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Mos Eisley - Tatooine


Tarrian Skywalker
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She kissed his mask then, leaving a dark bloody smear from her still bleeding mouth before she slipped her helmet back on her head.  She twisted it slightly and the visor lit up with her custom readout. SHe walked after her beloved and his pet jawa. Wishing all the while that they did not need such a rodent to guide them when simple blaster play could get them in just the same. 

 

But they had learned that lesson before. So she followed in silence. 

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Behold the Rose of Sharon is burning in the valley 

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The Crate dropped out of hyperspace over the little dustball of Tatooine.

 

I honestly doubted anything of significance had ever even been in the neighborhood of this graveyard of a world. Which of course made it perfect for us.

 

A few calls, some credits changing hands over the Holonet, and I negotiated a berth for the beat-up old Clone Wars era ship in the planet's port of Mos Eisley. Never been here myself, but it looked like the usual dirt poor colony world. Keep one hand on your cred sticks and the other on your knife and you'd be fine.

 

As it turns out, the first crook I had to contend with, indirectly, was the spaceport manager. 30 meters my metal foot. This hole was 20 meters from end to end on a hot day. Still, I managed to drop the Crate down gently in the sandy landing pad. Pit droids crawled out of a dozen different hiding places as I lowered the ramp and took my first breath of the dry, hot air.

 

"Bang out the dents," I said, tossing one of the pit droids some credits. "Leave the engine alone or I'll rip your heads off."

 

I turned back and called up the ramp. "We're here!"

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Leena awoke as the ship broke the atmosphere of the dusty world. The glare of the twin suns cast a sharp line across her face through the port. She had slept heavily throughout the trip, the sleep of the victorious. The darkness that had plagued her mind was vanquished. 
 

As she stood and pulled on a fresh robe from her simple pack, Leena pondered what might be next and their eclectic group. Surely Zeris would be on her way, her contract completed. As for @TerrorBot and Fera, they had been Jedi bots originally. Perhaps, she pondered, they might join her wherever they went next. Feeling the weight of the sabers contained within the stasis of her healing crystals, she realized that such a  crude presence would be of great defense in times of peril.

 

As the ship settled into it’s aged berth, Leena found her way to the open door and hopped down to the gritty worn concrete pad.

 

She saw @Zeris Mons already outside in the overwhelming heat. She smiled warmly. Tatooine may not have been her first choice; but it was well outside the purview of the Sith. A great place to recuperate before the force called her elsewhere. “Thank you Captain. Your skills were invaluable on our quest. I trust you were able to find something of value to make your trip worthwhile?” Reaching into the satchel at her waist, Leena gingerly removed a single healing gem. It glowed a soft yellow, a contrast to its angular crystalline structure. “Keep this close to your heart. May it guide you in your darkest hour. I hope that the Force wills that we will see one another again, but I fear it will not be under any more pleasant circumstances.”

 

”Where will you go from here?” 

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Kiv almost screeched at being pushed by the Tuskan’s rifle. 

 

“Ok ok! Fine, you want sneaky route, i get you sneaky route.” Kiv grumbled as he looked at the open courtyard. He raised one hand to scratch himself, studying the guards and the kerner plaza, remembering. 

 

“Last time i was in there…” Kiv started. “Was about a year or two ago. They were taking in speeder bikes into their chasms to do some work. That’s what they like to do, you know, big cousin? “ Kiv looked at the others. “Works on bikes and ships. Alter codes and such. Make things hard to find by authorities. My kind of people. I sold them info once. Juicy details on a runaway slave group”

 

>Stay on track sir< Eyes reminded the jawa. 

 

“Oh shush you. Anyway, plaza is open, guards won’t notice another jawa. Or won’t care. We are everywhere. Hehe. Here, see that dome top?” Kiv pointed up at the Temple’s slick and smooth dome. 

 

“There's a secret entrance up there. Monks use it to get fresh air and meditate on the open sun.  Hard to find, but its there. Found by…eh, can’t give away my secrets. Secrets are good to have. Good for selling. Anywho, you two get in through there, then I come find you inside. Eye’s will help you find me, right, Eyes? You stick with them, then find me.” 

 

With that, Kiv dashed into the open plaza. 

 

Just as he noted. No one cared that another Jawa entered the open plaza. The guards for the temple had their own worries and problems. Why would they notice another identical cloaked rodent?

 

Kiv ran towards one of the guards. “Oy! Tall dog!”

 

The Klatoonian looked down at the jawa with a glare and snarled. “Get lost scrapper”

 

Kiv held his hands to his chest, mocking a hurtful noise. “Oh you wound me tall dog! I am no scrapper, I am a great trader! I want to offer you my best deal yet!”  

 

With this, Kiv had reached into his cloak, and swiftly pulled out a small blob of a foul-smelling substance. Kiv often used this ‘gunk’ to rub onto his robes to help keep them moisturized, as did most Jawas. Most species hated the stuff, as it only enhanced the Jawa’s foul smell, but for Kiv, he loved the stuff.

 

Without wasting a moment, Kiv threw the gunk into the Klatoonian’s excellent attuned-nose. 

 

The Klatoonian cursed and gave chase. Kiv, once again a target, dashed off, screaming the whole way. The other guards began to take notice and observed, laughing at the spectacle. 

 

>Well, time for us to go< Eyes beeped at the two. >Master is quite good at being a distraction< And with that, Eyes floated from the group towards the temple’s dome top secret entrance. How the two would get to the top was up, unfortunately, Kiv had failed to mention.  
 

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”Are you doing alright Ruin?" Fera beeped at the terror droid.

 

 For the entire ride, Ruin had been strangely quiet. Feeling the weight of the hammer in his hands, cleaning it off, studying it and analyzing it. The behavior was different from before. With the sword, he had cleaned and maintained it because it needed to be maintained. It was programming. But the hammer, unique and strange in design, didn’t need such work. After a replacement of a power cell, found inside the ship, it was perfect and ready for battle already. 

 

But Ruin had continued to study and analyze it. 

 

“Smash and bash. Kill all Sith” Ruin replied simply. Fera didn’t push the subject further. 

 

When the ship landed, Ruin placed the hammer on his back and got his rifle at the ready. With no comment, the two exited the ship onto the hot desert sand off the ramp.

“Sith.” Ruin glanced around. A gust of wnd scattered some particles of snad over the terror droid’s body, who grumbled slightly. 

 

“Got to kill sith. No sith. Bashings and crashings? Searchings and findings…” 
 

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Rru just shook his head. Half of what the Jawa said was nigh indecipherably through his squeaky odor-saturated accent, the other half either barely made sense or was technical enough that the Tusken’s head swam. He understood enough to note the shimmering dome and reported trap door the floating droid buzzed off towards as the Jawa made his way below. Soon enough the rodent was causing yet another scene. He seemed almost naturally talented at it.

 

With a swathed face, Rru turned to look at Rose, his body language a question of itself, as he shrugged in the direction of the buzzing droid. Scaling cliffs abd dunes was one thing, a cityscape’d dome another, and it was not like they could just waltz through town like the Jawa.


Unless…Rru kicked a sand-blasted set of shackles jumbled on the rooftop. He looked from the clanking chains to Rose and back. Maybe it was that easy. It was likely one of the oldest tricks in the galaxy, a ruse from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

 

Stooping down he grabbed the weighty shackles, holding them up for Rose’ inspection. “The peoples of the desert are not completely defenseless without their weapons.” He said as he shrugged his cycler’s worn leather strap from his shoulder.

 

As long the Jawa did not see where he stashed his weapons, he was sure they’d be there when he got back. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/7/2022 at 9:25 AM, Leena Kil said:

She saw @Zeris Mons already outside in the overwhelming heat. She smiled warmly. Tatooine may not have been her first choice; but it was well outside the purview of the Sith. A great place to recuperate before the force called her elsewhere. “Thank you Captain. Your skills were invaluable on our quest. I trust you were able to find something of value to make your trip worthwhile?” Reaching into the satchel at her waist, Leena gingerly removed a single healing gem. It glowed a soft yellow, a contrast to its angular crystalline structure. “Keep this close to your heart. May it guide you in your darkest hour. I hope that the Force wills that we will see one another again, but I fear it will not be under any more pleasant circumstances.”

 

”Where will you go from here?” 

 

I pocketed the gem gratefully. I wasn't sure how the thing worked, but I knew I'd feel more comfortable having it on me.

 

This job...it had been what I needed. I felt that old drive, like someone had poured a gallon of high-grade catalyst in my intake port. A part of me was itching to get back to work on myself, push my body and my augments to the next level.

 

"Thank you," I said to the Jedi who'd so briefly been my employer.

 

I looked around. "I'll wander around here. There's always work around a place like this."

 

I strolled away, hands in the pockets of my coat.

 

"You've got my number, if you ever got more work," I called out, as I moved into the city itself.

 

On 4/8/2022 at 10:12 AM, Klu Kiv said:

The Klatoonian cursed and gave chase. Kiv, once again a target, dashed off, screaming the whole way. The other guards began to take notice and observed, laughing at the spectacle. 

 

My first clue that something was up was the pitter patter of little feet on the dusty road.

 

The second clue was the hooting brown blur of cloth and stank dashing past me as I emerged onto the intersection.

 

The final clue was the klatoonian who collided with me and sent us both tumbling to the ground.

 

I think the klatoonian dismissed me at first, probably because of my height, because as he got up he barely giving me a glance, much less an apology. He also stepped right on my gut and pushed off that foot to stand up again.

 

Now, I try to keep my temper under control, but I'll admit that when I get pissed off, it usually happens very quickly. Maybe it was the heat, or maybe it was the complete lack of respect or decency, but I found myself a little...piqued. With one metal hand, I grabbed the klatoonian's ankle, lifted him off my gut, and slammed him sideways into the ground. Then, before he could realize what happened, I rolled over, grabbed his head with my other hand, and slammed the side of his face against the road. I repeated the action two more times before I saw his eyes lose focus and my brief burst of irritation passed.

 

"Watch it," I growled at the addled klatoonian as I got to my feet.

 

I looked around and saw the jawa some distance away.

 

"Hey!" I called out. "Is this yours?!" I kicked the klatoonian lightly for emphasis.

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Kiv had to stop and turn at the woman who yelled at his direction. 

 

“Oh, very nice, very nice!” Kiv exclaimed, racing back. “You are excellent lady. Very strong. Very strong…oooh, thats why! Nice arms!”

 

Kiv had to stop and scratch his face hidden under his hood. Another business opportunity. 

 

“Lots of powerful women around here. Berzerker ladies. Must be my lucky day, yes? Anywho, this doggy…”

 

Kiv got closer again and began to look over the body. “Something of a misunderstanding. Slight misunderstanding mind you. I meant to offer him a datapad, and I accidentally offered him an insult. Something you can…”

 

A call came from the Dim-U monastery. Kiv glanced over and gulped slightly. “Oops, looks like you got their attention. Better you then me, eh robot arm lady? Still, my advantage, i belie…”

 

Kiv didn’t finish, as one of the guards had armed their slug thrower and opened fire on the two. Kiv screeched and ducked. The other guards, about 5 in total, were rushing over as well, intending on saving their comrade from the woman. 

 

“If you live, maybe we do business yes? Thanks for being distraction!” 

 

With that, Kiv scurried away, a rat that no one seemed to mind. After all, why would guards notice a Jawa scavenger when someone had literally just attacked a fellow guard?

 

Kiv was not being sarcastic with his gratitude. With the woman taking care of the guards, the entrance to the Dim-U monastery was relatively unguarded. While there was a droid detection sensor at the doorway, the lack of guards made the monastery open.

 

Kiv had to stop running and take a glance around. The first floor of the monastery was ornate but sparse. The walls were decorated with gilded imagery of banthas and worshipers. Several statues dedicated to the holy beasts were around, as a few abbots stood at them preaching and teaching their lessons to the few legitimate students and scholars of the Dim-U. 

 

Kiv didn’t need a highly sensitive nose to smell a scam. While it wasn’t common knowledge, people knew that the monetary was a front for more illicit trades such as transponder code alterations and chop shops under and above the base level. Kiv himself had snuck into the monastery before to ‘help’ these chop shops. 

 

Kiv noticed one of the abbots looking in his direction. Kiv gave a nod and moved towards one of the hidden entrances to the upstairs. A speeder bike modification station was up there, as well as the hidden entrance he told the tusken and the armored berserker lady. As long as Kiv acted like he belonged here, he wouldn’t be questioned. Hopefully he could meet the group upstairs, and then the group could make their way to the basements, where Gorgonzola was no doubt residing. 

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Rose turned to Rru and quickly snapped the cuffs around his strong wrists, making sure that they were not fully secured. Then she pressed a holdout blaster into his hand wraps. 

 

“For when your ancient weapons fail you.” 

 

Then she gave him a swift kiss and leveled her blaster rifle at him. 

 

“Start walking sandperson scum.” 

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Behold the Rose of Sharon is burning in the valley 

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On 4/23/2022 at 4:35 PM, Klu Kiv said:

A call came from the Dim-U monastery. Kiv glanced over and gulped slightly. “Oops, looks like you got their attention. Better you then me, eh robot arm lady? Still, my advantage, i belie…”

 

Kiv didn’t finish, as one of the guards had armed their slug thrower and opened fire on the two. Kiv screeched and ducked. The other guards, about 5 in total, were rushing over as well, intending on saving their comrade from the woman. 


Oh for...I swear, I'm going to KILL the next short furry humanoid that screws me over...
 

I ducked behind the corner of the nearest building, a chunk of sand-colored stone shattering as one of the slugs came close to hitting me.

Well, to be fair, this was probably more my own fault. Dropping the guard was one thing, but hitting his head on the street until he passed out (I hope) was probably a step too far.

 

The rough voices spoke in a language I didn't understand, but the tone was unmistakable. Someone was giving orders, and it wasn't to retreat.


Aaaaand now I had a choice. I could run, weaving through buildings to keep them from lining up a clean shot. Find some spot to hunker down until the heat died off, then get off this planet as soon as The Crate was refueled and fixed up.

Or...I could fight. It was a completely idiotic idea. I wasn't getting paid. I'd piss off whatever powerful bloke these guys worked for. Plus there was the very real possibility that I'd get hurt, or even killed. The little voice in my head told me what I needed to hear.

 

I can beat them up and call it resume' building.

 

My little voice is a moron.

 

I dashed out from behind my cover, my cybernetic legs propelling me faster than should have been possible. I didn't run for the shooters though. I ran instead for their downed mate, the one I'd clean the street with. Two of the guards got off a shot, but both were wild and whizzed past me harmlessly. It wasn't easy to hit a moving target.

I scooped up the dazed guard, held him in front of me, and ran at the gun-wielding guards.

 

To their credit, four of them had enough trigger discipline to not shoot one of their own. Unfortunately for my unconscious new meat shield, the fifth one didn't. A crack sounded, pair with a sudden splash of blood and a metallic ping as the slug passed through his dangling friend's leg and ricocheted off my metal ankle. Then I was one them.

 

There are two things you have to remember when going hand to hand with a group carrying firearms. First, if you can, never let them get their distance. A lined up shot, and bang, fight's over and you're squealing on the floor. Second, if you can't do that, then always, always, always keep moving.

 

As I moved into the center of the group, I let go of my shield, his face slapping in what sounded very painfully against the street. I then grabbed his ankles, set my stance, and before the group had registered what was going on, I swung my improvised flail into the nearest guard, sending him sprawling under the weight of his now thoroughly addled friend.

 

The remaining four held their composure admirably, trying to move away while raising their guns for a shot, but I didn't give them time. With my legs using their full power, I leapt at the next nearest guard, crossing the space in a blink, my fist driving straight into his solar plexus and dropping him. Before he hit the ground, I was moving again, delivering a kick to another guard's hip, a solid crack telling me he wasn't going to be getting back up anytime soon. The third guard actually managed to get a shot off, but his panicked aim didn't come anywhere near me, and before he realized what had happened I had yanked his gun out of his hands and smashed the butt into his face. The fourth guard threw down his weapon and ran, and I felt a small twinge of disappointment. But I didn't waste time dwelling on it, already moving. Good thing I did, as a ringing gunshot and a puff of shattered cobblestone where I'd been standing let me know the final guard had gotten me in his sights.

 

This guy was bigger than the rest, a burly specimen of his species, and probably the one I'd heard shouting orders before. I dashed towards him, and he raised his arm to block. Which was a mistake.

 

A second later, he was writhing on the ground, his forearm bent at an unnatural angle.

 

I finally stopped, elation surging through what flesh I had left, and I let my eyes drift over my victory.

 

Four guards, all either unconscious or in pain, sprawled across the street.

 

I think I might have a problem.

 

Now where'd that jawa go?

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Kiv moved about the machinery and people working on the monastery’s second floor like rat amongst cargo.  A few people gave the jawa a curious or even suspicious look, but their work demanded more attention. It was a simple manner of finding a small corner on the second floor that pushed against a loose ceiling panel. A slight push and jumble, and the panel opened outwards, letting in Tatooine’s blinding twin suns. 

 

>Good to see you again master< A familiar binary beeping as Eyes  floated just outside. 

 

“There you are you piece of flying ju…” Kiv started then stopped and glanced around. “Whoah whoah whoah, wait, where are the other two?” 

 

>It seems they have refused your method of entrance and decided to follow you into the monastery through the front door<

 

Kiv clutched his hands into fists and smacked his head a few times in frustration. “Whaaaat? Those idiots! They’ll get caught by guards! Even with my excellent distraction skills, the front door still…”

 

>It appears all the guards are being handled sir<

 

“Huh…?”

 

Kiv looked down at where the guards were. For a few moments, Kiv had to stare in awe as the ‘robo-woman’, as Kiv called her, dealt with each of the guards one by one. 

 

“Very nice… nice nice nice…Eyes, you recording yes?” Kiv said, scratching his chin. 

 

>As always sir< 

 

“Good. I’ll have to look her up. Lots of warrior ladies today Eyes. Maybe I can hire her? Get a closer look at those arms.” 

 

The woman had dealt with the last thug. Kiv couldn’t help but flinch at the broken arm. Still, he kept watching, and even waved frantically at the woman to signal where he was at. 

 

“Eyes, go down there and scan her. And ask her to…

 

At that moment, everything went black, as neither Kiv nor Eyes didn’t see the man sneaking up behind him with the stun-stick.  
_____

 

The two who had snuck in through the front ( @Rose Cariadus and @Wyvernfall), had no trouble getting through the door. With the distraction started by kiv and continued by Zeris, the front was completely open.

 

Inside the two were greeted with the same sight. A large, ornate, open room, decorated with statues, benches, and decorated walls. 

 

One of the abbots,  a gangly human whose height was made ridiculous by his ornate hat, made his way towards the two, arms out in greetings. 

 

"Greetings my children!" He said, his voice having a musical tone to it. "It is always good to see that ones who have embraced the aspect of the wandering Bantha enter our humble halls" 

 

The abbot came close to the tusken, and peered closer as if to study the being. 

 

"Ah, you are a curious soul. What has this sand person done to deserve such treatment? Has he broken his own people's vows to not eat bantha meat?”

 

A perceptive eye would have noticed that while this particular abbot seemed genuine, one of the other abbots,  a Lutrillian, was looking over curious and pulling out what looked like a communicator. 

____

 

Back outside,  Eyes rushed downwards towards the Arkanian (@Zeris Mons) like a bullet, stopping just inches from her head.  

 

>Attention warlike humanoid< the small cobbled Searcher 2050 beeped out, almost franticly. >Your abilities have been noted by my owner and creator, and your services are requested in rescuing my owner. I am authorized to promise payment in the form of information and possible services upon completion.  To accept, please continue into the DIM-U monastery’s basement and rescue my…<

 

Eyes almost seemed to do the equivalent of a binary sigh before continuing. 

 

>The esteemed and magnificent Kiv, trader of information and keeper of secrets< 

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Rru took the blaster and shoved it deep into his flowing robes. The shackles were uncomfortable on multiple levels, mentally and physically, even if he knew they were all a ruse. He stared lovingly at Rose for a moment, a warmth glowing in his heart at the thought of jumping back into action beside her. He was only called back to reality by her harsh words as she urged him forward, a captured prisoner.

 

Chaos hung in the air as they easily made it through the front doors without issue. It had been easy, too easy. How was it that these offworlders had ever been able to take ahold here?

 

Playing the part Rru yowled in his native Tusken pitch at the priest who addressed them, only to receive a solid  clip from the butt of Rose’s rifle to the back of the head. He would have been cranky had it not been warranted in their play. As such, he welcomed it, relished it even as he felt the guidance of his ancestors flood his mind. As he stumbled forward, the Tusken noted the shifty nearby acolyte. Was he going to be taken? Escorted to the gluttonous overlord the Jawa had promised?

 

The Tusken Raider crashed into the Lutrillian knocking the chirping comlink from his hand as they both fell to the floor. In an instant, amidst the flurry of bodies and the rough hewn sandy robes of both the false-bantha-worshipper and true-son-of-Tatooine, Rru’ was yanked to his feet by his supposed Mandalorian captor; but not before the potential saboteur lay unmoving and unconscious on the floor, the consciousness choked from his throat in the momentary frackas; a deft application of nerve pressure and inhibited bloodflow.

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On 5/4/2022 at 12:41 AM, Klu Kiv said:

Back outside,  Eyes rushed downwards towards the Arkanian (@Zeris Mons) like a bullet, stopping just inches from her head.  

 

>Attention warlike humanoid< the small cobbled Searcher 2050 beeped out, almost franticly. >Your abilities have been noted by my owner and creator, and your services are requested in rescuing my owner. I am authorized to promise payment in the form of information and possible services upon completion.  To accept, please continue into the DIM-U monastery’s basement and rescue my…<

 

Eyes almost seemed to do the equivalent of a binary sigh before continuing. 

 

>The esteemed and magnificent Kiv, trader of information and keeper of secrets< 

 

"...He makes you say that, doesn't he?" A brief pang of sympathy for the droid flickered through me. I'd dealt with puffed up bosses before, and unlike me this droid didnt have the hands to cave their face in when they stepped on that last nerve.

 

Fine...I'd already "bought the hangar" so to speak, I might as well take the ship that went with it, as smelly as it might be.  Besides, my last deal with a small, hairy, fast talking rodent had gone...reasonably well.

 

"Alright. He better be worth it."

 

I was already doubting he was. The droid hadn't even promised hard credits,  just information and "services". Well, if this guy was some kind of info broker, he might be able to point me in the direction of some bounties on this dust choked oven of a planet. I couldnt be the only one who'd thought a remote little world like this would be a good place to hole up.

 

Worst came to worse, I could dunk the little gremlin in a tank of soap water and leave, paid in full for my work with the good, warm feelings I'd get from that.

 

Now I kinda hoped he didn't hold up his end.

_________________________

 

After one quick scaling up the side of the monastery, and the droid leading me to the hole its master had presumably used (I swear I could still smell him), I was inside.

 

And this...was not a monastery. This was a chop shop.

 

Half disassembled speeder bikes hung from the ceiling in chains. Burly men and women of about a dozen different species sweated and grunted as they cut through metal and pulled out the guts of the vehicles I'm positive had not been acquired legally. A twinge of nostalgia welled up for a moment, happy times spent crawling over excavator engines and digging through scrap heaps semi covered in snow playing out in my head before I sent them packing to the back of my brain. Time to be going.

 

"HEY!!!" A deep, phlegmy voice boomed over the racket of the work stations. "NEW GIRL! GET OVER HERE AND HOIST THIS THING!" 

 

I glanced towards the source of the noise to find a large chevin beckoning me over. Im pretty sure he was angry, although with that much face it was hard to read his expression. I complied, which might seem odd given I'd flattened the side of a guard's skull a few minutes ago for just stepping on me, but the difference was that now I was on the job. Professionalism was key, and I could use the practice. Plus it was easier than dealing with the racket he might make if I ignored him.

 

"This," as it turned out was a modified swoop bike that looked like it had more thrusters bolted on than some starfighters. It was a miracle it was in one piece, and not spread over the course of a mile along with the galaxy's longest red stain. The chevin was trying to hoist it down onto a workbench, and struggling with the monstrosity's criminal lack of proper weight distribution. I took the other end, and after a moment's wrestling and a few choice, muttered words, we got it down.

 

"Thanks," he said, wiping his brow with an oily cloth.

 

"Yeah," I said, not sure what else to add. "So...boss, I gotta-"

 

"Shove off it, i know you dont work for me."

 

My expression must have been telling, because he chuckled and elaborated.

 

"Lady, you're pale as bone and wearing a black overcoat on a planet with two suns. A short circuited gonk droid could tell you were an offworlder."

 

"Then...why-"

 

"I needed a hand." His gaze narrowed. "But I dont need trouble. So you came in the front door, agreed?"

 

A smile crept onto my face at the cantankerous foreman's guff. I nodded.

 

He thumbed towards the rear wall. "Stairs are over there."

 

I nodded once more, and left him to his work.

 

Alright...let's find that "magnificent" jawa.

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1st Floor

 

The two lover’s plan was working nicely to say the least. The initial abbot had to step back from the scuffle as the Tuskan easily knocked out the Lutrillian. Once the Tuskan was back under control, the abbot gave a very wide smile. 

 

“This one is more brutal than I expected. To think he has fallen so far from his beliefs. Thankfully, we have the perfect end for him. “

 

The abbot gestured to the Mandalorian to follow. The group received several stares from the legit patrons who desired to learn the religion, but the abbot ignored them and indicated that the Mandalorian should do the same. Instead, he led them to one of the back areas, where a staircase led down into the cool ground. 

 

“While I am not one who enjoys having to work under such management, our Lord does help us provide lovely payment for blasphemers like this one” the abbot spoke as he went down the stairs. 

 

At the bottom of the staircase, several ill-lit hallways awaited the group, as well as two rusted ASP labor droids maintaining an anti-gravity sled. At closer inspection, the sled was obviously modified, with its edges to produce a particle shield for easier transport of prisoners. 

 

“If you like, you can come with us to meet our Lord…” The abbot motioned towards the sled, indicating he wanted the Tuskan on board, and then to follow him down the hallway on the right. “To negotiate payment, and to witness the execution. I usually am not one for these bloody demonstrations, but I wish to see this savage receive his punishment in full. Our lord’s cats are quite exquisite to see in action, if I do say so myself. We just caught a rat to even work up their appetites…”

___

2nd floor.

 

The people up in the chop shop were busy, greasy, and on a deadline. Why would they care about some female? The guards had already caught a troublemaker, so this was one of the few times where the overbearing eyes of their masters would not be focused on their work.

 

>If i do recall correctly< Eyes noted, hovering quietly behind Zeris trying to avoid attention. <...and I always do, there are a series of air vents and pipes on the base floor you can access. I calculate that my master is being held in the feeding area. The most accessible way without drawing attention would be to use these vents. I will point them out to you if you wish. Otherwise, there is the back staircase that the abbots use regularly, but as the Chevin noticed, you are not inconspicuous<


True enough, on the first floor, near the stairs that led up to the chop shop, a small air vent was available. 

____

Feeding  Area

 

Kiv shook himself awake and groaned. 

 

“Stupid piece of stupid junk. When I get my hands on that little piece of…”

 

Kiv had to stop as the laughter gurgled from somewhere. Kiv rubbed his eyes and realized that the glow around him was from a red particle shield from the sled he was sitting on.  While its light was not too illuminating, it did provide enough for his eyes to see.

 

The place he was in was huge to say the least.  The large, open chamber was like a scaled down training facility of sorts. The rocky ground seemed to be the only original thing in this chamber, as durasteel lined the walls and low roof.  Pieces of debris from star ships, vehicles, and buildings were scattered in the chamber, giving it a very battle-field feel.  Along the edges of the room, more particle shields protected a small crowd of observers: Gangsters, two-bit men, smugglers, and a few entertainers of the night. They were obviously not the top-grade criminals they pretended to be, but they did help make Kiv feel absolutely alone. 

 

And before Kiv, seating center of the chamber along the wall with the observers, was the Hutt himself. Slimy, green, and slightly curled up around himself, Gorgonzola was a fine specimen…for a Hutt. His fat rolls and greasy palms did nothing to add any beauty, and his laughter, higher-pitched for his kind, made him a little underwhelming compared to the great Jabba he compared himself to. 

 

“Its been a long time runt…” Gorgonzola spoke, grabbing a piece of food off a Gonk droid that served as his End-Table. 

 

“Great Gorgonzola!” Kiv exclaimed, standing up and bowing. “Many long time, yes? Its good to see you, good to see my favorite customer…”

 

“I doubt that runt” The hutt glared, hands clenching into fists. “That datapad you sold me was worthless. I lost several grands over that information. You owe me big runt…”

 

“What? Worthless? No way!” Kiv exclaimed, waving his arms frantically. “After all, all the information was true, wasn’t it? That Chromium mine is full of treasure and wonders! I simply sold you its location!”

 

The Hutt roared, making the other observers flinch in apprehension. “You failed to mention that the mine was already half mined and had a Mynock Nest. By the time I finished mining it, I lost all my profits fixing my equipment!”

 

A grow from somewhere in the room caught Kiv’s attention. He didn’t need to glance around to know what else was watching. In his desire to become greater than Jabba, Gorgonzola decided to get his own man-eating beast. But instead of a rancor, he decided that a pack of Horned Saber-Cats would be much easier to maintain, and much more entertaining to watch killing those who wronged Gorgonzola. 

 

“Wait, wait, wait…no need be hasty!” Kiv started. “How about, I give you new info? Better info! For free! A real deal, yes?”

 

“Not this time runt” The hutt laughed as he began to finger the Gonk/Table droid, fiddling with its controls for the shields in the room. “This time, you are the cat food…”

 

“Assassination!” Kiv blurted out. This caused everyone to go silent for a moment.

 

“Uh, yes! There is an upcoming assassination attempt! On your very life! Your glorious, greasy life! Why else would I return home, yes? To let myself get eaten? No no, I have great deal. I know assassins are on their way to kill you! But I can stop them.”

 

There was a moment of silence, save for the five Saber-cats who prowled around waiting for the shields protecting the Jawa to be dropped. The hutt stroked his chins for a bit, pondering.

 

“Go on…”

 

Kiv sighed and then began. “You see, you are great gangster, yes? Biggest one of the galaxy. Bigger then…then…” Kiv snapped his fingers. “Black Sun! Yes, you are comparing to them! But they no like what you are becoming. I know this because I sold them something. Good deal. Yes yes…”

 

Kiv continued to ramble out his lie, hoping that either the Hutt would buy the story, or something else would get him out of this mess.  
 

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Rose did not much care for whatever religious freedoms or desires the monks had to express, but she followed until they had gotten to the hoverseld. To go any further in the disguise would require a separation from the Tusken so it was best to put the charade to rest. They had gotten through the front doors and into the lower levels. Now it was time for them both to do what they did best. 

 

Feigning reaching for the keys to the Tuskens cuffs, she whipped out her hatchet and buried it in the brain of the Monk. Cutting through skull and matter with the ease of long training and a distinct sense of frustration. She held the body close to the pair of them until the shuddering stopped, dropping the lifeless body into the hoverseld instead. 

 

She pointed the ax to the labour droids. Warning them to stay silent as she and the Tusken prepared for their assault to rescue their ratty friend.

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Behold the Rose of Sharon is burning in the valley 

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Rru let out a husky chuckled growl as the blood of the so-called monk misted into the air and sprayed over his black Tusken robes.

 

With a twist of his wrists, the so-called shackles fell free. He looked at Rose and cocked his head, the most he could do to show the smile beneath his shrouds, the joy to be by her side again in a fight; even if it were because of that diminutive stink-rat. 
 

He places his arm on the warrioress’ shoulder pauldron and leaned in, their foreheads touching in a sign of affection. No words needed spoken. It was enough. They both knew what was to come, even if the playing field below was as of yet unknown.

 

On padded feet, the Tusken made his way down the shadowy stairs. At the base stood a single guard decked out in piecemeal armor that was more for show than protection, leaving large areas of flesh exposed to vent against the planet’s brutal heat. The Nikto did not even see it coming. With gloved hands and roughly shod arms, the Tusken reached out and in a single swoop had yanked the guard from his feet back up the stairwell and into the darkness. His kicking feet were all the noise he could give as the desert warrior choked the life from him, the Nimto clawing helplessly at the muscled arms that claimed him. Once the guard stopped moving and fell limp, Rru laid him on the stairs and looked to Rose holding up a fist before pointing into the lair of the beast.

 

He only paused as he heard the squeaky words of the Jawa carrying over the sudden silence that fell over the crowded court of debauchery within. He knew that squirrel wasn’t to be trusted! After the Hutt, he would see to it that he throttled the stank out of the Jawa as well.

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On 5/11/2022 at 1:37 AM, Klu Kiv said:

2nd floor.

 

The people up in the chop shop were busy, greasy, and on a deadline. Why would they care about some female? The guards had already caught a troublemaker, so this was one of the few times where the overbearing eyes of their masters would not be focused on their work.

 

>If i do recall correctly< Eyes noted, hovering quietly behind Zeris trying to avoid attention. <...and I always do, there are a series of air vents and pipes on the base floor you can access. I calculate that my master is being held in the feeding area. The most accessible way without drawing attention would be to use these vents. I will point them out to you if you wish. Otherwise, there is the back staircase that the abbots use regularly, but as the Chevin noticed, you are not inconspicuous<


True enough, on the first floor, near the stairs that led up to the chop shop, a small air vent was available. 

 

I eyed the vent. It was surprisingly clean, none of that rust or gunky buildup you usually see. Clean priests I guessed.

 

"If I die in a vent...

 

He had really better be worth it."

 

Now, I did consider just taking the stairs. It'd be risky, but it wouldn't be the first time I'd gone the direct route. In fact it'd probably be the closest thing I had to a MO at this point. But...and this sounds silly...I'd never actually gone through a vent system before. I know it sounds ridiculous when I just put that out there, but it was true. I'd never had the opportunity to crawl through ductwork in a situation where it would actually be a viable strategy. I'd always thought it would come up at some point, and if I was being honest with myself I kind of wanted to do it. Sure, that was probably the end result of way too many holovids on long cargo runs with a bunch of rough Outer Rimmers, but the little girl in me really, really wanted to peel that grate off and wiggle through.

 

Painting a look of resigned frustration on my face, I looked both ways, wrenched off the grating, and squirmed inside.

 

The first thing to hit was the smell. It was so musty I had to concentrate not to choke and gag. After that, I started crawling through, feeling my way ahead until I found what I assumed was the dropoff that led to the next level.

 

Alright, just do it gently...

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BASEMENT/FEEDING AREA

 

The two droids looked at the ax presented by the Mandalorian with an uncaring expression and nodded. They were workers, no better then slaves. They didn’t need to think hard. Their lives, while not worth much, did not include programs to stop intruders or pacify targets. They were transport. And if the prisoners were going to transport themselves, all the more power to them.  

 

The two  lovers made their way into the belly of the beast, as it were. The hallway where Kiv’s bumblings came from ended with a durasteel door that opened into the large open chamber known as the Feeding Area. Upon entrance, the two would find the door slam and locked behind them, a security measure that the great Gorgonzola begrudgingly paid for. 

 

The Horned Saber-Cats would be the first to notice them. Of the eight circling and preparing to chase the Jawa rodent, seven of them turned their attention to the Tuskan and the Mandalorian. In the dimly lit chamber, they were difficult to see, but the silhouettes of their forms could be noticed prowling the debris scattered around. One of them growled loudly. The others answered. The hunt was on. 

 

Kiv stopped in the middle of his long winded talk when he heard the growl. The hutt and his entourage of lesser criminals looked at the entrance. Gorgonzola roared. 

 

“You traitorous rat! You brought the assassins to me! You are working with them!”

 

Kiv waved his arms frantically. “No no no no, not like that great greasy one! Why I would do tha-”

 

Gorgonzola wouldn’t hear it. He slammed and bashed the Gonk droid, spilling his drinks everywhere. The shield on Kiv’s sled flickered out, and the chamber flooded with light. Despite the hutt's violant slamming, the shields  ones protecting the criminals from the cats remained. Kiv  booked for the nearest piece of debris. The last cat, the largest of the pack and who had ignored the entrance of the others, roared and gave chase.

 

“AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” Kiv shrieked all the way.

 

Meanwhile, in the air vents, Eyes and Zeris had found themselves just above the Feeding Area. The strong smell that Zeris had so keenly noticed was not just from the various dead baby womp rats that couldn’t find any food, but also from the opening ahead. The grate was placed just above Gorgonzola, a feature he insisted so that he would remain properly cool. The fumes from his greasiness went straight up, and sucked into the vent to be emitted outside of the monastery.  

 

Kiv’s scream could be heard in the vents, above the now cheering entourage and laughing Gorgonzola. Eyes suddenly picked up speed and beeped at Zeris frantically. 

 

>Time is of the essence warlike humanoid. Please hurry, i believe the feeding has commenced<

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Stepping into the room, the durasteel door slammed shut behind them and the screeching of the Jawa began anew. Rru paused. If his face had been exposed, the shock would have been apparent. He had not expected to come into the court of Gorgonzola on this side of the gladiatorial pit.

 

Frozen as he was, the Tusken’s head slowly turned at the low snarl of one of the large cats, his eyebrows high and his eyes wide. That complicated things.

 

The voices of his ancestors swirled around the black-robed nomad, urging him to action. Spurned onwards at unnatural speed, his heavy clothes obscuring his movements, he charged the seven stalking cats whose eyes now glinted as they began to hunt.

 

The Tusken trusted that @Rose Cariadus would spring to action, her lethal beauty annihilating those that preyed on them both, maybe even the Jawa. Rru leapt into the air, his body tucking into a roll as he cleared the first charging feline. From the folds of his robes, the Tusken produced the hidden holdout blaster Rose had pressed into his hands before their ruse began. Squeezing off a pair of rounds as he came out of his roll, the Tusken shot the largest cat behind the jaw. The cat fell in a slump just as Rru’s feet touched down to the sticky floor at a run.

 

He did not stop moving from there even as a pair of the cats turned to give chase. This was no dune hunt with endless hills of sand to vanish between, rocky crags to disappear into the warm shimmering air. Here, in this enclosed space, the danger was even greater; regardless of his lack of gaderffi and cycler. Two less well aimed rounds erupted from the blaster as Rru squeezed the trigger singing the cats’ fur as they skimmed atop their shoulders.

 

As one of the cats leapt, claws extended, Rru turned, throwing the pistol up as a ragtag shield, catching one clawed paw with it as it screeched beneath the dense sharpened nail. He caught the other paw in his swirling robes, his momentum as he fell and the cat’s forward surge being transformed into a throw over himself sending the cat tumbling past.

 

Rolling with the collision, Rru was back on his feet, scarred blaster held at the ready.

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