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 Post subject: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:03 am
Posts: 565
Location: Ventura County, CA
Look! Time has passed and we're still in deep trouble. ;)

This segment written by yours truly, with nods to Face for the first part and thanks to Red for input on the rest.


[21 Hours Left]

* * * * *

The room was dark, the only light coming from a small red emergency panel near the door.

The room was dark, and Face's head hurt. A
lot. It was to their credit, he supposed, that the COMPNOR troopers rendered them unconscious before moving them -- he'd have done the same, after all -- but he was no more a fan of a boot to the face than the next guy. As his senses slowly returned, he noted that his feet and hands were chained rather violently to the chair in which he sat, and while he couldn't see anyone else, a vague warmth and the faint sound of slow, steady breathing told him there was someone behind him. Probably Dru, from the sound of it. Drake's breathing would be slower, and Elassar would have awoken before him, if his memory of Devaronion morphology served. He strained against the chains, and his arms confirmed what his eyes had already told him: a professional had locked him here, and he'd have to break more than a few bones to get loose.

The room was dark, and the crick in Dru's neck as he dragged himself back into consciousness seemed to be having a go at the ache in his jaw. Whichever was winning, Dru was pretty sure that he was the one losing. A quick check told him he had been sucking on a tooth, which he spat along with a wad of bloody sputum. Before his eyes would focus in the dim light, a voice came from behind him.

"So, um." It was Face's.

"You know, I'm usually the chain
er, not the chainee." The gravel in Dru's voice almost surprised him.

"Yeah... me, too."

"I probably should have had a holdout pistol installed in my new hand."

"You know what would be awesome?
Explosive fingernails."

Dru stretched his neck strongly, eliciting a solid
pop. "That's amazing. And you could flick them at people! It'd hurt like hell, but damned if that's not a good idea."

Finishing a search of his own mouth for stray incisors, Face spat. "Still, you'd have to be an absolute idiot to try it."

The door hissed open, revealing an even darker room beyond. A pair of booted footsteps stomped in and quickly delivered solid punches to the men in chairs.

The room was dark, and Dru was fading into unconsciousness.


* * *

This room was not dark. As his eyes reflexively slid open while the world gradually tumbled back in to focus, Dru winced in pain, slamming his eyes back shut. Straining to fight back the wave of pain threatening his battered brain, he tried to focus on his hearing. From the echo, the room was too big to be an interrogation room. Quarters, maybe? It didn't matter.

"Well, well," came a smooth voice, "it's not often that men in my profession are so lucky. Or should I say our profession, Mr. Kargin?"

Dru spat a wad of viscous sputum to the floor beside his chair. The chains binding him felt like the same ones from earlier, but the room felt different. Further attempts to open his eyes had been met with the same frustration -- the floodlamp in his face might as well have been a blindfold.

"Space, you're a traveling salesman, too?" Dru tried to put interest in his voice, but the result was closer to a harsh rasp. "Man, is business rough these --" An armored fist met his gut.

"I say 'Mister' Kargin, of course, because honestly it's a rutting pain to keep track of your whimsical career path these days. Tell me, how is Jaelyn?"

A deep cough as Dru caught his breath elicited a mouthful of blood, which he quickly ejected toward the smooth voice.

"Of course, silly me." Smooth Voice kept a sardonic sweetness in his voice. "Always right to business with you. Let's be direct, shall we? What are the better parts of Rogue and Wraith Squadrons doing at Keshoc?"

"Maybe we knew you'd be here," Dru hissed, his breath slowly returning. He recognized the voice; why couldn't he place it?

"You know, that was my first guess. Tell me, when did you start losing your operations before they start?"

Dru craned his head around, looking for a spot dark enough to open his eyes. "If you know so much, why don't you tell me?"

"Ooh, wrong answer. Tell you what, Mr. Kargin," There it was again. Something was too familiar about the way he said "Kargin". "I'm going to go ahead and check on your friends. If you're ready for me to ease up on them, feel free to let my assistant know... in the meantime, she has a few new ideas she'd like your input on."

Dru cursed himself silently for not hearing the faint breathing of a third person in the room. As her light footsteps closed on his chair, he gauged her as small, but athletic, from her breathing rate and stride, but his train of thought was cut off as he felt a data cable slide into the receptacle in his artificial hand. How had he not noticed that the access panel was open?

Before he could muse on any potential answers, there was only pain.

* * *

Dru...

A soft voice stirred Dru from his... sleep? Reverie? Now he couldn't remember what he'd been doing. And where was he? He didn't remember leaving... wherever he'd been before. There had been anger, he thought, and perhaps pain, but the feelings were fading like a bad dream. Perhaps he'd never been there at all.

Dru...

The soft voice spoke again, and things snapped into focus. He was lying on his back on a green hill overlooking acres and acres of vineyards. A cool breeze blew over him as he let his eyes slip open to reveal a gentle cirrus cloud drifting across the perfect blue sky.

"Dru, honey, wake up!" The soft voice seemed so real now. "Lunch is ready."

He was at home on Tralus. A thin blonde woman in a light sun dress bent over him as the wind rippled through her hair, her hand extended to help him off the soft grass.

Taking her hand, Dru smiled and stood up<discontinuity>


There was pain again, but not like before. His muscles ached, and his throat pleaded for water as though he'd been screaming for some time. Had he had a dream? Dru couldn't remember. Forcing himself back into the present, he flinched against the light in his eyes.

"A --" he tried to speak, but his parched throat defied him.

"Oh, don't worry," came another voice, female. This must be the assistant he'd missed earlier. Her voice had an acidic tone to it, though it was laced with obvious pleasure. "You won't be needing to speak any time soon."

Dru shook his head, as if to clear it. Why couldn't he remember where he'd just been? His brow furrowed as he tried to push away the fog over his mind.

"Too late..." The assistant's voice had a sing-song quality.

She might have been giggling, but now the pain was back.

Taking her hand, Dru smiled and stood up, stretching idly to let the wind wash over him. There was that feeling again. Déjà vu, maybe?

The thin blonde woman slipped her arms around his waist and kissed him. "Dru, is everything all right?"

Was it? Why couldn't he remember? He kept his face calm and tried to push down the doubt. "Yeah," he offered. There was still doubt in his voice. "Yeah, it's okay."

"Don't play your poker face with me, silly. What's bothering you?"

"I... don't remember."

The woman's eyes narrowed despite her effort to hide her concern.

"I'm probably just groggy. I think I had a weird dream."

Her eyes softened and she kissed him again. Somehow the warmth of her touch felt distant. What
was wrong?

"Oh, don't worry," she said<discontinuity>

The ache was back, and he had a knot in his back as though he'd been arching against the chair. A sharp intake of breath rattled his raw throat and elicited a cough. More blood. Greedily, his tongue soaked up the copper fluid, spreading it around his mouth. He swallowed hard. Even with the blood in his mouth, he felt like he was swallowing a ball of nerf wool.

"Having fun?" As he spoke, Dru noticed the light in his face was off, or moved, and he slowly blinked his eyes open. The small athletic woman was standing over a computer console.

She walked over to him brandishing a datapad, sticking her face in his own. Cocking her head to one side, she grinned devlishly. "Are you?"

The world faded to white as the pain overwhelmed him again.

"Oh, don't worry," she said sweetly, "Come and have some food, you'll feel better."

Dru and the thin blonde woman sat on the blanket she'd prepared, and she offered him a roast nerf sandwich from a woven basket.

"Thanks," he offered. There was still hesitance in his voice. What was going on? He slowly took the sandwich. "I, uh -- I don't think I'm hungry."

The worried look was back in her face. He recognized it; she'd been worried over him before. "Is it about the mission?"

"The mission?" Dru shook his head. What mission? Was he planning something? Why couldn't he remember?

The woman ran a soft hand through his hair<discontinuity>

He was chained to the chair again. Again? He'd been chained to the chair this whole time. What was he missing?

"Awake again so soon," the sing-song voice of the small assistant rang with malevolent joy. "We can't have that, can we?"

This time, Dru barely felt the pain.

The woman ran a soft hand through his hair. "You know, the mission. The one you're going on with Face Loran."

Face Loran? Why should he know Face Loran?

"Honey, please eat," the thin blonde woman's plea matched the imploring look in her face. "Your blood sugar must be low."

Dru took a bite cautiously. The roast nerf tasted hollow.

"The mission you're going on with Face Loran? The mission to Keshoc Station."

Keshoc Station? He knew that place. Why? Keshoc Station and Face Loran were -- in a rush of awareness, he remembered. He jerked away from the woman before him, standing quickly.

"Dru? What's wrong, honey?"

It was a dream. It was all a dream! Dru backed his consciousness away from the dreamworld until he could feel the threads of the unreality, and he tore them apart. The view before him faded away, and all that remained was the white-hot pain.


Last edited by Dru Kargin on Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:21 pm
Posts: 1412
Location: San Antonio, TX
Thanks to Dru for reading over and collaborating! Be sure to read his above post first! :D

~~~~~

When Octavia came to she was once again chained in a chair, although she could tell it was a slightly different room. There was no sign of the Zabrak she'd been locked up with, but there was a strong odor of disinfectant and traces of blood and vomit on the floor. Cringing at the odor, there was no one else in the room, and she took the moment to try and orient herself.

A waiting room to a med bay, perhaps?

It wasn't a formal interrogation area, nothing was bolted down, things looked thrown together. Proximity to a medbay would explain some of the smells assaulting her, as well as why that loopy Zabrak had been hooked up to the IV in a semi-professional manner.

She didn't have time to continue the hazy scanning, however, as midway through her visual inspection a door behind her slid open. Character...she was not supposed to be someone who knew what she was looking at...she was supposed to be a confused, scared, station engineer who was caught up in something much larger than her.

No choice but to commit...if she didn't, then the whole plan was a loss. Tears, where were the tears...

Thankfully, whoever had just entered placed a well timed hand on her shoulder at that exact moment, eliciting a sincere shudder as she was startled, and kickstarting the water works.

"Do you know why you're here, miss?"

Red mustered an appropriately pathetic whimper and more tears, before mumbling, "n-no..."

She had been preparing herself to be hit again but the hand actually squeezed her shoulder, almost gently, as she felt whoever this man was lean down and whisper right next to her ear.

"Because my commander thinks you're part of a group that has infiltrated this station. Is that true?"

Red managed to keep her eyes watering, another whimpered response, putting some force into this one as if pleading with her interviewer, despairing at this news. "No! I'm not, I told them earlier, I'm a technician. My name is Adriel Basth. I was just doing my job when things just started happening around me!"

Ending with a sob, the hand squeezed again as the man straightened, a sad sigh emitted from somewhere above her head. He was trying to play her friend, she had to be careful. She could act well enough, but this wasn't an audience. Of the Wraiths, she knew she had the least experience with interrogation, on either side. This man probably had plenty of experience.

"Adriel...you were found hiding, down a hallway we know this group went. You were carrying one of their injured members, and..."

"They made me! They made me carry that thing!" Red cried out, interrupting the man, twisting in her chair to try and look at him. He kept just far enough behind her that she couldn't see anything but the gloved hand and part of a uniformed arm. She was tied too tightly.

"Please, you have to believe me! They left me behind because I fell, they threatened to kill me!" A ragged, gasping breath as her voice cracked. "I'll tell you anything, anything I remember, I want to help! Please...just, just believe me."

Red was praying she could keep this up...they weren't being heavy handed, so she felt like she was able to keep the questions from getting into the realm where they might get her to slip. But if she was too pushy, they'd be suspicious of that too. She took a pause and let her head drop as she realized she actually was crying from frustration at this point.

Maybe Piggy was right. Maybe she shouldn't have done this...

"Shhh...." The hand suddenly rose and brushed across her cheek, causing Red to jerk away, hard. The room, she had seen the room flash...it had gone red tinted, it had felt like a Troopers glove. Not now...she couldn't have those flashbacks to the nightmare now. Trying to look back again, the man was still shifting just enough to stay out of sight and she focused on the strain of metal against her wrist. Anything to keep her mind here.

"I want to believe you, Adriel...I do. But they think you're lying. Give me something for them - anything, about you, about the infiltrators. Do you remember anything about this group that grabbed you? If you're open with me, I can convince them they're wrong about you."

Red was still a bit shaken by the response that the hand across her cheek had caused, but managed to nod eagerly, stammering through the gunk that had built up in her noise and throat from crying so much.

"My, my Id number is 3456am07, you'll see my file, my name! Tell them to check that..."

"Tell me about the group, Adriel." The voice sounded a bit more stern, but still encouraging.

"The..there were 6...no, 5? The thing I had to carry, it was bleeding. But silver, it was heavy. There was another creature, big...green! He was green, I think it was a he. And a twi'lek...and, humans, 2? I think 2 humans..."

Red could hear a datapad stylus clicking behind her, trying to sound sincere as her mind raced. Had to give them something...things they would already know. Surface details, just enough.

Sniffling again, she had stopped crying, face tightening as if in thought.

"They all had guns...they were shouting. That's all I remember....is, is that enough? Please, is that enough to convince them? I swear, I don't remember anything else."

There was a deadly pause, before the hand once again came to rest on her shoulder with a reassuring squeeze.

"Good, good...I'll go talk with my superiors, and see what we can do for you. Alright?"

"Oh, thank you..."

Red sniffled as she heard the man leave, a mental sigh of relief. Please, be enough

~~~~~~

As he exited the room, the interviewer stopped to look back through the one way mirror that showed him the profile view of the red-headed engineer. He seemed lost in thought for only a moment, before his assistant came from a short ways down the hall, a questioning look as if she could tell he had a request.

"Sir?"

"Ah, good. I see you finished the first session with Mister Kargin. Have a bed set up in the main medical bay, and clear out the one recovering from the blaster shot. I have an idea...."

The assistant listened as a very quiet conversation was held, before she nodded and headed back down to the door she had just come from.

_________________
"I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person!"


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:54 pm 
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Be sure to read Dru and Red's plots first. This one occurs right after each of those.

Thanks to Dru for a little help at the end :D

* * *

Drake had been alone for some time. Every part of him ached from his hair follicles down to his toenails. He was stiff too, since he hadn't been able to move any part of his body for over an hour now. His muscles were begging him to be moved in some other direction. He coughed and immediately regretted it as it sent shock waves of soreness careening through his ribcage.

Just as he began to find the coherence of mind and the strength to begin searching for a way out of his inconvenient restraints, the door behind him opened. He hated it that he wasn't facing the door but kept in the back of his mind that it was a great interrogation tactic. It immediately put the interrogatee on the defensive and gave the interrogator all that much more power over him. He'd have to use it one day if ever given the chance.

He heard a heavy thud followed by a groan. Then two, maybe three more sets of footsteps enter the room? Drake didn't know how long exactly he'd been left alone, but this was definitely the next round of questioning. They must have failed to get any more information out of Elassar.

"I'm afraid you've caught me at a bad time, fellas," Drake said dryly, attempting to undo the power play the agents behind him were enforcing, "I'm not dressed for this auspicious occasion."

No verbal answer met his wit. Instead, he heard the strained breathing of two men behind him, as if they were lifting or carrying something quite heavy, followed by dragging noises across the gray carpet. Drake craned his sore neck calculatingly slowly to the left so as not to cause himself too much pain. Instantly he saw two stormtroopers dragging what looked like a dead body across the floor. The smell of alcohol and sweat drifted into his nostrils.

But he'd heard something or someone groan, hadn't he? This person couldn't be dead? Right?

"You brought me a date for this bash and everything. How very nice of you."

A few seconds later, the body was dropped directly in front of Drake, and he could now see it was...Az?! What was that crazy Zabrack doing here? Was he alive?

"I could have walked myself into the room you know...I am quite sober now," Az sat up, binders keeping his hands firmly tied behind his back. He stayed keeping his posterior on the floor, now facing Drake. The two looked into each other's gaze. Drake did his best to give the Zabrack a look of unfamiliarity and hoped Az would do the same. The flight cadet tensed immediately when Az's eyes widened exponentially for a brief second.

"I don't know these pe--space me, is that Face Loran? Can I have his autograph? Spast, is that really Face Loran?"

Drake relaxed immediately and wanted to roll his eyes in frustration. This Zabrack was not a good enough actor to fake something like this. He genuinely didn't remember who Drake was. He was just a lousy drunk. No wonder he had gotten caught.

"Do you know this thing, Mister Norlem?" a voice behind him said. It was a different person from the last time. Evidently he had graduated to the next best interrogator in line.

Oh goody.

"Maybe in a few holodramas? Is this Wynssa Starflare? I have to say she looks much better on the big screen. She must have really good make-up techs on her sets."

One of the stormtroopers in front of Drake pulled a taser off his belt and immediately bent down to shock Azazel. The Zabrack screamed loudly in pain and writhed up and down as the trooper continued the torture for a good five to ten seconds. Drake wiggled around in his chair wildly shouting and ordering in vain over the loud juicy electrical noises to make the trooper stop.

"What the frak did you do that for?" Drake jerked his head around to try to catch even the slightest glimpse of his interrogator. The muscles and tendons in his neck cramped in protest to his wild movements and he was forced to move his head back to a comfortable position. There was silence in the room for a few seconds as the power play continued. Only the sound of Az's heavy breathing filled the room.

"Are you going to frakking answer me?"

Stang! Drake had lost his power with that outburst. Face never would have given up the power in a situation like that. Now it would be twice as difficult to gain any leverage back.

"I believe you that you don't know this pitiful Zabrack," the voice finally said. The voice wasn't too deep, but it was precise. It was confident. Drake felt the hair on the back of his neck tingle as the man spoke. He felt almost as if, based on the tone of voice, that the interrogator was smiling.

"Then why torture him?" Drake hated that he had to ask, but knew this was the game he now had to play.

"I'm so glad you asked that," and he was glad, "for it's quite easy for even a piece of Rebel scum like you to understand. When we questioned you the first time around we used one of your colleagues and punished him for incorrect answers on your part. This proved...ineffective."

"And you expect to get different results if you torture an innocent man when I don't answer your questions the way you want? What kind of sick game is this?"

Stop giving up power...this guy has you now you nerf wad...

"This is not a game, Mister Norlem. And this... Zabrack..." He almost spit the word. "...is not a man. And you, traitorous scum, are no better. You and he are both abominations. And I want to know what you and your friends are doing on this station."

The door leading to the outside closed, isolating Drake and Az from the rest of the galaxy.

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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:14 am 
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Posts: 551
Much thanks to Corran for being an excellent sounding board at 2 AM. I'm kind of scared I'll wake up and find a gratuitous amount of grammar and spelling errors, so apologies for any inconsistencies both plot/mechanical... writing at 2 AM used to be my thing but I think I'm just getting old and tired these days... ;)

-------
Hisssssssssssssssssss……

Inhale.

Hisssssssssssssssssss……

Exhale.

Hisssssssssssssssssss……


Inhale.

Hisssssssssssssssssss……

Exhale.

My eyes snapped open with such ferocity that the accompanying light blinded me with a sickly, greenish colored light that overpowered my retinas and hammered at my optic nerves. My gut chilled as memories flooded back like floodgates opening during the flood season back home on Devaron. The flash of light and the red tinted hue the room took on as the scarlet bolt of energy drilled into me, burning…

I screamed as the pain overwhelmed me in a typhoon. I screamed because all I could see was light and all I remembered was being shot and all I could feel was agony. My voice felt muffled, as if someone had me shouting into a pillow and all that was escaping was a distant sounding plea for help.

I’m dead. I have to be.

I worked on this conclusion for a second, my entire bodying feeling like it was in slow motion, like I was drifting or floating, bobbing down a river made of honey towards a portal that would take me… somewhere?

Hisssssssssssssssssss……

Then what in all the hells of Sith was that hissing noise? It’s not like they installed air conditioning in the places that I would be going to in the after life.

I squinted in the blinding, sickly green light and realized that I was floating in a bacta tank. The mask on my face muffled me, but supplied me with oxygen while I floated in the tank. I wanted to sigh with relief that I was alive, but the hollow feeling in my chest and the memories I had of the last three hours made me wish I were dead. Every inch of me ached so much that I felt nauseous.

Being in a bacta tank was the worst thing possible. It was an unending tedium. Just waiting for your body to heal with nothing but your mind replaying events over, and over, and over again. If you were lucky, you could do some thinking, or if you were Piggy you could solve complex mathematical theorems with your head. I wasn’t so lucky. I was like most folks—your mind replayed the last memory you had, which was usually the one that got you into the bacta tank to begin with.

The blaster whined as it charged, drawing power from the battery pack, exciting the blaster gas before the electrons in the blaster pack jumped a level and released their energy, at which point it poured down the barrel of the gun, where it was focused and intensified before the blaster bolt leapt from the barrel and crossed the distance between myself and Derec before it buried itself into me, searing my flesh and vaporizing cells as the energy expended itself in my own body.

And Face. Face Loran. Sitting there, calling their bluff when my own life was on the line. Face Loran, looking onwards without a single emotion passing through his eyes, as he watched his own wingman get dragged out after being beaten and then shot.

Face gambled my life. And lost. But I paid the balance at the end of the day.

He gambled my fraking life! Even worse, he gambled without knowing it, called a bluff that was all too real. What would have happened if they had dragged in some kid or a mother? He would’ve willingly gambled with their lives and lost for the simple sake that Face Loran was FACE LORAN, and Face Loran never gave in. The sheer ego of it was as blinding as the overhead lights that made the inside of the tank unbearable. At least I was a soldier—you went about your life knowing that you might not make it back from a mission somewhere. It was a risk you took. But I never assumed that fact with anyone else. If a life was on the line, you did whatever it took to keep that life alive, as long as possible. Do no harm. It was the oath that I took when I joined as a medic, and I did my best to honor it every single time I went out on a mission.

Face let them shoot me. Not even a wince. Just the same, mute silence the entire time with a stare that was as distant as the edge of the galaxy. Face had always been a leader for me, the man who you trusted to have your back and the back of everyone with you. But what he just did was about as far from trusting as you could get, it was a type of cowardice that only served a cause that wasn’t exactly valid when you were on a station full of sick people that was about to crash into a planet.

A dim shape interrupted my anger. Vaguely man shaped, at the edge of my field of vision, which was warped from all the bacta and the curvature of the transparisteel tank that I was trapped in. From the looks of it, the figure was gesturing up. I frowned. I hadn’t been in the tank very long at all, and I still ached everywhere.

They had only dunked me in the bacta to prevent me from going into shock, most likely—they wanted me just alive enough to torture back to the edge of death. I felt the urge to sigh rise in me before I suppressed it—there was nothing to describe the hell that I was in.

The light dimmed around me. I glanced up, noting that the top of the bacta tank was no longer blinding white light but the exit from my recovery. A grate pressed itself against my feet, slowly raising me up out of the tank against my will.

The grate reached the end of the tube, lifting me fully out of the bacta so I was standing on the edge of the tank. I looked around for the ladder that would let me climb down from the tank, at which point I saw a COMPNOR trooper at the top of it. Smiling.

Not good, was all I could think as the trooper pushed me from the top of the eight-foot high bacta tank. The world spun, reoriented itself so I saw the floor rush at me in an all to friendly, and metallic embrace, before I felt the wind exit my lungs from the force of my fall.

I gasped for air, realizing awkwardly as cold air washed over my body that I was completely naked. I curled up reflexively as a booted foot kicked me none to gently.

“Get up, xeno.”

It was a familiar voice.

Two pairs of hands grabbed me by the shoulders and hoisted me up. My left shoulder twinged and I felt my body tense as pain and nausea ripped through me. I wasn’t fully healed, despite the bacta. I looked down at the wound that used to decorate where my left pectoral would be and saw blood seeping through new, pink skin, which was sagging since the muscle behind it hadn’t fully regenerated. No point in healing me fully, they just wanted to keep me from dying. Part of me wished I had, but the other part remembered the distant look on Face as I had blacked out from blood loss in front of him. The next time I saw Face, I was going to beat him an inch from his own death and see how well he liked it, then shoot him and smile.

“Your species is fairly weak, going into shock after a non-lethal blaster wound like that.” Derec said, stepping into view with his BlasTech spinning in his hand like a child’s yo-yo.

I snorted derisively. A blaster shot to the chest was not a non-lethal wound. At least, whenever I shot someone in the chest I never filed the paperwork as a disabling shot. If I wanted a man disabled I would shoot him in the knees.

“Bring in the other prisoner.”

I braced myself for Drake to be marched in front of me again, at which point I would get pummeled again, but instead of a human being brought in, Az, the Zabrack was marched in, shackled and bleeding.

This was getting interesting by the minute.

“I have to say, I’m not really properly dressed for the occasion…” I said, trying to gain control of the situation despite my lack of clothing. I had never missed a towel so much in my life.

Derec nodded at one of the COMPNOR scumbags, who subsequently drew a nasty looking Merr-Sonn pistol and shoved it so hard into Az’s temple that I could already see a bruise forming. Az inhaled sharply and stood up straighter, trying to get his head away from the very wrong end of a gun.

“You’re familiar with the process, so I don’t feel the need to really explain myself here. Or even ask questions.” Derec said, a grin decorating his face that I would have normally wiped off with a left hook.

“One.”

I felt my heart race into overdrive. It was happening all over again.

I looked at Az. Even though I was unfamiliar with Zabrack’s as a species, I could see the terror on his face and knew the same look was running across mine. I had to do something.

“Two.”

Az tightened up, fists clenching as he gasped for breath. I stared at him, battling the helpless feeling that I had.

Do no harm. It was the oath that I pledged. No life was expendable. Not the way Face was willing to spend my life. I looked at Az. Az, who had just been trying to do what he thought was right even if it meant sticking his neck out a little farther than he should have, and now found himself in way over his head. I swallowed. I saw the face of the woman I had shot earlier by accident drift across my field of vision like a ghost and I felt the horror of what I had done in that moment. If Az died while I watched like this, not only was I aiming the gun at his head but I was also squeezing the trigger. Do no harm. My mind raced ahead at light speed. I could hip check the guard to my left, hopefully sending him into Derec which would create some confusion and hopefully give Az enough time to duck the guards shot. Face gambled my life without a second thought and watched on without a single damn word or reaction. I tilted my head so that my horns were pointing at the guard on my right, I would tackle him and gore him, hopefully taking him down long enough for me to charge Derec, distracting him from executing Az?

I tensed my muscles as Derec opened his mouth. Do no harm. I wouldn’t waste Az’s life like Face would’ve willingly expended mine.

Time felt like it was in slow motion. Derec was in the middle of saying three, but I beat him to the punch.

“I’ll talk.” I said, closing my eyes.


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:02 am 
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A series of (hopefully quite easy to guess) insights!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What am I doing here? Why won’t this killer headache go away? Who is this dumbass naked Devaronian in front of me, and why do people keep on threatening my life? All I wanted to do, was just curl up somewhere and be left alone. Wait, something’s coming back. Something about a guy who wasn’t Face Loran, then a guy who was... something’s not right. Now, I know drunk. Hell, drunk and I are old friends. Even when he’s not around, he seems to know where I am most of the time. But this... this is different. This is drunk, with a little something else... Spast, what the frak have I gotten into this time?
.
Of all the times to use the Force, this would have been good, why won’t it call to me? Tyria’s here, she’s in a medisuit, trying to keep the virus from spreading. Face is off, captured somewhere. Although I know Face can take care of himself, I have to worry. These guys are professional, even Face, as good as he is probably couldn’t last long against them, and they rest of his Wraiths, loyal to a fault, will stop at nothing to help him. My people are fractured, there needs to be control, we need to get on top of this, and we need to start winning. It’s time.
.
This is not good. Holy frak this is not good. Tyria’s down for the count at the moment, even if she wasn’t sealed up inside her medisuit, she’s the best chance we have of curing this plague. Even if we DO save the station, dying of the red itchys hold no appeal to me. Sometimes I just want to take my lightsaber and swipe every last motherfraker down. It’s a damn shame I didn’t train longer, so much to do, and not enough of us left to do it.
.
I hurt. Everywhere. Shut up man! Face wouldn’t complain to himself, he’d plan. Then plan something stupid! Az... what was he doing here? He wasn’t captured... who else has been captured? Will they even come and get us? They shouldn’t, we knew the risks. Should have shot better. Should have been quicker. I’m not good enough. People depend on me. Oh stang, that hurts.
.
I’ve come to the conclusion, that I don’t like this. I’ve never been particularly violent when I’ve dealt with people in my profession, but even then, that was purely business. This woman in particular. Very effective means of torture, using my hand as an input device the way she is. Quite ingenious really, allows full simulations without having to use external equipment. Of course, I still need to break her neck when she... <discontinuity>
.
I’ll talk. The last two words which came out of my mouth, only seconds ago. I never thought I’d say them, but I can’t just let them kill Az. He’s done nothing wrong. First, do no harm. That’s the rule, that the shablabuir rule that you don’t cross. How many times have I crossed it? How many people have I killed? That girl, she didn’t deserve it, wrong place wrong time. I can’t. I just can’t continue. I’m not a robot like the great Face Loran. I can’t watch someone I care about get shot. I just can’t. Derec. Standing there, smiling. He knows he’s won. I’ll talk.
.
I hurt. Everywhere. Shab, what osik have they pumped into me. Can’t even focus my thoughts. Jad... No, don’t even think the name. J. That’ll do. J. This is all for him. Elassar? Is he dead? He’ll understand. He’s my wingman, he knows what to do to get the job done. I hope he’s not dead. He’s been good. No, he IS good... Mus... Wh.... Hel.... Damn. FOCUS man! Keep it together. OK, so we have four down. Theran’s in with us, disguised. Saw it pretty easily, he doesn’t walk like the rest. He’s good. Real good. They’ve spotted him though, need to warn him. Need to think. Need to get back to Ja... NO. J. Just J. Huh... walls are blurrrrry...........
.
This is no fun. At all. No drink, Face is out, Void is down, Elassar’s gone too. This whole side trip has gone to BanthaPoodo. Hell, at the end of this, the LEAST Face can do is promote me to Grand Admiral. The problem is... I am so totally out my depth! I’m not a planner, I’m a doer! And what I do best isn’t going to help any of us here! No research needed. Nothing to scam, no-one to flirt with for information, and there’s frak all alcohol involved anymore. But Void. He’s almost bled out before Tyria stabilised him. He’s a Wraith. He’ll pull through. He has to. We have a Red and a Face to help. Y’know, plus the others.
.
We have twenty hours, seven minutes and thirteen seconds left before this station reaches the point of no return. With the limited medical gear available, Tyria will need at least half of that before her research can begin to crack the genome of the virus. I will assist, my xeno-biology and virology are rusty, but I’m sure will help. Now, in our current placement, we will have to reach either the bridge, or the engine room. With the corridors under surveillance, this will require other routes. A competent zero-g trained operative could reach the different areas in seven hours and thirteen minutes. Clearly this is an option, but needs to be studied further. Saving Dru, Face and the others would add significantly to our time, but will provide valuable additional resources. So many unknown variables...
.
I hope it’s enough. I’m sure it is. Kai’s taught me some pretty neat tricks, and Face used to do this for a living. Actually, he probably still does. I’ve fooled them, I know it. At least, I HOPE I have. No, expect the best, but plan for the worst. OK, they’ve got me in here, and they’re bound to be watching. What would Adriel do? Is it too early to look around, and start playing with the bindings? Possibly, but there’s no time. Just act scared. Not that it’s not too far from the truth.
.
Time to vanish. It’s time to just go into the shadows and leave. No-one would notice, the fact that I’m still going with my heart ripped out and running around the galaxy somewhere should be enough. Don’t make me have to continue fighting. I know the others do, but I’m not the others. No. I’m not. But I am a Wraith, and Wraith’s do not give up I didn't give up on . It’s time. They need me. Maybe then I can just go back to the shadows.
.
There’s quite a few of them. They haven’t noticed me. Not yet. Besides, I still have my blaster. I can get to Colonel Loran, get him free, then move on to Commander Kargin. I should be able to blast at least four of them in the initial volley. They’ll never see it coming. With speed, and surprise, I can do this. I’ll apologise to Drake later for what I did. He’ll understand. He made the same choice. This is what we trained to do. Any moment.
.
My temperature is up. It’s a good job that this suit has a cooling unit, I’d be burning up by now. The gene sequencer should be finished in a second. That’s good, I can see how the virus is attacking my immune system. That means I can boost it, and start working on antibodies. Perhaps? Would my CS effect the virus? Could I use my antibodies to simulate a vaccine? Shouldn’t I use someone else? But who else in infected? Too many questions, but at least it keeps me occupied. I can’t think of anything else, I must stay strong. It’s what he would do. Besides, it’s been a few hours now. He might be getting worried, and might even come to help. Hush woman! You can’t think like that, not now. Oh, the sequencer is done...
.
Pain. I’ve endured worse. Whoever did this to me will feel my claws rip through his gut. He’ll feel worse. Tyria’s done an OK job of patching me up. She’s not bad. For a human. I’m still weak, but I can move, and I’m a sithload more deadly than anyone else around here. Even the Jedi are no match for me. I’ll stalk this whole station if I need to, and I’ll rip every shablabuir apart with my bare hands. I’m angry, and I’m looking forward to sharing my anger.


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:26 pm 
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From the Googledocs madness of Theran, Dru, and Red - with overview by Halley and Az!

-----

Octavia was unsure how long she was left alone in the room. The chains holding her to the chair were loose enough that she could adjust to some degree but not loose enough to grant her significant movement. It was not long, however, before the door behind her opened once more and she heard several sets of boots crossing the floor. Followed immediately by the sensation of a blaster rifle being pressed solidly to the back of her head. She stiffened, eyes immediately sent straight forward as a set of armored hands reached down and grabbed one of her wrists.

"We're going to be standing you up and cuffing you. Make one stupid move and your face will be plastered on the opposite wall. Understand?"

They weren't knocking her out...they weren't blindfolding her. Had it worked? Red managed to give a very quiet "yes" as the second trooper came into view as he undid her wrists and brought her hands in front of her, cuffing them once more before kneeling to undo her ankles. Surprisingly, those were not refastened, but the blaster distinctly applied more pressure to the knot on the back of her skull, drawing a wince.

"Stand up, slowly."

"Does this mean they confirmed..."

"Shut up. No talking. Just stand."

Red had no real choice but to comply, leaning forward a bit to balance herself as she slowly took her feet. The man shifted the blaster barrel to rest in between her shoulder blades.

"Move where I push. Again, no stupid moves. Got it?"

Red nodded and began to walk, circling the edge of the room slowly so until she was pushed out of the room and into a hallway. The other trooper walked beside her, blaster riffle held in a casual manner, but one that would make swinging to shoot her easy. Her legs were stiff and she was still dizzy from being knocked out earlier. Thankfully the distance she had to walk was short before they came to a set of doors clearly marked as a med bay. Where was the med bay on the station? Red tried to draw a mental map as the doors hissed open and she was guided in.

There were several empty beds, closed doors to what she assumed were isolation rooms and the same smell of drugs, vomit, and blood...one of the beds was soaked near through with it...someone had been here...there was also a recently emptied bacta tank and puddles of the stasis liquid spattering the floor around it. Red steadied her mind, but couldn't avoid the dismal thoughts that the scene before her elicited.

Please don't let that be the last resting place of any of them...

"There. Lay down on that bed, face up. Stare at the ceiling"

Red nodded stiffly, moving to the furthest bed over and resisting the urge to ask 'why.' She did not want to press the 'No Talking' rule right now. After she lay down with some difficulty, she felt the second troopers hands on her wrists again, the barrel of the blaster coming into view. She chose not to look down and focused on a spec on the ceiling above her.

"Listen and follow these directions carefully. When the cuffs are undone, place your hands on the edge of the bed. Nod if you understand."

The treatment as if she was stupid and slow, or a child, was humiliating...but Red nodded. The presence of the two helmeted Troopers, especially the one with a gun an inch from her face, was intimidating enough to override humiliation. The second Trooper used a set of bed straps across her legs, before undoing and relocating her hands to separate spots on opposite edges of the bed where they were once again cuffed.

What the sith is going on....

She might have just let them secure her for an easy torture session... Sith

It was just at that moment that a man in an unfamiliar uniform came through the main med bay door, but a familiar voice being presented.

"Technician Basth...I am glad to see you took the directions you were given. You're probably wondering what you're doing here."

Red nodded mutely, not sure if "No talking" was still in effect.

"Well, for one - we're verifying your story, and since that might take some time I thought a bed might be more comfortable."

The urge to speak was too great, and Octavia only barely cut out the sarcasm that was rising in her throat, letting the fear cut her tone instead.

"Usually comfort doesn't involve being tied down..."

The man chuckled as he came over, a hand wave leading one Trooper to leave the med bay completely while the other moved to stand by the doorway inside the room.

"Of course...please understand, I believe you, but until the proof is available to back up your story my superiors are going to assume you might be a threat...hence the precautions."

"Oh...o-of course..."

The man presented her with another friendly smile. "Also, they wanted to make sure you understand how serious this is. Considering your willingness to cooperate, I wanted to see if you might recognize one of the infiltrators we captured. Now tell me, do you recognize this man?"

Another hand wave and turn of his head and one of the isolation room doors nearby suddenly slid open. The viewing windows had been blacked out, and apparently there was some degree of noise proofing to them as well, because besides a disturbing view she was assaulted with a disturbing noise as a guttural scream rushed into the med bay.

Strapped in a chair, with his eyes shut tightly and a series of cables coming from his prosthetic arm, was Dru.

Red felt every ounce of blood drain from her face and barely kept her stomach contents to herself.

The man made a tsking noise before looking back to Red, who was now singularly focused, staring as Dru tensed and jerked against the restraints. He made a ragged noise or scream every few seconds and his voice sounded like this had been happening for some time.

"Such a waste...Adriel, did you see this man? Adriel?"

Red didn't hear him, she was completely lost in staring at Dru. No, no, no...

"Adriel?"

The hand on her shoulder tore Red out of the tunnel vision, tears welling up in her eyes.

"N-no...I didn't see him. Please..."

The man gave her a sad look, a thumb actually brushing at one of her tears. "I'm so sorry to make you watch this, girl. But my superiors insist. If anything does come to mind, tell the Trooper to get me. I must go check with them, but will be back in a moment."

As the man left and took two of the Troopers with him, Red found herself once again watching Dru. He was alone in the smaller room as best she could see, hooked up to a console across the room. She had to help him...but what to do about the Trooper? Her mind turned, even as she found herself having trouble thinking of anything but Dru's screams.

I can't help him...I can't...

All she could come up with was to cry quietly and hope for any sort of opening.. So that is what she did.

At least it was what Adriel would have done...

* * *

Theran found himself pacing back and forth in the small medical office, stealing angry looks out the one-way glass to the red-haired girl in the ward outside as he turned. He hadn't known her for long -- indeed, he would probably say he didn't know her at all -- but something in his gut compelled him to do... something. He was no match for the other guards, though, and he wasn't sure he'd outlived his cover. He had to be getting close, though...

"Hey, '32," the tiny voice of a helmeted stormtrooper broke his train of thought as the other soldier leaned into the doorjam, "Something's up. The Colonel just slipped out the back exit and took 1518 and 494 with him."

That made this one 1021, his detail leader. "Yes, sir." Theran's attention to ceremony snapped to the occasion and brought his arm up in a smart salute. "That's leaves us with the redhead."

"That's right. If we're good, maybe we'll get to keep her."

Theran's stomach turned. However this stormtrooper got where he was, it wasn't for his adherence to protocol or his personal virtues. "Yes, sir."

"Commander's in with Loran, and Lieutenant Sassy is having some fun with the alien."

"1021" paused for a moment, clearly expecting some kind of comeback from Theran. He turned back away from the girl crying in the other room and walked toward Theran, just in time for his face to meet a swift, booted foot.

For Theran Rel, time was up. Dragging the body into a corner, he gave a quick stomp to the man's trachea before turning around to check again on Red.

Through the window, all he saw was an empty ward.

* * *

Octavia had still been crying when the Trooper that had been left by the door moved, but she thankfully heard it. Managing to shift her attention to her peripheral vision, he had leaned back through the med bay door and disappeared...

Was he gone?

Octavia kept up a degree of sniffling, but the realization that she might be alone gave her a sudden burst of confidence.

Alone...she had been left alone. She had to try...

Hands began to flex into fists and tighten, before releasing in quick motions. Taking a deep breath, she managed to tear her sight away from Dru, who seemed to have temporarily passed out in his chair. Watching her hands, she began to work her wrists back and forth along with making fists. Being small had some advantages, one of which was that she had learned long ago that unless she was restrained using children sized cuffs, she could get her hands out of most restraints. Causing blood to retain and muscles to contract made her hand swollen, but also caused a quick decrease when she released the tension, giving more wiggle room. Twisting and turning, these particular cuffs were a close fit, but with some pain and scraping she felt her left hand start to pull free as wrist rotated. She collapsed her fingers into a small cone and kept up a steady pulling motion, finally feeling her hand slide out of the restraint.

There!

Reaching up, she pulled a hair pin from her braided bun, sitting up as best she could and going to work on the simple lock that held her right wrist captive. Within a few seconds, there was a click and she was free. They obviously had to use restraints found around the station, otherwise they might have used magnetic or better quality restraints. The Troopers had also used the standard, buckled bed restraints that would have already been in the med bay across her legs and all she had to do was unlatch the buckle to pull her legs free.

She took a mere moment to revel in the sensation that tingled in her freed limbs before slipping off the bed and moving to hug the wall. Moving as silently as she could, she made her way to the door to the isolation room, whispering as she looked in.

"Dru?"

As if on cue, Dru jerked and let out a scream, causing Red to flinch. The only solace she could find in the scenario was that his screaming drowned out any sound she made. After verifying that the Trooper had not suddenly reappeared in the doorway, she ducked into the isolation room and slid the door shut. He could still show back up...you've got to wake up Dru, fast...

Eyes scanning the console and cords, Red moved closer to her teammate, hands tentatively beginning to untangle the mess that fed directly into his arm.

"Please don't let me hurt him more.... Dru? Dru! you've got to wake up now."

* * *

Dru had been a "dreamer" for a long time. As a young man he'd taught himself to evoke lucid dreams, and how to carry over information from the waking world, and vice versa. All it took was a little practice and a little preparation...

The ballroom room was brightly lit. Lavish, colorful carpeting lined the stairwells and floating chandeliers shone with an ethereal beauty. The dance floor was a fine hardwood. Dru was dancing with Jaelyn.

There... the memory was coming back. Practice and preparation are in short supply during torture, and Dru could feel himself losing his resolve to continue breaking the dreams, only to return to the world of white-hot pain. This was a nice memory... perhaps he could linger here, just for a few more minutes? If only the flow of time in a dream meant something to the outside world...

Still, perhaps there was something else. Could this link be a two-way street? He had to try.

"Jae," Dru whispered. The effort to control the dream was weighing heavily on his mind. "I'm sorry. So, so sorry."

Dru kissed her before she could raise her concerned eyes to look at him. How he longed to stay here, to gaze deeply into her soft blue eyes and lose himself in the dream forever!

His consciousness drew back from the scene, leaving the two lovers embracing, alone in the ballroom. Dru seized the dream and squeezed it with his mind. A sensation of his pain in the waking world skirted across the veil. He had almost broken the dream, but the change had worked. He focused his mind on the computer console he'd generated, and dove into<discontinuity>


This time there was no one to wake up to. The pain was still there, and he was only vaguely aware that he was screaming. He tried to open his eyes, but his brain defied him. Go back to the dream! He'd broken the dream too soon and the torture wasn't stopped yet. A small part of him wondered how many times he'd tried and failed.

"Dru?" A woman's voice called to him in a loud whisper. Was he still dreaming? He couldn't tell; his mind was fleeing back to the relative safely of the dream world already. Yes, Jae was calling him back...

"Dru! You've got to wake up now." No, this was real. He felt a tug in his arm; someone was going through the wiring that fed his torment.

Hope! Dru's mind sprang back to the present, and he fought against the pain. That's right, he'd been tortured. There was a woman in the room; she'd jacked into his nervous system through his arm and had been causing him all this pain.

Anger. Yes, there was strength in anger. The pain subsided. He felt the data cable slide from his arm. One restraint loosened, then another, and he sprang into action. Hurling himself from the table, he flew towards the small frame of the woman, barely visible in his blurred vision. He miscalculated; knocked into her shoulder and sent her spinning to the floor. Lunging forward, he moved to put her head in a lock as she struggled to try and regain her feet. Hand-to-hand fighting was not his forté, but she was much smaller than he was, and he'd caught her unawares. He tightened his arm around her neck to break it, hand shifting for the final twist.


Confusion. Again? Dru was back on his back, gasping for breath. He silently prayed that his escape hadn't been a dream, and that he was still fighting back. There was a soreness in the back of his head, but not like before. This was actual pain; he'd hit his head.

"Space it all, Dru, it's me!" The small woman knelt cautiously over him where she'd thrown him, looking down as he curled up on his side, choking desperately. She might have been small, but Octavia Terah was every bit Dru's better in close combat.

Remorse. How could he have been so rash? You think and then you act, that's how he'd always operated. The coughing subsided and he filled his lungs with air again. "Red? Frak, Red, I'm sorry, I thought you were -- "

"I know, I know," Red bent down and offered her hand, pulling him to his feet. "It's OK. Now let's get out of here before they notice you're not screaming."

_________________
"I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person!"


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:39 am 
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Seemed like this plot needed some attention!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Colonel Horst strode into the infirmary, casting his expert glance around in microseconds. That was not good. Kargin was gone, as was the red-headed technician. Oh well, at least it confirmed what he'd suspected. The interloper trooper had also gone, leaving Trooper 1021 lying dead on the floor. By his recogning that left the human and Zabrak, the Devaronian and Loran. He checked his chrono. It was time, no use in playing around any longer.

The human, Norlem, his memory provided, was worthless, as was the Zabrak he was with. Still, they could prove useful in the future... The Devaronian was different, he was prepared to talk, he might be useful. He turned around to see his executive officer, Lieutenant Zzass (called 'Sassy' by the troopers) stride in, her long hair tied tightly in a ponytail. "Lieutenant?"

"Sir." Her response was tight, no doubt annoyed that her subject had escaped.

"No matter. I'm sure they'll perish in the explosion. The station has almost been evacuated now, leaving no ships for the Rogues and Wraiths to board. The general population was very happy to have Imperial assistance out of the cowardly Rebel trap." His voice was smooth and calm, not a hint of the deception leaking out.

"Sir." She nodded once more, her expression carefully guarded, like a reptile trapped in a corner. "What of the Devaronian?"

"Take him to our ship, after a few more days, he'll be prepared."

"Loran?"

"The longer we keep him, the more dangerous he'll become. Send the Doctor in one last time to see what he can get. Have him take 1021 in with him."

"Ah, sir..."

Horst looked at the corpse on the floor in one of him one more, and cursed silently. "Fine, 948 then." He spun on his heel, marching towards the exit. "Just get it done fast, the next explosion is due in ten minutes, and after that, the station will enter atmosphere in less than twenty."

Zzazz picked up her commlink, sending the orders Horst had requested.

***

Face's eyes rolled to the back of his head as he struggled to remain conscious. The Doctor, an elderly human male, sat down in front of him, laying a plethora of what looked like torture instuments calmly and methodically down on the table next to him. He turned to look at the Colonel, and smiled.

"Well, Colonel, it seems you've survived an impressive amount of interrogation in the past few hours. Honestly, I've never met anyone with your willpower before, it really is quite remarkable."

Face rolled his head forward, the drugs still coursing through his system making any movement difficult. He tried to focus his unsteady gaze on the man, his hands bound tightly behind him.

“Still, there are a couple of options I’d like to explore before we’re finally finished… if you don’t mind.” The Doctor gently plucked a large needle attached to a wicked looking syringe. “Now, this won’t hurt, at least, not compared to what you’ve gone through.” He jabbed the needle into Face’s arm, pushing the plunger down, and injecting the fast acting drug into his system.

Face cried out in pain, as the new chemical cocktail entered his bloodstream. The Doctor smiled patiently, and continued. “This is Petothal 12. It’s the most expensive truth serum for humans that I’ve ever come across. And it’s quite fast acting.” His smile widened, showing an appalling lack of dental hygiene.

The Lorridian stirred, still trying to get away from the needle, but it was too late. He blinked, and suddenly the world got a lot more blurry.

“Let’s see… is this working?”

“Yyesss.” Face found himself replying, without wanting to.

“Excellent.” The Doctor replied, smiling pleasantly. “I’ll give it a few more minutes to really kick in.” He busied himself with the rest of his tools, arranging them neatly on the little table.

“I’m going to kill you, you know.” Face’s voice was slurred as he stared at the man.

“Really? That’s nice.” The Doctor responded, his voice as calm as a friendly family medic. “How’s that then?” He asked, continuing to lay out more medical instruments.

“Well…” Face slurred, still trying to focus. “First I’ll use you as a human shield, then I’ll kill the trooper, using that Verpine vibro-scalpel, and then probably snap your neck.”

“Good, good.” The Doctor smiled, turning to face to Colonel once more. “And how are you going to start?”

“You know my handcuffs?” Face’s tone had dropped into a conspiratorial whisper.

“Yes.” The Doctor whispered back, leaning in, smiling.

Face bought his unbound hands from behind him, the cuffs dangling loosely from his left wrist. “I picked them.”

There was enough time for the Doctor’s mouth to gape open in horror, before Face grabbed him, spinning him around to face the stormtrooper. The troopers weapon was up, and firing at Face, but only impacting the chest of the Doctor. A grab, a flick of the wrist, and a flash of metal, and the trooper was down, blood spurting from his neck wound where the object had embedded itself.

With a sickening crunch, the Doctors head was suddenly facing backwards, and he slumped to the floor.

Stumbling with the effort, Face walked to the fallen trooper, trying to pick up the blood soaked blaster rifle, his fingers took three attempts before the weapon was in his hands. Shaking his head in a futile attempt to try and clear the confusing effect of the drugs, Face focussed on the exit, and stumbled onwards.

~~~~~~~~~

I was going to have the rest of the gang burst in, rescuing those still captured. I'd like Zzass (Sassy) and Horst to survive. They have potential as baddies. If someone wants to help wrap this up... feel free!


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:29 am 
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(Just a short little plottie to get the ball rolling with the rest of the group. The whole "searching for a cure" thing was incredibly boring, and pretty much impossible to move forward with. So...I thought of something to move it along.)

Meanwhile, in another part of town…

Tyria sighed and pushed herself back from the microscope she’d been peering into for what seemed like decades.

She glanced over at her comrades. All but Void were attempting to stage a rescue party for their captured/MIA comrades. The only problem was that they didn’t even know where the others were.

Stepping over to Void, she checked his vitals and ascertained that he was still breathing, and seemed to be resting comfortably. Or at least, as comfortable as one could be while being severely injured and attempting to rest in a large access tube in a station that was doomed to crash in a relatively short period of time.

Looking back at her makeshift work area, she shook her head. It was difficult work to begin with, but the working conditions and the fact that she was having to go at it alone made it more so.

“Corran,” she said, going over to the others. When he looked up, she gestured away from the others with a slight tip of her head. “A moment?”

“How’s it going over there?” Corran asked when they were out of earshot of the rest of the group.

“I might as well tell you, Corran, that there’s just no way. If I had more people who could assist, more access to research, more testing materials, more experience in this area, more time…” Her voice trailed off as she shook her head. “The thing is, it’s hard to try to find a cure for a disease like this when every 15 minutes I’m having to pack up my gear so that I can run for my life.”

“I know these aren’t the best working conditions,” Corran acknowledged, “but obviously it’s the best we can do for the moment. It’s just gonna have to work, Tyr.”

“Besides that,” Tyria continued, “this isn’t my line. I’m not a neuroscientist. Trying to find a cure for a disease like this is so far outside my area of expertise.”

“Can’t you just improvise?”

Tyria laughed ruefully. “Corran. Improv is for dinner shows, comedy routines and 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' It’s not for curing diseases. I’m a doctor, Corran, and a damned good one. And as a good doctor, I know enough to admit when I don’t know something. And when it comes to this, I just…I don’t know. And no amount of trying will make me suddenly possess the knowledge I need.”

Corran looked at her solemnly, trying to fully comprehend what she was telling him. “But surely…” he began, then trailed off.

But Tyria shook her head. “Corran, it’s over.”

“A classic break-up line if ever there was one,” the general observed, injecting a bit of humor into the dire situation.

It garnered a half-smile from his former apprentice. “Well, if it’s a break-up line, it’s only a partial break-up, because while I can’t find an actual cure for this virus, I have an idea. I’ve been thinking. Since I’m the only one that has so far been infected, there is one possibility here that I think might work. A Jedi healing,” she said simply.

Corran raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Can you do that to yourself? And wouldn’t it take a long time – time that we don’t have? And if you did, would you even be able to do anything else afterward?” He knew the toll that healing took on Jedi healers; it sapped them of all strength, rendering them virtually incapable of doing anything but collapse with exhaustion afterward.

“I’ve worked to hone my abilities in this area; I thought it would be an appropriate area to concentrate on, since I’m a doctor. At any rate, I can do it without going into meditation, so it doesn’t take as long. Plus…I’ve read about another aspect of it,” Tyria explained, “and there’s a way that Jedi healers can perform a healing on themselves, and do it more quickly than a usual healing, without consuming so much of their strength and energy.” Corran motioned for her to continue. “It requires another Jedi. How it works is that the two Jedi achieve a connection which the healer uses to draw from the power of the other Jedi, through the Force, and is thus able to perform the healing. Far less strength is drawn from each individual Jedi, because when the two Jedi achieve the connection, the Force takes power not only from the Jedi involved, but also from the connection itself. So it leaves both Jedi almost untouched as far as how much strength is drawn from them.”

The general pondered. “I don’t know how much power in the Force is actually left in me,” he said, “but I’m willing to try it.” He paused, thoughtful. “What if there were three Jedi involved?”

“Even better,” Tyria replied, “Less strength drawn from each of them, and more power generated through the connection between them.”

“I’ll get Deven,” Corran stated decisively. “Anything else you need?”

“No, I don’t think so…And Corran, after we do the healing on me, we’ll do it on Void, too.”

“Okay,” Corran agreed, “I’ll get Deven. Make whatever preparations you need to. I’ll be right back.”


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:17 am 
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I hesitated.

Both Tyria and Devan sensed it, and looked up—Tyria from her supine position on the medical cot and Devan from his sitting position next to it.

"What's wrong?"

I shook my head. "Sorry, it's just that the last two times I've tried to heal someone through the Force, the results were...unexpected."

Deven narrowed his eyes. "What happened?"

"The first time, back at Tynna Base, I actually transferred Ran from the shattered remains of his old body and into the just-deceased body of Tycho. The second time, I tried to do the same to Hayden back on the Arrow when he was flatlining, but I didn't have anywhere to send him, and I lost him. And that's when I lost my sensitivity to the Force. You can understand my hesitation to delve into that dangerous realm again."

"Your severely reduced ability in the Force won't allow you to tap into anything that powerful," Deven said, his confident tone sounding shallow as he shifted uncomfortably and glanced over at Tyria to gauge her reaction.

The colonel sighed. "I'm dead either way. Let's do it."

Deven grasped one of her hands, and I grasped the other. A physical connection wasn't necessary for most uses of the Force but it helped, granted you didn't inadvertently crush the other person's hand during the process.

I closed my eyes in and drew a long breath, sinking deep within myself.

Then I felt Tyria's hand pull away. I looked up.

"If something does go wrong, and I start to slip away, don't transfer me into an Ewok. I'll personally gnaw your ankles off."

I grinned. "Aye aye, Colonel Kettch."

I once again settled down, concentrating on shutting down each of my external senses.

Vision—gone with the simple shutting of my eyelids.

Taste—easy. All I had to do was imagine the last stormtrooper ration I had the misfortune of consuming, and it turned to tasteless sawdust in my mouth.

Sound—a little more difficult, but the noises of the med bay were uniform and rythmatic, able to meld into a single low pulsing that gradually faded away.

Smell—this one was tough. Antiseptics, cleaning solutions, recycled air, plastic sheets, traces of blood and urine that could never be fully banished, and the odor of my own perspiration...all of these flowed through my nostrils and into my olfactory glands with every inhale. I tried to picture a pristine seashore, light years from any civilization, but I kept smelling the stench of salt and rotting seaweed. Instead I visualized a completely empty and featureless planet, devoid of air, water, or life. Just a vacant sphere drifting through vacuum.

Touch—surprisingly easier. I let the warmth of my hand mingle with the cooler touch of Tyria's palm, equalizing the temperature. And with both our hands entirely relaxed, lying against the soft cot, I could easily ignore the light pressure of her fingers. Then came the rest of me, which I pictured becoming weightless, rising slowly into the air as if I were filled with helium, yet without the painful bloating.

And there I was, floating free, somewhere between asleep and awake, letting the ethereal tendrils of the sixth sense waft over me. Initially following the Hayden incident, I had lost all connection to the Force, but through great practice, deep concentration, and many learned methods, I had restored my link, though my abilities in it were still minuscule at best and perhaps would never go beyond an infant's first fumblings at forming intelligible words.

Then I sensed a presence. And then another. I was utterly immobile, but I could feel them latch onto me, as if grabbing both of my hands. They lead my forward, sinking down through layer after layer of Tyria's being.

Now all around me I could feel the force of Tyria's lifestream. It was beyond the mere flowing of blood through her veins, the pumping of oxygen through her lungs, or the constant firing of signals back and forth from nerves to neurons. Those seemed pittance. Banal physical mechanisms chugging away in the far corner, down the hall, and outside the bigger realm of what separated her from the dirt and dust to which she would inevitably return.

It was life. And life in abundance.

Yet amidst its glowing orb, its seething fire, lay a cold, dark murkiness. It slithered like the thick methane fogs of Dagobah, chocking, suffocating, quenching the fervent blaze.

I could sense, even see, the burning essences of Tyria and Devan, launching fireballs at the deathly onslaught. Tyria led the way in the battle, Devan her wingman, as they fought to hold back the fray. Realizing I was useless as an observer, I concentrated all of my energy in reinforcing them. I was far too weak to launch any assault myself, but I was at least able to refuel them, encourage them, redouble their efforts.

The war went on for hours, day, centuries. There was no time in this universe but the start and the finish. The fighting just went on, sometimes turning one way, then the other, the Force more than just a presence. It was the entire energy of our effort. Our juice. Our elixir. Our only hope.

And it secured an end.

I opened my eyes to see Deven, still sitting across from me on the other side of the cot. But now his face was exhausted, like a man battling a hundred-year bout with a virulent disease. I looked at Tyria, still lying in the bed, and she looked as bedraggled as if she'd just given birth to a brood of Wookies.

But that was the last I saw as each of my five senses shut down one by one. First my vision clouded over in a wash of sparkling gray, then solid black. My ears roared with the rush of blood before going silent. I couldn't taste the metallic liquid dribbling out of my mouth or smell the sweat drenching my body. I couldn't even feel the impact of the floor as my body collapsed against it.

But I did feel the thumping of my heart as it slowed...and slowed......and slowed.........

And then even the Force itself seemed to fade away.


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:23 am 
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Written by Corran and Tyria
------------------------------------

I was floating again, but this time above my body. I could see Tyria rush over and check my non-existent pulse, then yell to Deven, who responded by grabbing a machine on wheels and rolling it to my side. They worked feverishly to revive me.

But it all seemed trivial. I felt unbelievably free, unfettered, as I floated to the ceiling and into the upper deck with no regard for physical barriers. I tried to move through my own volition, and I could. I passed freely through the walls and floors of the station, moving any direction I willed.

And then I was outside, in the vacuum of space, looking down upon Keshoc and the planet below. On the planet, blue seas sparkled in the sunlight and lightning flickered repeatedly across a violent storm cloud. On the station, my friends continued to fight for survival.

On one hand, as I gazed from my celestial perch, it all seemed so inconsequential. Just a grouping of atoms spiraling in a disintegrating orbit toward another, larger group of atoms. On a universal scale, it seemed nothing compared to the explosion of a star or the awesome power of a black hole.

Yet on the other hand, I could see my friends' plight as a puzzle piece in the patchwork of the universe. It was a tiny puzzle piece, yet inexorably linked to more puzzle pieces in an ever increasing web of consequences. I could see the links in my mind's eye, but I leaned forward to fully gaze upon the future.

Moments before, back on Keshoc, Face froze in his steps as he saw something appear and disappear before his eyes. It was gone in a second, but it gave the colonel grim pause. Either the drugs were making him hallucinate, or a good friend and comrade had passed on.

* * *

Tyria stared at Corran's lifeless body. "I am not," she said in determination, "going to lose you now!"

Looking at the defibrillator that had been on the medical cart they'd hauled into the access tube. "Hey, this thing isn't working. We need to do this the old-fashioned way. Get over here and do the chest compressions."

Deven moved into place as Tyria placed her palm on Corran's forehead, tilted his head back, lifting his chin with her other hand.

"First Face, now Corran. Wedge is going to kill me," she muttered as she pinched his nostrils together and covered his mouth with hers. After one quick breath, she noticed his chest rise and gave the second breath. "Start the compressions, Deven," she ordered, "I think he's responding. Hurry up; he's been unconscious long enough." She stared down at the general before starting the CPR again, as Deven began the chest compressions. It seemed to be taking forever. "Corran, you are not going to die!" Tyria cried urgently, " I expressly forbid it! Now breathe!"

And suddenly, after what felt like an eternity, he obeyed.

* * *

The jealous hand of life pulled me back from the hallows of death and body slammed me into the corpse on the floor. I gasped, drawing in a painful lungful of air as the oppressive force of gravity kept me firmly on the ground. I opened my eyes to see the makeshift medbay and the relieved face of Tyria.

"Thank the Force, he's back! Deven, hand me that syringe and the green vial to the left of it."

A sharp pain stabbed into my corporeal being. I felt energy surge back through my veins, but it was but a faint blip to the power I had experienced in my unfettered form.

"Why'd you bring me back?!" I rasped with as much strength as I could muster.

"Why'd we save your life?!" Tyria responded incredulously, grabbing a balled up flightsuit and pushing it behind me. "Now sit up. Slowly."

I groaned, my arms trembling as they struggled to lift my feeble form. The room swam around me as I sat up against the wall, and I flailed out to grab the med cot for support as the floor tilted precariously.

"Careful. Deven, get him some water."

A bottle of water was pressed against my lips. I drank a little, then sputtered, but drank some more as I realized how dry my throat was.

"I was happy there, and I was a Jedi spirit, and I was powerful, and I was about to see the future," I rambled.

"Corran, patients often report an out-of-body experience when they're technically dead for several seconds. It doesn't mean you were doing a sparkly blue Obi-Wan Kenobi."

"It was real, Tyr. I was able to move through the station. I even saw Face, and from the expression on his face, he saw me."

"Did he look surprised?"

"More like he needed a stiff drink. He didn't look too good, but he's alive and moving."

Tyria looked doubtful as she shuffled through a rack of pills.

"I can even tell you where he is. Or, at least, what direction he's in. He's that way." I swung my arm out. "Wait...that way." I moved my arm 90 degrees. "Halfway through the station going that direction."

Tyria chose a larger pill.

"How would we get there?" Deven asked, actually looking interested.

"I don't know. I went through it too fast, but at least we know where to stage a rescue, or at least where to meet up with Face so we can find the others."

"Hold it there, Rambo. You're not going anywhere yet. You were dead just a few minutes ago. Takes a little longer to recover from that. Open wide."

Tyria shoved a pill down my throat.

I downed the rest of the water and struggled to get it past my esophagus.

"What was that?! A Star Destroyer?!"

"A stimulant. It's dangerous, and I hate giving it to someone who can't make up their mind whether to be dead or alive, but we need you back on your feet as soon as possible."

* * *

"Meanwhile," Deven interjected, "I'd like to round up Kai, Shadow, and Piggy and be ready to go with the rescue in five. Is Corran safe to leave right here with a med droid? I'd like every able body I can get."

"Yeah, he should be safe. First thing's first, though," Tyria said, picking up a long tube with flexible joints. "Jam this down my throat, please."

"What the--"

"It's a field diagnostic scanner. It's the quickest way to tell if the virus is gone."

"You've got to be kidding."

"No. Just do it. And don't stop, even if I try to fight you off."

"You're the doctor."

Tyria gagged and reflexively clawed at Deven's arm as he worked the device down her esophagus and into her stomach. He held it there for a full minute, then pulled it carefully out.

The colonel retched horribly into a nearby bin.

"Thank you," she gasped.

"I hope you never have to do that to me. What's it say?"

Tyria plugged the scanner into a datapad and studied the analysis for a few minutes. Her shoulders sagged in relief.

"I'm clean. Now go ahead and round everyone else up. I'll leave some last minute instructions with the good general here, then I'll go with you when you leave.

"Sure thing," Deven agreed, "I think they've had enough time to rustle up a little firepower."

Tyria turned to Corran, who still appeared to be brooding about being brought back to life. "Remember when Ran-Syi came in with the portal and took us on to that other world? How absolutely wonderful it was there?"

When Corran nodded, she continued. "We had the option to stay, remember? And we chose to come back."

"What's your point?" the general inquired.

The colonel sighed. "My point is that we had our chance then, Corran, to take the easy way out and stay there and be happy and at peace, but we gave it up. We gave it up to come back here and keep to this course. That day, or hour, or however long it was, was a reawakening for me. It reminded me that there's still so much to be done here, and at the same time, so much to still live for. That's why I'm doing everything I possibly can to stay alive here and why I am determined to not go down without a fight. There's so much to live for...I'm not ready to go yet. I've got a good life, great friends, an amazing husband...I'm not ready to go. And there's still so much work to be done. That's why I'm here fighting hammer and tongs to hold on to this life, and it's why I can't understand why you'd be willing to give it up so easily. My work here isn't finished yet, Corran. And I don't think yours is either. Think about that." She stood. "Now," she said, handing him another bottle of water, "I have to go. I am loathe to leave you alone here, but at least it's relatively safe, and we've got to try to rescue everyone else. You should be fine in about a half hour or so." She paused. "So I guess when you're up to it, just try to head in the general direction of where you saw Face; we'll be around, and we can use all the help we can get."

General Horn sighed. "You're right. I guess this dirty, rotten, sith-infested universe will have to put up with me a little longer."


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:08 am 
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To help move everything along - written with the esteemed Dru.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Helping Dru to his feet, Red was quick to duck under one of his arms and loop another around his side in order to provide the maximum amount of support that she could short of carrying him. She could still feel a periodic shudder that seemed to involuntarily wrack his body, but more disconcerting to her was the way his eyes were dilating and sweeping the room. He was still very disoriented and she wasn't sure how well she'd cut him off from the program he'd been subjected to. But there just wasn't time to wait or check him over - they had to get out of here as quickly as possible.

As the isolation door swept open to allow them exit all of Red's growing schemes for escape were cut short as they came face to face with the helmeted glare of a Storm Trooper. The flight or flight response she felt surge through her nerves was arrested forcibly, however, when the Trooper suddenly came to a sharp, Republic salute with a shift of his helmet indicating an orientation of his gaze towards Dru.

Unable to process this completely unanticipated scenario, Red stood deathly still with a tightening grip on Dru's side. "What the frak...?"

"So I'm not the only one seeing the stormtrooper saluting me?" Red picked up on a note of genuine disorientation in Dru's voice, though he was clearly trying to hide it. "Because I've been seeing a lot of weird things in the last... however long it's been."

"No...he's definitely real..." Red had managed to get over her initial shock and was slowly releasing her grip on Dru. Was he doing this to mess with her? Was this part of the twisted game they were playing with the prisoners? Even as she separated herself from Dru, the trooper remained perfectly still.

Shifting his attention to the interloper, Dru returned the salute. "Name, rank, and designation."

The trooper lowered his arm in a swift motion that belied numerous years of practice. "Sir! Rel, Theran. Lieutenant, New Republic Starfighter Corps. Rogue Twelve. Sir!"

Red barely kept her jaw from dropping open as the response was issued, a look of disbelief quickly devolving into a scowl. The only thing that kept her from delivering an immediate hit to the Trooper had been and still was the presence of a blaster rifle in his off hand. But her patience with this situation and the amount of time she could feel slipping past them was beginning to override her concern for the rifle. "You better be able to prove that claim...." While Dru was still a bit groggy, he was quick to detect the undertone in Red's voice.

"Sounds like you'd better take your helmet off, Lieutenant."

"Yes, sir." The trooper promptly removed his helmet, revealing the face and bandaged eye of Theran Rel.

"We going to accept that for now, Terah?" Dru's voice was simultaneously inquisitive and presumptive, and Red wasn't sure she liked his use of her surname at all.

Taking a depth breath to force the last of the tension that had built up over the last few moments out, Red gave a stiff nod and glance to Dru, her displeasure at the situation still palpable in an overly formal response. "Yes, Commander."

Another deep breath, Red's gaze shifted back past Theran and through the doorway to scan the medbay. "Introductions aside, I think we need to do less standing around and more leaving."

"Agreed. Theran, were there any--" Dru stopped short and glanced behind him, as though he'd heard something. "Sorry, were there any other blasters we could use?"

"No, sir. Mine was rigged and they're not storing arms here."

"One'll do. Red, you don't look badly hurt. You didn't happen to see anything on your way in, did you?"

"I can backtrack to the room they had me in before here, but they kept me unconscious before that. I did see what appeared to be central entrances on the way here, one of them would probably get us back out into the station, but I don't know for sure."

Slipping past Theran, Red moved into the medbay and indicated the entrance she had been brought through. "Did you happen to pay attention to the layout while you were masquerading, Theran?" Red had accepted that Theran was one of them, but the edge to her question made it readily apparent she was not pleased at seeing the ex-imperial in his current attire.

All eyes on him, Theran said nothing.

"Well?" Dru demanded.

Dru thought he caught a sliver of a grin as Theran started. "I did, but most of what I know is passages that are not open to us. I think I can get us to a general concourse, but I'm not sure it's any better than what Lieutenant Terah can offer."

Dru paused a moment, and then grabbed a scalpel. "Red, you mind taking point for us? If Theran's gun was rigged, they knew he wasn't one of them, so there's no sense pretending they'd buy a prisoner transport. Theran, take rear guard. Get us to a concourse, someplace open and public, but Red, keep us out of sight as much as possible."

By the time Theran had responded - only to Dru's question, she had noted - Red had already moved and retrieved the handcuffs from the bed with the same bobby pin that had freed her one hand earlier, the set disappearing into one of the many pockets in her mechanics suit. If they ran into anyone, she could at least keep them in one place. She had armed herself with an improvised weapon similar to Dru, in her case a section of bar from the stand to a bacta drip that had been knocked over on the floor some time prior to her arrival.

Looking up as Dru finally spoke, Red gave her consent to the plan, but there was one thing that nagged her as she flattened herself against the doorway to scout down the main hall.

"Dru...what about the others?"

Dru heaved a sigh, as though he'd been hoping the topic wouldn't come up. "If they aren't readily visible, we have to assume that they're under guard. We're in no position to mount a rescue. I for one am in no cond--" His sideways glance was shorter this time, cut off as if he'd caught himself doing something he shouldn't. "...no condition to fight. We have one blaster and one brawler against a lot more than that. So, we could spend time scouting and risk recapture on what amounts to a fool's hope of finding people as lightly guarded as we were, or we could make our best time back to the others, tell them what we know, get Theran's info on their troop placement on the table, and come back for a proper rescue in force. I don't want to leave them behind, either, Red."

Even as she asked, Red knew the answer. The only thing that concerned her was that the hiccup in Dru's speech had been much more pronounced this time. It only confirmed his observations, but his mention of Theran's knowledge set off one small spark of possibility for the ever hopeful engineer.

"Wait, do you know where they are right now, Theran? You had a live comm feed...did they say where they were and who was with them?"

Theran shook his head. "I heard a lot, but it's clear they had established code names for the locations before I snuck in. Lots of words about birds and such. There's the 'nest' and the 'roost' and the 'crag' and a couple of others like that. The infirmary where I was stationed was the 'crag.'"

"What was the context of 'nest'?" Dru interrupted.

"I don't remember the exact words, but it was something about 'prisoners' and 'the crowd'. It sounded like they were moving the station's populace, though where they were taking them I can't say. May I ask why, sir?"

"We heard that over one of their under-cover guard's comms," Red interjected, "right before we captured him. 'Fill the nest.'"

"Mmm," Dru murmured in agreement. "I'm certain that's when they started rounding up the civilians, but something about it just isn't sitting right. Something familiar, like I should know this code, or maybe its author." He shook his head. "Probably something from my dreams... torture, whatever. Come on, let's start walking."

Red couldn't shake the feeling that Theran knew more about the rest of the captured Rogues and Wraiths than he was letting on, but she had little choice but to proceed. One last scan, and she slipped out into the hallway, a motion of her free hand around the corner to signal that the coast was clear. She had to get them around two corners before they would be at the first entrance she had mentally tagged as a possible escape route.

Keeping as low and quiet as she could, Red half crept along the flat of the wall, slowing as she reached the first turn. Listening, there were no tell tale sounds of motion or footsteps, but that didn't mean someone wouldn't be standing in the hallway. She was grateful that the corner mirrors that medical facilities often utilized to avoid patient collisions during turns were not present since they would give her own position away, but it also made seeing ahead more difficult. Edging forward slowly, a cautious glance was snuck around the turn.

Clear. No troopers, no cameras, no mirrors. Had to love low tech, low security stations. Well, no - she actually didn't love them at the moment.

Feeling the breath she had been holding disappear, Red turned and gave a hand wave to Dru that he and Theran could advance to her position.

* * *

I'm in bad shape.

Face caught himself. In this line of work it never paid to think negatively, even if that negativity was actually realism showing through. But the truth was that he was in bad shape, and at this point it was everything he could do to stop himself from running a monologue of "Face's Honest Answers". He had staggered out of his "cell" into an empty infirmary, and then out the first side door he could find.

So far, so... painful.

He was hugging the infirmary wall, though he couldn't convince himself to listen for voices: he knew he couldn't hear through the walls anyhow. Taking another deep breath, he closed his eyes and tried to find his focus, but his mind was much too far gone for that. Or was it?

Jaden. As he thought his sons name, it was like everything got a little bit clearer.

Jaden. Yes, that was definitely working. Jaden.

Jaden.

Jaden.

A few steps further and he was at a crossroads. A quick glance told him no one was coming. He let himself drift to the opposite wall and started down the corridor in the direction his failing legs took him.

Jaden.

Jaden.

Do I even know where I'm going? Is this ring-ward or core-ward? His mind threatened to revolt.

Jaden. There was the focus.

Jaden.

He threw a quick glance over his shoulder. Had he heard voices behind him? Now he wasn't sure. The truth was he had nothing to go on and wasn't in any shape to make a dash for the compartment door on the opposite wall, much less force it open, so he dragged on.

Jaden.

Jaden.

A few steps later, he slumped against the wall and tried to slow down his heartbeat so he could hear. His pulse was through the roof -- probably because of the drugs.

Really, you're gonna let yourself think that?

*thump thump thump*

I guess so.

*thump thump thump*


Somehow, the fact that his subconscious wasn't telling him he was just scared was a little comforting.

Jaden. Another step.

Jaden. Another intersection. He paused at the corner and flattened himself against the wall, then quickly shot his head around around for a look down the cross passage. There was nothing.

I guess I've still got it, even when I'm this hopped up.

*smack*


The sound of hollow metal striking an open palm sent shivers up his spine.

"No, you don't really have it at the moment." The woman's voice carried a definite air of superiority at having gotten the drop on "the mumbling stalker". "At first, I was wondering who else might have left the infirmary immediately after we did, so we doubled back. But really, I'm not sure how many top-notch Imperial secret agents would be shambling about, dragging against bulkheads and chanting "Jaden" under their breath. Any ideas?"

I can easily take her by surprise, I've got the blaster....

No sooner had the thought materialized than Face spun, blaster leveled to what he thought was the level of his attacker's head. Instead, he found empty air and felt himself falling sideways as the blaster was knocked from his grip and his distorted balance failed him. As he went down, he swore he saw a streak of red before feeling a set of arms wrapping around his midsection, half arresting his fall and half pinning his arms to his sides.

No! No, can't go back...

"Woah, Face! Face, calm down! Its me!"

Refusing to give up just because his 'assailant' claimed to know him, Face pushed back, trying to force the woman against a bulkhead. He heard an audible, heavy sigh just as the motion was arrested by the feeling of a metal bar pushed into the back of his knees, causing him to once again fall as his arms were once again pulled so that they were pinned.

"Face, its RED."

Slowly arresting his struggling motion against the grip, Face's eyes finally focused as he settled his weight onto his knees. Standing over him, keeping a cautious grip on his arms in case he took another swing at her, was in fact Red.

Red?! No way...even this bad, she couldn't have gotten a drop on me like that...

Leaning to look over his shoulder, the look of concern on her face only partly covered a developing grin as once again she seemed to magically answer his thoughts.

"Man...if you're going to keep saying every thought you have, Face...at least this escape will be entertaining."

Face relaxed and Red finally let him go, a concerned look developing as he looked over his engineer.

"Red, you look terrible."

A soft chuckle was emitted as Red offered a hand to help him up.

"Yeah, its not that bad. You don't look so great yourself."

Face nodded sagely, a wince as he braced himself by leaning an elbow on her shoulder while his balance attempted to return.

"Red?"

"Yeah, Face?"

"You're also really short."

* * *

A moment had been taken after what could hardly be described as a confrontation, while Dru and Face held a quick conference in an ancillary hallway while Red and Theran kept guard. After things had settled, Red had exchanged her pipe for the blaster Face had previously been wielding.

"So you didn't run in...into anyone?" Dru's question had one of the distinct pauses that Red had already consistently noticed in his speech, eyes and ears primarily devoted to keeping an eye on one side of the hallway, while Theran watched the other.

Face shook his head.

"No one, which is really weird...not as weird as a mynoc dressed like a nerf, but weird."

Red couldn't help but sigh as Face's reply distracted her from guard duty, assessing the situation she was now in.

Dru appeared fine physically, but was obviously suffering from some sort of ghost from the program he had been hooked up to, thinking he heard things. He had breaks in his speech and she'd seen him mouthing words occasionally during those pauses, as if he was speaking to someone they couldn't see. Face was in bad physical shape and hopped up on enough interrogation serum to make even the Emperor confess his deepest childhood crimes. She had figured out that he pretty much voiced every thought that popped into his head at this point, be it helpful or not. Theran had reverted to a survivalist military mode, replying to orders and direction but really not offering a ton of advice or assistance.

And Red, she knew she was repressing everything at the moment, she had shut down as much of what had just happened as she could - but it was going to come out eventually, and she could only hope she could bottle it long enough to get out of this situation and into an environment where she could let everything out in a controlled, safe manner.

Gaze drifting back down the hallway, Red's thoughts were ripped back to the main conversation as she heard Dru call her name.

"Red, ready to move out again?"

She nodded, shifting her stance painfully to rise and return from the corner she had been at.

"You said you wanted a concourse, Dru?" Now that it came down to it, Red wasn't sure she liked the idea of walking out into an open area at all.

"That's what I said." Dru's voice was perfectly level. Red wasn't sure if that meant anything or not.

"Well, Dru probably has a plan," Face's voice carried an odd lilt that they'd come to associate with his "thought voice." "but I wish he'd tell us what it was."

Dru sighed. "We need a place with more nooks and crannies to hide, and someplace we can keep moving. The stores and shops off the main concourse will give us that. Also, I really want to find a computer console. I've had it up to here with not being in contact with anyone, and if we're going to rescue the others, we'd better get in touch with them soon."

"We could have used an access tube back up to the Lab."

Red shook her head and left the other officers to argue as she silently padded the last few steps of the hallway out to a large balcony overlooking Keshoc Station's main concourse. A peak to the left showed no one that would see them darting to the lift in front of them. A peak to the right showed...

She let out a gasp. "Guys? You're gonna want to see this."

"At this point," Face mused, "I don't want to see much of anything but the inside of my eyelids."

Dru gave him a shove, and walked cautiously out to the balcony with Theran following behind.

"Oh... frak."

In the distance, a crowd surged up stairwells and lifts, and a large skiff emblazoned with "COMPNOR" in deep red lettering helped ferry still more people from the main deck to the docking ring above. Senior-looking officers with well-decorated uniforms helped escort the people, and motions of tenderness and reassurance were clearly visible. Bewildered-looking civilians shook hands with storm troopers in gratitude.

A loud voice issued from a bullhorn, half-filling the broad space before them. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you'll all please help us by staying in the lines you were assigned, we can get this transport off the station all the sooner. The Republic saboteurs have been dealt with, but we're unable to reverse the damage to the station's engines. Please, there's room for everyone on board the Raven's Nest, and if you'll just wait your turn, we'll all get out of here in time."

Face's jaw dropped, and Dru's hand clapped across his mouth just in time to muffle a shout. "That's not what happened at all!"

_________________
"I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person!"


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:41 pm 
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This brought to you by the combined mental might of Dru, Face, and Red. Enjoy!

~~~~~

"Well, what now?" Red asked, "if they're just up and leaving us here, that means..."

Face finished the sentence. "...things have changed. We don't have 20-some hours any more."


*blink* A flash of natural sunlight, the scent of fresh air, the feeling of soft grass beneath my bare feet.

Now I knew why trauma victims stayed in comas.

Even in the light of the waking world, I could feel my dreams lying under the surface, their promises of pleasure beckoning me to shut my eyes and return to them.

"We need a comm unit." I could hear myself speaking. "Theran, give Red your..."

*blink* The touch of Jaelyn's lips against mine, the sweet scent of her hair, the loving smile on her face.

"...helmet. Sorry. Red, can you patch that in to a datapad?"

"Dru, we don't have any datapads."


I shut my eyes, rubbing at them to punish the frustration. My vision swirled with old memories. How many of them had really happened? I was losing track. Did it matter? Where was the present?

"Dru?" Face's voice. "If you don't quit rubbing your eyes you're going to hurt yourself."

There it was. The present. I willed myself back to it. The dreams called to me, their voices a haunted melody. Should I go back?

"Dru, open your eyes!" Red commanded. "Wherever you're going in there, get out!"

My eyes drifted open. I saw Red's face. Her hands were holding the sides of my head and I think she'd been shaking me.

"Yeah, OK. I'll be alright. I just need to rest."

*blink* A woman's blood-curdling scream. The stench of burning flesh. A white-hot flash of pain.

* * *

Dru blinked again, gave a startled cry, and collapsed.

Red had attempted to move and intercept him before he reached the floor, managing to at least keep his head from knocking against anything.

"Dru...Dru, can you hear me?"

Face and Theran were now standing above where Red knelt, Dru's head resting across her knees. "Red, What's going on with him?" Face was starting to move a bit more steadily, but still much slower than was ideal.

"I don't know for sure...they had him hooked up to some computer program. I think when I disconnected him, it left some sort of remnant..."

"Well, we need to find the others and we just can't wait for him to wake up. Not here, we've already made too much noise. Theran, can you carry him?"

Theran nodded and moved over, lifting Dru over his shoulders carefully.

Face nodded as Red stood. "Good, Red...you're with me."

"Wait, are we splitting up?" Red sounded shocked, and obviously ready to object to such a plan.

"No, I mean you're going to be with me so I don't fall over. Also, I need you to sniff out a console or some sort of data station we can use to try and track the others."

Red's expression brightened. "Face, are you back with us?"

"Of course I'm with you. But I'm still completely frakked by the drugs, and not entirely certain that I can see straight. Also, considering that I can't stop speaking my usual inner monologue out loud, I'm praying I don't bump into Tyria or Kai before this wears off. I'm also hoping that you guys won't take advantage of it, because that would be really embarrassing to. I'm also..."

Red's hand clamped firmly around Face's mouth. "It's OK Boss, I get the picture. You can be quiet now."

Theran's eyes twinkled. "Sure you don't want to take advantage of it?"

"What, like ask Face his favourite Wraith?" Red grinned.

"MMfh Mmm Mmmfh." Face muffled under Red's grip.

"Huh?"

"Don't have one."

"Cheat."

Face grinned. "It's a good job that was true wasn't it."

"OK, next question... how much are you really worth." Red's grin widened. "Promise I won't tell Kai!"

"I will get you back for this."

"How much?"

"10.5"

"Million?"

"Billion."

Red's mouth dropped. "Wow. I wasn't expecting THAT!"

"With that kind of money, couldn't you just buy the Galaxy back to the way you want it?" All heads turned to face Dru, still slung over Theran's shoulder.

"Well, technically no. It's mainly due to Lucius. See, back when I was just starting out..."

"Face?" Red interrupted.

"Yes Red."

"How about you concentrate on the task in hand."

"Good idea. Now, we have several things to concentrate on. Primarily, we need to find the location and arrange the rescue of Elassar, Drake and Az. I hope Elassar is still alive, and if he is, he forgives me. I didn't realise who it was when they dragged him in as my eyes were covered by the holohelmet. I'm sure he realises that I had no choice in the matter, he'd do the same I'm sure. Drake should have escaped by now. He's odd, Drake, he doesn't act like the person he claims to be. I'll have to look into that later..."

Red rolled her eyes and Face continued to mutter to himself. Hopefully it would wear off soon. "Still, it's good that Dru's back."

"Yup. It's great." Dru paused. "Can I get down now?"

Theran politely let Dru slide down to his feet.

Red eyed him cautiously. "Are you here, Dru? Before you passed out, it seemed like you were... somewhere else."

Dru shut his eyes hard, and opened them again. "Yeah." His voice was a mixture of resolution and resignation. "I'm back. Face?"

The Lorridian stopped mid-mumble. "Hmm?"

"If I start doing that again before we get off the station, will you punch me in the gut?"

"Probably not. See, that wouldn't be fair on you, and probably wouldn't solve the underlying issue. Why do people always think I want to hit things? Isn't there more to me than hyper-violent heroics? Perhaps..."

Red gritted her teeth, and steered the group onwards.

* * *

*Slam!*

Contrary to his mother's constant insistence, the last thing through the mind of stormtrooper Designation 1536 before his death would not be "that loathsome woman," but would instead be a standard-sized conference room door.

The next few moments would be a blur for 1536's now-former compatriots. One would give a startled shout as he watched his friend crumple beneath the portal. Another would try to raise a gun, but a muscular figure that had somersaulted through the door moments after its extraordinary flight would rise to his feet before him, swiping the gun from his hand with an outstretch arm as he rose. Two more would be silenced by blaster fire before they could leave the seats at their Pazaak table, and another would be viciously caned into unconsciousness by an IV stand in the hands of a very small, very angry-looking woman. 1536's final associate would eternally regret his inattention to proper helmeting protocols, and would find a surgical scalpel embedded in his throat as he clutched at his neck for breath before drowning in his own blood.

"That seemed... easier that it ought to have." Face surveyed the carnage as he stepped through.

Red smirked, and then raised an eyebrow. "Face... why didn't you say anything during the fight?"

Face shot a quick glance back from atop the door after snapping his new victim's neck. "I don't think when I fight. Too slow."

"Still, Face is right," Dru offered, retrieving a rifle from one of the fallen soldiers. "There were only six plus an officer, and they were shoddy. Playing cards on guard duty? Hanging out with their helmets off? Either we stumbled on the fully-armed break room, or these guys were trash, left here to die."

"With the rest of the garbage," Face finished. He opened his mouth to continue, but with a forcible effort closed it once more.

Theran looked up from procuring the fallen blasters. "You all fixed, Colonel?"

"Partially. I think I can keep my thoughts inside my head now, but the truth thing is still there." He looked around the small room, with the two adjoining rooms. "Which one is Drake in?"

"That one." Theran responded, pointing firmly to the left hand door. "He's in there."

"How can you be sure?" Red asked, cocking her head sideways.

"That's where I tortured him."

Dru turned to look slowly at Theran. "That's probably a topic of discussion later."

Grasping the keys from his most recent enforced extreme chiropractic client, Face nodded. "Indeed." He threw the keys to Red. "Open it up, then back up, I'll go through first, Theran, you cover me."

Fifteen seconds later, Drake was free, his manacles dropping to the floor, his jaw almost doing the same. "How did you manage to get free?" He asked, incredulously.

"I killed a lot of people."

Drake blinked. "Oh. I should have thought of that."

"Spast! Is that Face Loran?" The Zabrak stumbled out of the room, his gait slightly wonky as he sauntered into the room.

"Az, if you don't shut up, I will kill you very quickly."

Red's expression brightened. "Hey, Face, are you all clear from the truth thing now too?"

He fixed her with a stare. "No."

Az fumbled around some words before managing, "Um, I'm getting the feeling that --"

"You want to shut up now," Dru interjected. "And if you're smarter than you look, you'll figure it out on your own soon enough. Are you two OK?"

Drake shrugged. "I'm walking."

Azazel nodded meekly.

"Ok, let's check the other doors," Face commanded. "Theran, give Drake a rifle." The effort it took the Colonel to silence his next words was obvious. "Red, we'll check the other rooms and then move on."

"Right."

The next few minutes were eerily quiet. The second door led to a small hallway. Face, Red, Theran, and Drake approached the hallway doors. Each time, Face gave a silent countdown, Red slid the door open, and they were met with empty rooms. At the last room Dru announced, "This one."

"How can you tell?" Red asked.

Face indicated a discoloration on the floor. "That stain was Devaronian vomit."

Dru's voice was hollow. "Yeah."


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:57 pm 
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From the twisted desks of Red, Dru, and Face!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

At the last room Dru announced, "This one."

"How can you tell?" Red asked.

Face indicated a discoloration on the floor. "That stain was Devaronian vomit."

Dru's voice was hollow. "Yeah."


Red couldn't help but feel a sense of relief flood over her that they would be able to get their final team member and move on. The images and smell from the med bay had joined the rest of the anxious sensations that she had been feeling since her capture. Elassar was going to be in bad shape, and a part of her couldn't help but fear they were too late.

But that was going to be fixed. Finally, one things might at least happen the way it was supposed to.

Face gave the motion he had given at each of the preceding rooms, and Red was the first into the room as the door was activated and slid open. Drake was close on her heels, ready to met out swift justice for their teammate in the same manner it had been dealt for himself and Az.

Instead of swift justice he nearly tripped over Red, who had come up short and was simply standing in the middle of the room.

The small space they had entered was one of the plasteel-clad chambers that had held Red and Az in their drug and beating hazed transfers, with one key difference.

This one was empty save the large, grotesque stain on the wall facing the door. Presenting them clear evidence of their missing teammate.

But no Elassar.

Drake seemed to sense the slack that seemed to draw Red's shoulder's down as she stared at the empty space, feeling them tighten instincively as Face's voice came from behind them.

"He's not here. We'll keep an eye out for him, but we've got to keep moving. We've already spent too much time here." There was a pause, as Face tried to staunch the flow of words. "We've no idea where is is, how long he's been there, and without a full forensic sweep from the Sacul, we're not going to pick up any evidence. We're running out of time, we need to press on."

Expecting to have to guide Red out, Drake was startled as her shoulder suddenly evicted his hand and she half pushed him out of her way in exiting past him pack into the corridor.

Red fixed her commanding officer a look as she swept past. "Nicely reasoned abandonment there Colonel."

Face's flash of fire in his eyes did little to hide the pain.

* * *

Resuming her spot on point, Red had opted to take the group back out the exit they had utilized in their first escape, at least knowing that this section was abandoned and they could move with a degree more freedom. Well, maybe half a degree.

While the addition of Drake to the team, Red had another set of semi-coherent eyes and hands to assist with the group. He had taken over assisting Face, while Theran had remained at the rear, keeping his attention divided between rear guard and an occasional check on if Dru seemed to be slipping away again. So far, he seemed to have stabilized since the fainting incident, so that at least allowed Theran to devote the majority of his attention to his job.

This was all helpful, but it had also meant that Az had been placed following Red. Trying to keep her mind off of the disappointment and nausea she had felt seeing that empty wall, it didn't help her concentration to quickly have it replaced by memories of the Zabrak and his stench of alcohol getting overly friendly with her when they had been housed together. Possibly in that same room they had found the only evidence of Elassar in. She couldn't remember clearly, and that didn't help.

Neither did the fact that while Az had been silent as a mouse since Dru's instruction at his rescue, he kept nearly running over her. Every time she slowed to scout a corner as they moved further into the bowels of the station, Red was nearly run over. Gritting her teeth, she had simply shot a glare at him the first few times he stepped on her heels, but it seemed that as they ventured further into areas where she had to assume they might still encounter COMPNOR remnants, he tripped over her harder.

Then he actually knocked her over, stumbling into her as she had slowed to check a data terminal for access and sending her into the ground.

Drake and Face rounded the corner behind the pair, followed by the rest of the group, to find Az backing away as Red shoved a finger into his chest and pushed him back, her voice a barely contained whisper, turning it into a dangerous hiss.

"How hard is it to watch where you are going?!"

Az never said a word, but it was obvious from his expression he was both confused and terrified. Drake was the first to step forward, coming up beside's Az in an attempt to diffuse what he could tell was turning into an ugly situation.

"Come on Red, it was a mistake..."

Red cut him off before he could finish the thought.

"The first time was a mistake, the twentieth..."

It was Face who interrupted as the group regrouped behind Az. "Enough, Red. Calm down, we have to keep going and this isn't going to help us find the others any faster. You used to be a bit clumsy too, remember Sekar IV? Now we just need to..."

He took a deep breath.

Red returned the favor with another interruption, an almost instant reaction as he mentioned Sekar IV. "What, find the rest of the group just like we found Elassar?"

The venom in Red's voice was unexpected, but just as suddenly as her tone shifted she seemed to stop herself and took an obviously deep breath before continuing, in a much more controlled tone. But even Face and Dru were surprised at the candor and pace presented them by the young engineer.

"This isn't working. Our time line is nothing at this point as far as we know, Elassar is gone, and we have no idea where the rest of the teams are. We might be running in circles, with them on the opposite side where we'll never meet. It doesn't help that Theran is still dressed like the enemy. Dru, you're phasing in and out of reality and if it happens again, the costs could be huge. Az, no offense, you're not someone that strikes me as qualified at the moment. And Face...besides your condition, I'm willing to bet that Elassar's torture was some direct result of yours. I saw your expression when you saw that vomit."

Red stopped for one breath, but continued like a flood gate that had been opened and was purging every last drop that had been contained.

"This group as a whole can't be a rescue party. Drake and I, while not ideally so, are the MOST in touch with reality and the LEAST worked over. If any of us should be hunting, its us. The rest of you would be better off going back to the Sacul, which we know is still there, and let us look."

The looks facing Red ranged from confused to stunned to even a bit angry, but she knew she wouldn't have been able to hold it in, it would have eaten at her until she blew a gasket in a less controlled manner. Yet even after the sense of lightening the load had past, she heard herself continuing.

"I know I'm not the commanding officer here, but you hired me to be on this team and I'm pretty darn sure that part of that was because you wanted my input and honesty. Well, honestly, we're a mess right now and after babysitting this ragtag team across most of this level, I think I deserve at least consideration for this request."

And then Red took the step that made it impossible to backtrack from her stance.

"So am I right or not, Face?"

Dru took a step forward. "Red, don't."

"About what?" Face blurted, "Yes, you're not the commanding officer, yes we hired you to be a Wraith, yes I value your input and honesty..."

"Face," Red pressed, "what should we do?"

"You're crossing a dangerous line, Red," Dru warned, moving to stop Face's answer, "Face, you don't have to answer her; she's forcing your hand."

What had only taken a few seconds seemed like a lifetime as Red stared at the face's of a group of men, who she suddenly realized were larger, mostly higher ranking and not all exactly pleased with her at this particular moment. Her nerves faltered a moment as Face furrowed his brow, mouthing voiceless words before finally speaking.

"Go." His voice cracked with strain before leveling into a deep rasp. "You can go. Take Drake, and be really careful. You're already out of time. If you make me regret this I will make your life miserable for, well, probably not for very long, but..."

Face trailed off as Red gave a curt nod and before he had fully finished, stalked down the hallway and around a corner, followed swiftly by Drake. As a door first hissed open, then closed again, Dru put a hand on the Colonel's shoulder.

"Let it out, Face."

Face's chest heaved as though he were releasing a breath held far too long. "Emperor's Bones that was a bad idea and if something happens to her I'll never forgive myself. Okay, I probably will eventually, but..."

Behind them, another door slid open, and a clatter of armour sounded. Face and Dru turned slowly round, to stare at six stormtroopers, less than 5 foot away, with their weapons raised.

Face's mouth twisted into a feral grin. "It probably speaks volumes for my psyche that I'm really glad you guys are here."

"Huh?" The lead stormtrooper canted his head to one side, confused at the response.

His eyes flashing, Face waded in.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

_________________
"I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person!"


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:19 am 
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Warning: This turned out a lot darker than what I thought I was going to write, and this is coming from the guy who has already killed his own character previously. Thanks to Dru, Face and Red and everyone else who has been keeping 16 going—most excellent writing, all of you. Thanks to Dru, Face and Corran for constantly hearing my “I need to write a plot” and then kindly telling me that maybe I should go plot :-D.
----

“I’ll talk.” I said, regretting the words, but instantly finding comfort in that I had chosen the lesser of two evils.

A tense moment ensued, my adrenaline pumped vision revealing every single detail that I saw and then jotting it down in memory. I saw the trooper who held the gun on Az pull the trigger back ever so slightly, taking not one but two pounds of the requisite three pounds of force required to fire off the standard BlasTech E-11 rifle that most stormtroopers carried. Some stormtroopers modified their personal rifle to have a more sensitive trigger, but three pounds of tension was usually enough to guarantee a smooth trigger pull for accuracy, while still making it difficult to accidentally fire.

I inhaled sharply as the trooper wedged the gun harder into Az’s head before the trooper contented himself with taking the butt end of the rifle stock and slamming it into the base of Az’s skull. Az didn’t pass out but he went down hard, collapsing onto the deck like a sack of duracrete bricks. I winced in sympathetic pain, almost seeing the stars that Az surely must have been seeing.

Derec sat down across the steel table from me and smiled the type of smile that a razor shark on Calamari gave to glip-fish as it calmly closed in to rend flesh from their bones. The smile faltered momentarily when there was a chirping sound from his personal comlink. He pulled it from his breast pocket and thumbed it on, listening to what the speaker said on the other side of the conversation intently. I strained to hear what was being said but all I could hear was ringing from the pummeling I had taken earlier.

It was a short conversation. “Understood.” Was all Derec said in reply to the mysterious speaker on the other side.

“Take that one back to his cell. Prepare this one for transfer back to the nest, but first move him to surgical. I want to leave a goodbye present behind for anyone who comes back to look for him.”

I looked up from the table, confused. I wanted to ask what was going on but was too scared they would remember that I was going to go ahead and betray my own friends and spill information to the enemy—something that not only went against my normal morals, however limited their existence was, but I had also pledged that I would die before I gave out state secrets when I had joined Wraith Squadron. Not that I had much hope for surviving whatever was next, but being executed at the hands of my friends for treason seemed crueler than being executed by my enemies for not talking. I settled on not bringing it up, figuring that I would probably have to recross this bridge sooner rather than later.

Something caught in my mind, freezing my brain in its place while I reprocessed what I heard.

“Wait. Surgical?” I said, a note of concern in my voice. I was beaten to a pulp and I still had a blaster wound, but nothing called for immediate medical surgery in my own expert opinion. The medic part of my brain ran through all the afflictions I had received, trying to figure out what I needed surgery for but came up empty while the other, rational side of my brain panicked. I felt fear bubble in my belly again.

The two troopers next to Az began to drag him, still in heap form, back to his cell while another pair sauntered in, their body language clear they understood what was happening and were enjoying their ability to participate in my suffering. They threw a pair of trousers at me to clothe myself in, which I awkwardly pulled on with my chained hands.

I snarled at them as they approached, trying to maintain a defiant front even as my insides imploded on themselves. Two hands of steal locked on my biceps as the two troopers grabbed me and dragged me out of the bay and towards the sterile smelling infirmary. I struggled but they tightened their grips, like they were trying to keep a small child from running away from them at an amusement park.

--------

I was unceremoniously dumped onto a surgical table. The surgical suite of the station’s infirmary was similar to everything else I had seen in my time here—well equipped, but small and mostly constructed of off white plastics and cold, cold durasteel. There was a tray full of instruments nearby, along with it were the two troopers who had done the dumping, another trio already there along with a fairly attractive young woman who had the look of someone who didn’t really want to be there. A COMPNOR badge graced her shoulder, but the logo was a light gray and over it was the universal serpent insignia of a medical professional. She had shoulder length red hair and pale green eyes and was similar in height to Red that, between her physical build and her hair color I could almost pretend she actually was Red. She gave me a tight smile, one that betrayed more discomfort than anything else. My brain began to try and process her into some sort of escape plan since she was showing me more sympathy than anyone else in the room.

My gaze flicked around the walls, noting a set of chains nearby that ended in hooks, the type used to hoist an animal about to be slaughtered to the roof so the blood could drain. I swallowed slightly, deciding to not let my mind wander down that path any longer since it would not be conducive to my escape. A medical droid, a 2-1B model, stood quietly in the corner of the room, waiting for someone to supply it instructions.

Derec came in and pulled the group aside momentarily, having a quick conversation that involved a great deal of gesturing at me. I inhaled sharply as the conversation disbanded and the woman approached the drug dispensary on the wall.

“Remove your trousers please.” The woman said from her position at the dispensary.

I blinked. She was pretty and all but we barely knew each other. Generally those words would be great news, but taken in context of the five COMPNOR agents with blaster rifles in the same room as me and those words became way more ominous than they should have been.

I felt myself turning red. Well. Redder. I locked eyes with the woman.

“Like. Seriously?”

“I don’t normally move this fast but either you’ll be removing them or I’ll have one of those nice troopers do it for you.”

I sighed and started fulfilling her request despite the difficulty presented in being manacled. As I undid the trousers I watched her motions as she punched in a combination of drugs, from what I could tell, heavy painkillers, and got a small cup of water. She walked up to me with the drugs proffered along with the water.

“Take these. They’ll help.” I looked at her skeptically.

“What are they going to help me from? My terribly arthritic knee or some such? Or the multiple beatings that I’ve already been through?” I asked guardedly. There were enough sedatives and painkillers in her hand to knock me out in a matter of minutes.

She looked at me steadily and leaned in, whispering into my ear. “I’ve been ordered to amputate your left leg.”

I looked at her. Shocked. My first response was to tell her that nothing was wrong with my left leg before I realized that was the reason why they were amputating it to begin with. “Please. Don’t.” I said, pouring all the sincerity and honesty I had ever felt into my voice.

Derec took a step forward. “Local anesthetic only. The subject will respond better to future treatments if he’s conscious to watch the procedure.”

My jaw dropped open even further. “FUTURE TREATMENTS?! This is nothing but pure animal barbarism!” I shouted, the irrationality of what was about to occur pumping me with adrenaline, triggering my fighting instincts.

“And that’s EXACTLY what you are xeno! Your fate is going to be a message to the rest of your squad mates.” Derec replied, pure, malicious venom dripping from his voice with such intensity and hatred that I was taken aback.

I said a few choice expletives at him before making my move. I lunged forward, grabbing a laser scalpel from the tray of tools and flipped it in my hands, as if I was going to drive it into my own body. I took a pair of steps back behind the nurse before flinging my chained hands up and over her head, bringing the scalpel against her carotid artery. I thumbed the scalpel to life and drove the laser as close as I dared toward her flesh. The laser singed the locks of hair around her neck, and left a cut just a millimeter deep, a thin red slash across the porcelain of her skin. The familiar scent of ozone and charred, burned hair and flesh began to permeate my nostrils. It had taken less than a handful of seconds to secure my way out. I smiled to myself.

“Back off. I’m keeping BOTH my legs you sithspawn.” I said, my voice deadly calm as I maneuvered us backwards like a puppeteer manipulating his puppets. From the sliver of vision I had that wasn’t blocked by the woman’s head, I noted the COMPNOR troopers aiming their rifles.

Derec gestured at me with his hand. “Shoot her.”

The high-pitched whine of a blaster rifle filled the room like the sound of an attacking group of piranha beetles, before I heard the familiar crackle of a blaster bolt impacting flesh. The red headed woman slumped in my arms, the life drained from her instantly, due to the blaster bolt that had buried itself square in her forehead. I looked up at the trooper, the laser scalpel falling from my hand before I looked down again at the nurse on the floor, and, for a split second I saw the other woman from the cargo bay dead at my feet, blood leaking from the slug that I had put in her head. The two slowly merged into one as tears blurred my vision before the troopers slammed into me, dragging me to the surgical table where they held me down. I screamed as loud as I could, scraping my raw throat even rawer, but I couldn’t hear even that. All I heard was the buzz of the 2-1B’s laser saw as it approached me.

----

There was a sickening nothingness where there should have been something. Two troopers dragged me out of the infirmary, receiving orders to drag me to the Nest, while the other two took the pair of chains with hooks on them, looped them around an overhead pipe in the infirmary and then hooked my former appendage to it. Derec scribbled a note on flimsiplast and placed it on the floor beneath their gory warning sign before the entire entourage walked out of the infirmary with me in tow, the dead nurse still on the floor where she had fallen.


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 Post subject: Re: RS Plot 16d
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:25 am 
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What do you call a Gungan who slips past the guards?

Mute.

I slid a tiny mirror around the corner and peered at the miniscule reflection. The dim hallway stretched out into a bright glare where it met up with a main corridor. It was actually these quiet passages that were making me nervous, but I couldn't risk trying to blend in with the main populace on the station. Even in a non-descript dark mechanics coveralls with grease smeared on my face, it'd be much too easier for an alert trooper to pick my face out of a small knot of people being herded along the corridors. And it was not too pretentious to suppose that they had my photo memorized.

Seeing the way clear, I tiptoed forward in a silent sprint, glad I had opted to travel light. The activity on the station had increased dramatically in the last ten minutes with all the non-Imps being escorted toward a common direction. The main hangar bay, perhaps? It looked like they were getting ready to pull everyone out. But why take the civvies? A few hours ago when COMPNOR first took over the station, they didn't seem to be bothered by civilian casualties. But a lot had changed since then. The Rogues and Wraiths had made their presence known, and undoubtedly COMPNOR was adapting their playbook by the minute.

I clutched the weapon in my hand. I'd opted for a slugthrower handgun with a silencer to mask my deadly movement through the ship as I sought to catch up with Tyria, Deven, Kai, and Piggy. But I'd always been big on redundancy. I had a holdout blaster on my belt and a duplicate on my right ankle in case the situation no longer called for stealth. In addition to the firearms, I had at least half a dozen knives placed on different parts of my body as well as a generous number of mags on my belt.

A door on the right side of the hallway slid open, catching me by surprise.

"Report this to the--" an Imperial officer was saying as he walked out.

I fired instantly, but too low, catching him in the thigh. He spun around with a yelp, and I fired a second time, too low again. The bullet pierced through his neck instead of his skull, but the speed in which he fell the floor told me it'd done the trick.

I knew his conversation partner would be out in a second, so I sprinted forward and saddled up against the door frame. The second Imp cautious stuck his gun out past the doorframe, and I grabbed it with my left hand, yanking him forward. Off-balance, he fell into the hallway and squarely onto the blade of knife held in my right hand. Lowering him slowly to the ground so he'd make less noise than his comrade, I dragged him and his buddy into the room. Their bodies were not alone.

My compatriots had made their mark, mowing down eight armed personnel with deadly efficiency. Most of the laser burns were in their bodies and not the furniture they'd tried to take cover behind.

I reflexively nudged one of the bodies with my boot to see if she felt like moving again. Her face was half hidden in shadows, but I could tell most of it was gone.

Following the path of destruction, I moved across the room and flicked my headlamp on to find the other exit. Like most of the rooms and hallways I'd traveled through, this room was lit only by the dim glow of emergency glowlamps. Either the station had been damaged by all the firefights or COMPNOR was bleeding off power for some pet project.

So far I'd been able to follow the trail of sliced doors along my comrades' path, but I knew as I drew closer and closer to the hub of the station, I'd have to find a route of my own. I was lucky to have made it this far before the Imps had discovered the trail of bodies, and any firefight scene closer to the hub was bound to already be swarming with troops.

The next gallery I entered left few options. From the small service door I peered through, I scanned the room for possible routes. It was a cylindrical restaurant with a vaulted ceiling. It was well-lit, full of civvies and troops moving through, and offered no hiding places along either wall of the room to the opposite side.

In my mind's eye, I could see a holographic version of myself following a set of arrows and physics diagrams around the different parts of the room. Crawling under this, jumping to that, and even a classic cinematic swing from the chandelier. But every scenario I could picture ended with other holographic figures piercing mine with a hail of blasterfire.

I stared at the chandelier again. Namely, the large decorative frame attaching it and the other low-hanging lights in the room to the domed ceiling. Perhaps?

Backing up into the previous room, I found a service staircase that took me to one of the exclusive dining balconies overlooking the restaurant's main floor. Glad that the balcony was moodily lit yet still hoping no one would choose that moment to look up and admire it, I shimmied up a spiral column and grabbed onto the metal lighting frame.

It vibrated, causing the lights to shift a little. I held my breath, but nobody noticed.

Very carefully, I crawled out onto the metal frame. Below it hung the lights on long, decorative chains. Above it, large industrial chains attached it to various parts of the domed ceiling. And while the eyehooks attaching the chains to the ceiling appeared to be strong enough to take the weight of a belly dancing hutt, the eyelets attaching them to the metal frame looked like they might break under the pressure of a kowakian monkey-lizard's sneeze.

Inch by inch, I slid on my stomach across the frame, watching the lights below me jiggle by centimeters. The mere fifty-feet to the balcony on the opposite wall of the restaurant felt like the distance between a Gungan and his intellect. But I guess occasionally the twain do meet, because I made it to the other side without being noticed and headed down the balcony service stairs.

They dumped into a kitchen, which lead me into the restaurant's cantina, which was deserted. Except for the trooper sitting in the corner booth, reaching for his E-11 at the sight of my drawn weapon. I fired first, hitting his exposed head with a metal round. His limp, armored body slid down the slippery booth cushions and clattered noisily to the floor.

Stupid vinyl. Stupid plastoid-composite.

I dove behind the bar counter a second before the trooper's drinking buddies showed up and noticed their friend already under the table.

"TZR-1119, we've got a trooper down in Starfarer's Rest. Just shot. Shooter's probably still in the vicinity. Moving to investigate."

"Roger that, TZR-2338. May be part of the earlier party. Proceed with caution."

Six troopers fanned out, closing on both sides of the bar counter I was crouched behind. I looked down at my dual holdout blasters. Perhaps with a lot of dramatic leaping and rolling and a keg of Whyren's to kill the pain of getting shot a dozen times, I could take out all six, but their buddies in the next room would be on me in a second.

I turned to my last option, a small ventilation grate in the wall. It came away easily, and I slid into it on my back, barely fitting my shoulders. After just a few feet, the shaft angled up in two 45-degree joints to go vertical. Digging in my heels, I forced my way up. Fortunately, this part of the shaft was a bit wider, and I was able to get my hands on either side of me, pushing me up.

I moved vertically several more feet until the shaft angled again into the ceiling above the cantina. This part of the ventilation shaft was eroded away by decades of leaking pipes and opened up into the narrow space between the ceiling below and the next floor above. And it smelled like dead rats, which would probably explain the squishy, furry lumps my hands were coming in contact with as I pulled myself forward on my stomach.

Pinpoints of light shining through the ceiling from the room below lit my progress until the gap I was crawling through narrowed into complete darkness.

I shoved my way through, forcing my body forward as the floor and ceiling compressed it. At one point, my utility belt caught on something, impeding my progress. I pushed backward to unhook myself, but couldn't budge an inch.

Panic choked me. I'd been in tighter spots before, but this only served to remind me of the times I'd been buried alive. I remembered crawling alone through a cavern of Draulis IV, trying to gain access to a set of plans hidden in an underground fortress. I had forced myself too quickly through a narrow gap, and dirt had come down on top of me. I could vividly recall suffocating dust and the impression of hundreds of tons of dirt and rock pressing down on me. Aside from the worst torture methods I'd seen the Imps employ, getting buried alive was one of the worst ways I could think of to die. Especially utterly alone, my body trapped forever.

Very slowly and painfully, I slid my hand underneath my chest, feeling my ribs creak from the pressure. I pushed it past my stomach, feeling my breathing becoming difficult. Finally, with bits of metal and debris tearing away at the flesh on my hand as I scrapped it along, I found the release for my belt.

The buckle parted, and I moved forward, free from the encumberment. I finally dropped down into an old storage room and continued on foot.

I silently took out what little resistance I met, but my avoidance of the trooper squads took me to higher and higher levels, until I ran out. I was trapped in a cramped hallway, far too close to the station's control center for comfort. Imps moved by in a steady stream as they made preparations to leave.

My mind sorted through the options again. I could wait here, hoping no one would happen upon me, until they left. But that could leave me no time to find my comrades and get on the Sacul before the station crashed.

Or I could choose the only other viable option. I read the large wording on the door in front of me.

Airlock.

---------------
To be continued shortly


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