Ask  Plot Hunting Syresh Lapar - Tund

Discussion in 'Outer Rim Territories' started by The Wook, May 16, 2018.

  1. The Wook

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    The Wook was an excellent Bounty Hunter. His predatory nature gave him a strong drive to pursue prey, and the skills to do so in any number of different terrain types. Combine that with skill developed through decades of physical training, experience, and a brutality that was hard to understate (he had once literally beaten someone's brains out with a fidget spinner) and few individuals could stand up to him. Ironically, considering the Exiles and Hutts were now allied, his lightsaber bounties had come exclusively from Exiles. Perhaps that was why Andraste had hired him.

    His prey now was different than any other. Syresh Lapar. The fallen Jedi Grandmaster that had been behind the Tragedy at Ilum, who was rumored to be incredibly powerful in the force, and would have zero problems slaughtering anyone who crossed him. In fact, Syresh would probably enjoy it in some demented manner. He looked at his two hunting companions, they were a strange pairing. Like wine and mustard. Or pizza and fish. Light and Dark. Still, both of them had a beef with Syresh. Andraste had declared him a traitor, and Cregan, well, Cregan was a Jedi and Syresh had royally kriffed the Jedi over on Ilum. Syresh had kriffed everyone on Ilum.

    He'd read up on Syresh, what information Andraste had given him, what information the Cartel's slicers could obtain from Republic records, and what was swirling around the Galaxy. Everyone who mattered had heard of Syresh Lapar. The man was infamous, and he had cults devoted to worshiping him and his actions. Kriffing cults were devoted to this guy. One such cult was rumored to be on Tund. People had gone missing, especially people who were openly opposed to, or investigating the existence of the cult. That was pretty much as good as a neon sign saying "Creepy-ass Cult Here".

    Syresh's last known location had been on Tund. Then news of his traitor status had spread and he'd vanished. A crazy man with multiple cults could be a giant problem if he got organized, even for those as formidable as these two people with him. No wonder Andraste wanted to move on him quickly. During the shuttle ride, The Wook had watched what little war footage existed of Syresh. He studied the man's combat style, how he moved through a battlefield and used the Force. The Wook quickly surmised that Syresh was extremely dangerous. Moreso if his fall had granted him heightened aggression and power.

    "Uughguughhhghghghhhgh, aarrragghuuhw uughghhhgh huuguughghg uughguughhhghghghhhgh," he began. "Wrrhw aarrragghuuhw uughguughhhghghghhhgh uughghhhgh raaaaaahhgh huurh huuguughghg wuuh huurh awwgggghhh aarrragghuuhw raaaaaahhgh uughghhhgh," it had actually been the highest incidence of disappearances that would plausibly be related to a cult. Plus, when he'd called some media places, law enforcement, and cantina owners, they had all been very tight-lipped about information. "Wrrhw huuguughghg uughghhhgh wuuh aaaaahnr uughguughhhghghghhhgh aaaaahnr aaahnruh, huuguughghg raaaaaahhgh awwgggghhh huurh raaaaaahhgh huurh uugggh uuh aarrragghuuhw huuguughghg huuguughghg aarrragghuuhw uughghhhgh. Huurh uughguughhhghghghhhgh huurh aaaaahnr huurh wrrhwrwwhw raaaaaahhgh." It was also possible that the abandoned monastery was still abandoned, it had once belonged to an order of monks with some strange beliefs. They'd been run out of town a hundred years or so ago, and the place had been crumbling ever since. If The Wook ran a cult, he'd at least look around there and consider moving in.

    And if Syresh's cult were there, a monastery could easily be turned into a fortified position. This might be tricky.

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  2. Andraste

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    Andraste had an odd sort of kinship with The Wook, and she couldn’t tell if it just came from the one time she got drunk and rode on his shoulders. Nevertheless, she had run into him many times since then, and the two often betted on fights as a throwback to her pitfighting days. He was making quite a name for himself rising through the ranks, and she heard his name more and more. She also knew about his specific set of skills.

    She sat next to him on the shuttle ride, also viewing the footage. She had more information on Syresh, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t a trickle of fear in her. Andraste rubbed her chin in thought, “I want to find out exactly what he inspires,” She tilted her head to look at Wook, grinning, “I found out there were a few cults dedicated to me now. Can you believe that? I went into a ‘temple’ that had murals of my life drawn on it. Starting from when I was a Jedi and Exiled. It was creepy and I got out of there pretty quick…”

    Andraste thought for a long moment, “Maybe I can convert these cults to be on my side and we can avoid extra bloodshed. Maybe they can prove to be useful….somehow..” She shrugged, watching as the shuttle arrived at the town. Andraste stepped out of the shuttle and immediately grimaced. The town looked like something out of a horror flick, and she could see a misty forest in the background.

    Of course this was a town that would have cult activity nearby. Andraste began to walk away from the shuttle, glancing back at Wook, “You said no one wanted to talk? Maybe I can I loosen some lips.”

    She pulled up a datapad of a woman that had tried to go to the media about her missing husband, but suddenly redacted her statement. It was ruled that her husband had run off with another woman and skipped town. Andraste made her way over to the last known location of the woman and knocked on the door.

    After a moment, a woman answered who looked immediately suspicious, “What do you want? I don’t want solicitors,” She looked at Wook and gave a small scream and attempted to close the door. Andraste counted on Wook to stop the action and hold the door open.

    “Calm down,” Andraste muttered, “We’re here for some questions. And you’re best off answering them.”

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  3. The Wook

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    Mist slowly drifted across empty streets as they exited the shuttle. It was hard to suppress a shudder, but at least there weren't any roving packs of predators skulking about like in the shadowlands. At least, he hoped there weren't. By now, word had probably gotten out that he'd been asking around about the cult. The existence of cults dedicated to Andraste was no great surprise. Nor was the fact that they were creepy. He sincerely hoped they didn't have him in their murals. Andraste might take mild offense to him burning down some compounds. He was a little concerned that she wanted to convert cults to her side, though. In his opinion, very little good came from having a bunch of cults running around. One minute you were their goddess, and then someone snapped and kidnapped you to "keep you safe".

    He nodded slowly in response to Andraste's question. There was no doubt in his mind that Andraste could rip the information right out of people's skulls. But if she wanted to do things the old-fashioned way, he could definitely help. The Wook recognized the address of the building Andraste was headed to. Dera Semm was suspicious, which was understandable. They were a pair of faces never seen before in a town plagued by a cult. He caught the door when Semm tried to close it, and grinned. He sniffed the air, caching the unmistakable smell of baking goods. "Raaaaaahhgh aaaaahnr awwgggghhh huurh huuguughghg?" He forced his way in over Semm's feeble protests.

    "Hey, wha- this is-"

    The Wook did not know if this woman understood his language. She was not one of the ones he had contacted, following up with everyone who had a missing family was impossible in the time he had. So he simply turned his own datapad around, which bore a picture of her husband.

    "He ran off," she said in an unenthusiastic tone. The Wook wondered how scared of this cult she must be if she was willing to lie about her husband and turn him into some asshole that ran off with some floozy stripper. He simply stared at her and raised a furry eyebrow as if to say "are you kidding me?"

    "Look why are you he-" her face paled as she finally took her gaze off of the gigantic wookiee in the room and looked at Andraste. A flash of recognition spread across her face. "Oh gods, you're..."

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  4. Andraste

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    As the woman looked at her, Andraste nodded, “Yes, I am. Take a seat,” She commanded. The woman plopped down at once, her face completely pale still. She was visibly shaking and having a small panic attack. Andraste sat across from her, and she said nothing for a long moment before speaking, “I’m not the first of my kind you have come across.”

    The woman said nothing, looking away. Andraste glanced up at Wook, “Mind getting her the stiffest drink you can find?” She smiled sweetly at him, also silently giving him permission to help himself to any cookies he wanted. Andraste turned her attention back to Dera, the woman lost in her thoughts. Right away, it was obvious that they had found a trail.

    “Why did you redact your story?” Andraste began, deciding not to go the simple route and simply extract all the memories from the woman. Once in a while she enjoyed doing things the old fashioned way, and this was one of those times. The woman refused to still look at her, and she was still shaking. Andraste waited and waited, minutes ticking by.

    “T-The local authorities told me to keep my mouth shut,” She finally spoke, “We were losing people. Families were moving away. Businesses were dying..you saw how this town looks. Nobody wants to come here anymore. So anyone that comes up with a missing person story, they get paid hush money to cover it up. When….when Kit was…” She broke down into tears for a long moment. She finally wiped her face, “When they took him…I wasn’t working. I had no choice but to take the money.”

    Andraste nodded, “And what did you witness?”

    “Just…heard chanting. They broke into our house…muttered something about the chosen…and they dragged him away. They could…do things. They threw me across the room without touching me. I bumped my head and didn’t know where they went. They all wore hoods…one of them had eyes like yours,” She tilted her head towards Andraste, finally looking at her.

    “I’m not here to take you,” Andraste muttered, getting the strong concerning thoughts from the woman’s mind, “We are here to eliminate the cult and find their leader. As long as their leader is at large, these cults will keep springing up. We just need to know how to find them.”

    “There are several families,” The woman perked up, “They’ve all been told to stay quiet. Near the edge of town you’ll find a man named Evan Buel. They took his wife. He has been going on all sorts of little missions to find the cultists all on his own because no one else is brave enough to go. He would know the most about how to find them.”

    Andraste rose to stand, and the woman abruptly clutched her wrist, “Please…please find Kit.. Please.. I still pray he is alive..” She began to sob as Andraste gingerly drew her arm away, glancing up at Wook.

    After they stepped out of the door, Andraste drew in a deep breath and exhaled, “I think we’re about to have an adventure.”

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  5. The Wook

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    The Wook wandered into the kitchen on Andraste's orders. He looked at a rack of cooling cookies, then at the liquor cabinet. He paused to think. Cookies first or alcohol? He looked back at the cookies and almost laughed. Here he was in a town plagued by a nasty cult, hunting one of the most dangerous individuals in the galaxy, and he was thinking about whether to take cookies first or not. What would he do if Syresh had fresh-baked brownies? Putting aside silly quandaries, he moved over to the cookie rack and placed a couple handfuls in a pouch on his bandoleer. Of course, he grabbed one for his mouth. With 2/3rds of the baked goods remaining, he moved over to the liquor cabinet.

    Semm's tale was audible from the kitchen, so he did not feel the need to use the guise of mixing a drink as the chance to go snooping through the rest of her house. He could tell the difference between a sob story and a legit one. Hers sounded legit. The strongest drink he knew, eh? He quickly gathered the ingredients, tequila, vodka, a splash of gin, bitters, a healthy spritz of soda, a whipped egg white, a lime peel, and a shot of a dark, almost black herbal liqueur. The last one went in its own separate shot glass, while the rest were mixed up in a shaker, poured into a tall glass, and the egg white dumped on top in a layer. He brought the two glasses back out into the living room. "Aaaaahnr wuuh uuh raaaaaahhgh," he said as he dropped the shot glass into the main drink glass, sending a wispy trail of dark liquid after it, which was promptly caught by the bubbles from the soda and carried up to the top under the egg white. He handed the drink to Semm, who was clutching Andraste's wrist. Amazing. Not many people had the balls to do that.

    Semm looked at the drink as if she had never seen anything like it before. The Wook may have mixed it a little strong, and she might head right to bed (or the porcelain throne) after drinking it, but from the sound of things, she needed it. He grunted in agreement with Andraste, not entirely looking forward to this adventure with mad, force-sensitive cultists. He should have known that this would be a complicated hunt. In the end he forced himself to look forward to the challenge of it, and the notoriety he would gain if he successfully took this bounty. He could use it, that was for sure. The bigger the reputation, the better as far as life in the Cartel went. As the two of them went down the street in search of Buel's home, he reached into his pouch, removed a cookie, and offered it to Andraste. One did not hoard baked treats, that was not cool at all.

    Eventually they reached a house with the windows boarded up save for what appeared to be port holes for firing from, numerous floodlights, and cameras covering the avenues of approach. The gate was heavily chained and what appeared to be broken glass littered the top of a five-foot, moss-covered wall. "Uughguughhhghghghhhgh raaaaaahhgh hnnnhrrhhh Wrrhw uugggh," he said in a tone that asked "is everyone in this town whacked?"

    "You two! Stop or I'll shoot!" A door on the second floor balcony swung open and a toong appeared with a blaster rifle aimed at them. The Wook paused with one hand on the gate as he stared up at the alien. He closed his eyes and prayed for the sweet release of death. A toong? He looked like the slightest bump would send him off-balance and tumbling. "Wrrhwrwwhw huurh uughguughhhghghghhhgh. Uugggh raaaaaahhgh...aaaaahnr-aarrragghuuhw," he growled, forcing his eyes back open.

    "Oh. Yeah, she called. Sounded a little hammered if you ask me. Kept talking about a giant walking lint-ball. I guess that's you. I was just about to head out, actually. Let me get down there and I'll tell you guys the plan."

    The Wook groaned. Lint ball?

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  6. Andraste

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    Andraste looked suspiciously at the drink Wook brought back. Was it a mistake to ask him to make a drink? Did he make it for someone her size or another Wookiee? Would this kill her? She had all sorts of questions in her mind, but they had pressing business to attend to. Andraste kept shuffling outside, making her way over towards where this Buel person was.

    She was deep in her thoughts about the cultists and strategizing when Wook offered her a cookie. Andraste simply stared at him for a moment. In the end, she took the cookie, nibbling on it, “Mmm this is actually pretty good,” She muttered, finding it privately amusing that Wook took the time to raid the poor woman’s kitchen. There was no doubt he cleaned up on a lot of other foods too.

    As they reached the last house on the outskirts of the town, Andraste could tell right away that this was the right house. A moment later, a man’s voice shouted out threats. Andraste simply rolled her eyes, calling the Force rapidly to herself and putting up a barrier around her and Wook. Of course, the man wouldn’t be able to see this and she allowed Wook to speak. What were the odds he even understood?

    However, she realized it was a toong, and her eyebrows rose. As Wook referred to them as cult-busters, she couldn’t help but grin. Andraste had to cough when ‘lint ball’ was mentioned. She drew the Force back, no longer needing the barrier.

    After a moment, the tiny alien scampered out with his blasters. He wore what looked like a bucket for a helmet and had a trashcan lid for front and back armor. Andraste eyed him for a moment, marveling at the fact that she actually ran into someone shorter than her for once. She could only glance at Wook and give him a shrug of her shoulders.

    “Okay, now I hear they’re afraid of salt. So everyone, take some packets of salt,” The Toong shoved the packets into both their arms, “Next, they are most powerful when it’s the full moon. You’re lucky it’s not that now, so we can try to catch them by surprise.”

    “Mr. Buel,” Andraste muttered, “Have you actually…engaged the cultists before?”

    “Well---no, but I know what they are! I have seen them scurrying about some ruins! No one ever wants to help me!” He looked at Andraste, “I don’t know what a little lady like you is doing here, but I’m counting on the lint ball to really back me up here.”

    Andraste rolled her eyes and sighed. Buel quickly began to lead the way into the misty forest. She was glad she hadn’t worn a dress for this, her boots already sinking into the swampy ground. The air was cool, and it was difficult to see anything. The Toong was ever vigilant, stopping every so often to check a tree here and there that he had marked.

    “I think they perform sacrifices at the ruins when it’s full moon and they….must rest or something the rest of the time.”

    As they walked, Andraste kept her senses sharp. The deeper they walked, the more uneasy she felt. She had a feeling they were being watched, and something about the forest was drawing her in. There was darkness here, and it beckoned to her. It seemed like the toong was onto something, as he appeared to go the same way.
     
  7. The Wook

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    The Wook looked at the salt packets in his palm, then slowly closed his hand. The tiny paper packets crinkled against his skin. He deposited the salt packets into a pouch, then stared at Andraste. Afraid of salt? The Wook began to regret agreeing to this mission. Fame and prestige were great and all, but he did not want to be hamstrung by a partner who had no idea what he was getting into. Buel's ignorance posed a danger to everyone involved. But he had no choice save to go along with the diminutive warrior. He listened as Buel continued to explain the weaknesses and strengths of the cultists, and began to realize he recognized where the toong had gotten his information. Anti-Force Force Four, a terrible holoflick he'd watched one night because there was nothing else good on. The Exiles had been portrayed similar to slug vampire...things.

    He glanced back at Buel when the "lint ball" was mentioned again. He was beginning to feel like the toong would not return to the town after today. Hell, the "armor" he wore wouldn't stop a single shot. Not that you have much to talk about, you never wear armor, he reminded himself. The sacrifices, though, were perhaps the only accurate thing Buel was guessing at. He'd put credits on Semm's husband being dead.

    As they ventured into the forest, he began to feel a little more at ease, although the hairs on the back of his neck seemed to constantly prickle. He couldn't shake the feeling they were being watched. Maybe it was the forest, maybe it was this creepy town, and just maybe he was spooked by the force-sensitive cult devoted to a man who had slaughtered countless people in the blink of an eye. And Buel continued to irritate him.

    The toong's choice of armor was poorly designed for stealth. Every little branch and twig that he bumped into sounded a tiny, metallic ding. With every other step, the handle of one of his blasters bumped into a lid with a soft clang. Step step, crack, ting, step, clang, step, ting. Anybody in the forest wouldn't need eyes to follow their progress, they would just need ears. The Wook did not like this one bit. He tightened his grip on his rifle, and at the same time considered whether it would be worth it to switch to his ryyk blade. But, if they got fired on from a distance, the blade wouldn't be very useful.

    Perhaps because Buel was shorter than everyone else, and could see under a layer of vegetation, the would-be warrior spotted something before The Wook. "Avast ye! Ambush!" Buel promptly made what he no doubt thought was a graceful dive to the side but ended up being more like a really loud belly-flop. His spindly legs flailed wildly as he rolled to the side.

    Avast ye? Were they pirates now? The Wook saw figures rising up out of the corner of his eye and he ducked into a roll just as something red flashed through the space where he'd just been. He scrambled to the ground low, trying to blend in with the foliage as he tried to pinpoint the positions of the enemy. He quickly realized that he was only a few feet from one, on the other side of a tree. There was no good way to get to the guy, and The Wook wasn't sure if he'd been spotted or not. His bulk was a little disadvantageous here. Ok so there was one, plus the one that had attacked him, that made two. How many more? There couldn't just be two. They would have needed to send two just to hope to take The Wook alone, not counting Andraste.

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  8. Andraste

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    Andraste gritted her teeth as she muttered quietly to Wook, “Anyone can hear him coming from a mile away.”

    “I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox!” Buel proudly muttered, which Andraste could barely hear over the clanking of his trashcan lids. Andraste simply sighed, wondering if this wasn’t the best idea after all. She didn’t have weapons on her, relying almost entirely on the Force. She only hoped that busting out her moves wouldn’t complicate things further.

    As soon as Buel warned them, Andraste could sense others in the area. She had no line of sight, but she could sense signatures. She knew there was a Force user among them, and she made a beeline towards that presence, counting on Wook and Buel to handle the others. She had a barrier around herself, deflecting a blaster bolt that came her way. She easily tossed two men back into the forest with enough force to crack bones.

    “SHE IS ONE OF THEM! WE MUST THROW SALT ON HER!” Buel began to scream and jump up and down, waddling over to Andraste and flinging salt on her, “COME ON LINT BALL HELP ME! SHE IS WITH THEM! SHE HAS TRICKED US BOTH!”

    Andraste had to control her rage, ducking as more blaster bolts came her way, “You stop this nonsense now. You need my kind to fight the cultist. So you work with me or I take you out,” She spoke with a murderous tone that shut the toong up immediately. Andraste glanced up at Wook with a scowl, “Babysit him, I’m going after the Force user.”

    With that, she darted further into the forest, making her way towards the two dead bodies as she brushed the salt off herself. Andraste crouched down to inspect the bodies, realizing that they looked like hired mercenaries. Within moments, she felt a Force push launched at her, sending her flying back.

    However, she quickly rose to her feet, immediately throwing a barrier around herself. She honed in on the hooded cultist, closing the Force rapidly around the figure’s neck. The Force user was strong, but it was no match for her. She applied just enough to make the cultist drop, but her focus was distracted and she took a grazing shot from a blaster on her arm.

    “WATCH MY ASS!” She shouted at her bizarre team. More and more mercenaries began to come out of nowhere, and it only worked to anger her. An angry Andraste was bad news for everyone, and she was not going to hold back any longer. Channeling the Force to herself, she pooled all the energy to her center before sending out a massive concussive blast outwards. It rooted out all the remaining mercs, making them all fly back land with a thud.

    Andraste didn’t care for them, and she made a beeline for the cultist she had almost choked to death. She crouched down and yanked the body up, tossing the hood off. It was a young man, and he was coughing and sputtering. He looked into her eyes and his own eyes widened, “Such power… I haven’t felt that even from our master…” He choked out the words.

    “Where is he?” Andraste growled.

    Before she could get more answers out of him, he promptly drew out a dagger and slit his own throat, cackling as he gurgled blood and his eyes went blank. Andraste sighed, crouching next to the body.
     
  9. The Wook

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    On all fours he crept around the tree, carefully placing each step, each hand on the loamy soil so as to not alert the man to his presence. The good thing was Buel's bizarre antics had drawn the attention of the merc, who did not seem certain whether to shoot Buel or wait and see if Andraste was allergic to salt. Figuring it would be good to have some semblance of fun in this sudden hellhole of a forest, The Wook growled at the merc. The guy jumped at least a foot, and turned just in time to see 360 pounds of violent wookiee slam into him. The merc collapsed like a deck of cards that got smacked by a freighter.

    They tumbled out into the clearing, branches and small plants cracked and crashed under them. The merc was well and truly out of it as he'd taken a fist to the jaw and a shoulder to the sternum. The Wook did not have time to check for a pulse, but he'd be surprised to find a healthy one after that. He then stood, and reached out to grab Buel's helmet. The tiny man was still flinging salt at Andraste, oblivious to the chaos around him or the fact that he could pull a weapon and actually help them. "Uughguughhhghghghhhgh huuguughghg aaaaahnr, uughghhhgh," he growled as he hauled Buel away.

    A merc jumped out of a bush with a sword held high and rushed at The Wook. With only seconds to react, The Wook grabbed the nearest hard object he could find and swung it as hard as he could at the man's face. The bucket, which had previously sat on the toong's head, crashed into the merc's head with a loud crunch as bone and metal both crumpled. Half the merc's face was a misshapen, bloodied mess, and the bucket didn't fare any better.

    "You broke my helmet, lint ball!" Buel complained at the top of his voice.

    The Wook swung his arm back the opposite way and clobbered Buel upside the head with the bucket, which produced the most satisfying clang yet and the annoying alien collapsed into unconsciousness and a loud rustle of metal, ad-hoc armor. "Uughguughhhghghghhhgh aaahnruh," he snarled. Andraste shouted something back at him, and then all hell broke loose as several more cultists suddenly went crashing through the woods as a wave of pure power rippled forth from Andraste. The Wook raised an eyebrow. Shit, don't want to end up on her bad side, he thought. She was now hurrying for a fallen cultist, and The Wook followed, just in time to witness the cultist take his own life.

    If the fanatic devotion to Syresh disturbed him, or surprised him, he did not show it. The Wook did, however, walk away from the corpse. That manner of death was a messy one and he didn't want to be stepping in some creep's pool of blood. Who knows what weird kriffing diseases that dude had. He made his way to the merc he'd brained with the bucket helmet. Bubbles of blood escaped the crimson lips with each faint, ragged breath. "Raaaaaahhgh, aaahnruh aarrragghuuhw aarrragghuuhw aarrragghuuhw, huurh, huuguughghg huuguughghg aguhwwgggghhh uughghhhgh awwgggghhh uughghhhgh uuh, aaaaahnr uughguughhhghghghhhgh uughguughhhghghghhhgh aaaaahnr wrrhwrwwhw," he called out. Weird force stuff, get stuff from his mind? Andraste probably thought he was a moron. It wasn't like his teachers had ever taught force terminology, though. Not his fault for not knowing every little thing she could do with the force.

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  10. Andraste

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    There was a moment of silence after the cultist killed himself, though Andraste still felt rage from not getting to him soon enough. She heard Wook say something and rose up to walk over to join him. She could see the merc he had clobbered, and the man was barely breathing. He was in no real condition to speak, and she simply nodded at the Wook’s suggestion. Andraste looked around briefly, “Where’s the little one?” Had Buel died already?

    Andraste focused on the merc, using the Force to dive into his mind. For a moment, he looked as if he were in tremendous pain, his entire body twitching as blood flooded out of his mouth. She was merciless, digging through his thoughts and tearing through threads of memories till she could find what she wanted. The torture lasted for several seconds before she stopped. By the time she was done, the mercenary’s eyes glazed over and he stared vacantly up at the sky.

    Andraste sighed at the end of it, shaking her head, “These guys know nothing. They were contacted by one of the cultists to protect the perimeters and that’s it. I didn’t see a face or anything. We’ll just have to keep heading towards those ruins and hope for the best,” The annoyance was clear in her voice. This was turning out to be a wild goose chase, and it didn’t help that it was starting to get dark.

    She walked till she found Buel unconscious, and she wrapped the Force around him to lift him and place him far away from the scene. He was hidden well enough to wake up later and make his own way back safely. Andraste looked at Wook for a moment before she walked towards him and reached into his pack and pulled out another cookie, munching on it grumpily, “Come on, let’s keep moving.”

    The duo had quite ways to go, and the forest was getting thick and dense. Several times she felt her feet sink into swampy goo, and she had to constantly slap away at bugs and mosquitos. Andraste felt that familiar pull towards darkness, and it was the main thing leading her towards the heart of the forest.

    Up ahead, she could barely make out a structure through the mist. Andraste hugged herself from the cold, moving closer to stand near Wook who looked warm and fuzzy. She gazed ahead and pointed, “You know that feeling that something bad is about to happen? I’m getting those vibes from over there. I think those are the ruins we’re looking for, and I don’t think they’re abandoned.”

    @Clayton
     
  11. The Wook

    The Wook Character

    Hutt Cartel
    Level 3
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    "Aaaaahnr wuuh aaahnruh huurh, aaaaahnr uugggh huuguughghg raaaaaahhgh huuguughghg huurh raaaaaahhgh," he growled in a manner that suggested he was not at all sorry. The Wook tossed the dented and useless bucket next to the merc he'd used it on. It had made for an excellent impromptu weapon. While Andraste went digging through the guy's mind, The Wook retrieved the blaster rifle from where he'd dropped it and began taking an inventory of what the mercs had on them, which was not much. They were not the most well-equipped bunch ever, it seemed. Budget mercenaries, now that was a terrible hiring decision.

    It was not any great news to him that the guys knew nothing. They would just have to scout the perimeter themselves. The Wook liked doing things that way. It was a challenge, him vs the enemy. His goal was to find the weak point in their defenses, see where they had screwed up, exploit it, and raise hell. The terrain was not favorable to travel by foot. It was slow going, and he could tell that Andraste was not having the best of times. He had to remind himself that she was only human after all. Incredibly powerful, feared, and famous, but human nonetheless.

    Light began to fade from the sky as they approached the edge of the forest. An evening mist had moved in along with a cold front, the combination of the two sent a shiver down his spine as the damp seemed to cling to his fur. He peered through a break in the trees at the ruins, bathed in a dim, dusky light. Long shadows were cast by the ancient stonework and he thought he could see a faint glow of light through the cracks in sections that had been shoddily repaired. Most likely the new inhabitants had simply picked up fallen stone and replaced it without any binding material.

    The Wook raised his rifle to one eye and peered through the scope at the monastery. It was quiet, and not even a mouse rustled. If those mercs had been the perimeter guards, then most of them had gone out into the woods to do the ambush. He could only spot two guards outside, one on either side of a high-arched entryway. One appeared to be on his datapad. Unbelievable. The Wook would have to find out what organization supplied this idiots and blackball them from any future business he might have. He gave Andraste a side-eye. "Aaahnruh raaaaaahhgh uughguughhhghghghhhgh wuuh huuguughghg aaaaahnr uughguughhhghghghhhgh," he said. A blaster shot would likely alert anybody inside, and even with Wonder Guard on his datapad, there was no concealment for a good 50 meters on the approach to the door. They would be noticed.

    @Sreeya
     
  12. Andraste

    Andraste Character

    Sith Empire
    Level 4
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    Andraste had to squint to see, but she could make out the faint light from the ruins. She stepped forth a bit closer, listening to Wook’s suggestion. He was right, of course, and she had plenty of quiet ways to kill. She glanced around to ensure that no one was watching before she applied the Force around both the men’s necks. They began to clutch at their throats, making quiet raspy noises. However, the noise of forest critters and the rustling of winds would drown them out. Within moments, they dropped with a thud.

    She nodded at Wook and moved closer towards the ruins. She could feel a dark nexus of energy pulsating from there, and it lured her like moth to a flame. She had to actively resist the temptation, clearing her thoughts, “There are Force users in there. Be careful,” She muttered quietly to Wook. Andraste masked her own signature with the Force, drawing up the two blasters the dead men had. They were floating with her, ready to fire at any moment.

    Andraste crept around the monastery, hearing collective chanting inside. She also heard voices of pleading and crying, most likely some of the civilians that had gone ‘missing’. Given her tiny size, she easily climbed through a shattered window, going around to quietly open a door from the inside to allow Wook to sneak in. She brought a finger up to her lips to signal him to be as quiet as possible.

    She turned and walked down a small corridor, spotting some stairs that led down. The orange glow of flickering flames lit the way, and she could spot ten robed figures surrounding a small group of people tied up. Andraste knew it was now or never.

    She moved aside to also allow Wook to have a shot, but at the same time she lifted both of the blasters into the air and began to rapidfire at the cultists. She also called the Force to herself, sending out a blast to send them flying back in all directions. They all collided harshly against the walls behind them. At least three of them were instantly dead from the blasters, not counting however many Wook would have taken out.

    Andraste got to work quick, ignoring the shrieks of the civilians as she choked two cultists at the same time. One of them shot lightning at her, and she quickly absorbed it, showing her true powers. That was when a cultist applied a push to Wook, aiming to throw him back against a wall.
     
  13. The Wook

    The Wook Character

    Hutt Cartel
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    He wondered if Andraste had been a burglar in her past life, because she climbed through the broken window with all the skill of one. It was a pity that she had been born into the Jedi instead of the Cartel. Someone like her would probably already be running the whole thing with a vast criminal empire. The door opened from the inside to reveal the Exile woman, and The Wook crept in quietly. His padded feet made nary a sound on the stone floor. He gave a sideway glance at her floating blasters, the sight was uncanny to say the least. It was as if two invisible bodyguards were by her side.

    The halls were softly lit with cheap wall scones every ten feet or so. The cultists had not been able to rid the monastery of damp, and the dank stones seemed to leach warmth from his feet with each step. A chorus of low chants echoed through the passage. This place was creepy as kriff. As they descended the stairwell, The Wook half-expected some monster to jump out at them. If there were force users here as Andraste warned of, then he was at a mild disadvantage. Fortunately he had brought someone who was force sensitive. Ok, so she had brought him, but still. That had to even the odds.

    Andraste, with her weird floating blasters, moved to the side out of his line of fire to reveal ten cultists. Ten. She had better be paying him well after this. He took aim at the kneeling cultists, one of them was standing but he figured Andraste would target him first. When he had settled his sights perfectly on one of them, right between the shoulder blades, he fired. The shot flashed across the short distance and struck true. He moved his aim over one and fired at the next cultist. It was like target practice except the targets were closer together than what one would see on the range. Still, ten targets between the two of them allowed for time for the lunatics to fight back.

    And fight back they did. As his third target dropped with a brief shout and tiny flames licking his thick robes, The Wook was tossed backwards into the wall. He hit it hard and with an explosive Phwuh! the wind was knocked clean out of him and he dropped to the stairs. Andraste was busy strangling two nutjobs to death, the third was the one that had attacked The Wook with the force. The hooded figure drew a vibroblade from under his robes. It seemed Syresh had not found it necessary to give these assholes lightsabers, and perhaps that was for the best.

    The cultist twirled the vibroblade in a flashy, complicated maneuver that attempted to communicate that he was an expert bladesman and that he would dice the two of them into tiny pieces without breaking a sweat. And then The Wook shot him in the face. "Uggguh," The Wook gasped as he regained his breath. He stood up and stretched carefully. He didn't think anything was broken, and figured that he should count himself lucky. The civilians were cowering, trying to present as little a target as possible. A few of them were brave enough to sneak hopeful looks at the two.

    The Wook spied a terminal mounted on one wall of the ritual room. He approached it and attempted to log in. A password prompt popped up. He looked at the screen for a moment before typing in "Syresh". The terminal buzzed as the password was denied. He then tried "SyreshLapar". Again the terminal buzzed. This time it informed him that he had one more try. He frowned and studied the terminal. It looked almost brand new...could it be? He stuck his tongue between his teeth as he typed in his final try. p...a...s...s...w...o...r...d. It chimed and let him into the system. The Wook shook his head, and simultaneously sighed while muttering about idiots. He began to browse the cult's limited file system.

    @Sreeya
     
  14. Andraste

    Andraste Character

    Sith Empire
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    Andraste was a whirlwind of motions, tapping into her full potential. She knew there was no chance of converting these lunatics, and they came at her with vicious intent. They saw her as a threat to Syresh, and they wouldn’t ease off the attack. Andraste finally shot out with lightning at any remaining cultists. This was only after she noticed that the Wook managed to access a terminal. None of these cultists would talk, and it was likely they knew nothing.

    After it was all done, Andraste glanced down at the civilians and rolled her eyes. She used the Force to undo their binds. They looked at her with terror as they rushed out. She simply shook her head and walked over to Wook, “Help them and they still think you’re the devil,” Andraste muttered quietly, watching him sort through the limited data on the terminal.

    Most of it was doctrines and principles to follow. It appeared that Syresh had his own little code of ethics for the cultists to follow. After enough searching, Andraste’s eyes widened, “There!” She spotted what looked like coordinates, “That’s where we go next,” She linked up her datapad to the terminal to transfer all the information. There was no doubt that there was encrypted information that would ultimately lead to Syresh.

    For a long moment, there was nothing but silence. Andraste looked around at all the dead cultists and shook her head, “Syresh could have spent his time doing so many more useful things..” She muttered as she absentmindedly reached for another cookie from Wook. At the end of it all, it was just the two of them, munching on some cookies after a well earned small victory.

    /End Thread