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Nar Shaddaa - Rebel Alliance Headquarters


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Alcmène grinned broadly. Straightened her tunic and made sure her equipment was still in place. She flashed an expensive credit chit, one of Tapani make, and also emblazoned with the royal colours of her household. 

 

“I can certainly help with that, and I would love to meet your people, please lead the way!” 

 

She tossed him the credit chit.

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Without missing a beat, Vox nodded as he caught the odd small chip. He looked it over once catching the fine detail and unique color briefly but didn't care much for it. The metallic sliver would be put to use and the lizard assumed it was currently... Of some sort. He'd need to learn of these people and their ways of life, as for the Nudono Tribe their currency were pelts and metals and livestock trade. Their lives were simple and perhaps not even as complex as these outsiders with their lights and technologies. It would take time for the Chieftain to learn their ways. 

 

Vox's first stop were a stand that sold a variety of meat and cooked goods. He spent whatever he could with that chip on plenty of raw food, including spices and sauces and recipe booklets that supposedly came with them. Whoever the vendor was they seemed in a state of bliss and surprise when Vox bought so much however to the Trandoshan he had six mouths to feed not including himself. He went from vendor to vendor, booth to shop instead of visiting the high end places buying a variety of relatively cheap items until he used up the entirety of the credit chip. By now, his arms were full to the brim, shoulders covered in packages meats and bags hanging from his arms and whatever else being carried in a cradle position. 

 

As Vox finished his splurge of fifteen minutes, he turned and begun walking back the way he originally came from... Then turned back to Alcmène, "I do not know my way from here. We live near a starport of sorts, a refugee camp with containers used as buildings. Can you guide me there?"

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“Of course!” Exclaimed the young Tapani Jedi Knight, she let her eyelids flutter closed. “Now watch and observe if you can what I do through the force.” She let her presence stretch out to her apprentice, feeling over his mind, memorizing the biological feelings, the predator spirit, then expanded her presence outwards. Focusing on the distant spaceport, searching, until she found a group of presences that nearly matched Vox’s. And slowly she let that guide her through the densely packed streets of Nar Shaddaa. 

 

She frowned as they made their way deeper into the stacked tenement prefabs and she found herself wishing for the long open fields of Outremer. The rolling dunes and little oasis’s. Anything better than this dense cityscape. 

 

She pointed to one of the doors that looked just like all the others. 

 

“I uh…” She concentrated again. “I think this is the right door.”

 

Her dad would likely complain about the expenses on her credit chit, but what good was money unless it was helping people? 

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Voxs' attempt to use the Force were in vain, he tried twice using the same method yet each time met with nothing though he could barely feel the power of Alcmène... Doing something. It was apparent that whatever Alcmène was doing she immediately acted on it, hesitantly at first, but there was the confirmation of it. At least, he thought. The pair traveled through the cramped city streets of the great city, Vox followed closely to Alcmène as she clearly knew the way. 

 

Though the city was great with it's lights and glamour and such, Vox already grew tired of the massive place. It would have been nice to go roam a plains or a jungle, perhaps even hunt animals with his tribe once more. That dream would be one reality again, one day he and the other warriors would revel in the hunt and spend a good portion of time in the woods again. To feel the rugged tug of branches and plants, having the call of the wind beckon the hunters further, the soft to rough dirt and moss beneath his scaly feet and of course the rush of the chase. And now more than ever he missed that, all because a dispute between him and his brother Atrinox which gree worse. 

 

Shaking away the memories, Vox snapped back to reality and had focused on what Alcmène had just said. A second later the words came back in his head and in realizing it, they were at the recreational area for refugees and the like. He looked at the widely spaced doors and remembered that it was the horribly scratched one. Nudging his head, Vox pointed out the scratched up metal door, "That one there. Do not make sudden moves when you enter, my men would be inclined to shoot you."

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She mimicked a bow, she had never spent time among a Trandoshan Den, but she began to filter the air coming into her nostrils with the force just in case there was a smell. She grinned at Vox, made sure her Red tunic was not too wrinkled and stepped after him into his family’s household. She gave them a bow of respect, but let Vox do the main introductions. She was here to help and support if they needed anything. And surely the treasury of OUtremer could afford a few credits for the downtrodden? 

 

Surely.

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As the pair moved in, the other Trandoshans noticed just the severe amount of groceries and miscellaneous objects in the way of a familiar face, and behind it a woman smaller than it walked in. Varsus was the first to notice, sitting on a soft sofa with an arm in a sling, he had been looking at a data-pad he didn't have before. One he shouldn't have at all. He was the first to raise a Mauler up, the design of the weapon appearing alien yet barbaric due to its primitive design and the blade attached to it. 

 

Krexis, an oddly snow white Trandoshan who was sitting with Rylast, easily the largest Trandoshan in life; were sitting at a separate long and steel table. It was clear they had the various weapons apart including two Maulers, the weapon clips taking rounds instead of being loaded with gas like modern day weapons. There were a few spike rounds yet to expand that were being loaded into cartridges and magazine clips, three Puncture Rifles cleaned to near perfection and several linked-grenades carefully place beside them. As soon as Rylast seen Varsus go for his weapon, he immediately brought up a Spiker and Krexis right after aimed another at the pair going beyond the door. 

 

Chaox and Equinox could be heard arguing with Romulus in the back, bits and pieces of, "Equipment," and, "Base," and similar things brought up. The three soldiers in the room were about to fire but upon hearing the weapons cocked Vox states aloud, "Easy!! It's me!" 

 

Krexis, upon hearing Vox's voice lowers his weapon immediately and simply replies quietly, "Oh, it's just Vox." 

Rylast says nothing and lowers his weapon, standing up and even from the several foot distance it was clear he was a behemoth compared to the Nudono Chieftain. He went on to help unload the armored Vox of his hefty bounty, food and spices, odds and ends the company may find use for. Varsus lowered his Mauler and stands, only to find himself stumble and limp on his left leg. In the past few days the youngest of the bunch was clearly in bad condition and it finally brought Vox's attention to the injured soldier. 

 

"I see you have been out looking to mate, you old hound you!" Varsus said with a sly grin, wincing a little as he tried to step forward. 

 

Vox set the rest of the items down and went over to the young soldier, placed an armored glove on his unhurt shoulder and gently pushed him down back to the sofa. The smelled of gunpowder, metal, and oddly enough a mixture of rainfall and wildflowers. The Chieftain have a concerned glance as he looked over Varsus for a moment. The soldier was far more wounded than he remembered, the charred scales already shedding off as new ones grew however it didn't take away from the sling arm and the knee brace. Did the liberation for Chandrila really hurt him that badly? 

 

"You look worse." Vox states as he finally slaps Varsus upside the head for the previous comment. 

"It's nothing!" Varsus shot back, clearly trying to not bring attention to his wounds. 

 

Krexis mutters just loud enough, "Broken leg, broken forearm, and half your body cooked. Yes, that is nothing." 

 

"You're resting until we can come up with a better solution for your healing, however you're staying until you are completely healed." Vox said in an authoritative tone. It was clear he was serious and was not to be questioned, causing Varsus to mutter 'Yes sir' whilst looking away. The last thing Vox needed was for his youngest troop to die or be further injured. 

 

"Sorry for that," The Chieftain said turning to Alcmène, "We're not too trusting of-" 

 

"You can't keep stealing things! It's bad enough we're down a warrior, we don't need  our brains and engineer imprisoned or worse!" Shouted an angry Trandoshan. 

 

"I told you already, those damned Imperials refused to give us material to repair the armor! I'm doing what I must to upkeep both that and our weapons, these plastic suits they wear into battle won't cut it, Equinox!" Countered another angry lizard. 

 

"We can find a different way, and Romulus is right, these materials they are giving us aren't adequate. One of our chest plates can easily handle a blaster bolt but the things those fools wear can't even handle one of our punches," States am otherwise third calm tone, "On the other hand, Romulus, I understand our situation which is why I said to wait for Vox. If you would quit being so impatient we wouldn't be having this talk!" 

 

With a heavy sigh, Vox slumped his armored shoulders and said to Alcmène,"Come along then, I'd rather have you in there than here."

 

With a turn Vox walked down a long corridor leading into an open room where one armored Trandoshan similar to the Chieftain were sitting at a dining table, and a Trandoshan in a lightly armored gray jumpsuit was standing leaning against a chair. Another in pure black with orange detailed armor leaned against the wall, easily the calmest of the triad. The sitting Trandoshan shook his head and continued to say, "Don't try and defend him Chaox, he disobeyed orders, and now we have Imperial Troops looking for a missing technology and solid metal plating. To add, he hacked into a terminal! How much trouble can that get us into?" 

 

"Wait till Vox gets here, we-" Chaox was abruptly cut off by his older brother. 

 

"-Can wait to sort this out with him here?" Vox finished crossing his arms, leaking against the doorway, "And pray tell, what exactly are we going to sort out?" 

 

The three were silent for a moment before Chaox finally replied, "Well, your most trusted technophile decided to steal a few things from some Imperial Officers." 

 

Romulus turned to Vox and quickly gives an explanation, "Look, they don't have a very good view of us for some reason and we're treating us like we weren't to be trusted. So... I... Ehmm... Borrowed-" 

 

"-Stole." Chaox quickly interrupts with a smirk.

 

"Borrowed a few things! They wouldn't help us, even when I told them we helped liberate that capitol of Chandrila and you guys hijacked two star destroyers from that station, one of them goes, "Anyone could have done that," Like they didn't believe us! I couldn't find you, so I did what I had to!"

 

Romulus seemed both angered and bothers by the situation as a whole, and with his power coming back very slowly, Vox could feel the fear the smaller Trandoshan had. All he wanted to do was serve his tribe on the nest way, and he broke a few rules because of a few asses. He had known the smartest Nudono warrior for years, they grew up together, fought and hunted together, and even kept the secret when Romulus was sneaking out to learn about technology from an outsider; a Common Trandoshan not of their tribe. By heart, Romulus broke rules to get what needed to get done, but Vox couldn't help but feel both proud and silly about the situation. Proud their engineer was loyal to the core, but silly that he stole from allies to get the job done. Vox wasn't sure if Alcmène was feeling out his emotions, maybe she'd be disappointed but he cared not. 

 

"Romulus," Vox finally said breaking an odd silence, walking up to his oldest friend and placing a comforting hand on Romulus's shoulder, his tone wasn't an angry one but rather a father teaching their child a lesson, "I appreciate you doing that, but the way you did was wrong. Remember, this isn't the Crescent Wilds, we're surrounded by potential allies and enemies. We shouldn't steal from our allies anyhow, it's wrong, and places us in both a bad and odd situation. Do you understand?" 

 

Romulus stood there digesting the words. He fiddled with his digits fir a moment before finally nodding. Vox stepped away and said to him, "Now, let's gather the items and return-" 

 

"Our armors repaired." 

 

"What?" Vox asked stupidly at the blunt statement.

 

"He used the technology to fix the helmets comms and heads-up-display, and in the process also repaired most of our equipment and armor. In that process, he used up everything he could, so whatever's left is junk until there's a use for it." Chaox finally replied with a large shit-eating grin across his scaly face. In the moment, Vox just realized that there wasn't anything to return, and that they may be in deep trouble. He would suggest keeping this quiet, but he wasn't certain of even that was a good idea. 

 

Vox then looked to Alcmène who'd been sidelined for the conversation. He wouldn't turn in any of his people for the sake of protecting himself, by gods, that was betrayal at it's finest. He'd be contempt with keeping this a secret. But it was an odd situation altogether for the Chieftain, and he asked Alcmène, "Any... Uhh... Thoughts?"

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Some time later, the YT-2000 freighter Prism settled on the landing pads surrounding The Red and Black. The Jedi Grandmaster had spent almost the entire journey in meditation, looking towards The Force for guidance--anything, a whisper of advice, a vision of a planet, a scent of foliage, a starfield… All she felt was the weight of a rifle in her hands, the smell of blood in the air, and the acrid tang of blaster oxidation on her tongue. And… ropes, all around her. They didn’t bind her, but they spread over every surface and threatened to tangle her ankles as she fought. 

 

This was possibly the most vague that The Force had ever been for her. Once she heard the urgent klaxon that signalled their proximity to Nar Shaddaa, Armiena rose from her feet and blinked away the sleep sand.

 

“I hope I will see you soon,” Draygo rasped through a dehydrated throat as she departed the Corellian freighter. “The Force be with you.”

 

Not quite certain of where to go, the Jedi Grandmaster took a few deep breaths and followed The Force. It led her to her own ship. She glanced from side to side at the top of the boarding ramp. The Force offered her no destination. Under these circumstances, her typical course of action were to wander towards her forge, gather some coils of fiber and ingots of steel, and set to work. That was exactly what Armiena chose, allowing her own sense of inspiration and The Force guide her to next creation...

 

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Genesis form shifted as the Prism exited hyperspace above Nar Shadaa, beads of sweat falling from his form as the ship's klaxons alerted their arrival. Wiping it away, his hair drenched and his form stiff, he returned the items and gathered his things for departure. He could feel his self centered and his emotions in check now that he had settled things within himself, and as he departed the Prism, he was calm and at peace. Katarr had taught him many things, but the biggest lesson was to always been cautious of one's self and limitations. As Armiena said her goodbye, he smiled. "And with you."

 

It was a bittersweet moment, him heading to Bothawui as a Jedi Knight and her role taking her elsewhere as Grandmaster, but he held a strong faith that the Force would bring them back together numerous times in the war that was brewing. He would miss her in her absence, and rejoice in her presence. But as a Jedi Knight, he now had his own duties. Turning around, he made his way to seek passage off Nar Shadaa to Bothawui. But first, he needed to hit a refresher, and in the Red and Black, they were numerous.

 

Refreshed and cleaned, Genesis departed the area and went in search of a means off of Moon when he felt a familiar presence approaching. It was Klexa, one of the Luka Sene approaching rather hastily, catching him off guard rather quickly. "Scorpio said you would be back soon. Come. There is one final thing he wishes to speak to you about." 

 

In truth, he had suspected them to be home by now, not waiting on Nar Shadaa for him. But he knew if Scorpio left something out, he would stick around to finish it. As Klexa departed, Genesis was quick to keep on her heels. It wasn't like Scorpio to leave anything out, so this must have had reasons rather than being overlooked. It wouldn't take long for them to reach the starport where they had original landed and sure enough, Scorpio was there, but adorning a smile.

 

"So you found Armiena? Good for you Genesis." He jested as he wrapped his arms around Genesis and backed away, the teacher never much one for displays of affection. "Or should I say Jedi Knight?"

 

"I did, and I am." Genesis replied with a smirk, his mind wondering on why Scorpio had remained here and now made his approach. "But why are y'all still here? Is everything okay?"

 

"Everything is fine. I had a feeling that Master Darkfire would Knight you, so I wanted to wait and give you a gift as a farewell, something that helped me out in moments of need." Scorpio spoke with pride, similar to a Father passing down knowledge to his son. "I may not weild the Force anymore, but I can give you the basic knowledge of the arts. And since I know you, I have a feeling this knowledge will serve you best in the upcoming war. You will need to defend yourself, and if properly handled, these are your best defenses as a Knight."

 

Klexa moved to the forefront beside them, the Luka Sene an avid student in the Force with a strong ability to wield it. "First knowledge is creating a barrier of the Force." She spoke, moving her hands against the grain of the Force's currents that flowed around them and redirecting a portion to flow against it, like ripples atop a pond that clung to the skin and hands. "The barrier doesn't need to completely envelope you, only that you guide it to shield you against attack. This will aid you in battle against both physical and energetic forms". Motioning her hand out in front of her, Klexa offered Genesis to follow. "You try."

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Two hours later, Armiena’s work was completed and the Jedi Grandmaster lifted her face from a cloud of metallic dust and shavings. In this instance, she reflected that “work” was perhaps an apt descriptor, for no one would have thought of this inelegant, artless, pragmatic jury-rig of a grenade as a creation of art. The baradium core of a dismantled thermal detonator sat besides her like a malevolently glowing, imperceptibly radioactive paperweight; its thin aluminium shell was thoroughly pockmarked with liquid cable extruders; its payload had been replaced by an amalgamation of a liquid cable reservoir and pulsed energy projectile cell.

 

If the Jedi Ace had rewired the weapon correctly, it would be a chaotic weapon to deploy in combat, simultaneously threatening to blind, stun, and entangle its victims in cords. Though the name would never be spoken, dubbing the crude little jury-rig a Haywire grenade seemed an appropriate moniker.

 

However, kitbashing together grenades and being closer to her mother was never the intention for her return to Nar Shaddaa. The Red and Black was a nerve center for the Rebel Alliance, and such had access to some of the best communication facilities in the galaxy. Upon closing down the forges aboard McShipface, Draygo ventured into one of the briefing amphitheatres and evicted a pair of starfighter pilots who were detailing some maneuver at the battle of Fondor. As entertaining as the orange- and black-clad pilots were in discussing their exploits, even throwing in crude hand motions to detail their maneuvers and making laser blast sounds with their mouths, communicating with a small army of automated walkers took priority.

 

A holoprojection of the galaxy, detailed with pips indicating likely flashpoints and the locations of her Wolf Spiders, bloomed to life in the center of the briefing room.  At the moment, those droids were all localized around Borleias, Corellia, Nar Shaddaa, and Ossus, congregated in small groups or even pairs. After years of war, only forty of the droids remained--thirty-eight, if she excluded Saladin and her own walker. Draygo opened a transmission over the droids’ dedicated hive commcluster.

 

“My friends, I need you to resupply and redeploy.” Draygo spoke to the thirty-eight highly-attentive droids that had been monitoring this channel. “I am… afraid for the galaxy. I fear that the Sith have grown weary of wasting their efforts against the Galactic Core and are attempting an invasion against softer targets. I need you to redeploy to the Outer Rim and harden them.”

 

The list of destinations included a number of vital and obscure planets in the Outer Rim: Naboo, Sullust, Felucia, Kessel, and Arkanis. Eight walkers per world would not be sufficient to hold them against invasion--but if ordered to attack, they could bite hard.

 

The Jedi Grandmaster closed the communique without waiting to be deafened by the over-enthusiastic responses from the Wolf Spider. Armiena shifted towards an old journal that laid besides her. This handwritten… tome was not quite the right word to describe the article, for it was merely a set of observations by a long-dead Jedi, but it was part of the exceedingly scarce collections that the Archives had maintained from the Jedi Order just prior to its extermination at the hands of Palpatine. With solemn reverence, Armiena delicately pried apart the yellowed pages of flimsi--and smiled with gratitude at the realization that this dead Jedi Master had written his observations with a clear, crisp hand.

 

“I could scarcely keep pace. Determining where his blade would fall next was an impossibility. That was not unusual, for Master Windu had long made deadly use of Juyo--even against these pitiful battle droids. Always on the attack, always pushing deeper into their ranks--advance whenever possible, evade when needed, block only when absolutely critical. That was a hallmark of the Form, and being surrounded by an inferior force was a premier exhibition of its capabilities. But there was something different.

 

I sensed the Dark Side gathering around Master Windu. That is a poor description--I sensed it flow through and out of his presence, as though he acknowledged its touch, allowed it to move through him, and moved past it without him or it affecting the other. He may not have even been consciously aware of what was happening to him, for his eyes were utterly focused on the next step, his blade always in motion to strike down the next droid. He might have actually been smiling (I jest, for I do not recall seeing Master Windu ever smiling, not once, not in my entire life). It certainly seemed that he was enjoying the fight, even though the two of us were surrounded and barely enduring the waves of thousands of droids against our position.

 

It was a terrible sight, but also a beautiful one. One can marvel at the sudden destruction wrought by a tornado even while evacuating from its path. Or admire the ferocity of a vaapad… and be grateful that you’re at the opposite end of two centimeters of transparisteel. There may be something more to this technique that Master Windu has developed--its teaching is highly restricted, for even he has acknowledged how dangerous it might be--but it is intriguing how a Jedi Master of such a fraught history, hailing from a vicious world, and bearing such a challenging temperament has managed to touch the Dark Side without being lost to it. Or perhaps I have made an incorrect assumption. Perhaps this is merely a darkness that he has carried all his life, that he has always been touching, and he merely allows it to vent a little pressure?”

 

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Alcmène laughed. Though her knowledge of Trandoshan was very little, the speed that these men and women had been talking had left her completely out of the conversation. At a certain point it became a gibberish of growls and barks that she could not decipher other than to think that the clan was vaguely angry. She appreciated the rescue hook that Vox offered and she inclined her head to the chief and others in the room. 

 

“I have no thoughts, other than to thank you all for letting the best of you join us in the Jedi Order.”

 

She glanced at her wrist mounted micro datapad and winked at the trandoshan offshoot. She lowered her voice. 

 

“Would any of them be joining us on our next mission or is there anything I can do to help whatever situation is unfolding here?”

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As soon as Alcmène answered the Chieftain he somewhat jerked his head in thought. That was one situation solved. He then realized the four had spoken in their native tongue and too fast for the woman to really keep up, so he came up with the best possible answer and told Chaox, "You're keeping this quiet." 

 

The younger brother merely laughed at the statement and shook his head. Vox the looked Equinox who raised his hands. No protest there, and he didn't need to stare Romulus down as he wouldn't tattle on himself. With a sigh, Vid then turned back to Alcmène and replied, "I think we have it locked down. Now then, onto the important matter. I do have a few that will come along with us. I cannot bring everyone however as I have an injured warrior who needs to be watched." 

 

Vox then turned his head back to the three other Trandoshans in the room. They had had seen their fair share of combat, experienced with it however he also considered who would be more willing to go with himself and Alcmène. Romulus and Equinox were the first two that came to mind, then he began to raffle through which warriors would most likely be willing to go. He had a feeling Rylast would want to stay, Varsus was hurt, and perhaps Chaox wanted to make sure the troublesome peon remained put. One was good at enforcing and the other at creating chaos. 

 

That left Krexis. Vox begun to make his way back to the doorway and said to Alcmène before barking to two of his underlings, "We have three joking us. Romulus, Equinox! You're with us this time." 

 

After passing the much smaller woman Vox made his way to the main room where Krexis was already preparing gear. Looking at the ammo and equipment crates he then said, "You already know then?"

 

"Mhm," Krexis replied as he slipped on the heavy plated gauntlet, "I heard you yell at those jesters you call advisors. I assume the thief and the emotionally strict one?" 

 

Vox nodded as he pulled a repaired helmet from one of the crates. He slipped it on and powered on the internal system, the HUD coming to life before slipping it off and turning the helm off. 'Hell of a job Romulus,' thought the Chieftain as he put the typical load out of weapons onto clips of his armor. A Spiker, a Mauler, and his Puncture Rifle, and of course the Lightsaber that hung from a clip on his waist. The other three Trandoshans soon entered the room, two of which had begun to throw on their gear quickly. 

 

"We're ready whenever you are." Vox states to Alcmène as he slipped on the helmet once again. 

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Genesis stood at the forefront, letting the feel of the current run over his form like subtle waves, feeling the refreshing nature push and pull against him as it flowed. He shifted his hands out, feeling the cling of his fingers against it as he redirected it to flow with his hands, his mind calm and steady. He breathed in deep, exhaling slowly, as he attempted to follow Klexa's words.

 

"Good. Good. Now adjust, letting it become a part of who you are as a person, like breathing. It's okay to interrupt the natural glow, so long as it's in order to save lives." She spoke from her stance off to his side, the Luka Sene ever gazing at his overall form, watching his pull upon the currents that flowed around him. "With time and training, it can protect your entire form, or even others."

 

Genesis adjusted his hands, feeling the traction of the flow shift and redirect, following his hands like ripples upon the surface of a pond as he drudged them against it. Before he could even react with thought, he felt and noticed Klexa's attack, catching the interrupting of the flow as he foot swiped through the air toward his face, Genesis' dragging his hands up toward it and blocking it with the Force. He opened his eyes in surprise as she chuckled.

 

"You've always been a well learned pupil." She spoke against her chuckle, the blonde veiled beauty stepping toward his front. "The second knowledge is deflection. Similar to the Force Barrier, it can be used to deflect physical attacks, as well as energetic and Force imbued. Call upon the Force and attack me Genesis."

 

Klexa and Genesis were close, the Miraluka only two years his senior. But they had spared and trained together since his arrival to the Luka Sene, so much so, that they had bonded over the last year and a half. Genesis, of course, held a crush on the girl. But he had never spoken of it not revealed his feelings. He was afraid of what it would mean for either of them. And her, well, she was a child of the Force, and held an understanding better than most. She held feelings for the Hybrid, but understood his duty laid ahead of him. When she felt the time had come, she would present her own to him and make her intentions known. Until then, he was to focus and grow.

 

Genesis gathered the Force around him, letting his form absorb it's flow and will, and redirected it toward Klexa without a second thought. A wave erupted from his area and bared down upon her as he reached out with tendrical thinking as he grabbed nearby strewn objects and lundged them at her before halting. Yet, as his gaze fell upon her, she smiled. Like a flowing flower upon the wind, she danced upon the Force's current. With the Force wrapped around her hands, she parted the wave, and as each object came close to connecting, she flicked them away as if hitting invisible armor around her.

 

"You've grown since our last spar." She chuckled as she flinched and grabbed her side, a small tear in her armor where one of the objects managed to slip by. "Take these lessons and make sure you return, Genesis. If not, I'll never forgive you."

 

With that, she backed away, Genesis' curious to the damage he inflicted and how bad he had injured her. But as he went to check on her, Scorpio stepped back into play, a serious look upon his face. "Now that you've learnt to defend yourself against the Sith, there is something you need to know, something that differs you from the rest."

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A message arrived through encrypted datapoint for The Grandmaster of the Jedi Order, Armiena Draygo

 

Grandmaster, I write you this report with some degree of urgency.

 

The plague (See attached photos and virology page) that was reported here has subsided. However, that is the only good news I have to report. The disease originated from some dark side entity which when confronted fled before we could capture or damage it. It has left a wake of destruction in the refugee populations that have settled alongside our temple, with casualties of up to 90 percent of some villages. The plague itself bears some resemblance to the outbreak seen at Mon Calamari that opened the path to the sith conquest of that world. Some residual digging through our archives here point to something locked behind top secret clearance. When I accessed the documentation it referred to something called the ‘chaos gods’, which I find myself most unfamiliar with. If you find time in your schedule, I would like you to come to Felucia and to help me identify the cause of this malady. 

 

Yours in friendship, 

 

Sandy Sarna. Jedi Master

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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Shebowed low to the chieftain of the Trando’a letting her braided hair fall alongside her ears to nearly touch the strangely pitted and clawed floor. She straightened and left another high denomination credit chit on the table near the door as she and Vox made their way back into the labyrinth of a refugee settlement. She would need to petition her granduncle, but there was room on Outremer, room for a thousand different populations to live without ever seeing one another. If they liked the agricultural life that was. 

 

“How many are your clan?” She asked as they walked towards the distant rebel alliance staging area. “And what are they looking for in a world?” 

 

Perhaps Outremer would not be for them, but it was a starting place. Anything other than this slum.

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Within the recesses of Shippy McShipface, Draygo meditated.

 

When the Jedi Grandmaster had visited Dantooine with her Padawan, she had encountered something unusual. It was the remains of an old battlefield; almost certainly from the tail-end of the Clone War. That wasn’t unusual, as the fighting had metastasized all over the Outer Rim and Dantooine had seen a major conflict between the Grand Army of the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. There had even been a Jedi commanding them. Records from that time were always sketchy due to Palpatine’s extermination of the Jedi Order and partial success in obliterating its history, but some of the eyewitnesses reported that the Jedi was a Korun wielding a purple lightsaber. That would have been Mace Windu.

 

That husk of the seismic tank she had encountered on the plans, picked apart by scavengers to its barest scaffolding, must have been one of the vehicles crippled during that battle. The vivisected corpse of the B2-series Battle Droid, still glaring lifelessly at one of the walls in her ship’s cargo hold, was likely one of his victims. No shrapnel or vibroblade could have bisected the droid through its midsection so cleanly.

 

She had encountered something unusual at that muddy battlefield. Even through the faint residues of animalistic terror and purpose that tended to echo at major battlefields, there was something else. It wasn’t the typical determination and focus that Jedi left in their wake, but… glee. Not happiness or sadistic joy at the slaughter, but satisfaction and uncomplicated enjoyment of the battle--almost as though it was simply a strenuous physical exercise. There was also a vague impression of darkness--but not the stain that lingered after a slaughter by a Sith Lord.

 

That was very interesting.

 

That would also have to wait, for an insistent chime had been buzzing at her hip for some time. Blinking rapidly, the Jedi Grandmaster read the message with only half her attention. And then she reread it. And again to confirm that the text was not a hallucination wrought by sleep deprivation.

 

Thirty seconds later, the veteran Jedi came running down the boarding ramp of McShipface in a flurry of brown robes, attracting a number of comments from Rebel soldiers observing on the unfortunate omen of watching a Jedi Grandmaster sprint through a military base. Shortly later, the Jedi Grandmaster returned the opposite direction, huffing and puffing and looking somewhat nauseous under the burden of an ysalamir harness. By the time she had returned to her ship, a team of technicians were crawling over the ancient, boxy freighter, refueling the Barloz-class freighter and loading a Jedi Ace starfighter into its cargo hold. Armiena waved off the attentions of the technicians. 

 

“Not needed! That’s enough! Just refuel her!” She shouted at the hangar crew, who began to reluctantly climb down from the long-overdue refurbishment. The ship didn’t need to survive contact with the Chaos Gods. It just needed to get her to the system.

 

Several minutes later, that ship jumped into hyperspace to meet what seemed an uncertain fate.

 

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Vox heard the question as he and the now armored warriors followed. His teeth clenched as well as his fists, both completely invisible to the woman he was behind. He remembered quite well there were still plenty of the Nudono people who chose to stay, the feeling of illness never really leaving the Chieftains stomach that he was leaving his home and a responsibility. Many more left but in the end only seven of the Nudono were left on that frigid world. That didn't matter now, Vox needed to suppress those feelings as eventually he'll end his brothers reign and secure his people once and for all. 

 

Sighing lightly, Vox finally replied after an awkward minute, "Several... Hundred. Still on Trandosha. Our homeland, the Crescent Wilds, were luscious in it's glorious jungles and plentiful hunt. Dense jungles, plenty of rivers and falls and lakes, isolated from the rest of the worlds politics. We value nature. That is what we see in a world, but I'm willing to settle anywhere so long as there are little to no inhabitants." 
 

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Wake.

 

 The voice was commanding, but also soft and full of concern. 

 

“Wake from this sleep.” 

 

This was far more commanding, and came with a small jolt in the force, something to break the Jedi Apprentice from her medically induced unconsciousness. When she awoke she would see a young woman of her early teens sitting beside her. Wearing the white and red tabard of the Imperial Order of Medics. Another holdover from the old Imperial Remnant and their ‘Imperial Knights.” The Group of jedi who had left the order to fight the sith in the waning days of the Galactic Alliance. Though they had been vindicated, and their cause recognized by the Jedi Council, they had not yet fully integrated. Keeping mostly within their own order in its bastion on Nar Shaddaa. Working closely with the Empress of the Remnant and the Rebel Alliance military command. 

 

But this one was young, a squire, whose grinning face carried none of the tiredness her master’s did.

 

“Welcome back Alliera. I’m glad you pulled through there.” 

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Cassandra Vinalian - Exorcist -  Champion for Empress Raven Nasra

 

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The Ride to Nar Shaddaa had faded to blackness at some point, some drugs to dull the pain and put the wounded apprentice out for whatever medical voodoo they would do when they got there. So Alliera slept for a while, blissfully separated from the blown op and the mess of Mon Calamari, of Sith that had powers that boggled the mind and blew everything she had known out of the water. Alliera didn't quite come to consciousness, but she felt something through the force, some time later. She was swimming in it, her Unconscious mind trying to understand something beyond it's ken. The force healing of an Imperial Order Medic, this was nothing like the grand feelings the sleeping mind associated with the temple at Ossus, if felt more personal...like she was being embraced by someone or something... The feeling eventually ended though, and the sleeping Mandalorian's mind went back to blackness for a moment. Then a request...then an order, from a person and the force, to wake up. Alliera pulled herself up stiffly, feeling sore and stiff in all of her everything. She took a moment to look at her attendant, one of the Imperial Knights...great. "You can thank the sewers of Mon Cala for that, I appearently miscalculated the Methane mix when I triggered the blast." Alliera said, sighing as her body still felt off from the soreness and stiffness "We were trying to infiltrate a building to hit a vault when someone dropped a blizzard on us and froze us in." 

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As Scorpio pulled the young Jedi Knight to the side, a smile adorned his face almost proudly, the Echani Hybrid shifting his Katana to take a seat. "You are Miraluka. You can see the Force in its truest form. But you are also Mandalorian. This sometimes conflicts with your passive nature, born with a heart of a warrior. This is why the Luka Sene felt Katarr was important."

 

He briefly pauses as he searched for his words, Genesis drifting his gaze to Klexa as she the others attending to her wound, the young blonde flinching to the stitching.  It must not have been bad, the girl gracing Genesis with a wink when she catches him looking. As Scorpio begins to speak again, Genesis shifts his gaze back to the silver haired man. 

 

"But I saw things slightly different. I'm a hybrid, just like you, Echani and Miraluka, born of another warrior race. What we lack in our will to fight, we can use to aid others in theirs. You've already been a part of this with Coruscant when you, Master Darkfire, Misal, and the others attempted to sway the crashing moon. That was the Jedi Meld skill, where minds and will become one. But it can be even stronger, aiding not only other Jedi with your own will and mind as well as theirs, but with anyone. This is called Battle Meld and Battle Meditation, the latter of which I would not suggest using on the battlefield. It requires deep meditation to merely focus it. But it can turn tides of battles in the favor of the Jedi if used properly and is strong."

 

"But on the same token, you can turn that will inwards into yourself and increase your overall prowess with increased speed, strength, and accuracy and select allies with the same precision. This is Force Valor." Scorpio stood up. "You don't have to be a warrior to aid in combat, and if you have to fight, you don't have to betray yourself. An unconscious enemy is still a defeated enemy."

 

"The Force is capable of whatever your mind can dream, you simply have to adjust it's currents. But don't stretch yourself thin by acquiring too many skills. Focus on the ones that strengthen you and Master them." Scorpio's voice trailed off as he motioned Genesis to follow him to the hangar. "Now it's time for your surprise, graduate."

 

Scorpio reached up and hit the switch on the hangar's door, the doors spreading apart to reveal the Helix Class Light Interceptor they had arrived on after Katarr. But this time it looked different. Genesis quickly noticed the paint job and he could feel the Force flowing in and out of the cockpit more openly than before, almost as if it had been attuned. Looking back at Scorpio, Klexa, and the others, he saw a smile upon each of their faces and failed to feel the one upon his own.

 

"Her name is Brith. Klexa named her and painted her after the flying creatures of your homeworld. We also replaced a few control components with sensitive crystals so that you have to fly it by use of the Force. This way you don't get sloppy." Scorpio spoke with pride, placing a hand upon Klexa's shoulder and presenting her as he spoke of her work.

 

"Essentially, we turned the cockpit into a Meditation Chamber for your travels." Klexa spoke shyly, her face blushing for the first time since Genesis had known her. "Do you like her?"

 

Genesis smiled. "Thank you all. I love it."

 

******************************************

 

After a few fondwells, some cake, and a few more words of encouragement as well as some minor instruction at the controls under Klexa's guidence, Brith was registered with the Rebellion and given proper clearance codes before Genesis' requested departure. A little while later, Brith exited Nar Shadaa's airspace and entered hyperspace. His next stop was Bothawui.

Edited by Stormhelm

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The imperial medical squire raised her eyebrows, sparing a glance to her master who shrugged. So the squire pressed further in her questioning as she laid her hands on the Mandalorian jedi apprentice’s and let the force move through her. 

 

“So why were you trying to get to a vault?”

 

The force moved from the squires hands to Alliera’s where it spread throughout her aching body, soothing the exhausted muscles, easing the aches of the brutal combat. 

 

“We were always taught as kids that Mon Cal was pretty much all one great sewer. But that was during the last war.” She shrugged and went back to concentrating while her master took over questions. 

 

“Where do your travels take you next Apprentice Alliera?”

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Cassandra Vinalian - Exorcist -  Champion for Empress Raven Nasra

 

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"Mon Cal is a Sith World, so the thought was that there would be more that a few of the Dark Siders there to defend it, and I decided to 'stir the pot' to try and divide attention." Alliera said, after the medic asked what she was doing "The vault was under the Shipyard Offices, under control of the SIth, so I decided to go in and steal whatever loot I could to try and draw at least a Sith or two and thier toys to try and find me. I brought my fellow padawan along. We didn't make it to the breach itself, the Sith somehow dropped a massive blizzard on everyone's head, so we were going to slowly freeze to death down there if I didn't do something. At the time, I had thought the methane would caused a MASSIVE collapse if I sparked something, which was why I didn't simply cause the blast at our original breach point and salvage the mission. Frell, I would have gladly stayed down there and froze if I had been alone, to hopefully save lives...but I couldn't let the Pretty Boy die, he might actually turn into a pretty good Jedi one day. Luckily, I miscalculated and we only got a localized blast." Alliera felt the relief and sighed, letting out a small "Thank You".  Alliera then looked at the master, not really expecting someone else to be in the 'room'. Alliera shook her head, she must be really out of sorts if she didn't notice him. "I'm going to try to get some training in at the temple, and then I'll be going back home to get my armor repaired, it took alot of damage...and we need all the help we can get if the Sith can really just summon weather right on top of us." 

 

  

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The Imperial Knights looked at one another and shrugged. 

 

“If you wish to depart of course that is your prerogative.” 

 

The master held out his hand to momentarily delay the mandalorian. 

 

“But be careful, being a Jedi is a whole life commitment, you must leave behind everything to pursue that path.” He pointed to the damaged armour segments. “And that includes your heritage, if you return there it is to say goodbye...”

 

The Imperials bowed low to the apprentice and stepped aside so that she could go about her business.

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Cassandra Vinalian - Exorcist -  Champion for Empress Raven Nasra

 

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The former imperial remnant shuttle landed on the main Headquarters of the Rebel Alliance on Nar Shaddaa without any delay. Kirlocca and Johan departed from the shuttle and walked into the main facility, the Wookiee with a general sense of calm about him. There was no worry or thought of the battle he had just left, or sense of worry about his other apprentice, who was in the hospital wing of the base. As the two Jedi approached the main desk of the wing, the Jedi Master didn't need to stop and ask which room Alliera was in, as he could feel her within the Force like a light within the darkness. But he respected that others did not, so he honored the girl working the desk. 

 

<< We'd like to see Alliera please. >> 

 

The girl smiled at the Wookiee and Johan. She quickly type up something where she was working and then looked up at the two. "She's in room 11 Master Kirlocca. And thank you for humoring me. I know you can feel exactly where she is." She hit a button and opened the door. Kirlocca gave a slight nod and smile towards her as the two walked through. He walked down the hall and could feel Alliera in the Force still. Walking into her room, he quickly gave her a smile. 

 

<< Well, you don't seem so bad. Luckily your armor held up. >>

 

Kirlocca stood to the side to allow for Johan to speak to Alliera. 

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"well, I think we blew our OP" Johan chuckled weakly and glanced around at the medical equipment and sighed. "I'm sorry it went like this, and that I wasn't able to do much to help after the fact". Johan slumped into a chair and winced as the movement aggravated the minor burns and cuts that littered his body under his fresh cloths and bandages.

 

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"It's still going to have to go in for repairs and some replacement, the blast did some damage I can't just buff out." Alliera said, as she rolled her sholders to start working out some stiffness "I'll take care of that with a hopefully quick trip to Concord Dawn." Alliera looked to Jonah, and sighed good naturedly. "There was no way we could have known the Sith could do that, and the environment of the Sewer made extraction more difficult, lets just be happy we all made it out." Alliera then looked back to her Master. "Do we need to debrief or discuss what happened?" Alliera asked, looking into the eyes of the Wookiee "...I didn't have a chance to really practice that Lightsaber Form...." 

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Kirlocca gave a look at Alliera's armor as she mentioned needing to really repair it. Based upon what he knew of Mandalorians, she was indeed right. He remained standing next to the bed as opposed to Johan, who sat in a chair. He kept his gaze upon the the girl, and held some form of compassion towards her as she mentioned debriefing on what had happened. He realized he never truly spoke to either of them on what had happened or where they went wrong. He allowed for his thoughts to collect a moment before he even spoke. 

 

<< Debrief-no. I wouldn't even say discuss. You both know at this point that you didn't do as well as you should have, and your injuries are a reminder of that. Perhaps maybe what you truly need are some pointers. >>

 

Now Kirlocca moved and sat on the edge of the bed, taking a more relaxed position to show both that his words are not meant to be harsh, but reflective. 

 

<< As a Jedi, you need to always be aware of your surroundings. If you don't know what's before you, caution is the best tactic you should employ. And from Mon Calamari, this is the lesson you should learn from it. Learn to recognize what is not important. It is not necessary to always strike the first blow or reach a goal before anyone else does. In fact, it is sometimes vital to strike the last blow, to give the final answer, or to arrive after everyone else. For then you can see more paths that are open to you, while the first may not be able to see such outcomes. >>

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Johan slumped a bit in his chair as he listened and nodded "I... yeah it may have been a good idea to coordinate with one of the teams nearby, or wait until after the initial drop in to try it to see the initial Sith response" Johan winced "We DID cause the intended distraction though, just not quite as intended, and with far more damage then we wanted" Johan shifted to try and get more comfortable and looked at Alliera "I relation to that I'm going to look into both learning more about force healing and a more localized form of weather/temperature control, I want don't want to be left unable to help a friend again, nor do I want something like weather, controlled by a Sith or not, to ruin a plan again"

 

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Mythos' gaze shot open with a muzzled snarl, his heightened vitals alerting the medics of his awakening as he fought against the entangling wires that encompassed his form. Inmortos was all the ate at his mind, his thoughts, as the feral beast attempted to claw himself out of the bacta tank, his feral form scaring some of those around him into quick action as sedatives were quickly administered. Clawing at the mask that covered his snout was the last thing he remembered before going back into the sedated state he had awoken from.

 

When he awoke the second time, his head throbbed with pain as he gazed around him, his hand attempting to reach his scarred scalp only to find themselves bound and restrained. He lifted his head in temper, his voice growling as he questioned the meaning of this.

 

"You're no longer on Mon Cal, Colonel. We were barely able to drag you out alive, and only after the Sith Magic was dealt with." A familiar voice calmly speaking as the matching face of Leeroy stepped into view. "Honestly, if you didn't have your regenerative capabilities, you would have been lost for sure."

 

"I see. Mythos responded in a more controlled tone, his vitals returning to a somewhat less irritated state. "And Mon Cal?"

 

"A success..." Leeroy spoke with pride that quickly followed with an unspoken regret. "But we lost most of our men. I'm in the middle of training new recruits.

 

Mythos fists balled up as his blood boiled, his gaze still reveling in a feral state, but his mind conscious. Inmortos, that Sith Magician, had done the damaged he wantingly caused. And he was powerless against it. Tears began to leak from his ducts, yet his face remained unchanged. He had failed yet again to protect those under his charge. He was beginning to doubt his own leadership when Leeroy grabbed his restrained hand. "We were all left unsuspecting. No one could have called that unless they were Jedi. Don't blame yourself Colonel."

 

"Inform the families and ensure they will taken care of. I don't care if it breaks this rebellion. Their lives should not go unjustified." Mythos spoke as Leeroy released his bonds and allowed him to sit up, his balance off due to the loss of hearing. After Leeroy caught the Colonel and steadied him, he stepped back with a honorable salute. Any word on where the Sith retreated?

 

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The young imperial knights eyebrows raised as she walked through the door into Mythos’s room. She held a datapad and gave a slight if formal bow to the wolf like officer. She extended a datapad with another bow. 

 

“I know it is likely too early in your recovery but you are being called into active duty again. Deep space scouts say a Sith Empire fleet is heading to the world of Naboo. And we need you there asap.”

 

She turned and handed him another datapad.

 

“You have been assigned to the 432nd Militia. Refugees from Chandrila. Treat them well.”

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Cassandra Vinalian - Exorcist -  Champion for Empress Raven Nasra

 

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As soon as he asked his question, he received his answer... Loosely enough. His gaze shifted to the arrival of the Imperial Knight, her outfit and armor unmistakable and resembling the girl he met after his last loss at the hands of the Sith, Sandy. He grimaced beneath his blatant stare, knowing full well what this meant. If there was a Imperial Knight here in his room, it was back to the front lines. Rising, he took the first datapad.

 

"You don't need to bow, child. Formalities are for the echelon, not us linemen." He spoke with a forced jest. The Imperial Knights had been adamant friends to him since he joined the Rebellion, and he considered them the most trustworthy of the Mystic Orders. "Thank you. I will do my best."

 

With that, he began gathering his gear, Leeroy remaining at his side. From his peripheral, he could see the worry in his subordinate's eyes. He sighed. "Don't worry. I may have lost again, but it was of my own fault this time. It won't happen again."

 

"We worry because we care, Colonel." Jibbs spoke freely, his gaze trying to catch that of Mythos' own as he gathered his gear. "They say you went feral on the battlefield, lost all sense of yourself. First Ghosts, now Hatred. You may be letting things become too personal....."

 

The echo of Mythos slamming his fist into the locker reverberated throughout the ward as he turned to Leeroy. "It is personal. Thousands of dead lay at their feet and they use them against us like weapons."

 

"I understand Colonel." Jibb's voice became almost pleading, his hands begging to Mythos. "But do we not do the same? Send countless soldiers to their deaths in the name of freedom and the preservation of liberty?

 

Mythos' gaze turned cold in disbelief, a stern cold that sent chills down even his own spine. What had just left the lips of Jibbs was almost too cruel to bare. He wanted to strike the man for even thinking it. But he shook his head instead, calming his composure and his riled hair. "A life is a life. And this will be the last of it that I will hear. Am I clear soldier?"

 

Yes Colonel." Jibbs replied with a clap of the heels and a firm salute, the evidence of his failure to reach the Colonel written on his face as he left the room. Soon, Mythos geared up as well, left the ward behind.

 

As Mythos gathered with the 432nd Regiment out of Chandrila and boarded their transport, he sat in solace and thought upon the words Jibbs dare spoke in his presence. With a sigh he leaned back and closed his eyes for the journey ahead. "It won't happen again, Jibbs. I won't be careless again."

 

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