Gnat Off Line

Nyarchagga swore vehemently over and over and over again in Dug, and he threw his wrist monitor across the corridor. It bounced several times in a series of loud clangs until it came to rest at Kazzra’an’s feet. The Wookiee was leading the group down the corridor, and he turned back, as did several of the others, to see what was happening. In response Brin’tac, who was walking with the Dug, only closed his eyes as he tried to figure out what to do.

“We lost the signal,” Geldar explained in frustration from his position on the other side of Nyarchagga. “It looks like our mission is a bust.”

“I knew this was going to happen,” Nyarchagga complained, still cursing in his native tongue. “I knew it! Now Gnat’s gone! I hope that Jedi rots in the deepest mines of Kessel.”

“Please try to calm down,” said Brin’tac to his friend. “We don’t really know what was happening. She seemed to be climbing into some power conduit. There was a flash of blue light, and then the signal went dead.”

“Maybe we could replay the last few seconds to see if we can figure out what happened,” suggested Tso. “It may not give us much, but you never know.”

“What does it matter?” said Nyarchagga in Basic again. “Do what you want.”

Tarrsk picked up the monitor and tossed it to Brin’tac as they continued on their way again. Nyarchagga followed, but he was in a foul mood like none Brin’tac had ever seen him in. The Bothan examined the device to make sure it wasn’t broken before he worked the system to replay the last few moments. Since he didn’t know how to work the device as much he accidentally played some stored footage from an earlier time some hours before.

Brin’tac, at first, thought it was the right footage since Ivanna’s back was all he could see. Then, however, he saw the camera swivel around so that it was floating in the air far above Ivanna’s head. Satchal’s image suddenly came into focus, and Brin’tac realized that he was spying on a private moment between Ivanna and her apprentice. He almost shut the monitor off but Geldar stayed his hand.

“What is this?” he asked as he saw Satchal move closer to Ivanna in a seductive manner.

“I don’t know if we should be watching this,” said Brin’tac. “Obviously Nyarchagga was spying on Ivanna even before we….”

Ivanna suddenly shoved Satchal backward with the Force, and Brin’tac and Geldar’s hearts leapt into their throats. Brin’tac stopped the scene and exchanged looks with his friend. The entire group stopped now seeing that they were no longer following, and they came back to view the scene themselves. Only Kazzra’an remained at the front of the group, his attention drawn to something in the corridor ahead of them. “I think we need to play this from the beginning,” Geldar replied. “I want to know everything that happened in there.”

“After that I agree,” said Brin’tac. “Did you see the look on her face?”

Geldar didn’t reply to that. Instead he turned to Nyarchagga and said, “Why didn’t you tell us about this before? We may not have even needed to come out here.”

Nyarchagga only gave him a sharp look. “I haven’t watched it yet,” he replied. “I was too busy listening to all of you plan the demise of Gnat. I recorded it so I could watch it later. Believe me if I knew what was recorded there I would have never gone through with this,” then he added with a smile, “though I did find it amusing that I had already slipped Gnat onto her back before you went through your long and pointless tirades.”

Geldar only shook his head. The Dug never ceased to amaze him. “I think I’ve found the beginning,” said Brin’tac, bringing everyone’s attention back to the monitor. He then played the entire scene from the beginning...

The End

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