96.96% The Wound In The Stars / Chapter 32: Chapter 32

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Chapter 32: Chapter 32

(21 BBY)

The expansion and fortification in the unknown regions are going well. Sooner or later the wider galaxy will know of our presence when we take Illum, the Utegetu nebula, Celdaru systems all the way through Reecee and Batorine systems to Kokash system in the North. This will quite effectively bring our borders right next to republic space, and quite near Coruscant.

In the south it will start from Zardossa Stix and Phu systems to Arquata system and back towards Bakura through Marzoon and Firrerre systems. These will be the borders for the foreseeable future, unless something unaccounted for happens.

By the end of this year is the projected time in which we will have control over all the designated regions. Afterwards I have plans for exploring the deep core region as well. No way I am letting emperor prune have his safe space.

Plus, the separatist super weapon was easy to crack. The defoliator is just like super napalm, that can disintegrate all living matter. This was then weaponized. There were different calibers of artillery variants, there were the grenade variants and finally my favorite. It can be used as fuel for flame throwers, only downside it needed a larger tank to store it. It was added as a second flamer weapon to the arsenal of all Ghost troops and certain Nite Owl units, alongside the already existing plasma flame thrower. The fuel was stored in a heavily armored tank on the hip of warrior. This will help take down thinks like Gen'Dai.

As all this was going on the Ghost fleet was back in base camp undergoing repairs and refits. It was during this time I got reports that Cad Bane was trying to recruit a clawdite bounty hunter and thief Cato Parasitti. I knew what he was planning, and I would use this opportunity to gain some profits as well. Me, Bo and Janak are heading to Coruscant on the scimitar. We had a small heist of our own to do. Well, not exactly a simple heist either, it was more of an assassination.

I had Subail, Arla, HK and ZEM running another assassination and asset retrieval mission. Their target was a certain Rodian Jedi master. I am sure they will accomplish it quite easily.

When we landed in a private hangar of level 1313, we were received by an intelligence agent working as a part of our network on Coruscant.

"Sir, we located the Telgorn dropship used by Cad Bane. He has used a landing pad on level 1315. Our overwatch team says he was seen moving with Cato Parasitti" informed the agent.

"Then we have no time to waste. Is the surprise in place, was there any trouble?" I asked.

"No problems have surfaced, sir. It was a bit hard to crack into, but the droids managed. The package is in place and waiting" replied the agent.

"Good now all that's left is to get into position and wait" I said as I lead my team off towards our quarry.

(Time Skip)

We started getting reports that the Jedi temple has gone into high security. That means our prey is on his way.

Soon enough the Duros bounty hunter Cad Bane can be seen sauntering over to the waiting ship. Just as he walked over to the ship and entered it a very strong electric shock pulse hit him. You could see him spasming and falling over.

As soon as he fell unconscious, we decloaked after coming right next to him. I soon bent down and started rummaging through his limp body. I was going to take everything off him. From his equipment to valuables. I would only leave him his clothes. After a few minutes of looting and throwing everything except the holocron into the dropship, I took out my blasters and put a few shots into his head and heart. That's one down.

After everything was sorted and all evidence of our presence taken care of, Janak took the dropship and went back to Eldith. We dragged Bane's body down the nearby alley where an aircar was waiting. We placed him in the passenger seat and set the destination as the Temple. The kicker was that we made sure the air car will show its origin is from the entertainment district.

With that done and the holocron in our possession, we made our way to the scimitar. The agents will make sure to remove any traces we overlooked. We too made our way back to Eldith.

(POV Subail)

We are currently hunting a Rodian Jedi known as Bolla Ropal. I had T7 infiltrate the republic garrison and find intel. Apparently, he was supposed to go to another city today, accompanied by only a few clones. I had T7 sabotage the LAAT dropship, a well-placed bomb in the engine and coms relay should do it. T7 then exfiltrated to the YV-929 freighter we used to arrive here.

We waited on a cliff; along the flight path he was supposed to take. We waited for a few hours. Finally, the transport came into sight. We waited for it to reach as close to us as it will get. Then triggered the explosives.

The explosives were not too powerful but, the front of the transport along with the pilots and the rear of it completely disintegrated. It went into a death spiral and crashed. We jetpacked off the cliffside and hurried towards the crash site.

There were only a couple of survivors along with the Jedi. We stealthed into position and waited for an opportunity. The jedi and the two survivors limped to the nearby clearing away from the crash site, and right into the Killzone.

They were soon under intense and accurate blaster fire from four directions. The two clones went down instantly. We surrounded the jedi and unloaded into him. The continuous blaster fire and barrage of whistling birds from all sides finally took him down, not before hurling Arla into a tree with the force.

I rushed to Arla's aide, while HK and ZEM moved in and fired a barrage of bolts into the downed Jedi.

"Arla! Are you ok?" I asked as I ran to her side and kneeled.

"That's going to leave a bruise tomorrow" she said as she winced "I think I cracked a few ribs" well that was better than what it looked like.

I gave her an injection of stimulant and covered her wounds with bacta patches. While this was happening HK and ZEM looted the Jedi's body, taking everything but his clothes.

"We better get moving, before more show up" said Arla after she was patched up.

We the made our way towards the space port. It was a successful mission as far as hunting a Jedi master goes.

(POV Qui-Gon)

I was finally out of the medical center and the Jedi temple was being broken into. There is no lack of excitement nowadays. And while I was floating in a bacta tank, Anakin became a Jedi knight and took a Padawan. What has this world come to. I think I will stick to teaching younglings for now. Sigh.

I made my way through the temple's hallways, which is now under strict guard of the sentinels. Suddenly I could see some of the sentinels running towards the temples entrance. Curious of what's happening I too make my way to the entrance. What meets me, is the sight of a dead Duros. He is sitting limp in the seat of an aircar. Looks like he was shot multiple times.

Soon master Yoda, Windu, Obiwan, and many other Jedi join me.

"This is the thief that broke into the vault. Someone got to him before us" said Obiwan.

"Or he was backstabbed" said Anakin.

"Troubling it is. Lost contact with master Bolla we have. Lost the kyber crystal as well, we have" who could be behind this.

"We must prevent the crystal from falling into the wrong hands" said Obiwan.

"So, we don't know who is currently in procession of the crystal" asked Anakin "It's like looking for ghosts"

Then it's as if the force itself vibrated, very subtly. Then it hits me "Anakin what did you say just now?" I asked.

"That we don't know who has it" he responds.

"No, after that" I said.

"That it's like looking for ghosts" he says. Then he too has an expression of realization. "The Ghosts" he shouts in realization.

"No, it can't be them. What would they want with the crystal" asks Ayala.

"The theft wasn't organized by them. That much is certain. If their MO is any evidence. But they most likely knew it was going to happen and they ran an interception operation" deduced master Windu "But why? And why not return it?"

Everyone was silent for a few minutes. Then Master Yoda spoke "Outspoken against our teachings Nomad is. Among our methods taking young from their parents is. Liberating the young his motivation most likely is. Honorable it is. Trouble it will cause the order" he says as he slowly walks off humming in deep thought "Try to contact them we must".

(POV Thrunn)

It took us one day to reach our fleet near Nar Shaadaa. We boarded the Moby Dick, to be greeted by the other team who went after the Jedi.

"You got it?" I asked Subail.

"Was there any doubt?" he said, while throwing a Kyber crystal at me.

I summoned a Squad of 19STs and then turned to ZEM "Take these artifacts and give them to my uncle. Tell him to store it deep within our family vaults. And to keep it safe till I return next time. Take the scimitar" I gave him and his squad orders. Soon enough the scimitar leaves the fleet on its delivery mission.

"Well look what I got" said Subail showing me the lightsaber.

"Good souvenir. Don't show it in public for some time. keep it hidden" I said and he nodded.

I made my way back to the bridge. I had to go through the latest intelligence reports, to come up with future contracts and prepare contingencies. As I was doing so the coms officer reported an incoming transmission from Jedi. This will be interesting.

I walk over to the holo table and accept the call. Soon holograms of Yoda, Windu, Qui-Gon, Ayala and Anakin pop up. What's this a group chat session.

"What can I do for you?" I asked.

"We would like to ask a few questions about a recent theft from the Jedi temple" said Windu.

"Oh, seems like your security measures were easily broken through. I was just going over the reports" I replied.

"You wouldn't happen to know where the stolen items would be, do you?" asked Qui-Gon.

"You can't keep your own stuff locked down, and now want me to tell you where it is?" I asked incredulously.

They remain quiet for a minute. Then Anakin just blurts out ���Just tell us where it is Nomad". Apparently, he couldn't tolerate the back and forth fencing.

"How am I to know where your items are. Or what they are" I said as if I was insulted "What was stollen anyway?" I asked.

"A holocron and crystal holding the names and locations of all force sensitive children in the galaxy" said Ayala.

"So, you got your kidnapping stollen by someone else?" I asked, and continued while shaking my head in disapproval "Even if I get my hands on such a thing, it will very quickly end up in the middle of the nearby star"

"Are you sure you don't know where it is?" asked Windu.

"Why ask me anyway? I was in Hutt space all this time" I asked.

"Well the thief was killed and delivered to our doorstep. Plus, the way he died remind me of something you always say and do, 'always double tap' and 'there is no overkill if the target is worth it'. He was shot multiple times in tight groupings on his head and chest" said Qui-Gon "The same way you shot up a certain dead zabrak all those years ago"

"Now you are just grasping in the dark. If the thief was intercepted, then it's a good thing for you. His employers were the kind that would have done unspeakable things to the kids" I said, subtly changing the direction of this conversation.

"What do you mean?" asked Anakin.

"He was contracted by Sith. And if the items were what you just mentioned. I can guess what they intended to do. So, if someone intercepted it and took it of the playing field, I would say it's a good thing, especially for the kids" I said, dropping the Sith bomb and playing to their 'higher moral' standing "I will send what intelligence we have for the standard price" I said. All of them let out an exasperated sigh.

"Very well. We will buy the intelligence" said Qui-Gon.

"Sending the contract now" I sent the sales contract over to them, which they immediately signed and returned. I sent them intelligence, some of which pointing out this was ordered by Dooku under the instruction of his master Sidious.

"Pleasure talking to you all. But I have things to do. Till next time" I said before cutting the line.

The whole time Yoda didn't say a word, just stared at me through narrowed eyes. I think the goblin knows I had his precious holocron and kidnap list. He just chose not to say it out loud. For what I don't know.

(POV Palpatine)

My plan to get the list of all force sensitive children has failed. The theft itself went as planned, but an unknown player had interfered. This is of no major concern; my intention was to take away the Jedi's ability to replenish their ranks. The additional bonus would have been the large number of Sith assassins that could have been created.

But someone interfered in my plans. That cannot and will not go unpunished.

My spies have rounded down the most possible perpetrators, of which I am certain it was the Ghosts. This felt too much like one of their operations. They will need to be taught their place.

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