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Mercenary Crew: Bounty Hunters: Jewels of the Core

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Latch had just set the mug down back in the sink when he looked up to see Ellie standing in the doorway, staring right at him.


"That's not normal."


He quickly though about what the best course of action would be; either to deny that anything had happened or to admit and agree with her. He decided to try humor, since it usually defused even the most awkward of situations. "What, you've never seen my repulsorlift mug before? It's super handy, especially on a ship that tumbles as much as ours."

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"Bloody droid."


He thumped the inactive droid casually. A series of lights ran across it, then it sputtered, made a noise like a man who had inhaled several thousand death sticks too many, and lifted, albeit slowly and haltingly.


"System reset...Diagnostics report overload from hand-grade stun blaster. Bounty #9731457764: Kadis Venarm, what have you done to me?"


"Well, if I'd been thinking clearly, I would have wiped your memory core. And maybe replaced all your speech programming with Verpine music, left you in Jyot's bunk."


"This is not amusing."


"Don't know who you've been joking around with. Thanks for the coordinates." He punched the comm. "Captain, I pulled the coordinates off Zip. Got the location within the Hapes Cluster. Takeoff, boss?"

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Her responding laugh was uncertain and shaky - forced, as if she wasn't certain how else to react. "Right...repulsorlift mug." she muttered, nodding her head as if it made perfect sense - which, obviously, it didn't. "I'm..um...gonna go." she said, turning around and retracing her steps. She had no idea what freaky kind of voodoo was going on back there, but it had made her lose her appetite. She went to go find some machinery to work on, or a blaster to upgrade. Something concrete that she actually understood.

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Time to get off this frigid rock.


He activated primary powerup sequence, bringing the fusion core of the Scimitar online. The quiet hum of power filled the cockpit as the monitors flickered, switching off batteries to main power.


"Transport Scimitar, requesting authorization to depart."


"Roger that, Scimitar. Remit Spaceport fees."


Kadis glared at the comm. "Right..."


He pulled up the Receipt. Seven hundred credits for a four hour stay at the Spaceport with nothing but a refuel? "Officer, I think you put an extra digit on here."


"No, I'm afraid not."


He gritted his teeth. He punched in the account code, feeling like his spirit had just been crushed. That would be the last time he ever came to this hellhole. "Transmitting."


"Alright, Scimitar. Standby, we've got a lot of traffic."


Kadis glanced at the sensor display, beginning to lose his temper. The display was clear except for a single freighter, well out of this lane, coming in at a snail's pace. Kadis punched another switch on the power board, activating the dorsal laser cannon. He grinned, imagining the officer's face as the cannon swiveled into the active position.


"Scimitar you are clear to proceed have a nice day goodbye." He grinned wider, feeling a small satisfaction at the panic in the custom's officers voice. Two clinks ran through the hull of the ship as the docking clamps disengaged. He punched the main thrusters, rattling the spaceport as a stream of blue-white plasma burst from Scimitar's engine ports.


In retrospect, I should probably consider NOT breaking several dozen traffic laws.


Fortunately, there wasn't any customs frigates coming around the horizon, but it was better not to take risks. The navicomputer had been plotting a course. Two jumps, Hapes was fairly close as stellar distances go.


"Alright...first jump takes us to...oh, boy, the Bilbringi system, scenic shipyards of the Imperial Fleet...and then we jump to the outer edge of the Hapes Consortium and try to navigate this Transitory Mist crap. Good times."


He activated the hyperdrive, sending the Scimitar into the depths of Hyperspace.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The journey to Hapes had been uneventful so far, which was perfectly fine with Latch because he had more than enough on his mind at the moment. His life was becoming...for the lack of a better term, weird. First there was that whole encounter with the Jedi woman... he surmised that that was what started it all. Then there were his feelings of uneasiness during the mission, leading him to be unfocused, which was not like him at all. And now there was the thing that had happened in the galley...


Latch grunted and attempted to sink further into his seat in the turret. Ellie had seen it and neither of them were really sure what to think of it, Latch especially. She had not come to bother him about it and he was thankful for that, because he hadn't a clue as to how he'd done something so... weird. It ticked him off a bit, as he wasn't used to not being in control and not understanding what was happening to his own body.


"Ugh," he muttered as he unfurled himself from his seat and stood up. The streaking lines of hyperspace swirled outside his viewport, splashing incandescent light into the turret. They had been traveling for a while and it had given Latch a lot of time to think about what to do next. He knew what he should do, but he wasn't sure if he could do it. Sighing deeply, he clenched his fist into a ball, then relaxed it slowly. Concentrating on a hydrospanner on a shelf not more than a meter away, he held out his hand to it. Nothing happened.


Frowning, Latch tried to concentrate. Why could he stop a mug from falling, but not be able to pick up a simple hydrospanner? Gathering his thoughts together, he leaned forward a little, his outstretched hand still a good distance away from the spanner. After a few moments, the metal tool began to shake slightly. Focusing himself again, Latch lifted his hand slightly and was rewarded with the hydrospanner rising from the shelf to come level with his hand.


"This is too weird," he sighed exasperatedly as he brought his hand back, sending the tool clattering back onto the shelf. He could move things by a simple gesture; this was not normal. This was definitely above normal. This was definitely something that... only a Jedi should be able to do. Latch shook that thought quickly out of his head. "You're not a Jedi, you're not a Jedi," he repeated to himself quietly.


He was confused and didn't know what to make of what had just happened. He just knew that it did and usually it ended up badly. Sighing again, Latch whirled around out of his seat and stalked into the corridor, orienting himself towards the Engineering room. If anyone knew how to fix things, it was Jyot. He just hoped his oldest friend would be supportive of him.

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