‹ Prequel: The Hidden Truth
Sequel: A Last Good Bye

Reaching Through Darkness

The Boss

Ch 24

"Hey Mirmo, we need you to hand in there."

I blinked. Nea’s voice seemed to be distance among the thousands of organized thoughts that flew around in my head in crazy patters. What he said did not matter. I knew where I had to go.

"Ven says he has a lead on the blond guy. He calls himself 'The Master'. The dark hair young man works for him, but we are working on his name. It seems they have had a hand in the senate for numerous years. The first sign of activity we can uncover as of now was from right after the Emperor died. There may be a connection there, but we are not sure. There are no records about them before then."

Nea hesitated before going on. My mind slightly tuned more into the meaning of his words. I knew whatever else he had to report would not be good. Nea only hesitates when he knows the truth is going to hurt me.

"Buddy, I have nothing to back this up, but I think we are dealing with a sith."

My lungs greedily sucked the fresh, cool air of the senate building. My mind flat out refused to believe the idea. Karen could not be in the hands of a sect that brought so much destruction for twenty years. Luke would have warned me. No, Nea was wrong. The Force did not back up his claim. I needed to do my own research and stop letting others do it for me. I turned around and started to walk out the senate building.

"Mirmo, where are you going?"

I told him I had my own lead and wanted to-

"Wait just a sec buddy. Let me tell Ven and I will come with you."

Alone. If things did not go the way I wanted them to, I might be forced into taking actions I did not want to expose to Nea. I might have trained to be a Jedi for a good ten years, but I grew up in a non Jedi world, as a normal citizen and knew a non Jedi's life.

I walked through the walk ways that linked the buildings together and made it possible for me never to need an expensive air taxi. I took several air lifts down until I was back to the slums of Cornanuant. I found myself strangely relaxed in the crime ridden streets of the poor. Perhaps it was because the dangers of life that were easily seen here than in the maze of rich, but sneaky senators. I knew death of myself and others could be seeked at ever corner here of the dark allys and found the boldness of blasters, held by simpler people more re ensuring than the confusing and misleading words and rules senators used to shoot you down. Here instinct was the name of the game and a game I knew how to play well.

My journey stopped at the bar where the meeting with the crime lords was held. I strolled into a nearly empty and dirty bar and went straight to the manager. Using few words and a hand on my lightsaber I got the current location of main criminal lord. I picked up my trail from the bar and traveled close to a gray, old building with one side slowly crumbling that supposedly held answer to my desperate questions. I circled the building, traveled up a few more streets, and sampled a few sleazy shops to get an idea of what the neighborhood was like, as well as look out for anyone looking for me. I was more than willing to bet my lightsaber I was being watched, but I was not sure by who. Of course the boss would have been notified of my presence and waiting for me to make my entrance, but who ever kidnapped my Jedi apprentice knew something about Jedi and should be watching me like a nexu patiently watches their prey in the shadows of the jungle. There were no obvious signs that could be observed in such a fashion as to not give myself away I seemed to be relatively safe, not that I did not know how to defend myself.

I approached the dull, aged building with caution, leaving my hands in easy reach of my lightsaber, but in an open manner to show I was not to be seen as a threat. I stopped at the old, thick wooden door, and waited for something to happen. If the door was opened, I was welcomed and would not have to worry about being shot. If the door did not open, well, the door was going to open one way or another. Karen’s life was far more important than some slime of the streets worried about his childish drug business and safety. Luckily for them, I was not made to wait long. A battered blaster appeared first as the old heavy door creaked opened. The tall, muscular man holding the weapon made it clear. He would shoot me in a heart beat if I caused trouble and no one would think twice about it. I bowed my head, thanking him for this warning, and to signal I meant no harm to anyone He lowered the blaster, but kept it expertly trained on me as he stepped aside to let me in.

The hall that I stepped into was a dusty, dim lighten room that had been once glorious, but had been neglected and leave to rot away. I was not given time to look around at the sad setting, but motioned with the shooting end of the blaster to proceed up creaking old wooden stairs. We stopped at the third floor where my guard unlocked the door with a very outdated metal key, slipping into a metal hole and twisting the key. It was a very interesting show to watch, seeing how I had not seen a key and lock combination anywhere except in museums. There was a loud click coming from the door and with a twist of a shiny knob, the door swung open to reveal a fabulously rich room. The blaster poked my arm to alert my attention to come in. I walked in and immediately noticed the boss from the meeting on my left sitting lazily in a chair by an old fashion brick fire place. I had no idea a gang lord could be so fascinated about ancient technology that had not been seen anywhere for several hundred years.

“Admiring my love of the old ways, Master Mirmo?”

I turned to my left and studied the man before me. He was dressed in rich, comfortable clothes, meant to be lounged in. He had a wine glass in his left hand and a plate of cookies on a near by rare red wood table. His face was relaxed, but his eyes saw through me. He motioned me to sit in a over stuffed chair opposite of his and next to the roaring fire.

“I would think being a Jedi, you would have an appreciation for the old ways of life, seeing how you Jedi are determined to live in the past.”

I asked him what he meant by that. He laughed and took a sip of his wine before answering.

“It is quite simple. You Jedi have trained the same way, done the same job, and resist anything new for a thousand years. I almost had hope when Luke first popped out of no where. I had foolishly hoped he would see through his old mentor’s ways and start something fresh, something productive that was not doomed to die, but it was a self deceiving hope. Perhaps it is the Force to blame, sending you down the same path that gets the universe no where.”

I asked him if he had no hope for the Jedi, why he allowed me to take care of his problems.

“Ah, you bring up a question that many would wonder. True, I had little hope for your success, but I did not give the assignment for your silly cause. I gave it to your apprentice, who came off as someone different. You Jedi think only you all can use the Force and read people, but that is hardly so. The reason why I am here, sitting where I am and controlling the person I control, is due to my ability to read people and know who to put under my control. Your apprentice strikes me as a girl who did not grow up as a typical Jedi or even what most people call normal. She sees a different world that any of does and I believe she may be the hope of the future. But this is all relative and has no meaning now that she has been captured.”

For once in my life, I failed to cover the shock that I felt rip through me. I had come here thinking he was holding my apprentice as a threat. I had come here with my lightsaber in hand, ready to kill him if that what it took to get back my apprentice. His voice held a level of disappoint, with a hint of a sigh, and a gleam of sorrow in his eye. I knew right then and there he did not have my apprentice, nor was responsible for her disappearance. I asked him to expand on what he knew of the situation.

“I had one of my spies keep an eye on your activities to know exactly how you were going about this mission. For a while I thought you really could solve this when you did not falter under the glaze of the senator, yet my spy reported another two spies was spying on you. You seemed to know something about one spy, but not the other. My feelings warned me of severe danger surrounding you. I ordered that the two of you be watched more carefully and if need be take action to protect your apprentice who was blind to the whole situation. You made a mistake not telling her what to do if someone tried to kidnap her. Unfortunately for all of us, our kidnappers were far cleverer than I expected them to be and managed to whisk your apprentice away despite all efforts to stop them. I must say that Luke Skywalker could work a bit more on his Jedi. He is hardly at the low standard the last order was and look at what happened to them.”

I grinded my teeth in frustration. He was wasting my time standing here and insulting all the careful work I had done. My ego had already suffered enough and I did not appreciate him tear what little was left just to boost his. I turned around much like the way I did to Nea and took one step.

“Still, the girl is pretty and I would hate to see her looks taken advantage. I have had my spies research some information that might be valuable to you if you are willing to accept my command in this operation to find her.”

I stopped and stood still thinking. I did not trust the man, nor liked him in any other way. There were few who gained my ability to submit to their command and here was a man who had cornered me in less than ten minutes. My dislike for him rose rapidly.

“If you do as I say without question or straying from orders, I offer all my riches and resources to you that are needed to find her and bring her back. Take it now because I will not open this deal again nor will I spend any energy finding her if you decline.”

The begging feeling to plunge my green blade into him was tremendous, but in the other hand I saw the scared eyes of my dear apprentice and took a breath. I took another deep healing breath and brushed back the calling of the dark side. Killing him would do me or my apprentice any good and would waste more precious time. I breathed deeply and slowly the way I have lectured Karen endlessly to and turned around to face my enemy and only hope. The man smiled an easy smile.

“Good. See what I mean about being able to control people? But let us not waste time. Sit down and I will tell you all that has been found.”
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ok two more comments and I'll give you the next chapter