Once again, Chief Douglas Hudson was walking up to the podium wearing his 'nice' clothing, though this time he wasn't nearly as disgruntled at having to give another press briefing. His secretary and senior Rangers had forced him not to run off to Corellia himself to investigate and bring the killers of his men and women to justice. Then things started to move quite quickly, his datapad pinging with updates so fast his head almost spun. The most recent ones gave him a bittersweet smile, which he had then dialed up the reporters to hold an impromptu press conference. There had been some results, though the cost was a bit steep for his liking. Oh well, at the very least the people of the Alliance would see that their protectors weren't just sitting around eating donuts as the galaxy burned.
Stepping up to the podium, he looked at all the recorders pointed at him with a solemn look, before flashing a roguish grin as he started to speak. "Thank you for coming, ladies and gentleman. I'm Douglas Hudson, Chief of the Sector Rangers," he began, his standard greeting for these kinds of things "Recently, as many of you may have already seen, our Ranger facility on Corellia was attacked by a group of 'Red Sabers', the ones causing chaos across Alliance worlds and beyond. We sustained casualties on live Holo as they announced their intentions to hunt one of our own, Ranger Trys Aran. The one who initiated this broadcast was apprehended two days ago, thanks to the efforts of Ranger Aran and our local SWAT teams as backup. We applaud her tenacity, though it came at a cost. She is now recovering in the care of a trusted hospital from the severe wounds she had sustained." Douglas paused, letting a small murmur ripple through the room as he knew that many were taking pictures of him for their Holonet publications. This time he was glad to bring news that was actually welcome, at least to him.
"The Sector Rangers are not going to stop here, though. While this arrest will send a powerful message to Suspect One and his companions or copycats, we will not rest until every single one of these criminals are brought to justice. The galaxy may be a little safer, but that's not enough. To all of you who wish to sow chaos and do as you please, take this as a lesson. The Rangers won't stop, and we don't fold when we take a punch. We prefer to reciprocate tenfold. We'll update you as we hear more, but thank you all for coming today." With the grin still on his face, Douglas waved to the press before turning to leave the room. His blood was pumping, making him want to jump back into the field right alongside his Rangers to help make the next break in the case. Hopefully his office would have another update when he came back. Things were finally looking up.
The medical droid ceased his modular bonesaw roughly one-third the way through the Rodian’s breastbone so that his sensors might pick up the Ranger’s announcement. Even for a moon as densely populated as Nar Shaddaa, picking up clear HoloNet signals from the Core Worlds could be tenuous at best. Besides, he reasoned, the corpse on the slab wasn’t going anywhere.
He listened with his customary reticence as the stalwart-looking Sector Chief related the recent developments in his faction’s war against renegade force users. It0 had followed the case with a passing interest in recent weeks for a variety of reasons. Chief among them was the fact that ‘Suspect One’ (as the chief called him) had been particularly active on the Smuggler’s Moon itself. Such bloodletting and chaos was of keen interest to It0 as it directly affected his trade as a Crymorah street doc.
As the Sector Chief drew the announcement to a close with a series of thinly-veiled threats and platitudes, It0 returned to his Rodian sawing. The exploits of a few homicidal force-users were intriguing to be sure, but they didn’t pay the bills.
Living with a kid was something he wasn't used to. Living with a teenager was definitely something that he wasn't used to. Trys had asked Duke to look after Crix while she went off in search of the terrorists and all the other problems that the Rangers were currently facing. He chose to stay on Naboo to continue helping locally and with his own place that was much safer then Nar Shadda, he agreed to help Trys for no cost, especially for what she did to help get him off that planet. Crix at first didn't speak much to Duke, usually just going to his room to do his own thing or leave quickly after to go meet up with some people.
When he realized Duke wasn't the type to intrude on what he would do unless it involved him nearly getting killed, their relationship got to the point where Crix would hold a conversation with him for a few minutes at least. The Ranger had been sitting on the couch when the news broke out over the holo, the terrorist that had committed the atrocities on live TV had finally been apprehended, at least the leader of the group. When it was mentioned Trys was the one who captured the man, Duke sat up his gaze locked to the screen as he wondered why the Chief was making the announcement by himself instead of her standing by his side.
It was shared that she had suffered extensive wounds from the encounter and it brought Duke to his feet as he stared at the screen. He heard something behind him and turned to find Crix staring at the screen as well. Hearing his mother's name, he immediately pulled out his comm pad and tried to contact her. It went to a dial tone a moment after and he instantly bolted straight for the door, not saying a word to Duke. "Crix!" He hopped over the couch and went after him, nearly hitting a wall until he finally caught up to him. Crix was about to open the door but Duke quickly wrapped his arms around the kid, pulling him back as they both fell down on the ground.
The kid was a fighter and twisted viciously to throw his elbows into Duke who continued to hold on, "Stop! Stop!" Crix wasn't listening at all, "That's my mom! I'm going to see her! I need to see her!" He had to squeeze even tighter as he wrapped one arm around the kid's torso and gripped the opposite shoulder with his hand, "I know Crix but stop!" The kid still continued to resist but Duke held on for what felt like minutes until finally he stopped resisting and just leaned back against the Ranger, silent tears streaming down his face as silence fell over the apartment. After a few moments, Duke finally spoke, "Your mother is in the hospital. She is being taken care of by some of the best doctors in the galaxy. I know you're worried but we need your mom to just get better and not worry about you potential being the next target of some crazy assholes when you're running out there without thinking. I promise we'll see her soon just not yet."
He squeezed the kid's shoulder lightly and gave him a couple of light pats, "I promise, alright?" Crix was silent for a moment, thinking over his words until he eventually nodded. "Alright but I'm kriffing holding you to it." Duke nodded back before eventually letting go of him, "Deal."
She had been just returned from Chandrila, and was still dealing with the exhaustion of having spent hours debating, then recanting, then mediating, two different groups of people... and she was still bone tired. From within the comforts of the Quad-Five in orbit around Ajan Kloss, she had showered, eaten a light meal and waited to hear back from her Master about meeting someone new on the surface... Riz, something or other.
She had been idly listening to the Holonet; where they were out in the sticks, it was pretty hard to get a crisp message through, but the crackling voice announcing a name gave her pause just before she would have shut off the broadcast and just begin descending.
Trys Aran severely wounded... the name rang a couple bells. And then she sighed, leaning back in her chair. The chick she met back on Coruscant, the Lieutenant. The woman seemed pretty solid... and based on what Oren told her, a decent lady besides the Sector Ranger bit.
Perhaps she ought to be friendly... the woman was helping her folks, after all.
Sending flowers felt cheesy, though. Something she would appreciate... though Nash barely knew the woman. She could be into weightless wrestling mania for all Nash knew, but that didn't mean she was sending the woman a DeathSister personally signed t-shirt.
...Not that she'd send that one anyways, it was a collector's item and one of the few things she couldn't leave behind on Nar Shaddaa to save her life.
"Perhaps I oughtta page Oren..." she muttered, mostly to herself, but leaned into the chair, one hand rubbing into her brow. "...Kark. I wonder if the holonet has any suggestions of what to send in this kinda situation..." she began to grumble, when she heard the crackly voice of affirmation she wanted to hear.
Kal was in Ranger HQ as the broadcast went out, his desk's holoprojector showing the press conference as if played out above. Very few things got the Tiss'Sharl excited, yet news of an arrest like this was one such thing. His heart ached at hearing how Trys had been injured so badly, though. He was planning on going to visit her in the hospital, if she would have him. He hadn't talked to her...well, really at all, besides the reports he had sent her from his parts of the investigation into Suspect One. He looked down at the paperwork he was working on, a compilation of information he'd learned from a recent interview with a Jedi. The schematics of the lightsaber, what the Force could do, the difference between it and its corrupted form that the Red Sabers seemed to use, and this group that Max had called the Sith...All information that he hoped would be of use to Trys and the investigation in general.
His stomach twinged in pain from his wound, which he had refused to get treated in bacta. It was a mark of his failure, something he never wanted to repeat. Yes, he knew that others would call him stupid or other things for holding on to such a thing so tightly, yet his failure had cost a Judge their life, someone who was supposed to apply the law that Kal believed in so much. It was like a hit right to his ideals, telling him that he wasn't as good as he thought, as where he needed to be. He couldn't just rely on his mind to solve his problems, he needed to make sure he was as well rounded as possible. To never let this happen again. As the press conference ended, he switched off the projector as he gathered his finished report. He'd send a copy to Trys electronically, but perhaps he'd bring this copy in himself, and see if he could do anything to help her. He WAS a fan of her work.
Saul had just finished his debrief and interrogation with the Sector Rangers not long before about that very event. To see a talking face on the holo now telling him that the very people he’d fought and lost to were now kept on lockdown was something that, if he was honest, made him laugh.
It was a real success, a real win in the bigger fight even if he hadn’t been able to secure it himself. It only reassured him that they needed each other.
His chest still hurt after the fight, he’d be well bruised by this point, but clearly he’d not suffered the worst. Hopefully the Lieutenant would be back on her feet soon. Sometimes things moved very quickly in the galaxy. And he expected they’d only grow.
While he’d planned to return to Ajan Kloss after the interrogation, his navigation systems quickly turned to Coruscant at the news. He wasn’t sure what assistance he could be in these days, not after he found himself beaten and broken by them once more.
Talak felt that familiar sickness sink into his gut as he watched the news broadcast. There was so much to take in from it, but the priorities of what he heard were clear to him.
The first was that Trys was in the hospital. She'd been attacked and he couldn't know how bad her wounds were. Was she critical? Stable? Surely the Chief would have looked more concerned if she weren't stable after two days, wouldn't he? His jaw clenched and his hand gripped the glass in his hand like a vice. His heart raced and his pupils dilated as he dropped into a point of near panic.
Then there was the captured Sith. He was guessing it was Ender, which only complicated matters more. The two had drifted further apart in recent days. Their views on the galaxy diverged more every day, but now... this was a line too far. He was murdering too many people, and what was worse was that as much as he wanted to deny it, it fell back on him. He'd brought Ender into this life, and he was going to have to correct his mistake. Correct your mistake, kriff Talak call it what it'd be... he thought, but he couldn't. After all, Ender was in prison now... he lied to himself and told himself that that meant it was over. He knew better.
And then there was "Suspect One." The Arcanist was still at the top of their list, and he pissed him off that he was now lumped into this same wanton slaughter. He knew why, but it didn't make him feel any better.
Rage flowed through him and he hurled the glass across the room at fully power and the glass shattered against the metal bulkhead.
ARTEE! he shouted toward the cockpit. Drop the ship out of hyperspace and set a new course for Coruscant, he said. He hadn't had his full two weeks, but he'd have to do without. This was far more important.
Hannibal, in his ship and working on a new project of his, looked up at the installed holoscreen bolted to the corner of his cargo bay/workshop as it bleeped an alert. The ambient music automatically paused as the news came on, the now-familiar image of Douglas Hudson showing up on the screen. A few sentences in, and Hannibal was grinning like a madman.
"Yeah, kark that guy! Eat shit, you-" he carried on to no one in particular, his droid Ego checking in on him briefly in concern. His profanity-laden celebration was short lived however, considering the injuries sustained to Lieutenant Aran. They had only met once, briefly, but it seemed to him she'd been working hard to put a stop to the red sabers. Hannibal grimaced at the news, turning away from the screen once the chief started saying stuff to boost the morale of the masses, and looked down at the opened droid torso on his workbench.
A grin lit back up on his face after a few seconds' consideration. "Flowers are overrated anyway. Lee! Set course for Coruscant, we've got work to do!" he yelled down the hall, getting an affirmative whistle in response and redoubled his efforts on his project. He suspected the Lieutenant might need it more than he would, anyway. Might throw some flowers and baked goods in with it.
Oren had been working a case with the Sector Rangers on Coruscant at the time, as he and @Darmus Onn were hot on the trail of a killer in the Zeltros District of the planet. He was a good man, quiet and professional, similar to Oren--the only thing was, he could work a Datapad in ways that Oren only dreamed of being able to do. They were close to nabbing the guy, the Jedi Master just had the instinct, first he needed a hot bowl of a Dantooine noodles and bantha broth.
He sat at the bar, eating alone when the special news transmission came over screen. He saw the familiar face of the Ranger, and expected another tragic announcement. But, it seemed fate was looking up for them at this time. He'd place his spoon down as a soft smile formed on his face. Trys you tough son of a kriff..
The capture of the man responsible for the Corellian Ranger Station assault was a welcome change of news. Not only had a vicious killer been brought to justice, but a ‘Red Saber’ at that. “Finally.” Corran said to himself as he drank from his canteen. His ship had touched down on Jakku a few days before and he felt safer staying with his ship than leaving it for potential scrappers. The Crimson Ventures powerful communication disk enabled him to pluck HoloNet signals even this far out. Corran doubted a place on the dust ball of a world would know the news for weeks more.
Still, these investigations into force users, especially these ‘Red Sabers’ were looking more like war than police work. Lt. Aran had been seriously injured, according to the press conference. Is this how it was going to be from here on out? We trade Ranger for Red Saber? “I wonder who has the bigger numbers...” the rookie mused aloud.
Lt. Aran was a mere mortal though. If a Red Saber can be captured, they can be defeated. It just takes the right tactics.
Laeonas had been pacing in the apartment. He had been staying here for a handful of days at this point. Argyle hadn't really minded allowing him to stay for to long- neither of them had long term plans for the place anyways.
He was alone at the moment, taking the time to shave. He had never bothered cutting his hair to much, but he never wanted to look like a total vagrant.
Stepping back, he looked himself over. "Ya look like... not shite. Nice change, Laeonas. Nice change." He would say to himself in the mirror, cocking his head back and grinning.
The boy walked back into the man room, he'd flop down onto a wide chair across from the holo, switching it on and beginning to scroll through the channels. Stopping on the news, he would sit back. A news anchor, a young Rodian male and a middle aged causcasian human woman sat at a desk, hands crossed.
"Good evening, this is Coruscant Broadcast News Network, hosted by Tiri Drockaik and Marsa Flansk. Tonight, we have received a special bulletin from Douglas Hudson." The Rodian male opened up, turning his head to the woman next to him. Laeonas would cross his arms, bored already.
"The news concerns the recent capture of one of the Red Saber wielding terrorists on Correllia. We cut to give our viewers a look." The woman explained, a transition playing across the screen.
At once, he sat up.
He listened intently to every word the man at the podium had said. Every single piece of information- names, information, apprehension. every single thing they could tell him, he listened to.
Then, he heard the mention of suspect one.
Laeonas had a feeling as to who they meant.
He felt uncomfortable, suddenly. The boy would shut off the holo. The madman who had murdered those two for the galaxy to see was going to spend the rest of his days in a cell, or better yet, shot in the back of the head with a blaster pistol to have his body be dumped into a garbage incinerator. What had surprised him was that the girl on the holo just weeks ago had wound up hospitalized. She had managed to avoid injury when pursuing the arcanist, after all.
Sitting back in his chair again, Laeonas contemplated it all.
He knew who these people were, in a way. Why they weren't being called exactly what they were surprised him, a bit.