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Nar Shaddaa - Rebel Alliance Headquarters


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“Good, I am glad you know the lesson of power. At least intellectually.” 

 

She let the metallic strap and durasteel emitters on her left arm phase into a shimmering crimson shield. And the gold of her saber matched the Trandoshans. 

 

“So tell me, what fighting styles do you know from your times among the tribes?” She held up the shield. “Attempt to attack me, so that I may judge your ability.”

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Draygo woke with a start and a snort. Dataslates fell from her desk as she pushed herself away from her desk, and she rubbed at a series of ridges burrowed into her cheek from falling asleep on the pile of tablets. She had collapsed from exhaustion after poring over intelligence reports for two days.

 

There could be no time to dwell. This was more than making excuses along the lines of “necessities of the war effort”: the Rebel Alliance was at a severe backfoot after the loss of Fondor and Mon Calamari. Predictably, the Kuati nobility had displayed their predilection for governments even more depraved than their ancient class privileges. Without the gain of a new array of shipyards, it was possible that the entire venture of the Rebel Alliance would simply wither and die from sheer attrition. This state of affairs was not quite as dire as it might have seemed, however. Though Mon Calamari was a loss whose value that could not be easily calculated, there were several ostensibly neutral systems that had been reliable allies of the Galactic Republic in the past. Certainly, they had been treated as hunting grounds for the more imaginative Sith Lords.

 

Gaining access to those was likely to be contingent on their success at Fondor and Kuat. Admiral Slaughter might have been an uncompromising, merciless butcher of an officer, but he was at least well-suited to the cold-hearted task of subjugating a hostile world--and Kuat, at least, was far from a Sith-dominated planet.

 

Her hand groped for a mug of caf. She glared down. empty. She was going to need to banish the sleep-haze--and indulge her addiction--before meeting with Tobias Vos and embarking on their mission. A visit to the commissary and two cups of twice-brewed caf took care of that, and she soon boarded his repainted YT-2000 freighter with an extra pair of mugs for the benefit of the Jedi Master and his Padawan. She banged on the side of the boarding ramp, instinctively making her way towards the common room in the familiar Corellian layout. There she found the Kiffar, who was poring over civilian clothing--not unarmored Jedi robes, but fabric trousers and a tunic--and of all things, a thin vest made of some kind of cheap faux-leather.

 

“People… really wear this kind of clothing?” She asked of Vos, gauging the thin vest with a skeptical eye. “I mean, the fit isn’t bad, but that faux-leather will provide absolutely no protection against blaster fire… and… haven’t these people heard about layering?”

 

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On 2/22/2021 at 1:29 PM, Alcmène said:

“Good, I am glad you know the lesson of power. At least intellectually.” 

 

She let the metallic strap and durasteel emitters on her left arm phase into a shimmering crimson shield. And the gold of her saber matched the Trandoshans. 

 

“So tell me, what fighting styles do you know from your times among the tribes?” She held up the shield. “Attempt to attack me, so that I may judge your ability.”

 

Vox nodded and swung once- a mid swinging motion held back, he didn't want to hurt the woman but didn't want to be sluggish either. Then a moment later he swing again following up from his prior attack, then again but at a faster pace. Vox memorized his sword spear and though this weapon had little to not weight on it he utilized that to the best of his ability. The saber however threw him off, and it was evident he tried to grasp such a light weapon. 

 

The Trandoshan Chieftain however began to slowly adapt to, knowing this would likely replace his once-most used heavier pole arm. Instead of continuously using one hand he grasped the weapon mid-swing with another hand, wanting better control of the light sword instead of acting like it had weight. His attacks were better controlled this way both in attack and in returns, however still unrefined. At least Vox was able to grasp it better somewhat. 

 

Vox then stated, "Thus weapon isn't light at all, it has no weight. Abd this is what you Jedi and Sith mainly use?"

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“We’re sending you and a platoon of Talons to Bothawui. Choose well, try to pick soldiers who you trust to be on good behavior.” They had said two days ago. “They” being Admiral Klatchka himself--the old Mon Calamari had actually considered it necessary to speak to someone as far down the chain of command as the captain of a below-strength company of airborne shock troopers.

 

It had taken Johanna a few seconds to recover her wits, which had gone searching for an escape pod the moment that she had learned that the Admiral needed to speak to her personally about an important matter. Once they had finally given up the search and consigned themselves to going down with the ship, the potential import of this briefing had gotten her attention. The marine immediately perked up and sat up in such a posture that she appeared to have been surgically implanted with a durasteel girder in her spine.

 

“Sir? Didn’t the Bothan only just join the Rebel Alliance…” The marine was busy ticking down the days, which could be numbered in the single digits.

 

“Ongoing incorporation, Captain, yes. We’re hoping that your Talons can make progress in that regard while we formally bring their territory and military into the Alliance. Part of those efforts is an officer exchange--a few of our top soldiers for a few of theirs, a corvette for a corvette. Demonstration of each side’s capabilities. The goal is to look smart, look tough, and in the name of the Force to stay out of trouble while the diplomats finish with the microprint.” The salmon-skinned Calamari fixed the Captain with a single side-viewing eye, making the taller woman feel as though she were at least a foot shorter. “Feeling up to it, Captain?”

 

A Talon did not turn down a challenge. “Aye, sir! We’ll give the Bothans a show, sir.”

 

“Good. You and that former marshall--Colonel Howlster--will be working together. There will be a packet of secondary objectives to achieve. But whatever you do, Captain,” again, the Mon Cal fixed the marine with a single eye. “Do not anger the Bothans. You may go.”

 

_______

 

Which was how, two days later, Captain Bryce found herself on one of The Red and Black’s larger docking bays--one of the platforms capable of servicing a corvette or even some of the smaller frigates in the Alliance. One of the new Senth-class Picket Ships rested as an enormous flying wing on the deckplates, unpainted but nonetheless ludicrously polished in that mirror-like finish that the Naboo Royal Engineers invariably used to decorate their starships.

 

Johanna and the forty Talons that she had hand-picked were somewhat less polished. An entire day had been spent scrubbing out the blaster creases (and occasionally a direct hit) from the last month of almost-constant fighting; the inevitable dents of combat maneuvers were similarly hammered out. Although the plastoid plate wasn’t polished or waxed or treated with any other ludicrous embellishments, they almost looked presentable for inspection. More notably was a new addition to their armor; they had recently been issued with the Alliance’s latest attempt at hypermobile combat--a light jetpack clung to each of their backs and they each wore a black, blast-resistant belt-spat that was so fresh from the assembly lines that they still reeked of the chemical treatment.

 

The cost to the new gear was that some of their heavier weapons, like the E-Webs in the heavy weapons squads, would need to be left behind. The engines on the jetpacks simply couldn’t accommodate the extra weight.

 

The belt-spat was, however, a very nice touch, a surprising mixture of ceremonial and practical. It would protect against the backplast of the jetpacks… and Johanna found herself standing just a little straighter so she could feel the weight of the garment against her legs.

 

Captain Bryce waited while her Talons boarded the corvette and Howlster’s men arrived. She found herself sweating--it was a warm day for Nar Shaddaa, and she’d been told that Bothawui was warmer.

 

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She took the point of the blade on the outer corner of her shield, the blade struck and rebounded, and she stepped back as he added his formidable strength to the blade and struck again. Her eyes followed and she sidestepped, intercepting the blow again on the center of the shield, the humm of the kinetic barrier increasing in pitch as the generator struggled to counteract the blow. The shield flashed a solid crimson and she grinned. 

 

“Well done!” 

 

She pulled her own blade and brought it up in a slow counter to his strike. 

 

“Now see how they counteract. How the blades wish to stick together. Many Jedi and Sith alike have been killed this way. Go against the flow of the blade, withdraw and strike again.” 

 

She waited until he had gotten the hang of it. 

 

“Now close your eyes completely and let the force guide you. It will be slow at first, and strange. But you will feel it warning you of my strikes.” 

 

And so she struck.

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On 2/22/2021 at 1:29 PM, Alcmène said:

 

 

Vox listened intently and realized how the blades pulled to each other. Once they interlocked he didn't quite understand as to why this locking would kill any Jedi or Sith until he realized there could be other advantages... But perhaps far more disadvantages. He regarded the woman's words and continued. When the woman told Vox to close his eyes and focused. Every little detail was pushed out, no cluttered thoughts, he focused more into a deeper state just as before and allowed the Force to take him. 

 

When Alcemene's attack came Vox swiftly brought up his blade with both hands in opposition, both weapons bouncing from each other. And as she said, this experience was indeed weird however familiar. It was like when he was being led from place to place, every decision based on the Divine which was now the Force; at least that's what it seems to be. 

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Tobias shrugged as if Armenia's point about the vest wasn't anything to worry about; to him it wasn't. He smiled without meeting her gaze and took the vest off. It was similar to his scoundrel days and he missed the feel of the regular clothing. Despite belonging to the same order, preferences varied greatly. "You're not wrong, but if you go anticipating combat the more likely it is going to find you. I usually wear a combat sleeve under everything I wear anyways. Besides- to reactivate the connection there I will have to act a certain part- and that requires looking a certain part as well." 

 

He sighed, and sat down on the bench by the table. "Helps us remain incognito too, for the most part. A lot of this was from a few years ago under Kirlocca and... " His mood grew dark and he stumbled over the next word out of his mouth. Regret, sadness, and a certain longing spiced his Force Aura and he moved his hand to his nose and sniffed as if pulling back a tear. "...Dahar. so most of this stuff has hidden pockets for saber components or if bulky enough- full hilt sabers."

 

"But anyways, what's on your mind? My apprentice is out trying to find out trandosian friend, so we have a moment to discuss things if you wish. Or there is ale in the cooler." His arm extended to the little kitchenette across the way. His blind eyes not locking onto the little nook, but his former chipper mood was returning.

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“Thank you, but I can’t drink.” THere was just the barest emphasis on the can’t in Draygo’s polite abstention from Vos’ offer, and a twitch of her left eye. It was possible that he had heard some of the rumors about the Jedi Grandmaster when she was younger--somewhat overfond of good food and drink, seemed to have smuggled a small stash into every significant Jedi outpost in the Core… disappeared and reportedly had some significant difficulties after the Third Death Star. 

 

An intelligent person probably would have put the breezy rebuttal and the almost-wink together to arrive at an uncomfortable conclusion of what these difficulties might have been.

 

She leaned against the opposite wall and folded her arms.

 

“In this case I suspect you’re correct. I’d rather the Sith not divert their resources to the planet until it is thoroughly prepared. I’m distracted by…” She forced her attention away from the departure of her Padawan. “Well, Borleias is practically home to me. I met my master there, spent more time on that planet than any other, I even worked the refugee camps after Coruscant fell. On that note, some of the people that my Padawan and I healed were veterans from the Galactic Alliance. They might be useful. But bringing the war back home will feel…”

 

There was a pause as she searched for the words. Somewhere in The Red and Black, there was a team of combat engineers assembling parts and equipment to service a squadron of starfighters and maintain a small listening post. On her own ship there was a chain of programming spikes that were vital to hijacking the world’s Holonet network and her insurance policy of several satchel charges. She had determined that her second home was ripe for infiltration, and chaos would be unleashed upon it the moment she gave the word.

 

“...very peculiar.”

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