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  • Results 1 to 14 of 14
    1. #1
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      Botech Medical: Putting the Farm back in Pharmaceutical


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      Erai System, The Erai Belt, Botech Botanical Farm


      The Serenities Bloom brochure described the housing complex as a simple sleepy village, language that Sanfis Feldor found mildly irritating. It stunk of the sort of poetic debauchery that had led to the fall of great civilizations and their literature - a challenge to the old ways that he was having none of. A building could not be sleepy, regardless of the frequent assertions to the otherwise in popular writing. Yet, as he looked around at the slate grey upon slate grey, it was clear that he probably owed the Botech Botanical Laboratory an apology. The entire block was old Republic-era duracrete and bathed in a single shade of gloom. The walls were grey, the floor was grey; even the ceilings were grey. Support struts throughout the complex were a faded maroon, as were the doors, but Sanfis presumed this was more to mark them for when the complex was disassembled for transportation. By the fresh look of the bolts and stabilisers, that had not been long previous. Several of the floor plates seemed to be fresh and at least one of the transparasteel ceiling-tiles was brand new, but it was hard to tell with the oxygen scrubbers working overtime. The air was laced with the musky taint of machinery, denoting the quality of the scrubbers and generating a hazy mist that permeated the air like a sticky brown fog: The complex was, by all accounts, indeed both simple and sleepy. It was as if the farm had been built, turned on, and left to harvest. Only one problem presented itself like a giant Dewback no one wanted to talk about: Where were the farmers?

      Sanfis held the data pad up until the image of the Medcrop field lay side by side with its colourful companion in the brochure. They could not possibly have been less alike. On one hand, the brochure presented a clean and fresh looking visage of country life: Happy workers milled about a neat row of green crop, harvesting where they saw need and all dressed in pleasantly quaint looking farming attire. Above them, a sun beamed down upon a well-managed crop, flanked either side by crystal-clear watering trams that fed the plants with the same serenity as one might expect from a babbling brook. In reality, the shrubs had practically taken over the complex; spilling out into their gullies and water lines with a tangle of rough looking foliage. Upon closer inspection, Sanfis thought he could see what looked like sharp barbs protruding at uneven intervals from the tangle of vines and emerald leaves. The tresses bellow them carried not clean looking water, but a slow trail of murky brown sludge; toxic to look at and even more so to smell. By all accounts however, the plants were thriving, some having even reached the ceiling of the complex twenty meters above and spreading out over the transparent casing as if they owned it. No sun beat down upon the field, but any farmer could look up into the distant awe of space and collection of asteroids that made up the Erai Belt. The higher Sanfis looked, the more hazy the air seemed to get, all held under a domed roof like a tiny village inside a snowglobe.

      The datapad chirped suddenly, bringing Sanfis’ gaze down from the smog-covered ceiling and back to reality. A soft buzzing emanated from the machine before it began making a series of soft clicks, each accompanied by a new line of text. Apparently satisfied, Sanfis balanced the heavy reader against one knee as he unplugged the trailing adapter attached to its underside.

      “The Sampler says we’re good.” Sanfis called over his shoulder. “The air is most definitely toxic, but it won’t kill us.” The scrolling text seemed to offer some disagreement, as it added at least three further chemicals to the present list it had displayed “At least not immediately. I mean, we might have an hour before we probably should stop breathing?” The more Sanfis read of the Samplers report, the more he felt acutely aware of how heavy his lungs were feeling. The air was thick and murky and made every breath feel like it were being taken with effort. The oxygen reading was dangerously high, as were the growth chemicals being used by the farmers. Alternatively, not being used by farmers – he corrected himself. Since landing and forcing the docking bay they had not encountered a single person. “Nor their remains” Sanfis murmured, completing the thought.

    2. #2
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      Slowly moving about the buildings and seeing the crops having overgrown with large bushes and wildflowers, the whole scene smacked of something in Shyahwyn's own history. An event that her father had to recount to the stolen daughter by a crafty and calculating dark side witch. Someone schooled in treachery to this degree and the chemical background to create something this deadly. But, as emerald eyes took in their surroundings she wondered now if the Pachmari would go to these lengths, or had one of their surviving number been hired to end this community for some other nefarious reason? The eerie feeling that the whole area gave off made her skin crawl. Boots sifted through earth in the narrow avenue that separated the many buildings of simple construction and color. No imagination in decoration, she mused.

      Turning to her fellow dark jedi as he talked about the results from the sensor. She grinned wryly knowing that prolonged exposure to the air here might end up killing them, or at best, incapacitating before they were starved for oxygen. Not the end that she had envisioned for herself. "Told you the rebreathers would be needed," she smiled, patting the breath mask on her shapely hip.

      Turning her attention back to the town and then out across the sown crops that were never reaped and her blood grew cold. "You know, my parents suffered a same fate when Maelona came to get me not long after I was born," she glanced to him again and grinned. "I know this is on a much larger scale and thankfully, she didn't kill my family," she added and returned her gaze out across the blighted land. "But, the end result was nearly the same." Her lips pursed in disgust and confusion. "Why go to these lengths? Unless it was for insurance money. Maybe they're covering up something else that we haven't found yet," she suggested, knowing they were going to have to dig deeper to discover the mystery.




    3. #3
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      Sanfis grimaced at her remarks, consulting the readout one more time before flicking the screen back to data gathering and putting it from his mind. They would in all likely have to take a mild anti-toxi following this expedition – a treatment that nine times out of ten made him exceptionally nauseous. Better to suffer through a little side effect than whatever chemical might already be burning his lungs, however. Sanfis would make a concerted effort to wrap this investigation up as soon as possible, which meant finding the underlying cause. In addition, the longer they stayed, the more opportunities she would have to gloat about being correct regarding the rebreathers. The fact he had opted not to take one of the ships portable filters now played heavily on his mind.

      “Why insurance, though?”
      He queried over his shoulder, gesturing up once again towards the hulking mass of vine and leaf that was the crop. “If anything this plant has been an outstanding success: Just look at how tall that is! This field must be worth a fortune.” Sanfis knew very little about botany, but from all observable angles, the crop seemed to be doing very well. The leaves were green; the bushes seemed to be crawling with leafy bulbs that bent against their growth pattern with the simple weight that such size produced, and the more vine covered segments appeared to be forming themselves into support struts to maintain further growth. Assuming it was the herbal leaf that would be harvested; this farm had made a breakthrough in botanical engineering.

      “So the air isn’t entirely toxic, but could be…” Sanfis began, pivoting on the spot and fixing her with a tight-lipped expression, his temple creased in thought. “Meaning the farmers either died due to the air, were killed, or left the farm long enough for it to turn into this.” Sanfis swept his eyes about the field, as if looking for some sign of life, but found nothing. He turned next to the habitation block, scanning the vacant looking buildings and moss-covered entryways and ramparts. “The warehouse.” Sanfis stated, as if having suddenly had an idea and begun walking in the opposite direction. “There are no bodies!” He called behind him “Warehouses often have separate climate controls due to storage needs. We may yet find answers, or survivors.”

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      His clarification was met with surprise as she glanced out across the fields again. "You're saying, this is what they were intending on growing? Okay, that paints a different picture then," she grinned and turned her attention back to him once more. "My mind was going on a totally different route." Suggesting that the warehouse may offer some more answers, she removed the rebreather and put it on, though less attractive, at least she wouldn't suffer any effects from the toxic air, though the more she thought about it, sampling any possible chemicals may be helpful in the future, if not here.

      "You should also think about stopping by the ship and getting one of these," she suggested. "Any exposure to this for too long, you may develop complications later. It's possible that the farmers were alien and could handle this air." Her mind drifted through several races that may feel right at home in this atmosphere.

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      Her comments caught him off-guard, his pace slipping into a more cautious tread as he took in the full extent of her words. Sanfis had not even begun to consider that the workers might have been alien. His universe was so human centric – and rightfully so – but the more he thought of it the more it made sense. These farmers would have been at the bottom of the food chain, potentially desperate enough for work that they were willing to be shipped out to an asteroid based complex for potentially months at a time. Certainly, there would be professional farmers amongst them; spacers for whom there was no other life and whose families were no doubt used to being moved from port to port. Aliens on the other hand were often at the bottom of the rung, especially in such human dominated space. If the air was natural, then the plant growing in the field must be natural, too. After all, by all observable accounts it was thriving in this environment, leading Sanfis to believe the chemical laced air was intended for its growth. He made a mental note to check as soon as they found a terminal.

      Even with the floating debris of hulking asteroids behind it, the warehouse building held its own in sheer volume of mass. It was a complex of durasteel plates and green-tinged carbon that stretched along an entire quarter of the dome and seemed fixed into its curvature with some permanence. Sanfis approached via a human sized side-door, recognising that the rectangular blast shutters were not opening for anyone from this side. He was already reaching for his lightsabre hilt, entirely expecting to have to cut the door, but an experimental test of the entry-switch brought the entryway swinging open with a soft hiss of escaping air. No security – suspicious. A few tread-ways and decontamination corridors later and Sanfis had found a terminal. It did not even ask for an ID and processed his request immediately. The farm monitor screen flashed up reports and growth statistics to two other screens nearby, routing power to previously sleeping subsystems that lit up with an eerie orange glow.

      “It’s natural.” He stated at last, flicking through the readings and transitioning to the warehouse control screen. “That is the plant they are harvesting, or at least the computer seems to think so.” The screen changed twice, responding to his commands without question. Sanfis deftly sampled a few of the monitored pages before punching a command code into the keypad beside him. Somewhere from within the complex a crunching sound emanated, as if a giant lock had suddenly unfastened. “The warehouse proper is down that way,” Sanfis said, extending a hand to the corridor opposite his station “Do you want to check it out for survivors, or shall I? Either way one of us needs to view the security logs and find out what's really going on.”

      She had superiority here, it would be her choice; a fact Sanfis was doing his best to show some acceptance of no matter how much it went against his gut.

    6. #6
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      Assuming that the air was as toxic for humans in here as it was outside, Shyahwyn refrained from removing the rebreather as they moved through the large warehouse. Noting the doors and other obstacles in their way, she then moved behind Sanfis into the intersection and pondered the options they had before them. "If there was some nefarious reasons for this place and it's choice in crop, the farmers may still have been used and then exterminated. Droids can still do what they've done here," she mentioned, having seen agricultural droids in the past. "I would need to sample the plants out there to find out for sure, but," she glanced down the long hallway toward the possible housing area and then toward a possible control room and office complex.

      "I can access the logs and try and get some more information," the dark jedi suggested. "Meet me there when you're done." Nodding to him, she moved to part ways, "Just be careful and warn me if you need help."

    7. #7
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      Droids, Sanfis mouthed to himself, brow furrowed in thought. His eyes flashed along the screen as he accessed new systems and opened new files. His fingers slipped along the keys as if he had known them all his life, finding the terminal easy to access and the data free and unguarded. It was suspicious, but only as far as he was not used to easy-access stations. On an asteroid with occasional shipping visits and fewer visitors, there probably were not any secrets regarding their work. Farmer and supervisor probably developed their programmes side by side. They had no secrets. They all knew the drill and chances are only the highest Manager had a coded computer. Sanfis made a mental note to find the Managers office if things should not proceed as planned. He drew up a map of the warehouse and shifted its centre from the loading bay to the storage unit. The chunky outline of the warehouse rotated on his screen, skipping frames here and there, as the old tech struggled to keep a consistent picture. It highlighted seven grey blobs and labelled them as harvesters, each with its own separate command box that filled one of the side panels. Each harvester was set to sleep and all were in storage. Sanfis zoomed the shaky image out and made a quick mental note of the direction.

      It was a quick trip through the warehouse to the storage room. It turned out the side door they had come in from was connected to a loading bay that fed the crops from the main farm into two distinctively different storage areas. Each of these storage hubs took a different part of the crop and processed it for transportation. Both processing areas connected to a much larger hangar that provided the industrial access for product shipping. Sanfis traversed the narrow corridors to the first storage area, where he had seen the harvest-droids labelled.

      “What on Rannon…”

      His exclamation was not unfounded. As the hydraulics hissed into place the durasteel door crept painfully open, letting out a steely pang that echoed down the corridor with grinding intensity. In place of the door, rose a sudden mist of noxious looking air that carried a depth of smell that nearly dropped Sanfis to his knees. It was like taking a breath of chemical laced manure; but made up of grassy flavours as well as excrement. There was an earthy undertone and a metallic one and all these sensations rushed into his lungs with such weight that Sanfis found himself backing away down the corridor, spluttering with every step. His lungs were suddenly wet as the taste of rotting flesh triggered his taste buds to vomit. He tried to breathe out, to rid himself of the sensation but the air was so thick it was taking time to clear to his lungs. Not for the first time, Sanfis wished he had taken the rebreather from the ships stores.

      It was a few minutes before Sanfis dared approach the room again. He applied a force technique Revan had taught him and recycled the breath in his lungs over and over; keeping his body running on minimal oxygen as he rationed it out, supporting his muscles with force touched energy and maintaining his internal balance through concentration alone. The storage room beyond was a sight he would not long forget. Bodies claimed the centre of the room; piled high into a mound of flesh that had been merged with a clear looking gel. Sanfis did not need medical knowledge to see that the gel was decomposing them – and in many examples decomposing parts of them. The result was a brown sludge that clung to much of the storage room, as well as the seven dormant looking harvester droids. He backed away in a hurry, mind flying through possibilities. He wanted to scream, to shout, or to retch; but all of those options involved opening his sealed mouth. Powerless, he simply retreated through the door and listened to the grinding mechanism force it’s way shut behind. He dared not open his mouth, dared not risk breath in what he now knew to be.

      He had seen that brown looking sludge before. Seen it irrigating the crop where the water should have been. It was this thought that finally brought the vomit.

    8. #8
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      Now heading to the command center, emerald eyes scanned for any sign of human or alien occupation that was more recent than what she had seen thus far. Their visit to this strange agricultural site had her baffled, though as she moved to the office complex, she noticed the main door closed and locked. Accessing the Force, she touched the control panel and used the energy now flowing through her shapely frame and focused it into the electronics. Sifting through various protocols, she soon found the main access and unlocked the door, then opened it. With a quiet grind, the blast door opened to reveal a nearly sterile environment. One protocol droid now stood sentry in the near corner, though had been shut off for some time now, it seemed with the layer of dust on it's silver frame. Moving to it, she then touched the droid's head and used the same ability to sift through it's more recent memories, though was surprised when she found it's memory banks empty.

      Backing a step, her brow furrowed lightly and she then realized that someone had meant to cover their tracks and they had been quite thorough, it seemed. Turning to eye the central computer stations, she had a feeling that they would also be emptied of information, though moved to the largest anyway. A large, circular room whose far wall was split in half, the lower being computer stations and the upper a large window. Looking out, the dark jedi observed the large sown fields they had seen when they arrived. The deep brown colored ground seemingly fertile, she had no idea of what Sanfis had just discovered.

      Sliding into a nearby chair, she tried to turn the computer station on, though it's controls gave her no such access. Leaning over, she noticed nothing out of the ordinary as far as unplugged cables, so pushed herself up and scanned the three other doors and hoped one may be an access to a generator. Opening each in turn, one revealed a large breakroom, another the communal refresher and the last, a large office. Stepping into the well appointed room, she moved to the large, obsidian desk and rounded it and sat in the high backed, black leather chair. Touching the slender panel along it's back edge, she was surprised as a bluish-white symbol came to life, hovering over the desk.

      "How might I serve, administrator," the soft, female voice inquired.

      Placing her hand atop the smooth surface, she then used the Force to touch the AI's brain. "Where are the farmers and warehouse personnel?"

      "They have all been retired and are serving a higher purpose for the greater good."

      A confusing answer, she mused though as her mind sifted through the memory banks of the central AI, a dreadful truth began to come to light. "On who's authority?"

      "Yours, ma'am."

      Her eyes shot open and then she realized it was referring to the administrator that should be sitting in this chair. "How long ago was this carried out?"

      "I was given that directive by yourself, three weeks ago, ma'am. If you'e experiencing memory loss, perhaps you should visit the medical facilities."

      "No, I'm fine, thanks. Just checking that everything was carried out as planned."

      "Of course."

      "Are there any more scheduled assimilations in the near future?"

      "No, ma'am, but the inspectors are scheduled to arrive in forty-five minutes."

      Another fact that caught her offguard. "Thank you."

      "Always happy to help ma'am. Have a good day."

      Rising, she opened her mind to find Sanfis. ~We're going to have visitors in forty-five minutes. Inspectors of some kind.~

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      Recovery did not come immediately, but gradually the world around Sanfis corrected itself and found him a place within it once again. He slipped along the corridors with the stench following along like a stray house-pet, biting at his heels for attention. The further he got from the storage warehouse, the more his mind began to clear and horror took a backseat to acceptance. This was not his first shocking experience. How many worlds had he been on where the atmosphere was toxic, or laced with ash? After all, the chemical haze about them was only partly made up of people. He resisted the urge to retch, quickly correcting the imagery the thought conjured.

      Sanfis made his way back along the hallway, retracing steps past familiar slate grey walls. It was the same corridor, but somehow everything felt different now. The pungent smell in the atmosphere repulsed him; the hazy green of the air was that much more alien; and every tiny spec of organic matter was a potential person or worst, people. Sanfis felt his breath becoming shallower, naturally breathing through his nose as if doing so would reduce the atmospheric contamination. He pressed on to the previously unlocked terminal, brushing aside the Harvester control screens and flicking back to operations. The screen was awash with warning symbols – denoted by classic reds and secondary ambers – each shouting its message and demanding to be heard. For a split-second, Sanfis was without direction, his eyes drawn firstly to a proximity alert and secondly to a countdown timer that seemed entirely separate. He cancelled old error warnings and went straight to the most recent message: Proximity alert. Docking in process. As if following a predestined path of irony, Shyahwyn’s voice flooded his mind. Sanfis was filled by her warm but dangerous presence as if she were standing next to him, the touch of her mind depositing the message before slipping back as fast as it had arrived.

      A resounding crunch broadcast throughout the structure, bouncing off walls and support struts with a twang that reverberated and echoed into far more than it had once been. With nowhere to escape, the sounds could be heard throughout and were unmistakable: Docking clamps. Someone had arrived.

      ~Forty-five minutes, you say?~
      Sanfis had never been very good at this part. He squeezed his eyes tight and forced out the thought into the open, casting it up and into the void of universal space that was the force between them. He knew about the direction she was and shouted the question along the corridors with a rattle of slate and a residual tremor that buzzed uncomfortably up his leg. ~Then who just arrived?~

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      Moving through the office and to the door, she then caught traces of Sanfis's reply and felt his concern. Stopping her in her tracks, she thought a long moment, then continued back into the main room full of computer stations, looking out through the large window. ~Maybe they're early,~ she suggested mentally.

      Scanning the desk before her, she touched it again and connected with the internal AI. "Was there a scheduled visit due to arrive now that I wasn't made aware of?"

      Moments passed, then, "Yes ma'am, I have an estimated time of arrival for Saeti Tacorann and his team."

      Confused, she had to ask. "Are they part of the inspection team?"

      "No, ma'am, they're the cleaners."

      A dreadful revelation that Shyahwyn wasn't sure she wanted to know the definition of. "Thank you."

      "Yes, ma'am. I've sent a message to headquarters on your behalf. I believe the stress of your duties has required a mandatory visit to the medbay and perhaps a much needed vacation."

      Backing from the desk's sleek, black surface, she stood. "Thanks." That might not be a bad idea, she mused.

      "I'm here to serve."

      Hurrying back to the main room full of computer stations, she turned left and contacted Sanfis once more. ~Computer here states that the cleaners were scheduled to arrive now. Not sure what they're here to clean, so be careful. I'm heading back your way now.~ Pushing the panel to open the door, she was surprised that it didn't budge. Touching it, she focused the Force into the main controls and sent the energy to the computer's core, commanding it to open, but another set of protocols seemed to have been introduced which she needed another access code for. Maybe the cleaners found out that someone was in the administrator's office that wasn't supposed to be.

      Backing from the door, she relinquished her hold on the control panel and instead unclipped her saber from the shoulder holster underneath her left arm. Igniting it, the dark jedi began cutting around the frame, making sure she was able to get out of here before these cleaners arrived. ~May take a bit longer than I anticipated.~

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      A second more resounding bang hammered through the station, bouncing off the walls with dreaded intent. Little by little, Sanfis felt the atmosphere chill around them; the hairs on the back of his neck standing on end. People were coming – potentially armed people. People who he would have to either hide from, or fight. The Dark Side relished at the latter, growing within him alongside his danger sense and nudging Sanfis towards action. Little by little, it fed him more power. The strength in his arms grew; the bulk of his torso felt momentarily invulnerable; and his senses were multiplied far beyond their usual limitations. The dark force whipped about his body, reminding him what he could accomplish if he chose to fight the boarding party.

      Sanfis suppressed the urge to kill within him, pushing the force further and further until it slunk back into his shadow. He gained nothing from needless slaughter, though the time may yet come when he would punish the visitors for what they had done. Besides, he knew nothing of the numbers that might be about to board the station, nor of the weaponry they might have at their disposal. The very real risk of his and Shyahwyn’s discovery was now his number one concern: justice could wait until after.

      A resounding crunch smashed through the floor plating with vibrating finality. The docking process was complete. Sanfis dived for the access station controls and brought up the live camera feeds, checking each docking area one after another. With some relief, he noted that their small transport was still stored unaccompanied in the visitor’s bay. However, the relief lasted only as long as it took him to locate the bulky frame of a light frigate. The ship was tethered via umbilical and docked with its dorsal clamps half into the service entrance. No wonder it had created so much noise: The craft was huge. Along one side ran a deep green stripe, emblazoned with a symbol that Sanfis had not seen before. Mounted just above the stripe jutted enough laser batteries to deal with any feeble defences a station this size might hold. The body merged into two great thruster packs at the rear, playing sentinel to a hyperdrive strip and underhanging umbilical station. At the front, the frigate grew narrower; its head more like a bullet shape though sporting a much larger cannon just underside to what must have been the bridge. Whether this were a turbo-laser, ion cannon, or some other kind of advanced device Sanfis did not know. However, the armament filled him with dread none the less. With a delighted chirp, the computer announced the arrival of guests and suddenly the entire system went offline. First, the computer died with it's message half displayed, then shut off entirely. Next the doors released as automatic clamps stopped functioning, drawing a squeak from the closest. Finally, the lights flickered into blackness, plunging the entire room in perfect night. From somewhere to his right, Sanfis heard the sound of approaching footsteps.

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      As Shyahwyn worked at the door's edge with her blade, the neat magma colored seam continued to run down it's length. Focused on the current task, she hesitated once the emergency lighting went dead. Not expecting that, she then renewed her eagerness to get out of here, hating to be cooped up as the memories of Maelona's treatment of the kidnapped farmer's daughter apparently demanded a re-education which still had some effect, it seemed.

      Soon, the blast door was loosed from it's frame and fell away with a resounding explosion of sound which no doubt alerted everyone that had just landed in the station. She had to act fast, she knew and exited the command center. Sanfis was a fellow dark jedi and friend, but she also knew that with them both together, they would be easier to deal with. They had to be smart about this, she knew. Time for intelligence gathering.

      Approaching a T-section, she slowed as the hurried footsteps rose with their approach and prompted the shapely noble of Ruusan to slide into a nearby door and quietly push it to with just enough to hopefully see how many she was dealing with. Soon, glowrods attached to their assault rifles, the team moved as one, one behind the other, as they moved tactically toward the operations center, slowing as they apparently noticed the still glowing edges to the door now laying in the hallway.

      The leader of the team walked behind his men without the discipline of a military mind, but more as a financier. Though his blast vest and helmet with their distinctive green piping and unique symbol on the breast mimicked those worn by the group of six armed soldiers, his neat, greying black hair and clean shaven face told her immediately of someone that was more used to business meetings and time in a lab, she knew there was more to this man than that. His faint, brown eyes focused on the first sign of intrusion as he slowed his pace, allowing the team to now proceed into the office while he remained outside in the hallway, crouching at the door and studying the fading slag where once had been neatly assembled metal.

      "Jedi," his mature, low voice stated to no one visible. Gazing around now, the man seemed suddenly nervous about this latest revelation. Rising like a shot, he continued into the office and out of sight, but not out of mind for the Force user now tapping onto his surface thoughts. He was nervous. Images of an oversight committee hearing, explaining to a panel of elder, well dressed benefactors and possible incarceration now filled his thoughts as he approached the team's sergeant. "We have a problem."

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      The footsteps resolved themselves behind the now powerless door, voices calling out for the lead to maintain protocol and prepare for a breaching manoeuvre. Hands were already clasping the steel frame as Sanfis began to move, pulling the door back at the exact instant that he left the floor and flew upwards into the ceiling. A blaster muzzle lead the charge as three suited men burst into the room, their posture militaristic and full of battle intent. Sanfis could feel the urge to do harm radiating off them like a cloud of darkness, consuming their thoughts and directing their action. All three were angry and looking for a target to unleash that anger towards. It made them very easy to track in this total blackness.

      “Clear.” Came the mask-muffled tones of the lead, his voice croaky through what Sanfis determined to be a rebreather. The anger they felt diminished a fraction at this, turning sour and trailing after them in long lines of frustration as they swept the control room for victims they could unleash their hatred upon. In the perfect blackness, Sanfis’ eyes could not see a thing. To his mind’s eye however, everything was clear: The three guards patrolled with enough emotional intent to act as markers for the room. Their weapons glowed to him like tiny white lights of danger; perfectly illuminated in the otherwise total dark. Every footstep and croaky communication echoed about his mind, retracing and reorganising the room in relation to his three marks. As a Templar, Sanfis did not need his eyes to know exactly what was going on down below.

      A stale red glow crept into sudden view as the emergency lights clicked on, bathing the scene before him in a smoky backdrop of shadows and imminent danger. The illumination came as no surprise to the three soldiers, their guns trained on both remaining exits to the room as they scanned for signs of intrusion. It was only at this point that Sanfis became aware of how precariously he was balanced. Filled with adrenaline and the force, Sanfis had somehow managed to jump atop of the one coolant pipes still running the centre of the room. He was lying across it, his face pressed down to the cold metal and his back only just managing to fit between it and the ceiling. Should any of the visitors look up, he would become immediately noticeable. Whereas the sudden emergence of emergency light had confused him, the three figures showed no sign of reaction at all. This told him they had been expecting the backup to kick in. This suggested they knew more about the station than any random space pirate might.

      It was this exact moment that Shyahywn managed to knock down her door; sending a crunch throughout the station from right above him. Sanfis froze, his breath catching as the sound shuddered the ceiling above. Any normal person would have looked up; looked right up and seen him. But the three men down below seemed to have much greater training and instead switched to fix their blasters upon the door leading to the administration block. This told him something else too: Whoever it was invading the station was well trained and well armed - definitely not your average space pirate.

      “I thought clean-up wasn’t due for another half an hour?” Came the first voice again, his helmet turning to fix the man taking point with what Sanfis could only assume was a questioning stare.

      “They aren’t.” Came the strict response. “But if they’re early we’ll deal with them just the same…” All three blasters rose to eye-line now as they waited for whatever would come next. Upon no sudden entrance from the hallway they began to file out, soundlessly and still in combat poses, each drawing a long crimson shadow against the far wall as they went. Sanfis counted to thirty before finally dropping down from his hiding spot. He needed answers and fast.

    14. #14
      Join Date
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      Sighing, not having any idea that his thoughts were being tapped into, the older scientist motioned to the bank of computer terminals, "Keep an eye on the doorway and give me time to make sure everything's been purged from these."

      "You got it," the sergeant replied and began organizing his men to set up defensive positions should anyone try to interrupt them.

      Shyahwyn knew she had some time, but now with the hired mercenaries watching down the very hallway which her room's main entrance was situated, she had to come up with something else. What the team was doing here in the first place was coming clearer, though why the company was using human and alien DNA to fuel their experiments was still a bit hazy to her. How could someone be that cold, she mused.

      Turning to scan the room she was in, the emergency lights popped on, startling her initially. Backing from the door, knowing her shadow would suddenly be seen in the narrow sliver by anyone happening to be looking this direction, she quickly scoured the large office for another way out. Refreshers and a small storage closet were all that was afforded her, then she glanced up to the vent for the recirculator. Had she more time, that could be one way, she mused. Mentally, she reached out for Sanfis and was relieved that he was still alive and unharmed.

      ~Scientist with this group is now securing and then going to destroy the computers. The team with him is watching the hallway outside that office. What's your situation?~

      As she listened, the sensation of someone nearing the door to the office she was in began to grow, prompting the dark jedi to move to a large desk and crouch behind it, while she focused on the Force.

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