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Old 09-30-2007, 10:55 PM   #681
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Looking over at Jeez, Ryshana then said, "Well, it might be worth a try."

"Wait, what? You can't be serious," Jeez replied incredulously.

"Yes, I'm being serious. It can't hurt, and its not like they couldn't take us without a fight," Ryshana returned.

Shaking his head, Jeez said, "Something isn't right here. The Darkside is clouding too much for you to step out on a limb like that. Stay here, and we'll think of something."

""Think of something"? Haven't you done enough of that already?" Ryshana stated bluntly. "We're in a tight spot right now because you wanted to come out guns blazing, remember?"

"Hey, I didn't hear anybody offering any alternatives. What's wrong with my plan anyway? We did manage to fight them to a standstill despite being outnumbered and outgunned. This lull in the fighting doesn't benefit us as much as it does them," Jeez returned.

"Yeah, but what about us just ending the fighting altogether? That's a much better alternative in my book," Ryshana replied as she was becoming increasingly agitated.

"No, its not. We try to end this fight by negotiation, and what do we have to bring to the table? We have a couple of weapons and the clothes on our backs. We have an empty side deck, and they haven't even touched theirs. If we don't press the attack, we're finished here, and I'm not going back down there."

Sighing in frustration, Ryshana turned away for a moment while Beryl just stood between them in a bit of shock.

"Look, I just want to give it a try, OK?" Ryshana said without looking over at Jeez. "Whether you like it or not, we don't have much to lose here, so I'm going."

Moving past Jeez and Beryl to the left, Jeez rolled his eyes. "Ryshana-"

"I don't want to hear it, Jeez. We're not having a repeat of last time," Ryshana stated as she turned to look at him. Smiling for a moment, she then reassuringly said, "Its all going to be OK in the end."

Grabbing her by the hand, Jeez did his best to return the smile as he gave her a soft squeeze. "Alright, go give it a try," Jeez said as he gave in at last.

With one last squeeze, Ryshana let go of Jeez's hand and started to walk around the the freighter. Suddenly, Jeez's heart sank as he felt something stir in the Force. "Ryshana wait!!" he yelled out.

Turning the corner to see what Jeez was fussing about, a blaster suddenly fired from the other side of the hangar. Connecting with Ryshana's head, the twi'lek slumped onto the ground. In an instant, Jeez could feel Ryshana's life become one with the Force. Ryshana was dead.

As Jeez stared at Ryshana's lifeless body, he suddenly felt weak, and he dropped to his knees. For the second time in his life, Jeez could feel a piece of himself die in the Force. It was such a strange thing to feel a part of yourself to just die, and Jeez could hardly believe it. At the same time, Jeez could feel something else come to life inside of him.

"The rest of your "lousy" friends will share the same fate if you keep this up, Beryl. Its your move yet again," the Admiral stated calmly as he brought his pistol back down to his side even as the barrel still steamed a bit from the shot.

Before Beryl could reply, Jeez stood up and turned around to look at Beryl. In a state of shock, Jeez could feel her rising anger. "There's no need to get angry. Its time for me to finish this," Jeez stated calmly.

Holstering his lightsaber on his belt, Jeez then yelled out, "As you wish, Admiral. You want to leave us with no way out, then so be it."

"I'll make my own way," Jeez added softly at the end as he could feel himself filling with resolve. Concentrating on the freighter, Jeez closed his eyes as he reached out his hands towards the freighter. A creaking sound could be heard from underneath the freighter, and Beryl backed away from the freighter cautiously. Then, the freighter began to move upwards. It moved slowly, and soon there was about a foot tall gap between the floor and the heavy freighter. "You want to play things that way, then lets play by mine," Jeez stated under his breath.

Heaving forward, the freighter suddenly flew straight towards the other end of the hangar. The E-Webs and the Riot troopers manning them were instantly crushed by the massive wrecked hulk, and the freighter quickly moved straight towards Admiral Quitaan. As the Admiral dove out of the way, Jeez used the Force to pull the pistol out of his grip.

"I think you've done enough here, Admiral," Jeez stated as he looked sharply at him. Holding the pistol in midair in front of him, it slowly began to deform as Jeez crushed it with the Force. Dropping it, Jeez then walked over to Ryshana's corpse and knelt down in front of it.

Studying her, he ran his hand lightly across her face. Feeling the fading warmth of her body, Jeez closed his eyes and then said, "I will mourn for you. Just not today." Reaching down, he picked up her corpse and cradled Ryshana in his arms. Turning around to face the opposite end of the hangar, Jeez began to walk slowly in that direction.

"What are you waiting for? Kill him!!" the Admiral shouted to the remaining Troopers. As they peered out of their cover and started to take aim at Jeez, their weapons suddenly shot out from their hands. Floating in front of them, the weapons started to deform as the Admiral's had. Looking over at Jeez, he had stopped walking forward and was instead standing still with his eyes closed in concentration.

One by one, the destroyed weapons clanked to the ground, and as the last one fell, Jeez opened his eyes and continued to walk down to the end of the hangar as he cradled the lifeless body of a person that he had greatly loved.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 10-01-2007, 11:02 AM   #682
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Conn wasn't quite sure he believed his eyes, but the fact of the matter was that Jeez had lifted a freighter and hurled it towards the stormtroopers and then had disarmed the Admiral, all after Ryshana had been shot dead. Glancing over at Beryl beside him, he could feel the rage and the turmoil swirling within her at seeing her master murdered in cold blood by her own brother. Her hand was trembling as she gripped the lightsaber so hard her knuckles were white. Conn reached out slowly and touched her arm. She turned her head to glare at him, the anger in her eyes making her look almost unfamiliar to him. He swallowed hard. "B, take it easy," he told her quietly, but urgently.

"No." Her tone was clipped, neutral. "Nuss isn't going to get off easy. Not this time." She stood up, Conn's hand still at her arm. She glanced down at him. "Don't try and stop me, Conn." She flicked her finger and her lightsaber ignited, the brilliant blue blade boiling out from her hand.

Conn looked from her face to the lightsaber in her hand, then back to her eyes. Hesitantly, he released her arm. "Are you sure you want to do this?"

For a fleeting moment, the rage in her eyes subsided and gave way to sorrow, and Conn's heart sank. "It's never been about what I want," she said. "But I'll be damned if I give Nuss what he wants, after what he's done." With that, she turned towards her brother and started walking purposefully towards him.

Conn looked over the bulkhead at her, the same old familiar feeling he got whenever Beryl would try something reckless sinking into his stomach.

********

Max cursed as she heard the sound of crunching metal outside of her shuttle. "What in Sithspit?" Her deft fingers flew over the console, working feverishly to input the commands to lower the energy shield around the base. By some stroke of dumb luck, the shuttle she had chosen was outfitted with a state-of-the-art electronics suite, making her job that much easier. "Must be some big shot's personal ship," she muttered to herself as she tapped the last sequence into the console. Grabbing a datapad, she plugged a transfer cable into the jack. After a few moments, it beeped and she disconnected it and shoved it into her pocket.

The shuttle rocked slightly again, almost causing Max to lose her balance. "Why do these kids always have to play rough?" she groaned, rubbing her knee. Making her way to the back of the shuttle, she poked her head just outside of the boarding ramp, quickly spotting Conn behind a bulkhead. She was about to call out to him when noticed something that made her stop short. Beryl was walking towards a garrison of stormtroopers, a lightsaber in her hand.

"Bloody hell," she muttered as she disembarked.




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Old 10-01-2007, 03:42 PM   #683
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Her eyes burning with rage, Beryl strode in the direction of her brother. She had never felt the Force flowing so strongly within her as she did now, and she didn’t care whether or not she was using the Light side or the Dark side. Ryshana was dead—killed by her brother. And as if that weren't bad enough, she had been killed dishonorably. Just like the man at the cantina on Coruscant wearing unearned bloodstripes, shooting someone under the guise of a truce was just as dishonorable in the eyes of a Corellian. Berasmus had to pay for his crimes.

The Admiral was attempting to regroup his troops, but with the Clone Troopers unceremoniously disarmed by Jeez, they were just obstacles in Beryl’s way. He noticed an unfamiliar look in his sister’s eyes—a mixture of hate, sorrow, and vengeance. Still, his expression remained stoic. “Beryl, you’ve lost. I don’t want to have to hurt you. Put your weapon down and this can all be over,” he called out to his approaching sister.

Beryl paused then, and turned slowly to look over her shoulder. Jeez was carrying Ryshana’s lifeless body down to the far end of the hanger bay. Sam was following him, but walking backwards, shouting and beckoning to Beryl to come with them. Conn remained where Beryl had left him, peering around a bulkhead and watching her, his eyes reflecting a faint hope that she would abandon her task and join him instead. She smiled at him, but her smile wasn’t entirely friendly, rather it was predatory.

She turned back to Berasmus. “You're right, Nuss. It’s not over yet,” she said in a chillingly calm voice and she started forward once more. Lightsaber burning bright, she swung at the first trooper obstructing her path, slicing him in two at the waist. A second trooper stepped in, intent on doing some hand to hand combat, but a quick flourish of her saber and the trooper suddenly had no arms to do any combat with. With swipe after swipe of her blade, she cut down with impunity any troopers or guards who decided to impede her progress until finally she was pointing her blade at her brother’s chest.

“Why?” Beryl asked. “You killed Ryshana under the guise of negotiation! Why?”

“She was a Jedi,” Berasmus said, his voice as calm as ever. “She’s an enemy of the Empire.”

“She was my friend!”

He eyed her saber, and then the corner of his mouth upturned into a wry grin. “She was more than that to you, wasn’t she?” he whispered. “Don’t be lured into becoming their pawn.”

“Pawn? She was my friend, Nuss! And you had no right to kill her like that! No right!” Her blade moved closer and her eyes narrowed venomously. “No Corellian would ever do that,” she hissed.

“I’m an Imperial officer first and foremost. Someday, you’ll understand the meaning of duty and discipline. And you’ll understand that sometimes, sacrifices must be made.”

“Sacrifices? I ought to sacrifice you!” Her blade moved back to strike, but then she hesitated. Berasmus was her brother, her own flesh and blood. She couldn’t kill him. No matter how much she hated him at this moment, she couldn’t do it.

“If you feel you must, then do it,” Berasmus said, his voice maintaining its even measure. “I’m unarmed. I can’t stop you.”

Suddenly, alarms began to blare. Emergency lights near the hanger bay doors began to flash. The remaining prison workers, guards, and troopers, including the people in the control tower, started to evacuate the hanger facility. Not knowing that the planetary shields were down, compliments of Max, they were preparing to vent the entire hanger wing of the facility to the outside atmosphere in an attempt to kill off the remaining escapees. The hanger doors were opening and the shielding around the landing pads had been turned off.

Beryl frowned. If the Echo wasn’t on it’s approach this very minute, they had little time left. She raised her blade to strike once again, but then, through the Force, she detected movement nearby. A prison guard, with a blaster in hand, was taking aim at her. Using her other hand, she drew first and fired, killing him instantly. But then, she felt something pelt her shoulder. And then her thigh. And then her neck. A wave of unsteadiness washed over her as a strong wind began to blow through the hanger.

“I can’t stop you,” Berasmus added, his hair being ruffled by the increasing wind, “but the Major can.”

Beryl blinked. Nuss’ face was starting to blur. In the distance, she heard Sam scream her name. Conn shouted, too, but his words were unintelligible, swallowed by the rushing wind. Her saber and blaster became heavy like lead and fell from her hands to the deck. She tried to take a step back, but her leg buckled. And then her other leg buckled. She reached up to her neck and felt something cylindrical. She pulled at it. It appeared to be some sort of dart. As her fingers lost feeling, it clinked against the floor just as she slumped forward.

She wanted to ask her brother what he had done to her. But no words would come. She was paralysed.

Major Payne appeared from within the corridor, flanked by the Admiral’s personal guards. "That worked rather well, sir," he shouted over the noise of the rushing air as one of the guards lifted Beryl into a fireman's carry.

“Take her to the med bay and give her the antidote,” the Admiral ordered as they all headed for the safety of the back corridor. He gave a backwards look over his shoulder at Doc Conn and the others, then shook his head. “And activate any auto-defences.”

With that said, the Admiral's party disappeared into the corridor. The door shut and then pressurized, leaving the prisoners alone in the hanger bay.


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:15 PM   #684
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Jack raced towards the prison as fast as he deemed approbate, and was pleased to see the hanger blast doors firmly open or else he would of have to abandon his plan and think of another way in. When he got in range, Jack began to slow the momentum of his ship so he wouldn't crash at the end of his plan. The Echo continued to zoom forward, slowing itself as it got closer to the hanger doors. Eventually the Echo plunged into the hanger before coming to a complete halt, sending a weak shock wave of air through the hanger, the outercomm shouting "Yee-haa!" as it stopped.

As he landed the Echo, Jack announced the situation over the intecomm. "Will Jana, Cloud and Other please report to the landing ramp please to help prevent a s*** loads of stormies crawling into our ship."


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Old 10-01-2007, 05:30 PM   #685
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It all happened so fast that Conn almost didn't believe it. One moment, Beryl was about to cut down her own murderous brother in cold blood, the next she was slumping to the ground, hit by no less than three darts. Conn shouted out, but his voice was drowned out by the ominous howling of depressurization. He stood up quickly and hefted his pack and moved towards the door that Beryl and her brother had disappeared.

"What in the NINE HELLS do you think you're doing, Conn?" Max's voice screamed above the rising din.

Conn stopped abruptly and turned around to see Max sprinting towards him. "Max?" he said. "Where've you been?"

The petite trustee strode the last few meters towards Conn, grabbed his arm and proceeded to haul him back towards the freighters. "Never mind where I've been," she snapped, tugging him along. "Did you get hit in the head or something? We need to get out of here."

"But I need to go after Beryl," Conn said, sounding somewhat dazed.

Max whipped her head around to glare at the Doctor. "Oh yeah, sure. What are you gonna do? Go through his entire corps of stormies? Never mind getting past that sealed door." She waved her hand around. "If you haven't noticed, this place is depressurizing fast and unless you fancy spending the rest of your short life as space debris, I suggest you cooperate and let me get us out of here."

The weight of her words sunk in. "Sithspit, you're right," Conn said, moving with a sense of urgency now.

Max sighed exasperatedly. "Of course I am," she retorted.

Conn cast a last longing look at the sealed door, then over towards the newly-arrived freighter that was dozens of meters away. Jeez and Sam were almost to the lowered ramp. "What about them? Shouldn't we go there?"

Shaking her head, Max replied, "By the time we reach there, this place will have depressurized completely and we'd be mynock fodder." She pointed ahead at the shuttle she had occupied. "We're taking that for now, we can meet up with those guys later."

"Right," Conn agreed as he and Max sprinted towards the shuttle. They bounded up the ramp and Max headed for the cockpit.

"Dog that hatch shut and make ready for departure," she ordered, sliding into her seat and gripping the controls.

"Got it," Conn said as he slapped the ramp controls, then cranked the pressure seal shut. Moving to the co-pilot's seat, he sat down and strapped in.

"Hold on, this is probably going to get dicey," Max said as she primed the engines. "The Imps will have their planetary defenses active by the time we're both spaceborne; I was only able to set a temporary scramble code to lock them down, meaning they'll have them up any minute now." She looked outside the viewport at the freighter idling just outside the blast doors. "They need to get their butts moving now, otherwise we're all dead."




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Old 10-02-2007, 01:29 PM   #686
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Seeing the Echo land in front of him, Jeez just kept walking towards it. Despite all the alarms going off and the vague feeling of the bends, Jeez just kept walking forwards with an almost grim determination. "Umm, shouldn't we start running now?" Sam asked somewhat incredulously. Just shaking his head in reply, Jeez just kept walking. "OK, well, I guess you'd know better," Sam commented.

With the cargo ramp lowering, Jeez finally caught sight of Jana, Cloud, and Riebe. Running towards Jeez and Sam, Jana yelled out, "What happened? Do we need to get her to the medbay?"

With Jeez and Sam almost there, Jana caught up to them and moved to check Ryshana's pulse. "You already know the answer, so why do you bother?" Riebe yelled from behind them.

"She's dead, isn't she?" Jana asked as her hope began to fade.

Finally reaching the ramp to the Echo, Jeez finally replied, "Yes. She's dead. Where was her quarters?"

"Follow me," Cloud stated as he closed up the ramp.

"We're all here Jack. Light up the burners and lets get out of here!" Jana yelled into the comlink while pressing the button to close the door to the cargo bay.

Behind Jeez, the door closed with a heavy thud, and Jeez could feel the ship taking off. Following Cloud, Jeez just walked on in silence. Finally reaching Ryshana's quarters, Cloud opened the door and stepped aside as he watched in silence as Jeez slowly walked into the room and carefully laid Ryshana's body down on her bed. Crossing Ryshana's hands over her chest, Jeez studied her for a moment.

"Sir? This was her lightsaber," Cloud stated from the doorway as he held her lightsaber wrapped in a soft cloth. Looking over at Cloud, Jeez nodded his head. Stepping into the small room, Cloud removed the lightsaber from the cloth and carefully placed it under Ryshana's hands with the emitter facing upwards. Stepping back, Cloud gave Ryshana a respectful bow and then he left. With Jeez sitting on the bed looking over at Ryshana, he slowly slid down the bed. Using the Force, Jeez closed the door to Ryshana's quarters and locked it.

Thinking for a moment, Jeez couldn't help but ponder the irony. He had sacrificed his own life five years ago for her, and now, she had risked and lost everything to save him. Shaking his head, Jeez knew why she had done it. Love is a powerful force that in many ways can even rival the Force itself. Perhaps now with both of them sacrificing so much for each other, Jeez finally cam to the only true conclusion about love: even with the most noble of intentions, love is always fraught with disappointment. With his head hung low, Jeez could feel the Echo slip into hyperspace as his mind raced to remember everything it could possibly remember about the woman he had called his wife, his greatest friend, and his only true love.


-------------Fin--------


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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