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Author Topic: On the Streets, in the Shadows Volume II (Closed RP)  (Read 9199 times)

Balan

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Re: On the Streets, in the Shadows Volume II (Closed RP)
« Reply #45 on: January 24, 2016, 02:29:10 AM EST »

        Mrastaos began a flurry of quick strikes, low, high, and to Balan's side. Balan struggled to keep up. His blade seemed to come between him and Mrastaos' blade just in time, barely stopping each strike. Each time the blades met they screeched.

        Mrastaos attacks continued, the padawan barely keeping up. With each strike Mrastaos pushed him further back into the small room. The wall opposite where they'd entered was now only a few feet behind Balan's back.

        Despite clearly dominating the course of the duel so far, the Sith Lord stopped his attacks. "You're skills are meager, boy" he taunted.

        Balan was panting, exhausted from the exertion and from being within a hair of dismemberment and death. He wasn't sure if the Sith expected a reply or not. Before he could give one, Mrastaos instantly began another flurry of attacks.

        Balan recognized the Sith's attack stance as Makashi. The form specifically designed to counter the only form he had learned, Shii-Cho. He had to speed up his movements and swings to keep up. It seemed to be working for the moment, but it wasn't what he was used to. He knew he couldn't keep it up for long.

        He also noticed that, for the most part, the Sith Lord's attacks were a simple repetition of only a few moves. There was nothing flashy about it. This seemed odd, but he didn’t mind it at the moment. He knew that Mrastaos had to know more effective moves and strategy. Balan wouldn't admit it to himself, but Mrastaos could probably overwhelm him in at least half a dozen different ways. Mrastaos had maneuvered him easily, and Balan felt his back bump into the wall behind him. He instinctively looked behind him. In that instant he noticed that there was a door directly behind him. That glance cost him though, as he was a little too slow to deflect one of the Sith's strikes. The scarlet blade sliced through his robes and shaved a small bit of flesh off his shoulder. "Ah!" he shouted grimacing.

        He kept up his blocks and deflections, though. Mrastaos stopped his attack again. Balan positioned his blade low, figuring he'd strike high when he resumed. "It's pitiful really, how little training you've received. Your master should be executed for negligence." Balan felt like he should reply, but he wasn't sure what purpose it would serve. "Do you have no tongue, boy?" The Sith Lord was expecting a reply. He went ahead and explained his lack of training and skill, "I haven't been trained in some years." Mrastaos cocked his head quizzically. "I have no master" Balan revealed. Mrastaos nodded and then sprung immediately into a high swing. Balan didn't block this attack. He simply ducked, and swung his blade behind him.

        He hit his target, his bladed slicing through part of the door and it’s locking mechanism. The lock was destroyed but the door remained closed. Balan then did something uncharacteristic. He attacked, wielding his lightsaber with only his left, off-hand. It wasn’t much of an attack, but it caught Mrastaos by surprise. It was just enough time for Balan to push the door open half a foot with his right hand. He quickly slipped his body through the gap.

        The Sith had quickly recovered and Balan was back on the defensive before he even got through the opening. The door between him and his attacker, Balan breathed in relief for half a second. He then sensed danger behind him. Without looking he slashed his blade through the air behind him. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a vibro-axe blade detached from it’s staff fall to the ground. His attention was focused on the red hot slashes appearing in the door.

        He dove to the ground as the pieces of the door flew through the air. He was knicked and scratched by the shrapnel. A larger piece struck his back between his shoulder blades, ripping through his robe and causing a large gash. He didn’t yell he merely breathed heavier in dread. He didn’t want to die.

        He rolled over to see the tall Sith Lord march through the doorway. He got to his feet, adrenaline the only thin keeping him going. He briefly observed the henchmen who had been guarding the door. One had clearly been killed instantly by a large piece of door that had struck him in the face, leaving a gruesome mess. The other, not so gruesome looking, lay crumpled on the floor at Balan’s feet.

        Balan half-expected the end, half wouldn’t admit it to himself.

        Mrastaos again spoke. “Yes. . .” he sounded very pleased. “You feel that fear. You’ve never faced death quite like this, have you?”

        Balan was beside himself. He silently wondered “How can you just keep talking?! Amidst this killing?!”

        The Sith continued “that fear will keep you alive.”

        It finally dawned on Balan. His thinking clouded from fear and fighting for his life, he hadn’t realized it until now. This Sith wasn’t trying to kill him, he was trying to turn him to the dark side. It made so much sense and he very briefly felt foolish for not realizing it sooner.

        “Use your fear to best me. . .“ Mrastaos kept talking.

        However, Balan paid little attention as he interjected. “You’re right. My fear will keep me alive.” Empowered by the force, he spun on his heels and sprinted off, back to the audience chamber.

        He couldn’t hear Mrastaos growl as he sped off after him.

        Balan knew he’d catch up quickly. He made it past the four way intersection and back to the wide hallway outside the audience chamber before Mrastaos caught up with him. They were a blur of movement and color. Mrastaos swung downward in a heavy strike filled with anger. Balan blocked, but his blade was pushed aside and he had to slide to the left to avoid it.

        As they neared the audience chamber Balan relied more on evading the Sith’s attacks, instead of just blocking them. Given his stocky stature, he was surprisingly adept at juking and avoiding the attacks.

        Mrastaos patience had grown thin, though. He was not in the mood to continue this charade anymore. He intensified his attacks. Balan sensed this and fled with one last spurt. Shouts and clamor reached his ears as he entered the audience chamber. He reached the steps leading to the Hutt’s dais. He spun around to block the incoming blow.

        He wasn’t quick enough, though. Mrastaos matched him stride for stride. He ended it with quick blow to Balan’s head with the pommel at the end of his lightsaber. Balan saw a flash of light and then nothing, as he crumpled to the ground.
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If only you could see inside my head. . .

Balan

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Re: On the Streets, in the Shadows Volume II (Closed RP)
« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2016, 07:23:30 PM EST »

                                                         *          *          *



    Vasira lost her cool demeanor for just a moment. She had held it together until the Sith announced the terms of his contest with the boy. It wasn't much of a contest. A mere padawan, untested and inexperienced; against a Sith Lord, trained from childhood, tested by the worst the Sith had to offer, and honed by years of combat and carnage.

        Balan had just stood there in disbelief. She had expected better than that. She expected him to rise to the moment, start running as soon as he had the chance to, valiantly try ever last option; and then lose. She had to yell at him to get him to even move. What little hope she had for him, was gone.

        She had hoped against hope, that they'd be able to just slip out. Perhaps the Sith would simply be late, or would have something more important to do. Then, maybe they'd have a chance against just the guards. She knew it was pointless, to hope for such good fortune, but she had deluded herself until now.

        Now the Hutt, his guards, and his two dancing girls were all fixated on the monitors that hung from the top of the chamber wall opposite the Hutt, on his dais. Mrastaos stood below the monitors, at the mouth of the hallway Balan had just ran down. Vasira kept her head turned away from them all, trying to hold back the sobs. She couldn't take it anymore.

        The crowd briefly erupted with shouts and gasps. Something had happened. Perhaps the padawan had gotten past the first guard, or had been split in half by him. A few moments later they gradually began to make a clamor, and then they erupted in more gasps, cheers, and shouts. Onis gave a deep "ooooh," of interest. Most of them then, gave disappointed sighs and comments. The padawan hadn't been killed, yet.

        In stark contrast to the viewers, the Sith Lord stood silently, expressing no emotion. He never even glanced at the monitors. He simply kept track of the padawan's location through the force.

        Shortly after that, Vasira felt a sickening feeling she'd felt a few times before. They all felt it, even Onis. Mrastaos was gathering his power. He instantly burst into action, propelling himself after the padawan.

        The crowd cheered his entrance into the contest. They cheers built as they turned back to the monitor. Apparently, there was a skirmish taking place. Vasira couldn't resist any longer. She had to know what was happening to Balan. She crossed the room to get a good view of the monitors, but kept her distance from the small crowd and the Hutt.

        Some of the audience had continued their cheering, others were now booing. She caught a glimpse of a guard huddled up by a wall, and Balan opening up a door. The monitor switched to the feed from the room Balan had then entered. He retrieved the two lightsabers and began fighting the Sith! Vasira turned her eyes away, she couldn't watch anymore death. Especially the death of a friend.

        The spectators reflected the pitch and flow of the battle with their cheers, gasps, and rooting. She risked a glance at the monitors. The Sith sliced a door in pieces and then pushed them with the force. The pieces flew into the guards behind the door, and into Balan. The crowd exploded with cheers and yells. Vasira lowered her head in dismay.

        Murmurs and quiet gasps came from the crowd. These continued for a while, making her wonder if he hadn't been killed. She couldn't watch another person suffer, but she wanted to know what was happening. "No," she thought. She wouldn't make herself watch him die. She began to slowly walk away. Then the crowd started whooping and hollering. "What could be happening?" she silently wondered, whipping her head back around to the monitors.

        The monitors held views of hallways, with two figures quickly streaking through them. They were a blur. It was difficult to tell where they were going. Soon she heard loud, fast pounding noises coming from the hallway the two force users had gone down, just a minute or two ago. She realized they were coming back this way. She crossed the room to the position she had held before, to get out of their way.

        She watched and waited. The crowd also realized that they were coming towards the chamber, and started to back away. Suddenly, the two combatants burst into the room. It was too fast to see clearly, but the larger blur hit the smaller blur. The smaller fell and tumbled, crashing into the steps of the Hutt's dais.

        Vasira's eyes widened in fear. The moment she dreaded for days was here. It had happened almost as she knew it would. Mrastaos stood over the broken and bloodied padawan. The Sith breathed heavily, his chest rising and falling. Without looking at Onis, he declared "I have won, he is mine. You will have your payment, Hutt." The last word held derision, but Onis paid it no heed, "as you always do, Sith."

        With a single hand the Sith picked up the padawan, holding him by the back of his robes. He retrieved the boy's two sabers and clipped them to his belt, along with his own.

        She seized her chance. She didn't know why, but she did. When he was distracted with collecting his trophies and didn't have a saber in his hand, she instantaneously pulled her small hold-out blaster from her outfit. Most people don't realize that such a small outfit can conceal a weapon. She fired three quick blasts at the Sith. She aimed for his chest, trying not to hit Balan.

        Faster than anything she'd ever seen before he pulled his saber into his grasp and ignited it. He deflected the three shots into the wall to her left. Fear welled up inside her. She wouldn't have died for anyone, and here she had thrown away her life for this boy she barely knew.

        Without regard for the Hutt's authority, Mrastaos told Onis "I'm going to kill this one." Surprisingly, the Sith waited for his reply. Onis glanced at Vasira, their eyes met. Her mother had worked for him for years, Vasira had grown up in this very compound under the Hutt's watchful eye. Onis looked back at Mrastaos, who kept his icy glare on the young Twi'lek. "Pay me for her, do what you will, but pay me ten thousand credits" was Onis' decision.

        "Fine, you'll get your money" Mrastaos replied. He lifted the boy over his shoulder and wrapped his left arm around him, to hold him there. He held her gaze with his. She knew it over. Her hands dropped to her side, her shoulders slouched, and her grip on her blaster loosened. His lips curled into a sadistic smile. With a flick of his wrist he sent his saber twirling through the air at her. It was too fast for her to evade, but she dropped to the floor anyways, knowing she'd soon feel the blade slicing through her.

        Feeling no searing pain, she looked up to see the saber stuck in the wall to her left. She examined her body and saw no gaping wound, no wound at all. As she started to get up, she looked over at the Sith. A look of shock turning to anger covered his face. A blue lightsaber blade stuck throw his abdomen at a near vertical angle. The blade was extinguished and Mrastaos fell to his knees.

        Balan pushed himself up and off the Sith, lightsaber in hand. Mrastaos was enraged, Balan was in shock. He'd never tried to kill anyone before, let alone succeed. He didn't what to feel or think, he was numb. He wanted to apologize, but knew that the Sith was still dangerous.

        The Sith growled "I hate you!" With the last of his life he put all the power he could muster into a lightning attack that arced from his fingertips at Balan's face. Balan instinctively ducked and ignited his saber. The blade absorbed most of the blast, but some of it reached him. The electricity burnt his robes, and caused him some pain where it reached through to his skin. He grimaced, and grunted in pain.

        Then, as suddenly as the attack began, it stopped. Mrastaos fell over dead. Balan stood there stunned, staring at the man he'd killed.

        He wasn't sure how long he'd stood there, just staring. All he was sure of now, was that Vasira had hold of his arm and was tugging it hard. "We have to go, now Balan!"

        "Wait!" he told her. He went to the body and grabbed Qur's lightsaber. He saw three other lightsabers inside the Sith Lord's cloak. Two of which he distinctively felt the dark side surrounding. The third felt very different, the light side permeated this one. He grabbed the light side permeated saber, but avoided even touching the other two.

        As he clipped Qur's and the light side saber to his belt he noticed the guards advancing on him, and Onis barking and growling at them to capture him. Balan reignited his lightsaber and stood in a defensive stance, ready to slice through vibro-axes and deflect blaster bolts. Vasira pointed her blaster at the dozen or so guards approaching them.

        They both backed up slowly as the mob approached them. Vasira thought of how the Hutt greedily offered her life for money, just moments ago. The Hutt had activated a mechanism which opened a large door behind him. His dais was now being pulled behind the door with him on it. She wouldn't let him get away with what he had done to her, and with what he had done to her mother.

        She turned her aim to the Hutt and quickly fired three shots into his head. The guards turned and upon seeing their dead master, were frozen stiff in shock. Vasira then gave a Balan a hard tug on his arm, pulling him back and off-balance. "Come on!" she whispered harshly. She ran and he ran after her.

        She knew this route by heart. It was her escape route. She'd dreamed about it every night for years, since finding it. Servants weren't normally allowed to go to this part of the compound, only guards, guests, and business associates. It was essentially the front entrance of the Hutt's compound.

        After going through a couple of empty hallways, and a lavish waiting chamber they reached an elevator. This part of the compound was more cushy and fancy looking than the rest of the compound, even the Hutt's audience chamber.

        They'd met no resistance until now, only a few surprised guests. The compound was in chaos without much leadership to take charge without Onis. Thus the elevator was guarded by only two guards. Two Nikto, armed with heavy blaster pistols and short swords.

       They surprised the guards though, as they sprint into the elevator entrance room. Vasira took down one with her blaster, before they could even react. The second raised his pistol and fired. Balan put himself between the Nikto and Vasira, deflecting the bolts aside. As the Nikto continued to fire Balan kept deflecting bolts, all the while approaching the guard. The Nikto backed into the wall behind him.

        Balan was now close enough to kill him. Such a thing felt in the realm of possible to him, almost in the realm of acceptable; now that he had killed a man. He resisted the inclination though, and sliced through the blaster. He then crotch kicked the much larger alien, trying to stick to non-lethal methods.

        The alien keeled over and lay on the ground moaning. Vasira ran up behind Balan, and used a control panel to open the door to the elevator. Balan watched her back. He could hear shouting coming from the way they had came. "The guards," he thought. They didn't stick around to confirm his thought, though. She pulled him inside the elevator, and began using a control panel inside the elevator. She closed the door with it and started their ascent.

        The inside of the elevator was comfortable and had fancy decor. They had more important things to worry about then admiring the surroundings, though.

        Balan was surprised to see her reveal another device from her skimpy outfit. She quickly attached it to a socket she had uncovered just below the control panel. "What's that?" he asked, curious.

        "A gift my mother gave me before she died. It's supposed to make sure I-we get out of here. Let's hope it still works." She finished working with the device and stood up. Nothing seemed to change.

        "What does it do?" he asked, hoping it was working.

        "I don't know exactly, but it keeps Onis-," she corrected herself, "it keeps anyone from stopping the elevator from any computer in the compound. Other than this control panel in front of us."

        "Oh," he nodded, feeling a little better about the situation.

        They rode up in silence, Vasira thinking of what she was leaving behind, and wondering what she would go to now. Balan worried how this experience would affect him, especially now that he had blood on his hands. Somehow, he knew he'd never forget the look on Mrastaos' face as he died.

        The ride up was taking quite a while. So he finally asked "how far up are we going?"

        "A long ways, all the way to ground level, I think."

        Balan slowly realized the implications of that statement, "wait. Have you lived your whole life underground!?"

        She nodded, a bit taken back by his shock. He sensed her apprehension and decided to stay quiet. She summed up the unspoken by saying "this will be the first time I get to see the sky."
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If only you could see inside my head. . .

Balan

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Re: On the Streets, in the Shadows Volume II (Closed RP)
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2016, 04:51:39 AM EST »

        After about five minutes the elevator came to a smooth stop. That seemed to Balan to be a very long elevator ride. He wondered just how far they'd traveled upward. The door opened and blinding light flooded in. Vasira ducked to the side, away from the light. She also shielded her eyes with her hands. It was just as well, because a barrage of blaster bolts riddled the back wall of the elevator car.

        He was more used to the bright, natural sunlight. He had to squint heavily, but managed to keep his eyes slightly open. He had sensed danger when the doors had opened, and had ignited his lightsaber. He deflected the first few bolts that had come his way, and then ducked to the side, out of the view of the attackers.

        She had also realized what was happening, despite keeping her eyes tightly shut. She pulled back out her hold-out blaster. Using her sense of touch alone, she moved her blaster around the edge of the door. She began firing blindly.

        One of her blind shots hit an assailant. The incoming fire noticeably lessened. However, the attackers began focusing their fire on her. Feeling the heat of the bolts inches from her hand, she yelped and pulled her hand back.

        He stepped back out, in between the two elevator doors. He frantically deflected bolt after endless bolt. He struggled to keep up. He then thought to try a training exercise his father had had him use. He closed his eyes and focused more on using the force, instead of his reflexes and coordination. He was still struggling to keep up, and all of his deflections were going in random directions. He wasn't able to aim a shot back at the attackers. They also seemed to be varying the locations of their shots, to keep him off balance. It was working, and he wasn't sure how long he could keep up.

        The elevator doors began to close, gently pushing on his feet. This momentarily distracted him, and a missed bolt singed the skin on his ear.

        "Don't let the doors close!" she shouted, as she heard the doors trying to do just that. He planted his feet firmly and kept deflecting bolts.

        She had tried several times to keep her eyes open at least slightly, but it was just too painful and her eyes wouldn't let her. Regardless, she rejoined the firefight. She managed to hit a second assailant. Now that she had widdled down the incoming fire, he was able to aim their shots back at them. He quickly deflected a shot into the knee of one, and then another into the elbow of the last standing attacker. When the firing had finally stopped, she retrieved her device from the elevator's socket.

        At the same moment, he felt the elevator doors start to push harder. His feet began to slide, despite his pushing back. "Uh, Vasira. You might want to get out-" He stumbled forward as she pushed him out of the elevator.

        He opened his eyes to see the doors close behind them. He quickly went back to squinting, though. His eyes still weren't used to the light. She moaned in great discomfort and shut her eyes tightly, after trying to look around.

        He quickly assessed their ambushers. Four Nikto in leather armor. Three of them were moaning and writhing in pain, the fourth wasn't moving or making any sound. Balan made his way around the henchmen, slicing their blasters in two. He came to the motionless Nikto, a hole from a blaster bolt in his chest.

        He took the dead man's blaster and leather helmet, and then returned to Vasira's side. She had managed to catch a glimpse of the henchmen, before having to close her eyes again. "We have to kill them."

        He was taken aback by her statement. He let the comment drop, trying to avoid executing the men. "Here, put this on" he said. "It'll protect your eyes." He carefully began to put the helmet on her head.

        She pulled away, exclaiming "what is that?!" She could smell the must of the previous owner on it.

        "It's a helmet" he explained, "it'll come down over your eyes." He tried again to put it on her. When it touched her head, she gripped it herself and slowly put it on. It being too big for her head, it did indeed come down over her eyes, shading them well. She was now able to keep her eyes slightly open, and peer down out of the bottom of the helmet.

        He then turned to examining their surroundings. They were in a duracrete parking garage, with a low ceiling. The parking spots were sparsely filled with various models of speeders and speeder bikes. Some looked to be in very nice condition, some in very poor condition, and others in-between.

        There was an exit, marked by painted signs, about fifty meters away in one direction. In the opposite direction, behind the elevator, was a parapet. Beyond it was open air, and a magnificent view of the Nar Shadaa ecumenopolis. Skyscrapers as far as he could see. Some looked well maintained with colorful and clean windows brilliantly reflecting the bright sunlight. Many more looked to be crumbling and dilapidated, though.

        He turned back to his partner, "and how about something with a little more firepower?" He held the blaster out to her. She stuffed her small blaster back into her outfit and took the new weapon from him. She felt the weight of it. It was significantly heavier than her blaster. She liked the feel of it, a lot. It felt like power, liberating power.

        She pointed it at the nearest guard.

        Balan swatted it up an instant before she squeezed the trigger. It spat out three rounds in quick succession, which made three corresponding holes in the duracrete ceiling.

        Having her moment of liberation and empowerment cut short, she snapped at Balan. “Hey!. . .” She stared at the floor, furious with him, with Onis, with everyone. She tried to hide her fury behind cold logic. “They’ll report in as soon as we leave!” she growled.

        Balan paused briefly to think. He did his best to ignore the ruthless, vengeful demeanor she had taken on. He had to admit that she did have a point, though. They were a danger to them as long as they were alive. He turned to the three live henchmen and spoke to them in Huttese. “Hand over your communicators.” The guards hesitated, exchanging glances. “Now!” Balan shouted in their language.

        One of the guards seemed to have a superior rank; the other two’s facial expressions seemed to be asking him for direction, and his leather armor was more substantial and in better condition. This guard reached into a pocket on the front of his cuirass.

        Vasira whipped her newly acquired blaster in the direction of his face. He stopped instantly, and raised his other hand to try to placate her. She peered scornfully, down out of the helmet, at him. She didn’t fire, but she wouldn’t take the blaster off of him. He slowly took his hand out of his pocket, to reveal a small, black, cylindrical device.

        The escapees both recognized it as a communicator. He held it out to her, but she wouldn’t move an inch towards him to take it. Balan started to reach for it, but he stopped when Vasira shouted at the guard in Huttese. “Drop it!” She snarled, “on the ground!” The Nikto’s eyes shifted from her, to him, and back again. He dropped it and it rolled slowly to Balan, who quickly scooped it up and pocketed it.

        “Now the rest of you!” Balan loudly order. He was going along with Vasira’s way of doing things, as long as nobody else got killed. The two other henchmen exchanged weary glances with their apparent superior, who nodded affirmatively. They slowly retrieved their communicators from their pockets and rolled them to Balan. He quickly sliced the devices in two, with his still active lightsaber.

        Balan then moved to the dead guard, while keeping his eyes on the four of them. He sincerely hoped Vasira wouldn’t shoot the guard, especially on purpose. She still hadn’t pulled the gun off of him. He frantically searched the body for the last communicator, wanting to get out of there as quickly and peacefully as possible. After what felt like an hour he found it, in a pocket. He pocketed this one, as well.

        Vasira still hadn’t moved an inch. “We can’t leave them alive!” she shouted at Balan.

        “We’re not killing anyone we don’t have to!” he yelled back.

        Mulling over what to do, she finally took her gaze off the guards and briefly looked at Balan; before returning it to the three Nikto. After a long, tense moment, she turned and fired several three-shot bursts into the elevator’s external control panel. Feeling only partially satsified, she cautiously made her way around the wounded men and then marched past Balan. She kept checking the henchmen for movement, as she went, almost constantly turning her head and glancing back at them.

        Balan fell in line behind her, and then took the lead when he remembered how limited her eyesight currently was. He reached for her hand, and grasped it for a moment, before she yanked it away. “What are you doing?!” she barked.

        Before replying, he glanced back at the Nikto to see that they hadn’t moved much. The leader was watching them, though. Tensions were rising, and he responded harshly. “I’m keeping you from tripping over yourself!”

        ”Shut up, you nerf-herder!” she snarled.

        That hurt him, but he tried to ignore it. With effort, he spoke in a calmer tone. “Please give me your hand, so we can get out of this spice-hole!”

        She sighed roughly, and then stuck out her hand. She didn’t like being led around, she’d had enough of it for a lifetime. He took it, and they scurried towards the exit.

        After a few moments, he tried speaking to her again. “Have you got a plan of where to go now?”

        She hated to admit that she didn’t. “. . .no. Just find us a private spot so we can call for help,” she flatly told Balan.

        He ignored her rude tone and kept leading her by the hand. He would get them a good distance away from the gaurds and the elevator entrance, and then call for help on his communicator.

        They exited the garage into the full brightness of the mid-morning sun. Ahead of them they could hear a noisy din. Despite the brightness, he could make out a large, bustling crowd before them.  He didn’t understand what they were doing, at first. After cautiously moving down the wide walkway, closer to the crowd, he noticed signs and wares being displayed. He realized then, that it was a shopping center. A very large one.

        They were now at the edge of the crowd, in the midst of a large courtyard. Encompassing the courtyard was a massive complex. It had a beautiful motif of some ancient civilization, with myriad windows shining brightly in the sun. The courtyard had a large fountain in the middle of it, with a couple dozen or so small children of varying species, playing in the water. Having exposed his eyes for too long, to too much sunlight, he had to stop walking and close them. He shut his eyes tight, squeezing with his eye-lids, as if pushing the light out of his pupils.

        After his eyes quit protesting, he opened them slightly again. He looked around for a private spot. Seeing an alleyway at the edge of the complex, leading away from the courtyard, he led her there. Remembering the second communicator he’d confiscated, he quickly gave it to her. “In case we get separated,” he explained. She nodded in understanding, her helmet loosely bobbling on her head. He began adjusting the communicator to the correct frequency. The one he’d repeated day after day, night after night, in his prison; trying to keep it in his memory. 9ZetaX23Farenheit.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 06:51:44 PM EDT by Balan »
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Re: On the Streets, in the Shadows Volume II (Closed RP)
« Reply #48 on: March 25, 2016, 01:09:34 PM EDT »

        The communicator began to broadcast, but he wasn’t sure what exactly he should say “. . .Hello. Hello? Zoronius, are you there?” He remembered that name, from when they first arrived on Nar Shaddaa. His telepathic communication with the Jedi had been burned indelibly into his memory. He paused, and waited.

        After a few moments of only static he tried again. “Hello? Is anyone on this channel? Is there a person by the name of Zoronius listening in?” Again, only static. He sighed heavily and dropped his head. Perhaps this wouldn’t be as easy as he thought. Vasira was growing a little concerned at him not getting an answer.

        With a little bit of panic in his voice, he tried a third time. “Hello? Is anyone there? I need-“

        “Boy?! Is that you?!”

        Balan’s face went a little pale. He swallowed his spit, and replied. “Who is this?”

        “I know that voice, and T6 agrees with me. You’re that little Jedi brat who took my cargo.”

        Balan now recognized the other person’s voice, as well. It was Grennik, the smuggler who’s ship he had stowed away on. It wasn’t his first choice, it was just to get out of a firefight with Corsec. He wasn’t sure how to respond. He couldn’t even remember everything that had happened between them, it had been a long week on Nar Shaddaa. He went with his inclination, which was to try to make peace. “Look, I’m sorry about all that. But, nonetheless, I still have the cargo so you can still get your payment.”

        There was a long silence, before Grennik replied. “Where are you?”

        “I really don’t know. Some sort of huge shopping center, I think.”

        “Hmm. . .Well, I’m having T6 triangulate your signal, as it is. I’ll be there soon. You better have my cargo, boy.”

        “I do. I’ll gladly return it, but you gotta do something for me.”

        “I don’t have to do squat for you, boy,” he growled. “You owe me,” he said coldly.

        “I just want a ticket off this moon, that’s all.”

        “We’ll see.”

        “It’s either that, or you don’t get the saber.”

        There was another long silence before Grennik replied. “Fine, kid.”

        With that, their conversation died. Balan left the communicator on, so Grennik could track its signal. He wasn’t sure he should, though. He wondered if Grennik would stick to the agreement. Vasira broke his contemplation. “What about me? Do I get a ticket out of here, too?”

        He hadn’t even thought to mention her to Grennik. “ I wouldn-“ he then realized that the smuggler would probably be listening in on their conversation. He pressed his palm tightly to the microphone end of the communicator, to block out their conversation. “I wouldn’t worry about it, I’m sure he’ll let you go too.” After thinking about it more, he really wasn’t that sure. He couldn’t bring himself to tell her that, though.

        They decided to walk a little ways down the alley, trying to put a little more room between them and the deceased Hutt’s lair. This alley led to another, which ran the length of the back of the shopping complex. There were large freight doors spaced out along the beige-painted, back wall of the duracrete complex. On the other side of the alley were a row of large, grey, durasteel warehouses. For a while they stood around, not saying much. They just waited nervously for a ship that might, or might not, take them off the planet.

        It felt like an eternity, but they knew it must have only been about fifteen minutes before they heard a loud sound that caught their attention. By this time Balan’s eyes had finally adjusted to the light, and he didn’t have to squint so hard. He thought the sound might be Grennik’s ship dipping out of the airlanes high above their heads. He looked up and saw the streaming, criss-crossing lanes of atmospheric traffic. It seemed to him, to be exceptionally orderly for the traffic of a Hutt crime world.

        An object caught Balan’s eye, flying over one of the large warehouses. As he turned his head to track it, he saw that it was an armored humanoid, propelled by a jetpack strapped to it’s back. It stopped in mid-air and seemed to be watching them. Balan recognized the armor as Mandalorian. He felt fear yet again and his heartbeat quickened. He grabbed Vasira’s hand and started quickly walking away from the flying person, and back to the courtyard. He kept his eyes on the newcomer as he walked.

        Vasira kept pace with him, “what’s going on? Where are you taking me?” “There’s a merc who seems to be watching us.” As they reached the courtyard, Balan noticed something that stopped him cold. A group of aliens were weaving through the many hovercars in the parking lot, just outside the courtyard of the shopping center. They were of various species, and they were armed and armored. It seemed that the late Hutt’s small army had rallied.

        There were twenty or so of them that Balan could see making their way to the shopping complex. He quickly started making his way into the courtyard, Vasira stumbled as he pulled her along with him. “Hey! Watch it!” she protested. He didn’t reply he just led them into the mass of people. He glanced back to see the flying merc come around the corner of the building. He began looking for an entrance into the interior of the shopping complex. He spotted the main entrance, below part of the mall’s ancient civilization facade. It had a foyer with large, clear plasteel windows. As he turned to head in that direction he saw a second flying, armored figure come over the top of the building entrance.

        Knowing they were surrounded, he stopped. His mind racing, he froze for a moment. He didn’t know what to do. He then noticed the communicator still in his hand. “Grennick,” he pleaded “get here fast! We’re trapped!”
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Re: On the Streets, in the Shadows Volume II (Closed RP)
« Reply #49 on: March 25, 2016, 01:11:37 PM EDT »

        Vasira heard what he said. Frantically she asked “what’s going on?!”

        “There’s two-“ he corrected himself when he saw two more figures in Mandalorian armor hovering above them. “No, four mercs with jetpacks surrounding us, and Onis’ guards are behind us. About twenty of them.” The crowd must have started to notice Onis’ minions because screaming erupted from behind the pair, and a moment later they were bombarded with people shoving past them, running for safety. Balan pulled her close to keep them from being separated.

        “We have to fight,” she shouted to be heard over the cacophony of terror.

        “We’re outgunned, surrounded. You can’t even really see!” He tried reasoning with her.

        “I’m not going back there! Even if I die, I’m not going back there!”

        He didn’t have plan, he didn’t know what to tell her. “We should. . .”

        “You take care of the Mandalorians, I’ll take care of Onis’ men.”

        He was left speechless by her strong words. He didn’t know if it was confidence, or if she had resigned herself to going out in a blaze of glory.

        Without so much as a goodbye she turned around and let go of his hand. She trudged through the sea of people, keeping her head down and a firm grip on her blaster carbine. She was being pushed around by the terrified mob, but she kept pushing through, step by step. She wouldn’t go back, she was done being pawed and used, spat on and enslaved. She would never go back. She would die first.

        Balan watched her slip away. She quickly disappeared from sight, engulfed by the crowd. He too, was being battered by the stampede. He mourned for her, feeling he’d never see her again. He quickly stopped himself, though. He wouldn’t let her down. He wouldn’t just let them die. He knew firmly in his mind that they wouldn’t. He was convinced that he’d find, or fight, a way out.

        Feeling the last wave of people pass her, Vasira stopped and peeked out from under her helmet. There were well more than twenty henchmen facing her. The filthy monsters had stopped, and formed a line before her. The guard chief, a surly, leathered Weequay, stood in the front of the middle of the line. She knew him well. His name was Kassu. He wouldn’t touch or hit her, unlike some of his guards. However, despite his authority, he never stopped those abusing her.

        He spoke to her calmly, in Huttese. “Girl, put down the gun.”

        She paid him no heed. She wanted to see the sky before it was all over. She didn’t care if it hurt her eyes. She pulled the helmet off her head. She let it fall to the ground with a thud. She stared up into the blue sky, tinged greyish-brown by the heavy pollution in the atmosphere. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen, besides the warm smile on her mother’s face.

        She fought off those wistful thoughts, she wouldn’t breakdown in tears at her execution. She knew her death warrant had been signed. She also knew that most likely it was one of Onis’ close relatives, who had rallied and ordered this mob after her. She focused instead on her accomplishment; she had escaped, she was a free woman. She had seen the sky.

        When she hadn’t replied to him, she had just stared beyond him, the guard chief grew angry. “Put down the gun!” he shouted. Her gaze slowly lowered to him, looking him in the eye. Her eyes burned with intense pain now. She would let herself blink some, but she wouldn’t let her eyes have the rest that they begged for. She wanted to take in as much light as possible, before it was all over.

        She casually lifted her arm, stretching it out toward the guard chief. The blaster hung limply in her grip. At her movement, several of the henchmen shifted anxiously. Kassu put out both his hands, to signal to his men to refrain from firing. They did, barely.

        She examined their faces with disdain, the faces of her executioners. She noticed that each of them wore a tinted visor, which protected their eyes from the harsh sunlight. Her gaze then went back to the face of the guard chief, and settled there. She focused on him, blaming him in her head for everything that had happened to her. He had been one of few with the power to stop her mistreatment; not her enslavement, but at least her abuse.

        He simply stared back into her eyes. She knew he wasn’t really trying to save her life. He was just trying to preserve her until one of Onis’ relatives could execute her in a more exciting, extravagant fashion. She had seen it happen before; a thin veil of hospitality or mercy covering twisted, malevolent indulgence. She also knew that he would be rewarded well, if he succeeded.

        When she hadn’t dropped the gun after a couple moments; he spoke to her again, calmly, almost soothingly. “Put it down, we will not hurt you. We hated Onis, just like you. Put it down, Vasira.”

        His speaking her name disgusted her. It was enough to propel her into action, and get it over with. Her face twisted in abhorrence as she flicked her wrist, pointing the blaster at him. Her three bolts blasted through his armored chest. The other henchmen reached for their weapons, and she began firing on them as well.

               *   *   *

        The crowd flooded past Balan and through the entrance doors. For a moment he wanted to slip away with them. He wouldn’t bring them into the line of fire, though. The mercs, to their credit, were content to let the crowd flee. They merely watched Balan, and waited. He had never heard a reply from Grennick. Amidst the stampede, the communicator had been knocked loose from his grasp, and disappeared under the feet of the fleeing horde.

        Soon the last of the crowd left him behind. Bruised from the stampede, he realized he’d gotten more of a beating from them, then he had from the guards. He caught a glimpse of Vasira, staring at what must have been closer to thirty henchmen. He could hear one of the aliens speaking to her, his deep, calm voice echoing throughout the courtyard.

        The mercs started to descend towards him. He unclipped his lightsaber and ignited it. “What do you want?!” he shouted, angry and fearful. They didn’t reply. He sensed danger from behind and twisted around to his left. He looked down to see the hooked end of a capture cable hit the ground, where he had just been standing.

        He looked back up at the merc hovering between him and the building entrance, who was now shooting his own capture cable. He twisted and stepped aside again, but the clingwire grazed him and latched on. It began wrapping itself around his right arm, holding his lightsaber, and down around his back.

        He changed his grip on his saber to his unhindered left hand and sliced through the cable with a quick swing. The clingwire held to his robes, but only hindered the movement of his right arm somewhat. He again sensed danger, this time to his right, and then all around him. He caught a glimpse of a small, pointed, metallic object darting towards him. He ducked and rolled forward. He heard several clanging noises as the metallic objects hit the paved ground.

        He whirled around, and as he did so, he heard one of the mercs shouting something angrily. His hearing was suddenly overwhelmed with a deafening noise. A ship suddenly flew over him, firing it’s dual-laser cannons. He saw the merc, that had been directly behind him moments ago, turned to slag as several laser bolts hit him squarely.

               *   *   *

        She kept firing into the group of henchmen, taking down a couple more of them. She saw their eyes widen, as they all dove to the ground. She heard and felt in her chest a powerful sound behind her. She turned around just in time to see a ship zoom by, less than 10 meters above her head. Her survival instinct instantly returned to her, and she bolted for the large fountain in the middle of the courtyard. She didn’t think she’d make it, but she had to take the chance. She was halfway to the fountain when she heard and felt blaster fire zing by her. She was so close that she could count her steps to the fountain now. “4, 3, 2-“ A bolt hit her left shoulder blade, burned through her chest, and kept on going. She screamed and tumbled to the ground, landing next to the fountain.
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Re: On the Streets, in the Shadows Volume II (Closed RP)
« Reply #50 on: March 25, 2016, 01:12:29 PM EDT »


               *   *   *

        Just after seeing the small freighter fly low over the hutt’s minions, Balan heard a loud thud behind him. The charred remains, of the merc that had been hovering over the building entrance, had hit the ground a couple feet behind him. He heard the two remaining mercs shout an enraged battle cry, each of them then aimed and fired a rocket at the ground to either side of him. The blast would be enough to render him unconscious, if not kill him.

        Using the force to propel him he jumped forward. In his weakened state he only made it about six feet, but he hit the ground running. Seeing Vasira running in his direction motivated him to pick up his pace. They both neared the fountain from opposite sides, as he saw the henchmen began to fire on Vasira. “No!” he shouted, straining his exhausted muscles to push him as fast as humanly possible.

        It wasn’t enough, he saw the bolt exit her chest, the look of shock on her face, and her eyes close as she hit the ground and rolled. There were no words to express his anger and grief, he hoarsely roared with what was left of his strength. The small army noticed him and began firing at him as well. He deflected the shots that came near him, before ducking behind the large duracrete fountain. He crouched down on the ground and peered around the corner, disengaging his lightsaber blade. He didn’t care if she was dead, he couldn’t leave her there.

        The firing continued on, chipping away at the two, three-meter tall, duracrete figures, and their shared water basin. He concluded he’d get only one chance at getting her out of there, before they made sure she was dead. Ignoring his own safety he stuck out his head and shoulders, and thrust out his hand for her arm. He grabbed it just below the elbow and pulled her to him. He slid back behind the disintegrating décor, sat down and pulled her onto his lap. Her eyes were still closed, and she wasn’t moving. Balan’s hope was gone.

        It returned a moment later, when her eyes bolted open and she breathed in deeply, shocked she was still alive. “Vasira!” he shouted with joy, anguish, anger, and fear all at once. He pulled her in and squeezed her tightly. “Aah!” she shouted in pain. He let go of her instantly “oh! I’m so sorry!” Guilt joined his other emotions, for causing her pain. She raised her right hand to cover her gaping wound. It looked very bad to Balan, as it seeped blood.

        He heard the deafening sound of the starship again, heard it firing as it neared the fountain.  It passed over head, not blowing him and Vasira to smithereens. It continued its run, firing at the two mercs. They steered clear of it and dodged its shots, as it flew on past the shopping mall. Balan tried to get a closer look at the ship, but instantly forgot about that when the two mercs made a B-line for him and Vasira. He gingerly set her aside and stood up, reigniting his saber. They began firing their heavy blaster pistols at him. He didn’t think his battered body could keep up. His arms felt like wet noodles, trying to hold up a twenty kilogram hilt.

        To his surprise he kept up with the bolts, for several moments, but didn’t even see the third capture cord. It wrapped around his tired out body and entangled him. He struggled to pull it apart. He was unsuccessful and lost his balance from wrestling with it. He toppled over, adding shame to his defeat. His lightsaber was knocked from his hands when he hit the ground, it disengaged and rolled away from him.

        He watched helplessly as the mercs landed in front of him. One of them barked at the other in Mando’a and motioned towards Vasira. The Mandalorian approached them and picked up Vasira, while the one giving orders roughly picked Balan by the clingwire. “Ah!” he grunted as he was hoisted up. “Hey!” he protested.

        Just as roughly as he was picked up, he was suddenly dropped onto his left side. He quickly ascertained why. The ship had returned. With it standing still, he was able to confirm his hope that it was indeed, Grennick’s light freighter.

        It hovered over the courtyard, between them and the complex’s main entrance. He heard Vasira also hit the ground with a thud. He heard her moan in pain. This gave him some relief. She was still alive, at least for the moment.

        The Mandalorians suddenly sprung into action. They activated their jetpacks and flew in opposite directions, in a circle around the ship. As they went, they fired rocket after rocket into the two dual-laser cannons-one on bottom, one on top-on Grennick’s freighter. The lower cannon was wrecked almost immediately, the one on top got off a few shots before being destroyed. A pair of bolts struck one of the mercs on one side of his chest. He went into a spin, crashed head first into one of the exterior duracrete walls of the mall, and fell in a heap onto the ground.

        The ship having been disabled, the last merc swooped around to his fallen comrade. Balan anxiously watched as the ramp to the ship slowly lowered. It revealed a grizzled man in his early forties. “Grennick,” Balan thought.

        He stepped out to the end of the ramp, as it and the ship’s landing gear touched down. He looked around for the remaining merc. He soon found him, as he sped in Grennick’s direction, his jetpack propeling him. Grennick tried to dodge him, but he plowed into him, knocking him off the ramp and down the few feet to the ground. Grennick hit hard, the wind being knocked out of him; but he rolled and quickly got back on his feet.

        The Mandalorian swept back around in a wide circle firing his blaster. Grennick darted for the fountain, firing his blaster as he went. There were several close calls, but it was only a matter of time before one of them found their target. The hit landed on the Mandalorians head. His body went limp, and careened into the top of Grennick’s frieghter. After he bounced off of it, his jetpack shut off and he crashed onto the ground. He came to a rest on the opposite side of the ship from the fountain.

        Balan had rolled onto his back, and had finally managed a grip on Qur’s lightsaber. He ignited the brilliant silver blade and sliced through the clingwire on that side of his body. As Grennick got up, watching for anymore hostiles, Balan continued to cut himself free. The pilot walked over to the padawan, and looked down at him “hand it over, kid.”

        Balan stood himself up, having freed himself of his constraints. He unceremoniously turned the saber off and handed it to him. He stepped over to Vasira and picked her up. “We need to patch her up, now;” there was great urgency in the young man’s voice.

        Grennick pocketed the saber, took a look at the young Twi’lek’s wound and nodded. “I’ll have T6 lower the ship. There’s a medkit in the main room.” Balan walked towards the ramp. He then remembered his own lightsaber. He had forgotten to pick it up. He couldn’t spare anytime before helping her, though. Without turning back, he called to Grennick “would you grab that other saber for me? Thanks.”

        The man looked from the boy to the saber and back again. He wasn’t about to start doing errands for him, but he figured he’d help him out, this time. He pocketed the second saber. He then spoke into his wrist comm to his droid partner “land the ship T. You’ve got wounded coming in, help’em out.” A few quizzical beeps sounded over the comm. He didn’t answer them. He only replied “I’ve got two bounty hunters to check on,” before turning off the comlink.

        He instead made his way around his ship, blaster in hand. He was going to make sure those two Mandalorians weren’t going to make anymore trouble for him.

        Inside the ship, Balan hustled to the main room, T6 leading the way. Balan set her down on a couch, and then turned to the droid and asked “where’s the medkit?” The droid replied with beeps and boops, but Balan couldn’t understand it. Beside himself now, he looked around the room for it. T6 rotated and rolled over to stand next to it. Balan followed as the droid opened it up. He frantically searched through the kit for gause, kolto, and a sealant. Finding the first two, but not the sealant, he gave up after a few moments and went back to her.

        He opened the pack of kolto. Despite his queasiness, he began to apply it to the inside of the wound with a plasti applicator. The bolt had burned through part of her chest, but had amazingly missed her shoulder, left lung, heart, and main arteries. His fingers now covered in blood, he had finished applying the kolto. Without a sealant however, he couldn’t stop the bleeding. In desperation, he turned to the droid “I don’t know what to do! She’s gonna bleed to death! I can’t stop it!” He got back up and went back to the medkit to try again to find the sealant.

        Focused on finding the sealant he didn’t notice the droid’s reply. What he did notice was Vasira screaming in pain. He turned and ran to her side. As he did, he saw the droid extending one his arms into her wound. He saw small flashes of electricity coming from the wound. He then realized that the droid was helping. He held Vasira down as she writhed in pain from the shocks.

        He hadn’t even noticed that she wasn’t making any sounds until the droid jolted her, literally, and she started screaming. He didn’t know if she had been asleep or unconscious; but now he thought she might make it. During the whole cauterization process, Vasira glared daggers at Balan-who smiled back sympathetically and innocently-but she didn’t give the droid a second thought.

        After T6 finished cauterizing her wound, he helped Balan spread the gauze over it. Vasira, quiet again, quickly fell asleep. Balan sat on the floor by her side, while T6 rolled off to go attend to the ship.

               *   *   *

        Grennick had briefly examined the army he had decimated, before checking on the Mandalorians. They were attacking the kid and apparently his friend. He regretted the loss of life, but thought he had made the right choice, when he fired on them. A handful of them had survived, and scurried off to who knows where.

        He checked the first Mandalorian, who had plowed into a wall headfirst. There was no sign of life in him. He briefly thought about scavenging the armor, but decided against. It’d be too easily traceable by other Mandalorians of his clan. In his opinion, it’d also show little respect for the dead.

        He moved onto the last one, the one that had bounced off the top of his ship. This one was laying face down, sprawled out on the ground. As with the previous Mandalorian, he kept his blaster aimed at his head. He stood there for a good minute, waiting for the Mandalorian to spring to life and try to surprise him. No such thing happened. He swallowed the lump in his throat, stuck out his foot, and lightly kicked the armored foe. The body rolled over to reveal a smoldering hole in the forehead of the merc’s helmet. He breathed a sigh of relief and regret.

        His relief quickly disappeared when he realized that the hole wasn’t a hole, it was just a dent. The Mandalorian did indeed spring to life, instantaneously jerking his arm in Grennick’s direction. The pilot was surprised, but squeezed off a couple shots, before the Mandalorian could. One knocked the blaster out of the merc’s hand and the other hit between the armor plates just above the wrist. The Mandalorian shouted and then writhed in pain.

        Grennick stood there watching. “So one of them did survive,” he thought to himself.

        This presented a dilemma for him. The Mandalorian quickly pressed the issue as he, with his one good hand, ripped off his helmet. This revealed long red hair, and that he was indeed a she. Her sharp, striking features caught him more off guard than her surprise attack did. “Just get it over with!” she painfully demanded in Mando’a.

        He replied matter-of-factly, “I thought you were alive; when I saw your pack switch off. That doesn’t just happen by itself, but you know-“

        “You may end my agony, but you may not add to it with your dribble!” she screamed ferociously in her language.

        He kept his expression stern, and cold. He would do what he had to. “One shot ought to do,” he thought. He fired. “Uh, heh. . .tougher than I thought” he mumbled, and fired a couple more times, before he was satisfied.

        He turned back to the women “you put a tracking device on my ship, and I’ll shoot you too.”

        He started to back away. She watched him, fire in her eyes, as he watched her. She glanced to her blaster, which he had blown to pieces with one, than a couple more, shots. “You’re not sparing me! I’m already dying!” she screamed accusatorily at him.

        He smirked at her over dramatization. From her wounds, he could tell that she’d survive. He knew first hand, that Mandalorians were tough. “You’ll be fine” he called back condescendingly.

        He raised the ramp and then made his way to the main room. There he learned from T6 that he and the boy had stabilized his shot friend. Feeling sorry for them-and a bit generous because of having his cargo back-he tossed the kid his saber, and then walked to the cockpit without a word. He’d give them passage to a safer place; after selling his cargo.

        T6 followed him into the cockpit. Grennick then told him to take the ship into orbit. After catching his breath, Grennick returned to the main room to sort this whole thing out, which including scolding the padawan.

               *   *   *

        The lone surviving Mandalorian watched the ship take off, arc up into the sky, and burn atmo. “I won’t be sparing you, Grennick Lin” she growled through gritted teeth.
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Re: On the Streets, in the Shadows Volume II (Closed RP)
« Reply #51 on: March 29, 2016, 12:04:35 AM EDT »

                                                  Epilogue



        After the ship entered low orbit around the moon, Grennick returned to find that Balan had dozed off. His head rested on the girl’s left leg, just above her knee. He cleared his throat. He repeated the sound with more volume. As intended, this stirred Balan.

        His tired eyes looked up at the older smuggler. Balan stayed quiet though, waiting for an earful.

        Grennick used only a few words to make his point. “How are you going to make this up to me, boy?”

        “I returned the saber.”

        “You damaged my ship.”

        The padawan’s face took on a quizzical look “wha- How did I damage your ship?”

        “When you stole the saber, you took out a chunk of my hull.”

        It had been a long week for Balan, but the memory came back to him. “Oh right. When I removed the tracking device.” He stopped, but when Grennick merely waited for him to answer his original question, he continued with his explanation. “I needed it, to find the buyer. If I had let you destroy it, I might not have found him;” he said, defending his actions.

        Grennick’s expression barely changed. “I didn’t need the buyer to find me. I would’ve found him just fine.” Annoyance shown in his voice, but to Balan’s surprise he stayed relatively calm.

        “Well, I’m sorry. Things happened so fast. I got wisked off by that Brody guy. That definitely wasn’t planned. And you-“ realization struck Balan then. “You shot at me.” Remembering that, Balan felt a lot less safe on Lin’s ship.

        “You attacked me. You took the saber from me” the pilot retorted. “Besides, I had set the blaster to stun.”

        “I was just trying to remove the tracking device. I had to keep you from destroy-” realization again struck Balan. “Wait. You had it on stun?”

        Grennick nodded slowly.

        “You mean you weren’t trying to kill me, or blast off one of my appendages?”

        Grennick shook his head slowly.

        “Well, I guess things got out of hand.”

        Grennick nodded again, in a matter-of-factly fashion. Then there was a long moment of silence between the two. Since the boy seemed to have nothing more to say, Grennick reiterated his original question. “So. . .how are you going to make this right?”

        Balan was at a loss for logical words. “But, it ‘s not my fault! You were going to destroy the tracker, I had to-”

        “Look kid, I’m not as stupid as you might think I am.” Lin cut in, the same small amount of annoyance showing in his voice. “I had it handled, before you went off on your little escapade.”

        Silence resumed between the two, and the wheels in Balan’s head began to turn. He remembered thinking that he had to preserve the tracker. He had to, to complete his self-appointed mission. “How could I have known he would take me to the buyer?” he wondered

        Growing impatient, Grennick stared down at the boy.

        After carefully forming what he would next say, Balan asked “what would you have done if I hadn’t stopped you from getting rid of the tracker?”

        Grennick folded his arms, he would put up with the boy’s questions only so long. “I would’ve commed one of my contacts and set up the sale with my real buyer. Not those hooligans we met when we first got here.”

        “And you would’ve let me go with them?”

        “Of course, for all the good it would do.”

        Balan paused thinking. “So. . .” He thought some more. He hated to admit it, but he had made a mistake. He swallowed his pride “I’m sorry I damaged your ship. I can’t foretell the future. . .You started shooting, I thought you might kill me. I took my chance to get away.”

        “Apology accepted” Grennick spoke with a bit softer voice. “But, how are you going to pay to have my ship repaired?”

        “I don’t have any money! I’m not a mechanic, I can’t fix it!” Balan complained.

        Grennick brought his hand to his brow and rubbed it, to release tension. The last thing he wanted to deal with today was a whining teenager. After calming back down, Grennick looked again down at the boy. “Well. I guess you’ll just have to work it off.”

        Balan thought about that. He didn’t mind working, but he was worried about what exactly Grennick would be having him do.

        Grennick started for the cockpit, and then stopped. He turned back around to the kid and said “By the way, I’m going to contact the buyer and make the sale.”

        Balan’s eyebrows raised at that. “Who else is interested in lightsabers besides Onis and Mrastaos?” he silently wondered. He asked Lin “who’s the buyer?”

        Grennick replied “A hutt, named Onis the Grand“ he said with feigned glorification.

        Balan’s jaw dropped a little at that. After recovering from the surprise, he informed Lin “Onis is dead.”

        “What?” the pilot’s expression showed disbelief. “What do you mean?”

        “I mean he’s dead.” He motioned to Vasira. “She killed him.”

        “What?!” Grennick groaned, and with both hands rubbed the top of his head in agitation. “That’s not good.”  Grennick eyes suddenly widened and he took a few quick steps into the cockpit. “T6, change course immediately! Take us out of the system! Just plot a safe trajectory and get us out of here!”

        Balan could hear the droid whistle and beep in reply, and then felt the ship turn.

        Grennick soon returned to the main room. “You’re sure it was Onis the hutt she killed?”

        “Yes, she worked for him. . .until recently.”

        “But how do you know this?”

        “I was Onis’ captive for a few days. At least I think it was a few days, it was hard to keep track of time in my cell.”

        “Go on, how did this happen?”

        Balan paused briefly to search his memory. “After I flew off with that other guy-uh, Brody was his name-we met up with a couple of the guys we met when we first landed here. Only they weren’t working for Onis or anybody nefarious, in fact one of them was a Jedi, Zoronius. I can’t remember the other one’s name.”

        Grennick sighed impatiently, but Balan didn’t notice as he finally had a chance to tell someone about everything that had happened in the past few days.

        “Brody and I landed to meet with the other two, only we never met up as we were ambushed by someone, or someones. Huh, now that I think about it, the person who carried me off was wearing mandalorian armor. I wonder if it was the group that attacked us at the shopping complex. Anyways, the mandalorian carried me off to some thugs, who took me to a cell. I woke up to find that I was the captive of Onis.”

        Grennick put his hand up to stop him, “okay, okay. But how did Onis get killed?”

        “I was getting to that. Well, it turns out that the true party interested in jedi, sabers, and such was a sith lord!” Balan said hoping to blow Grennick’s mind. The pilot merely raised his eyebrows. Disappointed, Balan continued with his explanation. “His name was Mrastaos, he dueled me, and um, won. But Vasira here” he motioned to his friend again, “distracted him and I seized the moment-“ he suddenly remembered what he had done. He felt guilt, and remorse for what he had done. He wondered briefly if he had done the right thing. He pushed the doubt down into his mind, and tried to continue with his story. “I, I, I killed him.” He suddenly couldn’t make eye contact with the smuggler, but he kept on relating the events. “Anyways, um. Things got crazy at that point, Onis’ guards came after us. Vasira then shot Onis, in the head, several times. Then we ran, took an elevator to the surface. Fought some more, and then you showed up.” He paused to catch his breath. “Which we’re thankful for.”

        Grennick had a dazed look on his face. He seem to come back to reality and then said “Hm? I wasn’t listening.” Balan’s face dropped at that, which Grennick noticed. “I’m kidding” he revealed, before rubbing his forehead in frustration. Balan started hoping he’d react well to the explanation, having realized that he may have interfered yet again, with Lin’s pay day. “That makes things difficult” the smuggled explained. “I needed that money” he blew out a long sigh. “But. . .at least Onis is dead. That’s about as much justice as I can ask for.”

        Now it was Balan’s turn to wonder. His expression again turned quizzical, “what do you mean?”

        Grennick looked him dead in the eye, Balan held the gaze for a couple moments before looking down. The pilot wondered if he should really tell the boy or not. “That lightsaber, the one with the silver blade. It belonged to my friend.”

        “Yessil Qur was your friend?!” the padawan blurted out. He couldn’t imagine a powerful jedi knight being friends with a scruffy cargo pilot. He suddenly realized that what he had said was rude. He closed his mouth and hoped Lin would let it go.

        The pilot again stared at him until the boy looked away, before continuing. “Yeah, we go way back. I managed to get his saber after he died.” Suddenly feeling like he had said too much, he turned to go back into the cockpit.

        “Wait, did Onis’ men kill Yessil?” Balan asked, trying to get more of the gaps filled in.

        Grennick stopped, without turning around he said “no. But he’s responsible for a lot of jedis’ deaths. Probably doing business with that lord Mrastaos you mentioned.” Without another word he walked into the cockpit, and closed the door behind him.

        Balan was left to wonder and try to fill the missing pieces on his own. He didn’t get far, as he soon fell back asleep.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 05:34:29 PM EDT by Balan »
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Balan

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Re: On the Streets, in the Shadows Volume II (Closed RP)
« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2016, 05:42:43 PM EDT »

        Grennick sat in his pilot’s chair, staring out into empty space. He occasionally glanced at a distant star here and there, but mostly he just stared into the pitch black. The freighter floated in open space, between systems. There was, quite literally, nothing out here.

        A tapping on the cockpit door behind him roused him from his aimless mulling. After a moment Grennick hadn’t moved to answer the knock. T6 uttered a couple short beeps. Slowly, Grennick turned to look at his companion. He nodded curtly at T6.

        T6 rolled over to the door. A panel on his clyndrical body opened, and a manipulator arm extended to press a button next to the door. The door opened to reveal the padawan. He had a bashful expression on his face. He glanced down at the droid, then at Lin. He waited for the pilot to say something. He didn’t greet him with words, he simply turned his head back to look at the boy. Realizing that Grennick wasn’t going to start the conversation Balan cleared his throat and swallowed the lump in his throat. “I might have a way to pay you back.”

        “Ooh?” was all the smuggler had to say.

        Recognizing that that was all he was going to say, the boy continued. “The sith lord I” he hesitated to say the word, “killed; he carried several lightsabers. I took one of them. It’s permeated by the light side, so it must have been a jedi’s.”

        Grennick replied “that’s fine, but, I don’t have a buyer anymore.”

        Balan brought his hand up to his chin as he began to try to think of a potential buyer, “hmm. . .what about the Jedi? They would be grateful to have lightsabers of fallen jedi returned.”

        Grennick turned back to the front viewport. He thought it over for a moment before replying “they won’t pay nearly as much as Onis would. . .but, it’s something.” He stood up from the chair and turned back around to face Balan. “Does it work?”

        Balan realized he hadn’t tried, yet. He eagerly wanted to know what color it was. He unclipped it from his belt. He gauged the distance to the ceiling and decided he had enough room to ignite it in the cockpit. He depressed the activator and a vibrant green blade extended from the hilt. He refrained from waving it around, and after having examined the blade for a few moments he disengaged it.

        When his gaze again met Grennicks, he saw a deep frown on his face. Balan looked down in embarassment. Grennick scolded “don’t do that in my cockpit again, it’s close quarters in here, ya know?”

        Balan nodded his compliance.

        “Okay we’ve got a deal, that saber for the damage to my ship.”

        Balan’s face lit up as he eagerly agreed “okay, yeah.” It felt good to be debt free again. He held out the saber to Grennick; who took it, and nodded in acceptance.

        Grennick looked past the boy to the young, white twi’lek still fast asleep on his couch. “What’s her deal?” he asked, nodding in her direction.

        Balan hesitated, before replying “she shot her hutt master, and ran off with me.”

        “I know that, but what’s she going to do now? Hutt’s are exceptional at holding grudges and meting out revenge. They’ll be able to hunt her down in most any system.”

        The padawan looked back at his first, his concern for her strongly renewed. He was starting to understand how much she had given up for him, and how much she had risked for him. “I don’t know, I don’t think she knows either.” His voice drifted off as he contemplated her future prospects.

        Grennick volunteered a suggestion, “I know a place she can go and be safe. At least for a while. It’s a real backwater world.”

        Balan turned back around to him. “Oh? What’s it called?”

        “Dubrava.”

        “I’ve never heard of it, is it safe there? I mean is it a peaceful place?”

        “Oh yes. It’s quite peaceful.”

        “Well. . .” He paused, thinking about her going instead, to Corellia with him. “What about Corellia?” He grew red-faced at the suggestion, but he hoped the older man wouldn’t notice his interest in her.

        Grennick noticed his interest in her. He smirked at the thought of an innocent, young crush. “No, I’m afraid not. It’s too public of a place, it’d be a lot easier to track someone down there.”

        Thinking of his childhood home, he disagreed, “there are private places on Corellia. I know of a few.”

        “Not like Dubrava, kid. Almost the whole planet is a ‘private place.’”

        “Oh. . .Well, when are we going?”

        “Right now, we’ll be there in about five hours.” Grennick turned around and sat back down in his pilot’s chair. T6 rolled over to the navicomputer, as Grennick started directing him to make the hyperspace jump.

        Balan had nothing more to say on the subject, for the moment. He returned to the main room, and sat in a padded chair next to the couch Vasira slept on. He silently mulled over how he could get her to go to Corellia. He then realized that he should be focusing on how he would keep her safe on Corellia. He reasoned that he could try to find his old home. It’d need some repair though, as it had been abandoned for four years now. He didn’t know if he could perform such repairs, but he was willing to try.

        He felt the subtle jolt as they entered hyperspace. He also thought about getting help from his bothan employer, Collas. He wasn’t really sure he could trust him, though. Vasira would have a decent-size price on her head, and Collas seemed to love credits more than almost anything.

        Still exhausted from battling and fleeing for his life, his mind soon drifted back into sleep.

        A jolt awoke Balan sometime later. Startled, he sat up from his reclined position. He silently waited for something more to happen.

        The door to the cockpit slid open, and Grennick stepped into the main room. "We've landed on Dubrava."

        T6 rolled around Grennick and headed down the ship's main corridor, away from the main room.
Balan rubbed his eyes groggily, it felt like he'd been asleep for only a couple minutes. He was still tired. Vasira stirred at Grennick's announcement, and slowly sat up herself. She grimaced, and held her bandage gently with her right hand. She grew wide-eyed, as she looked around the room. When her eyes fell on Balan, she focused on him and asked "where are we?"

        "We're on Grennick's ship, the one who swooped in to safe us."

        "Ooh. . ." was all she had to say. She was just as exhausted as Balan.

        "We've traveled to an inconspicuous planet called Dubrava. You'll be safe here," the pilot informed her.

        Her expression turned a little hopeful. "I hope you're right," she said with a slight smile.

        Balan knew it was becoming less and less likely that she'd be going to Corellia with him. He still kept trying to think of how he could keep her safe there, though.

        "You two ought to be hungry. It's late afternoon here, let's go have some dinner," the smuggler offered hospitably.

        Balan and Vasira exchanged glances, both wondering if the free meal was too good to believe. Grennick walked across the room to Vasira, and held out his hands to offer to help her up. Balan stood up himself. Vasira understood Grennick's offer, but tried to get up on her own. She made it up, but because of her weakened condition she started to feel light-headed and she stumbled slightly. Grennick gently help stabilize her balance with a steady hand, though. Balan wished he'd been the one to help her. Vasira smiled briefly to show her appreciation, before taking a step to distance herself from his help. She turned back to him and asked "um, which way to the food?"

        Grennick smiled ever so slightly replying “it’s in my home, a little ways from the ship. We should get you in some proper clothes first, though. I think I have something that do, it’ll be oversized, but it’ll protect your skin from the bugs.” He motioned with an open hand in the direction the droid had just gone. Vasira hobbled that way, and Grennick patiently followed. Balan brought up the rear.

        The boy was becoming a little jealous of their rescuer. He felt like Grennick had swooped in and stolen his friend just now. He vaguely recognized that his feeling this way had something to do with Vasira being so aloof with him. He tried to push the jealous thoughts away; he knew they were uncalled for.

        Halfway down the curved main corridor, Grennick spoke “you can change refresher, here.” He pointed to a closed door on the right side of the hallway. He opened a door across from it, “I’ll get the clothes and be right back.” He closed the door almost all the way. The young pair waited silently. Balan started to say he was glad she was okay, but the pilot returned sooner than he expected.

        He handed the clothes to the former dancer, “these were mine when I started out as a pilot. You can keep them.” She held out her hand, but hesitated to take them. She’d never received something for free, truly free, from a stranger. There had always been a hook. “Gone on” he encouraged her, “it’s a gift.” Her expression belied some confusion. She took the clothing, but didn’t fully understand this concept of a gift.

        She then entered the refresher and closed the door behind her. It was Grennick’s and Balan’s turn to wait silently, while she changed. The clothing looked too big for her, to Balan. He would miss seeing her soft white legs and shoulders; but he would be glad to see her in something more dignifying.

        A few minutes later she opened the door slowly. A bashful look marked her face. Balan smiled and stifled a chuckle, Grennick smiled almost imperceptibly. Too big for her, the shirt fit ruffled and puffy on her. The pants were hiked up, and held to her with a belt, to keep them from dragging on the ground. She looked like a little kid playing smuggler dress-up, with her parents clothing. She frowned at Balan, who then tried to hide his smile.

        Vasira started down the corridor again, the two males following. The corridor soon ended, at the entrance to the ship's docking bay. T6 stood across from them at the mouth of the ship’s open ramp.

        Sunlight flowed in and brightened the docking day. As the three of them neared the ramp, Vasira had to start squinting again.

        “T6, stay with the ship. In case it starts to sink again” Grennick directed.

        The droid gave a short mournfully whine.

        “I know, you want to go see the sights; but I need you to make sure the ship doesn’t get stuck again.”

        The droid responded with a couple understanding beeps.

        Grennick held out his hand, directing Vasira to go first. She did so at a careful pace, covering her eyes with her hand. Her eyes still protested at natural sunlight. Balan followed her closely, in case she stumbled again. They stepped off the ship’s ramp and onto ground covered in grass and other vegetation that came up to their knees.

        In front of them sat a wooden structure, with several windows visible. It had a deck that extended along one side of the house. To their left a forested hill rose, the forest extended on their right; the house and ship were nestled in a clearing amidst this forest. Balan noticed that the ground gave way to a bog, about ten meters to their right.

        The boy thought of how Grennick had told T6 to stay with the ship in case it started to sink. He spoke to him without taking his gaze off Vasira; “will the ship be safe? It seems awfully swampy around here.”

        Grennick was a little put off by the question, but he ignored that it was a boy questioning him. “Oh yeah, Dubrava is just one big swamp. This clearing is pretty solid though, usually.”

        Balan didn’t feel very assured by that, but he focused on making sure Vasira didn’t fall.

        A woman opened the door of Grennick’s home, and stepped out on the deck. She watched the three approach the building, as they watched her. Her demeanor seemed to be off-putting to Balan, her arms folded and her had cocked to one side. As they neared the house Balan notice her demeanor seem to soften. As they came up the stairs onto the deck, she greeted them “well, hello honey. Who are your two friends?” Her voice sounded overly-sweet. Both teenagers could tell that something was off.

        She looked a bit younger than Grennick, with blonde hair and soft blue eyes. She wore blue jeans and a beige blouse.

        Grennick responded “hello Samm. These are a couple urchins who needed a lift.”

        Samm turned to the two, examining them.  “Ooh, and how long will they be staying?”

        “I don’t know” he put his hand on Balan’s shoulder; which felt odd, but nice, to the boy. “Balan here will be going home soon, to Corellia. They’re starved, and so am I. How about I help you make dinner?” he offered.

        She hesitated briefly before answering. “Well, there’s not much to eat here.”

        “I’m sure they’re hungry enough to eat just about anything; and I’ll go to the market tomorrow.”

        “Well, how about dinner, then?” she said to the kids.

        The two followed Grennick and his woman into their home, with smiles and empty bellies.

        The interior was simple, with plain décor. However, it was warm and cozy. A fireplace in the middle of the main room contained a crackling fire. The kids sat at the kitchen counter on bar style stools as they watched the couple prepare a meal. It was made with simple, cheap ingredients; but to the two escapees it smelled sumptuous.

        They ate and discussed their week, as the sun descended. They learned that the couple had been married for fourteen years now, and that they had lived here for the past twelve; but that Grennick had grown up on Dubrava as a child. They also learned that Samm was short for Sammana. They didn’t find out much more about the couple, as most of the discussion was perpetuated by Samm asking about them. She also asked Balan about Corellia. She seemed to him to like the idea of an urban planet like Corellia.

        Samm excused herself and asked Grennick to come speak with her in another room. They closed the door behind them, but Balan could just barely hear them speaking. He didn’t care what it was about, though; his belly was full, and whatever kind of chili he had just aten was delicious.

        He and Vasira sat quietly again. Balan wanting so much to say something, anything. He didn’t understand why it was so hard just to talk to her. He thought of an idea, though. He slid off the stool and onto the wooden floor. “Come with me” he said to her.

        She swiveled her seat around to face him, “where to?”

        “I want to show you something, come one.” He walked to the door, and she followed. He opened the door and they walked out onto the deck.

        “Whoa” she said, her mouth hanging open a little.

        “I know right, it’s amazing.”

        They were both captivated, gazing up at the night sky. They were far from the lights of civilization, but they were admiring far more magnificent lights. The sky was filled to the brim with stars. They varied slightly in shade, some twinkled. A mass of them formed a strip across the sky. It was spectacular, glorious, and awe-inspiring. Especially to someone who had never seen the sky before this day, let alone one of it’s most beautiful sights, the galaxy.

        They admired the sight for several minutes, before Balan turned to look at her. She still stared up in amazement. As beautiful as the sky was, he had to admit she was even more beautiful. He had never felt like this about a girl before, he’d had crushes and been attracted to girl’s before. But their shared experience, had bonded him to her. He hoped she felt the same way. He didn’t know what to do about these feelings, though. He desperately wanted to be her friend, at least. He didn’t understand why she hadn’t told him more about her, why she had been so distant with him.

        She noticed him looking at her. She turned to face him, a quizzical look on her face. “What?”

        He was suddenly embarrassed by her noticing him. He looked down nervously, and swallowed the lump in his throat. “. . .Where. . .where do you think you’re going to live now?”

        “I don’t know” she repeated her answer from before.

        He didn’t understand how she still couldn’t know. Motivated by his emotions, he offered “why don’t you come with me to Corellia? I know a place where I think you’ll be safe. I have a job, I can buy you food. . .” he trailed off, not being able to think of what else she would need.

        “Balan, I need to stay far away from Onis’ family and men. I don’t know that I’d be safe on Corellia. It seems to be a lot more accessible than this place. I feel safe here.”

        He looked down, he knew she was right. He had to swallow another lump in his throat. “Can I come visit you?” he asked.

        “Of course, we’ll still be friends.”

        He felt so relieved and excited to hear that. He eagerly hugged her, but restrained himself from holding her tightly, so as not to disturb her wound. She was wide-eyed, shocked by the display of emotion. She brought one hand up and softly brought around his back. Again embarrassed, he carefully pulled back. She looked down bashfully, “I’m gonna go inside, get some water.”

        They came back in to find Grennick and Samm in the main room. There seemed to be an awkward air in the room. The couple seemed a little too quiet to Balan. The moment passed though, and the four of them enjoyed Dubravian swamp floats and a classic mystery holovid, before retiring to sleep.
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If only you could see inside my head. . .

Balan

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Re: On the Streets, in the Shadows Volume II (Closed RP)
« Reply #53 on: April 26, 2016, 01:04:16 AM EDT »

        Balan awoke to footsteps moving across the living room. The floor creaked as Grennick walked past him to the kitchen. Dubrava's sun shown in through the large plassteel windows of the living room. Balan didn't feel quite right; waking up in an unfamiliar place. Remembering where he was though, and the hospitality he'd been shown, he calmed down mostly.

        He sat up on the couch and stretched. He had slept rather soundly and felt like he would have gone on sleeping, if Grennick hadn't woken him. He was starting to feel normal again; his normal anyways, which ranged from upbeat and eager to anxious and a bit disorientated.

        Half of him wanted to lay back down, the other half to get up and do something. He considered his two options, and decided he wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. So, he would do something. As he stood up, his stomach decided for him what that something would be. He made his way to the kitchen to fill the void within him.

        To his surprise, Grennick was making breakfast. He didn't know what he had done to earn a second meal, but he eagerly accepted it. The two didn't talk much. When Samm emerged from their room though, she kept a lively conversation going. To his dismay, however, he learned that he and Grennick would have to leave within a few hours. Balan didn't notice, but Samm wasn't seem too please about it, either.

        Grennick went back to hurriedly taking of chores around the house before they left. Balan, suddenly feeling down, went and stood in front of one of the large living room windows to warm himself in the sunlight. He had wanted to stay longer with Vasira. Now that he thought about her, he wondered why she hadn't gotten up, yet. He felt that familiar anxiety within him. This time it was because he was thinking about what he would say to her before he left.

        As the morning dragged on, Balan sat on the couch. He worried and wondered about her and himself. He just wanted to stay with her. However, his home was Corellia, his family was there. What was left of it, anyways. He wasn’t sure what to do about the situation. Being perplexed was starting to feel routine to the boy. He knew though, that no matter what, they’d always be friends.

        He thought about the moment, the embrace that they had shared the night before. The thought filled him with joy, and he smiled wide. He felt more than just a friendly fondness for her, though. It took him a moment to realize what it was. He realized that he really, really liked her. He was very attracted to her. He didn’t just like the way she looked. He realized that he had been feeling a very strong compulsion to be around her for days now. That epiphany excited him.

        He didn’t know what to tell her, though. Time was short. His excitement was muddled with apprehension. He wondered silently, “do I tell her how much I really like her? What do I say to her? Do I say anything at all?”

        It felt like an hour or more had passed. Balan’s anxiety was high, Vasira still hadn’t emerged from the guest bedroom. Grennick seemed close to being ready to go. He had stacked a pile of equipment just outside the front door, on the deck. He was now in the midst of making more than a few trips to his ship, to load it all. Then he heard movement in the kitchen behind him.

        “Good morning beautiful” Samm greeted Vasira. He couldn’t hear Vasira’s reply. Balan hadn’t made much progress in figuring out how to say goodbye. He had, at least, decided that that was what he should do. He wasn’t ready to leave Corellia long-term, yet. She wouldn’t be safe there. He also knew to tell her that he’d visit.

        “How about breakfast, hmm?” he heard Samm offer her. He heard the noise of dishes, and assumed Vasira accepted the offer. He briefly wondered if he was over-thinking the whole situation, but he didn’t know what else to do. He felt compelled to dissect the whole thing over and over, in as many ways as he could think of.

        Grennick had almost finished loading the ship. The boy knew it was time to say goodbye. He couldn’t though. He was frozen in place by nervousness. Suddenly, the idea of telling her goodbye, of telling her anything, was nerve-racking. He managed to stand up. He looked outside to see Grennick putting the last of the equipment in his arms, and start off towards the ship.

        It was now or never. He needed to tell her goodbye, and he wanted her to know that she was special to him. Compelled by the lack of time, he forced himself to walk to the kitchen. He saw Vasira eating the very same breakfast he had had earlier. An omelette of some sort with a tangy sauce. He briefly smiled at her enjoying the meal.

        From behind the counter, Samm noticed him and turned to him with a smile. Having been spotted he suddenly turned shy. He knew Grennick would be back soon to tell him it was time to go, though. Swallowing the lump in his throat he crossed the room to stand next to her. He hesitated, then he decided to sit on the stool next to her. Having exerted himself doing that much, he waited for her to look at him.

        She seemed to glance at him out of the corner of her eye. She wouldn’t look at him. This confused Balan, but he decided to go ahead and try saying what he hadn’t been able to figure out how to say. “Well, bye Vasira. . .We have to be leaving soon. . .At least, that’s what Grennick said.”

        He didn’t like the sound of what he had said, it had come out somewhat disorganized; but, then he realized that he had said at least part of what he needed to. That made him feel better about it.

        She still wouldn’t look at him. He began to feel awkward waiting for response that wasn’t coming. She finally glanced at him, after what felt like an eternity. “Bye,” she said simply, before returning to slowly eating her breakfast.

        He turned red. Feeling a fool, to have thought this was important. It obviously didn’t seem important to her. “No, this is important” he thought. Feeling like Vasira and Samm were judging him, he pressed on. He had to tell her that she mattered to him. He did so in the simplest, safest way he could think of, in the moment. “I’ll miss you.”

        Nothing. He was getting nothing from her, she wouldn’t look at him, wouldn’t speak to him, wouldn’t show any emotion in her face that he could see. Now he felt like he had humiliated himself. His mind began to race. He had thought they were friends, but now he didn’t know what to think. He wondered if the things he was saying were strange, or if they were normal. She gave him no response, though. She acted as if she didn’t care, or hadn’t even heard him.

        He just sat there for a minute, waiting, staring at the countertop. He started to feel like he should just leave. He noticed Samm watching him. He gave her a desperate look, asking for guidance. She merely gave him a small sympathetic smile, before looking away. Vasira, then, got up and walked into the living room.

        He felt extremely hurt, then. He thought they had a shared a wonderful moment the night before. He thought that they would be friends as long as they lived; maybe more someday. It seemed clear to him now, that Vasira didn’t think that way. He had no idea what she though of him. He was baffled, ashamed, and wounded.

        He heard the door behind him open, as if to punctuate all that had just happened. Samm got up and walked over to her husband. They held each other for a long moment, locking lips. Meanwhile, Balan waited for the words he didn’t want to hear. The ones that would mean he wouldn’t have a chance to figure out what was going on with Vasira, a chance to fix things between them. “Let’s go kid,” Grennick said.

        Giving up, he got from the stool and slowly walked over to Grennick. Desperate, he asked the pilot: “could I maybe, stay here a while; and then go back to Corellia later.” He was trying to buy time to figure things out with Vasira.

        Grennick’s answer came quickly. “Nope,” he shook his head. “I’ve got to head coreward now, and I won’t be back that way for maybe a year.”

        Balan thought he wouldn’t mind being on Dubrava for a whole year, if it meant being friends with Vasira. He felt that he couldn’t do that, though. He felt that he should be back on Corellia. He looked down at the floor, silently acquiescing.

        Grennick gave Balan, and then his wife, a questioning look. He didn’t pursue the matter, though; he was barely on schedule as it was. Grennick kissed his wife once more, and then let go of her. He pushed open the door, and walked off to his ship, expecting the boy to be in tow.

        Balan started to follow him, and then stopped at the door. He turned around to look at Vasira, sitting on the living room couch. “Hey, Vasira.” Knowing it was now or never, he suddenly had a small surge of boldness. His words startled her, and she whipped her head around to look at him. He motioned his head towards the outside,”come here,” he said plainly.

        She turned away from him to stare at the floor. To his surprise, after a moment, she got up and walked towards him. He opened the door and walked outside. He held the door open for her as she followed him. He stared at her face for a moment. She only gazed down at the deck’s wooden boards.

        An hour seemed to pass by, then he spoke. “What’s wrong Vasira? Did I do something wrong?” Again she wouldn’t respond, or look at him. He pressed the matter, his voice showing his desperation. “I thought,” he choked on his words, but managed to continue after a moment. “. . .I thought we were friends. . .” He couldn’t finish his sentence.

        After several moments of silence, she finally spoke. “We are.” She still wouldn’t look at him, though. He took some solace in her words, but was still confounded and hurt. Suddenly, she walked to the door. As she opened it, their eyes met for a fleeting moment. In her eyes, he saw pain. He knew this was his last chance, to find out what was going on, and to fix it.

        He started to reach for her, but he kept himself from stopping her physically. Instead, he focused harder on her eyes as they turned away from him. Using the force, he entered her mind.

        In his mind’s eye he seemed to be flying between different, foggy images. It was happening so fast, and he felt completely out of control. He tried to focus on the images as they flew by, but they were going too fast. He fixated on one that seemed distant from him. As it neared, he tried to aim for it. As he thought it was about to collide with him, it instead enveloped him.

        He was in a dim room, with dark beige, plaster walls. He slowly recognized it as Onis’ audience chamber. The hutt sat on his dais, and a short white figure stood before him.

        “I have acquired another padawan,” the hutt’s voice boomed. “You will go to him. Befriend him, get him to trust you. Learn what valuable information he knows, and bring it to me.”

        The small white figure silently bowed to the hutt, before turning and walking away. He recognized the figure as his friend, Vasira. He was shocked. He had to know more, though. He needed to know what had really happened.

        He kept watching as the vision before him changed, to a dark duracreet room. The room had durasteel bars on one side. She sat with a young boy, talking to him. He couldn’t make out their conversation, he knew it must have been himself, though. They seemed to be getting along. “This must be her memory of the night before we escaped,” he thought.

        The view of his mind’s eye changed a second time. Vasira stood before Onis, “his master is in the refugee sector. He has been in constant contact with him, since being captured. His master has not been able to find him here yet, because of his disorientation.”

        “Good, give him just enough information for his master to be able to find his way here. The coordinates of one of the sewer pipe ways,” Onis’ deep voice replied.

        As he watched Vasira bow her head briefly to the hutt, he thought “what?!. . .She lied for me?” He felt a bit grateful to her, but didn’t understand what the lie would have accomplished.

        The vision changed back to the cell again. He saw her talking with someone again. He couldn’t make the person, though. He knew it must have been him though, as they were softly talking. He still didn’t understand why she wouldn’t talk to him now, after they had been affirmed their friendship the night before.

        Once again, the vision changed back to the hutt’s audience chamber. “He has no contacts on Nar Shaddaa, and as you know, his master is dead. He is an alderaanian, though.”

        “Mmm, yes. A valuable hostage indeed.” He could see a wide smile spread across Onis’ face. “Those pacifists always pay nicely for their lost little boys.”

        Balan’s confusion deepened. ”She’s continuing the lie? What’s she going for?” he wondered silently. He felt a bit of admiration for her making a complex farce to fool the hutt.

        Once more, the images melted back into the cell. Vasira sat next to a figure, holding them, them. “I don’t remember that. . .I would’ve remembered that,” Balan thought, now baffled.

        The scene changed back to Onis’ audience chamber. Anger filled Balan as he saw Mrastaos there. His red blade slicing through the abdomen of a robed figure, a middle-aged man. From next to Vasira, a young boy leapt several meters to attack the Sith from behind. Mrastaos turned and caught the boy by his neck. Deep sadness filled Balan, but he fought back the emotion. He knew his father hadn’t died that way, and that things had really happened that way. He had won the fight, he had escaped. He began to think that maybe this force power he had was, in fact, a faulty aberration; or that he wasn’t using it correctly.

        The scene transformed before him, Mrastaos and Onis were still there, as was Vasira. A young boy knelt before Mrastaos, screaming in pain. His lightsaber and his two detached hands laying on the ground. Balan felt so much anger, fear, and anguish. He didn’t know why, though. “That never happened!” he shouted at the vision.

       Again it transformed before him. A young girl this time, with dark skin and long brown hair. Lightning arced from Mrastaos’ outstretched hand. With his power he threw her smoldering body hard into a wall. He let her fall to the ground.

        In turn, he watched each of the three young padawans being taken away by Mrastaos. Their arms in binders, and a collar on their neck with a chain connected to it, the end of which was in the Sith lord’s hand.

        One by one, he saw each of the young individuals-a Cerean boy, then a human boy, and lastly a Noorian girl-turn and stare back at him, fear on each of their faces, before disappearing from sight. “They aren’t me” he whispered despondently.

        It had really happened that way, just not to him.

        He let go of the view into her mind, and his vision warped back into what was physically before him. His eyes gazed at the wooden doorframe. He realized Vasira was no longer there. He briefly wondered how long he had been inside her head. His gaze slowly panned over to see her inside, sitting again on the couch. She was bawling her eyes out, her palms covering her face and her fingers digging into her scalp.

        He put the pieces together then, he had been reliving her memories as she had been contemplating them.

        He wanted to go comfort her, tell her everything was going to be okay. However, he didn’t know that they would be. Before the power of all the grief, pain, and betrayal that he had just witnessed in her memory, he acquiesced.

        He saw Samm come around the corner, to kneel down in front of Vasira. She held her softly by the shoulders and spoke soft words Balan couldn’t hear. Balan turned, and in a daze walked to Grennick’s ship and boarded it.
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If only you could see inside my head. . .

Balan

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Re: On the Streets, in the Shadows Volume II (Closed RP)
« Reply #54 on: April 26, 2016, 01:05:41 AM EDT »

        During the trip to Tython, Balan wondered and mulled over what he had seen and heard in Vasira’s thoughts. He didn’t know what to think of her anymore. He didn’t want to be too hard on her, but he didn’t know if he wanted to be friends with her anymore.

        He passed much of the time playing a variety of holo-games on Grennick’s older holo-con, mostly sports games. He needed something to ease and distract his mind from the past week. Grennick didn’t mind the relative quiet, as the two stuck to their own activities most of the time.

        After arriving in the Tython system, they approached the planet at sublight speed. They were almost immediately contacted by the defense fleet ordered to protect the planet from possible Sith attack.The officer that contacted them ordered them to keep a distance of at least 50,000 kilometers from the planet, until their registration was confirmed.

        Staring at the massive republic fleet looming before, Grennick really hoped the new registration would pass. After almost an hour he blew out a sigh of relief, as they were granted permission to land. He chided himself silently for worrying. His re-registrations had always worked before.

        Balan didn’t understand why he seemed so nervous, but ignored it. He was enthralled by the idea of seeing the new Jedi temple in construction, of meeting more people like him who could use the force.

        Grennick had told him on their trip here, that Tython was where the Jedi had relocated to. He had seen the aftermath of the sacking of Coruscant on the news, but he didn’t know that the Jedi had relocated off of Coruscant.

        They had to land at mass landing site some distance from the temple, and then take a automated speeder to the construction site. Unlike when he was on Nar Shadaa he had a chance to take in the sights, sounds, and smells. The peaceful surroundings did much to calm his troubled young mind. The abundant foliage, numerous forms of wildlife, and the wind blowing through his outstretched fingers delighted him.

        Upon arriving at speeder landing about a quarter of a kilometer from the construction zone. Despite the temple being incomplete its sheer size dumb-founded him. Its mushroom shaped frame dominated the view in one direction. The valley containing the temple seemed just as peaceful as the countryside they had just traveled through, safe for the loud construction work going on.

        Workers of various species filled the grounds surrounding the building, carrying out various tasks. Numerous droids using repulsors built into their bodies carried durasteel girders high into the air to add onto the bare frame.

        Waiting to meet them were two males in Jedi robes. One with green skin, large black eyes, and a number of tentacles which extended off the back of his head. Balan recognized him as a  Nautolan. The second was tall and slender with light blue skin. He had white hair, but it didn’t quite look like hair to Balan.

        “I am Jedi Oric Traless, I was informed that you have two lightsabers you intend to return to the Jedi Order.”

        Balan paid little attention to the ensuing conversation. He kept wondering what kind of alien the tall, blue Jedi was. He couldn’t remember ever seeing one before. Grennick replied, “I do, indeed. The first belonged to Jedi Knight Yessil Qur. I recovered it from a Twi’lek slave on Ryloth. The slave had taken care of him best he could, as he was dying. The second belonged to an unknown Jedi, who was apparently killed by a Sith Lord named Mrastaos.”

        The Jedi asked “how did you come into possession of this second lightsaber?”

        Grennick motioned to Balan, “he slew Mrastaos.”

        Balan felt a surge of pride, which he then felt ashamed for. He didn't want to be prideful over killing someone. He looked from Grennick to the two Jedi, and simply nodded unemotionally. He wondered what the hair-like covering on the blue alien’s head was.

        “They’re feathers,” the blue alien answered his silent wonderings.

        Balan’s eyes grew wide, as he realized the blue alien was watching him.

        “And I am an Omwati.”

        Balan then wondered if the Jedi had been reading his mind, or if he was just incredibly intuitive.

        Grennick ignored the exchange and continued the conversation. “I’m seeking payment for the return of these two sabers.”

        “Ah, yes.” The Nautolan Jedi seemed slinky disappointed, but not at all surprised.

        Negotiation ensued, and the two settled on a reward of 7,000 Republic credits. As they were about to agree on the price, the Omwati Jedi interjected.”This young man deserves a reward does he not?” he asked no one in particular.

        Grennick and Traless both gave him a quizzical look. The Omwati turned to Balan, “how would you like to stay here for a while? Learn more about the force.”

        Balan gave him a questioning look. He hesitated to answer, surprised by the offer. He would love the opportunity, but he didn’t feel ready. He wanted to go home, he felt that he needed to go back to Corellia. “I’m honored, but I must decline.”

        “But we have so much to offer you here. Why-“

        “Jei,” Traless interrupted.

        The Omwati stopped at hearing his name. He thought for a moment and then continued. “ Well, perhaps, you would like to keep one of the crystals from the lightsabers? A momento.”

        Balan thought about that for a bit. He realized that he didn’t want a momento of killing someone. He did really like the idea of having a silver bladed lightsaber, though. “I would like to have the Durindfire gem, in the first lightsaber.” He suddenly grew shy, worried he had asked for too much, or that Grennick would be made upset by the request. He looked up at Grennick to see his reaction. Grennick didn’t give away anything with his expression.

        Jei didn’t miss a beat, “agreed. I’ll take the saber and remove the crystal myself.” He approached Grennick with an extended open hand.

        “Fine by me, as long as I still get my 7000 credits,” Grennick said non-chalantly. He then took the two sabers out from under his jacket. He handed them to the Omwati without any reservation, after all he did trust the Jedi to hold up their end of a deal. Jei took the sabers and scurried off to the completed lower level of the temple.

        Traless assured the pilot, “I’ll transfer your money immediately.” He nodded to Grennick, turned away and walked back towards the temple, as well.

       For the next couple hours Grennick tended to maintenance on the exterior of his ship, while  Balan took in more of the area.

        The two Jedi then returned and Jei gave Balan the crystal. “I wish you well in your travels, young one. I do hope you comeback here someday.”

        “Thank you. I hope to come here again, as well,” Balan said sincerely. He knew he could learn much from the Jedi and from exploring Tython.

         Traless and Jei stood together and watched as Grennick and Balan boarded the freighter, and it took off.

        As the ship gained altitude and its loud engines no longer drowned out other noises, Jei leaned over to Traless and spoke in hushed tones. “We shouldn’t have let the boy go.”

        Traless replied sternly, “it’s not up to us.”

        As Balan returned home to Corellia he decided to look for a new job, one that wouldn’t get him chased by Corsec.
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If only you could see inside my head. . .
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