"Well that's the building," remarked Sergeant Korr Machton as he gazed through his
macrobinoculars, "now only the question remains, is it a legitimate ISB
safe house or just a trap for us?" The Rebel soldier lowered the
binoculars as he stood near the first story window within the abandoned
cantina, though his gaze was still fixed on a building several blocks
down the street. Command had assigned the Sergeant to conduct
surveillance activities on the suspected Imperial location to confirm
his exact question, though the hours were slowly dragging along during
the mission. Sunset was approaching over the city of Salibury, and the
ever-present sounds of warfare boomed in all directions. The Rebel was
not particularly worried, though given his track record of successful
stealth missions, perhaps he should have been.
"Well", Jett gasped. "I think it would
be better to go take a look, don't you think? It's too quiet in here."
Jett took a look through Korr's macrobinoculars. "Mmm, I'm telling you,
it'll be a mystery until we go and check it out." Jett took a deep
breath and looked over the sunset. "Even with all this bombing, I find
Salibury to be kinda nice, you know." he said, looking at Korr. "C'mon,
let's get going, but slowly, kid." Jett handed back the macrobinoculars
to his companion.
The Sergeant chuckled at the smuggler's
comment and turned to face the man. "And if we knock on the door only to
be greeted by a squad of Stormtroopers?" With the flash of a grin he
turned back towards the window, watching as an unmarked speeder
approached their targeted building. "Besides, Command has mandated we
remain hands-off for now. I've got a feeling if this building checks
out, though," the Rebel paused for a moment, "we'll probably get the
assignment to bring it down." Zooming the binoculars in on the speeder
occupants, he watched as they nonchalantly exited the vehicle and stood
outside the structure. "How's your aim with a sniper rifle?" Though his
squad had been promised a top marksman, the soldier had yet to arrive.
If they were indeed going to assault that building at some point, a
reliable shooter would prove most helpful.
"I'm okay. Want to take those out of the
scene?" Jett gallantly asked, and then added, "Well, I believe you might
be right for the moment. We could pass over the place to see how it is
going. No mess, I promise. That speeder surely would be of great use.
Gimme that sniper, I'll take a shot, or two maybe." He was eager to
prove his Corellian blood, his Corellian sense.
"I feel you there," Korr remarked as he
moved the binoculars slightly. A squad of Stormtroopers patrolling in
front of a pair of AT-PTs were slowly moving down the street, though
still several blocks away from the Rebel position at the abandoned
cantina. "Well, given how this operation turns out..." the Sergeant's
words trailed off as he watched the troopers suddenly motion towards
something unseen. Before he could react a flurry of laser fire began
striking down the Stormtroopers and glancing off the AT-PTs. "Damn, get
down!" Korr knelt to the ground in front of the window as he turned in
the other direction. Several blocks down the opposite end of the street,
a small group of gunmen were firing away at the Imperial patrol. The
Sergeant drew his blaster pistol instinctively as he crouched,
attempting to stay out of sight from the window.
"Whew, there goes one! Better get
covered now. Do you think they saw us?" Jett looked at Korr, but he was
not worried at all. At all. "Hah, these damn Imperial troopers. They
don't know what hit them." He added: "And those AT-PTs? What about
them?" To be a smuggler, Jett looked like some important marksman ready
to face the whole Empire. "It better be worthy. I don't plan to get
shot, at least not here, not now. I have plenty to do yet. What do you
think?" Jett moved to take a shot. "Taking position now."
"Hold you fire," Korr said as he
continued to watch the growing crowd of Rebel gunmen across the street.
Turning towards the Imperials, the Sergeant noticed a third AT-PT had
joined the patrol and was firing its blaster cannons towards the
attackers. "I don't think they noticed us, but no reason to draw their
fire. We haven't got the guns to knock them out." The sharp piercing of
a distinctive hell scream suddenly cut into the Sergeant's thoughts.
Raising his macrobinoculars towards the sky, Korr caught the blurry
images of several fast approaching TIE Fighters. Small bursts of light
were emitted by the TIEs, the telltale sign of missile fire from the g/t
models. Dropping his binoculars, Korr turned towards Jett and pointed at
the central bar of the cantina. "Take cover!" The Sergeant rose to his
feet and rapidly began running towards the main bar.
"Oh, blast!" Jett saw part of the
cantina falling apart while he ran towards the center of the cantina. He
took cover in the central bar where Korr had just reached. "Watch it!"
The building started to tremble. The engines of the TIE fighters could
be heard, as the place filled with dust and the roof began collapsing.
After a few moments, Jett asked to the air, as he could not see where
Korr was: "Are you alright? I think we got pinned down. They were so
close to being silenced! Aww, I think I got my arm hurt a bit. Are you
there?" Part of the debris fell over Jett, striking his left arm. He
tried to move, and was able to push the debris that was covering him.
The Sergeant was breathing heavily as he
strained to hear any sounds outside of the cantina, though, his ears
were ringing from the blast. Though he had only felt two distinct
impacts, the Rebel had spotted at least three fighters on the attack
run. "I'm alive..." he began as a third explosion suddenly ripped
through the building. The concussive force of the blast shattered the
remaining cantina walls, and the ferocrete ceiling continued falling in
chunks and smashing the scattered chairs and tables. Korr attempted to
squeeze closer to the central pillar that was located in the middle of
the round bartop, hoping the structure would hold firm. Their
surroundings became dark as rubble formed a blanket across the once
festive bar, most likely trapping the men inside. Coughing from inhaling
the plumes of dusk, Korr strained to see his companion. "You still in
"Yeah, although I could use a good drink
right now, hah. Are you able to move?" Jett was rising up. He was all in
one piece, luckily. "Oh there you are. Gee, what a mess. I wonder how
are we going to be out of this." "I lost the rifle, it must be under all
that ferocrete now. Let's just stay here and wait, it might be the best
to do, they must think this hit us badly." Jett looked all over the
place. It was all covered in dust and debris. The cantina was just ruins
by now. There was nothing left but the walls, a part of the roof, and
the central bar. It was kind of dark because of the gray dust. Dark and
blurry. "I still have my blaster, but my comlink is broken. I'm not that
good in repairing things, so I don't think I'll get it to work. Any
Patting himself down to find any gashes
or broken bones, Korr sighed at the realization of his luck to survive
the demolition of a building without any significant injuries. "Aye, I'm
all set. Hell, I don't even think they knew we were here. Standard
Imperial procedure has been to blast any Rebels within a block radius,"
he paused as he searched for his blaster pistol, "and we might've just
been the collateral damage." His hand found the hilt of the battered
weapon, and he brought it towards his face for a visual inspection.
"We'll bring the building down on us if we try to blast our way out,
though I believe..." Korr shifted to retrieve his comlink ... the device
appeared still functional. "Standby a moment." Flicking the switch to
activate the device, he coughed for a moment before speaking. "Sergeant
Machton to Bravo Platoon, if you're receiving this, we're in need of
evac at the recon site. Out." Korr immediately clicked the comlink off,
keeping the encrypted message brief to avoid detection.
Derek Atio stood in front of a crate of
A280 blaster rifles that had been successfully smuggled through the
restricted space around Ralltiir. The Tetan commander was verifying
serial numbers off a datapad and it seemed that it was indeed the
shipment that Sector Command had long promised them. His eyes scanned
towards Jane Minersha and he smiled at the half-Chiss, nodding his head
at her in gratitude for getting another load of cargo to the war ravaged
planet. The middle-aged Rebel looked more like a freighter pilot than a
military officer, but in the kind of war that was raging on the surface
being caught in a uniform was an effective way of ending up at a
premature funeral. With grease stained fingernails he slipped the cover
back on the crate as he cut loose a terrible groan of discomfort as he
began to carry it towards the nearby repulsortruck. The distant sound of
blasterfire could be heard in the distance as the city of Salibury
seemed to remain in a constant state of battle. "Everything looks good
with the shipment," he informed them, as he leaned against the back of
the repulsortruck, panting like a worn out Kath hound.
Jane was happily sipping away at a
bottle of her favorite juice as she watched Derek check over the
shipment that had just been delivered. Tonight, her hair was tied and
braided straight down the back of her neck. Her many pocketed vest was
unzipped, and the normal skin tight shirt she typically wore was instead
a black, sleeveless tank top. Not her usual attire, but, her eclectic
nature had kicked in and she was feeling odd recently. Maybe it was
Valeria reappearing in her life, maybe it was her absence from Sprocket
and the sounds of her ship. She mentally shrugged as she yawned. "I
suppose its all there, yeah?" She said with something of disinterest in
her voice. To Valeria, and maybe to Derek, they would pick up on her
Valeria was currently preoccupied as
well, the sleeve of her leather jacket rolled back as she tapped on her
wrist comlink. If Jane were to check in on her she would see that she
was adding up her credit balance. "Everything we took on is there. I'm
sure I'd remember my astromech asking to have a blaster rifle installed
in his chassis." The short smuggler glanced up and smiled, showing those
large and prominent right teeth as she closed down the program on her
comlink. The Rebellion was apparently a very stressful place, she had
decided. They were always getting shipments only in the nick of time to
spare them from utter destruction. It was not a life that appeal to her.
Derek quickly picked up his transmitter
when he detected an incoming distress signal. "Damn it," he muttered, as
he brought the device up to the side of his ear and listened to the
message of Sergeant Machton. His eyes looked to Corporal Athol and then
to the two smugglers. "We've got a recon party trapped in a building
fifteen klicks from here..." he said in a panicked tone, as he thrust
the transmitter into his cockpit and jumped into the driver's seat of
his waiting Arrow-23 landspeeder. "I'll pay you two extra if you can
give us a hand..." he said to both Jane and Valeria as he powered up the
vessel's repulsor engine and the craft began to roar to life.
Something...exciting? "Oh! Derek!" Jane
said quickly, unzipping one of her pockets and pulling out a small,
silver flask. She handed it to him quickly and gave him a wink. "Since
you don't like Juice I picked you up some Corellian Brandy. Take a shot
before we get there!" She grinned and put her juice bottle in the little
holder she had on her belt for it and bumped Valeria with her chest
before she zipped that vest up... but only halfway to still show off her
bluebies. "Whaddya say, wanna go make some holes in some plasteel
armor?" she said with a chuckle as she saw what Val was doing.
Valeria looked over towards Derek and
smiled wistfully. "Judging by her reaction, I think you have a "yes."
Besides, I need to protect my investment. Be right back." The smuggler
hurried up the boarding ramp of her ship, returning in less than a
minute with a powerful looking swoop. It was a Mobquet Flare-S, an angry
vehicle that should have no problem keeping up with a speeder. Valeria
hopped onto it as she checked its weapons systems. There was obviously
room for Jane to get on behind her. "We'll be right behind you."
Derek caught the flask that was offered
by Jane and immediately took a swig of the Corellian Brandy that seemed
to instantly build his resolve. His cheeks flushed red as the liquid
burned the back of his throat and he shook his head dramatically in
response. His hands moved over the controls of the speeder and he began
quickly accelerating through the streets of Salibury. Within moments
Imperial Stormtroopers and AT-PTs began to appear in the distance and he
brought the speeder to a halt. He raised his comlink to his mouth and
signaled Valeria. "The boys we need to rescue are on the other side of ...
that," he said, as he looked at the full might of the Galactic Empire
that was displayed in front of them. "Guess we could go around?" he
asked, as his eyes nervously spoke to the others on the comm.
Jane watched as Valeria went up the
boarding ramp and returned with that swoop. She had seen it on the few
trips she had made with her these past couple weeks, but never had she
seen it in action. Now, she was bouncing in place... she wanted on. And
the way things seemed to be going for her, with Valeria and her 'shoot
first ask questions later' attitude kind of rubbing off on her, she had
a feeling that she was going to expend more than a few blaster power
clips. Since she had been riding with Valeria on the smuggling run, Jane
did not think she would mind at all as she swung a leg over the large
seat of the speeder and pressed herself right against her back. "I hope
it goes fast" she said with a grin as she leaned forward over her left
shoulder and put her feet on the passenger foot rests. The smuggler did
not want to fall off as she was blasting away from the speeder, which
was probably going end up happening. Before they went after Derek, she
disabled the safeties on her blasters and set them to kill still in
their thigh holsters.
"Oh, only about 650 kph." She grinned
back at her passenger before looking over to Derek. "I don't think your
ceiling is high enough on that thing to go over, so its either around or
through. Your mission, your choice." Valeria double-checked the power on
the swoops weapons ... a pair of repeating blaster cannons of Colicoid
design. She would obviously be a little too busy piloting the swoop to
be able to use her pistols, so she would have to rely on Jane for that.
Speaking of which... "I hope my hair doesn't get in your way." Valeria's
gold striped red hair was long. Waist length long. It was also probably
going to be blowing in the wind pretty shortly.
Derek continued to stare ahead at the
Imperial opposition and began to navigate his Arrow-23 landspeeder
around to the right of the primary AT-PT, but they were spotted and the
lead AT-PT began firing on them. The first blast went wide of the
Rebel's speeder, but the second blast struck home and caused a fire to
began that quickly caused him to lose maneuverability of the speeder.
"I've been hit ... try and break through," he said over the comm to Jane
and Valeria as he ejected from the burning vehicle. There was a squad of
Stormtroopers upon him and he began wildly firing with his QuickSnap 36T
blaster carbine. There was a quick shot from an E-11 blaster carbine
that caused him to take cover behind the disabled Arrow-23. "Uh. Could
you rescue me before we rescue the others?" he nervously asked over the
comm as he came up from behind the speeder to shoot two of the
Stromtroopers in the head.
"It won't" Jane said with a smile as
from one of the many pockets, she pulled out two things. One was a pair
of Goggles that she normally wore when she was on her speeder, the
second was an elastic hair tie that she quickly used to pull Valeria's
hair back and tie it in a ponytail so that she could not get a face full
of hair... not that she minded, but when it came to accuracy in firing,
she did not need it. Not too long after she drew the twin Death Hammers
did She see that the Arrow was hit and billowing smoke quickly before
she saw the fire. She began to worry a bit, but then saw blaster bolts
coming from behind the wreckage, which comforted her slightly. "What do
you say we rescue him, hm?" She spoke with her mouth literally touching
Valeria's ear so that smuggler could hear her over all the other noise.
"I'm just not sure he's going to like my
method of rescue." It was a rare experience for Valeria to have her hair
tied back, but she did not have much of an opportunity to complain. She
would change the course of the swoop so it was straight at that squad of
Stormtroopers, the twin blaster cannons mounted on the front of the
vehicle blazing away. It was hard to tell what she was planning to do,
but from the way she gestured with her free hand it looked like she was
indicating for Derek to get ready to jump on the bike while it was in
motion. That is, the front of the bike, straddling the metal chassis.
Sergeant Machton leaned back against the
rubble pile inside the ruined cantina, considering Jett's question. "Why
did I join the Rebellion? Heh, I thought it would be fun. How bout you?"
An honest answer, perhaps, though Korr had primarily deflected the
"Well, I'm a smuggler. Han Solo told me
about it. I met him once, in some spaceport. Thought it might be
interesting to join. Besides, smuggling can get really dangerous
sometimes." Jett looked at Korr and asked: "Where did you say you were
from, Korr?" He tried to clean himself up from all the heavy gray dust.
Somewhat worried, the smuggler asked, "Did you get an answer from the
"Negative," the Sergeant replied as he
stared towards the rubble. "Given the interference, and that the damn
thing may be broken anyway, we could be stuck for a bit." Korr rose into
a low crouch and began maneuvering around the bar. He opened the remains
of a liquor cabinet and examined the broken bottles, with his attention
quickly drawn towards several containers still intact. "Fancy some
Bespin Port?" The Sergeant grasped the bottle of dark alcohol and tossed
it towards Jett before retrieving a container of Corellian Brandy for
himself. Opening the glass cylinder, he smirked at his companion. "And
fighting on the side of a ragtag Rebel force is less dangerous than
smuggling?" He gestured across their current surroundings. "Seems like
you traded one deadly job for another. Though as a fellow Corellian," he
paused as he took a swig from the Brandy, "I certainly understand your
need for adventure."
"You, I thought you were a Corellian
too, since the beginning. Where from? Have you been part of the Alliance
all the time? Have you done anything different before?" Jett paused to
examine the bottle. "This Port looks alright," he said as he tried the
liquor. "Nice and tasty, those guys in Bespin sure know how to make
wine. And I thought they only knew about Tibanna Gas." he chuckled.
Replying to his fellow's comment, he said: "Yes, these chores might be
deadly, but I'm not on my own. I know that by my side there's someone
who I can rely on. Don't think I'm getting mushy here, but when I used
to smuggle, most of my errands and jobs were by my own flesh. I've been
pursued by bounty hunters, Imperials, pirates, everything. And who
covers you? Still, I loved it." Jett was curious. "How about you, kid?
Are you from Coronet?"
Taking another deep drink of the Brandy,
the Rebel reflected for a moment on his home. "I'm from Kor Vella, if my
damn name didn't give it away. Parents swore they didn't choose that on
purpose." He sipped again, with the dark brown liquid burning as it went
down. The city was known as a location for luxury and lavishness, where
residents could easily purchase their every whim. He typically avoided
that question as well, as he still held his own guilt about the carefree
lifestyle he had once enjoyed while others suffered untold fates.
"Haven't been home in a while though. I've been bounced around to a
number of planets in the last few years, and drove repulsortanks for a
good while too. Next thing I know, I'm on Ralltiir leading a squad. So
it goes, eh?"
"I'm from Coronet City. Kor Vella's
nice. Been on its mesa several times, it brings peace. Even if it's a
location for luxury, I find Kor Vella to be peaceful at times. It
depends on where you go. Anyway, let's say that I haven't really been
home either." Jett continued to drink his Port. "My father went to the
Imperial Academy, and I didn't like that much. I started going to the
Corellian Security Force Academy, and some time later I went to
Coruscant. I started going to the Coruscanti Pilot Institute, but when I
knew they wanted us to go the the Imperial Academy for one year, I quit.
I went back to Corellia and I argued with my father about my decision.
So, after a while, I fled from home on a transport, you know those Rebel
ones? I landed on Tatooine, and lived in Mos Eisley for a while and
started my life as a smuggler there. Still, I think I have the military
running in my veins. It seems that my father passed that into me
somehow. And yes, so it goes... Now I'm with you guys." Jett sure knew
how to handle weapons and fly starships, he was well prepared. He took
another long drink of the Bespin Port.
Korr nodded as he listened to Jett's
story, impressed that the smuggler had at some point attended the
military institutions. The Sergeant himself had never particularly felt
the call for service before he was swept up with the Rebellion, and even
that was a series of accidents and misinformed decisions. Though he was
no longer the flippant child of his youth, Korr still wondered at times
how he had come to be entrusted with other mens' lives. "Hah, and with
us you are. Hope you're in for the long haul though...I don't see this
fight swinging our way anytime soon." Another deep thought, another swig
of the Brandy. "Victories like Yavin are perfect for morale, but when
the Empire has tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Star Destroyers out
there..." his voice trailed off as he attempted to visualize the
indomitable strength of the Imperial military.
"Ah, Star Destroyers! Yes, those are
tough. Were you at Yavin? Destroying a battlestation sure is exciting. I
wonder how all you guys felt. Seeing something of the size of a moon
blowing up is something you don't see everyday. Do you know how to fly a
ship? You know, the ship I have now, the Lucky Arrow, I won it in a
sabacc match. It doesn't have anything very special, just a few
modifications, but she's deadly enough to fight anything, seriously."
Jett was looking around him. It was now clearer. The sound of war was
outside that cantina. "I think it's better to wait right here. I'm sure
someone will come. Our guys before the other guys I hope." He took
another drink from the bottle of wine. "When this day will be over, I'll
buy you drink."
The Sergent chuckled as he kicked a
nearby rock with his torn combat boot, watching as the piece of debris
rolled across the floor. "Don't give me that much credit. I was over on
Brentaal when Yavin went down, and when the Empire tried to blame the
destruction of Alderaan on us. They're the heroes, the ones that never
came back from attacking that battlestation. Hell," he swirled the
bottle of Brandy as he spoke, watching the liquid spin within the blue
tinted bottle, "I can barely fly a shuttle, let alone a starfighter.
Ground combat is my realm." Korr raised his wrist, glancing at his
timepiece. Jett's assessment about being rescued was hopefully accurate,
as the pair had missed their designated comms check in. "I'll gladly
take that drink, and a shower too." The remains of the cantina were
becoming more visible, though the dust continued to settle on the two
"I see your point. Still, the important
thing is to do your own assignment. Otherwise, others' missions would be
useless." Jett gasped and stood up. "Well, I think I can walk too. It's
all blurry. This dust is nasty. What should we do? Damn, my eyes." Jett
cleaned up as he could. "Can you stand up?" He was going to help Korr.
A trio of Stormtroopers were virtually
obliterated by the blaster fire from Valeria's swoop bike, and Derek
felt as if the numbers were growing larger and closing in on him. "Now
would be a good time," he yelled over the comm, as he watched the bike
begin to close on his location. The portly commander surged forward and
jumped on the front of Valeria's bike, immediately causing considerable
strain on the vehicle. His brown eyes looked up at the half-Zeltron
pilot of the vehicle, and shook his head at her defiantly. Not her best
of ideas, he thought, as he held onto the vehicle for dear life.
Jane gave Valeria's earlobe a kiss as
she drew both of her death hammer pistols. Since the safeties were off,
power packs charged to max capacity, and the guns were set to kill, she
barely took aim. Every third shot hit either an Imperial body or
hardware. She even managed to shoot the power pack of one of those E-11
Rifles, causing it to explode and send the trooper skidding across the
ground dying or dead. She did not slow down in her firing, giving Derek
plenty of cover to do whatever it was Valeria was planning on him doing.
After this was all said and done... she planned on getting Valeria alone
somewhere. If they survived.
"Hold on!" Valeria smiled to Derek as he
hung onto the front of the swoop. In truth, her expression looked a
little bit worried. It was then that she would lean forward on the
swoop, one of her hands gripping onto his flight jacket. She would then
bring the swoop up to its maximum velocity and climb straight upwards.
It was her hope that Jane could provide enough covering fire to keep the
Stormtroopers busy. Once they were at 350 meters altitude, she doubted
they would be able to hit the swoop...although there was the matter of
Derek being unable to survive a fall from that height.
"Of course I'm going to hold on! You
think I'm going to let go?!" Derek screamed at the top of his lunges as
the speeder accelerated upwards at a dramatic rate. He felt like he was
going to be sick, but he swallowed quickly to resist the urge to vomit
on the front of the craft. Blaster fire was going off around him and one
of the random blasts scorched at his trouser leg. That was too close, he
thought to himself as he felt them begin to level out. Oh that was much
better ... if they were not 350 meters off the ground. He could only roll
his eyes at the half-Zeltron pilot, terrified that any other movement
would send him falling to his death.
Once Jane realized what Valeria was
going to do, a few things happened. First was she immediately holstered
one of her death hammers and fastened the snapping strap so that it did
not fall out. As they climbed, she wrapped an arm around Val's waist
while squeezing her legs tightly around the seat and speeder. She was
very tempted to move her arm lower than that, but she did not want to
distract her. She also aimed that blaster behind and below them, looking
back but not taking very careful aim. She did manage to hit a few as
they gained altitude, and when they finally leveled off, she relaxed...
but just a little. She replaced her other blaster into its holster,
sighing as she looked down "So, what now?"
At 650 kilometers per hour, it did not
take long for them to reach the site of distraction. It was not exactly
a comfortable ride, of course. Valeria had someone clinging upon to her
for dear life while she held onto Derek, who was straddling the front of
the swoop. Out of the corner of her eye she was able to see the drop
point as it had been described to her, and she used her feet to cut the
velocity in midair. They were now falling, engines off, straight for the
ground. Valeria's free hand kept the swoop's forward cannons firing.
Taking advantage of free fall, she tried to pull Derek into a better
position on the swoop. When she brought this thing to a halt ...
hopefully without slamming into the ground ... she did not want the
Rebel commander to fly off to a pulpy death.
Derek struggled for dear life to hang
onto the speeder as they descended rapidly towards the ground without
the aid of the engines. "What are you doing?" he said quietly so that
they would not be heard. His eyes went wide as he looked down at the
ground that was growing increasingly larger with each second. He could
not believe she was shooting while all this was occurring, and was even
more amazed to see that she had taken out three of the Stormtroopers on
the ground. He whimpered slightly as the swoop came to a dramatic halt
barely a meter from the ground and he was quick to descend. His hands
shook badly and his face was pale and white, as he turned to look at the
duo of smugglers. "This...this is the last time!" he exclaimed as he
looked down at waist, grabbing the flask that Minersha had presented him
earlier and took a steady drink of all the Corellian Brandy that was
With the coordinates finally sent to
Corporal Jason Athol, the A-A5 Truck was loaded and heading out to the
designated cantina. Why did they always have to meet in a cantina
anyway? Giving the others a chance to arrive and scout the location,
Athol would deliberately arrive a few minutes after the set time, and
take a few moments to look around himself. Hopefully Atio and the others
were paying attention this time.
Jane resisted the urge to scream. She
would make a quick assessment of her life up to this point. She grew up
well, had loving parents, had her life destroyed, got away with her ship
and droids, met some interesting people, and drank a lot of tasty juice.
All in all, not a bad life. So, in the quarter of a second it took her
to think of all that, she decided she was just going to enjoy the ride.
Her legs gripped that speeder like her life depended on it... because it
did. She hugged Valeria close with one arm while she held onto Derek
with the other. And as they fell, she let out a shout and a maniacal
laugh. If this was going to be the end of her life, at least she was
holding onto the best looking girl besides her in the whole galaxy, and
she was laughing. If they crashed, maybe the laugh would haunt the
people who saw them turn into a puddle of chunky bits. The laugh slowed
and finally stopped once they landed safely on the ground. Seeing as how
they had not died yet... she leaned forward and whispered something into
Valeria turned off the swoop, swinging
her leg over the side and dismounting. She would start to sprint towards
the cantina, before her normally pink face would...kind of turn green.
For a moment Valeria looked like she would vomit, slowing down. It was
only a short hesitation, however, before she began to clear off rubble.
"Any landing you can walk away from..." She trailed off. Better not push
her luck with Derek so soon.
Derek gave a crisp nod to Corporal Athol
as the Corellian Brandy restored color to his middle-aged face. "Let's
dig these guys out before the bucket heads show up," he exclaimed as he
rolled up his sleeves and prepared to let the others get to work. He
stood there for a moment watching the others clear the rubble before he
began moving away the lightest of the debris. Anyone aware of what he
was doing would immediately understand why he was not in the best of
shape. "Come on," he exclaimed, as he moved aside a paper thin piece of
duracrete. "We got men in here!" he yelled, as he began sweating
profusely despite the minimal possible effort he was delivering.
"Just blast the debris!" Jane said as
she hopped off the speeder and pulled out a pair of full fingered work
gloves and, even though she was small, she was tossing aside chunks the
size of her head. She thought about taking her own advice and just
blasting away at the rubble with her pistols, but she thought better of
it as she worked as fast as she could, trying to pull the debris out of
her way. This would be so much faster with either a labor droid or
someone far larger than the three of them.
Corporal Athol glanced at the smuggler
as he approached the destroyed cantina. "Blasting would be a bad idea.
Draw every Imperial in the area. Afternoon Derek, who are we digging out
now? And how did you get here in the first place?" Moving over, Athol
would begin assisting in removing the rubble, slightly confused as to
what was going on, again.
"Beats me." Valeria pulled aside a
section of wall, wincing as she cut her hand on something that pierced
straight through the armorweave-reflec polymer of her modified Thinsuit.
"I'm not sure I want to try pulling Gs like that on a speeder bike again
any time soon." The smuggler looked more than a bit subdued, apparently
still slightly queasy from that breakneck maneuver. "I'm through to the
other side," she said as she removed a particularly large piece of
"Sergeant Machton and one of his men,"
Derek replied to Athol as he poked his head through the hole Valeria had
made. "Oh no!" he exclaimed as he looked inside the cantina and
witnessed the horror inside. "They've destroyed most of the quality
bottles of the good stuff," he frowned, as he yelled out to the group.
Getting more serious, he turned his attention to moving more debris out
of the hole so that the two Rebels could extricate themselves from the
"We've still got a few bottles of port
inside!" came a sudden reply from within the rubble. Sergeant Korr
Machton staggered to his feet, keeping his head low within the remains
of the former cantina. Unholstering his blaster pistol, the Rebel turned
towards Jett and flashed a grin. "Let's roll." Korr grasped a bottle of
Corellian Brandy with his free hand as he began making his way towards
the small opening in the pile of debris. Not an ideal exit, though for
the former tank driver, it was certainly large enough to crawl through.
Holding his breath to avoid the plumes of dust, the Sergeant attempted
to climb up to his rescuers.
Behind Korr, Jett came out of the hole
and started making his way through all that debris. He waved and said,
"Well, hello! I thought you were never gonna make it! Finally! Here,
have some fine port. Sorry about the other bottles, it's not our fault."
He started making his way out, and he constantly coughed, there was
still a lot of dust. Before he was pulled out, he handled the rescuers
the bottle of Bespin Port, he enjoyed tasting it. "Alright, I'm all set,
pull me out!" He was carrying his holstered DL-44 and nothing else,
though was totally covered in dirt. "Good to see you all! Take us out of
here, I'd like to take a shower, a long shower! Hah."
Athol frowned as the two Rebels emerged
from the rubble. "Less jabber, more movement. Unless you all want to
become 'guests' at an Imperial Detention and Reeducation Center. I have
a speeder truck outside, so figure out who's going with who. Did we
decide on where the next point is, and do remember Derek, I need to be
back on Brentaal before too much longer unless you want Rake running
around unsupervised. And half the planet blown up." The Corporal
motioned towards the still running truck with some urgency.
Jane helped pull out the pair who were
trapped and stood back beside Valeria. Looking down at her hand, she
winced. "Are you alright? Let me bandage that up... " she said as she
dug into one of those many pockets in her vest and pulled out a small
roll of sealed, sterile bandages. Before she could protest, the package
was opened and she was already wrapping that hand, stopping the blood
flow from the cut and keeping any other debris out. A temporary solution
at best, but it would work until they got back to the ship. "Lets take
the advice and get outta here. I don't want those icky Imps getting
their grubby hands on us." And with that, she went quickly to Valeria's
swoop and got back where she was sitting during the harrowing ride to
Valeria grinned as her fellow smuggler
bound up her hand, not objecting despite the fact that it was only a
slight injury. She would hop onto her swoop and start the engines again,
nodding towards the Rebels who had still not loaded onto the transport.
"I'll clear the area in front of you. Try to keep up." She winked to
show that she would not really be trying to leave the rest of them in
Derek certainly would not be riding with
Valeria and Minersha this time, but he was quick to reach into his
pocket and pulled out the credit chip he had put aside for the smuggling
operation. "Here you two go," he said, as he tossed it to them in
gratitude before moving to the speeder truck with Korr, Jett, and Jason.
As Imperial forces began to approach the cantina wreckage, the two
speeders made their way through the desolate streets of Salibury back to
where the ships had been stashed. It had been a close call for the
Rebels that evening, but with some ingenuity the group had survived.