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(L,F&E 28) Penance

kalenath's Avatar

06.20.2012 , 08:07 AM | #1
((For any who did not follow the story of the Infinium Conflict, Olanagychew shot at a Dark Jedi he saw aboard the Stormhawk. Instead of hitting her, he hit his friend's wife. Comments and/or suggestions appreciated))


Olana sat beside Sharra’s berth and cried. She would live, he knew he hadn’t hit her square, but… He had shot one of his best friends. He shook his head again, trying to get the image of her still form crumpled on the deck of the corridor in front of his target out of his head, but it wouldn’t leave. He had reacted as he always did on seeing Sith. And seeing one walking around the Stormhawk as if she owned it… He hadn’t expected to encounter her. Seeing the black clothing and the lightsaber had set him off. It always had been a help in the past when facing Dark Jedi and Sith, to go completely berserk and attack with everything he had. Part of it was his past, but… He shook his head. Even before he had been a slave, he had been known for having a bad temper, the decade of digging out the mines for the Sith had just honed his raw anger into a white hot blade. He didn’t look up as the door opened and he heard someone come in. He exposed his neck, knowing that Will stood right behind him. But Will didn’t strike, just laid a gentle hand on the Wookiee’s shoulder.

“It isn’t your fault furball. I probably would have done the same thing.” Olana looked up into Will’s eyes and nodded sadly. They truly were two sides of the same coin. Where Olana got loud when he got angry; Will got quiet. Olana turned back to where Sharra was lying and froze. She was awake and looking at him. He shook his head, and then he was crying again. She shook her head, then laid a weak hand on his arm.

“It’s not your fault Olana. I knew she was on that deck, I should have warned…” She broke off as he snarled, softly. She squeezed his arm hard and when he looked at her, she shook her head. “It is not your fault. I should have let you shoot her.” She coughed, hard. And Olana held her hand as she shuddered, then relaxed. Will held her other. “Arrogant witch…” Olana looked at her and Sharra smiled. “I wasn’t unconscious until about halfway here. Watch her close, she is dark, no matter WHAT she says, she doesn’t care for anyone but herself and she WILL cause more problems.” This last was directed at Will and he nodded. Then she shuddered again. L’trask came hurrying in and scanned her quickly. He shook his head, and then gave her an injection. She fell asleep still clenching her husband’s and friend’s hands. After a moment, they extricated themselves gently and L’trask covered her with a sheet before motioning them out of the room. Boss was waiting for them with Sara, Nia and the others standing around looking worried. L’trask nodded to them all before speaking to Boss.

“The bolt took her in the lung, but… we caught it and we have the antidote for the toxin of course. At least he didn’t use the explosive bolts.”

Olana stared at the floor. L’trask looked at him, and there was kindness in his eyes. “No one on this ship blames you for what happened, Olana. Sharra chose to put herself between that arrogant schutta and you. She acknowledged to me, when she first woke up, that it was a dumb thing for her to have done.” Now L’trask looked at Boss. “I saw the recording. That ignorant witch thinks she was wronged… she doesn’t care. Get her off the ship as fast as you can or there will be major problems.”

Boss nodded, this was something he knew. He hadn’t expected his new ‘friends’ to include a Sith. He had found out about her after she came aboard, or he never would have allowed it. The Stormhawk had enough problems with Nia, Dia and Hawkir aboard. Sith or Dark Jedi, it made no difference. To the Stormhawk, there was no difference. If you were a member if the crew, you were a member of the crew. If you were not, you were not to be trusted. And Sith were there to be killed. It was what the Stormhawk did. They had been fighting the Sith for a decade, without respite. After having been betrayed and left to die by a Jedi. That made for a deep reservoir of hard feelings about ANYONE who followed the Force.

Most of the group filtered slowly out, but Nia and Dia remained. Olana just stood, looking at the floor. Nia walked up to him and threw her arms around him, giving him a solid hug. She spoke in Shirwook.

<She is alive> Olana nodded, but kept his eyes on the floor. <Olana, no one blames you…> She broke off as he lifted his eyes to hers and she saw… She shook her head.

<I hurt an innocent, daughter of my oath brother. And it is not the first time…> He broke off, unable to continue. Boss looked at him.

“Olana, this is a unique situation. Having all of these Force users aboard is a strain on all of us, which is why we have them so close to the hangar bay.” Olana nodded, but then he looked straight into the eye-slit of Boss’ helmet.

<I cannot remain here.> Everyone stiffened at his words.

“Olana…” Will spoke, neutral. Olana shook his head.

<I hurt my friend, my oath brother’s wife, my ship mate. I did not intend to, but… I must atone for this.> He turned and moved towards the entrance to medical. Will blocked his way. When Will spoke it was cold and hard.

<No.> Olana looked at him. Will held his gaze and it was Olana who looked away first. His voice was quiet and sorrowful.

<Brother… I have to do this…> Will slumped, but then he stepped out of the way. As Olana passed, Will reached out and gave his friend a hug.

“Come back to me brother.” Olana returned the hug, and then left Medical. Everyone looked at each other for a moment, and then went their separate ways.

<Thirty minutes later>

A shuttle left the hangar bay and quickly made its way to the jump point. As it blurred into hyperspace, the Stormhawk’s sensors showed its course. Kashykk.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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06.20.2012 , 08:10 AM | #2
<An hour later>

Boss sat in his office and fretted. Olana leaving had been a mixed blessing. He was always a bit of a loose cannon, what with his rage so obviously held barely in check, but now… Now Boss faced a harder task. He sat back and tried to relax as Will walked into the office. Boss waved the man who had more than any made the Stormhawk what it was to a chair and Will sat. Anyone who didn’t know the man would be forgiven for missing the signs of tension. They were slight, but to Boss they stood out like beacons. Boss spoke, quietly, and carefully.

“I think she meant for you to take it.” Will nodded, this wasn’t news to him. “Did you know about the cancer?” Boss asked quietly. Will nodded again. Boss slumped in his chair. “How could you… I mean…” Will sighed. When he spoke it wasn’t cold or hard, just tired beyond belief.

“I knew Serrina for a long time before she came aboard. She was a Republic pilot, like me.” Boss nodded. He had checked the records, and now that he had full access had found out a lot of things. Some he wished he hadn’t. "She got left behind on an op, we were in the area, and well, we grabbed her. When Mace died… She… well…She was one of the possibilities for a successor. But she turned it down, she preferred to fly.” Boss nodded. He had…talked with Serrina, a lot, before she had left for Korriban and what everyone had known would be her last mission. “She always did what she thought was right, a trait that got her busted in rank six times.” Boss shook his head, then, in a quick motion, tore the helmet off and sat, crying. Will was around the desk and holding her in an eyeblink. She shook her head.

“I…I can’t do this… I can't be him…” Will snorted a bit, and she looked at him with anger in her eyes that died as she saw his face. It was sorrowful, but held just the faintest twinkle of amusement.

“She said the exact same thing her second day. I will be here for you, we all will be. And may some deity help anyone who gets in our way. Because nothing else will.” The woman formerly known as Hala Shin actually laughed at Will’s dry tone and smiled before putting the helmet back on. Stormhawk Boss shook himself and Will gave his friend's shoulder a squeeze before going back to his seat. Boss looked at Will and shook his head.

“I need some advice.” Will nodded.

“The Jedi and that witch.” Having Jedi aboard was bad enough, but in the fight against Zelkin, they had were playing host to a group of...eclectic allies. Boss nodded, and his posture conveyed sourness. Will shook his head, a resigned expression on his face. “My opinion, we need them. This Zelkin is powerful beyond belief. I… I got the recording of what he did to Serrina and her team…” He shook his head. “Of course she was only delaying him, but still…” Boss nodded. “It will be different next time. We won’t fight to delay, we will fight to kill. And this time, we know what we are up against. He has power, true. He has a lot of tricks, some we have seen and probably some we haven’t. But he has no idea what we are capable of. The Empire has some idea, but from what we have been told, he doesn’t tell them much and they don’t tell him much either.” Boss nodded. Will sighed. “One thing that bothers me however… This Bladeborn.” Boss stiffened.

“Sharlina? What about her?” Will shook his head.

“I went over the records of what happened. We all thought she had been killed at Taris. Now she has come back somehow and is working with Zelkin? From what I saw that doesn’t fit her profile. Something is up with that.” Boss nodded. “From all accounts, she did manage to kill Horn, too bad; I wanted a crack at that traitor.” Boss nodded again, Will’s loyalty ran bone deep. And his feelings towards anyone who would switch sides in the middle of a war and then work with the enemy to kill his former comrades, well… If Will had caught the scum it wouldn’t have been pretty or fast. Boss shook his head.

“I have a hard job for you.” Will stiffened. He never got anything but hard jobs, for Boss to think it was hard… Boss nodded. “We will need every Force user on our side, even the stupid ones, even the arrogant dark side ones.” Will’s eyes narrowed and he shook his head.

“You cannot be about to ask me to do what I think you are about to ask me to do…” He broke off as Boss straightened.

“Do I need to make it an order?” Will snarled soundlessly. But when he spoke, it was emotionless.

“Yes.” That simple word sent shivers up and down Boss’ spine, but he straightened and spoke confidently.

“Fine, you are ordered to protect Jan and the other Force users while they are aboard. Use any means necessary.” Will’s eyes went wide then they went hard as agates.

“Yes. Sir. Will there be anything else, Sir?” Will’s voice was calm, quiet, moderated even, but underneath it lay boundless rage and Boss shook his head. Will stood up and saluted, then turned on his heel and left the office. Boss slumped in his chair and cried. Rank had its privileges, true. It also had its pains.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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06.20.2012 , 08:11 AM | #3
<On approach to Kashykk>

Olanagychew hadn’t been home in more than five years. The last time had been… awkward. He was an eligible male, unmated. Add to that he had traveled the stars and fought slavers and other enemies who still thought of Wookiees as easily replaceable labor. He had formed a life debt with a renowned soldier. The females just couldn’t stay away from him. And he wanted nothing to do with them.

He had spent the entire trip thinking about what he had done and why. When he finally landed on the small, hidden landing platform that served the Stormhawk crew he still wasn’t sure why he had decided to come here. He had no kin left on the planet. The slavers had seen to that, and the few who survived lived far from Kashykk in relative safety among the Mandalorians who had adopted him. Then he sat in his chair and thought hard about who he was. Almost an hour passed before he moved, but when he did it was swift and sure. He knew what he had to do.

When he left and locked the shuttle behind him, he wore no armor, and carried no weapons except a warblade strapped to his back. It would be awhile before he would carry a bowcaster again, if ever. He flexed his paws and his climbing claws shot out. He examined them for a moment then started climbing.

It took him a day to find what he was looking for and when he did, he was surprised. Of all the things you expected to see, a Wookiee sitting in a human style house on Kashykk was not one of them. He studied the area for a moment, seeing nothing, but knowing that eyes watched him from shadows, then he shook himself and climbed down to the ground. The Shadowlands were a very dangerous area. Only the strongest and bravest of Wookiees would live on the ground. There were predators that made Reetu and Nexu seem like Jawas for sheer size and ferocity roaming. He saw a Bull Kataran and snarled at it. Wonder of wonders, it ran. He stood, amazed. Bull Katarns didn’t run from anything. He walked to the door and knocked politely. A voice in Shirwook called.

<Enter.> He did and shut the door. Inside, when he turned around, he was amazed. The Wookiee who sat in a comfortable looking chair was older than any he had ever seen, but sitting beside the Eldest…

“Welcome Olanagychew, to the home of the Eldest.” Jedi Master Jina Darkstorm sat, unmoving, knowing she had surprised him and knowing that her life hung by a very slender thread. The elderly Wookiee waved a hand and Olana sank to his haunches in the middle of the floor. He knew her, of her. And he had met her when Will had… er… attacked Tython. He burned to ask what a Jedi of all things was doing here, but propriety had to be observed. He slowly reached up and removed his warblade from his back, then carefully set it on the floor. It was well within reach, but not in hand. He bowed his head. The eldest spoke.

<Olanagychew, son of Warbacca and Gimmiroo. You honor my house.” Olana stared at the eldest, but remained silent and made a gesture of disagreement. “What troubles you, young one?” Olana sighed, and then spoke.

<Eldest… I am evil…> Both of the listeners sat back at that, but he continued. <I must relate what has happened, and why. I serve on the Stormhawk and we have found an evil Sith who thinks to cause a galactic catastrophe. I get angry, I know why and how to control it, but now, twice I have injured innocents, one the mate of my oath brother.>

Jina froze at that. “Sharra lives?” Her voice was sharp, and then she looked at the Eldest and bowed her head. <I beg apology Eldest.> The older Wookiee snorted.

<You said what I was about to.> Jina snorted at the amusement in the older Wookiee’s tone, and then they both turned their gazes back to Olana. Now the older Wookiee’s voice became soft, kind almost, but hard at the same time. As strange as that may be, he managed to do it. <What happened?>

<I was away, working for the ship. When I returned the ship had become a rendezvous spot for all sorts of people determined to fight this ‘Zelkin Infinium’.> Jina sat up straight at that. But she remained silent. <One of them was a Sith.> The human and the other wookiee waited, but Olana didn’t speak again. The Eldest prompted.

<And?> Olana slumped.

<I shot at the Sith, Sharra interposed herself between my bowcaster and the Sith.> Both Jina and the Eldest shared a confused glance.

“Why would she do that?” Jina finally asked.

<I don’t know for sure. But… I do know that Janelle Fatir was between my bowcaster and the Sith, I might have hit HER.> Jina’s eyes narrowed at the name Fatir, and then she nodded. <What must I do Eldest? My rage helps me fight, but… I have no wish to kill the innocent.> The Eldest of the Wookiees on Kashykk sat for a long moment before responding.

<That is why you have no bowcaster now?> He asked quietly, for a Wookiee anyway. Olana nodded silently. The Eldest sighed.

<I have no answers for you now. I must think on this.> He huffed, and then coughed. <Return tomorrow.> Olana nodded, collected his blade, then stood up and left without a word. The eldest looked at Jina who shrugged.

“I am not a Wookiee, I know how I would handle it, but like I say, I am not a Wookiee.” The Eldest nodded.

<There is precedent, and… I think opportunity.> Jina stared at him.

“You cannot mean to…” She broke off as the Wookiee’s face became fierce. She sighed, then slumped. “That is my job, not his.” The Eldest did not respond and Jina groaned. “You would just send him after me wouldn’t you?” Now the Eldest grinned and Jina shook her head in resignation. “Fine I could use the backup… but… If he rages…”

<Inform me and I will handle it.> Jina nodded, then bowed to the eldest and left the house. She shook her head. For the Wookiees to keep Jolee Bindo’s old home in the Shadowlands fixed and in use said a lot of their respect for that ancient curmudgeon. Even if he had been dead for almost three centuries.

The Great Hunt… With an unstable Wookiee beside me… Joy!
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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06.20.2012 , 08:17 AM | #4
<The next day, the Shadowlands>

Jina moved through the Shadowlands like a ghost. Beside her paced a large furry form, just as soundless as her. This part of Kashykk always gave her the creeps, and for good reason. There were things that lived in the depths of the Forest floor that entire Wookiee hunting parties wouldn’t try and take on. She avoided a tanglefoot and stopped for a moment, looking around with both her sight and the Force. What she was hunting was hidden from the Force, but she could see everything else and she could tell where it had been. The Force literally crawled away from this… thing. It was a hole in the Force as hard and rough as the descriptions in the records had made it out to be.

Terentateks were rare, thank the Force, but they were bad news. Many times, Jedi had hunted the things, and been hunted by them, until finally the Jedi council had decreed that only the best of the Order would undertake the Great Hunt. And now with this one appearing on Kashykk, one of the Jedi’s major supporting powers, the Wookiees, had been attacked by the beast, but there were not that many Jedi to send, so they sent Jina. She had hoped to find support along the way, but for some reason, most of the Jedi and allies she knew had vanished. She figured she could take the beast, or she wouldn’t have come. But fighting in the Shadowlands invariably drew more predators. And there were things in the Shadowlands that even Terentateks ran from. She froze, and Olana froze at her side. Nothing showed to her sight, or the Force, but her spine tingled.

Danger. She looked at Olana and he nodded. He jumped to a hanging branch and disappeared into the foliage. He would cover her and give her warning if any of the truly frightening beasts approached. Speaking of which…

With a roar, the Terentatek charged and swung, but she was gone. She danced, avoiding the poison tipped claws and the foul energies that exuded from the beast and swung her saber. It bounced off. She gaped for just a second, and then ducked again as the beast attacked again. She swung for a joint this time and hissed in disbelief as her saber bounced off yet again. Instead of swinging at her, it threw dark Side energy at her that she barely dodged. She thought fast. Nothing in the records had ever said Terentateks were resistant to lightsabers to that degree.

Then it happened. Roots underfoot made the place dangerous to fight, but she had been so sure of her ability to strike a decisive blow immediately that she had chosen her ground poorly. She tripped on an exposed root and went down heavily. She deactivated her saber before it cut her and rolled clear but the beast was upon her. A blow sent her flying into a ten meter thick tree trunk and she lay; stunned, he lightsaber flying out of her reach. She waited for a deathblow, but it never came. Instead she heard the roar of an enraged Wookiee and Olana jumped from his branch, landing on top of the beast. He grabbed hold of the spikes on its back and swung his warblade, cutting deeply into its hide. Jina’s eyes narrowed as she saw the damage a simple blade was causing, then she drew her vibroblade and charged. With most of the Terentatek’s attention on the furry irritant on its back, it was a matter of just a moment for Jina to scramble up its front, and, avoiding its increasingly desperate blows, drive her vibroblade deep into its eye, reaching its brain and killing it instantly. Jina jumped clear and summoned her lightsaber, just in case. Olana also jumped clear, his eyes red with rage and his roar of triumph silenced the Shadowlands for just a moment. Olana shook himself and Jina relaxed as he smiled at her and sheathed his blade, before jumping back up to his perch to retrieve his blaster. Jina could hear movement in the distance, but she wanted to see, she had to know. She looked closely at the beast and was not surprised to see something had been done to it. Somehow, someone had layered the beast in a fine cortosis mesh. She retrieved her vibroblade and cut a section of it off, then she jumped to the branch Olana was on and they started back towards the home of the Eldest.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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06.20.2012 , 08:18 AM | #5
<Aboard the Stormhawk, at nearly the same time>

Will entered Medical and froze. When he had been told to report he had expected a lot of things but not this...

"Nolikas?" The Rakata Jedi stood talking to L'trask and Will could see the form of someone else in a room bustling her and there. Nolikas turned and smiled at him. He hadn't seen her since he had left the Jedi Enclave on Tython after she had hurt him, unintentionally. So much had happened since then that he wondered how she felt now. He didn't blame her for the experiment that had hurt him. Now that he understood more of his ability, he knew it wasn't her fault but...

"Will Kalenath" She bowed, formally. He blinked, then returned it. She continued, in her odd form of Basic, which, strangely enough, he always found soothing. It was her, no tricks, no Jedi mind powers, just her. She never lieed about what she was or what she did and that had always been a refreshing change among Jedi, who were always shading the truth, for people's own good of course. She recoiled a bit and he realized he was grimacing. He shook his head and sighed.

"I'm sorry, Nolikas, I am not mad at you, I never was. It was just bad luck..." He broke off as she shook her head.

"No it wasn't." She declared. Now he rocked back on his heels. "You need to hear this, and you need to know." She waved him to the room that he had seen movement in and he followed, freezing momentarily as he recognized her assistant. The Twilek who had operated on Nia on Alderaan for the rogue Jedi. Nolikas took a seat and waved Will to another. The door closed behind him and he froze for just a moment...

Trapped... The old fear resurfaced, then he ruthlessly quashed it. He sat. He was in no danger from Nolikas, and he could take the Twilek without... without... He recognize the effects of a contact sedative now. He stared at Nolikas as he collapsed towards the floor. His face, unmasked for once, held betrayal and fear.

"I am sorry, but you would argue for hours and we don't have time. Please... don't hate me when you wake up..." She moved his unconscious body to the bed and engaged the restraints. He was deadly even while unconscious, maybe especially when unconscious. And she knew why.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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06.20.2012 , 08:19 AM | #6

Will came back to himself snarling and cursing. He fought the restraints that held him hard. He couldn’t move anything though and he gave up the attempt as soon as he realized that. It was a waste of energy. He felt a gentle touch on his shoulder and didn’t react at all. He heard Nolikas sigh.

“Will, I am sorry, but this is the only way…” he opened his eyes and stared at her. Hers held sorrow, pity and… more than a hint of fear, but not of him…? For him? He was strapped down so tightly he couldn’t shake his head, so he sighed.

“I trusted you.” His voice was cold, hard and merciless and she flinched back from him, then she bowed her head and nodded. “Why, Nolikas?”

“I know what happened to you, and I know why. I know why the experiment went awry and I know how to fix the problem, but…” She shook her head again and he was amazed to see tears falling from here eyes. He looked at her; it was all he could do.

“All you had to do was say that Nolikas, why did you drug me? I trusted you…” he repeated and she flinched, and then looked him in the eyes. When she spoke it was professional and calm, almost covering the pain that lay underneath.

“We had to drug you so we could restrain you to undo the programming.” He stared at her. “You would have killed us otherwise.” Now he stared at her with disbelief in his eyes. Then he closed his eyes. When he spoke it was quiet.

“Nolikas, you are not making any sense, I wouldn’t kill you; you saved Nia, twice.” She shook her head and sat beside his bed. It elevated so he could see her. He felt... things attached to him, but he couldn’t see any of them. Nolikas laid a gentle hand on his arm and spoke calmly.

“You were programmed to kill anyone who tried to find out what was wrong with you. A modified escape and evasion program I believe.” Will would have shaken his head, but it didn’t move.

“Is this really necessary? I wasn’t programmed, they didn’t finish…” He broke off as Nolikas shook her head sadly again. “What?”

“We don’t think they did finish, which is why you fight while sleeping. This woman, her name is Naj Orh, she programmed you to kill at her command. But she didn’t manage to program you to obey. That was probably the next level of whatever she was doing to you.” Will looked at Nolikas, dumbfounded.

“Naj Orh? She was a pirate who could do what I did, she died, messily… My mother caught her and well…” Nolikas shook her head.

“No she didn’t. She survived.” Will’s eyes narrowed at Nolikas' words. Then they widened.

“Was she the…” He broke off, overcome by his memories. Nolikas nodded.

“My assistant saw records of her, and he met her a few times.” A slumped form appeared in Will’s field of view and he narrowed his eyes as he recognized the Twilek who had operated on Nia for the Republic. The Twilek would not meet his eyes, and he returned his gaze to Nolikas. When he spoke he was resigned.

“What do I need to do?” Nolikas nodded.

“Sleep, my friend, when you wake, you will be better, I swear it.” She adjusted a control and he sank into darkness. She took a device her assistant gave her and moved toward the bed, this would be along day.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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06.20.2012 , 08:20 AM | #7
<An indeterminate time later>

When Will woke, he hurt. It hurt in so many places, so many ways, it just wasn’t funny. But… at the same time, he felt good. Something had changed. He opened his eyes and was not surprised to see Nolikas bending over him. She smiled at him and he smiled back. He raised a slow hand to his head, and realized suddenly that he wasn’t strapped down anymore. He opened his mouth to ask a question, but his tongue seemed glued to the roof of his mouth. The Rakata handed him a glass and he took it in careful fingers. Sipping slowly, he felt the water revitalize the dry tissues of his mouth and elsewhere. He finished the glass and she took it. Then she sat down beside the bed. He looked at her, but remained silent. She sighed.

“I... we got it all, but… I don’t know…There was so much… Will, I’m sorry… I…” She broke down and cried. “I never should have scanned you… I was just so curious… I…” She shook her head. He raised a hand and gently laid it on her arm. She looked at it, then at him. He shook his head slowly. It hurt, but the pain was receding. He looked at the bed he was lying in and was unsurprised to see medical gear attached to his body.

“How long was I out?” He asked quietly. His duties wouldn’t wait but so long. Nolikas nodded, happy to be back on ground she understood. Medical matters she understood, this liking people and caring for them; that was new to her…

“Eight hours. We… we got it all. Your scans are clean, and… the burns on your cortex are gone.” Will looked at her, and then focused in on himself for a moment. Then he smiled. Nolikas waved a hand at him and he focused back on her.

“We… Your ability is back to what it was before. If you take damage while merged, your brain will take damage. And if you merge with something small it may hurt you again.” Will nodded.

“But I can fly again?” The naked hope in his voice shook him, but Nolikas just smiled and nodded. “Then nothing else matters healer. Thank you.” He felt his eyes burn and darkness started to claim him. He fell asleep again to the sound of her soft crying.

Her assistant came up and handed her a cup of water, which she took and drank gratefully. He looked at her, and then spoke quietly.

“Will you tell him?” She shook her head. “You should.”

“It is my business. My penance for what I did.” The Twilek looked at the being that had been his jailor, and was now his friend and colleague.

“It wasn’t your fault. If it was anyone’s, it was mine.” Nolikas looked at her friend and shook her head.

“This pirate took my original research from twenty years ago when I tried to help her and used it to hurt Will. Jarelle Strum took my recent research and used it, and you, to hurt his daughter. I don’t care what it takes, this ends!”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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06.20.2012 , 08:21 AM | #8

Cranna sat on her floater and tried not to spit. This… scum… made her want to hurt things. Slavers always made her mad, ever since she had been enslaved… The fact that he was a wookiee who dealt in slaves was worse, almost. She had known Wookiees, a lot of them. He rattled the restraints on the table and growled at her, but the straps were made of Durasteel, salvaged from starship hulls. He wasn’t going to break those. He howled again as her Ubese guards did more to him. His tolerance for pain was great, but her patience and their skill were greater. When she spoke, it was cold and matter of fact.

“Where did you get the droid?” He tried to turn his head away from her, but the bonds wouldn’t allow it. “You are going to answer me, sooner or later. You will prefer sooner. You fate is sealed, you slaver scum, you know that.” As soon as her retainers had caught him, his fate had been set, only the details and the time required mattered now. He spat at her, and then howled in agony as one of the Ubese took offense. When he finally collapsed back to the hard metal table, she spoke again, cold and hard.

“Now you are just being stupid. Tell me what I want to know and this will end.” He shook his head. She sighed, and then she turned her floater and left the room. As the door closed she heard more howls of pain that cut off quickly as the soundproofed door sealed. She shook herself. She hated doing things like that. But… Sometimes she had no choice at all.

She guided the floater to a closed door and keyed it open. She slid off the floater and slithered into the cell. Her former partner sat on the bunk that had been his home for the last few months and watched her as she entered. His face was closed, he knew his fate, or… he thought he did. She looked at him and sorrow creased her features. He bowed his head and cried. Tears fell from her eyes as well.

“The others knew nothing, this Wookiee slaver, Roobacca, apparently does, but he won’t talk. I’m sorry Draga. I have tried…” The Twilek sank to his knees on the floor and bowed his head.

“You… you know what you have to do Cranna… just do it…” She shook her huge head. He shook his, his lekku hanging limp. “Cranna, I am a threat to you and your organization. You CANNOT leave me alive or you appear weak.” She nodded. Then she raised her blaster. He looked her in the eyes and spoke quietly. “Please… find her…find my mate…”

She nodded as she pulled the trigger. Energy spat across the cell and he fell limp to the ground. She stared at the pistol in her hand, and then mechanically holstered it. She turned and left the cell without a backward glance. Outside one of her closest friends, the medic Katherine waited. Cranna nodded to the Cathar.

“You know what has to be done, take care of it.” Katherine nodded, and then entered the cell. Cranna remounted her floater and left without a backward glance. As Cranna moved, she shook her head. The place seemed… empty. Many of the mercs and specialists who had called her clinic and palace home had been sent to aid the Stormhawk and Janelle Fatir’s fight against Zelkin Infinium. She returned to her control room, mounted her dais and sighed. She had hoped that one of the three slavers she had put bounties on would talk, give information she could use to track down whoever had her partner’s mate hostage, but it was not to be. She sat. Lost in her thoughts and memories, and that was where Katherine found her an hour later.

“Cranna?” The Cathar’s voice was worried, and Cranna pulled herself out of her funk to see her friend standing beside her, a worried look on her face. Cranna smiled. She always found Katherine cheered her up.

“Yes, Katherine?” Cranna asked as she dialed for a restorative drink on her console and sipped it when it arrived. Hutts generally didn’t sip, but Cranna was anything but your typical Hutt.

“You wanted to be told… when the boy we found woke up.” Cranna’s eyes went wide, she had forgotten. When her retainers had captured the Wookiee, he had been trying to activate a strange droid, large and red armored. It matched almost exactly the reports she had of one Will’s daughter Nia had been stuck in against her will. When they had cut it open, they had found a small human, maybe ten standard years old, hooked into it. It had taken a great deal of effort and some very careful cutting, to remove him from it, but they had. And just in time as well, because shortly afterward the droid had self destructed. But that left them with a puzzle. A human boy with no records at all of who he was or where he had come from. Just that he had obviously been surgically fused to that droid.

“How is he?” Cranna asked. She liked kids of most races. It wasn’t very huttlike behavior, but… she could never have huttletts, so she found she enjoyed dealing with the young of other races. Katherine scowled.

“He was very confused when he woke, but he seemed lucid. However…” Cranna froze at the harsh tone that infused the medic’s last word. Katharine never got angry… it was one of her best traits.

“What?” Cranna’s voice was calm, and Katherine visibly calmed herself.

“They didn’t do to him what they did to Nia. But what they did was bad enough… Cranna we can’t even see some of the implants… how can we remove them?” Now Katherine’s legs buckled under her and she slid to her knees. Cranna extended her pudgy fist and took hold of Katherine’s shoulder.

“I have sent to the Stormhawk, the two healers we sent to them are coming back, one is the surgeon who operated on Nia.” Katherine looked at her and Cranna sighed.

"He seems to feel its his penance for doing what he did..."
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

06.20.2012 , 08:24 AM | #9
<The next day>

He woke, cold. He never seemed to be warm anymore. No matter how hot the temperature got in the room, he was always cold. He knew it was only in his mind, the nice lady with the tail on her head and the big slug, who was also nice, both said that. He trusted them because they were so different from the ‘Others’. He could barely remember anything before the ‘Others’ had him. Just the pain and… He shivered again, and a warm hand laid on his arm. He opened his eye, and flinched back. This wasn’t anyone he knew. Matter of fact he wasn’t sure what this person was… Eyes bulged out from both sides of an oddly shaped head and the mouth opened in way that was unfamiliar. He opened his mouth to yell, but it spoke quickly and quietly. She… it sounded like a female, although he couldn’t have said how he knew that, sounded kind and caring. Something wafted over him and he relaxed just a bit as he warmed.

“Have no fear young human. I am Nolikas, a healer.” He stared at her. Then around the room. Nothing had changed. He was still in the bed he had woken up in and he was still connected to medical equipment of various kinds. He shivered again, but this time in fear, not from cold. The stranger, Nolikas, gave his arm a gentle squeeze.

“No one will hurt you again, young one.” He stared at her, then a white clad figure behind her caught his eyes and they widened in terror. He didn’t see the shape, just the gown and mask, and struggled, trying to get away, but not only was he festooned with medical equipment, but he was so weak that all he could do was wiggle. Nolikas put a hand on his brow and…something passed between the two of them. He stared at her, and then relaxed. “What is your name?”

He shook his head. She smiled again and sat down beside the bed, he relaxed a bit more when she was no longer looming over him. “Do you have a name?” He shook his head. “Then what did they call you?” He slumped, and then spoke in a monotone.

“8411-43” Nolikas flinched, and then she sighed. She looked him over, carefully. Then she sighed again. Black hair, green eyes. But Maria hadn’t had any more kids after Sara… Or had she? She shook her head, dispelling her thoughts, and focused on the patient again, who was looking at her, worried. She smiled, and he relaxed a bit. She snorted, with true humor mixed in with the forced humor.

“I can’t call you that. Hmmm…” She rotated a tray where he could reach it easily and let him handle the food on his own. His eyes brightened up as she let him do it. She knew that small things for the able bodied became huge things for the injured or infirm. As he dug into his cereal, she spoke again, quietly. “I don’t know much about human names, so… I… well… once you have eaten you will probably sleep again. When you get the chance, think about what you might like to be called.” He stared at her, frozen for a moment, but she stood up and left him to his breakfast. He stared after her for a moment, and then resumed eating.

Nolikas walked out to where Jrick was finishing up with the lab tests and cursing quietly. She touched her assistant on the shoulder and he quieted.

“What is wrong?” She asked quietly, and he waved her towards a scan of the boy. She focused on it and hissed in disbelief. She shook her head, and then bowed it.

“Is there any way…” She began, but stopped herself. There was nothing that could be done. Not even the Force could replace tissue that had been removed. Jrick was one step from sobbing from his sense in the Force.

“We can remove the implants, we can heal the damage, but…” Nolikas took his shoulders in her hands and held him as he cried. Truth be told, she was crying too, just quieter. She cried for just a moment, and then steeled herself.

“I’ll tell him.” Her voice was hard for a moment, clad as she was in the iron of her profession. If she fell apart, how could she help anyone? Jrick nodded. Nolikas went back into the room and sat down beside the bed. The boy was just finishing his meal, but he stiffened on seeing Nolikas. Nolikas smiled, and the boy relaxed, but not completely. Nolikas laid a gentle hand on the boy’s brow and spoke kindly.

“The people who had you hurt you badly.” He stared at her, and then nodded. For just an instant he looked far, far older and Nolikas saw Will in his eyes. Then he crumbled, and cried. Nolikas held him as he did. “You are not going to die. But we can’t heal what they did to you.” He stared at her, noncomprehending. She shook her head, using all her training and discipline to remain calm.

“They put things inside you to make you obey, and to keep you alive. To do that, they had to take some things out.” He put a hesitant hand to his skull, which was swathed in bandages. He shook his head.

“I don’t hurt…” He said carefully. She nodded.

“Your pain centers have been deadened, so they could do what they did without driving you mad with pain.” He shook his had baffled again.

“Then what did they do?” Nolikas squeezed his hand reassuringly, and then spoke quietly.

“What is my name?” He stared at her, opened his mouth, and then froze. He closed his mouth, and then opened it again, but… his face went blank. When he looked at her, horror filled his eyes.

“I don’t know… You told me your name… I know you did…I can’t remember…” He shook his head and she gathered him in her arms as he started sobbing. She rocked the small form in her arms, and then spoke quietly.

“You will sleep; when you wake the physical damage will be healed. But they took out parts of your brain. Your memory may never come back. And it may never be the same as it was.” He looked at her, and a fierce expression crossed his face.

“Don’t let them do this to anyone else.” She nodded as she laid a mask over his nose and mouth. Then she laid him gently back on the bed. He was asleep in moments. She straightened his limbs and then got up and moved to the cleaning area to scrub for surgery.

Cranna and Katherine watched through a window as the two surgeons worked. Neither spoke. Neither needed to. An Ubese guard came up and bowed to Cranna, when she turned to him he spoke.

“Our guest is talking.” Cranna smiled. It was not a nice smile.

<A few minutes later>

Cranna listened to the tape of the Ubese interrogator asking questions and the utterly broken Wookiee answering them, then turned and looked at her chief of security.

“Did you get everything you needed?” The Ubese nodded. Cranna, without another word slithered into the room that had been Roobacca’s home for the last week. Without a word or any expression, she drew her blaster and put a shot through the Wookiee slaver’s shaven skull. As she slithered back out, she spoke to the Ubese in the area.

“Prepare the clan. We hunt.”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

06.20.2012 , 08:25 AM | #10
<On the other side of the galaxy>

Kina slumped on the floor, pins and needles dancing all over her body. From the tips of her toes to the ends of her lekku, everything hurt. But that paled in comparison to the pain in her head and the lack of sight. She had read of carbonite freezing, and had seen vids about it, but nothing in her basic med tech training had prepared her for the actual reality. Being kidnapped from her owner, who hadn’t been a bad sort at all just a bit flexible on the morals, being sedated, then woken, interrogated about her mate and then flung into a small compartment naked, that had then filled with carbonite. She knew, intellectually, that it had taken maybe ten seconds for her to go into hibernation, it had only felt like an eternity. And now… Now they had thawed her. She had hoped initially that she had been given, or even sold, to someone else, but her hopes were dashed as soon as she could hear. The woman who had interrogated her spoke again.

“Kina, so glad you could join us again.” She was sure the woman was human. She wasn’t sure why or how she was sure, but she was. She also knew that the woman was evil. A cold hand touched her, and she shuddered. “I am afraid I have bad news for you.”

Kina froze. She had been told that the reason she had been kidnapped was to put pressure on her mate. But she hadn’t seen Draga in ten years… Not since they had been sold apart. The cold hand touched her again and she flinched away from it.

“Are you cold? We can’t have that…” A rough blanket covered her, and despite her fear and worry, she relaxed a bit. If they were going to kill her, they probably wouldn’t be worried about her comfort. “I am afraid your mate was discovered as being my agent. His employer was not pleased.” Kina recoiled in horror. The usual punishment for spying among the Hutts was death. Now the hand was tracing down her lekku and she tried to bat it away, but her hands wouldn’t move from where they were. She concentrated on them and felt binders around her wrists. On further feeling, she felt more binders around her ankles. The voice continued, silky smooth and, seemingly concerned.

“That means we don’t have a use for you any more. At least in that regard. I am sure we can find something to do with you.” She flinched as the same cold hand traced her jaw. She would have bitten it, but something was in her mouth. The strong hands pulled her upright and carried her along. She felt air on her, cold, then warm, then cold again. Then she was unceremoniously dumped on a cold surface. Cold hands undid her bonds, but before she could do anything her wrists and ankles were strapped to the…table? She felt something touch her on the jaw and whatever was in her mouth fell away, but before she could do anything about THAT, something long and cold forced its way into her mouth. She gagged as it touched the back of her throat, but it quickly passed that point… she felt it going deeper and deeper. Then it stopped and she whimpered in relief, but then, the same cold hands started handling her lekku, moving then to the side as if… Something cold latched onto her forehead, pulling it down onto the cold surface under her. Whatever it was held her skull in place tightly. She couldn’t move it so much as a millimeter. Something touched her on the neck and she felt the pressure of a hypo. The pain in her eyes ebbed and died. She opened them, and screamed into the tube that was in her mouth, but the white gowned and masked being bending over her and the surgical droid hovering nearby didn’t care. It loomed closer and closer. She felt a stick in her upper arm and darkness rose up to claim her. She saw the woman who had interrogated her standing beside the table and heard her voice.

“When you are done, put her in recovery number four. She should do nicely.” She was still screaming when she fell unconscious.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here