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Everything posted by Writer

  1. For those of us who have not played either game you mentioned, would you kindly explain the setting in greater detail?
  2. Who, me? *checks thread* Whoops! Completely missed your post, there. Sorry! I'd been working on mine for a couple of days. You must have posted in between Well, there's no reason we can't have it both ways. I'll edit my post slightly so it has Gavin objecting that he probably doesn't have time to go get the healer. Then, your character can show up conveniently and bring Yery back. And as for where her body is, I have her placed not far from the tunnel's exit from the mountain.
  3. "Anything?" Gavin Mitchell asked curiously. He'd shooed the usual bystanders away to give his companion a little extra seclusion, in the hopes it might help her concentrate. With a grimace, Marisa Tyler stood, ran a hand through her bright red hair and shook her head. "That's the fifth try, Gavin," she said softly. "I still haven't seen any of the pieces we've identified as trademarks of a Tempus hit. It wasn't Tempus." But Gavin was sure it was. "Try again," he ordered. With a resigned sigh, Marisa crouched beside the dislodged sewer grate, took a deep breath, and brushed her fingers against its cold metal bars. "... getting out! We... it's too... not ready!" "Something's escaped," she murmured. "Something that shouldn't." Scattered images came to her mind. A massive metal leg crashed down, followed eventually by seven more. One of them overturned the grate, sent it flying a great distance. Marisa's eyes shot open. "This grate is further displaced than we thought, Gavin." She rose to her feet and bolted, slipping her right hand back into its glove. "Come on!" Gavin followed her to the edge of the little town, right up against the mountain, and he almost ran into her as she came to an abrupt halt. Looking ahead, he saw why; a gaping hole had been ripped in the side of the mountain. Slowly, cautiously, Marisa moved forward to the edge of the hole and she bit her lip. "What could cause such destruction?" she asked softly. "Nothing I want to meet," Gavin answered sharply. "Let's go." But a patch of bright red had caught Marisa's attention and she stepped over the threshold, into the descending tunnel. She fell to her knees beside the patch of red and realized it was hair, attached to the head of a young gnome. Pale, Marisa touched her fingers to the gnome's neck. "Gavin!" she said sharply. "She's still alive. Get the healer!" Gavin shook his head and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Marisa, if she's that far gone, I couldn't get the healer back here in time. Let her go." Marisa shook off his hand. "No!" she argued stubbornly. "If anyone saw what happened here, it'd be her." "Unless some massive creature that lives underground came out for a snack and dropped her on its way back," Gavin suggested darkly. "Mar, we've got to go." ((There, Ctrl Alt Del. Now, you might have the random guy you resurrected before suggest they head back toward the mouth of the tunnel. Maybe he saw several gnomes fleeing ahead of him right before he died?))
  4. And what, may I ask, can someone with only very limited clairsentience do about that? Never fear, my dear! I has an idea!
  5. Tysy, if I wait until I have my character sheet completely ready, I may never post. Are you at all opposed to me just jumping in now and posting my character sheet later?
  6. ((JP with FFWM)) Pauel's Ship, en route to Cocyta Arai picked at her food, so lost in thought that an explosion might be challenged to stir her. Though she was glad she and Dom had worked things out and she was trying to consider where they were going from here, losing her Force sensitivity had effectively shattered her concentration. As a result, it was the Force and her recent behavior with it that dominated her mind. However, during one wild distraction from that train of thought, she wondered aloud, "What are we gonna do about Khristoff?" Dominic had been in a world of his own, thoughtless and quiet, mechanically lifting his fork to his mouth and chewing on the noodles as his eyes stared down at an indiscriminate spot on the table. When she spoke, the only sign that announced his functioning was a single blink of his eyes. "What do you mean, 'about' him?" he asked in return, making another deposit of noodles. Arai looked up from her plate, puzzled. "Is that what I said?" She sighed and shook her head. "Sorry, this whole situation is terribly distracting." She tried desperately to focus her mind and chase down the thought fragment that had popped out. "I think..." she sighed. "Well, I think it helps us, my current condition. It sort of saves us from extra scrutiny if he has tech to scan for Force sensitivity..." Shaking her head, she tried to backtrack. "I mean... well, I guess you never really explained why you wanted to go to him. I know my reasons... though I'm seriously questioning them as of late..." He looked up at her as she spoke, finished with his bite but not continuing to eat. When her voice drifted off, he bent his head down again, and lifted his fork. "I'm Found. He's my master. I'm going to him for instructions." "Instructions," Arai murmured softly. She frowned, worried. "Do you think he'll have you..." She hesitated, unwilling to finish the thought. He went on eating. "Have me what?" "Kill," Arai answered reluctantly. "From all I've heard about the Found, they've been portrayed as murdering without discrimination. Jedi, Sith, neutral, it's all the same, it's all bad." Hurriedly, she added, "Not saying I believe it. I'd be very hard to convince that you would join up with something like that." Dominic gave a little, wry smirk. "You make it sound as if killing is such a foreign thing." Arai grimaced, recalling the incident that ultimately led to her exile. "It's not that... I guess I just don't think that every Force sensitive is worthy of death, whether they reject the Found or not." "There isn't any other way to ensure the destruction of the Force's teachings." Arai grimaced. "That's the excuse of someone who doesn't want to consider other options. There's always another way." "Perhaps you can explain it to me, then." He said. He sounded annoyed now. Her eyes widened. "Yeah, that was a bit blunt of me. Sorry..." Drawing in a deep breath and releasing it slowly, she tried again. "I don't believe that the complete destruction of the Force's teachings is possible, let alone wise. And even if the Found succeed in that goal, they need to understand that the Force users learned their skills from somewhere, without the aid of training by a knowledgeable master. If we learned to harness its power once, we can and will do it again." "Then we'll start all over again. " "And you'd be in a cycle no less endless than the conflict between Jedi and Sith," Arai pointed out. "At some point you have to examine your motives and ask what's the point? And is it worth it?" He was quiet as he looked at her. "I think you're overestimating the powers of Force sensitives. It's a very rare occasion when an untrained person manages to learn how to consciously and directly wield the Force on their own." "True," Arai agreed. "But even one ordinary person is capable of great things." "He's also a much smaller sacrifice." Arai frowned thoughtfully. "Alright. So let's consider this from a more personal aspect, Dom. I've given it a lot of hard thought, mainly because it's hard to think about anything else right now. Being cut off from the Force, I've lost a big and important part of myself. Granted, I was misusing my power, but the more time I spend away from it, the more I realize that was always a choice, and I never chose right. I never chose right because I feared choosing wrong. Didn't the Jedi always say, "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." In that at least, they were right. I'm not saying they always are. I'm just saying maybe there's a better alternative to wiping us out entirely. But I'll get to that later. Knowing I'll never be "Found", if Khristoff tells you I'm next on that hit list... how will you deal?" Dominic looked surprised by that question... and then that surprise slowly began to fade into am empty expression; blank face, empty eyes. Now that he thought about it... he didn't know what he would do. His two greatest loyalties... Slowly, he shook his head and pushed away from the table. "Khristoff won't find out." Arai couldn't let it go at that. She caught his hand. "But what if he does?" He yanked his hand out of her grip. "He wont!" Arai tucked her hands into her lap and lowered her gaze to the table. "I know he won't," she said softly. "I'll still be Forceless when we land, and for another couple hours afterward. I'm sorry. The thought just wouldn't shut up." She paused briefly, and then added, "I trust you." He looked at her for a while, and then began moving again. "I'm glad." He picked up his plate, having lost his appetite. Because I don't know if I do.
  7. ((Slight char control of FFWM's Kira, with permission of the author of course. )) Torin snorted. "That's a fine admission to make when requesting passage away," he observed. "Take a Jedi on board and all these fine Sith warriors will be all over you like flies on a pile of Bantha dung." Swiping his sword through another assassin's midsection, Torin glanced at Kira. "We should be going, though. We'll get our drink on somewhere else, preferably somewhere that's not overrun with Sith assassins..." The station shook yet again and Torin added, "... and also preferably somewhere that's not falling apart." He glanced at the Jedi. "I've no fear of Sith," he said. "Being a Jedi, I'm sure you can keep up with slowpoke ordinary folks like myself and my mechanic friend, so I'll not tell you that you're not welcome. We have a ship and we're getting out of here. Let's go." At last distracted from her alcohol-deprived rage, Kira stared in disbelief at her partner's invitation to the Jedi, but by that point, Torin had already turned and was making a beeline straight for Carmen.
  8. ((JP with FFWM! YAY!)) The Ship that was Formerly Pauel's, en route to Cocyta Arai didn't understand how "normal" people could handle it. Arms outstretched, fingers brushing against the narrow walls of the corridor toward the cockpit. Without the Force, her balance was off. She'd already stumbled twice since leaving the dorm and she was having a rough time focusing her mind on anything. She reached the cockpit and vaguely realized that Dom was there... and then the toe of her right shoe imitated a stray spear and drove into the floor. Completely offset, she fell headlong into the cockpit with a startled yelp. The yelp made Dominic start. He had been watching the constantly-warping tunnel of hyperspace for quite some time now...and her collapse had been the first sign of movement that he'd seen in some time. He blinked, seeing her on the ground, and he immediately pulled his feet from the dashboard and stood up, crossing to her. "Arai!" he said, bending to help her up. He couldn't understand the sequence of events; one minute he was alone, the next minute she was on the floor. By the time he reached her, she was on her hands and knees, trying to collect herself. Slowly, she reached up, grasping his arms and pulled herself up on her knees. "Sorry," she murmured. "Not quite..." She blinked. "Not quite myself... at the moment." "Yeah...I'll say." He got down on his knees, helping her to balance with one hand while he placed the back of the other against her forehead. She was so pale, almost as if she had a..."No fever." he murmured, then tilted her chin upward a little so he could see her eyes. Something felt off - not in that intuition way, but in that strange echo way that he sometimes got. The same thing he'd felt when meeting that Sith woman for the first time..."What's wrong?" "When we were with Pauel..." she said slowly. "... before you pulled us out the window? I saw what was coming just enough... little twitch of the hand, snagged his bag. Ostanovium inhalers..." She mimicked the gesture of using one. "Puff." She grimaced. "Was it like this for you? All disoriented and like..." She sighed. "Like something's missing? Something you need for survival?" Dominic looked at her for a long moment, as if he hadn't quite understood what she had said. Then, slowly, "You...you took ostanovium?" The way he said the words...he sounded hurt. Arai's eyes widened, dismayed by how pained he sounded. She was used to feeling emotion through the Force, but to hear it in a voice - especially the voice of someone she cared about - brought her to the verge of tears. "I-I'm sorry," she stammered. "I-I thought... I thought that's what you wanted..." "Wanted?" he repeated. His hurt was turning, as it always did, into pain quite quickly, and he narrowed his eyes now. "You think I wanted you to take ostanovium? You think I wanted you to poison yourself??" The tears flowed freely now and she bowed her head, looking for all the galaxy like a young child, ashamed at having been caught with her hand in a cookie jar. "Noo," she murmured, trying desperately to control her voice. "To be Force-free..." She looked up earnestly and asked, "But didn't Pauel say the inhalers were safe?" "He did, but he also believed that the pills were safe!" Dominic shook his head, standing up and pulling her to her feet. Slowly, carefully, he maneuvered her into the seat he had vacated a moment ago. "Why would you ever want to get rid of the Force, Raia?" Brushing a hand over her tear-streaked cheeks, she shook her head. "I couldn't keep doing that to you," she whispered. "My... the Dark Side... my episodes kept coming faster, and every time you stopped me, I saw you getting weaker." She sighed put her head in her hands. "It had to end." Dominic's eyes widened...and then his entire body seemed to deflate. He sank to one knee while she was seated, and he touched her cheek to make her look at him. "You did this for me?" Through her tears, Arai nodded and brought her hand up to his. "You did such a good job of saving me. Someone had to save you." The pilgrim sighed and closed his eyes, leaning in to touch his forehead to hers. "I don't need saving, you silly little thing." he murmured. "You have nothing to do what's going on with me...and even if you did, I wouldn't want you taking those kinds of risks. They aren't worth it." Gently, she pushed him back until she could look into his eyes. "Will you at least consider the tattoo as a possible cause for your symptoms?" she pleaded. He looked at her, askance. "Raia..." She looked almost desperate. "Please." "Fine." he said grudgingly, standing up again. "On one condition." Her eyes lit up. "Anything." "Tell me where the other inhalers are." She stared at him for a moment. Then, she nodded. "In the dorm, under the bed." "Thank you." he said, turning to the corridor. But he stopped halfway there and turned to look at her, wagging a finger. "Don't move from that seat, you understand me?" Her eyes sparkling, Arai nodded solemnly. "Not an inch," she promised. "Good girl." he said over his shoulder, with an air of laughter that was very different from his prior attitudes. A moment later, he had disappeared down the hall.
  9. May I just say... AWESOME choice for an image
  10. Yay! We're back! Name: Arai Elan Gender: Female Age: 29 Species: Human Occupation: Exiled Jedi Shadow, Mercenary for Hire (to a good cause) Attracted To: Dominic Travesty. Force Talent: Shatterpoint Image: Arai Elan
  11. "That's what you get for standing between Kira and a good drink," Torin offered good-naturedly, first drawing his blasters. Then as the attacking Sith seemed to realize they had attackers outside the cantina as well, he swore under his breath and reached for the sword hilt tucked away inside his jacket. The hilt in his hand, his arm extended outward toward one of the charging Sith, he waited. Thinking he had an easy kill, the Sith raised his saber to deal the final blow. "Checkmate," Torin said softly, pressing a button on the side of the hilt. The heavy blade telescoped out, plunging through the Sith's chest. The man gasped, unprepared for such a fatal blow. He struggled to remain on his feet as Torin pulled his sword back. He tried feebly to raise his saber to block Torin's next swing, but all he succeeded in doing was a feeble twitch of the arm. Then, his head was separated from his body and he knew no more. Turning from that one, Torin scowled into the bar. "How would you like to try on some of these reflexes, boys?" he murmured. Though no one heard him, one more Sith turned to face him. He brandished the sword with a wicked grin and called out, "Come on over. I got room." With a war cry, the Sith charged, driving her saber straight for Torin's torso. In a series of swift motions, he batted the blow away, drew one of his array of knives, and stabbed aggressively downward at a slight angle. The blade pierced her shoulder and drove clear to the hilt, its tip finding her heart. A third Sith saw him, but hesitated to attack. Fully facing Torin, he turned his back to the Jedi, a fatal mistake... ((Penguin, I'm gonna PM you on an idea I had for Torin. I'd like your approval before I fully write him as I'm considering.))
  12. As Torin and Kira left the dock, the Carmen automatically sealed itself to await their return. Torin didn't trust the docking attendant and he was sure the feeling was mutual in spite of the fact that he'd seemed very happy with the amount of money Torin had given him. Torin saw to his satisfaction that the fuel lines were already connected and running, which meant all that was needed now was a good drink. But of course, there was a problem. "Wouldn't you know it," he grunted, surveying the police tape. "Closest cantina to our ship and it's a crime scene when we wanna use it..."
  13. Lenatha nodded. "Without knowing what that gas is, we really can't determine if it's flammable at all. And even if it is, I'm not terribly familiar with how certain elements look when they explode." She frowned thoughtfully. "Although the residue an explosion would leave behind... that, I think I could test to find the composition. But again, setting off an explosion is a bit risky..." She glanced around them and shrugged. "A droid could get us a sample easily enough, and then we could determine the effect an explosion would have, or if there's a better way to get rid of it."
  14. ((For those of you who weren't aware, Shana's having internet connectivity issues and I'm taking over for her until she can get that straightened out. If you did know, then fantastic! Well, I guess I'm just gonna dive in here, then.)) Lenatha nodded slowly. "Getting a sample won't be a problem," she said. "I would prefer however if the sample we get doesn't cost us by one of us becoming infected. I'm sure you'd all agree."
  15. Once Kira was out of earshot, Torin chuckled and shook his head. "Give her time, Carmen dear. After all, she does happen to be one of the more competent mechanics who's ever laid hands on you." Contacting the docking attendant and getting things hashed out was a long and boring process. The attendant wanted a lot of money, Torin wanted fuel and the assurance that Carmen wouldn't be touched in their absence. The attendant wanted more money and to know who was on the crew, Torin complained at both demands. Tired of the hassle, the attendant dropped the names and raised the price. In return, Torin gave half the credits and fake names. The attendant was happy, Torin was something less than. As soon as he'd been assured that the ship would be connected to a fuel supply, Torin returned to the ship and found Kira. "If the station's current layout is anything resembling this six-year-old map, we're docked almost right across from one of the cantinas," he said.
  16. Torin shrugged. "Maybe that's why it's disappointing. Somehow, I was expecting something special here..." He glanced over at her, grinning again. "At any rate, Carmen's gonna just have to get used to you. Don't want you charging into fights that are over your head without someone to back you up," he teased.
  17. Added on the last two paragraphs of Torin's bio. It's how he and Kira met and started working together
  18. "Hey!" Torin protested. "Ever think maybe it's you with the temper?" He waited a beat, then grinned. "Yeah, I know she's not a lady. Point A to Point B, Kira. Point A to Point B, all I've asked her for and that, she does." When she asked how a space station could be disappointing, his smile faded and he stared out at the station, as though trying to figure it out. She mentioned the potential lack of a cantina and he chuckled. "Databank says it has at least three. No worries there." He shook his head. "No, it's more..." He shrugged. "I guess maybe I expected it to be bigger, based on what I've heard of it." A beat, and then he grinned. "Well, not that I've heard much about it anyway..."
  19. ((Taak, I'm gonna agree with Penguin here. Pay attention to basically every other RP we have in the DTC. They're all in past tense. Not that present is completely forbidden. It's just not favored, and it's always a good idea to keep your tense the same as everyone else. Makes things easier to read.)) "Raft Nar Space Station," Torin Valko mumbled, checking the navicomputer's current coordinates against those identified for the station. Sure enough, they were in the right place. Torin frowned. He'd expected... what exactly? To come right down to it, he hadn't been sure what he was expecting of the station, but what he was seeing now somehow didn't fit. Funny how you could be let down by an expectation you didn't know you had when you couldn't determine what that expectation was. "We've arrived," he hollered, hoping that his partner, Kira Ashlund would hear him from wherever in the ship she was. "Raft Nar Space Station." He paused a beat, then called, "Bit disappointing, to be honest."
  20. Yup, tomorrow's great... though I suppose I should be saying "today" since today is the tomorrow you were referring to... Today's great!
  21. Name: Torin Valko Age: 32 Gender: Male Species: Human Occupation: Smuggler/Pilot extraordinaire! Description: Image, Torin Valko. At a glance, you probably wouldn’t think much of Torin. In fact, considering his build, you’d be likely to think he’s a former smashball player, now living off the wealth he earned while playing the game. He has few scars and no other obvious injuries. However, if you know what to look for, you’ll find that the way he carries himself is very much like a covert operative, always on the alert, ready and able to defend himself at the drop of a hat, whether in hand to hand combat or with one of an assortment of weapons he carries concealed on his person. Equipment: Torin’s clothing fits loosely, allowing him both plenty of flexibility of movement and a fair amount of space in which to hide his weapons. He wears plain, single-color t-shirts ranging from white to black and many colors in between. Over this, he wears a well-weathered, brown Krayt leather jacket. He owns several pairs of black and dark blue cargo pants, into which he has planted several sheaths for his knives. On his hands, he wears fingerless black Krayt leather gloves. Finishing the outfit, he wears a pair of black combat boots. Weapons: Torin has an assortment of knives in various sheaths tucked into his pants and boots. Attached to the inside of his Krayt leather jacket, he also carries the hilt of a broadsword, which contains a collapsible blade made of a cortosis alloy. The only weapons he wears in plain view are twin blasters, one on each hip. If he deems necessary, he also carries a small shoulder bag full of explosives of various kinds. Very rarely, he’ll also add a big rifle of one variety or another slung over his back. Notable Force Powers: N/A. Torin is not Force sensitive. Other Skills: Torin is skilled in at least five different forms of martial arts. His knowledge of weapons is extensive, and he’s a very good pilot. He claims he can fly anything you set him at the controls of, but he’s rarely been given the chance to prove this. Biography: If asked about his childhood, Torin Valko shrugs and says, "I don't really remember it." When questioned concerning his early education years, he chuckles and replies, "Don't think I learned much beyond how to have fun, fight well, and avoid getting in trouble." Of his college education, he snorts and asks, "Who needed it?" Beyond that, he admits to entering training for Republic Intelligence, which further improved his preexisting martial arts skills and weapons training. Then, for reasons he won't ever specify, he washed out of training. And so, at twenty-six years of age, Torin Valko became a smuggler. In his first year as a smuggler, no one took Torin seriously. He'd come out of nowhere and looked more like a poster boy for professional sports than someone who could handle the rough side of the galaxy. Over the next five years, he began proving his worth in subtle ways. He revealed his hand-to-hand combat abilities and his weapons training first. These skills earned him jobs as "hired muscle" and his poster boy appearance helped him catch his enemies by surprise. At twenty-eight years of age, Torin found in an emergency situation that he enjoyed flying. The ship he was flying with at the time came under attack, and the pilot was injured. Torin took the controls, only vaguely knowing what he was doing, and flew them to safety, albeit a little clumsily. When their pilot recovered, she taught him everything he needed to know to fly almost anything ever made. He studied flight systems for two years and then changed careers again, becoming a pilot for hire and a smuggler on the side. A year ago, at thirty-one years of age, he entered a bar for an after-job drink. Shortly after his arrival, a very tense moment ensued between a young woman named Kira Ashlund and a few of the bar's other patrons. The situation was beginning to look dire for Kira, but then Torin Valko stepped in. In a matter of seconds, he'd taken down four of the unruly patrons while Kira tackled the other two. This event sparked a heated argument between Torin and Kira, in which Kira argued that she hadn't needed Torin's help and Torin insisted that she did. The argument continued to the point where Kira, in exasperation told Torin he'd better come to work with her if he thought she might get into further trouble without him. He replied, "Maybe I'd better." They've been partners in crime ever since. Even a year after the initial fight they're still arguing on who was right in their first encounter, though the argument is a lot more playful these days.
  22. What people usually do around here is accept anyone and everyone who joins. The ones who aren't serious will drop out over time, and most of them will drop out rather quickly. On a side note, I think I've figured out what my character looks like. I should have him up within the next couple of days.
  23. ((Chevron, I've done some checking through this RP and I've noticed something. It seems like Visas and Juhani are having the same conversation over and over again. Let's try to get away from that, shall we?)) Visas nodded. "My visions have been similar. The woman you envision is the Exile." She paused thoughtfully. "Our reasons for accompanying this journey are similar. I do not believe the Found are at fault for the disappearance of our friends. While the presence of Ostanovium would rule out Force abilities while fighting, I know the Exile. She was a skilled combatant even without it. I do not doubt that Revan was the same way." She shook her head. "No, the Found are not responsible, but I fear they may be financed by those that were." She nodded. "I sense this is the link you are searching for. This Khristoff may not be able to tell you exactly where his financiers are, but he may be able to point us nearer to the right direction."
  24. Planning to join this. Working out some details with ForceFight, since we're planning on our characters being partnered. Will post my character when we've gotten our stuff straightened out. And as far as I'm concerned, Penguin, you needn't worry about being judged by post count. I judge based on writing ability and what I've seen from you thus far plants you about as far from noob status as a person can get
  25. Cargo Hold, Millennial There were a few things that passed quickly through Visas' mind when Juhani mentioned "disturbing dreams". Either way, she was certain this was not a conversation to continue here in the cargo hold. "Dreams," she said. She caught Juhani's elbow gently and gestured out from the cargo hold. As they walked away, she asked softly, "Dreams? Or visions?" -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Some Random Planet The Apostle Pauel had failed to do any kind of planning for his departure from Nar Shadda. As a result, his ship had all but run out of fuel, forcing Dominic and Arai to make a fuel stop on an essentially unknown planet en route. As Arai flew the ship down into the planet's atmosphere, she stared curiously at the massive metal station under construction in orbit. Then, she turned her attention to the spaceport. Once they were landed, she turned to Dom. "Why don't you make sure I didn't ruin the mechanics of this baby too badly in our insanely mad dash away from Nar Shaddaa? I'll go see about refueling." Dominic nodded as he stood up from the seat beside her, stretching his arms and neck out before heading for the corridor. "Let me know what the cost comes out to be." he said. "If there aren't any replacement parts needed, I'll split it with you." Arai nodded. "Deal." She rose and followed him down the corridor. About ten steps later, the corridor branched off and the two friends parted ways. In seconds, Arai was at the boarding ramp. She keyed it open and moved out into the open air. Less than a second later, she was practically assaulted by the dock attendant. "Heyyyyyyy!" he shouted, far too enthusiastic for Arai's tastes. "Welcome to the tail end of nowhere!" Arai was not impressed. "Is that what your planet is called?" He laughed uproariously, as though it was the funniest thing he'd heard in his entire life. Belatedly, Arai feared it may have been. "I take it you're here for the mining," he said once he'd finally managed to cool off. It took him a while and Arai felt almost bad she had to correct him. "No, we're just here to refuel," she said. "Mmmm," he mumbled. It was the first time she'd seen him something less than overjoyed. But his perky attitude soon returned. "No problem! We'll get you all wired up an' ready to go! Five thousand credits, please." "Have I gone deaf?" Arai asked, blinking. "Five thousand?" "We sell fuel at a flat rate based on ship size," he answered cheerily. "For your ship, it's five hundred credits. Then there's the docking fee of-" "Docking fee?" Arai interrupted. "We're only here as long as it takes you to fill up our tanks. Unless your fuel pumps are impossibly slow, we won't need a docking permit." "This is a dock," the man retorted. "You're in it. Docking fee, forty-five hundred credits." "We're only here for fuel," Arai protested. The man chuckled. "Should'a gone through the orbital fuel stop, then." Exasperated, Arai demanded, "Where in orbit?" He grinned in reply. "Oh, that's right. It's unfinished, but that's hardly our problem down here, now is it?" "It's not mine either," Arai answered sharply. "I will not pay for a docking permit I'll be using not more than ten minutes." The man's grin widened. "Look, if it's a matter of credits, there are alternative methods of payment. Jewelery, weapons, artifacts... ship parts you can afford to lose." Arai wrinkled her nose. "It's not-" "Or perhaps... something a little more personal?" he interrupted, wiggling his eyebrows. "Gets pretty lonely out here, and the miners aren't much to look at, let alone..." "That's quite enough!" Arai cut in hurriedly. "No personal favors, no trinkets, no credits! I will not pay for something I'm not using." "Come on, beautiful." There went his wiggling eyebrows again. "Just 'cuz it's the tail end of nowhere, it don't mean I ain't got a place-" "Which you share with your mother," Arai countered sharply. The man grinned. "Ain't nothin' wrong with Mama. She can't hear too well anymore anyway. Not since the bomb went off in her ear. She won't interrupt." Arai's eyes narrowed. "I. Said. No." The firmer tone didn't get through the moron's thick head. "You'll say yes. I ain't never heard a no that-" Wordlessly, Arai raised her right hand and formed a loose grip in midair. The effect was chilling; the dock attendant's voice abruptly gave out, his eyes bugged, and he clawed at his neck as though trying to get at an invisible grip. Indeed, that's exactly what he was doing. "You've heard it now," Arai said coldly. "When I say "no", I mean it and I do not waver from it. Fool! Added pressure only made your consequence that much worse." Dom was in the midst of stripping a wire end to replace one that had been fried in the sudden surge of power to the engine when something... made him stop. It wasn't a sound or something that he saw, just a feeling... a feeling he hadn't know for a very long time. And it scared him. He dropped his tools immediately and rolled himself out from under the open panel, scrambling to his feet. His heart was in his throat; all he could think of was that something had happened to Arai. A Republic soldier, a bounty hunter, God forbid, one of the Sith remnants... But no. Upon reaching the ship's open loading dock, he found that Arai wasn't the victim of the dark energy - but the source of it. "Raia, no!" Arai's eyes never left the choking dock attendant. "Stay out of this, Dom," she said sharply. "He went too far." "You're the one going too far!" he answered, grabbing at her shoulder and whipping her around. "Let. Him. Go." If nothing else, the force of Dom's action distracted Arai just enough that she released the dock attendant. Her eyes still full of anger, she turned her attention to Dom, lashing her right hand out at his cheek. Then she raised her hand, as if intending to do to Dom what she had done to the dock attendant. He hadn't been ready for it - not that there was a way for him to dodge it when she was so close anyway. The blow caught him hard across the face, and he blinked rapidly, stunned momentarily by the blow. It wasn't until she began to raise her hand and he felt the dark energy gathering again that he recovered his motor functions. He could feel something tightening around his throat, and he threw his right arm up to press palm-to-palm with hers. The tattoo in his hand burned as the pressure at his neck relaxed. "Damn it, Blondie!" He cried, grabbing her wrist with his other hand. "Don't do this to me again!" He used the nickname only Dom could get away with. That combined with the ostanovium tattoo canceling her attack was enough to jolt Arai out of the darkness. She took a step back, rage quickly replaced with horror. She felt weak and she bent almost double, bracing her hands against her knees. Her eyes flooded with tears she could not stop. "Are you still here?" she asked softly. "Hasn't our time back together proved to you the Jedi were right? I'm beyond saving, Tink. Why do you stay?" He sighed and, with one hand on her upper arm and one hand on her jaw, he lifted her back to a standing position... so that he could kiss her, quite roughly. "No one," he told her sharply, lowly, "Is beyond saving." Arai took a step back in astonishment, blinking several times, opening and shutting her mouth at least three times. Then, without a word, she grabbed his neck and kissed him back. Pulling apart from that, she said softly, "Now that we've got that straightened out..." -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Once they had gotten that straightened out, Arai went back to the ship, leaving Dom to sort out their fuel. Due to Arai's episode, the dock attendant had fled the scene. Free fuel, Arai thought ruefully. But at what cost? How many times had she tried to kill Dom now? The fact that the attempts were beginning to blur scared her. How many more times could she get away with this before she hurt him seriously? They were in hyperspace now and Arai had withdrawn to the room. Before her was a small cloth bag. In her mind's eye, she was back at Geeda's, watching Pauel reach into the same bag and pull out an ostanovium inhaler. Slowly, her hands shaking, she put one hand in the bag. The cool metal of the remaining inhalers almost made her shiver, but she forced herself to pick one up nonetheless. Did she dare use it? Her questions had not been answered even remotely to her satisfaction, but she could not risk losing herself again. She raised the inhaler to eye level and stared at it, her hand wavering. "Seventy-two hours," she said softly. That's how long Pauel had said it would last. And then what? The effect would simply go away? If only! Members of the Found were dying and Arai had no way of knowing if, by taking this inhaler, she was following in their footsteps. She had to know more... Of course, they were headed to Khristoff... whoever he turned out to be. Squeezing her eyes tightly shut, Arai swiftly brought the inhaler to her lips and pressed the button before she could change her mind. The gas was expelled into her mouth and she breathed in deeply, allowing the gas to enter her lungs. The sensation was dizzying at first, but that sensation quickly subsided. Pauel was right. She had drastically overacted the effect of loosing Force-sensitivity. The feeling was much like he'd described, the gradual emptying feeling. She waited for even that feeling to subside and suddenly she was afraid. Without her connection to the Force, she felt so very small, stuck within her own skin. Unsettled, she crawled up onto the bed and curled up in a corner, hoping this feeling too would pass.
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