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Onderin Starlisk vs. Aryian Darkfire (Darth Ares)

 

All right. I read this duel. More than once. This was a tough one. Both fighters are skilled, powerful, and solid as OOC writers. Ultimately, I thought that in many ways Onderin employed more strategic actions, without so many potentially unnecessary and jocular breakings of the fourth wall. It wasn’t excessive, but it was distracting, when in comparison. Still, that wasn’t the only deciding factor. This was a very, very close duel, and one which hurt, since I had to judge two very capable, respected, and legendary characters.

 

Onderin Starlisk is the winner.


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[Associate of the Illinois Mafia since November 2002.]

Member of the Four Horsemen

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Things seemed to go as planned. Onderin had a good head for tactics and a trust in the Force that had brought him through countless situations that seemed otherwise impossible. There had been a lot of hard lessons over the years as he had come far from winning every fight, but now that he had given up his commission and become a full-time Jedi Knight, the Force was with him in a deeper way than it ever had been before. Now, he was an instrument of its will, and it was about to give him victory over Darth Ares. But just as he realized this, he also knew within himself that killing the man would accomplish nothing. Somewhere, behind layers of madness, Aryian Darkfire still lived.

 

And so, blade drawn, Onderin covered the distance between himself and the Sith Lord, who had taken nearly the full blast of the concussion grenade but was still somehow on his feet. He struck with his lightsaber blade, disarming his dazed opponent with a swing, then hitting him with a Force push that slammed him into a nearby wall. Onderin winced when he heard a bone break, but Ares dropped in an unconcious heap to the ground, and that had been the intent.

 

The battlefield fell silent for a moment except for the crackling of a nearby fire and the distant alarms of approaching emergency response teams. With a start the Jedi Master realized it was his own robe that was on fire and shed it before getting burned, closing down his lightsaber. It was clear that he needed Ares to get Jedi attention as soon as possible. If they were going to dig out the man he had once been and banish Ares to the shadows, it was going to take people that were familiar with him, like Kirlocca and Armiena. Unfortunately, Onderin's starfighter couldn't carry both of them.

 

He grabbed his comlink, getting an idea. "R7, contact the Blur. Inform it that Ares is unconscious and that I would like it's help to get him to the Jedi." It was a bit of a gamble, but he had the feeling that the Blur could have vaped him in a moment during the fight and chose not to. He doubted that it had followed Ares' orders exactly, and that meant that it was a potential ally.


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There is nothing good in war. There is good in why we fight them.

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A few moments of silence echoed across the comm channel, before a new voice, a mechanical one, butted in.

 

"Confirmed. Master Aryian is unconscious, but alive. Vital signs stable. Thank you, Master Starlisk, Blur inbound for dustoff."

 

Not a minute later, the Starviper-class was hovering down on repulsors, making a tight but neat landing in the square. The comm channel crackled once again as the AI spoke.

 

"I need some assistance loading him into the cargo bay. Also, if you can and have equipment, keeping him in stasis is a priority."

 

The AI paused, thinking.

 

"I suppose it is also appropriate to apologize for my actions. Unfortunately, I am incapable of overriding his commands. However, I am able to alter the parameters, within reason."

 

"It meant no harm."

 

A ghostly image of Aryian Darkfire faintly appeared next to Onderin, staring at the Blur. For some reason, a feeling of pure peace washed over the Jedi, almost unnoticed, helping ease his pains.

 

"Dahar was planning on trapping him on Tython. I guided him in assembling the trap that would allow me to rejoin with my...less desirable half. But without it, I can never be whole again. You will never see the Aryian Darkfire you knew walk the galaxy again unless you take this abomination to Lehon and throw him into the trap. I...understand if you decide not to trust me. Speak with Dahar if you must. The Force will guide you, Onderin, as it guides me."

 

Aryian began to fade, but he turned to look the Jedi Master in the eyes. Aryian wore a look of concern, almost fear.

 

"More will be explained in time. But know that if you kill or imprison him, you simply postpone the inevitable."

 

And with that, the feeling of peace and the spirit of Aryian Darkfire vanished from Dac. Almost immediately afterwards, Mon Cal security swarmed into the area, weapons pointed at the Blur.


Immediately reachable by  charlesjhall@gmail.com

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Reclaimer of the lost...

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Onderin felt a strong aura of light emanating off the ghostly form of Aryian that appeared to him. The spirit resembled the Aryian he had known, and did not have the marks of heavy dark side use that Ares bore. Had he been a skeptic, Onderin would have suspected a trap, but when it came to matters of the Force, he followed his gut. He needed to reunite this spiritual Aryian with the body of Ares, and Tython was a place strong in the Force and devoid of the dark side. There was some risk of Ares escaping and finding the Jedi Temple there, but he didn't intend to take a Sith Lord anywhere near it.

 

Then there were Mon Calamari response teams everywhere. Thankfully, they recognized Onderin without difficulty--a byproduct of their heavy involvement in the war and the amounts of time he had spent in their shipyards. "Darth Ares has been neutralized," he told them when they approached him. "I am taking him and his ship into the custody of the Jedi Order. I recommend you tend to the injured in the ruins."

 

Unfortunately, not everyone had gotten out, despite Onderin's attempt to drive them clear of the battle through the Force. Innocents had died, and any judicial system would put Ares in a maximum-security prison center for the rest of his life, or perhaps submit him to the death penalty for this offense alone. And yet he was going to be let off the hook if he could turn away from the dark side. The idea offended Onderin's practical senses, many of the senses that had gotten him through the war. And yet, following the will of the Force often came at odds with practicality and intuition, but still to it alone he owed his allegiance. No, Onderin would put aside his thirst for justice and try to win the greater battle, not only putting this Sith Lord to rest permanently but also regaining a staunch ally.

 

As the Mon Calamari dispersed, he asked one if he could borrow some restraints capable of holding a Force user and a hypo to keep him unconscious. The on-scene medics were able to provide the hypo and the security had some stun cuffs, and together Onderin suspected they would be able to keep Ares out for the trip to Tython. Soon he carried the Sith's body aboard the Blur and addressed the AI. "You did everything you could. It's time to put this to rest. Interface with my R7 and receive the instructions on how to get to Tython."

 

R7, it seemed, also had some additional information for the Blur's AI. He kept himself plugged in to the Eternal Vigilance's main computer when they weren't charging around the galaxy, and thus he had picked up specific coordinates that had been posted for the trap that Aryian's spirit form had addressed, as created by Dahar. These coordinates were also given to the AI, and they had their destination. Moments later, the Blur winked into hyperspace, followed closely by Onderin's E-wing.


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There is nothing good in war. There is good in why we fight them.

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For the second time in two days, the Blur entered the Dac system, high in orbit above Dac. His intentions were communicated clearly, and just like at Lehon an armed escort was flown to meet the ship, though this time it was not allowed to land. Instead, Aryian was taken custody in space and his starfighter towed to a nearby orbiting station, fully powered down. The Mon Calamari were not taking any second chances this time, as it appeared the Sith who had just attacked them somehow escaped his Jedi captor and had returned for some sinister plot. They couldn't have been more wrong, but Aryian easily understood why they would suspect such a thing. Few people outside the main Force user factions really understood the Force, and fewer still inside the Orders themselves would even understand what happened to Aryian and the level of Force powers at play.

 

And as such, Aryian found himself inside a cell. It wasn't a terrible cell, but it was a jail cell nonetheless. For the time being, this was right. This needed to be done. For the sins he had allowed to be incurred upon the galaxy, it was necessary. Deep down, Aryian was a good man, even the very paragon of what it meant to be Jedi by some definitions, despite that he had left their Order and disagreed with much of the major dogma they tried to live by. Atonement was needed...it was the first step. To deny that would be like denying the wind from blowing.

 

And so, the former Jedi sat in his cell and waited. His trial was to be held the next day, but whether or not he was actually waiting on just that, he knew not. To be satisfied with not knowing...was a gift he'd never felt before. And so, he lied down on the sleeping pad, cleared his mind, and allowed himself to drift to sleep.

 

 

 

-------------------------Edit: The Next Day----------------------

 

The morning was uneventful, Aryian was changed into a prisoner outfit and brought before a tribunal consisting primarily of Mon Calamari and Quarren, though a visiting Wookiee ambassador from the GA was also present to witness the hearing. The leader of the Tribunal, a female High Arbiter named Quintar, quickly brought the court to order and began the proceedings.

 

"Aryian Darkfire, alias Darth Ares, alias Grey Master, you are charged with terrorist activity, disruption of peace on a galactic scale, random acts of violence on both civilians and military personnel of the Galactic Alliance, on a scale which easily reaches war crime status and a mass murderer. I have been chosen to preside over this hearing because I have experience with the Jedi and have dealt with the Sith in the past, and I will hear your story fairly and justly. You submitted yourself to this judicial system voluntarily and that will be considered, but your actions cannot be condoned and demand explanation. How do you plead?"

 

A long moment of silence befell the large courtroom as all eyes turned to the silver-haired shackled man, and for a long moment, he said nothing. That silence was broken like ice, however, as he stirred from his thoughts and spoke.

 

"Madame Arbiter, you are aware that I could easily break my bonds. I could easily escape the guards here, and the military units placed on standby outside should I try, and if I wanted, I could end this here and now. I am not here to do this. You have no need to fear me, and you no longer need to worry about the threat that Darth Ares was. I wish to atone for what I was forced to do, in a manner of speaking, and that is why I am here today. I plead guilty."

 

Another long moment of quiet murmuring echoed around the chamber as the Judge conferred with her colleagues quietly, before returning to her microphone.

 

"You said that you were forced to do these things? This council does not understand how a great Master such as yourself was forced to fall to the swayings of the Dark Side, and if so, why you still plead guilt instead of innocence."

 

"Madame Arbiter, the explanation is long and confusing for someone who is not as trained in the workings of the Force such as I. Suffice it to say, through my actions the Sith saw an opportunity to take a part of me and create the Sith you know as Darth Ares, and bind him to their will. As long as he lived, I was powerless to stop him or interfere."

 

"I see. And you claim that you and this Sith are separate entities?"

 

"In a manner of speaking, yes. He was akin to a clone that had some of my abilities and memories, but whose personality was warped by the Sith into a chaotic warrior who craved death and destruction."

 

"And you also claim that this Darth Ares is no longer a threat."

 

"That is correct, I have already taken measures to ensure he will never return to the galaxy again."

 

"And can you prove any of this?"

 

"....No, Madam Arbiter."

 

Another murmuring moment passed as the judges once again conferred.

 

"There will be a three hour recess. After which time, the decision will be made on your sentence."

 

Three hours passed in the blink of an eye, the majority of it Aryian spent in stasis. Though curious, he resisted the urge to reach out with the Force and listen into the thoughts of the council. Before he knew it, he was back behind the defendant's podium, and the Judges were assembled before him.

 

"Aryian Darkfire. We have known the Jedi for decades. You were a trusted Master of their Order for some time, and a highly respected associate of the Alliance after that. For the crimes you or the entity known as Darth Ares have committed, though you have admitted guilt to, you are hereby sentenced to a lifetime of civil duty. You will be the guardian of the peace of the people, and you will bring balance and order to the galaxy as we know it. You stand before us as Aryian Darkfire, respected former Jedi Master, and we entrust this to you. Do not mistake this sentence for freedom, should you fail to follow through on your sentence, you will be brought to justice permanently and will never see the light of another sun again. But we trust in the Jedi, and though your acts have thrown you in questionable light, you deserve that same measure of trust, at least once. Do not make the Dac people regret their judgement."

 

With the gavel being slammed down, the courtroom erupted in a cacophony of conversation, reporters broadcasting stories, humanoids talking among each other. To be honest, Aryian hadn't expected that result. However, it was best not to dwell on it for the time being, and simply be glad it happened in the first place. Aryian spent the rest of the day collecting his belongings, and leaving Dac.


Immediately reachable by  charlesjhall@gmail.com

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Reclaimer of the lost...

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Tommin eased off the controls for their third survey planet. Mon Calamari. Another day another planet. The crew settled into their routine- powering up survey equipment, while transmitting their clearance and authorization. Working it out with flight control they settled into a spindle pattern orbit around the world.

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Tommin remarked the special characteristics, and CC'd the Mon Cal as requested from their flight authority and central government. This planet was more populated than the others on the list, so he was curious about the reasoning on their time spent here. But, his job was done, and it was time to move on. Keying the controls, they shot out of the Mon Cal system.

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Dear Ianauria,

 

Thank you for the newest care package you sent. The photos and videos of you and the children are especially heartwarming as I sit here in the lounge of my quarters here in orbit around Dac. Its hard to look down at the planet below and not feel the loss and sacrifice of so many Mon Cal and Quarren families in the aftermath of the Sith attack on their home.

 

I want to be there with you and our children and everyone else on Palowar. Unfortunately, the Force and the Order seem to have other ideas of where I need to be. There are moments when be a Jedi, when it means being separated from loved ones, becomes almost too much to bear.

 

The children seem to be larger in every video. Your right, their growing at an incredible rate. They are going to be a handful when they get older if their current antics are any indication. My regret is not being able to see them in the near term.

 

By now you know much of what happened at the Kashyyk Council.Our new Grand Master wants to share and has a pure vision of the Jedi that seems almost a throwback into another age. I find it invigorating and hope that a similar invigoration can spread to the rest of the order. We sorely need the hope to flow through the order again.

 

I have been, along with Knight Roene, assigned to restoring the planets of Dathomir, Mon Calamari (Dac) and Bothawai. As of yet, I have not had any response from the Bothawai. After consulting with Knight Roene and receiving replies from both Mon Calamari and and Bothawai, we decided to star with those two planets. Rhoene is proceeding to Dathomir while I have arrived at Mon Cal.

 

The attitude of the Mon Cal toward their former homeworld defies explanation. You’d think they want to restore their their planet to a similar or better state condition then previous to the Sith attack. No, instead both species, in their media, culture and popular opinion seem to see their former homeworld as a laboratory of sorts, a frontier world whose alien environment and ruined infrastructure presents a chance to prove themselves to some idea of pioneering spirit.

 

I guess both species adopted to their exile with speed. I am not even sure why this attitude developed. Most cultures would have jumped at the chance to restore their homeworld. This attitude is definitely something unexpected. My intent is to try and trace where the attitude came from. It feels odd to say, but it feels right yet it needs to be closely looked at.

 

When I met with the leaders of the three colonies that resulted from the Sith attack, they informed us of a series of scientific stations already established on the planets surface to monitor how the eco system adapts and a colony of mixed Quarrens and Mon Cal already established and thriving on the planet’s surface. I have an open invitation to visit both and intend to do so in the near future.

 

Everyone is very interested in restoring the shipyard to full functionality as a symbol of their resilience and dedication to the greater galaxy. The disagreement is how to populate those shipyards when somany went missing during their exodus. Most agree that the shipyards need to manned by a majority that includes both species, but there isn’t enough left to maintain their colonies and man the shipyards.

 

Various proposals have ben raised, voted on, and defeated. Those proposals have ranged from hiring temporary workers, to chosing to harvesting genetic samples and creating a new generation of vat raised, genetically created re-population effort among a combination of genetic techniques and cloning knowledge in the form of personality templates and hastened growth.

 

Something we learned about the hard way during the clone wars to our own sadness yet it seems a very popular choice among the leaders, populace and media. They are currently negotiating on a bill to this very end which hope to have ready for the general populace to vote on within a couple of months.

 

A major sticking point of the proposal is compliance. They trying to find a way to get every colonist to cooperate and aid in the harvesting of the necessary genetic material. Seems there is some trepidation among the male population because a non-risky surgery is necessary. I have yet to examine the details. Maybe you have some insight that will help me without me getting bogged down in research.

 

Another point that was raised if the technique works, why not use it to populate their colony worlds faster and thus enable multiple large populations of the species so that the devastation of their species not be as likely as before. The more moderate voices want to enact the restoration of the shipyards are successful in stages on their new homeworlds in stages, 1st building infrastructure, services and agencies necessary to process and handle the influx of new individuals.

 

Almost no opposition off any sort exists to the theoretical plan, I will admit, the idea terrifies me more than a little built as a healer and a Jedi. I meet later today with the group of scientist leading the examination of the proposal.

 

Last there are a few remaining holdouts of the Mon Cal upper class that want their coporations fully restored along with the wealth, privilidge, and position that brings them. Every species has a few and even in what remains in a time of crisis they reveal themselves.

 

That meeting is scheduled for tomorrow as it seems the colonial legislature voted to seize the assets of the remaining wealthy before I got here. I was unable to persuade them to change this course of action. I am going along tomorrow to ensure a peaceful resolution and that no acts of vengeance, vendettas, and envy for while the behavior of the Mon Cal and Quarren wealthy remain worlds above the equivalent in so many species, there still exists problems.

 

So, how go your efforts in Palowar? Your last letter seemed to indicate some problem, yet our video chat and this latest packet of data crystals did not mention it.

 

My love to you,

 

Dashel

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Hey Tiana,

 

Sis, you wouldn’t believe the weekend I’ve had. It started out in the normal way, with students returning to classes after a long weekend. They griped and groaned in the usual ways and I got a couple of creative excuses as to why some of them didn’t complete their papers on the differences between the governments of the Imperial Remnant and the Galactic Aliance.

 

Of course, none of their excuses held air. Mom was right all those years ago. Students never change, only the time and place of their education.

 

Speaking of mom and dad, have you heard how they are doing on their new home on Old Dac? I know they were anxious to return, even if they can ever go back to our families old homestead since it was located near where the Sith’s first strike landed. Her last letter said they were going to be cut off from communication for a couple of weeks. Its been a month longer than they said it would be and I am very very worried. Have talked to more than a few people in the government and one extraordinary not in the government and yet, no one whom should know is saying anything.

 

Anyway, my last class on Monday, my Ensign Keth called my principal to see if he could arranage a visit to my classroom on Friday. Principal Meggs agreed, and proposed a coupled of special lessons on what its like to serve In the SDF as a navy pilot and the kind of questions that could be asked and how they should be asked.

 

You can imagine the questions that they wanted to task and how much work it took to get them ready for their visit. Four days, ten classes each day and you know how big my classes are these days, by Thursday, I was more tired than during our internships on the refugee ships.

 

So Thursday arrived. The kids were bouncing in their seats when Meggs stops by to remind my class to behave. After he left, my students were angrily quiet. I took a chance and asked them why. Little Delia, smallest child in the school and special in her own right stood up and said, “We’ve practiced and practiced and practiced, why does he think he needs to tell us to be good when the Jedi is here?”

I couldn’t believe little Delia would make that kind of mistake. She never gets things wrong and when she does, makes sure she doesn’t do it more than once. Before I could correct her, little Risha stood up and defended her classmate, saying that a Jedi was coming to visit and I needed to be ready.

 

You remember me talking about Risha doing our las holo-call? The little girl whom lost her family during the evacuation because her parents decided to stay and let a few more children on the transport thinking there would be another?

 

Ten years old, and she’s suffered so much pain and loss in her life already. For her to stand up and defend someone seemed to be a good sign even if it was for the wrong reason. My soul died a little at having to correct her.

 

Stalling for time to find a way to let her down as easy as possible, I asked them who told them a Jedi was coming instead of my Ensign.

 

It was Risha who spoke again, simply saying she saw a Jedi coming to our classroom. Mom always said there would be moments like these. You could imagine what I went through as I began to correct the two of them about lying to gain attention.

 

Sis, those words never left my mouth. A voice that sounded as cool and as calm as a deep sea current spoke from the door to my classroom. (We were in dry conditions because of a rogue algae bloom in the local waters.)

 

I turned and saw a very unfamiliar species wearing the robes and lightsaber of a Jedi. My voice failed me. The chrildren’s voices failed them. We all stood there for an eternity trying to pull ourselves together.

 

The Jedi, well, he broke the silence by walking over to me and taking me by the hand. He introduced himself as Jedi Master Dashel, Dash for short. I barely got my own name out.

 

Keth laughed from the doorway. Laughed gently at us and then told my classroom that the Jedi had done exactly the same thing to him. My kids laughed and I think I turned a shade of salmon without the kids noticing. The Jedi winked at me.

 

Once we got everyone settled again, Master Illioni re-introduced himself and asked the children their names, ages and where they were form. For the rest of the class time when a child asked a question, he knew their names, first and last.

 

When he came to Risha, Master Illioni paused and a small frown crossed his face. It was quick, hardly noticeable but we deal with children. I think a few of the kids saw it too, but most of all Risha. I saw her eyes light up in a way I’ve never seen from her.

 

Anyway, we went through several rounds of questions. The boys all seemed to either want to know about fighting or wanted to handle his lightsaber. He told them that fighting is scary, dangerous and something you do only when you have to. He segued that into explaining why he couldn’t allow them to handle his saber. He explained about all the training it takes to learn when to turn on a lightsaber (We had no idea!) and how a lightsaber meant so much to a Jedi they call them the “Heart of a Jedi”.

 

My girls asked more personal questions. We found out he was a Triani, a felinoid species. (They’re smaller and lighter than their cousins the Cathar.) He is married to a another Jedi and has two newborn children he misses a great deal.

 

Jedi Illioni was open about how he came to the Jedi order. Turns out he was a soldier before he became a Jedi. He also told us what it was like to travel the galaxy and what the Temple of Coruscant felt like.

 

Then Risha asked what it felt like to feel the Force and if he was visiting to help all the new people that were coming. He told her yes to the second and that there would be more news about that in time.

As for the first part, he had us all hold hands and then had the children sit quietly. Sis, I am not sure what happened next, just that there is far more to the galaxy then our eyes or our sciences will ever tell us. When we were finished and the children were quieter than I’ve ever seen them, he looked at me in a manner I’d say was thoughtful.

 

When Friday was done, he thanked me for letting him talk to the class and left along with my Ensign. A few moments later and Principle Meggs summoned me and Risha to his office. Master Dashel was there and wanted to speak to her. Afterwards, he nodded to Meggs who then announced the school was having a mandatory half day of classes on Saturday. I went back to a very angry class that only calmed down when they learned they were going to be having a pep rally. Then I had tell them what a pep rally was.

 

I know you’ve figured it out by now. Risha is Force Sensitive and Master Dashel asked her to join the Jedi and train with his wife at a Jedi mission near Corellia. And that Saturday assembly was to celebrate her becoming a Jedi.

 

The entire school and a lot of the community showed up to say goodbye and good luck to Risha. She was dressed in Jedi robes a couple of sizes to big and carrying a lightsaber at her side. I can’t describe how happy and sad we all were for her. She sat quietly throughout the whole thing, occasionally looking over my direction and saying something to Master Dashel.

All my ears ever caught was “when will it be all right.” I knew she was worried about asking me something and I kept feeling something massive coming my way.

 

Master Dashel kept looking over to her and saying “Patience, young Padawan. Very soon.” Once everyone finished speaking (who knew so many people could find so little to say in so short a time), Master Dashel stood up and thanked everyone. He then asked us all to write to Risha and other Jedi so we all could be friends. Also, he asked us to help little Risha recite the Jedi code in public for the first time.

She stood up and looked over to Master Dashel, whom nodded to her. She turned away from the audience and approached me.

 

She asked me to come to the Jedi temple to train with her.

 

I told her only Jedi trained at the Temple.

 

She told me she knew.

 

So did Master Dashel.

 

Sis, I am going to be a Jedi.

 

Write to me will you?

 

Jas.

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As the not-pirate’s ship loaded down with the bacta from the Jedi arrived at the Quarren dominated city of Morjanssik, Leena strained from her buckled seat to take in as much of the view of the watery world as she could. Her excitement was practically palpable on the air. “Wow! Look at that! Will you look at that! It’s just, it’s just, just, so blue!”

 

As the landing gear touched down, Leena was unbuckled and out of her chair. She couldn’t wait to get outside. At the door, she skittered to a stop and composed herself. Running her hands over her white robes, Leena let out a heavy sigh. “You’re a Jedi Leena Kil, remember that. A Jedi. Act like one. People here need your help. There will be time for sightseeing when this crisis is averted.” Grabbing her lightsaber, Leena made sure it was hanging straight on her belt. “Gotta make sure I look the part.”
 

As the doors hissed open, Leena strolled down the ramp with an air of dignity. At the bottom she looked around. The streets were empty. She didn’t see anyone, in any direction. The streets were desolate. Even as the cool sea air caressed her cheek, Leena’s concern pushed it from her mind. “Where is everyone at? I thought someone was going to meet us and help unload? Huh. Well, I guess we can unload it ourselves.” Grabbing an anti-grav sled Leena wheeled it back up into the ship and began to quickly load up as much bacta as she could. “Lets get as much of this on here as we can and get it to the clinic. Maybe we can find some answers there.”

 

———————————-

 

After the sled was loaded well beyond its standard capacity, Leena pushed it slowly down the ramp and down the street, following the directions on the built in nav-computer.

 

The streets were empty, but as they approached the final corner before the clinic, muffled voices could be heard. Leena glanced up at Sara and offered a weak smile, “At least we know there is someone around, right? Sounds like more than one someone by the sound of it.” Rounding the corner, Leena came to an abrupt stop, her jaw falling slack momentarily. Between the dura-glass double doors and floor to ceiling windows the view was startling. Crammed tentacle to gill to other alien appendage it seemed a majority of the area’s populace were crammed inside in a cacophony of hacking, coughing, wails and moans of pain and feverish delirium. “Uhhh. . . Well we found people that, ummm, look like they could use some medical assistance.”

 

”Lets look for a backdoor shall we?” She smiled sheepishly as she backed the grav-sled back around the corner.

 

Backtracking to a nearby alley, Leena turned and pushed the sled towards an aged set of double doors. Pounding on the doors they squeaked open and they were met by a tired looking Quarren in scrubs With a mask stretched across his face. “All patients need to check in at the front desk. I know it is a bit crowded. If you aren’t sick, I’d suggest going home and self-quarantining as ordered by the governing board.”

 

“Whoa whoa whoa doctor. I’m with the Jedi. Look. Bacta! If you’ll just let us in my friend and I will unload it and I’ll get to work.”
 

The Quarren doctor’s tired eyes lit up momentarily. “You are both with the Jedi? Oh good! Please please come in. Maybe you can help make some sense of this.” The doctor stepped aside and ushed the Zeltron and Mon Cal in. “Just leave the sled here. We’ll grab right off of it as we go. There are patients in each of the rooms and supplies at the end of the hallway,” he pointed as he spoke. “Don’t forget a mask. We think the virus is transmitted via particulates dispersed from the infected. Coughing, shortness of breath, fevers sometimes accompanied by hallucinations, and here in the last week it seems to have mutated some. Eight days ago we saw our first case of trans-species infection. Be careful master Jedis. We ate glad you came.”

 

The nameless doctor quickly grabbed two small cases of bacta and shoved them into Leena and Sara’s hands before grabbing another and rushing into the nearest room.

 

Turning the box over in her hands, Leena smiled at Sara. “How are you at emergency medicine my Zeltron sister? May the force be with you.”

 

In the corner a display continuously scrolled the following:

 

CITIZENS OF MORJANSSIK BY ORDER OF THE CITY’S RULING COUNCIL THE FOLLOWING EMERGENCY MEASURES HAVE BEEN ENACTED, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY:

 

1. NO CITIZEN IS TO LEAVE THEIR RESIDENCE UNLESS REPORTING FOR WORK AT A DESIGNATED VITAL ENTERPRISE OR SEEKING EMERGENCY MEDICAL ATTENTION.

2. ANY NEED FOR FOOD, SUPPLIES, OR OTHERWISE CAN BE MADE VIA THE HOLONET.

3. DO NOT EAT ANY LOCALLY SOURCED MEDUSOZOA.

4. ANY EXPOSURES SHOULD BE REPORTED TO YOUR LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITY IMMEDIATELY.

5. FOR THE YOUNG ADULTS AND ANY INDIVIDUAL CONSIDERED TO BE OF OPTIMUM HEALTH, SELF-QUARANTINE IS RECOMMENDED IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED. LIMITED MEDICAL SUPPLIES NECESSITATE THAT THEY BE GIVEN TO THOSE MOST IN NEED. REPORT THE POTENTIAL EXPOSURE STILL.

6. A HOLOLINE HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR ANYONE WHO HAS QUESTIONS.
7. VIOLATIONS OF QUARANTINE WILL BE ENFORCED BY LOCAL SECURITY FORCES.

8. DAC PLANETARY FORCES WILL BE BLOCKADING THE CITY IN AN EFFORT TO ENSURE THAT THIS VIRUS DOES NOT SPREAD BEYOND OUR CITY. ALL TRAFFIC WILL BE STRICTLY MONITORED. ALL SHIPMENTS COMING INTO OUR CITY WILL BE INSPECTED AND QUARANTINED FOR THREE STANDARD WEEKS. NO SHIPMENTS WILL BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE CITY UNTIL THIS EPIDEMIC HAS PASSED. 

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“And your reason for visiting...Jin Meer?”

 

Nok smiled. “Humanitarian. I’m here with aid supplies.”

 

“...I see.” The spaceport security officer gave Nok a suspicious glance she likely thought he couldn’t see. With his silken red blindfold covering the scarred ruin where his eyes should be, it was an assumption Nok encouraged. In truth, he couldn’t ‘see’, but he could sense the quarren woman, the low fear emanating from the people walking past acting like the soft glow of a candle to his Force senses. Since slavery was illegal on Mon Calamari, he couldn’t bring his usual source of negative emotions to see by, but apparently there was nothing like a pandemic to spread quiet panic and unease.

 

“You’re thinking I’m lying because I’m a neimoidian,” Nok said, keeping his happy, innocent smile even.

 

“No Mister...Master...Lord…” she stammered.

 

“Just Jin, please.”

 

“...Jin, I hope I didn’t offend you. I did not-”

 

“It’s fine,” Nok waved dismissively. “It’s understandable. Most of my kind would rather sell these masks for 1000 credits a breath. But for me…” Nok paused, then pointed at his blindfold, “a handicap has a way of giving you a new perspective.”

 

“Of course...Jin,” she said, clearly not convinced, but flustered enough to want the conversation to end.

 

Must be someone brand new. Things are worse than I thought down here.

 

“Anyway, I believe my arrival was cleared with the portmaster.”

 

“I’m sorry sir, but I don’t recall seeing you on...oh, there you are.” 

 

As difficult as it was to tell under all those tentacles, Nok thought she was frowning as she tapped at her datapad. ‘Jin’ and his ship hadn't been on the registry an hour ago. Thanks to a hefty bribe to the portmaster, Nok had gotten around that problem.

 

And to top it off, I can blackmail the man with evidence of the bribe next time I come to Mon Cal. Assuming this disease doesn't kill him.

 

“Will that be everything officer?” he asked, smile still pasted to his face.

 

“Yes...I think that will be everything.”

 

Nok’s smile turned genuine for an instant as he watched her rack her brain, no doubt trying to figure out if she’d missed anything or if she was supposed to do something.

 

“Follow me X3, and bring the supplies.”

 

The GH-7 medical droid hovered behind the controls of the repulsor sled, and at Nok’s command he piloted the overloaded sled forward.

 

“Master,” the droid said, tone mild and respectful the way Nok preferred it, “may I suggest putting on your mask now?”

 

“Right, right.” Nok slipped his mask on, a better quality one than the cheap ones in the crates behind him. Those masks would work fine, but they’d smell awful after a few hours of hot, wet breath. Well, they were just handouts, and it’s not as if charity was why Nok was here.

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Nok saw the clinic without seeing, the discomfort and pain of the patients mild next to their fear. It flowed through the halls like an undercurrent, washing past Nok and illuminating every room to his senses.

 

It had taken Nok explaining his cover story to one of the doctors to get inside, that he was “Jin Meer”, a representative of Meer Medical, a tiny medical supply company run by his “cousin”. In truth, it had been a legitimate company until Nok drove them into bankruptcy and took over, turning it into a front for selling pharmaceuticals to the Outer Rim at a disgusting markup . It was failing to turn a profit now, and Nok would likely liquidate the whole thing soon, along with its founder Korell Meer, a rare neimoidian with a conscience.

 

Even with his story, the doctor had been hesitant to let him in until Nok offered to lend his medical droid to help for as long as he was on the planet. The GH-7 had a solid reputation as a diagnostician, and the doctor changed his tune immediately. Now he’d likely do everything in his power to keep Nok on planet.

 

This is all a distraction. I need to get down there.

 

The shade’s message had been cryptic, but something waited for Nok here, in the 'waters of Mon Calamari." An...offering? He wondered if it was the disease itself, but that didn’t sit right. Not as the disease was right now in any case. Still, he’d have to tell GH-7-X3 to smuggle a few viral samples out. No telling when that might be useful.

 

“Now where did they put him to work?”

 

Nok picked a hallway and started down it.

Edited by Nok Morliss

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Krexel & Co'bo

 

As the freighter exited hyperspace, Xar still at the helm, Krexel opened a comm to the city of Morjanssik.

 

This is Onderonian Freighter Zeta Alpha Romeo 768249. Requesting permission to land at ordinance 67782.

 

Moments passed as Krexel placed his palm upon Xar's shoulder, having the droid hold position as they awaited approval, and after a few hesitant breaths, approval was given. 

 

Confirmed Zeta Alpha Romeo 768249. Ordiance 67782 is clear. Hangar Bay 22F is assigned. Landing is granted.

 

With a pat on Xar's shoulder, giving the go ahead to land, Krexel and Co'bo left the cockpit and began preparations for the loading. Once landed, Krexel caught up with Xar near the loading ramp with a chuckle. "I've got a Farium contact nearby that I need to meet up with while we're here. Co'bo has been ordered to remain with the ship. I need you to meet our contact in Morjanssik's lower levels. His name is Hamilton Alexandria. Just look for the human with the twin Twilek dancers at the Raging Revan Cantina."

 

Before Krexel departed, he opened a holovid of Hamilton just to be sure he met up with the right man as well as handing him a small datapad with the location of the Raging Revan Cantina. With a slap on the shoulder and a thumbs up as he departed, Krexel chuckled. "I've got faith in all of you Xar. Show me what you can do."


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Xar sighed as he walked away from the two humans and the ship. “Yes, yes, we will make sure this...Hamilton gives us our...bacta”  Xar almost said blue bacta and revealed to anyone listening that he was here for illicit drugs. “Just make sure to have the ship running for us. We would like to charge our batteries when we get back.” 

 

And with that, Xar was out of speaking distance. However, he still briefly communicated with the ship, establishing his communications system was connected to the ship’s. Now, if there was an emergency or a problem, at the very least he could call for help. True, it would be Co’bo answering, and Xar wasn’t sure if the pirate would be helpful or not (Xar was half tempted to tell Co’bo to not snort any of the ship’s fumes), but it would be something. 

 

Xar glanced around as he passed by through the streets. There were small, spaced out crowds of people, some trying to get around the city to do essential jobs, others trying to sell cleaning products at excessively inflated prices, and some were arguing with security officers about trying to get permission to leave their houses. Apparently there was some kind of virus going about.  Perhaps that was why Krexel sent Xar instead of going himself to collect the shipment. Xar chuckled to himself. Perhaps there were advantages to being a droid. No virus would affect him and thus no one would bother...

 

Just as Krexel turned a corner onto a nearly empty street, a large elderly mon calamari suddenly bumped into the droid. The calamari looked horrible to say the least. Its yellow goggled eyes had developed a painful red color from lack of sleep, its rubbery, sagging face had blue spots, especially around the mouth. Xar didn’t need that physical evidence to tell the calamari was having difficulty breathing though. The calamari was breathing and gasping deeply, and clutching its chest in pain.

 

“Please...help me...need medical...” the alien begged, grabbing onto the droid chassis and coughing some translucent liquid onto the metal body. 

 

Xar flew into a rage. All the anger built up from the last few days, from hiding for months and avoiding rodians, to being stuck on a desert planet, to being sent to do a low level grunt job by some humans, to this thing touching him so unceremoniously and non consensually, erupted out of him.  

 

“You dare?!?” Claws flew out. Pale black ichor flowed out from the chest wound as the being fell onto its back. “You dare touch us? We are your superior! You are unworthy!” 

 

Xar stood over the body for a moment, watching the life disappear from the calamari. Then Xar cursed himself. This was not the time to get a dismantle on sight warrant. The droid glanced around, relieved that no one was around to witness the incident. Still, Xar needed to get away. Barely pausing to grab the being’s cred stick, Xar dashed away from the scene. 

 

Eventually, Xar found his way into the lower levels. The place was even more empty, and the lighting was a bit more dim with the lack of sunlight hitting the areas. Before Xar were several buildings all connected together, with the center one holding a neon light. It looked more like a nightclub then a cantina overall. The bright red words RAGING REVEN flickered to the nearly empty streets. Nearly empty. 

 

In front of the building, several security droids and two calamari officers were standing outside. While Xar was unsure what they were doing, he was sure that it wasn’t good for him or his contact. If this was an arrest or a shutdown, that would spell doom for his mission, and Xar…

 

Xar paused. It was Agent Xar now. If this place was shut down, Agent Xar’s mission would be considered a failure. And that wasn’t allowed. 

 

Xar's mind raced. There were only a few light sources nearby, and the natural sunlight couldn’t reach this far down. The security droids looked like older models of the GU series from coruscant, and the officers certainly couldn’t see that well in the dark. And with all the lights connected…

 

The newly appointed Black Sun agent got to work. As he approached the group of droids who were facing the cantina, he was careful not to draw attention to himself. Each step was calculated, avoiding  the droids eyesight as well as any potential noisemakers.  If he could get the blaster… Xar was now just a step away. One more, then he could claw the security droid, and take its blaster. 

 

Creak

 

Xar’s chassis squeaked loudly, residue from the liquid the calamari had coughed on him. He cursed himself as the droid turned around, its blaster rifle whipping about. Not wasting a moment Xar reached and grabbed the blaster. The two wrestled for control of the weapon as the noise began to attract the attenion of the others. However, acquiring the blaster was not Xar's goal. Xar’s claws touched the trigger and made the droid open fire randomly. With a few pulls, Xar aimed the gun towards the power lines, specifically the one with the breaker on it. These droids and security would be blind, and he would have the advantage. 

 

As a superior droid should Xar thought to himself, pulling the trigger again and again while wrestling the droid. 

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Posted (edited)

After sussing out whether the guppy was a threat, Sara spent the next few hours of travel in silence.

 

Bored, the Zeltron mercenary side-eyed the guppy as she squirmed against her restraints in apparent excitement, despite what waited for them. You don’t order or ask for supplies of any kind because you have a surplus. That’s something that Sara learned very quickly. That meant that Dac had a shortage. And that meant there was a reason; Sara suspected the reason was not a pleasant one. But she had a history of unpleasant surprises so that wasn’t anything new. Sara didn’t really do ‘happy.’

 

And because of her own struggles showing positive emotion, Sara was amazed by the amount of positive energy buzzing from the little fish. It was almost endearing; almost--and only for about five minutes. But after an hour, it was clear that the guppy ran on bubbles and wore her passion on the sleeves of her robe like a naive activist on some kind of wild stimulant. For a time the Zeltron even wondered whether or not the girl had an off switch somewhere. It was a pleasant reprieve from the silent void of space and the oppressive sting of negative emotions that Sara was accustomed to, but it wore thin quickly.

 

By the time they arrived, there was a shallow indent of the ship’s steering yoke on her forehead. Sara silently cheered for the conclusion of their trip but wore a mask of indifference that was betrayed only by the indent that still stood out on her red skin.

 

When no stevedores - droid or otherwise came to assist them - Sara’s brow furrowed. Instinctively, her right hand slipped beneath her coat and tightened over the grip of her slug-thrower. The air of the dock was thick with silence. It was a nice change that the army of miscellany that assaulted her at every port of call was gone, but something was very clearly up. 

 

But the guppy was moving. So if she was moving, Sara needed to move. Sara helped her load the sled, but her amber eyes never left the empty spaceport. 

 

This does not bode well…

 

__________________________

 

As they rounded the corner toward the clinic, a swarm of angry hornets began to sting the underside of Sara’s scalp, causing her to wince and almost drop her side of the sled. Pfassk. Whoever thought it was nice to make all Zeltron’s empathetic needed a good boot upside their goofy head.

 

She’d struggled through worse, but every step toward the clinic poked the hornets, turning up their aggression until they hit well beyond a reasonable cap, which kept her occupied. And while Sara could physically see where they were both going, she felt detached from everything. She completely missed the guppy writing both of them off as Jedi. And she almost missed being handed a case of bacta and some hygienic protective equipment. 

 

“I’m better at making wounds… actually.” Sara said, groggily, her head filled with icy sorrow,  fiery pain, spiky anger, acrid envy, and a wickedly explosive gray stew of other emotions all at the same time.”But I might be able to make something work. I’m getting paid right?”

 

Sara winced. She contemplated the amassed victims and thanked whatever deity that would deign to bless her that she had an amazing immune system. But this was a disaster. How could they possibly make a dent? 

 

Sara… What did you get yourself into? 

Edited by Scorpion
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It did not take long for security forces to find Xar’s handywork; nor did it take Security Command to understand that something with evil intent aside from the virus was lurking within the city. While most of the populace complied with the general lockdown and quarantine orders, the few joyseekers, anarchists, and morons that did not were quickly and usually not very violently dealt with, detained, or corrected. One of those few businesses had been a  cantina in the lower levels of the planet, well below sealevel. In fact it was one of the places on a not-so-lengthy list of possible origins for the plague now wracking the city.

 

It had not taken long for 6 security officers, armed with warrants and orders to shut down the place and arrest those in open defiance, to complete their task. The presence of 4   GU police droids only served to increase the seriousness of their quest and the cantina was quickly and relarively peacefully shut down. The server droids deactivated and 2 of the 3 staff members arrested. The third was also taken into custody; however the female Quarren had decided to try and fight and was promptly struck by numerous stun bolts and a trio of blaster bolts so she was rushed to a secure medical facility, already tasked beyond its means in the current crisis.

 

By the time Xar arrived the 4 droids and remaining 2 officers were finishing up securing the cantina against any would be looters or opportunistic law breakers. Then it went dark and blaster fire erupted. There was a clatter as Xar and the droid he wrestled with fell to the floor and while the two biologic security officers hesitated and shouted orders of surrender into the dark as they grabbed at their flashlights, the glowing golden eyes of the police droids gave away their positions. More importantly, those same eyes pierced the night and saw the droid attacking one of their own. They returned fire immediately, caring not if they hit their own but intent on restoring the peace.

 

———————

 

Back at the clinic, Leena paused, outreached bacta pack still in hand. Looking at the Zeltron, Leena saw the emotional tumolt that was washing over her and finally felt its waves echoing on the force amidst the ravaging tides of suffering that filled the clinic. “Oh my friend. I have forgotten about your unique abilities. This must be quite headache inducing.” Quickly setting the boxes in her hand down, Leena reached up and cradled Sara’s head between her two suckered hands, one atop each temple. “Lets see if we can fix this. You cannot help others if you are one of the patients. Just open your mind up to the force. Allow its calming presence to drown out the cacophony of suffering. See it, treat it, but do not feel it.” Reaching out in the treacherousness of the clinic’s emotional identity of the force, Leena found a bit of hope here and a calming presence there. Mixing that with the light she carried within her own soul, she inhaled and sighed deeply, willing a calming wave of purifying light side energy to surge from her mind outwards. It extended from her fingertips seeking to soothe and calm Sara’s mind and echoed across the chaos throughout the clinic offering a stream of hope to those in fear and panic, and a surge of strength and light to those toiling to help. 
 

It had not taken but a minute, having done  similar each time she sought to purify her work station back at the Temple. Lowering her hands, Leena smiled warmly at Sara. “There. I hope that helps take the edge off at least. Lets get back to work and try and sort this out. We’ll worry about any rewards once we can see straight again.”
 

 

At that moment a haggard looking medic rushed into the room. “Gonna need a hand out back.” she growled in frustration.  “Apparently security had taken to shooting bartenders who don’t follow their draconian directions. You there! Doctor Zeltron, grab that medical droid and come help!” The medic pointed towards Nok and his accompanying droid as they arrived in the back workroom before shoving Sara towards the back receiving area and scurrying that way herself.

 

Turning to look  at the new arrival, Leena smiled. More humanitarian aid had arrived. “See the galaxy does care,”  she smiled tk herself as she opened the large crate of masks. “Thanks for coming Master Nemoidian. By any chance do you have any field expertise?” Leena paised, only just realizing that the man before her wore a shroud that indicates he was most likely blind. ‘But he seems to navigate alright. She reasoned. Reaching out on the force, the Mon Cal Jedi-in-training felt the sting of darkness bounce off the man and visibly tightened her neck in surprise. “Just because one is lost in the darkness, does not mean they chose to go there. Sometimes they just need one person to show them the light,” She reminded herself of one of the teachings she had learned under the healers. Speaking louder as she faced Nok, she grabbed at her bacta boxes. “I am sure you can tell we have quite the emergency on our hands. You are clearly acquainted with medicine. I trust you can put yourself to use around here. Your droid is already in demand. We are thankful that you brought it. Such a tool will be of great use in treating the ill and injured. And for the masks! Gotta keep ourselves safe right?” Leena smiled at the man as she grabbed a protective mask and slipped it over her face. “Name is Leena by the way. Maybe once this wave is contained we can grab a cup of caf and talk more.”

 

 

And with that Leena slipped into the first patient’s room. The door opened to a series of coughs and weezes. Reaching out on the waves of the force, Leena sought to examine the fearful older Mon Calamarian male, assess his situation, and administer a force-powered dose of bacta to help fight off whatever infection, virus, or malady had befallen the city. The entire time, she chattered happily to the man trying to put him at ease. It would take time for Leena and the others to realize that the bacta had little effect On whatever mystery had gripped the city.

 

___________
 

Elsewhere across the city, numerous other similar scenes played out at every available clinic and hospital, above and below sea level. All under the watchful eyes of the city security forces who were all too ready to step in and handle anyone who disobeyed or got too hysterical. Supplies were limited. Value had to be assigned to who might survive and upon whom treatment would be a drain of valued resources. Rabble rousing was a surefire way to find oneself towards the bottom of the list.

 

Offshore, planetsry naval forces closed their blockade of the city. Nobody was going to get out without a fight. 
 

Overhead, patrol craft began to flit above the city aggressively confronting any would be approaching craft and escorting them away or to a landing zone, if they were designated essential.

 

The city was grinding to a halt and the planet and even the sector were taking notice.

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Not kriffing likely, Nok thought as the Mon Cal walked away into the sick room, the dry rasping of the infected accompanying her. Nok let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding when the door slid shut behind her. Maybe she’d expected him to follow, but Nok had no intention of getting anywhere near the mucus spewing, slimy, sweaty, feverish bodies of these sick fish. Still, she was odd, and not just in her saccharine, upbeat personality. There had been a moment there, an instant of negative emotion breaking through her calm positivity. Had it been fear? Anger? It had been too quick for him to catch, a bare blip to his senses. That in and of itself was odd. Everyone else was panicked and worried, but she remained calm and somehow managed to not make it an act. An instant of something throwing her off balance, and she shook it off in the time it took Nok to blink.

 

Well...used to take him anyway.

 

Come to think of it, why did she assume I could help? She must have seen that I’m blind.

 

He didn’t like this, and he didn’t like the peculiar feeling coming from the room she’d entered, like a cold, damp rag to his fear and irritation, paradoxically making him feel better as it made him more nervous.

 

There’s something more to her. Was she the offering? That’d be convenient, which meant she likely wasn’t. Still, it would be good to keep tabs on her.

 

She’d said her name was Leena. He filed it away.

__________________________________________________________________

 

Rather than follow her, Nok quickly made his way through the clinic. Wherever his droid had gone, that Cal woman had distracted him long enough to lose track of it.

 

Not worth the effort I suppose. It’s not like they’re going to run out of plague before I leave. Speaking of which…

 

A few quick questions and a hurried walk around the clinic told him he wasn’t getting out anytime soon. The city security was on high alert, and they’d never let anyone out of this place. He could try a bribe, but as afraid as everyone was it was a die toss how that might turn out. A doctor’s note then. An authorization off the datapad of some medical officer to show he was clean and the promise he was going to get more medical supplies might be enough to get him out of here.

 

Then an idea occurred to him. Perhaps a bad idea, but some of Nok’s happiest days had stemmed from bad ideas.

 

He was already bleeding money on this trip. Ventures, deals, and schemes months in the making that needed his personal attention were stalling while he took this little scavenger hunt. Why not make a little profit to take the edge off his losses? He hadn’t personally done something like this in a while, and it’d be just the thing to keep him sharp.

 

The plan itself was obvious once all the pieces were examined.

 

A clinic like this was likely a non-profit venture. That meant charitable donations,  and some of those likely from drug companies looking to polish their image. This kind of place wouldn’t see much actual currency, not without it being spent immediately anyway, but Nok was willing to bet at least a few of those drug manufacturers were sending supplies to this clinic and others like it to boost their stocks. Compassion in a tragedy like a pandemic was worth big publicity. If nothing else, some of them had to be giving the clinic a discount. All Nok had to do was get the head of the clinic’s datapad, slice his way in, and put in a couple dozen small but extremely expensive orders for rare and valuable medication and equipment. That might normally be suspicious, but in the middle of a pandemic with an unknown disease it would be understandable, and no company wanted to be seen as denying medical aid in a crisis. Discount or not the profit from selling that kind of stuff in the right Outer Rim markets would be huge, even if Nok had to foot the bill himself. The shipping would be handled by Meer Medical under Nok’s directive, graciously offering to ship the supplies for free to try and stop their falling fortunes. 

 

The supplies would never arrive and Meer Medical would disintegrate under a storm of accusations, especially when their noble founder was discovered missing. The clinic would then likely suffer the brunt of the public’s anger when it was discovered the order itself had been fraudulent, and when they learned that Korell Meer’s “cousin” had been in the clinic right before the order had taken place...well, the public liked to make its own stories. Of course they’d suspect the neimoidian, just the wrong one. Nok would be a bit richer, he’d have finally wrung some real value out of Meer Medical, and both “Jin” and Korell Meer would disappear. Nok had never liked the sniveling, self-righteous grease stain to begin with, and his studies had uncovered some old Sith rituals he’d been anxious to try. Even if the rituals were worthless or the barely trained Nok was incapable of performing them properly, it’d be interesting to see how long Korell’s sanctimonious attitude lasted. Nok doubted it would be long. He was a neimoidian after all.

 

Feeling much better with a plan and a direction in mind, he pushed away thoughts of the peculiar Leena and began looking for someone in charge.

Edited by Nok Morliss

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The aged frigate plowed through hyperspace and the following sublight travel. The duo of Med Corps corpsmen didn’t have a lot to say. They had briefly discussed the reputed plague they were going to drop supplies off for. It was simple, drop off the supplies and the Jedi Master Healer and get back to assisting in the fight against the Sith. Crates of bacta, protective equipment, syringes, and even a makeshift mobile hospital surgical suite packed the bulk of the ship. The two younglings, still somewhat bitter at not being selected as padawans, were more than ready to get to the front lines and try and prove their worth. This mission was just a hiccup in their plan. The discussion spanned the gambit from boloball to the current war ravaging the galaxy. 
 

It did not take long before the ship entered Mon Cal atmosphere. Almost instantly they were intercepted by a trio of fighters. Upon confirmation of their cargo manifest the vessel was escorted to a landing pad in the city. The fighters quickly returned to their patrols leaving the freighter alone on the landing pad except for a duo of simple droids that had been dispatched upon confirmation of the ship’s identity.

 

“Good luck mister Jedi.” The senior most of the two corpsmen offered a simple salute once the cargo was unloaded onto a waiting freight-skiff. Then they scurried back aboard the ship and began take off procedures.

 

“We are to escort the supplies to the nearby clinic for dispersal. Will you be joining us?” The droid queried emotionlessly to the large Cathar as the other started the vessel.

 

As soon as the Jedi-impersonator was aboard they sped off down the all but empty streets towards the back if the clinic where Sara, Nok, and Leena all were.

 

Rounding the corner a loud explosion reverberated across the sky. For those who might have looked up quickly enough they would see that the very same freighter that had just deposited the meds and Durose planetside. Bits of flaming metal and plastoids rained down in a vaporizing fine mist across the city.

 

The droids looked up and emotionlessly observed:

 

“Did they not know that all ships that arrive are quarantined for 14 standard days?”

 

“I was under the assumption you had warned them.”

 

“I did not. It was not in my directives.”

 

“The planetary patrols surely warned them. What fools those Jedi are. “


”We have arrived Jedi. We will assist in offloading your supplies from the bus. We have other shipments to wait for.”
 

———————————

 

“There you are Mister Meer. We at Morjanssik Clinic are extremely grateful for your generosity. It is not very often we see someone of your kind being so generous. . . errrr. I mean, it just, well, thank you so much.” Doctor Kil’n’tro set the stylus back down atop the datapad having signed the Neimodian’s order forms, grateful for any help they could get in these troubling times. “I know that you are quarantined here with the rest of us. If you wanted to still be of service I know that a Jedi just arrived with another shipment of supplies at the back loading dock. Maybe you can help direct those worthless droids so we can put the Jedi to work helping the sick. Again, thank you so much. I don’t know what else to say.”

 

——————-

 

Pulling the gloves off her suction-cupped fingers, Leena tossed the disposable gloves in a nearby trash bin that was already overflowing with other gloves and used disposable equipment. Grabbing a rag, she dabbed at her sweaty forehead reaching out in the force and projecting a calming aura that surged like an undamned stream through the hallways and rooms of the clinic.

 

“Maybe it just takes longer for the bacta to take effect. The force will guide us.” She reassured herself having not seen any improvement with the older being she had been treating.

 

“Another Jedi has arrived with more supplies.” One of the droids rambled as it walked by with a case of disposable aprons and disappeared around the corner.

 

Leena’s eyes brightened and she hurried towards the back, excited to see if she knew the healer that the Order had sent to help her. A twinge of relief coursing through her veins at the thought that a higher ranking more experienced Jedi was there to help. Maybe he or she knew what else they could try.

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"Blast that idioctic droid" Rose yelled, kicking a small bucket in the corner of the room they had been placed in shortly after arriving on Mon Cal just a few days ago. "If it had just listed, we'd be on Bakura with the others, not dealing with some forsaken pandemic, and the hyperdrive wouldn't have short circuited."

 

"Calm down Captain." Mjan spoke, quickly regretting his words as soon as Rose's demonic glare heard them. "And you... Mister High and Mighty Jedi Knight... can't even tell them who you are because of the forged IDs and that blasted disguise." Rose retorted with a stern finger shaking. With that said, she kicked the bucket again, stubbing her toe and causing her to curse even more. All Mjan could do was glare out the small viewport onto the barren streets, thinking back to when they arrived almost a week ago.

 

When they finally exited hyperspace after the mishap with a short fused second hand astromech, they were above Mon Cal, a rich little world as far as tourism went. But as Rose suspected, their hyperdrive was fried and hoped they could find one here. Back then, it was as life normally was on the ocean world, or so Mjan suspected. But about three days ago, the entire city went into lock down and everyone was quarantined, one of the few ships that tried to escape being shot down before their very eyes as the public was ordered into their homes. 

 

Of course, being offworlders, Mjan, Rose, and Nia held no such luxury, so the Security Forces placed them in a small warehouse near the city's surface. And that's where they had remained ever since. Mjan looked over at Rose, and then to Nia. He too had to confess that he was growing uneased, aching to breath fresher air. But he held no knowledge outside of what was reported over the city's news broadcasts as the numbers of cases and fatalities rose exponentially with each passing day.

 

As much as he struggled, fear had begun to set in, almost crippling as he worried more for Rose and Nia than himself. He worried that because of him, and his decision to take this mission that he could lose them both or even himself and add to their misery. But more importantly, he knew what giving into one's emotions spelt for someone like him and Nia, himself especially. He could feel it creeping at the back of his mind, that desire to wage a war for freedom. Yet instead, he fought the urge, mainly sitting in silence, his hand firmly planted on the stave he carried with him.


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Sheog the Mad said:
oof Sheog

Is actually a tribe of autistic ewoks in a costume

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Xar had barely a moment to react to the droids opening fire on him. Thankfully, the first few shots landed around him, a result of spinning around too quickly. Using this precious time, Xar spun the droid he wrestled with between him and the other droids. 

 

Xar had to pause a fraction of a second to hear the blaster bolts sizzle off of the sparking, now dead, droid. The GU security paused a moment, thinking they may have gotten their target as well. Xar, his processor’s working overtime, took advantage and with all the might his motors could muster, threw the scrapheap towards his attackers and ran back down the street to jump behind a civilian cargo speeder. 

 

Thick beams of light bathed the area and blaster fire peppered the vehicle and around Xar. The droids spotted him attempting to hide, and now the Calamari officers had their lights on as well. Had Xar been some other droid, he would’ve panicked. However, even now, Xar was confident in his own skills.

 

When the blaster fire stopped, and one of the organics ordered his droids to close in, Xar almost laughed. 

 

“Impudent fools. Don’t they realize we are superior?” 

 

Xar crawled on the hood of the vehicle and with s metal appendage, punched his way through the glass. This truck was a much similar style to the vehicles back on Rodia. Body still on the hood and hanging into the cockpit, Xar activated his claws, cut through the dashboard and pulled it apart to reveal all the wires inside. If he could have, Xar would have smiled. 

 

The police droids didn’t react, being the programmed beings they were, but the organics did gasp in surprise when they realized that a 14 ton vehicle was charging backwards towards them. The vehicle smashed over two of the other droids in its blind charge, while the third and final droid as well as the two security officers barely leapt out of the way. 

 

Even as the vehicle crashed into the building with a loud crunch and boom of metal and stone, Xar was prepared. Hated it as much as he did, his chassis was built for hunting and killing. This was what he was built for. As soon as the vehicle stopped, Xar jumped off and landed on one of the officers. A well aimed foot stomp snapped the calamari’s neck, providing a quick death.

 

The other officer was fumbling around for his flashlight, panic beginning to grip his senses. Even in the dark, Xar could see him perfectly, his heat sensor giving him sight that these beings lacked. He charged the being, claws humming with ultrasonic vibrations. The last things the officer saw as he grabbed his light were metal claws stabbing at the eyes.

 

Xar sighed as he stood up. This was a good kill. But before he could congratulate himself, a whack of metal knocked him down. The last droid, the one Xar had missed with the speeder, had pulled out a baton, in an attempt to subdue Xar. 

“Stay down! You are under arrest for…”

 

Xar didn’t give it the chance to finish. He instead attempted to stand up and take a swing at this last nuisance. However, it was ready. It evaded the attack and whacked Xar again. Xar paused and stumbled back a step. His sensors indicated there had been damage, albeit, only a cosmetic one, to his chassis. A large dent, which would require some buffering and tempering. Damage that would take time and money to repair. Xar glared at his opponent, who was preparing for another counter strike. 

 

“You…” 

 

Xar started as he moved in, claws humming again.

 

“Damaged…” 

 

The GU droid swung its baton at Xar’s head, who ducked the blow in time.

 

“Our...” 

 

Xar brought his arms up and began to slash at the droid’s face and body. Sparks flew as metal pierce metal, cutting wires, gears and even the power cell. 

 

“Chassis!!!” 

 

Xar yelled as he continued to hack and slash at  the droid again and again, well beyond its death.  It fell over dead, its receptors now lifeless. Still, Xar continued to slash at it, now on top it, ripping its face plate off and tearing out every piece of it could find. Eye receptors, data processors, memory storage, coolant valves, power wires, it all was getting torn out and sliced. 

 

Only when the head was completely unrecognizable did Xar stop and look over the carnage. It was a mess to say the least. The destroyed droids sparked and fizzled, the two corpses oozed their lifeless ichor out, and the land speeder had made a rather large hole in the cantina. 

 

Xar mentally shrugged it off and calmly and collectively entered the cantina through the hole. It was evident it had recently gone through a rather vicious search and seizure of some kind. What was once obviously a night life spot was now messy, with broken glass torn cushions and broken doors. Xar noted their was even some blaster fire in here recently. He sighed to himself. It was obvious that Hamilton wasn’t here. Either he was already arrested or was hiding somewhere. Either way, he would need access to a large database to find options where he may be. 

 

Xar left the cantina and headed down the street.  “Co’bo, Krexel, can either of you hear us?” Xar asked both out loud and through his communications transceiver.  He gently stepped over a body of a bloody calamari, careful not to get any blood on him. “It seems this will take longer then expected. Still, keep the ship warm for us.” 

 

And with that, Xar headed down the street, trying to figure out where to go next. Perhaps Hamilton was sick. Maybe he was in one of the hospitals. Yes...that would be a place to search, with all the patients and hopefully a database connected to governmental records.

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Roshan kept to himself as he mostly listened from the shadows to the yammering of the younglings. They knew nothing of war or suffering. He had been there. He had watched Coruscant collapse underneath his feet. He had seen the sky of Chandrila turn bright red from the streaking debris of once mighty vessels of war. They would know far too late that what they sought was not glorious at all. There is no glory in war. There was only fighting to survive with your honor and life intact.

 

After the ship landed, Ro helped unload the cargo. He figured it was only logical, although he was liking his half-cocked plan less and less with each passing minute.

 

“Good luck mister Jedi.”

 

“And may the Force guide you along the eternal battlefields of good and evil.”

 

It seemed like something wise that a sage like a Jedi would come up with. Ro had faced a Jedi once. Well, the original Dhonarr had. It was back in his bounty hunting days. Jedi were a fanatical religious cult that believed in doing good. But all his research at the time had led him to believe that the Jedi were more concerned with sounding smart and wise and giving you a fish rather than teaching you how to fish. Chandrila just reaffirmed that for him. They prided themselves on being the flashy centers of attention, but when it came to the less glamorous stuff? Suddenly they were off to the next big battle and were nowhere to be found when their messes needed cleaning up.

 

“We are to escort the supplies to the nearby clinic for dispersal. Will you be joining us?” 

 

“Doesn’t look like I have a choice,” Ro half joked as he boarded the vessel. Mon Cal was a peculiar world and this was an increasingly peculiar situation.

What was wrong with this planet anyway? It seems pretty normal to me. Is this how Jedi take "business trip" vacations? And come to think of it... where is everybody?

 

Ro reflexively ducked for a moment, reaching for his blaster but finding a lightsaber hilt in its place. He cursed silently to himself as he looked up in the same direction as the droids.


“Did they not know that all ships that arrive are quarantined for 14 standard days?”

 

“Woah, woah, woah. What quarantine?”

 

“I was under the assumption you had warned them.”

 

“Warned them about what?”

 

“I did not. It was not in my directives.”

 

“Preserving humanoid life isn’t part of your directives?! What sort of droid are you?!”

 

“The planetary patrols surely warned them. What fools those Jedi are. “

 

“Listen here you homicidal tin can--”

 

”We have arrived, Jedi. We will assist in offloading your supplies from the bus. We have other shipments to wait for.”

 

“Thanks. But I think I’ll take my chances. Where do these go?” the Former Watcher of the Link replied curtly as he grabbed two large boxes and began to carry them inside.

 

He was rather frazzled. As if the self-righteous Jedi weren’t enough of a problem, it seemed that he had been taken to a neo-Trade Federation world where they shoot Jedi ships out of the sky after asking for their help. This whole thing reeked of a trap. And while he maybe couldn’t totally blame someone for wanting to take shots at the Jedi, this was far beyond anything that he had in mind. And worse yet, he likely now had a target on his back as well.

 

Casually entering the building, Ro was, nevertheless, confident in his gameplan. If there was any advantage to be had in regards to the length of his trip from Nar Shadda to Mon Cal, it was that it had given him plenty of time to think. He was anxious to see who he’d meet first and improvise from there.

 

He goes nothing. Rose, wish me luck.

 

___

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  • Haha 1

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Nia meditated through the chaos that was taking place in the warehouse. They'd been stranded here for a while now, and she was honestly grateful. With a pandemic in effect, they were stuck here. It was either a massive coincidence, or the Force was trying to guide them to something, though she was too inexperienced to properly discern which. At the very least though, she worried. Historically, when planets locked down in the manner that Mon Cal did, it only made people want to leave more. And if this disease, whatever it was, got off planet, how many more would follow?

 

It was a little frustrating, to be stuck here with nothing. But losing her temper as Rose did would do no good, for anyone. Most frustrating is to be so close to the water and yet unable to submerge herself. Part of it was homesickness, but another part was just familiarity. She'd always been a little better with people under the water, thanks to her specie's adaptations. It was smothering, to be above the water though.

 

She glanced at her master, concerned about his glare. It seemed they were all getting a little cabin fever.

 

"Master, maybe we can't prove who we are, but should that stop us from helping here? Even if it's not exactly..." she hesitated, before continuing. "Legal? These people are suffering."


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As Xar's comm came across, only static was heard on Krexel and Co'bo's lines, giving the impression that either something had happened to the two or communications were down or blocked. But the reality of it was that Krexel had returned from his side mission and both were safely tucked away in quarantine, neither of them wishing to even attempt escape after Krexel witnessed the ship being shot down, let alone leave Xar behind. 

 

For the time being, they would remain idle, awaiting Xar's return and this quarantine to be lifted so they could be rid of this blasted planet.


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The pain piercing a point between her ears stifled any resistance she could conjure to Leena’s seemingly emphatic need to care for her. But Sara’s eyes opened wide and her cobalt black eyebrows bent toward the bridge of her nose; a subtle indication of how she truly felt.

 

Leena’s hands felt cold and moist against Sara’s warm skin. Her big fishy eyes were a little off-putting at this range but Sara tried not to think about it. She let Leena help her because she had nothing else. But she didn’t really know what this fish cou--

 

Through the cold suckered dermis of Leena’s careful hands, electricity spun the fibers of Sara’s skin. The back of her neck bloomed to life as thousands of soft needles crawled from the base of her skull down to the base of her spine. Slowly -- almost impossibly so -- the turmoils of the hospital, her own anxiety, and several hundred miserable voices, were silenced. A billowing array of clouds replaced her prickly animosity and cushioned her thoughts in blissful peace. It was surreal. Sara had touched something similar at a time so long ago she couldn’t recall, but this was far beyond her understanding. She felt detached from… everything. It was serene and utterly addictive. Had she been anywhere else, she would have lost to the warmth and surrendered. But misery loves company.

 

An orderly’s abruptly timed arm slammed against Sara’s delicious haze, interrupting her visceral denial and directing her toward the back receiving area with a droid that she didn’t even notice was there before. Dr. Zeltron? These people were really desperate... 

 

With each foot gained on cold steel, she could feel the distance growing. The depth of her gaze distorted and the fluorescent lights above her got brighter and brighter until they hurt her eyes.  She desperately wanted to keep the fluffy clouds billowing around the edge of her mind. But Leena’s touch was gone. She needed to move. The corridor grew even more unwelcoming. A chorus of coughs, wheezes, and gut-wrenching gurgling sounds echoed from rooms and chambers as they passed. The smell of druk and urine mixed heavy with sanitary alcohol. It was an acrid reality that grew step by step. And although Sara was holding vital medical supplies, she felt as if she were a piece of furniture, much like the droid ambling about beside her. Still, she had her orders. Orders? Who even are you anymore?

 

The tingly expression of Leena’s overzealous need to help clung for dear life at the foundation of Sara’s spine. And when she crossed the last threshold to the loading dock at the back of the clinic, Sara’s consciousness broke apart. The euphoric clouds vanished, retreating from their protective silence, replaced not by the hundreds of pained voices from before, but by an entire planet filled with pain. Millions of anxiety riddled thoughts and emotions fought down Sara’s exposed consciousness causing her knees to buckle and slam to the cold durasteel beneath her. Bacta patches and the like went scattering across the floor and her hands shot to catch her from falling all the way to the cold sterilized steel.

 

Her head was a freshly worn acid burn. The pain of a planet in jeopardy sung songs of madness. And though her kind were trained to deal with emotional turmoil, her spirit and mind were not prepared for this kind of surge. Like a pilot light from ages past, the light that Leena ignited would not so easily burn out. Sara gripped at her head to try and contain the explosive sensation which pushed her the rest of the way toward the ground. Chloric streams of sapphire poured from her eyes and ran tracks down her cheeks. Her lungs contracted wildly and she curled in on herself to try and stifle the sensations before they could overwhelm her. 

 

The nurses and orderlies nearby heard Sara’s plaintive cries and rushed to assuage her. They crowded her and began to grab at her, to try and get her out of the way. 

 

Sara felt them. Their flabby arms pushing and dragging, trying to control her, trying to manipulate her. 

 

Who did they think they were? 

What were they to her? 

With one blow to the neck they would die. 

With a few trained motions their bodies would litter this sterile hallway. 

Their blood would line the floor and their viscera would decorate it like a grim museum. 

How dare they touch her! 

They had no right! 

 

“GET OFF OF ME!” Sara screamed, her amber yellow eyes glowing faintly. A powerfully chaotic nova of despair coruscated from Sara’s body, shocking the hospital staff and climbing higher still. The fluorescent lights in the hallway glowed so brightly that they exploded with violent force, littering the halls with glass and chemicals. When the nova reached the junction box and compromised the electrical veins of the hospital's vital systems, it sputtered briefly and then popped, sending the clinic into darkness and turning off the machines keeping hundreds of innocents alive.

 

It took a moment for a dull red light to replace the bright fluorescence and the backup generators to compensate. But the damage was done. The orderlies and nurses that attempted to grab Sara were unconscious and burned on the ground. And while Sara’s hands and parts of her face were slightly abrased, she was mostly unscathed. Her consciousness was rife with chaos. Whispers of darkness fought to the surface of her mind but now that a lot of her emotional buildup had released, it was easier to maintain. Either that, or a lot of the despair that she felt was now silenced. Regardless, she didn’t care. She fought fatigue until she stood at the clinic's intersection and readied herself for what came next.

 

This was going to get bad really fast. 

 

They deserve-Aaaaand you're done.


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Nok planned as he wove his way through the halls towards the back of the clinic. First, he’d have to disable one of the droids. Once he’d done that, it shouldn’t be too hard to-

His train of thought derailed as a surge of emotion cascaded past him and submerged his mind in the torrent.

 

Panic? No, despair! He gritted his teeth against the unexpected shock to his senses, his mind blind to anything but the tide of anguish. The intensity was overwhelming, magnified...

 

The Force. This is the Force!

 

Then it was over. Nok gasped in a breath, and braced his hands against the cold floor. He was on the floor? When had that happened? His robes were bunched up, and his embroidered blindfold sat askew on his head, the disinfected air brushing against his eye sockets.

 

Getting to his feet, Nok’s mind raced. What had that been? And how had it ended so quickly? 

 

No, that wasn’t right, it hadn’t quite ended. The air still pulsed with emotion, but not the overwhelming misery of a few seconds ago. This was more chaotic, more disjointed, like the crazy ripples in a puddle after an earthquake. And whatever or whoever the source was, they were in the direction Nok was going.

 

Not my monster to kill or maiden to save, Nok thought as he turned around.

 

Except...the offering. Could this be it? It would add up. A Force-sensitive with depths of power and pain like that would be valuable enough to any Sith. That idea seemed off somehow, but Nok couldn’t pin down why. Still, it was his most solid lead, and the sooner he was off this disease riddled planet the better.

 

Nok tugged his silken red blindfold back into place shuffled forward down the hall, head down, playing the part of the blind neimoidian. If this person was at all trained in the Force, his ruse wouldn’t work, but it cost him nothing to try. If this person was the type to be offended by an act like this, they probably wouldn't respond any better to a Sith apprentice.

As he rounded the corner he got a good “look” at the carnage. Unconscious bodies littered the floor, and the sickly sweet stench of burnt skin wafted through the charred air. In the middle of it all stood the source of the shifting spectrum of emotion, a humanoid woman of some kind. The Force around her rippled and twitched as it settled, still twisting in the aftermath of power. Could be a human, but without actual eyes it was impossible to tell.

 

“Is someone there? I heard a noise. Is everyone all right?”

 

Nok stopped a foot away from walking into an orderly’s body, aiming his sightless gaze into empty space, a good foot away from the woman.


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Leena made her way towards the back loading dock. A smile pulled at the edges of her mouth. As bad as the whole situation was seeming to be, Leena wad pleased to not go it alone.

 

As she neared the door to the back alley, it opened before she got to it. Leena paused looking up at the large feline carrying a pile of supplies. He was clothed in the robes of a Jedi, from what she could tell. This had to be him.

 

Leena opened her mouth to offer a greeting, reaching out on the force to feel the familiar aura in the air that agents of the light naturally seemed to project. Not a sound escaped her mouth as she closed it in surprise at what she felt. The feeling she felt coming off this being was not that of a Jedi. It lacked the training and peace. Instead, Leena felt the man’s deception and was it nervousness? Still, he was clothed as a Jedi. She scurried passed him, locking eyes with him for a brief moment before slipping out back.

 

Something was wrong. There was someone clothed as a Jedi who was clearly not a Jedi, a being submerged in the darkside delivering ‘supplies;’ she looked down at the mask she had taken from the Neimodian’s shipment and threw it on the ground.

 

“Hey! That is medical supplies. Directive 32A5 instructs that no medical supplies is to be wasted under pain of unspecified imprisonment in the Deep Site mines.”  One of the simple droids rattled off, it’s emotionless voice dripping with judgement.

 

Leena waived the droid off. “Please worry about your current task. I will worry about mine.” She had bigger concerns now. Something was off. The plague that ravaged the city and now these people. Something was going on. Even her ship running out of fuel. “That should not have happened.”
 

Leena turned around. She was going to confront whatever was going on here. The focus had to be on helping the patients. Whatever else people were bringing in would draw away from that. That was her purpose, the purpose of the clinic itself and its staff and volunteers. Leena knew what she had to do, even if she was not thrilled about it. Before she could grab the handle of the door an invisible explosion of emotion tore through the air and ambiance about the place. It erased the cries of pain and suffering with a single powerful wave.
 

Instinctively Leena threw up her hands pulling an invisible surge of peace and light from the ether, sheltering her body and mind from the blast that echoed into the physical realm causing fragile items to break, loose rubbish bins to rattle and anyone not prepared to tumble to the floor. “Sara . . . “ she whispered thinking of the Zeltron woman who had helped her get to the planet and this very clinic. She was the Zeltron with another force signature filled with pain, pain she had tried to treat. 
 

Breaking into a run, Leena  slammed into the door, nearly bowling over the Cathar faux-Jedi on the other side. With an adrenaline fueled force guided grab, Leena grabbed Ro’s collarband yanked him towards her. “I don’t know who you are Master Jedi, but there is a man here, a Neimodian with a blindfold. Get him. Take him out back. Do it now.”  The usually kind and calm girl’s demeanor twisted in a stern icy wall of command. She was not toying around and her tone and very aura portrayed that she was a woman on a mission. The Cathar had a good feel, even if he was living in deception. She hoped he would help her. Leena had to find Sara. Dropping the feline’s collar, Leena surged forward, her path illuminated by the flashing red lights that pierced the darkness, her footsteps guided by the force.

 

Down the hallways and around several corners, Leena came upon both Sara and Nok. Brushing past the Nemoidian, Leena reached out to help her newfound comrade, projecting a calming stream of peace and tranquility towards her ravaged mind. “There is a cat, a Cathar Jedi,” Leena pointed down the hallway she just came from as she spoke towards Nok, “Go get him and take him to the back. The survival of these people depend on it. Go.” She barked the order before turning back towards Sara, pushing the pain and suffering and fear that now amplified throughout the facility away from the space around them. “I should have known better to drag you into this. I lost sight of that detail through the craziness of the plague. I know better than th . . .” Leena paused, her senses tingling as felt it. Some lights began to flick back on while other damaged ones sparked in anger as electricity began to work through the facility from the backup generators. That was not what gave Leena pause. What did was the damaged backup lines and the faint hiss of gas surging from a damaged line in a nearby room. As each room and system came back online one at a time it was obvious that there was little time. Lunging forward, Leena fell to her knees to grab the fire alarm setting blaring klaxons off throughout the clinic. If there had been fear, panic, and chaos before; it just amplified one hundred fold throughout the facility.

 

“We have to go!” Leena shoved Sara towards Nok and the backdoor where Ro was, turning to run the other direction. She grabbed the first patient who had made it to the door of his treatment room and drug him forward. Leena knew she didn’t have the power or ability ro save everyone, but she was a Jedi. She would do her part. Hopefully the fire alarm did the rest.

 

—————————-

 

Street level cameras did not take long to identify the rogue droid that had taken up a killing spree in the city. From Security HQ all it took were a few push of the buttons to redirect a nearby quarantine patrol and the bulk of the guards at a warehouse serving to quarantine offworld visitors now stuck planetside. The offworlders had been relatively well behaved. Command was not concerned that they would try and leave. Fear was an awesome tool for controlling the local populace.

 

It would only be a few minutes before they closed in on the killer bot. This time, they were going to bring the real firepower. The people needed to know that their government was the power that protected them in these uncertain times.

 

—————————-

 

Back inside the clinic, panic reigned supreme as the sick and dying clawed at each other trying now to fight their way out of the clinic they had, until just moments before, been jockeying to try and be the first in line to get back into. Treatment was limited, everyone knew that.

 

And then, as the seconds on the wall-mounted clock counted down, deeper in the facility, the power that surged from the backup generators sparked on a damaged line or a broken light with a still completed circuit igniting the gas filled air. Piped from deep under the planet’s crust beneath the ocean, the stuff was more explosive than the other flammable gasses and supplies that littered the standard clinic. The entire place was a tinderbox and the match had been struck.

 

Flames erupted blowing the door to the utility closet off it’s hinges. They raced down the walls in every direction consuming everything in it’s path.

 

Leena felt the lick of the flames before she could see them. Grabbing the three Quarren and one Mon Cal she had managed to pull from their rooms, Leena pushed them down, one atop the other, throwing herself atop them as the flames shot towards them.

 

Even in the chaos, Leena reached deep within, calling on whatever vestibules of the force she could find. She called waves of the force, pulling whatever liquid particles it could from the air and forming a temporary shield over the top of the five as they huddled on the floor. Leena held up her hand trying to hold the protective shield in place as the deafening roar of the flames slammed into them. The heat was unbearable. Leena felt her skin prickle as her robes began to singe. Beneath her, the others cried out in fear. “Hold on! Trust!” She cried, her voice cracking with the force of trying to maintain the shield against the overwhelming onslaught and maintain a sphere of calm.

 

——————

 

Outside, flames erupted from windows. One wall erupted outwards as a supply of oxygen caught fire abd blasted bits of duraplast and brick in all directions.

 

The entryway was eaten away as flames raced through it outside, melting durasteel and glass.

 

And as quick as the flames were there, they receded leaving a burning husk of supplies, bodies, and destruction. Screams filled the air mingled with the crack of fire, sparking of exposed electrical wires and coughs and wheezes of the sick as they tried to scrape themselves away from the chaos, fighting against the overwhelming police force that had already been approaching.

 

—————-

 

 

Leading her small band of survivors through the flames, Leena limped forward. She was covered in soot and ash and the group she had with her were crying in fear. She urged them on as gently as she could. “Almost there. You’re ok. We’re ok,”  she soothed. “Watch out for that chunk of rock. It looks pretty jagged. You’ve got this. Lets get out. Then we can help the others. Thats it. Good job.” 
 

Once clear of the building, Leena turned the party she had sheltered from the flames over to a group of citizens who had rushed out of a nearby business to lend what aid they could. 
 

Not even stopping to brush the rubble off her once white healer’s robes, Leena turned to survey the damage. “What in force is going on here?!” She lamented.

 

She saw it then. The droid. It did not belong. Not here. She hurried towards it, her hand resting near her lightsaber, just in case this was all some sort of elaborate Sith scheme. “Excuse me master droid. Can you help me? Something here is trying to destroy us, everyone. I do not know who to trust. You are not from here. Will you help me? We need to get out of here. Come on. Let’s find some shelter and together we can work to solve this.”

 

—————-

 

The air filled with sirens as responding emergency vehicles and personnel responded from all over the city. Even the police that had been tasked to apprehend Xar were drawn to the explosion and helping their own. Only a pair of security droids maintained their focus and direct line of sight on Xar. They pushed past the masses trying to flee, intent on their target.

 

—————

 

“I think they want to talk to you.” She pointed out the droids intent on coming after Xar as she tried to pull the droid behind an arriving fire response craft. 
 

—————

 

Several minutes later, Xar and Leena arrived at the warehouse a few blocks away. “I think we lost them. Lets dip in here. I feel, something.” 
 

There were no guards in sight as Leena dipped into the large warehouse lined with cots and makeshift housing. She felt it. Somewhere, in this crowded structure, there were Jedi, agents of the light. She wanted to find them. Then, together they could uncover what was happening. It panged Leena’s heart what had happened. She desired nothing more than to go and help at the scene of the catastrophe, to treat the sick and dying, but she was a Jedi. She had to face the greater darkness that was festering here, lest the darkness overwhelm any good she tried to implement.


Scanning the room, Leena was hoping to see the Jedi; what she saw instead, filtering in from other entrances, were the Neimodian, Sara, and the Jedi-impersonator. “They must be following me!” She hissed at Xar. 

Edited by Leena Kil
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