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Durose Roshan

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  1. "My. You're a funny little kitty, aren't you?" Dhon straightens up a little at her comment, puffing out his chest to emphasize the full extent of his rather athletically, muscular 6’8 frame. “I guess if it’s opposites day... so are you, Operative Sunrise,” he mutters briefly. "I know of who you speak. She's recently return to our fold so to speak. I can take you to her.... if that is your wish?" “That’s the mission. I clearly didn’t come all this way to admire the sand and exchange limericks,” Dhon responds with a little sarcasm in his tone. Pulling his Honor Sword from the ground with a firm yank, Dhon moves towards the speeder that the Black Sun operative points out. "Its but a half a day's ride from here, over Tusken territory and across the Dune Sea." “Hmph.” "Perhaps you'll get to see what a Jawa looks like if we meet any to trade with in our journey." Dhon finds himself rather amused by the thoughts that cross his mind as he climbs into the speeder. He barely manages to keep himself together long enough to reply. “Why? Do you plan to go find one of their midget colonies and taunt them by not trading the Jawas this diamond in the rough? From the looks of it, they might pay us not to trade them this buck of bolts and never return!” Breaking into a fit of momentary laughter, he calms down long enough to add, “I’m ready to go when you are, Sunshine. But remind me... how many hours are in a Tatooine day?” ___
  2. ((considering the time that has passed... legal double post... detour of plans after all...)) As Ro sat at the bar, looking left and right for any reaction, the female twi’lek bartender approached with a bit of a chuckle and a smile on her face. Ro glared at her while she cleaned off a beer glass with her towel. Shaking her head, she rolled her eyes at him, “You want me to believe haven’t heard, padawan?” Ro raises an eyebrow at her, “Padawan?” The bartender pursed her lips and gave him a knowing glare, “I know what you are, cougar. That robe didn't fool anyone the moment you walked in. Don’t try to play dumb with me and act like you and your Jedi friends caught me in the middle of anything. You can tell your masters that everything has, is, and continues to be above board in my establishment. They don’t need to keep watching me like a hawk.” “What gave it away?” Ro replied with a satisfied smirk. She shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe your clothing underneath your robes? Or your holier than thou attitude," she rolled her eyes at him again. "I like to play games as much as the rest of um, but to be honest, I’m surprised the Jedi sent you to waste your time harassing on me. Don't you have very important business to take care of?” Ro gave her a confused look, “What do you mean?” The Twi’lek eyes him with irritation, “I wasn't born yesterday, Jedi. What? Don't tell me your masters found you too brain dead to bring along!” Ro frowned at her in response, “You got quite the mouth on you, you--” “I’m not stupid, padawan! You really are dense if you don’t think I don’t know about the general call for emergency help sent out to the Jedi. Or that the bacta shipment you guys are sending is in the middle of final preparations to leave.” “I--” “Don’t worry,” she began with a wink. “The bar will be safe and sound while you are gone. All Nar Shadda will be just fine without you. It ain’t like this place is suddenly a den of thieves with you all gone or something.” Waving at Ro, she gave him a coy smile, "I think you have somewhere to be, Jedi. Have a safe trip. I'll be here if you get back." That’s the Nar Shadda spirit I remembered. Snatching up his lightsaber, Ro left a few credits with the bartender and flipped up the hood to the robe he was currently wearing. Before arriving on Nar Shadda, Ro had done a little shopping and gone to great lengths to have the Jedi robes of the Mon Cal that he had come across on the Traitor’s Gambit recreated in his size. It would seem that they perhaps had belonged to a padawan that may or may not have gotten very far in the Order. Clearly, this costume and his ruse had work. At least to the uninitiated. He wasn’t thrilled by the idea of what he was about to do next, though. At least one thing has gone right. My tailor was actually worth the money. Small victory but I'll take a win at this point. Dashing back towards the spaceport, Ro asked one of the passer-bys for directions to the aid transport. Following their directions, he soon found himself in a restricted hangar bay. Attempting to casually walk by, Ro was stopped by one of the Alliance guards standing there. “Excuse me, sir. Can I--” Dropping his hood, the former Watcher opened his robe to reveal a lightsaber attached to his belt. “Uh... sorry, Mister Jedi. I thought that all of you had already been assigned and left with the first wave of transports.” “At ease, soldier. Easy mistake. I had a few errands that were required of me to handle for the Jedi before I could join the others. You know how the Jedi Order can be,” Ro ended with a grin. The guard smiles, “I know what you mean, Mister Jedi. You guys are busy people. And if I may say so myself, I really respect what you guys are doing. It’s heroes like you that give us regular people hope.” Ro nodded, “That’s our job, soldier. Aiding people and providing hope to the masses. Like on Chandrilla.” Ro nearly bit his tongue holding back his sarcasm. The guard gleefully nodded in agreement before leaning in towards Ro and whispering, “Between you and me, I’d be a little terrified to head to Mon Cal if the news turns out to be half as bad as the rumors I’ve heard...” Shrugging a little, the man leans back at attention before adding, “But then again, I don’t have all those fancy powers, right? Glad it’s you and not me! I would probably be peeing my pants if the Jedi sent me there. But I guess that’s why I’m still a guard and you are a Jedi hero.” Smiling and nodding to the man, Ro headed into the hangar. At this point, boarding the transport and interacting with the crew would be relatively easy without another Jedi present to identify him as an imposer. After all, if we were headed somewhere as bad as that guard was making it sound, who in their right mind would try to impersonate a Jedi and stowaway on this death voyage? Roshan decided to laugh to keep from crying. He was feeling less and less thrilled about whatever he was walking himself into. But then again, he had survived the destruction of Coruscant and the attack on Chandrilla. What could possibly be worse than those two unmitigated disasters? ___
  3. "Looks like you owe me a drink, stranger." Dhon is a bit startled as the random woman reveals herself. He looks overs both of his shoulders before turning back towards her with a frown. "And you are?" "Operative Dusk at your service. My name doesn't match, but it works. It was given to me due to how I shine beneath the moonlight... or at least part of it." Dhon mumbles under his breath in response, "Well, I don't know if I'd go that--" "So they tell me that you're here to deliver the belongings of an operative. Which operative do you speak of?" "Listen here, Twilight. First of all, for all I know, you are a tall Jawa with a lisp because well," he motions towards his mouth as he wiggles his index finger. "That definitely doesn't sound that proper basic and obviously you had a hood. So for all I know, you are what Jawas really look like under their hoods and you kick out the midgets of your kind to fend for themselves with their little midget part salvaging colonies... Dhon pauses to think for a second before pulling at the braided hair on his chin, "Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen-seen a Jawa. So I might be on to something. Funny thing, though. Get this. The operative I'm referring to was supposedly killed by a Jawa! Crazy coincidence, right!" Dhon shruggles and raises the Mandalorian helmet and wiggles it a little in the air, "Didn't know we had a deep uncover operative working for the Mandalorians. This girl is crazy! Like seriously. But good at her job I take it? She's got this flower name. I keep forgetting it. Hold on a second..." Dhon twists the helmet and looks on the back of the helmet where the former Watcher of the Link left a piece of tape and a name, "Rose Car-eye-Aye-dus. I think I'm pronouncing that right. I don't know what her fancy operative name is but I do have her agent ID number written down on a piece of paper if that helps any." As he finally stops long enough to let the operative speak, Dhon stabs his honor sword into the ground and pulls a small slip of paper out of the utility belt around his waist and offers it to Dusk. The code Ro found and gave him was authentic as far as either of them could tell and it had led them this far, so Dhon is confident that offering the information might help clear up any further questions regarding who this "Rose" person might be. ___
  4. Dhonarr grins as the transmission comes back. The Black Sun were nothing if not prompt and reliable. Redirecting his YT-2400 to the new heading, the vessel coasts past the sand dunes of Tatooine towards the new destination. "There is an intriguingly barren nature to this world, almost as if there are mysteries hidden underneath every grain of sand. Perhaps that is why the scum and villainy of the galaxy love it so much. It certainly can't be the sand or the view," Dhon finishes with a laugh. Setting down the vessel within walking distance of the Anchorhead Black Sun Outpost, Dhon prepares to disembark. "Now remember, 3000. If anyone comes a knockin', you are to alert me immediately. And if you can't reach me... hunker down and attempt to reach me every 5 minutes until I return or they leave." "Master, where should I hunker down? And if I 'hunker down' how will I know when they have left?" Dhon waves his hands around in frustration. "I'm not supposed to do your job for you! You are a droid! Use your fancy computertry and figure it out." "Mast--" Dhon points at her forcefully, "And don't even start with me about 'computertry' not being a word or some nonsense. I'm not an idiot! I know what I mean. My basic is just a little rusty. It's been a while since... well... you know what I mean..." "Master, perhaps it would be easier for you to explain it to me in Catharese?" Dhon laughs, "Ha! And deprive myself of all this valuable practice?! Don't be silly, 3000. You just take care of ole' Flower's Gambit and I'll be back in no time." "Flower's Gambit, Master?" "Yeah. The Ship! Daisy's Gambit. Flower's Gambit--" "Rose's Gambit?" "See! You know what I mean," Dhon exclaims as he walks down the ramp. "I'll be back, 3000. Just sit tight." Reaching the bottom of the ramp, Dhon lifts the Mandalorian helmet in the air and waves with it. Small particles of dust kick up into the air as the ships ramp begins to lift. Coughing a little, Dhon begins his short trek to meet his Black Sun contact. Geared up in his personally crafted chitin armor and with his Cathar Honor Sword propped up against his shoulder, the over-sized 6'8 Cathar looks imposing enough that he doesn't expect any bandits or raiders will attempt to jump him along the way. "Well buddy, ole pal... it's showtime," he says as he wiggles his shoulders up and down a little. Craning and cracking his neck to the left and then to the right, Dhon walks several more steps before pulling some grains of sand from between his beard and spitting at the breeze. "Note to self," he mumbles as he nears his destination, "I'm setting up a betting pool that Operative Dusk is either a dark skinned Zabrak with an eating disorder or an undersized Jawa with a lisp. If I'm right, I treat myself to a night out when this is all over. If I'm wrong..." Dhon pauses for a second to think about it. After a few more seconds, he shrugs. "I don't know. I buy Dusk a drink or something. Watch him, her be something or someone who can't drink," he chuckles to himself as to approaches the coordinates and waits the arrival of the mysterious Operative Dusk. "If so, Urbax, I owe you a nice little polish. How about that? Deal? Pausing for a second or two, he finally nods contently to himself. "Deal!" ___
  5. It had been a lot of fun getting here. My doppelganger might have disagreed. But I am finally free of him. I have a job to do and then... well... who knows where I might end up going. Dhonarr of Cathar hums to himself as he taps on the metal surface of the cockpit panel. “Nannybot 3000! Hey! Where you at! Get over here!” A few moments later, the TDL Nanny droid enters the YT-2400’s cockpit area. There is a hint of irritation in the droid’s feminine voice as it responds to his summons. “Master. NAN-3 at your service.” “What took you so long, 3000?” “Master, again. That is not my name.” Dhon spins in his chair and glares at the droid and then at the restraining bolt firmly fastened to her chassis. “Insubordination! Drop down and give me 20!” “But Master--” “20 push ups! Chop chop.” The droid grumbles under its breath as it begins to do push ups. “Aloud!” The droid pauses before resuming, being sure to count out each push up as it performs the motion. “Okay. Stand on up.” With the droid back on its feet, Dhon continued, “So you were saying, 3000?” “How may I serve you, Master?” “Is dinner ready?” “Yes, Master. I was able to prepare--” “Good, good,” Dhonarr interrupts. “Can you bring it here?” Before the droid can respond, Dhon abruptly interrupts, “Wait! What am I doing? I mean, bring it here at once, 3000!” The droid pauses. Then it woddles off, “As you wish, Master.” “Droids. Got to love um. But not the most reliable pets...” Pausing to look over the readouts, Dhon grins for a second, “Hmmm. Let me see. We should be dropping out of hyperspace in...” Suddenly the ship pops out of hyperspace, the planet of sandy dunes and shady characters now in full view. “Now! Bingo!” Dhon laughs. “I’m getting good at this, baby!” Giving the air a “high five,” Dhon begins to plot a course towards the planet. He and Ro had done enough legwork beforehand to locate the cloning facility that Rose had used to make her most recent clone. “Follow the money as they say. And to think...a hidden Black Sun facility! Sounds fancy. Who’d have guessed. On a slum like Tatooine, no less. But then again, where aren’t the Black Sun?” As NAN-3 enters with a plate of food, Dhon spins around in his chair and grins, “How about you, 3000?” “Master?” “Na. You wouldn’t have guess either, 3000. Fortunately, our big daddy is Black Sun. And I got his memories.” If a droid could give a look of utter confusion, Nan-3 face would currently be showing exactly that expression. “Master?” “Don’t worry your pretty little chassis, 3000! It’s an old code but it will surely get their attention and I know how to ping them.That’s what they call it nowadays, right?” “Call what, Master?” “Nevermind. You know what I mean...” “Master, I am not familiar with--” “Sorry. I keep thinking I’m talking to a person, 3000. That’s the thing about wilderness living, 3000. You get used to talking to yourself. Or a pet if you are lucky. It helps you think, you know.” “Whatever you say, Master.” Dhon dives into his plate of food, scooping in a few mouthfuls before continuing, “Whuff omm trienn tu swae ss wiff linna nish tu hov shoo aroun.” “Master, I do not believe I am versed in that dialect.” Dhon begins to laugh, almost choking on his food in the process. He is thrown into a coughing fit as the droid seemingly stands there in amusement, making no attempt to help him or pat him on the back. After he finally stops coughing, Dhon hands NAN-3 his half eaten plate of food. His eyes are watering a little from all the coughing as he wipes his braided beard. “Make yourself useful, 3000, and take this back to the galley. I got some real people work to do.” “As you command, Master.” Spinning back around in his seat, Dhon takes over the controls as he types in a message for the Black Sun Facility on an encoded channel. As Dhon’s vessel breaks Tatooine’s atmosphere, he grins. “Well, 3000,” he mumbled to himself, “The job is almost over and we have a new fancy ship to call my own... even if the ‘Rose’s Gambit’ is one of the silliest, weird names I’ve ever heard. I swear that Watcher has got a screw loose. But I guess that loose screw helped me get a beaut’ like this baby! So you won’t see me complaining!” Yelling down the corridor, Dhon directs his comment towards the droid that is long gone by now, “Right, 3000!” He laughs loudly for a moment before a wide smirk wriggles across his face and his eyes squint ever so deviously. “Right.” ___
  6. The trip had been much longer than Ro had expected. The galaxy was a different place than the Watcher's memory engrams had once remembered it. It was one thing to watch the changes from behind a desk on Coruscant. It was another to explore it first hand. Most contacts had shifted places since the destruction of Coruscant, as well as the Alliance's occupation of Nar Shadda. Truth be told, finding someone to help them get a new transponder code had become a wild goose chase of sorts, dodging government patrols while trying to track down the necessary underworld figures. Of course, once located, Durose's old contact -- a sleezy backwater Mon Cal named Bon Vox -- was capable enough to do the job. The price wasn't cheap, however. Ro had little choice but to dip into Rose's assets as his money had been tied up in the banks on Coruscant since that entire world's collapse. Hopefully she wouldn't miss 10,000 credits too much. Since Dhon could care less about the new name, Ro renamed the ship “Rose’s Gambit” and had it put in Durose Roshan’s name. Before long, the process was finally done and the two Cathar bid Bon Vox farewell. At last. Weeks had now gone by since they had begun their journey. By the time they had arrived on Nar Shadda, Ro was wary. Rose plagued his dreams. He had relived at least three different variations of her death in his dreams, each time being unable to save her as he watched her die in his arms. Her smile haunted him. But perhaps the most haunting dream of all was the one he kept having every few nights. It was always on an idyllic beach. The sun was setting as the waves rocked rhythmically in and out, crawling up and down the shore. There was the sound of children playing but every time he followed it around the bending palm trees he was always met by Rose. She is standing there alone. And as he approaches, another man appears from the bushes behind her and embraces her. He kisses her tenderly on the cheek. Ro can never quite make out the man or his features. It is as if he is always just out of focus, Ro's gaze fixed firmly on Rose instead. Rose, meanwhile, just stares at the former Watcher with that same haunting hint of a smile that she died with. But when he approaches, she suddenly frowns and say to him, “Why didn’t you come find me? Why did you let me die? Why did you fail me, Roar Roar?” He always argues that he did not mean to leave her or lose her or fail her. But the words are never enough. It doesn't matter what he says or how he says it. She always point to the ocean when he finishes and he looks to see ominous explosions in the sky as if the world was collapsing and the Mandalorians were coming to destroy their pretty, beach-side getaway. And then he smells it. The smell of burnt flesh. And when he looks back, there stands his Soo'Gah'Wee. But everything is wrong. The world shakes as the air swirls the sand around them. Rose’s pale body now has a hole in her chest and there is blood rolling down her lips. Durose always tries to run towards her in a moment of panic but he finds that his feet are heavy as if he has been suddenly trapped in quicksand. As the ground shakes beneath Rose, pale, faded blue hands of buried cadavers would reach out of the ground and grab at her ankles, pulling her slowly underneath the sand. Starting at her feet and spreading upwards, Rose's vibrant flesh slowly tints to match the hands of the dead holding her. He locks eyes with the helpless Durose as she laughs at him mockingly and begins to sink out of view. Then he’d wake up, striking with an overwhelming sense of fear and loss. And then he'd remember that Rose was, in fact, gone. But now here he was. He had finally arrived on Nar Shadda. Armed with the lightsaber he had found on the ship and a new wardrobe Ro had purchased along the way, he was finally ready to seek out his destiny. Standing on the edge of the YT-2400's ramp, Ro looked back once more at his Cathar “twin.” “Don’t forget my stipulation. Return the helmet to the woman and the ship is yours.” “I gotcha, bud. Don’t worry about me. Me and nannybot 3000 got this covered.” “That’s not her name.” “It’s name,” Dhon replied, rolling his eyes a little. “I can call it whatever I want. Finders, keepers. It’s the law of the wild.” Ro gave Dhon a look of frustration, the sort of look you give someone when they say something that is completely ridiculous but you don’t have the energy or interest in breaking down just how many things are wrong with their statement. “Just take care of it alright,” Ro replied as he turned and takes a deep breath. As Dhon started to walk back up the ramp, he paused for a second. He then smiled back at Ro. “You know... It was fun, Watcher.” Ro craned his head skeptically, “Fun? What are you talking about now, Dhon?” “You know... running around the galaxy. Doing shady things. Interacting with unusual characters. The wilderness of Cathar is nice. It’s home. But I forgot... well... you know...” “What the life we never had was like?” Dhon shrugged, “You know. 'Core-UH-sont,' 'Core-uh-SANT.' What if we lived it? What if we didn’t? It’s our memories, bud. The rest is minuciosa.” Ro squinted his eyes at Dhon, “You mean ‘minutia’?” Dhon laughed. “See. There you go again! This is what I’m talking about! Live a little, bud. Memories or not, we only live once. The fact that we have diverged from the original Dhonarr proves that, Ro! You do you and I’ll do me.” “Are we done here?” Ro replied with defeat in his voice. Dhon chuckled a little to himself before he pushing the bottom to retract his new ship's ramp. Shaking his head a little, Dhon yelled out to Ro before it was completely closed. “Don't you worry, pally! We are done here, bud! You have my word, and we both know what that means! Oh! And one last thing!” “What’s that?” “Good luck, Mr. Roshan.” As the ramp closed behind him, Ro could feel a sense of finality. It was as if a chapter in his life was finally over. The last vestiges tying him to Rose and Victoria had been left behind. He could only look ahead now. Wading through the crowded streets and various vendors, he headed to an eating establishment that he heard some force users frequented. Walking right up to the bartender, Durose pulled out the lightsaber in full view of everyone and set it on the counter. “I’m looking for the Jedi Order. Might you know where I can find them?” ___ &
  7. Coming out of hyperspace, the blue and green gem flashed a few quick glints as the angle of the ship's approach made the sunlight appear as if it was dancing across the edges of the planet's atmosphere. Inside the hijacked YT-2400, the Traitor's Gambit, Durose slowly made his way to the cockpit as he felt the ship lunge out of hyperspace and begin to drift. This is it. Let’s get this over with already. Hitting the comms, Ro contacted Dhon as he entered atmo. The unkept Cathar had Ro’s face but a dirty, roughly trimmed mane and two braided strands of mane hair that extended down from his chin on each side. He was what some might call an outdoorsman or what others might consider “wild.” Dhon sneered as he spoke to Ro over the comms. “I’m where we agreed upon, Ro. This better be worth my time! I dropped a hunt for you. And it was a good hunt. No. A great hunt!” Ro rolled his eyes. He sighed before replying. “It’s always a great hunt, Dhon. Did you bring what I asked?” “I even dug the plot.” Those words caught Ro by surprise. He angrily glared at Dhon. “You have no right--” “Save it, Watcher! You have no right! This is my domain! Cathar is mine. And here you are handing out blood bonds and oaths and all this willy nilly and expecting all us to respect them? But I have no right?” “I’m not getting into this with you right now,” Ro roared back. “You know exactly what I mean, you--” The transmission abruptly cut out before Ro could finish his sentence. The response didn’t surprise him coming from Dhon. It still irritated him all the same. But to be fair, Dhon didn’t probably deserve to be the subject of Ro’s ire. It was just easier to ignore the pain he was feeling right now by finding someone or something to be mad at instead. Planet-side, Roshan carried the body to the ancestral burial pit of his home city. Located at the base of the massive city-tree, Dhon stood there casually waiting. He began ribbing Ro the moment he was within earshot. “So this is what all the fuss was about? Kind of ugly if you ask me.” Ro glared at Dhon as reached the edge of the hole and he held the body over it. Staring down into the darkness, he said a few traditional Cathar blessings and retold stories of this Rose’s deeds, both honorable and dishonorable. Then dropping the body into the pit, he finished with another final blessing. “May your soul be blessed with rest and become one with the Circle of the Force and the city-tree of our ancestors. May your physical body and your remaining life force provide this tree and the generations of Cathar to come the strength to live their life in the manner that you once did. Our bond has been fulfilled but you will not been forgotten.” "So says we all." Cutting his hand, Ro allowed some of his blood to drip down towards the body below. Then nodding to Dhon, the two of them began to fill back in the 2 meter hole with dirt. “Was she really worth all that?” “She was my Soo’Gah’Wee,” Ro growled. “So yes, Dhon. Yes! She deserved every bit of this ceremony and probably better than she got, too!” Dhon laughed, “Your ritual blessings are a little rusty, bud. That ending was especially rough.” “Thanks.” “I’m just saying,” Dhon shrugged as he shoveled another pile of dirt into the burial pit. “It was pretty sappy, too, bud. But if she was your Soo’Gah’Wee then she must have earned it. We may not be totally alike, but I like to think that we both know what something like that means to Dhonarr and to us.” “Yeah,” Ro replies with a somber note as his eyes drop down towards the pit. “It was a mistake, bud. Humans are too soft and squishy for us. Especially to waste your time mating with.” “We weren’t... we didn’t.” “Ha! Sure you didn’t, bud? I seen the way you look at her even now. I might spend most of my time in the Vast Veldt but I wasn’t cloned yesterday, Ro.” “I’m done with this conversation.” Nodding, Dhon and Ro continued shoveling in silence. When they were done, the two proceeded to head back towards the ship. “So, Watcher. I’ve waited long enough. Are we going to talk about this offer of yours or what? I didn’t cut short a great hunt just to meet up with you, help you bury some human female, and shoot the breeze.” Standing at the ramp of the Traitor’s Gambit, Ro finally replied, “I have a deal to offer you. I know you’ve been left behind to watch over, mum. But I need a favor.” “What kind of favor,” Dhon responded as he eyed him skeptically. “I need a co-pilot to Nar Shadda and then delivery of a helmet to its owner on Tatooine.” “Oh? And what’s in it for me?” “Do this and this ship and its droid are yours.” “What’s the catch?” Dhon frowned. “I’ll have to get a new registry for the ship.” “From Watcher to thief?” Dhon laughed. “The Link going bankrupt under your watchful leadership?” “The Link and Coruscant are gone.” Dhon had a witty response already ready to come out but Ro’s words caused him to pause. He gave Ro a confused look before responding. “What do you mean gone?” “Like dead and gone. Destroyed. Massacred,” Ro replied angrily. “Like while you were out here playing wildness tracker billions of people were being murdered by crazed fanatics who believed they were some sort of second coming of the Mandalorian savages of old.” “Wow. You don’t say,” Dhon comments rather casually. “I would have never guessed that. So your cash cow kinda went belly up then?” “You are missing the point, Dhon. Do we have a deal or not?” Dhon laughed. He then patted Ro on the shoulder as he stepped onto the ramp and past Ro. “Whatever you say, bud. But after I fulfill my end of the deal, whatever I do with this ship is my business.” “Deal.” Dhon turns back and smiles, “Then we have ourselves a plan, bud. Times a wastin’. We got a den of scum and villainy to visit.” ((Off to Nar Shadda)) _________ &
  8. The last two days had been hard for Ro to properly describe. Perhaps “nightmare” was the most apt word for it all. He had made long journeys before but none quite like this. After their little skirmish, Ro had passed out with Rose's warm corpse in his arms. When he awoke, her body was little warmer than room temperature and it had already begun to stiffen, frozen in a moment of time long since passed. The smell of death was all around him. But it felt like moving would only acknowledge what he already knew was true about Rose, so instead he just laid there in silent meditation for what felt like hours. When the smell of death and fecal matter became no longer bearable, Durose finally began to stir. Freeing himself from Rose was a bit haunting. He could almost swear that he saw the hints of a smile frozen on her lifeless face. But it may have been his mind playing tricks on him. Moving her aside, Durose went to work dragging the other bodies towards the nearest airlock. The work wasn’t particularly hard but his spirit wasn’t in it. This whole thing had turned out to be a big mess. Or rather, a terrible tragedy. After dealing with the other corpses, Ro returned to Rose’s body and carefully lifted it up and carried it into the Fresher Suite. He removed what was left of his tattered shirt and went about meticulously washing the body from head to toe. The stomach would also need to be properly gutted and sewn back up to as best as reasonably possible in its condition. He could tell that the tense muscle fibers had already begun to breakdown as he carefully went through the procedure. As unpleasant as it all was, it was necessary. Once he was satisfied with the level of detail and care taken in preparing the body, Durose gave it a final scrub down and left the corpse in there to dry while he began to explore the ship. There wasn’t much value to be found on the ship to be honest. But the Mon Calamari had two items of note. In his collection of personal items, Durose happened upon some robes and a lightsaber that seemed to suggest that the man was once a Jedi. What he had done to end up with this less than reputable crew was beyond Ro, but this realization made it that much more fortuitous that they had caught his group by surprise and Rose had used that split second to blast him right between the eyes. He clearly couldn’t have been that high ranking or versed in the Force but the fact that he had a lightsaber of his own must have at least meant something. Beyond that, Ro found a light repeating blaster and a holdout pistol and a variety of knickknacks, datapads, comm units, and random trinkets. The Jawa also had a rather expensive collection of repair and hacking tools which Ro used to hack the ship’s database and rewrite certain codes and information. Of course, he realized that he would need a clean registration if he intended to keep this ship. But he knew a few people on Nar Shadda that could be relied on for that. He just needed the right items to trade. And judging from the crew of this ship, what he needed was already here. He just had to figure out where they had installed the smuggling compartments. In the meantime, he decided to visit the captain’s quarters. That was where he found their droid. A TDL Nanny droid with the designation NAN-3, Ro had no idea what to make of the bolt restrained metal contraption. To be completely honest, Ro had failed to realize that this model of bot even existed. It made sense that something like this would. He had just never ran into one quite like this. Inside the room, Ro found the caller to command the bot. The feminine bot informed Roshan that she was a member of the crew and belonged to the captain and crew as partial payment for a job that they had performed for another group. It had also been modified to function as a protocol droid and could speak Jawa and wookiee, among other languages. Ro could honestly care less at this point. He commanded the droid to begin clean up duty and scrub away all the blood, bacteria, fecal matter, and grime that had been left from all the fighting and killing. The droid was mortified to learn that the former crew was dead, but it otherwise followed Ro's orders (not that it could really disobey if it wanted to). Before he headed off to get some rest, however, Ro returned to the Fresher Suite with the Mon Cal’s jedi robe and dressed Rose’s body in it. No one was quite the right size for her and this oversize piece of attire was no exception but he didn't feel right just leaving her now clean corpse exposed and out in the open. He ordered the droid to not enter the suite for any reason and headed to the captain’s room to sleep. He wasn’t sure just how long he actually slept before jolting awake. He couldn’t quite remember his dream but he could still feel the ominous intensity that lingered from it. This is all wrong. All wrong. What have you done, Rose? What have we done? He found the morbid nature of this whole voyage rather unsettling. But there were important aspects that needed to be taken care of. As his Soo’Gah’Wee, she deserved a proper burial in the land of his ancestors. But he actually knew so little about her. If only there was some way that I could... Suddenly, the thought hit him like lightning streaking across a bleak winter nightscape. He couldn’t believe that he hadn’t thought of it sooner! Her helmet! Using the Jawa’s tools and some of the items the ship had available, the former Watcher of the Link was able to create a makeshift display to allow him to see the information that was kept within Rose’s helmet without wearing it (something his head was too big to succeed at doing). Of course, what he found was way more than he bargained for. The first thing that he realized upon accessing her helmet was that it was linked to her funds account and had her Black Sun agent ID listed. He hadn’t realized that she was a member of the Black Sun before she joined the Mandalorians but undoubtedly this handsome sum of credits came from her time under their employment. What in the galaxy was she thinking just tossing this thing out!?!? If I hadn’t taken it, who knows who could have gotten access to all this stuff! But beyond the superficial, Ro found a treasure trove of personal data. There were holophotos of her parents and her as a little child, journal entries, and all sorts of information. He felt a bit rude snooping around but he wanted to make sure that he properly performed her burial rights based on the person this clone was. Not her deceased alter egos. Backtracking through her available information wasn’t a terrible complicated task but he found himself watching and reading entries that she had left behind with hints of horror and intrigue. She was a complex but troubled clone who had almost thrown away everything to join him on this fool’s errand. She had honored their bond. And her helmet belonged to her child or mate or next of kin. However, all he tracked down was a series of entries and expenditures pointing to a cloning facility on Tatooine. Heavy is the head that wears this helmet. But she deserves the right to know and choose its final rest place, whether on her head or in a pile of scrap. Headed to the cockpit, Ro decided to inform Dhon that he was on his way and wanted to meet at the tribal burial site for a funeral followed by a lucrative proposition. Finally satisfied with his message after a few trial versions, Ro sent it off. To his surprise, more time had passed than he realized. He would be dropping out of hyperspace in less than an hour. Returning to Rose’s body, he removed the necklace that he had given her way back when she had first defeated him in combat. He stared in silence at the edges of the triangle-shaped fossil. Then at the Cathar words engraved on it. 'To the victor,' indeed. Placing it back around her neck, Durose took a small knife and cut a lock of Rose’s hair before pocketing it. Her body had returned to being limp by this point. It would likely start smelling bad rather soon. If he was lucky, the worst of it would not begin until after she was well buried. But this morbid business was anybody’s guess at this point. Ro just wanted to be done with it already. He wanted to remember Rose how she was before they boarded their infernal ship. Not the discolored corpse that lay in front of him now. ___
  9. This was not how he imagined leaving Chandrilla behind. Everything had gone so dramatically wrong. This was the Jedi's fault as much as it was his and Rose's. Or maybe it was no one's fault at all. But it was easier to find someone to blame. As she stumbled towards him, Durose realized that he was still tightly squeezing his choked out victim with all his might. It was no doubt the shock of everything. He felt like he was frozen in time as the seconds fleeted away. So much for taking a prisoner... Snapping out of it enough to toss the wookiee aside, Ro tried to move to Rose's side but his body didn't respond. “Hey.” There was supposed to be a response but nothing came out. Instead, he gaped at her with eyes as wide as saucers. “You did really well, Durose. And here I got uh…” Durose looked at the horrific wound on her chest. This was his fault. This really was his fault. If he hadn't made her abandon her armor, she might have maybe survived that blast. Or maybe she still wouldn't have. But it was easier to find someone to blame. As the tears rolled down her cheeks, they mixed with the blood that came trickling out of her mouth as she spoke. She was clearly in bad shape. “I… I Kriffed up.” He watched in horror as her petite frame collapsed beside his numb body. He found himself still trapped in a stunned silence. It wasn't until she touched his shoulder that the feeling in his arms and legs returned to him and he snapped out of his mortified trance. It wasn't the first time he or Dhonarr had seen death. But this death was more real to him than most of the others. Especially since these memories and experiences were really his. He had lived such a sheltered life at the Link. But he missed that life more than ever in Rose's final moments. What he had experienced over the last couple months was not living. It was a never ending nightmare. “I set the autopilot to Cathar. I…don't feel so good.” Even as she spoke, she seemed a bit delirious. She might not have even known what she was saying at this point. Was the autopilot set to the planet of Cathar? Or is she calling me "Cathar" and it is "set, too, Cathar"? Did she even know where Cathar was? Did these smugglers have accurate star charts there? Aren't we supposed to be heading to track down the Jedi?! "Shhh..." Ro began as he wrapped his long arms around her and held her tight. "You did fine, Soo'Gah'Wae. But if you wanted a shirt in red, I wouldn't have gladly bought you one from one of the shops. You didn't have to go out and do all this." His voice cracked as he spoke, his weak attempt at humor the only thing he could think of. She deserved to smile before she died. At the very least, he wanted her to see a smiling and reassuring face before she rejoined the great Circle of the Force. It was just that he was having trouble smiling with all the water that kept creeping out from underneath his eyelids. Clearing his throat and wiping his eyes with his free arm, he hugged Rose tight to his body as he rocked her a little. He could feel her body growing cold and her life fading. "I love you, Soo'Gah'Wae. Don't forget me when you join the Circle. I will need your strength and spirit to guide and watch over me so that I can stay strong and defeat me enemies." His voice was a bit shaky but he said that last little bit with conviction. In all honesty, he didn't know if he really "love-loved" Rose. But the truth didn't really matter right now. She always carried so much pain around with her. She deserved to feel loved for once. In reality, Ro was still very much on the fence about what to make of Rose. There were things he definitely didn't like about her. Her impulsiveness in particular was unacceptable to him. And honestly, she was now dead because of it. She had acted like a child and put them both at risk. Maybe if she had thought things through and discussed her plans with him before acting... Kriff, Soo'Gah'Wae! Maybe you wouldn't be here dying in my arms! Or maybe she would have still ended up here sooner or later. Maybe this was all her fault or maybe it wasn't. Or maybe it was the Force or fate. But it was easier to find someone to blame. Seconds stretched on for what seemed like an eternity. He could tell that she was having difficulty breathing, much less speaking. Barring some sort of miracle, it looked like their time together had run out. His mind was pulled back to a song Dhonarr's mother used to sing to him at night when he couldn't fall asleep. It has an rhythmic melody that he had always liked as a child. A 'duh duh duh dum, duh duh duh dum' or 'duh duh dum, duh duh duh dum' generally alternating back and forth. It was the only thing he could think of with such short notice. It wasn't a funeral dirge, but it was a pleasant enough tune to fade off to sleep to. In those final moments, the song kept playing in his head. So instead of keeping it to himself, the former Watcher of the Link softly whispered the melody to his dying Soo'Gah'Wae. His voice echoed softly off the walls as the ship quietly hurled through hyperspace towards its next destination. "Sleep my darling little one. The sun is down and night has come. Close your eyes and fade to sleep. Yes I am here, oh yes my dear, I will keep, you safe and sound. From what dangers might be found. So close your eyes and fall to sleep. Think sweet thoughts and dream of me. The night is here and talk is cheap. Oh what wonders you will see. The sun is down and night has come. So dream sweet dreams, my little one." ___
  10. The smoke was clearing as Ro felt the lurk of the ship. He found feel the body of the wookiee start to go limp as shots rang out on the ship. He tried to yell out to warn Rose but it was too late. In his struggle to defeat the wookiee he hand left her wide open. He had thought that she would be capable enough to fend for herself while he handled the true wookiee in the room but he had clearly thought wrong. He could feel the ship jump to hyperspace as he watched the life slowly slipping from Rose's eyes... ((TO SPACE)) ___
  11. So much for that plan. Their company had arrived earlier than he had hoped. Truth be told, of all the ship designs, YT-2400s were one of his least favorites. YT-2400s were notorious for being wildly customizable. That made them somewhat unpredictable when boarding them for the first time. It could easily be arranged in any assortment of designs and have as many or as few rooms as the captain who bought it desired. A rather motley crew consisting of a Jawa, Wookiee, and Mon Calamari caught Durose by surprise as Rose managed to down the lead goon with a blaster shot. That left just the wookiee and the jawa. Ro lifted up the dead captain's body to block the incoming fire as he saw Rose stumble to the ground. Durose grabbed and yanked her forcefully with his other hand as she slid across the slippery, bloody floor. Finally back within the cockpit area, Durose looked Rose over. By his estimates she had only been grazed so she would be fine, but the same couldn't be said of his shirt. “Kriff it! I'm sorry, Durose... I didn’t think. I never think.” Ignoring her comment, Durose used the dead captain as a prop and poked the body's arm out past the cockpit doorway. A volley of two bolts immediately came screaming across the hallway. He could hear the jawa mumbling something in its native tongue. The wookiee seemed to be in agreement. That concerned Roshan. Who knew what they might try in this situation and Ro and Rose were sitting ducks. Hastily moving over to the console, he eyed Rose. "Guard the door." He then hit a series of buttons before pulling up a schematic of this particular model. He examined them carefully. Rose had killed the captain just past their little galley side room before they had reached the Captain's quarters. The three other crewmen probably came from their quarters or the turret access area. It was unsurprising that they were able to get on top of them so fast considering this particular design. They were likely still peaking around the entrance to this main corridor (where Rose had already killed one of them) or they had advanced to the galley and were peaking around there. There was no telling what they might have in storage but these smugglers didn't look like the humanitarian types. Leaving the schematics up, Durose lifted the corpse up again and stuck it out ever so slightly. A single bolt whizzed by. To Ro, that was confirmation of what he had feared. The other one had probably left and was presumably grabbing something or someone. Looking back at Rose, he picked up her blaster and traded her for the pistol. "Here. Take this. It's safer. I'm better with a pistol anyway. I'm going to see if I can get a better angle. Don't move." Lifting up the dead captain as a body shield, Durose dashed out of the cockpit and cross the corridor towards the Escape pods. He fired wildly down the corridor as he did so. The captain's body managed to absorb the first two shots but the third one grazed Durose across the thigh. The Cathar growled as he cleared the opening and came to rest against the adjacent bulkhead. Whoever was shooting at him was definitely a decent shot. Pausing for a few seconds, he caught his breath and prepared to peak around the corner. "Dink, donk, dink, tin, tin." Before Durose could assess anything from his new position, the sound of a small object bouncing his way immediately caught his attention. He stopped dead in his tracks for a second or two. They couldn't possibly be throwing a grenade at us inside a ship! That would be akin to mutual suicide... unless... Suddenly, an unsettling hissing sound filled the air. Ro peaked around the corner to see a small smoke grenade filling the corridor with smoke. This tactic would likely remove the chances of their side shooting their opponents with any accuracy. But when you had a wookiee on your side, who needed blasters anyway? As Ro's portion of the corridor began to fill with smoke, Durose could hear the reverberating roar of an enraged wookiee. Long, lumbering strides swiftly followed. He waited patiently as they got closer. Everything was happening so fast. He had only a few seconds to think and the plan that he came up with was shaky at best. But he decided that it was his best bet. At the very last moment, Ro slid the captain's body out into the hallway. There was a tripping sound and a stray bolt that cut through the smoke. It was followed by the sound of something sliding across the deck. This was his chance! Durose turned the corner with his pistol pointed at the ground. He coughed as he tried to see through the murky white vapors. But he had miscalculated his opponent. A hand suddenly appeared in front of him and knocked his pistol from his grip. Then the other hand wrapped across his neck and forcefully pushed him all the way back until his head collided with the bulkhead. This Wookiee was strong. There was no doubt about it. The creature's arm was pinning him to the bulkhead while it roared and swung at him with it's free arm. Durose could make out the general location its head from the way its breath curled the smoke. But the only thing he could visually see were flying fists appearing and disappearing as if he were being attacked by the arm of a phantom apparition. The attacks were wild and Durose blocked valiantly but he was mostly occupied with getting this wookiee's hands off from around his throat. In the distance, he heard the patter of little feet now walking in his direction. It had to be the jawa. And if he remained pinned like this, all the jawa had to do was casually walk up to him and shoot him in the chest. He guessed that that was likely their plan all along. And if he died here, Durose was sure that Rose was toast as well. Especially with that leg wound and no armor. It's up to you now, Ro. Get yourself out of this! Focus! Still struggling against the wookiee's grip with one arm, Ro absorbed a few nasty blows to the head as he shifted his weight and punched upward with all his remaining might. The bottom side of his palm caught the wookiee right in the elbow, hyper-extending it a little and forcing the creature to momentarily release his grip. Of course, this made the wookiee even more angry. Side stepping a few swings, Durose tried to adjust his positioning and back down the corridor leading towards the escape pods. After all, it looked like the smoke was a little less dense there and he figured that should give him a fighting chance. Of course, his plan of retreat wasn't a terrible one in theory. But the sharp pain of getting tackled to the ground by an enraged wookiee made it seem much more half-baked in hindsight. Durose tried to fight back, struggling with the over-sized creature as they tussled on the ground. As he focused on each incoming blow, his heart rate and his breathing gradually slowed down. He could feel his Echani programming taking over. Waiting for the right moment, he used leverage to flip the wookiee over his head and off of his body. So far, so good. Quickly hopping to his feet, Durose staggered his feet, bending his knees and allowing his butt to sink smoothly down as he did. As the wookiee scrambled back to his feet, Durose twisted his torso and out stretched his hands forward in a staggered position. This change in stance and technique gave the wookiee a moment of pause before it resumed its onslaught. But Durose had calmed his heart by this time. With the proper foundation, he was now able to use his center of gravity to his advantage while dodging blows and staying on his feet. Even in this cramped corridor, the wookiee suddenly seemed incapable of landing his swings. When you risk pain or death, that is where you will find true sacrifice or strength. When you risk pain or death for another, there is no truer test of your beliefs or strength. Using his hips, Ro turned his body into his strikes as he pivoted to lend momentum to each blow. He seemed to suddenly get faster as he pivoted and counter pivoted, flowing from one strike to the next with an almost artistic fluidity. One-hand chops blurred into closed fist jabs as the Cathar bobbed and weaved while targeting the wookiee's joints and extended limbs. As soon as the raging brute was caught off balance, Durose unleashed a flurry of blows to weaken the beast and sent him tumbling towards the escape pod doors. Ro casually returned to his fundamental Echani stance as he eyed the downed wookiee in front of them. The creature's eyes and movements spoke of immense sorrow. The captain had undoubtedly meant something to the creature. And likely the Mon Calamari, too. With every swing, Durose had come closer and closer to truly knowing his opponent, his action revealing the true nature of the being he faced. The wookiee was wild and impulsive but Durose sensed no evil. He was much like any other creature in the galaxy. Just someone trying to survive by whatever means necessary. And Rose had just murdered his friends in cold blood. There was no honor in killing this creature. It would not be just. And he had every right to want them dead. Coming at Durose again, Ro used the motion and kinetic energy of the Wookiee's attack against him, redirecting the attack and sending the wookiee crashing to the ground. Then wasting no time, Durose pounced on the wookiee and locked him in a choke-hold. The Creature clawed at Durose, digging his claws into Durose's forearm. The pain was immense but the former Watcher of the Link calmed his mind and focuses on the wisps of smoke as they slowly began to dissipate. He refused to let go, determined to hold on until the panicked beast passed out. As his mind began to wander a random conversation he and Victoria had before she left the Link, he was suddenly brought back to reality by signs of movement in front of him. Someone or something was coming. And in all the commotion of combat, Durose had been so locked in with the wookiee that he had tuned out everything else. Whether the Jawa was approaching about to kill him or Rose had survived or some sort of other outcome had taken place, Durose was completely in the dark at this point. He could only hope that whoever was approaching was friendly. ___
  12. The "spaceport" was in a sorry state. There were way more refugees than ships and the crowds were restless. As the Cathar waded through the crowds, many among them clamored for food, assistance, or to be taken with him. At least they are lucky enough to still be alive to make it off this planet. I know plenty on Coruscant that weren't afforded the same luxuries. Where were the Jedi then? And honestly, where are the Jedi now?! Their notable absence rubbed him the wrong way. They had stopped the threat but was that really all they cared about? Normal people be damned. It seemed like such a half-baked job. Like someone who pulls you out of the lake and saves you from drowning in the dead of winter but then just leaves you there in your wet clothes without a blanket or a way home and wishes you luck. While Rose had eased the strain on his shoulders by thankfully shifting positions, she was not done finding ways to hurt him. As they overheard one freighter captain offering rides off this world for outrageous prices, the woman steered Ro in that direction. Durose obliged. But when he changed course and approached the sleazy-looking smuggler type, he abruptly felt a shooting pain in his neck. The forceful blow was thanks to the unexpected privilege of having Rose use his body like her own personal jungle gym for dramatic effect. Granted, she might not have viewed it as forceful. And perhaps Durose was exaggerating a little. But he had no chance to brace for it and with him carrying her, his body was the only springboard she had available to her when making the attempt. Thanks to the physics of the situation, she had to push off of him sufficiently enough to perform her acrobat feat of vanity and that is exactly what she had done. "A little warning would be nice...," Durose muttered as he rubbed the back of his neck and shoulders. As Rose approached the captain, refugees began to push in and beg the Cathar for help. Perhaps they figured that if the two could afford this captain's rates then they might have extra change to spare. Or perhaps it was the Mandalorian helmet that drew them. Or the intimidating but heroic stature that Roshan gave off just standing there. He preferred to think it was the latter. But regardless, with a crowd of people and a chorus of pleas hemming him in, Ro was having a much harder time hearing what exactly Rose and the man were saying. "How much-----------my master to-----off this rock?" Durose could clearly read the captain's lips. “Forty thousand.” “---------------if you know…” If Durose had one advantage over this crowd, it was his natural height. And thanks to that, he could very clearly see Rose's gesture. His eyes widened at the very thought. Had he been standing next to her he would have immediately yanked her away and told the captain they were done here. But he wasn't and this crowd of beggars seemed to keep pushing him farther and farther away from Rose like a current pulling one gradually out to sea. “A lot less.” With the grin on the man's face and the way his lips moved, the reply was undeniable. And now Rose was taking his hand and winking at Durose as the captain motioned for him to follow as well! Anger mixed with horror as he watched them go. How could she think that this is acceptable!?!? This is absolutely unacceptable!!! I'd rather steal a ship! I... He cringed at the thought. But he had to admit that humans were different animals. To them, sex didn't hold the same sacred bond or spiritual nuance and meaning that it did to Cathar. Human males often spoke of their conquests with pride and woman in the lower levels of Coruscant regularly sold their "favors" for spare drinking and drug money. It was an aspect of humans that always grossed him out. Perhaps he had no right to cling to Cathar ideals when he was a clone, a knock-off of the real thing. But he believed in them. And the thought of Rose sleeping with that sleazy man made his stomach turn. At least with Victoria, Dhonarr would treat her right and with the respect she deserved. As the pair began to disappear up the ramp, the former Watcher of the Link attempted to push through the crowd that has gathered around him. There was so much begging and grabbing and pleading. "Take us with you!" "Save us!" "Help us!" "Please! My daughter is trapped!" "Spare us a little money!" "Please don't leave us!" "Please have mercy on us!" At first Durose tried to be polite. He tried to push through them in a civilized manner. But Rose was disappearing and the thought of her prostituting herself out with the disgusting smuggler was making him feel nauseous. There wasn't enough time. "Move!" he pushed at the crowd as it rocked back for a moment before "splashing" back in on him. Fighting his blaster hand free, he raised it up in the air and fired two shots. The crowd suddenly grew quiet. "Get out of my way unless you'd like to end up like this Mandalorian!" He growled as he raised the Mandalorian helmet into the air with his other hand. Suddenly, fear filled the faces of the gathered thralls as his blaster parted the crowd like an outstretched staff parting the sea. Making haste, the feline-like humanoid dashed towards the ramp of the YT-2400 freighter, hoping to quickly retrace Rose's steps. Of course, that was easier done than said. He could hear Rose's voice as it echoed through the corridor. “Alright Watcher, we have a ship. Time to go!” Ro apprehensively moved further down the corridor knowing he'd find what he could already smell. Rose had left quite the mess. The mangled body of the smuggler lied quietly against the deck in a pool of blood. Durose was unsure if the man was dead or alive. He didn't care. This would mean new problems. He moved by him quickly and jogged to catch up with Rose's bloody trail of footprints. When he caught up, Ro found her grinning to herself in the cockpit. Of course. Durose was enraged. Pushing past her, he hit a few buttons. The freighter's ramp began to retract. He then turned around and glared back at Rose. "Have you lost your mind, woman! I know you might have lived in make-believe Mandalorian land for possibly the entirety of your existence and this is how they do things," Durose began before taking a deep breath. "But your decision was absolutely reckless!" Ro angrily pressed index finger against his temple repeatedly as he continued, "Why do you think a scumbag like that would so confidently take you, much less me, onto his ship?! Why do you think all these desperate people don't just rush the ship while its ramp is down?! The servo turrets were literally pointed at the crowd! He has backup! One gunner, if not two! Maybe even a full crew of three plus a passenger or two that may have been able to afford his outrageous prices by hook or by crook!" Durose paused for a second as the realization of his own words hit him. He had a very bad feeling about this. And now that I'm on board they'll probably come and check in on me to make sure there is no funny business with as imposing as I look. Durose gave Rose an intense stare as he shoved the blaster against her chest to hand it off to her. "Think. Was the captain guy wearing any weapons? I don't remember. I was too busy watching you try to casually proposition him," he added a little bitingly. As she responded, Durose was already running full speed back down the corridor. Ro decided that his best bet now was dragging the smuggler's body back to the cockpit. Hopefully whatever goon or goons that might be on their way would cautiously follow the trail of blood into the cockpit. If the body was positioned correctly and their managed to stay hidden just right, Durose hoped that the discovery of the captain would be distracting enough to give Ro and Rose the split second they need to ambuscade the thug and down him before he can fire back. If we are lucky, perhaps we will get a two for one. But the chances are that once shots are fired, whoever is left with be alerted to foul play and they will be a lot more cautious and harder to "smoke out." As the Cathar began frantically dragging the captain's body back to the cockpit, he could already hear footsteps coming from the other direction. He could feel his muscle twitching as he prepared for a potential firefight. He had no idea if they'd get lucky and only have to deal with one thug or two or how many passengers or droids might be on board. It could be as few as two or as many as six or seven by his estimates. The Cathar momentarily sighed to himself. I guess at least if there is one thing she's good it, it is shooting things and killing people. ___
  13. “Which way would you have imagined me stripping down?” Durose pauses for a second. "Um... I don't think I said anything of the sort," he muttered innocently with a shrug before clearing his throat a little and coughing. "But about that carry, slash, ride offer..." The woman seemed to have made up her mind as she latched on to his shoulder and pulled herself up. To Ro's chagrin, however, it would seem that she had invented a 3rd position different from the ones specified. Instead of straddling his neck and distributing the weight evenly on both his shoulders, she had chosen to use his lone shoulder as a perch. Moving his arm upwards into a tipped over "V" shape, the over-sized Cathar clench his fingers around the side of her waist to make sure she was secure and didn't fall off. “You are right Durose, this is much better as long as I am not too heavy. Take anything you want from my equipment. It is dead to me.” Truth be told, this was much worse. But at this particular moment he was more focused on maintaining his hold on her and how long he could keep this up. She was light, but not that light. Even a firemen's carry would have been preferable to this option. Deep down inside, Durose wanted to explain to her the fundamental difference between a riding around on his shoulder like a parrot and a pickpack ride. But the differences shouldn't really need explaining. A pickpack "ride" meant the equal distribution of her body weight, not too dissimilar from a fireman's carry. More importantly, this shifted more of the pressure and weight to his legs, which took some of the strain off of his back and shoulders and made such carries much more sustainable over long distances or extended periods of time. On the other hand, sitting on a singular shoulder forced that lone shoulder to sustain a significant amount of her overall body weight. What's more, the uneven distribution forced him to engage muscles in his back and core to counterbalance her. And that was outside of the fact that his arm would have to hold her in this bent position to make sure that she didn't fall off. In total, while she was obviously small and considerably light in comparison to his large frame, this "3rd position" she had concocted was a much less sustainable carrying position. But instead of saying all that, the prideful Cathar shrugged with his free shoulder and announced, "Yuuupuh... Now hold on. I'm going to dip down for a moment." Approaching the discarded helmet and blaster, Durose carefully bent at the knees. Then he reached out for the objects with his free hand. Fumbling around a little, he finally managed to scoop up both items and lodge the helmet underneath his armpit. For now, he decided he would have to hold the blaster in his hand. Groaning a little, Ro slowly rose back to his full stature and grinned. "Well... don't mind if I do. You got to admit," he begin as his smirking face turned towards Rose. "I look a little more badass strolling in with a defeated Mandalorian helmet under my arm and a blaster in my hand. Not to mention a damsel on my shoulder." He chuckles to himself a little as he adds, "It's the kind of stuff that starts legends." And with that the former Watcher of the Link began his march towards the crowded mayhem that was the refugee spaceport. He hoped Rose had an idea of what they were going to do once they got there. It may have looked otherwise at the moment, but she was the one actually calling the shots. He was just along for the ride. ___
  14. Durose watched for a moment as she began to undress. However, as she started to unzip her flight suit, Durose quickly spun around and kept on the watch while giving her privacy. He could still hear the clattering of armor and rustling of clothing but he otherwise focused on making sure the coast was clear. His attention shifted back to Rose only when he heard the muffled groans of pain. Alarmed, Ro looked back to see the woman flaying her arm. Roshan reached out to say something but it was already too late. He grimaced at the sight. In fact, he was so preoccupied what she had done to her arm that he wasn't even the slightest bit embarrassed to look upon her now scantily clad figure. Truth be told, she was what would be expected for a human. They all had a general figure. Some of them had larger or smaller lumps here and there. Others hid their figures under rolls of gelatinous fat. But their basic structure, (the proportions of their bodies, the legs to torso ratios, where hair grew, the shape and position of their eyes relative to their mouths and noses, the way they smiled, the shape of their jaws and teeth, the shape and density of their muscles and where and how they formed) those things were all more or less predictable depending on whether their anatomy was male or female. It was shocking that such a small little being could have beaten him. Of course, her armor gave her a plethora of advantages. Still. “We are all human or other species, the mandalorians were wiped out eons ago.” She was right. And that had been his point. But there was no use in belaboring it. He had meant it in almost a joking manner as if trying to use small talk to lighten the mood. But that wasn't necessarily a strong suit of his, and he knew as much. “Well, there you have me. Not very impressive is it? Lets go eh?” Ro shrugged, "It's not the way I'd have imagined having you strip down in front of me. Your form is pretty, as is to be expect. But judging you was never my intention." As she walked by, Durose grabbed her by the wrist and put out his other hand. "Stop. Hold on a second." Working his way out of his synthetic cloth shirt, Ro offered it forward. "I know. It will look like an over-sized dress on you. But I can tell you are cold. Don't deny it. Humans have a tell," he smirks pointing to the funny little bumps on her skin. Looking down at her feet, Ro added, "And between you and me, we both know this place isn't safe for you to be walking. Lots of sharp debris and rubble and who knows what. You are small enough. I can lift you up and carry you on my shoulders or I can hold you in my arms and carry you that way. And I don't want to hear it being beneath you or whatever. We both know you aren't a damsel in distress. But right now, the more sympathy we can draw and the less threatening you look the better. For all they know, I rescued you and you are a refugee just like everyone else." Pointing back towards the discarded items, Ro adds, "And is there anything you want from that? I think I could play the weapons and knife off as mine. Considering the circumstances, they might let me keep um. I could even keep the helmet... play it off as a trophy from a Mandalorian I killed rescuing you... if you wanted a keepsake or something..." ___
  15. “I am a clone too..." Sincere shock splashed across his face for a split second before he resumed his suddenly stoic demeanor. He contemplated whether or not to engage her further on this. How disappointing. Perhaps that is the source of our consonance. She is pleasing company because we are both just molds from the same soup masquerading as different creatures. But in reality, we are both broken and inferior replicas of our "parents." But I guess at least I got the chance to meet and somewhat know mine. The clone shook his head in silence. A flood of negative thoughts rolled around in his mind like lapsing pockets of shadow on a partially cloudy but increasingly windy day. Aren't we the pair! Poor girl. “You aren’t alone you know. Errr, you don't have to be alone.” Ro was only half listening at this point. As he more clearly began to see the shapes of the refuges ahead, Durose shifted into a work-style focus. The goal was to get them off the planet safely. And that was now his top priority. Maybe even his only priority. Without warning, Ro's arm swung out to stop Rose in her tracks. Thankfully, instead of clotheslining her, he had aimed low enough to rest it against her breastplate instead. Turning to the woman in a rather serious manner, Ro looked her up and down before opening his mouth. "We will have plenty of time to talk on the ride to the Jedi, I am sure. But we have a problem," Durose began, again looking her up and down as if to further emphasize her current attire. "If boarding one of these transports is your intention, I'm pretty confident you can't do so dressed like this. I thought you were taking us to some sort of private landing pad or something." Durose sighed as he looked around to tactically survey their surroundings, "Here's the thing. That cavalier Mandalorian attitude may have worked on civilians on Coruscant, but you aren't the victors this time. And by now... well... I'd venture to guess that everyone knows it. Which means..." Ro released his arm from in front of her before making a sweeping motion towards the lines of refugees in the distance, "Instead of one angry Cathar, there could be a mob of angry civilians, private security contractors, former soldiers, or who knows what looking for someone to take their frustrations out. They only just lost their homes, jobs, quality of life, and their world because of the Mandalorians! We shouldn't give them the chance to make that someone you, Rose." Durose shrugged as he looked her up and down once more, "I guess the one beauty about not being an actual Mandalorian is that out of your armor no one is going to know your face or that you are anything more than another human." Looking away now, Ro glared at the rows of people waiting to leave the planet. His eyes remained fixed on them as he added one last comment, realizing that he should probably stop monopolizing the conversation so much and allow for her to get more than a sentence or two in at this point. "You know you aren't alone either. My word may not mean what it used to after Coruscant. But I'll fight for you just as hard, for what its worth... as long as you are willing to meet me half way and we approach things honorably... come what may..." Roshan concluded as his voice trailed off into the ambiance of freighter engines and burning buildings. ___
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