Aldrear: Favors Get You Killed

"Hmm, Aldrear, I have a proposition to make with you, you see one of my friends is being held currently by the Council. I need him out, also I need us to be able to get off-world, can you do this?"

"I'm a mercenary, not a charity worker."

"Then perhaps you'll allow me to call it a favor. You owe me one after all."

Aldrear's eyes narrowed as he considered what the Jedi had said and realized he was right. Aldrear hated favors. They got you killed.

"I don't know about getting off-world, my ship isn't in the best condition. Although..."

He turned an appraising eye over his damaged ship. The hull had taken the brunt of the damage and could be temporarily fixed until they made it to a Spaceport. The broken cockpit would also need a temporary seal over the places where the transparisteel had shattered. It wouldn't be pretty, but it would work.

"I can have my astromech droid work up a few fixes for most of the damage. How much time do we have?"

"As soon as possible preferably. How long do you need?"

"A few hours."

"That'll have to do then."

Aldrear entered his ship through the broken cockpit and moved to the back where R6 was strapped. Relieved that the droid seemed to be in one piece, Aldrear unstrapped it and began to give it instructions. As R6 began to work Aldrear leapt from the cockpit and turned back to Lortu.

"Who is he? Your friend?"

"Darth Styx th-"

"Darth Styx? A Jedi is helping a sith?" Aldrear's hand drifted to his and began making small clicks and adjustments, readying himself for a fight, "That is assuming of course that you actually are a Jedi?"

"I am! And Styx used to be a sith. He has renounced his ways and taken up the self imposed position of Zealot of Kalikori Village."

Aldrear, whose attention had turned towards the sounds of battle not too far away, snapped his head back towards the Jedi.

"Kalikori Village?"

"Kalikori... my officer was kalikori... Tython! He mentioned Tython! Please... put me down!"

"Yes... have you heard of it?"

Aldrear nodded grimly. "I have... business there."

Lortu studied the mercenary, reevaluating whether he had made the right choice in bringing him back. The man may not have had the best intentions, but he was all Lortu had and that forced him to accept the knowledge that other's may die because of his decision.

"We should go" said Aldrear, suddenly very anxious to get moving. 

Lortu nodded and the two set off, only to stop minutes later as a huge rumbling approached them. Just off to their right they saw a rancor that seemed to be escorted by several nexu, one of which was holding a body in its mouth. 

The two shared surprised glances and rushed on, breaking through the growth to find an abandoned battle site. Two vibroswords were laying on the ground and some of the trees sported dark furrows, as if they had been struck by some perverse cross of a vibrosword and a whip.

"Light whip..." Aldrear murmured, inspecting the gouges. After a moment he knelt beside one of the vibroswords and, much to the confusion and curiosity of Lortu, put his hand on the deactivated blade.

Aldrear shuddered and his eyes blinked rapidly as he utilized a rare, but innate Kiffar ability: The ability to access the memories of inanimate objects. 

Short scenes flashed before his eyes, a Zabrak doing battle with a female Twi'lek. The same Zabrak, now hooded, watching the Twi'lek approach. The Zabrak surveying a small village and watching a shuttle approach. The Zabrak, along with a contigent of soldiers disembarking a ship and heading in different directions. The Zabrak on the ship receiving instructions. Sound didn't always accompany such memories but Aldrear was able to pick up scattered words. 

"Assignment.... lead assault... village... expect resistance... rumors... ex-sith..."

With a gasp, Aldrear severed the connection and stopped the flow of memories.

 "What is it? What did you do?" Lortu asked, astonished.

"Not important... there is a group... they're attacking... I think your friend might have returned to the village. We need to go!"

And the two resumed their journey at a greater pace, determined not to let the Zealot die, although for differing reasons. Finally the village came into view and began to steadily grow closer and larger as the two approached. And then they were breaking through the wall of growth into the village... to find an Echani surround by a large group of Twi'leks. Half the number turned their attention and their weapons at the newcomers. Aldrear cursed.

He hated favors. They got you killed.

The End

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