Nara mentally composed the letter in her head as she approached the door to the corvette. It was exactly as it'd been described to her. It sure was a CR90 alright. No mistaking that weird bridge head. It'd clearly seen better days though. The rain ran down over it in thick rivulets, exposing the built-up dirt and decay of years. No wonder this has sat here for years, who'd think they could use it with all this? Still, it was their best option. CR90s were old, but they weren't cheap. Nara's line of credit ran out when it came to starship fuel and cheap takeout, never mind corvettes.
This would be so much simpler if I DIDN'T HAVE TO DRAG ALONG YOUR BLOODY PADAWAN NYKORIA TALLIS!!
She'd heard that there were things living in there. mynocks mainly, but who knew? With her blaster in hand, she managed to force open the doors, letting them all into the main body of the corvette. Stale air hissed out into the wet atmosphere as Nara inched through, climbing through the gap into the ship. She snapped a glow-rod onto her utility belt, illuminating the dark hallways in pale blue.
"Okay... so we know we've got mynocks, maybe more. We clear the decks, one by one. Fiach and Jocedor are handling the engines, so we only need to worry about the main parts of the interior. I could do with getting in the wiring and checking out what a mess it is too." Again, this would probably be pretty simple if it was just her and Hal, the other Knight that'd accompanied her.
But then Mnoc just had to hide away on my ship, didn't he?
"Any questions?" she asked, looking back at the others. "Otherwise, let's get to it. I think I can hear some mynocks down this hallway."
Hal trudged through the mud behind Nara, feeling strangely optimistic despite the glum weather. Em-One seemingly shared that excitement, as the small droid began to chirp in binary as the group made their way towards the abandoned corvette. "So we're supposed to take on the Sith in this, huh?" Hal remarked dryly as the other Knight pried open the door. "Can't wait. Let's do this."
In all fairness, Hal wasn't being entirely sarcastic in his enthusiasm. This was the first time in almost a year he'd been placed on a team assignment, and although he had yet to finalize judgements about his companions, things had gotten off to a good start. Nara seemed extremely competent and assured, and while he didn't speak Jawanese, something about the diminutive Padawan intrigued him. They were an odd grouping of Jedi, to be sure, but much like the ship, perhaps there was more to them than met the eye.
"Mynocks are parasites - they feed on a ship's power," Hal stated, half-thinking out loud, "which means they'd probably be clustered near the ship's reactor. Good place to start looking at least. I'll start there, you guys feel free to join me." As the Knight stepped into the ship, Em-One clambered onto his shoulder and activated its spotlight, illuminating another portion of the hallway. "Ready when you are Nara. Mnoc, you all set?"
Mnoc had done it and sneaked aboard the ship, he wasn't going to be left behind, because Nykoria Tallis was he Master and he would none of her trying to get him to stay at the Jedi Temple, he knew immediately as soon as he got aboard that he was going to get told off by his Master as soon as he was found but he really didn't want to be caught until much later.
Unfortunately Mnoc was found a Jedi Knight while he was going to go and get food to eat one day, he was pulled aside and was asked why he was their and why he wasn't at the temple and he said he wanted to help and his Master was Nykoria Tallis and that lead to a groan, he was able to convince them to let him stay but unfortunately they were going to tell his Master.
Mnoc had been dragged onto the ship to get rid of some Mynocks because this would probably be the least dangerous mission for him right now and he had quite a bit of electrical expertise being a Jawa and all, Mnoc was out of his depth because he didn't bring T-3PO along with him so he didn't have anyway of making people understand something that he was trying to say if he didn't know the word of something.
Mnoc was listening to everyone and he could still see the angry face on the Jedi Knight, who's name he found out was Nara Allam, he heard mention of a reactor for the ship "Reactor is bad to start at first for kurruzza, should defeat Mynocks before so no Mynocks at Reactor, as well as making sure wires not ko lopo" Mnoc tried to say things as close to basic as he could but there were still some words he still couldn't say that well so he just always defaulted to the Jawanese variant.
It wasn't the most promising of starts, but it was what they had. Laying out plans for finding the ship had been fraught enough, never mind actually finding a corvette on the cheap. When she'd asked around about how many credits they'd have available to them, all she got was a shrug. Jedi are poor. That's how it is.
"Power isn't on yet, but they are probably clustered there. Maybe a nest or two, but they're likely to have spread throughout in search of more. Depending on how long this thing has been here, that is," Nara suggested, reaching out to touch one of the walls. A smear of grime smudged onto her fingers, making her wince. Ewwww. At least the wall underneath looked pretty stable, for now.
The Jawa's response was welcome, surprisingly. The anger softened slightly as she realised that actually, Mnoc might have some valuable insight. And... well, she had other ideas for him too. "We're not switching anything on until the mynocks are gone and the main boards are checked. Besides, we need to make sure we don't activate the engines and blow ourselves to bits." She knew from studying plans of the corvette that the reactor lined the back of the ship, near the engines. There were plenty of smaller access vents and channels deeper into the engines, which she figured would probably be infested.
They're probably small enough for a Jawa, though...
Nara moved towards the back, looking for a manual access-way to get to all the floors. Soon enough, her glow-rod illuminated the rungs of a ladder, moving from floor to ceiling. She knelt down, grabbing the handles to lift the hatch.
"Okay... maybe one floor down, that'll take us to the engine systems, the reactor systems and the crawlways, so we just..." she started to say as she lifted the hatch up. Interrupted by a squawk, a flap and a rapid flash of mottled yellow and greeny-grey. A flutter and flap of mynocks, three of them, raced out, making Nara step back in shock as she reached for her blaster.
"Dammit, crap..." she yelled as she fired, missing one completely and leaving a lovely scorch mark in the metalwork. The mynocks squawked louder and rushed the others.
Hal also reached out a hand to brush against the wall panels, but thanks to the wonders of gloves, he was spared the same greasy fate as Nara. His gesture was more out of reverence than anything else. The CR90 was a legendary craft, one that he'd never imagined he'd ever be inside, much less fly. He'd had a replica of the ship in his bedroom as a child... but that had been a lifetime ago.
"I'd reckon it's been here a hundred thirty, maybe a hundred-fifty years." Hal answered absentmindedly, withdrawing his hand from the wall and wiping whatever grime remained on his poncho. "CR90s haven't been en vogue since the Rebellion was around. Even during the Resistance these things were considered old." Em-One chirped in agreement - something along the lines of, 'No way you nerf-herders can get this thing to fly' in Binary. Hal flicked a finger against the droid's head - something along the lines of 'Shut up' - and Em-One seemed to get the message.
Then without warning, Mynocks flooded out from the hatch Nara had opened. Hal barely had time to react. Acting on instinct, his lightsaber flew from his waist into his outstretched hand, activating just in time to spear one of the approaching parasites through with a cobalt beam. "Look out!" He shouted at Mnoc, who the other two Mynocks were approaching rapidly...
Mnoc scoffed when he heard the age of the CR90 Ship "Ikee repaired droids older than that, just because things are old doesn't mean it doesn't hold potential so this is technically a bom'loo and not a piece of dooka" Mnoc said as he stayed behind Hal before suddenly Nara opened up a hatch causing Mynocks to begin to fly out.
Mnoc watched as Hal brought down a Mynock in front of him before shouting for Mnoc to look out, the Jawa quickly drew his yellow lightsaber and used the training he had learnt from his Master, Nykoria Tallis. The young Jawa jummped into the air probably about double his height and did a quick overhead slice which sliced the two Mynocks in half completely before landing back on the ground "Should probably knock next time, to lika if any Mynocks would be behind a door or hatch" Mnoc said sheathing his lightsaber.
Jawanese Words used: Ikee = I, Bom'loo = Bargain, Dooka = Junk and Lika = see @Charndley and @Ginger
Nara watched as the other two Jedi dealt quickly with the mynocks. There was a flash of yellow that span in front of her, then the sliced corpses of the mynocks fell at her feet. A faint fizz and curl of smoke in the air where they'd been cut completely through. Nara stared at the padawan.
"Uh yeah. I'll make sure to do that," she muttered to Mnoc, putting her blaster back in her belt. "Looks like Kori is teaching you pretty well," Nara started to say, before wincing. Crap. I shoulda said... doesn't matter. Way to put her foot in it. She'd forgotten that Kori was planning to leave him on Ajan Kloss once they went off.
She took the lead now the way was comfortably free of flying pests, sliding down the ladder towards the next level. The air was much more stale at this level, like nothing had been here for many, many years. Nothing except mynocks and... well, anything else that was lingering below.
Nara unclipped her glow-rod and held it higher, peering at the walls again. She was careful not to touch the actual wall itself this time, scraping a little of the organic build-up off the wall. Underneath, half-faded under all that muck and slime, there was an old Starbird. Even she knew how significant that symbol was.
"I think you might be right about the age, Hal. Practically a piece of history," she said, looking over her shoulder. Oh man, Izel is gonna love this thing.
"Shall we keep looking for more mynocks? Must be a nest in here somewhere."
As the Mynock's corpse slipped from his blade, Hal looked up just in time to watch Mnoc leap into the air and bisect the two incoming creatures, before sticking the landing as if nothing major had happened. Hal had never seen a Jawa fly before. "Emperor's balls..." He muttered a little louder than he'd intended. Realizing his mistake, Hal quickly regained his composure and sheathed his blade, moving over to pat Mnoc on the back reassuringly. "Ahem, I mean, nice work Padawan. Let's keep moving."
Hal took the rear as the trio descended further into the ship. When he noticed the Alliance Starbird, he stopped and took a moment to appreciate it. It was such a simple design, yet it evoked a powerful feeling within him - even if it hadn't been flown in decades, it was still the symbol of hope throughout the galaxy. He also took the time to scoff jokingly at Nara's comment. "Oh please, back in my day, I was the youngest Knight in the entire Order - seventeen years-old. True story. Master Goordayr still calls me kiddo." Hal moved his gaze away from the Starbird and began to continue down the corridor. "Haven't really done much since then, and that won't change unless we pick up the pace. C'mon younglings, let's go."
Mnoc radiated a happy aura when both of the Jedi Knights gave him some compliments but that was when he heard Nykoria's name which made him feel sad but he collected himself, this is why he came on this journey to prove to his Master that he was able to continue to be her padawan he clapped his hands together "Right, let's continue getting rid of these Mynocks and Ikee not a youngling, Ikee a padawan" Mnoc said with what sounded like a pout but they couldn't see it underneath his mask.
Mnoc pearked up seeing what had been done to the ship, he always did enjoy fixer uppers, that's what got him T-3PO but he never fixed a ship of this size before, when he worked with his parents on Tatooine but that's what made it the thrill of the challenge to him "So how buja kurruzzas does the ship need after we get rid of all the Mynocks?" Mnoc asked.
Jawanese Words used: Buja = How, Ikee = I, Kurruzzas = Repairs @Ginger and @Charndley
Nara lingered to look at the Skybird, brushing her fingers over it again. It was kinda sad, having this ship left behind here. Who knew what kind of missions it'd been on once. Who'd travelled on it, what action it'd seen. All left to languish on the rainy drifts of a junk planet, looked over time and time again. Bracca's loss is our gain, I suppose.
She rolled her eyes as Hal's comment though, following him deeper into the ship. "Alright, alright, kiddo, I won't doubt your eternal youthfulness again. And what are you, like four years older than me? Some of us have managed to get things done already with our Knighthoods." Ribbing and teasing, mainly because what she had done was hardly Galaxy-spanning, usually involving Sith and Temples.
Nara tapped on the walls every so often, pausing when they passed a maintenance cover, or a hatch. Waiting above it and listening, seeing if she could hear or sense some mynocks hidden deep in there. This time, she opened up the hatch and stared at some piping beneath. It looked pretty okay, if starting to corrode some.
"Repairs? Not sure. Probably not many to get us flying, but that depends on the state of the engines. Fiach and the other woman are dealing with that," she said, waving off towards the back. "The others are off getting the important parts. In terms of life support, the systems seem to be intact. The wiring is all in a mess though. We could fly it, I reckon, but it's gonna need a lot of continual work from us." She leaned back away from the hatch, allowing the others to peer in. Wondering if Mnoc had any insights.
"That's the way it is, though. We're not exactly rich, in the Order." She opened her pack and pulled out some tools, placing some circuit-safe cleaning solution on a rag before starting to work at the corrosion. "You see anything, Mnoc?"
Hal grinned as Nara continued to poke fun at him. So many among the Order acted as if they kept their sabers up their ass - it was refreshing to see someone who had a sense of humor. "My mistake your worship, I didn't realize who I was talking to the Chosen One." He replied, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "I'm surprised you haven't repaired the ship already with such a stunning resume."
Sensing that Nara and Mnoc had paused behind him, Hal turned around to see them peering through a maintenance hatch, examining the damage to the ship. He didn't know how technically proficient Nara was, but he definitely trusted the Jawa, so while they preoccupied themselves with that Hal placed a hand on the hull and sent out a pulse through the Force.
Further down the hallway, he sensed a few more mynocks - fewer than he'd expected but still enough to be dangerous - tearing into the ship's internals. Their lifeforms were frantic, parasitic. The Jedi were taught that there was beauty in all life, but as Hal focused on a specific mynock as it drained energy from the ship, he felt no pity for having to take its life. It offered nothing to the ecosystem; all it was designed to do was drain and destroy.
"There's two more mynocks down the hall, and another cluster somewhere deeper." Hal relayed back to the others, but being the smartass that he was, felt the need to add in another jab. "But I'm sure Nara already sensed them, right?"
"Ikee think Ikee have spotted something of note" Mnoc said while crawling further into the maintenance shaft after he spotted something "There is a few circuit breakers which can be salvaged not many Mynocks have got to these yet it seems and Ikee can probably tando some of these, Ikee is relatively lucky because most of these circuit breakers are hard to come by, even for Jawa and you know how much salvaging Jawa do" Mnoc said before he heard Hal saying there were a few Mynocks further ahead so he began to crawl out.
But as Mnoc was crawling out further down the shaft he heard a screech causing him to look ahead and there was a Mynock barreling straight for him, Mnoc used the force to propel himself out a incredible speed before hitting his feet against the interior hull that was outside the maintenance shaft and he flipped and landed on his feet drawing his lightsaber as a further 3 or 4 Mynocks made themselves known inside the shaft behind the original Mynock "Jar k'osa amount of Mynocks coming this way" Mnoc said getting ready.
Sorry for the incredibly late reply, real life stuff and work being in high gear due to COVID.
Jawanese words used: Ikee = I, Tando = Fix, Jar k'osa = Large @Charndley, @Ginger
Nara rolled her eyes at Hal's input. "I'm busy trying to repair the ship. Why don't you just stand there and look pretty? Try not to break anything," she fired back, running her fingers over the hinges of the maintenance shaft. Not a good thing to have slam back on you, that was for sure. Honestly, she was glad that Mnoc had headed down there ahead of her. She was slender enough to fit down there but it'd be a tight squeeze even then.
"Those sound great!" she called to Mnoc. "We need plenty of those breakers for the computer systems!" She wasn't exactly quiet about it, which probably lead to what happened next. Nara pulled back just in time as the Jawa flew past her, lighting his saber. She grabbed her saber too, igniting it and standing by the side of the shaft, hearing the echoing flaps and squeaks as the mynocks approached.
They thundered out of the shaft quickly. Nara slashed downwards as soon as she could, slicing through a good few of them as they attempted to fly out. Wings, heads, tails all thudded to the ground, cut and burned. Unfortunately, more poured out, slipping inbetween Nara's attempts to cut them. More and more.
"I think we woke up the rest of them!" she yelled.
Mnoc gulped, he didn't expect to wake up the rest of the Mynocks when he was just going a maintenance survey, he knew he had to fight them but he didn't expect this many this might be a complete hive of Mynocks "Who would expect so many of them" Mnoc said breathing as he caught his breath that force jump took alot out of him.
While Mnoc was catching his breath more Mynocks came flying out, he was already out of breath but Mnoc lifted his lightsaber to slice down one then two and then three Mynocks but it seemed that they would just keep coming and he could hear a large one was coming "Guess we woke up the mother" Mnoc said still breathing heavily.
Ginger if you want to jump in at anytime let us know we have been waiting for an entire month for your new post, so me and Charndley are going to continue but you can jump in at anytime if you want. @Ginger , @Charndley
Nara swatted with saber and hand, pushing off an annoyingly large one that flapped towards her. She shoved, hefting it's rough form off herself as she slashed again, cutting it in two. They fluttered around everywhere, a true and honest scold of them. Nara'd never seen so many.
"How'd they breed so much?!" Nara yelled over the din of flapping, screeching and hissing. Though the answer stared her right in the face. How could a whole nest of mynocks, including a mother, thrive in a run-down corvette like that?
Because there's a lot of it that's still working. They're still getting energy.
This ship still works!
"Mnoc!" she called out, pushing a little closer to the smaller padawan, "focus on the mother!" She gasped as one whizzed past her, slicing across her arm. Her coat tore open, adding another long cut to the collection of scars on there. She slashed after it with her saber, but it was too quick for her.
"For the love of..." she started to yell, until the sound of bending mental echoed around them. The metal around the vent opening bulged as the form grew closer, the shaft groaning with the exertion of the creature inside.
Unfurling out from the battered opening, the Mynock mother glared at them with panicked, dark eyes. It opened it's mouth wide, almost swaying with each flap of it's wings. Drunk on energy. Panicked by the intrusion. Sharing in the fear and anger that it's fellow mynocks felt around them.
With an ear-piercing scream, it swooped towards the two Jedi.
Nykoria arrived to Bracca about half an hour after Nara and her team headed off towards the corvette. On the one hand, she missed the opportunity to be among the first to board the ship. But on the other hand, her being alone meant that she could just jump onto the ship off the freighter's ramp at low speed. It would save time which would've otherwise been wasted on catching up with Nara.
So there she was, illuminating her path with a lightsaber as she made way through the corridors, on a different level from Nara and her team. Yet even from there, she could sense the turmoil and hear the shriek that somehow woke the rest of the inhabitants to life. "Oh kark..." Nykoria mumbled to herself as she heard an inhuman scream down the corridor.
The second blade ignited just in time, as a shrieking cloud of flapping wings headed towards Nykoria. It pained her to do this, but the reaction was almost instinctive: the blades danced in the darkness of the hallway as the cloud of parasites howled towards Kori, only to end up as burnt silicon in her wake. The Jedi would have a lot of cleaning up to do after this.
The mynock mother hissed as it flew towards Nara and Mnoc. Moving on instinct, she positioned herself between the padawan and the mother, protecting him from her. She slashed outwards, trying to bat her away or make her keep her distance. The tip of her saber hissed as it cut through a slight amount of silicon, leaving a shallow, smoking slash across the mother's chest.
Far from discouraging her, the mother screamed all around her. Pain mixing with the anger, drawing the attention of every mynock around. A swarm filled the corridor, flying inbetween the two Jedi and their own mother, blotting out right, slicing and scratching and biting whatever they could reach.
The huge form of the Mynock mother lunged for Nara while she was distracted by the others, making her lose her footing. She slipped onto the ground, skidding back with the Force. Her head grazed on a piece of metal, cutting her scalp. Her vision blurred slightly, stars sparking from the pain. Her saber hilt rolled across the floor towards the hatch, about to drop...
She reached out with the Force, pulling it towards herself. It smacked on the wing of the Mother, bouncing aside before Nara managed to pull it round. As she did, the mother shrieked and slammed into Nara, pushing her against the cold, rusting metal. Teeth tore into her coat and top, biting into her shoulder as Nara yelled wordlessly, igniting her saber again and plunging it into the thick mass of silicon life in front of her. She shoved and stabbed and slashed as wildly as she could, the smell of burning silicon filling the air as the shrieks and screams died in front of her. The Mother's bloody teeth slipped away from her, leaving a raw-looking wound as Nara breathed heavily.
Meanwhile, on the different level, Nykoria continued slashing through the shrieking cloud of wings and teeth. The two azure blades worked in unison like a silicon grinder, making sure than no mynock would get through from the front. It didn't make the job easier though: the slabs of burnt silicon were still hitting Kori's arms, pounding on her chest, flying in her face. All of that was accompanied by the sensation of pain, fear, and anger, which made the Zeltron clench her teeth. That's not counting the usual mynock screams. Cold sweat was running down Kori's face, and she couldn't even wipe it under her helmet.
The screams somewhere ahead and below became even louder... And then Kori fell on her stomach, barely managing to extinguish her sabers mid-fall. The face plate of the mask her lip and made blood trickle out of her nose. Something weighed down on the Knight's back, kept hitting her with flappy wings, and scratched the reinforced armorweave on her shoulder in a futile attempt to bite through. With a loud yell, the Zeltron rolled on her back, landing on something soft with a nasty slurp. Combined with a loud shriek from under her, that made it 10 times worse than a chalk screeching on a board.
Rolling over on her stomach again, Nykoria finally managed to ignite one of the blades and end the whole thing. For a while she remained there, regaining her breath.
With the death of the Mother, the mynocks screamed in a discordant, ragged song. They seemed more agitated, their wings flapping frantically. However, their aggression and resolve seemed to break. The hivemind took a brutal shock from the sudden death of it's central figure. They were lost, they were away from their main nest and they weren't close to the food, deep in the lower parts of the corvette.
Which made them easy prey.
Still clutching onto her bleeding shoulder, Nara sliced through a few more confused mynocks as she approached Mnoc. A few of them had fluttered away, out of the ship. The others had retreated deeper into the ship's bowels. Probably back to their nest... though it wouldn't remain for long.
Wincing as she nursed her bites, Nara frowned and peered at the grate. "We'll go get some smoke canisters from one of the ships, put in a little anti-silicate, and toss it down there," she told the padawan. "Without the big one, hopefully we can just smoke the rest out. They need a bigger will than just themselves."
Turning towards Mnoc, she smiled at him. "You did good. Kept your nerve. Well done."