Era of Rebellion - Navigation


Michelle Green and Christopher Levy.

Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:10:32) in the Y'Toub system: Kima and Nal Hutta (Derba the Hutt's palace).
Reg Collingwood, Derba the Hutt (death), and Oola Dulovic.

The Nella 342 light freighter Kima emerged in hyperspace as their deadline to deliver a double shipment of spice to Derba the Hutt neared an end. Reg Collingwood found himself at the controls of the freighter, his eyes more focused on the countdown clock than on the viewport in front of him. "This is going to be close. Make sure you're strapped in," he said to her, as he shifted in his chair to ensure his harness was strapped in tight. Almost immediately after exiting hyperspace, he angled the bow of his ship towards the distant green orb or Nal Hutta and increased the sublight engines to full. "If we don't make this I'm going to be pissed. To come this far and not make it..." he muttered more to himself than Oola, as he entered the heavy lanes of traffic that surrounded the bustling Y'toub system. He entered the atmosphere of Nal Hutta without slowing the sublight engines, causing the small freighter to shake violently as they descended through the upper atmosphere of the planet. Gradually they emerged from the cloud layer and the desolate waste that formed the surface of the planet came to full view. Unfortunately, he was coming in too hot, and despite his best efforts to decelerate and pull up ... they were not going to make it. The belly of the freighter connected with the surface of the planet, launching them momentarily back into the air. They landed again roughly, then bounced back into the air three times, before sliding forward across the surface. When they came to a stop, Reg was forced forward into the controls panels and then slammed back, despite the best efforts of his hanness. Derba the Hutt's palace was just on the horizon, but they had less than a half hour left.

Sitting in the seat next to Reg Oola had already made sure she was well beyond ready, she hated sitting in the front though in time she slowly started to get use to it, the downside though was when they exited hyperspace was the reaction her body had. It felt as if she was going to be sick, her stomach was tossed about, and didn't help it hurt her ears each time they entered and exited. Oola was nothing like a human that was for sure and her hearing was by far more superior to his, so every little sound the ship made, every creek, every thunk she could hear and it was amplified for her. Taking deep breath Oola tried to steady her racing heart in her breast as she started to mutter once more, she looked out as she noticed things started to turn south for them. Once the ship had crashed the first time onto the planet the slender Amaran was slammed forward luckily her harness stopped her from going more than a foot but the downside was it slammed her back into her chair hard causing her to gasp. Her harness pinned her tight against the seat as the ship continued to skip against the planet's surface like a pebble on a lake's-
top, thought they did not cause ripples and it was not smooth for either of them. The straps around Oola's sides squeezed her tight as she tried to hold on to the arms of the chair, her body bounced hard, she felt one of her ribs break as she cried out in pain but bit down on her bottom lip to mask it the best she could. Reg was in more trouble as it was and if he found out she was hurt it would only make things even worse for him at this point, feeling the ship stop Oola gasped loudly as her head hit the back of her chair. She couldn't feel anything in her body, there was a high pitched ring in her ears, she looked around her slowly couching lightly, the pain from her rib made it hard for her to catch her breath but she did her best to push thought.

Shaking her head she looked over at Reg as she sighed "Let's not do that again please."She said softly looking at him exhausted, unstrapping herself from the harness she slowly leaned forward wrapping her arms around her side wincing as her eyes closed tight, her ears pinned down and her tail flared out behind her as the pain traveled from the tips of her toes to the tips of her ears even. "Dammit!" She snarled shutting her eyes tight. "Please tell me we're almost done with this shit so we can get off this crap hole and some place better." She asked looking at Reg gasping lightly. Slowly she stood up on her trembling legs and moved over to him, carefully and slowly she placed him against his chair looking over him to see how bad he was hurt. "How many tails do you see?" She asked as her long tail moved in front of him and stayed still so she didn't' cause any blurred vision for him. Her soft fingers lightly brushed against his cheeks as she looked into his eyes making sure they were responding correctly. "I'm no medic but I know a thing or two about make sure someone's okay, and if you hear a ringing it's alright it will go away." Oola said softly as she kissed Reg's lips softly. "As long as you're in once piece that's all that matter to me." She said smirking a little while unstrapping him from his harness.

It took Reg a few moments to regain his composure, and at first glance it looked as if there were three tails in front of his face. Eventually he focused on the middle one, and the three eventually blurred into one and he could see again. As the ship was directly on the surface without the landing gear down, they would not be able to use the ramp ... that would be a problem. He took a moment before raising from his seat, savoring her touch, before he moved swiftly back towards the cargo hold. He was appreciative of the care she was offering him, but every second he waited now brought them closer towards their doom. "Shit," he cursed, as he saw that it would be impossible to get the cargo out through the ramp ... Derba's people would have to cut into the hull. He reached up, opening an emergency escape hatch on the dorsal hull, and took hold of Oola, as they ascended up onto the top of the ship. Carefully they moved towards the edge of the ship, and he nervously looked down towards the ground. They were about fifteen feet up. "We're going to have to jump he said," before taking her hand, and then jumping forward off the freighter onto the ground. He landed awkwardly, rolling his left ankle, before landing in a heap. Derba's people were already on hand following the crash to see what the commotion was, and the lead thug was standing in front of the fallen Reg with his usual team of load lifter droids.

Each step and movement Oola made caused her more and more pain to shoot within her body, she held her breath while making her way to the top of the ship's outer haul and looked around, the air was dry and hot making it hard for her to breath. She still had an arm wrapped around her side, her body was hunched over as she heard Reg say they were going to have to jump. Looking over the side Oola's green hues open wide as she swallowed the lump in her throat, there was no other way down. Knowing that she nodded her head and took a deep shaky breath in before she jumped with Reg off the top into the sand, feeling her body hit what one would think was soft earth indeed was not! She screamed loudly in pain whimpering in extreme pain Oola's slender body curled up into a ball in the sand, she held on tight to Reg's hand thought as she shut her eyes tight shaking hard. The pain was intense causing her slowly fade in and out with everything going on around her, she seen the Hutt's men in the distance but when her eyes closed and opened they were closer, this happened several times till they were already at the crashed ship. Laying on her side she looked at Reg gasping, her breathing was raspy as her eyelids closed slowly, softly she spoke to him "I think I might need a doctor." She said before passing out, her body limp next to his as her grasp around his hand loosened.

Reg looked up at the Barabel enforcer that was towering over him, and weakly motioned toward the downed freighter. "Spice is in the cargo hold. Cut into the ship to get it out. Do whatever you have to in order to get it to Derba," he said, before rising slightly to sit up, and check on his increasingly swollen and discolored ankle. It was only then that he noticed the even worse shape that Oola was in, and he began to panic. "Oh no!" he cried out, as he moved over towards her, rolling her onto her back so that he could get a look at her. "Oola!" he yelled, as loud as he could manage, right in her face, as he attempted to wake her. There just wasn't any time ... part of him thought he should leave her here in case her injuries were severe, but another part of him did not trust Derba's thugs around the unconscious woman. Taking a chance, he hoisted her over his shoulder in a fireman's carry, but the added weight to his ankle caused his leg to buckle, and he dropped to one knee. "This is never going to work..." he muttered, before beckoning over one of the CLL-8 binary load lifters. Once it arrived, he placed Oola onto one of the lifts, before taking a seat on the other. The droid slowly began moving towards Derba's palace, but by the look of his chronometer they were not going to make it.

Eventually, the droid did it make to Derba's palace, but was not authorized to enter the throne room, which forced Reg back onto one leg. He did his best to carry her over his shoulder, but each step was pure agony, and he was slowing down so much they had now gone over their deadline. The few meters down the corridor felt like kilometers now, and when he finally made it into the presence of Derba, he reached for the first drink he saw, and hurriedly gulped it down. Unfortunately for him, it was a rather strong, unpleasant drink, and just made him more thirsty than when he started. Having no choice, he allowed Oola to gently descend from his shoulder, and lay her upon the ground, before he bowed to the vile Hutt crime lord. "Derba..." he said, panting, nearly out of breath, and having to stop to wipe the sweat that had formed on his forehead. "Derba ... I made it. I got you your spice," he said, before falling forward next to the unconscious Amaran.

Derba the Hutt did not look pleased, as the Human and the Amaran were a full five minutes late into his throne room. More than that, the crash landing meant it would take three times as long to unload the spice from the freighter. "You are late!" the Hutt chastised them, through the use of his protocol droid interpreter. "You have failed!" the protocol droid repeated, as an assortment of alien thugs began to close in on their position, with intimidating melee weapons at the ready. "You know the penalty," the Hutt continued, as the guards began to jab at the two battered individuals with their force pikes, sending waves of electricity into their new broken bodies. "I do not tolerate failure," the droid translated, as the large slug-like Hutt began to laugh at the methodical torture employed by his thugs.

Feeling her body being laid on the floor she slowly opened her eyes but everything was a blur to her, she could hear voices, see shapes and color but nothing more then that. Once the droid started to speak Oola knew where she was, slowly her head leaned back as she seen the Hutt before her, they didn't make it on time and she knew what was coming next, slowly the she reached over to Reg slipping a hand into his pocket while the others listened to the Droid translate, she was close enough to Reg's body that no one would notice was she was doing as she found the orb she had handed him. Closing her eyes she gasped softly, the pain from her side left her weaker than before. Thought once she started to feel the stabs of the force pikes hit her body she howled in pain, her back arched high off the floor, her entire body was shaking as she collapsed back down she couldn't find the will to breath. Thought in her hand she still had the orb. Feeling yet another jab from the force pike she screamed more as it echoed in the throne room, the girls who belonged to Derba watched as Oola was torture over and over again. Some of them covered their ears to drown out her screams of agonizing pain, falling hard against the floor she looked up at the thug who was inflicting the pain on her, with what little ounce of strength she had Oola quickly sat up and sank her teeth in to his leg biting him hard enough to snap the bone. Once she did her hands cupped the orb tight as she looked over at Reg "Roll!" She snapped as her left hand twisted one side and the right twisted the other in the opposite direction. Turning her already mangled body to the side she threw it over behind Debra.

"Go to hell you fat discussing bastard!" Grabbing Reg's arms she pushed him down the stairs as she started to roll with him allowing the thermal detonator to go off behind Debra, the roof started to cave in on top of him, everyone was screaming and running around trying to escape before they were pinned under the rubble. Oola's body had hit a wall behind her once she stopped rolling down the stairs, grabbing Reg she pulled him as much as she could out of harms way into a small corner of the room. Pulling his body to his she wrapped her tail around the both of them and prayed that the roof would not cave in on them. Oola didn't bother trying to save anyone else, she didn't bother listening to the screams only to keep Reg from any more harm.

The debris and what was left of the massive Hutt rained down upon them, coating them in a sick mess of rubble and Hutt entrails. If not for her tail, Reg would have been a complete mess, but fortunately for him the large strand of fur shielded him from the horrors of the outside world. When the dust settled they were the only two left alive. He could not move, nor did he want to, and instead he simply laid there, motionless, wrapped in her comfortable fur. "That was quick thinking, toots," he said to her, as he moved the tail away from her to get a better look at her. "You're hurt pretty bad. I need to get you to a hospital," he said to her, as his hands moved over her small body, doing his best not to touch her near her sensitive ribs. "We gotta get back to the ship before they cut that hole in the hull," he warned her, as the ship would not be spaceworthy with a massive hole in it. He started to get back onto his feet, hopping awkwardly on the one good foot. He looked down to her, offering his hand to help her back onto her feet. "Do you think you can walk? I ... I don't think I can carry you again," he confessed to her, in some embarrassment about his physical shortcomings at this instance.

Oola slowly opened her eyes as she seen Reg, smirking a little she laughed "Well one of us had to be quick on their toes, and you never would have remembered it." She said in a raspy voice, her tiny body was in so much pain every word, every breath she took caused her to winch. Watching Reg stranding up offering his hand out to her she shook her head leaning back against the crumbling wall "Go on I'll be right here...I can't move again." She whispered softly as her head fell to the side, her soft green hues looked at the bodies that had been smashed under the rocks, most of them where the girls she grew up with. "Besides, someone has to give them peace." She whispered nodding her head over to the bodies. "I'll be safer here, and you'll be faster without me." She said looking up at Reg as she took his and hand held it tight. "No one's going to come and see what happened, go and make sure you stop them, I'll be okay I promise." Oola told him as her eyes closed slowly. It was true thought she couldn't move even if she wanted to at this point, her body was shaking hard from the force pike that was slammed into her body, her ribs caused her to have trouble breathing, she had several large cuts on her arms and legs from the rubble that fell around them, she only used what she had left to help Reg. Slowly she opened her eyes looking at him. Giving him a soft smirk she sighed softly "The faster you leave, the fast you can come back for me."Oola whispered as she looked at him innocently, the tip of one of her ears was ripped off, she had dust covering her once soft reddish orange fur, she had thick blobs and chunks of Debra's entrails on her from the blast, her tail was wrapped tight around her waist though creating a cast almost.

Reg was not crazy about the idea of leaving Oola behind, but at the same time he knew he would never make it back to the ship having to carry her. "Stay here. I'll be back," he said to her, before dropping to one knee next to her. He lifted her head from the ground, while simultaneously lowering his head to meet hers. His lips connected with her maw and he kissed her passionately, holding the position for longer than he should, before letting her drop back to the ground. "Oh! Sorry!" he groaned, with a cringe, as he watched her fall back to the ground unceremoniously. With that, he rose back to his foot ... singular ... and began to hobble his way back to the freighter. As he neared, an unexpected blaster bolt appeared from the horizon and connected with his left shoulder, melting that portion of his jacket and causing a ghastly burn ... it was the Barabel he had left with his ship. Wounded, but not out of the fight, Reg unholstered his T-6 "Thunderer" and began firing off a series of blaster bolts at his opponent.

As he neared the downed freighter he found that he scored a lucky hit on the Barabel, who had not yet had time to use his plasma torch to cut open his ship. He placed the weapon back in the shoulder holster, and set to work utilizing the CLL-8 binary load lifters to raise the ship off the ground, so that he could take off. Once they had gotten the ship elevated, he used the remote to lower the ramp and climbed back aboard. Fortunately, the entire double shipment of spice had been left intact. Moving as fast as he could, he entered the cockpit, and strapped himself into the pilot's seat, which caused searing pain to emanate from his left shoulder wound. As he activated the engines, the force of the energy escaping them obliterated the poor binary lift loaders. He slowly hovered the ship over the remains of the palace, using the repulsor engines to keep the the freighter mere meters off the surface.

Eventually Reg was about to spot Oola amidst the debris, and lowered the landing gear so that this time he could properly land the freighter on the surface. Once he was in position, he again moved from his seat, and hurried to the back of the ship, where he again lowered the ramp. "Oola!" he cried out, as he navigated the swirling dust that was being whipped up by the roaring wind. Eventually he found her, and with great pain to his newly injured shoulder, he hoisted her up, cradling her in his arms. "Let's get the hell out of here," he said to her, before he began slowly limping towards the ramp. "I can't say I'll miss coming to this place," he said, while raising the ramp back up, and taking what he expected to be his last view of Nal Hutta. Placing her in the co-pilot's seat, he again took the controls, and began the process of blasting them off this rock for greener pastures.

"I wouldn't dream of moving." She said in a joking tone, once he and lowered his head down closer to her she pressed her lips softly against Reg's kissing him deeply, placing a hand against his cheek, with a loving manner she stroked lightly enjoying the feeling of his skin. She smiled slightly before he dropped her back down on the ground wincing her small body curled up into tight ball "Just go before I feel the need for a chew toy!" She snarled up at Reg, watching as he limped back to the ship she slowly pulled her shaking body over to the dead ones under the large bits of rock, sitting up she pushed one away from the body of the Twi'lek girl, her ears lowered as she whimpered sadly, softly she spoke "May you find a better resting place for your soul Fusletu." She said running her hand slowly over the Twi'lek's eyes closing them, taking her hands she placed one over the other on her chest. Bowing her head Oola said a soft prayer for the young slave girl, if she was to ever call someone friend it would have been Fusletu, she seemed to always keep her out of trouble, save what little food they would be offered. She was a sister to Oola and now she had to say goodbye to her. Looking over the dead Twi'lek's body she found scavenged what little she could knowing that it was wrong but also that it was necessary to live.

Finding a satchel Oola started to place odd bits here and there inside, some trinkets they would be able to trade or sell, weapons that and food that wasn't completely destroyed by the rubble around her. Sitting up the best she could Oola found a body of another slave who was wearing a wrap around her waist, taking it off she placed one end around her slender waist and started to wrap it around her own waist tight making sure she was making a cast for the moment. It wasn't the best in the world but it would do for now, till they were able to get to a hospital, still grabbing what little she could the Amaran finally fell down where she was to start with, gasping she looked up everything started to become dizzy for her her throat was parched, her body wear and ripped apart. Thought one of her ears perked up slightly when she heard the sound of the ship coming closer, turning her head she seen it land, Reg limping his way over to her, sniffing the air a little she could smell blood coming from him as her green hues fell upon his wound. Feeling him pick her up in his arms he made another teasing comment "You know I think I should be the only one playing hard with you big boy."Oola said gasping and wincing again as her body shifted in his arms.

Holding tight onto the satchel she had found she looked at Reg "I know it was wrong of me, but I was able to find some stuff we can use, you can yell at me later but for now we have to go." She whispered softly as her slender broken body was placed in the seat, dropping the bag to the floor next to her Oola took her harness and strapped herself in without Reg even needed to bother this time. Sitting up slightly in her seat she watched as they started to make their way off the plant one place she called home, looking out and down she placed a hand on the window. "Goodbye Nal Hutta." Oola said softly as she sat back resting her head on the back of the seat as her body started to slowly become numb. Her eyelids became heavy as she reached out to Reg taking one of his hands and held on tight to it. "We may be broken, we may be bleeding." Oola turned her head and looked over at Reg "We may have a bounty on our heads now, but you wanna know one things?" She smirked looking over her shoulder a little at the cargo. "Least we have something to show for all the pain." She said laughing a little.

Reg thought it was rather morbid to scavenge the dead, but every little bit would help at this critical juncture. "The last thing I need is a spice addict aboard, Oola. I could never afford to keep you in supply..." he said, jokingly, as the atmosphere of Nal Hutta began to dissipate, slowly being replaced by the blackness of space being populated by distant glowing stars. "You realize every Hutt in the galaxy is going to put a price on our heads once they find out what you did back there..." he said, as he nervously looked over towards her, placing the freighter on autopilot. "Well I just lost my job," he said, although he did not sound too terribly disappointed at the prospect of losing the opportunity to work for Derba the Hutt. "Any thoughts on where we should go next?" he asked her, slowing moving his hand up to check on the blaster wound. It would need a bacta patch, he realized ... and Oola was in need of even more medical attention. He began to scan the computer for hospitals, and eventually came upon the planet Rhinnal. "Well this is interesting. Rhinnal system..." he said to himself, as he read up on the urbanized core world with galaxy class medical facilities and no Hutt presence. "Looks like we're headed to the core," he declared, deciding for them, before turning to the navicomputer. A few moments later and the computer alerted them it had finished its computations. Reg, reached over and placed his hand reassuringly on Oola's paw, before moving both of their hands onto the hyperdrive controls. He pressed his hand forward, helping her use her paw to activate the freighter's hyperdrive. A moment later the stars began to streak across the viewport before they returned to the swirling blue column of hyperspace. If he was going to keep her around she would have to learn how to operate the ship. This was the first lesson.

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