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ARC-COU Team Fiction: The Cavalry Wears a Tux



[ARC-COU] Co-op Fiction: As You Wish - Forest from the Trees

Written by:
Mauro Wynter - 13927
Eilen Jath - 15115


Trouble was an arbitrary term at the moment. Mauro Wynter was stationed as an advance look-outs for the insertion teams operating within Canto Bight. His mission was to keep an eye on incoming threats from outside, to prevent the joint Arconan-Odanite forces from being cut-off. The commotion from inside the casino however told a different tale.

Mauro knew the score. Something had happened inside the casino, and the rouse was up. Now, he was far away from his allies, with no means of helping them escape, and wearing nothing more than a tuxedo. It was clearly comical if not for the potential apprehension of his allies. He knew the Canto Bight Police Department would think nothing of selling them to their enemies in Capital Enterprises.

Maybe he’d taken some wrong turns through this forest trying to find his way back without running into any trouble he couldn’t handle on his own. Whatever the case, Wynter was lost, and wasn’t about to signal his position to anyone who might have been nearby. He cursed silently under his breath, but kept his eyes and ears open to find any sign through the trees that he was going the right way – or for anything that might have found him, instead.

As if on cue, something rustled in the brush nearby. Wynter spun around without hesitation, his fists at the ready, but no adversary appeared. On the contrary, a tall, furred girl in a cocktail dress stumbled forward, trying to catch her breath. He wanted to register her as a Bothan, but that didn’t quite seem right. Selonian? Whatever the case, it only took a moment to recognize her as one of the ladies within the insertion teams, from before everyone parted ways. Judging from her state, she’d been running.

The moment she saw him, she flinched, and tried to back away. “Hey, relax,” Mauro said reassuringly. “We met at the briefings. I’m Wynter, Mauro Wynter.”

The girl looked him up and down, and nodded as she caught her breath. “Right,” she muttered. “…Eilen, Jath.” She seemed to relax as her breathing slowed.

Wynter looked all around, still on alert. “What’s happening back there? Were you followed?”

Eilen shook her head. “I just barely got away.” Her head rolled back as she took a deep breath. “I don’t know, we—we were… Everything was going okay, a-and then boom, explosions and blaster fire, everywhere.” The half-Bothan girl’s hands gestured an explosion. “I—W-we were trying to hide, get someplace safe, but they started trying to catch us, and I got separated from my part—from… everyone.” A heavy, stressed exhale escaped her. “A few of them tried to corner me, until I climbed a fence, and… well, I tried to find help, but it took me this far out just to lose their lights.”

Seeing no sign of lights or strolling silhouettes through the trees within view of the pair, Wynter turned back to the tall girl. “You sure?”

She nodded, hesitated, then shrugged nervously. “I don’t even know where I am, now. I doubt they would.” Eilen gave a hopeful look. “Please tell me you can call in help.”

With a shake of his head, Wynter started walking again. “I’m all the help I’ve got for you.”

Eilen sighed again, then hurried after him. “Blast it…”

“But look, you’re probably not the only straggler. There’s gonna be guards, police – someone patrolling these woods on the look-out. We have to be careful, but maybe… maybe with two of us, we can get the advantage on some of them. Then, we can bring some real help back.”

“Okay…” Eilen nodded. “Yeah. Yeah, that could work.”

From the corner of his eye, Mauro quietly examined his tall partner. She was an odd one; it was clear from her lack of posture and untamed fur that a dress wasn’t something she was used to wearing. Barely formal himself, they probably looked a little silly next to each other, in spite of their situation. More than that though, he could sense her connection and strength with the Force. This would no doubt help, with neither a blaster nor a blade on either of them. “Keep your senses sharp,” he directed.

They didn’t wander much farther before the first sign of a light caught the pair’s attention. Without hesitation, both of them pressed against the nearest trees. As the light inched through the distance, they lowered themselves and began pointing out for one another a path of approach. No telling yet if it was another friend or a foe.

The human and Both-Selonian pair slowly crouched through the underbrush, silent as possible. It was a probably humorous sight, if not for the inherent danger they faced. Mauro took point, signaling to his partner to stay put. In the distance he sensed potential trouble. Eilen stopped, attempting to compose herself. She was not dressed for this. True to form, nor was Mauro.

Wynter slowly crawled out of the bushes, and made his way toward a tree-line. He spotted the light’s source: a pair of Canto Bight Police Department speeder patrol officers enjoying a smoke break. He could hear their communications devices blaring the ongoing fiasco inside the casino. No one had a full idea of what was happening, but it appeared Canto Bight assumed it was a potential robbery.

Jath effortlessly made her way towards Wynter, her graceful Bothan movements allowed her to nearly silently meet him, even wearing a dress. “Two of them, Eilen. They’re giving themselves a pat on the back and a smoke break. This could be our chance. Think we can take them out, silently? We aren’t armed or prepared to fight back-up,” he stated.

Eilen scratched at the back of her neck, appraising the odds. “Heh, I can do silent, but… I don’t see a good angle to approach… Maybe we can get them to come to us, though. A little commotion should do the trick.”

Mauro smiled back as he took her meaning. The two slowly approached the officers who were finishing up their cigarettes. Their talk was of being tired, of wanting their shift to be over. These were not men prepared to fight to the death.

Popping out from the brush, the two burst out in an argument. “I saw what you did! How dare you make a fool out of me in front of my friends!” declared Eilen as loudly as her dull voice could manage.

Mauro took his cue. “That isn’t true, nothing happened!”

The security guards ran over, spooked but not alarmed at a seemingly drunken lover’s quarrel. “What is going on here folks? You can’t be out here… Take it back to your hotel, please. There is some trouble in progress back at the casino. We will call a squad car to bring you in, it will only—”

“Wait a second,” the second guard interrupted. His eyes were on Eilen, possibly recognizing her from a description. “She’s one of—”

The guard was cut off as Mauro lunged at him, knocking the comm device out of his hand before he could call it in. As both of the guards were suddenly locked on him, Eilen back-stepped and vanished from sight in a few short seconds. The fight was on.

With Jath out of the initial scuffle, Wynter found himself trying to wrestle both guards at once. His arm locked around one of their necks, trying to bring him down while he flung a foot toward the other. The unhampered guard easily avoided the kick, and threw a fist into Wynter’s side. The man’s grip on the first guard loosened, and the second guard backed up, reaching for his stun blaster. Weapon in hand, he opened his mouth to shout a threat at their well-dressed assailant, when out of nowhere, his helmet was suddenly pulled off his own head.

“What the—”

From behind, Eilen’s body phased back into sight as she slammed the guard’s freed helmet against his head. The guard staggered and dropped his blaster, leaving Eilen in brief surprise that she had actually managed that trick. Before she could follow with anything else, however, the guard leaned her way and threw himself against her. With an impact that knocked the wind out of her, the scrawny girl dropped without resistance, while the guard swayed, searching for his weapon.

As Jath managed to get her lungs going again, she spotted the guard lowering himself to snatch his stun blaster off the ground. Before he had its sights back on her, Eilen threw a desperate hand forward, drawing on the Force to hurl the guard toward their bikes. With a hard, head-first clunk against a metal hull, he fell unconscious. Heavy breaths flowed into Eilen’s lungs as she shakily held out her hand, calling the guard’s weapon toward her.

Meanwhile, the guard wrestling Mauro managed to roll out from his grasp, ready to turn the tables on him. Though, while Wynter wasn’t a particularly skilled fighter, he could predict his foe’s movements before they happened. An attempt by the guard to grab at his neck and reverse their situation was met with a block from Wynter’s arms and a knee into his gut. Despite the blow, the guard pulled Mauro in by his arms, and tried to heave him to the side for a better angle of attack. Wynter planted his foot in retaliation, but found himself suddenly rolling over the guard’s shoulder, hitting the ground on his back.

His assailant on the ground, the guard drew his weapon and pointed it downward. “Stand dow—” Before he finished the threat, a burst of lightning shot from Wynter’s fingers, sending the guard back in literal shock. It was only a quick strike, but the moment the electricity ceased, a stun shot impacted the guard’s side, sending him straight to the ground in a limp heap.

Off to the side, Eilen lowered the stolen blaster and let out a relieved huff of air, while Wynter dragged himself to his feet with a grunt. Without a comment, he gestured for Eilen to get up, and approached the communicator that had fallen before.

“You alright?” Eilen asked, catching her breath.

“Yeah, never better,” Wynter commented, rolling his shoulder as he plucked the comm from the ground. Listening in, there was a lot of commotion about the casino and some miscellaneous happenings around it, but nothing to draw attention toward the forests. He looked back to the fallen guards, and pointed to one of them. “Grab their gear.”

Eilen looked down at the one she’d thrown into the bikes. “That armor’s not gonna fit me.”

“Well, take it anyway,” Wynter responded, quickly pulling the protective gear off the other. “Can you fly one of these?”

The half-Bothan chuckled. “Boy, can I.” With that, she looked down at the guard again, shrugged to herself, and got to work.

After the security guards were stripped, it didn’t take long for Mauro to fit one set of their gear over his tuxedo while Eilen looked over the speeder bikes’ navicomputers. A local map of the surrounding regions helped her plot a course back out of the forest in moments. Ready to go, she stowed the stun blaster on one of the bikes and mounted it, with Wynter following suit. The security gear was a solid fit, but it was better than going back to the casino with nothing – or leaving it with the incapacitated guards.

Eilen looked to her partner as the bikes whirred to life. “Good to go?”

Wynter nodded. “Let’s bring in the cavalry.”