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Isa Sal

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About Isa Sal

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  1. A Glance Into Darkness

    Isa’s HUD alerted her to the other Mando’s scan, and she tilted her helmet at him pointedly, shifting her grip on her pistol to allow her to flash him a rather… pointed gesture that needed no interpretation. She had little doubt he’d know why. Either way, it didn’t exactly inspire a lot of faith from her, in that he scanning them while keeping his own loadouts secret. The jetii’s answer was both vague and interesting at once, earning a lifted brow from Isa within the confines of her helmet. This was not shaping up the way she had anticipated in the slightest. Isa tilted her head slightly at the title of Mand’alor, but otherwise left the question unanswered. Isa did, in fact, follow her orders. But she was still wary from both the civil war, and the fact that this new peace treaty between Mandos, Jedi, and Sith was still untested. She'd rather not tip her hand until it actually came down to it. The other Mando’ad answered Isa's question in a more straightforward fashion, though Isa would have preferred something slightly less poetic and a bit more direct. Still, it was better than nothing, and it sounded at least slightly plausible. But she seemed to have landed in the middle of an alliance where the other two members were determined to answer in vague sayings and old Mandalorian phrases. Te Manda save her… The jetii suggested they move on, indicating the unconscious soldier on the ground. Isa looked at the one at her feet who would wake up, offering a slight nod of agreement. No use having to dose the poor chakaare again. By the time she looked up, the jetii was already heading off. Isa looked over at the other Mandalorian, offering a slight shrug of her shoulders before holstering both pistols and setting off after the jetii as the togruta wound her way through a barely used path. Her fellow Mando shimmered out of sight once more, earning a slight shake of the head from Isa. Surely he couldn’t be so dense as to not realise how useless that was when traveling with a group? If they were spotted, so was he. Especially if any patrols had the sense to run a detailed scan after seeing a jetii and a heavily armed Mando. Which, on a planet like this, Isa guessed they would. Not to mention even the best cloaking tech still flickered. Isa listened closely to the jetii’s words as they walked, well aware that even the slightest change in wording could tell a lot about a person. Especially one that hadn’t proven trustworthy yet. So far, the jetii was consistent at least, explaining the truce between Republic and Sith, and earning a small smile from Isa at the rambling way she told it, lecture included. The comment about food earned a huff of laughter from Isa, who pulled a ration bar from her belt and tossed it to the jetii. She could only hope it didn't smack into the other Mandalorian, as she didn't bother to check to see if he was in its path. If he wanted to play with his fancy tech, he could deal with the risks. “Nothing fancy, or overly tasty, but should tide you over,” she said drily, trusting the jetii to catch it. She didn’t wait to see if the togruta would, instead turning her attention to the other Mandalorian as he spoke. Her own sensors had picked up hints of movement and lifesigns ahead - nothing fancy, but it wasn’t hard to make a guess. Once again, she made her irritation clear, her turn to face where his voice emanated from slow and exaggerated. “No, really? A patrol, in the middle of a Republic prison zone? Shocking, truly,” she shook her head slightly, turning her attention back away from the man. She let out a soft laugh at his request. “Not until you introduce yourself, vod,” the word was heavily weighted, a point being made in its use. It wasn’t easy to trust these days, and even though a basic link between suits was normal, Isa had no intention of running any risks. She’d already almost gotten a shiv in the back by one of her own. She didn’t intend to make it any easier.
  2. AFK this weekend, but will be tackling posts ASAP :)

  3. A Glance Into Darkness

    Another trooper made an appearance, earning a string of curses from Isa as she trained both blasters on him. Her jammer was shutting off, meaning all he had to do was call for backup- But the problem was suddenly taken out of her hands as nothing less than a jetii made an appearance. A series of movements, followed by the jetii wrapping the man in a section of fencing and approaching. The soldier was unconscious a moment later and Isa closed her eyes for a brief moment, bitterly reminded of the man who lay dead at her own feet. His companion was still unconscious a few feet away, but one life spared didn’t make the one lost weigh any less. But her attention snapped back to the jetii as Isa pushed the thoughts aside, keeping both pistols trained on the woman before her. This day kept getting weirder and weirder... It was the first good look Isa had gotten, and her chest tightened as she found herself looking into the eyes of a Togruta woman, the jetii flashing a smile despite the cut on her forehead that seeped blood. Isa’s breath caught, and for a moment she saw Sovrii before her, her adoptive mother grinning at some joke between the two of them. But she blinked and before her was only a jetii she didn’t know. A togruta, yes. But not the buir Isa had lost so long ago. The woman was speaking, but Isa caught only the end of it, her surprise having caused most of the words to pass her by. She scrambled to recover, picking up the jetii’s meaning from context of what she had heard, and Isa’s eyebrows lifted in surprise. That was… not what she had been expecting, she had to admit. Isa’s HUD flashed red, alerting her to a sound close to the wall. Usually too faint for her system to notice, now it was flagged due to the combat and heightened sensitivity mode of her HUD. Isa shifted her weight instantly, allowing her a clear line of fire at the newest potential threat should she need it. Another figure shuddered into sight, exactly where Isa’s HUD had picked up the faint sound. Clearly male, with a blaster shouldered and pointed casually in the direction of the jetii. He was about her height, though bulkier than her, and clad in black beskar with a gold stripe for adornment. Mando, then, and Clan Kyrdol judging by his kit and the fact he could drop in from shabla nowhere. They were known for both, and while Isa might have found that comforting in the past, today she certainly didn’t. “Lovely, a spook. Just what this day needed. Shab, why does everyone keep just dropping in? ” Isa said by way of greeting, sarcasm practically dripping from her voice. Her vocoder lent her voice a metallic tone, though she knew the newcomer would likely be used to it from being around other Mandos. She pointed her regular blaster at the newcomer, the motion casual, but pointed. She kept the slugthrower trained on the jetii, though she was less concerned seeing as the woman was dressing the wound on her head. Not exactly a highly threatening move. There was a time when being a Mando would have been enough for Isa to trust the newcomer, especially a part of a clan Isa recognised. But the bruises around her throat and under her beskar had come from a man she’d known and trusted since she was an adiik, no more than six years old. She had enough intel to know her buir had been betrayed by someone just as trusted, another of the vode. So she wasn’t in the most friendly of moods at the moment, and the fact he’d approached without her noticing made her all the more wary. She had put in no call for backup, no signal to the rest of her clan, unsure how many of them might have been snared in a similar trap to her buir. It wasn’t entirely unlikely that her buir’s own distress call had been not only to her, but to someone in clan Kyrdol, as he had some contacts there. But she had no way of knowing for sure, and she didn’t much feel like getting a shiv in the back. “What will it be next? A dar’jetii, burrowing up through the ground to join us? Because if so I’d like some warning so I can point a weapon at them, too. And my hands are a bit full with you two at the moment.” She rose to her feet slowly, keeping her pistols pointed at each of the newcomers, though her motions were relaxed enough. No sense in anyone getting jumpy and bringing the whole shabla Republic down on their heads. “You’re here to rescue Imps,” Isa said, indicating the jetii with her slugthrower and tilting her helmeted head slightly. She didn’t particularly like jetii, but she also couldn’t say she wasn’t curious. “Not exactly what I pictured a jetii coming to Kaas for, but fair enough. And you,” Isa motioned to the Mando’ad with her other pistol, tilting her head at him questioningly, her voice dry as she spoke. “Just out for a nice stroll in the deadly and dangerous osik-hole that is Dromund Kaas, or do you have something particular you’re here for?”
  4. Payback

    Isa snagged the piece of flimsi with two fingers, allowing her HUD to take in the coordinates before she nodded and handed it back to the dar’jetii. She began turning the ship towards the coordinates, her movements slowing as the dar’jetii began his own tale. His removal of his cowl took her by surprise, and her eyes skimmed over his tattooed skin. Not so different from her own. That assessment was further confirmed as he began to speak of the meaning behind some of the markings, and she could almost feel her own tattoos burning, a reminder of her own losses and memorials - beyond and including both of her mothers. Stories and traditions, etched upon the skin, to be held close, carried with her, never forgotten. It was sobering, and she stilled. She did not interrupt his explanation, or the the stories he wove with his words. Instead she simply listened. Anger flared up in her as he described the deaths of his family, the son shot in the back as he tried to flee. Worse, because it had been her own people. Meant to be honourable, but falling short by immeasurable leagues. She heard his story about his daughter, the loss echoing in his words, and she could only imagine the grief he had carried. Still carried. As his words ceased, Isa sat in silence, allowing them to echo around her, the glimpses into a deeper story far more than she had expected. Yet another reminder that her own judgements were often too quick. She still did not agree with him - still could not see the honour in his actions. But then again, she did not always see it in her own. Finally she looked up, helmeted gaze meeting his. Her words were slow, but sincere when she did speak. “My people have failed, dar’jetii,” Isa said finally, and there was something else in her tone this time. A sorrow, an anger, that was not directed at him, and went far deeper than only the past few minutes of the conversation. “More times than even you know,” she shook her head, and silence fell between them for a long moment. Finally, she sighed, reaching up and freeing the clasp of her helmet, slipping the patterned piece from her head and allowing it to rest in her lap. Its removal revealed tired features, bruises marring her skin beneath her freckles. Her lip was split, and a gash along her forehead had only just begun healing. The edges of bruises still marred her neck, peeking above the collar of her suit. All a result of her path to get to the newly formed group of allies - stories, but not always good ones. Old scars caught the faint light of the console. She was young, yes, but her life had not been easy either. She met the dar’jetii’s eyes, her own holding both sorrow and determination. “It likely means little enough now, especially since I do not know who took your family. But because of them, on behalf of my own…” she shook her head, and anger was sparking in her eyes again. “Ni ceta. I am sorry.” The translation fell short, in truth. It was not a simple apology, but the rarest of them offered within the Mandalorian language. Its literal translation was “I kneel”. But there was no other to offer, none that could touch the loss he’d suffered at the hands of her people. He might not know the meaning, but she did. And it was all she could offer. That and the memory, the story he had told her that she would keep, and remember. So that, if possible to prevent, it might not happen again. She removed her glove from her left hand, holding her hand to the light so it caught the runes along her fingers. Most were personal, and she did not explain them, but she did mark those along the outside of her smallest finger. “For the nameless. Those we wronged, forgotten in war, grieved in silence, whose names we do not know. They are our judges,” she said the words softly. Once again, not a perfect translation, but the best she could offer. She looked up, meeting his gaze and offering a faint smile. “I don’t agree with you, dar’jetii. But I do not know that I have to,” it was the best she could offer for now, as the rest was far too complicated to be resolved so simply. “I appreciate what you did. The how…” she sighed and shook her head. “I don’t think that one will be as simple for me to come to terms with. But vor’e anyway. I am glad not to be leaving most of my blood scattered around the inside of this osik'la ship.” She sighed, pulling her glove back on, her tattooed skin hidden from sight once more. She settled her helmet back over her head as well, her suit sealing with a quiet hiss as she turned her attention back to the console. “Let’s get this shabla piece of junk handed over to whoever wants this cargo. Hopefully before we get attacked again. I'm tired of getting stabbed and shot at."
  5. Payback

    Isa hissed slightly through her teeth at his explanation, but the sound didn’t escape the confines of her helmet. Instead she simply boarded the ship, weaving her way to the bridge with ease enough. She settled into the pilot’s seat, going over the pre-flight check quickly, but carefully. This was not a ship that she had first-hand knowledge of, and judging from the exterior, she wasn’t about to put any faith in previous pilots or maintenance. “What a piece of osik,” she muttered, patting the controls almost affectionately as she finished the checks. Nothing had come up, but that didn’t reassure her overly much. The dar’jetii stood in the doorway, leaning against the frame, and Isa was all too aware of his presence. She knew what he had done had kept her on her feet. The injuries would have been a nightmare to deal with and fly, not to mention recovery time. But it made her skin crawl. Isa bit the inside of her cheek to keep from continuing the earlier debate, knowing it was a futile one. She focused on bringing the ship up, switching off the comm when it squealed for attention. She had no intention of asking for clearance to take off. Thankfully, nobody seemed willing to try to stop her. Probably plenty of illicit landings and takeoffs - one more wasn’t going to draw too much undue notice. Finally she heaved a sigh, shaking her head sharply. The ship was at a cruising level now, needing less direct control, and so Isa turned, tilting her helmeted head at the dar’jetii. “Two things,” she said, holding up two gloved fingers. “First, where in haran am I taking this shabla thing? Second…” she hesitated, then sighed again and shook her head. She reached up, tapping the painted designs on her helmet pointedly. “These are a memorial. For my adoptive buir, Sovrii Sal, killed by dar’jetii,” she then tapped her shoulderplate, orange paint scarred by a lightsaber. “Hers as well.” She then tapped the actual shoulder guard above the scarred plate, this one a muted green, scratched and battered, clearly a different set from either the orange of Sovrii’s, or the blue of Isa’s. “This belonged to my buir, my birth mother, Caitir Sal. Killed by a jetii.” She was silent a moment, allowing the words to sink in. “Your weapons, your armour, as you call the Force…” she shook her head. “Verd ori’shya beskar’gam. A warrior is more than their armour. There is always the choice for honour, or expediency. For us, honour is always meant to win out. You are not playing with pistols or even with beskar. Those can be countered, even by the least trained di’kut if they're lucky enough. Yours is…” But words failed her, and she shook her head, letting a slighlty bitter laugh escape. She turned then, her attention focused on the instruments as she tried to quell the shaking in her hands. She had not intended to tell this aruetii even as little of her story as she had. That was not for him, it was hers and hers alone. But she had no other way to try to explain exactly where she was coming from. Why it mattered, she didn’t know, except perhaps that she felt like she owed him that much. For his intervention, yes, but also for the fact that they had fought alongside one another. That was at least worth an explanation, barebones as it was.
  6. Payback

    Whatever she’d been expecting to find when she entered the hangar, it was not a concerned dar’jetii who asked after her injuries and offered his shoulder for her to lean on. The concern on his face was real, and it put Isa more off-balance than the actual injuries. She leaned against him, her own breaths coming in gasps, her steps dragging. This was not going to be a smooth ride, but she was eager to get it over with before she lost more blood. "What happened? How bad is it?" “Shabla chakaar was well trained,” she explained, her voice clipped with pain. She didn’t answer the second question, not quite sure of the answer. And definitely not sure if she wanted to know. Any further answer was suddenly unnecessary as two thugs charged them, bursting through a nearby door. Isa let out a series of curses, reaching for her pistol, but knowing it would do little good with the way her hands were starting to shake. Shab. It was worse than she’d hoped, then. In the end it didn’t matter. The only thing left of the first thug was a smear on the side of the ship, and the dar’jetii stepped aside to deal with the second, releasing her and leaving her to stand on her own. She’d be no good at the moment, more of a hindrance and a handicap than a help, and so she stepped back, gritting her teeth at being out of the fight, but well trained enough to know when to step back. In the end, what she saw made her blood run cold. The second man fought well, at least for being a thug running into a room armed with just a stun baton. But in the end it made little difference, and he seemed to realise it only too late. It took her a moment to realise what was happening, the wound in her side stitching closed even as blood seeped through the man’s shirt, in the exact same place as her own wounds. It took her HUD’s confirmation to finally realise what was happening, and horror came alongside it. Isa took a step forward, intent on stopping the dar’jetii, somehow. This felt wrong, in every way. But then the man dropped and Verrin’s fist slammed into his head. Isa slowed, a breath hissing between her teeth, protest dying on her lips. She shouldered past the dar’jetii, kneeling slowly next to the downed man and checking his pulse, looking for any sign of life. There was none. Isa used two gloved fingers to close the man’s eyes, letting out a breath as she did so. She could see the wounds, so recently her own, now carved into his side instead. Blood pooled around the injuries, but that was all. There was no heartbeat left, no rise and fall of breath. “May your ancestors accept you into their own,” she murmured. “And may your story join theirs.” Aruetii didn’t remember the dead the same way Mandos did. There was no saying of names to always remember, no armour pieces worn by family to keep vode close. The traditions were different, and so she offered what she could, when she could. Death didn’t bother her - she’d seen enough of it, caused enough of it. But this had been more than just that. A trade, her life for his, done with no chance for him to fight back. He’d been like a doll in the hands of fate, no choice and no opportunity to decide his own. It had not been a fight - it had been a slaughter. And that bothered her. She rose slowly to her feet, ignoring the Sith’s questions for a moment. When she spoke, her voice was soft - dangerously so. “Never again, dar’jetii,” she looked up, her visored gaze meeting his. She made no effort to disguise the anger that roiled through her, or the disgust. “Don’t ever do that again while I am here, do you understand?” She wasn’t so foolish to think she could stop him, but she wasn’t just going to simply stand by either. She was not a Sith, nor a Jedi. She didn't have the power to wield over life and death, and events that spanned the entire galaxy. She couldn’t match him, not with power or prowess. She had tricks to level the playing field even slightly, but that was not the same. She was not his match, and she held no illusions about it. But she would live and die by her honour, and this had been anything but. She took a slow breath, shaking her head slightly. “We live and die by our honour, dar’jetii,” she said finally, her words softer this time. An explanation to follow the outburst. He was not a Mando - chances were he didn't even know. She owed that much, at least. “This had none.” She turned on her heel, fingers brushing the frayed cloth where her injuries had been not too long before, unease in her chest. She couldn't help wondering - replacing the horror-struck man with an image of her adoptive mother, Sovrii. Had she faced the same realisation, the moment of horror, knowing what was about to happen, but unable to stop it? Had she seen her death in the eyes of the Sith who had killed her? Isa shook her head sharply, pushing the thoughts aside once more. “There’s more coming, no doubt. Let’s go, before this osik-show gets worse.”
  7. Trying to catch up on posts now that the move back to US is done. Tala next xD

  8. Payback

    Isa was kneeling next to one of the droids, trying to figure out if she could rig her armour’s systems into a makeshift command terminal using her HUD when the Sith’s outburst came. His gauntleted fist slammed into the wall, causing her to spin, eyes already on him in her HUD even as one hand dropped instinctively to the pistol at her thigh - the slugthrower. "It'd be easiest to take over the authority offices, kill everyone present, switch off cams, program droids from there, and simply walk away. But that's so fracking messy... media will be all over the place covering the mass murder in the hangar, the Sith will be blamed because well... we're Sith... and... and... BAH!" She felt herself still at the words that poured out of his mouth, no doubt fueled by frustration. But the emotion didn’t stop the ice that flooded through her at the words, or the fact that she knew he would do it if it was easier. Simpler. Never mind the lives involved, the people in the way. He was a dar’jetii. It shouldn't have been a surprise. But it was a sharp reminder, brushing aside the comraderie they had shared, even if only for a short time. They were not friends, and they were not likely to become ones. Their versions of honour were too different, and the importance placed upon that definition too dissimilar. It steered her life and every choice. Not so for a Sith. It was her own fault. After he’d not protested about her drugging of the guards, or her non-lethal solution to gather intel, she’d mentally assigned him a morality without even realising it. But those had been expedient solutions - if they had been more difficult, or a faster way - a less honourable way - had been offered, he might not have been so forgiving of the choice. He was not a Mando, was not driven by a code of honour. He was a Sith. Three cameras suddenly flew from the walls, disconnected, and Isa lifted one brow, watching them disappear into the shadows on the other side of the hangar. Well. It seemed he’d decided on a course of action then. She ignored the unease that had returned to settle in her chest, setting it aside for later. Instead she simply rose slowly, nodding at his instruction. She started for the door, hesitating only briefly at the entrance. But she shook her head. Now was not the time to say her piece. That could come after all this. She ducked out of the hangar, leaving the dar’jetii loading the ship as she turned her attention to the task at hand instead of focusing on the fact he could lift a series of remarkably heavy crates using nothing but his mind. That was too disconcerting, especially when paired with the reminder of the lives so easily lost to the cause of the Sith. Isa made her way towards the authorities’ offices, careful to pay close attention to her HUD’s scanners. Someone would be coming. It was only a matter of when and what to do about it. She heard the footsteps before she saw him, footsteps echoing in the corridor. The zabrak was running down the halls of the docking port, a blade glinting in his hand, already drawn. Isa stepped back into the shadows, grateful once more for the advantage her HUD gave her. As the zabrak neared, Isa stepped out, armoured fist striking the man’s throat and sending him stumbling back, retching. She was about to fire one of her darts at him to end the fight before it had a chance to start when he charged, taking her by surprise. Osik! She should have known better. Played it cautious, especially with the tiredness that had been at her heels all night. But she’d brushed it aside, and her reflexes weren’t fast enough to react in time. Not now. He struck her with the full force of his motion, knocking her off balance, her stumble turned into a fast spin to recover, years of training taking the place of thought. Metal glinted and Isa ducked, suddenly glad for those beings who didn’t seem to believe in long-range weaponry and stuck instead to more traditional methods. Like knives. This chakaar seemed to be one of that variety, meaning she wasn’t at such a disadvantage. Still, she had no time to grab one of her pistols - she’d never clear the holster before she got a knife in the throat, and for now her attention was on keeping him at bay, using her armoured gauntlets to deflect blows even as she fought back. She didn’t dare reach for a weapon, instead using her armour and whatever opportunities the situation brought to bear to lash out, using her knowledge of Mandalorian martial arts to at least keep the fight balanced. He was well trained and fresh, keeping her on her toes as she fought to gain the upper hand. She caught his hand and slammed her helmeted head forward, the metal slamming into the crown of horns that decorated his skull with a squeal. He took the moment to slam his own weight forward, catching her leg with his boot and twisting so she lost her balance, slamming down to the ground and taking him with her. Isa rolled, trying to dislodge her attacker even as she felt metal striking metal and heard the distinct shriek of a blade against her armour, searching for a gap. Her luck finally ran out and she felt the tip of the knife slip past the edge of one of the plates, a sharp line of fire slicing through her side, followed by the white-hot pain of a stab wound. She cried out, the sound locked inside the confines of her helmet as she drove her armoured fist up. The blow met flesh, buying her a few seconds as her attacker stumbled back two steps, coughing. Isa’s HUD flashed a series of warnings, confirming what the two distinct pains in her side were telling her. He’d found one of the gaps in her armour and had done a decent amount of damage, enough to leave her gasping as she scrambled to her feet, gloved fingers feeling her side to find the extent of the injuries her HUD warned her were present and causing her vital signs to fluctuate. Two wounds, one a slashed cut and the other definitely a stab, judging from the pain. She knew her suit would be slick with blood around the injuries, her armour splashed red. But then her time was up and the man was charging at her again, horned head lowered, knife glinting in his hand. She could see her blood still on the blade and she spun, ignoring the pain it caused her side. He struck her at an angle and she latched on to his arm, holding the blade away from her and simultaneously wrenching them both sideways. Her injury affected her balance and the fall slammed them both to the ground hard, his arm still locked in her grip, the blade hovering between them as he pushed for her throat and she scrabbled with her other hand for her pistol. She reached it just as her arm gave way and she jerked her head to the side even as she fired her pistol up. The knife slammed into the duracrete floor where her throat would have been a moment before, the edge drawing a thin line of fire down the side of her neck even as the zabrak’s body slumped on top of her, two blaster rounds smoking in his chest. It took her a moment to regain her breath enough to heave the dead zabrak aside, letting the body drop to the floor without ceremony even as she hauled herself slowly back to her feet. One hand lifted to check her neck, but the injury was minor, her throat protected by her armour’s suit. The other wounds were more problematic. "Osik'la chakaar, shabuir..." the insults were more gasped than said, but they gave her a focus as she began limping back towards the hangar, ignoring the pain that laced through her at every step. Even her bruised from the earlier altercation felt worse, and her HUD was flashing with numerous warnings. Shab, shab, shab. She stumbled back into the hangar, her steps a struggle even as she looked around for the dar’jetii. They needed to get out of here, sooner rather than later. While she could still fly the shabla ship.
  9. Payback

    Isa couldn’t help the smile that pulled at the corners of her mouth at the dar'jetii’s statement. She tapped the side of her helmet in agreement to his reference to comms - her own systems had the same embedded, along with a secure channel, should she need it. “Mandos work with embedded comms, but also body language. We grow up and train surrounded by people in armour - you learn to read the people around you rather well. Never realise how much you rely on it until you’re with someone who had entirely different training. Next time we make sure we can communicate,” she said wryly. “Though a bell is at least shiny.” She was surprised at the lack of protest from the Sith as she dosed each of the guards - she had expected an argument, especially after the fight they’d just gone through. But he seemed content to allow her drug to do its work, and she couldn’t complain there. The door was apparently no issue for him, anyways. Isa felt her eyebrows lift as the locks suddenly released, allowing them to enter following a gesture from the Sith. Not exactly inspiring insofar as her faith in digital locks went. Those on her ship were more complex, but she still made a mental note to see what she could do to beef up the security on it. Especially with so many jetii and dar’jetii around these days… They entered into a storeroom, and Isa sighed as she took in the crates stacked around them. Of course. They would have the luck of an efficient crew that had already offloaded the ship. Nothing was ever a stroke of genius luck, was it? There always seemed to be some sort of manual labour involved. “Any ideas?” Darth Verrin asked, earning a small huff of laughter from Isa. “Aside from the obvious?” she asked dryly. She moved further into the storeroom, running one gloved hand along the crates, allowing the sensors embedded in the cloth to scan each one. Unfortunately, she received only the most general of information, earning another sigh. “Anything specific we’re looking for here?” she asked slowly, nodding to the crates. “If we’re going to have to do this manually, I’d like to make sure we get the right things, not some poor shabuir’s new pet gizka.” She was shaking her head as she said it though. Too slow. Trying to load all of this was going to be too shabla slow, and the fight in the halls wasn’t going to go unnoticed forever. Isa crossed to the other end of the storeroom, ducking through the door to the hangar beyond. Surely there was something here to speed things up. It wasn’t unlikely that some of the droids used to offload the ship might still be around, and if they could task at least a few of them with reloading the ship, combined with only grabbing specific items, they might be able to grab what they needed in time. “See if you can find any of the droids that we can use to load this thing,” Isa said finally, nodding to the ship. “If we can’t find specifically what we need, I can try to get in touch with docking bay authorities. A bribe might go a longer way than we expect. I’d rather not have to though - that kind of thing is memorable, and only offers as much loyalty as you have credits. It’s information waiting to be sold to a higher bidder.” She had no doubt the Sith was well aware of everything she’d just said, but at this point she was thinking out loud more than anything. Shab, buir. One of these days I’ll learn to plan like you, she thought wryly, shaking her head. She’d never been much of one for detailed plans, usually flying by intuition and sheer luck. Her father was the planner. In cases like these, she wished she had inherited that particular trait...
  10. Bit delayed on everything - dealing with the scramble of graduating from Master's, etc., so I may be a bit slow for responses x.x Sorry!

  11. A Glance Into Darkness

    Isa sighed, shaking her head as she dropped from her small outlook. No matter how she came at this, she always reached the same conclusion. There wasn’t going to be a simple, clean way in. There was going to be a risk factor to this whole thing that she didn’t particularly like, but she was simply out of time. She approached one of the walls of the former city, doing a quick scan with her HUD as she crouched beside it. There were no immediate entry points, but she wasn’t concerned about that. Gates were only one way in, and she had another. Her HUD showed two guards on the other side of the wall. Decent odds, and likely the best she would get. The rubble had left the area a maze, meaning there were few clean lines of sight from post to post. Luckily, this was not one of those, meaning those on the other side were relatively isolated. Isa blinked twice, activating a system in her suit. A simple comm jam. Nothing overly fancy, as it would simply look like a bit of interference. Not uncommon with the storms on the planet. It meant she’d have a limited amount of time, but she hoped she wouldn’t need more. Way to have an osik plan, Isa, she thought wryly, a small smile pulling at her lips. She shook her head wryly, looking up to judge the height of the wall. “Oya,” she murmured inside her helmet. Waiting around wasn’t going to make this more plausible. Isa launched herself up and over the wall, her jetpack giving her the height needed to allow her to drop to the other side. Her scans had been correct, and the two guards whirled to face her as she landed, each already pulling pistols. Isa managed to slam her gauntleted left hand into the throat of the closest one, staggering him and buying time even as she fired a dart from her left gauntlet towards the second guard. But she had miscalculated with the first guard, his recovery far quicker than she had expected. A weight slammed into her side even as the second guard fell, unconscious before he struck the ground. Isa crashed into the wall, the guard’s armoured shoulder pinning her there with surprising ease. She cursed, fighting to twist free even as her already bruised shoulder screamed in protest at the sudden mistreatment. This was not the plan. The guard was good, she had to grant him that. He kept her pinned with his bodyweight, her own position twisted enough that she didn’t have a clear shot at him with either of her pistols. She needed to turn for that, and his superior height and weight made that a near impossibility. She heard the hiss of a knife unsheathed, likely with his free hand. Thank te manda she had gone with full armour for this instead of a lighter half set. As it was he had no good places to try to stab her, meaning she had at least a little time. Fingers scrabbled for her helmet, hooking beneath the rim and trying to jerk it off her head. Smart. Fortunately for her, the chakaar didn’t seem to realise it was sealed with a catch. Unless he managed to release that, her helmet would be staying firmly in place. She slammed her head to the side in retaliation, and the crunch of metal meeting bone and cartilage was grimly satisfying. He cursed, blood spattering the shoulder plate of her armour from his now broken nose as he tried to stab through armour. He was rewarded with the scrape of metal on metal, but the gaps in her armour were hard to hit in a struggle like this, her weight braced against his limiting his movement if he wanted to keep her pinned. They were at an impasse for a few moments, and Isa let loose a string of curses inside her helmet, well aware that she was running out of time. The jammer wouldn’t last much longer, and all he’d have to do was call for backup and she’d be finished. He managed to get a grip on the rim of her helmet once more, but this time he shoved forward, slamming her helmet into the wall and taking off a decent stripe of paint. Her head slammed against the inside of her helmet, hard enough to make her dizzy. Isa tasted blood in her mouth, suddenly grateful for the padding inside her helmet, otherwise that would have hurt a lot more. She dropped the pistol in her left hand to free her grip, slamming upwards against his wrist and trying to break the hold. His grip broke and she shifted her weight to the side, forcing him to adjust his footing or fall. He tried to adjust, but the motion rocked him back ever so slightly, changing the balance of power. She twisted, and realising his mistake he swung, knife blade flashing in the dim light. But he’d been watching her right side, as most attacks would come from that way and her left hand was empty. But Isa drove her left wrist forward instead, bending her hand back even as she slammed up towards his ribs, between the gaps of his armour. The blade hidden in her gauntlet slid out, meeting flesh and cutting through effortlessly. Her right hand had mirrored the action with one of the many small knives housed within easy reach, this one striking home in the side of his neck - a follow-up in case the first had missed. He dropped like a puppet with its strings cut, his own blow thudding uselessly against her armoured shoulder as his momentum disappeared. Isa caught him on his way down, lowering him gently to rest against the wall and crouching beside him. His breath was coming in ragged gasps, and she could hear the wet sucking sound of it. No medical help could save him at this point, and Isa closed her eyes for a moment. Osik, it wasn’t supposed to go this way. She might hate the Republic, but she’d not come in to slaughter soldiers. Just to get her own out, as cleanly and quietly as possible. The man’s hands lifted, struggling to remove his helmet, the motions desperate. Isa didn’t hesitate, reaching forward and removing his helmet herself, gently. She found herself looking into the face of a zabrak, his eyes already losing focus. He flinched as his gaze met the visor of her helmet, and Isa reached up, removing her own helmet cautiously. He relaxed almost immediately, his gaze taking in her features. Her own weapons were within easy reach should this all be a dying ploy, but Isa didn’t think it would be necessary. She’d seen enough death to know. His hands fluttered, suddenly uncertain, and Isa took them carefully in her own. His hands gripped hers, holding on almost desperately. “Your fight’s over, verd,” Isa’s words were gentle, and he settled at the sound of them. “You fought well. Peace, verd… Peace, it's alright.” And then he was gone. His eyes glazed over and his chest stilled. From start to finish it had all taken only a few seconds, no more than a minute at most. Isa let out a slow breath, gently folding the man's hands over the hilt of his knife and placing them on his lap. She reached forward, closing his eyes with two gloved fingers. “May your ancestors accept you into their own, verd,” she said softly. “And may your stories join theirs.” A small sound behind her was her only alert and Isa spun, still crouched, her usual pistol in one hand and the small slugthrower in the other. Not an ideal position to defend herself from, but she'd dealt with worse. ...Had also dealt with a lot better, too. Brilliant, Isa. Just brilliant.
  12. Payback

    The dar’jetii appeared in front of her once more, falling into view even as he fell flat on the floor between her and the last two guards. Isa hissed in surprise, uttering a few choice words for good measure, immediately diverting her shots to the side to avoid striking him. In the end it didn’t matter - one of the guards suddenly slammed into the one beside him, both being flung off their feet. The dar’jetii’s work no doubt. That or gravity had decided to stop working in that one particular spot. Isa flipped a switch on her pistols without hesitating, one shot slamming into each of them with the tell-tale crackle of a stun bolt. Neither one stirred and Isa sighed, shaking her head. This day…. Isa halted her shots, slowing to a casual pace and tilting her helmeted head at the dar’jetii who was still on the ground. “Next time we’re going to have to get you a bell or something,” she quipped, a small smile pulling at her features. The dar’jetii had accomplished exactly what Isa had been hoping for, downing the rest of their attackers before any of them managed to land a lucky shot. Her armour sported a few new nicks in the paint, and a rather impressive scorch mark along her right shoulder piece that left her joint aching beneath the armour plating. Still, she figured it was a small price to pay in the end. She rolled her shoulder gingerly, wincing at the ache but acknowledging it wasn’t hurt any worse. And her HUD wasn’t informing her of any fluctuations in her life signs, or any indications she ought to be worried. She would be sore, but that seemed to be all she would be from this little misadventure. Isa’s pace had slowed to a more casual rate as she reloaded each of her pistols before holstering them. She crossed to the two downed guards, aiming her gauntlet and releasing a dart into each man’s neck. She waited a moment, allowing the darts to do their work before kneeling and removing the devices, sliding them into one of the pockets on her belt. “Hallucinogen,” she explained to the dar’jetii without turning around. There was only a small part of her tempted to look up to her HUD to see if she was about to get a blade in the spine. He was a Sith, after all, and a few hours of working together didn’t erase a lifetime of mistrust. “If they remember a disappearing and reappearing figure, it will be far from the strangest thing they recall. No one will be able to tell what was real and what was the drug.” She rose to her feet in one smooth movement, turning on her heel and starting down the hall once more. Her HUD wasn’t showing any further signs of guards, but she wasn’t willing to trust that to last longer than a few minutes. She kept her left hand on the butt of her pistol as she crossed to the dock where the cargo they were after was being stored. It was a few doors down, and Isa kept her guard up as she continued to make her way forward. It would simply be bad form to get shot in the back after surviving the first group of guards. She didn’t want to have to tell that story at any point. Isa reached the door at long last, turning slightly to see if the dar’jetii had followed. “You want to do the honours?” she asked, indicating the closed door with a tilt of her helmeted head.
  13. Payback

    The sharp crack of her shots was expected as they impacted duracrete and metal, rather than flesh and blood. She hadn’t been aiming for anything but distraction, but the hiss of a struck bolt sounded wrong - too close, and an impact that should not have occurred. There was nothing there - "I thought I'd get a kiss, not foreplay," came the comment above the ever increasing amount of blasterbolts being flung down the hall. "So much for my goals." It was only years of training that kept Isa from jumping out of her skin at the voice that echoed from nowhere. As it was her pistol jerked slightly in surprise, reflex turning it towards the voice emanating from the emptiness of the hall between herself and the thugs. Isa hissed in irritation and surprise, forcing herself to turn her mind back to the enemies who were determinedly trying to drop… well… just her, since the dar’jetii was nowhere in sight. So it hadn’t been a trick of the light back in the alley. Lovely. The Kath hound who had tried to make a meal out of her dropped, followed by the flash of metal dripping blood that quickly disappeared back into nothingness. Shabla dar’jetii, Isa thought, shoving aside the unease that the whole situation threatened to leave in her bones. She could have a proper mental breakdown later, when no one was trying to shoot her. Instead she made a mental note to keep the slugthrower strapped to her thigh out of the fight - that would rip through armour and wouldn’t be stopped by a lightsaber’s blade, turning to molten metal instead and inflicting just as much damage. Best not to accidentally hit her companion with that. As it was, she spun herself back behind one of the hall’s support struts, taking a moment to draw a breath through her clenched teeth and settle her heartbeat. Pistols weren’t exactly ideal long-range weapons, and even the simple factor of a racing heartbeat could be enough to throw her aim off. Isa let another slow breath through her lips, considering their options even as she checked the shots still left in each of her pistols. No need to reload just yet. They simply didn’t know how to fight with one another. No training, no personal knowledge, no professional associations. They were blank slates to one another, already tripping over one another because they simply didn’t know enough. To work as a team they needed time and knowledge they didn’t have. So it would be better to end this fight quickly. Isa let out a wry chuckle, shaking her helmeted head slightly as the plan took shape. Today was apparently a day for stupid ideas and desperate hopes for luck and bad aim from the opposition. But it was better than nothing. She could feel adrenaline surging, that rush of knowledge and power that every fight brought - a knife’s edge, just as deadly to herself as it was to her opponents. But it was there, and it was hers. Time for this to end. “Oya, dar’jetii,” Isa called, a savage grin carrying in her voice. As much to throw the opponents off balance as it was a hope the Sith would be ready. Isa adjusted her grip on her pistols, took one last breath, and spun around the corner firing. Her HUD assisted in picking targets, and Isa began to move forward, pistols spitting fire. The first to fall was the man her blade had struck before. Two shots to the chest, one from each pistol, and he fell, dead before he hit the ground. The others turned all their attention on her, some shots going wild, but more than a few slamming into the armour plating of her beskar’gam. Isa kept up a continuous stream of fire, hounding their cover and making it all the more dangerous for them to dodge out and try to take her down. Her HUD offered assistance, allowing her to take carefully aimed shots to discourage them all from jumping out at once. She kept moving, cautious not to stay in a straight line, making their job all the harder. The gaps in her armour were hard to hit on the best days, but movement and panic made it all the trickier. A shot staggered her, and the man who fired stepped out of cover to press the assault. He ended up with a blade in his throat, this one drawn from the sheath hidden in the calf plate of her armour. The three left continued to fire with a reasonable amount of successful hits, though panic was starting to throw some shots wide. It was amazing what a person moving continuously forward despite taking fire did to morale, though Isa knew at the end of all this she was going to feel like she’d been run over by a herd of banthas. But it was an opening for the dar’jetii, and she hoped that would be enough, and that he would move soon. It had only been a few seconds since she had started forward, but her luck wouldn’t last forever. As it was her chest throbbed in pain and her shoulder was starting to feel like she’d dipped it in lava, and it wasn’t going to get better. Adrenaline was likely masking other injuries, and she was certain she was going to regret all of this. Sooner or later someone was going to land a decent shot.
  14. Payback

    "Fight or flight?" Isa sighed, mentally cursing the whole day. In truth she hadn’t expected that to go as smoothly as it had, but she’d been hoping for a streak of really shabla good luck. Seemed the galaxy was determined to let her down on that count yet again. At least the comm was out of the picture, meaning any reinforcements would have to be fetched by one of the five here. Isa glanced up in her helmet’s HUD, taking in the positioning of the five guards and the two hounds that were sprinting at them, picking out which man to take first. The two hounds were gaining ground quickly, and Isa took a slow breath, steadying her heartbeat. “Fight,” she answered tersely, though he was no doubt aware that flight was no longer an option. Not with two kath hounds bearing down on them. “Well, it was worth a try,” she said wryly, tilting her head at the dar’jetii. “Try not to get shot.” She flicked a glance back up to the view in her HUD, checking one last time before she moved. She ignored the hounds coming at them, though every instinct screamed at her to focus on the nearest threat. But nearest didn't mean greatest, and neither of the hounds would be able to fetch backup that could quickly turn a bad situation into an even worse one. So she spun on her heel suddenly, focusing on the guard furthest down the hall. She slid a knife from her right gauntlet as she spun, launching it towards the guard she’d already chosen the moment before. Her HUD offered her the advantage that she didn’t need the extra seconds to choose a target and aim, allowing her just a breath of extra time. Her motion didn’t go unobserved and the men staggered apart, already yelling. The first fell as her blade sunk just below his collarbone, his shout turning to a cry of pain. Her hands were still moving, drawing both pistols clear of their holsters as the man scrambled to his feet and the others took up positions. Surprise had erased any ideas except to fight back, but Isa knew that wouldn’t last long - none of them were amateurs if their reaction times were anything to go by, and they would recover quickly enough. She had no more time to consider the situation further as the hounds covered the distance, the first lunging straight for her. She had no time to see where the second went and could only hope the guards took a bit longer to regroup. As it was, Isa could only turn her shoulder to the creature, taking the blow with her armour. She could hear the creature’s teeth scrape over painted metal even as she was slammed to the ground by the hound’s bodyweight. Pain sliced through opposite shoulder as she landed, the blow jarring her grip and nearly causing her to lose her hold on the pistol in that hand. It was all she could do to keep her grip on the weapon, bracing the animal with one arm and fighting to keep the creature from lunging at her throat. Isa lashed out with one armoured fist and felt it strike flesh, but it did little to dissuade the kath hound, earning only a snarl of pain and a renewed effort to find a gap in her armour. Its weight slammed forward again and Isa's arm buckled as she let out a hiss of pain, the kath hound forcing its way forward. Isa felt teeth edge around the corner of her neckplate and threw her weight sideways in time to avoid the hound’s sudden lunge. The hound’s weight shifted and Isa took advantage of the opportunity, slamming her gauntleted fist forward again with the heel of her palm leading, this time triggering the wristblade in her left gauntlet. She felt the blade pierce flesh and was met with a howl of mixed outrage and pain. But the hound lunged away from her, blood dripping from the wound in its side. Not a fatal blow, but enough to allow Isa to roll back to her feet, firing in the direction of the group of guards as she regained her footing. Most of the shots went wide as she didn’t take the time to aim properly, but it was enough to discourage any brave soul from trying to make a dash for reinforcements. For now that was all she wanted. The rest could come once she and the dar’jetii weren’t straight out in the open, practically inviting the men to shoot them down.
  15. Payback

    Interesting. So he didn’t want the attention that a big ruckus would bring, or the recognition. He had introduced himself as Lord Verrin, a name she hadn’t recognised. But now it seemed that anonymity was not, in fact, because he had yet to claw his way to a position of note, but rather because he was intent on remaining an unknown. Her respect for him went up a couple of notches at that. The rest of their journey went on in relative silence, with Isa considering their options as they came closer to the docking bay. Shab, she wished this whole thing was less reliant on luck and their ability to fly by the seat of their pants. She had a sickening feeling they weren’t going to be able to keep it up much longer. As it was, she resorted to playing back the footage of their reluctant informant as they walked, trying to gather as many details as she could from her cams and comms embedded in her helmet. In all, there wasn’t much there to work with. The dar’jetii’s hand snaked out, grasping her arm and drawing her to a halt. “There’s something ahead,” there was a warning in his quiet tone. Isa tilted her head, using her HUD’s scanners to try to pinpoint what was around the corner. She could tell there were humanoids and Kath hounds both, and she let out a slow breath. That was never a good sign. “Alright… We don’t know if they know anything yet, let’s try to string this out. If it goes bad, then at least we gave it a shot. Here’s hoping we don’t have just enough rope to hang ourselves with,” Isa said slowly, keeping her voice low. She considered for a moment, then gave a short nod. “Story. We’re the next step in line for this shipment. It’s yours, bought and paid for, and we’re here to pick it up. Early, because we don’t fully trust Dilla not to doublecross us. That way, if we’re a step behind, we get to start shouting about how we were right all along. Let’s keep you in the background as much as we can for now, I’d rather they not start making connections yet. I’m not exactly subtle,” she said, gesturing to her armour. “But you’re harder to pinpoint. Congratulations, you’ve just hired yourself an impatient Mandalorian with an attitude,” she hesitated a moment, inclining her head. “More than usual, I mean.” It was a thin story at the best of times, but they had little time and a simple story was hard to mess up. She had no doubt the Sith was capable of holding his own, or playing practically any role that he wanted. But neither of them had worked together before, and so they couldn’t read each other well enough to try a more complicated game. “If they start shooting…” Isa shook her head. “I hope you can hold your own in a fight. Try to stay behind me as much as you can - my armour can take a blaster bolt, provided they don’t get lucky and hit a gap. I’m guessing you can do osik I can’t even begin to imagine, but if you’re wanting to stay unremembered, let me take most of the hits and do what damage you can without drawing attention to yourself. But I'll need you at my back, keeping them from just sticking a shiv in my throat. That's probably what will happen if this goes wrong, and I'll never see it in time. I'm the shield, but you're going to have to do most of the actual work if we want to survive this.” It was loose advice and likely unneeded, but all she could give. If he wasn't at her back, helping in his own way, Isa had little doubt that a fight like this would end up fatal. With that, Isa sighed and shook her head. “Shab this is a stupid, stupid plan. Here goes.” She turned the corner, her stride confident and controlled. She didn’t even turn her head to look down at the Kath hounds, instead striding right up to one of the guards. There were five in total, not including the two kath hounds, and she’d chosen one of the ones not handling a hound. Not good numbers if this all went wrong. “Move, aruetii,” she spoke, the words hard and cold, betraying nothing of the unease that was swimming in her stomach. Apparently the approach had startled them, or at least thrown them enough off balance that Isa hadn’t earned a blaster bolt to the gut yet. Good news, so far. “Who are you? Move-” “We’re here for the cargo, chakaar,” Isa said, holding up the piece of flimsi she’d gotten from Lars. She flashed it to the guard before replacing it in her belt. “Dilla has the accounts of it. We’re here to make sure none of it gets… misplaced. Again. So we’re taking it now. Move.” But the guard shifted his weight, blocking her forward progress even as one of the Kath hounds snarled at her feet. “Who gave passed the word to you? And how?” “Dilla sent Lars, we just got the news early,” Isa answered, allowing an edge of irritation to coat her words like poison on a blade. Exactly as she would if this was a real drop, and they were actually meant to be here. “We shook him down in an alley, grabbed it and ran,” now sarcasm was practically dripping from her voice, and she saw more than one of the guards bristle in response. “How do you think, di’kut? By te Manda, if you mistrust your people that bad, hire new ones. How in haran would we have the entry code if we’d just decided to show up. I know that braincell of yours is lonely but try to at least give it some exercise.” “That’s it? No last name, no other-” “How stupid do you think your counterparts are?” Isa drawled. “If you’ve been giving out your full name and secret codes besides, then you’re an even bigger di’kut than you look.” The man’s eyes narrowed. “What’s that?” “A di’kut?” Isa asked. “It means someone who forgets their pants. I’m sure even you can piece together the implication.” She had no idea how the rest of this conversation was going to go. She just hoped the dar’jetii was ready to move should it be needed.