The turbolift ride up was quiet, everyone filled with adrenaline induced anxiety, ready for whatever stood poised against their collective force. Dolash shifted his posture uncomfortably, the scavenged metal in the turbolift was cold to the touch. He still had no idea who the people in the turbolift were. Other than Ranarr, but then, did he really know him? Then, of course, there was the random lady who the former intelligence agent turned Mandalorian Tarenti discerned was Adrestia. Xolarin had been there at the mission briefing.
Then there was the hot one. Dolash eyed the Zeltron up and down. He had been the one who called out for the mauve Twi’lek’s attention earlier. The brazen Mandalorian, with a shit eating grin turned his entire attention to the Zeltron.
“Thanks for the save back there,” Dolash winked emphatically. The Inquisitor cloaked man merely grunted in response. Unabashed, Dolash continued, “Don’t talk much? That’s okay. That shows wisdom which comes from experience. I love experienced men.”
Dolash wasn’t sure but it almost looked like a smirk formed on the man’s face. Yeah… I am pretty funny. At the same time a barely audible groan was emitted but he wasn’t sure from who. Suddenly he heard Xolarin pipe up, “How much higher does this thing go?”
“Well, we were in some sort of underground basement.” Ranarr purred as Dolash pulled out some string.
Dolash waved the string in front of Ranarr, watching his face repress the urge to snatch it or probably just annoyance. “Aren’t all basements underground?”
Before anyone could respond to him, Dolash realized something about the Inquisitor garbed Zeltron. “If you have lightsabers, why didn’t you wield either of them earlier?”
Suddenly the turbolift lurched, its creaky door rose rather unceremoniously. Then another sound…
“Uh guys, I think we were expected…,” Dolash spoke sullenly.
“Take cover!” Adrestia dove for her corner, blaster poised to fire. The rest of the makeshift team of Tarenti followed her lead, Dolash scrambling to Lucifer’s corner. No blaster fire, grenades, nothing. Dolash could not sense anything either.
“We know your objective at this facility. We are currently transporting the artifacts to another off-site location. You have lost, and your strike team will be defeated unless you surrender.” Dolash peeked through the grate at the bottom of the turbolift, barely able to get a glance of the man speaking. He was flanked by a squad of Technocrat soldiers, each one as armed and lethal as the last. Dolash signaled Xolarin and then pointed towards his belt as he mouthed the word, grenade.
Xolarin nodded his approval. The Aedile glanced at each of his team in turn, assuring their confidence in the plan but each one appeared to acquiesce. If they were offloading the artifacts, time was of the essence. Xolarin acted with honed professionalism, releasing the grenade from his fanny pack, activating it and taking aim effortlessly before lobbing the electromagnetic pulse grenade. As the blast rocked the turbolift, they strike team launched out each taking their own target with lethal execution.
As the cyborgs were dispatched with ease, Dolash watched as the Devaronian cyborg’s arm dropped his blaster. Good, that was probably his strong hand.
Dolash quickly reached for his blaster, intending to shoot the horned, green skin enemy.
“Quick draw!” Dolash shouted with bravado as he watched his enemy use his other arm, the organic one, launch forward and disarm the blaster from Dolash’s hand. Not one to be easily taken aback, the Mandalorian Twi’lek sweeped his leg and struck the Devaronian in his own legs, forcing him to tumble down. With unparalleled speed, Dolash grabbed the falling Devaronian’s head and redirected it into his own knee. That should do it.
It didn’t, though. The cyborg grabbed and yanked Dolash down with him. Hard, too. Dolash felt the air forced out of him as he slammed the pock marked, scavenged metal floor. He heard someone shout, “Dolash, you alright?”
Summoning the force with all of his might he shouted, “Yeah, go on without me! The mission takes priority!”
Dolash tried kicking at the Devaronian, forcing him away from himself long enough to regain composure. “This guy can’t beat me, don’t worry!”
Too late, they had already departed without him and didn’t hear his reassurance anyway. They didn’t need him anyway. He was expendable and perhaps had harmed the clan’s cause more than not. He felt a massive blow on his chin, the strike of cold, hard metal. He felt something pop as his vision flared in and out. Tarentum was stronger now. They were a far cry from their glory days, but Dolash knew the truth. Right now, they had the potential to surpass even then. Another strike.
Dolash couldn’t force the enemy off of himself. The guillotine was impenetrable and Dolash felt himself losing consciousness. They would be alright without him. At least he had seen them before dying. Each one was a hero in his eyes. The pressure on his neck grew tighter and it felt like his head was going to explode. His vision flashed one more time. His last thought resonated repeatedly in his mind.
Tell… tell… tell uh… tell… tellum… telecommunication companies will ruin this galaxy. Kriffin’ technocrats.