Chapter Fourteen: Finding Meaning

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Nyron giggled with glee as he sped to the nearby landing platforms. Da'bral was gaining on him, but he knew that wouldn't be a problem: he was already close. He dived behind a sleek single-pilot fighter, and laughed as he heard his pursuer's shots damage the exquisite ship's perfect paint job. So close now, Ishti's ship was just a few metres away. He ducked and weaved all over the place to avoid the Zabrak's deadly automatic pistols. Then he spotted a pile of crates, and threw them over the ground as he passed acrobatically. He grinned as he heard a thud and a groan behind him, and slipped onto the ship.

Da'bral snarled and tore through the fog clouding his head that tried to push him into unconsciousness. Savagely slashing at it, he jumped up and dashed after Nyron, pistols raised as he entered the ship.

Nyron was impressed, he had underestimated the young horn-head. There was no way out now, he realised as he felt the blasters touch the back of his head.
"Take your hands off the control panel, beast."
Nyron obliged slowly, letting go of his drunken instincts; perhaps he was meant to stay with these people for a little while longer. He heard Ishti approaching and chuckled quietly. Best keep up the illusion, he thought.

Da'bral never saw it coming. Nyron's hand shot up, smashing his fifth bottle all over Da'bral's face. The Zabrak cried out in pain, keeling over exactly as Ishti appeared at the door. Nyron spun round in his chair, laughed, and got a dart to the neck. Again.

Olulm took Ishti aside once they were all on his ship.
"Is he always like this?" He asked sternly, glancing down at Nyron, who was sleeping like a baby.
"It's complicated. Just leave it there.  take Da'bral to the medbay and clean him up, you take off.

Da'bral's injuries were worse than Ishti had realised. A lot of glass was stuck in his face, and Ishti had to sedate his friend to ease the pain of taking it out. Thankfully Olulm had a Kolto tank, so Da'bral could heal quickly, but he would almost certainly be scared, and Ishti thought his eye might be damaged. Maybe they were all right. Every single person who's opinion he respected was telling him to let Nyron go, but he wouldn't. Nyron was a terrifying force of nature, and if pointed in the right direction, he could be incredibly useful. But that wasn't the only reason he was still here. He fascinated Ishti, in the way that a black hole fascinates an astronomer: it reveals so many secrets, but destroys everything it touches. Ishti's gut told him that he was endangering his friends by keeping Nyron around, but it was too late now. Besides, he'd learnt how to control him. When he'd first met him, he'd been a little drunk, and he'd been an incredible fighter with a quick wit, but soon the alcohol cleared from his system, revealing a scheming, malicious man who killed for sport. There Ishti stopped himself, he had no proof of that, he reasoned, but his gut was turning, trying to escape this unsatisfying logic. Why? Did he want someone to blame? Was it just his natural tendency to never accept the lesser of two evils? Or, should he learn to trust his gut? No, he needed Nyron. Back to the timeline, this wasn't getting him anywhere; what's done is done. Back at the cantina, Nyron got very drunk - completely mad. He thew bottles around and muttered insanities. Next: on Zygerria he reached that middle ground again, and then, on Clotis, he had a hangover. That was when he was the most scary: highly intelligent, but with a headache that made him irrational and irritable. He needed him in the middle: unpredictable but logical; savage but controllable; clever, but no cleverer than him. This wasn't going to be easy, but he told himself it was worth it.

He kept telling himself it was worth it.

Olulm sighed as he lethargically entered numbers into the navicomputer; even a few minutes with Nyron was enough to tire him. But he was in space now, and he knew how space worked. He'd spent his happiest days there, before - he shook his head clear and looked at the device Gan had given them, checking that he'd entered the correct coordinates. Olulm's mouth stretched at the side - not quite a smile, but then Duros weren't known for their animated faces. He moved the ship into hyperspace, contemplating for the first time why the stars stretched. Perhaps Nyron was exactly what he needed to forget his old life.

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