[RoS: Escalation] Team: Procrastinators United (Harmonist)

Snapshots

The Odanites landed smoothly in the hangar of the Geta, the repulsors barely hovering over the duracrete landing platform before Jafits Skrumm killed the engines. Aura looked around at the rest of her team as they gathered their gear. Elyon de Neverse, Bexa Nalrella, and Revak Kur had also volunteered for this mission with her. As the landing gear settled onto the platform, the Zeltron’s comlink came to life.

Alpha team, are you in position?

“Yes, we are about to head to the bridge of the ship. Anything new on the situation report?”

Negative. Proceed as usual. Move quickly. Our fighters won’t hold them off forever.

“The Force is with us. Don’t worry about it,” replied Aura as she shut off her comlink. “Alright, everyone, remember we are here to take over the bridge, find the explosives, and then disable them. Let’s try not to draw their attention too much. I’d prefer as little bloodshed as possible.”

“Agreed,” said Elyon, the healer well-known for her empathetic nature.

Revak and Bexa merely nodded, the former taking point with his padawan beside him. Jafits Skrumm was already pulling up a map of the ship and relaying it to Revak, the blue holo sheen floating above his wrist moving around as the Zabrak manipulated it. Elyon and Aura took up the rear, the latter reaching out to the Force around her to sense sentries. None felt close just yet but they weren’t far behind.

“We’re clear for now. We should hurry,” she whispered to Jafits who commanded the group forward in a quick job across the hangar.

Revak peeked around the corner to spot any pirates, but saw none. Waving them forward, he led them down the hallway at a brisk pace until he sensed something incoming and immediately held up a fist to stop.

From the left corridor, two pirates headed for the main corridor, absorbed in their conversation, and stopped in the middle. “Send them down the same corridor so they won’t notice us at all,” Aura suggested silently behind him.

Revak nodded, raising his right hand and his face frowned with concentration. A few moments of concentration later, the two pirates continued on the corridor in front of them.

“That was good, Master,” whispered Bexa happily, who stood beside Elyon.

“Thank you, but we should move on,” Zabrak remarked, waving for the group to move on.

They continued through the ship silently. However, they had to change direction several times because groups of pirates blocked their path.

After each moment, Revak paused to choose the right path. At one such moment, the door opened beside the group without warning through the Force, and two surprised pirates stood there with their mouths open. Elyon and Jafits were closest to them.

PEW. PEW

Jafits turned around and stunned both of them with a quick series of shots from his trusty pistol. As their bodies crumpled to the floor, Jafits and Elyon dragged them back into the room. It was a smaller warehouse, they probably hid something there. “What are we going to do with them,” Jafits asked his companions as they all entered.

“Let’s tie them up and leave them here,” Elyon replied.

“Good, but quickly,” Revak ordered, and then he and Aura moved to the door to respond to the possible danger. With the help of the Force, Elyon put the two pirates to a deep sleep and then tied them up. “And they won’t wake up,” Bexa asked.

“They’ll wake up if you shake them hard for a minute,” Elyon replied, tying the other pirate’s hands with tape.

After solving this problem, the group continued to the bridge, but the closer they were to it, the more complicated it was to avoid the attention of pirates. When they changed direction again, Jafits noticed that they were standing a short distance from the secondary energy node.

“Wait a minute,” Jafits said, pointing to the door of the control room.

“What’s going on,” Bexa asked, who was in the back.

“We’re at the secondary energy node,” Elyon replied, realizing what the Jafits were thinking.

“It’s the perfect place to store the charge,” Aura added. “We should check it out before we move on,” she added. Revak nodded silently, and with a raised palm he moved the group again.

“I don’t see anything,” Bexa said as she walked around the secondary node.

“I’m sure it’s here,” Elyon said, examining the area around the knot in more detail.
“It’s here. They hid it so he wouldn’t just run into it,” she called from behind the boxes behind the node.

“Can you deactivate it,” Revak asked, looking at the bomb.

“It shouldn’t be a problem, because the charge has a similar mechanism to the bombs pirates used in my time,” Elyon replied, getting to work.

Before long, Elyon deactivated the bomb, making sure they wouldn’t be able to reactivate it. The rest of the team inspected the control room carefully for any charges. But this node was already clean.

“So we have one, we have to find the rest,” Aura summed up the situation as they left the room.

After leaving the control room, they got all the way to the bridge’s doors when an astrodroid shot out and upon seeing them beeped in surprise. Before it could alert the crew, Bexa stunned it with her pistol and used the Force to shove it into a nearby cabin. The team regrouped next to the bridge doors, waiting for the signal from Revak.

Aura uses sense, feeling the waves of the force, to see how many Roughriders are in the room. She draws from the presence of the Roughriders. She gets an unsettled feeling the room is full of angry people. There are 3 near the back and 4 near the front of the bridge.

Revak gives the signal for the team to go inside; Jafits opens the giant blast bridge doors.

Elyon says, “The bridge is overrun with Roughriders. What do we do now?”

Bexa tells her, “we have to think of how to retake the bridge.” She looks to Revak… “well Master, what do you suggest we do?”

He says, “we will do what we always do… we will fight to take it back!” Aura and Elyon will go to the rear. Bexa and I will go to the center. Jafits will keep watch and signal for any trouble.

Aura and Bexa pull out their lightsabers. Elyon pulls her blaster pistol out from it’s hollister.

Jafits notifies them that there are 7 Roughriders on the bridge. Aura throws blinding dust at
them. They start to shoot at the Jedi Strike-Team but three of them are blinded by the dust. Attempting to shoot at the Jedis while blinded, one of their own is accidentally hit.

Elyon attempts to use the force to push them off the edge of the bridge. Knocking two of them off.

Revak approaches one of the pirates, then attempts to use Mind Trick on him. This gives Revak enough time to knock him out and tie him up. Revak begins to ask him about the locations of the bombs. He pretends he does not know where they are, but Revak reads his mind with telepathy. He writes down the locations on a scrap of paper. The paper says bomb 1 is located on one of the squadrons. Bomb 2 is located in a cargo room. Bomb 3 is located in the medical bay. Bomb 4 is located in a passenger’s room. Bomb 5 is located in the hangar.

“I’ll go to the cargo room,” Jafits volunteered.
“Be careful,” Aura warned him as he ran to the nearest turbolift.
The turbolift took the Corellian from the bridge quickly down to the lowest level. Then he took a travelator that transported him to the middle area of the Interdictor where the cargo room was located.
As Jafits approached the cargo room, he noticed there were no soldiers guarding the entrance and the door was slightly open. He readied his trusty blaster pistol, walked carefully then sneaked past the entrance door into the cargo room.
It was a large room with a high ceiling and filled with cargo stacks all over the place. At the centre of the room was the office where Jafits headed to. There was no activity, and it was too quiet.
Too quiet. Jafits said to himself.
He almost made it to the office when he sensed something did not look right. With lightning reflexes, he jumped to his left just before a laser shot hit him.
“Intruder!” Someone shouted.
Jafits ran to the nearest cargo stack and hid behind it. A few laser shots hit the stack.
“He’s hiding behind that crate,” another yelled.
“Don’t let him get away!” The first voice shouted again.
He must be the Leader.
Jafits listened carefully as several footsteps closed in on the stack where he was hiding behind. There must be at least three pirates including the Leader. He knew he was outnumbered and surrounded, but at least he got two weapons, his lightsaber and a DL-44 blaster.
I need a diversion or a surprise attack to take them all.
And then he recalled there was duct tape in his pocket suit. He and Elyon used it to tie up the pirates they encountered in the small warehouse previously.
There must be something I can do with it.
“Surrender yourself.” The Leader shouted.
“You know you’re surrounded and outnumbered. If you surrender, we won’t kill you.”
There was a pause, before he continued, “I’m going to count to three.”
“One.”
“Two.”
“Don’t shoot!” Jafits showed up with his hands in the air. His blaster was on his right hand.
“I surrender. I’m just a cargo pilot at the wrong time and at the wrong place. I won’t tell anyone.”
“Good. Show yourself with your hands in the air, do it slowly, and no tricks or we will shoot you down!” The leader ordered arrogantly.
As Jafits got up from his hiding slowly with his hands up in the air, he noticed there were four pirates. One at his right and left, and one more pirate with the leader in the middle. Their distance was about 10 meters.
“Now throw away your weapon in front of you. Nice and easy.”
Jafits did what the Leader asked, he threw away his blaster in front of him, raised up his hands again and put them at the back of his neck.
The pirate leader was a big, tall guy, grinning at Jafits and said, “You know you shouldn’t trust a pirate, don’t you?”
Then he ordered his guards, “We don’t take any prisoner! Shoot him!”
Jafits quickly grabbed his lightsaber taped at the back of his neck and ignited it. The guards were shocked for a second, knowing that they confronted a Jedi, but then started to shoot.
As a Soresu adherent, Jafits deflected the laser shots back to the pirates easily. It happened so fast that the three guards already fell to the ground. However, he did not expect the Leader to use double blasters. The Warden could not deflect the shots back to the Leader as he fired at Jafits rapidly. He managed to parry several shots but unfortunately, he missed one. He felt a painful jolt on his left shoulder, causing him to drop his lightsaber.
The Leader paused for a moment and laughed cynically. “Now die Jedi scum!”
Before the Leader fired his dual blasters again, Jafits reached out with the Force and recalled his DL-44 blaster to his right hand then took a shot.
Moments later, a familiar voice came from Jafits’ commlink. “Jafits, do you copy?”
“I found the bomb, Revak. They placed it in the office. Please send someone here to dismantle the bomb.”
“Copy that. Good work JS.”
Bexa drew her lightsaber and led a team of soldiers to the location of the Revenant bomb. One brave soldier in particular waved the others aside and knelt next to the device. He examined it for a few seconds, slowly sliding his hand across the teardrop shaped outer shell.
“Do you know what you’re doing?” One of the soldiers asked.
“It’s an advanced proton, with an activated 20 minute timed mechanical concussion fuse. Which I have about 5 minutes to work with. Plenty of time.”

Another soldier backs away nervously, “But you DO know how to defuse it right?”

“and, done.”

Bexa looked suspicious, “That was a little too easy.”

“Yeah, they’re pirates, not ordinance experts. I’m surprised we have taken the hits we have. Get on the com with your Commanders, let them know we have the bomb secure. I’ll set it up with a more advanced fuse. This could come in handy later.

***
With the bomb now in the hands of the Harmonists and the Geta far from the risk of destruction, it was up to the remaining crew to secure the ship. Listening from the bridge, the Odanites counted off each of the main sections as security forces captured, or killed the remaining insurgents.
“Hanger, clear.”
“Port and starboard cargo, clear.”

“Engines, clear.”

Revak walked over to the com station and flipped a switch causing a loud ding to come through the speakers of the ship-wide intercom.

“Harmonists, we have retaken the Geta. Good work. But we will celebrate later. We are still in this fight. A fight we will soon be ending.”

Revak flipped off the switch and turned to his Odanites. “We’ll, we got ourselves a ship and two options. Escape the Vel, and join the fight on the ground, or take the fight to them.” He glanced at each of them.”

Aura chirped first, “We need to find out what the Vel is going on.”

Jafits agreed, “We might make it down to the planet, but we’d have a better chance if that ship wasn’t following us.”

Elyon and Bexa both said, nearly in unison, “Vel.”

Revak nodded, “Vel it is then. Let’s get moving.”

The Odanites hightailed it back to the hangar and quickly boarded their ship. Jafits ran ahead and quickly prepped the ship for takeoff. Micro-explosions could be seen outside as a real war had broken out around the Geta. The Jedi pilot looked over his armored shuttle and grimaced.

“I’m going to need all of you to buckle in. This isn’t a starfighter and I’m going to have to fly like one.”

“Do whatever you need to do to keep us alive,” replied Revak. “Aura wouldn’t let us finish our lunch before the mission anyways.”

The Zeltron rolled her eyes and buckled in. As the repulsors lifted them off the deck, she saw that everyone was strapped.

“May the Force be with us,” she said to everyone.

Jafits hovered for a moment, drew in the Force around him, and then shot out of the hangar as fast as the craft would let him. Almost immediately after hitting open space he rolled the shuttle in a corkscrew maneuver to the right, spiraling between brilliant red bolts of fury. The victory-class star destroyer was above and to his left. He just needed to get to its hangar underneath it. Yanking the yoke to the left, the shuttle barrelled left in a hard turn, the stars drawing patterns in the sky as they quickly spun. A few heartbeats later, the Odanite shot directly upward to the point that they could almost see the command tower. A heartbeat later, they dived under the star destroyers, their wing tips mere meters away from the side of the Vel.

“Wooo!” yelled Revak and Bexa, clearly enjoying the ride.

“I really don’t like flying,” said Aura as she held onto her harness.

“Reminds me of the old days during the war,” said Elyon as she was tossed around in her harness. “They never really improved the harnesses…”

Jafits wasn’t listening to the commentary but rather listened to the Force. Whether it was a hard stop, a roll, or something else, the shuttle moved around erratically under the star destroyer, like a leaf on the wind. Finally, the blue glowing hangar entrance was directly above him and the Jedi gladly flew directly into it. As the shuttle crested inside, shocked faces and pilots readying to take off jumped in place. Jafits stopped the craft in midair, grimaced and opened fire on the few remaining craft still parked on the deck. He set down on an empty spot and lowered the landing ramp.

“Sorry about that guys. Not a scratch on her though,” he said with a slight smile.

“Well done, Jafits,” said Aura as she finally got out of her harness with a little wobble.

“That was fun. Can we do it again?” asked Bexa.

“We do have more shuttles. We could call it the Shuttle Shuffle,” offered Revak.

“You can ride your shuttles when we finish this mission. Our new neighbors are coming to say hi to us,” she said.

“Well, let’s go say hi then,” said the Zabrak as he led the group down onto the hangar deck.

After shutting down the shuttle engine, Jafits tried to catch up with the team, when he noticed an unfamiliar ship parked in the hangar.

It was a shuttle. An Eta-class shuttle to be precise. An old ship from the Clone Wars era.

What is she doing here? Jafits said to himself.

He was approaching the shuttle when he sensed something was not right. A sense he felt when encountering a Force user. He reached out for his lightsaber and held it in his right hand.

Suddenly, the shuttle’s ramp opened, and someone came out. It was supposed to be a thin female Twi’lek or it looked like she was once a normal female Twi’lek but with red crystals sprouted all over her body. And some of her limbs were not in the position they should be.

What is this creature?

She grabbed her lightsaber then ignited the blade and with no hesitation, she charged.

Jafits quickly activated his lightsaber and blocked her attack. The two blades clashed, causing sparks that echoed in the quiet hangar. The Jedi pushed back his opponent, but she spun away in a red whirl, then attacked anew. Her attack was swift and brutal, and all the Sentinel could do was to block her again and again.

Jafits focused on defending himself from his opponent while waiting for her to get sloppy then he would launch his counterattack. However, she seemed tireless, and also quicker and stronger than him. If he were in his prime, he would do this all day, but he was still recovering from the wound shot on his left shoulder. Then he got this idea, it was impossible for a thin female to have a strength and speed like that, unless she was fueled by … the red crystals?

Jafits thought he knew her weakness point. So, when her opponent thrusted from above, Jafits wielded his blade horizontally to block the charge then lifted his saber upward which made her lower part exposed. He launched a powerful kick to the crystals on her left knee. Jafits was surprised by his kick effect, the Twi’lek seemed enduring terrible pain.

She tried ignoring her pain and launched another attack. But this time it was not as strong as before. The Warden channeled the Force through his hand to reach out for ship’s spare parts scattered on the hangar floor, then threw them to her back where most of the crystals sprouted there. Now she was in great pain.

Elyon stopped and gasped. The group, divided into pairs, advanced down the corridors to the bridge.

“What’s going on,” Aura turned to her, watching her.

“Pain, I feel pain … of some women,” Elyon said through clenched teeth.

Aura frowned, recognizing that she was exploring the environment with the Force. “I can feel it, too,” she agreed, concentrating on the perceptions of the Force.

“Jafits is there, too. They need help,” the healer said, turning to leave.

“Elyon,” Aura shouted at her, and Elyon turned.

“Hurry up, but be careful. There’s something wrong,” Zeltron said, nodding at her companion.

“I will, I promise,” she replied, heading back to the hangar.

Before long, Elyon arrived back in the hangar. The woman’s pain was stronger the closer Elyon was to her. Despite the torment she felt, the woman continued to fight. However, Jafits found her weak spot and attacked the other knee. Female Twi’lek dropped to her knees and a painful roar came from her throat.

Jafits stood over her, pointing the tip of his blade at her chest if she wanted to get up.
Elyon covered her ears at the moment of the scream, but it was useless because the woman screamed out in the Force.

Peacekeeper walked over to the Jafits and looked at him. “Are you okay,” she asked him.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he replied, looking at the woman.

“She’s worse. Can you help her,” he asked, looking at Elyon.

“I can put her in a healing trance so that her condition improves and at the same time so that she doesn’t get in our way again,” the girl said, waiting for his consent.

“All right, do it. And we’d better tie her hands and feet with tape,” Jafits decided, pulling the tape from his pocket.

Elyon nodded and went to work. Before long, the female Twi’lek lay unconscious and bound. Jafits then, with the help of the Force, placed her into the shuttle and locked her there.

“It’s time to catch them up,” Elyon said, heading away from the hangar.

“She should give our researchers a lot to study.” Revak said while nodding. “If there is one though, there must be more. Be ready.”

The Jedi task force pushed on through the Ascendant drones, whose numbers grew increasingly dense as they made their way through the ship. Each one seemingly harder than the last. Vile creatures as creatures go. Making the most inhuman grown as they lumbered through the battleship, even worse when they were cut down in a flurry of plasma blades. Ravenous and aggressive, they’d lunge at the Jedi, taking swipes with their claws or making frantic slashes with their blades. The occasional blaster bolt would need to be deflected as the more advanced amongst them retained their fine motor functions. That was until they got to the bridge.

Aura activated her com, “Insertion complete. D is making our way to the bridge. Harmonist forces, clear out the rest of the Ascendants.”

The Jedi continued on. Once at the bridge the waves of drones decreased to almost nothing.

“I have a bad feeling about this.” Jafits, growing suspicious of the ease of their efforts, gritted his teeth as he reached out with the Force and felt a being, large and full of rage, beyond the durasteel doors that separated them from the bridge.

Bexa walked towards the doors and could sense the same. She looked back at her team. “This is it. There is something large beyond these doors. Everyone get ready.”

The doors opened with a woosh. Standing at the helm was a largely built Ascendant soldier. Not like the drones they’ve previously encountered, this one was much stockier. It donned heavy armor and carried two heavy repeating rifles in each hand. It turned to them. Slowly.

Revak eyed the creature, “Ah fuck.”

It moaned loudly and raised it’s guns. Reacting quickly, Aura threw up a barrier just in time to catch the barrage of blaster bolts that showered them. It felt like an eternity, but Aura remained focused on maintaining her barrier.

Then the firing stopped.

Jafits and Revak broke off from behind the barrier and charged at the creature. In unison, they lunged. Both their purple blades struck the Ascendent multiple times, each hanging no effect. The creature seemed unphased. It raised one of its massive arms and struck Revak, sending him tumbling a few meters. Jafits continued his assault.
Taking hold of Revak with the Force, Elyon raised him to his feet. Aura, who began her charge, leapt over the Ascendant. Letting the Force guide her movements, she struck at any vulnerable spot she could. Again. No effect.
The creature began to flail wildly, almost striking Jafits as it did Revak, but instead he lept backwards, regained his balance and struck at an unprotected area beneath its arm. It screamed and violently thrashed. The blow was a critical one and the arm and the rifle it grasped fell to the floor.
“Aura,” Jafits yelled, “Under the arm!”
With an upward arc, Aura severed the other arm.
The Ascendant screamed wildly as its thick black blood pumped out of its body. Making one final lunge, Jefits thrust his lightsaber horizontally through the open wound. Another blood curdling scream became a gargle. The creature dropped to it’s knees then fell dead to the floor.
Jafits retrieved his lightsaber. “Hope there aren’t more of these around.”
Aura looked at the black ooze that had sprayed onto her robes. “We’ll, at least we know how to kill them.” She reached for her com again, “VSD Vel is secured. I repeat, VSD Vel is secured.”
Harmonist troopers began pouring in and taking positions at the various terminals.
Elyon looked around, “Our job here is done. Let’s get back to the shuttle.”

The Vel is back in control. Headed back towards the ship. It was foggy out so we had a harder time finding our way back to the ship. The Jedi task force managed to find their way back to the ship without anyone complaining… too much.

Revak said “ Good job team! Another mission completed without anyone dying or getting injured.” He looked around to make sure nothing followed them back to the ship.

Aura laughed, then said “ I would say that’s a good day then…”

Everyone headed inside the ship. Elyon was the first to plop down. She said, with a sigh “ I’m glad that’s over.”

Jafits says let’s lock that creature up in a cage… it scares me.

The Jedi task force takes the creature to the cage and locks it inside. They want to study this thing, you say?

Aura says “I don’t know yet but I plan to ask them a lot of questions.”

Elyon says, “What questions are you going to ask?”

Aura says… “I have a few in mind.”

Aura makes a list of questions she would ask.

First… What experiments are you going to do?

Second… Where would we put them?

Third… What kind of creature is it?

Fourth… Why do they want this thing in the first place?

The creature seems to be medium size, furry, short legs, but no one is sure of the species. We found it on the planet.

Revak says “to start the ship so we can get out of here. We’ve been on this planet long enough. It’s time to go.”

Elyon starts the engine to the ship and gets ready for take off.