I want to be honest at this point, I'm not sure whether or not there is any real interest in this story. I know that currently, people are more interested in the new Disney canon and the new characters, but we can't just forget about the old ones. Especially those who had to suffer from Disney's stupid decision to get rid of everything except the movies and some comics.
This chapter had been a creative hour and some new ideas, but right now I cannot guarantee that there will be many more chapters for this story. Time is a resource I don't have in abundance at the moment and I have some other projects that demand more time.
Long story short, I won't abandon this story but expect the updates to remain very sparse. Not years apart from each other, but months, most likely...
"I didn't want to believe it at first. Obi-Wan Kenobi, a fallen Jedi. I told myself that it was a trick. Some mind game my master was playing to make it easier for me to cut ties with the Order. But seeing how quick you were in your attempt to kill me, it is hard to deny the truth," the woman muttered, a sad look on her face. "You have changed, Obi-Wan..."
"Siri?" he asked, his eyes wide in surprise. Of all the worlds, of all the places, he had to run into Siri Tachi on this cursed moon… She looked different, yes. The hair was shorter and the wrong color as well. The Jedi robes had been exchanged for a dirt mercenary outfit and black markings covered every visible patch of skin Obi-Wan could see. But the face, the eyes, even her presence in the Force… this was Siri Tachi, his former friend, no doubt about it.
Obi-Wan watched Siri with baited breath, his eyes wide in surprise. He was well aware that the Jedi Order had a profound interest in catching him, so he was always expecting one or several Jedi to appear and face him. But he had not expected that one of his former friends would show his or in this case, her face. In fact, he had been told that Siri had abandoned the Order herself, mere days before he had returned from Naboo. It was one of the reasons that made his decision to leave the Order easier. But seeing her now, holding herself like a Jedi, wielding a Lightsaber and spouting the Jedi's suspicions… it was clear that her departure had not been motivated by spite or any other personal objections she might have had with the Order and their ways. No, her departure was a well-crafted lie. Ironic, considering the consequences of this lie are very real.
"What, no words to defend your actions, Obi-Wan?" Siri asked him. There was a hint of bitterness and sadness in her voice and in her eyes, as she looked at him.
"What would that change now? The Jedi have decided that I am a threat, so they try to hunt me like a criminal, when I have never committed any crime against the Republic or its people," Obi-Wan told her calmly.
"You are here to..." she began, but he cut her off.
"I am here to end a slaver and free a woman and her daughter," he told her directly. There was no need to hide this from her. If she was indeed still a Jedi, then she might understand his reasons. But in the unlikely case that she was really one of Krayn's cronies now, well then one of them wouldn't leave this warehouse alive.
"You want me to believe that?" Siri looked at him, disbelief obvious on her face, "You are a fallen Jedi. Even now just being near you gives me a headache. All these raging emotions, unchecked and uncontrolled. The dark side is palpable near you..."
"I no longer deny myself to feel. I am free, Siri. You can be, too." He sounded almost desperate. He didn't like sounding desperate. It made him seem weak and he couldn't afford weakness. But that didn't mean that convincing his friends to join him was any less important to him. He already had Garen on his side, but Bant was out of his reach… and until now he had been unable to find Siri...
"Trying to recruit me now?"
"Others have given me a chance to show them the truth, none of them have regretted it," Obi-Wan told her.
She hesitated for a brief moment. Long enough for Obi-Wan to hope that his friend could be swayed. She would be a tremendous help on this mission and another fine addition to the new order. But just as quickly as her hesitation had come it vanished again, replaced with an unshakable resolve.
"I will not betray the Jedi. You have lost your mind, Obi-Wan. Just look at you now. What will you do, now that I won't join you? Will you try to kill me?" She didn't wait for an answer and quickly took the chance to strike at him.
Obi-Wan jumped out of the way before he launched his own counter-attack. This wasn't what he wanted, this wasn't how he had imagined reuniting with Siri, but she fought against him with grim determination. She had made her choice and forced his hand. Not to mention that he had to move quickly, else he wouldn't be able to complete his own mission.
"You call me evil, yet it is you who tries to murder me!" Obi-Wan exclaimed agitatedly, as he blocked another attack.
"You betrayed us all. I believed in you, I considered you a friend. I…," she broke off, her voice hoarse, "And how do you repay my friendship? You abandon the Order and work towards its destruction."
"I did no such thing. My master abandoned me for some half-grown desert runt and the council denied me my trials after I had done their dirty work for them. Leaving was my only choice. I had hoped you would understand it, but it would seem that you are far too indoctrinated by the Order," he said. He shook his head in sadness, as he accepted this sad truth. She wasn't willing to join him… not yet, at least.
They clashed again, though this time he had the upper hand. There was no use in holding back anymore. He would refrain from killing her, but there was little else he could do in this situation. On any other day he would have tried to subdue her, so he could capture her and talk to her in a different setting. But now… there was no time for such things.
One of his attacks graced her leg, leaving a scorched wound behind, yet it did not deter her in the slightest. Siri had always been a stubborn one, he recalled with some fondness. But he squashed that feeling quickly, as he could not risk that unwanted feelings would stay his hand at the wrong moment.
"Leave now, Siri. Go back to Coruscant," Obi-Wan ordered, as she nearly collapsed from yet another wound on her legs.
By sheer force of will she managed to stand up again, her face a grim mask, filled with utmost determination. "I will not let you win, Obi-Wan. You are coming home with me."
"I only realized it once I was free, that this damn temple has never been my home," he replied coldly. "It..."
He stopped when Siri was hit by a blaster shot and collapsed on the ground. She didn't move, though the Force told him that she was not yet dead. Seconds later, Jango appeared from behind some crates, his weapon still in his hand.
"Was that really necessary?" Obi-Wan demanded to know.
Jango merely chuckled, obviously pleased with himself. He was rather fond of shooting Jedi, after all. "This was getting nowhere and you have wasted enough time as it is. Take her lightsaber and get back outside, the show is about to start. We cannot fail this task."
"I know," Obi-Wan hissed, as he knelt next to Siri and took her weapon from her.
She would survive, he was sure of it. And for her own sake, it would be better for her to avoid being seen with the weapon of a Jedi in her hand. So he took the lightsaber and attached it to his belt, next to his own.
"Get going," Jango said once more before he disappeared through a different exit.
Obi-Wan sighed before he left the warehouse. He didn't look back again, lest he might have hesitated again. Siri's path was no longer his own. He could only hope that she would regain consciousness soon and find a way to escape with her wound. But knowing the Jedi, she has likely a way to call for help. They would take care of her.
Outside he returned to the other customers, who were already in a frenzy, as they began bidding for some unfortunate Twilek girls. The green skinned girls looked rather young and were utterly terrified. But their apparent beauty would fetch a high price, especially if they could be sold as a pair. He tried to keep the feeling of pity at bay, but years of Jedi training rang in his mind, trying to compel him to help these girls. But unfortunately, they were not the ones he was here to safe. They would remain, slaves, two more among the countless masses here on Nar Shaddaa.
As expected, the Twilek girls sold for a high price. Some Rodian came to claim them and lead the sobbing girls out of the compound. Obi-Wan kept his face a stony mask, his eyes focused on the slavers and their merchandise.
Several more slaves followed, more Twileks, a few humans and a half-grown Wookie whose fur looked as if someone had tried to set it on fire. So much misery and pain, yet not the slaves he had been looking for. No, Krayn's big price would come at the very end.
Then Krayn himself finally made his appearance. But neither the woman nor her daughter was with him. He cursed, as he realized that they were either not to be auctioned today… or they were no longer in any condition to be sold at all.
"Tonight we have one more… special offer for all of you," Krayn announced loudly, his voice a despicable drivel. "Not whores or work slaves for the mines, but well bred and raised nobility of a Core World." A holographic image of the woman and her daughter appeared, "All of us have suffered from the rigorous Security of Correlia and CorSec, now I give you a chance to make them suffer for it. At the right price, of course."
This caused a great stir among the customers. Corellia itself had shown little mercy for slavers and other illegal trades in recent years. Correlia's ships had always been a favorite among all those who would dare to go against CorSec, as any good and honest slaver or pirate would. But they rarely ever managed to catch anyone of importance. Their ships usually traveled with ample protection, so it came as no surprise when they began yelling great sums of Credits, all just for that one pleasure of humbling some members of Correlia's ruling class.
Obi-Wan waited, in the hope that they would bring the slaves out, so everyone could see the condition of this… merchandise. But Krayn kept them locked up securely as it seems. At least on the image, they looked to be somewhat whole and healthy. Dirty and roughened up, but not maimed or otherwise hurt.
The bidding had reached its frenzied climax when a large explosion shook the compound. Obi-Wan looked around, his eyes searching for Jango, but the Bounty Hunter remained out of sight.
Was this his doing or had something else happened? The last thing they would need at that moment was a raid conducted by the Hutt mercenaries. This was an unsanctioned auction and the Hutts don't like competition.
"Kenobi! I know you are here, so come out and stop hiding! I will teach you about abandoning me in that dirty shit-hole of a cantina!"
Obi-Wan cursed audibly, as he recognized Komari's voice. Of all the moments… She would only create chaos and endanger his mission, especially now that he still had to find out where Krayn was really keeping the woman he was here for.
Komari, as usual for her, found herself at the center of all the attention. The slavers and their customers quickly erupted into an uncontrolled bout of violence, with everyone shooting at the men to their left and right. Komari had started it, but so deep down in the underbelly of Nar Shaddaa, no one trusts anyone. And if a few competitors didn't survive the day, none of them would weep either.
Obi-Wan ducked away, careful to get out of the immediate battle zone. And he had to avoid Komari, or else his cover would be blown and the mission would end up in failure. He could only wonder how she had found him in the first place.
As the chaos spread, Krayn quickly ran. His thugs tried to cover his retreat, but none of them survived for long, as they were taken down by precise blaster shots. Obi-Wan couldn't see him, but he was sure that Jango had been the one who had pulled the trigger. And now both of them had to follow the slaver, or else they would not get another chance like this.
Obi-Wan followed Krayn through the winding alleys between the warehouses, ever careful to remain unseen. But the further they got away from the compound, the harder it became. There were no more guards, no more fights. Only Krayn's heavy footsteps echoing in the alley and the quieting sounds of the fight in the distance. Even the ever-present hum of Nar Shaddaa's underbelly seemed dulled. Soon enough the slaver would realize that he is being followed.
The row of warehouses ended and the gaping maw that allowed ships to reach the lower levels appeared before them. Krayn stopped at the edge, looking around as if he was searching for something. He looked angry, or at least Obi-Wan assumed that he was, though he wasn't so sure. T'surr were not as easy to read, they looked angry for most of the time.
The slaver's shipped appeared moments later, slowly rising from the lower levels of the city, to pick up their leader. The dirty and unshapely ship looked as if it had seen more than its fair share of battles, as it began to hover in front of Krayn. A hatch opened to allow the slaver access.
Obi-Wan ran out into the open. Hiding was no longer an option, his target would get away otherwise. Krayn saw him and let out a cruel laugh before he stepped onto his ship. The vessel rose further, almost out of reach by the time Obi-Wan had reached the edge of the chasm.
With one giant leap, enhanced by liberal use of the Force, he managed to reach the ship. He almost fell, though, before he managed to hold on to some pipes, which had been exposed by what must have been a small explosion.
Jango appeared moments later, following the ship with his jetpack. Both the bounty hunter and Obi-Wan knew that they had to move quickly now. If Krayn's ship manages to reach the atmosphere, their mission would be a failure… and Obi-Wan would die.
Obi-Wan watched Jango, as the other man flew towards a nearby hatch. It wasn't the same Krayn had used, but the former Jedi wasn't picky. Slowly he moved towards the place where Jango was waiting for him, always just one step away from falling to his death.
Jango motioned for him to hold on tight, before he raised his arm and shot some rockets at the hatch, blowing it open in the process. An access for them to board the ship and a reason for the slavers to remain on the moon. They would get their chance to take down Krayn… and with some luck, their other targets might be on the ship as well.
First, though, there would be the slaughter. Neither Obi-Wan nor Jango would take any risks now and the slavers on board this ship deserve neither pity nor mercy. At least Siri wouldn't be here, Obi-Wan thought grimly, otherwise, she might have died with the rest… and the Jedi would have had yet another reason to hunt him. But she was still in that warehouse and he was here, on the ship. Her mission was over, no matter what it was. Krayn will die...
A/N: That's all for today. I hope that I can give you all the conclusion of the Slaver Arc soon, well as soon as my muse allows it. She has been a bit difficult lately.
There isn't much to say here after this chapter. Komari is being her self-destructive, rage-filled self, Jango likes shooting things with Lightsabers and Obi-Wan has the Jedi against him.
Well, there is one thing. Siri Tachi isn't dead and she will show up again. At least that is the plan at the moment. In the Legends Canon she had been a good friend and former love-interest for Obi-Wan, so keeping her around should be interesting.
Okay, that's all for now, ciao...