Lotus Team Green
- Celevon Edraven Erinos - #12004 [ARC]
- Mar Sûl - #13009 [COU]
- Maenaki Dalevi’in - #13419 [ARC]
- Rrogon Skar Agrona - #13468 [ARC]
- Corvus Corax - #13767 [COU]
Al’ara Sparring Center
Pride of Corellia, Port Ol’val, Dajorra System
34 ABY; 0842 Hours, Local Time
The pale blue skin flashed in series of brutal strikes and kicks as a Rutian Twi’lek sparred with her mentor, the sweat that coated her exposed skin gliding uncomfortably from her lekku and down her spine. Though it was cold in the sparring center and, though she was clad in only a sports top and a pair of athletic shorts, Lilutha did not let it distract her from her opponent. The last time the Twi’lek had allowed herself to become distracted, the half-Echani had grabbed her by her wrist and flipped her onto her back.
Celevon Edraven Erinos was equally focused on his apprentice as he used his open palms, both flesh and cybernetic, to shift Lilutha’s blows aside when he didn’t outright dodge. His toned chest gleamed with a sheen of his own sweat, thankful that his long black hair was bound in a long braid. The Onderonian’s silver gaze narrowed as an incessant beeping came from a few feet away, deftly intercepting a punch with a strike to the center of the Twi’lek’s inner forearm.
Lilutha swore, backing up and shaking her numb right arm. She glared at her Mentor, cinnamon gaze annoyed as she held the useless wrist with her left hand. “What the frak was that for?”
“It’s the easiest way to call a halt without flipping you onto your back, Lils,” Celevon grinned. At her raised hairless eyebrow, the Assassin tilted his head toward his bag. “Gotta take that call, kiddo.”
Ignoring the grumbling and swearing from his apprentice as she attempted to return feeling to her hand, the half-Echani knelt and retrieved his holocommunicator and answered it. “Edraven here.”
“Grab your gear and make your way to the Complex. The Shadow Lady has a mission for us,” an accented, posh voice drawled over the speaker. “Rrogon Skar Agrona will be meeting us there.”
It took the Onderonian a moment to recognize the voice as the newest Aedile of House Qel-Droma, as Terran had been elevated to Quaestor when Celevon had chosen to step away from leadership. “On it, Maenaki. See you soon. Edraven out.”
The Assassin received a warning through the Force and jumped, rolling across the floor to avoid a punch that his apprentice had aimed at the back of his head.
Lilutha glared, placing her fists against her hips as Celevon regained his footing and made a gesture for her to stop. “We’re not continuing?”
“Negative, Lils. The Consul has a mission for me. Tell my sister to continue your training until I return.” Spotting the growing smirk on his apprentice’s lips, the Assassin decided to add in a point. “Combat training. And, no, that isn’t an excuse for you two to have sex the whole time.”
The Twi’lek scowled as Celevon grabbed his bag and headed for the door. “Spoiling my fun.” Her grumbling continued as she walked to the showers - there was no way in hell she was putting her clothes back on with all of the sweat on her body.
The moment the Onderonian stepped into his apartment, he wasted no time and headed to his bedroom. Once the small duffel was dropped, Celevon took a scalding shower and scrubbed himself clean in record time. The moment he was dry, the Assassin stepped into his closet and moved the hanging clothes aside. After he entered a seven-digit passcode and waited for the biometric scanner to complete its task, the front of the opaque container slid open.
After slipping on the Chief Inquisitor Armor and gloves (the left purposely to conceal his cybernetic), he strapped the right bracer that contained his hidden blade on. Once securely in place, Celevon grabbed his kerambit and Sith Dagger, which were slid into sheaths on his lower back. His sheath of throwing blades were beneath the tactical thigh holster, which the Assassin slid his Reynolds DE-21 Slugthrower into. Several speedloaders were grabbed from the shelf and locked into place.
The former Quaestor flitted his silver eyes toward the sniper rifle and decided against bringing it - any missions Atyiru brought to his attention rarely required it.
As he was reaching a hand out to lock the case, Celevon paused and grabbed a cylinder that rested in a darkened corner of it. The casing looked as though it had been pieced together from bits of scrap metal, though it functioned perfectly fine. A flick of a thumb switch and an emerald beam sprang to life from the hilt.
His former apprentice had handed over the lightsaber hours before the Miraluka had vanished from Arconan space - as far as anyone knew, Revs had died, mainly due to the fact that no one had seen or heard anything about him. The Onderonian himself had crafted the weapon from the destroyed remnants of his own lightsaber, which had been damaged almost beyond repair in the final battle for New Tython. Before the bomb had been dropped-
Celevon cut off that line of thought abruptly as he deactivated the lightsaber and clipped it onto his waist, locking the case. Revs had been presented the weapon upon his elevation to Knight. When he had chosen to leave, the Miraluka had returned it to its original owner. But that was in the past.
The Onderonian shut the door to the closet behind him and slipped out of the apartment, heading toward the secret entrance to the Phantom Complex and the office of the Aedile of House Qel-Droma, Maenaki Dalevi’in.
The Disappointing Dichotomy
Shuttle Bay A-5
Servo, Maenaki’s FA-5 Valet droid, stood outside of the YT-1000 light freighter as she and Celevon made their way through the shuttle bay. The ship stood out among the other vessels, it’s galactic pattern and swirling colors giving it a lot more show against the stealth-based shuttles parked in their slots. The droid itself was also a display of color - mostly purples - and was making an attempt to draw their attention.
The Seer caught the Aedile heaving an intolerant sigh as the mechanized assistant waved its arms about, shouting at her about something they could not yet hear, as they drew closer.
“Ma’am! The petulant little show-off attached to the driver’s seat has refused to take off until a cushion has been placed on the seat for you. The little scrap pile will not even start the ship! I tried to-” the valet barked, wobbling to-and-fro as it crossed enough distance to be heard.
“Yes, thank you Servo,” Maenaki curtly said, waving a hand to fully cut him off. “Please, let Crow know that I’m on my way and that, if he must, he may retrieve a pillow from my quarters. That may soothe his concern over my discomfort. Although,” she said, smiling at Celevon, “I may need that pillow in my room more.”
“Madam, you’re not really-” The haughty droid said, disapprovingly and somehow giving the Shadicar a disdainful look with its blank droid face.
“Now, please Servo.” The Seeker turned to her companion and shrugged. “I am afraid I must apologize for my droids. They have… unorthodox personalities. They were a gift from K’tana. She heard that I am half Sephi and decided, because of that, I require - and I quote - ‘mech-stuff to liiiiive’.”
Celevon snickered as he watched the woman wistfully grin, staring after the valet-droid as it was making its way toward the ship.
“So, you never told her about the other half?” The Seer said with a smirk, chuckling as Maenaki gave an amused laugh.
“Certainly not after I learned of her… proclivities. She still tried, of course, poor dear. Unfortunately, I have an affection for her as one would a daughter. A very broken daughter. “ The Seltron suddenly turned to Celevon, her sea-green gaze becoming a murky well of sadness and sincerity. “Edraven, I’m sorry she left. I had no interest or intent on replacing her. She spoke of you often, so I’m guessing you must have been close. Or as close as one could get to her.”
Celevon’s silver eyes flitted away from her gaze as he subconsciously built up the walls within his mind, giving his irises the appearance of shifting from liquid to a solid state . “You have no need to apologize. Truthfully, I was surprised that she remained here for as long as she did. I know I’ll run into her again, whether in this life or the next. We had a very… complex relationship. At times, she was my best friend or the occasional annoying sister that let herself into my apartment whenever she pleased.” A wry grin curved his lips, eyes distant as he recalled a particular memory. “People assumed that we were lovers for a while. We never bothered to correct them, since it was entirely too amusing to have them watching to see how we behaved. For the record, my name is Celevon. You may use it.”
“As you like, Celevon,” Maenaki said with a sincere smile, logging that away for her to remember, “I knew her for only a short time and believe I saw her at one of her worst times. Everyone seemed to have… well, positive feelings towards her. I just hope they don’t come to resent me for taking over in her stead.”
The Seeker quickly smiled, shrugging it off and continuing to the light freighter. As they made their way into the ship, they were ushered in by Servo who quickly scurried into the back hall. Maenaki lead Celevon to the cockpit, where a spastic pitch-black pilot droid stretched and twisted its neck to look at Maenaki.
“Ma’am! The pillow has been retrieved! Your comfort has been assured!” Crow paused, spinning itself in two full circles before stopping to face the Arconans again. “Shall I start the ship up?”
“Are you sure K’tana didn’t rewire your droids personally?” Celevon asked as Maenaki’s narrowed gaze took in the full show of her ‘assistants’, as Servo suddenly appeared in the corridor holding what appeared to be the Aedile’s entire set of bedding.
“Did she have any skill with that?” The Seeker asked, gripping a handful of her own hair into a tight fist.
“Then she probably did. You must thank her for me if you see her. Crow, get the ship started and get us underway. Now, please. Servo, for the love of vast space, go put my bed back together!”
“It was his bed I took apart, Ma’am.”
“That is my sheet.” Maenaki gave the droid a baffled and disgusted look, appearing to lose all composure as blue sparks danced across her fingertips.
As the two droids scurried to do their tasks, Maenaki pressed a button on her wrist.
“Rrogon, we are almost ready. We will meet you at the coordinates I’m sending you now. Have a safe flight.”
Both Celevon and Mae were surprised that they did not receive an angry grunt in return, but merely an acknowledgment on their devices that showed ‘message received’.
“Now,” the Seltron smiled as she gestured to the other side of the ship. “Shall we go see if our rooms are dealt with?”
Perlemian Trade Route
Mar’s solar sailer, 'Vigil’
The Human Jedi ran a hand through his hair, calloused fingers brushed away the few strands of hair that had fallen in front of his eyes, his other hand grasped a small holo-recorder that had been previously delivered directly to Mar at the Councillor’s chambers alongside the instructions:
Classified. Play at coordinates provided for further orders.
Mar had felt sincerely unimpressed to receive orders in such a cloak and dagger method, but considering Odan-Urr’s recent past he’d conceded that this approach was likely a necessity. The soft tartan chair groaned slightly as he readjusted his seated position, his bronze armor tugging against the leathery material. The sparsely decorated room aided in providing a pensive, brooding atmosphere but it was sapped rapidly by the light, rapid patter of Aleenan feet. Although protocol would have suggested that Mar go to the coordinates alone, he’d seen fit to accept the company of his boisterous and closest friend, Corvus Corax. The Rollmaster of Odan-Urr stopped just before where Mar had been seated, he limbered up for a moment before shuffling up the Human’s torso and seating himself on one of his shoulders.
A short stubbed digit poked Mar unceremoniously in the cheek whilst the small Jedi chipped in cheerfully.
“So, you gonna watch that recording or are you hoping it’ll just play itself for you?”
Mar stared blankly at Corvus, the vacant look in his blue eyes said more than enough. The Aleenan’s mouth curled into a light, wispy smile.
“Ahh, you’re worried that the mission is a wild womp chase just to send you away for awhile after the tirade at the last council meeting?”
For the longest time, it had been common practice for Corvus to attempt to elicit some emotional reaction from his friend. He was referring to the debacle at the last Council meeting, in which V’yr Vorsa, Councillor of Urr and Turel Sorenn’s wife, had chosen to leave as a result of the actions of Mar and many others over the recent months. Corvus couldn’t miss the opportunity to use this material in his usual banterous manner.
“Well, are you worried?” Corvus asked again, raising a hairless protruding brow in curiosity.
“No,” Mar lied bluntly. His worry was not in thinking his actions were wrong; instead, he was worried about Turel. An event of that magnitude could shake anyone’s resolve and now was not the time for such trivialities.
Corvus didn’t push any further. Instead in a deft agile motion he snatched the holo-recorder and dismounted Mar’s shoulder and landed on the opaque orange-brown glass table. An image burst forth from the central mechanism of the device and the familiar yet small silhouette of Turel Sorenn stood before them, bathed in a soft cerulean glow.
“Mar, I’m well aware of the difficult position we are all in as of late; however, this mission is of the utmost importance.” The holo-image extended a hand downward, toward where the recorder was resting, his tone remaining even and serious with the inflection of sincerity that Turel reserved for important Odanite business. “This device will be fitted with another set of coordinates and some dossiers. The coordinates will take you to a rendezvous where you’ll meet with a small allied taskforce. The dossiers are all the information we have regarding potential Lotus assets, all of whom have recently disappeared. We believe that the Brotherhood has taken them, or worse. It is absolutely imperative that we share information with our allies and find these assets… may the Force be with you.”
Both Mar and Corvus glanced at each other, sharing a somewhat concerned stare with one another. After a moment’s pause, Corvus broke the silence.
“Uh, we have allies?”
Unknown hyperspace lane
Rrogon sat thinking in the main cockpit of his newly acquired ship. His mind fell back on the many recent events of the past few weeks while his ship made its way through hyperspace to the location that had been sent to him by Qel-Droma’s newest Aedile, Maenaki. He had said nothing to the pair before his departure preferring not to speak with the woman more than necessary .
So many things had happened that would now shape his life for, better or worse. Uji had been imprisoned for his recent actions and had been captured during his mission on the Godless Matron. Shifting in his seat, the Kaleesh could still recall the agony of his torture aboard that ship.More painful still he could remember the pain of the deal that he made to save one he loved.
“Oh, I can promise no harm will come to her while you cooperate with us. Who knows? Pravus might even let the two of you go after this is all blown over and Arcona is brought to heel. But only if you do exactly what we tell you to. Got it?”
These words still haunted him to this very hour. Rrogon had fought and bled for Arcona, even lost his grandfather in the fight to stop Pravus and his men from killing those they deemed a threat.
Now, he worked for those he fought so long to oppose and, in doing so, committed himself and his wife to a worse fate if they were found out. The Kaleesh shuddered to think what Uji would do if he found out what Skar had done.
He had told his wife what happened on that ship and what it could mean for them but his wife’s words were echoing in his mind and filling him with some hope for the future. Yet, Rrogon felt the fear of failing far more than he allowed himself feelings of hope.
Rubys perch upper apartment
Three weeks prior
“Rrogon what happened on that ship doesn’t matter. If I was in the same place, I would have done the same thing a thousand times over. You made a choice, and as your wife, I will stand behind you no matter what. Besides I’m not the only one you need to protect anymore.”
The Kaleesh turned to his wife has she placed his hand on her belly. Pawsing in confusion, the Battlemaster’s heart nearly stopping as he realized something astounding. He could feel another life form that grew inside her.
Vera nodded in confirmation, tears welling up in her eyes as they gazed at one another.
“I was going to tell you before you left, but you were gone so fast that I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye. Not only did you save my life by making that choice, Eswo, you saved our child.”
Skar said nothing for several moments.He sighed before he spoke: “I will do anything to save you both, even if it means making a deal with the devils themselves. Nothing will harm you so long as I draw breath.”
The Twi’lek knelt down and wrapped her arms around the hulking Kaleesh, whispering into his ear, “I know. Do what you must for me and your child and know that whatever happens, I would have not chosen any other life for us. You are my everything and all I will ever want. In any lifetime.”
Pulling himself out of the reverie ,the Kaleesh knew what had to be done. He was no longer protecting one life ,but two. And the Gods themselves be damned if he was going to allow anything to happen to them.
The navigation computer beeped at him several times, letting him know that he was about to reach his destination. Several seconds later the ship decelerated, exiting hyperspace and into the black void between the many stars of the galaxy.
Skar saw that he was the first to arrive and set about activating the stealth systems, just in case there were prying eyes nearby. As the ship slowed to a halt and the interior lighting went dim, the Kaleesh impatiently awaited for his allies arrival.
Perlemian Trade Route
Mar’s solar sailer, ‘Vigil’
A tie was a tough thing to get right – especially in awkward situations, as the Rollmaster was finding out. He tilted his head, judging his reflection. A moment passed, and then, with a slight groan, he began untying it to try again. All the joyous atmosphere had fled the chamber; Corvus hated unknowns, and now he was going to meet unknown allies to achieve unknown goals. It made him serious, and careful.
“I don’t know why you bother sometimes,” a Human voice observed from behind him. “Just tie the damn thing until it will pass scrutiny. No need to appear far more pedantic than we actually are.”
“That’s exactly the reason I need to. They’re our allies, not necessarily our friends. Feasibly, they could be anyone. Rebellious Sith, deserters, civilians. Until I know more, I will make sure I will pass anyone’s scrutiny. That, and repetitive motions help order my thoughts. Are you sure you don’t know which allies we’re meeting with?”
In the mirror, Corvus could see the slight frown on Mar’s brow, “I have a few suspicions, but nothing certain.”
“Who do you suspect?” the Aleena asked, holding the knot of the tie in one hand and tightening it with the other.
The Proconsul’s usual stone-faced expression allowed a slight smirk through, “What’s the fun of that, if it stops you squirming? Now, have you managed to look through the dossiers?”
Corvus wiggled the knot left a tad. Perfect. “I’ve had a skim through them. Interesting material. Scholars don’t usually go missing, especially the mentally stable ones. None of them are associated at all with Odan-Urr, or the Brotherhood. So, I would guess that if we find them, we’d need to decipher why they were taken, potentially ahead of actually rescuing them.”
“You could follow that line of thought, but it would only bias any of your future actions. Cross that bridge when you come to it, rather than meticulously planning.” Mar stood up and began to straighten his armour and make it presentable. “I think that if all those dossiers are linked, it implies a potentially disastrous problem.”
“You mean if the Brotherhood gathered these professors to work on something? Jedi specialists, physicists, fission experts and warfare theorists. Are you suggesting some fission-based weapon, with modified anti-Jedi add-ons, will be used to wage war on us? Worrying, but not certain. We’d need to stop it, of course.”
“We’d need to organise an elite strike-team to stop it, perhaps. Such as the one we’re meeting presently.”
The ship dropped out of hyperspace a few seconds later. Mar went to study the scanners while the Rollmaster continued scanning the provided information. If his cheeks contained the right pigments, he would have paled considerably.
“Mar, have you read the most recent keyword flags? Things are fitting nicely into a severely-worrying picture.”
“Don’t jump to conclusions, we don’t know anything for certain,” the Human muttered. “There’s a ship ahead - I’m just searching the registration through our records.”
He tapped at the screen, paused, then cursed, “Carabast, it’s Arconan. Dark Jedi. Watch yourself, my friend. They may not be the worst sithspit in the galaxy, but they’re still inclined to stab you in the back.”
“Don’t jump to conclusions,” Corvus chided, brushing invisible dust from his suit lapel with a grin. “We don’t know anything for certain.”
Mar grunted, unconvinced.
Main Hold, The Disappointing Dichotomy
Exact Location: Unknown
The Onderonian was in the process of stubbing out his cigarette and ignoring the disapproving droid when the device on his left wrist beeped.
As soon as he tapped the device, an image of Rrogon Skar Agrona’s masked visage appeared before them. “Our… allies for this mission have arrived at the rendezvous point. Where are you two?”
“We are a few minutes from arrival, dear Rrogon,” the ‘Seltron’ replied sweetly, having just pulled up the information on the console to her right. “Do try to not insult them before we arrive.”
The Kaleesh merely grunted in reply before he deactivated the call.
“Is Rrogon always so…” Maenaki gestured vaguely into the air, failing to come up with a polite description.
“Blunt? Yes. He hasn’t changed much since I met him a few years ago.” The half-Echani stretched backward in his chair, spine popping the further back he leaned.
The Aedile flitted her aqua gaze back to the device. Any time her eyes lingered on the male, Servo seemed to notice and made a tutting sound. There was nothing behind their casual flirtations, though both were fully aware of how attractive the other was. Dalevi’in mentally shook her head. Business before pleasure, she chided herself.
“We should carry out any last minute preparations for our mission now. I suspect we will have little time for such frivolous pursuits once we meet up with our allies.”
Celevon flicked his right wrist twice, which revealed then returned the hidden blade to its sheath, an almost predatory grin on his lips. “I’m fully prepared.”
As the ‘Seltron’ opened her mouth to reply, whatever she planned to say would not be heard. Crow’s mechanized voice came over the intercom at precisely that moment. “We’ve arrived at the coordinates, Mistress. Disengaging the hyperdrive now.”
The Assassin and Maenaki rose to their feet as the faint background hum of the hyperdrive generator faded.
“Mistress, there are two vessels here. They are attempted to contact us via a holoconference call. Shall I patch them through?”
Both Arconans had a similar reaction, pinching the bridges of their respective noses before the Aedile replied. “Yes. Patch them in.” Without a single moment wasted, three spectral figures appeared above the holo-communications device. Rrogon Skar Agrona was familiar to them, though the armored Human and the Aleena in a suit were new. “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Maenaki Dalevi’in, Aedile of House Qel-Droma. With me is Celevon Edraven Erinos, and I believe you have already met Rrogon Skar Agrona.”
Corvus Corax beamed at the more respectful greeting, compared to the Kaleesh, who had merely grunted and glared behind his mask. “It’s a pleasure to mee-”
“Perhaps we can save the small talk for after we carry out the mission we were assigned?” Skar growled impatiently, earning a glare from the ‘Seltron’ and an affronted look from the Odanite Rollmaster. Mar Sûl gave no visible reaction, his suspicious gaze flitting between the three Arconans.
“Though I would have phrased it a tad less rude, Rrogon isn’t wrong. We do have an assignment to carry out,” Celevon spoke up calmly, his own mercurial gaze taking in the body languages and weaponry of the members of Odan-Urr. He couldn’t help but notice the almost hostile manner of his former Gatewarden, as the Kaleesh had his arms crossed tightly across his chest and glared at everyone.
“I’ll keep things simple, in that case. My name is Corvus Corax and this is Mar Sûl, Councilors of Urr. In more plain terms, we are the Rollmaster and Proconsul of Odan-Urr, respectively.” As he spoke, Celevon took in the amiable nature of the Aleena, though his eyes strayed to the curved hilt of a lightsaber and what appeared to be a shortsword on Corvus’ hip. The shrewd look was clear in the Rollmaster’s gaze, revealing the stark intelligence of an analytical thinker.
“I would have to agree. Let us carry out our mission,” the bearded Jedi added, giving only a nod of greeting, though his eyes were no less suspicious than before. In the Human, the Onderonian felt as though he were looking at a kindred soul. From the steely, thousand yard stare to the powerful stance spoke of a warrior who had seen his fair share of battles. The half-Echani’s gaze went from the odd lightsaber hilt design he had seen once or twice before to the hilt of what appeared to be a massive sword strapped to the Councilor’s back. “Our instructions were to await further orders until we arrived here.”
“We received similar orders,” Maenaki agreed as she inserted the datapad containing the originally vague instructions into the proper port. The Proconsul could be seen doing the same.
The moment both were connected, code began streaming above their heads, rapidly decrypting itself into their objectives for this mission.
As the datapads slotted into the terminal a short sharp beep sounded as the information began to swiftly flow across the screen. At a glance, it appeared to be the necessary information for the mission, but Mar had never been handy with even the simplest of computerized technology. He cocked his head slightly and raise an inquisitive eyebrow to his companion, whom he knew to be trained in slicing; Corvus’ eyes were absolutely focused on the information before them, his pupils darting to and fro. The Proconsul’s gaze turned to the Arconans holo-images, who, like Corvus, were attempting to digest the dossiers bursting across the luminous display… everyone except the Kaleesh, who met Mar’s leer with his own. For a brief moment, he felt aggressive instincts wash over him before dissipating as fast as it appeared. Instinctively, his hand brushed the cool, smooth exterior of his lightsaber hilt. Something was amiss.
Remember the Mission , he thought to himself, they are allies, for now.
The Kaleesh emitted a curious clicking noise before breaking their eye contact, he’d likely acknowledged Mar’s distrust and the odd passing aggression but had also thought better of initiating an altercation. A stunted grey-blue finger pushed the Councillor’s face back to the screen.
“Mar, look.” the Aleena whispered, using the same finger to point back to the terminal. He’d seen the majority of the dossiers before, but each one had been populated with significantly more information. One dossier, however, he’d never seen before: it was a location, rather than any missing person, more specifically it was a space station of sorts, that appeared to be a blend of a small prison station and an experimental science facility. Accompanying the dossiers was a simple string of objectives.
“It appears that our mission is easier said than done.” Celevon remarked coolly “Breaking into the station will be hard enough, let alone capturing the scientists and their research.”
“Well, I doubt we can do this without working together.” Corvus perked up, relaying his thoughts in an odd high pitched ‘wizened’ tone, “I suggest that we figure out a plan in the way.”
The group nodded in agreement, preparing themselves to travel once more.
[REDACTED] Space Station
[REDACTED] Landing Bay
2 Hours later
The team had remained completely civil - there had been no time or space to be otherwise. Despite some obvious tensions, there were no dangerously high levels of incompatibility. It seemed that, to everyone, the highest priority was the Mission. The way that Mar’s shoulders bunched together occasionally, paired with his hand’s constant proximity to his lightsaber made that fact very… reassuring.
The team had landed on the station successfully, using a callsign and landing codes transmitted with the other intel. Beyond the location and infiltration codes, no intel had been gathered about the station; they were in the dark. Only the objectives provided gave them any direction as to proceed.
I. Sabotage Operation.
II. Secure Operation Intel.
III. Free Missing VIPs from the Brotherhood.
The awkward phrasing of the last objective was not lost on Corvus. No matter what occurred, those professors could not stay on this station. They would be ‘rescued’, potentially into Lotus custody, or they would perish.
To begin with, they needed information: a map of the station, the locations of the professors and intel on the operations executed on the station. The Aleena had confessed his reasonable slicing skills to the team, and had been tasked with finding a terminal. Once enough intel about the professors had been extracted, Dalevi’in, Erinos, Skar and Mar would go on ahead to retrieve them, while Corvus would rejoin them later. This plan was the culmination of their efforts over the last few hours, made marginally more difficult by underlying tensions held by certain members of the team.
“Mar! Stop scowling and get into position, for pete’s sake.” Corvus chided, hopping up onto the Human’s shoulder. The Aleena’s steed dutifully, and silently, took his place behind the Kaleesh leading the party. His infrared vision gave him an edge in detecting guards, potentially more, even, when using the Force as well. He led them down a corridor, padding forward to a side door.
No-one inside, the masked Kaleesh peeked in. There was a small worktop lining the walls, with a terminal fitted into the wall at the far end. Tall screens lined one wall, another plastered by hastily-scrawled notes. Skar stood almost stoically by the door as he nonchalantly ‘ushered’ the others in. The Rollmaster’s beady eyes picked out a large air-vent grille in the far corner of the room, and marked it out for potential use - vent was by far the most amusing way of travelling, in his opinion. Corvus rushed from Mar’s shoulder to the terminal, immediately bringing up a console to play around with. Dalevi’in began reading the notes, scanning the pages, hungry for information. Likewise, Erinos cast his eyes around the room, taking in the mundane Holonet headlines scrolling past on the screen, and the rudimentary science equipment almost strewn across the worktops. Behind their still features, their minds were no doubt whirring away tirelessly.
“Whoever works here, they care little for the work they do. Look how they treat their workplace, equipment thrown about, notes scrawled illegibly. They may not agree with what they’re doing - we could manipulate that,” Celevon mused aloud.
“Or they might care about the work too much, and have decided that haste and quick results are a higher priority than being careful,” Mae returned.
“Regardless, whoever works here isn’t on our list,” Corvus chirped. “I’m sending you a map of this sector with the targets’ marked workstations. That should keep you busy. I just having a bit of trouble breaking through some of the deeper firewalls to the juicy stuff. It shouldn’t take long, I’ll be along to join you shortly.”
The two Odanites shared a brief glance at each other. Corvus’ eyes warned the other to stay in line, whereas Mar’s usual hard stare had softened - only a touch - to give the slightest impression of worry for his friend.
Despite the mere moment the expression lasted on the armoured Proconsul’s face, Maenaki Dalevi’in was not fooled. She started toward the door, ready to begin the search, when she stopped, turned her head slightly, and said, “Skar, why don’t you keep guard while Corax is working. That way, he doesn’t have to focus on what’s going on around him. It should yield us… better success.” There was underlying meaning dripping from her words, but the Aleena had not the time nor concentration to spare by pondering it. As if taking heed from the Aedile’s words, he was happy to forget everything going on around him, and he focussed solely on the firewall, and either finding a backdoor, or brute-forcing a way in. The latter would alert others to their presence, but it would also damage a fair amount of their security.
Determined to break in quickly, he set his mind to breaking his way through. So much so that, for a good minute or two, he was totally unaware of the others’ departure, or even Skar testing a wickedly sharp dagger against his finger. Gradually, a small voice began to gain volume within his head. Some part of him unconsciously beat it aside, performing that last few actions necessary to begin the transfer of intelligence onto a datapad.
’Hide!’ hissed the voice in his head. ’Armoured boots approaching. Door open. Not good circumstances for combat.’
The lapse in necessary concentration, as the data transferred, was all that he needed to wrestle his mind back from whatever automatic state it had been functioning within. For a second, he controlled his breathing, bringing in his focus to a pinpoint. Some part of him recognised the telltale imprint of a mind trick, but he could not dwell on it. The marching boots foretold a considerable number of opponents. A nearby alarm sounded. Skar glared at Corvus, before wordlessly slipping out the door, away from the guards and towards the others. Looking out for himself, it would seem.
The Aleena ejected the datapad from the terminal, before looking at the ventilation grille, grinning.
“Oh, praise the need for constant airflow,” he said, using the Force to tear the grille from the wall. Jumping inside, he then smashed the grille back into the shaft, mangling it sufficiently.
Glancing at the datapad as he fled through the walls, he thought wryly to himself, ’Now, let’s find somewhere to make good use of this.’
Redacted Space Station
Rrogon sprinted down the hallways, taking care to listen for footfalls over the blaring alarms that now permeated the station. He needed to let the Inquisitorius know that their information had been acquired and was now in the hands of the rebels, but he needed a terminal to do so… and they only one he had seen was back with Corvus.
Rounding a corner, the Kaleesh ran head long into three Iron Legion troopers who leveled their weapons and immediately began to fire. Ducking down, the Sith rolled beneath the discharged plasma and charged forward. He called upon the Force to increase his speed and it responded with a burst of power that ignited through him. The Battlemaster closed the gap between the troopers in a few long strides.
Rrogon slapped aside a trooper’s blaster, quickly slamming his fist into the man’s helmet a moment later. The plasteel case cracked and the man dropped to the floor in a heap. The Sith spun around, thrusting out his hand and threw a telekinetic wave into those left standing. As one they shot towards the wall, crashing into it with a sickening thud before sliding down to the ground
Glaring at the now unmoving troopers, the Juggernaut continued his way down the many hallways and corridors until he found an open room; just like the one they had first found. Glancing inside, he found it empty with the exception of a glowing and unlocked terminal
Cups of caff stood around the small tables, many of them were still steaming, which could mean they had left in a hurry. This was fortunate and it gave Rrogon the time to do what was needed. Rushing over to the terminal, he quickly secured it so that no one could trace his message and he began typing .After a few moments he sent the message to his contact.
Skar grabbed his lightsaber and he quickly activated it. With several strong slashes that sent showers of sparks flying over the room, the Kaleesh dismantled the console. Satisfied that it was destroyed beyond repair he left the room, stopping only to pick up several data pads that lay scattered about and discarded.
Maenaki sighed softly under her breath as she watched the males all bolt in different directions. Celevon became a ghost and stalked somewhere she could not see him, Skar was rampaging down a hall and smashing things and she sensed the form of the little lizard creature as he scurried into one of the walls. Mar Sûl had gone ahead and the Seltron was left alone, standing outside of the door. The sound of battle did not ruffle her as she slowly made her own path through the winding hall. Despite the fact that combat was not her fortè, the Aedile was nowhere near helpless, she made her way towards the ruckus. She could feel the Kaleesh’s rage emanate from the right side and the Seltron turned left.
The Human Jedi stood in the hall with his lightsaber in hand. Before him, several bodies lay on the ground and further footsteps could be heard approaching. Celevon suddenly came into sight, blood dripping from his katana as he nodded towards Maenaki. In return, the Seltron gave him a sweet smile and pulled the coil of crimson from her hip, holding it in her left hand. As a small army of soldiers rounded the corner the Aedile pulled her shoto saber from its holster and ran forward. She could hear the blaster fire around her as she moved with a burst of inhuman speed, her lightsaber coming up to deflect a few wider shots as she closed the distance. Behind her, Mar and Celevon were close on her tail and taking fire of their own; and returning it in kind.
Finally, she was close enough. With a tinge of regret, Maenaki thrust her lightsaber into the chest of the nearest man, pulling it out and driving her elbow into the face of the soldier who stepped behind her. She could feel men around her drop like flies and she smiled as one blaster was leveled towards her just a moment too late. A thin point jut from his chest and the Aedile saw a shimmer of ebony hair before the Shadow was again lost from sight. But she relished the moment a fraction too long and barely had time to sidestep when a bolt of superheated plasma tore through the air towards her.
A sudden sensation ripped through the meat of her left shoulder, causing her to cry out in pain and leaving the scent of burnt flesh trailing behind her as she kept moving forward. Cutting off the agony tearing through her arm, she dropped her lightsaber and grasped her electro-whip in her right hand. She could still move the fingers of her left hand but was unsure of for how long. With a primal growl, she struck out with the carmine-colored weapon, thumbing the button on the hilt as the lash wrapped around a soldier’s calve. He collapsed to the floor, shrieking in pain as the toe of her boot met with the flesh between his legs. A sickening crunch echoed through the hall before she pulled back her weapon, uncoiling it from his smoldering limb.
Maenaki’s ever-perceptive senses took in the rest of the men, sending a silent message to Celevon as she stepped back. He immediately rushed from the fray to her side and felt the dark tendrils of her abilities trickle forward. Time seemed to slow for a moment as the Aedile raised her hand. Six men stopped in their tracks, causing their fellow soldiers pause. Her voice hissed over the groans of pain and Mar Sûl watched in disgust as the men turned their guns on their companions.
With the order given the men had no choice but to obey and be quickly dispatched by Celevon with their backs turned. Silence filled the halls and Skar came around the corner to see the Human Jedi frowning in cold, scathing judgment at the pink form laying on the floor. A bloody wound oozed from beneath her shoulder, forming a small pool beneath the exhausted woman.
Celevon silently moved through the hall, entering the last room, and retrieved the last of the datapads. He turned to face the door as Corvus crept out from the air duct in the wall.
“Mission accomplished. Get what you need from the terminal and let’s get out of here,” Celevon sighed, walking back to the hallway of bodies.
Rrogon knelt down, feeling the Aedile’s slowing pulse and lifted her up with a frown.
“Is she alright?” Corvus asked as they quickly made their way back to the ship. Skar looked down and grunted, shrugging gently as he carried the frail looking woman.
The Disappointing Dichotomy
Skar lay Maenaki in her quarters. She had not moved, but her breathing seemed steady and stable. He laid a clawed hand over her wound and focused until it sealed shut. With the bleeding stifled, the Kaleesh saw himself out and let Celevon know he was heading back to his own ship. The two men gave curt nods as the Shadow instructed the Aedile’s droids to return home.
In her room, Maenaki shifted. She sat up slowly, smiling to herself as she entered a few key phrases into her terminal.
The bed is made. Too casual for my taste, but mission accomplished. Redirection has been achieved and the covers are still holding. Further discomfort should be nullified with ease.
Maenaki’s body ached and she truly was exhausted. Not quite to the point of narcolepsy, but to where a nap would probably do some good. She walked back to her cot and wormed her way beneath the covers, breathing deeply as she grinned herself into a real and peaceful sleep.