Bitter Betrayal

“All right, men. Spread out. Look for any other entrances out of the caves.” Gariss, the Barabel leader of the mercenary unit known as Daragald’s Blight, stood in the frozen passage with his fellow mercenaries, a scowl imbedded on his large, toothy maw. All right, he thought, I’ve done my part of the job. Where is that blasted signal?

Although he’d called out the command his troops had already been told not to obey the command. He wanted to make the enemy think that he’d spread his troops thin in hopes of luring them back in his direction. According to Wraith, the Jedi who’d hired his unit, they were only supposed to keep the enemy from escaping back out the cave entrance. There was a Wampa nest inside the cave, and Wraith had hoped to trap the enemy between the mercenaries and the Wampa. The trap was working perfectly. Gariss’ man who had piloted the transport carrying their prey had faked the crash well right into the predetermined coordinates. So now all that remained was for the Jedi to give the signal.

As if in answer the snap hiss of a lightsaber echoed down the passage forcing all of the mercenaries to momentarily pause. “That’s it!” Gariss shouted. “Move!” Obeying his command, all twenty mercenaries surged down the passage at top speeds.

A second later they came to a jarring halt as up the passage came the Jedi who’d hired them. “Hurry!” cried the synthesized voice of the Anomid warrior. “They’re right behind me.”

Daragald’s Blight responded instantly as the first of their prey came rounding the corner. Jarith and Marks fired simultaneously, narrowly missing the young Jedi that had rounded the corner. A moment later, Borgis, For’og, and Chik’a’timin fired a series of shots just as the Jedi bounced back around the corner. All of their shots struck the icy walls of the cavern.

“Go back!” the voice of the enemy Jedi cried. “There’s too many of them.”

“Don’t let them get away,” Wraith snapped from beside Gariss. “The Wampa are on top of them now. They’ll have no where to run.”

Gariss turned to Wraith and sneered. “I thought you were supposed to keep them distracted long enough for us to join in the combat. You didn’t even stay in combat more than a few seconds.”

Wraith glared at him with dark eyes. “Just do as you’re told unless you wish not to get paid.”

Gariss considered just killing the Jedi right then and there, but the money was far too important to him. He and his unit had suffered many losses after the fiasco on Beemoss VI. They needed this job. It paid too well. “Fine,” he growled in disgust. “Everyone move!”

But his words were cut off a moment later when a raging Wampa rounded the corner with a vengeance. Instantly Wraith vanished from sight as Gariss and his entire unit leveled their weapons to fire. The Wampa charged into the midst of the unit and began flailing about wildly as if it were starving to death. Most of his men were able to dodge away from it as they fired desperately. For’og, however, was not so lucky.

A moment later and the beast was lying at their feet, but before they could continue their charge into the cave another sound froze them in their tracks. A deep rumbling sound echoed through the tunnels sounding as if the entire mountain was coming down around them. Instantly, Gariss spun around to see Wraith standing at the entrance of the cave, a sadistic and triumphant look on his face. “Enjoy your icy tomb, dog!” he hissed, and vanished just as an avalanche of snow and rock buried the entranceway.

Gariss was instantly furious. “Blasted Jedi!” he cursed. “Double-crossing, backstabbing gutter-snipe!” And for several moments afterward he and his men could only choke and gag as debris filtered through the air.

When the air cleared his men looked to him for guidance. “We’ve been had, men! We’ve got to get back to the ship before he takes it over and leaves us stranded here.” He turned to his communications officer on his left. “Hodge. Get on the communicator and warn Margo to move the ship away from the caves. We’ll notify him when we’re out of here or far enough in so he can blast us out of here.”

Hodge, a weasel-like human with all sorts of gear all over him and a heavy pack, saluted and pulled his communicator out of one of his many pockets. “Margo, this is Hodge. Do you copy!”

Only static returned as Jarith and Marks returned from scouting around the next corner. “Sir, the enemy has taken out the other Wampa and is moving deeper into the caves. We think we heard a couple of them talking about side passages that they think will lead out of the caves.”

“No reply, Sir,” Hodge informed Gariss immediately after the Jarith had spoken. “The mountain must be blocking our signal.”

Gariss swore violently. “Our prey has now become our ally, boys. Move forward with weapons ready but not aimed at them. Make sure to keep announcing our intended truce.” Then after a pause he added, “And make sure you hurry. If Margo’s dead we’re as good as dead.”

Not needing to be told twice, Jarith and Marks, the unit’s two scouts, shot off down the passage shouting for their opponents to lower their weapons. Gariss then turned to the others and ordered them to hurry after. Hopefully they’d be able to make it out of the caves before that traitorous Jedi managed to reach the ship.

The End

0 comments about this story Feed