Log:AoA Classic: Chamber of the Dead
Players and NPCs in the Scene
Luke Skywalker ------ Jedi Master
Wykk the Kushiban --- Jedi Knight
Natalya Jansen ------ Republic Senator
Han Solo ------------ Resident Scoundrel
The Doctor ---------- Mad Scientist
Commander Sha ------- Stormtrooper Commander
Bando Gora ---------- The Cultists
--- Rundown - Two years and three months since the Battle of Endor
In a desperate effort to save her brother, Senator Natalya Jansen has garnered the aide of Jedi Knights Luke Skywalker and Wykk the Kushiban. Having been captured by the sinister cult known as the Bando Gora, the Senator's brother has not been heard from since. A strong lead has yielded the group with the final destination that they think will bring them to where he is being held prisoner.
With the expert piloting skills of Luke's closest friend, Han Solo, the group of infiltrators embark into the unknown.
The Eclipse Star Destroyer, long since thought lost inside the cluster of black holes in the Kessel system... has now become the destination of these brave adventurer's journey. But a dangerous secret lies aboard the ghostly ship...
AoA Classic: Chamber of the Dead
_How many times had they tried to pull the same gag? Luke was losing count. History had a way of double backing on them time and again, leaving them ever the victims of deja vu. Luke had adourned the Royal Guard armor onboard the Lambda Shuttle, which had been ... messily slipped from the Prison Camp, and wore the full ensemble for as long as necessary. A set of binders had been offered to Natalya, Luke indifferent to whether she wore them - The attitude enough would get them through the ship. In his left hand, no doubt 'taken' from his 'prisoner', Luke held his own lightsaber -- While the pearlesce saber he'd built for Leia hung from his waist, for two reasons. he hadn't time to speak with Leia about it, and Nihilus no doubt would've destroyed Alex's. _Tugging on the arm of his prisoner, Luke Skywalker pulled the princess slowly through the Eclipse Super Star Destroyer's main hallways and lifts easily enough, guided by a visual map feeding into the royal guard helmet he wears, courtesy of R2-D2, the only non-jedi he relied on at this point. He'd been very silent through, speaking neither to Natalya or to Han throughout the flight from the Prison facility to the Eclipse. Resolute and determined, the corridoors were navigated and they were mostly ignored. Until they got closer to the Throne room. _Approaching a pair of guards, Luke motioned simply for them to move out of the way, which was ignored. Illiciting a slight pause from the incognito Jedi, Luke then spoke proudly, mimicing the voice of Boba Fett as best he could. To manage such a feat, Luke required the assistance of the Force, and even then he managed only a poor rendition of the reknown Bounty Hunter-Clone Master's voice. This, too, was ignored, but an undaunted Luke Skywalker persisted ... and a scuffle broke out. The guided hand of the Jedi Master made quick work of the offending guardsman, the green blade cutting their weapons to pieces before they were thrown against a nearby bulkhead with a wave of Luke's hand, and a slight crash of thunder. Thus the cover that was necessary for their quiet movement through the Eclipse was blown. So, with a broad raise of his hand, the helmet was exposed, and Luke and Natalya pressed onward, deeper towards the final corridoor that would lead them to the Sith Lord. Wykk would be meeting up with them any minute, and they would find security knowing the end of the task at hand.
_Natalya had felt jittery and out of place from the moment they'd stepped down the ramp of the Millennium Falcon. Her blaster was no comfort, nor the weapon she'd kept concealed in the supplementary pocket on her thigh: the lightsaber Vosa had given her to train with only a few days before. _She'd gone along with Luke's plan with nary a flicker of objection, submitting to the binders almost absently, and following Luke's lead. She'd surrendered her blaster to him as well, to hold up appearances. Her stomach was a cold, hard knot of anxiety. Try as she did to tell herself she was in good company, a Jedi Master and a poorly trained senator/princess seemed like an ill-match to what she knew they would face. She didn't know where Wykk had run off to, or where Luke had sent him, and frankly, she still wasn't particularly convinced that he would be much good in a fight anyway. _Her anxiety was at fever pitch as she watched the guards impact on the bulkhead and fall harmlessly to the ground. Her own backside was pressed up aginst the far bulkhead, eyes wide, and looking slightly pale. The binders were still around her wrists, and as Luke pulled the guard helmet off, she met his gaze a little wildly. _"Take them off," she demanded, holding up her shackled wrists. "And I want my blaster back." Her eyes darted towards the unconscious guards while she waited for him to free her. "Let's make a deal, Luke. You resolve to be nicer to me, and I won't tell Fett about that pathetic attempt to impersonate him," She gave him a wan smile.
_Navigating such a foreign, mechanical place was a great challenge for our Kushiban hero. Wykk had found his way into what he assumed was some sort of small droid travel passage, or an air duct. Given the confusing surroundings that did not hint one way or the other in his own mind, the Kushiban had to make due with listening to the faint sound of a lightsaber and sensing the presence of Master Skywalker, as well as that of Natalya. Unlike the straightforward corridors Skywalker and Co. had to navigate with relative ease, Wykk's route was less of a consistent path. It had many detours and junctions that would have easily confused even the most experienced frontiersman, aside from the lack of illumination, which Wykk relied on from the numerous metal grating which covered each pathway 'exit'. The best amenity was the gracious size of the twisting tunnel, allowing more than enough room for a comfortable stroll. _Having nearly passed what he sensed was Luke, Wykk returned to a downward facing grate, silently peering through the minutely sized holes upon one recognizable figure beneath. Without hesitation, the furry alien gave a hearty shove to the grate as it responded with a simple clank, slamming into a ceiling-mounted pipe only a few inches below. No progress was made after several more tries; Wykk resorted to the use of his lightsaber. A circular section of the grate unarguably fell innocently to the deck ahead of Skywalker, followed by the Kushiban, peering upward at the pair as he landed upon his hind legs, deactivated lightsaber in hand.
_Running a quick hand through his hair, Luke regarded the guardsman for a long moment before Natalya spoke. With a wave of his hand, the binders clicked open and obediantly dropped to the floor. Then, with a wide arc, Luke tossed the blaster towards her. "What's on the other side of these doors plays a large part in that." He had an immediate sunken feeling as he glanced around the ship, admiring it for the first time. "You're tense. Relax. Ignore what your head is telling you. ignore your heart. The Force will guide you." Ever the teacher, Luke retrieved a commlink from his belt. "We're in the final Corridor, R2. We'll need the doors unlocked." R2, in all his infinate wisdom, retorted with a low whistle, correcting Luke. The doors were already unlocked. _Luke said nothing in reply to R2, but slipped the commlink away. He knew from the moment they landed it would be impossible for them to go undetected. Not if Nihilus was onboard. Luke stood out like a sun, a beacon of the Force. "As for Fett. Tell him, I don't care. They're his blood. Maybe not like he would think - But genetically, in the end, they're all related to him. I was graping at straws, -trying- to talk. I deserved a break. But, maybe I've got one coming." His voice was absent of any friendliness. It was solid and firm, commanding. While, regretably, Luke knew what befriending Natalya meant for this meeting, he was busy focusing on the idea at hand. For all he knows, Natalya could still be against him, an avenue he couldn't ignore, despite how much he wanted to. _A quick rattle, a clank, the sudden hiss of a lightsaber ... Luke reacted quickly, bringing his own lightsaber up as he prepared to activate it ... before Wykk fell into view. With a chuckle, Luke shook his head. "So good of you to join us, Wykk." Luke then moved for the grand pair of doors at the furthermost end of the hallway, the ambiguous red royal guardsman cape fluttering behind him in a fashion most unlike Luke had been used to; He didn't like armor. "Nihilus may have guards posted. Or ... assistance." His back was still to Natalya at this point. "If he does, I want Natalya to get somewhere safe and out of the way. If there are lightsabers, don't shoot at them. At all costs, if you must shoot, shoot true. These Sith are a nasty folk." Luke paused for a few moments before he glanced over his shoulder, nodding towards the Kushiban. "Are you ready, Wykk? Remember your training."
_Natalya eyed Luke warily, pushing aside the binders distastefully with her toe. She caught the blaster in fumbling hands, gasping softly as she tried to put her hands anywhere but near the trigger mechanism, or in front of the barrel. She glared quietly and slipped the weapon back into it's holster. She tried to do as he instructed, but every 'calming' breath she took seemed to tremble slightly. She tried to be alert, her senses straining. She knew more about who might be here than Luke did, and should they encounter him, she was going to have some explaining to do. Should they encounter him with Luke unaware, she might have some very quick, very defensive explaining to do befoer fighting broke out. Vosa had said she would know if he'd retrieved her brother. She didn't know, and that worried her. Worry, and nagging fear. She wiped her sweaty palms against the quilted fabric of her bodysuit, staring at the unconscious clones. She started to say something, and then Wykk's saber hummed to life. She jumped a good half a foot, her hand going for her blaster, ducking into a crouch. She stared at the Kushiban with her heart in throat and muttered a mild curse. As Luke began to walk down the corridor, she scurried after him. "Is that it? That's the plan? Hide? This is a crummy plan, Luke..."
_A mere smile came from the Kushiban. "Nice to be you, Master Skywalker. It is good to be safe, both of you.", the furry alien's orange eyes followed Luke as he passed by, heading toward the door. Wykk, the ever optimist. His pleasantly visible white fur hinted to no sort of doubt. "We must go. Force is with us.", came the affirming response to Skywalker, as the Kushiban turned to face what expectation nobody had made as of yet, cautiously following the pair. His expression was remarkably stern, a state uncommon to the young Knight.
_"You're terrified. You're jumpy, angry, your emotions are becoming a liability, and I want you as far away from combat as possible. Let -us- handle negotiating the lowering of arms." A thought that brought Luke's hand to once again coil about his lightsaber. "You're dangerous right now. Unless you can steady your thoughts and listen to the force, you're more dangerous to me then you are help to Alexander. Those are your options." It wasn't a suggestion, but a command. Without further stalling for time, Luke pressed his hand to the plate opening the large set of blast doors that lead into the massive Sith throne room. At first glance, he was struck with an inconsequential thought: The Sith all used the same decor.
_Natalya took a quiet, indignant breath through her nose, releasing it with a soft huff of air, but she followed Luke without making a reply. She was all of the above: jumpy, angry, emotional, and add deeply torn over whether or not she should confess now to expectng Vaelore's presence aboard the ship, and it seemed safer just to keep her mouth shut. She kept her hand on her thigh next to the blaster, her skin crawling with the feeling of being watched. Her eyes darted here and there, with an occasional backwards glance, as if she didn't have her own danger sense and that of two Jedi to warn them if something was coming up from behind. Nihilus had already done a lot of damage to her family, and now was his chance to wipe out her father's line in one, single sweep.
_In a way, Wykk was eagerly curious to see what had awaited them. They were here for a reason, and this was one of very few tests of integrity and focus that had been given the Kushiban. It's times like these where one must recall all they have learned. Wykk had learned greatly, but not only was he yet physically young, he still remained new to the ways of the Jedi. And especially the ways of the Sith. The young Knight had only encountered their type once, and his lack of knowledge about their whole was slightly discomforting considering the second time he could possibly be meeting another would be a fierce encounter. His fur held White, his stance; steadfast, lightsaber in hand.
Thirteen stairs lay before the trio of adventurers. The floor was a shining obsidian and the stairs were barely visible at all in the near-total lack of light. Thirteen stairs lead up to a small secondary level where the presence of eerie red illumination could be seen on either wall of the wide staircase. There were no immediate sounds, there was only silence, darkness, and the eerie red light at the top of the black stairs.
Luke ascended the steps catiously, but proudly. He moved headforward into the fray, as it were, lacking fear or worry; He was confidant. The Force as his ally, he glanced over the room quietly as he waited for movement, his senses reaching out to grasp at the straws that lingered on the edge of his 'vision'. He had no question whatever it was would reveal itself soon enough, so he let the Force flow through him. "Wisdom, Serenity, Peace. The Force is our ally - And there is nothing to fear." Eyeing the lone throne in the center of the massive spiderwebbing of durasteel struts, Luke considered whether he'd end up seeing some reborn nightmare Palpatine staring back at him from the void, undefeated and unabated.
_Natalya hesitated, a foot resting on the first of the gleaming obsidian steps. She stared up into crimson-shadowed darkness while the fine hairs on the back of her neck and along her arm rose in apprehension. She closed her eyes and drew in a softly tremoring breath as she tried to push her awareness beyond herself, beyond her line of sight. It was like pushing through sinewy clouds of darkness, and cold. The Force energies aboard this vessel were twisted and strange and there was no trace of the familiar light of her brother amid the shadows. She shuddered, and opening her eyes, saw that Luke had continued upward. As quietly as she could, she hurried up the first flight of thirteen stairs after him.
_Stairs were overrated. Turbolifts, mechanical steps.. much better. Typically, a Jedi would not retain such sort of attitude. But stairs were simply a nuisance. And the Jedi Temple was absolutely littered with them. Not that he didn't mind bounding up them with several leaps, but they were still selfishly built with only larger sized beings in mind. Wykk leapt up the steps, two rebounds of his feet to the black obsidian and he arrived just behind Master Skywalker at the peak of the staircase, not knowing, or feeling, what to expect.
_At the top of the thirteen stairs the source of the red illumination was found. The three travelers are greeted by the presence of the computer screens on either sides of them attached to the bulkheads. They were active, but their displays seemed to be in some form of standby mode and they were just pulsing repetitively with a center of crimson light upon their display. They each beated individually almost like a living creature's heart and with each beat was a moment of brighter red light cast upon the immediate area, and then sucked away by the overwhelming presence of shadow. _But thats not all that lies on this mid-level of the throne chamber. The obsidian flore, reflecting the red lighting, was stren with shards of armor. Stormtrooper armor. At first glance it looked as though someone(s) had shed their uniforms and discarded them without care. But on closer inspection, every piece of armor that was haphazzardly scattered about, still contained the piece of human body that it once was there to protect. A gruesome sight to see as there could be as many as ten dead people here. _Sound could be heard from the next level up, strange unrecognizable noises. Thirteen more stairs laid ahead for the adventurers to climb and see what was on the main level of the throne chamber...
While the ammount of death surrounding them was a most unnatural and unfriendly thing, Luke couldn't help but recognize that this could very well be Alex's doing - That he could have survived thus far! Bounding up the steps, Luke took them in pairs of two quickly, glancing around and trying to feel out the source of the death ... it didn't feel right. No, all at once he was confronted with a more logical but dangerous conclusion that this wasn't Alexander's doing. As he glances about the room, Luke's right hand and lightsaber lower, resting low and away from him in a defensive position. That's when it was activated, the electric hiss and dull humm of energy being unleashed with a squeal, as he glanced over the top of the stairs in search of someone. An answer...
_Natalya reached the top of the first set of stairs as Luke was bounding up the second. She hesitated, slowing as she took the last couple of steps, balking at the sight of strewn armor and the sickly charred remains inside. Her lips curled back in a grimace, and she lifted a gloved hand to her face, covering her nose. She could smell the charred flesh and it brought bile to the back of her throat. With carefully exagerated motions, she took a large step overa 'discarded' arm and then shied around the larger mass of a bodie's mostly intact bulk. "Luke?" she questioned softly, gazing up at the angry red of the pulsing computer screens. Luke was already up the next set of stairs. "I have a bad feeling about this..." she muttered and picked her way carefully to the foot of the next set of stairs, her eyes fixated on the carnage strewn around her. Her head turned the othe way, her foot came down on someone's gloved hand, and with a half-strangled cry, she bolted away from it, charging up the stairs after Luke.
Never an advocate of electronics, Wykk's focus never fell upon the condescending computer displays, rather on the heaping mass of flesh which lay on the deck within bits and pieces of white armor. His solemnly lagging pace behind Skywalker was quickened slightly with a bounce past the pile of limbs and armor to the base of the second set of stairs as the Master's lightsaber snapped to life. The Kushiban sped his pace with a second bounce up the stairs to a position immediately stern of Luke's, assuming that Master Skywalker had sensed, or seen something that would warrant his behavior.
_The throne room has a clear cut design to it that was the original intent of the one responsible for the architecture was trying to meet. The glossy black floor and the black durasteel struts tha hold the transparasteel into place on the walls around the room, currently offering an amazing view of the violet-blue Maw that was encircling the entire massive Star Destroyer. But the original intent of the room was not currently serving the purpose it was once designed for. _The room now contained a series of long tables, about eight in all and each table held upon some of the oddest looking devices one could come to find. Metal contrapations, containers and small droid-like robotic engineered abominations. They were tools of science... a science unknown to the three adventurers that find themself in what was thought to be the throne room of the self-appointed Dark Lord of the Sith. What they've come to find is what would seem to be something, well, unexpected. This was no place of 'bow before my graatness and my killer-cool throne', this room had been converted into a lab. And in the center of the lab, in the center of the mess of long tables covered from end to end in equipment and containers, was a single man, dressed in a grey lab-suit. He had his back to the Jedi, his eyes were down and he was clearly working quietly upon his 'project'. _Suddenly, Han Solo's voice crackled over Luke's communicator. "Luke." He said. "We're in the detention block..." He said, sounding concerned. "There's nobody here. And I mean nobody. These levels are cleared out completely... The logs say that the cells contain prisoners, but there's no bodies inside'em."
_His right hand werapped firmly around the lightsaber, Luke's left came out to snag Natalya's clothing, wretching her terrified frame to a stance just behind him. "Stay close," He muttered annoyedly, eyes scanning the area quietly. In a macabre display, Luke waved an idle hand forward, parting a veritable wall of strewn bodies to let them pass. Once again Luke took to dragging the princess by the cuff of her shirt, not 'demanding', but simply ushering her along in a hurried fashion. All at once he felt unprepared, but he focused on his training. They hadn't been discovered yet. "No blood. The wounds were cauterized." Luke paused for a moment to let that sink in, before he resumed his search. "Lightsaber. But... It doesn't feel right. It's not Alexander." Nihilus? Turning on his own troops? Possible. Unlikely. _At the sight of the man, Luke considered things quietly for a long moment, before he moved again. Giving the scientist a wide berthing, Luke kept his feelings in check as he circled to get a better look of the man. Things had taken a strikingly eerie turn that made Luke uncomfortable. When Solo confirmed the absense of anyone,Luke was even more puzzled. Had they known they were coming? Carefully, Luke began to reach out with the Force, studying the man quietly for quite a moment. Assessing danger, seeking answers, listening to the guidance of the Force... What was this place?
_Natalya made a noise of indignance as the Jedi Master hooked his fingers in the slack of the padded armor she wore and only her mounting discomfort amid the field of bodies kept her from pulling away. Her feet scuffled along, careful not to entangle with Luke's as she followed closely after him. She frowned down at the nearest body as she listened to Luke's assessment. "Luke," she started, her voice a low whisper, "There's something I..." As Natalya's eyes lifted to scan the room for evidence of what she was about to confess, her words came to a strangled halt. Her hand came up and gripped Luke's shoulder, and she started to point out the lab attendant when Solo's voice crackled through the silence, terrifyingly loud. Wide eyed, Natalya swept in close to Luke her hand fumbling across his body for the communicator in an effort to silence it.
_Wykk stood quietly at the peak of the stairs as Luke continued on to assess the situation. The Kushiban hooked his weapon to the fur-covered belt upon his thigh, and dropped to all fours, silently proceeding on Luke's same path in a reciprocating manner on the opposing side of the room, but in a more cautious fashion. The young Knight certain of his expectations a few moments ago, and the lack of surprise was a surprise in itself. Especially due to the calm nature of the current surrounding, obtusely paired with the dismembered soldiers a few steps backward.
_Han got no reply over the communicator so he only continued. "I think we're going to head back to the Falcon." He stated. "Something isn't right here, Luke..." It was clear that Han was looking around and confused by the sound of his voice. "Chewie says that he can smell something odd in the air, that this doesn't smell like an Imperial ship at all. I've got a bad feeling about this, kid. No guards, no life at all on these levels. You're probalby fighting right now though, and not even hearing what I'm saying." He cleared his throat. "I'll see you guys back at the ship." The comm clicked off. _Han's voice echoed a little within the chamber, as did the final *click* from the comminicator deactivating and the final clicked seemed to resonate against the bulkheads. It was replaced by the quiet noises of the makeshift lab that rested in the center of the throne room. _The single man that stood in the center of the room raised his arms and moved them back and forth over whatever it was that he was working on. He seemed to have... not noticed the loud communicator? As Luke moved about the room to get a better look at the man in its center, a better look at what was on the table was presented to Skywalker. It was a body. A half-destroyed body that was considerably mutilated and utterly disgusting. The scientist was crouched over it, working on it... he was attaching a metalic prosthetic to the unknown body's missing left arm...
_"This, Natalya," Luke began, eyes locked on the mysterious figure for a long moment, "This is the Darkside. Death, suffering, pain. All paths down the Darkside lead to this. Power and control, killing innocents, for nothing." His voice was a soft, pleading whisper. The lesson seemed all the more important while they rest twenty yards from a man experimenting on the bodies of the Empire's own troops. "Is this the power you wish to control?" Amazingly, the question wasn't accusatory, but remained a plea, like his prior words. As Wykk made his way across the room quietly, Luke stepped forward boldly. In the event there was a struggle, Wykk had the flanking position, and it made perfect tactical sense. "Hello there." Perhaps, not quite as dramatic as Luke would have it ... the 'greeting' of the man and the bold steps towards him were all the Jedi could come up with. If anything, maybe the lunatic would think Luke was a royal guard. After all -- Luke was still wearing the blood red vestments.
_Natalya fumbled at Luke's belt and yanked the communicator away, wrapping her small hand around it in an effort to muffle the noise, but by that time, Solo had already finished speaking. She glared at Luke, who seemed unconcerned with the noise it had made. Across the room, surprisingly, the scientist seemed oblivious. "Maybe nows not the time for this, Luke..." Natalya retorted, but the Jedi Master was already stepping away from her. Her heart thudded within her chest as he called out to the man and she took a little step backwards. Maybe -he- felt all macho and safe in his stolen armor and a lightsaber, but sparing a furtive glance around her, Natalya felt very exposed. She spotted Wykk, and paced back until she was behind him.
_Wykk's ears flickered at the buzzing of Master Skywalker's communicator with the voice of the human pilot. He gave no thought to it, rather the reaction that might come from the unusually quiet technician whom was the focus of the current situation. While Skywalker calmly greeted the being, Wykk remained concealed, sliding under and into the shadow of one of the room's tables, his steady vision remaining upon the oddly calm scientist. As Natalya backed away from Luke, one of the Kushiban's ears followed, as well as his sight, momentarily. Master Skywalker must have asked her to remain in a safe location.
_The scientist continued to work on the creation that lie across the table in front of him as Luke bravely approached him and spoke. His hunched over back rose and fell as he drew in a breath of air and released it once more. "Why... can't I ever... get a moment of PEACE!" The scientist finally spoke now and reacted. His body turned about, and by saying that, his turso turned independently from his lower-half. His upper half spun around in the direction of Luke and revealed himself to the Jedi. What was once likely a human being, was simply no longer such. The scientists face was gone, as though it had been ripped off entirely leaving behind a crator of flesh and unhealable wounds all around the perimeter. In the center of the crater was a single red optical sensor and beneath this sensor was a breathing aparatus where a mouth once was. The... creature, now facing Skywalker slowly began to turn his lower half around as well to match his upper half.. and he suddenly gained another two feet of height supported on metalic droid-legs that lifted his human-torso up to a total height of nearly seven foot. _"Specimenn!" It shouts. "You're no Imperial.... You lack the smell!" The faceless head said down to Skywalker, its red sensor looking down at the man in the Royal Guard garb. "You slayed your way aboard the ship! Oh... this is glorious." It noticed the lightsaber. "Another Jedi! Oh... oh... this is so grand." He brought hands together, one hand was still flesh and bone the other was robotic and claw-like. They grasped one another in front of his chest. _"I apologize for my rudeness, but I thought you were another peon come to speak to me of unconsequential reports!" The vocalizer inside the skull said, almost gleefully.
_Luke blinked a bit at the sight before him, but remained undaunted, sure of foot and stature. "I need to know where the other Jedi is. Where he went." Luke didn't like to think of this person as an ally, or a veritable being happily living at all, but he could bear no ill intent towards him yet. There wasn't any proof that this is any of the being's doing. The term jedi, used to describe Alex of course, was something he'd hope would expedite the inquiry. The ... thing only made the connection when it came to seeing his lightsaber. "If you point us in his direction, we'll leave you to your," Expierments? Abominations? Atrocities? All of the above? "Work. Peacefully."
_Natalya's eyes widened, stunned and horrified as the scientist -thing- twisted about and faced them with it's burning red optical sensor. A primitive part of her brain responsible for keeping her all in one piece wanted to gibber in fear and turn tail to run, but a more rational part of her consciousness seized on his words with heart pounding terror: Another Jedi! Surely he meant Alexander. Natalya's eyes flickered from Luke to the horrid creation rapidly as she waited for its response, not even daring to breathe. The prison cells had been empty...empty...and this thing, here...her eyes went to the table behind the droid-thing and she took an involuntary step forward.
_Wykk's ears honed in on the interesting dialogue, and to Natalya's progression into acquaintance with the creature to whom Luke was speaking. The Kushiban found the situation excessively confusing. He realized his understanding of the Human language was sketchy, at best, but the being spoke nonsensical jibberish. Fortunately, it did not seem to be a hostile being, as Master Skywalker was yet to swing his glowy green stick. Natalya's introduction to the creature was slightly disheartening to Wykk. If the being was indeed friendly, it may not come across as retroactively friendly to be sneaking around in the shadows to the being's back. _The being's spoken allusions still felt unusual. Soldiers, cut into pieces a few feet below. Mechanical devices. Another Jedi? Wykk's eyes drifted curiously to what little he could make out of a figure laying on the table.
_"Abominations?" The doctor said as he 'stared' down at Skywalker with his glowing red receptor. His mechanical legs took a pair of steps back and further revealed the body that was laying upon the table to sight. He swept his right hand down and pointed with it toward the.. corpse with no legs or arms. Its face was strikingly familiar to at least one person in the room, it held the face of Boba Fett. It was a stormtrooper. "I'm reanimating the dead!" The cyborg shouted. "A feat that few could ever achieve and countless have sought to do!" He huffed out, offended by Luke's words. _Its left hand, the metalic claw, spun to the left then and motioned to one of the other lab tables that contained many different jars. "The other Jedi is there." He stated flatly and upon the table was a large jar containing a green liquid but further containing the unmistakable fleshy presence of a human brain. At the base of the jar were two familiar objects. Alexander's lightsaber and Alan's 'Imperator Blade'. _"He is still forming. Its unlikely it will be ready for placement any time soon, however. The.. intricacies of the mind are.. well.. we all know.. -detailed-. So making sure that the mind will reclaim memories of the original host.. Well... that is something I take GREAT personal pride in." The Doctor turned back to Luke and stared down at him with the glowing red eye. _"I'm sure you know of my first specimen. The dead Khan, brought back to us as 'Darth Nihilus'. Hohohoho... he is quite the spirit. I never would've come this far if I had not found him..." The cyborg scientist sound quite happy with itself.
_Luke was stunned. For a long series of moments, Luke simply stared the being dead in the eye, somehow disconnected from the various going ons about him. Force be damned, what kind of sorcery was -this-? "But they don't live. You may animate their corpses with wires and mechanisms... but they died. They've joined the Force. You can't bring that back." Luke was unsure, the idea not exactly foreign to him. His own hand was mechanical, and as much a part of him as anything. Obi-Wan, Yoda, Anakin ... they all returned in some form or another. "This isn't natural. Khan returned twice the madman he had been when he died..." Luke's hand came to rest at Natalya's abdomen, knowing full well she was about to absolutely freak out, because her brother's brain was in a jar not ten feet from them. Doesn't take the Force to know that's trouble. He'd hold her back from doing anything stupid, Force Warrant.
_One step, two...Natalya's eyes were locked on the dismembered corpse that bore a familiar face. Her stomach did a sickening flip. She'd seen the facilities on Kamino, seen cloned specimens of Boba Fett, or more exactly, Fett's father. Even knowing, it didn't help her mind adjust to what she saw on the lab table. The doctor ranted, the princess listening with only half of her attention. Their was an undeniable feeling of dread settling over her, squirming into every corner of her mind, and causing a quiet little voice in the back of her head to begin a quiet little scream. She stopped as she came up next to Luke, afraid to put herself any closer to the madman. Once sentence seized back her attention, wrenching it away from the dead stormtrooper with clammy, sickening hands. Every muscle went rigid as she brought her attention up to the monstrosities gesture. The other Jedi is there. Her head jerked and then a quiet noise forced it's way past her heart in her throat. Her mind recoiled from what was in the jar, slamming down a shield of denial and refusing to deal with it. She stared at the twin lightsabers instead, and pushed past Luke with more strength than she seemed capable of, stumbling towards the table that apparently held her brother's remains.
_The Kushiban remained a silent observer to the scene of events from his low vantage among the shadows of a table littered with mechanical parts. His reasoning fell the same as Master Skywalker's. He hadn't said it, but they were Abominations. Wykk was curious... was it the being's own eccentric handiwork? He hadn't heard much of Darth Nihilus, but Wykk kept to wondering that the doctor may have been not much more than a peon. By his words, the motivation appeared immaculately vigorous. And who or what had caused this to be Natalya's brother's fate? This misshapen, misguided individual? Wykk felt Natalya's disheartenment without ever having seen more than her swift stumbling to where Alexander's 'remains' rested.
_The Doctor did not stop the princess from running toward the so-called brain of her twin that was located in the jar above the lightsabers, but his faceless-head did turn to follow her with his red glowing droid-eye. "Do not lecture me on what is natural, my friend." It spoke, its voice was very smooth for coming out of a vocalizer. "It is a battle of words that you will lose." Its body rises as it draws in a deep breath. "Now be careful, little one." It says to Natalya. "That is a developing sample, if you jostle the container you run the risk of damaging its creation. Its forming into perfection and doesn't need undue attention..." The doctor's hand pointed to the other jar beside the one that it labels as Natalya's brothers. "This is the completed speciment of which will go into my current project." Its flesh and bone hand points back to the stormtrooper's body. "I do very much hate using our own people for these experiments, but the death is necessary and no one will come clammering at my doorstep over the death of a random, meaningless, clone." Its eye returned to Luke, and stared at him. The doctor had seemingly not yet noticed Wykk's presence at all.
With a slight frown, Luke considered quietly the scene before him. The doctor was ignored, let back to his musings, while Luke tried to sense the brain in the jar. He circled the beast slightly, moving closer towards where Natalya had broken off to. Was it true? Luke sensed only the truth from the ... thing. "And his body? What of it?" Luke asked quietly, calmly, trying to sense Natalya throughout the scene. He had been surprised she lasted this long without completely exploding and trying to kill the guy. Deeper then that, he felt sorry for her, what she must be feeling. Turning to eye her, Luke regarded her for a long moment in consideration before he turned back to eye the beastly thing.
Natalya stared down at the hilts, fiercly denying herself any chance to look at the mass of tissue suspended within the jar. She held everything in close to her, all her senses, her abilities, afraid of what she'd have to face if she happened to brush against the truth of what the thing said. She snatched up her father's saber first, and like an energy current, she felt a buzzing warmth travel up through her cold fingers, through her hand, up her arm, a sense of the man who had built this weapon lingering about the weapon through the Force. Trembling, she clipped it to her belt and seized Alexander's saber. Her hand closed, white knuckled around the hilt. She swallowed hard and slowly her eyes tracked upward, her head bowed. She grimaced, her mind and body recoiling from the sight of the brain. Emotion welled up in her like a sudden, inescapable wave. "Murderer!" she screamed, tearing the word from her throat with a ragged gasp. She whirled around to face him. The lightsaber blade engaged with a squeal and blue light illuminated her as she held the weapon out rigidly to the side. Her eyes gleamed wetly. "Where is he? Show me the body! Show me his body!"
_The Kushiban's fur shimmered to match the blackness of the shadow he sat within. Natalya's words alone were enough to cause a great deal of gloom, aside from the horrific words of the doctor. Wykk was yet unable to conclude /what/ caused this fate for Natalya's kin. If the doctor was truthful, how did this come about? A decrepit cyborg, Alexander's murderer? Who was this thing, and why was he alone here?
_"The body?" The doctor asked as now both Natalya and Luke went to the container that contained the very popular brain. Its upper half swivvled again, turned toward them with the body of the stormtrooper behind him now. Its glowing receptor went from Luke to Natalya. "The donar you mean... Well its gone, of course." He said, matter of factly. "I believe that Lord Nihilus has taken it with him. Oh, I was so happy to get him I thought that after the first Jedi we garnered that I would never have a chance at another one!" It seemed unconcerned with Natalya's gripping of an activated laser sword. "But then he showed up... and what a specimen that Jedi turned out to be!" He exclaimed. "And now, I have two more within my chamber! Oh this is so glorious." The robotic legs taht supported the torso turned about now, coming around to match, once again, the torso above them. His clawlike feet clanked against the obsidian floor and then he lifted his hands up. It was clear that he did not know Wykk was in the room, that much was for sure which may or may not be an advantage for the group of three.
_The circling of the beast left Luke close, but wary. With only a moment to spare, Luke saw the princess react, the emotion creating a fire in her that would only lead to rage. The green blade came up, rising to place a horizontal line between the princess and the man. Luke remained calm as he watched the pained girl quietly, unsure of her motives. "Down, Natalya." Luke ordered, glancing over his shoulder to the beast, a man he may of wanted to cut down himself for what he'd done to the galaxy by bringing Khan back into it. "Not like this." His voice was reassuring, something he'd hoped she would understand, in all her years of political training. Luke took one quick step towards Natalya, leaving his back a bit less prone to the being. Luke's eyes met Natalya's for a moment. "The senate will decide his fate. Not you." Luke glanced back towards the beast a moment as it went on about having two more Jedi in his midst. The green blade of the lightsaber twisted slightly towards the man, at the ready. "By Order of the Galactic Republic, and the Jedi order, we're taking you to Coruscant for questioning."
_Natalya jerked with a hiccup-like sob, trying to hold back the rising anguish that clouded her thoughts and drove the strength from her limbs. Her lower lip trembled, her eyes glittering wetly with unshed tears. She was barely aware of Luke stepping towards her, his lightsaber held defensively between herself and the Doctor, though who he was defending looked open for debate. All she could think about was that she'd lost him; she'd been distracted, and she'd let him leave, and now all that was left of him was a brain in a jar. She ignored Luke and she took several slow steps to move out of his shadow, so that she could see the monster. "And the girl that was with him?" Her voice was unsteady, reluctant even to ask the question for fear of the answer. "Where is she?"
_The silent Kushiban remained in the covert shadow, his fur willingly matching the shade in tone. If Master Skywalker would require help, it would likely be required shortly. Wykk crouched further toward the deck from his sitting position, allowing a more appropriate stance for quick action if need be. The yet unexplained factors of the current mystery caused a great degree of insecurity in this situation. With body parts in jars, or cut apart and strewn across the floor, the Force only knew what this being was capable of.
_"No no no." The decrepit creation that is the Doctor says in return to Skywalker. "Don't play silly games with me, I haven't the time!" His red eye sweeps over to the collection of jars and other machinery upon the tables and he sweeps his flesh and bone hand in reference to them. "I have to maintain these, or they'll slep away and all my hard work will be lost. So no no no." He then swivels his attention to Natalya. "The girl?" He quesetions, his caved-in-face tilting to the side along with his once-human head. "Oh! You mean the sister to the donar!" He exclaims. "Ahhh yes... she was a lovely one, much like yourself. So full of life. Oh how I wanted to play with her mind... But no. They wouldn't have it. Given to the White Skinned Woman was she. But you..." His head then leans forward a little, as though it was leaning in to inspect Natalya. "You're of the same blood... and a Jedi... mmmm... you're also a sister and you hold the presence of midichlorians inside you... Yes, I must get a look inside you." He looks to Luke then. "Both of you. Its imperative to the completion of my work!"
_Luke had already grown weary of the situation, immediately regretting having brought her to the chamber to begin with. As he was ignored, Luke began to orchistrate grand alternatives. She moved away from him and Luke allowed it, but he focused on the force, using it to build his already agile abilities, in case he needed to get between them quickly. A tired look was offered towards the beastly thing in question, before Luke turned back to regard Natalya, his feet bringing him not between her and the beast, but close enough he could deflect her saber if she were to strike out. Luke allowed his awareness to stretch out towards the beast as well, no more thinking him an ally anymore then Natalya at this point. But an unarmed prisoner certainly wasn't very sporting. in an instant, Luke had hoped both Natalya and the beast had forgotten what they considered to be his inconsequential young friend -- An underestimation he had hoped would work in his favor since arriving. Luke gave the beast a questionable look. He was now presented with a problem. If he were forced to strike down this man, and it was indeed Alex's brain in that jar, Alex would be lost forever. Tossing his lightsaber quickly into his left hand, Luke's right rose and was held aloft, mid height, in front of him towards the man, and Luke's mind came crashing through the will of the beast, changing it for himself. Or so he'd attempt. "We're of no use to you. We are meaningless to your work. You will continue without us."
_The thrumming blue blade wavered downward for a moment, betraying Natalya's uncertainty and distraction. Her expression flickered. "White skinned..." her words weakened and trailed off, and her face became paler, if that was possible at this point. When the creature moved, it's glowing optic fixed upon the princess, she snapped back to life and the brought the blade up defensively before her. It was trembling slightly in her grip. Grim-lipped she stared the monster down. "Stay away from me!" she warned, her voice brittle. "So help me, I will take your putrid head from off your shoulders if you come one step closer!" She was hardly aware of Luke moving beside her, her eyes darting wildly between the Jedi Master and the creature who had seemingly murdered her brother as Luke spoke. She took a tentative step back, as if sensing his intent to remove them from peril. She, too, understood that this hideous creation might be the only chance she had of recovering what was left of Alexander.
_Wykk continued to watch the scene unfold, curious mostly at Luke's display. Would the creature provide any info at all? It hadn't as of yet. Most inquiries have gone ignored in favor of inane banter. But where /was/ Alexander? Given the nature of the being, the Kushiban wouldn't rule out trickery. Unfortunately, he hadn't been able to sense anything aboard this vessel, nor did it seem the princess, or Master Luke had.
_The creature was focusing on Natalya when Luke spoke his words. His robutic left leg lifted up and was about to take a step toward Natalya when it paused in mid-motion and then lowered back to where it was. "Don't be foolish, little one." He finally uttered after a several seconds of internal turmoil was clearly shaking his core. He turned around going back to his original place at the side of the table where the body of the Trooper lay. "Begone from my lab, the both of you! I have work to do and do not need idle annoyances such as yourselves!" He picked up the tools that he had been previously working with and started to go back to what he was doing. "And leave the laser swords! I need to figure out how they work in relation to the Jedi mind!" Its vocalizer was picking up in volume as Luke's trick had seemingly worked to discourage his advances towards them for the moment, but it had also made the Doctor more angered, more tempered.
_Luke's sword deactivated and he motioned for Natalya to do the same. With his middle and fore-fingers pressed together, Luke motioned towards Wykk, and then the exit, before he began moving away. "Come, Natalya. You heard him. Leave the sabers and lets not bother this man anymore." Luke was fishing out his commlink quietly as he moved away, and when it wasn't found, as it rest firmly within Natalya's grasp, Luke decided to pull free his analysis tool instead. In what semed like a flawless move, another similar device fell from Luke's belt, skittering beneath one of the nearby machines. Knowing Natalya, she'd ramble on, or have some alarmed comment, all providing enough of a distraction that he needed. Bending low, Luke grasped at it lightly, coming up with only one device, his commlink. The other device was now well out of sight, in a move Luke had hoped would ... assist him. He then awaited Natalya and Wykk at the large blast doors.
_Natalya hesitated, and reluctant to take her eyes off of the twisted doctor, her gaze darted back and forth between him and the Jedi Master. She disengaged the lightsaber, the sapphire blade seemingly disappearing back into the hilt with shriek. The room seemed unnaturally silent to Natalya in it's absence. She kept the saber clutched tightly in her hand, and it was clear that she had no intentions of relinquishing it, nor the Imperator Blade which bumped against her hip. She shot Luke a look of pure sorrow and confusion, she shook her head. "Luke..." she said softly, watching the doctor from the corner of her eye. "I can't...what about..." Her eyes flicked towards the jar and it's grisley contents. Her chest rose and fell with quick, shallow breaths. She watched Luke fidget with something on the ground. She watched, but didn't see. Her thoughts were clearly elsewhere. She lingered while Luke moved, taking a step closer to the bench that contained what was left of her brother.
_Wykk's eyes followed Master Skywalker's gesture, and awaited his arrival at the doors. Noting Natalya's lack of enthusiasm about following Luke, Wykk decided it would be best in the concerns of visual evasion that he be the last to leave the area. The being only knew of the two, and if he should see Natalya following Luke, it would provide a safer means for his own exit. The Kushiban backed slightly toward the path he would take to the exit, first awaiting Natalya's leave.
_The doctor just returns to his work, there are sounds of of him fiddling with the prosthetic arm as he attempts to prepare it for attachment to the body but beyond that he barely moves and shows no more interest in them. There's something that suddenly strikes the mind of the Kushiban, however, a tickling at the back of his little mind. Wykk is first to realize that they're not alone, the ceiling of the room is completely black, its like looking into a spacefield with no stars, yet inside and through the Force the littlest Jedi Knight now knows that there are... things up there. It feels like people, standing on the ceiling? Some of them are even moving, back and forth though the movement is minimal. _Luke's commlink comes life, but this time from the side of Natalya's belt. Han's voice. "Luke, kid?" He questions. "Chewie'n I just had a run in with, something. We're not sure what. It attacked us in the turbolift. It knocked out the lights and then came in through the ceiling. We fired a couple times and it disappeared... We're back on the hangar deck now. How, how are you guys?" He inquired tentatively.
_"We must let the doctor complete his work." Luke's eyes met Natalya's in a manner he knew wouldn't be enough. he'd hoped a look alone would give her the strength, but he knew that she was too fragile, too close now to walk away, even if it meant there was a greater chance of success. "We have our own work to do." Luke's chin lowered slightly, as he focused on the Force to tell Natalya herself what he had planned. Visions filled her mind suddenly, the crew chasing down the pale woman, Luke planting the tracking devices... But it became difficult, and after only a few moments he had to stop, slightly more drained... It wasn't easy to feed someone with the Force, even for Skywalker. "We must go now, before we disturb his work further." Idly, Luke eyed the beast again, contemplating whether he could push his luck and erase the thoughts of Alex's sabers ... but it'd be too risky. "Don't you agree?" _That's when Luke sighed, a heavy, annoyed sound that usually came when one realized that everything that could possibly go wrong was about to, with you in the dead center of it. "Run!" Luke demanded, knowing there was a very large area of star destroyer between them and their Lambda. The Lightsaber was again activated, but Luke turned for the doors and opened them with a simple wave of his hand, causing them to part mysteriously. With a glance over his shoulder, he spied Natalya and ushered for her to hurry after them. They were about to get attacked by beasts Natalya probably had a very recognizable memory of. "It's a trap." He resounded afterwards, hoping that would get her feet in gear a little faster. The green blade covered his form in a haze of light, blending with the bright red Royal guard armor and cape he wears. As Solo mentions the cieling, duh, Luke looks up towards it to find a swirling, living blackness.
_Natalya didn't agree. Frowningly she stared at him and backed away slowly, unwilling to abandon her brother to the whim of this insane creature. Her mouth opened as if she were about to explain things as such, but Solo's voice crackled into the silence instead. It caught Natalya by surprise and she jerked, her brother's lightsaber falling from nervless fingers. It took her a moment to realize the sound that had shattered Luke's quiet retreat was coming from her own belt: the commlink she'd taken from him earlier. With a quiet cry of surprise, she fumbled for the device and then dropped it, too. The cylinder rolled beneath the lab bench, Han's voice chirping through the small device obliviously. She started to go after it, but then she heard Luke yell 'Run!' She flashed a look at him. "His saber!" she protested, and darted forward to grab it. In her haste, her booted foot knocked against it, and it went skittering further away, rolling beneath another lab table. She dropped to her knees to fish it out, despite Luke's shouted warning.
_As Wykk reached beneath the edge of the table, the irking of his senses caused an instinctual pause, midway through a quadrupedal step. The Kushiban's head tilted slightly, his right ear turned, angling slightly upward. 'There is...', a broken thought ran through his mind. Having frozen for the moment, Wykk's eyes promptly shot to Luke not but a few seconds before he gave the command to flee. The Kushiban darted in Luke's direction at an extremely rapid pace; running being something that small creatures whom typically walked around on all fours were very adept at. It was likely the fastest Wykk had moved in the presence of anyone that weren't of his own kind. The young Knight was prepared to clear the first flight of stairs with a dedicated leap, sliding slightly along the obsidian floor toward the top of the steps as he turned about to face Natalya, sensing the running she lacked. Wykk remained in an alert stance, quickly glancing upward, then to Natalya before shouting her name in earnest. "N'talya!!"
_And a giant robutic foot comes slamming down ontop of the lightsaber merely inches in front of the princess' wiggling, outstretched, fingers. Though its curved foot does not crush the cylinder, it does capture it. The metalic robut foot belonging to none other than the Doctor who's single red eye housed inside the cavernous human head is focused down upon the girl beneath the table. "Intriguing..." His deep vocalized voice says as his left, robutic hand begins to reach out for the girl... _Thats when the life forms on the ceiling above begin to move about much more definitively... Like a nest of bees brought to life by an annoying neighbor-kid throwing rocks the lifeforms lost in the shadows above begin to drop. Bodies, falling from the sky, dark shadowed bodies. One by one they begin to hit the floor of the Throne Room in all directions and one by one they begin to reveal themselves more clearly as black as the shadows they've dropped from, their glowing red eyes are now seeable. This, is who the ship belongs to now, this is who guards it. Gone are the days of the Stormtroopers, the new owners have moved in and they're about to start cleaning house.
_"His saber will be here long after we're dead if you don't come on, woman!" Shouted Luke with a growl, his hand thrusting forward to move the table away from her so she could get it with ease. Luke, meanwhile, focused on his instincts and let the Force flow through him as he crossed towards the Princess. His eyes darted for the Kushiban. "Wykk, get ready..." They'd come along any minute now, and they'd lacked sufficient tools to shoot them with, they'd have to hope cutting them up may make them scared and flee. As she scuttled about for the Lightsaber, Luke ducked low. They'd be coming soon, if their escape wasn't expidited, much would be risked. As he crossed towards the Princess and moved to scoop her up, Luke was cut off by the sudden appearance of the Bando Gora slaves. The green glow of his lightsaber bled the glowing light, but it seemed to do nothing to expose the forms or faces of the bando gora, as if they absorbed the light itself. "Natalya!" Luke was then momentarily occupied with the location of the Princess, the lightsaber in his hands brought in front of him, defensive against the being that had cut him off. "Wykk, to the Princess!"
_With a startled cry, Natalya snatched her fingers back from the robotic foot that had gotten to the lightsaber before she had. She heard both Wykk and Luke shout her name and a rising panic began to claw it's way up her spine. She flung herself away from the Doctor's reaching hand, her eyes wide and fearful. She was sitting with her legs bent before her, her back up against the metal doors of the storage space beneath the table. She reached for the blaster on her thigh and fumbled it free, training it with shaking hands on the doctor. "Give me the lightsaber!" she demanded in a tremulous but convicted voice. "Hand it over. Now." She held her finger against the trigger like she meaned business, even if the barrel wavered irresolutely in her nervous hands. Then, the first of the Bando Gora began to drop from the darkness above. With another cry of alarm, the blaster wavered towards the first of the shadowed beings to land near her, and she fired, the pistol jerking in her grip as purple energy burst forth from the Dark Divinity holdout.
_The handmaiden weapon in Natalya's hand discharged and the purple projectile of superheated gas zipped through the air with an usual buzzing noise. It slammed into the right shoulder of one of the shadowy figures sending a burst of sparks launching out of the creature's body resulting in a blood curtling moan to come from the faceless shadowing head of the Bando Gora minion. The Doctor stared at Natalya as she retreated. "Who in the galaxy said that any of you could leave?" The Doctor asked, sounding completely stunned by this. He looked up at the sight of the dark figures multiplying in droves all around the makeshift lab. "All of you, seize them." _Natalya's lack of listening to the Jedi has not paid off well for her, or them. The Bando Gora minions have managed to drop down between Luke, Wykk and the princess, essentially leaving a wall of them between one another. They began to take their targets, their red eyes were flaring brightly now and they were hissing loudly, the whole room was filled with threatening hisses as the creatures began to move, closing in on their prey.
_At Master Skywalker's command, Wykk immediately launched from the obsidian floor, landing on the edge of the nearest table. The Kushiban alternated between lengthy long-jumps to span the stride of the tables he was closing his distance by traversing the tops of, and large bounces to span the gaps between the small ends of each table. With the arrival of a black figure into the last gap, Wykk's ears laid against his back, his head dropping low as he gained blazing speed. Reaching the end of the table where the deadened figure stood with outstretched arms, Wykk sprung forward with an arc monumental compared to his standard. As he left the table, his lightsaber was detached from its band, igniting the comparatively short green blade in a vertical manner, and leaving Wykk's hand in a spinning motion toward the figure's head and upper torso whilst Wykk sailed over it, intent on landing on the last table to finally arrive near Luke and Natalya.
_Without a thought, the lightsaber spun in the Jedi Master's hand, cutting down the most imminant and dangerous of the drones that began to swarm. Calming his mind, Luke felt the Force flow through him, the tingling of his nerves and muscles a welcome feeling as he began to channel and assert his command over the Force, forcing it to obey his command. A crackle of energy surrounds Natalya, her body glowing only slightly for what seemed like a brief moment, Before Luke began again in his attempts to get towards her. He only prayed the energy would buy her enough time for one of them to get to her. He couldn't tell how many there were... they'd swarmed them, and the numbers were great, no doubt meaning they had their work cut out for them. With a quick leap, Luke found his way atop one of the many cluttered lab tables, about a second or two before Wykk himself landed near them. Good timing. With the high ground, Luke surveyed, raising a left hand as he focused on a far table for a moment ...
_Natalya grimaced at the near-human sound the creature made as the energy bolt crashed against it, and then fired off another shot. She reached up and caught the edge of the table, pulling herself to her feet, feeling slightly ungainly in the light body armor that she wore. On her feet again, she cast about wildly to find Luke and Wykk among the hordes of twisted slaves. "Luke!" she yelled desparately as she took hold of the blaster in two hands and fired into the incoming mass of bodies. She had the presence of mind to glance fleetingly at the greyish flesh held suspended within the jar not far from where she made her stand. Anguish and helplessness welled up inside of her, a black tide of emotion that threatened to overwhelm her. Alexander! He was lost to her now. Something dark loomed at the side of her vision, and she screamed, whirling towards it with her weapon unheld. "Luke!!" she screamed again, louder.
_A vertical slit cut from the top of its head to its chest, the dark figure quickly slumped to the ground. Wykk, with fur as dark as the shadowed beings themselves, caught his hilt in a reverse grip just before landing on his hind legs, quickly swinging the green blade to the forward position as he made ready to horizontally slash one of the creatures near the table. It also dropped to the floor in two detached arms and in bodily halves. The Kushiban heard Natalya's screaming for Master Skywalker, but was unable to find her at the immediate time. His vantage point from the tabletop may have been better had he been taller and the room not been a cluster of living shadows. Aside from Master Skywalker a few tables away, the most prominent figure in the crowd was the Doctor. Wykk visually searched for a blunt object near the being quickly, before having to continue to ward off incoming enemies.
_The Doctor reeled back on his robotic legs, rising to his full height of seven feet again. His sunken-in face spun around in the direction of the flying fuzz ball screaming across his tables with lightsaber-ignited and he let out a shout from the vocalizer. "No! Do not damage my specimens!" His single red droid eye flashed brightly and he started to move toward Wykk, lumbering across the floor with one loud metalic foot clank after another. "What in the galaxy are YOU!" He boomed. _And the Bando Gora minions began to close in on all three of them and even though the Jedi had might abilities to cut things down in numbers quickly, the room was filling to beyond capacity. "Do not let them escape!" The monsterous creator of Darth Nihilus shouts from the center of the room. _The zombies begin to slap wildly in the direction of the Jedi while the others focusing on the princess are trying to reach out for her to restrain her, she being less of an obvious threat lacking the menacing presnece of a lightsaber blade.
_Luke's left hand was held aloft for what seemed like a few short moments, before one of the massive lab tables overturned on itself and flew through a large swarm of the Bando Gora slaves. Knowing his time was short, he leapt from the table and utilized this new hallway to close the gap betwey, and so putting her arms in front of her face she tried to fend them away as best she could. "Luke!" This time it was an exclamation of relief as the Jedi Master fought his way to her and pulled her back from the gripping, tangling hands. She didn't resist as he pulled her back, huddling in on herself while the emerald blade cut a path through the slaves. "What about Alexander?" she questioned him desparately, kicking at the knees of her nearest assailant with rapid, near-panicked efficency. "We can't just...just leave...him here..." She split the air with a shriek of frustration and fired her blaster towards the denizen before her. To go, to stay...neither option was a satisfying one.
_Wykk's eyes and ears focused upon the Doctor for a few grazing seconds before Luke's shout. The Kushiban's gaze turned to Luke's direction, quickly noting the overturned table and relatively zombie-free area. It took only a few hops and a handful of mindless beings to pass before Wykk was only a few short leaps away from the clear zone, Natalya, and Luke. The Knight had neglected to keep track of the Doctor's location, and was now occupied fending off a veritably concentrated swarm of the Bando Gora slaves. Quite the messy situation.
_The shaodwy bodies that the Kushiban leaps over all reach their black arms up into the air to try to yank him from mid-flight but his speed and agility is too quick allowing him to make his acrobatic moves with his natural grace. But thats not to say that he's evaded them all together, even those he passes still turn to go after him and they too move with unnatural speed and conviction. _Natalya's blaster bolt slams full into the chest of one of the zombies and he is knocked back into two others who quickly shove the body of the blasted minion aside. They roar loudly and both leap off of the obsidian deck launching themselves at Luke and Natalya, claws extended and red eyes flashing with a firey intensity. _The table that Luke had knocked over settled upon the floor in front of the Doctor's robotic feet and he releases a deep growl of anger from the vocalizer housed inside the vacant space that used to be a face. His optical light looks upon the Jedi holding Natalya and his right left swings forward delivering a massive kick to the table that once was holding parts of his experiment. "You damage my things! You dare come into my home and damage my things!!" His voice is quite ear shaking now and the long lab table that he just kicked flies a good ten feet across the room before it slams into the wall and crashes to the floor. He begins throwing Bando Gora minions out of his way as he takes calculated robotic steps toward Luke and Natalya, one loud metalic clank followed by another. "Your minds will be mine!"
_The sudden leap of the two caught Luke almost off guard, before he rose a hand pushed his strength into catching them in midair, before flinging them aside with a clash of a thunderbolt. "And if we kill the doctor?" Luke pushed Natalya up onto the table, the saber cutting low and behind him to send back any stragglers that would dare to follow, before he leapt after her. "He's lost forever. If we go save Adrastea, he may "fix" your brother." Luke explained, before he finally pulled free what he'd been digging for, a small metal object connected to a length of wire. With a flick of his wrist, three prongs engaged and locked in place. With a little luck, and the Force on their side, they may just make it out of this alive, Luke considered, before the wire was flung towards one of the struts along the cieling, locking into place. _His saber was kept moving, doing as best he could to defend while his concentration was placed between the swarms, and his escape plan. Suddenly Luke was very aware and very thankful he'd been wearing armor, as there was no telling how many times he'd been hit just so far. "Wykk!" Luke called, looking for the Knight, hoping he'd get what Luke had in mind: climbing, swinging, dangling! Everything a young Kushiban loved in life, except for food! "Hold On." He instructed Natalya, before he crouched a bit, the wire dangling just ahead of them by a distance of about four feet, and below, no doubt learning the secrets of the table (Which was not as slippy as the Falcon's hull) giving their enemies the advantage of height. In the mind of the Jedi, amidst the chaos, the world slowed, and the Force gave him strength.
_The pain of it was so profound that Natalya had to deliberately set all thoughts of it aside in order to focus on the immediate goal of survival. She swallowed hard, and banished any further objections that rested on her tongue. She clambored up onto the table with Luke's help and continued to fire into the seeting, teeming crowd. She watched Luke, but the Doctor's angry bellow caused her to lift her head, gazing across the room. "Luke..." she said in warning, but too softly to be heard over the general chaos. "Luke!" She rapped her knuckles against the hard shell of his armor. "Look!" She pointed with her free hand as the robotic monster that was pawing his way rapidly towards them through the crowd. She took a shot, clinging to Luke with her other hand. "Lets get out of here!" she urged, as if her sudden aquiesence would sway this escape somehow in their favor.
_Wykk quickly glanced at Luke and his dangling wire, before surveying the ceiling above his own head. Master Skywalker's idea was fine and dandy, but he had one thing Wykk didn't. An accessible place to be swinging from. The strut Luke used was fine for his own use, but above Wykk was merely empty shadow; an indecent place to attempt to be climbing upon or swinging from. The strut Luke had used was too high off the floor, anyhow, for even a grasp if Wykk had been directly beneath it. The Kushiban was now flanked by several mindless slaves from the behind, and the Doctor to his front. He no longer had time to consider the high road. As he was preparing to decapitate a pair of incoming zombies, his bushy black tail was taken hold of, quickly sending Wykk to his belly as he was pulled backward on the table. The Knight fell to the floor after he rolled over in midst of being upon the table, slicing the arm which had caught him within grasp. Deactivating his lightsaber, Wykk desperately took to racing the length of the table, underneath. Thankfully, the generally standing slaves were not reflexively prepared to reach under the table in moment's notice before Wykk had already passed.
_The blast of Natalya's pistol catches the Doctor flat on on his left shoulder and his lab coat bursts into flames that lick at the side of his face singing off some of his old grey hair, but he ignores the flames and continues to trounce through the crowd of Bando Gora toward Luke and Natalya who're on the table. "My work is all in my head regardless of what you do to the specimens around you. I will just use YOU as replacements!" The mindless minions leap up after Luke and Natalya, trying frantically to get up onto the table and get them back, one of them reaches out and grasps onto Natalya's left ankle, squeezing it violently and giving it a fierce pull. _The Bando Gora chasing the Kushiban do not let up their chase, they surround the table that he disappeared beneath and prepare to wait for him to reveal himself. The room is filled with the noises of spirit-like screams as the zombified creatures scramble to contain these agile victims of their trap.
_It was the end, and they were down to the last few minutes of the fight. They had to escape, and this was it. Luke's left hand coiled around Natalya's wrist, holding her in place to chop the arm from the slave who'd grasped her roughly. Then, Pulling towards the group of slaves and the wire beyond, Luke chucked his lightsaber towards the blast doors, no free hand to use it and no time to waste. With Natalya's wrist, Luke brought her arm to drape across her neck and he held onto her as her leapt from the edge of the table towards the dangling wire. He'd done it a hundred times, atleast, with Master Yoda on his back, and only fifty or so pounds seperated her from the aged Master (She was a fit and prime looking human female, afterall), but it did prove considerably more difficult. Not so much catching the wire, using it to sour across the bando gora slaves, but rather the landing, which could have been smoother. Despite the pain that welled up in his knees from taking the brunt of the landing, and both of them, Luke stood, undaunted. Reaching out with the Force, the lightsaber hilt returned to his hand obediantly and came to life, Luke spinning. Their backs to the open exit, they had superior ground atlast. Again, Luke's off-hand rose towards the massive tables. He needed to buy Wykk time.
_The blaster dropped from Natalya's grip as she turned and clutched at Luke in an effort to keep herself from being pulled into the writhing crowd of dark bodies. She clung to the slick (one might say slippy) surface of the armor he wore desparately until the arm suddenly gave way, and she staggered aganst him with a gasp. She shook her leg briskly to free it from the dismembered clutches and started to kneel to retrieve the weapon. Luke pulled her back, drapping her arm about his neck, and she ceased the attempt, instead focusing on gripping the Jedi Master more carefully. Her she squeezed her eyes shut, unwilling to face what he was about to do, and certain they would both end up somewhere within the sea of screeching Bando Gora slaves. The impact was jarring, but she gave him a small, appreciative look as she opened her eyes to find themselves on the other side of the room. "Where's Wykk?" Without her blaster now she felt even more edgy and exposed. She scanned the turning tides for the small, fur-covered Jedi, increasingly worried when she couldn't spot him among the turning tides of bodies.
_Wykk's situation was extremely daunting. Trapped underneath the table and surrounded completely by the menacing shadow-men, he attempted to make an escape route, cutting down a pair of them in an arc. It resulted in more trouble, being that the now legless zombies fell to their stomachs and were now within much easier reach of where Wykk stood. It took a great deal of effort to quiet them both. The Kushiban remained underneath the table, lightsaber buzz almost drowned out by the incessant sound of what were essentially living dead. Fatigue was beginning to set in, and he was in dire need of help. "Luke!", Wykk shouted, in a voice that could only come from within a half-meter tall creature. The young Knight also utilized the Force, sending a local distress call with his thought.
_One of the advantages, if there were any at all, to the Jedi's situation was that there were so many of the Bando Gora that it was hard for them to move. They clammered about in herds, swiping at the Jedi and the Princess' feet as the two valiantly swung overhead of them inbound for the massive staircase that leads to the Room's exit. When they landed on the other side of the minions all heads turned and the direction of attack was shifted, they began to move in again toward Skywalker and Natalya, their hooded and concealed faces were only vaguely seeable through the darkness that envolved their bodies and souls. _The Doctor, had only been able to watch as the two swung further away from him and he let out a deep rumbling growl when he heard the shout of 'Luke!' to his left... The other Jedi was trapped. The massive beast of a human-cyborg abomination reered back and let out a 'Screeeeech' as it started to run full tilt, plowing through the Bando Gora cultists and leaping with powerful force up into the air where it soared and landed with a massive metalic *bang* upon the table that the Kushiban was beneath. _The cultists taht Wykk had sliced the feet off of were indeed upon the ground now, though they were being brutally stepped upon by other mindless dark beings, it all did not stop the injured foes from reaching out at the Kushiban... clawing, clawing, clawing whilst exclaiming their desperation with ear piercing shrieks and brightly glowing crimson diamond-shaped eyes!
_"Get to the ship," Luke demanded, shouting over his shoulder to Natalya as his lightsaber was clipped at his belt. Both hands were free now, and the danger to his Knight was a daunting risk he wasn't happy about. So it was time to stop the games and end it. The first table rises, sent sweeping through the front line of the beasts who suddenly turned towards them -- But it doesn't stop. The full table continues to slide, eventually smashing into a far wall. A lab machine is overturned, sent spiraling backwards to the right of Wykk's table with a clatter of breaking machinary. The new opening was then replaced by another table, rising about four feet off the floor. This table was held with Luke's right hand, while his left was arched towards a group of encroaching slaves. Luke's eyes closed then, as he focused on the images and feelings that kept slamming into his mind. Too much distraction, he thought to himself, closing off everything but the Force, guiding his hands. "Call them off," Luke demanded quietly, the table held aloft, as if beckoning Wykk to it. Flying tables could make good rides. "You can finish your work in peace. Don't force me to kill you." It was a warning, a grim resolution from the Jedi. Luke's hands were both held aloft, as though he were some preacher. At first, Luke focused on the table Wykk was beneath to support it from crushing beneath the weight of the monster, but soon it began to hover above them ... pushing away from the perverbial ride and Wykk himself. Luke's hair had matted against his face in sheets now, soaked from sweat. The entire fight had taken alot out of him ... they had to go. Soon.
_Natalya started to turn, to do as Luke had commanded and work her way back to the ship, but then she hesitated and came back to him. She watched as tables rose and flew with seemingly nothing greater than the effort of his outstretched hand, but she knew better, and she could see the beads of sweat gleaming in the green light of his ignited lightsaber. She heard his words and she stepped closer, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Luke, you can't kill him!" she pleaded with him, her lips close to his ear to be heard over the din. "He's Alexander's only chance!" She was already beginning to reconsider all the damage that he was doing. So far, the jar remained untouched. She stared past Luke's shoulder helplessly at the chaos of the room.
_Fortunately, the slaves were not the brightest starts in the galaxy. With the hole opened to his left caused by the crashing piece of machine, Wykk bounced through the time-limited opening, rebounding from the floor before landing upon the table Master Skywalker was holding within the air. It was only a matter of moments before the slaves would congregate around his 'ride' and attempt to pull it down. But the Knight's faith was in Luke. He remained standing upon it, breathing quickly as his heart raced, his lightsaber brightly shimmering against his now white fur, eyes trained upon the Doctor to which Luke addressed.
_The Doctor's right hand rose up, the flesh and bone hand, and all the Bando Gora members in the room suddenly halted their arms and legs, but their eyes all remained trained upon Luke and Natalya and those closest to Wykk upon him as the little Jedi rode on a flying table. It was a field of black shadow bodies and gleaming red eyes with the centermost being in the room the giant form of the half man, half robot with the human head that lacks a face... His central eye, the brightest of all the red eyes in the room, shun like a lightsaber blade as he stared the thirty or so feet away that he was from Luke and the Princess. He remained standing upon the metal lab table, a Lord of the Bando Gora minions, his massive body was heaving atop his massive metal legs as he panted for air. _"You, Jedi." He said, his right hand pointing Luke now. "Have achieved -nothing- here. Flee my ship in furious shame you weak fools!" It was then that his right robotic leg shifted in a blur upward and released the lightsaber that it was holding in his metalic-foot. His left hand, the robotic hand, caught Alexander's lightsaber and ignited it, a brilliant blue beam of energy. "I hold what you desire, and you flee." He let out a cackle. "Destroy them!" He shouted and threw his right hand forward giving the signal for the Bando Gora cultists to attack... and they did, rushing like waves of shadows toward the three of them.
_Luke's voice dropped to a whisper, for Only Natalya to hear among the chaos. "I don't plan to, but he doesn't know that." Luke continued to focus, two more tables crashing into each other with a comical series of slaves crushed betwixt. "Trust me, Natalya. For once. I will keep my promise. We will save your brother." But right now, Luke thought to himself, Saving Wykk was higher priority. luke began walking backwards slightly, moving towards the series of stairs. The room came together -- Less could swarm them at once. How many had already died? How many were left? Luke didn't bother -- He began to focus, his concentration and resolution turning to steel, as his mind closed like a steel trap. He'd come so far since Dagobah. He'd done so much. As Luke felt the movements of Wykk through the Force, his eyes opened and suddenly, abruptly, everything in midair with exception to Wykk's table dropped. Wykk's table rose to a grand height over them all, and moved with a quick speed to the area of the room Luke and Natalya occupied. While the doctor's table wasn't far from the ground itself, Luke had hoped it'd jar the monster for enough time. luke had no intentions of staying to fight, and when Wykk was a good distance near them, Luke looked up. "Jump!" He called, holding out his arms as the table suddenly lost it's stability and careened downward. "Go, Natalya! Lead the way!"
_Natalya's gaze was fixed on the brilliant blue glare of Alexander's lightsaber, clutched in the hands of a monster. She stared at it with wistful sorrow, hesitating in her retreat from the room. It wasn't the first he'd built, and she scolded herself for thinking it would be the last. No, the saber didn't matter. She dropped her hand away from Luke's shoulder as Wykk's magic table ride zoomed towards them and then turned to make her headlong retreat down the stairs. She took the steps one by one, her feet moving quickly, fighting past the feeling that she was leaving her brother behind. She swallowed past a lump in her throat and batted back stinging tears from her eyes. As she reached the middle landing, she lept nimbly over a dismembered body and carefully skirted the scattered bits and pieces of the storm troopers that littered the area.
_The little Kushiban's concentration was past the threat of the shadowed beings and the Doctor, which no longer loomed as threateningly as they had. Most of them were busy unburying themselves from a table or two, and the Doctor was inadvertently leaving the scene. It was a relieving feeling. Wykk didn't enjoy being trapped under the table; it was a condescending presence that later made him very thankful that he had friends, as well as the Light side as his ally. The young knight's focus was trained on Master Skywalker, deactivating his lightsaber and clipping it to the nearly invisible band around his thigh. Wykk crouched gradually as the table neared where the man stood, springing toward the Master at his command, arcing toward a soft landing at the man's chest, his legs pointed downward in an instinctual fashion which many Human-type people may have viewed as humorous.
_The cultists that filled the throne chamber were clambering to get past the strategically thrown lab tables that were quite large and quite heavy slabs of metal. But they were managing it rather quickly as many of them began to poor over the gleaming steal like a rushing shadow falling over the chamber itself. And in its center stood the grotesque machine man himself, the Doctor. Alexander's crystal colored lightsaber held tightly in his left robotic hand illuminating his entire side there in the wash of bright blue. He let out a bellowing cackle as he saw the Jedi fleeing the throne chamber down the stairway. The table that he stood one happened to be the very table that held the jar with Natalya's sibling's mind, it was left unharmed in the chaotic struggle that was occuring all around it. The Bando Gora cultists were pursuing, however, and were reaching the top of the stairs at a very fast pace undulating their dark bodies at strange angles to help propel them even more hastily.
_Pleased that Natalya had finally listened to him, Luke held his arms outstretched for the tiny Knight to land in, while the encroaching swarm of Bando Gora slaves caused him to get a little nervous about how slow the rest of their plan had been going that night. Certainly, things needed speeding up. The Kushiban's broad jump was on target, and the large presumably metal table slammed into the side of a durasteel plating that sent a resounding thud in all manner of directions -- But Wykk was safe. "Good job," Luke said before glancing upward to eye the things as they came along. "Come on." Luke turned then and began descending the twin sets of thirteen stairs each, taking them easily as what seemed like two or three at a time. His goal was evident, and he was already focusing his mind on the massive framework of the large doors that lead in and out of the Throne room. As Luke and the tiny ensemble ran, he focused his mind to close the grand doors together, hoping to slip through them with just enough time for them to get past before they were closed for good. He'd hoped.
_As Natalya rushed headlong down the last flight of stairs she paused to look over her shoulder. She could see Luke, with Wykk, at the stair's crest. Behind her, she heard the large doors of their exit grind to life, and with a startled cry she whirled to face them. They were pushing inward, soon to block off their retreat. "Luke!" she cried upwards to them, over her shoulder. "Hurry! The doors are closing!" She had no way of knowing that it had been the Jedi Master's will that set them in motion to begin with. For her part, the princess scurried across the threshold to 'safety', and then turned to wait for the Jedi, waving them forward with a frantic gesture.
_Wykk's eyes peeked over Luke's shoulder after landing in the man's clutch as he turned about and quickly began descending the stairs, having no sort of regret for leaving this place, along with saying goodbye to the dark inhabitants. His head turned about, ears unintentionally thwapping Luke in the jaw as his own neck twisted backward. Kushiban were quite the contortionists for those who were familiar with them. He had no doubt about Luke's ability to pass through the doors, but the dire pursuit from the beings behind them worried him slightly. Wouldn't they just open the door and continue?
_And the Bando Gora cultists press on as they crest over the top of the staircase and begin to glide down each individual step at an animalistic speed. They would not, however, reach the closing doors before said doors would shut for the Jedi.
_Luke kept a quickened and ready left hand on the young Kushiban, carefully keeping him secure to ensure he would not be left to be harmed by the evil canites of the Bando Gora. As he pushed himself faster, the massive doors were brought together, and only by turning slightly to the side were Luke and Wykk capable of making it through the massive doors -- But it wasn't enough. His right hand rose quickly, reaching out in a fast motion towards the side of the large blastdoors. One of the guns from the still laying guards was wretched from the holsters, sent spiraling through the air to slam into the faceplate and pad that controlled the door, Luke hoping that with a little luck it would buy them a bit of time. But Luke knew it wouldn't last very long, if it did work ... "Hurry! Lets keep escaping!"
_Natalya watched the narrowing gap between the doors with growing anxiety and began to wonder what she was suppose to do if it shut with Luke and Wykk on the other side. She took a couple of steps backwards as the Jedi charged through without a second to spare. She exhaled her relief, and answered Luke dryly, "Yes...lets. You lead," she turned around and faced the corridor, her heart pounding in her ears. Without the eerie screaching of the Bando Gora minions, it seemed uneasily quiet on the other side of the heavy doors. Nihilus' people aboard this ship knew without a doubt that they were here now. "I don't remember the way." She glanced down at the empty holster of her blaster and then unclipped the gleaming golden hilt of the Imperator Blade, clutching it in one trembling hand.
_Wykk wriggled slightly, and dropped from Luke's grip. Luke could surely run faster without having to wobble with him in grasp, and Wykk could make his own four-legged due just as easily. The young knight awaited Master Skywalker's lead, his ever present smile creeping across his lagomorphic face as the mood lightened slightly, his fur also lightening to a rather bright white. With the screeching and beating noise of shadowy death lingering behind a mere blast door to their backs, the Kushiban was surely ready to leave. He hadn't exactly taken this route to where they'd met, agreeing that Master Skywalker was the best candidate to lead the escape's home stretch.
_The grey and black corridors of the Eclipse were quiet and were clean with the ever present hum of the massive ship around them all that was really hearable. But the escape would not go so easily as planned for our brave adventurers. Fourty paces ahead, at a juncture of corridors the color of white began to fill the view ahead, blocking the turbolift section that gave access to this deck off. Many stormtroopers began to take up position in the corridor facing the three travellers as they drew near, it seemed like a fight was about to be on the hands of the Jedi and their princess companion but the prickling senses at the back of each of their heads did not begin to twitch. And nor did the Stormtroopers begin to fire... Standing at the front of the back was a Trooper Commander, with a dark red shoulder harness denoting his superiority in rank over the others. His right hand, whilst his left lowered his massive Blastech rifle downward. "Hold!" The stormtrooper shouted many feet before the Jedi could reach them, they knew how quickly Jedi could rip people apart... they've been experiencing it first hand more and more as of late. "Hold!" The Commander shouted again.
_Without a second thought, Luke took Natalya's words to heart and did just that, he lead onward. Running at a good speed he assumed Natalya could keep to, he tried to lead them onward as best he could, idly hoping deep down that Solo had already prepped the shuttle and was ready to leave. In the same trembling moment of hope, Luke wondered if R2 had been smart enough to get on board the ship? Too many variables. With Luke dropping from his grip, Luke was brought back to the forefront of his mind, and he began re-tracing his steps, leading them back down the many hallways towards where they'd left the Lambda shuttle. Where they'd be able to get the hell out of there... And that's when the Cavalry showed up. Luke's jog quickly slowed to a halt, and he offered a deep sigh of regret as he stared into the faceplate of the Commander. This was getting ridiculous. How much further must he go? Always something. Luke relaxed, the feelings of frustration and anger melting away as he awaited word as to what they'd been stopped for. "Is there a problem, sir?"
_Natalya was slightly out of breath by the time Luke stopped in front of her, her chest rising and falling rapidly with each in and exhalation. She was thankful for the tingley crawl of panic that kept her going, and the exertion helped her keep her emotions at bay. She was startled when Luke's jog slowed, but her eyes widened in sudden, fearful understanding as she gazed over his shoulder at the small army waiting before them. She whispered a quiet oath in her native tongue and fingered the cool metal of her father's lightsaber. It was something of a national treasure, and she was reluctant to actually have to use it. One thing was for certain, she would not lose this one as she had Alexanders; they would have to pry it out of her dead hands. She shifted nervously from one foot to the other, watching Luke for any signs of a plan.
_Wykk came to a screeching halt. It didn't screech or anything, but it happened quickly. Too much friction caused him to have to bounce several times before stopping to Luke's right side. The Kushiban remained in a very alert stance, the slight hint of a smirk tugging at his mouth, with the presence of Imperial soldiers. Their calmness was remarkable, and Luke's statement witty. The young Knight was eager, almost, to hear what they would say, or what actions they would choose to take. Wykk had already exhausted this year's quota of slashing things. He certainly didn't want any extraneous additions to the total thusfar.
_The Stormtrooper Commander's outstretched hand remained up even after the trio had come to a hastey halt. He had to make sure afterall, that they'd properly understood him. His gloved hand then came back and hooked underneath the edge of his infamous Storm helmet and he was quick to yank the bulky piece of plasteel off, revealing the face of a younger Boba Fett beneath. He stepped a single step toward the Jedi. "This ship is being seiged by creatures that we do not serve." There were at least thirty troopers behind their commander who was speaking. "We need a way out that we do not have." The man paused and glanced back at his men then turned back to look at the three travellers. "We surrender. If you'll help us leave." There was the ultimatum, he awaited the answer.
_Luke was quiet for a long moment, glancing between Wykk and the Princess for a long moment. There was a shocking moral dillema Luke was brought face to face with. They wanted help -- His help, no less. "You realize, of course, Senator Jansen here is required to inform the Senate that you were brought back to Coruscant with us, right?" Luke wasn't entirely sure he'd liked where this was all going, but the living beings that the Force bound together had little more decision in their destiny then he did. That was when Luke was reminded of present circumstances. "Come. We can discuss things when we're safe. We've got an extra ship, and the Lambda can hold what Han won't let in the Falcon." That was when Luke motioned down another corridor, starting in that direction. There was a long unsure moment in which Luke expected to get shot in the back... but it passed as the Jedi master began to pick up speed. Compassion and Mercy were part of the Jedi Tenants.
_Natalya couldn't help but stare blatantly at the man who wore a near identitcal copy of Boba Fett's face. Her eyes wandered uneasily over the other stormtroopers, their faces concealed behind the encompassing white masks of their helmets, and imagined them all with his face. She stiffened when Luke said her name, lifting her chin and trying to conceal the fear and uncertainty written there in favor of a more Senator-like expression. She really only succeeded in looking slightly hysterical. She listened to Luke's pronouncement, studying the commander's face. Just what she needed: a delivery of Imperial Stormtrooper's to set on the Republic's door. What sort of questions was -this- going to raise? She edged along after Luke, her eyes lingering before she reluctantly looked away and turned her own back to them, following Luke down the hall. It might be a trap, but then, she'd just seen one of their own dismembered corpses as part of the Doctor's horrific experiments, with a number of trooper body parts just outside. She'd want off of this nightmare ship too. She DID want off of this nightmare ship...she ran a little faster.
_Wykk was the first to take off after Luke had. He didn't sense any sort of imminent danger from the soldiers. There was no need to probe their intent. The Force wasn't necessary to know they were telling the truth. Would anyone desire to willfully remain under the domain of the black creatures the trio had recently become acquainted with? Not likely. The Kushiban kept near to Master Skywalker's swift pace.
_The Trooper Commander nodded his head once to Skywalker's initial words and given the Senator a glancing stare that didn't linger very long before his gaze returned back to Luke, who was clearly in charge here. The Jango-clone nodded again. "We'll take what fate the Republic has for us over the horrors being conducted aboard this lost ship." As Luke started to 'part the sea of white armor' the Commander spoke again. "We've secured the turbolifts, they were coming at us through the shafts. There are three lifts. We can all meet down on the flight level." He said to the man that he'd just surrundered himself and the lives of his loyal troops too. The Commander then discardingly tossed his stormtrooper helmet to the ground where it clattered and span past Natalya's feet. He lifted his free hand up and pointed at two of his troops and then made a flashy hand signal. The two troops began to set up sensor charges after Wykk and Natalya passed. _The Commander nodded to his men's work as the charges were set. "They won't like the taste of that when they come through here. Now go, follow the Jedi." He ordered his soldiers and in-time each of the white-armored Stormtroopers began to fall in line behind the adventurers, headed for the turbolifts. The Clone Commander at the rear of the group, he turned around to stare down the hallway toward the throne chamber, glaring down the corridor almost before he too turned and began to move for one of the lifts that would take them off of this Hellish ship.
--- End Log ---