Finally, the 19th chapter... getting very close to the all new chapters... there's a few changes in this one as compared to the original version -
Following a recent battle on Kobridor, several vulture droids patrol the skies above the war torn planet; which has fallen to the Separatists.
In a surprising move, Jedi Master Kala Mly Shundi has been given clearance by Count Dooku to return to the planet.
"Master Shundi, it has been far too long. It is a great honor to have you as our guest," Dooku warmly says.
"Count Dooku, I made it very clear
when I spoke with your general - I am not
here as your guest." Kala replies.
"Nor am I here as your enemy," the Jedi says as he turns away.
"I want to find the Republic officer who was captured on this planet prior to our evacuation. The Badoo Corba are careless. There may be information that I can retrieve to find where they are holding Rykrof Enloe."
"I see," Dooku replies.
"But I sense you are here for more than knowledge of your friendís whereabouts," Dooku says seductively as two of his disciples observe the conversation.
"Regardless, the area you seek was destroyed," Dooku says with a frown.
"You will find nothing there. But there are
other ways to find the one you seek..."
"Other ways?" Shundi asks.
"Gain a greater knowledge of the Force and you will see things the Jedi Council has kept from you... ways to help those in need. Just as the Confederacy has done for the people of Kobridor."
"With this knowledge, together we can end this destructive conflict, and I can help you find your friend..."
Meanwhile, in the remote Yinchorr system, the Badoo Corba await a response from the Galactic Senate following their latest round of demands.
On the surface of the planet, the evil organization has laid claim to an ancient fortress...
Inside, the leaders of the terrorist organization discuss their next course of action...
"Do you truly believe the Republic will negotiate with you?" Zeedo Chissis asks.
"Their response is meaningless," Mubaas Fuuda hisses.
"With the capture of Enloe, we have shown our strength and revealed to the galaxy the weakness of the Senate!"
"You are mistaken," the Rodian counters; challenging the judgement of the leader of the Badoo Corba.
"We are the ones who look weak!
Demanding a troop withdrawal is a cowardly act! We should be striking at the heart of the Senate, not holding meaningless field commanders hostage. He should be killed immediately to legitimize our threats!"
As the two continue to debate, protocol droid PD-106 enters the chamber.
"What do you want?" Troffar the Terrible snaps at the droid.
"I was ordered by Mubaas to update his Excellency on any changes in the prisoner's condition," PD-106 answers.
"...then he'll die like the Republic pig he is," Mubaas laughs as he continues his argument with Zeedo Chissis.
"Master Fuuda," Troffar says, "I am sorry to interrupt you. But the droid insisted on seeing you."
"What is it, droid?" Mubaas hisses.
"I thought I should inform you that the prisoner is nearing critical condition," the droid reports.
"If he does not receive medical attention, the damage he has sustained will be irreversible."
"He has not revealed any information to this point," Mubaas says, thinking out loud.
"But I want those hyperspace codes."
"His threshold for pain is too strong," Zeedo says.
"I told you we should not have given up his wife so easily. We could have used her as leverage if you wanted to extract information from him."
"Then we will try something else... Troffar, interrogate him with Judiss. And take the other prisoner in there with you. We will see how Rykrof Enloe responds to an alternative form of persuasion.
If he does not break, send in the ITK unit... and we will be finished with him."
Far across the galaxy, a Republic assault cruiser patrols over Naboo.
"Alyssa," Freelo yells.
The Badoo Corba said they will let him go if Chancellor Palpatine pulls the clone forces from the Outer Rim!"
"The... Republic doesn't negotiate with terrorists Freelo," she says sadly.
"But they have to," Freelo insists.
"They'll let him go if we do what they say!"
"The moment we do, the Badoo Corba will strike even harder with higher demands," Alyssa explains as her eyes fill with tears.
"I've lost him," Alyssa sobs as she turns away from the naive Mon Calamari.
"He's doomed!" Freelo screams.
Back on Yinchorr, Rykrof Enloe refuses to reveal any information that could aid the Badoo Corba.
Beaten but not broken, he lies on the ground; waiting for the Badoo Corba to finally end his misery.
"Look, you have a new guest," Tryo the Abyssin guard tells him as the cell door opens.
"Human, this is your last chance!" an Aqualish terrorist whom Rykrof has not seen before shouts at him.
Clearing his eyes, Rykrof realizes the Badoo Corba have brought in another prisoner - a member of Rykrof's 334th Siege Battalion.
"For the last time, what are the hyperspace codes
the Republic has been using to bypass the standard jump to the Core Systems from Dantooine?"
Struggling to his feet, Rykrof says nothing to the terrorist operative.
Angered by Rykrof's defiance, the Aqualish threatens to kill the captured trooper.
"Answer me Human, or this man's blood is on your hands."
Troffar the Terrible then raises his blaster to the clone's temple...
"The codes change," Rykrof quickly answers.
"Since the outbreak of the war, new security measures have been taken. I don't know what the latest codes are without access to Republic Intelligence!"
"Wrong answer!" Troffar snarls as he kills the clone in cold blood.
" Rykrof yells, falling to the ground.
"Time for the ITK droid," Troffar laughs as he drags the corpse from the room.
"Human, you have sealed your fate!" Judiss yells.
"My life doesnít matter. I know my family is alive, and the Republic will never give in to your madness," Rykrof says.
"Maybe someday youíll realize what they stand for and the mistakes youíve made."
"The only mistake I made was in believing the lies of the Republic!" Judiss roars.
"Your army did not defend Lippros and failed to come to the aid of millions during the Nebron Famine, even after the promises of the Senate!
"How can I support a government that fails to protect its people?"
"Of course the Republic has its downfalls," Rykrof admits as he stares down the barrel of the blaster.
"But during troubled times we should come together... not become divided... especially during war
. These are the times that define who we are."
"I do not need a lecture on morality, Human
!" Judiss roars.
"Obviously you do... you're the one who just stood there as a defenseless man was killed," Rykrof counters.
Caught off guard by this revelation, Judiss hesitates before replying to this accusation.
"I am not the monster you think I am," Judiss tells Rykrof.
"I will see to it that your body is delivered safely to you family on Naboo."
"An ITK droid has been assigned to your termination," he says as he exits the prison cell.
"The process will be painful... the droid has been programmed to maximize the pain..."
"Back onto the rack," Tryo then hisses.
Knowing he has nothing to lose, Rykrof suddenly grasps the Abyssin's spear!
In an instant, Rykrof flips the terrorist onto his back!
Before the astromech can alert security, Rykrof strikes a violent blow to its dome...
...as the droid collapses, Rykrof looks up to see Tryo attempting to escape!
Rykrof then lunges forward, catching the terrorist with his restraints...
...with a rush of strength fueled by hatred, Rykrof brutally strangles the Badoo Corba terrorist!
Rykrof then looks up to find something has entered the chamber...
To his horror, an ancient ITK droid slowly approaches him...
TO BE CONTINUED...