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THE ENLOE TRIALSChapter 16CAVERNS OF DEATH






    



Hidden from the Imperials, the survivors now contemplate their dire situation.





“Your plan backfired,” Atracion hisses.

“Nearly all my men are dead.”






“It’s not over yet,” Rykrof argues.

“These sewers likely lead right under the Imperial complex.”






“We won’t make it far,” Sarlo insists.





“The things that live down here are far more deadly than any of the Maker’s droids.”





“I’ll take my chances,” Rykrof contends.

“You can come with me or go back. But I’m getting off this planet… right after I take down the Maker.”






“Very well,” Atracion concedes.

“But you lead the way.”






“We need just need to follow the tunnels… one of them should lead us there.”





As the group traverses the underground lair, they pass a grim reminder of the dangers that loom ahead…





…as strange, eerie sounds echo in the distance.





Rykrof knows all too well that he faces another risk…





…he knows that Atracion is not his friend…





…and these criminals could turn on him at any moment.





“The stench down here is getting worse,” Atracion complains.





“The running sewage must be up ahead.”





Rykrof then cautiously peeks through a tunnel opening…





“Well, what’s out there?” Atracion asks impatiently.

“Is it safe?”






“I don’t see anything,” Rykrof observes.

“Come on through.”






“We’re probably going in the wrong direction,” the Quarren huffs.





The group then pauses to observe their surroundings.





“This looks dangerous,” Halri warns.

“There’s no telling what infests these waters.”






“Yeah,” Sarlo agrees.

“I don’t like the looks of this.”






“You better not be steering us into another trap!” Atracion growls.





“Just stick together and keep your voices down…”





“…and don’t get too close to the water.”





“So far, so good,” Atracion admits…





“DAMN!”





“What IS that thing?”





“It’s a Dianoga!”





Rykrof ignites his lightsaber…





…as his companions keep their distance from the cephalopod!





The creature’s tentacles whip furiously through the air…





…as the prisoners take aim at the creature!





“Come on, JEDI!” Atracion bellows.

“Kill it!”






Rykrof lunges with the lightsaber but misses the creature…





…which then attempts to wrap a tentacle around Halri!





Another tentacle lashes toward Rykrof…





…and is too fast for Halri’s laser blast!





Rykrof tries to maneuver closer to the dianoga…





…as Atracion pulls further away from the fight.





“See if you can get it to head back at me!” Rykrof shouts.





“Gladly!”





Rykrof then calms his nerves…





…waiting for the menace to swing back in his direction…





…and dismembers the beast!





“Ha ha, Jedi!” Atraction laughs.

“I just KNEW you could do it!”






Wounded, the cephalopod retreats into the water!





“DON’T call me a JEDI again,” Rykrof warns Atracion.





The team then slowly continues their journey along the passage.





Angered by Atracion’s lack of support in the battle, Rykrof can’t shake the feeling that his companions can not be trusted…





…and he feels they are watching him more closely than before.





“What’s THIS?” Atracion asks as the group enters a new chamber.





Rykrof continues the lead as the prisoners enter deeper into the subterranean lair.





“I’m not sure,” he concedes.





“A lot of dead bodies…”





“…looks to me like someone dragged them back here.”





“It must have been the dwellers,” Atracion says.





“We need to get moving,” Sarlo warns.





“If they find us here, they’ll tear us to pieces.”





“RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!”





Rykrof quickly spins…





…and helplessly watches as a dweller tears into Halri…





…instantly killing him!





“RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!”





Rykrof prepares to ignite his weapon…





…when a laser blast strikes the kobold in the chest!





Sarlo then lowers his blaster.





“Halri…”





“I’m sorry about your friend,” Rykrof says.





“…but we better keep going before more of these things arrive.”





“There’s an opening over there,” Atracion points out.





“We might as well check it out.”





“I don’t like the look of this. You go first.”





Armed with both his lightsaber and Halri’s blaster, Rykrof proceeds forward.





“Stay close to me. There’s no telling what’s in there.”





“We’ll be right behind you, Enloe.”





Rykrof then enters the chamber…



















THE ENLOE TRIALS
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FLESH AND STEEL
 
Chapter 16  
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