Shrouded in Darkness

Takes place immediately after the Battle of Yavin
Tales and stories set during the events of Episodes 4-6...

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Shrouded in Darkness

Post by Pryde » Sat Jun 11, 2005 7:14 pm

OOC: Please refer all OOC-related stuff to my OOC thread, thanks. ;)

IC:

Fear...

It is said that fear leads to the Dark Side. A person shrouded in fear will often become angered by those who make them afraid, and that anger will often lead them to hate. All her life Sayda Ward had been told not to be afraid, but lying on the cold, damp cavern floor shrouded in darkness all she could think about was fear. The spice mines of Kessel were anything but an inviting place, and her hosts were anything but generous. Their attempts to break her, to enslave her, have caused her to become little more than a broken shell of the woman she used to be.

Before her capture she was a brave member of the Rebel Alliance. Sworn to oppose the Empire and restore the peace and freedoms they once knew under the Old Republic. But behind her outward appearance she hid a dark secret. Every day of her life she lived in fear--fear of the Empire, fear of Emperor Palpitine and Darth Vader, but most importantly fear of everyone and everything around her.

She was but a child when the Chancellor, now turned Emperor, unleashed his wrath upon the Jedi in what he termed Order 66, and the scars left from that fateful day haunted her still. The Jedi were now all but extinct, and every day that passed brought them closer to oblivion as bounty hunters from all over the galaxy sought to wipe them from existence. Sayda had sworn to keep her powers hidden, she feared that should she ever use them she would reveal herself to the Emperor and the fate that will become of her would be far worse than her current captivity.

That was why she chose not to escape, why she lay huddled in the darkness while her captors beat her. On Kessel she thought she could be safe. What bounty hunter would come looking for her here? It did not occur to her that the true reason for why she remained was because she was afraid. Not of the Emperor, but afraid of her captors. Every new day brought new pain and suffering, and the faint glimmer of hope that the Rebels would come and free her was fleating. The Imperials had broken her will to live, and she now submitted herself totally to their every command. Her only comfort lay in the time she spends hugging herself in the corner of her dark cell imagining a future without the Empire. But even those dreams were becoming shrouded by the very same darkness that enveloped her.

"Get up, Rebel Scum," a harsh voice suddenly rang out from the darkness. "I said get up," the voice shouted as the body it was attached to leapt forward and butted her with the end of his rifle.

Sayda tried as quickly as she could to obey his commands, but the repeated beatings she endured over time made it hard for her to move. She struggled to her feet while the Storm Trooper continued to kick her and butt her with his rifle.

"Forward," the man commanded as he shoved the woman in front of him. Sayda nearly lost her balance in the darkness of the cavern, but she managed to stay on her feet for fear of what the Trooper would do to her should she fall. Under repeated encouragements the Storm Trooper herded her deeper into the mines. She was soon joined by others and under the threat of blaster rifles and stun rods the mob of slaves labored in the dark.

Sayda busied herself with clearing the rocks from each of the workstations as she had always done before. The excess rock would be placed in a cart that would carry it to the furnace where it would be disposed of, while anything of value would be sent by another cart to the processing plant.

"Psst, hey you, girl," a man whispered to her while she knelt to collect some fallen rocks. "Rumor has it you were a Rebel, is it true?"

"Yes," Sayda whispered in reply, then she stood and made her way over to the cart to dump her load. The man followed her and continued whispering.

"Some of the slaves have been talking," he whispered to her, "They're planning a revolution. If what you say is true then we could really use your help."

"I have no desire to get myself killed," Sayda replied quietly.

"It doesn't have to come to that if you help," the man prodded her, "With your battle experience and tactical expertise we could devise a plan that will get us out of here."

"No," she told him, and she knelt once more to collect another pile of rocks.

"So you'd leave us all here to die, then," the man whispered back, "Do you really think that Rebellion of yours is going to succeed? Listen to me, sweet heart, no one is coming to save us. We are all going to die down here unless we do something, now what's it going to be?"

"I said no," Sayda replied in a small voice. The man gave her a hard look then slowly shook his head.

"I was wrong about you," he said regretfully, "You're nothing but a coward."

Suddenly the man was clubbed in the back of the head by a Storm Trooper. "No talking," he shouted at him before beating him a few more times with his stun rod. Sayda, of course, did not get off so easily. She too was beat repeatedly as the Trooper ordered them to get back to work. Afterwards there was no more talk. Sayda and her counterpart completed their duties in silence until they were led back to their cells. Though that night she did not dream of a galaxy in peace, nor did she dream about the Old Republic restored. Instead, her sleep was haunted by images of people dying, though how and why were unclear. Was she seeing images of the future? Of the fate of the slaves? Or were these signs of an even darker fate to come?
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Pryde » Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:48 pm

Sayda was busy picking away at a patch of rock with her laser pick when the man from the day before approached her again. "The insurrection will happen soon," he told her, "This is your last chance to earn your freedom. When the time comes you can either fight, or die."

Sayda ignored him and continued working. The man watched her for a moment in silence. As he sat there it almost felt as though he could see through her skin and into her soul. Her mind was a raging torrent of emotions, and though she tried to keep the struggle from showing plainly on her face she hardly succeeded.

"You want to fight, don't you?" he asked her proddingly, "If not for them then for yourself. I know how they treat women around here, how many times have they violated you?"

Again, Sayda remained silent as she continued to work. "Look there," the man said, pointing to an older gentleman struggling with a pile of rocks. Sayda followed the gesture with her eyes and watched the man for a moment. He tried with all his might to lift a single rock, but the effort was too much for him and he collapsed. Immediately afterwards two Storm Troopers closed on him and beat him viciously with their rifles, ordering him to get back to work. "He's dead, you know," the man told her, "The Storm Troopers just haven't realized it yet."

Suddenly someone screamed, drawing Sayda's attention away from the old man's corpse. Two Storm Troopers were now dragging a man behind them kicking and screaming. "That one's been saying some bad stuff about the Emperor," the man next to her explained, "And for that he's going to be punished."

"Will they kill him," Sayda asked in a quiet voice.

"Most likely," the man replied, "They won't mean to, of course, but their methods are too violent, and we can hardly take that much punishment... He will die, and will be disposed of, and it's only a matter of time before someone else shares the same fate."

Sayda quickly turned away from him, tears brimming in her eyes threatening to shower down her cheeks. In a vain attempt to ignore all that was going on around her she picked up the pick again and set to work. "Don't you see what's happening, Sayda," the man pleaded with her, "We're dying here. Please, help us!"

"How did you know my name," Sayda asked in surprise, turning back to look at him.

"I heard it from one of the slaves," he told her, "He seemed to know you."

"Who?"

"I don't know, but it doesn't matter now, anyway. The Imperials threw him in the furnace for trying to escape."

Sayda gasped in horror, her hands covering her mouth in shock. "No! They couldn't!" she exclaimed.

"They can, and they did and more will follow," the man replied, "Now please, tell me. Will you help us?"

"I--I can't!" Sayda replied, turning away from him once more as tears fell freely down her cheeks.

The man sighed heavily. "As you wish," he told her, "but if you ever change your mind look for me. My name is Jazen."

Later that night Sayda awoke with a start. Sayda... A voice intruded in her thoughts, freezing her body to the core.

"Who's there," she demanded in a frightened voice, Searching the shadows of her cell in a panic. Sayda, do not be afraid of your destiny, the voice came again, and then suddenly it was gone and all that remained was the cold chill running down her spine...
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Pryde » Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:03 pm

"Work faster, Rebel scum," the Storm Trooper shouted as he shoved Sayda forward, and whipped her with his stun rod. Sayda quickened her pace as much as she could under repeated whippings until finally she was able to drop the load of rocks in her arms into the disposal cart. Then she rushed back to collect more rocks while the Storm Trooper moved on to harrass someone else.

You are above these fools, the voice from the night before spoke to her again. Why do you humble yourself when you are meant for so much more? Sayda stopped dead in her tracks, the bucket slipping free from her hands and clattering to the rocky cavern floor. "W--who are you," she asked the disembodied voice.

Suddenly the air in front of her grew very dark as a shadowy figure appeared before her. I am one like you, the shadow replied, and like you I too am hunted. We are the last of a dying breed, you and I. Fate led us to this point, and now fate has led me to you. You will be my salvation, Sayda. No longer will we need to hide ourselves. Together you and I will become unstoppable. The Empire will tremble before our might!

"Why me? Why do you need me?" Sayda asked, shrinking away from the ghostly visage.

Because you have great potential, young one, the voice answered inside her head, I sense that the Force is strong with you, but your training is incomplete. Come with me and I can teach you things that you never dreamed possible.

"Leave me alone," Sayda exclaimed, dropping to her knees and burying her face in her hands. Several of the other slaves stopped their labor and watched her curiously, but none of them understood what was going on.

Look at you, look at how pathetic you've become, the voice admonished her. You have limitless power at your disposal yet you cower like a child.

"Stop talking to me! Y--You can't be real!"

Oh, but I am real. I am very real, and soon you and I shall meet face to face.

"Shut up!" Sayda screamed, grabbing her bucket and hurling it at the shadow. But the projectile passed right through and struck a Storm Trooper in the back of the head.

"What is the meaning of this," the Trooper demanded, kicking the bucket in anger. Sayda gasped in horror when she realized what she had done, and when she glanced back at the shadow it was gone.

"Is this your bucket, wench," the Trooper demanded of her. "Answer me," he shouted, and kicked her when she did not respond.

"Yes," Sayda replied quietly, her eyes falling to her feet.

"You're going to pay for that," the Trooper replied, raising his rifle to strike.

"No, wait!" Sayda exclaimed but it was too late, the Trooper struck her just above her left brow with the butt of his rifle. Sayda was sent sprawling to the right, her head bouncing off a rock, and before she could react the Trooper was on top of her again. His anger not quite spent he began kicking her as she lay there motionless and he did not stop.

Sayda was certain that she was going to die. Nothing would stop that now, all she could do was lie there and take the beating. But some small part of her wanted to live on--to fight. When the Trooper kicked at her again she grabbed his leg and held on tight. The man tried to shake himself loose, but her grip was too strong and eventually he resorted to beating her with his rifle to free himself. Sayda took several blows against her back and left shoulder, but she still held on tight.

With all her strength, and a little extra energy from the Force, she pulled the man's feet right out from under him. The Storm Trooper landed hard on his rump, and within seconds Sayda had pounced on him, reaching for the blaster. The two struggled over the weapon, rolling on the ground as they each tried to get the upper hand over the other. The struggle caused a commotion and more Storm Troopers began to arrive. But the battle had given the slaves new vigor, and suddenly they began turning on their masters. The cavern had erupted in Chaos as slaves began hurling rocks at the Imperials. The Imperials responded with blaster fire but the bombardment of rocks brutally pelted their armor.

At last Sayda had a firm grip on the blaster's trigger mechanism, and with what little strength she had left she managed to turn the gun on its owner and fire. The blaster bolt nailed the Trooper in his side, piercing his lungs and his heart. The man's body suddenly went limp, his hand falling free from the rifle as Sayda pushed him away. Now she had a weapon, but she was still vastly outnumbered. There was no going back now, it was either fight or die...
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Pryde » Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:08 pm

"I see you changed your mind," Jazen said suddenly as he approached Sayda from behind. The girl had taken a defensive position behind a cart and was now trading shots with incoming Storm Troopers.

"I didn't have much of a choice," she replied, popping out of cover briefly to fire a few more shots. She didn't see where the shots went before diving back into cover, but she could hear the muffled scream of one of the Storm Troopers taking a hit.

"I suppose not," Jaze replied with a smirk, "Well, the revolution has started earlier than planned, but that matters little. We still have a chance to get out of here if we move quickly."

"What's your plan," Sayda asked, turning to look at him.

"Well, first you won' be needing this," he replied, taking her blaster rifle and handing it to another prisoner.

"Are you insane," Sayda asked in shock.

"Hardly," Jazen assured her, "That foolish weapon will only encourage you to draw unnecessary attention to yourself. There are other... Methods available to us."

Sayda cocked an eyebrow at him, her heart pounding nervously. "What do you mean," she asked him. Does he know who I am?

"What I mean is, you and I better move or this is going to be a short trip," and without waiting for a reply he darted out from cover and ran over to an adjoining tunnel. Sayda quickly followed behind him, and to her surprise the Storm Troopers seemed to take little notice of them.

For a time the two slaves ran along in the dark through the twisting caverns. Sayda had become hopelessly lost, but Jazen seemed to know where he was going. "What about the others," she asked him suddenly, the question had been nagging at her from some time now.

"They'll be fine," he assured her.

"How can you be so sure," she asked, "Shouldn't we be there to help them?"

"It would do neither of us much good if we did," he replied, "I need to get you out of here."

"They're a distraction?" She asked, shocked at the man's audacity.

"In a manner of speaking, yes," the man replied quite calmly, "but you need not worry about it. Your safety and freedom is much more important than theirs."

"I can't," she exclaimed, "I refuse to let them die for me! I'm going back to help!"

"Suit yourself," the man replied, "though I doubt you'll be able to find your way back."

He was right, Sayda wasn't exactly sure where they were let alone how to get back to where the others were desperately fighting for their lives. She let the matter drop and Jazen continued to lead her through the darkness. Suddenly a pair of Storm Troopers rounded a bend directly in front of them.

"Oh no," Sayda gasped, but Jazen quickly covered her mouth.

"Shh," he whispered to her, "they'll hear you."

The Troopers continued to walk towards them and Sayda's heart pounded with each step they took. To her surprise and shock Jazen held her steadfast in the middle of the tunnel. Her mind kept screaming at her to hide, but for some reason she felt compelled to stay where she was. The two Storm Troopers stopped right in front of them and looked directly at her, or at least they appeared to look directly at her.

"What's wrong," one of them asked.

"I just thought I saw something," the other replied.

"I'm sure it was nothing, now come on let's get moving." And then without another word they passed by them and continued down the tunnel. When they were out of sight Sayda turned to Jazen. "What happened," she asked them, "Why didn't they see us?"

"I made sure they wouldn't see us," Jazen replied.

"You made us invisible," Sayda asked uncomprehendingly.

"Not exactly," Jazen explained, "I simply encouraged them not to see us."

It all made sense now, his cryptic remark from before, why the Storm Troopers had not shot them earlier, and now this. "Are you a Jedi," she asked.

"I was," the man replied regretfully, "Them Emperor saw to it that anyone branding themselves with that name would regret it, but we can talk about this later. Right now we need to get moving or we'll miss our chance to escape..."
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Pryde » Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:32 am

Their chance to escape turned out to be a shipping freighter carrying a full load of spice and scheduled to depart Kessel in only a matter of minutes. Getting on board was fairly easy thanks to Jazen's mind control trick, but the cramped hold of the ship offered very little in the way of comfort. Jazen and Sayda nestled themselves in to a little corner of the hold surrounded by crates. When the last of the spice was loaded onto the ship the cargo bay door was closed and the crew began prepping the ship for take-off.

Sayda sat with her back to a crate hugging her knees close to her body. She did not mind the dark inside the cargo hold much, after all she had been in the dark for several years. But there was something... Unnerving about this whole thing. It all seemed to coincidental, the shadow, the Storm Trooper assaulting her, the revolt, and now a ship prepped and ready to take them to freedom. What was this all about?

"Are you alright," Jazen asked her, a look of concern in his eyes.

"I'm... Fine," she said after a moment, "I was just--thinking."

"We're going to get out of here," he assured her, "I garauntee it."

"Yes, I know," Sayda replied, her voice trailing off slightly. The cold chill she felt when the voice addressed her inside her head returned and she shivered slightly. There was a shudder as the ship's engines kicked in and within moments the freighter launched itself from the hangar bay.

"Do you know where we're going," she asked him suddenly.

"I'm not sure," Jazen replied, "but I doubt we'll make the entire trip. They'll have to stop and refuel somewhere. We'll get off then."

The trip through hyperspace was uneventful, neither of them spoke much to the other. They were both exhausted from the ordeal, and it was not quite over yet. The loud rumbling of machinery coming to life awoke Sayda from her sleep. The cargo bay door slowly lowered itself to the deck of some unknown spacestation or starship. Sayda peered over a crate and caught sight of several humanoids moving to unload the cargo.

"Wait for them to move the first load off the ship before we make our move," Jazen told her, creeping up to her side. Sayda watched as several crates were loaded onto a platform attached to a crane before it was moved to a nearby hovertruck. After the crane had unloaded the first batch of crates Jazen looked at her and said, "Let's go."

They quickly and quietly made their way through the piled crates and down the loading ramp. Once they were off the ship they casually made their way to the nearest hatchway, all the while the station's workers seemed to take no notice of them. Once they were through the hatchway they made their way down the main causeway of the station through the residential area and then finally to the main central area where the found a multitude of shops and businesses.

"It's as I thought, then," Jazen observed as he glanced at a nearby holomap. The two were on a privately owned spacestation somewhere between Falleen and Bathawui. "Quickly now," he told her, "we'll need to get some proper clothes to hide ourselves. This--extended use of the Force is tiring me out."

They acquired some disguises from a nearby clothing store and now wandered the station freely. However, Sayda did not agree with Jazen's persuasion of the merchant that money was not necessary. After all, she had credit enough in her personal account to pay for the clothing. She just needed access to a terminal.

Their wandering eventually stopped at a relatively quiet cafe. The two occupied a table in the corner as they quietly discussed their next move. "So, what do we do now," Jazen asked her, "Now that we're free do we go our separate ways? Or do we stick together? You know, you and I would make a great team."

"I wish to return home," Sayda told him abruptly.

"Alright, I'll take you home," Jazen replied, "Where do you live?"

"I wish to return alone," she said firmly.

"Tch," he replied indignantly, "Well that's gratitude for ya. I get you out of Kessel and how do you repay me?"

"You got me out at the expense of many innocent lives," Sayda exclaimed in a harsh whisper.

"Hey, if I could have saved them all I would have," Jazen told her, "but a mob of unarmed slaves are no match for a legion of well-trained troopers. It was easier to sneak two people out rather than free a whole multitude."

"So why me? Why save me?"

"Because you're special, Sayda," came the reply, and Sayda froze immediately. The voice in her head had said that once before too.

"I think it's time you left," she said rather coldly. Jazen looked at her long and hard then sighed heavily.

"Suit yourself," he said, "but we'll be seeing each other again, you can count on that."

Then without another word he stood and left the cafe leaving Sayda alone at the table with her thoughts. She could not help but wonder what happened to the slaves that revolted, and the more she thought about it the more she began to wonder if there was more that she could have done to save them. Then a particularly disturbing thought came to mind, did she ever actually want to save them, or was she more concerned about saving herself?

Sayda quickly waved that thought aside, not wishing to ponder it anymore. Right now there were more important things for her to consider. First of all, she would need access to her financial account, and secondly she would need a transport off this station and bound for Corellia. Now was not the time to relax, she may be free from her masters for the time being, but she was not out of the woods yet. Not until she was as far from Kessel as she could possibly get...
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Pryde » Sun Jun 19, 2005 10:35 pm

Home... Sayda barely recognized it, it had been so long since she was last in this room. Her home wasn't much, just a one bedroom apartment on the south side of Coronet. In a daze she wandered through the apartment as if she was seeing it for the first time, rummaging through her things as if they belonged to someone else. She opened up her closet and sifted through all her clothes as well as her modest collection of shoes, and she went through every drawer and cabinet in both her kitchen and her bedroom. It was in the bottom drawer of the dresser next to her bed that she found something she had spent many years trying to forget... Her lightsaber.

Slowly, fearfully she reached for the small metal hilt, and the minute her fingers rubbed against it's smooth surface an image flashed through her mind. An image of a frightened little girl cowering in a concealed compartment underneath a holo display as her mother lay dead before her and as her father fought desperately to save the child's life. Sayda's arm recoiled like a snake, flying back away from the weapon as if it had somehow stung her hand. The image of her past still fresh in her mind as she carefully slid the drawer closed.

Her mother and father had lost their lives trying to protect her and the Jedi Temple when Skywalker turned on them. Only a child all she could do was hide and pray that no one finds her. She hid in that compartment for days, only coming out after the Clone Troopers guarding the temple mysteriously disappeared. Orphaned by Order 66 she spent the next few years living on the streets working odd jobs that more often than not degraded her but paid fairly well--at least until she could afford to charter a transport off the planet. That was how she ended up here on Corellia. She used what little finances she had to rent a small apartment, and even got a job working at a nearby cafe. When she heard about the Rebellion against the Empire she signed up in a heart beat, hoping to avenge the death of her parents and bring order back to the galaxy.

Now, though, as she sat there shivering in the darkness, the fears of her past lurking in the back of her mind, order and vengeance seemed little more than a pleasant dream in a dark sea of nightmares.

"I've been waiting for you," a voice said from behind, and Sayda spun around in near panic to face the man addressing her. "I told you we would meet face to face, and now here we are."

The cloaked figure took a step closer to her and Sayda shrunk away until her back hit the dresser. The cowled figure smiled then, his mouth and nose just barely visibled under the hood of his cloak. "Good," he said, "I feel your fear and it stimulates me. Now pick up your Jedi weapon and defend yourself!"

Without warning a glowing red blade illuminated the darkness, and the figure leapt at her with his saber raised to attack. Sayda barely managed to get out of the way as the red blade cut through the dresser behind her like a knife through butter. The dresser split in half and her clothes spilled out everywhere, igniting the carpet and the sheets on her bed. A silver flash of light out of the corner of her eye drew her gaze to her lightsaber lying half buried in a pile of burning clothes.

"Pick it up," the dark figure ordered her, swing his lightsaber at her again. Sayda dodged to the right as the glowing blade cut through the floor where she had been sitting only a moment before. Sayda reached out for her lightsaber, but the fear she felt was so overwhelming that she could not summon the weapon to her.

The dark figure moved in to attack again and Sayda just narrowly dodged his attack by flinging herself between his legs. "I said pick it up," he roared at her, "If you are unable to defend yourself than you are of no use to me!"

"What do you want from me?" Sayda screamed at him, and in response the man stretched out with the force and froze her body in place.

"I want your power," he told her, "You have been given the honor of becoming my new apprentice. Together we will be unstoppable, I will complete your training and we shall rule the galaxy as one!"

Sayda felt the air tightening around her neck and she struggled to breath. "No," she screamed at him, "Leave me alone! I want nothing to do with you!"

The man continued to choke her, staring long and hard into her eyes, a fiery hatred burning inside him. "So be it," he said, releasing his grip on her and raising his lightsaber to deliver the final blow. "If you will not be my apprentice than you will die!"

Sayda closed her eyes as the saber fell towards her, but when she heard the sound of two lightsabers striking each other she snapped them open again. Two blood red blades crossed with each other mere centimeters above her forehead.

"You," the cowled figure snarled at the other, "I thought I felt your vile presence."

"Always the fool," Jazen replied, pushing back on the man's saber and knocking him off balance. The cloaked figure stumbled backwards slightly but managed to stay on his feet. "I'm surprised by you, Blight," Jazen told him regretfully, "I thought I trained you better than this."

"Ha!" the man scoffed at him, "You were purposefully holding me back! You were afraid that I'd become even more powerful than you!"

"If that is what you believe than you are even more of a fool than I thought," Jazen replied as he lunged forward at the man, swiping his saber across his gut. Blight deflected the blow easily enough and launched a series of feints and attacks of his own.

Sayda reacted quickly while the two were distracted by their battle. She darted across the room and using a folded cloth to hold it she fetched her lightsaber from the pile of burning clothes before fleeing out through the door.

"She's getting away," Blight exclaimed as he parried another attack from Jazen.

"I will find her again," Jazen replied, "You, on the other hand, will not escape me so easily."

In a fearful panic Sayda rushed down the stairs of her apartment complex and out onto the street. Not quite sure of what she was doing she hopped into a nearby hover car and used the Force to start it up. Slamming her foot down on the accelerator the hovercar sped off through the streets of Coronet.

It wasn't long until a Corsec patrol car flashed its sirens and ordered her to pull over. Sayda glanced down at the lightsaber sitting in the passenger seat and almost immediately regretted taking it. In a rash move she sped up, her fear driving her to think irrationally. Concentrating on the Force she weaved the vehicle in and out of traffic hoping to lose her pursuer. In time more patrol cars joined in the pursuit and Sayda found herself in a highspeed car chase...
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Pryde » Sat Jul 09, 2005 1:15 pm

The car chase lasted for several minutes until finally Sayda had made one fatal mistake. She turned down an alleyway hoping to lose her pursuit, but cursed when she came to a stop in front of a sheer wall. Going back was out of the question, the Corsec patrol cars were only mere seconds behind her, and going forward didn't seem like it was going to be an option. Swearing to herself she got out of the car and rushed over to the wall. With one leap and a little help from the Force she bounded over the wall and landed on the other side.

As soon as her feet touched the ground she took off running. The wall would slow Corsec, but not for long. She needed to find a place to lay low for a bit while this whole debacle cooled down. She had no idea how long she ran before she finally came to a stop in front of a quiet little tavern. She stepped inside and promptly found an empty booth in the far corner of the bar. Out of the corner of her eye she caught something on the holovid viewer that drew her attention. The local news was already reporting on the fire that took place in her apartment.

"Local officials are unsure of how the fire was caused, but investigators indicate that there were signs of a struggle that took place inside the woman's apartment," the reporter was saying, "The whereabouts of Sayda Ward are currently unknown, and investigators believe she was murdered though there was no body left at the scene. A stolen vehicle was seen speeding away from the crime scene, and it is believed that the killer may have been the one driving it. Where the vehicle is now, though, officials cannot say. Currently the culprit is still at large and is suspected to be responsible for the death of Sayda Ward..."

Sayda turned away from the holovid and sank her head into her hands. My home, my memories--they're all gone, the realization hit her like a ton of bricks and tears began brimming at the edges of her eyes, why can't I just be left alone?
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Balsa » Sun Jul 10, 2005 8:16 am

"What the fucking hell happened here!" Doctor Heston Shi-Lu nearly grabbed his commanding officer's throat, but refrained himself from that fatal mistake and simply ended his outburst with an equally vehement "sir."

The officer, a man by the name of Ravil Pryde, turned away from the smoldering remains of what appeared to be a cargo ship and gave the doctor a sneer. "If we hadn't gotten the Rebel scum, I'd have taken notice of your tone, Doctor. Consider yourself lucky."

Heston swallowed his reply and simply nodded, walking away from the Imperial and began a slow walk around the spaceport. His arms were stained to the elbows with the blood of various races, results of his attempts to save fatally wounded civilians on his way to confront Captain Pryde. Of course, his efforts were all in vain; Imperial stormtroopers seemed to be able to shoot perfectly fine when the targets were not Rebels.

Having been the chief doctor on base for the last half decade, Heston had seen his share of combat-related injuries, even civilian injuries, but he had never been exposed to such a number of dead and injured noncombatants. The spaceport was strewn with the bodies of men, women, and children, all victims of Pryde's chase of a small group of Rebels. The chase, of course, was accompanied by an equally long and exciting firefight, which splashed almost all civilians in the area.

Heston Li-Shu would later learn that the Rebels had taken shelter aboard a passenger liner destined to travel to some planet or another. Captain Ravil Pryde, with his never-ending wisdom, called in some E-webs and other heavy weapons, and dropped the liner before it was able to leave the port. The ship, laden with cargo and passengers, dropped to the earth with all the grace that God gave the average mountain, and erupted in a ball of flame and twisted metal when it hit the tarmac.

The Doctor had surveyed the wreckage before approaching Pryde, and was able to identify many of the bodies as children. He quickly learned that the Rebels had stowed aboard a ship carrying hundreds of school children. That discovery only increased his growing disgust, shame, and self-loathing.

Heston found himself leaning against the cold metal of a doorway, gently smacking his head repeatedly against the frame. He suddenly became aware of sobbing and a woman's voice.

"Please, you've got to help me! My son!"

The doctor looked down to find a Human mother craddling her obviously dead child. "I'm sorry," was all he could find to say before walking away slowly. At that moment he knew that his service to the Empire was over. The Empire was supposed to serve and protect, but to see men like Ravil Pryde sacrifice the lives of countless people, that destroyed any illusions of what the Empire truly was.

Heston pulled off his service jacket and tossed the garment into a waste basket before vanishing into the night.

---

Again, the sound of sobbing broke into Heston's thoughts, and he almost believed that he was back at the massacre, so many years ago. But no, this time he was sitting in a tavern, a glass of water clutched in his hand. (He never could bring himself to like the taste of alcohol. Plus, having been trained in the medical arts, he knew what the stuff could do to his body.) He tried to ignore the noise, even as it died down, but he found that he could not. Even though he'd not been practicing medicine for years, he found that he really could not shove away the sound of human suffering.

Heston pulled himself up from his stool and weaved his way past several other patrons to the source of the now non-existent sobbing. He found himself looking at a female Human, probably in late teens to early twenties, and gently set his glass on the table. "Ma'am, are you all right? Something wrong?"

OOC:

Pryde, we'll just say that Heston is the typical Asian person I usually write as in our threads. :P

Also, can you guess where Heston Li-Shu is from?
"Mr. T once defeated Chuck Norris in a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. In retaliation, Chuck Norris invented racism." -- my brother

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Post by Pryde » Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:52 am

Sayda looked up at the man as he set his glass down on her table. "No, I'm--fine," she replied, quickly wiping the tears from her eyes. "I was just--" she began, but then stopped suddenly after she remembered the lightsaber resting against her thigh. She quickly covered it up with her jacket hoping the man had not seen it, and said, "I was just reminiscing."
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Balsa » Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:08 pm

OOC:
No idea..

IC:
"Ah, I see. Do you mind if I sit?" When the woman made refusal, Heston slid into the booth across from her. He wasn't sure what he was doing, but he was certain that the woman was suffering some emotional or mental trauma. Thank God for the rotation through the psychiatric wards... "Would you like to talk about it? I know I'm a total stranger, but sometimes it helps just to talk." The doctor gave the woman a caring and encouraging smile. "Oh, and I'm Heston."

OOC.
..
"Mr. T once defeated Chuck Norris in a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. In retaliation, Chuck Norris invented racism." -- my brother

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Post by Pryde » Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:33 am

"Sayda," she replied, swirling her drink around in one hand. "Look, if you're some sort of shrink I really don't need therapy right now... Besides, I don't think even you could help me with my problem."
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Balsa » Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:29 am

"No, I'm not a shrink, but you never know if someone can help. How about I buy you a drink?"
"Mr. T once defeated Chuck Norris in a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. In retaliation, Chuck Norris invented racism." -- my brother

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Post by Tyria » Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:15 pm

The Blithe Spirit's amiable atmosphere drew immense crowds who sought a break from the droning of everyday life. Here, drinks were always served. Customers did not have to wait long before greeted by a server, then by the clink of glass against their table. Here, people swallowed their sorrows and went along their drunken way.

The dim lighting of the tavern provided privacy to patrons and servers alike. As Tasha Jasper made her rounds around her sections, a name caught her by surprise. The waitress glanced up at the holovid viewer, her light green eyes narrowed as the reporter again repeated the name. Sayda Ward...

The name brought back memories from Tasha's Rebellion ties. Sayda had been one of the many people that the young woman had befriended when she was a rookie. Shaking her head slightly, Tasha was taken aback from the reported death of her close friend. It had been quite awhile since she had spoken with Sayda, but the two had become rather close.

Biting her lip slightly, Tasha continued on her rounds. Tucking a wisp of her ebony hair behind her ear, the waitress greeted a dark-haired man, "Excuse me, sir, I may take your order now. What would you like?"

OOC: That would be you, Alex. ;) Sorry for such a... pathetic post.

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Post by Balsa » Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:55 pm

The former-doctor turned and greeted the waitress with a smile. "Ah, I'll just take a refill of water, please. No ice." He gave Sayda a nod. "Sayda, here, would like a....?"
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Post by Pryde » Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:56 pm

OOC: A collaborative post by me and Tyria.

IC: "Sayda...?" Tasha looked up at the man in surprise, then glanced at the woman sitting next to him. Her eyes narrowed slightly, unable to believe that Sayda Ward was sitting beside this man. "But.. the news report said you were dead!"

"I only wish I were," Sayda replied, glancing up at the young woman. She seemed vaguely familiar, but her years of torment in the mines of Kessel had marred her memory.

"Where have you been all these years?" Tasha inquired, then cast a sidelong glance at the man. She paused slightly, reserving her more inquisitive questions for later.

"Where everyone goes when they're forgotten," Sayda replied cryptically, still trying to place where she's seen the girl before.

"Do you even remember who I am...?" Tasha asked curiously, puzzled by Sayda's lack of recognition.

"I--don't know," Sayda replied, her lip trembling slightly. Obviously the trauma she endured over the years had affected her more than she realized. "I'm not sure I remember anything."

Upon hearing this, Tasha frowned slightly and replied quietly, "I'm sorry Sayda... We tried searching for you after the... accident... but the commander ordered us to pull out..."

Accident? Sayda asked herself, could she be? Sayda looked at her more closely. A hundred images began flooding her mind until at last she caught one that looked very familiar. “Tasha,” she asked hesitantly, and when the woman’s eyes brightened a bit in response Sayda did something that surprised even her. She leapt out of her chair and threw her arms around Tasha. “Tasha!” she exclaimed, though her voice sounded more like a child calling out for her mother rather than an indication of a joyous event. “I thought I’d never see you again!”

Tasha hugged her friend tightly and bit back her tears, "I'm so glad you're alive, Sayda! I honestly thought you were dead." Pulling back from the embrace, Tasha lightly held the woman at arm's legnth, "We have so much catching up to do!"

"Yes, but I--" Sayda replied tentatively, glancing back at Heston.

"Oh!" Tasha exclaimed, glancing at the man and apologized. "I'm so sorry, sir... I'll go refill your drink. Sayda, would you like anything else?"

"No," Sayda replied, "I'm fi--" She stopped suddenly when the door to the cantina suddenly burst open, and a squad of Storm Troopers rushed in. One of them saw where she was and raised his weapon, firing without any regard for the lives of the innocents inside the cantina. Tasha quickly pushed Sayda aside, knocking her safely out of the bolt's path before flipping a table over on its side and taking cover behind it.

Sayda hit the ground roughly on her side, the pain of the impact stinging her arm slightly. More Imperials began firing and blaster bolts rained in all around her, impacting tables, chairs and even the wall. Sayda covered her eyes as a shower of splinters washed over her from the exploding chairs. The chaos was frightening, and Sayda trembled violently as she lay prone on the cantina floor. Without a weapon she was helpless against the Imperial assault.

A weapon, she thought suddenly to herself, remembering the lightsaber she had clipped to her belt. No, I shouldn’t. If they found me now they could find me again, and if they knew I was—, she left that thought hanging unfinished in her mind. Another rain of blaster bolts poured in around her, splintering more chairs and showering her in debris. So what do I do now? Just sit here and die?

Tasha cursed under her breath as she glanced over to the counter where her older brother, Jason, was working. If those bastards hurt him... I'll have all their heads on a platter! Luckily the Imperials concentrated more on the trio rather than anyone else. Tasha pulled one of her two blasters from underneath her jacket and switched off the safety, resting her back to the table that served as a shield against the deadly rain of fire. The majority of the patrons left unharmed by the sudden attack took cover behind overturned tables. Glancing about her, Tasha realized, though, that several lay dead.

"What the hell... These guys think they can open fire anywhere for no reason at all with no consequences...?" Tasha whispered furiously, then turned her attention to Sayda and her guest. "Are you two alright?”
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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Post by Balsa » Sat Jul 16, 2005 11:28 pm

OOC:
Collab post by me and Tyria.

IC:

Heston, hunched behind the table, pulled his shirt over his mouth and nose to filter out the soot and dust all ready clouding the air. "Yes, I'm fine," he called to the waitress, his eyes catching hold of the weapons that had appeared suddenly. "No, no, put the guns away. Don't shoot. If you do, they'll just increase fire on our position."

Tasha grumbled slightly as she holstered her blaster, but smiled at the man, "You're right about that... But do you have any suggestions on how we're to leave without being fired at?"

The doctor nodded. Years of past military experience resurfaced, and he recalled the training stormtroopers underwent. "They'll just charge in and kill anything that moves. You work here. We need to get out via another exit." Without waiting for a reply, Heston set to action.

As he crawled from the booth to another overturned table, he knew that what he was doing was crazy. But, this is to make up for everyone who died on that day. The doctor reached the cover of a far table and searched the surrounding area.

A few seconds later, he smiled and waited for a break in the weapons fire. He peeked his head up over the edge of the table and lobbed the beer bottle at the group of stormtroopers, aiming for their rear area.

The bottle exploded against the ferrocrete ground, distracting the troopers for just long enough that the weapons fire stopped. Heston hoped dearly that Tasha and Sayda would take advantage of the break in weapons fire and get to safety. He quickly turned and crawled as quietly and quickly towards the rear exit.
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Post by Tyria » Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:11 pm

As soon as the man had left, Tasha turned slightly to mumble directions to Sayda, "Just follow me and keep low... Your friend will follow us without a doubt."

Drawing one of her blaster pistols as a precaution, Tasha crouched. Her ears pricked at every noise within the cantina as she narrowed her eyes in focus. The gap in the counter was several meters away, though Tasha knew that the distance would seem farther.

The distinct shattering of glass was followed by a gap in the blaster fire. Apparantly, the man had successfully provided a diversion for the two women to reach safety. Whispering over her shoulder for Sayda to move quickly, Tasha leapt forward keeping low to the ground with her blaster at her side.

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Post by Pryde » Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:11 pm

Another barrage of fire sent showers of burning splinters spraying all over Sayda as the Imperial sharp shooters were slowly wearing down her cover. She looked up from where she lay just in time to see Tasha motion to her to follow. Warily she got to her hands and feet and cautiously began crawling for the exit.

For the moment the Imperials seemed distracted by some sort of loud crash and each of them began scurrying for cover thinking a grenade had just landed in their midst. Now was the time to move, and Tasha and Sayda were both crawling as quickly and quietly as they were able. Tasha and Heston made it safely into the back room before the Storm Troopers turned around and started firing again. Cut off from the others all Sayda could do was hide behind an overturned table as the Storm Troopers concentrated their fire all around her position...
"Ol' Doc doesn't hide, he hibernates." -- Doc, Star Wars: The Old Republic

"What do you call it when you kill someone and take all their stuff?"
"Adventuring!" -- Tallis and Hawke, Dragon Age 2.

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