Xan nodded as he read the mission. Then looked at the time he needed to get to the shipment. Two hours until I need to be there. I guess I won’t put in any more hours in the clinic. Luckily I just got to my lunch break.
Xan washed off his hands, and clocked out. He then turned to his companion, the surgeon Tania. “I guess I will need to take a few days off. Sorry if this means you have to do more shifts.”
“Since you became a Jedi, you have been getting all these unnecessary assignments,” Tania sighed.
“I have done a lot of goods. Besides this is to protect medical supplies, and since we found the Red Plagues having had operations on New Tython, I have been worried about the recent medical shipments having been stolen or harassed,” the Dashade replied.
“You never explained this gang to me. What is with these Red Plagues?” Tania asked.
Xan shook his head. “Nothing I can’t handle. Besides Arcean isn’t stupid enough to launch an attack on us with his gang.”
With that the Jedi left Tania thinking, and headed off to the docking bay where the shipment was being delivered. He took his speeder bike, cutting the travel time in half, and arriving an hour ahead of time. He was meet by two dozen members of the K.U.D.F. About a dozen of them were human, the other a mix of species. One member stepped forward, a Togruta soldier.
“Sir, I am afraid this place is currently off limits to any non K.U.D.F. personnel.” he said stiffly.
“I assure you,” Xan said, showing the Togruta the data pad. “I am welcome.”
“Sorry good Jedi, I did not know.” the soldier stammered. “I am Lieutenant Koliko. We have been assigned to aid you. Since we will be moving out in an hour, we have been keeping watch here at the entrance.”
“Thank you lieutenant,” the medic replied. “Have half your soldiers remain here. You and the others should come with me. Search the interior and double check that everyone there is supposed to be there. Anyone with a questionable reason to be here send them out. We have several miles to cover, and I don’t want to lose the shipment because we made a mistake here.”
“Are you saying you want to lock down the landing zone? That is a bit much for twenty four men.” Koliko replied. “But my men will do their best.”
“I don’t think your best will be enough. I get it is a night drop, and we have all thermal sensors in the area, but that won’t help you with me, or anyone thinking with a sniper rifle. This area should have been locked down two days ago with two times the manpower,” Xan stated. “But I have no idea what will happen. It will take us hours to deliver the supplies, and if we are attacked here we are going to suffer.”
The lieutenant lowered his head. “We did not think about that sir,” he said.
“Mistakes are fine in a normal situation Lieutenant,” Xan said evenly. “But a medical shipment is no normal situation. I am willing to wager a night of drinks for everyone here that we are transporting tens of thousands of credits of bacta and other supplies. If not hundreds of thousands. I get it, you are a soldier. The only things you think about are tactics and plans. The only expenses you take seriously are food and weapons. And casualties. But the medical supplies to treat you cost more than all of that. People will attack this shipment for just the chance to make that much money.”
Koliko’s eyes grew wide at the estimated sum of what he was helping to guard. “Hundreds of thousands? How could anything aside from a few capital ships ever cost that much?”
“How much would you pay to repair a broken limb? Repair your lungs? Heal a fatal disease?” Xan replied.
The lieutenant was speechless, and turned away from the Dashade. “All men! Secure the perimeter. Set up more thermal scanners, get the landing pad secure. Anyone who isn’t supposed to be here, or does not have enough proof kick off the landing pad.”
Xan almost smiled as the two dozen men fanned out and did as they were told. The gravity of the situation hit him though. Had it been a squad of medics this pad would have been secured a month in advance, rotation for guards spanning several miles. There would be no chance of attack, the supplies would have been secure.
The leaders of K.U.D.F. don’t understand what they are losing. They see it is credits, not lives. They have become complacent. The Jedi being around haven’t helped either. It has given everyone a feeling of invincibility. Somehow I get the feeling that this will not end well, Xan thought to himself.
To Xan’s surprise the men locked down the pad, and the received the medical supplies without any attack. He took a look at the amount of supplies and almost laughed at his earlier estimate. There were transporting about two million credits worth of supplies, not an unreasonable sum. Xan has seen less for more honestly, and if this shipment made it, the tribe receiving it would be set for months, if not a year.
They each carried a pack with about twenty kilos of the medical supplies. They then moved off from the launch pad, and Xan had them split into three groups of eight, making it more likely that at least some of the shipment arrived. Xan and the Lieutenant were to be in one group to draw possible raiders to them, and make the other groups look like decoys. They were to keep in constant communication via the com link. Xan even had his group leave an hour later.
After an hour long trek, Xan received good news. Both of the groups sent on ahead arrived at the tribe with no difficulty. Xan even began to feel foolish about sending them on ahead.
A soldier just two meters in front of Xan went down after a quick flash of red. Xan was stunned. The lieutenant, however was not.
“We are under attack. Lay down fire!” he called out.
Xan took two shots before realizing what was going on. Then it was as if he was a spring, launching forward, his yellow bladed saber out, illuminating the area around him. He saw three forms approaching, all human, with blades. He swung out wide, catching one, and illuminating the other two. The one he hit went down with a scream as the lightsaber burned into his skin, and cut through his spine. The other two, Xan saw were in a dark red, and had oddly familiar tattoos.
“Red Plagues! Do not hesitate to kill!” Xan shouted, his enemies having appeared once again. He moved forward, his saber swinging a full 180 degrees with all of his might.
The remaining seven soldiers held off the Red Plague’s with good aim, hitting as many times as they missed, but it appeared as if there were hordes of them. Xan saw the Lieutenant get closed into melee combat, and was glad to see him hold his own against two, possibly three of these gang members.
Xan picked up the fallen soldiers bag, and slung it over his shoulder. He then began to move closer to the soldiers, trying to give the appearance that he was tiring. Eat them! His hunger called out to him. Xan shook his head, trying to ignore it, and was rewarded by a cut to his left arm. Then he saw the lieutenant go down.
Xan swung out with a one handed cut, distracting the two Red Plagues fighting him. He then launched himself backwards, towards the remaining gang member fighting the Lieutenant. With a quick flick of his wrist, the Red Plague was down, the saber having cut through his spine.
“Retreat!” Xan heard from the gang’s direction. “We have all the info we need. The supplies are worthless compared to the ten men we lost. Get out!”
“H…ey Je…di” Koliko coughed, a knife sticking out of his chest. Xan did a quick chest, and was relieved that the wound would not be fatal.
The group, carrying the Lieutenant, made it to the tribe by dawn. They handed over the rest of the supplies to the tribe, and were later picked up on land speeders.
Xan had to stop himself before going to the clinic. He pulled out a data pad which he had been using to stay in contact with the K.U.D.F. and the Councilors of Urr.
To whom it may Concern among the Councilors of Urr and the K.U.D.F.,
Lieutenant Koliko did an amazing job in the recent security detail, and proved himself to be a great soldier. I would like to request for him to be in a special squad I am creating to deal with the Red Plagues here on New Tython. Based on intelligence gathered, it would seem that there are only a few of them left, but from experience that is all they need.