Cloak and Dagger [A flashback mission]

Minuteman75

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(OOC This is a flashback mission five years before the post time-skip"

"A strange settlement this is" Muttered Wakiza as he looked through the white clad halls before him. For this is Cloud City, the pride of Tibanna gas colonies everywhere for a thousand years. For the Noghri warrior who only year ago left his home-world, he found the floating city itself interesting in many aspects but it was secondary in importance compared to what he's searching for in it...his latest prey. The prey in question was Orion Lavel, an local information broker who just earned Wakiza's attention due a contract for his death, issued by the subject's former partner. Wakiza walk his way through the halls toward an elevator alone, masking his grayish reptilian appearance with a brown tan hood matching his traditional robe he wore. As a freelance assassin Wakiza cared noting about Orion Lavel personally other than any weaknesses he may have that can be exploited to kill him. However as an honor bound Noghri, Wakiza thoroughly despised the Human for the fact that Orion was marked as a traitor.

Wakiza pondered the thought as he entered the elevator. It didn't matter who Orion betrayed, because Wakiza hated any those who betray their own... But as the elevator went downward, Wakiza cast aside his opinion on traitors to focus on Lavel's whereabouts and the means to slay him. According to his contractor's intel, Wakiza learned that his prey loves to mix business with pleasure, using his personal apartment as an office as well. The apartment itself is an small size estate built like a fortress, daily guarded by a large unit of professional bodyguards as Lavel conducts his profession or enjoy his luxury, sometimes both.

However, the broker won't be at his self-proclaimed palace for while. Apparently, just next door to the estate was a new casino that just opened, sponsored by Lavel himself and he's hosting its grand opening with the owner tonight. Wakiza's elevator stopped then opened, revealing a street alive with people walking about as evening set on Cloud City. The assassin got out and was soon engulfed by the moving masses as he mentally planned his hunt.

"Lavel and most of his guard will be busy at the casino for while, which gives me time to infiltrate the apratment and wait for his return." Wakiza thought as he head towards a transport terminal, leading to his destination. The Noghri assasin couldn't help but smiled to himself, revealing his needle sharp teeth.
 

Sisk_Renelo

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The fact that people lived in this floating death trap was amazing. An opulent palace built on top of a tibanna gas refinery, it was nothing but a ticking time bomb. If the generators that provided the massive amount of lift needed to keep Cloud City afloat didn't fail, a single stray spark could set off a chain reaction that would leave the site of the former city completely devoid of anything but dust and echoes.

Silas Ward-Renelo sat in nondescript clothing, consisting of a maroon shirt and black pants, in a tapcafe in the upper levels. He had been sitting here for almost 6 hours, nursing the caf in front of him, a small book made of flimsi open in front of him. It was the perfect picture of nonchalant and bored. And that was because he was. 6 hours waiting for the target to show himself, but apparently today Orion Lavel had decided to change his usual routine. Silas raised his datapad, and scanned the information presented there again.

Orion Lavel:
Human: Male
Age: 42
Height: 1.7 M
Weight: 67 KG
Reward: 150,000 Credits


It wasn't the biggest bounty Silas had ever pursued, but this mission was personal. Orion had been the information broker that had been in contact with most of the clans, and then had turned around and sold that info the the Empire, leading to the firebombing of the Mandalore Sector. Silas would be here even if there wasn't a reward on his head. As he lowered the datapad, a motion in his peripheral vision caused him to turn his head. A short humanoid in a tan robe was walking towards a turbolift bank. That in itself wasn't unusual, but the walk was. It was to smooth, to quiet, to practiced. In all of his travels, Silas had only seen one species that moved like that. "Noghri." The realization was surprising. The little one was a long way from home.

Silas had been warned that other assassins would be here, but he had made such haste he was honestly surprised that a competitor had been able to get here this early. Oh well, another body added to his count wouldn't make that much of a difference. But just in case...

With a smooth motion, Silas stood, tossing a few cred chits onto his table, and made his way out of the tapcafe, moving as quickly as he could without drawing attention. He'd been doing this since he was 13, and one of his greatest skills was being able to hide in plain sight. His left hand delved into a pouch on his belt, and withdrew a microtracker, with a built in chameleon skin. When adhered to a surface, it would automatically take on the color and outward appearance of whatever the surface was. Drawing closer to the Noghri, Silas measured the distance, and put himself into a stumble.

He caught himself on the Noghri's shoulder with his right hand, and his left hand scrabbled for purchase on the back of the cloak, Silas letting the tracker slip out of his grasp and adhere to the tan cloak. It took less than a second for the tracker to change, and by that time, Silas was already standing again, shaking his head apologetically.

"I'm sorry, friend. I wasn't watching where I was going. Thank you for allowing me to catch myself." Then, doing his best impression of embarrassment, moved back into the crowd. The whole incident had taken less than 5 seconds. Silas made his way to a different bank of lifts, and keyed in the code for his rented room. It was time to get dressed, and to bring a nasty surprise for the aruetii.
 

Minuteman75

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For once Wakiza was off guard, something collided unto his shoulder. Shocked, Wakiza quickly recovered as whatever bumped into him got off and turned around to see a brown-skinned human male before him. The human looked embarrassed and apologized to Wakiza for not watching where he was going and thanking the Noghri for letting himself catch his fall. Still suprised by the abrupt accident, Wakiza was only able to give a polite nod and utter back in his chilling voice; "Uh...apology accepted."

By the time, Wakiza replied, the human was already disappeared into the crowd leaving the Noghri to alone again as the turolift started to moved. Wakiza scolded at himself for not paying attention to his surroundings earlier, otherwise he would not been surprised like that. "You are getting too excited about this hunt, focus on your senses." The young assasin thought to himself, then he quietly chuckled, remembering that what his uncle and mentor, Askar would say to him if he was here.

As he waited for the next ten minutes, Wakiza began feel something was wrong. Then he realize that it had to do with human who stumble into him. It would seemed to be accident but now Wakiza began to think there was more to the human than he led on. However before Wakiza could ponder more on that encounter, the turolift stopped and he got out. Upon doing so, Wakiza found himself in the rich apartment district that Lavel lived in though the estate itself was still many miles away. Then the Noghri assassin moved forward through more crowds until he found an alleyway. When Wakiza was sure no else was there or following him, he disappeared into the shadows of the alley and began his preparations for the hunt...
 
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Sisk_Renelo

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Silas' palm brushed the entry pad, and the door to his small room slid open. Stepping inside as the door slid shut behind him, Silas grabbed the duffel bag that sat next to the door, and laid it onto the small bed, grasping the zipper and opening it in one smooth movement. As its contents came into view, a small smile lit on Silas' lips. The dark red armor was packed tightly inside, a color specially chosen for its ability to disappear into the shadows. An assassin who wore black was a silhouette in the shadow, darker than the concealment around him, while dark red or midnight blue was almost invisible, thanks to the visible spectrum of most humanoid species. Each piece that was removed from the bag and laid reverently aside helped to grow a picture of the deadly Mandalorian.

Before dressing in his armor, Silas checked the datapad, now receiving a steady feed from the small tracker. Just as he had suspected, the Noghri had ended up in the high rise district, the home of the elite of Cloud City. Orion had a lavish apartment in the district, and the small dot was making a circuitous route around the perimeter, stopping every now and again for several seconds to several minutes, probably examining security systems or the like. the newcomer wasn't an amateur. Pleased, Silas laid the pad down, and quickly stripped out of the civilian clothes he had been wearing, and slid into his ablative bodysuit. Tailored for his figure, it fit like a glove, and the bodysuit helped to cloak his thermal signature, giving him a few precious extra seconds against thermal scans. More than one assassin had been caught because he hadn't taken the basic precautions.

Next came his armor, Silas starting with the boots, sliding the knee high armored boots on, using the straps on the side to tighten them down, securing them and insuring that he wouldn't slip because of a loose fit. Next came his thigh armor, the hardened greaves a clamshell that snapped onto armor hooks on the bodysuit. Then came his belt and codpiece, the kama attached to the belt falling in a graceful way down his legs. Fully armored from the waist down, Silas quickly checked his torso armor, running quick checks on the oxygen cylinder, power pack, gas launchers, and hardening systems. All came up green, and Silas unplugged the diagnostic machine, laying it in the duffel bag.

His torso armor was quick, the ablative plates snapping onto the armor hooks on his front and back, and Silas connected them together underneath his arms. His gauntlets and bicep armor slid on effortlessly, and finally, he added the last piece. His buy'ce. The only piece of his gear made of pure beskar, the helmet was a wonder of Mandalorian engineering. Silas felt naked without its familiar interior and smells surrounding him. Reacting to his head, the helmet's systems booted up, bathing his face in an eerie green glow, all of the information he could want only a blink-click away. With lightning speed, the helmet synced with his tracking device, and accessed the security feeds of Cloud City, which he had hacked into when he had arrived three days ago. There was a reason he was the best, and it wasn't because he was the strongest, or the fastest, or the luckiest. It was because he was patient, calculating, preparatory, and skilled, training his body and mind every day to conquer the face of an ever changing galaxy. The galaxy was an ever changing place, and Silas was a master of changing and adapting to it.

The lights in the hallway had dimmed, signaling the end of the ever-awake city's night cycle. shadows now dominated the hallways, giving Silas the opportunity to move silently and undetected, flitting from shadow to shadow like the spectre of death he was. Every so often he had to pause and sink deeper into the shadows, allowing a late night couple or drunken bum to pass by. It took him less than an hour to make it to the district, and with sharp, quick movements, Silas scaled the side of an apartment complex, and began to move along the rooftops. It wasn't long until the tan robe of the Noghri came into sight, and Silas dropped low, making sure he wasn't visible from the street. It was time to watch and wait. Patience, he reminded himself, was a virtue...
 

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"Orion Lavel paid well for his protection." Wakiza mused as he finished his examination of the area surrounding the target's apartment. For almost an hour, the Noghri had discovered a few cameras and other sensor devices that covered most of the place during his sweep. Not to mention the apartment itself was small and had a lot of space between it and most of the other buildings. This gives the remaining guards inside a very clear view of most angles to cover.

All execpt here at the south-side street where Wakiza was now. A large office complex stood between him and his destination. If he can make his way up there it will be a close enough distance to jump from it to the rooftop of Lavel's place without the risk of alerting the guards or sensors. Wakiza had already scouted it out earlier from the other sides and found a sign that stated it was closed so he didnt have to worry about being sighted in there. The assasin readied himself and inspected his gear and weapons he had brought with his robe and utility belt. His arsenal consisted of one lightweight blaster pistol, grappling hook launcher, two vibroknifes and thermal detonators.
Wakiza was no rookie assassin, but the Noghri would admit that he was one of the most ill-equipped assassins in the galaxy. Yet he made up it for that by the skill and cunning that had so far balanced it out by the deaths of a dozen targets this past year. Though lately he has been considering solving that lack of equipment issue. Now as Wakiza continued his inspection, an uncomfortable thought came upon him;

"Am I a true Noghri anymore? The mental question bothered Wakiza, reminding him why he was out here wandering the stars as a knife for hire. "No, not anymore not after what happened..." The assassin shook that thought away before it reopened a deep and bitter wound from the past. Then Wakiza refocused on the mission and remembered his plan and the opposition he will likely be facing.

"Orion Lavel himself is not a major threat in combat but his guards are a different matter entirely." Wakiza told himself as he recalled what was gathered from the contractor's intel. The guards were a unit of highly trained mercenaries numbering around eighteen to twenty-five members, comprising of Humans and Weequays. They were lead by a Twi'lek named Cristo Degualla, who happened to be an Ex-Alliance commando. The man earned quite a reputation here on Cloud City for his cold-hearted professionalism and ruthless approach in the service of Lavel.

Fortunately, Wakiza reminded himself that more than half of the bodyguards, including Cristo Degualla, were with Lavel at the casino from the footage he saw on the local Holonet about the casino's grand opening. That means a skeleton garrison was left behind to keeps order back at the estate, this provides a chance for infiltration. Now Wakiza can set himself up in the bed chambers and ambush the information broker when he returns. The Noghri nodded, finding the plan excellent, though he still has this feeling that he will be facing an intrference from an unknown source. "It is best to be sure." Wakiza whispered, then he looked all around him carefully. Just as Wakiza was about to proceed toward the estate, he smelled something in the air, something familiar...

"The human from earlier, he is here." Wakiza stiffened for a very brief moment at the realization. Judging by what he smelled, the being was close by, perhaps behind him. It only took a second for him to figure out that the human was a rival assassin. The Noghri, then once more took a sweep of his position, at first he couldn't find the exact location of his unwanted follower but eventually he pinpointed it at another apartment complex, without directly looking at it. Wakiza weighted his options, he can't take the risk of firing blaster shots at his rival without alerting the guards nearby and the human, who obviously has the advantage over him with the high ground.

Wakiza however did have one advantage of his own... He suddenly bolted away from his position into the dark corridor of the alley close by, daring the other assassin to follow with this thought in mind. "May he that dies tonight die well." Whether be himself or rival will be determine soon.
 

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Silas dropped down to the next level fire escape, and watched the Noghri sniff the air. Scent markers were so easy to place, and the ones he had brought to distract the purported Togorian bodyguards that Lavel kept around were more than potent enough to distract any species with powerful enough nasal capacity. Silas' armor was fully sealed, insuring that he himself did not put off a scent, but he needed to eliminate this competition.

He smiled tightly underneath his buy'ce as the Noghri took off towards him, moving directly underneath Silas' position. Silas placed his hand on the railing of the shadowed escape, and vaulted easily over it, landing in a smooth crouch behind the rival assassin. His hands moved quickly, his Beskad finding its way into his right hand, with his left being filled by his shockwave pistol. He rose quickly, and pointed the pistol at the back of the Noghri's head. "Don't move, Noghri. You twitch the wrong way and your head disappears."
 

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When Wakiza rushed forward through the alley he found himself ambushed from behind. He had misjudged the location of his rival who now held a gun to the back of his head, threatening with the words;

"Don't move, Noghri. You twitch the wrong way and your head will disappear."

Feeling the pressure of the weapon and the weight of shame at being outsmarted again Wakiza stopped in his tracks. "Well this was unforeseen." The young Noghri thought to himself as he stood motionless. He couldn't understand how this other assassin caught him like this. Wakiza crushed that mental debate as he now weighed his options which ranged between a quick death if he moves or does as the human says. What remnant of honor he had left screamed out to resist, yet his practical side cautioned him. "I have a more important debt to fulfill and Orion Lavel is not worth the exchange for it." Wakiza silently reminded himself and so he swallowed his pride then spoke in a gravelly voice;

"You have earned my attention and...respect human, for not many have caught my kind in this matter."
 
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Sisk_Renelo

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Silas would have shaken his head, but it would have meant removing his eyes from his target for a time, even if was for less than a second. "You move too quickly, Noghri. To eager for a quick kill. I recall lessons on your kind, and I was sure they taught you patience." Silas stepped back slightly, the weapon still trained on the Noghri's head. "But I'll allow you the mistake, and chalk it up to inexperience in the field and your general age. Young, away from the clan, and although you have some kills underneath your belt, from your actions here I would suspect those were more from luck than anything." It sounded harsh, but it wasn't meant to be. Silas was the consummate professional, born and bred to kill, and those who could not match his training or ability were not to be pitied, not meant to be looked down upon. They were to be eliminated, or, barring that, evaluated. With the recent losses in the clans, any and all who seemed to exhibit skills that could be brought into the fold were welcome.

Silas was on standing orders from Sisk Renelo, the Alor of his clan, to offer a spot among the warriors to any and all whom he felt would fit in well among the secretive clan. In particular, Silas looked for Assassins, beings who he thought had potential to join the ranks of Renelo's Prudii Kal. Perhaps this Noghri could be of some use.

"Lavel is mine. Not for credits or name, but for honor. He harmed my people, my family, sold us out to fatten his own wallet. For that, and that reason alone, I'll allow you to leave with your skin intact." Silas stepped back again.

"Unless, of course, you can think of any reason why you would prefer to stay."
 

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The rival's first reply to Wakiza stabbed his heart deeper than any dagger could."The human is right in more ways than he knows." Wakiza admitted silently as he reflected upon himself and his actions since leaving home. Yes,he taken a few successful kills throughout his galactic journey but it was lesser in comparison to what Noghri are truly capable of. His father's brother and former mentor Askar would agree with the Human if he were here and would've criticized even more harshly.

Then Wakiza's thoughts on the matter were interrupted as he sensed the other assassin stepping back and speaking on what the prey, Lavel, meant to him and his honorable offer to let Wakiza go. Surprised the young Noghri mentally considered the offer until he realized that he indeed had a reason to stay. Finally, ever so slowly Wakiza turned his head right back to where the human rival was and quickly discovered that the man was clad in armor, Mandalorian armor. It finally made sense to Wakiza now, Lavel betrayed the Mandalorians and the other assassin here was avenging his people. Truly the prey was a fool to incur such wrath upon himself, Wakiza concluded.

Wakiza spoke once more. "You speak the truth warrior. I have much to learn indeed considering my mistakes on this night and others." Then a bitter memory flooded Wakiza, causing him to squeeze his fists tightly in deep anger as he continued to talk. "The prey we both sought was only a means to an end for me, you see I too know how grievous a wound, betrayal can be. It has cost me everything...my clan and my honor...all gone due to a traitor's actions." Wakiza paused for a second in silence before finishing his reply. "Who am I to deny another's quest for vengeance since I have my own. You have first rights to kill Lavel, but if you are willing I wish to aid you in slaying him. For traitors such as he surely deserve death. What say you son of Mandalore?
 
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Silas lowered his pistol, although the beskad was still held in a reverse grip, ready to strike. He mused it over, possibilities running through his mind. His words were quiet, echoing inside his helmet, his voice contemplative. "I could use a distraction..." 30 guards in charge of the protection of his target, none of them having become inebriated at the casino, and several of them large, dangerous species. It would be taxing, even to someone of his skills. Another body, another blade, another blaster would be quite valuable.

"Very well, Noghri. We will strike together. But Lavel's death will come from my blade." If the Noghri made a move towards the target in a lethal manner, Silas would not hesitate to slot him. It was a matter of honor to him, and he would not have it tainted. With a flick of his wrist, he pointed with the tip of his beskad towards a shadowed alcove. "The security systems to the building have been disabled, their connections to outside services severed. That means that they will still function normally on the surface, but they're worthless when it comes to summoning others." He sketched a quick map in the air, and jerked his head towards the small vent hidden in the shadows. "That leads to the ventilation systems. I was going to use a drone to enter and alert me when the target entered, but I think you'll fit in there just as well. Once you enter, it's a left at the third crossing, then a right at the first fork. seventh vent in gives you a vantage point right above the front door. When they enter, I need number of guards, species, armament, and best approximate location in the room." He dug into a pouch, and tossed a small camera towards the smaller alien, "Feed this through, and do your best to position it so that I can see as much of the room as possible. When I make my entrance, give me 4 seconds, then move in through the ninth vent opening. Mark targets on my six, and make the kills clean. It's easier to hide the true cause of death that way. Understood?"
 

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Wakiza listened as the Mandalorioan gave his answer. It appeared that the other assassin agreed to an alliance but he wasted no time reminding Wakiza that Lavel was his alone to kill. The young Noghri nodded in agreement and payed further attention as his former rival gave a briefing on how to infiltrate Lavel's estate through the ventilation systems with the online security now disabled. Then Wakiza grabbed a camera that his new ally tossed to him and heard the final conclusion of the briefing on how they will achieve the objective. When asked if he understood the plan, Wakiza nodded again and simply replied, "So shall it be."

Guided by new purpose, Wakiza quickly prepped his blaster pistol then faded into the dark and made his way to the estate's ventilation shafts. His Mandalorian ally proved to be correct when Wakiza found that he could easily fit into it and then short assassin proceeded to crawl through, following the instructions to the vantage point. After some time Wakiza reached the seventh vent above the front door. There he set up the camera at the best angle that would cover most of the location which was filled with guards. Finally Wakiza turned the device on to show his newfound partner what's below and waited for him to make his move.
 

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Silas had watched the Noghri go, and then had moved to his pre-planned position, a small ledge over the large exterior window that looked out of Lavel's apartment. It was thin, only 8 inches wide, and Silas extended the climbing claws from his left forearm gauntlet, and using it to anchor him into position. He had been there several minutes when his HUD lit up, a live videofeed from the interior of the apartment. Right now, there were only 6 guards that had been unlucky enough to not get to join their boss during his night on the town. A Gamorrean, 3 human males, a Twi'lek, and a Rodian. The humans and Gamorrean were asleep, sprawled out on the floor or sofas, while the Twi'lek and Rodian were engaged in a hearty discussion while looking out onto the district. With their backs turned, he couldn't read their lips, but by their body language, it was on a subject that was important to both, and upon which they varied drastically in their views. It was a conversation that wouldn't matter as soon as their boss came home.

It took 3 hours for Lavel to return, and Silas's legs had begun to cramp, when the party entered into the lavish home. //I need numbers, composition, and levels of alertness, Noghri. Quickly.//
 
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