2.At first light Durandel feels a stirring next to him, as he rolls over Ventress is already preparing for the day ahead.
3.As she changes, he ponders their situation to himself - 6 months ago could he really have ever imagined the events that have unfolded?
The destruction of the Jedi Order, the end of the War, sharing a bed with one of the key members of the confederacy? The Force indeed moves in mysterious ways!
4. Ventress: “You need to change into the robes I bought you!”
Durandel: “what’s the hurry Asajj? Have you finally lost your appetite after 3 days!”
Ventress: “My physical needs are not the issue now Padawan, CHANGE!”
5. A little disheartened by the change in pace, Durandel rises all the same . . .
6. Once out on the street Durandel protests as to the necessity of a blaster rifle & the tailored clothes he has been persuaded into wearing.
7. “Stop wining child!” Ventress snaps “it serves our purpose, that is all that should concern you!”
8. “I am trying to keep a handle on our situation & you do nothing be adhere to the stupid ways of the ancients!” As she speaks she flicks his Padawan braid in her hand.
Durandel: “They are my beliefs Asajj”
Ventress: “beliefs that will get you killed!”
9. After a lot of walking they reach their destination - although only Ventress has a clear idea of where they are heading.
10. “keep you mouth shut & opinions to yourself - it’s important!” Ventress spits.
11. As the garage door swings upwards the Bothan from the bar emerges. “Well I’ll be dammed!” He chuckles gruffly.
12. Durandel almost instantly barks out a question but to his better judgement, takes a backseat & observes.
13. Ventress: “The bargain still stands, I will help you with the supplies you need!”
Goro: “I new you would surprise me at some point Ventress - although I didn’t think it would be at all in a positive way”
Ventress: “There is still plenty of time for me to upset you Bothan, trust no one - live long!”
14. “Since I hadn’t expected you I will need time to prepare” Goro begins “ docking bay 545 at 5:45 be there!”
15. “Bring only what you will use Bothan, we strike hard & fast!!”
16. As the day passes Durandel questions Ventress on the deal with the Bothan to no avail - although she is reluctant to discuss her plans he doesn’t sense negative intentions from her, more desperation.
17. As they enter the cargo bay her feelings betray her, this is what Durandel had hoped for. Unaware Ventress is less guarded in his company & he suspects is now reliant on his companionship . . .
18. From above a disrupter rifle discharges . . . .
19. “Dam” Goro yells “the Guild members have come for their bounty!!!”
20. Drawing the blade that Palpatine had left so long ago on Makem Hek Ventress defends them from blaster fire.
21. A well timed deflection strikes the Duros Guild member as two others emerge from behind storage containers.
22. As the blaster fire reigns down they scramble towards the awaiting prototype firespray craft . . .
23. Zulfiqar the veteran of the group makes a last ditch attempt to subdue the fleeing prey . . .
24. The prototype Firespray - a craft believed destroyed on Oovo IV - is nimble enough to ascend quickly skywards before the group can converge . . . .
25. In a seemingly futile attempt the enraged Wookie leaps at the exiting vehicle, clawing towards their target . . . .
26. Thankfully he releases his grip before they are too far away from the ground below - the cold harshness of space is one thing even this Wook dare not face head on!
27. The three are at last free of their pursuers & on their way to Pure Neimoidia . . . .
28. Far away within the Imperial city Knish brie maintains vigil at his friends side . . .
29. Sergeant Galen Cortez & two other surviving Senate Guards return after the nightmare standoff that resulted in the demise of Galen’s long time friend Dorm Hamnett.
30. “I’m sorry guys” nurse Femur states “I’m obliged to send you elsewhere .. .”
31. “You really do have a problem with authority figures miss” Galen laughs as he removes his helmet, much to the relief of the panic stricken nurse.
“I’m a Twi’lek honey” she chirps “authority don’t play well for us!!”
32. Knish greets his nephew with relief “Grand papa is doing just fine, the nurse was just telling me that the strain on his heart in no more”
33. “So his wounds are superficial then?” Galen asks resting his hand upon the bacta tank “the intravenous treatment has reduced the burns inside his body?”
34. “Pretty much” nurse Femur explains, handing him her chart sheets “I dealt with his vitals first, that way his bodies own healing mechanisms can aide recovery now the heart is working at normal speed!”
35. A little later in a quiet moment to himself Galen ponders the fate of his friend Durandel. Still a while away from their scheduled rendezvous - he struggles to imagine the young one safe . . . .
36. “Hey” Femur interrupts “you gotta get some rest too you know”
37. Before Cortez has chance to respond she has him sitting comfortably in a chair next to his grandfather.
38. “You don’t know how much I appreciate all you‘ve done for us” Galen responds - The nurse simply winks & smiles . . .
39. Within a secluded base on Pure Neimoidia soldiers get the shock of their lives as an alert rings out . . .
40. Established amongst the many fungus farms on the surface the base was intended to secretly continue productions of B1 battle droids after the Naboo incident before the confederacy decided to upgrade to the Techno Unions B2 units.
41. A parade line forms along the rear wall of the production chamber . .. . .
42. “We have prepared for this day frequently for many years, now it is real!” states the Commander “you have all questioned the legitimacy of the bases continued existence, the enemy has no such queries!”
43. Snatching a badly place helmet from one of his troop he disperses them to their positions . . .
44. The alarms fall silent & they await contact . . . . . .
45. A scuttling can be heard from outside as an intruder circles the area, anyone with any battle experience can see that the front window is the bases weak point - the doors are near impenetrable.
46. From the silence comes a deafening boom as the window shatters . . . .
47. Predicting the point of entry the Neimoidian soldiers open fire . . .
48. As the blasts are deflected a second intruder slips inside as the first draws their fire . . .
49. The soldiers stand firm . . .
50. Had Durandel not had the force as an ally he would surely have succumbed to the continued assault . .
51. The smoking cannons fall silent as Durandel takes cover . . .
52. Goro is the next to advance . . .
53. One of the smarter soldiers destroys the glass container sheltering the Padawan . . . .
54. Sending the rocks contained within crashing down upon him . . . .
55. Another boom decimates what is left of the window as a third intruder invades . .. .
56. Ventress is the most calculated of the group, as soon as her feet touch the floor her saber is drawn & she summons a second . . ..
57. Her fallen comrade has little use for it . . .
58. Within seconds she is doing what she does best . . . .
59. “ha ha ha ha!” the Commander sneers
“YOU LAUGH IN THE FACE OF DEATH?” she scowls
60. “Ventress” Goro roars “get over here & help!”
61. “We have to leave” she hisses “something else is here . . .”
62. Almost instantly white trooper appear . . .
63. Ventress is hit in the back . . .
64. Goro dives for cover . . .
65. The commander surveys the situation . .
66. More & more of the white clad troops storm the area . . . .
67. Firing indiscriminately at each of the parties . . .
68. The battle heats up . . .
69. From afar Goro can see that these are re tooled soldiers for the Galactic Empire . . . .
70. Within the chaos Goro aligns with the Neimoidian soldiers against a far deadlier enemy . . .
71. The fire fight is furious . . .
72. Ultimately however the new troopers are simply to great in number . . .
73. A commander enters the fray, eying an unexpected prize.
74. The Neimoidian commander sees his opportunity to take down a ranking officer . . .
75. However . . . .
76. “NOOOOO DAM IT NO!” Goro screams as the foolish commander falls . . . .
77. His screams attract attention . . .
78. The Dark Lord Vader has slipped in amongst the fire fight, hurling the Giant towards the wall with the aid of the force . .
79. “Lord Vader we have the building” the trooper reports.
80. “It would seem that you have also apprehended a defector commander” Vader booms “ a defector that I had believed to be dead!”
81. “There is only one way to deal with those disloyal to the Empire” he continues grasping her skull with one hand . . .
82. With amazing strength he flings her violently into the glass container . . .
83. “I wish to savour this moment commander, Ventress has reached the point of no return at my hands . . .”
84. “There was once a time when I foolishly held back the aggression inside of me . . .”
85. “No longer . . . .”
86. The continued assault upon her defenceless body is frightening, whether or not the Dark Lord is recounting their former meetings is known only to him.
87. Vader drags her undignified towards the group . . .
88. “You will all learn the true price of disloyalty & learn to deliver swift justice . .”
89. A whimper escapes her lips as Vader bears his weight upon her . . .
90. From behind the group a burst of energy erupts . . .
91. Durandel motions his arms forwards creating a wave of energy . . .
92. Levelling everything in it‘s wake. . .
93. Almost everything! . . .
94. Again drawing both arms back behind him & simultaneously motioning them forwards a wave of force energy is unleashed . . . .
95. As the dust settles the Padawan drags the lifeless Ventress towards the window . . .
96. How they will escape the planet however is another matter . . . . .
TO BE CONTINUED . . . . .