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(CLICK HERE FOR OPENING CRAWL) Consciousness returned slowly, gradually breaking through the mental fog just enough to become aware of the environment. Hard, unrelenting durasteel was cold against the face while a stale, artificially sterile smell hit the nose, which made the bitter taste in the mouth even worse somehow. A steady hum reverberated off of the durasteel walls which almost became maddening in the relative silence of the rest of the room if one focused on it. With pained winces eyes slowly dared to crack open only to be greeted by the harsh light when made them snap shut again until they dared to try and blink open again, if only the slightest bit. The light made the dull throb of a headache flare up into a stabbing pain which faded far more slowly than desired. The desire to get up off the floor was met with non-compliance as limbs refused commands, or moved barely, if at all. Still though, enduring the pain eyes did open and it was then that they realized they were in small cells, two to a cell, except for Jan and Arcata who was alone in their own cells. The forth wall of each cell was a forcefield separating the cell from the rest of the room and the lone, human male guard within. The guard rose and walked over to a small intercom. Pressing a button, he leaned closed and spoke, "They're waking up." he said with an unusual accent. "Good." replied a much more tinny voice through the speaker. With tremendous effort, Jan was the first to manage to rise to his feet enough to stagger to the metal slab bench that could only laughably be called a bed. He sat down on it with no grace at all and leaned his head back against the wall, trying to take stock of the situation. In the rest of the cells the others did similar, though many barely crawled to the bench in their cells as their limbs were slow to respond and resisting commands, though gradually control of their limbs was returning. The outer room door swished open and in walked a well dressed human male, seemingly nobility, along with a woman dressed in red with several cybernetic limbs who stood beside him. Following them two more beings stepped through the door, clad in unmistakable white and black... Imperial Stormtroopers, each one cradling their blaster cabines. They took up positions flanking the pair before them as the man approached the cells. "You know, I am not sure if I should be impressed with you, or disappointed in my own security, as were it not for my 'friends' here, a reward for continued loyalty to the Empire that you were not expecting, you might have actually managed to collect on that bounty." he sneered as he walked down the hall in front of the cells with his hands behind his back and his posture taut with the air of nobility. "Now though, instead of you collecting the bounty on my head, I shall be collecting bounties on your own." he taunted and stopped in front of Arcata's cell. "The Empire does not suffer traitors." he sighed, shaking his head as he looked her over with various unsavory thoughts running through his head. "Such a pity." he said with a shrug he continued walking down the line of cells, looking over his younger captives. "And you whelps. I am sure they will be quite pleased to have you handed over as well." he commented as he rubbed his chin. "You will be made to serve the Empire, or you will perish, I am sure." he added. The man shrugged again and pivoted on a heel to walk back along the line of cells as she spoke to his captives. "You were foolish for ever coming after me, and now that error in judgement will cost you dearly." he said, his voice dripping with smugness and scorn. "I am not totally without mercy though, so I will give you a chance to apologize and beg for your lives." he offers as he backs away from the wall of cells so as to be able to look at any who approach the forcefields. OOC
Click here if you want a true opening crawl ENEMIES OF THE EMPIRE "UNEXPECTED ALLIES" A plague has broken out on Finnare, an agricultural planet in the Outer Rim. The Endless Odyssey, a chartered transport, races back from the Dyvixx system on a mission of mercy with the necessary medicines to combat the plague. The simple trip, interrupted by an unexpected encounter with Imperial Customs, had the Endless Odyssey being detained for a full surprise inspection in the docking bay inside the Customs Frigate. What should have been a routine run-in with the Empire was anything but, when unbeknownst to the crew, the lone passenger turned out to be a Jedi who's mere presence has ensured that the entire crew was placed under Imperial arrest... The door to the brig opened and out stepped an older Imperial officer, flanked by a Stormtrooper, as he approached the desk. "Captain Mar?" the brig officer asked curiously. "I am here to collect the new prisoners for the transfer." the older officer explained with a calm authority to his voice. "Transfer? I was not informed of this. I will have to check it out." the brig officer stated. "I am collecting them by order of Inquisitor Cynis. I am to rendezvous with her to hand over the prisoners so that this ship can stay on patrol. Where there is one Jedi, there may be more. And it seems she is rather eager to meet this 'Jedi'." Captain Mar explained before adding, "But by all means, contact her and verify. I am sure the Inquisitor will enjoy having her orders questioned." "Well, if it is by order of an Inquisitor. I... I am sure it still in subspace. No reason to hold up her transfer." the brig officer said with a hint of a nervous smile. "Very well then." Captain Mar responded and turned to head down the cell may, motioning for the Stormtrooper to follow. The first cell opened and he stepped in with the Stormtrooper behind him causing Zaylee to swing her legs off the bench and too the floor. "Please. I did not know she was Jedi. I thought she was just a charter to collect medical supplies. I'm a simple cargo hauler. This is just a big misunderstanding." Zaylee pleaded, flashing her big, teal eyes at the older officer. "That will be for the Inquisitor to determine." Captain Mar said as he held out the opened binder, waiting Zaylee to place her wrists within them. "Inquisitor?!" Zaylee exclaimed, looking up at the man with wide eyes. Captain Mar gave Zaylee a quick wink as a small smile could be seem creeping out from under his thick mustache. The gesture caught Zaylee off guard, giving her a moments pause as she felt strangely comforted. "Fine." she relented and placed her wrists in the binders, which the officer closed, but seemed to forget to lock. Catching on and feeling more secure now, Zaylee played along, "This is just a big misunderstanding though." she sighed. Kel could hear the footsteps in the hall and pushed on the small wall plate behind the outside controls that he had been working at prying off. He then moved to the bench and pulled his legs up with his back to the door, pretending to sleep a moment before the cell door slide open. "Huuhh?" he murmured and turned to look at the door to see the Imperial officer stepping in while out in the hall beyond stood a Stormtrooper along with a bound Zaylee. The officer opened the binders and held them out, a gesture that Kel was familiar with since his youth. Casually he placed his wrists within the binders which were then closed, but not locked, around his wrists. Kel looked down at the binders and then up to the officer who winked and then to Zaylee over his shoulder, who gave a slow, small nod to her crew mate. Kel nodded in return and played along, walking out of the cell and falling in line behind Zaylee as they walked to the last cell. The door opened to reveal Kay kneeling on the floor with her eyes closed and hands, held together by the binders, resting in her lap. After a moment her eyes opened and she rose to her feet in a single, smooth motion. "So you are the 'Jedi', hm?" the officer asked from behind his mustache as he stepped into the cell and looked her over. "You do not seem that impressive to me." he added and grasped the binders, lifting them up to inspect them. In the hallway Zaylee and Kel watched and met eyes with Kay, giving her a small nod as the officer unlocked, though did not remove the binders. The gesture caught Kay's attention who looked at the officer curiously, only to have her gaze met with a wink. "Now move along. We do not want to keep Inquisitor Cynis waiting." the officer said, leading the prisoners out of the brig, and collecting a box with their personal effects on the way, with the Stormtrooper following behind. 'Cynis...' Kay thought, feeling like she had heard the name long ago, but uncertain of where exactly.... Once in the turbolift the officer turned to the tree prisoners and dropped his calm, authoritative demeanor for a moment. "I am Captain Mar and we are breaking you out. I managed to get the medical supplies and things moved to my ship. With luck, we can make a clean escape and still get those meds to Finnare before they realize what happened." he explained quickly. "Sorry, but leaving in your ship would draw too much attention." he said to Zaylee with what seems to be sincere sympathy. "And do not worry, Hiroki here is one of us." he said, motioning to the Stormtrooper who nodded. "The rest are on board, prepping the ship. When the door opens, just follow me and keep acting like prisoners until we are safe on the ship." The turbolift doors open revealing the docking bay with the Endless Odyssey at the near side of the bay, the ship obviously of Mon Calamari design. Beyond the Odyssey, at the far side of the bay, sits an Imperial Customs Guardian Light Cruiser. At a steady pace the 'prisoners' are led across the bay in single file to the ramp of the bulky Imperial ship, a sharp contrast to the grace and smooth lines of Endless Odyssey. With a sigh and a heavy heart Zaylee looked back at her ship as she walked up the ramp, fearing she may never see her ship... her home... ever again. Imperial Customs Guardian-class light cruiser (stats in spoiler) Once on board Captain Mar opens the box and begins handing back the blasters and personal effects, allowing the items to be replaced with the removed binders. The last item he withdraws from the box is the lightsaber. He holds it in his hand, looking at it thoughtfully for a moment. "I wasn't sure I would ever see one of these again." he said as he handed the ancient weapon to Kay. "I served along side some Jedi in the Clone Wars, just so you know. I found the Emperor's story about the attempted coup rather hard to believe because of it." he added. After a short walk down the corridor they arrived at the bridge. It was larger than the Odyssey's, allowing for the load to be shared among several crew and had a cold, practical design common to Sienar Fleet Systems. Sitting at one of the consoles was another Imperial Officer, a much smaller, rather thin man looking to be no more than twenty years old. "The preflight check is complete, sir. We are ready to depart at your leisure." the young man said before he turned to look at the Captain and his guests. "Hello ladies, oh, and gentleman. Welcome aboard.If you would be so kind as to stay out of sight until we exit the bay, we should be on our way directly." he greeted as Captain Mar walked past and took his seat on the bridge. "Control, this is Customs Cruiser IC-532 requesting permission to depart." Captain Marr announced into the comm. "Uhhh.. IC-532, we do not seem to have you listed for departure at the moment." a voice replied. "We are on a goodwill mission to Finnare. You can check with the Commander." Captain Mar calmly replied. "Hold IC-532." the voice stated. With the comm off, Captain Mar spoke over his shoulder, "I convinced the Commander that having the Empire deliver the medications would help with goodwill in the sector. He was going to come along to do so personally, but I suggested that he be here to receive the Inquisitor and I could play a holo-message from him instead." "IC-532, you are cleared for departure." the voice finally answered, relieve the growing tension on the bridge. "Affirmative. IC-532 out." Captain Mar replied. The ship's engines hummed as it lifted from the deck and slowly drifted forward passing through the force field and into the space beyond.. "Wait IC-532. Didn't you load prisoners? Where are you taking them? IC-532, you are to return immediately." the voice commanded over the comm. "Looks like the caught on." the thin officer said. "Everybody grab a hold of something!" Captain Mar exclaimed and a moment later the ship took a hard dive and turned to skim the underbelly of frigate toward the engines. "They have no tractor beams to the rear, but the guard fighters are sure to be incoming. Angle the deflector shields double rear. And Captain Zanne, take the controls if you would while I calculate the jump to Finnare." Captain Mar directed as he moved over to the NavComputer. "Even if we make the the jump to hyperspace, they will expect us to be heading to Finnare. So if we are going to deliver these medical supplies, then we need to beat them there and we might have to fight our way out." the thin officer said as he raised and adjusted the shields. "So the rest of you get to the laser cannons. There are two forward and two turrets. TIEs should be incoming any minute now.." Captain Mar explained.