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Wild Space

Kelona, 3628 BBY

 

She’d always loved the silence of space. The way the stars seemed to beckon, stretching ever onwards into the vastness of the unknown, waiting for someone to see them, to understand the freedom they offered. It was adventure and exploration at its height, and Sihna loved it. It’s why she was sat here of all the places in her ship, forehead leaning against the transparisteel window of the ship’s small observatory, eyes closed as she breathed in slowly, letting each breath out evenly. It wasn’t a big space, but it was still her favourite. She often came here to look out at the stars, or to think. Other times, she came when sleep eluded her and her mind would not quiet. And tonight was one such night.

 

The cool transparisteel against her forehead did only a little to ease her headache, but Sihna didn’t move away or start towards the medbay for pain meds. Instead she just sat, arms curled around her legs, resting as best she could. She’d donned her armour but for her boots, needing the security the teal beskar offered.

 

The pinging of a ship alarm drew Sihna out of her troubled musings, and she was on her feet and moving before the first trill had faded. She sprinted to the cockpit, bare feet quiet against the metal plating of the floors as she caught the edge of the cockpit doorframe, swinging herself towards the comm array. At the flick of a button, a hologram shimmered into being, the armoured figure instantly familiar to Sihna.

 

“Farren,” Sihna greeted her clanmate with a tired smile. Farren was one of the first to join the fledgling Clan Dreysel, helping Sihna to shape it into what it had become today. “Why the emergency channel, vod?”

 

"Alor," Farren’s greeting was slightly tinny due to the holo-emitters speakers, but familiar nonetheless. "We’ve picked up a distress call from some of ours. I’m sending you the intel, but they’re out in your region on a job. Apparently the Republic has attacked the station they’re guarding. I hate to ask, but…"

 

Sihna was already scanning through the information on a separate screen, nodding.

 

“But I’m closest,” she finished the thought. “I’ll go. It won’t take me long to get there.”

 

Farren nodded, her body language immediately relieved."Two other clans are sending help, it sounds like the distress call wasn’t just to us. I don’t know how many Mando’ade are on that station, but you’ll have backup. I’ll send you intel as I get it."

 

Sihna nodded in response, “Vor’e, vod.”

 

Farren was smiling, Sihna could tell. "Oya, Alor."

 

The flight itself wasn’t a long one, and Sihna was glad for the focus this new task gave her. Intel from Farren came in throughout the journey, some about the station and some about the Mandalorians who would be meeting her there. Sihna chose to focus mostly on the station itself, aware that intel about her campanions would only tell her so much. The station was a medical and research facility, set out in Wild Space in order to avoid as much of the fractured state of the galaxy as possible. Mandalorians had been hired on to act as security forces, a not unusual practice. However the rest of the information was spotty at best, detailing an attack by Republic Forces that had not only heavily damaged one area of the station, but destroyed or crippled any personal ships that might have been able to stage a defense. Those still able to fight had set up barricades and defenses, intent on holding their own as long as they were able. In all, the intel was solid, if limited. Farren had passed along information that Sihna would meet up with the others in the damaged areas of the station in hopes of staying as difficult to track as possible. The attackers would know of their arrival, there was no way to avoid that. But if they were careful, Sihna and her allies would be able to at least keep their movements from being pinpointed. It was a gamble, but one she was more than willing to take.

 

Despite the intel, Sihna was still surprised by the sheer amount of damage the station had incurred when she dropped out of hyperspace. The Republic had clearly been determined to shatter any defense, leaving hunks of twisted metal and scraps melted from the heat of the attack. There were still a number of working docking ports, and Sihna quickly docked her own ship and made her way into the wounded station, having donned her armour in-flight.

 

It was like walking through a ghost ship. Lights flickered throughout the corridors, casting gruesome shadows over the destruction that had twisted this part of the station. The Republic had pulled no punches, instead striking this section with absolutely brutality. Floor panels were twisted out of their holdings and into strange shapes, turning hallways and corridors into a macabre sort of obstacle course. Steam hissed from broken pipes within the walls of the ship, making it difficult to see. Worst of all thought was the silence. Even with the creaking of the ship, or the hissing of the steam, the place felt lifeless, stark and destroyed. It was not silence like she had experienced before, under that dark moon. But rather the silence that comes just after death has swept through a place, leaving only shattered machinery and broken bodies in its wake. Even her HUD was having trouble, the sheer amount of interference from broken systems and the damage to the system enough to make Sihna switch it to a simpler mode to avoid massive lists of information that simply told her what common sense did. This place was falling to haran.

 

She made her way carefully from the docking bay, ducking under still-sparking wires and around smoking data terminals. She needed to move quickly, if cautiously. Those defending the still-intact parts of the station wouldn't be able to hold out forever. Especially if the destruction here was any indication of how the rest of the atatck had transpited. Now and again, small fires crackled in sealed off corridors, visible only through the transparisteel windows lining the halls. In all it was a picture of destruction, harsh and final. Most of the damage looked to have been caused by ships weaponry from the outside, and more than once she had to backtrack in order to find a new route. She saw more bodies than she cared to count, some burned beyond the ability to even recognise species, others looking like they were merely asleep. None wore Mandalorian garb, and so she had no way of knowing how their people preferred the dead to be honored. She stopped to check for a pulse when it looked like there might be even a splinter of hope, but each time all she could do was offer murmured words of peace and continue on. More than once she found herself hissing in consternation as a sudden shower of sparks leapt out at her from the shadows, causing her to duck instinctively. She was making her way to a cargo bay, deeper within the station in the hopes that it had avoided the sheer amount of destruction present elsewhere. That was where she was meant to meet the Mandalorians who would be joining her here.

 

After scrambling through two corridors that required a fair bit of climbing and cursing as she squeezed through confined spaces that left her grateful for her small stature, Sihna finally managed to enter the cargo bay. Where the others would be coming from, she didn’t know, but she seemed to have been the first to arrive. The bay was entirely empty of life, echoing with the sounds of the dying station. Sihna used the end of her spear to hook a durasteel crate, dragging it over through the wreckage of what she could only assume was the remains of whatever had been stored here. As it was the whole place was filled with twisted metal and carbon-scoring along the walls and floor. She propped one foot up on the crate, leaning against her spear as she looked around the bay slowly. It had been stripped of anything of value - even the crate she was leaning her weight on was half destroyed, making it useless as anything except a footrest. Whoever had come through here had been methodical in stripping the place, which struck her as slightly odd. Military would take anything that looked valuable, sure. Weaponry, supplies, anything they could use. But they didn’t normally strip a place clean, not when they hadn’t even won the shabla thing entirely yet. Strange…

 

She could feel the urgency building in her mind, the demand to do something instead of simply waiting. But there was nothing to be done. Charging off alone would be suicide. Sihna took a slow breath, forcing herself to still and instead turning her attention to her beskar'gam. She might as well check over her armour to be certain no damage had been sustained so far. It was an unlikely thing, but the process was more out of habit and something to divert her mind than necessity. She wore her full set, teal beskar and durasteel pieces, patterned with black, red and gold. Her helmet bore the same colours as the rest of her armour, and she was grateful for the seal that kept the smoke and smells of death and destruction from assaulting her senses. Her spear she leaned against, though it was normally collapsed and carried at her back, alongside the songsteel staff that rested there now. She brushed her fingers against the handle of the beskad at the small of her back absently, safely settled in its reverse sheathe. Her thick gray cloak had already been frayed at the edges, so the added marks from sparks and smoke meant little. She bore a blaster pistol at her hip, though she carried it only for emergencies. Her mechanical left arm had also held up well in the scramble, still whirring gently when she moved, with no warnings flashing in her HUD.

 

It was an unnecessary process, but one she went through anyways as a way to avoid dwelling on the sheer number of dead she had come across in even such a short span. So many lost, without even a chance for safety or defense. She could do nothing for them, except wait for her companions to arrive. Once they did, perhaps they could all help put the souls of the dead to rest and stop more from joining their ranks. Perhaps...

Apologies for how rough this is, but I wanted to go ahead and give you guys a jumping off point. So feel free to jump in, and have fun

:)
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Tece Tyrr    10

Tece closed the comms on her ship down, So they’re actually giving me something. Or perhaps because I’m the closest nearby. She smirked a little at her own joke, “R6 looks like we’ve got some people to save.” Some beeping and whistles came from her droid’s station, “Yes I know. We will be careful. Sounds like things got hairy in there.” Another beep, “Come on. I can be careful.” R6 whistled twice at her, “That was ONE time.” She replied, pressing a few buttons on her panel, programing the destination into her navigational computer and letting the ship’s system do the rest.

When her ship got close enough to bring up the station on screen Tece took a deep breath, “Looks like the Republic really did a number on this place.” R6 beeped, “Yeah I know. Can’t really think about how many died here R6. We’d go mad. Well, I would.” She smiled down at her droid, “Let’s go meet our fellows.” She took direct control of the corvette and steered it through the wall of debris that surrounded the station. Carefully maneuvering her ship through it she came up to one of the still functioning docking ports. Pulling inside she set the ship down, “I don’t like this R6. I know we’re meeting with some others. But this place feels wrong.” She commented. As soon as she had turned off her ship’s systems the silence had encompassed her like an unwelcomed embrace. R6 whistled at her, “Yeah. Let’s go meet the others. What? Did you think I was going to leave you here alone little buddy? In this creepy place, not a chance.” She patted the droid’s head section with a smile on her face while climbing out of her chair.

When she stepped out of the corvette she surveyed the hangar around them, “Lock down the ship R6. Don’t want anyone to get any ideas while we’re gone.” She said before the droid left the ship. When she heard the sound of the ship’s system secured she relaxed a little, but only slightly. Keeping one hand on one of her sabres she walked with R6 out of the hangar towards the rendezvous point. Everywhere they went the signs of the damage this station took was clear, “What reason could the Republic have for doing this much damage to a simple research outpost?” R6 beeped as it dodged a thrashing cable that whipped around like a Sarlaac tongue looking for prey, “You have a point. I guess if they found whatever it was that they went to so much trouble for, how much trouble are our people in?” She thought when she saw their path ahead was blocked by debris, “Well.”

She paused for a second, “I could get through this. You however.” She glanced down at R6, “You really need to stop packing in so many bolts R6.” The droid beeped, “Just kidding. Give me a second.” Closing her eyes for a second she focused her mind and extended her hands. Opening her palms towards the debris she began to lift it with the Force. Grunting with exertion she lifted the debris over so it was laying along the one wall, letting the pair of them have a path forward. Tece sighed with relief when the debris hit the ground, “I know. Still working on that pal.” She glanced back at R6 and shrugged, “At least we have a way forward now.”  R6 rolled forward beeping slightly, “We all have our skills R6.” She tapped the side of his head section on the way past before walking with him.

The pair kept moving through the halls for a few more minutes until they reached a T-section pathway, “So any idea which way?” She looked down at R6 who turned his head to look up at her and beeped, “Yeah me neither. Maybe if we…..” She went silent when she thought she heard something. Carefully she took both sabres off her hips and moved as quietly as she could manage to rest her back against one of the walls. Cautiously Tece leaned around the corner, trying to see who, or what might be there.

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Mandalore, Suuhymu'hbjavrars HQ Landing Pad, long before deployment

 

"She's a real beauty, isn't she?" asked al'verde Ikaan Kyrdol. The Suuhymu'hbjavrars commander was referring to the Beskad-class Patrol ship painted in the matte black paint scheme of the Suuhymu'hbjavrars. Viraen thought it was a good touch, even if there were those who thought that it might be best if there were less things painted in the favored paint scheme of the Wraiths. A black ship blended in with the void. One that combined that with a low sensor profile? It was every Wraith's wet dream. Viraen however was suspicious. He knew this was his ship, he could tell based on the fact that he was the only other person on the landing pad, and he was the only other Wraith team leader without one. He was also, coincidentally, still missing his team. Given that they weren't on the landing pad with him, Viraen had a bad feeling that he was about to be sent on another solo mission. Kriffing great.

 

"Al'verde, with all due respect, cut to the shabla chase. There's something happening, isn't there? What is it this time, the Republic found a new super weapon that they're decided to unleash on us?" he asked, referring to the Mass Shadow generator used by the Republic before the Cold War. Ikaan turned to face him, looking away from the admittedly very impressive looking craft. There was a datapad in the man's hands. That meant that the intel had just come in, or he wasn't sure that Viraen was going to take the job. Neither possibility exactly enthralled Viraen. The entire thing reeked of an emergency, and those were usually shitshows. 

 

"No, but the Republic has attacked a research station being protected by a group of Mando'ade. We received their distress call not long ago. Help's already being scrambled from the other clans, but given the nature of the situation, we decided that we'd send one of our own," said Ikaan, handing the data slate over to him. Viraen examined the details. Independent research outpost in the outer rim. Mandalorians hired on as security.

 

"Meaning because we like killing Republic chakaare and I was particularly good at it before they blew me up?" he asked. He swore he could see Ikaan rolling his eyes underneath his helmet. "And I'm the only Wrath who's sitting on his shebs?" Ikaan remained silent for a whole minute. "Alright, it's because you want me to find out why the Republic decided to hit this station and I'm the only one who's sitting on his shebs." 

 

"Viraen, I swear to Kad Ha'rangir that you've somehow become more of a pain in my shebs after the coma," breathed Ikaan. Viraen braced for impact, before Ikaan added, "And, somehow more entertaining. 'Lek vod, we want information, but if you can serve up your usual specialty of plenty of dead Republic shabuire, feel free. Information's a priority, the others can probably handle backing our vode up. That means if you see any of those SIS chaakare, I want them alive and in a position to start talking. I know how you feel about them, vod, but not this time." 

 

Viraen reluctantly nodded. He'd killed plenty, what was the harm in leaving one temporarily alive so they could get information out of them? "'Lek, al'verde. I'm your man. I have to ask though, what favors did you pull to get this delivered early?" asked Viraen, turning to face his commanding officer. 

 

"Me? Nothing. MandalMotors delivered it on their own, I just knew you'd be out on the pad when it arrived," said Ikaan, and Viraen just knew that his commanding officer had a devious grin on his face. 'Well, this is what you kriffing get for being predictable, di'kut,' he thought to himself, keying in the ramp's unlock code and walking up the ramp as it lowered. 

 

Current Time

 

The translation to realspace was bound to happen at any point now. Viraen sat in his ship's pilot seat, reading through the personnel dossiers as he waited for his ship to drop out of hyperspace. First one was Sinha Dreysel. Clan leader of Clan Dreysel. Sinha herself was supposed to be the one that killed the former Mand'alor. Now that was impressive, and Viraen found a pang of jealousy surfacing amongst his thoughts, which he quickly brushed aside. "Looks like you're going to be in the presence of a celebrity, Viraen," he mumbled to himself. Next dossier was about someone named Tece Tyr. Clan Tyr, now there was a group of people you didn't hear about very much, or at all really. Apparently this 'Tece' was some aruetii who joined the clan, preaching about the virtues of force users and she was dini'la enough to think that she was going to get an audience with the Mand'alor. 'A shabla rela (nutcase)...could this get any better?' he thought to himself. 


Beeping from the ship's computers and flashing warning in his HUD alerted him to the fact that his ship was about drop out of hyperspace. Given that whatever ships had damaged the station were likely to still be in the area, Viraen deactivated the active sensor systems on his ship and activated the sensor dampener and bafflers to decrease his ship's sensor profile. He kept the thruster output low so that his ship was just coasting in toward the damaged section of the station. Viraen kept an eye out for any active distress beacons, IFF signatures or transmissions that his ship's passive sensors might pick up, as well as signs of any active sensor signatures. The plan as detailed to him by Ikaan was to approach the damaged section of the station, dock, and link up with the other Mandalorian reinforcements. As his ship got closer to the station and it showed up on his main display, Viraen let out a low whistle. "Republic really kriffed up this place..." he breathed. 

 

Taking hold of the controls once more, Viraen cut the engines completely and replied on maneuvering thrusters alone to maneuver, staying as close to the broken remains of the station as was possible to make detection as hard as was possible. The ship picked up a number of still serviceable docking collars. Moving into position, kept the ship in position before activating the coffer dam to create a link between the station and his ship that didn't involve locking both collars directly to one another, even if there was space to bring his ship that close to the station with all the debris around this particular collar. Shifting his ship to a low power state so that if he needed to get out in a hurry, he wouldn't have to wait for the ship's reactor to come online, Activating the ship's security systems before he left the bridge, he disconnected his HUD from the ship's systems and picked up his RT-97 heavy blaster rifle and made his way to the ventral airlock. 

 

Tapping in the code to cycle the ventral airlock, he stepped through and into the temporary link created by the coffer dam. Engaging his mag boots, Viraen made his way across and to the airlock on the station side. Luckily, the security codes for the outer airlocks had been provided, and so Viraen keyed them in after consulting the readout on his HUD. Consulting his demolitions sensors to ensure that the entry wasn't trapped before he stepped through, he kept his RT-97C up and shouldered as he stepped out into the hallway. A quick pulse from his life form scanner and bioscan told him exactly what he knew, that he didn't have to fear getting his shebs shot at in this part of the station. This part being the immediate hallway in front of him, and part of the hallway in front of that. Scanner range was severely restricted in the station, and so even though he was checking every hallway with a quick burst the moment he stepped into it, he was still relying on visual and audio cues. Listening for anything that didn't sound like a dying station.

 

The station was frightfully cold, his temperature regulator activated automatically to prevent him from freezing to death. No doubt because it was breached in several locations. This only added to what made this more damaged part of the station, decidedly eerie. Flickering lighting and twisted floor and wall panelling left little to the imagination about what had happened here. There were bodies too, plenty of them. So far, none of them were wearing beskar'gam. Viraen was silently thankful for that. The silence however, was what was getting to him. His sound dampener meant that even the sound of his mag boots against the damaged deck plating was not audible to him. Viraen was used to not hearing his own footsteps, but in this case, any sound would be more comforting than this uneasy silence. Well, almost any sound. If this was some cheap horror vid, like some of the ones he'd been watching during his recovery period, some horrible and vile creature was bound to leap out and ambush him any moment now. Naturally, that didn't happen. 

 

His HUD told him what he already knew, that this place was kriffed up beyond belief. He'd shut down his datalink, preventing his systems from trying to interface with anything that was still partially functioning. Viraen was not someone who normally was uncomfortable in tight spaces, but he was feeling decidedly claustrophobic in these cramped, damaged halls. Viraen ducked and weaved around sparking, angry power cables as if they were carnivorous plants or vicious animals trying to take a bite out of him. All around him, damaged and scorched equipment sparked and screens flickered hopelessly. Viraen ignored what he saw, keeping his mind off what happened here, that was until he saw a section of fallen ventilation ducting amongst other cable housings. For a moment, Viraen considered judicious use of explosives to clear his way through, but damaging the station any further when it was already falling apart like this was not a wise idea. He could see a waypoint marked on his HUD where the cargo bay was estimated to be, indicating his current distance from it. The cargo bay was where he was supposed to RV with the others. It was clear to him that he was going to have to find another way through. 

 

It took some backtracking and searching, but Viraen finally found the maintenance accessway hatch. The only problem? The access panel was scorched. He debated prying the panel open and splicing a connection so that he could slice the digital lock, but if the panel was scorched then the electronics were probably fried too. Sighing, he took a step back and raised his right gauntlet at the door, warming up his fusion cutter. Walking over to the door, he turned the device on, and began cutting through. With some effort, he managed to cut through the hatch, allowing him to step through after a quick cursory check for defensive turrets or explosive charges. Thankfully, the maintenance duct was cramped as all haran, but clear enough. Save for the occasional groan of the walls and floor, the flickering of red emergency lighting or the sparking of severed cables the trip was largely uneventful. With the waypoint marker showing the cargo bay to be under him, Viraen continued taking the maintenance accessway till he found a door, presumably to let maintenance out near the cargo bay. Performing a quick check for explosives, weapons and life signs with a pulse from his demolitions scanner and bioscan, he tried the switch for the door. 

 

Thankfully, the door opened. Scanner range had been severely limited, according to the debug feed it wasn't averaging only enough to allow him to get a look around the next corner or through the next wall without him having to stick his head in places where it might get shot. One of the benefits of having a three hundred sixty degree field of view was that you didn't have to turn your head to check both sides of a hall. Instead, Viraen pointed his rifle down the right side and his left gauntlet mounted weapons down the left while leaning out into the hall. Scanners said that there was nothing there, but that didn't mean osik at this point. Besides, being paranoid till this juncture on the station had served him well thus far, there was no reason to stop now. If his HUD marker could be trusted, the cargo bay was to the right. Technology broke, people didn't, and no one put a door to the large room of a cargo bay at the short end of a hall on a station. It helped to verify what your armor's computers told you was the truth with what you knew made sense. So far, he hadn't found there to be a discrepancy. 

 

Replacing his hand back on the fore end of his rifle, just before where the barrel protruded. He made his way slowly down the hall, before checking the cargo bay standing beside it. Going through the walls was still problematic, but the open space of the cargo bay didn't offer too much interference. Life form scanners picked up one target in the bay, weapon scanners didn't pick up anything significant, low return signature. Well, this was either his ally, someone with insufficient ranged weapons to kill him before he vanished and got out of their reach, or someone with enough sensor dampening that this was going to be a long game of strill and vheviin with constantly changing roles. Viraen quickly stepped into the bay, looking around quickly, and then lowering his weapon when he saw another Mandalorian. A woman, with a large bevii'ragir. If he remembered the dossier, this had to be Sinha Dreysel. Or it could be Tece Tyr, he knew precious little about that woman. Using short ranged helmet to helmet comms on known Mando frequencies, he took his chances, "Aliit Alor Sinha Dreysel I presume? Viraen Kyrdol, sorry for the delay. Had to find another way to get here, and maintenance accessways aren't exactly made for a Mando in full beskar'gam." Once more, he found himself praying to that katdape (miserable) shabuir Kad Ha'rangir, if even existed, that he didn't mistake her for someone else. He was in no mood to piss off another Mando'ade woman, again

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Tece Tyrr    10

When Tece glanced around the corner she relaxed slightly, Those two are either disguising themselves as Mandalorians. Or they are my contacts. She thought looking back at R6, “Those look like the two we’re supposed to meet buddy. But let’s be careful.” R6 beeped quietly this time. Relaxing her hands off her sabres Tece moved around the corner and began to walk down the hallway towards the cargo bay. She stopped slightly when she reached the entrance and raised one hand over her head, “Hello there.” She called out to Sihna and Viraen. She stayed in her spot, watching both to see what they might do. One of her hands rested on her hip, just in reach of the lightsabre on that side of her body, just in case these two tried anything she was not going to like. R6 stayed slightly behind and to her right, also watching the pair.

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A flash of metal caught the light as Sihna slid one of her many throwing knives back into its hidden sheathe, the new arrival’s words crackling over her comm. One of her allies, it would seem, at least from his address. She wasn’t inclined to disbelieve the introduction, though she supposed there was always a small chance he was lying. But he’d known where to meet, was garbed in distinct beskar’gam, and even from his introduction his information conferred with her own. She had no special reason to distrust him. He’d stepped into the cargo bay, lowering his rifle as he did so. Even from across the room, her first thought was how shabla tall he was, towering over her by a good six inches, with a broader build than her own. Shab, were they ever going to send someone of a reasonable height to work with her? She probably only came up to his shoulder and was slimly built, and her teal and gold armour only gave her a couple of extra inches in height. Which was barely anything compared to the man dressed in matte black. She looked like his more colourful shadow.

   

You’ve been in Wild Space too long, Sihna. You’ve forgotten just how short you are.

   

“Just Sihna is fine, vod,” Sihna replied, her voice calm but with a note of humour in the words. Her voice was strongly accented with the brogue of Mando’a, a sure sign that it had been a first language for her, rather than a second or even learned alongside Basic. A hint to her past, though left unexplained. “Su cuy’gar. We should move to a secure comm. Something here… isn’t right.”

   

It was a slim chance they’d be picked up, as they were on a known frequency for Mandalorians, but something at the back of her mind urged caution, a continued niggling doubt that they were missing something. Perhaps it was simply an aftereffect of her time spent below that dark moon with paranoia whispering into her mind, but Sihna had learned over the years to trust her instincts. Even when they were set off by something as simple as a cargo bay stripped to bare bones.

   

Her left arm whirred softly as Sihna turned it to access her gauntlet, tapping in a command that extended a secure HUD link to Viraen. While not a comprehensive link, it allowed for them to share HUD data, lifesigns, atmospherics info, and a view through one another’s helmets. The secure comm link was embedded within the HUD link, allowing them to speak more freely without being picked up. There were more limited links available, but Sihna felt a show of at least some measure of trust might go a long way. They were vode, if unfamiliar to one another. It was high time Mandos started acting like a unified people again, rather than a fractured mass of clans and individuals barely held together. Small steps would built to greater trust. Even if it took years to patch the damages already done.

   

The link extended, Sihna took the opportunity to assess her newfound companion, using her HUD to compensate for the blindness of her left eye. He was dressed entirely in matte black armour, with gold stripes adorning the front of his chest piece and helmet. Justice and Vengeance, if he had chosen traditional colour meanings. He was heavily armed, and Sihna had little doubt that there were a number of weapons spread about his person that she could not see. He was tall, as she’d noted when he walked into the cargo bay, and seemed to be in good shape. He’d need to be, if he’d climbed through a maintenance shaft to get here. In all, he seemed capable and ready for just about anything. Both good traits in a situation like this. He’d mentioned he was from clan Kyrdol, a fact corroborated by the intel Farren had passed along earlier. They were an… interesting bunch. Not one Sihna had crossed paths with often or knew much about, except that they had sided with the current Mand’alor in the civil war. She herself had not been in Mandalorian space during that time, but she’d been kept informed despite her absence.

   

When she spoke again it was partly to test the new channel, but also in hopes of garnering more intel on the station and helping pinpoint what, exactly, was missing from their intel.

   

“We’re supposed to have another vod join us, though the intel passed to me was...limited,” a twist in her voice indicated a wry smile, but her voice fell back to gravity with her next words. “Did you find any vode on your way here? I ran across plenty of neverd, but no Mando’ade… No survivors, either. It looks like there wasn’t time to evacuate this section before it all went to osik.”

 

Sihna's attention, however, was diverted by the arrival of a third person.

 

“Hello there.”

 

Sihna lifted one eyebrow within the confines of her helmet, a small blade sliding easily into her palm as she shifted her weight. The twin lightsabers didn’t escape her notice, nor the lack of beskar’gam. But neither did the fact that the woman before them didn’t exactly look like a jetii, either… Long blonde hair was starkly contrasted by the woman’s dark clothing, overlaid with what looked almost like traditional jetii robes, but not… quite. The woman was tall - Osik, why was everyone so shabla tall? - and looked to be fit. A droid hung back behind the woman, a T7 model. Tece, perhaps? Sihna hoped so, but she’d been expecting a fully armoured Mando.

 

The woman’s sleeve shifted slightly, offering the glimpse of a tattoo. Sihna relaxed ever so slightly, noting the Mandalorian sigil worked into the pattern. The woman’s hand was close to one of the sabers at her side, but she’d not drawn it yet. Something Sihna was choosing to take as a positive.

 

“Mind introducing yourself, vod?” Sihna asked calmly, allowing her voice to carry through the speakers in her helmet. They gave her voice a slightly tinny tone, but the brogue of her accent still carried through strongly. Her words were cautious, though not unwelcoming. Not yet. “I believe I know who you are, but I'd rather be sure than end up with a saber in my spine."

 

Sihna hadn’t sheathed the throwing blade she’d drawn yet nor released her spear, but she was careful to keep both weapons in a non-threatening position and her body language relaxed. She was ready to react, but there was no need to be seen as hostile...

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'Just Sinha, there's a sure sign you didn't kriff it up,' thought Viraen. He took a good look at his fellow Mando'ad at this moment. She was shorter than he was, lean where he was well built, she was lean. Where his armor was mostly non-reflective matte black, hers was teal, black, and gold, with red, gold, and black patterning. Going by traditional armor colors, justice, vengeance and honoring a parent. Teal was a mix of blue and green, was that both duty and reliability? Safe to say that there was surely a story there, one that he wasn't aware of.  As far as he could tell, she wasn't carrying many ranged weapons, whereas his loadout was focused on range. He didn't intend on getting on her bad side, and so he avoided performing any scans on her armor or equipment. Her spear, and her file, told him all he needed to know about her competence. She killed the old Mand'alor, she was more than capable. Her accent too, was interesting, Viraen had learned basic alongside Mando'a. Sinha, well, somehow Viraen doubted that was the case for her. 

 

Viraen nodded both in response to her request that they move to a secure comm frequency and that something wasn't quite right here. He wasn't a fan of staying on a relatively unsecured line like the one they were on either in the best of circumstances, but until they had a suit to suit link there was nothing more secure available. Once she was done opening a link to her suit, his HUD made him aware of the link, and after he navigated past the menus and various warnings that told him the 'dangers' of opening a link to another suit, he opened a link to his own suit's systems while accessing hers.  He opened a picture in picture view of what she was seeing on the lower right hand corner of his HUD so that he could acclimatize himself to seeing what she was seeing. With the exception of atmospherics data, Viraen ignored the lifesigns for the moment, she was healthy enough to move and that was all that he cared about for the moment. He'd make her health his business if she started showing any signs that concerned him. For now, it was her business and her business alone. 

 

Clan Dreysel though, there was a name Viraen had heard before. Only now when he looked at its current clan leader did Viraen realize why. It was a name that was recently part of conversations at Mandalorian Tapcafes. Private bunch. Seemed that both his vode today came from very private clans. Only solid intel on them according to word around the Suuhymu'hbjavrars HQ was that they were Resol'nare adherent as well. In Viraen's, and most of the members of Clan Krydol's book, that made them stand up people. He'd also heard that they weren't the most predictable clan, but given their adherence to the Resol'nare, and their apparent fierce loyalty, that meant that Viraen would trust their Clan Leader almost as much as he was going to trust his own. More than he could say about the other woman, whom he knew next to nothing about. 

 

"'Elek, we were, a...Tece Tyr," answered Viraen, her voice over the new secured channel snapping him out of his thoughts. It took him a moment's thought to remember her name. "Nayc, vod, I didn't seen any of our vode here either." He paused for a moment as he remembered the bodies, plenty of aruetii corpses everywhere, none of their own. "Given the number of baar? I would agree with that assessment." Sinha had been spot on, given how quickly things must have gone to haran and back in a handbasket, he doubted that anyone in this section had much time to do anything but die. That however, didn't explain the mostly empty cargo bay, a bay like this should have been full. He hadn't noticed it when he'd come in, but the more time he spent in here, the more it occurred to him. "It didn't say on the brief, but wouldn't a bay like this in a place like this be a lot less...shabla ut'reeyah?" 

 

No sooner than the words had come out of his mouth did the passive mode of his motion sensors pick up movement at the entrance to the hangar. On passive mode, it relied on IR sensing, and hence had no chance of penetrating obstacles, but alerted him to potential approaching threats that didn't have obstacles between him and them. He'd seen the woman in the doorway thanks to the 360 degree field of view his helmet HUD afforded him. Her response perplexed him, her attire and equipment put him on edge, but it was her companion that forced him to choke back a laugh. A T7 droid? Kriffing really? In a place like this? 

 

Viraen turned around to face the new arrival, his rifle stayed where it was, but from the privacy of his HUD Viraen acquired a targeting solution for the electro-stun dart loaded launcher in his left shoulder. Viraen noticed that the woman had a pair of lightsabers at her waist, and was wearing what looked to Viraen like a variation of Jetii robes over her attire rather than beskar'gam. She was tall, sure, but Viraen knew better than most that when death stared you in the face it didn't matter if you were tall, short, muscled, lean or a shabla forty five galactic standard kilogram weakling.  "Even if she is who I think she is, it never pays to be safe rather than sorry," said Viraen over their secure channel. If this was Tece Tyr, as Sinha's words seemed to suggest that's who she thought that this was, then Viraen was not looking forward to this at all. If this 'aruetii' that had recently joined the clan was a former Jetii, then he could see why they were keeping things so hush hush, and damn then for it. 

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Tece Tyrr    10

Tece looked at the pair, "Well seeing as we'll probably just stand here deciding whether or not to kill each other. Guess I will start: My name is Tece Tyrr, pleasure." She said, bringing her one hand down to rest firmly on her hip, "This is R6." R6 beeped beside her, "Now seeing as I've gone to the trouble of introducing myself, it would only be polite for you to introduce yourselves." She took a few steps closer towards the pair. All the while she looked at them and the room they were all inside, "And would someone tell me why a clearly meant to be filled cargo room is as empty as a Hutt's trustworthy room?" R6 beeped and whistled, "That too buddy. Or a Republic senator's head. Cause unless I'm mistaken it will be one of the important parts of our mission won't it?" She asked out loud, clearly knowing what the answer would be.

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“Naak, vod. Caution is good, but let’s not make an enemy either,” Sihna spoke over comms in answer to Viraen’s expression of caution, but her own attention never wavered from the jetii. It was enough to place her off-balance, she had to admit. Clan Tyrr was certainly playing their cards close to their chest if this woman was truly one of theirs. Not that Sihna could really blame them. Mandalorians weren’t known for being welcoming of force-users, and with a civil war still in recent memory, she seriously doubted the clan would want to bring that kind of scrutiny onto themselves, or even outright hostility.

 

"Now seeing as I've gone to the trouble of introducing myself, it would only be polite for you to introduce yourselves."

 

Sihna raised both eyebrows at the woman’s straight-forward attitude. Not rude, exactly. But a far cry from polite, too. Still, Sihna swapped from internal comms to her suit’s speakers with a quick command, allowing Tece to hear her once more.

 

“When you’re meeting up with a group of vode in beskar and you’re not, best expect some hesitance,” Sihna explained, her voice calm as she sheathed the throwing blade for the second time. She chose not to bristle at the woman’s words, well aware that it would get them nowhere. “For all we know, you’re not one of us. And introductions first set us up for a shiv in the back.”

 

She tilted her head in greeting, readjusting her weight as she leaned against her spear once more.

 

“I’m Sihna Dreysel. I’m assuming you got the same intel we did, so I doubt we need to go into much detail before we get moving.”

 

She glanced around the cargo bay again, that same unease settling in her stomach at Tece’s remark. She wasn’t the only one to notice and wonder, then. Viraen had pointed it out as well.

 

“It might be relevant to our mission, but it’s far from central. We’re not here for the cargo, but whatever Mandos and civilians are still alive after an assault like this,” Sihna answered, but she was shaking her head. “Still. Seems odd that Pubs would take the time to strip a bay when the place hasn’t been won yet. Pirates, sure. But it's not exactly Republic protocol. And not so shabla quickly…”

 

Sihna pointed to a number of drag marks on the floor, scratches that were deep and shining - clearly new.

“They cleared this place out in a hurry. Not just lightweight, easy to move items, but heavy pieces. And the loading droids, too. Only things left are either worthless or bolted down,” she shook her head, an exasperated sigh escaping her. “But we don’t have time to try to figure out what, exactly, is missing. The longer we wait, the more vode die and the more civilians we have on our conscience. Whatever the Republic is looking for, they want it badly. Viraen and I have already compared notes - this section was a slaughter, but no Mando’ade here. We need to move and find out where they are and if they’re still fighting.”

 

She turned back to Tece, tilting her head at the woman. “Viraen and I have a secure HUD-to-HUD connection for comms, so we can speak solely on that channel. Do you have a comm system we can patch in? Preferably one that isn’t handheld. We need to communicate without alerting anyone nearby. If not, we can patch in your droid and have it relay intel to you. It won’t be efficient, but it’s better than shouting out our intentions for anyone to hear.”

 

Whatever the woman’s answer, Sihna then brought up a small holo-projector from her left gauntlet, keying in a series of commands that then caused the device to flicker to life. A small blueprint of the station came up, based upon the intel all three of them had been given, and overlaid with the data Sihna herself had already gathered, and that Viraen’s intel had provided her with. The section they were currently in was a mess, with most of the map left dark - there was little data coming in from sensors, and what had been provided before was only minorly helpful with all the damage to the section. They were going in nearly blind, and Sihna was willing to bet they all knew it.

 

“Our sensors are shot to haran, but that means theirs are too. They’ll know we landed, no avoiding that. But they won’t be able to trace us, not for a while at least. Best if we move quickly, and keep that advantage as long as we can. Our intel tells us that our own forces were sealing themselves off near the centre of the station when the distress call was sent. We’ve heard nothing since then, so we have to assume those defenses have held thus far. I’m guessing we’ll have to fight our way through more than one sector. We have multiple points of approach, but none of them are clean.”

 

Her words were quick and to the point, wasting no time. She pointed out three corridors, using her HUD to mark them red on the hologram.

 

“All three of these were blocked off with debris, sealed from the security grid, and two were on fire still, despite suppression systems. We’ll need to find an alternate route through. Preferably one that will allow for tall people in armour, and a droid,” humour laced her words, making a smile beneath her helmet not unlikely. “There’s two other sectors we can try. The first is a small, straightforward access tunnel. It merges into two larger pathways, based off of these two rooms,” she pointed it out on the holo, allowing it to highlight to make itself clear. “And a second, longer route that goes along the interior of the sector but has a more winding path connecting it to a series of rooms, but it’s further away from the heart of where we can guess the worst damage was, meaning it’s more likely to be accessible. In addition there are maintenance shafts and the like, but I doubt we’ll get your droid through, Tyrr, and there’s no guarantee they haven’t collapsed. We could get ourselves lost in that maze for hours if we aren’t careful.”

 

Sihna glanced up, turning her helmeted head to each of them so the motion was easy to interpret.

 

“We could also split up. I am hesitant about that option, personally, as there is no guarantee we would be able to meet back up, or that one party or another wouldn’t run into problems too big for them to sort. But it is an option.”

 

She fell silent, allowing the two of them to assess the situation themselves and offer their opinions. She was not the leader of this group - it was not in her power to make a decision that they would all have to follow and abide by...

 

Apologies for the delay in posting, but this should be the start of having us up and running :) Have fun...

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Posted (edited)

Reluctantly, Viraen disengaged the target lock. Clan Kyrdol had never been pro either Jetii nor Dar'jetii, and Viraen trusted neither as far as he could throw them. There was only one surety, which was the fact that the latter tended to pay better than the former. A lot better. Sinha however, had a point, one that Viraen couldn't argue with. Tece wasn't the enemy here, the Republic was, and their vode needed them to work together, not against one another. Tece's not quite hostile, but not quite polite request for introductions prompted him to raise an eyebrow. The words out of Sinha's mouth mirrored his thoughts exactly, and so Viraen didn't bother with saying anything more on the subject. Instead, he waited for Sinha to introduce himself before he added a hasty, "Which would naturally make me Viraen Kyrdol." 

 

Viraen followed the conversation between the two with barely concealed disinterest until Sinha had brought up the fact that Tece lacked a sealed helmet, and so communication was going to be difficult. Sinha's plan of relaying conversation through her droid wasn't quite efficient as she'd acknowledged herself, nor was it the stealthiest. It was far from a perfect solution, but it was one that they were just going to have to hope that it worked out. For a moment, he'd considered using dadita. Most helmets had a dadita encoding and decoding routine . That idea however, wasn't going to work. That revolved around Tece knowing dadita, or having a decoding/encoding suite in her droid. Most Mandalorian children would probably remember enough to be able to use dadita to send and receive messages without the aid of their buy'ce. Tece from what he could tell based solely on her outward experience and what precious little he knew about her, clearly didn't have even a semi-traditional upbringing. 

 

 Sinha brought up what looked to be a blueprint of the station, with their intel overlaid onto it. Much of the displayed map was dark, Viraen noticed. The extremely reduced sensor range was no doubt likely to blame for this. Viraen was not a fan of going in blind. During the years he'd take contracts while part of the Wraiths, Viraen could always rely on data from somewhere. In the absence of data, he usually tried to get some sort of reconnaissance done. There were cases where it wasn't possible, and he'd been forced to go in blind. This...this was one of them. There were far too many unknowns for him to be comfortable, and given the circumstances, Viraen was now certainly on edge. 

 

His left calf began pulsing painfully, and memories of the mission he'd undertaken with his parents and uncle to Nar Shaddaa began flickering through his mind. He tried several times to focus his mind in vain. Only a smack to his helmet did the trick. "Sensor feedback," he quickly muttered, lying, badly. Ever since that shabla explosion, his head had been a mess. It wasn't just his head either, he still hadn't fully recovered. If it wasn't for the exoskeleton, he very much doubted that he'd be able to support the full weight of the suit. It wasn't designed to be a crutch, it was designed to take the strain of walking around in beskar alloy for long periods, such as during extended reconnaissance operations. To give that very slight extra edge of strength in hand to hand and in armed close quarters combat. 

 

Another smack accomplished the task of focusing him on the discussion at hand. "Sorted," he muttered, lying through his teeth once more. Thankfully, he hadn't missed the real meat of the conversation. Viraen didn't like the idea of room to room fighting. The last time he'd gotten into a protracted close quarters brawl, he was in the med bay for longer than he'd wanted, and had ended up dangerously dosed up on stims prior to that. It was far from a pleasant experience that he didn't want to repeat, ever. The alternative was the access tunnel. If they were ambushed, they could be boxed in with basically no room to move, meaning they'd probably end up fried if enough firepower was applied. This was assuming there was an ambush lying in wait in any case. 

 

Assume the worst, plan for the best. In his experience, it was a good way to stay alive. Option A also put a little more distance between them in case 'Tece' proved to be a problem, whereas option B would allow her to slice and dice them pretty easily. It was hard to swing a bevi'ragiir or a beskad in a small hallway, a lightsaber though? Depending on the material the halls were made from? Not nearly as problematic. Option A also presented the highest chance of them getting lost. It boiled down to whether he trusted Tece not to ambush them, and whether he felt like dismissing the possibility of an ambush in a tight hallway.

 

Viraen tossed the options up in his head for several moments before finally giving his opinion, "Splitting up at this point given our comms situation is a bad idea. If the station gets any worse, with sensors as bad as they are, comms will be the next thing to become compromised. As for which route we take, they're both far from ideal choices, but I'll still take a cramped hallway over the potential of room to room clearing, I'm not sure about the two of you." 

Edited by Viraen Kyrdol
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Tece Tyrr    10

Tece watched the pair. She was fairly certain both were willing to shoot her the moment she gave them the opportunity, Well I'm not going to do that. She thought,

 

"Just this." She held up her handheld communicator, "R6 can also transmit comms through him. But as you pointed out." She nodded to Viraen,

 

"Splitting up at this point is not the wisest course of action. And I agree, room to room would also not be a good thing. Too many ways for situations to go sideways fast in those conditions. Besides, I like you two already. Would hate to turn around and see you disappear because I took a wrong turn or something."

 

She smiled, "While it may be tight and probably a pain in the rear. I'm for Option A route." R6 beeped and whistled, "He said that he can help us too if we can get him to access a data port. He might be able to find more accurate readings of the interior within the station's systems." She patted the top of her droid's head while waiting for their responses.

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Viraen’s sudden motion caught Sihna’s eye and she glanced up tilting her helmeted head in question as he slapped the side of his helmet. He offered an excuse about sensor feedback, but she’d seen nothing of the sort in the feed hooked up to her own HUD. Not to mention he was a terrible liar - there was a tension in his voice that said more than his words. Still, Sihna said nothing, choosing to allow the comment to pass. Only when it happened a second time did she swap to a private channel.

 

“If something’s wrong, vod, give a shout. We’ll help as best we can,” it was a simple statement, one she chose carefully to avoid pushing for information or placing him in a tight spot. His business was his own, but if it interfered with his ability to get through this, she’s rather know. At least then she could watch his back. Still, she doubted he would take her up on the offer - they were all but strangers, vode or no.

 

"Splitting up at this point given our comms situation is a bad idea. If the station gets any worse, with sensors as bad as they are, comms will be the next thing to become compromised. As for which route we take, they're both far from ideal choices, but I'll still take a cramped hallway over the potential of room to room clearing, I'm not sure about the two of you."  

 

Viraen’s answer was solid, and Sihna nodded in answer.  Tece held up her own handheld comm in answer to Sihna’s question, earning a slight sigh but a nod as well. Sihna had expected as much, in the end. She and Viraen could communicate easily enough then, they’d not need to speak aloud and risk being overheard - comms were safer, even if they were all staying together. They’d just have a slight delay while routing comms through R6 for Tecce. The woman seemed to understand the droid easily, meaning it would at least keep any conversations from being instantly recogniseable to anyone who might be nearby.

 

Provided they don’t speak droid…

 

Still, there wasn’t much other option at this point, and there was no time to try to sort something else. Tece spoke, drawing Sihna’s attention back even as she turned off the holo-emitter in her gauntlet. She had a small copy of it within her HUD that would offer her live updates as new intel came in.

 

"Splitting up at this point is not the wisest course of action. And I agree, room to room would also not be a good thing. Too many ways for situations to go sideways fast in those conditions. Besides, I like you two already. Would hate to turn around and see you disappear because I took a wrong turn or something."

 

Sihna laughed softly at the comment, offering a nod even as she straightened, sliding her spear into the holder for it at her back. She wouldn’t have the space for it in the more cramped corridor, if the specs were anything to go by. She tamped down on her unease at working with a force-user, jetii or otherwise. It brought too many memories to the forefront of her mind - memories dredged up by her time on that shabla moon…

 

Tecce isn’t him, Sihna. He’s gone, you’re fighting ghosts and jumping at small similarities. Don’t assume she’s the same just because she’s apparently a force user.

 

Sihna smiled slightly at the droid’s enthusiasm as it chipped in, the beeps drawing her away from darker thoughts as the sound were translated to words by Tecce. Sihna nodded in its direction, careful to acknowledge it as an individual. She’d run into enough droids with personalities to err on the side of safety...

 

“That sounds like a good plan, R6. Wait until we’re in a less damaged area though. It won’t help anyone if your systems getting fried by a damaged port.”

 

Sihna drew two small blades from a hidden sheathe at each of her thighs as she finished speaking. The edges of the blades were wickedly sharp, glinting slightly in the light of the cargo bay as Sihna adjusted her grip on them. She’d need something she could move in tight spaces with, which ruled out both her spear and her staff. Even her beskad would be tricky, so she was opting to go the close-range route. Following that, she patched R6 into the direct comm link, allowing him access to the info her HUD was providing and giving them a secure way to communicate.

 

“We’re likely to run into some signal jamming, if the Republic has any brains,” Sihna spoke. A moment later her words were followed by the quick, almost cheerful beeps of Tece’s droid as R6 relayed her words to the jetii. Or, former jetii, it would seem, if she was running with a Mando clan. “Our comms should hold well enough with a direct link, but it might get a bit spotty,” Sihna glanced at her two companions, her words calm but serious. Oya, vode. Let’s get our people out of this mess.”

 

They exited the cargo bay quickly, making their way towards the small access corridor that had been decided as their route. Sihna found herself mentally cursing the lack of sensors, aware that it was severely limiting not only what they could see, but also the options they had in getting through this whole fiasco. And time was not on their side.

 

Getting to the access tunnel was not as simple as it had appeared on the holo, and more than once the small group had to backtrack and retrace their steps in order to find a path that both they and R6 could manage to get through. Sihna was amazed that her two taller companions were managing as well as they were - she herself was struggling to make it through some of the debris, having to squeeze through more than one tight spot in order to continue on. She was staring at another such obstacle, support beams and deck plating that had been ripped from the surrounding ceiling and walls and had provided a tangled mass of metal and exposed wiring that sparked ominously. There were small gaps through the obstruction caused by beams wedged in odd places or deck plating that had twisted in strange ways. Sihna’s HUD could only provide meagre scans, but what she did see implied that there might be a path through, though it was going to be one haran of a thing to find it. But there was no way around it except through, and Sihna couldn’t help but shake her head wryly. She’d sworn once to stay well away from electricity after being hit by the effects of a Darth’s influence over lightning in a training exercise. She still had the scars from the marks that particular incident had left, both in terms of the burns she’d received and the branching vein-like scars particular to lightning. Her beskar was now padded so if she did brush up against any of the exposed cables it would at least be dampened. Still less than fun though, and an experience she’d much rather not recreate.

 

Osik,” Sihna cursed, shaking her head. “No help for it, we’ll have to go through and try to clear some of it from the other side. Viraen, try coming through with me, I’ll need help on the other side. Tecce, see if you and R6 can help clear a path from this side so we all make it through. I don’t know if you can…” Sihna gestured vaguely, miming lifting the debris telekinetically. She had no idea what the woman's talents were, or even if she could lift things with the Force, but it seemed worth the suggestion. ...Even if it did creep her out a bit, “once we clear some of it, but it’s worth a shot. You won’t be able to until we shift some pieces ourselves though. We don’t have time to backtrack, and we can’t leave R6 here.”

 

She didn’t stop to think how much she may or may not have revealed about her own contact with force-users in her observation, aware that it was likely more than she’d consider ideal. But there was little for it. Sihna began picking her way through the debris as quickly as she dared, but being careful not to brush up against the exposed cabling. She paused only a couple of steps in, looking over her shoulder at Viraen.

 

“Avoid the sparky bits, vod,” she offered, amusement evident in her tone.

 

She then muted her comm as she started through in earnest, murmuring a steady stream of curses in Mando’a. Beams and twisted deck plating meant it wasn’t a ground-only approach, requiring her to climb through some areas, and lift herself up to squeeze through others. She could see paths where she would need to wedge herself between two obstacles to then almost roll over to the other side of them. Viraen might be able to follow her, but in some sections she had little doubt he’d have to find his own way.

 

She was only about halfway through, wedged between two beams that had fallen into a near-parallel fashion that required her to climb up in order to then go through, when an alert flashed to life in Sihna’s HUD, and she halted, motioning for Viraen - wherever he was - to do the same. She didn’t pay much attention to whether or not he did so as an open comm suddenly crackled to life. Most of the message was garbled beyond understanding and shrouded in static, but a few words stood out.

 

“Holding… anybody out… need help. Emergency…. -eed Medical aid… Sector 9, barricaded in… hel-...”

 

The signal sputtered for a moment, then repeated, the message clearly recorded, with only some managing to make its way through the interference of the station. Sihna set her HUD to work on the data, hissing and shaking her head when an alert popped up on her screen.

 

“I can’t clean it up, it was damaged when it was sent - just a few minutes ago. That’s likely all we’ll get out of it.”

 

She waited to hear the others thoughts, the message repeating once more...

 

“Holding… anybody out… need help. Emergency…. -eed Medical aid… Sector 9, barricaded in… hel-...”

 


Long post as an apology for the delay in responding :)

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Viraen wasn't surprised that she hadn't bought his lie. He didn't buy his lie. Only problem was that this wasn't something that was pertinent to the matter at hand, even if he himself was working with them, the matter wasn't theirs to deal with. Besides, it wasn't something that was going to be sorted with a few words here and there. This was something that he was struggling with for a long time, and something that he'd only acknowledged recently. "It's not something that'll be over and done with in a few minute's conversation, vod, but I appreciate the offer," he said over the shared comms before he considered Tece's comment. 'She likes us already, yeah right, and I'm the head of the Tion shabla Hegemony,' he thought to himself, resisting the urge to scoff. Her comment on disappearing though, he couldn't resist commenting about that, "Don't know how much you know about my clan, but disappearing is our thing." Viraen almost had to bite his tongue to avoid adding how he was sure her Jetii senses would probably be able to find him even if he did. How he hated their ability to do that, even though he knew it took them some effort. 

 

Sinha putting away her spear prompted Viraen to put his rifle away. The RT-97C's long barrel was an asset in long ranged engagements, but here it was only going to make maneuvering through tight spaces awkward. Viraen then drew his particle beam pistol with practised ease, a targeting reticule for the weapon popping up on his HUD a moment later. Viraen glanced at R6 as it beeped and whistled, he didn't bother consulting his onboard translation routines, since Tece translated for them. Viraen was more than capable of doing a little poking around himself, but if the droid was going to do it then that was one less thing for him to have to do. Maybe it would end up being useful after all. Of course there was also the chance that the Republic had left powerful counter intrusion routines on the network if it was even up after the beating that this place had taken. If it was still up, and considering standard procedure would be to assume control of a network like this, attempting access could also give their position away. 

 

Making sure to look at R6, Viraen waited for Sinha to finish and then added, "Sinha's right, and that's even if the network's still functional after the station's taken a beating like this. If it is, watch for counter intrusion routines, and be discreet. Their standard operating procedure is to assume control of a network like this." Viraen wondered for a moment if he'd given away perhaps a little too much, but then quickly dismissed it. There was no way to tell how he'd come across this knowledge, and for someone in his line of work there was no end to the number of ways in which such a thing was possible. Of course, if some- He stopped that line of thinking there. Who the kriff cares who knew? Certainly not his buir, and he shouldn't kriff around by sweating this sort of thing. They had a job to get done.

 

Viraen responded to Sinha's exhortation with an "Oya" of his own, and by flicking the safety of the particle pistol off. The weapon hummed to life in his hands and the red crosshairs changed to the same cool blue of the rest of his HUD elements. Debug warnings from his sensors complained about overloaded buffers, alerting him to the fact that their sensors were going to be quite useless for the time being. Which was far from comforting. While they weren't exactly bumbling around in the dark, it was going to make getting around this shabla station much more of a problematic task than he and likely his two companions would have preferred. 

 

Getting through the station was getting to be such a kriffing chore. Viraen moved through the cramped surroundings with commendable grace for someone as tall and built as he was, even with his rifle barrel proving to be a problem more than once. That didn't mean he did any of that without swearing and cursing the entire time in a variety of languages; from Basic, to Mando'a to Huttese. A few Trando ones made it in there too. The strenuous task of getting through the station was slowly but surely getting to him, and even in the temperature controlled suit, Viraen could feel himself sweating. He could feel the fatigue setting in slowly through his muscles. He wasn't tired yet, but merely the fact that it was setting in was enough to frustrate him even more. 

 

Viraen did a decent job of not showing it, but when they came across the one hallway that looked like a scene out of a maintenance chief's nightmare, Viraen snapped. "Shabla fan-kriffing-tastic," he spat, weaving Mando'a and Basic into his words to convey his displeasure. Limited sensor range meant that it took more than a few moments, but eventually after working in concert with Sinha's gear, a way through was found. It wasn't ideal, and Viraen wasn't sure if he wanted to trust it, but it would give him a better idea than what he had right now. He sucked his teeth in thought, 'Well Vir'ika, now's your chance to prove you don't depend on the beskar'gam.' The cables weren't really going to be a problem, unless they started shorting out the electronics, which was possible if they had enough current flowing through them. Of course, because they were sparking like this, and there were so many of them, they were generating enough local interference to make checking that a distinct impossibility. He just had to hope he didn't bump any of them. 

 

Sinha had a similar reaction apparently, though a far tamer one in comparison. Viraen took a moment to visualize her plan in his head before he nodded. He followed Sinha, pausing only when she did to tell him to 'avoid the sparky bits'. He laughed, his laugh resembling a dry cough more than a laugh. The cursing continued through this area as well, and increased in frequency as the fatigue continued to set in. Naturally, he kept this to himself. For the most part initially, he managed to stay behind Sinha, but when she managed to wedge herself between a pair of pipes that would have never fitted even a vivisected him through, he turned to try and find his own way through. "I really, really hate this station," he muttered as he barely avoided a pair of thick sparking conduits. 

 

Just when he thought he'd found a way through, the smile that had prematurely formed on his face faded when he realized that his 'way through' was a collapsed duct on top of which was a veritable forest of sparking cables. Viraen was lost for words at this point. Instead, he let out a tired sigh and got onto his belly, hugging the ducting for dear life as the cables sparked above him. Slowly pulling himself forward, Viraen found himself cursing not just the Republic, but the station's designers and even those that designed their design software. It was then that his HUD flashed an alert, alerting him to the fact that his comms systems had picked up a communication. "Kad kriffing Ha'rangir's katdape shebs, what now?" he snarled to himself. Noting Sinha's request to halt, he sighed and did just that, assuming she'd picked up the communication too. 

 

He checked the comm logs and was treated to a garbled static ridden mess that he could barely make out. He was about to see if he could clean up the signal when he noticed through their shared datalink that Sinha was already doing so, and so didn't. When he heard that Sinha had no success in the matter, Viraen turned his mic back on, "We've got a location in the least, might as well get moving in that direction." 

 

 

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Tece Tyrr    10
Posted (edited)

While they had been walking Tece had been careful to not use her connection to the Force to move any of the debris out of the way. She suspected how the two would react. When they reached the barrier, Tece watched Sihna and Viraen disappear into the mess of metal and material, "Well buddy. Guess there's nothing for us to do but wait right now." She commented with R6 beeping in agreement. Now she surveyed the mass of debris in front of them as soon as Sihna and Viraen disappeared inside, “We could start moving this now, but I’m sure they would not be all that happy about us doing that.” They were waiting for awhile before R6 began to transmit the garbled message to her as well as Sihna's comment, 

 

"If they're in trouble, then we have no time to waste." She spoke into R6 to pass on to the pair inside the mess, "Sorry but we're going to have to rush." She sighed and focused inside herself, They're in trouble. They're our people. And I can't abandon them. Not now, not ever. I was gone from them. And I'm back, not going to let that happen again. Extending her hands she reached out with the Force and started to try and clear the debris as much as she can. Like the debris she and R6 ran into earlier she was not trying to make a perfectly clear path, just make an actual path for her and R6 to get through.

 

It was a struggle for her, trying to both clear the debris and avoid causing a mass collapse, potentially killing her two allies, And if this goes poorly, of course it will be blamed on me regardless of the fact I'm trying to actually help. She thought as small bits easily moved out of the way. But when she got to the larger pieces she was especially careful to avoid pulling it out too quickly.

Edited by Tece Tyrr
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Sihna couldn’t help but be impressed by Viraen’s sheer vocabulary, and the creative ways he managed to string some of his curses together. She was fairly certain there was a decent amount she wasn’t hearing, as his comm was usually muted. Still, she heard enough to be slightly envious. She was most fluent in Mando’a, and so that was what she fell back on for cursing. Viraen seemed to have a much… broader education.

 

Sihna started moving forward again, forcing herself to go faster and take riskier routes as the emergency signal repeated again. They were out of time, which meant they needed to move quickly. Sihna let her limited HUD scans inform her choices, relying more on instinct that pure logic to make her way through. She climbed up and over a beam, avoiding two sparking cables that looked to be carrying a decent amount of power through them.

 

Sihna’s comm came to life, this time bringing a message from Tecce, relayed by R6.

 

“If they're in trouble, then we have no time to waste. Sorry, but we’re going to have to rush."

 

Rush? How was she planning to -

 

“Tecce wait, stop!” Sihna shouted the command as soon as she realised what the young woman meant. The debris was far more unstable than it appeared - a fact that Sihna had demonstrated to herself more than once throughout the process of trying to get through.

 

But Sihna’s warning was too late, and suddenly the whole mass of debris began to shift - not monumentally, but just enough to upset the precarious balance of metal, wires, and gravity. Suddenly Sihna’s path was no longer stable forcing her to throw her weight to the side to compensate, struggling not to launch herself over the edge. One of the cables she’d noted earlier swung wildly, jostled but the sudden movement all around it. Sihna threw herself back but it caught her left arm, sending a surge of electricity through the mechanical limb. Sihna jerked back reflexively, agony slamming into her senses and earning a shout of pain. The small platform beneath her suddenly gave way and Sihna cursed in surprise, fighting to regain her balance as she was thrown sideways.

 

There was nothing for her to grab on to and her left arm wasn’t responding, the joints locked up from the surge of electricity. She felt herself sliding, her right arm catching nothing as she sought desperately for a handhold, and then she was falling. Sihna’s shoulder slammed into a piece of metal she couldn’t see and something heavy slammed into her helmet even as metal squealed around her, following her descent.

 

Her leg caught between two of the beams, wrenching her to a halt and earning a cry of pain. A large slab of metal - likely a piece of wall or ceiling - above her squealed as its own support gave way, sending it hurtling down. Sihna twisted, wrenching herself away from the falling metal as best she could even as the one that had halted her descent collapsed as well. Pain exploded through Sihna’s shoulder and arm as she crashed all the way down, earning a shout even as she flung her other arm out, debris clattering off the armoured plating. The falling slab slammed into her arm and drove it down, pinning her to what was left of the floor. Sharp metal dug into her back and hip where she’d hit the floor, a mark that she wasn’t on flat or solid ground. Her reflexive action had saved her throat from being crushed by the debris that had followed her down, but she couldn’t move, and the weight of the metal slab against her arm pressed down onto her throat and chest, causing her to fight for breath and pressing her against the shattered metal flooring at her back and its sharp edges. Agony coursed through her even as Sihna fought to bring her thoughts back into order, forcing back panic. The whole thing had taken only a matter of moments, and she fought to bring her thoughts back into order, her breathing strained and ragged. Panic wouldn’t help her here and neither would anger, it would only make her situation worse. No more debris were shifting in her area, though she could still hear the squealing of metal and the sparking of electricity as other areas shifted, resettled, and fell. Still, she forced herself to focus, ignoring the pain that crashed over her in waves as she struggled to take stock of her situation.

 

She was pinned in two places, the beam that had caught her leg now pinned her at her right ankle, her body twisted oddly thanks to her fall. She hadn’t landed fully on the ground, instead half on a pile of wreckage she couldn’t see and half on the destroyed deck plating of what had once been the floor. The remains of the floor beneath her creaked ominously, groaning beneath the sudden addition of weight. The metal slab that had fallen now pinned her left arm, the mechanical limb sending waves of pain through Sihna. It had also pinned her right arm to her chest, her forearm and wrist in front of her throat - that barrier alone had kept her throat from being crushed or her neck snapped by the falling piece. A small metal beam had caught the slab as well, crossing her ribs and digging in, but its wedged position against the wall was holding some of the weight off of Sihna. Her HUD was flashing a series of warnings, but Sihna was struggling to read them. She could taste blood in her mouth and feel it on her forehead and chin, but she didn’t think she was bleeding majorly. Her biggest problems were the pieces pinning her in place - as far as she could tell she had avoided any life-threatening injuries, but she couldn’t move and couldn’t extract herself to be able to assess her own condition any further.

 

Sihna’s comm had been open through the whole fall, so she didn’t have to unmute it to contact the other two. Worry was clear in her words as she spoke, but she was calmer now.

 

“Viraen, Tecce, talk to me, are you alright? I can’t…” it was a struggle to get the words out, the weight of the metal slab preventing her from drawing a full breath. But her words were remarkably calm, the struggle to make them so evident only in the faint tremor of her voice and the thickening of her accent.  “I can’t move, I’m pinned-” Sihna shouted in pain as the debris shifted again, earning a string of curses in Mando’a. Osik! The whole shabla thing collapsed, the path I took is closed. Tecce, don’t...” Sihna stopped to catch her breath, as well as reign in her own temper. “Don’t move anything else. It’s unstable. Shab, the whole thing might come down.”

 

Sihna closed her eyes, fighting to clear her head, to think. She didn’t know if Viraen was alright, and fear settled into the pit of her stomach. He was in the midst of the maze of debris as well. If he’d been hit by one of the heavier slabs, or one of the beams had fallen...

 

Agility S used to avoid the worst-case scenrio for the debris by dodging/twisting, and Endurance A used to put pain aside and think through the situation

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