The welcoming party led them through a back door into a private room with only a few chairs and a large desk. The only other entrance into the room was through a door on the far side of the room. Sitting behind the desk, another Twi’lek sat with a large, furry Whiphid standing guard next to him.
As the group entered the room, the Twi’lek stood and the five guards each took up positions encircling the three friends, their blasters trained on them. The Twi’lek gave a toothy grin as he approached.
“Welcome to the Dark Side. I am Scal Lycrendis, owner of this facility. Can I help you with anything?”
“No, thank you,” replied Brin’tac. “We were just out for a drink and a little fun before returning to our ship.”
“Oh, really? So you’re not looking for Nad Dresnin then?” Scal said smoothly. At this, Brin’tac’s fur rippled slightly.
“No, we are not. I’m afraid you must have us confused with someone else.”
Suddenly, Scal’s friendly demeanor disappeared as he growled, “You are a poor liar, Bothan! Your race needs to learn to disconnect your feelings and your fur.”
As he finished his sentence, the door opened and Nyarchagga was shoved roughly into the room, the door closing behind him.
“Ah. I see the fourth member of your little entourage has arrived.” Turning back to Brin’tac, he continued as if the interruption had never occurred. “Now, why are you looking for Nad?”
Jin Tai Lo stepped foreward before Brin’tac could reply. “My friend is looking for his wife and family who have been kidnapped. Nad may know their whereabouts.”
Brin’tac turned toward Jin Tai Lo with a look of betrayal on his face. Scal grinned, “Well, I’m sure if Nad had anything to do with it, then she’s probably amusing some Hutt somewhere.”
Brin’tac suddenly lunged at Scal, but was held back by Jin Tai Lo. Scal laughed in amusement.
“The ever peacable Cereans. Always trying to avoid a confrontation.”
Brin’tac shoved Master Lo aside. “Bothan, do you really think you could best me?”
“Why don’t you dismiss your lackeys and find out!”
“I’m afraid my time is too valuable for that. Let me just say that you have come to the wrong place. Leave now, and you will live. Try to reach Nad, and you will die. Rolt,” one of the Twi’lek guards stepped foreward, “take these ‘gentlemen’ to their ship and see them off.” Scal’s lekku twitched slightly as he turned back to his desk.
The room suddenly exploded with a flurry of motion. Brin’tac tackled Scal from behind as Nyarchagga dove into the nearest guard. Jin Tai Lo turned, crouched, and drew his lightsaber in on fluid motion even as he used the force to pin the Whiphid in the corner with the desk.
The guards, recovering from their surprise, opened fire. The Barabel and Wee-quay were knocked to the floor by their own blaster bolts which were deflected by Jin Tai’s lightsaber. Nyarchagga used on hand to grab Rolt’s weapon as he drew his own and fired, stunning him. Satchel quickly recovered and used his leg to sweep the two remaining Twi’lek guards off their feet.
A deafening roar filled the room as the Whiphid lifted the desk and launched it at the combatants, not caring who was in the way. Satchel rolled to the side and avoided being crushed by mere millimeters, but the two Twi’lek guards who shot at him were not as fortunate. Jin Tai Lo deftly rolled under the desk and faced the brute.
The Whiphid’s tiny eyes stared hard at the Cerean Jedi. Then, with a growl, the alien charged. The Jedi Master leaped over him, slicing off a large tusk with his lightsaber. The beast howled in rage.
“I do not wish to hurt you. Cease this battle or I will be forced to cause you further injury.” Jin Tai warned.
The Whiphid, however, either didn’t understand common, or disregarded the warning entirely and lunged once again at the Jedi Master. Jin Tai Lo rolled backward with the lunge and flipped the hairy alien over him. Then, reaching out with the force, he hurled the desk once again at the Whiphid, this time crashing it into his head and upper torso, rendering him unconscious. The large, hairy body fell to the floor with a loud thud.
Jin Tai turned to see that the battle was finished. Nyarchagga stood over the body of one guard, Satchel leaned up against the wall holding his left shoulder, and Brin’tac stood over the unconscious body of Scal. As Jin Tai looked on, Brin’tac suddenly kicked Scal in the side.
“Brin’tac, my friend. Please. Let go of your anger.”
“Don’t you begin telling me what to do,” Brin’tac exploded in rage. “I’m not one of your Jedi Padawan. If I want to use my anger, it’s my choice. I don’t have to worry about ‘The Dark Side’. And how dare you call me ‘friend’ after what you said. What gave you the right to tell my personal business to a maggot-infested, slime like him?”
Jin Tai Lo answered calmly, “You are right, my friend. Please forgive me. I had no right to tell your private affairs. However, he already knew. I sensed through the Force that somehow he already knew you were looking for your wife. I thought by telling him the truth, we might earn some trust and thus avoid a pointless confrontation.” To accentuate his point, he looked down at the bodies laying throughout the room.
“Secondly, you are also correct that you are not a Jedi Padawan and you may do as you please. However, the Jedi code is more than just for those who can use the Force. It is a philosophy which brings peace to all who follow it. Peace instead of conflict; love instead of hate; truth instead of falsehood; forgiveness instead of revenge. All are noble…”
“I am sorry to interrupt you, Master Lo,” Nyarchagga said as he moved toward the back door, “but more guards will be here any second. Also, before these goons grabbed me, I found out from one of the other Sabacc players that Nad’s ship was leaving within the hour. If we want to catch him, we need to move!”
Jin Tai Lo nodded in agreement as he helped Satchel to his feet. “Nyarchagga is right. Satchel, can you make it?”
“Yes. It’s just a fleshwound.”
Brin’tac turned and moved toward the back door without a word, his fur bristling.