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Kastor Antilles
Cray


Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 417

 Post Posted: Sun, December 20th 2009 01:48am    Post subject: City Streets, New Coronet, Ord Mantell
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Another damn cold day. For nine local months, the planet grappled with freezing temperatures. For the remaining four, rivers thawed and ice broke, revealing fertile, arable land. But that was a distant thought today. Kastor liked the cold, but today was... barren.

Even as he passed through the streets of New Coronet, the windbreaks allowed him no respite. The snow had ceased falling some hours ago, but the extant drifts rolled unceremoniously across the crumbling streets and down the ramshackle roofs. Rarely did someone care enough to sweep sidewalks or plow roads, failing a knee-height deposit, especially in this district. Fortunately, the chilling wind was beneficial in at least one way: it swept and guided the thickest of the precipitation away from the walks. There was only a few centimeters of crunch beneath his soles.

But, there was more to worry about than snow. Anywhere outside of the Palatial Canton, there were thieves and thugs. As he moved farther into the slums, the taxing pressure on his awareness grew greater, as if he were diving into deep water, risking more and more, increasingly confined, with each passing meter. Kastor kept his body compact, head down, hands pocketed, and arms pressed close to his abdomen. He didn't want any trouble.

He used to be part of the trouble, in another life.



Kastor scoffed an unaspirated laugh, smiling to himself. The thought was hilarious in his mind. He wasn't good at being dramatic or playing the part of the war-weary, emotionally deep, regretful, maudlin-philosophical scoundrel. He just did what he had to do. Everyone here did. He didn't make a big deal out of it. He had long given up on thinking long and hard about it. Until recently, anyway.

After all, one could live a lifetime doing something wrong and not realize the error. That is, until that person was made to view it from the outside. And while Kastor didn't regret how he'd lived, while he had been able to justify the things he had done, he found himself unable to justify the things he was now doing, and the things he would do.

That's not to say he was a bad person – he didn't think so – but he'd always known, inside, that he'd crossed lines. Sometimes it was necessary to do so, in a war against a superior opponent. He used to try to not ponder it. But he had spent a lot of sleepless nights over the course of the past few weeks.

He smirked. Maybe a little maudlin.

He brought his head up to observe his surroundings more closely. The snow was resuming its gentle fall, and the few people that remained on the streets had retreated into their dwellings, anticipating more inclement weather. However, up ahead on the right, the marketplace contained a few consumers, middling about to buy overpriced, low-quality goods. The alley behind the second building - that was the meeting place.

… however, it was also right next to the local Corellian security garrison. Sometimes he wished his contact would pick better meeting places. He guessed it was the place the enemy would last look, but going there required him to be more vigilant than ever.

Moving past the ill-tended stalls, he turned the corner into the alleyway. With a glance to his back, he entered the narrow way.

Ahead of him, at the end of the alley, was a a lone figure, form obscured by a large smock. All in all, it was clothing typical of a lower-class Mantellian, particularly of the homeless dreg variety. She turned her head to assess him.

Kastor felt the urge to quicken his pace, but he resisted; he did not want to be espied running down an alley by some passing guard.

The woman took a step away from the wall, poncho blowing in the wind to reveal her thermal undersuit. “You're late,” came a calculated, monotone voice.

He observed the woman for a few moments, carefully weighing his reply. “I got tied up at the camp,” came the almost-exasperated reply, almost caught in his dry throat.

“You know,” the woman began, voice initially grating. “You really need to learn how to relax,” she finished, the pretense fading away and a smile forming on her face. “I'm only kidding; I figured something like that would happen.”

Kastor exhaled a singular laugh, pulling his chapped lips into a smile.”Had me worried there for a minute... mind control, maybe,” he quipped.

“I guess I should take it easy next time, but...” the woman trailed off, dark eyes drawing in the world around her. “You never know who's out there. I need to keep up the act.”

She stepped away from the veil of darkness produced by the overhangs, into the dim-but-omnipresent light of the overcast sky. Even without the highlights produced by a fully exposed sun, she seemed to glow. Her pale amber irises were almost iridescent in the peculiar spectrum. The dark blonde hair spilling about her shoulders held a similar luster. In every environment, Greth Celchu was an attractive woman.

“I'm just glad you're here,” Kastor said with relief. “With what's been going on and all this week, I don't know,” he trailed off. He always tried to guard himself when it came to information around her, for her benefit, but the intelligence agent always tried to pull it from him.

For the moment, it appeared she decided not to. “What did you think was going through my mind when you didn't show up right away?” Greth asked, somberly and almost rhetorical. She wet her lips.

Kastor felt for her, although he hated to have been, and continually be, the cause for her worry. Neither of them were under any illusions contrary to the fact that any date, at any time, the other simply may cease to converge at the meeting point. There were a variety of reasons. Kastor didn't want to think about any of them.

He almost reached out to touch her hand, longing for some kind of contact. His sky-hued eyes scanned her, his muscles itched to will themselves forward. But he paused, glancing to his left, back to the street, visible through the opening of the alleyway. He couldn't distract himself. “Well, it doesn't matter, we're both here.”

Greth attentively watched his every action – she was relishing the time they had. “And we may not have much time,” she added to his statement. Their eyes locked.

He took everything he could from that silent tunnel between the two of them. Such happened so very often. And for once, he wished they were somewhere else entirely. Some place, some other world where they could act instead of talk. Where they could talk instead of... strategize. Kastor looked away. Soon. “But a lot's gone on since last time.”

Greth broke the eye contact, a heavy sigh relieving the pent-up expectation. It was back to business. “Things are going to be coming to a head soon, it's inevitable.” She hesitated. “It can't keep going on like this.”

It was so different from when he had first met her. She had been so guarded, uneager to show how she felt. That was something he was used to from everyone, including himself. But it was even harder to bear now that she let it show through. She was on the brink of her breaking point, he could feel it.

He nodded. “Even the Elders, my Elders – they're doing things, saying stuff; things that are so ridiculous it makes no sense,” he explained. He took his eyes from the ground, regarding her. “You still come up in meetings.”

Ah, yes, the Elders. The oligarchs heading up each individual camp, each region of the Resistance against the Corellian government. They made the calls. And they didn't trust outsiders like Greth, especially after she had been held as an enemy agent – a false charge – and escaped imprisonment.

They didn't trust Kastor anymore, either. But there was no time to think about that right now. Not yet.

“The Elders?” Greth echoed, expression leaving her face. “What are they saying?”

Kastor swallowed. “They're going to start looking for you,” he informed her, absently brushing away snow that had fallen on one of the marketplace heater units. He leaned back onto it. “And, I don't understand why. They're throwing out all these new offensives, but they're still after you yet. I don't get it, you're not even Corellian...”

Greth strove to keep calm, but her breathing rhythm had changed. She shook her head, trying to push away the thought. “Don't worry about-- they won't find me. I'll make sure I keep my men on the move.”

“That's not what I'm worried about. With all these other things they're planning, why are they going after you first?” Kastor asked.

“I guess I had a lasting impression,” she joked, a hint of a smile flashing across her features, then disappearing as fast as it had come. Greth could discern that something else was working in Kastor's mind. She crossed her arms over her chest, stating, “You're hiding something,”

He was.

“I think they know, Greth,” Kastor confessed. “Or, they suspect; I don't know.” He'd taken a lot of flak defending Greth when she was first captured by the Resistance. He was almost cast out for assisting in her escape, but he had gradually tried to earn back his camp's trust in the months since. But he was lying to them. The story was for another time. He stood. “They might try to follow me one of these times,” Kastor tried to impress upon Greth.

Meetings were getting dangerous. Kastor was willing to risk his own exposure, but he wasn't willing to risk Greth's sure death, if she were caught. That only left two options.

Cold day was about to get a lot damn colder.

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Kastor Antilles
Cray


Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 417

 Post Posted: Thu, February 11th 2010 03:09am    Post subject:
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Greth's eyes and mouth for a moment burst in despair, but she recovered quickly, looking away from Kastor. "They won't find anything," she assured, her eyes bouncing back to the man in front of her. "You're not doing anything wrong, you're trying to help them!" She reasoned desperately.

Kastor shook his head. "That's not what they think," he informed her. He wished they would, but they were arrogant and stuck in their own ways. The Elders - the majority of them, anyway - would never understand Kastor's position, even if the rest of the Resistance did. "You know what they think of you. You're a spy, or, like, a saboteur," he reminded the Republic agent. They thought of her worse than that, even. But he wouldn't repeat those words. "And if they decide I'm meeting with you, they're going to trace it back to you."

He felt a pit form in his stomach from those words, as if he felt like he were being followed that very moment. His body wrenched in anticipation, a quick jump of preparatory adrenaline, but he quickly pushed the feeling down. He hadn't been followed this time. It was okay. For now. "I can't let it get back to you, I don't know what they'd do," Kastor lied. He did know what they would do. They would treat her like an animal and then end her life as one. The winch in his chest returned at the thought.

Greth could clearly see the thoughts on his face. The wind whipped the hair about her own visage, which was growing more and more gloomy. "I won't let that happen," she promised. "Even so, we knew what we were getting into when we agreed to sharing information," she reminded.

Kastor sighed. She was right. They had agreed on the risks of meeting, even after she escaped the camp. They had both said they'd keep up with the information exchange sessions, even if they were both in danger. They said the most important thing was the lines of communication between Kastor and the Republic, through Greth. They accepted the benefits for the Resistance were of higher priority than their own lives.

Kastor had lied. He always knew if Greth were threatened, he would break it off, no matter how his own feelings were. He'd gotten too many people killed in the past weeks, and Greth wasn't going to be the next victim. "I know," he affirmed. "But, I don't want to risk it--" he caught himself after a moment. He bit his cheek and reluctantly corrected himself. "You."

He felt strange to communicate with her on such an informal level. They had been close - quite close - when she was still a tenuous guest at the camp. But after things had hit the fan, they were practically platonic. But suddenly, that didn't matter anymore. They both knew how the other felt, and he wasn't going to leave her for the final time without letting the truth come out from, at least, his own mouth.

But Greth was afraid. She didn't feel right. The agent looked away, unable to bear the pressure. "Then, what're you suggesting?" She asked with a lost hope, knowing the answer but hoping that it could possibly be different.

Kastor couldn't bring himself to confirm her suspicions verbally. He instead peered at her through the rising plume of their own breath in the cold.

They had to stop meeting, and they both knew it.

"No," she breathed airily with a shake of her head, causing a cloud of condensate to wrap around her head. "I-I-- there needs to be another way," she denied, searching for a different answer.

Kastor reached out his hand, touching the frozen fabric that draped over Greth's arm. He felt awkward making contact with her after so long, but he needed it. "I can't let them use me, Greth," he explained, trying to make her understand. He regretted a lot, but he would never forgive himself if he were duped, even passively, into revealing her location to the enemy.

A catch went off in Kastor's mind that almost made him utter aloud a "hmph". The enemy, he echoed to himself. That's really what it was now, wasn't it? What had been his friends and family, his entire life, was now, effectively, his enemy. Perhaps the Resistance was his enemy by extension of what they did to Greth, but it was more than that now. More than he could presently explain, but it was certainly true. It all seemed so pointless now, anyway. It had nothing to offer him, and never would again.

But perhaps a tinge of nostalgia went through him. He still cared about them. About the planet, the struggle. The childhood hates and loves that had defined him and everyone he had trusted still ran strong. On a conscious, rational level he could feel they were all empty, but he couldn't bring himself to let them go. He was a man facing a flooded village, still wishing he could see his house again, although it would never happen. The walls had long since rotted and fallen away.

Greth flinched a bit as Kastor's hand reached her. But she remained strong as always. He could feel her muscled arm tense even under his light touch. "What about our network and the information," she began to ask.

"We'll have to give up the network--"

Greth interrupted, after weighting her words to judge their value. She spoke, "what about you?" She betrayed her concern.

The man observed her for a moment. He knew she still cared, but it was both invigorating and depressing to hear her admit it. A wave of discomfort washed over him and he removed his hand from her arm. "Don't worry about me, I--"

Again she cut Kastor off. "No," she shook her head angrily, all of her body language indicating she wanted to rush forward to him. "If we break up now, we'll jeopardize the whole thing and they'll kill you," she pleaded.

"Better than both of us," Kastor grimly estimated, his eyes downturned to the snow below them.

"I-I can't let that happen," she worked out of her mouth. "That's not how it's supposed to be."

Kastor looked up as he felt her warm hand wrapped around his sleeve. She stood before him, their gazes meeting. He hadn't expected... "But it's how it has to be," he said, trying to express finality, but he couldn't insure the words with his will.

Was the continuation his pathetic life worth losing her?

Greth pushed out a volume of air from her lungs, the sigh almost echoing off of the narrow alley walls. She was ready to submit to Kastor's wishes, as much as she wanted not to. But it was like she could see the machinations of his mind. She lifted an eyebrow, silently beckoning what?

Kastor had to wrestle the words from deep within him. They felt like a traitor's words, or a coward's. But once they were on his lips, they didn't even seem worth the effort. It was so obvious.

"We can leave."

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Greth Celchu
Han


Joined: 11 Nov 2009
Posts: 11
Location: The Zombine

 Post Posted: Fri, February 12th 2010 12:20am    Post subject:
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Suddenly, the air around them became more frigid and Greth found herself becoming fearful. It wasn't a fear for her own life, but for his. He was risking his entire being and for what? Her? "Leave?" she repeated his words as if it had all been a bad dream. "But what about everything you've worked for? Wouldn't that make things worse between you?" It was all too much to bear and she shook her head in resignation. "I don't want to be in the way like that."

For months, they had been secretly meeting in seclusive spots across the dingy streets of Ord Mantell. They had a mission to accomplish and regulations to maintain. Swapping information to infiltrate a possible threat had seemed easy enough, but things had quickly turned complicated. Something had happened between them; something neither of them could prepare themselves for. That's why this was so difficult and why she couldn't stand Kastor abandoning everything just for her. It wasn't meant to be this way.

"What else can I do here?" Kastor's rumbling voice asked suddenly, breaking her free from her reverie. "They don't trust me, don't listen to me." He diverted his eyes for a moment. "By the next time we meet, either of us could be dead."

An awkward pause followed and Greth could no longer bear to look at him. That was not what she wanted to hear and somehow, Kastor knew it. In fact, he actively tried to amend it and by the next time he spoke, his words were more sarcastic and joking. "You've been in the way for a while anyway, pal," he said with a smirk.

He was irresistible. That was the only thought currently going through her mind and what had got them into trouble in the first place. But if she thought about it hard enough, she would rather be in trouble with him than alone. "Well, sorry, but you just kept on dragging me right back in," she accused with a smile. Adopting a cocksure stance of her own by placing a hand on her hip, she stared at Kastor defiantly. "Believe me, mister, if it weren't for the Republic assigning me to this...wasteland...I would've been gone a long time ago."

"I would've arranged the shuttle," he challenged, still playing along. But then a shadow passed over his features and he resorted back to being serious. "What about the Republic, anyway?"

The Republic? That wasn't exactly what she had been expecting. "What about them?" she asked cautiously, trying to gauge what he was on about. "They have plenty of information to work with--"

"I meant... joining them."

She wanted to scream out, 'no!', but she knew that would be a death sentence. They had been working up to this exact moment since they've met and now, here it was staring her in the face. How could she refuse? She swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. "You're...serious this time?"

"I guess I have to be," he confessed with a weak smile. Turning his gaze upward, he peered at the darkening sky with a slight wince before returning his full attention to Greth. "Uh, look...give me three days," he continued in a more hurried tone. "I'll take whatever else I can. Equipment, information..."

It was all going so quickly and all Greth could do to follow along was nod her head with each word. "R-right, I-I can stall," she muttered idly. It was finally happening - Kastor was committing to the Republic! Relief and excitement replaced her growing anxiety and she was tempted to throw herself into his arms, but something stopped her. "Will we meet a final time?"

"Back here." There was no hesitation in his voice. "Try not to draw attention. Things might go to hell fast."

Again, she found herself smiling. "It already has," she quipped with a shrug. "It shouldn't be too hard."

Silence reigned between them for a long moment and Greth got the hint that they were done here. She was about to turn and disappear into the fading twilight when Kastor parted his lips and flashed a smile, his breath twirling up into the air in a smoky column. "Keep warm," he offered softly.

A chill ran through her body, but she knew it had nothing to do with the cold. Still, she pulled the tattered shawl closer around her neck. "You too," she returned, matching his tone.

The smile spread further over his features and instead of leaving, he just stood there, eyes locked with hers. Greth felt her pulse begin to quicken as the distance between them started to close. Was he the one moving closer or was she? In the end, it didn't matter. Their lips met and a new warmth surged through her body. Finally, everything made sense and she knew this is where she was supposed to be. They would make this work. If not for the Republic, than for themselves. It was destiny.

Finally, they drew apart and after Kastor offered her one last reassuring smile, he turned to be on his way. Greth stood frozen in place and simply watched him go. She waited until he rounded the corner and was out of sight before she, too, turned to leave.

Yes, everything was perfect.

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Kastor Antilles
Cray


Joined: 14 Jun 2009
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 Post Posted: Wed, June 09th 2010 01:53pm    Post subject:
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Special thanks to Moff for helping us out in this JP by being an NPC. :D

Although the dark of night offered some form of protection from prying eyes, the alleys were still the best defense. Kastor avoided the main streets, knowing the Resistance's vengeance was not far behind. With some luck, they did not know the location of the meeting place; he could afford to lose some time in taking a more indirect route. He had to at least transfer the information to her.

Kastor broke into a faster trot as he neared the alley behind the marketplace. He prayed Greth was still here, that they had not gotten to her first. His fears momentarily abated as he espied the woman, pacing and clothed in a smock, just as she always had been. Her sharp eyes found him as soon as he came into view. Kastor didn't intend to smile, but a faint smirk manifested itself anyway. She was alright.

"Are you looking for a death wish?" She groaned, no hint of humor on her face. The intelligence agent was perturbed that he had been running - usually an obvious clue to onlookers that something was wrong. "What happened to stealth?"

"It's gone," Kastor was quick to explain, his grin dissolving. He came up to the woman, placing his hand on her arm, encouraging her to move. There wasn't time for a massive infodump. "They know."

Greth began to recoil, then stopped as his words sank in. She stared back into his face with a million questions. She pushed her lips together. "When... I--" she trailed off, the tactician in her knowing there was only one question to ask right now. She inhaled deeply. "How much time?"

"I don't know," the man admitted. He felt eyes on him, the hair on the back of his neck bristling. His eyes scanned the area, even though nothing could be seen in the shadows. "We might as well have split a taxi fare. Not long."

Greth finally released her baited breath in a stream of condensation haze. "I was hoping for more time," she turned her face away from him. "I managed to arrange transport, but... it might not be enough," she cautioned, dark eyes coming back to Kastor.

"It has to," Kastor insisted. He took a few exploratory steps towards the edge of the alley, as if he wanted to prematurely spring a trap. "I couldn't find anything out, though. I didn't have enough time and they wouldn't say two words to me. I swiped a bunch of chips, though."

Greth remained in place like a sentinel, only her head tracking his movements. As Kastor finished, a look of annoyance crossed her face and she began to follow. "You swiped their chips? Maybe that has something to do with them finding you out," she proposed with irritation.

He glanced at her with accusation before returning his stare to the road ahead of them. "You wanted the information," Kastor reminded her. He had risked much for her and her cause; he didn't need to hear recrimination for doing his new job. "Look, they were going to come after me anyway. You don't plan this sort of thing in an hour's time." Surely, it was true. Even if they had expected him to steal the data tonight, a clandestine operation would not have been organized so quickly. He would have bled out in a tent had he not fled to the city. He was certain.

"It might have pushed things along a bit," she insisted, idly pulling her hood further down as if to hide. "Just as long as it stays intact long enough for us to blast out of here," she muttered.

"We'll be fine we get our asses in gear," Kastor insisted. He shook his head, betraying his own doubt. He knew they should have left the last time they met, when he had first suggested the exodus. He shouldn't have presumed he had more time to operate in the Resistance, and now what could have been a quiet exit would be a large deal. "Where's the ship?" He asked, coming to the intersection of the alley and the street.

She sighed, frustrated with Kastor. She was used to giving the orders. Greth was trying to understand his situation and the circumstances, but she apparently found it difficult. "It's registered as a cargo freighter, so we'll be essentially flying as smugglers. I don't think they would take kindly to the Republic roaming around here, so I had to take precautions," she explained, lowering her voice after casting a prodding gaze down the block. "I have her docked at the east docking port. Our pilot and the rest of my crew are waiting."

Kastor thought for a moment, knowing that the spaceport was out in the open and was only accessible by turning right down that open, wide road. "Alright," he said at length. "They probably won't think we'd go somewhere so obvious." He began to move, Greth several feet behind him. "I didn't think we'd go somewhere so obvious," he added, under his breath. Greth was brilliant... but not always.

She smiled in spite of the situation. "Exactly. You'll get used to tactics here in the Republic soon enough."

A deep, stuttering sound echoed about the buildings. The origin was unknown until a large blue blaster bolt singed the air around them, the telltale ozone smell confirming the visual. Kastor pressed himself against the wall, narrowly avoiding the attack; but it was not intended to kill. They were both suddenly conscious of an imposing figure... standing right at the outlet. "I don't think you need to worry about that," a heavily accented voice boomed. The man was silhouetted, his features veiled. The large rifle, however, was apparent.

Greth cursed, probably louder than she had intended. Kastor could see her out of the corner of his eye, pulling a blaster out of her smock. It seemed second nature to her. Kastor placed his hand on his own blaster. "Oh, tactics!" He mocked her voice with a grimace.

"Kastor Antilles," the man droned ominously. "It is time for you to pay for your treason. Return what you stole, and the Elders may grant you a quick death." Kastor knew he wasn't talking about the chips - he was talking about Greth.

He halted the motion of pulling out his blaster. That wasn't going to work. He allowed his holding sack to slide off of his left shoulder, dropping it to the ground. He looked back to Greth, hoping that the man could not pinpoint her in the dark shadows. His light eyes could barely perceive hers in the umbra, but she saw him. His look communicated something in no uncertain terms: "take the bag and frakking run".

Greth had raised her blaster to point at the roadblock, her teeth gritted and her trigger finger itching. She stopped as Kastor's bag hit the ground. She perceived what he was trying to imply. She reluctantly knew what had to be done; she lowered the pistol and slowly picked the bag off of the ground, stuffing it into her parka.

"You have three seconds to come out with your hands up," the order came.

Kastor watched Greth for a while longer, knowing he couldn't dare speak to her. He had to buy her time to leave. Her eyes didn't leave his as she backed away, clutching the sack. Kastor stepped forward, diverging from her position.

When Kastor came into the full light of the moon on the open throughway, the assailant readjusted his aim, aligning it surely with Kastor's heart. He could now see who was attacking him; Arnolt, one of the Elders' attack dogs. He never liked him. "Out past curfew, aren't you"? Kastor smirked, raising his hands only halfway up.

"Where's the bitch?" Arnolt demanded, bypassing any smalltalk.

Kastor fought to restrain himself. "Who?" He feigned confusion. "Getting desperate?"

Arnolt scowled and immediately turned his rifle, peppering the area behind Kastor with dozens of bolts. Kastor's face went tight and he started, but he stayed himself; there was no scream. Greth was gone. He had faith in her; any encouragement helped. "Hey, you might hurt someone with that," he flippantly stated, but the anger in his voice was palpable.

Arnolt turned to look at him, bringing the blaster around to bear. "You're a moron."

Kastor smiled indignantly. "Maybe. I did save your ass at Southridge," he reminded; it was indeed a stupid action. He looked beyond Arnolt at the opposite side of the street. He could make it into the next set of alleys...

"Any good you did died when you betrayed your people," Arnolt hissed. He was right - to the Resistance, he was already dead. No amount of heroism was retained in their thoughts. "You'll die first. Then my men will find your friend," he smiled grimly. "We'll make sure she goes slowly."

"Take your time," Kastor grit his teeth, his buttons pushed. "By the time you lay a finger on her, she'll have cut off all ten of them."

"Good thing," Arnolt leered. "I don't plan on using my fingers."

Kastor should have continued the banter, but he couldn't. He stepped towards Arnolt, who lowered his rifle. "Too good for you, traitor," he grumbled, his large hand instead unsheathing a gigantic knife.

The young man ostensibly went first for his own vibroblade, strapped to his left hip. He faked the movement, executing his real strike in short order. He instead brought his two hands together into fists, slamming them down onto Arnolt's forearm arm. The point of Arnolt's barely-drawn knife was driven by his own hand into his leg. It wasn't as deep as Kastor had hoped, but it was enough; Arnolt grunted in pain, and Kastor had pushed past him, running across the street.

Pulling out his blaster while he fled, Kastor blindly fired several shots blindly behind himself. Arnolt evaded them easily, but they did slow him down. "You die now!" The hulking man cursed in Mantellian.

Kastor broke into a full sprint, barreling down the alley. He desperately wanted to call out for Greth, but he couldn't have her reveal her position. He would have to lose this idiot before he could travel to the spaceport. He approached the end of the expanse, but stopped short and turned off into a perpendicular, smaller sideroad. He barely avoided tripping over the clustered, homeless urchins sleeping on the floors.

Arnolt was close on his heels, pushing and stepping on anyone who was in his way. Kastor sped past boxes and electrical heaters, nearing the main roads once again. He didn't want to be exposed, but there was no other choice. He moved to the mouth of the alleyway, skidding on a patch of ice. He groaned as he struggled to maintain his balance, managing to stay upright long enough to regain friction on the stone.

A bolt whizzed past his neck, the heat taking him by surprise. He jolted in shock, but turned to fire a few shots at the opening. He couldn't see Arnolt, but the shots gave him some breathing room. Kastor kept moving down the street.

The monolithic spaceport nonetheless lay only a few city blocks ahead. Any fool would know where Kastor was going now. He grimaced as he slowed a bit, noticing that Arnolt was no longer following him. He knew none of his bolts had scored a hit, it wasn't possible...

A hard metal object struck his face. Kastor yelled out and reached his hand upward to hold his nose, the red effluent flowing freely through his fingers, the warming sensation contrasting with the hollow soreness of the fierce blow. His head was pounding and the blood was running down his chin and neck. He stumbled backwards.

Arnolt emerged from a side alley. Kastor didn't know how he had got there before him, and he was too dazed to figure it out; over the rooftops? Another crisscrossing pathway he hadn't considered?

Kastor finally fell backwards. He would have fallen horizontally had not a corner of a building interrupted his fall. He, disoriented, groped for his blaster, which had been released from his hand during the fall.

He could see Arnolt's shadowy form come before him, the long, bloodied blaster held at his side. He pointed it between Kastor's eyes. "It is time for you to die," he declared in his native tongue.

Kastor heard the blaster bolt and closed his eyes.

After a moment, he cautiously opened one of them up. He was fairly certainly he wasn't dead. He pushed himself up a bit to see what was going on.




Tag: Han
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Last edited by Kastor Antilles on Tue, June 15th 2010 08:56pm; edited 1 time in total
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Greth Celchu
Han


Joined: 11 Nov 2009
Posts: 11
Location: The Zombine

 Post Posted: Wed, June 09th 2010 04:15pm    Post subject:
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The flight through the abandoned streets of New Coronet with Resistance goons on her tail was nothing compared to the adrenaline rush of payback. Somehow, someway, Greth had managed to deliver the special parcel to the Republic team waiting at the spaceport while facing opposition, gather a small team of gunmen to aide her and return to the site of the scuffle just in time to save Kastor Antilles' sorry ass. It wasn't exactly the most complicated plan she had concocted, but it would do its job and it would do it right.

Or so, she hoped...

The steady thrum of the blaster directly to her right echoed around the buildings lining the street, leaving a lasting impression on the goon who currently had Kastor at gunpoint and imposing a feeling of satisfaction for Greth. She had his attention and now it was time to get down to business.

"That's quite enough!" she called into the night, her voice cold and crisp, similar to the air around them. Slowly, her eyes traveled to the hulking man holding Antilles captive. "Back away and put your hands up where I can see them! We've had enough killing around here, wouldn't you agree?"

It was more of a rhetorical question and one Greth believed would get the man to back down, but she should have known better. These men were battled-hardened warriors. They were used to plundering and war...and even killing when the need arose. Unfortunately for this crew, that appeared to be quite often. "I wouldn't," the man sneered, reaching for something around his waist.

The action left her with no choice and Greth responded in kind. With a simple flick of her wrist, she ordered her men to open fire once more. Their attack was concentrated toward the man's hand in an attempt to knock whatever weapon he had been grasping free - it was not intended to kill. Republic soldiers were above that whenever possible and Greth had sworn to uphold those ideals.

The man was a shadow in the night, moving swiftly to the side to avoid the crimson bolts and plastering himself against the duracrete buildings. But he did more than simply dive for cover. Somehow, he had managed to track Greth down and he lunged, throwing the knife through the air to cleave her heart.

Fortunately for Greth, the man had not gone unscathed, which was evident in the accuracy of his throw. One of the bolts had found their mark, throwing the man off-balance. Greth took advantage of his injury and called to her men to enact the killing blow as she performed her own evasion. They had been openly attacked and the situation had spiraled from simple negotiation to violence. No matter how much she regretted taking a life, she no longer had a choice.

Crimson bolts rang out once more and this time, the muscled monster hit the pavement with a satisfying crack. With a hollowed sigh, Greth surveyed their surroundings for anymore interlopers before her gaze fell upon the form of a man struggling on the ground. She quickly dismissed her men to continue the search of the area and found herself moving forward, the muscles in her legs burning with the stress as she approached the figure.

Her confirmations were correct as she neared his position, taking in his haggard appearance and seeing the recognition in his eyes. It was Antilles and he was beaten pretty badly, blood seeming to be streaking down his face from a blow to his nose. She winced and knelt down, cupping his chin in her left hand as she inspected him. "Gods, are you alright?"

He sniffed once to stanch the flow of blood before finding the strength to speak. "Caught a blaster with... my face," he said wearily, glancing up into her face with a small smile. "At least it wasn't the business end... nice timing."

Of course, it was typical Kastor to try and joke about the whole situation, but Greth found no humor in it. Instead, she reached into her utility belt, her expression unreadable. "Here," she said softly, producing a folded rag from a pouch on her belt. "Clean yourself up. It might not have been the business end, but it did enough damage." After a moment, she couldn't help but smile. He looked so vulnerable and yet, he had tried to be so strong. That, in itself, was humorous in its own way. "I also figured you wouldn't get back without getting yourself into trouble."

"Well, I'd be personally offended if you didn't let me add to your great strategy," he quipped, dabbing lightly at his face as he glanced up at her with a goofy grin.

Her smile widened to see him in such good spirits. "At least I got your information safe," she revealed with a wink.

"Better be worth it," he grumbled in a low tone.

Standing back up to her full height, she brushed herself off and took note that her men were returning from their quick scouting mission. Judging from their expressions, they hadn't found anything, but that didn't mean they were safe. They had to keep moving. "We better get moving or we won't find out at all," she voiced her concerns after a moment.

Kastor had risen shakily back to his feet as well, but he wasn't looking at her. Instead, he was eyeing the body of the dead man with a leery expression. "He was really after you, I think," he revealed in a low tone, taking a moment to reflect before angling his gaze back to her. "You really did something to piss them off."

She didn't want to look, but she forced herself to follow his gaze anyway. The empty sockets of the man's eyes were staring blankly up into the night sky, sending shivers down Greth's spine. "Probably just for being here," she suggested, trying to put a tinge of humor in her voice, but failing miserably. Another thought occurred to her then, one that rattled her core even more. She didn't want to be right with her assumptions that the Resistance had been delving in something much deeper, but it had been their mission to figure that out and she hadn't liked what she had found so far. "Or maybe they're hiding something..."

That thought was answered by more shouting in the distance. They were far from alone and the Resistance were now onto them. Kastor had obviously picked up on this, for he quickly took her by the arm and started to escort her down the main street in the direction of the spaceport. "It's their problem now," he uttered quietly. "Let's get the hell out of here."

They moved along quietly for a moment, Greth slowly relaxing back into Kastor's grip. It was unlike anything they had experienced before, but somehow, it felt right. "The rest of the crew should have the ship prepped when we arrive, so it should be an easy escape," she started to explain as they ran, hoping to make some small talk to ease the tension. She turned her head to look over at Kastor and gave him a knowing look. "As long as we stay clear of anymore of your people..."

As soon as she said it, she regretted it and the look on his face said as much. His tone had turned hostile as he replied. "They're not my people," he growled back.

"Your...ex-people?" she offered, trying to lighten the mood. It only succeeded in making the situation worse and she winced as she hurried to rectify the problem. "Nevermind, you know what I mean," she finally muttered, somewhat angry with herself for botching the entire thing.

"Yeah, that's it," he muttered with a smirk.

Greth opened her mouth to respond, but never got the chance. Blaster fire broke out around them as a horde of angry men came barreling in their direction.

So much for escape...





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