Dawn of Defiance

Prelude

Set during the Clone Wars, roughly 3 years before Order 66

Arkadian Brade, a young, undercover Jedi, finds himself on Ryloth searching for information regarding Queen Sintha, a member of the separatists. An informant of his encouraged him to seek out Reqel, a Twi’lek slave girl being held in one of the run down detention blocks.

After “convincing” a Rodian slave trader to lend him her pass card, he managed to gain entrance into the detention blocks. There were two prisoners being held in the cells, one a young, green-skinned Twi’lek girl, the other a tall Wookiee who had to crouch in order to fit in the cell. He moved to the Twi’lek, first.

“You, girl, what’s your name?”
“Ari’kaja.” Not the Twi’lek he was looking for.
“How old are you?”
“Seventeen,” she paused, seemingly torn. “If you wish to buy me, please buy Reqel too. I can’t leave without her.” Well, that fit into his plans perfectly.
“Where is she?” Arka asked.
“I don’t know, she was taken away a few days ago.”
“Who do I speak to about purchasing you?”
“We don’t know who sells us.”
Fat lot of help that is, Arka thought. He pulled out his blaster pistol. “Do you know how to use this?” Ari paused, then nodded. He passed it to her through the bars. “Stand back.” Arka twisted his arm behind his back, and pulled out his gold bladed lightsaber. He easily sliced through the lock, and then moved to the Wookiee’s cell.

He was a strange colour, this Wookiee, with white patches on his face and shoulder, as well as his legs. “Can you understand basic?” A mechanical “yes” answered him. The Wookiee owned a vox box. That meant yes or no questions only. “Stand back.” The Wookiee complied, and Arka sliced through the lock on the cell.

He looked back towards Ari, and froze. The Twi’lek’s face seemed to shimmer, and hovering in front of it was a similar face, only red-skinned. In his head he heard a frantic help! Just as quickly as it came, the image disappeared. Ari and the Wookiee didn’t see anything.

“Wait here,” he commanded. The Wookiee began rooting through the rubble, searching for a suitable weapon.

Backtracking towards the main entrance, Arka heard a kind of tapping coming from one of the elevators. He tapped on the elevator door with the hilt of his lightsaber, and after hearing a response, used the Force to portray a message similar to the one he received: back. He heard some shuffling within the elevator. Very carefully he pressed the tip of his lightsaber into the elevator door, and began creating a hole. He lowered it carefully to the ground with the Force. Huddled inside the elevator was a red-skinned Twi’lek, bound and gagged. He lowered the gag, and she thanked him until he managed to quiet her. She introduced herself as Reqel. When he told her that Ari was waiting for her, she became excited all over again, and Arka once again had to quiet her.

Once Reqel was able to stand and walk, he guided her back to where Ari and the Wookiee were waiting. When Ari saw Reqel, she ran to her, hugged her, and kissed her right on the lips. Arka blinked in surprise, turned to the Wookie, and both shrugged. Arka cleared his throat.

“I’d like to investigate the remainder of this hold. I heard voices coming from further inside.”

Reqel, who had no proficiency in weapons, stuck next to Ari. The Wookie fell in behind the two Twi’leks and the ragtag party made their way back towards the source of the voices. They came up to a door, with a red “occupied” light over it. Arka moved closer to listen to the noise coming from inside.

The Wookiee, still without a weapon, began searching through a nearby abandoned storeroom, hoping to find some kind of makeshift weapon, or, even better, his father’s once prized bowcaster. Unable to pry open a locked storage chest, he took out his frustration on a rusted pipe attached to the wall. The pipe came away easily, and standing at 8 feet tall, made for an admirable quarterstaff. He felt someone tap his side, and when he looked around, Ari was looking up at him, shushing him.

Arka had come away from the closed door, looking a little embarrassed. “I don’t think we need to worry about whoever is in there. Best we get out of here now. Everyone give me your weapons and put your hands behind your back. It will probably be easiest to get out if we portray me as your new owners.”

Ari reluctantly returned the Jedi’s blaster, and put her hands behind her back. Unlike her previous owners, this Jedi seemed like an honest man. Perhaps he really would be able to free her and Reqel.

The Jedi swiped a card beside the main entrance, and waiting outside were two OOM type droids. “Show us your credit papers for these captives.” So much for an easy escape, Ari thought.

Akra pulled out his lightsaber and swung at one of the droids. He fumbled his lightsaber, however, and missed the droid entirely. While Arka stood there looking at his lightsaber as if it was the weapon’s fault, Ari grabbed the Jedi’s blaster back, and the Wookiee snatched his makeshift quarterstaff with a growl for the Jedi dropping it on the floor. The man had no respect for weaponry!

Arka moved out into the open and managed to slice clean through the droids head and torso, at the same time the Wookiee impaled the second droid with the pipe and Ari finished it off with a blaster shot. Ok, maybe it was easy, Ari granted.
Arka extinguished his lightsaber. “I have an apartment room back in the city; we can rest there and decide what to do next.”


Back in the apartment room, Arka contacted his informant and requested copies of the papers needed to claim ownership over the two Twi’leks and the Wookiee. Unfortunately, their identities had already been released, and because of the escape they were all wanted criminals.

Ari wanted to leave now, but Arka needed his information on the Queen before they could depart. Reqel told about Ari and her previous master, a man named Tobor who had a rough addiction to Ryll, a spice mined right there on Ryloth. He also had the information Arka was looking for, and Reqel believed it was something physical that he couldn’t get rid of, but bothered him greatly.

Tobor was always most interested in Reqel. He owned the cantina on the outskirts of town, and the bartender himself was obsessed with Ari. Although Reqel didn’t know where Tobor was, she was certain the bartender would.

The party arrived at the cantina, with both Reqel and Ari cloaked in the hopes no one would recognize them. Most of the tables were taken, however one in the back had only one customer, who was passed out drunk on the table. Arka went up to him, placed his foot against his side, and shoved him out of the seat. No one in the cantina seemed to notice. He took the now vacant seat, and motioned Ari to sit beside him. While Ari and Reqel were seating themselves, the Wookiee wandered around the cantina. A few of the patrons looked at him out of the corner of their eye, and the atmosphere seemed to tense.

A small service droid came up to Arka and asked if he would like a drink. The droid was more than a little faulty, and difficult to understand. Arka ordered a Chagarian ale, Ari waved the droid away, her eyes fixed on the balding man standing behind the bar.

The Wookiee went up to the bartender. The man had to crane his neck back to look into the Wookiee’s face. “Can I help you?” Hoping the Wookiee wouldn’t notice, the bartender made a waving motion with his hand at something beyond the Wookiee. Turning, the Wookiee saw a man move towards the cantina door and shut it. Turning back to the bartender, the Wookeie slammed his fist against the table.

Ari nudged the Jedi with her elbow. “The Wookiee is causing some trouble.”
“Ari!” She turned, and to her right were three spice traders. She tensed. These three were regulars at the cantina, and enjoyed Ari’s company almost as much as the bartender did. “Ari, it’s good to see you again. How about we head to the back room and get reacquainted?”

With that, chaos broke out. The man by the door pulled out a blaster pistol and aimed for the Jedi. His aim was true, and the blaster shot took Arka in the shoulder. Lifting his hand, Arka made a clenching and tossing motion, and the man flew across the room, hit the wall, and crumpled.

The Wookiee, pulling out his rusted old pipe, made his way quickly towards the spice traders, who now each had a blaster pistol ready. Taking out one of the spice traders, he also took a couple blaster shots to his torso. Arka started to get the feeling they may not survive this encounter at this rate.

Ari, however, had a specific goal. She aimed the Jedi’s blaster pistol at the bartender, who squealed and managed to hide behind the bar before Ari fired. “Ari!” he cried, “we can talk about this!”

Exasperated, the Jedi made his way towards the bar, brandishing his lightsaber. “Call them off!”
“Ok, ok!” The bartender rose, motioning to the two remaining spice traders. “Put your guns down!”

Ari ran up beside the Jedi, and placed the pistol between the bartender’s eyes. “I should kill you where you stand.” The bartender looked hurt, and more than a little nervous.
“Come on, hun, we can talk about this.”
“Enough, Ari,” Arka growled. “Bartender, where can I find Tobor?”
“Who? I don’t know any Tobor…”
“Should I let her shoot?” Arka nodded to Ari, and a malevolent grin appeared on her face.
“Ok! No! Tobor, right! I know who you mean now. He’s in the old storage shed. He rarely comes out anymore.”
“Thank you, kind sir. We’ll be leaving now.” Arka turned toward the door.
Ari didn’t follow, she still had the Jedi’s blaster pointed towards the bartenders head. “Can I kill him now?”
“No, Ari,” Arka sighed.
“Please?”
“No.”
“Just his shoulder?”
“No!” Arka stalked back, grabbed Ari’s arm, and dragged her toward the door.

The Wookiee tapped Arka on the shoulder, and pointed to the two remaining spice traders. They were whispering to each other frantically, as if making plans. Arka strode over to them, planted his fists on the table, and leaned in close to them.
“This Wookiee has a bit of a grudge against you. He doesn’t trust you. Thinks you’ll run off to the authorities.” The spice traders stared wide eyed at the Wookiee. “You wouldn’t do that, would you?” The traders shook their heads frantically.

The Wookiee came up beside Arka and held out his massive clawed hand. The spice traders looked at each other, then looked up at the Wookie. The Wookie growled, and the traders quickly placed their blasters in his paw. Reqel, laughing, glided over to the traders. She grabbed one of the two remaining glasses of ale, downed it, and tossed the empty glass over her shoulder before joining Ari by the door. Ari grabbed her hand and pulled her outside.

Once outside, the Wookiee handed one of the trader’s blasters to Ari. She liked the Jedi’s blaster better, but she returned it nonetheless.
Placing his blaster back in it’s holster, Arka asked where the storage shed was located. Ari pointed to a tall building across the road from the bar. The party made their way to the tall steel door. It had a keypad worked into it.
“The code should still be the same…” Ari entered the digits 5, 2, 4. There was a metallic click, and with a light push, the door swung open.


A very ragged, beaten, and torn down man was standing in the dark of the storage room. His hair was shaggy, and he was covered in dirt. “Ari…”
“It seems your appearance finally matches your spirit, Tobor.”
“Bring me Reqel.”
Ari raised her blaster. “You can’t have her.” Tobor’s fists clenched. His eyes seemed to glow menacingly. Old discarded cans crumpled all around the storage room. “Bring her…to me…”

Arka quickly placed his hand on Ari’s arm. The Twi’lek would bomb the whole city, given half a chance, never mind the man in front of them who was Force sensitive. “You have something I want.”
Tobor smiled. “You have two things I want.”
“I propose a trade.”
Ari stared at the Jedi. He couldn’t be serious. Tobor began laughing. “I want all three. Ari, Reqel, and the Wookiee.” The Wookiee growled from the entrance way. Arka gave an exasperated sigh. Immediately after, the Wookiee noticed a reflection of light coming from within the far back of the storage room. Upon a longer look, he discovered that Tobor had taken the Wookiee’s prized bowcaster for himself. “Show me your information.” Tobor hesitated. “I’ve shown you my merchandise, it’s only fair you show me what information you have before we make the trade complete.” Ari glared daggers at Arka, who affected not to notice. Excited, angry and yet cautious, the Wookiee kept calm and waited for his chance to retrieve his bowcaster.

Tobor limped to what appeared to be a solid stone wall. Tossing the Wookiee’s bowcaster aside, he pressed something, and a small niche opened in the wall. Inside lay a holocron. “This has all the information you need. It’s not good for my plans. Keeps me up at night…”
“Well, allow me to let you sleep, then.”

Just as in the cantina, chaos broke out. Tobor ran back towards Arka and in one fluid motion pulled a vibroax from a shelf on the wall and swung at him. Arka’s blaster shot connected with Tobor, and the man went staggering back to the center of the storage room. Arka began to bleed from a gash in his side, but while Tobor staggered, Arka put away his blaster and pulled out his lightsaber.

The Wookiee was enraged. He landed a quick blow to the slaver, only to receive one in return. After the fight in the cantina, the Wookiee was badly injured. Arka made that same clenching and tossing motion with his hand, and Tobor flew through the air and hit the wall hard.

Ari moved from where she was standing, still keeping herself between the disgusting man and Reqel. Her blaster shot connected, and was followed almost immediately by Arka’s lightsaber. The man didn’t take long to die, but both Arka and the Wookiee were badly injured. Neither could have lasted much longer. There was silence, then Reqel made her way to the Wookiee and began tending his wounds.

Arka grabbed the holocron from the niche in the wall, and motioned the others to follow him out the door. The Wookiee staggered over to his bowcaster and retrieved it, while Ari ran up and kicked Tobor’s body before following.

Once back in the apartment, Arka recommended that Ari and Reqel take the passage he found them to Coruscant. Reqel, being Force sensitive but too old to begin training, would still be welcome within the Jedi temple. “You will be safe there,” he said.

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