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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VagueDurin
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

*B Concourse, main corridor- 1655:36 Local Standard Time*

"All stations this is One. Report your location and status, Over." Vague's voice came over the comm unit.

Rossi glanced over at Slackjaw. They still hadn't found Two, but they were making decent progress along their pre-planned emergency exfil path. "Three and Four are green, en route to Dead Rebels."

"You didn't mention-"

"SJ, I know I didn't mention him. What am I supposed to say?!" Rossi snapped at the droid. "Hey boss, not sure where your number two is, we haven't seen or heard form him since this whole thing started! But we figured no one needed to be bothered with that information so we kept it to ourselves till now. Doesn't have the best ring to it, ya know?"

Slackjaw's photo-receptors blinked then he turned his attention back to the corridor in front of him. "Fair point. What are we going to do about it?" He asked.

His question wasn't likely to be answered, as once they turned the corner they discovered a pair of fully armored and armed First Order Raiders blocking thier path. Between the two troopers, a very familiar looking forger with long blond hair.

Rossi frowned at the sight, then watched as Ansel leaned towards one of the two troopers and said something. The next moment, the Raiders had brought their weapons up to bear. The Kessurian didn't wait for them to shoot first, instead, she squeezed down on the trigger of Orev's EE-4 carbine and moved for the left side of the corridor while Slackjaw did the same to the right.

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

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

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

*D Concourse, side corridor- 1657:36 Local Standard Time*

Vague scouted out the next intersection, then waved for the trio behind him to close the gap. He'd just heard over the comms that Rossi and Slackjaw were under fire by the First Order, and that Orev was on his way to help. Vague wasn't too sure by Rossi's tone - the comm device he'd patched up carried with it some interference - but Ansel was at least accounted for. What he was doing there and why he wasn't answering his comm was another story. Tsiv and Nova were with him... That left, Lyshani, Raav, and Masilda yet to check in. So far, he'd heard nothing.

Something wasn't right. He hadn't heard any chatter on the stolen comm he'd picked up from one of the operatives that led him to believe they'd killed or captured any of his crew. Given what Rossi just reported, he had to assume that both Saber and Dagger team were First Order troopers. If they were here and they'd been moving in on the casino... The kids. he suddenly realized, looking back towards where Nova was bringing up the rear of their group. Someone must've sold them out for the bounty. Or someone's he thought ominously. It would appear that at least Ansel was in on it. The silence from the rest of the crew likely meant that they were either in league with the forger, or that maybe he'd taken them out.

"What a mess." Vague muttered to himself, watching Micaiah help Tsivoin down the corridor.

Micaiah's body was trembling so hard the Zabrak could feel it. He leaned on her for support but between his weight and her shakes they weren't moving very fast. Nova kept a close eye on them from behind, though she seemed mostly concerned with Tsivoin. The young Zabrak was in bad shape. She appreciated the gesture of him trying to help her out but she sincerely wished he hadn't done that. When Vague gave them the all clear he crossed to the other side of the intersection and waited for Micaiah and Tsiv. The young Sylarian hefted Tsiv on her shoulder and quickly crossed the threshold, she got about halfway before a concussion grenade landed on the floor between them. Reacting Swiftly Micaiah used as much strength as she could muster to push Tsivoin into Vague's waiting arms. Then she used that force to launch herself backward in the other direction. Vague caught the Zabrak and quickly dove out of the way. Meanwhile, the blast had picked up Micaiah and thrown her back the way she had come. Fortunately, she'd managed to miss the worst of it. Her injuries were minor, but had she not reacted so quickly it could have been a lot worse.

Nova already had her gun out and was leaning up against the wall, blasting down a side corridor. Several blaster bolts suddenly burned their way into the bulkhead right above her head from the other direction and she quickly ducked back after realizing they were surrounded. With Dagger between them and Vague they were effectively cut off.

"Take Tsivoin back to the ship," Nova shouted over the din of the combat, "We'll find another way!"

Vague had tucked the Zabrak between his hip and the bulkhead and was leaning around the corner to spray a few bolts in the direction of their attackers. When he heard Nova shout he turned to look back in that direction. The captain grimaced. The last thing he wanted to do right now was divide their forces. Micaiah may be more than what met the eye... but she was no soldier and Tsivoin for what little training Vague and his team had been able to give him was out of commission due to the attack he'd endured by the Lasat.

Before he could try and come up with an alternative strategy, though, he saw one of the plain clothed operatives from earlier appear in the corridor behind Nova and Micaiah. "Shavvit." He cursed, shouldering the carbine he quickly aimed down the sights and burned a pair of holes into the females chest. The other one, who had appeared to be their leader, appeared next and Vague had just enough time to clip the man with a blast before his attention was pulled back to the armored troopers closing in on him and the Zabrak. "We'll see you there." He shouted to Nova before setting about defending his own position.

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by Pryde »

Nova nodded then ran over and grabbed the Sylarian by the arm. The other woman was still trying to get to her feet when Nova tugged her forward back the way they had come. The plain-clothed officer tried to lean out and fire a shot off at them but Nova forced his head back by blasting the wall he'd be using as cover. Then she and Micaiah quickly ducked down a side passageway they had passed earlier. Seeing that they were getting away the officer tried one more time only to be forced back into cover again by Vague. Nova had idea where she was going, only a vague notion of the direction they needed to head in. The ship was so large, though, that there were any number of ways to get there. With Dagger behind them she didn't put much worry into running into any more trouble and ran as fast as she could while pulling Micaiah. They had taken so many twists and turns that eventually even the Sylarian wasn't even sure where they were.

They had just passed a marker on the wall that said Concourse C and Nova remembered that Masilda had her ship stationed here. Maybe they didn't have to make it all the way back to the Bedlam after all. "One, this is Five. We're on Concourse C and heading towards Ten's...," she stopped suddenly as she came to a screeching halt. They'd just turned a corner and very nearly ran headlong into Lyshani, Raav and Masilda.

"What the hell are you doing here," she asked them...

**********

Every part of this plan had been meticulously planned out. Lyshani knew that because she'd worked with Vague before. So how could everything have gone so wrong? There was a sound behind her and she turned to face it. Raav and Masilda had just turned the corner and were heading in her direction. "Good," she said, "I was starting to worry. Do you have the Oracle?"

Masilda nodded glumly and Lyshani allowed herself a smile. "Then give it to me."

The Ryn unwrapped the Oracle from her bag and presented it to the Zeltron. Lyshani stared at it a moment then frowned. "Cute," she said, "Now where's the real one?"

Masilda grimaced. She had switched the two while she was still in the vent above the vault. A part of her hoped Lyshani wouldn't be able to tell the difference, but the woman was a might shrewder than she expected. With a sigh she set the fake Oracle down then reached up behind her and fished the real Oracle out from where she had stored it. Lyshani snapped her fingers at Raav and the Zabrak quickly handed her a dufflebag. She stuffed the Oracle into it then threw the bag over her shoulder.

"Alright," she began, turning to look at Masilda, "Ansel's meeting me at my ship so we're taking yours. You try to pull another stunt again, however...," she left the rest hanging in the air.

The Ryn simply nodded and as she reached down to pick up the fake Oracle two people suddenly came careening out of a side hallway and nearly ran into them. Masilda allowed herself a sigh of relief when she looked up and saw Nova alive and well.

"What the hell are you doing here," the Jedi asked them, "This isn't part of our exfil plan."

Lyshani shared a glance with Raav, a look of genuine surprise on her face. Somehow, against all odds things appeared to work out. She gave a slight nod towards Nova and Raav began snaking his way around the two girls. "We were cut off," she said finally, turning back to look at Nova, "Those Dagger guys Vague warned us about prevented us from reaching the rendezvous."

"But how--," Nova started when Micaiah tugged on her sleeve and pointed at the Oracle at Masilda's feet. The Jedi stared at it in disbelief then looked up at the Ryn with a pained expression on her face. "You had it this whole time and you never said anything," she said, her tone a mixture of ire and grief. "You were going to let me die!"

"Nova, no--," Masilda tried to say but Lyshani cut her off.

"Forget it, Raav do it now," she ordered.

Somehow the Zabrak had managed to shift around behind her and when he reached for a stun baton Nova felt a flash of warning in the back of her mind. With surprising quickness she spun around, lightsaber in hand and in an instant the blade lit up and cut the stun baton in half. Then she pointed the tip of her weapon at Raav while drawing her blaster and leveling it at Lyshani.

"Give us the Oracle," Nova ordered them. "Now!"

Lyshani placed a hand on her forehead and silently shook her head. The Zabrak had one job and he couldn't even do that. "Relax, Nova, darling. We're all friends here," she tried to say in an attempt to ease the tension.

Nova just about had enough. "Shut the hell up," she shouted, "You had your chance to be my friend and you made your decision!"

"We're still your friend," Lyshani lied to her. She shifted her body just a little bit closer to the Jedi and tried to hit her with a powerful blast of pheromones. "Now come on, stop this foolishness and put down your weapons."

Nova smelled that familiar scent from before and could feel her knees beginning to buckle. Beside her Micaiah appeared to be awestruck by the Zeltron, completely unable to take her eyes off the woman. Both girls stood by and did nothing as Lyshani closed the distance between them. She was now almost within arm's reach of the young Jedi and she reached out to place a hand on Nova's cheek.

"Come with us back to Masilda's ship," she told her, "Forget about Vague and the others. I can provide you with so much more."

Nova felt Lyshani's fingertips brush against her cheek and for a moment she actually considered the Zeltron's offer. She lowered both her arms just slightly, allowing Raav a bit of breathing room. The Zabrak quickly breathed a sigh of relief now that he no longer had the tip of Nova's lightsaber just inches from his face. Then somewhere in the distance the ringing of klaxons snapped Nova back to reality and she fired a bolt into the bulkhead past Lyshani's head. "No, stop," she snapped, "back away now!"

She fired again and Lyshani obediently stepped backward to increase the distance between them. Then she shifted her gaze to Masilda and that pained look was back in her eyes. "Give the Oracle to Micaiah," she said, "Now, Masilda."

"Nova, I--," the Ryn started with a guilty look in her eyes.

Nova fired a third shot into the bulkhead, interrupting her. "I don't want to hear it," she hissed, "I trusted you and you abandoned me. I thought we were friends, but I was right about you from the start. Now give the damned Oracle to Micaiah!"

Masilda hesitated, glancing between her and Lyshani. When she locked eyes with the Zeltron the other woman nodded. With a sigh she reached down and picked up the fake Oracle at her feet. Then she slowly walked over to Micaiah and held it out towards the Sylarian. Before Micaiah could reach out and take it, however, a red lightsaber suddenly punctured the door behind Nova. The young Jedi stared down in disbelief at the red blade protruding from her abdomen. Then, just as quickly as it had appeared, the blade withdrew through the door and Nova immediately collapsed into a heap.

"Nova!"

"Elena!"

Both Masilda and Micaiah cried at the same time. Raav and Lyshani, however, had already begun to turn tail and flee. Meanwhile Micaiah was bent over Nova trying to do whatever she could for the young woman while Masilda watched helplessly. Just then the door was thrown inward off its hinges and a massive Lasat stepped into the opening. He took one look at the situation and immediately noticed the Ryn holding the Oracle. He lunged forward to grab it but Masilda instinctively jumped out of the way.

"Run," Micaiah shouted at her and the Ryn obediently turned and sprinted off in the other direction with the Lasat hot on her heels.

The Sylarian turned to look back at Nova. She was still alive but badly wounded. She needed to do something quick, but she wouldn't be able to carry the Jedi by herself. She reached down and gingerly took the com device out from Nova's ear before inserting it into her own. "Um," she began in an uncertain tone, "I don't know if anyone is listening, but we need help. We're on Concourse C near the hangar, Elena's been hurt bad. Quentin, if you're there please hurry!"

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VagueDurin
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

*B Concourse, main corridor- 1658:08 Local Standard Time*

A trio of particularly well placed blaster shots drove Rossi back into cover. The Kessurian spared a glance across the corridor and saw in dismay that SlackJaw wasn't having much better luck. Whoever these troopers belonged to, they were certainly better trained than the rank and file stormies they'd tangled with in the past. She'd just leaned out to take aim for another shot when a dark blur dropped down from the ceiling like a wraith, then coalesced into a dark haired woman armed with a nasty looking vibro-blade.

By the time Rossi got over her surprise, the newcomer had already swept one trooper off their feet and incapacitated Ansel. Rossi glanced away as the woman drove the blade into the vulnerable neck-seal of the other trooper who struggled on for another second or two before dropping to the deck. Orev dropped down from the same vent that the woman had and after the middle-aged Duros recovered from the drop, he finished off the first trooper. Just like that, it seemed to be over. Rossi exchanged a curious glance with SlackJaw, then the two of them broke cover and moved forward, keeping a keen eye on the corridor behind them in case there were more enemies.

Orev looked over at Rossi when she arrived, a guilty look flashing over his features as he looked into the Kessurian's honey colored eyes. There were a hundred questions swirling behind her gaze and he knew he owed her a lengthy explanation for his actions today. Later... he signaled to her and he was relieved to see her consent, albeit begrudgingly.

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

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

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

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

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

Orev nodded briskly and snagged one of the troopers blasters, a heavy repeater. The Duros could sense that Rossi was about to object, so he stepped in between her and Brakken, the latter of which had gone back to examining the fallen troopers without a second glance at the group. "Come on, we have a ship to catch." He reminded her.

*C Concourse, main corridor- 1658:45 Local Standard Time*

It was all Masilda could do to stay a just far enough ahead of the pursuing Lasat that she was able to dodge and weave her way around his force aided attacks, but the man's strides were nearly half again as long as hers and the Ryn's legs were starting to ache and burn under the strain. She needed to figure something else out and fast. Who was this guy and why did he want the Oracle so bad?

Blast it anyway, she thought to herself. This was all Lyshani's fault. All they had to do was follow the job, perform their roles, and earn a payday. But no, that wasn't enough for the Zeltron. She had to strike her own deals, hatch her own plans, and blackmail Masilda into them during the process. A pang hit deep in her as she thought about it. Lyshani got away with the real Oracle, right? Would she consider Masilda's part done then? She briefly wondered if maybe she could just toss the forged one she carried. Would the Lasat stop, would he be fooled? The Ryn wasn't even sure how Lyshani had been able to tell between the two. No. She couldn't let them have the fake, if she did they would find out who had the real one and Lyshani would see that as just the same as a betrayal.

The invisible wall she ran into drove all the air out of Masilda's lungs and left her rebounding backwards across the deck. The Oracle rolled away, coming to a rest a meter or two away against the bulkhead. The Ryn gasped for breath, shaking her head trying to clear her thoughts. Before she was able to come to her senses, however, a fur covered, clawed hand reached down and yanked her to her feet. Masilda blinked blearily up at the Cathar, Misu Nim. The cold look in the feline woman's eyes set off a chill that shot its way through Masilda's whole body and caused her tail to twitch frantically. She had just enough time to try and draw her techblades before the Cathar slammed her against the bulkhead, knocking her unconscious, one of the blades clattering to the floor beneath her.

"Grab the Oracle, I'm keeping this one." Misu Nim told the Lasat, who collected the Oracle. The two turned and stalked off down a side corridor to rendezvous with Richter.

*D Concourse, main corridor- 1700:22 Local Standard Time*

As laser blasts stippled the bulkhead above him, Vague silently hoped that Micaiah and Nova were having an easier time of it than he and Tsiv were. There was no way of telling how many troopers the First Order had deployed here, but so far Vague had tallied his current opposition at about five. A significant disadvantage to his one plus an injured teenager. He'd been tactically retreating down the corridor for awhile now... but it would only be a matter of time before his attackers figured out how to surround them once again.

He and Tsiv had managed to to work their way down the corridor a few more sub-sections before just that happened. Vague heard the door woosh open just in time to prop the injured Zabrak up against the bulkhead and then spin around and grasp the barrel of the Relby V-10 Rifle as it poked it's way out of the access corridors doorway. He pulled it forward a bit, then shoved it forcefully backward - forcing it's wielder off balance and making them vulnerable for his brutal attack. Vague made quick work of disarming and subduing the trooper, then spun the rifle around in his hands and shouldered it. He squeezed off a trio of blasts to force their pursuers to duck behind cover, then grabbed Tsiv and moved as fast as they could down the corridor.

Vague had left the blaster carbine he'd been using behind and had rigged it to overload. Thankfully, the haphazard plan paid off and just before the other troopers passed he and Tsiv's last position the carbine exploded which triggered the corridors automated fire-defense systems and slammed a heavy-duty blast door between them and their quarry. Durin had just let out a relieved sigh and turned to guide Tsivoin towards the hangar where the 'Bedlam was parked, when he heard Nova voice cut in over the comms.

"One, this is Five. We're on Concourse C and heading towards Ten's...," There was a short pause and some rustling, then he heard, "What the hell are you doing here? This isn't part of our exfil plan."

The rest of the conversation and ensuing confrontation was muffled and distorted, but Vague had heard enough to start formulating a guess as to why at least part of the plan had gone so wrong. It was hard not to assume based on what he could make out of the conversation, that Lyshani had tried to pull some sort of a stunt. He was pretty sure he'd heard her try to convince Nova to leave with her aboard Masilda's ship, though he couldn't be certain about that.

It was only a few minutes after she'd first started transmitting that the comm channel cleared back into silence. He wished it would have stayed silent... because the next thing he heard chilled him to the bone.

"I don't know if anyone is listening, but we need help. We're on Concourse C near the hangar, Elena's been hurt bad. Quentin, if you're there please hurry!" It was Micaiah's trembling voice over the comm. Vague cursed under his breath, then glanced around his immediate area trying to gain a bearing as to where they were from where he and Tsiv now stood.

"One, Two here with Three and Four. We're at Dead Rebels."

"Two, one here. Have Three get the party started. I need you and Four to meet me on Concourse D, about four subsections aft of your current location. I have Six with me, he's hurt."

There was a double click of acknowledgement over the comm, and Vague turned to urge Tsiv to try and find the strength to move a bit faster down the corridor. "Come'on kid. Just a bit further. Rev'n'Ros are going to help you back to the ship - we're gonna get you patched up."

"What happened?!" Rossi exclaimed when she and Orev finally caught up with Vague and Tsivoin.

"No time. Get him to medical and get him scanned, ASAP. I'm going back for Five. If we aren't aboard in ten, blast out of here, we'll find a way to catch up. The kid's going to need more help than we can give him on the 'Bedlam and I'm not sure how much time he's got left." Before either of them could argue, he added. "That's an order, now go!"

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VagueDurin
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

*C Concourse, main corridor- 1702:52 Local Standard Time*

Vague burst out of the turbolift and took off down the corridor as fast as he could. He held the Relby rifle at the ready, slowing down just slightly at the intersections in case anymore First Order troops were patrolling the concourse. He hadn't come across any since his trick with the carbine down on D Concourse, but by now they could be anywhere. Eventually, the corridor curved around and he saw the Sylarian kneeling next to Nova. Vague slowed his pace just slightly so that he could stop short and dropped to a knee next to the two women. He looked down at Nova and saw the wound in her midsection, taking note of her clammy and pale complexion. The captain set a hand down on Micaiah's shoulder, who hadn't seemed to react to his arrival yet. "What happened? How can I help?" He asked as she started.

"The Lasat," Micaiah said and her tone had a surprisingly clinical feel to it. As Vague rested his hand on her shoulder he noticed her body was no longer trembling. "Her injuries are severe, I need to operate immediately. Help me carry her to the infirmary."

Vague nodded a bit as she identified the one responsible for the wound and he surmised it must have been done with a saber, rather than a blaster bolt. He inhaled deeply, though, as she finished speaking. "Mic we can't stay here." he said in an even, matter-of-fact tone. "This ship is crawling with First Order troopers and Lightsaber toting darksiders."

Micaiah stared at him, ready to object. "If not here then where? If I don't treat her soon she'll die!"

Vague spared a moment to look down at Nova, then back up at Micaiah. "I've got a med-bay on my ship. My crew can patch her u-"

"Look, I may not know who you are or why you're here, but I do know medicine. I don't care what kind of bandages you've got I promise you if you try to treat this woman on your own you'll end up killing her. I won't allow it."

Vague sighed. He and Orev had quite a bit of training in field medicine, and Rossi had an affinity for it as well... but none of them were surgeons... His eyes shifted upward to stare at the ceiling for a long moment, then his jaw set firm. "Then you're going to have to come with us." he stated, an edge just starting to creep into the tone. Deep inside he hoped she would simply comply, he had no wish to take her by force.

If Micaiah had been surprised or frightened by his veiled threats she did not show it. She wasn't sure what kind of med facility this man had on his ship, but it didn't look like he was going to give her much of a choice. She was well aware of the bounties the First Order had placed on Force users. If Nova stayed here she would most certainly die.

"Fine," she said finally, "but I will need to go back to my room for some things."

"There's no ti--," Vague tried to object but she cut him off.

"They're medical supplies," she told him, "I will need them. Just tell your people not to take off without me."

"Fine. Keep the communicator," He told her, pointing toward her ear. "I'm going to get Nova to the ship and then I'll be back for you. Get to your room, gather your things and wait for me there." He explained. Vague carefully cradled Nova's unconscious form in his arms and stood. As he headed back the way he'd come he paused to look over his shoulder, "And be careful, yeah?" Then he trotted off as quickly as he could while not jostling Nova in the process.

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Pryde
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by Pryde »

Micaiah didn't particularly like the idea of Quentin following her back to her room. The supplies she mentioned were things she brought from home, Sylarian technology that was leaps and bounds ahead of anything the medical community inside the Republic was working with today. Until now she'd been careful not to share those secrets with anyone. Sylarians were a pacifistic race with no standing military. Their only advantage over other intelligent species in the galaxy was their science and technology. A part of what drove them out of hiding and into the waiting arms of the Republic was the fear of that technology falling into the hands of the First Order. At least with the Republic the Sylarians had the right to self govern. Visiting dignitaries to their homeworld were also kept to a minimum and their access severely limited. This has led to many rumors and fears cropping up within the Senate as to what their ultimate goals were.

With a sigh she stood and ran back the way she had come. Quentin hadn't bothered to ask where her room was, how exactly he planned to find it was a bit of a mystery. She assumed the communicator she borrowed from Nova had some way of tracking her and set that thought aside for now. As Quentin had said the ship was crawling with First Order troopers and she couldn't afford to be caught up with questioning right now. Getting around them wasn't going to be easy so instead she found an access hatch that led to the ship's maintenance tunnels. Shortly after boarding the Wanderlust she had managed to acquire a copy of the technical readouts of the ship and had committed them to memory. She had already worked out a safe path back to her room even before she was finished hotwiring the access hatch to open. From there it was a simple matter of following her internal map and then dropping down into her room through the light fixture in the ceiling.

She knew she couldn't take everything, not that she had very many belongings to begin with, but more important than that was her secret stash. There was a panel in the wall behind the holovid that she had pried open shortly after arriving. Behind it was a small compartment just large enough for her to stuff a small shoulder bag into. She'd been using it as a slick since boarding the Wanderlust. It was fairly easy to get to, but still required a bit of effort. She had to first unscrew the panel from the wall before she could get to the bag and by the time she was finished Quentin had already shown up. He had entered the room just as she was finishing screwing in the last screw. The first thing he saw was the Sylarian doctor on her knees on top of the console beneath the holovid using some kind of makeshift tool to screw the panel back into place. She had a shoulder bag around her shoulders that she didn't have before and the fact she had it hidden in a panel behind the wall spoke volumes to its value.

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VagueDurin
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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

Vague stood sideways in the doorway to Micaiah's quarters. Rossi was easily able to tap into the ships database to identify where the Sylarian was staying. He'd not encountered any First Order troops along his route but had to sidestep a couple of the ships native security patrols who seemed to be in full blown panic mode over the days tragic events. The Captain took another quick look at the corridor outside of her room as he leaned against the doorjam, blaster rifle shouldered but pointing low and away. As he turned his attention back to Micaiah he noticed that she'd finished with the panel and had turned to face him.

"If there's anything else you need to grab, do so quickly please." He requested, eyes shifting to take in the contents of the room for a brief moment. Her space was orderly, clean and well kept. While he couldn't see what may lay behind closed doors or cupboards, it seemed as though she lived and traveled light.

"I'm fine," she told him, "Everything I need is in this bag."

Vague nodded his head in a way that said he'd figured as much. "Right. Follow me please." he spoke and started out into the corridor. He moved cautiously, but with purpose. His every step planned, pace slowing or accelerating in response to the ships layout and the effect it had on their tactical situation. For the most part, he retraced the route that he'd taken on the way up to her quarters and Micaiah remained silent for the majority of the trip.

Every so often, Vague had that feeling he got when someone was watching him too closely, but he shook the feeling off. He knew now, after the days events, that there was a lot more to this Sylarian than she let on... and maybe in time he'd learn some of those secrets, but far be it for him to begrudge her for keeping them. They'd just re-entered D Concourse and made it a subsection or two towards the stern of the craft before he felt it.

"Mic," he spoke his voice soft so as not to carry through the corridor, reaching back behind him with his left hand towards her while keeping his right hand on the pistol-grip of the blaster rifle. "Move up in front of me, please."

There was a slight hesitation, but she complied. The Sylarian moved gracefully around his left side and a few steps ahead of him in the corridor. About two and a half steps later, Vague suddenly shifted his stance and spun around to face the other direction closing the gap so that his hip grazed against Micaiah's. Again Vague reached out behind him with his left hand and rested it against her side, directing her to move closer to the bulkhead and he followed, walking backwards - his steps in perfect sync with her own.

He quickly returned his left hand to the fore-grip of the rifle and aimed down the sights. Not a second later, the first of a trio of First Order Raiders stormed out of a previously sealed alcove. Vague cycled the trigger of the blaster rifle with ruthless efficiency. To an outward observer, it may have looked like he was haphazardly shooting in the troopers general direction, but in truth, his shots struck the troopers on the flat surfaces of their armor, the kinetic force of the blasts slowing their momentum and causing them to bunch up in their formation. Then he sidestepped left, away from where he'd placed Micaiah so that their return fire wouldn't be headed her direction.

By the time the first and second trooper had recovered from his initial onslaught and brought their weapons back to aim at him, he shifted his stance and suddenly his shots were striking precisely and repeatedly into the weakpoints of the troopers armor. First the gap between the knee and thigh armor, then between the belt and torso armor. Finally between the upper chest and shoulder. Two shots to each point, twelve shots in total, and the first two troopers were on the deck, incapacitated. Vague dropped the power pack and slammed a new one home in milliseconds, then snapped the rifle back up to aim and burned a hole straight through the third troopers face-plate, killing them instantly.

"Quentin!"

He sensed the fourth trooper at the same time as he heard Micaiah try to warn him. Vague had just enough time to twist his body to the side, making what would have been a solid blow from the buttstock of the troopers carbine into merely a glancing shot that moved Vague off balance. The trooper followed through with a solid elbow strike to Vague's forehead that sent him staggering backward, his blaster rifle skittering across the deck. A shake of his head and a glance that direction told Vague he wouldn't reach the weapon in time, and so he instead planted his back foot and surged forward, closing the distance between him and the final trooper, forcing the Raider to abandon his own weapon due to the lack of range.

The pair entered into a violent and brutally efficient series of hand to hand combat maneuvers, and slowly at first, but with building momentum, their strikes and parries began to synchronize in a way that was absolutely uncanny. Move for move, strike for strike, block for block, it was almost as if the two had become one. In the end, Vague was able to land a devastating uppercut with his elbow, jarring the troopers helmet loose and knocking it off to bounce down the corridor. The trooper responded with a savage front kick that drove Vague a meter backward in Micaiah's direction.

Vague lay there a moment with the wind knocked out from him, as the trooper bent down to retrieve his blaster carbine. "I... thought you were... out, Abbot." Vague spoke around gasps for air.

"Yeah... Well," The trooper replied, standing back up and turning to face Vague. "I thought you were dead, so I guess we can be disappointed together, eh Ward?" Abbot saw Vague glance back at Micaiah briefly and chuckled sardonically. "Oh, doesn't she know?" The trooper took a step forward and made sure that the power pack was seated properly in his carbine. "Didn't you know, Miss, you're in the presence of the legendary, the all time great, Auden friggen Ward. Well, at least you were." He added, then pulled the trigger.

The blast struck harmlessly against the suddenly shut blast door, and Quentin's useless trophy of a blaster pistol clattered to the deck just below the doors mechanism. Vague wasted no time, spinning around and scrambling to his feet, he snatched the Relby blaster rifle off the deck and sent a trio of blasts into the doors mechanism to hopefully buy them some time. "Come'on Mic. The hangar is just a couple subsections ahead." He told her, urging her to follow as he took off at a jog, turning every handful of strides to check behind them for pursuit.

Thankfully they were able to traverse the last dozen or so meters harmlessly and emerged into the hangar. Durin tapped his comm and reported in. "One here, the Doc and I are inbound. Three, get those drives hot."

Vague guided Micaiah along to the 'Bedlams extended ramp and stood at it's base, nodding his head towards the interior of the ship. "Med-bay is up the ramp, through the commons and to your right. Someone should be there to assist you." he told her, then turned to keep an eye on the door leading back into the liner in case their pursuit caught up with them.

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Micaiah froze in her tracks when Quentin, or rather Auden mentioned there would be someone to assist her in the med bay. She was almost halfway up the ramp but stopped to turn back to him. "I need you," she told him, "No one else." She appeared rather adamant about that. Just as he hadn't given her much of a choice neither was she. She didn't know anyone else, nor did she know who to trust.

Quentin frowned for a moment, but he knew he had little choice. His family was hurt, and Micaiah could help them. He tapped the comm again. "Clear the med bay. Two you've got the yoke..." The clicks of acknowledgment were delayed, obviously neither one of them approved of the directions, but in the end they complied. "Get us out of here." He ordered, taking one last sweeping look of the hangar, then lowering the rifle and turning up the ramp. He slapped the mechanism to close it when they'd reached the top, then lead Micaiah deeper into the craft. They were just passing through the door into the med-bay when the telltale vibrations beneath their feet signified that they'd left the atmosphere of the hangar and entered space.

"I need you to prep her for surgery now," Micaiah said as she set her bag down atop a nearby countertop. Quentin quickly moved over to administer anesthesia into the wounded Jedi while Micaiah pulled a small bracelet from her bag and stood next to Tsivoin.

Quentin caught a glimpse of the device from between her fingers as she was placing it on his wrist. It was like nothing he'd ever seen before. "What is that," he asked.

Micaiah ignored him, snapped the bracelet into place and pressed her finger against the small, holographic screen. A second later a green holographic X-Ray of Tsivoin's entire body appeared in the air above him. This hologram was not like any Quentin had seen before. Whereas most holograms were faded and blue this one was a crystal clear, three-dimensional image without any interference that could even be interacted with. The Sylarian turned and manipulated the hologram to highlight the Zabrak's broken collar bone and fractured skull before issuing a command to inject something into Tsivoin's bloodstream. Quentin watched in awe as she operated the hologram as if it were a touch screen on a datapad. Twisting and turning controls like they were knobs on a console. Then thousands of tiny little specs appeared in the Zabrak's wrist and began working their way up his arm to his shoulder.

"Nanotechnology," Micaiah explained without turning around. "The nanobots will drain the excess blood from his skull, set his bones and administer a bacta-like substance to heal his injuries." She quickly waved her hand and the holographic image blinked out of existence. "In case you're wondering," she continued, "it mimics Sylarian physiology, replicating our natural ability to heal ourselves. It'll work faster than your bacta. He should be fine within a few hours."

That felt a bit dubious. Tsivoin's injuries were enough to warrant him a sixteen-hour bath in a full tank of bacta at the very least yet she claimed that little bracelet of hers could accomplish the same job in a fraction of the time. "Will that work on her," Quentin asked, pointing at Nova.

Micaiah shook her head. "There are limits," she told him, "Not even Sylarian physiology is sufficient to heal from a fatal injury. First I need to repair the damage internally then sew her wound shut. Otherwise, it's like trying to plug a hole with water."

She quickly removed the bracelet from Tsivoin's wrist then moved over to place it on Nova. Again a holographic X-Ray of Nova's body appeared in the air above her. Micaiah quickly manipulated the hologram to zoom in on the area around Nova's wound, showing both her and Quentin the extent of the damage. With a frown she picked up a pair of gloves. "Disinfect the area thoroughly," she told him as she slipped the gloves over her hands. Quentin obediently followed her directions, spraying the area around Nova's wound with a disinfectant. Micaiah waited until he was done before picking up a laser scalpel to begin the operation...

**********

It was quite some time later before Quentin and Micaiah emerged from the med bay. She had her bag around her shoulders again, one hand hugging it tightly to her side as though she were afraid someone might try to steal it. The other crew members were huddled around outside the med bay waiting for any kind of news. As soon as they came out everyone stood up and looked at them. "How are they," Rossi asked.

"Tsivoin will be fine," Micaiah assured her, "He's currently recovering in the med bay."

"And Nova?"

Micaiah hesitated slightly before answering. Was 'Nova' the girl? "At the moment Elena is stable. I'll continue to monitor her condition, but at this point whether she pulls through or not is entirely up to her. For now, feel free to visit them if you want," she said, then she half-turned to look at Quentin. "May I have a word with you?"

Quentin nodded and the two of them headed to the engineering bay for a bit of privacy. Micaiah waited until she was certain they were out of earshot of the others before speaking. "I know you have questions," she began, "and I can't answer them all, but I'll explain whatever I can. Before I do, though, I need you to promise me something. What you saw back there, the technology I used... Please, keep that to yourself."

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

Vague had a lot of questions. That much was very true... The Captain's eyes, light brown again now that he'd removed the colored contact lenses, carried a hard and analytical edge to them. He was having a very difficult time getting a read on the Sylarian standing before him. He kept trying to reconcile the confident, in control Micaiah he'd just assisted in the med-bay with the trembling bundle of nerves he'd been protecting in the casino earlier that day but it just wasn't working. Ultimately, he gave up and frowned in her direction.

"If you wanted it to remain a secret so badly, why did you come along? Why take the risk?" He asked, deliberately not promising anything. He'd given the Sylarian the option to stay out of their mess all the way back at that office near the vault, and ultimately she could have simply left Nova behind after the Lasat had attacked the Jedi and disappeared.

Micaiah averted her eyes. "I studied medicine to become a doctor," she told him, "It was my dream to help people. If someone is hurt I can't ignore it and let them die."

She took a deep breath then turned to face him again. "If I could have done the operation without you I would have, but I needed your hands. Just promise me you won't mention what you saw to anyone. It's for their safety as well as yours."

That last bit seemed to catch Vague’s attention. A light sparked beneath the surface of his eyes as he glanced at the bag on her shoulder. For their own safety? He was already harboring wanted fugitives of the First Order... “Is it stolen?” He asked.

"In a word, no," she told him, "This technology is from Sylaria, my homeworld. It was given to me."

Vague looked confused. "You'll need to do a few better than that."

The Sylarian shifted her weight slightly and broke eye contact again. "My people are pacifists, Captain. We were once a warlike species like you, but we demilitarized ourselves and chose a path of peace rather than violence. Your Republic would be surprised how far you can advance your science after a thousand years without war. Now we have no standing army. No way to defend ourselves from outside threats and a treasure trove of technology the rest of the galaxy could only dream of. So an organization was put into place, charged with the protection of Sylarian society by any means necessary. Their mission... My mission, is to eliminate anyone who discovers our secrets."

A shadow passed over Vague's expression at the veiled threat. Micaiah sensed the growing tension and quickly shook her head. "Don't worry, Captain. I've turned my back on that life. It just... wasn't what I signed up for. Of course, now I can't ever return home, but I digress...," she added sheepishly, her words trailing off into nothing.

I've turned my back on that life... his thoughts echoed her statement. Were it so easy. he remarked inwardly. Vague's eyes narrowed as reached up with one hand to touch the now swelling bruise over his cheekbone from where Abbot had gotten him with his blaster's buttstock. Vague regarded her for a handful of moments as he processed her admission. In a handful of sentences she'd swept a broad brushstroke over the blank canvas that represented her in his mind, and he immediately began to understand the dichotomy he'd noticed in her behavior earlier. Finally Durin took a deep breath, and crossed his arms over his chest. In truth, he'd always intended to honor her request to keep her technology a secret but had he simply agreed immediately he would never have gained this insight into Micaiah and her past.

"I'll agree not to share what I know about your toys..." He nodded towards her bag, then continued. "So long as you forget you ever heard the name Auden Ward."

Micaiah looked surprised at that. "Your crew doesn't know," she asked.

"It's - Complicated." He replied. "How did you put it... 'for their safety'."

With a shrug she held out her hand. "I can agree to that," she told him, "but what do I call you instead? Quentin?"

Vague stepped forward and took her hand gently, offering her as genuine a smile as he could muster after the days events. "I'm afraid, after today... Quentin King is probably better off dead. My name is Vague Durin," He motioned with his free hand towards the bulkhead. "Welcome aboard the Veiled Bedlam."

"Bedlam?" Micaiah repeated "A veiled state of uproar and confusion," she asked, giving him a sly look. "A rare peek into the mind of Vague Durin?"

Vague offered her a lopsided smirk. "Just don't gawk, some say it's contagious." he cautioned in a rare moment of levity, letting go of her hand. "Unless there's anything else pressing, I need to have a sit-down with my crew... Feel free to make yourself comfortable in the meantime?"

"Um, sure," she said, though truth be told she wasn't entirely sure where. She was familiar with some of the technical specifications of the CST-877 and knew it was a freighter but this was actually her first time inside one. "I'll, just, um... Be in the med bay, I guess. Pretty sure I can find my way back there."

Vague keyed the hatch on the engineering room and lead her back that direction. "Commons area here, there's a small bar, galley is that direction if you get peckish, keep following that corridor and you'll bump into the 'fresher..." He pointed out the most frequented portions of the ship as they walked giving her a very abbreviated tour. When they stopped outside the med bay, only the Duros remained in the commons. Vague nodded to his second-in-command, then turned back to Micaiah. "This shouldn't take long."

He then made his way towards the cockpit with Orev in tow. The Captain had almost made it fully out of the commons before he began to cough roughly. He and the Duros continued on, Rossi and SlackJaw were already in the cockpit waiting for them. Then the Sylarian was alone in the commons, standing just outside the med-bay.

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by Pryde »

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the galaxy a small ship floated in the shadow of the fourth moon of an enormous gas giant. Richter stood on the bridge of the ship, his eyes locked on the First Order star destroyer that had jumped in system and trapped the Wanderlust. Fortunately, he and his people had made it off the ship in time with their prize. They had even scored a prisoner, though Richter would have rather she'd been killed or left behind. Misu had--interesting tastes. In the four years they spent fleeing from the First Order the Cathar had developed a sickening interest in causing people pain. She'd become quite good at it, actually, using ancient techniques the Sith had employed thousands of years before.

"I think it's safe to say the First Order hasn't noticed us," Richter finally said to Wes Tapal who'd been sitting in the chair next to him. Then he spun on his heel and headed towards the door. "Get us out of here," he threw back over his shoulder as he left.

It was a short walk down the corridor to the commons area. The Sith holocron they found a few years back held a prominent place in the room at the center of the ship. It floated above a podium and seated across from it was the Cathar, the Oracle resting on the couch next to her thigh. As soon as Richter entered the room she stood, picked up the Oracle and quickly moved over to the table to set it down. Then she stepped away from it allowing Richter to come and examine it.

"Elena sure gave us the runaround but in the end we still got it. Now we can finally fulfill our destiny," Misu said as Richter reached out a hand and placed it on the orb.

"Not quite," he told her. "The Oracle is merely a piece of the puzzle. The first leg of our journey to becoming the most powerful Sith in the galaxy."

He closed his eyes and concentrated on the Force, channeling his anger and his hatred directly into the orb. He held that pose for nearly a full minute before his eyes snapped open and in a fit of rage he grabbed the Oracle and threw it against the bulkhead, smashing it to pieces. "The Oracle is a fake," he roared as he turned on Misu, lightsaber in hand. The Cathar flinched backward as she suddenly found herself staring down the length of Richter's crimson blade. "That Ryn pet of yours tricked us," he shouted, "She made a fool of you! You will get me the location of the real Oracle! NOW!"

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

Aboard Masilda's ship Lyshani sat in the copilot's seat with the Oracle in her lap. Raav, meanwhile, was currently piloting the ship back to Nar Shaddaa. While he was occupied the Zeltron was busy examining the Oracle. She held it up, flipped it over and looked at it from every angle but failed to find anything special about it.

"I don't get it," she said finally, "Why were those three after this thing? What didn't Ansel tell us?"

She looked over at Raav who merely shrugged. Damn it, she cursed. Now I'm starting to regret cutting him out of the deal. "Before we sell this thing we need to figure out what it is. If three dark Force users are after it then our price just went up. As soon as we land on Nar Shaddaa I want you to try and make contact with Ansel. If that fething sleamo knows something about this that he's not telling us then I want to know what it is."

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

"She seems nice. Are we keeping her?" SlackJaw asked the moment Vague and Orev entered the cockpit. Vague was still coughing slightly and as Orev secured the door behind him, the Captain grabbed his tumbler from the console next to the pilots seat and took a long drink from it. When he had finished, he smirked slightly in the droids direction.

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves, eh?" He spoke finally, settling into the chair and swiveling to face the rest of his crew. "All I know right now is that we have her to thank for the fact that the kid's are still with us. What I want to know now, is who do we have to thank for how ass end up this job went?" He glanced between his crew members as he spoke, then paused as he looked to Rossi. "What have you been able to find out?"

Where do I even start Rossi thought to herself. The Kessurian tapped a few keys on her handheld and nodded before answering. "I wasn't able to find any information regarding the three who attacked Nova, no records of them boarding or departing. Nothing on the feeds we had access to, either - Nothing before they attacked, anyway." She tapped another key and was about to speak again when Vague interrupted.

"Nova told me they were former Jedi students. Wes Tapal, Misu Nim, and... Richter. Do a deep dive on them later if you can." Vague sighed slightly, rubbing again at the bruise on his face. "I'm willing to subscribe to the fact that we were in the wrong place at the wrong time regarding those three. They were there for the Oracle and seemed about as surprised to see Nova as she was to see them... But those First Order Troops..."

"Raiders." SlackJaw interjected. "The shrewd lady called them First Order Raiders. She said they were 'Highly specialized, used mostly on missions to do with the force'."

Vague's eyes narrowed just a bit as he watched both Rossi and Orev tense up a bit in response to SlackJaw's statement. "That tracks," he said, keeping his attention on his crew. "They were definitely special forces. My guess is they were sent in to catch the kids. Ansel must have tipped the First Order off about them." His tone darkened at the mention of the man.

"Well, just like the other three, the Wanderlust didn't have any record of them coming or going." Rossi said.

"Not surprising. Rumor is that First Order has sleepers and supporters all across the Republic. Folks who miss the glory of the Empire bad enough to sell out the rest of us. Bets they had people inside the liners crew." Orev told them.

"At any rate," Rossi continued, "As I'm sure you noticed, the Wanderlust locked down as soon as the fight in the casino kicked off, which cleared out most of the bystanders on the other concourses."

Vague nodded, then took another drink from his tumbler. He was curious about this... shrewd lady, but it could wait for another time. "Ok so what bout the rest of our people?" He asked, a glint in his eye. They'd begun the heist with ten. They'd left the liner with six plus a strap.

Rossi paused for a long moment, glancing back and forth between Vague and the mottled blues of hyperspace out the veiwport behind him. "I mean... We all heard Nova's transmission, right?" She asked into the silence. "She ran into Lyshani, Masilda, and Raav while she and Micaiah were trying to get to the 'Bedlam. Sure sounded like they had the Oracle and were well on their way to double-cross us."

Vague shook his head slightly. It was hard to argue with her logic, and it wouldn't have been the first time that Lyshani had tried to pull a stunt on him. "And immediately after that, the Lasat got Nova... Which means, at the moment, Micaiah is the last person to have had eyes on the Oracle that we can actually talk to. We need to know what happened up on C Concourse."

The crew went back and forth putting their intel and opinions together for a few more minutes, then Vague brought them back to the present. He swiveled his seat a bit and glanced at the readouts on the controls. They were on a course set for Dosuun. Durin nodded and spoke over his shoulder. "Good call, wait here." He told them, then stood and made his way aft. Opening the door that led from the cockpit to the rest of the ship.

Once he got to the commons threshold, he leaned against the doorway and called out. "Hey Mic, can you come up to the cockpit for a bit?"

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Micaiah was surprised to be left alone aboard a stranger's ship. From watching how Vague had handled himself during their escape she had surmised he was probably former spec ops. Probably working for the New Republic as it was pretty obvious during their escape that he had no love for the First Order. It seemed like he was well and truly out of the game, however, and living outside of the law most like. The CST-877 was a freighter design from CorelliSpace. It was basically a CEC knockoff. Since the Galactic Civil War CEC freighters had become a popular choice among civilian entrepreneurs and smugglers looking to make a name for themselves. A certain General Solo had a hand in that, no doubt. Naturally, CorelliSpace tried to buy into the market by making ships of similar design with many of the same features. Unfortunately, the CST line never quite lived up to the legend of its CEC brethren, falling short in many areas, though Micaiah suspected this ship might be highly modified. She already knew that Vague and his crew were aboard the Wanderlust attempting to steal the Oracle, possibly for a client or maybe to sell. For a man of his background she would have thought he'd be more careful than to leave her alone on his ship.

Awfully trusting, she thought as she moved to stand under one of the ventilation shafts in the ship's ceiling. The oxygen recyclers had access to the entire ship, not that she planned to crawl through one the opening was way too small for her. Instead she reached into her bag and pulled out a small cylinder then quickly thumbed the top of it open. She didn't bother holding it up to the ventilation shaft, the air current alone would carry the microscopic nanobots up and through the oxygen recyclers to the entire ship. She waited several seconds before thumbing the top closed again then shoved the cylinder back into her bag. Then she headed down the corridor Vague had pointed out earlier until she found the refresher. Once she was inside she locked the door then turned her back to it. She slipped the holowatch off her wrist and gently set it down on the floor.

"Show me the reconnaissance data from the nanobots," she said.

A moment later the device activated and began to display a three-dimensional holographic image of the Bedlam's interior as it was gradually being assembled. She could see Nova's and Tsivoin's sleeping forms in the med bay and herself in the refresher as it slowly came into view. The crew quarters appeared to be empty along with the entire bottom floor of the craft. The bots were now beginning to fill in the upper floors, starting in the middle and working their way fore and aft. Eventually, the entire engineering bay had come into view followed shortly by the long corridor leading to the cockpit and the cockpit itself. Vague and the rest of the crew were there. She reached out with both hands, isolated that portion of the craft and zoomed in on it. The four of them were already deep in conversation.

"... Former Jedi students. Wes Tapal, Misu Nim, and... Richter. Do a deep dive on them later if you can," Vague was saying. Micaiah could see him rubbing at the bruise on his cheek.

I should have examined that, she thought.

"I'm willing to subscribe to the fact that we were in the wrong place at the wrong time regarding those three," Vague continued. "They were there for the Oracle and seemed about as surprised to see Nova as she was to see them... But those First Order Troops..."

"Raiders," the droid interjected. "The shrewd lady called them First Order Raiders. She said they were 'Highly specialized, used mostly on missions to do with the force'."

Shrewd lady? An informant? There was no way to tell. That codename could apply to anyone, though judging from the look on Vague's face it was his first time hearing about her. "That tracks," he said after a moment. "They were definitely special forces. My guess is they were sent in to catch the kids. Ansel must have tipped the First Order off about them."

Ansel? Ansel Brimm? The Forger? She thought to herself. Her superiors had a file on him somewhere. He was a known First Order sympathizer. Micaiah was surprised that Vague would work with someone like him. Did he know? Or was he unaware?

"Well, just like the other three, the Wanderlust didn't have any record of them coming or going." Rossi replied.

Orev was next to speak. "Not surprising. Rumor is that First Order has sleepers and supporters all across the Republic. Folks who miss the glory of the Empire bad enough to sell out the rest of us. Bets they had people inside the liner's crew."

"At any rate," Rossi continued, "As I'm sure you noticed, the Wanderlust locked down as soon as the fight in the casino kicked off, which cleared out most of the bystanders on the other concourses."

Vague nodded, then took a drink from his tumbler. "Ok so what bout the rest of our people?"

There was a long pause before Rossi spoke up again. "I mean... We all heard Nova's transmission, right? She ran into Lyshani, Masilda, and Raav while she and Micaiah were trying to get to the 'Bedlam. Sure sounded like they had the Oracle and were well on their way to double-cross us."

That confirmed her suspicions that Vague and his crew were aboard the Wanderlust to steal the Oracle. Not that she needed confirmation, however, the events aboard the luxury liner made that fairly obvious.

Vague shook his head slightly. "And immediately after that, the Lasat got Nova... Which means, at the moment, Micaiah is the last person to have had eyes on the Oracle that we can actually talk to. We need to know what happened up on C Concourse."

The crew went back and forth putting their intel and opinions together for a few more minutes before Vague cut the chatter between them. He swiveled his seat a bit and glanced at control consoles in front of him. Micaiah zoomed in even further to get a look at the readouts on the console. Apparently, the ship was on a course for Dosuun, a planet located in wild space outside of the control of the New Republic. "Good call," he said after a moment, speaking over his shoulder at the others, "wait here."

Then he stood and started to make his way aft. Micaiah quickly waved her hand and dismissed the holographic image of the Bedlam. The light from her watch on the floor faded to nothing and in a hurry she snatched it up and snapped it back to her wrist. Then she flushed the 'fresher and stepped outside, heading to the commons. She could already see Vague calling for her as she neared the threshold.

"Um, sure," she said as she stepped up behind him, "but may I ask why?"

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

Vague turned to face her and gestured with his left hand towards the cockpit. "Well, introductions... for one, and we're hoping you can help us put some pieces together regarding what happened after you and I got separated back on the Wanderlust."

"Of course," she said then she followed his direction up to the cockpit.

Vague stepped into the cockpit behind her and pointed to the open seats before making his way back to the pilots chair. The trio had been in a quiet, cordial conversation that stopped the instant he and Micaiah had entered and now all three were focused on Vague as he sat down and swiveled to face them. "Feel free to sit wherever." He told the Sylarian, then introduced each of his crew members in turn. "Mic this is SlackJaw, most of us just call him EssJay, Orev, and Rossi. We'll be in hyperspace until late tomorrow so you ought to at least know who you're stuck here with." He waited a moment and just before he began to speak again he was forced to cough into his elbow for a few seconds. "Excuse me. Anyway Mic, I know things were hectic back there but if you could do us a favor and give us a play-by-play of what happened after you and Nova were separated from me and Tsiv... we'd really appreciate it."

Micaiah narrowed her eyes at him when she caught him coughing into his elbow. That was the second time she'd seen him do that. Some kind of illness? She around at the others, none of them seemed phased at all. Perhaps they knew about it.

"Um, sure," she said after a moment, a slight hesitation in her tone. "Shortly after we got separated we ran into three of your crew. I'm not sure what their name's are, though, Elena... I mean Nova, only identified one of them as Masilda. I think she had the Oracle. It looked like they were trying to leave. I think Nova thought they were double crossing you."

Vague nodded. "We heard as much," he confirmed, "What happened next?"

Micaiah's eyes shifted between Rossi, Orev and EssJay. How much did Vague trust these three? True, after this botched operation they stayed loyal to Vague... Or appeared to at least. Without knowing more details it was hard to say. However, four members of Vague's team betrayed him. That wasn't a very good track record. "Um," she began after a moment, "I think the Zeltron lady tried to kidnap your friend. It looked like they might have planned it. The Zeltron ordered the Zabrak into position with just a nod. He tried to attack her with a stun baton but she avoided it. Things get a bit--fuzzy after that."

She'd heard about the Zeltron's ability to seduce anyone through the use of pheromones, but this was the first time they'd ever been used on her. She hadn't realized how potent they were. "I vaguely remember the Zeltron saying something to Nova, but I couldn't quite hear it over the ringing in my ears. Then the Lasat appeared and stabbed Nova. After that he chased after the Ryn... Masilda, I think? Because she was carrying the Oracle. I don't know what else happened to her after that."

Vague glanced down at the deck for a moment... Lyshani was trying to kidnap... Nova? What was that barvy Zeltron playing at. He rubbed at his face for a few seconds, then looked back up at Micaiah. She had said that Tapal had chased after Masilda an the Oracle... but no mention of Lysahni or Raav after the Lasat showed up. "It's not like Lyshani to over-reach. She had to have known Nova wasn't going to be an easy mark... Did the Furişa disembark?" He asked finally.

Rossi spent a few seconds tapping at her handheld then nodded. "Way before we did."

"What about the Joyride?" he followed up.

Rossi tapped a few more times, then shrugged. "No log of it."

Vague's eyes narrowed just a bit. "Odd, that." He chewed at his lip for a few moments, then looked back up at Rossi. "Once we get out of hyperspace, I want to see what's hitting the holonet regarding all this. We're missing something here."

"About the Oracle," Micaiah asked suddenly, "You're not likely to find any more information on it that will help."

The others just stared at her in confusion so she tried to explain. "The ancient Jedi and Sith used to imbue objects with the Force turning them into powerful artifacts. If there are three Force users after the Oracle then it's possible that it's one of these artifacts. If that's the case then you won't find any records of it on any public database. After the rise of the Empire a lot of the old records concerning the Jedi Order were destroyed. You'd have to have access to an old Jedi repository that hasn't been found by the Empire yet and with the First Order taking over where Palpatine left off...," she left the rest hanging in the air. The message was clear, though, finding any information concerning the old Jedi Order would be nigh impossible with the First Order out there consolidating or destroying any and all records of it.

They all considered that for a few moments, before SlackJaw spoke up. "Well that would at least clear up why the 'three hoods' were so interested in it."

Vague nodded. He agreed that it would make sense... but his mind was elsewhere. He lacked information, and it was eating at him to admit that. He needed Rossi to find out what was being reported aboard the Wanderlust and what was getting leaked out to the rest of the galaxy. Was anyone arrested? Was anyone killed? Were they even aware that the Oracle had been taken? With Raav and Masilda presumably wrapped up in this double-cross, he had no way of knowing what the Ryn accomplished inside the vault. Due to Richter and his cronies hitting the security office, Nova hadn't been able to disable the heat sensors... So the casino would know that someone broke into it... Was she able to replace the Oracle with their fake? And if so, had it been good enough to convince them? In his mind, he began to make a list of possible complications due to all of this... They'd potentially made enemies of the Darksiders, First Order, and the Obsidian Cartel... Not to mention the double-crossers on his own crew. They didn't have the Oracle, which they would need to make right with their client somehow. Tsiv and Nova were laid up, and they had an outsider on board. Not bad for a days work. Vague thought to himself.

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by Pryde »

"I need to check in with my two patients," Micaiah said as she turned to leave. The conversation seemed pretty much over now and after telling her side of the story she didn't have much else to offer. Or so she thought.

"Wait a minute," Rossi asked just before the doctor could slip away. "You said all the records concerning the Jedi were destroyed after the Empire came to power. If that's true then how do you know so much about them?"

Micaiah froze in her tracks and sighed. She should have just kept quiet. Most people who met her assumed her to be an Arkanian and it was easier to let them think so. She only clued Quentin into her real species as a way of goading out his secret identity, which she failed to do anyway. Finally, she turned back to look at the four assembled. "Because I was there," she said, "Thirty years before the fall of the Republic I visited the Jedi temple. On top of that my people have kept meticulous records of the events throughout the galaxy for thousands of generations."

"Thirty years before--," Rossi repeated, her eyes widening, "Is that possible? I mean, you'd have to be..."

"Ninety-eight," Micaiah interrupted her. "My people are exceptionally long-lived. The oldest amongst us have been recorded to have lived just over twelve hundred years."

Rossi's jaw dropped and the others had similar expressions of surprise. There were other species in the galaxy with longer life spans than humans, of course, but it was rare to meet a species with a life span longer than a thousand years. "So you're older than--," her words trailed off as she looked at Vague.

Micaiah just shrugged. "I'm actually still a child if you can believe it," she said. "Physically, we mature at the same rate as humans, but my people have a unique outlook on life. We no longer use physical maturity as a measure for adulthood. There are trials... Tests, of a sort. To become an adult one must first accumulate a lifetime of experiences. That's not likely to happen for me now, though. To take the tests I have to return home and, well... I think I've said enough." Her tone became oddly distant as she averted her eyes from them. "Anyway, as I said I better go check on my patients."

Then she turned and left the cockpit without another word...

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

Masilda started awake with a sharp cry, her light green eyes were as wide as saucers as she tried frantically to recognize where she was. It was dark, there was a faint odor... acrid like. Some sort of hold, maybe? A metallic jangle caught her attention and she slowly realized that her wrists were chained together above her head. It came flooding back to her - the Ryn had been running for her life. Nova had caught her, Lyshani, and the Zabrak Raav as they were preparing to leave the Wanderlust... then some hulking creature showed up out of nowhere and skewered Nova through the blast door. For all she knew, the girl was dead. A sharp pang of guilt stabbed into Masilda’s gut. Nova probably would have been fine if Masilda hadn’t gotten herself twisted up in Lyshani’s scheming. The strange young woman who’d been accompanying Nova had shouted at her. She’d told the Ryn to run. A lot of good that had done. She remembered being thrown to the deck, then yanked up and slammed into the bulkhead. Then the rest was black and fuzzy.

The sound of a door whooshing open somewhere behind her brought Masilda out of her introspection and she instinctively struggled against the restraints. These must have been the ones who’d attacked Nova. “You’d be wise to save your strength, starfly.” She heard someone say. The voice seemed feminine, but the basic was thickly accented. The Ryn shivered, her tail coiling tightly around her similarly chained legs. “Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. I’d 'oped to get you settled in back 'ome first, but you’ve been a naughty pet, ‘aven’t you.”

Masilda jerked her head to the side as she felt a set of sharp claws brush against her cheek. “Who are you? What do you want from me?” She shrieked in response.

“You will call me Maitresse, and I crave your surrender.” The voice spoke again, belonging to the Cathar who’d attacker her most likely, so close she could feel the other woman’s breath rustle her fur.

Masilda huffed a bit in irritation and clanged her arm-chains once for emphasis. “Think it’s a little late to ask for that, don’t you?”

She heard the sharp sound of something slicing through the air microseconds before she felt and heard the snap of a long narrow object whipping across the small of her back. The Ryn’s light green eyes slammed shut as she yelped in both surprise and pain. Her body instinctively tried to arch itself away from the impact but there wasn’t enough slack in her restraints for her to do so. She panted in an attempt to recover her bearings, and just as she was blinking her bleary eyes back open, the Cathar crossed in front of her and into view. Misu Nim had a mane of bright red hair, a pair of hauntingly bright green eyes, and her fur was a wildly striped combination of muted yellows and tans with some sparse shocks of bright orange mixed in. Masilda hadn’t had much experience with the Cathar species, but she guessed that this one was fairly close in age to herself, if maybe a bit younger. The Ryn had a hard time focusing on much else though, as she kept getting distracted and drawn in by the manic gleam in the Cathar’s eyes.

“You misunderstand, starfly. I desire to break you. To whittle you down, one offensive layer at a time until you lay raw, torn asunder, your very undeserving essence exposed to the universe, and then, only then, you will surrender yourself and I’ll watch as your worthless light returns to the Force like all the pretty starflies before you.” The Cathar explained, the sing-song lilt of her tone so horribly mismatched to the words she spoke. She reached up a clawed hand and dragged the sheath of one of Masilda’s techblades diagonally across the Ryns midsection from shoulder to hip. That must have been what she’d struck her with. “But that comes later, starfly. For now... you and I are going to have some time to get to know one another, while you tell me all about where the real Oracle of Vidunatru is.” As she finished speaking, she dropped a handful of fragments of the fake Oracle down to the deck in front of Masilda for emphasis.

The Ryn watched the bright red gem fragments fall to the ground helplessly and looked up into Misu Nim’s eyes fearfully. She had no idea how Lyshani, or these beings could tell the two orbs apart, but she knew that her captor wouldn’t be pleased when she found out that Masilda had no clue where the original ended up. She swallowed hard against a suddenly dry throat and began to scramble to put together a story to tell.

Masilda blinked up at her captor and hoped that by the end of this she’d find some way to walk out of here. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she lied, “I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, ok? I saw a commotion, then that, thing, was on the deck. It was bright, shiny, and red so I snatched it. It’s what Ryn do.”

Masilda watched as the Cathar’s facial features twisted, shifting into an expression of disgust in response to what she’d just said. “Naughty starfly.” Misu Nim admonished her, and in an instant, Masilda felt what seemed like every nerve ending in her body set on fire. She cried out for a moment but her breath was stolen away by how immense the pain was... then, just as suddenly, it all disappeared, leaving her shaking and weak. “Let’s try again, where is the Oracle?”

Masilda gasped for air, eyes distant as she tried to recover from the onslaught she’d just endured. “I.. don’t.. know..” she finally managed. “I was supposed... to steal it and replace it.. With a forgery. But the plan went... wrong. So I still had the fake when you caught me.”

Misu walked a slow, deliberate circle around Masilda, before returning to stand in front of her. “Again with the doublespeak. You’re going to tell me what I need to know, eventually. You ought to just do yourself a favor and make this quick.” As she finished speaking, the dark slider reached out once more and lit the Ryns body ablaze with force induced pain.

The interrogation seemed to go on forever. Masilda had no way to keep track of the time in the darkened hold, but she’d been trying desperately to explain to the Cathar that she truly didn’t know where the Oracle had ended up, and that the woman simply had the wrong hostage. In response, Misu Nim had alternated between acts of physical violence, dark side force powers, or just plan mental torture in an effort to get a response that the Ryn simply couldn’t provide. In the end, the Cathar had resorted to implementing the Force Rend technique, snapping Masilda’s twitching tail in two. Over the course of her questioning, the Cathar had been been probing deep into the Ryns mind, searching for any helpful information. Her captive had proven to be quite mentally tough. But everyone has a breaking point, and as Misu render Masilda’s tail in two, she’d finally given up her boss. It was the only lead she was likely to garner.

“Well done, little starfly. Rest now. We ‘ave so much more yet to do when we get ‘ome.” Misu consoled the Ryn as she left the hold to go speak with Richter.

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by Pryde »

It was late at night aboard the Bedlam. The ship was still in hyperspace, but most of the crew had already gone to bed. Micaiah found herself sitting alone in the cockpit, staring out the viewport at the mottled blue hues of the hyperspace tunnel surrounding them. For a brief moment she wondered what Vague's next move would be. Tsivoin had recovered and was awake, but Nova was still unconscious. She was through the worst of it, perhaps, but it would still take some time for her body to heal. Assuming there were no further complications. While the medical tools aboard the Bedlam were adequate Micaiah was used to something better. The medical facilities back home even far outshined those aboard the Wanderlust. With technology like that she could provide help to many people across the galaxy.

Of course, acquiring that technology meant returning home. It also meant revealing certain secrets to the New Republic. Secrets her people zealously protected. She was one of those secrets. A weapon forged to protect the interests of those in power. Returning home meant she could never leave again. She sighed and stared down at her open palm. Her hand still trembled slightly, though it had mostly subsided by now. It had been a while since last she was in a firefight. She had tried her best to avoid violence yet somehow violence had found her. How many people had died today? She couldn't be sure. There were four or five killed by Vague's own hands and then however many more caught in the crossfire between Nova and her fellow students. When they left the casino was in ruins. Card tables and slot machines completely destroyed, bodies crushed under debris. So much of this could have been avoided if Vague and his crew weren't there. Maybe Richter would have taken the Oracle from the vault and left. Maybe they could have avoided the clash of Force users tearing the ship apart.

She leaned back in her chair again. She knew Vague's secret identity now. She knew he was Quentin King, she knows the name of his ship and the names of his crew. With that information she could cause serious harm to him or to his crew. Vague must be thinking it also. She tried to stop him from stealing the Oracle so he knew that she was no thief. She may have saved Nova and Tsivoin but that did not mean she was sympathetic to his plight. He chose to take the ship out into Wild Space to avoid letting her free in a heavily populated urban center near the core. He was taking away her ability to report him to the authorities, but once they reach Dosuun, what then? Would he let her go? Could he let her go? Truth was he had absolutely no reason to trust her and every reason to keep her on board or even kill her. Micaiah wanted to believe he wouldn't go that far, but she barely knew the man. Even if he wasn't willing to kill her captivity wasn't necessarily out of the question. He could simply keep her locked up on board. After all, a medical surgeon's skills were invaluable in the Outer Rim and that would even explain why he was allowing her to roam freely aboard his ship. However, if he did decide to let her go, what then should she do? She had no home to speak of and was constantly on the move to avoid pursuers. Should she just go back to her life? Or whatever it was she had before?

There was a slight sound to her left and with a start she leapt out of the chair and turned to face the intruder. When she realized it was the Duros, Orev, she let her shoulders relax. "Sorry," he said, "I didn't mean to startle you."

"You're--Orev, is it?"

He nodded as he moved to sit down in the chair across from her. "Guilty as charged, m'dear. So what brings you up here?"

Micaiah slumped back into her chair and averted her eyes. "Couldn't sleep," she said quietly, "Can't stop thinking."

"About the Wanderlust," he asked and she silently nodded her head. "Nasty bit of business, that."

That was putting it mildly. "Vague calls you number two," she said, changing the subject, "I take it you've known him for a long time?"

"Longer than most," he he replied in a guarded tone. Of course, it wasn't just his codename that tipped her off. Both Vague and Orev were roughly the same age and Vague seemed to have an unspoken trust with the man that was evident every time he entered the room. "Vague and I have been through a lot together."

"Do you trust him," she asked, finally turning to look at him.

Orev stared at her with keen eyes as the corners of his lipless mouth curled up into a what passed for a Duros’ smirk. "Are you sure that's the question you want to ask?"

No, of course not. The question she wanted to ask was whether or not she should trust him. "Yesterday I only knew him as Quentin King," she said, "Now I have no idea who he is, but I know he's dangerous. I just want to know if he's dangerous to me."

Orev gave her a sympathetic look. In her situation it was natural to be afraid. Even though she came willingly she was still trapped on a ship in hyperspace with a group of unruly lawbreakers. "Look--," he started, but the sound of the comm beeping at them interrupted him. Orev sighed then half turned in his chair to answer the call. A second later the holographic image of the man known as Richter appeared before them.

"Are you the one known as Vague Durin," he asked.

The Duros shook his head. "Let's start with who you are, pal?"

"That's him," Micaiah whispered to him, "He's the one that attacked Nova."

"I have a proposition for the man you call Vague Durin," Richter continued, "A trade."

Richter's image blinked out of existence and was replaced by the image of a female Ryn chained up and hanging from the ceiling. It looked like she had been brutally tortured. As soon as she saw her Micaiah drew in a sharp breath and covered her mouth. A second later Richter appeared again. "I will trade the life of this woman for the Oracle. You have one week to deliver. Contact me again on this frequency when you're ready to trade."

Then the call blinked out of existence...

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

A moment or two after the transmission ended, Micaiah looked up at Orev and her brows furrowed when she saw that he seemed to be... smiling? She watched as he flipped a few switches on the comm board but ultimately couldn’t help but question him. “I may not keep the company of many Duros so beg my pardon if I’m misreading, but what could you possibly have to smile about right now?”

Orev tapped a readout with one hand while turning is red-orange eyes in her direction. He studied her for a few heartbeats, then replied. “You just said a bit ago that you didn’t know who he was,” his eyes and expression hardened. “Whoever that was is threatening to kill our friend. You’re about to have a front row seat to discover exactly what kind of being Vague Durin is.” Orev stood as he finished his statement and twisted a knob near the top of the cockpit and the ambient lighting suddenly shifted back to its daytime levels. Then he keyed the intercom and woke up the ship calling them to muster in the commons.

Orev and Micaiah were seated at the dinner table when Tsiv shuffled out of the medbay. The former was sipping on a steaming cup of caf. The teen Zabrak took one weary glance back towards Nova’s still form, then turned and walked in their direction, one hand rubbing at his shoulder. When he got to the table, he gingerly took a seat opposite of the Sylarian. “You’re uh, the one who patched us up, right?” He asked, his youthful violet eyes dulled with worry for his friend. “Me and - Nova?”

Micaiah nodded. "That was a very brave thing you did," she said, "You must care for her a lot. Is she your master?"

There was a flash of anger on Tsivoin's face. An almost primal rage that surprised her. Of course, Micaiah could not have known about his past as a slave, nor did she expect that kind of reaction from him. What was clear, though, is that he misunderstood her. "I mean, is she training you," she asked. "I'm sorry, I forget that not everyone on this ship is as old as I am, but Jedi Padawan learners used to refer to their teachers as Master."

Rossi had, thankfully, just came into the commons from the galley and had heard the brief interaction between Micaiah and Tsivoin. Her honey colored eyes bulged and whatever vestiges of sleep had remained disappeared. The Kessurian quickly crossed over to the table, she was wearing a loose pair of sweat pants and a utility top. Tsivoin’s rage and indignation at the mention of the word Master had crossed into a look of puzzlement as she took a seat at his side. Rossi rested a pink hued hand on his good shoulder and patted gently. “My spikey headed Campo grew up in the clutches of servitude,” she offered to the Sylarian, “We try to take it easy on that ‘m’ word.”

Before anyone could respond further, she turned her attention to the back of Tsiv’s head. “It’s so good to see you up and about again, Campo. I didn’t think anything in the galaxy was harder than your head, but leave it to you to find a way to crack it.” She flipped some auburn hair out from in front of her eyes as the teen chuckled just slightly, then looked over at Orev. “What happened?” She asked, desperately hoping to keep Micaiah from any further inquiries. The Kessurian wasn't sure if she was just assuming something about Nova and Tsivoin's closeness or how she'd managed to come to the suspicion that the kid was a forcer... Rossi highly doubted Nova would have told the stranger about Tsiv's.. gift. Either way she felt she owed it to Nova at the very least to stop the Sylarian from dropping that truth bomb on the Zabrak. The Jedi had been pretty adamant that she wanted to be the one to tell the kid, once she found the right way to do so.

“We should wait for--“

“We’re here.” Vague interrupted as he and SlackJaw entered the commons together. Durin held a pair of caf mugs, one in either hand and he set one down in front of Rossi before taking a long drink from his own. The Captain was still in the same clothes he’d warn during the heist, albeit the shirt was now unbuttoned, indicating he may not have been sleeping after all. He took a step back from the table as SlackJaw sat down on Tsiv’s left, and took a moment to read the room. Something was amiss - beyond whatever had caused Orev to wake them - there was a tension he couldn’t quite identify. He forced his brown eyes to focus and turned to look at the Duros. “We shouldn’t be to Tailring for at least another couple hours, so what happened?” He asked finally.

Orev Masuda sighed heavily and leaned forward, tapping a series of keys on the projector that popped up from the tables center. “Micaiah and I were chatting up front, when we received a hyperlink transmission,” he paused to let that sink in, comms sent through hyperspace were rare, and for non-military types, expensive. He then tapped the projector once more which caused the recording to play. “It’s.. not pretty.” He added as a warning to the others, then settled back into his seat to sip at his caf. The transmission was short, but brutal and to the point. When the image of Masilda was displayed, both Tsiv and Rossi couldn’t help but gasp in shock. Vague’s features merely hardened further.

“Richter.” Vague spoke out loud, his tone even and devoid of any emotion. “That was what Nova called this guy. He seems to be in charge of the Dark Three.”

“I guess this means that the Pink Lady and Raav made it off with the Oracle, then.” SlackJaw pointed out from his end of the table.

Vague nodded his head and took another drink of caf. “And if that’s the case, then the one Mic saw Masilda take off with must have been our forgery.”

“Which means, that the Casino and its owners definitely know it’s been stolen.” Masuda added, not going quite so far as to name drop the Obsidian Cartel in front of the Sylarian. It was a valid point, though, because it meant some really bad guys were going to be on the lookout to get their gem back.

“Orev, ping who you can while we’re waiting to revert. If these three have been on the run like Nova, there must be something out there on them. We can float the cost... clock is ticking and Masilda shouldn’t have to suffer any longer. EssJay, get up to the yoke, I don’t care what sun you need to skim, I want to be at Tailring an hour ago. Rossi, mine this transmission. I want to know where they are, who else they’ve talked to, whatever you can get me.” He paused in his orders as he realized that Nova would have been next. A brief crack in his stone facade that was rapidly overcome with a barely noticeable shake of his head. “Tsiv, I know it’s not glamorous but I want you back in the medbay getting some rest. I’m going to need everyone at one hundred percent, ok?”

There was a moment of pause, his crew responded in their nonverbal fashion indicating their understanding of the orders, and at Vague’s signal, the trio of Orev, SlackJaw, and Rossi stood as one and set off with purpose. Vague was looking at Micaiah, but then he noticed Tsivoin lingering behind. Vague shifted to face the teen and softened his tone for a moment. “Go, kid. There’s a fight coming, and you’ll get your shot. But not tonight.”

Tsiv seemed to consider that for a moment, then nodded reluctantly as he stood and shuffled back to the medbay. Vague sighed, took a moment to glance around the commons, then he leaned against the table to look down and Micaiah. As if noticing just then, he reached down and began to button his shirt back up. With a lowered voice he asked, “Don’t suppose you’ve got anything in that goodie-bag of yours that can help us right now?”

Micaiah had been so distracted by her interaction with Rossi and Tsivoin that she barely noticed Vague addressing her. "I'm sorry, what," she asked.

"That bag of toys of yours. Anything in it that could help us track these guys down," he repeated.

Micaiah gently shook her head. A bag full of nanotechnology wasn't going to help them track someone from across the galaxy. If she had been home then there would have been ways to trace the origin of the call, but that type of technology wasn't compact enough to fit inside a bag.

"No," she said finally, "I don't have access to anything like that, but I could perhaps help in other ways. You put your people to work tracking down the three Force users, but you told no one to search for the Zeltron. Richter will likely kill the Ryn if he gets what he wants, he has no reason not to. He'll likely kill you too, I'm sure you've worked that out. But if you're going to set a trap for them then it will be much easier if we have the Oracle. I can help you find it."

Vague silently considered her words for a few moments. In fairness, he had next to no experience in combat against a Force wielder. He was tactically proficient in the ancient martial art-form known as Teräs Käsi - which was originally created with the intention of trying to level the playing field between non-Force sensitive combatants and those who could utilize the mystical power... however by the time he'd entered an operational status with the New Republic, and ATOG after that, Force users were essentially extinct. So, maybe she had a point. Vague was confident enough to pitch himself against just about any foe who stood in his way, but he wasn't so arrogant as to ignore the fact that these particular foes had a severe tactical advantage over he and his team. Ultimately, he nodded his head in acknowledgment. "A fair point. Rossi can put together a dossier of what information we have regarding Lyshani and her known associates, contact frequencies and the like. Should give you a decent place to start." He took another moment to sip at his caf, then added, "Thank you." She held no allegiance to him or his crew, and certainly did not owe them any favors, after all.

Micaiah blinked in surprise. She hadn't expected that response. "I don't know if there's any reason to thank me yet, Captain. I'm still not sure where I stand in all this, but after seeing that girl... Well, let's just say I feel motivated to help."

Vague had already begun to head towards the galley and ultimately the ladder that would take him up into the cockpit, he paused just at the threshold of the galley and commons and turned to look back at her over his shoulder. "It's a good start." He replied, then turned and left the Sylarian to her thoughts.

******

Several hours later, the CST-877 Freighter tore its way out of hyperspace into the Dosuun System. For a few short moments, Vague and SlackJaw allowed the ship to drift only on its reversion momentum as they watched the readouts display the information gathered by the 'Bedlams advanced sensor equipment. The planet Dosuun was home to COS Tailring, one of Vague's bolt-holes, hideouts he'd established across the galaxy to be used as temporary housing, resupply points, or in this case... a safe place to get away and regroup... Tailring was strategically located in a low traffic area of the galaxy known as Wild Space, which limited the chances of it being found by the authorities, but somewhat increased the chances of other outlaws coming across it by chance. Once they were certain that they were not being monitored, Vague fed power to the sublight drives and sent the ship rocketing off towards the planet. He clicked over the intercom to warn all aboard that they'd be breaking atmosphere soon, then set about angling the shields to properly protect them during the descent.

Their approach was thankfully uneventful, and within an hour they were skimming across the surface of one of Dosuun's oceans, heading towards a massive mountain range near it's coastline. Vague tapped a few keys, then leaned over to speak to SlackJaw. "EssJay, go ahead and ping the COS. Let's get the welcome mat rolled out."

"Y'got it boss." SlackJaw replied, tripping a couple switches and then inputting a code that would wake up the bolt-hole's dormant systems.

It didn't take long for them to close the distance, though to the uninitiated it would be difficult to conclude that they were nearing their destination. From the outside, COS Tailring was indistinguishable from the sheer rock faces of all the other jagged mountain peaks around it. It wasn't until the freighter had closed the distance to a few hundred meters before the rocky wall suddenly slid away, exposing a cavernous hangar. Vague skillfully decelerated the ship and guided it through the entrance which promptly sealed itself up behind them. Once inside he flipped the power from sublight engines to repulsorlifts and delicately maneuvered the craft past a modified Y-wing and slowed down to a hover. Through the forward view-port, the back of the hangar could be seen illuminated by bright amber lighting set into the rocky walls of the cave. A series of several massive industrial supply containers could be seen in a row at the hangar's rear, seemingly connected and modified into a sort of segmented housing unit. Vague spun the craft 180 degrees to point it back towards the exit of the hangar and then set it down between the fighter and what looked to be a surplus Pursuer Enforcement craft.

Once the landing struts had settled to the hangars floor he began killing the drives and winding the ships systems down. His crew needed little direction after having watched the transmission from Richter. They quickly grabbed their go-bags from their quarters and headed straight into the housing modules to continue work on their pre-assigned tasks. Vague lingered in the commons, having checked in on Tsivoin and Nova briefly he led Micaiah from the ship and took some time to show the Sylarian around the base before leaving her to her own assignment and heading off to check in with the others.

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by Pryde »

Lyshani was beginning to regret stealing the Oracle from Vague. It had been three days since her arrival on Nar Shaddaa and not only was she not able to uncover any new information on the jewel she was also unable to sell it. Everyone knew the Obsidian Cartel was in possession of the Oracle and since Masilda had failed to replace it with the forgery the cartel knew the Oracle had been stolen and were out searching for it. Every possible buyer she spoke to refused to purchase the Oracle out of fear of facing the Cartel's wrath. That left her with a very valuable jewel that no one wanted and an extraordinary amount of danger heading her way. She sighed and rested her head in her arms atop the table. She was in a cantina currently drinking her worries away. She thought again about the Ryn and the forgery Masilda had tried to pawn on her. Had Ansel not shown her the forgery beforehand she might very well have fallen for that trick. It was an almost perfect replica, but there were certain flaws that only a master appraiser would notice. Lyshani wasn't quite so skilled, she was just lucky Ansel had pointed them out to her after she had questioned his work.

She heard heavy footfalls behind her and without lifting her head she reached for the blaster on her hip. A moment later the Zabrak Raav sat down in front of her. "I found a buyer," he said, "He originally negotiated for one-third of our asking price but is willing to go up to two."

Lyshani lifted her head slightly. "Two-thirds of the price," she asked.

Raav shrugged. "It's still more than we would have made had we shared the take with Vague and the others," he pointed out, "Under the circumstances I'd say that's fair."

He had a point, anyone willing to purchase the Oracle would have to cut the jewel and sell it in pieces to hide its movement from the Cartel. Such an act would seriously cut into their potential profits, hence the reduction in value. "Fine, set it up," she said.

Raav nodded then stood. Pausing slightly as he turned to look at her. "Were you able to find any more information about this thing," he asked.

Lyshani shook her head. "No one seems to know anything about it and with Ansel in the custody of the Resistance...," she left the rest hanging in the air. Figures that idiot would get himself caught. Though, she had to admit she expected him to get arrested by the First Order rather than the Resistance. She doubted he would ever be able to find his way out of that particular situation. At least the Resistance will be far more lenient to him than the First Order would have been.

"Anyway," Raav said, then he turned to leave.

Lyshani took another sip of her drink then half-turned to follow him with her eyes. For a moment she wondered just who it was who was brave enough to purchase the Oracle...

**********

It had been three days since arriving at Dosuun. Vague and his crew were still busy at work trying to track down the three Force users who had captured their friend. They weren't able to turn up much about their current location, but Orev was able to dig up a bit of their history. At the very last they now had a last name for Richter. His full name was Richter Tayvion and apparently he wasn't always a cyborg. Up until about four years ago he had no cybernetic enhancements, so something must have occurred that ultimately resulted in the loss of his arm. Nova had mentioned to Rossi at one point that there was an attack on the Jedi temple where she lived. Obviously she must have faired through it better than Richter and his followers. The last four years hadn't been very kind for any of them, either. Whereas Nova had managed to get through it while retaining at least some of her morals, Richter and the others had fallen down a darker path. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to find on their whereabouts over the last four years, mostly rumors. There was some talk of three powerful sorcerers in the Outer Rim who had amassed a following, a mixture of pirates and thugs, mostly sellswords. The rumors gave vague hints of places to avoid but no concrete information on where to find them.

Micaiah, however, had much better luck. In her years of hiding she had managed to put together a network of spies and informants on various planets that she had visited. She used this network to keep an eye out for various suspicious persons asking about her whereabouts. That was how she had ended up on the Wanderlust. She booked a last-minute ticket after being informed that someone whose physical characteristics very much matched her own was out looking for her. With this network and the psych eval Rossi had pulled together for her she was able to determine that one of the Zeltron's favorite haunts was the Hutt owned world of Nar Shaddaa. She told her contact on the Smuggler's Moon to keep an eye out for any rumors of someone attempting to sell a very valuable item. It wasn't long before Lyshani stuck her neck out and Micaiah was able to bait her into a trap. She had her contact approach Lyshani's bodyguard with a potential offer. Now all that was left was for her and Vague to fly to Nar Shaddaa and pose as buyers. Subduing the Zeltron and her bodyguard shouldn't be too difficult for a skilled warrior such as Auden Ward.

When Micaiah found Vague he was hunched over a holoprojector that was currently displaying a map of the galaxy. Orev and Vague had decided to keep track of and map all the various locations the three "sorcerers" were rumored to appear. Vague was currently trying to figure out a pattern. So absorbed was he in his task that he hardly even noticed the Sylarian entering the room. Not that it was particularly easy. Micaiah had a rather light gait and moved with an almost ethereal kind of grace. It was almost frightening how easily she could appear and depart a room without ever being noticed by anyone.

"I found her," she said, causing Vague to rise with a start. Again she had managed to sneak up on him. "They're on Nar Shadaa," she continued speaking as though she hadn't noticed that she had startled him.

That was somewhat surprising. Lyshani had been in the game for a long time and was quite good at hiding. The fact Micaiah had been able to find them after only three days either meant the Zeltron was desperate enough to make a mistake or the Sylarian was just that good. Vague wasn't sure which of those was the case. "Good, tell Orev to--," he started to say but she cut him off.

"No," she told him. "You and I will go. I already have a plan for grabbing her, but I can't loop the others into it. You already know some of what I'm capable of, so I can only bring you... And we can't take the Bedlam. Lyshani will see us coming."

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

Post by VagueDurin »

Vague held his steel tumbler in one hand, and his forehead in the other. The Captain was beginning to lose patience with the search for the Dark Three. As he stared into the holographic representation of their supposed movements and sightings he sighed heavily. There had to be a pattern in here, somewhere... Why couldn't he see it? The holograph was being projected up out of the table and was three-dimensional, taking up the better part of the small room he was in. Vague had killed the rest of the lighting so that the only illumination within was from the color-coded points of light and their corresponding connection threads. The effect of which bathed him in a muted rainbow of colors and played interesting shadows against the hard industrial edges of the underground structure. Then Micaiah walked in and startled him out of his thoughts.

He listened to her revelation and considered it briefly. It wasn't like Lyshani to slip up, but the woman did lack patience... Without the knowledge of who Vague's client was, she would have to turn to the usual fences in order to try and move the Oracle, and with news of the theft spreading across the universes savory and unsavory parts alike... that would be a tall order to fill.

"You and I will go. I already have a plan for grabbing her, but I can't loop the others into it. You already know some of what I'm capable of, so I can only bring you... And we can't take the Bedlam. Lyshani will see us coming."

Vague brought his focus to bare on the Sylarian after she interrupted him. It was becoming something of a habit of hers. He appreciated her desire to keep her identity and her past a secret, but there would come a time when doing so may put the team or the mission at risk and Vague knew which side of the table he'd be stacking his chips on when that moment came. He hoped that Micaiah would fall the same direction. He took a deep breath, then walked around the edge of the holo-table to lean against it's corner.

"Fine, you and I can go to Nar Shadaa. May I assume you're familiar with the Zeltron's... unique physiology?" He asked her.

She nodded. "I've studied their physiology before, but experience is entirely different from textbooks. She--caught me off guard," she added sheepishly after a slight hesitation.

The corners of Durin's eyes narrowed a touch, but a semi-playful smirk tugged at his lips before he replied. "In my experience, she catches everyone off guard. Poor Tsiv was punch drunk for a whole day after he met her. At any rate, any hope of capturing and detaining her will have to involve countermeasures to protect ourselves, as well as a means of neutralizing her." He offered, his tone implying that while he'd been considering it - he clearly hadn't identified a sound option.

Micaiah shrugged. "A Zeltron can't use her pheromones if she's unconscious," She pointed out. "First we stun her, then we figure out how to deal with her."

Vague frowned for a moment. He preferred to plan things out so that there was no need to figure things out once a mission was under way. Though a lot of good all his fancy planning had done for them back on the Wanderlust. He looked down at his booted feet for a moment and chewed at his lower lip. He'd need a disguise, obviously. Maybe one that required the use of a rebreather - something that could filter the pheromones out of the air before they could take hold of him. "The clock is running," He said finally, "Do you have someone on the ground there? How soon can we leave?"

"I do," Micaiah told him, "and we better leave now. We're already behind as it is." She cautioned Vague, who nodded in response, then shoved off the holo table.

"Rev'n'Ross aren't going to like being sidelined on this... Grab what you need, and meet me out in the hangar. I'll smooth things over with them while P0-TR preps one of the other ships." He instructed her, then headed off to find the others. COS Tailring was his main contingency site, and it happened to be stocked with a Y-Wing Courier Variant and a Pursuer Enforcement Craft, each maintained in the crews absence along with the rest of the base by a P0 series Adminmech.

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Micaiah frowned as she watched him leave. She knew she was asking him a lot to keep her secrets from his crew, but it was for their own benefit. He understood that and, she suspected, that was partly why he was keeping his own secrets as well. With a sigh she headed back into the med bay. She had just about everything she needed for the trip, but more important than that was checking on her patient. The girl, Nova, was still unconscious. Her body was still recovering from her injuries and she needed a blood transfusion from one of the crew. Tsivoin, of course, volunteered, but Vague was the only match, much to the Zabrak's chagrin. Micaiah wasn't fully aware of the whole story, but the long and short of it was that in her brief time aboard the Bedlam Nova did a lot of saving. Naturally, Tsivoin felt obligated to pay some of that back, but it seemed whenever it came time to actually save Nova he just wasn't up to the challenge. Micaiah suspected it was eating him up inside. Which made it all the more confusing to her that he wasn't aware of his Force Sensitivity. Nova should have been able to sense it, why had she not taken him on as a pupil? Did she not feel some obligation to rebuild the Jedi Order? To take over where her master left off? Asking about it would probably be exceeding her boundaries.

Tsivoin was in the med bay again. He no longer needed to be constantly monitored and Micaiah had urged him time and again to relax in his room yet he insisted on staying close to Nova. When she entered he looked up from where he was sitting and upon seeing her he quickly looked away. Micaiah crossed over to Nova's side to check her vitals. Her pulse was good and her breathing steady. She held open the girl's eyelids and shined a light into her eyes. Her pupils reacted normally, but still no response from the girl. It would probably be some time until she woke up and after that a long road to recovery. Finally, she turned away and looked directly at Tsivoin.

"She'll be fine," she assured him, "She's past the worst of it. Why don't you try and go get some sleep? Sitting here worrying isn't going to help her wake up any faster."

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Re: Star Wars: Through the Never

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Tsivoin bristled a bit at her suggestion. It wasn’t that she was wrong, the teen absolutely needed to rest - but.. his violet eyes turned to regard his unconscious companion and he sighed slightly. Micaiah didn’t know. He’d lost Senna, and he’d be damned if he was going to lose Nova too. “I’m fine,” he fibbed, looking back up at the Sylarian. He’d found it difficult to meet her gaze ever since they’d broken words at the emergency meeting and she’d asked him that question, but he forced himself to now. “I’m right where I need to be.”

Micaiah watched him for a moment then sighed. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a small communicator and held it out to him. "Well, then you're gonna make yourself useful," she told him gently. "I have to run an errand with Vague. If Nova's condition changes at all use this to contact me immediately, okay?"

Tsiv’s brows furrowed as she finished talking and he eyed the device with curiosity. While he wasn’t well traveled, the Zabrak was also not a simpleton. This device didn’t look like a variety he’d seen before, and units that small typically had a very restrictive range. Not wanting to risk looking dumb, though, he reached out and took the device from her hand. “Uh, sure.” He offered.

"Thanks," Micaiah said as she turned to leave. As soon as she reached the door she stopped and turned back around. "Take care of yourself, okay? Don't overdo it."

Then she turned and headed out the door to meet Vague.

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