The stars blinked in the distance as the shuttle exited Castilon's atmosphere hitting the thruster's stars turned to lines moments before dropping out of lightspeed. Their destination stopped them in front of a pale blue VCX-100 light freighter.
In the cold vacuum of space, the ship just sat there. Neeku let out a breath of relief the color was just as had been stated before the transmission was suddenly cut off. His grip on the arms of the chair loosened allowing his muscles to relax Kaz slowly flew toward the freighter parking at the back of the ship gently resting the shuttle to a halt.
Neeku was the first to touch down on the freighter taking a couple of small steps forward just enough room for Kaz to drop from the ladder. The dead feeling of the ship wasn't helped by its pitch-black surroundings. Soft padding on the wall behind him.
As if responding to Neeku's call the lights of the ship turned on along with a hum indicating the start of some systems.
"Well that's one way to find the light switch," Kaz said with a shrug.
"Yes, most curious," Neeku responded pressing forward. He almost passed the first cargo bay door they came across a few moments later.
"Pisst" Turning around he saw Kaz pointing at the door in front of them.
The inside was sparkling clean as though it had not once been used since the ship's purchases. The walls shone with that new paint look. The same blue that was on the outside of the ship with just a touch of brown to offset the colors.
"Interesting color choice helps the ship stand out with the brown. That's better than the full blue color that is on the outside."
Neeku stared at him cocking his head.
"What?" Kaz held his palms forward as if Neeku was going to strike at him for not focusing on the mission. "All I'm saying is I feel it gives the ship a lot of character."
"A friendly reminder Kaz we are here to check for any survivors and bring them back to the Colossus,"
"At the request of the Captain Doza yeah I remember." He continued looking back at the art resting his hands on his hips. "It just doesn't hurt to admire the architecture of this ship."
The second of the cargo bays yielded the same result as the first one had as did the third.
"At least this place isn't infested with monkey lizards," Kaz said rubbing his arms looking from side to side for the next entryway. Neeku couldn't tell if it was because of the memory he was having or the slight chill that touched his body he had assumed maybe it was both.
"Agreed. So far we've had amazing luck to not so much as see anything troubling." Neeku let out a nervous laugh as the door to the last cargo area slid open. "Uh oh" Realizing he spoke too soon.
The two dashed forwards to examine a human male lying just behind a small metal box. Box moved from side to side so suddenly that Kaz jumped and let out a yelp. Neeku jerked back suddenly as a clanging sounded from inside. Something sharp pierced through the box bursting out of it. An eight-legged mechanical insect that carried a clear looking rock within its pinchers. It skittered around the room as it used the knife-like horn on its head generated shocks off electracy from the tip. Sending power into the crystal making it radiate a fiery red glow before disappearing from the room.
Neeku crouched turning his head to the side. "Several more of those droids are in this container along with a few more crystals. The good news is that the rest are deactivated for the time being."
"Your right about that being good news," Kaz said in a somber tone. He flipped over the man's palms showing circular burns on both. Neeku staggered back taking in a breath. "He's dead Neeku" He continued flipping the man over on to his belly. Dried blood stained long and thin rips were on his shirt it didn't take a doctor to figure out what had done this to him. "Let's keep moving," he said rising to his feet sounding somewhat defeated.
"Look there," Neeku said pointing at the window just outside as lines appeared outside the window. Kaz exchanged a worried look before racing to the cockpit of the ship.
"Hey stop the ship," Kaz said in a loud voice. No response. Quickly he shot forward and grabbed the back of the pilot's chair squeaking as it was swiveled around. A gasp came from Neeku as he saw who it was. It was none other than Nena Nalor the Nikto who tried to disrupt the Colossus for the First Order. One heck of an engineer she had been able to drain the ship of power preventing escape from their enemies. That would have gone badly had Neeku and Kaz not been quick enough to repair the damage she caused.
In her current state, however, she was the one that needed their help. Neeku noticed the rise and fall of her chest accompanied by gentle breathing. He walked around the chair gently touching the wires connected to a flight suit she was wearing. Pausing in front of where she sat taking her hand in his watching her as though she might awake at any given moment.
"Almost home with what Kaz?" He looked in his direction. Kaz was starting at the dashboard computer.
"No no, I mean what it says here on the terminal," Kaz said with a shake of his head. He stood next to Kaz reading the red letters that were indicated a moment ago. "Would you look at that we've dropped out of hyperspace?" He said with a scowl.
Looking up from the dashboard out the viewport was remains of black-colored pieces of ships in the surrounding area. Parts of the solar panels of tie fighters, large chunks of the nose of a Star Destroyer, and the rest of it were floating lifeless in the area.
"Home." The letters on the dashboard blinked.
"There's nothing here," Kaz commented throwing his arms outward in frustration. As if he had been arguing with Neeku this whole time and not the freighter itself. "The war is over there is no home for you to go back to." He grabbed the wheel of the ship in an attempted to make a turnaround.
From the corner of his eye, Neeku saw the crystal from earlier on a pedestal near where Nena sat. It was no longer its bright crimson colors it just looked like a clear colored rock. Drained of the infused power it had sometime before. A sudden hissing could be heard from a distance proceed by Kaz's screams.
"Are you alright Kaz?" Neeku said assisting him to his feet.
"Yeah, I'm ok." He was looking at the wording that now read "Intruder Alert" "First Order, Resistance it doesn't matter what side this ship was on." He rested his hands on the dashboard for a moment. His eyes downcast at the idea of having to destroy such a find.
"Kaz lookout." It was one of those droids from before leaping from the top of Nena's chair straight at him. He ducked out of the way just in time as it flew over him missing its target. Spinning around just in time as he pressed his foot down on it smashing the tiny enemy into pieces scattered about the floor.
Neeku saw another one come in holding another one of those lava crystals. He tried to smash this one with his foot it skittered around causing him to miss. Charging forwards horn at his feet several times as he had to move back to avoid it. With Neeku pinned on the dashboard, it maneuvered up the chair and like the first one before it jumped straight for him. Landing itself and the crystal inside the center sparking and short-circuiting. As he rolled out of its path to avoid it.
Running over Kaz scooped Nena in his arms making a mad dash for the exit. The sound of the counsel exploding as Neeku followed to keep up with him. The crackling of fire torn through the walls of the ship chasing them down threatening to burn them alive. The searing heat brushing on Neeku's face made him almost start coughing from smoke coming out of the sides of the ship. He held his breath and just kept at his current pace behind Kaz.
"I'll head up first," Kaz said placing Nena gently in Neeku's arms. "Once I'm up their hand her over to me."
Kaz didn't hesitate any further and he shot up like no tomorrow. He felt his heart race waiting for Kaz to reach the end. He was now in position Neeku stood at the end of his toes Kaz grabbed Nena by the end of her collar. A loud creaking sounded as he made it to the first step of the ladder. His lunges gave in as he was forced to stop moving in a hacking fit. He couldn't die here not now opening his eyes much too soon as fiery sparks flew in. Something that felt like a tiny chunk of steal hit him head on the bridge of his nose.
He shrieked in pain trying to get whatever was burning him off. The flaming sensation on his face had started up and it was getting worse by the second.
"Neeku grab my hand." Kaz's voice was louder than normal odd? It hadn't sounded as though Kazuda had been yelling. Daring not to open his eyes he reached out for him. "Gotcha." Kaz proclaimed triumphantly pulling Neeku up until he felt the soft floor of the shuttle bay. He felt one arm get around Kaz's neck as he was settled into what had to be the nearest seat.
Kaz's footsteps of him racing to the front of the shuttle could be heard so clearly now. Beeping and hum of the systems turning on the shuttle swaying gently as they took off. Rummaging sound of stuff moving as though looking for something. Neeku relaxed into the seat opening his eyes only able to see a bright orange color now. At least the pain was calming down even if it was only just the start. Kaz's soft sounded patter of his boots coming in Neeku's direction could be heard.
The sound of one foot sliding further back indicating Kaz possibly keeling. He felt something small drop in the palm of his hand.
"Take it you'll feel better." Neeku swallowed what tasted like medication.
After a few moments, he heard Kaz sob pulling him into his embrace Neeku returned it this was just something that he would have to get used to.
"Sleeping pill." The last thing that raced through his mind before succumbing to its effects.