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Legacy Wars


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NatashaTerenzio
06.27.2012 , 10:41 PM | #21
***Warning Post Contains Mild Smuggler/SW Companion Spoilers****

No Definition Needed
D-15 Mantis

I knew Torian had a report to give me about what had happened with the rest of Havoc Squad, but I had to give him credit for holding his tongue. The only thing he said to me when I finally got back on board my ship was: “She’s in your quarters. Doc said she’s stable. Keep her up for a while when she comes too.”

I nodded and took the stairs two at a time.

When I was in the doorway of my quarters I just stood there, looking at her. She was… at home in my space. I liked her here. Liked looking around my quarters and noticing the little things she’d left. That she’d moved. Then my gaze slid to the bump on her head and I frowned, darkly.

I’d become so lost in my anger that I didn’t even notice she’d woken up. Her voice pulled me out of it, and my gaze returned to her face.

“Your mom says she wants to meet me if things get serious. Are they… serious?”

Truth be told, I didn’t expect that to be the first thing she asked me when she woke up. I walked over and sat down on the edge of the bed next to her. “We don’t have to define it just yet, Mako,” I said quietly.

She said nothing for a moment, just studied my face. Slowly she sat up, touching my cheek and running her thumb underneath one of many bruises I’d gotten that day. “How did you know they were coming?”

I paused. For right now I didn’t want things getting any more complicated for her by telling her about my minimal force abilities. “Bounty Hunter gut feeling.”

She sighed, and I’m pretty sure it was happily. “That’s incredibly sexy.”

I couldn’t help a faint grin. “More than my melty look?”

“Nothing beats your melty look.” She raised her face, brushing her lips across mine. After everything that had happened today, I didn’t want to be gentle. And yet I did. It was some crazy kind of complexity and it made me shudder. I brought up my hands, cupping her face, taking control of the kiss she tried to deepen, because I felt like I was going to snap at any second; in which direction I didn’t know.

Gotta love my little slicer – she made the decision for me.

“I’ve got a bump on the head, I didn’t turn into glass,” Mako murmured. “Get closer big guy.”

I got a lot closer.

Chapter 17 – Unexpected Allies (The Sith)
Dubrillion
Royal Palace

It is a small galactic world. Elliah had often said our alliance with the planet of Dubrillion had been guided by the force. It had started when my sister, Reide’s ship had been stolen from her. When she retrieved it, she’d found Risha Drayen inside. She hadn’t realized it was the legendary pirate Nok Drayen's daughter until much later.

I hadn’t known that Vette had been part of Nok’s crew until she mentioned it to me during one of many late night, after battle drinking sessions. After learning that and getting the news from Reide everything else just clicked into place.

Pulling Dubrillion from its stupid little civil war into a state of order had been remarkably simple. Risha now sat on the throne. She and Vette had regained their friendship and Risha trusted Reide with her life. A near perfect ally.

Dubrillion had been the most ideal and convenient holding place until Loramarr or his chip could be found. Now that it had, we would duplicate the chipset here and then finally move the operation to the next phase.

I stood in a conference room in the royal palace, listening as Elliah and Nadia spoke to the Aristocrats that still held enough power they should be mollified of their concerns about the Sith and Jedi presence. Dubrillion prided itself on its independence, something I respected.

As the aristocrats took their leave, I gave them my attention, giving the group a respectful nod.

“Master Jedi Grell will escort you out, gentlemen,” Elliah said.

I could sense Nadia’s hesitation; she didn’t want to leave Elliah alone in a room with me. Her jealousy perked which of course bred her anger. I turned back to the window, hiding the sharper edge to my smile. It wouldn’t take much to turn Nadia to the dark side. However, as long as she remained in Elliah’s favor, I simply wouldn’t.

“It’s an amazing feeling when you sit inside the dark side of the force,” Elliah said to me as the door closed. “Your restraint is…”

“Well practiced. And not always reliable,” I said truthfully.

“You exercise it when you need too.”

I couldn’t stop my shoulders form stiffening. “Not always.”

Elliah came up behind me, touching my shoulders. “Laresa-“

“Lord Madine is plotting a coup,” I stepped out of his embrace, turning to face him.

Elliah looked thoughtful. “You felt his deception.”

“Of course.”

“He must be exposed then.”

“You don’t give a man with that much power a voice so soon. Risha needs time to cement her ruler ship over these people. I’ll handle him.”

Elliah was not at all put off by my very Sith like assessment of the situation. In essence he stayed more true to the Jedi code then most of them when he said without emotion, only logic; “It would look too suspicious if you killed him.”

“If I kill him, it will be covered up enough that those who wish to believe the lie can. Those that choose to give into fear will back down, and even those that believe the truth will hesitate. All paths make Risha appear stronger.”

“Vette was right about you, Lord Jinobie. I like the way you think,” Risha said.

Elliah and I turned as Queen Risha Drayen walked into the room. Vette and Reide followed in behind her. The sight of my sister brought a smile to my mouth

“I made you family, so you get to call her Laresa,” Reide said for me, and I allowed this because it was true. For now. I greeted Risha with the same smile, though fainter.

“I can’t stay, I just wanted to thank you. And you, Master Elliah.”

“It is my sincerest pleasure, Risha,” Elliah said.

“Our alliance benefits us both. And you’ve made my sister rich. Thank you, Risha,” I said with some amusement.

“And you should see the upgrades she made to my ship.” Reide pushed the conference table chairs out of the way and sat on the edge.

“Risha and I are going to go steal something out of the Royal Museum,” Vette said with a devious grin on her face.

“Plenty of time before my next meeting. I’ll see you all tonight.” Risha and Vette turned back towards the door. Risha paused in the doorway and looked right at me. "Handle the situation as you see fit."

Meaning Lord Madine. I nodded at her. I'd send Jaesa to handle it later.

“Bring me back something for my bathroom!” Reide called out to them as Risha and Vette walked back out.

“Wonderful to see you, Reide,” Elliah said when we were all alone again.

Reide winked over at him. “Brother-in-law. I took the chip to the facility. It’s complicated and it’ll be slow moving but they can do it.”

“Just not too slow. We’re running out of time,” I said quietly.

“I figured as much.” Reide got off the table and came up to the window next to me. She crossed her arms over her chest and put her shoulder against the glass, turning her head to gaze out over the landscape. “You don’t owe them this much.”

“I’ve told her the same,” Elliah said quietly.

I sighed. I appreciated that they were protective over my burden. But nothing either of them said could dull the truth of the matter. No, I didn’t owe Xerrin or Mekethia much, not really. Our grief over the matter was equal.

But I did owe Kazrin.

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NatashaTerenzio
06.27.2012 , 10:48 PM | #22
Chapter 18 - Remembering: Coruscant
Before the war

“Laresa! What are you doing?!”

Laresa Jinobie, a blindfold around her eyes, stood on the roof of the four story building. She moved slowly and a bit clumsily, her hands out in front of her. “The force will guide me. I can see the force,” she kept repeating, over and over.

“Laresa! Laresa stop!”

Determination setting her jaw, Laresa took another step – and walked right off the edge.

A sudden burst of speed put Kazrin Jinobie in the right place at the right moment to catch his little sister before the ground did. “There are better ways to see the force, sister,” he sounded both out of breath and amused.

Laresa pulled off her blindfold. She wasn’t wearing her eye patch so on one side, she looked like a Miraluka should; with an empty eye socket. However on the left side a dark grey eye peered sheepishly up at her big brother.

Xerrin Jinobie their older sister grabbed Laresa from Kazrin’s arms, torn between hugging and shaking her. She settled for the hugging. “Why are you so stupid? What were you thinking?”

“I want to see the force as you do. I wanted it to guide me.” Laresa’s mouth twisted as even as she hugged her sister tightly. “It didn’t guide me very well.”

“I told you she’d do it,” Reide Jinobie sat Indian style on a rock in the forest, watching it all. She like Laresa had one eye, but she was currently wearing her eye patch.

“Laresa, you are our family. You are Miraluka. You sense the force in your own way and that is neither right nor wrong. It just is,” Kazrin said gently.

Laresa’s eyes clouded. “Mom and Dad don’t think that.”

The Miraluka prided themselves on their ability to sense the force, so powerfully that it became their eyes. All pure bred Miraluka were born with empty eye sockets. Except for two. Reide and Laresa Jinobie were mutations, accidents. Born twins, they had given their mother a difficult pregnancy. She’d had them three weeks early and both girls had come out with one eye a piece, and been shunned because of it.

“You’ll never be as strong with the force as your siblings.” Their mother had often told them.
“If the Master wants to take them to the Jedi temple, let him. The Luka Sene have no use for them.” Their father had said the day they’d been recruited to learn the ways of the Jedi.

Xerrin and Kazrin looked at each other, sympathy on their faces. Xerrin kissed the top of Laresa’s head.

Reide came over and punched Laresa playfully in the shoulder. “We didn’t plan on listening to them anyway.”

“For once, I agree with her.” Xerrin smiled.

“She’s right. Listen only to your masters. You’ll prove them all wrong, Laresa. I know you will,” Kazrin said.

“I will. I’m gonna be the best Jedi ever,” Laresa said determinedly.

“Not if you keep walking off rooftops,” Reide grinned.

Her words brought laughter from all of them. Kazrin swung Laresa up onto his shoulders. “We must get back before we’re missed. We don’t want another lecture on the danger of attachments,” Kazrin said good naturedly.

Xerrin chuckled and taking Reide’s hand, led the way back to the Jedi Temple.

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SveinEternity
06.30.2012 , 08:50 AM | #23
I love this amazing stuff!
The Eternity Legacy

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NatashaTerenzio
07.04.2012 , 08:45 PM | #24
Chapter 19 - Remembering: Cliff Notes On The War

In truth I rarely thought about my parent’s rejection, as a child I was focused on the joy of my training. We had been taken from them very young, like most Jedi initiates are. However, my parents always kept track of Xerrin and Kazrin, I knew this because they sent letters. Reide and I never received anything of the sort.

I knew real happiness as a child. Training with other members of the Bergruufta clan. Sneaking into the archives with Reide and reading holocrons we weren’t suppose to have access to. Secret evening meetings with Reide, and Xerrin, and Kazrin, where we talked about our days apart, what we were learning, and simply reconnected as a family.

Most times during those visits we just played. Xerrin and Kazin would use either me or Reide to test the strength of their force power by tossing us back and forth. Often they dropped us and boy did we laugh. There was always a lot of laughter during those nights because Kazrin was so funny. He was my favorite, but I looked up to Xerrin too because she was so strong, and wise, and so incredible with the force I really wanted to be as good as she was when I got older.

I was seven when we adopted Mekethia a pure blood Sith into our little family, and simultaneously the war started, causing my rose colored view of the galaxy to vanish, never to return.

Those years were almost a blur, everything moved so fast. As Jedi Initiates our training became much more real and we were pushed to train harder, faster. I became a Padawan when I was ten, and saw my first battlefield at 14. Reide had dropped out of Jedi training and found her home with the Republic Fleet. It didn’t take her long to become one of their best pilots.

It was no surprise that Xerrin became a Guardian. Kazrin was a peacekeeper, he always had been and spent most of his days on Coruscant in the Jedi Temple. He was enhancing his force abilities as a Seer and his visions often saved lives.

I was Knighted by the time I was nineteen and became a Jedi Shadow. It was my job to operate as a spy, to seek out those missions that could undermine Imperial footholds, to find some impossible way to give us an advantage in this vicious war.

Perhaps it was my chosen path that was truly my undoing. As a Shadow the lines of right and wrong became blurred. Being in the midst of the war made me see the Republic for all its flaws, watch good men and women push the line every day all in the name of their justified cause.

My Master often warned me that because I’d always wanted to see the force as Xerrin and Kazrin had it had made me extra sensitive to its projection off of other people. Every time I tracked down and killed a Sith that energy seemed to penetrate my defenses so much that I could feel its power hours after the battle.

Meditation didn’t always rid me of the feeling and I destroyed many a training dummy in my attempt to ignore it. Ignore, reject, but never learn about and control. My thoughts bothered me because I sensed I was slipping onto a dangerous path. I tried vehemently to suppress it, but the war made it difficult. I naturally gravitated toward the fighting style of Juyo too, a vicious and unpredictable form that required a Jedi to attack but with controlled passion, an emotion the Jedi code rejected in favor of peace. In most instances it worked, once or twice I felt myself slipping outside of the forge I’d created in my mind, wanting so much to give into those darker emotions.

While we all fought the Sith, I fought them and myself.

At times I desperately wished I had Reide, or Xerrin, or Kazrin to talk too but my assignments often sent me undercover, deep behind enemy lines so communicating with them was impossible.

Twenty-eight long years later I received word that I was to pull out of my current assignment and come home. Peace talks were going to take place on Alderaan.

Naturally I was suspicious. But the thought of peace was such a welcome respite. I boarded my ship and sent word to Reide I was going to Coruscant to see Kazrin. I had heard Xerrin was sent to Alderaan during the talks just in case it was a trap.

And it had been a trap of the foulest kind. I had just walked out of the spaceport on Coruscant when it was attacked.
"A king has his reign, and then he dies." -Meredith Vickers
Schizo Extraordinaire; too many alts to mention.

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NatashaTerenzio
07.04.2012 , 09:02 PM | #25
Chapter 20 - Remembering: The Fall

Fury ragged through me as I felt the overwhelming presence of so many Sith. It was no surprise they had betrayed us, but they were attacking the Jedi Temple. The temple! Younglings were there. My Master. My brother.

“Kazrin…” I whispered and without further thought I ran.

The streets and the skies were the most chaotic battlefield I’d ever seen. I killed every Imperial that got in my way, and I was so focused on this task I ignored any cries for help I heard. I had to get to the Temple. I had to help.

I was halfway there when I saw Kazrin. He was helping an injured group of people out of the street, pointing them in the direction of safety. Relief poured through me and I rushed over to him.

He embraced me tightly. “You can’t say here Laresa,” he said. “They’re going to trap us here, use us as leverage. Who knows we may all die. You must get out.”

“No,” I said vehemently pulling out of his embrace. “I’m not leaving. We’ve got to get to the temple.”

Kazrin shook his head. “It’s lost Laresa you can’t-”

“We can’t just let them take it!” I shouted, my emotions getting the better of me.

Kazrin said something to me, but I didn’t hear him. My Master had just fallen. I felt his death and my anger surged. Ignoring my brother, I released the blades on my double bladed lightsaber and began running in that direction.

“Laresa!” Kazrin shouted after me. He used the force to give him a burst of speed and suddenly he was in front of me again, putting up his hands. “Laresa stop!”

But I couldn’t stop. I just couldn’t. I flicked my wrist and made my brother fly off to the side out of my way. I charged towards the temple again, but Kazrin had recovered and he used the force to yank me back towards him.

“Laresa this is not the way! We can’t fight them here!”

“But we can kill some of them!” I shouted. I wanted their deaths. I needed their deaths. Every time a Jedi fell I could feel it. And so many of them did all at once, all around me, and it was feeding my rage so hotly I could no longer ignore it and I certainly couldn’t control it. I just didn’t know how. I started for the temple again.

“I said stop!” Kazrin shot his hand out, his force power knocking me backwards, purposefully hurting me this time, trying to get my attention. “You have to get out of here, Laresa! Now!”

I got to my feet, my knuckles scratched and bleeding, my face a pure mask of fury. “You don’t get to tell me what to do anymore. Help me or get out of my way,” I all but snarled.

“Laresa, don’t do this,” Kazrin said urgently. “We’ll fight them together. Just not here.”

“GET OUT OF MY WAY!” I roared, and the force of it knocked him backwards. I leaped at him, but he was up, and he blocked my blade.

I could smell the smoke, the blaster fire, the charred flesh. I kept feeling the death of the Jedi, the rage of so many Siths and I used it. Kazrin had become an enemy and all I could think about was defeating him.

It was insane how powerful I felt, how much sharper, faster my motions became. He had no choice but to engage me, and he couldn’t hold anything back if he still harbored any hope I would not use every breath left in me to avenge what had just been done.

His blade came at my chest, I countered. It came at my head and I ducked, put a hand to the ground, pushed upwards and flipped over him. I kicked him hard in the back, sending him stumbling forward. I charged but he was so quick, he met every strike, put me back on the defensive and that just fed my anger.

His foot landed in my chest, sent me backwards. He used his force power to rip up the very earth, sending a stream of rocks into my path. Growling I cut through them, and leaped at him again, my blade coming down towards his head.

He brought his own up, blocked my strike, tried to sweep my feet out from underneath me, I jumped, thrust my blade at his mid section. He twirled his own double bladed lightsaber, knocking away my strike, and with the other end cut my face, near my jaw. I blanched at the hit, and for just a split second tasted my own blood.

“Laresa stop. Please, you’ve gone too far-”

But I couldn’t hear him. I didn’t even see him. I attacked again, and were locked in a fierce battle, the sound of our sabers cutting through the air strike, after strike, after strike until suddenly it happened; I gained the edge, saw the opening I needed and without hesitation I went in the for kill, triumph on my face as I drove my lightsaber into his chest.

In that moment the world returned to focus. In that moment I saw him, saw Kazrin, my beloved brother; the shock on his face, the twist of pain.

What had I done?

“Kazrin…” I said in a panic. I withdrew my blade and dropped it. He collapsed and I caught him frantically. “Oh no… Oh no, no, no… Kazrin I’m sorry... don’t leave... Oh please don’t go... I didn’t mean it…”

“Don’t… lose your way,” he whispered so low I could barely hear him.

“Kazrin I’m so sorry… please don’t die… please…” But he did die, not a second later, despite my furious tears, and pleading sobs. And when I realized he was gone, I shattered.

I clutched him to me. I clutched him to me so tightly and I screamed. I screamed and I roared and I sobbed and I felt like I would come apart at the seams with the force of my agony.

Reide pulled me away. I don’t know how long she’d been there, or what she’d seen but it didn’t seem to matter. I don’t remember much else. Only that she got me and a group of survivors to her ship and somehow got us off Coruscant.

When we reconnected with Xerrin I was so broken I could barely speak. Reide told Xerrin we’d found Kazrin like that, another victim of the attack. Mekethia had been devastated. I could tell the news took Xerrin hard but she was a true Jedi. She told us to find comfort in the fact that Kazrin was now one with the force.

The Empire forced the Treaty of Coruscant and the Republic felt it had no choice but to take it. I heard that the Republic blamed the Jedi for what had happened and that news infuriated me. As soon as I felt my rage though I thought about Kazrin and felt sick.

I ignored the calls of the Council of First Knowledge and spent months alone, wrapped up in the silence of my grief, the never ending circle of questions in my head. Why had I snapped like that? Where had my training had failed me? How could I have possibly killed someone I loved so much? My own brother?

It was only after Grand Master Satele Shan brought the Jedi back to Tython I could stand it no more. I wouldn’t get my answers here. I had to leave.

“I’m coming with you,” Reide said the day I’d left.

“You can’t go where I’m going,” I said. “I have to understand what happened. The Jedi can’t help me.”

“Xerrin won’t let you leave.”

I sighed. “I know.” I hugged Reide tightly. “I’ll keep in touch, I promise.”

“I will hunt your *** down if you don’t,” she said in a thick voice.

I didn’t tell Reide I loved her. She knew. I just turned around and walked out. Mekethia wouldn’t care I was gone, she hadn’t bonded with Reide and I the way she’d bonded with Xerrin and especially Kazrin.

It didn’t take me long to find Xerrin in one of the gardens meditating.

“Xerrin?”

She opened her eyes and smiled. “Laresa.” She got up, and hugged me tightly. “I want us all to reconnect, and soon. It’s been too long.”

Her words broke my heart a little more. I closed my eyes, and simply basked in her affection. In a moment I would no longer receive it. Finally, I had to draw away. I had to tell her the truth. Summoning all the courage and strength I had I said, “Kazrin wasn’t killed by the Sith. I killed him.”

Xerrin went very still. “Why would you say that, Laresa?”

I met her sightless gaze and told her everything. Every little detail of it. Xerrin looked torn apart by the news, and I could feel the rise and fall of her conflicting emotions.

“I must… I must report you to the council. You will come with me.”

“I’m not going to the council,” I said gently.

“You will come with me to the council and they will decide-”

“Xerrin I’m leaving-”

“You will do as I say!” She back handed me, sending me to the ground.

I felt no anger at her strike. Only pain. Not from her blow, but for the reason behind it. Tears filled my eyes.“I’m so sorry,” I whispered.

For a moment my proud, strong sister looked broken. She sunk to her knees. “Oh Laresa,” she whispered. “What have you done?”

My face pinched. “I will never hurt a member of our family again. I swear it.” And before she could say anything else, I ran.
"A king has his reign, and then he dies." -Meredith Vickers
Schizo Extraordinaire; too many alts to mention.

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NatashaTerenzio
07.11.2012 , 02:43 PM | #26
Chapter 21 - You loved him too (The Sith)
Dubrillion
Royal Palace

Even now, a Sith through and through, I had never been in as dark a place as I was the months after I left Coruscant. First I rid all trace of the Jedi, of who I had been. I went to Nar Shaddaa, used my connections and transformed myself from Miraluka to Cyborg. I killed the Twilek that had performed my surgery to ensure no one would know I was there. Aside from Kazrin, it had been my first real murder.

I remember tears on my face as I set the lab on fire. I have not cried since. After that I didn’t stop until I’d bribed, fought, and lied my way to Korriban.

It hadn’t been hard to rise up in the ranks. I hated them. I hated them all. And I could show it to a point. I only needed to pretend I was loyal to the Emperor, everyone else I could treat as I wished. Darth Angral took a particular interest in me, and soon I was his apprentice. Being so close to him had proved useful in more ways than one. I had also taken great pleasure killing him in front of the Dark Council.

That though, was the past and we had much to do now. I pulled away from my thoughts glancing over Elliah. “You should return to Ilum before you’re missed, husband.”

He nodded and walked up to me, pressing his lips against my forehead. “Stay safe, wife.”

“I’ll keep her outta trouble,” Reide said pulling a flask from the inside of her jacket. “Or get her into it. It’s a tossup.”

Elliah winked over at her then walked out. I turned to my sister, studying her thoughtfully in silence for a moment. Finally, I asked quietly, “You loved him too. Why didn’t you ever fault me for his death?”

“Because I saw you after,” Reide said so simply. “And to be honest Laresa, he’s as much to blame for what happened.”

I frowned lightly at her words. “How can you say that? I would have died that day.”

“You did die a little that day,” Reide said gently. “And even so, you don’t know that you wouldn’t have survived the attack. You might even have saved some lives. Either way it was your lesson to learn. He should have let you learn it.”

I was silent a moment, mulling over her words. Finally I said, “You would have made a good Jedi.”

Reide smirked. “Naw. I like breaking the rules way too much.”

I couldn’t help but smile at that. “Yes, yes we do. Come, I want to go to the factory and put some fear into the workers there. That will speed things up.”

“Right behind you sis.”
"A king has his reign, and then he dies." -Meredith Vickers
Schizo Extraordinaire; too many alts to mention.

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NatashaTerenzio
07.11.2012 , 02:48 PM | #27
***Warning Minor Spoilers for the JK Storyline***

Chapter 22 – The Problem with Perspective
Ilum
Republic Base

The ice cold wind whipped around Jedi Master Xerrin Jinobie’s robe. She could smell the incoming snow on the frosty air and welcomed it. She liked his planet. It reminded her of the time when she crafted her first lightsaber, when everything had been so simple.

Xerrin sighed quietly, shaking her head at herself. It was important to stay in present, to not dwell on the past but that was extremely difficult when she could feel the darkness coming and knew the cause of it.

Her own sister.

No, Xerrin corrected herself silently, not her sister. Laresa Jinobie had died the day Kazrin did. An evil Sith Lord now stood in her place, one that been an apprentice to Darth Angral, became the Emperors Wraith and now plotted to destroy everything she held dear.

Now, Darth Jinobie posed a threat large enough Xerrin could no longer keep her dirty little secret from the Council. Years ago, she had told them Laresa had taken her own life. Even when she’d fought her on the Emperors secret space station Xerrin had not revealed that it had been her sister. Circumstances had become so severe though that Xerrin no longer had any choice but tell them truth. Tython was at stake.

Xerrin was pulled slowly from her thoughts when she felt Elliah’s approach. She did not turn to look at him as he stood beside her, her cowl hiding her face. “Where is she Elliah?”

Elliah’s hands were folded comfortably in front of him. He stared out over the grey landscape with her and asked quietly. “Who?”

“Don’t play games with me. Please. You know who.”

Elliah paused then said quietly, “Does it hurt you still to say her name?”

“Elliah-”

“I don’t know where she is, Xerrin.”

Xerrin slowly turned, looking at Elliah. The force outlined him for her, gave him vague features and colors but it was the kind of “sight” a Miraluka was use too. He was of the light side, he’d always proven that even though he did not follow the Jedi Code with the rigidity she expected from Jedi’s. And, he’d saved her life once. Regardless of that he was hiding something. After her battle with Darth Jinobie three years ago, Xerrin no longer completely trusted her instincts. Something was throwing them off.

Why else would see have sensed something of the light still left in the Darth. “You’ve seen her,” Xerrin said quietly.

“That much is true, though it was several months ago. She sought me out concerning an issue with one of her.... apprentices.”

“Explain.”

Elliah looked faintly amused. “He’s in love.”

Xerrin lifted a hand, rubbing her temple. “Elliah, I won’t pretend to understand why you hold a Sith in such regard. But you’ve felt the impending danger.”

“Of course. Why do you think it comes from Laresa though?”

“Who else could it be?”

Elliah said nothing at first, then quieter. “She loves you, Xerrin.”

Xerrin was silently thankfully she’d kept her arms crossed and tucked under the sleeves of her robe so Elliah could not see the clench of her hands. “She does not. If she did she would surrender and let justice be done. Instead she plots against both the Empire and the Republic but we both know it is the Jedi who are her targets.”

“Why do you think that?”

“Stop this. You stand for the light. You’ve cured all doubters of suspicion that a Chiss could serve the Republic and done a great service to your people. You have saved the lives of Jedi Masters, and fought unspeakable darkness yourself. Why won’t you help me stop her?”

“Because your pain has blinded you. She is not your enemy Xerrin.”

Xerrin’s face tightened. “How can you say that? After all the atrocities she committed as a Sith, as the Emperors own Wraith?”

Elliah’s face twisted with sympathy. “Will you not listen to your heart?”

“I will listen to the force and my conscience. They do not steer me wrong. Both tell me Darth Jinobie must be stopped.”

Elliah studied her a moment longer, then sighed. “She conquered Dubrillion for Risha Drayen. If you’re looking for her, she may be there.”

Xerrin frowned deeply. “Convenient. Neither Republic nor Empire is permitted on that planet.”

Elliah looked faintly amused. “Well, I’m sure if you asked nicely…”

Xerrin did not share his humor. She turned away looking back over the icy landscape. “I will find her, Elliah. And I will stop her.”

“I do not doubt you, Xerrin,” Elliah said softly. “I only wish you understood the matter as thoroughly as you think you do.”

Xerrin just shook her head. “I understand she is a Sith who has chosen the darkside. I need know nothing else.”

“She seeks redemption for her crimes.”

Xerrin snorted. “I have yet to see any evidence of that.”

“The inside information that always seems to come to your allies on the missions you are directly involved in, where do you believe it comes from?”

“The blood, sweat and sacrifice of those who oppose the Emperor who else?”

“Are you so certain?”

Xerrin pulled her gaze back to him. “If you know something Elliah, say it.”

“When Uphrades was miraculously saved whom do you believe caused that?”

Xerrin frowned at him. “What do you know of her machinations?”

“I am merely trying to give you a different perspective, Xerrin.”

Xerrin rubbed her temples and sighed. “Prove what you say, or stop saying it,” she said simply. “Until then I will not believe that Darth Jinobie the Merciless has ever assisted me.”

Elliah canted his head at her. “Would you truly believe it, even if I could prove it?”

Xerrin squared her shoulders and met his gaze evenly. “Of course I would. I would much rather believe that she is not so far gone she cannot face redemption. I simply don’t share you optimism.”

“I didn’t save your life on Angral’s ship. She did.”

Out of all the things Elliah could have said Xerrin had not expected that. Five years ago, near the start of the Cold War Xerrin had been forced to kill Darth Angral’s son. He’d never been a fan of the peace treaty anyway and had openly waged war on the Republic.

Darth Angral had killed Master Orgus Din for the whole Republic to see. The day his attack on Uphrades had failed, Xerrin had boarded his ship and confronted the dark lord. Despite her best efforts he had over powered her. The last thing she remembered was his lightsaber coming for her, her death all but certain.

She’d passed out before the death blow could be delivered. When she’d woken, Elliah had been kneeling over her, tending to her wounds and Angral was gone.

Xerrin set her jaw. “What game are you playing?”

“No game. She did it, not me. She fought him, subdued him, called me to get you, and dragged him before the Dark Council to face punishment for his violation of the treaty, then killed him right in front of them.”

Xerrin drew herself rigid. She could not, simply could not believe that Darth Jinobie had had her best interest at heart. The Sith Lord no longer had one. “If she did that it wasn’t for me. It was to gain his power. And it worked; she then went on to become the Emperors Wraith if you recall.”

Elliah sighed quietly and shook his head. “If you say so, Master Jedi. Is there anything else?”

Xerrin studied him a moment longer. Finally she turned away, her gaze staying toward a platoon of republic forces that were returning from a mission. It reminded her she needed to speak with Mekethia. “No, Elliah. That’s all. But if I find out you’re helping her, I will report you to the Council.”

“I know you will. May the force be with you, Xerrin.”

“And you.”
"A king has his reign, and then he dies." -Meredith Vickers
Schizo Extraordinaire; too many alts to mention.

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NatashaTerenzio
07.11.2012 , 02:56 PM | #28
Chapter 23 – Setting a Trap
Ilum Spaceport
BT-7 Thunderclap: The Vigilance

Mekethia, and her husband Aric were enclosed in their private quarters. It was not for romantic reasons. Aric stood at attention, and Mekethia listened intently to the report coming from the two Cyborgs in front of her.

Aximili and Jix Jonos were formerly SIS and now worked freelance for whomever could afford their fee. Mekethia had met them on Nar Shaddaa during an important mission and had been using them to track Darth Laresa Jinobie ever since.

“By the time we got into Loramarr whatever was in that case was long gone,” Aximili said.

“They took the datacore out of the dead droid too,” Jix added.

“The item was given to the Reide. We tracked her to Dubrillion. She and Darth Jinobie are there now,” Aximili finished.

Mekethia pursed her lips together thoughtfully. “And her daughter?”

“Operative Veltana is deep undercover. It will be difficult to find her, but we’ve confirmed that Elliah is her father,” Jix said.

“What about Darth Jinobie’s other son, the Sith?” Aric asked.

“Darth Baras is trying to kill him, typical Sith stuff,” Aximili said with a smirk. He had so many implants he was downright ugly when he showed any facial expression.

“Good. Don’t interfere yet let’s see how that plays out,” Mekethia said.

“Understood. We do have something you might be able to use. We intercepted a transmission from the Mandalorians to the Bounty Hunter. They’re throwing him a party at the Star Cluster Casino on Nar Shaddaa in three days.”

That perked Mekethia’s interest considerably. “Excellent. Thank you boys.”

“Hey, it’s your credits. We’ll see if we can’t find a way to get on Dubrillion and see what’s in that factory,” Jix said.

“Good. Be careful.”

Aric came forward and walked both Agents off the ship. Mekethia was pacing in a small line when he returned.

“What’s going through that pretty head of yours?” He asked.

“An opportunity. I’m going to alert Seros to the Bounty Hunter’s location.”

Aric snorted. “He’ll start a witch hunt like no other. After that business on Quesh I’m surprised Seros thinks about anything else.”

Mekethia released a hard smile. “Exactly. Darth Jionbie’s passion will get the better of her if her son is killed or captured. Then it’ll only be a matter of time.”

Aric walked up to his wife, stopping her pace when he touched her face gently. “We’ll get her Mekethia.”

Mekethia lifted her hand to cover her husbands’. “I know we will. We were just so close on Hoth.” She looked over at the only picture of Kazrin she had. It had been family a picture and she’d cut Laresa and Reide out of it.

Aric followed her gaze. “You still don’t talk about him much. I won’t pry, but I’d like to know more about the man you’ve sworn to avenge.”

Mekethia paused. Finally she said quietly, “Two days before the war started, I ran away from the Sith, and transport hopped my way to Coruscant. When I got there, obviously there was shock, and so much mistrust. Well earned of course but Kazrin never ever looked at me like I was just a Sith.”

Aric was silent, listening to his wife intently. She smiled quietly for a brief moment at the memory. “I told the Jedi Council everything I knew. And during the war I helped in any way they would let me. Kazrin volunteered to watch over me, but he did more than that. He made part of his family. I still don’t know why. For the first five years I was glued to his side. He taught me everything I needed to know and it was because of him I was allowed to test my mettle as a soldier. I owe everything to him, and I never got a chance to say thank you.” Her gaze slowly hardened. “He didn’t deserve to die like that.”

“You’re right, he didn’t.” Aric kissed the tip of her nose, something that never failed to bring a quick smile to her mouth. “Don’t you think it’s time we told your sister what we know?”

Mekethia shook her head. “No. Not yet. She’ll be honor bound to alert the council to Elliah’s deception and I don’t want to give him away. If we can’t use Darth Jinobie’s children against her, he may be our only other option.”

“Smart play.”

“I am the brains of this operation,” she teased.

Aric gave her a look, but she could see the amusement behind it. “Permission to get you back for that later sir.”

“Sooner than later, Lieutenant. I’ll make the call to catch the Bounty Hunter. You get the rest of the crew off my ship.”

“Yes, sir.”
"A king has his reign, and then he dies." -Meredith Vickers
Schizo Extraordinaire; too many alts to mention.

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NatashaTerenzio
07.11.2012 , 03:11 PM | #29
***Warning Spoilers for BH Storyline***

Chapter 24 – Crossing the Line (The Bounty Hunter)
Nar Shadda
Star Cluster Casino

Happy. That’s the only way I could describe the last few months of my life. I had Mako, I had a black list, I had some Mandalorian buddies, and the families plan was right on schedule. Everything was good.

Of course in the back of my mind I knew it was just a matter of time before something went wrong, but I wasn’t thinking about that. It wasn’t hard not to, I was too focused on trying to make sure Mako was as attached to me as I was to her.

Then, the bad **** happened.

There was only a small select group of Bounty Hunters in the galaxy that were good enough to be able to see the Black List. I was one of them, and part of that group. After I’d proven I was more than just the Great Hunt Champion, they’d called to say they were throwing me a party.

I was all about it. Mako and I, the whole crew really had been busting our butts so it was definitely time for a little R&R.

I’d forgone my armor for attire fitting for a party, even with my blasters still at my hips (I didn’t go anywhere without them). I was waiting for Mako by the ships hatch when she emerged, and she looked so damn pretty I was considering skipping the party and taking her right to bed.

My facial expression must have given me away because she blushed, laughed and kissed the corner of my mouth. “Later big guy. Show me a good time first.”

“Oh I’ll show you a good time,” I waggled my brows at her, and she giggled. That’s right, giggled.

I did steal a kiss before I slipped her arm through mine and led her off the ship. The boys would lock everything down and meet us there. Blizz was super excited about the Casino and had declared he was going to reverse engineer one of the slot machines. I sure wasn’t going to stop him.

Mako and I were making out a little in the elevator when it finally arrived at the Penthouse floor of the Casino. The moment the doors opened, I knew something was wrong. The smell of blaster smoke hit my nose a second later and I frowned.

“Coro?” Mako canted her head at me.

I put my finger to my lips to shush her, made sure she stayed behind me, and pulled one of my guns. We stepped off the elevator, rounded a corner and there were the bodies.

The hallway spoke of the fight and my anger grew with each dead face I passed that I recognized. I stopped by one, kicking the body over with my booted toe and saw that she’d been killed by a lightsaber. Then I heard voices.

I narrowed my eyes, and crept towards the open archway, close enough that I could hear the conversation.

“They refused to cooperate. No sign of the Fugitive.” The voice came from some little Jedi.

“No matter. Advance the timeline and call in support.”

The second voice I did recognize. Months ago back on Quesh, some idiot republic whatever had tried to have me arrested for killing Kellian Jarro. Coming after me was one thing, but this? He’d gone too frakking far.

I barged into the room, one of my blasters pointed at the stupid little Jedi, the other in the direction of the three republic guards that had survived the fight. “Looking for me?”

The Jedi was talking to the idiot who just wouldn’t let it go on the holocom. His image looked at me. “This is your last chance to surrender peacefully. Don’t be as foolish as your friends.”

“Peacefully? You call this peacefully?” I growled, and then without hesitation I turned both my barrels onto the guards and with three quick shots I blew open their heads. “How’s that for peacefully?”

“Terrorist!” The Jedi screamed and charged me.

“Mako get back!” I barked and rolled out of the way of the Jedi's lightsaber. She came at me again, deflected some of my blaster fire and tired to get in close, which was just stupid. The minute she thought she was close enough to run me through, I flicked a switch on my blaster and a stream of fire came out, right into her face.

She screamed, dropping her lightsaber and falling backwards. I shoved my blasters back onto my hips and picked up her lightsaber. Walking over to her, I stared at the holocom as I held her own blade.

“How high do I have to stack the corpses before you get the message?” Without waiting for his response I shoved the Jedi’s own lightsaber into her chest.

“You will not continue to murder Jedi with impunity,” the man with the stupid mustache said.

“Oh yeah? Wanna be next? All you gotta do is come get me,” I growled and shut off the connection. I tossed the lightsaber aside and took a few deep breaths to calm myself down. Wasn't working though.

“Is this our fault? Did we just get them killed?” Mako asked in a shaky voice.

“No,” I said my voice gruff from anger. “They weren’t strong enough to stay alive.”

“What? How can you be so callous? Are you gonna say that about me when you get me killed?”

My fury peaked that she would say that to me. I whirled on her. My first instinct was to tell her nothing would happen to her on my watch but I knew better. Carrying around that kind of ego did get people killed. It was a heck of lot smarter to make sure the crew you traveled with was on top of their game at all times. So, I kept my mouth shut, turned my back on her and walked out. She could follow or not, she wasn’t my favorite person right then.

Mako was no dummy, she knew she’d struck a nerve. I didn’t mind her getting emotional, but I was real tired of her inability to deal with death, and right now I suspected we had a big frakking problem.

When we got back to the ship, a bad day was getting worse.
"A king has his reign, and then he dies." -Meredith Vickers
Schizo Extraordinaire; too many alts to mention.

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NatashaTerenzio
07.11.2012 , 03:36 PM | #30
***Warning Spoilers for BH Storyline***

Chapter 25 – Handling it the Sith Way (The Bounty Hunter)
D-15 Mantis
Outter Rim

The moment Mako and I set foot back on the ship, Torian was waiting. “You need to see this,” he said and immediately turned on the Holocom.

The crew gathered round and we listened to Supreme Chancellor Janarus call me out for a list of crimes I had not committed. Granted, there were a few but the majority of them were so trumped up it was ridiculous.

“They want to make me a monster, fine. They’re going to get one,” I said lowly.

“There’s a ten million credit bounty out now for your capture,” Mako added quietly.

“Every Hunter in the Galaxy will be after us,” Torian said.

“It gets worse. Imperials are making a big show of breaking ties with us. We can’t stay on Nar Shaddaa and it looks like we won’t be safe in Imperial Space either,” Mako said.

I really wanted to punch something. Actually I wanted to punch someone. I settled for clenching my fists. “Every single coward that turned their back on us is going to die,” I growled.

“I’d recommend we get out of here first. Carnage latter.” Gault said in his infinite wisdom.

“Wait…” Mako paused listening. “We’re getting an Imperial Summons. We’re to rendezvous with a fleet in the outer rim.”

“What’s the call boss?” Torian looked over at me.

“Let’s go see what he has to say,” I said and headed towards the cockpit.

***
The Tyrant, Darth Tormen's Ship

The crew was silent as we headed to the rendezvous point. I brought everyone with me when we boarded because I didn’t know what to expect. Some stupid little Imp was waiting for us and he tried to get us to surrender our weapons. First I told him no. When he wouldn't listen and got mouthy I blew his head open.

“Torian with me,” I said. “Let’s go find this Darth.”

“No.” Mako surprised me when she put a staying hand on Torian’s chest and came to my side. “I’ll come. If you’re going to tear through this ship like I think you are, you’ll need a medic.”

I didn’t argue with her. And tear through the ship I did. Every Imp that got in my way got my blaster in their face. Finally I found Darth Tormen in his executive quarters. He was your typical Sith, but I could feel the power coming off him and knew instantly I wouldn't be able to take him if it came that. Not just yet.

"I see you've gotten rid of your escort," Darth Tormen said.

"I don't give up my gun for everybody. Not even for Sith hospitality," I said simply.

"You will start appreciating what I offer, or I will treat your things as you treat mine," Darth Tormen lifted his hand and Mako started choking.

I cannot tell you the fear that went through me, especially when he didn't stop. "ENOUGH!" I barked. Darth Tormen smirked and let her go, but by then she'd passed out. I caught her form, and the ugly Darth kept speaking like he hadn't just done that.

I was only half listening to him because I wanted to kill him. And I was going too, I vowed as I carried Mako back to the crew. But I’d accepted his offer. War had broken out on Corellia and he wanted Supreme Chancellor Janarus’s head on a platter. I wanted the stupid mustache Jedi who I now knew was Battlemaster Jun Seros. We needed to draw out Seros to get to the Chancellor so it was a win win. Except I was going to make sure Tormen got the short end of the stick.

Back on the ship, I didn’t give the crew a destination right away because I needed a moment to think. We hovered out in deep space and the boys made themselves busy.

Mako had woken, a little shaky but non the worse for wear. She went to shower and I stayed at my desk, frowning darkly at the wall.

Darth Tormen made me realized Mako could not come with me on this next little phase of my journey. He could pit her against me in an emotional way and I wouldn’t let him use how I felt about her to manipulate me.

And truth be told, it was probably better we took some time. I didn’t have the urge to do the honorable thing where either the Republic or the Empire was concerned. Right now, I just wanted to destroy things until I got my name cleared and set the record straight.

Mind made up, I rose to my feet and went my holocom. A few seconds later my brothers face appeared.

“Lancoro. I’m hearing some interesting things about you,” Vanceto sounded amused.

“What’s your situation looking like big bro?” I asked.

“My master tried to have me killed, the fool,” Vanceto chuckled.

“Typical day then.” I half smiled.

“What’s troubling you? How can I help?”

“Do you have room for a slicer on your ship? Not just to babysit, she’s a work horse.” I knew Mako wouldn’t appreciate me shipping her off but at least if I gave her a job to do-

“I have much need of a good slicer in fact. Your Mako?”

I nodded. “Yeah.”

“Something wrong?”

“I’ve got some business to handle and I’d prefer she wasn’t around for it.”

“Bring her to Dubrillion, I will meet you there and you can give me the full story.”

“Will do. Thanks Van.”

“I will protect her with my life, and keep her so busy she won’t have time to be angry at you.”

I chuckled. “See you in a few days.” I shut off the holocom and realized I wasn’t alone. I turned to see Mako standing behind me, and boy did she look furious.

“You can’t just pass me around your family,” Mako hissed.

I crossed my arms over my chest and met her angry gaze evenly. “If you don’t want me to get you killed, this is your ticket.”

She looked so hurt when I said that, I felt about three inches tall. Her brows pinched together. “Coro I didn’t-”

“I’m going to kill them all Mako.” I interrupted her before she could apologize. It wouldn’t lead to anything productive. “Whomever gets in my way on this is going to die.”

I could tell by the expression on her face that she didn’t like it, but it was the truth. The kid gloves were off. I was going to handle this the Sith way because the Republic sure the frak had. But really more than that until I got a little stronger, Darth Tormen was the bigger reason. My gaze strayed to her throat, and I remembered how terrified I’d been when he’d started force choking her. My face tightened. “Look if you don’t want to go to Vanceto’s ship, don’t. I’ll drop you off wherever. He needs the help though.”

She said nothing for a few heartbeats just studied my face. Finally she said very quietly. “I’ll get my things.”

I nodded. “Stay in my quarters until we get there. I'll sleep in the lower bunks.”

Before she could argue with me I walked past her, into the cockpit and shut the door.

***
Dubrillion Spaceport

The journey to Dubrillion was the longest three days of my life. I’d never been so frakkin glad to see a cities spaceport, because any more time my resolve might have broken. Mako kept her distance and I hated it. To add to that, every time I passed her on the ship, she kept throwing melty looks my way and it was ripping me up inside.

I had to do this though, there wasn’t another choice. When we landed, Vanceto and Vette met us in the spaceport.
I hugged my brother tightly and kissed Vette on the cheek. Vette wisely went up to Mako and took her aside. I really loved that Twilek. And from the expression on my brothers face as he briefly watched her depart, so did he.

Vanceto looked at me seriously once the girls were gone. “You’re in trouble Lancoro. Both the Empire and the Republic-”

“I know. “

“How can I help you?”

“You already are. Plus you’ve got enough on your hands dealing with Darth Baras. I’ll clean this mess up.”

Vanceto nodded. “If you need back up though-”

“I’ll call. I promise. Thank you.”

“You are my brother, there is no thanks needed. Good hunting Lancoro.”

“Good hunting, Vanceto.”

I slid my gaze over to where Mako stood with Vette. Vette was talking to her but she didn’t appear to be listening, instead she was staring right at me. She was giving me that fraking melty look again and I really, really wanted to run over and kiss her good-bye.

I didn’t. Instead I backed up, turned around, and walked away.

I had hunting to do.
"A king has his reign, and then he dies." -Meredith Vickers
Schizo Extraordinaire; too many alts to mention.