Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy, Tara McLaren, and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:5:19) in the Essesia system: Esseles (The Void) and Nerf Herder.
Dimona Xirie Nuebla, Lord Marcus Rodney, Major Min Traebor, and Valeria.

The bounty hunter known only as The Nerf Herder sat silently in his ship of the same name, trying to come to terms with what he had just witnessed. He had been keeping an eye on the bounty hunter named 'Dimona Nuebla' since she had recently been involved with both his capture and release. He knew that Major Traebor could be a vengeful wench, but he never expected such a large amount of Stormtroopers to have been deployed in her capture. He brought his gloved hand to rub at his nose slowly as he considered what to do next ... had there been even five less Stormtroopers he could have intervened and rescued the woman. He considered carefully who he still had contact with in the Ringali Shell ... there was Kerrie, and last he had heard she had sobered up, but she was an Imperial officer now of all things so she was out. There was Alexis, but she was always more concerned with using her womanly charms rather than combat skills so that would not be much help either. "Valeria?" he said, sounding a bit confused as he looked over RSSF transit reports for information on criminals recently seen operating in system. "What's she doing in the Ringali Shell?" he said, talking to himself, rather than to any cadre of droids. His hands instinctively went to the helmet which was sitting on his control panel and in an instant it was back over his human head, covering up his identity. His attention shifted to the comm panel as he attempted to send a signal to Valeria's ship, realizing he had not spoken to her in quite some time. It was possible she would not even take his call, but at this point it was worth a shot.

There was a few moments of hesitation, but before long his communicator would begin beeping. Provided his communicator had holographic functionality, he would soon see her in front of him. At the moment she appeared to have her hair up in plaits, but other than that she looked exactly as she had the least time they had seen each other. Her silver-blue eyes widened as she looked at him, a whole lot of space between them. "Oh, you." Her mouth spread as she opened up for a smile with plenty of white teeth showing. "Don't suppose you want to go a few more rounds? It could be fun." She leaned back, the background showing that she looked be in the command suite of the same ship she had been using the last time. It seemed she had the suite of the Caritas Ascendant partially converted to a lounge. "I've always known that everyone loves me." Beat. "Well, eventually."

The Nerf Herder said nothing as he remained silent and expressionless beneath that intimidating helmet he wore so well. He would let her have her fun before he would continue. <Click>"I need a favor..."<Click> he began, before pausing to judge her reaction. His helmet moved closer towards the holoprojector as he drew more serious in his tone of voice. <Click>"An associate of myself has run afoul of Imperial Intelligence 'and' the Black Sun and needs more help than I can provide..."<Click> he continued, wondering if she would ever go for such a foolish plan as this. <Click>"If you remember I let you off easy a few years back and I see that you are close by. Feel like giving me a hand on a jail break?"<Click> he asked, sticking his tongue out of his mouth as he wet his nervous lips slowly. If she turned him down he was not sure who else to ask ... he might have to go in alone.

"Let me off easy, huh?" Her bright eyes shined as she seemed to find his way of framing that scenario amusing. She spun the command chair around a few times playfully, which probably was rather disorienting when view on a hologram. "A jail break sounds fun, but do you need the ship.." She pointed her thumbs back towards chest. "...the girl..or both? If its Imps we're going after I can't let them tag me. Kinda got my hands full with something that prevents that right now." As the chair slowly stopped spinning she would begin to pour herself a drink. There was a bottle of some kind of liqueur just resting there on her ship's control panel.

The Nerf Herder was careful with his next reply as he did not want to reveal too much information at the moment. <Click>"Just you. My ship has ... clearance ... for the facility..."<Click> he explained, as he began to feel more optimistic about her involvement in the matter. His eyes darted down to the chronometer ... noting how much time Dimona had already been in their hands ... it was possible she had already been executed. <Click>"I need you to fly my ship in and hopefully get us out. I can pay you. Are you game?"<Click> he asked, as his hands flipped over the controls to begin powering up his G-1A transport. With or without her he had to undertake this mission.

"I have to say I don't think you're utilizing my talents best, but sure. Give me coordinates to meet you and we'll transfer over." She removed the plaits that were holding up her hair as the red and gold locks would fall down behind her. If anything her hair might have gotten a little bit longer since they had last encountered each other. "I'll accept credits, or we can work out something more interesting as payment. I'll let you work out the amount." She reached out to grab the shot glass she had poured and would down it swiftly. "I have a medical droid I'd like to bring with me, unless you have something like that. Whoever you're rescuing might be injured."

A smile formed upon The Nerf Herder's attractive Alderaanian face that was obscured by the helmet as he heard her reply. <Click>"Transmitting coordinates. See you soon..."<Click> he said, before pushing a button to transmit the rendezvous coordinates to her and then terminate the transmission. His ship, which was also named the Nerf Herder, began to shake as it lifted off the surface of Brentaal and began to accelerate into the atmosphere. After what Dimona had done for him ... he owed it to her to at least attempt a rescue.

Deep within the confines of the mountain lair of Imperial Intelligence, Major Min Traebor stood confidently in front of a chained and bound Dimona Xirie Nuebla. "You may have evaded our agents, my dear..." she said confidently, as she circled around her like a vicious predator. "But I see the use of an entire company of Imperial Stormtroopers proved to be too much for you ... as expected!" she said, uttering a deep laugh from the center of her belly. She reached out with a gloved hand and ran it through Dimona's hair teasingly as she played with her prize. "Tell me. Was 'he' worth it?" she asked, as a perverse smirk curled upon her beautiful human face. After keeping him caged for weeks she doubted the man had anything left in him. With that, she pushed down hard on the woman's head and moved towards the interrogation table as two Stormtroopers lifted her off the ground and began dragging her towards it.

Dimona's head hit the durasteel grating with a sickening sound of bone meeting harshly upon metal, causing her eyes to roll up into her head momentarily before eyelids fluttered and her vision cleared once again. "...and for a moment I thought you weren't happy to see me." It was true that the bounty hunter was unable to escape capture this time, which was unfortunate. The woman always managed to survive overwhelming odds, though this time, perhaps it was just a down day for her, everyone had their mishaps, but when Dimona had one ... people died. However, an entire company, four platoons, of Stormtroopers was enough to capture her this time. A shame. "You caught me on an off day. I wasn't up to my usual standard. Heh ... I should get a do over." The bounty hunter matched that grin as Traebor ran a hand through her wavy dark sienna hair, there was absolutely no fear in Dimona's eyes, merely an untold excitement. Death did not worry her, it was but another adventure. She did not struggle once her body was dragged towards the table as her wrists were secured with stun cuffs, and it would only be a wasted effort. Her last resort were clever words, it was the only thing she had left. "We wrestled around on the floor, and one of us was naked. You get to guess who was naked!"

"So I see you didn't put much effort into clothing him?" Traebor asked as Dimona was strapped down onto the interrogation table. "I can't say that I blame you. He has quite the toned physique, but I can't say that his entire anatomy meets with expectations. Don't you agree?" she asked, as the IT-O interrogation droid emerged from the darkness and began to move towards their location. A syringe extended from the droid and inserted a serum into Dimona's forearm that over time would compel her to cooperate with Traebor's questioning. "There, there. That didn't hurt a bit? Did it, sweetie?" she asked happily, as she held her face over Dimona's. "...and just because I can!" she said, before bringing her face in and planting a tender kiss upon the other woman's lips. "Mmm. You taste like ... interrogation serum!" she said, as he moved back to her chair and waited for the chemicals to take affect.

"I think he just wanted to tackle me ... naked. Did he tackle you while naked? Did you secretly want him to?" Dimona eyed that syringe and flinched as it was inserted a bit harshly without any rubbing alcohol applied to the location. "This is horrible medical practice, I could get an infection." She softly grinned, finding her own antics rather humorous even if no one else did. It did not matter, as she could find light in nearly any situation, including torture. Of course, what came next was a complete surprise as Traebor leaned in for a rather unexpected kiss which Dimona found devilishly delightful, just what was this woman trying to prove anyway? As Traebor pulled away, there was a playful grin plastered all over the bounty hunter's face. "Is this supposed to be torture? I would have willingly subjugated to this line of 'questioning'." She laughed before humming, the lull of the chemicals slowly seeping into her ... Dimona's eyesight began to blur significantly seen by her pupils dilating heavily as she gazed absent-mindedly towards the other woman.

"Did you sleep with him?" Min asked quickly, unable to resist the most obvious of questions. What Dimona did not know is that she was merely bait, and she wanted nothing more from Dimona than to bring back her beloved bounty hunter. If he was foolish enough to return a trap was already in place and she could dispose of the female hunter without any great loss. Her eyes scanned the chronometer ... perhaps he was already on his way. He was many things, and predictable was certainly one of them.

"Oh! Pish... that was the most important question...?" Her mannerisms were extremely hazy, the drug was nearly complete in its effects upon her physiology, but she did not need to be sedated or administered truth serum to truthfully answer that one. "Like hell I did ... NOT. I'm sure he wished ... I jussss ... kisssed him. I mean ... 'we' jusss kissed ... hypocrite." Dimona was now completely under the effects of the administered truth serum but that did not stop her from giggling softly, it was unavoidable. This was all so ... funny to her. "My first time..." Said with a huge grin as she continued to chuckle. Her response could be questionable if she meant her first time being interrogated or her first time kissing a woman.

The Nerf Herder readied his Model AXM-50 "Blast and Smash" in the cargo hold of his ship as he felt it enter Esseles' atmosphere. He hoped he was not already too late. As he made his way towards the cargo ramp he pressed the button inside the helmet with his tongue to activate the comm to Valeria in the cockpit. "Now remember the plan. When you start to enter the hangar ... I'll open the ramp and jump out. Hopefully they won't notice me with the excitement of the ship appearance..." he explained to her, as he went over the plan one last time. "Thank you again..." he said, genuinely thankful for the help he was receiving as his left hand hovered over the ramp controls. He was about to dive into a mountain hangar loaded with Stormtroopers, battle droids, and other unknown problems. He seemed quite the fool.

"This is going to be fun." She flicked off the ship's intercom as she pushed the engines of his transport to the absolute limit, heading for the hangar and pulling maneuvers that the transport had in all likelihood not been designed to make. It wasn't as if she was doing some unheard of kind of job with those maneuvers, either. If anything, her plan was only going to succeed in its audacity. The bounty hunter would probably be feeling lucky at this point for not being in the cockpit - this way he didn't have to see what kind of shock appearance she was going to make on the appearance of his ship. Meanwhile, her R3 unit tried to compensate for her insanity by rerouting power to the ship's inertial dampeners. It had locked itself to the floor plating of the cockpit, otherwise it would have been flung up against the nearest bulkhead.

The Nerf Herder pressed the ramp button as they entered the hangar and he immediately jumped from the top of the ramp and landed awkwardly on the hangar below. "Argh," he groaned as he nursed a rolled ankle. He kept low to the ground and began moving in the shadows towards the lighted area where he could already make out Traebor and Dimona. Damn it, he thought, this was much too easy. He had a bad feeling about this and the fact that the usual cadre of Stormtroopers was not immediately visible caused him to be fearful. As he looked up, his MFTAS scanned the upper level and then he saw it ... at least 50 Stormtroopers on the catwalks with E-11s, T-21s, sniper rifles and even a blasted E-Web. He had walked right into a trap. Valeria, he next thought to himself as he went for the comlink ... but they were jamming his transmission! Oh, what a fool he had been.

She brought the ship in for a hard landing, not treating his ship with kid gloves by any means. There was no naval commander in the galaxy that would advocate for using ship scale weapons inside of a hangar, but that's just what she was going to do. Assuming he was still going to try to disembark under such heavy cover she began to open fire with the assault laser cannons his transport was armed with. Though she had already slammed the ship to the ground she would not turn the engines off, instead leaving it to hover as she pivoted the vessel and did her best to drain the battery reserves on those cannons. He'd have to jump off the ship from one or two meters, but this way he might live through it. "R3, forward shields and maneuvering jets only! All other power to the lasers!"

The Nerf Herder could not believe she was shooting in the hangar ... damn Valeria! Suddenly the Stormtroopers in the upper levels began opening fire with their E-web blaster and he was forced to improvise as well. He switched his Model AXM-50 to the grenade launcher setting and deployed a grenade into the upper level where the heaviest fire was coming from. A moment later a massive explosion ripped through upper levels, sending the catwalk and a dozen Stormtroopers falling to the ground below in a massive fireball. With that accomplished, he emerged from the darkness and confronted Major Traebor, as he nervously looked to see if Dimona was still alive. <Click>"Major. A pleasure to see you again!"<Click> he said angrily as he raised the rifle to bare with the woman's chest. Oh how he wanted to pull the trigger!

"Damn! Damn! Damn!" Major Traebor began yelling as the ship suddenly opened fire and explosions were carrying on all around them. "Stop them you fools!" she angrily yelled as she moved away from Nerf Herder and put herself in a position between Dimona and the bounty hunter. "I knew you would come for her. I just knew it. You're so predictable. Just like you're brother..." she cursed as she pushed a button that suddenly brought a series of spikes up from the floor around the interrogation table. A cruel smile curled upon her face as she watched the spikes impact the Nerf Herder's boots. "Sticking around?" she asked as she erupted in maniacal laughter.

Dimona was fully delirious and very prone to hallucinations at this point, but she swore she saw what looked like Marcus, perhaps in an armored suit, or it could be just wishful thinking. She desperately attempted to focus her vision to get a cleaner view, but it was hopeless, and she gave up which caused his visage to drop back into a blurry nearly indistinguishable blob. Even in her disheveled state, she could still barely make out the outline of 'Marcus' pointing a weapon at the Major and wondered why he did not just pull the trigger. "Oh ... he missed you ... why dun you two .. jusss embrace now and ... make up?"

The insanity apparently wasn't listening to firing ship scale weapons inside of a hangar, apparently. She now roughly used the transport's maneuvering thrusters to tilt the vessel upwards. The ship was now spinning wildly inside of the hangar, but it brought the assault lasers in line - or close enough to - their targets. Valeria kept the assault lasers blazing as she engaged in controlled chaos. One false move here and the ship would impact a wall. Then they'd all be having a really bad day.

The Nerf Herder let out a primordial scream beneath his helmet as the spikes impacted his feet and pinned him to the ground. With that he unleashed a bolt of stun energy at Major Traebor and took some satisfaction in watching the Imperial Major hit the ground. He let out another pained scream as he pulled his feet off the spikes and climbed onto the interrogation table with Dimona. He unfastened her restraints and lifted her off the table before setting back down on his feet. "Argh!" he screamed again as each step was like agony, a trail of dark red blood being left behind them as he limped along the floor. A well placed bolt from a Stormtrooper impacted his shoulder, forcing him to drop Dimona and fall briefly to the ground in a great deal of agony.

Dimona crumpled to the ground like a lifeless doll. It would be a few hours before the truth serum would pass through her system fully, which was unfortunate because they needed her now. Thankfully her body collided with metal grating that did not contain protruding spikes. Her clouded eyes hazily peered towards the shadow that represented Marcus to her, wondering if this was just the effects of Traebor's questioning or if these events were actually happening. "Your 'rescue' sucks." Said honestly though an ever present grin followed.

"R3, level this thing off and run your automatic targeting algorithms through the ship's targeting sensors. You know which ones to exclude." The R3 unit beep and blooped in agreement as Valeria stood and began sprinting down to the ship's boarding ramp. As she ran she would swiftly draw her twin DC-17 scoped blasters. When she reached the boarding ramp she nearly fell off due to the fact that her astromech had not yet leveled off the ship. She managed to parlay her fall into a rather acrobatic forward flip. Nevertheless, it would have been an injurious fall if the thrusters in her boots did not activate shortly before she reached the spiked ground.

The Nerf Herder could see Valeria approaching and he yelled to her desperately. <Click>"Get her to the ship. Don't worry about me!<Click> he said, as he attempted to climb back up to a standing position. Blaster fire was going off all around them and at any moment a deadly blaster bolt could end one of their lives prematurely. He grabbed hold of Model AXM-50 and began shooting wildly into the rafters. One of the troopers let out a scream before falling dramatically to his death on the ground below. The best he could do was offer covering fire at the moment, as feet were too badly bruised, and his shoulder too badly burned, to carry Dimona any further.

Valeria had the build of a gymnast - well, maybe one a little bit on the voluptuous side of things. For a short girl, the point was, she was strong. Avoiding stepping on the spikes she would managed to get the captive up on one shoulder and start to make her way back to the boarding ramp. Meanwhile, her R3 unit seemed to have managed to stabilize the ship only 1 meter off the spiked floor. The assault laser cannons were firing using an automated algorithm. While this made them less effective than they would be if a living gunner was operating them (or even a dedicated firing computer), they would at least be able to offer suppressing fire and maybe even take out a few enemies.

Speaking in a daze, Dimona assumed she was still addressing 'Marcus' as she caught sight of what appeared to be a woman scoop her up upon a shoulder rather skillfully. "There are ... so many ... woman in his life." She whispered softly before falling silent and hanging lifeless upon Valeria's shoulder.

The Nerf Herder let out another pained groan as he began following the two, firing off shots of opportunity whenever possible. As they reached the ramp of the ship he was quick to raise the ramp as soon as the three of them were on, before promptly collapsing in the back of the ship. He had lost 'a lot' of blood and was becoming very weak. <Click>"Get us out of here!"<Click> he yelled to Valeria as he reached helplessly for one of the medical kits in the rear of his transport.

"Aren't you forgetting something?" She had just managed to pull herself up on the back ramp along with her 'cargo'. The ace in the hole she had brought along had met the three of them as they rejoined the ship ... the medical droid that Valeria had said she would be bringing along. It was a MEV-series medical evacuation droid, equipped with repulsorlifts and already deploying a board from its rear compartment in order to carry a patient. It was designed foremost for triage and used in real battlefield conditions, unlike most medical droids that couldn't function outside of a sterile sick bay. Valeria left the droid to make its decision on who was most injured, closing the boarding ramp shut as she ran towards the cockpit to make their escape.

Having two holes in his feet and a blaster wound to his shoulder the MEV-series medical evacuation droid quickly turned it's attention to the Nerf Herder. He refused to take his helmet off as neither of them knew his identity and he intended on keeping it that way. His boots were pried from his body and a large amount of blood fell to the ground. He let out an awful scream as the pain overtook him and the bacta was quickly applied to his wounds. The section of armor that had been blasted was quickly cut to remove it so that the droid could access his wounds. He was in agony on the table, and a painkiller was quickly injected into his system.

She rotated the ship's position in the hangar only seconds after she hit the seat in the cockpit. Shortly after that she would put the engines at full throttle, showing no regard for the people still in the hangar that might die in the Nerf Herder's wake. In her opinion, the Nerf Herder ... the man this time and not the ship ... was getting his money's worth for her participation in this jail break.

Dimona laid on the ground in a daze where last Valeria had placed her, the medical droid choosing the other patient as more critical of assistance than herself. It was fine ... she mused in a half dream like state ... this unique blend of truth serum administered by the IT-O droid was only fully activated when another either asked a question or suggested something terrible was happening to Dimona. Besides those two situations, the serum was a heavy sedative and thus she happily lay there completely content, laughing to herself about a random scene she was hallucinating. "Heh ... next time I'll use more drinking straws!" It was a mystery what she was mumbling about.

The Nerf Herder sat up after the droid had done his work, but he doubt he could put any weight on his feet any time soon. He had been thoroughly impaled through both soles of his feet and even with the painkiller and protective bacta it was likely he was going to be laid up for some time. "Set a course for the Brentaal system..." he said inside his helmet, feeling that he would need to get back home if anything good was to come of this. On his homeworld at least he felt safe from the imposing grasp of Imperial Intelligence. With that, he looked down to a troubled Dimona on the floor. <Click>"You OK, kid?"<Click> he asked from beneath his helmet, as he studied her angelic features carefully for any signs of damage. She sounded delirious and he suspected that she had been drugged ... par for the course when dealing with Imperial Intel.

"You heard him R3." Apparently Valeria was not one for computer hyperspace routes. She left that part to the astromech. It took a couple of minutes, but before long they had activated the hyperspace engines and entered relative safety. They were now on the way to their destination, and the only dangers present were if their injuries took a turn for the worse. Hopefully that wouldn't happen with a medical droid present.

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