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Author Topic: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)  (Read 3955 times)

Offline Forja Varos

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2019, 10:11:58 AM »
Forja chuckled and shook his head, putting his mask back on. "No." He declined, before explaining. "If the agent were to escape, or any of the gang members to survive, my betrayal would become known to my master, and I would be declared a traitor."

"No . . . instead I'll be off somewhere maiming myself while you're doing this." He audibly grimaced, "Making it look like me and the assassin put up a good fight against you before falling, with the assassin giving up the location of the agent and the Ranocs before I could silence him and escape. Mind you, I'm sure my master will still be suspicious . . . but it should be enough to give me an alibi."

The Sith looked to each of them in turn before picking up the assassin's head again and moving for the door.

"Make this count." Were his parting words.

Hwin Breeze Ryukai Len Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 10:26:16 AM by Forja Varos »

Offline Hwin Breeze

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2019, 04:03:54 PM »
All the while, Hwin stood by passively as she listened, though her folded arms betrayed a measure of uncertainty and insecurity with the Sith’s presence. She had no place in this conversation, no reason to find quarrel or judge Forja’s intentions. So long as her fellow Jedi and the rest of the delegation got off this planet alive, she would serve and protect them, whichever means were necessary, no matter the cost. Even if it meant allying somewhat with a Sith to achieve their mission, which was turning out to be more complicated than her original job description intended to be.

With an upturned smirk, Hwin gave a small shrug of her shoulders, indicating that she wasn’t going to argue or complain against Asellus’ decision to trust Forja. “Whatever you think is best,” she said, waiting for further instruction from those deemed ‘leaders’ of her group. Already her mind was burdened by the thought of herself holding accountability for Forja’s actions, should things go awry…

Asellus Sunstalker | Ryukai Len | The Eski

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #47 on: April 20, 2019, 12:54:25 AM »
As Forja excited the hospital and slipped away down the alleys, someone watched him from the rooftops. If he looked, he would be unable to see or Force-sense anyone, however. An unknown voice suddenly touched the Sith's mind.

"Are the Jedi safe?"
Forja Varos Ryukai Len Hwin Breeze

Offline Forja Varos

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #48 on: April 20, 2019, 10:24:27 AM »
Forja sighed and stopped, tossing the assassin's head into the trash and pausing to lean against an alley wall as he folded his arms across his chest and stared blankly ahead. Anyone strong enough to reach out and speak directly to his mind was well beyond his ability to fight, so all that was left was to remain calm . . .

"They're fine." He answered, speaking out loud. "This threat is well within their abilities. My unwitting pawn will lead them where they need to go, but it's only a temporary fix. One does not anger a Dark Councilor and expect to walk away easily."

The Sith glanced upwards, his tone neutral as he scanned the rooftops . . .

"It would go a lot smoother with a Jedi master helping out." He stated, half a question, half an accusation.

Asellus Sunstalker

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #49 on: May 09, 2019, 03:35:10 PM »
A flicker of movement across one roof, a soft thump off to Forja's side, and a blue Twi'lek in the garb of a Jedi Consular faded into view, the stealth field generator around her waist explaining why he hadn't seen her. She mimicked his stance against the wall, radiating an aura of calm through the Force.

"We're safe here for now," she said, looking him over, "Noone will see or hear us, and I'm not here to harm you. You're Forja, right? Asellus has told me about you."

There was another flicker of movement and a second, closed dumpster in that alley suddenly wasn't there. Instead, there was a familiar sleepy akk dog curled up in that exact spot. The armored beast yawned, shook itself awake, and gave a very soft woof at Forja, his tail barely wagging. Spike was rigged with a simple saddle and reins, and behaving very differently from his usual playful self. The hot sting of the dog's Force aura was focused, but he seemed happy to see Forja.

"Spike still likes you," Master Sing said thoughtfully, "That's interesting..." Then she shook her head, turning her attention back to Forja, her expression becoming neutral. "I can't directly help the padawans. The Council has forbidden it," there was a note of bitterness in her voice, "Your master has been on our 'Most Wanted' list for some time now and after that near disaster at Hapes, we learned of the death bounty he put on their heads. The Council has decided to use the padawans as bait to lure him out, and I was merely sent to observe and gather intel."
The Eski Ryukai Len Hwin Breeze

Offline Forja Varos

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #50 on: May 09, 2019, 05:02:23 PM »
Forja vaguely side-eyed the Akk dog as it wandered up to the pair, fighting the urge to reach out and pet it. Even a hollow, burnt-out shell like the Sith could not resist wanting to give good boys their head pats. Instead he turned his attention to the figure in front of him, listening quietly as she explained the situation.

"Hmm . . ." He pondered, bringing a hand up to his mask and rubbing at the bottom of his chin. "That's a good lie." He decided, letting his hand down after a moment. "I'm sure your apprentice would believe it if it came from you or another master, even if they didn't agree. But I'm no starry-eyed Jedi."

The Sith pointed an accusing finger at the Twi'lek.

"You just said that the Padawans were being used as bait, but that you were forbidden to directly interfere. If my master came for them himself, they would be dead and there would be nothing you could do. That's not bait, that's a sacrifice."

Forja folded his arms again and leaned back, thinking.

"If I had to guess . . ." He theorized, "Your council has opted to let go of a few expendable students instead of try to protect them, because they're not strong enough to confront a Dark Councilor directly at this time. And YOU," Forja glanced at the Jedi, "not able to stand the thought of your Youngling being thrown to the dogs, are defying their wishes and shadowing the group, trying to keep them safe without letting them know what's truly happening."

"Am I wrong?"

Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 05:27:19 PM by Forja Varos »

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #51 on: May 09, 2019, 09:45:45 PM »
Master Sing chuckled softly at that, giving Forja a crooked smile, "I must be losing my touch if a mere apprentice could see through me." She pushed off from the wall, reaching to pet Spike's scaly head.

Spike leaned into the petting, doing his best to look cute. Sing gave a dramatic sigh, rolling her eyes, and gave a command to him in her native language. The akk's whole body shook as he all but bounced over to Forja, rolling over to get a belly rub and looking expectantly at the Sith. The lightsaber scar on his chest was still visible but looked better healed.

Sing stifled a laugh at the dog's antics, then said to Forja, "You're half wrong. It isn't that the Council is weak, but that they've overestimated your master. I'm honestly wondering if someone slipped spice into their break room coffee pot this morning, but they have somehow got it into their heads that my padawan Asellus has such a jinx on her through the Force, that she'll manage to do something stupid enough to draw Lord Roaken out."

She shook her head, stooping to check Spike's saddle straps as the pup still awaited his petting. "You and I both know that isn't going to work. He'll never come out himself to deal with padawans. And... you were right about them not knowing I'm here," she blushed a little at that, "Can you really blame me though? You've met Asellus. You know just as well as I do how trouble seems to find her."

Finished adjusting the saddle harness, Sing leaned against the wall again, arms crossed over her chest and a thoughtful look on her face as she glanced at Forja. "We still need to catch him though. You're his apprentice, and I believe you mentioned he wants you dead as well? What do you think would make good bait to draw him out?"
Forja Varos
« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 09:53:58 PM by Asellus Sunstalker »

Offline Forja Varos

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #52 on: May 10, 2019, 08:31:01 PM »
The Sith sighed and knelt down by the Akk dog, carefully patting its belly. "You're putting me in a difficult position here, Jedi." He muttered, sounding bitter. "I'm now forced to ponder which of us is the bigger traitor. You for suggesting we work together, or me for considering it."

Forja glanced up at the Twi'lek, his expression unreadable behind the mask. "You realize if either of our superiors knew we were even having this conversation, that we'd be marched up to the nearest wall and shot? Figuratively in your case, literally in mine? I don't mind using your Padawans as expendable puppets to strike at my enemies, but what you're proposing here is something quite different . . ."

Asellus Sunstalker

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #53 on: May 10, 2019, 08:58:49 PM »
"Is it treason?" Sing asked, looking down at Forja and raising an eyebrow, "I thought our two factions were at peace by your new Emperor's decree? Surely a temporary alliance to catch a rogue who threatens unending war wouldn't be punished so harshly? Hm, but perhaps things work more differently for you Sith than I realized."

She looked away, staring at the opposite wall in thought for a few moments. Then she said quietly, "I would offer myself as bait, and leave you out of it completely if I thought that would work. You hold darkness in your heart, but you seek only knowledge, not war. I would spare you death for that alone. The Force guides us all in mysterious ways..."

Looking back down at him, she said sternly, "I don't mind you working with the padawans. It's a good learning experience for them, and for you, but I wouldn't be so quick to count them as expendable if I were you."
Forja Varos

Offline Forja Varos

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #54 on: May 10, 2019, 09:36:51 PM »
Forja internally rolled his eyes at the Jedi Master as he stood up from petting Spike's belly, making no attempt to disguise how he felt. "Now now . . . lets not be naive here." He chided. "You know as well as I do that this peace is temporary. Emperor Aegus hates your kind with a cold determination, and the only thing keeping the Empire from marching on your worlds right now is the fact that it isn't strong enough to overcome both the Alliance AND the Mandalorians."

Forja returned to his spot on the wall, folding his arms again.

"Putting all that aside though . . ." He continued, "It's fine. I'll work with you on this. I'm already staring death in the eyes, so it doesn't much matter. Let me be blunt and tell you that you can't draw Roaken out. He's old and crafty. The type of Sith you can only hit from an angle, never straight on. No . . . the thing to do here is to gather evidence of his war mongering and present it to the Imperial Admiralty. They won't tolerate anyone else interfering with their plans for galactic conquest."

The Sith rubbed at the bottom of his chin, thinking.

"Now, I already have some . . . His involvement with the Hapes incident, this mess here on Zeltros, and his investments in Gurontech, but it's not enough. We need more."

Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 07:54:23 AM by Forja Varos »

Offline The Eski

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Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2019, 01:06:26 AM »
"Alright then." Ryukai spoke up as he tried to stand up. "Lets get . . . Lets- Ugh . . ."

The Echani let out a pained groan as he tipped back on to the bed, laying back down with a thud. R-12 quickly stepped over to the giant and looked him over, mechanical eyes whirring in his head.

"Error. Flesh name: Ryukai is offline." The droid intoned, checking the Jedi over, before lifting his arms and legs and straightening out his posture in the bed. "Will not be useful for combat in current condition, and will be vulnerable to attack. Query: Will we be leaving him here alone? Hostiles could take advantage of this situation."

Hwin Breeze Asellus Sunstalker

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #56 on: May 31, 2019, 02:43:47 PM »
Asellus looked over at Ryu, then at the droid, then Hwin, and back to the door where Forja had vanished. She paced, lost in thought, finally coming to a decision. "R-12, would you mind looking after him until he wakes up? If Hwin and I leave now, we should be able to catch up with Forja and get more information before he leaves. I get the feeling he's not telling us everything, as usual." Turning to Hwin, she asked, "If you still want to come, that is. I could use the extra help from a fellow Force user."



Sing looked at Forja with a mischievous spark in her eyes and a crooked smile, "That's the spirit." But at his next words, she raised an eyebrow in surprise, "I hadn't heard about the Gurontech one. What was he trying to do with them?" Her expression shifted, becoming more serious, "And more importantly, do you know where more of this evidence can be found?"
Hwin Breeze The Eski

Offline Hwin Breeze

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #57 on: May 31, 2019, 09:33:07 PM »
Hwin nodded, indicating that she would follow Asellus if her presence was needed. “What do you need me to do, intimidate him?” She said in jest, doubting that she would be of much “help” in gleaning information from a Sith.

For Ryukai’s safety however, Hwin hesitated at the thought of leaving the other padawan alone with a strange droid, this R-12, that she barely knew. Or (even if the droid was trustworthy) if R-12 would be an adequate bodyguard to protect Ryu from being attacked in their absence, if other gang members were on their trail.

“What about the Queen?” Hwin asked concernedly. “Any contact with her?  The rest of the delegation ought to be at the Palace by now. Ryu would be safer there, I think. It’d be a better fortress than this place.” She shrugged her shoulders with a wary glance around the room. What this street clinic lacked, Hwin imagined the Palace would have more resources to offer Ryukai in terms of security and medical services. “Plus, if he does come around, at least he’ll already be at the meeting place he’s supposed to be. Ryu will take care of diplomacy matters, Asellus and I can get a start on finding ‘that agent’, and we’ll all meet up somewhere in the middle, hopefully.”

Asellus Sunstalker | The Eski
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 06:17:11 AM by Hwin Breeze »

Offline The Eski

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Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #58 on: June 01, 2019, 02:33:30 AM »
R-12 nodded his head at Hwin's suggestion, his tone shifting back to a more organic quality. "That is a sound proposal. I am an unknown party and the palace is expecting you." He said, whirring his eyes. "If you'll permit it, I could accompany him and contact you when he awakens, or I could go with you now. I'm going after the Ranocs regardless of if you succeed or not, so whether they get wiped out now or later makes little difference to me."

--------------------------------

"I have some ideas . . . but it's something I need to look into first." Forja replied, removing his mask again and scratching at his nose. "My master has some financial ties to a pirate group called the Blue Jackals that seem suspicious, though it could be nothing. There are also some other possibilities as well, but I'm going to need to weigh the risks of investigating each before I commit."

The Sith frowned, looking displeased. "As for Gurontech . . . I'm pretty sure he was banking rolling them, or at least one of the parties doing so. They're a biotech subsidiary of Cerzka Corp. that purportedly makes specialized gene therapy treatments and medicines. The truth of the matter is that they deal in bio-weapons. Artificial plagues, mutated attack animals, and other more exotic things."

Forja regarded Sing with an amused look. "Your apprentice actually helped me and another interested party recover some material from a lab of theirs that had been compromised. Granted, I'm the one that was actually responsible for one of their pet projects breaking containment and killing the research staff, but she didn't need to know that . . ."

Hwin Breeze Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 03:01:14 AM by The Eski »

Offline Hwin Breeze

Re: To Blaze a Trail (Continuation)
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2019, 01:19:46 AM »
“If you could keep an eye him for now,” Hwin motioned to R-12, “I’ll let the Queen’s agents know we’re here.  If Ryu can be smuggled out of here, as long as he’s in safe hands on the way to the Palace, the Queen’s services should be able to look after him just fine.  You’re free to go, when he reaches a transport.”  She meant it kindly, not wanting to waste R-12's time. The mercenary probably had more interesting, productive things to do in hunting Ranocs, rather than serve as a bedside nurse for Ryukai.

It would take about a minute or two for Hwin to whip out her com device and make arrangements with the Queen’s agents as to where, when, and how Ryukai would be moved from the clinic, and who would likely be bringing Ryukai in when the Queen’s services arrived to pick him up (R-12 was an unknown party after all).  If Asellus wanted to rush on ahead to try and locate Forja within that time, Hwin could always catch up with her friend later. With comlinks on hand, communication between the padawans in finding each other wouldn’t be a problem.

With the preparations to fetch Ryukai underway, Hwin would offer to set R-12 up with one of the Queen’s agent’s personal communications frequency, in case there was need for R-12 to contact the agent during the Ryukai delivery, in the padawans' absence.  Hwin would offer to give R-12 her own com frequency as well.  If all three of them – she, Asellus, and R-12 – would be tracking down Ranocs together (sort of, if you could call it a "team"), then keeping R-12 in touch with her might be useful, for sharing information. 

“You’ll get a few credits when they pick up 'the package', so make sure he’s still breathing in one piece when they arrive.”  Hwin slipped a humored note, while maintaining her guarded posture in front of R-12.  The droid may have been on friendly terms with the padawans so far, but it was still a mercenary nevertheless. Its loyalty could be bought and swayed with coin. Hwin wasn’t going to give her hopes up that R-12 would stick beside them all the way in fighting the Ranocs… or if the droid was entirely trustworthy… but she could at least give it some benefit of the doubt.

“Free to go, free to stay,” Hwin shrugged at R-12. “If you need us, or we need you, we’ll keep in contact.”  Not that she was trying to rid herself of R-12 as she cut the conversation short, but time was of the essence.  Especially with a kidnapped victim on the line.


Asellus Sunstalker | The Eski

 

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