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One Bad Feeling

Posted on Mon Sep 24th, 2012 @ 5:36am by Thane & Bomoor Thort
Edited on on Mon Sep 24th, 2012 @ 5:37am

Chapter: Chapter I: Web of Fate
Location: Muddy Mynock Transport
Timeline: 0900 Hours, Day One

CHAPTER I START

Time and time again, the main hold of the civilian transport, the Muddy Mynock, lit up with brilliant flashes of light as the two sabers crashed against each other. The pure plasma of the blades making contact let out great screeches that made the casual humming of the old ship impossible to hear, and would drown out even some of the loudest noises, but it could not kill the ever-present voice of the Force.

As both combatants adhered to the silent nudges their connection to the Force gave them, always listening for the natural cues that kept them from losing a limb or even their lives, they danced about one another in an attempt to out-manoeuvre their opponent.

After a lengthy blade-lock, the two figures separated and took several steps back from one another. On one side, almost a clear foot taller than his opponent, was an Ithorian, his viridian blade casting a peculiar pale-green glow across his inhuman features. On the other, his violet blade held firmly in one hand and pointing down to the surface of the deck, was a human, a slight amount of sweat moistening his hair and pale face.

Jedi Guardian Thane raised his blade, still held in one hand with a vice-like grip, and aimed it towards his closest friend's elongated face. "You're starting to get slow again, Bomoor," he chided with a slight grin, his posture the perfect preparatory position for the second form of lightsaber combat - Makashi - the best form for one-on-one saber duelling, perfected millennia ago during the earliest wars between the Jedi and the first Sith.

It was a technique Thane had spent much of his time practising and perfecting, managing to develop the form into a very workable technique for the young Jedi Knight, and had already earned him a reputation as a particularly skilled duellist in the Jedi Order, although his lack of concentration often led to openings being exploited by some more senior opponents.

"Perhaps you need a rest?" He goaded the Ithorian, his grin growing wider.

A low hum of amusement resonated from the Ithorian's dual mouths either side of the large trunk that curved outwards from his body, "And let you win again, my friend?" his voice resonated with the hum of his lightsaber, "There's still fight left in me yet!"

Bomoor took one arm off the lightsaber and held his root-like hand out, while drawing the lighsaber in front in a defensive position. He called on the Force once more to revitalise him and felt the energy of the universe wash over every cell in his body. A moment later he was ready once again and, grasping his lightsaber in both hands, he leapt forward - pushing his whole weight off the ground and towards the brilliant violet sheen of Thane's weapon.

But Thane was ready and caught the attack, pushing the Ithorian to his side where their faces were mere inches apart. Bomoor began a series of quick attacks and parries but his stamina ebbed away ever faster and his opponent's strength and agility dominated him until he could go no further.

Bomoor held his hand up and halted Thane's blade, as he often liked to do, "Enough," he bellowed, "My strength has left me. I'm afraid this duel is yours, my friend."

Thane's blade disengaged instantly, and a half-smile crept across the human's face. "You're getting faster," he said, before making a show of wiping some sweat from his brow and showing it to the Ithorian. "Made me sweat about three more beads than usual; you've certainly been working on that Force technique of yours."

Walking over to the small pazaak table on which Thane had left his red form-fitting spacer's jacket, throwing it over his shoulders as he continued speaking. "But it's going to take more than speed and a few hops to break me." With his skill in Makashi reaching superior levels, many of the pair's duels had ended with a flick of Thane's wrist disarming Bomoor, and his viridian blade then appearing in Thane's offhand. Whilst not a master of the Jar'Kai dual-blade form, he was proficient enough in the adaptable Form VI - Niman - to make some passable moves.

However, a good few of their sessions had also ended with Thane's face being smashed into the back wall, having fallen victim to a lack of concentration and one of Bomoor's mighty Force pushes. Quite frequently, the Jedi Consular had managed to trick Thane into thinking him tired, before calling on the Force for a burst of energy and breaking through Thane's shield. What he lacked in stamina and saber-work, Bomoor more than made up for with his command of the Force.

Bomoor knelt down on the cold grates lining the floor of the vessel and closed his eyes, his whole body ached and his hump rose heavily as he drew in deep breaths, "Your skill with your weapon is impressive, certainly when we get up close like that," he panted, "You can't always rely on being armed though - when you are stripped bare, the Force must become your shield and your weapon."

Bomoor slowed his breath and reached out with the Force, once again allowing it into his very being, "You know, I have gained so much through my connection to the Living Force. It is the life force of the universe and..."

The ship's intercom than interrupted. "Saved by the bell..." Thane muttered, pleased to be spared another explanation of the 'Living Force' as he stepped up to the intercom system on the wall. "Go ahead, skipper."

"About five minutes out, boys!" It was the Mynock's very personable and tom-boyish captain, Skyla Jan. A Corellian by birth, she had lived a life growing up and serving with smuggler's, but had found a new calling with some discrete assignments within the Republic; when the Jedi wanted a quiet arrival in a system, they called Jan. "Quit makin' out and get yourselves up here!"

"Witty," Thane grumbled quietly to Bomoor before giving a response. "We'll be right up, Jan. Thanks." He switched off the comm and then pulled on his belt, as he often did, his lightsaber hilt jolting slightly as he did so. As they began walking towards the cockpit, Thane looked to his friend, giving a comical raise of a thick eyebrow. "How exactly would I make out with you?"

Bomoor opened his eyes and contorted his head towards Thane, "There are some things in this universe that are probably best left unexplored," he frowned, slowly rising to his feet, "Come on then, the sooner we leave that woman's company, the better."

He dusted off his thick trousers - Bomoor currently wore his 'Civilian Clothes' - a specially-fitted synfleece shirt and trousers. Tighter than his Jedi robes, but comfortable all the same. Ithorian clothing was difficult to come by on the core worlds but Bomoor found it more fitting when away from the order. He picked up his backpack and headed out into the dimly-lit corridor of the Mynock with Thane.

The pair began to make their way to the cockpit, "This assignment troubles me," began Bomoor, turning his trunk towards Thane as he plodded forwards, "This bounty hunter is a Jedi killer, Thane. Is sending more Jedi his way really the solution?"

"From what I've heard, two Jedi has been too much for him to handle in the past," Thane replied as they reached the threshold to the cockpit, where Jan was manning the controls. "According to the data I've managed to dig up on him, he lost an arm and an eye when he went up against a pair from the Order, so don't worry: even you'll be able to stand a chance against him."

As quickly as he flashed a smile at his friend, it dropped as Jan turned to face them. "We're comin' up on Nar Shaddaa now!" She exclaimed, too merrily for either Thane or Bomoor's liking. The enthusiasm which had made her popular with others was far from what either Jedi appreciated; she was like a walking, talking cliché, full of every pilot's pun this side of the Core Worlds.

Thane did not bother giving her a response as he leant forward to get a better view through the screen. Beyond, hundreds of vessels, varying in size from the smallest shuttles to the largest capital ships known to be used by some of the bigger Hutt syndicates, were flurrying to and from two large objects hanging in the sky - one impossibly larger (but far less busy) than the other.

The massive, murky red-orange scape of Nal Hutta overshadowed the small, but heavily-lit, moon of Nar Shaddaa: the Jedi's destination. Ravaged during the Yuuzhan Vong War over one thousand years ago, it now stood as a testament to the stubbornness and pride of the Hutts, the slug-like beings who ruled this sector of space, but as impressive as the rebuilding of the 'smuggler's moon' was, Thane could not help but grimace.

"Glorious Jewel," he said with derision, nodding to Nal Hutta, which the Muddy Mynock began to veer away from, heading towards the moon-city orbiting it. "Then again, from a Hutt's point of view, it might be."

"Nar Shaddaa's not much better!" Jan said loudly, still oblivious to how her nature bothered both of her guests. "Fog, smog and all sorts of criminal down there!"

Thane gave Bomoor a look before responding to Jan. "Thank you, Captain," he said with sarcastic force, now looking again to the moon as they began to enter the atmosphere, although he was not sure if Jan picked up on the insult.

The ship began to judder under the gravitational strain and the other forces coming into play. For all of her ridiculous ways, they could not fault her piloting ability. It outmatched both of them; Thane could muster some ability, when concentrating deeply on the Force, but he was far more comfortable as a gunner, or as part of a boarding party.

With his blue eyes watching the skyscrapers, bright neon lights, ships and landing pads growing ever-closer, Thane reached out with the Force. Whilst he could feel the heaviness of the life around him, he was mainly distracted by the criminal nature of the world, the deceit, the greed and the death - the disorder, and he felt his emotions flare slightly. He had been here before on a few occasions, during both his apprenticeship and his time as a Knight; his unique skill set often leant themselves well to such assignments, and so the Jedi Council dispatched Thane and Bomoor frequently to these locales, trusting in their combined talents and efforts.

"Anything?" He asked Bomoor, knowing his senses were more attuned to these situations. A set of landing pads could be seen up ahead, in what was clearly a major entertainment district (although there were certainly many of those on the planet).

Bomoor winced, the great creases in his ebony skin grew thicker with concentration, "There is always so much life here, too many thoughts and feelings," he opened his eyes, "If someone wants to hide, this is the place to come - shrouded by the great mass of living energy... not to mention the smog..."

He watched as a heavy cloud of vapour and soot arose from an industrial-looking sector as the ship touched down on one of the landing pads. It always pained him to see this world's natural face choked away by artificial constructs. The ship thudded down without an ounce of grace and the hiss of the cooling ducts could be heard below.

"There you go boys," Jan nodded firmly in their direction, "Another safe landing by Skyla Jan."

"And we are very grateful," Bomoor replied in a particularly low tone before turning to Thane. "Let us hope that a path reveals itself in due time. Until then, we should probably just take a look around."

"Heh," Thane gave a dry laugh to his friend. "What a well thought out and foolproof plan. It can't fail." Patting Bomoor on the back, he addressed Jan. "The Council will arrange your payment the usual way, thanks for the lift." Not waiting for a reply from the Corellian, the Jedi pair began a brisk walk to the ramp that led out from the Muddy Mynock. As nasty as the synthetic recirculated air of the transport was, it was still far more appetising than the deep stench of Nar Shaddaa that assaulted the pair as they took their first steps onto the landing pad.

After several steps forward, Thane crossed his arms and the pair looked back as the Mynock began to take off. Giving the Jedi a thumbs up, Thane could not help but giving a mocking one in reply, with an ironic smile to boot.

Leaning towards Bomoor, he muttered: "Women like her just make you wish Jedi could marry, don't they?" The look Bomoor gave in return was all Thane needed.

 

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