Encroaching Shadows Run-On Event
Varonat, a jungle planet and home to a sentient race of herbivores. This was the place Odan-Urr's agent hid himself, on a green little marble in the backpocket of the galaxy. Hidden away, the informant for House Odan-Urr was able to communicate with the House and provide valuable information. However, this contact hadn't been heard from in quite some time, and so V'yr Vorsa and Kah Manet were dispatched to check up on him. They hoped it was a simple technological error, but the Jedi knew better than to hope for the best.
When they touched down on the planet, the two knew where to go. A trail lead from the small field that they landed in to the tiny shack that they routinely met the agent in. The calm waters of the lake outside the shack, which was made from looted metal and whatever else the agent could scrounge up, reflected the blue sky, the images of birds flying over dancing across its surface. Kah breathed in the air, and while it wasn't Lianorm Swamp, it felt right to him. V'yr took looked at ease. Maybe things would go alright.
They approached the shack, but as they got closer they began to notice the clues. The door, made from a thick wood, was kicked in. The paneling on the inside was turned to splinters, the color of red splattered across the wall. The agent was in pieces, the word "Allusis" painted onto the wall with his blood. Kah clicked loudly with aggression when he saw it, V'yr placing her hand on his shoulder.
Moments later, the sound of a pin drop could be heard. Silence rang out all around them, and they knew they were not alone. At the same time, the Jedi readied themselfes and that was when the ambush was sprung. From the depths of the jungle, multiple assailants in black poured out. V'yr sliced through one only to impale another. Kah, as well, was carving away at them. They weren't easy targets, some went down quickly but most dodged and dipped. They knew what they were doing. Some broke away and focused on Vorsa, encircling her and attacking her at every angle.
While his ally was being swarmed, Kah himself was being attacked by the others. He stabbed one in the clavicle, the blade jutting down and piercing the lung. Quick as a fox, the Gungan yanked the blade out and twirled around to attack another assailant, but when he did so he was met by a hail of rubber bullets. The volley sent him spiraling in the air, his body twisting and his head smacking against a rock. His eye had been swollen shut, the eye itself being pressed into the stalk.
Hearing the thud of Kah's corpe, V'yr looked at her fallen ally, the last of her assailants falling away from her blade. More came from the woods, and in the distance Vorsa could see a figure orchestrating the assault. She saw the oncoming swarm, as well as the last assailant that got Kah. They rushed around her, none firing a shot and none making a move closer than the small circle they had formed. All of them had their slug throwers aimed for her head. She deactivated her lightsaber and bowed her head, admitting submission.
The Quaestor had assembled the Knights of Allusis, having heard of the disappearance of their leader and executive officer. Liam had received a video he wanted the Knights to see, loading it into the holoprojector. The darkness of the room blasted away by glow of the image. Before them was V'yr and Kah, injured and imprisoned by an unknown captor. A dark voice in the back whispered demands of payment but the Jedi had other plans.
"They were scouting for the disappearance of an agent, apparently they discovered what caused that disappearance. Your mission is to rescue them and gather any information you need. Collect what equipment you need nad head for Varonat." said Liam, dismissing the team.
On board the YHCT Arthos in the Conference room Benedict saw that his leaders were upset by the events which were going on down on the planet Varonat which they knew about.
Benedict was standing by the conference room board getting the briefing on the mission ahead Benedict saw that the team needed equipment and supplies such as food water and weapons,
Everyone was in shock and wanted to help, Benedict pipe up and said that he would supply his scanner to scan the planet and to see if there were anything that would be in our way.
The CO said that "This would be a good idea"
Someone else said "What about weapons and stuff".
V'yr said" that was a good idea as well".
Someone else said don't we need a map of the Planet and that was given to everyone in the team, looking over at the room Benedict saw that he had his bag of tricks that he had with him at all times in case of something like this happening, seeing that he had his scanner he began some repairs to it ti tune it into the Planet Varonat atmosphere, and conditions.
It had to be the former Dark Jedi's master, hadn't it?
Ryan shifted in his chair, put off by both the emotional pain now coursing through his chest and holding his heart and lungs in a death grip. It was like losing...her... all over again, only this time it was one of the few people among the Light Side Jedi who had been quick to trust the defector and had decided to teach him. While Ryan had always feared Dark Side Corruption weakening his frame and reducing his ability to perform his signature unarmed combat techniques, the lack of physical corruption did not mean that he did not have the inexorable and ineluctable touch of fear, anger, and hate etched on his very soul from his time with the Dark Side. Sometimes it felt like no scrubbing through meditation and penance would ever drive it away.
Before he arrived he had heard whispers among the younger Journeymen who had not developed the kindness, or at the very least the tact, of the elder Jedi and who whispered about the interesting coincidence of a master falling missing and her apprentice being a former Dark Side student. Ryan ignored the whispers not out of fortitude but rather out of sadness and distraction. His usual jovial demeanor and roguish smile had faded and he was either training or waiting for the briefing he now was sitting in. Its arrival had done little to alleviate the pressure he felt.
At Liam's dismissal Ryan slowly rose and with great determination and purpose moved to his room. It was littered with books and datapads, their glow and pages littered here and there among martial arts training equipment. A jumprope lay across an obscure work on Jedi ethics. While Ryan adored reading, he was much more of a man of action, his unarmed combat talents being his most well-known characteristic. It made him and his master an odd pairing, and his preference for learning lightsaber combat and perfecting his martial arts caused no small amount of chafing when he was assigned endless reading by V'yr. But she took him in and accepted him, and for that Ryan would read every book in the library.
Ryan retrieved his chain whip and wrapped it around his waist under his belt, tying it with a not which would allow its quick draw and release if necessary. He proceeded to grab a couple of tonfa, tucking them into his belt beside a pair of knives. Ryan donned his usual white cloak to go with his white robes, and proceeded to head to meet the rest of the team.
Deadly Rose Cantina, Varonat
Loud terribly played music filled every corner of the busy, dirty cantina. In the corner at a cramped table, a rodian joined a small framed human already engaged in light conversation with a light skinned zabrak sitting beside him. An unlikely place for a secret meeting at the heart of activity on the remote planet but urgency demanded it.
"Julas I presume?" Evant asked meeting the eyes of the rodian as he approached.
"No, never heard the name, just came by to see if this seat is taken," the blue skinned humanoid responded gesturing to an unoccupied seat at the corner of the table.
"No, it's all yours," Evant responded, sensing a feeling of concern that went beyond need for a chair. As he grabbed the poorly constructed chair and began to drag it away he noticed a datacard left behind.
With a nod to his apprentice seated to his right the pair knew they had what they needed. Evant took a deep breath and finished his whiskey, "Alright Farlin, let's get out of here before the night crowd starts to file in."
Taken a bit back at first by the deliberate incorrect use of his name, Rilin grabbed the datacard and slipped it into his robes as he stood up in confirmation. "Sounds good Vart. Should call it a night early anyways. Have a big day tomorrow."
The two scanned the cantina on their way out. It was so crowded and noisy it was hard make sense of much anything. Finally outside Evant could feel his head clear a bit as his lungs sucked in a deep breath of the thick humid jungle air. It was far from refreshing but a far leap better than the cantina. Quickly interrupted by a dark cloaked figure grabbing his shoulder turning him around, "Calling it a night so early? The music was just getting good."
Evant knew this couldn't end well. In the busy streets outside the Deadly Rose nobody would even question a brawl. He sighed as he noticed several more large framed figures emerge behind him in similar dark robes. Their ability to evade his detection inside was admirable, "Well if you want my opinion it's just been getting worse. I figured it wasn't too long before my ears started to bleed."
The figure laughed as the two large men began to move in behind and trap them near the entrance, "Your blood will be a welcome sight."
Recognizing the impending swing Evant ducked to avoid it, slipping past the figure back towards the cantina where a large trandoshan was just leaving. Thinking quickly he pulled the poor unaware man into a shield as he hugged him causing him to take the second punch square to the chest. Behind him his trando friend noticed as well, jumping at the opportunity to land a hit square into the attackers face. Evant and his apprentice quickly slipped back into the cantina as more of the hooded figures descended on their location. As the brawl outside erupted further attracting more attention the two Jedi quickly hopped up over the bar and into the back.
"Well, what's plan B master?" Rilin asked as they scanned the small supply room.
"Plan B? That implies there was a plan A. Seems our Rodian friend wasn't as careful as he thought," Evant answered in a serious tone now moving past countless kegs of liquor.
"Yes, it would seem. How about we go up?" Rilin smiled pointing to a hatch on the ceiling that would lead them into the attic space.
"I always liked that direction," Evant smiled as the two Jedi hoisted their way up into the cramped attic space and eventually found themselves on the roof.
They could hear the fighting inside and the commotion in the cantina below, as they took a leap onto a nearby building and found themselves clear on the far side. Unnoticed they seized the opportunity to disappear into the jungles at the edge of the settlement. Moving deeper along service access roads they arrived at their safe house. A maintenance building used to service equipment that was harvesting the aleudrupe berries of the planet. The two were on their way to meet up with the rest of the Battle Team already planetside awaiting their retrieval of the information.
Waiting at the edge of the service bay alone was another Jedi. "Nice of you to finally show up," Benedict called from the shadows as he approached.
"Well you know, we had some fans come by looking for our autographs," Evant sarcastically replied, smiling as Rilin pulled the datacard from his pocket and held it up, "At least they left us with full details of their extensive fan networks. Let's have a look see shall we?"
"The rest of the team is inside. Ryan Neale is looking over the droid that will decipher that data," Benedict advised as the Consular lead the way into the complex.
Service Bay H-7, Varonet
Aerin swings her feet haphazardly, perched high above on the rafters. Things have been solemn since the battle team heard the grim news from their Quaestor. Aerin gazes down at Ryan in the lit corner of the bay. He's taken the disappearance of his master very hard... Ryan was finishing his tenth diagnosis on the droid, conducted in the same thorough and detailed manner as the first nine. She doubt he had any sleep since they left the Arthos. He had been quiet since they made their way to the service bay, volunteering to service the droid and readying his equipment. Aerin was interested that a copy of Jedi Ethics was among his things. It was a contrast from the tools of war that one normally carried on missions like this, where it was almost certain that no good could come.
The doors slide open and Evant Taelyan emerged into the vast and darkened bay, followed by his apprentice, Rilin Farris, and Benedict Williams, who had been keeping watch outside. Evant looked straight up at Aerin, giving her a I know where you are look. Aerin responded, waving down below, certain that anyone normal wouldn't be able to see her wave in the shadows. How does he do that? It's almost like he's a Jedi... Evant winked and quickly made his way to the corner with a certain flourish towards Ryan.
Rilin pulled a data pad out of his robes and swiftly opened the data pad, exposing the internal workings. Pulling a chip out of the data pad, Rilin scrunched down and inserted it into a slot on the astromech's face. As the droid whistled and tooted, Rilin started replaying the event at the cantina with big hand gestures. Although Aerin was too far away to listen in on the conversation, she could understand the story through Rilin's hand gestures. Apparently, there had been a fight with several men, which the Jedi had been able to evade by pulling a poor Trandoshan into the middle.
The droid stopped whistling and it's holoprojector flashed opened. Quickly, the four Jedi surrounded the light blue figure on the ground with great interest. The droid had cracked the encryption on the data chip and the four Jedi were focusing on the figure with great interest. Aerin hoped that the figure would shed light on where the two Jedi were taken and why.
Week 2 Update
Service Bay H-7, Varonet
Much to the dismay of the gathered Knights, the Rodian in the hologram
had bitter news for them. In his high-pitched Huttese, he explained that he received information about a well organized group of armed mercenaries who all wore armors and helmets, carrying military gear and weapons and seemed to be well trained since they came to blows with several of his "associates". As the Rodian mentioned their uniforms, an image of one of the mercenaries popped up next to his hologram depicting what seemed to be a well armored individual
holding a blaster rifle. As he continued, the Rodian also mentioned a deal the mercs made with his boss, Gunta, a local Transdohan gangster. He spared the details of the deal. Out of fear or ignorance? Who could say. But it seems to have something to do with two "Jeedai" that came to the planet not too long ago. Coordinates to Gunta's place showed up on the recording, placing his base at the edge of the town.
"What are you doing here?"
A second voice, deep and guttural, spoke from the recording. The hologram flashed several times as the Rodian turned to someone the team could not see.
"Me? N-nothing, boss. Just checking some readings..."
the Rodian replied in Huttese as the hologram shut off.
"Well that was less helpful than I'd hoped." Rilin said with audible disappointment.
"Yes, but not entirely useless." Evant continued "We may find something out from this Gunta." he scratched his chin running the recording through his mind again. "This might go down badly." he added "Are you up for it?"
Ryan was the first to nod in agreement and the others swiftly followed suit.
"Good, no time to waste."
"Gunta's place", Varonet
"Well, that's obvious." Aerin exclaimed, not even surprised she was looking at a huge neon sign atop one of the buildings that clearly said "Gunta's place" in aurebesh.
"These gangsters are all about appearances." Benedict replied.
The building was the usual plasteel and spitshine type of Outer rim hovel. Too much neon, covering up too little maintenance. Several dozen people stood in front, in a line, waiting for entry, while two human bouncers barred the way. The bar was four stories high and at the top, the Jedi could see lights moving about - clearly some guards protecting a speeder of baring unexpected entry. Probably both.
"Let's pay Gunta a visit, shall we?" Evant said, a big smile covering his face.
(everything from this point is totally up to you. Have fun making the story. =) )
Moments after walking inside the establishment Evant wished he was back in the Deadly Rose, something he didn't think was possible. The walls were damaged and scarred by blaster shots, aided only slightly by the thick haze that hung in the air making it hard to see. With each labored breath the Jedi wondered how it was even possible for the air to be thicker and more foul than it was in the deep jungles. A crack filled the air as some sticky substance on the ground snapped back as the small group moved up towards the bar.
It was painfully clear that the group of four human Jedi clearly stood out in a town already looking for them. Looking around the club, he was glad he left his apprentice outside to monitor movement on the streets. It was impossible to watch every angle.
"I'm heading for the back, " Benedict declared the instant he walked in. Walking off into the crowds.
"Grab us a table Ryan, near the back, I will get us some drinks and meet you both there in a minute," Evant spoke with a tone of concern as he quickly left his companions and made his way through the crowds to the bar.
Deep cuts and scratches cut into the surface of the bar, if left by humanoids or weapons over time was hard to decide. It was so coated in grime it seems like it had been years since it was last cleaned. Either way Evant avoided contact with it as he moved up to get the human bartenders attention with a wave of his hand, "Three Corellian Ale's."
With a nod the bartender walked over and began to pour the drinks, taking notice of his clean appearance, "First time to Varonat?"
Nodding, he engaged in the welcome idle banter, "Yes, on planet with some colleagues looking for investment opportunities. Few and far between these days I will take any leads I can get."
Laughing the human plopped the first of the beers on the uneven bar in front of him, proceeding to the second with a huge excited grin on his face, "Well you came to the right place. Gunta has some of the best connections in the galaxy."
"Oh yeah? How many connections do you need to produce aleudrupe berries?" Evant asked, feigning ignorance.
"Berries?" the bartender laughed as he finished the third of the beers and approached Evant at the bar, "There are opportunities much greater than berries. Those who serve Gunta find power and glory beyond these berries."
Intrigued by the use of the term power, over credits, Evant quickly realized that this operation was about more than mere mercenary work. Immediately he began to question Odan-Urr's involvement on the small backwater planet to begin with. With a nod he placed a few credits on the table and nodded to the bartender taking his drinks, "Well I certainly do like the sound of that. I hope to make contact with him while I'm here."
As Evant left the bar he carefully kept his lightsaber concealed in his robes, not wanting the bartender to notice as he scanned the bar and noticed Ryan and Aerin at a small table in the back. Quickly moving through the crowds he dropped the drinks on the table and took a seat beside Ryan, raising his glass, "To success in our business. May we finally find the opportunity we are looking for and not leave empty handed!"
The two nodded in agreement unsure of what Evant was talking about taking their respective drinks in hand. Taking a sip, it wasn't the smoothest Corellian ale he ever had but it still hit the spot despite the dirty glass. It didn't take long for the three to find company though as a purple skinned twi'lek joined them uninvited with a huge smile across his face, "Did I hear you were looking for an opportunity?"
"We were actually hoping we could get a chance to talk to Gunta," Evant announced hoping to dissuade the peddler.
"Of course! Aren't you all. I can take you to him!"
"Gunta's place," Varonet
The three of them followed the purple skinned Twi'lek towards one of the many exits, this one with a durasteel door. The Twi'lek pressed a series of digits into the security console, which in turn opened the door. The Twi'lek turned back, smiled, and commented about Gunta hating surprises. There was something off about the Twi'lek. His attire was unusual, not quite armor, not quite clothing and certainly nowhere close to fitting in with the rest of the patron's in Gunta's establishment. He walked through the door with the three behind him into a chamber with a second door on the other side. As soon as the first door closed, placing the four of them in an enclosed chamber and a split second before the lightening sprayed the chamber, Aerin understood.
Til Hewul stood over the fallen Jedi. Protected by a custom designed light blast armor, he hadn't felt the current that surged out of the wall through the Jedi, causing them to fall before they realized anything was amiss. The second door opened, revealing a small group of rugged looking thugs. He looked at the befuddle group before pointing at the three limp bodies, "Get them to the bus. The mercenaries will be here to pick them up."
"Not So Abandoned Shack", Varonet
Evant opened his eyes. Already aware that he was naked, he could feel Kah Manet and V'yr Vorsa close by. I guess Gunta wasn't available. Looking around, Evant noticed his Padawan and Aerin in the two ceramic framed force cages next to him.
A Human male dressed in the same armor as the one in the holorecording walked over from across the bay. He was in his mid-forties, sporting a military cut, with a strong and tall posture and powerfully built shoulders that accented the rest of his slim figure. Looking into Evant's eyes, he spoke with a soft drawl, "The Jedi are very predictable. As soon as the three of you walked into the Cantina, the force detectors spiked. So tell me Jedi, how many more will come after you?"
Outside of the "Not So Abandoned Shack", Varonet
Outside of the "Shack," on a bench on the opposite side of the road sat a guard. His name was Toby Makesa. While it is irrelevant what his name was, it should be mentioned that he was once a happy boy with aspirations to grow up and become an engineer like his father. When Varonet went under and his father was killed in a hunger riot, his future opportunities vanished. At seventeen, the Alpha's Omega had given him a job, a job while distasteful, he was grateful for. He wasn't a bad man, he was only trying to save money to start a legit business so he could leave the mercenary business in a few years.
Toby was pulling sentry duty. The location was boring, sitting in an abandoned industrial zone. When the raw materials were depleted on this world, the industrial sector had packed up and left, turning this once booming planet into the backwaters of the sector. The people who were too poor to pay passage off of this world had made a community out of a part of this former industrial capital. However, the people were just not up to the task and the jungle had taken back her land, foot by foot. At the rate that the jungle was advancing, within a few years, the community and the shack would be buried under a few tons of vines and high grasses. A few hundred people would walk through the streets in front of him on a daily basis.
His killer was Benedict Williams. Benedict saw his friends go through the durasteel door and slipped into the back of the place in time to see their bodies being placed on a waiting speeder truck. Slipping a tracking device on the truck, Benedict followed in a speeder bike that he had "borrowed" from the front of Gunta's. Benedict was aware that getting in was going to be a piece of cake, but getting out was going to be difficult given that everyone would be after him. Benedict didn't like people shooting at him and given the opportunity, he was taking time to lessen the number of possible people shooting at him.
Penetrating Toby Makesa's chest from behind with his lightsaber wasn't personal. The gasp that Toby let out, Benedict heard. The look on Toby's face as Benedict pushed him into the jungle face down and then threw the vines on top of, Benedict never saw. Benedict didn't want to see. He didn't want those nightmares to invade his dreams.
It would be a few hours before Toby would be missed. The Shack was a boring place and the mercenaries had long quit doing 15 minute checkups. It was up to Toby to report should anything occur. It didn't matter that new Jedi had been delivered. The Jedi were too simple, too stupid. The mercenaries would regret their slacken security. Benedict was planning to be gone before those few hours came up.
Week 3 Update
"Not So Abandoned Shack", Varonet
Zak Sallis, one of three officers running Alpha's Omega in his boss' place on operations such as this, stood calm as he observed Evant's silent reaction to his question. Slowly he turned his head, and gave a nod to another figure in the room, standing by a control panel. Evant turned his head to see his apprentice and the young Zeltron scream in agony, blue and white lightning flashing through their bodies. As the torture subsided and the two younger Jedi slumped back into a fetal position, Evant turned his gaze to Zak. There was lightning in those eyes. A sense of malice and rage. Something Zak felt once already.
"Well. That's not very Jedi of you. Behave." he mocked and nodded his head again. This time the electric shock struck Evant, and it was worse than he imagined. every muscle in his body painfully contracted, his body was spasming out of control and every sense he had left him. All he could feel was molten white agony. It felt like ages before the machine stopped. Evant crashed onto the metal floor, shaking and twitching.
As Zak moved in, just a bit closer so his face was brightly illuminated by the force field, he spoke out.
"Now. I want that number." the silence continued with a sharp gasp for air here and there. Evant just stared blankly into the wall, mentally preparing for what was about to come. Zak sighed, gave a nod and moved to the next cage.
"If you won't..." was all that Evant heard when the agonizing pain struck him again.
Several guards passed his hiding spot, talking about something in a strange, hard-to-understand language. They were clad in heavy armor, much like the man he saw on the holorecording. Repeating blasters slung over their shoulders, they walked down a long corridor beneath the "shack" he infiltrated. It had seemed like a labyrinth, with corridors moving back and forth, one made for the specific purpose of getting you lost, probably. Thankfully, Benedict had his Force senses, and they were not so easily fooled. He could feel the lifeforms in the corridors, and even his friends not far from his location. He slipped out of his hiding spot, behind the two guards and down the corridor where he sensed Evant and the others.
Running as silently as he could, Benedict approached the doorway where he felt his comrades. As he peeked around the corner, he could see the mercenaries torturing them, laughing at them, humiliating them.
"Dispicable scum." Benedict cursed silently.
There were four in total, now. One interrogating each of the prisoners, a second at the controls and another two, obviously there only to enjoy the show. They laughed as electricity surged through the Odanites, their naked bodies twitching into unnatural positions, further increasing the shame and pain they felt. A grim expression came over Benedict's face at the scene he saw. Poised to strike, he grasped his saber hilt.
"Benedict. No!" the familiar voice of V'yr Vorsa spoke out in his mind. Stopping dead in his tracks, Benedict replied instinctively.
"Commander?" Benedict responded, confused by the sudden telepathic message.
"W-Wait." she said "I can sense them...I know, but...you will b-be captured." she pleaded in a weak voice, probably tortured in a similar manner "I-I will create...I will grasp their a-attention. Then, you..."
Benedict's eyes rose a few moments later to see the two guards and the interrogator inside the room running out through one of the side doors. What was happening, Benedict could not tell, but he knew it was the Commander. The only one left in the room was the console operator.
Aerin's world span about like a Nar Shaddan skycar chase. The pain of a thousand tiny daggers penetrated every part of her body as her extremities twitched. Grasping about the cell for anything she could grab to help her stand up, her fingers touched the electrified force field and gave her another shock. She moaned in pain as another tear slid down her cheek. It seemed like an automatic reaction by now - she had shed so many until now. As she opened her eyes, blurry vision and a sharp light from the electro-field covered everything.
Suddenly, voices, commotion, a snap hiss - and the lights went out. She felt a touch on her skin and winced at it only to be covered by some sort of fabric.
"It's ok, Aerin. It's me. Benedict." suddenly the pain she felt was lessened and what little joy she could muster covered her face. As the young man picked her up and carried her away, toward the battered, but standing Evant and Rilin.
"W-what happened?" Aerin asked hissing the pain away.
"The commander. She distracted the guards somehow. Not sure what happened exactly but once they were gone, I just jumped this guy." He said pointing at the dead mercenary by the console.
"Great. You'll tell us later. Right now we should get out of here." Rilin said, keeping an eye on the doors around the, expecting a sudden attack.
"Yes, of course." Benedict said leading the quartet through the same passage he entered through.
An audible hiss exited Ryan's mouth, not at pain, but rather his tongue moved to the roof of his now dry mouth and he expelled all air from his diaphragm. His muscles all tensed and stood out like cords against his skin as he readied his body to absorb any further punishment, a technique from Broken Gate's so-called "Three Battles" form which enabled one to shrug off strikes and damage and master one's own breathing. He stared ahead with focused eyes and nodded to his now free companions and shook out his agonized limbs, letting the Force flow through and heal them. He was unarmed, but this was no hindrance to the skilled hand-to-hand combatant. His shins and knuckles were conditioned from years of kicking trees and striking boards into clubs with which he could afford to strike even an opponent's solid skull a few times without injuring himself. The advantage to being unarmed is that although the Padawan could exert lethal, bone-breaking force through his unarmed strikes, it also gave him the option to avoid killing, a result he despised except against despicable or truly dangerous foes.
Ryan followed his companions with due speed through the passage which seemed to wind on into a shadowy abyss like some cthonic serpent in whose belly they now sat. Suddenly a guard with a shouldered blaster rifle turned the corner and blundered right into Ryan. Wasting no time, the Odanite seized control of the weapon with one hand and delivered a downward diagonal elbow, his right elbow cutting the quite surprised guard across the forehead causing a crimson torrent to begin into the guard's eyes. A powerful exhalation accompanied Ryan's next blow as he delivered a left leg roundhouse directly into the guard's right leg on the outside thigh, just above the knee. The dull thud preceded a sickening crunch as the guard's femur shattered under Force-aided power. The unbearable pain of such an injury was quite short however, as the guard fell forward directly onto a rising knee which sent him into unconsciousness. The entire sequence was beyond quick, but Ryan felt each moment in visceral detail and as he pulled his hand back to deliver a fatal knife-hand to the guard's throat, he stopped as he realized the guard was alive but neutralized. He took a moment to replay the sequence in his mind as his companions hurried on. Ryan took a four inch vibroknife off the guard's belt, and quickly rushed to continue following, offering the guard's blaster rifle to any of his companions.
"Not So Abandoned Shack", Varonet
The passageway was dark and seemed to want to go on forever, but there seemed to be some formula to the madness. Acting on a feeling in her stomach, she lead the three others to the left passageway at the next intersection. After a hundred feet, there was a presence of life ahead in a small room.
Four young and junior mercenaries sat inside, interacting with one another, obviously off-duty and unsuspecting hostile party crashers. They were all from the same planet, Coruscant. The military was an option, but the promises of wealth was more attractive. They haven't been mercenaries for long and haven't obtained the harden narrow-minded selfishness that most mercenaries had. The four of them absolutely hated it here, even though they couldn't even tell one another out of fear.
The door flew off of the hinges so fast it took the four a few seconds to register that the door was now sitting on the other side of the room. As they rose up in feeble attempts to find their weapons, they froze. Confused and scared at the sudden lost of their ability to move their limbs, they didn't notice the four Jedi walk into the room.
Immediately, Benedict walked aggressively towards one of the mercenaries with every intention to get information from him. The surprise of the mercenaries running away had worn off on him, and he was exploiting this gap to quickly get out of here. As the four mercenaries now focused on Benedict, fear in their eyes, Aerin spoke up. "Benedict, let me."
With the focus turned to Aerin, she looked at the mercenaries with humility. "You shouldn't fear us. We mean you no harm." Sensing a mercenary's pain of a recent "discipline session," she looked at the Togruta, "Your overseers beat you. They claim that its for your benefit, that it'll strength your resolve and make you better soldiers. But there is another way." Looking at a Human, she continued on, "When your overseers find out that you were overpowered by Jedi, they will execute you as an example. We can offer you more. It won't pay as well, it'll require loyalty, but you'll be more in control of your destiny."
As her pheromones surround the guards, she sensed the extinguishing of any intent to harm. Motioning Evant to let them loose, she watched as the guards cautiously moved their limbs. The Twi'lek stepped up to her, a hint of conflict in his face, "Say what you want to about Twi'leks and slavery, but my sister is a slave. It's my father's fault for making bad decisions and falling in debt. But I want my sister back and I'm working to pay off her price. I can't just leave."
Aerin gazed into his eyes. "What's her name?" The Twi'lek responded that his sister's name was Leeand'ranaa. "We will free Leeand'ranaa." Still unconvinced, Aerin used her pheromones in conjunction with her soft-spoken voice, "You can trust us. You want to trust us because you know we can free her." The pheromones worked, the Twi'lek nodded his head, and the three other mercenaries joined in agreement.
Evant saw this as the opportunity to speak up, "We really need to move. Our friends are being tortured. Where can we find our belongings?"
One of the mercenaries motioned towards the door on the opposing wall. Falling his lead, first the other mercenaries, then the Jedi, Benedict was able to pull Aerin aside for a moment, "What was that?" to which she briefly answered by explaining how much information the mercenaries would have about the Alpha's Omega.
Week 4 Update
The effect of their healing powers was already making a difference. As they entered the room with their stored equipment, one of the mercenaries told them how this was never planned as a "snatch and grab" operation. It was supposed to be an assassination of the Allusis Jedi, however the "boss" changed his mind for whatever reason.
"We were instructed to capture you and get you here, preped for transport." the Twi'lek said, matteroffactly.
"To where?!" Aerin asked, confused.
"Not sure. They don't tell us that much." Aerin and the rest of her group looked at each-other with puzzled and worried looks.
They dressed, grabbed their gear and checked it for any tampering. As Benedict activated up his comm device a voice came out. "...this is Nathan, are you there? Benedict, Evant,...anyone?!"
"Nathan!" Benedict responded. "We're here."
"Benedict! We've been trying to get into contact with you for some time. Where are you?"
"We're in...well we don't know. A maze of tunnels...somewhere. We were ambushed by mercs and get captured. Can you determine the location by following my beacon?"
"Yes, but if you activate it whoever captured you will probably see it as well."
"Well, that's something we're ready for." Ryan said as Evant nodded his agreement. The rest also gave a silent nod at the remark as Benedict switched the beacon on.
"Receiving the signal. Loud and clear." Nathan said. "Putra, Jabis, Sa and myself are on the way. Stay alive!" with that the communication ended.
A short one this time
Odan-Urr shuttle in orbit of Varonet
The unexpected response from Benedict had been a breath of fresh air to the other Jedi at the safehouse. The four of them - a Miralukan, two humans and a Kel Dor - had almost given up hope of hearing from anyone, and had been arguing whether or not to abandon their posts and land in search of the others, who had failed to check in for far too long. The debate was now over; the others needed their help. Nathan punched a few keys on the console of their shuttle, and a map overtook one of the main screens. The others poured over it. A small flashing pulse flickered on the screen, indicating Benedict's position. "That isn't too far away," Sa Ool remarked. "Is there anywhere you can land?" Nathan added topographic imagery to the screen and looked it over before selecting an ideal location.
"This place here. There appears to be some kind of a large shack fairly close by, but their signal is moving away from it." Nathan climbed into the pilot's chair and programmed their course. "I'll try and bring us in as close as I can, but be aware that I'm one of our only pilots. I won't be much help if there's trouble waiting for us."
"Then just worry about getting us there," the Kel Dor replied. "We'll handle the rest."
"Not So Abandoned Shack", Varonet
The corridors were empty. The Jedi hadn't run into anyone since making contact with the other team and it wasn't for a lack of trying. The Jedi were looking for resistance. Resistance meant sensitive locations.
The four mercenaries couldn't tell the Jedi where the two imprisoned Jedi were being held. It fact, one of the mercenaries thought the the two had been moved a few hours before the three have been captured. Benedict argued on that, insisting that he had heard from the Commander.
All of a sudden, there was light. Nathan was here. The Watchman dropped the shuttle hard enough to break the tunnel, exposing it to the environment above it. The eight of them climbed out of the tunnels to be met by a skeptical Nathan. Aerin quickly shouted that the Mercenaries were friendly. They had been rescued.
Why doesn't every story have a happy ending? Why do people rush foolishly to their friends aid? Why do people take advantage of this foolishness?
An ion cannon scored a direct hit on the shuttle, rendering it a glorified barricade. Realizing their predicament a split second later, the Jedi realize that they were surrounded by an army of mercenaries with rifles trained. A few seconds later, Zak Sallis made his presence felt.
"Nathan Deciarus, Putra, Jabis Ravenhawk, Sa Ool, Aerin Taggart, Benedict Williams, Evant Taelyan, Ryan Neal... I have warrants for your imprisonment. I intend to take all in front of the magistrate to stand for your crimes."
Some time later
The Diligence prison bay
The constant buzz of the electro-field rang in Sa's ears. It was a constant reminder of his situation, a companion to his grief. They had been brought to these cells not too long ago. Outmaneuvered, tricked and finally captured - by mercenaries. The lowest of the low. He could not think of a worse situation. As he looked around, he could see his comrades each in their own cell, each with their own thoughts. He observed a guard, clad in heavy armor, walking by thinking of how easy it would be to command him to free them all. But he was no slumrat, he was trained, conditioned to fight Jedi. Such tricks would not work and Sa would spare himself the electrocution that would follow such a desperate attempt.
"What're you looking at, flott." The guard's voice echoed through the helmet. "Head down and go back to bein' miserable if you don't want another shocker." he finished with a chuckle while moving away.
Sa's head dropped. If he could sigh at the hopelessness of their situation, he would. They would be here for a long time.
Interrogation room on the Diligence
The poison injected into her body took effect the instant she felt a sharp pain in her arms. Her whole body was a spasming mess, twitching in agony. Half of her face was burnt from repeated torture with a blowtorch, while tendrils of her mossy hair covered the floor, cut of by blades or torn by hand by the frustrated interrogator. She was on the brink, the very edge of her consciousness and her limit. If they pressed her even more she would tell them anything, just to make it stop.
"I will ask you one more time. Where is your leader hiding?" the interrogator, an elderly Anzat, spoke through his teeth. He was usually far more collected and calm but this woman, this Vorsa, broke his calm demeanor. She was adamant at keeping her mouth shut and he was the one loosing his temper. Spread eagle before him on the table she was defenseless, but he had felt that he was the one trapped, the one who had no where to go. The frustration was growing ever more with each passing second of silence. The Anzat rose sharply from his seat, throwing instruments all over the floor. Vorsa twitched at the loud noise but otherwise remained calm.
"TELL...ME!!!" he screamed to her face. "Tell me or I swear to Thett Omega I will dance on your burning corpse!" he threatened.
"Th-" she began whispering, giving him pause.
"What?! Speak up." he said, moving his ear next to her mouth.
"Th-There is no death. There is only...the Force." she said, smiling to his frustrated face. The Anzat boiled from the inside. This schuta managed to infuriate him
, to break him
. A knife appeared in his hand an instant later and with a swift stab, buried itself in her abdomen. Vorsa screamed.
The Diligence prison bay
The silence was broken with a hiss from the doors, as three guards, much like the one patrolling the bay, entered the prison with an unconscious Vorsa under their arms. As they dragged her through the bay to the empty cell on the other side, every head inside rose to see her. Kah's one good eye seemed to dip at the sight of the half-dead Neti, as did most of the others'.
The guards threw Vorsa into the cell like a sack of garbage. She hit the floor so hard her whole body bounced and lifegiving sap poured from her wounds again. As the guards laughed at the sight, the electro-field closed her in, like a rat in a cage. The three left through the same door they came in, exchanging jokes and curses all the way.
"C-Commander?" Nathan spoke out first, being closest to her cell. "Can you hear me, commander?" he asked again, louder.
"Master!" Ryan and Putra yelled out in unison.
A finger moved, than a hand, and finally Vorsa gave signs of life by turning herself over. Her head spun like a Corellian freighter during the Kessel run. She couldn't feel her legs and her arms were weak. She couldn't even sit, let alone stand. The pain was still there, burning her innards.
"Commander?!" the soft, feminine voice of Aerin called out, followed by the others.
"Thank the Force you live." Sa said with a sigh of relief.
"I-I am..." Vorsa whispered, eyes rushing left to right, unable to focus. "I-I did...not...tell..."
"Calm yourself, commander." Nathan said, calming the woman "Regain your strength."
***ALL CREW PREPARE TO EXIT HYPERSPACE!*** an automated voice on the intercomm said as the prisoners felt a slight thud. The ship came to it's destination. With wide eyes the Knights observed a blue planet through the windows atop the wall. A place they knew they would come back to, eventually - New Tython.