It has been only months after the Battle of Endor and the destruction of the second Death Star battlestation, and with it the Galactic Empire’s head. Both the newly christened New Republic and the Empire are scrambling, consolidating power and swathes of territory as star systems pledge allegiance to one side or the other, only to turn at the slightest provocation (or threat of bombardment from the Imperial Navy). The Empire, hit the hardest from the death of Palpatine, has been struggling with infighting as power-hungry bureaucrats attempt to claim the throne for themselves. While the Council of Moffs have taken de facto control, the initial chaos has allowed the New Republic a number of victories to push the Imperials back from the Outer Rim and to their Core strongholds.
Though facts are in short supply and rumors are everywhere, the ceaseless churning of the Imperial propaganda machine being of no help, news of the former Rebellion’s win has spread like a wild fire, kicking up smaller, local resistance movements across countless worlds.
However, Darth Sidious’ demise has had far more affects than most of the galaxy’s inhabitants can sense, many of which could be devastating to both the fledgling New Republic and weakened Empire. As the waves of darkness, malice, and hate that the Sith Lord had been blanketing the galaxy with dissipate, the Force shines out into void once again, seeking out those who connect to it and igniting old beacons of knowledge. The first to hear this call, unfortunately, were those in the ranks of the Empire’s dark side adepts, the Inquisitors. With Sidious gone, the group of would-be Sith Lords have struck out on a crusade for power, far more than what the previous dark lord would have allowed. This search has led some of their number to the battered world of Taris, where they pursue a Republic agent, and the information which will lead them to the biggest repository of information available: a holocron.
The New Republic is a fledgling government created from the reorganization of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Spurred by the Empire’s defeat at Endor, and the subsequent mass of star systems rallying to their cause, the New Republic has transformed the fighting force of the Rebellion to a legitimate political power. Its seat of government is positioned on the world of Chandrila, with Mon Mothma serving as Chancellor. The Republic is still relatively small compared to the might of the Galactic Empire, though discord throughout the Imperial powerbase has worked to their advantage. Its military consists mainly of starships loaned by sympathetic and member world’s planetary security forces, though Imperial warships from both captures and defectors have been added to their ranks. The Empire is currently under the command of the Council of Moffs, with the even tighter military grip on member worlds forcing many to seek help from the New Republic.
Galactic Empire, a name which sent dread and despair into the hearts of being across the galaxy. The Imperials were severely weakened command-wise with the death of Emperor Palpatine, the Sith Lord’s direct approach to government proving to be a weakness once the head was severed from the body. While theoretically they are still the reigning power in the Galaxy, infighting between Moffs and the slow breakaway of star systems from their iron grip has cut down the Empire’s effective strength immensely. However, an Imperial cruiser parked in orbit is still an effective deterrent to open rebellion.
The Inquisitorius, on the other hand, was a name that scarcely few would recognize, and those that did would never speak it aloud. Originally a branch of Imperial Intelligence, the organization has since grown into its own distinct entity, some say even from the Empire itself. The organization is made up of Force-sensitive individuals, all trained in the dark ways of the Sith by the late Darth Sidious and Vader. These acolytes, while not full Sith Lords, are still brutally effective Jedi Killers, and the freedom from their dark master has only made them more dangerous. Their primary objective was to hunt down and either kill or convert the remaining Jedi after Order 66, though they also worked to gather artifacts of the Force and recruit Force-sensitive younglings to their cause. The Inquisitorius is lead by the Grand Inquisitor, and the organization is quite small compared to the other military branches of the Empire. Even so, they do have their own small fleet of black-armored Imperial ships to command, in addition to what power they can take from the Moffs.
Your story begins on the Outer Rim world of Taris, a polluted, industrial planet that has been plagued by war over the millennia. The wrecks of starships and the glass craters of orbital bombardment sit side by side with massive skyscrapers of the rich and the battered huts of the poor. While still regarded as a major world, Taris’ influence has dwindled over the years, and suffered even more so under the rule of the Empire. It is technically an Imperial planet, not many Imperials would be caught visiting. The capital city is a gleaming mass of durasteel buildings, rising just above the yellow smog, positioned next to the planet’s major spaceport. Around the spaceport are clusters of ramshackle buildings, houses, and less-than-savory businesses. Every piece of available land that isn’t swamp, and some that is, is taken up by the less fortunate of the planet’s population. On the other end of the city is the Imperial Garrison, which has access to enough Stormtroopers, Imperial Army personnel, and TIE fighters to quell most public riots. The garrison’s commander, however, isn’t too picky when it comes to where the credits in his pocket come from.
Is there a way off this dreary world, well, nothing's impossible. The Force is pulling the strings, and always in motion, the future is.
Your heroes and villains. Fields in bold are required, others can be added and removed as needed.
Gender/Species: Only rule is being sensible when it comes to species.
Appearance: Description, picture, anything that accurately portrays them works.
Skills: What are the good at? Do they have any natural abilities?
Force Abilities: For those that are Force Sensitive. Includes both specific techniques and passive benefits (e.g., Force Lightning or a perception boost respectively). Do note, characters are not going to be throwing X-Wings around without proper training, and most aren’t even going to be aware of the Force to begin with.
Equipment: Blasters, comlinks, old rusty knives, etc?
Personality: What are some of their mannerisms, how do they carry themselves?
History: Who are they, where are they from, how did they end up on Taris? This RPG is going to focus very much on the advancement of characters, so starting out as the most powerful ever may hamper interaction.
Ship: Do they own a starship?
Affiliation: Galactic Empire, New Republic, a lone mercenary, a Hutt Cartel enforcer, who do they call allies, if they have any?
Rank: If part of a larger organization, do note that Imperial Moffs aren’t likely to concern themselves with these events, and the New Republic leadership is too busy trying to keep a government together to notice.
Position: Say if they’re part of the crew of a cruiser or on a squad of soldiers.
Alignment: Good, evil, justice, money, adventure, knowledge, what do they value?
IC: (Enaltai, Taris Spaceport)
To most people, Taris was little more than a story of failed hopes and dashed dreams.
More than three thousand years ago the fastest-growing ecumenopolis of the Old Republic, destroyed utterly in a frightening display of military might by Malak, Dark Lord of the Sith in ages long past, the planet had painstakingly restored, over the ages, both its population and its infrastructure, only to find as the years went on that it simply no longer mattered in this changing world. Once a thriving center of trade, the world seemed... dead, now, the fires of industry having consumed the planet's marshes, and the ages, furious and unrelenting in their assault, having consumed the planet's industry.
Billions of people lived on Taris, and yet they were all so... quiet in their existence here on the outskirts of what was still the Empire, however barely.
As the Blackhand slowly, patiently closed in on the docking bay we were assigned, Dock E7-12, I asked myself, not for the first time, why I decided to come here, to Taris. Things were nice and quiet on Ryloth; the eternal cover of the dark over the Nightlands felt comforting, as though the universe itself had granted me a cloak to shield myself from the light with, and I could be sure, while I perused the lore I had collected and meditated on the Force, that none could find me. Ryloth was peaceful. Calm.
That was, indeed, the problem.
The Force, boiling inside me, could not stand the quiet of the Nightlands for long. I wished to walk the paths of the Lords of old as I had on Thule, and learn their secrets; and, even more importantly, the anger, these five years later, had not settled. My father's cold corpse was likely rotting in some disgustingly bombastic, abnormally expensive and frankly "respectable" grave in Arkania, and, this infuriated me even further, more like than not beside my mother; who he himself had brought to that grave.
His death had not sated that anger I felt, and I reveled in the fact that it did not, for I knew; in this anger, above all else, lies my power. It did not rest in contemplative meditation on the Twi'lek homeworld; that was the way of the Jedi. My way was the way of my passions - anger, fury, lust, freedom - that I could not help but feel were being neglected there. I needed to leave that planet. The Empire was dying; the Republic, from the looks of things, was giving out blanket amnesties here and there, feeling safe to assume that most criminals under the Empire were in truth not criminals at all. I needed only to wait - and, while I waited, get myself what I wanted. What I needed.
The Force shall free me.
And the Force, oh, that this planet had. It felt... oddly silenced, like the rest of the city, as though the billions of inhabitants of this planet, as we approached, spoke only in whispers, yet all at once; like the planet, itself, wanted to yell, but had no voice, and yet it still seemed as though it had wanted to yell for thousands of years
Thousands of years, since Malak. I was on the right track. I only needed to trust my desires, and trust the Force.
"Well, that seems to be it," the captain of the Blackhand nodded to me as they began to unload the vast amounts of baggage they carried in the cargo hold onto the dock. He lowered his tone of voice and continued. "Now, listen, Arkanian. I looked into what you asked of me. There are still Imperial customs controls being performed, even with the... situation... and all, but there's limitless ways past them. Talk to the Neimoidian in the rightmost registration booth. Rightmost, hear me? His name's Wyl. Old friend. Talked to him already, he's good with what I said and even better with the credits you gave me. He'll get you sorted."
"Thanks," I replied, nodding slowly. Worst came to pass, I could make a run for it. This was Taris. If there was ever a city this large that even under the most authoritarian of regimes could prove the most anarchic, that would be this. The Blackhand's captain smiled, patted me on the shoulder amicably, and turned away.
"Oh, and one more thing, Arkanian," he threw a glance over the shoulder. I gave him a quizzical expression, and he laughed.
"Welcome to Taris."
IC: Rex Toliman, Spaceport.
In one of the many seats in the Taris Spaceport control tower, a young human rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and readjusted his headset. He'd been working nonstop since midnight because his replacement, curse him, hadn't shown up for work that day. Instead, he'd dropped off a cup of caff for Rex and left, claiming he had the flu.
At least, that's what his manager told him. What had probably happened is his replacement didn't even show, and Rex knew the caff was from the manager's office. But that wasn't important. What WAS important was that he was getting overtime pay, and his shift would be done in about... a minute. Rex was internally sobbing in relief. Even with the caff (affectionately named "Rocket Fuel" for obvious reasons) the space traffic controller was bone tired, and needed nothing more than to collapse on his bed at home.
He glared at his clock. He swore it had read one minute for more than-
A voice came over his headset just as the final minute ticked away. "Rex! Your done here, get home and get a few days rest. I'll comm you when I need you back here again." The manager cut the line without waiting for a response.
Rex immediately stowed his headset, logged off his terminal, and was out the door faster than an Imperial Tie Fighter. He shrugged his jacket on over his uniform, made sure his blaster wasn't tangled in the folds, and left at a leisurely pace. The human was already thinking of how soft and wonderful his bed was when something happened; it felt like a 'twang' in the air near the customs booths he was walking past.
He stopped and leaned casually against a nearby wall, gazing at a booth with a Neimoidian manning it, talking to an Arkanian. Rex frowned. He didn't know what, but something was... different about the Arkanian. He continued to lean against the wall, trying to figure out what had caused that strange feeling.
Points of light, shining bright despite their unimaginable distance away, hung suspended in the inky blackness of space. Each was frozen in place, the vista having gone unchanged for thousands of years, and easily a thousand more to come. Though unique to this part of space, the image was one that had been both admired and cursed by spacers for countless generations.
Not that mattered much to the acid green beams of energy that tore through the void, narrowly avoiding a dull grey hull as they crisscrossed the area in pairs. The metal blade comprised of little more than engines, deflector shields, and laser cannons rolled erratically away from the mass of bolts, though only successfully drew the attention of their brethren to that area of space. Green-hued near misses illuminated the Starfighter in a ghostly pale light, in addition to the starburst-encompassed, crescent blue symbol freshly painted across the largest section of the tri-winged spacecraft. Black carbon scoring across the lower section was testament to previous attacks which were a tad too much of a near miss for the deflector shields to handle. All things considered, though, the ship was still in pretty good shape.
Or, well, New Republic pilot Rav Kadran preferred to think so, emphatically ducking in his pilot’s seat as nasty Imperial lasers flew past the transparasteel viewscreen. Slightly too close for comfort.
“Beginning to think they want me dead,” Rav theorized to no one in particular, even if R3 gave an understandably worried beep in response anyway. A quick movement on the control yoke sent his B-Wing’s looping spiral into a steep climb (or dive—he could never tell out of atmosphere) in another attempt at convincing the Imperial gunners that he really wasn’t worth the effort. There were plenty of other no-good Rebel Scum in the sector, right, guys who had something bigger than a few stacked airspeeders. The dull strobing light of a lock-on warning on the console suggested otherwise.
Behind him, throwing green hyphens of energy out into space, raced the spearhead-shaped block of armor of an Imperial Vindicator cruiser. Naturally, painted all black in accordance to the former Emperor’s personal Spook Squad’s rulebook. Because that’s just the kind of people he wanted to tick off. He was out of range of their close-in weapons systems, so he just had to deal with the fire from the long guns, for now. Further back limped a similar ship, though this one featuring the standard Imperial grey paintjob and not so standard twin pairs of bulbous gravity well projectors. Two of the Interdictor’s engines were throwing plumes of dark smoke into space, and the third was a gaping hole surrounded by twisted metal, courtesy the full complement of proton torpedoes he’d been issued. On further consideration, though, he really should have shot those into the rear end of the black-plated cruiser giving him a hard time.
The beep turned into a solid shrill note of being targeted, and Rav yanked the stick to the side hard in a maneuver that the spaceframe could probably take, streaks of certain death lancing out where he’d been moments before. With half an ear he listened to the string of beeps from his astromech, which grew increasingly worried as he pulled even more into a roll.
“What do you mean that thing’s still operational?” He had been pretty certain that the salvo of warheads had taken the Interdictor cruiser’s gravity well projectors out of service, and his escape plan was beginning to look rather dark, cold, and lifeless with them still in action. Rav swore, some Huttese phrase he was pretty sure was a curse. “Just get those coordinates locked in, and jump as soon as we’re free.”
Without stopping the roll, and silently thanking whoever’s idea it was for a rotating cockpit, he pushed his Starfighter downward fast enough to make his stomach slam into his hearts, and hopefully too fast for the Imperial gunners to reacquire him for a few moments. The maneuver brought him 180 degrees around, and punched the engines to shoot past the dark blade of a ship that had been pursuing him. It was what felt like forever before the computer lit up green confirming that he’d locked onto the wounded cruiser further back. Pulling the trigger sent a satisfying stream of red bolts of energy shooting out towards the spherical projections on the ship. The first two dissipated harmlessly off of the shielding, though with power being drawn to both keep the ship together and keep the gravity wells up, the rest of the barrage sliced clean through the plating. He didn’t wait for the blue implosion of the projectors, and fired off a few missiles for good measure before racing past the crippled ship, hugging the plating to avoid fire from the Vindicator.
A confirmation beep brought the good news, and Rav felt the hyperdrive begin to cycle up through the cabin.
Things happened far too fast for him as the words left his mouth, as he was thrown forward from what he could only assume as being a volley of laser cannon rounds that found their mark, and then back again as the hyperdrive kicked in and shot him into the blue expanse.
“R3, what did they get?” Rav asked, eyes shooting over the diagnostics on the control board. The fact that there was no immediate reply partially answered his question, and it didn’t bode well. That being said, seeing as he wasn’t getting ripped into his constitute particles (or whatever the happened to explosions in hyperspace) meant that his ship was still relatively intact. Sure, life support might’ve been failing, but not like he was going to be stuck in here for a few weeks. Right?
A quick inspection using the Mark 1 Eyeball outside of the cockpit revealed more issues, namely the top-most s-foil that was just plain gone, which could’ve been shot off from the volley or just straight up sheared off from the sketchy jump to hyperspace.
Rav looked away from the eerie uniformness of the other dimension and back to his instruments. Good news, his destination was coming up quick. Bad news being he wasn’t exactly sure how one landed when the computer was insisting that three of his engines just didn’t exist anymore.
He’d figure it out.
The sound of screeching metal and the bandum-clunk of the hyperdrive disengaging caught his attention, and, for lack of a better word, slammed back into realspace. Just ahead loomed the sulfuric yellow and rusty grey ball regularly referred to as Taris around here, but he was pretty certain no one wanted to call it home.
“And now for the fun part.”
With a little hope and more than a fair bit of cursing, Rav moved the damaged B-Wing into what could maybe be called a descent burn, and coaxed it down into the atmosphere. He wasn’t going to risk supersonic re-entry without deflector shields, and kept the repulsors at max all the way down. He’d have to find some way to fix this, or buy passage off the planet, cause he didn’t exactly have time to cover his hyperspace route from the Spook Squad.
A few tense minutes later, and he touched down a fair distance away from the capital city, one of the few places that looked to have a working spaceport on the planet, landing among the wrecks that already littered the planet. At least it made for good camo. A quick inspection once he got out of the cockpit clearly showed the reason why R3 wasn’t so chatty anymore, what with the plate of metal sticking halfway into his transparasteel dome. He’d need to get that fixed too.
Blaster in hand, the shipless pilot started his way towards the city.
Imperial warships were the definition of ego stroking. Like, the
Rebels New Republic could make all the jokes they wanted about how much the Moffs were overcompensating, but until they saw a gleaming, black-painted one-mile-long Imperial I-class Star Destroyer bearing down on their ###### they had no idea how completely and utterly right they were. The Imperial aesthetic of gleaming chrome and matte silver was gorgeous, frankly, (and stolen from the Old Republic, just less colorful) but the size was just plain excessive. There was intimidation, there was compensating, and then there was overcompensating so much that one hyperspace jump used more energy than an entire planet's population would use in its entire history. No exaggeration, either. The figures spoke for themselves. And in the eyes of the Empire, this was a mid-sized warship. A crew bigger than some towns, and it was mid-sized.
The fact that Tarkin got into a contest of measuring... Egos with a faction that would come to be lead, in large part, by a woman really meant that he started off with the world's cruelest handicap. Almost enough to make Liare Sarir feel for the deceased megalomaniac.
Still, none of that scale made the ISD Insight feel any larger after you'd been on board for a few weeks. A lot of the decks were dedicated to practical purposes (which meant boring purposes) or housing the rank and file Imperials that made sure the Inquisitorius' shiny toy ran as it was supposed to. It technically belonged to the Inquisitors, but frankly the crew outnumbered the Inquisitorius' actual members almost four hundred to one. Which meant that, in actuality, the Inquisitorius' on-board facilities took up a lot less real estate than you'd think. The quarters (like the ones he was making his way out of) were pretty nice, but the rec facilities got boring real quick. And with Sidious' demise, the Grand Inquisitor was keeping a tighter grip on the organization's accumulated writings. He'd heard some disturbing (unconfirmed) rumors of some of the 'reorganization' that was going on within their ranks closer to the Core Worlds.
But out here, in the middle of nowhere, it was a lot easier to get away with some things. Like ditching the drab brown robes entirely in favor of something a little more normal, a little less "long, long time ago, someone thought this was stylish". More practical, too. A jacket over street clothes with some hidden plating was always going to be better for movement and for blending in on a world like Taris. Which was, apparently, where they were headed.
Something about a New Republic agent. Lots of stories like that lately, to be honest, so he didn't really know what made this one the Inquisitorius' problem. Still, it meant getting off the ship so Inquisitor Sarir was geared up, dressed, and reporting for duty. Wasn't his job to question his orders, anyway.
"Sooooo, what's up?" The Inquisitors' self-proclaimed medic (he was a medic! Imperial registry agreed) asked no one in particular, stepping into the closest thing the psuedo-Sith Order had to a briefing room with his hands in his pockets. Not many people had shown up just yet, but someone here might know. He glanced around the room like he was looking for someone in particular, then crossed his arms across his chest. "Anyone? Double Darth?"
"What brings us out to this little ########?"
IC: (Enaltai, Taris Spaceport)
It ain't that difficult to guess when someone is looking at you when you've opened yourself to the Force, all your intuition going through the roof after all in comparison to what you had before. I tried my very darned greatest to act natural; it was, after all, still just a hunch. I didn't see in my immediate field of vision anyone actually looking at me as I walked up to the Neimoidian.
The alien's eyes narrowed down on me as I approached, and I knew well from his expression alone what he was thinking; I must not give us away.
"Documents, please," the customs worker named Wyl said, and for about a second, I was genuinely lost as to whether I'd gone to the right Neimoidian. And then he suddenly continued: "Ah! Never mind, sir. Now I recognise you and I do apologise. You should have introduced yourself from the outset. I have your diplomatic passport right here. It is good to hear that Bogden has finally sent an ambassador to Taris! The governor has long been keen to establish closer contact with our brotherly planet. I'm sure they're waiting for you in the Upper City already. Do go through, sir, please allow me to just... open these gates... there we go!"
I stifled a laugh. In large part because as Wyl frantically proceeded to shuffle me through in the greatest (and arguably fakest) imitation of servility ever seen, even handing me a datapad that literally did not have a single word on it - my supposed diplomatic passport - I finally noticed something out of place. My eyes met with an inconspicuous-looking man, by the looks of things not that much younger than me, standing further away, leaning on the wall ever so slightly. It took all my will not to make my expression change to one of irritation; were this man some sort of Imperial agent, being sighted was certainly not high on my list of priorities. I turned my gaze away and stepped firmly onwards, wanting to get out of this spaceport and into the Mid City as quick as possible.
Then again, this lad didn't look anything other than just that, an ordinary Tarisian guy, but that's how spies are meant to look when they're undercover, so you never really know.
This was the first convocation of the top Inquisitors onboard the ISD Insight that Costa Vespula, Chief Inquisitor, had found herself worthy of an invite to. She would grow a mustache and spend the rest of her days playing jizz on the streets of Nar Shaddaa if High Inquisitor Jas Rydoon had never summoned one without her. Her deliberate exclusion from prior briefings - and the fact that she was barely begrudged a presence at this one - was firmly driven home by the lack of a chair at the small semi-circular conference table that the other four Inquisitors sat at. Next to Rydoon sat Trev Kennigan, the other Chief Inquisitor onboard the Insight. Kennigan, like Rydoon, was among the last of an older generation of the Inquisitorius, those who had cultivated Palpatine's favor early in the days of the Empire that Costa was too young to remember.
Their presence here could be seen as an honored appointment, a sign of the Grand Inquisitor's trust in the two veterans - or as them finally being put out to pasture without Darth Sidious or Darth Vader alive to keep the Grand Inquisitor in line. The presence of the young, charming Costa Vespula had only alleviated this latter idea; High Inquisitor Rydoon was polite enough to the younger sect of Force users that Costa spoke for, but Kennigan had taken an instant dislike to them, and her in particular - and it only took one or two instances of rubbing elbows with him to cement the feeling into something mutual.
The other three Inquisitors may as well have been nameless, but nonetheless there they were, seated and staring at her; she roved over their faces once and had disregarded them as window dressing, merely there to provide a semblance of a larger council. Still...she would have preferred some younger faces. Costa had been Chief Inquisitor for only a handful of months. Her predecessor had died above Endor with both Dark Lords of the Sith, a handful of Grand Admirals and Moffs, and - depending on who you asked - the Galactic Empire itself. Costa had been on Imperial Center at the time, and was given a brevet appointment that soon turned permanent. The celebration that she and a dozen Inquisitors had shared in a bar on the capital had been legendary for a multitude of reasons - not least of which was the fact that she had been the victim of an assassination attempt by a jealous Inquisitor, longer tenured than Costa, who had desired the Zeltron's shiny new rank.
The duel had lasted no longer than ten minutes, but had stretched across two floors of the club, injured several patrons through the wildly thrown Force attacks of her aggressor, and had ended climatically when Costa finally claimed the high ground - by upending one of the club's strippers from her perch and delivering her final blows from there.
" piece of ." The words barely escaped the thick layers of cloth and cushion beneath her face, but there wasn't much indication of who (or what) she was talking about, either. All was still in the Aldera's holovid theater for a few more moments until, slowly and begrudgingly, the ship's Captain began to stir. The first step was rolling over, exposing her face to the dim light, but she progressed relatively rapidly from that stage. Next was open eyes. Then movement of individual limbs. Stretching. Grumbled cursing. Then finally pushing herself into a seated position. "."
Her movements were increasingly smooth as she woke up, gathering up her various belongings and returning them to their proper places on her form. Including the sheathed vibroknife that went back on her leg. It took only five (very long minutes) for her to be awake, dressed, and on her feet heading towards the door.
She needed to make the hike to the bridge.
"So no one knows?" The question was rhetorical, given that no one was answering, but the human Inquisitor still felt the need to press on, see if he could wring anything out of his compatriots. He sidled over to the Twi'lek male seated at the table, ignoring the faint rolling of the other Inquisitor's eyes. "C'mon, Salcor, buddy. Nothing? Do you at least know where Darth Sarlacc is?"
"Chief Inquisitor Vespula is in a meeting, Liare. You're gonna get yourself killed, you know that right?"
"Ohhh, they've been trying for years. Still here, though."
"Fortunately for us." With Salcor's tendency to be drier than Kennigan's personality, Liare couldn't quite tell how much of his friend's comment was sarcastic. But he was willing to be around forty percent.
"Yeah, it is fortunate for you. Without me, you'd need have nothing to laugh at." Before the Twi'lek could make another remark, Sarir was already pivoting towards the door. He knew that aura of vaguely self-satisfied excitability. He knew who was coming. Theeeere was the Darth.
IC (Roka Zale): A disc-shaped ship sailed through hyperspace, the purple-painted accents shimmering in the blue glow of warped reality. A tall man sat reclined in the pilot seat of the cockpit, tossing a rubber ball at the transparentsteel screen and catching it on the rebound. His antennae sagged a bit as he yawned, almost missing the ball as it sailed back towards him. Roka had awoken from his sleep several hours before the ship was set to come out of hyperspace, and the ship didn't come with too many entertainment options. He needed to get some new holo-vids when he got paid for this job, preferably some of the longer-running series. Something funny, preferably. He groaned as he turned in his seat and threw the ball down the corridor, watching it bounce erratically. Not even a soul to talk to... Maybe he needed to take on a crew, get a copilot in here. Somebody to have a conversation with, play holochess against an actual opponent for once.
Roka Zale got up to go get his ball back, cursing silently at the sound of hollow floor-plates beneath his boots. He hadn't been able to pick up a cargo to this godforsaken backwater planet, but with any luck this new job would give him a decent stack of credits and connections. A sharp beeping sound filled his ears as the lights dimmed to red. "What?! Already?!" He cried, snatching the rubber ball and running back to the cockpit. Taris must have snuck up on him early, though he wasn't going to complain about the break in his boring day. He leaped back into the pilot seat, pressing a few buttons and grabbing the hyperspace handle. Roka watched the countdown time blink at him as he tightened his grip, slowly pulling down on the lever as the timer hit zero. The ship slowed more and more, eventually dropping out of the blue-tinted tunnel and back into realspace. Letting go of the handle, Roka turned his attention to the steering column, steering the ship towards the dingy-looking planet ahead.
Zale keyed on the shipboard comm, tuning it to local frequencies and clearing his throat. "This is Captain Zale of the freighter ship Steadfast. I'm transerring my landing codes over now, requesting permission to put down." Taking his hand off the transmit button, he kept an eye on the transfer screen, pleased to see the landing confirmation come through a moment later. He pulled the ship into lower atmosphere, heading for what appeared to be the capitol city.
IC: Rex Toliman
When the Arkanian shot a look over at Rex, the human flinched backwards. A foreign emotion had been slammed his mind, one of irritation, and he immediately looked away, taking deep breaths to control his rising confusion and panic. That emotion wasn't his, and as Rex had no idea what had just happened, he slipped into the calming breathing he used to get to sleep after a particularly frustrating day.
Unknown to him, this external bombardment of force presence, the surprise of feeling someone else's emotions, and the panic it brought with it caused a momentary lapse in the subconscious mental barriers blocking his latent force potential. They were left in place from years of being told to "never stand out and never be different" in some form or another, instilled during his time in the orphanage. The lapse caused his force presence to flare ever so slightly before settling down again.
A few moments later, sufficiently calmed and blissfully unaware of his slightly more noticeable presence in the force, he glanced up again and saw the Arkanian - who at this point he was sure was the source of the weird feeling - quickly walking towards the Mid City exit of the spaceport.
Rex's mind told him go home and sleep. However, something was pulling him along, telling him to follow this one person for absolutely no discernible reason.
Bemoaning his lack of sleep in the near future, Rex peeled himself of the wall and began following the Arkanian.
Luckily for him, the best piloting simulators were in the general vicinity of the gate to Mid City. Rex shrugged. If nothing happened by the time he happened upon a suitable arcade, he would stop, play a round on the simulator, then go home and sleep.
Yep. Nothing could possibly go wrong with this plan.
IC: (Enaltai, Mid City Approach)
And now he's following me. Fantastic.
This wasn't the first covert pursuer I had to lose in my lifetime. And yet... something intrigued me about this fellow. If this was an Imperial or, worse yet, Inquisitorial agent, then, I knew - running would not help the matter. On the contrary, I had to find out how much this man knew.
I proceeded firmly onwards, forbidding doubt from invading my mind; I only needed to trust the Force, and I'd get out of this yet. The only emotion I was feeling was annoyance, slowly turning to rage; I felt the Force awaken within me like a wildcat, its fangs spread in a violent grin.
I shuffled past the Mid City gate, taking a path down the main pedestrian lane as I passed by one building after another, sidling through a city street I honestly found unnaturally cold. There were so many people, hundreds upon thousands of them, the very mosaic of Tarisian society laid bare before my eyes. Middle class humans, Imperial troopers, impoverished aliens. And yet... it was as though, once more, the planet was artificially silenced as a whole. The only noise came from behind me.
Oh, Force. The man following me was a Force-sensitive.
This will be interesting, I mused, as I took a sudden turn left into a narrow passageway between two apartment blocks. Proceeding down the alleyway, I took cover in the doorway of a city block and, slowly, drew my vibrosword. The alleyway was abandoned; my hope was not to eliminate this man, but to find out what he knows. In advance, I prepared to use my Force Choke - not to kill the guy, but to pin him down. As soon as he entered the shadows, I would make my move.
IC: Rex Toliman
Rex quickly grew tired of following the Arkanian, and was preparing to head into the arcade at the end of the street when the guy ducked into an alley.
'Of all the times!' Rex thought, and gave one last, longing glance at the corner arcade. After quickly glancing around to make sure no one's attention was on him, he casually walked into the alleyway. The human furrowed his brow. He still felt that strange urge to follow this random person, but now there was a sense of... Danger? Warning? Rex couldn't tell.
He surveyed the alleyway from just the entrance, noticing most of it was heavily shadowed. He prepared to reach for his knife if he was attacked, and after a few deep breaths traveled farther in.
Within a few steps, the shadows swallowed him up.
OOC: nah tbh I'm switching from first to third person, just doesn't feel right with Enaltai for some reason. Maybe I'm out of practice with it.
IC: (Enaltai, Taris Alleyway)
Suddenly, the darkness itself seemed to weigh down upon Rex's shoulders like an invisible, yet infinitely heavy mattress, crushing him underneath; invisible fingers reached out and clenched around his throat. He could breathe only with great difficulty, his hands instinctively shooting upwards to push whatever was choking him aside - but there was nothing there as the grip of the Force tightened even further, raising Rex outright into the air.
Enaltai stepped out into the younger man's field of vision, his left fist clenched, vibrosword in his right hand, and spoke, his voice filled with fury.
"Who sent you?" he growled as Rex felt the grasp of the darkness recede, allowing him to succumb to the ground, although the tip of his sword was still aimed pointedly at him. "Do not try to run. Or lie. I can repeat the experience you just had at any time, this time for... longer. Who sent you? Empire? Those Inquisitorial dogs? After this, I should say they should get better agents than you, boy."
(Cylund, The Hive Cantina)
Cylund was precisely the sort of man inclined towards rash action.
Which is why right now, in a private room of the seediest cantina in all the Lower City, the young smuggler found himself staring down the barrel of a blaster, gripped fiercely by the fingers of a particularly unfriendly figure decked from head to toe in yellowish, ever so slightly rusted Mandalorian armour. Well, Cy assumed he was particularly unfriendly, at least. It had to be noted he wasn't able to see his face, exactly.
"Alright, alright, folk, relax," he muttered, taking the slightest of steps back and raising his hands defensively. "We can work this out."
"No, you Tarisian twit," growled a furious-looking female Togruta standing beside the Mandalorian merc, two rugged-looking men also standing beside her, brandishing vibroswords. "We've nothing more to work out. This job's too important to keep loose ends. And you happen to be one of those, Cylund, and however much I might like your attitude, we're done. For good."
"Come the on, Ashara," Cylund sighed in exasperation, "you don't need this! What you're saying doesn't make any sense. Do you honestly think I'm stupid enough to go and tell the Imperials I helped you get napalm onto the Tarisian black market?"
"Possibly. One way or the other, you're too much a security concern. Say goodbye, Cylund."
"Wait, wait, wait!! Alright, so working this out ain't an option," Cylund quickly recast his bets, with the dumbest smile on his face. "But maybe, just maybe, I get a last wish? Come on, be fair here."
"We've all seen /those/ films, Cylund. You're going to ask for something that will somehow get you out of this. Nah. I won't fall for that."
"Well, I suppose this will have to be done the hard way, then," Cylund muttered under his breath and turned to the Mandalorian before him. "Buddy, look here. I'mma give you a riddle. What do I have in this hand?" he asked, raising his right hand for all to see.
What was in Cylund's hand was a thermal grenade, its button pressed down, set to detonate within seconds of him letting go.
"Now, buddy, you're gonna turn around," Cylund grinned furiously, "and point that gun at your current employer. You're gonna keep pointing it at her until I leave this room. If those two other incompetents right there take a single step forward, your blaster fires. On point. If you fail these very simple instructions, we can see how quick your blaster can fire before I blow everyone, including myself, in this room to pieces. Cause if I've no other choice but to die, I'm going to take you with me as well."
The Mandalorian remained silent, for about a second. And then, just as he began to turn, the private room's doors swung open, and in walked a single figure.
"Oh, hello, Tal," Cylund said, grinning as the Mandalorian's gun was still pointed at him, and his grenade was still in his hand. "Late to the party, now."
IC (Tallik Vao, 'The Hive' Cantina)
When Tallik Vao stepped out of the meeting between the Tarisian Midge's two-man crew and their current employer, he'd reassured himself that nothing would go wrong in his absence. All he needed was a quick drink to wet his parched throat, after all. Leaving Cylund on his own for two minutes wasn't a big deal. It wasn't as if his partner would manage to seriously ###### Ashara off in such a short space of time. Sure, she might be a little annoyed by the time he got back, but it wasn't as if weapons would be drawn; no, everything would be perfectly fine.
Two minutes later, he was standing in the doorway of the private room, Polaris ale in hand, looking in at the depressingly inevitable standoff that had ensued in his absence. There Cy was, holding a primed detonator and grinning that all-too-familiar 'I'm in deep ######' grin, with two vibroswords and a blaster carbine pointed at him.
"I told you to let me do the ###### talking, Cy."
IC: Rex Toliman
Whatever Rex expected when he walked into the alleyway, it was definitely NOT to be choked by nothing, lifted into the air, and be confronted by an obviously angry, sword wielding, and paranoid Arkanian. However, he found himself in that situation now. And considering his windpipe was still recovering, he could barely get a few words out.
He pushed himself into a sitting position, deciding standing suddenly might result in an acute case of decapitation, and managed to wheeze out a few words.
“Not Imperial- *cough* -or Inquisitor.” Rex rubbed a hand over his throat, feeling oddly calm about the entire situation now that he wasn’t being strangled. “I had a… funny feeling. Like something was telling me to follow you, but… within my own mind.” Rex ducked his head swiftly in slight embarrassment. That had sounded a lot better in his head. Saying it aloud made him just sound a little crazy or something. The human coughed again, then fixed the Arkanian with a glare, his calm suddenly evaporating like water on Tatooine. “And can you please get that sword out of my face? If you can tell when I’m lying, you should know if I’m telling the truth.”
Rex took a deep breath, trying again to center himself and focus on more important matters. “And while we’re on the subject, how the ###### did you choke me from across the alley?”
IC: (Enaltai, Taris Alleyway)
The Arkanian eyed the man before him suspiciously, before slowly, slowly lowering his weapon. Not putting it away, however. Something about this person piqued his curiosity. From what Rex was saying, Enaltai could not help but feel as though the Force was, in one of its multiple unpleasantly blatant ways, playing at some usual cosmic game. The boy was Force-sensitive; that much was obvious. The Force radiated from him with the fury of a thousand, still sleeping, stars.
And, he wasn't lying. Enaltai couldn't say how he knew. But he trusted the Force enough to believe his hunches.
"I have a few tricks up my sleeve. You, however..." Enaltai muttered under his nose, taking a step to the side slowly, a most thoughtful expression inscribed on his face. "You appear to indeed know nothing of me... or of..." He fell silent, seemingly lost in thought. He only spoke up a few moments later, knowing that he was likely changing the fate of the galaxy - as did every such awakening - with every syllable.
"Alright, get up. You've knelt enough. Humor me with just one question, lad. Have you ever heard of the Force?"
(Cylund, "The Hive" Cantina)
"Ashara wasn't keen on talking this time, now, wasn't she?" Cylund kept grinning furiously, shooting a glance at the aforementioned Togruta, now looking as if she was utterly boiling with rage. "Now, see, where were we... ah yes. As I was saying, you, big, armed and ugly, turn around."
"I don't think you understand the rules of the game just changed, Cylund," Ashara laughed. "Sure. You have that detonator. Thing is, I know you. You could have blown it up when it was only us in the room. Now that your friend's here, you won't dare kill him with the blast, too."
"Y-you still can't kill me," Cylund growled at the Mandalorian, his grin suddenly gone, gripping that detonator in his hands a lot less convincingly. "when you strike me down, I'll let go of that grenade whether I like it or not!"
"Oh, I don't need to kill you, Cylund," Ashara smiled, angrily, as her two bodyguards took a menacing step towards Tallik, brandishing their swords. "We now have a new target."
IC: Roka guided his ship through the cityscape of the planet, aiming for the main landing platforms of the capitol city. After recieving confirmation on where to land, he took the ship gently down, feeling the shuddering as Steadfast's landing struts hit the solid platform. Roka took a few minutes to gather his things before heading down to the cargo bay and pulling out several crates, stacking them onto a hover-dolly and placing them near the exit ramp. Roka grabbed his datapad and exited the ship, looking around. "Last customs bay on the left..." He muttered to himself, his eyes landing on the Nemoidian manning the booth. He walked up to the gray-skinned alien, showing him the datapad. "Captain Zale of the Steadfast, I have a delivery of some foodstuffs here." He said, transferring over the falsified customs order. He didn't know who was ordering six crates of dehydrated meal replacements, but they were probably from the Lower City, or whatever was left of it.
The Nemoidian looked over the records and nodded, speaking quickly. "Yes yes, all appears to be in order. Our people will unload the supplies, and refuel your ship. You are approved for travel on Taris." Roka nodded and smiled at the corrupt official before heading back to his ship to supervise the unloading. Once he was sure he was alone he checked his datapad to see the message the Nemoidian had surreptitiously transferred to it.
"Credits will be transferred to you upon unloading of cargo.
New contact has requested a meeting."
Underneath were some coordinates and the name of some kind of bar, or entertainment establishment. Roka grinned at the news, hopefully he could pick up another job straight away. He headed out of the landing bay and onto the streets and walkways of the ruined city.
As Roka walked towards his new destination, he began to feel some kind of... Heaviness. Not a sense of danger, as he got sometimes when something bad was about to happen, this was... Less direct. His walking slowed even as he saw the place he was heading for. His gut was telling him that something was happening around here, and his gut was usually correct... He walked past the bar, starting to look down alleys and streets to see if there was anything amiss...
IC: Rex Toliman
Rex slowly rose to his feet, glancing occasionally at the blade. This was certainly not going as planned (not that he'd really had one to begin with), though at least the Arkanian believed that he wasn't an agent of some sort and/or trying to kill him. He brushed off his jacket before replying.
"Probably not in the way you mean it, if that's what let you do the choke-thing. The only way I've heard it used is in physics class.. Why do you ask?" Rex said warily. Internally though, his thoughts were racing at light speed. 'Why would this guy ask me such a random question? I still have no idea what's going on!' He thought frantically, while still keeping his outward expression reasonably calm.
IC (Tallik Vao, 'The Hive' Cantina)
"Well, if that's how it is," Tallik said, settling into an opening stance as he calmly plucked his sword from its sheath, "so be it."
The first of Ashana's two bodyguards was already close, weapon outstretched, obviously preparing to attack. Tallik never gave him the chance. The Twi'lek darted forward, and the merc reacted instinctively to this sudden advance by raising his blade defensively, but to no avail: a ferocious beat from Tallik knocked it sideways, breaking his defence. Tallik immediately capitalised on the opening with a slash to the bodyguard's sword arm. The merc yelled in pain and dropped his weapon, clutching at the red rift Tal's sword had opened up in his arm. It was lucky for him that the Twi'lek freelancer was using a regular sword—had that slash come from a vibroblade like his own, he likely wouldn't have an arm to clutch.
Meanwhile, Tal swivelled to block an incoming strike from the other bodyguard with a second clash of metal on metal. As the blades locked against each other, Tallik used the strength of both hands to bring his (and with it, the merc's) down and to the right. With both swords now out of the way, Tallik's left hand left the hilt to swing backhand into his opponent's face. The merc staggered back, dazed. Tal's hand now moved to his hip to unholster and fire his blaster pistol in one fluid motion, shooting the merc in the thigh. A second yell of pain was accompanied by a second vibrosword clattering to the floor.
With both bodyguards incapacitated, Tallik now turned to face Ashana and the Mandalorian, with both weapons at the ready and one eyebrow raised. Twi'lek lacked eyebrows naturally, but Tal had found that life with Cy necessitated the ability to raise an eyebrow (two, in some cases), so he'd had them tattooed on.
"I'm disappointed, Ashara," he remarked. "Were those two really the best you could get? Besides Bumblebee here, that is."
IC: (Enaltai, Taris Alleyway)
Enaltai threw a quick glance over his shoulder. There was still no one in that alleyway but them, or at least it seemed so.
"That choke-thing," Enaltai replied with almost conspiratorial expression on his face, "I indeed could do because of the Force. And a great many other things, too... tell me, lad. Have you ever had times when your intuition seemed unbelievably sharp, when you could almost feel bad things happening before they did? Were there times when, if you got angry, the strangest of things would happen?"
He slowly put his sword aside and looked at the boy.
"That, boy, was the Force, the secret gift the Empire would have kept from you."
IC: (Cylund, "The Hive" Cantina)
"You could say the rules of the game have changed, Ashara," Cylund grinned at her with the brightness of a thousand supernovas.
"Oh, sod you all," Ashara shook her head. "Dral'cabur, lower that blaster, we're getting nowhere like this."
"I'm so glad you finally see that, Ash!" Cy smirked as the Mandalorian lowered his weapon and took a step back, still holding that unpleasantly primed grenade in his hand, his finger getting weary after all this time of holding the trigger down. "Let's talk about compensation, now. After that little spectacle, we'll be wanting double the price you initially suggested."
"Sod you all," Ashara repeated, pulling out a pocket datapad and quickly hammering out a few key presses. "There. The money's in your account, you Tarisian bantha-shits. Now get lost. And put that goddamn grenade aside already."
"Yeah, I was just thinking about that," Cy grinned a most shiteating grin, and all of a sudden, flung the detonator at the far wall, behind Ashara. "MOVE!" he yelled to his Twi'lek shipmate, and bolted for the door.
IC (Tallik Vao, 'The Hive' Cantina)
"GOD IT, CY!" Tallik roared, stowing his weapons as quickly as possible and sprinting out of the room, hot on Cylund's heels.
IC: Rex Toliman
Rex thought for a moment, reflecting back on his past. There weren't really any times he could remember when he'd done anything strange...
"So... you're saying I have this Force. And that it's caused by strong emotion?" That didn't seem wholly right to him. "If I would have used the Force every time I've gotten angry, there would be a lot of people in hospitals for death by Force Choke." He dug deeper through his memories, frowning a little as nothing came up.
"But then again, there was this one time in a bar not to far from here. I'll spare you the details, but there was an argument, and I found myself facing a few ticked off gang members. Someone pulled a blaster behind me, but I dodged the shot without even seeing it. Only thing was, I was completely calm at the time. Like, unnaturally calm, even as I took down those thugs. I've never lifted anyone off the ground or choked them though..." Rex trailed off, trying to rationalize that memory. He'd just put it down to luck and some skill at the time, but now...
Rex suddenly realized he hadn't introduced himself. "By the way, my name's Rex. Nice to meet you," he said, holding out his hand to shake.
[Sue, The Stray Tach, Lower Reaches]
Taris, like any true ecumenopolis, never slept. As one set of the population stumbled into their beds, another was sure to climbing out of them. Or as it happened, in the middle of a long work day.
Sunorhyyn, known as “Sue” to anyone who didn’t understand her language (and quite a few who did, I mean, what are all those y’s for anyway) finished slicing her third Uj cake of the night with a flourish and a satisfied grunt. Her zippy translator droid flew the tray over to the circle of mandalorians as she drew up another few pints of frosty Corellian ale.
The Stray Tach wasn’t strictly speaking, in the slums, but its position in the depths of the city meant it attracted quite a few customers and guest of the less savory sort (at least in the eyes of the few upper city denizens who patronized it.) The steady stream of all manner of galactic life kept Sue busy even before Tarisian sun sunk beneath the silver towers. The inn had acquired quite a reputation, partly for the excellent liquor it served and partly for seeming to have a novel theme (tachs are from Kashyyyk, so are wookiees, get it?). With all the flesh and alcohol flowing through the doors, it was a marvel that fights broke out rarely, if at all. Everyone agreed that was solely because of the wookiee behind the bar.
Said wookiee behind the bar was turning a batch of crispics when she got the feeling. She huffed in annoyance and sneezed. Most people got those sort of feelings in their gut, but for Sue it was always in her sinuses, something similar to a pre-caf deprivation headache. And it never meant well. She flexed her index finger, scratched delicately at her nose with a claw, and went back to turning the meat appetizers. She had become quite good at burying such twinges in the back of her consciousness in the thirty eight years of her life.
It was nothing do with her, anyway.
OOC: The bar's open.
IC(Roka Zale): As Roka checked the alleys and dark corners, he eventually began to hear voices, drawing him closer. He ducked into the dark alley, trying to stick to the deepest shadows; his dark clothing hopefully helping him blend in. He pulled his blaster out of its holster and crouched, sneaking forward slowly, trying to make out the conversation. Something about... Force? Imperials keeping it from someone? What was that, some new kind of drug?
As Roka's eyes adjusted to the darkness, he finally caught his first glimpse of the pair. Two men, both of them looked a bit jumpy... One of them reached out towards the other. This looked like a drug deal. But what was Force? Roka'd never heard of it before, it must be brand new...
IC(Nokon Raine): "Oh yes, and we would so miss laughing at you and your running commentary." The massive human said, leaning back in his chair and shooting a grin at Sairir before standing up and straightening his long jacket, having sensed the approach of their commander. "Greetings, Chief Inquisitor." He said to the woman who walked through the door. "I assume you have something you want to talk to us about?"
Sen Fahl- The Stray Tach
IC: Sen was certainly not brooding. Sitting in a pub in the lower sector and staring at a cup of some alcoholic beverage sure, but most certainly not brooding.
Whats with that look?
The Mandalorian archeologist drained the aforementioned drink and motioned for another from the Wookie behind the counter. Strange to see one running a bar like this. Not as strange as the feelings the Force had been sending his way since setting foot on this planet though.
IC: (Enaltai, Taris Alleyway)
The Arkanian stretched his hand out slowly, as if contemplating his choices. Eventually, though, he took Rex's hand and shook it.
"Enaltai. This might not be the best place to speak of these things, however," he said, slightly inclining his head. He could very faintly feel another presence in the area, and he wished to remove himself from this place before that presence came closer. "If you wish to learn more of this... we need somewhere people would not find us."
(Cylund, Lower City)
Cylund didn't completely and absolutely comprehend what was going on, but as the Lower City cantina turned to chaos at one of its back rooms turning aflame, he knew that either Imperial forces or, worse, the Nine Arrows' thugs would be all over the place in minutes. So he just kept running like mad, turning only to check if Tallik was behind him.
In seconds, he was out of the cantina, followed by a whole host of people trying to flee the place - nobody, after all, wanted to stay in a cantina where something had just violently exploded. Bolting down the street, he knocked over a Duros trader's stall, by nothing other than sheer accident, and, swearing loudly, promised the angry alien something he was used to saying for whatever reason in his youth - 'Nezza the Hutt'll pay you', just before dashing off again on the literal crest of the wave of rumours spreading throughout the Lower City that something bad had happened in the Hive.
Needless to say, he had not the least of ideas who Nezza the Hutt was, and he certainly didn't recall ever knowing anyone by that name. These days he just used it as a fancy way of saying, 'my bad'.
No one, to be fair, would be surprised once they heard that somebody detonated a grenade in a cantina in the Lower City, that was hardly a non-standard event in this part of the universe after all. However, that doesn't mean people would not want to axe Cylund's head off regardless, and it most likely meant that Cylund and Tallik had to get to some place where no one could find them for the near future.
"Space cemetery, now!" Cy yelled to his partner, taking a hard right into a narrow alleyway at the sight of some Imperial stormtroopers patrolling in the distance. The 'space cemetery' was what Tarisians called the half-scrapyard, half-ruin outside Taris City proper, a field in Taris's polluted bogs littered with ridiculous numbers of wrecked spaceships dumped there during Taris's many battles. Also incidentally where Cylund and Tallik had parked their ship this time around.
Also, incidentally, where Rav Kadran's starfighter had docked. But they, of course, didn't know this yet.
IC (Tallik Vao, Lower City)
Tallik stifled the desire to give his loose-cannon-of-a-partner a thick ear, saving his breath for keeping pace. They were still a good distance away from that elephants' graveyard of starship hulks, and there would be plenty of time for him to lecture Cy once they got there.
IC: Rex Toliman
A location instantly popped into Rex's mind. "I assume a bar wouldn't work, so here's an idea. It's an old arcade, been abandoned for years, but it isn't part of any gang's territory and has all its walls." He thought for a moment before continuing. "Everything else around there is pretty dilapidated though, and it's in the Lower City. However, I'm pretty sure it still has power."
IC: (Cylund, Taris Lower City Outskirts)
When Cylund, alongside his comrade, finally arrived at the outskirts of the wreckyard, they had by that point also managed to cause no small amount of other uproar in the Lower City, having had to veritably nearly kill themselves trying to avert the attention of the Imperials at the military checkpoint that separated the Lower City from the bogs that surrounded it.
"Alright," he spoke as they finally stopped running, taking one deep, heaving breath after another. "Now you can go ahead and berate me."
(Enaltai, Taris Alleyway)
Enaltai merely nodded at Rex's suggestion. "Lead the way."
IC: Rex Toliman (Taris Alleyway)
"Alright then, follow me." Rex decided the alley route to his destination would be fastest, and began to walk down an alley that would lead them to it.
"So, what brings you to Taris? I get the feeling you aren't here for sightseeing."
IC: (Enaltai, Taris Alleyway)
"The short version would be: I'm looking for something on this planet," Enaltai spoke, carefully choosing his words. "I'm not sure what, exactly. But there is something here, under all this industry and marshland. There's something more to Taris than meets the eye, and I intend to find out what."
IC(Roka): They were moving. Had they seen him? He'd been careful, quiet, how could they have seen him? In any case, they were exiting the alley now, he'd caught something about the Lower City... He could follow them, see where it led. But... Why? Why did Roka care about this? He was a smuggler, and he had a contact to go meet. A local drug deal shouldn't interest him at all. And yet it did... He felt as if there was something pulling him along, like the current of a river, and he had to see where this went... It was like that with that first run too, all those Death Sticks... It was the job, but something kept him from delivering. And this was the same feeling, something pushing him to go against what he thought he should do. It worked out fine the last time...
Roka crept along the shadows as the pair left the alley, intent on following them to their destination. He stayed crouched near the exit for a few seconds before exiting, seeing the pair disappear down another alley. He followed them at a distance, trying to keep to the shadows and keep a low profile...
[Sue, The Stray Tach, Lower Reaches]
Sue filled the tumblr to the brim with kri’gee. She growled inquisitively as she set the mug of bitter mandalorian ale in front of the young human. TK zipped over at the sound of its master’s voice, hovering a few standard inches in front of the man’s face.
“Something eating you, stranger?” the robot said in a voice that could only be described as passionless.
Sen Fahl- The Stray Tach
IC: A smile crept its way onto the archeologist's face at the monotone question. It was hardly a joke, but the contrast between the question and the emotionless tones of the translation droid was enough to draw out that small reaction.
Sen looked up at the true source of the question. Most people just laughed if he said that an all encompassing energy...thing, was giving him hints about the future. There was something about this person though. Maybe she shared his connection to the Force.
"Let's say I have a gut feeling. Something big is going to happen on this planet in the near future. I'm just not sure if I should stick around to find out what or continue on my merry way to some long abandoned set of ruins."
"Sarir," Costa Vespula greeted neutrally, putting a hand on her hip and tilting her head, "it's really creepy when you wait for me at the door like that."
The Zeltron's eyes flicked casually across each of the Inquisitors gathered in the hall; some were watching her far more intently than she examined them, and others were pretending to be paying all their attention into sabacc, pazaak, or table games, but Costa's entrance had heralded a subtle shift in the room - as if the center of gravity had suddenly been yanked closer to the Chief Inquisitor. She could feel the change in the Force, and took it as acknowledgement.
"The rumors are right." She allowed herself the wide, excited smile that she had withheld in council, and sat on the corner of a billiards table. The low buzz in the room meant that the game her had interrupted was forgiven in no time. "The High Inquisitor wants to make landfall on Taris. I'm to leave in a few hours."
Reo settled into the pilot's chair and crossed his feet at the ankle underneath a console as Taris came into view. True enough, Aldera's hyperdrive had been firing hotter than expected, bringing the scarred ecumenopolis into view a good six or seven hours earlier than the Alderaanian had been expecting when they had left Cloud City days previously. Not that Reo particularly minded, at least on a business level - you could never complain about having credits in your hand too early.
But his pseudo-captain got cranky when she was woken up early, and usually the only cure was to get her to another bed stat. Something that wasn't going to be likely while planetside. Skri didn't really have the Imperial discipline under less-than-optimal rest conditions that her Imperially bred boyfriend did. Sometimes the disparity gave him migraines.
The rest of the time, it was generally Skri that gave him the migraines.
Love is a battlefield.
Taris looked like a battlefield itself, even after four or five thousand (Reo forgot some of his history) years since the Sith bombardment that had rendered it an unpopulated carcass of a planet. Reo had only been to Imperial Center (nee Coruscant) a couple times, but something about this dinky little Outer Rim world reminded him of the Imperial capital's dark mirror, a once-great planet that even now sent ripples of unease through the chest.
Reo told himself he was being ridiculous. The planet's rebuilding efforts had been in place for millennia. But still...
The pilot shook his head and leaned forward, towards the comm on his console.
"We're within orbital distance, love. Is R5 done napping? We could use a shuttle prepped."
IC: Rex Toliman (Taris Alleyway)
"Sounds interesting. Although, if you don't know what you're looking for, how will you find it?" Rex grinned. "The Force? And turn here, this is a shortcut." This 'shortcut', as Rex called it, was a winding maze of buildings which had been built too close together and concealed a relatively unknown entryway to the Lower City.
"Well, when I want information, it's you or Kerrigan. And he'd just kill me." The human Inquisitor noted cheerfully, even though the several steps back he took to grant his boss both space and clearance were at odds with the usual irreverence of his tone. She moved into the room easily, and Liare vanished from her radar just like that. He didn't particularly mind. Standing out in the Inquisitorius had a good chance of being deadly, especially for someone as questionable as him. He was only still around because he was good at his job, despite what they said. And a certain party unnamed for her own sake. He owed her, too.
The point, really, was that Costa was the boss. Not that he'd let her know he recognized that.
Her announcement perked his ears up a little, but his expression was Liare-neutral; a faint half-grin, underneath deceptively cheerful eyes. Missions, especially missions they wanted to send the Chief on, were big news. And generally meant a big objective. Not something to take particularly lightly. And Taris... Just didn't feel quite right.
"Best of luck, Chief." Was the medic's only comment, directed at her from the wall he had (during her announcement) retreated the last few steps to and leaned on. It wasn't particularly loud, either. A little debatable where it came from, and without the quips, a little debatable who said it.
"D1K doesn't get naps." The reply sounded, rather than over the comms, three steps behind the
Imperial mercenary pilot. The Aldera's captain, despite her personality, could be pretty quiet when she wanted to be. Apparently now was one of those times, because she slipped into a spare seat without much more comment.
"Ahead of schedule. I'll run a diagnostic on D1K when we're back, that's not a great sign for his accuracy. Helpful now, not later."
IC: (Enaltai, Taris Alleyway)
Enaltai did not answer. He merely followed Rex, tossing a glance over his shoulder.
Quietly, so quietly that no one could possibly hear from afar, he said, "We're being followed. Any ideas on how to lose them?"
IC: Rex Toliman (Taris Alleyway)
Rex raised an eyebrow. "Well then, just follow me. Very few people know how to navigate this area." He whispered. "I only know because this was where I hung out when I was little." With that, Rex proceeded to lead Enaltai through random twists and turns, down side streets, between cracked walls, and through maze-like intersections. Many of the turns were quick and close together, which would make it difficult for someone to follow them. Hopefully, it would throw off whoever was pursuing them
IC(Roka): They knew he was there. Somehow, they knew he was following them and they were trying to get away. Not like he could blame them though, and he didn't even know why he was following them himself. They were moving faster, turning erratically. He was only following by noises now, which were growing ever fainter. Eventually, the sounds of movement faded completely and Roka stood alone in the dark twisting streets and alleys. He took a hard look at the streets, silently cursing his inability to keep up. Roka closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He wasn't sure which way he'd come from at this point, so finding someone; anyone, would be his best option.
The streets exploded in his mind, a mental map of the layout he'd seen. This is where chance comes in, he though as his minds' eye scanned the immediate area. It was a skill he'd learned long ago, tied to his seeming endless luck. If he got lost, he could usually find a non-hostile face to get directions from, he just had to... Pick a direction. Like... That way, for instance. Roka turned, seemingly at random and began walking down another alley, opening his eyes just enough to see where he was going as he searched for a way out...
OOC: Roka could be moving towards or away from you guys at this point, I'll leave that one up to you.
IC(Nokon): The imposing face raised an eyebrow at the mention of Taris from the Chief Inquisitor. He hadn't studied the lore and stories of the Sith closely, but one would have to be completely inept to not know about Taris. It was a big name for them, and if that's where they were headed... Something big must be going on. And where better to be in the middle of a power imbalance than right in the center, claiming it for yourself.
Taking a step forward, Nokon Raine clapped his leather-clad hands, the thud echoing through the mostly silent room. "Congratulations, Chief Inquisitor!" He began, a smile forming on his face. "An honor to be sure, being chosen to lead this mission. I wonder..." He mused aloud sticking his hands into the deep pockets his jacket afforded him; "If you might have need of a seasoned expert on Ecumenopolis'? If so, I would happily volunteer my services for the good of the mission."