Several hours ago.
What happened next was a blue. Doc had a vague sense of movement at each end of the alleyway, and he turned, pulled out his rifle, flicked to automatic fire, aimed and fired all in one swift motion. At the same time, Jax ignited his lightsabre and swung it in great sweeping arcs, to take blaster bolts out of the air and bat them back to their original owners. Neither aimed, they simply laid down fire to keep their attacker's heads down until they managed to jump into the speeder and use its sides for cover. Doc, ever the consummate proffesional, slid far down so that just the top of his head peaked over, so that he could give some semblance of aim to his technique, but Jax was far more reckless He stood in his seat, swinging his saffron blade in dazzling displays, screaming at the top of his voice. 'Here I am! You want me? Take me!'
There was just the one dark uniformed scout who faced off against Doc, and he was able to wing her off hand with a hasty burst from his rifle, which caused the woman to back into her cover, which came in the form of a broken utility droid. Still, she laid her weapon on the droid's flat head and fired blindly. Ducking his head down now and again, he saw her drop something out in the open, and she reached out with her wounded hand to retrieve it. As she did, he took careful aim and, just as she picked it up, he shot her in the shoulder. She let out a loud howl and crumpled to the floor. Still, she was not dead. She heard her yell into the device - a comm unit, he realised. 'There's two of 'em! One Duros and one human! The human is-argh!' her words were cut off by a third shot, this one to her chest. Satisfied that she was, at last, dead, he did a quick scan of the alleyway behind her and, seeing there were no reinforcements, turned to help Jax.
Only to be nearly beheaded by Jax's wild blade. He cursed the small human for his stupidity and jumped out of the speeder to lay on the ground beside it. The remaining two scouts, there was no doubt about it. They stayed to their cover, and when they moved, they moved individually, with one staying put to give cover fire for the other. He guessed that they had military training, and judging by the accurate fire, a lot of it at that. As he watched, Jax took one out with a deflected blaster bolt. He was just about to suggest they advance, when more, a squad of four, appeared at the corner. As they reached their sole comrade, Jax cried, 'grenade!' and jumped off of the speeder, diving for cover. Doc only had time to throw up his arms protectively over his face before it went off. He was not greeted with heat of shrapnel, but a deafening screech and a deep throb nearby that left him dumbstruck. He felt a hand at his collar, and a whisper in his mind, telling him that it was Jax who had a hold of him. He felt himself being dragged backwards at speed, and he opened his eyes to see the new arrivals running forward, their mouths contorted - yelling, he surmised, though he couldn't hear them - wielding great curved halberds of the like he faced in the pirate cave.
Doc fumbled for his rifle and shot wildly at them. None hit, but it was enough to end their charge and sent them diving for cover. He felt his senses return to him enough to realise that he'd been hit with a concussive grenade, but Jax didn't stop until they had passed into a side alley, where he jumped to his feet and, together, they dashed off into the maze of warrens that made up the cities of Sullust.
There was no sign of pursuit, but neither felt safe in stopping until a kilometre fell to their feet. They hunkered down in an alcove on a main through-way, eyes scanning the passer's-by for suspicious behaviour. Apart from odd looks directed at them, there was nothing. As they struggled for breath, Jax turned to Doc and said, 'I don't want to appear like a coward, running to save his skin, but we've got to run and save our skins. They were scouts, and plenty of them, so that must mean there's a larger force on the way. This is too big for just us. We need to go and alert the nearest Republic task force.'
Doc nodded in agreement. 'And what's worse is that they know who to look for. I heard one of them get a transmission out - albeit it was scarce on details. The main force could already be here, or if not, then very close by. I doubt there are many dashing Duros and Human duos here, we'd be easy to spot.'
Jax let out a string of curses at that news. 'What about your old pirate buddy? Can he get us transport?' he referred to the old pirate that Doc had sold the old pirate ship to.
'Who, Mysarrak? No, I don't think it would be a good idea to get him involved. He doesn't like having his place shot to pieces. But,' he conceded, 'maybe if we get into a really tight spot-'
'We're in a tight spot now!'
'-then he'll be our fallback plan.'
Jax snarled, ground his teeth and looked round. 'All right. Let's head to the spaceport. We can find a ride in one of the cantinas there.'
Doc walked out from the nook first, acting as if he were just another run-down civillian on a work break. Jax waited for him to move twenty paces away, and then followed. They made their way in the general direction of the space port. It was slow going, taking hours at their estimation, as the way there required that they walk near to the scene of their earlier action. The place was crawling with police and militia types, who cordoned off the area and were interviewing witnesses. There was no sign of their attackers, but that didn't mean the weren't in the area.
They passed without incident and walked on for a few hundred metres, and Doc scratched behind his right ear - the sign to switch on comms. Jax surreptitiously took two small clips from his belt and put one to his lapel and the other to his ear, which pinged welcomingly. 'We're coming up to the spaceport. We need to stop someone for directions.'
'Agreed.' Jax replied, and picked up his pace to walk directly behind his companion. He should have stayed further away, but it was a dangerous moment, and he couldn't trust that he'd be able to intercept a close quarters attack in time. Doc stopped one man who looked as if he knew where he was going and struck up a conversation as Jax scanned the immediate vicinity.
After a minute, he heard Doc give his thanks and farewells and they went on their way. 'There's a Cantina nearby. Full of spacers, which sounds promising. It's called Fistful Of Credits.'
'I liked that holofilm.' Jax commented. 'Though the romance dialogue could have been done better. Wooden acting...'
Doc whacked him about the head. 'Don't you ever say that about Greego Sluca ever again. That Pantoran is the best director in the galaxy!'
Jax rubbed his head, grinning, as they walked on, and it was then, when they turned into an empty side path, that the scouts made their move. The first they knew of it, was when there were two great explosions of light, sound and dust right in front of them, and the sound of blaster fire to act as an encore. They both dropped and rolled away, purely on instinct. Doc pulled out his blaster rifle and fired blind. Jax went to stand up, but was knocked to the ground by some unknown object that hit him in the back. He let out a yelp, more from surprise than pain, and flung his arm out to send a blast of Force energy. He heard, rather than saw, an attacker fly through the air to land with a thump into the wall. He jumped to his feet and pulled his lightsabre out, but it was knocked from his grasp by another attacker.
Focusing the Force to clear his vision and his mind, he saw Doc about to be set upon by two of the same uniformed scouts wielding deadly looking knives. He flung his arm out again, and the were thrown backwards, and when Doc realised what had happened, he turned and shot them dead as they lay on the ground. For his actions, Jax was hit by the butt-end of a halberd in the stomach, but he recovered quickly enough to block the next hit, and twisted his arm around the wooden shaft and yanked it out of his attacker's hands. He twisted and swung it in a scything arc to decapitate a surprised looking commander, but he didn't stop to relish the small victory. He raised the weapon over his head and threw it at one of the snipers, and the blade sunk to the hilt into his chest. That left just the one scout left, and he was in no mood for running, but, luckily, he wasn't armed, either. Jax slammed him into the wall with the Force, and held him there. He pulled out his short sword as he and Doc approached him.
He was a curious creature. Of a species he was only vaguely familiar with. Red-skinned, horned, with a devilish appearance, his eyes bulged frantically, which made him have an almost berserk appearance. His uniform, if it could be called that, was black and grey and designed to look like any old spacer suit, though he recognised light armour -strong enough to deflect glancing blows and weak shots, but not enough to stop a flying halberd - protecting his vital organs, cammo webbing, with a circular insignia of a similar type he'd seen before, above a group of five hash marks, along with one white dot. There were strange gadgets about his belt, but these he paid no attention to.
'How many more of you are there?' he asked.
'Thousands. We will cover this land with our armies and cool these volcanoes with blood spilt from our victims.'
'Who are you?' Doc enquired politely.
'I am a Knight of Pain. Know this, for you will tremble with fear at its utterance, and when we next come for you, you will give up your weapons and ask for a quick death.'
'That doesn't sound like me at all, mate.'
'Indeed.' piped up Doc. 'He's far too fond of himself for that.
'How is that helping, Doc?'
'Help?' Doc affected a confused look. 'I wasn't aware I had to help.' he turned to their captive. 'How may I help you?'
The Pain scout looked at him incredulously. 'Kill him!' he implored, nodding at Jax.
'Will do.' he turned to Jax and asked politely, 'may I borrow your sword?'
'Certainly.' said Jax, and handed over the weapon. Doc hefted the weapon and, instead of attacking Jax, lunged the weapon into the Pain scout's throat.
'Well, he wasn't being helpful, at any rate...'
Jax retrieved his lightsabre and they both concealed their weapons, and made their way at a dash to the Cantina.
The Fistul of Credits was a peculiar Cantina, to say the least. Filled with spacers of all shape and sizes, it looked like a convention for the galaxy's worst dressed sentients. Jac and Doc walked on nonchalantly, keeping a close eye on the port authorities who were doing sweeps of the area. 'Okay,' said Jax, 'now we just have to find a spacer who looks swarthy, menacing, yet approachable and with nice eyes.'
'Oh, the place is full of them. Take your pick.' said Doc sarcastically.
'Thanks for your permission.' said Jax as he scanned the room, making sure to keep a low profile.
Doc felt an odd buzzing in the back of his mind, and instantly he clamped his brain shut, not allowing anyone to read his mind. He looked around furtively, suddenly aware that they were being watched.
'What's wrong with you? You're acting like Kad Vahzen's on your tail.' said Jax, citing the name of the notorious Duros serial killer who was active just a few years ago, before disappearing. It was not a name to remind any Duros of, and Doc cast his most hate-filled gaze on his friend, and was satisfied to see a shadow of fear cross his features.
'Someone just tried to probe my mind. We're being watched.' Doc said in a low voice, just low enough so that only Jax would hear, keeping his mouth from moving too much.
Jax stiffened. 'Okay.' he said flatly. 'I will go to the bar, to look for some company.' he said, using one of the coded phrases they had worked out on a previous mission. He suited actions to words, and made his way to the bar.
I am a Star Wars fan. That doesn't mean that I hate or love Jar Jar. That doesn't mean I hate or love Lucas, or agree or disagree 100% with him. That doesn't mean I prefer the PT over the OT, or vice versa. That doesn't mean I hate the EU, or even love all of it. These are not prerequisites. Being a man is not a prerequisite. Being a geek is not a prerequisite. The only prerequisite is that I love something about Star Wars. I am a Star Wars fan.
Life is like the Force - Luke Skywalker, Crucible. Damn straight I am.