Friday, September 19, 2008

Penumbral Gambit - Episode 6: Showdown

Disclaimer: Penumbral Gambit is a work of fan fiction set in the Star Wars universe. Several locations, items, and concepts belong to George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd. The picture is a combination of an image from Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” and an image from Wizards of the Coast’s “Star Wars Saga Edition” role playing game book. This story and image is purely meant for entertainment. No copyright infringement is intended.
“What’s going on out there?!” the voice demanded again over the comm unit. The four looked at each other as a shard of glass fell from a blown out window behind them.
Dubja snatched the comm unit out of Tahnel’s hand and while holding back his accent he said, “Nothing. Nothing is going on. Just a weapons malfunction. These Petersen brand grenades are very temperamental. When the grenade went off it spooked some of our men, thinking we were under attack, and they fired their weapons. Everything is fine out here. How are you?” The group grimaced at the question, and the people inside the throne room must have too. A click of the door’s locking device was audible as the comm unit clicked off.
“I can get that door open,” Jett said as he reached in his pack and pulled out some explosives.
“Not that way,” Tahnel said, “we can’t just blow the door off its hinges. We are trying to save the princess, and she might get hurt in the chaos. Not to mention that the king wants his son back alive.”
“Fine.” Jett grumbled as he put away the explosives and pulled out a tool kit. While worked on manually unlocking the door he muttered under his breath mocking the Jedi. “Can’t use explosives. Might hurt someone. Boo Hoo. I can control my explosions better than that. If I wanted to I could just knock that door over and no one would get hurt… much.”
Within a few seconds the door slid open and the group rushed into the throne room. Prince Perin stood in the middle of the room, clutching his sister Shaela in front of him with a blaster pistol to her head. A guard stood in each corner of the room, blasters at the ready, waiting for the Prince’s order to attack.
“Let the girl go and no one will get hurt,” Tahnel said in a soft soothing voice.
“No! I will not let Dorreth be subjugated by the will of the Republic. We are a free people and we will continue to live a free existence. The Republic only aims to bring death and destruction to my people. I will not let Shaela go until my demands are met and the induction into the Republic is stopped.”
“The Republic only seeks to bring peace to the galaxy.” Tahnel responded. “Was it not the Mandalorians that attacked the unaligned worlds in the Mandalorian war? It was their goal to gain strength by wiping out those planets. The ones under the protection of the Republic did not see that destruction.”
“Peace? HA! That is a joke.” Perin spat the words out. “Taris, a Republic planet I might remind you, was nearly wiped out in the Jedi Civil War a few years later. The Republic was not there to protect Taris and it will not be there to protect Dorreth. There are many enemies of the Republic that would jump at the chance to attack a peaceful planet like Dorreth. We would be left to die because the mighty Republic would not want to send troops to a backwater world to protect it. The mighty Republic has better things to do.”
Tahnel said with a sigh, “You are trying my patience. Your father has asked that you be returned to him unharmed and that this rebellion be ended. Senator Aklarr Tennet has paid us to end this rebellion and to end you. I’m sure my compatriots here will be more than willing to do as the Senator asks, but I would like to finish this without any more bloodshed.” Dubja and Jett grinned at this comment while Re’ahn simply lit her lightsaber.
“The Senator sent you to kill me? I don’t believe you! You lying Republic scum!”
“Believe or not, that is your decision. Just understand one thing, between the two of us only one will walk out of this room. Make your decision.”
As Perin’s mouth opened to yell for his guards to open fire Tahnel’s mind reached out to the captive Shaela. With the power of the force he pulled her from her brothers grasp and caught her in his grasp. As the guards opened fire the group leapt into action. Dubja tossed a stun grenade towards the prince while diving for cover and drawing his pistol. Jett’s blaster rifle came to life as it sent shot after shot towards a far guard, the wall erupted in a haze of plaster as each shot slammed into it. Re’ahn charged the closest guard, wildly swinging her lightsaber.
The prince ducked behind the throne, dodging most of the of the concussion blast from the grenade. He fired with his blaster pistol, but his shaking hand did not improve his aim. Jett and Re’ahn quickly dispatched of the guards while Tahnel protected the princess. Dubja flanked Perin, he paused only long enough switch his pistol to stun mode before plugging the rebel leader with a couple shots, knocking him unconscious. Shaela screamed and attempted to rush to her brother, but Tahnel held her back.
“Hesa just knocked out,” Dubja said as he prodded the body with his pistol. The bounty hunter put a set of binder cuffs to ensure that the captive could not escape if he did become conscious.
“Do you feel that?” Re’ahn asked with a tone of urgency in her voice. “There is evil near by.”

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