The Captain has been brought before the Hutt that wants him dead. Stuck in a cell with no way out… If he didn’t have the Jedi with him. What will ensue? Will they find what they were looking for?
And who is this Eeng person anyway? Find out in a new episode of Fiction Friday.
“I’m here to rescue you,”I said
The woman laughed in my face.
“You are going to get me out of here? What did they smack your head against when they brought you in?”
I just grinned and turned to the two Jedi. Arako’ant and Osam had already released their cuffs and now the Mon Calamari waved his hand over mine and the metal fell to the ground.
“What was that?” the archaeologist asked. Arako’ant waved her hand again and unlocked our cell door. When we stepped outside, the Gran was looked dumbstruck.
“How… what… but…?”
“Are you an archaeologist?” Osam asked, fixing his bulbous eyes on the poor woman.
“Well, yeah, but what does that has to do with anything…” Suddenly, she seemed to come to a realization. “Wait, are you Jedi? Get me out of here, please. I have to leave this place. It is not safe here for me. I need to get in touch with my family,” she pleaded desperately.
I responded, “Ma’am, you don’t know who we are and what we’re doing here, but we need your help. We are on a very important mission for the Republic and nothing can wait for it. As it is now, we are knee-deep in bantha poodoo. The Sith are hunting us, and the Hutts will probably be coming to kill me fairly soon. In a moment, we will break out. We need to get you safely out of here, and after that we desperately need your help with some research. According to our sources, you are an expert on the Rakatan Empire. Is that true?”
Eeng hesitated. “Why would you as a Republic officer want to know about the Rakatan Empire? It is of no use anymore. It’s ancient history.”
Arako’ant intervened. “It is and it isn’t at the same time. But we will discuss this when we have left this place. Now can you or can you not help us?”
“Well, you three are my ticket out of here so, yeah, I’ll help.”
Arako’ant moved her hand over the lock and the door shifted open. The Gran just stared, fascinated.
Strange the weirdness you get used to being around Jedi all the time, I mused.
I used my hands to wipe away the bits of blood that were running on my face from Ordo’s hit and pulled out my blaster from the sticking solution I had used to place my gun underneath my shirt and vest. A short whimpering came from my lips. Damn, that hurts.
“Wait, didn’t they check you?” our new friend asked.
“Nope, they just assumed their money was enough to motivate our bounty hunter friend,” Osam said while removing his lightsaber from underneath his shirt. Neither Jedi activated their weapons. Their abilities would serve us better if they came as a surprise. I heard a snort come from further down the corridor.
“Quiet,” I whispered. I heard the footsteps come closer. The two Jedi walked toward the sound. Two Gamorreans walked around the corner and saw me and the Gran standing. They snorted in anger and disbelief, but the Jedi came from the shadow and waved their hands. The two guards became drowsy and fell down with a hard slam. Osam grabbed the larger one of the green skinned pig like people but I could almost hear his back crack. Yep, they are big alright. Osam and I managed to lift the guard between us and almost didn’t get him through the door of the cell. The stench that came from our sleepyhead was far greater than I had expected.
“Next time, you grab the feet,” I whispered. Osam snickered.
“Wait a sec,” Eeng spoke up, “Couldn’t you just uh… Force them into the cells?”
The Jedi master shook her head. “We do not use the Force to do things we can do without, it wastes energy. A Jedi never knows when her full strength might be required. Besides, it gives my padawan and the captain a chance to show off a bit,” she said with a smile, trying to ease the archaeologist’s nerves.
We walked towards the corner where the now imprisoned Gamorreans were when our alarms went off.
“It is time.”
We were moving up the stairs with as much silence as we could muster. A loud, metallic, cracking sound came from the higher levels of the palace. Arako’ant pulled out a smoke grenade and ran up to the throne hall. We could already hear the first couple of shots coming from far away. We reached the confusion up in the throne room. Arako’ant threw the smoke grenade in the center of the room and it went off with a large hiss. The two Jedi grabbed me and the archaeologist by the arm and jumped in the fog, while switching their lightsabers on. Shots came from all around me but I couldn’t see who was shooting. The fluid motions of the two Jedi protecting us, was incredible. I couldn’t make out any shapes or light except for the clear blades of their lightsabers. From within the smoke, some enemies stumbled into us, but in the confusion they didn’t last very long.
Blaster fire was getting closer, but before I realized we were out of the smoke again. I coughed harshly. It felt like my lungs were trying to be turned inside out. Was it really just a smoke grenade and not gas? But we weren’t to safety yet. The smarter goons that stayed out of the smoke were awaiting us, firing a haze of blaster bolts. That got two of them a slash from the blue and green lightsabers. I got a head shot on one of them.
I heard from a far the Hutt below in his native tongue, “I will have your head! I will not let this insolence go unpunished! You will never set foot on this planet alive again!”
As if I’d want to, I thought.
“Eat blaster bolts slug head!” I yelled back at him and fired blindly in the sound’s general direction.
A scared shout came from the crime lord. “You will pay, human!”
Ah, drat. I missed.
We ran down the hallway towards the exit, where we were greeted by a couple of very familiar guns.
“Hello sir.” O’Crave said loud. “I see you managed to find the objective.” He turned to the trembling archaeologist and grinned. “Welcome, ma’am. Now if you would be so kind to follow me, we are on a tight schedule.” the sergeant nodded to the cargo speeder behind him.
“How much effort did it cost you to steal this?” I asked the sergeant. He gave me a knowing grin. “You don’t want to know, sir. But don’t worry, no one got hurt.”
Carina, Jarvis, and the snipers were standing behind the sergeant checking everything to make sure there were no enemies in our direct vicinity. The Gran and I followed swiftly behind O’Crave while the two Jedi guarded us from the blaster fire on our backs.
I was trying to ask the archaeologist if she would need her gear, but the cacophony was impossible to hear through. Ordo was waiting with the transport vehicle and waved us over. Eeng stopped dead in her tracks, staring at at the bounty hunter with utter fear. Ooh no… here it comes.
“W-What are you doing with that man?” she asked with fear filled voice. “He’s the one who handed me over to the Hutt in the first place!”
“Yeah, but he got us in to get you out,” I responded. “I know you’ll probably have a lot of questions, but we’re going to have to catch you up quickly. The whole of the Republic needs your help. A remnant of the Rakatan Empire may be about to fall into the hands of the Sith, and you of all people should know the kind of destructive power that could give them. But further explanation will have to wait. But if it makes you feel any better… I have my suspicion with him myself. But if you don’t want to trust him – and I would be shocked if you could – please trust me.” Inside I could almost hear how hollow it sounded. I didn’t believe it myself. My nose still hurt from where he’d smacked me. But we needed Ordo, and we needed the Gran, and we needed me, so we’d all just have to find a way to get along.
O’Crave made the rally sign and a couple of grenades were thrown at the entrance of the Hutt palace to protect the retreat. The snipers picked off the few remaining enemies still tailing us. My subordinate whistled to everyone to get inside the transport. Jarvis shot a rocket at the top of the entrance, knocking an avalanche of debris down to block it. All accounted for? I looked past all the faces. Everyone is in and I nodded
Ordo jumped in the pilot’s seat and pulled the throttle.
“Let’s get the hell out of here,” I said with relief.
To be continued…