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The thirst for...knowledge.

The Mother of All Psy-Pires
It had been about two months since she was free.

Since meeting that lawyer on Balmorra, the handsome one who had acted as her proxy when making purchases from Sasori Research. (Nine had been stunned, utterly stunned at the number of artifacts they were openly manufacturing and selling when the lawyer told her the sheer scale of what one could purchase.) She had been slowly getting her footing in this era.

As she had slowly begun to think through her ever present bad mood, her pessimism began to postulate that perhaps, if the art of Force Artifact creation had reached a point where even the economy was taking active advantage of it, then perhaps it hadn't been such a poor idea to think medicine might have advanced to the point it was treatable.

A genetics research firm with shiny corporate headquarters on Balmorra specialized in rare, obscure diseases, constantly trying to work out more cutting edge treatments. But they certainly were not to share such specialized knowledge with a nobody off the street like her. So she decided to take it.

It was during drinking the memories of a local professor that she came across the memory of a young man who he had apparently been keeping track of, a local who, it turned out, was a data analyst doing work for the very company she wanted to steal from. His skills with numbers and familiarity with what she wanted had made him an instant subject of interest. Amusingly he had been planning on trying to involve him in some sort of fancy economics related scheme that was too complicated to understand, even when she had direct access to the specifics. (She wondered if he even understood it fully). She ate that plan from his mind in annoyance as she held him from behind in that alley way and decided to see if what she saw in the professors mind was true and he was really that good. She decided to go to his address and watch him from afar, see what he was like. Could he be controlled easily? Nine was not sure, and she was already distinctly uncomfortable at how her willingness to manipulate an innocent man made her all to similar to the one who made her. Nine did not think of herself as a criminal. Just desperate.

Desperate enough to act like the one who made her. This problem with the firm had occupied her thoughts for days as she hid out in an abandoned apartment, contemplating how to seize the data with his aid. She was stealthy, but she wasn't 'that' stealthy.

And as she watched the man that crooked professor knew as [member="Sebastian Thel"] from afar on a rooftop at dusk, she started to decide how she could best win his cooperation. The smart ones were always dangerous if pushed too far, in her experience. Sheer intimidation would only make him an enemy and a traitor eventually. But would telling the truth truly be a better option?

Nine Lives began to use her special telekinesis to bodily crawl down the side of the apartment, her flowing green robes caught in the field of effect and adhering to the wall as much as she did...

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Leaving the rotating doors of the research firm, Sebastian welcomed the first breath of fresh air he had taken in hours, before striding away from the building and making his way home. A grey sky, laced with smoke and fumes from the endless businesses spearing the clouds of the corporate sector, blanketed his apartment building nestled somewhere within the mechanical labyrinth. With his hand wrapped around the handle of a briefcase, he turned off the footpath and down an alleyway.

Sebastian regretted that he could not swing by the coffee stand at the ship yards and decided to walk straight home. As he looked over his shoulder, the rising sensation of being followed became more apparent. He wore a beige coat which was too long over a plain white shirt with the top button undone, with puffy trousers which tucked into socks and lace-up shoes. Sliding a hand into his pocket, he paused every so often to look around, with the ever present lingering of eyes on his back.

Shaking his head, Sebastian wondered if he was simply stressed from a day of work. He knew that coffee would only make the feeling worse and made for his apartment building, which was a short distance away from the research firm. As he took a shortcut through an alleyway, he emerged to see a dark figure looming from a rooftop, which appeared to be female in appearance, although he could not truly tell from so far away. He shrugged and continued to walk through the city.

Sebastian lived in apartment on the outskirts of the industrial sector, where he traveled between his financial work and his interest in designing machinery. Speeder cars soared through the sky from buildings piercing the clouds and from his window, he could see pieces of equipment hoisted with machines which builders worked on day and night. He arrived at the doorway of the building, which was not particularly tall and entered the reception.

"Good evening Bas!" Bertha, his landlady called from the desk. Managing only a coy smile, he waved and walked past, making for the elevator which took him into the heights of the building.

The elevator pinged upon arrival at the floor on which Sebastian lived. He strode through the corridor and found his front door, in which he slid his passkey, before pushing open the door and locking it securely behind him. With a heavy sigh, he planted his back against the wall, pausing for a moment to think. He then walked to the window and peeked through the curtains, to make sure that nobody had followed him.

Sebastian placed his briefcase on his desk and hung his coat on the rack by the door. Since the air was slightly cold, he pulled on a pale blue cardigan and swapped his plus fours for suit pants. He put the kettle on to boil and looked out the filter coffee, while sitting at his desk and opening his briefcase. Setting his glasses over his ears, he surveyed the requirements granted to him by an external contact of the company, a large amount of data he needed to organize and direct.

[member="Nine Lives"]
The Mother of All Psy-Pires
She had made good time, observing him as he had made his way. A stranger to violence...probably didn't have a violent bone in his body. Great now she felt even worse for involving him in this.

Skittish too...seemed to have caught sight of her, because his pace subtly quickened as she followed from the darkness. Instead of walking into the building, she had, when no one was looking on the street, used her species-specific telekinesis to crawl up the building like a spider. She didn't have to question where he was in the complex...the professor had his address.

Climbing up was a chore, not to mention dangerous. Thankfully she had the advantage of darkness as she climbed up and carefully avoided the balconies and windows on the way up, though it was quite the exercise. She stopped just below as she narrowly caught sight of movement from his window and adhered to the side of the apartment to avoid being spotted, before she finally, silently opened the window, watching him go into his kitchen. She slipped in without a noise, and closed the window just as silently, observing him without a word as she watched from behind as he went to his desk, pulling out his briefcase.

She glided silently up behind him, her hood obscuring her face except for the glowing purple dots from the center of his eyes. She stopped five meters from him.

"Mr. Thel." She spoke softly, throwing her voice expertly off a nearby surface so it would seem like the voice was right next to him.

"I do apologize for arriving unannounced. I'm aware of how incredibly rude this is. But you see, I have need of your services. I am prepared to compensate you handsomely for a...bit of assistance." she told [member="Sebastian Thel"]. She maintained a respectable distance, though the complete and utter silence of her entry made it clear that if she didn't want him to hear her, he wouldn't have. It also said that if she was going to kill him, she would have done it by now.

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
The afternoon grew dark as Sebastian moved from one room to the other, trying to organize himself before he settled for the evening. Listening to the kettle boil, he made sure that his door was locked and continued to organize sheets of paper on his desk. He had not properly refreshed since coming home and retreated to the bathroom, where he urinated and washed his face. A creaked sounded from the window in the living room and he left the bathroom promptly to find the pane wrenched wide open.

Somebody was inside.

Feeling his muscles stiffened, Sebastian remained still and scanned every corner of the room, eyes wide as he stood like an animal facing the barrel of a rifle. From the corner, he watched a shadow emerge and take the form of a hooded figure. Oh kark me! He thought as he became increasingly frustrated with the Sith for conscripting him into their operations without his permission, unless this intruder was not a Sith.

"Who are you?" Sebastian demanded as he turned around, standing in front of the figure and seeing their female features in heightened clarity. The woman spoke in a soft voice, which did not subdue his unease. The glare of his brown eyes pierced her features and he backed away slowly while waiting for her to respond.

"I am not interested in anything handsome." He stated in a cold and discerning tone. "I will accept a modest payment and transport to my next assignment." Whether the woman had legitimate or moral intentions remained to be seen, which would be the deciding factor in Sebastian's decision to work for her. A long pause held the air between them as Sebastian searched for questions to ask.

"What kind of assistance do you need?" He asked, cupping his chin in his hand as he thought. "Know that I do not work for criminals." He warned following another pause. So far, he had absolutely no reason to trust this woman, who presented a problem far too intriguing for him to turn down. If there were legitimate means behind her offer, he may just consider the task.

[member="Nine Lives"]
The Mother of All Psy-Pires
The way the woman glided was merely an optical illusion, the way the ceremonial green robes had been fashioned glinted in the room, flower embroidery white in color. That her arms did not move as the rest of her glided only a step closer served to make it all the more unnatural looking.

Her katana, Hundred-Handed Giant, a fine blade of thirty inches of cortosis weave durasteel. The sheath was a black, glassy color with an ivory handle and dragonhead pommel. It was very beautiful. It was incaculably evil and bloodthirsty, and only someone as damned as her was even fit to wield it. And safely at that. It would surely, inevitably, corrupt any pure soul whose hands it fell into. She removed it from her side and placed it on the nearby counter, along with her smaller longsword which had a gold and black lattice pattern to both blade and sheath, setting it on the counter also. The second blade served as a sort of...badge of office. The Giant was for everyday threats. It was hard to maintain them, being constantly on the move as she was. The equipment necessary to maintain sich vital-if dubious tools was hard to come by just off handedly. You needed specific things, powders, griding stones, and many other things, and repairing them was a hassle. Just pure hassle.

"Don't touch those. One of them is evil. The other is just along for the ride." She explained to him, gliding a little closer.

"As to your question..."

She removed the hood, revealing her Atrisian features, and how disturbing her eyes looked. You could not tell if they were angry or sad.

You could only tell when they were hungry. They weren't. Yet.

She was beautiful. That much could be said, for whatever that was worth. But the delicate, full lips, the perfectly curved nose, the symmetrical cheekbone placement giving her an almost regal air could not disguise the grim, deep misery permanently plastered on the surface. "I am accursed. An exile. A relic. A castaway." she whispered, a tremble to the quiet words. "I suffer from a one of a kind strain...of an infamous disease. I'm sure you're starting to suspect what it is at this point."

She stared at him, features twisted with a daily guilt, a daily misery. "I am forced to feed to survive. I have tried for years to cure my particular strain. Centuries. I have not succeeded. I need more data, comparisons from people with better resources, better access to funds. I...I cannot cure this on my own. I'm not skilled enough. The firm you work for, it has research on rare diseases of the blood. I'm here...because I need your help to get me that access. I tried petitioning them before you ask. Because I can't exactly disclose 'why' I want that research, they wouldn't even give me a meeting. And since I can't disclose it without drawing the authorities, I am forced to slink around in the dark. There. That about sums it. That and there is a small fortune in ancient aurodium coins from Atrisia in it for you. There." she ended in a sigh to [member="Sebastian Thel"].

"That just about sums it." she said glumly.

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Taking a step backwards, Sebastian stared the woman down with a discerning glare as he watched her remove the swords from her hilt and place them on his coffee table. He immediately walked forward to collect his notes and move them aside, to avoid the woman moving them herself. Hugging the sheets of paper to his chest, he organized them on his desk, before standing to face the woman as she described her weapons.

"Well I don't like swords so I won't be touching either of them." Sebastian said directly, feeling a shudder escape down his spine as he looked at the sharp blades concealed within the hilts. He did not think that weapons were beautiful, or any device crafted solely to cause harm.

The dark woman removed her head and revealed a pair of eyes fixed in an unsettling gaze. Drawing in a gasp, Sebastian tried to stare at the wall to avoid looking directly into the stone cold irises. While others would most likely find her beautiful, any desirable traits of her appearance were lost on Sebastian, who felt nothing towards her feminine whiles. She began to regale her circumstances, a being plagued by a mysterious affliction.

"Look, sit down." As she began to beg, Sebastian placed a hand against the air in a reassuring gesture. Although he was still annoyed about how she had broken into his apartment, her desperation was becoming apparent to him and he assumed that she had come to him in very dire straights.

The disease the woman described, a kind of vampiric parasite unsettled him as much as the revelation pressed his ability to believe her. He had never heard of such an affliction and doubted her facts. That said, the research conducted at the facility where he worked was forbidden to him. He worked with the information in numerical form, while being completely unaware of the content.

"I can retrieve the data." As he allowed the woman to sit down, Sebastian walked into the kitchen and poured the kettle full of boiling water into a coffee filter, preparing a mug for himself and his guest. "I will need you to help me break into the restricted terminals." Bringing the two mugs of coffee to the table, he sat down and one to the woman.

"This will give me an opportunity to uncover the truth about the research going on at the facility, so I will help you." For the sake of truth, Sebastian agreed to work with her. "Tell me your name." He asked as he lightly sipped at the hot coffee.

[member="Nine Lives"]
The Mother of All Psy-Pires
Nine felt relieved when he said he'd help. So relieved that it didn't even occur to her to tell him not to make her anything. She would not be able to drink it. When it did occur to her as he set the cup down, she picked it up and sniffed the aroma. Her nostrils flared as she took in the scent. That that was all she could take in.

"I am sorry. My condition prevents me from consuming this. is a very unique and pernicious one..."

She sniffed the coffee, felt the phantom rumble of an unused stomach, likely useless now. Even if she' did get cured, she would have to have a stomach transplant more than likely prepared beforehand. That was if she didn't end up dead long before that.

"As for my used to be Ni-Ne Li-Ves. These's just Nine Lives. Because I didn't have the karkin' sense to die the first eight." Nine finished. She sniffed at her drink again, hunger pain growing worse.

"Was a Jedi Knight. That got tossed out the window when this happened. Wasn't willingly, mind you. I didn't choose this. It got forced on me. Perhaps my one ray of sunshine in all this is my form of vampirism doesn't...ideally... lead to a corpse."

Nine looked agitated.

"The real problem is what I feed on. I need thoughts and memories of others to survive. Thats my food source. And it can get as unpleasant as you might think..."

Nine rose up silently, movements birdlike in their twitchiness. She silently glided toward the counter.

"I can much of it....

She looked at him. She had fed. Enough to last her a day or so. But the hunt never truly ended.

She could stall it for a while, certainly. One good years worth could last six to seven months. But she could never look at anyone without that instinct to feed sizing them up, thinking that memory of whatever they had for lunch the other day had better have had mustard on it.

She looked at him. "I can help you get in. Just tell me where to sneak and what to neutralize--"

Nine tensed as she felt something. Danger. Below them. Wasn't Thel. She'd sensed no deception in him.

"I sense...something. Something below us..."

Nine glided to the window. She saw police, quietly cordoning off the area. But their lights were not flashing. No warning beacons or barriers had been set up. They were going in, quietly. As quietly as possible.

"Some one must have seen me come in..." she hissed in frustration. "But...they're acting strangely...really really strangely. No lights, nothing...

Nine began to think they were not cops. And if they were not cops...

"Do we have a fire exit? Emergency staircase?" Nine asked [member="Sebastian Thel"].

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
When the woman revealed that she could not drink the coffee due to her condition, Sebastian experienced a pang of sympathy and a greater desire to help her. The mundane little pleasure was lost on her, causing the mathematician to rest a cheek on his fist in thought. At least with the research data, she might no longer be a threat to others and he would spare many lives as a result. She revealed her name and the tumultuous past which accompanied such a mark.

"Give me a minute." Taking a sip of his coffee, he splayed a hand against the air and gestured for the woman to wait. She was formerly a Jedi Knight, until an entity forced this affliction upon her. The story posed so many questions, all of which could not be answered in one evening.

Sebastian rose to his feet and left the living room, retreating to his bedroom where he swapped his suit pants for plus fours and removed his cardigan, sliding into his coat and sitting down to tie his shoes. He wrapped a think scarf around his neck and made sure that his glasses were in his pocket. When he was properly dressed, he met Nine in the living room once more.

"Alright, stay calm." He offered in a reassuring tone as the woman began to grow frustrated. "Who forced this on you, and how could somebody force a disease on a person?" Sebastian asked as he picked his coffee mug up from the table and took a sip. The woman rose slowly and almost floated towards the counter, as Sebastian watched from the center of the living room. Just as she confirmed that she could breach security at the facility, she froze, as though sensing an unseen danger.

When Nine revealed that she did indeed sense an incoming danger, Sebastian rushed to the window, where he saw police exiting their speeder cars. They must have tracked her to the apartment building. He cupped a hand to his chin in thought and closed the curtains, backing away slowly as he sifted through his mind for any possible solution to the problem.

"There's an emergency staircase at the back of the apartment building." Sebastian nodded in confirmation to Nine. "Follow me." Turning around, he grabbed his passkey off the bench and ran past her, looking over his shoulder for her to follow. He kept a brisk pace as he walked to the door, the opened and waited for Nine to join him in the corridor outside, then slid his passkey through the terminal to lock the door.

[member="Nine Lives"]
The Mother of All Psy-Pires
Nine quickly followed him out to the corridor silently. She grabbed and fastened her swords too her side

"Sith Lord. An energy vampire named Darth Shojo tried to infect me with her disease. Twice. It didn't take either time. Then came five seperate attempts to use Sith Alchemy...which also failed. It wasn't until an overdose of painkillers meant to end me instead activated the disease...which was mutated in its dormant state in my blood. This was the result." She whispered, sensing the danger of those who had entered moving upward, quickly. Nine guessed they were using the elevator.

Nine spotted the elevator doors and, using her special form of telekinesis she adhered to a wall and crawled onto the ceiling, even her robes clingling flatly to the new surface as she crawled upside down towards the elevator doors, carefully drawing her shorter sword as she felt the danger frighteningly close now.

The doors opened.

A a light skinned man wearing a balmorran police uniform stepped out followed by two others. They were equipped with crossbows and what looked like assault shotguns and SMG's with laser sights. Silvery metal stakes lined the torso of the uniform they were not cops. Not even close.

"The intel said it had been spotted in this building...look, resident," one of the fake cops said, pointing at [member="Sebastian Thel"], heading towards him quickly. Nine followed behind the group by crawling on the ceiling, transitioning to the wall than the floor and then simply walking behind them without a sound.

"There's something dangerous in this building, citizen. You need to tell me if you've seen anything. Everyone in this apartment will be in danger if you don't."

Nine was right behind the last man. She loomed over him menacingly, hood thrown over her head. She didn't want Thel to see what she looked like hurting someone. Only the purple dot glow of her eyes could be seen from underneath as she struck, grabbing him from behind and taking one of his stakes, throwing it into the foot of the one in front of him. Still using her human shield, she stared in alarm as she realized the others were going to fire right through her hostage to hit her, and as their guns were raised, she knew she had less than a second to act. She flung her hostage forward into one, making him stumble and knock the gun out of his hand when parrying the fired arrow out of the other man's cross bow, making a deep gash into his arm which caused him to scream and drop the gun. The leader though, managed to get a shot off and Nine winced as a bullet from the nine millimeter smg tore through her robe and hit her square in the shoulder, and it felt like she had been clipped by a vehicle as she was jolted backward, another one tearing through the robe and grazing her thigh. The Force told her to roll and she did, rolling forward just barely avoiding the upward traveling arc of his gun fire, flinging her shor double edged sword with a technique her father taught her.

The sword spun, its keen edge biting deep into his hand, and he yelled, his gunfire going through the ceiling. Nine sprang up tackling him, driving her elbow into his jaw as the two she had knocked over previously started to get up, completely ignoring Thel.

Nine reacted calling on the Force to enhance her speed. The world slowed down, and Nine leapt upand drove her fist in a knife chop with her unwounded arm that smashed brutally into the nose of one and delivered a crushing kick into the stomach of another that flung him into a wall. The second one she had wounded when the melee started had grabbed a crossbow, his ankle still pierced from behind by his comrade's silver stake and fired and Nine barely saw the slowed motion in the corner of her eye in time, and her hand shot out just managing to grab the bottom of the arrow shaft firmly before it could go into her face. A swift, heavy kick to his face knocked him out. They were all knocked out at this point. Wounded but not unsurvivable. Nine however was wounded, panting, and bleeding. She'd paid dearly for her restraint.

"I dunno this building all that well, Sebastian...where's...where's the back again?" she said to him, panting.

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Waiting for Nine to fetch her sword and fasten it to her hilt, Sebastian cupped his in thought as he listened to her explain just how her illness had been forced upon her. He leaned by the door frame, where she eventually met him, before leading her into the corridor outside. Making sure the door was locked, he walked down the corridor and into the reception area which held the elevator. With a ping, the doors opened and Nine sensed the enemy presence before him.

"Where did you...?" Turning around in surprise, he looked up at the ceiling where the woman had crawled and held his mouth open at the sight. He struggled to pull his gaze away and instead looked at the men filling the elevator compartment. The weapons they held appeared too exotic to be used by the Balmorra police force, making him assume that they were here in search of Nine, who had crawled across the ceiling and situated herself above them.

When one of the hunters questioned Sebastian, his lips trembled as he forced himself to lie. Nine trusted him now, he could not betray her and he knew very well that these men were not cops. They would hurt her if they caught her and Bas followed his conscience as he opened his mouth to speak.

"I haven't seen anything." He stated as his eyes shifted from one side of the wall to the other, failing to make direct contact with the gaze of the hunters. "I'm not in any danger, I just need to pick something up from work." Nodding in affirmation, he waited for them to walk past him, just as Nine targeted the one standing in the back.

Mouth open in horror, Bas gasped as he walked hastily backwards. He planted his back against the wall and watched as the woman used one of the hunters as a human shield as they fired a round. She tore into the arm of another, barely avoiding one of the bullets while Sebastian stood helpless. One by one, she tackled them to the ground, leaving them disarmed and wounded. Sebastian was very impressed that she had taken the effort to avoid killing them.

"You... didn't kill them." Speaking softly from the wall, he expressed his admiration for Nine's actions, all the while noticing her open wounds. "You're hurt, take a rest while I get the back door open." Splaying his hands against the air in a reassuring gesture, he offered for Nine to rest and heal herself, if she could, while he broke through to the stairwell.

"Call me Bas, by the way." With a smile, he lead her around a corner where the back door hid the emergency staircase. There was a derelict old couch, which he waved a hand towards and offered a seat to Nine. He walked towards the door, where there was a security console with numbered keys.

[member="Nine Lives"]
The Mother of All Psy-Pires
Nine grabbed one of the com-links as well as one of the silver stakes, looking for any possible identifying marks. It might tell her which group of vampire hunters were after her. How had they even gotten her scent? Her...feedings...had been isolated cases, never more than a dozen or so lunch memories taken at most in one sitting, along with the memory of the feeding itself, and never the same mark. She'd even treated the bite wounds with bacta to the best of her ability, to leave as little evidence as possible. But someone had found her anyway. She needed rest. She needed not to panic, but with the urgency of their situation, Nine was having a hard time not being terrified. Beyond her children, still asleep aboard Castle Morpheus, she had not a friend beyond a tentative thing with this man next to her, leading her down a stair well after he busted through. An old couch waited, and Nine took the moment to rest, and check her wounds. real impacts. She was lucky. Wasn't even bleeding all that much.

[member="Sebastian Thel"] then just told her to call him by a nickname--Bas...

"Call me Nine." she said, trying to catch her breath. She scrambled for a plan, looking at the silver stake when the com-link she had stolen blared.

"Dark Alpha, Dark Alpha, do you copy? This is Gold Beta, Over." as the voice of an old man on the other end.

Nine matched the man she had seen wearing this, the very one who had tried to interrogate Bas. Concentrating a moment, Nine mimicked his voice.

"Copy, over." she replied in the hunter's voice.

"Have you spotted any sign of the target? Over."

"Uh, negative, Gold Beta. Target hasn't been spotted yet. We missed it."

"What about that apartment the freak crawled into? What about the occupant?"

"Nowhere in sight. We checked. No one was in the apartment. Over."

"Damn! Keep up the search! I'm sending more men up! Over."

"Uh, solid negative on that, Gold Beta. These halls are really cramped. More men will just make it harder to maneuver. Further more it...wait...damn!" Nine shouted into the comlink, still imitating her would be killer's voice expertly.

"What is it?" asked Gold Beta.

"We just spotted it crawling down the side! Opening fire!"

This was the part of her condition that had proven surprisingly useful to Nine again and again...the ability to mimic nearly any voice or sound...including that of the smg fire she had just heard. She cupped a hand over her mouth, her specialized vocal chords, and instinct doing the rest. The machine gun sound came out of her mouth perfectly, echoing in the stairwell.

"It's crawling down the south wall. Get everyone over there! NOW!" Nine shouted, before cutting communication.

"Boring conversation anyway. Bas...we're gonna have company. There's a derelict home I'm hiding in. But we need to steal a speeder. A fast one. Vampire Hunters are relentless foes. I should know what they say in that business? You either die a hunter, or you live long enough to see yourself become the vampire. And then you die as a different kind of hunter. Me in a nutshell." she said in her deep contralto.

"Unfortunately...I'm a terrible pilot." she added, looking very weak and scared, suddenly. She'd bought them a few minutes but it was a half measure. Plus, she had given away one of their strengths to them...this trick wouldn't work on them again.

"While they are rushing for the south wall, we can make our escape..." she said, going over to wear he was working.

"I'm sorry for endangering you like this Bas. I had hoped to keep your part in this as free of danger to you as possible. I didn't know they were after me. I don't even know who they are beyond being hunters."

Nine's fingers, as always, flexed uncontrollably, like a spider working a web. Up close her movements were twitchy and bird like, the sweat of fear on her brow. She looked immensely tired, and somehow old, despite her youthful appearance.

"I owe you one...seriously. Not a lot of people would risk helping someone like me."

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
A voice called over the comm-link which Nine recovered from one of the wounded soldiers. As the seconds passed, Sebastian could tell that she was becoming more concerned. He extended a hand and tried to help her to the couch, even though her injuries appeared to be minor. He watched in awe as she mimicked the operative's voice in the comm-link exactly as he had sounded in the elevator.

"It's good to meet you, Nine." A sweet smile dented Bas' cheeks. He made eye contact with Nine for the first time since they had met, before turning around and walking quickly to the door.

Muttering calculations beneath his breath, Bas observed the numbers on the keys for a quick moment, before typing in a code he had generated on the spot. He bit his index finger between his teeth as the code was rejected by the console, which flashed with a security warning. Reaching into his cardigan, he produced a pass key which he had embedded with circuitry himself.

"Just a few more..." The slicer muttered as he slid the programmed pass key into the slot. The device immediately scrambled the programming of the console and displayed a series of letters on the screen.

Working to decrypt the figures, Bas fingers tapped away at a rapid pace as he reorganized the quantities into clear-cut figures. He pulled the pass key out of the slot and keyed in the number which had retrieved from the cipher. The console flashed green and the door opened. While Nine mimicked the voice of the man who would have killed her, Bas sliced into the security console and opened the door.

"We're in." Just as he turned around and spoke to Nine, machine gun fire sounded from down the hall. Pressing his hands inside of his ears, Bas waved a hand and gestured for Nine to follow him. When she joined him inside of the stairwell, he cupped his chin and considered the situation she was presenting.

"The speeder yard around the block." Raising a finger in the air, he mentally noted the idea. He spoke in affirmation as he lead Nine down the metal stairs. "Not too different from me." He said in response to her description about the hunters. "I was always very good at maths and not very good at fighting, but I lived long enough to become a slicer." Well okay, it wasn't the same thing at all. Bas was just trying to make conversation.

"You and me both!" Bas said as they climbed down the stairs. "I can't fly a ship to save my life, but ships aren't really my thing." Shrugging, he looked over his shoulder to check on Nine, who was wearily following him.

When they reached the end of the stairs, Bas let out a relieved sigh. He turned the knob of the backdoor and peered through the ajar slit. So far, there was no sign of any unwanted presences, leaving Nine and himself room to make their escape.

"Don't mention it." Shrugging, he smiled, although not without a weary sigh. "I've always wanted to leave this chithole of a planet anyway." The last sentence was accompanied with a chuckle as he held the door open for Nine.

[member="Nine Lives"]
The Mother of All Psy-Pires
The gunfire prompted Nine to follow [member="Sebastian Thel"] down the metal staircase. They surely must have realized by this point that they had been fooled. Nine only wanted to get clear of them now as Bas explained a little bit of himself.

"You are very wise to have avoided a life of violence...up to this point at least..." she joked darkly as they reached the bottom, Bas holding the door open. Nine glided out with that same unnaturally smooth motion she always had whenever wearing this particular Kimono. Nine sensed no danger as she stepped into open air, and headed for the speeder block. She spotted a cherry red one that she liked, an open air model that was quite roomy. She barely knew how to use one, but manipulating the gadgetry had never, and would never, be an issue. She crawled in, ripped open parts of the steering controls and hot wired it to go active.

Just as she did so, she sensed danger finally, saw hunters wearing police uniforms with assault rifles and silver stakes on their equipment harness. They opened fire when they saw her and Nine was frantically steering the vehicle out of its parking spot, clipping another vehicle as she kept her head down from the bullets, feeling only raw terror at being hunted the same way she had hunted so many others as she stopped in front of Bas.

"Get in! Get in they've found us!" Nine yelled, now genuinely worried for Bas' life beyond his use to her. When you're a thought eating Vampire hurled into the future by being too long in a stasis chamber, its rather important to make and latch onto friends where possible...because this was the insane murder-future those cheesy action movies had always warned her about.

Troubling, Nine found a dark part of her was actually having fun in the insane murder-future...

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Slugs rattled off the railings as Sebastian and Nine made their way out of the door. The hunters realized that they had been fooled, maintaining their pursuit as they fired upon the vampire and the slicer from the top of the staircase. The slugs dented the metal door, which Sebastian slammed shut just in time for the hunters to see them escape. Swiping the slicing key from his pocket, he shoved it into the security console and waited anxiously for the device to scramble the numbers.

Every second ticked by with rising tension. The numbers rolled back and forward, until the screen presented a code. Working with haste, Sebastian sliced into the system and encrypted a new security code. He hit a button to update the settings and ripped the key from the slot, hopefully locking the hunters inside in the process. Although simply keeping the door locked would not stop them once they resorted to brute force.

"This way!" Sebastian called to Nine as he turned around. He lead her around the block and in the direction of the speeder block. They stopped at the mechanic's station and looked around at the vehicles on offer. Just as Nine selected a red speeder, the marching footsteps of the hunters sounded from around the corner.

Nine called to Sebastian, who leaned down and ducked into the passengers seat of the speeder. "Are you sure about that?" He asked warily as he watched the Vampire manipulate the controls. Adjusting his glasses, he pulled the seat belt over his chest and braced himself. The speeder took off, with Nine manning the controls. A small eep escaped Sebastian's mouth as he sat back and looked through the back window for any sign of the hunters.

"They're gaining on us!" The slicer cried as he looked in the rear-view window. Blastfire rained across the road from the hunter's own vehicles. More and more craft amassed behind the red speeder, until Nine and Sebastian approached a sharp corner. The speeder turned on it's side and cut off the hunters, who zoomed ahead.

"We can't outrun them, we'll need to wait it out somewhere until they give up." Bas stammered as the speeder descended towards the ground. The gears screeched to a halt and he flung open the door. "Come on, I know a place where we can hide." He called to Nine and hopped out of the speeder.

Sebastian's lace-up shoes landed on the ground with a stumble. He gripped the door of the speeder to stop himself from falling over, adjusting his glasses in the process. Without shutting the door, he ran ahead of Nine and ran down the block. The area became more desolate as houses gave way to industrial wasteland. With the smell of chemicals thick on the air, Sebastian jumped over dirty puddles, before shortly arriving at a clearing of burnt grass.

"In here." The slicer said as he pointed to a large, abandoned warehouse. The surrounding ground must have been home to houses or factories years ago. They had all been demolished to leave way for dry, chemical-stained plains. Wrapping his coat around his front, Sebastian lead Nine into the warehouse, where they could hopefully wait it out until the hunters gave up their search.

An eerie silence fell over the plain, disrupted only by a pale wind blowing through the grass. Sebastian and Nine reached the front of the warehouse and the slicer looked around inside. Rust covered the walls and desks were strewn where people once worked. With a heavy sigh, Sebastian released the weight he had been carrying on his shoulders and sat down on a swerving chair.

[member="Nine Lives"]
The Mother of All Psy-Pires
Nine flew down a speeder lane with the hunters giving chase. She gunned the engine blaster bolts peppering the back of her speeder.

But there was a problem.

Nine liked ships. She liked vehicles. But she wasn't too hot at piloting them. So as she raced dangerously fast through traffic, the vampire grazed the sides of several vehicles by accident, and she barely avoided a collision, even as a blaster bolt passed over her head. One grazed her cheek and she yelped, violently jerking the controls putting them dangerously close to hitting the side of a bank, she barely managed to veer back on course, but the red bolts pounded her vehicle relentlessly. It was starting to smoke and the front caught fire. Nine could only keep this up so long. She was panicking and unfit to pilot, plus every moment in this damaged vehicle was one more risk taken with Sebastian's life. She had to buy more time.

She saw a turn and swerved at the very last second, metal sparking as the back end grazed a run down building. Fleetingly, Nine realized the layout of the landscape had changed.

Bas pointed out they could not outrun them forever as the Vampire landed the speeder. But it seemed the Force wished to string them along a little longer, for serendipity showed its head whe Sebastian said he knew of a place they could hide. Nine silently sprinted after him. The vehicle they had just been in caught fire and was soon engulfed completely by it.

"Well, at least we got free fireworks. Always try and look for the positives in these situations..." she joked in a dark manner as she followed the fleeing hacker through a heavily ruined industrial area. Good place to haunt. For a wretch like her at least.

As he led her into an abandoned warehouse, Nine silently glided up the steps, her ancient green kimono with white flower print shimmering slightly in the low light. She headed into the shadows, where she was most comfortable. Where her shame was dulled slightly. But only ever slightly.

She heard vehicles close to the warehouse. About quarter of a block away. Very close. Dogs yelping in the distance. Kath hounds. Her father used to breed them. He never let the children near them. They were strictly for tracking his enemies with. She knew how dangerous a trained Kath Hound was. Slow to move, but tough, and muscled. Big too, a lot of them. She'd known Mandalorians who preferred them to Strill. Good old Dad bred 'em as huge as he could. Deadly pack hunters.

Nine quickly went close to the entrance, feeling the wind. They were downwind. She spotted droids in the distance. Security models, armed with Light repeating carbines.

"These guys must reaaaaaalllly want me." Nine muttered, her quiet contralto hinting at the sarcasm only slightly.

She crawled up the wall.

"You might want to think about finding some way to mask your scent, Bas. The burning smoke might foul up their noses, but they'll get a whiff of us through that eventually. They brought security droids. They're sweeping the area. We have no way of masking our thermal signatures. Haven't spotted any of their men yet. We are...badly, badly outnumbered."

Nine crawled up to the second floor, trying to look for something, anything that could help them. She was guessing they had maybe ten minutes before they would probably find this place. Maybe less.

Nine hated 'maybe'. She spotted a few sound amplification devices, some hydro spanners and blow torches, aerosol sprays, soldering guns. Bottles of some sort of processed oil, old communications terminals fallen to disuse, their circuitry exposed. Industrial vibroblades lay fallen near overturned workbenches and construction gloves. An old, slightly rusted blaster rifle was in the corner. Nine took it, immediately taking it apart.

Nine realized she had found the machine shop. She immediately began looking for more tools, found them, as well as an old sensor ball on one of the upright benches, and got to work. She pulled open the sensor ball first, hardware looked intact. Circuits still in good condition. Power source was good.

Nine disassembled a hydrospanner and the sensor ball partly, adding to its power source with power packs from the broken comms console, grafting the disassembled blaster parts and sound devices together with the sensor drones parts on one side, using hydrospanner circuitry to help marry the blaster and sound tech more efficiently. She couldn't do much about the now bulky, but basic security drone's programming. She could mark herself and Sebastian as non hostile. And its new sonic blaster had power for fifteen shots before it and the drone's power source was burned out. Its shots were only powerful enough to stun, not kill. She had worked as quietly as possible.

Nine called out quietly to [member="Sebastian Thel"].

"Do you see or hear anything?"