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SW0102 Old Republic 02 Deceived (v5) by Paul S Kemp

SW0102 Old Republic 02 Deceived (v5) by Paul S Kemp

Author:Paul S Kemp [Kemp, Paul S]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00


THE LIFT DOORS OPENED to reveal a short corridor that led to the double doors of the cruiser’s bridge. A pair of armored soldiers stood near the lift, awaiting Vrath’s arrival. Two more stood down the corridor before the bridge doors.

The three troopers who had escorted Vrath to the lift handed him off to those in the hall.

“He’s dangerous,” the sergeant said. “Watch him.”

“Yes, sir,” said the two troopers in the corridor, their expressions unreadable behind their helmets. They flanked Vrath but did not touch him as they led him to the bridge. The double doors opened to reveal the dimly lit, multi-leveled oval chamber of the cruiser’s bridge.

A score of naval officers—all human—sat at their posts, hovered over their compscreens. A huge viewscreen to the left provided a magnified view of Coruscant and the surrounding space. The hum of low, curt conversation and the thrum of electronics filled the air.

A swivel-mounted command chair sat on the center of the bridge on a raised platform. Commander Jard stood beside it, one hand on its armrest, conferring with the man who sat in it. Jard glanced at Vrath and spoke to the man, whom Vrath assumed to be Darth Malgus. He activated his audial implant to hear the exchange.

“My lord,” Jard said. “The prisoner I spoke of is here.”

Malgus turned his eyes to Vrath and whatever smugness Vrath had felt over showing up some troopers sank under the weight of that gaze. Malgus rose and strode across the bridge toward Vrath. He stood well over two meters, and the black cape he wore looked like a pavilion tent.

He never took his eyes from Vrath’s face as he approached. Scars lined his face, and a network of blue veins made a patchwork of his bald pate. He was so pale he could have been a corpse, the walking dead. The small respirator he wore hid his mouth and lips. But it was his eyes that cowed Vrath. Malgus was all eyes. The sum of him, of his power, radiated outward from his bloodshot gaze.

He dismissed the guards who flanked Vrath and, with a gesture, used the Force to pry open the binders on Vrath’s wrists. They fell to the floor of the bridge with a dull clang.

“You mentioned a Jedi to Commander Jard.” His voice, deep and rough, sounded like stones grinding together.

“I did … my lord.” Malgus’s mere presence pulled the last words out of him.

“Explain.”

Vrath found it more difficult than he would have imagined to compose his thoughts. “A freighter is en route to Coruscant. A Jedi is aboard.”

“Just one?”

“As far as I know just one, yes,” Vrath said, nodding. “A woman. Human, mid-thirties, I’d say. Long, light brown hair. She is flying with a man named Zeerid Korr. As far as I know, they are the only crew.”

“How do you know this woman is a Jedi?”

Vrath was starting to feel cold. He had to work to keep his voice steady. “I saw her using a green lightsaber. I saw her do things with the Force.



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