Unrequited **04/01/03**

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Herman Snerd, Jun 17, 2001.

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  1. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Has it been three months yet??? ;) :p

    ************

    The fight was over almost instantly. Malko neatly ducked under Nirel?s first punch and simultaneously spun to throw his drink at Nirel?s father, who had stepped forward and appeared about to aid his son. Returning his attention to Nirel, Malko had to take a quick step back to elude the larger man?s grasp. Seeing his opponent was off balance, Malko took advantage of the opportunity to deliver a lightning fast punch to Nirel?s throat. While Nirel was staggered, Malko stepped behind him and unleashed a kick to the back of his left knee, which brought the man down to a more manageable level. Then grasping Nirel by the back of the head, Malko shoved his head forward and down, smashing it onto the corner of the nearest table. Unconscious, Nirel collapsed on the floor bleeding heavily from his nose and also from the corner of his mouth.

    ?Let?s get out of here,? Malko said as he grasped Jaina by the hand and pulled her away. The cantina crowd, many of whom had missed the actual fight, watched curiously as they left before returning to their conversations.

    Jaina didn?t stop once they were out of the cantina. Though the crowd outside forced them to slow their pace, Jaina maintained a determined march toward the tunnel that would lead them out of the entertainment sector. Malko had grabbed her hand when they?d left the cantina, but now she held on with a firm grip and kept moving despite Malko?s occaional protest.

    In less than a minute they were through the connecting tunnel and back in the area that served as the nexus of the mining operation. From there, Jaina reached out with her senses to find the first unoccupied side tunnel. Once she was certain they were alone, Jaina spun around to speak.

    ?What were you thinking??

    ?I made a mistake. I shouldn?t have left you alone.?

    ?That?s not what I meant,? Jaina said, her voice becoming terse. ?What did you think you were doing by beating Nirel like that??

    ?I was pro-? Malko began, but stopped when he realized what he was about to say.

    ?You were what? Going to protect me?? Jaina asked critically. ?Dammit, Malko, I don?t need you to protect me. I?m not some helpless little girl. I could have dealt with Nirel any time I wanted to, but held back because I didn?t want to create a scene. Then you show up and do that yourself.?

    ?It wasn?t that bad,? Malko said defensively as he began to feel the uncomfortable truth of Jaina?s words. ?Hardly anybody seemed to pay any attention to us.?

    ?Only because you were lucky, Malko. In the future, when you feel like fighting try to let the other guy beat you up for a while. Knocking him out in a few seconds sort of makes you stand out, especially when that guy just won a pit fight against a Gamorrean.?

    Malko was on the verge of delivering his retort when the full truth of Jaina?s statement hit him. As he considered his actions, he realized how foolish he had been to rush to the defense of a Jedi Knight. His emotions had pushed him into making the wrong decision, and he felt fortunate that he recognized that before his temper made him say something even more foolish.

    ?You?re right,? Malko admitted. ?I should have let you handle that situation. I guess I?m not as good at this as I thought. I should probably have you teach me how you Jedi show so much restraint,? he added with a smile.

    ?That?s a good idea, but I?m probably not the best person to teach that lesson. When Nirel grabbed my hand I very nearly sent him flying,? Jaina said as a mischievous smile grew on her face. When Malko grinned as well, she was relieved that her words had had their intended effect and eased the tense conversation.

    ?So what do we do now?? Malko asked as he checked his chrono. ?According to what the techs told us, we need to let the slice run for a bit longer before we can be sure the program has been completed.?

    ?Let?s go for a walk,? Jaina suggested. ?We can do some exploring and then loop back and pick up the equipment on our way back.?
  2. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

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    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    Well this was a surprise. :D

    Has Malko just made a very big mistake here? I have a bad feeling about this.

    Glad I caught this before I went to bed.
  3. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
    Getting sneaky there Herman. Glad to see another post. I think Malko may have overdone the protection bit. This doesn't bode well.
  4. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

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  5. Justice_for_All Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 1
  6. Padawan_Di-Lee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2000
    star 4
    Time to get to writing, Herman dear. ;)
  7. womp_rat208 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1999
    star 4
    Well you posted during the week I was gone, and I didn't catch it when I got back! But good post! Malko kicked some bootay, but sure screwed up. Sounds like me, cept I'd be the one getting beat to a pulp and screwing up. ;)
  8. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    I'm getting better, it only took a month this time. :p


    ***************

    ?How long have you been awake?? Jaina asked as she entered the small common area just outside of the actual mine tunnel. After they?d returned with the slicing equipment they?d both been eager to see what it had found, but the effects of their travel and the long day on Vulcara had caught up with them. They?d agreed to turn in and get some sleep before going over the data, but as Jaina looked closer at Malko she could see that he?d only slept little, if at all.

    ?I never actually went to sleep,? Malko said without taking his eyes off the screen. ?I just couldn?t stop thinking that the answer to all of this could be waiting for us. I realized that I couldn?t fall asleep without at least checking the results of the slice. I was only going to check and see if it had successfully cracked into Lawrek?s system, but after I saw that it had I just kept looking. I guess I lost track of time.?

    ?Have you found anything yet?? Jaina asked as she opened up a breakfast ration.

    ?Not yet, but I?m sure there?s got to be something in here.?

    ?Well why don?t you let me take a look while you get some sleep,? Jaina said as she approached the table. ?Highlight every directory you?ve already searched through and I?ll start looking through the rest. There?s got to be something in there.?

    ______________

    Malko awakened four hours later. Though still tired from his night of fruitless searching through the sliced data, he rubbed his eyes and forced himself to his feet. His body pleaded with him for a few more hours of sleep, but his mind demanded that he find out if Jaina had uncovered anything while he?d slept.

    Malko was quickly disappointed.

    ?I?ve searched through roughly half of the directories so far,? Jaina informed him as she brought him up to speed. ?So far everything I?ve looked at has dealt with the mining operation. I?m sure there has to be some unofficial records mixed in here somewhere. It?s just a matter of finding them.?

    ?Easier said than done,? Malko said with little enthusiasm. He still wasn?t fully awake, and the thought of even more scouring through the sliced files did little to excite him.

    ?Well now that you?re awake, the work should go twice as fast,? Jaina said as she held out a datapad. ?The sooner you get started the sooner we?ll find what we?re looking for.?

    ?I?m going to need something to eat first,? Malko said as he accepted the datapad.

    ?That sounds wonderful,? Jaina said, looking up from her work. ?Fix something for me while you?re at it.?

    ?Why did I marry you?? Malko sarcastically grumbled under his breath as he set off for the crate that contained their food rations.

    ?It certainly wasn?t for my cooking,? Jaina called out to let Malko know that she?d heard him.

    After a hot, but flavorless, meal made from the instant rations they?d brought with them, Malko and Jaina got back to work. For hours they searched through the data of Lawrek?s computer system, looking for anything that could tie him to the slave mining on Phaestus as well as the assassination plot against the Chief of State. Directory after directory was sorted through in search of the elusive link, and as time wore on, the hope that they would find the link dwindled.

    So, after hours of near total silence, Jaina was a little startled when Malko suddenly spoke up.

    ?I think I might have something here.?

    ?Slavery or assassination?? Jaina asked cautiously, not wanting to get excited until she knew there was a definite lead.

    ?Neither,? answered Malko. ?The program ran into a dead end.?

    ?So?? Jaina wondered.

    ?You don?t understand, I mean a physical dead end,? Malko explained. ?The program found a connection into a secondary system, but couldn?t slice into it.?

    ?What is it, some sort of encryption the program couldn?t figure out?? Jaina asked, slightly intrigued. If Lawrek had information he wanted to hide, no doubt he?d store it in a system with higher security.

    ?No, it appears to be a one-way connecti
  9. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

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    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    Let's see, since this was only one month, then I can expect the next one in two weeks right? ;) I'm so glad to see more of this story. I am enjoying it. :)
  10. womp_rat208 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1999
    star 4
    Oh, wonderful, they have to slice into something, and neither one of them are slicers. Then again, Jaina's not exactly a spy... oh well. LOL.

    Good post, herman!
  11. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    They have automated slicing equipment that they were sent in with. All they have to do is plug it into a socket and let it work.
  12. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
    Like the bantering. Yum, ration bars - the breakfast of champions.

    I think 2 weeks for the next post is a good goal, Herman. Two days is good too. ;) I'll take one whenever you have one ready.
  13. womp_rat208 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1999
    star 4
    I know that, herman, but are machines always as good as humans at those things? ;)
  14. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

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    Di-Lee hasn't shown up yet. ;)

    Guess who posted, Di.
  15. Padawan_Di-Lee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2000
    star 4
    Oh Jaina, please don't go all cocky here. I have a very bad feeling about your trying slice into that protected system.

    Good to see you're writing again, Herman! Keep it up. ;)
  16. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Thanks. :)

    I just hope that my uber-hottie beta reader doesn't get ticked that I'm bypassing her for the ending of this.
  17. Padawan_Di-Lee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2000
    star 4
    So you're bypassing your other beta, too, eh? ;)

    Don't worry about me, I'm just enjoying my free time. :D
  18. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Well how about enjoying a short post.

    ******

    ?I don?t know how you talked me into this?? Malko said under his breath as they sat on makeshift chairs in what passed for a waiting area. They were trying to gain entrance into the only above ground habitat on Vulcara, an area that included the offices of Gurn Lawrek and his immediate staff. Jaina had reasoned that any access terminals to the secondary computer system would logically be located where only Lawrek and possibly one or two others could get to them. Malko didn?t deny the likely truth of Jaina?s assessment, but snooping around those offices, even in plain sight, was more risk than he?d planned on taking when he?d woke up that morning.

    ?Just stick to the story we agreed to,? Jaina whispered back. ?Once we get in, keep your eyes open for any open terminal. I?ll do all the talking.?

    Malko had a quick reply ready, but never got the chance to deliver it. The aide who?d delivered their request returned and beckoned them to follow. Once inside, they were led up a flight of stairs and down a curving hallway, this one paneled in artificial materials rather than the natural rock walls like the rest of the complex.

    They followed their guide up the sloping walkway until they stopped at a nondescript door. The aide opened it for them, then stood aside to allow them to enter. Once inside, a familiar face greeted them.

    ?Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Jager,? Turq said as he rose from his desk. ?I didn?t expect to see you again until your lease had expired. Is there some sort of problem that I can help you with??

    ?As a matter of fact there is,? Jaina declared, coloring her words with a tinge of false anger. ?I want to know who I complain to about the condition of the tunnel we leased,? she asked before helping herself to the only other chair in the room.

    ?The condition of your mine tunnel meets our standards,? Turq said honestly, since the Vulcaran mining operation didn?t have any actual standards. As long as the tunnel hadn?t yet collapsed, it was still available for lease.

    ?I?m sure it does, but the previous occupants left it so cluttered with rubble that we can barely get in or out,? Jaina countered pointedly. ?Every piece we move out counts against our total volume. We stand to lose several cubic meters just to get some of our equipment down the primary shaft.?

    ?I apologize, Mrs. Jager, but the only way we can readily determine how much volume is being removed is by regulating the air pressure in each individual tunnel that is leased. Now obviously the previous tenants were aware of this and left some material behind in the tunnel to offset what they were bringing out,? Turq explained. ?I see nothing that I can do about this matter.?

    ?Let us clean out the primary shaft before you begin monitoring how much material we remove,? Jaina demanded.

    ?I?m sorry, but that?s quite impossible,? Turq claimed. ?Your contract clearly states that you??

    ?I don?t care what the contract says,? Jaina hotly interrupted. ?I?m not going to tolerate this.?

    When Turq once again replied that there was nothing he could do about the problem, Jaina lost her temper, or at least she seemed to. What she really wanted was to bring the situation to a standoff, one that would consume Turq?s attention. While they argued back and forth, Malko paced the room. Turq was too busy with Jaina to notice how Malko scanned the walls as well as Turq?s desk for any sign of a computer outlet. When he couldn?t find one, he waited for Jaina to look at him in exasperation and gave an imperceptible shake of his head.

    ?Let?s try this another way,? Jaina suggested, seeming to calm down. ?If you can?t resolve this for us, then take us to someone who can. I demand to see Mr. Lawrek.?

    ?That?s not possible,? Turq answered, shocked that Jaina would even suggest such a thing. ?Not possible at all.?

    ?You will take us to Mr. Lawrek now,? Jaina demanded again, this time with a slight wave of her hand.

    Both Jaina and Malko watched closely to see how Turq would react. Malko had k
  19. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

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    in case a post is coming soon, I think I will give this story an up lift, kind of like a wonderbra, ;)
  20. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

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    Hey! No fair sneaking in a post at the same time I was upping it. [face_mischief]

    Hmmm, you almost had me. I thought the guy wasn't going to fall for the Force suggestion and the trouble would start there.
  21. womp_rat208 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1999
    star 4
    Hmm, thought the guy was going to resist. Guess he's not that strong willed. ;)

    Good dialogue, as always. :)
  22. Marie_Jadewalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2000
    star 4
    Hey Hermie!

    Sorry you haven't seen me in a while. I was kinda out of the country for most of the summer... but that meant I had four great posts to catch up on just now! Thanks. I can definitely understand why Jaina was mad at Malko for making such a scene in the bar. His beating that guy up didn't exactly help them blend in. Then again, Jaina's Force Suggestion wasn't what I'd call subtle either. I have a feeling things are going to get a bit hairy soon...

    ~Marie
  23. Eldritch009 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2001
    star 4
    Two whole posts since the last time! Yay!! Up! :)
  24. X-AverySolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2001
    star 3
    Exelent writing, Herman! More soon, I hope?
  25. Padawan_Di-Lee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2000
    star 4
    Jaina's pretty darn conniving, and darn good at getting what she's wants to boot. Somehow I think she'll manage to convince Lawrek to let them clean out that tunnel as well as gain access to the computers.
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