The Book of Rahl – Chapter 24 Pt 2
December, 2003
The Book of Rahl – Chapter 24 Pt 2

We were all in shock of course, though none more than me. Most of the survivors hadn’t been with the Company long before our engagement on Arkazi. I, on the other hand, was about to celebrate my twentieth year in the ranks, and nearly my tenth as Annalist. I couldn’t remember a home before Khevoran’s Pride, brothers and sisters before those feeding the grasses on that miserable planet, or parents before the Captain and Lieutenant – the latter of whom we had just interred in space after our three-day flight coreward down the Corellian Trade Spine.
We had come out of hyperspace in Yag’Dhul to get our bearings, examine some employment prospects for the few battered brothers remaining, and conduct some repairs on our equally-battered assault shuttle – which I might add, is certainly not the most comfortable craft to spend three days crammed into.
Anmoch leaned back from the hypercom console and rubbed his eyes. “Well, Hethrir says that despite our losses, his previous offer stands. He wants to meet with us on Naboo in two weeks.”
“We’re never going to get there in this thing,” grumbled Squeaky from the co-pilot’s chair beside me.
“We’ll stop at the transfer station,” I responded, “let everyone get a full belly, hit the refresher, and get some rack time. We’ll see about lining up transport from there.”
An alarm sounded on the controls, and Squeaky turned to examine the scanners.
“Chief,” she said quietly, her eyes widening into saucers, “we’ve got a Star Destroyer bearing down on us. She reads as the Eviscerator.”
“Hooray,” I muttered, turning to the com system. “Eviscerator, this is Riverton…can we um…help you?”
A few moments of silence passed before Squeaky hissed “They’re painting us!”
“Woah, woah,” I shouted into the com, “We’re standing to, we surrender, what’re you doing!?!?”
I don’t know why I bothered with the evasive maneuvers. The Riverton handled like a brick, and the Eviscerator’s bow guns lit up the sky…and our engine compartment.
“HEY! I WAS JUST IN THERE!” screamed Naz from somewhere aft of the cockpit.
We got everyone settled down and waited as the Star Destroyer tractored us into her landing bay, then continued to wait as nearly half a battalion of stormtroopers surrounded the ship, and finally, resigned ourselves to being calm when they blew the hatch, raided the ship, threw the nine of us into shackles, and led us to a large, uncomfortable room decorated with the kind of steel tables and chairs that blood washes easily from. I noticed that Shadow was about to break something.
“Sarge?” Grumble, grumble. “Sarge, don’t get me shot, I’ll never forgive you.” Grumble, growl.
Time passed, and a few of my more volatile brothers appeared to be ready to chew their way out of room, so I looked up at the holocam mounted on the ceiling.
“My name is Debinani Rahl, of the Black Rose Society, please contact Lord Hethrir’s office on Naboo and reference account…er…”
“7737-Epsilon,” interjected Anmoch.
“7737-Epsilon, right. We’ll…um…we’ll wait right here.”
A few minutes later a prim and proper officer arrived, carrying a datapad and trailing a pair of stormtroopers, who began to circle around the room removing the stun-cuffs from everyone.
“Which one of you dirteaters is in charge here?” asked the Lieutenant. Everyone in the room looked at me. Bastards. The officer strode over to where I was sitting and dropped the datapad on the table in front of me with a clatter.
“Captain Avarion wishes to extend you his apologies,” he said with a bit less sincerity than I would’ve liked, “we were in pursuit of some dissidents, your craft matched the description we were given.”
“I see…”
“That,” he continued, nodding to the datapad, “is a contract of service from Lord Hethrir’s office.”
“I’ve also been authorized to provide your team transport to Naboo on the next shuttle out.”
“And our ship?”
A muffled thud filled the room. The sound of a tractor beam set to repulse. Large objects. Out of landing bays. Into stars.


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