“It was once said that love is giving someone the ability to destroy you, but trusting them not to.”
“‘Chai, wait,” Vith’alor said, grabbing Achai’s wrist and tugging him back. He drew his weapon in the opposite hand and descended the gangplank while gesturing for the Sith to stay there.
It took only a brief moment of concentration for Achai to extend his Force sight and realize why the bounty hunter suddenly took point. Their ship was surrounded by a number of armed guards. Cyborgs most of them, wearing the parts on their faces as if painted with tattoos. Their leader stood toward the base of the plank, arms folded over his chest and lips quirked to the left in a semi-smirk.
Achai sighed to himself and muttered something about Nar Shaddaa. Every time he ran into an issue, it was always the moment he touched down here.
“Hello boys,” Vith said as he paused at the end of the gangplank. “Somethin’ tells me this ain’t the Hutt welcoming committee. So what do you all want, hmm?”
Their leader rubbed his nose absently, and when he spoke his voice vibrated. ”Got no qualms with you, hunter. We’re just here for the Sith. My employer wants to have a few words with him, yanno? You’re surrounded, we know how to take out Sith, too. Just make this easy yeah? My employer even said he’d throw some creds at you to back off and let us do our job.”
Achai chuckled quietly to himself, echoing Vith’alor’s laughter. ”Are you kidding me? There’s a reason why I’m Darth Invecti’s personal bodyguard, boys. As in, you can’t pay me enough to betray him.”
He descended the gangplank then, not even drawing his lightsabers yet. ”Hunter, it appears we have unwanted guests. You know what we do with the uninvited.”
Vith’alor grinned, “There’s seven of ‘em, boss. Plus the guy they have over there pointing a sniper blaster at ya.”
The sweet, electric hum of lightsabers hissed to life as he pulled them from his belt and ignited them. The Force flowed through him in an instant, fueled by the sudden flare of hatred. He hated all of them, he realized. And whoever had the audacity to hire them. To think that a group of Force blind bounty hunters, regardless of their supposed training, could capture or kill him.
He could taste their nervousness. Several of them glanced toward the leader, who still had his hand raised to still them. It would only take one trigger finger getting a little too tight, one nervous twitch, one small step forward to start everything. And the cyborg who controlled them knew it from the look of him. One eye had been covered by a cybernetic scanner, the other narrowed slightly and a bead of sweat forming against his temple.
“Keep their leader alive,” Achai ordered, “I want to know who hired him.”
Vith’alor nodded, the grin vanishing, “As you wish, my lord.”
“Take ‘em out boys!”
The sniper gave out a choked sound immediately, Vith’alor wasting no time in removing him from the equation with a well placed shot to the man’s throat. Achai deflected several blaster bolts aimed at him. Then rocketed forward to slash one man’s arm off completely before turning a lightsaber on his partner, slicing his chest open. Even as that one folded over to the ground, he was on the next assailant.
The entire event folded out in front of him, able to see Vith’alor behind him, a blaster bolt twanging off the armored plating of his forearm as he blasted the guy practically right in the face.
By the time the dust settled, Achai had to take a deep breath and stand back. He’d taken a hit to a shoulder that now began to ache. Vith’alor’s armor had taken a beating, but held true.
“I’m afraid he kinda took a hit to the head, boss,” Vith’alor said, toeing the cyborg’s corpse with his boot. ”So much for knowing how to subdue a Sith lord.”
“The ones who brag about that usually regret it shortly thereafter.”
Vith’alor grabbed Achai’s arm, turning him around as he noticed the blistered synthweave on his shoulder. ”Kriff, one of them actually had decent aim. Lemme get a kolto pack.”
He grabbed Vith’s hand and shook his head. ”Not yet, we’re about to have company again.”
Houk guards appeared in the hangar, drawn there by the rumor of violence in a Nar Shaddaa spaceport. Somewhere, a Hutt would soon demand answers for this, answers Achai himself wanted. Who dared make an attempt to capture or kill him?
“We’ll take care of it later. Right now, I need to go yell at a Hutt about their lax security.”
Vith’alor smirked at him, “Leavin’ that up to you, boss. Hutts can kiss my blue ass.”
“No one kisses you there but me,” Achai replied before swiftly stepping off the gangplank to confront the Houks.