View Full Version : Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Rede Steorrbearn
Jun 18th, 2016, 06:10:46 AM
Groola's Place - Tyrena City - Corellia

The casino floor is empty. The endless jangle of the fruit machines keeps the silence at bay. Half-supped mugs of ale get warmer stand abandoned on tables, getting warmer under the muted, flickering lighting. The holoscreens are still on, streaming live coverage of swoop races that no one's watching. Half a dozen hands of Sabacc lie scattered on the ale-sticky carpeting. Chairs everywhere but where they should be, legs up in the air like sleeping dogs. High above, on the surface, maglev trains rumble along their tracks as normal. The city is blissfully unaware of the time-bomb underneath it's feet.

The alarm is silent in the club, but it's wailing in the ears of CorSec. Maybe the Empire too. If nothing else, Groola the Hutt knows about it. Knows there's a man in his club who's scared away not only his customers, but also spooked his on-site security. A man who could be a very valuable prisoner indeed, a Jedi.

In the lowest level of Groola's place, Rede Steorrbearn sits with his back to a reinforced door, head in his hands and eyes squeezed shut as he tries to hold it under control. He needs peace, needs quiet, but the inside of his skull feels like a thermal detonator with the pin pulled out.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck."

Lilaena De'Ville
Jun 18th, 2016, 12:21:24 PM
Officer Lana Solo sat quietly with the rest of her squad in the back of the armored CorSec speeder as it rocked its way through the city toward Groola's Place. The Lieutenant was going over the details of the op - not that there were many of those to go around. A holographic blueprint of the casino rotated slowly in the middle of the windowless speedervan, approximate locations marked on it in red. Civilians had all been evacuated in the chaos, but details were sparse.

One of her fellow CorSec officers raised his hand. "What about the Imperial Knights, sir? Shouldn't we call them in for something like this?"

Lt. Barang shook his head. "Unconfirmed reports of a Force adept don't justify calling in the biggest hammer in the galaxy. Not yet. If we get confirmation we'll relay it up the chain of command. Until then, we're Corellians. We'll deal with whatever this guy's problem is."

Solo's helmet jostled over her eyes as the CorSec speedervan turned a tight corner. She pushed it up and tightened the chin strap, focusing her mind on the situation. There could be hostages inside, despite claims the place was empty. Groola the Hutt was raising a huge stink about this affront to his years of doing business on Corellia, and the higher ups wanted this cleaned up quickly. No one really wanted the Imperial government taking an interest in their city, and having Knights descend on Tyrena like avenging angels would upset the entire populace. No, let them stay centered in the capitol, where most of the rebel action was.

The speeder came to a halt, and the SWAT team unloaded quickly, like they were trained to do. Solo was the new kid on the team, having only transferred in a week ago, but she knew what she was doing. The other members of the team had been together for years, but they were doing their best to integrate her and get used to how the group worked with her as a part of it. They were all good people.

Gren and Pip had the doorbuster, but the front doors were hanging open so they didn't get to use it. The team took a moment, set themselves in order, and then entered the casino with their blasters at the ready.

Rede Steorrbearn
Jun 25th, 2016, 04:40:18 AM
Rede ground the heels of his sweaty palms into his temples.

The heavy mechanical thunk and clatter of the AT-ST walker was to his left. "This is gunnery platform besh, approaching Outpost Delta. We have visual on the Rebel scum."

He forced his eyes open and wobbled up to his feet, too much energy rattling around his system to stay still. His eyes darted around the room. Where was he? An office of some kind. A safe set into the wall. Flimsies spread neatly across the top of an expensively sturdy looking desk. There were no windows. No light.

Which way was the sky? There was only white. Snow everywhere. He couldn't move, his arms and legs pinned in place. "H.. elp."

He blinked and was standing hunched over the desk, hands braced against the wood-grain, fingertips trembling. The flimsies from the desktop were scattered everywhere.

Lilaena De'Ville
Jun 25th, 2016, 12:09:14 PM
The team split into pairs as they entered the casino, talking over comms as they began to comb through the building. "Clear," called Lana after she banged into a storage closet and peered into all the corners, her partner at the door with his back to her, blaster pointing down the hallway. He nodded to her as she came out, and took the next door, an employee refresher with lots of stalls. They entered together, Lana taking low while Don took high, and started kicking open the stalls to make sure they were empty.

They were.



The calls coming in over the comms meant that the perp was running out of places to hide. If he was even still here. Don seemed to think that the adept must have run off, but Lana knew that was just wishful thinking. There was no back way out of the service rooms of the underground casino, according to Groola's men, and that's where they said the adept had run to. Of course, there was undoubtedly a secret turbolift somewhere, there's no way a Hutt would have a business he might get trapped inside of, but it wasn't on the blueprints, and -

Hand on the office door, Lana looked at Don, and he nodded. She pressed the controls and the door slid open, and she quickly stepped inside, blaster pointing at the nearest corners while Don covered the middle of the room. And there he was, standing behind the desk but hunched over it, looking like he had the world's worst hangover.

Lana knew how he was feeling. Both CorSec officers moved to cover the adept's position, forming a rough triangle in the office as Don called it in. "We've located him!"

"You're going to come with us," she said quietly to the adept, blaster set on stun. "You need help."

Rede Steorrbearn
Jun 29th, 2016, 12:09:30 PM
His eyes were still on the desktop, wide and unblinking. His head wobbled on his neck. Not shaking back and forth, but trembling just enough to be visible.

“I'm a free Corellian. You can't... make me go anywhere.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Jun 29th, 2016, 02:44:43 PM
Don tightened his grip on his blaster, taking a step closer before Lana could caution him against it. "You've made a hundred other free Corellians fear for their lives. You're coming with us."

Lana's eyes tracked from Don to the adept who was staring at the desk, back to Don, and then to the adept. She sensed that the man was like a teakettle barely holding back the steam as he began to heat up, and she released her blaster, holding it up sideways with her free hand open, palm out. "We don't want to force you to do anything," she said, as Don looked back at her incredulously. "Let's just all take a breath and calm down. We can work this out."

Rede Steorrbearn
Jul 5th, 2016, 12:15:46 PM
Looking up, it was as if Rede was seeing the CorSec officers for the first time. His eyes darted between their faces: strange, unfamiliar and cold.

"I - need to go home," he said, moving to step out from behind the desk.

Lilaena De'Ville
Jul 5th, 2016, 01:15:55 PM
"You need to stand still!" shouted Don, his anxiety asserting itself through aggression when the adept began to move. His hand tightened on his blaster. "Get your weapon up, Solo!" She did not, keeping her hands spread in a placating gesture, and his head twitched toward her, eyes wide. "That's an order, officer!"

"Calm down," Lana said, her eyes on the adept as she embraced the Force. Everything in the room became clear, as if she'd previously been looking through smudged glass. The throbbing of Don's pulse in his neck, the sweat on the adept's brow. How uncomfortable the body armor she was wearing was. Lilaena felt and tasted the fear and anger in the room as if it were a fine wine, and she took in a deep breath, exhaling slowly. "This will all be over soon."

Her blaster flicked back properly into her hand, and she pointed it at Don and pulled the trigger, concentric blue circles of energy enveloping him and sending him bonelessly to the ground.

Rede Steorrbearn
Jul 27th, 2016, 11:38:40 AM
“What are you-” Rede started, but it didn't matter. The body in a heap on the floor didn't matter.

He should have bolted, seized the moment of opportunity and side-vaulted over the desk into the corridor beyond. Better yet, he should have been watching the gun, wary of the next concussive flash of blue, but his eyes were on the real weapon in the room: the woman. Solo. When Rede breathed in, he could feel her, like a weight on his chest.

“You're.. one of them.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Jul 27th, 2016, 02:25:23 PM
"As are you," she said simply. "I can get you out of here."

De'Ville holstered her blaster and put her hand out toward him. "We don't have much time."

Rede Steorrbearn
Jul 29th, 2016, 10:21:55 AM
Rede looked at the hand, now no longer carrying a blaster, and tried to be rational. Somewhere inside his skull, there was logic, but if his head was a toolbox and logic the tool he needed, the whole 'box was covered in grease and grime and the contents had been jammed inside without any plan of future retrieval. In his mental rummaging, he brushed by the same end-points again and again. Cael, his brother, would be furious - but he'd come bail him out of this, wouldn't he? He'd be furious about it, but he'd come. Never leave a man behind. Even an idiot who got himself into situations like this.

His focus, mirroring his thought process, jumped around the room, as if he'd lost something or more likely was looking for some clue to explain what was going on. The scattered contents of the office revealed about as much wisdom to Rede as the grounds of an upturned cup of Corellian coffee: none. In the end, his baffled stare came to a halt back on the outstretched hand.

"But, where to?"

Lilaena De'Ville
Jul 30th, 2016, 01:19:17 AM
"Anywhere but here, kid," she said, the cadence of the Corellian still with her. "Unless you'd like to stick around, explain to my colleagues this was all a misunderstanding?"

Lilaena hesitated. "You wouldn't happen to know of a back door to this place do you?"

Rede Steorrbearn
Jul 30th, 2016, 04:24:05 AM
"I don't-" He rubbed the heel of his palm into his right eye-socket, as if he might be able to massage an answer out from inside his head.

"I don't remember seeing Groola on the way in here," he said. He didn't remember a lot, if he was honest. Still, the Hutt's repulsorlift couch still bobbed to one side of the room. "He must have a.. a tunnel out."

Lilaena De'Ville
Jul 30th, 2016, 12:27:44 PM
"Perkins, Solo, do you need back up?"

Lilaena eyed the comm, and then picked hers up. "Negative, false alarm. Just a monkey-lizard. Continuing the sweep."

"Okay Solo, stay alert. This guy is a real psycho."

"Copy that," she said calmly, her eyes on the man in front of her. "Solo out." Lilaena stepped over Don's unconscious body toward the repulsor sled. "That door can't be far from here." She closed her eyes, pulled on the Force, and spread her hands - searching the walls for cracks or out of place electronics.

Rede Steorrbearn
Sep 2nd, 2018, 01:52:59 PM
Looking at the unconscious CorSec officer, Rede could almost hear his brother Cael’s voice: no loose ends. His eyes tracked upwards, watching as ‘Solo’ moved around the office with almost military precision.

“He’s seen my face.”

Rede took a step forward, stooping to reach for Don’s weapon.

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 3rd, 2019, 02:51:52 PM
The blaster jerked out of his reach and clattered to the floor by her feet. “He’s innocent in this. Harm him and I will turn you over to CorSec.”

Lilaena’s questing fingers located a switch - designed for a Hutt it was actually quite large even though it had been well concealed. A section of wall slid aside, revealing a tunnel.

“After you.” She kept her eyes on him as he hesitated by the unconscious form of Perkins.

Rede Steorrbearn
Mar 3rd, 2019, 03:07:05 PM
The tunnel ahead was dark and cool, and Rede found himself lingering at it’s entrance, either unable or unwilling to enter. How had he even ended up in Groola’s Place to begin with? How had he gotten from the casino floor to the Hutt’s office?

“After you,” said the woman behind Rede. He bit the inside of his lip, the little flash of pain enough to give him some clarity. Without thinking, he started down the tunnel. How long had it been since Groola himself had slithered down the tunnel, and where to? A calculation rattles through Rede’s mind, weighing up the likelihood that the trouble he’s caused here will be enough for the Hutt to do something drastic. At that moment, he’s keenly aware of the silent figure moving behind him.

“You aren’t… taking me to Groola, are you?”

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 3rd, 2019, 03:57:10 PM
“Not unless he’s still in this tunnel.”

Lilaena closed the door, enveloping them both in darkness until she cracked a glow-rod. Groola hadn’t wired lights into his escape tunnel, which was probably how it had escaped CorSec’s detection.

Activating a second glow-rod, she handed the young man the first one. “You got a name, kid?”

Rede Steorrbearn
Mar 8th, 2019, 12:08:49 PM
“Rede… Steorrbearn.”

He held the glow-rod at arms length, unable to keep his focus in one place as he peered into the shadows ahead. The tunnel was fairly narrow, but it stretched off far enough in front of them to make him feel unsettled by the uncertainty of what was to come.

“Is Solo your real name?”

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 8th, 2019, 12:24:39 PM
"De'Ville," she answered. "Lilaena De'Ville. I'm going to get you out of here, Rede, but I need to ask you some more questions."

She stepped around him, leading the way down the tunnel. It was well made and lined with duracrete, but it was hard to tell if anyone had used it recently in the dim light of the glow-rods. "You cleared out this casino pretty fast - want to tell me what brought you here?"

Rede Steorrbearn
Mar 9th, 2019, 11:06:12 AM
“Gambling, I suppose,” Rede said, the first thing that came to mind as Lilaena stalked in front of him. What else would he be doing in a casino? Aside from attracting a lot of attention to himself. “Honestly, I don’t remember. My brothers do some business with Groola some time. Maybe I was here on their behalf.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 9th, 2019, 01:45:15 PM
The tunnel was empty. Lilaena drew on the Force to extend her senses and the only sounds inside were from her and Rede.

"Well, whatever you did after you got here, you got the attention of CorSec. They won't stop once I get you out of here. And if they can't find you, the Imperial Knights might be called in."

Lilaena turned around, walking backwards in front of him. "Do your brothers know you're a Force adept?"

Rede Steorrbearn
Mar 9th, 2019, 02:02:41 PM
Rede kept pace with her, trying not to think about the many people whose radar he might now be on. CorSec wasn't too much of a bother, but the Imperial Knights? That could be messy. Zealots like that couldn't be bribed.

“Yeah, though it’s.. not something we talk about. There’s a few people in the family touched by it. Go back a couple of generations and we’ve got some witchblood.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 9th, 2019, 02:31:08 PM
She raised an eyebrow at witchblood, but didn't comment.

"Groola isn't likely to be pleased you scared off all his customers." Lilaena turned again, leaving him at her back. "Back there you asked me where we'd go - if you want to go home I can take you there."

Her tone suggested there were other options.

Rede Steorrbearn
Mar 9th, 2019, 03:01:56 PM
She was right, of course. Whatever he had done - what had he done? - Groola would be looking for some form of compensation.

“What if that’s not a good idea?”

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 9th, 2019, 06:56:28 PM
Lilaena began shrugging out of “Lana Solo’s” CorSec jacket, dropping it on the ground as she walked. She had already deactivated the tracker in her gear, but she left the comms on, in case they knew about Groola’s little escape hatch.

“I’ve got a place you can lay low. But I’m not staying in this sector for much longer.” She pulled the blaster and checked the power cell before reholstering it.

Rede Steorrbearn
Mar 10th, 2019, 05:47:18 AM
The tunnel crept on and on ahead. The longer they walked, the more Rede felt himself. There was something reassuring, calming even, about being able to do nothing but walk forward and follow.

“I need to talk to Cael, tell him what’s happened. But… he’ll probably want me out of the way, for a while. Until things blow over.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 10th, 2019, 05:01:27 PM
“Sure,” she said.

The tunnel was ending, and Lilaena held up a hand for him to be still while she quested forward with the Force. Groola must have been very confident that his tunnel was secret - there was no guard on this end.

No biometric lock or keypad on the interior either, just a simple switch to release the door. After a moments hesitation, she flipped it and the door slid open, revealing a terrible alleyway filled with large garbage receptacles.

“Lead the way,” she said, crouching by a corner and peering out. “Coast is clear.”

Rede Steorrbearn
Mar 10th, 2019, 05:17:39 PM
Emerging from the alleyway, the sights, sounds and smells of Tyrena city hit Rede. Huge, garish hotels and casinos dominated the skyline, while throngs of tourists meandered along the crowded pedwalks in search of cheap thrills. Imperial Stormtroopers prowled through the crowds, the empty black eyes of their helmets sweeping back and forward. Rede exhaled and, with a glance at Lilaena, stepped out into the crowds. There was no pervading flow of foot traffic, so moving away from the towering presence of Groola’s Palace was easy enough. The further they walked, the more run-down the street-side bars and cafes became. The odd letter flickered and died on advertising signs, and alleyways that had previously been the sole resort of vomiting tourists and overflowing dumpsters soon gained a more threatening air, where a glance in the wrong direction might start a fight.

Eventually, they came to a halt in front of a squat, utilitarian looking building with a sign hanging over the door. It bore an image of a bristle-covered animal with tusks, and the words: The Murra’s Head (https://theholo.net/wiki/index.php/Murra%27s_Head).

“We’ll go in the back,” Rede gestured down the side of the pub, and when he walked the group of customers drinking outside seemed to naturally part to allow him by.

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 10th, 2019, 06:55:32 PM
Rede parted the crowd, not with the Force, but with his presence. Lilaena followed with her chin up, noting a few discrete, curious glances as they walked to the back of the building. She hadn’t even heard of The Murra’s Head, but she hadn’t been in Tyrena for very long, and not in this part of town.

Her comm buzzed in her ear: CorSec had cleared out of the casino, but they had put out an alert for “Lana Solo” and an unidentified human male (still waiting on a positive ID from facial recognition software). They seemed to think he might have absconded with her and stunned Perkins himself, which meant that they hadn’t been able to access the holocams in Groola’s office.

They were both going to need hoods.

Rede Steorrbearn
Mar 11th, 2019, 01:03:45 PM
In through the back door, Rede cast a quick glance around the hallway the door lea dinto. The smell of smoke, sweat and stale beer hung in the air, clung to the walls even.

“My family owns this place… Groola will send people here first, if he’s looking for me.”

Leaning to the left, he saw through an open doorway. He could hear the din of the pub and see the bar staff, dishing out more drinks. Leaning to the right, he saw the hatch down to the cellar was open.

“My brothers'll be down here. Wait up here if you want, or come down,” he said, not waiting for an answer before jogging down the stone steps to the cellar.

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 11th, 2019, 09:24:27 PM
She weighed the option of watching out for Groola's goons against being spotted and having CorSec called in, and flipped a mental coin. Lilaena followed Rede down the stairs.

Rede Steorrbearn
Mar 12th, 2019, 02:37:35 PM
The cellar was packed wall to wall with barrels bearing stamps like BLOOD STRIPE ALE and CORELLIA’S BEST BITTER. Little light followed the pair down from the floor above but in the half-light, Rede could pick out a lamp at the far end of the cellar. Two men were partly illuminated in the light, one sat at a table and the other stood over him. Rede hesitated before walking any further, trying to get straight in his mind what he was about to say.

“What’ve I told you about trying to sneak up on people?” said the man sitting down, with his back to both Rede and Lilaena.

The one on his feet, spotting the two of them advancing across the cellar, scowled. ”And who the fuck is this?”

Rede held up both hands. “I think I’ve done something stupid.”

Cael Steorrbearn
Mar 12th, 2019, 02:38:46 PM
There was a moment where Cael didn’t move, sitting at the table, his eyes still on the documents he had been reviewing.

He knew that he couldn’t ignore his youngest brother, couldn’t ignore whatever difficult situation Rede was abroad to drop on his doorstep like a cat with a mangled mouse.

Turning, he rose to his feet, revealing the blaster pistol holstered under his left arm. “What’s happened?” he said, his eyes - the colour of the skies over Hoth - shifting from Rede to Lilaena.

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 12th, 2019, 03:29:48 PM
Lilaena stopped just behind Rede, arms crossed and blaster on her hip. After sizing up the two men she turned slightly so she could keep the steps in her peripheral vision.

Rede started an explanation and she listened closely, keeping an eye on his brothers' reactions.

Rede Steorrbearn
Mar 18th, 2019, 04:11:34 AM
“So, the thing is,” Rede started, trying to focus on Cael instead of Gram’s glowering face behind him. “I just woke up inside of Groola’s office, and I think… I think I might have done something to the casino.”

Cael’s expression didn’t change, though Gram swept a frustrated hand back through his already tousled hair. “We heard something was going down at the Palace. You realise you’re lighting up the CorSec boards like a Dathomiri candle?”

“Who’s the woman?” Cael asked, with a slight nod.

“She helped me get out. Says she can take me somewhere safe.”

Cael paced out from behind the table, gaze firmly levelled on Lilaena.

“For what price?”

Lilaena De'Ville
Mar 18th, 2019, 09:53:15 AM
Lilaena returned the stare.

"Just a conversation. A private conversation." She unfolded her arms, holding them out, palms up in a partial shrug as she turned to look at Rede.

"You're free to stay here, kid. Up to you."

Cael Steorrbearn
Jan 12th, 2020, 01:44:08 PM
Cael glanced at Rede, whose lips worked as if he were about to say something but then thought better of it. Satisfied, Cael looked back at the stranger.

“Whatever you’ve to say to him you can say to the three of us. There’s no secrets between us.”

Lilaena De'Ville
Jan 12th, 2020, 02:55:38 PM

Lilaena folded her arms, cocking her head a bit. "You're an adept, Rede. If CorSec does't put you down they'll turn you over to the Empire, and they aren't likely to ever let you go. You don't have control over it now, and I can teach you not to blow up casinos by accident when you get worked up."

Her eyes flicked over his brothers, but returned to Rede. "That's it, that's the pitch. You don't owe me a thing for pulling you out of there, but I burned my cover so I'm going to have to get out of Tyrena City pretty quick."