Join Date: Jan 2004
Chapter 10: Torrdemnon Wassi
Both Seliqa and Wefive were quiet through most of the speeder ride. As the speeder covered more and more trees per second, the Onderonian sun declined. The colours of the sky shifted from a beautiful blue to an ominous orange and violet. Bird cries were frequent, as were the sights of birds migrating south in neat formations. The stars then penetrated the bright cover of the sky and peeked at Onderon. Soon enough, the sky was filled with multitudes of such stars. Dxun rose, and the rest of Onderon’s moons followed. Some two hours after Seliqa and Wefive had left the beast-riders, the speeder traffic had gradually increased. Speeders flew on invisible roads, some towards Seliqa’s direction, but most were just silhouettes on the horizon.
The walls of Iziz stood tall and strong and were visible from quite a few miles away. Over the years they had been strengthened and made taller. They had originally been built to protect the city-dwellers of Iziz from the wild beast-riders. However, the beast-riders allied with the citizens of Iziz, following the marriage of Iziz’s princess and a beast-rider chieftain. The walls of Iziz were then used to keep the wandering animals away and protect the beloved city from any other possible enemies. According to custom, the walls of Iziz were expanded regularly. Every two years, the wall would be expanded one foot, and made upto a metre taller. The Wall eventually became a symbol of power and of strength. Some mathematicians say that the exact date the building of the wall had started could be determined by carefully calculating statistics of the wall such as the length, breadth, the height, number of bricks etc.
Made about a thousand years ago, the Izizia Ondera Spaceport was a location teeming with activity. When Onderon had integrated more fully with the Republic, it needed to show that it was new, modern and could easily merge with the rest of the Republic. Iziz’s largest spaceport was therefore, rebuilt and named Izizia Ondera., the Izizian from Onderon. Unlike the older spaceports, this one was situated on a platform above the walls. From the spaceport, one had a beautiful view of the city, and could walk the magnificent walls. Three cantinas rivaled each other, filled with creatures of all sorts.
Seliqa arrived at the Izizia Ondera Spaceport about three hours after leaving the beast riders. She neatly parked the speeder in a Speeder Parking Zone, beneath the platform that served as the foundation for the Izizia Ondera. The parking lot, one of the six lots was rather empty. It was filled with a number of speeders; however there were only a couple of sentients loitering in the lot. Seliqa killed the engine and exhaled. The Captain, silent for a long while, got talking.
“Alright, we’re here. To start with, we’re gonna need equipment. This blaster rifle and pistol is good enough for me. You, need a pistol of your own. I need a good set of armour, since it’s not a good idea running into a battlefield naked, and this clothing is as good as that. You will need something, as well. I’m sure this beast-rider thing isn’t too comfortable.”
His guess was confirmed by a nod from Seliqa.
“That lightsaber stays hidden. You’ll need a pistol, or two. After that, we’ll go look for a ship.”
“Okay, but Wefive, no starfighters this time.”
Wefive chuckled as he hopped out of the speeder and double-checked it look for any leftover equipment. When the checking was done, he quietly opened the speeder’s hood and shot the systems. Sparks flew in all directions. The two loiterers, both rodians stood stunned. Seliqa masterfully blinded their minds so that they were left temporarily stunned and would not remember the last ten minutes. Seliqa’s conscience was slowly catching up with her. She was on the path to betray an advice by her Master. Her Master had explicitly told her not to overuse or exploit Mind tricks. It is a technique that temporarily blinds the target, but has the potential of permanently blinding the user. Blinding the user from the light side.
The Eccsun Emporium was one of the stores at the Izizia Ondera. Like all the new stores, this one too was desperately trying to attract new customers and make its mark in the spaceport. The life of a storekeeper in a newly founded store is hard, especially if the spaceport is filled with bigger, better stores. The merchant lives on money. He sells and buys, then repeats on a higher scale. And people want the better stuff. So they go to the more advanced, seasoned stores rather than the lower-grade stores that don’t have the rare, high-quality equipment they needed. The strategy was to watch a city, and when it builds a spaceport, move in fast and sell fast. Even the slightest of delays could be fatal.
Run by two Sullustans and a Twi’Lek, the Eccsun was no different. The three were young merchants, who met each other at Nar Shaddaa and were double-crossed by a pair of female Rodians. In lack of money and ideas, the trio moved planet-to-planet offering their economical skills to those interested, but were largely unsuccessful. Eventually they contributed their funds and founded the Eccsun Emporium, but were at a loss. Hardly anyone walked into their store and whoever walked was most likely too poor to afford a good percentage of the merchandise.
The arrival of Seliqa and Wefive changed the bored Sullustans. They got to their feet and began yelling their merchandise and prices at the two customers. The Twi’Lek, more experienced, kept quiet and stood alone in a corner. Wefive placed his rifle on the desk and calmly said, “Shut up.”
The Sullustans complied. Wefive took over.
“We need equipment, and we need it cheap. We have two thousand credits. One suit of light armour, one heavy. One blaster pistol, and then you can go to hell.”
One of the sullustans was already on his calculator, and pulling up armour specifications. Seliqa followed the Twi’Lek into a store-room, where he gave her a relatively light and cheap suit of armour. He claimed it could withstand most blasters and was quite flexible. It’s cost was some six hundred credits. Wefive’s armour was rather easy to find. He only needed something not to obtrusive, but enough to cover his features and his face. He settled for a suit of Bajjoragh Armour, the specialty of the planet Basokuurn. A thousand credits. The pistol was a non-modified piece straight from the Fatonyech Factory. Light, not heavy and effective enough. Two hundred credits. The last two hundred credits that remained would have to be used sparingly. Very sparingly. The two still had to get their ship and that would definitely cost more than a meagre two hundred credits.
Their next step was to decide on what the next step was. Two hundred credits was not good money, and would not even buy a child speeder. Their only hope would be to masquerade as victims of a double-crosser and get a ship. It was a far-fetched plan, but anything would work in this situation. News blared that two Republic Assault Ships had departed orbit and left for some other war-torn world. Only the RAS Bayonet lay in space now, swarming with clones and starfighters.
One of the best places to find just about anyone, is a cantina. Teeming with all sorts of sentient life, Cantinas are havens for people with problems, people with a story or people who would soon be dead. Seliqa and Wefive entered the Taliandra Usccaindis, the Sword of Queen Talia, one of the oldest, largest and most popular cantinas. The fresh spaceport air soon turned into the stuffy, incensed air common to cantinas and the dark red, green and blue lighting hurt Wefive’s eyes. The cantina had become so large over the years, it now had some five bars, three large sabacc dens and all sorts of cantina accessories. Seliqa made her way to the nearest bar, and for courtesy’s sake, ordered a Daboulateure, a drink with an intoxicating taste, but having no real intoxicants. Wefive ordered the same.
Seliqa silenced her thoughts and tried to hear the commotion around her more clearly. It is common Jedi knowledge that if one concentrates, one could hear the life of a crowded place. One could see the conquerors, the victims, the depressed, the triumphant, the weak, the strong and listen to their minds. While Seliqa stared at the cantina and entered the Force, Wefive quietly sipped his Daboulateure, a luxury he never had in his army days. The drink felt good and almost went to his head, but he kept the intake down and kept his mind sharp by thinking further steps and playing at planning a battle strategy. A sudden gasp from Seliqa brought him to his senses. Setting his drink down, his extended his arms, about to grab Seliqa, until he learnt that she is not falling.
Seliqa, on the other hand had made a startling discovery. Somebody in the cantina was brimming with Force potential. That could only mean it was a Jedi, an untapped Jedi or a Dark Jedi. The other two options being highly unlikely, Seliqa settled it to be a fellow Jedi. Suddenly the mystical air of a Force trance lifted and she found herself at the bar, beside Wefive. Wefive’s concern was washed away by Seliqa’s “I’m alright”s and “I’m fine”s. She told him to sit where he was and be wary, while she went to search ‘something she had sensed’.
This search wasn’t too far, fortunately. Only in the next room, she found the source of energy, a young human male in his thirties. Only when she got closer did she recognize him.
“Torrd!”, she called at the man.
The man turned back suddenly and instantly recognized Seliqa.
Seliqa rushed at his side and took a seat beside him. Torrd, whose real name was Torrdemnon Wassi was a Jedi who had been with Seliqa when they were young Padawans. Seliqa felt relieved that at least Torrd had made it out alive.
“Seliqa! I thought they sent you to Crysm!” Torrd remarked.
“I escaped and landed here, on Onderon. There was a defector, an ARC.”
Torrd was about to say something, but decided against it. It was too risky to speak in a Cantina as risky as the one they sat in. Torrd told Seliqa to meet him outside, in a secluded corner in the spaceport. He assured her that if she could find him in a crowded cantina, she should have no difficulties finding him outside. Seliqa agreed and Torrd left. Seliqa left for her bar as well.
Finding Torrd was no more difficult than finding an attractive Twi’Lek in Nar Shaddaa’s Red Light Sector. Seliqa let herself be followed by ‘currents’ and ‘veins’ that flowed through the life in the spaceport. Torrd was in an alley, dark and hidden from the eyes of the public. Seliqa entered the corner, followed by Wefive. Wefive was, as always wary. His rifle was constantly cocked and he always checked behind his shoulder. Seliqa was aware of his unusual suspicious nature, but didn’t discourage it. It did keep them on their toes.
Torrd pulled Seliqa into the alley as soon as she approached it and then throwing her behind him, went into an aggressive stance against Wefive. By instinct, Wefive raised his gun, ready to shoot if need be. Seliqa had told him about Torrd, but that did not change Wefive’s skeptical suspicion over just about everyone. Torrd’s hands was over his lightsaber, but Wefive knew that he won’t ignite it.
“This is a private matter, mercenary” Torrd spoke, eyeing Wefive’s armour.
“It’s okay, Torrd. He’s Captain Wefive, an ARC. He’s the one who has saved my skin more than once. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here.” Seliqa vouched.
Torrd dropped into a more casual stance, as Wefive made his way in. His helmet turned to Torrd’s head.
“So… I take it you’re both shipless.” Torrd started, his well-known smile spreading across his face.
“Pretty much obviously. We came to the cantina hoping we’d find a ship…” Seliqa answered.
“As a matter of fact, Camman, I do have a ship. It’s a fine cruiser, small and enough for two.” He looked at Wefive as he completed his sentence.
“But I’m sure we can squeeze you in, wise guy.” Wefive answered the silent provocation.
“That’s good news, Torrd. Where are we going to go, though?”
“Polis Massa, where else? You were lucky I was planning on catching up local gossip in the cantina, or I would have already been in hyperspace!”
“Polis Massa? Why there? That’s an asteroid or something…”
“I take it you didn’t check your datapad… There was a message for the Jedi to regroup at Coruscant, but it was a bogus message. That damned Skywalker set it up. Master Yoda and Master Kenobi got to the place in time and diverted the message to Polis Massa, that’s where we’re going.”
“That can be bogus as well…” Wefive commented.
“But it’s out only hope. Besides, it’s better than running blind into a planet full of clones. What say, Seliqa?”
Wefive stood silent for a while, before giving his approval.
“Great, we’ll leave immediately. I hope you two caught everything you wanted, cause…”
“Aw, looks like I forgot my underpants. Can we run back to Crysm?” Wefive joked.
Torrd took the hint and walked out, followed by Wefive and Seliqa.
Torrdemnon’s ship was a little outdated. It stood alone in the large dock. It was small and as Torrd showed, it had just a corridor and a cockpit, after the loading ramp. Wefive commented on it being an oversized passenger starfighter. He was right, in a way. The ship was equipped with minimal weaponry. Two blaster cannons, but no torpedoes. The cannons, too, were locked and could only be used with a Heavy Blaster License, which Torrd did not possess. Bought only a few hours ago, the ship, whose name was The Emmire was of Onderonian build. It was fast, but not as durable as some other ships. It was fuelled and ready to leave, by the time the three made their way to the cockpit.