Title: Zayne Carrick and the Spear of Infinity Setting: 3,963 BBY (After KOTOR #50 and before KOTOR: War #1) Summary: It's been a couple of months since Zayne Carrick, former Jedi Padawan, had his almost fatal brush with mad Mandalorian scientist Demagol. Zayne is invited by friend and former partner, Marn Heirogryph on a "vacation" and the two get mixed up in a search for the fabled "Infinity Spear" that can change the entire outcome of the Mandalorian War! Prepare for a whirlwind of an adventure, staring the one and only Zayne Carrick! Notes: This my attempt at a story involving my favorite EU character of all time, Zayne Carrick! It's been inspired by such things as Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, and the Indiana Jones movies. I hope you all enjoy it and give some feedback, good or bad. Author: JediDingo A long time ago in a galaxy, far, far, away... Chapter One At the height of the Mandalorian War - 3,963 BBY Void Station – Mid Rim The drone of the music drowned out all other sounds. The lights seemed to be in perfect sync with the music, pulsing with the beat of the Genosisan drums. Species from all corners of the known galaxy milled about the cantina in the center of Void Station. On a heightened platform, a winged female Vor sung a rendition of “Anything Goes” that had supposedly been written by Xim the Despot. All in all, it was exactly the kind of place that the short and slightly round Snivvian, Marn Hierogryph, absolutely loved. It was in these shady little nooks in the galaxy that he felt most at home. Gryph stepped into the crowded cantina, spread his arms, and took a deep breath. “Smell that?” He said. “Yeah, I think so.” Zayne Carrick replied from behind, his eyes scanning the area with much less enthusiasm than his partner. “The smell of success, business deals, new beginnings.” Gryph grinned mischievously. “We must be smelling different things.” Zayne replied. Gyrph wondered out onto the floor, blending into the crowd. Behind him, Zayne moved awkwardly to keep up while trying to ignore the Zeltron patrons asking him his name. Zayne knew this was a big mistake to come with Marn. It will be like a vacation, he had said. Lets face it we both need one, he said. After all the things I’ve done for you, you won’t accompany me on a business transaction? He said. Originally he was going to go straight home, and Gryph was going to stay on Coruscant operating his new restaurant, but he claimed something “big” had popped up and wanted to investigate. But after everything that had happened with Jarael, Chantique, and Demogal, Zayne had welcomed a chance to get away from it all and clear his mind. Doesn’t seem like that’s likely to happen, he thought to himself. “Henchman, keep up!” Gryph ordered. Zayne moved past a pair of Wookiees to catch up with the Snivvian. “Why are you meeting here?” Zayne said. “What?” “This doesn’t seem like a great place for a business deal.” Gryph turned, frowning. “This is a perfect place for a business deal. If I am going to have GoodValors on the map, this is the person I need to talk to.” Zayne knew it was a bad idea, but when Gryph was convinced of something it was better just to keep an eye on him and make sure he didn’t get himself killed because there was no talking him out of it. They approached the open bar, and scattered around were Pazaak tables full of gamblers. Gryph looked out around the area until he found who he was looking for. “Ah, there he is!” Gryph pointed. Zayne followed Gryph’s direction and saw the huge Feeorin waiting for them. The massive armed alien looked like someone straight out of a holodrama, a space pirate if there ever was one. He even had an eye patch to complete the look. “Yeah, looks like a real legitimate business man, Gryph.” Zayne said through clenched teeth. “Ex-nay on the Gryph-ay”. He whispered back. Zayne rolled his eyes. “Please tell me this isn’t going to go the way I think it will. Now I know why you wanted me to come with you.” “I’m highly offended right now.” Gryph whispered back harshly as they approached the Feeorin waiting for them in the corner of the cantina. As they continued to get closer, the one time Jedi began to notice others around him. The Feeorin had his own men scattered throughout the area to monitor whatever was about to go down. He spotted at least four of the Feeorin’s men, two Rodians, a Selkath, and a Human. Zayne immediately began looking for nearby exits. “I have a bad feeling about this,” Zayne mumbled. Gryph didn’t reply, but instead, straightened his back and walked towards this supposed “businessman” with the confidence of an alien three times his size. The Feeorin looked down at Gryph first and then turned his one eyed gaze to Zayne. “Vas? I’m Remulus Horne.” Gryph was the probably the best liar in the galaxy, and he always claimed Maverick Baron, a former associate, had nothing on him. “Who is this?” Vas kept his hard steel gaze on Zayne. “Oh, him? A mute slave. I call him Wayne.” Gryph explained in stride. “I don’t like him. Make him leave.” Without warning, Gryph elbowed Zayne in the stomach. “Get out of here Wayne. He doesn’t like you. I don’t like you. No one likes you.” Zayne ground his teeth together and giving Gryph a “look”. It took everything deep down within himself not to make some sort of comeback, but instead, he played the part. He bowed and did not risk glancing at Vas although he wanted to. He turned back towards the bar and made his way towards it. He made sure that he would be with in viewing distance of Gryph while this “deal” went down, because there was no telling how much he could get himself in trouble. Zayne sat on one of the barstools next to pale Zabrak. A droid zoomed up to the counter and it titled its round head. “What may I serve you?” It inquired with a feminine voice. Zayne, still looking at Gyrph, answered the droid. “I don’t want anything.” “Then you may not sit here sir.” The droid informed him. Zayne snapped his head back towards the droid and looked at it for a moment, sighing. He looked down at the holo menu imbedded into the table. He picked the first thing he saw. “I’ll take some Jawa juice.” The droid immediately began to mix his drink for him right in front of him. It sat it down, and the green drink began to sizzle with froth. Zayne made a face at it and handed over his credits. He picked it up and began to sniff it. Once he almost threw up he sat it back down and pushed it away from him. He gave another sigh and turned back around in his seat to look at Gryph. Things definitely seemed to be okay, but he couldn’t know for sure just by looking at him. Being a former Jedi recruit had its advantages however, and so he began to stretch out his senses with the Force. Instantly he detected something was off. Very off. Tension was way higher in that area, but it wasn’t only that. It was something else. A sense of malevolence permeated the area. Something very bad was going to happen, and happen very soon. Zayne’s first reaction was to reach for his lightsaber, but then he realized that he had left it back on the ship. He was carrying a small hold out blaster on his hip, which would at least give him something to work with. Zayne got up slowly and cautiously to make sure Vas or nor any of his crew saw him. He was determined not to let his eye ever leave Gyrph. The sense of forbidding continued to grow the closer that he got, which was odd because Vas and Gryph seemed to be hitting it off quite well. He cleared his mind and began to focus even more, trying to find the direct source of what he was feeling. Surprisingly it was not coming from Vas. Instead it was radiating out from a nearby booth. Zayne turned to his left, seeing two men sitting across from each other. One, a slender but very athletic looking man with a brown beard and short brown hair, the other a tall, bald man with deep narrow eyes. It was from this bald man that the sense of forbidding was radiating. Zayne realized he must have missed him when he scanned for Vas’s men. Zayne began to approach the table. He was planning on trying to neutralize the man without anyone really noticing, he would try to use Force persuasion to make the bald man at the table fall asleep, but that means he’d have to make the bearded man fall asleep as well. As his shadow began to fall over the two men, they both glanced up. “Excuse me,” Zayne said, flicking his hand up. “But you want to fall asleep right now.” The bald man squinted, clenching his jaw. The bearded man started reaching under the table. Zayne gulped. “You both feel very tired. You want to fall asleep now.” Zayne repeated, waving his hand in the air again. The bald man looked back at the man with the beard. “You trying to double cross me, Dax?” He asked. “I don’t know who this is.” The bearded man, Dax, said. “He’s a fraking Jedi!” The bald man yelled, slamming his fist down on the table. “Fall asleep!” Zayne desperately tried waving his hand over and over again. “I have never seen him before in my life, Jack. Let’s all just calm down here.” Dax said. “You aren’t taking me alive.” Jack, the bald one, sneered. “Oh poodoo.” Zayne muttered. Within the span of a millisecond, Zayne realized that these two men had nothing to do with Gryph’s deal with Vas at all. Zayne had just walked into a completely different situation, and it was about to get bad. Very bad. Suddenly the table in front of him flipped up and Jack pulled out a blaster, aiming right for Dax. Zayne may not have been the best at Force persuasion, but he could do this. With all his might, Zayne pushed towards Jack with the Force, sending him flying about six feet into the air and down into another table. A table full of Vas’s men. Zayne slouched his shoulders. “Why me?” Almost everyone in the cantina looked up, “Anything Goes” stopped playing. Dead silence filled the air. Gryph and Vas both looked over that way at the same time and then back at each other. Gryph smiled and raised his hand. “Check please.” He broke the silence, and with that, all hell broke loose. Almost everyone in the cantina immediately began either firing blasters, or punching each other. Even the singers on stage began fighting. Red and green blaster bolts flew in every direction. Zayne jumped to the floor, behind the table Dax had thrown up in defense. “Did the Republic send you?!” Dax yelled over the roar of battle, pulling out a heavily modified blaster. “I told them I could do this on my own!” “What?! No! I was just trying to protect my friend from getting hurt. I have no idea who you are.” Zayne yelled back. “Dax Starstone, Agent of the Republic. You just ruined what may be the most important mission in the war.” Dax said angrily. Zayne hung his head. “Of course I did. Of course.” Dax leaned over the table, firing shots towards Jack who was now also behind a table. Jack was saying something into a comlink. Dax fired it out of his hand and leaned back against the table. “The Mandalorians are coming.” He said. “What?!” “That guy, Jack, you just tried to make fall asleep. He works for them. He was just calling them.” Dax explained. “This day just keeps getting better.” “They will already be waiting for me at my ship. I can’t go back to it, and this mission is highly critical to the Republic. I have to get out of here.” “We can get on our ship, but first we have to get my friend.” Zayne said. Dax fired two more shots over the table. “Alright, but we have to hurry.” Zayne looked for Gryph but couldn’t see him through all the commotion. He spotted Vas, who was beating up on some poor Twi’lek that got in his way, but he Snivvian was nowhere to be seen. Zayne closed his eyes and began to search for his presence in the Force. It seemed almost impossible at first, but then Zayne forced his mind to be clear and blocked everything out. After a few moments, he felt him. Zayne pulled out his own blaster and nudged Dax. “This way.” Zayne and Dax raced out from their cover, Dax laying down cover fire as they ran. They jumped over barriers, tables, and broken droids towards the nearest exit where Zayne had felt Gryph’s presence. Before they could reach him though, Vas, throwing the Twi’lek down, noticed Gryph crawling away. The huge Feeorin picked Gryph up into the air, holding him by the throat. “Trying to run out on our deal?” Vas asked. “No. You?” Gryph strained to say. Vas sneered, and began to squeeze the life out of him. Zayne aimed his weapon and fired, hitting Vas’s hand. The Feeorin reflexive let go, crying out in pain as he clutched his hand. Vas looked over to see Zayne and Dax racing towards them. Zayne used the Force to blast the huge alien out of the way, causing him to hit a wall. Gryph looked up, and instead of relief he gave Zayne a look. “You could have shot me.” “Yeah. But we have to go.” “Why? The party just got started.” He replied. “Mandalorians are coming.” Dax said. “Who is that?” Gryph gave the equivalent of an eyebrow raise. “A Republic Agent. No time to explain, we have to get out of here.” Zayne said. “Then stay close, Henchmen, and let’s get out of here.” “We better hurry, because we have company.” Dax said looking back into the crowd. Zayne and Gryph turned at the same time, watching Mandalorians stream in from the other side. The trio immediately ran for the nearest exit, racing towards Gryph’s new ship the “Big Bivoli”. As they turned the corner, a pair of Mandalorian troops intercepted them. Dax quickly fired two shots directly into their heads. His aim was amazingly accurate. Both Zayne and Gryph were impressed. Dax nodded his head. “Keep moving.” He ordered. They continued to run and it wasn’t long until the alarms on the station began to sound off. Someone over the intercom came over the speakers. “Mandalorian troops have entered the base, I repeat Mandalorian—“ The rest of the message was lost to static. They finally made it to the Docking Bay, rushing to Gryph’s ship. The Snivvian rushed up the ramp while Zayne and Dax turned, laying down cover fire as the Neo-Crusaders rushed into the area. “Go! I’ve got this!” Dax yelled. Zayne nodded and rushed up into the ship and towards the cockpit of the Big Bivoli. Zayne sat down in the pilot’s seat, and strapped himself in. “The engines are getting hot enough.” Zayne clenched his jaw. “It’s a big ship, we’ve got to give her some time.” Gryph replied. “We don’t have time! Start caculating a jump!” Zayne reached for the intercom button. “Dax get in and strap down, this is going to be a bumpy ride.” After a few moments he heard Dax yell from the back that he was in. Zayne made sure that the hatch was closed and the ramp was up. Once he was sure, he immediately blasted off from the Docking Bay with the Void Station’s permission, shooting out into space. Zayne knew this would strain the engines beyond belief, but he would rather be alive. The starship raced out with several others as Mandalorian Warships began to jump into the system. “Coordinates locked.” Gryph said. Zayne reached for the hyperspace lever and slowly pushed it forward. “Jumping, now.” The stars before them began to spin slightly and suddenly the Big Bivoli was sucked into the bluish-black tunnel of hyperspace just in the nick of time. Zayne leaned his head back against the seat, as did Gryph. They had come here as some sort of vacation, and now they were on the run, again; this time with a Republic Agent in the back, on an important mission. Things hadn’t changed at all for Zayne Carrick.