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For Those Below

- - - - - Polyneus Niaami Solas Cassius Droma Introduction

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#1
Niaami Solas

Niaami Solas

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P O L Y N E U S

 

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.


Edited by Kalyn Shif, 01 August 2019 - 04:36 PM.


#2
Cassius Droma

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It was important to keep hydrated on planets such as this, especially for someone like Cassius who found excessive heat intolerable. That being said, the young Jedi was already through two canisters of water he'd brought with him, and had two more left. They adorned his belt, as did a myriad of other pouches and equipment, including his lightsaber. Sweat made his common tunic cling to his body in ways that made him uncomfortable - he was already looking forward to washing all of this off with a cool shower later.

Putting an empty water canister back on his belt, he wiped from sweat from his brow as he looked around. He'd been searching for almost two hours now, but could find no sign of Jedi Knight Nimor. Nimor was a man of advanced age, who was prone to going off on adventures by himself and searching for artifacts and the like, same as Cassius. He'd met the fellow Knight a couple of times in passing - while Cassius found the man easy to talk to when it came for their shared love of history, he found him somewhat... eccentric.

A mutual beneficiary of theirs had contacted the younger Jedi when Nimor hadn't checked in for some time after being sent to investigate a potential finding on Polyneus. Cassius was glad to go, but now he was finding the trail going cold. His psychometric abilities weren't much help if he couldn't even find something to get a reading off of. He'd found a vendor awhile ago that said he'd seen a Jedi in the rougher part of town recently, but even that was turning up nothing....

Wait. Cassius turned to look down an alleyway. Just around a corner, he could see the sole of a leather boot sticking out, and his heart sank. Stepping over to it, he rounded the corner to see the body of a man face-down in the gutter, a gnarly blaster burn on its back. Cassius knelt next to it and confirmed his fears - Nimor.

"I'm sorry, friend..." Cassius said, touching Nimor's shoulder, as if they would bring him some small measure of contentment. Looking around the body, he noticed it had been picked clean - by the vultures and street urchins, no doubt. That meant there was a lightsaber out there in the wrong hands. Maybe, if he could find whoever took his belongings, he could find the killer.

Putting his hand on the ground, Cassius took in a breath and steeled himself before using his psychometric abilities to try to figure out what happened here and pick up a trace.

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#3
Niaami Solas

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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



#4
Cassius Droma

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Cassius could see how it had all happened - Nimor's murder. The older man had been surrounded, and before he could reach for his lightsaber or even use the Force, a blaster bolt smacked right into his back. The sound of the weapon discharge rang in Cassius's ears as he lived in that moment, as if going back in time in a dream-like state. He got good looks at the men who had done this - not typical street urchins by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, they looked pretty clean for people in this sector. They didn't look like they belonged...

The gang hadn't taken any of Nimor's possessions... another layer of mystery. What other motive would there be in this part of town other than robbery? Only a short time after the murder and robbery would someone come sniffing around... a young girl. He could see as she took the pack and scampered off, clutching it for dear life. To steal from a dead man... things must have been desperate around here.

One of them had dropped something - a button from their pants pocket. Coming out of the psychometric trance, Cassius looked over to where he had seen the button fall to the ground. Sure enough, there it was. Stepping over, he picked it up and examined it before placing it in a pouch on his belt. It was a good lead - he could use the button to track down where the murderers lived.

Now, though, he had two paths ahead of him. There were still murderers on the loose, and Cassius probably had a limited time to find them. Granted, a slightly more pressing concern was the pack. It no doubt held a lightsaber, some information about his studies, and probably a holocron. Those were potentially dangerous in the wrong hands. They could have been sold off by now.

Sighing, Cassius began to head for the market. Justice would have to wait.

Niaami Solas

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#5
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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



#6
Cassius Droma

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It didn’t take long for Cassius to find the marketplace – it was the most crowded place in this part of town, even if it wasn’t exactly bustling. Regardless of the heat or humidity, people still needed to make money and buy food. Vendors talked about their wares without shouting, as that would take too much effort. Many had fans to swipe at the insects that buzzed around their produce, only stopping to fan themselves.

 

Reaching to his belt, Cassius retrieved his second-to-last water container and unscrewed the top, sipping down water that at this point was just past lukewarm. His first instinct was to spit it out, but he managed to gulp it down – hydration was more important than satisfaction at this point. His head was on a swivel, looking for the little girl he’d seen from his vision of the crime scene earlier.

 

Turning a corner, he spotted a vendor stall with various knick-knacks and trinkets. All having some sort of fanciful background and value, no doubt. Standing in front of the stall was the girl he was looking for, but she was still some ways off. She had the pack, as well. As Cassius slowly approached, he watched the vendor pick up something from the counter – a holocron. The shrewd vendor inspected the object, a skeptical frown soon turning into a wry smile. The man might have peddled junk, but he knew something valuable when he saw it.

 

The vendor seemed ready to make his offer when the holocron was suddenly ripped from his grasp by an unseen hand. It smacked into Cassius’s palm, who was now standing directly behind the girl.

 

“No sales for you today, I’m afraid,” Cassius said. The vendor, spotting the lightsaber on Cassius’s belt, raised his hands in meek surrender. Looking down at the little girl who’d tried to sell the Jedi artifact off, Cassius said, “Come with me,” and began to lead her towards an alleyway.


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#7
Niaami Solas

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"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



#8
Cassius Droma

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A sigh escaped past Cassius’s lips before turning into a disappointed frown. He honestly didn’t know why he expected her to follow him in the first place – survival instincts bade her to run, so she did. Cassius had the power to stop her in her tracks and pull her back to him… but that course of action didn’t seem that becoming of a Jedi. What would the others in the market think of him? Either way, he had to make sure the items the girl carried in the pouch didn’t fall into the wrong hands.

 

Still clutching the holocron in his hand, he started to give chase. The girl was faster than he was expecting, but he had a much longer gait and the benefit of a healthy body with regular diet and exercise. Plus, with the Force, he was able to run much faster than usual. He kept pace, not wanting to catch up to her immediately. After all, he wanted to eventually get her on his side. Forcefully grabbing her and ripping the satchel from her grasp wouldn’t score him any points.

 

“Stop! Wait!” he called out, knowing it would be in vain. His mind raced with what he should do. Pausing for a moment, he reached out with the Force once more, grabbing hold of the satchel in the girl’s hand. Hopefully, this could get her to stop and try to struggle for the loot rather than flee. If anything, it could get her to listen to him for a moment.

 

He continued forward, saying, “I’m not going to hurt you. I just need to talk to you.” Then it hit him. Of course, you fool, he chided himself. Reaching to his belt, he retrieved his last water container and held it up for her to see. “Look. See? Water. For you.”


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#9
Niaami Solas

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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



#10
Cassius Droma

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His pulling of the satchel had caused her to stop, and in her struggle to free herself from the strap, she had fallen to the ground. He had pulled out the water container when she was recovering but still on the ground. Even as Cassius was approaching, she had the option to run again, but didn’t, as the water was holding her interest. He could feel her struggle, see it on her face – whatever logic she had in her brain told her to be wary of him, to be angry at him for taking away her trinkets, but her most basic instincts wanted the water he held in his hand.

 

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he repeated himself, stepping forward slowly until he reached the satchel on the ground. He grabbed it and moved it over onto the ground next to him as he knelt down, setting the water container between the two of them.

 

“It’s for you,” he said. “Look.” He picked up the container and took a small sip to prove it wasn’t poisonous. “Water.” Reaching back to his belt, he grabbed a small ration pack as well, setting it on the ground next to the still-full water container. “Food,” he gestured to it. Sweat dripped from his forehead. With the heat already getting to him, that little run had taken more out of him than he had anticipated, and his breathing was slightly labored. Still, he needed to see if he could get any information out of this girl. Also, there was something… different, about her.

 

He could feel the spark of Force sensitivity in her… a spark that had the potential to grow into a flame, if properly trained.

 

Before he could get her to talk, he knew that he would need to sweeten the deal. Plus, his Jedi compassion didn’t want her to leave completely empty-handed, even if she had robbed a corpse. Briefly digging through Nimor’s satchel, he found a piece of metal that was twisted in an intricate weaving pattern, forming a sort of oblong teardrop shape. It was something that was no doubt formed by Nimor using the Force, perhaps just to pass the time and mindlessly refine intricate Force skills.

 

Cassius placed it in his palm and held it out to her. The sun glinted off of the little trinket. “Here, take it. That’s certainly worth a few meals.”


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#11
Niaami Solas

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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



#12
Cassius Droma

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She wasn’t exactly impressed with the trinket he gave her, he could tell. Of course, he had taken the entire bag, which to her was well worth a fortune. There were still some credit chips in a small locked purse he could give her – that’d set her up for at least a little bit. A girl like her though… how long would that last her? And how liable was it that someone would steal from her? As much as he wanted to give her as much charity as he could, there were certainly some things that he couldn’t let her have. The holocrons, important Jedi datadisks, and… wait.

 

Where was the…?

 

He looked up as she spoke, and his eyes went slightly wide as his eyebrows raised. She was holding perhaps the most important item – the lightsaber. Judging from her question, she didn’t know what it was. Cassius knew that it was no use lying to the girl… if he said it was worthless, he’d have no reason to ask for it back. Yet, if he told her what it really was, she’d no doubt want to cling to it even further. Even now, she clutched it against her chest. This strange man had stolen everything else from her – she wouldn’t be apt to let this item go.

 

Invisibly, he began to build up Force energy around the girl. If anything were to happen, he could prevent her from switching the weapon on, or at the very least, prevent her from cutting herself on the blade… even it still worked. It looked like it had been damaged in Nimor’s murder, but even the kyber crystal inside would be powerful enough to cause some damage.

 

“That… is a very dangerous weapon,” Cassius finally spoke, deciding to tell the girl the truth. He unclipped his from his belt and held it perpendicular between the two of them. Touching the activation switch, the lightsaber sprang to life, its green light filling the space between them. “A lightsaber,” he spoke, slowly twisting the blade back and forth as it thrummed in the movements. After only a moment, he turned it off, but still held the hilt in his hand.

 

“You can see why I’d want that back,” Cassius said. “I made this with my own hands. Nimor – the man who owned that one previously,” he used his hilt to point to the one she had clutched to her chest, “made his too. It’s very special to him.”

 

Reaching back into the satchel, he retrieved the locked purse and placed it on the ground between them. Waving his hand over it, it clicked with internal machinations before popping open. It was likely more credits than she had ever seen in her life. Cassius wasn’t explicitly asking for a trade, but it was implied.


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#13
Niaami Solas

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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



#14
Cassius Droma

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Despite the girl now talking to him rather than running away, Cassius was still tense. He still sensed a lot of anger and resentment in her. At any moment, she could decide to turn and run again, or worse, try to come at him with the weapon. Regardless, he’d be ready to capture her in a stasis field of Force energy.

 

The young girl asked who the ‘old man’ was. Cassius explained, “He was a Jedi, like me. We have our lightsabers instead of blasters… they’re meant for defense, not attack. We try to help those who need it.” Slowly, he clipped his lightsaber back onto his belt, still in a knelt position.

 

She then made her own offer – she’d give the lightsaber back to him in exchange for passage to… anywhere, probably. The girl just wanted off this planet, which was understandable, considering the conditions here, and her status in society. At the very least, she could see reason. Even if she had managed to hold onto the weapon, someone would take it from her and use it for ill.

 

Cassius nodded slowly, picking up the small container of credits and snapping it closed with the Force, placing it back into Nimor’s pack. “Deal,” he said, standing to full height. “I’ll help you get off-world. I’ve got a ship – I can take you wherever you want to go. Once we get to where we’re going, you can give me back the lightsaber.” At this point, he wasn’t exactly worried about her using it. Honestly, he still didn’t know if it worked or not.

 

“There’s one thing we need to go before we go, though. The people who killed Nimor – I need to find them and bring them to justice. You’re from around here… do you know who might have done it?”


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#15
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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



#16
Cassius Droma

Cassius Droma

    Jedi Archaeologist

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Cassius’s mouth contorted into a frown when the young girl asked why the Jedi had never come to help before. It wasn’t exactly something he’d heard before. Usually, whenever he showed up to provide aid, he was showered with praise and thanks. In most parts of the galaxy, the sight of a Jedi was a welcome one. Yet, it was a harsh reminder of the places where Jedi either couldn’t get to because of political boundaries or merely didn’t have the time or resources.

 

“The galaxy is a big place,” he calmly explained. “And sometimes, we don’t always know about the plight of every living being in it. Trust me, I wish we did.”

 

Despite this, she seemed to agree to their little trade, and although she kept the weapon on her, Cassius would be keeping an eye on it. Standing to full height, he outstretched his hand and took hers in the handshake. He nodded to her, looking her in the eyes to let her know he was serious. Letting his hand drop, he put it on his hip.

 

It seemed the Force indeed wished to bring them together, because she said she knew exactly who had killed Nimor. Although, there was a hesitation in her voice. Whoever the killer was, they seemed to have a reputation in these parts. Perhaps it was some sort of high-level street urchin, one brave enough to try and kill a Jedi. They’d succeeded, of course, but Nimor had been old… his senses weren’t what they used to be. Jedi or not, it wasn’t exactly the hardest thing in the world to get the drop on an old man.

 

Cassius slung the satchel over his shoulder, adjusting the strap so it fit comfortably. “Don’t worry – whoever it is, they won’t be a problem for me. Or you.”

 


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