Star Wars: Through the Never

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

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

Tsivoin fidgeted nervously in his Med-Tech uniform. The young Zabrak wasn't really concerned about the plan. It seemed straightforward enough to him and he simply had to trust that Vague and the others wouldn't be going through with it if it wasn't something they could pull off. No. He was nervous because he was on a hover-boat with Orev in the middle of the sea. The expansive, angry, salty wet sea... the sea that he'd lied to the crew about being able to swim in. At the time, seeing Nova that way, it seemed like the absolute right thing to lie about his ability... But now that he was surrounded by nothing but water the Zabrak was genuinely concerned with what would happen if he ended up overboard.

He looked over at Orev who was fiddling with the radio controls on the hoverboat. "How're we doing?" He asked, doing his best to seem nonplussed.

"So far so good." The Duros replied, not looking up from his station. "Vague and Nova have made contact with Ansel. Rossi is working her magic now."

Tsiv nodded, looking out towards the horizon in the direction he was pretty sure the prison was in. Nothing he could do now anyway, except hope for the best.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Rossi sat cross-legged in her cabin, a hidden panel slid aside exposing a complicated network of screens, keypads, and other devices. her fingers tapped furiously away at one of the keypads and within moments, the primary display sprang to life showing an image from the camera located in visitation room with Vague and Nova. Another handful of commands and she could hear them speaking softly.

Vague turned his gaze to the lone prison guard in the room and said, "Can my associate get some water?"

She flipped open a portable comp next to her and started to input a series of commands into it while keeping a peripheral watch on the main display, waiting for their target to arrive. When she saw that Ansel had been brought in, and heard Nova begin to recite her lines, the Kessurian smiled, and connected the portable device into her main comp and keyed up the program she'd written for this job. It took a few moments to sync up with Nova's performance, and then she activated the software. "Your up, Patron." She spoke into the empty room, knowing full well she was the only one who could here her.

She reached up and tapped the headset she wore, activating the mic. "We have passed Pecivas." She relayed the code word for phase one of the operation to SlackJaw and Orev, who each double-clicked their comms in response.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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While Nova carefully read through her pre-written dialogue, Vague tapped his foot rhythmically underneath the table. He doubted she needed the makeshift metronome to stay on pace, but Vague preferred to leave as little as possible to chance. Durin watched the prisoner carefully.

Ansel was a middle aged human... probably eight to ten years Vague's senior. He was hefty but not rotund, and his blonde hair was worn long and free. The mans blue eyes were looking back and forth between Nova and Durin, and Vague could tell that Ansel was slowly putting two and two together and was about to make four... and he needed the man to hold off on recognizing who was sitting across from him for just a few more...

There. He saw the light indicating that the camera was functioning blink three times, and smiled to himself. That's my girl.

Vague wasted no time, as Nova continued to go through the motions of outlining Ansel's circumstances, he leaned forward and spoke to the forger though his lips hardly moved a millimeter, and whatever language he was speaking, it wasn't one Nova was familiar with. Once he'd finished his peace, all the while still tapping his foot in sequence, Vague stopped and waited for the scripted break in Nova's monologue.

"Is this a course of counsel that you would be interested in pursuing further, Mr. Brimm?" She asked, and Durin stopped tapping his foot, waiting for the man's response.

Ansel carefully studied Durin for a few short moments, then nodded his head slowly. "I do believe that it would be in my best interest. Would you care to fill me in on what my role will be in these proceedings?"

Now it was Vague's turn to speak. "Just maintain your good behavior here at Ogedeen for now. When we are ready to proceed further, we will send an envoy to let you know." He replied, gauging Ansel's response.

For Vague's plan to go off properly and not raise suspicion, he couldn't let Ansel in on the details, and it was always a tough sell to convince someone to trust a plan they weren't read into. Vague tapped his foot three times, signalling to Nova to start her countdown, and placed his palm flat against a piece of flimsy that he'd brought out of his jacket pocket, "Do we have an accord?" he asked Ansel plainly, reaching a hand out between them.

"An accord." Ansel confirmed, reaching forward to shake Durin's hand with his, the shackles connecting his wrists clinked lightly with the motion.

Vague squeezed his hand tightly and held the embrace for a four count. He needed to be sure that the dermal patch he'd just stuck to his palm had ample opportunity to transmit it's contents to Ansel's flesh. There seemed to be a semblance of recognition in Ansel's blue eyes, followed by a brief hint of uncertainty, but Vague merely offered him a steady shake and an icy professional smile, then rose from the table.

Nova followed suit and as Vague watched the light on the camera start to blink three times, his assistant beckoned for the guards to return right on cue.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Nova couldn't even begin to describe the amount of relief she felt once they had left that room. She half expected any number of things to go wrong. Maybe Rossi's recording didn't work, maybe someone might hear Vague speaking to Ansel, maybe their identification would get checked again and then flagged. So many possibilities tumbling about in her head it was hard to keep track of where she was or even what she was doing. She was thankful for the rhythm Vague had tapped out on the floor. If not for that she was certain she would stumble over her words or lose track of where she was in the monologue. Fortunately, with Vague's help she managed to stick to the script and as they were leaving the prison she felt a huge weight lifted off her shoulder.

They weren't quite out of the clear yet, though. They still had to go through several security checkpoints on their way out. Nova did her best to keep herself composed and she couldn't help but feel envious of how easy Vague had made it seem. The man didn't break character once the whole time they were there. Even when they were finally back on the transport he was still the well dressed, snazzy lawyer he was pretending to be. That kind of thing took dedication and perhaps years of training, leading Nova to wonder just what kind of special ops he used to run.

Once they were seated and on their way back to the mainland Nova breathed a sigh of relief. "My heart was beating so fast I thought it was going to explode," she whispered to him.

"You did well," he said and for a moment he sounded almost proud of her, but that could have just been her imagination.

"Yeah, but that was just the easy part," she pointed out. "Now...," she let her words falter. There was no need to say it, they both knew what the next phase of the plan was. Vague glanced down at her and he could clearly see the worry in her eyes. She was worried about Tsivoin. The boy was just as inexperienced with this sort of thing as she was. Not to mention she doubted he could pass for a medtech with his frail body and youthful appearance. She would just have to hope for the best and put her faith in the Force.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Vague's eyes pinched a bit at the corners, and he felt an odd urge to set a hand on Nova's shoulder but ultimately thought better of it. Not everyone found that type of gesture comforting and he didn't know the young woman well enough to know how she'd respond to it. Instead, he reached down to his datapad and with a brief glance around them, he cracked the device down the center and pulled the top half off. Inside, was a pair of ultra-thin headsets, he took one and placed it in his ear, then offered the other to Nova for her to do the same.

After she'd pulled the headset from the device, he re-assembled the datapad and activated his comm. "Passing Darus." He spoke, then waited while he heard three double clicks in response. Vague hoped that being tied into the comms may help sooth some of Nova's anxiety, but for all he knew it may just make it worse. Time would tell. He sat back in the seat and kept one eye on his companion while the other watched the sky move by.

"Passing Darus."

Rossi double clicked her comm to confirm her receipt of Vague's call out, then flipped a few switches on her rig and started typing a new line of code. In moments, the tiny tracking device that Vague had planted on Ansel began to transmit it's location, a blinking dot overlaid on top of a two dimensional layout of the prison on her main screen. The poison they'd used was fast acting. It should only be a few more minutes before Ansel would start to show symptoms and she would be ready when that time came...
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Rossi was monitoring Ansel's progress. It hadn't been more than a few minutes since she'd noticed the dot marking his location start to move. She'd called out to the team that they had passed Frix, and now she watched and waited as his dot settled itself in the prisons Infirmary.

"Right on schedule." She commented to the empty room, and started to set up her next move. The prison's doctor would be examining Ansel now, and it wouldn't be long before the doctor determined that he did not have the equipment or medication required to treat the prisoner. Protocol would dictate that he make the call for emergency medical transport, and she would spring into action then, redirecting the transmission to Orev who was already waiting in their pre-positioned hover-boat.

She saw the comm channel open up, then her honey colored eyes widened with shock and she watched as it all went horribly wrong.

"Radish. Radish. Radish." She called over the comm, and started to furiously type at her keypad. Seconds later she'd sent an encrypted burst transmission to Vague, Orev, and SlackJaw's datapads.

Vague's head bowed down for a moment as the distress call came through and he took a deep, calming breath. By the time he'd looked back up the coded transmission was scrolling over his data-pads screen. The doctor had gone off-script. Instead of calling for an emergency medical transport, he'd called Chandrillan Disease Control, who were currently mobilizing to set up a quarantine zone as a precautionary response to a potential outbreak.

He took a moment, after reading the message to process this turn of events, and then tapped his comm to issue orders. "Four, rain hell down on that response team, delay it as much as possible. Two, you and Six are ballistic. Secure the package. Three, return to base and keep the drives hot." he waited for the double-clicks from his team, then glanced over at Nova.

"Change of plans, kid." Orev hollered. "Hold onto something." The Duros tossed the hover-boat into drive and jammed the throttle all the way to it's over-stops.

Tsiv barely had time to grab hold of a guard rail next to him before they started rocketing across the sea towards the prison. His violet eyes widening in surprise. He wasn't tied into the comms, so he had no idea yet that the plan had gone belly up. "What do you mean?!" He shouted over the sound of the drives and rushing wind.

"The doctor over-reacted to Ansel's condition. He called the CDC instead of the med-transport. We're going to have to go in and get him." The Duros replied, his voice somehow calm.

Tsivoin was far from calm. "We're going to what?!" he asked, grabbing the rail tighter.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Nova had known something was wrong even before Rossi's call came over the comm. She could feel it in the Force and the look on Vague's face only confirmed her worst fear. He seemed to take a moment to compose himself and then barked some orders. Nova stared at him wide-eyed in surprise. "You're sending Orev and Tsiv in there alone?" She whispered sharply to him.

She immediately tried to get out of her chair but Vague held her fast. "Stay put," he told her firmly, though his volume was little more than a whisper.

Nova sat back down and turned to him. "Are you crazy? They need our help! They can't do this alone!"

It was all she could do to keep from behind heard. The panic was rising up from the pit of her stomach and she needed to act.

"What are you going to do," he asked her, his voice calm and quiet. "We're flying over an ocean. Are you going to jump in to go save them?"

"I--," Nova began but her words trailed off. She had momentarily forgotten where they were. If she jumped out of the transport now all she would do was drown and from the knowing look that Vague was giving her he was very much aware of that. The tension in her body gradually faded and she leaned back in her chair. For the first time in her life she found herself in a situation where she couldn't swoop in and solve the problem and she didn't know how to handle that. "What can we do," she asked him quietly and Vague noticed there was a slight tremble in her voice.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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If he was shocked by her sudden showcase of emotion, he didn't show it. In reality, he'd been preparing for this since Rossi called out the distress word. She may act tough, but if there was one thing Vague knew for certain about Nova, it was that she felt responsible for the Zabrak somehow and at the moment, there was nothing the girl could do to help her friend.

"You can start," Vague was sure to keep his tone neutral, and his volume low. "By preserving their anonymity." He was fairly certain no one else on the transport had heard her outburst, but they had assigned numbers for a reason, and dropping names in the middle of an operation was an unnecessary risk.

Nova's cheeks turned red. He was absolutely right. She had reacted to the situation without even thinking and had used their real names instead of their assigned codenames. "Sorry," she whispered back, her eyes shrinking away from his gaze.

Orev had guided their hover-boat wide, circling around the island and approaching from the eastern shore. He keyed his comm and alerted the team that they were activating the jamming field. It wasn't ideal, but it would keep them off of the islands sensors... and with luck he'd be able to bring the boat up to the eastern coastline without being detected visually by any sentries.

Vague nodded, satisfied, then continued. "No matter how well we may plan something out, we can never eliminate every variable," his voice was less stern than it had been before. "I know you'd rather be there instead of Six, but they are off script now and I couldn't put you there knowing you couldn't swim," he paused as Orev announced they were activating their jamming field, they would be out of communication until they had infiltrated the island. "Two has been in this game for a long time, he knows what he's doing. For now we play our parts and we wait."

The Duros took his eyes off of the controls just long enough to look over at his companion and point towards one of the boat's benches. "Pop that open, we're going to need to gear up." He spoke.

Tsiv had started to pant, much like he had been when he and Nova were hiding out in the maintenance tunnel while they escaped Cantonica... Panic was starting to take hold of the teen. When Orev spoke, he was relieved to have a task to accomplish. He let go of the rail he'd been gripping and moved over to the bench, tossing the cushion aside to reveal a large duffel bag full of gear.

"Put that vest and helmet on, and sling the carbine." Orev barked, and Tsivoin anxiously complied. "There's a stun baton on the vest, and the carbine should be set to stun as well. These jailers are still the good guys, we aren't looking to hurt or kill anyone here." Once Tsiv was set, Orev swapped places with him so that he could also suit up.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Tsivoin couldn't quite remember the last time he'd been so nervous. Could it have been when he had escaped the Red Keys? The frail Zabrak was clutching the grip and forestock of the carbine in his hand as it's ascension line pulled him rapidly up the sheer cliff that made up Ogedeen Islands eastern coast. He shot a wide eyed glance to his right where Orev was doing the same. Tsiv was painfully and frighteningly aware of the fact that one wrong move now would send him tumbling down the cliff and into a very unforgiving sea...

Nova curled her fingers around the armrests of her chair a little tighter. She understood his reasoning, but she still didn't like it. Tsivoin had no training. She wasn't even sure if he knew how to handle a weapon. The Red Key thug had said he killed several of their members but she wasn't privy to the circumstances of how it happened. Was that something he really accomplished on his own? Or did he have help? Was the explosion on Cantonica really the first time he used his power? There were too many unknowns, and not knowing what was going to happen did not put her mind at ease.

She closed her eyes and stretched out her feelings. She allowed the sound of the drives and the quiet conversations of the other passengers to fade from existence until it was just her and the Force. Tsivoin's presence in the Force wasn't hard to find. She could sense where he was and the tension in his heart. She wished she could be there with him, but unfortunately this was as close as she could get. Tsivoin, be careful, she thought, allowing the Force to carry her message to him.

Orev and Tsivoin were hunkered down, hidden by the recreation fields solid stone wall. The Duros had just given the Zabrak the fastest crash course in field tactics and carbine marksmanship in the history of operational deployments, and was now trying to ignore the sensation that maybe this wasn't the best idea.

The back of Tsvioin's neck started to tingle slightly, and all of a sudden his thoughts grew fuzzy and he thought he heard Nova's voice in his mind. Was he crazy, or did she just speak to him.... The sound of her voice, real or imagined, helped to steady the teenagers pounding hearts, and he set his jaw with determination. He and Orev had a job to do, and he wasn't going to let down his new family. He felt Orev tap his shoulder, and now understood that this meant they were moving out. He stood and followed the Duros, keeping the muzzle of his carbine pointed down and to the right so it wouldn't point at Orev.

The pair had to sneak around the recreation area, then breach the prisons kitchen. Once through the kitchen they could skirt through the mess hall and ultimately gain access to the Infirmary. Orev frowned as they moved. There was so much ground to cover, and they were sure to encounter resistance soon...
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Nova felt the tension in Tsiv's body release and the Zabrak felt more determined now. She broke the link between them and opened her eyes before glancing up at Vague. He'd been looking right at her, though for how long she couldn't say. "What," she asked.

"Resting your eyes?" He said.

"It's a breathing exercise," she lied, "To calm my nerves."

"Hmm," he answered simply, then turned his attention back to his datapad.

Nova turned her gaze away from him, a part of her wishing that lie had been true. Unfortunately, the waiting was killing her. What made it worse was that they were now out of contact with Orev and Tsivoin. The jamming device they used to mask the boat's radar signature also jammed their communications. From here on out they were on their own and all she could do was wait. If only I was there with them... From what she saw of the prison's security there wasn't anything that could stop her and her lightsaber from breaking in. She could grab Ansel and be in and out in a heartbeat, but every holo news station from here to the 'Rim would certainly hear about it.

The transport shook slightly from turbulence which startled Nova. She quickly got control of her nerves, though, and glanced up at Vague. Again the man seemed not to notice and she felt both envious and irritated at the same time. She even began to wonder if the man felt any emotion at all, but pushed that thought aside as it wasn't very constructive. She was just looking for an outlet while being keenly aware that they still hadn't heard anything from Orev and Tsiv yet. She toyed with the idea of reaching out to see if Tsiv was alright again, but Vague had already caught her meditating once. Not to mention that she was worried that Tsivoin would become distracted if he could feel her presence. All she could do now was set her fears aside and hope for the best. A skill she had yet to learn...
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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“Eyes on Two and Six.” SlackJaws voice cut through the comms. The droid was hard lined into Rossi’s rig, his yellow-green photoreceptors strobing as processed the inputs from the prisons security system. Next to him, the Kessurian was a blur of activity. She had three separate screens up and was alternating keypads. One dedicated to slowing down the CDC response team, one slamming the prisons systems with adaptive spikes keeping their feeds on a loop, and the other prepared to shut the entire place down if necessary. “They’re breaching the kitchen now.” The droids tone was short and clipped. The less time they spent on comms the better.

Vague double clicked and acknowledgement, and allowed himself to drift into prep mode, he didn’t let go of the lawyer persona completely so as to not give them away, but he was that much closer to being ready to move if the need arose.

Orev winced at the sound the door made as he forced it open with a booted high kick, and silently wished they were breaking into anyone else’s prison. If it wasn’t for this place being New Republic, they’d have done this whole thing tactical and he’d have had access to all of Rossi’s techy toys. The Duros gave a two count, tapped Tsiv on the top of his helmet, and burst forth through the door. He wanted to think they were fortunate when he saw the kitchen itself was empty, but he knew better than that. He might not have verbalized it, but Durin had absolutely planned out their timing to fall between mid days meal and dinner time to limit the amount of personnel they might encounter on the south end of the complex.

He and Tsivoin moved through the kitchen, stacking on opposite sides of the double doors that led out into the mess hall. Orev had to admit, the kid had a knack for moving silently. handy skill for a pickpocket. He mused, surely the kid had plenty of practice at that. He inched closer to the doors and hazarded a peak through the transperisteel. Two inmates were lazily mopping the place, one near the doors, the other on the far side. He held up a hand to stall Tsivoin, and waited.

Tsiv’s hearts were still pounding in his chest, the waiting was agonizing. Just when he thought he couldn’t take it any longer, Orev shot through the door on his side, and in a green-grey blur of motion, he backed his way through the door again, dragging an unconscious Twi’lek inmate with him. He set the humanoid up against the wall, then tapped Tsivs helmet again, held up three fingers, then pointed to the door and then again to the left. The teen paused to process the signals, then nodded, the oversized helmet sliding down his forehead a bit with the motion. He saw Orev make a face and frustratedly shoved the helmet back into place and nodded again, more subtly this time.

The Duros didn’t wait, he shouldered the carbine and disappeared into the mess hall. Leaving Tsivoin to count to three on his own. By the time he’d finished counting, worked up the courage, and trudged through the door, he heard the whine of a stun blast and the muffled thus of a body hitting the floor, followed by the clatter of a mop and bucket toppling over. He immediately banked left as instructed and carefully walked them perimeter of the mess and stopped at Orev’s side.

Orev was watching the corridor carefully, and Tsivoin knew from their briefing that the single door down the way was to the infirmary, where their prize waited under the watchful care of a very nervous doctor and surely a few guards. Tsiv didn’t quit know what to make of what happened next, but in moments Orev had removed the second inmates coveralls and pulled them snugly over his Medtech suit and blast vest. The fit was terrible and would surely be a giveaway up close, but the Duros merely removed his helmet, held up five fingers to Tsiv, then handed the Zabrak his carbine. He made the ‘follow me’ motion, then staggered out of the mess.

Again, it was like a blur. One moment Orev was bumbling his way towards the two guards outside the infirmary, the next minute is stun baton slid from sleeve to hand, and the two dropped to the floor in a spasming tangle of limbs. Five count over, Tsiv moved silently up to the Duros side, handing the humanoid back his carbine. He received a curt nod and another tap on the helmet, followed by a follow me on a two count signal.

By the time he’d counted to two, the whine and flash of another three stun blasts reached his ears. Tsivoin stepped into the infirmary to see two downed guards and the doctor on the floor, all three of them wearing masks, gloves, and protective gowns. For the briefest of moments Tsiv was suddenly very nervous that he wasn’t wearing the same, but surely that would have been covered in the briefing if it was an issue... right?

“Grab the two outside and bring them in.” Orev ordered him, the Duros was readying the antidote they’d brought along with them.

“Two and Six have passed Kalpana.” SlackJaw announced to the comm.

Tsiv turned back around and grabbed the first guard. It was an immense struggle for the frail teen to pull the man apart from his comrade and then drag his bulk back through the door. Tsivoin was panting lightly when he turned and stepped back out to grab the next guard. As he struggled with awkwardly gripping the mans uniform and heaving him towards the door, Tsiv felt a strange tingle at the small of his back... there was no way for SlackJaw or Rossi to warn the teen, and in an instant he cried out sharply as he felt two massive impacts in his midsection. The force of the rounds drove the air from his lungs and propelled him backwards into the infirmary.

“Six has been hit.”
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Rossi gasped and suddenly stopped hitting the keys on her pads when she heard SlackJaws announcement, both her hands covered her mouth as she froze in place, unable to look up at the display that could very well be showing Tsiv’s still body. She could feel her pulse quicken and didn’t know what to do.

Vague’s eyes closed tightly. Not the kid he thought to himself. He swallowed hard against the lump in his throat. It was moments like this his crew depended on him the most... and it was moments like this that he slipped back into Auden Ward. When he opened his eyes, there was no semblance of humanity left in them. He unbuttoned his suit jacket and slipped out of it as he stood in one rapidly fluid motion. “Four, mute them, now. Three, what are their statuses.” He called out into the comm.

Nova had a look of panic in her eyes. Her mind raced, Tsivoin could be dead right now and there was no way for her to know. She stopped suddenly when she realized she could still try to feel for his presence in the Force. When Vague stood she missed it completely because she had her eyes closed searching desperately for Tsiv. Unfortunately, her emotions kept getting in the way, she couldn't calm herself down enough to focus. She had her face scrunched up in concentration and kept repeating to herself, "Please, Tsiv... Please be alive..."

Orev heard the percussion of the shots a fraction of a second before he heard Tsivoin’s cry. The Duros turned immediately away from the still unconscious form of Ansel and brought his carbine up to his shoulder. Tsiv had been thrown back through the door and was lying on his back, his hands clutching his midsection. The Duros sighted down his weapon and started to sidestep rapidly to the left. He had no idea how many combatants were on the other side of the door and he had to maintain any advantage available at this point, unfortunately that meant leaving the Zabrak where he was unattended.

When the door finally opened, a trio of guards filed through it. The first turned left and walked passed Tsiv, the second went straight in and turned right, the third following straight up the middle. Orev rose from behind his cover and fired, striking the second and third guards square, but was forced to duck back down when the first one spun and returned fire. He was about to spring back up when he heard a sharp cry and the sound of liquid hitting the ground. Orev’s eyes widened and he shot up from cover to see the final guard hitting the deck, a surgical instrument lodged in the side of his neck and Ansel Brimm standing next to him, looking curiously at the young Zabrak struggling to regain his breath.

“You must be the cavalry,” the forger said sardonically, looking over at Orev he pointed down at Tsiv. “Since when did you have runts on the team?”

Then the klaxons started going off. Orev didn’t have time for a retort. “Jam the door, Brimm. It’s about to be crowded in here." He ordered the inmate, then rushed over to look over Tsiv. He poked around the vest and a pair of hard rubber spheres dropped and bounced their way across the floor. Thank stars for that. He thought to himself. Grabbing the vest he pulled Tsiv up to his feet and propped him against a nearby gurney. “You’ll live, kid.” He old the teen, “Them dummy rounds pack a mean wallop but they’re all bark in the end. Slow, deep breaths, keep an eye on the door.” He added, tossing the Zabrak's carbine back to him. “I’m gonna find us an exit.”

“Five. Five. Five!” Vague finally shouted, turning to face her, his hard eyes locked in as she finally opened hers, as if noticing him standing there for the first time. “On your feet.” He commanded. It had only been a minute, maybe two, but every passenger other than Nova was laying prone on the ground, hands over their heads including the pilot. She’d been so locked into her own mind she hadn’t even noticed that they’d slowed to a hover.

Nova stared at him in surprise, her mouth agape with an unspoken question. Since when did he have a weapon? She thought they were both unarmed.

"Now, Five," he shouted again and she stood.

She moved to the front of the transport and took control of the vehicle. They were going to rescue Tsiv. He had to be alive, he just had to...

“Three, sitrep.” Vague spoke into the comm, his voice frosty.

“Six is up, unsure of damage, prize is in hand, opposition heavy.” SlackJaw did his best to provide a brief summary of the current situation. “Four has disabled all communication from or to the prison, but a new republic response team has been dispatched.”

“One, they’re going to get there first.” Rossi added forlornly.

Tsivoin wheezed, bleary eyed, but managed a weak nod and hefted the carbine back up to his shoulder. As his vision slowly came back into focus he wished it hadn’t. One of the guards lay a few feet away in a expanding pool of blood. He quickly averted his eyes from the corpse, finding Ansel Brimm studying him instead.

“What’re ya, squeamish, Spikes?” Ansel chided him. “It’s them or us, don’t think any different.” He added, bending over to grab one of the guards weapons.

It wasn’t long before Orev returned and Tsivoin had mostly caught his breath. His ribs and sternum ached miserably, but as Orev had said, he was alive. The three of them had busted out through a window in the back of the Infirmary and they were racing for the ascension hooks that they’d left on the eastern cliff. Orev led the way, masterfully stunning any opposition as they ran. Tsivoin was struggling to stay on Orev’s heels, while Ansel brought up the rear.

The Duros held off the guards as first Tsivoin, then Ansel rappelled back down the cliff, then he followed, wasting no time he fired up the hover-boat and sent them speeding away from the island.

Nova glanced back over her shoulder at Vague. She already had the transport moving at its fastest clip, she wasn't sure what else she could do.

Vague was about to say something but Nova interrupted him. "Ro--Four, how close are we to the response team?"

“Umm, they’re 600 meters off your starboard, and moving fast.” Rossi replied instinctively. Then thought better of it, and at the same time as Vague she asked, “Why?”

“You know, that bastard Vague could have told me he as going to frelling poison me!” The forger shouted over the protesting repolsorlifts.

Orev ignored the man, they had bigger problems. He could hear the distant thrum of New Republic air support rapidly approaching. He jammed the throttle as far forward as he could, then reached up to pull the tarp off of their hoverboats only means of defense, a light repeating laser canon. “Kid, come’re. Keep this pinned down as fast as it’ll go and make sure we stay pointed at that light house!” He shouted, then climbed up onto the deck and charged up the cannon.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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"I don't really have time to explain," Nova told them as she directed the transport towards the New Republic response team. It did not take long for them to cover the distance between them and after she maneuvered the transport into a position above the Republic vehicle she locked the controls in place. Then she stood, kicked off her heels and pointed to the pilot. "You, stand up," she told him and the man looked warily at Vague who simply nodded.

The pilot stood then turned to the girl who had addressed him. Nova quickly waved her hand in front of his face while pointing at Vague and said, "You will follow this man's orders."

The man stared at her blankly and for a moment he seemed to struggle with something. Then finally he repeated aloud. "I--I will follow this man's orders."

Then she turned to Vague. "Order him to fly the transport."

Vague looked confused. "What're you...," he tried to say but she cut him off.

"Just do it," she told him then she half-turned and to everyone's surprise somehow made the door open on its own just by waving her hand at it. A rush of wind filled the cabin as soon as the door opened and everyone on board the transport began to scream in alarm. "I'll be waiting for you to pick me up," she shouted to Vague over all the noise. Then she ran to the open doorway and jumped out.

She free fell down nearly a hundred meters and landed on the Republic transport with a loud thump. The rush of wind coming at her and the sudden change in velocity threaten to nearly throw her into the ocean. After rolling backward several feet she somehow managed to find purchase and maintain her grip. Ahead of her the top hatch of the vehicle opened up and a Republic trooper appeared, leveling a blaster in her direction. Nova waved her hand at him and he was immediately lifted out of the transport and into the air, screaming as he plummeted into the water below. Another man poked his head out soon after and she pulled his weapon from his grasp then pushed him back into the hatch, banging his head off the hard metal and knocking him unconscious. He fell back inside the transport onto the next guy who was trying to climb out.

Nova then scrambled up to her feet and covered the short distance between her and the hatch, acrobatically flipping over and swinging into it as the hatch closed behind her. The next few moments were tense as nothing seemed to happen. The others could hear blasterfire through their comms but no response from Nova. Suddenly the transport began to veer violently and shake before crashing into the ocean. The armored vehicle skipped along the surface of the water for several meters before finally coming to a stop. For awhile nothing but silence prevailed on the comm until finally the hatch on top of the vehicle opened up again and Nova crawled out. She sealed the hatch shut behind her then stood, lifting one hand up to her ear.

"Okay, One, about that pickup," she asked, then she glanced down at the water rising up around her feet. "And please hurry, I'm not wearing a life vest..."
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Rossi and SlackJaw had no idea what had just happened, and could only wait in relative silence as they saw the blip representing the republic troop carrier disappear off the scopes. Vague, on the other hand, had a front row seat to the spectacle. He certainly admired the girls bravery, and her compassion for her friend, but they would need to break words later regarding the incident.

Vague leaned over the pilot and pointed at the speck in the ocean that was the transport.

“I don’t- This isn’t a rescue boat I don’t think it’ll hold—“

Durin didn’t have time for this. “This heap have an emergency raft?” He asked briskly, pulling the pilot bodily from his seat.

“Well yeah, I-“

Vague slid behind the controls of the transport and cut off the pilot. “Good. Get everyone back there ready to board it.” He sent the vessel careening down to just above sea level and skimmed along until he was hovering just off the downed republic transport. As he activated the emergency raft, the bright yellow vessel inflated to life and dropped down into the sea, a small slide trailing behind it to allow the passengers a way aboard. “Three, sitrep. Five, get in.”

“Two, Six, and the prize are aboard the hover boat. They’re being pursued by waveskimmers, and the New Republic has scrambled fighter support, eta four minutes.”

Vague gritted his teeth. He heard the sound of bare feet on the deck and spoke to Nova without turning. “Are our guests clear?”

“Yes.” She replied, catching her breath.

Vague wasted no time throwing power to the drives and getting their commandeered transport moving again. “Three, prep for lift off. We’ve worn out our welcome here.” He ordered, then threw the transport into a steep arch to intercept the fleeing hover-boat.

Orev and Tsivoin had traded places once the waveskimmer had locked into them and though the teen was certainly trying his best, between the choppy ocean and Orev’s evasive flying he hadn’t hit anything yet. Orev was running out of options... if they couldn’t shake the waveskimmers before they got to shore, they were as good as dead. Just then an explosion rocked them from the starboard side. The skimmers had tired of blasting and had resorted to torpedoes... that gave Orev an idea.

“Ansel, make yourself useful, toss that crate overboard!” He hollered. “Tsivoin, when I say so, jettison the debris.” He added, he watched the crate bob up and down in the water and get smaller. “Now Tsiv.” He commanded, shifting their course to starboard as the chunks of fake hover boat littered the sea in their wake. He traveled along the New course for a few seconds, before cutting the throttle and allowing the boat to drift to a hover. The Duros ignored Ansel’s protests and moved to the canon, taking careful aim and eating until the pack of waveskimmers were just about on top of the crate. He fired twice, and the explosives ignited, turning their pursuers into so much slag.

A moment later, one of the torpedos impacted with their fake debris, brilliantly exploding. Unfortunately they had not gotten far enough away and the shockwave caused the hover-boat to shut down. Without repulsorslifts it dropped to the sea with a massive splash and started to sink almost immediately. No longer powered up, the jamming field died and Orev heard his comm unit spring back to life.

“One, Two here... torpedo sunk our boat, we’re going to need fished out.” He spoke into the comm, as he started to tread water. He heard a strangled call for help and turned suddenly to see Tsiv was flailing about in a panic, about ten meters away. “You better hurry, Six is in trouble and I’m not sure I can get to him.” He said grimly trying to swim against the current towards the struggling teen.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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"In trouble?" Nova repeated, "What do you mean?"

"Looks like the kid was lying about being able to swim," Orev told them, his voice sounded strained and he spoke to them in starts and stops.

Damn it, Tsivoin, she thought to herself. You lied to them for my sake, didn't you? She pounded her fist against the bulkhead in frustration. Again this was her fault, she had gotten him in way over his head a third time.

"Get ready," Vague told her, "We're coming up on them now."

Orev glanced up as their transport flew overhead and the side door opened up. He was still some distance away from Tsivoin and the boy was quickly running out of steam. Nova stepped into the opening of the transport just in time to see Tsivoin's head duck under the waves, only this time he didn't come back up.

"Tsivoin, no," she shouted and she reached out a hand to him and concentrated.

Orev was still struggling to reach the kid but the current was strong and he still had several meters to go. He was kicking with his feet as hard as he could, his hands sweeping wide and slicing through the waves. Try as he might though, he was making little headway. Then suddenly something he couldn't explain happened. Tsivoin's unconscious body rose up from the water seemingly on its own. A moment later he felt himself being lifted up as well, along with Ansel. He turned to look behind himself and saw Nova standing in the open doorway with one arm stretched out towards them and her eyes closed. She lifted them into the transport and as soon as all three of them were inside she collapsed onto her knees from exhaustion.

All three of her companions hit the deck hard, though Ansel quickly got up and closed the door. "Punch it," he shouted at Durin.

Meanwhile, Nova had crawled over to where Tsivoin was lying still and pressed her fingers to his neck. He had a pulse, but he wasn't breathing. "'Rev," she shouted at him, "help me get the water out of his lungs!"
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Orev braced himself against a nearby rail, gasping desperately to catch his breath, as Vague kicked in the drives and shot them away from the debris below. He could tell by the turbulence that Vague was keeping them as close to the cresting waves as he could to avoid detection from the fast approaching fighter flight. Orev then heard Nova shouting in his direction and he looked up to see the young woman a meter or so away, kneeling on the deck with the Zabrak's head resting in her lap.

The Duros silently cursed his aging body, and forced himself up into a crouch. He quickly moved through the speeding transport to kneel near Nova and reached out with both hands, tearing the fasteners apart so that the flack-vest Tsivoin wore fell to the floor with a soft thud. He then placed the palm of his right hand gently atop the teens chest for a moment. Sure enough, he could feel both of the Zabrak's hearts beating. His pulses were slow, weak, but they were there. Orev's brow furrowed. If he'd been younger or in better shape, could he have gotten to the kid in time?

He shouldn't have been there in the first place Orev thought to himself.

He reached down and used both hands to manipulate Tsiv's head and neck into the proper posture for rescue breathing, then leaned down and blew two slow, purposeful breaths into the teens lungs before raising his head up to look for any sign of a rise or fall of his chest. "Why the blazes did he tell us he could swim?" He wondered aloud as he himself still struggled to catch his own breath.

Mercifully, they were well and truly out of the search radius by the time the New Republic's fighter craft arrived on station. Vague still kept them at as low of an altitude as he could safely pilot the transport as a precaution. They'd been flying at full tilt for a few minutes when Vague finally spared a glance back into the transports passenger cabin, and he'd almost immediately regretted it. Ansel was seated a few rows behind the cockpit, seemingly oblivious to Nova and Orev's passionate attempts to breath life back into Tsivoin.

He turned back to the instruments as the analytical side of his brain started calculations. For a baseline human, five minutes was a long time to go without oxygen. After that irreversible damage started to occur... He wasn't nearly as familiar with Zabrakian physiology, but Vague had to assume that as a humanoid the numbers were closely aligned... He shifted his attention to the scopes. He couldn't do anything more than what Orev and Nova already were for the teenager.

"We're two mikes from the rally point." He spoke into the comm.

"Three and Four, already on station." came SlackJaw's reply. "We've rolled out the welcome mat."
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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"I don't know. I don't know why," Nova told him. She was back in panic mode again as she watched the Duros lean forward and perform some kind of operation.

First he placed his mouth against Tsiv's then began to rhythmically press on the Zabrak's chest. Nova had never seen this operation performed before. She had no idea what he was doing. She stared down at Tsivoin's face but there was no change. Orev went through several more repetitions with no response from Tsiv.

"Come on, Kid," the Duros said aloud between breaths. He repeated the process a few more times with no reaction from the Zabrak until he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Let me try," Nova said and Orev nodded. He backed away to give her room then she leaned forward and placed one hand on Tsiv's chest and closed her eyes.

Orev stared at her in confusion. "What are you doing," he asked.

"Shh," Nova hushed him, giving him a sharp look, "I've never done this before..."

She closed her eyes again and tried to concentrate, feeling for the water in Tsiv's lungs. Then she tried to force that water upwards into the Zabrak's throat. A moment later the Zabrak convulsed, rolling over onto his side and coughing as a ton of water spilled onto the deck. Tsivoin's eyes fluttered open and he propped himself up on one arm, turning his gaze to Orev and Nova.

"Did we make it," he asked and Nova smacked him across the cheek with a loud slap.

Tsivoin rubbed his bruised cheek with one hand and stared at her in surprise. That's when he noticed the tears in her eyes. He was about to say something when she suddenly leaned forward and threw her arms around him, hugging him tightly.

"You idiot," she chided him gently...
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Vague clicked off the comm just in time to hear the all too familiar sound of an open hand meeting an unsuspecting cheek, and turned to see Tsivoin's bewildered eyes finally open again. He let out a huge sigh of relief, the turned back to the controls once more. They would be crossing over the coastline any second now and he'd need to focus on the terrain for the remainder of the flight.

Tsivoin coughed again, his throat felt raw, he was lightheaded, and his vision was spotty. He raised his hand to his cheek where Nova had just slapped him and then looked up at her in confusion. He was about to ask her why she'd just decked him but before he could speak she had lunged forward and pulled him into a hug. The teen had just started to hug her back when he felt the sharp pain in his ribs and chest as she squeezed him tight. Tsivoin sucked in a quick breath and winced, his face twisting slightly with the in response to the pain.

You idiot. he heard her say, her voice nearly a whisper.

"Nova?" he spoke, his voice a mix of pain, surprise, and confusion.

Nova felt his body tense up and heard the pain in his voice. She quickly broke the hug and leaned back, looking him over to make sure he was alright.

"Why did you lie about being able to swim," she asked him. "You could have died!"

Tsivoin instinctively reached a hand down to grab his injured flank, though a lot of good it would do. He shifted his gaze from Nova's concerned eyes and upset expression, up and over to Orev who he saw was now sitting nearby them... then belatedly he noticed that Vague and Ansel were up in the cockpit. His violet eyes darted back to Nova and he lowered his voice to a whisper hoping the others couldn't hear them.

"I could tell that.. you couldn't." He drew in a quick breath, wincing from the effort and continued. "Better me than.. you."

She smacked him again. "Don't ever say that," she said sharply. "Your life has value, don't you ever throw it away for me."

Tsivoin suddenly found it very hard to meet her gaze, and his eyes shifted down to the puddle of sea water next to him. He studied his warped reflection for a long moment. The only value he'd ever had was the labor he could provide to his owners... The Zabrak didn't know how to think of himself as anything other than disposable, and he'd never seen someone look at him with the fierceness that Nova had just done.

All the teen could do was nod his head absently in response. It wasn't an agreement with her sentiment, so much as him not wanting to upset her anymore than he'd already inadvertently done.

She placed a hand lightly on his cheek then helped him up to his feet.

"One here, crossing Valorum. Three, touchdown in ten... Four, better prep medical -- Brace yourselves back there." Vague ordered out over the comm and back into the transports cabin. They were finally about to overfly the rally point, and not a moment too soon as he could see on his scopes that the New Republic had widened their search pattern. They must not have bought the ruse that the perpetrators had gone down with their ship at sea. His crews time was short.

He gritted his teeth at the sound of the treetops scrapping against the hull of their transport as he cut their momentum sharply and dropped them through the forest canopy. The transport spun around nearly 180 degrees, then slammed down hard on its landing struts. With a flip of two switches, Vague opened the hatch and killed power to the transport. "Everyone on the 'Bedlam," He spoke urgently as he stood and turned to face the group, looking them over briefly before focusing on Nova and Tsiv. "Take him straight to medical and strap in. We're spacebound." He finished, then waited for the four of them to depart before following along after them.

The moment he was clear of the ramp he drove the lever home to shut it and called out over the comm. "All personnel, crossing Palpatine. Get me off this rock."
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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The moments following take-off were tense as the Bedlam rocketed into space. Nova half expected the Republic would give chase but somehow Slackjaw and Rossi managed to keep the ship off their scanners, at least until they hit the edge of space. Out in orbit around the planet was an old Mon Cal cruiser. It was too far away to intercept the ship but that didn't stop them from trying. They launched another wing of X-Wings to chase them down but by the time they were within weapons range Vague had already had a jump formula. Nova felt the familiar surge into lightspeed and breathed a sigh of relief. She turned to look back at Tsivoin who was strapped down to the medical bed with a bunch of monitoring devices connected to him. She had no idea what any of this stuff meant, but other than a few injuries she knew Tsivoin was going to live.

She unbuckled herself from her chair and stood. She tried to make her way to the door but she felt a hand on her arm and turned to look. It was Tsivoin and the look in his eyes seemed to suggest he wanted her to stay. Nova gently rested a hand on top of his. "I'll be back," she assured him, "Just gotta go face the music."

He had a curious look on his face that clearly suggested he had no idea what she was talking about so Nova explained. "I took down an entire troop transport without a weapon," she told him, "Then I lifted you and everyone else out of the sea. They're going to want to know how I did it and why I kept it a secret."

Nova could see a range of emotions clearly playing across his face. Once again she used her powers to save him and once again she exposed herself to the others. No doubt he felt responsible for that, but she felt responsible for him so she had no choice. She gave his hand a gentle squeeze then smiled. "It's alright," she said, "They'd have found out eventually, anyway. You just get better, okay?"

He nodded then gradually let go of her arm. Nova moved to the door then took a deep breath, pausing a moment to steel herself. She left the room and the doors slid shut behind her. Outside the others were just gathering in the commons. Vague had just finished scanning for any signs of pursuit, Ansel was helping himself to the kitchen and the others were unbuckling themselves from their seats. As soon as she entered all eyes had turned to her, except for Ansel who was busy stuffing his face.

"Mmmph," he announced to everyone between bites, "This is better than prison food. You will not believe what they feed you in there."

Nova ignored that and turned to Vague. "So," she began, wrapping one arm around herself and grabbing her elbow with her opposite hand, "I imagine you have questions..."
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Vague was leaning up against the bulkhead when she emerged from the tiny med-center. Had he just met Nova he'd probably have been impressed that she'd opted to initiate this conversation. But in the relatively short time he'd been around her he'd come to expect her particular brand of directness and pragmatism.

He'd already asked Rossi to go check on Tsivoin once they were in the clear, so when he nodded his head she stood and did just that. With SlackJaw monitoring their progress from the cockpit, Vague turned to Orev and made a motion towards their newly acquired guest. "Rev, why don't you have a sit down with Mr. Brimm, get a short-list together of what materials and equipment he'll be requiring for this gig," He paused for just a moment before he pushed off the bulkhead and walked through the commons, heading aft. "Walk with me." he added as he passed Nova.

He took a handful of steps into the engineering section and stopped, facing the far wall and Orev's homemade pot-still. The Captain reached up and removed the wig from his head, scratching at his shortly trimmed hair with his back to the door as Nova entered behind him. Once he heard the hatch slide closed behind her, he turned around to face her.

"Sounds like the kid's going to be alright. Bruised up a few ribs. How'd you make out?" the outside corners of his eyes pinched just a bit as he studied her much closer this time than he had when she'd first climbed out of the maintenance hold.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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The door to the med-center slid open and Tsivoin perked up from the gurney thinking that Nova had returned already only to see that it was Rossi who'd come in. The Kessurian offered him a brief and understanding smile before stepping in all the way and letting the hatch close behind her.

If she was being completely honest with herself, Rossi was a bit surprised at how quickly she'd grown attached to this horn-head. She was absolutely beside herself today when he'd been shot. With a brisk shake of her head to clear her thoughts, she stepped forward and set a hand on Tsivoin's shoulder gently, glancing around at the readouts on the machines.

"So... It was a funny sort of day, wasn't it." She offered in an attempt to break the mood with a bit of levity.

Tsivoin didn't laugh, his eyes narrowed slightly instead and with a sigh Rossi realized what was probably on his mind. Her suspicion was confirmed moments later when he asked, "Are we going to have to leave, now?"

Rossi's mouth opened for a moment and then closed again. She blinked her honey tinted eyes and took a moment to consider the Zabrak's question. She certainly didn't want them to leave, but she hadn't been out there today... she didn't know what all Nova had done or how much Vague had seen. All of a sudden, a stray thought occured to her and she had to stop her hand from instinctively clenching on Tsiv's shoulder. The secret was out now, wasn't it.

She became aware that the pause had gone on a bit too long and looked back down at Tsiv. "No." she said. It wasn't a complete lie... she was almost totally sure that it wouldn't come to that. "No Tsivoin, we're a team and you and Nova are a part of that. Vague is a fair man. I'm sure he's not tickled about the two of you fibbing but I think we've collectively learned that lesson after today."

Tsiv frowned a bit and nodded his head. He had really boned that whole thing up in the end. "I was just trying to protect Nova." He said softly. "She's always trying to keep me safe I just- wanted to be there for her, too, y'know."

"I get it, Campo," Rossi replied with a grin. "Believe me, I do." She lifted her hand off his shoulder, stood, and started unhooking him from the various diagnostic tools. "Tsiv, I pronounce you fit for freedom. Just take it easy with those bruised ribs, if you need them re-wrapped or if you need something for the pain just let one of us know, alright?"
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Nova felt a bit relieved when Vague had ordered her to follow him into a private room. By now she had come to trust everyone on the crew, but she had just met Ansel and barely knew anything about him. Exposing her powers to him was perhaps the worst thing she could have done. There were plenty of people offering top dollar for living or dead Jedi and plenty more willing to cash that in. She rubbed her arm lightly with her other hand and quickly averted her eyes. She couldn't help but feel self-conscious under that gaze of his.

"Just a few cuts and bruises," she told him, "I wasn't really thinking when I took out the driver. I hope no one was badly hurt, most of them were unconscious and couldn't brace themselves."
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Vague nodded, her response thankfully confirming his suspicion. While she hadn't struck him as a killer at first blush, after today he'd be forced to revisit all previous assumptions. He was also pleased that she had not set into him about putting Tsivoin in harms way. Whether that was because she felt she shared some of that responsibility, understood that the risk was necessary, or just simply was choosing not to fight the battle was up for debate. While he was relieved to know that she'd at least been able to show some restraint in the heat of the moment, his gaze did not soften. Durin rubbed his freshly shaven chin for a moment, then continued.

"If they remembered their training, then they should all be fine." He commented offhand. He grimaced for just a second, having wanted to meet with the two of them but Nova had forced his hand. A short smirk tugged at the corner of his lips at the thought that she probably did this on purpose to insulate the Zabrak from the repercussions of his deception.

He took a slow breath in and started anew. "Is this," he made a sweeping motion with his hands before returning them to his sides, "Why you've been keeping one foot out the airlock since you got on board?"

"Um," she started. Her first impulse was to deny it but she decided they were way past lying now. "Yeah," she finished sheepishly.

Durin nodded again. “And this is why Rossi’s been acting like a hatchling who snuck a cookie out of the jar while the broodmother wasn’t watching?”

Nova winced at that. She hadn't expected to get Rossi into trouble. "Yes," she told him, "She, um... On Ord Mantell...," her words trailed off.

His head tilted a bit to the side and he took a step towards her. “Are you a danger? To this ship, to my crew?”

Her eyes widened when she looked at him. She was dreading that question, though perhaps she didn't quite understand his reasoning behind asking it. Was he afraid of her? Or something else?

Finally, she looked away. "Yes," she whispered quietly. "I'm Master Skywalker's last living Jedi apprentice. The First Order is sworn to destroy me and they will not stop until they succeed."

A flash of something, a challenge maybe, danced for an instant behind Vague’s eyes before they hardened again. “I don’t know any Skywalker, but no Order, First, Fifth, or the Last decides the fate of me or mine.” He took another step forward, crossing his arms before he spoke once more. “I’ll ask again, because I don’t fancy having this conversation over again. Are you going to harm my crew.” He emphasized his meaning by deliberately pointing his open hand at her.

"What," she asked, surprised he would even suggest it. "No, of course not! I would never!"

Vague re-crossed his arms and held her still with his most measuring stare for several heartbeats. He hoped that someday she would would allow herself to care enough for a group of people to be able to quantify the gravity of the deliberations he was making in the dimly lit engineering section of his freighter, his home.

Just as Nova could no longer weather the silence and his scrutiny and opened her mouth to speak again, something shifted within him, and he closed the last step between them, his right arm wrapping around her shoulders.

“Well alright then. So tell me, Nova, do I need to write a new rule book? No magic hand waving away your chores here on the ship, no altering the dinner menu to your liking, no laser swording by the reactor?” He asked with the first genuine grin she’d probably ever seen him wear smeared across his face.

Nova glanced up at him, unsure of what to think. This was the first time she'd seen him smile like that. It was--nice, but also a bit unsettling. His other personalities have all been disingenuous, which made her wonder if somehow this was too.

"I don't think Master Skywalker would approve of me using my power like that," she said finally.

It was dumb, and she felt dumb for saying it. For all she knew Skywalker had died with all the rest back at the temple. If that were the case then she was trying her best to please a dead man. Still, there was something else that bothered her.

"Are you sure you're okay with us staying," she asked him. She was still keenly aware that the First Order was trying to track her down. She wasn't about to ask Vague and his crew to fight the Knights of Ren for her.

"I'm sure, kid. You did good today. Look I'm not going to pretend to know what either of you have been through to bring you both here, but this crew - this family - We look after one another and we stick together."

The conversation drifted to more mundane topics, he reassured her that not everyday was like this one... Some were better, some worse, others just were. He emphasized the importance of honesty and how their plans success depended on having the most comprehensive and accurate intel at the start, and he mentioned that moving forward, they'd talk about Nova being more subtle and discriminate regarding public usage of her... gifts.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Nova was on her way back to the med bay when she passed Rossi in the corridor. The Kessurian glanced down at the girl's waist, noting with some pleasure that she now wore her laser sword openly on her belt. "Vague knows," she asked and Nova shrugged.

"Kind of hard to keep it a secret after taking down fifteen Republic troopers by myself," she admitted.

Rossi's eyes widened in shock. "Fifteen?!" She exclaimed.

"Well, sixteen if you count the pilot," she added. She hardly sounded impressed with herself at all, as if that was a normal thing for someone to do.

Rossi couldn't believe how casual she was about it. Even together the four original crew members of the Bedlam would have some difficulty facing off with that many troopers. She thought about asking the girl how she did it, but ultimately decided the answer was obvious. She watched her stop a blaster bolt in midair, after all. Instead, she decided to change the subject.

"Did you tell him about--," she let her words trail off and nodded her head in the direction of the med bay.

Nova's cheeks burned a bright red. She was well aware of the conversation she had with Vague about honesty, but this was beyond his or anyone's understanding. As far as she was concerned the only one on the ship who knew how to handle the dark side was her.

Rossi stared at her as she floundered then made a face. "Nova, you need to tell him."

"I know, I know," she whispered, "I just... It's not fair to Tsiv if I don't tell him first. I just need some time to figure out how. This is going to devastate him."

She still wasn't sure if she should tell Tsivoin, or whether or not she was going to. For the most part she was just trying to buy some time with Rossi to prevent the Kessurian from telling Vague herself. The thought of telling Tsivoin he had tapped into the dark side of the Force still brought images of the Zabrak dressed in the armor of the Knights of Ren unbidden to her mind. As much as she hated to admit it he still frightened her, even though she spent the last few days pretending he didn't...
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Tsivoin emerged from the med-center, with his shirt half over his head, obscuring his vision.The Zabrak was struggling to get the shirt back on essentially one handed, he couldn't lift his left arm high enough to do any good thanks to the stun rounds he'd taken during the jail-break. As it was, the shirt was snagged on his horns leaving the fresh bruises from the day along with the multitude of scars from his time in bondage exposed. He could hear Rossi and Nova talking, but couldn't quite make out what was being said. "Uh- can someone -- help?"

Nova stopped when she heard Tsiv's voice. She noticed the Zabrak struggling to put his shirt on. The multitude of his scars showing plainly for all to see. She had no idea just how much he'd been through, but after seeing that...

She turned back to look at Rossi, whose expression mirrored her own. "Please, Rossi, just a little bit longer," she begged, her voice little more than a whisper.

Then without waiting for a response she hurried over to help Tsiv. "Guess they don't really make these things with Zabraks in mind, huh," she asked as she lifted the hem of his shirt off of his horns. A moment later the shirt was pulled down over his chest and she found herself staring into his violet eyes. Were those the eyes of a monster? She couldn't be sure. The kid had endured so much, who knows how much hate he had bottled up inside himself.

"Looks like the landlord's not going to evict us yet," she joked, "But I wouldn't recommend lying about something you can't actually do again."

Once he was finally dressed, Tsiv found himself looking into Nova's eyes, her natural green eyes. the light blue contacts and glasses she'd worn during the mission discarded at some point during the eventful day. The intensity in her emerald expression made the teen blink, though he resisted the urge to take a step backwards. A glance to his left revealed that Rossi was staring at him too, though not quite in the same way... was that, pity? He didn't have long to wonder about it, though as Nova cracked a joke.

Tsivoin couldn't help but think back to those desperate moments before he'd succumbed to the waves. He'd been helpless and alone - the teen closed his eyes briefly as he remembered how the dark, frigid water had enveloped him. He shivered involuntarily and blinked his violet eyes back open, hoping that fear wasn't stuck in them.

"Heh. yeah. I uh, learned that one the hard way." He tried to joke back, subconsciously wrapping his thin arms around his middle.

"That's it, that's the look," Nova said suddenly surprising Tsiv. "Do that in front of Vague and maaaybe he'll take it easy on you."

When she saw the unspoken question in his eyes she clarified. "Oh, he mentioned he wanted to speak to you. I wouldn't keep him waiting."

The Zabrak's eyes widened a bit as he glanced back and forth between the two of them. Rossi merely shrugged and Nova nodded her head back towards the rear of the craft. He swallowed against a suddenly very dry throat as he remembered the last time he'd been left one-on-one with Vague Durin.

"Oh." he looked down at the deck, then back up at Nova for a moment. "Yeah, I guess I better not." he turned and took off aft, doing his very best to run while making it look like he was walking.

Rossi waited until Tsivoin was well out of earshot before she stepped over towards Nova. She still felt like keeping the secret from Tsiv and the rest of the crew wasn't a good idea on principle... but after catching that brief snapshot into what the poor Zabrak's past had been like... Well maybe Nova had a point about being delicate with the revelation.

"Nova - I didn't know..." She started, then trailed off. What could she say about it?
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Nova felt the tension from her body release after he had left. There must have been some kind of visible sign because Rossi had been looking at her afterward trying to assess her. Nova hoped the Kessurian would assume she was just nervous from telling him the truth rather than what actually scared her. No matter what Nova knew she couldn't let the First Order get their hands on Tsiv. If that happened then chances were she might find herself facing him one day and she doubted she could cut him down after getting him involved with this life. Maybe it would have been better if Master Skywalker hadn't found me, she thought to herself. Her life certainly would be a lot less complicated, or so she thought. She was well aware of the fact that the First Order had been hunting Force Sensitives. That's why they had pursued her for four years before finding out she was a Jedi. Without Master Luke's training chances were she would be dead by now.

Rossi closed the distance between them and said, "Nova--I didn't know..."

That was a bit of a relief. Nova had thought the Kessurian was watching her, she hadn't considered that was the first time Rossi had seen his scars. "I suspected," Nova admitted, "But I had no idea how bad it was."

Then she fully turned to face Rossi. "Anger and hate are pathways to the dark side," Nova explained to her, "Before I met Tsivoin he hated humans and then a bunch of humans appeared and killed his only friend. I need to know how deep it goes before I can even consider telling him the truth."

The Kessurian only nodded, still unsure of what to say.

"Anyway," Nova added, "I'm going to go sit down before I collapse."

Rossi's expression changed to one of concern. "Are you hurt?"

Nova waved her worries aside. "I'm fine, just had a bit of a rough landing. Never crashed a troop transport into the ocean before. I wouldn't recommend it," she added with a smirk. Then she spun on her heel and headed into the commons area.

Orev and Ansel were still sitting at the bar going over the plan. The Duros turned and saw her, noting the additional adornment on her belt but said nothing. Oddly enough, considering she had just accomplished what they all believed to be the impossible they seemed to take it rather well. Or maybe they were just hiding it. She controlled a man against his will in front of Vague, took out an entire troop carrier by herself and lifted three people out of the ocean with nothing but her mind. That was probably a lot for them to process in such short order. They were probably still trying to figure out how they felt about it.

She sighed and sat down on the couch just opposite the room from where Orev and Ansel were. Then she pulled a datapad from her pocket and began cycling through the news coming out of Chandrila. She wanted to make sure her escapades on the planet hadn't made the news. Otherwise, they might very well have Jedi hunters on their heels...
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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When Tsiv skittered into engineering he found Vague partially doubled over the workbench, in the midst of what appeared to be a coughing fit. The man raised a hand up between them causing Tsivoin to stop and wait in place. It took a handful of seconds but Durin managed to recover enough to stand up straight and he cleared his throat, wiping at his mouth with the back of his forearm. Tsivoin chewed at his lip slightly as Vague's brown eyes focused in on him.

"How's your chest?" Vague started, motioning to Tsiv's side with his hand.

"I'll be fine. I've been hit harder." Tsivoin replied, the words were true, but he found it difficult to put the confidence he wanted to into his tone. He wished Nova or Rossi were here. The Zabrak's eyes glanced around the room, looking for anything other than Vague's pensive stare to focus on.

Durin offered the kid a knowing smile before his face melted back into it's mask. "Good. I'm sorry things got so exciting today, none of us expected the doctor to over-react like he did. Orev said you handled yourself well, though. Well, until-" He paused and raised an eyebrow at the Zabrak.

Tsiv looked down at his boots and nodded his head quickly. "Yeah. About that. Almost drowning to death was plenty of a lesson for me. It won't happen again. I uh- was just trying to spare Nova." He made a face at the end, immediately wishing he hadn't added that last bit. It was true, but he hadn't wanted to interject her into this conversation.

Vague cleared his throat again, and his eyes narrowed a bit. "I'm sure you would agree that we all learned today that Nova can take care of herself," Vague responded, "You knew about her... abilities... already, though."

Tsiv understood that he'd made a statement, not asked a question, and simply nodded his head in response.

It almost seemed to Tsivoin that Vague hurried through the remainder of their discussion. He couldn't be sure, of course, but nonetheless by the end of it the Captain had given him a similar spiel as he'd provided Nova minutes before, regarding honesty, accountability, and putting the crew ahead of individual needs...

In the end, the two shook hands and as Tsivoin was startled by the sheer force of the mans grip, he looked down at their joined hands and was certain he'd seen a smear of blood on the sleeve of Durin's dress shirt. He said nothing and as he headed for the common area, he thought he could hear some more coughing behind the closed door.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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A day after leaving Chandrila the crew found themselves aboard an old derelict ship. Nova had first suspected the ship had been around since the Galactic Civil War almost thirty years ago but Vague mentioned it had been here even longer than that. It was an old Venator-Class star destroyer from the Clone Wars and it had been here for nearly sixty years. The crew had long since abandoned it and many parts of the hull had been punctured and vented to space, but much of the ship still remained intact. It didn't take long for Orev and Rossi to restart the reactor and power up the shields and the lights. After that the two of them had started converting parts of the ship into an exact replica of the vault they would be breaking into using plans Rossi had procured from the holonet.

The others had found various ways to keep themselves busy and much to Nova's chagrin Tsivoin had gotten pretty chummy with the newest addition to the crew. A meatheaded Zabrak bristling with muscles whose name she did not care to remember. Whenever he was around Nova found somewhere else to be. She did not care for him at all, nor did she care for his influence on Tsivoin. The second member to join them at the derelict was a female Ryn named Masilda Roan. Another member of the crew that Nova did not care for. Rossi and the others may be thieves that live outside the law but they care for each other and stick together. Nova got the feeling that Masilda would sell out her own mother if given the chance so she preferred to avoid the Ryn as well. This found her wandering into the deeper parts of the ship on occasion, soaking in the rich history the clones left behind.

She'd managed to find a wide-open room with plenty of space to practice saber training and was busy working her way through a set of particularly difficult kata when Tsivoin entered and sat down. Shortly after the meathead walked in, watching her as she practiced. After a moment he sat down next to Tsivoin. A week ago Nova wouldn't have dared reveal something like this to a stranger she'd never met, but even though she wouldn't admit it she was starting to feel safe amongst Vague's crew. On top of that, she'd gone four years without dedicating any real time to practicing her skills and it showed on Cantonica when the Knight of Ren had confronted her. If ever they were to encounter the First Order again she wanted to be prepared.

"Is it safe for her to be doing that," the meathead asked, leaning in to talk to Tsivoin.

Tsivoin just looked at him and shrugged. He didn't know. He had no idea what she was doing right now. The meathead fell silent after that and the two watched as Nova trained. Her saber was a flurry of activity, leaving behind a golden blur as she spun it this way and that while pretending to fight off an invisible foe. Impressive as it appeared the other Zabrak couldn't help but make a face at her as she practiced. There was just something about this he didn't understand.

"Why a sword?" He blurted out suddenly. "If a fight breaks out wouldn't you want a blaster instead?"

Nova nearly lost her footing and fell the moment he said that. She spun around on him angrily. "Why a sword," she repeated, "I'll show you why."

Then she unclipped her blaster from its holster and tossed it to Tsiv. The Zabrak fumbled with it for a bit before finally catching it. "Aim that at me and fire," she told him.

"Nova, I...," he started, unsure of what to do. Aiming a blaster at her didn't feel very safe.

The meathead had an amused look on his face then leaned over and whispered to Tsivoin. "Safety's on, Kid."

Tsivoin looked at the blaster, flipped the safety off but still didn't feel comfortable pointing it at Nova. The girl made a face at him and let out an explosive sigh. "Fine, give it to him," she said, gesturing to the meathead.

Tsivoin reluctantly handed the meathead the blaster and the Zabrak wasted no time grabbing the weapon from his hand and firing it at Nova. He hoped to catch her off guard but much to his surprise she had redirected the blaster bolt into the bulkhead with nothing but her sword. "More," she told him.

He fired off several more rounds at her each in rapid succession and each one found itself burning into the hull after being reflected by her saber. Then she pulled the blaster from his hand, caught it, flicked the safety on and shoved it back home into its holster. After that she disengaged her lightsaber and stormed past them, pausing briefly as she passed the meathead.

"If a fight breaks out what you want is me standing in front of you," she told him. Then she stormed out of the room leaving Tsivoin alone with his new friend...
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Raav Vesede, the orange skinned Zabrak just barked out a deep chuckle as she stormed out of the room, slapping Tsivoin on the shoulder. "That one's a handful." He spoke, then reached down and pulled Tsivoin to his feet by the collar of his vest. The young Zabrak bit back a whimper as pain shot out from his ribs. He didn't want to show any weakness in front of his fellow Zabrak. "Come'on kid, lets go get something to eat. Need to put some meat on your bones."

The pair of horn-headed humanoids walked out of the room Nova had been training in, and Tsiv glanced awkwardly in the direction she'd stormed off in... Something was wrong, she was acting weird again. He wanted to follow her and ask about it, but before he could think further about it Raav drug him along in the other direction, towards where the team was stashing their rations.

Nova didn't make it very far down the corridor before Masilda suddenly descended into her view, dangling from a rafter by her prehensile tail. She wore a frilled halter-style top and a mid length skirt featuring a bright and busy pattern, exposing plenty of her feather-soft tan tinted grey fur.

"You really have it out for the big-guy." She observed in a melodic voice, then giggled and allowed her tail to release the rafter so that she could flip down to the deck soundlessly. "Whats the stitch?" She asked, smoothing her skirt and leveling her light green eyes on Nova.

Nova resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Masilda was the last person she wanted to see right now.

"I just don't like the way he's getting all chummy with Tsiv. I don't trust him," Nova told her.

I don't trust you, either, she thought to herself, but refrained from voicing her thoughts aloud.

Masilda made a brief sort of musical sound as she exhaled through her species distinctive nose-beak, then took a step closer towards Nova and whispered conspiratorially. "Prefer to keep him all to yourself, eh? I'll admit, the kid is a morsel-"

"That is--," Nova exclaimed, her cheeks turning red, "It's not like that! Tsivoin is my responsibility. I'm just trying to keep him safe."

Masilda couldn’t quite contain the mirthful giggle at Novas flustered response. Truth be told, the Ryn really wasn’t even sure what to make of the two but she could never shy away from stirring a pot. “Well, in that case, maybe I’ll do you a favor and entice him away from big bad Raav. I'm sure he’d be a willing and able sparring partner.” She spoke as she started by Nova, her tufted tail flitting about like a serpent.

Nova stopped her with a hand on her shoulder and gave her a stern look. "I don't want you near him, either," she said and the tone of her voice left little room for argument.

Masilda's tail instinctively flipped up to brush Nova's hand off of her shoulder, coiling around her wrist and restraining it a safe distance away from the Ryn as her dominant hand fell to rest on the hilt of one of her Jalinese Techblades. The Ryn slowly raised an eyebrow as she regarded Nova with a steady sidelong stare.

"Thankfully I don't feel the least bit obligated to indulge in the wants of jealous little girls." she responded in a haughty tone.

"Don't flatter yourself," Nova told her. The woman's tail had a surprisingly strong grip on her wrist, but Nova refrained from struggling against it. She had nothing she needed to prove to this woman.

"Tsivoin doesn't need your influence or Raav's."

"Hmm, the swiftness that he's taken to the brute seems to indicate otherwise." Masilda's eyes narrowed just a bit more and she opened her mouth to speak again when Rossi happened around the corner.

The Kessurian immediately noticed the tension between the two and her honey colored eyes settled on the joining of the Ryn's tail and Nova's wrist. Rossi tucked the datapad she'd been working on away in her satchel before she spoke. "Um, is there something wrong, here?" she tried to make her voice level and authoritative, but as she thought about what she knew Nova was capable of she couldn't quite keep the nervous wavering out of her tone.

Masilda held her grasp for just one more heartbeat, then released Nova's wrist, her tail flipped behind her and ultimately coiled around one of her legs. "No. No problem, Rossi," She replied to the Kessurian, though her eyes were still focused on Nova. "Maybe you don't know your ward as well as you think you do." challenged Nova, then walked off without looking back at either of them.

Nova waited until Masilda was out of eye and ear shot before she turned to look at Rossi. "I don't think I like her," she said with a shrug in a very nonchalant tone.

Rossi offered Nova a knowing smirk, then adjusted the strap on her satchel. She looked off in the direction the Ryn had disappeared in, then back to Nova. "You get used to her..." She offered. "Yeah, she can be a handful, but there really isn't anyone better at what she does, though. Dare I ask what that was all about?"

Nova gave her a look that suggested she should already know.

Rossi sighed, "Right, Tsivoin."

"He's been hanging around with Raav a lot lately," Nova explained. "I'm just not sure Raav's a good influence for him."

Rossi pursed her lips in thought for a moment as she considered her response. She didn't want to offend the girl, but she'd noticed in her travels that members of the more prolific species of the galaxy often took it for granted. She couldn't remember the last time she'd come across a fellow Kessurian.

"I don't want to come off the wrong way, Nova... but you've been around human's your whole life. For some of us, coming across another member of our people is a pretty big deal. Raav may be a few navpoint's short of a hyperjump - but it's probably pretty cool for the kid to have another horn-head around."

"I don't trust him," Nova persisted, "Or her. I can do this job without them."

Rossi frowned a bit, she'd hoped that Nova would at least see her point about Tsiv being around a fellow Zabrak... but the girls focus was resolute. She sighed just slightly and forced another smile. Maybe she was right. Maybe with her force powers Nova could pull the job off... Rossi had no idea what Nova may be capable of, but she knew from experience that these types of high-profile jobs were best handled by a group of ultra specialized skill sets.

"Trust is a luxury we often aren't allowed, in this line of work." She finally said. "But if it makes you feel any better, we've worked with them both before."

It didn't, of course but nova refrained from saying that. "Fine," she said finally, "But I'm still keeping my eye on Raav."

Rossi rolled her eyes gently, but smiled at Nova all the same. "Well I'm certainly not going to be able to stop you - Now come on, I could use a hand installing the trip sensors in the vault. Vague wants it all rigged and ready to go for tomorrows walkthrough."
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Nova followed Rossi back to the main room where Orev and Vague were still working on the mockup. Orev was busy finetuning a few of the mechanics on the vault door under Vague's supervision when Rossi and Nova walked up. Vague took his eyes off the datapad just long enough to level a stare at Nova.

"Was that blasterfire I heard," he asked.

Nova merely shrugged. "Just proving a point," she answered simply.

Vague gave her a disapproving look.

"What," she said innocently, "I needed the practice. You don't think even Jedi get rusty after not training for four years?"

Vague maintained his level gaze for a few more moments before the corners of his lips twitched into a subdued smirk. "Everyone's still in one piece?" He asked.

"Sadly," she muttered under her breath.

"What," Vague asked, not hearing what she said.

"Yea, everyone's fine," she assured him. "Just had a disagreement with Raav about the viability of bringing a sword to a gunfight."

Vague took a slow breath and nodded his head, eyes glancing over at Rossi for an instant before re-centering. He grunted an affirmative, then Orev piped up from his work nearby. "Hope you kept your lesson mono-syllabic." he joked at Raav's expense.

Nova did something then that was completely uncharacteristic of her since meeting Vague and his crew. She laughed. She genuinely laughed at Orev's joke. Her giggling caught Rossi completely off guard, reminding her if only for a moment that the girl was still technically a child. It was difficult at times to remember that. Nova's behavior more often than not appeared beyond her years. She could be wise and intelligent one moment then childish and stubborn the next.

"Alright, that's enough," Vague said, interrupting them, "Everyone back to work."

"Come on," Rossi said to Nova, directing her over to where they were setting up the vault. She handed Nova some tools and a sensor and told her where to install it. Nova nodded in response then immediately got to work...
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Later in the evening as Ansel Brimm was ambling down a corridor near where the crew had taken up quarters on the mighty derelict, he overheard some laughter from a nearby bay and poked his head inside to find the two Zabrak's, Tsivoin and Raav, in what appeared to be a small exercise room. Though judging by the empty and crushed cantainers of Polaris Ale strewn about the deck the humanoids were doing nothing of the sort.

As he stepped further into the room he could tell that the pair were speaking in a broken mix of Galactic Basic and Zabraki, apparently the younger one wasn't as fluent in his native tongue as Raav was. Though, with the way Tsivoin was slurring his words, it was a wonder that Raav could understand him at all at this point. Ansel thought he made out the words First Order, Red Keys, and Cantonica, though.

Raav hooted and slapped the padded surface of the workout bench he was sitting upon, apparently egging the young Tsivion on, encouraging the kid to tell him more of the story. Ansel smiled at that and made his way fully into the room. "Mind if I join you gentlebeings?" He asked, reaching down to pick up one of the cantainers of ale and popping it's top.

He sat and he listened. Thankfully once he'd announced his arrival, the pair of Zabrak's shifted their conversation into basic only so he only had to struggle around the kids slurred speech to follow along. The Forger sprinkled in some anecdotes here or there, but manly he strove to keep the kid talking about the amazing feats and predicaments that he and his companion... the jedi Nova had gone through since she'd come across him on Cantonica. It was tough, because the kid kept trying to turn the conversation around, eager to have Raav fill in as many blanks as possible that Tsivoin had about the Zabrak heritage and culture. In fact, the Brute was just now giving the kid a buzzed cliff notes version of what the tribal markings tattooed across his body meant.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Nova found herself wandering alone again. The others had all finished up eating and were back to working on whatever. Tsivoin had headed off somewhere with his new pal and Nova had caught him carrying a six-pack of canned ales. Whatever, she thought, she wasn't his mother so she wasn't about to try and coddle him. However, she didn't trust Raav's intentions. Rossi tried to reason with her about Tsivoin's friendship with Raav but the young girl still couldn't shake this sinking feeling deep in her core. Something about him just didn't feel right and that was enough for her.

She sighed and kicked a piece of broken piping, sending it skittering across the floor. To think they were probably the first people to board this vessel in more than sixty years. There was so much history to be found inside these walls. The history of the Republic, the clones and of the Jedi. That's probably why she found herself wandering deeper and deeper each time even though she knew it wasn't safe. Parts of the ship were completely vented to space, other parts were made impassable by debris. Whenever she could she forced her way through in order to explore deeper.

She squeezed her way past some fallen debris in one of the corridors and found herself in a wide-open room. There were bodies everywhere, the remains of Republic clone troopers strewn about. They'd been left here since the Clone Wars and their armor still bore the scars of that battle. She moved close to a trio of dead troopers that lay in the center of the room and kicked one over with her foot. The body rolled over onto its back and its arm fell limply against the durasteel floor, revealing the troopers chest and the giant gash that had been carved into his armor. Wait, this was caused by a lightsaber, she thought as she knelt down next to him. I thought the clones and the Jedi were on the same side.

There was a sound from somewhere behind her and she immediately stood and turned to face it. No one was there, probably her imagination and yet... She spun back around in a complete one-eighty, lightsaber in hand. The golden blade sprung to life and illuminated the room, but still there was nothing. She sighed and lowered the blade, taking a moment to listen but hearing nothing but the soft hum of her lightsaber. Finally, she disengaged the weapon and turned around, nearly coming face to face with Masilda.

"Gah," she cried in alarm, not expecting to see the Ryn. When she realized who it was she immediately gave her a look of annoyance. "What do you want," she asked irritably.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Masilda’s light green eyes dazzled at Nova’s surprised expression and a smile walked over her lips. She sashayed her way around to Nova’s left, idly glancing at the remnants of whatever battle must’ve ensued there. Her tail whipped in front of her for just a second, then she turned her gaze back onto the girl.

“Are you always like this or... never mind, I don’t care.” She tiptoed between a couple clone corpses, then twirled about to come up in front of Nova again. “What’re you doing in here, didn’t ole Vaguey say we weren’t supposed to wander off alone?”

Eventually, Nova's heartrate began to slow and she carefully clipped her lightsaber to her belt. "Not that it's any of your business," she began, "but I wanted to be alone."

"So you wandered all the way out here to hang out with some corpses," Masilda asked.

"It's not like I knew they were here," Nova answered irritably. "I just picked a direction and kept going."

Masilda stared at her. "You could've died out here, you know? Why do you think his broodiness ordered us to stay by the camp?"

Nova looked embarrassed and turned away. "I was going to head back," she said, "but something compelled me to keep going."

"Like what," the Ryn asked.

Nova shrugged. "I don't know, just a feeling."

Masilda made a face at the other girl. “A feeling. You know, a wrong turn or a stuck bulkhead and you might’ve just spaced the lot of us.” She cautioned, nudging one of the troopers bracers with a booted toe. “I’m not too keen on becoming a permanent resident here just cause blondie had a feeling.”

Nova glared at her. She was right, of course, had she not been careful she could have put the whole crew in jeopardy.

"I had it handled," she told her. That sounded better than telling her the Force had guided her. She doubted the Ryn would even believe her, anyway.

“Like you handled the First Order boogey-man on Cantonica?” Masilda retorted, then pressed on at Nova’s somewhat surprised expression. “The way your spikey headed pets telling it, you might as well of headed off a full blown invasion all by your lonesome.”

Nova's hands clenched into fists. She wasn't supposed to have known about that and she was hurt that Tsivoin had even told her. "This isn't like that," she said, "I made a mistake."

"And now you're about to make another one. Or am I wrong," Masilda asked, cocking her head to the side and fixing her with a hard stare.

"Look, I don't have to take this. I'm heading back," Nova told her, then she tried to push her way past the Ryn.

Masilda held her ground for a handful of heartbeats, her tail twitching behind her, before she ultimately stepped aside to allow Nova passage back to the ship proper. “Do us all a favor, next time you get a feeling, just jot it down in your Holo-journal?” She jeered as Nova practically stomped away.

Nova ground her teeth together in frustration but kept walking. She barely made it ten feet before the ship suddenly shook, throwing them both to the ground.

"What was that," Masilda asked, crawling back to her feet.

"I don't know," Nova answered, then they heard some metal clanking coming from somewhere above them.

Dust from the ceiling and scraps of loose debris fell and clattered along the floor. Then suddenly the ceiling opened up and something large came crashing down on top of the Ryn. Nova reacted quickly, using the Force to push her aside then she drew her lightsaber and ignited it.

The ancient battledroid creaked and cranked up to its feet, bits and pieces falling off of it as it turned to look at Nova. As soon as it saw her lightsaber its shields sprung to life and the droid opened fire...

The Ryn saw stars as something heavy and metallic came crashing through the ceiling. She wasn’t sure what it was but took a glancing blow to the head before some unseen force seemed to grab hold of her and push her away from the object.

She’d skidded to a halt against the armored corpse of one of the clone troopers, blinking her green eyes and staring with a slacked jaw at the menacing droid that now sat where she’d just been standing. She was just starting to imagine what might’ve become of her if it had landed full on top of her when her time for wondering was cut short.

Nova had ignited a glowing blade and the droid seemed to respond to the escalation, a shimmering sphere blinked into existence around it and a pair of blaster canons started coughing out bright hot bolts at the Jedi.

“What in the nine hells...!?”

Nova's lightsaber was a golden blur as she reflected the droid's blasterfire away from her and the Ryn. Several bolts burned into the hull at her feet and above her head, but what few bolts she managed to reflect back at the droid were absorbed harmlessly by its shields.

"Masilda, run," she shouted at the Ryn, "Quick!"

Masilda was still a bit dazed from the glancing blow to her head, so when she heard Nova shout at her to flee, it took her a few seconds to process it. The Ryn was exceptionally adept at looking after herself, so it wasn’t any sort of loyalty to Nova that made her disregarded the order, rather it was simply that she wasn’t going to trust her life to the girl. Instead, she rolled over the fallen trooper and snatched a decades old blaster rifle off the deck. She’d done the math, and didn’t trust that the droid wouldn’t simply cut her down the minute she made a break for it.

The Ryn leveled the rifle in the droids direction and pulled the trigger - nothing happened, not even a sizzle. Frustrated, she tossed the useless weapon and it skittered to a halt near the droids rear leg. She watched in confusion as the droid repositioned itself to better target both of them and in the process the rifle was allowed to phase through the shield bubble.

She was about to shout to Nova that the shields didn’t repel the stationary blaster when the droid suddenly sent a volley of blaster fire in her direction, forcing her into a complicated set of contortions and acrobatics in order to avoid being slagged.

Nova cursed under her breath when the Ryn failed to do as instructed. Instead she drew attention to herself and caused the droid to reposition itself to better fire at both of them. To her credit she did an admirable job avoiding getting shot but the blasterfire from the droid was coming at an unsustainable pace. Even Nova was having trouble keeping up. When she noticed the Ryn start to struggle she drew up as much energy as she could and used the force to push the droid away. With its shields still up the droideka rolled like a ball into the far wall then Nova ran to Masilda's aid.

"Next time I say run, do it," she said and the Ryn gave her a cold stare.

"You're not in charge of--ahh," Masilda tried to say then Nova surprised her by grabbing her by the wrist and pulling her along as she ran down a nearby corridor.

"What are you doing," the Ryn shouted, struggling against the girl's Force enhanced strength.

Nova sighed, surprised she hadn't figured it out yet. "We need it to chase us," she said, "It's firing too fast, I can't get close and with the shield up it's basically a stationary turret."

"So why run?"

"Because it'll have to drop the shield if it wants to chase us," Nova answered, then she let go of the Ryn's wrist. "I'll draw it in, you get it from behind but stay out of sight."

The Ryn wanted to ask Nova how she’d come up with such a strategy, but she could hear the droid scrambling back to its feet in the bay behind them and thought better of it. The two ran along the corridor a bit further, until suddenly and silently Nova found herself running alone. The Ryn was good, she had no idea where Masilda had hidden herself.

As the Ryn waited quietly, suspended above the corridor she began to wonder if the droid was going to bother chasing them after all. She didn’t have to wait long for her answer, however, Masilda heard it rolling along the metal deck before she saw it. Now that she wasn’t under constant fire she was able to examine the oddly shaped droid more thoroughly, and as it came to a stop to scan the intersection she realized it looked kind of terrifying. The Ryn heard something in the distance that she hoped was Nova and not an unsuspecting member of their team, and knew she had to strike.

She deftly unsheathed both of her techblades without a sound, and in a fluid motion she somersaulted down from the rafters, landing silently behind the Droideka. She twirled her blades and stalked up behind the droid, bringing them high over her head before slashing down with both of them simultaneously. In a shower of sparks and screeching metal, both of the droids canon-arms sheered off and fell harmlessly to the deck. The droid had just enough time to try and kick one of its three legs out at her before she reversed her grip on the blades and drove them both deep into its core. The droid twitched twice, then crumpled to the ground.

Masilda was sliding her blades back into their sheaths when she heard a low and steady whine start to sound from the droids carcass, and barely had the time to spin away before it exploded, the concussive force sending her back down the corridor, the Ryn rolled to a stop facedown and unmoving, save for the periodic twitch of her tufted tail.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by Pryde »

When Masilda's eyes fluttered open she found herself lying on her back staring up at Nova who had been tending to her injuries. All at once she remembered what happened and tried to shoot up to her feet only to feel a sudden spike of pain from her ankle that forced her back to the floor.

"Careful," Nova chided her, "I think it's sprained. You don't seem to have any broken bones or cuts..."

Good thing too, I think Vague might actually kill me if I botched this operation, she thought to herself. Then she reached over, grabbed a few scraps of metal and used her lightsaber to weld them together making a makeshift crutch. "Here," she said, handing the crutch to the Ryn, "If you want that to heal quickly you shouldn't walk on it."

Masilda reluctantly took the crutch from her then fixed her with a cold stare. "This is exactly why Vaguey ordered us to stay by the camp. What if one of them had wandered into that thing?"

The thought had crossed her mind, but the droid seemed rather single-minded in its pursuit of her. It was a Clone Wars era battledroid and she was a Jedi, it probably mistook her for its enemy. She reached out a hand to help Masilda up to her feet. "We can argue about that later," she told her, "That explosion took out the corridor behind us. We won't be able to find our way back to the camp that way."

"So we're lost," Masilda said as Nova pulled her to her feet.

Nova simply shrugged. "We'll just find another way back," she replied, then she reached down and grabbed the Ryn's techblades and handed them back to her. "Here."

Masilda looked at the blades then grabbed them each one by one and sheathed them, pausing briefly to consider using one of them on Nova. The other girl either did not notice or seemed not to care as she moved to the doorway and ignited her lightsaber to illuminate the corridor outside. The droid's dead carcass lay but a few feet away and several meters back the way they had come a ton of debris had fallen and blocked the corridor.

"This way," Nova said, motioning to the Ryn.

"Shouldn't we stay here and wait for rescue?"

Nova stopped and turned to look at her. "Would you like to wait here all night then?"

The Ryn gave her a confused look so Nova tried to clarify. "Let me put it this way, did anyone know you were coming out here for me?" Masilda didn't answer but the look in her eyes was all she needed. "The others won't notice we're missing for awhile. You want to stay here and wait for them be my guest, but I'd rather do something now."

"You're really going to wander around out there after everything I just said," Masilda asked, she sounded incredulous and it wasn't lost on Nova that she still had a hand on her techblade.

"My feeling got us out here," she said, "It can get us back, but you'll have to trust me."

"Just like that," the Ryn replied with a look on her face that seemed to suggest she wasn't budging.

"Fine, then I'll send someone back for you," Nova said then she stepped out into the corridor out of sight.

Masilda waited for about half a minute before swearing under her breath and following her, hobbling as fast as she could to catch up. The two walked in silence for quite a while. Every now and then Nova would stop and put her hand up to the bulkhead and close her eyes. She'd stay like that for a good fifteen or twenty seconds or so, much to the annoyance of the Ryn who had no idea what she was doing. At one such stop she put her hand against a hatchway leading into another part of the ship and after she closed her eyes she waited a moment then shook her head.

"Not that way," she said, "It's completely vented."

Masilda wondered how she could know that. Just like with the droid before, how could she have known how to defeat it? Finally, her curiosity got the best of her and she spoke up. "How did you know," she asked, "About the droid? About its shield?"

Nova shrugged. "I guessed."

Masilda was shocked. "You staked our lives on a guess?!"

"It was a well-informed guess," Nova answered indignantly, then she sighed. "Look, the droid had legs but it was shaped like a wheel. I just thought that maybe it was designed to roll and it can't roll with the shield up. Otherwise, it wouldn't be able to control its spin or direction. So if we ran away and made it chase us...," she left the rest hanging in the air.

"You put all that together in fifteen seconds," Masilda said in disbelief.

Nova just looked at her. "Well, yea. Didn't you?"
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

Masilda closed her mouth and her light green eyes rolled just slightly. "No, I was a little busy processing the whole, random killer droid is here to kill us, thing." She snipped, leaning on the make-shift crutch that Nova had made for her. The Ryn wasn't about to admit it, but she was begrudgingly coming to respect Nova's prowess both as a combatant and apparently a strategist as well. No wonder Durin's keeping her on his payroll. she thought to herself.

"I don't think this passage will work for us," Nova said while looking around. The corridor came to an abrupt end and the only passage way heading back to camp was completely vented. "We'll have to make our way to the front of the ship to find a way around. That way," she said, indicating a side passage heading in the opposite direction from where they needed to go.

There was a flash of annoyance in Masilda's eyes... but it was gone immediately when she reminded herself that she had, indeed, chosen to follow the girl. Nova may have made the poor decision to venture out too far into the ship, but the Ryn wasn't without blame... and if it wasn't for her... feelings, you'd probably be a splatter on the deck back there with the droid.

"I've followed you this far..." she started, but then took a sharp breath and winced as she shifted her weight in the direction Nova had indicated. The Ryn had to use the crutch and her tail to steady herself and her expression soured. She wasn't sure that she could properly articulate to Nova how dependent she was on her body being in peak condition in order to put food on her table and this ankle sprain was seriously bad news for her.

Nova watched her for a moment and her expression shifted to something resembling regret. "I'm sorry," she said quietly, "It wasn't my intention to put you in danger."

The Ryn grimaced as she forced herself to push on, walking past Nova and through the hatch that opened into the side passage she'd indicated. "Save your pity." She told the girl, "It's like my bunica always told me... Na may kharunde kai chi khal tut - 'Don't scratch where it doesn't itch'. I never could learn to leave well enough alone." a sad smile washed over her face erasing some of the pain caused by her injury as she traveled further into the passage, not looking back at Nova, she could hear the thrum of the lightsaber catching up to her.

That sounded like there was a story to that and not a very pleasant one. Nova didn't try to dig any deeper than her surface feelings but there was what felt like a wave of sadness washing over her. That made her wonder if maybe she judged the Ryn too harshly and too quickly. She kept quiet and the two wandered the broken hallway in silence for a short while before she spoke up again.

"How long have you known, Vague," Nova asked, changing the subject. There was a great deal about the Ryn that she never took the time to learn.

"Uhh, met him and the geezer about 5, 6 years ago I guess. They'd just-" She stopped short and her eyes narrowed in the dark corridor. Not your story to tell, chavi. she thought to herself. There was no change in Masilda's gait or pace, but the natural movement of her tail became a bit more agitated after Nova asked the question. She pretended to be paying more attention to the corridor rather than looking over at the girl. "-started to put together a crew for a pretty big job, and this dolt I was seeing at the time was fashioning himself a gangster."

Seeing someone? Nova's cheeks flushed. She'd never dated anyone before. Though, it wasn't like she ever had the luxury to.

"I see," she said sheepishly, she didn't really have anything to add to that. Small talk wasn't exactly her forte.

The change in Nova's tone caused Masilda to turn an appraising eye to the side, the Ryn noticed that her face had reddened and made a mental note of that, then continued with her story. Her tail flitted up and bumped Nova's shoulder gently. "You know it was the age old story. Girl meets the Boy, the Boy get's in over his head, the Girl figures out that pulling bigger jobs in crews puts a lot better food on the table than picking pockets-" She trailed off slightly as Nova made a face that told her the Jedi did in fact, not know this age old story. "-Anyway, I owe my start to Durin and his crew, he knew the dolt was worthless but he'd seen something in me I hadn't seen in myself yet and took a chance on us for the job. Rest has been history."

Nova had a similar tale to tell in regards to Vague. By all rights the man was insane allowing them to stay after she lied to him not once but twice. But maybe it was as Masilda had said, maybe Vague saw something in her she did not see in herself.

"Yea, he's um... Different," she said absently.

The two turned a corner and came upon another grisly scene. Nearly a dozen dead troopers lay scattered about the corridor. At the epicenter a robed figure lay amongst them. A young Jedi.

"Fething hell," Masilda muttered under her breath.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

Nova's eyes were drawn to the body of the dead Jedi. She carefully picked her way through the carcasses of the troopers and knelt down next to him, rolling the Jedi over onto his back.

When she saw him she held one hand up to her mouth. "He was just a child," she said, "How could they have done this?"

Masilda's thoughts were nearly a mirror of Nova's muffled words. The Ryn, however, was casting her gaze among the slashed and dismembered troopers, 'He was just a child... how had he done all this.' The overhead lighting slowly flickered to life, revealing the results of what must have been a truly chaotic and violent skirmish. She turned in a slow circle, hindered by her injured ankle, and noted the multitude of blaster scorches in the bulkheads surrounding them.

"No wonder this heap has just stayed floating out here." she muttered mostly to herself.

Nova looked the small boy over. His body was little more than a skeleton by now and his robes were tattered and decayed from time. She noticed one of boy's arms was outstretched to his side, his bony fingers reaching for something. Nova followed it with her eyes until she saw the boy's discarded lightsaber. The casing had been cracked in several places and the emitter was damaged. She picked it up and turned it over in her hand.

"This is what drew me here," she said quietly, just loud enough for Masilda to hear.

"You risked your life for a broken glowstick?"

"No," Nova answered as she disengaged her lightsaber and set it down.

She popped the casing off the boy's lightsaber hilt and gently pulled the kyber crystal out of its socket. She held it up for a moment and stared at it. The crystal's green hue shone brilliantly even in the dim lighting that filled the hallway. Then all of a sudden it cracked, shattering into a thousand tiny pieces and crumbling to the floor. Nova reacted in surprise and pulled her hand back, staring at the crystal shards that had fallen between her knees.

"It must have used the last of its energy to call me here," she whispered quietly to herself.

"What," Masilda asked, not quite hearing what she said.

"The feeling I had," Nova explained, "It was from the kyber crystal in the boy's lightsaber. It was calling to me."

Masilda gave her an incredulous look. "The crystal was..."

"Yes, keep up," Nova told her. The Ryn still had a confused look in her eyes so Nova tried to explain. "Look, Jedi use kyber crystals to power their lightsabers. As part of Jedi training young padawans have to undergo a trial to enter the crystal caves on Ilum and form a bond with their kyber crystal. We do this because the crystals are alive. They're conduits for the Force and they can speak to us if you know how to listen."

Masilda wasn't sure what in the nine circles of hell to make of this, and despite what they'd been through together so far on this walkabout, the Ryn was having trouble taking Nova at her word. "Look, Nova, I've been a lot of places in this galaxy and I've seen a lot of things, but glowing crystals that are alive and talk?" She shifted and leaned against the crutch in her hand and looked down at the many fragments of the now destroyed crystal, some losing their glow as she focused on them.

"You've been a lot of places and seen life in its many forms. Are sentient crystals really so difficult to believe," Nova asked as she popped the casing back onto the boy's lightsaber. Then she grabbed her own lightsaber and stood up.

"You're taking that with you?"

Nova shrugged, "Well yea, lightsaber parts aren't exactly something you can just buy at a market. Besides, it's why the crystal brought me here."

The Ryn considered Nova's words for a few moments, then limped over to a nearby pile of discarded armor and used her tail to pick up one of the fallen clone's utility belts. "Fine, then I'm keeping this." She quipped, raising it over her head and resting it across her chest like a bandoleer. She turned back to face Nova and asked quickly. "We can press on back to camp, now?" She'd had plenty enough wandering in the derelict ship and frankly, all she wanted right then was something to ease the pain in her ankle.

Nova nodded. "Yeah, we can head back now. I'm sure Vague will want an explanation," she added a bit nervously. She sounded almost like a child, scared of what her father might say.

"Leave ole Vaguey to me, kid... just- do me a favor, when we get back don't mention the gimp?" Masilda bargained. She could see on Nova's face that the girl was about to protest. She stopped and looked straight at the Jedi with pleading eyes. "Look, I need this job, ok. I can't afford to get sidelined over this."

Nova looked surprised. That was probably the first genuine emotion she'd seen from the Ryn. "Alright," she said, "I won't tell him, but if your ankle doesn't heal before tomorrow how do you plan on getting through the rehearsal?"

Masilda averted her gaze quickly and the Ryn's tail coiled around her injured limb subconsciously. She stood still for a long moment, then sighed. "I don't know kid," She finally admitted. "Cross that starlane when I get to it." The last bit was barely a whisper as she pivoted back the direction they'd been heading and pushed on, still leaning on the crutch but obviously starting to work one putting a bit more weight on the injured leg. She'd need to be able to pass muster by the time they reached camp.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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It took some time for the pair to make their way back to the camp. The front of the ship had taken the brunt of whatever conflict it had been in. That meant a good portion of the outer hull had been breached and many of the upper and lower decks had been completely vented into space. Nova relied on the Force to guide her through the mess. She had no map to navigate with, no idea which decks were safe and which weren't, yet she wandered through the ship with the confidence of one who knew exactly where she was going. She would stop, put her hand up against the bulkhead and close her eyes then immediately decide that a certain direction wasn't safe. It was rather eery to watch, it was almost as if the Jedi could predict the future.

Somehow against all odds the young girl had managed to successfully navigate through the massive ship all the way back to camp. They found more dead clone troopers and battledroids along the way, but fortunately these ones had either been deactivated or destroyed. By the time they reached the camp the Ryn had discarded her crutch to hide the fact she'd been walking with a limp. She seemed to be moving okay now, but Nova wondered if she was perhaps supporting her weight with her tail or just fighting through the pain. By now the others had noticed how long they'd been gone and of course Vague had wanted an explanation. Nova did exactly as Masilda said and let the Ryn do most of the talking. Not that her explanation would have made things any clearer. Vague probably wouldn't have bought the 'a crystal was talking to me' excuse any more than Masilda did.

By the time it was over Nova felt genuinely tired. She headed back to her cabin to turn in for the night and as she walked her hand reached into her pocket and withdrew the boy's lightsaber. She held it up in the light and inspected it more closely. Every Jedi constructed their own lightsaber. That meant every lightsaber was unique to its owner. Just looking at one could tell a lot about the type of person that wielded that lightsaber. Nova's lightsaber, for example, had intricately carved designs on it. She liked it because she thought it looked pretty. The boy's lightsaber felt more practical than fashionable and she wondered what it must have looked like when it was whole.

The image of that gruesome scene in the corridor flashed through her mind again and her step faltered. How afraid he must have been fighting for his life against the people he thought were on his side. Nova couldn't imagine being in that position. To be so young in the middle of a warzone. Master Skywalker was right, the old Jedi Order had made many mistakes. Turning children into soldiers was one of them. She tucked the broken lightsaber back inside her jacket and headed into her room. Tsivoin was already there occupying her bunk. He must have been too drunk to climb into his, a fact that was evident by the mess he left on the floor. Nova sighed and carefully stuffed the broken lightsaber into the compartment behind her pillow before turning around and heading to the galley to find something to clean up the mess. It was another twenty or thirty minutes before she finally climbed up into Tsivoin's bed and fell asleep for the night...
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

Tsiv had indeed made a mess of their shared living quarters, and even as he drunkenly tried multiple times to climb the ladder to reach his own bed, he was distantly aware that he felt ashamed, and embarrassed about his state of being. He'd never had alcohol before and he obviously shouldn't have had as much as he did that night.

Eventually, the Zabrak fell to the ground, unable to make the climb, and simply crawled forward and pulled himself unceremoniously up and into the bottom bunk where he promptly passed out.

Sometime after Nova had settled into the top bunk and fallen asleep, the teenage Zabrak beneath her twitched slightly, the Force began to coil around him.

One moment he was dreaming of being on a transport accompanied by his fellow Zabrak Raav, as they traveled towards Feldronna, the planet Tsivoin and his clan had lived on before the raiders attacked - the next he was standing on a desert planet, facing a village and what seemed like an armed mob. As he looked around, he saw he was surrounded by some soldiers in strange white armor, with a cliff behind them. Atop the cliff, was the smoking and charred remains of some sort of transport.

A gruff voice drew his attention back to front, and he squinted in the harsh sunlight to regard the speaker before him. "You landed on the wrong planet, friend. The republic isn't welcome here."

Before Tsivoin could try to make sense of any of this, he found himself replying without even thinking about it. "I believe there's an assault ship in orbit that says otherwise, friend." Assault ship? What was happening here?

The man before him wore a tattered green jacket, and had some sort of glowing red attachment or prosthetic in the place of his left eye. He sneered at Tsivoin then replied "Then lets go, Jedi."

Tsiv could feel tension growing within his body after the strangers challenge, but he also felt a firm and confident resolve within him as he pulled a lightsaber off of his belt and ignited the bright green blade in front of him. A lightsaber? Where had he come across that?

The tension between him and the red eyed man and his posse grew by the second. He could sense their trepidation, but also their excitement. That was why he found himself bewildered to suddenly sense an intense wave of malice, contempt, and resolve directed his way from behind. His eyes widened, and he spun around just in time to deflect the first of many indigo blaster bolts being fired at him. Fired at him by his own men!

Confusion and panic washed over the Zabrak as he did his best to redirect the blaster bolts harmlessly into the sand or the wall of the cliff. Soon, though, the barrage became too much and he stole a desperate glance around the area, locating a nearby window he leaped towards it, extending a hand and using the force to break the transperisteel moments before he tumbled through the opening and into relative cover.

Wait, lightsabers? the force? what sort of weird dream was this?

He wasn't given any time to figure it out. Within seconds, the soldiers adjusted their fire towards the building he was now hiding in and forced him to scurry for better cover behind an upturned table. He could hear that the red eyed man and his posse were firing back on the troops. What was going on? "Cease Fire!" he shouted towards the troops... his troops. They did nothing of the sort. He thought he even heard a few of them shouting back "Die, Jedi!"

He was shouting again, this time into a commlink. "Master Sev - The Clones have turned on me! Come in! - - Master, do you copy!?"

There was no reply. Tsiv felt the panic within him rise to uncomfortable levels, then turned as the red eyed man dove through the broken window to take cover nearby. "Looks like you're fresh out of friends. You can stay here and get killed, or you can fight back at us."

"Why should I trust you?" Tsiv asked automatically.

"Because I'm not the one who tried to shoot you in the back." The man replied.

He had a point.

From that moment on, it was chaos. Chaos and carnage. The young Zabrak joined forces with the posse who had apparently shot and destroyed his transport, and they defended themselves from the platoon of Clone Troopers. Tsiv blocked bolts, slashed through armor, even used the force to propel a grenade back into a cluster of troops. The troopers fought to their last breath, and when it was all over, Tsivoin stood over-top of the leader, his white armor marked by red trim.

"Why, Remy?" He found himself asking, a deep anguish washing over him. "Who gave you the order to attack me?"

Of course, the trooper couldn't answer his question. There was a smoking crater in the clones chest, courtesy of a blaster bolt fired by the man with the red eye. His hand trembled as he raised the comlink to his lips and once again tried to raise his master, reporting on what had just occurred. Again, there was no response to his call.

It was the red eyed man, Gaan apparently, who told him what he was refusing to believe. That he'd been betrayed, betrayed and abandoned, and that he was alone. Save for the Gaan and his Order of Outcasts.

"The enemy of your enemy is your friend. We're all you've got now, Jedi." Gaan spoke, and Tsivoin found himself looking over the group standing before him, a rag tag gallery of different species some he recognized, others completely alien to him... but all exuding the same sense of resolve and determination.

"They'll be sending troops. Far more than what you see here." He warned Gaan as they shook hands.

"Do we look the type to run from a fight?" Gaan responded.

The next thing Tsivoin knew, he was in the middle of a ferocious battle. He and his new ragtag group of allies were pitched against scores of the anonymous white armored clone troopers, who had descended to the desert in droves via their dropships. He was frightened, angry, desperate, but he charged forward with green lightsaber held tightly in hand and echoed Gaans battle cry with conviction all the same.

"We stand together, we fight together!"


Tsiv twitched and jerked in a fitful sleep, the force now buffeting his body and the space around him tasting acrid, tainted with fear, anger, and desperation.
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by Pryde »

The next morning Vague got everyone up early in preparation for the walkthrough. Tsiv looked the worse for wear after his night of drinking, but no one showed him any mercy. Nova handed him some pain killers for his headache and shoved him out the door all the same. Everyone lined up next to the makeshift vault awaiting instructions from Vague. Nova sat down next to Rossi and Masilda and yawned deeply.

"Rough night," Rossi asked.

Nova nodded. "Couldn't get much sleep. Tsivoin kept kicking the bulkhead and tossing and turning all night."

Rossi winced at that and glanced quickly over to where the hangover stricken teen slouched. She'd bumped into the kid while he was trying to make his way back to the ship the night before and given his condition then it was no surprise he his usually grey skin-tone was looking a few shades greener this morning.

"Yeah... sorry about that." Rossi replied, and after Nova gave her a questioning glance she looked down at her hands as she interlocked her fingers. "I bumped into him last night and helped him back to your room," She explained then shook her head slightly. She was sorry Nova didn't get more rest, but she also didn't think there was anywhere better to have stowed the tipsy teen. "Poor kid, pretty sure I heard him mumbling that he'd never drank before last night." She added before glancing back up at Nova.

Masilda offered a knowing smile to the pair but was otherwise uncharacteristically quiet. She was too busy fretting about the coming walk-through and whether or not her damaged limb would betray her. Unlike the others who were merely dressed in their usual styles she was wearing a full form-fitting jumpsuit, made out of some non-reflective material. It was black as the depths of space, and Nova thought she could just make out a small bulge around the Ryn's injured ankle.

Nova couldn't help but feel guilty. If she hadn't wandered off on her own last night then Masilda wouldn't have been injured. She had no idea what the state of her ankle was right now. It wasn't broken, which was fortunate, but a sprain could still take some time to heal. She might be at one hundred percent at the time of the actual heist but first she needed to get through today. The young girl leaned over to Rossi and pointed at one of the consoles.

"Does that conduit look loose to you," she asked.

Rossi looked where she was pointing. "I don't think so," she said, "but I'll go check."

She got up and crossed over to the console Nova had pointed at. After she left Nova reached behind Masilda and slipped something into her hand. She had grabbed some extra pain meds from the ones she gave to Tsivoin. "Try to relax," she whispered under her breath, "If you start to fall I'll catch you."

Masilda's light green eyes widened for an instant when she saw what Nova had slipped her, but she was able to hide the reaction and deftly palmed the painkiller. The Ryn didn't even try to hide the gratitude on her face and in her eyes when Nova assured her that she'd at least try to help her make it through the days events. "Thank you," She told Nova, her voice carrying a tone that hinted at her wondering if she was deserving of the assistance or not.

Nova smiled back. "No problem," she said. Then she turned to look at Rossi as she came back over.

"The conduit's fine," the Kessurian said.

Nova just shrugged. "My mistake. Hopefully, we get this over with quick so I can go back to bed."
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VagueDurin
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

It was just a bit later when the entire crew had arrived and Vague signaled for everyone's attention. He took a long sip from his tumbler, then set it down on a nearby field-desk and turned to address his team. "Right. Thank you all for dragging yourselves out of your bunks in a timely matter this morning," He started, then nodded to Ansel, the long haired forger. Ansel reached behind him and produced felted bag, just a bit too big to fit in one hand, then tossed it through the air for Vague to catch. Durin hefted it in one hand for a moment, then pulled the jeweled orb from the bag. "This, gentle beings, is the Oracle of Vidunatru. Or rather, an identical but far less valuable copy of said Oracle. Our client has asked us to go to great links to acquire the original, fanciful little artifact, which is why each one of you has made the journey here."

He paused for a moment, then stepped into the open vault, setting the Oracle inside it's custom designed safe. He took a slow look around the vault, then stepped back outside to continue addressing the group, tapping a few buttons on a device on his wrist, a hologram of a starship sprang to life up above the group. "This, is a Correllian manufactured MPO-1400 Luxury Star-Cruiser. In just a few short weeks time, the Oracle will be transported onto one such cruiser, known as the Wanderlust. The Peregrines Lament is a prestigious Casino located on the Wanderlust. The Peregrines Lament is backed and organized by the well known Obsidian Cartel. It's the Obsidian Cartel's intent to host one of the most exclusive and prestigious Sabaac Tournament our generation has ever known, using the Oracle of Vidunatru to coax out the galaxies biggest gamblers, celebrities, and high society types. It is our intent to retrieve the Oracle prior to the conclusion of the tournament, leaving our fake oracle in it's place." He stopped, letting the hologram shift between images of the cruiser, the casino, and the various points of interest in between.

"Now, as of this moment we are standing in as accurate of a replica of the Peregrine's vault as possible. Completely functioning with the most accurate security measures possible," He waited for that to sink in, then continued. "I say, as possible, because we are aware that there have been some last minute updates to the security surrounding the vault, and the casino, thanks to the recent robbery of the Kuari Princess. As we speak, our fair Pink Lady is working to discover what these updates were and once we receive that intelligence, expect adaptations to be made That being so, today will be a rough overview and walk-through of the heist as it would occur today."

Vague then went on to detail everyone's individual assignments. Ansel, Nova, and Tsivoin would represent the advanced party - shipping out for the liner prior to the rest of the team and assuming their own individual cover identities aboard the ship. The remainder of the team would arrive an appropriate amount of time before the tournament as befitting their covers. Vague would be entering the tournament as a high stakes card player. Rossi and Orev would be posing as a vacationing couple, EssJay would be their assistant. Finally, Masilda and Raav would arrive as unaccompanied patrons there to enjoy the tournament.

Once in place, the advanced party which included Lyshani and whatever assets she had in place, would pass on the up-to-date codes and clearances to Orev and Rossi, who would in turn utilize that information to create a countermeasure device. Tournament attendees, guest or player, were subject to thorough scans and analysis upon entering the casino, so it would be up to the advanced party who had embedded into the staff to get the device past security and to Vague.

During this time, the rest of the team save for Masilda, Raav, and Vague, would have assigned sections of the casino and/or ship to monitor for any deviation or cause for alarm.

Vague would utilize his persona's clout to leverage access to the vault under the guise of needing to store something there and while doing so he would plant the device. Once the timer counted down, the device would activate, knocking out the security systems that were hackable for a short period of time, during which Masilda would descend into the vault, avoiding those countermeasures that could not be shut down electronically.

Masilda would then make the swap, and exit the vault before time runs out and the security systems come back online in full. She would then join up with Raav and the two would be the first to start their planned extractions. Each member of the team would start their own countdowns at that time to coordinate their own extractions.

Once Vauge had finished laying out the broad strokes of the plan, he walked back over to the field-desk to take another drink from his tumbler, before going over a brief set of contingency plans in the case of a failure at any of the pre-set intervals. While there was certainly a lot of information to digest, Durin kept true to his word and the briefing itself was not overly long or bogged down in minutia. They would go over the tiny details plenty in the weeks to come. Now he waited to field any questions or comments and then they would break out into their designated groups to coordinate their own strategies.
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