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 Not much of a Damsel, as it turns out.

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Arkayeus

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PostSubject: Not much of a Damsel, as it turns out.   Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:55 pm

Lt. Arkayeus Morlev and the rest of his squad sat entrenched in the entrance of the transit building. They were trapped under fire from a troop of Imperials as well as two snipers located on a distant roof. Ark was supposed to lead this small group into the nearby factory and seize it; the Imperials had been making it difficult to maneuver this part of the city on Correllia, and Ark's superiors chose this building as the best tactical choice as a fort of sorts to handle the Imperials and hopefully improve Republic control of this sector. Ark had to wonder though, if it was such a tactical advantage, why hadn't the Imperials jumped on it first? He didn't have time to contemplate the details though, his men were waiting for orders.

"Diggs!" He called to the man at the back of the pack, the only sniper on the team, "I need you to get a scope on those rooftop snipers 2 'o clock, we'll keep the ground troops busy." His comrade gave a curt nod before he addressed the rest of the squad, "Move forward!" He gave the hand signal, and one by one his men went from one spot of cover to another, closer to the enemy soldiers outside. Ark gave cover fire to each of his squadmates, following closely behind them until they were in a better position to fire on the soldiers- meanwhile 'Diggs' had skirted around to the outside of the building and out of sight.

After laying down some more fire with his blaster canon, he was suddenly hit in the shoulder by a sniper, though it only grazed the armor and he knew right off the bat it hadn't dug into skin. It was enough of a warning shot for him to duck down behind cover again just in case the imp snipers somehow got better at aiming. Amidst all the action, he almost forgot to check for Ana's position. She'd been sent by the jedi order to ensure this mission's success and specifically she was chosen because she had worked with this squad before many times. Ana was of course on a whole different level of rank, so Ark couldn't give her orders, if anything it was the opposite. And he knew she could take care of herself, and, being a jedi she always seemed to cut down more soldiers in their path than the whole squad could do combined. "You alright there, jedi?" He gave her one of his cheeky grins, knowing full well that formalities were unnecessary between them so instead he used it as a tease.

He glanced back at the fight just in time to see one of the snipers on the roof fall back and out of sight from what he could only assume was from a shot Diggs fired. "Alright, give 'em everything you got!" He shouted to everyone and they laid fire on the Imperial troop all at once. Many of the Imperials ducked back into cover, or else were shot down on the spot. The remaining enemies were pinned down, the tables having been turned as the second sniper then fell.
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Anashaan

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PostSubject: Re: Not much of a Damsel, as it turns out.   Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:17 am

Lately more often than not Anashaan found herself working with Arkayeus and the squad he commanded. She was more than happy to follow the jedi councils orders, as working with Ark meant more time she got to spend with him. Spending time on a date, however, was different than spending it huddled behind the ruined walls of a transit building on Corellia.

That's where she found herself now, watching as the soldiers methodically moved from one spot of cover to the next. She was ready to assist in any way she could, and when she saw a stray bullet fly by Ark's shoulder she readied herself to heal him with the force if needed. He merely shrugged it off though, and kept his focus on the fight. When his whole team had made it to a safe location within firing distance of the Imps he looked back to her, a familiar grin on his face. She smiled in return, almost forgetting the war ravaged city around them.

She waited until Ark's team had taken out most of the Imperials, and those that remained were huddled behind their own cover. Her eyes drifted to the rooftops above them as the second sniper fell back as well, leaving the path ahead marginally safer. The shooting slowed to a standstill, both sides relying on the ruined city to provide cover, but at the same time making it near impossible to get a shot out. Ana took this as her cue; if they were to get past this group of Imps they needed to get them out in the open.

Ark wouldn't approve of what she had in mind – if he had been able to give her orders she was afraid she would never leave the safety of the Republic base. Luckily for her she was the only jedi here and thus the only one who could tell her what to do. She was considerate of Ark's orders, of course, and they were endearing in a way, but she could fight, and right now that's what the team needed.

So with a look to Ark that said 'be right back' she stepped out of cover as simply as if she were stepping into a peaceful city street. Her lightsaber remained unactivated at her side as she instead channeled the force around her in a protective barrier that shimmered the air like waves of heat. She calmly walked through the broken transit rails until she was near enough to the enemy to clearly see them popping their heads out of cover, taking aim and shooting straight at her. Ana ignored the blaster shoots that hissed and ricocheted off the barrier, trusting in her control of the force to keep her safe.

With the Imps focusing on their new target, a jedi no less, Ark's squad again had the opening they needed. Soon shots were being fired from both in front of and behind her, and she added her own waves of concentrated force to the mix.

When the last of the Imps went down Ana let her barrier fade, her shoulders slouching and breath coming in short huffs as she did. It had taken a lot of effort to keep the barrier strong, and to keep it up for so long. She didn't feel it until now, and all she longed to do was sit down and breathe for a minute. Knowing she wouldn't get the chance, she instead turned back to the squad and gave Ark a weak smile.

“All clear, Lieutenant.”
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Arkayeus

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PostSubject: Re: Not much of a Damsel, as it turns out.   Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:00 pm

Ark continued to lay down suppressive fire on the imperial soldiers and ducked back down behind cover when he needed to. That was, until, Ana decided to walk straight out into the cross-hairs of the enemy. If he had stopped to think he would have observed the blaster fire seeming to bounce off an invisible bubble around her. Instead however, he immediately broke cover and slowly walked after her, firing off his cannon at whichever imperials dared poke their heads out.

Ark was known for his single-minded focus on every mission he was sent on. Before Ana, there was little that could distract him from the task at hand. He always made the lives of his soldiers a priority, but it never disrupted the mission- Ana was different. The thought of her getting hurt made him panic. It made him reckless.

His comrades seemed to pick up on his reaction, cause soon they were firing pretty aggressive as well to back both him and Ana up. Ark was under little fire though, despite being out in the open; they all seemed pretty focused on Ana, which terrified the good Lieutenant. Once all the soldiers had fallen, Ana seemed to stop whatever was preventing the blaster fire from harming her, and his stiff arms finally relaxed, his gun slowly lowering.

The mere stress had him catching his breath, and he was quick to notice Ana was worn out as well. Whatever she did took a lot out of her as well, even if she tried to cover it up with a quip. Ark gave her a stern look in response, but he didn't have time to discuss the matter now. With the danger gone, his men came out of cover to join him and Ana, and soon after Diggs found his way back to them as well.

"Well, let's keep moving." Ark glanced around the city streets, concerned that the area wouldn't stay quiet for long. He gave Ana another concerned glance, telling himself that they would take a short rest once they found a more defensible position. He wasn't sure how much time they could take for her, but he knew the warehouse wasn't far off from here. He gave a curt nod to his men and motioned them forward, and they scouted out the path forward whilst he trailed closely behind with his heavy weapon. "Coming Ana?" He called out from over his shoulder.
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Anashaan

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PostSubject: Re: Not much of a Damsel, as it turns out.   Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:17 am

Ana hadn't noticed that Ark was so close behind her until she turned. As he motioned it was safe for his men to exit cover she couldn't help but bite her lower lip in frustration. He should have been back there too. He didn't have as much protection as she did, despite his heavy armor. What was he thinking following her straight into blaster fire? No, she knew what he was thinking, or rather, not thinking. It happened more often than she liked – he would completely switch modes, going from steadfast leader to lovesick protector the moment Ana was in any sort of danger. While endearing, she knew it was a problem. He needed to focus on his men and his mission. She could take care of herself.

It was in his eyes when he looked at her, too. That 'this isn't over' stare. She sighed, gave him the slightest of nods. Maybe this time when she told him she hadn't been in any danger, not really, he would listen.

“I'll be right there,” she answered as Ark and his men headed further into the war ravaged city. She might be used to working with Falcon Squad but she was still no where near as trained as they were. They could fight and march for hours if needed; she got tired much faster. She followed behind slowly, letting her breathing return to its normal steady pace. The rubble and dirt on the ground crunched under her boots and she occasionally gathered up her skirt to avoid the muddy puddles that peppered the street.

Someone came up behind her, their footsteps crunching in time with hers.  “Nice job, Ana. Wish I could learn that. It would make this whole thing a lot easier, huh?”

“Thank you.” She turned her head to see Phrixian slowing to match her pace. The golden skinned Mirialan had a boyish charm to him, and indeed he was the youngest on the team. Ana had learned not to underestimate him when she saw how many hits he could take without flinching. “You don't need the Force, Phrix. You're tough enough as it is.”

Phrixian gave her a wide grin, his youth showing in his eyes. “You better go catch up with Laurelle,” Ana said. “If something happens you know Ark likes you up in front.” So he can keep an eye on you.

Ana hastened her own pace as the boy bounded away, and she wondered where in the galaxy he got so much energy from. Eventually she caught up with Ark, and they continued on their way through the city until reaching their destination.

The target building looming in front of them, walls secure and holding strong. It was the only thing on the block that looked at all defendable, and was at least two stories taller than the other smoking structures. Everything around them was quiet and clear – the peace seemed out of place. As she ran her eyes up and over the factory's stone walls Ana felt an icy prick on the back of her neck. Something felt wrong here. It was likely she was just exhausted, and dirty, and thirsty. But if not...

“Ark,” she started, gripping his hand without thinking. “Be careful in there.”
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Arkayeus

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PostSubject: Re: Not much of a Damsel, as it turns out.   Mon May 02, 2016 10:40 pm

The squad continued to make their way towards the mission location, with Gray, a headstrong Rattataki woman, at the front and ready to alert the party at the first sign of trouble. They had to cross a large open space before reaching an alleyway, and yet they hadn't run across anymore Imperial troops. Ark knew better than to be relieved by such news. As this was an Imperial controlled sector, it was more likely that the enemy had something rotten planned for them.

As they reached the abandoned factory, Ark was stopped as Ana touched his hand, warning him about what could lie in wait. So she had felt the same nagging feeling he had, it turned out; he was sure his squad was feeling pretty anxious as well. Though seeing as it was Ana, a full-fledged jedi, voicing the concern, Ark knew to take her seriously, especially since she rarely expressed worry during a mission. She normally went through these battles with stunning confidence, so whatever lay in wait in that building, it was worse than any ambush Ark could imagine.

He gave Ana a curt nod, replying to her quietly at first, "Always," before addressing the rest of the squad, "Diggs, Laurelle, take front. Let's go in quietly, nice and easy." He followed the command with a gesture towards the door, and while his men lined up to enter the building, he threw his assault cannon onto his back. Again, he would remain at the rear, as his equipment made it difficult to sneak around. If this was a direct fight, of course he would be front and center laying down fire, but for now this was the smartest strategy to take the factory. They still needed to scope it out after all.

Diggs took the lead as directed with Laurelle as his backup. They quietly made their way down the hall until it opened up into a large room. Diggs positioned himself low behind a crate and aimed his sights around the room. A few muffled shots were fired, and Laurelle gave the all clear for the squad to move forward. As they entered the room, Ark approached the fallen enemies to examine them. "So, the Imperials are situated here," He muttered quietly to himself. Would have been nice if his superiors had that vital piece of intel to offer him beforehand. No matter, they were here now and they had to see the mission through. He looked at Ana for a brief moment, and then scanned the faces of his squad-mates.

"Phrix," Ark finally spoke again, and the young ginger haired boy looked up, "I need you to get word back to headquarters, they're going to need to send a lot more men to hold this place once we've secured it."
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Anashaan

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PostSubject: Re: Not much of a Damsel, as it turns out.   Tue May 03, 2016 10:36 am

Ark's whispered reassurance did little to quell Ana's worry. He was always careful, that much was true. But up against who knew what she couldn't help but think even his most cautious plans could easily go awry. If they did she was there to protect him, and that small fact helped more than all the words he could have said.

His hand let go of hers as he moved forward to speak to his squad. She followed close behind as they ventured into the building, keeping her mind strained for any sign of what was amiss. She was no expert at reaching out with the Force, like Bert. He would have pinpointed the disturbance before they even reached the factory, before they even left the base. She would have to depend on what little skill she had, and unfortunately it took up nearly all of her concentration. She didn't even notice when Ark sent Diggs and Laurelle ahead to clear out the first room, and only raised her head when she heard Phrix's cheery voice.

“You got it, sir!” The boy gave a quick salute then raced for the door, moving surprisingly fast for how much armor he wore. She realized then that there had been blaster fire not more than a minute ago, confirming her suspicions that something was wrong here. Ark walked farther into the open room to examine the bodies that had been shot down by Diggs and Laurelle, and Ana caught sigh of the Imperial insignia on their armor.

It should have been obvious, really. If Ark's commanding officers thought this factory was a good place for a base then their enemy must have thought the same. They were just as clever and determined as the Republic to win the war on this planet. The knowledge that they were not alone in the building should have been enough to stop the tingling sensation on the back of neck, but instead Ana only felt more unsettled.

They crept deeper into the building, Ark's soldiers alert and ready. When they reached a central room they stopped dead in the their tracks at the sight of a waiting group of Imperials. Standing among them was a robed and hooded figure, the blur of a lightsaber hanging at their side.

That was what had been keeping Ana on edge. The presence of a sith, lurking and waiting.

Even from across the room Ana could tell the sith was staring right at her. They pulled back their hood, revealing long, dark hair and a deadly grin. The woman raised her hand, motioning for the soldiers to wait for her signal to act. Then she looked at Ark, who was clearly in charge of the operation.

“You really shouldn't flaunt your jedi, you know. It makes it easy to find her. And to take her away.”

Before she could counter the sith's words or prepare a barrier Ana felt all the power of the dark side rush up around her. Her slight body was lifted from the ground as easily as a feather in the breeze, her arms flailing to reach out for anything to grab, to hold on it. There was nothing but air, and within the span of a breath she was flung across the room with more force than she even she could have mustered.

She slammed into the far wall of a room branching off from where Falcon Squad still stood, now busy with the sudden blaster fire of their enemies. The impact left her dazed, the pain radiating all through her body causing her vision to blur around the edges. The bones in her right arm crunched and broke when they hit the wall, her ankle twisting as she slumped to the floor.

Through the pain she heard a splintering and a crash. Groaning, she lifted her head up and saw the sith standing in front of the only exit of the room, now broken and barricaded. The sounds of battle raging from the other side were muffled, whether by the wall of debris or her fast slipping consciousness she didn't know.
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PostSubject: Re: Not much of a Damsel, as it turns out.   Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:26 pm

As the squad moved further into the building, quietly, they were all alert and ready. No matter how Ark framed it they were now beyong the scope of the mission. There was a reason none of them protested and Arkayeus didn't have to provide some inspiring speech for the squad; they were a specialized task force, trained for worse situations than this one. Sure, they had to be outnumbered infiltrating the enemy base, but Ark had faith in each and every one of the soliders on his squad.

Ark stopped when they entered the central room and a squad of Imperial soldiers were there to greet them- along with a Sith. He instinctively looked to Ana after the Sith spoke and he could do nothing more than watch as she flew across the room. He could hear the impact as she landed in the other room, even from here.

"Ana!" He took a step forward to go after her, but was met with blaster fire instead. Diggs grabbed him by the shoulder and yanked him into nearby cover. Though from his position he could still see the Sith woman as she turned and walked away in the direction Ana had disappeared to. "Dammit."

Fighting off these soldiers carefully would take too much time if they wanted to go after Ana. Ark wouldn't waste a second when he had to rescue her. "Gray!" He gave his pale skinned friend a hard look, "It's time to make some noise!" The rattataki woman nodded and smirked before she withdrew a handful of grenades and chucked it at the enemy soldiers. In the same moment, Ark stood from cover and with blaster fire, he started pelting every enemy that popped out to flee the pending explosion. He cut down at least half of the enemy squad just before the explosion was set off.

With Ark out in the open, the remaining Imperials tried to get a shot on him, but the rest of his squad retaliated; Diggs even got a headshot on one of them with his blaster ridle. Ark continued to spray the area with his assault canon, knowing he was exposed while at the same time, knowing it would give his squad the openings they needed to end this fight quickly. His sole focus was on reaching Ana, and it put the rest of his team on edge as they tried their best to cover him.
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PostSubject: Re: Not much of a Damsel, as it turns out.   Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:15 pm

The sound of an explosion roused Ana from the darkness that almost succeeded in enveloping her.  It was faint, much like the blaster fire that followed. It was enough, however, to remind her of the danger she was in. She couldn't let herself slip into that warm, welcoming black. If she did, she might never wake up.

So she pushed herself up, away from the grime of the factory floor. When she tried to stand her left ankle buckled under the weight and she stumbled, catching herself only before she hit the floor once again. She balanced herself on her good ankle, careful not to take a step forward or else repeat her fall.

The sith watched her struggle, saying nothing. She didn't need to. It was obvious, even to the usually over confident Ana, that she was out matched. Even had she not been injured and cut off from her team, she would have been outmatched. The sheer amount of power it took to launch Ana across the factory's main room and into this one was incredible. The sith didn't even break a sweat from it.

Ana's mind raced, trying to come up with a way out of the room. The door was blocked, and she had little hope of someone coming to her rescue. Ark would want to, of course. Her heart dropped thinking of him on the other side of the door, knowing she was in danger. She hoped he didn't do anything reckless in his panic, though part of her knew that was too much to hope for.

She was on her own. That was ok. She could handle it. Somehow. She wasn't some damsel that needed rescuing. She was a jedi.

“I've heard a lot about you,” the hooded woman spoke, her voice velvet and smooth. “Pretty little jedi, daughter of an important senator and military leader. You're quite valuable, aren't you?”

Ana smiled but said nothing. Her parents always worried this day would come. She had never been too concerned, though in retrospect, she should have been. She was a good target for the enemy. It had taken a while, but they had finally caught up with her.

“I heard you were a talkative one. What's the matter? All choked up?”

It felt like there were hands around her neck, strangling her with their tightly gripping fingers. She tried to breathe but couldn't get any air; the best she could do was cry out in small, gasping sobs. How long it went on she didn't know – long enough that stars bloomed and died in her vision, but not so long that she passed out.

When she could finally breathe again she wasted no time. She reached out with the force and pulled one of the fallen beams blockading the door and flung it full force at the sith. She raised a hand and stopped it from halfway across the room, diverting its course like it was nothing more than a troublesome bug. Undeterred, Ana kept up the onslaught, not caring that every piece of debris missed it's target.

The woman wasn't their target, anyway. There was no real target. Ana was only trying to unblock the door, using the constant attack as a distraction from what she was doing. Light was beginning to shine in from the gaps in the barricade when a large chunk of concrete that Ana was moving managed to slip past the sith's defense and slam into her, throwing her to the floor.
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