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Old 10-24-2008, 03:12 AM   #41
The Doctor
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Tawnos burst into the alley, blaster drawn, senses stretched to their limit with the possible threat of returning junkies. He scanned the alley quickly, and located two shapes huddled together against the wall at the far end. He moved in, his back against the opposite wall, weapon at the ready. He strained his senses to their maximum, forcing his conscious mind to let go of his fear and uncertainty. He cycled through the input from each of his senses, eliminating that which he could identify. First was the sound of his own breathing, which was deep and quiet; next went the flickering hum of the Rancor's Breath sign, along with the deep, droning bassline from the music within. After only a moment, all that remained was a rasping sort of wimpering, which he recognised as belonging to his sister.

He dashed forward, holstering his blaster as he knelt down next to his friend and sister. "Are you alright?" he asked, signalling to Osay and Celeb to secure Lite's condition. Osay rushed forward the young woman's side, while Celeb remained at the mouth of the alley, keeping an eye out in case any more spice thugs decided to turn up.

Gherion looked up at Tawnos with unfocused eyes colored with a quieted anguish. "I'll be fine, but I don't know how Ashalle's doing."

Ashalle simply stared at the ground, her eyes unblinking, her body shivering uncontrolably despite the warm Retalian air that always accompanied the dawn. She was pale and clammy, and her skin glistened with a cold sweat. Tawnos removed his jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders, pulling her to her feet gently before offering his hand to Gherion.

He watched his sister as she fought to maintain the contents of her stomach. He had never seen her like this before - she had always been calm, collected, and cool headed, whether she was quiet at home, or dealing with overbearing males hoping to score on her. He had never seen her look so helpless, so in need, nor had he ever felt such a powerful connection to her.

"How's Lite?" he called over his shoulder, tearing his eyes from Ashalle and speaking directly to Osay.

Osay was kneeling beside Lite. She glanced up at Tawnos and replied, "She'll be fine, but she'll have a nasty headache once she wakes up." The teenager pushed her blonde hair behind her ear and glanced at Ashalle. Osay shuddered and returned her eyes to Lite. She felt weak and scared when she looked at Ashalle. She hadn't felt that way for years. Oh, how she hated that feeling!

"Well, it'll be better if Erussa is around for that bit," Tawnos replied, still helping his sister stay on her feet. He glanced down at the ground where she was staring, and realised what she was staring at - the bodies of the two men she and Gherion had been forced to slay to defend Lite. He caught Gherion's attention, and silently asked him to take his place supporting Ashalle.

He moved over to the two men, and knelt over their bodies. He recognised his sister's dagger sticking out of the nearest one's neck, and with a firm tug removed it. He wiped the thug's blood on his own clothes, and slid it akwardly into his own blaster's holster. He hesitated for a moment before reaching into the thug's pockets. He pulled out a handful of lint, as well as a half dozen credits and a handful of death-sticks, which he snapped open. He moved to the other thug, and did the same, finding another dozen credits, a few more death-sticks, and a spare blaster-pack. He pocketed the blaster pack, destoryed the drugs, and rose. "We should get out of here," he said. "These guys may be common street thugs, but they may have friends."

Gherion trudged towards Tawnos with Ashalle's arm around his neck, supporting her as best he could. She was walking, if with a half-lucid mechanical gait that proved to be more instinctual than voluntary. He, too, was pale as a ghost, his eyes slightly more sunken, his cheekbones more pronounced. It had been 13 years since he'd seen death, and though he was strong enough to keep moving, it had taken its toll. He needed rest. "We should probably take as many back alleys as is possible, to avoid being seen. We're certainly not the healthiest looking bunch right now, and that could very well make us targets."

Osay glanced at the bodies on the ground and replied casually, "They and some of their buddies have been trying to get a few credits off of me several times for the past few weeks. Their gang's after me now 'cause I killed a couple of their friends who got a little too--forward. Now they'll be after us all. We need to stick to the lit areas with lots of people until we get to a more civilized part of town." Osay looked up at the others, hoping that one of them was about to pick up Lite. Tawnos was supporting his sister--that was understandable. Her eyes turned to Gherion. Hmph, no help there. He looked as sick as a dehydrated gizka. Apparently she was the only one in this group who didn't falter at the sight of death. She gave an impatient sigh and slid her arms under Lite's back and legs, and she stood with a slight grunt as she said commandingly, "If we get waylaid by some people, I need someone to take Lite. The rest of you run while I create a diversion, and I'll catch up later."

Tawnos eyed her for a moment, then turned his gaze to Ashalle, who had pulled herself out of her daze and had become somewhat more lucid, pushing away slightly as she attempted to stand on her own power. "Take it easy, Sis," he said in an uncharacteristicly gentle tone.

She shook her head to clear her vision, and wiped her mouth with the back of her sleeve. "I'm fine..." she said shakily. "Help--" she closed her mouth for a second, and steadied herself against Gherion before continuing. "Help Osay with Lite. I'll be okay."

Tawnos cast her a wary look before slowly moving off, looking pointedly at Gherion. His pale and haggard young friend's face was set into a stern grimace as he nodded. "I've got her, don't worry."

Tawnos nodded in return before turning to Osay and offering to help with Lite.

Osay gladly passed Lite to Tawnos and rolled her shoulders. "Thanks, Tawnos." She joined Celeb at the mouth of the alley and glanced around as if making sure no one was waiting for them around the corner. After a few moments, the girl turned to the rest of them and said quietly, "Come on. We don't have much time." She walked out of the alley, silently hoping that her companions would be quick enough for them all to get out of here in one piece. Osay had been ambushed by this gang three or four times before, and they were probably going to get ambushed on their way back to the main city. She stretched her long, slim fingers and had a horrible thought. What if her companions decided to play hero and try to help out instead of run like she'd told them to? Then she'd have to defend some other people as well as herself! She was sure Celeb would run if she told him to, but she wasn't too sure about Tawnos - he was arrogant, and staying behind to help her fight with Lite clinging to his back sounded exactly like the noble, stupid thing he would do. Hopefully, Lite would stay unconscious long enough to keep him occupied. As for the others... Gherion and Ashalle didn't look like they could stomach another fight anyway.

Last edited by The Doctor; 10-24-2008 at 11:18 AM.
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