By Way of Introduction

TAC

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Mundane.

More and more, the young woman had found that life was very boring. Her acting career could be interesting sometimes, she supposed, but only because of the vastly diverse people she met and places she was able to see. Other than it did not interest her. The money was nice, of course, as it allowed travel and a life of leisure, but there were other ways to come about quite a few credits.

Excitement.

That was what the woman wanted. A constant torrent of new ideas, peoples, and places. Nekala-Mar wanted to travel the galaxy, see all that there was to see, and enjoy the fruitfulness of youth while it lasted. In such a war torn universe, there was no telling how long her life might last, and even if it did how the galaxy around her might look.

She wanted to get out.

Be a part of the galaxy.

And so she did! As her filming gigs took the rising star around the galaxy, she began to build up contacts and friends- even people who owed her a few favors. It was a profitable situation to be in- and with her grace and charisma, she used the most of it. For the last few weeks she had been on teams helping to broker deals and buy and sell information, just to get into the game. Her fame had helped her, and even gotten her a few deals others wouldn't have been able to snag being only half-heartily committed and so new.

But the dinner parties. These were the most interesting part of the job so far. So many different, interesting people coming together over some seemingly simple cocktails. But everyone in attendance this was far from a simple cocktail party. Business deals- both legal and otherwise- were being discussed and resolved over a quite, dim-lighted reception. Nekala loved it. This was her element. There was more than that- the social event that attracted many rich and famous individuals- but there were so many different layers to it.

The lithe twenty-two year old woman was dressed in a fashionable, soft white dress. The party today was sponsored by three different companies, all looking for the best and brightest in different areas to help them with a few projects. Some people were here just because they were important, however- as it was an important host of people here. An interesting mix of priorities, for sure.

Nekala-Mar, responding for the most part to Claire DeTreece at parties like this, was standing at a taller table with a man she had just met. An interesting old bacta baron, they had crossed paths before and were "catching up." Nekala knew the man just liked to look at her, but she didn't mind. She was representing the Schmidts and Babuckta Corporation today, one of her many clients. They specialized in heavy mining contacts, which was one of the projects that were being sought out. The Bacta Baron wasn't looking for any specific help today, though, so after engaging in appropriately pleasant conversation she moved away and scanned the crowd.

"Interesting people," she muttered to herself, looking around a the diverse partiers.
 

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The DSC Daedalus.

The safest place in the galaxy right now if you asked the Prime Executive of the Retrade. Refugees coming in were low in numbers, unlike other systems, which allowed the massive space station to operate pretty much normally. Aside of course from those incidents a few months back. Having been a part of the Sector 339 War here on the Daedalus and helped solve the issue Yuri had earned a few favors. But he was not, strictly speaking, here because of the things he did that day. No, he was here as the owner of an up and coming company that was doing very well for itself.

SHI, Sharp Heavy Industries, produced and sold vehicles, speeders and swoops, and with production facilities in various corners of the galaxy it had a solid network to work with. Of course there was more to the muscular human that looked like a super hero in a movie. The man was a professional fighter, a gladiator, one of top ranked fighters in the galaxy and in the opinion of quite a few people he may very well be the top guy. Undefeated in forever the man had collected honors and medals, victories and accolades all over the galaxy. Having helped fight back the Rakghoul plague on the Chiss capitol of Csilla, having done the Kessel Run and much much more Yuri was here on business.

Being in charge of the Ona'bak Retrade Yuri was here today to seal a few deals and mingle with the rich and powerful. Politicians, or their lackeys, and information brokers were everywhere. Few people came here for the drinks, and as he scanned the crowd from his position Yuri noted that not all people were old, mean, and covered in grease. There was a woman, about his age, that stood out. She was just different than these fake people...

And as Yuri watched the crowd and saw that the person he was waiting for was still missing, he figured it was time to mingle some. God, he didn't want to be here right now. He'd much rather just whine down and relax a few more days before going back to work. But the Underlords and the Council insisted he get back to work as soon as possible and here he was. Brokering deals and establishing connections for the future...

His appearance didn't lack. An expensive watch, a TranspariPad, black suit pants, black shoes, black shirt and nothing else really. Just his black winter coat in the back and a speeder outside with a driver waiting to take him wherever he needed to go...
 
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TAC

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Talk about interesting people.

Nekala was an honest girl. At first, it was a glance. But the handsome man deserved a double take, which was what attracted him to her attention. When he walked in, heads turned. Many of the men and women in the room were too sure of themselves to hold the glance though, so they looked away, pretending they had never seen the built man walk in.

Two sorts of people held the stares, though. There were those like Nekala, who were impressed by the man. He looked successful, tough, and the the Cordu-Ji could see an unmistakable gleam in his eye as he surveyed the room. The gleam of intelligence. The double take was thus positive for the young woman two-fold: she got to look at him, and she realized this was a man worth talking to. Quickly enough, however, she realized that some of the most powerful individuals held their eyes on this young man as well.

The second group of people, then, were those that realized exactly who had walked into the room. She turned to the bartender behind her as conversation quickly filled the room again. It hadn't been a scene, persay, all conversation hadn't stopped, but there was a noticeable difference.

"Who is that man?" she asked the Zeltron bartender. The man grinned at the beautiful young lady. "Yuri Sharp, Miss." He said it as if the name should mean something, and while it didn't, she took note of it. Local hero, perhaps? No, he wouldn't be at a meeting like this, and he certainly wouldn't have turned heads like he did. The woman turned back around, the glass in her hand. When she faced him again, their eyes met, as he had been looking in her direction. The young woman's left eyebrow raised as she a small smile crossed her lips. She would soon fine out exactly who this Mr. Sharp was.
 

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The Zetrlon behind Nekala-Mar whipped a glass as he looked at the beautiful young woman. He knew of Yuri Sharp, as he had friends who were super in to this whole fighting thing that was broadcasted a few months ago, before the Battle of Coruscant. He didn't watch it, but he did see some highlights from it. Punches, kicks, sweat and blood. Knockouts and commentators going crazy. Two figures stood out from that night. A man with long dreads who was a very technical boxed who also knew how to submit people and actually submitted a Sith that night by way of guillotine choke.

And the other guy? Well he had just walked in through the door. He still remembered the comments of the broadcasters.

"You wanna talk about scary dudes? Special-forces squadron commander during the outbreak of the Rakghoul plague in Chiss space."​

A decorated soldier it seemed. And his appearance that night? Nothing short of vicious either. The fastest stoppage of the event, and just a devastation of another tough fighter. Add to that that the man seemed like a nice guy actually. After the fight was over he helped the other guy up and they hugged in a show of sportsmanship. Thinking about it the Zeltron wondered if perhaps the holostar that was Claire knew this about him. The Corellian sector was abuzz with his images lately for other reasons as well. Having helped the somewhat struggling economy there by opening up a giant production facility he was a known hero, you could say, in those parts...

Of course he was a long way away from Corellia and around here he was known for his other abilities and skills. As he looked around the place, admiring the decor apparently, and scouting who was here Yuri seemed to greet a few people by nodding in their direction. Of course the people he nodded to knew who he was working for. He worked for the Guildmaster of the Ona'bak Retrade, so by default he was the 2nd most powerful figure in that organization...

He certainly didn't try to intimidate others by being there, if they were intimidated it was just the way of things. The man had different matters on his mind, so he really just ordered a glass of water as an elderly mining baron passed him by and shook hands with him. "Thank you for your assistance in that personal matter, Mr. Sharp. Your help will not be forgotten." A polite nod and a curt smile were returned by the 23 year old that, probably, looked a little older. "You're most welcome sir. If you ever need my help again don't hesitate to call me."

The elder man nodded and with a satisfied smile he continued to walk towards his table. After all when your export business works as you want it to, you are thankful to the man who helped you fix a rather tedious problem. Yuri on the other hand just walked over to a little pond that had the air condition working and enjoyed his water. He wasn't in the mood to drink anything else at the moment so he simply passed the time by taking the occasional sip and observing everything and everyone around him. His thoughts? They were his own. Though he did note certain things about a certain someone.
 

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Tall, handsome, strong, mysterious, and well known.

The Zeltron spoke as if this man was a living legend, a god incarnate. Men did not earn those reputations easily, and Nekala had no doubt that this man was one of significant power and prestige. If she had been facing the bartender, she might have even noticed the facial expressions of the alien, which would have confirmed her assumptions about Mr. Sharp.

There was other confirmation for the woman to witness as she now casually surveyed the room. An old man, but a very particular old man. The Baron La Corsmos was famous for his success in the mining industry- cold, ruthless, and overwhelmingly successful. That was the sort of man to broker a deal with, and as he stopped to smile and exchange words with Mr. Sharp, Nekala knew that this was someone to reckon with.

More importantly, however, it occurred to her that if said Mr. Sharp could introduce her to the Baron La Corsmos, she might have a much better chance brokering a deal for Schmidts and Babuckta Corporation. While the party was exciting- certainly extravagant, with plenty of fascinating people- the woman had not forgotten why she was there today. As much as she enjoyed the work, she had to get the deal at the end of the deal, or she wouldn't be able to keep her job. She had a lot of money, and an amazing acting career, but this was where she wanted to be. And if handsome Mr. Sharp could get here there, she would do everything in her power to ensure that it happened.

Deciding it was high time to meet the man Nekala turned around, smiling at the bartender. "Thank you for the help, sir." Then, turning slowly, the Cordu-Ji started walking towards the small pool of water.

The woman walked up quietly, but elegantly. She did not look at Mr. Sharp, or anyone else, but instead looked into the pond. The air-conditioning made the water churn ever so slightly, so that her reflection was distorted. She could feel the soft, cool air move onto her as she admired the little piece, although the earthy decoration was somewhat out of place in the dark room. The decorators for the event had pursued an interesting idea- trying to capture several different habitats in the difference corners of the room. The corner where the bar was, on the other side of the event, was sleek and urban like, while this corner resembled the innards of a Naboo forest, complete with this little pond.

The woman turned, then, away from the churning water to look out into the crowd. She still didn't look at Yuri, but a small smile played across her lips. "Hello, Mr. Sharp," she said. She could have made some silly comment about the churning water and the people in front of them, how they were oddly similar, but had thought that a little silly. Instead she now turned to the man, extending her hand to shake his, "Claire DeTreece. A pleasure to meet you."
 

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Standing in front of the pond Yuri liked the image better as opposed to the one at the bar, nature over urban design. It relaxed him in a way and as time went on and the initial impact of his arrival passed. Certain people were now aware of his arrival but with the seconds passing the subtle tension left the sizable room and things continued their own course. The man was calm, he simply gave of that kind of energy as he stared of in to the pond and wondered about various things. Meanwhile the people continued to walk around, to mingle, drink, and try and do deals...

He on the other hand, did not.

Thinking about what Tsu was up to, what Renzo was up to, what Nemo was up to he smirked faintly. What the Reapers were doing and how the situation on Corellia looked. He thought about his past briefly and what kind of life he's lived so far, they were thoughts brought on by recent developments and conversations with people who were close to him. He wondered what the future held for him and if certain plans and ideas would really turn out to be true...

Does a boy who grew up on Nar Shaddaa really belong in a room like this, men and women who all their lives probably never held a blaster or a sword. He didn't think less of anyone, he just compared his life now to his life just a few years ago. He remembered the RKD syndicate, the Retrade, the Hutt, Raptos...

A short sigh and a bit of water however washed those thoughts away as the attractive woman from before seemed to join him, he could hardly miss it. Why she decided to do it however he had yet to find out. Turning around Yuri smiled politely and extended his hand in return, shaking Claire's hand and replying. "Oh? Likewise." Observing the petite actress with his brown eyes Yuri added.

"Enjoying the party?" He hardly seem like he was but who knew, maybe things would change. They certainly improved with Claire coming over...
 

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"I suppose so," the woman said. "There are certainly some very interesting people here." She looked over the man, a smile on her face. Following up what she said, she surveyed the crowd. Indeed, they were an interesting bunch, from the far reaches of civilization. She was a bit like Yuri- she had started humble, growing up on Tatooine. This was where she felt like she belonged, though, right in the heat of it. The party they were attending seemed quite simply, but in reality it was breathtakingly intricate. So much to learn, so much to gain.

"How about yourself?" she applied. It was obvious that there was more to both of their thoughts, but the conversation itself was simple, pleasant. Much like the room again seemed: not at all complex on the outside. Before the man could answer, though, the power cut. The band was startled, and one of the Bith players accidentally let out a squeak on his horn as the room gasped.

There was a few seconds of complete confusion before there was a click and a whirl, the emergency lighting coming on as the generator started. One of the party-goers went to the door, trying to open it. It was locked, and the man was quite vocal about it.

"I don't suppose you have anything to do with this, Mr. Sharp?" the woman asked, turning to the man. Her hand snuck under her skirt, pulling out a small hold-out blaster she never left home without. She kept it close to her body, not wanting to alarm anyone. It was a casual sneak, that perhaps Mr. Sharp had seen, but it wasn't pointed at him. Holding the blaster in the same hand as her clutch, it was ready for use but effectively hidden.
 

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The events of the past were forgotten for a while as a new person walked in to his life and by focusing on her the man allowed himself to forget about his troubles, worries and obligations, if only for a few minutes. Looking over the crowd briefly as Claire said that there were some interesting people here Yuri nodded slightly and looked at her once more. "I guess that's true." He of course didn't quite count himself in that bunch. While he certainly didn't consider himself dull, he wasn't sure how interesting of a person he was to other people.

He certainly lived an interesting life. "Yeah..." He supposed. Apart from the fact that he had no real friends here. No one to talk to. No one like Slick or Shyra to sit down with an talk with. For all of them it was just about credits, simply credits all the way. And while Yuri was aware of that he still wished he had friends around him... It made life more fun... But before he really had a chance to say any of those thoughts something happened.

The room went dark and for a few seconds there was silence. The sound a horn was the first thing everyone heard, then loud breathing, questions being posed and then the back up generator turned on and the light returned and as Yuri looked around in an attempt to figure out what was going on he overheard one man complaining about the entrance door being locked. And that right there alarmed the Retrade boss as that didn't mean anything good.

Looking for the back exit Yuri guessed that he might just be needing it and as he heard the woman ask if he had anything to do with this he answered, not noticing that she produced a weapon, out of thin air. Or did she hide that thing under her skirt? "I don't like these kinds of games... not this..." He felt that same feeling... As if his senses were heightened and that something wasn't quite right. The same feeling he would sometimes get when trouble wasn't far away.
 
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Nekala-Mar was a people person. She had recogonized that something was amiss with this Yuri Sharp- he was off, concerned about something, but the woman had no clue what. She did not really know anything about him, which made him both exciting and a bit dangerous to her. It paid well to know who you were dealing with, and all she had on this man was that he turned heads. That would have to be enough, for now.

Naturally, then, when the lights dimmed she looked to him. He as distracted from their current circumstances, well known, and something was happening. Although it was not a definite, she wouldn't be surprised if the two things were connected. As she replied to him, his voice kind of faded away, his body tensing and his eyes narrowing. Something in the back of Nekala's mind tweaked.

The front door, where most of them had entered, had automatically shut with the loss of power. It could be manually opened, but had been locked, presumably from the other side. That was basic procedure for any high tech door. There was a whirling from the door, and the people in front of it took a few steps back, the entire room looking silently at the door. Lost to most of the people in the room, there was a manual-only door hidden in shadow next to the pool where Yuri and Nekala stood. There was a little click from it only they would here, because of their proximity, that would be lost to the rest of the room. It was the door opening, ever so slightly.

There was as blast from the main door, but Nekala didn't know what it was. Her attention was on this escape exit, and as the blast rung out, it opened up. A pair of thugs rushed through, aiming their weapons and opening fire. Nekala grabbed Yuri and dragged him down, although he may have been on the way down already. The shots weren't aimed at them, but rather at blindness, as the invaders ran into the dimly lit room. They stopped right next to Yuri and Nekala, letting their eyes adjust as they now aimed into the crowd, no longer shooting. They were here for someone specific, and with the shots fired, they had obviously warned everyone to stop what they were doing.

All Nekala knew, though, was that she did not want to be there. Releasing Yuri, as she was between him and the two assailants, she jumped upward and in front of the first combatant. Her left arm brushed the blaster arm towards his friend, so the man she was fighting wouldn't be aiming into her stomach, and put her blaster and clutch into his neck. Pulling the trigger, the blaster bolt erupted into the man's neck, throwing him backwards. As they had been momentarily grappling, Nekala went forward with him, spilling onto the ground and towards the escape door. She dropped both her clutch and her pistol, however, in the fall and roll.

She scrabbled for her pistol as she recovered, keenly aware that the second combatant had cried in anguish and realized what she had done. Undoubtedly, he would be taking aim at the young woman as she attempted to recover.
 

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This would be easy. Just like in the holo-vids, they'd wave their guns around, do a little yelling, and in a matter of hours be very rich men. That was until one crazy shoota tried to play the hero and jumped him partner. He was never that fond of the guy, but if the boss saw what happened while he was on his way inside who knows what might happen. Attempting to cease control of the situation the masked man was about to yell out something and shoot Claire, for she wasn't his target. No their target was someone much more important, at least in their eyes.

But all the man would be able to do, before he felt a devastating force hit him in the right side of the head, was turn towards the young woman and attempt to take aim. What really happened was that Yuri after he got pulled down by Claire scrambled back to his feet and as he saw what unfolded realized what would happen next. In an instant he knew he'd do something, as the situation was already out of control, and he had no bloody weapons on him, except his hands and feet.

So with a vicious high kick Yuri's shin connected with the right temple of the masked man and all he did from there on out was fall to the ground like a rag doll, devoid of all sense. Quickly reaching him and taking his weapon Yuri just left him there. Looking at Claire he figured he owed her one, her actions really started all of this of and she did pull him out of harms way.

"I'm leaving before more of their friends arrive. You coming?" Surely when shots were fired more goons would show up and Yuri wasn't really dressed for the occasion. Besides he already had an airspeeder outside waiting for him, while his stuff, including his guns, were in the dresser. By then it was pretty much every man for himself as all the guests saw that the two were dead and ran for their lives.

If Claire wanted to stick around and fight more bad guys that was her choice but as evidenced by the two guys that were on the floor, they packed weapons and light-to-medium body armor and had the advantage in numbers, and there was hardly anything to gain from fighting them anyway. Of course that didn't mean that Yuri would hesitate to take any or all of them out if he got the chance to, or had to in order to make it out of there alive.

So as he stood up the muscular human, now armed with a blaster pistol, turned around and was about to start moving towards the back door, unless of course Claire had anything to add. Guess they were a team now?
 

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Nekala found herself in a surprising situation. Instead of being shot, or being able to grab her weapon and shoot the man herself, she retrieved her hold-out pistol to find that her new accomplice had already taken out the second man. Good thing, too, it would have been cutting it close. Nodding to the man, she stood up. Holstering her own weapon, she nagged the significantly larger pistol the man had armed himself with.

"I won't neglect a gentlemen's offer," she said in response to the invitation. She checked the blaster to ensure the power pack was functional, and with a smile, looked up to the man. "The party seems to be just about over." Before at least somewhat orderly, the guests were now showing much more urgency, moving towards the doors and trying to escape the room. The terrorists- or whatever they were- tried to stop them, but without shooting them, nothing could be done.

With nothing more to add, the humanoid turned to follow the curious Mr. Sharp out the back door. A team? Possibly. They didn't really know each other, and while he was interesting, Yuri hadn't exactly won over her confidence. He did, though, take out the second thug. So she owed him that. But as far as Nekala was concerned, they were associates- albeit, he was now one that she had been saved by.
 

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While not a true team, the two had formed an alliance. Certainly together the two had better chances at escaping this mess alive. With two goons on the floor behind them the two entered the back door and a long hall behind it. It wasn't the most comfortable walk but it certainly seemed smarter than to use the main entrance as gun shots could be heard in the distance. More goons...

That much Yuri was certain in. The gun shot Claire gave of probably invited them in. And unless their target was either Yuri or Claire the two might just make it out of here in one piece. Trying to move forward both quickly and quietly, Yuri could hear yelling through a wall. One man was issuing commands to keep searching, and for everyone to get down on the ground. Not good.

Who was their target? Or who were their targets? Was it someone in particular? Or everyone attending the event? Were they here to rob this place, rob the guests, kidnap someone or kill someone? They sure as hell weren't there to sip on cocktails and chit-chat. So as their minute long escape came to an end another small door was before them. One that gave of no noise of sights on inhabitants. Checking to see if Claire was behind him the Prime Executive wanted to shake his head, how'd he end up in this mess...

Slowly pressing the button to open the door Yuri and Claire saw a room filled with protocol and maintenance droids. More than a few looks like they belonged on a junk heap but a few looked like they were simply shut down. Turning towards his recent ally Yuri. "I don't suppose you know a thing or two about droids and computers?" Great, just when he needed T4 or his slicing gear he figured he'd look the part of an intergalactic crime lord, nice one Yuri. Nice one...

From there on out it was a single hall outside to the main entrance to the buildings, but there was no telling what was outside this door, whether there were no men waiting to shoot them or ten... So maybe a droid scout was the alternative, at least in Yuri's mind.
 

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Quickly, the two of them ran down the hall together. It was odd that this had happened here. With so many important persons, with so much money to be made, they would have undoubtedly had solid security. In fact, Nekala had noted that when she had entered. THe security presence had been formidible, quite noticable....

But now, she realized as she started connecting the dots, that was just it. The security officers were dressed exactly as the insurgents had been. In fact, if she wasn't mistaken, the very man she shot might have been the same man to check her off the guest list! If that was correct- which as she thoughts about it more and more it seemed to be- then that would make this operation planned. And suddenly, far more dangerous.

Yuri & Nekala made it to the door, opening into a long corridor of disabled and deactivated droids. "Mr. Sharp," the woman said as Yuri looked around. "Were you on the guest list for this evening? I just realized tat those thugs were actualy the security officers for the facility. Which means this is a set up, if I've ever seen one." She looked at the man, making eye contact with him, "And no one turned heads like you do." The woman meant that in several different ways- but she kept that to herself.

After response- or lack there of- he posed his own question for her. "I haven't the slightest clue about them," she admitted. It was something her sister might be more apt at- Arikka was good at everything like that around the farm. She saw what Yuri had in mind, but wasn't sure if they had enough time. About to voice that concern, it was taken care of for her as the sounds of the security officers came from down the hall behind them.

Glancing at the large man, she nodded her head forward. They didn't have the luxury of time- it was time to get the hell out of there. Not waiting for Yuri, the woman started moving quickly. Then, realizing her heels weren't quite helping the process, she stopped to take them off. Her feet now free, the woman bound down the hallway, dodging and weaving through the old service droids. Opening the door, and with said Prime Executive close behind, she peered out carefully.

The two were in a service door, one that led to a small platform where a cargo speeder could leave equipment and supplies. Below them, on the ground level which was in front of the main entrance and only five to six feet below them, were several security officers mixing with police who were behind their speeders. To the police force, it might seem the security officers were updating and aiding them, but Nekala could tell it was more of a staling measure.

Leaning back inside, she glanced at the man. "Plan?"
 

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Suddenly things got that much more intense. Connecting the dots in his mind Yuri realized that this night wasn't quite over just yet. Pressing a button on his watch the man looked at the attractive female standing beside him as she added the she had no idea how to reprogram droids in under a minute. Honestly, it'd have been too convenient if she could so before their pursuers could be heard he answered. "Don't worry about it. Let's just get the hell out of here..."

Then came the shouting to pursue the two further, to which both individuals reacted exactly the same. The made their way out, regardless what was behind door number one. To their surprise it was a two way street, an empty landing pad and a free fall in to the hands of more security and police. Knowing that they didn't have a lot of time Yuri made a run towards the landing pad and looked for whatever could be used for cover...

They were exposed here, it was true, but he had already pressed the button and help was on the way. They just needed to hold on until then. Luckily they had a clear line of sight to the door that was now once again closed and would welcome their pursuers with blaster bolts of love! "Take cover and when our ride arrives get in..." It was an invitation and an offer only a mad man would refuse. Having pretty much saved his life in a way Claire was in Yuri's good graces, though it could be said that he saved hers as well.

None of that mattered right now though, all that mattered was to get out of here alive. Luckily their chances at doing so didn't look that bad... Their pursuers clearly didn't have control of what was going on so them escaping this in one piece didn't seem out of the question really. That was of course if they managed to take out the men that were just about to walk out the same door that Yuri and Claire did seconds ago...
 
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