Journey of the Empty Nest

Jachra Aug 21st, 2017 648 Never
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  1. GM: "So. High Lord Theux Paddox," Telena says as they go.
  2. GM: "He seems to have stopped his descent for now - you have a gift at that, incidentally."
  3. Tanith: "I have a knack for figuring out where to hit people."
  4. Tanith: "It's . . ."
  6. She grimaces.
  7. Tanith: "It's kind of distressing how much sense it all tends to make, when you sift through it."
  8. Tanith: "I keep feeling like it could have been me."
  9. GM: "That feeling might be worth examining."
  10. Tanith: "I already have."
  11. Tanith: She waves a hand noncomitally.
  12. Tanith: "I remember the exact point."
  13. GM: "Ah. You already had - yes."
  14. Tanith: "No, actually. Earlier. Way earlier."
  15. GM: "When you were having problems with the memory loss?"
  16. Tanith: She nods.
  18. "Not too different, really. Kill a bunch of gangers who frankly had it coming, or cross a guy who'd be more than happy to take it out on my family."
  19. Tanith: "I thought about it."
  20. Tanith: "And it would have been the sensible choice."
  21. Tanith: "And . . . I decided that, frak it. That wasn't who I wanted to be. So I threw the dice and won the fight that followed."
  22. Tanith: "But I could have gone the other way, and I nearly did."
  23. Tanith: "It was a harder choice than it should have been."
  24. GM: "The Force won't prevent that. That I know."
  25. Tanith: "Sometimes it lets us get away with taking a stand, and sometimes . . . well, sometimes it doesn't."
  26. Tanith: "But if we knew we'd succeed, it wouldn't really be a decision."
  27. Tanith: "Funny. I didn't know at the time, but my youngest sister?"
  28. Tanith: "Eventually found out that she'd heard exactly what the hell went down that day."
  29. Tanith: "Even if I'd kept myself together it would have screwed me in the end."
  30. GM: "I can't imagine it would have gone over well."
  31. Tanith: "You know how our mom found out she was a sensitive?"
  32. Tanith: "Because when mom was in danger, Serls pulled on the dark side and tried to hate an Operative to death."
  33. Tanith: "And by all accounts she did a remarkably good job of it."
  34. GM: Kicked her a good ten meters out into orbit from an open wound in the ship.
  35. Tanith: "Going over not well is an understatement."
  36. GM: "...Kairin's death very nearly unleashed something deeply unpleasant on the Galaxy."
  37. Tanith: "Unintended consequences."
  38. Tanith: "It's easy to think it's just us who pays the price if we slip."
  39. GM: "The old me would have said that would be a fantastic reason to avoid attachments, but new me's enlightened a bit more."
  41. She nods.
  42. Tanith: "That's a trap too. 'This may destroy me, but it's worth it'."
  43. GM: "If you'd died on Jeitis?"
  44. Tanith: "No. I - I wanted to live, and I wanted to go home again. But it wasn't going to be up to me, and it needed doing."
  46. She shakes her head.
  48. "Just . . . doing something we know is wrong."
  49. Tanith: "We never really know the knock-on effects of what we're doing."
  50. GM: "Yes - I see what you mean."
  51. Tanith: "And I think in Syrena and Theux's cases they knew on some level where their path was taking them -"
  52. Tanith: "- but they both decided that was worth the cost."
  53. Tanith: "That's why I feel like we have to be able to lose."
  54. GM: "You've become wise, Tanith, at least in some fashion. I'm sure that comes as a disappointment."
  55. GM: She quirks a smile.
  56. GM: The door slides open, and Shae knocks on the frame.
  57. Tanith: "By three ways may we attain wisdom," Tanith quotes lightly.
  58. Tanith: She gives Shae a wink.
  59. Tanith: "First, by reflection, which is noblest."
  60. Tanith: "Second, by imitation, which is easiest."
  61. Tanith: "And third, by experience, which is bitterest."
  62. Tanith: "I guess I feel like I earned what I have, at least?" she says drily.
  63. GM: Shae smiles back at her, and Telena nods.
  64. "I think you have. While you're training the others, do continue to seek your own enlightenment - you may find it in unexpected places."
  65. Tanith: "Counterintuitively, I have noticed that I learn a lot through teaching. I guess you really have to break down the flaws in what you're doing."
  66. GM: "That is in fact considered to be one of the best ways to learn."
  67. GM: "It's why we put every Knight through teaching."
  68. Tanith: "I did not know that," she admits.
  69. GM: Shae comes over, hands on her shoulders.
  70. "I see it in you when you teach," her girlfriend says. "That shiny brain of yours lights up and you challenge yourself as much as them."
  71. Tanith: Tanith puts her hands on Shae's waist, in turn, smiling lopsidedly.
  73. "Messing with people properly requires effort."
  74. GM: "If they handed out Mastery for that, I think we'd have no choice but to elect you our Queen."
  75. GM: "Admittedly, I'm sure Quinlain Vos would appear out of thin air to contest it."
  76. Tanith: "Alethia says he escaped from the 'VIP suites' on a Star Destroyer?"
  77. Tanith: "I have got to find out how that was done."
  78. GM: "That's a good start. I never met anyone who treated the Force as a game before."
  79. Tanith: "Did he win?"
  80. GM: "So far."
  81. GM: "All right, I'm stealing you. Chatterboxes. Next you'll be braiding each others' hair." Shae grins.
  83. "Pretty sure neither of us have hair long enough to make that worthwhile."
  84. Tanith: "You're underestimating my creativity again."
  85. GM: "Oh! Reminds me - the drydock's going to want to know what name to give it."
  86. Tanith: There's a long pause.
  87. Tanith: "I have a list of suggestions you'll hate," Tanith says brightly.
  88. GM: "I reserve the right to fully reject any and all of them. Hit me."
  89. Tanith: "Blame Your Mother."
  90. GM: "Oh frak you." She grins wider.
  91. Tanith: "Blame My Mother."
  92. GM: "Straight to hell."
  93. Tanith: "Ultimate Ship II."
  94. GM: "What happened to the first one?"
  95. Tanith: "It's a mystery!"
  96. GM: "You know all of them are going to be bad," Telena laughs.
  97. GM: "No no, keep going."
  98. GM: "I'm sure there's something here."
  99. Tanith: "Thank Me Later."
  100. GM: "Are you naming a ship or a racing vrox?"
  101. Tanith: "I'm sure I can come up with a second list."
  102. Tanith: She removes a hand from Shae's waist, tapping at her chin thoughtfully.
  103. Tanith: "Cargo Cult."
  104. GM: "That almost sounds legitimate Does that actually mean anything?"
  105. GM: "It's when an uncontacted world first meets Space age travelers and develops a religion around the stuff that they have and leave behind," Telena offers.
  106. Tanith: "Gunboat Diplomat?"
  107. GM: "That's when Core worlds send out starships to poorly protected Rim worlds to demand repayment of debt."
  109. "Where do you learn this stuff? Either of you!"
  110. Tanith: "I've been saving these up for a while."
  111. Tanith: "Full Of Grace?"
  112. GM: "That... is actually not horrible. It might even be good."
  113. Tanith: "No, that's just because I lowered your standards."
  114. GM: "No, it is terrible," Telena agrees. "Just better than the previous."
  115. Tanith: "Trivial Pursuit."
  116. Tanith: She purses her lips.
  117. Tanith: "Ultimate Ship III."
  118. GM: "Has the Ultimate Ship II run adrift so soon?" Shae asks in a mock mournful tone.
  119. Tanith: "Reckless Endangerment."
  120. GM: "Accurate."
  121. Tanith: "Lucky Breakable."
  122. GM: "The flow's terrible."
  123. Tanith: "Guilt By Association."
  124. GM: "Also accurate," Telena smirks
  125. Tanith: She taps her finger against her lips, pretending to think things over.
  126. Tanith: "By Popular Demand."
  127. GM: "I think you're just running through advertisements now~" Shae bends down and kisses her.
  128. Tanith: Tanith tilts her head upwards in turn, a wide smile on her face.
  130. "Okay," she asks, once they're done, "Comedy aside. What kind of vibe do you think is appropriate?"
  131. Tanith: "I promise I can do better."
  132. GM: "So. We're running a yacht so we're passingly wealthy. We're running a pseudo grand tour of the Galaxy, with a ship full of kids we're teaching - "
  133. GM: "Man this is a weird one."
  134. Tanith: "Blissful Ignorance," Tanith deadpans.
  135. GM: She snorts, grinning.
  136. Tanith: There's a momentary pause.
  138. And then she starts laughing.
  139. GM: "Yeah~?"
  140. Tanith: "Okay, maybe I lied about doing better."
  141. GM: "Yeah you did~"
  142. GM: "So our vibe, I think, is - actually it is a little cheeky."
  143. Tanith: "I mean, it doesn't need to be."
  144. Tanith: "But 'Cloudy Sky' was very deliberately an uninteresting name."
  145. Tanith: "I figured it was the kind of name a total pragmatist would hand out, because they don't really want it being memorable."
  146. Tanith: "Could always just go with something incomprehensible."
  147. GM: "What about this cover is pragmatic?" She smirks
  148. Tanith: "Exactly. That name was deliberately boring."
  149. GM: "Also, unsuitable for a pirate vessel."
  150. Tanith: "Exactly! It wasn't supposed to inspire terror, that's what the turbolaser was for."
  151. GM: She slides fingers into her hair.
  152. Tanith: Tanith purses her lips, visibly starting to think this through.
  154. "Wing And A Prayer?" she asks, frowning.
  155. Tanith: "This is hard!"
  156. GM: "I'll throw one your way, you up or down vote. Distant Horizon."
  157. Tanith: "Hm, maybe . . ."
  158. Tanith: "I like the idea, but I don't like the flow."
  159. GM: "Hmm - " She peers outside.
  161. "Revelation."
  162. Tanith: Tanith snorts an amused laugh.
  164. "You might as well call it Heresiarch ."
  165. Tanith: "Names are hard."
  166. Tanith: "Can't we just call it 'the yacht'?"
  167. GM: "I'd have to pay for this entertainment elsewhere," Telena smirks
  168. GM: "Nooo. I'm not taking kids onboard a nameless ship! That's bad luck. I'm sure it's in Jedi Lore somewhere."
  169. GM: "It isn't."
  170. "Should be."
  171. Tanith: "No, that's perfectly Jedi! It's a state of existing without existing. Being while non-being."
  172. GM: " about Emptiness?"
  173. Tanith: ". . . tempting but too obvious."
  174. Tanith: " Empty Nest ?" Tanith offers, straight-faced.
  175. GM: "Oh wow. See, that's good, but is it so on the nose it actually hurts?" She grins
  176. GM: " know what?"
  177. GM: "Yeah"
  178. GM: "It's almost a promise."
  179. GM: "Also, the pun."
  180. GM: "Kind of hurt."
  181. GM: "Empti-nesssst."
  182. GM: "It'll hurt them, too, if they ever get it."
  183. Tanith: This message has been removed.
  184. Tanith: "There are mysteries we shouldn't be trying to uncover!"
  185. Tanith: "It'll be an object lesson in the perils of over thinking things."
  186. Tanith: "Even fits the cover."
  187. Tanith: "Sure you don't want to go with Ultimate Ship the Fourth?"
  188. GM: "Stars damn it."
  189. GM: "I'm sorry, if we went with that, it'd be dead in minutes. Just spontaneous explosion."
  190. Tanith: "Yes, but those would be awesome minutes."
  191. Tanith: Tanith pauses.
  193. "We're definitely still going to Alassa."
  194. Tanith: "Just so we're clear."
  195. GM: "If you thought I'd forgotten that, you're crazy."
  196. Tanith: "I'm just saying. Priorities."
  197. GM: "Okay. Get up - I'm stealing you."
  198. She grins, pulling her along. "See you later, Telena!"
  199. razoric480
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  207. Aug 19, 2017 at 8:30am QuoteEditlikePost Options NPCPost by razoric480 on Aug 19, 2017 at 8:30am
  208. GM: Six Months Later.
  210. The holoprojector in the yacht's lounge is a good one. High quality, multiple colors. It offers a good shot of Connor and Aria ramping a stolen bike over a blockade manned by stormtroopers, bolts flying through the air.
  212. "So," Shae says. She's in her swimsuit, since they have the pool open. They usually do when they aren't expecting to make maneuvers. Aria pops out in the center, drifting, and a few others have gathered in as well. Grey, Jan, Elarin, Cassius. Others sit outside. Alisae sits across from Tertia, sending colored balls back and forth, and most of the rest are gathered as well, including Connor, who is trying not to grin. "The thing I have to ask... how did you get the footage after?"
  214. "Why did you do this?" Secunda asks, baffled, pressing for replay.
  216. With two levels, the yacht has a lot of room - just enough for twenty teenagers plus their basically-totally-adult-sure-look-at-my-ID chaperones.
  217. Coralee: Coralee is damp, since she had been swimming as well, though she's toweling off, seated with the others around this baffling bit of footage. "That's not a security footage angle, either," she comments.
  218. Coralee: "Did you hire someone to watch you commit a felony?"
  219. Tanith: "Nine out of ten," Tanith decides eventually.
  220. GM: "I stole a camera and gave it to a droid to film. She shot it over to me after."
  222. Connor looks more comfortable in street clothes than he did just a few weeks ago, leaning back on the couch.
  224. "Oh come on - where's the last point~?"
  225. Tanith: "Nine is hard. Ten is outright perfection. I'm giving you a nine, but I'll sweeten the deal by admitting I'm impressed."
  226. GM: Alisae tosses a red ball over Coralee's way
  227. Coralee: She bumps it vertically into the air with her elbow, then baps it back into a smooth arc back her way. Throwing Arts at work. "Could have been a waste of a camera if you had not caught it." She smiles.
  228. Tanith: "Anyway, I will concede that you were correct. I told you to make noise and you definitely made noise."
  229. GM: "I'll take impressed."
  230. Tanith: "And you were pretty spectacular about it."
  231. GM: "Had most of the Imperial garrison in a flurry near the end there. It's harder starting out than finishing."
  232. GM: "And, importantly, I kept objectives in mind - I had opportunity to be messier, but I needed to make noise without it spilling over into outright violence."
  233. GM: Aria swims to the side, peeking up at herself.
  234. "I helped."
  235. Tanith: " And I think they totally missed that you both were a distraction"
  236. Tanith: "If they spotted the camera that's just icing."
  237. GM: "One extensive network of rebel cells secured,' Shae agrees.
  239. "I think they did. The droid was flying off after at top speed," Aria says brightly
  240. Coralee: "They didn't go knocking, and they got caught bumbling. Feels like a good day."
  241. Tanith: "We'll call that one a successful, and for extra points a stylish one."
  243. "Aaaand now we lay low a while."
  244. GM: "Can't have the pattern point to us, after all," Alisae agrees.
  245. GM: She bumps Coralee with the ball again, grinning.
  246. GM: "Show us that telekinesis cousin~"
  247. Coralee: She bumps the ball up into the air again, and she holds a hand out to let it stay at its apex, looking with some concentration. "If you wish." Then she moves it down so that it slips into the pool, pops back out dripping wet, and then gets flung back in an arc at Alisae, water and all.
  248. GM: "Ah!" She laughs.
  249. Coralee: A long way from being thwarted by a lever.
  250. GM: A long way from not being able to smile or let her guard down around others, and hanging out with others her age. It's hard to get used to, sometimes, but she's learning. There's tricks to it - learning how to be aware of others' emotional states, the signs they give off visually, without being so open she's just sharing everything that comes to mind.
  252. For Tanith, it's a bit like herding cats.
  253. GM: It's a careful balance of managing freedom - making sure they learn personal development and sitting hard on fights and squabbles.
  254. Coralee: She's still got difficulty getting people, even these, but she's getting better at it, and getting to hang out with these people and have fun is doing wonders for her. She still hesitates sometimes, when she thinks she sees a judgemental look, or one of distrust that isn't truly there, but they're becoming rarer.
  256. It all becomes a lot harder when interacting with people who aren't fellow force sensitives and Empty Nest dwellers, though. But baby steps.
  257. GM: Also, just - sexual tension. It's a good thing Tanith doesn't really get distracted like other people do.
  258. GM: Not that Shae minds. Indeed, she thrives on it. She's the one person here without an intimate connection to the Force and yet she's the most together, the most stable. When she lets people in, it's to share in her solid, dependable self, and she loves it.
  260. Aria is the one exception to the age range, to - and that's an interesting thing. Tanith's been teaching her to retain her moisture better with the help of the Force. She can go a couple days without drying affecting her, more with the help of her special shirts, but it's better for her if she can improve that considerably. It's not debilitating by any measure, but her gills seal up tight and her lips are chapped, her skin a bit flaky. It leads inevitably to discomfort and pain.
  262. That might be good to court at some point in her training.
  263. GM: And it keeps everyone sharp on the basics, teaching her, Alisae, and Coralee.
  264. GM: Coralee has to deal with everyone else knowing far more about the ways of the Force than she does in most areas, but her talents are good in trait. Precognition, the Guardians' way of combat. She learns a bit of their martial arts and they help tutor her, and in return she beats them up.
  265. Coralee: It's a good deal, and she's quite willing to share how she preps her meditation - even if the prodigious bursts of power and stamina she can cover aren't as easy to teach. It sort of came on its own to her, after all.
  266. GM: Then there's learning to use a blaster. Something that all of them have a lot of ingrained problems with.
  267. Coralee: Coralee's still terrible at that, and it rubs her in all the wrong ways to hold a gun.
  268. GM: They're on a neat planet. It has dramatic mountains, ones that arch high overhead in long strands - the remnants of some strange vulcanism that left metals and minerals hardened in, the sunset a burnished gold. This far from the main city on an asynchronous it's not even close to Galactic Standard time, and so this is the students' morning and their evening. They pling at targets downrange, taking turns with the rifle while most of them try to get Tanith's techniques down - to aim like they fight with their lightsabers, almost, without really thinking. According to Eeziel, it's someting some Guardians pick up - the gun, the staff, the lightbow...
  270. Maybe a lightbow would suit her. It's basically just a sophisticated bowcaster, something lots of sapients carry if they can handle the recoil of the magnetic accelerators and weight of the weapon
  272. "Mind on your shooting," Shae says. Alisae is in the ditch next to hers, calmly squeezing off rounds - someone had a more traditional Tapani education.
  273. Coralee: Coralee snaps back to the task at hand, getting back to aiming and taking shots. She's not too inaccurate - grace and poise and training in self control saw fit to keep her from shooting wildly off base. But then going off the hip is where things break down. But, she came to learn, and learn she has to... And she resumes shooting.
  275. Where would she get a lightbow in Jedha anyway..? The imperials can't be letting them sell it. Maybe she can ask a guardian there.
  276. razoric480
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  284. yesterday at 2:47am QuoteEditlikePost Options NPCPost by razoric480 on yesterday at 2:47am
  285. Tanith: "You're not even interested," Tanith says mildly, from behind Coralee.
  286. Coralee: "It doesn't feel right," she admits.
  287. GM: A few kids have rotated out to stun baton practice - an adaptation of their existing lightsaber skills, at Tanith's suggestion. The yacht sits nice and shiny on the nearby cliff, and no one uses the winding pathways. Even Shae's been using a grappling hook - she's stronger than she looks, and was already a skilled bush pilot to begin with. Training droids are their target practice.
  288. Tanith: There's no answer from the older teen, but then there doesn't need to be - Coralee's been asked to elaborate enough times that it barely even gets said anymore.
  289. GM: Tanith doesn't word much. She talks enough in her own head.
  290. Coralee: "I've spent a large portion of my early administrative training keeping hunters from using these on my homeworld." She tilts the rifle slightly. "It feels wrong in my hands, and is not 'me.'"
  291. GM: Alisae, a pace or two away, looks different than she did. Like her cousin, her skin's deepened into a tan, and her arms stand out with notable definition. She switches from the scope to aiming from the hip, working instinct into her shooting.
  292. Tanith: "There's another reason I push you to familiarise yourselves with this aside from having other options, actually."
  293. Tanith: "Rifles and pistols are some of the primary threats people will present you with."
  294. Tanith: "And while you can deflect them, it draws enough attention that it can give you a worse problem very soon - even though you don't use a saber, you're still very distinctive."
  295. Tanith: "Part of the idea is to give you a clearer understanding of what your enemies have to work with, and in some cases where they're likely to be."
  296. Tanith: "Even if it doesn't feel right in terms of instinct, and you can't or don't want to push that far, it's still worth learning the basics while you have the chance."
  297. Coralee: Coralee nods her head. "I do understand." She looks down at the rifle, running her thumb across it. "And I've learned more about them under you than my lifetime, so it is working.
  299. "I thought to ask the Guardians of the Whills what they do about this. Some do shoot, so maybe they'll have a way for me to get more invested in it."
  300. Tanith: "Honestly, I don't have the faintest clue," Tanith admits.
  301. GM: It's a blunt weapon, perfectly crafted for what it does - accelerate a charge of spinning, magnetically self-contained plasma down a range to hit a target.
  302. Coralee: "Eeziel says some prefer the lightbow." She takes aim and takes a shot.
  303. Tanith: There's a long pause, and a frown.
  305. "Not something I've run across. Is it a bowcaster variant?"
  306. Coralee: "I saw one being carried by a particular guardian, but did not see it in use. It is a bowcaster with a much heftier body, and much wider limb."
  307. GM: "Designed for someone who can channel the Force to take the recoil, sounds like, at least on full power mode."
  308. Tanith: "For the times when a wookie-wielded artillery piece isn't quite large enough?"
  309. Coralee: "It lets them simulate one when a wookiee is not available." She smiles.
  310. GM: "We actually used bowcasters a lot on my world," Shae opines.
  311. GM: "Little smaller than the herglic and wookiee kinds, but not by much."
  312. Tanith: "Huh. Never occurred to me, but I guess it makes sense."
  314. Tanith frowns.
  316. "Well, something we can look into, but there's one particular catch."
  317. Tanith: "A weapon like that is not as bad as igniting a lightsaber, but it's still extremely distinctive. One thing you'll have to worry about with it is Intelligence building a profile."
  318. Tanith: "But I guess that's something we haven't gotten to yet and won't for a long while."
  319. Coralee: "I suppose any old rifle is hard to plan for since they're everywhere," she admits.
  320. Tanith: "That's part of the use. Pistols and rifles and the like are so widespread that people can analyse a crime scene and go 'A model 434 pistol! There's only ten billion of those in the galaxy'."
  321. GM: "Bowcaster narrows the solution space to 'humans from higher-g worlds and large aliens.'"
  322. GM: "Much as it isn't a horrible idea. I know I've been thinking of picking one up."
  323. Tanith: "And a heavier bowcaster narrows it even more, especially if the slugs are different."
  325. Tanith nods.
  326. Coralee: "They would not really guess a five feet six girl as prime suspect of a big bowcaster."
  327. GM: "A lightbow wouldn't be a bad thing to have once the war starts in earnest, mind - which we all know will happen eventually."
  328. Tanith: "No, they wouldn't at all. Your concern wouldn't be getting caught at the time."
  329. GM: "Folds down into a staff, I'd imagine?"
  330. Coralee: "The limb folds in and the stock is collapsible. I'm not sure I would call it staff-like, but it reduces its profile significantly."
  331. Tanith: "That's resolveable."
  332. Coralee: "Enough that Master Imwe's looked like a piece of gear at first glance, instead of a weapon."
  333. GM: "Something to look at later - it would involve similar concerns with using a lightsaber, in a way. Might have to use some weave to hide the critical parts. And I'm pretty sure the skills involved with aiming a rifle are comparable - so if you want to work up to bowcasters, you're on the right track~"
  334. Coralee: "Then I will persevere," she promises.
  335. Tanith: "Good. And we'll see what we can find down the line."
  336. GM: Alisae, looking at them, fires a shot that nails a droid center-mass down the range
  337. GM: "You guys are a great distraction, I hope you know~"
  338. Tanith: Tanith makes an amused noise.
  339. Coralee: Coralee takes a few moments to still herself and meditate in place so she can try to cooperate better with the gun.
  340. GM: "Don't wrestle with it. You're all about the flows, Cor."
  341. Tanith: Tanith, meanwhile, is looking downrange with a thoughtful expression.
  342. Coralee: "Yes, use it as is... Okay." Heft and weight. She shoulders it again to resume her practice. Turn with the heft, trust that it was finely tuned for this, and shoot.
  343. Tanith: "You know," she says absently, "There's situations where a friendly sniper firing at you could actually be really useful . . ."
  344. Tanith: ". . . that's something to think about. Huh."
  345. Coralee: "Reflect the shot you can time precisely with them from a direction they did not anticipate?"
  346. Tanith: "Mm. Cover in multiple directions is hard, plus it's not a lightsaber injury."
  347. Coralee: Sadly, reflecting bolts with shield bucklers isn't quite a technique she's cracked how to even start approaching yet.
  348. Tanith: "Something to think about," Tanith says absently.
  349. GM: Coralee wasn't even thinking abou the shot
  350. GM: It zips out, a red bolt flying downrange, clipping the corner of a droid
  351. Coralee: She blinks down at the rifle. ...huh.
  352. Tanith: "Mmhm."
  353. Tanith: "Well, I'm going to leave you to it, because in about thirty seconds Aria is going to start getting bored."
  354. Tanith: "And given that she's closer to the gun rack than I am I'd probably better do something."
  355. GM: (Take a point in Guns: Pistol and Long Arm)
  356. Coralee: "That does sound dangerous." She smiles at Tanith and nods.
  357. Tanith: "I don't know whose stupid idea it was to teach the five year old to hide," Tanith grouses, as she walks away.
  358. Tanith: (And I'll be back in a while. Have fun:)
  359. Coralee: Coralee snickers and turns back forwards to go for the droids, now that she has a better idea of what she's doing, and a bit more drive.
  360. GM: "Yours. The answer is that it was your stupid idea~"
  362. Aria's -
  363. Well, she's the youngest person here, and considering that some nights she still breaks down in crippling nightmares makes the level of attention Tanith devotes to her important. A lot of this is spent in managing her trauma, but there's also social development and all-around teaching. Tanith hasn't had to nurture this much since Talan was a baby and before she was broken, and Talan kind of didn't have many needs.
  365. It's rewarding, though.
  366. GM: Aria's bright and funny when she's all right, and the balance of time that she's "all right" has been steadily ticking up.
  367. GM: Deepening the attachment between them has made all the difference between her becoming a nightmare and being a functioning kid
  368. GM: And Tanith's not sure she'd like seeing her as a nightmare. She discovered her special focus and a bit of why her subspecies is called Sirenes from Coralee, actually, not long after that.
  369. razoric480
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  377. yesterday at 2:48am QuoteEditlikePost Options NPCPost by razoric480 on yesterday at 2:48am
  378. Probably a couple weeks later...
  380. Coralee's seen a lot of worlds over the past seven months all across Galactic North and Northeast. Two months and a half until it's been a full year since she joined up with the Jedi, and the horrors surrounding her sixteenth birthday have faded. Through coaching with Tanith, socializing with her fellow Jedi, and long meditation with both her mother and without, she's no longer quite as afraid as she used to be. She remembered and applied Eeziel's lessons to move among crowds, flowing with them rather than against them.
  381. GM: This world's a bit impressive, as far as they go, if it can be called a "world." High walls rise on either side, and the people are pressed through the canyons. Looking up, she can see the superstructure that links this part of the city on its own asteroid to the other part of the city, where someone looking up would be looking down at her. The wealthy live in the central column of the structure, and the sky beyond the giant magcon field is hazy and dark even in "day."
  383. Secunda, a few wisps of blond hair escaping, wraps her cloak tighter about herself, the cut matching that on her sister, Coralee, and Aria. "I'm not sure which is worse - the smell of unwashed locals, the heavy odor of lubricant and ozone, or the stormtroopers on every corner."
  384. Coralee: For all that she's learned to read crowds to be able to flow through them, this is one of the more claustrophobic worlds she's been on in a while. The huge walls looming on high and seeming to just bend over as if to make sure there's no escape. Eeziel's teaching keeps the crowd from making it worse and she's okay, so long as they don't have to start wandering the alleyways.
  386. It's drab, too, and feels drained. "It's not pleasant, but the smell of the locals gives this place some life," she reasons. "The smell of industry means work is happening, too, that there's activity. ...the stormtroopers, though. They just drain all of that with stamping order."
  387. GM: "Ugh. I'm glad I can shut my gills, I don't even want to think about this mist entering my bloodsteam," little Aria gripes.
  389. Coralee's studies of the Force have let her start perceiving the knots that Eeziel mentioned, and Kafrene is full of them. Leaving aside the horrendous, twisting architecture that leaves people snarled and confused, there's so much pain and distrust here. The city's lower areas are held in contention by gangs and the Imperial soldiers who ignore them, who have completely replaced the local defense forces in recent years it seems like.
  391. She brushes Coralee's hand. I don't see any sign of the contact we're supposed to be meeting. Are we sure the Knight hasn't moved on from here?
  393. Or died.
  395. Coralee's in charge of this little group. Tanith's done that thing where she trusts them to figure it out.
  396. GM: Secunda's gifted in the realm of telekinesis, and Tertia's a strong telepath. Aria - well, Tanith likes sending her along with the lone groups. It's given her a fine sense of survival and danger.
  397. Coralee: All signs pointed us here. The troopers may have sniffed something, however. It's an unfortunate place to have gone into hiding on. That or they got stranded there when the imperials showed up and everything turned to hell.
  399. Hopefully not dead, though.
  401. We should find a terminal and see if our contact found himself a bounty first, or made local news.
  402. GM: "Got it."
  404. They make their way out onto a walkway, buildings rising ahead, many to meet the others descending down from above, and have to wade through a crowd using the kiosk of terminals near the center. Aria squeezes in with Coralee while Tertia hangs back to check in with the other teams.
  406. There was supposed to be a rebel agent who they were to meet at the hole-in-the-wall eatery they left behind in the canyons, but a half hour didn't produce anything. She finds a slot for a coin op and deposits a ten credit piece - thankfully, Shae was generous with the credits this time. This is a test, but it's a test they don't need additional handicaps on.
  407. GM: Lighting up, it starts her a fresh virtual session. The screen is cracked in places and there's stains on the keyboard. Good thing she's wearing gloves
  408. Coralee: Such a pleasant unit. 10 credits for a time limited session, surrounded by a bunch of people waiting for their turn, full of cracks and who-knows-what from people eating over it or something. What a ripoff... Best to do this quickly, anyway.
  410. First, news feed; narrowed down to arrests, bounties, controversies, maybe even 'rebels' or 'insurgent' or 'terrorist.'
  411. If that doesn't yield result, then maybe there's a bounty group or hunter board that might list targets.
  412. GM: Her first few search results are loaded with Imperial propaganda, as they've taken over the city's news agencies as well. The bounty board is a bit more helpful - she recognizes the description of their likely contact. It's not listed as fulfilled yet, so that's a good sign.
  413. Coralee: "Looks like he went under," she asides to Aria. "He's listed as suspected on world still, so it's a race of who can find him first. Or find the bounty hunter, to find the bounty."
  414. GM: "Anything that might help us find him? Or the Knight."
  415. Coralee: She looks for more information, see what they're willing to put up on the board about the target, before referencing it with personals and contact information look-up. The little things she'd use to search for someone.
  416. GM: Oren was a paramedic on a quick response team, apparently, before the public hospital in the area was shut down for lack of funding. Means he has a pretty good knowledge of the local area. Some family, already moved off planet. Suspected contacts with an underworld smuggling ring that operates in the area below this one.
  417. Coralee: "If he's anything like me, he'll likely have hidden himself with smugglers. Probably to get shipped off world. They're more likely to know where he's off to, if we can convince them we're not looking for his bounty, but to keep him out of their hands."
  418. Coralee: "We just have to find a way our way into that circle."
  419. GM: Tertia's good at convincing people. Cor still hasn't really gotten the hang of the mind trick - though it is fun to watch. Aria nods, taking her wrist comlink and making some notes. She downloads the city sector map, which will at least give them directions.
  421. "There's a lift not far from here."
  422. Coralee: "Sounds good. We'll make our way down. Tertia should hopefully be able to let us know who we want to approach."
  424. She logs out of the session once Aria's got all of the information and yields it to the next in line.
  425. GM: She pushes their way out, irritating a couple aliens on the way. Under the gaze of a couple stormtroopers with light carbines, they return to the edge of the walkway and find a lift down.
  427. If Coralee thought the top level was awful, the lower levels are even worse. Water and other fluids drip from above from illegal siphoning and poorly-maintained pipes, and depressingly tiny homes have been built into cubbies and other spaces, often only protected by thin curtains. There's a misery here that's only somewhat alleviated by the clear attempts to live. They reach an open block, with several exposed levels, hung with laundry and the steaming scents of greasy street food and vents.
  428. Coralee: This... this is just horrible. Pushed down below the greater city territories, then stepped on and ground down under the heel of those above. On the bright side, such as it is, security seems to be less strict here.
  430. How often must these people look up for a way out?
  432. "If I wanted to run a smuggling operation, where would I be... close enough I can keep an eye on my cargo without being directly tied to it, right? Higher up, near space for cargo, equipment, and steerage," she reasons.
  433. GM: "Connections to suppliers and distributers. Maybe we need to find some drugs," Tertia comments.
  434. GM: Reflecting her subtler powers, Tertia's the quieter twin. Secunda takes the lead in most things.
  435. Coralee: "I think Somaprin's the leading choice for lower level cities."
  436. GM: At twelve, it makes Cor the senior by far.
  437. Coralee: Having helped her father administrate a trade hub exposed her to strange knowledge.
  438. GM: "I don't think any of us know how to buy drugs, sis."
  439. "Cor used to be involved with planetary administration, I'm sure she might have some idea."
  440. Coralee: "I know what's the drug of choice and how it gets smuggled through, but I've not really seen it from the retailer's end." She smiles.
  442. "But if we follow the tracks of the addled, we might be able to find the purveyor of somaprin, and then their supplier."
  443. GM: "Fair enough. We'll hang back when you find something - they're gonna find it weird if kids are looking."
  445. They're grateful for their cloaks as they make their way through. They pass a stormtrooper patrol - in an alley, another pair are roughing someone up beneath sulfur lights. He doesn't match the description of the bounty, and they're being watched by others - it's that sort of thing that, as long as they're the fugitives and the rebels, they can't always afford to get involved in.
  447. Aria is troubled by it as they move on, and find a drug den in a nest of warrens. The people here are strung out in a haze to escape the misery of their world, and it appears to operate without much interference. Since it's so open, Tertia accompanies her into the den, her pale face twisted with distaste. She pulls her hood up a bit more - not homespun Jedi sort, but Shae keeps them supplied in good moisture-slicking, chemical-resistant cloaks that wouldn't look out of place anywhere, the sort travelers around the Galaxy use if they're anywhere near middle-lower class.
  448. Coralee: Coralee is certainly not unaffected. The temptation to stop them and save the guy is strong, but they don't have the resources and manpower to go around punching stormtroopers without significant feedback and trouble.
  450. So she has to push on, for now. Perhaps later, they can begin fixing some of these injustices...
  452. For now, however, it's into the pit of despair that is a drug den. This part is a little easier. There's going to be the blissed out on giggledust or spice, and there's going to be those who are not but are looking for those searching for a hit.
  453. GM: The sense of the place is the worst part. The sickness in the spirit is pervasive. They're strung out on pallets tucked into alcoves and bunks. There's a clinic on Medth where people can go to get otherwise illegal drugs in small quantities, as part of a rehab program - fill your habit in a safe environment, receive psychological advice and employment help. It's good at getting people back on track and off drugs in time.
  455. This is the opposite of that. This is a place where they want you hooked. Strange bedfellows.
  457. The proprieter is a hard-eyed man with a harder-eyed Gamorean bodyguard. They aren't immediately suspicious, at least.
  458. "Here to pick up a relative?" he asks.
  459. Coralee: Here's the hard part... Figuring out how to find out how to talk with someone. Haute societee this is not.
  461. "No.." She shakes her head. "We're looking for someone who can provide."
  462. GM: Not that she was ever fantastic at that, either.
  463. He looks over the pair of them skeptically. "Well, if you got the credits I'm dealing."
  464. "We're actually more interested in your supplier."
  465. GM: The pigman grunts, looking up from playing Sabacc on his heavy pad
  466. Coralee: She can read people quite well, at least, in the universal body language. so if he starts talking drek, between her and Tertia they should be able to figure it out.
  468. "Specifically, the ones who bring it in for distribution. Do you know who we should be talking to?" Leading questions... get him lying so they can untangle it, or straight to the point.
  469. GM: "I think you should get the frak out. I'm not sharing my distribution with whoever sent you."
  471. Tertia waves her hand, a faint rumble in the back of Coralee's mind.
  472. "You should relax, we won't encroach on your business."
  474. "I should relax, you won't encroach on my business," he repeats, a little dully. He shakes his head.
  475. Coralee: "Our point isn't to take your spice," she agrees - albeit sans-mind-trick (how Tertia got so good at it still blows Coralee away, she can barely listen) - as a follow up comment to further put him at ease. "It's to talk with your supplier chain."
  476. GM: "Just need to find someone," Tertia agrees. "No skin off your back."
  478. "Fine, no skin off my back - I go through a Chagrian named Kooli. He's the point of contact for a lot of the spice and soma smugglers. You probably don't want to go see him, though - little girls sometimes disappear around that part of town."
  479. Coralee: ...lovely, because a drug ring wasn't bad enough. "We'll have to worry about that as we go across that bridge. Just point us the way to your amphibious contact and we'll get out of your hair."
  480. GM: He grunts. "On your own head, then."
  481. They're given directions - a couple blocks down, light commercial district - and step on out. Tertia looks like she took a bite out of a rotten fruit.
  482. GM: "Those minds were revolting."
  483. GM: "That we can't do anything about this is frustrating."
  484. Coralee: "I agree, but this is a revolving problem. For every smuggler we caught passing through the dark side of Medth, there was two who used the arrest to slip under our nose. It will be the same here... if we cut off the snake's head, two more will come to fight over the corpse.
  486. "Once we have more people and more time? That's when we can cauterize the wound shut," she promises. "For now, steel yourself. I have a feeling we're stepping somewhere worse."
  487. GM: "Careful, Coralee," Secunda smiles. "You're starting to sound a bit like a Knight - you might find yourself called."
  488. Coralee: She smiles bashfully. "I'm still debating what I want to do. At this rate I may just become a Jedi of the Whills."
  489. GM: Together, the four girls make their way down towards the commercial district. The first thing they find is that it's loud. People are playing music from their shops and eateries high enough to compete with one another, and the shouting is constant. Brothels operate behind closed doors, but most places are open, the eternal night of Kafrene raucous. Finding the Chagrian is difficult, and they're resorted to asking around.
  491. This, naturally, gets them into trouble.
  493. A Gamorrean and two Aqualish shove at them, pushing them towards an alleyway. Secunda immediately recovers and whips out her stun baton, digging it under the jaw of one of the Aqualishs. He screams, twitches, and goes down hard.
  494. GM: "Sis! Damn it, de-escalate!"
  495. Coralee: Reflexes and instincts work faster than judgement, that much Coralee knows. Which is a problem when mindfulness and deliberate movements have to be calculated lest trouble follows.
  497. But the blow's been dealt and now they're stuck with trying to end a fight quickly. She dashes to one of the aqualish to grab his arm, looking at the arachnid-like's top eyes squarely. "Leave and we never saw you," she offers. With the counter offer of 'stay and end up like him' being implied.
  498. GM: He tries to yank his arm free, only to find her like iron.
  500. The Gamorrean is the problem - he's gearing up to ram. His buddy shakes his head, babbling at him to stop.
  501. Coralee: She releases him, since he's acquiesced, and turns to focus on the big hog. "Don't do it," she warns, stepping in his way and holding her ground as though she were dealing with an angry beast. Which isn't too far from the truth.
  502. GM: Tertia and Secunda keep their stun batons ready. Meeting the alien's eyes, she gets into a bit of a standoff. (Roll Intimidate, +2)
  503. [2017-08-19 4:55:20 PM] *** Francois added Iced Dice
  504. Iced Dice receives messages containing @iced Dice. ***
  505. Coralee: @iced Dice [(14-5+2+1-1)-3d6]
  506. [2017-08-19 4:56:02 PM] Iced Dice: (14-5+2+1-1)-3d6 : (14-5+2+1-1)-(2+2+3) = 4
  507. GM: Somehow, Coralee's habit of staring down powerful predators applies here. Gamorreans are not as smart as other species, tragic as that is, and there's enough of an animal mentality in there that she manages to stare it down by convincing him that she's an unyielding object. He glances away, grunting in frustration.
  509. "Kooli." Secunda says. "You can take us to Kooli?"
  510. The aqualish nods quickly, a little intimidated by the two. He says something to his companion, who picks up the fallen one who is still punch-drunk
  511. Coralee: She'd have preferred not to divert him into the nearest wall, so she's glad he yielded. She lets off a bit of a breath and glances to Secunda and Tertia with a nod. "I'd have preferred not to jump, Secunda. But, so long as we stick the landing, right?"
  512. GM: She offers a light grin, keeping her stun baton out and handy. Under their cloaks are matching lightsabers in crystalline weave - not something they want to do often. Aria tails along, looking pensive.
  514. As far as crime lords go, Kooli is pretty much at the bottom of the totem pole, with an office in the back of a seafood restaurant and a couple thugs with heavy pistols. The Chagrian has a larger presence than he entirely deserves with his horns, and he looks them over suspiciously.
  516. " four little girls roughed up three of my enforcers to come ask me about a bounty. I think this tops the chart in odd moments in my crime career."
  517. GM: "Three. I mostly just watched," Aria says brightly, grinning with her sharp canines showing.
  518. GM: She's the only one who finds the menu heavy in squid and other sea monsters appetizing.
  519. Coralee: Coralee's never had any of this stuff. Fish, sure, many times, but .. who eats aqua monsters? How do you even catch them? Very carefully, apparently.
  521. "Our aim wasn't to rough them up, but they invited trouble. Though business must be good and steady if this is the top of your oddities." She splays her hands. "But yes, you have the right of it. We believe he is part of your group, and need to talk to him before he skips off planet or gets himself caught by the next bounty hunter."
  522. GM: "Normally, I wouldn't give a flying kriff, but as it happens, I owe Oren a favor. Saved a family member of mine some Imperial dogs. What assurances do I have that you have his best interests at heart?"
  524. Tertia glances slightly at Coralee, wondering if she needs her talents or if she's got this.
  525. Coralee: Not yet... If he's an allied, he might know mutual knowledge they happen to have.
  527. "Because we have business with him. We were supposed to meet with him, until he got himself associated with a bounty and forgot to tell us. The meeting place was an eatery top side, near the civic center. He would have wore red for us."
  528. Coralee: @iced Dice [(11-1)-3d6]
  529. [2017-08-19 5:52:18 PM] Iced Dice: (11-1)-3d6 : (11-1)-(3+4+4) = -1
  530. Coralee: (damn you obliviousness)
  531. GM: (Haha :D)
  532. GM: (As it's diplomacy, you can also check Reaction I believe)
  533. Coralee: Reaction @iced Dice [3d6] with +1 for being a pretty, human girl
  534. [2017-08-19 5:54:36 PM] Iced Dice: 3d6 : (2+5+4) = 11
  535. Coralee: 12 as neutral, requests for information are successful if it's simple.
  536. Coralee: (sketchy if complex)
  537. GM: She can tell he's not impressed - but he isn't kicking them out either.
  538. "Well, if you're in the 'red' column, might be as you say. I have a hard time believing you kids are bounty hunters - though if what my man says about your friend's eagerness to use a stun baton is true, that might be wrong."
  539. Secunda smiles innocently.
  540. "Fine - Oren's got a transport lined up this afternoon. He's holed up with a couple other rebel buddies on this place on the outskirts. There's a big block of quarters for ammonia breathers - you're looking for the place with the phorescent green graffiti of the fighting spaceships."
  541. Coralee: Strange girls going around clearly knowing far more than they should and jabbing stun batons up his enforcer's chins, yeah, she can tell why he might be skeptical. But she's glad they didn't have to do anything they didn't want.
  543. "Thank you." She inclines her head. "We will leave you to your business dealings."
  544. GM: Aria steps up to the desk, putting a couple cred chits up.
  545. "Hey - could I grab a squid satay to go?"
  547. He peers down at her, and shrugs, collecting the chits. "Sure, whatever. Anyone else? Gloves girl, the twins?"
  549. "Triplets, actually," Secunda says coolly.
  550. "We're good, thanks," Tertia murmurs, taking her sister's arm and stepping out.
  551. GM: Aria grabs a bit of squid tentacle on a stick with sauce slathered on it from the kitchens as they head out the back.
  552. Coralee: "No thank you." She smiles at him, then slips out with Aria, accompanying her with her snack. Though she gives Secunda and Tertia a bit of a worried glance. They haven't really revealed anything about themselves to her, let alone about who Coralee would guess is Prima.
  553. GM: Secunda is calm, smoothing out her spiky irritation with a practiced motion, but the bitter comment is revealing. Tertia doesn't return Coralee's look, but her closeness to her sister is part of her anchor - their mutual anchor, really, lacking that third piece.
  554. Aria chews on her squid-stick as they head out towards the edge of the city.
  555. Coralee: Much like Coralee will be facing her identity and her lingering paranoia, they'll have to face their namesakes, whatever happened. But they won't be alone, right? Coralee, Tanith, Shae, Aria, Connor, Naphta... people to talk to if they want.
  556. GM: Ammonia vents from the housing complexes further down, and graffiti is everywhere. They reach the edge of the world, looking out over the asteroid-filled sky beyond, the dust of the Kafrene belt thick.
  558. Phosphorescent green graffiti depicting a Clone Wars battle, with suggestions of B-1s marching into the distance in lockstep. Separatist, anti-Republic - ironic place for an Alliance to Restore the Republic safehouse.
  559. GM: Secunda reports in. "Been delayed, but we've almost found our friend. Everything's peachy so far."
  560. Coralee: Yet, a genius stroke. Who'd think to look behind the CIS sympathizing propaganda to look for rebels?
  562. "Good. Keep aware and deliberate. Let's close in."
  563. GM: They make no effort to hide themselves, aside from a cursory check for stormtroopers. Aria mentions that she doesn't feel any imminent danger, and Coralee agrees, and they go up to one of the doors.
  565. To their relief, this part's easy - someone was watching on the cameras and opens it at their approach. Wary, they step inside, to find a group of young men and women packing up equipment, getting ready to leave.
  566. GM: One of them steps up, a young woman in a speeder helmet, the kind Tanith never wears.
  567. GM: "You're here for Oren?" she asks, her tone not hopeful.
  568. Coralee: That they were being watched is not unexpected. That they're letting them inside with little to no veto is a pleasant surprise, and it saves them some hunting or forcing.
  570. Coralee steps forwards to meet up with the young woman, nodding her head at her. "That's right. He was to meet us but didn't show, and we figured out he'd been had and bountied." ...the sound in her voice, though, is discouraging. Are they too late?
  571. GM: "He's not dead, but he took a gut shot earlier. The Jedi's tending to him."
  573. Aria's head lifts, and she tilts it. She nods slightly. Focusing, Coralee can sense the faint use of the Force as well - someone's been careful, barely touching it.
  574. Coralee: Faint, but present. So almost, but not quite too late. "We'd like to see them, if you'll allow it."
  575. GM: She nods, gesturing towards a back door.
  576. "If you can, we'll need some help - we're expecting pickup soon. We've got a few stacks of Imperial data dumps."
  578. "I'll help," Secunda offers, and Tertia joins her, while Aria accompanies Coralee into the back.
  579. Coralee: "Do what you can." she smiles at the triplets, then leads the way with her little aquatic companion to go see if there's anything they can do to help.
  580. GM: At least it's a two-fer - she found the contact and the Jedi in one go. It also means that the situation's deteriorating.
  582. In the back, she finds a man in the bed, placed in a healing trance by the sleek Selonian female, her otter-like features well-groomed. She gives no outward sign of her origins, having blended thoroughly into Spacer culture.
  583. GM: She turns her head, and blinks with surprise.
  584. "...Aria? I thought I felt a familiar presence - by the Force, you've barely aged."
  586. "Well - I'm five now." She smiles slightly
  587. GM: "Telena rescued us and put us on ice."
  588. GM: "Are you all right, Jedi Selucis?"
  589. GM: "Passingly." She nods to Coralee.
  590. GM: "You must be with this New Order I'm hearing so much about now."
  591. Coralee: "That's correct." She nods to the sleek lady. "Master Tanith picked up Oren's contact information so we could come find you." She heads around the bed to give Oren a look over in question. "I am Coralee Miryian Synbea."
  592. GM: He's apparently stable, but he'll need to be carried on a stretcher ideally. They have one folded up nearby.
  593. GM: Little hoverpads to make it easier
  594. Coralee: "We were worried. I'm glad we're not too late, even if things are coming to a head."
  595. GM: "Your timing is impeccable, really. I keep quiet for almost a decade and a half, and I make cautious contact with the rebels only a short while ago to see about passage to Jeitis only to find the whole place coming down. I suspect a traitor, but no one I met felt untrustworthy."
  596. GM: "Someone could have talked, or been caught in a routine sweep perhaps - either way, we need to go, and soon."
  597. Coralee: "What's the exit plan, barring interruptions?"
  598. GM: "We have a smuggler ship arriving within minutes. We grab what we can and get past Imperial forces, if it goes well. Hopefully we can rendezvous with your team after."
  599. Coralee: "Our ship is not far in orbit, though we're not very battle worthy. We'll want to make sure we do not have pursuers."
  600. GM: "Pretty critical, really. After a jump, sure." Aria nods
  601. GM: She's about to answer, but her whispers twitch and her ears turn.
  602. GM: "Damn."
  603. GM: They feel it in a moment, too - danger.
  604. Coralee: Coralee looks up. "Oh, great.." She stands up, going to the door to check outside.
  605. GM: She turns, gesturing to gently move Oren onto the stretcher and sharply orders a rebel to take it.
  607. Cameras in the main room show stormtroopers approaching down the tight streets, shoving people out of the way, an officer at their back.
  609. "They'll never land with this here."
  610. Coralee: "They're well organized and numerous. Only one officer, but they won't fold without a commander."
  611. GM: They leave most everything behind, taking backpacks quickly filled. Secunda and Tertia join them, the two now reaching for pistols. The Jedi Knight takes the lead, opening the door and stepping outside. She gestures them along, down the other way while she watches, in case she has to cover them.
  613. They're almost certain to be closed in on, and they know it.
  614. "Call for backup?" Secunda asks, comlink in her other hand.
  615. GM: Coralee's call, unless she's disabled.
  616. Coralee: She chews on her cheek, looking over the camera monitors again to see if there's any critical funnels they could stop the troopers at. Places too tight to cross more than one or two at a time. "If we had time, could we divert the landing somewhere else?"
  617. GM: "There's a place a few blocks down that would be safer," the female rebel says, drawing her blaster.
  618. Coralee: "I'm thinking... if I force them into a funnel? Ambush the front of the troops in a tight corner. They won't be able to engage me without going around it, and if it's tight enough, it'll force them to enter a prolonged engagement since they can't advance, or find the long way around while keeping me busy with a smaller group. Either way, it would buy time to get your people out to the new site."
  620. "I don't like our chances if we let all of them engage."
  621. GM: They're the last two out, hurrying down the street.
  622. "If we had a truck I'd ram them," Secunda mutters. "There's gotta be speeders around here somewhere right?"
  623. GM: Unfortunately, their instincts were on the money. No less than a block or so down, Coralee and team find a second group of stormtroopers quick-marching down the way.
  624. Coralee: "Or dumpsters. I can haul something in the way to close the gap further-- ah."
  625. GM: It's at that point that their least expected member makes her presence known.
  627. "Cover your ears," Aria says.
  628. GM: From their spot in a connecting alley.
  629. GM: "And uh - take out earphones."
  630. Coralee: "Aria?" She blinks at her, and glances to Secunda. "..uh.. okay.." She's.. not sure what she's aiming to do. Sonic grenade? Flashbang? Did she steal some from the yacht's armoury?
  632. She reaches up to plug up tight.
  633. GM: She doesn't wait long. As the stormtroopers near and Coralee and the other Jedi ready to fight, the little girl emits a piercing shriek. It's louder than one would believe - it vibrates off the walls, along her bones, and there's a noisy pop on anything with a mic.
  634. Coralee: What!! Coralee winces. She's sure she'd have a ruptured eardrum if she wasn't muffling the sound with her ears. The lungs on that girl! She'd rival an Ithorian.
  635. GM: When it finishes, her ears are ringing even with the covering, and one of the rebels are reeling. Coralee can dimly hear the stormtroopers' shouts of pain, their attempts to coordinate, the groans of others in the area. They're ripping their helmets off, and that's when she lowers her tone.
  637. This time, it's nearly subsonic, rising into a strange, alluring melody.
  638. (Roll Mental Strength)
  639. Coralee: @iced Dice [15-3d6]
  640. [2017-08-19 7:32:24 PM] Iced Dice: 15-3d6 : 15-(1+2+6) = 6
  641. GM: There's a thread of the Force behind each of them - one to amplify her natural abilities, the other to sort of weave into her song. It's toying with baser parts of the mind, blunter than a Mind Trick and a lot easier to shake off - if you have any training at all, at least.
  643. As she watches, the people previously left with ruptured ears slow and stop, the people cowering from the Stormtroopers staring.
  645. Selucis blinks, baffled, and pushes the rebels to get them moving. They head into the street, finding the stormtroopers equally transfixed - maybe more vulnerable due to their training rather than less.
  646. GM: They hurry past them down another way, and Aria keeps it up as long as she can before she begins to cough.
  647. GM: Gasping for air.
  648. GM: Everyone's a little wobbly after that, but Tertia moves to support her, pulling her up into her arms as a ship makes a fast descent.
  649. Coralee: Coralee gives her a rather awed look at that point. That was incredible! But she doesn't want them to get chased down by some more stormtroopers so she does keep an eye on their backs in case any one of them round the corner. ...though they didn't look like they could think, let alone see so...
  650. GM: The people nearby are punch-drunk, wobbling when they try to stand, and they haul ass onto the freighter's lowered ramp Tertia puts her down inside, against a curved wall. Aria seems okay, rubbing her throat.
  651. "...ow," she mutters, raspy.
  652. Coralee: Coralee waits for everyone to be on board before she backs up with them. Then she crouches by Aria, brows raised. "That was amazing!"
  653. GM: She smiles, thumbs up.
  654. "How long have you been able to do that?" Secunda asks, rubbing her poor ears.
  656. She brushes Coralee's skin for better contact.
  657. Always, but - Just once... I read about another Sirene Jedi who could do it, but I only ever tried it when the Clones came for me at...
  658. GM: She trails off.
  659. Coralee: She gives her an understanding nod - she doesn't need to delve back into that... even Coralee's become pretty familiar with what happened now without having been there. She gives her arm a rub. "Rest. That looked stressful." She takes her supplies pack to see if she's got a bit of honey for her throat.
  660. GM: "Probably an underwater thing, maybe to deal with predators?" Tertia muses.
  661. She keeps some for her sweet tooth. Score!
  663. They meet up with Tanith later, docking with the ship she found a parsec or so out. Failing to find the Jedi on the other side of the city, Tanith settled for the next best thing - a shiny red, heavily armed light ship.
  665. "...and so that's when Aria shrieked and overloaded every mic in a two block radius and, somehow, paralyzed everyone with her voice. I wish I had a recording," Secunda says. "I will confess that I was rash in hitting the Aqualish, Master."
  666. GM: The other student teams will be returning to the Empty Nest.
  667. GM: Selucis stands by, letting the students give their debrief.
  668. Coralee: "Aside from the complication with the stun rod, though, all objectives were reached. And thanks to Aria, I think they'll believe we just vanished in a puff of smoke, until they review recordings of their gear anyway."
  669. Tanith: "On the whole, you did a solid job, especially with the constraints you had. But I do have one question."
  670. Tanith: "Why didn't you call for backup?"
  671. GM: "I know it might build a profile, but I felt it was the safest way out for everyone without showing a lightsaber," Aria manages by talking carefully.
  672. Coralee: "... I believed we still had the upper hand. The funnel would have worked with a sufficient blockage for obstacles... ...but I did not foresee the flanking squad coming from the camera blind spot.
  674. "I-- would have made a different call, if I thought of the possibility."
  675. Tanith: "Its always the things you don't see that get you," Tanith says drily.
  677. "And you're never going to see them all. If you have the assets available, always hedge your bets. Rapid response is why I stole a ship."
  678. Tanith: "And if you don't need the extra security-"
  679. Coralee: Coralee bows her head. "I will hold that to heart."
  680. Tanith: "Well, making your enemy's position even worse is another way to force a surrender or a de-escalation."
  681. Tanith: She smiles wryly.
  683. "There's no kill like overkill."
  684. Tanith: "So on the whole, solid job from everyone involved, but I want you all to separately think over what precautions you could have taken before approaching the safehouse. If you could find it, so could the Empire."
  685. Coralee: "I will." She steps aside then to give Selucis the chance to step up and speak.
  686. GM: She twitches her tail behind her, inclining her head.
  687. "Thanks for the rescue. Your students arrived at a good time - we were dealing with wounded."
  688. Tanith: "You're welcome, though I didn't really have much to do with this one. I'm glad we split up, though - I didn't realize it was that urgent."
  689. GM: "It wasn't, until a few hours ago."
  690. Tanith: "It's never that kind of party at first," Tanith agrees ruefully.
  692. "Tanith Rhane, by the way. And you?"
  693. GM: "Selucis, Jedi Knight, if only just. I was in transit when the Purge came. Arrived to find the Galaxy gone mad."
  694. GM: "Had to stop my flight early, fled to this sector."
  695. Tanith: "I've learned not to question providence," Tanith says ruefully.
  697. "Any idea how they made your friends? I haven't seen any sign that they knew a Jedi was on-world."
  698. GM: "No," she agrees. "Think we'd have had a lot more threat on hand for that - I'm thinking one of the second order cell members turned on them, or maybe a family member turned someone in."
  699. GM: "My plan was and is to move on to Jeitis, figure out what's going on - though getting to meet the Galaxy's most hated Jedi is a bit of a pleasure."
  700. Tanith: "Heh, likewise. There'd have been aerospace cover at the least, it's in the book."
  702. She tilts her head.
  704. "They'll be glad to have you there. What have you been doing over the intervening decade?"
  705. GM: "I started out trying to find others - managed to find a smuggler the files said had worked with the order. They passed along a datacard that basically said lay low, help will come, don't use your powers, they have Darksiders tracing you.'
  706. GM: "That sort of thing."
  707. GM: "I did what I could without powers, where I could."
  708. GM: She gives them a bit more before they leave - mostly, in the realm of dealing with the worst of the crime, stopping Imperial soldiers where she could, always careful, always moving.
  710. Now, she's moving again - but onward.
  712. Aria slumps into Tanith's side as they return to the Empty Nest a bit later.
  713. "Bad memories. Dwelling."
  714. GM: Over by Coralee, Tertia gives her a smile, pulling off her cloak.
  715. "Nice leading down there. You'd have fit in at the Temple, Cor."
  716. Coralee: "I have a lot to learn still, clearly, but... thank you. And solid work you two as well." She steps off to go change out of her cloak and uniform and into some more casual clothing.
  717. Tanith: (Sorry about that.)
  718. GM: Tanith had spent the last part of her conversation walking the Selonian through Stealth, making sure she's well-hidden before she runs off to Jeitis.
  720. Another down - another Knight restored.
  721. GM: Though, one thing she could tell - Selucis hadn't been Called yet.
  722. Tanith: That's just going to be one of those ugly conversations that someone else can argue about.
  724. But then if she had been she'd probably be dead.
  726. If she wants the job, it will happen.
  727. Tanith: Tanith puts her hand on Aria's shoulder, guiding the kid towards one of the couches.
  729. "You did well down there," she says reassuringly.
  731. "Did you know you could do that?"
  732. GM: Tertia nods, grateful, looking after her sister. Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail, Secunda's in a braid, to better help others distinguish them. "I'm sorry about Secunda. And - thanks for not prying much? Sometimes people want to get in our business and we're not ready."
  733. GM: Aria settles in, nodding slightly.
  734. "I've done it... once. Against the clones. I had warning."
  735. GM: "Telena found me a bit after that."
  736. GM: "It was worse last time. The Jedi I read about was known for doing it a lot more - I never trained the right muscles, I guess."
  737. Coralee: "We're empaths, Tertia... It goes without saying that we're here for each other." She smiles at her, starting to slip rings and clips into her hair to tame it. "When you're ready, if you're ready, and you need an ear, mine are here."
  739. "But it's not up to me to determine that. Only you."
  740. Tanith: "She was bigger than you, Aria,"
  741. GM: She takes that in for a sec.
  742. "Oh. Right."
  743. She laughs weakly, wiping her face.
  744. GM: They all get that look now and again, even Connor. Seven months away from it has helped, though.
  745. GM: " were the one who warned me to find Telena."
  746. GM: She pulls her legs in.
  747. Tanith: (Sec)
  748. GM: Alisae's is in the women's showers, scrubbing hard. Her hair smells something fierce.
  749. "We had to go into one of the ammonia districts," she groans to Coralee. "They wouldn't come out. A few cells still remain, though."
  750. Coralee: "We got lucky and only had to pass nearby." She offers sympathetically. Getting something that smells bad in the air is a terrible curse indeed. "..did you try nightshade fruit juice? It gets rid of the smell of mephit spray at least."
  751. GM: "Do we have any?"
  752. Coralee: "I'll check the food stores." She slips out to go peek and look for something with a sufficiently low Ph.
  753. Tanith: Tanith considers that, sitting on the couch next to Aria.
  754. Tanith: "I was at home watching the holo," she says, putting an arm around the girl.
  755. Tanith: "I knew something was wrong, and something very bad was happening, but I didn't know how I knew that."
  756. Tanith: "Maybe I did. I don't know. I did feel like we'd met before."
  757. Tanith: "But however it happened, you got out of there."
  758. GM: Her breathing evens, her heartrate slowing.
  759. GM: Each time, the trauma fades just a little quicker than before.
  760. GM: "I did good back there, didn't I?"
  761. GM: More rhetorical than a question
  762. GM: In response to her earlier praise.
  763. Tanith: "You did," Tanith agrees.
  765. "Would have been a fight if you hadn't."
  766. GM: Aria smiles, and the two nestle down, talking quietly.
  768. Shae helps Coralee source something decent and together they get Alisae sorted. Another mission done - and a lesson learned. Coralee can't let fear guide her, but when a situation is accelerating she needs to know to reach out.
  770. Unfortunately, not every mission goes quite so well.
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  779. yesterday at 2:48am QuoteEditlikePost Options NPCPost by razoric480 on yesterday at 2:48am
  780. A month or so later. Maybe a bit less...
  782. A cold mist hangs over the frontier town, the sky the steel grey of clouds. The wind scarcely seems to disturb it. Something crunches underfoot, and beneath the layer of mist disturbed by her foot, Coralee finds a bone, picked clean.
  784. The town is empty, dead, silent - and they're wearing sealed environment suits for a reason.
  786. Connor looks over at Tanith, frowning.
  787. GM: "Known population of this place is supposed to be twenty thousand."
  788. GM: "There's not nearly enough corpses for this, according to the scanner."
  789. Tanith: "There's enough that people wouldn't notice the discrepancy unless they investigated in detail, which is the job of the authorities."
  790. Tanith: "You know, when there's authorities."
  791. Coralee: Coralee is not taking well to the situation at hand. Being stuffed in a sealed suit to begin with was heavy discomfort. Then told to wander what is pretty much the underworld on the surface... It's triggering her eebie jeebies and exacerbating her claustrophobia. She's breathing and holding together, thanks to Tanith's teachings so far, but she's not a happy camper.
  793. "Think they may have gone underground...?"
  794. Tanith: "No."
  796. She nods to the bone under Coralee's foot.
  798. "This happened a while ago."
  799. Tanith: "If the entire town had scattered the story would be known in the rumour mill, and even if they had somewhere to hide they couldn't afford to hide this long. Supporting a town of people takes serious supplies."
  800. Tanith: Is there any evidence of a fight?
  801. Coralee: Coralee crouches down, gingerly picking up the bone in question. "Hrm..."
  802. GM: Yes. Some carbon scoring on buildings, but not a lot.
  804. Coralee's seen wounds like this on the bones before - ribs slashed open, bones crunched by teeth.
  805. GM: In places, the ground has been scraped - by a lot of feet.
  806. Coralee: "Looks like... beasts did this. This is has been chewed up. And raked. Something big, to have gone through ribs like that.."
  807. Tanith: "Animals picked it clean," Tanith disagrees.
  808. Tanith: "Doesn't tell you of they were alive when it happened."
  809. GM: "Uhm - guys?"
  810. GM: Secunda calls
  811. Coralee: "..I suppose it could be scavengers, but... What is it?"
  812. Coralee: She sets the bone down and stands up.
  813. Tanith: Tanith looks over.
  814. Tanith: And then starts walking in Secunda's direction.
  815. GM: They find her looking down at a pit - a droid had been excavating it to lay down a new foundation. The droid is in standby mode, or powered off, and beside it are a number of twisted skeletons. Faces, stretched out, bones elongated.
  816. Tanith: "Looks like we have a witness," Tanith says sourly.
  817. Coralee: "What happened to those..?? Did they partly melt?"
  818. GM: "The droid might be able to say, at least," Connor says.
  819. GM: "It strikes me that we really could have used a few people with postcognition."
  820. Tanith: "Like me?" Tanith says wryly.
  822. "I just prefer to do the investigation properly first."
  823. GM: "Oh right."
  824. GM: "See, I forget things."
  825. Tanith: "I know. It's endearing."
  826. Coralee: Coralee smiles. "Tanith can just about do everything, I'm not surprised it slips the mind."
  827. GM: "He's actually not too far from the charge cable," Secunda observes. She checks her landing area and takes a floaty leap across the pit.
  828. GM: "Anything I should watch out for before I plug him in?"
  829. Coralee: "Who'd remember that long a list?" She looks down at where the droid is. "Do we want to bring him in or charge him there?"
  830. Tanith: "I'm not exactly a specialist," she adds absently, "As usual."
  832. "And yes."
  833. Tanith: "Is that source live ?"
  834. GM: "Y'all assuming it's a he," Cassius says, a thirteen year old Twi'lek male, who's investigating along the nearby wall.
  835. Tanith: "Because after this long without maintenance it probably shouldn't be."
  836. GM: She checks the panel.
  837. "No, but the battery bank is full."
  838. Coralee: "It's a big buff worker," she reasons to Cassius.
  839. GM: "We already knew the fusion generator's down. Safety."
  840. Tanith: "Alright then."
  842. Tanith takes a step and drops down into the pit, landing near the droid.
  844. "Plug him in and then jump back out."
  845. Tanith: "Never really know."
  846. GM: She nods and snakes a line from the cable. Rather than pick across the bones, she holds her hand out and lets it float into the socket.
  847. Coralee: The battery bank or droid aren't exploding, so that's a good sign.
  848. GM: She leaps out as asked, and the droid starts charging. There's no visible sign, but most droids are programmed to wake back up after about a twenty-percent charge, and sure enough, his lights come on, running diagnostics before turning a head to regard Tanith
  849. GM: "She's gonna do the beep thing, it's gonna be great," Cassius says.
  850. Tanith: "Do you speak basic?" she asks it, disappointing Cassius immediately.
  851. Coralee: Really, he was asking for that.
  852. GM: "Affirmative."
  854. "Aw man."
  855. GM: Degree 3 or 4. Hopefully 3.
  856. Tanith: "What's your designation?"
  857. GM: "FER-287. Alias 'Bricklayer.'"
  858. GM: His voice is deep and bassy. He probably needs basic to keep up with a human operator who isn't terribly skilled in droid diagnostics.
  859. Coralee: Or one who can't do the beep thing.
  860. Tanith: "What was the date and content of the last directive you received?"
  861. GM: "8.25.994." Two weeks ago. "Stop operations. My master entered sick time."
  862. Tanith: "When did you enter standby?"
  863. GM: "The following morning, when my battery reached 10%. There were several others in the pit, but they did not give valid commands."
  864. Tanith: "What commands did they try to give you?"
  865. GM: He spits out some garbled basic, hissing grunts made somehow more terrible by his deep speakers.
  866. GM: Tertia, nearby, looks ill, and she sits down to clear her head and meditate.
  867. Tanith: "That's enough."
  868. GM: He stops, cutting off the stream
  869. Coralee: Coralee winces. She's not far from needing to do that too, but she holds on for now.
  870. Tanith: "Location of the town's medical facilities?"
  871. GM: "Take the secondary road towards the main road. Take a right, go down six buildings. Two-story, durasteel-permacrete architecture."
  872. Tanith: "Administrative centre?"
  873. GM: "Across the street from the medical complex."
  874. Tanith: "Aerospace sensors?"
  875. GM: Flickering lights.
  876. "I do not know, but standard colony protocol would place them at the landing area control center."
  877. GM: Cassius has a lot of 'covering' humor. He's not smiling now, though.
  878. Coralee: "That's where we landed, isn't it?"
  879. Tanith: "Nearby, yes, but sometimes they centralize it at admin."
  880. GM: They didn't see a control tower there, so likely.
  881. Tanith: "Coralee, Connor, Secunda, I want you three to look through the admin building and pull what records you can."
  882. Coralee: "Yes, Tanith."
  883. Tanith: "The rest of you see about locating whatever sensor records there might be."
  884. Tanith: "I'm going to sift through the medical center."
  885. Tanith: "Bricklayer, can you assist in locating the landing control building?"
  886. GM: Secunda nods, bounding over to join Coralee and Connor.
  888. "Affirmative."
  889. Coralee: And off she goes with the pair, down the secondary road to the main road, six building downs, across from the medical center.
  890. GM: Bricklayer, now fully charged, detaches and lets the cable coil up. He rolls out of the pit, and Cassius and Tertia follow after.
  892. The admin building is a three layer deal, each a bit larger than the last, and they have to use the emergency hydraulic lever to pump the door open enough to get in. There's a couple blasters on the floor, the bones piled in a corner.
  893. GM: For Tanith's part, the medical building is a square with cutoff corners, white permacrete. It's the most hardened building in town by a fair margin, with the durasteel supports.
  894. Coralee: She's got a hard time pinning down just what possibly could have happened. Blasters indicates a firefight, but everyone's dead all over the place which seems to indicate a pathogen, and everyone whole enough for scavengers to come chew up.
  896. This is what they're after, anyway. She shines some light around to start looking for some sort of latest archive, feed or terminal they might be able to somehow rig into booting up. That or strip of its data offline onto datapads.
  897. Tanith: The medical building is a worry.
  899. If there's anything alive, it'll be here - and that might not be a good thing. But it's also probably the most informative, both for an investigation and postcognition.
  901. But odds are it's going to be an ugly scene.
  902. GM: (brb)
  903. GM: There's carbon scoring on the walls and floors. There's terminals down here, though most seem public. Heading a floor up, they find a control center that's on emergency lighting still.
  904. GM: Heading in, Connor pulls a battery pack from his backpack and finds a datapad, plugging it in.
  905. GM: "Short of getting the fusion reactors running, this is the best we can do for now. We can take memory from the servers and plug it into here."
  906. Coralee: It's better than what Coralee was planning. "We're not having it run simulations for us, this should do for what we need."
  907. GM: Secunda helps the three of them search. She has a basic knowledge of electronics, and finds the central database. They even rig it up with some power - not enough to get the terminals running, but enough to feed into the pad.
  908. GM: "Emergency procedures. Emergency beacon - which we didn't find active."
  909. Coralee: "Doubt it ran out of power. A beacon that can't even do two weeks would be unusual... What's the emergency message?"
  910. GM: "Top-level medical distress call."
  911. Coralee: "That confirms pathogen."
  912. GM: Secunda brings over a big storage unit and they take a dump of the system image and its files.
  913. GM: Cassius clicks in.
  914. GM: "About two weeks before, there were meteor sightings that were suspected illegal insertions."
  915. GM: "No trace of any vehicle was found."
  916. GM: "Sensor readings show something entered the atmosphere at high velocity."
  917. GM: "Maybe several."
  918. Coralee: "A biological load, or loads, certainly." She taps her tongue to the back of her teeth. "But then... who launched it and from where?"
  919. Tanith: Iced Dice [15-3d6]
  920. [12:43:58 AM] Iced Dice: 15-3d6 : 15-(2+3+1) = 9
  921. Tanith: (Don't know what the penalty for time is)
  922. Coralee: (penalty is in years, so within 2 weeks it's 0.)
  923. Tanith: (Oh. Nice.)
  924. Tanith: (And nothing for distance because she's right there)
  925. Coralee: (-1 for half a year)
  926. Coralee: (so that makes it a crit)
  927. Coralee: (wait, no. just barely not)
  928. Coralee: (at 16 it would have been.)
  929. GM: (Brb!)
  930. Tanith: (Oops. I may have dozed off.)
  931. GM: (back)
  932. Tanith: Tanith's voice cuts into the com channel.
  934. "See if there's anything since the date Bricklayer gave, then look back through the records and find how often they usually get visits - supplies, trade."
  935. Tanith: "Its probably on a rough schedule and I want to know when the next one is due."
  936. GM: He rattles off a couple dates - once every month, give or take a week.
  937. GM: And one sensor reading in the time after Bricklayer's date
  938. GM: A clear ship.
  939. Coralee: Rather suspicious, when paired with the bizarre entries.
  940. GM: "So - Cor, you're good with animals," Secunda says. "Could you say where they went?"
  941. Coralee: "They left a lot of tracks, and it's not exactly fresh. Do-able, though."
  942. Tanith: "Get a direction but don't leave town. I'll be off comms briefly."
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  951. yesterday at 2:48am QuoteEditlikePost Options NPCPost by razoric480 on yesterday at 2:48am
  952. GM: Doing something similar, Tanith works his way into the medical building, and holy hell.
  954. It's a mess in here.
  956. Unlike the rest of town, this place sealed up - and the bodies were left to rot over two weeks, so thank the stars for her mask. Creatures and people, glass shattered. There's a door ripped off its hinges, but after a bit of searching she finds a sealed blast door below.
  957. GM: Town's shelter.
  958. Tanith: Any life down there?
  959. GM: That's a yes.
  960. Tanith: That's surprising, and the first piece of good news all day.
  962. But she can't even consider opening that place up until she knows what the hell happened. Apparently there were creatures, but before that there was an illness, so who even knows how toxic this place might be.
  963. Tanith: If there's datapads and available records . . .
  965. . . . outside of that she needs to find whatever people were using as a meeting room to coordinate this mess.
  966. Tanith: That or their senior doctor.
  967. Tanith: Postcognition will work best with a direction.
  968. GM: She manages to scoop up a couple medical datapads, and then she finds the conference room on the second floor, a few more bodies arrayed. This'll do.
  969. Tanith: How did these ones die?
  970. GM: Door was sealed, torn open. There's bite marks, but they died from shooting themselves in the head.
  971. Tanith: . . .
  973. Well now this is really starting to sound like a horror trid.
  974. Tanith: She'll get the date it went to hell from the medical datapads - they'll cut of abruptly -
  975. Tanith: - then cast her senses back and see what she can find.
  976. GM: Same evening that Bricklayer got his last order.
  978. As for her senses...
  979. GM: The dividing line between someone who's just okay at postcognition and someone who's awesome at it is this - can you look around and see yourself there?
  981. Tanith can.
  983. It starts off as tunnel vision, then expands to more of a trid, which is just a wonderfully awful coincidence considering her earlier mental comment.
  985. She flickers through different events, looking for the ones with the strongest emotional impact and working backwards.
  987. It's a meeting - glancing at a datapad, she notes the date as a day or two after the first mysterious sensor contact.
  988. GM: They're discussing an uptick in fevers. Tests are performed, no new pathogens detected, patients are observed overnight, subscribed basic medication, and sent home.
  989. GM: Flicker flicker. Three days
  991. Meeting called. Large number of fevers, nausea. Humans, near-humans, and a couple mammalian species. Quarantine is announced, but the symptoms disappear in a couple days. No pathogen detected, despite what appears to be a converted effort
  992. GM: One of the doctors talks about his kids.
  993. GM: Flicker flicker.
  995. More subjects added, observation continues. Great confusion as to how this is getting around.
  997. Flicker.
  999. Two days before, half the doctors in the room are gone. Request for emergency quarantine denied.
  1001. Flicker
  1003. Day of.
  1004. GM: A growth was found. Pathogen isolated.
  1005. Tanith: What was the vector?
  1006. GM: Previously? Fluid contact.
  1008. On that day?
  1010. It became airborne.
  1011. Tanith: And it wasn't just the pathogen that started mutating, was it?
  1012. GM: No. No it didn't.
  1014. Tanith's not going to forget watching this. It starts with aggression - they're still humanoid then, violent, but humanoid. Then the change. Follicles growing thicker hairs, fur. They're hungry, consuming more food to grow larger, limbs longer, face elongating, jaws filling with teeth. Smaller cranial space.
  1016. She might have to cut some of this out later. It hurts to watch, it hurts a lot.
  1017. GM: And then something draws her attention just outside. A figure in black armor that's maybe a smidge inspired by Operative, not unlike hers in fact. She's pushing someone forward, a barabel doctor with his hands up, who would have been immune to the disease. She gestures, and he gets to his knees outside the building. Taking a datapad, he reads.
  1019. "Should... should the Jedi Knight Tanith Rhane happen upon one of these instances, this is a message. It's quite simple, r-really... There's j-just one thing I want you to know - "
  1021. He swallows.
  1023. "This train has no brakes."
  1025. And with that, the figure snaps on a ruby red lightsaber and cuts him in half. Shapes emerge from the shadows of the buildings, loping cautiously closer. She doesn't need to see what happens then.
  1026. GM: Heading downstairs, Tanith reaches the blast door. There's a group on the other side, sure enough. It's a solid area - the shelter has been built hardened.
  1028. She came here looking for one on the Doctor's list.
  1029. GM: There's power here, too. Emergency generators.
  1030. Tanith: She switches com frequencies - 674.3
  1032. "Are you still alive in there?"
  1033. GM: Click.
  1034. "Yes," a Duros' voice answers.
  1035. GM: Weary, but with an edge of hope.
  1036. Tanith: "Well, I guess we're here to rescue you. We're just figuring out how to do it safely. You have any medical emergencies, and how are your supplies?"
  1037. GM: "Largely thanks to my son, there's twenty-five of us down here. It's far less than capacity - we can hold out for a while."
  1038. Tanith: "Okay, good."
  1040. She exhales heavily.
  1042. "We think the pathogen is gone but we aren't certain, so unless you have environmental suits we're going to have to be really careful about this."
  1043. GM: "Just four."
  1044. Tanith: "Its enough to go back and forth if we can sterilize this room, which should be doable."
  1045. Tanith: "Anyone that won't fit one?"
  1046. GM: "Some small children. If you have survival bubbles on your ship, that would do in a pinch for them."
  1047. GM: Cassius clicks in.
  1048. "If we can share our environmental suits, that might help."
  1049. Tanith: "Yes, but we need to make sure we've got firepower in case we have a problem with . . . the creatures. I don't expect to, but better safe than sorry."
  1051. "First trick is decontaminating this room, but the med centre has gear for it."
  1052. Tanith: "But I guess once we get that handled a few trips won't be too hard."
  1053. Tanith: "You . . . all know what happened, I'm guessing."
  1054. GM: "Had a view," he says darkly. "We went in when the emergency lockdown was refused. Had to leave a couple people out."
  1055. GM: "Wasn't easy."
  1056. Tanith: "No. Never is."
  1057. Tanith: "You saw the lunatic outside?"
  1058. GM: "No, didn't see anyone outside."
  1059. Tanith: "I didn't figure. Alright, if any of you know how to work the decontamination gear, it's time to speak up - otherwise I'm going through the manuals."
  1060. GM: "We've got some people. Medtechs, I'm a doctor."
  1061. Tanith: "But we'll stay on the com line either way-"
  1062. Tanith: "Okay, good. So let's go through this in detail . . ."
  1063. GM: It's nice to work with people who know what they're doing. They attach a sealed unit to their side of the door that acts as a sealed decontamination chamber, and then cycle the door lock. It slides open, two diagonal layers, revealing a white transparent cell with four individuals. Others peer from outside.
  1064. Tanith: "Okay. There's some trouble near the landing pad but nothing in town, but we need to hurry anyway."
  1065. GM: "How big's your ship?" the Duros asks over the com. He's not the first out.
  1066. GM: "We could land it closer if we had to."
  1067. GM: The first out are teens - the kids of those inside, no doubt - they try not to look as they make their way through the hospital above.
  1068. Tanith: "Yeah, but in town we can use a speeder. If we move the ship in we have a less defensible position for it. Unless things turn worse I'd rather they keep distracted out there."
  1069. Tanith: Speaking of. Is there a speeder she can steal?
  1070. GM: "Fair point. I'll trust the expert."
  1072. There's lotsa speeders.
  1073. GM: Frontier town, did a lot of hunting exotic animals.
  1075. That - is probably intended irony.
  1076. Tanith: Good. Stealing one won't take any time at all.
  1077. GM: How many times has Tanith hotwired a speeder? Enough that she does it more or less automatically. She finds an ambulance not far from the hospital, actually. Perfect.
  1078. Tanith: And for once she'd best not drive like a maniac.
  1079. GM: One of the teens pops up by the dock near the back of the place.
  1080. "We've found some tubing - this is meant to be an airlock in case of emergencies."
  1081. GM: "We could run it down to the shelter."
  1082. Tanith: "Run it past the people back there - if they reckon they can seal it up we'll run with it."
  1083. GM: He nods and passes the word on. After a couple minutes, the approval comes up.
  1084. "We'll have to run decontamination through the tubing and the ambulance, but it's viable."
  1085. Tanith: "How many do you think we can pile into this?"
  1086. GM: "I'd say ten?" He touches his ear. "Yeah. Ten will fit standing."
  1087. Tanith: "Any of you know how to drive?"
  1088. Tanith: "Because in that case, get ten on and the rest of you I'll steal another speeder for."
  1089. GM: "All of us that aren't too young to reach the pedals. I'll volunteer."
  1090. Tanith: "Good. That's half in one trip."
  1091. Tanith: "Organize that and I'll find something else. If you see anything, call, but there's nothing nearby on scanners."
  1092. GM: "All right - thank you, traveler."
  1093. Tanith: "Thank me when we're out of here."
  1094. GM: "Noted, one IOU."
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  1103. yesterday at 2:48am QuoteEditlikePost Options NPCPost by razoric480 on yesterday at 2:48am
  1104. Coralee: "Okay." She turns to head out and begins to look through the dust again... Specifically if she can find one that would be a lot fresher than the ones from two weeks ago. They'd be bound to come back now and then since it had been a bounty of food at least once.
  1105. GM: (Throw an appropriate roll my way)
  1106. Coralee: Observation to find some fresh tracks @iced Dice [12-3d6]
  1107. followed by tracking [12-3d6]
  1108. [1:39:54 AM] Iced Dice: 12-3d6 : 12-(1+3+5) = 3
  1109. [1:39:55 AM] Iced Dice: 12-3d6 : 12-(2+5+4) = 1
  1110. GM: Coralee feels pretty confident that they did not leave in one large group, but several groups, out into the wilderness. There's no sign that any large number have returned since.
  1111. Coralee: "Looks like pack animals - several packs, instead of one herd. They came and feasted around the same time, and haven't really come back since," she reports to those who are on-comm. "Then skipped right back out of town from the direction they came in from."
  1112. GM: Connor shadows her as they go, coming around to where Bricklayer has parked. Cassius sits outside, along with Tertia, who looks over towards the medical building.
  1113. GM: Secunda floats down from a higher vantage, hopping off a building.
  1114. Coralee: She nods to them as they gather up in a group. She doesn't really have to point out that she's got a a bad feeling about this.
  1115. Tanith: The com clicks on.
  1117. "Okay," Tanith's voice says, with an icy calm relatively unlike her usual.
  1119. "Make sure we're good to leave in a hurry. This was done deliberately. The creatures should be assumed to be sentient because they were sentients."
  1120. Tanith: "The pathogen is airborne so be very careful."
  1121. GM: Shae answers.
  1122. "I've got everyone locked up behind a second layer of doors, just in case."
  1123. GM: "Was anything effective in eliminating it?
  1125. Direct radiation of contaminated surfaces.
  1126. GM: High heat
  1127. Tanith: "Radiation, heat. The usual high-end decontamination procedures would work."
  1128. Tanith: "There's life down in the shelter and I'm not sure how to open it safely. If someone could rummage through the administration servers for details - there's probably a com line - that would be ideal."
  1129. GM: "On it," Secunda says, tapping through their captured pad.
  1130. Coralee: Coralee grits her teeth, glancing down at the bones again. That's insane... Deliberately turning people into beasts? That's monstrous.
  1131. GM: "674.3."
  1132. Tanith: "Good."
  1134. There's a long pause.
  1136. "And can someone look at the viability of overloading the fusion plant?"
  1137. Coralee: "I wouldn't know where to begin." She looks at the others.
  1138. GM: "I can do it," Secunda says.
  1139. GM: "Hey, Brick? I need you to shut down. You're being taken offline for maintenance." She looks to Coralee as the big robot shuts down.
  1140. "Can you grab his core? It's not very big, easy to find. I know there's not much there, but - he helped us, I get sentimental."
  1141. Coralee: "Yeah, sure." She steps over to the droid to find his primary panel and tug it open so she can recover the primary assembly.
  1142. Coralee: Without tools, might take a bit of arm strength.
  1143. Tanith: "I don't think the pathogen is still active," Tanith continues, her tone still icy.
  1144. Tanith: "This was too precise. But I don't want to take chances."
  1145. Coralee: "We don't know if it could re-activate on some stimulus, either."
  1146. GM: "No, it's a good precaution," Shae agrees. "We arrived here before the supply ship."
  1147. GM: "Some of our friends might be able to help whoever's left after."
  1148. Tanith: "Get what recordings you can and see what other evidence you can find, but keep an eye on the sky."
  1149. Tanith: "They'll have left evidence. They were baiting me specifically."
  1150. Coralee: "If they expect your brand of solutions, they might have left a surprise at the reactor."
  1151. Tanith: "Check, but I doubt it. They didn't know we'd be here. They expected we'd run across one of these ."
  1152. Tanith: "And it's far more terrifying for the galaxy at large if it stays a mystery."
  1153. Tanith: "Sabotaging the reactor doesn't do that."
  1154. Coralee: "...that's mental."
  1155. GM: "He could have hit the Temple with all manner of weapons and made it quicker," Connor says quietly
  1156. GM: "He maximized the terror, pitting our best against dozens."
  1157. Tanith: "Yeah. See what else you can dig up, but be careful. I'll see what's waiting downstairs."
  1158. GM: Coralee retrieves Bricklayer's core. They can decontaminate it like everything else, just in case.
  1160. Secunda and Tertia head down to take care of the reactor, while the rest of them make their ways back.
  1162. "I've been tracking life forms. The... packs keep their distance, keeping deep in the tree cover."
  1163. GM: "They stick to small groups. I'm not a Jedi like the rest of you, but I'd put my money on family."
  1164. Coralee: "That matches the evidence of the tracks. They've fed in packs which, save the rare occasion of adoption, is familial. That they were people before, though... that's a different kind of bond."
  1165. Coralee: "They have not been returning now that the meat's gone and picked clean. We should be able to avoid encounters so long as we don't leave any reason for them to come back."
  1166. GM: Connor squeezes Coralee's shoulder as they approach the Nest.
  1167. Coralee: "I'm okay," she assures, giving him a tight smile. "So long as I can get out of this suit soon."
  1168. GM: "Right after decontamination procedures."
  1169. Coralee: "Yeah, of course. Though it'll have to wait... I'd rather not have to go through the process of tugging it back on if we have trouble."
  1170. GM: "Head's up," Shae says. "Got a pack moving in. Cautious.
  1171. Coralee: "Direction?"
  1172. GM: "West."
  1173. Coralee: "You copy that, Secunda, Tertia?"
  1174. GM: "Copy. Moving to rooftops."
  1175. GM: Connor unlimbers a rifle from his back, extending the stock. He checks it.
  1176. GM: "Just four individuals, but I'll warm up the Nest's gun," Shae says
  1177. Coralee: Coralee preps her own as well. Definitely not the time to go into melee. "My main worry is that if we take those out, it'll attract the others to the potential meal."
  1178. GM: "We'll try to scare them if they get bold," Connor agrees.
  1179. Coralee: Now it's a matter of keeping their west flank secure.
  1180. GM: Heading out that way, Coralee gathers herself to find a good vantage. They spot them after a bit - they're weirdly beautiful in a way, loping on four limbs, somewhat canid, somewhat not.
  1182. "Tertia? Do you feel any intent?"
  1183. GM: "No major aggression."
  1184. Coralee: "Ears up, nose up, but head down. They're curious, but cautious."
  1185. Coralee: "Hungry, unfortunately."
  1186. GM: You're always hungry in the jungle.
  1187. Coralee: That is a reality she learned. You burn so much energy to catch or make your food.
  1188. GM: The largest, the male, moves forward while the female stays back with the two smaller ones. His ears twitch, and he looks right towards Secunda and Tertia's position.
  1190. "The ah... mind isn't quite human," Tertia murmurs. "I might need Coralee's help if we want to contact it."
  1191. Coralee: "I'm moving in closer to you." She starts to hop the rooftops to go join Tertia - keeping track of the hunter of the family in case he decides to be brash.
  1192. GM: Nothing yet. Shae hasn't pinged in on other contacts. Yet.
  1194. Tertia looks up, scooting aside to give her vantage on the balcony she and her sister are standing on.
  1195. Coralee: Up, and hop on down to join her. "It's uncanny how well designed they look."
  1196. GM: "That's probably part of the point," Secunda mutters grimly.
  1197. Tertia offers her a sad smile. "Can you get anything if you focus on him?"
  1198. Coralee: She takes a good look at him, concentrating on what made her make friends with animals... Getting them, and listening, which she did unconsciously before.
  1199. GM: Used to be this was pure instinct, but learning telepathy has helped a lot.
  1200. GM: Listen to the Force, listen to it carry thought, submerge her mind just a bit...
  1201. (Roll)
  1202. Coralee: @iced Dice [11-3d6]
  1203. [3:19:34 AM] Iced Dice: 11-3d6 : 11-(4+5+6) = -4
  1204. GM: (Can try again at -1. Concentration may assist)
  1206. Too much noise. She's not great at this.
  1207. Coralee: She huffs, but, calm down, focus... She takes a seat, breathes, and thinks it through carefully. Concentration @iced Dice [14-3d6]
  1208. [3:21:15 AM] Iced Dice: 14-3d6 : 14-(6+3+3) = 2
  1209. GM: "Contacts on other fronts - cautious, but testing," Shae calls.
  1210. Coralee: And then move her focus on him, taking a few moments extra while he's just sniffing and watching. Telepathy @iced Dice [(11-1+1+2)-3d6]
  1211. [3:22:53 AM] Iced Dice: (11-1+1+2)-3d6 : (11-1+1+2)-(3+3+4) = 3
  1212. GM: Gently, she filters through the noise until she finds that one mind.
  1214. He's hungry. Worried for his family. He knows the town is familiar, that he used to nest there, but that there's nothing left he can get at there - but the ship made them curious, and over the last couple hours he's gotten bold, wondering if that might change. A dim memory of food arriving from the sky.
  1215. Coralee: "...Hungry, as we figured, but it's also concern for not being able to feed his family. ..He's associating the Empty Nest with old memories of regular food supply imports."
  1216. Coralee: "Likely the same story with the other groups."
  1217. GM: Tertia lowers her head, breathing deep for a while. Secunda pats her back.
  1219. "If I shoot, will it scare him?"
  1220. GM: Connor and Cassius split up, leaping from roof to roof.
  1221. GM: "Scare him away, to be more specific."
  1222. Tanith: "Another option is if the colony does have remaining food supplies," Tanith cuts in.
  1223. GM: "It probably does. Stuff they couldn't get at. Stuff in the emergency shelter," Shae says.
  1224. Coralee: "It's harder to predict. Any animal facing a blaster from long range will be spooked, but he's partly human. ... I think he'll make for cover, or at least get his family there. ...But it might also make him wonder if we're competition for the food from the sky."
  1226. "And yeah, if we could provide the food somewhere else it'll keep them distracted for a good while while they compete."
  1227. Tanith: "Give me a moment."
  1228. Tanith: "Okay," Tanith says, over the shelter channel, "Food supplies. Does the colony have a central store? And yes I know they aren't to be trusted."
  1229. Tanith: "We're looking for a distraction."
  1230. GM: "Indeed," the Duros says. "One of the main buildings - MREs, mostly, some brick rations."
  1231. Tanith: "Better than nothing. I think they'll recognize it."
  1232. Tanith: "You all hear that?"
  1233. Tanith: "And for your information our intent is to overload the reactor when we go," Tanith adds, as she works on another speeder.
  1235. "Any objections?"
  1236. GM: There's a moment of conference.
  1238. "No - I think we're all pretty much agreed anything left behind here is tainted all to hell."
  1239. Tanith: "Yeah, and that would make the inevitable salvage trip a disaster."
  1240. Tanith: She kicks the speeder into motion, coasting it back towards the loading dock. No point making unnecessary noise.
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  1249. yesterday at 2:48am QuoteEditlikePost Options NPCPost by razoric480 on yesterday at 2:48am
  1250. GM: "We did indeed," Connor agrees.
  1251. Coralee: "Got it. We'll go make them accessible and see about leading one or two there. Once the others notice they'll converge."
  1252. Tanith: "Actually I was thinking 'steal a truck and throw a bunch on'."
  1253. GM: They move as a unit, then, hurrying across. Secunda pauses along the way to hotwire another speeder.
  1254. Tanith: "Frak subtlety."
  1255. GM: "Oh I'm way ahead of you."
  1256. Coralee: "Right. No kill like overkill."
  1257. Tanith: "Its not like anyone's going to do a forensic analysis when we're done here."
  1258. Coralee: "Okay. Then we'll stuff it with as much as we can find and crash the cargo in the northeast part of town."
  1259. GM: Connor takes that to heart - he and Tertia cut open the stores with their lightsabers
  1260. GM: Coralee picks up and tosses the heavy door, and together they start hauling
  1261. Tanith: "Lay a trail and set a feast. Bonus points if you do it away enough from the reactor that it doesn't take them all out."
  1262. Coralee: Big muscles and force based concentration help in moving this stuff in big packs.
  1263. Coralee: "Yes ma'am."
  1264. Coralee: "Shae, is there a nice flat area in the outskirts for them to make an arena?"
  1265. GM: "Sure - I can do you better. The area south of here is mostly clear for several klicks."
  1266. GM: "If you can lure them south, you can get them outside the likely radius."
  1267. Coralee: "Great. Then we'll lay our breadcrumbs, dump the freight there, and make our way back with just the cabin."
  1268. GM: The first ambulance rolls by as they finish packing up. Secunda practices ripping the tops off the containers with her telekinesis as they go, leaving them along the way while they swing in a wide arc around the cowering former-mammals.
  1269. Tanith: "So. Cor. You said there was a beacon."
  1270. Tanith: "Where is it?"
  1271. GM: Top of the medical building in fact.
  1272. Coralee: Coralee takes the wheel and, once loaded and ready to go, pulls out towards the southern field. Not too fast they'll be out of sight and the breadcrumbs will be light, not too slow that they'll catch up to the truck.
  1274. "It was broadcasting a medical emergency, so they stuck it on the medical."
  1275. Tanith: "Someone sabotaged it before everything went to hell."
  1276. GM: The mist churns up like ocean mist behind them, the boxes vanishing into it, but not to predator-smell.
  1277. Tanith: "If the ship and landing area are secure, take the truck and retrieve it. Connor made a good point, people could stand to learn postcognition."
  1278. Coralee: "Haven't heard Shae complain, so I think we're still secure. We'll go fetch it once we drop mealtime."
  1279. GM: "They're definitely following your guys' truck."
  1280. Tanith: "Well, that makes life easier."
  1281. Coralee: "Prepping to un-hitch. Best get into the cabin, girls."
  1282. GM: Tertia and Secunda leap from the back forward, Secunda pausing to rip the remaining tops off, the contents spilling as Connor throws a hard turn, banking back towards the town.
  1283. Coralee: And clunk, everything goes, suddenly making them a lot lighter and turning this area into the arena for the upcoming free for all.
  1284. GM: "Cor? You got my back while I take the main reactors," Secunda says, the thirteen year-old leaping off in mid-trip.
  1285. Coralee: "Got it. I leave the beacon fetching to you two," she says to Tertia and Connor before hopping off to go assist Secunda.
  1286. Coralee: Strangely, leaping out of a truck in motion is one of the more mundane things she's done in her life.
  1287. GM: Like on Medth, the generators are under the colony. Secunda makes short work of the doors, and they make their way down. They make their checks, but there appears to be no traps left. Coralee is still tense, wondering if one of the affected will find their way down.
  1288. GM: By the time they get back, with the reactor rigged on a timer, the second ambulance has arrived, and they transfer into the decontaminated interior of the ship.
  1289. Coralee: Apparently, the food gambit is working to perfection as nothing came down after them to go after what was obvious fresh meat. That's fine with her - risking a broken faceplate or a rip in the suit wasn't on her bucket list.
  1290. GM: "I think we're good. We've got maybe ten thousand beasties moving around the town south - they're moving fast, don't want to miss out. Would not want to have met that."
  1292. "How many MREs did we leave?" Tertia asks as they wait their turn at the ramp.
  1293. "I dunno - few thou? I'm not Tanith, I can't count with a glance."
  1294. Coralee: "We got twelve crates' worth on board, and they were 5 by 5 by 12, so, that's, uhh... 2, carry 0... 2500, give or take."
  1295. GM: "Okay - I've got the locals moved into the cargo bay. Good thing we dumped those Jedi artifacts with the Tython."
  1296. GM: "Did Telena ever talk your ear off about the history of Tython, Master?" Cassius asks as they head up to get cycled.
  1297. Coralee: Coralee is absolutely itching to get out of this outfit, especially as the sense of duty is gone. She steps into the decom and waits for it to do its thing and green light them through.
  1298. Tanith: "She didn't, no," Tanith says distantly.
  1300. "I don't think we had time."
  1301. GM: Coralee pops on into the cockpit. Shae's got the visual scopes up, and it's an impressive sight. They can tell the difference between the human, duros, and twi'lek kinds.
  1302. GM: "This took some Galaxy-class biological talent."
  1303. GM: "It's... artistic."
  1304. Coralee: She flops down into a seat, relief palpable around her from getting to feel air on her skin again. "I swear, that suit was shrinking... Oh, my." She leans forwards to look at the display feed. "They really look like they could have been born like that... But it was a metamorphosis agent. An airborn agent, that's insane."
  1305. Coralee: "Their bone structure, muscles... I didn't think you could do something like that without extensive invasive surgery?"
  1306. GM: She frowns, forming a private session with Tanith's comlink - and well, Coralee and Connor in the cockpit.
  1307. "Babe, what's the odds on this being... Sorcerous? At least on some level."
  1308. Tanith: "Crazy bitch had a lightsaber," Tanith says flatly.
  1309. GM: "Because Cor's right, that's not just a smidge over Galactic standard. We're talking full tank, multiple surgeries - well there you go."
  1310. GM: "Theory craft - the bioweapon was introduced to the population. The agent showed up after it had spread, then triggered it," Connor suggests.
  1311. Coralee: "If it was a dormant trigger, we might want to check on our new guests."
  1312. Tanith: "No, they isolated the pathogen before the end."
  1313. Coralee: "Oh, good."
  1314. GM: The mist parts before Tanith, and she finds herself facing the woman from her vision, head turned to look at her. It's not shadow walking - this is a brief glimpse of the past. She turns and walks back out of time, out of this doomed colony.
  1315. Tanith: "Started out fluid transferred, then . . ."
  1316. Tanith: She trails off.
  1317. Tanith: "And she left just enough evidence for me to backtrack."
  1318. Coralee: "..baiting you with atrocities towards an obvious trap?"
  1319. Tanith: "Yeah."
  1320. Coralee: She leans back in her seat, falling quiet. She doesn't know enough science to even begin to guess how this would be physiologically possible, unless they were laced with changeling-juice.
  1321. GM: Activating the repulsors, Shae takes off, drifting over to where Tanith is near the medical building. She leaves the ramp open, not bothering to land.
  1322. GM: "I'd just like to point out - the Director? He never would have thought of this. Wouldn't have bothered with it if he did."
  1323. Coralee: "Should we report this to the rebellion and the order?"
  1324. GM: "I don't think there's any question," Connor mutters.
  1325. Tanith: "Yeah, we report it."
  1326. Tanith: "But . . . we're not chasing it yet."
  1327. GM: Once Tanith's onboard and secured, she turns the nose up and blasts away. They stick around long enough - at a hyperspace vantage point - to make sure the colony blooms into light.
  1328. Tanith: "We can't control what they do," Tanith says finally, as she watches.
  1330. "That's just another lie they tell us."
  1331. GM: Shae reaches out, taking her hand.
  1332. Tanith: "If I chase it, then even if I win they'll redouble it."
  1333. GM: Connor squeezes Coralee's shoulder again.
  1334. Tanith: Tanith squeezes Shae's hand, looking down at the planet.
  1335. Coralee: Coralee is quiet herself as the reactor goes, reaching up to pat Connor's hand. "They might ramp it up if you don't."
  1336. Tanith: "They will. And they'll ramp it up when I do."
  1337. Tanith: "And when I end this one they'll send another."
  1338. Tanith: "And it works in their interests whether I do or don't."
  1339. Coralee: "...that's cancerous." To think she could have been on route to be in that kind of philosophy.
  1340. Tanith: "They want the galaxy afraid."
  1341. Tanith: "It makes me wonder if they were doing this already ."
  1342. GM: Shae opens her mouth, but shuts it. She can't find words to respond to such reckless hate.
  1343. GM: "Little projects at the edge of nowhere?" Connor asks, quiet
  1344. Tanith: "Yeah. Just a reminder to everyone that there's things in the galaxy worse than the Empire."
  1345. Tanith: "Things you really need to be afraid of."
  1346. Tanith: "Things they'll protect you from."
  1347. Tanith: She closes her eyes.
  1349. "I'm delegating this one to Eden."
  1350. Tanith: "She won't appreciate it."
  1351. GM: "I've seen propaganda like that, now that I think about it. Aliens attacking colonies that don't submit. Impacts, devastating plagues - Yeah. She won't. She took it up, though."
  1352. Tanith: "But with any luck she can find an avenue I can't."
  1353. Tanith: Tanith nods.
  1354. GM: Shae jumps them into hyperspace, then leans back, watching the blue
  1355. GM: "Jedha?"
  1356. Tanith: Tanith exhales heavily.
  1358. "Last thing they'll expect," she acknowledges.
  1359. Coralee: "We could all use a bit of spiritual cleansing there, I think."
  1360. Tanith: "That decision is going to make me feel dirty for a while."
  1362. She closes her eyes.
  1364. "When did I start playing the long game?"
  1365. GM: "I sure do. Tanith? Tertia was about destroyed by that - actually? Cor, you've built a rapport with them since Kefrene."
  1366. GM: Shae looks at her, brushing Tanith's lengthening hair back from her eyes and cupping her cheek.
  1367. Coralee: "I'll see what I can do," she promises, sliding up to her feet.
  1368. GM: "While ago, I think? Hard to really pin down."
  1369. Tanith: "Yeah."
  1371. She shakes her head, slowly.
  1373. "And you know the worst part of it?"
  1374. Tanith: "They put them all in an ecosystem that can't support them. And they left them just enough of their minds that they understand ."
  1375. GM: "...yeah. Yeah, I did get that." She sighs. "It'll take resources to save them. The Empire could park a cruiser in orbit just to make it that much harder."
  1376. Tanith: "It wouldn't hurt if they weren't family anymore."
  1377. Tanith: "We'll let Jeitis know. I don't know how much time they have or what can be done, if anything."
  1378. Tanith: "But they're more qualified than we are."
  1379. GM: Connor crosses his arms.
  1380. "He tested you, too."
  1381. GM: "Wanted to see if you'd get angry."
  1382. GM: Downstairs, Coralee makes her way to the cabin the two share. There's ten in total - decent sized yacht - and most share three to one.
  1383. Tanith: "I did. I am."
  1384. Coralee: She chimes their door, of course.
  1385. Tanith: She grimaces.
  1386. GM: Secunda opens it. Once inside, she finds Tertia in tears, the young teen bawling, trying to hold onto her calm and failing.
  1387. GM: Secunda sighs, going to slide back in next to her sister
  1388. Tanith: "But honestly?"
  1389. Tanith: "I don't really think he would have had any expectation it would work."
  1390. Tanith: "He just likes hurting people."
  1391. GM: Shae shakes her head
  1392. Coralee: Coralee takes the other side and drapes an arm about her. That she held it long enough to make it back to the ship is a testament to her willpower, but every dam fills up. So for now, Coralee provides her warmth and presence for her.
  1393. GM: "Yeah. Maybe he thought it might work, Connor, but a message like this - it's a statement, almost. Artistic, as I said."
  1394. GM: "All the fine little ways he extended their agony, the ironies - he didn't even bother making the effort to trap it."
  1395. GM: "He wanted it to be seen by the right people. Couldn't afford someone ruining it."
  1396. Tanith: "Yeah. And right now, even if we play along we can't prevent them. We can't protect everyone."
  1398. "It's going to be a few years."
  1399. Tanith: "He wants to be sure we know we're useless."
  1400. Tanith: "Ironically?"
  1401. Tanith: "He's so self-centered he forgets that means we know he's concerned."
  1402. GM: Tertia's cries weaken and die in time. The warm circle they give her works even better for a strong empath.
  1403. "...I couldn't stop thinking about the kids."
  1404. GM: "Even if someone saves them - how much is left? How do you bounce back from that?"
  1405. GM: "Their minds were pruned. We can't.. I guess there's cybernetics to recover function?"
  1406. GM: "That is some comfort." Shae shakes her head. "He's willing to make mistakes to hurt us."
  1407. Coralee: "With time, assistive tools.. rehabilitation is possible. There would be a lot of re-learning, and specialized help would be required. But, it's not insurmountable. Its like has been done before." She rubs at her back.
  1408. GM: Tertia quakes. "What if they have relatives off world? They have to, right? They're going to see their brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews changed..."
  1409. Tanith: "Not really."
  1410. Tanith: She shakes her head.
  1412. "People need to know."
  1413. Tanith: "What Sameera saw?"
  1414. Tanith: "He is exactly that mad."
  1415. Coralee: "It's a scarring blow," she agrees sadly. "It may test that very bond of family in many, and some may fail. Others will be there, though... You have to remember that there is incredible strength, past the hate this sort of atrocity implies."
  1416. Coralee: "And though hurt, they aren't all gone. It's torturous for them now, but that remnant of identity will be their ticket to rehabilitation."
  1417. GM: Shae is silent for a bit, her presence a rock to lean on as ever. Connor slips out, probably to chat with Cassius and give them space.
  1419. "With him? I want to say don't try. Don't give him a chance. Just finish it if you can. I know it's wrong, but I kind of don't care?"
  1420. Tanith: "No, there . . . "
  1421. Tanith: "There needs to be some common ground."
  1422. Tanith: "And I wouldn't even know where to start."
  1423. Tanith: "Even if I did?"
  1424. Tanith: She shakes her head.
  1425. GM: "'re a great optimist," Tertia murmurs, looking at her hands.
  1427. "Prima's alive. I don't know how she survived but we'd know if she was dead. Somewhere, she's out there, twice our present age - and maybe not on our side."
  1429. Shae smiles sadly, shifting in her chair to lean towards her. "I'm with you, Tanith - because I love you, yeah, and because I think you're right."
  1430. GM: Secunda sighs.
  1431. "I know she isn't - because the Prima we knew would have tried to send a message."
  1432. GM: "So, yeah - even him. Maybe there's something." Shae rises.
  1433. Coralee: "Hope is sometimes all I have." Coralee looks to the two of them, silent for a time. "I'm sorry. That's not something you should have to face." She frowns. "But... she's still your sister. That has to count for something even if she was pulled down."
  1434. GM: Secunda sighs. "Tanith and Alethia teach that it's possible. I'll still hate those holos about the twin who drifts too close to a black hole or some kriff, forever."
  1435. GM: "Like your heart getting divided into pieces - let alone like us. Connected in the frakking womb."
  1436. Coralee: "That connection, though, is going to be your lifeline. If it can be done, then that's what you'll have to pull."
  1437. GM: "Mm.. Yeah."
  1438. "I'm not going to be an optimist about it, but thank you."
  1439. Coralee: "No, but you know you'll have a chance one day. It's inevitable. That's when you pull. It might not work, but you will."
  1440. Coralee: "And you'll have us to catch you."
  1441. Tanith: "Maybe."
  1443. Tanith squeezes Shae's hand.
  1445. "Won't bet my life on that one."
  1446. Tanith: "Thank you."
  1447. GM: "Good." Shae rises. "I need you, after all - and thank you for bringing me."
  1448. She pulls her along. Not sex - grisly and inappropriate at this point - but sometimes even a Jedi Knight needs time with someone who cares.
  1449. Tanith: "What, I had a choice?"
  1450. GM: "Hell no~"
  1452. Tertia embraces Coralee, and Secunda joins in, the two quieted.
  1454. Just another day at the end of it. The Empire marches on.
  1455. ---
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