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Darth Heretic

Mon Calamari

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Posted (edited)

As the funny looking fish-like creature entered the back loading dock, Ro opened his mouth to speak. He was relieved to find someone that wasn’t a droid and looked like she was in charge. In fact, he had good reason to believe she was, in fact, a Jedi. Her attire and demeanor seemed to say as much. Perhaps things were looking up. That is, until her reaction. The two locked eyes for only a moment as she breezed by him. Ro spun and stood there, still holding the crates of supplies under his arms.

 

Unbelievable.

 

Ro shook his head. Even the Jedi on this planet were rude. Walking a few more steps forward, the former Watcher set down the two large boxes near the room's far wall and headed back towards the loading bay doors. He would have a word with this rude Jedi.

 

Ro grumbled to himself as he thought of his next set of actions. He would need to be smart about this for multiple reasons. So much was wrong. It didn’t take Jedi superpowers to realize that. They needed a plan. Moving back towards the door, a sudden burst of pain and terror knocked the hulking Cathar to his knees and left him dazed for a moment. 

 

What in the...

 

Slowly rising to his feet, Ro stumbled to the door only to have the Mon Calamari Jedi burst through it, almost knocking him over in the process.

 

“Have you lost your min--" 

 

"....Wooo!”

 

Ro could feel the force empowering Leena as she yanked him towards her as if they were comparable in size or strength.

 

Classic Jedi trick. If her plan was to show off I am only mildly impressed.

 

...a Neimodian with a blindfold. Get him. Take him out back. Do it now.”

 

He caught most of the important parts of what she said. At least, he thought he had. His head was still throbbing.

 

“Listen here, Master Jedi fish-face. I don’t--”

 

She was already gone. Normally, Ro was a fairly calm person. But the last few minutes had left him increasingly unhinged. He grabbed at the lightsaber from his belt. The next person who messed with him would be a fool if they didn’t think he knew how to use it. He had had quite a bit of time to practice since he initially discovered it in the dead Mon Cal’s belongings. His Echani arts and techniques actually complimented it quite well. The weight of the lightsaber, of course, was deceptive. There was an imbalance to the weapon that he couldn’t quite describe. It was enough to make it unwieldy for even the most expert martial artist. That didn’t mean it was impossible to use for someone like him. It was just sub-optimal. Of course, as long as he wasn’t fighting a melee weapons specialist, his deficiencies with the weapon wouldn’t have much effect on his overall ability to maim or kill someone. Still, it left him with the rather distinct feeling that this imbalance was, in fact, intentional and that force users were able to overcome it by means of their fancy “space magic” aka the manipulation of the Life Force. He was definitely eager to explore his hypothesis further.

 

But the blindfold guy. Yes! Right! The Blindfold guy.

 

He had no idea what way to go or where to find such a random person but Ro figured that the alien would be hard to miss from the general description Leena gave. Heading in the direction that he saw Jedi go, Ro ignited "his" lightsaber and began walking.

 

The blue glow of the lightsaber contrasted nicely with the red glow of the hallway lights. The hospital was clearly on emergency generators.

 

What were we hit by?! Some sort of newtech EMP?!

 

Ro began to break into a jog as he tried to catch up with the mission orientated Jedi and clarify her instructions. Her scent was distinct as it wafted through the air. He had been distinctly close enough to pick it up from her moments ago. But he could also hear something more insidious. His senses were on full alert as the adrenaline pumped through his system. What began so quiet that he could barely hear it over his breathing grew steadily louder as he turned the corner. He hoped the hissing sound wasn't what he thought it was.

 

A Neimodian with a blindfold. She wasn’t making that up. Now I’ve seen everything.

 

And then came the sound. Ro dropped his lightsaber momentarily as he covered his ears. He hated loud klaxons. They were clearly invented by people who were half deaf or simply had no regard for the hearing of others. All the same, Ro reached down and picking the hilt back up, motioned towards the colorful woman and the Neimodian standing next to her.

 

“Over here! This way! Move to the exit,” He roared over the sound of the alarm. 

 

He cringed at the sound. Putting his lightsaber away, he continued to push forward but he was losing the Mon Cal’s scent. Panicked patients, staff, and family members were now beginning to flood into the halls. Pointing directly at Sara, Ro repeated his instructions as he approached them.

 

“Pretty lady,” because flattery never hurt anybody, “Will you please escort the blindfolded pedestrian to the nearest exit as per the Jedi’s orders. Thank you.”

 

Truth be told, he did really phrase it like a question. It was more of an order. And he wasn’t concerned about whether she followed it or not. He was still looking for the first Jedi.

 

Of course, what he now saw in front of him was a madhouse. Raising his hilt high into the air, he ignited his lightsaber once again. It caught people’s attention for a moment. That was all he needed. His growling voice would do the rest.

 

“Everyone,” he bellowed, “Please follow the red looking lady to the nearest exit immediately! No one tramper her or you will never make it out and you all will die! Orderly fashion and respectful distance and she will protect you and lead you to safety!”

 

He was making this up as he went. The Jedi wanted him to get the Neimodian out of there. With her leading the way and them staying at a respectful distance, there was a good chance that the red lady and the blind guy wouldn’t be trampled as they stumbled along and led everyone else to the exit.

 

Only not everyone would make it at this point. It simply wouldn’t be enough. There were still those bound to their beds being left behind.

 

He looked around himself in the chaos. A young woman of fishy complexion came scurrying towards him in a panic.

 

“Jedi! Jedi! Please help! I’ve lost my son! I’ve lost my son! Please help!”

 

She tugged at his robes. This was Coruscant and Chandrilla all over again. His glanced stopped firmly on the female as the klaxons and streaming of people continued. Her large, goggle-like eyes continued to plead with him. They were a funny looking species with their high-domed heads and webbed hands, but Ro know that they could feel the same sense of loss, fear, and pain that any other sentient species could. Of course, the brilliance of her white pigment made her especially beautiful for a Mon Calamari. And her light complexion matched that of child he had seen getting bounced around in the panic only moments before.

 

“Was your son about yay big and yay tall and with the same white skin,” Ro yelled back as he motioned the proportions with his hands.

 

The Mon Cal female nodded back, crying so hard at this point that she was unable to speak. He was sure he had just seen the kid. Pushing through the crowd, he pressed on deeper into the building. As the building began to power back on, Ro feared that he was running out of time. And right about the time he found the boy huddling in a corner crying, the shake beneath his feet confirmed that his fears were accurate.

 

The first explosion shook the ground only slightly but the following series of cascading explosions soon began to consume the building. He didn’t have much time. Dragging the two into a nearby room, he throw the door shut and looked around. There was a tray of heavy monitoring equipment setting next to one of the beds. Grabbing it, he made a running start towards the nearby window and hurled it with all his might. The equipment cracked the window before thudding on the ground.

 

“Screw it.”

 

The rumbling was rapidly approaching now. Powering on his lightsaber, Ro wildly slashed at the window, destroying the glass in the process. He looked out the window as he yelled for them to come to him.

 

“Come here! Hurry!”

 

It looked like they were at least a story, maybe two stories up. There wasn’t time to judge this fall. His hair was standing on end. He could almost sense the flames coming. Scooping up the woman and the child, he squeezed them tightly and leapt out of the window, just in time to see the flames explode through the hospital room door. He could feel the flames' hot, prickly tickle as the fire leapt out the window after them and shoved him even farther from the building.

 

It wasn’t the falling that bothered him. It was the landing. He shifted his body so that he could protect the woman and her child as best he could. But that meant he would take the brunt of it. He wasn’t looking forward to that part but at least he didn’t have to wait long.

 

The next thing he knew, Ro awoke with people standing around him. He was a little bruised and bloodied but he had survived. He looked for the Mon Cal and her child.

 

“The female and her child?” he asked in a half-delirious panic.

 

“They made it thanks to you,” one of the onlookers replied as he helped tend to the others that escaped. “You are one crazy dude, Catman. I’ll give you that.”

 

Ro laughed but abruptly stopped when he felt a shooting pain in his side. He winced. Dragging himself to his feet, he began to survey the crowd.

 

“Has anyone seen a Mon Calamari Jedi? Does anyone know if she made it out alive?”

 

“Yeah. I seen her! Saved a bunch of people, too. I think she went that way,” one of the bystanders replied as he pointed in the direction of a set of warehouses a few blocks away.

 

“Thank you,” Ro replied as the man from before rushed up to him.

 

“Whoa there, buddy. You really shouldn’t be moving around after a stunt like that.”

 

“Don’t worry about me, sir. I’m a Jedi,” Ro replied as he faked a smile as best he could.

 

The truth was that outside of his size and bulk, all Cathar had rapid healing abilities and wounds that might take others out were not nearly as detrimental to a Cathar. This didn’t mean they were invincible or devoid of pain receptors, however, or that he preferred not landing on his feet. But Ro had an increasingly bad habit of relying on his healing factor in emergency situations. In fact, it was beginning to almost feel like it had become a form of self-punishment. He couldn’t afford to think of that now, though.

 

Holding his side, he hunched over as he hobbled towards the warehouse. Thinking to himself, he laughed a little bit and pain shot out from his chest.

 

That sounds like something Rose would do. Running around impulsively, jumping out of windows, not sticking to the plan. Maybe she’s rubbing off on me after all. Thanks for being my guardian angel.

 

He entered the first building that he thought he could hear people. Or maybe he sensed them. Or may it was that Neimodian’s peculiar scent that had lend him here. It was hard to know anything for sure at this point with his head still ringing. All that mattered to him right now was finding safety and a spot to lie down.

 

Oh. And that Jedi. I need to speak with that Jedi.

 

Entering the building from the side, Ro could see that this building was some sort of makeshift housing location. He imagined it was probably for the sick. But he could care less. He just wanted to find the Jedi. If she wasn’t here, he’d keep looking until he found her. 

 

And that’s when he saw her. Nestled between two full cots, Leena stood beside a strange droid with the Neimodian and Sara not far in front of her. Ro grinned to himself contently.

 

You can’t get rid of me that easily, Jedi.


Straightening up in spite of the pain, he held his breath as he walked forward as casually as possible towards the group. He was happy to see that the others had managed to survive as well.

 

There might be hope for them after all.

 

___

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Edited by Durose Roshan

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Xar walked through the empty streets quietly, trying his best not to attract too much attention, but also trying to be quick. He felt like he was back on Rodia in a weird sense. Hiding from other beings, trying to get from one place to another for his own gains, trying to find something that would help him accomplish his own goals, ready to attack whoever got in his way. 

 

Xar hated this feeling. He should be able to walk down any street without worry. 

 

However, the feeling quickly disappeared when he saw the smoke. Black clouds climbed and consumed the air a short distance ahead. This development made Xar hurry more, almost breaking into a run. This was not because he thought it may be something related to him, or because there were some security beings following him (Xar was unaware they were even there), but because it interested him. 

 

Xar turned a corner and found the chaos. A medicinal clinic had erupted into flames, and like rats, people inside were trying to dash, bash, and claw their way out. The most desperate and violent ones were getting out first, not caring if they left others to die behind them. Xar watched the crowd closely, hoping to see his contact emerging from the building. However, most of the people emerging were Quarren, Mon Calamari, and a few other aquatic beings. Xar wasn’t even sure if he saw a single human in the crowd. 

 

Xar was getting annoyed again. If his contact wasn’t here, the nearest medicinal clinic to the cantina, then Hamilton was most likely in hiding. This search was going to take a lot longer. 

 

“Excuse me, master droid” a voice started. Xar turned and looked to the Mon Cal that had approached him. The fact that she actually addressed him politely made him listen to her and not outright ignore her. 

 

“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.”

 

“Solve your own problems. We are busy”  Xar dismissed physically and mentally what he thought was a doctor with a wave of his claw and began to turn away. This situation did not help him at all. He needed to find a security checkpoint or something where he could get access about the city and its citizens. At this point, he was searching for a needle in a haystack, but he would not fail.

 

However, Xar stopped. Through the crowd, two security droids were coming directly towards him. The crowd of fleeing people and helping bystanders were slowing them down, but it was obvious that they would stop at nothing to capture their target. 

 

“I think they want to talk to you.”

 

Xar grumbled slightly at the Mon Cal’s words. It seemed he needed to go into hiding for a bit. 

 

“Don’t touch us.” Xar slapped away the fish’s hands. At this point Xar thought that companion droids got touched less. 

 

The two dashed away from the scene. Xar kept glancing behind him, paranoid that he was still being followed. However, no calls for halt and no blaster fire reassured him that was not the case. Still, Xar followed the Mon Cal, since she seemed to have his best interests in mind.

 

Finally, someone who did the right thing. 

 

  Ducking into the warehouse, Xar was surprised to see the crowd that had gathered here. A bunch of them were from the medicinal clinic, but not all. Perhaps…

Xar was distracted momentarily by his helper’s belief that she was being followed. He sighed. 

 

“So what? They aren’t an issue at the moment. And i doubt you are that important.” Xar still hadn’t noticed the weapon that hung from the healer’s belt.

“If they become a problem, we’ll cut their throats. Now tell us...do you know of a human named Hamilton Alexandria? He was supposed to be at the Raging Revan Cantina but…” 

 

Xar stopped when he realized that the Mon Cal was much too focused on some of the other beings ‘following’ her. She would be of no use until this matter was settled. 

 

“Wait here…” Xar commanded sternly and started off towards the Nemodian and the Zeltron, not seeing the third individual that was referred to. He had to navigate his way through the crowd of sick people. He was especially careful to not let any of them touch his chassis. Thankfully, a bunch of people moved out of the way when they saw him coming. Xar was beginning to realize that commanding respect from these beings was the only way to go. 

 

“You.” Xar walked up and pointed a claw towards the Nemodian and the Zeltron. “Come with us. Now.” and with that, Xar turned and went back towards his new companion.

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Posted (edited)

Well… Kriff

 

The grinding of broken glass beneath her knee-high boots joined the growing din of panic that started to swell all around her. Sara’s head throbbed dully to the tune but was mercifully void of its previous dysfunction. The explosive decompression of her pent up emotional baggage continued to echo through her body as she stood poised for action at one of the clinic’s four way intersections. But her emotions -- shockingly -- were placated and back to their usual haze. The presence that Leena’s overt gesture of assistance brought out, sat quietly at the back of Sara’s mind, pushing down on her head like a bag that was gradually filling with sand; quiet and brooding but swelling with each passing moment.

 

Sara’s amber gaze surveyed the chaos that pulsed outward from the center of her feet with grim indifference. The orderlies that were discarded on the floor didn’t stir from their unconsciousness and deciphering the sensory bouquet that surrounded her, she realized that the disastrous outward expression of her internal chaos was starting to have other effects. 

 

Amid the disjointedness that followed her ‘tantrum,’ Sara’s ears caught the sound of shoes shuffling against steel coming from somewhere close. Sara gripped the synthetic black handles of her slug throwers with instinctual ease and dexterously flipped them to point directly at the unknown figure scuffing its way down the hall. It stopped about a foot away and almost directly at the end of the barrels of Sara’s long-barreled handguns. Sara was trained enough not to let her impulses guide her trigger fingers; even though dark whispers played a discordant kloo horn in her mind. 

 

It was a large green humanoid; hard to tell if it was Nemoidian or Duros in the low red light of the Clinic’s emergency lighting. But that wasn’t surprising. She could vaguely remember seeing a Nemoidion or some kriff earlier when she was pushed away with a mysterious droid. What was odd was the precise distance the man placed between them. He wore a blindfold, yet his face was pointed directly at hers. He held no cane nor any exterior guides to give the illusion that he relied on any other form of prosthetic. It was odd. She recalled rumors of a race of blindfolded people that could see through the force. And though this wasn’t what the rumors mentioned -- seeing as how this man was green and stood a foot taller than her -- she was surprised at the amount of awareness that an apparent blind man had in such a dire situation. And if her hackles weren’t already on high alert, she might have given him the benefit of the doubt. But this was a different story.

 

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

 

“You know I’m here. If you didn’t, you would have barreled right on past me or started to grab at things to get your bearings. As far as everyone in the vicinity, no. No one is currently ‘alright,’ as you so quaintly put it.” Sara hissed through half-gritted teeth, maintaining her lethal posture.

 

Before the man could respond, a series of rapid-fire events took place like a revolving door of crazy. Leena came barreling through the halls like a clumsy tornado carrying the worry of all who lamented in the clinic with her. She seemed to sense Sara’s pain and wanted to help. And though Sara considered the prospect for a moment, the dangers of losing herself in euphoria only to tumble straight back into this pained existence would do a great deal more harm than good. So she waved off the guppy’s attempts at soothing her, recoiled when Leena pushed her at the blind man, and watched as the guppy scuttled away only mildly processing the warning she gave before she scurried off again. Then, just as she came by and exited, a large Cathar bustled in behind her and echoed her warnings.

 

In the midst of all the comings and goings, Scorpion’s nose tingled. A hissing noise filtered through the corridor and rose quickly to the top of her priorities. It was almost sweet. The smell tickled the cilia of Sara’s nose. It wasn’t immediately familiar, but it was leaking from housing units in the walls that were attached to respirators. Hissing, sparking, and a stampede of bod-

 

“Everyone. Please follow the red looking lady to the nearest exit immediately! No one tramples her or you will never make it out and you all will die! Orderly fashion and respectful distance and she will protect you and lead you to safety!”

 

Oh you kriffing moron... 

 

Sara, uncomfortably familiar with how close she was to the Nemoidian, distanced herself from him as hundreds of sick fish started to flail uncontrollably toward where they thought the exits were. They were galvanized by fear. And it was odd that she wasn’t doubled over in pain. Maybe the overwhelming number had pushed her so far past sensation that she was oddly numb. Anyway; muse later, escape from the doomed building now.

 

Sara raised her gun in the air and released a shot into the solid durasteel ceiling making a horrible concussive sound that echoed through the hall. For a small moment, there was no sound save the hissing of gas. The Mon Cal stopped moving and looked at her almost more afraid of the gun than the tragedy that waited for them. 

 

“The exits are there!” Sara said, pointing at the north and east ends of the clinic. “This hospital is going to explode. Get out while you can.” 

 

The hoards of people rushed for the front and east doors like a swarm, fighting each other for leverage over their neighbor. But Sara didn’t move; not right away anyway. First, she let the hoard rush for the exits while she walked over to an empty gurney. Second, she tested the gurney for durability and wheeled it slightly. Third, she grabbed three moderately sized surgical steel trays and strapped one to her right arm and one to her left arm using medical tape and straps. Last, she positioned herself in front of the series of doors to the back loading dock. It was kind of a slap job, but it would do what she wanted.

 

With a couple of shots, the doors to the back loading dock were locked open just in time for the raging inferno to rush through the halls, pushing anything and everything forward. To give a small incentive, Sara left a present a few meters behind her and used the bed straps to hold on for dear life. With a huge grin that she didn’t deserve, she hunkered down and braced the bedpans, letting the wildfire and the concussive boost shoot her through the hall and out the back of the clinic. The wild gurney plowed through meandering hospital staff and unlucky patients that didn’t quite get that whole ‘the hospital is going to explode memo’ but the bed hurtled forward with ferocious speed. It was almost impossible to maintain the bed’s maneuverability, but with what little she could, she controlled the direction with a shift in weight and let physics do the rest. The bedpans got extremely hot. Her face started to burn up. She knew she’d need a new coat after this. But the smile never left her face. It was all worth it to ride a hospital gurney out into the streets of Dac with fire and explosives at her tail. 

 

The gurney, ragged and ruined, squeaked itself to the middle of the loading dock, narrowly avoiding a large vehicle and small vehicle parked side by side.

 

Whoof! That was a thing.

 

Sara plopped to the ground and rolled around, beating the flames out of her mohawk and trying to roll the fire out of her coat.

 

Worth it!

 

She started to strip the bed pans off her body and take stock of her remaining equipment. As she did, she glanced toward the clinic with adrenaline filled eyes. It wasn’t really the appropriate context to greet a burning hospital. But nothing could be done. It was slag and that meant that hundreds of sick people weren't going to make it. Nothing doing. I hope those guppies listened.

 

Sparing one last look at the burning building, Sara eyed the hospital’s courier speeder. 

 

_________________________________

 

I don’t owe these people anything

I don’t owe these people anything

I don’t owe these people anything

 

Sara murmured the mantra under her breath as she positioned the hospital’s courier speeder closer to the starport. She could see the Luridae from where she sat, but a big sign made her stomach sink. 

 

!!!NO SHIPS LEAVE DURING QUARANTINE. THOROUGH SCANS WILL BE ISSUED AND WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO BLOW YOU OUT OF THE SKY!!!

 

Now what am I going to do?

 

Kriff. This was just supposed to be a simple job. Why did things have to be so complicated?

 

Sara activated her comm device. She tried - in vain - to get a bead on where Leena had gone, considering she was the only one Sara really ‘knew’ on this planet. But when she was tuning the frequency, she caught an interesting signal. Refining it, it was clear that Sara’s methods were not as hidden by the panic as she thought. 


>>// Looking for a red skinned humanoid female recorded on clinic surveillance just before the explosion. She stole valuable clinic property and is to be arrested for theft.//<<

 

Welp. Looks like it's time to get scarce.

 

There were no sirens yet, which was a good sign. But Sara wasn’t about to stick around. According to the med techs she overheard an hour or two ago there was a warehouse district nearby. It was used for all kinds of storage. People wouldn’t look for a stolen medical vehicle there… would they?

 

She didn’t stall long enough to debate. She sparked the ignition once more and throttled the speeder, veering off toward the warehouse district to ditch the evidence and hopefully find a way to get out of this mess. 

 

_______________________________


 

When she got to the warehouse district, she could see where a lot of the desperate patients had gone. They ran in droves toward empty warehouses or medical warehouses potentially in a misguided attempt to hoard medical supplies. Sara didn’t pay them any mind. She idled the speeder alongside a crowd, parked it parallel to another building and hopped out. Then, despite her better judgement, she blended with a crowd of refugees as they filtered into the warehouse district.

Edited by Scorpion

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"I understand your concern Nia." Mjan spoke in a gentle tone, his golden eyes portraying his own inner struggle to rip off his fake persona and aid however he could. But he shifted his eyes downward, Rose calming down as she saw the itch of her subordinate to be who he truly was. Before Mjan could finish, Rose stepped up and spoke for him. "He understands Nia. As a Jedi, he wants to help. But times are different, and this is war, the ugly truth of it. If he reveals himself, or you, then our mission to Bakura, our purpose in this war, is compromised. And it's an ugly truth we all have to carry."

 

Before anything else could he said, an explosion down the way could be felt, causing Mjan and Rose to quickly arm themselves and gain a better sight of what it was that just took place. Rose, naturally, grabbed her blaster rifle and headed upward, her small and limber twilek frame quickly climbing the scaffolding of the warehouse they were quarantined within as she searched for a vantage point to not only see but defend if need be. Mjan on the other hand, grabbed Nia and quickly placed her behind him as he shifted his form beside the window he was gazing from. But all he could see were the smoldering flames a few blocks down as citizens and emergency crews began to react.

 

Raking his hand up to remove the flex mask that hid his appearence, he was about to remove it and go to aid when Rose spoke down from her perch. "The locals can handle it Lieutenant. Going out there will only expose you, as well as us, to whatever they quarantined us for to begin with. Ride it out soldier." Despite the disgruntled look upon his face, he did as ordered, walking away from the window as Rose grew comfortable in her view. Turning to Nia, the look of anger upon his face slowly fell away. He wasn't worried about himself, but Nia was his Padawan, his responsibility. He could not place her in harm's way, especially with an unknown pathagen on the loose. If he compromised her, he would not forgive himself.

 

"Look alive people. We got looters and infected plaguing the streets." Rose suddenly shouted from her perch. Before Nia could even respond, Mjan grabbed the young girl by her outfit and slung her up into Rose's arms as his amber blades sprung to life with a peaceful hum. "Watch her. I've got the ground covered." Mjan replied knowing that Rose had Nia at a reasonably safe distance should any dare to invade. He could feel the chaos, the darkness swelling around them as fear, doubt, and anarchy ram amuck through the city. And it was high time he started acting like a Jedi rather than a soldier and do the job he was tasked for, protect his Padawan at all costs.

 

As soon as the doors swung open, Mjan headed in the group's arrival, twirling the amber blades out of reflex as he prepared himself for what laid ahead. Stepping out of the shadows before them, he gave fair warning. "This warehouse is under strict quarantine. Remove yourselves or force my hand."


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Sheog the Mad said:
oof Sheog

Is actually a tribe of autistic ewoks in a costume

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Nia shook he head at Rose's words, an emotion playing on her face and in her mind she couldn't place. How could they sit here, able to help, and not? Nobody knew where they'd came from- not unless Rose had started sharing those details with strangers. And now they were letting people suffer en mass on the slight chance that their objective would be compromised? It bothered her in ways she didn't know she could be bothered. She stood, and was about to protest, to go and help anyone she could, when an explosion rocked the warehouse. The glow of fire reflected off of her black pupils, dancing in the dim light of the warehouse. She froze, watching in horror. How many dead from that explosion? How many more to follow in the aftermath.

 

Her heart fell. All she wanted to do, with every fiber of her being, was to help them, and she couldn't. The mission demanded it. When Mjan grabbed her, she gasped, her discomfort pulling her out of her mind as she was pushed behind him. At the very least, she was relieved to see her master prepare to go aid them. at least until Rose ordered him to stand down.

 

That relief was quickly quashed by what happened next.

 

Rose called out the incoming refugees, and she was thrown like a ragdoll higher into the scaffolding. And then, before she could say anything, he'd drawn his weapons, threatening the frightened people. She jumped down- her own safety was barely considered. She reached out, grabbing his closest wrist.

 

"Mjan, they're refugees. They need our help, not more threats. Put your weapons away. Please. Whatever our mission was, this is what we need to do now. Do not start down a path we'll all regret in the name of more war."

 

She stepped back, moving between her master and the crowd.

"This isn't right. You know that."

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Posted (edited)

Nok moved with the panicked crowd through the halls of the clinic, their alarm illuminating the way clearer than he could have seen with his eyes. But he felt clear headed, sharp, even strong. The fear...fed him. No, not fed. It galvanized him, pushed him, purged him. He’d been around fear before, and he’d channeled his own terror early on, but this was the first time he could remember being so close to so many soaked in blind, animal dread without being scared himself. The panic-charged emotions of the crowd, half convinced they were about to die, flowed through him and emptied him out, yet paradoxically surged into him and swelled him with crackling, boiling life. He could feel their fear like it was his own, but it was outside him and sharpening him instead clouding his mind, the difference between the hot blood in his veins and a cool drink of water on his tongue. The closest comparison he could make was to the first time he’d tried glitterstim, but without the heady loss of perception. It made him into his best self, focused and alive.

 

Nok breathed in the clear air as he got outside and the crowd dispersed around him. No withdrawal, no manic desire for more. A drug without drawbacks. He smiled. If there was some cosmic intelligence guiding the workings of the universe, then it clearly favored people like Nok to give him such a gift.

 

The clinic exploded, sending Nok crashing to the ground.

 

Kriffing idiot. Feel smug a safe distance away from the exploding building.

 

He got up and brushed at his ruined robes, but his mood refused to dampen. He could have sworn he’d sensed...something coming out of the clinic during the explosion. Which was strange, since without some kind of negative emotion from someone nearby he shouldn’t have been able to sense something moving so fast while he was distracted by...well, an exploding clinic. Unless the thing itself was…

 

...No, that can’t be…

 

It was. In the spreading ripples of the crowd’s panic, Nok could see the woman from before standing up from the ruins of a gurney before beating what must have been fire out of her coat. He kept his distance as she promptly stole a hospital courier speeder.

 

Kind of cold, considering I’m pretty sure you caused this, he thought as she sped off. I hope you’re not what I’m here for. You strike me as “difficult”. Though, I suppose I could have offered to let GH-7-X3 treat the burns…

 

GH-7-X3 was in the clinic.

 

A low, heavy pulse of negative emotion emanated from Nok, illuminating the wreckage and pavement in stark detail. Rage.

 

That...that droid was custom. Years of upgrades. Thousands and thousands of credits on its mind alone. Dozens of databases integrated. I rewrote the root commands myself!

 

His blood boiled as he realized the sheer amount of nerf fodder he’d have to wade through just to clean up this mess. He’d have to hire some outside agent at a premium just to comb through police evidence on the off-chance they recovered that hunk of scrap’s data drive! Jin was on record entering the place before it blew, so Meer Medical was on its way down even if they couldn’t link anything to him! And that wasn’t even getting into the mountain of credits and the months of work it would take to replace that stupid, useless thing! All because some untrained, unhinged, unstable thrill junky couldn’t keep her feelings from exploding a building!?

 

Nok should have calmed down. He should have fought to keep himself under control and rational. But he didn’t. This anger felt good. Anger had been the first emotion he’d learned to properly wield in focusing the Force, and even if it wasn’t his strongest it still felt powerful, red, and raw. There was no way Nok was kriffing leaving without what he came for. This...offering, whatever that kriffing meant!

 

Fine. Even if you're not what I’m looking for, you’re the only thing that’s even come close. And considering you nearly blew me up, I think I’ll…

 

Nok stopped that train of thought, and took a deep breath, suppressing the anger. As hollow as it made him feel, the calm, little voice in the back of his mind had finally broken through. That attitude wasn’t going to get him anything but shanked or shot in an alley. He had to be calm, rational, and controlled. Revenge was like gambling. You were a sucker to play unless you could afford to lose.

 

Remember that first lesson. She’s untrained. Find her presence in the Force.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Nok walked into the warehouse, keeping his irritation at a slow-burn to let him see. There were a few others aside from the woman, and a...combat droid?

Edited by Nok Morliss

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Sara’s approach was meant to be subtle; mixed with a small army of various refugees, she was going to slip in unnoticed and wait out the local's response to her speeder-theft. There was even a small part of her that hoped they would eventually give up the search. But a good portion of the herd she was following came to an abrupt stop near the big loading door at the front of the warehouse. She couldn’t tell why from first glance due to said refugees piling in front of the warehouse door. Part of her even contemplated trying another warehouse. But when she ambled through a portion of the amassed flesh before her, she saw an individual carrying an exotic light-saber-staff-thing? 

 

He seemed to be blocking entry. She couldn’t tell whether or not he was a Mon Cal, especially from this distance. But in that flight suit he was clearly not with the planetary authorities. If said authorities came by they’d be more distracted by the saber wielder than anyone hiding in any back corners. And considering the impending consequences of her hasty actions, she wasn’t about to wait for the hammer to fall. Sara plowed her way to the front of the pack, using elbows and forearms to bar everyone from coming into direct contact with her and then waltzed through a side passage with only a rude finger-based gesture to mark her passing. She even noticed the gunner in the scaffolding; not by her body, but by the tension she felt.

 

While navigating her way to the back portion of the warehouse, she loosely picked up the confrontation between a small feminine sounding person and what she presumed to be the man from before. She couldn’t tell, nor did she care. Sara was prepared for retaliation. But she was honestly not in the mood and didn't have the strength right now to deal with it. If they were going to shoot her then they were going to shoot her. There wasn’t anything she could really do about it. 

 

At least it’d make my migraine go away. 

 

_____________________________________________

 

Sara watched through a half-lidded gaze as others came into the warehouse, evidently making it past the justifiably yet insufferably suspicious flight suit guy from before. She thought she could see a few recognizable characters, yet did not get up to greet them. The less she interacted with strangers, the better it would be to get out of here and back to space. She was getting kind of itchy not being at the yoke of the Luridae.

 

When she could feel her last eyelid close and her mind start to numb, a large lump of metal came up to bleat at her and some other figure next to her, abruptly demanding that they both follow him. Sara grunted at him non-committally in her dubious haze of fatigue. She had half a mind to reach into her coat and palm her slug-thrower in a very physical 'shove-off' gesture, though subsequently decided against it. Best not to make a scene Sara; no more than you already have anyway. Forced to acknowledge the real world, Sara cleared the groggy creases in her eyes. She finally saw Leena -- who was making her way with purpose toward the front door -- at the other end of the warehouse and realized that the ‘other figure’ receiving demands from the droid was the Nemoidian from the hospital. Small world, eh?

 

The Nemoidian got up almost immediately to follow the droid, but Sara was focused more on the little guppy. She rolled to a standing position and walked through shambling bodies to get as close to Leena as she could. When Leena's hand reached out and a teal blade emerged, Sara took a few pointed steps back toward the edge of the refugees to get to a safe distance. From here, Sara could see the man from before and what may have been the owner of that feminine voice arguing. And it seemed like Leena was helping; or trying to.

 

From the edge of the crowd, her back against the durasteel walls, she looked toward Leena, “Hey guppy, you hanging in there?” Sara asked, something akin to concern or worry hidden in the clear exhaustion of her facial expression.

Edited by Scorpion

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It did not take long for a command post to be set up. The next thing was quarantining off the entire sector, which included the warehouse district off the main offworld port of entry. The grizzled Quarren Police Commander now running the scene thanked his lucky stars that did not include the port. It made his job infinitely easier; and the assistance of port security in dealing with the scene was appreciated too.

 

Given that that city was already on lockdown, barricading roads and herding survivors, and lookie-loos into available buildings was not as hard as it could have been. The totalitarian no-nonsense jack-booted enforcers clad in the best combination of personal protective equipment and body armor instilled fear and a sense of control in the local populace.

 

 “KARKING DRUK!!!” The tired commander swore loudly as he slammed the datapad a tech had just handed him on the workstation in front of him. “And do we have any evidence of that soldier?” He snarled, his tentacles bouncing angrily.

 

The young tech, took a step back, knowing full well the power the man before him had at his command and rumors of his draconian responses to disorder. “There is video from inside and outside the clinic sir, at least before the cameras got vaporized; and if you swipe to your left you will see reports from the Port Authority regarding their arrival. Apparently it was their ship that got shot down earlier today.” He responded, gesturing to the datapad.

 

The commander expertly flicked his fingers across the pad transferring the screens displayed there to the multiple screens lining the walls of the mobile command center that now served ad e center for the makeshift treatment and search and rescue operation already well underway. The silent security footage played across the screens. It showed the inner hallways, offices, and waiting room inside the clinic and the loading dock and multiple street views outside.

 

“There!” Another officer in the bus pointed to a screen. “Thats the droid we’re looking for! And see,” he pointed to another screen from the port “It is with the Jedi who were supposed to be bringing relief supply and aid.”

 

“and there is that red skinned bounty-hunter Jedi stealing an ambulance after the explosion.”

 

“Does anyone know where they went to?” The commander growled, rubbing his temples. This day just kept getting worse. The Jedi were supposed to be bringing aid and comfort to their people. The ruling council should have known, offworlders only brought trouble.

 

“Yes sir. Watch.” Another tech reached over and with a few deft keystrokes called up the video of the streets in the warehouse sector and video inside Warehouse 13. “They seem to be rendezvousing in the offworld quarters.” 

 

“MORE Jedi? Where are they karking coming from?”  He snarled, his headache only increasing in intensity as he watched Mjan activate his sabers on the screen. Didn’t he have enough going on without an incursion and a potential international incident. His people already needed saving from one stain on the galaxy. “What ancient spirit did we awaken to cause all of this?!” 

 

“Sir, uhmm, do you think we should enact The Final Protocol? I mean, not everywhere but, well,” he stammered pointing a boney Quarren finger at the screens showing Mjan, Nia, Leena, Xar, and Sara all in the same warehouse. “We can make it look like another accident. No sense pointing fingers at the Jedi just yet, publicly.”

 

The commander leaned forward, massaging his temples as he stared up at the screens of the warehouse. Only a few Quarren had made it inside from the clinic debacle. Most of the packed warehouse was filled with a myriad of spacers, tourists, and travelers from across the galaxy. Nobody really important. The rich enough had taken it upon themselves to quarantine in the hotels and motels elsewhere in the city; those who had not escaped when the lockdown was being put into effect.

 

Blinking his eyes slowly, the commander weighed the possible positive and negative outcomes. Truth be told, he had read the memo that indicated that latest research seemed to indicate the plague ravaging his people and his city stemmed from an offworld source. Maybe they deserved to be punished. Nobody knew how to show respect for the locals anyways.

 

“Just do it.”  He sighed leaning his forehead forward to rest in his hands. “And make sure they use the implosion and not the explosion this time. We don’t need any more local casualties. I’ll brief the council. Someone start on our press release blaming the Jedi for this one too. Use the video. The sooner we get ahead of this the better. Don’t need any more kriffing Jedi mucking things up.”

 

The tense air in the mobile command unit fell silent for a moment, replaced by an eerie and uneasy calm just before it exploded in a furry of activity.  

 

_______________________

 

Across the city in a small, albeit state-of-the-art laboratory that rivaled even Kamino in it’s heyday several scientists buzzed with worried excitement. “If it doesn’t come from the jellyfish where did it come from?” One queried worriedly.

 

“I don’t know, but the sequencing seems to indicate that it is mutating at an alarming rate from when the first miners were diagnosed 2 weeks ago. It seems to be infecting offworlders now as well. Some with startling results! Did anyone see the photos of that Duros and all the orange pustules in his throat? Haven’t seen that in any Quarren or Mon Cal.”

 

”Or that twi’lek couple with the headtail rot? Serves ‘em right for going outside the quarantine zone line a couple of wanna-be heroes in the dark below if you ask me. They probably brought the stuff here or something.”

 

”Except they only arrived a week ago...” the first tech chided his comrade. “It is strange though. It is almost like someone wanted this thing to mutate. Look.” He pulled up several slides of microscopically enhanced viruses. “It seems just too perfect. Like someone wanted to nuke us. And there is that little add on we can’t identify.”

 

”It just pisses me off!” A tech growled. “How come the poor miner folk and those living below the surface are getting infected faster. Don’t see the council rushing to set up too many hospitals down there! But when it gets to the surface and threatens their bottom line...”  

 

________________

 

Meanwhile in the chaotic hangar/warehouse/ massive room, Leena suddenly found that the rather suspicious droid had taken off into the crowd. She didn’t have a lot of time to pay it heed though as a wave of fear rippled through the crowd accompanied by the nearby all too familiar hum of a lightsaber activating.

 

The girl was stressed as it was. This mission was not going according to plan. How she longed to be back in the sterile controlled medical ward of the temple treating all manner of interesting, odd, and deforming injuries that came through the door. This had to be as bad as the warzone the Empress was going to take her too. ‘At least there I’d have had an armed escort.’

 

Snatching her own deactivated hilt from her belt, Leena tried to shoulder her way through the crowd of varying species until she could see what was going on. ‘A Jedi? What was he doing? Didn’t he know these people were innocent?’

 

With a shove, Leena stumbled into the small clearing the fearful masses were trying to give the saber wielding spacer. Before she could do much more a Green-skinned Nia was confronting the Jedi. ‘Mjan...’ she had heard or read that name somewhere before. ‘A Jedi I hope. Still, better be on the safe side.’

 

Standing a few paces behind Nia, Leena settled into a standard defensive position, her saber held at her waist. The hiss of the blade activating and Bathing her salmon skin in it’s pale teal light was enough to draw an audible gasp from the crowd. “She is right, master Jedi. These people need our help. Taste the fear here. Put your weapon away so we can go back to helping right the wrongs here.” Leena hated the idea of confronting another Jedi, much less one probably who outranked her; but she knew the right thing to do and years in medical situations had taught her that swift action and willingness to confront a mistake head on were the best ways to save lives in peril. This was not an operating room, but the same still applied. The force washed around her in billowing waves, the smell of sea air emanating from nowhere as the Jedi Mon Cal settled herself in the midst of the maelstrom, a lighthouse of peace and surety in the chaos. 

 

Hearing Sara’s voice at the edge of the crowd behind her, Leena’s mouth creased into a slight smile. At least she wasn’t totally alone. If anyone could figure this out the Zeltron, the droid, and her ought to be able to. “Yeah. I think so. Just trying to avoid any more life loss.” She spoke over her shoulder, careful to not let down her guard or take her eyes off Mjan and Nia. “I am glad you made it out alive though!”  She expressed genuinely. “What happened? Terrorists? The Sith?”

 

 

——————

 

Out above the far reaching waves of the planet, a flight of bombers that had been patrolling the further waterways from the city diverted their course, turning their trajectory towards the city as new orders chimed in.

 

—————-

 

And deep within the bowels of the Chief ld dark ocean waters beneath the city something gargled and belched. Cracks and fissures began to appear in the latest vacant mine shaft and spurts of water began to stream down the dark tunnels accompanied by the hissed of Lethane gas as it escaped into the otherwise still moist black air.

 

Trickling downwards into the dark, the waters ran over and around everything in their path, exposing long forgotten crevices and caverns. This would have all gone unnoticed, mines and miners deemed nonessential for the continuing operation of the city during lockdown, locked and boarded up for the time being; however the trickling waters triggered something deep and dark and echoing through the waves of the force a wave of sickly cold laughter echoed forth inaudible to the ear but chilling and vengeful to those attuned to hear

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Ro glared at the figure in a flight suit that seemed intent on brandishing his weapon and making threats. What exactly he was or what his involvement in all this was remained a mystery to Ro, but it seemed that his companion had gotten in his way at any rate. 

 

Taking advantage of this momentary respite, the Cathar moved to approach the Mon Calamari Jedi but when he looked back she was gone. He was slowly losing his patience with this situation and the pain wasn’t doing his temper any favors.

 

Then out of the corner of his year, he saw it.

 

UN-CRINKING-BELIEVABLE.
 

Angrily removing his robe and tossing it’s dead weight aside, Ro pushed through the crowd.

 

“She is right, master Jedi. These people need our help. Taste the fear here. Put your weapon away so we can go back to helping right the wrongs here.”

 

More droning and juvenile posturing. He had it with these Jedi. Bullying his way through the people there like a bull in a china shop, Ro finally interrupted their “party” with reckless abandon. If this was going to be a lightsaber measuring contest, he liked his odds.

 

Igniting his lightsaber and moving between Leena and Mjan, the oversized Cathar growled.

 

“I don’t know what Jedi reject camp the lot of you morons came from, but we got bigger fish to fry right now! If you want a fight to see who is more regally stupid then let’s get that over with now. Because last I checked, they shot a Jedi vessel full of younglings out of the sky, have their droids joking about it on the way here, a hospital full of Jedi conveniently just blows up, and they are supposedly the ones who called us all here in the first place! Any of you nitwits ever heard of a T-R-A-P. Sorry. Let me spell it out for you. TRAP!”

 

Ro took a breath. That adrenaline felt good. At least the pain was good for something. He had wanted to make this a private conversation but the continued incompetence around him had forced his hand. He was nothing if not a survivor and he’d seen enough incompetence kill people to last him a lifetime. He still had no idea what plague they were actually supposed to be dealing with at this point but he’d just as well assume that was a farce, too. The sooner these naive children stopped bicker and realized their situation, the better.

 

It seemed that recent events had collected quite the band of questionable characters in one place and Ro wasn't planning on being caught with his pants down. Of course, the addition of more suspicious droids made him even more leery. They needed a plan and he could only hope that this Mon Calamari and Tote’ma-Staff were more rational than they were overly authoritative and semi-suicidal. It might have been a lot to ask from a Jedi, but at least the little Nautolan girl seemed at least decently reasonable. Perhaps their common sense was directly proportional to their lack in physical size.

___

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Sara was reticent to admit what might have happened. She wasn't sure. But what she thought happened directly implicated her or Leena as the source of this mess.; or at least the hospital exploding mess. As an empath, Sara could already feel the emotions of the world around her. But what Leena did unlocked another part of her that amplified her empathic abilities immeasurably and caused a massive feedback wave of energy. That was her working theory at least. But Sara couldn't say that. Yes she was wanted by the police, and yes this may not actually come down on Sara due to the whole thing being some freakishly and unfortunately timed accident. But something about Leena poked at her; the cheery-overly optimistic Mon Cal was now staring panic, anxiety, and trauma in the face; doing whatever she could to hold it together.  It was a feeling that Sara couldn't really describe. But she didn't want to throw all of that on her right now. 

 

A look of consternation flitted across the surface of Sara's face for a brief moment before a lumbering Cathar interjected and interposed himself between the Nautolan, the flight suit guy, and Leena. 

 

Too shocked to interject herself, Sara waited while the big kitty squawked, thinking about the security forces and how they might be reacting to her theft. Don't they have quarantining to worry about... Wait, didn't we all just break quarantine?

Edited by Scorpion

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Xar watched the individuals who had all come together begin to make the tension rise and fall and rise again. The person who had ordered people to leave was rude and then ignited some kind of weapon. The crowd around had jumped away briefly, but closed in to see and hear what was happening. A green skinned being tried to calm him down, but it looked more like a fight brewing. However, when the nurse that Xar had escorted began to speak, she seemed to have a calming effect on the crowd around them. 

 

Then the cat ignited his weapon. The crowd was back to a fearful stance. 

 

Xar couldn’t help but laugh out loud. 

 

“This is entertaining” Xar commented to the Nemodian nearby. “Is this the feeling you organics get when watching an illegal bot fight? Heh, we may have to pitch this to…”

 

Xar stopped himself before he finished his sentence. He almost gave away who he worked for. Something he did not want. 

 

Xar looked around and realized he wanted some more elbow space, and this crowd was beginning to get too close to touching his superior body. Not to mention, Xar felt ignored. And that was a crime itself. 

 

“This is terribly rude...” Xar began, pretending to speak to the neimoidian but really directed at everyone.  “All this tension and stupidity over nothing. Perhaps the cat is suffering from this plague. Or these Jedi,” Xar practically buzzed the name to emphasise his idea. “...are silent carriers in these cramped quarters. Is an increase in aggression and brain degradation part of the disease? Does anyone know? That Mon Cal's eyes do look abnormally red...” 

 

As Xar talked, the crowd began to back away from the group. The talking of how the group of people could be potentially infected had an effect. This, combined with the fact that weapons were drawn, was enough to make people either give some space or just disperse and care for their loved ones. 

 

“Better”  Xar spoke softly and then turned to the others. He made a few steps towards the feline. He was hyped up on himself and wanted to see if he could prove his supremacy further. Now was his chance to show these ingrates his superiority.

 

 “Now unless you lessers want to attract more authorities to this place, we suggest you put your weapons down. After all, you are probably already dying from the disease or will die from whatever trap you think is occurring you ferocious feline, and no sense in damaging those who can live through this quarantine.”

 

With this last sentence, Xar gestured towards himself, indicating he would survive this ordeal. Truth be told, he wasn’t sure what was going to happen. But he knew he didn’t want local authorities to arrive and dismantle him, and these Jedi were definitely going to attract trouble if they continued to act like a bunch of hyper-steroid trandoshans. 

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Nok had decided the best response to lightsabers was to keep quiet and out of the way.

 

Jedi. Wonderful. Trained, LARGE, Jedi.

 

Tempers were flaring, particularly from that Cathar. If this turned into a fight between the Cathar and the dual-wielding humanoid...


No, these are Jedi. They’ll calm down, and…

 

...notice the blind man without a seeing eye droid. Perfect.

 

No chance of faking this then. No one would buy that he’d run through the streets and found his way in here without help. Fine. Stay out of their drama for now, and find yourself some insurance.

 

Nok’s thoughts were interrupted as the droid, a RHTC-560 Hunter Trainer he realized, weighed in on the conversation. Nok quirked a smile when the droid called everyone “lesser”. One of those personalities then.

 

Unfortunately he was also standing near Nok when he started talking, and was pretending to be talking to him specifically.

 

Wonderful. So much for staying out of everyone’s attention.

 

“I have to agree with the droid here. We need to calm down if we’re going to make it out of this. I don’t think anyone here wants a fight with the local law enforcement, especially when everyone is already scared from this pandemic.”


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Nia couldn't believe this. Three Jedi, and the war droid and the stranger seemed to have a better grasp on the situation. She looked at all the drawn weapons, the tempers flared, the threats issued. 

 

"Enough! All of you!" she shouted. In all her years, she'd never once shouted. She'd always been quiet. Always timid. But here, in the middle of chaos, she found her voice.

 

"Mjan, Rose. For all your talks about fighting this war to defend the innocent, to defeat the menace of the Sith, you jumped so quickly to threaten them for your own protection. That is not what a Jedi is."

 

She wheeled around to the second lightsaber-wielding Jedi (@Leena Kil), no more impressed.

 

"You jump so quickly to your weapon, and though you do so to protect the innocents, you threaten an ally in the same manner that you are trying to dissuade him from doing it. You are a hypocrite."

 

Next was the Cathar shouting of conspiracy and betrayal, oblivious to the countless innocent lives that had also been taken. (@Durose Roshan)

 

"You are no better! You think this is a trap, and yet you draw your weapon and try to goad us to a fight! What good would that accomplish? We'd simply have even more dead Jedi. Not to mention the scores that still need our help, trap or no!"

 

She spun around, addressing them all.

 

"You're disappointments to the Order that my father gave his life to serve, bickering and spreading fear like the Sith of old, and if you insist on following this path to its end then I will have no part of it. You can find me out there, with the sick and the injured, doing what a Jedi should be doing, rather than spend your time acting like criminals and terrorists. You should all be ashamed."

 

She spun towards the crowd, and subsequently, the exit. There were injured people out there, and sick ones too. She would help them, even if the others wouldn't. She pushed through the crowd, and towards the exit. She had a sinking realization she may have just left the Jedi Order, but right then, she didn't care. All she cared about was helping those that needed it.

Edited by Nia Doarr
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Fear... it was a festering rash that was capable of spreading like wildfire given the right environment. Mjan stood at the beach head, his blade ignited and positioned to deter the infected and would be looters back to the chaos from which they had came, an empty threat meant to persuade. As bad as he felt standing there, preventing aid and harbor, he had to restore order. It was his job whether Nia understood it or not. He knew deep down that there were times that the best way to truly help someone was by protecting them from themselves.

 

And yet, his Padawan was the first to stand against him, her words echoing of naivety and wishful thinking, one of the very things he had been trying to spell out for her. And yet, her gaze of disappointment, his own heart torn in two by his own persuasion, he gazed in return with his own look of sorrow. If his words could not reach her, then perhaps reality would. Before he could stand down, his weight shifting to do so, yet a familiar call bringing his defense back into the equation.

 

His gaze first shifted toward the Mon Calamari Jedi Healer he recognized right away by the white shade of her chosen profession, her words lost upon his already chosen decision to stand down. Yet it was the brute Cathar that came pressing in that truly spread his patience thin. You think I want to prevent entrance? You think I want to..." His gaze shifted from Leena toward Ro. "Get into a lightsaber measuring contest? No. I am a Jedi." His hand reached up, pulling the flex mask from upon his humanoid face to reveal the Sithly Red Skin and Tendrils of the Kissai that hung below for those well versed in his description. "And it's my job to maintain Order in Chaos whether I agree with it or not."

 

His gaze shifted to Nia just as she reached her own boiling point, her words cutting deeper than any he had felt before and as his golden eyes swelled with tears, his anger erupted in a burst of anguish. "You know nothing Padawan!" He barked back, the pain in his chest echoing an emptiness he hadn't felt in a very long time, her words tearing at it like a blade. "But I'll let you learn the truth your way." His words and following actions of deactivating his blade and sealing the cylinders upon each end fell upon distancing ears as he watched her depart. Rose, having climbed down from the rafters went to touch Mjan's shoulder knowing full well his own history, only found his gaze shifting toward her in tear filled disgust, mainly with himself.

 

Slamming the end of his makeshift walking stave down, he too went to walk off in the opposite direction. But before he departed back into the opposing side of the warehouse, he left a mumble of words that only Rose and those within earshot could of heard. "Quarantine be damned."


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Sheog the Mad said:
oof Sheog

Is actually a tribe of autistic ewoks in a costume

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As the three "Jedi" stood facing each other in a silent stand-off, the tension was palpable. A RHTC-560 Hunter Trainer was trying to talk them down. It clearly couldn't be trusted. It made Ro even more suspicious as to which of these "Jedi" had the droid on their "payroll." And then the blindfolded alien spoke. There was a common theme. 

 

Why do they keep talking about more authorities. Why would authorities detour to a random warehouse when there is a exploded hospital to deal with? Unless the Mon Calamari "Jedi" and her team of hitmen are behind the explosion in the first place!

He would be a fool to trust anyone here. But it was still wise to keep his enemies close until he knew who was the biggest threat. It would not be surprising if the Jedi had been infiltrated by the Sith for all he knew or cared. The alien behind the mask looked more like a monster when he removed it. Perhaps that's why he thought maintaining order was threatening people he had no jurisdiction over. But the man was right. This wasn't a lightsaber measuring contest. This was a battle of Jedi hubris. 

"You are no better! You think this is a trap, and yet you draw your weapon and try to goad us to a fight! What good would that accomplish? We'd simply have even more dead Jedi. Not to mention the scores that still need our help, trap or no!"

Ro's thoughts were momentarily detoured by the little Nautolan. She made him smile as he postured a bit more defensively. She was the only genuine person he'd ran across yet. Allowing the red skinned Mr. Tote'ma-Staff to finish with his temper tantrum, Ro began to back away in the direction of the Nautolan Jedi. She seemed like the only trustworthy person here. There were "Jedi" running around covertly like Sith and hiding their friends in the rafters, Jedi blowing up hospitals to make themselves look heroic, Jedi waving around their weapons like this was the Clone Wars. Only he and this small alien female had the balls to stand up to them and think about the refugees all around them.

Ro continued to back away towards the Nautolan (@Nia Doarr). He spoke over his shoulder, keeping his lightsaber raised in case the Mon Cal (@Leena) or Mr. Tote'um (@Mjan) decided to send in their goons.

"Little Jedi, you will have to excuse me as we do not have a proper introduction. But you are wrong. The good it accomplished was protecting you if necessary. We are surrounded by evil. And the Jedi have long fallen from their ways of protecting people. I saw it first hand on Chandrilla. They... we... left thousands upon thousands to fend for themselves and die after we repelled the initial Mandalorian assault. Coruscant was little different."

Ro cringed as it hurt his soul to say "we". That was one lie he was proud was not actually true. He was not the one who sentenced countless refugees to death. But in a way, he was still party to their sins by his own inaction. He was helpless to save them just like he was helpless to save Rose. The Jedi had left him fighting a losing battle and he had suffered greatly because of it.

"I know you want to save people, but we are not safe here. We need to leave and make a plan and reassess who we can trust. And away from a place where more lives are put directly in the line of fire by Jedi hubris or arrogance. We have to think big picture now..."

Having backed far enough a way from the confrontation and towards the girl, Ro turned off his blue bladed lightsaber and offered it to the Nautolan. It was dangerous turning take his eyes off of the enemies at his gates but it was a risk he'd have to take. 

 

Looking her dead in the eyes, there was tiredness in his expression, "If you don't trust me, take my lightsaber. But they, whoever they is, shot my younglings out of the sky even though I was the only one who set foot on the planet. We are no safe here. And the sooner you realize I'm trying to save the actual Jedi worth saving, the better. I could careless if the violent and unworthy want to cull themselves from our ranks."

____

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Edited by Durose Roshan

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Sara was kind of at a loss for what to do at this point. She wasn’t a Jedi (but she could feel something spiritual and whatever that was, she’d get to it later) she wasn’t a peacekeeper, and she wasn’t in any position to force or pose a moral high ground here, considering everything else that was going on. Sara knew very little about the people around her and could only gather that everyone was reaching very real -- and potentially meaningful -- psychological milestones in this conversation. It might be sentimental to her if she felt invested in anyone’s story other than Leena or her own. But as it was, despite her racially involuntary emotional involvement, the tense back-and-forth drew Sara’s attention to literally anything and everything else in the warehouse. Which, unfortunately, illuminated a series of extremely unfortunate devices that she did NOT catch when she first came in. 

 

The Zeltron, still feeling the tug of fatigue drawing at her adrenaline deprived muscles, shifted her gaze to fill the warehouse and took stock of the refugees; most of them were not native Mon Cal or Quarren. She hazily sifted through her memories of the last few hours and a small feeling of panic began to crawl knives from the base of her spine, bringing stress fueled energy back to the weary fibers of her muscles. 

 

She didn’t think it would accomplish much, but the Zeltron approached the group carefully with her arms open wide exposing no weapons and indicating no aggression. Though her motions and expression were laced with a small amount of suppressed anxiety. 

 

“He-e-y-y, I feel like we’ve gotten to a good point in this conversation, but I think the big kitty is talking a lot of sense. We really should leave now.” Sara softly chided, throwing a meaningful look at Leena and directing her face toward the cameras. “A majority of us just walked or ran away from a burning hospital. We’re all offworlders. And although some of us may have the best intentions, they are blowing children out of the sky for violating quarantine. Can we pretend that these Dac natives are working with a lot of sense right now? Probably not. And if you were -- hypothetically speaking -- a higher up official responsible for enforcing rules on this planet and you saw a warehouse filled with offworlders; some of whom may potentially be responsible for destroying said hospital. Would you act rationally? Or would you act… Let’s just sayy-y explosively? Fiery? Vaporiz-y? If that’s even a word?”

 

All the while Sara was saying this she too was edging toward the front of the warehouse and inadvertently joining Ro and Nia in their exit. 


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Leena sighed as the confrontation continued, only relaxing slightly as the others deactivated their blades. She was glad she had not had to use hers. In truth, she had only undergone the minimal amount of required saber training, choosing instead to focus her passions and mind on where the force had led her: healing. How could such a humanitarian mission go so off kilter so quickly? And what was that laughter she felt in her bones. It was as if a needle of darkness had pricked her and giggled.

 

Still, there was something about the Cathar. He did not feel right. He surely was not a Jedi, was he? Mjan? Most likely; and Leena knew if that wad the case she would surely pay for her actions. The Nautolan? Eeehhhh...maybe. If she was, she was not well versed in the Jedi arts. Still, Leena felt her frustrations and desire to help those all around them. Good Jedi feelings. Feelings Leena echoed in her own soul.

The dark Neinodian on the other hand, was the only one not wanting to kill anyone for the moment. In fact, was he unnerved by it all? As she suspected, he was nothing more than a force attuned thug of some sort. No sith to be worried about.

 

Everyone seemed paranoid, like they had something to hide. Even the Nautolan was dressed in rags, if she was an actual Jedi. Then Sara, the one person Leena actually had some sort of credit built with, even if she didn’t know anything else about her, spoke of getting while the getting was good.

 

Leena, held onto her blade, just about to deactivate it when the Cathar offered his hilt to the Nautolan. She froze. In that brief glimpse, it clicked. Along with the man’s words, she finally realized it. “Chandrilla,” she whispered under her breath, before shooting a glance towards Mjan with one eye, never removing the other from Ro.

 

“Do not take that blade little sister.” Leena spoke loudly and sternly across the expanse between them, gesturing the point of her saber towards the hilt about to be exchanged. “That was Master Vrink Dask’s blade! He went to Chandrilla to lend aid and never returned. He was reportedly killed in an ambush. He was one of the master healers who trained me! All he did was seek to help the less fortunate and was killed for his troubles!” Leena wanted to launch into a tirade as she felt anger and hatred towards Ro, for all she knew her master and friend’s killer, boiling up from deep within. The elder Mon Cal had been the only other Mon Cal healer within the Temple Healers and had taken a shining to the young Leena and her bubbling excitement for treating the injured bodies and souls under their charge. There was not time to reminisce, and as much as a deep part of her wanted revenge, she was a healer, not a murderer; despite what any of the other lunatics about them seemed to think. “That monster is a sand panther in bantha’s clothing. Should you go, he may kill you as well. Add another Jedi to his tally.”

 

Whirling around before anyone could respond, Leena shouldered her way past Sara, shooting a look at Mjan  that said ‘She is with you. Better rescue her before she does something you’ll regret’ and then Xar. “I trust a droid such as yourself would have no problems killing that, that killer cat if the need arose.”

 

”I am going to go and figure out what is kriffing going on here! Anyone whose intentions are pure are welcome to join me” She bellowed, shooting Sara a rage-filled glance silently begging her to come with her and get her out of there as she stomped off into the fearfully stunned crowd, deeper back towards the far corner of the warehouse and the small suite of offices there.

 

The anger she felt wracked her body and had she not spent nearly her entire life studying the ways of the Jedi, she would have undoubtedly leapt towards the cat and attempted to gut him where he stood. Leena had taken the death of Master Dask hard. It was his death that made her start keeping her lightsaber close at hand instead of in her quarters as she had been; she swore she would not allow anyone to desecrate and destroy those under her care. Right now, the whole city seemed to need that and Jedi, spies, impersonators, and droids be damned. She was going to do that. Alone if need be.

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In a fit of rage, Mjan slammed his forearms into a nearby table, slinging what parts and tools lingered upon with a sweep of his arms. He huffed with fuming anger, the scars of old ripped open by his Apprentice and her words. But more importantly, ripped open by her look of disappointment. It was a look he saw too many times. Not only from his Father when he left Krayiss II and the Sorcerer's of Tund to study under the Jedi in his search of the true Force. But from his own look in the mirror countless days during his pilgrimage to the Jedi Order and his first days as one. He was Tsis, Sith, and yet, he was now a Jedi. He knew better than anyone the potential to fall and the blindness to one's own darkness. Nia had never left her homeworld, never knew anything except the life she lived before. What could she know, what could she fathom, about what makes a Jedi?

 

He felt Rose's forehead between his shoulder blades as she attempted to calm the Lieutenant and with a expansive sigh, he turned to look at his Captain. "Forgive me Captain." He said as the peace within him returned. "Its time she learnt things on her own." Rose smiled and punched Mjan hard in the shoulder, causing the Sith Jedi to flinch even under her frail looking frame. "Perhaps. Or perhaps what she envisioned the Jedi to be isn't what the Jedi are. She is young, inexperienced, reclusive. Similar to the Jedi Knight I took under my wing at Dark Sun. But look at him now." 

 

Mjan chuckled, his gaze shifting toward the crowd as a new ruckus began, his gaze meeting that of the Mon Cal's almost instantly, almost intuitively. Moving Rose aside, he trekked the brief distance just to see her point a blade toward the hilt of another's, the larger Cathar's, with the her voice strongly accusing murder. His golden gaze widened, and in a brief moment his own temper attempted to return, but Rose was there to place her hand upon his shoulder and subside it. His gaze shifted from Leena to Ro, then to Nia as Leena finished her words and trekked off in the direction he had just came from, a deep sigh being breathed from him as she passed.

 

"Take the Blade if you wish Nia." Mjan spoke sincerely and calm, his face neutral in his reactions. "Whether or not the accusation of murder is true, perhaps it will bring you peace to hold another Jedi's weapon." And with that said, he smiled a saddening smile at her and turned to follow Leena, Rose staying in his place as she watched over Nia for him.

 

When he and Leena were a good bit away, he finally spoke to the Mon Cal, his voice serene and full of sincerity, the persona he wore earlier disappearing with the false face he had removed to reveal his true identity. "Forgive my actions earlier. I am Jedi Knight and Alliance Lieutenant Mjan Sadow iv-Adas.... and yes, of the Sith species as well, Jedi?"

Edited by MSA
Grammar errors & additional conversation

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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 watched as the others began to back down and put their weapons away. There was anger, annoyance and agitation. Not a good combination with a bunch of people who had weapons. Even the nurse, or jedi or whatever, that had helped escort him to this most likely plague infested warehouse was angry and made a comment to Xar that he should probably kill the large cat whom he believed he had helped calmed down.

 

And they were ignoring him. They, these lesser barely evolved beings, were ignoring Agent Xar. He wasn’t just some second-class citizen droid. He was the great Xar! 

 

“How dare you!” Xar growled loudly as the Jedi were walking towards the door. No, this would not do. He had to do something. He had to make these people see that he was their better. They should be asking for his help, not ignoring him! Xar's claws opened for a moment opened and began to hum with vibrations.

 

But what could he do? Lose his temper like some child? No. He wasn’t that angry. His chance would come to prove these...idiots of his superiority. After all, if he couldn’t shrug off a little  lapse of others' proper perceptual senses, what kind of superior would he be? He would just bide his time and when the moment came, he would prove his betterness. He didn't know how, but sometime he would. He would prove to everyone he was their better. 

 

Xar looked at the one being who actually commented something that he noticed Xar. The Nemodian. Xar studied the man for a bit. Clearly some kind of businessman, judging by the clothes and the smooth silky eye-covering. Very rich indeed. Those garments couldn’t have been cheap.

 

Xar remembered how he probably had a dismantle on sight order out for him. It would be impossible to travel publicly at the moment. While he could play up the angle that a Jedi hired him to do some random killing, but if this man was as rich as he looked, and if Xar could make himself invaluable enough to need Xar around, perhaps a dismantle on sight order could be wavered...

 

“Well, elegant one, at least one of you…” Xar stopped as he glanced towards the leaving Mon Cal nurse. “...two of you have the wisdom to recognize someone is superior in this room. You, blind one, should count yourself lucky, for you are in the presence of the great Agent Xar. And we…”

 

Xar nearly vomited the next words, or he would have if he was capable of vomiting.

 

“Would like to offer our help to you. We noticed that your lack of visual perception may have left you incapable of getting from place to place, and this dingy warehouse is no place for such beings like us”

 

Xar couldn’t believe he was doing this, but desperate times…

 

“Take advantage of the privilege of hiring our services and become our escort to better accommodations. Such services would allow you to walk safely from place to place after all.”   

 

Even with how Xar worded it, he couldn’t help but feel like he was hiring himself out like some common seeing eye droid. How revolting. 

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The droid’s offer threw Nok for a loop for a second. Not because of his sudden change in politeness, but because the suppressed vehemence of the machine wasn’t accompanied by the telltale pulse of negative emotion. If anyone living had tried that Nok would have been swimming in hatred and bile. Granted, it was a droid, but it still felt odd to hear it without feeling it.

 

Maybe I can overcome that dislike...or at least keep him on my side long enough to get me off this planet. No time to be stingy.

 

Nok kept his voice low, preferring not to shout out to the entire warehouse, though someone nearby would still be able to hear. His voice dropped into his friendliest, oiliest, most appeasing tone, the kind you use to tell the inspector what a magnificent job they're doing while you slip him a thousand creds. Act servile and let people's egos do the rest.

 

“I’ll pay you 15,000 in hard credits now to protect me. I’ll pay double that again once we’re safely off-planet, and I’ll pay you another 15,000 if I get out of here without serious injury.” Nok held up his hands. “Plus I work with some specialty droid manufacturers, so I can probably help you get replacement parts cheaper. And it goes without saying I’ll compensate you for on-the-job expenses and injuries.”

 

That's about all the hooks I've got at the moment. Best not to lay it on too thick. Just one more blatant appeal to his pride.

 

Nok shrugged as he pulled out the top of a small money purse that clicked with the distinct sound of cred sticks before tucking it back in. “Just a thought. I’m not good enough to get off this planet on my own, and I’m not against paying someone their worth for their help.” 


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Nia knew how she appeared- that she seemed naive and childish. She could tell that Mjan thought of her that way- likely that the rest of the people in the warehouse thought that way too. But she wasn't necessarily going to beat herself up over their negative opinions. If it was naive to aim for such a simple goal, to help people directly, then she didn't mind it. Still, it hurt that they were so clouded by fear that only one offered to help.

 

She didn't know the others, but from what she'd seen of Mjan, she was disappointed in him. Not as a Sith turned Jedi, she didn't think he was in danger of falling or anything like that. But he seemed so caught up in his crusade against the Sith that he didn't know how else to help the galaxy. And the more she saw of the other Jedi, the more she thought that it was a problem with the Order, not just the individuals. She grew up with tales of Jedi helping the weak, and protecting them against the tyrants and the Sith of the galaxy, but all she'd seen so far were Jedi more concerned with the Sith's destruction and the citizens' preservation.

 

When she was approached by Ro, she stopped for a moment, listening.

 

"What is there to trust people with? The only ones I'll be endangered by are those seeking to cause more chaos. You may help if you wish- Force knows this planet needs all the help it can get right now." She glanced at Mjan, his temper seemingly controlled now. "I find no comfort in holding weapons, Master Mjan."

 

She left the rest of the shouting behind- she registered the words. Accusations of murder, offered deals and shaky suggestions. But she'd spoken her peice.

 

When she exited the warehouse, there was still chaos. Dozens of injured and sick still fled the hospital. She was nearly overwhelmed with the flood of fear, both in the air and in the force. Still, she steadied herself. These people needed help. It would do her no good to give into the fear that had gripped all the others. She fought through the crowd, wincing with every brushed arm and bumped shoulder, looking for anyone who needed immediate aid. She was barely experienced with using the Force to heal, but something was better than nothing, she thought.


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Potential impending vindication aside, Sara realized the idiocy of her comment as the last word left her lips. Even if she was right and the military, the police, the peacekeepers, or whatever force that ruled over this world were coming down on them, what could she do? And how the heck was she going to convince a room full of stressed out people to leave if they were all more invested in their mutual existential and faith-based crises. They didn’t even know who she was. Sara paused, feeling the skin of her right palm slap against the still healing skin of her forehead and winced at the bloom of pain that greeted it. 

 

Worse, Sara had no dewbacks in this race. Some of the randos gathered here had been in wars across the galaxy; wars she’d heard of but hadn’t fought in. A couple of them acted superior in ways that reminded her of the Hutts who used to hold sway over Nar Shaddaa. She couldn’t relate to a single person here. And ironically, she could relate to that. It wasn't strange to have no one. For some people, that's the only reality they understand. 

 

She felt more than heard Leena’s anger build, watching pain consume the clear yellow pools of her salmon-skinned face; that buzzing optimist from the Luridae drifting miles away like a starship without life support. Like it or not, Sara was the only one she knew here and vice versa.

 

((Posted with Kail’s permission))

The Cathar heard the young Jedi's words. Putting his lightsaber back on his belt he decided to follow her and wade through the people in front of them. They would speak further once they were outside of all this chaos and no longer surrounded by enemies.

 

Sara groaned lightly under her breath as she trudged back into the warehouse. She cut the distance between her and the Cathar as he walked in the opposite direction. The big kitty from before was so focused on the fleeing Nautolan and the hemming in crowds of refugees around him that he didn’t look down to see the hilt that he strapped back on his belt had disappeared. Sara allowed herself a tiny smirk but was careful not to betray any other emotion before crossing to the office area where Leena had retreated. 

 

When she caught up with Leena, Sara carefully rested her right hand atop the young Mon Cal’s left shoulder. Sara could feel the warring emotions in Leena’s biochemistry playing tug of war in her mind, mingled with the tension from the others around her. It was a mess. All of this was a mess. Leena and Sara both expected a simple mission. But everything went to pot quickly. Not to mention, apparently there was some serious emotional baggage here. And Sara lacked almost all capability for words regarding sensitive situations like this. So, instead of just spouting words at her, Sara swung the little guppy around and embraced her. It was a simple gesture and one Sara wished she’d had when she was younger. She knew the power it had and thought, beyond words, it would help console the young fish with whatever was going on. 

 

“I can’t claim to know how much pain you’re feeling. And I don’t know much about master-student relationships. But if what you’re feeling is anything like losing a parent, then I think I can understand.” Sara said softly, her face resting only an inch or two away from Leena’s ears. She slipped Leena’s master’s saber hilt into her hand, careful that the blade part was pointed away from both of them. “But we can’t help anyone like this. I know you might not be able to trust me. And I don’t blame you. I’m hard to trust. But we can’t help anyone with anger. And separating like this is only going to make all of us more vulnerable. My fault, your fault, their fault; it doesn’t matter. What matters is what we do right now, together.” Sara continued. A few small salty streaks ran down Sara’s cheek as the Mon Cal’s anger pierced her right temple. From this proximity it was hard to ignore. But Sara didn’t care. Something about this moment felt right in a way she hadn’t felt in a long time. 

 

“Take all the time you need little guppy. I won’t abandon you, okay?” Sara said, continuing the embrace until Leena turned her away.

Edited by Scorpion
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The girl was impulsive and perhaps a little foolish, but her heart seemed to be in the right place. Ro smirked a little to himself as he headed to leave the warehouse.

 

This reminds me a little of myself... maybe even Rose if she was raised by parents who loved her and taught her what was right...

Calmly following Nia out of the warehouse, Ro stood there for a moment as she attempted to assist others in need. He allowed her to engage in a few moments of futility. She seemed to need the distraction. He wasn’t sure what the fallout was between her and her red friend was something that had been brewing for a while or was a sudden spark of emotions or if it was even truly him that she was mad at. All the same, it seemed like she could use a little space.

 

He respected that she cared. She was the only one attempting to de-escalate things when her companion had tried to start trouble. As far as the former Watcher knew, she wasn’t necessarily dressed like a traditional Jedi. Still, from how she had said Ro believed that she was, indeed, part of the Order and quite possibly the only one here acting like a Jedi should. Her ideals might have seemed naive but wasn't that the point. The Jedi were supposed to be symbols that people aspired to, even if those ideals were impossible to perfectly fulfill.

 

What's the point of being cynical "super heroes"? How would that make the world, any world, a better place?

 

Finally stepping in front of her, Ro finally opened his mouth to speak. He was no longer carrying himself as if he was unhurt. His body was slumped forward and his expression was one of weariness. The blood on the fur of his face and the smokey odor that swirled around him bared silent witness to the horrors he had endured in his short time on this planet. And he was confident those horrors were only the first of many if he did not choose his next steps and allies wisely.

 

“You are right, Jedi," he began with a sigh. "You want to help these people and that is the right idea. That is what Jedi are supposed to do. I would never condemn you for that. You might be angry at your companions. You might be angry at me. But you were in danger as far as I was concerned. If you want to lump me in with the others then so be it. This day has been weirder than most. But what I said stands.

 

Now outside, Ro points to the sky with one arm and holds his side with the other. Outstretching his arm forces him to wince a bit more than he expected.

 

"I just watched younglings get shot out of the sky. And then I lept from a two story building holding a woman and child in order to save them from an exploding hospital! Nothing about this planet has seemed right from the moment I arrived!”

 

Ro grimaced a little remembering the impact of his fall and still feeling the throbbing pain of his ribs. He let out another sigh as he lowers his arms, head, and eyes in an expression of near defeat.

 

“I don’t say this to brag. I know you want to help people, too, and maybe even be seen like I’m sure your father was," he began with his eyes staring down at the pavement.

But now raising them, the injured Cathar stared into Nia's globular black eyes as he continued, "But we can’t do any of those things if we are dead. And if we waste our efforts treating people and not the cause then more could die in spite of our best intentions.”

 


Stepping aside, Ro had said his piece. She was free to take it or leave it. Giving her a little space, he looked for a clear spot to sit down.

 

“You are your own person, Jedi. If you need to do whatever it is that you need to do... so be it. But when you are ready to try and do some real good to help the most people, I’ll be here,” Ro finished as he sat down on the ground to center himself a little and push the pain out of his mind once again.

 

___
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Leena fought back the tears that were threatening to cascade from her bulbous eyes. She honestly did not care if anyone followed her or not. This mission was supposed to be humanitarian and she had already been stranded in space, practically blown up, come to blows with another Jedi, and been confronted by a Jedi impersonator wielding the blade of one of the masters she had felt the closest to. That was not to mention the dull pulse of laughter she seemed to feel gnawing at the base of her neck as if the very air had been possessed by some dark side wraith. 

 

The offices were where Leena was stomping towards with a purpose. She did not know why, but it seemed as good a place as any. She was upset, the sight of Master Dask’s blade pulling forth a pit of emotion she had not even been aware she had bottled away. A part of her wanted to lash out, to kill the one who had killed her friend; but it was not the Jedi way and she knew it. So she kept the emotions contained, the Jedi mantra playing in her head as she whispered it to herself, choking back tears: “Emotion, yet Peace. Ignorance, yet Knowledge. Passion, yet Serenity. Chaos, yet Harmony. Death, yet . . . Death, yet . . .”  Her voice trailed off at the thought of her friend and master’s death. Before she could start again she had come to a stop in front of the locked office door and the other Jedi, Mjan, had caught up with her. Leena tried to pull herself up and contain her emotions, especially as he introduced himself as a Jedi Knight. She sniffled pathetically as she whispered back, “Padawan Leena Kil of the Circle of Jedi Healers. This was supposed to be my first real mission and it has all gone so . . . so wrong!”

 

Before the conversation could continue, Leena was swung around and embraced by her pilot comrade, Sara. The Zeltron’s words flowed over her, and even if Leena wasn’t hearing all the words, she felt the woman’s emotions radiating and embracing her, tears flowing freely from her eyes and down her face as Sara pushed the lightsaber into her hand.

 

It took several minutes for Leena to compose herself before she was able to push herself off of Sara with a whispered, “Thank you.”

 

Looking from Sara to Mjan she offered a weak smile as she tucked the second saber in her belt. “So . . . uhhhh . . . What now? How can we stop this chaos?”

 

__________________________
 

Back at The mobile police command several blocks away, notice was given to the ‘Jedi’ leaving the building. In truth, while the majority of police command and resources were being dedicated to securing the scene of the explosion and searching out survivors and treating the wounded. A small, select team, however, was monitoring the Jedi situation: officially having been designated as terrorists on police watchlists the offworld Jedi had several strikes against them. One of these was that research reports continued to show that the disease that was continually mutating and infecting, and killing, at a higher and higher rate, had originated from a source outside of Mon Calamari’s natural world. In fact, it appeared to be lab grown.

 

The team in the command center watched as Nia and Ro left the warehouse. If the building was imploded, they would be left unscathed. The big cat had been reported to be the possible source of the explosion. Witnesses reported him running through the flames, cackling as he swung his lightsaber at anyone trying to get away. Label: EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

 

Quietly, a team of specialized agents began to move in hidden amongst the chaotic crowd. On the rooftops above, several snipers easily found Nia and Ro in their sites. All they had to do was await the order.

 

___________________
 

Out over the vast oceanic expanse of the planet, the bombers’ engines whined as the aircraft raced towards the city, low and fast. It would be only minutes before they were able to fire on their target. Hitting the edge of the city, the pilots were then and only given the target: terrorists holed up in a warehouse that had blown up a nearby hospital. Reports indicated ground forces had the building surrounded. Implosion warheads were mandatory.

 

________________

 

Before any of this planned reestablishment-of-order-by-use-of-force could take place, the darkness below gurgled in evil excitement. Above the din of the chaos that drove the city to it’s knees, the conflicted force imbued chaos of our misfit party of mis-adventurers vibrated as clear as a harp string plucked in a silent orchestra pit. The presence in the pits of the planet would have smiled if it could have. The signature was recognizable and the ancient darkness in the inky blackness of the depths surged. The cracks and fissures splitting and spluttering in the isolation as the pressure of the darkness ate it’s way towards freedom. It’s call had been answered.

 

Gases billowed and fizzed as they whirled upwards towards freedom, the forward guard of the icy waters beginning to march steadily upwards.

 

Urged onwards and upwards, hastened by the force itself, the gasses raced on.

 

________________

 

In the warehouse, Leena’s query had little time to be answered. Just as the words left her mouth, the  tempestuous storm of vapors rushing upwards from the deepest depths found a place where shafts and worn vents interceded as one. From there, they surged upwards along being-made conduits, carrying the call of the dark presence, directed onwards towards the chaos that called above the din.

 

Sara, Mjan, and Leena had mere seconds before the vent grate below their feet blew upwards sending the three catapulting into the air and then back down towards the yawing hole of the floor’s vent. All around the warehouse the grates blew off, eliciting screams of fear and pain.

 

And above the din, throughout the cavernous warehouse a dark chilling disembodied voice spoke, “So you have heeded my signal, lord of darkness. Your sacrifices have just begun. Come to what you once deemed my place of eternal damnation that I may exact my revenge.” The voice seemed to center around Nok Morliss, not that anyone could tell, but it was focused on his dark presence, called to it by the chaos of the situation surrounding him.

 

The voice echoed on dark vibrations throughout the warehouse, but did not seem to go beyond; however the screams and cries for mercy as the refugees begged whatever supernatural deities they thought may have arrived did carry beyond the flimsy metallic walls of the yawning structure. Additionally, grates and manholes eithin a block radius, while a few seconds behind also burst with gaseous pressures, sending chunks of metal and duracrete into the air.

 

Far above, the sniper team watched in shock as they sent their rifle-cam recordings back to command, unsure of what was transpiring.

Edited by Leena Kil

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Nok felt the presence a split second before it exploded into the room. Or rather he “saw” it. Emanating from the vents, the Force twisted and writhed like a bug under a pin, only for the dark power to explode out an instant later, sending the vent grates flying in a rush of vapor.

 

All around him, something elusive slithered and spread through the air like tendrils, something that echoed with an audible voice.

 

On 4/13/2020 at 9:46 PM, Leena Kil said:

“So you have heeded my signal, lord of darkness. Your sacrifices have just begun. Come to what you once deemed my place of eternal damnation that I may exact my revenge.”

 

Well, that’s a fairly clear sign.

 

A small part of him preened at the title of “lord of darkness”. Flattery was one of Nok’s unfortunate weaknesses, but at least it was one he was usually aware of.

 

The entire warehouse was lit up with panic and terror, the equivalent of a sunny day on Cato Neimoidia for Nok. He was tempted to simply enjoy the new pleasure he found in the sensation, but the rational part of him was very aware that he was in a room filled with violent Jedi who'd just had a brush with the Dark Side. A fight here between him and them would barely qualify as a warm-up for these warriors, and Nok couldn’t go outside without getting shot or quarantined. Likely both.


He considered the nearest open vent.

 

It came from below...and it’s powerful. Powerful enough?

 

He stepped towards the grate.

 

Besides, that woman from the clinic is clearly siding with that Leena...who as it turns out is a Jedi as well, because why not? This blind man act was barely holding up before, and it’ll crumble the second she starts talking after that display. It’ll have to be enough, because my chances up here are getting slimmer.

 

He took another step towards the vent, but stopped in front of the droid.

 

“I’m leaving. Offer stands. If you think you can make it outside, then go ahead, but my offer just doubled,” he said as he pulled off two of his nova gem encrusted rings, “if you can get me to the source of that voice before getting me off planet.”


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