Please upgrade your browser for the best possible experience.

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer

(L,F&E #23) Big Guns

kalenath's Avatar

01.24.2012 , 06:30 AM | #1
<Stormhawk Hangar Bay>

Trava waited, stoic and stiff. Sara waited, almost a patient, but Maria was worried nonetheless. Having just found her daughter again and then her son… Had it been yesterday? It felt like moments ago and at the same time, ages past. Sara looked at her and stuck a small hand into hers. She relaxed. A bit. Sara smiled and Maria was sure Trava did too.

“It will be all right Buir.” Sara said with a grin. Trava nodded and Maria had to smile. Sara sounded so old sometimes, but…after what she had gone through she had earned it. And speaking of people going through things… Maria looked at the other person in the group. Mijel looked…worried. Sara extended a hand to the boy and he took it gratefully. She gave his hand a squeeze and he returned it, then their attention was on the shuttle that had just landed. Its hatch opened and armored forms filed out. A dozen, then two, then three, then four. Forty eight Mando warriors formed ranks in front of the group and as one, they saluted. But not Trava! Maria realized with a start that they were all looking at her. She froze. Sara grinned at her and Maria was seized with the overwhelming urge to spank her daughter, then she nodded and returned their salutes as she spoke. Old patterns came to her mind easily.

“As you were.” Her voice was a bit husky. She had NEVER had anyone salute her before. When she had been in service, she had been a grunt, a combat engineer, and then a machinist’s mate, never an officer. She dropped her salute and they all dropped theirs in perfect unison. She couldn’t help it, she stared. They turned in unison and formed a row four deep on either side of a corridor leading to the shuttle. She swallowed, then nodded as an AG pallet floated out, she winced seeing the bodies arrayed on it. She had known what to expect, but seeing them, the warriors who had died saving her granddaughter, it still hurt. Sara gave her hand another squeeze. All activity stopped on the hangar bay. The Mando warriors surrounding the pallet stared marching, their boots in perfect step. Trava followed, then Sara and Maria, followed by Mijel. They went to the very edge of the hangar, with only a force field between them and vacuum. Trava nodded and stepped aside. Maria steppe forward, aware of eyes on her then… She looked and saw a hover gurney and on it Nia watched, impassive. Hawkir stood by her side, watching Nia, not the service. Maria nodded to her granddaughter, and Nia nodded back, earning a scowl from the Jedi. Then Maria nodded to Trava, who began to sing. It was odd. The Mando words were unfamiliar to her, but…they called to her. They spoke of honor, blood and loyalty. Courage and duty, and above all else, family. Her eyes were burning, then other voices joined in. The Mandos in formation sang with their leader and then Sara joined in. After a repeat, the song started again, and this time voices came from all over the deck, the song transcended time, space, race and creed. It included everyone and Maria found herself singing along with Mijel. Then it stopped. Maria’s eyes burned, but her face was impassive as she turned to Trava and bowed, deeply. Trava nodded to her and pushed a control. The AG pallet moved out of the formation and exited the bay. In just a few seconds it was far from the bay entrance, and Maria braced herself. The command came from the bridge. A simple word, but…

“Fire.” The Stormhawk’s aft batteries fired. Far more than were needed to destroy such an insignificant mass. No, it was a salute and Maria saw space light up all around and ALL of the Stormhawk’s guns joined in the salute to the fallen Mandos. In the silence that followed, Sara’s voice was heard.

“In water we are born…” A muted chorus echoed her. “In fire we are forged…” Another muted chorus. “We seed the stars. Mando'ad draar digu.” The translation was 'A Mandolorian never forgets'. Again the muted chorus and again the guns fired. Then the silence fell and the gathering dispersed, quietly.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

01.24.2012 , 06:32 AM | #2
<Twenty minutes later, a briefing room>

“Are you out of your mind?” Maria didn’t tense at Boss’ tone. She understood, better than he did, what was at stake. And why.

“Hear me out.” Boss tilted his head at Maria's entreating tone, noticing that both Trava and Sara gave her room to do what she wanted. He waved for her to continue. “You lost people, almost half of your teams, Trava…” Marai nodded to the Mando and Trava nodded back. “..has stated that she feels obligated to continue the hunt for the rest of the scum who worked with Jarrel Strum and the droids he manufactured.” Boss looked at Trava, then at Maria. Maria could tell from his body language that he was staring. “You can use me too.” He slumped.

“I don’t disagree, Maria, but…” He broke off as Sara spoke. Her voice was cold and hard.

“I am going to go with you.” All of them stared at her. “You are not leaving me behind.” Trava shook her head, but not in denial, Maria realized, but in amusement.

“We wouldn’t.” Sara looked up at her words. Trava turned her gaze to Boss. “These aruetiise have killed members of our clan; have injured another almost to the point of death. We WILL find these hut’uuns. And when we do…” Her voice rang out clear and cold. Everyone nodded. Sara clasped Trava’s arm and Maria took the woman’s shoulder in a hug. Boss shrugged.

“How many?” Trava nodded at his soft words. The Stormhawk wasn’t huge for a capital ship and didn’t have unlimited resources. She smiled.

“The force that came included two replacements, as well as thirty personnel I have been asked to ask you to allow to remain aboard, to serve this ship.” Boss sat back in shock and Sara hissed, but made no move. “If Sara is remaining aboard, her guards will come as well.” Maria stared at Trava then at Sara. She had never realized… But Trava was still speaking. “If you wish, Maria, you can number yourself among them. Among us.” Maria stared at her; she wasn’t sure what Trava was saying. But Sara nodded and spoke quietly.

“Buir, mother, you are a member of this clan already, let us help you, protect you. And help us protect our clan.” Maria felt faint; she found a chair and sat quickly. Sara was at her side in an instant. Maria waved off her concern and met the eyes of each in turn.

“I’m all right Sara. I…” She stared at Sara, then at Trava. She bowed her head. “I would be honored, Elder.” Trava nodded and smiled.

“Welcome to clan Ordo, Ba’buir.” Maria’s worry must have shown. Trava smiled and spoke gently.

“Be yourself; don’t try to be something you are not. We honor you for you, not your son. Although there are many who will honor you for bearing him, and teaching him so well.” Maria flushed, but Trava continued. “We need your stability, your experience, and most of all, your technical training. We can break things, very well…” I’ll say Boss said sotto voice. Trava ignored him. “…But building things? We do not have enough people who can do that. And, now…. I can speak of this. Your daughter made a discovery recently. She was out in the jungle, working on her fieldcraft when she stumbled on a treasure.” Maria stared at Trava, then at Sara, who stared straight ahead.

More to this story…later…

Maria satisfied herself raising an eyebrow in question.

“She found a lost Mando structure. A hangar with four bes'uliik, one of which she bonded to.” Trava’s tone was exasperated and at the same time, proud. Boss stared at her, then laughed hard. Maria just looked confused.

“What is a Besaleek?” Maria felt her face heating as Boss laughed again, and Trava grinned at her mangling the Mando word. Sara answered.

“Bes'uliik. They are war droids.” Maria’s eyes widened. She stared at her daughter in disbelief.

“You…have…a…war...droid…?” Sara flushed at her mothers utterly disbelieving words. Trava grinned widely and replied.

“Because of her, we have four, but one will only answer to her now.” Maria stared at her daughter and Sara flushed again. Then she burst out laughing.

“Compared to some of the things Will brought home as pets, well, how hard can it be?”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

01.24.2012 , 06:35 AM | #3
<A day later, Stormhawk hangar observation bay>

How hard can it be? What was that Mando'a word? Oh yes...di'kut... I am a di'kut!

Maria stared out of the force field and watched, her heart in her mouth as Sara spun her…mount in space and flew quickly towards the ship. She had not had a clue. It looked like a huge insect, but with laser cannons, pulse wave cannons and shatter missile launchers as well as huge claws instead of teeth and legs. And it had a canopy beneath which the pilot/operator would sit. Just looking at it sent chills down Maria’s spine, but she couldn’t help admiring the design. It was elegant in its lethality. She felt Trava move beside her and she smiled as Sara made another close maneuver.

“She’s good.” Maria noted, glad she could hide the fear in her voice.

“Yes, she is. Bes'uliik are hard to fly.” Maria looked at her, Trava’s tone was…odd. Trava sounded…jealous? Trava snorted.

“I envy her. I envy the others who will fly them.” Her voice was strange. Maria looked at her and nodded.

“Elders can’t, can they?” Trava nodded, her face an expressionless mask again.

“Elders have to lead, by example, yes, but those…” She looked at Maria. “We won’t let Sara go into combat again.”

“Again?” Maria felt the blood drain from her face and Trava sighed.

“Your daughter has a lot in common with you and your son. She was so sure she could do it, take a boma, that she crept off alone into the jungle to try…”

<An undisclosed location, 2 ½ seven days before>

She crept through the night, sure of her abilities, sure of her weapons, unsure of where the flarg she was…

Great, Sara, just great. Some invincible Mandalorian you turn out to be…great hunter getting lost…

She stared around her, her buy.ce filtering all of the jungle sounds. She had been so pleased when they had presented her with the beskar’gam. It was nothing like what she had expected. She ahd been so proud of it, but… She knew she wasn’t worthy of it either. All of the Mandos assured her that she was… but, with Trava gone, she didn’t really KNOW any of them. Not that she had known Trava either, but… Kilina and Adenn were nice, very nice. She just felt like…like a bloodworm or a bug of some kind. Eating and sleeping and NEVER doing anything. She was so focused on her immediate surroundings that she never noticed two pairs of helmet covered eyes observing her. The male figure in Mandalorian armor spoke quietly. His voice probably couldn’t have been heard over the jungle noises at full volume, but…

“Kilina this is dumb. This girl…” His mate cut him off with a small wave of a gauntleted hand. When she spoke, it was just as quiet.

“She needs to do something. She feels lost, trapped…We wouldn’t know anything about that would we?” His helmet turned to her and she knew he was glowering at her, but his posture slumped and then they both froze as Sara did. They watched, anxious as Sara checked her blaster.

All right, a boma and not a big one from the sound of it…I’ll… Sara’s thoughts made a quick turn as another, similar sound came, and another, and another!

Aw frak! Just my luck, I found a herd! She moved back, deeper into the foliage and then…she was falling. She had time for one more thought. I’m such a dikut… Trava is going to beat me... Then darkness claimed her.

Kilina and Adenn watched as the herd passed. They nodded in appreciation, the girl hadn’t been dumb. She had’nt taken on more than she could, but then they both froze. Sara wasn’t coming out of the bush she had taken shelter in, as a matter of fact… They rushed to it. They both stared at the dark hole in the ground and the tracks that showed Sara falling into it. When they shone their lights in, it went down a long way. Kilina slumped and Adenn rested a gauntleted hand on her shoulder before running towards the colony. He would summon assistance. They would need it.

Sara woke. She hurt. Not as bad as… She froze remembering, she had fallen into something!

Great Sara, just great…of all the stupid things, to fall into a hole…

She calmed herself and sighed. Self recriminations could wait. She had to… she froze as a huge form came into the light of her helmet lamp. It didn’t move and she realized it was… what was it? It was big. She walked closer to it. It didn’t move, but… she shook her head. This was weird… She felt…something… She heard a rustling, like…She spun and then froze as the Nexu came closer, growling slightly. She, well, she panicked. And who could blame her? Nexu were things that even TEAMS of Mandos had trouble with. Ferocious hunters and merciless killers, it was a rare and honored Mando who could claim a solo Nexu kill. She scrambled backwards, bumping into the machine, whatever it was. The Nexu stalked closed, purring in anticipation now. She kept her eyes on the beast but scrambled backwards up the side of the thing, it had steps, as if… The nexu pounced and Sara screamed, but… it hit something and bounced away. Someone spoke.

“Unit online” Sara stared around quickly, but no one was there!

“Who said that?” She asked in a whisper as the Nexu, startled, moved closer, eying her.

“Unit online, orders?” She shook her head.

“I don’t understand.”

“This unit serves Mandalor, this unit is Mandalor. Orders?” The nexu pounced again and Sara screamed.

“Help!” Something caught the Nexu in midair. Sara watched in awe as the nexu, struggling, was illuminated by lamps and the…the claws? The claws holding it clenched once and with a sharp crack, the Nexu screamed and was still. She looked around. She was sitting in something, it looked like some kind of control station. “What are you?” She asked quietly, disbelieving.

“This unit is Bes’uliik A108-G4 Delta. Orders, operator?” She stared at the controls, then at the Nexu. She smiled under her helmet.

Kilina froze as the jungle floor shuddered. It subsided, leaving her to fret. I had been thirty minutes, Adenn had to be back soon. She worried for the little girl who she had come to love. She saw Adenn in the distance, followed by a squad of warriors and she relaxed a bit. Then the ground shuddered again and she found herself backing away from… a hatch? She stared into it, it looked like the elevator hatch for … Her eyes went very wide under her buy’ce as a huge form appeared. And perched in top of it...

“Kalina, hi. Look what I found.” Kalina and the others, who had come up to her by then, could only stare in shock at the little girl perched in the control pod of a Bes’uliik. Kalina shook her head bemused. The Nexu that swung lifeless from one claw was surprising but she was sure, the surprises were only beginning.

“And to think we were worried about you, adiik… silly that…” The Mandos all laughed at Kalina's tone and after a moment Sara joined in.

"Can I keep it?" They all stared at her. Then they laughed again.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

01.24.2012 , 06:36 AM | #4
<The present>

Maria could only shake her head. Trav’s story sounded TOO much like what Will might have done at that age for her to disbelieve it, but…

“And now? You say it, the droid…bonded to her?” Trava nodded at Maria’s careful question.

“Bes’uliik are not droids as you might think of droids, they are…different. And different models of them act differently. They are not…” She broke off, and then picked her words with care. “They are not just droids; they are companions, allies, friends almost…” Maria stared at her. Trava continued in a wry tone. “One thing is certain. No one will harm the adiik again. Not now. They would have to get through the droid first and Sara, well… She is good at this, is she not?”

Maria returned her gaze to the outside just in time to see Sara swoop by one of the Stormhawk’s fighters, close enough for Sara to reach out and touch. The fighter was maintaining a patrol pattern, not an evasive one, and Maria was sure the pilot had known Sara was in the area and, well, playing… But still… The skill required to move such a massive droid so close to another moving ship in space without contacting any parts of it… Maria snarled wordlessly, but then she keyed her com.

“Sara.” The one word was enough. The Bes’uliik turned towards the hangar. Maria looked at Trava and grinned wryly. Trava returned it. But then Trava sobered.

“It is unheard of for one so young to bond with a Bes’uliik. By our standards, she is not more than a child.” Maria nodded. “The hangar that Sara found was a concealed cache, it held parts and technical information for the droids, but… We can’t replicate them. We have some of the required skills…but not all.” She broke off as Maria nodded.

“I do. I worked as a droid engineer, you know this.” Trava nodded at Maria’s words, but Maria wasn’t done. “And I can teach your people, it was what I did after I left the service.” Trava stared at her, Maria grinned. “I like teaching, and if we can make enough of those…” Trava started to grin, evilly and Maria shared it.

“I like you, Maria. You do think like a Mando. One thing… Sara, well…by our traditions at her age a Mando child would face a challenge, a rite of passage. But she has faced many challenges already…” Maria nodded, but her voice was quiet when she spoke.

“Does she want to?” Trava nodded. “Then there is your answer.” Trava bowed her head. “And I would be honored to help the clan, Elder. What kind of challenge?”

“It’s different for each person, but in all, the basics stay the same…”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

01.24.2012 , 06:39 AM | #5
<Eight hours later, an undisclosed location>

Sara sat, cleaning her beskar’gam. It was a ritual she had learned only recently, but since she had already been involved in one fight, not that she remembered anything after being shot but, she wanted to be ready. It also calmed her, and calm was good. She was no Jedi, but she knew that emotions clouded judgment. She knew from direct experience, from when the evil doctors had… She shook her head. She would not dwell on those days, they were behind her. She was so absorbed in her task she almost didn’t notice when the door to her compartment opened. She looked up and Trava was there. Sara smiled, but then froze as Trava bowed to her. Sara’s blood raced. The only time an Elder bowed… She rose, elegantly and bowed back.

“Elder. Is it time?” Now Trava smiled, kindly.

“Yes, Adiik, it is.” Sara nodded. “Leave your buy’ce.” Sara looked at her helmet and sighed. She would miss it. But… It was traditional. She nodded to Trava, picked up her blaster carbine and followed the Elder. Trava led her to the edge of the colony and then hugged her. Sara returned the hug, and then stepped out into the jungle. Trava watched her go with only small misgivings. She knew that others were watching, form a distance, and she knew that Sara was skilled, but she had lost two children to this rite of passage. She shook her head, it was tradition and tradition had to be followed. She spoke quietly as Sara disappeared into the foliage.

“K'oyacyi!” It was heartfelt, Trava's benediction of 'Stay Alive!'. She did love Sara.

<2 hours later>

Sara knew what she was doing was dumb. She knew without a doubt that if anyone was watching her, and they probably were- they were not stupid-, they were probably cursing her right now. But it was the only way. She couldn’t get close enough to the boma herd without being scented. She had no illusions about trying to fight any of the other creatures of the jungle without help. She finished setting the trap, checked her weapon and climbed the tree she had decided would suit her best. Then she sighted one of the boma and threw a frag grenade into their midst with all of her might. It fell short of course; she wasn’t really physically as capable as she could have wished yet. But it fell into generally where she wanted it to. The herd came alive as the grenade went off. The beasts bolted in all directions, she waited. A large one came running and she took careful aim as it…


She watched as the huge beast ran right into the pit trap she had so carefully dug and camouflaged. She watched as it thrashed in pain, both front legs broken, then she coolly laid the sights of her carbine on her selected target spot and squeezed the trigger. Her instructors would have been proud. Her shots flew straight and true and the beast died quickly with little pain. She waited in her perch until she was sure the rest of the beasts had fled, and then she descended and walked to her kill. As she had been taught, she skinned the beast, took the hide and selected meat portions and then started back for the colony. Boma made great steaks, if a little tough. As she approached the colony, she carefully did not see figures moving from the jungle into the houses. It was forbidden for any to interfere with the rite of passage, it wasn’t forbidden for them to observe and maybe…um…redirect anything that might have gotten out of hand… Sara carried her prize and the meat to the town square where Trava stood with Maria at her side. She nodded to Trava and Trava examined the hide carefully. It was a mere formality, Sara was sure Trava had been told as soon as she had made the kill. Trava nodded to Sara and smiled. Sara bowed her head and Trava slapped her on the shoulder.

“Come vod, we eat.” This also was traditional, not that Mandos needed any excuse to have a feast.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

01.24.2012 , 06:40 AM | #6
<Three hours later>

Sara sat back, thoroughly stuffed. She loved Mando food. She loved a lot of things about Mandos, but… she sat back, thinking. Something had been bothering her recently and she had no idea what to do about it. Finally she did the Mando thing, she walked to the closest Elder and asked.

“Trava?” Trava smiled at her and refilled her plate. Sara smiled, she could always use more food, but then she jerked head and Trava, seeing Sara had something on her mind, turned her space at the cook counter over to one of her daughters and came with Sara to a free table. Sara sat down and dug in. Good food was not to be wasted. Finally after a few minutes Sara looked up. She spoke directly. “There was a Jedi who helped me on Kuat, do we know what happened to her?” Trava looked at her, Sara sighed.

“I messed up what she was doing. She was trying to help me, and I fought her.” Trava nodded. “She apparently, well, blamed herself for me getting hurt.” Trava shook her head.

“You can’t change other people’s minds vod.” It sent a thrill through Sara for this battle hardened warrior to call her ‘sister’. Always before when Trava had called her that, there had been the edge of condescension, an adult speaking to a child. Now, Trava spoke to Sara as an equal. Sara nodded.

“I know, it’s just… I owe her vod. I owe her my life.” Trava nodded. This was a serious thing. “If she hadn’t done what she did, Nia would have attacked and well…Nia was good, but…” Trava stared off into the distance at something only she could see.

“Nia would have attacked and the Sith would have died, but then you would have. This woman…” Kirin Sara interjected quietly “…Kirin, did something. Olana says she blurred, was there and gone, then there again. Dia, the other witness, concurred.” Sara smiled thinly at Trava’s dubious tone. Trava still didn’t trust Dia, not completely. But then Dia wasn’t a Mando, so it was all right. But Trava was taking again. “Nia said she received a message from the Jedi saying that Kirin did not return. And they were worried about her.” Sara nodded.

“Vod. I owe her.” Trava nodded. “But I have no idea how to find her.”

“The galaxy is a big place, Vod. But…” She broke off and thought hard for a moment. Then she smiled. “…we shall see what we can do. For now, eat, and be merry.” Sara nodded and dug back into her food, the pungent spices burning her nose. She loved Mando food. Maria came up and Sara shot to her feet. Respect for elders was a major part of Mando culture, and Sara revered her sole elder more than many would. She hugged Maria tight. Then they both sat and ate for a moment in silence. Finally Maria spoke.

“You did us proud, vod.” Sara’s eyes widened as her mother called her that. Maria smiled. “You made me part of the clan, what else could I do but follow in your bootsteps?” Sara stared at her, then at the meal, and then she slumped.

“How many did you get?” She asked resigned, but Maria smiled again.

“One.” Sara sat back and grinned. “And before you ask, it was the same size.” Sara’s eyes widened. Maria grinned wider.

“You were stalking…me…?” She had seen nothing.

“Who do you think taught your brother at first? You spooked the herd nicely. I took one of the stragglers. But I’m old so I got help to carry it back.” Sara couldn’t help it, she laughed, hard.

“You will never be old buir.” Maria tensed and Sara froze, wondering what she had said wrong. When Maria spoke, it was kind, but there was a sad undercurrent to it.

“Sara, the one truism that never changes, is this. Anything that lives; will die. Mandos know this better than many.” Against her will, Sara nodded. “My time will come, Sara. But my life has been full. And… I lived to see you happy, healthy and full of life. None of us know how long we are here, so take your cue from the clan.” She waved a hand to the people who surrounded them eating, talking and generally being happy. “Live, Sara. And… uh oh…” Sara froze as her mother broke off in dismay. Mock dismay she realized. Trava was coming towards her with Sara’s buy’ce, but her helmet was upside down and sloshed? She stared at her mother, then at Trava who grinned.

“Another tradition Vod. Take your share of the Buy’ce gal.” Sara braced herself; this might be a long night.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

01.24.2012 , 06:42 AM | #7
<The next morning>

When Sara woke, she regretted it instantly. She moved her head and regretted that as well. She knew she hadn’t had much of the ale. Mandos, while bound by tradition, were not stupid. She was a small, if filling out, figure. She couldn’t handle the drink that many of the older ones could. She had taken the required drinks, and then had sat back down to eat. Maria had told her that the reason people ate first was to keep from having…this happen.

I must not have eaten enough…Oh!

She rolled out of her bed and ran for the refresher. She made it just in time. When she was done, she cleaned herself, she was there, and when she left the refresher, Trava was standing there. Trava looked her over and Sara flushed.

“I don’t care what tradition says. I don’t want to drink, ever again.” Trava grinned at her tone.

“That is the reason for that tradition. Knowing what you know now, are you tempted to overindulge?” Sara shook her head violently and then cursed quietly as the room swam. Trava handed her a glass and Sara stared at it suspiciously, but when Trava nodded, Sara downed it quickly. It wasn’t ale or mead; in fact… it settled her stomach and her head felt better. Still painfully tight, but better. She smiled her thanks to Trava. Who smiled back, then her face became still. Sara’s face also froze. “We have news.” Trave moved out towards the main room and Sara followed her out.

When they arrived in the main room, Olana and Maria lounged in chairs waiting for them. Sara took a chair of her own and Trava sat as well. Trava spoke, quiet, calm and collected.

“There has been no sign at all of Kirin Starlace.” Sara slumped. “However, there was a Jedi who worked with Kirin, who made the newsvids.” She smiled at Sara’s expression. None of them likes newsies. They lived in the shadows, publicity was a bad thing for them. “Janelle Fatir made a great deal of noise out on the fringes of the outer rim recently.” Sara shook her head, she was sure she knew the name. Olana barked unhappily.

<She’s the Jedi the Stormhawk rescued in Dantooine.> Trava nodded, but kept her silence on that…incident. Olana had a very short fuse when it came to Force users of any kind. <A planet blew up out there, a living planet supposedly.> Sara scoffed, but the others…didn’t. She looked at them. Trava shrugged.

“Big galaxy, lots of strange stuff.” Sara nodded, accepting the point. Then she shook her head.

“But how does that help us find Kirin?” Trava shrugged again at Sara’s words.

“It may not. But, they worked together, so if we find Janelle…” Olana shook his head. “Quiet furrball, you opinion of her is noted.” Sara stared at Trava, then at Olana. She remembered what Boss had told her about Olana’s reaction to Dia and winced a bit thinking how he would react to another Jedi. And then she remembered Boss’ description of the young Jedi, and winced harder. Airhead had been one of the nicer descriptive terms Boss had used. And Boss had admitted that he liked her. “We don’t know what she is doing, but Will did manage to find some information while hacking starport records.” Trava sniffed and Sara hid a smile, Trava was of the firm belief that Will stunk at slicing just to irritate her. “She left Coruscant, heading for Naboo.”

“Naboo…” Sara mused quietly. “Core world, well, the Stormhawk can’t go so…” Sara broke off as Trava and Maria both smiled. “What?”

“You have transport.” Sara’s eyes widened. “And backup if you need it.” She stared at them and Trava smiled again. “Buir here, for her sins, has been given command of a small ship, an escort gunship.” Trava held up a hand to forestall Sara’s outburst. “Its small, but fast and heavily armed. And she has a mission of her own in that area.” Sara looked at Maria and Maria nodded, her smile tight now.

“We have information of droids like the ones we found...” Sara froze, but Maria continued. “…in that area, so, we are going to check it out, quietly.” Sara shook her head.

“If they have those droids, even the small ones…” Trava nodded at her grave tone.

“Which is why another Bes’uliik will go with you. He will be in command of the team. You will obey.” Sara nodded. Trava turned her head and another Mando walked in. He saluted. Sara stood and returned it. The Mando removed his helmet and Sara grinned. Adenn, one of the Mandos who had taken her in, grinned back.

“You will never be rid of us vod.” Sara sighed in mock dismay, the she froze.

“Us? Kalina too?” The whole group smiled at her words, teasing and joyful.

“Kalina is weapons officer, of the Beskad Ordo.” Sara nodded. Things were in motion. Time to see where they went
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

01.24.2012 , 06:44 AM | #8
<Eight hours later, The Beskad Ordo, hyperspace>

Small, she wasn’t kidding was she?

Sara sat in her bunk and wondered. The Beskad Ordo was an escort gunship. It was designed to cover heavier ships, but was powerful enough to threaten heavy ships by itself. What it wasn’t, was durable. Will had a saying for this kind of ship: An eggshell armed with hammers. The ship’s shields were barely better than a fighter’s. Its armor was a bit heavier than a normal space transports, but not much. What it had were guns. Big guns. Eight of them in turrets that could cover all arcs around the ship. Four of them forward in limited traverse turrets. Four of them aft, also in limited traverse turrets. All in a package barely four times the size of the Dragon. It had the power to fire all sixteen simultaneously. Of course with all that crammed into a small ship, the crew accommodations were… tight. Her mom had a cabin the size of Trava’s pantry closet. Sara had a bunk in a cabin she shared with her three guards.

Trava, Maria, Olana and everyone had been adamant. She would NOT travel alone. So she dealt with the close quarters as best she could. And she spent as much time as she could working on her Bes’uliik. The hangar bay was really the only open space on the ship, and even it was crowded. With two Bes’uliik and a shuttle crammed in, it couldn’t help but be crowded. Another thing she found useful was that her smaller size let her get into places that others could not. That was a good thing when repairs needed to be made in cramped quarters and the larger Mandos couldn’t fit. This made her very popular with the crew and very UNPOPULAR with her guards. Speaking of which… The door of her cabin opened and she saw Miki standing there tapping her foot. Sara was instantly alert. Miki was quiet, so quiet it was easy to forget just how dangerous she was. Finally Sara asked.

“What Miki?” Miki cracked a smile. Despite being quiet, she had a well developed sense of humor. But then she sobered and entered the room, when Miki closed and locked it behind her, Sara tensed, she only did that when she was really steamed.

“Let me see you arm.” Sara froze. Miki waited, impassive. Sara sighed and extended the arm she had hidden behind her into the light of the cabin. Miki’s breath caught as she saw the blisters. Sara opened her mouth but the look on Miki’s face made her shut it. Silently Miki pulled the medkit from the wall and started treating Sara’s burns. Sara hissed once, then remained still as Miki carefully and professionally cleaned and bandaged the wounds. After Miki was done, Sara flexed the arm and nodded. Miki sighed.

“I know you feel useless, while we ride but please don’t do that again. vod. Please?” The pain that suffused Miki’s words brought Sara up short from her half formed protests. When she spoke, it was soft.

“They needed me. I was the only one who could reach that…” Sara broke off as Miki raised a finger and tapped her on the nose. She slumped.

“That housing could have been removed. Yes it would have taken two hours of down time, but, vod, if that blast of energy had caught you square…” Sara nodded. She wouldn’t have survived. As it was only her armor had saved her from being hurt worse. Miki sighed. “No one doubts your courage, Sara. No one.” Sara stared at her, then at the deck.

“I do.” She spoke quietly, but Miki heard her. The older female mando nodded.

“I know. All I can say is this, when the time comes, you won’t.” Sara looked at her and Miki smiled. “Now you get to explain you actions to Ba'buir.” Sara’s eyes widened.

“Shoot me…” Sara asked pleading, but Mik was having none of it, she dragged Sara up and pulled her to her feet. Miki grinned wider.

“Do you have any idea what your mom would do to me?” She shuddered dramatically. Sara sighed and then followed Miki out of the cabin. Time to face the future... and her immediate past too...
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

01.24.2012 , 06:45 AM | #9
((That's it for this thread, more coming. Comments and/or suggestions always appreciated. Flames might get picked up by a Bes'uliik and dropped form oh, fifty thousand feet or so...))
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here