Chapter Ten: Love and War

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"It was Nyron!" Ishti objected as the guards rushed in to subdue them.
"On your word, hey?" Smirked a Gotal as he pulled his arms behind his back. But Ishti had had enough, he was not going to spend the night in a cell, justified or not. Wrenching the man off of him, he slammed him to the ground; but as he moved to face the others, a Herglic and a Human rammed him into the wall. "Don't worry," laughed the Human, "we'll get the truth soon enough."
Nyron simply laughed through his unconsciousness.

Da'bral's cell was old, as old as base itself, and unlike the rest of it, it had never been touched since, except by prisoners drawing on the walls. Slime spread from the corners, and the layers only thinned rather than disappeared towards the centre. The 'bed' filled almost half the room, yet the large Zabrak had to curl up slightly to fit, so he was more than grateful when he was told to leave it.

He was taken up two flights of stairs, and Da'bral realised that they must be taking him to Toris's quarters, though he could not think why. Perhaps he needed someone he trusted to clear out the facts of what happened, he'd probably done the same with Ishti. And so it was to his surprise, that it was not Toris's voice that called for them to enter, but another. It was a Duros's voice, sweet, if a little gravely like all Duros, and seemingly empty-headed, but Da'bral knew that sounds could be deceiving; Kara Damarn was  the smartest person he'd met, and apparently she'd put that intelligence to good use.

The room itself was unrecognisable. The bed was a mess, as was the majority of the furniture, and the holographic diagrams and durasheets covering the desk were in no organised layout. The Chagrian art had been replaced by Durosian ones, and Kara's trophies lined the walls. The only thing unchanged was the colour of the walls: white.

Kara had been sitting at the desk, examining a datapad, but span round in her chair and stood up to greet Da'bral, stretching up on her tiptoes to kiss him on the cheek before offering him a seat on the edge of her bed, which he took, and sitting herself back down on her desk chair. She was not as slim as most Duros, looking more similar in build to a human. She was also very attractive, even to other species, despite the Duros' looking mostly unappealing to other species, and Da'bral had been smitten with her since he'd met her. At a first glance it seemed that she wore the same clothes as she always had, a blue top and black jacket, with black trousers, and a holstered pistol at her side - but he noticed that they were not quite the same. She'd made the most of her newly gained power, by purchasing clothes made of the very best materials. He noticed she'd modified her pistol, also.

"Da'bral! It's so nice to see you back, what took so long? Did you have to get into trouble quite so quickly? Oh, and do you like what I've done with the place?"
"What have you done with Toris, Kara?" Da'bral asked the question confidently, trying to sound threatening, but he was worried, worried about Toris, and about Kara. What had she got herself into?
"Oh, he's fine. I've sent him away somewhere until he decides to - no, I can't tell you where, you'd go and try to rescue him!"
"Kara, this won't end well. The Administrators won't stand for it! You're asking for trouble."
"You think I don't know that? I thought you knew me better than that Da'bral, I don't do stupid. The entire Guild is in a mess. Have you seen the base? It's nearly empty! But it's filled since you were last here, do you know why? War is coming Da'bral. War. Two or three years from now I think it is, and by that time I'll have full control of a Bounty Hunters' Guild reborn."
"But why does that mean the Guild's getting more members? And more importantly, why are they coming here?" Da'bral had to admit that this sounded good; war meant good business. But he still didn't understand.
"Well that's the best part, honey; I've got a deal with the man in charge, Mister Big-Scary-Name himself: Mandalore the Ultimate." She laughed at the name she found so amusing, and Da'bral finally saw quite how good her plan was. Were it not for the means, he would have gladly, so very gladly, joined her to lead the new Guild.
"He's offered to tell me first about all the bounties he'll post. A much better deal than the anarchy these young bounty hunters seem to love so much, wouldn't you say? Why sell to the highest bidder if Kara's bounty hunters will just get there first? Of course I need to eliminate the other guilds before he'll seal the deal, hence the factory. Now, tell me about this incident between your friend and my lovely doctor."
Da'bral realised it was the only way she'd let him leave, so he humoured her and told her the story of how he ended up working with a man he hated more than any other being, and all problems it had caused. Kara seemed interested, but also amused. The only thing that she let visibly concern her was the death of the Voxes - Da'bral assumed that that would make relations between her and Kanso a little strained.

Once he finished, Kara stood up. "I've arranged for you to have a nice room next to mine, the second best of course. I couldn't have you in that horrible cell."
"What about Ishti?" Da'bral inquired.
"Oh, I'm sorry, darling, he'll have to stay there for now. He did hurt one of my guards quite badly. You understand, don't you?"
"Yeah, I get it. But we're done Kara, whatever this is. I can't be your...friend after what you did; I don't care whether it will help the Guild, you did it for you, and you betrayed Toris."
With that, he turned his back on the astonished Duros, slamming the door behind him.

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