View Full Version : The Somnambulists Waltz

The Rake
Jan 1st, 2016, 09:54:05 AM
Ponemah - the Outer Rim

It wasn't the first planetary collision that the Rake had experienced. More importantly, it didn't seem to be his last. He woke up on lying on the wall of the main hold and blinked, sticky blood clagging his left eye shut and his upper body tangled up in his cloak. He swiped at his eye and coughed as he swayed to his feet. His head was pounding, but there were no warning sirens shrieking in the freighter. His vision swam, eyes roaming over the disorientating sight of the room turned the wrong way around.

"Runt?" His voice came out croaky. As his eyes focused in the gloom, he saw the sleek silver body of the Hrosma tiger lying motionless at the other end of the up-ended wall. Staggering around and over the chairs and crates that had be thrown from the floor to the wall, his cloak lopsided on his shoulders, he made it to the still form - just as Run lifted his horned head and cracked one sleepy eye open.

"Mrrr?" the creature made a questionning noise, evidently none to pleased to be roused from what looked like a nap.

"Oh, no - don't let me disturb you," the Rake turned away, taking a moment to get his bearings before he picked his way back along the wall. As he walked, he ran his tongue around his teeth and gums - nothing loose or bloody there - and tried to tentatively roll his shoulders. That wasn't quite so pleasant. Something in his left arm felt off.

He stopped, about three quarters of the way along the wall and looked up, squinting up along the length of the corridor that lead to the freighters cockpit. Normally it was a short walk away but circumstances being what they were, it'd be a decent climb to get back into the pilots seat. Not so decen with a busted shoulder.

Something tiny bounced off his forehead and he took an unsteady step backwards.

Grails of sand trickled through the hairline fracture in the transparisteel, slid down the main control panel then tumbled through and out of the inverted cockpit, piling at the bottom of the hallway beyond.

Through the main view-port, there was no view of the sky - only sand. The ship was buried, how deep he couldn't say yet.

"It's salvageable," the Rake said, as if the words might make it true.

At his side, Runt gave a low growl. The ship groaned and the Rake glanced down at Runt, who rolled his shouders in something resembling a shrug and mrr'ed again.

"True. If we're buried, there's no chance anyone will come and scrap the ship for parts.. though we're not liable to make much use of her either."

How the hell was he going to get out of this one? There was no telling how much sand they were under, and how long before that trickle become a flood.

He cast his eyes around the room, looking first at the padded booth and its table, and then at the smashed remains of a tumble and bottle that had been sitting on the tabletop not too long ago. That had been some good brandy. Expensive stuff. Expensive...

The thought tickled a memory in the back of his mind. Runt's claws were already clacking against the metal beneath them as the Rake made for the secure cargo storage. "The slab," he agreed, as the tiger slipped through the horizontally orientated hallway and into the small cabin beyond with the Rake on his heels.

Lights blinked in the darkness, flashing along the length of the carbonite block that lay face down in the secure cargo storage. Runt purred.

"I don't know how it works. Maybe the lights mean something good. All readings happy?"

The tiger swung its horned head back to look at him with narrow yellow eyes.

"Mm. Either she's dying, or about to come out of hibernation on the floor of a freighter with its arse buried in the Sea of Sand. Could be worse though, eh?"

Runt whuffed a sigh.

Lilaena De'Ville
Jan 2nd, 2016, 12:18:38 PM



A baby was crying.






She was cold. So very cold. Limbs trembling, she tried to move, but only spasmed, her fingers scraping against durasteel deck plating. Where was she? She tried to talk and could not, her throat too dry for more than a rasp.

Why was she blind?

The Rake
Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:14:15 AM
Body pressed low to the ground, Runt crept closer to the slab.

In his mind, the Rake lined up the numbers. At the beginning of the day, he had been in the black. A functioning ship carrying a cargo that was - by his estimates - going to make a sizeable profit. He also had his life and Runt's.

Now? Now was different. As the Hrosma tiger sniffed at the sides of the carbonite slab, the Rake decided that unless something miraculous happened, two out of three was the best he and the cat could hope for. Two out of three he could live with. After all, he could get the third with the money the cargo - and then some when he caught up with the slime-sucking waste of space who'd dropped him out of the sky in the first place.

Get the girl out in one piece, take her to the buyer, get on with business.

One step at a time... get out of the Sea of Sand first. The less he thought about that part, the better. Thinking about that growing pile of sand was not conducive to productivity.

"Don't try to move," he stood alongside the carbonite block and crouched low, hooking his one good hand under the edge of the block and shooing Runt out of the way in the process. "I'm going to flip this off of you, and then help you get out of here. I need you to listen to me and follow my voice.

Do you understand?"

Lilaena De'Ville
Jan 3rd, 2016, 01:24:51 PM
She was struggling to get up, but something was pressing her down onto the deck. Her arms and legs had hardly any strength in them, but then there was a voice. She concentrated, and tried to nod...then spoke.


Pitiful. She felt like a kitten still wet from being born. When the pressure lifted, she scrabbled and crawled toward the male voice as best she could.

The Rake
Jan 4th, 2016, 12:28:40 PM
They said that coming out of a carbonite hibernation was... challenging. Having had no real intention of releasing the women from her imprisonment, the Rake hadn't done anything to prepare for the possibility that he might have a passenger reeling from the affects of the unnatural sleep.

If he was lucky, the after-effects would be tolerable enough that she could move around and follow basic commands - but also severe enough that she didn't start to think critically about what was going on.

Not asking for permission, he pulled her arm around his body.

"Hold on to me-" he started.

The next word out of his mouth was ripped out of his lips and yanked toward the far end of the room, along with his balance. Above, there was an almighty crash. Somewhere behind him, Runt gave out an incensed hiss as the four walls lurched around them. For an instant, they were suspended in mid-air as what was up and down switched places with what had moments ago been left and right.

Runt landed on his feet, while the Rake landed on his arse, his 'passenger' half sprawled over him.

Had the sand shifted enough beneath them for the ship to rights itself? The boom that had come just before their tumbled suggested something, unfortunately, more purposeful than the shifting of the sands. The fur all along the length of Runt's spine was standing up, and his tail had that fluffy look that meant he was anything other than happy.

The Rake struggled back to his feet, helping the nameless woman up with him.

"Can you walk?"

Lilaena De'Ville
Jan 5th, 2016, 01:11:19 PM
Right was down.

Down was left.

She held back a yelp as the world pitched and dumped her onto the floor, or whatever was now the floor. What hell had she woken up into? She tried to stand and failed, leaning heavily on the stranger who was... She frowned, trying to remember what had happened to her.

Who was this, and where was she? And why was she blind and weak? A tingle in her memory. Those symptoms, with partial amnesia... "Car..bon freeze?" she rasped, clinging to the man while she tried to make her legs work properly. Something was very wrong.

The Rake
Jan 6th, 2016, 01:05:04 PM
“Right. Don't think too much. It'll make your brain hurt more than it already does.”

They lurched through the ship, the Galaxy's least competent three-legged race entrants. In the main hold, everything was the right way up again – though it looked like they'd just passed through a border patrol and been ransacked by some heavy-handed inspectors. Runt played a one-cat game of 'the floor is Mustafar', springing from surface to surface and in doing so avoiding the sand scattered across the deck plating.

The ship shuddered, not as violently as before, but enough. Enough to make the Rake hurry matters along.

The cockpit viewport had something new to offer now: blue skies and -

A shadow fell over the command console as something huge rippled past the viewport, blotting out the sky. Runt, who had slithered up into the pilots chair, looped back onto the floor around behind the Rake's legs in a nanosecond.

“Hm,” the Rake blinked. “Well. I'm gonna sit you down and buckle you in, because I think we might be having a little bit of a bumpy take-off.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Jan 9th, 2016, 12:54:39 PM
She was blind, her body wasn't responding properly, and she wasn't even sure what she was wearing - maybe a sleeping shift? She let the man put her into a seat and buckle her in, his hands rough in his haste, but she didn't complain. The ship they were in lurched again, and she tried to hold onto the seat, her head lolling from side to side as her neck couldn't quite support its weight.

Her hair was damp from the carbon freeze and had fallen across her face as she tried to make her voice work. Her hand brushed the silk of her dress or nightgown...memories tickled at the edges of her brain. "Where...am I?"

The Rake
Jan 12th, 2016, 01:11:50 PM
You're sitting beside a man who is going to sell you to your death, or maybe worse - assuming that the crashed freighter you're aboard doesn't get pummelled into scrap by a sand-worm.

As though hearing the unspoken words, Runt – who was somewhere that wasn't the cockpit – let out an irritated howl. “You're-” the Rake started, words coming slow as his brain tried to piece together words while attempting to coax to life the freighter and contemplate how he was going to get his passenger back into her cosy carbon cocoon. “You're on my ship. We got hit over Ponemah and... dropped into the Sea of Sand.”

The ship shuddered, engines coming to life with the kind of groan that came with the worst hangovers. It shivered and shuddered and the Rake told himself that was on account of the pre-flight start-up, instead of because the fleshy pain-train had come by for another pass.

After a moment, the ship lurched hard and the freighter skipped across the sand like a stone on a windless pond. Runt growled but the Rake smiled, as the old freighter defied gravity. There's was nothing graceful about it, but soon they were putting empty space between them and the earth, sand cascading down in sheets from the freighters underside.

“There's an outpost at the edge of the desert. I think we can make it there and get patched up.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Jan 12th, 2016, 09:23:33 PM
Her teeth rattled in her skull as the ship bumped against the ground harder than a mating gundark, and Lilaena - her name was Lilaena - could feel tears leaking from her tightly closed eyelids. The ship was making an unholy sound, but the man sounded confident of his ability to get it back down again.

As they flew higher, or onward, or whichever way they were going, she rasped out, "Who...shot us down?"

The Rake
Jan 14th, 2016, 03:51:15 AM
“First Order goons.”

The words came out strained, as he stretched across the ship's console, wondering not for the first time whether a co-pilot would be a fine thing to have. If only Runt had thumbs – no, then we'd be dead twice over. Terrible, terrible idea.

“Price you pay for operating outside of Republic space,” he went on, trying to tease a little more control out of the freighter. The sensor packages were blinking back to life by degrees, and none of what they said was good. The ship rocked like a frisbee tossed into a tornado.

There was a small silver-lining, though. “Doesn't seem like they followed us down planet-side though, so I guess we were just... target practice.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Jan 14th, 2016, 11:51:50 AM
Ponemah. First Order. Lilaena was trying not to flop around in her restraints, but the heavy vibrations running through the ship as it swayed back and forth, combined with her muscle weakness, were making it very difficult. "Then what." She grimaced as the ship lurched downward and clicked her teeth shut, "is chasing us?"

And why are we an us? What am I doing here? Who put me in carbon freeze? Her muscles twitched involuntarily and she began to feel the warm glow of anger in her extremities. The Force, however, was curiously distant. Perhaps a side effect of the freezing process. Lilaena reached for it, putting her whole concentration toward the slim thread that still connected her to the Force.

The Rake
Jan 29th, 2016, 03:12:43 AM
"Nothing... hopefully."

Runt hrrrmed - then hissed as the Rake swung a halfhearted kick in the cat's direction. His fingertips danced over the ships controls, teasing a little more information out of the often contrary system. It wasn't putting up too much of a fight. Maybe the impact had rattled some of the quirks out of it, though that was almost more optimism than the Rake was willing to entertain.

"Not far to the outpost," he added, the ship of structures hazy in the mid-distance. "How's your memory doing?"

Lilaena De'Ville
Jan 29th, 2016, 12:02:05 PM
"Not -" the ship lurched, "well. I remember..."

A ship tearing through the atmosphere, creating clouds in it's wake as it hovered over the beaches and disgorged metallic beasts with armored riders. She led the charge, a primal scream tearing from her throat as they raced into the city.

A small child huddled in a corner, eyes bright with tears she refused to let fall.

The boy with white eyes, practicing lightsaber forms with her.

Striding the passages of her ship, a cadre of powerful Force users in her wake. Zereth. Ireen. Tyber.

...Lyydea. A bounce of bright red curls and mercurial temper.

Lilaena De'Ville. Mand'alor. Master. Savior. Killer. Friend. Enemy.

She groaned a little, her headache increasing. "Who put me into carbonite?" Despite the rasp of her voice, there was an edge of anger that was growing by the minute.

The Rake
Feb 1st, 2016, 11:13:46 AM
Someone who thought twice about it. As he thought the words, the Rake kept his eyes front and centre, fixed on the outpost rushing towards them. Runt sulked in a corner of the cockpit that looked as if it had long been claimed as the feline's domain.

“That'll come to you in time, I suppose. Rest's the best thing for you right now,” he added, as the freighter banked down towards a landing spot, identifiable only as a scuffed patch of dirt... in the middle of a sea of dirt at the edge of the ramshackle outpost.

Lilaena De'Ville
Feb 1st, 2016, 11:24:47 AM
"Where is Kazaar?" she asked suddenly. "Did he send you for me?" It was a guess - a stupid guess. Kazaar had ridden along with her to some success, but the former spy was not likely to be funding interplanetary efforts to recover her from whoever, or whatever, had been responsible for her current condition. The pilot didn't say anything, the ship finally coming to a stop, and she asked, "Who are you?"

She fumbled with her restraints, releasing herself and feeling about her surroundings for something to lean on as she pulled herself up onto her shaky legs. There was something else in the ship... she could hear it walking around. "Who are you?" Lilaena shouted, desperately pulling at the distant Force for strength, and finding the connection missing. She fell forward onto a console, hitting her head on a lever. "Fuuuuuck!"

The Rake
Feb 4th, 2016, 03:18:39 PM
Runt lifted his head at the commotion, evidently nonplussed by the racket. How dare this interloper bring this cacophony into their cockpit? The Hrosma tiger glared at the Rake's sleep-walking passenger, for what little good it did. Meanwhile, the Rake wrestled with a quandary. One too many questions that he couldn't rightly answer, not right now. The last thing that he wanted to do was alarm her, anymore than she'd done herself.


There was only one thing for it. There was no way he could finish what he'd started if she was thrashing about like this. More to the point, she'd done half the job for him. It'd be rude not to finish it.


As though sensing what was about to happen, Runt peered at Lilaena with intent, glittering yellow eyes.

The Rake grabbed the back of her head, yanked back, and made to slam her forehead into the console again - with enough force that he'd hopefully knock her out cold.

Lilaena De'Ville
Feb 4th, 2016, 03:26:25 PM
Her head hit the console a second time, and darkness descended.



When she regained consciousness, she was back in the chair, with her five point restraint on. Her head hurt. She was still blind. The Force was still curiously distant, but ...closer. Lilaena opened her eyes, her heart quickening at the darkness around her. Without the Force she was as helpless as a newborn baby.

A baby.

To her extreme consternation, she started crying.

The Rake
Feb 25th, 2016, 02:10:18 AM
"It's going to be easier for both of us if you don't pull something like that again."

A familiar voice, somewhere to her right. The sound of someone shifting in an upholstered seat.

"A good partnership takes work."

Somewhere behind her, a feral hrrrrr.

"So you need to work with me. You don't need to like it -"

Behind, the tap of claws against metal. To the right, a sigh.

"Because I don't plan to like it either, but this is where we've come to."

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 7th, 2016, 11:09:13 AM
The tears were drying already, and Lilaena slowly nodded. "Fine with me. I.." she reached up, fingers questing into her hairline, and found a good sized bump. "I am not used to my body being so weak. Or being so... out of control."

She turned her head to the right, where the voice was coming from. I won't forget this, however.

The Rake
Jul 26th, 2016, 01:13:31 PM
It went unspoken, but she wasn't the only one in uncharted star-systems. The Rake scratched half-chewed fingernails against his shaved scalp.

"I've a commission to take you to a buyer, by hook or crook. Either you can come willingly, or I can put you out cold whenever you come to and get wriggly."

There was a whuff of breath, as Runt sank down onto the deck plates. The tiger's eyes shifted between the Rake and their cargo.

"I'd prefer the former, but I'm willing and able to oblige with the later," the Rake went on. "Way I see, though, you've already slept plenty. I only need to get you to the buyer. You have your wits about you, I figure the whole exchange will go a lot better for you."

Lilaena De'Ville
Jul 26th, 2016, 01:57:49 PM
He was her only connection to whatever world she'd been awakened into, and she knew she needed to be on his good side. Lilaena nodded hesitantly, and said, "I will behave." To a point. She folded her arms over the seat restraints, hugging her body. She was trembling with cold, her clothing inadequate for anything but sleeping in, and the carbonite had sucked the warmth out of her. As her anger subsided there was nothing but a dark emptiness inside her.

The buyer, whoever it turned out to be, would have to answer her questions - or she would kill them with her bare hands. For now, she would build up her strength.

The Rake
Jul 27th, 2016, 02:25:51 PM
Silence eased its way in-between them, an uninvited guest. The Rake puffed out his cheeks. When it came to dead or alive captures, dead was a lot easier. Dead didn't talk or look sullen or do any ill-advised thrashing about. Not most of the time, anyway.

“I need to go out. You can stay here with Runt -”

The feline made a sound half-purr, half-growl. What was that old saying, about leaving Hrosma tigers in hot starships? Likely the same applied to furious women, even if they were blind. The Rake eyed his 'cargo' and chewed at the inside of his cheek. Restrained as she was, frozen as she had been, there was a wiry steel in her limbs.

“Or we can take a walk out together to the outpost. Find someone who can get this shit-bucket back in the air.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Jul 27th, 2016, 02:45:13 PM
She turned her face toward the male voice of her transporter, trying to picture what he might look like. The darkness all around her was unsettling, and being left here, alone in the darkness except for the creature making those growls... "I want to walk with you," Lilaena said, then after a moment, "Please. I will not cause trouble."

She plucked at the hem of her shift. "I need something else to wear."

He grunted, pushing himself up from his seat and walking to the back of the ship, leaving her restrained. Lilaena could hear him moving things around, and then steps coming back to the cockpit. A bundle of clothes were dropped on her lap, and he paused, his hand on the restraints. "Don't try anything." She shook her head, of course not, and he released them.

Lilaena stood hesitantly as he backed off, his footsteps indicating he hadn't gone far at all. Whether he was watching or not made no difference, and she stripped off the damp nightgown, dropping it at her feet and carefully pulling on the pants he'd provided. A belt helped, but they were much too big and hung from her hips. She shrugged into the shirt, a tank top she tucked into the front of the pants. The bandeau she'd been wearing under the nightgown was showing through the armholes, but perhaps that was the style these days.

Whenever now was. She put out her hands, reaching for obstacles as she turned to face the back of the ship. "What is your name?"

The Rake
Jul 27th, 2016, 03:14:05 PM
He looked her up and down. His clothes hanging a little too large on her, she might just fit right in at the outpost market. It didn't much matter, anyway. As long as she had her dignity and wasn't attracting too much attention to the pair of them.

"The name's The Rake." He went to offer a hand and stuck his palm out, then frowned at himself. He chanced a look at Runt, but the tiger's eyes were shut, though he could have sworn there was a look of contempt on the feline's face. She was reaching out, but to feel for her surroundings, not to take his hand.

"And they call you Mallea," he added, half-question, half-knowing statement. That's what it had said on the box she'd come in, anyway. Mallea, Malleas? Something to that tune.

Lilaena De'Ville
Jul 27th, 2016, 03:25:31 PM
"Yes," she said quickly, her mind racing. "Mallea." Her hand found his before he could take it back, and instead of shaking hands she latched onto it, taking a step forward. Only a few people had ever called her Malleus, which narrowed down the cause of her extended stay in carbonite. Still...there was a large blank spot in her memory.

Who would encase her in a living tomb, and then ask for a smuggler to ship her across the galaxy? Nothing made sense. She held the Rake's hand lightly, trying her best to trust him when every cell of her body was screaming for her to run away. She was blind and helpless for the time being, but it would not always be so. As long as she was alive, there was time. And hope.

And revenge.

The Rake
Jul 28th, 2016, 11:37:21 AM
Sand sluiced down the boarding ramp. Runt made a disgruntled mrow, one heavy paw swatting in irritation at the coarse grains. The Rake stepped up behind the tiger, looking out across the jumble of shacks and prefabs that made up the outpost. There were three-dozen beings loitering about the place, halfheartedly bartering one piece of desert salvage for another. What ships there were landed nearby had no berths in a star-port, but instead squatted around the outpost like desert nomad's around a fire by night. A few glances came in their direction, but for the most part their arrival seemed to be regarded with disinterest, maybe even distaste.

The Rake glanced side-long at the blind Mallea, looking her up and down again. "Runt'll be with us the whole while," he said, his expression tight. The tiger slid past the pair, muscular flank bumping into the side of Mallea's legs as he prowled ahead. Runt's nose twitched, his implicit duty of watching the Rake's prisoner overwritten by the smoky smells of grilled snake-flesh and charred insects carried on the hot air.

"Should be able to find a wrench for hire in the local watering hole," he went on, hoping somehow that by giving voice to the idea that it would become a reality. He gave Mallea's hand a squeeze, letting her know that he was about to start walking.

Lilaena De'Ville
Jul 28th, 2016, 12:04:33 PM
She wasn't quite sure what Runt was, but he was big. Lilaena squeezed the Rake's hand in response, and walked with him down and out of the ship. Ponemah's sun radiated down on her, warming her chilled limbs as she tried to remember anything about the desert planet. Hot, she decided, as the heat quickly raised sweat on her skin.

"I could use a drink," she said, her feet sliding a bit inside the too big boots he'd given her as she navigated the sand blindly.

The Rake
Jul 29th, 2016, 10:58:41 AM
“Mm,” the Rake grunted an agreement. Runt lead the way.

Even on a planet like Ponemah, where the genetic melting pot was about as spicy as it could get, the sight of a Hrosma tiger was uncommon. The market-dwellers didn't gasp or staggered back – they were far too jaded for that – but the Rake noticed at least one eyebrow raised a fraction higher than normal. Perhaps they were wondering which cuts of meat a tiger could yield, or whether the creature would make a good deterent against thieves.

At the hub of the outpost was the cantina. Sheets of metal in all sizes had been glommed together into something only vaguely resembling a building. The doorway sloped and the Rake couldn't help but lean to the side, expecting to see that the floor inside was also tilted as the deck-plates of his ship had been early that day.

Beside the door, a Trandoshan lounged outside on a fold-up chair with his feet propped up on an empty box marked TaggePop. He was picking his teeth with what might have been someone's clavicle once. He looked at the three of them. “No...” His eyes lingered on Runt. “Pets allowed.”

Runt hissed. The Rake shrugged. “I leave him out here, he's liable to get friendly. By which I mean, his claw's'll get friendly with your intestines.”

“Like to see it try,” the Trando' snorted and again the Rake shrugged, guiding Mallea on through into the cantina.

It was a single room, chairs and tables radiating out from the bar. Most of the furniture appeared to have been salvaged from starships. One drunk had buckled himself into his chair, a former pilots seat, and the belt was saving him from sliding down onto the ground as he languished in a boozy doze. All-in-all, the place was quiet. Mostly parties of one or two, nursing drinks and watching a grainy stream of swoop racing in the Core on a screen caked in dust and sand.

It was exactly the kind of place that a competent mechanic would avoid. The Rake swore low under his breath and in Falleen: “Chert voz'mi.”

The bartender stood watching the swoop race until something happened that made him hiss through his teeth, then he grudgingly waddled over to the counter. “What?”

“A drink for my friend,” the Rake ordered. “And I'll take the name of whoever in here knows their way around a ship.”

“You'll take a drink too,” the bartender, human or near enough, said. Outside, either the Trandoshan or Runt, or maybe both, were snarling.

The Rake just nodded along. “So I will.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Jul 30th, 2016, 12:53:59 AM
Lilaena released the Rake's hand, and ran her fingers across the edge of the bar. Metal, probably durasteel, and something made her think of the cramped interior of an old freighter. An old memory seemed to dance just beyond the edge of recollection, and her nostrils flared slightly as she inhaled. The liquor she could smell, as well as sweat and stale ships oil. "Whiskey," she said, and a glass was placed on the bar in front of her. She could hear the liquid being poured, and hoped the glass was clean. Somehow, she doubted it.

She tiptoed her fingers across the bar to the glass, and picked it up. It was definitely alcohol, possibly even whiskey. A sip burned her throat, and she coughed into the back of her hand, then took another sip.

The Rake
Jul 30th, 2016, 03:06:41 AM
The whiskey sloshed half into the Rake's glass, half onto the bar itself. He eyed the glass, then the bartender. Both made his stomach twist a little.

"Pay," the 'tender grunted.

"Republic credits?" It was a long shot, but one he had to take. It wasn't unheard of, for traders outside of Republic space to accept credits as payment, but only if they were likely to do regular business with the worlds of the Republic. Ponemah wasn't far from the Republic border, but it was far enough. The bartender snorted. The Rake fished about in the inside of his flight jacket and uncovered a single, gold wupiupi coin, holding it up for inspection. The bartender snatched it out of his fingertips and stuffed it into his apron.

"Know anyone who can patch up my ship?"

Settling back onto a stool behind the bar, the tender smiled. "Not for one wupiupi."

The Rake picked up his drink, venturing a sip. "For more?"

A shrug. "Maybe. Have another drink or two and I'm sure someone will come by."

They retreated to one of the empty tables, the Rake considering whether he felt brave and stupid enough to leave Ponemah's atmosphere with the ship in its current state. Maybe after another few drinks? He watched Mallea until she found herself a seat, then sat down opposite her.

"Guess we got some time to kill."

Lilaena De'Ville
Jul 30th, 2016, 12:12:16 PM
She sat straight in her chair, her hand on her glass. The liquor was warming her up from the inside, and Lilaena considered that perhaps drinking on an empty stomach after being frozen in carbonite for gods knew how long was probably a bad idea. Her stomach chose that moment to growl, and she pressed her left hand to it, shifting uncomfortably.

On the other hand... She picked up her drink and finished it off, placing the glass delicately back onto the table. The last time she'd sat in a bar drinking had been the day she'd heard of the death of Palpatine. Lilaena frowned, the memory crystal clear in her mind, her devastation at failing to fullfill her master's last wish, to make Palpatine pay for what he'd done to the Jedi.

Luke Skywalker, hero of the Rebellion, was rumored to have landed the killing blow. He was dead, too.

Perhaps everyone was dead.

Lilaena tapped the edge of her glass. "What year is it?" She looked up, her growing connection to the Force allowing her to look eerily into the Rake's face, though she could see nothing but darkness. Her voice grew harder, intense, but still quiet. "What year is it?!"

The Rake
Jul 30th, 2016, 12:26:13 PM
She was looking right at him, or at least right at his face. Their eyes didn't meet. She was still blind, probably still would be for – well, that depended on how long she'd been sealed away. Long enough to gulp down a tumbler of whiskey like it was ambrosia, while he sipped at his with a little less enthusiasm.

“In this neck of space, 34 after Yavin.”

Her stomach growled again, loud enough that he could've mistaken it for Runt.

“I can see if they'll cook you something. I don't normally buy dinner for my marks,” he added, thinking aloud. “Suppose this isn't normal, though.”

Maybe he could invoice the cost of the food and drinks to the client.

Lilaena De'Ville
Jul 31st, 2016, 11:59:28 AM
34 ABY... "Food would be good," Lilaena said quietly, her mind busy processing the new information. She remembered it being ...13 ABY.

Twenty-one years? Her breath caught in her throat, but she closed her eyes for a moment and forced herself to be calm. To appear calm. Lilaena pressed her hand on her stomach again as it growled, and felt the unusual softness of it. Her abdomen in her memories had been muscular and toned, but something had changed.


She wanted to get up and run out of the room, but remained where she was, rooted to her seat. "Maybe a nerf burger," she heard herself say, as if it was another person in the room. The Force boiled around her, her rising anger and fear finally breaking through whatever barrier there had been between her and her power, but she resisted the urge to use it. She had to know more.

Memories of her pregnancy flooded into her mind: the first flutter of movement deep within her, hands smoothing over her rounded belly, sleepless nights spent sitting up while the child slept lodged in her rib cage, the glorious agony of birth and the rush of relief as the baby slipped free...

She had to find out what He had done to her baby.

The Rake
Mar 8th, 2017, 02:37:39 PM
A serving droid caught the order and wheeled away to complete it. The Rake said nothing, letting the whiskey swirl about in the bottom of his glass as he looked at across the table at his... cargo.

“You've been asleep for a while,” he said, lifting the glass to take a slow sip of whiskey. Considering Mallea over the top of the glass.

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 8th, 2017, 02:56:52 PM
"Yes," she said. "A long time."

Ensconced in darkness, Lilaena knocked back the rest of the alcohol, setting the glass down with a clunk. Could she escape this bounty hunter, or smuggler, or whoever he was? Most likely, even in her state of blindness, but what then? She had no ID, no credits... not even clothes that fit. Someone had paid Mr. The Rake to transport her carbonite coffin to... somewhere. He was going to take her there, to the person who knew who she was. Someone with answers.

"It smells bad in here," she said, after a moment, wrinkling up her nose.

The Rake
Sep 1st, 2018, 12:14:19 PM
"Yup. It's a shithole. If we were courting I wouldn't bring you within a starsystem of this place, but, well..."

Casual as he could, the Rake took a quick look around the bar. People staring thousand-parsec stares into their glasses, some half-heartedly watching the sports cast and a handful peering with some interest at the Rake and his cargo. He eyed the empty tumbler in front of her, wondering just how whiskey would settle on a stomach that hadn't seen a scrap of food in stars knows how long.

"You want another drink? A little more to take the edge off that carbonite hangover."

Lilaena De'Ville
Sep 1st, 2018, 12:27:35 PM
Lilaena tapped her glass with her finger, and found it difficult to stop.

tap tap tap tap

“I think water would be better.”
Muffled talk at the end of the bar drew her attention, along with the smell of engine grease. Footsteps approached them - perhaps the repair help that the Rake had been waiting for.

tap tap tap tap

She forced herself to stop, and tucked her hands together in her lap.

The Rake
Sep 2nd, 2018, 01:39:11 PM
Someone large sat down at the table with force enough to rattle Mallea's glass on the tabletop.

"Dan ji bu bo ji ordeket?" the new voice said, a woman, in the throaty accent of a Ryloth native. You the two with the ship?

"Ka, vashna," came the Rake's reply. Yes, ma'am. The newcomer grunted in approval.

"Don't suppose you speak Twi'lek?" he said, his voice a little closer to Mallea. If he was lucky, the answer would be no.

Lilaena De'Ville
Sep 4th, 2018, 01:10:07 PM
“Twi’lek?” She considered that for a moment. “No.”

Huttese on the other hand...

Liaena stared straight forward as the Rake conversed with the Twi’lek. She could smell something cooking, hopefully her meal, and her stomach growled in response. The alcohol she’d downed was giving her a pleasantly fuzzy feeling, but she knew she needed her wits about her.

The Rake
Mar 3rd, 2019, 03:36:35 PM
“Do fic o'emalehek cea y deleo or kn'iyau,” the Rake lied, with a sideways nod at Mallea. I’ve rescued this woman from slavery.

“Buh Do ohk nie a getaway, ji kn'iyol becansan sei ordeket," he added, with an audible sigh. While I was making a getaway, the slavers damaged my ship.

“Qaon tualin bo dan,” purred the Twi’lek, with a hint of sarcasm that even Mallea's ignorant ears might catch. How noble of you.

“Uh huh,” the Rake agreed.

Something clattered down in front of Mallea: a plate of food and cutlery. With his pinky finger, the Rake nudged the cutlery until it touched Mallea’s hands.

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 3rd, 2019, 05:15:29 PM
She let the foreign language wash over her, trying to discern the intent behind the words even if she could not understand the words themselves. The female sounded a bit sarcastic, but a plate clattered onto the table and the smell completely distracted her. Something cool touched her hand, and she extended her fingers to touch the plate.

Lilaena picked up the utensil, fingertips questing along it's length to determine what it was. A hybrid of some sort, no doubt native to whichever planet this was. It had prongs, however, and she managed to spear a bite of food. Some sort of meat, with gravy, and a glob of cooked grain.

She was suddenly ravenous, only her blindness stopping her from shoveling the meal into her mouth. Lilaena did not want to splatter food everywhere, and ate relatively cautiously. Whatever the provenance of the plate, the contents were delicious.

The Rake
Jan 8th, 2020, 03:04:23 PM
“Toyid dan rekie sei ordeket? Do laboo ar fiyet or circaa la'ak rikey,” the Rake went on, the table creaking as he leant both elbows on it. Can you repair my ship? I need to get out of here pretty sharp.

There was a hmph of laughter from opposite where Mallea sat. “Arsian ceu kn'iyol viksan dan,” the woman chuckled. Before those slavers catch you.

“Ba,” the Rake said with a sigh. Indeed.

“I can fix the ship,” said the woman, shifting into flawless albeit accented Basic. “But not fast. You’ve treated it badly.”

A huff of breath, the Rake. “How about a trade-in, part-exchange? You got anything I can take off your hands? Maybe something a little lighter.”

His voice grew lower, softer. “Something that the First Order won’t pay much attention to.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Jan 8th, 2020, 03:35:33 PM
Lilaena kept eating, even as she listened intently. She had no idea what the first order was, possibly a planetary faction, or an organization from the Unknown Regions?

Twenty-five years, give or take a year... it was a long time. Things were probably very different than she remembered.

Names were beginning to filter up through her subconscious. Jeng.

Her utensil scraped noisily across the plate as she ate another bite, chewing slowly. After swallowing she looked in the direction of the Rake and his conversation partner. "Are there any Mandalorians in this sector?"

The Rake
Feb 6th, 2021, 12:25:47 PM
“Pity, I could get you a ship that’s perfect First Order bait for next to nothing at all,” the woman said, her words dry and yet dripping with venom.

A slight squeak of something, leather or metal, as the Rake shifted his weight. “Alright, alright, point taken.”

At that point, Mallea interjected.

“Mandalorians?” The Twi’lek, her voice a little more uncertain.

“Not for a long time,” the Rake cut in. “Not since before the Republic.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Feb 6th, 2021, 01:04:50 PM
She lapsed into silence. No allies in the sector and not for years, depending on when the Republic had taken over. Her eyes strained for light as she lightly touched her plate in search of food she may have missed. It was undignified, and she got gravy on her fingers, but effective as she located part of her meal that had evaded her.

What would have happened to them? Was Jeng even alive? Were any of them alive?

Lilaena clenched her utensil in her fist, then gently laid it down beside the plate.