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  1. #61
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is online now Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Teizi Lin (and Padawan Dallyn)

    At Trystan's conditions, the Jedi's stony mien fell in visual evidence of how her heart also sank to be reminded again of how the Order tended to treat Purebloods and Sith in general. No, not only the Order, but herself and her padawan included. She had to be honest with herself - despite the fact that many of the Sith lords she had met were megalomaniac despots, she had slain them and their apprentices with little thought after requests for peace had fallen on deaf ears. Every night, though, their voices echoed in her head and she wondered if she could have tried harder. Was it as one of those dark lords had claimed - that she liked it? Even perhaps enjoyed being a harbinger of death? Just now, her own padawan had noted what several Masters had commented about her performance in the past. She was 'combat adept' - sometimes that was a good thing, but it had also garnered her some disfavour. Realizing she'd been in thought for some seconds now, a light blush accompanied her contrite features.

    "Again, I must apologize, and not for my padawan - that was rude of me. I apologize for giving you any concern as to your family's well-being. You have my word that I will not raise my hand against them, nor will I allow anyone else to."

    Dallyn, seeming to be fascinated by this sudden display of emotion from his Master, manged to peel his eyes off her and do his part. "I as well apologize for my terrible behaviour and also promise to be at peace with all you consider family and friend."

    Promises thus made, Teizi turned to regard Pyrran upon his return to the group. She felt that she owed additional apology to this man, but it didn't look like now was the precise time to offer it. He seemed...upset and distracted. She decided to instead offer her sympathies.

    "I often find holo calls to bear bad tidings. That's why I usually turn mine off..." she immediately regretted the admission, but the damage was done.

    "I knew it!" the padawan exulted. "I knew that you couldn't be out of range that often!"

    "It's the sound." Teizi added with a shrug, emotion once again disappearing as she desperately tried to pull the proceedings back into some sense of formality. "But we have a lead to follow. Dallyn, please see if the location this gentleman has provided seems to align with the last known location of this recruitment party."
    Last edited by Quaxo9; 05-31-2020 at 03:40 PM.
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

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  2. #62
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is online now Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Neva Xolte

    Though his glance was brief, the look on his face made her follow his gaze - as ill-advised as that was - and her hearts nearly stopped. Her brain didn't give her time to reason that he could have been looking at any number of people in that vicinity. It didn't allow her to suggest to herself that a lot of people had cybernetics and just because he had them didn't mean that he was the one using the twins' powers. In fact, the very idea was ridiculous. He never would have been accepted into the ring if they had checked his Force ability and found their signature.

    No, the adrenaline already rushing through her veins and the prescribed position of 'fight' only had enough time to take three things into account. This man hated Rossi. This man had cybernetics. This man was the one who did those horrible things to those children. Neva felt a strange heat take hold of her, even as the blood ran away from her face. Every muscle tightened to the snapping point, causing her body to visibly contract. When Gaius looked at her again, she spat out the words "You slimy son of a Hutt." before she screamed and flew upwards into his face.

    The rest of the fight was a bit of a blur. She'd set her knee into the man's chin before striking him repeatedly in the neck with quick, stabbing jabs. He knocked her loose, but she raked her fingers over his cybernetic implants to stop her momentum and attacked again. Neva vaulted over his head, but this time took firm hold of his chin and pulled him over with her. When he hit the ground, she used her elbows and fists to savagely pummel the man until he stopped twitching.

    The sudden change in the pace of the fight, not to mention the competitor's attitude had made the man in charge of calling the match a little tardy. Gaius was alive when the enforcers pulled Neva off of him, though she was still snarling unintelligibly and barking the odd word in her native tongue. Finally, she seemed to realize where she was and spat on the ground before turning toward the exit. Medics came to remove Gaius from the ring even as the crowd cheered for the sudden upset of the favourite. The roar of the crowd couldn't make it through the roar in her own ears, and Neva sagged against the bars of the exit - trying to catch both her breath and her wits.

    The jab of a needle into her thigh surprised her. She looked up, ready to take on whoever it was, but found herself looking into the face of the ringmaster. He looked...afraid? Apologetic?

    "Consider this a gift. You made me a lot of money today."

    Neva looked at him, completely lost until the adrenals hit her system, sending her hearts racing and lungs gasping for more oxygen to feed them.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen! We have a surprise for you! This is a double header! The fiesty little Zabrak - our new hero of the ring - has a new challenger! Who is this mysterious person? Place your bets, folks, this is bound to be a fight to remember!"

    She spun around, chest heaving. Double header? She hadn't agreed to fight anyone else today. What was going on...it didn't matter. This wasn't in her contract - she could leave if she wanted to. Turning to do just that, she was greeted by a row of vibrostaffs. Clearly, they'd thought of the same thing she had - and they weren't giving her the option to back out. She spat at them too before turning to re-enter the ring, to another rousing cheer from her new fans.

    In the centre of the ring was a robed being with its head bowed. She approached her position warily, unsure of what this new match would entail. If they could make her fight whenever they wanted - what other rules could they change? The bell sounded and her opponent lifted his head and threw back his hood. A young Zabrak - pure Iridonian if she ever saw one - and her brain finally clicked in on his attire. She would have guessed soon enough anyway as he tossed her a light saber, which fell into the sand inches from her feet. Neva looked at it, stupefied.

    "What am I supposed to do with this?"

    The boy's blade ignited and he drew his lightsaber up into a salute. "I suggest you pick it up...but either way, you will die."
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  3. #63
    Pyrran Onyk

    Pyrran found Teizi's sympathy reassuring. It gave him a sense of... normalcy, somehow. As if the friendships he had made weren't about to be blown up. He wished the forced ties that bound him to his master and the Empire could be silenced as easily as an annoying holocom.

    "I think I should have shut mine off, too," Pyrran replied with a rueful smile - that broadened a bit at the interchange between master and apprentice. So different than his relationship with his own, which was strained even on the surface and boiled with Pyrran's hatred underneath. Hatred he suspected was mutual. He probably only remained alive because he remained useful. But that could easily change.

    Turning serious again, he said, "Felix, Visper... might I have a word? I'm afraid it's rather important."

    "Of course," Visper said, and Felix nodded.

    Pyrran took a deep breath. "Please believe me that I am entirely on your side. But there are things you must know. The call I just received was from my master. It concerns a certain... difficulty of yours, Felix, that my master has discovered."

    He hesitated to say more about the specifics of the 'difficulty'; he didn't know who already knew, and if the newcomers could be trusted with that information. It didn't seem the sort of thing a Jedi would cause trouble about, but being circumspect had become a habit. Apparently what he said was enough to make his meaning understood. Felix blanched, and Visper clutched reflexively at her husband's arm.

    Pyrran hated himself for this. Surely they would hate him now too. "My master plans to exploit this difficulty to his own advantage. He demanded that I bring you to him, Felix. I have stalled him for the time being. I told him I needed time to locate you, and he has accepted that. The delay should provide time to find a solution. In the meantime, you needn't worry about my master spreading the information - the knowledge is an advantage to him, and he will not share it with someone who might compete for his prize. I will do my best to stop him permanently. For now, you needed to be warned. I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am for this. I know an apology is not enough..."

    Felix shook his head. "An apology? Why would you apologize? I'm pretty sure I just heard you say you had my back. So... thank you. I would have been walking into a trap if you hadn't taken our side. Seriously, thank you. You're a good man, Pyrran."

    At the words 'good man,' Vette poked him lightly in the ribs. "See?" she said. "I'm not the only one who thinks so."

    Felix shook Pyrran's hand. As their hands clasped, Pyrran exhaled a sigh of relief. He was still very concerned about Felix's safety, but at least he hadn't lost his newfound friends.

    "Well," Felix said. "About your Sith, Teizi..."

    "I pulled up some information about the big shots in the audience at the fight club," Theron said. "No one listed here who seems likely to be your Sith, though..." He rattled off a few names - mercenaries, crime bosses, shady petty nobles, and the like. No one who would ring a bell. Not until he got to the name Whuddle the Hutt.

    Vette gasped softly, and Pyrran snarled a reflexive Sith snarl. "I'm going to kill him," he said quietly.

    Theron held up a hand. "Look, none of us are big fans of the Hutts, but the Republic is officially neutral about what goes on in Hutt Space, so I can't officially encourage you to..." As he was speaking, he was scanning Whuddle's file on his datapad... and his right eyebrow climbed higher and higher as he took in the information it contained. "Actually, you know what? Changed my mind. We can absolutely kill this particular Hutt. I'm in. So, I guess our paths converge. On to the fighting ring, then."
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 06-01-2020 at 08:26 PM.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea
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  4. #64
    Siralai Mahr

    Siralai, Rossi, and Lana all gave hearty cheers and applause when Neva won her match - and rather strikingly so. But what came next made them ill at ease. From their vantage point, they couldn't see the forcibly injected adrenal, or the guards preventing Neva from leaving the ring. What they did see was sufficient reason for concern, though. Neva had given no indication she planned to fight an immediate second round... and looked in no shape to do so. And when the weapons were presented...

    "Does your friend know how to use that?" Lana asked, worried.

    "I really doubt it," Siralai replied with a frown. "That won't be a fair fight at all."

    Siralai suspected that Neva had at least some Force sensitivity. She had both seen and heard a Force ghost, after all. But innate ability was one thing. Using a lightsaber in serious combat was another. Even the Jedi who were strongest in the Force trained for years to master those skills. As far as she knew, Neva had never held a lightsaber before.

    "I don't mean to interfere, but I think we should..." Lana gestured toward the ring.

    Siralai nodded. "We should be ready to step in. Neva may hate us for it, but there's way too much wrong here."

    Being ready to step in was easier said than done, though. The crowd was pressing in close for a better view, and even an ex-Jedi and a Sith agent had difficulty clearing a path to the ring.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 06-01-2020 at 06:20 PM.
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  5. #65
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is online now Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Teizi Lin

    She was prepared to go on and follow this lead they'd been provided with - these people had been more than patient and helpful and it was about time they got out of their way. It seemed like there was a lot more than met the eye to this whole party, though, as Teizi listened to the exchange between the young Sith lord and Master Visper and her husband. The news was disturbing, to say the least, even though she knew not of the difficulty the man mentioned. Being hunted by a Darth was never a good thing. She would know - and wished the young lord all manner of luck in what she figured he was intending by the term 'permanently'.

    Theron too seemed ready to send the Jedi and her charge on their way as he worked through the list of spectators at this one particular fight ring. He was right - none of the names had a very 'Sith' ring to them. Teizi didn't have know Whuddle the Hutt to understand why someone might want him dead, though she had to admit she was a bit surprised by Theron's willingness to put SIS hands to the work. That was a dangerous thing to do in this day and age where the Republic and the Empire both wanted control of Hutt space so badly. She merely nodded in response to the declaration that she and Dallyn would have company to their next destination. It was only after the Sith lord was out of earshot that Teizi quietly spoke to the SIS agent.

    "If I might ask - what made you change your tune so quickly? I can only imagine what a Hutt could do to garner this much attention from the SIS."
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  6. #66
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is online now Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Neva Xolte

    The boy lunged forward as Neva bent to pick up the weapon. It was better than having nothing in her hands. Instead of standing to her feet to meet him, she continued her movement forward - tucking herself into a ball and rolling under his arm to come up behind him and deal him a blow to the back of the head with the lightsaber's hilt. Maybe it was the stims, but she couldn't help making a smart remark as the apprentice staggered forward.

    "Whaddya know. I guess I do know what to do with it after all."

    Unlike Gaius, the boy was easily rankled by her jibe and whirled on her with a roar and a series of fast sweeps, each meant to kill.


    The spectator

    She had leaned forward with interest during the woman's final attack on the other combatant. The savagery. The rage. It was so satisfying to see, but still, it wasn't enough. Her fingers tapped impatiently on the railing as she waited for the announcer to get on with his part. Bloody nuisance working with civilians. So inefficient. Her apprentice made his appearance and his challenge. A series of chills ran up her spine - she realized how much she'd been anticipating this moment and allowed her eyes to drift upward in enjoyment for a brief moment. While bringing her gaze downward, she made a discovery.

    "Reyth. I see a lost lamb. Why don't you bring her back to the fold."

    The apprentice bowed her head and slipped silently out into the crowd. She too had seen the Pureblood girl and would do her very best to ensure she met her master's expectations.

    Once again bringing her focus to the ring, she was less impressed to see a Jedi and...interesting. Imperial Intelligence. Well, she couldn't have them getting in the way of her experiment, nor would extinguishing a prominent Agent work in her favour. If it were an accident, however...but first - was it worth it? Her eyes returned to the fight now underway, ignoring her apprentice entirely, focusing instead on the fairer Zabrak as she dodged his wild swings. "Come on." she hissed, "Damn you. Do you have it or not?"

    And she had her answer. There was no way that Neva could have anticipated that attack. Even if she had, the chances that she could have avoided it were extremely slim. That she did indeed avoid it with her limbs intact and managed to clock the Sith fighter on the head with a dead lightsaber...a miracle. It was proof enough. It was time to take control.

    The hooded figure finally stood and lightning shot from her fingertips into the stands. The wooden stands. Smoke rose, then flames leapt into the air, even as a few bodies convulsed and fell to the ground - hapless victims despite being the unintended targets. Fear. Wonderful fear was thick on the air and mingled with the smell of the smoke. She gave herself a moment to enjoy the acoustics of the upper box before turning to follow her young apprentice's footsteps down to the pit level.
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  7. #67
    Theron Shan

    Theron jammed his hands in his pockets, looking a little awkward. "Technically this still isn't an SIS matter," he admitted. "There's no intelligence or security concern here for the Republic. It's not SIS attention. It's just... me. Acting for myself. I think it's fully justified, and if the powers that be in the Republic want to slap me on the wrist for it, so be it. Somehow I don't think anyone's going to be crying too loudly for Whuddle."

    Hands out of pockets again, he gestured vaguely with the datapad. "Whuddle's a piece of work, even by Hutt standards. He trades in girls. Young girls. I'm assuming I don't have to spell out for you exactly what purposes they're used for. Any other slaves that pass through his hands, he's equally merciless to - working them to the bone in horrific conditions. Sky high death rate. Because anyone can be replaced, right?"

    "I imagine that's how he managed to anger this Sith so badly. Most Sith wouldn't care, of course, but Pyrran seems very attached to his Twi'lek friend, huh? Anyway, Whuddle deserves it. Trust me on that."

    For a moment, Theron glanced back toward the beach and met Jasper's eyes. The fanfare of a goodbye moment seemed melodramatic under the circumstances. This wasn't exactly a deadly mission, and he and Jasper weren't exactly... well. Anyway. It could wait. Theron smiled, though, and waved. He was more glad than he cared to admit that Jasper waved back.
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  8. #68
    Siralai Mahr

    Their descent to the ring was interrupted by a sudden outbreak of lightning - and this was more than just a stroke of bad luck. Siralai could feel the Force energy crackling in the air. It was enough to make her hair stand up.

    Lana swore eloquently and angrily, as Siralai moved to shield Rossi's body with her own. "Do you have your lightsaber?" she asked Rossi. Rossi nodded. "Good," Siralai replied. "Stick close to me."

    Getting down to the ring by the direct route was no longer an option. The way was blocked with fallen timbers, some of them smoldering. In every direction, panicked bystanders were pushing and shoving toward any means of escape. A few people even lay prone and motionless, or obviously wounded and calling for help. Even as Siralai's heart beat a rapid cadence of fear for Neva, she couldn't just step over the injured civilians to reach her friend. She wasn't going to abandon Neva either, of course... but they were going to have to split up.

    "Lana, keep trying to make your way to Neva!" Siralai told her. "Rossi and I will help the people here."

    Lana nodded and disappeared into the straining crowd.

    Hang in there, Neva! Siralai willed, as she and Rossi bent to tend to the fallen. Once everyone was safe, finding the culprit was going to become an urgent priority.
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  9. #69
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is online now Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Teizi Lin

    On the outside, the Jedi simply nodded in response to Theron's explanation and stood patiently awaiting the group's departure. Inside, her mind was frantic. What was she going to do? She couldn't in good conscience allow someone to murder someone else in cold blood, could she? Even if the recipient was most deserving of that death blow? But could she stand by and watch as this person exploited hundreds? Either decision required that she support one wrongdoing over another. She'd had the protection of being on the side of right for so long now...she'd almost forgotten what it was like to have to make this sort of decision on her own. Of course, if she were truly on her own, it would have been a easier decision to make. She had her padawan's tutelage to consider. What would she be telling him by allowing the Sith to slaughter the Hutt - or by letting the Hutt continue his 'business'. There was no good answer. With any luck, this Whuddle would be no where to be found...or perhaps the group would separate at the arena. There was no sense stressing over something that might not happen.

    The Sith - Pyrran - and his companion returned and the small party left with no further comment. Teizi was glad that her padawan had thus far remained quiet - though she wasn't certain that was a good sign. Coils of black smoke appeared in the air above the twisted streets and she momentarily wondered if there was a bakery or forge in the vicinity until the screams became audible. The mood of the crowd shifted as people ran into their midst with the news. A crazed Sith lord had set a local arena on fire in the middle of what had been looking to be a good fight. Teizi didn't need any further excuse to break into a run in the direction of the chaos. Mission or no, people were in danger and she planned to be of service.
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  10. #70
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is online now Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Reyth

    Her lithe figure wove between the fleeing spectators and burning debris with ease, seeming to disappear and reappear around hazards like a ghost. When she pulled back her hood, the pale skin and short-cropped blonde hair in conjunction with the black marks around her eyes and cheekbones certainly lent to that idea. She could see the Pureblood once again - it appeared that she was a captive of a Jedi. Strange. The girl could have easily overpowered the older Jedi as at this very moment the elder woman was bending over some casualty. The situation certainly merited some caution. Moving to get into the girl's field of vision, she waved and beckoned her to come over, keeping one eye on the Jedi.

    Neva, Arksynn and the Spectator

    The effort expended in the previous bout was starting to take its toll - Neva stumbled as the effects of the stim started to lose their potency. Her opponent wasted no opportunity in pressing his attack, using the Force to push her further off balance and into the sand. She managed to roll out of the way of his follow-through, the lightsaber leaving a glossy mass in the sand as it smoldered on contact. At this point, Neva had attempted to press every slightly button-like fob on the lightsaber in an effort to get it to be a sword instead of a lump of metal. She was done playing with it and hucked it at the apprentice's head as he looked up to sight her after his missed attempt. It probably wasn't the stims that made her giggle when it bounced off his eye socket. It did look hilarious.

    Arksynn had been beyond furious at the indignity and he almost let it overtake him - until he remembered what it was she had thrown. A fanged grin spread across his face as he ignited the second lightsaber she'd so conveniently provided. Neva's face fell with the realization that she'd made a pretty stupid move and started proactively looking for another way out of the ring. It hadn't escaped her notice that the arena was now on fire and that panic had set in everywhere. Maybe she could use that to her advantage somehow...

    A blur of red next to her ear and a burning sensation in her right shoulder told her that while everyone else might have an exit plan - she did not. She had managed to duck most of the way out of range, but she'd be wearing that burn mark for awhile. The downer after-effects of stim use were starting to set in. At least, that's how she comforted herself when she noticed the approach of his second blade far too late to do anything about it. Fortunately, she didn't have to. Neva found herself airborne - as she moved backwards she could see a robed figure behind her opponent. As her body continued to move through a rather spectacular upward arc, she looked into the stands, hoping to catch sight of Siralai, Rossi and Lana. Were they safe? Did they get hurt? She hoped they made it out okay. There were no answers for her as everything went black.

    The zabrak's body tumbled to the ground and lay still even as the boy before her panted and made to follow. He made one step before the lightsaber pierced through his abdomen. The apprentice stared at his Master's blade dumbly, unable to lift his head even when the blade was withdrawn and he sank to his knees.

    "Why, my Master? Did I not...do everything....?"

    "Fool. I told you fight her to test her. When you saw her power, you were to desist and retain her. You were too weak in the Force to sense it, so you are of no use to me."

    The black-robed figure strode past the young zabrak as he slumped to the ground, gesturing to the two troopers waiting behind the fence. The quickly scooped up unconscious Neva and the four made their exit - lightning setting the gates and upper booths on fire before they disappeared underground.
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