Coruscant. Four months before the Battle of Yavin.
Jaeson turned off the HUD within his visored helmet to better his concentration as he walked through sublevel 1096 to find his quarry. He was seeking the deathstick tycoon, Pal Cabbel. Apparently, he developed a new form of the spice with a higher addiction rate, with twice the hallucinogenic effect. The Hutt's wanted him dead to put him out of the spice business, and that sort of thing was a specialty of Jaeson's.
He brought up a picture of Cabbel's face; stout, pale, brown hairline retreating, with sunken brown eyes and examined him for a moment before putting it away.
Since deathsticks dulled one's connection to the living Force, finding an individual on deathsticks would be easy.
He looked down an alley to find a young looking Twi'lek girl shivering. He could barely sense a connection to the Force from her as she giggled erratically, playing with one of her lekku.
Quickly, Jaeson came up behind her and touched his fingers to her head, concentrating on his attempt to influence her already weak mind.
"You will tell me where you get you're deathsticks," he commanded in Twileki.
"M-Merkett's Bar... " she answered weakly. "N-need more..."
The young Twi'lek turned to go back out of the alley, but stopped to look up at Jaeson in fear of the sight of the figure in black with a helmet black as the Void. She shook and screamed profusely, the hallucinogen clouding her vision and replacing Jaeson's appearance with something demonic.
Jaeson's heart sank as he dropped to a knee and removed his helmet so she could see his face properly. The Twi'lek girl looked barely like she had just entered adolescence. Her clothes were tattered and worn, and her once pink skin was now a deathly pale imitation of it. He held her in a tight embrace and tried to calm her with soft words in Twileki.
"Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh... It's okay... It's okay... Nothing is going to hurt you anymore..."
His pity for the girl was quickly replaced by anger at Pal Cabbel. It was drug tycoons like him who fed off of the suffering of the junkies who took their spice. Sure, the Hutts wanted him out of the picture and the new form of deathsticks for themselves, but Jaeson was only taking the pay for taking Cabbel out. The destruction of his deathstick formulae was a side bonus
"You'll be alright..." he told her, putting a ration bar in her hand and concentrating on influencing her mind again. "You will stay here until I return."
"I'll... stay..." she said, sitting down and starting to eat the ration bar greedily, as if she had nothing to eat but the occasional steal and deathsticks.
Jaeson left the girl there for now and put his helmet back on. He started to head toward the nearest marketplace in pursuit of the spice dealer that the little Twi'lek girl was selling the rest of her years to.
The bounty hunter soon found the nearby bar the Twi'lek girl described. A meld of shifty characters and simple casuals populated the seats and bar stools. Finding whoever was selling the new deathsticks would prove difficult, but locating Pal Cabbel would be much easier.
Jaeson leaned over the bar and held his hand up to say no to a drink, instead focusing on sensing the connections of the Force in others. It was clear that many were already on the deathsticks, but they seemed to be all branching out from one who's connection was unhampered by the spice.
The bounty hunter decided to buy a drink, removing his helmet and holding it in his hand, and ordered a Sonic Screwdriver without the alcohol. He payed for the fruit cocktail and went over to the man surrounded by patrons with below subaverage connections to the living Force.
"Hey, got anything to... liven this cocktail?" he asked, taking notice of the man's antennapalps, marking him as a Balosar, creators of the deathsticks. Jaeson had to keep his emotions in check if he was to retrieve the information he needed.
The Balosar grinned, taking a look at Jaeson and his drink, but also his armament.
"Sure," he answered suspiciously. "Anything in mind, bounty hunter?"
"Well it's not like my career choice will help me live too long... If you know what I'm saying."
The Balosar chuckled and reached into his coat, withdrawing a small tube of dark red liquid, darker than the normal variant of deathstick and matching the description given to Jaeson.
"Have the first one on me," the Balosar said, giving the tube to Jaeson, discreetly.
"Thanks," Jaeson lied, turning his back to the Balosar.
Trying to keep a cool head, Jaeson pretended to pour the vile liquid into his cocktail and pretended to drink it, only drinking the fruit juice. Alcohol led him to making a near terrible mistake in the past. Though it worked out for him and his girlfriend now, Jaeson willed himself to abstain from alcohol from now on.
But from the Balosar's point of view, he had a new customer that would be coming back for more. He leaned on the bar with a smug, satisfied look.
Jaeson leaned on the bar on his back, looking out toward the crowd and the doors.
"You want to go outside for some air," Jaeson commanded, mind tricking the Balosar.
"Sit tight, boys," the Balosar addressed the junkies around him. "I'll be back."
The deathstick dealer took his drink and walked out to the alleyway to do just as Jaeson influenced him to do. Jaeson followed him out with the intention to interrogate him.
But before Jaeson could get close, the Balosar found himself being clung onto by the little Twi'lek girl, who apparently was too compelled by her addiction to beat out Jaeson's Mind Trick.
"Please! I need more! Gimme more!" she pleaded. "I need it! I need it!"
"Whoa there, little wormhead!" the Balosar chuckled. "You've given me everything you have. Even that pretty little bracelet you had, hehe..."
She started to cry. "Please! Please! I'll do anything! Give you anything!"
"Is that so, wormhead?" he chuckled. "All that's left are the clothes on your back and that ain't worth much anyway... But I never had a slave before... And a cute little wormhead like you..."
Something in Jaeson snapped and let loose his fury. He shouted and charged the Balosar, who's sixth sense alerted him to Jaeson's emotions. Immediately, the Balosar drew a blaster pistol hidden under his jacket and pointed it at Jaeson. But the bounty hunter was faster, swinging the arm holding his helmet at the hand with the blaster, knocking it out of the Balosar's hand and possibly fracturing the bone. Jaeson then used his left hand to grab the back of the Balosar's head to ram it into the wall of a building and then hit him in the head with his helmet. On his hands and knees, multiple tubes of deathsticks fell out of his coat and rolled away as he coughed up blood.
As this occurred, the little Twi'lek girl, still affected by the deathstick's effects was overwhelmed with fear by the bounty hunter in black. His shout sounded more like a rancor's roar and his hands like a hammer and hook. Her distorted sense of reality terrified her. The Balosar spice dealer, to her, was the saving grace in quenching her burning desire for the spice, only to be struck down by a demon in black. But now the demon was looking at her. She curled up on the ground, weeping out of withdrawal and fear.
The girl kept her eyes shut tight until she was touched and lifted up by gentle hands. These hands gave her hope of reprieve. She reached out to find the source of those hopeful hands and clung tight to it.
Jaeson found himself holding the little Twi'lek girl in his arm, resting her head on his shoulder, shaking still.
"Be calm..." he told her in Twileki, rubbing her small lekku. "Nothing is going to hurt you..."
Hearing the gentle voice speak to her once again, also giving her a nice feeling on her head, she ceased her cries, but her breathing was still irregularly spastic.
"You want to sleep..." he commanded.
Still shivering, she started to nod off until she did fall asleep.
Jaeson then turned his attention to the spice dealer at his feet, struggling to stand. He used his left hand to grab the Balosar by the collar and hoist him up before pushing him against the wall.
"D-don't kill me!" the bloody-faced Balosar groveled. "I'll-I'll do anything! You want my creds? My stock? What?"
"All the credits on you now," Jaeson answered. "You'll be paying for her treatments. And I want the bracelet she gave you."
The Balosar handed off two thousand credits to Jaeson, along with a silver bracelet with a pink jewel, who stowed them as he stared him down.
"Now," he began, stepping on his dropped blaster among the fallen deathsticks. "Pick them up."
The Balosar did.
"You want' to go home and rethink your life. You want to think of the lives you're affecting with distributing this spice and you will tell me where you get your stock from."
The spice dealer had no defense against the Mind Trick. He simply wore a pained look on his face and handed a small datapad to Jaeson before trudging home, wiping his blood from his face.
Jaeson looked with disgust at the Balosar as he walked away. It not only his distaste for illicit spice dealing, but the very fact he was willing to exploit the Twi'lek girl's addiction to make her a slave to him. But now she was safe, though she needed to be treated and purged of the hallucinogenic poison.
Healing and PreparingEdit
Jaeson eventually located a hospital with a spice addiction rehabilitation program and checked the Twi'lek girl in. He payed the droid attendant four thousand credits, most of which came from the Balosar's pocket, for a full rehabilitation treatment. He also gave the droid an untraceable holo communication frequency to contact him with.
But even with the assured care that the hospital was certain to provide, Jaeson needed to be certain, himself. He sat next to the little Twi'lek girl's bedside, as she was already bathed and dressed in a patient's garb, until she awoke.
She opened her eyes slowly. She was given a weak sedative to keep her calm. The girl looked up at Jaeson as he truly was, without the influence of deathsticks. He touched her head gently, much to her comfort.
"How are you feeling?" he asked in Twileki.
"Terrible," she answered back in Twileki. "I need another stick..."
"That'll pass," he told her. "The doctors will have you healed in a few weeks."
"Still doesn't change the fact I gave everything I had to that Balosar..." she started to cry. "Even--"
"Even this?" Jaeson interrupted, lifting her hand up to her field of view, where her silver, pink jeweled bracelet was placed, though a bit loosely, around her wrist.
"Momma's bracelet! How did you get this back?" her cries of self loathing subsided, though still had tears still tricking from her eyes.
"I persuaded the Balosar," he replied. "He's probably never going to sell spice on the streets again."
The pink Twi'lek girl, with a surprising level of energy, sat up quickly to hug Jaeson as tight as she could, much to his surprise, though it was very weak.
"Thank you..." she cried. "Thank you, thank you, thank you..."
With the level of emotion she was displaying, Jaeson made a grim deduction.
"You lost your family, didn't you? That bracelet is your only remaining memory of them, isn't it?"
His heart sank as he felt her nod into his shoulder. No words were spoken for several moments until Jaeson asked:
"What is your name?"
"What is yours?" she diverted.
"Then... I want to be known as Cayda'araan from now on."
Jaeson's heart skipped a beat to what she suggested. She wanted him to be her father. To take the clan half of his name meant this.
"You're... You're sure?"
"I have no one... They left me..."
"Then... I can guarantee you a family."
Cayda beamed up at him. Color seemed to return to her pale, pink face.
After a few more minutes of hugging, Jaeson let Cayda lie back down and sat back in his seat.
"Listen, I have work to do in the upper levels. I'll come see you every chance I get."
"Stay with me tonight... Father?"
"I'll see if the doctors will let me. You'll have to be stay in bed for a while anyway. The treatments will be painless and I can probably be here while it's done. But you'll have counselors that won't let me around when I'm there."
"Okay... Thank you... You're the one person who's ever shown me kindness like this."
Cayda nested herself in her covers and let herself fall asleep. Jaeson sat for nearly an hour, watching her sleep peacefully. He felt like he needed to protect her with everything he had, a mutual feeling between Oola and himself, but this was a feeling of a fatherly nature, something he was unsure he could completely fulfill.
But by the Force, he would try. He got up from his seat and went to work immediately. Over the next few days, turning into weeks, Jaeson reviewed the datapad given to him by the Balosar, the coordinates to the small distribution warehouse several sublevels further down. He cross referenced this with sliced schematics of the area and mapped possible pathways. Somewhere between his studies and meditations, he completed the necessary paperwork to claim legal custody of Cayda. He reviewed and rereviewed for hours on end from his seat in Cayda's hospital room, scouting out Cabbel's warehouse in the hours he was not allowed to be with Cayda.
He gave her comfort during her time bedridden; telling her stories of his exploits as a smuggler and bounty hunter, captivating her imagination, making her want to complete her remediation quicker so she could go with Jaeson to live on his ship with himself and Oola.
All of a sudden, it was the final days of Cayda's remediation and Jaeson was finally prepared to infiltrate Pal Cabbel's facility to take him down.
"You'll come back, right?" Cayda asked him.
"Of course I will," Jaeson answered her. "It's my job to take these sorts of people down."
"Then nobody else will have to deal with deathsticks?"
"At least none he's created. I intend to destroy as much as possible."
Jaeson gave his new daughter a hug and left a small stack of clothing on the bedside table.
"For when you don't need to wear the medical gown," he instructed.
"Thank you, father."
"I'll be back to get you soon," he promised, knowing Cayda would hold him to that.
Then, Jaes'araan left for the lower city.
Forces to Reckon WithEdit
The bounty hunter found himself looking over the warehouse in an abandoned sector. There were little to no security patrols in this area, which was perfect for illicit activity, such as deathstick production. Humans and Balosar populated the area, all obviously armed to defend the place.
Jaeson couldn't attack them head on. A firefight would alert Cabbel and his associates. He was already atop a nearby building with a higher roof. On schedule, a small hover transport came down from the sky traffic to the small landing platform.
He took his DC-17m rifle and withdrew the anti armor grenade from within it. Then, he hurled the grenade into the air, directly over the small cargo ship until he reached it with the Force and shot the small, but powerful, incendiary down upon the starboard engine thruster. If any of the thugs below figured out that a grenade was responsible, they would think it was thrown from the north building by the warehouse. Jaeson was on the southern building.
Jaeson loaded a new grenade into the launcher as the hover transport's engine exploded and made it crash into the warehouse. He tapped into the comm frequencies of the men below, loud and confused communications sounding off from the panicked men below.
"The engine exploded!"
"Get the pilots out!"
"Somebody save the sticks!"
"Spast! The ship smashed the new tubes and the ship's about to go up!"
"Sithspit! Get outta there!"
Jaeson watched five people leave the warehouse, two of which were hobbling with another to assist, likely the pilots. They were barely far enough to escape being incinerated, as the transport exploded, shattering the windows to let some fire escape. All comms were silent until one, sounding somewhat with authority, spoke up.
"Production to Cabbel..." he began, gutturally, but cleared his throat. "Boss, the whole lab's been destroyed..."
A long silence echoed in the comm.
"WHAT?! How in the hell did that happen?!" the voice of Pal Cabbel bellowed.
"Cargo ship with the new shipment crashed into the warehouse and blew up!"
Jaeson executed a tracer program on his Slice-Pal to locate Cabbel as the banter continued.
"Grife... You're on your own. I'm laying low 'til this blows over. You'd better get outta there before city security shows up with a fire squad."
"But... Boss, what about the spice? Some of us gotta get our fix."
"You'll live. Just get the usual stuff."
"Uh... Yes sir..."
The trace was complete by the time Cabbel ended the communication. He was in the upper city, which is where Jaeson went as quickly as a rented speeder would take him.
Jaeson eventually reached the source of Pal Cabbel's communication; a highly secure penthouse apartment. His speeder was parked on a lot across from Cabbel's building with a few lanes of air speeder traffic between them.
He looked through the scope of his blaster sniper and kept his sights on both the speeder garage doors and the pedestrian walkways. Cabbel would either take the low road or skylanes, skylanes more likely.
His patience and hunch won out. A speeder sped out of the garage. It the communication device within shared the same signal signature as Cabbel's. It held three passengers; two hired guns, one was driving, with Cabbel in the front passenger seat.
Jaeson set his rifle down and turned the engine of his speeder on and took off behind them, doing his best to look casual. Cabbel's speed was erratic, as if the driver could not make up his mind whether to be expedient or discreet. Regardless, they made it easy for Jaeson. He kept his cool and maintained an average speed.
The tailing led Jaeson to a subway station. Only Cabbel left the speeder, apparently ordering his men to go elsewhere. Jaeson tailed him on foot, but found himself halted by a pair of stormtroopers at blasterpoint.
"You'd better have a permit for all those weapons you're carrying," the senior of them threatened. "Let's see some ID."
Jaeson found an opportunity to take advantage of.
"You don't want to see my ID," he mind tricked both of them. "You want to arrest the traitor entering the station."
Jaeson showed them his picture of Cabbel and pointed him out in the crowd.
"We don't want to see your ID..." the other stormtrooper repeated.
"We want to arrest that traitor," the first finished.
Jaeson grinned under his helmet and watched the stormtroopers start to chase down Cabbel, who had seen them coming and started running away himself, only to be caught by a security force field, tackled, and handcuffed. The troopers called in reinforcements to examine his suitcase; a holdout blaster, a change of clothes, stacks of credits, piles of deathsticks, and an important looking datapad. They dragged Cabbel off as he cried for release. Jaeson used his SliceBuddy to take a quick picture of him being sent off.
Jaeson walked over to the trooper with Cabbel's belongings and mind tricked him.
"You want to give me the credits and the datapad."
"I want to give you this datapad and the credits..." the trooper repeated, handing off the stack of credits and datapad.
Jaeson put away the small stack worth four thousand three-hundred fifty-seven credits and examined the datapad. In it were files pertaining to profits made, number of deathsticks produced, known dealers, and contingency plans. The only part that Jaeson purposely deleted was the complete copy of Cabbel's deathstick formula. Apparently, it was the only copy of it, so nobody could use it now.
He handed the datapad back to the stormtrooper.
"In here is evidence of Pal Cabbel's spice operation. You'll find his dealers are selling to Imperial citizens and officers."
The stormtrooper nodded and rejoined the arresting group. Jaeson grinned in satisfaction and went into the subway station to find a HoloNet terminal. He found a private booth and went inside to contact the Hutts. A green skinned Twi'lek man in fine looking robes answered.
"Tell Sulaac that his competition has been reduced by one on Coruscant," Jaeson told the Twi'lek man, sending his picture of Cabbel's arrest.
"Excellent. My master will be quite pleased," the Twi'lek man replied, keying a few commands on his end into his own datapad. "Your payment is being transmitted now."
Jaeson checked his account on his SliceBuddy and saw a ten-thousand credit deposit.
"My master, Sulaac of Teth, will be looking forward to employ you again," the Twi'lek steward bowed.
"It was my pleasure," Jaeson returned before the Twi'lek disconnected.
Cypher exited the booth and found himself feeling rather good. He could take a train to the sector Cayda was in and discharge her from the hospital. He bought a ticket and made his way up to the loading platform. He sat on a bench and cleared his mind.
He sat for several minutes, feeling the living Force in the people around him. Which made it very obvious that there was something wrong with the man sitting next to him. He could not sense the Force at all in him, and that bothered him. It took a few moments to form a hypothesis.
"So Inquisitors take the subway, do they?" he began, glancing at the black robbed and hooded figure.
"Only when it suits us," the Inquisitor glanced back, revealing a black mask with an intimidating look. He dropped his Force stealth and Jaeson could sense the dark side in him. "Just as it suits the masses as they travel to their duties across the city."
"Then are you fulfilling some duty, Inquisitor?"
"I am, Cipher 46."
Jaeson became uneasy. This Inquisitor knew who he was. If he knew that, what else did he know about his life during the past year? Did he know about the Ryloth Brotherhood and Oola? Did he know about Cayda?
"You are a very difficult man to track, Agent Cypher," the Inquisitor continued. "You've been bouncing around the galaxy at most random intervals, encrypting your communications, and covering your tracks well. Perfect for our Emperor's needs."
Jaeson knew this would happen. The Dark Adept program had finally caught up with him.
"I offer you a choice, Cypher," he continued. "Be trained in the dark side and serve our Dark Lords, or be met with death."
Jaeson stayed silent for several moments more. A train came upon the platform and halted. He had to make a choice. Would be board the train or follow this Inquisitor? If he tried to board, he would be attacked. If he went with the Inquisitor, he'd be forced to lead a life of slavery to the Empire once again.
The Inquisitor was watching him closely, focused. Jaeson could not discern anything through that mask of his. He was sure he was ready to react to whatever actions he would make.
The people who were going to board the subway boarded and Jaeson watched the doors close. He sighed as it began to move away and stood up, the Inquisitor moving with him.
"I've made up my mind," he told the Dark Adept.
"Good," he responded.
Without another word, Jaeson charged his legs with the Force and leaped atop the moving train, barely at the caboose. He looked back to the bench where he supposedly ditched the Inquisitor and found him to not be there.
Instead, as the train increased in speed, a snapping hiss was heard and a white-red blade of plasma was suddenly in front of his face. At the source, the Inquisitor.
"You've chosen death," he told him.
Jaeson quickly channeled the Force through his arms and out of his hands, directed at the man in black robes, causing him to fly backwards. But he recovered and landed on the next forward train car on his feet. As the train continued to accelerate, Jaeson lowered his center of gravity and drew his vibroblade.
The Inquisitor held his lightsaber in one hand and in the other was a crackling dark side energy behind his back. Jaeson charged and jumped at him, swinging his vibroblade at a downward strike at his head, which was parried. Jaeson moved quickly and pressed the offensive. The Inquisitor continued parrying and backing away with deft footwork as Jaeson pressed forward with quick and efficient arcs and swings, all while he used one hand. Jaeson knew this was Soresu with a Makashi handed grip, made efficient by a curved hilt.
The two of them dueled over several cars as the train kept accelerating, forcing them to lean forward and back further and further until they could not stay standing, having to lay down to let wind resistance pass them by. Jaeson's boot treads helped him stay where he was, but he couldn't swing at his enemy at all. He had to get into less windy territory. Behind him was a gap between train cars. He sheathed his vibroblade and looked up at his adversary.
The Inquisitor extinguished his lightsaber and tilted his head down at him. Ahead of them, the train was nearing a tight spaced tunnel very quickly, which Jaeson could see. Jaeson lifted his feet up and slid backwards on his belly. His dropped into the gap between train cars and he began to slide between.
But by the time his lower half was in, Jaeson was struck by a bolt of lightning from the Inquisitor. It was painful and threw him back into the air, making him skid and roll over several cars before putting him on his back atop the caboose again. The tunnel was coming closer and closer. Just as the tunnel came over the train and scraped the top of his helmet, nearly taking his head off, Jaeson forced himself to roll back over the end of the train to the rear platform, landing on his side with a grunt.
Cypher panted as he stood back up, opened the train car doors, and entered it. Curious passengers took note of the bounty hunter and decided to keep away from his gaze. Mothers turned their children's heads away and others simply went about their business.
Jaeson could not sense the Inquisitor anymore and that worried him. His death would have left a wound in the Force that he would have definitely felt at that proximity. And that thought prepared him for the sight of the Inquisitor entering the end train car on the opposite side door and igniting his lightsaber.
"Everybody out of this car, now!" the bounty hunter shouted, drawing his vibroblade once again and pacing towards the Inquisitor.
"I don't think so," the Inquisitor retorted.
The Dark Adept gripped a young TarlokeT girl by the throat with the Force and pulled her away from her mothers, toward him, where he then caught the girl by the throat and held her in the air. She choked and gasped for air whilst reaching for her parents while her mothers were helpless to help her against the Inquisitor, but voiced their distress and anger nonetheless in their people's tongue. What was more was the fact that the Inquisitor placed his lightsaber's plasma blade in front of the girl's face. While the plasma was contained in a force field, heat was definitely being generated that could prove lethal to her biology.
Jaeson could see his compassion was being used against him. He halted and dropped his vibroblade before raising his closed hands and gathering his wits.
"Alright, you got me. Put her down," said Jaeson.
The Inquisitor didn't move. "I think not. You'd attack me the first chance you had."
"You're half right."
With that, Jaeson focused the Force on the Inquisitor's hands and wrenched them open with opening his own. His lightsaber fell out of his grip and was extinguished while the TarlokeT girl dropped to her feet, coughed and gasped for breath, then bit the Inquisitor's hand with her sharp teeth before her mothers came to collect her as the rest of the passengers on their car took the opportunity to bustle into the next one, leaving the Dark Adept bleeding and the bounty hunter holding him there.
Once all of the passengers were out of the rear car, Jaeson was at his limit and let the Inquisitor's hands free. He swooped to pick up his vibroblade, but was met with a blast of Force Lightning that threw him back to the end of the car. He shook of the lightning and used their distance to his advantage by quickly sheathing his blade and drawing his rifle from his back and activating the grenade launcher. But before he could fire a grenade, it too was meet by another volley of lightning that sent surges through the power systems. The grenade was activated, but the launcher wouldn't do its job and fire the grenade. With no time, Jaeson took the attachment off directly and hurled it at the Inquisitor, only for it to explode in midair.
The explosive force of the grenade caused the rear car to become destablized and disconnect them from the rest of the cars, then completely off the rail itself. The lights went out and Jaeson was left with a feeling of weightlessness before hitting either a wall or the roof or floor as the train car fell down into the lower city.
Jaeson blacked out for what felt like a moment. He fought to regain consciousness and before he knew it, he was crawling out of the wrecked train with his launcherless DC-17m in hand and what felt like bruises all over his body. He opened his eyes to the sight of broken glass across a dark rooftop, starting to speckle with wet drizzle with the low rumble of thunder resounding from the sky and the snap and hiss of a lightsaber behind him.
Jaeson slinged his rifle across his back and forced himself to his feet before drawing his vibroblade once again. They both drew in deep breaths and looked at each other. In silence. They were both tired and beaten and wanted this duel ended.
It was not until Jaeson made his move in this three dimensional chess game that their duel would start up again. He took a step forward as if he were starting a charge, prompting the Inquisitor to take a defensive stance with the blade in front of him. This was a ploy. Jaeson gripped the hilt of the Inquisitor's lightsaber with the Force and tipped it to strike his head with his own blade.
But what Jaeson hadn't counted on was that instead of the Inquisitor's mask being cut through, leading to lobotomization, his mask fell and saber sparked, the blade extinguished. The Inquisitor jerked his head back as the blade made contact. And revealed to be beneath the mask was a red-faced man with a small tendril on both corners of his mouth. Jaeson was unfamiliar with his species, as he had seen very few red skinned people that did not have horns or lekku.
However, Jaeson could not be detoured by the unexpected. He started moving again, continuing his charge at the Dark Adept. The Inquisitor through a volley of lighting at him. Using his vibroblade as a lightning rod, he tossed it at and above the other. The blade caught the lightning and left the Inquisitor open to attack, which the former assassin took advantage of.
He dove beneath the lightning and his opponent. He then hand chopped the lightning wielder's arms away from earth other with both hands, breaking his lighting off, before slapping both ears of the Inquisitor, causing him to shout in pain, dazing him as well. Jaeson then spun around, wrapping his arm around the other's head, then flipped the Dark Adept over his shoulder and on his back.
To land the killing blow, Jaeson quickly drew his vibroknife and started to drive it into the Inquisitor's chest.
Suddenly, like a boot into the skull and a migraine sharper than anything he had ever felt before, he was thrown several meters back and feeling white-hot knives piercing every inch of his skin, his head was surely going to burst with pain; he was screaming more loudly than he'd ever screamed in his life. Within his mind's eye, the Inquisitor stood over him, dominant, hands ejecting lightning from his fingertips with his face contorted in desperate fury.
But it was all in his mind. As quickly as he appeared, the Inquisitor disappeared and Jaeson's eyes opened to Coruscant's towers above him. He was on the ground, looking up. His mind felt like it would if it were a building, just broken in by a wrecking ball. But then, from the corner of his eye to his right, red and blue lights flashed in and out before a bright light shined on his face.
"Stand with your hands up!" the voice of a stormtrooper commanded.
Jaeson sat up, still fazed, and looked at the Inquisitor, his vibroknife in his left arm, groaning in pain and exhaustion. Looking to his right, he saw a policing speeder and a pair of stormtroopers, both of them out of the vehicle. They had apparently been the first ones to respond to the crashed subway car. One went over to the wounded Inquisitor and the other to the bruised and slowly standing bounty hunter as he put his hands in the air.
"Take off your helmet," the one next to him commanded, baring his weapon on him.
Jaeson wanted to mind trick him, but had not the will nor mental strength to pull one off at the moment. So he let his instincts take over.
Firstly, he removed his helmet with both hands, slowly, and kept his head tilted down so the trooper did not see his face. Then, he hit the stormtrooper's blaster barrel away with his helmet, forcing it out of his hands, then stepped around him and wrapped his arm around the trooper's neck, creating a human shield. Jaeson then dropped his helmet and drew his DC-15s, using the Imperial's uncertainty to fire a stun bolt at him before he could get a shot off.
Jaeson then stunned the Imperial being used as a human shield, then swooped to pick up his vibroblade and helmet, sheath and equip them, and sprint before jumping into the pilot seat of the speeder, altogether in one moment. Then, he sped off towards the hospital he left Cayda in.
As he flew, Jaeson activated his Slice-Buddy and sent a message to the Starlight Strider.
"This is Runner 2 to Runner 1, needing immediate evac for two in exactly twenty minutes. Out."
Jaeson managed to reconstitute himself with kolto and ditched the speeder a few blocks away from the hospital. He quickly made his way to the front desk of Cayda's hospital and had her called down to be checked out.
"Here to pick up Cayda'araan, Rehabilitation Ward," he told the desk attendant droid.
"One moment please," the female voice of the desk attendant said. After a few moments of computing, she continued. "Affirmative. She will be here momentarily."
Cayda, face bright and happy as ever, came out from the elevator, within a minute, elated, quickly sprinting into a tight hug for Jaeson.
"Ja--Father! You came back!" she piped.
"Of course I came back!" he replied, hugging back for a moment before letting go. "But it's time for us to hurry. Oola will be along soon and I know I look rubbish."
"What happened? You were gone for such a long time -- But when will she be here?"
Outside, a dropship offloaded a small platoon of Imperial Stormtroopers, startling the bystanders out in the walkways.
"Hopefully very soon," he answered his new adopted daughter upon seeing them. "Let's go!"
He took her by the hand and led her into the elevator, hacked into its administrative controls, and sent it up to the roof, to the landing pad. There, he took her out and waited for his girlfriend and captain.
"She'll be along very quickly," he assured Cayda, looking up at the raining clouds, green and blue lightning bolts seeming to discharge inside them. But instead of a lightning bolt came a Corellian YT-1930 out of the cloud layer and towards Jaeson's signal. "She's never let me down once."