Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... The Republic and the Empire maintain a fragile truce, but the threat of open war hangs heavy as both sides quietly vie for power and domination. In the midst of this volatile mix of factions and schemes, unlikely heroes must fight to preserve all they hold dear.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Felix Iresso

Felix certainly understood the Mandalorian's impatience, but he didn't think just emptying a blaster at random was going to help. For one thing, it risked damaging whatever release mechanism was designed to deliver the gas, and for another, there was no guarantee that the toxin was the only failsafe. It very well might be that evidence of combat would trigger another trap.

There was no time to argue, though. No time to panic. Felix was a soldier. He had kept his cool in dangerous situations before. He had to focus on observing, now. He had to think, he had to look...

He scanned his section methodically. Floor to ceiling, move over, ceiling to floor, move over, floor to ceiling...

"There," Felix said. "I see it! Stop blasting."

The vent was basic and unassuming, tucked out of the way in the molding where the wall met the ceiling. One would assume it was a simple air exchange... but for the small symbols underneath. Green squares, green hexagons, green diamonds...

The diamonds, then. Standing on tiptoe, Felix was just tall enough to press them in succession.

"Um," he said. "Did that work? Are we gonna live?"
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Siralai Mahr

Siralai had no intention of going anywhere. When she felt Reyth start to tremble - tears, maybe? or just fear? - Siralai rubbed her shoulder gently.

If she was honest with herself, she had to admit she was getting attached to Reyth. At first, it had just been the similarity to Rossi - not in looks, certainly, but the same demeanor of a wounded young Sith holding it together and being brave against all odds. That was what had first stayed Siralai's hand, demanded that she seek options other than striking a killing blow. Now, though, Siralai was seeing Reyth as an individual... and she was fond of the person Reyth was just as Reyth, too.

She was aware that this attachment might cause her pain. There was a good chance that she would wake up someday to find Reyth gone, and would never see her again. That would be a painful moment.

Worth the pain, though, if she could provide some small measure of comfort in the meantime. Some small measure of healing and hope.

"I'm so glad we met you, Reyth," Siralai said sincerely. "I'm glad you're here."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Padawan Dallyn and Akaavi Spar

He'd ducked his head down between his shoulders as Akaavi shot up the ceiling. It was unnecessary and potentially dangerous - and loud. It was distracting. Fortunately, he didn't have to focus on this particular problem for much longer. New signals flashed across the screen in front of him.

"Yes, yes that was it! Everybody just needs to keep breathing...let this good stuff get through the body and take care of the toxin that you already got in there." He allowed himself a moment of relief before starting to look up the information Master Visper had requested and check to make sure there were no backdoors out of the main frame.

Akaavi took a deep breath in through her nose and gave the soldier boy a nod. Sometimes the slow and steady method worked out. Sometimes it didn't. This was one of the times they lucked out on the former. However, it didn't escape her that she was now stuck down here until she could make sure she wasn't going to keel over due to some invisible bug. That would be a shameful death.

Which meant that she was stuck waiting around. Not her style. Akaavi strode through the rooms until she found what she was looking for. A hover mover. Bringing it closer to the centre of the lab, she then retrieved the body of her mark and tossed it on. She paused, casting about, then moved into one of the labs and stood back, arms folded. The captain's team was moving through, checking for survivors. Fools. Do gooders. But then there was the Sith. It was...weird.

Akaavi meandered off into the back of the complex and left the rest to their tasks.
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Reyth

Why did she have to keep saying such nice things? As much as it felt good to have this affirmation and care...it hurt too. It hurt because like everything else it couldn't last and it would be all her fault. It hurt because she had done absolutely nothing to deserve what Siralai was giving her. It made her feel small and petty - like the horrid creature Anewe often reminded her that she was. That she knew she was. She really needed no reminders from external sources - not when she gave herself ample evidence every day.

Reyth sat upright, somewhat reluctantly, but it was time. She still allowed her cowl to obscure her face and her hands disappeared into the folds around her waist, knees coming up to hold them tight against her body. What was she going to do. These people - this particular woman - seemed to think that there was progress to be made. She wasn't sure she was ready to entertain that kind of hope.

She could feel his eyes boring into the back of her head. Arksynn. He deserved so much better. Maybe for him...for him she could consider letting this sort-of Jedi try to help her out. But only for him. She owed him.

Reaching up to tug back her hood enough for her to see Siralai, she turned her head just enough to make sure that the woman could see her. In that moment, she wasn't sure what to say. What could she say? She hoped a simple nod would suffice to communicate that she would try to allow someone to help her.
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Visper Averrod

Visper forced herself to take long, slow, deep breaths. The residual human fear of what could have happened started to wash over her once the immediate danger had passed - but her Jedi teachings prevented her from panicking. Methodically, she calmed her mind. Focused on what was to be, not what had been narrowly avoided.

Remaining in the area was the easy part. There was still more to be done. Prisoners to be saved.

The mouse droid - which Lana carefully scooped up and tucked under her arm, keeping their promise to Theron to return it intact - had given them a view of the test subjects being held in the laboratory, but it had been difficult to tell if they were alive or dead. Seeing with her own eyes, Visper realized that the vast majority of them had been dead before the team arrived... in some cases, quite awhile before.

There were only two survivors. A rather shaken Sith, and a shell-shocked looking Republic soldier. Neither could tell them much about what had happened. Whether from lack of memory or because it was too painful to talk about, Visper wasn't sure... but strongly suspected the latter.

"What are you going to do about the Sith?" Lana asked, in a casual tone that sounded just a little too breezy for Visper to believe she truly didn't care about the answer.

Visper shrugged. "The same as we'll do for the soldier - treat their injuries and help get them on their way home. We did what we came for. The plan was never to murder wounded Sith."

Lana nodded briskly - but again, her concern was evident in the simple motion. This had been the answer she was hoping for.

"We do have one more problem," Lana reminded them. "Three of Jarek's students worked here. We only have the corpses of two of them. Dallyn, anything else you can find?"

Dallyn would be able to find more, and it would lead in a surprising direction. In the database, he would find a rather incongruous set of expense ledgers for the Golden Boot Casino, an apparently moderately popular dive perched among the precarious walkways of Mek-Sha proper.
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Siralai Mahr

Siralai returned Reyth's nod and smiled at her. She truly was proud of Reyth. Showing true emotion, as Reyth had, took far more courage than maintaining a façade did. It was a far greater risk. Siralai would endeavor to be worthy of the trust Reyth had just placed in her.

Of course, she knew she had caused the young woman pain, too. Siralai regretted that. But it couldn't be helped. She only hoped that one day, Reyth would look back and realize it had been worth it. That Siralai wouldn't be just another Anewe, causing different harm to Reyth but always harm.

Reyth had barely made it a few paces when Siralai's comm began to chirp urgently. Siralai answered it, assuming without checking that it was word from the team they had sent to Mek-Sha... but was unpleasantly surprised to find the displeased face and raised voice of a member of the Jedi Council.

"What is going on down there?" the Jedi demanded. "All of a sudden I'm hearing reports of disruptions in the Force, all centered on Rishi. All centered on where you are. Always you. So tell us, what exactly is going on?"

Siralai realized she should have known. The dark energy surrounding Vanity and Apathy. The Force release of Reyth's outburst on the beach. All would send ripples that would be picked up by those sensitive enough to perceive it. Of whom Tython had quite a lot.

"It's under control, Master Jesk," Siralai assured him. "I'm helping a couple of young Sith..."

"Helping them? A bomb essentially just went off, and not one but two blighted dark spots have appeared in the continuum of the Force - and you tell me everything is fine? That you're 'helping'?"

"Calm yourself, Master," Siralai said, fighting her own irritation. "We are doing what's necessary. Trust us."

"I have never trusted you, Mahr. Not since you abandoned your sacred duty to the Order to go fornicate with some Imperial. Dispose of these Sith as befits a Jedi, or bring them to Tython so that we may see to their turning. Or we will have no choice but to intervene ourselves."

"Absolutely not," Siralai told him, stone-faced.

"Have you been so thoroughly corrupted, then?" Jesk demanded. "The Order has not forgotten that you stood between Jedi and Sith with your lightsaber drawn..."

Technically, it had not been drawn. But Siralai didn't argue the point. It made a better mental image as Master Jesk was telling it.

"And I will do so again if necessary," Siralai told him. "Do not send anyone to Rishi. There are plenty of Jedi here to handle the situation, if you don't trust me. Your interference will only make the situation more difficult."

"Your arrogance will bring us to ruin!" Jesk retorted accusingly. "Fighting Sith is too good for Siralai Mahr. No. She must convince herself that they love her. She wants not just their surrender but their adoration. Does your ego and self-obsession know no bounds?"

Siralai had to force herself not to reply with insults of her own. What Jesk was saying was laughable. Wasn't it? She and Trystan had raised Shalmus since he was tiny - that love was not mere pretend. Rossi had chosen to be their daughter of her own volition, after considering the matter carefully for months. And Reyth... Reyth certainly didn't love her, and Siralai wouldn't expect her to.

So he couldn't be right.

Could he?

Siralai shook her head. That level of self-examination would have to wait for another day. "Do not send any Jedi to Rishi, Master Jesk. That is not a threat - it is simple information that the situation here is precarious and you risk tipping it. But I will also warn you that if you choose to disregard that, I will do what is necessary to protect my own."

"Your own?"

"Yes."

Master Jesk sighed. "Foolish of me to expect more loyalty than that. Very well. The Council will stay our hands for now. But whatever your new pet Sith do, you will answer for, Mahr."
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Padawan Dallyn, Akaavi Spar, and Neva Xolte

He felt his heart contract within his chest as it became apparent that their rescue mission wasn't as successful as he initially hoped it would be. Only two survivors out of all those beds and tanks. Two people. He forced himself to focus, retrieving all the information he thought might be useful before planting the spike that would wipe the memory banks. The survivors were mobile, at least, and they joined the rest of them on the lift - along with the Mandolorian and her corpse. Dallyn tried to ignore it and looked up as if that would make the lift move faster. He wasn't the only one - perhaps what they needed was a distraction. Something to break the tension.

"You know what would make lifts better? If they played music. Like, something calming while you waited, you know?" The stares he got in response made the boy duck his head and stare at the floor instead, tips of his ears pinking. "Just a thought." he mumbled.

Somehow the lift seemed to take longer going up than it had going down, but eventually they reached the surface and the blast doors opened obediently. Neva looked a bit flushed as she gestured at her headset and then at the returning crew.

"Would it have killed you to return a comm? Seriously! We were going nuts up here." She quieted down abruptly as she visibly counted the returnees. Not as many as the mouse droid had counted in the beds. That was...discouraging. Of course, she hadn't failed to notice that Akaavi was among the returnees and was secretly pleased that she'd ridden up with the rest of the crew instead of taking the other exit. Mandos could be so randomly solitary despite all their talk of family and clans.

"So anyway, we giving these two rides somewhere or what?"

"Actually, we need to go to the Golden Boot Casino." Dallyn piped up, recovering from his embarrassment to relay the information he'd found. "The lab here has a connection to it and we think that's where the last assistant is."

"Oh ho. Well, that could get hot. Going in guns and lightsabers isn't going to work so well there if we want to keep our heads and our ships. What we're going to need is a distraction - and maybe a little white lie. Hey Akaavi, you in for some antics?" Neva yelled casually over her shoulder at the retreating Mandolorian. Akaavi turned to give the other zabrak a whithering look, barely slowing her pace.

"I am in the middle of the job. And I don't engage in 'antics'."

"I'm pretty sure you do. I mean, last I checked..."

Neva's good-natured prodding was met with a grunt and a shake of the head as Akaavi pulled her face shield down and boosted away. Her shoulders sagged briefly before she shrugged. Ah well, it was worth a shot. One day she'd get a smile out of that stone faced woman.

"Well, let's get everyone on board so I can get us moving on the right side of the asteroid. No time like the present - and we need to make us some plans."
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Visper Averrod

"A casino makes sense," Visper mused. "It would be an easy way to launder money - it wouldn't be difficult to sneak credits onto the books and make it appear legitimate. It gives them the front of a more-or-less reputable business if someone starts asking questions, but gives a convenient excuse to be a little secretive about the details."

"And a source of victims," Felix added. His voice was steady, perfectly even, though Visper knew how this must be affecting him. "Most of those people - you know, the corpses - weren't Sith. They were soldiers. I bet they went to the casino while they were on shore leave and got sandbagged there. Mek-Sha being Mek-Sha, a few disappearances here and there wouldn't raise too many questions, even if it was military personnel. It would be... expected. Not that that's so out of line with Republic standard operating procedure."

Visper made no comment about that, but touched his hand. It was painfully apparent from Felix's own experiences that the Republic didn't have a 'leave no man behind' policy. He'd been left behind himself. Twice. Despite his service and loyalty.

"The twins seem to be have been an exception," Lana noted. "A special order for a special customer, if you will. Probably 'special' just meaning one willing to pay a great deal. Even the adult Sith were few. Augmented soldiers seemed to be their primary trade."

Visper nodded agreement. "So if we're to infiltrate this casino..."

"Um," Theron said awkwardly. "No. Not 'we.' Don't get me wrong, Visper - you're an excellent fighter. But anyone would know you as a Jedi from a mile away. You'd blow our cover immediately. You're going to have to run support on this."

Lana nodded. "I'm sorry, Visper, but he's right..."

"You too, Lana," Theron added. "Sorry. But you're not exactly inconspicuous either, Miss Sith. You really think if you show up with your yellow eyes and black cape, they're going to think you're just some regular gambler?"

Lana made a hmph-ing noise but couldn't disagree.

"So the faces of the operation will be Neva, her Mando if she's coming along, Felix, and me..." Theron knew this was going to raise an objection from Visper, and put up a hand to forestall it. "I know you don't like this. But they're looking out for soldiers, and we have a soldier. He'll make the best bait, but he can hold his own just fine if this turns into a firefight. I swear to you, Visper, we will return your husband in one piece."

Visper exchanged a look with Felix, and he nodded his willingness. She sighed. "Very well. I'm holding you to that, Theron."
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Neva Xolte, Padawan Dallyn and Akaavi Spar

She felt herself blushing, which was an odd sensation considering the circumstances. Having just made a quick landing as close as she could get to the casino, she made her way to the living area and leaned casually against the door frame. Against her better judgment, she attempted to inject some humour into the tense conversation.

"Hey, I have some spare clothes for you to wear as disguises, but the main issue is I can't re-teach you to walk in the time allowed here. I mean, it wouldn't kill you Jedi and Sith types to learn how to amble." Perceiving her joke as not terribly well-receieved, she turned to Dallyn. "I guess you're on the no-go list too - how about you keep the engines hot for us to make a speedy getaway."

The padawan nodded and ducked into the cockpit, seeming grateful for the relative solitude. The plan set, Neva, Theron and Felix exited the craft and began making their way through the boardwalk slums, each by a different route. She was starting to worry that someone would start putting together her flight path and their path of destruction. Hopefully they could get this bit of business concluded before that happened.

An extra shadow. That was her only warning. Hand her on blaster, Neva knew it was far too late to be responding to the whoever was following her. Fortunately, that someone didn't harbour ill will. She was both relieved and surprised to find Akaavi closing in. The other zabrak looked down at her out of the corner of her eye, her thoughts inscrutable.

"So. Antics."

Neva grinned. She filled the Mandalorian in on the target and the plan, the two splitting up again before they rounded the next corner. This...this could actually be fun.
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Felix Iresso and Theron Shan

Felix and Theron ambled toward the front entrance of the Golden Boot. Although Felix's heart was pounding, he did his best to look the part of the world-weary soldier who just needed a drink and planned to gamble away his wages. He wasn't much of an actor, but the role of tired soldier wasn't much of a stretch. As they approached the front door, he noticed the bouncers' eyes on him... but the look seemed appraising, not doubting. Good. Well, good as long as this went well. If it went south, they might be in for trouble.

Theron, they seemed to be overlooking. Maybe because he didn't have quite the build for an augmented super soldier - but Felix suspected the actual reason was Theron's existing cybernetics. It might be harder to integrate a new 'system' with an old one. Felix tilted his chin up slightly, letting the watchers get a clearer glimpse of his own face, unenhanced by cybernetics as it was.

The casino itself was as expected. A little dingy, a little garish, the name proclaimed in faded neon. The carpets were worn, and the slot machines were old. Drinks flowed freely, but it was mostly the cheap stuff. A few bored-looking Pazaak dealers accepted wagers - or, more likely, fleeced the customers. A Twi'lek boy in a slave collar swept the floor industriously without so much as glancing up at anyone, but everyone else appeared to be present of their own free will. The apparent manager circulated between tables, chatting up the clientele.

Now to wait for... whatever Neva and her Mandalorian friend intended to do.
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