Capitan Dylan Hunt stood at the Bar while he was handed his drink. Jawa Juice came in handy after long flights on board the Invictus. It also helped to relax him before taking on Passengers and cargo for the next trip..or whatever fun adventure laid ahead.
In times like these, fighting the Empire took resources and time, which he was glad he had both, but he was a one ship fleet. Nova did her best to do what she could however, with the crew on shore leave, he also realized that Nova, as good looking as she was...wasn't human company...
He looked around the cantina, taking in the various humanoids and clientèle that were here and was very interested in the young lady who was sat by herself. He'd noticed the various bodies that were playing sabacc and other cantina games...however she seemed not to be bothered...
He nodded to her as she gave him a glance...
Sabé sat at the cantina, obvious not one of her favorite places to be. It had been years since she was first visited this desolate place. She ignored a few of the other occupants while she sipped her drink. It cooled her throat and as she wrapped her dirty blond tresses into a loose bun off her sweating neck she eyed an on looker. She picked up her drink with her one hand and moved her other to quietly unstrap a buckle on her side that held her blaster in case if this company proved to be bad. Lost in her thoughts she hated to be here. Trent her commander in chief had ordered her to this mission. She couldn't argue with him since he was chief after all. The half Krisoian half Sephi had his reasons and Sabé couldn't argue with the man who rescued her from the Empire.
His keen eye saw her wrap up her hair in a tight bun and also took note of the fact she was armed and seemed rather ready to use the weapon should things prove to go wrong. It was the way of things of late...anyone who could make a buck would, if you didn't like someone you shot them and if you wanted to get ahead in the Galaxy...well you shot an bribed who you wanted to...
"Not my way," murmured Dylan as he took another sip of his drink. He seemed to get the impression she was a local...or at least one of the few that had made it off this rock. in this age, if you had a ship it had to be fast and well armed...he was lucky the Eclipse was...he was also lucky was sat in a nearby alcove, knowing if any trouble were to start...well he had some backup.
He nodded again at her and then called over the barman. "I'll pay for another of what she just drank,2 and handed the barman some credit chips. He also secretly hoped that she wouldn't pull out her said blaster and nail him...
That would be just plain rude...
"I didn't order another one," she protested to the bar keep.
"You didn't but he did ," responded the bartender, waving his hand towards a man across the room. The man looked at her and gave her a nodded. Interesting, she thought. Well at least he was nice enough to buy her another drink. She moved her hand from her hidden blaster that she kept in her boot strap. Sabé got up her curiosity now finally getting to her. She brushed the dust off the sarong like top that displayed her neat figure-one with curves that drew male eyes. She adjusted her leather jacket, mainly to check her other pistol hidden inside. She reached for her pack and stood up straight. Her garment even though it looked like she was an unarmed traveler, she wasn't. The loose areas of her outfit hid an assortment of flat knives, lock picks and credits designed for her needs. She poked in her pack and put some hair pins in her loose bun of hair that was starting to tumble down. These weren't ordinary hair pins but sharp stabbing utensil, used mostly to go through wandering hands. She finished her first drink and grabbed the new one and strolled towards the giving stranger...
As she accepted the drink and got up walking towards him, Dylan took note that what she was wearing didn't leave a lot to the imagination but he also realized in this big ol verse that here were always hidden surprises in a woman such as her and decided to play his cards...very carefully...to say the least.
He took a sip of his drink and stood up straight and pulled his jacket...to try and look smarter. Though he was in his relaxed fatigues it was always the best thing to look as smart as possible...that way they could see you made an effort and he could see she definitely was making an effort as she got closer. He stood up straight and extended a hand as she got to the Bar...
"Hi, I'm Dylan Hunt...are you local?" he asked... between shots.
"Sabé, " she replied taking his hand, noting it was a firm handshake.
" I am not a local here, just a visitor,"Sabé answered, " I wouldn't be caught living in such a oven warm planet." She figured this guy wasn't apart of the Empire and she sensed he wasn't going to know the reason for her visit or who she had visited. This man could help her on her next conquest which was to get off this planet.
"Are you a local here? ?" she asked. So far Dylan seemed charming enough and hoped he had a ship off this desert rock. He didn't fit the type that would just eye her bum or question her too much on who she was. Sabé needed to keep a low profile from the Empire. Meaning using different ways of transportation. Her next objective was to get off this planet, back into space where the Empire wouldn't find her so easily...
He took in what she said, but wasn't fooled by it. He could tell that like him, she didn't want to be on this Outer Rim piece of rock any more than he did. While the Eclipse was being fueled up, he was taking time out to make sure he got some human company and so far she was about the most interesting. Also he was starting to get a little nervous. she was easy on the eyes but also very quiet...and Mama had always said to watch the quiet ones...
He noticed a small look of disdain from Nova as she saw that yet again he had seemed to find another alluring female in another space port. He took it in his stride. If anything were to go wrong he knew he had his blaster ready by his side and her as backup. He also had a small idea that Sabé here was also pretty tooled up as well. In this day in age, that helped.
Her story still wasn't sitting with him as he sipped another drink out of the glass and set it down. "So i take it you don't like this giant sand box? I presume if your here then your either waiting for someone or looking to find a way off this rock," he asked, hoping that his next question would lead to a mutual agreement between them. He took a look to his left as his peripheral vision picked up a spot of white...and his deepest suspicions were confirmed...Imperial Stormtroopers. He laid his hand down towards his blaster took off the safety...
"So are they here with you? or should we make a discreet exit before anything kicks off?" he asked. "Not sure about you but I'm looking to keep their company."
She noticed it too. The glance of white coming into view.
"Not my kind of company. Are you kidding me? White isn't my color." she replied to Dylan as she reached for her cloak hood to cover up her head. Sabé then reached to un strap her blaster that she held in her boot top and made sure that her throwing blades were in her reach of her finger tips. She noticed a young dark haired woman at his side.
"What's your friend's name?" she asked with an raised eyebrow at Dylan. "Better yet hold onto that thought. You don't mind if I tag along to avoid them.." as she tilted her head towards the troopers...
Dylan picked up on the fact that she wasn't a fan of the Empire either and was catching on that she realized the best way out of here was with him. As she asked about Nova he smiled. He pulled out his blaster and made sure it had a full clip in it ready to go. Nova always seemed to get that mixed reaction from women.
"Her names Nova, shes an Avatar from my ship...a warship and she gets a cranky don't you my dear?" he introduced and asked her. Nova pulled out both her blasters and readied them also. "Yes Captain," she replied, with a smirk on her face.
"Besides, i do believe that I've got plenty of guest quarters on board the Eclipse to accommodate you for a while...of course, there are fees, but we can discuss that later," he explained looking around. At that moment, his look met that of the stormtrooper on the other side of the Bar.
"you " he cried out, and took aim with his Blaster. Before he got a shot off, Nova had opened up with a volley of laser fire.
"You see, there are good things to having a Warship Avatar on your side," he joked, opening fire himself, as all of the cantina occupants seemed to take to arms and start up a big fire fight. Pulling out his other blaster he started making a path for the nearby rear exit, taking down stormtroopers and anyone bigger than him that was trying to slow him down, also making sure that Sabé wasn't far behind.
With one arm she threw 3 flat throwing knives into the throat of an on coming trooper with the other she drew out her blaster and fired at the trooper on the right. Sabé then somersaulted forward to avoid the cross fire and popped up next to Dylan.
He found himself a corner to use for cover as he watched her at worked and was impressed..."Nice moves."
"Well if we get out of this alive, I will be happy to pay for my transport," she replied as she slide forward to her next opponent. Sliding upon the greasy floor she arched her back sending a volley of blaster shots with both blasters. She then jumped up and round house kicked another trooper as another one approached. She used the butt end of her blast in an upper cut punch and then brought down her arm, slamming onto the head of the opponent. Then quickly swayed slightly to the right to avoid a flying fist from a bar customer and turned giving a round house kick and then shooting a third to make her way to an exit.
"Nice moves. Where did you learn how to do that?" commented Dylan. Sabé turned and winked and gave him a wouldn't you like to know look.
"Capitan Panaka's wonderful finishing school for handmaidens on Naboo ." she said in a joking manner as she put one of her blasters away on her belt.
Realizing that an exit was now available, all thanks to Sabé, Dylan took a look around the doorway to make sure the way out was clear. While all hell was taking place in the cantina, he was glad to see that it was clear. Looking back at Sabé, he was also happy to know she was in one piece. After their short time together in the past few minutes, he was really beginning to enjoy the fun they were having...she was an interesting woman...and tooled up to the hilt.
"Okay, if your ready, your highness, the way out awaits us?" he asked as she looked over at the doorway he was covering. He looked over at Nova, who was having fun taking down anyone who got in her way and pissed her off.
"Nova, i know your having fun, but it is time to leave, we need to get our lovely passenger to the Invictus and get out of here, before the Empire starts getting interested in us again!" he called out.
Nova looked around and made her way to the doorway providing covering fire, allowing the way out to be easy for both Dylan and Sabé to leave. Dylan started for the doorway, nodding to Sabé to take it while it was good and clear...
"I don't think they're gonna let me back in here again..." he muttered.
With a nod to Dylan,Sabé quickly ducked into the alleyway. She then with a few movements of her hands re holstered her blaster and re-adjusted her hood back on which had gotten something spilled on it. It felt clammy against her golden tan skin and smelt of something rotten.
"I hope they have a place where I can wash this out." she thought. She fumbled for the Artemis rod that was strapped to her upper thigh. A favored weapon she loved made of metal and ivory. A retractable staff she used as a weapon but also as a disguise. She dug out a a thin gauzy cloak out of one of the pockets of her backpack and hastily threw it on over to cover her midriff; instantly changed how she looked in a matter of seconds. Sabé knew just adding or taking away a few small items to an outfit completely changed on how you looked, well enough so you can make a quick get away and not be able to be pointed out in a crowd...
Dylan made sure Nova left the building in one piece, noticing that the grenade she tossed into the cantina covered their escape nicely and made sure that all three of them were in one piece. He took a quick look at Sabé and noticed that she'd managed a quick dress change to her outfit that wasn't so revealing.
"I see, hidden weapons and the ability to get changed while on the move...i seriously missed something back in training," he noted quietly to her. He sent Nova on ahead to make sure the way out was clear towards where he'd parked the ship.
"Just a quick explanation, I've got an old ARC-170 parked in a nearby landing bay. That will carry all three of us up to the Invictus, shes ready and awaiting in orbit. Once we're on board we can be out of the system and into hyperspace within 3 minutes...then you'll be safe and sound...if thats to your liking. We can discuss travel plans once we're on board," he advised her. He looked at Nova's position and she nodded to give the all clear. He charged a new clip into the blaster and made sure his back up blaster was ready to go too.
"Like mama always said, always carry a spare," he muttered while Sabé watched with amusement.
He wasn't trying to impress her in this situation. Trying to get back to the Invictus was his main priority and getting his new passenger on board even more important. He guided her to the junction in the pathway and road and started heading towards the docking bays area. Other sentients were a wandering around the area going about their own business, not knowing that these three were escaping from the Empire clutches, Maybe not for the first time in her case, definitely not in his case.
"So do you do this often?" he asked as he ran along the road...
"More often as I would want."Sabé answered."Sorry that I couldn't finish the drink you bought me." She re adjusted her pack onto her other shoulder so she could hold the Artemis rod with her right hand. She noticed that Dylan was impressed on how she changed her appearance and knew by his look on his tanned face that she had a lot of explaining to do.
"Let's find that ride to your ship." she suggested, " I will be more than happy to give you a few answers." Sabé strolled along the side of him. Well at least he wasn't on their side she thought. She felt a little more on ease but still kept her guard up. These people even though helped her escape could turn her over to the Empire once they found out who she was or found out who she belonged to. I hope I can get a hold of Kamala. To see that woman's sour expression would be a a wonderful sight to see. She didn't like being away for so long from her little group of rebels. Besides she needed to report the information she gathered about on her old 'Jedi' friend and pass over a few more tidbits of news to the Rebels. Hopefully these new friends weren't bounty hunters since she held a high price on her head...
Dylan guided Sabé into the nearest Docking Bay and down the stairs while Nova kept watch in case there were any followers or stragglers that thought they may get lucky with an antique ship. That was one reason why he loved using the ARC to travel from ship to planet and back again. his mods had made it fast, strong and able to defend itself...always a good help when going away and leaving the Eclipse in orbit.
"I'll hold you to the drink another time, the auto-chef on board the ship can be quite good at making drinks," he said as he started the startup sequence. He opened up the hatch and took Sabé's hand.
"After you, my lady," he offered keeping the hatch open while Nova got the ship ready for takeoff.
As he helped her inside, he pointed out the harness.
"They're not great but its a less than bumpy ride once we clear atmosphere," he explained. He was trying to hide his regular
"I'll get it fixed soon" appearance and not give away the fact that the ship was held together with spit and a prayer...thank goodness the Eclipse would give a better impression. He looked around and ran over to the door controls, setting them to open and ran back to the ARC. Once he was inside and strapped in, Nova gave him a nod for clearance and the pointed the ship upwards and accelerated hard.
He aimed for a point that wouldn't to be far away from where she was docked but also kept an eye on the local system while monitoring the system. It was a small system but the Empire often liked to show its face around...as if it was scary still...
He took a wide course away from the planet and pushed the engines to full power, making headway fast as the Invictus loomed into view
"There she is," he muttered, with a boyhood smile on his face, seeing her again always brought joy to him.
"Captain, we have 3 Star destroyers, 3 minutes out, they'll be in weapons range in the next 2 minutes," announced Nova prominently.
"Great just when this day couldn't get any worse..." muttered Dylan.
" Ah, crap," exclaimed Sabé when she saw the Empire's ships on the monitor.
"Any ideas on how we can avoid them?" she asked Dylan as she unwrapped her hood from her face, tossing it back into her pack.
"I may have a few," was his reply. But there was some concern in his voice that she picked up. Looking over to Nova, Sabé couldn't help but to be curious. Who was she to Dylan? From the scuffle they had with the Empire she could tell that they are close and knew each other's actions. Sort of what she has when fighting along Kamala and Trent. The three of them moved like the flow of water. But now wasn't the time to think about what Dylan had in mind for her. Sabé knew he liked her by the way he talked and poured out the charm when they were in the Cantinia. But this wasn't the time to think of such things. The three of them right now had bigger problems to solve. But mostly likely figure out an idea how they were gonna get out of this mess...
Dylan gunned the engines on the ARC as he neared the Invictus. knowing that she could handle herself better than being on board this smaller transport was about as much comfort as he needed.
He aimed her course directly for the Landing Bay as the sensors started picking up TIE Fighter launches from the three destroyers. This was going to get hairy. He slid the ship as gently as he could to make sure it landed near the waiting doorway to lead them to the command deck. He wasn't going to take any chances with his new passenger and reminded himself to make sure that she was made comfortable as soon as they jumped.
As the ship went into shutdown mode, he pulled out a comlink, whilst making sure that Sabé was removed safely from the ARC. "All hands this is the Captain, we have 3 Star Destroyers in an intercept course. All hands, man your battle stations," he ordered as Nova opened up the elevator.
"This way your highness, you'll be safer on the command deck with me and the rest of the bridge crew, this shouldn't take too long," he explained as they ran to the lift
The first of the hits shook the ship ever so slightly as the elevator doors closed and the elevator rapidly made its way to the command deck. Once the doors opened, Nova ran to take her post and began firing orders to various crew members. Dylan guided Sabé to where his post was and smiled to her. "Stick around, you'll be okay now," he advised.
He looked over at a crewmen as another hit shook the ship. The shot shook the ship and Sabé had to regain her balance as Dylan placed his hand on her back to steady her.
"Report!" he shouted as more hits shook the ship.
"We're taking fire from several squadrons of TIE Fighters. Star destroyers as closing on our position. We're making the jump to Hyperspace in the next 30 seconds," the crewman reported back as the ship banked to begin its jump course.
"Any idea where you're making the jump to?" she asked. Sabé wondered where this was going. She needed to get a com-link out to her posé, they needed to know where she was at so she can make it back to base. Sabé looked up at Dylan, hopefully he would believe her story why the Empire would want to have her. But not everyone goes around telling everyone that you are apart of an under ground organization that helps out the Rebel Alliance. Especially if you are one of the top spy masters around and know your pack that you belong in is pretty much wanted in every Empire ruled planet and city. It made it worse that you can't get close to anyone in the crew just in case something happened to them. She gritted her teeth, dam the Empire. Dam that her best friend died years ago. Sabé didn't like the life of always being hunted down but it happened that way. Ever since she crossed paths with the Jedi that turned to the dark side, she joined the Crimson Guardians, the spy group she became a member of. They had rescued her from the Empire's clutches. Sabé's slender fingers twisted the sparkle blue gem that hung around her neck. A gift from Trent, it matched his eyes and it was something for her to remember their first mission together. Her heart ached, longing to be by his side again. She missed her friends dearly.
The ship shook once again and she closed her eyes while the count down began to its jump course.
Dylan looked across at her and smiled, "Don't worry, I know a safe system, the Sluis Van System is great for hiding, 27 different planets with varying different types of Gas Giants, habitable worlds and worlds that aren't...trust me its a regular hiding place...we'll be jumping in 5 seconds," he explained.
5 seconds later and the Invictus jumped into to security of Hyperspace and was now well on its way towards the Sluis Van system. Dylan relaxed a little now, knowing that the past troubles were behind him and for a little while at least he could relax and work on new strategies to slow down the Empire.
He turned from his station towards Nova.
"Nova, you have the Command Deck," he explained. Looking towards Sabé, he smiled. "Well, your safe now. We're well on our way to our destination, it should take 2 or 3 hours from our jump point, giving me time to get you settled in and also give you a few explanations," he offered, stepping down from his station.
He guided her out of the Command Deck and started to walk towards the guest quarters, taking a slow walk.
"I'm sorry if things have been a bit hectic out here, I'm not really affiliated with the Rebellion, but I hate the Empire too, they hate the fact I captain and own such a large ship capable of going toe to toe with a star destroyer and winning," he explained as they walked. He also made a point of keeping his hands behind his back.
"As for Nova, I apologies if she seems a bit quiet or sarcastic. Shes the ships avatar, its a unique system where shes an android thats tied into the ships systems, the mainframe and all. Nova is the Invictus manifest android thats also capable of working independently when off ship. Shes a great bodyguard and also my first officer. The crew here is made up of people who have lost against the Empire...I suppose you could say we're waging our own little war, but protecting the innocent along the way and ferrying passengers in need of help along the way," he explained.
He was also hoping that she was happy with what he was explaining. Dylan had damn near opened up and been completely honest with her, explaining almost all the details that were necessary...except how he got here...and why he was doing it.
The memories of his loss, his family that were killed back on Taran Vedra when the Empire came and wiped the planet clean of all life as part of a cryogenic experiment to test bio-weapons for their enemies...either way, it was sick and way wrong and he'd make sure everyone of them paid. The trip to Sluis Van would help arm up the Invictus and then have her ready to run in and give the Empire another slamming...that way it would be another score gained to even up the tally.
He caught himself screwing his face up as the pain wracked him again and noticed that shes seen this also...another explanation to given later..if need be...
Sabé sat and listened in awe and empathy. She two had become a victim of the Empire.
" I guess you want to know what my story is," she answered. " First of all my name is Sabé Naberrie. I was the decoy for the queen of Naboo when the Trade Federation invaded our planet. We managed to fool the leader of the Trade Federation and reclaimed our planet. During the Clone wars I worked very closely with Senator Padme Amidala. After Order 66 was put out I managed to rescue a few youngsters from the Jedi temple. Apparently that was a crime and I was arrested. I was ordered to an marriage arrangement to Wilhuff Tarkin. Of course I refused and had to fight my way out " she started. Sabé took a deep breath as her mind raced and she looked up at Dylan. Taking another deep breath she continued her story.
" Well Tarkin was so embarrassed to be beaten in a sword fight against a woman he had ordered the warrants for my arrest." Sabé said with a silent prayer thanking Obi Wan for all those light saber lessons she bullied him into teaching her.
" Well I managed to keep one step ahead of the Empire until I got caught in Kashyyyk by Darth Vader's new apprentice Starkiller. To prevent me from escaping they embedded a micro chip that could track my where abouts. They threw me to the labs where I was injected with various chemicals and drugs to make me stronger, faster and stay younger. They wanted to try to make me into the prefect solider. It was a little over a year ago when I joined the Crimson Guardians. They intercepted a Empire ship that I was aboard on. They got information on who I was and took me away from the Empire's clutches. They removed the micro chip and freed me from Vader's bonds. Apparently that didn't go very well with the Empire. To lose me would me that I could pass out information about the Empire to the Rebels. Which makes me a marked woman for the rest of my life..." she trailed off trying to read the feelings on his face.
"I been hoping to run into an old friend back at the Cantina. I was looking for Obi Wan Kenobi" Sabé finished up.
"I am suppose to meet up with the Crimson Guardians after my last mission. I wanted to find out the where abouts of an old friend, but I couldn't find him." she spoke softly, remembering her time with Obi Wan, " He may have some more answers that I need to know on the information why my friend Padmé died. I wasn't there when she died. I was busy harboring Jedi to safety . I heard rumors that she died giving birth. But I never found out if her child lived or died. Obi Wan I knew was with her. He and I parted ways after we went to the Jedi temple. "
Her mind drifted off for a moment on her memory of her love for Obi Wan and how they meet years ago on Naboo. Knowing that if she did find him he was going to be a much older man. Maybe this was why she liked Trent so much, he reminded her of her old Jedi friend.
"In other words. Me traveling with you makes you a target for the Empire. I am truly sorry. I have been on the run for years , hiding my face and never getting to be close to anyone because I don't want to put any more people in danger. The Crimson Guardians are the only family I have. And now I been getting reports that my friend, Obi Wan is no longer among the living either..." she trailed off and looked at Dylan. Her eyes had started to water up on the flooding of memories. Why did she feel so safe opening up to him? She wondered as she quickly looked down to hide the tears that begun to well up in her eyes...
Dylan stepped forward and took her in his arms as he could see that she was quite brave to be so open and honest with him. Like himself, he could tell that she was another victim of this galaxy that was run by an Empire that through the ages had shown itself to be evil and corrupt and not to give a damn about its inhabitants on the many worlds contained within.
He gave her a tight hug, hoping not to give any intentions. It was obvious that she was working with a group of people who were also trying to bring good in their own way and free the oppressed and the sufferers of the Empire. Like himself though, she was someone who had suffered before being able to do something about the freedom of others.
"I apologize for the losses you have suffered my dear, be assured, your safe on board this ship and we'll make sure that you to your destination safely," he advised her stepping back and giving her some personal space. Dylan was admitting to himself he could care for her, but could also tell that there were other more important people in her life, people she could trust whenever she needed to.
He was in the same position with Nova and many of the crew aboard the Invictus as well. They had fought together, alongside each other, many times and made it out of some scrapes they shouldn't have done to add to it. He could see that Sabé was also someone who had worked hard to get to where she was.
He secretly hoped himself that one day all of this fighting in this civil war would be over. That way he could do what he wanted the most, to go and explore the Unknown Regions and find out whats out there...the explorer in him yearned for more to learn out there and find out how everything started...the Empire held back so much information.
As he walked towards the door, he turned around and looked at her. "I'll make sure that you get there safely, its the least i can do...besides if it wasn't for me, well you might have had a quieter time in the cantina, besides a complete stranger offering you a drink and then rescuing you from the Imperial Troops that he started firing on..." he started and then realized what he was saying...not the best way to meet someone either...
"Erm, how about we agree that your safe now and I keep you out of trouble?" he asked her, before activating the door to leave her guest quarters...
Sabé smiled and nodded. She didn't quite trust her voice right now. She heard the doors shut and she tumbled onto the bed. She wanted to sleep but the scent of her clothes gave her the motivation to get up and strip off the sweaty outfit and hop into the refresher. She let the warm water pour over her covering her body like a hug. Sabé didn't believe she opened up to Dylan that way. She must stop doing stuff like that, she heard the voice of Kamala inside her speaking. To get too close to people was risky these days. She washed her hair out and finished up cleaning up. She wondered if Nova would let her wash her clothes here too or at least point in her the direction where. Sabé pulled out a light blue sarong top that glittered with tiny crystals and trimmed with tiny pearls. She pulled on a beige pair of loose pants and warped her damp hair into a bun and placed a few hair pins in. She sat on the bed and pulled out of her pack a few micro chips. These could come in handy for him and Nova she thought.
With one last look into the mirror she opened the door to find Dylan.
Dylan went back to his study after making sure that Sabé was comfortable in her quarters now that she was safe on board. As he sat back in his chair, he hadn't realized until she had opened up to him how bad things had been for her up until they had met in the cantina.
He knew himself that life had been rough, having lost his family and the world he called home as well. It wasn't something you got over easily either and it took time and he could see that time had taken its toll with her. Being alone for so long and part from her friends and fellow colleagues who were trying to bring justice to the galaxy while the Empire tried to stamp it out, each little fire at a time.
He got up and walked around for a few moments wondering about her, she'd opened up to him and he'd opened up to her, the both of them feeling an honesty that needed to be released and a trust that was formed...though he also admitted she was quite stunning as well.
Her explanation of her being a clone didn't stun him either, it made no difference to him really as he sat back down in his chair and closed his eyes. Rest was something that didn't come easily to him and a few winks in the chair seemed to have a better effect that a few hours in bed did...too many nightmares...
"Nova, I'm going to need a little bit of quiet...just to catchup..if Sabé needs me, direct her to my study okay?" he asked over the private comline.
Back on the bridge, Nova heard the request. "Not a problem...are you okay?" she asked him back.
"Yeah I'm okay, just need a chance to gather my thoughts and get my head straight...its going to take a while to get to Sluis Van...I'll take the chance while I have it...oh and if Sabé needs anything let her have it okay?" he replied before shutting off the com.
He closed his eyes and thought back to the good old days wondering about the peace and quiet of the galaxy and how it all made sense and ran well...although as his dream drifted further back he found himself thinking of Sabé more and more . He had to admit she was one interesting woman. She was vibrant, intelligent and fearless when it came to her hand to hand combat. He knew she would be someone who could keep up with his type of life style.
Sabé ventured out to the corridors of the ship. Quite curious about it. She wandered around trying to find her way back to the ship's main level where Dylan and Nova brought her. She hoped to give Dylan and Nova some com-link chips of data she had gathered with the Crimson Guardians about other outer rim solar systems and best hide aways from the Empire. Sabé also rubbed her wrist where a metal bangle with a few stones set in. It was her weapon. She didn't feel right in telling Dylan what it was and why the Empire was so persistent in recapturing her. Sabé knew many people didn't understand what type of weapon this was. So she thought by not mentioning would be the best resort even though she felt bad in keeping this from Dylan. She made her way to what she thought was an observation deck. She looked around and stared out into the deep blackness of space. A slight tingling spread through out her body once more.
Sabé's mind reached out and she felt what was described to her was the force. It made her thin frame sway and over took her senses as she was filled with the emotions and voices that flooded her mind. Suddenly a sharp pain hit her inside rattling her rib cage and shook her whole body. Screaming in pain she fell to the floor. Before losing conscious the image that struck mind was Vader and that he was after her...and that he was angry. With another gasp everything went black and she tumbled into darkness...
Nova was running the Duty shift on the Command Deck while Dylan was resting down in his office. It was something she was used to and it also meant he was far away if anything went wrong or a situation developed. Besides, after so many years of working together since he'd found the Invictus and her on board, she was happier that way and used to it.
She'd noticed that he'd taken a shining to their new passenger but that wasn't the first time, however before, he'd normally been more restrained when ferrying guests and passengers around in and around the galaxy while the Empire tried to hunt them down.
Nova knew of the Empire long before Dylan and possibly Sabé has been born. She and the ship were around with her former masters when the Empire rose and took over the Galactic Republic. Her former masters had made sure her systems where as high tech as possible and then left her to hide in an asteroid belt for many years. she'd stayed hidden til Dylan had found her and then learned to trust him, and to bring the fight back to the Empire.
However her attention spiked as an alarm went off on the Observation deck. A sudden impact had taken place, someone had fallen and she was already running at full speed towards the Obs deck. When she got there, she found their passenger, Sabé, collapsed on the floor, unconscious. She checked for a pulse and felt a faint one. Picking her up, she began walking as quickly as possible to the Med Deck.
"Captain, your needed in Med Deck right away, our...passenger has fallen ill, I'm on my way there with her now," Nova advised over the private comline.
In his quarters, Dylan woke with a start when he heard Nova's voice. He could tell the level of urgency in it and hearing that the incident had involved Sabé, he got up with a start, grabbing a force lance and ran down the hallways of the ship, taking the quickest route to Med Deck.
"I'm on my way!" he said over on the com link as he went to throw on some pants. Sabé , he was beginning to think it would be him having to keep up with her.
Sabé tumbled into darkness, falling into a tangled web of what her mind led her. In her younger years she wasn't force sensitive but after her first encounter with Obi Wan she developed and progressed through out the years with her skill. Sharping her Jedi like reflexes she became aware she was somewhere inside her mind out beyond. She couldn't quit tell. She felt the pain tearing her apart. Not knowing if this is what happens to being in a baca tank or one with the power of the force. It was like both sides the dark and the light were fighting for her balance. Suddenly the pain she felt was gone as if something swiped it away from her. Then somewhere she heard a voice. Calling...no shouting her name very clearly. She turned around to see a faint figure in the mist. He was holding out his hand to her calling her name. Holding out her hand she walked out towards the voice, it had a familiar tone to it but she couldn't quiet place the name to it yet. Sabé suddenly felt herself flushing back into her body.
"I think she's waking up." she heard a voice. Opening up her eyes and letting her vision adjust and come into focus. Nova's face came into view.
"Thank heavens," she heard Nova say as she helped Sabé sit up.
"What happened?" Nova asked. Sabé started to open her mouth when she turned to the sound of the doors opening and Dylan rushing in...
Dylan came dashing into the Med Deck, sending crew members and androids flying, racing to the bio bed that Sabé was located on. He was glad to see she was awake but also glad to see that Nova had found her as well. God knows how many times that Android had saved his butt and he owed her big time..
"What did I miss, what the hell happened?" he asked, slightly out of puff as he slow his dash to a walk, trying to look as composed as possible, however knowing it was his guest it had him a bit nervous...
"I found her at the Observation Deck, Captain, shes recently suffered a trauma and this rendered unconscious on the floor of the Observation Deck," Reported Nova as she helped Sabé to sit up and stay relaxed and rested. She then stood to attention and saluted Dylan...
"By the way, Captain on the Deck!" she yelled saluting in mockingness to Dylan..and he knew she was doing this for fun. Dylan knew she had a sick sense of humor for an android that was part of a Warship...
He walked over to Sabé and stood before her, looking her over...
"So, anything you wanna tell me? Apart from the fact that you haven't eaten since coming on board and that you're fainting on board my ship while it speeds you happily to your destination..?" he asked her in a concerned tone...
Sabé staggered up with the steady hand of Nova before wanting to give Dylan any answers. She noticed she drew a crowd yet again.
"I'm fine, just fine,"she answered Dylan hoping it would buy her time to be able to tell him and Nova what she had experienced. Dylan reached over and steadied her up right.
" I think Captain she should be looked over at the medical center first," hinted Nova, she apparently picked up on that Sabé needed a moment without others listening in on.
" Nova, make sure everything is back into order. I will see to our guest makes it to the medical deck," Dylan nodded and helped Sabé to the opening doors.
"Now young lady, I would like some answers," Dylan started as the doors closed behind them. Sabé sighed and took in a deep breath and looked up into his eyes.
"Well, you want the good news or the bad? she asked.
"I guess any thing would be an explanation," Dylan said.
"Okay right now, your entire crew is gonna be in a whole lot of trouble with Empire unless we find some where fast to hide. Unfortunately I am force sensitive. I haven't before but after being encountered with the Jedi I become more in tuned with the force. Right now Lord Vader is looking for me. He attacked me using the force right now. I still have an idea why he is so persistent to get me back. I have to find my comrades. They hold an idea how to keep me safe. I just have no idea where to find them right now. My com-link got damaged while I was on that planet and I lost the last few connections of their most recent location." she explained.
"So the sooner I find my friends the sooner you guys are out of danger.." Sabé finished up as the doors opened up leading them to the medical center. Dylan took in everything that Sabé explained to him as he helped her through the doors to her quarters. He knew he was going to have bad days...but he didn't expect anything like this...
"Wow," he said as he helped her to a soft chair to sit down on. He stood back and tries to get his head around all the information that Sabé had explained...
"So, your wanted by Vader? Well thats going to make things a little more interesting..." he resigned himself to saying, the realization hitting home that he might have to run and hide a little further than he normally did after run in's with the Empire...
He sat down opposite her, taking in that she was scared and worried about the recent attack and also that he may have a line as to where they were and where they were going to...
"Is it possible that he found out where you are? I'm presuming this a Force thing? I've heard of it before, but never really encountered anyone with these powers...I heard of Kenobi, the name rang a bell when you explained things earlier," he advised her, knowing that force users were few and far between in the galaxy after what was called the great purge...
Either way, he knew that he was in for a long day...
Sabé nodded she was impressed on how he took in everything.
"Vader doesn't know where I am. He can just sense when I am near. Here have this" she handed him over a small disk.
"Here are locations that are not Empire friendly and they help out those who are in need of a hiding spots from the Empire. It's something I picked up while being in a lab. I been searching for my friend Obi Wan. He might be able to help me hide from Vader" she said.
As she handed him the disk, he put away in a safe pocket. That sort of information could come in handy when there were either people in need, or he needed a place to hide that the Empire didn't know about. He also tried to take in the fact that they were not in danger while Vader was trying to find her.
Dylan had been up against the might of an Imperial Death Squadron before in the Invictus. Although he'd taken out 2 Destroyers at the time, the Invictus had taken a battering and it wasn't a performance he wanted to repeat any time soon again...
"Well, it the Empire do get wind of where you are, you have my full protection, that also goes for your Jedi friends as well your hoping to hook up with when we arrive at Sluis Van, however the news of Obi Wan, well thats a little more disappointing," he started.
He went and sat down beside her, looking at her honestly before trying to speak, but he could also tell by her facial expressions that she also knew almost what he was going to say...
"There was news a while back, that the Empire had some sort of massive station, some big outpost...it was capable of taking out and destroying entire worlds...something that terrifies me beyond thinking...from the rumor that came out of that place before it was destroyed, it was said that a brave old Jedi had taken the place out or at least weakened it enough to allow the rebellion to take a shot at it and destroy it...I'm presuming that could've been him," he explained.
He'd heard the name through out the years, all the terrific exploits he'd undertaken to stop the separatists and all and it sounded like something he'd do...he just hoped it wasn't worth the hurt he was causing her.,...
Her face fell when hearing the news of her fallen friend. It sounded like it was him...no it had to be him since it was Obi Wan all over to help out the rebellion in that cause. Sabé knew in her heart that her close friend was gone. She closed her eyes and tried to hold back the tears. She turned away from Dylan for a moment and quickly wiped her tears away. Sabé then realized the voice she heard when lost her conscious was Obi Wan's. It was him severing the connection , the attack from Vader a few moments ago.
He could tell straight away that this news saddened her and as she turned away from him, he felt really quite bad. It was never good hearing the loss of a close friend or loved one, however he knew first hand also it wasn't the best thing to suffer from hearing.
He walked over to her and placed a hand on each shoulder trying to offer comfort, in some way trying to make up for having given her this bad news. He knows it was difficult and wanted to help as much as he could for making her aware of this.
"I'm sorry Sabé," he started saying as he moved closer to her. "I know its difficult hearing this and I'm sorry that i was the one to tell you...I'm sorry i really am" he tried to explain as he held her gently.
Losing his family during the Civil War and his home world was bad enough bad this seemed to rank up there quite highly. He pressed his comlink attached to his jacket.
"Nova, take over on the bridge for me? I need some privacy with our guest," he asked her gently while looking at Sabé taking this in.
"Is everything alright Captain?" she asked...
"Not really. Let me know when we arrive at our destination," he ordered and then cut off the comline. He looked at Sabé again, wanting to help.
"If there anything I can do?" he offered.
Sabé looked up at him and smiled.
"Thank you for what you have done. I do not know how to re pay you for your kindness." she replied.
As she smiled again, that made him feel a little better as well. He was still kicking himself for the bad news he'd told her and the hurt caused by it.
"Its nothing. After all a person who doesn't like the Empire gets an automatic placing on my list of friends. As for repayment maybe I'll have you give the Invictus a wash and wax." Dylan said.
"All that I can say is that I need to find my crew in order to keep doing what we do best," she said with a smirk, "What I do best is giving all the havoc to the Empire and running up their bills in replacement and repairs on their fleets."
"I'll make sure you get back as soon as possible, thats a given. Otherwise, make yourself comfortable and relax. Your safe," he said, holding her a little less tighter now knowing that she was comforted.
He did her in the eyes though., For such a troubled woman she was beautiful. All the pains and hassles she'd gone through in her fight against the Empire had taken its toll however she still had a glimmer of light in her. However she still had the fight in her as well, that he could tell. Her smirk also said she was looking forward to it as well.
"But if there is anything i can do, let me know. it is my pleasure to serve...its not often we get such...beautiful guests on board," he remarked, with his own smile.
Once again the charm was showing, meaning he was relaxing, however he kept it in check, She was after all a passenger and he tried not to make a habit of getting to know them better than he should...well on the odd occasion anyways.
She looked up and smiled up at his face. Sabé could tell he had seen a thing or two in this life time. She hoped he was a man that didn't make a habit of picking up tough local gals all the time. Her force sense told her that he was attracted to her and that he was enjoying being able to comfort her in this way without the fear of getting his eyes gouged out. His warmth from his body and arms gave her a tingle down her spine and a bubbling in her stomach. Sabé noticed that once again he was putting on the charm once more. She reached up to touch the side of his face recalling words from long ago echo inside her head...
"Always seize the brightest moments, because you never will know when they will come around again."
As she touched the side of his face, Dylan was a little surprised and taken a back by her touching him so closely. He hadn't expected anything from Sabé, in fact in his eyes she was quite within her right to go ahead and slap him or tell him where to get off...but instead she responded in this way and he liked it...
"Erm, thank you..." he stuttered to her, a little caught off guard. He shut his mouth and reached to her cheek and brushed it slightly with the back of his fingers wondering if that was the right response or if it was a bad answer...but he was also getting the feeling he was happy with this...and was this what she wanted?
He let himself go a little and relax a little more, allowing his hand to stroke her cheek a bit more...
"You are truly beautiful.." he whispered.
Sabé blushed at his soft words. She hoped he didn't notice that her skin tingled where his finger tips and palm touched. She bit the lower lower lip and couldn't decide what to really do next.
"And you are very kind." she responded smiling. She reached up and kissed his cheek gently. Then she felt her right wrist tingle as her bracelet withered and twisted its self more around more to her upper arm. Sabé knew she needed to pull away. Her weapon the Witchblade was sensing something. Not knowing if it meant it was good or bad she moved from his embrace.
"Excuse me for a moment." she said, hoping it would be a good explanation to him.
As she excused herself, Dylan wondered if he'd gone too far and started to feel bad about his actions. He watched her walk away wondering if this had been a bad idea and decided that it was.
He headed to the door and was ready to make his way out of her guest quarters. It wasn't often that he did this but this also felt wrong. Almost as if her loss and bad news were an excuse to make sure that someone else could make her happy.
"I'm sorry, I'll leave you be. I'll be on the Command Deck if you need me," he advised before opening the door and walking out.
He tapped his comlink to Nova as he walked down the hall. "Nova, divert power where possible, best speed to Sluis Van," he ordered quietly. On the Command Deck, Nova nodded as she heard the order, realizing there wasn't an answer necessary.
Sabé hurried down the hallway. Tugging at her right sleeve down over her right wrist. The bracelet twisted and turned and started to go up her arm.
"Now what," she muttered under her breath. The center garnet gem glowed brightly as if it was trying to warn her about something ahead. Letting her eyes adjust she looked into the glowing gem. The images were blurry but she could make out what she thought it was one of her friend's ships being attacked by the Empire. She gasped as she covered her mouth when the faces of her friends appeared. Fighting back tears she knew she what she has to do. Changing her outfit and packing up her gear.
"Nova, how much longer until we reach Sluis Van. I need to find a space pod in order for me to reach this place." as she spoke into the speaker pointing out a location on a map. Sabé pulled her hair up and placed some copper knobby hair pins that were thin knives. Placing some scarlet face paint on to hide her familiar features. After adjusting a silken golden lace scarf on her head she made her way to the command deck.
As she received the Query about the Space Pod, Nova walked over to Dylan at his station. He'd been on the Command Deck for a few minutes and had been focused on his work. He hardly noticed Nova stand beside him.
"Captain, i feel you should know that Sabé asked about where the Space Pods were located...we are still some 30 minutes from Sluis Van, even with the engines ramped up at 150% capacity," she advised him.
Dylan didn't respond at first, still working at his station. Then he turned around and looked at her with a questioning Look on his face.
"Why the hell would she want a Space Pod? we're still in Hyperspace," he murmured.
He heard the large doors open to the Command Deck and heard footsteps running in. Looking around, he saw Sabé come running in and noticed as she ran up to him, that she looked different, her hair was up and she had...warpaint on...something wasn't right...and he had a feeling answers would be forthcoming very soon...
Sabé almost collided head on into Dylan. Her cat like reflects prevented her tiny frame from being trampled on.
"Sorry, but I need to get off this ship as soon as possible." she said.
Dylan opened up his mouth in protest, Sabé held her hand up showing her right wrist.
"I need to go and rescue my friends. They are being attacked near Sluis Van. I need a pod to get to them before their ship is totally taken over. " As she spoke the Witchblade quivered and started once again to transform into a silver gauntlet on her right arm.
"This is the main reason why I am so wanted by the Empire. Apparently while living in a baca tank they were testing out this ancient living weapon. Apparently it took a shinning to me and been attached to me ever since. I was able to find out its called the Witch blade and that its a very powerful weapon. Its something that the Emperor wants 100% control over. I am sorry I couldn't tell you about it sooner." Sabé apologized.
As she explained her situation, Dylan noticed that the meter had urgency and the contraption on her wrist moved into some sort of protective form.
"Understood," he simply said, not willing to argue with her. This was serious.
He wasn't going to hang around either, her request wasn't out of order. He looked across at Nova and nodded to her. she took his place at his command station and started giving orders to the crew.
Dylan took Sabé gently by the arm and led her off the bridge and headed the quickest way to the launch bays.
"We can take a slip-fighter from here, they're fast, agile and heavily armed. Also luckily for you, they hold up to three passengers and are bloody easy to fly," he explained as they entered the launch bay. He guided her to a slip-fighter and watched as she strapped in.
"Simple to fly and easy to use. If we both survive this, this one's yours. Its got a hyper-drive and is capable of long term travel...trust me this way i know you at least are safe, if not your friends...now get out there and start defending them...I'll be right behind you," he told her as he strapped her in and then went to strap into his own fighter.
He started up his fighter and began the flight sequence, watching as the Fighter was fired into the launch tube and out into space.
"Nova, thanks for getting us out of Hyperspace...keep an eye on us and if anyone gets too close, start giving them hell," Dylan ordered her as he followed the battle and started attacking enemy ships.
"Aye Captain," Nova responded from the Invictus as she watched him begin his assault...
" I need to lead the Empire ships away from my friends' cruiser. Which is a Naboo Royal star ship. I need you to be aboard on that while I lead the Empire away..." her voice trailed off, realizing once again she was making the choice to be alone again. Shaking her head there wasn't any other way. She needed to lead the Empire away from them. Knowing that they are safe is good enough. I can hold off a reunion a bit later.
"Before you protest, captain. Don't worry about me. I need you to help lead my friends to your ship. They may need the help from Nova. I have a plan that will knock the helmets off the Empire when I get aboard their ship." Grinned Sabé," I am going to lead them away and then I am going to surrender to them. But that is what they think." She looked over to Dylan's face, hoping to reassure him that she will make it back to him.
Dylan didn't like her plan, however he knew by now that she was not a woman to be argued with and she had a strong loyalty to her friends. However she also planned to play havoc with the Imperial Ships attacking her friends and that was where he came in.
As she had shut of the comm before taking the fighter on the path of her plan, Dylan swore to himself that both he and Nova would go on board and find her if she ended up in trouble.
Dylan began piloting towards the battle area and starting to rack up enemies on his targeting screen. He opened up a comm line to the Eclipse as he started opening fire on the fighters attacking the Naboo ship. "Nova, this is Dylan, come in," he requested.
On board the Invictus, while it started taking fire, Nova responded in her usual manner...
"So is this the one that finally gets us killed?" she responded with a question.
"Maybe...right now i need you to get the Invictus to the Naboo ship and dock with it. Get as many passengers and crew on board our ship as soon and as safely as you can," he ordered, while dodging fire from a Fighter that had taken him into the sights.
"Are we taking on wounded? if so I'll have Med Deck prep up...we're on our way..just make sure the both of you get back here on board as soon as your done creating hell out there." Nova had a worried look on her face as the Invictus took another hit.
"Fire all main batteries at the surrounding imperial support ships...we need to make some room here!" she ordered, watching the crew snap to it and feeling the ship turn. She headed the ship into the recovery area to begin procedures for docking and evac.
As he watched Sabé's fighter make her way towards the imperial capital vessel, he followed her path closely, making sure that anyone took aim at him. He took a couple of hits on his fighter, however they were nothing to what the Invictus was handing out.
"Good luck," he whispered, hoping she heard him.
Seeing that Sabé's ship headed into the landing bay, he pulled his ship around and began a bombing run on one of the support ships closest to to the Naboo ship, watching as Nova Docked the Invictus to the ship and seeing it done with precision. He had to hand to Nova, she was brilliant at many things.
He dropped a small payload of bombs down on the support ships hull and watched as he pulled up and away into clear space that the bombs hit and caused damage to the hull. He wasn't trying to destroy it, however anything that took their mind of attacking this vessel was helping Nova get the passengers and crew on board.
"Captain, we're docked with the Naboo and we're taking on everyone on board, crew, passengers, wounded and droids...as soon as we're done, I'll take the ship out of the combat zone," reported Nova, from the airlock, making sure personally that the rescued were sent to safety.
Dylan smiled as he saw more explosions on the support ship and started making runs on the main capital ship...he knew he had a few bombs left however pretty soon he'd need to reload...and that wouldn't be helping Sabé...
As he headed towards the Imperial ship he wondered how she was doing. And hoped she was okay...
Sabé landed her fight ship in the dock and came out fighting. Sabé blasted and cut through the droids and Empire soldiers. The witchblade created a protective armor around her thin frame.
She fought her way through using her malee skills enjoying the hum of her light saber cutting down the droids while shooting down the clones. Her plan was to get to the power core and destroy it with the blasts from the witchblade. The witchblade would then engulf her into a more protective shell and allow her to be in space where hopefully she can make her way back to the Eclipse. Back to her friends new and old.
All she needed was nothing goes wrong or gets in her way. She knew Dylan would worry about her but hopefully Kamala would find her way to him and let him know that she has a bond with her and will know if her life force is still living. Since Kamala was a Kriosian and a telepathic she would be able to let Dylan know that she was alright.
As she rounded a corner 3 stormtroopers were in the hall way facing away from her. She ran picking up momentum Sabé made a leap onto the back of one stormtrooper using his back a spring board. Sabé flipped over as she twisted her body she faced them releasing a volley of blaster shots as she landed to the ground. All three fell with blaster shots to the chest and upper torso. She got up and could sense a few more behind a door. The witchblade armored up as it flowed onto her arms making two long blades stick out on top of her fists. She tore open the closed door. The blades re-tracked as she let out some more blaster shots at the stormtroopers that fired upon her. Their blasts did no good against the armor the witchblade provided and the blaster shots just reflected off her body. Sabé couldn't help but feel a bit invincible when in this stage. She felt more powerful and had that confidence that she could take down any enemy that came across her. Her last encounter with the Empire she failed and was captured when she tried to fight them by herself. Not wanting to repeat the past she knew she mustn't fail. She promised herself if ever faced against Vader or his apprentice, Starkiller again she would be the one victorious. She was strong enough this time around.
Dylan steered his fighter through the battle scene, watching TIE Fighters and other imperial star-fighters exploding near or attacking the Naboo craft near the Sluis Van system. As he steered through the scene his mind wandered again to where Sabé was and how she was.
At that point he made a decision...probably not the best one either...however
"Nova, hows she holding up?" he asked nervously, knowing that even with her strong shields, she could only take so much of a battering. He was also glad that he was in the area for his backup ship, knowing that if the Invictus were to go, he still had a form of transport.
"Taking a hard battering...we're going to have to dry dock the ship pretty soon. I have all power diverted to shields, but we now have the passengers and crew aboard," she replied. He could hear the explosions in the background and knew it wasn't good.
"Okay, make sure you get her home in one piece, i know the Sullustan is fueled and supplied up...either way the Invictus is also attracting attention...the Imps have been here a good half hour and managed to start to get an edge...as soon as your ready jump, Dylan out," he ordered her, making a beeline course for the capital ship that Sabé was on.
"What about you?" Nova asked...knowing the answer already.
"You know where I'm headed Nova, just make sure the sullustan is ready, Dylan out" he ordered then cutting off the comm. Avoiding flak and weapons fire, he managed to get the slip-fighter into the landing bay, opening fire and taking out the sentry guards and outpost.
He then jumped out of the ship and loaded up his blasters, ready to go and find her...
Sabé rushed forward enough where she slide to an empty room to see what the status was. She felt Dylan's presence. Of all the stupid, arrogant, pig headed things he had to do this. She thought. This made things much more complicated. She looked over to the witchblade. Well, my friend there goes that idea, I doubt you can carry the two of us to safety. The witchblade shifted as if it disagreed with her. Well if we are going to do this I better make sure he is caught up. But there wasn't time to wait, Sabé thought as she argued with herself in her mind. She closed her eyes and hoped he would find her soon enough. The witchblade winked and assured Sabé that Dylan would reach her. She then took another deep breath and continued down the vast ship taking a right towards the main core.
"Well isn't it the Empire's most wanted." a voice shouted out as Sabé turned around to see a tall figure came out from a side entrance. Dressed in robes of black and had long clef blade in hand Sabé guessed that this was one of the sisters of the Coda. Sisters of the Coda were lethal assassins , trained from childhood to be warriors. They were often hired by the Empire and hung around ships like this hunting down rebels.
"Most wanted but never to be captured again" Sabé replied as she stood in a fighting stance. The witchblade adjusted its self adding more protection around Sabé's body.
"Never say never. For I Lady Teela will bring you in and I'll claim the witchblade as my prize" Teela sneered, she charged swinging the clef blade at Sabé.
"The witchblade is mine and it doesn't want to leave me" Sabé countered the clef blade with her right arm blocking the blade. She swung with her left as Teela leaped back avoiding the blow. Teela was quick and swung the clef blade over and over in a figure eight motion. Sabé did her best in blocking the blows not being able to to fire a shot from her blaster.
"You would have been a lovely addition to the sisterhood. Your skills would have been a great asset to us." Teela remarked.
"Sorry I belong to a club already. One that doesn't require blood as the currency" Sabé huffed she kicked Teela in the gut and used the moment to draw out a blade from the witchblade that she swung slicing the clef blade in half. Teela still holding both halves of the clef blade swung but the ship shook with a blaster shot from the Eclipse. Seeing that Teela lost her footing grabbed Teela by the hair and pulled her down with her right arm as she spun around letting go with her right Sabé used her left arm that the witchblade released a blade that went through the Coda assassin's neck. Teela's head went rolling down the corridor as Sabe's body was hit by a spray of blood. Sabé stood as the witchblade retracted the blade back into its form as Teela's body fell to the ground making a huge puddle of blood spill out.
"Sorry, the witchblade is mine and I won't let the likes of you get a hold of it while I still breath" Sabé said quietly the body. Wiping the blood from her face she continued running down the corridor.
Dylan ran down the corridor dodging blaster shots from the storm troopers that he had come across 2 corridors back. He admitted to himself that everything was going fine once he found a copy of a map of the ship and hacked the computer to get it to download to his palmtop screen. However what he didn't expect was the small security of stormtroopers 2 corridors down that wasn't marked on the map. He then figured he'd downloaded the visitor's version and cursed to try and sort that later. He turned the corner of the next corridor and spun around, taking a hiding place in a small alcove while waiting for the troopers to go past. As they eventually ran past, he popped out from the alcove and took aim, taking down 2 of the troopers with well aimed shots from his own blaster. As the third trooper turned around to fire, Dylan fired one more shot and started to fire another when he realized the trooper was down.
"Right, okay lady where have you gone now...this is one big ol' ship," he said to himself as he studied the map. He knew that Sabé had said that she wanted to cause some havoc on board and he also recalled the smile from her as well. That caused him to smile in such a serious situation, knowing that she was in danger, however also knowing that she could handle herself as well.
He was under no illusion that she had feelings for other people; however that didn't stop him caring for her as a friend either. She was a wonderful woman but also stuck with the illusion that she had to do everything on her own...not something he liked the idea of at anytime. As he rounded the next corner, he looked around trying to figure out what would be her target, her best way of crippling the ship. His decision fell on the most obvious target that also would be the most unobtainable target as well: The Main Power Core.
"Hell, if I had enough explosives, I would do it..." he said to himself again. He scanned the map quickly and saw which way to take. He then loaded up a new clip of shots in his blaster and ran down the next corridor, being careful to avoid any imperial patrols.
Sabé rushed forward down the corridors blasting any Empire troops in the way. So far so good in not running into anymore Sisters of the Coda. She had to admit they were a nasty bunch and she didn't feel like having anymore encounters she had earlier. The witchblade retracted to being gauntlets on her wrists. Sabé assumed it was saving up its power for later. Sabé decided to help out Dylan find her she made a mark with lightsaber along the walls. Carefully not making it too obvious but made sure it stood out enough among the blaster burns on the wall. It was the Naboo symbol of Captain she drew upon the walls. She hoped the trail of fallen troopers would be the big hint too. Sabé rounded a corner when she had to skid to a stop and jump out of the way into a side corridor. A wall of troopers blocked and released fire upon her. A stray shot grazed she shoulder and her upper thigh. Checking for damage, she took a minute to let the witchblade heal her wounds. Peeking around the corner she decided to throw a flash bomb and saw a vent right above them. The flash bomb not only temporary blinded the stromtroopers from firing but it allowed her to take a shot a blaster up at the vent, opening it up and jump up to it. Then spider crawling upwards and out of the way to avoid the blaster shots from below.
"Dylan , I hope you are part spider monkey." she thought and she continued crawling through the air shaft.
Running down the various corridors, following the map on his palm top, Dylan was beginning to notice a familiar trait in each corridor... a mark on the wall. He stopped as he turned the next corner heading down a new corridor, noticing the marks in the wall almost leading the way. He stopped to inspect one of the marks and noticed the charred scoring in the wall...
"Lightsaber...Sabé, you little minx..." he whispered, realizing that she was showing him the way...she must have picked up on his presence he realized. That made him smile, but it also meant that she was aware he was on board and she wouldn't be happy about that when he caught up to him. Dylan turned through another few corridors and then realized here was on the right track when he found more and more dead stormtroopers.
"Damn, you've been busy," he noted.
As he turned another corner, he came to a dead end...and found another security patrol. He stood still as they turned to see him also. Dylan knew in his heart there had to be a way out and started looking as the lead stormtrooper stepped forward.
"Who the hell are you?" the trooper demanded. Dylan smiled as trooper asked him.
"Well actually I was just looking for the rest room. Do know where it is?" he asked back jokingly. Then he pulled his blaster out and shot the guy at point blank range killing him there and then.
He ran back around the corner as the other troopers opened fire on him, taking cover from them.
"Okay lady...now where?" he asked out loud looking around as he traded fire with the stormtroopers.
He looked up as a glint caught his eye, seeing a mark in the wall by the escape hatch.
"Nice," he said as he unloaded a full volley of blaster fire at them, setting off a conduit in the nearby wall and exploding it.
He climbed up the wall panels and made his way into the hatchways, looking for more clues to find his way to the main power core... Sabé crawled her way through the air shaft, taking a pause to check her location. Wiping the sweat off her forehead she let the Witchblade guide her to an opening. Looking down she could see some various pipes going across the upper part of the room. Also she could see a small army of storm troopers walking down below. Not wanting to cause attention to her self she hunched over and tore the grate covering the opening and quietly set it aside. Sabé then carefully took out a tube of red lipstick and drew on the side of the air shaft wall an arrow pointing to where she was. Then applying some of the make up to her own lips she kissed the side of the wall. Grinning that Dylan might get a laugh from it. Making sure she had her light saber and blaster pistols tucked in and made sure they wouldn't fall out. She then reached for the first pipe and swung like an acrobat across the room above the unaware storm troopers to her presence to the other side of the room to the other air shaft. Sabé then balanced herself and ripped off the grate of the opening of another maze of tunnels. She made another mark complete with another red lip kiss, she stood up a little and could walk along if she kept her head low to avoid pipes and wires.
She came across another room filled with computers while through the tunnels. Removing the grate she saw no stormtroopers were occupying the room. The witchblade making a makeshift rope let Sabé down to the ground. Sabé then let the witchlade change shape and a spike formed into a memory stick she injected the witchblade which by passed the security codes. Sabé smiled and saw she had access to thousands upon thousands of credits. Dumping them onto a few spare memory disks she had in her belt pouch. She removed the witchblade from the computer system. But not before the witchblade encrypted a nasty virus that would shut down a few of the Empire ship's weapon system and start over heating the main core. The witchblade pulled her back up to the tunnels . Hoping Dylan would catch up to her soon she scurried along the long winding tunnels. Dylan you better be getting your behind up here soon she thought I don't want this place to go boom with you in it. Cause I am not looking forward to Nova burning my tail if I don't return without you in one piece. Sabé made her way along the tunnels, with thoughts of her friend trailing behind her.
Dylan had hauled himself up into the tubes and made quick progress taking the correct routes into and around the inner tunnel system that Sabé had now begun using. As he crawled through on his hands and knees, he chuckled as he saw yet more arrows pointing to the section that she was in. He knew that she would still be upset with him for going and assisting her however that was now his main priority.
As he crawled around the next set of tunnels, his inner comlink device buzzed. It was Nova...
"Whats up," he whispered as he stopped in the tunnel, supporting himself...he hadn't realized that while he was trying to help Sabé, he had left Nova to deal with the crew from the Naboo Ship.
Nova ran to the escape hatch and boarded Dylan's other ship, the Flying Sullustan. Explosions rocked the Invictus as it was taking what would be its final pounding in this battle. Normally she would've stood up to such an attack and send off a few imperial ships, making sure they were blown to hell, but she made sure the escape ships took the crew of the Invictus and the rescue ship to safe harbor and the location they wanted.
"We've lost the Invictus. I've got the crew out on escape pods and sent to a safe place. the Naboo crew and civilians are also headed to the safe location," she explained as she started up the ship and prepped it for launch.
Dylan knew when the Ship would blow up it would be big and that Nova was making sure she could stick around. He knew that she hated the low tech version of the Sullustan, knowing it to be quicker and more maneuverable than the Invictus.
"I'm sorry Nova, I really dropped us in it this time...I'll make it up to you," he replied back, still supporting himself.
"Yes, you bloody well will. But for now I can punish you later. Leave the Slip-fighter there, I can make sure I set off a self destruct on it to coincide with when the Capital ship goes up, that way theres nothing left, I'll be waiting, Nova Out," she explained and cut the comlink as she piloted the aging YT-1300 out of the hangar bay of the Invictus and put the ship in a dark low orbit...
"Oh I'm in trouble," he said as he carried on climbing. After getting out of the tunnels he was down a few corridors and finally running into Sabé.
"You know, your a hard woman to track down!" he whispered to her.
Sabé tilts her and head and smiled, right before smacking him in the back of the head.
"You idiot! I told you I can handle this," she said, sighing "So is everything okay with Nova and the other crew members?"
They were making their way down the corridors towards the main power core. Lucky for them there weren't many storm troopers left.
"You know the witchblade would of protected me and let me land somewhere safe while this place was blowing up. " she explained, ducking a low hanging pipe.
"But since you are here it changes things since I doubt it can make its self big enough to shield your big butt," Sabé said, eying Dylan with a side glance.
"Well anyways we need to get you out of here first then I can follow. Now before you protest." she reached up and kissed him full on the lips.
"Now are you ready to follow my orders Captain?" she stated.
As she chastised him about being there and having a big butt, Dylan smiled and chuckled a little bit. It was almost as if she was caring that little bit more about him.
"Why, princess were you worried about little ole me?" he asked her smiling. However after she explained about the Witchblade, he did have a back up plan. "Nova and the crew are safe. The crew are on their way to a safe haven, from there they'll disperse, its a safety thing...as For Nova, shes waiting out in the system, nearby...shes no far..." he explained to her, feeling a little bad about the Ship...
"Besides Nova, well she'll stick around...I owe her as a ship and she hates the Sullustan..." he murmured...
However after Sabé's kiss, well that shut him up and knocked him off his feet...after that, he'd do anything she asked...
"So then princess...whats the plan...besides, I plan on leaving her in one piece, that way, i get to follow more orders..." he told her as he waited for her plan to take down the ship.
"Just put the Invictus on my tab. Or at least I'll steal her a new one to use" Sabé answered in a low tone. Underneath them, he heard more stormtroopers walking around..pretty soon they were going to have to move...
Sabé thought hard. Since her original idea was to let the witchblade in case her in its protective shell and unleash a full energy blast within the core its self. And after the ship was blown up she was gonna fly back Dylan's ship. But since he was here now that plan was out.
"Do you got any chargers? " she asked, maybe if they set off enough bombs and made a quick get away. The escape pods were only a level or two down from them. They could escape that way...
" Oh, my bad, must've left them on the Invictus...No I don't have any with me," as he replied back, Dylan looked around his person in a mocking tone, trying not to laugh at her.
"However my escape plan is foolproof...Nova is piloting the backup ship I have, shes ready and waiting to pick us up. All we have to do is set off a few escape pods, that will provide a distraction or two..." he offered in return.
He knew that Nova was a great pilot, well for an android, however being attached to the Invictus for so long, she knew what she was doing in either peace time or battle...
"Either way, we need to do this soon, there are more guys headed this way," he added.
"Oh you are such a smart one. I knew there was something I liked about you." she teased as she kissed him again.
"So captain, do we have a game plan? Are we ready to roll?" she teased as she pulled back, Sabé raised an eyebrow and cocked her hip to one side swinging the light saber strap in her finger around and around.
He was beginning to like Sabé's style and knew that not only was she growing on him, but he was growing on her...however while the teasing was driving him wild...there was business at hand...
"Follow me Princess," he yelled, throwing all his weight on the paneling he was lying on. The ensue any thrust sent him crashing down on the deck, catching the patrol walking past by surprise. He spun around on his butt, both his blasters in his hands, opening fire wildly, but also in a skilled move to keep the stormtroopers from looking up.
He aimed as best he could, killing some of them with chest shots and others with head shots. However, he wasn't expecting the gun that was pointed to his head after the firefight after he had fallen over onto his back.
"Freeze ...your mine..." said the Imperial Officer as he raised a blast in Dylan's direction.
Dylan held himself still making sure he gave nothing away, holding up both his hands.
Those were the last words the Officer spoke because Sabé was right behind him and she struck her light saber right through his chest cavity and quickly sliced his head off with a quick motion of her arm.
"Quit laying down on the job." she teased as she held out her hand to help Dylan up.
"Freeze," said a storm trooper behind Sabé, she could feel the cold barrel of the blaster behind her head. She gave Dylan a side long glance and a grin spread over her face as she could feel the witchblade move. It suddenly spiked out multiple blades that damaged the blaster that was aimed for her. Disarming the trooper she spun around kicking the trooper away. She slid towards Dylan who was still on the ground. Sabé then used the blaster that Dylan was holding and together whirled around and pulled the trigger at the falling trooper.
"Having any fun yet?" she giggled as she got Dylan to his feet and they made their way down the corridor.
Dylan was loving the teasing that Sabé was throwing at him while they ran down the hallway. Thanks to her saving his life, they were on their way to finding the reactor core.
"By the way," he panted as he ran along side of her, replacing a new clip in one of the blasters, "This is my idea of fun," he explained as they came to a large doorway. Both he and Sabé slid to a halt, seeing that there were 2 stormtroopers guarding the doorway.
"They really do like wasting grunts around here don't they," he said as they hid around the corner.
"Well they are clones from Kamino, a place where you'll get the best service if your manners are right and pocketbook is heavy" Sabé joked.
Dylan looked at her and winked, seeing this as a chance to show off and get away with it. He pulled out his favorite blaster, the larger of the two and took aim. Looking between the sights, he took aim and waiting until the two of them crossed paths in their patrol in front of the door. As they crossed paths a second time, he pulled the trigger, slicing them both in the head with a single shot. He grinned as the two fell to the floor...
"Yeah, thats now what I call fun!" he shouted out as they both headed to the doorway. It was large and heavy and from what he could tell, shielded. It was the doorway to the Reactor Core...
Dylan used the pass-cards held by the dead stormtroopers and watched as the doorway opened before them...
"So are we having fun yet princess?" he asked as they walked in, taking in the massive power core between them...
Sharp shooting aren't we?" she giggled, "Watch this." She flipped onto her hands and did a few flips forward, climbing up the massive core. She then transforming with the witchblade she stood right above the core.
"Hand me a few of those small bombs you have." she said,"I can set them off here, the witchblade will make sure they go off as soon as we are near the escape pods."
Dylan reached around to the pouch on his belt, pulling out a few of the "Small" charges that he carried with him. His "Belt of many things" as Nova called it. He handed them up to Sabé as she started placing around the power core.
While she placed the charges carefully, he pulled out his comm unit and set it to a guarded channel.
"Nova, its me, are you still out there?" he asked quietly.
On the Flying Sullustan, Nova hit the comm panel as the light flashed.
"About bloody time you got back to me. I'm sat here in high orbit, waiting in the cover of a planetary atmosphere, while you two play footsie and decide how long you wanna take to blow up that ship!" she raged at him. She wasn't happy about this whole thing at all...especially as she'd lost her companion ship.
"Okay, my bad on that...we're setting up the charges now, going to need you nearby while we make our way out of here," he ordered her. He heard her snort before she cut the comm line. He looked up at Sabé as she finished placing charges.
"So what do I get out of all this?" he asked her.
She smiled and leaps down. She kissed him again and smiled.
"I will buy the next rounds of drinks. And make sure Nova gets a new ship. A better one that will with stand any thing that the Empire throws at it" as she pulled him down the corridors away from the core room. When they were several rooms and hallways away she stopped.
"I will make sure my friends can help you build another ship for Nova, one of the crew members has well a knack of fixing things." she said.
"Hold on tight and tell Nova we are out now!" With a flick of her wrist with the witchblade's a huge energy blast came from it and made a huge hole through many walls of the ship. She smirked and and looked down the new hole she created.
"You better let Nova know now. I am going to blast another hole through the hull and it is going to jet us through out into space. The witchblade can surround us and give us enough air until Nova can reach us and bring us to safety. " she looked at him with a raised eyebrow," So you better hold on tight cowboy unless you have a better idea.
The witchblade begun to form around her and Dylan. She took him by the waist and held out her arm to make a final blast.
As Sabé grabbed a hold of Dylan, he activated the comm device he had on him, contacting Nova...
"Nova, open up the docking hatch on the Sullustan! We're coming out hot!" ordered Dylan as he felt the Witchblade envelope both him and Sabé. As they left the core area, he could see the explosions ripping the place around him to pieces, fires flaring up and parts exploding. The witchblade had engulfed them in an egg shape cocoon as they entered into space. He held on tight to Sabé, keeping as close as possible to her.
Nova steered the ship scanning and to lock onto Dylan's signal. Seeing an egg shape fly out off she used the tractor beam locking them in and pulling them to the ship. As they left the carrier ship, he saw the rapid approaching Sullustan and felt the hard landing inside her docking hatch.
"About time you two got on board! Hang On!" yelled Nova from the Cockpit, as she steered the ship away from the fireball that began enveloping the carrier and blowing it to a million pieces. As the Sullustan jumped to Hyperspace, Dylan began to feel Sabé uncurl the witchblade from the two of them. The witchblade begun to unwrap Dylan and Sabé from its protective shell and twisted back to a bulky bracelet on her wrist.
"Jeez Princess, you really know how to treat a guy to a hell of a ride!"He told her as they laid there on the floor...he was truly impressed with this, however he was well aware that soon she would be gone.
"I better try to find my crew that you guys rescued. " Sabé replied smiling, "But before that I could use a rest." She was tired and her entire body ached. Sabé wanted to wash the blood and sweat she picked up on her fights off her body.
"So I guess I'd better find you a way home from here eh?" He offered Sabé as he helped her up and started to guide her to some quarters.
Dylan could understand that she needed to get back to her crew and ,make sure they were safe...god knows a few hours ago, he had a large starship command of his own and a large crew which were now headed home. He had to admit that he did miss the Invictus, however the Sullustan offered a quieter option in roaming around the galaxy...
He admitted to himself again that he'd had fun with her and understood her duty to the crew but also knew that he was a little lonely. Nova was great company but there came a time when a moody, hormonal programmed android just didn't satisfy the urges and wants of human being from Corellia...
"Well, this ship is old and could do with an overhaul. She'll fly fast and can hold her shields, however there are parts that need replacing or updating...those i could use help with," he advised her as they arrived at the guest quarters. With the ship being a lot more smaller that the Eclipse, there were only two sets of quarters on board.
"I'm sorry about the lack of space...so what else could you offer? apart from helping with the ship and any possible updates...could you help me out?" he asked a little cheekily, winking at her.
"Oh captain, I think we can work something out for sure" Sabé smiled. Dylan looked at her with some amusement, he was dying to know what she had in mind.
"You are forgetting I have connections. Don't worry about your ship. I have people who can build you a new one. Bigger, faster and with every little gadget your Nova could have fun with that credits can buy. And while I was on the Empire ship I managed to tap into their computer systems and pick up this" Sabé said as she tossed a few memory slim disks. Dylan looked over at them seeing that they were credits, hundreds and thousands of money on them.
"How did you managed?" he asked. As Sabé smirked.
"I am a woman of all trades, Captain. So how does it feel that the Empire is going to be buying you a new ship to make more havoc for them?" she asked.
"You, know building a new ship takes time" he said.
"As long as the Empire still stands, we have the time. All the time in the world my friend. And apparently a lot of credits to spend " she said smiling.
"Well, Sabé, my gal, let's get started then." Dylan smiled.
"I thought you would never ask," Sabé smiled and kissed him fully on the lips.
"Now let's hurry to where your crew is and mine. I am sure Nova would like to know the new plans for the ship. And we can spend some more time harassing the Empire some more" Dylan said.
"You're the captain," Sabé ,giving Dylan salute.