The Siege of Dalaran
The reflective eyes of the Aqualish gleam with latent excitement as it delivers a message that it seems to know little about. After the bounty hunter takes the rectangular device the hooded alien releases a few angry hoots, reaching out for the bounty hunters shoulder. Its hand is quickly batted away, and the alien is kicked into an adjacent alley before red flashes from a DC-17 and howls of pain ensue. The bounty hunter views the display on the handheld and it reads:
Target class: Jedi
While traveling through the bowels of the industrial sector Kadet’s movement becomes more deliberate. It’s more and more apparent that this is all premeditated – the bounty hunter finally goes to meet with a second contact. Something is less official about this meeting; the Zabrak shuffles in place weary of the constant metal clanking around him – unaware of the presence of the other. The Mandalorian appears behind him, startling the merc. Once the two meet the Zabrak calms, slightly. The bounty hunter speaks in a hoarse whisper: a voice that fluctuates as if it were speaking through a fan,
“Thirteen hundred credits is the sum of payment.”
The Zabraks lips peel back revealing jagged discolored teeth, “Then we have a deal.”
The beskar-wearing figure pulls out a small holo-device – a different type than the Aqualish had given. As the Zabrak mercenary activates the device the holoprojection of an older man, well dressed in stately garb.
“Senator Dalaran,” Kadet rasps, “he is your target, the only minor detail is he must be killed at close range.”
“Don’t worry about ol’ Dalaran, he’s as good as dead.” The Zabrak muses, still grinning greedily.
“Upon completion, the credits will be transferred to your account.”
She knew he was there long before he knew she knew – she was just patiently waiting. Ralana was standing in the center court of one of the many meeting halls in the Senate district. She was asked to meet here by someone from internal affairs. Normally for all her intelligence-gathering she would consult the Jedi archives, but this one promised exclusive data. So, against her better judgment, she waited for the figure skulking in the shadows to finally grow himself a spine and confront her.
“Miss Ralana,” he hoarsed.
“You can come out, we’re alone.” She said, reassuringly.
The man came shuffling out of the shadows; it was unbecoming of an NRI worker to be twiddling with their thumbs and sweating so feverishly. “You needed to speak with me?” she queried.
Ralana was of somewhat petite figure, but as a Jedi, to him she seemed so much larger than life. He was just a short, pudgy, paper-pusher so even if she was only a little bit taller than him, Ralana seemed to tower over him, metaphorically speaking, “I am a good friend of Senator Dalaran…” he whispered, “and am aware of your assignment to watch him…”
“I just wanted you to know that we attained some disturbing information…” He was fearful, but was it the news that he was afraid of or was it the Jedi? Perhaps there was a little something more to this; the entire situation stunk to Ralana. “A Zabrak was seen meeting in the industrial sector… and we believe there was a hit put out on Dalaran.”
Re: The Siege of DalaranThe woman arched a slender brow at the shorter human standing below her. “I see…” The information wasn’t all that surprising to the Jedi, but rather is was all too typical. A Jedi wasn’t typically assigned to guard someone unless they were in great danger, and a man of senator’s Dalaran contacts could easily afford himself a few bodyguards. So then why was a Jedi sent to watch him? The logical reason easily would be that something else darker was lurking in the background, and in her opinion a random Zabrak in the industrial sector wasn’t all that dark.
“You’re sure the meeting was regarding the senator?”
“My source is…” The man almost stuttered. He didn’t have nerves of steel, or the calm that other NRI agents had. But he wasn’t an idiot, the man could easily see that the Jedi woman was looking right through him gaining a sense of his motivations. It would be easy for her because he wasn’t trying to hide anything not that he was skilled at it anyway. “Look, you know who I work for. I wouldn’t risk meeting you if this was just some tip, or I wasn’t certain.”
That much was true Ralana could easily see that. “Do you have a description-"
Quickly the man reached into one of his large coat pockets fumbling with a slick datapad. “Here. My source was able to record most of the transaction. And before you ask it is unfortunate, but my source was unable to follow either one of them.”
She took the data pad, but her blue eyes never left the man. He was telling the truth, but it all seemed very odd. In fact it felt like a set up, “You trust your source?”
He was taken aback by the question, but then he slowly nodded. “Yes. Look there is nothing else…” He paused glancing around the area, “I need to go.”
Ralana nodded noticing that more around them could sense the man’s uneasiness. It would be better for both of them if they parted ways, and she knew that he could be found later. “Thank you.” The woman said simply nodding before going to walk off slipping the data pad in her cloak.
Senator Dalaran was busy adjusting the front of his suit while studying his reflection in the mirror, a last check up before leaving for the charity ball. He never left the penthouse with out checking his appearance at least twice if not more, gazing at his own image had become a slight obsession with the older gentleman. Ralana had heard from others that the human male found himself to be quite the charmer, with no family of his own the man was free to sample various women. Not only did Dalaran sample quite often, but he was a bit of a bragger on how he could easily sway the affections of the fairer sex. While most females fell easily prey to the 50-year-old’s handsome features, wealth, social status, and charms there were a percentage of women that thought him to be pig. But, whether this senator was just a ladies man or a piggish brute was not the Jedi’s concern.
After reviewing the information Ralana decided that it was definitely legit, but still the logic behind everything was elusive. Other than the way the man went through women he was utterly boring. A middle line politician, part of no groups, no lobbies, no boards, and no strong political stance. And oddly, those he represented were fine with his lack of political passion as long as their planet itself was stable, and for the most part Del Lara went unnoticed by the larger galactic affairs that was tearing the galaxy apart. In a universe that was taking sides this planet seemed to be blissfully ignorant of any impending doom. Ralana had come to the conclusion that either there was something behind this senator, the planetary government he represented, or he was merely a pawn in a much larger scheme. If she was lucky this would just be a case of a wronged woman putting a hit out on a former lover.
“I don’t think this is a wise decision senator.”
“Ah, Miss Ralana you know I am not gonna let some silly little threat scare me. Besides with a Jedi such as yourself by my side I am certain everything will be fine.” The man turned to the Jedi woman with a weak smile before it faded, “You know this is a formal occasion.”
He coughed, “Well, you’re not wearing anything formal.”
The Jedi couldn’t help the fact she smirked at that one, “What I am wearing is fine. I’m going only to protect you not to partake in the festivities.”
“Yes, but-" He sighed, “Really that-" He paused gesturing to her uniform, a blue and grey form fitting jumpsuit, what she normally wore out on missions. “Well it looks very nice on you, but I’m sure everyone would love to see you in something more-"
“We should leave we’re already late.” Ralana quickly interrupted him not interested in hearing his opinion on females or garments. He had made other silly comments to her before, but she had learned it was best to ignore them.
“But, really this is a rare chance for you to show off what a lovely form you have achieved.”
The woman almost let out a sigh. Why in the universe he thought that she needed to show off her form to those at a party she would never understand. Then again he typically did attend these events with at least one young female in tow, and so far she hadn’t seen any other female than herself. “Senator, I appreciate the complement, but I am not interested in being put in a dress for whatever reason you have in mind. Now, I suggest we leave.”
He sighed dropping his hand, “As you wish Master Jedi…” Snapping his fingers he called the attention of a protocol droid carrying an elegant, long black coat. Ralana idly watched as the man grabbed the garment and flung it on his shoulders before heading out onto the balcony where his limo speeder lay waiting…
The charity ball, also known as Kane Gala, was an event aimed at raising funds for medical research and advances. And even this event was 100% on the books. Ralana had done some research and though the Kane family wasn’t completely trustworthy in her opinion all of the funds raised there did go towards research into the top diseases plaguing the galaxy in their current time. Still something didn’t sit right with the Jedi.
“I have a bad feeling about this senator…”
“Well get over it. The Kane Gala is one event every year you don’t miss as a senator unless you’re in a coma or dead. The media will tear me to pieces if we don’t attend.”
Ralana arched a brow at that before glancing out the window at the exterior of the event. It was being held on the top level of building full of condos that the Kane family recent purchased. The top level was a large, lavish penthouse suite with a completely glass exterior giving a full view of the senate district at night. Of course there were dark shades that could be closed if commanded, but for tonight they were all pulled back letting camera droids snap away at the events going on the other side of glass. It reminded the Jedi of a zoo, the media observing the behaviors of the senators openly to catch a glimpse of the world that honestly few really knew. In all honesty, the entire event was one big elaborate show in order to gain points with the public. Politics…
Leaning back in the leather seat of the limo the Jedi concentrated on the Force trying to pin point where the danger was coming from. It wasn’t a matter of if there would be an attempt on the senator’s life tonight, but rather when. Ralana had already sent holo images of both individuals from the datapad she had received to the security forces there, but if the bounty hunters were good it wouldn’t matter. And, sure she could force the man to return home, but perhaps now would be a good time to meet her adversary. Feeling the limo speeder slowly pull up to the balcony entrance she looked to the senator for last final piece of instruction. “If I tell you to run I suggest you don’t argue.”
“I’m not used to taking orders.”
The man smirked, “Alright fine.”
Re: The Siege of DalaranOutside of the penthouse suite everything had fallen to an evening twilight and the denizens congregated on the lavish floor where the Charity ball was held. Crowding in small cliques while holding their triangle glasses, probably filled with some sort of perfected Correlian champagne, they murmured to each other. Senator Dalaran fit right into the setting. Immediately, he began shaking hands and initiating small talk, but fit in to no set group. Instead he was like a social butterfly, wittily inserting himself in one discussion, holding engaging conversation for a while, then fluttering off to another group while wishing the previous best of luck in their endeavors.
Meanwhile, somewhere a few floors down, a hooded Zabrak paces down a twisted hallway. He opened the holo-device, which promptly flipped over to blueprints of the building. There was a small ventilation shaft that led to the far side of the ballroom. He stopped at next to the ventilation shaft (which doubled as a maintenance tunnel due to its size) unhinged it and crawled in, pulling it shut behind him. The Zabrak scurried through the tunnel until he reached a specific removable panel. With a disgusting grin he flipped open the holo-device to verify his position, then pried the panel off before removing some sort of fine point laser cutter.
“This’ll do,” he muttered and chuckled as small sparks came from the box of fuses and wires. Soon after this the second phase of his plan would begin.
Outside, before the lights went out, Kadet viewed the goings-on of the ball room floor through the advanced visor of the bounty hunter’s helmet. Both Ralana and Dalaran had already been detected and Andme was keeping close tabs upon both of them. Then Kadet switched to night vision; the timing was so perfect that it was as if the bounty hunter were cutting off the lights. Ralana and Dalaran were still in sight, and most of the crowd hadn’t moved much. There was one blip in the far-left corner of the room, through a shaft in the floor.
It was about time, Kadet punched in a few numbers on something attached to it’s wrist, maybe a bomb, or possible a sensing device, then leveled that very arm out, perpendicular to the wall just below the windows. With a quick press of a button, the grappling hook shot out, with the device on the end of it. With perfect suction the device plugged onto the side of the wall, where Andme detached the cable, stood up, and readied the booster pack.
Back in the ballroom the lights shut out, and a few of the more tense participants shouted in shock just as the power failed. The Zabrak was at the far end of the room, with a pair of night-vision goggles strapped around his eyes. He pulled a dagger our from his cloak as he squirmed out of the silently-opened shaft and then stood up, making his way across the ballroom floor. There was senator Dalaran, all he had to do was slit the man’s throat and evade the Jedi until he got to the floor where his ride was waiting.
Now, the assassin slips through the crowds of people, raising the dagger slightly. He closed the distance between himself and the senator.
Re: The Siege of DalaranSomething was amiss…
She sensed it through the clamoring calm of the others in the room. Those with the gift of gab were chit chatting away, talking around in circles with fellow politicians on topics ranging from galactic affairs to what designer they borrowed their garment from. All was going smoothly on the outside, but there was a trickle in the Force tugging at Ralana, the man she was protecting was in danger. But what troubled her more was the fact a second agenda was lurking in the shadows. Either way in ward so to speak was in danger.
Gently woman took a hold of the older gentleman’s arm interrupting him from a conversation with a several attractive humans. “We should go…”
“What? But, we just got here.”
The man blinked looking between her arm and the woman’s face seeing that in fact she ‘appeared’ to be completely serious. “Oh, I never knew a Jedi to worry so much!” He laughed looking at the group who were unsure of how to react. The Jedi was uneasy, and they assumed that said fact was not a good omen for the evening.
Of course the senator took notice of their concern, “I’m sure its nothing.” He paused giving them a quick wink followed by a smirk, “Maybe she just wants some alo-” The man stopped as the woman tugged as his arm again.
“Alright I‘ll-….” His voice trailed as the room went black, “…go.” Gasps and screams echoed through out the room as the guests tried to figure out if the blackout was part of the party, or an invasion. Ralana of course already knew.
Her eyes quickly adjusted to the lack of light finding herself lucky that the room was practically made of glass. The city lights of Coruscant illuminated the room enough so that her Firrerreon sight kicked in giving Ralana an almost perfect view of the room. With one hand the woman quickly removed her cloak going to drape it over an arm as she let go of the man she was protecting.
“Should we run?” Senator Dalaran quickly asked now starting to panic as he realized the Jedi had been right to worry.
“No, stay here.” The woman simply stated backing away from the man some as she scanned the crowd for anyone that could be an attacker. With out the cloak the woman passed for another guest and the hunter may not realize that she was close to the target. The cloaked assailant’s movements confirmed the Jedi’s thoughts, he slinked through the crowd with ease heading straight for the senator with blade in hand, only focused on his target. Ralana turned her back only using her peripherals to continue studying his advance as she readied her action against him. Her fingers gripped the edges of her cloak as she waited deciding against the use of her saber, she wouldn’t need it.
As he passed her Ralana instantly spun around, while tossing the bottom half of her cloak over the hunter’s head. Clearly confused by the action the Zabrak reached up his arm trying to cut through the fabric, but just as he went to puncture a hole in the garment Ralana made a second attack. She swung out her left leg, sweeping his legs out from under him while letting go of the cloak. With the upper portion of his body weight focused on getting the blinding fabric off of him; the male easily fell to the floor with a loud thud. And before he could even could even consider recovering from such a fall the Jedi was on him, literally. Ralana stepped down on the arm that had the blade with her left leg, and while giving him another shift kick with the right though this time it was to his head. Of course the attack wouldn’t kill the creature, but it did cause him to yelp out in pain as now his jaw was a bit out of place. All Ralana really wanted to do was have him drop the weapon, and make sure he lost any concentration. His grip on the knife loosened, using the force the woman called the weapon to her hand now disarming the hunter.
“Stay down.” The woman commanded easily as she pulled out a set of hand cuffs that were attached to her belt. As Ralana was bending over to bind the hunter’s wrists she could hear movement headed in her direction followed by yellow tinted light of glow rods.
“Everyone stay calm!”
The Jedi noted that it was the voice of one of the security officials there at the gathering. She could feel the waves of panic floating out from the guests as they realized the black out was no mere party stunt. No matter the immediate danger had been taken care of though Ralana could still feel the trickles in the force, the warnings of danger. There was another? Maybe it was whoever hired him?
Finally stepping off the attacker’s arm, she slapped the cuffs around the wrist of the male before grabbing his other arm. Bending it roughly behind the alien’s back caused a fountain of obscenities to spill out the assailant’s mouth. She only sighed, “You’d be better off telling me who hired you.”
Re: The Siege of DalaranThings seem to settle as the Zabrak is apprehended, and there’s a sudden relief that washes over the room. Security pries through the doors, and they begin to file into the room shouting, “Everyone, get down!” At their command people hesitantly get down placing the palms of their hands on the back of their necks, allowing security an easier time finding the apprehended criminal.
“This the guy?” One of the security personnel asks nudging the disarmed Zabrak with the toe of his boot.
Ralana simply nodded and stepped off of the Zabrak, allowing the security entourage to take care of the rest of the details.
Ralana was just about to go back to check on Dalaran when a few blaster shots ring out, shattering the glass just as a figure flies through the opening on the long side of the building to Ralana’s flank. Whirling around from the prone Zabrak she almost curses herself for being caught off guard. That was just before the figure comes flying into the Jedi, jetpack ablaze. The room is covered in smog as the two torpedo into the glass on the other side of the room. The glass spiderwebs for a fraction of a second, then shatters into a thousand pieces as the two burst through. Everything seems to run in slow motion for a minute: the trail of exhaust leading to the ballroom, the myriad of sparkling fragments of glass, the impact, itself. As reality settles in, an extreme vertigo is felt between the struggling combatants as they initiate a freefall into the bowels of Coruscant.
The lights, even in the darker hour – especially in the darker hours – swirl into a neon melding pot of colored streaks. As the two fall, traffic below can be heard as cars cross on highway-less lanes, honking and beeping incessantly. Kadet’s jetpack sputters to a stop in the nosedive. Above, thick tendrils of smoke can be seen licking out of the shattered glass, which hadn’t yet caught up to the near-terminal velocity the two were falling at.
There were towering skyscrapers all around, and plenty of objects to break their fall if they were capable of reaching out. However, Kadet didn’t want to allow the Jedi such a luxury, and the bounty hunter certainly didn’t want the Jedi reaching for that light saber of hers. The confrontation would be of quick work if the Jedi were able to activate such a weightless weapon at such a close range; instead, Andme opted to force the Jedi to a frantic defensive. The mandalorian-clad bounty hunter didn’t want the Jedi to gain a Zen-like composure – because that, too, could signify an end to the bout. It was one reason Jedi’s were such difficult prey to tackle, they were generally difficult to catch off-guard, they were quite dangerous especially in one-on-one situations, and their force powers were normally difficult to compensate for.
Kadet did what was thought to be best precaution: apply constant and unforgiving pressure to keep the Jedi’s mind in a state of disorientation – however the means necessary. A small saber – not quite a light saber – more like a modified guard shoto. Possessing a short blade that extended from a guard on the forearm, it was Kadet’s most lethal short-encounter weapon and it was coming to impale Ralana straight through her shoulder.
A good offense was the bounty hunters defense.
Re: The Siege of DalaranNow the Jedi wished she had kept the cloak…
The wind rippled through her hair, and down their bodies as they soared together in an downloads spiral towards the depths of Coruscant. The fact she had not foreseen this attack, why the second hunter was here, or even the fate of the senator were not on her mind. Survival, it was her only focus in the next moments. Giving into fear and confusion would only be distractions her opponent could used against her.
Both of his arms were around the woman’s waist holding her to his form making her the same height as him if not a little a taller. For now he had his arms locked around her making it so getting at her saber could be deadly for either one of them. Yes, even though man pushed her out a window killing him would only be a last resort.
As they fell downwards, head first, in this deadly embrace towards various air speeders, and almost certain doom, the Jedi noted the armored man, at least she assumed he was a man, pull back an arm to ready an attack. Attached to his armor on this arm was what appeared to be a short laser blade, interesting choice of weaponry, that was now headed directly towards her shoulder. As he leaned forward with the punch, or well stab attack, Ralana leaned back against his other arm which was still holding her to him. Quickly she brought up her feet, placing them on his lower hips while reaching out with the force. As he leaned his weight forward with the attack the woman pushed off against the man’s body force jumping away from him. The sheer energy was more than enough to break his one armed hold on her body while at the same time sending the two flying in opposite directions.
Though her attack had broken their grip on the other it was not with out its flaws. She soared backwards through the air over a lane of air speeders that were zooming between the buildings while now trying to dodge the two flying bodies. Easily the Jedi arched her back missing the first flying vehicle completely, but when she came to a yellow speeder the woman’s back hit against the ‘hood’ scrapping across as the gungan driver slammed on his brakes. And though Ralana could have stopped her momentum on the car she had decided against it. The force urged her to keep moving, and the half human did not question it. So, she let herself drop once again after sliding over the car, ignoring the curses the alien was screaming as two more speeders crashed into the back of the yellow sports vehicle. Other air speeders swerved around the pile up in the air causing quite the commotion and now a small traffic jam.
As Ralana fell rapidly downwards again, though this time it was in more of a belly flop freefall, the woman reached into her utility belt pulling out a small grappling spike launcher. There had to be something she could latch onto to stop her fall. Readying the launcher the Jedi called upon the force waiting for the right moment to release the monofilament cable…
Thanks Corran, that was almost a catastrophe.As they fell the wind howled around the both of them, Kadet missed Ralana, but barely. Andme was getting ready to come in for a second punch when the Jedi force jumped off the bounty hunter, sending the Mandalorian-clad hunter flying into the edifice they had just jumped from. Clawing at nothing futilely, glass shattered inwards as the bounty hunter broke through one of the reflective skyscraper’s windows. Tumbling head over heels into the office building Kadet smashed into a cubicle-like construct. One of the office workers squealed, throwing a clipboard into the air as the bounty hunter leaped up.
As Andme rushed to the broken window, a thin cloth draped over its shoulder blew lightly due to the incoming draft. The bounty hunter scanned below, the HUD frantically searching through the traffic for the Jedi, until finally it locked onto her position. Then Kadet jumped, as if the armor-clad figure were diving into a pull of water. Ralana was significantly further down; however, the bounty hunter would gain significant ground. Kadet straightened up, nose-diving downwards, pulling a spike launcher from its belt as it fell.
Below, Ralana had just slipped off of the bright yellow sports car, fallen for about half a second before she landed on top of a hover metro that was gathering speed. The Jedi had ample time to recuperate, and the bounty hunter had little time to pursue. Kadet literally nose-dived straight through the first layer of traffic, a few cars missed the bounty hunter by inches, and the sounds of their blaring horns were soon a distant tune to the focused hunter. To anyone else, Andme’s actions seemed reckless, with little value tagged to its own life – an act more fit of a droid than a living, breathing being. To Kadet, it was simply the fastest way to a point.
The metro was gaining speed, and fast. Kadet reoriented itself as it neared the destination, but by then the train had gained too much speed and the bounty hunter missed its mark. All Ralana could hear was a metallic “ptang” sound. As the Jedi got her bearings she slowly walked to the edge of the train, using the Force to balance herself. From there she saw one of the most resilient bounty hunters since Boba Fett.
Kadet set a heavy foot across the top of cars in incoming traffic, hopping across the speeding invisible freeway using cars as stepping-stones. The bounty hunter had shut off the one guard shoto so that the cable wouldn’t accidentally be cut, and it used what was known of Ralana against her. Ralana was a fairly standard Jedi; she likely wouldn’t kill the bounty hunter if she had the choice. As Kadet neared, the bounty hunter knew that the advantage had been lost, to ascertain dominance the Mandalorian-clad hunter fired a single small rocket as cover fire.
Ralana leaped away from the edge of the train: she was little over 20 feet from where she had originally stood. As for the projectile, Ralana simply caught it with the Force before it even reached the train, then Force crushed the projectile before it got close enough to hurt anyone. When the Jedi crushed the projectile, a small, contained explosion occurred which sucked back into itself before it completely vanished. There was no collateral damage this way.
Kadet landed atop the train, near the end, in a crouched position, activating some sort of magnetic device on its boots to keep balance. As Kadet rose, Ralana pulled her weapon of choice from her side, and with a flick of her wrists flourished the purple lightsaber into activation. As the Jedi lowered her lightsaber into Form VI, the bounty hunter crossed its arms over its chest in an “X” shape, then activated both of the short guard shotos at once. The red illumination from the two miniature light sabers reflected violently on the bounty hunters T-visor, overwhelming the faint purple reflection of the distant Jedi saber.