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Mew-Chapter 3: Fate
Mattimew felt his heart wrench in pain the moment he felt the lapse in the force. He knew without any doubt that the Grandmaster and the other four men were dead. Never before had he felt so alone in the universe. Although he had always been the lone Kath Hound, he had always had the other Grey to turn to in his most dire times of need. Now, with all his closest friends dead and the council of Grey destroyed he felt hopeless. He sat in his ship staring at the twinkling stars wondering where to take his life from here. His hand dropped to the side of his chair brushing against something hard and rectangular in his robe pocket. Pawing at it he lifted the smooth metallic object up and gloomily looked at it. He didn’t think it was bad of him to have left so quickly. He had known from the beginning that the meeting had been a bad idea, and he cursed himself for having gone in the first place. He pressed a few buttons on the data pad he had extracted from his pocket and looked at the information that began to scroll across the screen. Watching the data pad he inputted the given coordinates following the instructions with a glassy eyed stare. After the computer had received all the needed information and began to calculate the fastest jump sequence Mattimew sat back in his chair allowing himself to slide down the seat dropping the data pad as he did so. He sighed. Death was never fun if it happened to someone you knew. He barely registered as the computer automatically turned on the ships warp engines engaging its hyperdrive and turning the view screen white as he entered hyperspace. Mattimew sat up in his chair staring at blankly at the white space in front of him as he was suddenly filled with new resolve. He would be damned if he gave up now. He had made the Grandmaster a promise and dead or not he would keep it. Snatching up the data pad he began reading about the planet he was now headed, apparently it was called Erridius V, some backwater planet of no particular value to the Empire. The information on the pad said little about the commercial and industrial activity on the planet, it only showed the name of one city, which Mattimew figured would be the place where he should start his search. Though Mattimew felt uneasy about traveling to a planet that he knew little about, he felt comfortable in the knowledge that the Grandmaster would not have entrusted him with a mission of such importance had he not thought Mattimew had the skills capable of dealing with any problems that may occur.
Two standard days later Mattimew was ready and waiting as the warning light came on followed by the soft ringing indicating that he was approaching the end of his journey. The white void disappeared and was instead replaced by the lone figure of a planet in the distance. Keying his thrusters he moved his ship forward in space towards the distant orb. As he got closer he soon realized that the planet was not covered with smoke as he had originally thought upon seeing the planet, instead his sensors indicated a heavy cloud coverage which blocked out 43% of the suns light. As his ship neared the planet he received a request to talk on his ships communications system. Pushing the small green button to accept the call he sat back in his chair as a small screen popped out of the right side of the control panel. A few moments later after it had gotten into its correct position about six inches above, and away from the controls, the blank image on the screen was replaced by that of a scruffy looking Bothan.
“What do you want?”
“I need landing clearance.”
The Bothan gave Mattimew a long hard look before responding.
“Are you a Republic spy?”
Mattimew shook his head. “The Republic no longer exists.”
The Bothan cocked his head questioningly, “What is that supposed to mean?”
“The Republic is dead. It is the time of the Empire now.”
The Bothan eyed Mattimew wryly trying to figure out if he was crazy or telling the truth.
“So can I land?” Mattimew allowed exasperation to be revealed in his voice.
“Yeah, I suppose you can. Coordinates are being sent to you as we speak. Should be docking bay 57.” The Bothan replied
Mattimew bowed his head in thanks and ended the comm. chat. He turned his head slightly looking towards his instrument panel making sure all the last minute adjustments to his ship were complete. A small beeping on his ship indicated an incoming ship from hyperspace. He deftly swept his eyes over his sensory systems; his hands stopped moving as he saw the shape on his long range sensors. A victory class battle ship had just appeared on his radar; already it was beginning its journey to Erridius V. His sensors began to malfunction as he entered the atmosphere and because of the intense heat his computer shutdown a majority of his sensory systems. A few minutes later his ship finally broke through the upper atmosphere peeling off the heat in a vat of superheated air that trailed from the ships stern.
With the docking procedures done, Mattimew jumped from the cockpit as the plexi-glass covering raised upwards. His feet hit the mesh wire floor causing the badly made walkway to shake precariously as he walked. Looking around he admired the third rate equipment that was barely keeping the entire station in one piece. The docking bay that he was in barely fit his own ship, allowing only about eight feet of space in all directions around him. Mattimew spotted the sliding doors that led out of the bay, and began to make his way towards it; he approached the doorway and found to his amusement that the doors seemed stuck in their place. Digging his fingers into the small handgrips made for just such an occasion he began pulling the doors open, grunting with the stress. When he had opened enough space for his body to fit through sideways he was surprised to see the entire station was in an uproar. Different creatures were running back and forth through the hall, most were armed with small blaster pistols and medium blaster rifles. Mattimew shot a hand inside his robes to insure his lightsabers were still in place before proceeding through the station. He saw a passing Quarren and grabbed him roughly by his clothing and brought him only a few inches from his face.
“How do I get out of this hell hole.” He growled at the alien.
The Quarren’s eyes shifted uneasily, he obviously didn’t like this loss of power that he felt.
“No way out.” He gurgled through Mattimew’s choking hands. “Clone’s are blocking the exits.” Mattimew looked past the Quarren as though he expected clones to come trooping around the corner.
“When did they get here?”
The Quarren’s wide eyes portrayed it’s fear of Mattimew.
“They landed hours ago, but they said they were here to just keep the peace. Whatever that means, and not even one hour ago they started attacking the space port. Please let me go, I don’t want to die in this crummy place!”
“Which way is out?” he asked without even looking at the struggling alien.
The Quarren pointed behind him towards a smaller corridor which members from every species were running out of. Dropping the Quarren he pushed past him walking quickly towards the passage. Pushing people to the left and right he slowly made his way against the constant stream of creatures. Spreading his arms he created a large gap in between people which he quickly jumped through revealing an entirely different situation then the hundreds of civilians running amok. Five clone troopers stood in front of a single doorway, behind them Mattimew could see the light of day, the clones had dragged a few metal crates in front of it and we’re taking cover behind them. To his left a few men were attempting to fight back from a destroyed doorway, and the tattered remains of a swoop bike. The clones were so busy fighting off the local militia that they failed to notice Mattimew standing off to their side. Casting his eyes around for some way to get rid of them his eyes fell on a medium repeater lying on the floor. Picking it up Mattimew weighed it in his hands, unused to using such an unconventional weapon. He raised it to his chin and aimed down the sight towards the five clones who were now all taking cover from the barrage of plasma being sent into the tough crates by the defenders. He pulled the trigger and was surprised when it shot three bolts with lighting repetition instead of one. Two clones went down with the second clone taking two plasma bolts to the chest. It took the clones a few seconds to register their comrades deaths, and before they could figure out the entire situation, Mattimew had pulled the trigger once more releasing a stream of plasma from his gun killing the last three clones and leaving a half dozen tiny black holes where he had missed. One of the defenders peered over the broken swoop bike and promptly stood up after confirming the five dead clones. He approached Mattimew with a smile on his face.
“Thank you so much frie-“ he stopped talking mid sentence, his eyes were locked onto Mattimew’s face. He soon made the same connection; this Bothan had been the same one he had spoken too over the comm. link.
“Well I will be damned!” the Bothan yelled. “If it is not the same stranger I was talking to not twenty minutes ago.” He clapped Mattimew on the back ushering him towards the rest of the defenders.
“What is your name?”
Mattimew glanced at the ragged set of creatures that were guarding this area before responding.
“I am glad you came Mattimew. It was a most opportune time for you to show up. Tell me, what can I do for you?”
Mattimew glanced at the doorway leading to the outside world and turned to the Bothan.
“Does this doorway lead to the main city? I need to find the downtown district.”
The Bothan raised a furred arm in thought, scratching his cheek.
“Yes, that should take you right through the central part of the city.” He paused for a moment. “Missing something?”
“Not something, someone.”
The Bothan nodded knowingly. “Good luck on your search then.”
Mattimew nodded his head but didn’t respond and ran out the doorway.
It took Mattimew twenty minutes of dodging through chaotic city blocks to reach the downtown district. It appeared that the Quarren hadn’t lied about the clones having overrun the city. As Mattimew walked through the streets he heard a small group of people talking about the multiple landings throughout the city. Mattimew leaned back against a building and took out his data pad. He found what he was looking for at the very bottom of all the information. Printed there was a name, Patima, and an address for where he was supposed to find the person he was looking for. He wandered the streets becoming aware of the lack of citizens on the roads the closer he came to the downtown area. Turning the corner of another street Mattimew stopped cold in his tracks. He saw a small patrol of clone troopers harassing a young human woman.
“Let go of me!” she yelled as she grabbed the arm of her perpetrator and kicked him in the stomach sending him tumbling to the ground. Three other clones rushed at her grabbing her flailing limbs and holding her in place as the clone whom she had kicked rose to his feet. Mattimew stayed out of sight not wanting to become engrossed in any more firefights and began looking for an alternative route.
“What is your name woman?” the clone’s voice over the speaker sounded artificial and crackly.
Mattimew looked up. The building he was standing behind rose high above the ground, at least twenty stories tall. He peered around the corner again to see the woman’s situation.
“Find her information card.”
Mattimew saw another clone approach her and rummage through the bag she had strapped around her shoulders. He pulled out a small transparent card from the recesses of her pouch and placed it into a small square machine he was holding. He waited a few moments for the information to go through and then showed it to the first clone trooper who Mattimew now recognized as the commander of the group.
“OK, what I need to know is,” he paused as he looked down at the small screen, “Mrs. Patima, why you were running, and who you were running from.”
The woman answered but her reply was lost to his ears as he whipped out his data pad to ensure he had heard the commander correctly. Sure enough there was her name, Patima Myriada. He sighed, now he was going to have to do something incredibly stupid to save this woman.
Stepping out from behind the building he began walking at a hurried pace towards the small group. One of the clones spotted him when he was ten yards away from Patima and informed his commander.
“You there! Halt.”
Mattimew stopped walking trying his best to look confused.
“Have I done something wrong?”
“If you’re on this planet, then you’ve done something wrong.” Came the curt reply of the commander.
“State your business here.”
Mattimew scoffed as though he had just been asked a preposterous question.
“Business?” he asked, “I have no business here, unless you qualify trying to find my sister business.”
The clone commander looked from Mattimew to Patima. Patima looked from Mattimew to the clone trooper. Mattimew just smiled.
“I hope she wasn’t causing a bother sir. We lost each other in the chaos; I was just trying to find her.”
The clone trooper took a moment to look at Patima’s information again before taking out her information card and handing it back.
“Alright, but I don’t want to see either of you again. Is that understood?”
Mattimew bowed low to show his correspondence, and the three clones who were holding Patima released her. Patima still looked confused and unsure of the current situation. Mattimew approached her and took her arm leading her back they way he had come. As they rounded the corner he smiled at Patima and was surprised to see a rather attractive woman scowling back at him.
“Who are you!” she growled remembering to keep her voice low as the troopers were just around the corner.
“Yes, you are welcome.” Mattimew nodded his head.
“That,” she pushed herself closer to him, “is not the question I asked.”
Mattimew could feel the soft vibrations of a vibroblade in her hand. She pushed it against his robes cutting a small sliver in his clothing. Mattimew smiled again trying to keep his cool even though this woman who seemed to not even care he had just saved his life was now threatening his own.
“My name is Mattimew.” He hoped that that information would hold her over until they got back to the ship.
“Why did you help me?” she asked still holding the vibroblade dangerously close to his body.
”I can’t explain here, it isn’t safe.”
“Well you better start because you have about ten seconds before I slice out your intestines.”
Mattimew sighed. “I was sent from the Grey, the grandmaster wanted me to retrieve you, though for what purpose I don’t know.” Mattimew felt the blade slip away from him as he spoke the words. Patima looked around and continued walking with him.
“A Jedi huh? I should have guessed from your fancy clothes.” She indicated his robes with a small movement from her hands. “So how do we get out of here?”
“We must return to the space port and we will take my ship and leave.”
Patima shook her head. “That’s no good; the space port must be completely overrun by clone troopers by now. We have to find another way out.”
Mattimew shrugged his shoulders. “Then we must steal a ship.”
Patima grinned. “I like where this is going. And I know exactly where there is a ship we can get.”
Now Patima took control and pulled him by the hand so fast that he had to jog to keep up with her. They traveled around the center of the city making their way to the outskirts.
“The clone troopers couldn’t land in the middle of the city so they sat down near the outskirts,” she explained. “they usually leave no more than a small contingent with each ship to guard them.”
“How many troopers are in a contingent?”
Patima shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe ten of twenty.”
Mattimew’s eyes opened in surprise. “That is an awful lot.”
Patima stopped walking and turned to him. “What are you talking about? That should be nothing to a Jedi of your caliber.”
“How do you know what caliber I am?”
“Well you must be pretty high up there.” She said as she continued walking glancing around the corner of a building and waving him to follow her.
“Oh, and why is that?”
“Because...” she held up a hand as they neared another corner. She pointed for them to duck into the building they were hiding against and they stayed silent as a small platoon of clones marched by. When they had gone they exited the building and continued walking.
“Because,” she resumed her train of thought while turning to face him “my father wouldn’t have sent anyone else.”