Jump to content

Nar Shaddaa - Rebel Alliance Headquarters


Raven Nasra
 Share

Recommended Posts

The spear fractured, the darkmetal tip having dug deep into the shoulder of her opponent before snapping off, leaving her with only a broken shaft of oiled, fire-hardened veshok-wook in battle-numb fingers. The wood clattered noisily on the shattered stone about them, two titans of combat alone upon a rooftop with only silent gods as witness.

 

Oya… Tros.

 

The man, that former friend and crusader was not dead, having only fallen to his knees by the force of the spear, but the battle was over. The hands had been locked in, and she had come out with an idiot’s array, but only barely. It had cost her far more than perhaps it had her opponent.

 

Faith was gone. Blessing was gone. The gods had never spoken, no matter how hard she had prayed and chanted. No matter the sacrifice. The divine right to her title had gone with it. She had raised a hand against a brother.

 

Terra smiled ruefully, her scarred and metallic jaw twisting to show bloody fangs. She bent, the plait of tangled braids streaming around her to pick up her buyce. No. To pick up her helmet. With cold fingers she found the bronzium circlet that had adorned her brow for so many years, what had marked her as Mand’alor, and wrenched it from the darkmetal clasps.

 

With steps that seemed to shake, Terra approached Tros, before stumbling to join him on her knees. She stared into his T-visor, seeing nothing beyond the wraithlike reflection of the broken woman she was now. A victor in name only. She placed to circlet in his hands.

 

The girl placed her helmet before him, watching for a moment the twilight dwindle in the dark mirror of its metallic gleam, and stripped slowly each piece of her armor from her body, piling it ceremoniously before him. She transformed before her friend from that imposing warrior who had almost conquered the galaxy with each piece of discarded beskar. With each cracked and fallen façade Mandalore the Bloody faded into a gaunt and sickly girl, the marks of self-harm badly bandaged on torn forearms. Bones outlined harshly on malnourished skin.

 

She had aged little from the young woman that Piccalo had picked up from Aeton, but the horror of her life was stained upon pale, bruised skin. Sharpened darkmetal teeth streamed with saliva thick with crimson blood. Corruption, rape and torturous modification by the Sith. Being forcibly ripped from the Force and made a Pariah. It all played into the lurid form that knelt before Tros Ardell. A broken form in a ripped, sweatstained and bloody undertunic. The only thing that stood out was the wild, crimson eyes which belonged more to a rabid dog than the morose woman before him.

 

“Goodbye. My friend.”

 

The former Mandalorian stood, touching the forehead of Tros’ helm with her own, before walking into the night, bare feet leaving a trail of blood. She left him there, with her armor and weapons. There would be no return.

  • Sad 1

terr4.png.2ae600cabec48a50a70ba2c81013a2a3.png

To the Death...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The pain was something that came later upon Tros coming around. Kami Larkin stood pulling him along with another that he couldn't figure out. His vision blurred in and out as his own mind was coming back to. Locked tightly within his hands was a circlet given to him by Terra after she took him down in combat. All that remained within his own mind was the image of Terra walking away, armorless before him. The battle took a turn that he didn't want. The outcome, while he survived it, he lost yet again. Another vod taken from him. But this one walked away herself. For the first time since losing others along the way, a tear found its way onto his face. It remained hidden due to his own buy'ce that covered it. A muffled sniffle must of sounded like something else, as he felt the sting of a stimpack before he heard Kami call out "Hit him with another one." The pain raced through him from his shoulder where Terra caught him with the spear. The pain forced him to hold even tighter to the circlet. His eyes closed from a mix of pain and sadness. 

 

Time must have moved, as when he opened his eyes again, there were a few tubes and wires connected to him and his buy'ce was on a bench near him. He was back on the Justice, and it was moving. Kami leaned in and looked him over. Her own buy'ce off as she held a curiosity within her eyes. "...Tros... what did you do to Terra's body?..."  Pain came flooding back into his shoulder as he turned slightly to see that they had made a makeshift medbay within the cargo hold of the Swift Justice. He tried to see if any of the others had made it back, but he couldn't see anyone else. 

 

"...No... She won..." There was chatter of some sort that began to pick up from the cockpit of his own ship. He recognized Sutu's voice yelling something about Tyrant Adventure getting destroyed. More sounds that were coming in from comms about quick exits and excitement over the news of Tros defeating Terra. He was too weak to shout that he didn't win, that the circlet he held was given to him by a fellow warrior whom chose to walk away from oath. His sadness over the news must have been strong enough that Kami could see it. With a look of sadness of her own, she placed one hand upon his chest, while the other carefully upon his shoulder. She spoke in a hushed tone. "...Ner Vod..." Those were the last words he could focus on as the ship blasted into hyperspace, bringing Tros injured back to the Capital for House Solus...

  • Like 1

Tros_Sig_4.png

Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The alarm that warned of hyperspace reversion steadily grew more urgent in the cockpit of the Machine, rising from a polite buzz and a little warning light, to an urgent screech and crimson lights pulsing throughout the cockpit. Those final seconds were enough to jolt Sophia out of her daze–the possibility of wrecking a hyperdrive and having to limp on a backup or effect repairs loomed into her conscious mind. The historian reached over to pull the freighter out of hyperspace…

 

…and revealed an abattoir of a star system. Wreckage from capital ships, starfighters, and civilian freighters littered the starways and filled the sensor boards with thousands of false returns. Leaking reactors and competing comms traffic were bombarding the civilian transmitters aboard the Machine and rendered them useless. In a maneuver that sent their stomachs into the bowels and then back into their throats, Sophia hauled back on the steering yoke and then pushed it forward to evade a hulk of a Nebulon frigate that had been ripped from its engines–and a cloud of vacuum-preserved bodies that it had left in its wake.

 

Past that butchery was Nar Shaddaa. The lights of the night side cityscape were eclipsed by a daggerlike shadow.

 

The reverberations of that shadow’s impact discombobulated Sophia as thoroughly as a slap across the face. The pain of tens of millions of people dying–of being incinerated, of being torn to pieces, of being crushed, of being blown from rooftops and windows and falling to their deaths–shrieked through the music of The Force like a record player being tortured with a blowtorch. All around the historian, her walls were closing in and breaking apart; the air was burning her skin, the vacuum was pouring in–and the screams and curses would–not–stop.

 

Sophia let go of the steering yoke and placed her hands over her ears, as though the barrier could somehow mute the shriek of pain that was bombarding her from all around. Her fingernails left red marks against her brown skin as she scratched down her neck–pain, perhaps, to try and distract herself from that which was throbbing in The Force. Finally, she reached for her helmet and shoved the T-visor over her face, keeping the helmet in place with both hands.


Muffled moans could be heard from within: “Please, no, stop them stop them stop them those fracking bastards!

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As the freighter slowed, dropping back to realspace, the weight of the space around them pressed in heavily, even for those who were not attuned to the intricacies of the force. Back in the hold, Rags stood up, offering a hand to Christoph as Steve pulled on his gloves, the rest of his freshly cleaned scout trooper armor already in place, save for the helmet atop his speeder bike. 
 

“Oof. You feel that?” Christoph wondered aloud. “Like a ton of bricks.”

 

”Way too much death. If only people would have listened.” Rags responded as he began to slip into his black body glove. The comment left hanging in the air as Steve and Christoph stopped what they were doing to exchange curious glanced.

 

____________________
 

In the cockpit, Benjamin inhaled sharply at the site of devastation that laid out before them. “My god.” He hissed. “Its worse than Kuat.” That was as far as the Gunnery Seegeant’s contemplations went as his attention was drawn to their pilot. She seemed to be going into some sort of seizure. “Hey! Doc!” He shouted, grabbing her shoulder and shaking it violently. It did not do much.

 

The freighter began to bank hard to starboard as Sophia released the yoke and an unidentified chunk of spaceship grazed the hull with a screech that could be felt throughout the ship.

 

____________________

 

“Whoa!” Rags shouted as he grabbed for a handhold. The ship rocked around the trio. Steve grimaced as he dropped to a crouch, his feet spread and a hand on the deck plating making a third point to stay upright.

 

Christoph, less graceful, toppled back to the floor, the sound of his breath being forcibly ejected from his lungs as he hit a pile of armor skittering across the floor. 
 

“Rags, the hell was that?” Steve snarled, the surprise in his voice not entirely masked.

 

”Hey!! Get up here! NOW!!” Benjamin’s voice carried through the ship, a sense of urgency apparent.

 

 ____________________

 

By now, Sophia had adorned her helmet and was rocking and moaning. Benjamin was sprawled out across the cockpit and console. One foot was looped into the yoke trying to keep the yawing craft on some sort of straight away. Both of his hands were wrapped around Sophia’s wrists to try and keep her from clawing at herself anymore. “Hey! Get in here!” He bellowed out the open cockpit door, hoping the others could hear him as another unidentified object thudded heavily, skipping across the hull. “NOW!!”

 

____________________

 

”Help Christoph,” Steve nodded at the gasping body of his fellow scout who was curled up on the floor. “I’ll go.” the blue-skinned Chiss pushed himself up, lurching towards the wall to catch himself against a bulkhead as the ship shook again.

 

Dropping to his knees, Rags, took Christoph by the shoulder. “You ought to know better scout. Who trained you anyway? Falling down on the job like that. Very unprofessional.” The corporal tsk tsk’d his squadmate as he checked him over.

 

____________________

 

Steve more fell than ran into the cockpit, his gloved hand catching the door of the cockpit to keep him from entirely stumbling in. “What happ…” he began, stopping as the sight before him registered. Without hesitation, the operative dove forward to grab at Sophia’s arms and haul her backwards over the top of the chair.

 

”Thanks,” Benjamin sighed in relief as he righted himself in the still warm pilot’s seat and grabbed the yoke. “She just sorta started to seize.” He offered by way of explanation as his eyes scanned the disheveled console and his one hand began to flip switches and knobs. The other remained heavily on the yoke, not desiring another episode of off-course veering. Benjamin’s eyes scanned the fields of debris before them. “Hold on.” He warned as he brought the ship into a sharp nosedive to avoid an oncoming hunk of star destroyer. 
 

Steve lowered their pilot to the floor, cradling her head so it did not slam into the floor. His eyes did not leave her as he listened to her mutter. “Hey. Lady. Listen to me. You’ll be alright. You just gotta snap out of it.” He lightly tapped the viewscreen of the helmet as if that might do something productive.

 

Meanwhile, Benjamin carefully began to maneuver the freighter closer to the planet, beginning their descent towards the devastated world below. The Red and Black, devastated and scorched well beyond definitive recognition was their target.

 

A rubble strewn field that had been a barracks was the best place to land, the repulsor rockets clearing the area enough to allow the craft to gingerly land.

Character sheet

 

Benjamin Wood

Ragnar Kran
Christoph Sokol

Krilst’eve’nuruodo

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sophia, at that moment, was a bit beyond conscious response. She was pressing down on the sides of the helmet so fiercely that the plastoid interior was scraping painfully against her scalp. Her eyes were screwed shut. She couldn’t even hear the tap of the fingernail against the visor of the helmet.

 

It was like the historian was being bombarded by every terrible sound that she had ever heard, standing point-blank to the speakers in one of the larger arenas on Coruscant. It was the sound of an infant crying, the screams that followed the stampede of a panicked crowd, the snap-hiss of a lightsaber’s ignition, the whoop of a police siren only meters behind her. It was the shriek of the frozen winds slicing through the caves of Ilum, the security klaxons that screamed unwaveringly when the war began. It was the unholy wail that Sophia had made through unpracticed lungs when she had been created.

 

Yeah, that’s mortality for you. It’s cold and painful a lot of the time. You’ll get used to it.” It was the cold voice of her creator when she was brought into a frozen homeworld.

 

“Stop it, Sophia.” A guttural voice with the warmth and softness of sandpaper growled from somewhere under her larynx. Her fingernails scraped down the sides of the helmet, not really accomplishing anything but removing a layer of caked dirt where they traveled down to the lower ring of the helmet. “Stop it, get them out, out! Damn! Them!

 

That last outburst was matched by three hollow thunks when Sophia tore the orange helm from her head and slammed it against the deckplate, as though assaulting an opponent. Despite the violence in her enraged expression, the blows didn’t cause any damage to either the metal floor or the helmet, aside from scuffing the paint on the front plate. It might not have been Mandalorian iron, but the helmet was still armor-rated plastoid and the historian wasn’t particularly strong.

 

But something about the outburst–and the pain in her wrists that came from assaulting an inanimate object–was satisfying. It was certainly distracting from the voices of suffering in her head. Her vision cleared and the lights that were previously accompanying the screams with the blade of a migraine faded to merely irritating brightness.

 

“We’re still alive. And on the ground. I’m sorry.” Her voice came at a lower register and if the scouts turned to glance at the historian as she collected herself, they would have seen a mess–Sophia was sweating profusely and her expression was that of cold rage. Her hands were shaking as though she had just arm-wrestled a Wookie. “I’d like a minute before we disembark.”

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The rest of the team came skittering into the doorway of the cockpit just as the ship rumbled and set down on the surface. Both Christoph and Rags eyes were wide as they took in the scene.

 

”Uh Gunny,” Christoph called out to Benjamin as he secured the ship aboard her makeshift landing platform with the docking clamps. “I didn’t know we allowed the newbie chances at . . . uhhh . . . extra curriculars” The Scout smiled as Steve shot him a heated glare, scurrying back from Soohia who seemed to be with it enough to not have to worry about her biting off her own tongue.

 

Leaning on the top of the back of the pilot’s chair, Benjamin regarded the sweat-soaked woman they had more or less press-ganged into Imperial Servicr. “Gave us a bit of a scare there Captain Moriarty. Take what time you need.” Directing his eyes to the other three, he nodded his chin towards the door. “Why don’t you boys gets the bikes offloaded. If we’re looking for survivors we should see if we can still get in through those tunnels.”

 

”Aye” the three echoed as Steve stood. Leaning forward, Rags and Christoph grabbed Sophia by the arms and helped her to a standing position. “You need some bacta for them scratches?” Rags nodded towards her scratched flesh.

 

 

Character sheet

 

Benjamin Wood

Ragnar Kran
Christoph Sokol

Krilst’eve’nuruodo

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Thanks, but no.” Some of the color had returned to Sophia’s face, but there was a lingering sensation of foulness that made the historian feel the need for a shower. The onboard sonic shower wouldn’t be sufficient. Neither would lukewarm water and soap. Perhaps a few liters of isopropyl alcohol and a nylon brush would banish the stench. “I’m getting a feeling that something dirtside is going to need it a lot more than my stupid bout of self-harm. Leggo, please, I’ll be just a moment.”

 

Moriarty, however, was clearly still affected by the reversion from hyperspace into the wreckage field around Nar Shaddaa. The two soldiers would have felt the cold sweat on her arms, and her vision faded faintly at the first steps from the cockpit, as though she had risen from a long nap. Those first unsettled steps turned into a quick trot, then turned into a trail of discarded clothing that led to the cargo hold. The light jacket and casual top were replaced by a black, rubbery bodyglove that clung tightly to Sophia’s figure and covered her from neck to ankle. Even if the garment–and that was describing it generously–offered virtually nothing in terms of protection to assault and just slightly more than that to the elements, there were a number of clips applied to stable locations that assisted in donning her armor.

 

Boots, greaves, breastplate, pauldrons, vambraces and gloves… and then finally a ragged, oversized, oil-soaked cloth that fitted around Sophia’s shoulders like a greasy, improvised poncho. The historian gave each plate a tug to test the lock of the plastoid against the clips in the bodyglove. The entire process of donning the armor took only a pair of minutes, and it transformed the scholar into an armored figure that could almost–almost–pass for a Mandalorian mercenary who was a bit down on her luck. Even if the orange plate was cut to the exact dimensions of modern-era Mandalorian armor–even if the rim of the helmet was lovingly lined with hand-painted sigils–anyone who got close to her would have been able to recognize the make of the armor as standard plastoid, a material that was almost unheard of amongst the Crusaders, the Deathwatch, or any other major faction of Mandalorians. It wasn’t beskar, or even the durasteel alloys were more common in the modern era, and no amount of paint would protect the fraud from an inspection by a knowledgeable party. The fact that Sophia’s only visible weapon was a light blaster pistol would be further evidence to the lie.

 

Even if the fact that Sophia owned a significant amount of armor-grade plastoid was likely to raise uncomfortable questions with the Rebellion’s scouts, it might cause any distant onlookers to dismiss Sophia as an auxiliary or guide, rather than a vulnerable civilian. It might only buy her a moment of hesitation, but even that second would be valuable. 

 

Now properly clothed, Sophia dug into an internal pocket within her discarded jacket and retrieved a little plastic cylinder stuffed with a number of white, chalky pills. Trotting back to the scout troopers, she found them waiting, their speeder bikes prepared, and no doubt wondering why their civilian pilot was now dressed in orange plastoid patterned after Mandalorian armor. The historian didn’t give them the opportunity to ask questions–she shook out five pills from that cylinder, swallowed one, and held her hand out to the scouts.

 

The cylinder was even clearly labeled with a pharmacist’s summary notes. Sophia explained. “It’s a radiological chelator. I… kept some of that cargo for my personal use. Just in case. I insist. It’s better to start with a prophylactic dose.”

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Hey thanks.” Lance Corporal Christoph Sokol grinned as he grabbed the handful of pills from the Mando-clad woman. “Did not think that you were a Mando?” He stated questioningly as he took in the woman’s plastoid-formed gear beneath her open coat. He creased his gloved palm to keep one within, dumping the rest in Corporal Ragnar Kran’s adjacent hand.

 

Rags eyeballed the pills warily even as Christoph downed his without a second thought. “Don’t think most Mandalorians are ahhh nevermind,” he waived off the comment about the woman’s painted plastoid armor, letting her have whstever level of dignity she was purporting to portray. He picked a pill up with his opposite hand, his carbine swinging and clacking against his chest as he held the pill into the air to eyeball it proper. “Looks standard enough.” Watching Sophia swallow hers, Rags and then Steve, who seemed wary of the pill at first, followed suit.


When their commanding officer, Gunnery Sergeant Benjamin Wood, joined them from inside he took his offered medication and downed it without question. “Glad to see you’re feeling better ma’am. Time to get to work.” He swung his leg over a humming speeder bike and offered a hand to their pilot to let her climb on behind him. The other three quickly scrambled to mount their metal steeds as well. “We have to see how many we can find. With any luck, we’ll load your ship to the gills with refugees. Any space left we can see about finding any sensitive documents that might be scattered about.

 

”Scans come back clean gunny.” Steve interjected. “The underground rail tunnel is still open with a slight detour. Seems like the Sith ship spearing into the planet jarred lose some of the ceiling. Opened it up to the water mains. If we can go through there we’re back in the tunnel couple hundred yards down.” His analysis of his holo-readout was accurate enough if not fuzzy with all the interference in the air from the aftermath. 
 

Benjamin nodded, “Lets roll out.”

Character sheet

 

Benjamin Wood

Ragnar Kran
Christoph Sokol

Krilst’eve’nuruodo

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sophia swallowed her pill with some labor. The pill was, in fact, a standard-issue radiological chelator, suitable for consumption by anyone from relief workers equipped with heavy machinery to newborn sapients. If any of the Rebel soldiers suffered any side-effects, it would be excessive thirst… and the Chiss might complain about his urine having a slightly greenish color. His build was somewhat slight. But regardless, it was a fairly large pill with an unpleasant, chalky taste.

 

The historianbegan to tap madly on her datapad when Steve returned. It was possible that some of the ancient and long-disorganized archives of Nar Shaddaa had survived the battle–and the centuries-old original blueprints for the maglev lines would be of significant value in the underground… She tapped insistently at its screen when it remained frozen for several seconds. As she probably should have expected, the Holonet was in a state of shambles in the Y’Toub system. The interstellar relays in hyperspace might have been intact, but the groundside transceivers were probably all rubble or overwhelmed by local transmissions. The datapad would continually ping the local servers in hopes of making contact with those local servers.

 

“Oh. Right. Where do I… I see the handles, gotcha.” She had become somewhat hyperfocused on her attempt at searching the civil archives and had ignored the Sergeant’s call to mount their vehicles. A quick glance at the command console showed that there were handholds for a passenger and her armored calves fitted neatly against a groove in the speeder bike’s engine block. It left her indirectly hugging the waist of the squad’s leader, but personal space was far from her mind at that moment. Survival came first, survivors second, surviving intelligence third… and her own dignity somewhere near the end of a rather long list.

 

The datapad gave a mild vibration on her wrist. It would be impossible to check the device until Sophia was dismounted. She gave the soldier in front of her a mild dig in the side with her pointed elbow and nodded. “Ready. I think.”

 

Edited by ObliviousKnight
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even on speeder bikes with honed reflexes and advanced sensor arrays and computer guidance the going was slow(er). Well, at least slower than what Trill Scout Squadron was used to. Moving slightly faster than a pack of gundarks at full tilt was barely a quarter of what the fine-tuned Imperial machines between their thighs were capable of. So as they skimmed above the rubble-strewn metro tunnel and makeshift bypasses, the grumbling continued from both Christoph and Rags as they chided one another, Steve, and anything that moved or wouldn’t move under concentrated torrents of red blaster fire spewn from their machines. The tunnel had shifted, and while sensors, what was left of them, vaguely indicated there was passage though to the mediocre band of refugees the Squad had last met, it was not the same. Eventually they were forced to come to a complete stop, a fallen section of thick duracrete blocking their advance. Up above them, a hole large enough to shimmy through if one had skinny thoughts and a detachable duty belt and pack. 
 

Sloshing into the ankle deep unnervingly warm water at their feet, the four tried their best to secure their rides out of the waters.

 

”Probably radioactive,” Christoph smiled beneath his helmet as he elbowed Steve playfully in the ribs. “Enlarges things don’t ya know.”

 

Their commanding officer, Benjamin Wood, could not help but shake his head even as Steve tried to jump from the water at the though. There was never a dull moment with the group.

 

”Gods be damned,” Steve muttered. “I’m already too much for most women to

handle as is. Don’t need any more of that trouble.”

 

Silence fell in the heavy air of the tunnel as Steve’s three squad mates exchanged glances. Had Steve just cracked a joke? It was hard to tell over the comm units. Or was he actually being serious?

 

”You might want to see a doctor about that son.” Benjamin muttered stoically breaking the silence as he slipped a pair of spiked climbing gloves over his wet white boots and carefully began to climb towards the hole. once at the top, a black

line came trailing downward towards the others, secured to a rather jagged spike of rebar jutting from the broken stonework.

 

Once everyone was up, Rags growled, “Switching to thermals. Darker than the inside of an Tauntaun at night.”

 

”Just as warm too,” Christoph shkt back as he offered a hand to help Sophia over the jagged lip to the landing.

 

”Looks like we’re alone.” Rags reported, noting no signs of anything for some time, nothing but the dribbling muck and possibly radioactive water.

 

”Satellite feed is out.” Benjamin added to the conversation, “Looks like we do it the old fashioned way from here. This wasn’t the w we came last time. You got any ideas Captain?” He directed himself towards @ObliviousKnight gesturing forward into the darkness.

 

”Lets just not lose the bikes this time. We still gotta find a way to account for the ones we left behind last time.” Steve chimed in.

 

”Wait! Didn’t you tell them they were lost when we got shot down over this godforsaken hellhole?” Christoph asked, his voice nearing on indignant. 
 

“That is not what happened and you know it.” Steve shot back.

 

”Yeah but command don’t need to know where they really went. I mean, good as gone now anyways.” Christoph responded.

 

Shooting a glance at the other two, Rags added ominously, “we hope…”

 

 

Character sheet

 

Benjamin Wood

Ragnar Kran
Christoph Sokol

Krilst’eve’nuruodo

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

“Oof, mind the rebar–I’m snagging… there.” With some difficulty, Sophia managed to haul herself up the climbing cord and into the tunnel. Her eyes darting from within the helmet, she squinted determinedly and saw precisely… nothing but inky blackness. Inky blackness, and a few tiny amber lights that were built into the walls of the maglev tunnel. Her armor’s rangefinder warned her that this tunnel stretched some hundreds of meters into the distance, but that was an infrared laser-based system that provided nothing in the way of visible data to her. She had brought a spot-luma in anticipation of this possibility, but this darkness was so opaque that it might as well have been a physical barrier.

 

The sound of velcro ripping filled the silence as the historian padded through multiple pouches, eventually thumbing the device to life to bathe the five in a sphere of white light so intense that it almost appeared blue. The white of the scout armor appeared almost incandescent, and the orange of Sophia’s turned an inky brown under that light. She waved the spot-luma over her shoulders as the scouts and their pilots trudged through the darkness, her eyes searching for reflections and movement.

 

Gratefully, there was no sign of movement besides the shadows of the five armored figures. Drips of some kind of solvent–maybe coolant, maybe ordinary water–rapped down on their helmets as beads of light. Sophia glanced at her shoulder as the beads dripped down–absolutely no absorption into the oily cloth, so it was probably water-based.

 

Sophia paused and studied a glimmer on the left wall. It was a sheet of light that kept reflecting back on her… windows, she decided. An office? Maintenance station? Some kind of place where sapient beings would have had access to, which meant a possible source of power, or maybe even computers or a SCOMP link that her datapad could interface with.

 

“Sergeant,” she indicated the windows with a wrist-flick of the spot-luma. She approached and fumbled blindly, her fingers finding the seam of a closed doorway. No door-knob, no handle–impossible to open this door without explosives or a cutting torch or some hydraulic override… but no matter. Sophia just unholstered her blaster pistol in a reverse grip, and smashed the metal butt against the window. As it happened, the window was not transparisteel–it was just cheap, glassy plastic, and came apart in twenty sharp shards and a cacophony of crashing. Climbing over the wreckage, Sophia searched the room just beyond.

 

It was as generic and depressing as an underground maintenance office could be expected to be–it was a small room with a few desks, a number of computers that were just as dark as the tunnel just outside, and a SCOMP link that was equally dead to all attempts to interface with it. Papers were scattered over one of the desks: probably technical blueprints or even segments of a map. A mug containing a cold, bitter liquid lay abandoned next to one of those desks, holding sentry next to a bobblehead of a Mon Calamari with a cartoonishly large head. A metal cabinet with helpful warning labels lay open on another one of the walls–probably circuit breakers or something to do with electrical currents.

 

Sophia ventured further into one of the unfinished corridors just to the side of that office, where the floor changed from dull, scuffed linoleum to matte concrete. Pipes and conduits lined both walls of this corridor. She studied the warning labels, then removed her helmet to place an ear against one of the pipes.

 

“I hear a current.” Her hand found the handle of a spigot and twisted–her greaves were soaked in a cold and clear liquid in an instant until Sophia cupped an armored hand under the current. No doubt to the horror of the scout troopers, she took a test sip and immediately spat it out in a spasm of coughing.

 

“I’m okay, I’m okay. It’s water, definitely water. Just metallic as frack, that’s all. Tastes like I’m drinking a pencil.” She grimaced and wiped a tear from her right eye. “It might actually be potable, though. Just who were you expecting to find down here, anyway?”

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...