CHAPTER 4

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The sewers seemed to get darker, filthier, and more run-down the further they progressed through the intricate maze of tunnels. Mission navigated them with ease, even stopping occasionally to check caches she'd hidden throughout in explorations with Zaalbar. Exploring the sewers was dangerous business, even with a wookie at your side.

"You know," Mission said as they walked along, "Tarisian legends say the rakghouls were created by some mad Sith Lord hundreds of years ago who had a secret lab down here. I don't believe it, but that's probably why everyone on the planet is uneasy about the Sith being here."

"That and the fact the Sith have completely blockaded the planet," Carth added, "doesn't exactly help their image they keep everyone confined here. Not that they worry about their image, I suppose."

"Well yeah, of course," Mission said, "but I think Tarisians are even more wary of the Sith since they think every time the Sith come here something very bad happens."

"Can't blame them, "Carth said, "anywhere the Sith go something bad happens."

"Anywhere there's guys with lightsabers trouble always follows," Mission replied matter-of-factly, "even the Jedi."

"Why do you say that?" Carth asked suddenly defensive, "without the Jedi, the Sith would've taken over the galaxy long ago."

"Didn't the Jedi create the Sith?"

"Well, no, um not exactly," Carth stammered, "the Jedi are peacekeepers. They fight the Sith to protect the rest of us."

"Mmmhmm," Mission said rolling her eyes, "wasn't Revan a Jedi?"

"Well, yeah," Carth replied.

"And aren't these the same Sith forces that once answered to Revan? Not to mention wasn't Malak a Jedi too?"

"Yes and yes," Venar interjected suddenly, "at least to my understanding. What's the matter Carth? Twi'lek got your tongue?"

"Wait so you'd actually rather the Jedi stay out of it?" Carth asked bewildered.

"No," Mission said, "I'm just saying, the way I see it, if the Jedi weren't so strict maybe the Sith would've never existed. I mean, I'm glad the Jedi are trying to protect us, don't get me wrong, but as far as I see it, they share the blame for all the war in the galaxy."

"I don't think you understand galactic history," Carth said, "wait- you know what? No, why am I arguing galactic ideals with a kid?"

"Yeah, well this kid is your only guide through this maze," Mission shot back, "so unless you'd rather-"

"Shhhhhhh!!!!!" Venar suddenly hissed at them, holding up a hand for everyone to stop. "Listen," he whispered. For a moment, everyone stopped and stared down the dark tunnel ahead of them. They could hear faint clicking and scraping noised echoing from somewhere deeper in the tunnel.

"Rakghouls," Mission said. Zaalbar let out a low whimper as he readied his bowcaster. "They're still far off," she continued, "but we need to hurry. Let me see the coordinates for the beacon."

"Here," Carth said handing her his datapad. She looked at the screen at the blinking red dot in relation to their position, which was relatively close.

"We're almost there," Mission confirmed, "It seems the swoop bike has been parked for awhile. It just a few intersections down."

The group followed Mission at a brisk pace through the damp dingy hallways, alert with weapons at the ready. It was becoming unbearably warm down here, Venar thought, sweat dripping down his forehead. All of this for one Jedi? She better be damn worth it.

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