Ask Cultural Reappropriation

Hannibal Grayza

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With the thrumming engine and the subtle vibrating 'woosh' of hyperspace being drowned out by bass-heavy synth music and the smoke of a freshly lit Cigara careening through the cockpit air, Hannibal pored over the collection of files he had gathered related to the task at hand. He and his new companion, a fellow with a name that evoked images of some kind of tragic vampire-related romantic comedy, were off to retrieve old and valuable artifacts half-buried beneath what used to be museums. With the severe earthquakes shattering the city's infrastructure, the Jedi Order had almost literally jumped at the chance to assist the people. The Force did tend to multiply the effectiveness of a person at doing things, after all. The young Jedi Knight had gotten as much information about the area around the museum as well as the location itself, even going so far as to download digital brochures. He liked to be very familiar with any area he was to be working in beforehand, knowing from experience and the thousand tales his mother told him that plans rarely survive first contact with much at all.

He was wearing yet another unusual outfit today, something that almost seemed dredged up from an artist's rendering of someone who thought he saw a Jedi, the green jacket currently slung around the back of the chair allowing the tattoos along his arms to sit open in the dim cockpit lighting, sleeveless undertunic mostly concealing a tailored blast vest beneath it. The same chair was leaned back, his sturdy black leather boots propped up on an unused control panel next to his blaster pistol, a portable computer, and a series of tools that made sitting a pain when clipped to his belt. Humming to himself, completely different from the sound blasting it's way through the cockpit, he wondered privately to himself if the Council was playing a joke on the two Knights. Ash seemed a very serious sort of person from the vibe he gave off, and Hannibal was absolutely the kind of person to make joke at any given opportunity, with the chances increasing the more serious the situation was supposed to be.

This was bound to be interesting, at the very least.

The Catspaw let out a series of beeps, indicating they would reach their destination within ten minutes, so Hannibal said as much over the ship's intercom. Hopefully he wouldn't startle the other Jedi in the middle of practicing his grumpy face or something. The thought made him chuckle to himself, also briefly transmitted without context through the speakers. Ideally one should be seated somewhere that wasn't the cargo area full of relief supply crates when dropping out of hyperspace, after all. Wouldn't want to start the mission by pancaking the other Jedi against a bulkhead somewhere.

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Ash Valentine

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Ash was doing his best to meditate, not that he was having much success. Even though he was quite possibly on the other side of the ship from the cockpit he could still hear that incessant keening and thumping that his fellow Jedi considered music. Didn't help that the phantom pains in his face were being particularly egregious today, making his regular grimace much more genuine.

His companion for today was a younger man. A man he had never met and if he were to be perfectly honest he could have gone his whole life without meeting him if this was the way that he lived, and the way that he was. 'Mayhaps that was a little harsh,' he scolded himself in his own mind. There were redeeming things about the man, levity could go along way and there had to be something that the other Jedi saw in him that was enough for him to become a Jedi knight. So he'd best give Hannibal the benefit of the doubt. But he was adamant that he wouldn't lie about liking the music.

He was dressed well, basing his look off of one of the most controversial figures in relatively recent galactic history, the enigmatic Count Dooku. Dooku was a man Ash admired if just for his prowess with the lightsaber, regardless of his status as a supposed Sith lord. Not much was known about the controversial figure, but much of what Ash had seen of the man had set an example in him at least in terms of style and attitude. Not that he could ever match the regal air the former Count of Serenno could project, even on centuries old holo-vids. No, he was too grumpy and generally mangled to pull that off.

He perked up when the intercom blared his partners voice. He appreciated the update but didn't exactly know what was so funny about it. Regardless, finding no luck with meditation thanks to all the noise both in the ship and within his own wandering thoughts, he made his way for the cockpit. It took around a minute, but the door slid open revealing his scarred visage and not so cheery demeanor. Ash glanced around quickly, looking for a damned volume control. He found it, and a quick flick of the force brought the volume down to reasonable levels.

"Figure we should make a plan for what we might encounter down there. Security droids, looters, how we are going to deal with them." Ash rasped, paying no mind to the smoke in the airtight space container. "And I suppose we need to decide what kind of artifacts we are prioritizing." He finished, gesturing towards the co-pilots chair in a silent, polite request to sit. Ash and Hannibal had briefly introduced themselves before they set off but kept mostly to themselves over the trip to the earthquake wracked world. He wasn't going to waste time with needless formality with the man though, they had jobs to do.

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Hannibal Grayza

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Hannibal had been right in the middle of lighting a second cigara with the first, a habit he'd somehow picked up while bored in his cockpit, when Ash heeded his siren call and entered the room. He noted once again that the other Jedi was dressed well, in Serenno fashion. It was an older style, but it checked out, though Hannibal wondered if the grumpy dude was planning on trying to impress the security droids or the looters with his fine double breasts. Letting out a brief bark of laughter, once again with zero context, as Ash lowered the volume of the cockpit media system, he still managed to pay attention to his questions.

He waved vaguely in the direction of the co-pilot's seat when Ash gestured towards it, turning his own head to look at the other man. He had briefly, and quite shamelessly, looked over the old wound on Ash's face when they were first introduced, but now he was bored of it and for all the attention his eyes gave it one could be forgiven for thinking he didn't see it at all, simply passing over it like any other bit of Ash's face, or your average dull grey rock. "Droids can be handled through a central computer given enough time." he responded, gesturing toward his tool kit. "Looters can be spooked off or stunned, either works. What idiot stealing from a museum has time for Jedi?" He grinned, moving on to the next question. "The rarest and oldest. They're what draw looters in the first place and have the most cultural significance, so prioritizing them over common acquisitions like historical coins or the like is the ideal." he continued, smoothly shifting his speech patterns to something more akin to his noble father's in the process in an attempt to leave the other Jedi bemused.

He turned to the intercom without pause, clicking it to the 'on' position. "Ego, shǐ kǎchē zhǔnbèi chūfā." he said in Epicant, his droid preparing a speeder truck he had loaded on board into the cargo hold for this job ready. "Any thoughts?" he asked, turning back to Ash. He figured he should probably take his opinion into account too, after all.

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Ash Valentine

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Ash sat down in the offered chair and silently judged the man before him. Ash used to smoke, back when he was younger and on Vardos. When he had all of his face and he was just the prettiest kid around. It was just the cool thing to do, all his cousins and family did it, so he did it. Then he got shot, and smoking became very strange. He could feel the smoke leaking between his teeth and out the side of his face, it was odd enough to make him quit.

He listened intently, wishing silently that he had just turned off the supposed music as opposed to just turning it down. "We will have to find that computer then, assuming there are droids." He paused and then nodded. "We won't be able to cover the whole museum, so we'll have to scare the looters away if and when we find them. Do you have a way to get into the main vault? We could probably just melt through the door with our sabers, but they might want to use it at some point." Ash rasped. He wasn't exactly experienced with this kind of thing, but hey. He was a little impressed by the rapid fire way Hannibal answered his questions,

His partner muttered in a language Ash both didn't know and didn't care to learn about. He considered quipping that he didn't have many thoughts at all, but that wouldn't be very professional. So he just shrugged. "We are going to have to see what we are up against when we get there. Just got to remember not to rush it, the building could be unstable because of all the quakes. And all we can do now is wait until get down there." And with that he just crossed his arms, content to wait until they arrived on the beleaguered planet

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Hannibal Grayza

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In response to the question of getting into the main vault without relying on burning a giant hole in it, Hannibal looked over at his pile of tools. Fusion cutter, spanner, sealer, desealer, demagnetizer, and a variety of other minor engineering tools. Not to mention the general slicing equipment piled atop the portable computer. He turned back. "Oh, probably. Although as much as I'd like to keep what's salvageable intact, I'd rather had the artifacts in one piece than the door. " Hannibal took the opportunity to start putting his stuff away, transferring the tools to his leather satchel where they belong in their proper little places, the portable computer going in it's own central pocket. He then removed a bit of wire from his belt, connected to a scomp link hooked onto it, and plugged it into the now concealed computer for ease of use, the wire slipping out of a gap in the satchel's closed flap top.

"Leave the down and dirty stuff to me, it's not the first time I've done something like this." He paused for a moment, the grin returning to his face. "Though I wasn't with another Jedi last time." His laughter afterwards was cut short by a thirty second warning from the navicomputer, so he turned himself around in his chair and set it back up to a normal orientation, buckling himself in place. The transition from lightspeed to normal space was fairly smooth, considering the relative age and well-wornedness of the Catspaw, but rare was the small freighter or transport with inertial dampeners that could deal with the sudden burst of G-force from dropping out of hyperspace.

With the planet in sight, Hannibal took the main controls in hand and guided the ship down through the atmosphere, toggling the shields on to deal with the heat of re-entry and moving towards a location near the half-collapsed museum marked on a holomap he brought up on the central console. In the meantime, Ego sent a series of beeps and whirrs through the intercom to inform him the speeder truck was ready. Hannibal pointed through the viewport towards the museum as they passed by. "I can't land safely nearby, so we'll land close enough and take the speeder and load what we can. Let's hope some idiot isn't going to try blasting through the vault door, that building doesn't look terribly stable." He added to the end, pointing out a few smaller speeders already parked near what used to be a staff entrance.

Soon after the Catspaw made it's landing in a parking area a street away, not terribly far but not as close as Hannibal would like. After informing Lee in rapid-fire Epicant to keep the ship on low power and keep an eye on things from the top gun just in case he unbuckled and removed himself from the pilot's seat, slipping on his green jacket and allowing Ego to latch itself to the back shoulder. He double checked his tools for the hundredth time and started walking to the lowered ramp.

"Jedi thievery adventure!" He declared, boots loudly thumping on the ramp as he descended.

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Ash Valentine

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Ash didn't pay much attention to his fellow's jokes, focused more on looking at the devastation around them. It had a sort of apocalyptic beauty to it, the city was still there, but many of the buildings had fallen or taken plenty of damage. A large raised highway for land speeders was broken in places, much of the roadway having fallen down onto the ground, crushing more buildings. It was grey in the most literal sense, dust and rubble caked everything.

He followed Hannibal off of his ship, taking note of the speeders his fellow Jedi pointed out. They couldn't do much about it now, but it was worth noting how many speeders their were and how many people they could hold. It might give them an indication of how many people they may encounter in there.

The museum itself was still standing, though most of the windows were broken and a giant section of wall was caved in. "Lets check that staff entrance, might as well deal with the people here first before we encounter them on their terms." He rasped, looking to Hannibal before moving toward the aforementioned staff entrance.

The door was open, a block of rubble keeping it wide for anyone to pass through. Electricity was out, so it was darkly lit in the hallway that lead slowly downwards towards service tunnels. Ash didn't think to bring a flashlight, just his trusty med-kit, so he just brought out his lightsaber and ignited it, bathing the hallway in a warm sunset orange.

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Hannibal Grayza

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Cracking his neck left and right along with a cocksure shoulder roll, Hannibal nodded in assent to Valentine's brief tactical assessment. His eyes also swept over the the few speeders, all trucks, maybe holding eight people if one only counted the seats. He drew his pistol from the mag holster on his right hip where he'd habitually put it. As the Ash lit his lightsaber to illuminate the dark and powerless halls, Hannibal gave him an amused look, eyebrow raised and mouth twitching at the corners like he was pushing down laughter. He detached his own hilt from its place under his jacket, fitting comfortably in his left hand. He kept it off, however, so as to avoid turning the light into a gross puke-y color from shoving green and orange together. Hannibal actually had a flashlight in his bag of tools, but at this point he felt it appropriate to go along with the traditional, if slightly dramatic usage of a lightsaber. At least they were good for one thing beyond sudden limb removal.

He took the illumination as his que to move forward, steadily down into service tunnels. Every so often he would peer at the ground, expression mostly unchanging besides the slightest twitches. The looters had moved down the hall in a completely disorganized fashion, which was giving Hannibal difficulty in telling how many there might be. The only thing he could really distinguish was a dust pattern that made it seem as if a wind had pushed the dust outwards from the center. This further hampered his efforts, but at the very least indicated a repulsor-something. Or a leaf blower.

He pointed towards the ground with his left hand, the top of his saber hilt glinting in the orange lighting. "They probably brought a repulsor cart. Let's hope it's only for carrying stuff out." he said at a volume quite lower than his usual, really almost a whisper. At the speed they were going, it wasn't long before they hit a most monumental challenge: A fork in the path, left and right, both with footprints. Only the left one had the strange windy markings, however. He turned his companion, gesturing vaguely at the fork and shrugging. "Rule of go left?"

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Ash Valentine

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Ash moved quietly, barely disturbing the dust an debris around them. He thought he might have liked to have come here just to observe the museum prior to all this devastation. He might not be on the main floor where all the exhibits were, but it was only now striking just how much history could be lost to errant rocks and greedy looters. T'was depressing to think about.

When they reached the fork, Ash was mentally in agreement with his partner until Hannibal started talking. If there was one thing -amongst the many one things- that he hates, its when people suggest something he agree's with. Both because he wants to be the one to suggest it, and because he has an instinctual urge to be a contrarian. Now, because this was a serious situation and they had serious business to do, he just clicked his teeth and nodded before walking down the left path.

It was maybe a minute long jaunt, trying locked or blocked doors and pathways along the way until they finally came across the same door the squiggly tracks led too. It was closed and heavy but it only required a push and they were through into the exhibits nearer to the back of the Museum. There wouldn't be anything they were looking for around here, but true to form, the stupid looters seemed to be unknowledgeable when it came to valuable artifacts.

A group of these cretinous souls seemed to think that the plaster display of some prehistoric animal was the in fact the real thing. Now Ash didn't really care what they thought, and while it may have been fun trying to follow their misadventure, he was here for a reason. "Hey!" He barked out, lightsaber still ignited. Hopefully the notoriety the weapon was gaining would scare these goons off. But if not, well Hannibal seemed to be more of a people person than Ash did.

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Hannibal Grayza

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Did Ash just click his teeth at him? How rude. Hannibal let it go without comment this time, but woeful be Valentine when he got his revenge, oh yes. As he thought other such similarly pointless and rambling thoughts, before he knew it they were at last at what seemed to be their general goal for the moment. Dusty exhibits, half-working holo displays, broken glass, and a small group of ne'er-do-wells pilfering a pile of what Hannibal quickly identified as useless garbage.

It was then his fearless companion made himself known, his noble heritage shining out in his eloquent example of Jedi diplomacy and authority
. Hey! he'd shouted out, lightsaber buzzing in front of him in a vaguely threatening manner. The group of rag-tag idiots posing as tomb raiders jumped at the sound, then again at the sight of a lightsaber glowing in the poorly lit room. They looked for all the world like their flight-or-fight reflex had errored out, stuck between the two options, eyes wide.

Smoothly and with little hesitation Hannibal spoke up afterwards, his tone casually conversational and calmly confident, a little grin still evident on his face.
"Whoa! Wasn't expecting you guys to be here. We're kind of in the middle of some important Jedi stuff, so if y'all could just-" and then his attempt at defusing was interrupted by one of them figuring out which option he'd like to go for. Hastily the dirty-looking man pulled a blaster from his holster and fired at Hannibal, the one notably not with an ignited lightsaber. At least, it hadn't been when the man decided he should be firing. The brilliantly green blade snap-hissed into existence, the bolt parried into the floor as the blaster in the Knight's right hand answered with a stun shot that impacted the man's unarmored torso, dropping him to the floor.

Expression unchanged save for a subtle hardness, Hannibal indicated the fallen man with his blaster. "Please don't make me do my job?" The remaining looters decided not fighting two Jedi was probably for the best and quickly scattered away through a different set of hallways leading to an exit, dragging their stunned companion with them.

Hannibal sighed as they left, deactivating his lightsaber.
"If there are more, they probably know we're here. Hurray."


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Ash Valentine

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Ash waited calmly as his much more diplomatic compatriot had a bit of a chat with the various looters scattered around the room. He very nearly threw his lightsaber at the man who shot at Hannibal, intent on either disarming or de-legging him for his transgression. Thankfully that wasn't really necessary thanks to the speed of his fellow Jedi's responding lightsaber.

"Well, at least they will know to be scared." He rasped in response to his new friend. He then promptly acquired a befuddled expression on his face, raising his hands in a 'did I really just say that?' motion before grimacing. "Well at least they will know to stay out of our way I mean." He looked around the room a little bit, and it was plain to see to anyone with any knowledge of museums that most of the exhibits here were either replica's or worthless in the grand scheme of things.

"Lets get a wiggle on, don't want to keep our soon to be appropriated artifacts waiting." He called out to Hannibal before moving off to look for a map of some kind.

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Hannibal clicked his tongue in an irritated fashion. He preferred to do his work with his enemies underestimating him, not knowing he was there, or both. That way he had the element of surprise and could take the initiative in things. But there's no way other looters wouldn't hear those two blaster shots in the near-silent ruins.

Caution and fear would have to do, assuming the rest weren't professionals either.
"I s'pose it'll have to do." he grumbled, striding off with Ash and joining in his search for a map. In front of a half-collapsed doorway there happened to be a directory, the front of which Hannibal brushed some dust off of. "Typical. All the important stuff is in the basement."

He looked down, pointing out the repulsor "tracks" kept moving despite the group who had been in the room. "At least they can follow basic directions, eh?" Without further word he moved off, following the tracks and keeping an eye and ear out for trouble. He was just wondering if they'd gotten lucky and others hadn't heard them when his thoughts were interrupted by a loud noise.

A muffled banging and grinding echoed down the hallway, the sound coming from a set of stairs that lead to a lower level. He tilted his head, listening carefully and continuing to move forward. As they approached the stairs, the quiet was replaced with the distant sound of loud clicking and some sort of engine.

Hannibal made a face that was equal parts annoyed and incredulous.
"Are these idiots using a thermal drill? I hope they're not trying that on the vault door, that'll take half a day to get through. Shall we go correct their mistake?"


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Maxims Tionson

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"I mean I'm all for teachable moments Hannibal but they seem a little dense..."

Max smiled a little bit as he appeared from around a corner to come to a stop beside Hannibal and Ash. Although he had dispatched the two knights to this mission himself, Max would be the first to admit that he suffered from some control issues so he had come round to check on the progress of the mission.

His surprise at finding looters had been palpable.

"... do you think we can get them to see reason?"


Or the inside of their own eyelids after they were stunned? Max wasn't fussy and he was beginning to get an idea about what was going on here but it was always best to get confirmation. He became more serious as he set eyes on Hannibal again.

"What's the situation?"



@Shax
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Hannibal Grayza

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Hannibal turned around to look at the new arrival, greeting him with a radiant grin. "Like bricks, they are! Done with your stuff already, eh?"

The young Knight leaned closer to the stairs, both stretching his senses out and listening carefully to the sound of the not-so-distant thermal drill. "Oooh, that's definitely homemade. Sounds like shit. These definitely aren't professionals. That or they're just broke, I s'pose." He shrugged, then turned to Max. "Looters of indeterminate origin with a shit thermal drill trying to burn their way into the vault. Shouldn't be too complicated. We'll see if they're reasonable, eh?" He winked cheerily at Max and made his way down, not taking long to come out into a much larger room.

At the end there was a massive, reinforced durasteel vault door, in front of which was a contraption that was ever so slowly burning its way through it. The device was connected to a portable generator, the kind one could get at any hardware store. Hannibal almost started laughing at how underprepared these guys were for raiding a proper vault.

But he didn't, especially since he was being stared at. The earlier blaster shot had alerted them to the presence of unfriendly company, and as their blasters came around his lightsaber ignited, the snap-hiss drowned out by the strained rumbling of the thermal drill.


"Hey there! I wouldn't do that, if I were you. People that shoot at Jedi tend to end up shooting themselves y'know." Hannibal slowly stepped closer, blade and blaster akimbo ready to react, stretching out towards the minds of four individuals whose brains were trying to figure out whether to fight or flee.

"Hows about a deal, yeah? You seem like decent if desperate folks. Why don't you put those blasters away, turn off that drill, and go home to rethink your life?" he suggested, taking on a strangely flat and forceful tone near the end.

The four looters' eyes briefly glazed over, the suggestion that they simply leave without fighting three Jedi and instead going home seeming suddenly like a rather reasonable suggestion.
"I want to go home to rethink my life." one said mindlessly, blinking slowly. Almost as one they holstered their weapons, switched off the generator powering the drill, and began to speed-shuffle their way out of the museum.

Hannibal turned to Max, grinning widely.
"Apparently they can be reasonable!"


 

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Well it looked like Hannibal was just as reckless as he remembered him being... and just the right mixture of skilled and lucky to be able to pull it off. Max shook his head in amused wonder at the way the looters seemed to back off in light of Hannibals, 'enlightened', argument for them to go home and re-think their lives.

Walking past the looters as they slowly filed out of the area, Max pushed the drill assembly over as he passed it. It was a hunk of junk and would be better served as some ugly modern art sculpture rather than an actual tool. Shaking his head slightly, Max walked over to the security console for the vault.

"Right so before they went home to re-think their lives they tried a drill and before that?" he tutted, "They guessed the passcode too many times and got it wrong, locking the system."

Tapping away at the console, he was able to complete a reset that allowed him another attempt at the passcode. Humming slightly he thought about it for a moment before tapping in a series of numbers... which had the locks on the vault disengaging almost immediately. He grinned a Hannibal.

"The lock passcode gets changed regularly; so regularly that the person responsible just changes the passcode to the date it is being reset."

Rather silly really but he wasn't going to complain.



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The young Knight strode over, giving the drill a disapproving scowl. "Amatuer work for sure." he said derisively, turning to look at Max as he got through the high security vault by guessing the password. "And now it's even worse. At least we don't have to cut through the damn door."

Hannibal walked over to the vault door as it opened, peeking around the corner as it slid slowly to the side. A large variety of genuine cultural artifacts were stored in sealed cases within, of extreme value on the market, but worth even more to the people of Eriadu. He turned away from the vault and retrieved the repulsor sled the looters had left behind, bringing it over to the vault door. "Let's load these and leave. I'd rather not still be here if those idiots change their minds."

Then he got to work, holstering his gear and grabbing hold of one of the cases in his gloved hands, using a mix of elbow grease and the Force to ensure it was steady all the way to the sled. They'd need to get this stuff out of here safely, move it to the speeder truck outside, and then load the whole thing onto the Catspaw for extraction. Shouldn't be too difficult, right?


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Everyone was an amateur in some way but these guys? Well they had honestly been quite embarrassing. But if it was a question of whether or not he would appreciate skilled thieves over amateurs? Yeah no, he was very much happier that they had been awful at their jobs.

Who didn't even try to break the lock?

Reaching out with the Force, Max began the process of transferring some of the gear onto the sled in a way that was gentler than moving by human hands could ever be. He grinned a little bit at Hannibal as they finished loading up the priceless treasures of an entire planet's culture.

"I think you did well enough on the mind trick that they're not coming back."
he assured Hannibal with a grin, "Now lets get back to the camp. I think we've done just about all we can do for the people of Eriadu."

Now it would be up to them to keep working at it.


/End Thread

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