Black Market: Ashern
Restricted Access File
Welcome, Dark Brethren.
Dark Greetings, Ketoans!
This RO, Black Market: Ashern, is the sequel to our May event. In it, our forces will investigate the source of JIC weaponry and equipment supply in the city of Ashern, but will have to contend with rebel and criminal opposition as they try to neutralize this vital source of equipment. All the while, a threat will loom from the presence of unknown enemies in the Force. This competition will begin tomorrow, June 5, 2010, and will run throughout the month until June 30, 2010. Wait for my introductory post before posting in reply!
Here are a set of guideline rules. I can't stop you from breaking them, but know that it will affect your score:
1. No God-moding. We are all mortal and have challenges and weaknesses to work around.
2. No killing one another. At least, not without permission. Feel free to kill yourself, if the desire overtakes you.
3. Any enemy Force users will be revealed in main storyline updates. That means no random Jedi/Sith or members from other Clans.
4. Keep to realism and continuity. If it happened in a prior post, work with it. If it couldn't happen in Star Wars, it shouldn't happen here.
5. Wanton slaughter is frowned upon. Our Clan's military doesn't function well when you randomly get mad and decapitate officers.
6. No double-posting. If you posted, give someone else a chance. If it's accidental, simply edit the post to say so.
7. Your character sheet is a complete description of what your character can do, stick to it.
Follow these rules and all should go well. The top posters shall be determined by overall post count, post quality, and adherence to these rules. The top three will be rewarded with Fourth-Level Crescents, and additional rewards may wind up with those who go above and beyond the call of duty. Remember to check back often for updates!
Black Market: Ashern
Sigil 5 - Morroth
Victory-Class Star Destroyer Ballista
"You're certain of this?" Kal stood, hands clasped behind his back, his face the perfect image of icy calm as he looked on the holographic image of Ven Tybbal. "It isn't another redirect?"
"According to our analysis droids, we're ninety six point two percent sure." A devaronian, the man was hardly a beautiful creature. His long, curving horns were literally the best feature of his face, which was possessed of blunt features and a wide brow. Altogether, it looked mildly squashed, not ugly but not attractive by any means. "Almost all of the data's been backed up by reports of suspected criminal activity, and a few raids have uncovered some contraband weapons and equipment at warehouses in the city. They've been summarily closed down."
"Forget the droids, then," Kal said, twisting his mouth in feigned irritance. Ven was a SPIDER, and a damn good one for a man without Force training. Besides, he was one of the trusted personnel in the military, one who knew about the Dark Jedi at the top. "What does your gut tell you, Tybbal?"
"Well, sir..." The Devaronian looked thoughtful for a moment before answering, "The facts look good, we're able to back up enough of the data with fact and suspected activities for it to be a likely match. Also, sir, if I may be frank..." The Sith nodded, "...This is just too good to pass up. Even if half of it's wrong, we're hitting some serious enemy infrastructure and supply, taking down criminals and traitors in one blow."
"I see. Well, our course is clear, then." Kal smiled faintly. "Good work, Tybbal."
"Thank you, sir," The devaronian replied. "Should I organize the troops, or..."
"No, no." Kal replied. "Ashern is still a largely civilian city, and we need public opinion. Storming in isn't conducive for that." Glancing at the weequay in the room, he grinned, a devious glint in his green eyes. "I'll handle this matter... internally, and get in touch with Soren as needed when it's time to call in the DOGs."
The devaronian nodded and saluted, his image flickering and vanishing as Kal turned to face Unus. The weequay kept his head shaved at all times, looking awkward in his robes. From what little Kal could read of his expressions, he felt naked without a heavy rifle slung across his back. The man learned fast, having spent the past few weeks working with the lightsaber. If Vorrac could get him to open his mind a little more, he'd have similar success with the Force.
He noticed the attention. "Yes, Master?"
"I want you down there, Unus," Kal said to him, his words carefully free of emotion. The human walked a few steps closer to the man, ignoring the barely-noticeable sliding in his new left knee and the faint pain in his chest from his three plasteel replacement ribs. The scarring was low and it was nearly healed, but the implants hurt. Still, he didn't regret having three new ribs instead of a weak point in his chest. "You've got extensive combat training and tactical thinking skills, and know how to keep a low profile. We can't be running around with our blades out in Ashern, after all."
"As you wish, Master." The man said, walking toward the exit. Kal wasn't too big on formality. "I'll arrange transport now, just send me the meet-up coordinates with our friendlies."
Kal nodded, before looking to the holoprojector and putting in the code for Beta Base. A woman's face, beautiful but strangely sad, came up. "Octavia," He said, "I need you to organize a few teams, only two or three per team, for discreet work. They'll be working alongside civilian police forces. Remember discretion, though. Most of Jusadih doesn't know what we really are."
"Alright, Kal," She replied. "Send me the information, and I'll get everyone together."
The Aedile sighed at the hologram fizzled out. She was still haunted by the whole situation a few weeks earlier, and now she was even more protective of her Clan, House and members.
Octavia hadn't been her self as of late. The once smiling, laughing OCtavia had seemed to be replaced by a sad, quiet version that second guessed herself. the stress she was putting herself under had begun to take its toll and the lack of sleep was making her axious and jumpy. She ran her hands through her shoulder length brown hair as she tried to suppress the anxiety that was building in her chest only to jump slightly at the notification beep that made her aware that she had received the information from Kal.
On edge, the young woman opened the attachment and pulled it up on her computer screen. She quickly got down to business and began placing members in with the civilian police rosters, matching the specialties of each unit to the members she was placing so they wouldn't seem too out of place, specially if the city had no idea who they all really were.
Octavia leaned back in her chair as she studied the small groups and pressed the enter button to send the list back to Kal. She tapped the code to Ballista's bridge and waited for Kal's figure to appear. She smiled sadly at the little blue staticy figure.
"You should have gotten the information, Kal."
She noticed the smirk of approval as she could see him scan his datapad.
"That was quick, Octavia. You're good."
She couldn't repress the slight smile that graced her features as she fired back sarcastically.
"Well, here i was thinking you kept me here because I'm amazing! Apparently, I'm only okay, I guess I'll pack up my stuff now.."
She could has sworn she saw him roll his eyes as his blue hologram looked up at her.
"You'll have your orders, soon. Until then, stay where I can find you."
The cold winds of Morroth hurled toward the enormous viewport at the office of Mograine, who sat all alone in his large imposing chair behind a desk, looking at a blue projection screen at a message that he had just written. Mograine lost focused from the screen for a moment, when the howling sound of the wind outside made him realize how silent and alone he felt at his oversized office, which suite was a better term for, considering all the space and extra rooms that followed with it. He tapped down a button on his datapad, sending the message he’d read through to the receivers. It was an order to every member of the battleteam, to literally drop whatever they were doing, and head for a rallypoint in Ashern. Apparently, command wanted the team’s presence during some kind of roundup of JIC materials. More he didn’t know about the matter. The message from The Ballista just told them to meet at the rallypoint for further briefing.
The commander tapped another button on his datapad, and the illuminating blue light of the projection screen quickly faded into nothing. Mograine turned around with his chair, before standing up on his feet. Dressed in only his boots, robe pants and a loose-haning undertunic, Mograine had been pretty much ready to go to bed when called upon. Sleep was however not a need when having the Force on your side, as simple meditation could keep your body rested well beyond human standards. Completely ignoring the hurry of getting to Ashern, Mograine stood frozen before the viewport on his office, simply glaring out into the depths of the everlasting blizzard. Finding a calming serenity with the ice-cold flakes of snow falling in infinite numbers down before him, he closed his eyes taking heavy breaths. Still, there was some kind of disturbance in the Force, which he didn’t know where to put, but he knew it was coming for him.
Landing the shuttle had been the easy part of their mission, Captain Saxx Tryn decided. Simply by using a plagueian military shuttle, they’d managed to pass Gryffon Prison’s airtower without even stating a purpose for their visit. However, now as they had landed, the tricky part started. Stepping down the landing ramp, followed by a group of five masked men clad in heavy assault armor, Saxx Tryn already expecting an officer coming to investigate who was showing up without prior notice in the middle of the night. As he opened his mouth to ask, there was a thud-sound of an all too familiar sound of a suppressed blaster. The officer fell to the group, with a scorchhole in his forehead, and while not being his wish to hurt his own, it was a necessity for the operation to go smoothly. Tryn knelt down beside the corpse, picking up his ID-card, before quickly pacing toward the base’s entrance, and opening the door for his team to lead way. They had all studied the schematics for the prison in prior of this operation, as well as the guards’ patrol pattern. Well-calculated stealth was also a necessity for this mission’s success.
Prowling like a feline predator in the darkness, the team of six silently progressed through the corridor leading to the elevators at the T-intersection of the corridors. As they rounded the corner, they were met by a pair of guards, who most likely had fallen behind their patrol schedule. Tryn let out a loud gasp when seeing the guards, but before they could manage to draw their weapons or comlinks, a burst thuds could be heard over Tryn’s shoulder, before the two guards fell dead to the ground. Tryn’s heart pumped with excitement, and he wiped the sweat from his forehead with his wrist, while calling on the elevator. His companions didn’t look stressed at all by the situation, something that indicated that he’d picked the right team for the mission. For that, Tryn was glad.
The elevator doors, opened, and the team boarded it. One of teammembers connected his datapad with the elevator control panel, and after a brief minute, he’d managed to hack the password making the elevator go to the top-floor, where Mograine had his office. On the ride up, Tryn’s heart rate slightly dropped as he thought of Mograine’s face when he saw what and especially who that was coming for him. His last insult a few weeks ago had been his last. Captain Saxx Tryn hated Mograine for everything he was and what he represented. He was a disgrace to the military. A soldier, who broke the rules to get results, and didn’t order his men to do what he wouldn’t do himself. Chivalrous indeed, but reckless, and troublesome for real officers like Tryn himself. Mograine would be put before a court-martial, and Tryn would make him lose, to make him an example of such kind of recklessness by Dark Jedi in the Jusadih Military. Tryn smiled viciously at the thought.
The elevator came to a halt, and the doors opened, revealing a darkened room, which only illumination came from a large viewport. Standing in front of the viewport, facing out, was a dark silhouette with its hands clasped behind its back.
“I thought I felt a familiar presence, Captain” Mograine said coldly, still facing the viewport.
“Spare me the Force non-sense, Mograine. Time to sleep!” Tryn snarled back, and Mograine twirled around in the blink of an eye, activating his lightsaber. The green light lit up the room, but a second later it went back to darkness as the blade was deactivated. Tryn didn’t even have to look to his side, as he knew that one of the men had been ready with a tranquilizer dartgun. Mograine grunted, clearly because of the drug was having a quick effect on him, before stumbling forward, and falling into the ground. Two of the dark-clad men hurried forward, and secured Mograine in a pair of stun-cuffs, before carrying him with them back to the elevator, where Tryn and the rest of the team stood ready. Now they just had to extract him back to the shuttle and be off the base unnoticed. Leaving Gryffon Prison with just a few dead guards and a commander less.
Vilrik Taarg walked into the lunch room of the complex, his Ashern Security Force badge shined brightly. His back was straight and his uniform tidy, even his startling Kaleesh features attracting little attention because of their tidy and alert composure. Few people seemed to recognize a Kaleesh, and fewer still without ceremonial bone masks, so he often got away with being just another alien. Even when he was recognized, though, few people remembered the old names of the Clone Wars without study. He didn't have to feel like his parents must have, hearing shouts of "Look out, it's Grievous!" at every turn. Humans could be so prejudiced sometimes.
"Taarg, good. The meeting's about to start." Sam Gorvom was one of the few humans that Vilrik didn't feel odd around. "Higher-ups are giving us a job to do."
"What, you mean we don't have to break up fights between ex-cons and drunken miners today?" Even in a city, the crime on a world covered in ice didn't get very difficult to enforce. "I was excited and everything."
"I hear you there," Sam grinned, his black beard showing streaks of grey he didn't deserve. Originally a refugee from the Vong devastation of the planet Aerun, he was one of the few that had stayed moral and good. "Apparently the dictators are going on an op in Ashern, and we need to help. Rumour is, we get to smack down a few untouchables."
"Do we, now?" Vilrik got a look of interest on his face, running his fingers down the horns that grew from his chin. "I'd love to bust a Hutt or something."
Sitting down, Taarg cast his eyes about the room, taking in the many members of the ASF. Their uniforms, lightly armored with a few plastoid plates, were nearly identical to the LSF, Lemuria Security Force, though where the black oufits had a red stripe down the right side of the chest in the LSF, the ASF maintained a white stripe. They all had blaster pistols holstered, standard issue and subject to regular inspections to ensure no one had modified theirs. Combined with the standard-issue stun sticks, binders, and comlinks, the ASF was equipped to be effective at relieving the military of their need to police Ashern while at the same time weak enough for the military to crush them should they rebel. It was the typical Intelligence-planned setup.
"Alright, people, listen up." Captain Tivel, a round human with balding red hair, shouted. "The Officers of our wonderful Military have uncovered leads that could lead us to several of the so-called Untouchables we know about. These include the suspected rodian arms baron Neefer Obra, the workers of Fethor's Repulsorlift, pointed out by the intel as a possible source for illicit vehicles and parts, and last but not least, Murba the Hutt, who has escaped record counts of smuggling and extortion through shady but barely legitimate means."
Motioning to the group of individuals in Military uniform and with varied insignias, some of them with tattoos and wardrobe additions that didn't look like military standard, others looking uncomfortable with blasters on their hips, the Captain continued. "These are Officers of the Jusadih Defense Force. The criminal elements we pursue may be more dangerous than we can handle or have more intel for us to use. Therefore, each of these men and women has a special 'Foxtrot' certification on their file, an indication of very exclusive Special Forces training. They will handle situations that we can't. I'll give the floor now to our guests..."
The word Foxtrot was what got Vilrik thinking. He'd heard the word from his "contacts", those that had showed him hints of truth and asked for his cooperation. As the Officer that stood launched into a mission description about how teams of Foxtrot Uniforms would go undercover along with ASF units, the Kaleesh barely heard. Nodding to Sam and excusing himself, he left the lunch room and entered the nearest refresher before pulling out his comlink. Setting it to a frequency anyone could access but no one could find on their own, he spoke four words into it.
"Be advised. They're here."
* * *
Out Of Character Update: Ok, people! Our targets are the Rodian Arms Dealer Neefer Obra and Murba the Hutt, who employs smugglers and mercenaries. Also, we must investigate Fethor's Repulsorlift, a company known for working on repulsor vehicles. We'll be split in teams toward this objective, so everybody pick one and start looking for some leads. Here's some more info:
Neefer Obra: Known to gamble and drink, he doubtless has contacts and friends, maybe even enemies, in cantinas and casinos. A few good spots to check would be the Soggy Wampa Cantina, Tauntaun Tomas's Sabacc House, and the Rancor's Den. All are located in different parts of the city, but be warned, asking questions and investigating might lead to unwanted attention from nasty people. Keep your blasters handy and your comlinks tuned.
Fethor's Repulsorlift: Publicly a respectable business, Fethor's is a large building with three levels, a lobby and public area, a basement garage, and the upper offices that house Ran Fethor, the manager, and other desk personnel. Try getting to know workers, sneaking your way into the complex, and infiltrating their data records. Be careful, though, as security forces and any criminals present may try to attack you for poking your nose around.
Murba: As a Hutt gangster, Murba may be tricky to find. Try going to the Ashern Public Spaceport and looking for craft that scream Smuggler or Mercenary. Naturally, Ossik's Canteen may be a good drinking spot for offworld visitors and the Vursi Diner would be the first stop for anyone coming in from space to grab a bite, so feel free to try there. Don't be too cocky or rude, though, as you need them to like you to lead you to the Hutt.
I want to see some good investigation efforts! Feel free to describe the patrons and imagery of these places as you see fit, but remember that they all keep hidden from the Law one way or another, so make sure you show us why. Also, I leave it to you guys to determine when and where shootouts between criminals and yourselves will occur. Have fun!
Unus listened to the small speech on how the operations were going to happen. Two or three Dark Jedi, though the speaker did, of course, use the term Foxtrot to describe them, and any police that the Dark Jedi wanted to go with them, though it was clear that they were supposed to only take a couple if any, would go after one of the three targets.
After the targets were described in some detail, Unus made his choice; the Rodian. Subtly was not his strong point, but he could be threatining if he needed to. He would leave the Hutt to someone better suited for it. He considered his fellow Plaguians, and made his choice. He looked at the Zabrak Acolyte, and figured that he would need a combination of ruthlessness and mercy that he might not find elsewhere. Mercy, so that he can one day be of use, and ruthlessness to make sure that he would not get killed by an angry equite. Perhaps he would not need either. It would be interesting to see.
"Azazel. You are with me."
Unus turned to check with the local police. He actually recognized one or two of them, mostly through reports he had to deal with while he was posted in Ashern for a short time. Nothing spectacular from what he had read, and that he recognized them from three years ago means that they are pretty knowable. Not a good idea when looking for secrecy.
"Aku Zerk Kashina Norta Mashita Sorn?"
Unus looked back at the Zabrak, his eyes narrowed.
"Listen to me, you worthless little Kriffing Iridonian. Right now, I am seconds away from being your worst enemy. I assure you, if you mess with me, then I will break your arms and legs when we return to Alpha base. Then you'll have plenty of time to work on your Basic."
Azazel's eyes widened for a second, then narrowed, gripping one of his daggers and preparing to remove it.
"Zhot minu ist!"
Azazel swung his dagger at Unus, aiming for the Weequay's gut. Unus' right fist shot out, crashing against Azazel's arm. His left hand grabbed Azazel's fist, twisting it at an almost unnantural angle, making him drop the dagger. Maneuvering his right hand, he closed it around the Zabrak's neck, choking the Iridonian. Just before he fainted from lack of breath, Unus let go with both hands and stepped back, glaring at Azazel.
"Now, If you feel like behaving, then we can get on with this. If you don't, then I can hurt you here, call a medic, and have you sent back to Alpha base. What do you say?"
Translations; Aku Zerk Kashina Norta Mashita Sorn = And why should I follow you
Zhot minu ist = I'll kill you!
The Zabrak glared at the Weequay in front of him, his anger washing over his mind like the waves of the ocean, clouding any real thoughts the dark rogue could have summoned. He forced himself to nod in the direction of the Jedi Hunter, silence erupting from his mouth as his teeth gnashed together, his black eyes never moving from the muscular specimen in front of him.
He bent down and picked up the dagger that fell from his hand, refusing to show any sign of weakness or any sensation of pain that may have rippled within him. When his wrapped hands gripped the hilt of the dagger, his mind ceased to be the maelstrom of fury and quickly became the cold calculating factory that it usually was.
“Sharee kelo, na shuree tleva sharee hiso vysht.” snapped the Zabrak.
The Weequay scoffed at the Zabrak, his attempt at insulting the Hunter ending miserably. The Weequay came closer to the Protector, his stinking breath filling the nostrils of the black skinned Zabrak, making the rogue snort attempting to rid the smell from his senses.
“You aren't even worth protecting.” said Unus as he walked away, leaving the Zabrak smoldering in anger.
The Zabrak left the room, despising the sight of his partner that he would have to tolerate for the remainder of the investigations, and immediately set out to begin the work that would befall him and his Weequay partner. His padded feet, wrapped in black cloth, glided silently on the polished floor as he traveled to the modest quarters that he was given in the Base.
The door slid open with a small squeal, revealing a shadow infested room with nothing but a bed, a holonet uplink, and a pile of datapads covering the ground. The black eyed Zabrak inserted an empty datapad into the uplink, hearing the buzzing and clicks of various gears and pieces spinning to life as they warmed up to download any information required of them.
The Zabrak brought the datapad up to his lips and readied himself to speak a language he despised more than anything.
“Download any information you have on Soggy Wampa Cantina, Tauntaun Tomas's Sabacc House, and the Rancor's Den, as well as Neefer Obra.” he spat, his Zabraki accent lying thick on the words.
Vexer stood completely still through the entire briefing. She had done undercover work numerous times before and this would be no different. Some of the younger clan members, or ‘Officers’ as they were all being called, looked irked at having to pretend to be less than the dark jedi they were. The Arkanian had noticed that audiences of non force sensitive people tended to bring this out in journeyman. A seemingly instinctive urge to prove how powerful they were. As long as they could contain themselves the briefing would go smoothly and Vexer could begin her part in the investigation.
Mograines message had given no indication of what awaited them at this briefing, and as the various targets were introduced and explained Fethor’s Repulsorlift caught Vexers attention. Her experience of business operations before she came to the Brotherhood would ease the infiltration and retrieval of information. A rough plan of potential starting points began to form in the Warriors mind; deliveries, cleaning crew, repairmen, even the simple customer guise all provided easy access to the building.
A beeping on her arm broke Vexers line of thought, and a quick glance at the comlink indicated an incoming transmission from Gryffon Prison. Distancing herself from the group Vexer activated her PAC20 and saw the worried face of the NCO in charge of security for the night.
“This had better be important Sergent Kando.” The quietness with which Vexer spoke did little to disguise the irritation at being contacted during a briefing.
“I’m afraid it is my Lady.” The Human responded, struggling to keep his voice steady. “We’ve found two dead guards and..”
“And why are you telling me this?” Vexer interrupted. “You should be contacting Commander Mograine.”
“I have attempted to, but he did not answer his comlink. When we tracked it’s location we found it on the floor in his office, along with his Lightsabre and what appears to be a used tranquilliser cartridge.”
The Arkanians cold stare prompted the Sergent to continue, “There was an unscheduled landing of a Plagueis shuttle, which is now missing.”
“Lockdown the base, full security sweep, check all security footage. Let me know what you find.” Vexer replied curtly before ending the transmission. What was to be a standard, perhaps even fun, mission was now suddenly much more complicated. Mograine would never go anywhere without his sabre, and even thought he was of lower rank than Vexer the Sith knew he was far from incapable. Overconfident might have been more apt in this case.
Vexer sighed. She knew she had to inform the Quaestor. Having known him for many years Vexer could easily imagine the look on Kals face when she told him that the Commander of his battleteam had been abducted. Preparing herself to be a bearer of bad news Vexer sent a signal to the leader of Satal Keto.
In orbit over Morroth
"Repeat that." Kal said, his words blunt, his expression ice. It was a look made more intimidating by the remnants of his detonator burns.
"Commander Mograine has been abducted. Glitchy holorecords were caused by tampering with certain circuits, which the maintenance droids have since repaired." That's reassuring, Kal thought, but kept the retort to himself. "I'm preparing to comm the rest of the team, in order to arrange a rescue."
Vexer always did get to the point, and unlike her peers, didn't radiate intimidation when she spoke to Kal. It was a sign of respect between them, earned when they'd been on another team together. Before Vexer had mastered the saber, before Kal had known the truth of being a Sith.
"You can track the vessel that captured him, then?" Vorrac absent-mindedly let his right hand slip to his lightsaber, a sign of comfort as Vexer could only see his face on the hologram. Her image was a two-inch-tall blue figure, something Kal did to micromanage between conversations. Still, he appreciated the dramatic effect.
"Indeed I can, sir. The only problem..." She looked down at her feet for a moment, as if trying to find the words. "I don't know who will aid me in this."
"Come now, Thrace," Kal replied. "It's our way... Mograine is a Sith, and a student of mine besides. His death is the loss of one Commander, but an opportunity for several of those in his command. Why are you surprised?"
"I still prefer Vex, Kal." The Arkanian said, but Kal switched her off. She had her orders, and he didn't have time for the luxury of fond memories.
* * *
The pairing of weequay and zabrak seemed somewhat odd to some, but the pair nodded and talked to one another as if they were business partners. With the large chambers of the Den all bearing stages in the middle and assorted dancer girls, as well as glow-lit Sabacc tables, the patrons of the smoky room weren't entirely concerned with a couple of oddballs for too long. Only those that mattered paid much attention.
"Nice horns, freak," One of the patrons, a rodian with a heavily-accented way of speaking Basic, said.
Azazel snarled at the words, but a firm hand from Unus joined a leathery-faced scowl in stopping a hand that flew for a knife. "We have a job to do."
"Kark your job." The zabrak's words were so heavily accented that they were hard to make out.
Several eyes watched the group from their peripherals or from the shadows as they walked by, noting their presence with that of other pairings and groups. Here and there one saw someone a little too clean-cut, implying they were police. With them, however, were beings that exuded danger to one with any sense. Only high-ranking and important military seemed to do that, and everyone had been told to look out for dangerous and strange types mingling with the police.
"You wouldn't happen to be Neefer Obra, would you?" Unus asked, his voice inquisitive. "I've heard he's quite the hand at Sabacc; I'm something of a player myself."
The rodian cackled, drawing out a pistol slowly. The movement was followed by the police as their standard-issue guns came out, pointed at the rodian. The dangerous ones mostly pulled out varied models of gun, but some had blades and even more-eccentric weapons. Their sudden advantage turned into surprise as an equal number of criminals stood up, pulling rifles and pistols from various pockets and pointing them at the newfound law enforcement.
"I'd tell you to watch who you trust, but you'll be dead before you can." The rodian said, just as all hell broke loose.
* * *
Garage, Section 3
Octavia Kuga was careful to glance through the vent and make sure there were no guards before taking her saber in hand. The blue-white blade sliced through the cheap metal as if it were plastic, leaving the edges hot and sparking as the grate fell to the floor below. Deactivating her weapon and stowing it away from prying eyes inside her robes, she drew a pistol and dropped through.
"All clear," she whispered into her comlink, waiting for the others to pile in behind her.
Going ahead to scout had allowed her to use her blade, but it wasn't the reason she'd done it. As she watched the forms of Zuser Whuloc and Trent Devson drop from the hole, landing without the finesse of practice she was acquiring each day, she felt a surge of protectiveness toward both. It extended faintly to the three ASF officers that dropped through in black tactical gear, carrying rifles with a stun option selected, but more to her fellows. She'd failed to protect Kal and the others during the ambush some weeks prior, but she'd soon correct that.
"Didn't realize you were that handy with a cutting torch," one of the men, a Kaleesh named Vilrik Taarg, said to her. "That was some clean work, and quick."
"Thanks," Octavia said, smiling despite the chin-horns and the pointed brow on the man. "Your accent..."
"Coruscanti," The man replied. "Atypical situation as a kid."
"Can't we have this chat after the mission?" Zuser said, looking at the pair with an irritated expression. "Ma'am." He added, almost an afterthought.
Octavia observed what the pair had come equipped with, drawing her own pistol and flicking on the stun setting. Some would have called her mercy weakness, but she just wanted intel from them. It didn't matter that she disliked needless killing. Zuser's own rifle stayed on a kill setting, but it didn't seem like a murderous gesture, just a determination to kill instead of being killed. Trent, on the other hand, carried a fairly simple durasteel sword. It wasn't a complex weapon or a conventional one, true, but it would help avoid the need to reload.
"Well, gentlemen, let's fan out. The place has eight sections, this one clearly spare part storage, but other rooms have other duties. Let's get to the bottom of..."
She trailed off as a line of security guards armed with heavy rifles were joined by what looked like recommissioned B2 battle droids. From their heavy-looking arms and the shoulder-mounts on some of them, they were definitely not legal issue nor on record. In fact, they seemed to violate every Jusadih law about keeping downgraded machinery on-hand for security.
They also weren't set to stun as they opened up on the group.
* * *
Mograine's world was limited to awareness of the black bag over his head, the thoroughly-applied bonding tape holding him to the durasteel chair, and the wires attached to it. Whoever the goons were, they were clever. As each wire sent a tiny shock through the chair and to his body, they disrupted his concentration and his ability to draw on the Force. He'd probably be able to get used to it, if the nerf herders didn't mess with the cables every fifteen minutes, changing up the shocks in frequency, strength, and sequence. His lack of weapons and movement would likely be temporary; they'd have to move him and he'd get chances to grab them. But without the Force, it all became harder, and he doubted they'd let him be conscious when he left the chair.
"How long do we keep this up?" One of them, his voice deep, asked his cohort. "I'm getting bored just sitting here."
"We do this until the client says stop." Client. Bounty hunters, then. "Remember, he's still paying us."
"I just don't think..." The deeper voice cut off with a gasp of surprise as a vicious crackle broke the air, followed by a dragging sound.
Mograine knew that noise, even as he knew the thrumming that joined it, the sound of blaster bolts being parried and the vicious snarl of a saber rending someone's flesh. Three snap-hiss sounds ended the thrumming, before the black bag was drawn from over Mograine's head. He saw the black eyes of Vexer as she pulled the mask free of his eyes, noting an anonymous face on a huge human shifting to the green skin of a clawdite as Du'Moth walked toward the circuitry keeping Mog at bay. Fang's silver hair swished as he rushed past Vex, looking through documents and computers with a tactical precision.
"You alright, Commander?" Vexer asked, unravelling the bonding tape and stepping back to let Mog free of the chair.
"I am now," Mog said, looking at the two dead goons as he rubbed the reddened skin of his wrists.
The smaller man, who had blonde hair and a simply ugly face, lay on the floor with smoking blaster holes. They were probably from his own pistol. The other, a large man with a youthful face twisted into a mask of horror, was in three pieces. It looked like Du'Moth's work.
"How did you find me?" Mog asked, glancing back to Vex.
It was Fang who answered. "Your captors put quite a bit of effort to steal military transport and hide their identities in Gryffon. You'd have thought they'd have hidden from cameras at the starport where they ditched it," the kiffar said, looking amused, "but you'd be wrong."
"Splendid." Looking at the three, he sighed. "Here to kill me or save me?"
"We have bigger problems right now," Vex said. "I've messaged the rest of the team, but they're all on assignment. These three were immediately available." Taking a second saber hilt from her belt, one Mograine recognized as his own, she gave it to him. "We'll see who answers the call."
Mograine nodded. "Now, for the next task," He said, activating his blade to ensure it wasn't damaged before clipping it back to his belt. "We have a traitor to find."
Azazel smiled as he looked out into the sea of metallic weapons shining in the dimly lit room, his gnarled fangs piercing the veil that was his lips, revealing a menacing grin. His black eyes focused on the grubby Rodian that stood in front of him. His anger bubbled to the surface as he focused on the filthy little pistol that was nestled in the stubby fingers of the disgusting alien.
"I'd tell you to watch who you trust, but you'll be dead before you can.” said the Rodian, before a maelstrom of blast fire erupted in the room.
Various bodies were struck, falling to the floor, writhing in pain as the smoke from the wounds billowed up into the air. The Zabrak's smile only widened as he crouched behind a table,witnessing the carnage of death spreading her beautiful hands throughout the Cantina. Unus nodded to Azazel, who had withdrawn his two obsidian knives from his pockets, his evil grin never leaving his face as he observed them shine like the sun.
Azazel hopped over the front of the table, throwing one knife into the throat of a random thug. Azazel lost track of where Unus was, though he trusted that wherever he was, corpses would soon follow. The demonic Zabrak glared at a thug wielding a machete, his insidious yellow fangs shining brightly as he charged towards his opponent. The blade sang as it clashed against the machete, the Thug staring into the dead eyes of his enemy, fear overwhelming all instincts.
The Dark Rogue smiled as he quickly flicked his knife, cutting the knuckles of the petty criminal that clutched the machete. Crimson nectar splashed from the cut, landing on the face of the Zabrak, who was whipped into a frenzy when he felt the warmth of the blood. The obsidian knife that he clutched in his claw stabbed fiercely into that of his opponents hand, blood spewing from the gruesome wound. The machete dropped to the ground, followed by its wielder, the wound to his hand sending him into shock.
The Zabrak ripped his blade from the hand of his enemy, licking the blood clean from the blade. His eyes scanned the room, witnessing his accomplice raining blast bolts into their opponents, gracefully and masterfully ending the lives of the duos enemies. He noticed, however, that the Rodian was no where to be found.
“Hiso bu mai'ul!” yelled Azazel, “Zoba shuree!”
Azazel ran through two swinging doors, assuming that this was the way the disgusting Rodian took. Unus was right behind him, covering his back the entire way. Azazel charged forward, stabbing and slashing any and all pathetic criminals that got into his way, leaving a bloody trail in his wake. Unus as well was firing shots off into the flesh of their enemies.
Seeing the Zabrak rush in without a blaster or utilization of cover, Unus felt a bit of pride within for Azazel; he seemed to have little care for his own life, though it was a useful one. He would need to take care of it. Kal would want it. Now he would just need to learn to control his tounge and temper. Useful though anger is, one must release it at the right time.
Unus drew one of three handheld blasters he brought along for this mission; a small, sleek blaster intended for accurate shots, though this was at the expense of a decent fire rate. Oh well; he wouldn't need it. He noticed a Twi'lek thug taking aim at one of the police. Unus brought up his blaster, quickly took aim, and shot. The burning gas hit the unfortunant being in the eye, boiling it and cooking the brain.
With the chaos being caused by Azazel, Unus had a moment to observe the sceen; there were roughly thirty hostiles in this room alone, though he had no way of knowing which were henchmen and which were drunken idiots looking for an adrenaline rush. Best course of action; complete termination. Kill. Double tap to be sure. Unus checked his targets, and noticed that one thug had a very good line at Azazel. Unus didn't trust his own aim with the way the being was moving around. He came to a tactical decision.
He rushed the thug, not being noticed thanks to the chaos surrounding him. When he reached him, Unus grabbed his throat, sqeezed, and slammed him against the ground. He put his blaster to the thugs temple and pulled the trigger. He pulled it a second time, to be sure.
“Hiso bu mai'ul! Zoba shuree!”
Unus looked up; the Zabrak was going down a hallway. Unus could not see the target. Conclusion; Azazel was chasing him down. Unus took off after him.
"Azazel! Tze Naritsla Obra!"
Hoping that he had chosen the correct Zabrak words and that Azazel could work with his grammar, AND that he would follow instructions, Unus drew one of his secondary blasters in his left hand and began to use it for cover fire behind him, taking shots without looking, while using his more accurate blaster to provide support for Azazel.
The Zabrak made two turns, though those were the only ones available. Unus estimated that Azazel had made fifteen kills, and himself six or so. More than he anticipated, but with Azazel working point it made sense. Probably some were running the otherway when they saw what the insane Zabrak was doing. Cowards. Smart cowards, living cowards... but still cowards.
Azazel entered a room, and screams of pain, none of them producable by the Zabrak throat. Unus holstered the secondary blaster to provide a more stable grip on the one in his right hand. There were several dead. Azazel worked quickly. He had the Rodian by the throat.
"Daynas, Azazel. Hold him for a moment." Unus turned to the Rodian.
"Name." The rodian responded with an explative questioning his ancestory, the morality of his mother, and his sexuality at once. Unus was actually somewhat impressed.
"I don't believe I can pronounce that. Do you have something eaiser to pronounce? Obra, perhaps?" The rodian was silent.
"Listen... we need confirmation, one way or the other. Now, you can admit to being Obra. If you do that, we take you to trial and pretend this shootout never happened; you would get off light, considering how little we have on you. Now, if you deny, then we take you into custody, and interogate you untill you convince us that you are not Obra or that you are Obra. That can take a while. You would loose so many contacts and so much trust.... and if you're not Obra, you would loose quite a bit of your life. Up to five years. You wouldn't get more than a couple monthes if you confess."
The rodian didn't speak for a moment.
"I am Obra."
Unus nodded, stepped away, then went to his com link.
"General Vorrac? This is Domus. We have Obra in custody. Location secure. Do you want him in custody or dead? Personal recommendation, if it has any bearing on the situation, would be to leave his fate up to Kain."
The look on Obra's face was worth telling Azazel to stop.
Conclusion incoming, brace for impact!