Aurora Ta’var #10388 Clan Odan-Urr
Yuki Suoh #6377 Clan Odan-Urr
Len Iode #14377 Clan Odan-Urr
[Desperate Measures] Hugs for Admission
Aurora Ta’var #10388 Clan Odan-Urr
Yuki stepped out of the main entrance and looked out over the open meadow. Small flowers were beginning to peek out from their wintered hibernation. Her stern face was broken by a slight, happy smile. The woman pulled a dark wood flute from the case at the small of her back and began to play a greeting to the sun. The light, whimsical melody was bittersweet, but happy. It bid the night a farewell and seemed to entreat the sun to make the day a pleasant one. Days on Solyiat were never very warm, but Yuki could always hope for warmer weather.
As the music drifted through the air, Yuki did not notice several people approaching where she stood, but she did feel them. Their eyes on her, the colors of their minds. Len, the Chiss soldier and current Aedile of Satele Shan, was dark blue. A color of loyalty in her mind. She had worked with him several times and had grown accustomed to his presence. The other was soft red. Not quite red, but not quite pink either. This mind was that of Aurora Ta’var, the Rollmistress of Odan-Urr.
The melody ended and Yuki lowered her flute, her violet eyes opening to see her guests. “Few come so far to visit and never in pairs. I resigned from being Aedile and wish to be alone for a time.”
Aurora shrugged her shoulders and grinned at the other woman. “You know how it is. The world is ending again and they need someone to put it back together.”
Len looked at the Zeltron, his eyes hardening slightly. “Turel wants us to make some,” he paused for a moment. “Discrete inquiries into a Star Destroyer.”
Yuki sighed softly and put her flute back into its case. She turned back toward the door and spoke over her shoulder. “I will be ready in a few minutes. Is it just us?”
Len shook his head then realized the Corsair was not looking at him. “Negative. We will be joined by Lu’Aisha Gresee at the spaceport. Consul Sorenn has authorized the use of whatever ship we require.”
The woman raised an eyebrow as her companions entered the building. “That name is familiar to me. I do not know her, though. Not really. We will have to see how she works.”
The pair waited while Yuki got ready. Len studied his datapad while Aurora looked around the room, touching objects of note with her hands. Yuki stepped from the back room, her hair was pulled back into a loose ponytail that ran down the back of a sleeveless white coat that covered a loose-fitting black outfit. “Let’s go then. We should not keep the High Councilor waiting.”
Enroute to Her Majesty’s Imperial Spaceport, Baime
The trio was quiet on the walk to the modified T-16 that would ferry them from the Estate to Baime. Yuki made eye contact with Aurora, then Len. “What does Turel want with a Star Destroyer?”
The Chiss pulled a datapad out of his right cargo pocket and set it so the two women could see. Aurora spoke, “Two Imperial II-class Star Destroyers, built at the Kuat Drive Yards for the Galactic Empire. Our mission is to ‘appropriate’ them for the Lotus.”
Aurora tapped a couple of selections on the pad and the display changed to show the orbital yard where they were tethered. Len continued where Aurora had left off. “SenNet intelligence indicates they have been mothballed for quite some time. What is unusual is the fact that until recently, there was no evidence there was an Imperial presence in that system.”
The violet-eyed human leaned closer to the pad. “It’s a trap.”
Len looked at Aurora and the Chiss spoke. “Nearest we can figure, yes. Nothing seems out of the ordinary with the ships, but more than likely they are being monitored.”
Yuki leaned back. “Probably trackers onboard too.”
“Those we’re covered on.” Len held up a trapezoidal box. “ Each of us will have a scanner set to search for any anomalous signals. If we find anything we can use a localized EMP burst to disable it. Just make sure you’re more than 3 meters away when it detonates.”
Yuki mused, “No crew on the ship?”
The Rollmistress leaned back in her chair. “None that the recon teams detected. More than likely just some droids for maintenance.”
The Corsair nodded. “Sounds better than most of the half-baked missions we ran.”
A pitch change in the engines prompted the trio to peer out of the window. Outside, the blue-green waters gave way to rocks, then tarmac. A lone Odanite Expeditionary Force U-Wing was resting ahead of them further from the terminal. Lu’Aisha Gresee stepped out into the light pink and deep orange light cast by the sunset and waved at her Clanmates as the Skyhopper came to rest in the concentric rings of flashing lights that marked its landing zone. The three disembarked, squinting in the bright light.
Len turned his head to look towards the star setting in the west. “There is an old saying in several seafaring cultures: ‘Pink sky at night, sailors delight. Pink sky at morning, sailors take warning’.”
The trio followed Lu’Aisha Gresee into the U-Wing and took a seat next to the well-known healer. The transport took off almost immediately, jostling its passengers as it took off for space. Aura Tav’ar looked at her companions curiously, two of which she already kinda knew. Yuki certainly had some interesting stories to tell, and Aura hoped that Lu’Aisha would as well.
“Aura Tav’ar. Nice to meet you. I haven’t met you in person yet.”
“Lu’Aisha, nice to see you in person. I think this is going to be a great mission.”
Jedi Gresee stretched against the safety constraints and shook hands with the Zeltron, reaching across Yuki in the process.
“Not the worst sandwich to be a part of,” said Yuki to no one in particular.
Aura smiled and retreated back to her seat, catching a glimpse of Len absorbed in his datapad.
“Is that why you chose to sit next to me?” teased the Zeltron as she looked at Yuki. “Anyways, Len, could you get Lu’Aisha up to speed on our strategy?”
Aura watched as Len and Jedi Gresee huddled over the datapad, then leaned back in her seat in an attempt to take a nap.
“Let me know when we get there,” she said to no one in particular as she closed her eyes.
Several hours later
Star Destroyer above the Anchorage
Aura was shaken awake as she felt the telltale stop of the craft on what she assumed was the floor of a hangar. As she forced herself to fully wake up she realized that she was leaning against Yuki, probably as a result of her nap. That, if anything, made her wake up much quicker. The Zeltron quickly got up and made a show of checking her meager excuse for gear before looking back at the Yuki.
Lightsaber. Check. Comlink. Check. Stun Cuffs. Check.
“Oh. Sorry about that. I must have dozed off more than I thought.”
“Don’t worry about it. If it bothered me I would have pushed you off.”
“Alright, fine with me.” Aura smirked in amusement.
“Everyone ready?” asked Len. Everyone nodded in agreement. “Let’s go!”
The four Odanites walked down the gangplank and into the heart of the Star Destroyer. The gray metallic of the floors was boring at best, but that wasn’t what caught their attention. No one wanted to bring up what was right in front of them as they headed towards the bridge. It felt as if important parts of the ship were already scavenged, loose wires and dead control panels were carelessly strewn across the ground. It got worse as they made their way further into the ship, whole panels ripped from their walls in order to get to the precious parts that lay beneath. Now there was nothing. Eventually, Yuki spoke the words everyone was thinking.
“Well, the trap is confirmed. Kind of them to keep life-support on for us.”
“Yeah, but looks like they didn’t leave much for us to work with. I wonder if it is even operational anymore,” mused Len. “The bridge is right around this corner. Let’s go.”
The rest of the group followed the portly Chiss as he led the way into the command center of the ship. It looked much like the hallways with the exception of a few lit up consoles. It was also utterly abandoned. The group split up to examine the operational consoles, checking them out for any useful information.
“Hmm, not much looks very functional. This ship isn’t going anywhere unless we get creative.” Len informed the group, already lost in thought.
“And that isn’t the worst of it. Iron Legion troopers just landed in the hangar. A lot of them. Things just got a lot more interesting.” Yuki complained, clearly annoyed. “I hate half-baked missions.”
“Alright, so what do we do now?” asked Aura.
Primary Control Room
Yuki pinched the bridge of her nose, feeling a migraine that threatened to burst a blood vessel - or all of them. She opened her eyes and glared at Len. “Should be easy, you said. Discrete inquiries, you said. Obviously, someone should have looked for a dropship FULL OF TROOPERS waiting for someone to land here!”
The Corsair turned quickly toward the entrance to the room and rushed toward the doorway, her eyes turned harder than agates. “Well, let us go greet our friends that more than likely want to take us all away for ‘questioning’.”
Yuki stepped through the doorway they had come in through and braced herself for the coming fight. She hated all the fighting, hated remembering a past she would rather forget. She looked over her shoulder at Aurora, her eyes blank and emotionless. Her voice was just as cold.
“Aurora, make sure the others get out of here. I’ll do what I can to hold them off.”
Before her companions had a chance to respond, Yuki began to sprint down the corridor away from the hangar. She looked over her shoulder to see Len and Aurora exit the room and stare at her.
“Explosions always draw attention. A big enough one will make them think the others are elsewhere.”
The woman continued to run, her slightly shod feet making almost no noise on the metallic floor. She ran down several corridors before sliding to a halt. Her eyes flicked from side to side as she stopped before a junction. She gripped the hilt of one sword and drew it halfway, catching an incoming weapon on the gleaming durasteel. She smiled softly and stared into the helmeted face of the Legion.
“I was not fast enough it seems. My brothers would have beaten me for this.”
She lashed out with a foot, impacting the troopers midsection with a kick. She drew her blade the rest of the way and surrendered entirely to her instincts.
Big enough explosion she says, Len thought as he plucked a charge from his backpack and smacked it against the nearest bulkhead. His mind was whirring, analyzing the weak points visible in the stripped corridor of the Star Destroyer.
He pointed to his right. “Aurora, two cm inside that open panel on your left.”
The Rollmistress nodded and poked her head into the access space. “Got it, and primed.”
The Chiss nodded. “How far out are they?”
Aurora pulled her head out of the access area and opened herself to the Force. “Eight or ten of them, ten meters down the corridor to the left, there’s still a group near Yuki. Maybe ten there too.”
Len drew the detonator from his tactical vest and checked its power. The distant clanking of stormtrooper armor was echoing throughout the halls. Len flung the backpack on his shoulder. “Let’s move!”
After a short jog down the corridor, out of the corner of his eye he noticed small circuit bay. He pointed with his non-dominant hand for the duo to take cover. “Hope this is big enough.”
A loud crash and explosion rocked the corridors. Len peered around the corner. Blaster rifle served as a marker for the direction of the troopers. A few red bolts screamed by, smacking the tarnished bulkhead where the corridor ended in a tee. Len returned fire, just missing the first trooper to emerge from the smoky hall. The Iron Legion trooper adjusted his aim and fired, missing Len’s hand by hairs.
“I’d say that got their attention,” the Chiss chuckled. The smile dropped and Len sliced the corner, placing four solid shots directly into that first trooper as more bolts erupted from the waning smoke.
“Good. I’ll cover you. Find out how much of the advance boarding party is still onboard. I didn’t see any on our way to the command center.” Aura took Len’s place, deflecting back stray blaster bolts harmlessly into the hallway.
Len took out his communicator and quickly cycled through all the teams.
“Commander Len Iode. Alpha, come in.” Nothing.
“Commander Len Iode. Beta, come in.” Nothing.
“Commander Len Iode. Charlie, come in.” Nothing.
The Chiss was halfway through shaking his head before his comlink burst into life.
“Beta here, trying to make our way back to the hangar from section 37-F. A few of Charlie are here, but only the engineers remain. Current position is overrun, but half of them split off a few moments ago. Over.” The sound of blaster fire and tense yells could be heard in the background.
“Len, can we help them, meet up with Yuki and all get out alive?” Aura asked, the urge to save their troops conflicting with her desire to flee to safety.
Len paused for a moment. His face scrunched up as he thought about the layout of the ship and the hangar’s location.
“It’s possible, but dangerous. It would be best if Yuki continues to distract them or we ignore the strike team. Adding the third element makes things difficult. A lot of head on fighting potentially.”
“Good. It’s doable. How?” Aura asked as she continued to protect their position. She grabbed hold of the closest Iron Legion soldier whenever one got too close and threw him into his nearby fellows in an attempt to cause chaos. It often led to collateral damage and friendly fire, both of which were just fine with her right now. It was a suitable punishment for someone trying to kill her friends.
“Yuki, what is your current position?” asked the Chiss.
“Doesn’t matter. Keep going!” Yuki was as stubborn as ever.
“Yes it does. Just give me your position.” Len demanded.
No response. The Chiss sighed in exasperation, annoyance and concern.
“I can find her through the Force,” offered Aura.
“Alright. Assuming she is still in the same area, we can outflank the troopers attacking Beta and Charlie. That should give them a decided advantage. Once that situation is well in hand, I can work with the strike team to get them back to the hangar while you find Yuki and drag her ass back over to us. Do you have your map still?”
“Yeah. I’ve got it.”
“Good. You’ll need to be quick or both of us will be cut off permanently from the other. I can’t keep them distracted for too long. This is unfortunately our best shot unless we want to sacrifice someone. That still has the best odds.” The Chiss grimaced as he thought about it.
Aura thought back to the last time she went off script during a battle. The strike commander of that group didn’t take too kindly too it despite her heroism. She didn’t like the plan, but it was apparently their best shot to save everyone.
“Fine. But you better survive. Let’s get to it.”
“Alright, clear a hole on our left,” ordered Len as he took up the position of providing cover fire.
Aura focused on the line of the troopers on the left, throwing them back one by one as far as she could. She could feel their neighbor’s surprise leak into the Force as their comrade slammed into them.
“Good. Now move!” The Chiss ordered.
The Odanites rushed around the corner, running as fast as they could while staying together. Aura took up the front, her lightsaber quick to either bat away any blaster bolts that came close or cut down a soldier that got within range. Lu’aisha took up the rear, raising a barrier to protect their retreat. Meanwhile, Commander Iode was doing an excellent job of shooting down their distracted targets. Eventually the trio cut down a side corridor, the Chiss taking a moment to plant a bomb while Aura defended their forward position.
“Have fun with this,” Len said to no one in particular as he finally joined Aura and Lu’aisha and activated it. Another explosion rocked the area, but this time the ceiling above the bomb had fallen through and filled the corridor they had just run through. In addition, it revealed the floor above them, which was currently empty. Aura reached out to the Force around her, ignoring the trapped troopers.
“I don’t sense anything on this side. Are we going up?”
“Yes. They’ll outflank us down here. Can you give me a lift? I can pull myself up once I get something to grab onto.”
“Sure.” Aura closed her eyes and lifted the portly man up into the gap in the ceiling above. Beads of sweat formed on her brow as she strained to lift him, but thankfully he took over once his hands gripped the floor above them. With a surprising the strength, the Chiss pulled himself up and scrambled to his feet. Meanwhile, the Rollmistress and Jedi Gresee jumped up to the next level, using the Force to assist them. The Zeltron’s boots hit the deck not far from the portly Chiss and she was finally starting to breath heavy.
“Both of you ok? Ready to go?”
“Yeah, just catching my breath. That isn’t as easy as it looks.” The Rollmistress a deep breath or two and then nodded towards the Chiss. “Let’s go.”
They followed the Chiss through the empty hallways, while he consulted his map from time to time. No troops were found. Aura assumed they still believed they were on the deck below. Eventually they came to a stop.
“Section 37-F. Are they still down there?” asked Len
Aura reached out to the Force and focused below her. Sure enough, she felt life forms below.
“Yes. They form two clumps, one over there and the other over there. Can’t really tell them apart.” Both just feel angry and afraid.
Odd. Do I feel the same way in the Force right now…
“Beta, come in. We are near your position. Are you fore or aft in the hallway compared to the Iron Legion soldiers?”
“Fore. Where are you? Over.”
Aura made a concerted effort to center herself while Len talked, trying to better control her negative emotions.
I won’t be like them. Be calm like a Jedi.
“Make a cut here. Something big enough for me to fall through.”
Aura’s focused her attention back on the present and cut a large circular hole. The durasteel floor plummeted to the deck below it, squishing anyone below it.
“Good. Alright. Aura, you go after Yuki. I hear Jedi Gresee is quite good at keeping blaster bolts off of things. She and I will clear out the troopers below.”
Len Iode and Lu’aisha both nodded.
“Good luck, Jedi Ta’var, and may the Force be with you,” Lu’aisha replied.
“And also with you. I’ll bring Yuki back.” Aura gave both of them a hug and then reached out to the Force. She could faintly sense what felt like Yuki. “Time to go. Meet back up with you soon.”
“Alright. Let’s move!” ordered Len as he dropped his considerable weight on the fallen plate below him, quickly followed by Lu’aisha.
Aura rushed down the hallway above them and hoped she would make it in time.
The explosion behind her caused the woman to laugh softly. She eyed the troopers surrounding her and shook her head. The sound of footsteps behind her barely registered as Yuki sprang into a flurry of motion. The tenuous stand-still between her and the troopers broken, the corridor began to fill with blaster fire and arcing blades. The Corsair smiled as she struck out deftly with her sword and found her mark in the soft padding under the stomach of one trooper.
He screamed and fell, his hands clutched around him as his guts began to push out from the wound. Yuki paid him no further mind as another with a shock baton came rushing towards her. She lifted her blade to intercept the strike, which jolted her arm and made it numb to the shoulder. She winced and swore as the man swung back to deliver another strike. Sharp pain blossomed in Yuki’s side as a blaster bolt struck her just above the left hip.
The woman let out a cry of pain and dove to the side, avoiding more blaster fire and the oncoming strike of a shock baton. Yuki got to her feet just in time to see Aurora storming down the hall, her brilliant azure lightsaber snapping to life. Within moments everything was bathed in blue light and Yuki began to move again, her blade surged forward and sank deeply into the back of a distracted trooper. Aurora moved like a ripple on water, her feet with liquid grace as she drove ferociously into the group of soldiers.
Yuki stepped carefully, each strike precise as soldier after soldier fell to the pair of women. “I told you to leave, Aurora.”
The Zeltron gave only a moment to glare at the Human before felling another trooper. Within moments of her arrival, the remaining troopers lay dead at their feet from saber wounds or bleeding out rapidly from sword strikes.
Yuki sheathed her sword and leaned against the wall, placing a hand on her hip. “Well, I suppose this means you intend to make sure I get home, hm?”
Aurora’s face darkened slightly as the flippant nature of the Corsair’s words dug into her skin. “You don’t get to make people like you and then go die on them, Yuki. Get moving.”
Yuki sighed and began moving slowly down the corridor, her eyes fixed on the long walk towards the hangar bay. “You know it isn’t over yet, right?”
Aurora moved closer to the woman and reached out a hand to help her along. Yuki tensed and shied away from the touch as she shook her head. “I’ll be alright. Let’s just go.”
The Zeltron nodded as she took up a position close to the Human and began to lead the way back to their ship. “You’re right though. It isn’t over. I think this was only the beginning.”
The two moved down the hallways they found little in the way of resistance. “Why did you come for me, Aurora? One such as me hasn’t really earned it, you know.”
The other woman stiffened and shook her head. “You don’t have to earn it. When you have friends they just do it.”
The Human walked in silence for several minutes, the pain in her hip a constant reminder of her own folly. “I do not have that many friends and you also do not know my past. Who I was. Even I do not want to remember it.”
Aurora turned and looked at Yuki over her shoulder. “A friend is a friend no matter the past. Only the future matters. Everyone has something they are running from, you know. You’re just better at it than most.”
Yuki smiled at the woman and shrugged. “We’ll talk more about it later. We’re here and it’s time to go home. Get me off of this deathtrap of a ship.”
Something seemed to settle back into place for the Human, something profound but this was not the place to find out what. They had other matters to deal with first.
Len bent his knees upon landing on the deck below, Gresee was close behind. The human woman gestured with her hands and several blaster bolts fizzled in the space in front of Len. Thank the Force for Jedi, the Chiss mused. He squeezed into a small outcropping in the hallway as the enemy advanced. “Fall back to the ship, drag the wounded if you have to. Leave no one behind!”
“Yes sir! You heard the Commander, FALL BACK!” A sergeant replied relaying the command.
The lead Iron Legion trooper took the opportunity to step past where the bolts had been fizzling out only to be struck by a well placed shot from Len.
“I can hold the field only a little longer, fall back,” Gresee struggled.
Len moved back to a more defensible alcove about ten meters back. “I’m set.”
The Jedi healer lowered her hands and a wall of blaster fire erupted from beyond, bathing the hall in red light. Len took a breath as he checked his rifle’s current setting. The fire decreased as some of the troops began to advance. He let the breath out, creating a hailstorm of low power blue bolts. “GO AISHA, GO!”
Enemy soldiers flopped to the ground, some hit by the weaker shots that would only stun, while others trying to avoid being hit.
His low cell power indicator vibrated. 30 more shots.
Gresee sprinted past him and taking cover in another alcove further down the hall from him. She caught her breath and re-centered herself, pushing from her mind the battle. Raising her hands she let the barrier take shape in her mind. Envisioned a thick wall of durasteel in the corridor, just ahead of Len.
One of the soldiers could see Len’s foot and let loose with 5 shots. The first two hit the deck just before the Chiss’ boot. The last was true, it would shatter the ankle when it hit.
The bolt was consumed by Lu’aisha’s invisible wall.
Len was stunned, “Excellent timing my friend.”
“Don’t cut it so close next time.” Gresee replied seriously.
Len changed his power pack and tibana gas cartridge as he fell back. Flipping the settings to a higher power setting and single shot. Finding some rubble on the floor further down from where his partner was, he took cover behind it. “I’m set.” He whispered through his communicator.
Several bolts passed through slamming into the wall around the two. The soldiers advanced, slower and without the hail of fire behind them.
Must be low on tibanna, Len thought.
Three Iron Legion troopers advanced cautiously, constantly checking their surroundings. Len lined up the one to the left of their team leader. His sights covering most of the top of the helmet.
Len’s thoughts became singular.
Breath on, squeeze, squeeze…SNAPCRACK.
The left flank trooper fell with a loud thud as his buddies opened fire on Len’s position. Both troopers began to retreat back while trying to keep Len pinned in his spot.
“I have a bad feeling about this.” As the words left the Chiss’ lips the hall was engulfed in red. Blaster bolts, hundreds of them.
“Need assistance, Section 37-F. E-web blaster suppressing us.” Len stated through his commlink as evenly as he could. He could feel his cover beginning to crumble.
No, not like this.
Aura and Yuki ran as fast as they could towards the hangar, the fear and adrenaline of being hunted quickening their step. Even Yuki was keeping up despite the altered gait her injury was giving her. The Zeltron gave her companion sideways looks every now and again, feeling something she should not. She reached to the Force surrounding them and felt most of the usual but something was off.
“What?” asked Yuki.
“What?” replied Aura.
“You’re looking at me funny. Stop that.”
“I’m just concer–”
The Rollmistress’s comlink came to life, interrupting her train of thought.
Need assistance, Section 37-F. E-web blaster suppressing us.
“That will be Len. Leave me and go save him.” Yuki offered. “I’ll just slow you down.”
“HA! No one is being left behind. Now get your stubborn ass moving before I pick you up and carry you off this ship myself.” Aura’s jest turned deadly serious as she stared for a moment into Yuki’s eyes.
Aura simply continued to stare.
“Fine, alright. I’m moving.”
Aura reached out the Force, feeling for the mass of fighters she had felt before.
Aha! They’re close
“This way. We are close. Take it easy, will you?” The Zeltron motioned her companion forward. Yuki did not reply.
Aura could already hear the sound of blaster fire around the corner. A grim smile crossed her face as she ran around it and spotted the backs of the enemy troopers pinning her companions down on the other side of the hallway. The rapid fire of the E-web blaster was nothing short of lethal but she doubted it could swivel quicker than she could strike. The Zeltron launched herself forward with the Force, launching into a flurry of strikes. Each swing she took a step and with each step she struck someone down. Two troopers remained and were already pointing their guns at her. She was ready.
Yuki’s swords neatly stabbed into both of them, looks of horror on the troopers faces as they saw the deadly metal sticking out their chest. The Corsair pulled them out in a slicing motion, and the troopers fell to the floor writhing in agony. Aura walked over and slice off their heads with a twirl of her saber.
“I told you to take it easy. Do you want to kill yourself?”
“Can’t let you have all the fun, now can I?
Aura was about to bicker, but Len cut her off.
“Over here you two! Let’s go! Forward patrol reports we have troops coming our way. We will need to move quickly if we don’t want to get cut off. They already lost a few men. They can give us two minutes at the most. What’s wrong with her?” Len asked, pointing to Yuki’s noticeable limp.
“Blaster wound to her left side,” Aura explained.
“I can heal it for her,” Gresee offered.
“Better idea. Gresee, you run forward to the forward patrol and help give us an extra minute or two. We’ll be right behind you.”
“Alright. See you then.” Lu’aisha rushed out of sight, saber at the ready.
Yuki was already leaning against the wall, doing her best to appear unaffected by her wound.
“Alright, Yuki. Lives are on the line and you are moving too slow. You aren’t being left behind. I’ll carry you back.”
“Over my dead–” The Corsair found herself unable to speak. She couldn’t move either. She glared at the Rollmistress, who simply collected the woman’s weapons and put stun cuffs on her wrists. Len hoisted the woman and draped her over his shoulder.
Aura took a breath and finally released her friend.
“Put. Me. DOWN!” The Corsair gave Len a few good kicks to wherever she could reach.
“No, now settle down or I won’t be able to shoot my gun. Do you want me to die?!”
The woman finally settled down, but her eyes told a different story. Fires danced from within.
“You two are going to get it later. I swear.”
“I bet we will, but enjoy the ride till then.”
Aura and Len ignored Yuki’s next epithet and moved as quickly as they could to the hangar. Hallway after empty hallway gave them no comfort. Afterall, the enemy was waiting for them somewhere else. Eventually after what felt like ages, the pair ran past the strike team’s last defensive stand. Lu’aisha was doing an excellent job holding off the enemy blaster fire, but nonetheless looked tired.
“They’re through. Let’s move. Jedi Gresee, take up the back!”
The Odanites rushed toward the hangar as a whole, picking off any enemy troopers that got in their way. Things were going well mostly, that is until they reached the last door.
“We won’t be able to hold this door. Too many coming this way! I’ll need to jam it from this side!” A strike team member shouted to his commanding officer.
“Nooo! No you don’t Porkins!”
“It’s the only way. You know it too commander!”
The commander didn’t miss a beat, but his eyes deadened a little.
“You’re right. Thank you.” The man gave him a hug, holding back a sadness he knew he would feel later.
Jedi Gresee held back a moment. “But he–”
“No. He knows what he has to do. Save the others.”
Lu’aisha shook her head in sadness, avoiding a pointless fight.
At least this Jedi listens, thought the man.
The stream of Odanites saw the vessels they had arrived in and sprinted into them, the wounded taking a bit longer than they would have liked. No one heard the faint locking of a door that shut off the troops behind them. Only a few who were close knew the sacrifice Porkins just made, at least for now. Aura and Lu’aisha felt it though. The short spurt of triumph followed by dread as one awaited their fate.
The only difference is that Aura did not know why. Nor did she have the luxury of finding out just yet, but it still made her sad. Lu’aisha simply gave her a look and shook her head. She followed Len and Yuki, who was now swearing vociferously at the pair of them, back into the U-wing. The doors quickly shut and the craft took off. She could hear chatter from the other craft, all thankfully taking off and accounted for.
Aura handed Yuki’s swords off to an Odanite trooper, who locked them away for the safety of the crew. Len then deposited Yuki into a sit next to Gresee while Aura undid her cuffs. The woman was strangely compliant, for now. Len and Aura backed off and waited for the inevitable. The Corsair calmly stood up and pointed her finger accusingly at each of them in turn.
“Big boy, you will NEVER carry me again or I will be a lot less forgiving than a couple of swift kicks.”
“And as for you, Zeltron. You haven’t earned the right to put cuffs on me yet. How dare you use the Force on me like that?!”
Yuki swung her hand towards Aura’s face. The Zeltron ducked under it. Yuki followed up with a kick, groaning in pain. Aura danced away, dodging the Corsair’s pained attempts at revenge.
“First, I’m going to kick your ass. Then you’re going to tell me where the hell you bought fuzzy stun cuffs.”
“Ah, the start of a beautiful relationship. Maybe you should let Gresee take a look at you first. You don’t look like you are fit for a fight.”
Len merely chuckled from the sidelines. Yuki shot the Chiss a glare, her violet eyes hard.
“You’re next!” threatened Yuki.