Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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I've Got A Bad Feeling About This


“Come on,” he heard Hades bark over the din of commerce and entertainment, following the lanky man in to a building lit by a crimson so reminiscent of blood that Onley imagined blinking in to a vein, swimming downstream. “You’ll like this place man, I wouldn’t drag you out here for nothing.”

Hades’ voice sounded as if his friend were pressing his face in cotton, but Onley just nodded.

The inside of the place didn’t strike him as anything outside the norm one might expect from that sort of place, especially not in the bad-but-not-horribly-terrible level 116 of Maena. He wasn’t sure what there was for him to like - it was business, helping his Mother establish a firmer hold on the crime quickly taking Maena by storm. It was lucrative and they would set roots. He and Hades weren’t here for pleasure and Force knew the other man didn’t seem to notice anyone in that way, man or woman. Thin, sweeping lengths of cloth were hung haphazardly along the ceiling, whispering against Onley’s skin as the two men dove deeper in to the establishment. He was sure it was meant to give the illusion of privacy, but if anything it achieved the opposite, a dizzying, lurid suggestion of shadow and chance played like picture-in-a-picture across a dozen screens.

“Benny, you making me walk through a maze to find you?” Hades voice jarred Onley from his observations, turning his head to watch his friend reach out and shake hands with a tall, lanky human clearly not hitting his own supply. Muscled and tattooed, he looked healthier than most around him, owing no doubt to the money he made off drugs and women.

The bigger man laughed, nodding. “Yeah, you know how it is. Gotta let you walk past the merchandise and see if anything catches your eye. But if I know you, you’ve got a one-track mind. Come on.” Benny waved the two forward towards what was presumably his office, though Hades stopped short in front of Onley, nearly making the younger man crash right in to him.

“Benny, what the feth?” Hades asked, pointing in to a ‘room’ created by the curtains strung everywhere. His tone implied something more like ‘you should clean this up, it’s not good for business’ rather than ‘this is horrifying’. Taking a step forward, Onley looked inside to see what had prompted the sudden stop, only to see a woman splayed out on a dirty mattress, clearly dead.

“Ah, yeah,” Benny said, hastily tugging the curtains to obscure the view of the body. “My men are gonna be on that in a bit – they’re dealing with someone who owes me money. Some freak came in here and...well, it’s better if I don’t go in to detail. Fething alien freak...” Benny paused, shaking his head. “But anyways, let’s go to my office. I’ve got what you asked for.”

Hades nodded, trailing after the kingpin only to realize his friend wasn’t behind him. Looking over his shoulder, he saw Onley still standing in the hallway in front of the dead girl’s room. “You coming?”

“No, think I’m gonna take a look around. Come find me when you’re done.”

Hades smirked, nodding.

But Onley wanted nothing to do with anything on offer in the brothel. Instead he moved outside, back to the dangerous glare of neons. This level wasn’t so bad. It was past where the City security council recommended tourists go, but it wasn’t so far down that the true nature of Maena revealed itself. Hell, most of the neons were functional. Only one flickered over his head as he lit a cigarette, watching passer-by quietly.

[member="Kaili Talith"]​
[member="Onley Xiangu"]

As far as Maena was concerned it was a place Kaili tended to avoid on the sheer principle that the rumors that circulated around the deep net had it described as a ‘better Nar Shaddaa.’ That alone was enough to make the girl reconsider any plans involved such a place. Nar Shaddaa was after all the place where those who wished to got lost went to get themselves lost. Not just to the galaxy as a whole but quite possibly even themselves. Remorseful smugglers who took a life of a partner they had thought they could trust, pirates that simply needed to lay low after a hit that was a bit hotter than they’d have liked. Living in squalor amongst equals was a good way to get lost like that, and while Kaili had no intentions of following people to that particular end of Nar Shaddaa she would hold onto the hopes that Maena hadn’t reached quite those levels yet.

The small droid that clung to Kaili’s shoulder made his discomfort known and Kaili moved to pat it on its chassis in a manner most akin to a parent patting a child on their head. It was her child in many ways, the droid she had made when her parents had granted her siblings pets, but Kaili had never had the same aptitude with nature as her siblings had. She had instead been granted the gift of mastery over machines in a rather short timespan. By the age of six she was able to mess with the locks on her door and by eight she had built her first simple little droid. As the years went on she had only gotten better and better to the point where she would start her own little company dedicated entirely to this ability of hers.

And that wasn’t to mention her career as a Warden of the Sky. It made her seem perhaps a bit like a superhero from one of the holoflix. Rich kid by day, vigilante by night. Her girlfriend had a few objections to it once she had found out, but considering how Allyson had split from the Rogues to join the Alliance’s equivalent of an intelligence branch they’d both found themselves at an impasse as far as keeping secrets went. At the very least they found comfort in knowing that neither of them were incapable fools. Kaili trusted Allyson’s skills and Allyson did the same, though perhaps not as much as Kaili would have hoped.

Love seemed to do that to people.

The doors to the elevator swept open and exposed the girl to a landscape of neon lights. This wasn’t the locale she was used to, but she had a purpose here and it would be foolish to turn back now simply because her gut told her so.

“You’re sure it said level 116?” Kaili whispered to her companion.

“That’s what the sources said.” Henry nodded his chassis up and down.

Kaili sighed and pushed forward. “Well, I hope our contact was correct then.”

“Finding her here won’t be easy.”
Hades was probably going to be a while.

Of course, it wouldn’t be about the actual purpose of the establishment. Hades seemed to have little use for men, women, anything in between, or aliens. Onley was pretty sure he didn’t even know what relations were.

No, most likely Benny would have some sort of chemical that would make Hades overlook the lazy clean-up procedures of the establishment, that would beg for leniency without actually saying it out loud. While mercy wasn’t
exactly in Matsu Xiangu’s purview and those who worked for her exacted the same policy, Benny had been good thus far. Most likely he would learn from this and realize he’d scraped out by the skin of his teeth.

For Onley’s part, it mattered little.
Boredom was more immediate.

Maena wasn’t the sort of place where boredom lasted very long. The second that unpleasant sensation crawled one’s neck a remedy was immediately available. For those that required safety hand-in-hand with their vice - or worse yet, didn’t crave sin at all but simply wanted a new location - there were the upper levels filled with the hint of excitement, of danger that the mundane secretly longed for. But get a little lower and the hand-holding disappeared. Every hundred levels the city seemed to take a turn for the worse: more filthy, more claustrophobic, more preoccupied with irredeemable pursuit than the play-acting up above. By the time you reached the bottom… well. Few went all the way to the bottom.

Onley was irredeemable in exactly how opposite of Hades he was. Where Hades experienced little - read, no - interest in engaging with anyone with the purpose of getting them home, it was Onley’s favorite pastime. So when he caught the blonde looking around like she was searching for something with little to go on…

Well, pigs will be pigs.

Pushing off the wall and flicking the butt of his cigarette in to a puddle of condensation dripping off the extensive tubing that funneled water through the city, he made his way through the crowd the short distance to the stranger.

“Look lost. Can I help you with something?” The question sounded innocent enough, but that grin said a little otherwise.

[member="Kaili Talith"]​
[member="Onley Xiangu"]

A puddle splashed beneath the weight of her boot and she knew better than to question what the contents of it were. This place reeked of bad habits and their associated deaths to those who had seen it for themselves at some point in their lives. It was heaven for those that wanted to disappear, and haven to those who got lost. It wouldn’t take much to know who was who, it was evident in the way that they carried themselves. Regret weighed as heavily in the air as pleasure and other vices did. There were the spice dealers asserting dominance in spice trade, charging enough to keep their wallets stacked yet the customers reeling themselves back in. There were men and women of the night providing cheap thrills and pleasures yet as always it was hard to tell if it was out of servitude, desperation or their own wicked satisfaction. There was no end to it and as a cause Kaili felt little in the way of a compulsion to help anyone other than the person she had set out to find.

A nobleman’s daughter, a good contact of hers who had disappeared months ago with little to no trace. He was a respectable man and Kaili felt compelled to help him with his problem, if only to further her own goodwill within the man’s circle in case she ever needed it. At first it had all pointed to Nar Shaddaa, but as the leads came to an end only one of them remained. It looked like the trail had gone cold, but for a smaller sum of credits Kaili was able to buy herself into the graces of a man who told her about a girl matching her description being sold off to a man on Maena.

His yellowed grin burned at the back of her mind.

Scum the lot of them. At least here it was covered up behind a thin blanket providing the illusion that things on this level was a bit more ‘legit’ than on Nar Shaddaa. The streets weren’t filled to the brink with drugheads and wenches, at least not yet. Perhaps it was too early in the days, or perhaps this level in particular kept it somewhat under wraps, but the presence of it was still undeniable.

Kaili focused on the road ahead. Henry quite literally watched her back.

A man stepped up before her. Eyes refused to set on him.

“No.” Kaili muttered in stern words. “Thank you.”

It worked for most people. Treat them with a modicum of respect and they would do the same. So what else was there for Kaili to do other than to push past the man? She did just that, leaned her body alongside his to pass on through to the other side. Mind on her pockets, she wasn’t a sucker.

Anymore, at least.
She didn’t even look him in the eye.

Honestly, that was probably smart. He may have always had his eyes sweeping a crowd, or looking around at the endless number of things to see on Maena, but he rarely paid attention to the dregs that swept around him for more than the protection of his pockets and credits. Still, being ignored wasn’t something he was entirely used to. Somewhere in his head he knew that was a decidedly bratty impulse but old habits died hard.

“Kark you too then,” he said, at least managing to keep it under his breath.

At that moment Hades came out of Benny’s establishment much sooner than expected. His tired-eyes scanned the street for just a second before spotting Onley, lanky frame swaying as he came over to the younger man.

“We got a problem. Follow me,” he said, turning to go in the same direction the blonde woman had seemed in such a hurry to follow. Onley didn’t ask questions. That Hades was treating something as an issue meant it was so - he wasn’t the sort of guy who got worked up for no reason. He wasn’t visibly harried. Hades never looked alarmed. But there was a speed to his walk that denoted urgency that in another man might have looked a lot more pressing. He even shoved an Ishi Tib out of the way when the thing didn’t move fast enough for his liking, the alien spinning across the path of the blonde woman and her droid.

Onley didn’t exactly mind if that annoyed the blonde. Or maybe if she got her feet stepped on.

Hades took an alley. Then another. Then another. Much like Coruscant, looking up in a Maenan alley would reveal either the bottom of another building built atop others, or a maze of pipes and wires. Truly, it was a jungle. Onley wiped a drop of condensation off his face as it fell from the pipes above on to his cheek.

A few more criss-crossed alleyways and Hades took a left, eventually landing on a caravan of two or three mechanized transports. Their contents were hidden, only small slits in the metal walls suggesting something that required oxygen might be inside.

“Let me see,” Hades grunted as he met up with one of the crew driving them, shoving his hands in his pockets as he looked in to the metal box when its door was slid aside. From within the shadowy transport, the stink of illness wafted to choke the air. Onley stood staunch, but even he nearly recoiled from the wall of malodor. One of the men - in chains, bound to the wall by a short neck chain and cuffs - retched and coughed. The rest huddled away from him.

“Why the kark is he still in there?” Hades barked. “And why the hell did you stop here?”

The driver fumbled for an answer.

“We uh - they started screaming in there sir. They’re afraid to be near him. They don’t want to get sick. We stopped to get them to shut up before they drew more attention than they already were.”

Hades sighed. He, along with Onley who was learning from him, oversaw slave trade that passed through Maena. Matsu wanted nothing to do with it, and none of the credits associated with it. For a Sith Lord, she had peculiar-strong ideals about freedom. Her son and his friend however, had no qualms buying and selling the weak.

“He’s already infected the whole lot. We can’t risk selling them. Kill them.”

[member="Kaili Talith"]​
[member="Onley Xiangu"]

She stopped for a second to keep herself from going straight back to him. Head turned halfway to look over her shoulder yet her eyes closed. It was important to remember that this wasn’t civilized territory. The fact that he didn’t decide to outright attack her or pull a gun spoke more about the fact that he was willing to look it over than anything else. Slowly shaking her head Kaili continued on her way accompanied by the information Henry streamed to her HoloPad as it poked out of her wrist-mounted projector in the shape of a small hexagon. The blue sheen mixed with the pink from nearby neon signs as steam from the sewage pipes beneath her feet bellowed out of the cold hard ground with a hiss and threw the locks of her hair to the forefront of her vision.

A deep sigh burst through her nose as she looked at the image of the nobleman’s daughter. The longer she spent trying to find her the further away she slipped from her grasp. Hopes had been lost at home, she already knew that, but Kaili refused to get back to them only to give her condolences. She had come too far for that.

Continuing down the road Kaili felt the way the man seemed to follow her and she prepared herself for a clash after all. Yet nothing would ever come of it. The man passed her by and the worst thing she would be faced with would be his companion shoving someone before her. Arms wrapped around the poor soul to catch him on instinct. The Ishi Tib rested in her arms for a few good seconds as she stared fire at the man’s back with gritted teeth. The being in her arms tried to reach up and kiss her cheek but Kaili wasn’t going to have it. She felt his breath grow near as his lips got ever closer and before he had been any the wiser she dropped him to the floor. A surprised yelp parted his lips as his rump hit the ground. Kaili stepped over him to follow the man who had shoved him instead. From behind her she could hear the way the Ishi Tib yelled at her in some tongue she had never learned while waving his hand in anger and disappointment.

No, she had to follow this man, something told her he was the key. There was something about him that just ticked her off that way. Something in the way he walked and seemed to own the place. Something in the way more than a few people seemed to get out of his way, cower and glare at his back as he passed them by. Kaili followed the two men as best she could yet ended up in a situation where she almost got lost in the maze-like trail they had left behind. Of course, she hadn’t realized it at first that she had passed their left-turn and gone to the very end of the road. A gang of thugs got their pipes to threaten her. Kaili got her saber out in a threat of her own to make them back off. Their eyes went wide, hands raised before them telling her they were indeed doing as such. She nodded at them, backed up and proceeded to trace her steps to the point where she had lost them.

The girl ran her hand through her hair trying to think of what way they could have gone. The saber was holstered on her belt and with a careful glance around her she tried to find her quarry again. Her mind told her to take a right and with a sigh she complied. Yet the further along the trail she got the worse it felt. Her mind felt a thick layer of fear lay it on thick within the force. Not fear of her own, but a fear that belonged to someone else. Muted whimpers began to whisper through the force. Someone was being held against their will and Kaili had to think fast.

Stepping into a small opening she’d see the transports.

Feet shuffled with the silence of a Lorrdian raised kids’ grace. The air grew heavier the closer she got, the feeling of dread growing ever stronger along with something… Else. She couldn’t quite put her finger on what it was, but it was there. Something was wrong here and Kaili had to stop herself from approaching the ship. It felt diseased, wrong on so many levels that the idea to turn back and leave was one that she couldn’t help but consider. She wasn’t equipped to stop an illness, and neither did she have the intention to either. She was here for one purpose and one purpose only, and it wasn’t this.

Hiding behind a crate she got a look of the transport doors opening and the man in chains.

That was the man she had tried to find!

… Slave traders. The gut feeling was right.

“...-Kill them.”

Kaili’s eyes went wide. That wouldn’t do. Sick or not they deserved better than to die in some transport like nerfs to slaughter. The force seeped through Kaili’s body and out through her fingertips in force looking to slide the very crate she was hiding behind towards the man that had just opened the doors to the transport. It shrieked a metallic roar as it skid. Sparks flew and Kaili proceeded to stand tall from where the crate had come flying. This wasn’t about hurting him, it was a bout making her presence known.

Now, if Kaili had been one to waste words on scum she’d probably say something such as “Hello there” or “Fancy meeting you again” here, but she wasn’t and she wouldn’t. They were, what, four on one at most? She had seen worse odds. This would be over before before it began. Talk was cheap in situations such as this.
As gifted as Onley was with two Sith Lords for parents, anybody might have had a hard time filtering out the dozens of warning signals the Force gave in a place like Maena. There was potential danger at every turn, and choosing which glimmer of faint concern in the Force to pay attention to and which to ignore was always a potential challenge. So when the Force warned him that something was wrong, it wasn’t until the crate was already barreling over the ground and shooting sparks as metal scraped against duracrete that Onley realized this was one signal that had been very real.

He was reconsidering his commitment to himself to not be a paranoid person.

Turning to see the intruder, he was both surprised and not at all to see the blonde from a few minutes earlier. The Force had a way of making coincidence seem more like being placed in some holo-opera. One side of his mouth curled up in a smirk as he turned his head over his shoulder - keeping the corner of his gaze on the woman - as he shot a quick few words to Hades.

“You get the shipment out of here. I’ll take care of this,” he said, rolling his shoulders as he focused on the stranger.

“Back so soon?” he asked, a sickeningly smug curl to his voice before - lightning-fast - he reached up through the Force to the pipes running along the claustrophobic ceiling and yanked downwards. They burst with an ear-shattering hiss that immediately sent the civilians and tourists clogging the street to start screaming and rushing from the torrent of water. They went in both directions, slamming in to each other and grappling in their haste to get out of the flooding area. Water gushed in huge streams but also sprayed in pressurized jets from smaller pipes, the spurt so powerful that it knocked several people down and tore open the skin of another as they rushed by.

In this confusion, Hades did his part. Not one to use the Force in a confrontational sense - his was more prophetic, a way to move forward without being noticed - he would move the slaves off to a safe place for the sick to be disposed of and those that remained well to continue on to the inevitable auction. The confusion would slow him down somewhat, but automatic blaster shots and bulky guards were sufficient for even the panicking crowd to realize it should scream and sprint far clear of the floating caravan.

Onley was counting on all of this. He was hoping that between the water, the screaming civilians, the blaster fire, and the slave caravan that had clearly struck a big enough nerve to draw her attention pulling away...that he might get close enough for his punch to land uninhibited. He’d been born on Coruscant, had spent much of his young life on a heavily populated space station, and then had come to live on Maena - he knew how to shove quickly through a crowd. He tried to use the confusion to his advantage so that by the time he appeared in front of the blonde, left arm guarding his face and chest and right fist jabbing straight and quick towards the woman’s stomach, she might not see the strike coming.

[member="Kaili Talith"]​
[member="Onley Xiangu"]

And so the show was on.

The man quipped about her return and Kaili felt a strong urge to walk over and punch him in the gut to shut him up. She had come to far to back down now, crossed the line on a gamble that might not even pay off but if this wasn’t where the trail lead there was no point in following it anymore. The daughter would be lost and the family would at the very least have closure in knowing she is dead. Not that she necessarily was, but it was a more comfortable lie to provide cover for a truth that would be hard to swallow. Part of Kaili had already wanted to give them the news, but this was different.

The pipes in the ceiling broke. Kaili did not care. Her stride towards the trucks kept going.

The people began to panick. Kaili did not care. Her stride towards the trucks kept going.

People died every day, she had seen it enough to know it. To let death of non-essentials get in her way was the best way to ensure that she wouldn’t get anywhere at all. Had she cared about people that weren’t important to her to such a degree she wouldn’t have been able to live with herself. She felt for them in their moment of strife, but there was nothing about the seat that the man placed Kaili in that she could do anything about. This was a den of vile suffering and merciless hunger where unfortunate souls rested beneath the surface of a world they’d never see. She couldn’t fix that, and she knew that. But she could fix this man and his smug disregard for anyone other than himself and the slaves in his truck.

Kaili turned to Henry who nodded in quiet confirmation. He knew what he had to do, as did Kaili. He jumped from her shoulder to scamper on towards the truck with purpose and Kaili followed behind-

No. She did not. The force rung like a whistle at the back of her mind. A hand moved up to intercept the man’s swing for her stomach with mixed success. Her hand wrapped around his wrist but it was a grip she soon lost as it slipped right out. Avoiding a follow up she proceeded to back up, just in case.

No, this field wouldn’t do. Arms extended in a blast around her to keep the crowds from granting the man an opening such as the one he had already tried to claim just a few seconds ago. It was meant to scare the others away from her as well, and to a degree it seemed to have worked. Panicking crowds would always be unpredictable, but at the very least it had granted the blonde a few seconds to try and get a glance at the man.

“I’ll give you the gut punch,” Kaili praised her opponent — out of all things — in the middle of her little circle. “It’s smart.”

“But if you were hoping some water and panicking people would keep me from saving that girl you’re wrong. Oh so very wrong, smugface.” Nicknames, much less demeaning ones, were not her forté but Kaili tried nonetheless. “Make this easy on yourselves and just give up.”
He knew the gutpunch was good. People protected their heads and faces first and left other extremely important things open for him to destroy.

“Thanks. I was sort of hoping you’d double over so I could knee you in the face. It would be a bit of a shame considering it’s a nice face, but your personality…” He made a grimacing face, inhaling air between his teeth in a hiss as if reacting to a shameful loss. He was aware it was a gross comment to make. He may have been a pig, but at least he was aware that he was a pig. It seemed to work better than being oblivious of his flaws.

One hand rose to his chest as if deeply wounded when she called him names.

Smugface?” he cried, affecting an overly-dramatic expression of hurt. “You wound me.”

But, the time for talk was over, the water was rising, a neon sign just above Talith bursting, one bulb after another as the open pipes breathed it's liquid ever more rapidly and shorted out the power supplied to that particular structure. If she had thought a few words, and this weak attempt to be a hero in this city of monsters was enough to sway him, she was laughably mistaken. Shouts, pleas and cries began to wallow through the congested, rapidly flooding streets. Alien and Humans all struggling and attempting to stride over the top of one another as they made to disperse - aggressively - away from the area Onley and Kaili had chosen to have this confrontation. A sea of limbs, all writhing in a breathless sort of freneticism that saw the weak, infirm, or simply unaware, uprooted and discarded in to the slosh of rising water. They did move away, but as was the nature of herd animals - for surely that was what many city-dwellers eventually became, in essence - their movement was rarely in a fashion that made sense. Panic rose.

Onley, uncaring and in fact grateful for several of the crowd sloshing through, pushed forward. Slamming the brunt of his power with telekinesis forward, he leaned in to a shove in the Force as if he were shouldering Kaili herself. Instead, his power blasted out through the civilians between them, sending two hurtling towards Kaili. It was unclear to him whether the field around the woman would stop things or was simply to force the crowd to give her space. He hoped the human projectiles would topple right towards her and knock her down in to the rising water. But if not, maybe she’d enjoy watching them pancakes up against the field she held to protect herself.

[member="Kaili Talith"]​
[member="Onley Xiangu"]

The small frame of a spider drone latched on to the underside of one of the trucks and got to work, the small droid’s buzzsaw cutting through piping and cables to cause the damage it needed to have done. One hover engine after the other failed to stabilize the vehicle and not too soon after, it collapsed on its side with a loud bang.

Kaili meanwhile was having the time of her life fending off a man set on civilian casualties. He cared little, and she couldn’t afford to care either. In the long-run it most likely wouldn’t be healthy for her psyche, but in the short-term it was all that she could do. There was no such thing as ‘heroes’ here, no saviors in shining white armor to save the day. Kaili wanted to be the one who would do it, but she was also a realist through and through. She felt the panic, wanted to ease them, but she couldn’t. That was what her father had taught her after Atrisia. She had done all that she could for these people, there was no point in worrying about what happened after that if it was beyond her.

And so the two bodies slammed right into her, one by the face and the other across her stomach. The water stung as it seeped through her nose. The gasp for air that had forced her lips apart was interrupted by the encroaching sensation of water rising above her head at an alarmingly rapid pace. Her back hit the ground as her own sense of panic began to kick in. The man that covered her chest made it hard to breathe as the man that laid unconscious or possibly dead blinded her with his corpse. But the force was with her. The lack of air was soothed by the ever filling caress of the force. The water’s surface began to still as best it could as Kaili began to pry the dead from their cover around her.

They were heavy, Kaili would give them that, and try as she might they seemed unmoving.

There was only one choice in this then. Arms tensed up as the girl called on the force to envelop her like a current around a rock. Her arms began to shake, the tension growing unbearable she unleashed everything in a single blast. She was blinded, she was drowning in a cheap attack on her pride. The bodies flew into the air with enough force to throw them far, and fast. People around Kaili would do the same. The water around her dispersed in a circle around her before it came back to crash against her feet in force, but she remained and stood strong against the current of the waves. Heaves for air forced her mouth to stand agape as she eyed the man who had threatened her.

Head slowly shaking she gritted her teeth for him to see.

“That’s not how this works, fethface.” Now that was a genuine insult. Her hands tensed up once more by her sides, the same sensation in the force circling around her waiting to be unleashed. “I’ve come too far to let an insignificant piece of chit like you to get in my way,” She locked her eyes onto him and proceeded to approach him with heavy footsteps. “Two can play this game.”

Both arms thrust before her to throw not people, but a big wave of water straight at the man looking to bash him against the walls with the express purpose of trying to neutralize him. Feet picked up the pace as Kaili entered a sprint right for him. If given the chance she would reach for his throat and latch on as firmly as she could.

Either way she wouldn’t allow herself to fail now. She had come too damn far for that.
He heard a lot of Sith complain about the Light, how its followers were too pious by half, boring and rote in their strict adherence to a life of minimalism that wasn’t giving them anything but a constant bad mood. Onley had expected the woman across from him to show at least a little stress about the current plight of the civilians around them, but while she was careful not to cause damage of her own, he couldn’t sense any anxiety from her when it came to those accidentally killing each other in the street. They panicked, trying to squeeze themselves down streets and alleyways to escape the water and the dueling opponents, void of coherent thought and suffocating or drowning each other in their tight-packed earnestness to escape. And yet the blonde’s eyes were focused on him, seemingly no hint of concern in her eyes for those around them.

Then he wasn’t so sure who he was facing.
But she was annoying regardless.

It was at that moment that he heard the loud, groaning sigh of engines giving out followed by a deafening crash as one of the transports carrying the slaves slammed in to the ground. He spared it a glance as his human projectiles landed on the woman, waiting as sparks flew and the men guarding and guiding the thing scrambled to figure out what went wrong. The transport in front of the fallen one trundled on, but the one behind skidded to a stop to avoid hitting the downed craft. It would require some clumsy maneuvering to get around and continue on. Onley growled in frustration, unsure how but convinced this inconvenience of a woman had something to do with the malfunction. Either way, this complicated things. A transport full of slaves would be credits lost, but more importantly it would be letting this intruder get away with it. Thus far, the small droid that had done so much damage went unnoticed by virtue of its size.

He saw Hades loping over, shouting instructions to the men to pull the slaves out and get them moving. They started streaming out of the transport once released from their bonds, skinny and scared as they were herded through knee-deep water. Onley would have to trust that his associate would handle the situation - one way or another.

It was a good thing Onley hadn’t gotten too close to the woman to check if she’d drowned however, as the sudden eruption of water and civilians would have knocked him clear off his feet. It almost did, and he took several steps back to avoid the zone. And then she rose again - how symbolic, how...irritating.

The time for banter was over. He had far more of a sense of humor than either of his parents - or at least, a more obvious one - but even as his opponent upped her insult game, her voice was going in one of his ears and out the other. It was time to wipe her from the surface of Maena. Or rather, smear her over it.

The wall of water was unexpected and sudden and it took civilians along with it. Onley considered diving through it like it were an ocean and pushing off the shallow bottom to lean up, but with Talith’s force behind it, it would only send him flying backward at an even more awkward angle. There was nothing to it but to try and ride it out, and as the tsunami slammed in to him he tried not to thrash and lose his bearings. Just as it was important not to lose sight of the surface when one got tossed around in the surf, he could not lose sight of which way was up in this situation. It could have been seconds, minutes, or an eternity that he spent in the push, but it came to an abrupt halt as he slammed in to the wall behind him. He felt the soft crunch of something behind him, something breaking inside a soft vessel. Disorientation still gripped him, and it took him a moment to realize he was spared a broken spine only because a Rodian had hit the wall first and cushioned his impact. Even still he felt his limbs splay to either side and smash against the brick wall, pain coursing through every nerve ending.

Which way is up, which way is up?!

As the wave dissipated Onley’s feet found the floor, and not a second too late for the splash, splash, SPLASH of someone closing in on him fast jogged his senses. He could barely breathe for the wind knocked out of him, and he was still trying to get his bearings, but he reached down for the knife at his belt anyway and pulled it in reverse grip. Outside of such close-quarters he wasn’t sure that would have been preferable, but with the woman closing on him it was the first and most natural movement as he swung a right hook at her with the blade only increasing potential damage. He was aiming for her face or throat as she closed in, but it could hit anywhere considering he’d been slightly disoriented as he swung. Maybe it would hit her arm and sever an artery, perhaps her reaching hands. Maybe somehow his hook would find chest or side, dig in to ribs. Either way, it would buy him a moment to catch a breath and his senses - hopefully.

[member="Kaili Talith"]​
[member="Onley Xiangu"]

There was no structure or discipline behind the swing as much as raw power which was a danger in itself. The best course of action was to let go of the idea of choking the man out and back off to seek other venues of attacking him. An arm swept up against his forearm to hold off the knife enough for her to take a few steps back. Yet one was followed by several more. Eyes flashed at the trucks and the one that was turned over. Henry worked fast and efficient, but there was a small problem to it. He was stranded. A droid of his size was only ever as great with waters as any other, but when the water’s surface went about twice as high as he was there would be a problem. As such he would crawl into any tight space he could find while looking to hide from the men that was inspecting the damage he had caused.

Kaili meanwhile figured she herself should have been nearby. If not for her sake then for the sake of her best friend. Or well, child really. This was her first creation and she would rather die than let something unfortunate such as death happen to him now. Her eyes remained on Onley as step for step she continued to back off towards the trucks.

He might not have been one for talk, Kaili usually wasn’t either (because talk was cheap), but something compelled her to speak. She wanted to distract him somehow. Lead him towards her so that she could keep her mind on what was important; the slaves and their safety.

Hand extended towards the men circling the vans looking to escort them into a new van. A loud hiss began to whistle from their carbines.

“Afraid I can’t let you leave with these people.” Kaili said, fully keeping her ‘external eye’ on Onley. “Maena is a piece of chit, and I can see why someone like you would want to live here. But let me tell you exactly how farked you are.”

Hand shifted once more behind towards the truck the slaves were being loaded onto. It’s engine began to whistle as well. Loudly.

“Either of your men fire their rifles, they will lose their fingers.” The whistle in their blasters continuing to whistle like a kettle on a stove. It was an unconventional method of attack but it had served Kaili well before and she was not going to let moral objections get in the way when dealing with the clientele she had at her hands in this moment. They had chosen this path much like she had, they knew what they were getting themselves into and where it lead. Both parties involved did.

“Either of your drivers try to get out of here, they will lose their lives.” It was the same deal with the difference being that this trap could be far more easily ‘disarmed’ by someone who knew how to work engines. Really, it was an attempt to buy herself more time to cause even more harm to the truck by the time repairs were done.

“Leah Minore. Give me the girl, let me walk out of here, and I will be out of your hair.” Kaili looked Onley square in the eyes. “Or deny me, and I will feth you and your operation here up.”

“The choice is yours.”

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