Era of Rebellion - Navigation

D. Wade Hyde and Christopher Levy.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:9:5) in the Essesia system: Esseles.
El-Nay Darr, Kerrie Kiley, Tosha Previn, Lord Marcus Rodney, Tycho Starlight, and Major Min Traebor.

Kerrie Kiley found herself in the mountains of Esseles' northernmost continent. It was cold ... nearly freezing ... and the wind was beginning to stir, causing the sound similar to a beast howling to fill the sky. From her perch she was overlooking the valley below where El-Nay had agreed to turn over the Nerf Herder to Imperial Intelligence. She had a commanding view of the terrain, but so far had not seen a trace of activity either with her eyes or her scanners. She did not trust Imperial Intelligence ... particularly not Major Traebor ... but she did believe they wanted the Nerf Herder badly enough to allow El-Nay to walk away unharmed. She was wearing a black suit of armorweave fashioned in the style of the Mabari ... an ancient warrior sect from her home planet of Zolan that had expelled her. The top of the helmet contained a targeting scanner that was descended over her eyes, allowing her to have a better view of the valley below, and a simple cloth mask covered her face to prevent identification by the surveillance the Empire was almost certainly intended to take. She was holding a longrifle ... a slugthrower ... from which she could easily snipe down below and whose projectiles would have no problem penetrating Stormtrooper armor. She did not talk very much to Tycho as she knew her comment about him 'loving' El-Nay had caused problems between the two. Her mind was solely focused on making sure the three of them walked out of there alive.

It was as cold as a Tauntaun's balls and Tycho wanted to be anywhere but there. It was not an option, however. They were there by necessity, to get the Imperials off their backs, and there was no way to do that but hand over Marcus. He didn't like it, but he was a pragmatist first and foremost. He and Kerrie had arrived well over an hour early and had found themselves positions on opposite sides of the valley, taking their individual, sheltered crags to hide upon. Unlike her, he had not chosen a slugthrower, but his trusty DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle. It was a monster and even without the heavy modifications, it was rated for sniping at this range. Not only that, he had been trained for this sort of long-range marksmanship, so he was confident in his ability to assassinate targets at this range. "No sign of them," he said to Kerrie, his tone all business. He was not happy with the woman at all, but that had nothing to do with this moment. He wouldn't let it affect the situation. He was on the job. He kept his gun on its tripod and aimed at the valley floor, while he used his macrobinoculars to watch the higher elevations. He reached out with his senses as he took a deep, focusing breath. Eyes closed, he stretched out his feelings as far as he could, yet felt no one but Marcus, El-Nay, and Kerrie.

Marcus Rodney stood in the center of the valley, his black suit of armor standing in sharp contrast to the white snow. His hands had been bound and were extended out in front of him ... if only for appearance sake. He thought it was 'cute' that Kerrie and Tycho were watching over El-Nay, but given his personal history with Intel and the Black Sun he did not expect them to trouble the girl. As for himself ... he had escaped before and was confident he could escape again. If he wanted him dead he would already be dead, he thought to himself as another gust of breeze swept against him. "Since this may be the last time that you and I get to speak, I have to ask," he began, as he shifted his attention to El-Nay Darr. "Wouldn't you prefer something more camouflaged or inconspicuous than orange as the color of your armor?" he asked, as his eyes ran over her suit of orange painted Mandalorian armor that seemed to stand out more against the white snow than at any point before he had seen it.

"It's one thing to see me coming ... it's another to do something about it," El-Nay Darr said confidently, as she turned her helmet to look at Marcus. The young, petite Mandalorian had changed much since their battle on Delaya, and there was little fear in her as she awaited their arrival. She had taken the time to carefully repaint her armor and repair her jetpack so that she would be in perfect shape for this encounter should danger arise. The orange plates of Mandalorian iron, called beskar in her native tongue, did much to conceal her small frame and feminine features, giving her the confidence to work in a field often dominated by men who were naturally larger. She had a firm grip on Marcus' arm, with her DT-57 heavy blaster pistol drawn and pointed at him for the sake of appearance as well.

The sound of an engine could be heard as a Sentinel-class landing craft approached the valley where the duo waited. As the landing craft descended it performed a low altitude scan of the area and only detected El-Nay Darr and the Nerf Herder. Content, the vessel began to complete its descent, spinning around and touching down with its rear in front of the pair. Almost immediately after the ramp was lowered an entire platoon of 36 Imperial Snowtroopers emerged and quickly surrounded El-Nay and the Nerf Herder ... most were armed with conventional E-11 blaster rifles but a few were equipped with heavier T-21s. Two troopers began work on hastily setting up a portable E-Web that would be quickly trained on the bounty hunters. When the formalities were complete Major Min Traebor finally descended the ramp, looking resplendent in her olive-grey Imperial uniform. She frowned slightly when her polished leather boots made first contact with the snow, sinking into it slightly ... they would need another shine. "We were taking bets as to whether or not you would actually succeed in capturing the Nerf Herder," she said, as she slowly made her way towards them, each footfall causing the crack of snow and ice beneath her. "Personally I lost money, but the delivery of the Nerf Herder more than makes up for it," she said with a smirk, as her attention turned towards the man. "You thought you could get away. You silly, silly man," she said, before motioning for the troopers to take him away from El-Nay.

Next from the shuttle came Tosha Previn, the Black Sun agent who had sent the entire series of events on motion. She would not allow her delicately crafted and fashionable shoes become wet in the snow and therefore had a couple of thugs carry her on a chair towards the gathering. She was dressed in a relatively elegant blue dress, which was accented with fur ... it did not keep her warm, but she looked fabulous and that was the entire point. "Why is it we always find ourselves in these situations?" she asked everyone gathered, as her chair was lowered to the ground in front of them. "I really am so very tired of dealing with you in such a way, Marcus. You should know by now ... we are not people you just walk away from," she said, as the assemblage of goons she had brought with her moved to assist the troopers in dealing with Marcus.

Marcus found himself forced to his knees by the combination of Snowtroopers and Black Sun thugs, planting his legs in the snow below. Fortunately his suit of armor was insulated for the climate and it produced no ill effects. His helmet was quickly ripped from his head revealing his finely polished noble face and softly curled dark hair. He looked up at them with his brown eyes, offering the gentlest of smiles. "While I enjoyed my experiences with you two lovely ladies ... I simply had to get home. Left the refresher on, you see," he said, laughing slightly, as it was his nature to make a joke in even the most stressful of situations.

Min quickly slapped Marcus' across the face the moment he made that insolent little remark, causing his head to snap to the side and a trail of blood to begin to flow from the corner of his lip. "You have been naughty, Marcus," she said, before instructing one of the Snowtroopers to use the butt of his E-11 to bash him in the back of his skull, which caused him to fall face first into the snow. Min then knelt down next to the man, putting her hand on the back of his head and rubbing his face into the snow. "What did you do with the girl, traitor?" she asked, after releasing her hand and giving him a moment to speak.

"What girl?" Marcus replied, taking a moment to take a couple of quick breaths when his face was allowed to move away from the snow. The back of his head was killing him and the contact with the sub-zero surface was threatening to give him frostbite. For once he had no idea what they were talking about. Was it El-Nay? But then he realized the horrible truth of what it was they were after and a sense of dread came over him. What had El-Nay done? Had she told them? Not knowing he chose simply to keep silent.

"What girl?" Min asked, before looking up at everyone else, laughing angrily at his question. "Can you believe this guy?" she asked Tosha, before a booted foot made contact with the back of his head, slamming his face into the ground. She then dropped her body next to his, placing her ruby red lips almost directly against his ear. "Your niece, asshole. Where is Jelena?" she screamed, almost at the top of her lungs, directly into him. "Your color coordinated sidekick told us you had her. She also told us you didn't deliver her," she continued, as she rose up and moved away from his body. "I'm going to give you a chance to tell me. And when you don't answer I'm going to take these troopers and head straight for Delaya and ask your mother!" she screamed at the top of her lungs, throwing an impassioned tantrum in front of all of them.

"Oh. Are you still here? You can go now," Tosha said dismissively to El-Nay Darr, having forgotten she was there with the excitement of watching Min beat Marcus. Her left hand moved to wave at the girl, as if shooing away some pest. Her eyes never moved to look at her as she did not want to miss a moment of the beating. She would have gotten in on the action if she did not want to keep her clothes immaculate. "The groin, Min. Work the groin..." she suggested, as she reached into her purse and pulled out an ornate flask that she took a stiff drink from.

El-Nay watched beneath her helmet at the beating that was being administered on Marcus. He was a strong man and he could take it, she convinced herself, but after a few moments she could not bear to look at angled her helmet away. When she heard that they were after the girl this all seemed to make sense to her now and she began piecing the puzzle together that had let them here. If only she had not reported his actions to the Empire she thought in bitter silence to herself ... her greed and desire to claim the bounty had caused all of this. She turned on her feet when she was dismissed by Tosha and began walking silently away from the scene. She had done it ... she had successfully delivered the bounty and had been allowed to leave unimpeded. But when she got about twenty meters away and heard them threaten his mother she stopped dead in her tracks and froze in her tracks. This was not honorable, was all that she could think to herself as she stood there silently with her eyes closed.

Considering the way Tycho had felt about Marcus only a short while ago, he found himself surprised; he didn't enjoy what was going on. No, he felt bad for the man. He didn't wish this on anyone that he could think of at the moment. The Imperials were bad enough, but Black Sun knew how to hurt people and handing a man over to both of them felt wrong, plain and simple. Pragmatist that he was, however, he told himself that there was no other way. "Okay ... good," he said through the comm in his helmet. "Just keep moving, El-Nay. We're done here." And just a moment later came the threat against Marcus' mother. He didn't hear it, but he saw El-Nay's reaction as she stopped dead. "El-Nay ... what the hell are you doing? Keep moving to the rendezvous." He didn't like deviating from the plan. He had been keeping his rifle trained on Tosha, the smartass bitch he'd desperately been wanting to kill, but he was smart enough to keep himself in line.

Major Traebor stopped her relentless onslaught against Marcus when her comlink began to beep. Over the comm came a report that they had detected a transmission somewhere in the vicinity, but they had not yet been able to narrow the location. "It's a trap!" she yelled to all involved, before shifting her focus down to the bounty hunter once again. "Your new Rebel friends?" she asked, before once again slamming her foot against the back of her head once more for good measure. With that, she gave an angry distant stare into the mountains, before heading back towards the landing craft. "Tosha, come. Bring what's left of him aboard the landing craft. We're leaving," she ordered, before hastily moving up the ramp.

Tosha was not nearly as concerned as Min, as she did not have a full idea of the situation. But when she saw her compatriot leave she quickly ordered herself to be moved back onto the shuttle. She was too distracted to notice that the Mandalorian had stopped, and focused instead on getting the last drops of alcohol from the bottom of her flask. "Let's take this show on the road," she said, in a pun, as she was carried away to the presumed safety of the shuttle.

The Snowtroopers grabbed the unconscious body of Marcus and began carrying him towards the shuttle after the two debutantes. "I'm sorry," El-Nay said, but not to Marcus, instead she was speaking over to the comlink to Tycho and Kerrie. She then turned on her booted feet slowly and stared down the larger Snowtroopers from beneath her helmet. "Put. Him. Down," she ordered in a slow deliberate manner, before raising her heavy blaster pistol at the first Snowtrooper. When they stopped, wondering what the foolish young woman was doing, she began to methodically move towards them. "Drop him!" she yelled again, before snapping back on the trigger of her DT-57 that unleashed a deadly bolt of energy at the first trooper ... dropping him to the snow below. Good job El-Nay, she thought to himself ... there were only 35 to go.

Tycho hadn't expected them to so easily intercept the signal, but everything still would have been fine. If only El-Nay had kept leaving. He goggled down at them in disbelief as El-Nay advanced and killed the first Snowtrooper. "Fuck!" He blurted out, instinctively. He had no time to admonish the Mandalorian *girl*. Instead, he took aim at the target he most wanted to kill. He fired off a shot, and the blaster bolt meant for Tosha Previn *just* missed. Moving as she was, bumping around as she was carried, and partially shielded by the back of her little 'throne', his shot instead found purchase on one of the men carrying her. There was a cry that was too far for him to hear, and the man collapsed, a smoking hole through his torso. In his absence, the others carrying Tosha lost purchase and fell, dumping the Black Sun agent in the snow. Tycho didn't stop there. He continued laying down shots at Tosha, downing more of her men with precise shots. His line of sight to her was blocked, but he had her pinned down for the moment. "Stick your head out, bitch, gimme a shot..."

Kerrie could not believe that El-Nay had done, but in a way she was proud of the girl and she had shown herself just then. It would be a death, but an honorable one, she thought to herself before looking through her targeting scanners to lock onto one of the Snowtroopers. She had one squarely in her shots and without hesitation pulled back on the trigger unleashing a projectile that quickly descended the mountain and impacted the helmet. The Snowtrooper fell to the ground, his blood freezing almost instantly as it made contact with the permafrost below. She moved target to target attempting to take out at least a few of the troopers, but she knew from experience that the numbers were just too much.

As the sniper fire began to rain down in support, El-Nay began firing wildly with her DT-57 with the aid of her targeting scanner. A few of her shots hit, but since she was right in the middle of all of the action with no cover, there was little she could do to avoid the return fire. She activated her jetpack almost immediately after the fight broke out so that she could gain some altitude in the fight, but a rapid onslaught of concentrated E-11 blaster fire proved to be too much for her. One of the blasts impacted her chestplate, causing an immense amount of pain that very nearly broke her sternum. A second blast impacted the rear of her jetpack causing her to unceremoniously crash to the ground in a heap. "Oof," she groaned as she landed hard, face first into the embankment. "Kyr'am ti ijaa!" she said from beneath her helmet, as she reached for her belt to produce a frag grenade. She took only a moment to prime it, before throwing it as a trio of Snowtroopers that were advancing on her position. While they exploded another group was approaching and blasted her weapon right out of her hand, causing her to recoil it in agony. "Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum," she said over to the comm to Tycho, before closing her eyes and mentally preparing to cross over as the troopers surrounded her.

"Shut up and withdraw, Mandalorian!" He shouted, in a commanding tone. He didn't say 'run'. That wouldn't be acceptable, but a tactical retreat was. It didn't matter, she wasn't listening one bit. "Damn it all!" He changed his aim, instead sighting down on Snowtroopers attacking the Mandalorian girl. Tycho dropped three of them quickly, and with impressive precision. It wasn't enough, though. As fire from below pelted the ridge around him, he had to scoot back out of the way. Meanwhile, El-Nay was taking her last breaths. No ... no, he couldn't let that happen. But what was he to do. He began to shake with frustration, his breaths coming more rapidly as he felt fear, a palpable, horrible fear. Then, he realized it wasn't him shaking so violently. The ground beneath him was shaking, his eyes widened as the earth trembled and the shots from below stopped abruptly. He stood to look over the ridge and saw the Snowtroopers staring up at the trembling ridge, as pebbles and snow powder began to unsettle and drift down the slope. He was causing this, he realized. He could feel it. He could feel all those lives below him. He could feel the ridge, the rocks, the brush, even the snow. The Force lived in all of it. It was an energy that flowed through all things. "Stars above!" He exclaimed, as he realized fully just what this power was. It was *everywhere*. He raised his hands, an imposing figure on the ridge high above, and concentrated on what he was feeling. The fear, the rage, the sheer exultation that came with the power he was wielding. Then, he thrust out his hands with all the force of his will he could manage. There was a sudden lurch of the ground and he collapsed, losing his footing. The side of the slope just rolled down into the valley below, an avalanche of snow rushing down to bury them.

The massive wave of snow descended the mountain rapidly, burying El-Nay, Marcus, the and the Snowtroopers in one unrelenting onslaught of snow and ice. The Sentinel class landing craft attempted to lift off, but the sudden avalanche of snow surged into the engines and caused it to stall, before it too was buried. When the rumble eventually subsided there was nothing but a smooth top layer of snow that made it appear that nothing had ever been there. Nature's way of turning itself over and renewing the landscape.

Kerrie stood silently as she watched Tycho's display of power, slowly backing away from him in a state of horror. She had worked closely enough with the Inquisitorius to know where his power had come from and it frightened her. "Who are you..." she said, trembling, as she looked at him. She knew now that the Empire would stop at nothing to find him and what had been done here today would have lasting implications on all of their lives. Before she could wait for an answer, she realized that time was wasting, and she began to slide down the mountain on her blast skirt. "The one time I wish I could see her orange armor," she muttered, as she ripped her helmet off her head and frantically began using it as a shovel to dig at the quickly hardening snow. "Help me, damn it," she yelled at Tycho, as she aimlessly dug in every direction, having no idea where to even begin.

Tycho stared at Kerrie in trepidation, realizing that he had shown her what he was capable of. Yet he was not just disturbed by that, but also the fact that he had just realized himself what he was capable of. He looked at his shaking hands for a moment, but then he saw her sliding down the hill, trying desperately to find El-Nay. He snapped back to the moment and snatched up his DLT-19 rifle, and began to slide down the hill on his ass. He landed on the soft snow below and rolled to a halt a good ten meters from Kerrie. "Not there!" He said, instinctively knowing it to be true. He paused for a moment, oriented himself, then pointed, "Over there! Get Marcus before he suffocates! I've got El-Nay!" With the soft powder, he found himself wishing he had snowshoes. He half crawled, half ran, scrambling his way across the snow to the spot where he knew El-Nay to be. There, he began to dig, hauling snow out of the way with his hands as quickly as he could. He soon found her orange painted helmet and kept digging around it until he found a hand. He snatched her up by the hand and forearm and started hauling her up out of the heavy snow, reaching down for her belt as more of her emerged. He pulled her out as much as he could until she was piled beside him in a little hole in the snow. "El-Nay? El-Nay? Are you okay?"

Kerrie listened to Tycho's instructions on where to dig for Marcus, trusting his instincts now that she had a good understanding of where they had come from. She moved to the area and began to hurriedly dig, scooping each clump of snow out with the interior of her helmet. After some effort his back came into view and she began to dig him out. All she could think about was Tycho and the realization of what he was. Rather than look down at what she was digging, she instead kept a watchful gaze on the Force sensitive ... she no longer trusted him.

Marcus took a few desperate gasps of air as the snow was removed from his fallen body. He coughed up some water, having attempted to breath unsuccessfully while buried in the snow. "Well, that was lucky!" he said, commenting on the avalanche, as he began to dust himself off of the snow. "So the kid just couldn't live without me, huh? I have that effect on women ... well not you, Kerrie, but I'm not sure you count," he told her, with a smile, as he offered her hand in the hopes that she would help up ... she did not. "Any hot chocolate?" he asked, as he began to work himself back up onto his feet. His hand came to the back of his head, which had been badly beaten, perhaps causing a concussion. "I need to get home to safeguard my family now that they have been threatened. Are you alright?" he asked, while bending down to recover his helmet.

El-Nay looked up at Tycho from beneath her helmet having no understanding of what had happened. "Tycho ... what happened? Did you guys detonate a thermal detonator to cause the avalanche?" she asked him, as she tried her best to sit up. Her chest hurt and her hand was burned, but for the most part she was all right ... by her standards she was relatively unscathed. She began to stand up in the loosely powdered snow, the heavy Mandalorian iron of the boots weighing her down with each awkward step.

Tycho kept an arm around her, throwing her arm over his shoulder to hold onto her. Getting through the snow was a real pain in the ass and they fell a few times as they slogged through it, him helping her along. "Almost there," he grunted, until they finally came out on harder-packed snow. He met Kerrie there and looked back to see a few people slowly digging themselves out. He knew that most of them would die in the snow, and he hoped that Min and Tosha would be among them. "Come on, we need to get to the ship and get out of here," he told them all, and began to hustle.

When they were at the rendezvous point Marcus turned his attention to the young El-Nay. "What you did back there was very foolish, but also very brave," he said, in a genuine manner, without even so much as a hint of humor. "It has been explained to me the pain my actions caused and I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am. I will never forget what you did for me this day," he said, before offering a sideways glance to Tycho. He reached forward removing her orange helmet so that he could get one last look at her young face. His hand lingered on the side of her face before he lowered his head and placed a brief kiss upon her cheek to say goodbye. "If you ever need my help ... you know where to find me, but unfortunately so do they ... so I must bid farewell," and with that the helmet came quickly down upon his head and he turned to move towards his waiting transport.

"Wait!" Tycho said. He'd watched his show of affection toward El-Nay, but it didn't anger him. He pulled off his helmet and smiled at the Nerf Herder. He reached out and clasped Marcus' hand. "Good luck... friend. Take care of yourself." After a nod, he released the man's hand and watched him go. "We need to follow suit and get out of here," he told the ladies.

"I can't go with you," Kerrie said, with some sadness, as she looked towards El-Nay Darr. She knew that to associate with Tycho would bring her at odds with the Empire and cause her to fail in her primary duty to protect the Grand Moff and his family. She did not reveal to El-Nay the reason for her decision, but she could feel the emotions begin to well up in her as this time she really felt as if she was saying the final goodbye.

El-Nay was still recovering from the affection shown by Marcus when Kerrie said that she was not going with them. "What do you mean?" she asked, in a panic, as she moved closer towards her. "We have to get out of here. You need to come with us!" she implored, looking directly into her own with her steely gray eyes. The woman had meant everything to her and she did not want to lose their body now that she had reconnected after so long. The flow of emotions nearly threatened to break the unstable young Mandalorian.

"My duty is to the governor, El-Nay," Kerrie said, her voice trembling, and although she was a strong fighter she could not defeat the onrush of tears that soon began to flow. "You have proven yourself to me, El-Nay. I do not have to look after you anymore ... no one does," she said, her eyes slowly moving towards Tycho with added emphasis on the last three words. "You have brought honor to yourself, your family, and your clan. I will tell your father what I have seen you become," she said, before moving forward to wrap both of her arms around the young woman. She held her in a firm embrace for several long moments, before she pulled her head back slightly and gave her a kiss. "Now I need you to do something for me, El-Nay. I need you to shoot me so that when the Empire finds me they don't think I was part of this," she said, as she grabbed hold of El-Nay's DT-57 and raised at her own midsection.

Tycho did not miss the fact that those words were thrown at him. He said nothing, though he already knew what she was telling him, he thought. He already knew that El-Nay didn't need him to take care of her. She didn't need him to shield her and treat her like a kid. And Tycho agreed completely. The one thing that he disagreed on was that she did deserve to have his protection... and she would protect him too. It was one thing to take care of someone as he had been doing, and taking care of someone as an equal who cared about the other. He had learned that lesson, and he simply gave her a serious nod. As far as getting shot, he nodded to El-Nay. "You need to do it. Just aim for the shoulder... not the gut or chest. There's always a chance that it'll go bad."

"No," El-Nay said, shaking her head back and forth violently, as her own tears began to fly. "No. I don't want to lose you again," she pleaded, looking for Tycho for help, but only finding him in agreement with her. She closed her eyes and began taking slow, deliberate breaths as her hand curled around the handle of the blaster. Her index finger hovered over the trigger, but she just could not do it. Only when Kerrie yelled at her one more time was she able to find the strength to do it. "Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum, ori'vod," she said, just before she pulled back on the trigger.

The blaster bolt impacted at point blank range causing Kerrie to let out a sharp groan of pain before falling to the ground below. By the time she impacted she had broken her concentration and reverted to her natural Clawdite appearance. Gone was the carefully studied human female apprentice and in its place was the grey reptilian skin that she fought so hard to hide from the rest of the galaxy. There were a few more breaths before she gradually lost consciousness, but she was still breathing ... still alive.

"Get me the hell out of here, Tycho," a disgusted El-Nay said to him, as she placed her helmet back on her head. It was a security blanket of sorts and once it was snugly fastened she felt less sadness, less fear, but the emotions of the day would always be with her. She knelt down briefly next to Kerrie's body to place a loving hand to the side of her face, before swiftly turning to lead Tycho to the ship. She wanted to get as far from this place as was possible for them.

Tycho was quite in agreement with that, but he needed to know something. He needed to be sure. Once El-Nay turned and walked away, he knelt beside Kerrie and put a hand on the healthy shoulder. "I like you, believe it or not, Kerrie," he said, respect noticeable on his features, along with a hint of anxiety. "Please, tell me that you won't tell anyone what you just saw me do."

Weakly, Kerrie looked at him with her true eyes ... large, alien, so foreign from what he had seen for almost the entirety of their time together. "Do you *cough* think they don't *cough* know?" she asked, struggling to take in air as she dealt with the pain from the blaster bolt. "Someone far *cough* far worse will be com-*cough*-coming for you now. *cough* Now get her out of here," she demanded, before rolling onto her side to shield her face from him. It unnerved her for someone to see this side of her. She had done her best to convince herself that she was not this creature he was casting his eyes upon, but she did not have the strength to change her shape.

Tycho could feel a chill run up his spine as a wave of foreboding came over him. He didn't move away from Kerrie, feeling that he had more to say. He could also feel fear radiating off of her, though he wasn't sure why. Then again... he had seen the way she looked at him earlier. He looked around the field of battle and wondered... how much *did* they know? It was a truly chilling thought. "Hey... you were right about me, by the way," he said. "I think I do feel that way about her. The way you said. I'll try to find a way to tell her." He stood and donned his helmet again. "Oh, and Kerrie... you shouldn't be ashamed of who you are." He turned and hurried after El-Nay.

After what seemed like forever the Sentinel-class landing craft began to become exposed as a team worked to respond to the emergency transmission. Tosha had managed to avoid Tycho's torrent of blaster fire, but her litter bearers had unfortunately perished. She had picked them for reasons of a certain physical quality that measured them beyond their peers. They would be difficult to replace, but she would certainly enjoy the hunt. The alcohol she had kept her warm, but she was troubled by what had happened to them. Usually they were the ones dishing out the punishment ... not the ones taking it. "So what now? Off to Delaya to murder the entire family?" she asked, holding the flask above her lips and hitting it as hard as she could to empty the last drop. "And what caused that avalanche?" she asked, the irony that it might have also saved her life was not lost on her.

"The Nerf Herder is no longer of any concern. Let him return to his home and deal with the shattered remains of that pathetic Alderaan," Min said coldly, not even bothering to offer a glimpse in Tosha's direction. She sat there for a moment, brooding, as she considered what had happened and there was only one conclusion that she could draw. She reached down to pick up a datapad and brought up the images of Tycho Starlight she had taken from the numerous encounters they had with the man. "A Jedi," was all she said to the woman, her cold eyes glaring at the image, before she angrily threw it to the ground, shattering it in countless pieces causing the image of the man to flicker away.

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