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The Sarlacc

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  1. The stealth ship dropped out of hyperspace already cloaked against any enemy scans. The brief tearing of real time the only telltale signature of their arrival as the ship quickly and silently moved off point to circle widely about the planet towards the far side. The far side where several floating orbital platforms were being loaded with the massive droid army ordered by the Jedi; an army that if the Jensaarai had their way, would never see the regimented mindlessness of battle. Not without a say so at least. Stepping from his quarters, The Sarlacc looked like any other travel worn and weary Duros spacer. The baggy yellow suit was held un place by the vacuum sealed openings where they connected with The Sarlacc’s boots and gloves. His vibroblades hung from his belt and attached to his thighs, collapsable staff dangled loosely at his hip, and heavy repeating blaster held loosely in one hand. Finding Svata, he nodded in greeting. “Ready?” Turning to stare out the viewport, he pointed at two orbital platforms. “Sources indicate that those two platforms are exclusively dedicated to the prepping of and nearing delivery of the Jedi droid army.” He held up his own data stick as he continued, “There can be no connection to the Jensaarai. Get in. Get out. Do not get caught. Leave no trace but the code. We still need to be able to walk freely amongst the Jedi. Use what you have learned and may the force be with you brother.” The mechanized world of Mechis had a severely limited biological population. The orbital platforms ought to be devoid of life, ought to be . . . Still, no chances could be taken. Shrugging himself into an oxygen pack and with a locking his, The Sarlacc donned a helmet to complete his suit. Stepping into the airlock, the door hissed shut behind him as it sealed the small room from the rest of the ship before it wretched the spacer into the void of his namesake. Pushing off the barely there shimmering decking of the stealth ship, the Jensaarai Defender slowly arced through the void between the ship and the first platform.
  2. Waiting outside the bridge, The Sarlacc nodded slowly in approval. “The force flows naturally with you brother Svata. Even I cannot walk fully unseen betwixt those who would seek me. Bravo. Brother Bones has taken suddenly ill. Food poisoning or hyper-sickness, I would guess. This task will be up to you and I now. Might I suggest you return to your quarters and prepare. We cannot be discovered as Jensaarai.” The Sarlacc placed a warm hand on the elder Ryn’s shoulder. “I am proud of you. You have done well with your training thus far. I know you will become a learned Defender.” Then he turned to go to his own quarters, his intentions to remove his signature armor and don his more wellworn spacer attire. ((continued on Mechis III))
  3. The Duros eyes gleamed as the two apprentices interacted. He then interjected himself before the two could set off to test their martial prowess. “The Jedi are mortal just as you and I. They fear the darkness and in their fear they sometimes unwittingly align themselves with it.” Offering a nod to Bones, he continued, “We are less cleaning up their mess and more redirecting a potential dilemma. Many years ago, the Jedi came for the Jensaarai and tried to slaughter us all. We were misguided then; but as you see, we were redeemed. Without the use of the force and our abilities to hide, our order would have been lost. Where would you be now in such a world?” Reaching into a pouch at his waist, the Darlacc drew two datachips out and handed one to each apprentice. “There are times when a Jensaarai must fight. There are more times when it is prudent to simply be a ghost amongst the shadows.” Glancing about the hallway, The Sarlacc returned his look to his comrades, a twinkle sparking in his eye. “I do not know all of what you learned under the Sun-Dragon’s tutelage young Bones, but the Secret of Evaporation is a skill that has yet to be passed to from me to you, Svata.” Turning to walk down the hallway with the elder and younger apprentices, the Duros continued to speak. “The secret is not a skill that all Jensaarai can master. Some excel in other areas. This is the will of the force. It would be foolish to not have knowledge of it though. The shadows of the world offer more protection than you know. You must simply join them. I do not mean to sound cryptic. Reach out on the force, feel everything around you, the ship, the air, the food-based substitutes in the mess. Feel it. From this matter you also came. You are the same. Open up your mind and your body to this. Blur the lines that separate you from the world around you. When you are one with the world, you are the world, and no longer a single sentinel to be seen. When you mingle your essence and bond it to the durasteel deck, the particles of space, and all between, you will be practically invisible to that which seeks to divide us from the world around us.” Stopping at the closed door to the bridge, The Sarlacc turned to his apprentices. “The Sarlacci soldiers who fly with us do not take well to intrusions. The bridge is monitored by cameras, guards, and security measures. The Secret of Evaporation cannot carry another. It is a bond between the worlds around you and the force. Still, together, the two of you must test yourselves. Ensure the programming on your datachips is complete.” He raised his eyebrows playfully at the duo. “Good luck.” And with that, he left the two apprentices to their task. He had his own to undertake before they arrived on Mechis. Returning to his quarters, The Sarlacc, reached into his sack of belongings and gesr he had brought along and removed several fist-sized cubes of durasteel. Regaled in his armor, The Sarlacc settled onto the floor, crossinglegs crossed beneath him and raising his hands above his head he began to concentrate. Reaching out on the force, the Jensaarai Defender sought out the cubes with his mind. Individually, he telekinetically lifted each cube in the air and beheld it in both the force and with his eyes. They were polished, smooth, and flawless to the eye; a chunk of metal individually cast as one. Yet, when he began to prod them with the force, microscopic pits began to shine. Invisible fault lines began to radiate from each cube as he concentrated on it. Each was unique, some cubes had lines that zigged and zagged across them practically shrouding the cube itself in a cocoon of purplish glow; others had one or two lines that criss crossed their surface; still others had singular points that radiated when beheld. After studying each cube for several moments, The Sarlacc returned one to his focus. With concentration, he poured his attention and the force through the object until he could see not just the faults on the surface; but how and where they ran through the cube. Some dead-ended, others connected in a sprawling maze of angled lines that jigged and jagged together. After several minutes of concentration, the Sarlacc moves one hand. Reaching out with a finger, he tapped a nexus on glowing lines on the cube and it shattered, falling in a pile of dust to the floor.
  4. “Go and see to it that the Jedi do not sully the force, again, Defender Sarlacc. Tarry not, for the Jensaarai are needed elsewhere. Divert the droid army to the cause of light and then go search the shadows for friend and foe. Seek the truth.” The Saarai-Kaar spoke, his words slow and deliberate. Rising from a kneeling position, The Sarlacc locked eyes with the leader of his order. Determination shone in his pupil-less eyes. “That we may find it where it might be found Saarai-Kaar.” The Sarlacc clapped his fist to his armored chest with a thump in salute before turning and exiting the chamber deep within The Bastion. Gliding silently through the aged and darkened halls, the Jensaarai Defender made his way back out of the core of the Jensaarai’s base and wound his way through the ship until he was outside. From there he made a cautious arc through the landscape of Artus Prime to where the Asha’ajak was nestled amongst the outcroppings of rock and scraggly brush. Boarding the ship, the armored monk made his way down the hall until he saw Svata. Pausing he offered wrinkled forehead in warm delight at seeing the aged apprentice. “Brother Svata. We have much to accomplish and even more to uncover along the way. Join me and we will find our new brother. Then we will be off.” Leading the Ryn down the hall to Bones’ door, The Sarlacc stopped and rapped his knuckles against the door to Bones’ quarters once. The metal rang with the fierceness of the touch. When the door slid open, The Sarlacc looked the Tognath up and down, taking in the grizzled experience of the young being in a glance. “Greetings Brother. Time is short. We have little time for drawn out discussion. Defender Sun Dragon has told me much of your training. You will find that he and I differ in many of our ways; but we are both Jensaarai. We all,” he reached a hand towards Bones and placed the other on Svata’s shoulder, “are Jensaarai. Come, walk with us.” Leading their trio down the halls towards the bridge in silence, save for the muted hubbub of a ship as it prepped to launch, they made their way to the bridge. Even on a ship of such size, the crew acted in relative silence, trained and honed to carry out their duties quietly so as to mask their signatures to any would be scanners. On the bridge, the lanky Duros turned to the captain and spoke a single word, “Mechis.” With a nod, the captain’s fingers flew across his control panels sending flurries of crewmen moving like the well-oiled machine that they were. They were more than that. They were brothers. They were Jensaarai. Their survival depended on it. Turning to Bones and Svata, The Sarlacc raised an inquisitive eyebrow ridge. “The Jedi, a mythical order; but one you know to be real. Just as the Jensaarai are real. Still, we, compared to the Jedi are, are wraiths of shadowy myth compared to them. History would tell you the Jedi are legendary heroes of peace and justice. The powers that seek to control the galaxy paint them as rebellious warmongers, agents of chaos, and zealots that would murder for their cause. What is truth? What truths have you learned of the Jedi? and the Jensaarai?”
  5. As their blades swirled and crashed, The Sarlacc let the force bind his mind and that of Svata’s, prodding him to learn the smallest of subtleties of their craft. “Your learning serves you well. You must practice the knowledge of the past until it has become second nature.” Still, their blades clashed and swirled. As Svata relaxed, The Sarlacc went from a static form to one that saw him moving about and circling the apprentice. When Svata would swing, The Sarlacc’s blade would clash only briefly as he whirled about out of range to the left, right, or back. A couple times he dove forward, rolling past the Ryn only to come to his feet behind him. If he were to go full tilt, it was likely he would be but a blur. Other times, Svata’s blade only met with empty air, the Sarlacc’s purple blade vanishing with a hiss to only activate a moment later after Svata’s blade passed by. Stepping forward, The Sarlacc would clash his blade against Svata’s. Once his apprentice had gotten the hang of keeping his focus on an opponent who was moving, The Sarlacc went on the offensive, ducking and dodging Svata’s blows only to whirl about, his blade passing within inches of Svata. They continued for hours, sweat pouring off their bodies and the temperature in the hold increasing by the minute. Their speed that had started slowly increasing to an upbeat tempo of almost blinding speed. The sabers of the two crashing together as often as they met empty air. The Sarlacc flipped and flitted through the air before he finally landed across the hold from Svata. Righting himself, The Sarlacc held up his blade by his face in a salute to Svata before deactivating the blade one final time. At the same time, the intercom dinged from somewhere in the recesses of the hold indicating imminent reversion to real space. Reaching up, the Duros tried in vain to wipe the swest from his crowned head. “Very well done Apprentice Svata. You are learning well.” ((POST CONTINUED IN ARTUS PRIME)
  6. ((CONTINUED FROM SPACE)) Reaching up, the Duros tried in vain to wipe the swest from his crowned head. “Very well done Apprentice Svata. You are learning well.” “Our time for dueling has come to an end. you have improved greatly. I feel that with such natural skill you will be able to hold your own when we take a stand together. Remember though, there are other weapons that a Jensaarai uses to carry the day. The Saarai-Kaar has requested that we pick up another apprentice. After our interactions with the Grandmaster, the Jedi have raised concern for the safety of the galaxy. Refresh yourself, then when we make landfall at Raka Nwul find your fellow apprentice and gather supplies. I will meet with the Saarai-Kaar and understand what it is exactly we are doing.” Returning to his room, The Sarlacc took a refreshing shower and donned his armor and tool kit. With a rumble the ship came in to land near Raka Nwul, the stealth vessel instantly becoming nearly invisible against the backdrop of the planet. As soon as he was prepared, ThebSarlacc hurried from the ship, not stopping to speak to anyone. He needed to see the Saarai-Kaar immediately.
  7. Like a hot blade through bantha butter, the solitary Jensaarai stealth vessel slid through the star streaks of hyperspace. In a way, it was similar to the Jensaarai themselves, they existed in the shadows, beyond the fringes of natural sight. There it was safe(r), yet the chance of catastrophic danger loomed but a hair’s breath away should one divert from the path. These were the thoughts that swirled through the mind of the Duros Defender as he made his way from his spartan quarters to the relatively open storage area within the bowels of the vessel. In his right hand, the Jensaarai loosely held his gunmetal gray lightsaber hilt. About his body, his loose tunic shifted silently as the fine cloth rustled silently against itself. Entering the bay, The Sarlacc smiled to the elder Ryn. “Good. Let us begin.” Activating his blade, a dull purple glow radiated about the green-skinned alien. “The lightsaber is an iconic weapon. Sometimes it behooves a Jensaarai to use it. Sometimes, it is better to leave it home. Unlike the Jedi, we do not rely just on our lightsabers or forego the use of blasters. But we are not here to discuss the philosophy of the weapon. We are here to learn how to wield such a tool.” Swinging his saber about his waist several times in a whirling disc of blurred purple, the Duros looked warmly at Svata. “Turn your weapon on; careful to keep it away from any limb you want to keep. The weightlessness of the blade throws many who are not accustomed to it. It differs from the aros, where momentum of the weapon can be used to your advantage. The lack of weightiness here can let a skilled user whisk their blade about at what seems like unnatural angles and directional changes.” Slowing his blade in nearly an instant, The Sarlacc brought his blade up to nearly head height in a two-handed hold, the blade pointing outward from his body, arms extended but not locked, presenting the weapon as the first point a for would run into if they charged forward. ”The Jedi and the Sith have developed many fighting styles for the use of a lightsaber. Many of our Jensaarai brothers and sisters have studied and mastered these. The difference is that the Jensaarai, whilst a master in battle, does not relish inthe fight. We take to combat as willed by the force and we strike with keen unseen movements to end the battle as quickly as possible. One may flit about like a bird, but the goal is to survive the winner in the end so that lives may be saved. In combat, we allow our emotions to mingle with the force in a deadly crescendo. For now though, we will focus on the moves and keeping you alive through the battle. Feel the weightlessness of the blade, the heft of the hilt against your hand. When you are ready, swing it against my own.”
  8. The Sarlacc turned and slowly looked Svata up and down. “Indeed. The lightsaber, a weapon of the Sith, taken and reformed by the Jedi; now carried by any that have descended from the Rakatan creators and their Forcehounds, now sits in our hands. Thus we carry it, we honor our past as we honor our brethren. Times arise when such a weapon is the best response and learning it’s ins and outs may save your life. Take yourself and change out of your gear. Wear simple clothing and take your weapon and meet me in the storage area where we communed together.” Turning back to the console and the crew of the Asha’ajak. Shaking his head, The Sarlacc looked sadly out at the rebel stronghold of Nar Shadaa. ‘Like the Jed’aii of yore, from the darkness a light shimmers through.’ “Inform the rebel command that the Jensaarai will return to lend aid in their hour of need.” With that, The Sarlacc signaled for the crew to take them home. Turning, the Duros left the bridge.
  9. The arrival of the ragtag-at-best fleet commanded by the Jensaarai happened with little fanfare or announcement. The repurposed Imperial interdictor task force led the way before breaking off to return to it’s space-based docks. The fleet looked as ragged and rough as the pirates they had pretended to be. While the hulking Mandalorian warship hung back to await offloading by rebel and once-Imperial shuttles and tugs, the uncloaked stealth ship, spheroid blob that it was, escorted their captured quarry closer to the planet to ensure a safe hand off to awaiting Jedi leadership. Upon receipt of a cryptic answer that indicated there were no high ranking Jedi available to meet them and a brief heated exchange over the ill gotten gain the Jensaarai had commandeered at the request of the Jedi Grandmaster, The Sarlacc made the decision to simply leave their quarry to the awaiting Imperial forces. Turning to Svata, the Duros shook his head. “Something is wrong here. Can you not feel it friend? A mission of which none claim knowledge and no Jedi to meet us. I think it wise we reversed course when we did. Sometimes even a river doubles back unto itself. If you wish, we may continue your training either in the telekinetic ways or in the ways of the lightsaber. Otherwise, should the force call you, we can descend to the planet and seek out what knowledge lies hidden awaiting our discovery. I leave this decision to you my friend. We are in the shadows and from the shadows we find the light.”
  10. “There is still good to be found within them, I am sure. So too was it when they sought to exterminate the Jensaarai Order. We have a duty to protect our community from the Sith and from the Jedi. We cannot lie dormant hoping the war leaves our world untouched. The darkness grows strong and yet hope rises in the fires of rebellion. Do we partake of the darkness to fight the darkness? We do not. We walk the razor edge, but we do not fall. When one falls, we seek to bring them back to the light or halt their fall.” Standing, The Sarlacc gestures to the rest of the scattered parts on the floor. “But that is for those who we call family; for you, for me, for our brothers and sisters. You should focus on honing the telekinetic abilities you have seen. Once you have, there is more to be learned. More than meets the eye. A way for a Jensaarai to defend himself when no weapon appears readily available. We will return the ships of the Jedi and the goods we acquired on their behalf. Then we will return to Raka Nwul. Ours is to seek knowledge. The Saarai-Kaar is to keep it. We will report what we have discovered; but I foresee dark times Brother Svata.
  11. The senior Jensaarai sighed heavily, “It is obvious is is not, when one can touch the force and feel the world around them. There is Svata. There is a difference, perhaps many, between the Jedi and the Jensaarai. Though we sprung from them long ago, we differ in our ideologies. More so than I venture the Saarai-Kaar would have guessed. You see, the Jedi forbid emotion. They use the wall of emotionlessbess to buffer themselves far from the edges of the force. We do not. We embrace all that the light has to offer. As such, sometimes, when we relax, those emotions shine through.” The truth-seeker, thoughtfully pulled his lightsaber hilt free and twirled it back and forth between his hands; his eyes lost in the myriad of twists and swirls. “We were sent by the Saarai-Kaar to try and establish relations with the Jedi again. In the past they tried to massacre our order out of ignorance. Jensaarai always seek truth. Even as we sought to mend bridges, I was seeking to learn. So were you, just look at your saber. I fear I have learned a truth that the Jedi would not wish known. Darkness is playing at the fringes of the Jedi, shooting it’s tendrils deep into the order. Do you know what we were told by the Jedi GRANDMASTER to do to any ship that refused to allow us to board them?” He paused to let Svata ponder before he continued with an answer “Destroy them. Kill them all. Submit or be destroyed.” ”That has not sat right with me. We took a prize, the Jensaarai way; but what of the next one? I am inclined to turn us around, return that which we have to the Jedi and report what we have learned to the Saarai-Kaar. But we are a team, what are your thoughts? Did you learn anything else when you were with the Jedi?”
  12. The duros nodded in approval as he not just listened to the ryn’s tuneless melody, but as he felt the current of the force as the elder dipped himself into it and made it manifest. Seeing the bolt quiver and jostle and rise before clattering back down in the bowl, he congratulated the apprentice, “Well done!” He gestures at the remaining bits scattered across the floor. “One must crawl before they can walk and walk before they run. You are taking your first steps deeper into the ways of the Jensaarai. A Defender is at all times immersed in the force. It guides his steps and carries him to places no one could expect. Even in the midst of chaos; even when the Defender appears as a master of chaos, he is centered within the expanse of the force. Sit. Focus. Clear the floor of the pieces and listen. Allow the force to work as your mind comprehends my words.” The duros carefully lowered himself to the floor in a cross-legged position. He kept his eyes focused on Svata, his presence in the force an anchor from which his brother could hold fast should the tidal fury of the force prove to much. Then he spoke. He told of the ways of the Jensaarai, of the razor’s edge a Defender walked, how the way of a Jensaarai was to seek truth and to protect his community, to safeguard life, to serve justice, and keep to the truth. His words were filled with passion and he continued to speak on the mysteries of the force until Svata completed or gave up on his task. He spoke of the Jedi, how they drifted atop the force but feared the darkness and in such refused to come close to it and by how doing so they had inadvertently trod upon a darkened path. He spoke of the sith who unnaturally tried to dam the force and bend it on a course to their own will, of the dangers of such an act, and consequences should it befall someone. Finally, he spoke of the Jensaarai, bound to the light, but embracing it fully, not denying themselves any of the goodness which the light had to offer; yet unafraid to trod close to the darkness, knowing where the edge lay and refusing to cross it.
  13. Scrubbing at the grime on a forearm piece, The Sarlacc nodded. “Undoubtedly, we will eventually attract the attention of bigger fish. Fortunately, we Jensaarai can be like fish in the river, slick, wriggling, and nearly impossible to pinpoint or grab. As soon as we finish gathering your cargo, we will jump elsewhere along the route, wait several days and strike again anew.” Prepare yourself my brother for our next venture. Then when we are ready, perhaps you would like to learn some other Jensaarai ways that may assist you in our upcoming battles? Meet me in the empty storage bay on the lowest levels. Bring whatever spare parts you can find in a bowl, cup, or container.” Once his armor was finished, the Jensaarai warrior made his way to the lowest levels. It was dark and dank in the mostly unused storage space. Aged Jedi-containment devices in various states of disrepair lines the walls. The faint glowlights recessed in the ceiling cast long shadows amongst the exposed beams of the ship. Amongst those shadows, The Sarlacc made his way to meet with Svata. “What we have to discuss here, need not be observed by the crews. Did you bring the pieces? Scatter them about the floor here in the shadows.” ”You know that the shadows are where the Jensaarai are best. We do not fear the darkness. We respect it, the power it carries, and the dangers it presents. There is other power though. The power of the light unchained and unfettered, wielded to protect that which we hold dear. Look inside yourself brother. Find your heart. Find your family. Find your desires. Find that goodness which ignites your soul. Find the light that shines in the darkness and grasp it. Use it to illuminate your mind and sight, find the pieces that you scattered. Call them to you. Draw them from darkness into light. Like this,” The Sarlacc reached out his hand, the force swirled in the shadows as it reached out in invisible searching tendrils from his fingertips until it found a single washer. With a pull, The Sarlacc tugged the circular metal ring and sent it airborne, wobbling and whistling through the air past his head, looping about in a wife arc before coming to land on the Duros outstretched hand. “Now you try brother.”
  14. Three dim beams pierced the darkness as the trio of Jensaarai-aligned professional goons made their way forward stalking between the crates, barrels, and hulking pieces of cargo with ease. Extinguishing his blade, The Sarlacc dropped into a low crouch and with his years of training began to move as quickly and silently as a Devaronian Fur Spider. It did not take but a minute for the team to reach the single hatch that connected the hold to the meager remains of the ship; cockpit, quarters, engine, and hold; the vessel was simple in design. The blast doors had been sealed. “Almost like they knew we were coming,” a gruff Ithorian chuckled softly tapping on the door with a light echo. Reaching into his shouldered pack the man removed a trio of thermite boring charges and nonchalantly tossed two to his comrades. Without a word they began affixing the charges not to the door, but at predetermined space about the blast doors frame. “Right. Let’s beat feet and crack this oyster” The entire group fell back, taking up defensive positions betwixt cargo containers. The Sarlacc crouched atop a vacuum packed piece of metal that could only have been a mechanized piece for a larger warship, tucked behind a jutting bolt twice as thick as the average Gammorean. With the push of a button the charges began to hiss and the metallic walls where they stood began to whine and glow. This was the longest part, surely whatever was waiting on the other side would be aware of their imminent arrival. And with that, the entire blast door creaked and fell to the decking with a clanging thunder that made even the season Defender wince. Hopefully nobody had been behind it. The stillness that followed was surprising, but no opportunity was left wasted as the raiding party moved forward, weapons held at the ready. Down the first corridor they moved, their feet barely making a sound as they darted from one shadowy vantage point to another. Nothing. Not a soul. Not a droid. It was as if the ship was empty. “Valk. Can you give us a readout? We seem to be encountering less resistance than expected.” The Sarlacc requested of their escort. “Looks like you’ve got 6 or so on the bridge. 2 prepping the pods.” Came the response. ”Copy.” With that knowledge and an abundance of caution the group pressed onwards, keenly aware of sensors that surely reported their movements to the bridge and of any would be pitfalls could awaited them. Branching off, the Ithorian and another of the team, a human female, made their way towards the escape pods leaving The Sarlacc and the third, an Ithorian of all things, alone at the entrance to the bridge/cockpit. This time the door was not a blast door. Clesrly the lives of the crew were secondary in value to that of the cargo. The Sarlacc raised a browless brow, wrinkling his forehead in amusement. It was typical of a bloated war machine and only served to strengthen their cause. Standing to one side, he surveilled the hallway. The ship was not a military vessel and it had not been designed with such things in mind. Nodding his head at an overhead vent he pointed to the door. “Give me two and then knock and ask for their surrender.” The Ithorian chuckled as he took up position alongside the locked doorway, heavy blaster held before him, barrel pointed at the ceiling. Standing beneath the air circulation grate in the ceiling, The Sarlacc was appreciative of his own lithe frame. Reaching up he tugged on the industrial bolts that held the grate in place. The simple application of telekinetic power easily loosened the fasters and within seconds the grate began to fall, guided with a wave of the hand to the decking without a clang or rattle. With a force power leap, The Sarlacc left the floor and came to rest in the chute, the retractable tentacled appendages within his armor that symbolized his namesake, catching him in the shaft, bracing against either side. It was cramped and filthy, but the greasy filth only helped the deft Duros slide more easily about the two 90 degree angles that led him to looking down on the control console and crew below. Two blasters and a hodgepodge of makeshift clubs and knives awaited on the other side of the door from his Ithorian counterpart. They looked frightened. The Sarlacc could taste their fear. He even heard one of the crew nervously squeak something about the Coruscant-Kuat run supposing to be a secure route. They were anxiously awaiting what they thought could be their own demise on the other side. Their fearful focus on the door like cornered womp rats. Carefully and quietly, the Jensaarai warrior watched and waited, braced against the oily shaft until he heard a thudding knock on the door. The crew visibly recoiled in terror. “Would you like to surrender?” came the Ithorian’s voice, “Lay down your arms and not much harm will come to any of you.” And in that moment, before a response could be given, The Sarlacc fell, a force fueled freefall, blasting through the grate as it slammed to the floor, the slime covered Sarlacc’s armor less than pristine landing softly atop it. Once it started, he did not stop moving. The Jensaarai was nothing but a blur as his collapsable staff extended with a deft flick of his wrists locking it into place. In a blur, he was already moving, the weapon seirling about his hands and body as he swung it up and down, left and right, knocking feet out from under their owners and weapons across the room. It took but a moment before the swirling dervish came to a halt, the butt of his staff held at length against the throat of the now one not concussed crew member left on the bridge. Immediately the human’s hands flew up in the universal sign of surrender, his eyes with with fear. “The door” The Sarlacc growled inclining his head to where his Ithorian counterpart stood waiting on the other side. Shakingly the man jammed his hand down on the control panel, opening the door with a hiss. Blaster held ready, the hammerhead stared around the doorway before holstering the weapon and sauntering inside. “Ah. Told you it was not much harm. Sounds like the other two didn’t want to go as quietly. One got himself ejected from the ship accidentally, the other is nursing a couple bolts to the leg and a nasty bump on the head. I’ve already called for link up. We’ll get them sorted, just as soon as we make sure this fine vessel is properly acquired.” It hardly took any persuasion at all to convince the last crewman to give access to the ship’s controls. Bringing it in line with the Valkyrie, the entire crew was transferred to the secure holds and sick bay for containment and treatment. It was there that the Sarlacc and Ithorian took their leave, leaving the two others to nurse the ship back along less known routes to rebel space. Not bad for a first haul. Making his way to the armory of the Valkyrie, The Sarlacc intended to clean his armor. He had no doubt the elder Svata would be along shortly. It seemed they were already tractoring in jettisoned cargo from the Ryn’s target.
  15. While the Jensaarai attack vessel lurked silently, camouflaged against the starry sky, the interdictor fleet easily kept the two Action VIs from escaping. Try as they might, the ships could not revert to hyperspace. Their sublight engines flared to life, slowly driving the ships in a wide arc away from the visible fleet. Comms crackled to life, “What in the world is going on?! Why did you pull us out of hyperspace? This is not a scheduled inspection. We have authorization codes and are transmitting them now. We are under the protection of the Sith Empire.” The authorization codes entitled the vessels to unfettered movement from Kuat to Coruscant, delivering shipments of metals and computer and ship components for the Sith navy. “You have our documents. Release us immediately and we will forget this ever happened.” The ships continued to turn in an attempt to shoot for what they perceived as open space, away from the interdictors and the hulking Lictor; which began to power up it’s own engines to give chase. The trap was sprung and the Actions were driving straight toward the Jensaarai-filled stealth vessel. Meanwhile, the 8-being crews checked the blast doors and security hatches of their craft. Their weapons were limited at best, relying heavily on the protection offered by the fear and awe of the Sith Empire. That and their shipment was nothing spectacular, but the principle of the matter stood. At the console of the Asha’ajak, the helmsman turned to look at Svata. “Orders sir? Shall we cut them off or fire?” Striving from the back, The Sarlacc spoke, “Bring us between the ships. When close, fire directed blasts at each. Apprentice Svata will lead a team into the starboard vessel. I will take the port. We will radio once we have control.” “Aye sir. Consider it done.” The spherical ship quietly maneuvered, it’s thrusters concealed beneath camouflaged panelling, until it was matching the speeds of the larger transports. “Best get into position. You’ll only have moments once the hull in breached before their systems engage to halt the vacuum.” With trained precision, the ship’s cannons protruded from the hull, giving away their position to a fearful sensor sweep before igniting a blast of plasma that tore gaping holes into the ships’ hulls. ____________________ The Sarlacc and three hardsuit clad Jensaarai warriors launched themselves from the portside escape bay just as the plasma blasts ceased. Through the cold void of space, they hurtled for moments before crashing into the dark durasteel decking of the Action VI just as the shields activated, sealing the hold against the exterior void. Standing, the black hold was illuminated by a purple glow as The Sarlacc’s lightsaber illuminated the packed hold. “Move.” He hissed urging the gun toting warriors forward towards the ship’s bridge.
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