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Niaami Solas

Niaami Solas

Member Since 07 Aug 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 01:43 PM

#1978623 For Those Below

Posted by Niaami Solas on 07 September 2019 - 10:00 PM

Nia didn't know what the heck a 'Jedi' was, but one part of the man's explanation did seem to draw her interest. She looked him square in the eye then, expression brash and accusatory, as the words formed and escaped her mouth before she could so much as decide whether or not it was a bad idea to speak at all.


"Yeah? Well then, why have none of you 'Jedi' people been and helped the Rats?"


Her tone was as harsh as her expression, and her eyes only bore into him more as she asked. Most of the kids in her pack hadn't done anything wrong before they came into that state of being, and even those who had did so out of pure necessity. Nobody had helped them, heck most just pushed them aside or called the enforcers to clear them from the streets or lock them up like they were dangerous or something.


Though... Some of them were. None of the Rats, mind. There was a line, and her pack didn't like to cross it.


Her bartering apparently worked in her favour, though. She could only hope that by following through with it, the vendors would still trade with the others. She slowly rose up, though didn't appear as though she was preparing to flee, and followed his example by clipping the weapon onto her belt. Well... Onto the hem of her trousers, wasn't as if she really had a belt to speak of. No sense in handing it over yet, not until she knew for certain that he wouldn't go back on his word.


She outstretched one hand, and lifted her head once again to meet his gaze squarely.


"Shake on it."


That gave her at least a few seconds to think on the question he'd posed her. Quite a conundrum, that, she wouldn't be able to leave until she told him. But if she told him, well... What if that brought a whole world of trouble down on her Pack? Nia chewed on the inside of her lower lip as she tried to consider the right path. If she told this man, well, nobody else would know anything about it. Which meant they could plead ignorance.


She nodded her head slowly, and let out a tiny sigh.


"I know who did it," she informed him, shuffling on her feet ever so slightly, "Saw him do it, it's how I got that..." She nodded toward the satchel, before taking one small step back. "He'll kill me if he finds out I told you, though, mister."


Cassius Droma

#1973690 Friends in Low Places

Posted by Niaami Solas on 20 August 2019 - 01:39 PM

As Nia rushed through the underbrush her sight was momentarily cut off by a smattering of trees which now stood between her and the action. Whether or not her act had been in vain she could not tell, though a feminine voice did shout out soon after; had that been the girl, or someone else? Had Niaami accidentally struck someone else? Oh kriff, what if she'd really messed things up? She pushed on through the forest, as vines sought to pull her down into the boggy mud, and frantically searched for an opening in the treeline. And then she saw it.


The lizard had her by the foot, and Nia's stomach sank as he began to drag her backwards. No, this wasn't right... Her distraction was meant to help, not make things worse. There wasn't much thought in her next act, as she broke free from the treeline and darted toward the entangled pair. It seemed as though she was too late, however; the girl on the ground had grasped onto something hard, and in the next few seconds of madness she had climbed on top of the lizard's chest and was pommeling him in the face with it. A rock, Nia realized. His face became a bloody pulp, giving the child pause enough to stop her advance in order to heave.


There had been plenty of things she'd witnessed on the streets of Ridge, but this was by far the worst. Had she bet on the wrong horse? Was the girl really the monster?


Niaami straightened up and wiped her mouth with the back of her sleeve, just in time to watch the girl scamper back in horror. She'd seen that look before, one of utter dismay, of remorse mixed with anger. No, this wasn't a monster, wasn't even a killer, just a desperate girl who had fought for survival. In the same situation Nia might have done the same. Though she doubted she'd have been strong enough to get the upper hand on an adult.


Brushing her concerns aside, the native resumed her approach at an admittedly slower pace. The girl was mouthing whispers that Nia could barely make out, things she didn't really need to hear in order to understand, yet by the time she reached her only tears remained. That was something she knew how to handle, she lived among children of all ages who had very little, who had been hurt or abandoned, tears were a regular occurrence especially late into the night when most everyone else was sleeping.


"Hey..." Niaami breathed, stopping just shy of the girl so as not to alarm her, "It's okay... It's over now."


Sinking down on her knees into the damp earth, Nia bridged the space between them and, without much thought, pulled the girl into a loose yet warm embrace. Same as she'd do if she was one of the Ridge Rats. Same as the older kids had done for her, too.


"Ain't your fault," she assured the girl, "He didn't give you much choice, did he? It's okay, breathe... Are you alone out here, Miss?"


For all she knew the girl would lash out at her, push her away, see her as some sort of threat, but that didn't scare her off. Beneath it all she saw just another kid in too deep, and if she needed a momentary punching bag as so many others had in the past then so be it.


Alaric Marãll

#1973680 For Those Below

Posted by Niaami Solas on 20 August 2019 - 12:46 PM

Completely oblivious to the metaphysical goings on around them, Nia simply continued to glower at the man as he made his explanation and showed her what it was the item was capable of. She wasn't stupid, and while she looked at the activation button on the one she now carried she did not press it. Instead she seemed torn.


If this fell into the wrong hands, on the streets of Ridge, then they'd all be in trouble. While the Rats were harmless, they weren't the only ones who had to take what they needed and some weren't above hurting others to get it.


"Who was he?" she asked, after a few moments of silence, "The old man. And why did he have... this?"


The stranger said he'd made it, but how? The most she'd ever seen people make was low tech, anything more had to be brought in on fancy spaceships and the like. Even before the man brought out the purse and made his offer it was clear she was considering giving up the weapon. 


"Somethin' like that ain't got no place here, mister. I'll give it you but... You gots to do somethin' for me in return. Those credits ain't gonna do me much good anymore, you done scared off most the merchants and they ain't gonna be tradin' with me again. Heck, I wager the enforcers gon' be lookin' for me. You ain't from here, with stuff like this you can't be. I'll give you this, if you get me away from Ridge."


In her mind she wasn't expecting anything more than travel to another of the villages, but the Galaxy was so much bigger than Polyneus that truly anywhere would do. Sure it meant leaving behind the Rats, but it'd be better for them anyway. Merchants in these parts were finicky, they already looked down on her group and if they thought they were going to be pressed by outsiders every time they went to trade with the kids then they'd stop trying.


She might have been young, but she wasn't stupid.


Cassius Droma

#1973025 Friends in Low Places

Posted by Niaami Solas on 17 August 2019 - 08:09 PM

Whatever it was that had tumbled from the sky, Niaami felt certain it was most definitely not a star.


The closer she got to the crash site, directed by the carbon streak in the air through the tall canopy and punctuated by the occasional crack of a firefight, the more her stomach twisted up with anxiety. Niaami knew that the sane thing to do would have been to turn around and regroup with the Rats, but she'd told them she was going to do something and she'd never hear the end of it if she came back empty handed, or at the very least without a story. She had a reputation to uphold in these parts.


Besides, all she had to do was get a good look in. Nobody had to even know she was there.


As she tread deeper into the jungle she found the ground became somewhat more boggy, as though all the moisture which had been drawn out of the air during the recent heatwaves they'd been facing had accumulated in this very spot. She almost lost a boot to one particularly sodden patch of dirt and rotten leaves, and even now as she pressed on she could feel it squelching on the inside. That would be a pain to clean.


She knew that she was getting closer when voices drifted into her hearing, as opposed to blaster shots alone. At this point the girl crouched down and peered through the underbrush into an unnatural clearing. The trees in that area had been ripped down, most still rooted though at least one down for the count entirely, and in the heart of the chaos sat a small wreckage. Niaami had seen ships come and go before, but never too close to home. Was this what they looked like up close? Because if so, they were much smaller than they seemed in the sky.


Maybe it was just a part of one. After all, it looked like it'd seen better days.


One step more was taken, to try and better understand what she saw before her - the sight of a reptilian and a girl grappling on the ground - that proved to be her undoing. A branch snapped underfoot, forcing her to back up into the shadows lest she be drawn into the fight.


Nia was used to fist fights, the occasional rock, not real weapons. Her heart pounded as she tried to decide what she ought to do. If she left, nobody would blame her. She was just a kid chasing a star, wrong place at the wrong time... And yet when she peered back into the clearing she saw that the girl was as young as she. 


Would she die if Nia walked? Would a distraction aid her efforts? Her mind reeled with a thousand ideas, it wasn't as if she hadn't caused distractions before, heck to survive with the Rats that was an integral skill, but there was a difference between trying not to get caught, and trying not to die...


"Kark it," she mumbled under her breath, as she reached down and began to pick up a couple of rocks embedded in the jungle underbrush. Her aim wasn't the best, but Niaami threw them one by one all the same; she targeted the wreckage itself, hoping that the noise of stone reverberating from metal would spook them enough to stall the fighting. Maybe if she was lucky one would rebound and hit the lizard in its stinking face.


Naturally she knew that she couldn't remain in the same spot, so once the last stone was loosed she pushed on through the edge of the clearing and made her way to the left, keeping her eyes on the crash site. She didn't know why she felt the girl was more deserving of her assistance than the lizard, for all she knew the younger of the two was the dangerous one... Maybe it was because she'd spent years protecting kids her age and younger, perhaps that had simply become ingrained within her.


After all, in her experience it was usually the adults with the darker natures. Kids like she were just fighting to survive.


Alaric Marãll

#1973004 For Those Below

Posted by Niaami Solas on 17 August 2019 - 07:33 PM

Niaami wasted no time in snatching up the canister of water, before retreating back to her spot several feet away from the man. Heck, even if he hadn't bothered to demonstrate it's lack of poison she probably would have done the exact same thing. Base instincts had to be satiated where they could, and on days like this it was a small mercy to get even a few drops much less the whole thing. There was no way she'd be giving it back, not if she could help if.


She gulped down the tepid water as though her very life depended on it, while the man rummaged through the satchel. Once she'd had enough, and knew there was no way he could take back what she'd drank, she finally found her own voice again.


"That's mine" she stated, with an unyielding frown, "I found it, 's how things work 'round here."


Still he rummaged, until he pulled free one of the fancier pieces she'd also noticed within the satchel. Ornate, superfluous, obviously not of great use to her but definitely tradeable. He offered it to her, and Niaami couldn't help but feel decidedly short changed. She'd lost the whole bag, in exchange for one smaller piece. Kriffin' offworlders...


He looked in better health than she, had some sort of device on his belt that could have been a weapon for all she knew, though not one she'd ever--- wait.


There was one thing she still had from the satchel, one thing she didn't exactly understand but thought might be helpful to have on hand. She reached to where it lay, hooked onto the back of her trousers, and pulled the broken device free. It was held in shaky hands, and truth be told the girl did not know why she had been drawn to it in the first place, nor why she thought it was the right time to bring it out and hold it. Chances were he'd try to claim that for himself, too, but she'd fight tooth and nail if she must.


Something had wanted her to have it, almost like her wish had been partially answered in finding it. And you didn't get to steal a wish someone else had made on a shooting star.


"What is it?" she asked, bringing it around to her front then pointing to the one he also carried. Hers was dinged up, a slightly different style, and certainly worse for wear with exposed circuitry on the bottom and a missing pommel cap. Before he could take it from her she clutched it to her chest and glowered his way, as though warning against him even trying. "I found it" she reiterated, by way of explanation, her words sharp and spoken slowly, each one given as much time and attention as the previous, "It's mine. What is it?"


Cassius Droma

#1972938 For Those Below

Posted by Niaami Solas on 17 August 2019 - 02:11 PM

Though she could hear the patter of boots behind her, Niaami felt free in that moment. It was not the kind of day you wanted to run in, with its muggy weather and scalding sun, but sometimes necessity overcame comfort. Adrenaline coursed through her veins, propelling her on much faster than she'd typically bother to try and push herself. She'd feel that later, no doubt.


The stranger's voice called to her, but that tactic wasn't going to work, not on her, she'd run from people before, and no doubt she'd do so a hundred more times before she reached adulthood. It was the nature of the game, but it begged the question why. The man back in the market obviously wasn't the corpse she'd lifted those things from, for one thing he was much too young. A son, perhaps? They did share the same strange fashion sense...


Her thoughts were interrupted when the satchel which was looped over her shoulder began to drift back, pulled by something. Had he caught up with her? She hazarded a glance over her shoulder, and saw.. Nothing. Nothing was pulling it away, just an unseen hand. That was enough to get her to stop, if only briefly, and for a moment she fought with whatever it was to try and retain what she'd rightfully claimed.


When the man looked to be catching up to her though, she gave one last tug and then fought to be released from the satchel itself. She ducked out from under it, allowing it to fly free, though the rough force by which she did so sent her down into the dirt. She scampered back, expression borderline feral like a wild animal backed into a corner, chest rising and falling at a rapid pace. Just because he said he wouldn't hurt her didn't mean anything. Not in these parts.


It wasn't until the container of water was produced that she began to listen to reason. There was nothing quite like starvation and thirst to drive a person to do stupid things, after all, and while she didn't rush to his side she stopped in her vain attempt at fleeing and fought to regain her ragged breath.


Niaami didn't say anything, she didn't want him to think she'd be too cooperative after all. For all she knew he was part of some gang, hoping to rope in members from the Street Rats. That wasn't their thing, they didn't march under the orders of anyone, only fought to survive. She stared up at him with a hard gaze, teeth clenched shut in frustration. This was going to be one of the only ways she'd drink today, the marketplace sure as feth wasn't going to be taking any of her things going forward, not after that spectacle...


He was lucky she needed that container.


Cassius Droma

#1971975 Friends in Low Places

Posted by Niaami Solas on 14 August 2019 - 02:00 PM

"Come on Spud, you're takin' too long. Old Gibby'll be back soon..."


With her back against the plastered wall of the local Scribes', just below a slightly ajar window, Niaami had quite the vantage of the surrounding street. It was so dark out that the stars above were bright as could be, and the ground itself was illuminated with just the odd swinging lantern that had yet to be extinguished. Even so she could see decently enough, these streets were her home the way that the building behind her was Gibby's and the lack of light was nothing new to the Rats of Ridge.


Overhead a sur-avka soared, loosing a rather shrill caw that made her jump in surprise. In the seconds which followed, adrenaline coursing through her veins, she could have sworn she saw something in the shadows begin to move. A large black form which peeled away from the alleyway a little more than 5 meters away, and slunk towards her.


"C'mon, this ain't funny. Spud? Spud?"


She could feel her heart pounding, threatening to break out of her chest and flee the way in which her feet seemed unable to. Closer and closer it drew, until finally she turned and clambered up onto the window sill. Her knees tucked up to her chest, feet turned into the crack of the window, yet just before she could drop down into the room beyond the shadow demon finally broke through.


"Nia... What are you still doin' here?"


The young girl blinked, feeling her cheeks begin to burn once realization struck her. Below her stood Spudli Flast, a very round boy of an age with her. His sandy hair was stuck to his head with sweat alone, beady eyes staring up at her in bewilderment.


"I ain't been in Gibby's for ages, didn't you hear me call?"


With a thud and a heavy sigh to boot, Niaami dropped to the floor before him and immediately stomped back the way Spud had come. She didn't say a word to her companion as they hurried away from the scribes' home, and even when they were several streets over and safe she held her tongue. In the light of the closest lantern her face was beet red.


"Say somethin', Ni. Ain't my fault you weren't for listenin'."


"How'd you even get out again? We had a plan, Spudli, and you didn't stick to it, did ya? In the window, out the window, you nitwit. What if Gib'd come back? What then?"


Spudli could only groan, taking a lead and directing her through a broken slat in one of the fences. The yard beyond was overgrown, some might even consider it a jungle were they not surrounded by the literal embodiment of such, and as they walked a few other heads popped up from within the grass.


"He didn't though, did he? Lighten up, will ya? Anyway, don't you wanna know if I got it? Well, do ya?"


The two of them plopped down into the grass, and he began to rummage around under a pile of sticks and rocks. Niaami raised a brow, tapping her hand against one of her flimsy boots with impatience. After what felt like an eternity, though in truth was just a few seconds, he produced a hefty tome. Bound in sur-avka leather, pages made with the pulp of the polyni tree... Nia reached for it, but he pulled it away from her grubby little fingertips almost immediately.


"Not a chance, when's the last time those things saw soap eh? 'sides, not as though you can read it is it?"


Spud then proceeded to flip open the pages, stopping at some random page which had a nice hand drawn picture, and then loudly cleared his throat. By now a group had gathered around them, eager faces staring down at the book. They huddled in as close as possible, which Niaami didn't seem to mind. It helped to stave off some of the chill which descended over Ridge in the evenings anyway.


"Everyone here? I ain't gonna start from the start if someone's late again..."


Then he began, reeling off the story enclosed within the leaves of the book. Whether the words came from the tome, or the boy's imagination, nobody really knew. But nobody cared, either. It was nice to pause for a time, to listen to whatever adventure someone else was having, even if Spudli was pretending to seem important. Even if he could read just as poorly as the rest of them.


He had gotten 5 or so pages in when a flash of light shot across the sky. Much to his dismay, all eyes turned from the storyteller to the stars as they watched it arc its way across the inky abyss. Niaami let out a breath of amazement, and slowly rose to her feet. A shooting star... Didn't see many of those.


"Make a wish, make a wish!" one of the kids called out, his own eyes pressed tightly closed.


All around her lips moved soundlessly as the Rats of Ridge made their wishes, but even without the accompanying words she knew what it was they wanted. They wanted what she wanted, after all.


"I'm gonna go find it," Niaami declared, without warning. Before any of them could stop her, or try to join in, she was back through the broken slat and out into the streets of Ridge. Most of the lanterns had been extinguished by this point, meaning most everyone else was asleep... Good. That meant she could find the wish-giver. Surely her wish would have to come true then...


Alaric Marãll

#1971968 For Those Below

Posted by Niaami Solas on 14 August 2019 - 12:47 PM

"If not that," she said, realizing that she was about to lose her one chance at eating today, "What 'bout this?"


Reaching back into the satchel at her side, she pulled free an ornate cube that glowered with a pale blue hue. Truth be told she had wanted to save this for another day, one where she wasn't so starved or thirsty that she'd trade it away for one square meal. She had been attracted to it from the start, almost as though it was drawing her in, and she realized almost immediately that it was worth far more than she was asking. The look in the mans eyes was evidence enough of that, as he turned from mildly curious to outright greedy. She could see the credit signs in his eyes.


He took it from her, inspecting it from every possible angle, and then furrowed his brows in her direction. His mouth opened, inquisitive expression enough to suggest that he was questioning how she got hold of such a thing, but before any words could actually be exchanged the cube flew from his hand and disappeared just over her shoulder.


Niaami's jaw dropped, and she quickly turned around to try and discover where it had gone. She practically ran straight into the man who stood there, a man who had made the merchant silent and fearful. She herself didn't feel the same fear, though she did feel small under the man's confident stance. In response she merely shied back, swiped the jewelry back from the stall, and braced for a quick retreat back into the alleyway.


That was until the stranger's gaze fell directly upon her. She gulped, eyes shifting from his to one of the other exit points in the vicinity. If she made a break for it now, maybe she could find some hole to squirrel herself away in until the coast was clear. The man wasn't anyone she recognized, after all... That meant he was likely an outsider. Her muscles were poised ready to pounce like a cat, and the second the man turned to lead her away she pushed off from the ball of her foot and ran as though her life depended on it.


For all she knew, it did.


Cassius Droma

#1969324 For Those Below

Posted by Niaami Solas on 03 August 2019 - 10:28 AM

Another five minutes passed before she reached the market square once more.


By this point Nia was all but done. She was ready to find a corner to curl up in and sleep away the heat, even if it meant waking up sunburned; thankfully she knew it wouldn't last too much longer, midday was fading and the sun was ready to begin its descent. Still, it would be a good few hours before she'd feel the reprieve.


Clutching the decorated metal trinket to her chest she put one foot in front of the other and made her way toward the general goods stall. Usually it was the food stall she ambled around, waiting for the perfect moment to pilfer, but if the market square had been lacking people before now it was virtually empty. The worst kind of situation to find herself in.


With a short intake of breath to steel her nerves she finally approached the merchant and settled the trinket down in front of him. She looked up, though made a point of avoiding eye contact. He knew, he had to know, that this wasn't hers... She could only hope that he'd accept it all the same.


"All I wants for it's a little water and maybe a scrap'a food..."


She could tell that he was contemplating the offer. Even if the crystal turned out to be glass the piece in its entirety could fetch much more than what she asked for, and it wasn't as though he'd done the pilfering...


Cassius Droma

#1969212 Blimey, Are You Still Here? Am I Still Here?

Posted by Niaami Solas on 02 August 2019 - 07:20 PM

Yessss, Jaaaack!

#1969206 Niaami Solas

Posted by Niaami Solas on 02 August 2019 - 06:58 PM

Darth Tacitus




Maybe when I fix it

#1969193 Niaami Solas

Posted by Niaami Solas on 02 August 2019 - 05:51 PM

Darth Tacitus


What else could it be?

#1968985 For Those Below

Posted by Niaami Solas on 01 August 2019 - 10:47 PM

With her plans for the day well and truly ruined, Niaami found herself slinking off back through the alleyways and side streets she called home. It was somewhat cooler down there, with the taller buildings casting shade upon her, but barely. When she felt like she'd gone far enough she pressed her back against one of the walls and slumped down to the ground.


The satchel she'd taken to carrying with her was twisted beneath where she sat, and after awkwardly recovering it without resorting to standing once more she let out a long sigh. She'd checked the thing five times since swiping it from the old man three days prior, some stranger to the village who hadn't known better than to watch out for the rats, but even so she still opened it now and fruitlessly searched for something, anything, which might help her. A canister of water, some credits hidden in one of the pockets, and nutribar... Anything.


But all she found was a bunch of junk. Metal twisted into silly shapes, the likes of which the upper folk carried around their necks, a tome she couldn't read even if it had been written in basic, and the vibroblade hilt. Or... What she was sure was just a broken vibroblade hilt. What did she know?


She picked out a few of the more fancy, ornate pieces of metal and turned them over in her hand. One of them had some sort of crystal socketed within it, cut until the light shone through immeasurable faces. Maybe that was the one which would score her the credits she needed...


Niaami rose, stashing the rest of them back into the satchel as she went, and began to make her way back through the maze of alleyways and toward the market. She had hoped to avoid selling these things to the local merchants, those who knew her by face, and had planned instead to sell them down stream in Branch. They wouldn't know to call the patrol on her, after all, they wouldn't suspect trickery had been involved.


But some things simply couldn't be avoided. If she waited until a group ventured down into the treacherous jungles she'd starve to death. Or, in temperatures like these, shrivel up like a prune.


And Niaami did not want to be a prune.


Cassius Droma

#1968964 Niaami Solas

Posted by Niaami Solas on 01 August 2019 - 08:18 PM

Kian Karr


Thanks, so's Kian

#1968782 For Those Below

Posted by Niaami Solas on 01 August 2019 - 04:32 PM



For Those Below



It was an unspeakably hot day in the Polynean Village of Ridge. The flowers which lined higher class streets, within great ornate planters, were limp beneath the sun, and those with sense (and the money to do so) had taken an afternoon siesta in order to avoid it for a few hours. Not all were quite so fortunate, however, and the gutter rats of the lower quarter were simply forced to endure the rocketing temperatures. Even in the shade they baked, they might even have fought over the best spot if they weren't so sun-tired. Instead they lolled around like animals around a watering hole.


In that, Ridge was oddly quiet for once.


Even the market square held none but the most staunch merchants and servants. Niaami would know, as that was where she had hoped to find some petty fortune that afternoon. It was too dangerous, though, it was easy to blend into a crowd and much tougher when you were one of just a handful of people present. She groaned at the very sight of it. No credits meant no water, at least... No drinkable water. Not unless she braved the humid jungles in search of a river.


Ridge had its sources, of course, it was a midway point between Peak and Branch, that was the highest and the lowest points of Polyneus and fellow villages. There was a stream which came down from the snowy tops of the mountains, and became lost within the throws of the River village. But on devilishly warm days like these? Such a stream was more tightly guarded than usual, lest the water run out, and the village wells were running low.


Nobody would have much to spare for the likes of her, and any who did would be charging an arm and a leg.


After all, who knew how long this heatwave would last.