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Chapter Thirteenth: In the Face of Terror

Chapter Thirteenth: In the Face of Terror

Stella hurried toward the Slice. In twelve hours, she was touching down in Little Kessel Capital City. The group had ninety-six hours left. Julie and the other four left the other three Augustuses on Stella and started to make their way to the Little Kessel College of Science. As they headed into the Hypermatter room, they found a regular classroom. None of Nephron’s posters or instruments were on the walls or resting on the shelves. Nephron had left no trace. “I told you Dalph, we have five days. At the end of that time, the Society will find us. There is no point in looking for them.” “Julie, if we wait until then, we will all be killed!” “Say Dalphnie, don’t the ‘Ciety got a place over at Corellia?” “They’re not the Society, but the Correlian Engineers might just know in which direction we should look.” “Dalph, here is no point going to the Corelion Engineers. The Empire has them under surveillance. There is no way that they will tell us where to go.” “Did you have a better idea, Jewel?... Well then, I guess we are going to Corelia.” “All this back and forth is not likeable,” Krirch muttered. “Why we don’t separate is untold to me. Mr. Steal goes in the ship in one direction; Mr. Roor, Dalphnie, and I take a public transport in another; and Miss Augustus and her family go back to Coruscant. The Society would probably only bother with some of us. The rest could go free.” “Krirch, we are not splitting up. We still have four days after all.”   Seventy-two hours left, and Stella was nearing Corellia. Janis used his passcodes which the customs accepted. Stella touched down, and Janis lead Julia, Jasmin, Dalphnie, and Krirch to Corellian Engineering headquarters. Theeg stayed behind to ensure Stella was in top condition, and Roorwoor and Jama went over fashion topics, mostly because a wookie would not be allowed on the streets. “I often came to talk to Doctor H. Phrodite, way back when. She is usually eager to help, and I hope she will, at most tell us where the Society can be found, and at least tell the Society that we are trying to talk to them.” “So dad, do you actually think that she will aid us, because we did commit high treason against CESSEL.” “You can ask Hermy yourself.” The group of four came upon a small hanger. On the side, “Corellian Engineering” was emblazoned in silver on a white background. They knocked on an inconspicuous yet durable looking door. Nearly a minute had passed until out of a speaker on the wall a feminine voice, that clicked between syllables like a typewriter, was heard. “What is it now Janis, you know we are not allowed to associate with you and your family anymore.” “Since when?” “Since your daughter’s team elects to betray the Society in favor of the Empire.” “We just want to talk to the Society, can you help us find them?” A response never came over the speaker. After ten minutes of patient waiting, the door in front of them raised. Inside CE was… actually not that much. Some weird hollow hexagonal device filled up most of the room. It appeared to be a starship weapon. The rest of the building were full of shelves with various prototype vehicles and weapons either too dangerous or two expensive for the Society to put on the market. Ten lab coat wearing individuals stood inside the building. Nine of them were busing around. One was a human and the other eight were of other various species: Cerian, Gungan, Ithorian, Colciod, Rodian, Kaminoan, and Trashodoan. Doctor Hermy P. stood in front of them. She was a geonosian dressed in all white with a short white cloak over one shoulder so as to not get in the way of her wings. She spoke perfect galactic standard thought she still had an insectoid accent. “You have some nerve coming here, Ietssoud’alphn’enes. I was instructed to kill you and your group on sight.” “Which of course you need not do. We are all friends here.” Janis put out his hand for Hermy to shake. “Janis, Janis, Janis. When will you realise that WE will never be friends. Not after you supported the Republic during the Clone Wars. But personal vendettas set aside, I do want to help you. Help Roorwoor, Krirch, and Ietssoud’alphn’enes at any rate.” Dalphnie looked at Hermy, and noticed that her eyes were constantly checking behind them to see if the Empire, presumably, was watching. She then spoke breaking the silence. “All we need is a push in the right direction. We only have three days left!” “Calm down, it is unjedilike to let you emotions rule your mind. A real Jedi like Master Laeirouy would never let emotions take over.” “Well we can’t all be Laeirouy. Speaking of which, where is he? I heard he disappeared after being expelled from the Jedi Order, which would suggest he was still alive.” “Enough, Master Laeirouy is safe and sound but you will not be if you do not follow my orders very carefully. Go to Nassauwassau. In the Drafty Corner, speak to Doctor Ryyyaat. She will help you find Doctor Nephron. If any Society member is going to back you, it is Nephron.” “Thank you so much!” “Thank me if you are still alive in three days. Now please leave. Every second I associate with you is a second Doctor Colylus will use to solidify his election as head of the Society… and a second the Empire can use to have us accused of treason”   The four hurried back to Stella, and blasted off for Nassauwassau, nefarious home of the Brethren of the Stars. “We have a little over two days,” Dalphnie said to the others worriedly. “Dalph, make your peace, I have.” “Julie, just because your family is safe is no reason to give up the will to live.” “I am just doing it to annoy you Dalph, what do I look like, I am a master thief; thieves never give up,” said Julia smiling at Theeg. The first time Theeg had ever seen her real, non forced, innocent smile. Stella touched down of the paradise planet of Nassauwassau. Around them, colorful birds flew in the skies. Krirch, Roorwoor, Dalphnie, Julia, and Theeg went to the bar, Drafty Corner, to speak with Doctor Ryyyaat. It did not take long for the five to find the wookie. Ryyyaat wore vacation clothes, and had the group not been specifically looking for her, they might well have passed her by. “Excuse me,” Dalphnie said as they approached Ryyyaat. “Would it be possible that we talk to you.” “Grheet, root yyeatt oor’ah.” “We were wondering if you could help us find a friend of ours, Doctor Nephron.” “Ruum ahhh? Mraat gruat.” Roorwoor led the explanation about who the group was. Apparently, Hermy had not alerted Ryyaat. While all of the conversing with Ryyyaat was going on, Theeg was having trouble remaining on his feet. Julie held him steady, so he did not fall on his face. He was spasming and flinching with every syllable Ryyyaat spoke. “Ohh, this is just Theeg. You’ve heard of him surely?” “Yhhut, ruut.” “So can you help us?” Ryyyaat paused for a long time before speaking in as low of a whisper as a wookie is capable. “Vroot drut griat oorah. Coorcaht.” Ryyyaat pulled out a piece of paper and wrote the place they could find Nephron on it. “Words can not express...” “Hyyyut, ruuh!” said Ryyyaat before sending the group away.   “Hay Dalph,” said Julia as the group returned to Stella. “Exactly what did our hairy contact say because none of us but you and Roor understood a word of it.” “Believe it or not, but Nephron is at Coruscant. Had we know that before, we could have gone directly there rather than running all over the galaxy in search of him.” “Naturally, what is not at Coruscant. Well Theeg, once you change your pants, set the hyperspace jump.” Theeg just bumbled after the others, not saying a word.   With just under a day left, Stella passed into the atmosphere of Coruscant. The five lackeys went to meet their old employer. Nephron was currently in a small apartment room. As the group came to the door, a worried voice told them to leave their weapons at the entrance and come in. All of the members did as they were instructed, to the extent they were instructed to. They continued forwards to a small table with one seat that Nephron sat in, and the other five that were meant for them. Clearly Nephron had not been expecting them, and had set up in a hurry. A white Vicious class personal assistant droid hovered on Nephron’s left, its gun locked on Dalphnie. “Proto... I mean Doctor Nephron... we need your help clearing our name with the Society.” “Y-yes, of c-c-course. Your name.. Hmmmm…” Nephron spoke with slurred speech. His tone of voice showed obvious fear, and his eyes lay unblinkingly locked with Dalphnie’s, reading her every movement. “Are you alright, because you look a little nervous.” “I am not qualified for negotiations with force sensitives!” He squeaked almost in a moan. “It was never a problem before.” “You were not enemies with the Society before!” “Is there any way we can be forgiven by the Society. Really we didn’t cause any harm. The holocron was a fake anyway.” “No it was not. Well, not the one you acquired from Whyema. The one Ani... I mean Darth Vader was bestowed was counterfeit, but you possessed the authentic holocron.” “Wait, what do you mean,” chimed in Julie. “Is only one of you abreast of the facts? Well that is quite calamitous. One of the main pretexts that we are still conversing is that one of the members of your team subverted the other four. Theeg Hand of Steal embesseled the real holocron, and encrypted its data to Stella and uploaded the ‘Dark Side Cookies’ formula to the holocron. When you deposited it to Lord Vader, you deluded the Empire into thinking you were telling the truth, quite a nice bit of cunning on Theeg’s part.” “Wait, Vader nearly killed me and my parents because Theeg, what, somehow developed the ability to open Sith specific holocrons?” “While no Jedi or common slicer could decrypt that holocron, the Society multitool on Stella was quite sufficient. After opening the holocron, an expeditious download from the Society filled it with a spit-in-the-face directed at Lord Vader.” “So the Society knew we had delivered a phony the whole time!” “We were well informed, but the fact that all of your members excluding Theeg, who we already wanted dead, betrayed us, which in itself is punishable by death, is still there. Fortunately for you, Hermy and I have devised a way to both purify you name and hopefully undermine Doctor Cotylus in the upcoming election. Gather round and next time request whoever sent you to notify your arrival. It was statistically most likely Doctor Ryyyaat. Am I correct?”

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