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On the Winds of Rebellion, Part One

Posted on Fri Jul 23rd, 2021 @ 11:48am by Thane & Bomoor Thort & Amare

Chapter: Chapter VI: The Last Bastion
Location: Moz Müt
Timeline: A day after "Free Öetrago"

ON

The cooling night breeze swept away the tropical heat of Öetragan equator and carried it far across the moon-lit ocean. This region of the Ithorian world was wild and untamed and it ignited the passions of the young Twi’lek Jiljoo as she stood once again at the bow of Captain Senob’s ship, lit only by the dim lanterns spread about the deck.

“I think I see it,” she gestured towards a growing island in the distance, shaped like a half-melted cone that sunk into a mass of land which itself merged into the sea, “Quick, get the lights out as we approach!”

The island in question was Moz Müt, one of the famous twin islands of the Moz archipelago, the other being Moz Mala. These two great islands both had volcano’s at their centre and the old story went that these two islands were passionate lovers and the many smaller islands of the archipelago were their children, which, from a certain point of view, was true. Some versions of the story went into greater depth about the backstory of the lovers but Jiljoo could not remember the full details.

However, Moz Müt had, in recent years, become exceedingly active once more and a geological research station had been set up to investigate the terraforming properties of volcanic activity, particularly on primarily aquatic worlds. The virtuous nature of the research had, however, been corrupted at some point by the acquisition of the company and the station by the GalactaWerks subsidiary ÖetraGrow, which meant that it was now another asset to the corporation, funnelling Öetragan research and resources away from those who could really benefit. The Free Öetragan Herd had taken particular interest because of the strong GalactaWerks presence at the station, including the stationing of their mysterious cyborg ally, whom had previously foiled their efforts at another research station, leading to the criminal investigations into Mother Mumin.

Now the crew had hurriedly extinguished their lights, they gathered together to discuss their plan of action. Jiljoo smiled and nodded as Llim shuffled into view as she had not embarked on a mission with him for some time and she enjoyed his hidden passion, that she always tried to coax out from its shell.

“Are you excited, Llim?” she beamed, her silvery metallic lekku now more prominent as it waved in the moonlight, “Zis’ could be the moment we prove GW is directly involved in ÖegraGrow business.”

Llim returned the nod to Jiljoo as he came to her side, his large eyes examining the islands ahead with guarded trepidation.

"More concerned than excited," he gently replied, never one to throw caution to the wind. He turned to her, gazed upon the Twi'lek soft alluring features, admiring the fathomless beauty within her eyes, and added, "You and I...we've been through much together, and I've missed you for the time we were apart. I'm ready to help you reveal the truth to everyone, but we have to be prepared for what comes next."

“Aww, I’ve missed you too Llim,” Jiljoo smiled sweetly, “You are so kind and smart and you know how to knock someone out with a book!”

She stifled a laugh as she reminisced about their first outing as a fledgling group of rebels before dropping her expression, “Of course I understand ze’ consequences though. But we had to choose ze’ right side in this fight, even knowing how ze’ world would paint us. We must be better than what zey’ make of us though. We stand for freedom and Öetragan liberty and for Mother Mumin.”

"And ethical science," Doctor Buhggs tactlessly interjected, his tone and manner entirely disparate from that of the rest of the group, as if he either did not grasp the mood of the conversation or because he intentionally wanted to be difficult. Given the H'nemthe's manner generally, it was hard to truly discern which was more accurate.

He had been tinkering with one of the electromagnetic devices he had equipped the team with for their adventure, some obscure tool embedded into the back plating of the piece of equipment. At suddenly seeming to realise his comment had fallen flat, he looked up properly at Jiljoo.

"But mostly for Öetragan liberty and Mother Mumin, of course." He glanced at a couple of the others and raised a half-hearted fist as a display of support, even if those that knew him fairly well recognised it was a half-hearted, perhaps sarcastic, gesture. "For freedom - especially the children's."

There was a muffled murmuring of agreement from the assembled crew as the now-darkened ship slipped closer to the shoreline, hidden further as they slipped into the moonlight shadow of the great volcano.



A short while later, the various parties had assembled in the thick undergrowth on the shoreline. Further up the mountainside, they could see lights on the great metal platforms that wrapped around the volcano like a scaffolding, leading up to the main complex, which was partly embedded into the volcano’s side. Down in the greenery, their presence was easily concealed but they would have a tougher time as they ascended to mask their presence.

“Okay, everyone,” Jiljoo whispered, “Keep to your small groups. One group to sabotage away from ze’ main complex and my team to infiltrate ze’ volcano.”

"Your team?" Buhggs interjected, a dark eye raised in mock query, although he followed this with a small shrug. "If that distinction helps you feel more integral, then I am not one to stand in the way of self-propelled morale."

"Miss Jiljoo is a fine leader!" Yllib-Senob remarked, a look of defiance in his upturned face, his chest puffed out a little in support of his Twi'lek friend.

"And you are a fine sailor," the doctor responded, thrusting a recently-enhanced device straight into the Ongree's puffed-out chest, briefly winding the man as his clumsy hands came up to grasp the tool the surly scientist forced upon him. "And a saboteur, apparently. And a droid mechanic. And a singer! Is there no end to your remarkable and marketable skills?"

The H'nemthe wagged his beaked face in dismay at the bumbling but well-intentioned Senob, pushing him aside a little to look back to the rest of their gathered group. For his part in this adventure, which was quite a departure from his usual 'behind-the-scenes' approach to Mumin's resistance movement, Doctor Buhggs had donned a form-fitting scientist's uniform of some manner, made of a smooth, shiny material that would resist stains and dirt easily. The few metal oddities that dotted different parts of the outfit belied a more technical aspect to the doctor's equipment, suggesting more equipment and defensive capabilities may be hidden within.

Not usually a man of action, it was probably reasonable to assume Buhggs had taken several precautions to preserve his life in this more antagonistic setting.

Crossing her arms loosely, Jiljoo shook her head, “Not ze’ time to fight boys. We av’ work to do and, yes, it is ‘my’ team and you should be proud to be part of it.”

The Twi’lek gestured deeper into the island’s thick treeline, away from the volcano, “Zere’ is another complex away from ze’ main one, which houses ze’ backup generator in case of failure of the main geothermal system as well as a communications tower.”

She nodded to a middle-aged Ithorian man and his team of varying alien species, who all donned camouflage gear suited to their differing forms, “Onko, we are trusting you to quickly get inside and do as much damage as you can before returning to zis’ rendezvous where Captain Senob will be waiting. We will try to be back shortly after, but you must leave us if zere’ is risk of you being captured.”

Onko nodded and answered in Ithorese, “It is my deepest hope that it does not come to that. We will do our part for a free Öetrago.”

With that, his group whisked off into the undergrowth. Jiljoo turned to Buhggs and Llim, “Okay, Team Jiljoo,” she winked at the doctor as she christened the name, “We must hurry on ourselves. I may be a mechanic, but I do not know anything about ze’ kind of equipment zey’ have in a Geothermal station, so I will be relying on your guidance, Dr Buhggs, and Llim, you are ze’ brains and ze’ brawn. Just like before, you can help us access any computer terminals we encounter.”

“Oh, how terribly exciting,” Buhggs grumbled in a bemused, mocking tone, not even looking at Jiljoo as he instead regarding something imperceptible on his wrist, no doubt done to make a point towards his companions. “I will do all of the hard work, and we can continue to be called Team Jiljoo.” Now, finally, he did look back at the the Twi’lek. “Perhaps you should have gone into politics – you clearly have a better knack for profiteering of others’ work than m-“

“Oh, and…” Jiljoo frowned and began rustling around in her shoulder pouch before producing three X-30C 'Compact Lancer' blaster pistols, all older but recently cleaned, “We should all av’ one of these. Stun is already on but can be switched off ere’.”

She gestured to a little switch above the trigger, “Hopefully zis’ will not be necessary” she added.

Buhggs harrumphed – for the umpteenth time since joining the party. “Most of ’zis is not necessary,” he complained, effecting a purposefully rude interpretation of Jiljoo’s lilting accent. His avian head then jerked suddenly, as if he finally picked up on an earlier comment from the group’s informal leader. “Sorry, did you just call him the brawn?” Yet another harrumph and shake of the head. “Just lead the way, Leader Jiljoo. If your gun doesn’t work, at least we can throw Limp Llim at them.”

TBC

 

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