14 February, 2006

Coded Messages

A light tapping sound echoed from the darkest corner of the cell. It was in near unison with a red blinking light that seemed to bring an eerie glow with every flash.
Dooku shifted on his thin cot, sucking in a long snore. The light from a cosmos of stars shone in the barred window, casting pale illumination on the sleeping man. He had drawn his stained grey wool blanket over his shoulders, leaving his socked feet uncovered.
The rhythmic tapping intensified, sounding much like rain hitting a metal roof.
The elder groaned, gathering the tattered blanket around his ears.
A sudden jolting noise of metal impacting with a hard surface ripped through the air.
Dooku sat erect in bed, immediately, throwing a glare to the shadowed corner.
"Yes, yes," he said, his voice deep with residual sleep, "I hear you, old chap." He yawned, hugely, stretching out his arms above his head, the cuffs around his wrists clinking together.
The tapping resumed, very faintly.
The old man wrapped the cover around his shoulders like a cloak. He exhaled a short sigh, swinging his long legs over the side of the cot. He sucked in a hiss, as his feet touched the freezing floor, stepping toward the sound.
Observing the blinking metal box, the Dark Master noted that it was on its side. He set it upright and laid a gentle hand on the lid.

"I'm sorry, Qui-Gon," he said, sitting on the frigid durasteel, leaning his back against the solid wall.
The tapping resumed. The sounds were different than before, though. The taps grew in length at times, others were short. There was no even pattern, but there was something very familiar in the presentation.

"Talz code." In the dim light shining between the bars, Count Dooku smiled. He had used the primitive communication form several times in the past. Once, he recalled, he had to send emergency transmissions to the Council, without it being detected by a renegade faction stationed in his area. The lessons of the language were taught to all Padawans when he was training in the Crèche. Technology had left the code behind, but he had made sure to pass it on to his own Padawan.
He tapped out eight dots, signalling that he needed the message to be repeated.
The reply came.
"-- .- ... - . .-. ..--.." Master?
".--. .- -.. .- .-- .- -. .-.-.-" Padawan.
".- .-. . /  -.-- --- ..- /  .- .-.. .-.. /  .-. .. --. .... - ..--.." Are you all right?
Dooku sighed. Things were not well and he would not have considered himself all right. ".. /  .- -- /  ..-. .. -. . .-.-.- /  .- .-. . /  -.-- --- ..- ..--.." I am fine. Are you?
There was a pause. ".. /  -. . . -.. /  -.-- --- ..- /  - --- /  - . .-.. .-.. /  .--- .--- /  .-- .... .- - /  .... .- .--. .--. . -. . -.. .-.-.-" I need you to tell JJ what happened.
A trickle of fear ran through the elder. Qui-Gon had not answered his question. He tried to reach out with the Force, but the handcuffs inhibited his ability. He could sense nothing, the feeling left him empty.
More code began,
".... .- ...- . /  ... --- -- . --- -. . /  .-- .- - . .-. /  -- -.-- /  .--. .-.. .- -. - ... .-.-.-" Have someone water my plants.
".. /  .-- .. .-.. .-.. .-.-.-" I will.
"--. --- /  -... .- -.-. -.- /  - --- /  ... .-.. . . .--. /  .- -. -.. /  -.. --- -. .----. - /  .-- --- .-. .-. -.-- /  .- -... --- ..- - /  -- . .-.-.-" Go back to sleep and don't worry about me.
Dooku sighed and ran his finger over the cool metal of the box. For telling JawaJuice, he would do his best to inform the Jawa of the situation. As for the last part of the request, he knew that it was something that he could not heed.
He stood slowly and returned to his cot, wrapping the blanket around himself, suddenly feeling very cold. He stared, blankly, at the ceiling, until the purple light of dawn began to break through the bars.


At 6:48 pm, Blogger Barriss Offee said...

I will send one of the padawans to water your plants for you, Master Qui-Gon!

At 7:07 pm, Blogger A Army Of (Cl)One said...

You go Qui-Gon! You and Dooku fight the Man! You tell them...Oh wait i am the Man.

Quite down you spice eating hippies!

At 12:17 am, Blogger Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Coded messages! Cool!

Stick it to the screws, Qui Gon!

At 4:27 am, Blogger Lt. Cmdr Oneida said...

AOC, be nice, Qui-Gon is a Jedi Master. In fact, to make it up to him, you should let him out to stretch a bit, get some fresh air. Just push the big red button. Don't worry, nothing bad will happen.

Have I ever misled you before? *smiles sweetly at TK266*

Good luck, Qui-Gon

At 4:55 pm, Blogger Jaina Solo said...

Welcome back Gui Gon!
I'm sure you'll get out of that box soon.


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