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Faction Aftermath: Tonight the Tap Pours Blue

Secrets are protected in the darkness

Far beneath the surface of Denon and the penthouse apartments and green filled gardens that make it up, sits a bar. Though its walls are old and the paint is chipped and faded. Though lines run from the corners where the rain, just faintly acidic at this depth, has eaten away at the paint, revealing the old and rust tinged metal beneath. Though its sign with its neon lights and stylized blue flame flicker and sputter every few minutes, the inside is full of life. It’s bursting with voices and music as patrons loiter about the bar or sequester themselves in the quiet booths for a private conversation. It is a normal night at the Blue Flame, one full of joy and poorly hidden dissent.

Raucous laughter washes over the bar. It’s loud, noisy and bright and full of youthful energy. Anakin finds himself smiling as he makes his way over, arms full of drinks and sharp teeth on display behind the wild smile.

“Haku Jee konpa?” He speaks in huttese, words slowed as he works around the language in his already buzzed mind.

“Anakin!” The name is spoken with excitement and no small amount of drunken joy.
His own smile widens at the sight of the togorian.
“Yaee Akan. Jee nan boht sanog!” He holds the tray aloft, the precious cargo swishing in their glasses and threatening to spill. An eager hand reaches for one, only to be swatted away with a carefully controlled wing.

“Mah dabayee!” The words are thrown to the air with over exaggerated grief and a look of equally theatrical betrayal.

The tray is moved out of reach. “Um koo, toupee mee dokoza.” His words are met with a cacophony of voices as they stumble over each other to share the tales they had experienced since he last saw them. His bargain is quickly forgotten, glasses of alcohol snatched from the tray before the first story and banter has ended. Anakin cannot bring himself to mind. Not now, when he’s sitting around a table with friends, laughing and joking with no plan on stopping before morning.

Warmth blooms in his chest, and hours from now, when he is alone and hunted, hiding in the rafters of a back alley roof and praying to Ekkreth that the corpos do not find him, he will wish he cherished it more. But that is later. Now he laughs and he smiles and he enjoys the company of friends.

Even as the CorpSec check their gear and slip into pre-assigned groups with nary a word. There is no need for a speech. No need for a summarization of their plan. Each one knows their job. To take and hold the Blue Flame. To arrest any and all occupants and search the building for any connection to the terrorist organization known as Darkwire. Be it from tech or from prisoners taken in the raid.

Still he smiles, and fidgets with the glass before him.

It’s not until they surround the building that his desert begins to stir. It’s a deep and heavy noise that rumbles from within his bones and sets his teeth on edge. It is a muted buzzing sound that should have sent his blood coursing through his veins and called the storm to his hands to rest in the bones of his fingers and the deadly tips of his claws until he calls for it.

Instead he simply ignores it. He clenches his jaw and begins to tell his own tale. Unaware, unexpecting, unknow-


The door slams open and CorpSec streams into the building. Each one is armed, each one is aiming their gun at the crowd. They are to capture the patrons of the bar, but Anakin knows with the hard won knowledge of a slave that there will be too many casualties for a simple subdue and capture.


For one single, weighted moment. Then-

A woman throws a glass at a CorpSec’s head. And the bar descends into chaos. They open fire, stun shots strong enough to send a wookie to the floor, rocketing around the small space. Glass and alcohol soar through the air and within moments the once orderly bar is reduced to a war zone, with tables overturned to create cover and the floor dotted with metal chairs covered in sharpened shards of glass and growing pools of alcohol.

It is chaos, pure and simple.

Mostly just fluff. For any interested, Coruscant translator was what I used to make it

There's more than one way to be enslaved
Spice blue eyes glance towards his friends. They are standing now, long honed instincts forcing them to their feet even in their addled states. They are unfettered, and they know what it means if they resist. They are Amavikkan, each and every one of them hailing from Tatooine, and they know what will happen if they do not. The stories are scarred upon their skin and burned into their mind. They will be returned, be it to Tatooine itself and the hutts that rule it, or to the corpo camps and work yards. Both paths lead to slavery. And they will not allow it.

The silence is broken with a crash. A togorian woman across the room throws him a glass of whisky at the head of a guard. It hits his helmet with a thunk, spilling alcohol across his face.

Tension breaks. Blasters fire into the crowd and Anakin dives behind a booth. His own blaster is at his hip, but his hands shake too much to hit a target. His vision swims, the bright bolts of blaster fire streaking across his view and causing his mind to pulse with pain.

He is trapped, huddled behind cover with his friends in the midst of the chaos and the screaming. In the midst of the haze of blaster fire and alcohol, both in his system and littering the floor and raining from the walls as bottles along the racks are hit by stray bolts.

As cruelty and battle rage around him, it would be a lie to say Anakin is the center of the storm.

No, he is scarred. Terrified in a way he has not been for decades. Depur’s enforcers surround him and his mind buzzes with the dulling effect of liquor.

Across the room, a wookie falls to the slavers’ guns. She takes two shots to the chest and falls in an instant. Behind him, his half wookie friend whimpers and leans into the others. They’re scared too. He can see it in their eyes, in the way they shy away from the fight.

A snarl forms in his throat. His people are scared. They are scared and cornered and he will not let them be taken. He is Anakin Stormrunner, Depuskalta, Kol-depuan, Ipada of his people. He is Anakin Stormrunner, named for Ekkreth the trickster, the shape changer, the slave who makes free and whom no chain can hold. He is Anakin Stormrunner, favored by Leia, and he will not go quietly.