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In The Land Of The Barabel!

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Karter    127

Karter, after, resealing the lasceration with another convection application, followed Kal down the tunnel. He managed to summon enough concentration to cloak himself, watching where Kal walked, and imitating his walking pattern through the tunnel, which seemed to go on forever.


"Not like you, letting the weaker one scout ahead while you cower behind him like a worm," the hallucination of Sangraal muttered to his left.


"Shut up," he said under his breath. "And let me concentrate."


Everything hurt. But he was spurned on by success. And challenge.


After all, if he could not survive a full on assault from people who, as far as he could tell, were vicious, strong, and resourceful, he would never have a chance at bringing the fight to the Order. And the only way to do that, was to weaken their Republic first. Painstaking, laborious work, which might kill him regardless of how far along in progress he got.


He tried not to think too hard about how he was to succeed where the Sith themselves had failed.


What, WHAT would work?! What could he do that they hadn't thought of?! There had to be something they had not thought of. Something no one would think of. What flaw had the Sith missed? What string could he pull?


He grew angry as he asked himself these uncomfortable questions, for they illustrated how seemingly insurmountable his obstacles were. How hopeless it was.


But he hated the Order too much to quit. Too much to drop dead here, at least.


As he watched Kal scout what looked like a massive underground hanger at the end of the tunnel, he spotted the chieftain, a Barabel at least two feet above him in height, wielding a massive vibrosword. He was flanked by the last of his guards. He even had a courier vessel. Guy must have been loaded, because he got the feeling not a lot of Barabel made it off planet. Kal was trying to be quiet, but one of the guards spotted him and yelled.


Karter got low on the ground as they began to open fire on Kal. He got out his lightsaber going into a sprint. The red blade snipped through three pairs of legs grouped together and firing at Kal's direction.


But Karter was slow from exhaustion, and a bolt managed to graze his leg, then his arm. The increased pain forced him to cut off his cloak, and he made a diagonal slash through the fourth shooter's torso, cutting through his rifle at the same time, and was forced to dive-scramble behind one of the courier ships landing struts.


There was a loud rumble. The guards stopped shooting for a second.


Karter poked his head out, wondering what the rumbling was.


Something punched through the roof of the dark tunnel he and Kal had come from he heard a familiar roar as the tunnel began to collapse as the Durgolosk landed on top of the rubble.


The guards yelled, the chieftain yelled. Karter almost squeeled in fear, but just barely managed not to.


The Durgolosk spotted Kal, and charged, intent on devouring Vonnar first then the others.


"Kal, RUN!" Karter yelled. "RUN!"

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Kal Vonnar    2

"Whoa boy!" Kal cried, dodging the Durgolosk's jaw before it snapped. He heard about the Durgolosk, but hadn't expected to see one up close before. This beast was too dangerous--


He moved away before the creature struck again. The last thing Kal wanted was to be bitten, for fear that the venom would spread immediately. There had to be a way to defeat it... defeat? That's it! He moved out of the way, taking out his pistol and aiming it at the Durgolosk.


The Durgolosk seized the opportunity, letting out a loud bellow. Kal flinched at the sound and dived again before the Durgolosk snaked its way towards him again.


"I will not be taken down by this beast!" Kal said in haste. He prepared his blaster and jumped out of the way. The Durgolosk moved forward, stomping the earth with its feet. Kal groaned. How much longer would this take? This was a life or death! He'd have to be careful....


He rolled away before the Durgolosk struck him with its teeth. He survived, but flinched in pain at the bruises he received from rolling across the ground! Luckily, the wounds weren't bad--


"Oh come on!" Kal dived, rolling on the ground again for another second. He righted himself and--




He hit the creature's skin. The Durgolosk let out a bellow in pain. The beast saw him again, snaking its tail around in fury. The tail snapped, sending vibrations on the ground. Kal's body lurched at the sound the tail made. The sound left his ears ringing.




More screams came from the creature. Kal could feel a tug in the air, invisible talons coursing through his veins. The beast was defending itself, but it also wanted food. Him most likely! He'd have to try to take the beast down. Kal loaded the blaster, aimed and fired at the creature!




The Durgolosk was struck on the chest, collapsing on the ground and drawing its last breath. Kal sighed. The pain of losing the Durgolosk was almost unbearable. Why did he do that? To save his friend, Karter. His employer. But why? There were so many unanswered questions. Kal felt a strong pull in the air. He could feel others surrounding him. The fight wasn't over. There was still the chieftain to deal with. Kal sighed again, feeling the Light Side return to him.


If this was the price of battle, then he didn't want it, but neither would he run from a fight. He just hoped that Karter knew better than to kill senselessly.

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Karter    127

Karter, as he watched Kal run from the Durgolosk, was forced to shoot the remaining guards not attempting to flee in terror from his own cover. He moved quickly. Careful to avoid the Durgolosk as it attacked Vonnar, he focused his blaster fire on the ones trying to shoot at Vonnar. The Durgolosk had completely swept him from everyone's mind. Not that he was upset about that but still...


At least Kal could put his credits where his mouth was. Karter put two more sonic bolts into the heads of the last two guards just as Kal finished killing the Durgolosk. His first kill of any significance. Good shots too: Precise, thought out, though he wondered how much of that was Kal and how much...wasn't.


Regardless, there was still one matter to settle.


The Chieftain, backed into a corner, had finally drawn his vibrosword, the blade having a wavy, Kris like blade, with a contoured, curved grip with a red sash affixed to it. He hissed something threatening to both of them and gestured, basically, to come and get him.


Karter drew his lightsaber, sliding into his form one stance, blade held upright and to his side and approached, slowly. It would have been a simple matter to kill him from long range, but Karter's sonic blaster was out of ammo, he had expended himself greatly just killing his protectors, and he wanted to prove to himself just how far he had advanced in his swordsmanship.


He charged, aiming a deadly, wide red slash at the chieftains right shoulder. But the chieftain deflected it and shifted his stance to more aggressive one, immediately pressing forward with an aggressive vertical chop that Karter barely deflected himself.


The two circled each other studying the other's weapon.


Karter shifted forward, but the wound he had suffered earlier to his leg caused him to stumble, and the chieftain took full advantage, sidestepping his attempted striking down again with a vertical slice that would have split Karter's head in two, had not Karter quickly backed away with a simple high horizontal block but the weakness had been revealed. The Chieftain started to relentlessly attack the leg, and Karter was forced to back away more parrying swordswipes with a crushing strength to them that made every bone in his hands rattle just forcing it aside. Vibroswords cuts here might cause him to bleed out, even if he used Force Body to stay standing.


The Chieftain increased the speed of his swings, moving with the weight of the sword, preplanning his attacks. Each blocked strike transferred down his wounded leg, and only his pride and willpower seemed to be keeping him standing.


His lightsaber parried another blow, and in desperation he simply shifted out of the way of the next heavy blow.


Fear coursed through him. Then rage.


Force Rage to be specific.


He knew was taking a gamble, calling on it again so soon. He had to finish this quickly, or when it wore off he'd be weaker than ever. He called on every slight, every nightmarish feud he had ever had to give him the strength to meet the next overhead blow.


He slashed and stabbed relentlessly, chaotically, no pattern to his strikes, no desire except a monolithically insane desire to see the Barabel Chieftain to die. The flurry of attacks at all target zones forced the chieftain to parry and block himself, though the savage fluidity of one blow leading to a stab or the fast, vicious chips meant solely to kill forced the chieftain to call on his own experience, shunting aside, dodging, or parrying the increasingly bloodthirsty and incredibly strong blows, and exploiting his own styles mobility to keep Karter away from him, until he scored a light grazing blow to the chieftain' s left arm. The lizard man snarled in agony, but his defense interestingly did not drop. He instead parried the next strike, forcing Karter's saber into the concrete and head butted him savagely, breaking his nose. The Force Rage cut off the pain but his vision went blurry as his saber went flying away, and the chieftain roared, bringing his blade down, forcing a half conscious Karter to roll out of the way of the deadly, heavy edge, the Force Rage cutting off and leaving Karter weakened and with the pain of a broken nose fast threatening to knock him out. The Chieftain raised the sword to strike again, and Karter barely managed a weak force push that only sort of moved his sword out of the way, causing it to be impaled in the ground.


The Chieftain's hands were around Karter's throat. Karter's hands were around the chieftains, half blind from his own blood.


"Kal!" Karter screamed.

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Kal Vonnar    2

Kal's heart raced in his chest. The Durgolosk was dead. Why did he have this feeling the battle wasn't over yet? Where was Karter?


"Kal!" Karter screamed.


Kal swung around. He saw the Chieftain's hands wrapped around Karter's throat. No! Kal looked up to the heavens, wondering what to do next. He turned to his blaster. He didn't want to do this, but if it meant saving Karter's life, then he could at least be a hero. What was he good at? Dodging? Darting around the area? Distraction... maybe just this once he could draw the Chieftain's attention away from Karter. It was a risky move, but he would have to do something -- and fast.


He had the thought planned out in seconds.


"Hey, Chieftain!" Kal shouted to the lizard man.




"Hey! I'm talking to you!" Kal shouted as he blasted at the walls, close to the Chieftain. To his surprise, the Chieftain stopped and looked at him. Was that rage Kal could see in the monster's eyes? "You're a big lizard man! Why don't you pick on someone your size? Like me! I hear that I'm better looking than you and more cunning." He smirked. "You want to try your hand at a game of Pazaak, or something more enriching? Like darts? Darts are good. Come on! Let's toss around some darts, have a few drinks, and you can ease up on trying to kill people! What do you say?"


"Grrr!" The Chieftain snarled.


"Hey, come on, pal!" Kal said, smiling. "Let's be friends. You'd like that, right?"

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Karter    127

As Karter choked and was struggling not to black out he heard Kal try to taunt the Barabel. He growled but otherwise kept choking Karter, understanding clearly who the bigger threat was.


"Shoot him!" Karter choked out. "You have to shoot him!"


Karter just barely managed to find the adrenaline necessary to barely force the hands away from his throat. But the Barabel Chieftain was stronger than him, and he could only heave as much air in as he could to think.


"NOW WOULD BE A REALLY GOOD TIME!" he yelled at Kal again. 


And then, the hands closed back around him, and Karter began to feel his vision blur.


Terror and rage gripped him and he began frantically punching the chieftain's ribs, instinctively calling on his pyrokinetic abilities.


Karter's first strike set the chest on fire, and a punch to the jaw ignited the face. The Chieftain snarled, but still refused to stop choking him and Karter's pants also caught fire.


The Chieftain roared, rolling off him, and Karter weakly rolled around, frantically looking for his lightsaber as the chieftain put out the blaze, still snarling in agony, but he broke into a run for Kal, desperate to get the blaster out of his hands and shoot Karter.

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Kal Vonnar    2

Kal looked up. The Chieftain... he was charging straight towards him! Oh no! Kal nearly froze. His blaster... no. He couldn't--


He ducked, snaking away from the Chieftain, blasting at the Barabel. One shot to the knee was rather lucky. Kal smiled as the Chieftain winced in pain. Oh great! The Chieftain was up again, limping. Kal shot at one of the arms. It worked! But only for a short time.


The Chieftain's hand was nearly on him!


"Not today! Whoa!" Kal was grabbed by the waist by the Barabel. He spun Kal around fast! Kal did his best to hold on for dear life! Was this to be Kal's end? He almost felt the Chieftain nearly reach for his blaster. Kal looked at the arm. It was switching between grabbing the blaster and holding only him. He only needed one shot...




The Chieftain's eyes rolled up. The blast had reached its forehead, straight through it. The Chieftain released its grip on Kal's arm. Kal winced in pain, not realizing how tightly the Chieftain held onto him. His arm nearly went limp, and his waist... he collapsed on the floor, doing his best to hold on. He looked at Karter with dignity.


"It's over, isn't it?" Kal asked, smiling. At least they won, but still... he hadn't expected to do this much killing. Was it worth it? He hoped not, but at least he didn't lose his employer. That was good, right?

Edited by Kal Vonnar

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Karter    127

Karter's face was smashed. He had blood coming out of one ear, and he could barely stand, in agony everywhere. Too much pain to use the Force, even IF he didn't think doing so would kill him from the strain.


And Kal...


Kal was smiling, the bastard was actually smiling.


Karter wanted to laugh, in spite of this.


"This Job is," Karter slurred in reply to Kal's question, fighting a massive migraine. He was lucky he wasn't concussed. His nose was still broken though. 


He went to the chieftain's vibrosword, yanking it out of the ground. A nice, heavy piece. He stared at the chieftain's vessel. Looked like a modified Republic shuttle. He headed up the craft, staggering, holding his side, struggling to stay conscious. He took note of the interior. Modded for luxury travel, or what the Barabel considered luxury... he saw a lot of the cargo space had been retrofitted with a bacta tank, though it looked completely empty of the healing chemical. He went to the cockpit after tossing the sword aside and checked the controls. They were in basic. Must have been a new model.


Karter staggered back down the ship after a few moments, weakly dragging the body of the chieftain up the ramp.


"It'll be dawn soon. You need to find a cave. A deep one, to hide us in from the radiation. I'm too messed up to fly," he coughed out, bleeding from his mouth. "We'll wait it out until night hits again. Then we venture out and bring our ship back to where we hide this one. Then we strip this shuttle of anything valuable and add it to our own vessel. We clear on the plan?" Karter asked, still slurring his words, clearly barely able to stand.


He also offered up some minor praise.


"Well done," he muttered, heading back up the ramp. He was too tired to think. He headed to the cockpit and slumped into the co-pilots seat, sullen and burnt and bruised.

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