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Star Wars--So[m]ething Something Evil Rises (Jabba x Firesblood)

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Offline Firesblood

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Esbern nodded when Reynik indicated he was finished and rose, shouldering the bag with his tools.  Once their dishes were divested of, the old man led the way through tunnels of varying sizes, pausing ever so often to make sure they were on the right path.  A flat lift took them approximately 30 levels down from where they had been, and from there Esbern led him down another twisting maze of tunnels. 

The deeper and further they ventured, the hotter and more humid it got, soaking their clothes through.  Finally, the tunnel opened into a cavern even greater than the one in which the Savati city above nestled.  The light within mimicked the natural shades of the binary stars that used to be visible from the surface of the moon, casting mellow shade of violet over the jungle contained within.  As lively here as the surface of the moon was dead, the smell was a combination of damp, rotting vegetation, sickly-sweet floral perfume, and the strong, overwhelming stench of decomposing meat.  Everywhere one looked, massive, fleshy, toothed blossoms in vibrant shades of violet and blood-red swayed in a nonexistent breeze, barbed tendrils actively seeking a meal.  The ground they grew from at first glance was a rough sort of compost, only the color and the occasional shards of bone revealed that it was anything more than soil. 

Esbern fumbled for a tin in his pocket and popped the lid with his thumb.  Getting enough on his finger, he wiped the salve just beneath his nostrils and offered it to Reynik so that he could do the same if he wished. 

The old man continued into the cavern, edging as far away from the gargantuan flowers and their extended reach as possible; as they passed, those same tendrils reached and strained towards them. 

Once Esbern had determined that they were hidden well enough and out of proximity of any immediate danger, he turned towards Reynik and raised a wild, white eyebrow. 

“Alright, lets have it then.  What haven’t you been able to tell me about your meeting with her?”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik's face twitched as he followed Esbern deep into the caves, yet that was the only suggestion that he might be ill at ease. Deep down though, he found the area unsettlingly similar to the mines where he had been held. So much so that the smell was actually the least offensive part about being there.

His feet crunched on the uneven floor and he looked down, realising that he there was bone under foot.
"I will need your assistance with encryption. I need to speak to Cygius as soon as it is possible. The situation is not what I was led to believe initially. We will not be able to complete our mission as we had planned. Needless to say, we cannot be detected."


Offline Firesblood

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Esbern frowned, scratching at his flyaway hair as Reynik detailed what he needed.  He looked rather skeptical at the mention of Cygius, but this was hardly considered abnormal.

“It will take time.  I don’t know how Marigon got word from this place before, and I haven’t seen a single communications station anywhere yet,” he muttered, shifting just to the side when a longer plant tendril bumped against his arm.  “The encryption part is nothing.  I can do that, no problem.  I’ll ask her how she managed to get the signal offworld next time I see her.”

That said, Esbern’s gaze grew a touch sharper. “How bad is it?”


Offline Jabbathejack

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"Use the ship, perhaps?" Reynik's gaze moved around the caverns, his injured face twitching perhaps more violently than usual. "At least we know that Garin is on our side. Even if I had to threaten him to ensure it."

He turned back to Esbern, frowning at the question, yet he was glad that he had something to focus on other than their surroundings.

"It was... a challenging conversation."

He sighed heavily, knowing that he had to choose his next words very carefully. Esbern's connection with Marigon had not gone unnoticed and he knew damn well that if she had not been involved, then the pilot would not even be with him. His loyalty was to her, not to their cause.

"I realise that the information we had been supplied with before the mission was wrong. We had no idea the scale of what we are dealing with. I need to talk to Cygius and we cannot afford to be discovered."


Offline Firesblood

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Esbern nodded in answer to Reynik’s suggestion.  “I’ll see if I can’t figure out a way to get to the hangar without looking suspicious.  Could be tough.”

Despite that admission, he didn’t seem to be against it.  As Reynik went further into describing, albeit vaguely, that they had been misinformed, Esbern grimaced.  “It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.  We were sent to disassemble a newborn rebellion, not…this.”  The old man gestured in a general manner to their surroundings.  “I don’t know the full depth of it, but from what little I’ve been able to put together since we’ve been here, I’m beginning to understand how much bigger it is.”

Esbern scrubbed at the stubble on his chin.  “Anything else?”


Offline Jabbathejack

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"This movement is by no means newborn." Reynik shook his head, yet that slight movement seemed to spark yet another violent twitch and he gave a slight hiss of pain as it happened. He recovered quickly, grimacing as he continued.

"From what Marigon told me yesterday, they have been planning this for a long time. Placing operatives deep within both the cartel and the Empire, dormant for years. They hope to bring both down at the same time."

Perhaps it was the stench within the cavern, yet Reynik was finding it increasingly difficult to breath down there. He was sweating, feeling as if he had just completed a gruelling training exercise, rather than just a walk into the caverns and a difficult conversation.

"Bold claims, I know, but if it is true, then it has the power to change everything."


Offline Firesblood

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Esbern’s brow furrowed as Reynik went on to relay what Marigon had told him, considering his words carefully.  The Sith was struggling, that much was clear to him.  In the time that he had known Reynik, the young man had been composed, controlled; if he felt anything in the way of nerves, the only sign of them was the way the scarred side of his face twitched.  This was different, more.  Something was really bothering him, but Esbern couldn’t tell if it was the situation they had found themselves in, or something else entirely. 

Esbern’s hand twitched at his side, and he was tempted to rest a hand on the Sith’s shoulder to offer some small comfort, but he was all too aware that the gesture would likely be awkward and unwelcome; they had not acquired the rapport that he and Marigon had.  The concern in his voice when he spoke was genuine, though; he cared for the young man in his own way.  “I’ll check in with Garin and see if I can’t work out a line to Cygius for you.  In the meantime, you don’t look so good.  Are you alright?”
« Last Edit: August 09, 2020, 09:30:10 AM by Firesblood »


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik eyed Esbern, his expression suddenly wary as he realised that he'd given away too much. If he had still been in training, he would have been beaten for such an oversight. A weakness like this could easily be taken and used against him. Something, even as seemingly insignificant as being reminded of a part of his life that he would have liked to forget, might be the end of his life or, at the very least, cause even more trouble to an already increasingly difficult mission.

Esbern had read his file, he knew where he had come from. If he had shown an inadvertent weakness, then it was probably one that was expected of him. It was his job to ensure that he proved himself beyond such pathetic fears.

Reynik nodded, his expression hardening.
"I'm fine." He replied almost mechanically. "You are correct. This is the best place for us to talk properly. Good."

"We should head back soon, we don't want to be missed."