Log:New Alderaan: The Fall of Teraan

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The desperate rescue of a young Duchess

OOC Date: January 22, 2021
Location: Delaya, Alderaan System
Participants: Vhe Tenara, Chani Tahn, Bors Thul, Ban Iskender, Nerys Greystorm, Rathe Kora, Zelo Parrai, Tharyn Corlas, Bizz Bliptettjupp, Aryn Cole, New Alderaan

It is night in the busy, metropolis city of Leilani. Capital, and the jewel of the small sister world to the late Alderaan, many politically powerful people call this city home. The most influential family on Delaya are of House Teraan; it is the family by which all houses swear their fealty and allegedly serve, both during peace and strife. Tonight would be one of those nights where it is difficult to serve. Teraan has been deliberately and expertly attacked!

A luxury light-freighter of Calamari design descends from orbit and slides beneath the stormy clouds to see the horrible state the palace lay in. Fires light the horizon in a hue of orange where flames stretch skyward as Teraan banners burn. One might suspect there to be fighting in the streets, but they are peaceful and empty. From high up, it's not possible to see that Panteer troops guards every entrance to the palace, but it's not the direction this vessel goes. Moving between the columns of dark smoke, the Cophrigin Echo finds its perch near the back of the palace where it's suspected a rear guard holds patrol. The vessel sits down hastily, its ramp already on a course down just as the struts touch down and lock into place.

Aryn Cole steps down the ramp, closely followed by her guardian, Lady Kiko Alde. Both wear capes, and distinctive Alderaanian garb that denote their origin of high birth. Aryn instructed the team joining her on this rescue mission to follow; that they would not be turned away.

The reason for this mission? A very young Teraan still lives. Hunkered down and hidden from the soldiers and assassins that seek to end her line and kill off her entire family, actively hunt her. Presently, Teraan's only protection is an injured Knight, loyal to a fault, and guarding her somewhere in the palace. The mission is to find the young Duchess, and get her away from this world and into sanctuary.

A welcome party walks down the causeway wearing plastoid armor and carrying swords not yet drawn or brandished. The rear man, smaller, holds a banner of Panteer proudly and sets it down firmly to a beat akin to a metronome. The soldiers march in unison, with purpose, their capes failing to conceal their hands resting upon fancy sword hilts. They have not yet reached the ship, but move with purpose. Kiko motions for Aryn to hang back, and steps in front of her protectively, her own hand resting upon the grip of a blaster.

The tension here, beneath the glare of orange fires, is palpable. Violence is in the air.

Not far behind Aryn, Vhe exits the Echo with the simple sleeveless tunic in teal with its embroidered tribal designs, quite the contrast to the noblewoman that leads them. A brass cylinder sways at her side with a tooth hanging form a braided leather cord. It sways, hitting her leg as she strides forward, slowing a little to get a look around her. Such wealth.

She turns her head back to regard the others who follow and those that depart beside her. "I am unfamiliar with this place, Aryn. I trust you will help guide us through this area?"

Descending the durasteel ramp of the Mon Calamari freighter, Chani is dressed in a utilitarian jumpsuit underneath plates of armor designed to protect vital organs and other sensitive locations. She carries no blaster rifle or pistol. No holsters adorn any of the armor's straps or belt. The only thing visible is a cylindrilical silver hilt secured near her left hip. Her dark hair is mostly bound up into a bun, but errant tresses flick against her cheeks and the features of her face as the night wind captures them and caresses through them. That breeze is warm, heated as it is by the destruction wrought on the palace before them. This close, it doesn't seem quite like night. The burning fires turn the sky around them into a hellish mimicry of twilight.

She trails behind the Princess of Alderaan and guardian, a short contingent of women leading those that emerge from the stomach of the freighter. Chani's gaze trails to the illuminated city set in the distance, and then quickly back forward, to where individuals in plastoid armor seek to intercept them. She's silent as the groups come face to face.

Striding from his own landing point, the black, orange and white painted RZA-2 A-Wing that was the noble steed of Bors, Lord of Thul, was still cooling when the man was on the ground. Tremendously modified carbine held low in one hand by the pistol grip and his helmet off for the moment his approach to where Aryn stood with Vhe and Kiko now heralds his voice raising just enough to be heard,

"My House has great and vast tract upon this soil and long ere since the crushing blow that was my birth-worlds final cry I have spent long hours. Worry not for trailmasters for you shall stand in company versed and stocked to aid in this matter and give guidance as no other could." the noble drops to a kneel once close enough, blaster held like a blade across his palms towards Aryn,

"Highness Cortess - My Princess, My Queen. My arm is yours and your command my hearts desire." rising again after formalities before acknowledgement if only for the sake of time if not decorum.

Striding from his own landing point, the black, orange and white painted RZA-2 A-Wing that was the noble steed of Bors, Lord of Thul, was still cooling when the man was on the ground. Tremendously modified carbine held low in one hand by the pistol grip and his helmet off for the moment his approach to where Aryn stood with Vhe and Kiko now heralds his voice raising just enough to be heard,

"My House has great and vast tract upon this soil and long ere since the crushing blow that was my birth-worlds final cry I have spent long hours. Worry not for trailmasters for you shall stand in company versed and stocked to aid in this matter and give guidance as no other could." the noble drops to a kneel once close enough, blaster held like a blade across his palms towards Aryn,

"Highness Cortess - My Princess, My Queen. My arm is yours and your command my hearts desire." rising again after formalities before acknowledgement if only for the sake of time if not decorum.

Ban Iskender emerges shortly after the ladies Cole and Alde, delayed by the brisk path from cockpit to ramp. Though a decorative green half-cape is worn over the left shoulder, beneath that ornament he wears heavy armor of pale grey, his own elegantly hilted sword already drawn and in hand, though not yet lit. His expression hardens at the sight of the Panteer banner. "Blackguards and brigands." His sword is ignited with a radiant green glow.

Nerys, having come prepared for anything and everything, was quite content to wait in the rear of the group, black-armored, with her backpack on and her smol droid maglocked into the harness on Nerys' back. This was not, in any way, her fight, though it might become so in the future, and she made no attempt to put her oar in as the soldiers made their approach. Instead, she lifted her gaze to scan the surround, and then allowed it to fall back to survey to approaching figures. She did look aside as the Thul made his grand entrance. The helmet, though, marked any response.

Brother Bizz wears his distinctive robes of the Guardians of the Whills as he descends the ship ramp, waddling beside Ban Iskender. "Lord Bang, I hope we are not too late to find the House Tron girl. Surely the FORCE will guide us to her." His accented Basic cuts off a few letters here and there. He leans on an uneti-wood walking stick as they go along. When the light sword is drawn Bizz ruffles like a bird, revealing some of the armored plates hidden under his robe. Just in case!

As the Echo swoops in, Rathe simply is on one knee to perform his gear check. One of the boots to his heavily modified Dreadfinder armor is maglocked to the deck. His eyes are closed behind the visor as his hands run over his equipment without looking. The Vibrosword bolted to the outside of his left calf armor. The Medpac attached to the right thigh and it's contents, the goodies of his utility belt, ensuring each pouch is secured. The T27 holstered over his back left shoulder. The E-11 now being drawn into his right hand, and the stock extended.

The Kora Akaan Baar'ur is here for the work Aryn has done for his cyar'ika, Karys. Without Aryn, Karys would not have a functioning cyberarm. That and the back to medical school war medic is going to need to pick Doctor Cole's brains at some point as it is. Once the ship moves in to touch down does he shift and rise, relocking himself into position until the ramp comes down and he can move on out.

Zelo Parrai, the lanky Mandalorian in the green-and-grey dappled armor, strides calmly down the ramp, looking about. All this civilization, and people still find a way to fight like it's the far rim. Likely over nothing but standing or some other notion. His visor feeds him the view outside and with a wary eye he holds his E-11 ready but not raised to fire as-yet. He follows Vhe, whose awareness is the contingency on which his own was raised to this situation. He does not know or understand Alderaanian-Leilani politics, nor does he truly feel the need to. He knows no crests, but he knows that anyone attacking this group on their rescue mission will be treated as foes. He also knows there is a young woman who needs their help. That's what he's fighting for. Under his breath, he asks the only question that seems to need any addressing at the moment. <"Before things get started, anyone want to tell me if we're doing this the less-lethal or the more-lethal way? I don't want to ruffle feathers when it comes to dealing with enemy combatants."> He looks to Rathe for some sort of sign, being a superior of his own Clan.

Following the rest, Tharyn Corlas walks silently. He wears the light armor of a dedicated brawler, though he wears grenades on its harness, a rifle slung in its clip next to the suit's integrated lift unit, a massive blaster pistol in the drop holster worn on his hip. A man for all violent, violent seasons, it would appear. He's here for one purpose, should it be required, and so he is pleased to scan the area as he walks with the nobility and the other volunteers. The sudden snap-hiss and glow of Ban's saber does not give him pause, either, though it certainly attracts his attention in the moment. He's done this sort of go-around with saber-swirlers before, after all.

But for now, no obvious weapons, short of the oversized, studded fist-shields of his gauntlets and the unpowered shock gloves worn beneath.

Aryn regarded Vhe when she spoke and quietly nodded yes, an answer, though the blonde was still a bit unsure of what might follow. Truth be told the sight of such destruction and fire, with prancing soldiers and banners of Panteer held high, Aryn was not sure how she should feel. Her devotion to the Jedi way conflicted with this slight, and deep down she wanted to be angry, she wanted to scream for justice, and she wanted to help that poor, scared little girl trapped in this political quagmire of murder and betrayal. Aryn's face showed such conflict, and when Bors addressed her, she nodded her head. "Alderaan has need of you, my Lord," Aryn says in the accented tone of their world. "Rise and answer the call. What lay ahead is not for the weak of heart."

Lord Ban's brandishing of his weapon punctuated the tone, and the group was cast in the hue of his green sword. A gust of smoke filled wind blew past them, and for a moment, all they heard was the crackle of fire and the whipping of pretentious capes. "The green knight of Alderaan stands against an army, does he. Ready arms, men. We put this rabble down and present his head to her highness, Lana Panteer the /true/ Princess of Alderaan." The rasp of swords follow, and ten (10) soldiers (including the banner man) take stance and ready to fight.

Lady Kiko brushes her cape aside to reveal her shotgun, smirking. "You fight for a lost cause. Panteer is no Princess, at least that's what her grave will say; if she has one.." She racks the weapon and looks back over the group behind her before making a fist. "We fight! Reach the palace!!"

If that was not an answer clear enough for Zelo, he need only watch what transpire to get more clarity! Aryn does not activate her weapon but stays in place for now to cover, the cause way is not very wide and crowding her sizeable group was not efficient for the fight ahead. They needed to reach the palace.

Zelo's question is asked and answered in so much as it can. Vhe reaches out where there is still but a moment before the true strength of action is performed. She watches Bors even as her hand settles on her fellow's shoulder. Reassurance. A squeeze before her hand falls away and she looks to those readying for a fight. The hiss of saber to her side causing her to register the details of the group around them but it is the foe not so far ahead.

Kiko's callf or an attack and the brass cylinder at Vhe's side is drawn as the cyan light suddenly breaks through the darkness, adding to the glow as its hum is so quiet that her saber barely registers being lit.

She sweeps her hand out quickly and with a concerted focus on those in front of her she slams the few at the front backwards into the rest like dominos, catching them off-guard in those first moments and leaving them dazed.

The acrid scent of smoke drifting past Chani cements the severity of the situation they're in, but this isn't the first time she's landed on a world and found herself surrounded by enemies within a few moments. The difference here is that the individuals in armor identify them as foe from the start. The escalation is quick, and Chani wonders how much of it is brought about by their own side brandishing weapons before any words are exchanged. Right hand shifting down to her left hip, she removes the hilt of the weapon from its spot and begins to adopt a two-handed grip, that'll allow her right hand's thumb to activate the stunsaber with a similar, weaker sound to the one preceding the green glow of Ban's and the blue glow of Vhe's lightsabers. "Please, lay down your weapons! There's no need for bloodshed!" The appearance of the white beam is purely a defensive measure against the threat of violence from the Panteer troops. Unfortunately for those troops, the others of their group have no such intention of providing any kind of quarter, making her plea likely moot.

All the encouragement needed, and while no sword is born by him, Bors's short rifle is raised and the stock tucked against the crook of his arm as he starts his march forward. Expression stern and eyes sad that it has come to this, on Alderaanian ground no less. Looking to those cast back by the works of the Jedi in their rank.

"Mother guide my spirit" his sight falls on one of the enemy, lowering for a strike to the shoulder - to disable, "to find forgiveness for the lives that I may take to preserve others." the blaster bolt flies true and sends the Panteer aligned Alderaanian to the ground in a heap. Alive, but injured gravely.

"Father guide my hand that it be the righteous and the aegis for those who cannot take up arms. Let me be wicked so they remain pure. Let me seek redemption so that they need not." the second bolt from the old carbine strikes armor and deflects into the ground, conscious still clear.

Ban Iskender's only comment on the lethal/less lethal question is that they should, "Spare any who yield." He lets Kiko's challenge stand as their vocal answer, his own response being to start forward at the line of Panteer soldiers, sword raised vertically in a swift salute. He voiced aside to Chani, "A noble sentiment, mistress Tahn." When the shots are fired and the strife is joined, Ban strikes quickly, cutting through blaster and torso of one trooper, whirling to slash a second, and impaling a third with a lunging thrust. An armored boot to the dead man's chest drives the corpse backward, freeing his sword.

Ban voices evenly to Buzz, "As you say, Brother Bliptettjupp. If not precisely as you say it."

Here we go. Well, that was why she was here. Nerys broke from the group, attempting to move to use one of the landing struts to provide some sort of cover, as she reached back to draw her bowcaster. Bity, meanwhile, was no slouch, and she unmaglockeded herself from her holster, drawing her pistol from the side of Nerys' backpack, gripping it with both droid hands shotgun style, her spindly little legs pulling up to help her brace as the pair prepared to make their stand, though they seemed to be falling every so quickly.

Brother Bizz plants his uneti-wood walking stick in a gap in the cobbles. A small cylinder 24 inches long pops from a hidden compartment in the staff and into Bizz's rough short-fingered hands, then the long cylinder extends to a full 64 inches. It is a bow of some sort! The monk pulls back his robe to reveal a small repulsor-quiver at his hip. One of the arrows leaps out, propelled by a repulsor field, and is drawn back via the energy bow's string. Suddenly the arrow is energized and it fires like an orange comet with a THUUUUUUUUUM sound, hitting the walkway near the Panteer soldiers and exploding.

<"I do not do stun so well, no." The helmet vox crackles to life as Rathe comments for Zelo's benefit, but then the answer becomes clear from several sources. <"Just do your thing. Relax, lean into it."> Rathe sounds... happy. Pleased that he's about to fight an army apparently, even if they did just bring swords to a blaster fight. The Jedi start doing Jedi things however and Rathe grumbles. <"That is just unsporting.">

He starts advancing towards the opposing force, bringing up the E-11 gift to bear. Targets shift and change and Rathe keeps an eye on his HUD. It belatedly occurs to him he could have had a Vibrosword duel for a change, but that will be another time. A helmet pops up into view and Rathe's first shot creases it for no damage, his second takes the Soldier center mass. As Zelo takes down two more he switches to the Kora private channel for Zelo. <<"Nice shooting, don't get cocky.">> Rathe's tone was definitely more amused than stern.

Zelo Parrai gets his answer, absolutely. The moment the soldiers take up their readied position, he drops to a knee and takes up one of his own, sitting on his heel and steadying his carbine on his knee. There is some sort of... Something as closest soldiers are flung back and unsettled. There's no need to ask. The moment there are lightsabers on your side of the battle, anything can and is likely to happen. He simply exhales, the bare pad of his trigger finger pulling the trigger twice in quick succession, absorbing the recoil calmly as he drops two of the enemy. Two less people to worry about later. He replies on the Kora channel to the looming Mandalorian beside him while he pats his own gift of an E-11 and all the power it contains. <<"No sir. Not cocky. It's not cocky if it's just that good, right?">>

He expected this, Tharyn, the wall of blaster fire and energy blades. But the soldier does not draw his own weapons, he simply...charges into the fire, making for the closest of the Panteer defenders (and they are defending themselves now, however they may think themselves otherwise) with his armored gauntlets up and pallid blue light spilling from between mailed fingers. Leaping forward, he drills his fist into the surprised soldier's jaw, striking hard enough between plate, charged gloves and bodily sinew to send him spinning to the ground from the force of the blow. He moves them to throw a snap kick into the next usurper, fast and heavy as a speeder train, but the soldier's fast enough on his feet to jump back out of the way of the fate that his fellow suffered. Tharyn recovers instantly, unfortunately for that man, and is already making to leap anew.

There are two soldiers left after the initial trade off and Aryn raises a gloved hand making a gesture like 'come here', exaggerated and slow. An unseen kinetic energy snatches the weapons from the soldiers' hands in unison, flinging them over Aryn to clatter against the hull of the echo and fall quietly over the ledge. With no weapon to fight, the soldiers raise their hands in surrender before the group, both unnerved that there are so many well trained personnel, and that they had lost. The green Knight said he would spare them, yes? They put their faith in the Lord and drop to their knees looking over the destruction of their unit with despair and defeat.

"Lord Ban," Aryn calls out over the group. "Take this group and find the Duchess. I will take Lady Kiko and Brother Bizz with me to find the security suite. If we can use the terminals to help you get where you need, we will."

Aryn steps around the bodies as Kiko leads the way.

THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY FORWARD, and when the team reach the palace, the doors open to reveal a large welcoming area. The lights are off and on, flickering from the trauma and damage done to the palace. This is a wide room, with tall ceilings, and clearly ancient structure with Alderaanian design and style. Banners which once bore the sigil of Teraan burn still, as if just set aflame not long ago. Aryn heads down one corridor with a sense of urgency, her mind all over the place as she tried to contend with the violence and strife this has caused innocent people.

The other corridor doubles as a large stairwell, and the group WITH BAN, can hear the shuffling of feet as more soldiers make their way up the stairs in haste to meet them in BATTLE. Fifteen (15) soldiers make it to the top of the stairs with blasters and swords drawn, ready for war. Their sergeant screams "FOR PANTEER!"

Glancing as Aryn slips aside with a smaller group, Vhe glances up to Ban before taking off with him, her feet carrying her quickly forward as the brass saber remains lit in her right hand, the kirruk tooth swing after she picks her way carefully over bodies. There is a focused expression on her face as the soft whisping hum of her saber moving as she clears the distance is the only thing besides the thudding of her heart in her ears.

Its only when the new group of foes appear before them that she tries again, fingers flexing out and her hand swiping the air to send them into each other, tangling up, dazed, confused likely and shocked due to the sudden movement of their persons outside of their control.

She brings her saber up after into a defensive position.

It's a massacre for the Panteer soldiers. Least horrifying are the few who take deadly bursts of superheated tibanna gas and perish in an instant. There are some not so lucky, cut through down to the microscopic level by Lord Iskender's lightsaber. By the time Aryn has used her own power to remove the weapons from the last of the troops, they are diminished to being outnumbered. She says nothing to them, only follows the Alderaanian Lord as he is instructed to lead them forward to find the Duchess in all this chaos. In more usual circumstances, Chani's visit to the palace would entail a great deal of admiring awe. In this situation, there's nothing but sadness and some sense of determination lurking beneath the neutral expression on her face.

She attempts to maintain that neutral expression as they come across more Panteer soldiers eager to engage them in combat. Their approach is brought to failure by Vhe's interference, and rather than allow the armed troops to recover and potentially harm her compatriots, Chani steps in, wielding the stunsaber with far more confidence than the naive girl of almost two months ago might have. Ban is not likely to see the efforts of her practice built on the foundations of his initial training, but she doesn't give it a thought as the stunsaber itself finds success against two of the troopers, with one dropping into unconsciousness and the other's nerves singing with non-lethal pain as the white beam smacks into him with much less destructive capability than a lightsaber.

Moving ever forward, Bors proceeds in silence after his initial imploring to the gods of old. Sweeping up with his attention still looking to thin centers while those with lightsabers slam into the meat of the opposing forces. Keeping his bolts clear of those figures drawing a shot over the heads of their quarry before another slams into the chest of another.

Armor melts, plastoid and durasteel reinforcement flowing down in thin runnels, but breath is still drawn and the Lord of Thul can breath more easily. Not all of the enemy are so fortunate, and stun bolts are are too inaccurate. So we make do with what we must, don't we Bors?

"Or we can start talking to ourselves like madmen. Good plan." muttering to himself.

"Understood, your Highness," Ban answers with a curt dip of the head and shoulders to Aryn, starting at a brisk pace deeper into the palace complex. Idly, he observes of the burning banners, "We are fortunate they wasted such time on symbols, ere even securing the heir." A short nod to Vhe, and then the next troop of treacherous soldiers is happened upon. "Yield or perish," he bids them, even as the next skirmish erupts. He knows they cannot afford more lost time.

Nerys and Bitty offered no argument, as they were split into the 'assault' group and not the 'slicing security group.'. It was all, in the end, the same to them, as the pair made their way in Ban's wake, weapons now ready as they stepped out from behind the strut of the ship and moved at speed to keep up with the group. That they were towards the rear of the group helped, giving the Jedi room to work, and the pair time to choose their targets. A single charged bolt from Nerys down one of the already stumbling soldiers, and one of the two shot Bitty, now in full d-roid rage mode, took another. Still more than enough work to go around, "You're fine, Bitty," came Nerys reassurance, for a moment sounding much like the Greystorm from whom she had taken her name.

Brother Bizz has another arrow pop out of his repulsor-quiver with a THWUMP sound. He draws it back as Aryn and Kiko move and, seeing more Panteeranites assembling through a palace window at the top of the stairs, he carefully aims. FWOOOM goes the energized arrow as it flies straight through the large outside window, impacting into a filthy Panteer soldier with a sizzle. "The FORCE is my guide!" He puts his bow in the left hand and takes his walking stick in his right and waddles after Aryn Cole. "Find me a data terminal, I will slice it! But I do not agree with a droid having a blaster pistol, we must talk to that Greystorm girl."

<<"Ha!">> Privately sent back to Zelo. Rathe appreciated the return verbal fire, it was deserved. He's continued advancing with a steady pace. The last of the frist encounter surrenders with weapons yoinked from their grasp. Rathe blinks behind his visor again. This time he's just mentally thinking on how that is cheating, it dawns too late likely they can register his thoughts or dissaproval and general mistrust of such abilities. Armored shoulders shrug and Rathe presses on.

As much as he doesn't like the Jedi attacks and abilities, Vhe's manuever admittedly does make this fight easier. Rathe obviously walked in the direction there was to be a fight. It only occurs to him after he should have been keeping a better eye on Aryn. The E-11 is aimed thanks to the data on his HUD and Vanguard precision. His near miss earlier had offended him. Rathe takes that offense out on two soldiers, essentially blowing them out of their boots to burn.

Zelo rises from his knee as two soldiers are wise enough to put up their hands, surrendering in the face of inevitable defeat - if not death. As they approach the palace, he checks over his weapon, verifying the remaining charge and full functionality. Of course, Karys builds them well, and he's not in need of worry. As they breach the doors and within find half again the complement they found outside, he spots Vhe's hand raise and understands why some of the soldiers go flying back. The Force. He's glad she - and it - is on their side. Still, what can a marksman do but what all marksman are trained for. He again drops to that knee and braces his wrist beneath the grip and again pulls the trigger twice. This gun, he always pulls twice. This time, though, something is off. Perhaps he had grown cocky. Perhaps it was just the small grit on the trigger that makes his trigger feel off and he tries to adjust for something that isn't there. Maybe he thought he heard the wings of a bird flapping. At any rate, both shots go just wide of the target, not even managing to accidentally land on the soldiers closest to the target. He looks up at Rathe from the corner of his visor and mumbles. <<"Sorry vod, I got it... Don't get cocky. The Galaxy teaches what I cannot learn alone.">>

Tharyn moves to attack once more, charging into the fray. With his usual liquidity he squares up to drill another of the soldiers there, but his next flurry of blows is widely missed. Is it the servos in the armor? The gloves? He cannot say. What he can say, however, is that the level of Panteer swordsmanship is abysmal. The sweeping steel that the swordsmen employ is clumsy, each strike too slow, and he dances out of their reach without effort. While one arm lifts to potentially deflect an incoming blow, the other blurs toward the pistol on his thigh, and he moves to switch things up.

While the fight is happening, Aryn, Kiko, and Bizz make their way across a large loft opposite of the others, disappearing from sight. It's not clear what horrors they find in their path to locate the security suite, only that they have each other to rely upon.

The fight in the stairwell is one of pretty nasty consequence. Initially stunned by some unseen kinetic energy, the troopers are unnerved before the first bolt even flies, and some even fall back down the stairs in a comical clatter of plastoid armor and falling weapons. When those five manage to make it BACK UP the stairs to attack, their brethren lay upon the ground in heaps making it painfully obvious they're the ones outnumbered now. Who the rekk were these guys?!

"AHHH!" One swordsman screams, swinging and missing. Another stabs and manages to impale the wall before drawing a pistol with their offhand to take aim and recover from his rookie stab. This did not seem a well trained noblewoman's army, but something else entirely. Some of these people clearly, had never held a sword in their life.

Watching the poor display on the soldiers part, Vhe blinks and does not yet engage as the others do, giving a thoughtful look around. She waits for a moment where she will not possibly harm another and is quick to pick up a smaller statue, just shy of regular humanoid size before whipping across the open air. It not only clips one but two as she heaves it down upon them and knocks them out before it crashes down the stairs. "They seem untrained...are we sure they are who we think they are?" this asked of the others in general, looking to those dead and gone on the ground already. Their lives forfeit.

The Ysanna with her colorfuls scarf around about her hair to keep it restrained takes a moment to assess.

The fray turns to close quarters, with many of the Panteer soldiers choosing to engage in melee combat with those advancing through the palace. After knocking out two of the soldiers, Chani is quick to turn to face the others who are coming back up the steps from their brief trip down it. The soles of her boots squeak against the marbled steps, and she finds a new challenge in the off-kilter nature of fighting on the steps themselves. Although it might be a new challenge, she does not forget her fundamentals. An attempted stab with a sword is batted to the side and off-center of her body, allowing her to riposte forward with the stunsaber to send another Panteer trooper to the floor. She shifts as she does, aligning with yet another and taking advantage of their distracted state to bring them to the floor, as well. The clattering of their plastoid armor against the stairs only barely registers, because she moves for yet another, only for her own swing to miss and skirt along the wall in a rapid sweep of the beam's pale glow racing down its paint and casting shadows from its center.

"We are peaceful people... lady." Bors fires, reluctant to do permanent harm still, "Even if we have learned from past errors. Alderaanians... slaying one another." sadness creeps around the edges of his words and the eyes tracking the last standing soldier half lid before the firing stud is pressed and the blast puts the soldier on their back. Near death. But not dead.

"My heart cracks and my soul threatens to shatter for the woe that tumbles down on shoulders firmed to carry this weary load. Ere they come and seek advancement in ways unconscionable. How it cleaves my breast and steals my breath to know I must forward march, to subjugate a rebellion of mine kin." rifle lowered as he surveys the massacre, so many Alderaanians dead, to those who may yet live from this.

"Fie on Rist... Fie on Panteer. Watering Delaya with blood and woe."

The fight at the stairwell concludes with the last of the fighters down. The group moves down and into the large banquet hall. Much of it is on fire, their are bodies here and there, all loyal Teraan people missing their weapons and looted for valuables. With the lights still flickering, it is difficult to decide which pathway they must take, until..

<<"Team,">> Aryn's voice is issued over the comms, cracking slightly but still understandable. <<"Brother Bizz has found them. The vaults, my friends. We have managed to open a secret path for you, but be more aware. We have contact with Ser Syrush, who has revealed that the vaults are dangerous. Rist Assassins lurk within. He will not reveal the Duchess until they are slain, and I fear the man may not make the wait for poison clouds his focus. Be quick, find this child, and do what can be done for this good Knight.">> Aryn's comm cuts out then..

The door opens, like she said it would. A secret passage into the depths of the palace.

It is quiet down here. The kind of quiet that is dangerous. Eerie. Some might think they hear whispers as they enter into the large corridors below. Lights flicker on and off constantly as smoke seems to linger around them in an unnatural way.

"Diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie," Urge the whispers, "DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!" One screams, as stealth field generators cut out and twenty (20) assassins appear around them. Each draw weapons quietly, the blades gleaming in the flickering lights. They seem inhuman, frightening, and proficient, and they move to attack all at once and in unison.

"Perhaps not, mistress Tenara," Ban answers, giving the Ysanna an approving dip of his head at her impressive feat of telekinesis. "But I can readily think of only one who could compel unwilling folk to assail us so, and if she is here we must make haste. If she is not, we must hasten, still. Well struck, mistress," he adds to Chani as another pair in Panteer livery are struck down (mostly) without harm. Onward they hasten. Bors calling fie earns a short nod, but naught else. In the looted banquet hall, he Soares but a moment to regard the fallen, more worried for enemies hiding among them than given pause at the tragic sight. "There are lives yet at stake," he voices for the benefit of the Jedi and Bors. The Mandalorians he doesn't expect to blink, and if is to them he turns at Aryn's report of poison. "If your armors filter toxins, be certain to report quickly should poisons of air be found." Then, into the darkness and the revealed knives of the fabled Rist. His green sword cuts down one, but another nimbly evades him.

"Oh, we're doing //this// now?" Nerys grinned, though her helmet masked any view of her face, as one of the soldiers charged towards her, his sword raised, and Nerys, making use of her smaller size, dove to the side, ducking away from the blow and trying to get behind him. Bitty taking advantage, swung to give the soldier a good smack on the back of his head with the butt of her pistol, which, worked just as well as a club to teach the man the error of his ways. Anyone who could understand the brief blast of binary that came along the comms would hear, <That's what you get!>. There seemed to be no regret for their actions in their movements or their movements, as Nerys and Bitty rejoined the group as they advanced. But that was what you got when you brought a Corellian to an Alderaanian gunfight. Once they were clear of the stairs and into the hall, and the group got their new assignment, it was off to the races, as they said, and Nerys continued along the way, Nerys' keen eyes scanning for contact. And then it came, and it was once more into the breech. The sudden appearance brought a frown, and there was not enough time to properly aim. And so Nerys shot was off, the bolt flying wide, and Bitty was not much better, her own first shot missing the other only partially incapacitating one of the oncoming horde.

<<"It is okay vod, you're just buying the drinks later. I do want to see the look on your sponsors face, though.">> Rathe could not resist that private teasing of the Nautolan Mandalorian on his lesson in cockiness. But the fact these 'swordsmen' were so inept was even visible to Rathe with his blood up. Again, it could be an insult against his professional pride, or his duelist pride, or it's just plain offensive. He was trying to formulate how to terrorize the fight out of the rest when Vhe knocks some completely out, maybe he was wrong about their approach, as the others get stunned or gunned down, he stops considering.

The passage opens, and Rathe of course, doesn't like the quiet. Quiet is boring. Boring is B.A.D. Suddenly! Not boring! Best Quiet Ever! Rathe is laughing inside his helmet as soon as the stealth fields cut out, though it does simmer down when his logical side of his mind notes their training and movements. These are the real deal. Rathe sidesteps himself behind a pillar to open fire. He finds he has to adjust his aim, bracing on the pillar to take down this much more competant foe.

Zelo rises as the soldiers charge - charging a gun with swords? It's bold, but it's foolish without skill. In the case of these soldiers, foolish would be the prevailing conclusion. <"What the-?"> He sidesteps as a sword is driven into the wall and the swinger falls soon after while Zelo turns his attention to what Vhe had said. No comms now, he's exchanging some meaningful communication with the vocoded voice that emanates from his Skyripper helmet. <"Do you mean decoys? Or false flags? Or... Not soldiers at all?"> If they're trying to kill, then they still have to be dealt with but... He toggles to comms for a moment.

<<"Rathe, she's not wrong, that was one of the worst charges I've seen, and I dealt with an awful lot of bandits and pirates before I met up with you. I'm going stun if she says so, until I see what turns up. Karys' rifles will still drop them just as hard, I'm sure.">>

But the next foes to present themselves... They don't look like freshly-drafted soldiers, or worse... They look like trained professionals. The real thing. Zelo gives them the real thing in return, not even moving for the stun switch on his rifle. He doesn't drop, not in these quarters, but follows Rathe to cover. He takes up a position behind his Kora brother and casually rests his barrel on Rathe's shoulder. He has to lean up a little but still manages to drop one of the injured assassins and put some sizeable pain into the next one, all with empty lungs and a placid expression. It's not dangerous if you just pretend it's target practices. <<"Thank you for the support, Rathe.">>

Zealots and psychotics, the sort of second wave that holoreel dramas seem to delight in making the heroes face. And now, of course, theater is bleeding into reality. As the assassins draw steel and make to charge them, Tharyn tags each in his memory with sharp, unblinking eyes, and reaches for one of the spherical grenades on his belt. Twists the plunger. Speaks the magic words, clear and loud for all to hear.


With a sweep of an arm that's made for professional shockball teams, Tharyn hurls the sphere of detonite-cored metal into the assembly of incoming assassins, which promptly detonates in a blossom of flame, fragments, and a clap of bright thunder. Those caught in the blast are rendered into bloody shreds, but now the mad ones are coming fast. Tharyn needs to get behind them - but first, he needs to /not die/.

The ominous voices brings her about as the others act more quickly than she can but she is just a step behind them as she steps sideways out of the way of the sword that comes for her. She twists about, her saber knocked wide with a kick before recovering and thrusting the tip of it through the chest of the assassin engaged with her. Drawing back she comes about and goes wide of the next figure that is within range of her, eyes darting to try to keep track of enemy and ally alike.

She side steps the body she dropped, not wanting to offer disrespect to the dead by stumbling over the corpse. It leaves a heavy pit in her stomach but these foes are trained. More so than the last as companions take damage.

Chani has no time to appreciate Ban's compliment, nor should she give it much thought in these moments. With the Panteer troopers put down, both lethally and non-lethally, Princess Cole alerts them to their way forward. It's a way forward that is barred, but beckons her attention with its pristine architecture. That architecture is painted solid red moments later, and Chani staggers from the concussive force being channeled through the narrow entry way they're meant to advance through. It hits her so fast at first that she doesn't notice it. She flinches after, eyes squeezing shut and equilibrium thrown off by the disruptive nature of the explosion rocking through the soft tissues of her mucuous membranes. The air is so violently displaced that for the smallest of moments, there's a vacuum.

That vacuum races back in on itself and hits her again, leaving her reeling and dropping her hand from her stunsaber to try and find a place to brace herself. Before she can, she feels the extremely sharp pain of something hard stabbing straight through her jumpsuit and immediately turning the fabric hot and wet with blood gushing through a laceration opened by a blade. Crying out in both surprise and sharp pain, Chani's stunsaber wildly swings in the direction that it came using the one hand, while her other quickly moves to her side to try and cover up her wound.

"Pox on Rist!" Bors calls out as he sidesteps to the sidelines, seeking a point to cover at while the creations of the Assassin's House set to their business. Glad for his decision when he is able to duck back and watch sparks fly from metal striking metal before he opens fire - the blast pocking the ceiling before he dives to one side.

One has said, time and time again, that nothing is quite as effective as a good combat roll. It is described in basic training - it's likely that even Poe has said it at least once during one of their forays in the name of the New Republic. Bors should have done so first before he fired. Landing on one shoulder and continuing over to slide onto one hip and come into a kneeling posture before he fires again.

A true shot, this time, coring into the side of one of those bladed fiends - tensing them and then casting the poor sot to the ground, motionless. A wave of regret washing across the man's features, life taken.

His monocle though? Still pinched by brow to cheek before his right eye - even in the face of the horror of death and war, one must be proper.

Ban Iskender recoils from the roar of a grenade in an enclosed space, and though he cannot hear much in the aftermath, the effect on the assassins was clear. Bereft of surprise, the Rists are readier marks for his saber, as Ban deflects and avoids the wicked blades, riposting to slay each of his attackers before lunging to strike down the villain who had wounded Chani.

Nerys found herself too hemmed in, to try to disengage and find cover and so she and Bitty fought on, the enemy coming in melee weapons swinging, and one of the blades found one of the plates that covered her shoulder, sinking into the line between them. her teeth clenched, and not a sound of pain escaped, as she twisted away to escape the attack. Perhaps luckily it was not her strong arm, and she kept her feet, she and Bitty moving as one, even if the smol droid was hovering, now, up close to the ceiling out of hit range. But whatever luck had saved Nerys life, if not the full function of her arm was not with them now, as neither of them managed to down any more of the attackers that were now trying to hem them in.

Zelo gets his questions answered the same moment Rathe got his. There's a brief moment Rathe mutters a concerned expletive, and then he stills completely. He's used to being a weapons rest, it had just been a while. Fortunately the helmet visor polarizes and turns down the audio inputs just as it detects the fire from Zelo. Rathe blinks as even with polarization it was a flash in his right peripheral. Just as his helmet normalizes, Grenade go boom! There is a sigh from Rathe, he should be used to it working with Hadrix and the rest of Kora with their Finesse Flair of explosions.

It's when the visor is lightening upo again Rathe is greeted with a new sight. A straight edged sword to the faceplate. CLANG! Rathe ignores the sudden burst of starlight and birds tweeting, he fires reflexively at his would be assassin, missing badly both times as his vision clears. Untransmitted, from under the helmet is cursing in several different languages.

Ears are ringing. A grenade in close quarters, really? Well, it was certainly effective but the tinnitis is strong with this one. Fortunately, Zelo sees the assassin coming for him out of his peripheral, trying to make a direct line charge when, of course, zig-zaggy is what is required. He steps to the side just in time to see a sword meet Rathe's helmet. <"Rathe!"> There is a great deal of concern right now, and his shout is not just because of the loud noises. Rathe, not acknowledging what has to be a serious hit, takes shots at one of the assassins but they go wide - Zelo's really hoping Rathe didn't get hit in the eye. Quickly firing off a shot without thinking about it, he tags the same assassin Rathe had gone for. The Nautolan switches to comms.

<<"You got him, sir! Good hit! Please tell me you're still pretty in there, or Karys is... I don't want to guess what Karys will do.">> He shudders, thinking about that as he moves to shoot the next assassin. But the shudder is enough and the shot goes wide.

And now, Tharyn is drowned in a sea of steel. Regardless of his expertise at hand-to-hand combat, the Rist did not come to play. Dancing out of the range of the sweeping blades that seek his blood, Tharyn plays well - but one gets in a solid strike, and four inches of razor-sharp durasteel bites into his torso.

Strange, there's so very little blood for such a deep wound, though the pain is there. He lets out a loud cry of pain as he is stabbed, a type of pain that none are truly ever able to deflect entirely, and lashes out at his would-be murderer with a heel strike that would break bones if it made contact. It does not, but it causes his assailant to jump back, and the sword goes with it. Another staggers near as Tharyn drops back to avoid the inevitable riposte, but he does not waste time, instead turning to execute a roundhouse kick that strikes with enough force to twist the injured assassin's head at a horrifying angle. He goes down, a doll with strings cut, entirely dead, and Tharyn steps over the corpse to prepare another salvo of blows.

Things are getting a little hairy with the sudden rush of the assassins and the wounds taken by her allies. Vhe feels the weight of it and pulls upon the Force, her movements quicken suddenly and she disappears from the spot she had been standing in much to the surprise of the assassin cleaving the air with their sword to no longer find the Jedi there. She breathes in and twists about, skidding to a stop between Rathe and his two attackers, her foot catching the arm and reverting it it as she holds her blade up to catch the next before sweeping about. "Behind me." Its offered merely to give the mandalorian the room to fire without being caught directly in melee.

To even those odds further she reaches out and sweeps her hand quickly, the Force rushing free from her to snap across the distance and unsettle the assassins footing, not in some grand way but enough to keep them off center in order for the others to get an attack of opportunity.

Breathing hurts. Mostly it's the inhale, when the flimsy tissue in the intercostal space stretches and the edges of the wound tease at already torn flesh once her lungs inflate. Her hand is soaked in her own blood within a few seconds of contact. Sensing easy prey on the battlefield, Chani watches with grim determination as two more Rist assassins begin to approach her. She doesn't expect the much taller form of Lord Ban to interject between herself and her attackers, but she's grateful that he does. And not completely out of it besides. As the assassins look for any opportunity to exploit, like Lord Iskender diverting his attention to protect someone, Chani fends off another assassin trying to come at them with a sweep of her weapon in an arc from right shoulder to left hip, followed by a thrust that causes the would-be killer to spill into a heap on the floor. "Thank you," Chani's breathless gratitude expresses itself to Ban, while her gaze turns down and her hand pulls away to reveal the completely coated glove and the sliced-clean opening of her jumpsuit. "I'm cut very badly, I think." She's far from an expert.

Fortune smiles as the enemy forces move past him, leaving Bors time to keep at his kneeling posture while tracking the advances. A blaster bolt to the guts of one of Rist's forces. Still standing, moving, endangering - it gives him momentary pause and a twist in his chest to continue - looking to the woman with the white saber being tended. Standing and moving towards her to aid the others coming to her protection.

"M'lord Iskender - I shall lend my hand to her defense as well, that you may focus!" another shot to his quarry, striking the lower back and ceasing all movements there and marking another asking for forgiveness later.

Ban Iskender's swordwork is sufficient to turn away the pair of assailants that had sought to assail Chani, as well as another pair that pursued him directly. The blade of the fourth Rist does score the dragoon's armor, but though his weight shifts with the force of the blow, he remains unhurt. In a trio of classical thrusts and draw cuts he strikes down three of his assailants, with Chani striking down the fourth. He makes no answer to either Chani's words or Bors'.. The gentleman cannot hear them.

Nerys was not liking her chances, as the enemy came on, and Nerys could see more and more of their number taking injury from the relentless assault. But Nerys had been in worse situations. Of course, she did not have her cousin here to pull her from the storm. Alas. Well, perhaps it was all going to end in tears from the beginning. Across their private comms, free of the need to communicate with the team the two spoke, binary coming across the line between them. Nerys: <Bitty.>. Bitty: < I know what to do.> They continued firing, though something seemed to have been lost in the fight, as none of their shots managed to take down any of the enemy still coming at them like a tide. "I could use a hand here," nerys called across the public comms, though. She had been prepared to move out of the line of the next oncoming assassin when she felt herself pinned down. it was only a brief glance to catch sight of Rathe, as he moved in close enough to tend to her arm, and Nerys held herself still, dropping her right arm so that he could work, her left setting the bowcaster on //his// shoulder so that she could still brace and try to fire in his defense.

In his defense, Rathe was just smacked in the dome. So when Zelo makes his claim... <"I did?"> Rathe sounds surprised. <"Hell yeah, I did!"> That comes out more confident. His IFF flares up with status the HUD picks up, casualties. Rathe may need to shift his mission attention. He wants to keep shooting, his blood is up. When shots home in at him, and his face is saved by the Jedi Vhe Tenara... he reconsiders his complaint on shooting. <"Frelling hell. All right, thank you for that... I think folks need medical stabbery."> Rathe isnt counting himself in that.

The E-11 is dropped on it's sling to hang off a shoulder and his right hand is already blindly inside the Medpac bolted to the armor of his right thigh. Nerys calling out for the assist helps him make the choice on who to sar working on first. Besides, Nerys has always been pleasant, and an uncomplaining patient. <"Hold still... ah right."> Rathe follows his own advice, working on Nerys while she uses her bowcaster with him to brace without complaint. <"You will feel pinch and cold."> The Spray Hypo engages briefly for the stabbing part, and the bacta patch is in next, followed by a basic armor patch to seal the wound. <"You're good.">

"<"Who is next?!!"> Rathe bellows this looking for who wants his attention the next moment he has.

Grinning broadly behind his helmet as Rathe gets to feel a little extra heroic, Zelo is in full soldier mode, but his clip is almost entirely empty. As Rathe takes two more hits, the lanky Mandalorian moves to stop this onslaught for good. Vhe's timing is good and sets the assassins back but, unfortunately, the first depression of the trigger goes wide as he has to jump out of the way to avoid a follow-through. The second press, aimed at the one who nearly got him but hit Rathe instead does... Nothing. There's a click and Zelo remembers that he's definitely lost track of the rounds left in the gun. Tutting to himself, he mutters as he switches his clip, continuing to follow Rathe and cover his back as he moves. <<"Not a great night for my shots, sir. But I have your back while you're doing your work.">> Clicking back out of comms, he growls at the next assassin.

<"Hear that? You come closer, I don't need to ask who's next. I'm just pulling the trigger. You don't get lucky twice.">

The pain in his chest isn't crippling, but what musculature hasn't been reinforced with durasteel or plastoid weave still strains with the shock and damage of the blade. Treacherous flesh, it makes the fighting harder. Tharyn duels now with one of the surviving assassins, ducking another particularly nasty slash before trying in vain to follow it up with a sweeping kick. He's about to prepare to avoid another strike when he detects an opening in the assassin's stance, and brings his hand down, gauntlet and all, into the hollow of neck and shoulder. Bones snap, tissues pulp, and while the killer is not sent swiftly hellward they are thrown to the ground, as Tharyn prepares to bring his boot down on their now-prone form.

It's down to the final assassins where one poises to strike, blade high, on a final charge for the group. Instead of charging though, his yell is cut short by the sudden thrust of a sword emerging from the front of their masked face. They choke and gurgle, and the sword is painfully drawn back as the frame of a well armored (fancily so) injured Knight stood behind him with the bloody sword in hand. Ser Lars Syrush is a famous man, youthful and rumored to be the First Sword and Champion of the Teraan family, and a man of paragon honor. He's handsome too, even injured as he is.

In the flickering light, the man coughs up blood despite managing to hold his form and he struggles to stand. The light reveals that the man has been stabbed on a number of occasions, and his armor is damaged.

With the Rist Assassins cleared, his vigil comes to a close, and the heavily armored man takes a shaking knee and drops his sword before the group. Behind him, a small dark hair female child peeks around with hands clasped and nervous at first, but her attention goes to her protector as she struggles to hold the young First Sword from falling on his back. "Ser Lars, please do not leave me alone in this world," She bids, her voice elegant despite its youth as she hooks her arms beneath his arm and tugs up to keep him upright. "You are my friend, and do not wish to see your passing, but in good health and smiling once more, sir. Please stay with me, please."

"As.. my lady.. commands.." He coughs, and struggles to reach for his sword.

The young girl turns to her rescuers. "We must hurry. Help Ser Lars, please," She begs, no care for her well being or safety.

Vhe turns about to find that all their foes are down for the count and the sight of their query and her knight causes her to move as her saber hisses as she disengages. "I have him, worry not. Stay close to the middle of the group and I will make sure he gets to the ship. Sir, forgive me but I must," she says, knowing that doing so will free up the others to protect the groups escape. The Force wraps around him and gently, carefully she lifts him to his feet before she begins the trek back. She trusts in those around her to keep them safe from harm and it shows with how she focuses on making sure the knight will return with them.

The wound is hot, but Chani doesn't feel fevered. As the darkness spreads across the material of the jumpsuit, showing in some measure the amount of blood she's losing, she feels the opposite of hot. Not cold, not quite yet, but certainly not as warm from the physical exertions of combat as she is used to being. Though the assassins seem to be dispatched, with the final one falling to the Knight from behind, Chani does not lower her guard. Instead, the wavering tip of the stunsaber shifts with her gaze, following her eyes as she seeks out any that might be lurking around them. That's partially because of the haze beginning to surround her thoughts. There's not enough pressure on her wound and the mere knowledge that she's been cut seriously forces her to contend with panic. Tendrils of pain pulsing around the the molten center of agony in her side, Chani tries to shift her weight in some way that eases it. Nothing helps. Nothing except the idea of getting back to the ship and out of this palace. "Don't worry. We'll help your friend." Stabbed or not, Chani's well-acquainted with being young and terrified, and though her words themselves may sound week, the conviction and reassurance in them to the young girl is not.

Ban Iskender voices over the comms to Aryn, <<Your Highness, the Rist are defeated and the young Lady secured. While I am certain the Mandalorian healers will do their utmost for our wounded, we may have need of your arts.>> He is speaking louder than he needs to, only belatedly noticing the extent of the blood staining Chani's side. A look to the Koras. "Medic, I pray you employ your talents before we move." Dude, they can head you, not so loud.

The child, the noble, Bors takes his priority and moves to kneel before the little one, eyes wide, "Your grace, our compatriots shall aid Lars and gain him safe passage where he can be mended and raise to his feet anew. I offer my arm as yours and my armor as your shield until he can regain his footing." head bowing, before he stands.

"I swear by the renewed honor of Thul - no harm shall befall you while I draw breath." standing straight and moving to stand at the young girl's side unless dismissed.

"Dark days." said as he looks to Ban, "We live in a resurgence of time before the exile of Katana, I think, M'lord Iskender." wetting his lips and falling silent again, eyes alert though there is a shadow crawling over his features.

"Thank you, Rathe Kora." And then the errant Ser showed himself and the room was silent, "Go, he needs you more than any of us do." Well, none of them were bleeding out. Probably. She had not really gotten a good look at how bad the rest of them were. So she was probably missing someone. Nerys lifted her bowcaster from Rathe's shoulder, leaving him free to move as he would, Bitty repulsoring down to inspect the work the Kora medic had done on her mistress . "Yes, I know he's good."

<<"Happens to the best of us. I've seen the Boss Lady's cannon of death fail her before.">> Rathe offers this as encouragement for Zelo as he works. Already he's checking for his next medical stabbing victim... patient. They're supposed to be called patients. First things first. He looks to his own display and triggers a command on his left gauntlet. The humidifier inside the environmentally sealed Dreadfinder adds few things for him to inhale and get a little clearer head. It'll still hurt in the morning, so he'll drink later to even it out as an excuse for the pain, in the meantime he's heading over towards Tharyn to start evaluating.

Zelo looks around, less certain of himself in a foreign place of uncertain governmental legality without a clear foe to face. He lowers his weapon to the sling and pulls it behind him, next to his Little Big Gun as he watches Rathe work. <<"Vod, what say you patch who needs patching most and then we get all of us out of here? Going to offer Miss Vhe and the gentleknight escort.">> Switching to external comms, he moves toward Vhe and the knight being suspended by what must be the Force.

<"I have your backs."> He takes up a position behind the two, content to block any last-minute potshots with his body as need be

For a moment, the pain in his chest demands that he repay it with blood. Or a smashed skull, at least. But that is an animal's instinct, and he attempts not to give in to that sort of thing these days. Instead he clips a kick off the side of the fallen assassin's head, leaving him sprawled and unconscious upon the floor, as he turns now to walk off toward the wounded knight. "Lead on," he proclaims, touching the place where the blade had pierced his breastplate, thin rivulets of red still streaming from the breach. "I'm still intact."

<<"The way is clear for now, but Lana is arriving soon. Return to the ship quickly. It is not safe for us here any longer. She, and my brother, bring a small army.">> Aryn warns, the sound of conflict and combat heard in the background. There's a distinct shotgun blast, and the WHACK of a wooden stick before the comms cut out.

The young Duchess sought Lord Bors hand to hold, turning only to watch her friend get the help he needed to move. She was not strong enough to help Lars, but one day she swore she would be. As they progressed through the palace, and all the ruin, the young Teraan wept. She saw people she knew and had grown to enjoy being around lay dead and forgotten. Her family was gone, her home was gone, everything.. was gone.

Back outside, the causeway is littered with more soldiers. Aryn is not to be seen, but the ship is prepped for launch and she's already relaying with the Interceptor which is awaiting in high orbit to cut off any that may pursue the Cophrigin Echo and Lord Bors' A-Wing.

Kiko Alde charges her shotgun and holds it to one side. "Lady Avlin, to me.." Kiko calls, the first familiar face the young Teraan has seen. She releases Bors' hand to run to Kiko crying. "Kikoooo.." She yells, crying harder. Kiko scoops the girl up and carries her against her side. "To the ship, my friends," Kiko calls, waiting for each party member to pass before she brings up the rear.