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Echoes of Glory [Saranka, Haldon]

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  • Echoes of Glory [Saranka, Haldon]

    To most, the heydays of Dantooine were long gone and Sianna wouldn't argue as silver orbs took in the open prairies and rolling, green hills dotted occasionally with rivers and copses of woods. Smells within the speeder that her guide owned prompted the opening of her window, some respite from the stench of body odor, spilled drinks, molded upholstery and food that had fallen into the cracks between the seats or underneath. Oily tools and spare parts in the floorboard of the backseat also added to the aroma, but her goal here was of a different sort. Knowledge left behind.

    Wind whipped into the cabin of the tall, older speeder as Sianna turned to the older scout. "So, you're sure this fortress was the one owned by Neiva?"

    Brown eyes turned to her, his hands on the steering vanes, "Yeah," he nodded, scruffy, grey beard and longer hair long ignored. "Like I mentioned, her son and grandson remained there with their people for generations, then once the Mandalorians returned, their warriors slaughtered the lot of them. Whole community was burned to the ground." He turned his attention back to the unmarked route. "Just the castle remains. Far as I know, it's been quiet now for the last twenty or thirty years."

    Nodding, she sensed no deception in the middle-aged local, his farm in the same shape as this vehicle when they met the night before. Turning her silver gaze back out through the dirty windshield, the Sith Master took in the peaceful area, knowing that at one time Jedi and Sith had fought over this world. Famous names had lived here, the Jedi temple destroyed during the Sith War during an aerial bombardment and most of it's treasures looted after that by Mandalorian warriors and locals. Some of those apparently ended up in this fortress that wasn't far now. Even if there were squatters within, no one was going to stop her from getting what she wanted.

    Soon, their journey crested a rise and she beheld the fortress commanding the shallow, grassy hill and a grin arced upon her pale features. A home worthy of a Master, she mused. Cruising along the narrow hilltop, Brendan soon slowed the vehicle and then stopped, noticing a freighter parked to the north of the main gate, downslope a bit.

    Sianna glanced to the aged scout, "Deserted, huh?"

    Confused a bit, his weathered brow furrowed as they both got out. "Must be smugglers or something. Wes assured me this place was empty."

    "Eh," Sianna strode toward the near side of the long causeway leading to the main gate. "It will be soon enough."

    ****************


    Within, a trio of mercenaries using the main gate as their personal apartment played cards, drinking beer as the days wore on. The large syndicate had divided up the local area, some using the ancient castle as their outpost and had gained some notoriety with the locals. One rising, his hand now folded, and walked toward the small refrigeration unit then glanced out through the narrow window and toward the causeway. "Uh oh," he stated, then moved to the comm station and pushed a button. "Cap, we got visitors..." A statement that prompted his companions to grab their weapons and move upstairs, taking positions on the top of the tower to oversee the two interlopers.
    Last edited by Sianna; 01-02-2015, 12:20 PM.
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  • #2
    Dantooine was supposed to be an easy ride. So why did Saranka feel that Haldon and her were going to run into trouble again?

    Ah yes, they were smugglers.

    They had come to make a delivery to locals further away, but the payment expected had been stolen by some mercs who took loot of everything they could get their hands on. They had been described as only a small bunch, so given all the hard work and how they needed the money at this moment, the Breakfast Special Team had flown to the nearby fortress to ask for their due.

    "I have a bad feeling about this." She muttered under her breath as her partner and her showed up. She had already looked around to see all possible covers and escape routes.

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    • #3
      Haldon sighed and reigned in the curious Maxx, whose nose was busy sniffing out every single scent he could pick up. He tilted his head toward Saranka and made a face.

      "What else is new?"

      He sneezed when a local scent bothered his nose, and moments later, Maxx also sneezed. That made him chuckle at least.

      "Anybody around who looks like they can shell out our creds?"

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      • #4
        Reclining within one of the many levels that the main keep offered, Xavier enjoyed the luxury that had been afforded through the many things that his mercenaries had engaged in. Not only extorting the locals, but also neighboring towns, for protection money, goods and food. His unit numbering around seventy-five, Xavier had come to think of himself as a newly established crime lord.

        His men filled the makeshift audience chamber which had at one time probably been the Great Hall, music and the din of conversation filled the large, circular shaped room. Furniture had been stolen from wherever the unit could find it, some of the best pieces "taxed" from a speeder truck driver making a delivery. His pride though, were the slaves. Most had been tricked into promises of better lives and jobs elsewhere, but realized their mistake too late.

        Walking over to him, his lieutenant nodded, "Cap, those two smugglers are here," he motioned to the pair at the far end of the room.

        Taking a sip of his beer, Xavier motioned for them to approach as Brett backed, then his comlink buzzed, prompting him to raise it and listen, his brow furrowed at the news. "What," Xavier glanced from the attractive blonde approaching him to Brett.

        "Main gate says we've got two more visitors."

        A wry grin arcing upon his unshaven face, the twenty-five year old reclined into the large, cushioned chair even more. "Day just keeps getting more interesting." Brown eyes returned to the blonde member of this duo approaching. "What can I do for you," he asked provocatively, smiling.

        **************

        Feeling the pair of shooters atop the large tower to her left, cornering the curtain wall, Sianna stretched out her feelings to the bulky, squared building to the right and felt seven more now watching and waiting also. Grinning to herself, the Sith continued across the causeway, the ground falling away into a weathered, dry moat below.

        "That's far enough," one of the guards yelled from a lower, narrow window in the tower. "What do you want?"

        Silver orbs darkened as she soaked in the Force, knowing at any moment there was going to be violence. "Just to look around inside," she yelled back, keeping her touch to the Force a secret until the last moment.

        He and his two companions on the tower's roof laughed. "Think we're just going to allow you to come into our home and poke around? You that stupid?"

        As Sianna was about to reply, her guide cleared his throat, "Ma'am, I don't think this is going to end well. Maybe we should just go back to town."

        Glancing back to the older human male, "Run back to your hole if you wish," the Echani returned her eyes to the shadowed figure in the arrowslit. "I'm staying."

        "Don't say I didn't warn ya'," he shook his head, turned and headed back to his truck.

        The engine started as Sianna started moving across the causeway, mentally sliding her saber hilt into her right hand as she walked, then heard a surprising sound coming from the gatehouse on the other side. The groan of large hinges as the left door creaked open revealed another mercenary. His dark, patchy armor and tan clothing underneath as well as the multitude of weapons told her all she needed to know about his profession. Dark, narrow eyes scrutinized the Sith and she could tell that he wasn't totally confident in letting her enter now that he could see her more clearly, his fear goading the Sith as her black lips arced into a mischievous grin.

        "Cap says to let you in," he greeted tentatively. "But, you'll have to leave your weapons here."

        Raising her arms, she mentally touched his thoughts, keeping him from seeing her hilt kept in her palm, it's length held against her forearm. "I have none." Spinning slowly as she continued approaching the gatehouse the Echani's snowy hair pirouetted lightly with her movement. He backed and kept his eyes on her as she entered the shadow of the large doorway and stepped through, passing the mercenary and moved to the side as he closed it again. "Where is your Cap?"

        "Main keep," he slammed the banded door home, then drew the ancient metal lock across into the socket, securing the entrance. "Come on."
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        • #5
          "The frak are you doing here?" One of the guards barked at the couple of smugglers when they reached the main gate.

          "We came to see your boss. Business matters." She replied without hesitation. That was when she observed action from the corner of her eye, as a vehicle seemed to come closer. Yet, the people reached another gate and for the moment, her attention was on why Haldon and her had come in the first place.

          "Why should we bother?" Saranka sighed. "I'm sure that your boss doesn't want to annoy ours."

          The man then led them to someone else inside the building, who asked them what this was about. "Name's Saranka. My partner and I have come here to retrieve payment for the delivery we made. We work for the Hutt Cartel." She let her words sink in, hoping they would cooperate.
          Last edited by Saranka; 01-11-2015, 10:21 AM.

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          • #6
            Haldon left the talking to Saranka for now since she had it capably handled.

            His attention was focused on the environment and Maxx. Without sight and being in a strange location, Haldon needed to focus on his footing. Maxx was a pro, but he never wanted to rely too strongly on the akk dog or his girlfriend for help. Haldon had to know that he could get around by himself too.

            Haldon counted each step, memorized each turn, so he knew how to get out... if it came to that. And the way their adventures had been, he always assumed for the worst!

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            • #7
              Xavier smiled at Saranka, then motioned to the pair of large chairs to his right. "Well, that's going to take a bit to get together. We're finalizing a deal right now, so have a seat." Taking in the pair, he admired the female. Raising his glass, "Care for a drink while you wait?" Motioning to one of the local females that he had taken for employment, the dark haired mercenary commander knew that their money was contingent on another mission that was taking place now. Though, if things didn't pan out, he figured he had two more for his slaving business that would fetch a good price.

              Approaching them, a young girl leaned in with a platter of glasses to the newcomers, her shock collar not well hidden.

              **************


              Taking in the large halls and rooms that had no doubt housed a large army and their supplies and weapons at one time, Sianna kept her mind open to the Force as the guard continued escorting her through the castle toward the main keep. Open lanes between the curtain walls and towers that easily watched over movement within, she knew that to leave here may take a bit of energy should these men try and impede her exploration. A Sith Master was not to be denied.

              Opening a door for her, the guard motioned into a shallow entry to the main keep, allowing her to walk inside. The salmon colored stone seemed to be the main theme in the architecture, the walls thickly built and would no doubt withstand a siege for some months. Until a large capital ship was involved, that is. Touching the stone the Echani opened her sight to the history around her as the guard closed and locked the large door behind her. Seeing into the past, these mercenaries had only been here a short time, the long empty period between their arrival and the Mandalorian attack and occupation had spanned several hundred years, easily.

              "Let's go," he barked, gaining the ire of the Sith whose glare made him step back, swallowing hard. His hand instinctively gravitated to the trigger on his carbine.

              "Think you can raise and fire that before I separate your head from your shoulders? Go ahead." Silver orbs darkened as they narrowed.

              "... Captain's waiting," he motioned farther on.

              Sighing, she realized that this place may have to be cleared before she could investigate the rumored vaults anyway, so let her pale hand slide down the wall as she stepped forward. "So he is." Following on, a large room greeted them housing crates and barrels with narrow walkways between. Turning left, they then continued up a rounding stair that hugged the wall and soon approached a landing for the second floor, which beyond another banded, heavy door she would hear the conversation and sense the large group of people within.
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              • #8
                The whole place was kind of a labyrinth and Saranka didn't like that. At least, it would give them opportunities for cover if they had to make a run from there. She hoped that things wouldn't get to such developments, but given their "luck", expecting the worst tended to be a clever way of thinking.

                The good thing for this assignment was that it had been directly ordered by Vaago himself, so it wasn't just a mere contract with another customer. That might give them some leverage. She hoped so at least. "Vaago is expecting us - with payment - in two days."

                She took a seat next to Haldon, so she would have a good view on the accesses to this room. "Thank you." She simply said when offered a refreshment, she went for something non alcoholic.

                The shock collar on the girl's neck was caught. She hated slavers with a passion. That made her willing to burn this place down, but she kept that to herself.

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                • #9
                  Haldon felt Saranka tense and immediately his guard was heightened. Of course, he had no way to see what had affected her.

                  "Hon? What's the sitrep?" he asked quietly while they waited.

                  Maxx hadn't growled or gone on alert, so Haldon couldn't get a read for what the danger or concern was... besides the obvious that it seemed they could get borked out of their payment. But with that, what else was new?

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                  • #10
                    Noticing the discomfort on the blonde's face, Xavier smiled to himself behind the glass as he took another drink. Setting it back down as the serving girl offered a drink to her male counterpart, the crime lord knew that crossing any Hutt wasn't wise, but he was here with a small army and felt rather confident. "He'll get his money, just have to wait for it to arrive," his tone darkening a bit as he then glanced to the main entrance and the other intruder.

                    **************

                    Once the door opened, Sianna could smell the spice, perfume, body odor and various foods being cooked in the large hearth centered in the left wall. Central to the scene was the large chairs that she was being led to, her silver orbs focusing on those present in turn, some high while others enjoyed female companionship. Few cared enough about the Sith Master that had just entered their presence, a dark smile arcing upon her black lips. Their path soon found the center of the room.

                    "Captain, this is the one that approached the southern gate, the other one drove off."

                    "Huh," Xavier studied her for a long moment, waving his guard away who promptly left the room and closed the door behind him. "And what do you want? Love the black and white paint by the way," his right forefinger traced it out in the air before him. "That supposed to scare us?"

                    Sianna smiled. "I'm here to explore the ruin, heard there were some things left behind by the previous owners. I do hope you haven't sold them," her voice oozing with sarcasm, glancing to the couple seated to her left, then back.

                    He smiled, straightening in his chair and set the glass of alcohol on the table to his right. "Explore? You serious?" He stood, eyeing his men who were now taking notice, some chuckling. "This is our home. You have any idea who I am?"

                    With a nod, her mood slowly grew darker as the Echani soaked in the Force from the stone and ground far beneath. "I know exactly who you are. A dead man..."
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                    • #11
                      "As long as it remains in the imparted schedule, Vaago won't have reason to be angry." Saranka replied tersely. She was still polite, but she wasn't going to be a doormat either. Maybe this man had a lot of power, but it was only on a tiny local scale and the Cartel didn't take morons lightly. Of course, Haldon, Max and her could still get into a lot of trouble, but it was the usual.

                      She didn't reply to her partner until somone arrived in the room. "Slaves." She uttered discreetly before returning her attention to the new guest.

                      She watched the exchange between Xavier and the woman who looked like a walking nightmare. The Echani wasn't one to be trifled with she could say.

                      She smirked to the Echani saying their host was a dead man. She had no problem with this idea.

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                      • #12
                        "I got a bad feeling about this," Haldon murmured.

                        Reaching to his belt, he patted his collapsible cane. He hadn't used it coming in, since he was walking with Maxx. But, the cane could double as a weapon if need be. And what was scarier than a blind man with a weapon?

                        "Do I need to be worried?" he asked Saranka.

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                        • #13
                          Xavier's confidence seemed to wane as she told him what was about to happen, her double-bladed lightsaber now in her right hand as she heard the query by the bearded man to her left. "Only if you raise that weapon," she told Haldon, then noticed the warning in the Force as the crime lord before her went for his pistol. His first and last mistake.

                          The thrum of the blade was the ignition of hell in the center of the makeshift audience chamber, a quick slash across the man's torso and his surprised and painful expression the permanent look that he kept as Xavier then fell to the floor, his pistol clattering on the stone beside him. Others went for weapons as some still tried to figure out if this was a bad dream or not. Women screamed as some cowered behind furniture, others moving toward the door and being shoved out of the way. Blaster fire erupted as the Echani's darkly clad form Leaped toward the second and third mercenaries, reflecting the first lances of energy racing toward her, the first hitting the taller, dark haired warrior in leathers squarely. Sianna dodged the second, cutting the blaster and the hand holding it from the man's arm.

                          Chaos reigned.
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                          • #14
                            "We need to get out." Saranka replied to Haldon as soon as the Echani ignited her weapon and began her killing spree. She wanted to help the women who were in hiding, but if she had to choose between her partner's and her own life and theirs, well Haldon and her won easily.

                            "No weapon." She didn't make a move for hers and simply got to her feet, her hand on her partner's arm, as she hoped they would be able to leave while the Sith killed others. The blonde didn't try to be subtle. It would be stupid against a Sith.

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                            • #15
                              Haldon swore and gripped Maxx's leash tighter as Saranka abruptly pulled him off the stool. He stumbled with the suddenness of it, nearly spilling onto the floor. Maxx yelped, but that was lost to the sounds of blasterfire and the distinctive hum of a lightsaber. Even Haldon knew that sound!

                              "Frak," he growled.

                              He didn't have a chance to re-orient, so he had to simply trust that Saranka was watching for his head and body as they ran. He could count on Maxx for that, mostly, but the dog was straining against the leash, frightened by the violence.

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