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Old 06-06-2008, 08:30 PM   #30
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"She's hiding," Mayla said softly, clenching her right hand into a fist. "We have to draw her out... put her on the run."

"Gangs." The three young people came to this conclusion simultaneously and split up. Once they were some distance apart, they turned, facing the center of the triangle they had just become and linked their minds together through the Force. Within this 'triangle of power', they reached into the minds of every gang member they could find, planting images of their mother and her new companion.

"Alive! Alive! They must be captured alive!" the siblings screamed into the bond. A few of the weaker minds lurched immediately into action, darting through the crowded Undercity on a search for the people who'd just popped into their heads. The siblings continued reinforcing their suggestions until every member of every gang within their significant triangle had taken up the hunt.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
((This section written with input from Steven))

"Come on," Aryn urged suddenly, tugging on both Jack and Rena. "We've got to get out of here before..." She stopped suddenly. "Oh... it's too late."

She reached around behind her and tugged the hilt of a saber staff free from a harness there. Almost casually, she toyed with a strange groove at the staff's center. Abruptly, the hilt split in two and she passed one end to Jack. "Here, take this."

The man grunted. "Thats handy... But why wait 'till now to say so, why not when I needed one five minutes ago?"

Aryn's chin shot up. "Because I like using both sides, and there wasn't any immediate danger. Now, there is..."

Before either Jack or Rena could ask what she meant, the crowd before them scattered before people in their early twenties and a veritable army of gang members. "Meh," Jack muttered, calmly igniting the lightsaber Aryn had given him, staring at the burnt-orange blade for a moment. Then, he turned to Rena and said, "Get ready for this. Time to see how well you've been practicing."

Across the way from the trio, Darra, Johur, and Kossur lit up their own lightsabers and signaled for the gangs to charge. Almost before the trio had a chance to react, the gangs were on them. Aryn spun and ducked shots, slashes, and punches, slicing with her half of her lightsaber, always aiming to kill.

As she moved, she came dangerously near a long drop, which fell deeper into the Undercity. There, she was confronted by Darra, and Aryn's burnt-orange blade clashed against Darra's violet blade, bisecting a poor gang member who'd gotten in the way. Right on the edge of the fall, the two women circled one another, blades crossed.

"What do you call yourself now?" Darra asked. Aryn's mouth twitched.

"Aryn Vexxlin," she answered, withdrawing her blade from the lock and striking downward toward Darra's legs. Darra hopped over the strike calmly and cut toward Aryn's neck. Aryn ducked.

"Come home, Aryn," Darra urged. "Reclaim your life, your name, your status."

Aryn flinched and attacked aggressively. "It isn't mine. Another is dead. I have failed them time and again. They should choose the Elder. He's a much wiser choice for a leader."

"Their own arrogance has failed them," Darra protested, doing scarcely more than defending herself. "It has nothing to do with you."

Aryn's eyes grew cold. "The leader must always accept the blame. Whether by lack of preparation or my own overconfidence in my strengths, I led them to arrogance."

The fighting between them intensified as they slashed, blocked, ducked, jumped, and rolled, always avoiding one another's strikes. It looked more like a training exercise than a fight to the death. For as it was, neither woman wanted to kill the other.

"Your father will be upset with you," Aryn observed. Darra smiled sadly.

"If we can bring you back, it will be worth every ounce of his disappointment."

"I won't go back," Aryn said, pressing Darra back more and more, then getting in close and tripping her from behind. Startled, Darra fell backward, tumbling over the ledge upon which they were fighting. At the last second, she caught the edge, barely holding on. With a gasp, Aryn moved forward, lightsaber ahead of her, and looked down. Darra stared up into her eyes.

"You wouldn't," she said confidently. With a low growl, Aryn darted away from the ledge, plunging back into the ever growing mass of gang members. On the other side, she found Jack and Rena, inching steadily backward.

"There's too many of them!" she yelled. "We have to retreat!"

And so they ran, with the gangs in pursuit, while Johur and Kossur ran back for their sister. As Jack, Aryn, and Rena ran, Jack turned to Aryn and wondered aloud, "Where'd you learn all that crap?"

Shooting him a brief glare, Aryn answered, "It's not a matter of learning. You want my big secret?" She ducked a blaster bolt a few seconds before it would have slammed into her back. Then, she tugged Jack and Rena through a doorway and slammed the door shut behind them. "I'm a precog. I see stuff before it happens. Not Forcey related or anything... I can just see all the best options."

Jack was amused. "Hmm, fancy taking a stab at gambling when all this is over?"

"Not likely," Aryn retorted dryly. "You do realize what casinos do to cheaters, right?"

Jack chuckled. "Hey, don't worry about them. You can see them when they're coming for you anyway, right?"

Aryn rolled her eyes. "Whatever. Can we just get out of here, please?"

Jack nodded. "Yeah, we'd better. I hear footsteps."

A lone gang member skidded around a corner inside the building, his blaster at the ready. Jack ripped the blaster out of the man's hands with the Force and shot him with it. "So, precog... which way?"

Aryn fell silent, looking around. She gestured the direction the gang member had come from. "There's fewer of them that way," she said. Jack nodded.

"Good," he said. "Let's go."

Mom tells me I need brain food... but if writing ain't that, I don't know what is!

My work in progress:
Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

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