Gareb, Dankin, Pudii, and Backblast discussed the battle of Mandalore in a mixture of relief and worry.

The Dread Masters were obviously still out there, so they could not quite relax. On the bright side, their leader had suffered a tremendous blow at the hands of Jasin, and they would likely go into seclusion until he recovered. Also, Sydin, the Jedi they had undercover in the Dread Masters’ ring, was still alive and well.

“All in all, a victory,” Gareb said.

“But at what cost?” Prudii asked. “I talked to Dha before we left. One of his good friends was injured in the cave-in while saving Dha’s wife and unborn child. He’s still in a coma.”

Dankin shook his head in sympathy. “Poor blighter. You couldn’t ask for a better way to die…or a worse one.”

“So,” Backblast said. “What’s happening now?”

“The Gree have landed on Ilum,” Jasin said. “I’m sure Gareb and I will go meet them, but we probably won’t stay long because the Council is dedicating a specific Jedi to negotiate with the Gree.”

“Also,” Gareb added, “there have been signs of the Dread Masters on the Hutt world Varl, and the Hutt Cartels are stirring up trouble on a world called Makeb.”

“That’s where I’m headed next,” Dankin said. “Got to follow the business. I’ll keep you guys in the know.”

“Appreciate it,” Prudii said. “Good luck.”

Dankin nodded, downed his drink, and turned to leave.

“Havoc Squad is being assigned to the Gree on Ilum, too,” Prudii said. “We’d better get moving.”

“And my people are going to provide extra intel on Makeb,” Backblast added. “If it comes down to trouble, you guys will be the first to know.”

The two of them left, and Jasin and Gareb were alone at the table. With a sigh, Jasin swallowed another gulp of his drink and sat back from the table.

“Ilum, Varl, Makeb…” Gareb said. “The galaxy is headed for a dark direction. We’ll have to get involved soon.”

Jasin nodded. “I know. Let’s get our crews together and visit the Gree, and then we’ll contact the Council and see if we can help on Varl and Makeb.”

Fury-class interceptor
Imperial space
130 days ABDK

Methic stood with Jaesa and looked into the medbay. Quinn lay on the table, recovering. Jaesa had been relieved that he was safe, but had insisted that Methic not leave her side until Quinn woke up.

“It’s getting late,” he said at last. “Vette will kill me if I don’t come to bed soon, and you need your rest too.”

“I know,” Jaesa replied. “But, one more thing before you go. Thank you, Methic.”


“Thank you. You proved your intentions were true. I trust you wholly now, though I suppose I always did. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

As Methic turned and left her, he considered what would happen next. The Dark Council had “suggested” that he join Nox on Ilum with the Gree, but he was not so sure he was comfortable being within a system of Nox. He shook his head.

No matter. He could decide in the morning. Pulling his gloves off, he went to get a good night’s sleep.

* * *

Dha held Mako for a long time, staring through the transparisteel at the broken form of his friend. Dha determined that whatever Gault wanted from now on, Dha would supply it, for Gault had saved his child. Gault should find his old love Hylo Visz.

Mako and Dha turned to leave the hospital. Dha gave Gault a brief nod of thanks. The Devaronian would have a prosthetic horn attached to his left socket, but Dha had requested they keep the right socket empty, for old times’ sake.

“Wait!” someone said. “A message addressed to Dha!”

Dha turned and saw a young boy in light Mandalorian armor approaching with a small handheld holocom.

“What?” he asked.

“He is waking up,” the boy said. “The doctor says you can talk to him for a second.”

Dha rushed back to the room, Mako hot on his heels. Gault sat up and glanced at Dha through a black eye.

“You really thought I was dead?” Gault asked. He laughed. “Do me a favor. Find Hylo for me?”

Dha nodded to the image of his friend, feeling a lump rise in his throat. He tried to push it down, to no effect, and tears welled in his eyes.

“Oh, and Dha? I’m not going to die, okay?”

Dha nodded. “I promise you, Gault,” he said quietly.

Gault nodded and finally laid his head back on his pillow, closed his eyes, and went to sleep. Dha and Mako quietly exited the room.

“So…where do we go from here?” Mako asked.

“First,” Dha said, “we go home, because you’re due soon. After the baby is born, we’ll go find the most likely place a smuggler could be found.”


“Right now?” Dha said. “Makeb.”

The two of them walked off together, leaving the sleeping Devaronian to rest at peace.