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Nar Shaddaa


BLCKCLONE
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She waggled a dark eyebrow and grinned even wider, writing a last sentence then snapping the datapad closed as they walked. 

 

“Well sir, killing the Dark Cloaks is our speciality!” 

 

And she did not speak a mistruth, but perhaps she should have said ‘defeating the dark cloaks.’ But that had far more nuance that she did not need to pass off on the Trandoshan for now. She waved to her group of Ace pilots and they jogged up to join them. 

 

“Hey everyone this is…” She realized that she did not know his name so looked at him with a cowed expression on her face. Hoping that he would speak his clan name. “And these are my squadmates from the Jedi Order! We were just heading back to the compound if you wanted to join us.” 

 

-continue your response on the rebel base thread-

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  • 2 weeks later...

Once she recovered from the quiet, the vertigo, the dread sense of being the only sapient being in eight cubic kilometers, and the knowledge that a single mishap with her suit’s thrusters had the potential to send her into a Mandalorian funeral in Nar Shaddaa’s atmosphere or a frozen grave in the space between planets… Johanna actually began to enjoy her time in null-gravity. The absence of the bonds of gravity allowed for a surprising freedom of movement. Every half-second of thrust translated to a surprising degree of acceleration that her gravity-limited mind was having difficulty translating into its previous conceptions of distance.

 

Even barring the tactical options that null-gravity opened up, it was difficult to remember a time that Bryce had seen a better view. The Bespinian stood on the riven hull of the Mandalorian Star Dreadnaught Medusa, situated within the drydock of Nar Shaddaa. Only forty-five degrees above the horizon, she could see the cityscape of the night side of the Smuggler’s Moon. Concentric rings of golden light criss-crossed over the moon’s surface, interspersed by shifting, multicolored glares in the center of several of those rings--a concert, performance, or some other demonstration? Judging from the smoke, however, it seemed that a major fire had broken out in the Corellian Sector. Closer to her location, a constant stream of pinprick lights traveled to and from the moon. And closer still, no less than ten fleet tenders were attached to Medusa by umbilical. Hundreds of sapients and droids were marching over the exterior of the vessel with plasma torches and shaped charges, cutting--or blowing away--portions of the ship’s armor and batteries for reprocessing in the kilometer-long foundry ship that loomed above her.

 

Poor Medusa. Only a short time ago, it had been the pride of the Mandalorian fleet. Now its hull and armor was being melted down to forge the newest capital ships of the Rebel Alliance and her remaining ordinance was being diverted to much smaller, less fearsome craft.

 

“What are you doing here? You have authorization to be here?” A coarse, clipped tone--Corellian?  Johanna couldn’t see through the shielded faceplate--growled over the proximity comlink.

 

“Null-grav exercises. This is the largest stable position in the system.”

 

“Not where you’re standing, it ain’t,” the dockworker grunted, pointing downward to indicate a crimson ribbon of shaped charges. “This plate’s blasting off in thirty seconds. Might want to move there. In fact… you just stick near me so you can keep clear of any hazard zones. Check-check, twenty five, get clear.” The dockworker moved with surprising nimbleness given the ungainly suit that covered every square centimeter of his body. As Johanna stomped along the hull, she marveled at how the dockworker casually jogged, triggering his magwell boots in imitation of a run that she had seen on low-gravity worlds, with entire seconds between strides. Indeed, once the Bespinian had begun to imitate his stride, she bounded along the hull at a pace that rivalled her Bridge Rush and reached the next kilometer-long section of armor in only a few minutes.

 

Mid-stride, she didn’t even feel the explosion that sent a great durasteel square of armor drifting into space. She tailed the dockworker for some time, closely watching the efficient movements that conserved the energy needed to move the bulky suit.

 

An hour later, the Bespinian bounded along the hull to observe a team of dockworkers disassembling a railgun battery. A team of twenty was swarming over the fortification like a horde of ants, cutting apart the massive barrels and manually ripping out tangles of conductive fiber and circuitry into open space, where it would be collected by the shipyard’s droids. This particular battery was only a short distance from an airlock--not one of the tiny, two-man umbilicals, but a five-meter portal sealed by an armored blast door. Standing directly on the massive steel plate, Johanna stared downward and considered the force necessary to breach such a barrier. Man-portable ribbon charges would be insufficient--a proton torpedo would manage the task. Or… one of the boarding torpedoes that the Sith had used to great effectiveness at the Third Death Star could breach it and probably tunnel through several compartments before its inertia was finally stopped. Atmosphere would be a concern after breaching so many interior compartments, but portable air supplies were lighter than the charges needed to breach a seal that thick.

 

That was even assuming that a conventional assault was necessary. Taking a cue from the dockworkers, Johanna took a gentle leap at a run and triggered her suit’s thrusters. allowing for inertia to carry her the remainder of the six kilometers to the bridge. A gentle application of the magwell boots allowed her to take the landing at a bounding run, gradually coming to a halt over a hundred meters. Captain Bryce stood amongst the wreck of Medusa’s bridge and the terraces of its superstructure. The recessed bridge was a difficult target for a turbolaser or a starfighter to hit, but a marine could easily place breaching charges and blast through where the transparisteel canopy had been. A boarding action wasn’t even necessary--Bryce could see the welding marks that remained of the shield generators. Shaped charges--or even sustained fire from an E-Web--could demolish the towers in short order, rending the bridge vulnerable to strafing runs.

 

Before Bryce could begin to traverse the command superstructure and venture into the bridge, that obnoxious Agamarian drawl oozed over the comlink.


“Cap, we need’ja ‘ere back a’ Wreckin’ Machine.” Bryce shuddered. “Evac shuttle’s on ‘er way. C’n give yer report once, y’get back, but sumth’s going down.”

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  • 2 months later...

          Alliera had quickly entranced a group of the younglings with stories of old Tal'verda Glories, and legends her clan had about old Jedi and Sith. She didn't have much else to do at the moment, she didn't have a master yet to train her, and the classes she had been attending were out for the moment. Other than that, she had been festooned into helping get people situated, even 6 months after Coruscant things were still a mess at the adhoc 'Jedi Temple'. During this time, Alliera had garnered a minor following among the younglings with her stories. The younglings accepted Alliera, in a place where everyone else seemed too busy to deal with the Jedi Hopeful. That helped the Mandalorian to fit in with the big Jedi 'Family', and caused her to 'open up' more to the idea of being a Jedi and a part of the 'family'. That caused a problem though. Her new family was in a perceived peril. 

 

        Like all good Mandalorian Clans, Clan Tal'verda kept an eye on prospective contracts for Bounty Hunting work that went beyond the norm. The bounty on Force Users was among the contracts that the girl's previous life made her aware of. Younglings certainly counted, in Ally's reckoning, she had seen a few do interesting things with the force already. To add to that concern, they were on Nar Shaddaa, where the kind of Bounty Hunters that absolutely would steal a child were likely to be. The Jedi were too busy either still scraping together something from their previous life, or trying to deal with the ascendant Sith Empire. The Alliance Military could likely do something, but with how big and corrupt Nar Shaddaa was, something was bound to slip through the cracks. So, Alliera was again in her armor, craddling Ori'kad, the improvised Energized Shotgun. The younglings, unknown to her, had seen her go with concern. The children, with a determination only children posess, went to go find one of the really important adults to tell them what was going on. 

 

   ----------------------------------------------------

 

       

     Alliera's first target was a dingy bar, one she had found deep in the alleyways and backstreets. Even walking in, the girl could see that she had been right about this place, there were plenty of the types her parents had taught her to avoid keeping to isolated tables or shadowy booths... The bar was also packed, but not as much. "What can I get ya?" The Bar-droid asked, washing a glass like the walking cliche he was. "A corellian ale will be fine." As the droid got her order, a group was eyeing her up. She was young yes, but a Mandalorian was a Mandalorian, and the bounty they were chasing made it a sure thing that they they could afford her. So when the girl got her drink, a dark skinned Rodian slipped onto the stool next to the girl, careful to avoid the rather large gun. "My associates and I were wondering if you'd be interested in helping us." He said, after signalling the bar droid that he didn't want anyhing "Not safe to discuss here, join us if your interested, there are alot of credits in it if we succeed." The Rodian left back to his dark booth, where he doubtlessly had a crew waiting. Alliera made a show of thinking about it over her drink, before setting down the empty class and coming over. 

 

    The group consisted of the Rodian, 2 humans in ramshackle armor, a Twi-Lek in scavanged Stormtrooper armor, and a Devaronian in a smuggler's outfit. "Now that your interested, here's the job: There's a pretty substantial bounty on Force Users, and the new 'Jedi Temple' here on Nar Shaddaa has a bunch of little snot 'younglings' that should do nice..." One of the humans had started to say, before the distinctive retort of a Westar-55 silenced him. The body's head bounced off of the booth wall and slammed on the table. Alliera was out of the booth, and the next shot came from the Ori'kad, as the rest of the 'crew' were trying to either pull blasters of thier own or get out. The Devaronian wasn't helping matters as he was simultaniously pushing the body and trying to shove his compatriots out of the way, he was at the very back to the booth and was almost stuck. These movements jostled the rest of the crew and made the efforts to run or fight all the more confusting. The energized nerfshot* blasted through the rodian and the Twi'lek, both of which were trying to pull thier own side arms while being jostled by the table and the other. 

 

The Devaronian, pulled out a pouch, and dumped a bunch of black powder into his hand, as his last human compatriot finally pulled his blaster and started shooting at the girl. "You think you can mess with me, kill my friends without consiquence!?!" The Human called, as Alliera jumped over the bar "I'M GOING TO KILL YOU, AND DROP YOUR FRELLING HEAD OFF AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE TEm..." THe human didn't say anymore, because an usually strong Devaronian hand was around his throat, and he was thrown to the side. The Devaronian was able to finally extricate himself from the bodies and the booth, and charged the bar. By this point, the patrons and the Bar Droid had all evacuated the area, and were cowering in one of the back rooms. Alliera tried to grab Ori'Kad to shoot the Devaronian, but it was pulled from her grasp and thrown to the opposite side of the bar, as she was pulled up by her neck. Like her gun, the girl was thrown, this time to the booth...where this had all began. the young woman's back slammed into the edge of the booth table with a 'WHAM', and a cry from the girl before she fell to the ground. She found herself smeling something vaguely familiar.. "Sulfer?" she asked, more to herself than others. "Yeah, I keep a pouch with me at all times, to help me deal with little bugs like you." The Devaronian said, grabbing a bottle of ale off from behind the bar...confident in his victory. What the devaronian didn't realize was the blaster shots from his former companion had shattered many of the bottles and storage mediums behind the bar, leading to a growing puddle and trail of Alchohol. that quickly spread from under his boots to a few meters in several directions. The fumes and smell was becoming almost too much for a normal human, but the Devaronian wasn't paying attention. He was drunk on his power, and what he would do to the little Mandalorian that had killed his compatriots. 

 

One person that did notice what happened was Alliera, as she was getting up, she remembered what her Ba'buir taught her about how flamable Alchahol was, and how it wasn't necissarily the liquid. Alliera flashed her flamethrower somewhere close to one of the growing puddles, and it worked. The Devaronian was preparing to move again, to show this little mandalorian who was really the boss...before he got set ablaze by a mix of the flumes that engulfed him and the natural flammability of organic beings. The Bar exploded shortly afterwards, too many flames and high pressure systems were compromised. Luckily, the bar patrons had either left, or hid with thier bar seated breathren in the back, so noone was hurt...other than the Devaronian...who was already on fire to begin with. Alliera, seeing her work done, walked away from the mess and into the back alleys and streets of Nar Shaddaa, but not before grabbing the Ori'kad. She hadn't intended to blow up the bar, but her father had always said that it was just a hazard of doing the business in a place of highly flammable chemicals and high pressure containers. 

Edited by MandaJetii
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  • 1 month later...

Nar Shadaa, the Smuggler's Moon...

 

Or so it had been called such for hundreds of millennia. Now it was the home base of the Rebel Alliance and it's trio of Lightsided Foundations. But even amidst the brightest of lights, shadows linger in its cracks and crevasses, hidden from sight from even the most detailed viewers. And this is where the criminal underworld of the once economic Hutt space still resided.

 

K'reel walked amongst the many back alleys and side streets, visiting the darkest of dives as any smuggler would in such a highly judiciary planet such as the one Nar Shadaa had become. The Karkarodon towered above most sapients and sentients, but even one such as he easily could disappear and reemerge amongst the crowded masses as need be. Such was the way of an alien world where many gathered. And with a little mental fortitude and luck, no one could grow to be the wiser.

 

His contact was like any other, a dock worker with a habit, scrounging up the last few credits to support it without his family being any of the wiser. He held no true knowledge what the information would be purposes for, only the request for the information of local departures from the Red and Black district. So when K'reel made his initial approach, his grimacing teeth barring a deathly unappealing smile, the Sullustan was quite surprised and taken aback.

 

"Are you the one who requested fish lady Jedi departure?" He question squealishly in his native tongue. "Family will notice if I no return."

 

"Silence Sullustan." K'reel spoke, his tone barely above a whisper as his gaze slowly shifted about the darkened room before he pulled out a fairly sized portion of spice. "Dead contacts make information a scarse commodity."

 

With a relieved sigh, he took his payment and placed it inside his uniform before leaning in closely to speak. "Fish lady Jedi go to frozen Jedi world Ilum. Flew away few days ago. Don't know why anyone want to visit frozen worlds, especially fish lady."

 

K'reel smiled as the Sullustan spoke and leaned back, his rows of teeth stratching completely across as he stood up. Nodding his head, K'reel made ready to depart. So Ilum was his next destination. He knew Jedi held certain worlds sacred, but like the Sullustan, couldn't fathom why anyone would traverse such harsh worlds. But then again, Jedi rarely made any sense to anyone outside their Order. 

 

Ilum or not, she was his target. And that would be where he would be going next.

Edited by Kreel Son of Drell
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  • 6 months later...

The streets were more crowded than she would have thought. Nothing like the sprawling carve granite walkways of Naboo, everything here was dense and dark. Prefab buildings on prefab buildings, the perfect place for crime to be fostered. But the Rebels, or at least their Imperial Remnant predecessors had done much to clear out the criminal underworld. Reports of the mass execution of the Hutt slaving class were not uncommon, and Namari did not much care about it. What she did care for however were the children and other beggars that wandered the streets. Too young for the jobs that were offered, and rebellious enough to ignore the schools and the mind numbing education programmes that teachers pumped out en masse. 

 

Namari did not care for any of it. Instead she walked the refugee wardens with two non uniformed soldiers, giving what credits she could to the beggars. Almsgiving being a key part of her own personal religion. Not to mention she actually genuinely cared for the plight of the refugees. Many were from her own world. Which had been brutally laid to waste.

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Setting out of place within the grimy world, a large twisted tree stood. It’s branches hung heavily, the black foliage glistening in the sunlight. It was such an odd eccentricity amongst the manmade structures, prefabricated homes, and dreary life that even now hovered over the people of Nar Shaddaa. Nobody knew where the tree had come from or what had forced the upheaval of duracrete cobblestones to reveal the earth the tree clung to. If asked, any passerby would just shrug and offer an explanation of some variation amounting to, “one day it wasn’t there. Then one day it was.”

 

And yet, there was something about the tree that kept the locals from hacking it down for firewood or fun, a soft glow that seemed to warm the hearts of any that took rest beneath it’s shadow. It really was in the way if one thought about it.

 

The tree bore no fruit. It’s black leaves seemed a stark contrast to the usual green of plant life. The twisted wood was of little use but to be burned. Still, it rarely dropped leaves or branches and all in all was a tidy little spot that seemed to not accumulate any rubbish or refuse.

 

Today, a group of children had taken to playing amongst the great timber’s branches, scrambling up and down and around. Their laughter echoed down the streets, warming the hearts of those who heard them. Their mothers gathered nearby exchanging gossip, bits, and baubles with ever watchful eyes.

 

Deep within the tree, a being sighed mentally. It was not a sigh of frustration or grief. If one were to compare sighs, this one was almost pleasant. And with that sigh, the tree’s branches and leaves rustled as if blown by a warm breeze even though there was no wind in the still cityscape’s air.

 

Contentment. Frond was content here. After the goings on of Ossus, he had cast himself away from the Jedi and back to that which he knew, to the world beyond shadows. There he contemplated for what felt like a step before eternity. Yet even there, the lessons of the force, of the Jedi, followed him. In a world beyond physiciality, the tree found himself meditating, moving his wooded humanoid body along the paths of  martial contemplation. He did not have a lightsaber, that part of him, along with his connection to the Jedi and the poisons of the dark side had been hewn off by the Jedi and Imperial Knights.
 

Frond was still a Mind Walker and yet, he was more. He cared little for the material world. The force was all that was truth. Beyond the crude matter of the worlds about him in the galaxy. Yet he continued to see glimpses of the galaxy, of the mortal coil. Flashes of violence, smoking deathscapes, burning jungles, and more. Violence plagued wherever he looked, whenever he looked. So it was that one day, Frond had taken to securing transport off world to this dreary landscape, drawn by the aura of hopelessness and an inexplicable feeling that something of great importance to not just the mortal world, but the force itself, could happen here.

 

And amongst such dreary existence, Frond had planted himself one cloudless night, a flash of yellow light and a frack transforming his humanoid form into a towering ancient tree, willowy in nature, twisted trunk and hanging tendrils. From there he returned to his meditations, emanating the seeds of light implanted by the Jedi outward to counteract the looming darkness.

 

So even now, Frond sighed, relaxing and enjoying the moment as it played out. He did not look towards the future and her looming darkness. This was peace. Here, amongst the laughter of children and the chatter of friends, the backdrop of pain and suffering, carried by a galactic war, melted into oblivion.

 

Frond was happy. Well, he was as happy as he could be on what he felt to be this doomed mortal scape. And so he sat, basking in the light of the sun, nourishing his wooded form, his mind aglow as he simply existed in the moment, allowing the joy of the children to become his very own. At least here, in this out of the way intersection of the burrows and ghettos, there was joy.

 

Then he felt it, a presence not of these tired and toiled, but something different, a regal bearing of blemished light, stomped but not extinguished. Where it moved, it glowed, lighting embers of hope upon it’s path.  Such a peaceful moment approached and before he knew it, had melded with his own. Without eyes in this form, Frond could not see, but he felt her, this hope giving gracefulness, and he was intrigued.

 

The tree creaked as Frond instinctively leaned slightly, his viney swaying appendages reaching to be nearer the presence that was Queen Namari.

 

One of the children, a dark-haired boy of no more than nine, with eyes to match ran to the Queen and grabbed her hand. His white toothy smile illuminated his entire face as he tugged at her hand. “C’mon! Come closer to the tree! Leave a gift and be repaid in ten!” he chortled playfully as he tugged Namari beneath the dangling blankets of glistening black plant.

 

Within the shadowy canopy, children crawled back and forth above and the twisted and gnarled trunk was adorned with all manners of toys and baubles left there by the locals. Each day they would leave their gifts for the mysterious tree and the next sunrise, they would be gone. Sometimes they appeared at another’s home in their window or upon their doorstep. Other times they seemed to vanish for days or weeks before showing back up; always at the home of they that needed it most. It was a miracle to some. Magic to others. Yet no one could deny the benefits that were conveyed when their need was met by the mysterious tree that seemed to facilitate the provision of their communal needs.

 

And as the refugee Queen of the Naboo passed beneath his fronds, his tendrils draping her shoulders like a cape, Frond felt her touch and his mind reached out for hers, ‘The touch of the spring, carries hope unto the life, vanquished is autumn’

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