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Zyann Aari

A Glance Into Darkness

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Zyann Aari    201

Selona, 3628 BBY

Dromund Kaas - Kaas City

 

Where tall spires of buildings once stood jutting out of the clearing within a lush jungle, only few remained intact; having a ship crash into a populated city was damaging enough, but the Limitless had been the size of Kaas City, had wiped out nearly the entire area and then some upon impact.  Many trees no longer stood, those that did showing signs of fire and wind damage.  Rubble littered broken streets that all led to what remained of the vessel.  

 

The Republic occupants hadn't bothered clearing away the destruction they caused that day, hadn't cared to rebuild homes for the living occupants of the city.  No, they converted the crashed ship into everything they might need: communications center, housing, storage, prison, and cantina.  Patrols watched the entrance to the makeshift city, and groups made regular rounds near problematic areas such as the jail cells and cantina.

 

Having transferred all spare credits to the smuggler @Kala Ming, Zyann made sure all her supplies were packed, her comms silenced, and her weapon fastened at her hip.  She had to be fully prepared, had to be as stealthy as possible given the fact all Jedi would be targeted along with Imperials and Sith according to the holo received in the midst of the supposed secret meeting.  Besides, the woman was practically going in blind, suppressing her signature a bit as well as reinforcing her mental barriers - too much suffering took place there, and should she not stay on the defensive in every form possible, the woman would be overcome with images and emotions not her own, would be paralyzed, vulnerable.

 

...

 

As much as the brunette longed to take the alien's place, for now Darth Sanguira knew her use would be in providing needed supplies, using and expanding connections that would only strengthen her rule when the time was right for her to don the title of Empress.  Saving Imperials meant more subjects to rule, more beings to favor her over other possible candidates, more loyalty and support.  Yes, the decision to contact the drunken pilot was an easy one after hearing the female tell the Jedi a trip to Kaas wouldn't be free.  With their lines properly secure now, the Sith woman waited until all had made it clear of the surprise attack and were far enough away to not have the transmission so quickly intercepted.

 

"Miss Smuggler, I am Darth Sanguira.  While I currently don't know your name, I don't really care - I am only interested in ensuring survivors make it off of that planet.  The Jedi has little funds, I assume, given their nature and lack of personal belongings, so if my guess is correct, that girl has only enough for a one-way trip."  

 

Leaning back in her seat, her expresdion neutral save for an amused glint in her eye that may or may not be noticeable in the call, the woman elegantly laced her fingers together, hands resting in her lap.  Oh what she would do for some wine about now...  

 

"I have a map with secret trade routes, and a sector that will accept your business with a simple word from me.  The map belonged to my father, so only a select few in his trade have knowledge of these routes that help you avoid trouble from other factions.  Both the trading access and map are worth more than you can possibly imagine, but in exchange for these, you will wait for the Jedi to gather survivors and get all of them safely off the planet.  Do we have a deal?"

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Kala Ming    13

Kala took the message with a stoic  look. Her features impassive and indifferent. Kala was unsettled doing business with a Sith. It crimped her style.

 

Kala had trained for a short period of time with Jedi but that was before the Jedi found out she was woefully lacking in some of the finer techniques of the Force. Plus Kala couldn't stomach Jedi philosophies. She couldn't stomach Sith philosophies either.

 

Maybe she was more grey or perhaps a greyish-green since she was Corellian. Kala was a emotional and passionate woman though. So Kala considered herself on the "rogue" side of the Force. She was neither on the Light or Dark. 

 

Kala mulled over the woman or Darth's words. Crossing a Sith Lord was not wise. Kala knew that saying "No" was akin to signing one's own death warrant. Kala had no desire to die. But saying "Yes" was basically letting the Dark Lord's influence drizzle through. Kala would be beholden to this woman for a long time if she agreed.

 

However, Kala had a relatively good heart. She had intended to let the Jedi's lack of credits slide and take a loss. Kala had some sense of nobility about her and was going to stay and let the Togutra Jedi gather up refugees anyway.

 

Kala suddenly laughed. "You don't know me, Miss or how I operate. If it means anything to you I will stay put. I don't go back on agreements or deals. Course on a profit margin or even business model that really isn't practical. So...."

 

Kala grinned and was silent. She let thirty seconds roll by and then a minute. Let the Dark Lord be just a bit nervous if that was possible. Let her sweat some.

 

"You have your self a deal, sweetheart."

 

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Isa Sal    24

At least Mandalorians actually bothered to build and repair what was theirs - whether it had started in the hands of another people or not. Isa lay prone on a rocky ledge a good distance away from what had once been the city of Dromund Kaas, barely recognizable as it was. The former Imperial city below her screamed of neglect, shattered buildings and rubble-filled streets all stood as some sort of twisted monument to the Republic’s work here. And right in the centre of it all, like some leering statue that exulted over its victim, was the crashed ship Limitless. The ship the Republic had turned into a city of its own. Why, Isa hadn’t the faintest idea. To her it seemed like a shabla stupid thing, to not only destroy an entire city with a ship, but then to leave it there and live out of the carcass. All they were doing was digging deeper trenches between themselves and those they’d conquered here, giving them a daily reminder of all that had changed, all that had been lost. Not exactly a smart way to occupy a planet. But then again, the Republic’s strategies had been remarkably scorched-earth lately, leaving Isa bitterly wondering how they could still see themselves as different than the Empire they’d fought so hard to unseat and cast out.

 

Who’s acting like the shabla emperor now, chakaar? She mused darkly. Taking lives and worlds on a whim hardly seemed to fit the title ‘Chancellor’, after all.

 

She rolled her shoulders slowly, trying to ease the stiffness from her sore muscles as she considered her situation. She’d hiked in from further in the jungle, where her own ship was now hidden away in dense foliage. Hopefully none of the large wildlife tried to make a meal out of it, but at the moment that was the least of her problems. She needed to get into that shabla ugly fortress, and make it back out again with at least one other person in tow, if not more. Add to that the fact that she herself wasn’t exactly in the best condition of her life, thanks to the events that had led her here, and life was getting more and more tricky by the moment.

 

Buir, why in haran couldn’t you have gotten yourself holed up in a normal prison?” she muttered, shaking her helmeted head. The sound of her voice stayed safely ensconced in the confines of her helmet, her vocoder switched off. There was no one to talk to anyway, and she was down to both her simplest and most advanced tech within her suit’s systems. Simplest were the ones anyone might have, with nothing even remotely unique about them. And the most advanced were pieced the Republic likely wouldn’t even think to look for, much less be able to pinpoint. As it was, she was being careful to stay well out of sight - her armour was hardly camouflage, and until she had a way in, she didn’t much feel like getting spotted by some eager-to-please Republic trooper who would drag her to the jail cells - if they even bothered.

 

Still, least I would be inside, she thought darkly. Provided, of course, they didn’t opt for a blaster bolt to the brain. And with the way the Republic had been acting lately, Isa wasn’t willing to bet her life - and the lives of those she’d come to pull out of this mess - on the outcome. One hand lifted to her still-sore throat at the thought, the skin bruised all the way down her shoulder, with others lacing the small of her back, her right arm, and her left thigh. There was also a particularly nasty bruise right beneath her left collarbone, left from a blaster bolt whose killing force had been stopped by her beskar, but had left its own complaint, if a less deadly kind. She was well aware that her buir hadn’t been the only one they’d been looking to drag here. Luck alone had kept her from falling into the same type of trap that had snagged him.

 

It was time to oblige the hutuun'la Republic, though likely not in the way they’d hoped.

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Mirran Kai    91

Mirran felt like she had gotten pulled along for the ride. She was quiet and followed along with Zayyan. She let her take the lead because Mirran was only a Padawan. Yet Mirran vowed to help out where she could. 

 

So this was Dromund Kaas. Mirran had heard stories of this place and none of it good. The planet seemed to radiate sorrow, pain, anger and hate. Mirran could see it and feel it. It also radiated off the various life forms here. Mirran gasped and then bound her senses up as she had done on Tython. 

 

Mirran cocked her head curiously. Tython was broken, Dromund Kaas was broken. One planet a beacon of light, the other a beacon of darkness.

 

Did this mean that the Force and the natural flow of the galaxy was out of balance? Mirran wondered about this and then said softly more to herself than anyone else. "Tython and Dromund Kaas must both be rebuilt. The two spectrums of the Force are imbalanced." 

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Zyann Aari    201

With a glance to their pilot and her ship, the comms on all three beings set to the same frequency and directly linked to one another, the Togruta slowly, carefully reached outward with her already heightened senses; the Force slipped from her like small strings of light extending around the pair just beyond an average line of sight.  It was too much to open herself further just yet, and while the feeling would be weak at best if her energy found something, it was better than being taken completely by surprise.

 

"Can one heal such damage, or would it be merely tossing a bandage on a fatal wound and wishing for the best.  In this galaxy, planets and even stars are destroyed and reborn in another form.  These planets were in their later stages of life, and it is a process all experience eventually.  Do not mistake the pain of the flora and fauna for that of the ground we stand upon... If you prune a plant, it will feel pain, no?  Yet the pruning keeps it healthy, extends its life.  The dark feelings and energies here are sourced around the death that took place.  Imperials were happy before the Republic interfered, otherwise there would have been no Empire.

 

"The Force, light or dark as it may be, is neutral until we, beings that utilize it, come along.  Through our personal practices and beliefs, we cause change.  We create the imbalance by infusing ourselves deeper within the Force.  Through studies and experience as you gain a strong control over your mind, you will fully see it.  Your people have some of the best understanding of the Force and how it works based on your genetic composition."

 

Pressing herself against what used to be a building and a fence that barricaded the city, Zyann glanced around the corner.  Two guards were stationed there, and blocking the quickest and most direct route to their destination.  With the men fully armored, it would cause too much commotion to inject both with a sleeping stim, and so they had to be dealt with directly.  

 

Turning to the Padawan, the woman smiled, slipping a hand to the other's shoulder in hopes to help ease the nerves.  "While I deal with the guards, I need you to seek out any life signatures in our direct vicinity.  You can do that, yes?  Chances are there are citizens hiding, and we need to get them headed for the ship before our situation becomes hostile."  

 

Without waiting for a reply, the Jedi walked out into the open, hands flying out in front of her the moment the men looked at her cloaked figure.  They flew back, smashing into the wall.  The impact would only deter them a moment, likely knocking their breath from their lungs.  No further action and the Republic stationed on this desolate place would know of their presence.  Fingers twitching, it took precious time to forcefully undo the clips to their helmets, but the moment their faces and necks were revealed, the Jedi apologizes and made a flicking motion with her right arm, two darts filled with a sleeping tonic hitting them in the neck just below their jaw.  Her brow had been furrowed, eyes never wavering from the targets, her senses honed in on them and not their surroundings; it was a hard lesson in combat she had to learn on her solo journey to various secluded locations, most host to the lesser scum of the Galaxy.  

 

Walking up to the slumped over men, Zyann checked their pulses before nodding and taking the dart-like vials that were now empty.  They could be sanitised and reused in the future.  "They have some time before they wake...maybe just before we get out of here.  Vitals are strong, no signs of abnormal reactions," she mumbled to herself before picking up the helmets to put on some rubble that was roughly the same height as the men.  No need to alarm anyone taking a quick glance and not seeing those meant to be stationed at a post.

 

"Padawan Mirran.  Anyone nearby, or are we set to move?"

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Mirran Kai    91

Mirran was not sure she agreed with Zyaan's assessment. Yet she was certain there were several viewpoints in the Force. As many as the beings I'm the galaxy. It was enough to overwhelm Mirran. 

 

The smuggler in the front of the ship stated that she had supplies in the back of her ship. Although where the woman had gotten them Mirran did not know. Mirran had a feeling that the smuggler had either stole them or got them through questionable means. The smuggler dumped a load of these supplies into a couple of packs and gave them to Mirran. 

 

Mirran opened one up and fingered rations, first aid kits and other survival gear. Hmm...

 

Mirran nodded. "I am ready to do whatever the Force wishes and this planet is restless it is not warm or inviting. There are things in the shadows that wish our death but it doesn't matter if we are Jedi or Sith. It treats everyone in the same manner."

 

Edited by Mirran Kai

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Isa Sal    24

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.

Edited by Isa Sal
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Zyann Aari    201

Green flashed with a hiss, the Togruta advancing on the Republic trooper; the man had drawn his weapon on the Jedi after stumbling across them by pure chance, her weapon activating the moment his finger shifted to the trigger.  A single shot sounded, was reflected back at his hand with very practiced movement and aim on the woman's part.  Disarmed of the favored weapon, he could reach for a spare blaster or the vibroweapon fastened at his back hip.  Smiling sadly, the woman deactivated her saberstaff, continuing towards him, his clear fear of her clouding instinct and training - he was a greenhorn, one brought up with horror stories of those that could use the Force, of Jedi and Sith.  

 

"Your fear is misplaced, and though you won't believe me, I have no intention of hurting you.  I just need you to sleep for a bit..."

 

Pushing off the ground, the xeno closed the distance between them with the tiniest aid from the Force, her body spinning into his as she avoided the punch he attempted to throw at her in self defense.  Trying to hold his arm in place by tightening her arm against his limb to hold it against her body, Zyann reached for the clasp of his helmet.  Her wrist was grabbed with his free hand, a headbutt causing her to stumble back a few steps.  The feel of hot liquid slowly running down her face, the metallic smell, and the spreading of intense pain told her said blow had cut open her forehead.  Fighting the daze from his counter, she barely sidestepped his vibroknife, its buzzing noise enhancing the headache forming.

 

Choosing to forego using her lightsaber in order to spare his life, even his body from major damage, the female continuously dodged hos strikes while practically dancing around him.  It hurt to reach out with the Force, to concentrate on multiple things, but time was running out before an alert of an enemy spotted would sound.  Energy flowed outward from her form, settling over some remains of a metal fence.  It began to lift, creaking in the process and drawing his attention.  As the man turned to see what she was doing, the metal net-like structure flew at him and bent around his body, securing his arms to his sides.  Carefully she walked up to him and removed the helmet, her hand resting on his forehead and eyes closing.  A slight blue glow from such concentrated energy could be seen only a moment before it faded and the man lost consciousness.

 

Breathing heavily, the Jedi turned to where the Mandalorian was crouched, where weapons were aimed her way.  Smiling, she let out a little chuckle and wiped at her cut, blood leaving a faint smear across her melon and white colored skin, her cloak sleeve now stained.  Directing her companion towards the remnants of a fairly intact building a little ways off, she briefly explained civillians were there and to be careful as their emotions felt a bit unstable.

 

Attention back to the armored woman, the Togruta gave a slight bow, wobbling as she straightened.  Rooting around in her pack, she spoke as she began dressing her wound, not wanting to waste any energy on tending to her own injuries unless they were too large to ignore.

 

"I didn't think anyone else was here on a rescue mission too, but what luck we have!  Imprisioned here are some Imperial officials that need freeing before they are executed, plus we are here to also rescue any civilians that so desire to flee this place.  I am Jedi Zyann Aari.  Shall we help one another out?"

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Dromund Kaas. Now there was a planet that he didn't think he would be coming back to anytime soon. Not since what happened, anyways. There was only one reason that he'd even agree to be here, and that was because his ba'vodu and commanding officers in the Suuhymu'hbjavrars had asked him very nicely. Between trying to convince Mand'alor to make use of them more and being spread thin all over the shabla place, there weren't any Wraiths to spare. So they would have to settle for him, damaged goods, this time. Any kriffing excuse to get back into things was a good one for him. He was tired of sitting around in any case, and any excuse to get away from the med centers and the constant check-ups was good by him.

 

Of course, the galaxy was having a laugh at his expense, as usual. His ship, due for delivery by the time he was supposed to leave for Dromund Kaas had an incident at the shipyard. Some absolute shabuir had somehow managed to 'accidentally' bump a tug into the damn thing and rip off one of the engine gimbals. MandalMotors, being the lovely efficient people that they were, got right to work on it, but being a limited production craft, they had to wait on parts from the factory. Which was just kriffing brilliant. If he didn't know better, he'd say someone was trying to kill him, again. Then again, who wasn't? He'd pissed off every Republic organization on every planet from Ord Mantell to Coruscant. 

 

Naturally, he could borrow his buir's ship, or his get a ride from his ba'vodu, but he felt like they'd done enough for him. There was, however, someone who had owed him more than a few favors. She probably wasn't going to like it, but her ship stood the best chance of getting him onto the planet without getting detected. So naturally, he'd decided to ask her. So here he was, stripped to his bodysuit in the cargo bay of Cipher 16's ship, taking out his frustrations on a practise dummy in hand-to-hand combat. It didn't take long for the fatigue to set in, and for his movements to become sloppy and uncoordinated. "I remember you being able to go a lot longer," said the Imperial accented voice from behind him. 

 

Still panting from the exertion, and cursing himself for not having recovered his fitness levels pre-injury, he turned around to face the young Chiss woman known as Cipher 16. "And I remember you being less nosy about my affairs, but don't suppose that last stand on Corellia changed that a little, did it?" Viraen saw the look on her face change to one of amusement, and smiling to himself, he walked over to where he'd stashed his gear, and began suiting back up. 

 

"I remember thinking that you were going to abandon me, Kyrdol. Technically your contract was up when we got into that mess," replied Cipher 16. Viraen remembered that day quite well. His job had only been to make sure that she got to the CorSec database, he certainly didn't have to stick around when the SIS found them, but he'd seen what the SIS did to people and had no intention about letting that happen to anyone. Let alone a woman he was friendly with. If she felt like she owed him because of that, then so be it. She was very insistent, and turns out he did end up needing her help later. 

 

As he finished slipping into light exoskeleton, a cheeky grin spread across his features, "Didn't come here to enjoy the view, did you? Something I need to know I presume?" He paused for a moment and then added, "That or I severely misjudged how things ended on Corellia." Of course, Viraen meant nothing by it. She wasn't his type by a long stretch. He preferred women whose lives were a little less complicated, though he was perfectly aware of the irony in that line of thinking given that his mother is former SIS. 

 

She gave him a thin-lipped smile that lacked any mirth whatsoever, and was probably as icy as her homeworld if rumors about where the Chiss came from were anything to go by. Even with his body suit on, he felt absolutely frigid. "Don't flatter yourself, Mandalorian. I came to tell you that it's almost time for you to get off my ship. We're almost through atmo, so hurry up and get geared up." 

 

Viraen shrugged, and then nodded. "Don't worry, I'll be out of your hair soon." Cipher 16 shook her head, and then turned, walking out of the cargo bay. Viraen focused on putting on the rest of his armor. Before long, he was slipping his helmet on over his head, the rest of the armor already secured and the power pack activated. Registering his eye movements and connecting with the rest of the armor, his HUD came to life, bringing up various status reports on the armor's subsystems. As he picked up his RT-97C heavy blaster rifle, the rifle's optic system synced up with his HUD, and a reticle was displayed in his view. "Come on, Viraen, best get this osik over with." 

 

He joined Cipher 16 on the bridge, an Imperial Army Commando, or someone in their armor was at the controls. He could see the dense jungles of Dromund Kaas on the planet, and the navigational display told him that they were not far off from Kaas city. "There's a clearing coming up ahead, Kyrdol, but it's not close to a vantage point. I assume that's where you want to be. Given what I saw earlier, I can't on good conscience drop you off so far from your objective. So, how do you feel about a HALO jump?"

 

"You? A conscience? That's a good one," laughed Viraen, checking his jetpack's fuel and system readout to answer her second question. "About as good as I feel about heading into Kaas city after what happened. Did they really kriffing crash a ship there?" The question of course, was rhetorical. He'd heard about the incident long before he'd left Mandalore, let alone being able to see a holographic representation of the crashed Limitless on the ship's navigational display. 

 

"Five minutes," said Cipher 16, consulting the navigation display. Viraen took his cue and began making his way toward the side access ramp, securing his rifle to his back in preparation for the jump. Cipher 16 followed him out of the bridge, nodding to the pilot to continue on their present course he presumed. There were benefits to having a 360 degree field of view afforded to him by his helmet's pineal eye sensor. "Viraen," she started, watching him as he slowly made his way over to the open side access hatch and extended ramp. He turned ever so slightly, even though he didn't need to. "Be careful. I'd hate to hear you went and died on me after coming this far." 

 

He knew she was talking about the attempt on his life. He let out a dark chuckle, "I always am." There was a perceptible pause before he added, "Does this mean you'll tell me your name? Just in case I don't make it?" Cipher 16 didn't say anything, instead she looked at the chrono on her gauntlet's display. "Guess not," he said with a shrug before he activated his cloaking device, ran down the ramp and leapt off of it. Hidden from prying eyes, he fired his jetpack at intermittent intervals to slow his descent at the absolute last possible moment. Anyone watching the skies with powerful optics would potentially notice what looked like bits of contrail far lower than they should be, but Kaas was a strange planet, and something like this could be explained by its particularly odd weather. 

 

Guiding himself to a gap in the trees, Viraen fired the jetpack one last time before he landed on solid ground with a grunt. Great. Now he just need to make sure he got a nice look at everything that was going on here. No point in going in blind. Deactivating the cloaking device to conserve suit power, not knowing how long he was going to be here without an extraction, he pulled his rifle off his back and shouldered the weapon. Switching through several vision modes, Viraen began moving through the thick jungle toward the ruins of Kaas city. Luckily, he wasn't alone on this operation. There was another Mandalorian here, Clan Sal if he remembered the shabla briefing right. He knew precious little about his fellow mando'ade, but he had a feeling that he'd run into them sooner or later. 

 

Viraen saw a clearing up ahead, and engaging his active camouflage he made his way out of the treeline, cautiously, scanning the area ahead of him for any sign of threats. Satisfied that he was alone up there, he moved through the clearing to the edge of what was a sheer drop. Magnifying his view, he could see the ruins of Kaas city were down there, along with that crashed Republic vessel. Sightlines into the city weren't great, that much he could tell, and the thought of trying to see things from up here didn't quite enthuse him. Of course, he had no shabla choice in the matter now. A quick check with his rangefinder told him he was still about 700 galactic standard meters out. 

 

As he was deliberating what part to approach from, his broadband antenna picked up a sudden increase in white noise, and it was coming from the city. That could only really mean one thing; the shabla party had been started without him. "Guess this is my lucky day," he muttered to no one in particular. Leaping off a shabla cliff wasn't exactly what most people would call lucky, but he wasn't most people. "Well, here I kriffing go," he said to himself, before activating his grav-boots and beginning to walk down the sheer cliff face. It paid to conserve fuel for the jetpack, even if that meant he'd probably get there after the initial fighting was over. At least the lifeform scanner indicated that the place wasn't deserted. He'd have hated to have called in a favor to get here for absolutely no kriffing reason. Shab he'd have hated if that happened. 

 

By the time Viraen was on the ground, the jamming strength was starting to decrease, and so he started moving at a combat jog. "Oh Viraen, how was your trip to Kaas? Do anything fun? Me? No. I just spent most of my time trying to get to the shabla city before my vod had all the fun. Why do you ask?" he complained, once more to no one but himself, what with his helmet speakers off. He was almost panting from the effort by the time he got to the walls, another ping from the lifeform scanner and bioscan told him that there were two conscious targets nearby, their rough outline being rendered directly onto his HUD. One was very clearly a Mandalorian, based very simply on her body proportions alone, there was no way she wasn't wearing beskar'gam.

 

The other contact wasn't so obvious, but the bodies near both of them were. Republic troops, from the looks of it. The one closest to his fellow mando'ade was very clearly dead. "So they did start the shabla party without me," groaned Viraen as he began moving toward the wall after re-engaging his cloaking device. Once more, to conserve fuel, he decided to prepare to activate the grav-boots when his HUD immediately picked up two signatures coming toward him. Viraen cursed his luck. Of course  he'd be the one to run into a patrol. Dropping to one knee, he lay in wait for them to come around into his field of view. 

 

It was two guards, in bog standard trooper armor. The coloration was completely at odds with the environment, and based on that alone they should have been shot. He brought up his RT-97C. The weapon was equipped with a Czerka blaster suppressor, and so no one was going to hear the shot. However, it was still a blaster weapon, and he'd need to make sure that he didn't need a second shot. Taking aim, he let the weapon's optic adjust for distance before he steadied his breathing. Inhale. One shot. Second shot. Exhale. Two bolts left his weapon, catching the two troopers in the chest before they could even react. Before he moved any further, Viraen activated his signal interceptor, trying the standard comms frequencies used by the Republic to see if the alarm had been tripped. 

 

"Not bad, Viraen, I guess you still have it," he said to himself as he began to climb the wall, cloaking device still active. He got to the top of it with little effort thanks to the grav-boots. Crouching down, he began to look around for anything of interest when he spotted a figure in beskar'gam, standing with both weapons drawn, in front of a Jedi. Viraen knew that there was peace with the Jedi, but instinctively he couldn't quite think of anyone Republic aligned as a friendly target. If he decloaked up on the wall, he was asking every marksman in the area to shoot him. However, if he decloaked down there, and the Jedi turned out to be hostile, he'd be in a bit of trouble. Weighing his choices for a moment, he decided that a little bit of trouble was better than riddled with blaster bolts. 

 

What finally swayed his decision was when he saw what the Jedi did next, and heard what she had to say. So she was here for some Imp officers and civvies. Typical, Mandalorians were left to fend for themselves. That was fine, they always looked after their own, that was why he was here after all. Leaping off the wall, the sound dampener in his belt reduced his impact to a barely audible sound before he disengaged the cloaking system. His blaster was shouldered, and aimed in the general direction of said Jedi, though not specifically at them. Shabla peace treaty and all that. "Is this a private party, or are more welcome?" he asked without missing a beat. 

 

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Isa Sal    24

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?”

 

 

Hopefully got the description of Viraen's armour correct - if not, let me know and I'll edit :)

Edited by Isa Sal
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Zyann Aari    201

So many weapon barrels were pointed towards her, the tension in the air quite thick oddly enough.  Though unnerving, the young woman knew she could possibly protect herself against at least the lesser of the teo weapons, but had only had luck blocking multiple pistol blasts at once.  More powerful shots meant less chance of success on her part.  With a motion that knotted the simple cloth bandage around her head - no use wasting precious bacta and kolto bandages on a flesh wound - the Jedi shifted to face both of the armor clad warriors.  One had appeared without her knowing, her senses still reigned in too close to alert of enemies at his distance, yet it might too have been a neat cloaking device he seemed to have integrated within his armor.  If chance came, she would love to test it against ger typically vast range of sense through the Force.

 

"Hm?  Are you unaware of...yes, that must be it.  Come along and I will fill you in-oh, unless the two of you don't follow your leader.  What was she called, Mand'alor I believe?  If that's the case, let's pretend we never saw one another here, eh?"  Winking, she motioned to the unconscious trooper.  "He will be awake before long.  Best move on before the guard change happens.  Our presence will be noticed soon enough."

 

Not waiting to see if they followed, the Jedi turned to begin down a path towards the main entrance of the crashed Republic ship.  It was a more round about way, yet if they were careful, sentries could be avoided, and the attack be swift and surprising against the Republic loyalists that remained in control here.  

 

"The Republic declared war on all that would not aid them in destroying the Imperials.  For the first time, the many factions that were enemues have declared a truce.  I'm one of the representatives for the Jedi, and even though they are Imperials, no one deserves to be slaughtered.  Ah ~ I lectured!  I'm turning into an old boring Master at this rate!  And all that talking makes me hungry." She mumbled the last bit, her attention drifting to where the path became an open space.  After that, there was one more destroyed building before the final clearing that led to their target entrance.  Amethyst eyes scanned the area, narrowing a few times when the Force tickled her mind to indicate a sign of life that was outside her physical view.  The question was if they were harmless or hostile.

 

Deciding to think over her options, the Togruta lifted her sleeve back and checked the two remaining mini syringes with a simple anaesthetic in them.  Like it or not, at this rate she would have to use most of her energy in combat, and perform triage healing should it be required.  The mere idea of having to open herself up to the darkness that consumed the dying planet sent chills down her spine.  While she was the rare light the energies of this place sought to snuff out, Zyann knew she could handle it, could survive the onslaught.  If her having to suffer for a time meant the lives and safety of many, it was a worthy sacrifice to make.

 

Master Suto, how did you not crumble while spending most of your time on places like Kaas?  Let me borrow your strength for a time.

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Viraen only got a truly good look at both women now that he was down here, and wasn't just relying on his lifeform and motion scanners to look at them. His first concern was naturally the Jedi, he was almost sure that his fellow Mando'ad wasn't going to shoot him, almost. The problem with this shabla planet was all of the damn interference from the atmospheric conditions. Most of his sensors were now starting to show signs of being affected. Just his brand of luck, barely even an hour before this planet started kriffing around with him again. Viraen knew the risks of performing a short ranged sensor scan in this soup of an atmosphere, but he needed to know what he was dealing with, and at this juncture wasn't sure that either woman was going to give him a remotely accurate answer if he asked them what they were packing.

 

Warnings and errors about failed initialization routines for the reconfigured bioscan because of local conditions scrawled up his HUD. "Work you massive piece of osik," cursed Viraen as he waited for it to give him a reading. He was almost sure the Jetii would be able to tell he was scanning her and was confident he was going to get a snarky response or a lightsaber to the chest any moment now. You could never tell with them. A ping told him that the scan was done. The Jedi, if the scan could be trusted, damn thing sometimes failed to calibrate correctly, was carrying a saberstaff. Actually, it just confirmed what he could see with his own two kriffing eyes. Though if his head injuries were still bad enough at this point that he needed a recalibrated bioscan to tell him that, then he should probably kriffing retire now.

 

The robes were what confused him. It was not the sort of thing he expected a battle hardened Jedi to be wearing. The ones  that he was used to seeing on occasion directing Republic troops certainly didn't. Then again, there were many Mandos he knew who didn't quite fit the 'norm' either. He wasn't looking to fight, but he found it hard to believe that a shabla jetii was the one coming to rescue Imperial officers. If the Empire wanted them back, and needed to be subtle, he had no idea why they weren't sending a Cipher Agent. He knew 16 was busy elsewhere, but she can't have been the only one able to respond. Or maybe, like Clan Kyrdol, there was just no one else to send. He found the parallel more than a little amusing. 

 

His fellow Mando'ad on the other hand was just about everything that he expected from someone from Clan Sal, or at least Viraen was willing to bet the rest of his savings on that. Then again, he'd done far more di'kutla things in the past. Armed to the teeth, and her armor looking like she'd been to haran and back. His bioscan picked up the weapons in her hands and the one still holstered. Having had plenty of experience with Mandalorian armor, he knew that she probably had plenty of unpowered weapons on her person. If she actually was Clan Sal, then the natural question of why her crossed his mind. Not that he didn't think her capable, but this was best suited to a stealth expert, and surely they had a scout or beroya who knew how to be quiet, and was equipped to do the same. 

 

"Well considering the last time I was here, someone tried to blow me up with my own ship..." said Viraen, letting his voice trail off for a moment. "Only chaakar left in our part of Manda'yaim who wasn't doing anything else, so my al'verde 'asked' if I could lend a hand. You know the old saying, burc'ya vaal burk'yc, burc'ya veman." He said nothing more, letting that sink in instead. Most of his fellow Mando'ade didn't have the advantage of being in a kriffing coma when the civil war came around, he'd be just as cautious as she was being if he was in her position. That was when the Jedi decided she was going to mention something utterly vague, express concern that they weren't aligned with the Mand'alor and then proceed to say the best thing he'd heard her say in the short time he'd been in her presence. "Sure as haran don't want to be around when they come looking," he said, nodding in agreement. 

 

Cloaking, he followed behind the Jedi, in the event that she was leading them into a trap. You could never be too careful with the Jedi, and he was still getting used to this peace treaty osik. Not entirely osik, actually, it made some sense. Still, it was going to take a lot of getting used to. The entire time he was following her, he made sure to turn on the signal interceptor for a quick moment to check for any sign that the Republic was onto them. Nothing yet, which meant it wasn't yet time for the sentries to check in. Comms were spotty as it is, and the Republic had the more powerful stationary gear. There was a high chance that he might have failed to pick up on any communications, but he couldn't risk keeping the interceptor on any longer. Otherwise, reflec coated gear or not, they'd be able to triangulate his position pretty easily. They were going to have to move quickly to make sure that they got on that ship before that happened. The Jetii had mentioned the shift change, if that was going to happen soon, then they needed to move, double time. 

 

He largely ignored most of the Jetii's rambling, having identified the gist of what she was saying without having to listen to every word. In fact, he'd been briefed about the political situation when he'd come out of his coma, and while her perspective on the matter was valuable for understanding the extent she would go to achieve her objective, he didn't need to hang onto every word she said. He caught her eyes looking around, and figured that her jetii senses had picked up something he hadn't. His own sensors were turned off from active to passive, but local atmospherics were kriffing with them like nothing else. Just kriffing perfect, a great way to start off an operation. An active ping was his only option, that and praying to Kad Ha'rangir if the shabuir even existed, that he wouldn't be detected. Not really because he would be detected, but it would be obvious that hostile elements were in the area to even a novice sensor operator or any Republic spec ops types running around. 

 

An active ping resolved what looked like a patrol, strong life signs given the interference, so that meant regular infantry not droids. Using the bioscan at this range was both risky and pointless given the fact that the Republic had this place locked down tighter than a Hutt's trophy room and also this damn atmospheric interference. "For those of us that don't have mystical abilities, it looks like there's a patrol ahead according to my best guess. These atmospherics are playing haran with my sensors," he said, assuming that it was the same situation with his fellow Mando'ad as well. "Data's too incomplete to acquire targeting solutions at this range. Speaking off, it'd be great if I could have a basic link to your suit, vod, biosigns and datalink so we can share intel easier." He didn't actually check to see if she was still with them, having just assumed that to be the case. 

Edited by Viraen Kyrdol
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Isa Sal    24

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.

 


Apologies for the lack of polish, but wasn't sure when I'd get to try to tackle a post again in the near future. Hopefully I covered everything and didn't miss anything major xD
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Zyann Aari    201

Ration bar half devoured, the remainder sticking out of her mouth as she looked to her new companions (well, where both would be if the man's camoflaging tech didn't function by distorting energy and senses around his form), the young woman went to answer in regards to which were hostile, enemy, and so forth.  Unfortunately the food fell from her mouth, causing a slight panic as she hastily swiped at it, catching it just before it landed on the dirt, her amethyst eyes large.  She had just completed the image of a startled manka cat.  With a sigh of relief, food tucked safely away in one of her hip pouches, the alien began to gesture to various points around their location.

 

"It's a bit distant, but a creature native to this place and a single trooper are likely having a standoff.  There's three nearby locations that have a few alert signatures, likely citizens of Kaas City guarding entrances to wherever everyone seeks shelter.  Patrol units are there and there with guards posted at these spots...

 

Try not to kill anyone if you can help it.  Most of these men and women are just following orders, and continuing to condemn others to death for wrongs that aren't fully their doing will only cause more animosity and endanger any we cannot get off this planet."

 

Flinching, the Togruta shut her eyes and immediately closed off her mind, fingers pinching the bridge of her nose for a long monent before her body finslly showed signs of her muscles releasing tension.  The dark energies were like Akul nails or teeth stabbing into her head, seeking to draw in and drown out the light she emitted unconsciously.  The amount of time she could use her abilities, could tap into the force without repercussions was very limited.  Thankfully two heavily armed Mandalorians had showed up.

 

"So, friends, we have a couple ways to approach this, most requiring a lot of noise and flashy techniques!"  Hands clapping a bit, she grinned at the two.  "Diversion, stealth, or boldly walking in like we own the place.  I don't look like much, but I make an excellent target and draw attention.  It's amazing how lightsabers can catch so many gazes ~ "

 

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