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MC: AOTE: Brothers in Arms

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"Hmm, interesting," Jeez commented as he took a sip from his bottle. "Well, if what you say is accurate, then yes, returning to Chandrillia would seem to be the will of the Force. What of this fifth sign that has yet to occur? If I'm reading you correctly, this sign isn't something you want to happen."

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“I didn’t want any of them to happen.” Nic replied with a sombre expression. “Oliver and Ryshana dying was two of them, my brother showing up was another and trust me I tried to prevent them all happening… Hells I tried to talk Ry out of going to save you… No offence, but… I wish I tried harder.”


Nic stopped and took another long sip of his drink. “I don’t know if I have a destiny or if it’s just some guy hoping for a brighter future, but I’m Gambler and the odds are telling me that these prophecy are true. The last was ‘A third will die, a friend who values your life greater than their own and will sacrifice themselves so you can live.’” He quoted. “There’s been too much death I have to know if I can stop it.”

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"Well, from what I know about prophesies given from the Force, they can sometimes be misinterpreted. That's not a given, though, and in your case, it seems that its pretty clear as to what will happen in general," Jeez stated. "Since you are asking my opinion, though, I think it would be better for you to be prepared for another to die. I know it sounds morbid, but it would be better for you to accept what is to happen than to fight it. The will of the Force cannot be changed or altered."

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“I can’t accept that, I won’t.” Nic stated shaking his head. “I’m suppose to just let a friend die because some guy told me the force has laid a path before me… I can’t let Jana, Beryl, Jack or Cloud die for this. Look I need help in stopping this, and I figure only two people on the ship can, ones you and the other is Reibe, and I don’t trust her.”

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Beryl lay on her bed, staring at the ceiling. She couldn’t sleep, but whether it was the drugs she had taken or the guilt about what she had done to Conn that was keeping her awake, she couldn’t tell.


“You know it helps if you close your eyes, sweetie.” Sam casually reclined further back in her chair and propped her feet up on the desk.


“It also helps not to have someone staring at you,” Beryl retorted, and she turned over in her bed to face the wall.


“Ooh, touchy touchy,” Sam mocked. “Next, you’ll be giving me a Force Whammy against the wall.”


Beryl let out a loud condescending sigh. “No, I wouldn’t.” She paused a beat. “There’s no technique called a ‘whammy.’”


Sam grinned. “Ah. Cynical sense of humour returning. Jeez said to watch out for it. Said it’s a good sign.”


“Oh, did he now?”


“He did.”


“And was that before or after he deemed that you needed to be my babysitter?”


Sam thought a moment. “I believe it was after, sweetie.” She tapped a finger on her lip as she recalled the conversation. “Yup. It was after, ‘I believe Beryl’s lack of self-control is not solely due to the presence of the unsolicited medications, but to the absence of a constantly visible authoritarian threat,’ and before, ‘So, don’t accept any of her excuses as she is completely capable of assuming full responsibility for her actions.’”


Beryl slowly raised her head from her pillow. “A visible authoritarian threat? You?”


Sam sat up and straightened her posture in the chair. “Yeah. Me. Why, you don’t think I’m threatening?”


Beryl turned towards her and gave her new 'minder' a once over. Sam was fit, there was no doubt about that, but she was hardly threatening. “Not particularly, no.”


Sam narrowed her eyes. “Wanna know how I took apart those two assault droids at the facility while you and your Jedi pals were farfing about in the secure bit?”


Oddly enough, Beryl felt something strange through the Force just about then—something that made her instantly change her answer from ‘Yeah, go ahead and bore me with the details,’ to…. “No, thank you. I’ll pass on that one for now.”


With a satisfied grin, Sam leaned back in her chair again and put her arms behind her head. “Yup. That’s me. Visible authoritarian threat. Maybe I should get a T-shirt made up.” She looked over at Beryl who was giving her a strange look. “You. Close eyes, go to sleep.”


************* (a few hours later)


In the cockpit, a proximity alarm sounded. It was the Endurance. The crew of the Echo had arrived at their co-ordinates.


Now it was Jack’s task to put the Echo inside one of the gargantuan ship’s huge cargo containers. After it was loaded, the container would be pressurised, allowing the crew to leave the ship and board the Endurance under the guise of casually hired deckhands.

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“I can’t accept that, I won’t.” Nic stated shaking his head. “I’m suppose to just let a friend die because some guy told me the force has laid a path before me… I can’t let Jana, Beryl, Jack or Cloud die for this. Look I need help in stopping this, and I figure only two people on the ship can, ones you and the other is Reibe, and I don’t trust her.”
"I know how you feel, Captain. Accepting responsibility for those under you is never easy, and the knowledge that death will happen doesn't make it easier. The problem is the matter of whether or not it is the will of the Force. If it is, then its going to happen whether Reibe, you, or I do anything about it. Men have tried for millenia and beyond to defy the will of the Force, and they only managed to provide a catalyst for the Force's Will instead," Jeez replied.


"That said, I will always do what I can to prevent my comrades from dying. I've done so many times in the past, and I have no reason to quit. As far as I'm concerned, Captain, I am yours to command."

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Jack's voice echoed throughout the ship as he spoke into the ships intercom to inform the crew of their current situation. "We've arrived at the desired location and I am about to land inside a moving transport, and I would like to point out, this is a first for me so please bear with me, this isn't the easiest thing in the galaxy to do," Jack explained as he moved the Echo in the tail end of the Endurance "And just looking at the ships current condition, I can't help but feeling something is going to fall upon us which is bad for Cloud cause it means extra work for him..."


Jack's first attempt went a bit dodgy near the end. He was able to navigate inside the Endurance's cargo hull however it was very difficult to stay still long enough to land with the Endurance's constant movement. It was eventually forced to back up and comm the ships driver, "Hey, we're having a small landing problem. Your going to need to direct more power towards the international dampeners... or at least fly in a straight line."


Jack's second attempt was a success and within seconds of navigating inside, the Echo was attached in the bottom of the cargo container with the help of magnetic lock. The containers doors closed, and within a few moments, the container was pressurized and it was safe to open the ships boarding ramp. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have landed."

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((Sorry for the bit of charry control, steven. Hope you don't mind terribly. :)))


Conn stirred at the sound of the alarms ringing through the ship. He wasn't sure what all of the various types were supposed to indicate, but a look at his chrono helped him surmise that they were at the rendezvous location. He pulled himself into a sitting postion, running a hand through his tousled hair and blinking the sleepdust out of his eyes. His head fell a little bit better, as the pain from Beryl's intrusion had been reduced to a dull ache.


He rose from his bed, smoothing out the wrinkles in his pants and shirt before approaching his door. The strained mechanism squealed in protest, but slid open after a few seconds. Conn shook his head, making a mental note to track down their engineer and request a repair. Orienting himself in the direction of the cockpit, he strode towards it, intent on finding out exactly where they were and, more importantly, whether he could contact anyone on Chandrila.


Passing through the common room, Conn came up upon the Echo's small bridge and slipped inside. He looked through the forward viewscreen just as Jack guided the ship back from the large Super Transport ahead of them.


"Hey, we're having a small landing problem. Your going to need to direct more power towards the international dampeners... or at least fly in a straight line."


Conn arched an eyebrow. "International dampeners?" he muttered quietly. "Must be to supress xenophobic feelings, I guess. We do live in the age of the Empire, after all..." He observed as Jack restarted his approach and expertly guided the Echo into the large carrier ship and into an enormous container. As the container depressurized around the ship, Conn moved forward and made himself known to the pilot. "Hi Jack," he started. "Where are we, exactly?"


Jack looked up at Conn from his seat. "Right now? We're a few thousand parsecs away from Brentaal, a little off of the Perlemian Trade Route."


"So we're pretty close to Chandrila already. I can probably get an encrypted 'Net connection to the capital from here..." Conn rubbed his chin. "Do you think I could use the comm?"


"Sure Doc, don't think you have to ask, though, especially since you're part of the crew now."


Conn smiled. "Thanks, Jack."


Jack waved it off. "Anyhoo, I think you'll probably be able to get better signal on the bridge of the Endurance. Dunno what this container that we flew into is made of, but it scrambled my sensors something fierce."


"I'll do that," Conn said. "Thanks again, Jack." He withdrew from the cockpit and made his way towards the exit ramp. As he approached, he noticed the Echo's spiky-haired engineer swing down from the ladder. "Cloud!" he called out.


Cloud turned. "Oh, hey Doc," he responded. "What's up?"


"I had a bit of an...accident with the door to my room," Conn said, reluctant to say what actually happened. "The lock mechanism is fried, so I was wondering if you could replace it for me whenever you get the time to."


Cloud's eyes widened. "Fried?" he echoed. "Yeah sure, I'll have that fixed up in no time. Just gotta resupply and restock while we're here."


"Of course. Thanks, Cloud."


The two men descended the ramp, then parted ways. Conn got directions from a passing deckhand and started on his way to the bridge.

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Laying in her bunk, Beryl cracked open an eye, and looked over at Sam, who was still reclined in the chair by the Beryl’s desk, eyes closed. “Sam, did Jack just say over the comm that we’ve landed?”


“Do I get a prize if I say ‘yes’?” Sam asked, her eyes still closed.


“Yeah. How ‘bout a Force Whammy?” Beryl suggested dryly.


Sam grinned. “So, I take it you’re feeling better?”


Beryl sat up in her bunk. “No.”


“You should have slept.”


“I have nightmares when I do that,” Beryl said, stretching her arms over her head and flexing her shoulders. “I rested. That’s enough.”


“Doc ain’t gonna be happy about that, sweetie.”


Beryl swung herself out of her rack. “No. But he’s not happy with me anyway.” She sighed and cradled her head in her hands. “Crap, I’ve made such a mess of things, Sam.”


“And you think by destroying this… Imp bio tech project thingee on Chandrilla is going to fix them all up and make them better?”


“No.” Beryl raised her head. “But it’ll fix Nuss.” She blinked a few times. “You got any stims?”


Sam opened her eyes, and then looked directly at Beryl. “I always have stims. The question you should be asking me is, ‘Will I give you some?’”


Beryl stared at Sam for a moment. “Will you please give me some stims, Sam?”


Sam stared at her deadpan. “No.” Beryl opened her mouth to protest, but Sam stopped her by holding up her hand. “But only because Jeez told me not to.”


Beryl rolled her eyes to the ceiling, then shook her head. “You all are conspiring against me,” she complained, as she got up out of her bunk and reached for her boots.


“No, we’re helping you, sweetie.”


“I can’t sleep cause I’m afraid of the nightmares,” Beryl grumbled as she laced her boots. “Can’t stay focused because I’m tired, and every time I try to ‘use the Force’ I end up either hurting someone or damaging something. I’m toxic, Sam. I really, really am.


“So, I’m just going to take my kriffin toxic Force-whammying self and go and meet up with whatever insane idiot my brother Rayne bribed to fly this rustbucket of a ship he sent us and see if there’s anyone on the crew that can pass as a medic and get him to give me some stims!”


Sam watched her lace her boots, then said, “Ok, ok,” she relented. “It’s against my better judgement, but, I’ll give you a couple. But no more.” She frowned. “Jeez finds out I gave them to you he’ll…”


“He won’t know,” Beryl said. “Just don’t tell him. In fact, just don’t think about it at all.”


Sam let out a reluctant sigh, then sat up from her reclined position. She reached into one of her pockets and pulled out a small case from which she extracted two tiny red tablets. “Here.” She handed the tablets to Beryl, who quickly popped them in her mouth and swallowed them.




Beryl started out the door, but turned around with surprise when Sam followed her. “Where are you going?”


“With you, sweetie. I’m still your minder, remember?”


Beryl rolled her eyes yet again. “Yeah, whatever.” She started to head down the corridor towards the cargo bay ramp. “Come on then.”


As the airlock indicator showed they had pressure and oxygen atmo outside, she pressed the button to open the doors.


“Finally.” Teser’s voice came from behind, as he approached the pair with a wide grin on his face. “I was beginning to wonder if we’d ever get here.” He eyed his sister Beryl with concern. “You get any shut eye?”




“No,” Sam said simultaneously.


Beryl glared at her, before turning back to her brother. “I got some shut eye. Yes.” She flashed him a quick grin. “And I’m feeling just fine.”


It was obvious that Teser didn’t believe her, but he didn’t say anything further as the airlock door slid open.


Then she heard Sam mutter behind her, “Oh, for Galaxy’s sake….”


Beryl wheeled around to come face to face with…


“….there’s two of them?” Sam exclaimed. “What, there aren’t enough Quitaans in the Galaxy so someone had to start cloning them?”


“Telk?” Beryl blinked at the sight of Teser’s identical twin standing in the airlock threshold. “But I thought you were still…?”


“Designing for CEC?” Telk answered. “I am. I’m just on vacation. Thought I’d do a bit of sightseeing and asked Rayne to hook me up with transport.”


Beryl felt a smile creep over her lips. She turned to Teser and pointed an accusing finger at him. “You knew. You knew and you didn’t tell me.”


Teser just grinned. “Thought you needed a surprise.”


The twin brothers exchanged looks. “Surprise!” they said in unison.


Beryl couldn’t hold back her joy at seeing her favourite brother. She hugged Telk, then Teser, and then she and Sam followed them up to the bridge of the Endurance.


“By the way,” Telk said as they wound their way up the metal stairs, “Rayne gave me a package to give to you. It’s addressed to someone named… Betsy?”


“Betsy?!” Beryl let out a sigh of relief. “It’s actually for my captain. Nic.”


“Oh, no… here we go again,” Sam muttered. “Just give the package to me and I’ll take it to Nic. That is, if I can trust you two to keep your sister under control and out of trouble?”


“You can trust us,” the twins said in unison.


Beryl snorted. It was the worst lie she had heard in a while.


“Right,” Sam said flatly, staring at the two men deadpan. “That’s what I thought.”


Nevertheless, when they reached the bridge, and Telk handed Sam the package, she left Beryl on her own and took the package to Nic as she said she would.


Alone with her brothers, bar the bridge crew of the large freighter, Beryl hugged them again. “So, let’s get this show on the road.” She looked towards the nav station. “Where are we exactly?”

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It took Jana several moments to realize she'd fallen asleep in Reibe's room. Reibe was nowhere immediately visible, but when Jana let out a murmured, "Where are we?" Reibe made it quite clear that she was still in the room... though her voice was rather muffled.


"Does it matter?" Jana blinked and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, wondering if Reibe's voice had actually come from the footlocker or not. In the end, she decided her sleep-filled senses had discerned the truth and she opened the footlocker. Reibe unfolded herself from it and stood, staring for a moment at Jana's amused expression.


"Space monkeys playing tricks on you?" she asked. Reibe snorted.


"You know why I'm not claustrophobic?" she said. "It's because I have spent some time willingly putting myself into cramped quarters... footlockers included. When you can tell yourself that it was your idea, it becomes easier to tolerate when it wasn't your idea."


Jana blinked doubtfully. "Right," she muttered. "So where are we?"


Reibe rolled her eyes at the repeat question. "Corner of no and where, en route to Chandrila. Not overly far, really. Come on. Let's get off the Echo for a bit, gain our big-ship legs."


Jana laughed. "Big-ship legs?" she echoed. Reibe grinned.


"Little ship to big ship?" she asked. "Don't tell me you've never felt the awkwardness of a shift in gravity settings."


"It's worse big ship to little ship," Jana commented. "Or big station to little ship..." She frowned. "... and exactly why are we talking like three-year-olds?"


Reibe chuckled. "Old friend... long story."


And with that, they left Reibe's room, heading for the airlock.

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A knock on the Door brought Nic from his train of thought, he was thinking about all this prophecy stuff that seemed to have been dumped on him. He stood up and walked over to the door and clicked the open button, standing their was the women that had escaped from the prison with Jeez, with all that had happened since they came on the ship he hadn’t

spoken to her, but he hadn’t really spoken to anyone other than Beryl and Jeez.


“Sam Right?” He asked getting a nod in return. “What so you want?”


“Got a package for you.” She explained. “Well it’s addressed to Betsy but Beryl said it was for you.”


Sam held the package out and Nic took it from her, he walked over to his desk and carefully began to unwrap the material around what was inside, when he was finished he looked down at the Gun and Knife resting on the table and smiled. He carefully picked up the gun and lightly caressed the barrel.


“Nice Gun, So who’s Betsy?” Sam asked.


“Betsy is the Gun.” Cloud announced walking up behind the prison escapee.


“He named his Gun?” Sam asked confused.


“Yeah, don’t get him started.” Cloud replied looking over at Nic. “It’s a long story.”


“I missed you so much.” Nic stated holding the gun close his chest.


“One day I hope to find a women who’ll love me as much as he loves that gun.” Cloud informed.


“Me too.” Sam


Nic put the Gun down and picked up his knife and looked at it closely, he thought for a few moment. There was something he had to do before they reached Chandrilia…

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((Joint post with SM))



Though Reibe had encouraged Jana to leave the Echo with her, at the last moment, she nudged Jana off the ship alone, saying she had some things to think about. In truth, she sensed something... strange... and a quick search back through her memories told her precisely what it was. And it was a conflict she could not ignore.


She entered her room and found that the lights were off, though she had left them on. Stepping further into the room, she said, "Hello, Nic White." And with a casual wave of her hand, she brought the lights on. There, in the center of the room, Nic White stood, knife in hand.


He was seated on a chair looking at the Knife in his hand, moments past then he flicked his eyes up at Reibe and let out a sigh. "I don't like you," Nic began. "From the moment I met you, alarms went off in my head, I knew you were trouble from the start." He brought his whole head up and looked the women in the eyes. "I want you off my ship and as far away from me and my crew as possible, but Jana wants you here, and we both know how stubborn she is."


Reibe smiled faintly. "You know, a part of your dislike may be stemmed in the fact that I killed you once..."


"Perhaps," Nic agreed then looked down at his knife. "My Father gave this to me when I graduated the NSF academy. He said it had been passed down to the first born son of our family line longer than anyone cares to remember. It's unique, no other in the galaxy like it. I mean I've had it almost two decades and I ain't sharpened it once, yet it can still cut through a bulkhead."


He fingered the blade lightly, so as not to cut his own finger. "This weapon is deadly and I have no idea where it came from or what it's for... Hell it has an inscription on the blade of a dead language that's never been translated... The point is it's just like you. The only difference is I'd trust my life with this weapon."


Reibe nodded. "And you would be right in doing so," she said. "Perhaps I can enlighten you on its purpose... among other things."


"Yeah, sorry if I misled you, but I don't actually care, I was just making a point," Nic laughed. "The point is this: I killed some dark Jedi with this blade. It means I can kill you, and I have a reason to do it, but I have one not to as well. If anything happens to Jana, if you betray her trust in any way, that reason is gone, and so are you."


"Dark Jedi who haven't had the length of training I have," Reibe countered. She bent over slightly, so she could look straight into his eyes. "I know your skills, Nic White. And I don't doubt them. But don't ever - not even for a second - think you've caught me off guard. If we ever come to fighting, we're on a level playing field. Don't you ever forget that... Guide."


"What did you call me?" Nic demanded. That word, 'Guide' was the word written on one of the statues in his dream. The cool exterior he maintained throughout this conversation dropped momentarily, but then it returned as he stood up from the chair and looked straight into Reibe's eyes. "I'll be watching you."


He then sheathed the blade into his boot and walked past Reibe towards the door. Reibe watched him over her shoulder and, just as he passed through the doorway, she called after him, "I give this blade to my Protector, to show him the way, and to prepare him to face the dangers ahead." Reibe turned fully to face him. "Oh, but you didn't care to know what the inscription said, did you?" With a sarcastic tone, she added, "Oops."


And with that, she waved her hand and the door slid shut behind him.

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((Joint posties with Jasra and our disobedient fingies. :3))


It had taken a little while, as these old KDY Super Transports did not possess the most intuitive set of crew passageways, but Conn finally stepped into the bridge of the aging vessel. The first thing that struck him was that it was rather large, compared to past bulk transports he'd been on before. "Must be really bloody old," he muttered to himself. "They don't even have pilot droid sockets..."


The second thing he noticed was Beryl, standing by what looked like a navigation station, chatting to two blonde men. He recognized one as Teser, but the other had his back turned towards Conn. Just then, Beryl looked up and spotted him, causing the two men to turn towards him. It was then he realized that Teser had a twin. "And yet another brother pops out of the woodwork..."


"Well, well, well, if it isn't Dr. Harlowe!" Telk smiled as he approached, holding out his hand in greeting. "You remember me, right? Telk? Incom Design Team 12? You had to come and do a safety briefing for my section when we got that new design plotter?"


"Right, right," Conn said, shaking Telk's hand. "I recall now that Incom used to swarm with Quitaans everywhere. You're not still with them, are you?"


"Nah. Moved over to CEC the next year. ''Bout a year after they started the layoffs. Been there ever since. Pays good, and keeps me out of trouble." He glanced over his shoulder at Beryl and Teser. "Unlike those two."


Conn's first instinct was to reply, "Oh, you have no idea," but he thought better of it. "Lucky you," he finally said. "Being out of trouble isn't exactly the easiest thing to accomplish nowadays."


Telk smiled. "Yeah, we're living in... unusual times, doc." He spread his arms out dramatically as he looked around the huge bridge. "I mean, who would have thought that I'd be spending my hard earned vacation time taking this beast out on a supply run? Anyway, I'm glad to see that my unruly sister finally saw sense and reconciled with you." He patted Conn on the back. "Dad always said you made a good couple."


At this Beryl visibily stiffened. "Yeah, well, Telk, Conn isn't really up here to talk about..." She frowned slightly as she looked at Conn. "What are you up here for anyway? Thought you'd be... resting. Or something." She shrugged. "You know...."


Conn arched an eyebrow at her. "I could ask you the same thing," he replied, keeping his voice neutral; he didn't really want to cause problems with her her brothers around. "And I'm up here because I need to try and contact someone on Chandrila to see if we can find help getting into the Imperial labs. It's been a long time, but maybe someone there still remembers me."


"Oh." Beryl shifted, still slightly unsure where she stood with Conn now. "Right. Good idea." She motioned to where the comm station was. "Help yourself."


"W-ow...." Teser raised an eyebrow. "Did it suddenly get cold in here, or did someone just mess with the enviromental controls?"


Beryl smacked him on the shoulder.


"Yeah thanks," Conn said, moving to where she had indicated. "I'll let you know if I get anywhere, so we can plan things accordingly." As he strode over, he caught Beryl's gaze for just a few moments, then turned around and took a seat at the console.


"So..., B," Telk said quietly, sidling up to his sister. "Mind telling me the story so that I don't make the mistake of putting my 'other' foot in my mouth anytime soon?"


"Nothing to tell," Beryl hissed under her breath. But when Teser and Telk both started staring at her, she conceded, "Ok, later, all right? Just leave Conn to do what he has to do."


"Anything to eat in this place?" she asked in a more normal tone of voice. "I'm starving." She headed off the bridge for the galley two decks down, leaving her brothers both scratching their head at her odd behaviour.


"Something wrong with her," Telk said.


"Yeah, probably," Teser agreed. "I think the Imps might have done something to h...."


"That wasn't a question," Telk clarified. He looked at Conn. "Is she on spice or something?"


Conn glanced back at Telk from his seat. He thought for a few moments, then gave the elder Quitaan a small, mirthless grin. "Oh, you have no idea."

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Beryl was familiar with the layout of the Endurance as she had been on it before. Heck, she had actually piloted this behemoth once—on her first job working for her brother Rayne. That was the ‘test run’ that her eldest brother had made her do before he would allow her to pilot the faster CEC blockade runners he had in his trading fleet—a sort of ‘job performance interview,’ so to speak. She had been irritated with him at the time for his lack of trust in her piloting skills, but over time, she agreed that the experience on operating the monstrous fossil of a ship had actually been good for her.


The ship, a Kuat Drive Yards Supertransport IV, was older than dirt. Well, most dirt anyway. It was large, slow, bulky, slow, huge, and… slow. It had no armaments, no shielding, and was made by CEC’s rival company, and so from Beryl’s point-of-view, it was an utter piece of antique junk. Still, the ship did have a few redeeming factors.


“Oh, that smells good….” Beryl sniffed the air as she walked into the galley. The Endurance had a crew complement of around 50, including their bridge crew, and therefore it actually had a working kitchen. Not just a galley, but a fully-fledged working kitchen, complete with a cook and a medium-sized dining area.


In a few minutes she was sitting down at an empty table, with a plate of nuna, roast vegetables, and a couple of freshly baked rolls. She had just taken her first bite of a meal she had neither prepared herself or had come out of a vacuumed-sealed container when Sam sat down next to her.


“You didn’t tell me that Nic named things.”


Mouth half-full, Beryl looked up at her. “Huh? Oh, yeah....” She swallowed. “Betsy the gun. Long story.”


“That’s what Cloud said.” Sam looked at Beryl’s plate. “Good?”


Mouth full again, Beryl just nodded, then motioned towards the kitchen for Sam to go and get herself a plate. “Rayne always hires great cooks,” she finally said. “Got to have some redeeming qualities onboard an old rust bucket like this to attract a decent crew.”


“Suppose,” Sam agreed. “They got a media lounge?”


“Oh yeah. Nice one.”




Beryl nodded.


Sam grinned. “Can we go there after we eat?”


Beryl took a moment to consider. “I suppose. Sure.” Then she frowned. “Why?”


“Jeez said you needed a constructive form of physical output.”


Beryl’s brow raised. “Oh, did he really?”


“Really.” Sam rose and headed for the kitchen to get food. “I’ll be right back, sweetie. Stay put.”


“Do I have a choice?” Beryl called after her.



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"So, you're saying that Berasmus sanctioned some kind of experiment on her?" Telk asked. His brow furrowed with disbelief. "But... she's...." The words just didn't seem to come.


"Something's changed with him," Teser said, referring to their Imperial brother. "He wouldn't do that to his own kin. No Corellian would."


"So you're excusing his actions?" Telk asked incredulously.


"No, just saying that there seems to be something else at work here. Behind the scenes stuff, you know?"


Telk just shook his head. "So, what can I do to help?" he asked Conn.


"Just be yourselves" Conn responded to the both of them. "You're her brothers, you provide her a sense of normalcy, a sense of familial comfort. And don't let her know that you know... it's better if she tells you herself. Given her current state, I don't know if she will since she's not herself, so just be there for her." He looked away for a moment. "I...I can't do that for her right now."


"Huh? What do you mean?" Telk asked. "You and her were... well, close."


Conn debated whether or not to tell Beryl's brothers about that particular incident. "Things happened," he finally managed. "Things I don't thnk she or I are willing to talk about right now." He looked up at Telk and Teser. "Just please do as I ask. It'll be a great help to her."


Teser looked as if he were going to press the issue, but Telk silenced him with a look. "Yeah, we understand. Just let us know if there's anything else we can do."


"Thanks guys," Conn said sincerely. The twins patted him on the shoulder and made their way out of the bridge. Conn turned back to the ancient console and exhaled a slow, deep breath. He centered himself for a few moments, then set to work contacting Chandrila. The comm station, like the rest of the ship was definitely older than he was, but still serviceable. It took him a little while, but he managed to run a decent encryption program to mask his signal, since there was no telling who was listening out there in the vast reaches of space. He punched in the frequency for ChandraMed Forte and waited.


It only took a few seconds. The small holoprojector whirred and shot an image of a young, bored looking woman sitting at a reception desk onto the flat surface in front of him. "You've reached ChandraMed Forte this is Kirney how may I assist you?" she said, not pausing for a breath. Conn suspected that she probably said this line more times in one day than was healthy.


"Yes, this is Dr. Conway Harlowe," he started, introducing himself. "I was wondering if you could connect me to Dr. Hrakert in Pharmaceutical Research and Development?"


"One moment please." Another well-practiced line from Kirney, a few taps on her console. "I'm sorry, Dr. Hrakert retired from ChandraMed some time ago, Dr. Jalibinder is the new head of Pharmaceutical R&D. Unfortunately, he is not in today, so would you like to leave a message or be connected to someone in that division?"


"Connect me, please. Thank you."


"One moment please." The image of Kirney dissolved into static, then into a spinning projection of the ChandraMed Logo. Conn used this time to swear silently. Dr. Hrakert was an old friend of his and he'd been hoping that he could count on Dr. Hrakert for help. Working with someone new was probably going to be much more difficult.


The holoprojector buzzed, shifting his attention back. The logo dissipated and the image reformed itself into what appeared to be the back of someone's head. Conn arched an eyebrow. "Hello?"


The person whirled around and looked into the projector, revealing the face of a young, attractive woman. "Oh sorry, I was looking the wrong way," she apologized, brushing wisps of hair out of her face. "This is Noelle in Pharm R&D, how may I help you?"


Something in Conn's memory sparked. "Noelle? Noelle M'si?" he asked, recognizing her. "From Sienar Medical?"


Noelle squinted. "Dr. Harlowe? Is that you?"


Conn laughed lightly. "Yes Noelle, it's me. This is certainly a pleasant surprise."

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Jana wandered around the Endurance for a short time before determining her stomach wanted something more in it than what was there. She asked a passing crewman where the galley was and he grinned.


"Got a full kitchen," he bragged, gesturing the proper direction. Jana thanked him for his directions and headed off to find the kitchen. In the dining hall next to the kitchen, she found Beryl. Though she was a little uneasy at the sight of her old friend due to the Imperial tinkering, Jana thought it best to ignore that uneasiness unless something came up in which it was absolutely unavoidable.


"Hey, Beryl," she said cheerily. "How's the..." She paused, unsure if it was morning or evening... or how exactly time was to be measured on a ship. She decided on, "... morning?" as she had just recently been roused from sleeping.

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((Joint post with Rogue Nine. :)))


"I'll say," Noelle agreed, nodding at Conn's holographic visage. "How are you?"


"I've been better, but I've also been worse." Conn gave her a tired smile. "I see you're working for ChandraMed now. Did Sienar not work out?"


"It worked out fine, ChandraMed was just a better fit for me," Noelle replied. "Anyway, how can I help you, Doctor?"


Conn paused. He'd rehearsed his cover story a few times previously, intent on keeping his friend Dr. Hrakert in the dark and away from Imperial scrutiny. Noelle was a young, bright woman who had worked for him while they were both at Sienar Fleet Systems. Conn had liked her because she was intelligent and an extremely quick study, as well as friendly and helpful. He figured he could at least afford her the same protection. "I'm working for an independent scientific contractor, doing a bit of pharmaceutical research," he told her. "I wanted to contact my old friend Dr. Hrakert, as he and I both used to work at ChandraMed, to see if he could help me out with some of my findings. Since he's gone, perhaps you can help me?"


"I think I could, though I would have to get Dr. Jalibinder's approval first," Noelle said. "I'm not sure when he'll be back, however. Are you coming to Chandrila?"


"Yes, I intend on being there relatively soon."


Noelle brightened. "Well, in that case, when you're finally here, just swing by and I'll see if I can't give you a hand." She reached over and tapped a few keys. "I'm sending you my personal contact information, just in case."


"Thanks, Noelle," Conn said appreciatively.


"Anytime, Doctor," she replied. "Have a safe trip here."

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"Hey, Beryl," she said cheerily. "How's the..." She paused, unsure if it was morning or evening... or how exactly time was to be measured on a ship. She decided on, "... morning?" as she had just recently been roused from sleeping.


"Hey, Jana," Beryl greeted her friend right back, and then motioned for her to join her at the table. "Grab a seat. Better yet, grab some food, too. It's great. Sam's getting some and then she said she wanted to go to the gym after...."


Beryl suddenly stared at her plate, just now processing what Jana had said. "Crap, Jana, is it morning? Really? I should have ordered eggs. I like eggs." She shrugged and then continued eating her nuna. "Anyway, Sam and I were thinking of going to the gym after we eat, and if you want to come with us and work out or something, feel free."


She looked over at the kitchen. Sam was coming back to the table with food. "Uh-oh. Maybe I spoke too soon. I forgot." She grinned sardonically. "Jeez has given Sam the task of being my 'babysitter'. To keep me out of trouble. Or out of 'more' trouble, I should say."


"So," she leaned in closer to Jana, "before Sam gets here, I have to ask you something, and I probably should be a bit more tactful than I'm going to be, Jana, but I don't have the time. How the hell did Reibe get on the ship? Last I saw of her she had helped us escape from Vader. And what does she want?


"You don't have to answer now, 'cause like Sam's coming back and you don't know her very well, but I'd sure like to know." She gave Jana a plaintive but pleading type of look. "And," she lowered her voice even more, "I'd also like to know, sometime, not at this very moment, but just sometime, exactly when you decided you were a Force Sensitive and why you never told me about it? Not that I blame you, 'cause I didn't want to tell you I was one either, but... c'mon. I thought we were friends."


Sam was in earshot now.


"So, when we get to Chandrila, Jana, we're getting the use of one of my brother's corporate apartments. They're in a huge complex. Lots of bedrooms. Probably has a swimming pool. Definitely has a wet bar. And I suppose that we can decide later if we want maid service or not. All the modern conveniences so we'll be relaxed and rested when we go to make our plans to ruin the Empire's day." She grinned. "Cool, huh?"


((Btw, Beryl's stims are working great. ;) ))

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Shaking his head with a slight smile curling around his mouth at the sight of Nic caressing his gun, Jeez quickly downed the last of his drink. "Well, thanks for the drink, Captain. If you have anymore questions, I'll be around," Jeez stated as he set the small glass down on the nearby desk. Heading out into the Common Room on the Echo, Jeez looked around for a moment before he headed over to his quarters.


Getting inside, Cloud followed him and stood in the doorway. "So, what do you think, honestly?" Cloud asked.


"I don't know. I've never put much stock in Force Prophecies and whatnot," Jeez commented. Turning around to look at Cloud, he continued, "A Jedi concentrates on the here and now. We shouldn't dwell on the past or the future as it only serves to distract us."


"But what about just looking at the future? There's no harm done from a cursory glance, is there?" Cloud asked.


"No, not normally. You just have to remember that glances into the future are just that: glances. If you are granted sight into the future, you must not allow what you've seen to dictate your present. If it happens, then it happens. Otherwise, we can be prone to rash actions as we become locked up in a false sense of security or fear that the inevitable will occur. I can only hope that the Captain has the sense of mind to understand that."

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Nic walked into the endurance’s mess hall he walked over to the table Jana and Beryl were sitting at, he smiled at them both and held out his hand.


“Who wants to shake hands with number 4?” He asked.


“Number 4” Beryl asked confused.


“Of the Empires most wanted.” Nic replied putting his hand down and sitting down at the table with the two women. “While I was finding out our brothers are assigned to special operations within the Chandrillia system I checked the holonet. Me, Conn and Jeez are all on there.“ Nic threw a datapad on the table displaying the Ten most wanted people in the Galaxy along with the list of charges against them. “I think this could complicate things!”

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Sam appeared with her tray of food. "Am I on there?"


Beryl examined the list. "Erm... no. Don't see your name."


Sam frowned. "I should be on there," she said, sounding disappointed. But then she shrugged and went about organizing the food on her tray. "Salt?" she asked Beryl.


Still looking at the list, Beryl absently handed Sam a salt shaker. "I'm not on the list either," she said.


"You wouldn't be, sweetie," Sam replied, taking the salt from Beryl's hand. "You're still on active duty with the Imps. You'd be on a different list. The AWOL list," she added. "Or maybe an MIA list. They might not know that you left voluntarily."


"Hmm, well that would explain this charge of 'kidnapping and assault of an Imperial officer' next to Nic's name," Beryl said darkly, looking up at Nic. "But, yeah...you're right. This might put a crimp in our plans."


She handed the datapad back to him. "We'll be getting the use of an executive apartment once we land on Chandrila. No one is going to bother us there, so maybe Jana and I can scrounge up some fake ID for you guys. Otherwise, we'll have to do a bit of lateral thinking and get you all into ChandraMed through the back door.


"Conn was going to see if he could hook up with any old contacts of his still working at the facility. They might help us, too. In the meantime, we've got a couple hours to relax and think about it."


"We still going to the gym after we eat?" Sam asked.


"Media room, then gym," Beryl said. "Twenty minute rule."




"You're supposed to wait twenty minutes after you eat before you exercise."


"Oh. Health, health, health now, is it, sweetie? Did they teach you that at the Academy?"


Beryl frowned. "No. My mom told me that." Beryl nodded toward the kitchen. "Go get some food," she told Nic and Jana. "Relax a bit. It'll probably be the last time you get a sit-down real-food meal in the next few days."

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Nic did as Beryl suggested and got some food, it wasn’t great but better than what he had been fed while under imperial care (and better than anything Jana cooked). Nic looked a Beryl, she seemed a lot better than she had not that long ago back on the ship.


“You look good Beryl.” He stated with a reassuring smile, then looking at the datapad. “I’m only worth 500’000 Credit, it’s a little insulting… I mean I wanted for theft, sabotage, piracy and numerous murder charges, I should at least be a whole mil'.”

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“Thanks,” she replied to Nic, mouth half-full.


“I’m only worth 500,000 credits. It’s a little insulting… I mean I’m wanted for theft, sabotage, piracy and numerous murder charges. I should at least be a whole mil'.”


Her eyes on the datapad, Beryl pointed to it then swallowed what she had been chewing. "Don't forget kidnapping." She wiggled her brows at Nic. “Hey, I’ve got an idea. When we’re finished foiling the Empire’s evil plan to take over the civilised world with drugs, how about we collect your bounty? Oh, wait… Sorry. We already did that plan and it went horribly wrong. Nevermind.”


She gave Nic an inquiring look, then waved a hand across his face. “Hullo? Kidding!” She shook her head. “Look, bounty or not, we’ll sort something out when we get down to the surface. No one’s going to be looking for us here. Not on a Core world, and especially not here. I mean, who ever heard of wanted criminals coming to Chandrila to ‘lay low?’ It just doesn’t happen. Maybe on Coruscant, or even Corellia, but not on dreamy, agro-centric, artsy-fartsy Chandrila.


“Besides, it’s only really you and Conn we have to worry about. Jeez can pass for a clone.”


She looked over at Sam's plate, and pointed her fork at what looked to be a spiced sweet roll that Sam hadn't touched yet. "Erm, you gonna eat that?"


Sam looked at the roll, then looked at Beryl, then shrugged.


Beryl stabbed the roll with her fork. "I love these," she said, biting into it. "For some reason, I feel like I'm starving today."

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"Huh," Conn said, looking at the datapad in his hand as he rode the old, rumbling lift down to the mess hall. He was looking over the contact and credential information that Noelle had sent over to him and he couldn't believe his good fortune. She had been one of his assistants during his stint at Sienar Fleet Systems and despite the short time they had worked together, Conn had recognized the skills and abilities the young woman had displayed, often noticing minute details and coming up with rather accurate diagnoses. To have her working for ChandraMed Forte was definitely going to make their mission quite a bit easier.


He shoved the datapad into his pant pocket as he entered the mess hall. Almost immediately, he spotted Nic, Sam and Beryl over across the way. As he approached, he saw Beryl look over at Nic and say, "Besides, it’s only really you and Conn we have to worry about. Jeez can pass for a clone."


Grabbing a pack of nerfmilk off a nearby counter, Conn walked over to his crewmates. "Why do we need to worry about me and the captain?" he asked.

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“Take a look for yourself Number six.” Nic replied pushing a couple of buttons on the data pad to bring up the doctors Imperial Bounty sheet. As well as his image name and other personal details of Conn’s it also had a list of his charges including Aiding and abetting a Jedi Fugitive, theft from an Imperial Prison, aiding convicted criminals in escaping incarceration and several bogus charges. The sheet also flashed his current worth of 475000 credits and he was required alive. Nic held the sheet over his shoulder for Conn to take. “I’m worth more than you.” He said as if it was something he was truly proud of.

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