Chapter One: Ishti Remembers

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Ishti was bored. Sat amongst the scores of drunken misfits in the roudy Mos Enda cantina, he could do nothing but tap his callused fingers on the table, until even he was irritated by it. He'd just had one of the worst days of his life, and he had been forced to stay up for hours; it was past midnight, and Nyron still wasn't finished. He wanted to go to sleep, not wallow for even longer in the memories of all he had lost that day. At the very least he wanted a drink.

But he was the leader of the group, and so the short, stocky, human bounty hunter had taken it upon himself to stay cool headed so that he could keep an eye on Nyron, allowing Da'bral to have some fun. The young Zabrak had helped him so much today, he deserved it.

Ishti knew the need to watch Nyron all too well. Out of the energetic bounty hunting quintet that set off for adventure, only three remained, and no matter how much Da'bral tried to convince him otherwise, he still thought it was Nyron's fault.

He looked over at the black leather garbed man to his right. Nyron was completely drunk, yet even with his face buried in a pint of Corellian ale, he still looked impeccable, his face clean and his brown hair neat. The only sign of his insanity was in his distant blue eyes, in which Ishti saw the same crazed look that had been there when he set in motion the plan that sent the Voxes to their deaths. What in the galaxy, or indeed outside of the galaxy, could drive a man so insane?

Ishti had liked the Voxes, especially Karlien. He had respected her professionalism and obedience, as well as her skill with a vibrosword. She had also managed to keep her brother Merich in check, until, Ishti reflected bitterly, the moment where it counted most. The Vox family was famed for its members' bravery, but Merich took it past bravery and into foolhardiness, which made it even easier for Nyron to manipulate him. And what made it worse, what made it horrifying, was that the only reason that Ishti could see for it was for Nyron's amusement. Whether he had intended for them to die or not Ishti did not know, but he still couldn't shake the feeling that he did.

He remembered how confident they'd been when he'd hired them, in their polished black armour, highlighted with red and grey. It was their first mission. Little did they know that it would also be their last.

Lost in thought, Ishti Bonden clenched his fist around his vibroblade. Whether the Voxes' deaths that been Nyron's fault or not, trouble always seemed to find him.

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