Star Wars: Double-Blind

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

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Pryde
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Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Mon May 09, 2016 9:45 pm

Kothal was a jumble of activity with beings peddling their wares in the streets. There was a young Rodian selling fruits, a pair of Ugnaughts selling droid parts and numerous other vendors lining the market. Amidst the chaos a lithe figure wearing a hooded cloak moved swiftly through the crowd. She kept her head bowed, her eyes lowered and the only thing visible under the hood of her cloak were a pair of red braids. Scarlett Onasi, one half of the famed (or infamous, depending on who you asked) Onasi Twins, made a beeline through the crowd to a cantina on the far end of the market.

She was meeting her contact there, a rather seedy fellow by the name of Ivan Akura. He was seated at a small table in the corner of the room with two Barabels standing behind him when she walked in. The large man was absorbed in his drink and only glanced up from his cup the moment he heard a chair slide out from under the table. Scarlett slid into that chair across from him and flashed him a cocky smile.

"You have it," he asked.

"Of course I do," she told him, "but you know the drill. Payment first."

The man gave her a harsh look. "Show me."

Scarlett sighed and reached into her cloak before withdrawing a small cylinder and handing it to him. Ivan took the cylinder and opened it. He slid the cigar out into his hand and quickly took a whiff of it.

"That's grade A stuff there," Scarlett assured him, "The finest Cigar you'll ever find this side of the Outer Rim."

"Good," Ivan replied after sliding the cigar back into its case and sealing it, "Now where are the rest?"

"Safe," she said, "I just need the rest of the money and the shipment's yours."

Ivan snarled at her. "What kind of game are you playing, Onasi?"

"No game, Ivan, at least not any that I'm playing."

"What are you talking about," he asked with feigned confusion.

"Come on, Ivan, Lothal? Really? Of all the safe locations to meet you bring me to a place where I have a record? So what was the plan, exactly? Get the shipment from me then turn me over to the authorities? Tsk, tsk, tsk, Ivan, that's not how this works. Now you're going to bring the payment to these coordinates," she said as she passed a datapad across the table. "Once I have what's mine I will tell you where you can find what's yours."

Ivan glared at her from across the table. "That's not the deal we had!"

Scarlett just shrugged. "Deal's changed. You can either play along or I'll just sell the shipment somewhere else."

"I have a better idea," he replied, speaking between gritted teeth, "How about I have my friends here torture you until you tell me where the shipment is?"

At this the two Barabels behind him grinned viciously and began cracking their knuckles. Scarlett looked between them and stifled the urge to swallow her nerves. Then, almost as if he was reading her mind, Ivan grinned viciously. "You really shouldn't have come alone, little girl."

Scarlett wasted no time and jumped to her feet with her hands under the table, flipping it into Ivan and his muscle. Then she quickly spun on her heel and headed for the door. She had gotten as far as the bar when a fourth man jumped out in front of her and grabbed her by the arm as she ran past. Scarlett only had seconds to react and she did so by grabbing the biggest bottle she could find on top of the bar then she spun and smashed it over the thug's head. As he collapsed she could see the Barabels behind him closing on her and she raced out the door onto the street. A pair of constables were waiting outside and as soon as one of them saw her he signaled to his buddy and they both raised their blasters.

"Frak," she cursed and she quickly ducked down a side alley as stun blasts burned into the wall behind her.

As she ran she heard her communicator buzzing so she quickly picked it up and looked at it. It was her sister and for a moment she considered not picking it up, but that moment quickly passed when she realized she was going to need help getting out of this. She thumbed the device on and held it up to her ear.

"Hey, Sis," she said between pants for air, "Where am I? Oh, you know, out for a jog."

There was more blasterfire behind her and Scarlett quietly cursed her luck. "No, no, no, that was nothing, I swear... Okay, okay, it might have been something. I might have gone to the meeting alone."

There was a moment where the commotion from the other end got so loud she had to pull the device away from her ear. In the meantime she ran down another side street and turned into an alley before ducking into a crevice. The two constables ran by followed a short time later by the Barabels and the man who had grabbed her at the bar. After they had gone Scarlett pressed the communicator back to her ear again.

"Look, I'm sorry for going alone it won't happen again and so on and so forth... Hey! I'm trying my best here," she said, "Can you yell at me about this later? Right now I could really use a pick up. Meet me by the old repair shop on the edge of town, I'll be there in ten."

Then she turned off the device and shoved it back into her pocket. She poked her head out into the alleyway and looked both ways making sure the coast was clear. Right, halfway across town with Ivan and his cronies and the law on my tail, she thought to herself, just how am I going to pull that off? Then she hurried out into the open and doubled back a bit before turning down another street towards the edge of town...

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Enriler » Wed May 11, 2016 11:51 pm

“Arrive at Kothal, runs some errands, wait for the ship to be fixed, and remain bored out of your Esne-forsaken mind.”

The man sat on the outside of the docking bay. Gwendolyn was in the ship, hopefully fixing that warp drive. And Scarlett was... wait, what was Scarlett doing again? Oh well, he didn't care right now, he just wanted to get away from Kothal.

He looked around at the various workers in the ship port, to many they would have seemed to be an unsavory crew… but to Andile Chike, they wouldn’t even be worth the spit used to christen the ground before a fight.

Andile grabbed a rag and bucket of water and started cleaning his armor. This was his peace… his meditation.

Andile had modified his old stormtrooper armor, and it no longer appeared imperial. The armor was a dark purple, with a forest green underlay.

The shoulder straps were replaced with leather.

The shoulder and chest plates had been kept, but reforged with to resemble more of a mandalorian look.

His ammo belt and drop boxes were extended to hold more munitions.

And he long ago ditched the helmet, thigh plates, and calf plates due to impairing movement and vision.

He did wear a 620 Optical-Gate with slicing availability. This little lens rested under his head like a headband, and would shift over his eye on command “Zoom620.” Of course adjusted for his voice only.

After several minutes he finished cleaning his armor, and piece by piece put it on. He felt comfortable, never wanted to be too far from his equipment.

Andile pulled Georgia off of the strap on his back. Georgia used to be an E-11 Blaster Rifle, but to call her that now would be an insult worthy of punishment by the god Esne.

No, Georgia was a one of a kind.

Her electronic scope was 1-6x24 Notsub multi-coated lens. Complete with thermal, night, and x-ray vision. Attached, as a seemingly insignificant piece on the side, was an 800 yard sonic listening device.

Andile examined, cleaned, and calibrated the scope. Smiling, he moved on to the power charge system. Equipped with three cooling cubes, Georgia was unable to overheat. She would blow apart long before overheating.

The firing capacitor was completely redone. Her firing magazine had homing devices attached, and an intricate magnetic belay set up. Every time a magazine would run out, the firing capacitor would eject the empty magazine. This magazine is programmed to return to its “home,” the rear spot on Andile’s magazine sling. Once one was ejected, Andile could either manually enter a new one, or press a homing button ejecting a fresh magazine from the top of his magazine sling and it would fly into place. This would all happen in less than a second.

Finally, came the grip and trigger. Andile had created Georgia with a special touch… specifically, his. The grip would do three things, detect Andile’s DNA to ensure he was the one with the gun, create a light suction to allow for better gripping, and also worked as a storage compartment. Currently, the compartment held a smile vile of poison, on the off chance Andile had to choose between being captured or ending his life. The trigger was a sensitive trigger. Designed specifically for the purpose of rapid fire.

She was definitely one of a kind.

Andile finished cleaning her up and slung Georgia back over his back. He started to walk away and paused. He turned back to the work bench and bent down to the side. He had almost left Belle, his blast cannon.

“Oops, don’t want you lying around. Don’t worry, I’ll clean you later tonight.”

He walked towards the ship as he heard Gwendolyn moving around back and forth.

As he approached the cockpit, he heard Gwendolyn connect the comlink to the cockpits speakers.

Scarlett’s anxious voice could be heard over the speakers as Gwendolyn looked to Andile.

“…the old repair shop on the edge of town, I'll be there in ten.”

Andile smiled while shaking his head, “So, Gwen, do you want me to bring Belle or Georgia?”

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Starlight » Thu May 12, 2016 7:57 pm

Feeling a tension headache brewing like a sullen thundercloud behind eyes the color of amazonite, Gwendolyn Onasi pinched the bridge of her nose and prayed to the gods for patience.

“So, Gwen, do you want me to bring Belle or Georgia?”

"Yes," she replied to the question, not even bothering to look up at Andile. The crewmate chuckled at that. "Both it is, then."

"C'mon. We're going to be lucky to get out of this one with all our hides intact." And with that, Gwen launched herself out of the captain's chair and headed into the main common room. Once there she tapped out a code on the security keypad of the weapon's locker and took out a pair of modified escrima sticks. She hefted one in each hand and rolled her wrists, twirling them in a smooth arc. As usual, the sticks felt light, fluid, and almost a part of her body.

"Curse you to the Outer Rim, Scarlett," she muttered to herself and holstered the weapons across her back. Though Gwen wore no cloak, she did grab a leather hood the color of fresh honey and pulled it over her pale blond hair. Into a pouch attached to a rough-hewn cloth belt at her waist she dropped the comlink, along with a few smoke bombs and other little tricks of distraction. She also grabbed another blaster and clipped it on, though it was not her preferred choice of weapon.

"Ready Andile?"

He came up next to her and nodded.

"Alright, then. Let's go save my sister's skin. Again."
My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder,
He carries me away from all my fears;
And when the world threatens to fall asunder,
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
~Bonnie Lewis

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Thu May 12, 2016 9:30 pm

"Was that a left, or a right? Or maybe it was over there," Scarlett said to herself as she skidded to a halt at a street corner glancing in both directions. She was almost, probably a hundred percent certain she was going the right way. Only it had just occurred to her she hadn't been to this city in a very long time. "Maybe it was a left back there," she said again, turning back around the way she had come. "Or, it could have been a right, but I'm almost positive it's a left."

Then she let out a long heavy sigh. "I really should have brought a map."

"You lost, little girl," a voice said from behind her and Scarlett rolled her eyes.

"Ivan," she said turning back to look at him, "I'm so glad to see you!"

"Somehow I highly doubt that."

He held a blaster in his hand and right now he had it leveled at her. Only one of the Barabels was with him this time the others, she imagined, were still scouring the city for her.

"How could you say that, Ivan, you know you're my favorite business partner. I'll even cut you a deal! Pay me what you owe me now aaand I won't have my sister rearrange your face. It's really the best offer you're going to get, you should probably consider taking it."

"Even by yourself and completely outmatched you're overconfident. It must be nice living in that little, deluded world of yours."

He and the Barabel began moving closer to her so she started to back up, moving just fast enough to keep pace with them. "Well, you know there are a few drawbacks. We don't get all the sports channels."

As she backed up her eyes raced back and forth looking for anything she might use as a weapon but finding none. "You're not going to shoot me, Ivan, I still have your shipment. Those cigars are worth more to you than killing me."

"Oh, the killing will come after, trust me," he said then he gestured towards her with a nod of his head and looked at the Barabel, "Grab her."

The Barabel surged forward and reached out for her. Scarlett ducked under his grasp then landed a solid kick to the lizard's groin. The Barabel barely even reacted to the hit at all and Scarlett just stood there with a stunned look on her face. "Huh? That usually works."

She quickly backed up as the lizard-like creature moved to try and grab her again but this time Scarlett's gaze had gone past him and Ivan and suddenly she had a very relieved look on her face. "Oh thank god, you guys finally made it," she cried.

Both Ivan and the Barabel turned to look over their shoulders and saw nothing but a sparsely populated street. When they turned back around Scarlett was already halfway down the street and running as fast as her feet would carry her. Ivan raised his blaster and fired a few shots but Scarlett had made it far enough to duck down another street out of sight. The sounds of the shots sparked cries of alarm and the few people on the street began running in all directions.

"It was definitely a left," she said as she ran, dodging frightened citizens and pushing her way through small crowds...

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Fri May 13, 2016 3:33 pm

"Here, let me see your hand." Sabin Gervall held out his hand to the young woman in front of him, who foolishly smiled and put her hand into his.

Sabin smiled, a gesture that seemed at least passably sincere, but was a completely contrived front for the small pang of depression he felt at what was coming next. It was not that he had a moral objections to the course of actions that had, and was going to happen, since he was the one who set that course in motion. It wasn't even a sympathetic depression for what was going to happen to the girl, since it was her own overconfidence and naivety that had landed her in the position she was now in and he knew that his intentions for her would lead to no lasting harm.

No, it was something much deeper and more philosophical that triggered his depression, but also perhaps more juvenile. He was doing this because he had to, and if there was one thing in the universe Sabin hated more than anything, it was doing things because he had to.

"Okay, now pay attention." Sabin produced a small vial of a gold colored liquid and showed it to the girl. He didn't know what species she was, but she was pretty, with ebony skin, midnight blue hair and eyes the color of chipped diamonds. Every time she smiled, she revealed sharp, predatory teeth that completely contrasted with her prey-like body language. Sabin couldn't help but wonder how a girl like this ended up in this trashy dump of a cantina, since she was obviously of a higher pedigree than the other denizens around.

"This substance is called mazzole oil. It works very similarly on almost every mammalian creature. The dosage differs based on weight, but as a rule of thumb, it only takes two drops for the oil to begin disrupting nerve signals and produce one of the most euphoric highs you can imagine. Four drops can cause temporary paralysis. Eight drops can cause a coma. And about sixteen drops can cause death before you can even open your mouth to complain that you can't feel your legs."

Now her eyes widened, the smile fading from her lips. She glanced down at her hand, which was trapped by his. If he had any bad intentions for her, it was far too late now.

"You're more on the petite side. I'm thinking one drop will be all that's needed. What do you say?" He opened the vial, pulling out a small dropper from inside. "Don't worry, you'll love this." He didn't wait, but squeezed the dropper on to the back of her hand, right above the vein.

Four drops came out.

She tried to pull her hand back, but he maintained his hold on her. "Hold still. I don't want you to hurt yourself."

It took only about three seconds for the effects to hit her, which was faster than she could think to make any escape plans, or even come up with words to complain. She slumped forward on to the table, making little incoherent sounds even as her eyes glazed over in euphoria.

Sabin didn't waste a second. He reached over, grabbed the small clutch purse the woman had and emptied it of credits. As he had previously seen, it was rather loaded. He took a moment to remove a fancy bracelet from her, and shoved his haul into a small side pouch before standing up.

The bartender was watching him closely, but didn't say anything. Sabin got the impression that even if the bartender didn't care much about the girl or if she got robbed, he probably would have drawn the line at abduction in his establishment. Which was fine with Sabin, his interest was strictly monetary.

"My tuition for her education on who not to trust." Sabin said to the bartender, who shrugged, unimpressed. Sabin dropped a few of his new found coins on the bar. "She'll be alright in an hour our two. Keep an eye on her, will ya, help her get out of here in one piece."

The bartender grunted, but pocketed the money. Good enough.

Stepping out of the cantina into a back alleyway, Sabin sighed lightly. Robbing girls was such a trivial use of his training and education it was almost scornful. Yet he was out of money and she was an easy target, so he could hardly fault himself for taking the opportunity that presented itself.

I need to get off this rock. There's nothing here for me, and sitting around longer is not going to change that.

The money he had gained would help. Another few marks and he'd probably have enough for passage off Lothal, to somewhere at least closer to civilization.

Immersed in his thoughts, he was uncharacteristically inattentive to his surroundings, hardly even noticing the commotion down the alleyway until the pangs of blaster fire echoed down the alleyway.

Mentally kicking himself for his lack of preparation, Sabin pushed forward, seeking cover in an alcove across the alleyway. Unfortunately, his path crossed directly with a fleeing woman, and they collided heavily. By reflex, Sabin caught the girl's right wrist; if she had been going for a weapon or attempting a lift on him, his reflex would have served him well. In this case, however, with his forward momentum being slightly higher than hers, his grip on her only managed to pull her with him into the alcove.

There was a brief moment of surprise as they were both pressed in the deep alcove for cover, Sabin's brain catching up with what was happening. The blaster fire had stopped. This woman, with her fiery red hair and cloak, was winded, and had obviously been running hard. Whoever was doing the chasing was after this girl. Which he had just inadvertently rescued. And given the indiscriminate fire he was hearing down the way, he didn't expect the pursuers were the reward-for-helping type.

Nothing like accidentally getting involved in local matters.

He gave her a once up and down. She didn't look especially rich, but maybe she still had something to offer for his help. Well, if there was one thing Sabin could do well, it was improvise. "Keep your head down." It was pointless advice, but it at least created the impression his actions were a lot more deliberate than was the case.

Reaching into his overcoat, Sabin pulled out a small pistol loaded with chemical projectiles. The projectiles were designed to pierce the skin and deposit their payload into the bloodstream of the victim. It wouldn't be as effective if the pursuers were wearing armor, but.. one step at a time.

"I'm not about to shoot at some law enforcement officers, am I? Because if I'm getting myself in legal trouble, I really want to know before hand."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Fri May 13, 2016 4:19 pm

"I'm not going to lie to you," Scarlett said between gasps for air, "the cops may be involved."

She tried to poke her head out into the alleyway real quick but a salvo of blasterfire forced her to duck back into cover. "But," she said as they were once again pressed awkwardly against each other in the small space, "these guys aren't cops. Funny story, the ugly one's my buyer and I'm not talking about the lizard."

More blasterfire burned into the walls around them as Ivan and his companion closed in. Rather than let them get closer Scarlett decided to be proactive and drew her own blaster, firing it blindly around the corner and forcing them to take cover. There was a short moment of silence in which Scarlett imagined Ivan was trying to figure out where the rest of his muscle was and then finally the backstabbing gangster called out to her.

"Don't make this anymore difficult than it has to be, Onasi," he shouted, "Just tell me where my shipment is and I'll let you go!"

"If," Scarlett called back to him, "and I mean if--I believed you I still wouldn't tell you where the shipment is because that's not how I do business, Ivan! I do a job and I get paid for it, you're the one who's making this difficult!"

"This could have been easier for you, you know? All you had to do was hand over the shipment then walk out into the waiting arms of Constable Gallis! A few years behind bars would have been a lot better than what you're going to get now!"

Scarlett glanced over at the stranger who had saved her. "That's not true, by the way. I've seen the prisons here, the food is terrible." She made a gag sound with her finger in her throat. Then she turned back to the alleyway and called out to Ivan again. "So why the sudden change of heart, Ivan? We've worked together before why stab me in the back now?"

"Because you're cocky and you're arrogant, Onasi, and I don't like that! Can't have someone beneath me going around thinking they're better than me! I run a business here! You're just a gopher!"

"A gopher with a really big gun and a lot of friends, Ivan!" Then she thought about that, "Okay, maybe just two friends... And since we're on the subject my gun's not really all that big it's about average! Anyway, my point is that it's not the size--," she was interrupted suddenly when Sabin nudged her roughly in the arm. "Right, rambling," she said quietly. Then she leaned over slightly and glanced further down the alleyway. There was a dumpster up against the wall several meters south of their position but in order to get to it they would have to run out into the open where they would most likely get shot.

"Okay, I have a plan... I think, but first are you any good with that," she gestured to his pistol and he gave her a look, "Right, anyway they don't know there's two of us so I'll lay down some cover fire for you and you run over to that dumpster over there and cover me, got it?"

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Fri May 13, 2016 6:11 pm

Sabin took the time to gave the woman a sidelong glance. "As much as I enjoy your plan whereby I run into their line of fire for your distraction, I believe you may have me confused with a someone who is suicidal. Or someone who works for free."

There was money to be had here, alright, but it wasn't in her hands. Just listening to the exchange between this woman, Onasi she had been called, and her buyer Ivan, told him enough to know that Ivan wasn't big on splitting profits either.

"To answer your question, yes, I can use this pistol just fine. If you're never heard of the Dendriech Alchemist Society, they are an order of assassins for hire, and I am a member. I can help you, but I want a cut if I do."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Fri May 13, 2016 7:21 pm

"Uh, yeah," Scarlett replied cautiously, "Tell you what, you sit on that for a minute and I'll be right back."

She leaned out into the open to make a break for the dumpster but a hail of blasterfire forced her back into cover again. Leaning back as far as she could her eyes trailed upward towards the sky as she quietly cursed under her breath. Finally she looked back at Sabin. "Okay, I've reconsidered and hypothetically I may hire you."

More blasterfire rained in and just to be safe Scarlett returned fire just long enough to force Ivan and his friend to keep their heads down. "It's just the 'assassin' thing I have an issue with. First of all, who admits to being an assassin? Secondly, I do work for hire but I don't do that kind of work for hire."

She fired a few more shots to offer some more encouragement for Ivan to keep his head down. "Thirdly, how do I know I can trust you not to kill me? And fourthly, I would very much like to continue this conversation with you before I decide to hire you but the constables are going to be here like--now, so we need to go. In the interest of keeping my pretty head out of prison and on my shoulders you have yourself a deal. So, what's your plan?"

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Fri May 13, 2016 8:15 pm

Sabin managed a smile in her direction. "First, it's long story. Second, since you just shot blindly around the corner with a lethal weapon, you're obviously willing to kill someone so the rest is just semantics, third, you can trust me for the same reason you can trust any other stranger: I have no motivation to kill you, and fourth, I agree."

He reached into his jacket and came back with a thick disc shaped piece of metal. "As far as a plan, it's lady's choice. Plan A is to throw this concussion distraction device. While they're reeling from the blast, you run. Once they chase, I pick them off easily from behind since they don't really know I'm part of this fight yet. This is dangerous for you, but if you're the double cross type, this is also your best bet to welsh on the deal. Plan B is throw the Distraction Device, we both run out there and hope that we're better shots then they are after they've been slightly concussed. Dangerous for both of us, but we get to split the danger and it's a bit more head on. By the way, the name's Sabin. Choose quick."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Fri May 13, 2016 9:19 pm

"Hmm, those are both really good choices, but I'd rather go with option three. We throw the device and then run," she said.

Sabin gave her a look that clearly suggested he didn't agree with her plan. "You know that gets us killed, right?"

Scarlett fired off two more shots then turned to look at him. "Look, as much as I would like to shoot Ivan right now he's sort of my employer and he owes me money. One way or another he's going to pay for that shipment but I'm not going to build a reputation upon killing my employers. It's bad for business."

Sabin didn't seem convinced but before he could say anything Scarlett interrupted him. "A contracts a contract, Sabin. If you wanna fly with my crew that's the way it is. So we gotta do this without killing Ivan," then she stole a quick peek around the corner at the lizardman, "The Barabel, though, I'm not so concerned about."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Enriler » Sun May 22, 2016 8:19 am

Andile and Gwen rushed to the old repair shop. When they arrived, it was calm. They slowly walked around the shop, looking for any signs of Scarlett. Andile walked over to a broken droid and bent over to look at it while he heard Gwen behind him.

“Scarlett,” Gwen sounded worried, “Your not here, where are you?”

Andile stood up and looked at Gwen, there was no response. Andile held his finger up to his ear and stared at Gwen. She started to speak but he stopped her, holding up his other hand.

“They’re East of us.” Andile side and started running towards exit.

“How do—” She was interrupted.

“Gunfire.” Andile said while picking up speed.

Gwen ran behind Andile as they made their way through a crowded street and then through a series of alleys.

As they ran, the gunfire grew in noise.

*** *** ***

Scarlett grabbed the concussion device from Sabin and tossed it towards Ivan. After it went off, they could hear Ivan and the Barabel cursing loudly.

“Now.”

Without giving him time to respond, Scarlett started running. Sabin followed in close pursuit. As they turned a corner, a Barabel and five officers stood in their path.

The Barabel snorted and pointed to Scarlett. The officers slowly stepped forward.

“ma’am, we need to you to come with us.” One of the officers said, putting his hand on his blaster as he looked up and down the two standing in front of him.

A second officer stepped forward holding open stun cuffs in front of him, “Put down your blaster and this will be easy.

Sabin shifted, eyeing the Barabel.

The Barabel pulled out a crossbow and aimed it at Scarlett. There was no time to react, the sudden movement from the Barabel caught Sabin and Scarlett off guard. The Barabel was done waiting in this standoff, he sought to end it immediately.

As he raised the crossbow, he pulled it to a chest high position. He was unwilling to take the time use the crosshairs. The movement quick and exacting, as he pulled on the trigger, Scarlett knew this would be the last thing she would see.

Scarlett heard a shot ring off, the momentum of everything caused her to close her eyes and turn her head away.

A moment passed as she breathed heavily. There was feeling of, is this it. Is this what death feels like? But she waited. Nothing felt different, she wasn’t in pain.

She opened her eyes as another shot went off.

The crossbow had been shot out of the Barabel’s hands. And the second shot connected with the neck of the Barabel.

Over her communicator Scarlett heard Andile’s voice, “Georgia says you need tell her thanks next time you see her.” He chuckled to himself.

Before she could react, Sabin grabbed her and pulled her in the opposite direction. They ran around a building and saw a Rodian. The Rodian saw them, looked down at a holopad that had a picture of Scarlett, and then back up.

Before he could pull his blaster pistol, Sabin shot two poisoned rounds into his neck.

He looked at Scarlett and shrugged, “That wasn’t Ivan.”

They continued down a series of alleys when they found themselves cornered between two merging buildings.

“Frak,” They both said, almost in unison.

As they stopped, they heard the steps of several men running towards them. Sabin took a moment to look at the blade attached to his left forearm, he breathed in deeply and held up mech pistol. Scarlett, aimed at the entrance to their location, and shakily held up her blaster.

Here they would either give in to the officers, and risk execution. Or fight to stay alive for a few moments longer.

The steps drew closer.

Then Sabin and Scarlett heard screams and the sounds of bodies falling to the floor. A few blaster shots went off, but following this was silence.

Sabin looked at Scarlett who slowly had a smile cross her face.

Gwen stepped around the corner, her escrima sticks in hand. “I heard you needed some reinforcement.”

Scarlett took a couple steps towards her and gave her a hug. “There’s more, and apparently they have the police and bounty hunters searching for us.”

Gwen looked back towards the men she just defeated, “There’s a few less officers on our tail. Who’s this guy.” She said, pointing one of her escrima sticks towards Sabin.

“A gun for hire,” Sabin said with a nod towards Gwen. He started to say something else when Scarlett interrupted.

“And I hired him, come on. Let’s get going.” She said, pulling Gwen’s arm to get moving.

The three began snuck behind a couple buildings. It appeared that many of the streets had cleared because of the commotion, but in the place of citizens were dozens of armed guards.

Ivan had called in backup, and no doubt was offered a pretty bounty at the possibility of catching the notorious Scarlett.

The three continued moving towards the ship when they came across a patrol.

“It’s them,” one of the guards said, “fire.”

Gwen threw down a smoke bomb and filled the air. By instinct, Gwen rolled towards a fruit crate. She saw the advantage in the fight, knowing that she was a step from an alley and that the steel fruit crate was both mobile and would protect from blaster bolts.

Sabin, seeing a similar advantage shuffled in the same direction, pulling up next to Gwen and nodding to her as the smoke began to clear.

Scarlett went in the other direction. There was a crate next to a wall, providing no tactical advantage, but it was closer. As the smoke cleared, Scarlett was on the other side of the street from Sabin and Gwen.

Gwen looked at her, brows dropping with anxiety. She spoke into the communicator. “Don’t worry, we’ll stay right here.”

Sabin looked at Gwen and peeked around the cart at the oncoming patrol. With blaster bolts firing all around, they would not be able to reach Scarlett.

“I’m sorry,” Sabin said. He pushed the cart towards the patrol and jumped into the alleyway grabbing Gwen with him.

Gwen pushed Sabin off of herself and quickly jumped to her feet, “Fraken gun-for-hire.”

“We’re pinned, let’s move to a better location.” Sabin grabbed Gwen’s arm and began running, not giving her much option of an option.

On the street, Scarlett was breathing hard, scared to look up above the crate.

“I got you,” Andile’s voice came over the communicator. “There is an opening towards the street just 12 feet south of you. I need you to run there on go.”

Scarlett knew she had one chance to get this right. The dust was kicking up all around her as the blaster bolts flew by, and she was unable to see the opening herself. But she trusted Andile. She readied herself to a running position.

“3…” Andile’s voice came over the communicator. If any gun was going to provide the right amount of cover fire, it would be Georgia.

“2…” She steadied herself, trying to focus on where she believed the opening was.

“1…” She closed her eyes, the second seemed to last for an entire cycle around the sun.

“Go.”

Scarlett heard the rifle shots above her, spraying quickly all around. She took several steps and saw the small passage way between buildings. She squeezed her way in. It was a tight squeeze, so she was unable to run, but she slowly inched her way to the other side of the building.

As she pulled out, a guard from the patrol saw her from the other side but was shot by Andile.

She smiled and began running. She ducked away for a moment and waited as another patrol came jogging by.

Not sure how to get out of the situation, she took a deep breath and examined her surroundings.

Okay, so she wasn’t far from the repair shop actually. Maybe Andile could meet her.

“Any chance you want to make it back to the repair shop,” Scarlett said, checking the charge on her blaster. It was running low.

“On my way,” Andile responded. “Take your time, there are plenty of patrols searching for you.”

Scarlett waited for the next patrol to go by and took off in one direction. It was slow moving, she would get about twenty yards, then have to duck for several minutes.

She was close to the shop, so she decided to make a run for it. She turned a corner and ran directly into Ivan, who grabbed her by the hand.

“The little gopher came right to me,” Ivan laughed, lifting Scarlett off the ground.

*** *** ***

Andile finished taking out the last of the patrol that was directly on her tail. He saw one of them moving around, beginning to stand.

“Unnecessary stun shots.” He muttered to himself. But, if Gwen wanted him to not kill any local officers, then that’s what he was going to do. The Barabel had to die though, stuns don’t take them out easily.

Andile new he wasn’t far from the repair shop so he slung Georgia onto his back and pulled out Belle.

“Okay Belle, get me there in once piece and I’ll buy you dinner.” He kissed the barrel and began jumping across the rooftops.

Lucky for him, the patrols were searching for the grounds. He heard a whizzing and buzz behind him.

Unlucky for him, drones were scanning the rooftops. As soon as he turned, one shot of Belle took out the entire left side of the flying drone. Another shot knocked it to the ground.

“Thanks, Belle.”

He jumped along a few more rooftops when he saw the repair shop. He slid down the side of a building and caught himself.

Maybe this trip wouldn’t be too difficult for him.

He turned the corner and realized he had spoken to soon.

In front of him was Ivan, a Barabel, a Rodian, and two other armed personal. Their back was to him, so Andile was going to just slip away as Scarlett bumped into Ivan.

“The little gopher came right to me,” Ivan said while laughing.

Scarlett struggled for a while, then just hung from his hands.

“Do you finally give up? Ha.” He bellowed, “I’ve never known you to end on a sour note. Where’s your help? Where is your luck now?” Ivan pulling Scarlett close and looking into her eyes.

Scarlett looked past Ivan and saw Andile slowly walking up with his shotgun raised.

“Well, it’s about time!” She said, breathing a sigh of relief.

“Yeah, like I’m falling for that again.” Ivan said.

A blast went off, followed shortly by another, then a third and forth. Ivan turned around with Scarlett still in his hands.

The men around him seemed to hold in place for a moment, and as if it was an entertainment hologram, all fell at the same time.

“Fall for what?” Andile said, aiming Belle directly at his gut.

“I’m sorry! I’ll pay you! Just let me live.” Ivan dropped Scarlett who moved next to Andile.

“This isn't an execution, Ivan, it's a business deal. I did a job for you and now you owe me money,” Scarlett said.

“Here take it, take it all.” Ivan said, tossing his datapad to Scarlett.

Scarlett picked up the datapad and started a transfer of funds from Ivan's account into hers. Once she had the amount they had initially agreed upon she typed in the coordinates of the buried shipment and tossed the datapad back to Ivan. "Let's go," she said to Andile before turning her back on Ivan and walking away.

Andile looked at Ivan. “Sorry, but you can’t just walk away and let the patrols know where we are.” Andile said. He turned Belle around and butted Ivan in the face, causing him to fall to the ground unconscious.

“We’re okay.” Andile said over the communicator, “We’ll meet you at the repair shop.”

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Tue May 24, 2016 10:28 am

Sabin was busy suppressing a slight scowl of irritation as the business with Ivan reached its conclusion. Historically, he was an assassin, one who preferred to conduct the business of violence with a feather light hand and a subtle touch. These sorts of blaster fights in the light of day involving professional security or police forces were clumsy at best and near vulgar at worst. Still, Sabin had to admit that his financial situation was not the brightest it had been, so he was in no position to take the philosophical high ground on this one.

"Well Scarlett, looks like you got your money. We never did have a chance to discuss my fee, but now seems like a good time to have that talk, then I suppose it will be time to part ways."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Tue May 24, 2016 10:41 am

"Oh you're right," Scarlett replied, feigning surprise, "I guess we haven't talked about your fee yet, have we?"

She reached into her pocket and pulled out a single cred chit then handed to him. Sabin looked at the chit like she had just stabbed him in the back. "What the hell is this," he demanded.

"You're payment," she said sweetly with a broad smile on her face.

"I was expecting a bit more than a single credit."

"Really?" Scarlett seemed shocked by that, "I seemed to remember the only thing you mentioned was that you don't work for free. You never really did say for how much."

Sabin opened his mouth to respond to that but Scarlett quickly cut him off. "Tell you what, you can take your single credit and we can part ways and never see each other again or you can come work for me. I'll offer you the same percentage I offer my crew and a room aboard my ship."

"Ahem," Gwen cleared her throat and Scarlett winced.

"I mean our ship," she corrected herself, "Anyway, whaddya say?"

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Enriler » Tue May 24, 2016 10:55 am

Andile shifted, looking between Sabin and Scarlett. He slowly adjusted Belle so that she would act as a quick draw.

Money was never an easy subject, but Andile felt like Scarlett was cornering Sabin. And when considering someone willing to fight for money, it is a rare occurrence when they treat being cornered as a good thing.

Andile watched Sabin's eyes... and as they remained steady looking towards Scarlett, he saw a slight twitch of his hand near his blaster.

Andile stayed calm, but was prepared for whatever would happen next.

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Tue May 24, 2016 12:17 pm

Sabin eyed her for a long moment, lips pressed together in thought and concentration. As both an exercise of practice and a cathartic form of stress release, he indulged himself in wargaming his attack plan.

I feign drawing my blaster, that would probably set off the high strung follow standing to the side. As they are both focusing on the blaster, neither of them would be likely to see the blade drawn from the forearm sheath coming. Close the distance with Scarlet, quick stab to puncture a lung and slow her down, dodge to the side put her between me and Twitchy, and before he can decide whether he wants to shoot through her to get me, draw and shoot him, then finish her off.

The plan may or may not have worked in reality. But in his head, it was a beautiful moment. A small smile crept across his face.

"I find it interesting that you wish to start a working relationship with someone on the basis of either the insult that their services are worth only a credit, or the coercion of withholding payment for a job already done. But I suppose I have seen worse offers in my time. Why don't you tell me a little more about what it is you do. It might be worth taking the one credit, the insult, and walking away."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Tue May 24, 2016 12:42 pm

"That's easy enough, I'm a freighter captain. I freight things," she said, "and let's not forget who tried to coerce a deal out of me in the middle of a fire fight first. I think this makes us even. You stick around, though, and you'll get your fair share. I'm not gonna promise that all of our jobs will be this--interesting, though."

"But," she added, offering him the chit again, "if you'd rather take your chit and go I'll be sad to see you leave. You really helped me out back there, just trying to return the favor."

He gave her an inquisitive look so she elaborated. "Only one kind of person tries to cut a deal in the middle of a desperate situation. Someone who's strapped for cash. Can't say you'll make much more working for me but that has to be better than sticking around here."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Tue May 24, 2016 2:27 pm

Sabin gave that a moment of thought. She had some points, especially about his financial situation. Money might not have been the prime motivator of his life, but it hardly mattered if he couldn't even afford to buy passage off the rock he was on.

"Alright, I think we have a deal for now, with one caveat." Scarlett gave him a significant look, bidding him to continue, so he did. "I do some research in my spare time which involves some traveling to odd corners of planets. It shouldn't be anything that interferes with your work, but I might need to spend some extra time on some of the planets we visit, provided there is time. As long as that's not unmanageable to you, I'm in."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Tue May 24, 2016 6:24 pm

Scarlett found the vagueness about his 'research' interesting but she made it a point not to ask questions. Being out here, doing the work she does, it meant working with some rather unsavory types and making deals with people whose word weren't worth the paper it was printed on. Still, there was something about him.

"I think I can work with that," she said, "Now I think we've worn out our welcome here. Let's get back to the ship. Tell me you parked close."

She glanced over at Andile who nodded and pointed. "Down this way," he said.

He led the way and Scarlett fell in step with her sister. "Hey, Sis, do me a favor. If I decide to take another job from Crazy Ivan talk me out of it."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Wed May 25, 2016 8:07 pm

"I will meet you at your ship, after I have collected my personal affects." Sabin told them as the assembled members of the crew started down an alleyway. "I'm not far from here, so I will be back in other ten minutes. I assume you're berthed down this way, somewhere in the old warehouses?"

He got a nod from Scarlett which seemed to imply that the ship would not wait long for him, given their current legal status. Without another word, Sabin turned, heading down a side street.

The flop house he had been calling home was about two blocks away. It was a dirt cheap set of short term living units that took the term "dirt cheap" to be more of a goal than a description. Still, it was economical, and it was the sort of place where neighbors didn't get into each others' business. It had suited Sabin well enough.

He stopped at his front door, checking the two or three tamper seals he left on the door to make sure it hadn't been opened, then made his way in.

While the outside of the living units were painted a drab brown by untold layers of dirt and grime, the interior of Sabin's unit was immaculately clean and organized. All of his possessions were organized in fold open cases which could be quickly closed and removed for quick exits. Not always the most convenient way to live, but when one's livelihood was the dealing of death, one had to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.

It took two minutes for Sabin to pack up his belongings into their respective cases and put all of the cases into an oversized backpack. Throwing the key onto the floor, he turned and left the unit.

Only to find his way blocked by a portly Gotal wearing what looked like an entire thrift store on her person.

"Going somewhere, Sabin?" The Gotal, Meriedez, was the proprietor of the the living units, and carried a small blaster on her hip, which she was not afraid to use on miscreants and delinquents alike. Her voice came through a translator box she wore amid the collection of shabby clothing.

"Yeah, just on my way out, Meri. Sorry, I guess I owe you about two months rent now. I might have to give you an IOU on that one."

"I know men, Sabin. Bad men. Bad men who do bad things to people who don't pay me." Meri hissed. The translator box did it's best to convey the emotion behind the words, but somehow just came across as slightly more comical than menacing.

Sabin just gave her a smile. "You're not as rough as you pretend, Meri. I am sorry I don't have your money, but we're hardly talking about a fortune here. Next time I pass this way, I'll make sure you get your 200 credits."

Meri's hand went down to rest on her blaster. For a moment, the two locked eyes, seeing if the other would back down.

Finally, Meri just sighed pointedly. "It is a good thing I like you, Sabin. And I guess you were a pretty good tenant other than these last few months of not paying. Otherwise... I'd shoot you in the leg just on principle. Now get out of here so I can rent this place out to someone who isn't a deadbeat panhandler."

Sabin gave her a pat on the shoulder. "You're good people, Meri. You won't have to worry about me panhandling or being a deadbeat around here any more."

Stepping past her, Sabin left without looking back.

He moved as quick as he could through the streets towards where the ship was touched down amongst the warehouses until finally he found the vessel.

"Oh..." He said as approached Scarlet and the others around the base of the ship. "I feel like I should apologize. I didn't realize when you offered me the one credit that it was apparently such a huge portion of your resources. Having looked at your ship though, I now see the error of my ways."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Wed May 25, 2016 10:50 pm

Scarlett gave him a look. "She's Corellian made, Sabin. We Corellians know our ships. She'll give you better than she's got and more, trust me."

As soon as she had said that a gasket blew on the outside of the ship and an eruption of steam exploded from the hull. Scarlett continued to lock eyes with Sabin and didn't move and when she spoke again her tone was flat. "Andile, patch that up for me, please."

"Captain, I don't think--," he started but Scarlett interrupted him.

"Never mind, I'll get it," she replied then she grabbed a nearby wrench and stepped past Andile and her sister. "You show Sabin to his room and, Gwen, go warm up the ship," she said as she passed.

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Starlight » Thu May 26, 2016 7:10 am

Scarlett didn't make it two steps before Gwen neatly caught her by the earlobe and pulled her back.

"Let Andile handle the wrenches. You and I need to talk."

Gwen's blue eyes narrowed to icy shard as she slanted a look over at the man her sister had rashly employed. "Bring your things aboard, we will show you to your quarters and explain a few rules aboard our ship." Only when she was certain Scarlett wouldn't try to skip out again did Gwendolyn release her sister's ear. The blonde woman huffed out a long-suffering sigh and resisted the urge to rub the headache still brewing in her forehead. Looking after Scarlett was a full-time job with hazard pay.

Leading the two of them up the loading ramp, she slid one escrima home in the leather-bound, X-shaped sheath strapped across her back. With the other still in hand, Gwen pointed. "Galley is that way." To the other direction, "your room is that way. Meals are communal, simple, and usually served on time. We all take turns cooking and washing up. Duties are on that screen over there, I'll get your name added to the roster." She arched an eyebrow at Sabin. "We'll leave you to get settled. Buckle up soon because we'll be out of here as soon as Andile is finished."

With that, she firmly took hold of Scarlett's elbow and pulled her into the cockpit, where they could have at least the semblance of privacy.

"What in the Emperor's Bones did you think you were doing, Scarlett?" Gwen threw up her hands in exasperation. "I don't know which is worse. You going off on a hair-brained escapade to pull this smuggling deal off on your own, or hiring an assassin!" If there had been room, she would have started pacing. As it was, she yanked back her hood and fisted hands on her hips. At the moment, Gwen resembled a very irate pixie. "Explain, sis. Now."
My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder,
He carries me away from all my fears;
And when the world threatens to fall asunder,
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Thu May 26, 2016 9:24 am

"Well," she began carefully while rubbing her ear with one hand, "Sabin did say that was a very long story and I didn't think we had time to listen to it on the street, sooo...," she caught the look on Gwen's face then winced. "Alright, no jokes," she finished sheepishly.

She took a deep breath then let it out just as slowly. "Back then, in that alley Sabin grabbed me by the wrist, pulled me into that little alcove and could have very well saved my life and that was before he knew there was a payment in it. Now I don't know if it was reflex or what but I've seen most people in this galaxy, Gwen. When blaster bolts start flying most people either duck or run, not a one of them would try to save your life. So maybe it was rash, maybe not, either way I have a feeling about him."

"And the escapade," Gwen pushed.

Scarlett scratched the back of her head reluctantly. "That's a bit harder to explain."

"Do try."

Another sigh and Scarlett lowered her hand back to her side. "I knew Ivan was going to try something when he told us to meet him here. Now I'm the one who took the job from him and I did it without consulting either of you, so I figured if Ivan is plotting something then the only one who needs to be in danger is me. I didn't want you guys getting nabbed by the feds on account of my stupid mistake."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Enriler » Thu May 26, 2016 10:34 am

"The piece of rubble you call a ship is ready." Andile said as he turned the corner walking in on Gwen and Scarlett.

The sisters were standing a few feet apart. Scarlett's feet were scattered, and she was leaning on her back leg. The confident Scarlett only did this when she was in trouble. Across from her, Gwen was still holding one of her escrima sticks, and she was gripping it hard in her hands.

"Oh, I'm sorry." He said, starting to duck back out of the room.

"Wait." Gwen said, pointing her stick towards Andile, "Aren't you upset?"

Andile turned around slowly. He first looked at Gwen, who was taking in deep breaths. Presumably to stop herself from non-stop yelling at Scarlett. He took a step towards Scarlett who looked down towards the ground.

"Look at me... please." Andile said, the word please rarely uttered from his lips.

Scarlett slowly looked up. Andile saw her, still leaning on her back leg.

"Stand up straight." He said. Scarlett shifted a moment, then stood tall. Andile looked to Gwen and smirked. He then stepped between Gwen and Scarlett.

"Gwen," He said, "I don't see the problem... because-" Andile then turned around and looked to Scarlett. "Scarlett, you made a foolish decision. You put yourself in danger." He then walked around her, almost as if she was a cadet in the imperial army. "But you are able to stand tall. And someone who felt shame in their decision would not be able to do so around me."

He continued circling Scarlett for almost a minute. Silence filled the air, but the tension was deafening.

"Scarlett, lift your head high. Talk things out with your sister." He smiled and started walking out of the room, "I have a date with Belle. I told her earlier today I'd get her cleaned up. And she saved your life, so she deserves it."

Andile walked out of the room and into his quarters.

He set Belle on a workbench, and spent several minutes taking her apart. He grabbed some oil, water, several rags, and his glasses.

Within the hour, Belle would be in top condition. By then, he hoped the girls would have worked out their sisterly debate... and if he was lucky, one of them would make the dinner. His hunger was beginning to get to him.

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Thu May 26, 2016 11:55 am

"How long have we been flying with him now," Scarlett asked in an off-handed manner. "I don't feel shame at a lot of my decisions, even the stupid ones." Then she thought about that a moment. "No, wait. Especially the stupid ones."

She gave her sister a meaningful look, one tinged with a hint of worry. "Are we okay, Gwen?"

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Thu May 26, 2016 7:22 pm

Sabin stepped into the quarters that had been designated his, shutting the door without further comment or conversation. The current crew apparently had enough bickering to do on their own without his input into things, or without even the courtesy of introductions.

Once the door was shut with the privacy lock engaged, Sabin exhaled a small sigh of exasperation. Maybe this hadn't been the best idea, throwing his lot in with this bunch. They hardly qualified as consummate professionals, if his brief glimpse into their life was anything to go by. Still, if they would let him live here rent free, he could pursue his research easily enough without hindrance, and that's what really mattered.

Taking the pack off of his back, he opened it, and began removing his cases, setting them up around the room as was convenient. One case for his clothes, two or three pairs of shirts and pants, which all looked remarkably similar. That case went in the small wall closet.

Then there was a case with toiletries. He left that one by the door, since this ship was small enough to have only communal refreshers.

The largest case went on the desk area. This was his most important possession.

He opened the case, revealing rows and stacks of tiny vials filled with poisons, venoms, and other chemical reagents. There was a scientific grade chemical analyzer which he used in his studies.

Then there was a leather bound volume chocked full of hand written notes. This was his opus, his ongoing life's work. This would be his contribution to the Dendriech Alchemist Society, one that would elevate him from assassin scribe, to assassin scholar.

He let his fingers brush down the well worn leather of the book before setting it aside. There was much work to be done on the subject, but one did not complete a lifetime of work quickly.

The lithe man stripped out of his long Alchemist coat and shirt, hanging both up to air out, took off his holster belt, but left his blade on his arm. An Alchemist would sooner be caught dead than bladeless. His hand subconsciously drifted to his side, where there were a dozen or so tiny little scars on his side, each a small gash that had been purposely made on his body. They were his failures, marked on his body by the Society so that he would never forget the times his skills had not be sufficient to see him through his training or missions. Granted, he had many more successes to his name, but the Society did not mark successes, only failures.

After briefly running through the words of his Rite of Reflection, resolving himself not to accumulate more failures and to ensure his training was always sufficient, Sabin sat down on the bunk, pulling his journal off of the desk as well as an antiquated ink pen. Opening to the first empty page, he began to write.

Attempted use of Mazzole oil on unknown humanoid female. Doseage: 4 drops. Results: near instant unconsciousness. Unable to observe any long term results. Neural incapacitation started in extremities...

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Starlight » Thu May 26, 2016 7:53 pm

Gwen held onto her exasperation a moment longer, the hard line of her jaw and the steel edge to her eyes a warning to everyone to keep their distance. Then the frustration faded, as it always did, because her heart was always softest where Scarlett was concerned. Her shoulders rounded as she sighed and put away her remaining escrima, sliding the weapon home with a soft whisper of metal against leather. "Of course we're okay. But you must promise me right now that you'll never pull a stunt like this again."

Even as her sister grinned, Gwendolyn held up a finger. "First off. We are in this deal, and every deal, together. No solo work, no free-lance, and no blasted back-door deals. Second," she continued and poked her extended finger into Scarlett's shoulder. "We don't have room to keep taking on crew every time your tail gets fished out of the fire. And third," she finished off with a smirk. "I'm too young for you to start graying my hair from worry."

The last of her icy countenance faded as she pulled Scarlett into a tight hug. "Deal?"
My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder,
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And when the world threatens to fall asunder,
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:28 pm

"You know I can't promise that I won't do anything stup--," she started then she saw the look on her sister's face. "Um, deal, Sis. I promise no more solo work, scout's honor." She held up one hand for emphasis. "Anyway, I think it's time we took this bucket of bolts into space. Care to do the honors for me? I need to go check on our new hire, make sure he and Andile haven't killed each other."

She gently broke apart from her sister and headed back into the center of the ship. Behind her Gwen took a seat in the pilot's chair and a moment later Scarlett felt that familiar sensation of lift as the ship took off and rocketed into space. Scarlett was glad to be done with this job and a large part of her hoped the next one wouldn't prove nearly as interesting...

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:07 am

To the credit of ship and pilot, the take off process was relatively smooth and uneventful, with only the minimal amount of rattling around. Sabin had secured his possessions, but had continued his writing, working slowly and patiently to compensate for the shaking craft beneath him. There were a few squiggled words caused by the ship's jumping around, which caused him no small amount of annoyance, but he really had no one to blame but himself for not waiting to write.

Eventually the ship's vibrations grew consistent and less as the craft escaped the last remnants of atmosphere, and shortly thereafter, faded away completely as the sublight drives turned off in favor of the hyperdrive.

Sabin stood and stretched. Perhaps it was time to explore his new environment a bit. Throwing on a light long sleeve shirt that fit loosely around his frame, Sabin exited his cabin, walking slowly through the short corridor into the commons area. It was deserted at the moment, giving him the luxury of examining the area in more detail.

Sabin had been on many ships in his lifetime, and he knew a home when he saw one. This was not just a ship that they used to get from place to place, it was their sanctuary, their place away from the chaos of life.

His eyes traced over the decorations and memorabilia that dotted the walls here and there, all securely anchored. There were a few holos of the two women, sisters if he wasn't off his guess, in various places and climates. It seemed that the two had shared quite the collection of adventures over the years.

Slowly, he continued his circuit of the room, looking briefly at a carved wooden mask of some unknown significance, before finally he made his way into the galley. It was stocked with standard starship fare, mostly nonperishables, but a few pieces of fresh produce as well. There were a few unmarked bottles of some type of alcohol.

He took a small glass and poured himself some water before taking a seat at the dining table, content just to sit and listen to the muted sounds of the ship for the moment.

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Enriler » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:11 pm

Andile sat in the co-pilots chair. Leaning back and enjoying the few. Though the ship could use an overhaul-- or maybe just be hauled to the junkyard-- the feel of the ride always came down to the pilot. And there were few in the galaxy as smooth as Gwen.

Andile stared into the vastness of space beyond him. It was like music. The soft, sweet melody of a lullaby willing anyone to fall asleep to its tone. This image of planets and distant suns moving rapidly in view would bring to mind the droplets of rain on a window. It was comfortable and relaxing. The stress of the day seemed to melt away, and the uncomfortable chair began to feel like a bed of feathers.

Throughout his life, he had encountered many people afraid of flying in space. Some who would get sick or even pass out during lift off. This never registered as a logical possibility to Andile. How could someone- anyone- not find absolute comfort in this majestic expanse.

The vastness of the black- billions of lightyears beyond any planets he had heard of- was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Space travel had become common, and millions of beings were taking advantage of the miracle of planet hopping without the perspective of just how incredible a feat it was.

Quiet footsteps, carefully walking through the ship corridors, snapped Andile out of his peace meditation.

The merc, he thought to himself.

What was that naïve girl thinking bringing someone onto this ship who she didn't know. They could be in a world of trouble.

The peace was completely removed. The hair on the back of Andile's neck began to rise. Who were they dealing with?

Why would someone so willingly hop on a ship out of town. If I were in his place, I would have taken the 1 credit and removed myself from the situation. There was no apparent logic. This is what worried him.

Andile got up from his seat and placed a hand on Gwen's shoulder. "You got it, right? Call me if you need anything."

Gwen smiled and nodded toward Andile as he walked away. He passed a few doors before hearing the clinking of glass a few yards away.

"You have the right idea," Andile said as he walked into the galley. "And Water? Of all the options?" Andile grabbed an unmarked bottle and poured some dark liquid into an empty glass. "Have some Tevraki Whiskey. It has a bit of a kick, but helps with space travel."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:38 pm

Sabin cast his pale yellow eyes, the only physical indicator of his not-entirely-human genetics, over the man who entered the galley area. He took a pointed moment to size the other man up before responding.

The stranger carried himself with the faint edge of a military man; either by training or imitation, but probably distant history now. He did not bear any particular resemblance to the two girls whose pictures were scattered through the place, meaning he was probably not family, but a crew member aboard the ship. He wore at least one weapon, a modified pistol by the look of it, even though they were in the depths of hyperspace, meaning he either didn't feel safe because of Sabin's presence, or he never felt he could let his guard down. He also moved in such a way that suggested both strength and a proclivity towards body armor.

The ease with which he spoke and moved about the galley gave Sabin the impression he was more than just a hired hand, perhaps a long term partnership.

In answer to the question asked, Sabin smiled politely. "Thank you, but no. Though one of my favored poisons, I do try to limit my consumption of alcohol to deserved celebrations. And I find that when one is a guest in a new place, it is usually in good taste not to intoxicate oneself until at least the second day, so I will stick to my water."

He stood and offered the other man his hand. "I am Sabin Gervall, the newest hired hand, it would seem."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Enriler » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:10 pm

"Andile Chike," He said, extending his hand and shaking it with Sabin's. "I appreciate your discernment. Intoxication within the first few hours of your new job is rarely a celebrated decision."

Andile poured himself 4 ounces of the whiskey, and set the bottle back on the shelf. "On the other hand, a small glass of whiskey is good for taste over intoxication." He smiled politely back toward Sabin.

He observed the way Sabin had sized him up. Done with caution. Sabin's eyes lingered as he spotted Holly, Andile's blaster. When he stood to Andile, there was hesitancy in his stance. Not aggressive, put prepared. He was no soldier, he didn't even hold the stance of an aggressor.

What was he?

Andile noticed the pale yellow eyes, and couldn't place the species- "I hope this isn't rude, but you aren't completely human, are you?"

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:38 am

Sabin gave an easy shrug at the question. "Curiosity is the symptom of an active mind, and is easily forgiven. I am human- mostly. My grandmother was Zabrak, which added a few genetic quirks to the bloodline. Most noteably, my eyes." His eyes flickered around the galley before returning to Andile.

"So tell me a bit about this ship, it's crew. I gather you are a ship for hire, but are there any deeper motivations beyond the pursuit of credits I should be aware of? Political or factional connections that you all have that I should know about?"

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Enriler » Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:56 am

Andile smirked at the question. How do you truly answer that question. It often seems like there are deeper motivations, but the truth lies in the simplicity of living creatures. Most people just want to survive and live their lives in a continual state of comfort and ignorance toward any greater good or evil.

"Blunt is good, I like that. But there is no deep motivation." Andile shifted slightly. He was watching Sabin's eyes. If he could get him on edge, he would better know the person he was dealing with.

Andile continued, "I look after the girls, and they go planet hopping in order to just get by." Andile placed his hand on the blaster's holster, then unclipped the holster. "Maybe visit exciting planets and cities every now and then." Andile began tracing the back of the blaster with his fingers. "You know, everyone wants entertainment in their lives to break the monotony."

Andile shifted and re-clipped the holster, moving his hand back to its resting position at his side, "What's your motivation for being so willing to hop on this ship."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:28 pm

Folding his hands in front of him in a posture designed to look nonthreatening, Sabin tracked the movement of Andile's hand as the other man toyed with his pistol momentarily. The gesture was puzzling. Sabin didn't believe the man was truly about the use the weapon, so perhaps it was some form of puerile method of intimidation? Or maybe it was a much more subtle gesture, something designed to distract. Distract from what, he couldn't say, but it was a pretty effective distraction.

Perhaps he was reading too much into it. Maybe it was just an absent motion, a way of reassuring himself that his weapon was close at hand.

"My motivations are not so mysterious. My business was done there, and passage for work is a cheap way to travel, which is good for my financial situation. Plus... I've been alone for quite a while. It's good to have company for a bit."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Enriler » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:40 pm

"I agree, company is welcoming." Andile smiled as he watched Sabin. He held himself firm, with no jittering movement. But as Andile had flipped the holster, Sabin was aware.

Sabin was a holochess player, at least in the mind. Planning out his moves several turns in advance. Andile saw that he now held a tighter grip on his glass of water. This would no doubt have been his first weapon before reaching for what looked like a knife in his boot.

A simple defensive strategy, but loaded with care. He did not twitch, because reading the situation wrong would have escalated this friendly meeting. Andile was pleased to see that Sabin was level headed. Cautious, but not jumpy.

It was his leg movement that surprised Andile. Even in this brief encounter, he was reminded that Sabin would never intentionally fight aggressively. It was this movement that made Andile realize Sabin's skill, he fought from the shadows.

Andile looked at the untouched drink in his hand, and smirked, pouring the drink down a drain.

"You know what, I think I'll have water to." He said to Sabin. "I'm glad you could join us, we needed more testosterone on this ship."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:04 pm

Sabin gave a chuckle at the comment. "Well, glad I could bring a little balance to your life. Still, the two don't seem..." He paused a moment, looking for the right words. "Difficult to travel with. Of course, I've only really just met Scarlett. Her sister didn't seem too keen to introduce herself, but to be fair, there was a lot going on."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Enriler » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:07 pm

"Just a few blaster bolts flying overhead."

Andile reached out his hand toward Sabin, "It was good to meet you, I should probably join Gwen at the mighty helm." He chuckled to himself. Then again, he was used to that. The girls didn't find him very funny, so he made due.

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:45 pm

After the two men shook hands Scarlett entered the room and looked at them. "Andile, there you are," she said, "You haven't been flying the ship again, have you? There was a stutter from the engines during take off."

Andile had the opportunity to fly the ship one time but after that Scarlett had said never again. Since then she'd been repressing her memories of the event or at least trying to. Andile of course hadn't been flying the ship so as soon as she asked him he gave her a look. "I didn't feel anything," he said.

"Aurora talks to me, Andile, and she says there was definitely a stutter."

He just shrugged. "Not me, Gwen's at the control, and she's the best." Then he saw the look on Scarlett's face. "But not when compared to you, little one," he corrected himself.

That seemed to satisfy Scarlett and she immediately sat down at the table next to Sabin. "Pour me some of that engine grease," she said pointing at the bottle Andile had left out on the counter.

Andile looked at the Tevraki Whiskey and felt a dark foreboding in the pit of his stomach. "Scarlett, that's not a good idea. You remember last time, right? The several hours afterward?"

"I'm off the clock, Mom, just pour me a drink," she said irritably.

Andile sighed then fished out another glass and poured some of the whiskey into it. Scarlett meanwhile had turned her attention towards Sabin and while she wasn't looking Andile diluted the whiskey with some of the water from his glass before handing it to her. "Here," he said.

Scarlett took the glass and downed the whole thing in one gulp. The taste of the whiskey burned her throat as it went down causing her to gag and in the midst of her gagging she managed to hold out her glass and say, "Thanks. Pour me another."

"Whiskey's a sipping drink, little one," Andile said before grabbing the glass and filling it with another whiskey/water concoction.

"Meh, whatever," Scarlett said, her words already beginning to slur, "So, everyone friends now? I was worried one of you would start shooting the other."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Xalsin » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:02 pm

"Somehow we've managed to forestall the bloodshed until a later date." Sabin spoke with a touch of wryness, as evidenced by the faint glimmer of a smirk. He almost felt embarrassed for her, both her inability to handle her alcohol and her inability to notice her drink was being adulterated. It was a quirk of his job that part of his brain was always at work, looking for weaknesses to exploit, just in case. It just wasn't often people made it quite so easy.

That's what trust does; makes you blind to the obvious. He wondered briefly what Andile had done to be deserving of such a level of trust before pushing on.

"I suppose we still have a few details to discuss. Such as the subject of pay, as well as what our itinerary might be."

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Re: Star Wars: Double-Blind

Post by Pryde » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:00 pm

"Payments fine," she said after accepting her second glass from Andile, "We pay everyone on the crew equal shares short of whatever we need to maintain the ship, less fuss that way. We're a family first and a business second. You fly with us you're family--well, unless we decide you're not but so long as you don't give us reason to everything is shiny."

She lifted the cup to her lips and took a drink, this time only downing half the cup in one go. After the whiskey burned its way down her throat she continued. "As for itinerary we don't exactly have one at the moment. Mitch will call us with a job when he has one."

She quickly drank the last of her whiskey and set the glass down on the table in front of her. "Anyway, enough about me. What's your story? Not many people jump out of alleyways to save pretty maidens."

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