Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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Enemies in High Places

Prakith, it wasn't a world that had joined the Alliance yet. It had been the scene for a pivotal battle between the One Sith and Galactic Republic. The Republic had thrown everything they had at the fortress world to try and draw the sith forces away from the offensive. It hadn't worked.

Jacen had spoken of the battle. He'd been a captain in a mercenary outfit fighting for the Republic. Apparently a single dark Jedi had cut down his entire platoon and left him for dead. As soon as he had been out of the hospital he'd taken a trip to the Jedi academy on Ossus and asked for a second chance to learn the Force.

Now Trextan was coming here, hoping to leave in better circumstances than his father had. The local law enforcement had called for aid from the Justicars. The evidence pointed towards a dark side cult in the mountains sending men to abduct force sensitive children from Prak City. They had come in plain clothes in an unmarked shuttle to investigate.

He turned to the man that had joined him for the mission. Actually he was somewhere between youth and man, just like Trextan. However, he realised he didnt know him that well.

"Feeling confident?" Trextan asked. "As long as we can find out where they're coming from we can probably convince them to coordinate with an Alliance assault team."

[member="Elmont Block"]

Elmont Block

Your focus determines your reality
Travel into the Deep Core was always dangerous; the densely packed stars and black holes at the galaxy's heart created gravity wells capable of warping the space-time continuum. Under such extreme conditions, hyperspace lanes were unstable, shifting or even collapsing without warning.

So the mission Elmont had agreed to participate in was only half of the challenge, so he was pleased when the blinding white field of hyperspace disappeared to reveal the Prak system: a small red sun surrounded by five tiny planets.

“Confident?” he echoed. “I’m pleased we made it this far. The next step can’t be any worse, can it?”

He looked down at the planet that was growing ever larger in the view screen. “You don’t need to answer that, I’m sure it will be. So, do we have a plan?”

[member="Trextan Voidstalker"]
[member="Elmont Block"]

Trextan gave a nod. "There's a man down near the edge of the city. Says his daughter was groomed and taken. Said the house used to shake at night when she had nightmares. We'll start there. A lot of people are being uncooperative. Either scared or actually still support the Sith."

The dot that was the planet slowly grew to be a fully resolved orb. Within moments it was coming up to meet them, the atmosphere buffeting the small shuttle.

"Everything is fine," their droid pilot relayed.

Trextan watched the mountain ranges coming up to meet them. It was early morning here, still dark. The ranges were daggers in the night, giving them a foreboding​ welcome. He could see the scars where the Republic artillery had tried to strike the city, but been repelled by the shield generators.

"How are you with sensing intent, emotion?"

Elmont Block

Your focus determines your reality
Elmont listened carefully. Details were key in investigation in his limited experience. And often it was a series of facts added together that provided a solution as opposed to one particular piece of evidence.

“The locals will provide a real challenge,” he said once Trextan had finished talking. “We will struggle to solve this without them, but their affinity for the Sith won’t help and for those that don’t support them, a fear of reprisals will be an equal deterrent.”

As the planet began to grow through the screen of the cockpit, Elmont cocked his head to one side. “I have an aptitude for sensing even a subtle change in emotion as opposed to pure Empathy. But I’d say I’m stronger than average in detecting someone’s intent. Is it infallible? No, but it’s generally reliable. What about you?”

[member="Trextan Voidstalker"]
[member="Elmont Block"]

"It comes and it goes," Trextan replied. "I'm told I need to clear my mind more. Never been a good listener I'm afraid."

Trextan returned his gaze to the window. He could see the lights of the starport coming up to meet them. Apparently the Republic had barely scratched the real defences here.

"At least if we can work out if they're afraid of reprisal we can start to confirm something is at work."

Something was and more than the Alliance knew. The Cult of Wrath had even infested to local police force. So bold had they become that they weren't planning to cover up their actions but abduct the Alliance Jedi and take them to the fortress for questioning. Their guide was unwittingly leading them into an ambush.

Elmont Block

Your focus determines your reality
Apologies for keeping you hanging :)

Elmont smiled wryly. “It seems listening is becoming a dying trait for the Jedi. My teachers always made similar comments about me. Except they said it wasn’t about my ears so much as my mind. It seems I tend to prefer to hear my own thoughts over the words of others. It’s a habit I ought to break, but it’s easier said than done — especially when so much hot air is shared by some Jedi Masters.”

And then Elmont followed Trextan’s gaze out of the viewing port.

“I sometimes wonder why we pursue planets with such a heritage of the dark-side. Andeddu, Bane and more recently the One Sith. I suspect there’s more than a few locals with an allegiance to the darkness and I wouldn't be surprised if we’re going to have our work cut out.”

He sat back in his chair. “Not that I mind hard work, but sometimes I think you have to pick your battles and know when a lost cause is just that.”

[member="Trextan Voidstalker"]
[member="Elmont Block"]

Trextan nodded slowly. "I'm not sure I prefer listening to my own thoughts," he said truthfully. Sometimes his thoughts could turn quite dark if left to stew unabated. "But I can get lost in them instead of dealing with what's going on if I don't focus I guess."

"Not sure I can disagree there. Probably why it's best not to go walking around in robes. Still, if we help some people they'll release the story to the news that Jedi helped. Might give us a bit of support."

He watched the landing pad come up to meet them as the shuttle levelled off. Trextan checked that he had spare power packs for the saber tucked into his jacket and the blaster on his belt and some local credit chits and a datapad loaded with digital currency.

The engines were still whining when the side door opened. Trextan stepped out first. He hadn't travelled much in his early years and it still struck him that each world tasted very different.

"Hi there! I'm Jassick Tarn!" A smiling man called out as he approached. He was wearing a thick navy coat with a fur lined collar which drew Trextan's attention to the chill mountain air.

Elmont Block

Your focus determines your reality
Elmont smiled ruefully. They were alike in some ways and he’d found a good home in the New Jedi Order in general and the Justicars in particular.

Elmont glanced down at the simple trousers and jacket he wore. Nondescript enough to be overlooked but not shabby enough to draw attention either. He was unused to wearing something so pristine and wondered if it would be warm enough to keep out the cold of the mountain air.

His saber was clipped to the back of his belt, hidden under the coat he wore — and visible was a blaster that he was competent with, but had no intention of using.

One look at their guide and the sting of the wind on his face told Elmont they’d under-dressed. “Well met,” he managed by way of a greeting. “Don’t suppose you have any spare fur coats on you?”

[member="Trextan Voidstalker"]
[member="Elmont Block"]

Trextan had a jumper but it didn't do much against the chill wind either. Jassick shot them both a look of mild amusement. In spite of the situation the man had always been able to keep his sense of humour. He'd been in the job for nearly two decades now. There wasn't much he hadn't seen or hadn't had to push through.

"Afraid the weather can change very quickly up here. We need to get you both to the station and some local ID anyway. There's a good box of property you can actually rifle through for something a little warmer."

"Much appreciated," Trextan said.

"Not that I'm judging both you both see quite young," he turned and headed for his landspeeder. "You should know the man we're going to see is still distraught. I know you're hear to try and use the Force to pick up the trail, but just try not to push him too hard okay?"

Elmont Block

Your focus determines your reality
Elmont gave a half smile and a nod to the guide. “Thanks,” he said, pulling his jacket closer to his skin, not that he made any difference by doing so.

He glanced up at the sky, the wind was often a good sign of changeable weather. His attention was pulled back to their job in hand by the guide. It was true. They weren’t old, and in the Jedi world that didn’t mean much, but here? It might well be an obstacle to their investigations.

“We’ll go easy, but we will be relentless. There can be no other way.”

[member="Trextan Voidstalker"]
[member="Elmont Block"]

The peaks in the distance were becoming more visible on the skyline as the sun was rising. It still wasn't visible but the eastern sky was changing from an inky blue to a warm purple.

The landspeeder pulled up outside an office. It was barely manned at this hour and Jassick took them to the front desk. A Bothan behind the desk already had a pair of ID badges for them.

"Follow me. We've got some spare clothes and bits through here. It's actually the stuff picked up in investigations and raids and handed in lost property. Stuff we don't need and would send up to sell. Should have some warm stuff."

Those waiting on rooftops and in back alleys near the house of the abducted girl were becoming restless. A comm told them the two young Jedi had been to the branch but hadn't come out yet. A slight delay. Hopefully not enough that they would have to do this in daylight.

Elmont Block

Your focus determines your reality
The temperature had raised a few degree with the promise of the sun. It had gone from absolutely freeing to desperately cold. It was an improvement if you were an optimistic soul.

They arrived at some sort of office and Elmont took his ID and followed their host into the lost property office and found a coat that wasn’t the most fragrant but it promised warmth. Elmont pulled it on. It was a little on the snug side, but it fitted and so he nodded his approval to the Bothan.

“This’ll do me. Ready to press on when you are.”

[member="Trextan Voidstalker"]
[member="Elmont Block"]

The windows of the landspeeder didn't keep the noise of the howling wind out. Jassick pleasantly described some of the sights of Prak City as he drove through the streets. He pointed out a square with pockmarked statues where the One Sith and Republic has clashed. Trextan pulled his second hand jacket tighter. He had a bad feeling about this.

"Here we are," Jassick called. He pulled up on a street with a steep incline. Each side was a row of narrow, terraced houses three stories high.

Trextan pushed open his door and stepped into the street. The wind was forcing its way down from the mountains ferociously now.

"Let's go talk then," he said as he followed Jassick up the street. His eyes caught sight of movement, but when he turned his gaze upwards he could see nothing against the shadowy line of roofs.

Two more steps and he turned on the spot, flinging up his left hand. The sleep dart came to an abrupt halt just inches from his open palm, held in a telekinetic grip.

"Get cover!" He shouted.

Elmont Block

Your focus determines your reality
Elmont sat and paid little attention to the guide as they travelled through Park City. It wasn’t so much that he had to block out the noise of the wind to catch every word, or that the guide was necessarily uninteresting, but rather that he was here to perform a task and unless he was going to be involved in a cantina quiz and one of the rounds was centred on which statues on this planet were damaged by Sith and Jedi fighting, he found the information pointless. Distracting.

So he paid enough attention to tell if he was being spoken to directly and zoned out the rest of the words.

And finally they arrived and the tourist babble was over and Elmont quickly opened the door and jumped out, keen to progress their investigations. He was no sight-seer and once they’d managed to track down the missing girl, they could leave. He felt a sense of duty, but that was all it was — duty. He was here to do a job then leave.

His hand instinctively went to where the hilt of his borrowed saber was — through his jacket. It was not visible and there was no logical reason to reach for it, but he felt uneasy and the Force was clearly sending out some sort of warning. If only he could understand what it was saying.

The wind buffeted his jacket and face as Elmont looked all around them, seeking a visible sign to go with the unease he felt. But saw none.

Then he followed the guide and fellow Jedi up the street and the sense of foreboding only amplified with each step. And then he heard the warning and ducked into a doorway. As cover went, it wasn’t great — but it was far better than nothing at all. And then he scoured the buildings for whatever he was taking cover from.

[member="Trextan Voidstalker"]
[member="Elmont Block"]

Stun rings sent a myriad of colour sparks cascading across the ground as they impacted upon the building around Trextan. As he ducked into an archway another dart embedded in the stone.

"Jassick!" he shouted. The officer ran for cover. It seemed as if their assailants were ignoring him. Trextan found out a moment later as there was a flash as single blaster bolt cut him down. Someone was trying to catch the Jedi alive, but they weren't interested in the officer.

He risked leaning out of cover for a quick glance.

"Scarlet robes!? Some jumped up darkside cult!" he called out towards Elmont. He scanned the street around him. If he leaped up to roof level he was a more prominent target, but down here they would eventually surround him and then the street was little more than a shooting gallery regardless of cover. Trextan drew his blaster and fired blind around the corner, letting the Force guide his hand. He heard it striking stone and tiles, but the bolts must have headed in the right direction as the stun bolts stopped coming.

Elmont Block

Your focus determines your reality
A host of thoughts flashed through Elmont’s mind — but he did his best to push them aside. To reflect on too many why’s and wherefore’s would open himself up to attack. But one idea pushed its way to the surface of his consciousness and refused to be pushed away — someone wanted them alive. The darts were most likely tranquillisers and so their value was in what they knew, or what they were worth by way of ransom.

And then a second thought pressed for his attention and refused to go away until he acknowledged it. Anyone can fire off a blaster on a whim. This was a planned attack with a defined outcome. Someone was expecting them.

The decision to kill their guide only reinforced his previous thoughts. The man had been expendable.

He was brought back to the here and now by his fellow Jedi’s shouts. Scarlet robes? Somewhat ostentatious and it was clear whoever was doing it was happy to be associated with the attack. They were either brazen or confident they would be successful. Overconfidence may be their undoing, Elmont thought.

Once again, Elmont considered their option. Pinned down, the best they could hope for is to remain unscathed for a period of time. Eventually numbers or luck would allow a dart to hit them, and then they would be at the mercy of the cult.

“We need to get moving,” Elmont shared with Trextan. "Up?” It was as much a recommendation as a question and the urgency in his voice suggested they decide quickly.

[member="Trextan Voidstalker"]
[member="Elmont Block"]

"Up," Trextan agreed. He holstered his blaster and pulled his saber free. He dropped his weight and leapt, gathering the Force around him to reach the lip of the roof. He scrabbled awkwardly up slippery tiles.

His violet blade snapped to life as two stun rings came at him. They scattered as he swiped his blade across each. He turned back and ran, once more calling on the Force to jump to the next building.

The telltale sound if lightsabers came from ahead. He looked up to see two men in scarlet robes blocking the path ahead. Each held an unstable, scarlet lightsaber. All around he could feel their enemies closing in.

"Well then," he muttered, bringing his blade up into a guard.

Elmont Block

Your focus determines your reality
“Up it is,” Elmont echoed under his breath and followed Trextan in accessing the Force and jumping. One of the benefits of no Master for the past for years was a requirement to practice what he knew. So the simple things like Force Jump he had mastered. He made the height easily but found the footing a challenge but kept his balance despite the rain on the tiles.

And as he checked his new surroundings he raised his right hand. The Force warned him and he sensed the dart heading his way. A simple Force Push was enough to deflect it and then he was off, following Trextan across the rooftops until a new warning forced him to stop.

Ahead were two dark-siders. Instinctively Elmont’s hand went to the hilt of the saber on his belt and a moment later, a snap-hiss was followed by light of a green blade as he prepared for the battle ahead. It seemed that they wouldn’t have to work hard to find the kidnappers — they’d found the Jedi.

[member="Trextan Voidstalker"]
[member="Elmont Block"]

It hadn't even occured to Trextan to try and reason with the cult members. Any such thoughts had evaporated the moment they'd executed their conversational guide.

The Justicar moved forwards with slow, careful steps. As the nearest cultist came forwards Trextan had to twist and block another stun bolt. The other members were dull red shapes moving over the rooftops. Closing the net.

He just brought his saber back around to block a strike. The next parry was more focussed and he pushed the scarlet blade aside. He stepped in and drove through with his shoulder. Connecting solidly he sent the cultist off his feet. Yet before he could take advantage he was assailed by yet more darts.

"We have to get out of here quickly!" Trextan shouted, but that was looking less and less likely.

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