Log:Defiance Guild: All Good Things I
The short story: Defiance is Defiance, one last time.
The long story:
Hex has been visited by ghosts stirred up from the past.
It began with unsettling packages -- unmarked, untraceable items delivered to him by unwitting couriers, the contents of which referenced the years he spent as a slave. A clear jab from a known source -- it had to be his previous owner, a human he reluctantly identified as being named Alistair Levant. From there, things escalated; a visit from former slave catchers, an attack, caught off guard. Levant found him, and was after him. Not without defenses these days, it was resolved that Hex should cry havoc and let slip the Deflings of war. Enough is enough. Just need some time to plan the hunt...
But there's no time, now. The message went out to everyone, in the form of text, from Hex himself:
"They took my boy. Levant has Boon."
There are no details of the kidnapping provided, but one can imagine Hex was probably in a drop-dead panic while sending this. And of course, as one would expect, he failed to recognize all the signs of an Obvious Trap.
"I'm going to get him. Kasia has coordinates to the station. Meet me there. They have my boy. They have my boy."
No one's heard from him since.
The coordinates themselves reveal a location that is a bit off the grid, deep in a nebula that normal space traffic wouldn't have much cause to frequent. It would be huge for a ship but it's fairly small for a station; some mid-size freighters on what's probably unsavory smuggling business come and go. Headhunters and Skiprays patrol space nearby, but they let the Defiance vessel(s) pass with nothing more than a cursory scan. They are directed to a hangar, where no foes await, but no hosts to greet them, either. It's hard to say what passes for normal here, but there isn't so much as a droid in sight. Blast doors lead out of the landing zone, and from there, more doors ahead, a wall to the right and a passage to the left.
SEE MAP! Map not to scale, fight me
They have my boy.
Those words cut Kasia right to her core, because it's her boy too, obvious trap is obvious, which means that they probably have both of her boys now. She wastes no time in rounding up all the monsters she can muster in a brief period of time, while sending coordinates out to the others so they can ride like an incoming probably disorganized, and definitely chaotic hurricane. The one unkidnapped member of their little family steps into the hangar looking grim, but calm. It's not a good calm, scary calm. "I need you all to listen to me," she says to those who are assembled. "Don't do anything that's going to get my family hurt. Otherwise? I don't care, we're going to get out of here with my husband, and my child, and everything else can burn."
"This has all the signs of an obvious trap," Tarion is saying as he steps out of the refresher, buckling his belt and hauling his trousers up a bit higher. "I mean, for one thing, I don't believe that Hex even wrote these messages. There was not a single misspelled word. He's probably already dead. I still don't get what you saw in him, Kasia, I mean, is it too soon to say that? I don't think it is. Is anyone eating this?" The bounty hunter stops to pick up a candy bar and slips it into a pocket before rolling down the ramp to the hangar floor.
"Anyway, that's why I rode with you, because my ship is expensive, ok ka, and if this goes to hell, which it will, I don't want /my/ ship getting beat up in the process, although it would be nice to have an out if like, everything's clearly kriffed beyond all reason but you people still won't /leave/ because, I don't know, childish attachment or whatever. But I figure the trap's probably gonna be sprung in such a way that it wouldn't make much difference so, here we are, I guess." Heavily armed with a repeater over one shoulder and a green scaly gold-chained purse on the other, finally blinking at Kasia's instructions. "So here's the thing, is I don't really know what exactly is ruled out by that? But I will take it under advisement and uh, you look great today. Have you lost weight? But yeah totally understood."
When Hex rings the dinner bell, Zhu Yan answers, especially when there's the implicit promise of a murder or six. He'd packed hastily, dressed hastily, and flown the Heartbreak 1 to the exchange, not the old and busted T-65 but a piece of new hotness T-70 and in hindsight he was glad he did because being allowed to just walk straight on through the front door of an obvious stronghold screamed 'trap'. It made up for being cramped inside that cockpit in full armor. At least his jetpack was in storage. And his Tracker. And though he'd tried, he tried hard, the toddler cannon of a TA-16 didn't fit in the tiny cargo bay. Poor guy.
The Heartbreak 1 slewed around on repulsors and touched down in the hangar, nose pointing outwards. Reddie in the astromech slot bleeped indignantly, obviously not happy about having to sit there keeping the engines warm whilst the rest of the Deflings had some fun. And there was going to be murder so yes, definitely Yan's sort of fun. The storage underneath the fuselage cracked open as the diminutive smuggler basically threw himself out of the cockpit, and he swapped flight helmet for combat one and fastened the smaller FormStar jacket to the back of his armor. Then he removed the Tracker Carbine and closed the fighter up. "Don't worry," said the short man to the tall, intimidating Kasia, "we'll leave the right trail of bodies." He sounded a weird combination of smug and thoroughly, uncharacteristically cold. Here, at the end of all things, lies and disguises were dropped. This was Zhu Yan. EDGY.
Only the scummiest of scum, or naturally-operating-on-instinct predatory animals, prey upon children. It is known. When an Akul makes off with an unattended child, it sucks but it's a commonly accepted risk of Shili life. But the thought of doing harming to one of another village's children? Abhorrent. Cursed. Against the nature of the Togruta. And this Alistair human scum has stolen her little purple nephew, her second son, Umak's bff (second only to Crona and the dead, digested Groat).
SHE WILL EAT HIS HEART
"Mrrgo nu behm," Rheisa promises quietly for like the eighth time on this trip. The other seven times were pretty much meditative while she concentrated very hard on not losing her latest kill all over Kasia's deck plating during transit. And ignoring Tarion. She tried. It's with grimly settled stomach that the Togruta listens from her hover near Spacemom's elbow and watches the rest of this hunting party assemble. She's wearing some degree of real people armor this time, and is equipped with a LASER weapon, to boot. The war paint enhancing her already outta this galaxy markings? That's traditional.
This grave situation is one Iggy Odessa has not found himself in since he was a little boy, and it feels strangely unfamiliar. While everyone has arrived geared up and ready to go, the chubby man exits the ship still trying to put on his armor, while fumbling awkwardly with a blaster he does not know how to handle. "Everything will be alright Kasia ... ," he assures with a hint of uncertainty, "We're all here for you and Uhm ... I guess I'm pretty okay at setting things on fire so we've got that covered." Once he's made sure his doughy body is secured in the armor, he looks around the area and says, "Going through the doors feels a little to obvious so ... let's go down the passage?" He points a tubby finger to the left.
They've got my Boy. It was that message that hit Naelyn to his core. Years of guilt, memories, and recollections crashing through his mind and a sudden cold feeling in the pit of his stomach he can only guess is something akin to fear. He's not completely used to emotions yet, even though he pretends. Does he count as a monster? Who knows. But the message was on repeat in his mind, and this is all that matters to him and so in the hanger there's an slender, elegant shadow. All on black, fitted pants, corset/vest, long sleeved mesh top, fingerless gloved hands, secured short tunic, hidden sheathes and his toolbelt and backpack secured with that broken down combat staff. All his hair braided and pulled back into a low bun, veil covering his head and then also drawn over his nose and mouth leaving only kohl rimmed eyes exposed.
The dancer/slicer squints a bit, a flicker of uncertainty about the comment about her family but he tilts his head to the side and just gives a small nod, speaking from behind that veil, nerves or maybe new emotions, adding more a hiss to his words,making his accent a bit thicker. "You..all are why I exist. But you all exist, whether or not I am. Do not fret Mistress, the hearts you hold will still beat by the time this is finished, and you'll see my shadow dancing in the flames." He then carefully approaches Kasia and sinks down to his knees smoothly, bowing down at her feet, and then straightening back up to his feet, no emotion in his dark eyes.
Sajin walks in not far behind Zhu, his own E-wing parked not far from the Heartbreak-1. At least Heartbreak Squadron was 2/3 in attendance for this very important mission. He didn't even need to read anything more then 'they took my boy' to hop into his ship and blast out of Nar Shadda space. Of course he was only half way through cleaning the refresher after Trandoshan Chili night... yikes.
He was dressed to kill, bowcaster, formfitter armor, large Ryyk blade across his back. At least one of his gloves was a shock glove. Trusty Dl-44 at his hip accompanied by his fanny pack of Boom Balls(TM). "Ready Freddy."
It does seem strange that no one is here.
There is no sign of Hex, or anyone at all. No Boon, no mustache-twirling villains dangling a baby (or a Hex, though that requires more upper arm strength) over a pit. It's just empty and dark. Iggy has decided to go down the passage instead of through the door, and it leads them toward a couple of perhaps notable items: a series of rubbish dumpsters, full no doubt of snacks and absolutely critical clues, a door on the right hand wall, and further up, a series of metal grates on the floor. Blue energy sparks across them, perhaps alarmingly, but at intervals sparse enough that one could time it right and make it across. Maybe.
Kasia just gives Tarion a look, but she knows him well enough by this point to understand that his mouth operates without using the change jar that rattles around in place of a brain. A breath is drawn and she looks to Grom, nodding appreciation, which is what everyone who speaks to her gets as well. "Thank you." It's a general thanking, it's all she's got right now. "Yes, let's go that way." The fact that there isn't anyone is strange, but whether or not they find people, they're going to keep going. Or at least she is. She glances at the dumpsters, probably assuming someone else dive into that and look for clues. "What is this even for? Why is this like this?"
Kasia knows her people way too well.
"Well, this was easy, he's clearly in the dumpster with the other trash," Tarion announces when he enters the passageway behind Iggy, and heads immediately towards the garbage repositories. They're green, which just makes sense in light of Hex's skin color. Without any further thought or reservation, he mantles over the side of one and disappears into the refuse, burrowing into it in a way that suggests he has done this many times before. "FOUND HI- wait. It's just the duster. He's not /in/ the duster. ...But it is his duster." His head appears over the edge of the container, eyes narrowing as they settle on Kasia. "Was this an elaborate plot to get rid of his jacket? You could have just paid me fift- a hundred credits to make that happen, you know." He vanishes again and then reappears, wearing the duster over top of his armor. It is exactly as bad as it is on Hex and maybe worse. "If I had to guess, I'd guess this is like this as an elaborate trap specifically to kill everyone here, probably only after we've gone so deep inside we have no way of escaping. Do you think he'd pay me for finding his coat? Maybe he /is/ alive." The prospect of a bonus has brought hope to the bounty hunter's heart, and a warm smile to his face.
"See this?" Yan exclaimed, having walked past Kasia and onwards down the corridor, now pointing to the panel of suspiciously well timed electrified floor plates. "This is some final boss schutta level sithspit." He pointed again, harder, in indignation. "Look, it's all up-down side-to-side, I can't even cheat and jetpack through it!" Therein lay his biggest complaint about the whole thing. He turned and walked back away from electrofloor, dejected. Hatred. What else was there? Dumpsters? A door? Oh yeah he walked past a door and now it was coming back up on him. "Guys, look, a door. Ten creds says trap. Who wants to trip it? I vote Tarion. Look at him. He won't be missed."
"Is for trash," Rheisa helpfully explains the dumpsters to Kasia in wake of her query. "And rrrat." Tarion pops back out right on cue, but seeing that duster prompts her to hop on into one and join the search. She's weirdly stealthy in there, rustling just faintly now and again like she's hunting for lunch. Which honestly might be a side perk to being in there.
A mummified 'crete rat is tossed over the side with a shamefully gleeful thrum juuuust barely audible from within the dumpster depth. Busted furniture bits, expired fizzpops...what she finds next sinks whatever happy the rat corpse sparked. One slender stripey arm snakes over the side, followed by montrals, sadface, and Hex's modified DL-54 pistol upheld in her other hand. Rheisa tucks and rolls over edge back to the gang and trots ahead on bare pit-pat feet to touch Kasia's elbow and offers it up, wordlessly.
Grom sniiiiifs at the dumpsters as they pass, rumbling, "Perhaps Gun Minstrel left us a message using stale snacks and filth? Hurm..." Empty delivery boxes, a cunning hat, a dead duracrete rat, and an egg sandwich. "Hurmm... Gun Minstrel says.. he was boxing. With sparkle gloves. The hat is intact, so he found no mystery to unravel... But he defeated this rat." A firm nod, and yes, Grom eats the egg sandwich. "The sandwich had no meaning," he states for clarity, tromping further up the corridor. "Grom will defeat traps! Where are traps?"
Iggy Odessa bites his lip upon seeing the duster upon the grey armor'd lunatic and the gun that the Togruta finds. Immediately turning Kasia to preemptively try and comfort her, he offers, "It's okay. This is just means we're at the right place. It means nothing more than that. Just have Tarion keep it safe, and I'll stitch up any holes for when /do/ get Hex and Boon back." The cheeriness in his voice feels rather forced, but the only thing the man can do is move forward.
When Yan points out the door, Iggy steps up to it, pausing to observe wordlessly before he simply reaches out and opens the door. No trap here. "You owe me ten credits," he states plainly to Zhu Yan and then taps his own temple, "Use your head, Zhu."
The door Iggy opens reveals a short corridor with another door at the end. Since door 1 was a rather uneventful affair, he proceeds down the hall or open door 2, which is also opened with no struggle at all. Way ahead of the others, Iggy disappears through the doorway and second later a distinct BZZZZTT sound is followed by a shrill, girlish scream.
Following behind the other individuals, quiet and graceful...Naelyn's eyes glance towards the dumpsters before he ventures a bit further, staring intently at what seems to be an obstruction along a path. There is a glance over his shoulder as various items are commented on or held up or found for inspection. And with a soft hiss to himself he turns to the series of lightening traps, studying the pattern and timing it before he's throwing himself into a series of timed handsprings, landing on the other side of the trap in a crouch and looking over his shoulder for a moment because he could've sworn he heard a scream, no...couldn't be. Onward he goes.
Sajin is either next to or just behind Grom, hefting his bowcaster up and into a position to clear any areas ahead of them. "Traps... probably. Grom can likely take care of it or Jehn... Either with brains or brawn." He scans through his helmets tracking system. "His pistol... his coat. I can't tell if this is a good or bad thing." He turns as Iggy screams. "Uht oh... That didn't sound too good."
The Hotbox isn't exactly a fighter, but it's not exactly a freighter, either. The Maccrow is, in short, built for 'burning everything else' and while it may not get the chance tonight, it at least burned like hell to get to these coordinates. 'They have my boy' - like hell they do; the pilot of the Hotbox may not be the violent type, when Jehni'va steps off of it, she is geared for murder. "Sorry I'm late." She growls, adjusting the blaster holstered at her hip. The entry ramp hissing shut behind her - but any dramatic flair to her entrance is wasted on the backsides of those currently sticking out of the dumpsters. Did they find Hex alre- no, that's just Tarion in his duster. Jehn's eyes narrow a fraction, but she shrugs and doesn't waste any time diving in after them.
"I could use these boots, at least." Jehn decides after a fruitless search, and emerges clutching a pair of dirty, but viable, footwear and a smashed datapad. "Unless you think we can get something off of this, Naelyn?" She adds, wiggling the datapad in the slicer's direction while she drops to her bottom to peel off her own boots and trade them for the dumpster ones she's found. New footwear firmly in place, she labors upright and moves towards Kasia, a dirty trash hand stretching out towards her boss and a deepening frown pointed at the weapon Rheisa unearthed. "We're going to find them." She offers in a low voice, a sentiment that is tainted by the fruit peel stuck to the side of her face. "And bring this -" The distant sound of a scream sends Jehn charging after Iggy before her brain has time to process any bad feelings about this. She was just starting to like that one.
Oh no, they've split the party!
Naelyn vaults with ease through the perilous-looking electronic arcs over the grates in the north corridor, arriving on the other side.... alone. Hmm.
Meanwhile, the others have found their way to trouble that Iggy ran into: A maze of corridors past the unlocked door, but what the hell just shot him? Why? Where is it? It's kind of hard to say.
Kasia goes still at the words from Tarion, face going a little paler than usual. It. It, not him. "What?" The duster, Hex's duster. She does a quick ocular patdown to see if there are any holes or evidence of injury in the duster. "Take care of that, Tarion. Hex is going to want that back." She gives a tight smile to Iggy at the reassurance. "Yeah. You're right. We're going to find them, it's fine." It's fine. IT'S ALL FINE. A hand reaches out to pat Jehn on the arm, and she gets a smiliarly tense smile that falters at the screem. A quiet curse and she turns to head after Iggy. "What? What happened?" A quick visual sweep spots at least one of those little laser defense system things. She tugs up her sleeve, aims, and fires a laser back at it. It's only fair. "We need to be careful, there are little turret things in here."
While the others are carefully formulating a plan, Tarion has been standing off to the side, examining the inner lining of the duster. He's never been this close to it before, and while it may appear he's looking for more clues, he's actually checking the pockets for loose change. "The bonus is my only hope," he decides eventually, letting his hands drop to his sides with a sigh. Looking around then, he takes stock of the situation and sees an open door. Without inquiring as to what it is, where anyone else has gone, or who was screaming, the bounty hunter puts his hands around his mouth, yells, "I'M COMING HEX, AND I HAVE YOUR JACKET," and takes off.
His boots are loud and heavy on the metal flooring, rubber soles that squeak just so when he makes a turn. The first segment of the maze is peaceful, there's Kasia shooting at something in the next segment. "RUN OVER ANYONE STANDING IN MY WAY," he states very loudly, bumping into the boss on the way past into the hallway where the wreck of the first defensive mechanism has been downed. However, it is the first of MANY, and something registers his presence and opens fire on him. "AHHH!" On he runs. Breaking into the next segment, the hailstorm of lasers continues, with the man running just in front of it, the walls peppered with a trail of soot that matches the cadence of his stride. "AHHHH! RUN OVER EVERYTHING STANDING IN MY WAY!" Against the odds, he bursts through the last segment to the chamber beyond, and stands there panting, hands on his hips, walking in a small circle. "Hoooo boy! That was easy! See you guys after I save Hex!"
"See this is why Tarion opens doors!" exclaimed Yan, withholding from boasting about being right for the time being and standing there for a moment. He flipped a credcoin internally and it came up... awww sithspit you just can't let it go can you? "Oh for..." he complained, following behind Kasia, watching her take out a sensor/turret, and said "oh." He marched to the other end, checked it (probs watched Jehn get shot) and then fired a triple-burst down the end of the other corridor.
"Is better you keep it, than me," Rheisa puts Hex's junked blaster into Kasia's hands before the screams of a zapped Iggy beckon all to the rescue. ALmost all. "Where Naelyn is?" The question is posed after most everyone's gone through that doorway though and she listens intently. A curious pad down the hallway brings her face to face with the crackling floor grates of doom.
"Naelyn??" the gruta whisper hisses, flinching back from the next wave of electric popping. A low whine voices her inner weighing of options here. It's safer with the pack. But Naelyn's by himself. So she waits, waits, watches, crouches....AND BOLTS! Unfortunately her big toe stubs in a grate three strides in and the resulting stumble uses up the last of her zap-free time.
"Mrreshk-NAAA!" Obscenity shrieked. Rheisa flounders over the rest, soles of her feet burned red and vision suddenly skewed a bit to the left. Her right pupil's fixed into a deadened stare. Frink.
Grom peers into the winding corridors and grunts once as he sees the others spotting tiny laser turrets. "Gun Minstrel would not be so patient," he decides with a firm nod. "Besides. Stupid baby lasers are not worthy foes. The MAZE is our enemy-" not really a maze at all, but.. "BEWARE, WORTHY FOES: GROM IS HERE," he abruptly bellows, continuing to roar wordlessly thereafter as in a blinding burst of Grom, the Houk slams headfirst into the wall which so ARROGANTLY seeks to herd them one way, when they wish to go another. He smashes through it in a crackle of misfiring electronics, crumbled durasteel, and Houkish theatrics. "LET THAT BE A WARNING TO ALL WALLS. Where is Grom, now?" he belatedly thinks to wonder.
Iggy Odessa releases his tight grip on his shoulder where the laser hit him to reveal that it was really just scratch. Practically nothing. He wipes at his eyes that were beginning to tear, hoping that nobody saw. "I'm just gunna ... ," he spaces out a moment, watching Kasia and the others take down the turret that got him, "I'm gunna uhm...make a run for it ..." The younger Odessa takes a deep breath, braces himself, and books it through the corridors. His fanny pack bumbles against him while his eyes close out of fear and his shrill SCREEAAAMM echoes against the walls the entire way. Once he reaches the other side, he's gasping for air amazed that he made it all by himself, completely unaware that someone protected him.
Naelyn wanders down the hallway of nothingness and approaches the crates, searching through them and the random spare parts picking out a few screw and wires and smaller things he places in his tool belt before approaching where Rheisa is, offering her an arm up and checking her over thoughtfully and quickly. Snapping in front of her wonky eye to no...effect and sighing softly. "Come, to the door." He starts to head for....the other door?
"Grom! Yes, you big beautiful scaly bastard!" Sajin exlaims as the tank and damage dealer of the party bashes through literaly durocrete. Was Grom a bastard? Was that even a thing in his culture. These are answers Sajin didn't have and they distracted him too much if not for Iggy, "Wait... Stay behind me?" He points to the wall "Look at that, a much better course for us to run. Indeed, these little lasers are a pain and a waste of Ammo... Anyone left behind stick close to me. We're going to make a run for it!" He tucks himself against himself and then books it through the corridor and the new 'hallway' made by Grom. Fast and graceful. He dives and slides across the floor once on the other side, the friction helping him break from his run.
"Iggy?!" Jehn calls, charging down the hallway after him. "Ig- AGH!" Her own scream is much more dignified, but the lasers tear through the pilot the moment she spots it. Her own shot digs harmlessly into the wall on her way down, and she lays there, smoking slightly, as Yan and the others dispatch the defense mechanism. Jehni'va groans as she drags herself upright - her rush to 'rescue' Iggy left her worse off than her damsel in distress, and she curses her blind panic. Thankfully, Grom has made the going a little easier, and the pilot follows gingerly after the rest of the party (sans Naelyn and Rheisa), one gloved hand clasped over her shoulder. At least lasers cauterize as they go, right? She'll just have to deal with the shirt fabric that's been painfully melted against the wound later. "Hey where /is/ Naelyn?" She asks belatedly, rejoining the group with a grimace. "And Rheisa?" She effortlessly tears a strip off of her tunic and winces as she ties it around the hole in her shoulder with an emotionless: "ow."
It wouldn't be Hex's general inclination to part willingly with either his hand-cannon of a blaster pistol or his beloved, disreputable floral duster, so it seems like it isn't a good sign that someone, somewhere, managed to throw those in the trash. But at least they aren't covered in blood. There is no sign of Boon at all, at least none that was uncovered by rummaging in the trash.
The west side team manages to make their way through the defensive maze with a mix of agility, carelessness, firepower, and dumb luck -- standard Defiance fare, really. On the east side, Rheisa is a little worse for the wear after her mishap with some electrical currents, but not injured, just half-blind.
Should both teams make their way forward, the interior space of this place opens out: a bridge, over a chasm. At the bottom of the chasm, which is down, down, down a long way below them, some kind of glowing blue liquid pools: it's probably best not to investigate that. The bridge is drawn up short, preventing passage across, but ahead on both sides, there are computer terminals, and perhaps some of these extend the bridge, unlock the turblolifts, turn off the defensive mechanisms, turn off the power arcs to the north? Who knows what else one might find in the computers?
It's worth noting that had they just gone in the door from the start, Yan could have flew across.
It's really no surprise to Kasia that Tarion goes rushing in, it's a very Tarion thing to do. There's a sound of protest as she's bumped into, but otherwise she just watches what progress she can, and then listens to the rest of it, at least what she can hear. "Maybe I should have brought different people," she muses quietly, mostly to herself, but the words were spoken out-loud so it's possible those nearby could have heard. The blaster offered by Rheisa is accepted with an appreciative nod, and then tucked away in the bag that she always has with her, taking special care with it. Aw, she's sad, but only for a second. NO TIME FOR THAT NOW. Not when there's a Houk literally running holes through walls, which is a lot faster than the route she had planned on taking. "That works."
She leaves the nerd stuff to the nerds, and instead goes to search a nearby container for more signs of her family. Which she does. There's a choked sound as she backs away from a container, visibly shaking all of a sudden. This is abnormal for her, she's not one prone to hysterics over nothing. "No." She shakes her head hard, like denying it hard enough will make it not true. "Can someone please look in here to see if they find any more? Please?" Anymore what? Whatever it is, it's not good.
Tarion has been in here longer than anyone else, having run straight through everything standing in his way and when the others arrive, he is standing on the edge of the pit with his toes out over the ledge, staring down at whatever the blue liquid down there is. "Do you think all of that is Blue Moon Lagoon Monsoon?" he demands, pointing a finger down. "We should investigate."
There's other shiny blue-green things to look at, though, like those computer consoles, and Tarion gravitates towards one, running his fingers over the control console. "Ah yes. They have trapped our leader behind this small glass wall." He has been spending too much time with Grom. With a level of finesse that implies long years of not ever having encountered this particular model before, he pushes every single button until something happens.
CRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR-unk. The bridge grinds out on gears and bearings that sound like they rusted over a couple decades ago before coming to a halt with a gap yet between them. "We can probably wedge Giddy Credenza in the space between and walk over him," he suggests to the others, holding his hands out to visually frame Iggy's girth and then turning without moving the hands any wider to see if it fits. "It looks like a perfect match to me." That's not how perspective works, obviously.
"Well!" exclaimed Yan, surveying the damage and also the damage. Because by the dawn's early light they had made a mess of things. He turned and stepped through the Gromhole and saw... "Oh you're KIDDING ME! This whole time we could have just BEEN HERE! Look! I have a jetpack!" he gestured wildly to the chasm, accusingly even, "and wouldn't have been stopped. Job done! Easy! Frack!" Yeah alright he was past cold anger and well and truly back into randomly losing his temper over the most trivial crap. In the distance he spied a terminal and stomped up to it, saying, "they'd better have some juicy stuff in here." Tap tap tap. "Lift controls," he said, then was silent for a bit. Tap tap tap. "OKAY FINE," he shouted and there was a thunk from the turbolifts. "No bridge though, sucks to be you guys!"
Grom peers around the room with its inexplicable bright blue glowing doom far below. "Hurm." As others go about the business of computers and searching, the Houk turns his head slowly to regard Yan, standing beside him. Clapping a gigantic three fingered hand on the little human's shoulder, he rumbles, "Tree-Hugging Human.. Your moment has come. Now, you must become Turbolift-hugging Human." And without further delay (or warning), Grom PHYSICALLY THROWS Yan at the turbolift platform. "Be cautious of the glowing blue death!" he calls after the hurled Yan, helpfully.
Iggy Odessa follows the group to the other end, pausing only to check out Jehn's matching shoulder wound as he gestures to his own. "Rough stuff, yeah?" His wound pales in comparison to the tall lady's injury, but still asks, "Hope you're okay. I'll fix your armor later." Assuming there is a later. The only reason why he hasn't huffed at Tarion's suggestion is because he has no idea who Giddy Credenza is. "Yeah I mean, if Giddy doesn't mind, why not?" he shrugs, earnestly willing to give the bounty hunter's idea a try.
Still, he is naturally drawn to the technology around and approaching a terminal, he puts his thinking cap on while fiddling away. It takes a few minutes before he suddenly yelps out: "Guys! GUYS! BOON IS OK KA!"
A live feed appears on his screen where a very distraught young Boon sits in the middle of lovely, brightly lit room. Fine decor and rare plants fill it, along with a crowd of what appears to be slaves, playing a range of musical instruments. To one side, a tall, foreboding human man watches this. Watching the man makes Iggy shiver.
The armorer retreats to let the other watch the feed, sauntering his way over to where Kasia begs them to look. "More of what?"
Rheisa's pride is wounded more than anything, truth be told, save for the fine circuitry in her little cyber eye, custom-made for her by Raim. In fact, it's the thing that sparked the possibility of relationship between she and the Chiss. And now it's spark is gone. Er. "NAAI!" she yips as a /final/ little spark sees her swatting at her own face reflexively. She'll calm though, and realize that she's really no worse off than before the tech was installed. Cloudy, bllind eye vs deactivated eye? Same diff. A one-eyed Togruta is just as good as a two-eyed, if those montrals are in tact. Which they are.
When Naelyn beckons her to 'come', she's right beside him going through that door and perks a little to see so many familiar faces on the other side of that terrible chasm. She needn't go near the edge to determine it's a looooong way down. Kasia's sounds of distress are something she's powerless to attend to over here, but she can rummage about this side of things to aid the cause. Her efforts pay off when something small is spied wedged in a gap between a couple crates on the floor. The worried aunty goes fishing on her hands and knees. Her fingertips graze over something lightly textured, maybe hollow, hard. She scrabbles at it with fingernails until she can claw it nearer to her and pull it free. Her headtails convey a subtle expression of grief, wilting just a touch nearer to her frame, colors dull.
Cradled in palms is the gourd rattle she'd made for the boy when first he became part of the fam. It's painted up like a fowl of some sort, stem forming the beak and a tuft of real feathers still glued (albeit ratty) to the backside. Tucking it up possessively against her breast, she gives it a single shake and curls forward over her knees to mumble something.
Finally meeting up with the rest of the party, it does seem like Rheisa and Naelyn did have an easier time of their detour despite the now wonky eye. The slender dancer just glances from face to face and his attention is quickly drawn to the computer panels in their new location. Making sure Rhesia is safe beside someone familiar, he moves towards a terminal almost in synch with Iggy, fingers flying over the keys plugging in overrides but what he sees is something very different.
He takes a deep breath, cocking his head to the side when he hears Iggy declare that at least Boon is alright. He replays something, and then replays it again and then connects one of his own slender data ports to the terminal to download something for himself as he leans against the Terminal and leans forward. "Iggy darling...save the file please. I found the one with his father."
Sajin steps over towards the crate and looks inside at Kasia's behest. He had noticed the residual heat and thought maybe it was something interesting. Instead he stares inside for a moment in silence. Reaching in he pulls out Hex's Cybernetic arm... "Someone take this please... and what ever is left in there... We'll need a cooler." It's said in a very monotone voice, almost despondent and detached. The armored Hapan is different as he lets his bowcaster drop. Trigger hand reaches back to the hilt of his Ryyk blade and pulls the massive weapon freed. CLANK as the blade hits the groud. As he starts to walk towards the exit to get onto the bridge, the sound of the blade scratching across the floor platting is loud inside the space. It's edge sparks as it's sharpened edge ground down to fractions of a molecule of sharpness dig into the durocrete. He stops and looks over towards the others at the computers. His chest rises up and down violently. "Get... this... bridge... working... now." This was now far too personal for ranged weapons.
Jehni'va has been burned before, she's not about to do this again without at least /looking/ for more fiery death pew-pews. So, the pilot starts to poke around the room, eyeing corners, nudging off-colored spots in the wall with her new trash boots. Something sudden seems to jolt her to attention, and she pats at her backside with both hands for a moment before relief flashes across her face - it's still there... Jehn pulls a ration bar from a back pocket and opens it with a fair amount of crinkling as she paces towards the edge of the blue pit of death. She is happy to leave the computers to the techies - she used to have Nyla for that, now she's droid shopping. Instead, she reaches a hand into her pocket and plucks out the broken datapad from their earlier dumpster dive. She dangles it for a moment over the pit before letting her fingers part from it - she watches it fall way, waaaaaay down, counting softly in her head... She only gets to '3' before Yan goes soaring past her and she decides that it's best to stay away from the edge - instead, she moves towards Kasia in time to see her panicked reaction, which hastens Jehn's approach.
"What?" It's around this time that Iggy secures knowledge of Boon's well-being, and one of the ballooning knots of anxiety in her chest bursts, physically deflating the pilot with a sigh of relief. Until she looks, and it re-inflates with enough force to send her a staggered step backwards. "N-" Her voice catches in her throat, and a hand moves towards Kasia's arms, her fingers curled shaking. "We're going to find him." She snarls... Or, maybe Naelyn already has.
They successfully have Houked through the defensive mechanisms, disarmed the traps, extended the bridge (mostly...) and unlocked the turbolift, along with Iggy's discovery of some live-feed and Naelyn's discovery of something previously-recorded. Grom's hurling of Yan toward the abyss could have been real bad, but Yan is saved by his excellent rocketeering skill, for which Grom will take full credit. Hell of a throw! He came right up again and flew after!
Rheisa found a little toy that belonged to Boon. Sajin found Hex's cybernetic right arm. Kasia found one-quarter of a tattooed lekku that used to belong to her husband, chopped off by what looks to have been some bladed weapon. Nobody has a cooler, so they're faced with the awkward choice of bringing it along or leaving it in the trash. Or like... giving it to Grom to pickle. Choices, choices!
With the bridge extended (mostly!) and the traps off, everyone can rejoin at the bridge, and take the leap of hopping over the gap. There are no safety rails, just a stupid narrow bridge and a bottomless pit, cause Star Wars. At the end, the lift awaits. It is NOT rated for this many people. They can all fit, but only if they smash in and totally violate one another's personal space with no room to move around.
The lift options are:
Cargo Prep and Preservation
It's clear that Kasia is horrified, and terrified, there are a lot of unfavorable 'fides' going on here. When Sajin finds more she can't help but to step forward again, to look, to see what else of her spouse has been found. Just the prosthetic arm, okay, it could be worse. Then Jehn is there, and Jehn sees, she understands, a grim look exchanged with the gangly pilot. "I'm going to find that man, and I am going to remove every part from him that he took from Hex." The delivery is calm again, though her hands still shake, especially as they hesitatntly reach into the crate again to withdraw the quarter lekku that was dumped in there. "We can't leave this. We can't." So she isn't, just cradling the important Twi'lek partial limb in her arms like it's precious as she turns to move toward the recently extended bridge. It's with that in her arms that she crosses, pausing at the small gap, which she should be able to make fine. Just fine, right? Nope. She doesn't, one foot lands safely, but only the toes of her boot catch with the other foot, which sets her off balance, then that foot slips off entirely and she starts to fall backward, panic pitching herself forward so the partial lek hits the ground in front of her. Both arms are reaching out to cling to anything or anyone she can, trying to keep herself from sliding back into the Blue Lagoon Monsoon (or whatever it's called) abyss. Once she's safe, but still on the ground, because she's doing that shaking thing again. "I'm going to kill everyone here." She'll get up and follow with her pet lek eventually, but someone else is going to have to decide where they're going.
"What's in the kriffing can, man?" Tarion demands of the others as he walks over that way, heading towards the bridge but hey, the can is on the way so he takes a detour. Looking down into the depths of it, the interplay of emotions on his face is not hard to read: expectation, followed by swift and bitter disappointment. "This is just a piece of Hex, he's not even in here. What kind of half-assed job did they do murdering him to leave pieces strewn all through the halls like this? It's just bad technique," the bounty hunter complains, crossing his flowery-robed arms over his armored chest as Kasia bears the part away.
"I mean, half-lekked. Damn, that would have been hilarious. I gotta work on my timing," he mutters as he wanders over to the bridge finally, stepping onto it and walking along the edge with no regard for the lack of safety features. If anything, a railing would have confused him. He hops across the gap without even looking down and finishes the walk to the turbolift, stepping inside to survey the options. "Refreshments sound nice. But casinos have money." He puts an arm on the panel and slides it all the way from the top to the bottom, pushing every button there is. "Let's just see which one we like when the doors open."
And like that, Zhu Yan was hurled like last night's dinner of noodle and vinegar risotto. He thought it was gonna be good, it wasn't, we all learned a lesson and it's a damn good thing Yan's digestive system has eaten enough terrible food to be half as hardy as Hex's. "Shi...!" he screamed out, having the good sense to engage his jetpack's thrusters with a KPSSSSHHHH to arrest his momentum. That turbolift was coming up REAL fast. He twisted his body to turn one-eighty, put his legs up, and landed feet first against the turbolift door, bowing his knees and letting the gouts of fire minimize the impact. It was as though he had just jumped a fence and landed like a cat. Horizontally, and facing down. He looked up from where he stood like one of those creepy wall walkers and yelled, "GROM YOU BA..."
It was at that point that physics, fickle bitch that she was, noticed that Zhu Yan wasn't playing by the rules and told gravity to step in and deal with this insurrection. He fell forwards, flat, landing on his chestplate/masked face with an "Ooof!" Yan was never gonna catch a break. He picked himself up off the floor with a groan of indignation, and also pain. You do ONE cool thing and you're the worst person ever. "So you're all freaking out," he grunted out, winded, as they all packed into the elevator. "Doesn't sound good. Did you find his balls or something?"
Being one of the shortest, poor Yan was compressed RIGHT UP THE BACK. THIS WAS NOT FUN. "Well," he squeaked, "Solarium obviously, final boss and all."
Rheisa tucks her Boon find into the zipper front of her jumpsuit, under the breastplate, nestled into a safe place. She reconvenes with crew at the bridge, takes her leap of faith hoping it has better results than her leap of faith over that pitfall trap that cost her her home...and it does. The smell of meat isn't making her hungry - for once. Because it's Hex meat. She can't take her eyes off it - that thing gathered up in Kasia's arms as they start cramming into the lift. "...Percy is good job. Can fix." She doesn't sound so sure.
Grom answers Yan's incomplete curse, "Yes! Grom is here." He looks curious as to how Yan could have forgotten. The Houk crosses the short gap with an equally short hop, landing on his boots with a five hundred pound thud. When Kasia begins to fall backward and flail for some hold, Grom's armored hand claps onto her forearm. The three wide fingers cover nearly from wrist to elbow. When she mutters about killing everyone, he rumbles, "Grom can stop Trash Knight's noise, if that will help?"
Upon seeing the dismembered lekku, Iggy turns slightly green and immediately walks away back to Naelyn and the computer terminals. "Sure thing Naelyn," he nods to the dancer, hands working fast to save the footage before PING, his datapad goes off indicating its been sent to the device. "What'd you find?" It's a question he regrets almost as much as looking at Kasia's findings. The video uncovered of Hex sobers Iggy up quickly as attempts to set a hand on the dancer's shoulder, "Don't show that to Kasia ..."
Disturbed by the footage and accompanied with nausea, Iggy approaches the gap on the bridge with little worry considering how small it is. And so he just goes for it while commenting to the others, "The room Boon was in was really bright. It looked something like a Solariu-AAAAH!"
His footing is lost a moment and he almost falls off, but catches himself just enough on the other end to join everyone else in the lift.
Jehn has never been the brightest, but even she can recognize this pattern of traps and clues for what it is: bad news. But she swallows the lump building in her throat and, eyes burning, nods with Rheisa's assurance. "Honestly, it's really a miracle that his parts have lasted this long, anyway." She gives a pained smile, but it looks forced, like she's just stepped on a nail. She can't look Kasia in the eye, and instead clears her throat and pushes forward to the turbolift "Are there any clues where he may be, Naelyn?" Jehn calls to the slicer once she's gracefully flopped over the gap and crammed herself into the elevator... And then Tarion. "...Nevermind." She sighs, watching the turbolift controls light up like a Life Day tree. "Hope no one needs the bathroom." She grumbles, crossing her arms with a wince of pain before her gaze finds the floor and sticks there. This is bad. "It's going to be okay, Kas." This is really, really bad.
Data is downloaded, and saved on the drive thingie Naelyn is using and he's disconnecting even as he speaks up. "Many people tasted blood in the conflict with Hex, but they were cowards - nay - they were bitches. Bitches who had to use numbers to outfight and take him down." He turns to glance over to Iggy and nods in agreement and then turns further to see the others, and it takes a moment through all the catching up and jumping and flipping and being jammed together in a lift before he realizes something...what it is that Kasia is holding oh so gingerly and there's a sound that comes from him...
For the little sephi freak, growing up confused as to why he didn't have Lekku when he was practically raised by Twi'leks, to admiring many a set, to complimenting and teasing Hex about his wealth weight and how future even mightier Lekku possibility. To flashes of various tattoo patterns, lekkuless corpses, piles of removed lekku, pyres of body parts... over and over and over again and the sound that comes out of him is like someone punched him and his breathless exhale is extended.
He bites his bottom lip and swipes his thumb over it under his veil when he realizes it. And as they ride, in that lift, to destination unknwon he just finds himself standing beside Kasia trying to be reassuring by being there. Just being there. But his mind isn't quite there as he is by memory tracing the pattern of Hex's lek tattoos across his forehead in his own blood, and blinking a few times.
Sajin watches at the bridge gets stuck and just starts his way up it. He brakes into a run and jumps in a way that makes it seem easy. Perhaps it's the determination to kill, main, torture, and make those responsible suffer. Perhaps it's years of training. Maybe both. He lands on the otherside his boots clanking loudly. He then makes his way towards the turbo lift with determination. As he steps into the lift, he echo's Nealyn's words. "Then today they will face power unlike which any GOD has ever seen." THe cold steel of his blade rests, echoing with the desire for blood. The ringing of which torments the Hapan's ears like the fine tuning fork of bloodlust.
It's really cozy in the lift. Really cozy. Way, way, way too cozy. No one in Defiance is meant to be this close to anyone else in Defiance. But here they are, and they're apparently going to tour EVERY available level of this station because Tarion. Everyone looking at the lift will get to enjoy viewing a couple of bloodthirsty and bloodied humans, a Sephi gonna cut a bitch, a lady with some Twi'lek accessories, and a wall o' Houk as they travel the station level by level! Not awkward at all!
The lift begins to move, and then suddenly stops. It stays still for a moment, then all the lights turn off, for all those floors.
They remain off for a quiet moment, then one alone lights up.
The lift starts to move again.
(to be continued)