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Aug 11, 2020 3:16 PM
Pradnakt meets Alek
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Daisy is gone only two days a month - a little less, even, leaving in the morning of the first day and returning around sunset of the second. Even most of that time, she's in contact, with the speeder or close enough to hear its radio. It's only at night, one night a month, that she's truly out of contact.

So of course that one night of the month is when the ship carrying the Force-sensitive appears. Sith, presumably, this far from the border, though Pradnakt doesn't wait to find out before pulling in her senses and cloaking her presence. That's - fine, probably; the cloaking effect isn't meant to be used for more than a few minutes, and it's incompatible with most other uses of the Force, but that just means whoever it is will go away with an unwarranted surety that the planet is empty of Sith. Hopefully. It's most likely just someone doing a check for Force-sensitive kids to take as apprentices, and they won't be here long, she can just wait them out.

She still wants her droid back home, though, where it's safe. She tries the speeder radio; no answer. Not from the emergency radio in the library, either, or the one at town hall. She keeps trying.

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He's let his supplies get low again, avoiding civilization, going from system to system without setting down in any settlements for longer than it takes to refuel. He needs food, and some medical supplies, and the ship needs some new parts, and Isk won't let him put it off any longer, even if they could manage longer without them. 

They select a small settlement, a good ways away from the planet's spaceport, currently on the night side of the planet. It's large enough to have the shops he needs, and small enough to get in and out quickly. Isk lands the ship far enough out of town to escape their notice, while he settles himself as much as possible.

He sets out for the town under cover of night, planning to scout out the important shops while most of the residents are asleep. Hopefully he won't have to interact with anyone at all. 


It's pretty unremarkable as little nowhere backwaters go, aside from having a particularly nice library. The main stores are easy to find - a general store that doubles as a grocery store, a hardware store with a collection of art that someone's made out of machine parts in one window, a livestock supply store where he can sense chickens and goats sleeping in their pens, a restaurant, a barber's shop, all closed.

It's not immediately obvious where he'd get medical supplies, and his search takes him off the main drag, where he finds a pair of droids - a silver protocol droid heavily decorated with colored flowers that glitter a little in the low light, and a big bulky battle droid looking very out of place in such a small town - chatting quietly in front of a secondhand/pawn shop.


(He eyes the library as he passes - maybe he could risk it? People don't bother each other in libraries, mostly. He'll talk it over with Isk when he gets back.)

His attention is caught by the silver droid, the decorations on their chassis eye-catching even in the low light. He wonders if they like them.

He spares some for the other as well, but he has no intention of doing anything that would make them shoot him, so it's mostly just curiosity about how they'd ended up in a backwater like this. 

Still, he's not going to ask. Talking to droids besides Isk is just asking to get set off at some point, and there are few people he'd want to hurt less. He turns away from them to continue his search.


The protocol looks up at him briefly as he goes by, but doesn't say anything.

A block away, he passes an older man, heavyset, bundled up slightly against the evening's chill, heading toward the shop.


Alek turns his head once he's passed, watching the man continue down the street. Is he headed for the pawnshop for some reason, or is he going that way to bother the droids? 


It's really not obvious, until the man turns the corner and comes into view of the shop; Alek can sense his sudden anger.

"DZ. I told you to stay away from my droid."

The protocol droid's response is much quieter: "Yes, sir."


He stops walking.

Getting involved is a bad idea, he tells himself. He should keep going. 

He turns around instead, backtracking up the street towards the corner. 


"How long has this been going on?"

    "Four months, sir." The battle droid.

"So, you didn't listen at all last time I told you. Well, fine. 9P, if you see this droid here outside store hours again, shoot it."

    "Yes sir."




That sithspitting hutspawn, how dare-

He's darting forward before he even realizes it, mind clouded by the towering rage which those words brought to the forefront. He rounds the corner, and his saber isn't easily accessible, but the Force is always there-

It only takes a moment of intention to send a nearby piece of sharp scrap metal shrieking through the air to land in the man's throat. 


The man never sees him coming.

The battle droid does, though, and his programming is clear: he shoots.


He hits. 

Alek stops where he is, hand clapping over the hole in his shoulder, all of his attention switching to the one who'd shot at him.

The battle droid- Was defending them- Don't want to hurt-

He stands there, tense with the effort of holding himself back from attacking. One chance. He can give that. They probably didn't have a choice.

Are they going to fire again?


The battle droid isn't moving at all, now.

   "Nine? -Nine?"

He doesn't answer. The protocol droid turns to Alek. "Are you all right, sir?"


That's bad, but it means they're not going to fire.

He doesn't hear her question, either. Instead, he shuts down externally, all of his attention turning to regaining control. 


He gave up on using the Jedi code ages ago. It doesn't work - it's blatantly false. There is no emotion. Hah. Instead, he focuses on music, running through a complicated piece in his head, until all of his mind is occupied by the sound and the phantom feeling of strings.

It takes some time, but the anger subsides. He turns his attention back to the outside world, checking on the other two before anything else. 


The battle droid hasn't moved. The protocol droid is still there, too. "Sir? I need to bring Nine to my master, Lord Pradnakt. I think you should come with us. She won't hurt you if you don't attack us."


The word 'master' bothers him - for more than one reason - but he's not so volatile he can't ignore it. On the other hand, Lord Pradnakt definitely sounds like the name of a Sith. Coming to the attention of a Sith sounds like a bad idea. This whole thing was a bad idea. 

He shakes his head, "No, I'm fine, I'll just-" he tries to take a step back, stumbles, and then stops, head spinning. One hand goes to the blaster wound in his shoulder, which is still bleeding quite heavily. 


She steps up and reaches out to steady him. "You need someplace to rest, sir, and you'll be safe with us."


"...Isk will worry," he says, blinking at her a little woozily. "I should go back to the ship. But we're out of kolto." 


"Okay. We can take your ship to our house. I need to go get the speeder; can you watch Nine for me? It'll only be a few minutes."


He looks over at Nine. He doesn't look very good.

"Yeah, I can do that." 


"Good. Thank you. It's important that you stay awake, okay? And if he comes out of it you can tell him that I'll be right back. I don't want him to wake up alone, he'd be scared. Okay?"


He doesn't want Nine to be scared. Doesn't want to scare anyone who doesn't deserve it. 

"Okay," he agrees. He can try to stay awake. And he can put pressure on the blaster wound. 



"Good. Thank you." She helps him over to lean against the front of the shop. "I'll be as quick as I can."

It's only a few blocks to the speeder, and she's not really surprised to find the radio flashing when she gets there.


Pradnakt speaks immediately when she turns it on. "Love, you have to come home, there's a Sith on the planet."

    "I know. It's fine. I'm safe. He's here. I'm safe." She clips the radio onto her chassis and starts unhooking the carts from the speeder.

"He's - you're safe." She's skeptical, but still relieved.

    "I'm safe. He's hurt. I'm bringing him in."

"You're - what happened."

    "It's a long story. I'm bringing in a friend of mine, too, damaged."

"By him?"

    "No, I think it's a restraining bolt problem."

"Okay. You're safe?"

    "I'm safe. We're taking his ship in, we'll be there soon. I'll keep the radio with me."

"All right. Stay safe."

She's back not much longer after that, with the speeder and an empty cart to load the other droid into, quietly reciting poetry for Pradnakt.


He's still conscious, leaning against the shop, eyes fixed on Nine. His eyelids are pretty heavy, however.

His head turns when he notes the speeder approaching, going on alert (as much as he can) until he recognizes her.

"He didn't wake," he tells her when she gets in speaking range. "-Is that a poem?" 


"That's him?"

    "Yes ma'am. It is, sir; Eikzuser Kizen's The Falling Petal." She pulls up next to Nine and starts wrangling him into the cart. "Would you like to hear some more?"

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