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  1. #51
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    The Great White North
    An explosive device? She had been expecting something along the lines of the "illegal" blasters that had been planted among the boxes - not a weapon of indiscriminate destruction. How many more surprises were there in the hold? Neva didn't have to wave the villagers back as the ones nearest had already backed away, leaving her standing with the Mahrs.

    "If someone is trying to start a war, they may have done more to ensure the success of their mission. Can you use the Force to find other 'problem packages'?"

    Of course, if that would be too much of a strain, they'd simply have to move slower while they opened each case to check the contents. That sounded more time consuming and dangerous than she would like.

    "We may have to move the ship further away, dump the contents, then sort it to minimize the potential impact on the survivors. I really don't like this."
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  2. #52
    Siralai Mahr

    "I can," Siralai said. "It will take time, but I think it's worth the delay it will cause. Better to discover anything amiss now than to find more unexpected... surprises... later."

    And a bomb would have been an unpleasant surprise indeed. Siralai was hesitant to suggest moving the ship in case there was another bomb somewhere in the hold - who knew what entering the planet's atmosphere had shaken loose? Better to move slowly and avoid disturbing the contents of the containers as much as possible.

    "Rossi, you can help me." Like most Sith Purebloods, Rossi was adept with the Force. Siralai was convinced that with guidance, her newly adopted daughter would wield her power for the light side - and the only way to learn that was practice, so Siralai did not hesitate to encourage the girl to use her skills. "Trystan and Neva, can you keep the crowd at bay in the meantime?"

    Not that it took much to keep the wary settlers at a safe distance. The residents watched cautiously, surprised to see what looked like a Jedi and a Sith working in unison as they scoured the packages with their Force-honed mental senses.

    It was an effort. Beads of sweat stood out on Rossi's brow. Siralai showed the strain less, but she was pale and determined, utterly focused. Time slipped by - how much time, neither of them could have said, intent as they were on their work - and Rossi's hand brushed a small box that made her recoil.

    She passed it to Siralai, who laid an open palm on the surface, then opened the lid. It appeared to be full of hypodermics of ordinary medicines, antibiotics and pain relievers.

    "Tainted," Siralai said with a slight frown. "Deliberately poisoned, if I don't miss my guess. So the bomb goes off. The survivors treated the wounded. And then..."

    It was devious, she thought. Even worse than just killing people with an explosion. Giving people hope, only to rip it away.

    "This was planned carefully. And whoever did it has access to resources. I don't know what to make of it, Neva," the former Jedi admitted.

    The other cargo that the manifest indicated for the Imperial colony was clean from tampering. But the cargo for the Republic colony...

    "It's exactly the same thing," Siralai said. "Another bomb, and more poisoned medicine. Whoever this was... either they aren't on either side and we have an unknown player, or they're willing to attack their own people to achieve their ends. That makes them very dangerous. We need to figure this out quickly, or we may not be able to prevent bloodshed on their next attempt."

    And if they had gone this far, Siralai thought, a next attempt was sure to come.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

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