"Kindred Spirits" is a short story by Christie Golden, with art by Magali Villeneuve, that was published in Star Wars Insider 159. The story is a prequel to Golden's novel Dark Disciple. Kindred Spirits is available in the paperback edition of Dark Disciple.
The former Sith assassin Asajj Ventress and the Blood Bone Order pirate captain Lassa Rhayme embark on a mission to seize the freighter Steady On from Hondo Ohnaka's pirate base on Florrum. Ventress poses as Rhayme's Jedi bounty while Rhayme poses as a renegade member of her own. Weeks earlier, Rhayme had rescued Ventress after the latter had accepted an ill-fated job to serve as an escort for the cargo ship Steady On, which was carrying a valuable item. However, Ventress and the other mercenaries' starfighters had been ambushed by the Ohnaka Gang. Ventress was wounded during the attack and was rescued by Rhayme and her Blood Bone Order, who had intended to raid the Stead On. Rhayme had brought the wounded Ventress to the medbay of her starship Opportunity and healed her injuries. Rhayme had also towed Ventress' ship Banshee for repairs. After finding Ventress's lightsaber, Rhayme thought she was a Jedi and enlisted her helped in recovering the Steady On. In return, Ventress would get to keep the valuable item aboard the freighter.
Prior to the mission, one of Rhayme's crew had infiltrated the Steady One and reported back that Hondo was away but had left a skeleton crew behind to unload the freighter. Using Ventress as her "Jedi" prisoner, Rhayme managed to convince Hondo's lieutenant Jiro to let them inside the Steady On. Inside the Steady On, Rhayme poses as a renegade member of her own crew and offers to join the Ohnaka Gang by using her "Jedi" prisoner as a bargaining chip. To curry favor with Jiro, the disguised Rhayme offers to disclose Rhayme's plans so that he can defeat Rhayme and become Hondo's second in command. Growing impatient with Jiro's grilling, Ventress uses the Force to grab her lightsaber and pretends to attack Rhayme. Rhayme then uses the Force to stop the Weequays' blaster bolts in mid air.
After knocking out two pirates, she is kicked in the small of her back by Rhayme, who pretends to force her to yield. While Jiro's men take Ventress into custody, Rhayme proceeds with her "deal" with Jiro. In return for Jiro extorting a ransom from the Jedi Council, Rhayme would join their crew and help them find Lassa Rhayme's fleet. While Jiro is hesitant to move without Hondo's approval due to his earlier mutiny on Florrum, Rhayme offers to vouch for him if he attacks first. Unknown to Jiro, Ventress' attempted escape was a means for Rhayme to use the lightsaber to damage her stuncuffs. After being led out of the grand hall, Ventress uses the Force to shatter her remaining binders and then knocks four guards unconscious. Ventress then rushes to secure the valuable item aboard the Steady On.
Back in the grand hall, Lassa manages to convince Jiro to send the bulk of the remaining ships on Florrum to attack the Blood Bone Order's fleet. To distract Jiro, Lassa plies her with tales about Rhayme's hoard of Tevraki whiskey. After Ventress had slipped outside, Lassa attacks the drunken Jiro with Ventress' lightsaber. Before the fight can escalate, Hondo Ohnaka returns and chastises Jiro for sending away his crew and accepting a Jedi bounty. When Ohnaka confronts Lassa, she reveals herself as the true Lassa Rhayme and demands the stolen Steady On and its haul. Though outnumbered and not Force-sensitive, Rhayme uses Ventress' lightsaber to knock Ohnaka's electrostaff out of his hand. She then fires a blaster at Hondo and flings the lightsaber towards the doorway.
Meanwhile, Ventress uses a combination of the Force and the pirates' own blasters to mow down the unloading crew and Hondo's ten men. Respecting Rhayme's wishes, Ventress wounds but does not kill them. Sensing the Force, Ventress retrieves her lightsaber. Some of Hondo's pirates try to grab it in midair and paid with their fingers. At that point, Ventress senses the arrive of another ship with two dozen life-forms. Back in the grand hall, Hondo manages to knock Lassa's blaster out of her hand, causing her to fall. However, Lassa manages to grab the blaster and fires it at Hondo. Following the skirmish on Florrum, Lassa and Ventress depart aboard the Opportunity with the valuable item that Ventress had requested.
While chatting about their successful mission, Ventress asks why Rhayme lacks tattoos unlike other Pantorans. Lassa explains that she has loyalties to nobody but her crew, whom she regards as her family. The two drink whiskey to celebrate their success, which is much better than the beverages served on Coruscant's Level 1313. Lassa offers Ventress a place among her crew complete with income, bed and board, and adventure. While Ventress likes the offer, she is still haunted by the deaths of her fellow Nightsisters and turns it down. Lassa accepts Ventress' decline but tells her that the offer still stands should she change her mind. Ventress in return offers her services as a bounty hunter. At Rhayme's request, Ventress opens the cargo she was tasked with escorting. The object turns out to be simple statuette of a sea mammal with four flippers and an elongated muzzle. Despite its beauty, Ventress is still determined to deliver it to her employer.
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Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Kindred Spirits announcement. Star Wars Books (June 25, 2015, 12:44 pm). Retrieved on June 25, 2015, 1:00 pm. "Next up, in Insider #159 is an original short story by Christie Golden that serves as a prequel to STAR WARS: DARK DISCIPLE. "Kindred Spirits" stars Asajj Ventress and the pirate Lassa Rhayme. Today we have a sneak preview of the amazing art by Magali Villeneuve that will accompany the story. Star Wars Insider #159 will be on-sale July 21st." (screenshot)