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The pinkish glow fell on a pair of black boots. A familiar voice
said, "Did you call for help?"
Jaina started and nearly fell off the branch. Growling, Chewbacca
bared his fats, though he could make no move to attack.
"Zekk - what are you doing here?" Trying to check her astonishment,
Jaina stood and held the glowing light higher, but the leather clad
figure took a step backward, keeping his face partly in shadow.
"I had business here on Kashyyyk."
"Imperial business?" Jaina asked, and bit her lip as soon
as she had said it. Her heart contracted painfully. "What's happened
to you, Zekk? How could you stay here with the Shadow Academy? I
thought we were friends."
He ignored the question, and asked two of his own. "Why are you
here, Jaina? Why couldn't you have stayed away? I don't want to
Chewbacca voiced a snarl of warning at these words, though at
the same time, he hissed in pain from his injury.
"Then don't hurt me, Zekk," Jaina said reasonably. She took a
step along the branch towards her former friend. "I'm no threat
to you. I'm your friend. I care for you."
"Step back and stay out of my way," Zekk snapped. "It's already
too late for the others." (197-8)
"I'm not impressed with your tricks, Jaina," he said. "Don't play
games with me."
With a whoosh, a sizzling brightness stabbed through her
eyelids. Jaina opened her eyes to see Zekk holding the weapon of
a Jedi, his face lit by its pulsating scarlet glow. "Don't go for
your lightsaber, Jaina," he warned.
She shook her head. "I won't raise a weapon against you, Zekk.
And I don't believe you'd kill me either."
Zekk's face distorted with warring emotions. "Then stay away from
the Jedi academy. If you ever get out of here, don't go back. The
Second Imperium will soon target Yavin 4 - and I will fight as a
loyal warrior for my Emperor."
"Emperor? Zekk, you don't know what you're saying," Jaina pleaded.
"Stop treating me like I'm an ignorant street kid!" he snarled
back. "You've always underestimated my abilities, denied me opportunities.
But Lord Brakiss doesn't. He has shown me what I'm capable of."
He tilted his head to look up into the dark nest of branches overhead,
as if he could see the daylight far above.
"I've already sent a signal for a fast ship to pick me up. I believe
our raid has been quite successful. Time for me to return to the
Zekk twitched his lightsaber from side to side as if shaking a
finger I warning. "For the friendship we once had, I'll spare you
this time, Jaina. But don't ever test my loyalties again." (200-1)
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