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On the Winds of Rebellion, Part Three

Posted on Tue Jan 18th, 2022 @ 10:09am by Thane & Bomoor Thort & Amare & Tolmin Voq

Chapter: Chapter VI: The Last Bastion
Location: Moz Müt
Timeline: A day after "Free Öetrago" (following on from "Part Two")

OLD

She pressed the button and turned back towards her little crew proudly but was suddenly struck with a cold sensation creeping across her like a serpent slithering down her spine. The indicator chimed behind her and she heard the doors easing open.

Turning her head, she caught sight of a blood-red Devaronian monstrosity, with mechanised arms and torso and a fiendish smirk, partly hidden by a black neck wrap. His right horn was broken off but was more than compensated for by the striking spike on his left temple. He was accompanied by two of the GalactaWerks patrol droids they had spied earlier, one on each side of him.

As the doors opened, the two droids raised their blaster rifles and the cyborg Devaronian raised a hand out towards her.

"Run!" Jiljoo screamed as she felt a great power take hold of her. She had just enough strength in her to grab hold of the railing before she was dragged backwards but it took every ounce of her strength to keep hold, "Ze'...cyborg..."

NEW

"Tsk, tsk, tsk," came the sing-song voice of the approaching menace.

The creature stalked heavily towards the ragtag freedom fighters, thick boots colliding sharply against the metal walkway that separated them from their attacker, the hydraulics in his legs audible and alien against the near-distant whooshing of geothermal equipment. The Devaronian's hand remained outstretched, as the invisible force continued to yank at Jiljoo, the mysterious exertion upon her becoming stronger and tighter - she could feel her joints coming close to popping.

"You girls really should stick to dancing for the slugs," the dark warrior continued, Jiljoo's grip about to give way as the gap between them became ever-smaller. The droids at either side, seemingly programmed to anticipate and work with this man's unique approach, continued to flank him diligently, their weapons lowered. "I know a couple of good Hutts back on Nal Slugga; I could give you their numb-"

The Devaronian's snide commentary was cut short as Doctor Buhggs fired a couple of poorly-aimed rounds from his blaster at him. As soon as they were loosed from the barrel, the cyborg brought his other hand up and a crimson energy blade snapped to life from a staff clasped in his metal hand, effortlessly batting away the two bolts, although Jiljoo was released from the warrior's grip. Whilst one harmlessly carved into the rockface that served as a nearby wall, the other was redirected by the lightsaber straight into Buhggs right shoulder, causing him to drop his blaster and shriek in pain.

"Ho-ho!" The cyborg shouted with dangerous glee, clearly amused by the showing from the wily H'nemthe. He gestured crudely to the two GalactaWerks droids, who had raised their blasters in response to attack, but they quickly complied and lowered their guns. "You guys have spunk!" There was a glint in his eyes, but just as quickly, his demeanour seemed to grow darker, and his grip on the long-handled lightsaber he waved threateningly seemed to grow tighter. "But it means nothing!"

He again extended his hand and Jiljoo was subjected to a renewed force, one tighter and stronger than even before, as she failed to hold onto the railing and was soon being dragged across the walkway roughly, her face and hands scraping against the rough metal.

"Jiljoo!" Llim bellowed, taking a step forwards.

With tears forming in her eyes from exertion and fear, Jiljoo cried, "No, didn't you hear me? Just run away and be safe. Finish your mission!"

Llim froze, eye stalks darting between the Jiljoo's form slowly being wrenched along the platform and the mechanical monster that was pulling her ever closer.

"No, but I... I can't do it without you," he stammered, his mind racing.

He reached to his belt, brushing past the charges Buhggs had provided him and pulled out his pistol, pointing it out with a shaky hand towards the Devaronian, "L...let her go," his words tumbled out like more of a plea than a command, "The Öetragan government will not sit still for this. When they hear about who you really work for..."

"There's no government here, big boy," Voq chortled almost merrily. "There's just me an' you an' twin tails here and brave little dumb-dumb tryin' to take a pop shot at me...oh, and there's this! Catch!" Voq had released his telekinetic momentarily to fetch a spare thermal detonator he had, along with a plethora of other military-grade explosive devices and flung it at the hapless Ithorian. It struck Llim in the chest and it fell to the ground at his feet where he realized what it actually was when he his eyes recognized the little metal ball of doom. Its trigger timer was active and chirping louder by the second.

Voq jovially counted down, "And 3...2...1..."

Nothing. The timer simply stopped and went silent.

Voq waited for the shock to set in on Llim's features and then...

"BOOM!" Voq bellowed with the suddenness of a thunderclap, and then the dud sprung off the ground and was quickly drawn back to Voq's grip like a yo-yo toy. "Bwahahaha! I know that look!" he mocked heartily with a knee slap. "You should see it. Even on an Ithroian, I can tell you peed yourself a little. Hahaha, maybe even a number two, eh? Woo hoo hoo! Hahahaha! Oh I kill me. Heh heh."

Jiljoo, feeling the pull on her waning as the attention shifted to Llim, started to rise only to be thrust back again by a wave of Voq's hand without even turning towards her.

She groaned as her body struck the ground again, now pinned down by the Force again, "Don't mock us, monster," she spat, "We know who you are. You are just ze' latest pawn of GalactaWerks."

Llim stammered, "Yes, people on Öetrago are not as foolish as you like to think and we actually care for life, unlike your corporate friends."

Voq motioned to his droids with a pointing finger at Llim, "Waste the idiot." But just before they could pull the triggers, "No, no. Hold up. Changed my mind. I want to play a little more. I like this one. He looks like one of those sad shy types trying to break out of his shell." He began to saunter forth towards Jiljoo and resumed his Force-grip on her, but not as tightly as before, but just enough to torment her firmly in place. "Ain't that right, boy?" he called out to Llim again, completely unperturbed by the weapon pointed at him. "Got a little bit of that hero's streak in you I reckon. Too bad, I don't feel a whiff of the power in you. Not a speck. No Force fun for you methinks. Funny how that works. Wicked lil' bastards like yours truly and those bootlicking idiots calling themselves Jedi get to have it, but not ordinary lovestruck fools like yourself. You love her, don'tcha?"

Voq stopped next to where Jiljoo was and held his scarlet energy blade barely more than an inch from her face. "Don't you?" he calmly repeated in a lower voice with a wry grin as he leaned a bit closer towards Llim. "I'll bet real coin you do. Feeling that trigger finger getting itchy? Nothing more liberating than the feel of a good blaster in your hands. Not even the touch of a woman's curves beats it. Go on, be a trooper." To Llim's surprise, Voq turned off his lightsaber, and released his Force grip on Jiljoo. "Take your best shot. 'Seize the day' and all that fuzz."

The muscles around Llim's eyes tightened so his eyes almost disappeared amongst the dark ochre folds in his skin. Jiljoo watched his grip on the trigger tighten with his left hand, while his other hand dropped to his side.

"You're a dark Jedi," Llim stated firmly, slowly edging towards Voq and his droid entourage, "Even without your weapon drawn, I'll never get a shot in, even an inch away from you."

"Dark Jedi..." Voq echoed as he inched a bit closer to Llim. "Heh heh. Keep your cute nicknames. I'm just a guy who wants to watch the Republic burn. Last chance, hero. Going once. Going twice..."

“Forget it Llim!” Jiljoo pleaded, her voice strained from her ethereal bondage, “I don’t want you to die!”

Llim’s finger twitched on the trigger and Voq’s eyes glinted with a twisted delight as he waited for the moment. He squared the sights on the Devaronian’s face and then promptly let it fall to the ground. The pistol dropped onto the metal platform, clattering as it went and Voq’s face dropped to one of disappointment. As the clattering subsided, it was replaced with the gentle sound of beeping from Llim’s other hand and before even the stimmed-up dark-sider could react, the EMP grenade that was in the Ithorian’s grasp erupted in a wave of blue energy that sent Voq reeling and caused the droids to fall limp like lifeless marionettes.

"Graahhh!!!" Voq bellowed in reaction to the shock and trauma he felt as he stumbled back. Bright sparks from his cybernetic limbs and implants began to spark violently and betray his ability to control them. "Baka! Idiot! You think that's enough to stop me?!" Ignoring his own Force powers in spite, he barely managed to push his legs forward and tried to reach out and physically grab hold of Llim not as a dark minion of Axion, but as an enraged ex-soldier who took Llim's surprise gambit very personally.

Llim glimpsed Jiljoo’s form drop to the ground, no longer held firm by Voq’s powers. She seemed dazed but was able to prop herself up just enough to look back at Llim standing before the demonic cyborg. Her gaze shifted slightly as she spied Doctor Buhggs rushing over to her.

"We are leaving, soldier!" Buhggs hissed, having gripped Jiljoo's shoulder with surprising strength, dragging her backwards from the spectacle before them and up onto her feet. There was a hint of panic in his voice, an unfamiliar sound, and every sense of urgency. "We won't get another chance to escape!" He spun the Twi'lek round, with every second seeming like an eternity for their foes to recover, incapacitating sparks still running across their frames. "That pulse won't stop them forever. We can't win! For Öetrago!"

Jiljoo could do nothing but watch as she was pulled away from the scene and was horrified to see her Ithorian friend still standing firmly before Voq.

"Wait... Llim!" she cried out faintly, "Run now!"

Llim, still shaking, but now seemingly more with adrenalin than with fear, looked over his shoulder at Jiljoo and she could see something new in his eyes that she had not seen before. It was that deep desire and power to protect that she had only seen displayed by Mother Mozo before. He wanted to protect her. Voq had said that he loved her and perhaps that was true, but what she saw now was that primal Ithorian passion to defend the herd at all costs.

He said nothing out loud but, instead, turned back to face the Devaronian and stepped forward once more, allowing Voq’s grasping hand to find his jacket and pull him close so that his dark brown pupils were aligned with the panting face of the horned man as he struggled to overcome his various paralysed mechanical systems.

"* huff...huff *...Y'know, I was planning on feeding smoky pieces of you to my pet nexu cat," Voq spoke brusquely through grinding teeth as he pulled Llim close enough to smell the Devaronian's putrid sulfur-esque breath, "but now I think I'm gonna take my time with you. You'll beg me for merc--"

Voq did not get to finish his threat as Llim thrust his fist forwards, containing the other EMP grenade which detonated right into the cyborg's chest. The close-range shock fried even many of the more-shielded circuitry and Voq collapsed downwards to the ground, pulling Llim down with him. His vice-like grip fused shut around Llim's collar.

Jiljoo watched Llim wrestling to free himself from the hold, practically tearing his garments off in the process. But, as he did so, the lift behind them began to whir again and, within moments, another squad of GalactaWerks droids spewed forth, sparing no time in stun blasting the struggling Ithorian so he, like Voq, lay limp on the floor.

"Llim! No!" cried Jiljoo helplessly, throwing out her arms as the Doctor continued to roughly whisk her away...

TBC

 

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