Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

2 years prior to The Force Awakens...
A persistent and interactive galaxy set shortly before the events of Episode VII

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VagueDurin
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

Vague stood in the corridor for a moment, looking over his crew. Orev seemed to have suffered a similar pattern of interrogation as Vague had, if the burn's and fresh cuts were an indication. Thankfully, it looked like the First Order hadn't gotten around to pulling Rossi or Tsivoin in for questioning yet. Vague was grateful for that. His attention lingered on SlackJaw for just a moment before his eyes turned back to Nova. She wasn't undamaged, by any means, but her injuries were consistent with those she'd suffered planetside. Odd, that. Vague thought to himself... It had seemed, at least originally, that she was the sole focus of this entire operation, yet he, Orev, and Micaiah were the ones tortured?

He physically shook his head to clear out that line of thought. The Outlaw recalled how the Order used to beat the piss out of he or Orev, leaving the other unscathed in desperate attempts to turn them against each other during their captivity all those years ago. Perhaps this was again such a deception. It hardly mattered at the moment. They had work to do. The captain took several steps down the corridor, passing between his crew members, and wrestled the helmet off of one of the downed troopers that lay along the deck. A few tears and a couple of seconds later, he tossed the comm module from the helmet to Orev.

His face darkened a shade as he considered their situation before he moved onto the next nearest trooper and repeated the process, this time tossing the comm to Rossi. Finally, he took a deep breath and began to issue commands. "Orev, take the kids and secure transport. Preferably the 'Bedlam, ofcourse. Rossi, EssJay, find a terminal figure out what they've done with Masilda and whatever else you can glean from the network as to who's running this show and why we were targeted. I'll see to the good Doctor." He finished, his tone slightly strained. In truth, after the damage of the interrogation, Vague wasn't sure he'd be able to stop the Sylarian... but he owed it to her and to his crew to try.

"Vague, I don't know if you should go alone," Nova told him. "She seems to be killing everything that gets in her way. She'll kill you too."

Were it so easy. he thought to himself darkly. Vague finished ripping out the third communicator and slipped it into his pocket. Ofcousre he knew that there was a possibility that he wouldn't be able to stop Micaiah. It was a risk he was willing to take. If it were the case, he'd hopefully buy the rest of them time to escape. He stood from his crouch and looked down at Nova, his voice lowered slightly. "She isn't the only threat onboard, hazynam." he resisted the urge to glance over at Tsivoin, but hoped the young Jedi understood his meaning.
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Nova didn't even really need Vague to look at Tsiv in order to tell who he was referring to. She could still feel his thoughts plain as day. She almost blurted out that Tsivoin is not a threat but she bit her tongue and held it in instead. She knew the young Zabrak was still having trouble dealing with Rossi's fear of him, the last thing he needed was to know that Vague considered him a threat. Finally, with a sigh she turned around and looked at Orev.

"Do you know where the hangar is," she asked and Orev nodded. "Okay, I'll lead the way. You two stay behind me."

He looked like he was about to say something further when Nova stepped past him and ignited her lightsaber. He thought better of it then after remembering she could use that thing to reflect blaster bolts. The three of them made their way out of the cell block towards the hangar. They hadn't got far before they turned a corner and found some more of Micaiah's handiwork.Aortic spatter lined the walls and three stormtroopers lay dead in puddles of their own blood, their throats cut from ear to ear.

Orev let out a low whistle. "The Doc did this?"

Nova nodded. "Yea," she said quietly, "Kind of hard to look at, isn't it?"

Orev said nothing, but he had a pensive look on his face. All anyone knew about the doctor was that she was a pacifist--or at least she claimed to be a pacifist. Vague had mentioned she'd been traumatized by the violence back on the Wanderlust, but that was either a very convincing performance or there was something else going on. Something much worse.

"Which way should we go," Nova asked him, breaking him out of his current thoughts.

"Um, this way," he said, directing them with a gesture from his hand.

"Alright," Nova answered, then she took the lead as she lead them to the hangar...
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Vague sighed softly and watched the trio depart towards the hangar. He could tell from her reaction that Nova likely misunderstood his warning. He made a mental note to speak with her once they were safe, about the fact that the First Order officer had pressed him specifically about Tsivoin and the Force. The Captain was still trying to learn all of this force nonsense, but he imagined that the young Zabrak being put onto the First Order's anti-jedi radar was something Nova needed to know about, and he hadn't wanted to bring it up in front of the others.

He nodded his head briefly towards Rossi and SlackJaw as the pair set off to carry out their own tasks. Vague would have preferred to keep the team together but there were too many variables currently and he had little choice but to split them up. He took a moment to check the charge on his carbine, then slung it over his shoulder and back and took off aft towards the ships engineering section. If Nova was right, and Micaiah was indeed going for the reactors... well, he needed to get there first.

********

Tsivoin suppressed a shiver as he followed behind Nova and Orev down the corridor. The teen had seen plenty of carnage in his relatively short life, but the clinical savagery of what they were coming across was of an ilk he had yet to experience. The Zabrak, being the youngest and least trained of the group, found himself carrying the duffel bag of equipment, and he again resisted the urge to reach inside and take hold of his husk of a lightsaber hilt. What would you do, throw it at a stormtrooper? He asked himself. Yet, he felt a draw to the object that he was unable to justify, moreso now after their visit to the destroyed temple than it had ever been previously.

Lost in thought, he mis-stepped and his booted foot slipped through a puddle of yet to dry blood. "I'm fine." He called out sheepishly as he struggled to regain his footing - trying hard not to look into the vacant faceplate of the trooper he'd fallen next to.

********

Rossi forced herself not to turn around as she heard the report of SlackJaw's blaster rifle fire once more into the corridor. The quicker she keyed in commands on the console, the sooner they could move towards the hangar and rally with the others. The Kessurian's fingers were a pink blur as they danced over the keyboard. The ship was modern and had robust countermeasures in place to deter unsanctioned access to it's mainframe, but she was making progress. It wouldn't be long now.

There! She used two fingers and a thumb to pinch at part of the screen and expand it several times. This was the chink it the anti-intrusion armor she'd been searching for. Rossi excitedly keyed in a kill sequence, and couldn't help but whoop in elation as the firewall blinked out of existence. "We're in!" She called out to SlackJaw. "Now... let's see where they're keeping Masilda."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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The blasterfire died down after the last stormtrooper fell. Nova stared down at her handiwork then glanced back up at Orev. The two of them together took care of the guard around the 'Bedlam and any FIrst Order officers still left inside. "Masilda's not here," Tsivoin announced as he came back into the hangar bay from the Bedlam's boarding ramp.

"Probably moved her to medical," Orev replied, then he lifted his radio to his lips to alert the crew the ship was secured with a coded message.

Nova crossed her arms and looked at him. "You know, eventually you guys are going to have to fill us in about that," she said.

Orev shrugged. "Listen--," he started, but he was interrupted when a violent shudder throughout the entire ship sent all three of them sprawling to the floor.

"What the hell was that," Nova asked as she clawed her way back to her feet.

"Explosion," Orev said simply. "That little doctor is doing a number on this ship. Cap'n better get to her fast..."

Meanwhile, in the Admiral's personal shuttle Julien sat monitoring the security feeds of his former ship. An internal explosion blew a hole through the hull on the port side of the ship venting air into space. It was amazing the ship was still functional after the damage it had sustained. A testament to First Order engineering, but he didn't much care about that. His eyes were transfixed on the feeds. This tiny woman he thought nothing of was tearing his men apart. He only caught snippets of it here and there. One moment there was a group of stormtroopers on patrol, the next there was a flash of steel and all four of them were down, bleeding from their throats. Their assailant appeared briefly in the feed only as a lithe figure with white hair and then she was gone. She moved with such elegance and grace, avoiding cameras whenever possible and eliminating targets with expert precision. Perhaps the most fascinating thing, however, was the fact she had nearly killed the young Jedi. Until that moment Julien had thought they were part of the same crew. Whatever had caused this sudden change in the woman the crew of the Bedlam were not in on it.

"Interesting...," he muttered to himself. "Behavorial programing perhaps?"

The First Order had employed similar techniques in their recruitment and training of stormtroopers to varying degrees of success, but they were nothing like this. The woman was a pacifist who abhorred violence. She told him as much herself. This was a radical turn around for her, but it did shed a bit of light on her mysterious history. Another camera feed just outside engineering, there was a flurry of activity then three dead stormtroopers were left lying in pools of their own blood. Engineering had been her objective, no doubt she intended to destroy the entire ship to maintain her secret. An explosion of that size would completely disintigrate his tiny shuttle so now it was time to go. He set down the datapad and keyed in a course for his rendezvous with Kylo Ren at Starkiller base. No doubt lord Ren would be disappointed to learn that he had lost the Jedi, however, the information he would bring instead would no doubt prove integral to maintaining the military superiority of the First Order...

The lights in engineering flickered on and off periodically. A small group of stormtroopers stood nervously around the reactor, their weapons trained on their surroundings. Alarm kalxons blared in the distance and a flashing red light was the only thing illuminating the room. The sound of leather squeezing tightly filled the air as the troopers tightened their grips on their weapons. One of them backed nervously into another when he thought he might have seen something.

"Watch it," the other trooper said, pushing him forward.

"Hey--," the first tried to say, turning to face him. However, he never got to finish his thought before a knife hurled through the darkness pierced his neck, slipping into the space between the chest piece of his armor and his helmet. He gurgled on his own blood before he feel to his knees and collapsed in a heap. The other troopers immediately raised their weapons and started to fire at anything they thought they saw moving. Blaster fire danced around the room, burning into the bulkhead or melting through sensitive electronics. A shadow moved behind them and before they knew it two more of them were dead. On the catwalk above the last stormtrooper trained his gun on the girl who had slaughtered his friends. As he fired she dove to the side, snapping her fingers as she went. A blade materialized out of thin air into the palm of her hand and before she even hit the ground she hurled it at the last stormtrooper, catching him under the chin and slicing up into his brain. He slumped against the rail before falling to the deck below.

Micaiah pulled herself off the ground then retrieved her stash of detonators. A quick examination of the room told her there were no more remaining threats so she immediately set about rigging explosives around the ship's reactor. She had gotten about halfway through finishing her work when the sudden flash of movement behind her alerted her to danger. In an instant she snapped her fingers, half turned and hurled a knife at her attacker, catching Vague by surprise and knocking his weapon free of his grasp. Then she stood and created another knife before charging forward. The flash of a light suddenly flickered on revealing Vague's face. For a moment the young Sylarian froze in place, though whether that was out of recognition or something else was difficult to say. Vague decided to chance it anyway.

"Micaiah, listen to me," he started slowly, that seemed to snap her out of whatever haze she was in and the woman suddenly charged at him with the knife, swiping this way and that. Vague was hard pressed to avoid her attacks, his injuries making that all the more difficult. It was clear to him now, though, that he wasn't going to get through to her with words alone...
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Durin was taken aback by the sudden shift and very nearly paid dearly for the lapse. As it was, the outlaw suddenly found himself pressed onto the defensive as the Sylarian unleashed a staggering onslaught of knife attacks against him. His body was still recovering from being ravaged by the interrogator, his defensive movements and attempts to counter barely completed in time before the smaller, quicker Micaiah had followed up with another calculatedly lethal strike. In the back of his mind, Vague found himself trying to reconcile the nearly feral woman he was fighting now with the images he had of the docile, nearly catatonic Micaiah he'd helped aboard the Wanderlust, and the cool, calculated version who'd come to his aid while infiltrating Lyshani's den. It was a fruitless task.

A glancing blow to his chin cast the fleeting thoughts deep below his conscious thoughts and he brought his full focus to the struggle. He spent the next minute fending off the Sylarian's attacks while simultaneously studying her fighting style. One of Vague's most useful talents in hand-to-hand combat had always been his ability to identify his opponents fighting style and while utilizing his experience in several different disciplines craft an effective counter-strategy on the fly. Her attacks, though, fell into no identifiable discipline that he'd ever encountered before. The efficiency and speed of her strikes and movements was nearly staggering. In the end, Vague realized that in his damaged, weakened state his only hope of continued survival was to utilize his marginal height and reach advantage and do his best to keep her out of close range.

He blocked another of her attempts at a joint lock and forced them apart once more. Though something changed in his facial expression. He'd identified an opportunity. When she went in for another jabbing attempt, he purposefully allowed the attack to go through unblocked, though the Outlaw specifically twisted his frame to ensure that the blade struck his midsection in such a way as to avoid any lethal damage. This tactic seemed to startle the Sylarian slightly, and as she withdrew the blade distractedly he was finally able to connect on a counter attack that jarred Micaiah's grip on the blade loose, sending it skittering off across the deck.

The effort to land the counter had taken Vague out of position, however and before he could recover the Sylarian pressed her advantage. She struck with surgical precision, temporarily deadening the leg that most of Vague's weight was on and followed up with a pair of strikes to his trunk, causing him to fall backwards to the ground. He narrowly avoided clanging the back of his head off of the deck and before he could react, Micaiah had closed the distance and mounted him, replacing the lost blade with another that somehow seemed to materialize from her sleeve.

With the majority of her weight preventing his lower body from movement, Vague struggled to shift her off of him. He was able to block and redirect a pair of attacks, but paid a steep price in return. Micaiah's blade found its way inside his defensive screen and plunged up through his armpit, severing a tendon and a series of blood vessels, rendering his primary arm completely useless. As Micaiah withdrew the blade, he instinctively brought his other hand up gauge the damage. His eyes locked with hers, however, when she reversed her grip on the blade and wound back for a strike at his now vulnerable throat.

The knife came down hard and the outlaw closed his eyes. This was it, this is how he was going to die. He braced himself for the inevitable end, but when none came he opened his eyes again. Micaiah had frozen in place, the point of her knife just inches from his throat. Unable to comprehend what she was doing the Sylarian staggered backwards, her knife falling harmlessly to the deck. She stood in stunned amazement, staring at her hands as Vague clawed his way back to his feet. When she saw him moving out of the corner of her eye she moved to attack him again. Though this time without any of the certainty she possessed before.

Durin had been sure that was going to be his end. Now the Captain wasn't sure what to think. He'd staggered to his feet the moment she'd withdrawn and relinquished the advantage, hoping maybe whatever had triggered this onslaught had somehow ended... yet the moment she detected his movement she'd launched herself back in his direction. Though, even as he struggled to redirect her attack Vague noticed that her efforts had changed. If she'd still been attacking with the same efficiency and brutality as before, his handicapped state wouldn't have allowed him to counter. The status quo had shifted... and he couldn't afford to take the time to comprehend it in case it may shift back the other direction. With little other option available to him, and her coordination suddenly lacking, Vague resulted to brute force tactics. He landed a series of blows from booted feet and his one good fist into Micaiah's thighs, biceps, and flank in hopes of dulling or impairing the muscles beneath, then slid in close. It wasn't a particularly attractive takedown, but the end result was satisfactory.

Vague was able to bring Micaiah to the ground and lock her neck and arm between his legs. Without hesitation, he began to apply pressure. His goal wasn't to break the Sylarian's neck, he sincerely hoped that there was some other way than death to bring an end to her rampage. No, instead he was doing his best to apply enough pressure to the arteries that supplied blood to her brain. If he could just render her unconscious, even for a few moments... There. He heard the scuffing of her boots on the deck slow, then cease all together as the rest of her body went limp. Immediately he let go and extracted himself from the tangle of their bodies and for a moment he simply lay flat on his back, panting in exhaustion. He steeled himself with a very deep breath, then struggled one handed to his feet, locating his discarded rifle.

The Captain walked back over to Micaiah's still form and sighed as he rotated a selector switch on the Rebly manufactured weapon. "I'm sorry Mic." He muttered, and in his nightmares later that night, he'd be sure that he saw those cold, calculating eyes flash open one more time between his statement and when the stun blast struck her.
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Once Rossi had cracked into the ship's systems, she began to place data-mining packets in key locations. Her main goal was to locate the whereabouts of Masilda, but there was no reason not to gather as much intel as possible on the First Order and their ambitions in the process.

Unfortunately, the net she cast may have been a little too wide. She keyed open the file on Vague's interview absently and it played on in the background as she worked. Her curiosity got the better of her as she began to focus more on it than her coding. She'd not been called to be questioned before Nova arrived to spring them loose and she wondered what it had been like. That wondering was a mistake. She watched on, in horror as the interrogator and his droid tortured Vague and ultimately she swiped the feed away with a trembling hand. For a moment, she imagined what it must've felt like... until she realized that if Nova hadn't arrived when she did...

Distractedly, she pressed on in her search, only to stumble across a camera feed and witnessed Micaiah savagely dispatch a squad of First Order troopers in a corridor. Her audible gasp drew SlackJaw's attention away from guarding the door and for a few moments the pair simply stared at the screen in silence. The Sylarian had long disappeared and all that remained were the blood splattered bodies of the fallen troopers.

"We haven't much time." SlackJaw finally spoke, though his modulated voice seemed softer than normal.

The Kessurian nodded and forced herself to take her pink toned hands away from covering her mouth in shock and horror, and put them back to work on the pad. She was narrowing down on Masilda's location and vowed to not be distracted again... she wasn't sure she could handle witnessing anything else.

"Med bay." she spoke into the empty room, tapping a few more keys, she flagged a handful of top security transmissions that had gone in and out of the ship in the last day or so, as well as a flight log for the hangar and set them up to remote download into SlackJaw's database.

"Let's go get her."

****************************************

Vague stood over top of Micaiah's still from for a handful of seconds, catching his breath and dizzily trying to make sense of what was happening. It was no use, though. What he knew about the woman paled in comparison to the secrets she kept about herself and he knew it. For now, all he could do was focus on getting his crew clear of this soon to be derelict ship. With a firm nod, as if to confirm his own orders to himself, he set off to examine what the Sylarian had accomplished prior to his arrival.

Her work had been thorough, that much was certain. Vague added only a trio more of the explosives around the section before he was sure that the resulting explosion would properly eradicate the vessels very existence. What gave him pause, though, was a lack of detonator. He glanced back at Micaiah for a moment... Surely, whatever had changed within her... she hadn't planned on going down with the ship. He searched the satchel one more time, then frowned. Perhaps she'd intended to utilize the bracelet in some way to trigger the explosives.

The Captain cautiously approached her and with his one good arm tried to manipulate the device in hopes of removing it from her wrist. No dice. The bright green menus flashed in a language he couldn't begin to comprehend and by the end of it they started glowing a bright red instead. Thinking better of upsetting the foreign device, he left it and her alone and took a slow look around the engineering bay... "The old fashion way, then." He commented grimly under his breath.

****************************************

Rossi and SlackJaw had made quick work of the few remaining guards around the med-bay and secured their Ryn comrade. She looked no worse for wear than the last time they'd seen her, which was a relief. Now the pair were carefully racing back through the ship with Masilda secured to a hover-gurney. They encountered minute resistance along the way... finding it more of a struggle to navigate around the corpses Micaiah had left strewn about than battling with any survivors of her rampage.

They were nearing the hangar when Orev's call came through telling them that the 'Beldam was secured. The pair followed his comm with a confirmation that they'd found and secured Masilda and were on their way to the ship. It was shortly after that they rounded a corner and came to a jarring halt. With SlackJaw in the lead, Rossi at first had a hard time seeing what exactly had caused them to stop. She leaned to the side in an effort to look past the olive and tan droid and sucked in a gasp at the sight.

Vague was leaning against the other side of the corridor, bruised and bloodied. He had Micaiah's left arm draped over his his back and left shoulder and held it in front of him with his right arm. What looked to be the sling from his rifle was wrapped around both of their waists and kept her pressed up against his back. For a moment, Rossi wasn't sure she was actually seeing it, then something audibly snapped in her mind and she shouted out. "By the stars, Vague what happened?!"

Vague stopped and half turned at the sound of her voice. Seeing his face only added to her panic. The parts of his skin that weren't covered in blood were pale from blood loss instead. His knees seemed to falter a bit as he turned to address them. "No time." he replied to her question, then took a couple short breaths. "Comm's damaged. Ships set to blow.... We have... three minutes..." He tipped to the side, his body catching the edge of the corridor.

Rossi wasted no time, immediately keying her comm. The gurney wouldn't hold the weight of two, no matter how slight in figure Micaiah was... and it was obvious that Vague was hardly in condition to get to the hangar by himself, much less carrying the Sylarian on his back.

"Guys, we're in the main spine, about eight bulkheads from the hangar. Vague and Miciah are hurt. We need help, and we don't have much time."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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"Already on it," Nova answered over the comm. Then she half turned to Tsivoin standing beside her. "Just like lifting rocks, okay," she told him. "I'll get them over here you help me catch them."

Tsivoin looked uncertain but nodded his head. Then Nova turned back to the corridor. Sorry, guys, this isn't going to feel pleasant.

She held out her hand towards Vague and the others then keyed her radio. "Guys, I'm sorry in advance."

Rossi lifted the radio to her lips again with a look of confusion in her eyes. "Sorry in advance for wha--aaaah!" She cried as she and the others were suddenly lifted into the air and thrown forward at a rapid velocity. Nova used the Force to keep them aloft and moving as fast as she could manage but she could already begin to feel the strain on her body. Once they were close enough she let go, allowing their velocity to carry them the rest of the way. Exhausted, the Jedi collapsed to her knees. The next part was up to Tsiv, he was going to have to catch them... All of them.

At first, Tsivoin was flushed and disoriented as he experienced the sudden and fierce surge of the Force emanate from Nova by his side. The teen took a half step back and bent at the knees to brace himself against the sensation. Nova hadn't been entirely clear about what her plan was, but the jist he'd garnered frightened him to the core. His wide violet eyes glanced over towards her and he could tell there would be no opportunity for clarification, and as the strain in her arms slackened and she dropped to her knees, he knew that the rest of his crew - his families - fates were in his hands alone.

The frail teen took a couple of quick, deep breaths and reached sideways to flatten his palm against the landing strut of the 'Bedlam to ground himself. Just like lifting rocks... she'd said. Tsiv exhaled slowly and did his best to quiet his racing hearts. Since their last practice session where Nova had highlighted the importance of a Jedi's ongoing and innate connection to the force, he'd focused on little else. Now, even though terrified, he found himself easily submerging into a cool, dark lake. For a moment, he simply absorbed the sensations of opening himself up to the greater force.

The serenity was fleeting, though. Instead of the calm surface he'd become accustomed to, the lake within his mind's eye was disrupted by a ferocious and artificial current an embodiment of the energy Nova had called upon to hurl their friends towards them. Tsivoin opened his eyes to look upon the angry waves of thick, black water and though his pulse raced, he followed the ripples backwards to their source.

At first, all he saw was a massive and blinding violet light, several times his size, half submerged in the lake and barreling down on he and Nova like a freight train. Instantly he felt his lower back and neck prickle with uncertainty and fear. Nova was counting on him. He couldn't let her down. Couldn't let all of them down. His anxiety was growing, creating its own counter-current in the water around him. Tsiv took another deep breath, and let it out slowly, giving himself over completely to the force. The ripples around his form ceased. Similarly, the massive violet light shattered, revealing five smaller individual pinpoints in its place.

He physically lowered himself, placing one hand flat against the surface of the water and stretching out towards the crew with the other. They were coming at him too fast! Like rocks. he repeated to himself. With a final surge of determination, the force poured into the Zabrak and a wall of dark water shot up from the depths in front of the approaching crew. One by one, the wall acted as a sort of net... somehow grabbing hold of each of the crew and arresting their momentum. It certainly wasn't graceful, or gentle... but in the end, just before Tsiv fell backwards and off of the boarding ramp to the hangar deck below, he'd managed to catch them all.

"'Rev! Help Vague and Micaiah," Nova shouted as she hopped off the boarding ramp to check on Tsivoin. She knelt down next to him and lifted his head.

"You alright, Kid," she asked. The Zabrak nodded weakly, a broad smile on his face. Nova smiled too. "I knew you could do it," she told him. Then she reached out a hand and helped him to his feet.

Leveraging his arm to support his weight the two stepped around the boarding ramp to meet Vague and the others. By Now Orev had come down to take the weight of the Sylarian off of Vague's back. Both Rossi and Slackjaw were already loading the gurney carrying Masilda onto the ship. Of the five of them she probably had the easiest time of it. While the others might be feeling a bit of whiplash, Masilda was strapped down and secured. At best all she felt was the momentum of her gurney being pulled forward.

Behind them Vague limped to the boarding ramp as Nova and Tsivoin fell in beside him. "I'm sorry," she said, "I know that couldn't have felt very good, but Rossi said there wasn't much time so I tried to get you here as fast as I could. The only way I knew how."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Vague offered her a wry smile in response, only barely wincing as it stretched the crack in his upper lip. “Can’t speak for the others, but I’ve had worse.” He spoke, then almost distractedly he reached his good hand up to reapply pressure to the stab wound in his underarm. It was bleeding at a significantly higher rate than the one in his abdomen. His gaze darkened a bit as he looked up the ramp towards where Orev had taken the doctor.

Nova must have said something that he hadn’t heard, as she and the Zabrak were both looking at him expectantly. He shook his head and motioned forward. “Come on, we have less than three minutes to clear the blast zone.” Even as he spoke the trio could hear the propulsion systems kicking in.

Nova glanced up at Orev who was busy shackling Micaiah to a rail in the cargo bay. He had already shackled her right arm and was now working on her left. With a concerned look in her eye she turned to look back at Vague. "You need medical attention," she told him. "Tsivoin, get Rossi. I'll help him to the medbay."

Vague watched the Zabrak take off and paused, letting go of the pressure on his wound to slap the release on the ramp causing it to rise and seal rapidly behind them. A smear of fresh, wet blood was left behind on the control. He took two steps forward and keyed the intercom there. "EssJay, get us out of here. Granite Hawk." He barely got the command out before he began coughing. Twice, then twice more... He took a quick and deep breath, then the coughing became uncontrollable, droplets of blood escaping his lips.

"That's enough, Vague come on," Nova implored, swooping under his arm to help bear some of his weight. "Med bay. Now." She didn't wait for a response, though Vague didn't resist either, as she started the pair off on the thankfully short trek towards the medical room. While on their way, the telltale sensation of the freighter accelerating away from the doomed Frigate and jumping to lightspeed could be felt by those not too distracted to notice them. Less than a minute after they fled to hyperspace, the detonators aboard the Nebulon Frigate went off and reduced the craft to little more than superheated slag and atomized matter.

***********************************

Tsiv had a hard time tracking Rossi down at first... In fact he didn't exactly end up tracking her down at all. When he couldn't find her initially, he instead went to the med bay himself - as if somehow he could help Nova provide Vague with treatment of some kind. The door wooshed open and he almost went head over heals as he barreled into the hover-gurney that used to hold Masilda. Thankfully, as he steadied himself he realized that Masilda had been moved back to one of the stationary gurney's aboard the Bedlam.

"Campo, what's wrong?!"

He turned his spiked head sharply to see that Rossi had indeed already been in the Med bay the whole time. "Rossi-its-Vague-he's-hurt real bad-Nova-" He started to spill out the words a mile a minute, but before he could finish, the doors opened once more behind him and he grabbed hold of the hover gurney and moved it off to the side as Nova and Vague came stumbling into the bay.

"Rossi, you need to treat him now. He's lost a lot of blood," Nova said as she stumbled under the strain of Vague's weight. His legs had turned to jelly just moments before entering the medbay and now Nova was bearing most of his weight on her shoulders and clearly struggling. Both Rossi and Tsiv came to her aid and together the three of them somehow managed to get him into a gurney.

As Nova took a step back Rossi stared down at Vague's body, noting the wound in his shoulder as well as the various cuts and bruises covering his chest and arms. "I don't know, Nova, this is... This is serious. Shouldn't--," she stopped herself. The words catching in her throat. They had only one qualified doctor on this ship and currently she was chained up in the cargo bay.

"You really want to wake her up and bring her back here," Nova asked pointedly. There was a tinge of fear in her voice that Rossi had never heard from her before. Micaiah had nearly killed her and she had already been at death's door once before. "We have to do this ourselves."

The Kessurian averted her eyes away from Nova's gaze for a moment, took a couple calming breaths, then looked back at Vague. The young Jedi was right - Frell, Micaiah was the one who did most of this to him. she though to herself and suddenly felt a bit embarrassed that she'd even suggested bringing the Sylarian in to treat him. In a moment, she steeled her nerves as best as she could, and nodded firmly, looking back up at Nova. "Ok." She said, trying to project confidence. Orev and Vague had taught her quite a bit about first aid over the years and due to her having a far steadier hand than either of them she'd become the crews defacto medic... but none of them had ever been quite so grievously injured before.

Durin groaned a bit and tried to adjust himself on the gurney. "I can help." He offered weakly. "Walk you through it... Tsiv go grab a mirror, would you? So I can see." He turned to Nova next and listed off the instruments and supplies they would likely need. Before long, the trio had rounded up what they could and were preparing to start. Vague explained to them that the wound under his arm was the only life threatening one, the rest were superficial or at the very least weren't arterial bleeds.

Nova stood at the head of the bed, holding Vague's damaged left arm up above his head while Tsiv stood near the injured captains hip and held the mirror so that Durin could see the wound and what Rossi was doing. For her part, Rossi was doing everything she could to hold it together, forcing her hands not to tremble through a sheer feat of willpower.

Vague was looking paler by the minute, and his speech had slowed down considerably since they'd laid him on the gurney. "Alright Roz... We don't have the capability of repairing the damage to the joint onboard, but she cut the artery and I need you to close it off or I will bleed out. It'll have shunted back by now in response to the blood loss so you'll need to search for it. It's going to hurt but no matter what you have to keep going."

"Can't we give you something for the pain?" She asked, a quiver in her voice.

Durin shook his head. "Painkillers are a depressant, too much blood lost, could send me into shock. It's alright Roz. Get it done." he affirmed.

Rossi shut her eyes tightly for a second, then opened them and focused intently. "Three, two, one-" Her spine and shoulders shuddered as she pressed her fingers into the wound. Vague's teeth gritted together and he groaned in pain, his feet kicking slightly at the end of the gurney. She stopped instantly and looked back down at him in concern.

"Keep. Going." he bit out.

With tears brimming up in her honey colored eyes, she did as she was told. The several seconds she spent digging around felt like an eternity as she watched the pain flash through Vague's face and eyes. Finally, she brushed up against the artery and felt the pressure of the blood it was still spurting out. "I found it." She spoke, her voice sounding hollow even to her own ears.

"Good," Vague grimaced. "Now grab the forceps there. You'll need to get hold of it and clamp it down. Then we can cauterize it to stop the blood flow. Tsiv, can you shine the light- perfect." The Zabrak had instantly adjusted his aim on the glowrod allowing Vague to the wound better in the mirror.

Rossi did as instructed, picking up the forceps and gingerly guiding them along the back side of her fingertips until she found the artery. She opened them and tried her damndest not to notice Vague's booted feet rustling in response to the pain. It took the Kessurian three excruciating tries before she finally managed to get the forceps clamped around the artery in question. With her hands tied up on the clamp, Vague weakly talked Nova through the process of cauterizing the opening.

Once it was over, Rossi dropped the forceps into a container of sanitizer, took a step back and pressed a trembling hand to her mouth. She looked over but Vague was no longer conscious. If she'd been able to bring herself to glance at the readouts above the gurney, they would have told her his vitals were still low but steady... that he'd simply passed out - likely from the pain. She didn't have the wits about her to do so, though... instead her frenzied eyes sought out Nova's. "Did I...?"
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Nova was still finishing up bandaging the wound when Rossi spoke up. She glanced first at the Kessurian, then at Vague and finally at the readouts above his bed. She never had a formal education so of course she didn't know what any of it meant, but the little spiky line was still doing the beep thing which was good, right? Finally, she turned back to Rossi with a note of frustration. "I don't know, you're the doctor. Read the thing," she said, pointing up at the readouts.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the ship the young Sylarian awoke with a start. The first thing she noticed upon waking were the cuffs binding her arms to the rail. The second thing she noticed was Orev standing in front of her with a blaster leveled at her head. She glanced up at the Duros with a look of worry and desperation in her eyes. Her usually cool and calculated demeanor had evaporated entirely.

"Orev, where's Vague?" She cried, "Is he alright? Please tell me I didn't kill him!"

The Duros had tensed as he noticed the Sylarian starting to come to and just prior to her gray eyes opening he double checked that his carbine was set to stun. Orev regarded Micaiah for several moments after she spoke, his large orange eyes emotionless and his lipless face devoid of expression. He hadn't encountered the doctor onboard the frigate and could only compare how she acted now to how Nova had described her upon their breakout of the detention area.

"Orev, Please?!" she pleaded once more.

He took a deep breath in and exhaled slowly. "The Captain is in the med bay, Rossi will do what she can." He finally replied, voice tinted with equal parts suspicion, animosity, and concern.

Tsiv slipped into the cargo bay just as Orev finished answering Micaiah. He froze in the threshold at the sight of the Sylarian awake and pleading with the Duros. In the back of his mind, he was instantly reminded by images of the dead troopers she'd left in her wake back on the frigate.

In med bay? That's where she should be, but after what happened back on the imperial frigate she doubted they would even let her out of this room. She toyed with the idea of pleading with Orev to let her go see him, but she knew the Duros was just as cautious as Vague if not more so. Perhaps she was lucky she was even still alive. Why didn't they just shoot her back on the ship?

"Kill me, please," she whispered under her breath, but just loud enough for him to hear. "Just do it. I'm a danger to all of you..."

He maybe should have, but the Duros didn’t hesitate. Instead he replied in an icy tone, “Not our style.” The implication was clear, after seeing the aftermath in the corridors, it would be difficult to see her as anything other than an efficient killer.

Micaiah was crestfallen after Orev's response. Both he and Vague were too much of a hero to murder in cold blood no matter how much she deserved it. "Orev, please. I can't guarantee I won't be activated again. It's for your own good!"

She practically screamed the last part at him. Looking up at him with desperation in her eyes and tears streaming down her face.

Orev's eyes narrowed slightly and he tilted his head in response to her admission. The Duros reached out and pulled a nearby crate over to rest against, bringing his eyes more in level with hers. "Let's pump the dampeners for a second." He spoke, his voice having shifted in tone significantly. "Mayhap you could explain to me what you mean by activated?"

Micaiah let out an exasperated sigh, telling him that would reveal more of Sylaria's secrets and place them in even greater danger. It would be easier if they just kill her, but it didn't appear as if they would grant her wish.

"Behavioral programming," she whispered softly. "When I was seven my mother enrolled me into the Order of the White Wolf, an accelerated learning program. The order had produced such effective agents in safeguarding Sylaria that it garnered as much prestige in Sylarian society as the Jedi in your Republic."

She turned her gaze away from him, the look in her eyes becoming distant. "I didn't know what they were at the time. I was excited to be attending one of the most prestigious schools on the planet. I served the Order loyally for so long until..."

Her words trailed off. Orev waited for her to continue but when it felt like she wouldn't he quietly nudged her. "Until," he asked, gently prodding her forward.

Micaiah turned her head to bring it closer to her hand and wiped away her tears. "I was chasing the report of some insurgents. Sylarian rebels trying to overthrow the government. When I finally found them I realized the intelligence was a mistake. They weren't insurgents at all, they were a family of refugees. When I reported this back to command they wanted to save face. The program couldn't afford bad press so they ordered me to kill them anyway, but I refused... Then they made me do it."

Her shoulders trembled as memories of that day came flooding back to her. "I still remember their faces," she said, her voice cracking. "After that everything made sense. Those long training sessions where they would take me away for an entire day and I wouldn't remember anything. They were programming me, turning me into an effective sleeper agent. After my first activation I got scared and ran. I didn't want them to control me so I fled to the Republic. I've been running from them ever since, but I couldn't run forever. Eventually, they caught up with me," she shook the wrist where she wore her bracelet for emphasis.

"Take it off me, please. Destroy it," she told him.

Orev looked confused. He had no idea what its purpose was for, only Vague and Nova had seen it in operation. "Why? What is it for?"

Micaiah let her wrist fall limply again. "I tried my best to reprogram it for medicinal purposes. I thought in the Republic I could do some good as a doctor, but there was a layer of security I could never get past and now I know why. The activation phrase to trigger me is buried in the code, preventing me from hacking it. Normally, I'd give up in frustration but this time there had been a major security breach. If Vague hadn't stopped me I would have killed us all."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Orev absorbed the details that Micaiah was doling out in relative silence and without any discernible outward reaction. It was certainly a fantastic tale, and maybe just a bit too fanciful and specific to have been improvised on the spot. He was preparing to make a followup when a rustling behind him drew his attention.

As the Duros spun to face the noise, he immediately lowered the blaster carbine. It was just Tsivoin.

The teen sheepisly offered up his hands and averted his eyes. "S-Sorry. I uh. Just here to grab this plasma for Rossi." He muttered, getting a better grasp on the crate that he'd just dropped and hefting it up in the air. "Gotta-go." He didn't wait for a reply, instead he spun and hurried back out of the bay.

Orev watched the teen retreat, then turned back to Micaiah. "How can I be sure this isn't a trap? That you're not still... activated?"

Meanwhile, the Zabrak stopped about halfway back to the med bay and set the heavy crate down to take a few breaths. He thought back to what he'd overheard. If Vague hadn't stopped me I would have killed us all.

He shivered. She'd meant every word of it. With eyes till wide and anxious, he picked up the crate once more and rushed the rest of the way back to medical.

"Because I told you the truth," she answered, "My prime directive is to protect Sylarian secrets not divulge them."

Orev sighed just slightly. Secrets. Where would they all be without them? He regarded her for a few more seconds, glanced once backwards towards the rest of the ship, then stood from the crate. He'd have preferred to have had Vague nearby to back him up just in case, but-

The Duros set his carbine down on the crate and took a step forward, closing the distance between he and Micaiah. He turned his focus down to the bracelet and took a moment to study its exterior.

"Alright, Doc. By the Force I hope I don't regret this." He muttered while manipulating the bracelet. It glowed green, then red, then the light blinked out as the clasp gave way and he instinctively retreated a pair of steps, not quite knowing what he expected to happen next.

Micaiah shook the bracelet free of her wrist and let it fall to the deck. Then she kicked it away with her foot. "Blast it," she told him, "Then blast me. As long as I'm alive there's still a chance I could be a danger to you."

"Above my pay grade, Doc." he replied, leaning over to retrieve the bracelet. He wanted to go check on Vague, the man's injuries had been about as serious as Orev had ever seen the Captain sustain. Orev turned his back to Micaiah and set turned the bracelet around in his hands. "I saw what shape the Captain was in," He shifted the subject. "Are you hurt?"

Micaiah quietly shook her head, though Orev couldn't see it. "No," she said quietly. "Sylarians have limited regenerative abilities. That combined with the nanites from the bracelet allows me to heal insanely fast."

She glanced up at him. His back was still turned to her but she could still see him turning over the bracelet in his hand. "Please, Orev, don't make the same mistake I did. Just destroy it, space it, I don't care. Just don't keep it on this ship."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Rossi and Nova had made quick work of the wound on Vague's flank. They cleaned it thoroughly and then applied a bacta dressing overtop of it. The rudimentary scanning equipment had confirmed that the wound had missed any vital organs and it simply would need time and bacta to heal. His shoulder, on the other hand, would require far more extensive and specialized care. They were just finishing up bandaging the cuts along the Captain's forearms when Rossi spoke up.

"I didn't get a chance in all the rush," She told Nova, "To thank you for getting us all out of there."

Nova paused a moment, glancing up at the Kessurian and shrugged slightly. "Thank him." She told Rossi, tilting her head at the door to the med bay just before it opened and Tsiv came hurrying through with the crate he'd been sent after. "I just yanked you out of the hallway. Tsiv's the one who caught you all before you slipped out of the hangar and into space."

Rossi stopped short of applying the adhesive bandage to Vague's arm and followed Nova's eyes over to look upon the scrawny teenager. She felt a bit of color rise to her already pink cheeks in embarrassment at her assumption. She turned and handed the bandage over to Nova before walking over and taking the crate out of Tsiv's hands and setting it down on the hover gurney. She then surprised the teen by turning around and pulling him into a quick hug.

"Thank you, Campo, for being there for the crew when we needed you the most." She half-whispered in his ear then let go and started to set up the equipment they would need to give Vague an IV. "If you have anything you need to take care of, or want to get cleaned up I'd go do it now." She told Nova, who in turn gave her a slightly confused glance. "This plasma can only do so much. He lost a lot of blood, and you're the only compatible donor on board."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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A couple of days had passed. They were still in transit to--wherever EssJay was taking them. Vague was resting peacefully now and had yet to wake up from his operation. Most of the crew had huddled around the common area during downtime. Almost no one went into the cargo bay if they didn't need to. Micaiah was granted a little bit more freedom of movement but she was still chained up. Orev or Slackjaw would bring her food from the galley but the others were expressly forbidden from interacting with her. At least until they knew more about what they were dealing with.

"You think any of that is true," Nova asked Rossi who was sitting across from her on the other side of a holochess table. The young Jedi cast a wary glance back over her shoulder towards the cargo hold. It still bothered her to think about how close she came to death again. If that stormtrooper hadn't appeared... She shuddered at the thought.

"Hmm," Rossi asked, looking up from where she was planning her next move.

"All that stuff Micaiah told 'Rev," Nova explained, "About behavioral programming and what not. Could someone really do that? Control someone's mind?"

Rossi gave her a look and Nova quickly corrected herself. "Without the Force, I mean," she added sheepishly. "What I do is basically magic, and it's temporary. But what they did to her that was science, you know? Like with machines and stuff, that's scarier. I just have so many questions. Like is it permanent? Can she be fixed? I just thought, you know--you're the smartest person I know, sooo..."

The Kessurian's lips twitched into somewhat of a smirk as Nova trailed off. "Well, thank you for that. It'd be easier to believe if you didn't keep beating me at Dejarik." She commented motioning at the holoboard. She took a few moments to key in her next move, then allowed her honey shaded gaze to look back towards the hold.

"It's not unheard of." she finally spoke softly, "A lot of folks say the Empire used it on their troopers and pilots. Some of the more nefarious syndicates and guilds have also been accused of it. Though I've never heard of something quite so intricate as what 'Rev described. Sleeper agents, activation phrases... It all sounds like a holo-drama, doesn't it?"

"I'm not sure, I've never seen one," Nova answered as she keyed in her next move.

Rossi blinked and her head tilted a bit to the side as she looked over at Nova with a surprised expression on her face. Her mouth slacked open a bit as she started to ask a question, then thought better of it. The hacker knew hardly anything about Nova's past and at the moment it was painfully obvious. "Oh- uh. Guess the Jedi weren't big on slumberparties, huh?"

Nova shrugged. "Not really. I don't remember ever seeing a single holovid in the whole temple," she answered. "I've seen them before, though, like in stores and stuff. I'd watch them for a bit, at least until the shopkeeper shooed me away."

Rossi's eyes went a bit distant for a moment as she remembered something from her own past. She was only ten when Vague had saved her life and taken her to the orphanage on Raltiir. By no means had she had a rougher upbringing than Nova or Tsiv... but things hadn't been easier for her all the same. If she hadn't learned how to slice and hack... well Force knows what might have become of her there. She knew enough about how unforgiving and bleak an existence in the streets could be.

"Well," she started, quickly keying in a follow up move for the strategy she'd been trying to put into place since they'd started this round. "I think I sense a Starflash marathon in our future. I'm pretty sure I have the first five series on holodisk. If I remember right, she - Micaiah said that her species was in tune with the Force as well. Maybe they used it one her and the others like her, too?"

Nova didn't waste any time keying in her next move. She barely even looked at the board. "I don't know," she answered, "I've never heard of the Force being used like that, but then there's a lot about it that I don't understand."

Rossi made a face as Nova's piece moved across the board. Then she glanced up at the Jedi with a curious look in her eye. "Like what," she asked.

"Well, back at the temple Obi-Wan mentioned something about the Veil of the Force. He said I touched it somehow," Nova explained and Rossi's curiosity shifted immediately to confusion.

"Obi-Wan? Was there someone else at the temple?"

"Kind of," Nova said with a shrug. "He was my mentor back when I was training, but he's dead... and also not dead... Like I said, there's a lot I don't understand."

Rossi rested her elbows on the holoboard and then placed her chin on her hand. "I guess." She replied with a slight shake of her head. She was about to ask another question when SlackJaw's voice interupted over the intercom.

"We'll be reverting to realspace in one minute and fifty two seconds. Prepare accordingly, if you're into that."

**********

"You don't want to be in here. Do yourself a favor and go back with the others."

The voice drifted through the hold and sent a chill up Tsivoin's spine. The young Zabrak had snuck his way through the ship and into the cargo hold, but now he suddenly stopped his advance and slowly turned his violet eyes in the direction of it's speaker. 'If Vague hadn't stopped me I would have killed us all.' He recalled her desperately telling Orev a few days prior.

How is that any different than you needing Nova to mess with your head so you don't blow the ship apart? A voice sounded in the back of his head. He hesitated there for a moment then took a deep breath and strode forward into the low light of the hold.

"I don't think I belong there, with them." He offered as he approached the restrained Sylarian.

"So you belong out here with me," Micaiah asked pointedly. She'd been sitting on the floor but as Tsivoin approached she stood and turned her back to him. "I'm not part of your crew. Why waste time with me?"

Tsiv's steps faltered as she turned away from him and the teen stopped a few paces away, standing awkwardly and wrapping his arms around his midsection nervously. "They're afraid of me... Now they're afraid of you too. Or, well, at least one version of you - I guess?"

The teen had only heard bits and pieces of the story and he didn't really understand it all, but what he did know is that Micaiah had attacked and killed a lot of First Order personnel aboard that freighter, and had almost killed Nova and Vague... and he'd seen the fear in Nova's eyes when she described it.

I'm afraid of me too, Micaiah thought wryly to herself. "Maybe," she said aloud, "but they still think they can save me. That's why Vague brought me back on board when he should've left me. And it's why Orev won't do the smart thing and kill me before I kill him."

Then she turned back to look at him, appraising him from head to toe. "But maybe you're different. Maybe you can do what's best for the crew. Just seal the hatch behind you and open the airlock. Please... I don't want to hurt any of you."

Staring at her now Tsivoin could see a range of emotion working its way across her face. She seemed sad, full of regret, but mostly she was afraid. Not afraid of him or afraid of dying, but afraid of herself.

Tsivoin had wondered about why Micaiah had been spared, but he was still pretty new to this outlaw life and they had restrained her at least. He suddenly felt vulnerable as the Sylarian turned to face him, her cool gray eyes sized him up critically and he coudln't help but imagine she was peering into his very soul. When she spoke, her tone was raw and her words were desperate.

The teen's expression initially twisted itself into a look of shock that she'd ask such a thing. Then his gray and black face darkened a shade as he considered whether she genuinely thought he'd be capable of spacing her. Before he could flat out refuse, however, something very strange happened.

Micaiah watched as the Seldarin emanating out from the boy seemed to flinch and retreat inward, all while a set of much darker Seldarin tendrils coiled their way around him, appearing through the deck below them out of seemingly nowhere. As she watched the whispy tendrils encircle the Zabrak, she watched his eyes grow distant and his expression slacken. So caught up in it all, she almost didn't notice the way his eyes suddenly flashed yellow and his lips curled menacingly.

"We'll be reverting to realspace in one minute and fifty two seconds. Prepare accordingly, if you're into that." SlackJaw's voice emanated from the ships intercom system. By the time Micaiah returned her attention to Tsivoin, all evidence of the strange Seldarin had vanished. The boy stood there before her as if nothing had happened at all.

"I better go, they'll probably notice if I'm not around." He told her and quietly retreated from the hold.

Micaiah thought about just letting him go then shook her head. "Tsivoin, wait," she called after him, causing the teen to stop in his tracks. When he turned to look at her the Sylarian's expression had shifted to one of remorse. "You're wrong, you know," she told him. "They're not all afraid of you. Nova isn't."

"How would you know," his tone sounded incredulous. He had so little faith in himself.

"Sylarian's are deeply empathetic creatures. We're so in tune with other's emotions that we sometimes feel them as our own... It can also work the other way around too, like just now."

Tsivoin didn't look like he believed her. "What are you talking about?"

She shook her head. "Never mind that, just listen to me. Vague is cautious, but he's very protective of you. They all are. They care about you, Tsivoin, don't give up on that. You may have a darkness inside of you, but unlike me you can control it. Just remember that Nova is always there for you if you need a little help."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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The 'Veiled Bedlam' careened back into realspace on the outskirts of the Shawken system and SlackJaw quickly corrected their course, diverting them north east to galactic relative, towards what appeared to be a massive blue and pink nebula. Behind him, Orev was busy making sure that the freighters passive stealth systems were powered up and properly calibrated. The Duros flipped a switch nearby and keyed up the comm. "Rossi, need you up in the turret, just in case." He ordered before turning back to his station.

Tsivoin, who had recently began exploring some of the 'Bedlams narrower and harder to get to crawlspaces, emerged into the commons area from the opposite side of the ship as the Cargo Bay that he'd just been visiting with Micaiah in. Deep down he was aware that Nova could likely sense his presence no matter where he was in the ship, but his hope was that she either didn't suspect any trickery, or that she simply had more important things to worry about. Either way, he was just walking in when Orev's voice came over the comm.

He glanced at Rossi as she stood and headed for the cockpit, then turned his gaze to Nova but she too had stood and was following the Kessurian. Knowing he wouldn't be any help up there, the Zabrak plopped down in a nearby chair and started to think about what Micaiah had said to him.

Nova and Rossi parted ways as the Kessurian climbed the ladder up into the dorsal turret, and the young Jedi continued on into the cockpit. She nodded once in Orev's direction, and then climbed into the chair that Vague normally occupied to SlackJaw's left. "Where are we?" She asked incredulously as she looked at the looming nebula in front of them.

"Eastern edge of the Shawken Spur, Core Worlds region." SlackJaw responded without pausing his manipulation of the controls. "That gorgeous celestial body out there is the Carinae Nebula. We're going to us it to mask our approach to Kidiet Olgo."

Nova's eyes narrowed a touch and then she asked, "Mask it from who?"

"Borleian Dominion." Vague's voice responded before SlackJaw could reply. "One of the more well organized factions of the Imperial Remnant. They call this little slice of the galaxy home, your Kamparas belongs to them, as does our Contingency Site on K-Olgo... sort of."

The Captain was leaning on the console opposite of Orev's station, his damaged left arm in a sling and an unsecured button down shirt draped over his shoulders. When Nova moved to stand, he shook his head. "No, stay put. Not a lot I can do there right now anyway." He then turned away from the veiwport and started to converse with Orev in a lower volume.

************************************

Several minutes later, having been caught up on what he'd missed while he'd been unconscious, Vague made his way back through the commons tossing a lazy salute towards Tsivoin as he passed by. He didn't like leaving the cockpit during their insertion into RABD territory, but there was little he could contribute to the effort and he had to trust his crew to do their jobs. The captain paused just short of the threshold for the Cargo Bay, took a deep breath, and then entered. He let his eyes adjust to the change in light, then limped his way over to where Micaiah was restrained.

Micaiah heard him before she saw him. As soon as he came into the light and she could see his face she was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion. She wanted to rush forward and give him a hug but as soon as she did two things happen. One, she ran to the edge of her chain and was yanked back and two, Vague instinctively took two steps back from her. Sheepishly, she half turned away from him, unable to bring herself to look him in the eye.

"I'm sorry," she whispered quietly. "I tried to stop myself, but I...," her words trailed off into nothing.

Vague's eyes narrowed a bit at the corners as she set into motion and before he could think better of it, he flinched. He sighed softly as she turned away. Great start He chided himself. The Outlaw willed himself to close the distance, purposefully making sure that his last step put him within her limited striking distance. "The Frigate was destroyed. I made sure of it." He told her with an even tone. "Not sure if the others mentioned that to you or not."

"I don't care about the frigate," she told him, her tone tinted with a hint of disappointment. This wasn't the first thing she wanted to talk about.

"How's your arm," she asked, turning back to face him. "Nova bandaged that didn't she? She may be quick and nimble with a lightsaber but she is clumsy as a doctor."

Vague shrugged with his good shoulder. "She and Rossi were able to seal off the artery at the shoulder, but they're no surgeons..." He trailed off for a few seconds before looking her in the eyes. "It could use a more, advanced scope of treatment." He had been told by Orev that she wanted them to destroy her bracelet... but the nano-tech would likely make short work of his destroyed shoulder and hopefully return to him the use of the arm. He'd hoped to have more time to speak with her before bringing that up, though.

"No," she said flatly.

"No?" Vague repeated, a curious look in his eye.

"You want me to use the bracelet," she said. "I told Orev to destroy it. He hasn't yet, has he?"

She sounded angry, but mostly she was afraid. Afraid to go near it, afraid to touch it. Afraid to ever see it again. Her fear was plainly visible in her eyes and in the shakiness of her shoulders. She gripped her left arm tighter to try and control her nerves with very little success.

Vague's face tightened a bit in response to the haste of her reply, and it took a few calming moments for him to clamp down on his initial rebuttal. It wouldn't do either of them any good to get into an argument about the bracelet's fate right now. Instead, he simply nodded his head in resignation. The Captain clearly mistook her refusal as a universal one and replied, "I understand. We know a night nurse where we're headed, I'll have Orev call ahead. Hopefully he'll be able to repair the damage before it's too late."

"No," she said again, perhaps a bit too quickly. Her cheeks immediately flushed red in response and she turned away. "I mean, I'll do it," she added quietly. "Just... I won't use the bracelet."

He realized his mistake and breathed out a sigh of relief. Truth be told, he hadn't fancied his chances under the night nurses blade though after being at the other end of hers a few days prior... "Let's go, then." he told her, stepping forward to manipulate the restraints. "You can examine it now and we can determine whether we have what you'll need onboard or if we'll need to shop once we get to K-Olgo." The chains dropped to the deck with a heavy clang and Vague stepped back and to the side, motioning with his good arm for her to proceed in front.

Micaiah's relief at finally being unchained was dampened somewhat when Vague insisted she go first. His military training would never allow him to walk in front of a potential enemy. She sighed and stepped in front of him, heading out of the cargo hold and towards the medbay with no deviation whatsoever. They passed Tsivoin in the commons room, her eyes locked with his for a brief moment but she said nothing. She didn't know what to say, this is not how she wanted any of this to happen. She was just starting to get attached to this crew. Now she was lucky if they would ever trust her with a knife again.

************************************

Back in the cockpit, Nova was wondering why there were going to Kidiet Olgo and not straight to Kamparas. "I don't get it, if we're working to avoid detection, why not jump as close as we can to Kamparas and sneak in from there?" She asked.

"It's complicated." Orev responded from behind her. He turned slightly away from his screen and motioned out into the void. "Lot of politics involved. Both Kidiet Olgo and Kamparas are in Borleian Dominion space, which in turn is part of the Imperial Remnant. Kamparas is a full on member world of the Dominion, it was an Imperial held planet before Endor. It's far more closely guarded and monitored. Olgo on the other hand, is and always has been an lawless world. It's in Dominion space, but it's an autonomous world and keeps to itself. There's only a small sector border force patrolling this area." He paused to check back into his station, then continued. "In order to make landfall on Kamparas, we'll need proper codes and clearance to pass through its Planetary Defense Fleet. Codes we'll need to procure while on Kidiet Olgo."

Nova was a bit crestfallen. She had hoped their trip to Kamparas would have just been a simple in and out. She didn't quite know how dangerous the Imperial Remnant was. The war had long since died down to smoldering embers. Whatever was left of the old Empire seemed to prefer warring amongst themselves rather than with the Republic. Anyone else who didn't stick around after the Emperor had died had traveled into the Unknown Regions to become part of the First Order. What little she knew about the Empire she got from history books, anything else she learned from Luke.

"The Empire branded the Jedi traitors during the Civil War," she said quietly, after a moment of silence. Then she turned to Orev. "They're probably not going to be too happy to see me, are they?"

The freighter had officially entered the nebula by this point, and the cockpit's interior was bathed in an ethereal pink hue. Orev considered Nova's question for a moment, then nodded. "A lot of misconceptions about the Remnant out there... They are definitely not the Empire of old. Each Faction is different, some more progressive than others. The Dominion, for example, has shunned the old Empire's prejudice against both females and nonhumans. But it's safe to say that wherever the Imperial crest reigns, there will ultimately be some stalwart holdouts of the bygone era." He and Nova adjusted slightly in their seats as the artificial gravity compensator struggled to keep up with a particularly abrupt course change that SlackJaw had made. "Caution ought be the watchword as long as we're in the sector, no flashing that glowrod of yours unless it's absolutely necessary, yeah?"

Nova had a sullen look on her face. It was starting to feel like no matter where she went in the galaxy it felt like there were potential enemies waiting for her. Is this what it means to be a Jedi? Luke may have glossed over a few things when he offered her the chance. Guardians of peace and order in the galaxy has a nice ring to it, but Nova never fully understood what that meant. Now she was on a quest to stop her fellow students from unleashing a dark and terrible power on the galaxy. It was just so much for her to bear on her tiny shoulders.
"So what's the plan," she asked, shifting gears somewhat. "For when we land, I mean."

The ship spun up on its horizontal axis and banked around a particularly dense cloud of stellar particles, just as Tsivoin ventured into the cockpit area. The teen stopped dead in his tracks and nearly dropped the glass of juice he was carrying. His violet eyes grew to be the size of suns and his skintone went palid. He blinked twice then spun on his heel and scurried back the way he came without uttering a sound.

Orev harumphed a laugh at the kids expense, then turned a watchful eye Nova's way. "Part of that depends on how the boss conversation goes with the doc." He started. "We'll be shopping for medical supplies, or medical services... maybe both. We have a place here, like Tailring back on Dosuun. Granite Hawk. We'll restock and resupply there put out the feelers regarding passage codes that'll get us to Kamparas. Kidiet Olgo is a lawless place, a lot like Ord Mantell but shinier, more... exotic. Shouldn't take us long to find what we need."

Nova's eyes trailed after Tsivoin's retreating form. She would have thought after being on a ship for this long he would have overcome his fears of space, but she guessed she was wrong. "About that," she said quietly turning back to look at Orev. There was a look of uncertainty in her eyes. "Are we sure we can trust her? Even if she's back to normal what if it happens again? Hell, we don't even know what caused it to happen in the first place. What if someone just happens to say the wrong thing and she snaps?"

"Mmm. Trust is a fickle mistress, isn't it?" The Duros spoke. "Honestly kid, I really don't know. There's only one way to find out, otherwise we're just left to assume the worst about her, write her off and move on. I've known Vague for a long time, been through a lot with him. He's a lot of things, but unfair isn't one of them."

************************************

Vague watched the range of emotions wash over Micaiah and he winced a bit. He could understand her perspective, but he hoped she could at least acknowledge his own. Not that either of them could kid themselves into thinking he'd stand a chance at subduing her in his current state. The pair entered the med bay and Vague took a moment to glance at the monitors keeping track of Masilda's status before he made his way straight to the second gurney in the bay.

Since he'd just woken back up a bit earlier, the gurney was still half covered by his now dried blood from before. He carefully pushed himself up on the side of the gurney with his good hand and sat there facing Micaiah, watching her keenly but trying to show that his attention was not negative or hostile.

Micaiah's examination of Vague's injuries was thorough but short. Vague couldn't be sure but she seemed rather pleased with the work Rossi had done. As she was replacing his bandages she commented on that.

"I might have to have Rossi replace you as my assistant," she said with a half smile. The joke was meant to lighten the mood but her heart wasn't in it so it came off as a bit awkward.

She stepped off to the side a bit and picked up a datapad. Her hands worked the keys with surprising speed and after a moment she turned and handed the pad to Vague.

"This is everything I'll need," she said and as he took the pad from her and prepared to leave she stopped him with a gentle touch on his arm. "Have someone else do it. You need to rest," she told him. Her concern for his wellbeing showing plainly on her face.

His dark brown eyes looked down at Micaiah's hand on his arm and lingered there for several seconds, then his gaze traveled up to meet hers. His brows furrowed a bit as he studied the concerned expression on her face and he offered her a slight nod of his head. "I'll see what I can do." He replied noncommittally.

There was a slight pause as he stood... a darkness washed over his expression as he considered whether or not he needed to explain her situation to her. Ultimately, he decided to offer her the benefit of the doubt. "We should make planetfall in a few hours." He spoke over his shoulder as he limped his way towards the hatch.

"You're not going to chain me up again," she called after him before he could leave the room.

Vague stopped dead in his tracks and turned to look at her. "Is there a need to," he asked.

"I'm dangerous, Vague, you know that," she told him. "I know you don't want to leave me with your crew unsupervised. I also know you can't turn your back on me. You're afraid I might stick a knife in it at any moment."

She held her wrists out toward him. "Chain me up here, if you must. Just... Don't take me back to the cargo hold."

He sighed, and stepped forward, closing his good hand around both of Micaiah's slender wrists. "Mic, if I put you back in chains now -" He paused and glanced behind him at the rest of the ship, then turned his eyes back onto her. "They will never be able to trust you again. I'm not ignoring what happened back there, but I'm also not pretending to understand it, okay? We'll have that conversation when we need to. But for now, you may see it as easier if everyone hates or fears you, that's your decision to make. I won't be party to it. What I know, is you had every opportunity to open my throat from ear to ear and you didn't. Right now, that's enough for me."

Micaiah was a little relieved that Vague wasn't going to chain her up again, but she knew her situation was much more complex than he made it seem. Chains or not, the rest of the crew wasn't going to be able to trust her for a while. "I don't want them to hate me, or fear me," she said quietly, diverting her eyes away from him. "I ran away and became a doctor because I wanted to help people. I've always wanted to help people. Whatever I am... Whatever they made me. I wish I could make it go away."

She stared down at her hands, realizing that Vague's grasp on her wrists had lingered the entire time she'd been talking. Almost instantly her cheeks flushed bright red and she pulled her arms back involuntarily. At the same time Vague also noticed the awkwardness and withdrew his hand, reaching up to scratch the back of his head sheepishly.

"Um, I have some work I need to do," Micaiah added quickly to cover up her embarrassment. "After the bracelet is destroyed I'll need to update your facilities here. They're adequate, but they could be better. We'll start with everything on the list I gave you."

"Right." Vague replied, his voice an octave lower than normal. Just then the ship's compensator seemed to blip, SlackJaw must've been pressing his luck navigating the nebula. The pair were shifted off balance and instinctively reached out to the nearest solid object to steady themselves which awkwardly enough was each other. Just as quickly as they realized that fact, they disengaged and stepped quickly apart. "I'll uh- Leave you to it then. Better go see what EssJay's playing at up at the controls." Vague said and quickly retreated from the bay.
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VagueDurin
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

Nova had a lot to think about after her talk with Orev. The Duros was right, they couldn't just write her off completely. That wouldn't be very Jedi-like of her to do so. Still, just knowing the doctor was on the ship made her extremely nervous. Micaiah had disabled her arm and leg with such ease, Nova had never seen anything like it before. All of a sudden she found herself completely helpless and at the mercy of the Sylarian. Even without the Force the woman went toe to toe with a Jedi and won. It was only a small comfort that she wasn't actually trying to kill Micaiah. Even if she had been the fight was over so quickly she barely had time to process. Even more frightening than that was her cold, dead eyes. Completely devoid of any emotion. It was like she was a machine. A living, biological machine.

She felt a cold shudder run down her spine as she thought about it. She was so distracted by her thoughts she barely took notice that the ship had landed. Orev and EssJay had clambered out of their seats and when Orev saw that Nova hadn't moved he gently set a hand down on her shoulder, startling her slightly.

"Sorry," he apologized, "but we're here."

Nova looked up at him then out the viewport at the hangar they landed in. "Um, right. Of course," she said sheepishly. She got up then followed them back down to the commons room where Vague was waiting with instructions. He seemed a little put off by something and for a moment Nova wondered if it had something to do with Micaiah. "Everything alright, Boss," she asked.

Vague turned to look at Nova and the hard edges of his expression softened somewhat. He offered her a somewhat distracted smile and nodded his head. "Relatively." He replied to her question, taking his eyes away from her too look around the main hold of the Bedlam. Nova was granted a rare opportunity to peak underneath the Captain's usually stoic exterior as he tiredly took stock of the setbacks they'd all survived through recently. "What uh, what about you?"

Nova had a brief flashback to her interrogation at the hands of Ben Solo. She was still trying to process the reality of his betrayal. Master Luke attacked him?! The very thought of it seemed improbable.

"I'll, um. I'll have to get back to you on that."

The brief pause and the twist in her expression reminded Vague that he had yet to debrief with the rest of the crew following their captivity. Surely he and Micaiah weren't the only ones who had been questioned. Durin nodded and rested his good hand on her shoulder briefly. "Do that." He instructed, then leaned a bit closer and lowered his voice. "Also - This place is a hotbed for the slave trade. Keep an eye on the k... say where is Tsiv?" He had trailed off towards the end as he finally noticed the conspicuous absence of Nova's shadow.

Nova looked around. She hadn't even noticed Tsivoin was gone. She'd been so distracted since everything that happened while escaping the First Order that she barely took notice of him, even while he was in the room. Almost instantly she felt somewhat guilty for that. He probably took her aloofness the wrong way. It wasn't his fault, she just had a lot to think about.

"I'll go find him," Nova answered finally, but before she could leave to go look for him the door to the medbay opened.

"No need," Micaiah said as she and Tsivoin entered the room. "He was just visiting Masilda."

It wasn't exactly an outright lie, but a slight altering of the truth. On top of that she failed to mention the fact she found him inside a crawlspace in the medbay. She wasn't quite sure why Tsivoin had taken such an interest in her all of a sudden, but she could feel his uncertainty emanating from him like waves on the ocean. He was still struggling with his place on the crew.

As Micaiah joined the others in the common room she could feel a shift in the air. Suddenly the room had become very tense and everyone aside from Vague and Tsivoin were watching her very carefully. Micaiah tried not to let her disappointment show on her face but her shoulders slumped and she hesitated before stepping closer.

"Anyway, I just need some supplies from my room," she lied as she tried to uncharacteristically hurry from the room.

Vague watched the pair carefully, and raised an eyebrow slightly as he took in the vibe. "Why don't you give her a hand, kid." he suggested, holding his good hand down by his side, open and palm facing Nova to forestall any objection she might have had.

Once Tsiv had agreed and followed along behind Micaiah, the Captain turned back to Nova and lowered his voice again. "I want you and Rossi to head out and gather what we need. Orev and SlackJaw have work to do on the ship and I'll be meeting with some contacts. I can conjure up a reason to keep the kid on the ship if you think the slavers will be a problem, or he can tag along with you. Your call."

Nova's eyes trailed after Tsivoin's retreating form. Even without the Force she could tell the doctor wasn't telling them something. Something was wrong with Tsivoin and she felt a bit hurt that he decided to confide in the doctor first before her. She was his mentor after all.

"No, that's fine," she said finally, turning back to look at Vague. "Tsivoin should stay on the ship."

Durin nodded without hesitation. “Understood.” He replied, then opened his posture towards the rest of the crew and doled out the assignments. Orev, Tsivoin, and SlackJaw would remain at Granite Hawk making repairs and resupplying the ship. Rossi and Nova would take the landspeeder into the nearby spaceport city to pick up the supplies they needed. Vague would hitch a ride with them on the way to his meeting.
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Pryde
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by Pryde »

Kidiet Olgo was perhaps the seediest place Nova had found herself to date. As she and Rossi wandered the crowded marketplace her eyes were darting this way and that, taking in the various sights, sounds and smells that surrounded them. Vendors lining either side of the market were selling a variety of goods, from precious gems to alien cuisine, some of which actually smelled pretty good. Of course, that was just what she saw on the surface. The seedy underbelly of Kidiet Olgo made itself known in the shadows of darkened alleys. A drug deal here, a slaver there. It was probably for the best that they left Tsivoin back on the ship. Nova wasn't entirely sure how he would react to seeing young slaves carted off to work in some spice mine on Kessel or something.

"This way," Rossi said, gently tugging on the sleeve of Nova's jacket so has not to lose track of her in the crowd. "We should be able to get most of what we need from a vendor we know."

Nova simply nodded absently, unaware and indifferent to whether Rossi could see it or not. She followed the Kessurian down a side street in the direction she indicated and as they walked she found herself unable to shake this nagging feeling. Someone had taken a curious interest in them, specifically her. She only caught glimpses of him through the crowd but she thought she saw a young Rodian looking in their direction while talking on a communicator. The second time she saw him was the last, a woman dressed in extravagant clothing clad in bright vibrant colors passed between them and that was the last Nova saw of him.

The vendor Rossi referred to was actually quite successful enough to own a storefront. He was outside in front of the building setting up a display when Rossi and Nova approached. "Rossi, long time no see," he said when he finally looked up and saw her.

"Boswick, it's so good to see you," Rossi told him as she stepped in close for a hug. The two held each other for a moment then the man Rossi identified as Boswick stepped back, turning his gaze to Nova.

"And who's this," he asked.

"Just a stowaway," Rossi told him with a half smile, "but we've gotten pretty attached to her."

"Well then," Boswick answered, stretching his arms wide and then pulling Nova in for an unexpected hug. "Any friend of Vague Durin is a friend of mine."

"Um, thank you," Nova answered awkwardly as he patted her gently on the back.

Finally Boswick pulled away from her and stepped back. "So what can I do you for today?"

"We've got a list of supplies we need," Rossi told him, then she handed him the datapad, "Here."

Boswick looked it over carefully and nodded. "Yea, I could get you most of this stuff," he said, "but we're running pretty low on bacta here. Some Red Key thugs set up shop here recently and began buying up every bit of bacta they could get their hands on. They're creating an artificial shortage so they can purposefully raise the price and they're coercing good honest merchants into selling at a significant discount. Nearly ruined my business a few weeks back."

Nova glanced at Rossi then tilted her head slightly to motion for an aside. Rossi gave her a curious look then turned to Boswick. "Excuse us," she said. She followed Nova a few paces away and in a hushed tone she asked, "What is it?"

"Red Key," Nova explained, "I've heard that name before. They came to Canto Bight looking for Tsiv and we had a bit of a dust-up. Long story short they saw me with him."

Rossi sighed. This job was already complicated enough. Micaiah needed bacta to treat Vague and currently there was none available to buy. At least not here. If what Boswick said was true then the only ones selling bacta on Kidiet Olgo were the Red Key Raiders and they were selling at inflated prices. Money was tight at the moment after their last job ended in failure. They weren't going to be able to afford the bacta they needed at anything above the normal market price. "We need to talk to Vague," Rossi told her, "but for now, at least, we can still get everything else."

Nova nodded, but her attention was elsewhere. That nagging feeling was back again only this time it was stronger. She couldn't quite see who it was but it felt like someone was watching them. "Make it fast," Nova said finally, "I have a really bad feeling about this."

Rossi simply turned and headed back over to Boswick. The two of them quietly conversed before heading into the store to get the supplies they needed. Nova, meanwhile, was too distracted to hear what they were saying. At various points in the marketplace around them she could see one, two, maybe three hooded beings keeping an eye on her. One of them turned his body just enough for his robe to swing open and reveal the handle of the repeating blaster he had concealed underneath. Nova was about to turn and head into the shop to warn Rossi when someone pushed her from behind.

"Hey," she cried, catching sight of a young child racing off down the street holding something that clearly did not belong to him.

Nova's hands instinctively went to the small of her back where she felt around for a moment and found nothing. In a rising panic she realized the kid had taken her lightsaber. Ignoring for the moment the irony in having the same thing happen to her as what she did to Luke Skywalker on Vorzyd V she raced after the boy. "Hey, Kid, stop," she called after him.

The boy rounded a corner and headed down an alleyway. Nova barely caught sight of him as he slipped between two passersby. She practically slid to one side as she raced around the corner at full speed. The boy was just ahead of her now, a little bit further and she could reach out and grab him. He turned a corner again and Nova followed him. As soon as she turned the corner, however, she immediately skidded to a halt. A small band of thugs were waiting for her with blasters drawn. The boy who took her lightsaber ran up to one of them and handed the weapon to him, then he pushed past the group and kept on going.

"'Allo, Love," the man said as he idly twisted her lightsaber in between his fingers, "Fancy meetin' you again. You don't happen to have your little friend with ya, do you?"

Nova grinded her teeth in frustration as she counted the number of thugs with guns. Six, seven--no eight, she thought to herself.

"Well, go on and speak then, will ya," the leader said impatiently, "We ain't got all day."

"Tsivoin isn't here," she lied, "I split up with him after Cantonica. Little brat was weighing me down so I sent him on his way."

The man smiled a toothy smile at her and shook his head. "See, I know you're lying, Love. Seen you and your friends pulling that job back on the Wanderlust. Heard the whole thing went to hell in a handbasket, made the news even. Guess who I saw there with ya?"

Nova swore under her breath but tried to keep her cool. "Look, you don't have to do this. Just walk away now and you won't get hurt."

The man's smile turned into a devilish grin. "Try it," he told her.

Nova reached out one hand to pull her lightsaber to her, but the second her arm moved eight fingers squeezed eight triggers. The stun blasts were faster than her reflexes and all eight shots struck Nova all at once. As she fell limply to the ground the lead thug frowned at her. "This could have been a lot easier for you, Love," he muttered under his breath. Then he half-turned to look at his men. "You three take her back to the hideout and make sure she's bound up nice and tight. And you," he said, pointing at a massive Devaronian. "She was here with someone else back at the merchant. See to it her friend gets the message. The rat and our money for the girl. Can you handle that?"

The Devaronian nodded and hurried back the way Nova had come. Meanwhile, the Red Key thugs were busy lifting Nova up off the ground...
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VagueDurin
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

Rossi was just finalizing her trade agreement with Boswick, slipping back and forth between Huttese, Smuggler Cant, and Galactic Basic as needed to get the points across. The Kessurian bid him a warm farewell and stepped back out of his storefront only to trail off her last word. "Nova?" She called out loud, glancing around the immediate area with honey colored eyes.

She took a few steps forward and spun in a slow circle. She couldn't see her friend anywhere. With a furrowed brow, she pulled her communicator from a pocket on her belt and keyed in Nova's frequency before she thumbed the activator. "Five, this is Four. Come in." Rossi ran a hand back through her brown hair and sighed as silence met her call. "Five?"

She lowered the communicator and stuck her head back into Boswick's shop, letting him know that she'd be back to pick up their goods once he'd gathered everything, then she started out into the crowd. Vague would likely still be in his meeting and she didn't want to interrupt him. The boys would have their hands full working on the freighter... Rossi sighed. Blast it Nova, where did you go?

Rossi didn't make it far before a heavy hand fell on her shoulders. She spun around and tilted her head up to look at the massive Devaronian that just grabbed her.

"You with the Jedi lady," he asked, "Boss has a message for you. You want the girl alive you'll bring him the Zabrak and his money."

Rossi instinctively jerked her way out of the mans grasp and staggered backwards a step before what he said finally registered in her mind. Jedi? Zabrak?

She shook her head slightly and glanced around to see if the Devaronian had backup with him. For the moment, all she saw was the usual stream of market traffic. Who was this guy, who was his boss? What did he want with Tsivoin?

"Back off, bruto feio" She snapped at him, brushing off her shoulder in an effort to show that he didn't worry her. "I don't know anything about any Zabrakkian Jedi."

It happened in an instant. Her montrals barely had a chance to quiver in warning before the Devaronian lunged forward, grabbing her slender throat in one of his massive clawed hands and driving her from the main walkway into the mouth of an alleyway. Her back hit the duracrete wall and she heard the KCD-83C blaster pistol she had holstered there skitter to the ground.

"No games, schutta. You tell Tsivoin Ulderis that the Red Key's are here, and if he doesn't surrender himself to the Olgo Outlier's Club in less than 24 hours, with Maldenado's money, we'll kill the girl, have your ship impounded, and come get him ourselves." He shook her violently until Rossi nodded her head rapidly and then shoved her a meter down the alleyway.

By the time Rossi could scramble her way back to her feet and rush back to grab her blaster, the thug was no where to be seen. The Kessurian brushed the dirt from her clothing and touched a few fingers gingerly to her neck. A couple of calming breaths later, she managed to raise her communicator to her lips, her hand trembling. "Raddish." She spoke into the comm over the crew's frequency. "Raddish Raddish Raddish."

************************************

"I don't like it," a young woman said over coms as the young bounty hunter kneeled in the alleyway. She reached out two fingers and traced a line in the dirt where someone had clearly been dragged away.

"Everyone on the news is saying this girl can do things with her mind. If that's true then you know how dangerous she is," the voice continued.

"Relax, Hirai," Isis said as she stood and straightened herself up. "I wouldn't have taken this job if I didn't think I could do it."

"Six bounties on your own," Hirai Molariou asked incredulously. "You should have brought me with you."

Isis stalked forward a bit and examined the boot prints she found in the dirt. "You're not a licensed bounty hunter, Hirai. This is an official job for the guild," she explained.

Hirai made a face at her then sighed. "What do you see," she asked, changing the subject.

"Signs of a struggle," Isis answered, "Nine separate footprints, one belonging to the target and an acrylic odor in the air. An ambush."

Hirai looked surprised. "Somebody killed her?"

Isis shook her head. "No, the fob's still active so they must have used stun blasts."

A rapid beeping from her pocket drew her attention and she reached in and withdrew the fob from inside. One of her other marks was close. "Gotta go, Hirai, call ya later."

"Be careful, Isis."

"Always," she answered before turning off the communicator and shoving it back into her jacket pocket. Then she drew her blaster and headed back towards the mouth of the alley in the direction of her next target...

************************************

Deep into the starports city, one of the Nikto guards noticed the young Jedi begin to stir, and sent a messenger off to their boss. He'd requested to be notified once she finally woke. The Nikto was a member of the Gluss'sa'Nikto sub species. He had ash grey skin and his eye horns and fins were smaller than the more commonly seen Esral'sa'Nikto. His dark black eyes narrowed as he watched the Jedi slowly come to, realizing that she was secured tightly to a chair in a small but lavishly adorned room.

The girls eyes finally opened fully just about the time that the bright green skinned Feeorin strode into the room. He sported a heavy build, showing obvious signs of over-indulgence. Maldenado was dressed in a sort of woven tunic and kilt ark blue in color, his head and face tendrils sporting gold and silver bands keeping them neat and tidy. He strode confidently into the room, stopping a pace or two away from Nova. When she seemed to buck against the restraints, the Red Key Leader shook his head slowly. "Fiesty, are you?"

Nova glanced up at him and gave him an annoyed look. "Why don't we just skip to the part where you let me go," she asked. "Do yourself that one favor before I get out of this chair and rearrange your face."

Maldenado erupted into a deep, boisterous laugh. The trio of guards in the room did likewise. He tilted his head just a bit to the side and made a show of looking over Nova and her restraints briefly. "To be perfectly honest, young one, I'm not sure there is a part where I let you go." He motioned for one of the guards, a Twi'lek, and the teal skinned humanoid stepped forward, taking hold of Nova's chin and tilting her head this way, then that for inspection. Maldenado continued. "Healthy, relatively unblemished... have to do something about that mouth- yes you'd fetch quite a bargain in the lower-markets."

Nova ground her teeth the second the Twi'lek grabbed her and shoved her face around while squeezing her cheeks. "Better ask for payment up front," she said, her voice somewhat muffled by the Twi'lek's hand. "You're not going to be able to hold me for long."

Maldenado gave her a stern look. "What makes you so sure?"

"Well, first of all," she began, "I don't need the use of my hands."

As soon as the words were out of her mouth she sent a telekinetic wave blasting forward. Picking up the Twi'lek, Maldenado and one of the Niktos and throwing them into the wall. Then she turned her attention the last remaining Nikto left standing.

"You! You're going to untie me now."

The man's expression blanked and he lowered his blaster. "I'm going to untie you now," he repeated as he stepped forward to undo her restraints.

As he reached down to set her free the sound of a blaster going off echoed throughout the chamber. The bolt struck the Nikto in the head, killing him instantly. Nova stared wide eyed at Maldenado as he regained his feet, a smoking blaster in his hand.

"You killed your own man. Why," the young Jedi asked incredulously.

The Feeorin had regained his footing and barked an order out in Huttese. Four more armed guards rushed into the room and set up a semi-circle around the restrained Jedi. "If she so much as flinches, stun her." He ordered them, stepping up to Nova and glaring down at her menacingly with his cold, yellow eyes. "I guess your spikey-rat didn't tell you much about us. My name is Maldenado. We, are the Red Key Raiders, and we don't tolerate failure."

Maldenado? Her eyes widened slightly. She remembered hearing that name on Cantonica. He was the one whose money Tsivoin had supposedly stolen.

"He might have left a few things out," she admitted finally. "Still find it hard to believe he got away with your money, though. Kid was living in squalor when I found him. Not living the high life in the casino."

Maldenado grumbled a bit and turned away from her. "Squalor is where that rat belongs." He replied. "No surprise it would find his way back to it. We clothed it, fed it. Put a roof over it’s head. Only for it to betray our generosity. We will take possession of Tsivoin once again, and we will be made whole." He stepped a few paces away from Nova then turned back towards her again. "The pink one has been given our demands. The spikey-rat has 24 hours to return with my money."

Nova could feel her anger rising as he spoke. It took everything she had not to lash out at him right then. "Do you even have proof that he has your money," she demanded. "Scrawny kid like that would never be able to overpower your guards, let alone break into your vault."

"So we thought, too." Maldenado replied, his tone sharpening. "We spent weeks making an example out of it's little friends. No urchin's ever made a break for it since."

"You slimy son of a bantha," Nova swore at him. "When I get out of here I'm going to tear your whole network apart."

The Feeorin only chuckled in response. "Sure you will." He started out of the room, the guards making a temporary hole in their horseshoe formation for him to pass through. Once in the doorway, he paused and spoke over his shoulder. "Perhaps I'll let the First Order know when we take you to auction... I'm sure they'll drive the price up a couple cubits." He left immediately after the threat, not waiting for Nova's reply.

************************************

Meanwhile, back at the market Rossi was rushing through the market. She was about half a klick from where Nova and she had parked the landspeeder. Vague would surely meet her there and he'd know what to do next. The Kessurian was so focused on her worry for Nova and her confusion as to what these people wanted Tsivoin for, that she embarrassedly allowed herself to be ambushed for a second time that day...

Rossi had been moving so fast that she barely took notice when someone stuck a foot out in front of her. She tripped and fell to the ground in a heap as the young woman who tripped her stepped out into the open, leveling a blaster at her.

"Sorry," Isis apologized, "you were moving so fast I didn't have time to be gentle."

Then she tossed a pair of binders onto the ground in front of Rossi's face. "Do be a dear and put those on, please," the woman instructed.

The Kessurian blinked her honey colored eyes and took a moment to study the dirty blonde haired woman standing over her. She looked like she couldn't be much older than Nova... Rossi initially tried to reach for her blaster, but Isis sent a crimson bolt into the ground near her head as a deterrent. "Please." She repeated impatiently.

Rossi sighed and reluctantly did as she was instructed, slipping the binders loosely over her wrists and rising up onto her knees. Isis closed the distance between them quickly and first activated the auto-clasps on the binders which caused them to tighten securely. She then grabbed the back of Rossi's garb and forced the Kessurian to her feat.

"Why are you doing this?" Rossi asked quickly. "We still have 24 hours, I can't get you what you want if I'm in cuffs."

"You're what I want," Isis told her as she slipped Rossi's blaster out of its holster then proceeded to pat her down to check for other weapons. "You and the rest of your crew," she finished.

Satisfied that the Kessurian wasn't carrying anymore weapons she straightened up and shoved her hand, under Rossi's arm. Grabbing her by the bicep and roughly shoving her forward. "You and your friends shot up a luxury liner, remember? Twenty people were killed. That sort of thing has consequences."

Rossi didn't resist as the hunter started directing her through the small crowd that had gathered nearby. She shot a look over at Isis after she spoke, though. "What are you talking about?" she asked. She knew better than to admit to anything, there was no telling if this person even had any evidence that Rossi was on the liner to begin with... but in the back of her mind, she was drumming up a defense. She hadn't shot up anything... well except for a couple of First Order Raiders... but they had shot at her first!

"Look, this is a really bad time, ok. My friend is in trouble and-"

"I'm aware," Isis answered. "Not exactly happy about it, she's worth a lot more than you are."

A beeping from her pocket suddenly picked up, stopping her in her tracks. She reached down and picked up the fob. "Looks like another of your friends is close," she said. "Since I have you here why don't you tell me what you know about Quentin King."

Rossi hadn't been able to help but frown when Isis replied that she already knew about what was happening with Nova... The way she'd said it made it clear she had nothing to do with the Devaronian and his gang. The next question she asked brought Rossi back to the present and the Kessurian focused on putting as much disdain as possible into her voice. "King's a two-bit sleamo." She replied. "Perdedor pode apodrecer no Hell." She added for emphasis. "If he's here on K-Olgo, look for sewer, you'll find him there."

"Nice try," Isis commended her, "but I don't buy it."

She shoved the tracking fob back into her pocket. "I agree your friend's a sleamo, though. Had he been better at his job then maybe twenty people wouldn't have had to die."

Rossi gritted her teeth together at that. She wanted to defend Vague, to explain to this hunter that they had nothing to do with all those deaths. That it was Richter and the other hooded ones that had caused all that damage and chaos. She knew she couldn't, though. The Kessurian fell silent, setting her jaw defiantly and began discreetly scanning the crowd for any sign of Durin or the others. They were less than 10 meters from the landspeeder now, and if the hunters fob was going off, Vague had to be close.
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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As they walked Rossi kept an eye out for the speeder and for Vague. She thought she caught a glimpse of it through the crowd but she couldn't be sure. Isis, meanwhile, had started to direct her away from where she parked. Even though she knew that Vague was close it seemed like she had no interest in catching him right now. Instead, the hunter led her down a side street in the opposite direction of Vague.

"Where are we going," Rossi asked, curious to know where the hunter was leading her.

"Shh," Isis hushed her. The fob was still beeping in her pocket and even though they were moving away from where Quentin King was suspected to be the time between beeps had not changed. Quentin was following them.

Isis directed Rossi down another side street then another with seemingly little care as to which direction they were traveling in. The Kessurian was beginning to suspect that maybe Vague might be following them and the hunter knew, but she didn't seem like she was trying very hard to lose him. Their pace hadn't quickened at all, they weren't moving towards a waiting speeder. Instead, it was almost like she was looking for something. Finally, they stopped in front of a run-down construction site. A project that had probably lost funding and would no longer continue. Machines and equipment were still strewn about the area, some still bearing loads, others empty.

Isis led the Kessurian into the middle of the half-constructed building and then let go of her. "Stay," she said, firing a stun blast into Rossi's leg and dropping her to the ground. Then she stepped away into the shadows and waited. Quentin King was a dangerous man. There had been reports of some kind of commando squad on the Wanderlust and a rumor that Quentin King had single-handedly dismantled the lot of them. In a straight-up fight Isis would stand zero chance in taking him down, part of why she wanted to save him for last. Running into him now was not part of the plan, but somehow she would have to make it work.

Several long moments later a single figure approached the site. He had his blaster drawn and no doubt suspected it was a trap. As he approached the building and saw Rossi sitting in the open and he stopped, carefully scanning his surroundings. His one good arm directing his blaster this way and that to cover the area. He moved carefully forward, eyes wide open for any sign of attack. Isis had hidden herself up on the second level with a clear view down into the foyer. She was about ready to make her move when Vague suddenly spun to his right and fired in her direction. Blaster bolts melted the metal beam right above her head as she bolted from cover and quickly hid inside another shadow. Vague last track of her for a moment, taking two steps to his left to bring himself closer to a nearby support pillar. When two blaster bolts rang out of the darkness he quickly ducked behind the pillar out of sight. The bolts flew harmlessly past the area where he was standing just moments before.

"A wounded bird comes to save his friend," Isis' voice echoed out of the shadow. "Kind of disappointing, really. Takes all the fun out of it."

"Who are you," Vague called out into the darkness, but there was no answer.

Unable to see anything beyond the outline of light leading straight to Rossi he kept his eyes on the shadows surrounding him. A flash of movement caught his attention and he immediately fired his blaster. Pelting one of the pillars on the other side of the room, but missing his target. Then all of a sudden the girl bolted out into the light, carrying a canister that she tossed directly at him. The canister sailed through the air and at about halfway between them she raised her blaster up and shot it, causing an explosion as the gas inside created a fog obscuring their vision. Vague coughed and tried to cover his mouth while also unsuccessfully aiming his blaster at Isis' last known position. Meanwhile, outside of the fog, however, Isis pulled a lever on one of the cranes, dropping its load of metal rods directly over the building in approximately the same spot Vague had been standing...
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

"King, she's after us for the Liner job!" Rossi called out, struggling to regain feeling in her lower extremities after the stun blast Isis had hit her with. "Just get out of here while you can." The Kessurian didn't know much about hunter, but she knew how handicapped Vague was currently and didn't want to end up being the reason he was further injured, or worse. "Red Key's tomaram Elena. Eles querem Tsiv e seu dinherio." She called out in broken Socorran. She could have explained a lot better what had happened to Nova in Basic or even Huttese, but most hunters knew their way around the language of the Hutts, Socorran was a much rarer language.

Before Vague could respond to her warning, though, Isis had struck again. The hunter had triggered some sort of gas canister and used the ensuing explosion to conceal herself until she was in position to deactivate the mag claw on one of the industrial cranes. All Rossi could do was gasp as she watched the slew of metal rods start falling towards where Vague had taken cover.

Vague was doing his best to recover from the surprise gas attack when he heard the clanging above him. The Captain spared a second to glance up at the debris that had just been dropped overhead and began calculating the quickest route for escape. Without the use of his other arm, his mobility options were significantly limited... All the while in the back of his mind he recalled Micaiah's words of warning, Have someone else do it. You need to rest. Rest. Right.

Without much of an option otherwise, Vague was about to rush out into the center of the site in order to attempt get away from the structure that was sure to collapse once the heavy beams collided with it... It was undoubtedly what the bounty hunter was hoping for, if he were to make it out, it would place Vague in no mans land, exposed and vulnerable without cover, and if not, he'd be incapacitated beneath the collapsing rubble. That was, until a nearly deafening roar sounded overhead followed by the heatwash of taxed repulsorlift drives. Vague stumbled a bit under the buffeting air and realized belatedly that the metal rods never impacted.

When Vague looked up, he saw the frail form of Tsivoin standing on the lowered boarding ramp of the Veiled Bedlam. The teen had one arm hooked around a landing strut, while the other was extended out in front of him, fingers splayed wide. Durin blinked and then looked directly above him to see the metal rods now simply floating in mid air, seemingly suspended in an invisible energy field.

Vague's moment of celebration, however, was cut short as a stun blast fired from a blaster struck Tsiv in his side. The boy slumped over and started to fall but his hooked arm caught him momentarily. Vague had no time to worry about it before the beams began to fall again.

Fortunately, Tsiv's interference gave him a bit of a head start. He managed to make it out of the structure just as the falling beams struck the upper floor. Crashing through the ceiling above him and creating a makeshift skylight. The resulting rubble fell into a pile around where he had taken cover and would have no doubt incapacitated him.

Out in the open now he spared a glance at Tsivoin. The boy was still hooked to the landing strut and hanging on for now. Micaiah had just arrived at the boarding ramp and was trying to get to him. When his attention returned to the battlefield he saw Isis in front of him, blaster raised, seconds before she fired a stun blast at him.

Vague reacted as quickly as he dared. The Captain was still very well aware that his severed brachial artery was still only rudimentarily sealed off by Rossi and Nova's emergency field surgery. He dodged to the side, the stun blast catching the edge of his already inoperable arm as he returned fire. The effect of the blast, though spread further and he found that his leg would no longer respond to his commands, resulting in his lateral momentum ultimately causing the man to tumble to the ground.

Rossi cried out and struggled to drag herself in his direction, intent on putting herself between the hunter and Vague. A pair of stunblasts rang out as Isis confidently strode out into the open. One struck Rossi in the back and the other hit Vague in the torso, knocking the pair completely out. As the hunter reached her two targets, she brought her weapons sights up and around to point at the Sylarian on the boarding ramp. Curious, that... There were mixed reports following the attack on the Wanderlust, but this woman seemed to match the description of the ships missing doctor. She drew her backup scout blaster with her other hand and pointed it at Vague's still form. "I suggest you have a word with whoever's piloting that thing. This scout doesn't have a stun setting."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Micaiah had just managed to drag Tsivoin's unconscious body back onto the ship and when she went back to go check on Vague she found the hunter standing over his unconscious body with a blaster pointed at his head. "You kill him you don't get paid," she called down.

Isis just shrugged. "Doesn't matter to me. He's damaged goods, anyway. If he still has some value to you you'll tell them to land that ship!"

The Sylarian stared at the woman for a moment. From this distance it was hard to tell what the hunter was feeling at the moment. Whether she was being genuine or bluffing Micaiah couldn't tell, but either way she decided not to chance it and lifted her hand up to her ear. "EssJay, put the ship down," she said.

"Here," Slackjaw answered back, "but--,"

"Do it," Micaiah told him, interrupting him midsentence. "She's threatening to kill Vague if we don't surrender."

There was a long pause that seemed to last forever before finally the Bedlam veered off and settled down in an open area of the construction site. Micaiah stood and waited by the boarding ramp, never taking her eyes off Isis or Vague. A moment later two more figures emerged from the ship, both carrying weapons as they approached the hunter. "Ah ah ah," Isis said, pressing the barrel of her pistol firmly against Vague's forehead, reminding the others that she was in charge. Both Orev and Slackjaw stopped their advance immediately.

"Drop your weapons," she continued. The pair looked at each other for a moment as they considered it. They didn't have long, however, before the sound of a blaster firing rang through the air. They turned to look back at Isis who had her smoking pistol aimed at the ground near Vague's head. "Now," she ordered.

Almost immediately Orev and Slackjaw dropped their weapons then kicked them away towards the hunter. Isis holstered her stun blaster then reached back into behind her to retrieve a pair of binders. She tossed them on the ground in front of Orev and ordered him to put them on. Once they were secure she reached into her jacket pocket and pulled out something smaller. Then she looked up at the Sylarian. "You," she said, "put this on the droid."

Micaiah looked up at her just in time to see the girl toss something at her. Without thinking she reached out and caught it, almost by instinct. When she looked at the device she saw that it was a restraining bolt. She glanced back up at Isis who once again nodded her head towards Slackjaw. With a sigh the doctor walked over to him. "I'm sorry," she said quietly, as she slapped the restraining bolt onto the droid's chest.

"Good, now help me get these two on board," Isis said as she holstered her scout pistol back inside her boot.

Micaiah obediently did as she was asked and helped the hunter half drag, half carry the two unconscious bodies of Rossi and Vague back onto the ship. Once they were on board Isis made sure that the young Tsivoin was also securely bound and when he started to stir again she shot him with a stun blast once more.

"Why did you do that," Micaiah asked, "His hands are bound, he's no threat to you."

"Clearly, you've no experience with Jedi," Isis muttered as she lifted Tsivoin's body into a crash seat and strapped him in. "This one stays sedated, understood?"

The Sylarian nodded then Isis went to go check on her other prisoners. As she passed Micaiah the doctor half-turned to follow her. "Wait, aren't you going to bind my hands," she asked.

Isis shrugged. "You're not my target," she answered simply before reaching into her pocket to pull out her communicator.

Micaiah followed Isis into the common room where the others were bound and watched as the hunter dialed in a frequency on her communicator. A moment later the shimmering blue image of a sleezy looking Rodian appeared floating above her hand. "Inyak, you sleezeball, you didn't tell me there was a third party operating on this blasted moon," she snapped at him.

"Isis, baby, what are you talking about," the Rodian asked, a slight hint of defensiveness in his tone.

"My Socorran's a bit rusty but this one was saying something about the Red Key Raiders," Isis answered, nudging Rossi slightly with her foot. "But you already knew that before you sent me down here so I'm cutting your fee by ten percent."

"Ten percent?! Isis, I've got kids to feed!"

Isis made a face. "Inyak, you don't have kids. Hookers don't count."

The informant sighed in frustration. "Fine, I might have--forgotten to mention a thing or two, but my information's still good."

"Hence why I'm paying you at all," the hunter answered, then she clicked off the communicator and shoved it back into her pocket. Finally, she turned to look back at Micaiah. "You're a doctor, right? What's his prognosis," she asked while pointing a finger at Vague.

Micaiah glanced first at her then over at Vague. She had a worried look in her eyes but answered truthfully. "A severed artery, torn tendons, internal bleeding. He needs surgery to regain the use of his arm."

Isis nodded. "Alright, then do it."

The Sylarian doctor shook her head. "I can't."

"Why not?"

Micaiah turned her gaze back to Isis then pointed down at Rossi. "She and Nova had gone into town to pick up the medical supplies I needed for the operation. Without those supplies I can't perform the surgery."

Isis sighed. "Fine, tell me the name of the merchant and I'll arrange the pickup. In the meantime, do you have a stim?"

Micaiah raised an eyebrow at her. "Why?"

"I need to talk to the pink one about why the Red Keys took your friend and she happened to mention that she only has twenty-four hours."

"Oh, right," the Sylarian answered. Then with a slight hesitation she reached into the pocket of her lab coat and pulled out a stim, reaching over to hand it to the hunter.

Isis took the stim then shoved it into her pocket. "Okay, now help me move him to medical," she said with a nod towards Vague. The two worked together in tandem to carry Vague's unconscious form into the medbay and secure him in an open gurney. After Isis left Micaiah found herself alone with Vague.

A short while later the hunter stood in one of the ship's cabins with Rossi bound to a chair in front of her. She reached out and pressed the stim into the Kessurian's neck and all at once Rossi awoke with a start. "Mornin', Sunshine," Isis said, stepping back to look at her. "Let's you and me have a chat about your friend, eh?"

She pulled a chair up in front of her and turned it around before sitting on it backward, straddling it between her legs. "The Red Keys took the Jedi and I need her to get paid. So you're going to tell me what they want and where they want you to bring it."

Meanwhile, back in medbay Vague was just starting to come to. When he awoke with a start he first noticed that both his arms were bound to the bed. "Easy," Micaiah said, gently placing a hand on his chest and pushing him back down. "I told you that you needed to rest, remember?"

Vague shook his head in a vain attempt to rid himself of the throbbing pain. "The others," he asked.

"Safe for now," Micaiah told him. "She's got them all locked up inside the ship."

"And you?"

Micaiah held up her hands to show that she was not bound like the others. "I don't have any outstanding warrants," she answered, then she hesitated before adding, "At least, not with the Republic."

"Good, then get these things off me," he told her, shaking the cuffs bound to his wrists for emphasis.

The Sylarian frowned at him. "Vague, listen to me. I overheard her name when she was talking to someone on her communicator. We're in a lot more trouble than you know."

Vague looked at her uncomprehendingly. "What do you mean?"

"Her name," she repeated, "I didn't piece it together until I heard it but I recognize her. She's Isis Sinclair, the daughter of Isaac Sinclair, the New Republic Senator of Corellia. I'm sorry, Vague, but we're not going to be able to just blast our way out of this one. If she dies...," she left the rest hanging in the air, but the implication was pretty clear. The unexpected death of a Senator's daughter would bring more heat down upon them than any of them could weather...
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

Rossi struggled momentarily against the restraints before realizing how useless the gesture was, and instead focused her frustration into an angry gaze at the bounty hunter in front of her. The young woman's appearance told a very different story than the one that Rossi and her crew were experiencing. She looked young, and though maybe not vulnerable per se... Isis certainly didn't look the part of fearsome hunter.

"First you want to talk about King, now you want to talk about Nova? Can you make up your mind? If you'd listened to me back at the market maybe we could have tracked down the goon that had attacked me." She fired off at the hunter, all the while spinning yarns in the back of her mind... She had to protect Tsivoin and the crew, she just wasn't sure how to do it yet.

Isis made a face at Rossi's response. "I was really hoping you'd be a bit more cooperative," she said. "The Red Keys are scum. They won't kill your friend, they'll sell her off into slavery. She'll have much better prospects in a New Republic prison. If you care about her at all then help me find her."

Rossi's eyes sharpened at the mention of slavery. She involuntarily glanced back towards the rest of the ship, where she was sure Tsivoin was restrained.

The Kessurian didn't know what else to do. She hung her head in defeat and mumbled. "They want the kid."

"The Zabrak?"

Rossi nodded."I don't know much, but the Keys used to own him. They say he ran away and took a bunch of their money with him."

Isis looked impressed. That tiny frail kid did all that? "Fits the bill," she said, "Maldenado is a sick, twisted individual. Likes to think of his property as family. He's not likely to ever let go of the kid with or without the money he stole."

She stood and started pacing about the room. "They're not likely to honor their bargain, either," she continued, but mostly to herself. "The dropoff location is probably a trap. If I show up with the kid they'll try to take us both... Or kill me and take the kid. Either way they won't bring the girl. Shavvit! I need to figure out where they're keeping her."

Finally, she turned to look back at Rossi. "I need to make a phone call," she said, "I'm going to put you back with the others, but if you try anything...," she let her words trail off as she lifted a small remote in her hand and pressed a button. A sharp jolt of energy shot from the binders around Rossi's wrists and into her body, causing her muscles to convulse. "Everybody feels that, not just you," she explained as the effects wore off. "Be nice and I won't have to hurt you or your friends."

Rossi glared at Isis as the hunter led her from the cabin. She was recovering from the sudden shock when something occurred to her and she slowed her pace slightly. "Look. I don't know you, but do us all a favor?" She started, then glanced towards the currently unconscious form of Tsiv. "Don't let him know about any of this.

"Awfully protective of him, Isis thought to herself as she led Rossi back into the common room. Yet there was something about the way she said it, though. Something off. Was she frightened of the kid? Isis shook her head. No, if that were the case why keep him on board?

"You know, you weren't doing that kid any favors getting him mixed up with a man like Quentin," she said as she dropped Rossi next to Orev and secured her to a crash chair. "He deserves a better shake of things. Now he's going to spend the rest of his life in prison."

There was a chime from her pocket and she straightened up, turning her back on Rossi momentarily. She pulled the tiny communicator from her pocket and looked at it, then turned to glance back at Rossi and the others. "Be good," she told them before leaving the room.

******************************

Vague's eyes widened just slightly as he worked to clear his mind of the fog left behind from the stun blasts. His eyes glanced over to Masilda's still form and then averted. "Shavvit." He muttered under his breath. They were in a world of hurt, this time. Nova had apparently been captured by the Red Keys... his crew was once again detained, he was severely handicapped...

"Mic-" his voice darkened. "We both know you could take her down. I don't know how yet, but we make it look like it was the Red Keys. We get Nova back, and we're out of here before anyone-"

Micaiah hastily took a step back, her eyes widening in fear. "Vague, no! I can't," she told him, "You know I can't."

"Micaiah, Nova will die," he answered back.

The Sylarian turned her back to him. "I won't kill her, and I don't believe you should, either. Isaac Sinclair is the CEO of a major conglomerate."

"So," Vague began, not understanding where she was going.

"So she's not in it for the money," she explained, turning back to look at him. "She doesn't need it, her family's rich. If we talk to her, maybe convince her that we're not the bad guys...," her words trailed off. It was a bit of a long shot, she knew but it was better than murdering a Senator's daughter.

Vague sighed softly. A part of him wanted to point out to the Sylarian that they wouldn't likely be in this mess if it hadn't been for her actions aboard the First Order Frigate, but he knew deep down that wasn't fair. He believed her when she said she didn't know what she'd been doing, and behavioral conditioning certainly wasn't her fault. Still, they needed a way out of this predicament and while he would drop the notion for now... he wasn't clearing the option off the table entirely.

"Whatever we do, you can not let her get access to any of my bio files, or let her scan me." Vague told her. "If she really does have ties to the New Republic... They need to think I'm simply Quentin King, ok? If they dig too deep."

Micaiah raised an eyebrow at that. At a time like this, she thought to herself. Just what was it about his past that he was trying to hide? "Vague, don't you think we have more important...," she never got to finish that thought as the doors to the medical bay opened interrupting her.

Isis walked in and briefly glanced at Vague before turning to look at Micaiah. "The medical supplies you need are in the hangar," she informed the Sylarian. "Have the droid help you load them onto the ship and please, do not try to remove his restraining bolt. Don't throw away your medical career to try and help these people."

Vague shifted a bit on the gurney to take a closer, more inquisitive look at the hunter. He could almost sense Micaiah glancing in his direction, but silently hoped that she'd know better than to look to him for confirmation. If he was King, and she was here due to the job on the Wanderlust, then it was imperative that the crew play those parts. The greater the distance between Micaiah and the rest of the crew, the better in that case.

The Outlaw looked Isis over once more, then spoke. "The doctor says you're Isis Sinclair." He told her. "We're a bit low-profile for your talents, aren't we?" he asked.

Isis made a face. "You would be if New Republic Intelligence would stop covering up my biggest busts," she grumbled, mostly to herself but loud enough for the others to hear. First it was the Senator dealing weapons to the First Order on Corellia, then the incident on Juoi involving the Leidias family. Both of which would have been a huge boon to her career but were reduced to little more than a footnote in some beaurucrat's file. Truth was, there were some in the guild who believed she didn't have what it takes to even accomplish this much, but she swiftly proved them all wrong by capturing nearly the entire crew single-handedly.

"But don't worry, Quentin," she continued in a louder tone, "I still have a deep appreciation for even the little jobs. Especially this one. There's a seven-year-old Twi'lek girl who's never going to see her parents again because of the job you bungled on the Wanderlust. It is my deepest pleasure to make sure you and your crew answer for that crime."

Her reply gave Vague reason to pause, and the corners of his eyes tightened in response. The way she'd said it... Made it seem as if this was as much personal as it was a business transaction. That could be a very dangerous pairing. He swallowed briefly and watched as Micaiah made her way out of the bay to retrieve the supplies, then fixed Isis with a hardened gaze.

He hoped maybe her anger would work to cloud some of her judgement and senses, as he certainly didn't look the part of Quentin King at this very moment. Lacking the complexion altering spray and blue colored contacts, he could only hope that the hunter would either overlook the discrepancy or maybe assume he'd altered his appearance for some other reason. Either way there was little he could do about it now.

"We didn't bungle that job," He told her plainly. "And we didn't kill anyone that wasn't on the First Order's payroll."

"You're a con man, Quentin, why should I believe anything you say," She asked, "Besides, if you're so innocent why alter your appearance?"

So much for that hope. he thought to himself sardonically. He sighed outwardly and shifted awkwardly on the bed, half his body still struggling against the stun blasts after-effects, his one arm still useless, and hindered by the restraints that kept him attached to the gurney. "Certainly not in an effort to avoid a new repiblic bounty. Look, believe me or not, that's your choice. All we wanted was the jewel, and no one would have even known we'd gotten it if it wasn't for those blasted Dark Jedi who started tearing up the place, and the First Order who came in blasters blazing..." He paused for a moment... but she should know all that, shouldn't she? "Tell me, why aren't they on your target roster?"

Isis smiled and shook her head. "I thought you were the best, Quentin, surely you could come up with a more believable story than that?"

"It's not a story," he told her, "That's exactly what happened."

The hunter's face hardened and she waved his comment away with one hand. "I saw the security footage from the Wanderlust. The only ones there were you and your team. You tried to steal the jewel and when you were caught you had a shootout with security on the way out."

It started to make sense to Vague, and it probably showed on his face. "So security threw Tsivoin into the bulkhead hard enough to crack his skull? Security skewered Nova with a laser sword and put her into a coma? You've got it all wrong. We were ambushed, sure, but it was by a trio of force-users and a First Order Spec-Ops team, not some simple luxury liner security officers." He shook his head. "Where'd you get this supposed security footage from?"

"The... client," Isis answered, a slight hesitation in her tone. From the sound of his voice, Quentin beleived every word he was saying, but it didn't match up with anything she was told at all. She shook her head. No, it was just another of his subterfuges.

"Look, the Doc's gonna patch you up, alright," She said, changing the subject. "I need to go collect my last bounty so you better behave while I'm gone."

She pulled her communicator from her pocket as she spoke and headed for the door.

************************************

It was almost two hours later when Micaiah emerged from the medbay. Vague was unconscious and recovering from the surgical corrections she'd just made to his wounded arm, and there was little else she could do for the man. She slowed her pace as she looked over at the crew members currently restrained in the common room. Her eyes eventually fell on Rossi who seemed to be in a somewhat heated confrontation with the bounty hunter.

"You can't be serious." she heard Rossi say, "They're surely prepared for something like this. If they've been able to hold Nova for this long against her will they definitely have sufficient men and firepower. Please, let us help. She's our friend and if she or you get killed in the chaos what'll happen to us all chained up here?!"

Isis scowled in response. She'd been looking at holographic footage of the city from orbit hoping to find something to narrow her search. "First of all," she began in a patient tone, "your loyalty to your friend is commendable. Secondly, I've seen what a Force-user can do. Either they're keeping your friend sedated or she's letting them keep her. Either way I don't need, nor want your help."

She glanced down at her chrono and frowned. They were running out of time and Inyak had yet to get back to her about the location of the Red Keys' base of operations. Damn it, Inyak, what's taking so long?

Orev's eyes narrowed a bit as he watched the hunter. The Duros shook his head slightly, and frowned his lipless mouth. "You're being played." He spoke up, his first words since she'd bound them up in the common area. In fact, he'd taken the majority of the time to have a nap. "Look, maybe you had a plan to roll us all up in one swoop - and who is to say if that would've worked? But someone sent to catch us, here. Why? We've been far more vulnerable elsewhere since then. Yet they waited to send you to pick us up here, on K-Olgo, a lawless world with a strong organized crime element conveniently onsite?"

Rossi listened to what Orev had to say, then nodded and added in, "The Red Key's were waiting for Nova in the market. It was an orchestrated grab. They were tipped off that we were coming."

"Cute, but not working," Isis answered. She pressed a few switches that made the holographic display zoom in on the industrial section of the city. "There are a number of various IFF tags associated with a ship of this exact model. Some of which can be linked to various places Quentin King has visited. I gave a number of those spoofed IDs to my informant who let me know the moment one of those IDs was tagged while entering this system. The fact he failed to mention the presence of the Red Keys was just coincidence."

"But what about the ambush? How did they know Nova was coming," Rossi asked.

Isis sighed and rolled her eyes. "Elena Connor was involved in an incident on Cantonica along with Tsivoin Ulderis. The Red Key Raiders were reported as being on site as well. They probably just recognized her when you entered the city."

She turned off the holographic display in frustration. Inyak was taking a very long time in getting back to her and she was starting to get impatient.

"I assume since you're out here that you're done treating King," she asked Micaiah while rubbing the bridge of her nose.

Micaiah nodded, "He's recovering."

The Sylarian shifted uncomfortably. Vague told her everything Isis had said to him in the medbay. Orev was right. She is being played by someone, but Micaiah suspected that someone wasn't interested in the Red Key Raiders. "Quentin was telling the truth, you know," she added after a moment of hesitation.

"You mean all that nonsense about Force-users and First Order raiders," Isis asked impatiently as she turned to look at her. "He's got you wrapped under his spell."

"I was there," Micaiah persisted, "I saw it all. Why would I lie?"

"I don't know, Stockholm Syndrome," she replied in exasperation, throwing her arms up in the air. "I saw the footage, alright? The footage doesn't lie."

She took a moment to breath and calm down. Then she turned back to the holographic display. "Look, I don't have time for this right now," she continued, "I've got...," she stopped suddenly when a proximity alarm began blaring throughout the ship. She tapped a few keys and shifted to an outside view of the ship. A number of armed individuals had just entered the construction site and were taking up positions around the Bedlam.

"That slimy Rodian," she muttered to herself, "He sold me out."

She quickly grabbed her blaster and ran to the boarding ramp on the side of the ship. When she got there she quickly fired off a couple of blasts to force the Red Key thugs to take cover. Then she pressed the switch to raise the boarding ramp, firing off a couple more shots at the few individuals brave enough to poke their heads out. On her way back to the common room she passed Micaiah.

"What is it," the doctor asked.

"Inyak got a better offer," Isis grumbled.

She stalked back into the common room and got on the ship's PA, directing her voice to the outside of the ship. "I assume my friend Inyak sent you here to deal," she called out to them. "You bring me the Jedi and your boss and then maybe we'll talk."
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Pryde
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by Pryde »

On the holographic display behind her a lone figure stepped out into the open. "Nice try, girlie," the man called out, his voice being picked up by the ship's external speakers. "Me and my boys here just want the kid. Send him out and we won't have to come in there and shoot every last one of you!"

"Right, like you weren't planning on doing that anyway," Isis grumbled to herself as she set the phone back on its rest. "Alright, plan B," she said as she turned around and headed up into the cockpit. Micaiah followed closely behind. Once inside the cockpit she sat down in the pilot's seat began running through the preflight checks as quickly as possible while simultaneously powering up the ship.

"Do you know how to fly this thing," Micaiah asked and Isis just shrugged.

"Not really."

The Sylarian looked concerned, "Then how..."

"I'm Corellian," Isis interrupted her, "We're born with a flight stick in our hands."

Behind them they could hear the rumble of the ship's engines powering on. Isis pulled back on the stick to pull the ship up and away from the construction site. They made it less than a meter before something struck the side of the ship, jerking the ship to the right and nearly knocking Micaiah off her feet. Shortly after something else struck the ship on the other side, pulling the Bedlam in the other direction. The ship was struck two more times and Isis glanced out the cockpit at the ground below.

"Damn it," she swore under her breath. "They're using mag pullies to keep us from escaping."

She increased the thrust and tried as hard as she could to resist the pull to little avail. A warning klaxon went off warning her that the ship's thrusters were overheating. She kept her hand shoved forward on the throttle, pushing the ship past its limits. When one of the thrusters on the port side of the ship shorted out she could feel the Bedlam being lowered back onto the ground. In resignation Isis landed the ship and cut the power. After leading Vague here to this location to set a trap for him she never once considered that the equipment here could also be used against her.

"What now," Micaiah asked, a hint of worry creeping into her expression.

The ship's external security would keep them out for a little while, but once they managed to get inside it was all over. Isis might be able to take a few of them out but this was hardly the ideal place for a last stand. Still, it wasn't like she had much of a choice. "Now we fight," she said, "Do you know how to use a blaster?"

Micaiah's face went pale at the thought and she quickly shook her head. "No," she told her, "I can't!"

"Wonderful," Isis grumbled to herself as she climbed out of the pilot's seat. "Fine, you stay here," she threw back over her shoulder as she headed towards the exit. "I'll just do this myself."

She barely made it three feet outside of the cockpit before the giant frame of Vague Durin suddenly dwarfed her view. He stood there in front of her, the rail of the gurney still dangling from the cuff on his wrist. "How--," she started, but she barely got a word out before Vague wrapped both his hands around her neck and pushed her up against the wall. Isis tried as hard as she could to fight against his grip with no effect. Vague lifted her off the ground, her legs kicking ineffectually to try and break his stranglehold. As she gasped for air she could feel herself beginning to blackout.

"Vague, stop," Micaiah shouted suddenly when she saw what was happening. In an instant she was at his side, hand on his shoulder looking at him pleadingly. "Please, don't kill her," she begged.

Isis could feel him loosening his grip and as he lowered her to the ground she prepared herself to fight back. She never got that chance, though, before he knocked her lights out with one solid punch. Isis' world exploded into a thousand suns as she hit the deck hard. She barely registered someone picking her up before the entire world faded from view...

It was some time later when her senses returned to her that she woke up to the sound of people quietly conversing. All at once her memories flooded back to her and she awoke with a start. Almost immediately she noticed her movement was restricted and when she heard the clang of metal against metal she glanced down at her wrists, noting that she was bound to a chair. "Shavvit," she swore under her breath as she leaned her head back.

A few feet away she could hear Rossi speaking to the others. "We can use the hunter's trackers to find Nova, but the range is limited. If we knew the area we needed to search in...," her line of thought trailed off.

"Doesn't do us any good if we can't get past our friends outside," Orev pointed out. Vague chimed in next but Isis couldn't hear what he was saying as Micaiah had stepped in front of her and obstructed her view.

"How are you feeling," she asked, kneeling down to grab Isis by the chin before shining a small light into her eyes to check the dilation of her pupils.

"Peachy," Isis said, trying her best to fight against the doctor's surprisingly firm grip. "I think that punch to the head cleared my sinuses right up."

Micaiah ignored the quip and continued her examination. "You may have a slight concussion," she noted in that same clinical tone she had used earlier when diagnosing Vague.

Isis somehow managed a shrug. "Big deal, get 'em all the time," she said, then she leaned over to look at Quentin. "Vague, huh? Not Quentin?"

She laughed lightly to herself and shifted her gaze over to Orev, the effort causing her head to throb. "Looks like you were right, No-Lips. Guess I was being played."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

Orev, Rossi, and Vague all stopped conversing and turned their attention sharply to the bounty hunter. It took a moment for Vague to do the math, then he recalled Micaiah's outburst in the cockpit. Unfortunate. He thought to himself, eyes narrowing. The Captain was about to move in Isis' direction but Micaiah held up a slender hand in the air between them and he halted his progress. The Doctor offered him a pleading look. Durin sighed. He knew what he ought to do, and what the old him would have already done... A thought occured to the Captain and he nodded his head slightly. "Mic, why don't you take our curious friend here and look her over in the med bay"

"I've made a routine examination already an-"

"Mic. Take the prisoner into the Med Bay, please." Durin repeated the question. He wasn't sure whether or not the doctor caught his meaning, but she complied nevertheless.

Once the door was sealed behind them, he turned to his crew. "Rossi, much as I hate to say it, we're probably going to need her help. That means pulling off her blindfold. See what you have left from the Wanderlust job, anything that'll prove to her that she's been lied to and as soon as you have it pump it through to the med bay." He paused, then looked over at the still form of Tsivoin. The teens eyes were still shut but every so often one of his limbs would twitch. He really should have been awake by now. "Orev, EssJay- those mag pullies are a problem and we need them handled. I've got an idea but it's going to take all of us..."

************************

Several minutes later a panel on the bulkhead flickered into existence displaying what appeared to be a mirrored screen from a personal data pad. It proceeded to select and play bits of the Wanderlust's security feeds from the day of the heist. A figurative 'greatest hits' album of everything that had gone so terribly wrong that day beginning with Nova discovering that she couldn't bypass the secondary power grid and ending with the revelation of Ansel double-crossing them with the first order. The later portion was only audio picked up Rossi's still running comm unit, as Rossi and SlackJaw had already disconnected the equipment they had tied into the liners security.

***
Nova finally realized what was happening. "I'm here," she said, "but um... It looks like someone beat me to it."

"What do you mean?"

Nova stood and examined the console more closely. "Someone broke into the control room and killed the guard. The console looks like its been completely shredded. Maybe with some kind of plasma torch or...," she stopped suddenly as a deep shiver ran down her spine.

"Or what? What do you see?"

"Rossi abort the operation," Nova told her, forgetting in her panic to use the Kessurian's codename. She hurried out of the office, heading back the way she had come. "Get everyone out of here now! I'm heading back to...,"

A flash of warning drew her attention and in the blink of an eye she had drawn her lightsaber and ignited it. Rossi and the others heard the familiar pop hiss of her ancient Jedi weapon followed by the sound of two laser swords clashing with each other. The last thing anyone heard from her after that was silence...


"One, this is Four. Raddish. Raddish. Raddish. Five was ambushed by three unknown tango's. They're still fighting in the casino now and it's not good. I-"

"Nothing more you can do for now, Four. We exfil as planned. All stations go dark unless it's an emergency. See you all when we pass the Dead Rebels."


There was an audible gasp from the people around her when the golden blade of her weapon suddenly sprung to life. At that moment three figures emerged to confront the woman, each of them hooded and clad in black robes carrying red lightsabers. The leader stepped forward and lowered his hood, revealing a face that was half-covered in cybernetics. He held up one hand and examined the code cylinder he took from Nova.

"You surprise me, Elena," he said, "I had not thought to find other survivors after the attack on Master Skywalker's temple. Now you stand before me intent on getting in my way. It's a shame, really. To be granted a second chance only to die here."

He tossed the code cylinder into the air before slicing it in half with his saber. Then he leveled the tip of his weapon at Nova. "Call your friends," he told her, "Tell them to bring me the Oracle or I will end your life."


***

The first trio of vids were like rapid fire. Nova being ambushed at the control room, the frantic lightsaber battle that ensued afterward, cutting a swathe of destruction all the way to the casino proper, and Rossi's panicked call out to the radio explaining the situation all set the stage for the nightmare the rest of the afternoon had turned into.

"Enough Games!" Richter shouted before wrenching Nova's arm further upward behind her back, causing her to cry out in pain. "I want the Oracle of Vidunatru, and I want it now."

Vague's eyes narrowed as the darksider hurt his crewmate.
"Look, uh, Goldeneye? I'm sorry I don't know what to call you. You want the Oracle you're going to have to work with me here. Your intervention's disjointed my team. Why don't you get your glowrod away from her and I'll have my grease-man bring the thing here."

Richter narrowed his eyes at him, though truth be told Vague and the others could only see the one. With deliberate slowness he brought the edge of his lightsaber closer to Nova's exposed neck. As the heat of the weapon began to sear her skin Nova screamed so loud that her cries filled the entire room. "Do you hear that," he asked Vague, pulling the lightsaber away from Nova's skin. "That's your time running out."


***

The next vid set about making it painfully clear that whatever footage Isis had been provided was at the very least completely different to the footage that this crew posessed. It didn't do much to determine which was legit, or if either of them were even untampered, but it spelled out pretty plainly Quentin's side of the story.

"Three and Four engaged with First Order troopers on B Concourse, near the Gala. Eight is with them." She called out over the comm.

"Three, Four, this is Two. Stay where you are, I'm moving to you." they heard over the comm. Rossi let out a sigh of relief at hearing Orev's voice, but where in the frell had he been?

"Understood." She replied, leaning out of cover to squeeze off another couple blasts at the troopers. "Hurry." She added.


"First Order Raiders." the woman spoke, squatting down over-top of one of the troopers with her back to Rossi and the others. "Highly specialized. There are some who don't even believe they exist. Intel suggests they're used mostly on missions to acquire ancient artifacts, stuff to do with the force and all that." Rossi couldn't quite tell if the woman was talking to herself, or to the group. Before anyone could respond, she'd stood and moved over to where Ansel had fallen. "You knew this man?"

"We've worked with him in the past." SlackJaw offered. Rossi noticed how deliberately vague his answer was with approval. He obviously didn't trust this new woman any more than Rossi did, then.

"Ansel Brimm. Above board forger, defrauder, petty criminal. Under the table, though- a staunch centrist with strong anti-alien views and a known supporter of the First Order."

Rossi frowned at that. If Ansel was secretly a humanist and helping to fund the First Order, surely the crew of the 'Bedlam would have heard about it. "Who are you?" Rossi demanded suddenly. "How do you know so much about them."

For a moment, the woman didn't respond, she simply continued to search through Ansel's belongings. Finally, she stood and turned to face Rossi. Revealing a slim figure with defined cheekbones and a fierce gaze. She wore her jet black hair pulled into a tight and practical bun, but judging by the woman's exotic teal colored eyes, Rossi doubted it was her natural hair color. She looked to be at least a decade or two Rossi's senior. The woman fixed Rossi with a stare that felt equal parts amused and annoyed, before finally responding. "The name is Brakken, and it's my job," She held Rossi's gaze for another long second, before turning sharply to address Orev. "A job I need to get back to. Take you're pals and get out of here. I'll handle this mess."


***

The last two clips were audio only, but for someone who had worked closely with Intelligence in the past, there was no mistaking the voice of Brakken Camalon. Micaiah noticed immediately a shift in Isis' demeanor when this woman spoke up about the First Order Raiders and of Ansel Brimm.
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Pryde
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by Pryde »

As the last bit of audio recording faded into the air, Micaiah could hear Isis swear under her breath. Damn it, they used me again, the hunter thought. This was the second time the New Republic Strategic Information Services had interfered with her career. Abusing her skill or her status for their own ends. She'd had enough of it. She had no intention of becoming a stooge for the SIS.

After a long moment the bounty hunter just stood and exited the medbay. Micaiah tried to voice an objection but barely managed to get a word out before she had gone. Out in the common room the others turned to look at her as she approached.

"Alright, here's the deal," she began. "I still don't completely trust any of you, but I'll help you rescue your friend. Maldenado's got a bounty on him that's bigger than the GDP of most rimworld planets, plus I hate the guy, so it's worth it. If we do this, you get your friend, I get Maldenado and we go our separate ways. If you're good with that then let's get started."

As soon as she had said it, and much to everyone's surprise, she popped the cuffs off her wrists and let them clatter to the floor, giving everyone there the impression she could have done that at anytime. Then she gently nudged the Zabrak lying on the floor with her foot. "Wake up, Kid, it's time to work."

Vague shared the briefest of nods with the hunter as she emerged from the medbay. He didn't show it outwardly, but he was relieved that Rossi's footage had done the trick. The Captain and Isis would likely require a much more official and involved conversation before this was all over, but at least now they could maybe approach that confrontation as equals.

Tsivoin stirred and as he work his violet eyes widened with shock and disorientation. Almost immediately the pink skinned Kessurian rushed to the Zabrak's side and worked to calm him down from the aftereffects of the stun blasts.

Orev seemed to notice Isis watching incredulously and the older Duros simply smirked a bit. "Ever heard the expression, don't poke the Gundark?" He asked without offering any further context, then went back to looking over the table that he and Vague were planning on.

Without turning to face Isis, Vague asked over his shoulder. "Don't suppose you got a count and position on the forces outside? They seem to have disabled my external cams."

The Bounty Hunter kept her gaze on the slender teen for a few more moments, then side stepped around he and the Kessurian before joining Vague and Orev over the table. As she began to relay what info she could recall from her earlier interaction with the Raiders, Micaiah moved forward to join Rossi in looking over Tsivoin.

"May I," Isis asked as she approached the table. Vague gave her a brief nod and she began working the controls, creating an insanely accurate holographic visualization of the area outside of the ship from memory. She marked the number and locations of each of Maldenado's men and when she was finished she looked up at Vague.

"This is accurate at least up until I was knocked unconscious," she told him. "They've likely shifted their positions since then or even called for reinforcements. At my last count there were at least a dozen. Nothing your little Jedi here can't handle." At that last remark, Vague's face darkened a bit and Orev scowled slightly. Isis saw the reaction and looked confused. "What did I say?"

Durin physically took a step to the side, partially obscuring Isis' view of Tsivoin. "We prefer to keep the kid away from slinging laser bolts if we can help it. Safer for everyone that way." He added under his breath. At her skeptical glance he shifted the subject. "You seem familiar with this Maldenado and his men, what can you-"

"What?!" a surprised question came from behind him and Vague turned to see Tsivoin nervously scrambling to his feet. "What did you just say?"

Durin frowned slightly, unfamiliar with Tsivoin's rather personal connection to the thug leader. He was caught off guard by the contrasting anger twisting at Tsiv's facial features and the primal fear glinting behind the kids eyes.

Rossi rested a palm against Tsivoin's chest, all too aware of the hammering of his hearts beneath it. "Tsiv, Campo. Maldenado is here on K-Olgo. He sent these men t-"

"To re-claim me." Tsiv spit out before Rossi could finish.

Isis stared at the teen then shrugged. "I take it back, the kid's a wreck," she said. "Look, Kid, we don't exactly have time to catch you up on the subject matter but yes, Maldenado is here, he has your friend and he's going to trade her for you... Or at least he was, clearly he's changed the terms of his deal."

Without explaining it any further she ignored his reaction and turned back to Vague. "To answer your question, yes I'm familiar with him. Every bounty hunter is. Some work for him, some don't, some have tried catching him, none have succeeded."

"What about you," Orev asked. "Have you worked for him?"

Isis made a sour face. "For that sleemo? Never," she answered firmly. "Would love the opportunity to put a blaster bolt between his eyes, though."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

"Let's see what we can do to offer you that opportunity." Orev replied to her with a lipless grin.

Vague took the next few minutes to have Isis fill him in on Maldenado's likely capabilities and level of equipment then the team started to talk strategy. A few minutes later a working plan was established.

"If you think you're going to leave me behind on this s-"

"Save it." Vague cut Isis off before she could finish. "I'll need the best shooters with me to secure Nova... and besides, it's your tracker we're going to need to follow."

Isis seemed to consider that for a few moments, then nodded her head slightly in acceptance. Vague keyed a few buttons on a nearby wall console and his team headed to the now revealed weapons locker behind the bulkhead. "Since we're on the same side for the moment, my toys are your toys." He offered to Isis before moving to speak with Micaiah and Tsiv.

The Sylarian and Zabrak would remain behind on the Bedlam, along with Orev and Rossi. For Vague's plan to work, the raiders outside needed to think that the crew was still onboard and putting up a defense. Tsiv would be manning the Bedlam's ventral mounted auto-blaster, while Orev would lay down cover fire from the boarding ramp. Micaiah would be on standby just in case her expertise would end up needed.

"No. I need to go get Nova." Tsiv predictably countered. Vague rested a hand on the young Zabrak’s shoulder and squeezed.

"Look kid, I get where you're coming from and I appreciate the tenacity, but it's just the wrong call. You're what this guy is after, and Nova is his collateral. It's too risky to bring you to him. Stay here, back up the crew, and protect our home, ok?"

Tsiv didn't like it, but the grey and black skinned teen nodded his head in confirmation anyway. Vague squeezed his shoulder once more, nodded knowingly at Micaiah, then turned back to the weapons lockers to gear up himself.

It wasn't long after that he, Isis, and SlackJaw were crammed into a disguised hatchway on the starboard side of the ship. It was a holdover modification that had been present before Vague took ownership of the vessel, and he often wondered what sort of illicit contraband might have been stored or passed through the tight compartment. Now wasn't the time to let his mind wander, however, so he keyed his comm and spoke plainly. "Four, on your mark." He spoke.

"Check, doors opening now, initiating controlled burn in three, two, one... Mark."

The external cargo pod nestled against the Bedlam's ventral surface slid open and moments later, the distinctive dual-toned whine of repulsorlifts and ion drives careened and ricocheted off the ship and the surrounding construction equipment. For a few seconds, nothing happened, then as expected a billowing cloud of dust began to ripple and blow outward from underneath the freighter in all directions.

Months of construction debris and general refuse had deposited on the ground here amidst the project, and Rossi's deliberate manipulation of the concealed cloakshape fighter's propulsion systems was stirring it up into the perfect screen. The Kessurian had to take great care to keep up the turbulence, but not push the drives so far as to break the ship free of its moorings. A task made all the more difficult as she was sitting secured in the cockpit, upside down, under the full effects of Kidiet Olgo's gravity.

Vague heard Orev's voice next, alerting him and the rest of the rescue party that the conditions outside had worsened to a significant enough extent that they could disembark, and Vague gave the signal. Simultaneously, the ventral auto-blaster started to fire out from beneath the craft in what appeared to be random vectors and Orev started to fire through the barely cracked open boarding ramp.

The trio dropped to the ground as carefully as they could, and once they'd recovered, they set off through the silt-storm, sneaking away from the construction site and into deeper into the city. The rest of the crew would be on their own now, hopefully able to hold off the raiders long enough for them to locate and rescue Nova.

Vague had a Rebly blaster rifle slung over his shoulder, Slackjaw carried a pair of TL-50 repeating blaster rifles magnetized to the back of his frame. They could see as they moved that the commotion being created by the battle they'd just fled was drawing a significant amount of attention in the nearby area. Vague cursed under his breath. The last thing they had wanted to do here in Borleian territory was to draw attention to themselves. The only saving grace was that at least K-Olgo didn't have anything even remotely resembling law enforcement. The trio paused at the exit of an alley-mouth and Vague glanced over at the bounty hunter.

"Which way?" He asked quietly.

"I don't know for sure," Isis admitted, "but I think I've successfully narrowed it down to either the slums or the industrial district."

"We don't have time to search them both," Vague told her, a slight edge to his voice. This part of the plan hinged on her knowing where to go.

"Relax, hotshot, I think we can safely say it's the industrial district," the girl replied. "Maldenado's not going to set up shop in a place with a lot of foot traffic and certainly not somewhere he can't control all the variables. On top of that he and his gang are taking over all the kolto production of this planet so I say we start there. Get me close enough and this thing will lead me right to her," she finished, holding up Nova's tracker in one hand.

Vague's face twitched into a brief grimace as she started to reply, but as she continued he followed the logic. It did certainly stand to reason that he'd hold up near the core of his operation, afterall. "One here, status?" He spoke into his comm.

"Holding, but faster would be better." Vague could hear some strain in Orev's voice, and a significant amount of blasterfire in the background. His expression hardened and he offered SlackJaw a nonverbal command and the droid instantly took point and began leading them in the direction of the nearby industrial sector.

The trip wasn't long. Kolto wasn't a major production on K-Olgo and the only plant that produced it was near the edge of the industrial district. The team made a beeline for the plant and as soon as they were within a few blocks of the place Nova's tracker started beeping. At least now they knew they were in the right place. Isis stopped and looked up, above them was a tower with a pretty decent view of the plant.

"I'll cover you from here," she told them, slinging her borrowed sniper rifle over her shoulder, "You two sneak in and take out the guards at the entrance."

Then without waiting for a response she started climbing the tower.

"This is one, passing Ryshcate." He announced, indicating to the crew back at the Bedlam that they'd located where Nova was being held and were commencing the assault.

************************************

Meanwhile, Nova began to hear commotion coming from some of the other rooms in the building she was being held in. Minutes later, The Feeorin named Maldenado re-entered the room. Nova spared a glance at the guards still holding stun weapons trained on her every move, then looked back to Maldenado. "Sure sounds like somethings gone wrong. It's not too late to release me, save yourself some real misery." She jeered at him.

The Feeorin merely smirked, a cold, joyless gesture. "Tell me, girl, what am I missing?" He asked as a particularly sinister looking Duros entered the room and stood menacingly behind him. "Why is this freighter crew putting up so much of a fight to protect one lowly cretin?"

Nova smiled coolly despite the veiled threat of the Duros standing behind Maldenado. "See, a thing like you wouldn't understand because you think of people as property," she answered, then her smile turned into a glare. "But that 'cretin'? He's part of the crew. That means he's family, and you don't frak with our family!"

Maldenado barked out a low laugh at Nova's reply, then tilted his head slightly to the side to regard her once more. "I wish for your sake, that it was so simple... but no. No I think there's something else going on here. No spacer worth the captains chair would risk their freighter for a stowaway. Tell me what's so special about this horn-head, or Orezu will start asking the questions, he's far more direct than I am."

"I told you," Nova answered him, her eyes narrowing sharply. If she had any fear of the Duros she wasn't showing it. "He's family, and he's my friend."

At that moment, with a sudden rain of sparks every single light in the room blew out, flooding the room with darkness. Almost immediately the guards surrounding Nova began firing stun blasts at her, but she had already tipped her chair over and fell on the floor. The fired stun blasts passed overhead, some hitting guards on the other side while others missed entirely. There was another sound of metal snapping apart as Nova used Shatterpoint to break out of the manacles holding her to the chair. Once she was free she began using her powers on the guards around her, tossing them into the walls or into each other.

Meanwhile, Maldenado and the Duros had backed up towards the door. Neither of them could see anything except the occasional flash of a stun blast, but they could hear the muffled grunts and cries of pain in the darkness as the Jedi tossed the Feeorin's guards around like playthings. A moment or two later the emergency lights came on, bathing everything in a dull red. Nova stood at the center of the room surrounded by a ring of unconscious guards. As soon as he saw her the Duros charged straight at her, but the girl simply threw him aside with a flick of her wrist. She glared at Maldenado and approached him menacingly.

"My turn to ask some questions," she told him with ice in her veins.

Just then the doors to the room opened up and more guards began to pour in, firing blasters as they went. Nova quickly ducked behind a crate for cover then used the Force to call one of the unconscious guard's discarded blasters to her hand. She leaned out and fired off a few shots, hitting one guard and forcing the others to keep their distance as Maldenado slipped out behind them. More blasterfire answered her, causing her to take cover again. Then she began looking for another way out as a ventilation shaft caught her eye. First she pulled the grate off the shaft with a gesture from her hand then she stood and turned to face the crate she was hiding behind. With a powerful push she sent it careening through the open doorway after Maldenado, bowling over several of the guards in its path. Then she ran and dove into the shaft as more blasterfire followed her, melting holes into the walls and ceiling. Her first order of business was to find her lightsaber, and then she had a date with Maldenado...
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Isis found a comfortable spot to sit and watch as her two companions made their way to the outer gate. She was impressed by how skillfully Vague moved. He led the droid on a path that would keep them covered and out of sight. Isis nearly lost track of them twice which was quite the feat considering how sharp her vision was. The two guards at the front gate had no idea what was about to happen to them when Vague and Slackjaw suddenly appeared from nowhere and took them out. Once the guards were down Isis blasted the lock holding the gate closed and working together Vague and EssJay managed to wheel it open. Once inside they immediately took cover, their eyes scanning this way and that for threats. Then suddenly an alarm started going off throughout the building and frantic guards suddenly snapped awake and grabbed their guns, rushing towards the main building.

"Was that you," Isis asked into her comlink.

"Not us," Vague answered. "Something going on inside."

Isis smirked. "That's why you keep a Jedi sedated," she said, then she sighted down her scope again and took aim at the guard nearest Vague and EssJay's position. "You two better get a move on, she's in there alone without support," she added, then she pulled the trigger, dropping the guard right in the middle of the courtyard.

Two other guards saw their friend die then turned to look. Spotting Vague and Essjay before they two were cut down by a single sniper shot each. "Go now," Isis told them, still zeroing in on any remaining guards she could see in the courtyard.

Meanwhile, inside the structure, Nova had just reached the end of the ventilation shaft and kicked the grate off of it. She dropped down into an empty hallway then ducked back inside a small cubby. This hallway wasn't going to remain empty for long and she needed to move quickly. She could feel her lightsaber calling to her, had been feeling it ever since she woke up. She quickly closed her eyes and tried to sense where it was. There was a room not far away, lavishly decorated and full of exotic things like spices and silks. As soon as Nova realized what it was she quietly grumbled to herself. That sleemo's got my lightsaber in his personal quarters. She pushed off from the wall and ran down the hallway in the direction she could feel her lightsaber. At the same time two guards rounded a corner up ahead and spotted her, raising their blaster rifles in alarm. Nova ducked behind an open door frame as blaster bolts whizzed past. She could hear the guards calling for backup and swore under her breath. She was going to have to find another way to get to her lightsaber.

Back onboard the Bedlam Micaiah held her position in the cockpit as Orev and Tsiv held off their attackers. It was the only place on the ship that warranted a wide enough view where she could call out enemy positions. It was also as far from the actual shooting as she could get even though she could clearly see the effects of Tsiv's assault. Pockmarks and craters littered the area, some with the remains of gangers still inside them, but not as many as the defending crew would have liked. Off in the distance behind some heavy equipment something drew her attention. There was something happening there but she could only just barely make out what... She stood and leaned in for a slightly better look. When two gangers appeared holding a large gun she nearly fell backward into her seat.

"Tsivoin," she shouted back down the ladder to the ventral cannon, "they're setting up an ion cannon! You need to take it out now!"

But it was too late. The first blast caused the lights inside the cockpit to flicker, the second bathed everyone inside the ship in darkness. Down below Orev could hear a couple of metal pops as the mag pullies disengaged from the ship and retracted. A second later there was another thud as one of the pullies was fired at the boarding ramp. The mag hook latched on and the gangers began to laboriously pull the boarding ramp open. Orev clicked on his coms.

"One, this is two. We're about to have company..."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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"Dank Farrik." Vague uttered under his breath. He and SlackJaw had made entry into the complex and thought they'd come across no shortage of Red Key Raiders to battle, the pair seemed no closer to finding Nova. For a moment he wondered how it was even possible for the raiders to breach the 'Bedlam, but the answer came to mind almost instantly. Ion cannon. "Two, one here, do what you can to hold them off, this place is huge and it seems like Five is loose inside."

"Affirmative, Hurry." Orev's reply came back. There was a resignation in the tone, but no panic.

Vague nodded SlackJaw forward then keyed the comm again. "Nêçîrvan, this is One. We're pressing on into the complex. If there is any sign of Five call it out." he told Isis and then shouldered his rifle and pressed on down the corridor. They eventually came across a room that seemed to have been where Nova had been being held. There was a lone chair in it's center, several Raiders knocked unconscious around the room and what seemed like the remnants of some binders. It wasn't much, but it was progress. The pair split up from there, heading in opposite directions in hopes of increasing their odds of finding the lone Jedi.

One, Two, Five? Really? Isis thought to herself as she stood. She slung the rifle back over her shoulder then slid down the ladder to the ground. The plan called for her to stay put, call out potential threats, but she had other ideas. She didn't trust that Vague and the others wouldn't let Maldenado escape in favor of just saving their friend. She was determined to find him herself.

************************************

Back at the freighter, Rossi had abandoned her diversionary post and joined Orev in the corridor leading into the ship from the boarding ramp. Orev had instructed Tsivoin to remain in the gunwell and Micaiah to stay put in the cockpit in case things changed outside. The Kessurian winced at the sound of stressed gears and hydraulics as the raiders continued to pull at the boarding ramp.

"Vague's going to be so pissed, these guys better hope we take them all down before he gets back." She half-joked to Orev, who grunted an affirmative back without taking his focus away from the looming threat.

******************************

Dodging enemy patrols proved difficult as Nova quietly made her way to Maldenado's personal quarters. She had to reroute herself down a side corridor several times and now somehow felt like she was further from her lightsaber than before. In the distance she could hear blasterfire and for a brief moment wondered what they could be shooting at. Ghosts? She thought to herself. She had her answer soon enough, however, when she rounded the next corner and ran right smack into Vague Durin.

"Vague," she cried, after the initial shock had worn off, "what are you doing here?"

"Saving you," he said, "C'mon, let's go."

He reached out to her but she abruptly pulled away from him. "I can't," she said, "Sleemo's got my lightsaber in his personal quarters. I need to get it back."

Vague's lips curled into a tight frown, but he knew there wasn't a compromise to be had for this dilemma. He took a step to the side to look down the corridor she'd been running down, then keyed his comms. He hadn’t gotten a response from Isis earlier and in the back of his mind he was already planning for a potential double cross. "One passing Honeystick. Saying again, I've passed Honeystick. Three, collapse back to the entrance if you can. If not find a way out and drop a beacon. Five and I have an additional task. Out."

He let his blaster rifle rest at the end of its sling, dangling by his side, and took a second to look Nova over. He couldn't see any immediate injuries but the red security lighting was less than ideal. The Outlaw reached down with his right hand and drew the KDC-76 blaster pistol from its holster, before spinning the weapon around and presenting it's dark wooden grip towards Nova. "Are you hurt?" he asked, the words procedural, though his tone wasn't able to hide the concern he felt.

"Only my pride," Nova answered as she accepted the weapon from him. "Didn't see the ambush until it was too late. How's Tsiv?"

A brief darkness washed across his features and he very quickly caught Nova up to speed regarding the surprise arrival of Isis, and all the unpleasantness that had brought upon them. He then nodded his head vaguely in the direction Nova had been heading and shouldered his rifle. "Your gracious host here sent a platoon after the kid. They laid siege to the Bedlam. EssJay, the Hunter, and I slipped out in the chaos to come spring you. The rest are still battling back the boarders. We need to hurry."

The pair pushed on into the complex, encountering periodic resistance. Vague found himself wondering more than once how this Maldenado guy had such immense resources. He'd have to follow up on that later, now wasn't the time. Before he could fully cast the thought from his mind, however, they turned the corner and encountered a trio of raiders. Vague instantly pushed off his front foot and bowled headlong into the raider in the center, driving the man backward into the wall behind him. The impact of Durin slamming into him had caused the raider to drop his blaster and now the pair were locked in a struggle to gain control of the rifle slung to Vague's vest. Ultimately, Vague landed a series of brutal elbow strikes into the mans midsection to jar him, then plunged a combat blade deep into his chest. The outlaw turned back to see that Nova had taken care of the other two. He nodded his thanks and approval, then the pair wordlessly pressed on.

"One, Three here. I've secured the main entrance. No sign of Nêçîrvan. Holding station."

"Nêçîrvan?" Nova asked curiously.

"Socorran for Huntress." Vague clarified. "Keep your eyes peeled kid, because she's in the wind. How much further here?"

"It doesn't work like that." Nova replied, the frustration in her voice not completely aimed at Durin and his lack of understanding of the Force. She was still equally frustrated with herself for having gotten swept up like she had. "But we're getting closer. We should press on."

Durin didn't need to be told twice. The rest of his crew were back aboard the freighter trying to repel a boarding party. Micaiah had doubled down on her pacifist leanings after what the First Order had unlocked in her, and Tsivoin was emotionally compromised by his past with this particular syndicate. They needed to get back there, fast.
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Meanwhile, after a hair raising chase down the corridor leading from the prisoner Maldenado finally found himself in his personal quarters. He took a moment to lean against the table as visions of the crate that chased him down the hallway gradually faded away. Then he immediately set about packing as many things as he could. A moment or two later he heard the doors to his room open and he reached across his desk to grab a blaster. The intruder fired a shot, burning a hole into the expensive wood of the desk right between Maldenado's hand and his blaster. The Feeorin's hand recoiled and he turned to look at his attacker. His brow furrowing the moment he realized he didn't recognize her.

"Who the hell are you," he demanded.

"Someone who's about to be famous," Isis replied, then she reached behind herself for a pair of binders. "Here, put these on," she told him as she tossed the binders at his feet, "and don't make this difficult... Or do, honestly I don't care."

Maldenado narrowed his eyes slightly and huffed at her demand. "Now now, there's no need to make this ugly." He replied, taking a half of a step backwards and holding his hands out by his sides. "Tell me, did Daddy have the stones to send you here yourself, or is he still hiding behind the New Republic stooges to do the bidding for him?"

"Dad's got nothing to do with this," Isis told him. She had an edge to her voice. Maldenado clearly hit a nerve. "Now stop stalling and put the damned binders on!"

The Red Key boss's lips twisted into a grin at her response. "I sincerely doubt that, Sinclair." He replied. She wasn't wrong, though. The Feeorin was stalling, desperately even, on the wild hope that some of his subordinates would come around and take down the hunter... or at least buy him time to escape. "Look I don't know what caused you to throw in with these wretches, but I have a lot of credits. There's this Zabrak, if you-"

"Save it, Sleemo." Isis shouted, squeezing off another warning blast, this one burning a hole in the floor between Maldenado's boots, causing the crime boss to stagger back a few steps, taking him well out of arms reach of his blaster pistol sitting atop his desk. The Feeorin noticed a silk roll on the nearby table smiled to himself, though he took great care not to tip off Isis.

A dozen yards away, Vague and Nova came to a very abrupt halt. "I know that blaster." Vague said in a low voice. "Sinclair. Come on!" He and Nova peeled away in the direction of the sound and the pair burst into the opulently adorned office moments later.

Isis hadn't been expecting any new arrivals for awhile. She knew Maldenado was stalling for time on the hope some of his cronies would come check on him, but she cleared that hallway rather thoroughly. Both Vague and Nova had to step over her handiwork to get here. Their sudden arrival, however, surprised her. She took her eyes off Maldenado only for a second, but that was all the Feeorin needed.

Moving with surprising speed he unrolled the silk binding and drew Nova's Westar 35 before firing it at Isis. The blast caught her high up on the left shoulder, sending her spinning backward onto the ground. He was about to take another shot when Nova stopped him. The first thing she noticed when she came into the room was her lightsaber sitting on the table next to Maldenado. She was already in the process of reaching out to it when she saw Isis hit the ground.

"No," she cried and her lightsaber flew instantly into her hand. She didn't waste any time. She ignited the blade and hurled it at Maldenado. The weapon sailed through the air in a sharp arch, slicing through Maldenado's forearm before the Feeorin could fire again. He screamed in pain as the remains of his hand hit the ground along with Nova's blaster. Her lightsaber finished its arch returning to her hand just as more footsteps could be heard coming down the hallway. Before any of them could react to the situation a hail of blasterfire rained in through the open doorway, forcing Vague and Nova to take cover.

Vague hit the deck a half second after Nova, then fired a few blind shots back through the doorway and into the corridor. He briefly wondered where these attackers had come from, and if he'd made the right decision when he ordered SlackJaw out to the perimeter instead of calling him to he and Nova's position. It occurred to him, that Isis' going off track seemed the likely culprit for the predicament. If she hadn't broken ranks to pursue Maldenado he may not have even still been in his office by the time he and Nova arrived, and the carnage she'd left in the corridors had likely led more of the Red Key Raiders their way.

Did it matter, though? He blinked, a second or so had gone by. None of the attackers had made an attempt to breach the office yet. "Cover me." He ordered Nova over the sounds of blasterfire, and without waiting for confirmation he lunged forward and popped off a handful of blasts from his rifle before dropping to a knee next to Isis and dragging her over to the opposite side of the doorway and out of the line of fire. He immediately leaned back into the door way and squeezed off three more shots, dropping as many targets.

A commotion caught his ear and he briefly turned away only to see that an armchair had been toppled over in the back of the office, revealing what was likely an emergency exit. "Boss-man flew the coop. We need to wrap these guys up and get back to the 'Bedlam."

"Wait," Nova told him, "I still have unfinished business here."

Vague grimaced, he had a notion at what she was on about. "Nova, there's no time, the others are..."

"I know," the girl interrupted him, "but there are people here who need help too."

Isis grunted as she leaned against the wall, grinding her teeth against the pain. "Don't suppose we could talk about this later," she said, reaching behind herself to grab a thermal detonator before handing it to Vague.

The freighter captain looked at her then at the detonator before taking it from her and priming it. Then he leaned out and tossed it down the hallway. The explosion took out the last few guards that were left finally earning the three of them a reprieve. Nova was the first to speak after the fighting had halted.

"I know what you're going to say," she began, "and yea, I get it. I want to be there for everyone too, but I can't. As a Jedi I have to aspire to a higher calling. Those people out there need this medicine."

"Our crew needs us. They've stuck their necks on the line to buy us this much time as it is. For this Jedi calling, you'll turn your back on them?" Vague asked, disappointment creeping into his voice. And me? he added silently.

"I won't have to, here," she said, handing her lightsaber to Vague. "Give this to Tsivoin, tell him to remember his training with the remote and he'll do fine. I trust him."

"You're gonna take on this whole facility by yourself without that," Isis asked pointing at her lightsaber which now rested in Vague's hands.

"I've got a plan," Nova replied, "If I can make it to the reactor I can disable the safeties on the core and fool the system into thinking it's about to have a reactor meltdown. The Red Keys will evacuate the facility then I can free the slaves to help me move the kolto."

The hunter smirked. "Came up with that on your own, did ya," she asked. She sounded almost impressed.

Nova just shrugged. "I've had a lot of time to think about it."

"Hazynam--," Vague started, his eyes focused on the lightsaber hilt in his hand rather than the young Jedi in front of him, he still clearly disapproved of her plan of action.

"I'm sorry, Vague. I have to," she said, then she half turned and used the Force to pull her discarded Westar into her hand.

"Wait," Vague said quickly, then plucked a comm device from his vest pocket. "Here, take this." He tossed the device to Nova who caught it from thin air without even breaking stride.

"Meet you back at the ship," she threw back over her shoulder as she ran down the hallway passed the exploded remains of Maldenado's guards.

"Damn it, I like her," Isis quietly swore to herself as she struggled back to her feet.

Vague reached down and helped the hunter up without moving his gaze from the doorway Nova had just bounded out of. "I think everyone says that at first." He muttered under his breath, then keyed his comm. "One here, passed Batuu-bon... sort of. Three, Nêçîrvan and I are ex-filing now. Call the Sandpopper to meet us, we need to hurry."

"What about Five?" SlackJaw queried.

"Just call the gorram speeder." Vague snapped back uncharacteristically.

Isis gave the Captain a sidelong glance. That was the first real burst of emotion she'd seen from the man since they met. And that look of disappointment? She knew it all too well. "You care for her, deeply," she said, "Seen that look on my father's face a lot, too. I used to get under his skin the same way."

If you only knew. The outlaw thought to himself briefly. He couldn't dare explain why. It hadn't quite occurred to him until just then but Isis didn't look as though she was as much as a day older than Nova herself. Durin shook his head to clear his mind. "We gotta move," Vague told her, ignoring her comments.

Isis nodded, then walked over to retrieve her blaster from the floor. "Got it, Boss," she said, "Let's go get the drop on 'em."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Vague and Isis were able to return to the entrance of the complex with little resistance, and upon arrival SlackJaw was waiting. Thankfully, no opportunistic being had decided to help themselves to their abandoned speeder and the droid had been able to activate it's transponder and call the speeder to the Kolto facility. The three boarded the speeder and immediately shot off back towards the freighter.

"Sorry about the Feeorin." Vague spoke over the roar of the repulsorlifts. "Sounds like the galaxy'd be a might sum better without him in it anymore."

Isis shrugged. "Eh, it's fine," she said, "I did say he's a slippery bastard. If it helps, though, your Jedi friend came closer than most."

"She has that tendency." SlackJaw interjected from the pilots seat. "Don't bother challenging her to holo-darts."

Vague's brow furrowed a moment in confusion then he allowed himself half of a grin. "EssJay has a gamblers soul." He provided some context, then the impassive mask re-took his face. "Coming up on the 'Bedlam soon. Would you prefer the high ground?" He asked the hunter.

"Normally I would," she said, "Need more than one arm for that rifle, though. Could give it to him, then you and I go in together?"

Vague nodded but said nothing else. Isis had a curious look on her face. He didn't mention the Zabrak. "What about the kid," she asked. "Even half a Jedi is better than none."

Vague didn't reply immediately, the captain took a moment to check the trigger assembly on his rifle. He drew in a slow breath, then looked over at Isis. He had this nagging feeling in the back of his mind about this bounty hunter and more especially her motives. "Look, you're Corellian, right?" He didn't wait for her acknowledgment. "You know there's always folks who think they're going to tame a Sand Panther, and that's a great idea... and maybe they manage to teach them to use a sandbox. Maybe they even teach them some tricks. It's all wonderful but you can't take the venom out of their claws. Tsiv... is a great kid that got dealt a rotten hand. But right now, he's got one great big venomous claw tucked deep down inside of him and it's up to me to make sure he doesn't end up in a position where he feels the need to use it, for the sake of the rest of my crew."

"Oh, well in that case that's fine. I'm sure the kid will be totally cool with you thinking he's a Sand Panther," Isis said with a shrug.

"I never--," Vague tried to say but the hunter never gave him the chance.

"My Dad liked to make decisions for me too and they always turned out well." Her tone was just dripping with sarcasm.

"I'm not--" Vague stopped his retort short and averted his gaze. He wasn't Tsiv's father. He wasn't Nova's father. He was simply the Captain and his crew's safety was his ultimate responsibility. A loner bounty hunter couldn't possibly understand. "You seem to know quite a bit about these Jedi for someone your age. All my crew's seen is the destruction. Tsiv blew up a grotto the first day we met him. Nova and the Dark Three tore the casino on the Wanderlust into ribbons. The Ryn in my med-bay? Were still not even sure what one of them did to her. None of us are keen for a repeat performance."

"Then let the kid fight for you," Isis persisted. Vague opened his mouth to object again but Isis cut him off. "Look, I don't presume to know your situation, but anger, desire, fear? These things lead to the dark side."

"How do you know so much about this," SlackJaw asked, never taking his eyes off the road.

Isis turned to look at him. "Because I nearly lost a friend to the darkness."

She hadn't intended to say more, but the look on the Captain's face had told her she wasn't going to get away with it, so she sighed. "It was on a planet called Juoi. My friend and I encountered a family of Force-users and got swept up in a government conspiracy. A Shistavenen named Ruk manipulated Hirai and played on her desires, nearly corrupting her to the dark side. I managed to pull her back to the light but I had to let her stab me to do it. Not fun, let me tell you."

"You're not really providing a convincing argument," Vague pointed out.

"That's not my point," Isis told him. "The point is, I've seen glimpses into how protective you and your crew are of the kid and I have to imagine he feels something similar about you. Now imagine how he would feel if his mentor trusted him with the opportunity to not only face his fears, but protect his family and you deprived him of the choice because you were afraid. Step one, anger," she added, ticking it off on her finger.

Vague made a face that conveyed his understanding of her counter-argument, but didn't go quite so far as to make it seem like he felt the risk was worth the payoff. The truth was he preferred to remain in control, and he did this through preparedness and orchestration. He had built his career and reputation on out-thinking his opponents and negating variables through diligent planning and execution. The Force and its mysticism went in direct conflict to all of that and the Captain would be plenty pleased to leave every little bit of it to Nova to sort out.

"With luck, I guess, it won't come to that." He offered. The trio would have to fight their way back onto the 'Bedlam in order to get to Tsiv and the rest of the crew as it stood, though there was no saying when the ship would be ready to fly again. They may end up needing to mount further defense while they effected repairs.

"Fifteen seconds out." SlackJaw announced, throwing the speeder into a very aggressive arc around a corner, narrowly avoiding merchant stands and pedestrians on either side of the street.
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by Pryde »

"She went this way," someone shouted as he ran down the hallway past three of his fellows. One of them reached out and grabbed him by the arm, stopping him abruptly.

"No, you idiot, she's been spotted on the south side of the factory!"

"South," a third asked, "Didn't someone just report seeing her at the assembly line?"

"The frell is going on," the first chimed in again, "She can't be in three places at once!"

Nova quietly chuckled to herself as she quietly crept past them inside the ventilation shaft above their heads. It was rather easy to sow chaos among the Red Key's ranks, a few Jedi mind tricks and half their goons were reporting seeing ghosts everywhere. It wasn't far to the reactor now. She traveled as far as she could inside the ventilation shaft before dropping down into an empty corridor. If her plan worked properly then there should be minimal security in her path, if any at all. She checked the charge on her Westar one last time before hurrying down the hallway in the direction of the reactor. She had just turned a corner when three goons stepped out in front of her.

"Nice try, Darlin', but I wasn't born yesterday," one of them said. It was the same man who spoke to her in the alley just before the ambush. "Figured you might try something sneaky so I had me and my boys waiting here for you."

Two more goons stepped out in the hallway behind her and Nova ground her teeth together. She hadn't expected one of Maldenado's men to have an actual brain. "Now take it slow and drop that weapon," the lead goon told her, "We wouldn't want to hurt the merchandise."

The Jedi held up her hands with her blaster hanging from her finger. She waited for the goons to relax before making her move. With a gesture from her hand she snatched the blaster from one of the goons behind her and flung it into the leader's face, knocking him flat on his back. Then she lunged forward and grabbed the gun wrist of the goon standing next to him before wrenching his arm around and twisting him to cover herself from blasterfire from behind. She shot one goon in the chest then twisted back around and kicked the goon she was holding into the last gangster standing. As they both careened into the ground she fired two more blasts, one into the back of the goon she used as a shield and the last one into the other goon's head. Then she quickly ran over to their leader and kicked him in the head before he could grab his gun and recover. After kicking the weapon away from him she knelt down next to his body.

"I want you to deliver your boss a message," she told him in a low growl. "You tell him that if he lays another hand on a child then he's going to lose a lot more than an arm."

Then she smacked him upside the head with her blaster, knocking him unconscious. From somewhere down the hallway she could hear shouts followed by oncoming footsteps and she quickly stood and hurried towards the reactor. She would have even less time now to override the safeties and fake a reactor meltdown. Then she'd have to hurry and free the slaves before the Red Keys could load them up and evacuate them...

**********

Isis drew her blaster out of its holster to check its charge. They were ten seconds out with a whole lot of goons between them and the Bedlam. She'd have felt a lot better about their situation if Vague had been more open to the idea of allowing Tsiv to help them. With a Jedi acting as a portable shield the two of them could easily take out the Red Keys surrounding the ship. Unfortunately, even after her counter-argument he still seemed intent on trying to resolve the situation without the kid's help. Isis had other opinions. Immediately after SlackJaw had pulled the speeder up behind a structure close to the Bedlam Isis and Vague hopped out.

"We go in together, you stick close to me," Vague told her as he slapped a new power pack into his carbine.

"Roger that," Isis said as she stepped up beside him. She gritted her teeth against the pain in her shoulder but did her best to try and ignore it. Then she waved him ahead with her blaster. "Lead the way."

Vague shouldered his weapon and keeping himself low he headed off in the direction of the Bedlam. Isis, meanwhile, tucked Nova's lightsaber into her jacket after lifting it off Vague with her injured arm. She'd follow him in for a bit, but at the first chance of an opening she'd try to make her way to the Bedlam and to Tsiv...
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VagueDurin
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

Vague wasted no time. The moment he was clear of the speeder and had the Rebly shouldered he called out on the radio that friendlies were incoming and set forth into the construction site. Without armor, the outlaw kept his profile narrow and moved swiftly between points of cover. The left behind material and equipment gave him and Isis plenty to work with. His blaster coughed out a trio of bolts and in a blur of motion he'd peeled off to the right to find a new position. The bodies of the Raiders he'd targeted hadn't completed their lifeless tumbling to the dirt before he squeezed off a second set of blasts, this time at a group on the opposite side of the site. In order for success it would be imperative that he, Isis, and SlackJaw gave off the impression that they were a much larger force.

"Three, are you in position?' He asked as he flattened his back against a waste drum. A double click answered in the affirmative. "Prioritize the grav operators." He ordered, peering around the corner with a darkened expression on his face as he examined the twisted and damaged boarding ramp of his freighter. To her credit, the Bedlam had yet to completely yield access to the intruders... though the gap was wide enough now that the raiders blasts were striking the ships interior.

Vague had turned to check on Isis who was no longer behind him. Sensing she was up to something he reached behind himself to check on Nova's lightsaber, only to find it missing. After his initial volley the hunter split off from him, keeping her profile low and her presence to a minimum. Her goal was to get back onto the ship the same way she got off it, which would be easier now that the Red Keys were thoroughly distracted by the assault from behind. She knew, of course, that the freighter captain would be furious with her, especially if this doesn't work out, but it was in her nature to rail against any kind of authority. Corellians have a long history of rebellion, it's what makes them who they are.

Isis was getting close to the Bedlam now, two Red Key thugs stood between her and the ship. She could easily take them out with her blaster but that would draw too much attention. The lightsaber was out of the question as well, turning it on would give away her position. That meant having to rely on her combat knife. She holstered her pistol and drew the knife from her boot. Keeping low to the ground she crept forward until she was directly behind the two thugs. With one cut she severed the Achilles tended on both thugs, causing them to collapse. Then she stabbed on through the throat before withdrawing her blade and then reversing it to stab the other.

With the thugs dead she waited until SlackJaw had opened fire on the grav operators, drawing the attention of nearly everyone surrounding the ship. Then she burst from cover and made a mad dash to the hidden hatchway on the Bedlam's starboard side. She pulled the hatchway open then climbed inside, quickly pulling the hatch closed behind her but not before someone from the Red Keys noticed. She figured someone might but it didn't matter, once Tsiv was out there with Nova's lightsaber in his hand everyone would be too distracted to focus on getting inside the Bedlam. Inside the ship Isis was now faced with the difficult task of finding Tsiv before finding any of the other crew. She had a feeling the rest of the crew would share Vague's reservation about allowing Tsiv to fight, so imagine her chagrin when the first person she ran into was Micaiah.

"Isis," the Sylarian cried in surprise after turning the corner and nearly crashing head first into the hunter. "What are you...," her words trailed off as her eyes flittled to Isis' hand and saw her holding Nova's lightsaber. "She didn't come back, did she?"

Isis didn't answer, but shook her head. The Sylarian frowned then half turned and held out a hand. "Tsivoin is in the gunwell," she said, "This way."

Isis was stunned, she hadn't expected that from her. "You trust him," she asked.

Micaiah simply shrugged. "Don't see how we have much choice. Come on."

Micaiah led the way through the ship to the gunwell where Tsivoin resided. The pair only had to stop once to avoid running into Rossi who was busy running guns and ammo for Orev. After she had passed them in the common room the pair snuck into the gunwell, startling Tsivoin with their sudden arrival. "Hey, Kid," Isis called to him from behind. The Zabrak spun around on her eyes wide with fear. "Relax, Kid, relax. It's us," she told him, holding up both hands to forestall him. That's when Tsiv noticed Isis holding onto Nova's lightsaber and a cold shiver ran down his spine as his face went pale.

"Where's Nova?"

"She's fine, Kid, had some business to take care of back at the factory. She told us to bring you this," Isis told him, holding out the lightsaber towards him. "She says it's your turn. Crew's still in a lot of trouble and you're our best bet at getting out of this."

Tsivoin's hand instinctively reached out to grab the hilt, but just before his fingers came in contact with the metal, he withdrew his arm sharply. Fear and uncertainty crept into his violet colored eyes and he tried to step backward, but immediately came into contact with the seat and controls of the gunwell. "I don't-" He started, then lost his voice. Nova couldn't possibly think that he was ready for this... could she? The young Zabrak thought back to their training sessions. She'd been schooling him for a few weeks now on the training remote, and with the false sabers... but. "Look I don't know who you are, lady," He spoke, looking at Isis as she again thrust the hilt towards him. "But you don't know what I'm capable of."

Isis opened her mouth to say something but the Sylarian standing next to her beat her to it. "No," Micaiah said quietly, "but I do. I've watched you train with Nova, I've seen your powers grow. If she believes you're ready for this then so do I."

The bounty hunter gave her an approving look then turned back to Tsivoin. "The others need you, Kid. It's time to show everyone what you can do, yourself included. You can't let this fear control you. You have to face it, conquer it. If the others are ever going to trust you to help them then you need to prove you're worthy of it."

After not being able to raise Isis on the comm, Vague had doubled back a few spots to see if she'd been hit. When he could find no trace of the hunter, he grumbled an expletive. He'd wanted to give her a chance, so much for that. "Three, Nêçîrvan is in the wind, be mindful." Vague spoke into the comm, then sighted down the rifle to put another pair of raiders down.

Vague had to admit, he was a bit surprised by the quantity of the opposition. Based on what he'd encountered at the factory he hadn't expected to be facing more than a squad or twos worth of Red Key members... Instead, it seemed as though they were fighting off at least a platoon, if not more and several heavy weapons emplacements. This Maldenado really wanted Tsiv Vague thought to himself briefly before moving to a new place of cover. With the blasted bounty hunter no where to be seen, and not responding to comms, that left Vague and SlackJaw alone on the outside perimeter to mix in with Rossi and Orev's defense from inside the boarding area. The odds weren't great.

Back in the gunwell, Tsivoin narrowed his eyes. Who was this hunter? The way she talked. "You sound a lot like her." He half mumbled, before turning to look over at Micaiah as he ultimately took hold of the lightsaber. "He won't forgive this." he stated simply.

The Sylarian nodded her head slightly then offered the teen a shrug and a somber smile. "He can add it to my tab. Now go, hurry. We've no time to waste." The scrawny Zabrak squeezed the hilt of Nova's lightsaber and moved past the two women, heading straight for the secret hatch. As he drifted out of sight, Micaiah could just make out the swirling tendrils of Seldarin slowly starting to trail from his form... both light, and dark.

"I hope we don't end up regretting this," Micaiah said quietly, mostly to herself.

Isis slapped her on the shoulder, startling her somewhat. "Relax, Doc. Have some faith," she told her. Then she drew her blaster and started climbing up the ladder behind Tsiv, gritting her teeth against the pain in her shoulder.

"Where are you going," Micaiah asked.

"Kid needs backup," the hunter threw back over her shoulder as she followed Tsiv to the secret hatch. He was just starting to climb into it when Isis came up from behind him and gently rested a hand on his shoulder.

"Just take it slow," she told him, "Elena wanted us to tell you to remember your training. You'll go out first and I'll follow behind, okay? We'll do this together."

Tsivoin regarded the hunter with violet eyes, widened with fear and anticipation. Somewhere in his subconscious he couldn't shake a familiar feeling - as if he was being used. There wasn't time to dwell on that, though. Nor was there time to consider just how Vague and the others were bound to respond to this stunt. He nodded his horned head twice, then dropped from the compartment and landed in a crouch of sorts on the duracrete below. He skittered laterally to make room for Isis, before lowering one knee to the ground. In his dominant hand he held the unlit hilt of Nova's Lightsaber, his other hand he reached down with and placed his palm against the ground. The young Zabrak retreated into himself, thinking back to the exercises that Nova had taught him.

It wasn't long until he felt himself slip into that familiar rift between the world he inhabited and the realm of the force. As usual it manifested in his minds eye as a dark and still body of water. Tsiv allowed himself to be drawn in until the tiny dots of light showed up in the water around him. Most of these were enemies, Red Key Raiders... Maldenado's men. He took a second to wonder idly, if any of them had been involved in his captivity directly. For a moment, the violet orbs flashed red before returning to varying shades of violet. He sensed the presence of Isis join him and could pick up on... maybe impatience? He motioned with the hand holding the lightsaber in her direction. Just a bit more He thought.

After some intense focus, the points of light representing the crew shifted and shown in a pure white color instead. Tsivoin took one last shaky breath, then rose from his crouch and ignited Nova's lightsaber with a loud snap-hiss. Several Raider's within earshot reacted immediately and turned their attention in his direction. There would be no turning back now. The Zabrak took a few purposeful strides forward to distance himself from Isis and then set himself in a defensive stance just moments before the first blaster bolts shot out in his direction.

The sound was unmistakable. Even through the din of battle, Vague could plainly hear the lightsaber bursting to life from beneath the freighter. "That barvy Corellian-" He cursed slightly. It didn't take a hyperdrive technician to figure out what she'd done. Boosting the saber from Vague's vest she had taken matters into her own hands and delivered the weapon to the kid. "Three-" he started into the comm before he was interrupted.

"I see him, One." SlackJaw's reply came back. "With the hunter. Two, Four... be advised, Six is on the field."

"Six is what?!" Rossi couldn't help but exclaim, exchanging glances with Orev briefly. She tried to peer out through the gap in the boarding ramp but a trio of blasts forced her back into cover. The Kessurian through a glance backwards into the ship, in the direction of the gunwell. The doctor. There was a sudden wrenching at the ramp as the raiders continued trying to tear it off with the construction equipment and her attention returned to the present threat.

"The ramp isn't going to hold much longer. Need those grav units disabled." She called into the comm, knowing it was easier said, than done.

Meanwhile, Tsivoin's twin hearts were pounding in his chest as the first trio of blaster bolts were sent his way. The young Zabrak was used to ducking for cover when bolts began to fly... not standing out in the open and making himself an active target for them. Remember your training. Easier said than done... these Red Key Raiders were not training remotes, and they weren't firing stun blasts.

The Zabrak managed to block two of the blasts, contorting his body to dodge the third, then he found himself scrambling to get reset. Having finally laid eyes on their intended target, word spread quickly to the remaining raiders and the number of incoming bolts rose exponentially. After a shaky start, the teen managed to reign in his anxiety and was blocking more than dodging, that was until one of the bolts he deflected nearly took Isis' head off.

"Watch where your bouncing those things!" She hollered over the din of battle.

Tsiv's eyes widened and he realized that he'd allowed the angle of his wrists to deviate too much, leading to the errant bolt. The teen's shoulders tightened with uncertainty and his movements were noticeably stiffer, more robotic as he turned his attention back to the attackers. This wasn't going to work. His grip on the rift was slipping, his ability to see the Raiders as points of light, to infer their next moves phased in and out and his breathing started to come in short, sharp gasps.

That was, until he saw him. An ethereal form of the Padawan Joc Sah was suddenly there in front of him, green lightsaber drawn and held confidently between Tsivoin and the incoming blasts. As immediately as the visage appeared, it sprang into action, seemingly deflecting the bolts itself. Except it wasn't. Tsiv watched as the first bolt passed straight through Joc Sah's midsection - completely disregarding the slain Jedi Padawan and his weapon - and the Zabrak barely had time to hastily bat the bolt away from himself.

Then it hit him. Tsivoin gently closed his violet eyes, blocking out the visual stimuli of the battlefield, and focused only on the image and sensation of Joc Sah before him. He studied, and then mimed the padawan's movements. Shakily at first, but after he'd blocked a handful of bolts he gained confidence. His grip on Nova's lightsaber loosened, his knuckles no longer white. Something had changed. The bolts he blocked were no longer bouncing randomly off the blade, rather they were being redirected... back at the Raider who'd shot them, or off to the side to prevent another one from firing.

Before long, Tsivoin wasn't sure if he was following Joc Sah, or if Joc Sah was following him. It didn't matter, though. He and Isis were finally starting to even out the playing field somewhat. Of course, just about the time that the teen was becoming hopeful that they'd turned the tide, a squad of Raiders arrived from the other side of the freighter, abandoning their siege on the ramp in favor of making a capture attempt on Tsivoin himself. Their sudden additional fire caused the teen to over-commit and lose his footing.
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Pryde
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by Pryde »

Isis barely had time to react before the kid lost his footing and fell. She mentally chided herself before drawing a flashbang and tossing it in the direction of the new assault on their position. The kid was a novice and the target of the attack, she knew the Red Keys would focus all their attention on him, but she should have known that he might find it overwhelming. As the flashbang went off blinding their attackers she knelt down next to him and quickly helped him back up to his feet.

"No time to rest, Kid, you just gotta hold them off a little bit longer," she assured him. Another thirty seconds or so and Vague should be in position. This whole time she'd been counting down the seconds since she parted with Vague. She'd seen the way he was moving and estimated the route he might take. With the grav crew on this side of the ship that significantly lowered the number of assailants between the Bedlam and Vague. With Tsivoin distracting them the freighter captain and his robot companion should be able to take out the remaining Red Keys from behind with relative ease. She just had to keep the kid on his feet and his lightsaber between them and the enemy.

"Let's move over there," she pointed to a blasted out wall a short distance away from them. With a bit of cover it might lessen the pressure on the poor kid, it'll also maneuver the Red Keys in such a way as to create a larger blindspot for Vague to attack them from behind. "I'll pop out first and keep their heads down then you make a run for it. I'll join you after."

**********

"Move it! Now!" The Red Key thugs were shouting as they were scrambling to open all the cages. The slaves they kept locked up timidly followed directions, but when they weren't moving fast enough the Red Keys reacted. One young man got a rifle butt to the face for taking a moment too long to stand and follow. Others were being pushed around and beaten as well. All the while a loud siren kept flaring in the distance.

Just what the hell is going on, an older gentleman thought to himself as he painfully pulled himself to his feet with his one arm. His body had been covered in bruises. Of all the slaves here he had taken it the worst. Of course, he'd also fought back the most as well, so one could say most of his injuries were self-inflicted. The old man was long past his prime, it was foolish of him to even come here. Still, he couldn't allow an opportunity like this to go to waste. He stalked forward towards the nearest Red Key and with one solid punch he knocked his lights out. The next to thugs were similarly dealt with before they even had a chance to react. By now the others had noticed the threat and proceeded to surround him with stun batons.

Jacen Kryze tried his best to fight back but the numbers and his advanced age were not on his side. Then the sound of blaster fire coming from nearby drew everyone's attention. The doors to the makeshift prison suddenly burst inward as a Red Key thug was thrown through them and beyond. Two more thugs tried to rush the door but suddenly found themselves being lifted off the ground before they were slammed into each other and thrown across the room. Shortly after a young girl stepped through the doors and stalked towards the thugs attacking Jacen with a fierce determination. The Red Keys halted their assault on the Mandalorian and turned to face this new threat. Nova was not deterred, with a simple flick of her wrist she tore all the weapons from their hands and flung them far out of their reach. Each of the thugs looked at each other in turn then scrambled away from her in the opposite direction running as fast as they could. Nova let them go then turned her attention to the wounded Mandalorian.

"Jacen," she asked in surprise, "What are you doing here?"

Jacen looked up at her and smiled, "Jet'ika, your timing couldn't have been better. Help me up."

He reached his arm out towards her and she quickly rushed to his side and helped him to his feet. "Damn it, Old Man, what the hell did you get yourself into this time?"

"My last job," he answered, struggling a bit to breathe, likely from a broken rib or two. "Came here to catch a whale and ended up getting caught myself."

Nova gave him a hard look. "Stupid Old Man, they could have killed you!"

"That was the point, Jet'ika. A mando dying in his bed of old age is an embarrassment," he said before spitting some blood out of his mouth, "These chaavla had other ideas, though. Kept me locked up in here with the rest." He leaned heavily against the cell bars and looked like he was about to say more, but a sudden announcement about the core reaching critical mass interrupted them. He sighed, "Look, we can catch up later, right now it sounds like we need to leave."

Nova just waved away his concerns. "Don't worry about that," she told him, "I disabled the safeties and fooled the system into thinking the core was about to go critical. It was just to fool the Red Keys into temporarily abandoning the facility. We won't have long before they figure it out, though, so help me free these slaves."

Jacen's smile widened. "That's my little Jedi," he said, then he turned to the others. "Everyone, listen up," he bellowed, "This Jedi is here to rescue us. Just follow her lead and she'll get you out of here!"

Then he turned to look back at Nova. "You got a plan," he asked.

"Kind of," she told him, "The Red Keys have been stockpiling kolto and driving up the price on K-Olgo. We're going to pay them back by taking it with us."

Jacen frowned. "That's rather bold, even for you," he said, "The girl I knew wouldn't dare make a ruckus like that."

"Well, a lot's happened," she admitted, "but I'll have to tell you about it later. Right now we need to move."

The aged Mandalorian shrugged, grimacing slightly from the pain. "Fair enough," he said, then he looked her over. "By the way, Jet'ika, where's your little glowrod?"

"I had to give it to a friend," she explained, "You guys weren't the only ones I needed to help today."

He looked surprised but waved it away with a shake of his head. "At least you still have my blaster," he said with an approving nod. "Looks like you've been taking care of her too."

"Just the way you taught me," she replied and he smiled.

"Good," he answered, "Now, you go ahead and get these people out of here, I got some things to retrieve."

Nova sighed, she had a pretty good idea what he was referring to. "I'd try to talk you out of it, Old Man, but I know that's pointless. Just be careful, alright?"

Jacen smiled and placed his hand on her cheek. "Don't worry, Elena, I won't let these Chaavla take me again," he assured her. Then he turned and walked over to the nearest thug, bending over to retrieve the thug's blaster before heading off in search of his armor.

Nova turned to look at the freed slaves surrounding her. They were going to have to work together to get the kolto and get out of here. "Everyone, grab a weapon and follow me!"
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

Tsivoin's chest was heaving with frantic breaths as he looked up at the hunter incredulously. She said it so matter-of-factly. Sure, Tsiv. Just hold off this horde of Maldenado's thugs a bit longer. No big deal. He thought to himself in the moment. Who was this person and why was she so blasted confident in him.

The teen shook his head slightly, clearing his thoughts. Frankly, though, what could be the alternative? Nova was off doing force knows what at the factory... Rossi, Orev and Micaiah were stuck in the ship... and Vague and SlackJaw had their hands full at the front of the site. Everyone else was pulling their weight. This was the chance he'd been waiting for to carry his own.

Suddenly the teen reached up grabbed hold of Isis' good arm, using it to pull himself up off the ground. He nodded once to her, then set his weight and waited for her signal.

Isis was caught off-guard when the kid suddenly shot into action and she did her best to hide the pain from her injured side as she assisted him up off the deck. She could tell that he was still anxious and unsure but there was little else she could say to alter that. She gave him a quick nod, then rose up and popped off a series of shots at the now recovering thugs. "Now, kid."

Tsivoin wasted no time, the teen shot up out of his crouch and crossed the gap to the cover Isis had indicated at a startling speed. Once there, Nova's blade shot back to live with a snap hiss and he stood up straight and tall, ready to reengage with the Raiders so that Isis could move to cover.

Isis stopped firing her blaster, by now the thugs were once again focused on Tsivoin. Problem is if she went right now she'd be running straight into gunfire instead of away from it. She'd have to wait for an opening, just a bit... Now!

As soon as the shooting had lulled even slightly she burst from cover and took off running towards Tsiv. She barely made it three steps before a Red Key thug appeared out of nowhere and grabbed her by the wrist. She tried her best to struggle against him but he leveraged her bad arm in such a way as to pin her body against his.

"Well, well... It's over Rat," he shouted over the din of battle.

Isis grunted and ground her teeth against the pain. She looked like she was trying to say something but the thug put a slight twist on her bad arm to get her to stop squirming and she cried out in pain.

Where did this guy even come from? I didn't even see him! Fething hell! You better not give up, Kid, she swore under her breath.

Luckily for Tsivoin, the remainder of the Raider's stopped firing once Isis had been captured. The teen was panting furiously and allowed his tired arms to drop by his sides as he struggled to catch his breath, the tip of Nova's saber just inches from the ground as his chest heaved. After a few moments, he turned to face Isis and her captor, and what had been a tingle of suspicion turned into absolute certainty when his violet eyes rose up to regard the Raider.

In an instant, he was transported back to The Tangle. Back to Cantonica. Back to that terrible night. He could smell hints of ocean mist on the still nights air. He recalled with clarity the incredulous look Nova had given him when she realized they'd hunted them down not for her, but for Tsivoin. He felt the rough hewn fabric of Senna's sleeve as she placed a hand at the small of his back...

This man, this Red Key Raider, who now held Isis threateningly, he was the same one who'd been in charge of the group who'd tried to take them back on Cantonica. Tsiv's lip curled up in anger as his violet eyes narrowed. With his entire focus narrowed to this one Raider, the Zabrak didn't notice the rest of the thugs beginning to close in around them. Tsivoin shook his head weakly, trying to pull his mind back from the past. "Let her go." He called out to the Raider. "It's me you're after. She has nothing to do with this."

"Not so fast, Rat. Put down the lasersword or-" He gestured menacingly with his blaster hand at her head. "Think it through, spikes, do the right thing. You don't wanna be the reason another pretty girl ends up... you know." he sneered.

For a moment, as the thug pointed his blaster at Isis threateningly, Tsiv seemed to falter... Then the Raider kept talking, and Tsivoin's grip on the lightsaber hilt tightened like a vise as he was forced to relive his and Senna's final moments together. In that moment, Isis could see an immeasurable amount of pain lurking heavily behind is violet eyes.

You go there, you'll only be leading danger right to them.

Nova's warning echoed through his mind and he clamped his eyes shut just as his cheeks started to moisten from the memory.Hambani. Phila. Phakade. Senna's last words. "Phakade." Tsiv said outloud, barely above a whisper. Then it struck him, he rapidly refocused his eyes on the thug. That blaster. Longer than a normal pistol... a folding stock... smooth, cylindrical barrel. Tsivoin's eyes turned molten with rage. It was the blaster carbine that Senna had tossed him. The one that had been lost in the aftermath of her passing.

"Let. Her. Go." He demanded through clenched teeth.

"How 'bout I shoot her instead," the Red Key captain asked. "You think I'm playing, kid? I don't care whose daughter she is, I'll put her down in a second if you don't drop that sword!"

Isis cried out in pain again as the thug twisted her arm a second time. There were tears forming at the corners of her eyes now. This was so frustrating, the man was specifically targeting her injured arm. It's what she would have done were she in his position and she hated that it was being used against her.

At the sound of her cries Tsivoin's gaze flashed with anger. His rage was nearly palpable. Even from this distance Isis could feel it, the depths of his anger. For the first time she finally understood what Vague had been so afraid of. How blind she had been. She wanted to use the kid to end this fight quickly and decisively, but now she was on the precipice of pushing him over the edge.

The muscles in his sword arm twitched ever so slightly, but before he could raise his arm to attack Isis forced herself to cry out through the pain. "Kid, stop," she shouted, her voice sounding almost like a whimper as she twisted her body to relieve the pain on her injured arm. "If you start down that road you'll bring suffering to everyone you love!"

Meanwhile, Vague and SlackJaw had been working their way carefully through the remaining ranks of Red Key's. It was a slower process than Vague would have liked... had Isis not deviated from the plan they could have covered one another on the ground and made much quicker work of it. The pair, assisted by Orev and Rossi from within the ship, had managed to take down most of the foes who hadn't rushed Tisvoin and the hunter. They'd also managed to render the grav hoists inoperable in the process.

SlackJaw had just shifted about and moved into a position where he finally had eyes on Isis - who had apparently been captured. He called that out over the comms, noting he wasn't able to see Tsivoin though it appeared that the teen was in a standoff with the abducting Raider. Vague was tied up in a hand-to-hand scuffle with a Red Key who was somewhat decently skilled, delaying his response to the situation.

Tsiv ground his teeth together but for the moment stayed his saber-hand. His violet eyes still danced with fiery anger but they narrowed now in concentration. He didn't know Isis - Apparently she was the daughter of someone important... if the Red Key Captain's words could be trusted. All the teen knew was she wouldn't be in that thugs clutches if it wasn't for him. Just like Senna, and force-knows who else back at the tangle that got caught in his blast radius would still be alive if wasn't for him.

You're either well on your way down that road already- a voice in his head spoke, Or you just bring suffering to everyone around you no matter what.

He wasn't sure if the words were his own... they didn't sound quite right... he also wasn't sure how he did what happened next. He vaguely became aware of a small group of keys trying to flank his position while the Captian was taunting him to 'listen to his babysitter'. Before he could contemplate a reaction, though, he felt the force surge through his body in a way he hadn't experienced before.

There was heat, exhilaration, release... Pure darkness. Without breaking his stare with the Captain, Tsiv flung his left hand out to his side in the direction of the flanking party and in a horrifying instant, the three raiders simply burst. A near instantaneous combustion. For a moment Tsiv didn't even seem to register that it had happened... but at the horrified expressions on Isis and the Red Key Captains faces, the teen turned his head to the side and saw the last vestiges of the explosion and what little remained of the aggressors, and his face suddenly slackened from a mask of rage to a twisted expression of doubt and confusion.

A sudden explosion rocked a group of Raiders at the very edge of SlackJaw's vantage point and seemed to create a moment of pause in the showdown. This was his chance. The droid zeroed the scope on the Red Key Captain who in his surprise had shifted enough to allow for a shot that wouldn't jeopardize Isis in the process. SlackJaw didn't hesitate, caressing the trigger on his rifle he shot the Captain dead. As he fell, the Raider took Isis to the ground with him.

A moment later, Vague burst out of cover and wielding his Relby rifle in one hand and his KCD-76 heavy blaster in the other he made quick and efficient work of the last remaining group of Raiders. Once satisfied that they were in the clear, Vague rushed over to help Isis get out from underneath the Red Key Captain's corpse. "You alright, Sinclair?" He asked, a slight edge to his voice.

Before she could respond, SlackJaw leapt to the ground between them and the still shaken up Tsivoin. His yellow-green photoreceptors blinking as he took in the scene. "An outstanding display." He called out, turning his gaze from Zabrak to Hunter. "Hanging onto that grenade throughout the battle until it could have the most impact was truly inspired." He added.

Tsivoin shook his head in an effort to clear his clouded mind, a dark mix of pain, shame, and fear swirled behind his violet eyes as he looked into Isis' aqua hued stare. His expression practically begging her not to tell them what he'd done.
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by Pryde »

Isis deliberately tore her eyes away from Tsivoin and fixed the droid with a solid stare. "Wasn't a grenade," she said and in that moment both of Tsivoin's hearts skipped a beat. Was she going to tell them the truth of what happened?

"Canister of Illerium," she explained, "It was nicked by a stray blaster bolt during the fight. Tsivoin did it on accident, we were just lucky."

She did her best to hide her fear, not entirely understanding why she was covering for him. Was she simply trying to hide her own failure? Or was she afraid of what Tsivoin might do to her?

Tsiv's hearts soared as he watched her create a story on the fly to explain the explosion... then they instantly sank as she finished. The expression on her face, the down-turn of her eyes. It was an expression and demeanor he'd come to learn all too well. It was the way someone feared a monster. That's what he was.

"I've often heard it's better to be lucky than dead." SlackJaw offered in response, accepting the explanation without further scrutiny.

"One here, we're clear. Pop the emergency hatch we're coming in." He called into the comm before turning and giving Tsivoin a hard glance then signaling in a minute gesture towards the freighter. Even post-battle the teen knew what he meant. He stepped past SlackJaw, shuffling between Isis and the Captain. Tsiv paused and held out his hand to offer the saber to Vague who shook his head. "Keep it." He spoke in a tone that clearly said, You've already gone this far, why turn straight now?.

Tsiv tucked the hilt into his cargo pocket and headed around the freighter towards the hatch, his eyes on the ground. He was followed almost immediately by SlackJaw. Once the droid was a handful of paces away, Vague drew in a deep breath and turned his eyes to Isis.

Isis followed Tsivoin with her eyes, that feeling of horror she felt earlier slowly creeping up from the depths of her heart. So distracted was she that she missed the silent signal Vague had given the others. It wasn't until he drew in a sharp breath and cleared his throat, like her father about to lecture her about her most recent disappointment, that she realized what was happening. "Save it," she told him, cutting him off before he could say anything. "I get it, I put the kid in danger and it was reckless, sure, but the plan worked. You, SlackJaw, and every one of the Red Key thugs performed exactly as I had calculated you would. My only miscalculation was underestimating him," she said as she kicked the corpse of the Red Key captain with her boot. "So stupid," she chided herself, "My father wouldn't have missed that."

Vague opened his mouth once, closed it, and glanced back at the carnage around them. "Four, see if you can raise Five on comms. I want my crew whole before nightfall," he spoke into the comm unit. He paused a beat, then shifted his focus back to the hunter, and once again opened his mouth to speak... but the rebuke never came. He simply drew in a breath and nodded his head slightly. The Captain had taken a moment and realized that Isis had clearly made up her mind and nothing he had to say was going to put a dent in her worldview. He jammed his blaster pistol back into its holster and turned back to the ship.

"Unless you plan on tallying a count, best get aboard. We can't stay here," he said over his shoulder as he stalked back towards his damaged ship.

Isis followed him with her eyes for a moment then turned her gaze to the pile of red mist that was leftover from the Red Key gangsters Tsivoin exploded. She felt a dark shiver run down the length of her entire body. Never before had she seen anyone use the Force to do that. She hugged herself tightly then half-turned and followed the Captain back to the Bedlam...

**********

The last of the kolto crates were loaded onto the truck. Nova and a few of the armed slaves helped to hold back any Red Key thugs who were no longer fooled by Nova's ruse. The number of Red Keys filing into the factory were starting to get overwhelming. Nova did her best to hold them back using a combination of Force powers and blasterfire, but there was only so much she could do without her blasterfire. She was about to order everyone onto the truck while she stayed behind when suddenly a burst of flame filled the hallway where the Red Keys were coming from. The horrid screams filled her ears as the Red Keys all burned to death, then shortly after the armored form of a one-armed Mandalorian entered the factory. Nova, exhausted from her excessive use of the Force felt relieved.

"Jacen... Thank you," she said between gasps for air.

"We better move, Jet'ika, there's more of 'em on their way," he told her, directing her to the truck.

Nova nodded her head weakly then fell into a light jog next to the Mandalorian. She barely made if a few steps before she stumbled a bit, nearly falling to her knees. A huge wave of darkness washed over her and for one dreaded moment she realized she had made a mistake. Jacen reached down to catch her with his one good arm, stopping her fall before she hit the ground.

"Elena, are you alright," he asked and Nova could hear the concern in his voice. He ever so rarely used her name.

"Um, yea...," she said, relying on the Mandalorian's support to get back on her feet. "Just a little exhausted."

She didn't have time to explain it right now and she certainly didn't have time to worry about it. She needed to get these people out of here before the Red Keys could regroup their numbers. "Anyway, let's go," she told him, picking up her pace now and running even faster than she had before. Jacen followed quickly behind her and they both climbed up into the truck. The Mandalorian reached out and around to slap the side of the truck with his armored hand. The singing of the Beskar gauntlet signaled the driver to take off and the vehicle kicked into high gear. As they left the factory more Red Keys poured in, firing as they went but their blasts burned harmlessly into the side of the truck. Once they were outside and beyond their reach Nova allowed herself a sigh of relief.

That moment was shortlived, though, when her comms screeched to life. "Five, are you there," she heard Rossi's voice over the com.

"Yea, Four, everything's fine," she said, "Heading back to the marketplace now. How's Six?"

There was slight worry to her voice as she said it, enough to curl Rossi's lip in consternation. Was she worried for his safety? Or was it something else? Unfortunately, Nova didn't elaborate on it so she could only guess. "Six is fine. He and Nêçîrvan held off the Red Keys long enough for One and Three to take them out."

That was a relief. Whatever happened it sounded like it was over now. It also sounded like the others hadn't noticed. Nova frowned, she could keep it to herself if she wanted to. Spare Tsivoin the pain and disappointment, but then what would Vague say?

"Five, we're coming to pick you up," Rossi continued.

"In a moment, Four," she answered, "I want to make sure this kolto gets distributed fairly. The merchants here have been bullied enough. Oh and, Four, I've picked up a few extra passengers. Former slaves of the Red Keys, we can't leave them here... And a friend."

There was a moment of hesitation on the other side over the call before Rossi answered. "Noted, Five," the Kessurian said simply, "Be there soon."

**********

It was late in the afternoon, early evening when a lone speeder pulled up to the truck in the marketplace where Nova was helping the freed slaves unload the kolto. The Jedi had just finished levitating a large crate off the truck when she turned to look at her approaching crewmates. To her surprise it was Vague and the hunter who had come to get her, probably because he didn't trust leaving her on his ship. As soon as she saw him Nova couldn't help herself and she threw her arms around the freighter captain, hugging him tightly. She held it for a moment then sheepishly backed away, realizing there were several eyes on her, including those of the hunter.

You may not think of her as a daughter but she certainly thinks of you as a father, Isis noted to herself. "I see your risky gamble paid off," the hunter said aloud. She had her gaze turned towards the truck and the kolto away from Nova and there was something in her expression and the way she stood that seemed to suggest something was wrong. Whatever had happened with Tsivoin the hunter had witnessed it and Nova could tell. Her rather stoic and cocksure demeanor had completely changed from before.

Nova opened her mouth to say something but she was interrupted when Jacen jumped down off the truck. "Friends of yours," he asked Nova as he came up behind her and the girl nodded. His grizzled lips curled up into a smile and he held out his hand towards Vague. "Jacen Kryze," he said, "Of House Kryze. I'm afraid you'll have to forgive my surprise, back when I knew her Jet'ika didn't have many friends."

"Jet'ika?" Vague repeated.

"Mando'a for 'Little Jedi'," Isis explained at Vague's confusion.

Jacen nodded approvingly. "Very good, Ms.--Sinclair, was it," he asked, "I believe I've seen you before at the guild. Word is you have a fierce reputation."

"Or at least I would if New Republic SIS would let me have a reputation," Isis answered bitterly. At the look of confusion in his eyes she waved a hand and shook her head. "Long story," she added.

"Anyway," Nova interrupted them, turning her gaze to Vague, "Many of these people need medical attention, including Jacen."

"I'm fine, Jet'ika, it's just a few bruises."

"Don't you argue with me, Old Man, you're seeing the doctor, end of story," Nova told him firmly. Then her expression softened into one of concern. "How's Tsiv," she asked, a note of worry in her voice. "Is he...," she let her words trail off into nothing, unable to finish that thought.
Last edited by Pryde on Wed Feb 03, 2021 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

Vague had immediately and instinctively sized the Mandalorian up upon his arrival to the square. An old habit that would never go away. The Captain had to admit he was probably equally surprised to find out about Jacen and the mando was to learn about the crew of the 'Bedlam. He'd not gleaned from his time with Nova that she'd ever paused long enough to give anyone the time of day prior to that fateful night on Cantonica.

The two aging veterans embraced and shared a glance that only those who had lived a life like they had could, then the Captain turned to focus on Nova. His eyes pinched at the corners at her concern for the Zabrak. It was, after all, her idea to pass the literal torch to the kid before she'd launched into this one-jedi rescue mission. "The kid's fine, Hazynam." He replied. "In one piece, at any rate. There were a lot more Red Key's there than we'd expected." He didn't elaborate, because the Outlaw saw no need to pile on. Both Nova and Isis had written bank notes that Vague was sure Tsivoin wasn't ready to cash. In the end, though, his crew and ship were secure... So he was content for now to let the scales settle where they may.

For a moment, he seemed to take notice of the strange way that Nova and Isis were looking at each other, but shook it off and turned to regard the group of slaves that his young crewmate had rescued. There were far more than would fit in his Sandpopper. Not a worry, though. He bowed his head just slightly to indicate he was removing himself from the impromptu pow-wow, then turned and took a few steps back towards his speeder. "Two, I need you to put the doc and Rossi on the 'Heliost', bring it as close as you can to these coordinates. Five has wounded that need tending to." He ordered.

"Understood. Shouldn't be more than fifteen mikes. We'll call when we're on station."

"Thanks, One out."

He turned and caught sight of Nova and Isis in conversation, so rather than interrupt, he tilted his head a bit towards Jacen and the pair met at the back of the speeder. Vague snapped open a compartment on the rear and pulled out a medium sized medkit. "It's not much, but we can tend to the worst off until the doc arrives." He offered.

"Sure," Jacen said as he crossed over to where Vague stood. The freighter captain started to open the medkit but before he could Jacen placed his hand on the lid and pushed it down. "I'm going to be straight with you," he began, "When Elena came to me she had nothing. No home, no family to speak of. She was on the run from an invisible enemy I had never seen. As per the Mandalorian code I took her as a foundling and pledged to return her to her own kind. That makes her my kin, you understand what that means?"

Vague kept his hand at his side, close to his blaster but not on the holster. What the Manalorian said brought forth so many questions. The Captain wanted to know how Nova found this man, when she found him, what sort of life had he given to her... He asked none of them. If she’d wanted Vague to know, then it’d have come up. He’d identified the Mandalorian make of her blaster, but never suspected there was this whole other chapter of her life.

Durin met Jacen’s gaze, considering the mans words. She was as kin to Vague, too. “Speak you’re piece,” he declared. A slight defensive edge to his tone.

"My piece," the Mandalorian continued, "Is that this new desire of hers to do good is reckless. These people will talk. Stories will spread about the Jedi who rescued them. Stories that will draw the wrong kind of attention. Elena is like a daughter to me, if it comes to protecting her or freeing these people...," he let his words trail off, but it was quite clear what side of that moral conundrum he was on. "The Jedi were once a symbol for hope and peace in the galaxy, but they're long gone. Powerful as she may be she can't fight the whole of the First Order on her own and if they come for her neither you nor I will be able to stop them."

New desire? Vague’s jaw tightened just a smidge. As long as he’d known her she’d had this streak about her. It most certainly wasn’t a trait he or his crew had taught her. He wondered, then, who Elena was back then? Finally, his hand left his side and returned to the med kits lid. “I heed your warning. My crew and I are not strangers to the additional... scrutiny that Nova manages to bring along behind her. It’s quite frankly disrupted our ability to conduct our trade, but she’s our crewmate, a part of our family. Our interests with regard to her safety align, friend.”

"Nova," Jacen asked confused.

"It's what she calls herself now," Vague explained.

"I see," the Mandalorian replied, "Then all that's left is to request a favor. Keep a close eye on her."

The way he said it seemed to suggest that it had nothing to do with keeping her safe but rather with something else. "The thing that's hunting her, it's strong. Bastard managed to slip his blade between the plates of my beskar, rendered my arm completely useless. Shortly after my injury she left, said it was for my protection in a blasted note she left behind. Don't let that happen to you. She will not survive this world on her own."

Back at COS Granite Hawk, Orev was prepping the YC-123b Transport Hauler, ‘Heliost’ for flight. Next to the hauler, Rossi keyed open the door to the med bay onboard the Bedlam and paused just inside the doorway watching on as Micaiah tended to the monitors scanning Masilda’s still form. “Vague needs our help. Nova rescued a group of slaves, she said there are wounded.” She paused a moment to glance around the bay. “We’re going to have to take the ‘hauler, so... can I help you carry anything?”

Micaiah was surprised. This was the first time Rossi had spoken to her since the First Order interrogator had accidentally activated her. "Um, yes," she said, "I'll need that kit over there, the tools on the table and a few other things. Did Nova say how serious the injuries were?"

Rossi went right to work picking you the items that Micaiah indicated, then looked over her shoulder at the Sylarian. “She did not, I’m afraid. You could probably reach her on comms, though?” She shouldered the medbag and glanced towards the door. Tsiv was standing there and Rossi started. She’d not sensed his arrival.

“You’re going to Nova?” He asked. “Can I-“

“Vague wants you and SJ to stay behind and get a damage report on the Bedlam’s ramp.” Rossi answered, trying her best to not let the concern she’d picked up from Nova drift into her tone. She’d half expected the kid to protest, but somewhat to her surprise he almost seemed relieved to hear the instruction.

Micaiah had sensed Tsivoin's approach even before he had appeared in the open doorway. She picked up her communicator as well as a small satchel containing some medical tools then turned to Rossi. "Can you go on ahead," she asked, "I'll be right behind you."

"Alright," Rossi answered, perhaps somewhat relieved that the Doc had dismissed her.

After she had gone Micaiah turned her attention to Tsivoin. "I don't know what happened out there," she began, "but the Seldarine flows darkly around you. This anger you have, you need to learn to control it or it will consume you. Should that happen the person you are right now will be effectively dead. That's not the fate I want for you."

She started to step past him but he caught her by the wrist. "Are you going to tell him," he asked.

Micaiah turned to look at him. "That's for you and your mentor to decide," she told him, then she politely disengaged herself from him and followed Rossi to the hangar.

Nova watched Vague as he stepped away towards the speeder. Once he was out of earshot she turned her attention to the hunter. "What happened," she asked, her tone matter of fact.

"What? With the kid," she asked. "Nothing, everything was fine."

Nova narrowed her eyes at her. "Even if I believed that was true your behavior right now says otherwise. Look, let's cut the crap, I felt the darkness coming from Tsiv, so what happened?"

Isis hesitated momentarily then looked away. "I don't know," she said, "I'd never seen anything like it. Some Red Keys were about to attack him from the side, but he raised his hand and then they were just--gone."

"Gone," Nova repeated, "Like how?"

"Like exploded," the hunter explained, "Into red mist, like they weren't even there." She took a moment to compose herself then her expression hardened. "Look, I'm not an expert when it comes to this stuff, but do you really think it's a good idea to train him? That anger of his runs deep, I've seen it."

After Isis' explanation Nova's face had gone completely pale. She'd never considered Tsivoin capable of such horror. It was certainly not a power she was familiar with and just hearing about it frightened her to the core. "Thank you, for being truthful with me," she answered quietly and then she wandered off on her own, leaving the hunter standing alone in the square...
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Things were rather hectic by the time the crew arrived back at COS Granite Hawk. There was just enough room to fit all of Nova's extra passengers on the Heliost, but space on the Veiled Bedlam would be rather tight for awhile. In transit Micaiah did what she could to help the people who were injured. It seemed the Red Keys had no qualms about beating their slaves, many of them had suffered bruises, fractures and in more extreme cases broken bones. The doctor was going to have her hands full for awhile until they could drop off these passengers at some sort of medical facility. However, none were as worse for wear as the Mandalorian. Micaiah insisted on taking him back to the ship to examine him in the medbay. His injuries had been far more extensive.

"Excuse me, Ms. Jedi," a young boy asked while tugging on Nova's pant leg. "Can I go back home to my mom now?"

Nova looked helplessly at the boy then at the young woman standing behind him. When they locked eyes the girl shook her head, warning her to avoid making promises about the kid's parents. Finally, the Jedi knelt down next to him and put a hand on his shoulder. "It's alright, we're going to take care of you," she said quietly, trying to sound as reassuring as possible.

The boy gave her a hug then ran off with the others to board the ship. "What happened to his parents," Nova asked the girl who was still standing next to her.

"They sold him," she said, "For drinking money."

Nova's heart fell, how could they? Their own son! It reminded her of her own past, how her mother had abandoned her. She was a single mother, struggling to raise a child, and instead of doing the best she could she left her daughter in a transit center. That was how Nova learned it was better to take care of herself.

"You should get on board with the others," Nova said quietly to the girl before standing up to her full height.

The girl nodded and hurried along and as Nova watched her leave both Isis and Vague stepped up behind her. "Where do you plan on taking them," Isis asked.

"Nowhere just yet," Nova replied, "We still have to go to Kamparas."

"To an Imperial world," the hunter said incredulously, "Why the hell would you go there?"

"It's the site of an old Jedi training facility," she explained. "I was told to go there in order to find something to help Masilda."

"Couldn't have picked a better time to do it," Isis muttered, leading Nova and Vague to believe there was something they needed to know.

"Why, what's going on," Vague asked.

The hunter turned her gaze to him. "That Jedi training facility you're talking about? It's being used by the guild now."

"The guild," Nova repeated, albeit a bit confused.

"The bounty hunter's guild," Isis explained, "And you just rescued a gaggle of slaves and brought medicine to the masses. Word of a Jedi on K-Olgo is already spreading and I'm sure you know what that means. Is there nowhere else you can go to help your friend?"

Nova's shoulders slumped and she shook her head. "No, what I need is extremely rare. We have to risk it."

Isis sighed. "You won't make it past the front door before someone decides to take you down. But...," she added, forestalling any objections, "I might be able to get you in, you and one other person. You'll both need disguises, though."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

Tsivoin had watched the transport hauler land from the Bedlam's gun turret. The whole operation to recover Nova and the... slaves from the factory hadn't taken nearly as long as the teen had hoped. He slumped back against the lightly worn leather of the control-chair and stared out the transperisteel. The teen had been replaying those moments over and over again in his mind since Vague and Isis had left for the market.

You're either well on your way down that road already, or you just bring suffering to everyone around you no matter what.

Tsiv was certain now that it hadn't been his own voice in his head... and while that didn't make a lick of sense, he was sure of it all the same. Who could it have been? What was that feeling that washed over him? Tsiv had no idea how he'd done what had happened next... for an hour now he'd been trying to cause a can of preserved rations to similarly explode with zero success.

It hadn't been like at the Tangle, or in the conference room with the Oracle. Tsiv could recall how in those moments rage and fear had built up inside of him and been released outward in a random blast. What had happened at the construction site... was targeted, deliberate. He had somehow lit those Raiders on fire from within and out - simultaneously. Them and no one, nothing else.

The Zabrak shivered and wrapped his arms tightly around his midsection. He blinked away tears and leaned forward in the chair. He could see Nova now, helping Rossi direct the former slaves in and around the Heliost. He also saw Micaiah and Orev helping a one armed man from into the Bedlam. Her word of warning to him earlier in the med-bay still echoed in his mind.

With a heavy sigh, he left the gunwell and in moments lost himself within the tiny auxiliary passageways of the freighter. By the time that the Mandalorian was helped onto the gurney and Orev had left Miciah in the bay to do her work, he was already there on the other side of a heavy metal grate, watching on as the Sylarian studiously attempted to tend to the older mans wounds.

At one point, he felt as though she'd stopped and looked straight at him, but he wasn't positive. Just to be safe, though, he edged his way back a bit from the grate. It wasn't long until the Mandalorian was fed up with the whole thing and simply declared that he was fine and headed out of the bay with Micaiah in pursuit. The teen waited a few moments to make sure they weren't coming back, then slid the grate open and dropped down to the deck. He wasn't sure why, but he was starting to feel more at ease here in the med bay, and around the Sylarian doctor.

Across the hangar, Vague nodded his head slightly. He'd been wandering through the crowd for a bit, doing his best to make sure everyone was tended to and comfortable. The Captain's gut was twisted in angry, disgust, and sympathy. He abhorred slavers and only wished he'd been able to do more damage to Maldenado and his operation earlier in the day. Ultimately, he found Nova standing out in front of the Hauler and headed in her direction, joined by Isis along the way.

"Disguises, we can do." He stated, then turned his head to look over towards his ship. "The Bedlam is going to need some extensive repair work. Could take days, a week depending on the local help. The Heliost isn't going to pass for a hunters ship either-"

Both Nova and Vague looked expectantly at Isis and the hunter held up her hands. "Don't look at me," she said, "I was going to use your ship to deliver you."

Vague sighed thinking that was that but before he could say anything else they heard a voice from behind. "I got you covered," Jacen said.

The others turned to find the Mandalorian coming towards them followed very closely by a flustered Micaiah. "I haven't finished examining you yet, you need to return to the medical bay," she was saying.

Nova rolled her eyes knowingly but said nothing. Meanwhile, Jacen stopped midstep and half turned to look at her. "Miss, I told you I'm fine. I've been through much worse," he told her, then he looked directly at Vague. "Anyway, if it's a hunter's ship you need I can get ya where you're going. Call it payback for Jet'ika pulling me out of that hole."

Durin nodded in thanks and agreement, then paused momentarily. He'd been curious for awhile now, as to how the old man had gotten mixed up in all of this to begin with, but the Captain knew this was hardly the time to ask. Instead, he turned his attention to Nova. "This is your mission," He started, his jaw tightening a bit in preparation for an argument. "But given this new intel I would prefer to be your second for planet-fall."
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Nova was surprised by that. She hadn't expected him to give her sole responsibility. Was it because she knew what they were looking for? Or because it was her fellow student who ultimately put Masilda into the infirmary?

"I was thinking about taking Tsivoin," she said quietly, "but I don't know if that's safe to do now."

Her eyes were cast down at her feet and as she remembered Isis' description of what happened earlier a cold shiver ran down her spine.

"Is something wrong," Vague asked, casting a knowing glance at the hunter who pretended not to notice.

"Everything," Nova answered, "but we should talk about that in private." Then she turned her gaze to Isis. "How long do you think we should wait before making the trip to Kamparas?"

The hunter thought about it. "The price the First Order is offering for your head is pretty high," she said, "As soon as those rumors of a Jedi on K-Olgo hit the guild I imagine the others will probably saddle up and get ready to come here. If we give it a bit of time we won't have as many hunters to deal with, but there's also the Imperial Remnant to consider. They're no fans of the Jedi, either. If we take too much time then we may not even be granted entry."

There was something in the way Nova had said it. The hairs on the back of Vague's neck stood on end. In truth, he'd offered her command of the mission in hopes of bartering his way onto the team in lieu of the kid. He'd been expecting to run into some heavy resistance when suggesting that he go instead of Tsivoin. This, though... A surprise to be sure.

"We won't need to worry about the Remnant." Vague told Isis, flashing a somewhat subdued smirk the hunters direction. "Before you crashed our party, I was obtaining all the necessary codes and clearances for unhindered passage through RABD space. Couple those with a Guild registered transport, and our only concerns will be what waits on the surface."

He paused, then fixed his gaze onto Nova even as he addressed the two hunters. "Jacen, plenty of room in this hangar if you want to bring your ship about. Sinclair, I'd like you to get with Rossi... we're going to need to address the fact that the New Republic paid you to bring us in and you haven't, and I'd prefer for that not to complicate things on Kamparas..." he then pinged Nova with one of his patented non-verbal cues and left the area in search of somewhere more secluded to talk.

Nova followed him close behind as Jacen left to retrieve his ship and Isis went off in search of Rossi. When they were far enough away from the others Vague turned to look at the young woman. "Alright, so tell me what happened," he said.

"I made a mistake," Nova answered, her tone filled with deep regret. "I should've come back with you to defend the Bedlam, I shouldn't have forced that responsibility onto Tsivoin."

"If you hadn't these people would still be in chains," he pointed out. Then he looked at her more closely. "But there's still something you haven't told me."

Nova nodded. "Isis told me what he did after she was captured. Some raiders were about to attack him, but he... He raised his hand and made them disappear."

"Disappear," he asked, not quite comprehending what she was saying.

"Into red mist," the girl explained, "He exploded them from within. I've never heard of anyone using the Force so violently before."

She stepped over to a nearby crate and leaned against it, hugging herself tightly. "When I first started training Tsiv I was so confident I could curb his anger because everything that had happened had been the will of the Force. Even Master Skywalker told me train him in during my coma... trance... thing," she struggled trying to find the right words to describe it. "But now I'm not so sure. I thought with Tsivoin's help I could turn the tables on Richter and the others, but now I know the truth. If I take Tsivoin with me to confront Richter he'll fall. Richter will pray on his anger and his hate to draw him to the dark side and I will have turned Tsivoin into a monster."

She stood and turned her back on him. "I think after this mission I should leave," she said quietly and Vague could hear her hesitation in the slight tremble of her voice. "It would be irresponsible to train Tsivoin further and Richter and the others are my responsibility. I need to do what I can to stop them, but you and the rest of the crew don't need to be pulled into that."

Vague sighed, recalling Jacen's warning just earlier that same day of how Nova had left a note and abandoned him for his own protection. That was fast. Vague thought to himself. The middle aged Outlaw frowned a bit as he focused on the story Nova told him. So there had been no Illerium canister after all, the explosion was of Tsivoin's doing. For an instant, Vague found himself thinking that this was progress. His earlier outbursts had been directed in all directions and at random, this most recent one had been targeted, restrained... No collateral damage.

Still, though, there was much to the Force that Vague didn't understand and that was obvious by the apprehension and fear in Nova's voice upon describing the scene to him. "With respect, Hazynam, this fight with the Dark Three isn't just yours alone. They attacked my people, did... whatever to Masilda... and we're ultimately witnesses, a liability, to whatever they are planning." He paused a beat and knocked a discarded power cell into the corner with the toe of his boot.

He drew in another breath and started again before she could counter. "You must understand, given your own past, that we've hardly scratched the surface of the horrors our spikey friend has likely endured in his short life Nova. Whether you'd trained him enough, whether he was 'ready', the kid was facing down the very same crew who'd owned him for years - hell, maybe even most of the life he can remember. That's a lot of bad juju to have stacked against anyone. You know I don't pretend to understand all your wizardly ways but I wouldn't write him off just yet. Whatever he did, however he did it - he did it to protect his family. And Hazynam, there isn't anything I wouldn't do to protect my family."

She was going to argue with him about how dangerous it was for nonpowered people to fight even one Force-user let alone three. Then he mentioned something she hadn't even considered and it shook her to her core. A liability to his plans... He was right, Richter would see them as a liability and maybe even seek to eliminate them. As much as she hated to admit it, they were probably safer with her close by.

"I wish Master Luke was here," she whispered quietly to herself, loud enough for Vague to just barely make out what she said.

"Maybe I could train the hunter. She seems level headed enough, but I just don't know about Tsiv. What happens if we run into Maldenado again," she asked as she turned back around to look at him. "He's still out there and he's not going to let Tsivoin go."

Vague nearly chuckled. "Sinclair? She's Corellian. Level headed is the furthest adjective I'd equate to her." He held up his gloved hands palm facing out at the glare that Nova sent his way. It was only partially a joke. Vague appreciated that Isis had helped them out against the Raider's, but she'd done so just as much to save her own skin as she had for their benefit... and the hunter had gone behind his back, against his wishes. As the crew knew well, that wasn't something Vague got over easily.

The Captain shrugged a bit, dragging the discarded power cell back in front of him with his boot once again. "We didn't see Maldenado or the Red Keys coming. That's on all of us, but there isn't much we can do about it now. We hurt them here, hurt them bad. It'll make em think twice before they try again, and now we know to keep an eye out for them."

Vague gave the power cell one more solid kick, then stepped forward and wrapped an arm around Nova's shoulders. "We've talked about it before, Hazynam I know you feel this burden and it's not fair. But these things take time, ok?" He paused and gave her shoulders a quick squeeze. "Don't count yourself out yet, the kid either. Richter and his goons didn't get where they are now overnight, and I doubt your Master Skywalker did either."

Nova turned and hugged him again. "Thank you," she said, "For everything."

She held it for a moment before gently pulling away from him. "We should, um... Probably get ready," she continued sheepishly. "Thanks again," she threw back over her shoulder as she headed back towards the ship...
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Pryde
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by Pryde »

Micaiah looked up from where she was tending a young child on the gurney when the doors to the medbay opened. "Nova," she said in surprise, "Is everything alright? Are you hurt?"

"Everything's fine," Nova assured her as she crossed the room over to the auxiliary passage on the far wall. She knocked on the grate twice and after a moment a reluctant Tsivoin opened it.

"Nova, I...," he started, but she cut him off.

"Not right now, Tsivoin, please," she said a pained expression on her face. Then she held out her hand towards him and Tsivoin's shoulders slumped. Like a young boy who had just been scolded by his mother he grudgingly placed Nova's lightsaber back into the palm of her hand. "We'll talk later," she told him. As soon as I figure out what to say, she added in her head. Then she closed the grate and turned to leave.

Micaiah turned back to the child she was examining and put a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Wait right there, okay," she asked, then she turned to follow Nova out of the medbay.

"Is everything alright," the doctor inquired after catching up with the Jedi.

"I don't know," Nova answered without turning to look at her. "I felt his darkness from the factory. I had no idea it ran so deep and what he did to those men..." Her words trailed off into nothing. "Vague told me not to give up on him just yet, but he doesn't know the Force like I do. The pull of the dark side is strong, even the best of us have fallen."

"He hasn't fallen yet," Micaiah pointed out.

"But how do I know he won't," Nova asked, finally stopping in her tracks to turn and look at the Doctor. "I don't know where he learned that power from but it's not anything I taught him!"

Micaiah cast a glance back over her shoulder at a grate in the ceiling above the common room. Then she grabbed Nova by the arm and gently urged her over into the far corner of the room. "You don't know what the future holds for either of you," the Sylarian told her, "but if you start behaving as though Tsivoin is lost already then he truly will be."

Nova cast her eyes down at the floor. She let herself get carried away and raised her voice, knowing full well that Tsivoin could be listening. "What should I do," she asked weakly.

"You should have faith," Micaiah answered, "Faith in Tsivoin, faith in yourself. Faith in the belief that the Seldarine will not lead you astray."

Just like that, she thought to herself. Everything will be fine if I just believe? She wasn't entirely convinced but she nodded anyway. "I need to go," she said, raising a hand to wipe a tear from the corner of her eye, "I need to collect myself before we leave for Kamparas."

Micaiah gave her a sympathetic look then let go of her grip on the girl's arm. The younger woman turned and disembarked from the ship, still holding her lightsaber in a vice-like grip. After she had gone the Sylarian cast another glance at the auxiliary passage above the common room before heading back into the medbay...
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

Post by VagueDurin »

Tsivoin was initially surprised when Nova walked into the med bay, and then right up to the grate he'd been hiding behind. Has she known this whole time? he thought to himself. It wasn't relevant. The teen sheepishly handed over her lightsaber and slunk his head down when she dismissed his attempt at an apology. When she left the bay, he retreated back into the utility passage, intent on returning to their shared room, when an exclamation from the commons area caught his attention.

"I don't know where he learned that power from but it's not anything I taught him!" It was Nova. He peered through the grate down at the Sylarian and Nova, before the doctor seemed to purposefully move their conversation deeper into the room.

The Zabrak sighed. He didn't know where he'd learned the power either, or how. He wasn't even entirely convinced that he had learned it. He'd certainly not been able to recreate it since. Tears threatened to build up in his violet eyes as he wished that he could just explain it all to Nova. To tell her he hadn't meant to do it. That he wasn't sure what had happened. That he was scared, too.

Later, she'd said. He sighed heavily. Yeah. Later.

******************************

After Nova departed, Vague took some time to check in with Orev and SlackJaw. The trio performed a much more in-depth examination of the damage that the 'Veiled Bedlam' had sustained during the Red key's seige.

"What a mess." Vague commented offhand, shaking his head slightly. "And on K-Olgo of all places."

Orev grunted in agreement. The lawlessness of the planet was a blessing and a curse. It meant they could feel free to come and go, conduct business however they pleased... but along with that freedom came an absence of regulation. They would be at the mercy of the repair-yards, and had next to no leverage to shield themselves from inevitable price gouging.

"Not to state the obvious, but once we're through with our business here in the Dominion... We ought to seek out some work of the 'get paid when you're through' variety." SlackJaw stated, and the droid wasn't wrong. They hadn't had a payday since Cantonica and while it hadn't gotten to that point yet, the crew would soon be struggling to keep afloat without some form of income.

"Nova and I are headed to Kamparas with the hunters. Have Rossi scan through the usual suspects while I'm gone, maybe we'll luck out and find a gig close to here." Vague said.

"What about the..." Orev started to ask, casting a glance towards the group of former slaves milling about the hangar.

Vague sighed slightly. He abhorred the practice, and had even freed his fair share of slaves throughout his travels as well... The timing couldn't be worse now, though. Nova had seemed to have an idea of what she wanted to do about them, but Masilda had to come first. "Keep them safe, comfortable. Either our young Jedi has a plan for them, or this will be a learning experience for her in accountability." He finally answered, trailing off a bit at the end as a new ship set itself down not far off to the other side of the 'Hauler. Jacen's ship, presumably. "I better go get working on this disguise." He uttered and headed up the twisted ramp and into the freighter.
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Re: Star Wars: Remember Tomorrow

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Nova passed Vague on her way out of the ship just in time to see a Lancer-Class Pursuit Craft set down in the hangar not too far away. She didn't need to be told who was on it, she recognized the blaster scarred hull of Jacen's ship. The Mandalorian cut the engines to his craft then lowered the boarding ramp. As he exited the ship he found Nova standing at the bottom of the ramp.

"Everything alright," he asked, recognizing that look on her face.

Nova shook her head. "No, it's not. I've been so stupid. I thought taking an apprentice would be easy, but now I'm worried that I'm making the same mistakes as my Master."

"This is about that kid, huh," Jacen said as he stepped past her and she fell into step beside him. Nova looked surprised that he knew what she was talking about. "Been asking some questions about you," he explained, "I'm glad you found your place in the galaxy."

"I don't know about that," she answered, averting her eyes from him. "I tried to tell Vague it was time for me to leave, but he pointed out that even if I were gone he and the rest of the crew would still be a target."

"Of the First Order," he asked.

Nova shook her head. "No, something else. Some fellow students of mine... It's a long story."

He nodded. "Maybe you can tell me about that when we're done here."

"It's probably better if you don't know," she said, "Together they're more powerful than the ones who came before and you nearly died to one of them."

He didn't say anything but grunted an answer. He was still under the impression that had he been a few years younger he could have taken that Knight in single combat. "He got lucky, that axe of his had more weight to it than I thought. But forget about that, what's this I hear about you wanting to leave?"

Nova stopped in her tracks and turned away. "It's time, Jacen. I thought I could have a place here but I've just made things worse. First Masilda, now Tsivoin... I'm slowly turning him into a monster."

Jacen stopped moving as well and turned to look at her. "I don't think that's your doing, Kid. From what I hear that Zabrak's had it pretty rough."

"Which is exactly why I shouldn't have started training him," she exclaimed. "I knew he had pent up anger from his past. I saw it when we first met in Canto Bight, but Master Luke suggested I train him so I thought it would be fine! Then he...," her words faltered slightly. "He was showing so much progress. I guess I just expected too much from him by asking him to defend the ship."

"We all gotta face our demons eventually, Jet'ika, maybe this one is yours," he told her.

Nova made a face. "That's being a bit too literal, don't you think?"

"A spiky headed kid with mystical powers," he asked, "Maybe just a bit. Point is, Elena, you can either run from this or see it through. If you try and you fail well then maybe you'll have done the kid a disservice, but if you leave now without giving him a chance then you'll never know whether you could have succeeded."

Nova turned to look at him, her mouth open with a response.Then she cut herself short and gave him a hug. "I guess you're right," she said quietly, "Thank you."

He returned the hug and rustled her hair a bit. "Anytime, Kid."

The young Jedi separated herself from the Mandalorian then sheepishly cleared her throat. "I, um... I better go find Rossi and get ready," she said then she hurried off in search of the Kessurian.

**********

Rossi was in the middle of searching for the crew's next big payday when Nova found her. "Hey," the Jedi said as she entered the room behind her. "Watcha doin'?"

"Looking for our next job," she answered absently. There'd been something on her mind ever since Nova had gotten back from the factory. Of course she wanted to ask her about Tsivoin and that slight tremor in her voice, but somehow the Kessurian could tell that Nova didn't want to talk about that. Instead she was curious about her relationship to Jacen. She'd seen how close the two of them were in passing and she'd gotten the impression that the two of them hadn't seen each other for awhile, but she wasn't sure why. There was a small part of her that was perhaps a bit worried that now they had found each other again Nova might leave the Bedlam to reunite with him.

"What is it," Nova asked, looking at her out of the corner of her eye. She could tell that something was on Rossi's mind.

"So, you and--Jacen, was it? What's your story with him," she asked nervously.

Nova just shrugged. "He's my father," she answered simply then Rossi turned to her with her mouth agape. "Not by blood," the Jedi quickly corrected herself. "I was maybe fifteen when I first met him? And Mandalorians have a special code where they can't leave abandoned children to fend for themselves, so he adopted me as his foundling. He even taught me how to fight a little bit, even though I'm pretty sure I'm better than him."

Rossi gave her a look and Nova quickly held up her hands. "I'm kidding, of course. I think even one-handed he could still beat Vague in a fight. I wouldn't want to get on his bad side at all."

That surprised Rossi a bit. She'd only heard stories of Mandalorians, there weren't that many left. In a way that made them similar to Jedi. "So if you're his foundling doesn't that make you one of them," she asked curiously.

Nova nodded. "I had the option of becoming a Mandalorian, yea, but I couldn't really picture myself in the armor, could you?"

The pink-skinned woman shook her head. That did seem a bit ridiculous. "So why did you leave him," she asked, turning her attention back to the screen in front of her.

Nova's expression became overcast. "He was hurt because of me," she said quietly, "Even after losing his arm he still refuses a prosthetic replacement, but he wouldn't have lost his arm if it wasn't for me."

"Nova, you can't--," Rossi tried to say, but the younger woman cut her off.

"I can," she said, "Because the man who took his arm came looking for me. He's the one from the holovids on Cantonica, the man with the axe. Jacen tried to fight him to save me and nearly lost his life. I couldn't risk it happening again, so I left. There was no other choice."

Rossi fell silent after that. Nova left him because she felt responsible. No doubt she was feeling that way about Masilda too. Doesn't that mean then that if something similar were to happen to one of the crew that she might consider leaving the Bedlam as well?

A sudden beeping noise drew Nova's attention and snapped Rossi out of her reverie. "What's that," Nova asked.

"A message," Rossi answered, then she opened it and read the note. Her eyes widened a bit. "It's a job," she said finally, "Not through the regular channels, though, this is a direct message to the crew of the Bedlam."

Nova leaned in closer to get a better look. "Where is it?"

"The Tapani Sector. This guy's willing to pay us a lot of money just to go meet with him." Rossi keyed open her comms. "One, I think I have something here you need to see..."
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