View Full Version : IC: IoT: Episode V

31 July 2004, 10:05 AM
A dark robed figure steps purposefully through the dark and murky swamp. Green mist rises from the watery surface, casting a pale hue on all around it. A deep hood obscures a face in a shadow, leaving only thin lips visible through the mist. The swamp gas caresses him, curling his nostrils, turning lips into an irritated frown. He does not belong so far from civilization.

A murmur of chanting weaves through the twisted undergrowth to his ears. The corners of his lips slowly turn upward in a faint yet strained smile. A stick snaps under his step, and a reptilian hiss snaps from his left. Having grown accustomed to the native fauna, the unadorned man ignores the defensive gesture and continues forward, knowing it poses no threat, at least to him.

The clamor slowly grows as he proceeds, but the undergrowth diffuses the source. The robed figure passes a tall monolith that juts out of a muddy pool of fetid water. Its partner lies cracked in half on his opposite side, fallen in antiquity and barely distinguishable from a thick covering of mosses and vines. The light is dimmer here, and the darkness grows perceptibly as he continues on his path.

The swamp, normally a shadowy realm, has grown more ominous in recent history. The darkness has grown from the ground up, like an entangling mesh of ethereal bindweeds, making the midday as gloomy as late evening, and the night pitch black. The figure’s beady, veiled eyes keenly pick out his path, careful not to step on the same ground twice, intentionally not leaving a trail.

Something aberrant attracts his awareness and he halts, standing noiselessly in the thick olive mist. His eyes, cloaked in the shadows of his hood, scan the area, trying to identify the curious object that alerted him. The soft croaking of bugs accompanies the still constant chanting, along with the occasional hiss and snarl of other local wildlife.

His eyes pass over a patch of ground and he almost resumes his journey before returning his attention to that same clump of weeds. Through the congealing haze, he spies undergrowth mashed into the muddy earth, trampled repeatedly. He sneers with quiet, sinister dissatisfaction. The trodden trail only came through carelessness of others, despite repeated warnings. His eyes narrow and his hawkish nose rises closer to his brow as it furrows.

Resuming his journey, he steps towards a red-orange glow piercing the darkness. The scent of smoke intermingles with the rankness of the marsh, carried through the thick fog. The chanting grows and he crests a hill, looking down onto a camp. Several small fires form a ring around a central bonfire. Interspaced between the outer ring and the bonfire, the chanters, clad in common attire, continue their demonstration on the floor of an ancient temple, large stone tiles cracked from decades of neglect and abandonment underfoot.

From the top of the hill, the mysterious figure stands, watching the activity below. The viscous and murky miasma swathes around him. The corners of his mouth curl upward in a feral grin. Observing silently, he listens to their calls for revolution.

His grin, from beneath his deep hood, widens as the darkness swallows the swamp.

31 July 2004, 10:08 AM
Dané smiles as her friends agree to help her. She ushers everyone to take a seat again, and gather at the table so that they can continue the discussion. “Unfortunately, we do not have the name of the renegade leader. As far as we know, he began establishing himself prior to the blockade by the Trade Federation. However, the dark days of the invasion seems to have solidified his position and brought an influx of followers to him. The group found apparent refuge in the ruins in the swamps. The governor has already mentioned in our conversation his unconveyed thanks to the mysterious man for helping protect a portion of our citizens safe during the attacks. However, the rumors that he wants to overthrow the Queen and disrupt the formation of our alliance with the Gungans disturbs us greatly.”

“The ruins are located about half a day outside of the city, hidden in the swamps. They date back to the most ancient times of Naboo, before the humans arrived. While the builders are unknown, Gungans often hold them as sacred and holy places. It’s not surprising that the renegade and his followers can remain hidden, as most of these ruins are uncharted and often far from any settlements. That’s one reason they made such a great sanctuary for the Gungans after the droid armies assaulted their underwater cities.”

“We don’t have to confront the renegade, but scout out his base and determine his intentions. We don’t think he’s garnered enough power to challenge the Queen directly, especially in the wake of the victory against the Trade Federation, but if he really wants to break up our alliance with the Gungans, his group will have to move quickly before Boss Nass and the Queen exchange the ceremonial Globe of Peace.”

Dané finishes her speech and looks to her friends, waiting to see if they have additional questions.

Kanner Ra'an
2 August 2004, 12:30 AM
"Whats your intelligence on his followers, if any that is." Rayger asks, doubtful that the Naboo have had time to really profile these people. "Are they simply political activists, are they more revolutionaries. As well, how loyal are they to this leader and the disruption of the alliance." he asks. He is pretty sure that he'll get a fairly positive reply. Most likly their sources are former refugees who hid with them, so of course they are going to be baised towards him. However Rayger doesn't believe these people can be dangerous. Naboo is a rich planet, and most of the people in that group are probably more over-opinionated hardliners rather then a group of hardened men willing to do 'whats best' for their nation. As well, Naboo as a near pacifist planet probably does not have a large arms market, so its doubtful they could be well equiped.

"Also, how is it that they were established before the blockade. I was lead to believe that this alliance was a new event precipitated by the invasion, and that both sides had little to do with each other since the days when their was military skirmishes."

4 August 2004, 12:00 PM
Sia-Lan sits back as Dané tells the group about this new threat to the peace on Naboo. Why would this new group want to disrupt the new alliance between the Naboo and the Gungans? This sounds absurd to Sia because this new group is made up of Naboo and Gungans. Is this a power grab by this mysterious leader? Or is it a new political movement brought on by the invasion of the Trade Federation? Sia-Lan waits for Dané to answer Rayger's questions before asking her own, "Do you have any more information on their mysterious leader? Is he a native to Naboo or is he from another planet?"

Howling Wookiee
6 August 2004, 09:59 AM
Rann sits cross legged on the floor as the rest of the group sits down. He listens to Dane's information brief and shakes his head. The young padawan waits until she finishes and let's the others ask their questions, then contributes to the conversation, "You say that his influence has grown during the 'dark' times that we've been having here on Naboo? This can not be good if there is any connection to the 'darkness' and this individual. I suggest we tread lightly until we know what we are up against. I can't explain it but I have a bad feeling about this." Rann sits quietly in deep thought as the conversation continues.

Rogue Janson
6 August 2004, 10:26 AM
Arani sits distractedly shuffling her hands while Dané recounts what she knows. The information, for now is very limited, so she waits for her friends' questions to be answered before trying to make sense of it all. The one point she does think of is that if they are venturing into the swamps and ruins they'll really need a gungan guide, or at least good guidance from the gungans.

7 August 2004, 03:31 AM
Dané listens to the questions her friends and Rayger present, taking them all in before replying. “All of your questions are very good, and are the same kind of questions that the Queen’s Council has been asking. Unfortunately, we can’t answer most of them. That’s why I’ve been sent out to reconnoiter their camp. But let me answer what I can, or at least table the ideas until we gather more information.”

“Rayger, As to their motives and loyalties, we do not really know. We do know that their leader has been reported as speaking out against our Queen, as I mentioned, but we don’t know how far they are willing to escalate the situation. That’s a major reason that we need more information and we need it soon.”

“As to their date of establishment, while the Queen only in the recent days has established this fast-forming alliance with the Gungans, we have had limited contact in the past. Most of their species has remained isolated from the Naboo, apparently for a great deal of misunderstanding. A few outlying settlements have had integration in the past, so it’s not completely unheard of, just not the norm. And Boss Nass is the leader of the largest Gungan city, and he’s the one who orchestrated the new alliance with Queen Amidala.”

“Sia-Lan, as for the origins of their mysterious leader, we just don’t know. In fact, we don’t even know if he’s human or not. For all we know, he could be a Twi’lek from Ryloth that somehow landed here. Again, that’s a good piece of information to return with from the mission.”

“Rann, I understand your apprehension and tentativeness. Treading lightly is quite the importance in our mission. As I said before, we’re not being sent to engage or disrupt or scatter this group, just check them out. As to the extent of the darkness, I wouldn’t read too much into it. When I refer to the dark days, I mean the trouble our peaceful planet has faced with the Trade Federation. You know I’ve always valued your intuition and insight, but you know as our history professor said, there’s nothing quite like a conflict to spark the fires of a revolution. It’s been seen on hundreds of worlds before.” As she talks about classes shared, Rann remembers the conversations the two carried on about light and darkness, good and evil, and even tidbits about the Force.

She turns to Arani, “No questions from the resident scoundrel?” Dané winks at her longtime friend. “Figures. Skulking in the shadows as usual. Not that I mind, after all, who else taught me to do the same.” Her grin broadens, as she playfully teases Arani.

Turning back to the group, she continues, “Well, I know that I can’t give a lot of answers. But I’m also anxious to get moving. I have a speeder down stairs to take us most of the way. Can we carry on the rest of the conversation from there?”

The team agrees, and Dané gives them time to finish gathering their belongings. She notices that most of what they have left is tattered and dirty from the previous battles they have fought through for the liberation of Naboo. Rayger’s combat jumpsuit is rubbed thin in some places, and shredded in others, but still appears to give him some protection. It was probably a different color when he landed, and she doubts that any amount of laundering could get some of the smoke and soot out of it.

Rann moves as if he is stiff and sore too, and seems to be missing something, but Dané cannot place what that might be. His cloak is very much shot through and torn in places, but the nimble Padawan’s training kept most of the shots off his body. Sia-Lan too shows signs of recovering injuries, and moves cautiously about the apartment, trying not to irritate healing wounds. The two, Dané knows, will likely heal faster than the others, with their connection to the Force. The young woman wishes that she had those abilities, but also knows that her lifestyle would drastically change if that were the case.

Arani continues to rub her shoulder, and Dané wonders if she took a nasty hit at some point in the resistance as well. The thought of her friends in firefights scares her, and she begins to wonder about the fates of those from their mutual friends who are absent from the apartment. At some point she will ask those questions, but at the moment, Dané knows that it is best to keep her mind on her assignment.

She leads the group out of the apartment Rorworr introduced them to, and tells them Headmaster Dannt told her not to worry about the fate of the living quarters. The former Underground leader arranged for it as a safehouse during his stint as resistance fighter, and it would soon return to its rightful owner. The owner, as a debt of gratitude to Dannt and his freedom fighters, gave no concerns about the rooms, happy to do her part to support the cause.

Outside the building, parked on the street, sits a simple landspeeder with seating for two in the front, and three in the bench seat in the back. It sports an open top, and few other amenities. Dané leads the team to a cargo compartment behind the passenger seating, and shows them five field kits, which she says contains rations for one week – although she cautions that the taste leaves something to be desired, and that they should not need this much food, since the reports of the rogue’s settlement indicate it is only half a day from Theed – a filtering canteen, a glowrod, a medpac and a comlink.

Closing the lid on the compartment, she asks who wants to drive.

7 August 2004, 11:41 AM
"Thank you for the information you could give us. I'm sure we will find the answers to our other questions." Sia-Lan stands up and gathers her small amount of personal belongings slowly, not wanting to leave this place of healing. But I have to get going again, and this is the best opportunity to do so. She meets Dané at the door and follows her to the speeder with the rest of the group. Sia-Lan nods as Dané shows the group the equipment she has brought, then says, "It is good that you have brought a weeks worth of rations, just incase we have to stay for an extended period of time to gather enough information."

Answering Dané's question, Sia says, "I have a little bit of training in piloting, not the best, but it will do. I will drive if nobody wants to." Sia looks at her friends, silently asking if they want to drive.

Rogue Janson
7 August 2004, 12:16 PM
"I'll drive, I need the practice," Arani says, knowing that Sia-Lan really means it when she says 'if nobody wants to'. She gracefully slides into the driver's seat of the speeder, starting it up and checking over the instruments.

With so little information to go on, she tries to keep her imagination from running away with her when she thinks about this rogue group. There could be any number of explanations of what they're doing, and any number of things they could be planning. The idea of some kind of rebellion on Naboo is a bit implausible, but the thought troubles her. The Trade Federation invasion should have pulled the planet together, not split it up. Perhaps this sort of thing always happens after wars. Arani paid some attention in history classes, but rarely to the great wars and struggles, and finds herself wishing now that she knew more. What she wants now is a bit of fun and a rest. Of course this mission could be exciting, though trudging around in swamps doesn't sound nice, but Rann's bad feeling worries her.

When Dané is settled in the speeder, Arani asks her the question on her mind.

"These rogues are going to know the area hiding in a lot better than we do. None of us is a trained scout or has any experience in the swamps or ruins, so if we just go blundering in there we'll probably be noticed pretty quickly. We don't know what sort of watches, sentries or patrol are being used, but better to be safe than sorry. What we need is a guide, or at the very least, someone who knows the area well enough to give us a good description of what it's like, and how best to get around there."

She thinks of all the problems the area could have - the risk of giving themselves away by disturbing wildlife, straying into dangerously boggy areas, leaving a trail - and is not happy about them.

Kanner Ra'an
7 August 2004, 12:49 PM
Rayger jumps into one of the rear seats, behind Arani. He is an able pilot, but he wouldn't be able to navigate Theed, not to mention the wilder regions. The idea of getting lost and having to ask for directions doesn't appeal to him. As the others enter he goes over his equipment in a quick check. His weapons are still working, though his carbine is a little worse for wear after its flight. His pistol looks fine, though its just about as dirty as anything. His combat armor is the worst off, a testament to his journy here. Its blood red colour now hidden beneath layers of dirt, soot, and a little dried blood. Its still holding together though, giving him the re-assurance that no lucky hit will automatically do him in.

After his self imposed weapons check, he tries to sit back and enjoy himself. This type of mission agree with him the more he thinks about it. Its what he trained for in RIOP. Pure observation and analysis. He knows tactics, stratagy, and profiling. Thats about the best thing he could be doing. He thinks of Coruscant, who probably right now is still ignorant to the situation. The Viceroy will be held by the Naboo until they can turn him over to the republic, and the Trade Federation will be already preparing for the legal battle that will rack the courts for a while now. He thinks of his recordings, and seeing the faces of those slimy nemodians as the galaxy gets to see right through their lies. For now though he is glad to be away from that, and just doing his job.

10 August 2004, 05:41 AM
The ground zips beneath the speeder as Arani navigates expertly through the streets of Theed and into the surrounding plains. The Doppler effect of reptiles croaking nearby their path as they pass plays strange games with their minds, disguising the location of the nearby wildlife. The thrumming of the engines produces a soothing feeling, especially after few recent nights of decent sleep.

Dané considers Arani’s point about the benefits of a local guide. The handmaiden-in-training replies that the upcoming festivals have eliminated nearly all candidates for guide. Additionally, her mission requires discretion, and while Dané acknowledges her friends’ selfless giving, and how she asked for their help, she would prefer to keep those who know about the mission a tight-knit group. Furthermore, she argues, any time spent searching for a guide to the swamps delays her ability to reconnoiter the dissidents’ camp, and her intelligence needs to return to the Palace as soon as possible.

Behind the speeder, the vista of Theed has disappeared over the horizon beyond the plains and the scenery becomes thicker with trees. It races through a grove and deeper into a forest which gradually gives way to a darker, denser swamp. The friends share a mid-day meal in the speeder, only stopping occasionally for a brief moment as individuals require time to stretch their legs.

They have been traveling for almost eight hours when a large tree suddenly falls directly in their path. The transport’s speed is too fast to stop in time, and Arani yanks hard on the controls with a feeling of shock and surprise to try to maneuver around the falling tree. Despite her grandest efforts, she cannot force the vehicle to turn fast enough. A heavy branch cracks into the rear end of the speeder as she tries to turn away from the obstruction, jarring the vehicle with surprising force.

The passengers lurch forward violently, but their safety harnesses arrest their movement with abrupt restriction, leaving them gasping for air. The repulsorlift whines in protest and the speeder begins to spin wildly. Arani fights to maintain control, but to no avail. The speeder crashes into a huge rock, bounces back, and comes to a rest in a cluster of thorny bushes.

((Arani –3VP, Sia-lan –1VP, Rayger –2VP, Rann –3VP, Dané –7VP))

As the great tree’s crash continues to ring in their ears, the group hears another sound. Rushing out of the trees is a huge creature. The creature is almost three meters long, with armored scales and great claws on its four massive legs, and its large maw drips with venomous fangs. It smashes into the speeder, throwing the team from the damaged vessel as the side of the speeder crumples. With a terrible roar, the swamp beast turns on the group with a hungry, vicious expression.

Howling Wookiee
10 August 2004, 06:29 AM
Rann tries to enjoy the ride through the trees and swamp, but a "looming" feeling hangs onto him since this mission began. As he is in deep thought, a sudden alarm rings out in the force. Before he can speak out, Arani is already in evasive maneuvers. Rann grabs the side of the speeder and tries to reach out through the force to stabliize the vehicle, but he can not get a fix on the vehicle in all the bobbing and weaving.

Rann grimaces in pain at the sudden stop of the speeder. He grabs his chest in pain from the restraining straps digging into his skin. After the speeder comes to a stop, Rann rests his swimming head against the back rest. But before he can regain his wits, the speeder is suddenly hit again and this time the entire group is thrown from it.

The young Jedi padawan tries to make his fall into a roll to protect his upperbody from the ejection. He does manage to roll with the momentum and come to rest on his knees but it is not at all pretty. Before he can get to his feet, another alarm in the force screams out and Rann jerks his head around to see the swamp beast come out from the other side of the speeder. He immediately reaches down for his lightsaber, but remembers that he has lost it. Rann brandishes himself then stands confidently and thinks, "The Force can be my weapon!" Rann reaches out with the force to find anything like a branch or rock to hurl or distract he beast. He notices the armor on the beast and calls out, "Watch the armor and aim for the soft spots!!"

((OOC: Move object and hurl at beast. Any object!!))

Kanner Ra'an
10 August 2004, 10:17 AM
Rayger enjoys the ride. For the most part it is peaceful, and the landscape beautiful. The conversation mostly focuses on Dane and whatever information she can supply, and that suits him just fine. He wouldn't be able to concentrate otherwise. Going into a mission unprepared is what he's employed for, but it never has sat right with him. As the peaceful ride continues, Rayger suddenly cringes as he hears somthing breaking. When he sees the tree coming down, he doesn't even have time to shout before Arani plows into it, unable to stop in time.

Rayger shakes off the collision, muttering something about women drivers and ''needing practice'' being an understatement. However he doesn't have a chance to do much else before he is thrown from the craft. Utterly confused for a second, it wears off once he sees the huge creature, violent intent just running from it. The armored beast is bigger then almost anything he'd ever seen. Almost in a primitive pannick that tellls him to flee, it takes a cry by Rann to "Watch the armor and aim for the soft spots." to bring him out of it.

Having his blaster carbine still nearby thanks to its sling, Rayger doesn't even remove it from his shoulder. He grabs it and barely bothers to aim as he sends an exploratory burst at the creature. He watches the bolts carefuly, hoping to see a weak spot or that the creature will at least be scared by the loud noise. At the same time his mind comes up with a differant idea.

"What the sith is that thing." he yells out over the thumping of his gun. Hopefully one of the naboo knows something that can dissuade it. Fire or loud noises or a certain colour.

10 August 2004, 10:43 AM
Sia-Lan takes in the scenery during the ride. She enjoys the conversation with her friends and is greatful to get out of the apartment. Sia lays back in the seat, relaxing, drifting off into a light sleep, when suddenly, the speeder begins to take sudden maneuvers. Startled from her sleep, Sia holds on to anything, then the speeder comes to a rest. She leans back again, grateful that it wasn't a serious accident. But then she hears another sound, another impact, and is thrown from the vehicle.

Sia-Lan lands sprawled out on her back, dazzed, but not hurt. She turns over and sees the huge creature that toppled their vehicle. Almost instantly she scrambles to her feet and reaches for her lightsaber. Sia takes a step towards the creature, ignights the pink blade, and begins waving it at the creature, in an attempt to scare it away. If this doesn't scare it away, I'll have to go in for some close combat.

Rogue Janson
10 August 2004, 02:29 PM
Blinking her eyes to clear them, Arani slaps the release of her safety harness and rolls out of the crippled speeder, landing uncomfortably amidst the prickly bushes. Her first instinct is to try and avoid being the focus of the beast's attention, but before doing so she looks over the speeder's occupants. They all seem relatively unhurt and are movnig in different directions, so she dashes on a tangent towards the shelter of the fallen tree, trying to get its bulk between her and the monstrous creature. As she does this, she reaches in her bag for her pistol.

"What the sith is that thing."
Feeling as a native she should have an idea what is attacking them, Arani is a little embarassed that she doesn't. Whatever it is though, it's not just some placid herbivore defending its young, or a predator they can scare away just by making themselves big.
"I don't know," she calls back to Rayger, "I don't spend much time in swamps. But I think it might eat people."

Though she didn't fully catch Rayger's remark about women drivers, she got the gist of it and is not happy with the Republic peacekeeper's attitude. Giant carnivores aren't a regular problem on the streets of Theed after all. Smarting at the man's unreconstructed attitude, she tries to think of an alternative way of dealing with the situation other than blasting the creature.

"Rann, Sia-Lan, is there anything you can do?" she asks the two Jedi. She doesn't know the extent of their powers, but something might help them.

10 August 2004, 04:15 PM
"Rann, Sia-Lan, is there anything you can do?" she asks the two Jedi. She doesn't know the extent of their powers, but something might help them.

"I'm not sure if I can. I've never tried calming something down that is this hostile. But I can give it a try if you would like," Sia says to Arani, while continuing to wave her saber at the beast. I've only had to calm down people that are a little angry, I've never done anything this hard before. But I have to do it if I can save this creature from death, even the most violent creatures are part of the Force. She yells to Rann, "How about you? Do you think you can calm this thing down?"

10 August 2004, 08:10 PM
Harder hit after flying from the speeder than any of the others, Dané shakes her head to try to clear it as she pushes herself off the muddy ground. Her clothing is torn, but the damage is merely superficial. She orientates herself to the new threat that charges into the small clearing and gasps in shock at its appearance.

“It’s a Grakkt!” she shouts in response to the question of what the beast was. At the same time, she draws her blaster pistol and squeezes off a round, coinciding with Rayger’s salvo. Both of their shots drive into the back of the monster, as it chews on the speeder, completing the destruction of the conveyance.

The shots attract the grakkt’s attention, and it turns on the group, howling in protest against their assaults. Venomous drool droops from the hanging lower jaw, and shards of metal and circuitry impale the black, swollen gums. Arching its back, it snaps and growls at the human intruders. As the grakkt rears back on its hind legs, preparing to pounce, a great boulder lurches from the grimy ground, closely followed by a fallen tree, nearly twelve meters in length, and two meters in diameter at the base. The boulder slams into the beast and knocks it to the ground. In the next instant, the giant tree pinned the grakkt into the ground, snapping its neck with a spine-tingling crack. The creature let loose a weak gargle as its head sagged into a muddy pool, its black tongue drooping out of its mouth, lined with razor-sharp teeth. ((Rann: -8VP))

In a few short breaths, the speeder had crashed and the group repelled an attack. Pungent smoke rises from the wrecked machinery, while the dead grakkt begins to give off a foul odor. As the adrenaline subsides in the bodies of each of the friends, the beating of their hearts echoes loudly in their ears. The smoke from the speeder begins to form tears in their eyes in response, distorting their vision.

Dané is the first to break the silence in the small clearing. “Really, Arani,” she says, holstering her pistol and trying to straighten her dirty and damaged clothing, “you should have paid closer attention in zoology. Then you would have known what we faced.” A sly and mischievous grin greets Arani’s glance, while a sparkle in Dané’s eye – or perhaps just a tear from the smoke – shows that even the astonishing incident has not fazed the determined young woman from her mission.

Rogue Janson
11 August 2004, 11:38 AM
Coming to a halt, Arani looks stunned at the enormous grakkt and the tree that has crushed it. Quite apart from the creature's sudden death, she is stunned by Rann's telekinetic ability. She had no idea the young Jedi could summon enough force to move such a massive object.

Dané is the first to break the silence in the small clearing. “Really, Arani,” she says, holstering her pistol and trying to straighten her dirty and damaged clothing, “you should have paid closer attention in zoology. Then you would have known what we faced.”
"I must have missed that lecture," Arani replies, thinking ruefully about what she might have been doing rather than attending classes, "I don't think I'd forget something like that."

She mirrors Dané's action putting away her pistol, then hurries over to the damaged speeder to see if anything can be salvaged, hunching down to try and avoid the smoke.

Kanner Ra'an
11 August 2004, 12:55 PM
Rayger looks stunned at the Jedi. I have never seen anything like that. And he is only an apprentice. That shot could have destroyed a hovertank.

After collecting himself he joins the others in attempting to salvage anything from the speeder. He considers what they will do afterwards. They are quite a way's from theed, so its probably not worth it to proceed back to get another transport. The only other option is going on foot again. If their are any more of those Grakkt around though, that doesn't sound too appealing. Not that the speeder helped them that much in the beginning.

"So these grakkt, why would they attack something like out speeder. To my knowledge most predators would shy away from big loud noises."

Howling Wookiee
11 August 2004, 01:22 PM
Rann stands up, feet firmly on the ground, and opens himself up to the force. He hears Dane call out that thier advisary is a grakkt, which Rann recognized in their biology class at the academy. Rann thinks to himself, I do not want to hurt you, but you will not harm my friends!

The young Jedi opens his arms and channels the living force all around him. He closes his eyes and sees the force flowing around in eradesant tentrils, just like when he was practicing with the glass. At first the tendrils are small and slow, but Rann concentrates and suddenly there is a burst colors. In his "force vision" the tendrils rapidly grow and become lightning fast. He redirects his force attention to a large boulder to his right and the large tendrils rapidly wrap aound the boulder and swallow a large tree also. Rann gets a firm "grip" on the tendrils and jerks them in the direction of the grakkt, that is glowing like a white light in his "force vision". Suddenly, with blazing speed, the tendrils, tree, boulder, and white light of the grakkt collide. The light of the beast is quickly goes out and Rann suddenly snaps out of his "force vision". His shoulders slump in exhaution and he looks down at his hands in amazement as he notices the boulder and tree ontop of the beast. He is saddened he had to kill the beast but his friends were in jeopardy and he wanted to protect them.

He calls out, "Everyone ok?!?" Then he continues to Rayger's questions, "That is what I thought. Something must have spooked him. Dane, how far do you think we are from out destination?"

11 August 2004, 04:07 PM
Sia-Lan looks at the site in awe. I've never seen the Force used that way before. The Force is more powerful than I thought. She deactivates her lightsaber and clips it back onto her belt. Sia walks over to Rann, slaps him on the back, and says sarcastically, "Well, I guess I won't be needing to calm the beast down now," then she adds in congratulations, "That was an amazing feat. Your practice has payed off and the Force is with you." Sia looks sadly at the beast, wishing that she could have saved the spooked creature from death. But the quick thinking of Dané, Rayger, and Rann saved us all from injury.

11 August 2004, 08:32 PM
Arani looks over the speeder and Dané joins her. The wreck is complete, and the damage inflicted by the grakkt only finished the destruction started with the crash.

Dané turns to face Rayger to answer his question. “I dunno. Could be a lot of things. Maybe we infringed on its territory. Guess it doesn’t matter much anymore, huh?”

Rann jumps in and the guide turns to him, “From our destination? A couple of hours, I’d guess. Certainly closer to the ruins than to Theed. Might as well press ahead.” She looks at her wrist, “My chrono’s shot, busted during the crash.” Turning her head to skyward, she squints and frowns, then declares, “But I’d guess it’s mid-afternoon. We can probably make it there yet today. We’ll have to camp a few days going in or out, but that shouldn’t be a problem.”

“You all ready? I think the hike will help me recover from our accident and getting some distance from this site wouldn’t be such a bad idea.”

12 August 2004, 04:35 PM
Sia-Lan goes over to the speeder to pull one of the survival packs from the wreckage. Finding one, she checks it over to see if it is in good condition. A few tears, and rips, but it should sufface. Sia pulls the straps over her shoulders and moves over to Dané. "I am ready to leave. We should get away from the wreckage, incase some one unfriendly heard the crash." Sia waits for the others to gather, then sets out with the group, following Dané to their destination.

Howling Wookiee
13 August 2004, 07:47 AM
Rann merely shrugs as Sia-Lan spats him on the back, “I did what I thought I needed to do and the force guided me. Honestly, I did not think I had it in me.” He walks over to the beast as his friends talk about the next course of action. The young Jedi padawan kneels down by the tree that is covering the beast and whispers lightly, “I’m sorry, but you are now one with the force. Be at peace.”

Rann rises and walks over to the downed speeder to also grab a field pack. He speaks to Sia-Lan with out looking, “Looks like we have a hike on our hands. Just be mindful of our surroundings. I still have a bad feeling about this that I can’t explain.”

The padawan joins his friends as they gather around to head out. “Well, Dane, I guess you are the designated guide. Which way do we need to go?” Rann looks around the group, “Anyone have a spare blaster pistol? I seem to be without a weapon and I’m guessing that I will probably need one.”

16 August 2004, 02:57 AM
Walking through the swamp is sweaty, tiring business. Bugs buzz around the group, the constant humming of wings and irritant jabs at their flesh is a constant reminder of their distance from the civilization of Theed. Sweat soaks their hair and clothing, and stings as it drips into their eyes. The muck and mire constantly blocks the path, forcing the group to cut new trails and find less difficult ground to traverse. Their mud-clod boots weigh heavily, slowing the pace.

Dané continues to lead the team, finding new trails and paths around obstacles quickly. She pauses up ahead, scouting the terrain and turns her head to call over her shoulder, “We have a problem up here.” Speaking calmly, she continues, “It looks like – oh!” Suddenly the ground beneath Dané crumbles and she plunges out of sight, sliding down a steep slope.

Sia-Lan is the only one of the other four in the party to scramble and keep her footing, the other three falter and follow Dané down the drop-off. Sia-Lan watches from on top of the crumbling hill, which has now stopped breaking without any weight on it, as her four friends splash into the watery mire. Dané looks to the other three in the thick, soupy pool and calls, “Be careful! This is quicksand!” She struggles against the obstacle, although it is obvious to everyone that those in the natural trap do not have much time before they could succumb and sink to the bottom.

While Rayger and Rann manage to barely keep their calm, Arani and Dané fail to muster the willpower to overcome a rapid onset of fear. Those two struggle harder against the quicksand as the panic sets in, and they increase the suction of the danger.

Sia-Lan looks around and spies several long branches and vines that she might use to help her friends. The branches could help Rann or Rayger, but to reach the two ladies, a vine would be necessary. Rann also sees several vines that he could possibly try to grab using the Force. The other three in the pool have less ability to try to save themselves. Rayger could try to swim, but his experience tells him that swimming, while possible, is slow and could easily lead to struggle and drowning in the thick water. He knows his best bet is to have someone on the outside help him.

At four meters from the edge, Rayger is second closest to getting out of the pool. Rann is only three meters, but the two strugglers are between seven and eight meters from the edge.

16 August 2004, 09:53 AM
It sure is muddy out here. Sia-Lan walks in silence at the back of the group, looking out for anything out of the ordinary. She slaps at her arm, hoping to catch one of the irritating bugs. Should have brought some repellant. The group stops for a moment and Dané informs the group of a problem up ahead. But before Dané can finish, the ground begins to crumble and she falls over the edge. Sia watches as the rest of the group tumbles over the edge. She struggles against the loose ground, trying to keep her footing, and hoping that none of her friends have been injured.

When the ground settles, Sia wipes the sweat from her eyes and slowly moves over to the edge. Seeing her friends, she thinks, Quicksand! This could turn out bad. It's good that I managed to stay out of it. Then Sia-Lan calls out to her friends, "Stay calm! I'll get you out." Looks like Rann could get himself out. I'll get Rayger out first, then he can help me get Dané and Arani. Sia-Lan goes to gather a branch, and a couple vines long enough to reach her friends. When she gets back to her friends, Sia says, "Rann can you try to grab one of those vines? I'm going to get Rayger out first." She takes the branch and extends it to Rayger.

Howling Wookiee
16 August 2004, 11:10 AM
Rann remains alert and almost on “edge” as they walk through the dense underbrush. He pushes back the small pain the insects cause and mushes on. The young padawan pauses as Dane stops to tell the group of a problem, but the ground crumbles from under their feet. Rann instinctively reaches out to catch Arani as she falls but the padawan is in no better situation than she is. He rolls and bounces down the embankment when suddenly his fall is cushioned by what he thinks is mud, but he soon realizes what deep trouble they are all in.

Rann answers his fellow student’s question, “Yeah, I think I can get out. Help the others.” He fights back panic and tries to calm himself thinking, There is no fear, only peace. The Jedi student half closes his eyes and opens himself up to the force. He finds the closest vine in the force easily. He reaches out with force tendrils and tries to grab one with the force. His concentration failing every second as he continues to sink the natural deathtrap. He thinks to himself, Have to help myself before I can help the others. Concentrate! Concentrate!!

Kanner Ra'an
16 August 2004, 11:16 AM
Stupid bloodsuckers. These rebels are going to see us coming a kilometer away just by the flitnat cloud thats followling us. Rayger thinks as they continue their track through the wilds. The flitnats are only an annoyance, and to the others in the group he seems to be ignoring them. His combat jumpsuit, aside from a few torn areas, keeps him almost completely covered so only his face is revealed. He is also used to hard march that the group is going through now. Though never actually involved in a real infantry battle, training for one includes marching to season troops in case of a situation where their isn't transports available. A lot of troopers scoffed at this during the exercises, but Rayger has remained ever appreciative since he went into republician service. His RIOP commision has led to more then a few hikes.

Dane's warning comes a a complete surprise, and Rayger reacts only on instinct. As the hill colapses under them he grabs at a root or something. The plant doesn't hold at all, but it slows him down a little bit. When he regains his bearings, he is surprised to find they are sinking in quicksand. Next to him, and closest to the edge, is Rann. The Jedis training seems to keep him calm, as Raygers combat training has done for him. Arani and Dane however, dont seem as lucky. The two women struggle fiercely trying to get out.

"Arani, Dane, you've got to calm down. You wont drown, but you've got to stop strugling and give us time to get you out." he says in a firm voice, hoping it will get through to the two naboo. He is estatic to see Sia lann a second later extending him a branch. He grabs it and holds on with all his strength, letting the Jedi drag him in.

Rogue Janson
17 August 2004, 10:03 AM
Arani walks at the head of the group, with Dané, as they pick their way across the boggy ground. She looks with disdain at the marsh, trying vainly to keep her shoes and trousers as clean as possible. She is uncharacteristically quiet. The nature of their mission, Rann's premonitions and the way they have already been borne out have made her wonder if they should be attempting it at all. Plus, just walking through this terrain requires concentration and tires her out.

The going gets a little easier as they head up an incline, out of the worst of the bog. It looks like they are going to have to head down again, though the view is obstructed by bushes and trees, when the ground begins to shift. Letting out a panicked cry, Arani struggles, and fails, to keep her footing as the hillside pitches beneath her, then crumbles completely, sending her tumbling downwards. In front of her, Dané suffers the same fate, and glancing round, Arani sees Rann and Rayger coming in some way behind, though Sia-Lan seems to have made it off the landslide to relative safety.

Arani hits the quicksand below at some speed, immediately sinking in up to her waist. Looking around wildly for the nearest piece of safe ground, she struggles to turn and raise herself, but every time she lifts a foot painfully up and puts weight on it it simply slides back down. She hears Rayger's call to calm down and remembers that this is supposedly what you're meant to do in quicksand. Right now though, the advice doesn't seem very convincing. Still, she tries to breathe calmly, despite the pressure against her chest, fighting the panic as staying still doesn't immediately seem to do any good.

17 August 2004, 12:19 PM
Arani calmly relaxes, finding a sudden ease to overcoming the desperation through shear willpower. Rayger’s words did not inspire her much, but she did heed their warning. While her torso sinks another few centimeters into the much, she does not worry, but with each passing second, the desperation continues to build.

Sia-Lan easily extends a long stick to the soldier in the group, to which he takes a firm hold. She pulls with great exertion, but cannot overcome the resistance of the quicksand.

Rayger considers pulling in response, but he knows that if he exerts greater force than the young woman does, he is as likely to pull her into the mire, as she is to pull him out. The task is up to her – and Rann if he frees himself – to help the others out of the dangerous pool. Unfortunately, he sinks a bit more, and panic begins to set into his mind as well. He struggles and sinks deeper, with the quicksand up to his chin.

Rann finds his command of the Force immediately on call, and a vine snaps out of a tree branch and into his hand. With a firm grasp of the vine, he only has to muster the strength to pull himself out of the danger.

Dané fares much worse. Already struggling, she does not hear Rayger’s call to calm herself. She continues to panic and struggle, and the increased suction pulls her under the surface. The sand quickly flows back over her head, threatening to drown her.

Kanner Ra'an
18 August 2004, 12:13 AM
Rayger tries his best to stay completely still, imagining a drill officer shouting in his face, telling him to remain at attention or face punishment. He hopes that the calming exercise inspires the same disipline it usually does, because he knows all to well that he is moments away from ending up like the poor handmaiden. He maintains a firm grip on the extended branch, trying not to tug on it for fear of dragging in his Jedi rescuer. He is also worried about Dane, though he can do little for her right now, and she slips to the back of his mind. Secure the area first, then assist the wounded. You cant save lives if you need to be saved yourself. he tells himself, hoping the age old military logic can keep him focused.

Rogue Janson
18 August 2004, 09:48 AM
Arani's veneer of calm is suddenly fractured as she sees Dané slipping under the surface, her arms still flailing to try and keep herself up.

"Try and keep still Dané, just keep your mouth clear. Rann and Sia-Lann will have you out in no time; you sink more if you struggle."

She hopes her fried will have the presence of mind to follow the advice, doubting she would in the same position. She watches with horror though, as Dané continues to sink, until her face disappears under the surface.

"Dané!" she shouts, trying to reach out for her friend, then forcing herself to stay still as she immediately sinks further. Her mind still whirrs though, and she calls out for the one person she thinks can help.


If he can hurl a boulder, then he can lift Dané out, or at least keep her up... Arani hopes.

Howling Wookiee
18 August 2004, 11:39 AM
Rann watches with pride as his force tendrils grab the vine and place it into his hand. He immediately starts tugging on the secured vine to try and to pull himself out of the quicksand.

The padawan jerks his head over his should as he make his progress to hear Arani call out franticly for Dane. Rann insures that he has a firm grip on the vine and strectches out hastily with the force to try and find his friend’s presence in the force. Once he has located her, he evisions force tendrils wrapping around her body and pulling straight up and out from the bog pit. He hopes and prays that he has enough energy and focus to “snag” her and pull her out and to safety.

((OOC: Move Object on Dane. Lifting her to safety, hopefully.))

18 August 2004, 01:38 PM
Sia watches as Dané struggles, and then slips under the muck. Oh no! This is starting to look bad. Got to get Rayger out fast! Sia-Lan gets a better grip on the branch and centers herself. She begins pulling, with all of her strength, and thinks, If this doesn't work, I'll have to call on the Force to help me. Hold on just a little longer Dané. Afraid for Dané's life, she keeps pulling, hoping that she can pull Rayger out fast enough.

18 August 2004, 02:01 PM
Arani keeps her emotions in check and remains calmly in the pool, watching as everyone else works around her. Rayger, however, while he keeps a tight grasp of the vine tossed to him by Sia-Lan, slips under the surface as he fails to fight the ensuing panic. He gasps a last breath of air and holds his breath, and the seconds seem to draw into hours. The heavy, watery sand presses down on the top of his head and shoulders, and he feels like he sinks even deeper. The vine in his hands tells him that it has only been a few millimeters, but unless Sia-Lan can pull him out, he is in serious trouble.

Sia-Lan, watching as Rayger slips beneath the top layer of wet sand, pulls with all her might. The vine strains, along with the Padawan’s taught muscles, as her eyes clench with the effort. Gritting her teeth, she sets her heels into the ground, but fails to pull Rayger any closer to the edge.

A large suction sound alarms the Padawan, and she opens her eyes to see Dané, covered in thick, heavy mud and sand, rising out of the pool magically. Coughing, spitting and wiping at her eyes to clear the quicksand from her face, a look of shock appears on her face. A meter from Sia-Lan, Dané drops to the ground from a short distance up, landing with a thud. She coughs and spits again, as she picks herself up off the ground and comes to Sia-Lan’s side. “Together,” she whispers softly, taking a hold of the vine a step in front of Sia-Lan. “Help me pull him out.”

Rann smiles as he watches his careful use of the Force save Dané from the pool. ((-4VP)) Unfortunately, Rayger’s sudden submersion mars his accomplishment. Additionally, Rann knows that he did not have so strong of a hold on Dané as he had mastered on the tree trunk and the vine previously. Still, she landed safely near Sia-Lan. Rann continues to keep his calm and his grip on the vine, but the quicksand nearly covers his shoulders.

18 August 2004, 02:08 PM
Sia pulling as hard as she can, is unable to pull Rayger from the quicksand. By the Force, this is hard! She continues pulling, and digs her heels into the dirt. Amazed, Sia-Lan watches as Dané is pulled from the muck and lands next to her. Great! I've got some help. Lets get Rayger out. Dané comes up beside her and grabs the vine. "Let's get him out, on three. One, two, three!" Pulling hard, Sia and Dané struggle to unstick Rayger.

Rogue Janson
18 August 2004, 02:32 PM
Once again, Arani watches in mild amazement as Rann lifts a spluttering Dané out of the mire. Having found out that staying still really does stop you from sinking, at least mostly, she has regained control of herself. She is able to feel the strange feeling of the semi-liquid ground underneath and around her sucking her body down, but also resisting enough to keep her up.

With Dané out and helping Sia-Lan the pair should be able to raise Rayger, even though he has gone under. Rann has a good grip on a vine to keep himself up. So it's just her left stuck in the mud... She passes the time by making fun of Rann.

"You're getting good at that telekinesis, Rann. Good at getting people stuck in bogs out. But how about working on sensing your surroundings so we don't get stuck in them in the first place?"

After a second's reflection, she adds.

"You know, it's a good thing the laws of motion don't seem to apply to you Jedi, otherwise you'd be six feet under the surface now."

Howling Wookiee
18 August 2004, 07:01 PM
The situation is looking better for the group. Rann has managed to "yank" Dane from certain death, Dane and Sia-Lan are in the process of pulling the now sunken Rayger out. The only one left in any immediate danger is Arani and she seems to have stabilized for the minute. Rann merely smiles as Arani pokes fun at him and struggles with the vine to get out. As he makes his way to solid ground he calls over his shoulder, "Arani, remain calm and still. I will get you out when I get to the ledge."

Rann focuses all his attention on the task at hand, getting himself out of immediate danger. He tries to block out all the other things going on around him and concentrates on his single task, getting out. He tugs on the vine hoping that it does not give way.

((OOC: Strength check to see if I get to the ledge or to see how far I get))

19 August 2004, 02:55 PM
Arani continues to wait patiently, mastering any fear and panic and avoiding sinking any deeper into the quicksand. Rayger flails again, and Sia-Lan and Dané feel the vine start to slip through their grasp as he works his way deeper into the muck. With a great, shared heave, they pull hard in response, and while they grit their teeth and feel their muscles tighten, they begin to win against the quicksand. Soon Rayger’s head emerges, covered in the nasty grime, and he gasps for breath.

Soon his shoulder and then his torso emerge from the trap, as the young women continue to labor, and pull him to shore. Since he went into the muck scant meters from the hard ground, he soon gets an arm onto the shore and pulls himself free. He climbs up the short slope and stands beside the two tired women, his hands on his knees as he catches his breath after being submerged for several seconds.

Rann strives to pull himself out, but finds that while he can manipulate objects through the Force, his own muscles are insufficient to pull against the heavy quicksand. Like Arani, he keeps his calm, despite not making headway out of the pool.

Kanner Ra'an
22 August 2004, 09:35 AM
"Thanks." Rayger says, gasping for breath as he regains his wind. He goes to give Dane an appreciative slap on the back, until he realises that he is covered in the quicksands muck. The fact that she too is covered eludes him, and he instead strips off the jacket portion of his body armor, throwing the filthy uniform to the ground. Realising that Rann and Arani are still in danger, he gets up and wipes some of the sand off. Turning to the women, he asks "Which one first." Rann seems to be the least in peril right now. However the Jedi is about as big as himself and could probably help them get Arani out easier. Not only that, but if the Jedi could pull another telikinetic feat and lift her out, he would be far more useful then just as another set of arms.

23 August 2004, 01:56 PM
Two out, two to go. Sia-Lan lets go of the vine that helped her and Dané pull Rayger out of the mud. Arani looks fine for now, Rann is closer and her already has hold of a vine, we should get him out first. "Arani, we'll have you out in a second, I want to get Rann out first." She moves over to Rann's vine, then signals Rayger and Dané over to help her. Hold on just a little longer Arani.

Howling Wookiee
23 August 2004, 02:10 PM
Rann just concentrates holding on the vine as the others are being pulled or lifted out. His taught muscles begin to spike in pain as the tries to pull himself out of the muck to no avail. He notices the others coming to his aid after they pull Rayger out. He starts to protest and begins to tell them to get Arani, but he understands that her best chance is with his help also. He remains still and waits patiently for their assistance.

Rogue Janson
24 August 2004, 11:55 AM
"Arani, we'll have you out in a second, I want to get Rann out first."
"Just as long as you don't leave me in here," Arani replies to Sia-Lan, patiently waiting her turn.
"You need to cut down on the nerf burgers, Rann, then you might not sink so much next time," she tells the nearby Jedi padawan.

24 August 2004, 01:08 PM
Arani watches as the trio on shore extends the stick to Rann, to which he grabs hold and they heave him out of the muck. Unfortunately, the movement of the quicksand jolts her slightly, and she sinks several centimeters deeper into the thick, soupy water. As the quicksand covers her mouth and upper lip, she panics and begins to fight against the encapsulating mud. She sinks another centimeter, but tilts her head back to keep breathing. In another moment, she will succumb to the quicksand pool.

Rogue Janson
25 August 2004, 09:40 AM
Though Arani has remained relatively calm, when she begins sinking rapidly again, she decides the conditions have changed, the mire beneath her has shifted or similar. Whatever has happened, it isn't supporting her anymore, so she tries to battle her way towards the edge, trying to find more solid ground. However, unsurprisingly, this does nothing but cause her to slide rapidly into the murk.

With her head upturned and her face just above the surface, the urge to struggle is now almost instinctive and Arani tries to fight it by force of will.

"Uh ... stick, please," she gasps at Sia-Lan, Dané and Rayger, opening and closing her hands that are stretched out towards them in a pleading gesture.

26 August 2004, 11:40 AM
Good one more out, one more to go. This could be difficult. Sia-Lan helps Rann up onto the bank, and then sees Arani slip further in. "Hold on, Arani! We're coming!" Sia rushes over to the vines she gathered earlier and picks one out. I hope this is long enough. "Here it comes!" She takes the vine and tosses one end out to Arani while holding on to the other. Turning to the others, Sia says, "Be ready to help me pull. I think it will take all of us."

26 August 2004, 11:58 PM
Arani’s head slips under the surface, but her hand, still exposed, feels a vine perfectly aimed get to her hand. On the shore, Rayger quickly realized the stick could not reach the eight meters, and substituted a long vine, weighted with a small stick at the throwing end. With perfect aim, he had landed the object in Arani’s hand, and quickly the foursome on shore pulls her out of the muck and to them.

The young Naboo beaches against the muddy shore, and Rann and Rayger quickly help her to her feet as she spits away the mud and sand from her mouth. All five stand in a clump on the original side of the quicksand pit heaving with exertion. Muck covers four of them, as they all look across the pit and realize they still have to find away across the expansive pond. Trail blazing around it could add several hours, as the foliage is much denser on either side of the path they have picked until this point. The trees above, with their dense canopy, might offer an additional solution.

6 September 2004, 04:07 AM
Taking a moment to try to wipe herself off, Dané then looks down at the pool. “Well, we’re still on the wrong side. It’s too thick to try to bushwhack around it, and personally, I’ve enjoyed my swim for the day.” Her eyes glance upward, to the thick web of branches composing the canopy of the swamp. Bugs buzz around everyone’s ears and the smell of the muddy quicksand irritates the olfactory senses. “Why don’t we try to climb across above the quicksand? Some of these trees around here are easy enough to scale, and the branches above offer handholds to cross above the pond.” She quickly finds a tree and climbs up it, then turns her attention to the branches above, and begins reaching from one to another in a forward motion.

Kanner Ra'an
6 September 2004, 07:56 AM
Rayger looks up at the trees and sighs silently. He would have appreciated a break, but the Naboo seem intent on pressing on. Thats not something that really bothers him though. He has been trained to hard march through worse, so a short climb wont kill him. Following Dane's progress, he recovers the jacket portion of his armor and puts the garmet on leaving it open, and then is the second one up the tree following the handmaidens progress as best he can.

Howling Wookiee
7 September 2004, 07:18 AM
Rann follows suit behind Dane and Rayger. He finds the closest tree that looks scalable and starts climbing. The young padawan watches closesly his foot and hand holds, making sure that he does not fall down in to the mush again.

7 September 2004, 04:31 PM
Sia-Lan stretches a little, then follows the others up the tree. I hope nobody falls into that pond. She picks her handholds carefully, not wanting to fall into the muck. Sia glances back and notices that Arani is still on the ground. Sia-Lan says jokingly, "Come on Arani, you don't want to be left behind do you?"

9 September 2004, 02:08 AM
Arani, with a roll of her eyes and an eyebrow raised at Sia-Lan’s comment, quickly scrambles up the tree at the rear of the group. The group begins hand over hand across the dense green canopy, carrying themselves over the pit of quicksand. Almost immediately, Sia-Lan’s hand slips and she loses her grip. She gives a short yelp as she begins to fall into the pit below, but quickly catches a branch and remains out of the muck. Moments later, Arani slips, but catches herself, safely avoiding the quicksand. Soon, everyone is across, and settled on the far side of the natural trap, looking back at it apprehensively.

Dané gives everyone a moment to rest and catch his or her breath, as she looks at the sky. Through the dense canopy, little of the blue heavens remain visible. “We’ll have no more than a few hours of travel before we have to make camp. I’m glad we grabbed these packs. But we best get moving now, so we can try to make camp in the little light we get through the trees.”

She sets off again, carefully picking a path through the swampland, leading deeper away from civilization. “Come on you guys,” she calls over her shoulder with a smile at the one or two stragglers, “you don’t want to be left behind, do you?”

Rogue Janson
13 September 2004, 10:50 AM
Arani lags behind, pausing regularly to empty more muck from her boots. She brushes herself irritably, trying to shake off the mud and sand that covers her clothing. Dané's infectious cheerfullness keeps her mood from slipping too badly though. Swamp mud is said to be good for the skin, she seems to remember, although perhaps this is wishful thinking.

Kanner Ra'an
13 September 2004, 11:29 AM
Rayger trots along, now being sure to stay a step behind Dane and watch the ground and above for more surprises. His pride is a little hurt, as most soldiers would not get caught in such a scenario if they were smart and observed tactics for avoid natural dangers. Of course seeing as balmorra is 90% manufactuaring plants and industrial areas, its something he has little experiance in, though he still wont mention it to any of his comrades.

Rayger Jindrak, a source of pride for the balmorran infantry, worthy of exchange with the peacekeeping forces of the galactic republic where he served with honour, and then was killed by a pile of wet dirt. he thinks to himself, almost laughing at his near end as he tries his best to shake the sand out of his short hair. His clothes are another matter entirely, and he means to exchange them once he gets back to theed. The sand that gets in makes everything itchy, and it only grows worse as the muck dries. Thankfully its mostly around his neck and upper back, the rest only covering his armor. However their are a few spots where tears and holes have let some in. In general he looks like he's been through hell, even thought it hasnt been the worst engagement he's ever fought through (Though not be much).

Howling Wookiee
14 September 2004, 05:46 PM
Rann makes jumps down off a trunk of a large tree and land beside Dane. He smirks at the pot shots being made at Arani and adds his own, "Arani do we need to stop at a creek so you can wash your clothes. We can't have a 'noble' running around looking like 'that' on a recon mission in the middle of a swamp." He chuckles to himself and Dane continues on.

He strides up beside their guide, "Be careful of our surroundings. Something........does not feel right. We must be aware of all things around us." He opens himself up to the force as they walk along, "feeling" for anything that is out of the ordinary.

15 September 2004, 08:26 PM
A few hours later, the team reaches a portion of the swamp darker and more tightly woven than anything they have encountered thus far. Of course, with the sun nearly set, and dusk settling across the plains outside the swamp, the sensations could simply be the mind playing tricks stimulated by visual cues.

The path ahead winds through a grove of ugly, twisted vegetation. The travelers notice a few ancient stone blocks poking out from the plants, bushes and trees, the first sign of the ruins they seek. The area is darker and noticeably colder than the rest of the swamp. Knots form in the pit of everyone’s stomachs as bad feelings rush through their bodies.

Rann, suspicious of his instincts, taps into the Force and senses the presence of the dark side of the Force in the grove before him. The feeling centers on a huge tree, with tangled branches and thick, cable-like vines, resting at the heart of the clearing. The vines and branches intermingle with other plants in the cluster.

While most of the group lacks familiarity with Naboo fauna, Arani thinks she recognizes the species of the tree. It closely resembles a tangler, but the tentacle-like vines of this specimen seem thicker and thick, sharp thorns cover them, unlike the vines found on the common variety of the tangler. Additionally, although she guesses the shadows play tricks on her mind, Arani thinks she can actually see the vines slithering with great mobility.

Arani glances over her should and gasps as she cannot see the path they have followed into the grove. A path opens on the far side, but appears to be the only path in or out of the clearing.

Howling Wookiee
18 September 2004, 10:40 AM
Rann walks cautiously down the weaving path. Once they make it to the clearing he calms himself and lightly taps into the Force. He looks around with half closed eyes and tries to "sense" anything out of the ordinary. He reaches further into the Force and enters his Force "vision". He notices the glowing radiance of the plants and animals around them, but as he sweeps his attention to the center of the clearing there is a tree what radiates.......flickering, black flames in the Rann's Force sight.

Rann snaps out of his light Force trance and holds out his arms to either side, halting the group. He points to the tree, "The Dark Side is strong here and it is centered around that tree." He starts turning around to head in the directions they came and continues, "We need to double back and find.............." His stops in midsentence when he notices the vegetation has has "grown" around the path from which they came from.

He addresses the group as he turns back around to the tree, "We must be very cautious here. Sai-Lan and myself should go first. We will alert you of any danger and then we will let you know when it is safe. Just cover our backs and keep an eye out."

Rann starts toward the tree at a "safe" distance and opens himself up to the Force again. This time he could swear that the tree is "calling" him to come closer but he shakes it off and asesses the situation using the Force to guide him.

21 September 2004, 08:12 PM
Dané and Rann advance slowly, side by side, carefully approaching the mutated tangler. Dané draws her pistol as she moves ahead, her eyes narrowing as her shoulders hunch forward. Her body, tense with anticipation, creeps through the dark grove.

Only a meter ahead of the rest of the group, who hesitate with uncertainty, a vine snaps off the ground, lashing at Rann. His eyes grow wide with shock as he ducks, just barely avoiding the snap assault of the vegetation. ((-8VP)) He ducks and watches as a second vine attempts to trip Dané at his side, with a quick hooking motion. She jumps to avoid it, and snaps off a shot in response, but misses the living vine as it retreats back to the undergrowth.

A thorn hurls itself from the trunk of the tangler, and grazes Rayger, slicing through the left shoulder pad of his already torn jumpsuit. The padding cloaks a thin line of blood, and Rayger winces in response. ((-7VP))

Vines rise from the floor and droop from the canopy, beginning to reach out at the group of young heroes. The limbs and stalks of the plants animate, clicking and whispering as they rub against each other. The swamp itself seems to grumble with irritation at the intrusion by the city-dwellers, covered in a dry muck.

Rogue Janson
22 September 2004, 05:05 AM
“Sith!” Arani exclaims at the sudden attack. Succumbing to surprise and fear, her thoughts go wild as she fumbles for her pistol. The whole grove around them seems to her to be a mass of vegetation which could become aggressive at any moment. She looks around wildly, trying to pick a target, but is bewildered by the array of vines reaching for the group. Settling on the one solid target, she raises her gun and fires straight at the tangler tree. Almost subconsciously, she also steps towards Rann and Sia-Lann, whose lightsabres have the best chance of slicing through any entangling vines.

Kanner Ra'an
22 September 2004, 07:32 AM
"Is their anything on this planet that doesn't want to eat us?" Rayger yells in frustration. His left hand runs up to his shoulder to cover the stinging gash that is now their. It is more of a reaction then a real concern however, as the wound is only painful, not deep. Thankfully his other hand stays in its place on his weapon, and he quickly raises the still slung carbine into position and fires wildly into the heart of the creature.

OOC: I usually picture Rayger carrying his carbine in his hands so i dont know if i need to draw the weapon or not. If i do just an attack against the tangler, if not, full multifire please.

24 September 2004, 01:06 PM
Rayger’s pair of shots streak across the clearing towards the tree. Spinning vines make a wild flurry in front of the tangler, obscuring the mutated trunk from Rayger’s clear line of sight. The soldier cannot see if his blasts leave any marks against the dark bark, but watches as several of the vines lash out again at his companions.

Rann quickly ducks as he darts across the opening in the swamp. A vine catches his ankle and he begins to fumble, diving into a roll and coming back up on his feet. The fall is a bit harder than he expected, and he gasps for a second to catch his breath as he continues on his path to the trail on the far side. ((-5VP)) The Padawan reaches the trailhead looking back nearly thirty meters at his allies, some of whom have yet to cross the opening.

Slowing behind him as she tries to engage the tangler, Dané fires once but still advances. Another vine strikes out at the handmaiden-in-training, and she ducks to avoid it, but catches a sharp stroke across her back. The glancing blow tears at her clothing, slicing through her outer tunic.

The tangler reciprocates Rayger’s attack with another thorn shot towards him. This time he ducks to the left, and his right shoulder takes a slice through the padding. Another painful sting tells him of a hit, but nothing that will leave a permanent mark. With a grunt, he sits back up, watching his bizarre opponent. ((-12VP))

With the attention diverted from herself, Arani draws and looses a bolt of energy at the mutated tangler. She watches as a vine intercepts the blast, slicing it in two, and the dead end drops to the ground in the middle of the open ground before her. To aid her friends, Sia-Lan draws her lightsaber and rushes forward, hoping to engage the dangerous vines and buy the others time to follow Rann across to the next trail.

Kanner Ra'an
24 September 2004, 01:23 PM
Rayger looks in despair that niether of his powerful shots do any real damage. The counterattack by the vines comes next, lashing out at his already injured shoulder and nocking him on his rear.. Blasters arn't going to kill this thing. he realises as the numerous blasts aimed at the creature do nothing but impact on the whirl of vines. Arani's shot is the only one that suceeds in causing any apparent damage at all.

Seeing Sia-Lann move in with her lightsaber, he realises her intent and raises himself of the ground, using his good arm while his other tightly holds onto his weapon. The soldier rushes forward, moving as fast as possible, trying to get on the other side. Once out of the things reach he has a chance of doing some damage with concentrated fire, if still neccessary, but its doubtful that he can do anything worthwhile while still under this assault.

24 September 2004, 05:56 PM
Got to give the others time to get across. Sia-Lan holds her lightsaber in the ready position, keeping her defenses up to parry any incoming vines. The saber should be able to slice through the vines easily, so Sia has the best chance of protecting everyone else. Trying to stay calm, she looks to her friends and says, "Hurry! I'll try to hold them off." This could be a very bad idea, but I have to give them a chance to survive. Sia-Lan sets her feet and prepares for an onslaught.

Rogue Janson
26 September 2004, 06:53 AM
"Ok," Arani replies to Sia-Lan, picking up her pace. "I don't think we'll be able to kill this thing."

She wonders how you kill a moving tree anyway, whether it would keep going even if you cut it down. Arani darts along, holding her pistol low, eyes peeled for any incoming attack from the tree. Moving with a little more caution than Rayger, she drops a little way behind as he runs for safety.

(OOC: dodge bonus fired up, double move.)

26 September 2004, 08:19 AM
Rayger darts forward, and watches as another thorn hurls at his previous position. In a sprint, he closes the distance to the far side of the clearing, apparently throwing his enemy’s aim off target.

With mesmerizing movement, while the thorn flies at Rayger, vines whip out at Rann and Dané again. Rann scrambles out of range, up the trail away from the clearing, but Dané does not fare so well. A vine catches her square across the back, shoving her forward with great force. Her clothing manages to resist the blow somewhat, but the strike still steals her breath as she stumbles forward towards Rann.

Dané’s training kicks in, and she uses the assault to keep her momentum driving forward, continuing in her pursuit of the far trail. She even manages to squeeze off another round at the tree, and singes bark near its many branches. A faint smell of smoke rises in the air from the burn mark. The young warrior reaches the trailhead behind Rann, nearly out of reach of the dangerous vines.

Arani darts forward, while Sia-Lan hopes to distract the living plant. The two women close their distance with Rayger, and all three remain ten meters behind Dané. Well within the reach of the tangler, they feel the air whipping past them, agitated by the whirling vines.

Howling Wookiee
28 September 2004, 04:49 AM
Rann rubs his wounds unconciously as he urges his commrades on. He remains alert to his surroundings and on constant guard. He winces as he watches Dane take on an onslaught, but she manages to keep her momentum in a foward motion. He calls out, "Let's keep moving. Move it! Move it!"

Rogue Janson
28 September 2004, 10:44 AM
Though she considers sprinting for safety, Arani continues her slightly slower run, unwilling to leave Sia-Lan too far behind. Her agile feet deftly land between tangling roots and push off rocks as she weaves slightly, trying to make herself a more difficult target.

29 September 2004, 05:53 PM
Rayger continues his dash through the clearing, but trips as a vine lashes out, striking forcibly across his shins. Felled from a blow, which will leave welts under his boots, the soldier quickly picks himself up and continues his movement. ((-8VP)) He continues until he reaches Rann, who stands ten meters beyond the entrance to the continuing trail.

Dané fires again, slicing through two vines and leaving a larger burn mark in the tree. Smoke rises from her blast, as a fire begins to burn in the heart of the wood. She joins Rann and Rayger, and watches as Arani deftly avoids a pair of vines, which attempt to entrap her in the glen.

The foursome pause shortly to watch Sia-Lan try to fend off a vine attack, slicing through one vine after another, but receiving cuts and bruises on her arms and legs in the process. Her pink blade glows brightly in the darkness, but her soft grunts tell a darker tale of her struggle at the trailhead, ten meters behind the group. ((-10VP))

3 October 2004, 03:50 PM
Sia-Lan continues backing up, reeling from the onslaught of vines. Must keep going. Have to cover the others. She holds her lightsaber high and defends herself against the deadly vines. Sia begins slowing down as more and more vines attack her. A few barely miss her, only leaving cuts and bruises, but it could have been worse. Sia glances back to see the groups progression. Good they are out of range. Seeing that her friends are out of danger for now, Sia-Lan concentrates on keeping the vines at bay.

3 October 2004, 03:55 PM
Everyone in the group, as Sia-Lan steps onto the trail, begins running away from the dark grove. In a last, desperate attempt to strike out at the trespassers, the tangler launches a pair of thorns at Dané and whips a vine at Sia-Lan. Sia-Lan easily avoids the assault, but Dané is less lucky. While one thorn disappears into the darkness of the surrounding swamp, the second catches her just below her right shoulder blade, impaling into her skin and knocking her to the ground.

Sia-Lan quickly picks her up and drags her to a distance down the trail where the Force hints to the Padawan she is safe from the wild semi-intelligent plant. She stops, calling to the others to wait as Dané groans, kneeling on the ground. The thorn remains embedded in the skin and clothing, but appears to have caused minimal damage.

3 October 2004, 04:11 PM
Sia, almost out of range of the tangler, ducks as it launches one last attack. She deftly ducks as the vines passes overhead. Hearing thorns fly past, Sia turns and sees Dane get dropped by one. Oh! We're not out of it yet. Quickly turning off her lightsaber, Sia grabs her fallen companion under the arms and drags Dane down the path.

Feeling that they are finally out of danger, Sia lowers Dane, who is groaning in pain, gently to the ground and calls out to the rest of the group, "Stop! Dane's been hit by a thorn. It's lodged in her shoulder, I might need some help with this." Sia examines the wound and says softly to Dane, "It doesn't look serious, but it will hurt when we pull it out. If you want, I'll take it out when the others get here." Waiting for her friends reply, Sia-Lan rests Dane's head on her shoulder, giving her silent support.

Kanner Ra'an
3 October 2004, 06:06 PM
"Sith." Rayger says, turning around and heading back to Sia-Lann and Dane. "What hit her, how bad is it." he quietly asks Sia-Lann, keeping his voice calm so that Dane stays that way. He looks at the wound, but does not poke or probe at it without first getting Dane's permission. He took basic battlefied medicine when he first joined the balmorrian army and later transferred to the republics. He also took a special forces extension course when he joined up with RIOP after that. However most of it was designed to help soldiers use medpacs or treat wounds with their full gear, right now he has niether. Thankfully they did teach them something about improvising techniques.

OOC: If Dane does consent, Rayger will make a treat injury check on the wound, which i think he has a +5 modifier for. Hopefully it will save Sia and Rann a few VP's by not using heal another.

Rogue Janson
4 October 2004, 06:48 AM
Once outside the danger area, Arani watches with her pistol at the ready for any new threat. As Sia-Lan approaches, pulling Dané, she rushes to lend assistance.

"Don't worry," she comforts her friend, "I'm sure Rayger's pulled thorns from mutant trees out of people on a dozen different worlds. Isn't that right?"

Arani is relieved to see the wound isn't that serious, though it will need seeing to properly soon or it could become infected.

Howling Wookiee
4 October 2004, 04:57 PM
Rann leads the group out of the area when he hears Dane hit the ground. He is immediately by her side with the others. He places a tenative hand on the wound and exclaims to the others, "We need to get the thorn out. That tree was tainted with the Dark Side and I'm assuming will poison her if we do not act fast." The young padawan looks to the others for suggestions or actions.

4 October 2004, 06:52 PM
With practiced skill, Rayger removes the enlarged thorn from Dané’s back, casting it to the side. Taking a medpac offered by Arani, he applies the single-use item to the wound. A protective coating forms over the gash and Dané gasps quietly as the medication and antibacterial ointments quickly take effect. The opening appears to pull together, visible through the torn clothing. The Republic soldier helps the young woman to her feet and she thanks him for his aid and expert medical care.

Still tender to the touch, she grimaces as she rubs over the wound. While Rayger’s skills proved remarkable, she knows the injury requires time to finish healing fully. With a last, long look at the dark grove, she nods her head down the trail, and begins leading the team through the gloomy swamp once again.

Pressing on for a full hour, the group finally halts in a clearing with dry ground. They agree to make camp for the night. With the thick canopy over their heads, and a heavy mist rising to fill the brisk night air, they build a small fire as the center of their bivouac. Without tents, they make due with their cloaks and jackets serving as blankets, and arrange their small packs as clunky pillows. Dinner consists of bland field rations and small amounts of water, none of it appetizing but containing enough nutrients to provide much needed energy.

Exhausted from the toils of their action-packed day, they quickly surrender to slumber, with the exception of one member who stands guard. The watch shifts on hour-and-a-half rotations. The last stint ends as the sky begins to brighten with a soft, low light.

Thick haze envelops the swamp. Visibility remains restricted to a few meters, with even the edges of the clearing obstructed from the campfire. Hoping to allow the fog to lift, the team breaks their fast together, enjoying another round of bland and boring rations.

Dané gives her medpac to Arani, replacing the one used to heal her the previous evening. The handmaiden-in-training admits her wound still pains her slightly, and itches terribly under the hardened bandage from the medpac. With the exception of her lingering wound, the party seems well rested despite the night in a treacherous swamp.

Starting the trek with a positive omen, the fog lifts slightly, allowing visibility to nearly ten meters. With enough distinction to make out a trail out of the clearing, the team continues on their way to achieve Dané’s mission, despite many unexpected delays. Even more anxious to complete her assignment, she reminds her friends of the dangers if they do not gather intelligence on the outlaw gathering before the historic peace accord between the Gungans and the Naboo.

Hints of an ancient civilization continue to appear through the ever-encroaching swamp, providing visible windows into the past though the thick undergrowth. Broken columns, remnants of gigantic monoliths and statues, and even the occasional stone wall jut out of the tepid swamp and tangle of vines and brush. A thick, dark, mist replaces the risen fog, swirling slowly as it rises along the floor of the swamp, stretching away from the path and into the shadows. The mist appears even denser ahead on the trail as the path widens between several large trunks of age-old trees. The trees rest in a bowl in the swamp. With the exception of the portion of the path the group stands on, the remaining ground rises away from the small opening in the swampland, quickly sloping upward nearly five meters.

The group pauses as a collective shiver trickles down each of their spines. Ahead, where the mist obscures the widened path, a figure steps forward. The thick swamp vapors twirl around the hooded figure, as if it extends his attire, tying him into all parts of the fen. The temperature drops rapidly, and the breath of the heroic team appears visibly, hanging in the air in front of their faces.

A flowing black robe covers the figure. The right arm rises out from the folds of the robe. The gloved hand holds a long cylinder, nearly two-thirds of a meter in length. His left glove appears out of the opposite folds, and with a flick of his wrist, the black hood falls back, revealing a face of pure evil. Tattooed with a red and black pattern, and crowned with a row of thorns or horns, which rise from the crest of his head, he bares his teeth with a malevolent grin.

Bringing the cylinder horizontal to the ground at waist level, and at arm’s length from his body, he ignites ruby lightsaber blades from both ends.

Kanner Ra'an
5 October 2004, 04:01 AM
Pleased that the wound was a simple one and that Ranns premonition about the dark side did not happen this time, Rayger accepts her thanks gratiously and then continues on with the others. He is begining to enjoy the trek a little more even with the insistant insects and the sandy uniform that he could not quite get completelty clean. He makes a mental note to have the armor patched up professionaly once they get back to theed, unless duty calls him to something else.

The sudden appearance of the strange man in black takes Rayger aback a little. Believing at first that it is one of the rebel naboo, he raises the buissness end of his weapon and yells "Freeze. Dont move of i'll shoot." The weapon though is all to familiar. With a surprised look on his face, asks the jedi without turning his head "Rann, Sia, i though you were the only Jedi on the planet. Who is he."

6 October 2004, 03:24 PM
"Rann, Sia, i though you were the only Jedi on the planet. Who is he."

"I do not know who this man is. But I know that he is evil. The dark side is with him." Sia-Lan gazes at the sidious figure. So, this is the cause of the change in temperature. This man is evil, a blemish in the Force. Without even realizing it, Sia's lightsaber is in her hand and ignighted. With pink blade held high, Sia steps infront of the group. The Force is guiding me, it wants me here. "You, drop your weapon, we have you outnumbered. There is no need for bloodshed." Probably won't work, but it was worth a try. Sia points the tip of the lightsaber at the man and sets herself into a defensive stance.

Rogue Janson
13 October 2004, 07:36 AM
Arani stays tucked in behind the front members of the group. With a terrible feeling in her stomach, she stares at the figure in front of them, trying to figure out who he is and what he's doing here. She recognises he is probably a devaronian, but has never seen a lightsabre like he wields except in 'historical' holodramas. Her hand reaches inside her bag, gripping the hilt of her pistol and flipping the safety, but not pulling it out immediately.

Arani's eyes keep flicking away from the figure, checking for any other surprises that might be lurking in the mist. She has a bad feeling that the group's superior numbers will mean little.

14 October 2004, 05:17 PM
Staring malevolently at the group of young adventurers, the tattooed individual does not flinch. The corners of his mouth turn up in a feral snarl and his brow furrows with hatred. Spinning the lightsaber in a fast twirl and through several patterns, he finishes, holding it behind his back, in a stance prepared for attack. His malicious intent translates perfectly, despite a lack of verbal communication: he will not let them pass.

Rogue Janson
16 October 2004, 04:30 AM
Arani leans in to Rayger, talking quietly to him.

"I don't like this. Could we just stun him and go on past?"

She suspects that even a volley of stun bolts might not stop their opponent, but it's worth a try. She doesn't know what Rann and Sia-Lan will make of the idea. Arani suspects the Jedi would prefer to confront this 'blemish in the Force' head on, but she'd rather they didn't have to.
Ready to act on her suggestion if Rayger agrees she switches her pistol to stun and prepares to raise and fire it, studying the evil figure in front of them to get her eye in for the shott.

16 October 2004, 10:04 AM
Sia-lan stares at the tatooed man, and answers Arani, "I don't know if stunning him will do any good. He could use the Force to help him resist the stun, or he might be able to deflect the stun back at us. I don't know his abilities, so I think we should let him make the first move and stay on the defensive for now." She brings up her lightsaber in a defensive stance, waiting for the man to make the first move.

Kanner Ra'an
16 October 2004, 11:42 AM
"Last warning." He shouts at the tatooed warrior, raising his carbine to eye level to show him he isn't kidding. Seeing the man is not ready to back down he says to Arani in a similarly quiet tone "Alright, stun blasts. On my mark. Get Dane in on this too." he says, switching his blaster carbine's setting from kill to stun.

Looking the man right in the eye, he gets a cold feeling. What are you. he wonders, a little shaken by the Jedi's re-action. He doesn't know what they sense, he has no force abilities at all, so he'll just have to deal with things his own way. "Mark." he yells, sending a stun bolt straight to the black cloaked man.

16 October 2004, 07:54 PM
Dané nods her head at Rayger’s suggestion, and on his mark three stun bursts race forward toward the imposing figure. Rann stands silent, perhaps in disbelief, as the scene continues to unfold. The trio of shots sling forward, with at least one of the blasts hitting the target. As if empowered by the initial attack, the imposing figure rushes to meet Sia-Lan’s raised blade, battering it down with his first stroke and nearly separating the Padawan’s arm from her shoulder. ((-16VP)) His second strike is deflected by the prepared student of the Force, but she quickly realizes this battle will require everything she has in her, and all the help of her allies. For their part, the shooters also realize the difficulty their friend faces, in addition to the difficulty of shooting at the sinister figure, who has now enjoined in a deadly dance of close combat with Sia-Lan.

Kanner Ra'an
17 October 2004, 12:28 AM
Rayger stares in amazement that the man took the stun bolt. That should have at least knocked him down. Rayger thinks in astoundment. He is unsure of whos blast actually hit, but a military weapon such as his has a very high success rate. Sia-Lann was right, he somehow managed to take it. Seeing the Jedi is now in real trouble though, he shrugs off his own stun and raises refocuses the cabine.

"Neat trick. Lets see how long you can keep that up." Rayger challenges the figure, steeling himself against the initial shock and now ready for surprises. "Volly fire." He encourages the others, firing another stun bolt at the man, unafraid of hitting Sia-lann with the non-fatal bolts. Just hold him a little while. Jedi or not, he cant keep that up forever.

Howling Wookiee
17 October 2004, 07:56 AM
Rann shakes the disbelief from his head and looks at the tattooed figure. Then suddenly he rushes Sia-Lan, who starts going on the defensive. Rann immediately grabs for his lightsaber that isn't there. But he realizes that he has a more powerful weapon, the Force. He concentrates on Sia-Lan attacker's weapon and tries to grasp it with the force and yanks hard in his direction. He hopes he has a strong grasp of the weapon. If not, atleast it will distract him.

Rogue Janson
17 October 2004, 12:22 PM
It didn't even slow him, Arani thinks. There could be some kind of armour under the figure's clothes, but it's unlikely. It must be the Force. And if their opponent can do that sort of thing with the Force, he's a lot more powerful than either of the padawans.

Beside her, Rayger cockily threatens their opponent. Arani doesn't follow his order to it another another volley on stun, not confident of its effectiveness or her ability to avoid hitting Sia-Lan. Instead she clicks her weapon onto lethal. As Sia-Lan enters the first stages of a lightsabre duel with the demonic enemy, Arani lines her vision down her pistol's sight, tracking their opponet with controlled movements, watching how the pair move and trying to figure out the best time for a shot.

Who is this person? Rann seems to be making an attempt to distract or attack him with the Force. If he is drawing on the Force, perhaps Rann can tell and do something about it. Or just give them a better idea of what they're dealing with.

"Rann," Arani asks, "can you sense anything about this guy? Like how he can shake off a stun blast?"

(OOC: aim)

18 October 2004, 01:47 AM
Dané imitates Arani’s actions by switching away from her stun setting back to a lethal shot. She quickly aims, but cannot find a mark as Sia-Lan and the enemy warrior engage in their deadly dance.

The female Padawan deftly blocks two series of successive strikes from her opponent’s twin blades. He batters at her defenses mercilessly, and it requires everything in her to resist his attacks. He moves around her as he fights, and gets between her and Rann, flanking himself between the pair. For the others, they find themselves much closer as well, only four meters away from the spinning blades, just behind a screen of either Padawan.

Rann tries to grab onto her enemy’s lightsaber, but cannot make his connection take hold, despite feeling strong in the Force. He too, however, has difficulty finding the dual lightsaber as the tattooed warrior spins it quickly through the air, clashing the energy blades against Sia-Lan’s weapon. ((-1VP))

Firing again, Rayger hits his mark, but the target fails to succumb visibly to the stun blast. Suddenly it dawns on the Republic soldier that his first shot couldn’t have possibly affected the warrior, as stun shots lose their effect after a scant four meters, and the combined fire of the group shot before the enemy had closed.

Arani’s aim is broken during as the duo in front of her move through a fast-paced close combat, and her subsequent shot misses widely. She knows her theory is sound, but the application failed.

18 October 2004, 05:16 PM
Sia-Lan struggles against the tatooed man. I can barely keep up with his staggering pace. She continues fighting, knowing that her friends can't take this man alone. Sia brings the blade up, and slashes down with all her strength, trying to break his defenses. I don't need the Force yet, but I might need it soon.

Rogue Janson
19 October 2004, 04:21 AM
Gritting her teeth, Arani prepares for another shot. Firing into the combat takes nerves. On the one hand, she can't fire quickly and risk hitting Sia-Lan. On the other the longer she leaves it the longer her friend has to survive the deadly combat and Sia-Lan is clearly struggling to keep up with her opponent.

Arani silently calls on whatever luck she has and hopes she's finally due for some good luck, because hitting such an agile target won't be easy.

20 October 2004, 02:08 PM
The fierce fighting continues, and Dané, even at point blank range, misses as she fires into the melee, but hopes to avoid Rann and Sia-Lan. The menacing figure strikes again, and the clashing lightsaber blades shower the middle of the swamp with sparks. Slamming past the young Padawan’s defenses, the blow catches Sia-Lan under the left arm in her rib cage. She grunts at the blunt force of the strike, and gasps as she feels her skin burn due to of the contact. ((-5WP)) Still, something seems off to her, and she feels surprise that she is not laying in two parts on the ground. She swallows painfully, but manages to stave off pain, as she raises the tip of her blade in defense again.

After hitting Sia-Lan, the attacker spins and lashes at Rann, who narrowly avoids the attack. Quickly calling upon the Force, he sends a pulse at the dark tattooed warrior, without even thinking about his actions. The Force strike visibly moves the warrior, lifting him off his feet into the air. Spinning, the dark man lands on his feet again in a crouch, his deadly twin blades parallel to the ground, and about knee level. Obviously, Rann did not inflict as much damage as he had desired. ((-2VP))

Rayger squeezes another round and hears the incredibly disappointing beeping of an empty power pack. Arani also fires into the tight melee from equally close as Rayger and Dané, but her energy blast misses as she avoids hitting her friends.

20 October 2004, 02:38 PM
Got to keep going, Sia thinks to herself. She manages to push away the pain, but knows that she is severely injured. Clutching her side, Sia knows she is lucky the blade didn't chop her in two. Too close for comfort.

Tired and hurting, Sia-Lan needs the Force. Must use Force to help me. Sia is angry at the man, and uses her negative feelings to control the Force. This is wrong, but I can't get a hit. Reaching out to the mystical energy field, she gains power. Directing this newfound power, Sia-Lan launches a powerful attack against her opponent, letting out her fury. Sia yells at the tatooed man, "You will not hurt my friends!"

(OOC: Force point - Dark Side)

Kanner Ra'an
20 October 2004, 07:29 PM
Rayger curses at missing something so obvious as a stun blasts range and the power left in his ammuntion while in the intense combat. He quickly reloads, throwing the depleted power pac away casually and slapping in a fresh one drawn from a pocket in his combat suit. Securing the power source securly in, he raises the gun and aims for the warrior. Frustrated with the ineffectual stun setting, he goes over to kill. Before he can fire the sudden intensity that Sia Lann brings startles him. My god, these Jedi dont stop amazing me. he thinks. Sia-lanns is a little differant then Rann though, more emotional then powerful. More intense and less controlled. This doesn;t regester fully in him though. He shrygs off the amazement and fires a hopefully accurate blast at the mysterious guardian.

Rogue Janson
21 October 2004, 01:35 PM
Arani's body almost freezes as she sees Sia-Lan take a hit from her opponent's lightsabre... yet somehow she survives it. Did he pull the blow? That seems unlikely. Could it be a badly made lightsabre?

Rann's telekinetic blast knocks his target backwards, but he is moving again before Arani can take advantage of the opportunity.
Sia-Lan seems to be putting all her energy into a desperate attack, and Arani worries she won't survive the combat much longer. And Sia-Lan's lightsabre is the only thing keeping their tatooed enemy safely away from everyone else. If Sia-Lan goes down, Arani thinks with fear, we'll be next. While she waits for another chance to fire, Arani tries to form some kind of plan.

"Rann, if you had to do you think you could grab Sia-Lan's lightsabre and take over?"

Swapping the lightsabre between the pair mid-combat would be difficult, but perhaps possible if they had cover. It could be their only chance to get Sia-Lan out of the fight before she's injured more seriously though.

22 October 2004, 08:04 AM
Continuing her trend of missing the target, Dané shoots wide, missing the entire melee. She watches as the powerful warrior delivers an alarming blur of attacks against her two Padawan friends, nearly catching both of them on several occasions. She can tell that if he keeps up this relentless assault, the two Jedi-in-training will fail in their attempts at defense. ((Rann –20VP; Sia-Lan –13 VP))

Too caught up in the combat, Rann misses Arani’s question. Hoping for better success, he again strikes out with telekinetic energy at the opposing warrior. Avoiding the deadly lightsaber blade throws off Rann’s aim, and he knows that his target dodges nearly all of the blow. The Padawan realizes he can slowly wear down the impressive warrior, but that he nearly drains himself at the same rate in the process. More than likely, Rann surmises, his enemy can outlast him. ((-2VP))

Rayger replaces his powerpack and realizes that with the one he places into his carbine, he has run out of spare ammunition. On his last clip, and set to kill, he fires, but misses with his shot into the fray.

Sia-Lan, battered by the Dark Lord and enraged with the seeming futility of the combat, taps into power she has never before felt. Fueled by the Force, but knowing somehow that it is tainted, she drives past his double-bladed lightsaber and nearly scores a blow. With his extreme agility, he narrowly avoids the strike.

The female Padawan feels a burning hatred at her enemy. Powerful energy fills her body and she knows that under a ferocious assault, her opponent will fall under her blade. With the power of the Force, enriched by her anger, she can strike him down. She knows that she is more powerful than ever. ((-1FP, +1DSP))

Nearby, Arani does not fire, but instead finds a hole in her enemy’s defenses as she takes her time to sight in and aim her shot carefully.

Kanner Ra'an
22 October 2004, 01:25 PM
Rayger curses his luck when he sees his last power pac. At least i still have my sidearm he thinks, but is more then a little concerned. He cant even begin to think about fire control here, because the tattooed warrior is pounding on the Jedi like theirs no tommorow. He decides to continue what he's doing for lack of another alternative. He raises his carbine and aims carefully, hoping that he can catch the dark man unaware. Once he sees what he think can be an opening or a moment of distraction he fires his weapon, sending a red bolt into the furious melee.

OOC: If i have a chance at hitting him i'll spend a force point to do it. Otherwise, just aim and shoot.

23 October 2004, 02:16 PM
Continuing her poor streak, Dané misses again with another shot into the fray. The tattooed warrior also throws a pair of blows again at the Padawan. Sia-Lan catches his attack on her blade and Rann hops over a swing that aimed to catch him in his kneecaps.

Despite the possibility that he will run out of energy before the tattooed warrior, Rann throws another telekinetic attack at his enemy. Again, the warrior’s agility astounds Rann as he twists and contorts to avoid the blow. The Padawan knows that all of the dodging has to take a toll on the target, but feels the draining energy of his own body too.

Rayger, summoning all the effort he can as he fires another shot into the swirl of Force-sensitive bodies, nearly catches the agile warrior. Twisting violently in mid-air, his target only narrowly avoids a crimson bolt of energy. With the severity of the movement, Rayger knows he had to come very close to hitting his mark, and the effort must have worn heavily on the enemy warrior.

Sia-Lan brings her blade clashing against the energy sword of her enemy, as he lands on his feet and easily deflects her assault. She realizes she has lost her boost of Force energy, and is significantly weaker – especially against this enemy – without taping into that powerful reserve of dark energy.

Arani knows her luck is with her as she waits a second longer than she had intended for firing. With her aim true, she carefully squeezes off a blast and believes she has caught her opponent unaware. With cat-like reflexes, he dips his shoulder at the absolute last possible second but catches the energy bolt by mere centimeters. His flowing clothing obscures any damage, but she knows that she scored a hit. Perhaps the tide of the battle has turned.

Kanner Ra'an
23 October 2004, 03:46 PM
Rayger winces when he fails to hit the warrior, but at least this time he knows came damn close. Arani's followup puts him to shame as it actually connects with the warrior. The flowing robes dont allow him to see any blood, but he can tell that they are wearing down the warriors stamina. Ranns relentless force powered assualt and Sia-lanns lightsaber skills seem to be just keeping the warrior at bay. Unfortunatly it only takes one second to end a life, and he hopes they can get the warrior down before he does it to any of them. He continues to keep the warrior in his sights, focusing on the body and not letting himself get caught up in the strange melee. Once again he waits for a potential opening and sends a shot out without hesitation.

25 October 2004, 03:38 PM
Sia-Lan feels weak without the powerful energy of the Force. She thinks, I need more. Give me more power. It felt so good, like I could do anything. But then again, I know using dark feelings to access the Force is wrong. I'll go without. For now. Thinking that she has the upper hand, Sia continues attacking the dark man with ferocity. Angry, she swings her blade wildly, not caring about finesse. Conflicting thoughts race through her mind during the duel, Using feelings to fuel the Force isn't that bad. Is it? It makes me more powerful. But why do the masters teach us not to use feelings?

25 October 2004, 03:46 PM
Dané watches as her painfully poor shooting continues and the dark warrior swings his blades quickly around, nearly catching Sia-Lan. From the Padawan’s labored breathing, Dané knows that she will be unable to allow any more near misses. Anything that comes close to Sia-Lan will surely hit the future Jedi. ((-4VP))

Rann dodges an attack aimed at him, and throws yet another telekinetic attack in response. He catches the warrior in the chest, moving him slightly, but not stopping the living combat machine. The enemy dodges a flurry of poor shots from Arani and Rayger, and easily sidesteps a weak slice from Sia-Lan.

In a battle of attrition, with the shooters offering little to the fight, both sides are wearing down at nearly an equal pace. Soon it will end, but the fate remains hanging in the balance.

25 October 2004, 03:59 PM
Winded, Sia-Lan takes a step back from the warrior. Knowing she can't go on much longer, Sia feels helpless against the dark man. Can't defeat him without more power. I need the Force. Angry at the warrior, Sia watches him closely. He must be using the Force. I can't even get close to him! This is unfair! Using her hatred, Sia-Lan prepares to use the Force. I'll have to fight fire with fire! She reaches to the Force, but before she taps its power, she hesitates. This is wrong. I don't know why, but I just know. A voice inside her head speaks, Use it! It is the only way to save your friends. Ashamed, Sia grabs the power the Force offers and unleashes it upon the dark warrior. For my friends! She brings the blade at the warrior in a series of wild, uncontrolled blows.

(OOC: Force point-dark side)

27 October 2004, 01:16 PM
With the shooters all missing the melee wildly, the tight fray continues. The dark warrior swings at both Sia-Lan and Rann. Sia-Lan manages to miraculously avoid his deadly blades, he catches Rann in the back. Knowing instantly that something about the situation is wrong, as he is still breathing, Rann nonetheless flails forward, falling to the ground and reeling in pain from the strong blow. ((-7VP; -8WP))

Sia-Lan, further enraged as the warrior nearly eliminates her longtime friend, takes a hit of the seemingly infinite power she had accessed moments earlier. Her fatigue dissipates as a yearning to finish the battle quickly and decisively overcomes her. Emboldened with the Force, she feints an attack, drawing her opponent off balance. Sidestepping around the warrior, she spins and brings her blade down at the nape of his neck. In a single, fluid motion, she connects with her target.

In disbelief, she watches as suddenly the silent, tattooed warrior disappears under the pressure of her blade. The trio of shooters stares in shock as they marvel at Sia-Lan’s accomplishment. Rann rises from his prone position and looks around for the warrior, as surprised as everyone else with his abrupt departure.

27 October 2004, 02:22 PM
Sia-Lan stares at the empty air, stunned at the warrior's disappearance. What just happened? Was this all an illusion? Noticing that her saber is still lit, Sia looks down at her hands. They're trembling. What's happening to me? She thinks it over for a minute and concludes, It was the Force. My emotions increased the power I recieved from it. Looking at her friends, Sia keeps her thoughts to herself, not wanting anyone to know what just happened. Extinguishing her blade, she replaces the hilt on her belt.

Suddenly, Sia is overcome by exhaustion and falls to her knees. I must have used the Force too much. But, I have discovered a way to become more powerful. Emotions are the key to being a powerful Force user. She sits down and feels the need to use the Force again. Putting her face in her hands, she thinks, What I did was wrong, buy why? It didn't cause any harm, did it? Sia sits, exhausted and caught up in her thoughts.

Kanner Ra'an
27 October 2004, 05:14 PM
By the force.... Rayger thinks in disbelief. He walks over to the sight where he last stood, looking for signs of something, though he doesn't really know what. "It must of been a hologram. Thats why our firepower couldn't touch him." Rayger asseses. Its the only explanation that comes to mind. It occurs to him that Sia Lanns lightsaber would have just passed through if that were true. It must of been the holograms energy, or something. he tells himself. He looks around at the trampled ground, seeing if their are more then two sets of footprints from the battle. Had the warrior really been their, then their is no possible way he didn't leave some physical evidence from a battle that pitched.

OOC: Spot check to look for 'Darth Mauls' footprints or any other signs of him being their, as well as another spot check to look around the area for a holoprojector or a person or something. Only the first one if we're still going by rounds.

Rogue Janson
30 October 2004, 04:57 AM
Her finger tense on the trigger, Arani almost fires out of surprise when their adversary vanishes, as if to catch him before he disappears. Immediately she looks around to see if he has reappeared nearby - moving too fast for them to see, or teleporting somehow, she doesn't know. The violent clash of lightsabres and crack of gunfire. Only the swish of Sia-Lan's lightsabre switching off cuts through the heavy silence, the retracting blade casting a slightly fuzzy glow in the misty air.

Despite there being no sign of immediate danger, Arani remains tense. Completely spooked she continues scanning their surroundings for any danger, pistol clenched tight in her hands. She vaguely hears Rayger's suggestion that they were facing a hologram, but it doesn't ring true to her. It wasn't a hologram that hit Sia-Lan and Rann.

That thought brings her back to the present, from the frightened, abstract state she had been in. She sees Sia-Lan sitting on the ground, Rann and Dané still standing, shocked, while Rayger stomps around staring at the ground. Taking a trembling breath, Arani stumbles hurriedly over to Sia-Lan, crouching down and laying a hand on her shoulder.

"Sia-Lan, are you ok?" is all she can manage to come out with.

Howling Wookiee
1 November 2004, 09:28 AM
Rann strikes out with another tk attack that barely moves the dark warrior. He dodges and avoids attacks, trying to keep the dark man's attention between himself and Sia-Lan.

Rann feels a dark wave come over him but is shocked that it is not coming from the dark warrior but from Sia-Lan! He mutters between clenched teeth, "Keep it together!"

And in that moment of distraction Rann is struck in the back. His first initial thought is peace and oneness. But is utterly confused when he feels pain from what should have been a killing blow. He falls forward, knees lock, landing face first. Rann reels and screams in pain, he writhers on the ground. Only one thought shouts between the waves of pain, "I should be dead!!"

6 November 2004, 04:49 PM
As perplexed as the rest of the group, Dané slowly and cautiously lowers her pistol. Sia-Lan, perhaps still in shock, does not answer Arani’s question as she sits. Rann, in utter disbelief, picks himself off the ground. With the exception of Arani and Rayger’s few comments, the clearing is eerily silent.

Rayger closely examines the ground, and finds it trampled. It is hard to discern who caused which prints, but he feels pretty certain there are only two sets of tracks.

Kanner Ra'an
6 November 2004, 08:13 PM
"False alarm people." Rayger says with some confidence, though he is still noticably slightly confused. "Theirs only two sets of tracks here. Their must be a holoprojector hidden in the trees somewhere. Its probably some kind of inventive defense. We just wasted a good ammount of time and resourses fighting a hologram, while some perimeter alarm alerted real people." He says, rationalising the encounter as best he can. Its only a wild guess, but its the best one he can come up with. They are rebels, with limited resourses, so an inventive system like that is a real possibility. Certainly hes heard of stranger, like using a protocol droid to mimick a baby's cry in order to lure enemy sweeper squads out of position, or reprogramming a binary load lifter to stack its crates in front of an emergancy exit to block it off for re-enforcements. All sorts of things. However he would have thought the Jedi would have felt something like that. He decides to be brave and ask. "Did you two, uh .....feel anything odd." he says, not sure if feel is the right word or not. He has not clue if they feel it, or if thiers a miniraydar that appears in front of them.

Rogue Janson
10 November 2004, 02:48 PM
(damn. Not my day for posting.)

Rogue Janson
10 November 2004, 02:49 PM
"Since when could a hologram block a lightsabre?" Arani asks Rayger a little angrily. "If that's what a hologram can do to us then we may as well go back."

The battle against the ... apparition - and the whole day's events - have put her on edge, and Rayger's search for easy answers annoys her. Arani doesn't have much idea what they just fought, but she feels it's obvious it wasn't a hologram. Still, asking the Jedi is at least a sensible thing to do and she takes some pleasure in seeing the Republic observer reduced to doing so. Something has certainly taken the fight out of Sia-Lan. Arani wishes she'd pushed Rann earlier; perhaps maybe he could have figured out what was going on.

She looks around at the group. Dané, Rann and Sia-Lan are all hurt; most of them are covered in dirt and look like they've been out in the swamps for a week. Another fight like that and one of them could get killed. One of them will get killed. Her mind goes back to Galak, who lost his life trying to protect them from battle droids.

Well, whatever they do, going back isn't really an option. Thinking ahead doesn't seem to be a good option. Get out of here, then we can take it from there. One step at a time. Arani tries to force her lips into a tight smile, fighting off a frown as she tries to find the right composure.

"Let's take a look at your injuries, Rann, Sia-Lan," she says, standing up. "Then we should move on. I don't want to stay here any longer."

(Second time I've had to write this; lost the first version :()

Kanner Ra'an
10 November 2004, 04:51 PM
"I dont know what stops a lightsaber and what doesn't. Battles with those things arn't exactly covered by basic training." Rayger says apologetically. It is about the only thing he can think of, and she isn't exactly offering anything else to the theory either. He bites his tounge on the last part however and kneels down to help take a look at the various injuries at Aranis urging. Frustration is starting to run a little bit high, and understandibly so.

14 November 2004, 11:18 AM
Sia-Lan sits and stares blankly into the forest. What have I done? She thinks for a moment, tired, hurt, and dirty. Looking up at her friends, she answers some of their questions as best as she can. "Rayger, I think that the apperation had to do with the Force. I felt cold when he appeared. It must have been the dark side of the Force." Sia decides to not tell them about her amazing ability to harness the Force. I'll tell them later, after I figure out how I did it. I think that feelings can augment Force use. But my Master has told me not to use the Force when feeling negative emotions. I'll have to think about this more.

Sia picks her lightsaber off of the muddy ground and wipes it off. She struggles to stand, the pain of her wound obvious to everyone. Grimacing, Sia-Lan says to Arani, "Yes, I think that my wound needs to be looked at. I can't use the Force to heal it, I'm just too exhausted. I have a medpac if someone wants to dress the wound."

21 November 2004, 08:04 AM
Dané approaches Sia-Lan and takes the medpac from Sia-Lan’s rucksack. With practiced skill, the handmaiden takes her time and pulls Sia-Lan off to the side, away from the group to tend to her injuries. Sia-Lan can tell without additional inputs from the Force that her friend is distraught over the incident in the clearing. Dané’s face betrays anger and Sia-Lan believes she is probably fighting back tears. “This was supposed to be a simple recon mission. I never expected to face such an enemy. I’m so sorry you took the brunt of those attacks.” The young Naboo woman’s lips tremble as she speaks softly, so only Sia-Lan can hear.

Instructing Sia-Lan to remove her outer clothing, Dané takes a look and lightly touches at Sia-Lan’s side. The Padawan winces in pain at the touch, and already the ribs show signs of bruising. The handmaiden applies the medical device to Sia-Lan’s side gingerly, knowing that most of the wounds are beneath the skin and the medpac only offers minimal relief to the bruised ribs. Still, Sia-Lan feels the pain ebbing slightly, and figures the recovery has begun. ((+2WP)) The plesticast which now wraps her torso is a bit constricting, but helps immobilize her ribs.

Away from the two females, Rayger has helped Rann out of his robes and to take off his loose-fitting top. Rann has complained about his lower back hurting from where he took a non-lethal blow to his back from his opponent’s lightsaber. He remains hunched on the ground as Rayger tends to the Padawan’s wounds. Examining his own robes, Rann finds they remain whole, without even so much as a singe from the impact of the lightsaber.

Rayger takes his time, and uses Rann’s medpac from the Padawan’s backpack, to work on the injuries. As with Sia-Lan’s wounds, the damage is subdural. Rann’s back has much tenderness around the area he took the powerful strike, just below the shoulder blades. Better designed to patch blaster wounds than internal injuries, the medpac at least brings some pain relief. ((+1WP))

After helping Sia-Lan back into her clothing, Dané walks back into the clearing with the Padawan, her face full of steely resolve to succeed in her mission and not bring any more pain to her friends. They arrive just as Rann slips back into his Padawan robes.

The clearing has become even darker with the setting of the sun. Dané speaks, her voice having lost the insecurities Sia-Lan picked up on minutes earlier, “We need to make a camp and rest for the night. We can stay here, or try to trudge a bit farther down the path.”

21 November 2004, 03:40 PM
“This was supposed to be a simple recon mission. I never expected to face such an enemy. I’m so sorry you took the brunt of those attacks.”

Knowing her friend is distressed, Sia-Lan says, "It's ok Dané. I was the only person with a weapon that could stop that madman. I survived, so I don't hold a grudge against you. You couldn't forsee that we would face such a monster."

Following Dané's orders, Sia takes off her outer garments and notices the bruises. Dané's hands move deftly over the wound and the pain subsides a little. Taking small breaths because of the constriction of the cast, Sia-Lan tells her friend thanks. After doning her robes again with the help of Dané, Sia walks back to the group with the woman. Sia-Lan listens as the handmaiden speaks.

“We need to make a camp and rest for the night. We can stay here, or try to trudge a bit farther down the path.”

Thinking the proposition over, Sia comments, "I think that we should move on a little farther down the path. We don't know if anyone heard the fight, and if they did, they could be traveling here right now. I don't think we need another fight right now."

Kanner Ra'an
21 November 2004, 05:05 PM
"That sounds like a good idea." Rayger comments agreably. He was thinking the same thing as the Jedi. They did make quite a bit of noise, and a few of the rebels showing up wouldn't be that unlikly, certainly not enough to avoid taking precautions. "I would think if we put a good half kilometer we would be safe enough. Then we can get some rest." he says, putting some emphasis on the last line.

Howling Wookiee
22 November 2004, 06:51 AM
Rann agrees with the others about moving on and getting some distance from the area that the fight just took place. He painfully nods his thanks to Rayger and his wound treatment skills. The young padawan rises slowly from the ground and winces as his body shifts. He bares down and starts walking down the path. He looks over his shoulder at the place he should have been killed and shakes his head. He thinks to himself, "I should be dead. I have to be more careful."

Rogue Janson
24 November 2004, 05:47 AM
Arani nods her agreement.

"Let's go then."

While the others deal with the injuries, Arani has been looking around the immediate area, though taking care to go only a little way out of site. She takes the lead along a way that seems to be relatively clear and safe and goes in the direction they are heading.

24 November 2004, 11:58 AM
Dané nods at the agreed upon solution, “Then lets strike out. The sooner we get away from here, the sooner we can stop and rest for the night. Following behind Arani, the group makes a good pace along the swamp trail. As the darkness of night overwhelms the swamp, the group draws out the glowrods from the packs Dané provided at the beginning to illuminate the nearly overgrown path.

They do not encounter any additional obstacles along the way, and just a little over half a kilometer, by Rayger’s learned judgment, down the path, Arani finds a secluded glen off to the side from the trail. It has a fair amount of brush for cover and rests on slightly higher ground, keeping the groundwater from seeping through the topsoil.

The quintet cleans off the ground and leaning heavily on Rayger’s fading memories of survival training, they make a rough camp. Without shelter or even sleeping sacks, they find a few easy materials to soften the earth beneath their backs in a primitive fashion. Far from a luxurious resort – the kind they have all only dreamed of – and even a well-stocked overnight in the woods, their camp serves the purpose to allow them to gather some rest.

Pulling out their bland field rations, enough for one meal apiece, they choke down the unpalatable provisions with gulps of water from their filtering canteens. While the food lacks any desirable taste, the members of the group at least know they will not suffer from malnutrition or dehydration.

28 November 2004, 09:46 AM
Sia-Lan eats the bland food and then lays down on the hard ground. Too bad we didn't bring sleeping rolls. She rolls around a bit, winces a few times as she hits her injured ribs, and finally finds a semi-comfortable spot. This will have to do. Not wanting to talk about the days events, Sia closes her eyes and tries to sleep. I've got to sort everything out before I start talking about it.

Sia-Lan lays on the cold ground for a while, trying hard to sleep, but the days events keep coming into her mind. What did I do? Was it bad that my emotions fueled the Force. I found great power. But is that power good? Oh, I don't know, I confused. Sia-Lan reaches out to the Force to calm herself, but the power tempts her. It calls out to Sia-Lan from the depths of the Force, tempting her with the power to make the galaxy right. Struggling with herself, Sia-Lan finally breaks the connection and comes back to her senses. What have I done? The Force doesn't feel the same. I'll have to talk to Rann about this later. I can't seem to figure it out. Sia-Lan finally submits to sleep, but the sleep is fractured and not energizing.

Howling Wookiee
28 November 2004, 04:08 PM
Rann swallows his rations hard. After the quick "meal" he make pulls some leaves in a pile for his bedding. It is not the most comfortable bed but it will serve its perpose. His wounds are still clearly painful and his thought drift. He touches the force lightly to do a quick calming and refreshing technique. As he does so he can vaguely tell that Sia-Lan is doing the same but something is different. He looks over at her and in his "force sight" sees little black whisps stroking Sia-Lan. He starts to call out but her force connection is cut out as his. He thinks to himself, "I'll have to talk with her about her actions later. She will need my guidance and help. He has touch the dark side and it becons for her." Rann goes to sleep dispite being uncomforable and has a dreamless night........

Rogue Janson
29 November 2004, 08:19 AM
As the temperature drops quickly in the moist air, Arani tries to clean herself up a little. She brushes down her clothes as best as possible and tries to scoop out the last of the much that has made its way into her boots. Then she attempts to use as little water as possible to remove some of the dirt from her hands and face. The liquid is cold, but the feeling of cleanliness is pleasant. She still looks and feel feels horrible at the end of it, but this is hardly out of place in the group.

While the others prepare for the night, Arani picks unenthusiastically at her rations. She is hungry from the walking, but not in the mood to eat anything much. The group has been almost silent, excepting some talk about how best to set out a rough camp.

A little less tired, and probably less used to sleeping rough than the others, Arani lies awake for a long time, her mind fixating on the day's events. She tries to focus on the mission that they must complete tomorrow, but the unknown possibilities are too open to consider. She just has to hope the new day will bring them more success.

1 December 2004, 03:06 AM
The camp is strangely quiet as people settle into their makeshift beds and eat their field rations. Dané opts not to try to break the uncomfortable silence, and quietly goes about her own business. For the group of friends, there is a strange tension in the air. Further enhanced by physical and mental exhaustion at the current outing as well as the entire recent rebellion against the Trade Federation, the anxiety weighs heavily on all members of the group.

They all rest quietly throughout the night. Their deep slumber comes not from a peaceful relaxation, but rather the inability to keep their eyes open against the onslaught of fatigue.

Morning comes too soon, and they rise stiffly from their padded spots on the ground. Another serving of rations leaves everyone wishing for a freshly cooked meal from even the paltry food services of the Royal House of Learning.

Rann and Sia-Lan, who bore the total brunt of the previous day’s attack, feel slightly better. Even after the hard night of sleep, they have new energy to face the new challenges of the day. However, they can tell their wounds have only healed slightly in the night. If battle comes, they should be able to dodge blows for a while, but if they take a hit, both know they are already in a weakened condition. ((VP Full; WP +1 each))

Dané and Rayger take to re-naturalizing the camp, attempting to mask the fact they spent the night in the small clearing. As they finish, they come back into a huddle near the middle of the area. Dané says to the group, “We can’t be much further from our goal. We have daylight now which should make the rest of our trek easier.” Even as she speaks, she realizes there is an overcast in this part of the swamp. “Is everybody ready?”

Howling Wookiee
1 December 2004, 03:47 PM
Rann wakes up somewhat refreshed and renewed. He rises from his "bed" and stretches out his swore and healing muscles. The young padawan performs a quick force focusing exercise to help sharpen his mind and sense for the trek ahead.
He gathers around with the others and nods his head with Dane, "I'm ready. We need to start out and get the info we need and head outa here. I'm not sure we can last another encounter like we did before."

Rogue Janson
9 December 2004, 09:40 AM
Arani's body aches from the uncomfortable night and the slightly unaccustomed hard exercise. As she sits and eats, she tries to rub some energy back into her body and limbs. Then she reluctantly stands and starts pacing around the edge of the camp while Rayger and Dané work, warming herself up.

"I'm ready. We need to start out and get the info we need and head outa here. I'm not sure we can last another encounter like we did before."
Arani nods in agreement with Rann.
"Maybe yesterday was just bad luck. We're only here to observe, so if we try and stay out of sight and keep our eyes open hopefully we can avoid any real trouble."

The new light has cheered her up a bit, and she is eager to get active and put the previous day behind them.

Kanner Ra'an
9 December 2004, 11:12 AM
"I hope your right." Rayger says as he works with Dane. "Im running fairly low on ammunition. Could be trouble if we run into an extended fight." As he finishes up, he turns to Dane and asks her "Do you have any idea what the camps going to be like. Defenses or any such thing." he says, wondering just how hard its going to be to get a look at the place. He's sure Dane mentioned something about it before, but he'd rather have it fresh in his mind, especially if their any specifics he has to worry about.

13 December 2004, 01:07 PM
Dané shakes her head at Rayger. “That’s the problem. I don’t really know what we’re up against. This is the recon mission. I thought it was going to be a walk in the park, you know?” She glances over at Sia-Lan, who continues to brood silently. The young aide to the queen wonders what came over her Padawan friend.

“Well, let’s move,” she continues, her work masking their evening at the camp completed. Quietly, she begins leading the group back to the trail. Her confidence has weakened from the unexpected encounters and the tolls they have levied on her team. Her shoulders slumping more than when the group began, she takes the point position, and steps out along the trail.

Dané’s robes, originally a hue of purple, are well soiled from the exploits. Dirt and grime tells the tale of their mission. A dark maroon bodysuit underneath has kept her much more protected, but it too has a layer of mud caked over the bottom half of it. The rest of the team fairs the same with their clothing, and the layer of grime represents a metaphysical notion in addition to the physical feeling.

Before they get too far, their guide speaks up, “I hope we can finish this today. I’m worried about completing the mission to keep the group from disrupting the Globe of Peace ceremony.” After that, they hike quietly for a little more than an hour from their camp and begin to see a change in the swamp again.

Pieces of ruins rise out of the marsh before them, hinting at an ancient civilization which long ago surrendered by the squalid swamp. Great columns jut from the mud, and a dry stone platform remains as a reminder of a once-impressive structure. A second building, half buried in the mud and foliage, retrains most of its walls and roof. A couple of giant heads, carved from massive blocks of stone, watch the camp from either side of the ruined buildings. A dozen humans and Gungans stand among the ruins. They appear unarmed, but also unsurprised by the emergence of the recon team from the swamp.

Speaking softly as her friends gather behind her in a semi-circle, Dané sums up an obvious point, “Well, sneaking up on the camp didn’t turn out quite like I intended. I didn’t expect to just be able to walk in without realizing where we were. I guess the clandestine recon is out of the question.”

Rogue Janson
17 December 2004, 01:39 PM
(OOC: I'm assuming the opposing group are far enough away that they can't hear what Dané said.)

It takes Arani a few seconds to compose herself as they bumble straight into the camp they are meant to be covertly reconning. She stares at the group facing them, trying to gauge the situation. They don't appear have weapons, which is a good start at least. While Dané mutters to her friends, Arani hastily improvises, preparing a story . Stepping into action before anyone else can mess things up, she puts a hand on Dané's shoulder and puts a slightly brighter look on her own face.

"They don't look like Federation allies," she says in a voice a little louder than Dané's.
Stepping out ahead, she addresses the group facing them.

"Err, greetings!" she says, letting some of her nerves come through in her voice, trying to make it sound a little younger and less confident. After a slight pause, she continues. "I'm so glad we found someone. We've been wandering through these swamps for days now. We were hiding from the Trade Federation, but now... Now we're lost."

She looks nervously at the rebels in front of her, keeping her head slightly lowered as if shy, then glances back at her friends as if gauging their reactions and encouraging them.

"It's ok," Arani says, "I think we'll be safe."

She hopes the other group buys into her faux-naif act of taking the lead in trusting them. The story is going to take some work...

(OOC again: I've just thought of a possibility that could make this a bad play. But hey, what are the chances it'll work anyway?)

2 January 2005, 04:29 AM
“You lie!” cries a faceless voice in the crowd. “You are here to hunt us down!”

A woman steps forward from the front lines of the group, a heavy scowl crossing her face. Her loud voice carries easily across the few meters, which separate the two groups. “Lovers of Amidala! Your vision is blinded by her beauty and power that you cannot distinguish the peril she has unleashed upon our peaceful planet. If we allow her to unite with the Gungans, and fortify her position, we are doomed to destruction. Can’t you see that?”

Rogue Janson
2 January 2005, 05:39 AM
Arani puts on a bewildered expression that is not entirely false. The woman's reaction seems irrational, but at least it's just one unarmed woman haranguing them at the moment. She looks round at her friends, hoping to suggest that five of them, tired and battered, aren't much of a hunting party.

"We don't know anything about that... we heard some rumours, but we've not been in contact with anyone for a while, since we got chased into the swamps. Aren't you more worried about the Trade Federation?"

She is beginning to get into the flow of her role. With the Trade Federation only just defeated, it's quite plausible for them not to have heard. In their brief journey they've been through enough to make it look like people who have been wandering the area for a couple of days. Reminded of the dirt that stains it, Arani instinctively rubs her face with her hand.

Her immediate worry is how this rebel group views the Trade Federation. She doesn't see how they can avoid being associated with the resistance, which will link them with Amidala even if they try to distance themselves from her. The status of fighters against the occupation should put them in a good light for most Naboo, but with these people, who can tell?

Waiting for a response, Arani straightens her posture, putting a hand near her bag. She hopes the move will look natural for someone who has a right to be wary, but it puts her pistol in easier reach should she really need it. She shifts her eyes between the members of the group opposite, though keeping the bulk of her attention on the spokeswoman, hoping to pick up any clues of attitude that might help.

(OOC: I'll use a lucky re-roll if I get any bad bluff rolls)

Kanner Ra'an
2 January 2005, 09:10 AM
They arn't thinking rationally. Peace is never as easy as it should be, but they cant truely believe that their ruler is a tyrant after this trade federation mess. They must have inhaled to much swamp gas living out here. Rayger thinks to himself, leaving all the talking to Arani. He is holding his rifle at rest, not looking any more beligerant then the situation warrents, and keeps a sharp eye out for anyone who may do something foolish. He isn't extremely concerned, as the fact that their talking is a good sign that these rebels arn't violent killers. Instead he is more on the lookout for someone with a blaster who may do something stupid.

He wonders exactly how these insurgants are motivated. The Gungans are a strong warrior race, but their not advanced enough to win an all out war with the naboo, so he can see where not making peace wouldn't ruin the naboo. But what else. Their would be trade from the new people, exotic goods they could sell, saftey from any threat they could pose, new technology, a stronger army. All benifts that the rebuilding naboo could really use. What possible dstruction could the alliance bring upon them. Having to answer to the Gunguns would weaken a tryrant in the first place, so if Amidala were the ruler they believe her to be why would she do it. In the briefing they described the naboo as "A peaceful, intelligent, and cultural people." but i guess their are more then a few exceptions. These idiots are dangerous if only that their so impressionable that they could probably be easily manipulated to violence.

Howling Wookiee
5 January 2005, 04:23 PM
Rann has remained very quiet during much of the "conversation" with the "rebels". The leaves much of the discussion to the resident diplomat, Arani. He maintains a neutral posture but remains on high alert for anthing that could happen. After Arani finishes her last part Rann opens himself to the Force and projects calm. He walks forward hands out and palms up in a peaceful gesture, "We have come here in peace adn we mean you no harm. We are supporters of peace and the Queen is a staunt supporter of peace and in protecting your planet from those that wish to exploit it and its inhabitants. You are mistaken if you think Amidila will destroy us." He remains infront of the group, but he puts his hands down and waits for the rebuttal.

7 January 2005, 11:16 PM
A young couple shifts to the side of the main group, as they hear Arani’s words. They look sympathetically upon the reconnaissance team, seeing the dirt and hardships of the swamp travels visibly carried on their faces and bodies. But, even as the couple moves, a Gungan warrior near the front of the mass challenges back, “Wesa no liken mixin wit da Queen. She bringen da Mackineeks on uss-en. We hates da Mackineeks! Wesa die. Da Queen do dis. Wesa tinken Savor is bombad. Wesa tinken Savor gonna be da leader now.”

"We have come here in peace and we mean you no harm. We are supporters of peace and the Queen is a staunch supporter of peace and in protecting your planet from those that wish to exploit it and its inhabitants. You are mistaken if you think Amidala will destroy us."

Rann’s words contradict with Arani’s somewhat, or at least confirm the crowd’s fears of loyalty. He can feel the shift in uneasiness as he finishes his phrase, even without actively using the Force to gain insight into the group. The young couple shifts back to the group, beginning to scowl. Many members of the crowd hunch their shoulders and glare at the Padawan and his companions.

An angry young man retorts against Rann’s statement, “The Queen is deceiving you! I think she’s in league with the Trade Federation. I know she’s in league with the people who ravaged our planet. The Queen must be stopped. The truth must be revealed. Savor knows this. Savor promotes this. Savor says we should embrace our anger and us it to fuel our indignation.”

Rogue Janson
8 January 2005, 01:55 AM
Arani struggles not to bit her lip or roll her eyes at Rann's praise for the Queen. Still thinking on her feet, she tries to make up for it. Softening her face and stance a little, at the sympathetic reaction she received, she reaches out and puts a hand on Rann's shoulder. Arani gives a smile and a quiet laugh.

"Can't help trying to correct a mistake can you Rann?" she says, not giving an indication of whether she agrees with the 'mistake' or not.
"As long as there are no droids here, we're happy for now," she adds, directing the remark towards the Gungan warrior. To try and create a more familiar atmosphere, she introduces the group, trying to use as much of the truth as possible.

"We were fighting the occupation before we got stuck in these swamps. My names Arani, and this is Dané. Rann and Sia-Lan are Jedi Padawans - that's why Rann's so argumentative. Rayger here is an observer for the Republic, here to find out the truth about the occupation and what's going on on Naboo. Maybe he can bring your problems to the Republic if that'll help."

Arani knows the mention of Jedi will get a reaction, but it's something that would come out sooner or later. She hopes the mention of Rayger's job could encourage the rebels to open up, with the chance of getting wider support for their views.

Kanner Ra'an
8 January 2005, 05:27 AM
Seeing where Arani is going with her comments, Rayger decides to speak up. "I am what she says i am, an officer of RIOP. And if the Queen really is in league with the Trade Federation, then i would like to know about it. I assure you that if its true, i can bring that knowledge to the republic and have your queen prosecuted by the courts." he says, hoping that his supportive words can lure them into their trust. "Would you leader, Savor you called him, be willing to meet with us? I'd assume he'd be the most knowledgable one about the subject." he asks, hoping that being direct like this is a good idea. He glances to the sides, seeing if the question was the right one to ask. It would be extremely helpful to their scouting effort, but it would also take them to the heart of the camp.

10 January 2005, 02:58 PM
A nervous murmur ripples through the crowd at the mention of the Jedi. Suspicious faces grimace along with the fearful whispers. Rayger’s comments at first seem to confuse the group. A young man speaks up in response. “We don’t know this RIOP you speak of. Savor has not mentioned it.” He turns his head, speaking his next statement to his companions more than the group of intruders. “Unmentioned by Savor, it must instead be a corrupted tool of the Queen! First it was the Trade Federation, and now the Republic seeks to enslave us. Savor Kibbs should lead us.” This bold statement garners a supportive cheer from the crowd. Trying to speak over the cry, the young man adds, “Only he has the power to save us all!”

Dané, obviously worried by the aggressive and rebellious tones of the zealous renegades, leans to her friends. “I think my report is going to claim that this group is definitely a threat to the Queen, and the upcoming ceremony.”

Rogue Janson
10 January 2005, 03:23 PM
"I think you're right, but what are they going to do?" Arani replies, turning her head aside to speak to Dané. To her the group members are seeming more and more unbalanced. The faith they put in Savor, it must be some kind of cult she thinks.

She weighs up their options. These people are so unpredictable, it's hard to win them onside. At this point they still have a chance to make a run for it, though they risk stumbling around in the swamp. The other chance is to try and speak with Savor himself. There's no way of telling whether he would react better or worse though - he could have the confidence to accept them, or he might have the perception to see through them, or they might interfere with his plans either way.

The first rule of bluffing is to look confident. With no good options, Arani makes a snap decision.

"Can we meet Savor Kibbs ourselves and explain our situation?" she says to his followers. "We'd also like to hear what he has to say."

She justifies herself retrospectively - at least we'll get more idea what he's like by meeting him. If he's even here.

(OOC: lucky again for any particularly bad rolls)

Kanner Ra'an
15 January 2005, 08:49 AM
By the way they talk they sound like their almost brainwashed. Savors, from what. The queens tryanny. Theirs noone on this planet i've seen who isn't as rich and fat as a core worlder. They're actually better in some respects. Less industry, less poverty, and they've been able to do without a military until the trade federation invasion. It doesn't really make sense for them to rebel. Rayger thinks. He tries to keep himself neutral in his thinking, as his commission dictates, but hes finding it hard to come across the logic that these guys are following. Still, he knows he has to learn as much as he can. Political situation on the planet could make a differance in his report, and even if he is growing to like the naboo, their could be some truth to these rebels claims.

15 January 2005, 12:52 PM
A clattering of metal on stone echoes through the camp. The crowd before the recon team parts, as heads turn to stare at the remains of a building in the back of the camp. A whirling metal shape rolls forward, out of the shadows, directly for the group of friends. Several of the rebels scatter from their ranks, seeking refuge in the dilapidated ruins. The circular metal shape stops, unfolding into a familiar but unwelcome sight to the recon team. A destroyer droid rises from its mobile form and a shimmer of shields quickly glows over it for a moment as it adjusts into an attack position. From the same building, also emerging from the shadows, is a cloaked figure who can only be Savor Kibbs - the renegade leader.

Rogue Janson
17 January 2005, 02:23 PM
On alert at the initial sound, Arani freezes when she sees the destroyer droid rolling towards them. She strains to stop herself from pulling out herblaster and opening fire while she has the chance. Another part of her tells her to keep still and do anything to avoid a fight. Not again, she thinks we're not facing one of these again. I won't let it happen.

Though her eyes are fixed on the droid, the fact only some of the rebels seem alarmed confirms her intuition that this is not some renegade Federation droid, but to do with Savor Kibbs. By the time she has pulled herself together and forced the memories down, it is too late to do anything anyway as the droid is set up ready to attack.

At least the reaction fits the role she is playing. Has this Savor got the droid by being in league with the Trade Federation? Or has he stolen and reprogrammed it? Arani wishes Kian were with them to tell them whether this was possible - not that he could under the current circumstances. She suspects the former option.

As Savor Kibbs himself appears and her eyes turn to him, Arani is wondering what other weapons he may have hidden here. Even with just the single droideka, any fighting would be deadly for them. As the best at bluffing and talking her way out of things, she feels the responsibility for keeping her friends safe heavy on her shoulders.

Kanner Ra'an
17 January 2005, 03:29 PM
"Lemme give this a try. See if the rank is any good with this guy." He says quietly to those around him. He slings his carbine over his shoulder and steps forward towards the man, wary of the destroyer droids standing biligerantly beside him. He doesn't doubt that they could cut him down in a second, but he is more curious as to how the rebel got a hold of them. They could be rebuilt, but more likly they were given to him. He wouldn't doubt for a second that the trade federation could have organised this.

"Savor, i presume." Rayger says, holding up his hands to show that he's not a threat. "Im Rayger Jindrak, an officer with the Republic Invesigative Observational peacekeepers." he says, indicating his uniform and the republic markings on it. "I was sent to learn what i could about the trade federations actions here, but your supporters have been telling me of your problems with the current goverment. Myself and my firends," he says, indicating the others, "would like a chance to speak with you." He chooses his words carefully, trying to not insult anyone with getting on his knees and begging. He also makes certain to not commit himself in any way to supporting the mans side, only stating that he would like to learn more.

Howling Wookiee
17 January 2005, 05:17 PM
Rann shakes his head at the group of rebels as the retort his observations about the current state of Naboo. He backs up toward his group and stands tense and relaxed at the same time. The young padawan immediately bends his knees and takes a battle stance at the first recognition of the destroyer rolling up. He watch in despair as his eyes comfirm what his ears warn him when the destroyer unfolds infront of them and activates its shield.

He then notices the cloaked figure that parts the group. He opens himself up to the force and tries to get a "fix" on the beings intentions and over all presence in the force.

Rann speaks to Rayger in hushed tones as he walks forward, "Watch yourself soldier!" He watches in anticipation of anything to come and hopes for the best.

20 January 2005, 01:26 AM
Dané and Sia-Lan draw their weapons as they wait for an answer to Rayger’s questions. Arani stands silently, while Rayger’s speech does not rouse any vocal responses from the cloaked figure, some thirty meters away. However, Rann’s warning is apt, as a rock comes hurtling towards the Republic Officer in an unspoken retort. It hits him in the head, dazing him for a moment, but not so much to keep him from being light on his feet.

The rock is the only warning of an attack. Rayger and Rann move quickly as the loud guns from the droideka support the initial attack. They dance away from the blaster bolts which race from each gun. Even as he moves, Rann feels the darkness deep within Savor Kibbs, and realizes their enemy is no mere human. Something is very strange about the darkness, as if Savor is only a well opening leading to a deeper reservoir of powerful energy.

Sia-Lan’s blade gives a snap-hiss as it ignites in the shadowy swampland. A pink glow surrounds the group as she sets her feet in a defensive stance. Dané and Arani look around for cover and find a few low, broken columns, which would provide cover to their upper legs while standing, or perhaps full cover if they ducked down behind the ruins. More cover is ten meters away across an open area, hidden in the ruined dwellings where the rebels are beginning to flee towards.

Both women realize something else strange about the droideka. It fired only one shot from each blaster, not the usual barrage they had grown used to in the street fighting in Theed.

Rogue Janson
20 January 2005, 03:17 PM
Arani blinks as the rock bounces off Rayger's head, then springs into action as the droideka opens fire. Force-user[i], she thinks, some things clicking into place. [i]Explains the cult following. Any other thinking is put on hold though as things for the moment are simple.

Glancing around to check for any other threats and seeing only fleeing rebels, she begins to go for cover.

"Dané, with me!" she calls, "Rayger, break the other way."

Arani dashes for the nearest column, accelerating rapidly and skidding to a kneeling halt behind it. She realises that she has instinctively left out the two Jedi from her instructions, leaving them to assess the situation for themselves. She curses herself when she remembers Rann is lacking a weapon, leaving him dangerously exposed and perhaps not sensible enough to retreat.

Noting the droideka's limited attack, Arani begins to tentatively reassess the threat. Perhaps its power core is damaged. Or its combat programming is faulty. She suspects the latter, because she knows between them the droids' shields and blasters must draw a lot of power. Even firing singly, the bolts have enough power to vape any of her friends.

Raising her pistol and flipping off the safety, she snaps off a quick pair of shots at the droid, to see the effect. At the very least the droid might switch its away from more vulnerable targets in response.

(OOC: dodge: droideka. I'm assuming there's cover on both side. Oh, also that's a single attack, in game terms.)

Kanner Ra'an
21 January 2005, 10:21 AM
"I think that they're hostile!" Rayger yells as he runs as fast as possible to get out of the clear line of sight he had willingly given the droids. His poor head throbs after the impact from the rock, and he is a little unsure of what he's doing. Must have been one of the onlookers. Why are they attacking us though, we didn't even threaten them. You'd think they'd try to recruit us or something. Maybe they reconized the handmaiden, or thought the Jedi were too much of a threat. He bolts to the right, getting out of the way to give the others a clear line of fire. He tries to think of a way to hit the droids, but little occurs to him that they could do with their small arms. The Jedi's lightsabers maybe, but even then they only have ones. Remembering that Rann is weaponless, he grabs the pistol at his left side and yanks it out.

"Rann! Catch!" He yells, throwing the pistol towards the unarmed Jedi. "Make you shots count!" He advises, moving his own weapon into position to shoot. The droids are on the high ground, a con, and outgun them, another con. They're also supported by their enigmatic leader, and a bunch of aimless idiots. Anaysis: Were all going to die. he thinks, hoping that their extroidinary luck from the attack on theed can hold up here.

Howling Wookiee
22 January 2005, 06:04 AM
Rann is half expecting a threat. When the rock hits Rayger, he springs into action. First thing that crosses his mind is "cover". He decides he needs to stay alive to find out what's going on. As he starts breaking for one of the fallen columns, Rayger shouts and tosses him a blaster pistol. Rann runs all out his cover. Once there he takes a shot at Savor, he decides he needs to see what his adversary is capable of.

He shouts out, "Provide fire for your retreat to cover. We need to take the droid out first. Concentrate all fire on the droideka."

22 January 2005, 06:49 AM
Crouching behind the broken column, Dané triggers a shot and hears a painful whine from her blaster pistol. No shot leaves the barrel and a soft beep informs her the power pack is empty. Cursing, she begins to reload the weapon, while Arani takes a shot at the Droideka. The droid’s shield absorbs the blast easily, with only a light flicker of color from the impact.

Amazingly, Sia-Lan closes on the destroyer droid and swipes at it with her lightsaber. The shield’s cannot take the powerful strike of the weapon and with a flash and while sparks fly from the chassis, the shields drop. Sparks continue to come from the chassis, likely from the shield generator.

Savor moves closer to the group, closing to ten meters from his previous position, while the women engage the droideka. Impassive to the destruction of its shields, the droideka fires at Dané and Arani. The first blast destroys the portion of the column covering Dané and throws the girl back two meters and to the ground. The stone shrapnel peppers Arani without harm, but she can see clearly Dané fared much worse. Appearing unconscious and bleeding from several places across her chest and face, Dané lies on the ground, unmoving. The second of the droid’s blasts again tears into the column in front of Arani, but does not burst through and the cover protects her.

Rann gets to his hiding spot and fires at Savor. Amazingly, the blast comes close to hitting the mysterious rebel leader, who ducks at the last moment to avoid the deadly bolt. Rann realizes that without Savor having closed the distance, there was a great likelihood the Padawan never would have come close with his attack. Rayger, who had been running along with Rann, gets to the cover and kneels, covering most of his body from enemy view while he sets up his carbine for an attack.

Kanner Ra'an
22 January 2005, 01:06 PM
Rayger sees immeadiatly that the droid is the bigger threat and fires a well aimed shot at the dangerous droid, hoping to catch it while its shields are down. He also sees Dane incapacitated, and decides that getting her out of the firefight is probably the best thing he can do right now. He sprints over to her as fast as he can, and lifts the woman in a firemans carry on his should, moving the handmaiden as quickly as possible to his cover from the fire. I'll have to wait to check her injuries. I cant do anything while under fire from that blasted droid and that sith spawned nutbag. he thinks.

OOC: Not sure how far away i am from Dane, but im under the immpression its not that far, so just have Rayger make as much progress as possible, please.

23 January 2005, 11:19 AM
Ha! Take that metal beast! Sia-Lan savors the slight victory against the destroyer droid. I don't need the Force yet. But, if I do need its power, can I resist the temptation to use the dark power? Sia thinks for a moment, then concludes, I'll do anything for my friends, I'll even sacrifice myself. She brings her blade up and strikes hard at the droid. I hope that does the trick.

Rogue Janson
23 January 2005, 01:21 PM
Arani sees Dané take a hit with alarm, but she stays focussed, a testament to her growing experience of combat. The best thing she can do for her friend right now is to is concentrate on taking out threats. She notices Rayger - who has some first-aid training - making his way over, firing as he comes.

Sia-Lan's hit on the droideka gives her a bit of optimism. In melée, the padawan should have an advantage over the clumsy droid, as long as she can keep clear of its guns. Not wanting to risk hitting her friend, she shifts her attention to Savor Kibbs. Though he has yet to produce a weapon, Arani has no doubt he is a threat, undeterred by Rayger's near miss.

Trying to keep out of the destroyer droid's line of fire, she shifts position a little, ducking behind an undamaged section of column. Lining up her aim carefully, she fires a shot at Savor Kibbs' chest, quickly corrects her aim then triggers another.

23 January 2005, 04:58 PM
Arani’s shots bracket Savor as he slides to a halt. In taking twin shots, she sacrificed better aim for additional firepower. In between her and her target, Sia-Lan slices at the droideka and severs a piece of armor near its head, exposing inner circuitry. While the droid retaliates with rapid blasts from each of its guns, the renegade leader turns and flees the scene, into the dark shadows of the swamp.

Sia-Lan spins away from the first point-blank shot, nearly colliding with the second. Only her Jedi reflexes allow her to contort her body and avoid the powerful blast. The heat from the bolt warms her skin quickly as it passes millimeters from her torso. ((-16VP)) Another close call like that and she could become one with the Force.

Rann tries to fire on Savor as he slips away from the ruins, but cannot track the renegade leader into the swamp. His bolt impacts a large tree with a wet-thwack, the bark smoking and sizzling as it disintegrates from the energy blast. At his side, Rayger fires a single round at the droideka, but with Sia-Lan so close, and his attention on Dané, he easily misses.

As Rayger gets to the handmaiden, he quickly assesses her condition and realizes she is only a few breaths from death. With her critical condition, the soldier knows that a simple medpac will not suffice. Worse yet, none of them are carrying a full medical kit, which means he has zero possibilities of stabilizing her.

23 January 2005, 05:11 PM
I must fight on for my friends. Dané is dying, I can feel it, but I don't have the strength to use the Force to heal her. I can't disengage from the destroyer to help. It will kill me. I have to destroy it to save everyone else. Sia raises her blade and points it at the droid. "You can have my life, but you won't kill another of my friends!" Then, a thought comes to her, I could use the dark power to destroy the droid easily. I should use it. Banishing the dark thoughts, Sia resists the temptation and screams, "I won't give in this time!" She lunges towards the droid and brings the laser sword down at it.

Howling Wookiee
24 January 2005, 05:54 PM
Rann grumbles to himself at his inefficiency with the blaster as he misses his target. He turns his attention to Sia-Lan and feels her inner conflict with the Dark Side. The Jedi padawan mutters to himself, "Control your feelings. Don't give in to the Dark Side. Control yourself."

Rann suddenly feels desperation from Rayger and turns his attention to Dane. He abandons his cover and exposes himself as he races to the handmaiden's side. The student of the Force slides to a halt on his knees beside Dane and immediately places his hands on her chest. He lightly closes his eyes and opens himself fully to the Force. Rann notices in his "force vision" Dane's heart beat, it gives off a flicker of light with every heart beat and it dims with each bit. He channels the Force through his hands into Dane's body in hopes that it will stabilize her until they can get her proper medical attention. Rann's fully attention is on Dane without regard to his own life or his current surroundings.

((OOC: Heal Another - Dane))

Kanner Ra'an
24 January 2005, 06:47 PM
"Shes pretty bad." Rayger says helplessly to Rann, looking at the dying woman helplessly. It doesn't take an elomin to know that this group has been friends for quite a long time, and he can sense from Rann's urgency that she is more then just a comrade in arms. He decides to let the Jedi work, having taken note of the Jedis very real power before. He changes his focus to the droid engaged with Sia-Lann. Now theirs something i can handle. he thinks, aiming his firearm with the upmost care. He makes the weapon bark twice, sending two crimson shots towards the dieing automan in an act of small revenge for the woman.

Rogue Janson
25 January 2005, 03:24 AM
Sparing a glance for her friend, Arani can tell that Dané is in very bad shape, as Rayger doesn't even attempt any first aid. Rann is sprinting over, leaving the four of them grouped together. Savor has fled, but the droideka and Sia-Lan are still locked in a deadly combat.

Resting her arm on the broken pillar in front of her, Arani takes careful aim at the droid in front of her trying to pick out the damaged part of its upper body. She tries to control her breathing and pick a moment when the scuttling droid is turned the right way, and Sia-Lan is clear of the shot. When she thinks she has it right, offering a little prayer to the Force, or whoever is listening, she fires.

(OOC: lucky if necessary. I, after the reroll, it's going to hit Sia-Lan, I'll spend a Force point.)

25 January 2005, 01:05 PM
Arani carefully lines her shot, begins to pull the trigger, feels something tell her to hold a brief moment, and then squeezes gently. With a touch of supernatural effort, her bolt slides underneath Sia-Lan’s moving arms, past the pink glow of the lightsaber and squarely connects the center of the droideka. It stumbles backwards before slumping to the ground.

The droid’s sudden movement takes it out of Sia-Lan’s attack and she misses adding insult to injury on the defunct destroyer droid. She feels a deep well of relief as her close combat abruptly ends and her enemy lies defeated at her feet.

Before he can stop himself from shooting, Rayger squeezes the trigger and feels a sickening lack of recoil in the carbine. A faint beeping tells him the pack is exhausted but cannot stop his reflexes from rapidly squeezing a second time. Miraculously, the carbine barks and shudders against his shoulder as a crimson bolt races to the droideka’s carcass. A small shower of sparks and innocuous fragments explode from the hull, utterly eliminating any salvageable remains of the droideka. Again he hears the soft beeping indicating and empty clip, and he realizes that was his last spare.

Behind him, Rann lays his hands upon his friend and tries to act as a conduit for the Force to stabilize her dying body. He knows as he tries, however, he has not been adept enough in his efforts. At her side, he feels her life still slipping away, knowing he has but seconds to arrest her path towards death.

25 January 2005, 02:38 PM
Yes! We did it! But I'm not done yet. Sia-Lan extinguishes her blade and clips the handle onto her belt. Then, she runs over to Dané to lend a hand. Kneeling beside her friend, Sia-Lan places her hands on the handmaiden's chest and reaches out to the Force. I've got to save her! Exhausted, Sia brings the Force's power to Dané, and hopes that it will be enough. Come on Dané, you can make it.

27 January 2005, 02:29 PM
Sia-Lan feels no connection to the Force as she attempts to heal her friend. The other companions watch helplessly as Dané, despite her unconscious form, gasps for a breath. Arani and Rayger do not need the Force to know the young woman is a breath from death. To the two Padawan Learners, the deep anguish tears into their souls as a long-time friend is called to the great beyond.

As her concentration falters, Sia-Lan feels a deep pain well in her gut. Whispers brush into her mind, as she feels a compelling urge. She knows she can tap the power to accomplish anything she wants. She has touched that power before. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s to save your friend. With bare effort, the Padawan recognizes she has the power to heal Dané, if only she chooses to use it.

27 January 2005, 03:21 PM
No! Dané you can't leave! Sia-Lan feels helpless and angry at her lack of ability. Feeling the life leave the handmaiden, Sia-Lan's heart breaks and a tear rolls down her cheek. I'm not strong enough! Then, Sia hears the whispers and knows where it comes from. I need to use the power again. It's the only way to save Dané. I can do anything with it. Taking the plunge, Sia gives into the urge and reaches out to the power. I did say I would do anything to save my friends. Fueling the power with her anger and helplessness, Sia brings the Force to her friend in an attempt to save her. This has to work. The power can do anything.

27 January 2005, 03:35 PM
Sia-Lan again feels a resurgance of power as she taps the Force. Touching a raw power, Sia-Lan feels a deep connection with the swamp ruins, drawing from some unknown area near by, and channeling healing energy into her dying friend.

Dané gasps again and the group around her fears Sia-Lan has killed the brave young woman. Rann stretches out with the Force and feels her faint life, stabilized, but severely wounded.

Sia-Lan opens her eyes, gasping for breath, begging energy back into her own body. Her side aches with a fresh pain from where she took the phantom lightsaber blow the day before. The Padawan can feel her friend’s path towards death has been successfully waylaid, but her own body aches from the efforts.

Falling backwards, the Padawan faints from the efforts, and suddenly Rann, Arani and Rayger surround their two prone friends in the midst of ruins overtaken by the swamp.

((Sia-Lan: -1FP, +1 DSP, -1WP, Unconscious; Dané is stabilized at –9WP))

Kanner Ra'an
27 January 2005, 03:49 PM
"Whats wrong with her!?" Rayger asks, unable to concieve of what happened to the padawan. He briefly looks to see if someone fired a slugthrower, but quickly sees no visible wound. "I didn't think the force did that to you? Why is it hurting her?" He asks Rann. Seeing that Sia Lann is still in better condition then Dane, he turns his attention to the padawan. "I need to help her now. Anyone have a medpac?"

OOC: I dont think i have a medpac, but if anyone else has one i'll make a treat injury on Dane.

Howling Wookiee
28 January 2005, 01:33 PM
Rann growls to himself as he is unable to help he dying friend. He looks around in a panic for someone or something to help her. Suddenly Sia-Lan is by his side with her hands on Dane's chest, however Rann does not feel the Force flowing through Sia-Lan into Dane. Rann thinks, "Maybe together we can help.........." He is cut off from the faint and tainted whispers of the Force. He looks around to find their origin and suddenly realizes they are coming from Sia-Lan's direction. Rann whispers, "No.........". But he trails off knowing it is probably the only way Sia-Lan is going to help Dane. I can not be wrong to use the Dark Side to heal another, so he does not protest nor does he try to stop. Rann notices movement in the trees and with astonishment watches the ghostly figure of Galak being chase by Dane in a playful game of tag. Rann is saddened by the sight, for he knows that Dane is slipping off to death.

As Dane's ghostly image jumps over a log, it suddenly dissappears in mid air and Rann feels Dane's lifeforce slam back into her body. At the same time he feels and hears Sia-Lan's silent scream from the backlash of using the dark power.

Rann rushes to Sia-Lan's side and barks over his shoulder, "Make sure Dane is ok and make her comfortable." He merely answers Rayger's question with out looking at the others with two words, "Dark Side!" Then trails off, "..........the only way she could save her."

Rogue Janson
29 January 2005, 03:10 AM
Kneeling by her friend's side, Arani grasps Dané's hand, willing her to stay alive. As Sia-Lan tries to channel the Force, she delicately picks out some of the larger fragments of rock that have embedded themselves in Dané.

Arani freezes as she feels her friend twitch and reacts too slowly to catch Sia-Lan when she slumps to the ground. With one friend mortally injured and another passed out, she feels helplessness and bitterness about their mission. After all they went through in the invasion, she curses having to deal with Savor Kibbs and his foolish followers. Neither of whom seemed capable of listening to reason.

What Rann says reassures Arani that Dané is out of immediate danger, and she barely listens to hisanswer to Rayger. Instead, after cradling Dané's head and lying it carefully back on the ground, she stands, putting a hand on Rann's shoulder.

With her blaster pistol held tightly in one hand and the trails of tears cutting through the dirt on her face, Arani sets off at a brisk walk to find out where the rebels have fled to.

29 January 2005, 05:50 AM
Rann sets at his fellow Padawan’s side, watching over her. She lays on the ground silently and unmoving, but he can easily feel her presence in the Force. Behind him, Rayger rummages through Dané’s rucksack and finds her medpac, which he pulls out and applies with practiced knowledge. Injecting her with a double dose of pain killer, he then applies an anesthesia spray to her chest wounds before covering it with an auto-compressing bandage, using the full extent of the medical supplies. With his experience, he knows that another field medpac will do no better for her health, and that she likely needs a doctor if not a hospital.

As Arani stalks away from her companions, the rebels begin to slowly emerge from their concealed positions. Immediately she recognizes the look of confusing and bewilderment on their faces. The very same people who argued with her and her friends prior to the droid appearing now seem lost. She can hear soft discussions amongst the group, but cannot make out the words. At the very minimum, they no longer appear hostile.

Kanner Ra'an
31 January 2005, 06:21 PM
Rayger finishes patching up Dane, rechecking all of his work, and simply hoping that he did his job well. Seeing the others with grim looks on their faces, he reports on her as optimistically as he can, though he keeps it realistic. "Shes stable, and i did what i could for the wounds, but theirs nothing i can do. I used every vial, bandage, painkiller, everything. She needs a proffessional, or anyone with more then just republic basic med." Rayger says as he tosses away the spent medpac, frustrated that he can think of nothing else to do. "We can probably transport her though, if we're careful. Maybe rig her a strecher with some jackets and a couple pieces off wood. It should keep her comfortable and stop any of the internal woulds from reopening."

Deciding he should continue to make himself useful, he takes a mental tally of their gear. "We're also low on Medpacs though, so nobody geet shot." Looking at his weapon, and confirming that all his blaster packs are empty, he also delivers that discouraging news. " And my carbines out of ammo. Rann you got my only weapon now. I used up all my spares so far on the trip out here. Hopefully are friend has some" he comments as he rummages through the handmaidens pac, looking around for any spare ammunition that he might have missed. "Hows Sia-Lann doing, do you think we can wake her?"

Rogue Janson
1 February 2005, 08:24 AM
The sight of the confused Naboo and gungan rebels inspires contempt rather than sympathy in Arani. These people who were so willing before to forget their communities and put their faith in 'Savor Kibbs' can't handle his absence. If the Trade Federation had come and told them the Queen was a Jawa, they'd probably sign up.

"We need any medical kit you have and any communications gear," she orders, making vaguely threatening gestures with her pistol.

Arani considers questioning them about Savor Kibbs, but dismissed the idea. Even if they could provide any decent information, she and her friends are in no state to do anything about it now.

Howling Wookiee
2 February 2005, 05:04 AM
Rann remains beside Sia-Lan's side as the other attend to Dane. He is vaguely aware of the "rebels" exiting their hiding places, but he does not perceive them as a threat. He adds to Arani's order, "Quickly!!"

Rann does realize that the rebels must have been dupped but stupidity is not an excuse for irrational actions. He will have to have a discussion with the rebels to clarify the matter, but the first matter at hand is to get his commrades that are wound back to town and get them proper medical treatment. Rann reaches down and secures Sia-Lan's lightsaber to his own belt, just in case.

2 February 2005, 12:20 PM
Very much disoriented, the humans and Gungans stare blankly at Arani. After a long moment, a male human, wearing clothes which normally placed him in the upper-middle class, except for their disheveled and dirty appearance, nods his head slowly. “Right, medical supplies.”

He turns around, but Arani can tell he has no clue where to begin searching. He looks to the few individuals beside him, “Do we have anything like that?”

A woman responds, “I don’t even know where we are. What’s are we doing here?”

Piping up nearby, the awkward speech of a Gungan chimes in, “Mesa rememben da Mackineeks fighten uss-en. Mesa tinken wesa runnen away. But mesa no rememben how wesa gotten here now.”

Another Gungan, a child perhaps, approaches. “Mesa wanten da goen home.” She steps forward towards Arani, in spite of the blaster pistol. “Can yousa helpen me goen home?”

Immediately following the child, a woman adds, “I don’t think we have any supplies here. I don’t remember seeing anything around.”

Chatter begins to erupt between former members of the rebellious group. They talk over one another, trying to figure out what to do next. A Gungan warrior cautiously approaches Arani, stopping several meters away to speak to her. “Mesa tinken mesa knowen a path do Naboo. Wesa coulda carryen yousa friends. Desa haven de healers dere.”

The man who initially replied steps up next to the Gungan warrior. “I can’t find any medical supplies. I did find a few torn blankets. We could cover your friends for shock, and make stretchers with some long limbs to carry them to town.”

Rogue Janson
7 February 2005, 10:52 AM
The complicity and utter confusion of the 'rebels' finally cracks Arani's anger. She flicks on the safety of her pistol and drops it back inside her bag.

"Ok... you do that," she says faintly, waving them on.

The shock of the combat and Dané's near-death is starting to subside for Arani. She rubs her face, trying to compose herself, and thinks about what the 'rebels' have said. Since 'Savor Kibbs' could use the Force, presumably he used it to control these reluctant followers. Our recon mission is over now anyway. Time to concentrate on getting Dané to a doctor.

"Rayger," she shouts over to the Republic observer, "come and help make a stretcher. Sia-Lann, your lightsabre might be handy too."

"I want to search this area quickly," Arani tells the gungan warrior, "then you can lead us to the nearest town or village."

Kanner Ra'an
8 February 2005, 11:38 AM
"Right." Rayger agrees, looking one more time at Dane to be sure of her condition. Seeing Rann still with Sia-Lann, he says "Make sure Dane doesn't move if she regains consiousness. Otherwise she should be fine. Can i get that back. Im not comfortable going unarmed around here." he says to the Jedi, motioning to his lent blaster pistol. The rebels seem sedate now, even completely ignorant. He doesn't trust them on their claims, but as long at they dont try to harm then, their an asset now. The rest they can figure out when their in friendly territory and he doesn't have to worry about being shot at.

"Alright, lets get this thing built." He says, instructing the scared people in their work. He could probably do it with little or no help, but seeing as they all seem disoriented and a little frightened, he decides its a better idea to keep them occupied.

OOC: Did i have any luck with Dane's gear? I feel naked without my big gun.

19 February 2005, 04:15 AM
As Arani scouts the area, Rayger moves with Rann to build improvised stretchers. The former rebels comply and produce four long sticks and two heavy blankets which the soldier quickly turns into litters. The two men make quick work of moving the injured and unconscious women onto the carrying devices, and then strap them down with rope to keep them from falling off. Luckily, neither had any signs of neck injury, since Rayger was not sure how he would handle bracing the neck.

Having not found any spare powerpacks in Dané’s gear, the Republic Observer exchanges his dead clip for the one out of her blaster pistol. He wondered briefly how warriors ever fought when clips were not so interchangeable. Checking over his carbine, he finds it has less than half a clip left, which means when it is gone, the last two weapons the group will have is Arani’s heavy blaster pistol and his own pistol on loan to Rann.

As an after thought, he remembers Sia-Lan’s lightsaber, and casts a glance about, looking for it. He begins to suspect one of the locals stole it, when he finally spots it clipped to Rann’s belt, as the Padawan is stooped over his two injured friends.

Arani’s search turns up with nothing new. There are no more droids or caches of weapons. Very little food or shelter is around; it is amazing anyone managed to eek out living in the ruins in the middle of the swamp. She suspects some of those around her – previously hostile and now complacent and even scarred – must know how to find subsistence out of the swamps. Those near her pass her with wide eyes, and often she can hear them asking what has happened, how they got here, and how can they get back to their homes. They give her a wide berth, having felt but a brush of her anger. Those who earlier cursed her for aiding the Queen now appear as lost children in the midst of a strange world.

She returns to her allies and finds the two women ready for transport. Eight of the larger individuals – Gungans and humans alike – stand nearby, ready to hoist the litters and carry them through the swamps. The Gungan who had offered to lead the group out of the swamp stands with the group, awaiting instructions.

Kanner Ra'an
20 February 2005, 12:33 AM
"Everything looks good." Rayger reports to Arani, who he happily sees has taken charge of things. "They'll probably be far more comfortable then us on the hike back." he says, slinging his carbine over his shoulder. "And it looks like are new friends are just as confused and scared as they make themselves out to be. I dont think they'll be any problem on the way back. Nothing we cant handle anyways." he reports, still puzzled by them. He wonders if the Jedi understand it. He has seen Rann use the force to levitate with amazing abilities and Sia Lann just save Dane by touching her, but he has heard Jedi can affect the mind as well as the body. If its through the force, then maybe the force was doing this to.

Howling Wookiee
20 February 2005, 06:29 AM
Rann helps Rayger secure their two injured friends. After securing the two women, Rann looks around and take in all that is surrounding him. The locals are miling about confused and scared, they have two friends down, they are in the middle of a swamp, and the others of the group have to get everyone back to civilization. Difficult but not impossible for the group of friends, just another mission to undertake.

Rann moves up ahead of the group with the gungan scout that has offered to lead the group out. Rann speaks to the Naboo native, "We need a trek that will ease our carrying of the litters but one that is not too long. We need to get the two medical attention and fast." Rann turns to Rayger and Arani, "I will walk point with our 'guide' here. Is every one ready to go?"

Rogue Janson
21 February 2005, 04:22 AM
"Ok," Arani says in response to Rann, "let's get out of here. Rayger, stay at the back for now and make sure no-one gets left behind."

"Alright everyone, we're leaving here," she calls to the whole group.

Checking Sia-Lan and Dané are secure and comfortable on the way, Arani moves to the front of the group to talk to Rann. She is thinking along the same lines as Rayger and wants to talk it over with the Jedi padawan.

"These people aren't rebels are they?" she asks. "Someone's been playing with their minds. It could be drugs of some kind, but I don't think so. Could the Force do this? And what sort of person would be able - or want - to?"

21 February 2005, 05:25 AM
The procession begins to move slowly out of the camp. The stranded individuals, lacking their former rebellious attitudes, snake out behind the leaders as they plod through the swamps, seeking a beaten path. For the moment, they give their leaders – the small band of friends – a wide berth, allowing the conversation to proceed unhindered.

Howling Wookiee
23 February 2005, 10:25 AM
Rann notices Arani approach him from behind and he turns to give her a polite smile. The tries to hide the tension he fills with the smile, but he can tell that it does not work very well. The entire group is under pressure and their main concern is to get their friends to safety.

He thinks for a moment, rubbing his chin, at her question about he force being the cause of the “rebels” actions and views. After a long, quiet moment he responds the her questions, “We’ve studied at the Academy of instances in the past were Sith Lords have controlled large groups of people.” He pauses for a minute to think again then shakes his head, “But those individuals where very powerful in the Dark Side. We have not heard of any Sith Lords appearing anywhere. They have been extinct for a very long time.” He continues to try and convince himself more than Arani, “Also someone has to have total control of the Dark Side to wield it to such magnitude. I’m sure that the Jedi Council would have known of such an emergence in the Force if someone were present with that kind of control of the Dark Side……….” He trails off having clearly not convinced himself or anyone else.

After another quiet moment he continues, “We just need to be very careful from here on out Arani. I did feel a overwhelming presence during the confrontation but I’m not attuned enough to know how strong or from whom it came from. We may have gotten in over our heads. When we get back to the city I need to consult the Counsel immediately. For the time being, our first and foremost concern is getting Dane and Sia-Lan some medical treatment.” He finishes with a silent nod and he unconsciously taps his borrowed lightsaber on his hip as they walk.

Rogue Janson
7 March 2005, 02:44 PM
Arani shakes her head, more to herself than Rann. What he says is far from reassuring and right now she doesn't really want to being thinking about some of the possibilities that arise. His droideka aside, 'Savor Kibbs' didn't seem all that dangerous, but who knows what other plans he might have, whether he is a master of the dark side or just someone with a talent for the Force.

"I suppose we'll have to wait then," she says. "These people might be able to tell more when we get to safety. You're right though, we'd better make sure we get back rather than distracting ourselves."

Putting her words into action, she renews her watchfulness and drops back along the column to get a view of all the ex-rebels, and to see how Rayger is. Arani would rather stay at the front with Rann, but she feels the need to make a show of being alert and on top of things, to keep everyone's - including her own - morale up.

8 March 2005, 05:14 PM
The group trudges slowly out of the swamp and into the plains. Their Gungan guide and entourage of refugees keep up quietly and peacefully, all signs of the previous hostilities absent. The trek consumes an entire day, and while frustrated, tired and sore, the small band of heroes acquiesce and allow necessary breaks in the travel for water, food and rest stops.

The two young women on the stretchers rest silently. Rann feels relief at their inactivity, and comfort in his supernatural sense of their well being. Without Force-enhanced empathy, he can feel a strain amongst his peers; the flurry of recent battles and struggles they faced in overthrowing the Trade Federation have worn them all bare, both emotionally and physically. Rest and relaxation are definitely in order in the near future.

Rayger presses ahead, eyes constantly moving as he scans all directions for threats. His edginess heightens Arani’s own nervousness, but she finds comfort in his vigilance at the same time. He says little, and remains separated from the group at their breaks, sitting guard. She wonders what he is watching, either the group or the surroundings. Her own attention focuses on their mob of individuals, wary of another deception. She hears honesty and sincerity from the group, thanking her and her friends for rescuing them from the swamp and the Trade Federation. Trained and honed instincts tell her deception is completely lacking, meaning there was a deeper and cloaked reason for the strange behavior in the ruins.

Initially shadowing the Gungan guide, Rayger pulled back after ascertaining the alien’s true intentions. He had been cautious when several other Gungans asked to split off from the group, and bushwhack through the swamp after one of their rest breaks. He fought hard to listen with his reporter training instead of his martial instincts. Everything about the group seemed to fit with his understanding of refugees returning home, and not with clandestine operatives who would turn back and ambush the group. Furthermore he felt their small numbers would be no match for the larger group, even if it was just himself, Arani and Rann with the weapons.

Occasionally, the Republic Intelligence Observational Peacekeeper moves out and walks the flanks of the parade, trying to sense out new threats. The Trade Federation forces must have been completely eliminated and any native fauna intimidated by the large group, giving him little in which to find alarm. He surmises he is on an adrenaline withdrawal after the intense periods of action over the past week, along with sleep deprivation and a touch of shell shock. He knows he needs some serious down time soon, but first they have to complete their mission.

OOC: Continued in IoT: Interlude: Leaving Theed (http://holonet.swrpgnetwork.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17279)