Sometimes the simple truth was that hard work needed to be done.
The kind of hard work that didn't see an awful lot of respect in the short term, work that didn't seem to be important to a lot of people but work that needed to be done to create a foundation for others. Hard work like removing some of the massive obstructions that littered the city. As it was right now, several of the main road intersections were completely impassible.
Certainly, speeders meant that roads weren't as important as they had once been but there were still too many of the low-flight-level speeders around that meant they needed to clear the rubble at least until it was at a much more manageable level. Walking down the ruined main street, Max couldn't help but think that the task ahead of them was going to be rather larger than expected.
He was damned sure that he had seen half a building cluttering up one of the streets that branched off from the main street a few exits back. That one would be something alright.
There had been proposals on how to deal with such heavy obstacles but Max hadn't gotten too involved in the discussions back at the base camp. Instead he merely sat himself down atop a smooth piece of stone just off from the central plaza of the main city. Drawing himself deeper into himself, he reached out to touch at the Force as he waited for his ally to arrive so that they could begin.
While Korvus wasn't exactly fond of the mission he had received, he knew it had to be done. The people of this planet needed help, and the Jedi Order had the tools to help them. He believed the Force will help him and the others to restore the ruined planet, as how a massive quack had shaken the core of the planet, it will be restored. Therefore, the balance. There was much more for Korvus to fully understand of the phrase ,'To bring balance in the Force'. The source of the massive quack was mysterious, and he knew so much of the Force to fully understand it.
As his mind wandered, his legs were wandering too, leading him to the rendezvous. Sooner, he found himself at the distance where he could see the Jedi Knight he was working with. Maxims. Korvus waved his hand lightly at the sight of him, and approached the male. Taking a glance at the rumblings of buildings and what not, it was clear that his mission wasn't as light as it sounded.
"Hello there, Max." He greeted, and taking another look around before a sigh escaped his lips. "So, we're in for a heavy lifting... Where do we start?" From the sight of it, he would need to deeply channel and connected himself to the Force in order to do such lifting. Full concentration was ready to be given, he waited for Max to answer and guided him through this mission.
With his fellow knight having arrived they could begin. What they were going to do was neither glamorous nor enjoyable but he hoped that Korvus hadn't joined the Jedi for that kind of lifestyle because Max surely hadn't. He nodded in greeting and started towards the other Jedi.
"Nice to see you Korvus." he greeted his ally before smirking a little bit, "I was thinking we start with heading towards a local armory, honestly."
He gestured for Korvus to follow him.
"We could lift an awful lot of this with the Force but the largest pieces of debris need to be removed without exhausting us so I thought about what we could do and the answer I came up with was simple; we break the bigger bits into little bits first." he grimaced, "Only problem I encountered was that the local armory is rather heavily guarded."
Holding up a hand, he paused at a corner and bade Korvus to look around the corner at the small, squat, building that was the entrance level to the mostly-underground armory.
"KX-Series Security droids... quite a few of them and with the declaring of martial law? They're not going to let us in peacefully but we need to get the ordinance to have a chance at making a dent in the amount of debris. You up for it?"
After the greeting, Korvus paused and with a puzzled face, he asked. "The Armory?" Korvus could only think of certain ways why would they need to go the Armory, if their job was only to clear the structures on the surface of the city.
With the gesture from Max, Korvus nodded silently and followed fellow Jedi Knight. As he explained to Korvus, only then the Why Armory was solved. To his surprise the mission just got exciting, as the other Jedi Knight asked that if he was up for the fight they had to face once in the Armory. Just around the corner, Korvus moved around to take a look at what Max was showing. A small squat entrance that led to of course, if not the Armory came in view.
"Of course." Korvus answered. He was ready for anything. Despite the fact that he didn't thought that there would be any combat in this mission, it certainly was a surprise that he didn't foreseen, but a good surprise indeed.
Pulling the fabric of his robe aside, he pulled his lightsaber into his firm grip, ready for the action to take place. "Care to initiate first, Master Jedi?"
Seemed that Korvus was with him on this one - good.
Taking his lightsaber out from it'd hiding place, Max felt the same regret he usually did when he drew his blade from it's resting place. The sense that he had almost failed as a Jedi simply because he had to resort to violence. However it was very much muted by the fact that he would only be fighting droids.
Rather irritating droids too if he remembered the KX-Series correctly - they had a very dry sense of humor programmed into them and a rather strong streak of sadism in them as well. Strange for droids but, he supposed that was why the Empire had so enjoyed putting them into production.
Now here they were as surplus guarding an entrance.
"Then let's get a move on."
Striding out into the street, Max brazenly made his way towards the entrance to the armory as five KX droids converged upon his position in response to his arrival.
"Enemy contact; Prepare yourself."
The leader of the droids lunged at Max in a really aggressive bear-hug type move. Max activated one blade of his lightsaber and dodged to his left, raising his lightsaber blade up to cut through the right arm of the security droid. He hissed and pushed backwards with his feet, dodging the follow-up swing from the droid's left. These droids were fast and only their limbs were really weak against their lightsabers.
As Max made his move, Korvus followed him behind, dashing as he ignited his lightsaber into life. The blade rushed out with its laser sound filling the air. With the lightsaber on his side, he ran towards a group of droids before leaping into the centre of the group. The droids were probably confused at first and Korvus took the opportunity to slash one of them into two. The other droids began to initiate its attack pattern on Korvus, and effortlessly, Korvus dodged the assault with a simple side step.
Korvus rushed in between the attacks and another struck to its heart, ended that another KX droid. While in the moment, he suddenly felt a metal kicking his arm and sent his body stumbled sideways, but soon regained his stance as he faced the droid that kicked him. "Wow, you're a feisty one."
"Shut it, Jedi scum."
"Whoa, where did that come from?" While the comment was pretty harsh coming from a droid, Korvus had no time to have a chit chat with either of them. So continuing the fight, he waited for the droid to come forward. As expected, it did and it thrusted its fist forward in a jab, which Korvus used it and cut its arm with his blade, before taking sweeping its legs with his lightsaber, ending its usefullness.
While Korvus had done three of them, he turned to face his fellow ally, to see if he needed any help.
Max ducked under the droid's wild swing and thrust his blade forwards, stabbing it into what would have been the armpit. With his blade inside it's torso now, he twisted the blade up and down, burning and cutting through internal systems before pulling his blade out from the front of the droid's torso, letting it fall to the ground like a puppet with it's strings cut. Seeing that Korvus had done well for himself, Max focused on the last two droids.
He threw his lightsaber through the air, guiding it unerringly with the Force into the head of one of the droids, destroying it's CPU and causing it to become unresponsive. The last droid between the two Jedi and their objective looked back between the destroyed droids and the two Jedi.
"I will allow you to surrender."
Scoffing, Max yanked his lightsaber with the Force not back to himself but to the side. His blade spun as it cut the droid down at the knees, sending it crashing to the floor as the blade spun in the air before landing perfectly in his outstretched hand. Extinguishing the blade, he walked past the incapacitated droid that was no longer a threat to either himself or Korvus.
"You any good at slicing?" he asked Korvus as he reached the impressive-looking blast door, "I'm not very good at all."
The younger generations kept changing slicing skills too quickly for Max to really keep up so he had stopped trying to a few years back honestly.
When Nash had originally broken the atmosphere, she had to gape at the sheer amount of damages to this place. Many main intersections and causeways were littered with massive piles of debris; landing on a clear pad was going to be a challenge in and of itself, one she wasn't keen to savor all too much.
And then there was the necessity to track down her Master and this other Knight he was accommodating; a feat in and of itself.
But after landing, locking, and several dead ends... a familiar voice rose above the din and rubble.
Dressed in her usual street clothes of black leggings, boots, a tee over a blaster vest and her synthleather jacket, blaster attached to her hip and vibroblades securely stashed. She flashed them both a fanged grin as she hopped nimbly over some pieces of rubble, mindful of any sharp shards of transparisteel or durasteel beam. "Well now."
Her hands settled on her hips, brows raised in amusement. "Looks like I came in the nick of time. Any way I can help a fine pair of handsome guys like you?"
Well one thing that Max had not been expecting was for Nashyr to appear.
Max had honestly tried to ensure that his young Padawan was left at the camp for this mission. While he was confident in her abilities, he knew that this mission wasn't really the kind of atmosphere that would lend itself to teaching. Instead this was the kind of mission that would result in hard work and danger for very little reward.
Not the kind of thing that Padawans tended to enjoy.
This was good!
"Hello there young Padawan!" he greeted Nashyr with a laugh, "This old man here seems to have forgotten his keys... help an old bloke out by slicing the door would you?"
She smirked at him, raising a brow. "Hardly the first time, Max," she teased, pulling something out from her wrist. At a distance, it may have seemed like a hidden blade... but upon closer inspection, was a simple computer spike. She knelt before the locking component with a frown.
This was gonna take a while... But meantime, she was going to keep active.
"So tell me... why are we needing an armory, hmm?"
The Force rewarded him for his service of it's ends with a sassy apprentice... because of course it did.
At least she had a sense of humor to go along with her sense of duty to the Order. Some of the members of the Order were rather dull company to keep and Nashyr was proving that she was rather fun to be around during their missions and training sessions. Of course she hadn't been here for the explanation earlier.
"Yes yes, your Master forgets his keys one time and you hold it against him forever, I know the drill." he joked dryly before adding, "I could brute strength it but I thought it better to let you use your skills."
Totally a learning experience.
"The armory contains high-yield, better-accuracy, breaching charges. Plan is to use them strategically to break the larger chunks of rubble into more manageable chunks. At least on the main roads so we can get heavy machinery in."
"As opposed to what? Just blowing the planet to smithereens like the earthquakes have already done?" she quipped, braving a glance, a grin, and a raised brow at his statements. Truth be told, this light banter kept her mind better focused; if he was to be serious, she would have found it more difficult to concentrate. As it was, this was gonna take a while.
"Don't worry, Max; I won't hold it against you this time," she chuckled, then frowned again. No wonder it was so damningly difficult just to get the thing to unlock... the equipment inside was some high-end tech, fancy boy stuff. It would take another minute, but...
Finally, there was a click, then a thump. At first, she held her breath, as though the door was suddenly going to slam shut...
And then it slowly creaked open, the dark interior within illuminating with the emergency back-up lights powered after the first hard quake hit. Some areas were littered with duracrete dust and one part of the ceiling bowed with the threat to cave, but she pocketed the computer spike and bowed to him, waggling her brows.
"Thank you, thank you. And for my next trick, I'm going to magically make you go grab what you need. You're welcome."
Well it seemed that his Padawan was just as skilled as she was sassy - that was good for her chances within the Order and good for his sanity as well. If she was close to level in both then she was going to be a force to be reckoned with once she was trained up a little bit. She was taking to the Jedi life really rather well after all, even if she did tend to fall back onto some of the tricks she had learned as the boss of a small business surrounded by criminals.
"We won't be using anywhere near that much." he chided her with a small chuckle, "Just enough to make sure it's actually possible rather than a feet of strength with the Force likely beyond most of our Order."
Could they lift such large debris? Probably.
Would it be exhausting? Definitely. Moving one of the huge chunks of building would be enough to tire both himself and Nashyr out for hours and that was a very inefficient way of clearing the way. He rolled his eyes but clapped a little bit in acknowledgement of Nashyr's skilled.
Ducking into the armory, he made short work of some of the locks with his lightsaber before returning with a dozen or so of the breaching charges he had been looking for. Upon leaving he locked the armory door right back up as tightly as it had been before to make sure he wasn't leaving such dangerous weapons available for just anyone.
He dumped some of the charges on his, well, his charge.
"Here's your party favors Nash, try not to group them all up in your placement."
She was really, really glad he was her Master for training. Who else could go along with her general attitude, and play it right back at her? After so many years dealing with sensitive females, grouchy male customers and the general miasma of negativity, it was nice that there was someone else in the galaxy capable to take her kriff and turn it right back.
She chuckled when he clapped, scooping up the charges he tossed her way.
"Right. If you smell burning fur, just look for a tiger girl," she teased, stalking away. It was nice that he locked the armory back up, though.
...At least there were a few good eggs in this Force, she thought with a soft grin. She'd hate to think of the alternative.
But first... it was time to blast some rubble enough to play road hero.
It was gonna be a long, rough going, but worth it. She was oddly grateful to be doing something for once. And seeing Max do something... well, she wasn't gonna tell him it made the ol' space cowboy look a little cool.
If he smelled burning fur?
"So like that time you over-used my ships dryer and ended up lightly singed and all poofy with your fur?"
It had amused him at the time and it amused him now. Even more amusing was whenever they found themselves on a really humid world where her fur would just kind of explode like it had a mind of it's own. Made him happy he only had his hair and his beard to worry about. Max hummed an almost jaunty tune to himself as he set about applying the charges to some of the larger pieces of buildings that would just be near impossible to beat with the Force alone.
Of course they could do it with the Force alone but, as was becoming a more common question amongst the Jedi Order; just because they could, did that mean that they should? Absolutely not.
Still, he had retained the detonator so that there would be no nasty surprises.
Once he had placed all of his, he reached out into the Force to connect to Nashyr on a telepathic level.
All good here - meet up at the armory again and we'll detonate then we'll need to move the pieces together.
Just like they would agree to never talk about the next embarassing thing that he did right up until Nashyr decided that it would be funny to bring it back up again. It was almost familial in the way that it was held against them like that. Max remembered treating his father like that and being treated in kind in return.
With the last of his explosives placed, Max made his way back to where they had started. Thankfully most of it was still in sight and through the Force he could seek out life to minimize the risks. He detected no sources of life in the city which was, truth be told, a rather humbling and saddening thought.
To be alone in such a massive city that had so recently been so vibrantly full of life and people... if nothing else it ensured a great deal of respect for the power of the natural disaster that had caused it.
When they were back in position he tossed the detonator to Nashyr.
"Don't say I never let you have the fun jobs."
She grinned at him, head cocked to one side as she caught the detonator, eyeing the charges and their placement; though there was no body present to be further harmed, she didn't want to risk a building collapsing on top of them and ruining what turned out to be such a charming interlude so far.
Complete with still-smoking buildings and plenty of massive rubble.
She scooted herself closer to the armory; better to be out of most of the way of any flying debris. And if anything collapsed... at least there was a good, strong awning overhead to protect from anything too life-threatening.
"Here we go," she muttered, and pressed the button, hands and arms protectively covering over her ears and face as she did.
The booms shook the ground, and instantly dust chokingly filled the air. Dimly, she heard ringing; was an alarm going off somewhere? It sounded like the explosions set another buildings' alarms off; she sighed, examining as the air cleared.
Thankfully, nothing of value seemed to be blown apart. But now this mess was... so much.
"Looks like our work's now cut out for us," she muttered, rolling up her sleeves. Time to get down to business.
Max followed Nashyr's decision and stepped closer to the armory to shield the two of them from anything too dangerous and awaited the boom that was sure to follow. As he thought, the explosion happened and rocked the area around them for a few moments but, thankfully, nothing seemed to be shaken into moving or collapsing.
The explosions hadn't been big enough to be comparable to the damned earthquake after all.
He was grateful that he had covered his ears with the Force almost before it was too late. His lack of tinnitus was thanks enough for the Force. Reaching into the Force again, he squeezed his hand and a pulse of the Force emerged from him, pushing the dust outward and away from them when it approached.
Patting Nashyr on the back, he grinned.
"Come on, let's do the first big chunk."
Moving to stand in front of a section of building that was blocking the middle of a main road, Max reached deep inside of himself and called the Force to him. As he gripped the chunk with the Force, he waited until Nashyr was likewise ready before lifting with the Force. It was a large chunk but with two Jedi? It was slightly taxing but not enough to tire them out much.
"Seems a long way away from using Force Push on me, right?"
She nodded along, taking position beside Max to eye the section of building he wanted to move first. Even with their little stint into demolitions, this seemed a little... much.. to move. But he was the Master, after all... and perhaps questioning him wasn't the wisest of ideas, since she wasn't too keen to be exploding any other pieces of rock that may or may not have metal bits in them.
She felt the answer to the Force like the call of a wave; it rose from her feet to her core, then outwards as she spread her palm in mirror image to Max. She had to wait to respond to him, though; she couldn't yet move things and talk at the same time. Not easily, anyways, and though she was certain Max could handle all this alone, she didn't want him to be alone. It would get too tiring, and then who else could she tease and give grief to?
"Don't get all nostalgic on me now, Max," she chuckled, huffing in a breath before quirking a smirk in his direction. "You went easy on me; I hope next time we spar it's on more equal footing."