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Thread: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

  1. #1

    Closed Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

    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."

  2. #2
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    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.



    oh what a tangled web I weave


  3. #3
    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.

  4. #4
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    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.

    "Clear."

    "Clear!"

    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."

  5. #5
    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.”

  6. #6
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    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."

  7. #7
    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.

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    "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.

  9. #9
    “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.”
    Last edited by Rede Steorrbearn; Jul 29th, 2016 at 10:10:45 AM.

  10. #10
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    "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."

  11. #11
    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?"
    Last edited by Rede Steorrbearn; Sep 2nd, 2018 at 01:47:34 PM.

  12. #12
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    "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?"

  13. #13
    "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."

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    "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.

  15. #15
    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.
    Last edited by Rede Steorrbearn; Mar 3rd, 2019 at 02:16:53 PM. Reason: ttt

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    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.

  17. #17
    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?”

  18. #18
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    “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?”

  19. #19
    “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?”

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    "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?"

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