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Moose last won the day on May 6

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  1. Bloodshot, bleary eyes snapped open and locked on the comms notice in Jackson's helmet, and the tired pilot sighed. He had really, really been looking forward to getting some rest. Some unsteady steps were taken and a worn-out body slumped off of a medical table and halfway down to the floor, dropping into a weary crouch before ever so slowly rising back up to its sluggish feet. He moved like the dead, or the undead, as he trudged his way up the central corridor of his ship-proper and keyed in the code to access his cockpit; a mostly unnecessary precaution that he had taken, way back when he tried his hand at transporting people instead of scrap and other such cargo. The Transient Plunder sleepily groaned as its engine kicked into gear and the large thrusters mounted to its back and hidden on its sides all flared to life at once. It lurched off of its platform, after its pilot had been granted the A-okay for departure of course, before turning and following traffic up and away from the docks. It wasn't long after that he was waiting for his turn to land amongst a flock of friendly fighters, as everyone crowded their way into the Misericordia. By the time he disembarked the pilot of the old Wayfarer had refreshed himself with a copious shot of caffeine, to save himself the effort of stumbling on his way to wherever it was on board that he was bidden. Some distance away he spotted some familiar faces with the Queen, and he grinned under his helmet. It was good that they had all made it out safely, after all.
  2. Nar Shaddaa was... a familiar place. Not in the sense that Jackson had ever been there before, but in the sense that it was similar to Coruscant and most ecumenopolis planets tended to be fairly similar. At least, once you peeled away the flesh and got to the core of the place. The true heart; the one under all the surface layers, right where the the natural sunlight never quite reached. It was a bittersweet feeling watching the planet lurch into existence as the pilots dropped out of hyperspace, and made their way towards the surface. Once again the Wayfarer's pilot had fled from destruction, though not without reason. There was little he could have done in the first place, to say nothing of the precious cargo crammed shoulder to shoulder in his hold and in the staterooms aboard his ship proper. Still though, it wasn't like they were without damage. New scores and blaster burns pockmarked the Wayfarer's bulky armor from the engagement and a few fighters were going to need more work. Then there was the strain they had all put themselves under just getting out from under the blockade as it closed around them, that they all would need time to recover from. Jackson in particular was in no shape to fight any longer, as his eyes grew heavy even while he landed and docked his craft. He had just enough energy left to hand off his charges to someone more capable, before he made his way sluggishly back to his quarters to recuperate.
  3. Moose


    High in the stars far above, a cluster of fighter squadrons lead by an old freighter powered up their hyperdrives. The journey there had been long and arduous, though it wasn't quite over yet. They still had another few stops to make before they could step down from their battle-heightened senses and allow their weary, aching minds some much-needed and much-deserved rest. One pilot in particular, lagging behind the rest in the Wayfarer, was in some desperate need of recharging. -- Jackson's helmet flashed a warning light at him as he bled inside of it. It had begun flashing at him ever since his nose had begun to bleed, probably warning him of the increased blood pressure and heart rate. If he continued to strain himself to such a degree he would likely be liable to have a heart attack or something, but that would be a small price to pay for getting his charges all to safety. A whole cargo hold full of them. -- Stars elongated and the cosmos shifted around the many ships as they began to jump, following one another in clusters as they fled the warring system. They would return, some day, and be stronger for it. But that would take time, and time was one of the many things that they were now running short on.
  4. Moose


    Meanwhile, far above, a certain pilot was busy guiding his charges through the fighter net and out to safety. Jackson swallowed blood and cursed his bloody nose as he did a quick head-count, roughly ensuring that all of his squadrons were still intact before setting them over on a course to the sun. They would be swinging wide of course, to stay out of anyone's sightlines, and dispersed so they weren't a nice big blob of easily destroyed targets. He would maneuver them around the opposite side of the local star before taking their chances with a series of jumps, sending them more or less directly to Nar Shadaa. He would need some time to recover, himself, as his thoughts had begun to stray a little further than comfortable in his escape. The young Knight could recognize at least that much about himself, and it made him a little wary. He would have to discuss it with some of the more experienced knights and masters, to see if they would have any advice or guidance he could use to control such things. - A distant thrum pulsed through the Transient Plunder's engines and thrusters as they whorled and guided their craft through the darkness of space. The deep black was comforting in its familiarity for the pilot of the craft, though he certainly didn't stick around to revel in the nostalgia. Their trip around the sun was kept short and sweet, only skirting around so wide to keep their outlines out of the views of any keen-eyed pilots. It wouldn't do to escape the blockade, only to lose his ship and the lives it carried to a few squads of fighters.
  5. Moose


    Low above the streets of Theed, three groups of two fighter squadrons followed a surprisingly agile freighter as it barreled and twisted its way through corridors, between buildings, and low above archways. The only targets they engaged were those directly in front of them, despite the reluctance of some of the pilots. Their path was too twisting and complex to allow for much else, though the path did bring them through the air above the Queen and her guard. Jackson had enough sense to help them out with a brief flyby as needed, before blasting his engines into gear as he guided his fighters to safety. Once they breached the city walls the Plunder swooped low along the rolling hills and used them as cover. Their path began to follow the low dips and shallow valleys that Naboo's surface was famed for from them onwards, before arriving at their destination: a spot below the quickly forming blockade, where they could slip through. Given that they were fast enough and, of course, that they were unmolested in their full-throttle attempt at escape. - Jackson sealed his ship as they gained altitude, refusing to dwell on their trip and looking forward, instead, to investigate their gradually closing escape vector. They were no longer covered by anything besides themselves and his aura, which was actively shifting and hiding them beneath the fierce gazes of their enemies. The young Knight had been spending more and more time practicing his ability to use the force around him to color his own, in order to mimic the environment wherever he might be, but it was the first time he had been put in charge of so many lives before. His ship he could cover without too much difficulty, but extending it out to cover the six squadrons around him was a strain on his senses. A small warning light flashed at the pilot's closed eyes, briefly illuminating an angry vein on his forehead and a thin red line trickling down his lips from his nose. They were approaching the gap and he was pushing his concentrating to its utmost; he would get these people to safety, in friendly arms, it was just a question of how well he covered them from the detection of someone important. Or dangerous. If they made it through the gap then their destination would be the far side of the star, which they would use as cover get to their last eventual destination. Nar Shadaa, where they would rendezvous with friendly forces and recuperate as needed. It was going to be a decent trek through the galaxy but they would be safe there, at the least. But first they had to slip out from under this net before it was settled and drawn in, and without losing everyone in the process.
  6. Moose


    Jackson turned his head up as he heard the sound of capital ships leaving hyperspace. It was a distinct experience that he had specifically gone out of his way to avoid since he left Coruscant behind him and for good reason. Every hair on his body stood on end under his exosuit from the brief flash of memory, before it was abruptly cut off and silenced. The Knight had better things to do than sit and gawk, and every moment mattered. A simple nod was all he offered before turning and running back to his ship. His cargo would need to be dumped after all, unfortunately for both him and the aspiring Trandoshan gearhead investigating its contents. There was no other way he would have the space to transport all the command personnel around, and even then it was going to be tight. Hopefully, they'd even be ready by the time he was done emptying his cargo pod. Meanwhile, inside the Transient Plunder, switches began to flick and capacitors discharged as pre-flight warmup began. The ship had been with Jackson for a good while, and though it was fueled by imminent tragedy, the Jedi Knight was almost looking forward to honing his new understanding in the conflict ahead. He had already been assisting his flight with the force before, but he had a better idea of just how to take advantage of it now. Even if his glimpse into the inner workings of Alcmène's energy shield had been too brief for his liking. Hidden thrusters and lamps ignited as the old Wayfarer's owner approached, giving anyone aboard or nearby just enough time to evacuate before lifting ponderously off of its landing platform. The knight charged ahead heedless of the flaring engines and leaped high into the bay. His mag boots locked him down against the cold metal floor and the entire ship began to tilt and list to one side, quickly beginning to eject its cargo through the larger, newly-opened hangar doors on the side of the rectangular pod. He wouldn't be needing the platform again and there were few other places for it, unfortunately, though a few of his real gems were kept safe inside of his repurposed smuggling compartment. The ship was quick to move into action after that; scooping up as many of the local command and support staff as it could possibly hold, sometimes almost literally, as it broadcast a short burst of instructions to the pilots Jackson had been put in charge of evacuating. They were going to need to stick close and keep their eyes open because he was going to lead them through the battle as quickly and as close to the ground as they could manage. Naboo was a wonderful planet, but by the end of everything, he was going to scorch their escape through its hills and valleys. He could help disguise them to a point, with the force and creative use of the planet and its sun, but if they didn't move quickly then there would be no escaping the invasion. Not as it crashed into and burned through the very earth they stood on.
  7. Moose


    Jackson rattled off an amused chortle as his helmet tracked the Trandoshan over to the Plunder's cargo bay. It brought to mind simpler times, and reminded the newly crowned Knight of his own history, down in the undercity. "Not a problem, don't worry about it. I was like that too, not long ago. If I had more time to dedicate to it I'd deal with the lot myself, but there's been a slight shift in my priorities lately." He turned to face the Sentinel, after that, flexing the tendril connecting him to his ship while he examined the presented work. "Yes, that is partly why I have been trying to seek you folks out. It may be hard to tell but I'm a little bit of a gearhead." The Knight gestured loosely to his person, covered in gadgets as he was. "But... yes! I would be honored to accompany your party, if you'd have me." His attention abruptly shifted as he reluctantly withdrew from the shield, already subtly restructuring the way he managed his own force energy. The changes didn't happen all at once, nor were they particularly easy to see as he neared the end, given the increasingly empty nature of his aura. "I am admittedly not the best with diplomacy, but I've been living in a pilot's chair for the past three years or so in my absence. Should be able to get you wherever you need to go. Or help fight off Starweirds, although I don't foresee them being much of a problem on Naboo, of all places."
  8. Moose


    "Jackson Bloome. Newly reinstated Knight, and hunter of wraiths." The fully-enclosed Knight replied, his speakers crackling slightly from the residual moisture of Felucia. His exosuit didn't particularly appreciate such humid climates anymore; not after so much hard use and wear. "Pardon my sound quality, haven't had the time to fully detail my kit. If any of you happen to be interested in mostly old parts, by the way, let me know." A gloved hand jerked up, thumb pointing over the man's shoulder to his still-open cargo bay. The local inspectors were sending in a team to sort through and catalog everything on the Plunder's manifest, hopefully without tipping over any of the delicately balanced racks or shelves full of expensive components. That cargo box could hold quite a lot of stuff normally, and Jackson had it so stuffed full that it would make a Jawa blush. The Knight turned to regard the lead Trandoshan after that, giving him a firm nod of respect. "I was an apprentice not so long ago myself. I don't know your circumstances, but if there's anything you'd like help with, from one relative newcomer to another, I'd be happy to help as much as I can. I know things can be confusing and a little... dubious, when you're just getting started." Meanwhile, as Jackson spoke, he was busily dedicating himself to practicing, just as he had been for nearly the entire trip to Naboo. He was still too slow; too sluggish with his abilities; too weak. And while part of that could be remedied just with practice, he was beginning to suspect that a fundamental change would have to take place before too long: some kind of change to his perspective that would free his soul from its current, tight, restraints. For now, however, he was stuck practicing. Integrating with and releasing the surrounding energy in rhythmic pulses; mimicking wave patterns; subtly shifting to match certain nearby frequencies and appearances.
  9. Moose


    Jackson sighed wistfully as his ship made landfall, and he began prepping for disembark. In light of all the recent events he felt that it may be necessary, in the end, to take a day or two to just... breathe. And he could think of no better place for it than Naboo. A rude snort echoed from inside the newly-minted Knight's enviro-helmet. "Yeah, right." The truth was that he still had some old Nubian parts in his bay, and he wanted to get rid of them. Most people in the outer rim didn't particularly care for the shined-chrome look of the things or their parts, was the issue, so they had mostly just been sitting in his bay gathering dust. If he tried he might even be able to put together a whole ship or two with them all, there were so many. But then, that's what happened when you came across an old smuggling transport full of the things. The Jedi had some old contacts who swung through Naboo every now and then, so it was a good place to pick up leads on where they might be now. It would even be a good excuse to give his senses some practice, as he made a point to use the force to people-watch in his section of hangar. And good thing, too, as not long after he started paying attention Jack happened to notice something he'd been getting rather familiar with lately: the distinctly blue aura of another Jedi. She wore a red and gold tunic, and something about her just drew the young man's attention in. Upon thinking for a few moments, he realized what exactly it was. "Excuse me, miss." Bloome lead with as he set himself on an intercept. "My apologies, I'm unfamiliar with who exactly who are as I have been out of the loop for some time now, but you have excellent control. Would you mind if I asked you for some tips, or for a pointer to your own teacher?"
  10. Jackson felt himself lurch and tumble downwards, rapidly turning from his controlled search into rapid free fall as his resistance suddenly dropped to nothing. A cool grimace formed on his face as he furthered himself in his search-and-capture trance, cutting off more and more of his physical distractions order to do so. The reinstated Jedi could still feel the scream echoing through his bones as he chased after its source: clawing and dragging his way through the planet's crust in a desperate struggle to reach it in time. Then it was too late. He had gone too far and overextended himself to too great a degree, and the resulting snap as all of his neglected senses caught up at once. It was enough to send his formerly floating form crashing hard into the purified mud below. Some brief, murmured curses and 'this isn't over's were had before Jackson stood and turned to regard Sandy. And the hand she rested on the heavy weighted mantle wrapped about his shoulders. "It isn't gone. Not for good. I can still hear it out there, like an itch deep in my brainstem. I haven't freed anything. Just delayed it, for however long it takes to get stronger." Heavy, ponderous engines roared and screamed as the Plunder drifted into the clearing through the fog: summoned by its master, no doubt. The newly minted Knight's faithful companion hovered in place for a moment as it reoriented at slow speed, then let out a grand sigh as it touched down and lowered its hangar ramp. "Can take my ship. Kind of cliche to say, but..." Jackson boarded and leaned against his favorite patch of bulkhead, holding an arm out. "She's a little more put together than she looks. And I've got a long range transmitter you can use. Used to use it to intercept distress beacons."
  11. Jackson pushed on till the end, the mantle hanging from his shoulders fluttering and waving as its owner stopped somewhat perilously close to the edge. He barely felt when the girl was subdued and even less when Leena took her and fled, so focused was he on winding a tight latticework around the pit. Once it was in place he began to fill in the gaps; weaving the force through his framework in alternating directions. The Jedi took a deep, visible breath, and the barrier plunged downwards. The Padawan had been around long enough to know that just plugging a hole was a one-trick pony, and buried horrors always had a way of resurfacing. The Pit being case in point. The only real way they would ever be rid of it was to destroy it. They had to rip it out by the roots, purge the infection that it carried. Well. That was one philosophy, at least. Bloome was somewhat of a data-hoarder, having dedicated an entire stateroom on his ship to storage for such things, separate from the rest of his scrap. If it were up to him they would uncover the source of the miasma and contain it, in the hopes of it being a holocron or something similar, though the decision wasn't his to make. Instead he would be doing what he said he'd do by plugging up the hole, all the while searching for the exact source. With some support they might be able to completely contain and extract the thing, and decide what to do with it once it was no longer posing such a significant threat to the planet.
  12. Jackson narrowed his eyes at the child as he took in the sights, and promptly decided to keep a close eye on The Pit. "This can't be good..." He mumbled to the mist. He was getting a pretty bad premonition about this whole venture, and it was forcing him to concentrate on not regressing into old bad habits. His exosuit was protecting him from the outside world but he had little in the way of force defenses aside from his camouflage and one other potential stopgap. The Padawan's illusion swirled and flung itself away as Leena's touch began to disintegrate the darkness it was holding on to, forming a brief bout of turbulence in the ethereal winds around them. The tendrils quickly reformed themselves anew however, wasting no time as they began collecting and forming a complex barrier before him. Bloome's boots slogged slowly through the black mud as he moved to interpose himself between Leena and the pit, acting as a more physical barrier than a simple aura of light. "I can cover you if you grab the girl, we just have to make it quick! I'll try to hold a barrier down over that hole but no promises that it'll end up helping anything!" The barrier began to advance, its wielder pressing on and forging his path through the darkness. He didn't waver in his push, funneling the last few wispy remnants of darkness into his barrier as fuel. Jackson had been in the void of deep space for a long time in his absence, more than he probably should have, and that time had come with a qualitative change to his willpower. It had to, lest he fall prey to the Wraiths and other such horrors lurking in the dark, or to the malaise laying heavy about ancient battlefields and silent graveyards. The new exposure of his undisguised aura betrayed one of the wounds of such a dramatic change, as it clashed against Leena's light. There was little spark to be found in him anymore, burned and fizzled into the cold grey of determined durasteel.
  13. The Human Padawan had little difficulty in navigating the packed confines of his ship, always seeming to find the quickest way around or through scattered pieces of salvage or racks of parts. Were he a few feet shorter he likely could have passed off as a fairly competent Jawa, for all that the insides of the Plunder resembled those of a sand crawler's. He let the more experienced Jedi take the lead off the ship, stumbling a little in the dirt as his mag-boots found no purchase on the festering earth. It had been a while since he had set foot on solid ground, though he was quick to readjust and follow Leena into the foggy fungal jungles. Every now and then the distinct snap and a brief flash of dim rust, or perhaps bronze, revealed one of the things the derelict Jedi had been working on in his free time; honing his skills in specifically targeting twigs and the random stems of foliage with trakata, apparently. Every time he missed, it was an easy enough job to simply try again with the other side of his blade. "Don't think we're gonna be finding her again. Not right now, anyways. Little turbulent still." Jackson observed, voice modulator crackling slightly from the moisture inevitably collecting in its output holes. "Not very good with... people. Unfortunately. Much less the sick. Forte lies a little more with machines and circuits, if you hadn't guessed already." His admittance was quiet, not wishing to interrupt anything important anyone else mighty have to do or to say. The longer they trekked through the mud the dimmer the young Human Jedi became, in the force. He was still there, but gradually fading. Morphing into a piece of the background as he unconsciously used his sensitivity to hide, the darkness around him steadily disintegrating as it was harvested and incorporated to make his disguise more effective. In any other place it might have slid unnoticed, but the spot lamp of Light that Leena shone wherever she stepped was throwing him off. It took time for the transition to complete, but when it did the result was more of a stark grey than oily black, or radiant white. If anyone cared to watch, the same process kept going on repeat, each time with slightly different aspects and subtle changes to it as it began to adapt. It was particularly similar to the way that AI learned and evolved, with lots of trial and error. A brute force method of scrolling through every possible option before settling on the one that worked the best, and in this case it settled on a gradient. The side of Jackson facing the healer blended more with her light while the opposite did the opposite.
  14. The Jedi pilot leveled his ship out and sighed to himself, the noise coming across as a whisper of static through the speakers attached to his polarized helmet. He may have been cutting it a little close with that dive, not quite sure whether he'd be scooping the rooftop off a building or two on his way back up. It had been a mildly taxing exercise in remote-controlling his ship. The effort was familiar at least a familiar one however, even if it was a little draining. "Jackson. Knight Silan sent me, after picking me up out in the deep. Supposed to link up with one of you to finish training." He explained simply and shook her hand, though only after a few moments of hesitation. "You are... very bright." The newly re-integrated Padawan squinted at her through his helmet, himself not much of a beacon of anything. In fact, now that he had pulled out of his dive he was distinctly hard to pin down through the force at all, having withdrawn and dispersed his force presence back into its typical nebulous, fade-into-the-background form as it busily manipulated a handful of the ship's systems. "Should head over to the actual exit. Ought to be ready to land by the time we get there." The Jedi's words were simple and to the point, and he wasted no time making his way through the organized chaos of his ship's hangar module. "Mind your step. Few things in here that are slightly volatile to the touch. Haven't gotten around to pawning it all off yet, since Kadi picked me up in the middle of a run."
  15. The Transient Plunder's engines roared as it raced through the murky fog hanging about Felucia's surface. A distinctly Wayfarer-shaped tunnel trailed behind the ship as it went, hurrying along to the latest of its urgent destination. Its pilot hummed to himself as he rapidly zeroed in on the co-ordinates he was given, and then pushed his craft into a steep dive. It was somewhat of a risky maneuver, given that he was standing on the edge of his transport's newly opened hangar. His enviro-suit would help him take some of the Gs he would get once he pulled up, and with any luck so would the Force. He'd decided to go ahead and risk a little experimentation while he was in the presence of at least one practiced healer, to see if he could dampen some of the harsh deceleration. And if not, well... The mag boots built into his suit would make sure he didn't sink himself down into the mud. Meanwhile, down below, the sound of approaching engines was likely getting louder and louder as the transport screamed towards the center of the village. It came in from an angle, the ship being far too large to safely skim the rooftops, what with the surrounding vegetation, and barely even slowed it briefly dipped above the mob of children. Jackson held an arm out as he passed, reaching down as far below as he could to offer a helping hand to the lone Jedi beset by the corrupted kiddos. ------------ Leena threw her elbows about as she flailed in a less than idle Jedi-esque fashion. She was hesitant to draw her teal saber against these children, regardless of what power was compelling them. The force flowed within the Healer. It was all that kept the overwhelming fears that clawed at her heart from driving her to a catatonic state. She immersed herself within it’s current, trusting that somehow, there would be a way out. The force would show her the way. ........ It was then, over the din, that the throb of engines interrupted the silence of the jungle and the chaos of the clearing. Leena’s eyes darted upwards as she pushed against the slobbering lips of a gnashing, blackened face. Standing at the gapping maw of the craft was a man, a Jedi? Reaching out a hand, Leena bent her knees and jumped. She caught the extended hand offered her. With a run and skip along the exterior hull of the ship, Leena rolled to a landing inside the ship. Scurrying towards the edge, Leena looked back down at her apprentice and friend.
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