Jagna pulled her jacket back, lifting it gingerly over her ablative vest, favoring her right arm. The burns had mostly healed. The kolto helped... and whatever that mother-of-a-hutt Dice had pumped her full of. But her muscles still ached sometimes. She felt weak, after nearly two weeks of low movement, and was itching to get real work done again. She did not like the feeling. She checked the charges in her blasters: still full, and nodded, ignoring the rain as it pelted on her face, running down and soaking her collar.
After this stop, in another three days, she’d be picking up five beautiful X07-sentinel warheads from a buyer she had found on Kashyyyk. He had been insistent she come quickly. She had agreed. She hated delays herself, and it would be just what she needed for her next assault.
She examined the blaster in her left hand more closely, the one that odd smuggler had given her what seemed like ages ago. It gleamed prettily in the dull light, modified blaster barrel glinting a dull gray death: a ZB23 Leadership Riot Shrieker. She smiled unconsciously. It looked good. Felt right in her hand.
She peered ahead, narrowing her eyes to look at the spaceport. Only a few were out this late. She liked it that way. Jung’Ma this one was called, just outside Ahto City on Manaan. The planet that was full of rain and water, and more water. She walked out from under her ship, rain pelting on top of her. For some reason, she didn’t mind.
There was one thing on this world that she wouldn’t mind having more of: kolto. Hence why she was here. Stiff and Wrench had been sent on ahead, after her treatment on Coruscant. Blasted Daceest. He’d never listen to sense. She would have come here first, if she’d had her way. Well, whatever. When he was in that mood, it was best to just let him be. She smiled, remembering his mouth dropping open as he read the SD-6 Hulk droid schematics. Then she frowned, realizing she was smiling, deepening it into a scowl and pulling up her collar. She was becoming a softy. But he did like ‘em. Just like she thought he would. Things always turned out like she thought, in the end.
She walked down the catwalk to the nearest building, and the street beyond, rain beginning to soak into her jacket. She spotted Daceest in a doorway, leaning against the side, just barely staying out of the rain. His collar was pulled up against it. He had scouted ahead and would have found anything that needed finding. She pulled up short next to him, and he looked up from a datapad. He was always carrying those things around.
“My lady,” he said. She glared at him coldly. For some reason, a grin split his face, as if he thought something was funny.
“What?” she barked at him. He started chuckling and shrugged. They walked through the rain together, toward Ahto City Medical.
“Anything?” she asked. He shook his head. The wind beat upon them, driving the rain into their faces. She could feel it soaking her hair, running between her horns. Well, it was just another thing to be endured.
A blaster bolt hit Daceest in the back with a sizzling pop, making him fall forward with a gasp. Jagna twisted low, catching him while diving awkwardly into an alley as another bolt just missed her head. She laid Daceest on the ground unceremoniously, whipping out her blaster at the same instant, firing at the direction the bolt had come from. Silence.
She sat tensed, rain beating down her face, eyes looking everywhere at once, as much as she could manage. She put her back up against the wall, sliding down it slowly, crouching. She spared a quick glance at Daceest. His eyes were closed, but steam rose from his nostrils faintly. She felt a pang of relief, like the release of a coiled spring, and hated herself for it. Her eyes constantly scanned the lines of buildings in the direction of the shots, but all she could see were sheets of rain and more sheets, making the lines of the buildings fuzzy. Her ship was a hidden in the hangar, to keep its appearance from raising too many eyebrows. The hangar looked dark and empty, from this side.
She slid her holocom out of her jacket, taking a few glances to the side into the alley, and continuing to scan ahead and around the corner. Pressing it, she breathed quietly.
“Dice – ” but the words never came.
A shadowy form fell from above and kicked her in the face. The holocom and the blaster in her right hand went spinning away into the rain as she reeled, and instinctively slammed a clenched fist into his stomach as he landed. It was hard as rock. Why did I not think to look up? The buildings were sheer! The roof?
With no time to think she dodged another blow, a vibrosword rebounding off the white building behind her with a clang. She tried to roll away, but he had her by the jacket, closing off all attempts to escape. Instead, her efforts merely spun her around him. His eyes burned orange, teeth white in a ludicrous grin… like a nexu overjoyed to have caught its prey. The robe around him shimmered in and out of focus… the effect of a stealth generator? She realized he was in light armor, his hands in fingerless gloves.
He slammed her against the wall with a bang, her horns rebounding off it, and her vision blurred. As he reached for her face, she whipped out a small vibroblade of her own from a leg sheath and slashed hard. Her cut hit home, slicing up his hand and relieving him of a finger, which spun away into the alley in a spray of blood. He never made a sound. His face hardened into rage and he pounded on her knife hand with the hilt of his weapon. She gritted her teeth, but it slipped from her fingers, slick with rain and blood. She tried to bring her left hand up, still gripping her pistol hard, but he blocked it. He managed to dodge each of her punches as she threw them: a cuff to the face, a poke at the eyes, a kneeing kick, a twist and a drop… it was as if he knew all her tricks. Blood still streamed from his sword hand, but he did not drop it, getting a few slashes in of his own. She felt it slice her cheek. She began to feel strangely light and fuzzy.
The wind whipped around them, throwing her to the ground. He fell on top of her, stabbing, a light in his eyes, the grin changed to a hideous sneer. She twisted, feeling the blade slice across her shoulder. It could cut through armorweave she realized… and time seemed to slow. She felt a little numb, almost clumsy and desperately tried to elbow him in the ribs. He blocked it easily, pinning her arms to the ground. He began hacking at the elbow of her left arm, which still held the pistol, over and over, blade biting, slicing the armorweave, until he was flinging bloody water onto the walls and the pavement. She gasped in pain as she felt him hit bone. Her pistol finally fell from a hand she could no longer feel.
It was getting harder and harder to think, to move. He started stabbing at her chest. The blade caught against the weave. He pressed harder. Her eyes widened as it punched through, biting into flesh, puncturing her lung. His grin and orange eyes filled her view.
The bomb! She realized suddenly that she could turn on her internal baradium unit. Let him kill her. Blow a fifty kilometer crater in the place, filling it with toxic metal-digesting nanites that would destroy a large part of Ahto City… she would have the last laugh… her head lolled, and she saw Daceest slumped against the wall, rain pouring down his face, Jagna’s blood pooling around him. She looked at him, water trickling into her eyes. No… she thought, for his sake, I won’t…
Suddenly, the sky lit with a roar as red lights whipped around and around them, noises like horns filled her ears. Sirens, horrible and screeching.
“ATTENTION: WE – ATTACK. READY – DEFEN – ”
The words faded in and out of her consciousness. Her killer glanced up. As suddenly as he came, he was gone. The rain beat upon her as she lay there gasping, lights flashing in and out of her view, noise filling her ears. The sound of weapons cocking… the clouds above grew darker and everything faded to black.