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THE DREWTON LEGACYChapter 21CONFLICT OF INTERESTS






    



The Jedi Temple…

“While agree, we do, that perhaps the Chancellor’s assumption is misplaced…”






“…take the chance, we cannot,” the Grand Master Yoda declared. “Dular has been declared an outlaw, and follow the Republic, the Jedi must.”





“Masters, please,” Idnum-Ki pleaded, “I have known him for years. Everything he has done is to achieve peace in the galaxy.With respect, some common sense must be used for this matter. If this Council assumes, without proof, that one of their order has made deals with terrorists, then this Order has indeed fallen far.”





“Understand your concern for your former Padawan, we do, Master Idnum-Ki, but you must remember our history. Numerous Jedi have fallen to the dark side. Once a Jedi, Exar Kun was, as were Haazen, Revan, Malak, and many others. In our own era, become a Dark Lord of the Sith, Dooku, once our greatest, has.”





“Though agree, this Council does, that a Jedi investigation is in order…young Dular is to be assumed a traitor, but killed, he will not be. Taken alive, whatever the cost, will he be.”





The Legacy





“I assume you’ve heard the news, Tarisian?” Raymus asked.

“Y-yes,” Tarisian said, looking at Dular. “That’s him with you.”






“Indeed,” Raymus replied coolly, as if assuming that Tarisian had assumed Dular’s innocence as he had. “I’m doing everything in my power to help him. We’ve tried getting through to the Chancellor’s office, but so far no luck. We were wondering if you could help us.”





“Raymus, stop what you are doing at once! Dular’s a traitor!”





“Lieutenant, you know the truth about the Nockudumey, and so do I,” Dular interrupted. “You told me. I was rash, I admit, but we can get the evidence. This is our chance to reveal the truth about the Nockudumey and bring down Mecupa.”

Tarisian’s lip twitched upon hearing the name. “Mecupa will only be strengthened…and there is no proof to support Thuvat’s claims.”






“Am I talking to my brother, or Kyle Krenis?”





Immediately after Raymus had said the words, Tarisian’s hologram faded away into static.

“The Lieutenant cut transmission, sir,” Zahn informed them.

“Then he can no longer be trusted,” Drewton said to himself.






“Sirs?” an officer said, approaching them. “There’s a small freighter asking permission to board. No signature, but the pilot says his name is ‘Karen Traviss’.”

“Karen Traviss…” Dular repeated. “Wasn’t he one of the Mandalores?”

“He was indeed,” Raymus confirmed. “Officer, there’s a lot of possibilities of who this pilot may be. Bounty hunter, smuggler, pirate, terrorist, assassin. But he may be permitted to board, and to speak with me, if his actual name happens to be Daklif Ordo.”






Meanwhile, on Coruscant…

“I sense a conflict within you,” Kyle Krenis said as he approached his friend.

“Really? Maybe you should be a Jedi then,” Tarisian replied almost smiling, though such an expression did not fit his current mood whatsoever.






Kyle simply remained silent and started as if it was the worst insult one could give to a person.

“It was a, uh, joke, Kyle.”

After a few seconds, Krenis said, “You have your brother’s sense of humor, I see. And you’re probably wondering what’s going to happen to him.”






“I can tell you what happened - he was caught in Thuvat’s web of lies during your captivity. He and Dular. He made a deal with the Jedi to get him into and out of here - whatever he’s done here I have a feeling I don’t want to know - and has Raymus assisting him. Shielding him.”





“I…I don’t really want to think about it, Kyle. First, you can’t trust Dooku. Then, you can’t trust the Jedi. And now, I can’t trust my brother…” Tarisian put his head in his hands. “And I have to choose between helping him and Dular, or following me duty.”

“In other words, helping terrorists, what we’ve all been fighting against since Mithus, or helping the Republic.”






Soon after, on the Legacy, the pilot of the freighter had indeed been the Mandalorian Daklif Ordo, as Raymus had expected.

“Why have you chosen to help us, Daklif?” Raymus asked him.

“I saw the news on the HoloNet…and I know Thuvat’s innocent. I found evidence on Ziost. He and I go back a long ways, and I owe him.”






“So you were part of the Nockudumey - following Thuvat’s ideals?”

“No, I knew as much as you did at the time. I’d actually been planning infiltration.”

“And what reward do you expect from this?”






“Nothing, of course.”

“Whatever your…never mind. For now, we just need to get to Coruscant and get this ‘evidence’ to the Chancellor.”






The bridge…

“What do you think of these recent developments, Ganlis?” Zahn asked.

“I - this is off the record, sir…”

“Of course it is.”

“The Captain may be right…but I don’t like disobeying orders. Orders are to be followed without question. Otherwise, there’s chaos. But I’m just another insignificant clone, I guess…”






They turned to look as they heard blasterfire come from the other side of the bridge, and saw Commander Kyle Krenis standing before them with a blaster in hand.

“Stand down!” he yelled. “Under orders from Chancellor Palpatine, this ship is under inspection of the 217th legion!”






Back in the hallway which Raymus had been speaking with Daklif Ordo, Tornac, the joint-Commander of the 217th Legion appeared with two other clones ready to attack or defend themselves if necessary.





“This ship is now under official inspection of the 217th. You Jedi were meant to protect us once, but times have changed, apparently,” he announced.





They, of course, did not comply with their requests.





“Get to the escape pods!” Dular yelled over the blasterfire. “I’m the only one who can hold them off.”









“No! You’re the one whose name needs to be cleared, Human, and you’re the only one of us who needs to get to Coruscant!”









“You both need to go! You have the evidence, Daklif. I’ll stay with my ship.”





“You won’t be able to defeat them,” Dular warned as he deflected a blaster bolt.

“That’s not the intention. Run!”






As they did so, Raymus was hit by a bolt of energy…





…fortunately for him, set for stun.





“There’s no need to hurt him further, Commander!” the trooper with blue-striped armor pleaded, and only then did Raymus realize it was his brother. “He’s done his duty - to the Jedi.”

“The Jedi and the Republic are not the same, Tarisian,” Tornac said in the voice of Jango Fett. “His fate…will be left to Krenis.”






Coruscant…





His face hidden under the shadow of his hood, Dular attempted to enter the office of the Supreme Chancellor.





“Name?” a guarding clone trooper asked him, having done the routine too often to bother being polite.





“Sifo-Dyas,” Dular lied. “I’ve got my identification papers right here. Come to speak with the Chancelor.”





After a few seconds, a Senate Guard said to him, “Everything checks out, though I can’t guarantee when you’ll be able to speak with the Chancellor, assuming your ‘appointment’ is unscheduled.”

“It is…and urgent.”






“I caught something on the HoloNet about a Jedi traitor making deals with terrorists. Is that why you’re planning to speak with the Chancellor about, by any chance?”





“Actually, yes. Yes, it is. Thank you, gentlemen.”





Within a few minutes, he reached the office, only to see Anakin Skywalker facing him.

“Dular,” he said, his voice threatening.






“I’m not a traitor, Anakin,” Dular told him. They had once been friends, as Padawans before the Clone Wars had started. “I’ve come to clear my name.”





“I don’t want to have to do this…I’m not your enemy. But I must protect the Chancellor.”





“Just let me talk to him.”





“I…cannot,” Skywalker said sadly, igniting a blue-bladed lightsaber.













As they fought, Dular attempted to distract his opponent by showing him memories through the Force of when they had once sparred together.





He attempted to leap towards the Chancellor’s desk, but was instead pushed into it by Anakin through the Force.





As his old friend raised his lightsaber for what would have been a killing stroke, Dular sensed him hesitate.





Skywalker appeared to be weighing both options: to kill him, or to obey the will of the Chancellor.

“Jedi do not kill their prisoners,” Dular reminded him.






He then looked behind Anakin, and somehow Palpatine himself had entered the office.

“Good, Anakin!” he said approvingly, to Dular’s bewilderment. “You have defeated a traitor to our great Republic. Possibly even a Sith. Now finish it.”






“What?” Anakin breathed, as surprised as the other Jedi. “Jedi do not kill their prisoners.”

“My boy,” Palpatine sighed, “your friendship with him is no longer relevant. He is a traitor. A traitor to the Republic, to the Jedi, and to you.”

“I’m not sure he is…”






“And I’m not,” Dular said panting. “I brought the evidence…”





“Obviously false words, meant to fool us,” Palpatine warned. “Finish it, my boy.”





“I…I’m sorry, Chancellor. Jedi do not kill their prisoners,” Anakin replied, repeating Dular’s words.





All turned to look as the door to the room could be heard opening - and saw the Jedi Master Mace Windu with Daklif Ordo at his side.





“My friends,” Palpatine said, disguising his frustration with a smile, “I would advise you to leave this matter to me.”





“We have found evidence regarding the innocence of Dular and Thuvat,” Windu declared, his voice as cold as stone on Ilum.





“Indeed?”

“The Nockudumey was an organization created thousands of years ago by Revan,” Daklif explained. “It was not intended to be a terrorist organization, but over time it was corrupted and Revan’s intentions came into question.”

“I see. And I assume you have proof for such information?”






“Of course. A CZ unit was present at various Nockudumey activities, and holofootage extracted from it alone is enough evidence. This would have been a hell of a lot easier if you’d just done this in the first place, Jedi…”





In the holofootage, it was revealed, as Thuvat had told Tarisian Drewton, that Darth Revan had indeed founded the Nockudumey. The organization was intended to infiltrate groups that dared oppose the Republic.





However, after the Dark Lord’s supposed death, Darth Malak, the new Dark Lord of the Sith, took control of the organization and convinced its members that the Nockudumey had always been intended to be a terrorist organization, in opposition to the Republic.

Thus, civil war broke out in the Nockudumey. Those loyal to Malak won, and the ideas of terrorism continued.






A brief history was given of the period that followed…





…up to the time of Bodotor Thuvat.





Bodotor had discovered the long forgotten intentions of Revan, and infiltrated the now-terrorist organization with the hope of turning it into what it once was. He was soon elected as the Nockudumey’s leader, his only confidant being Dem Nozah.





Bodotor’s revelation to Tarisian of his true intentions a few days before was also recorded…





…which was used as evidence against him by Mecupa, who denounced him. All recorded history ended when, in retaliation, Thuvat had blasted the recording droid.





“This certainly supports Dular’s innocence,” Anakin said in the present, “though he acted upon this rashly.”





The Chancellor seemed to completely ignore the comment. “Wait…Mandalorian, I remember you. You were captured and interrogated by our clone commanders almost a year ago. You’ve been working with the Nockudumey, haven’t you?”





“For the sake of infiltration. I have no allegiance to Bodotor Thuvat, the Nockudumey’s new leader, or any other of its members. Because I’d believed it was always intended to be what it is now, as you did. I assumed Thuvat was no different from any other terrorist.”





At that moment, another Jedi Master entered the room.

“You condemn the truth that has been brought to you?”






“Only one who wanted young Dular dead would do such a thing!” Idnum-Ki exclaimed with anger.





“Master Ki…” Palpatine said as if in genuine shock. “I must say, this is an unexpected surprise. You were Dular’s Master once, weren’t you?”





“I was indeed. I found him when his first Master, Xarkun, abandoned him.”





“We must always be aware of the threat within…but the threat is not within Dular. I have known him for years, and he would never make deals with terrorists. If you, Master Windu, believe such a thing, you never knew him at all.”





“You are correct, Idnum-Ki,” Windu agreed. “I have known Dular for longer than Idnum has, Chancellor, and he has always sought peace through his actions.”





There was, again, a pause.

“I see now that I was wrong,” Palpatine said sadly. “I have done an injustice to the Jedi today, with no firm proof of my own. And while I apologize for my actions, I am also glad to know Dular’s innocence. He acted with the purest intentions. He has not only been a valuable ally to the Republic in this war, but a friend to me personally. All charges against him are hereby withdrawn…but Thuvat is another matter. Whatever his intentions, he has nevertheless made deals with the Black Sun, the Hutts, and most notably of all, Count Dooku. I fear I have become weary with the current state of the war, and so am postponing the decision to another day.”






Bodotor Thuvat’s attempts to leave Coruscant had been unsuccessful; he had been brought to the same prison he had previously been in the day before. Dem Nozah, the only Nockudumey loyal to him, had attempted to free him and was captured himself.

In surprise, Bodotor saw Chancellor Palpatine approach him.






Unsure of what exactly to do, he bowed. “Err, Supreme Chancellor. Welcome - I mean, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Sorry for, uh, threatening you before. About the assassination.”





“I have not come to you as Chancellor of the Republic, Bodotor Thuvat,” Palpatine said. “I am offering you a deal.”





Bodotor appeared bewildered. “A deal?”

“Yes. I can send you to the moon of Adirof, where you will kill Captain Raymus Drewton. And then you will be free.”






“Or, you can stay in this prison for your entire life.”





“I…I will do as you request…Chancellor.”





Meanwhile…

“Dular, I’m sorry for the way I acted,” Anakin Skywalker said. “You’d brought evidence, and I should have just let you show it to the Chancellor.”






“I never did believe you were a terrorist. And I apologize.”





“It’s alright,” Dular told him smiling. “You did your duty, and didn’t kill me even when ordered to by Palpatine. I’m looking forward to fighting with you once again on the battlefield as we did at Sriran.”





Hours later…

“We have achieved a great victory today,” the Supreme Chancellor said to a cloaked figure. “Though Dular has been proven innocent, the public’s trust in the Jedi has nevertheless been weakened. They will never trust the Jedi in the same way again, always fearing the threat within.”






“And we have our terrorist friends planning to kill Raymus Drewton. Such a disobeying of orders must not be allowed to happen again. And, hopefully, Kyle Krenis will kill Thuvat. With his brother’s death, Tarisian will fall further down the path of revenge.”





“The time has nearly come to tell your apprentice, has it not?”





“Yes, Lord Sidious.”





Elsewhere…

“I confess, I claimed to have orders from the Supreme Chancellor which were to raid the Venator-class Star Destroyer Legacy under the command of Captain Raymus Drewton. I had evidence that Dular was on the Legacy, which he was, and I did it for the sake of the Republic. However, I should have, I admit, informed the Chancellor first, and should not have attacked the ship in his name. Especially with the Jedi proving his case concurrently.”










“Damn Jedi…”

To be concluded!




THE DREWTON LEGACY
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FUGITIVE
 
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