There were a number of things that Laeonas thought could happen if they attempted to cut through the door. They could fail, and be forced to try some other trick. They could succeed, and the door would come down, allowing them to get into the vault and claim their prize; and, as quickly as they could, escape off world.
Through the entire escapade the Sith and the boy had gone on, Laeonas hadn't thought much about their escape plan. Whether there was a ship in the vault or not, whether there was another exit in the vault or not, were not questions he had considered; at least, not for very long.
He should've considered it more. The raw hunger for the treasure, for vast wealth and the resulting power that could come with it; it would change his life, and the lives of the few he cared about in the galaxy. It was an opportunity that he couldn't have imagined-- that only he and a few dozen other had even pursued.
They had come this far, tearing through beasts, destroying battle droids, solving riddles.
The Sith, as much as he held contempt for her, had done most of the work. She'd saved him from the Jaws of a Nexu that was about to clamp down on his throat. She'd helped him with the force attacks on the droids, and she'd further assisted when he had tried to take down the vault door with the... other door.
She was incredibly rude, and incredibly contemptuous, but that wasn't what he was focused on right now.
It was that her body was cooking right in front of him.
Mouth agape, the boy's grip on the bars slipped. The focus necessary to maintain his hold with the force broke, and the door, supporting the Sith's now cooking body, fell-- and the girl with it.
Horror and realization slowly enveloped the boys face as he looked at the girl. He could barely sense life force, and whether that was actual presence within the force or just the result of all her nerves being pumped full of electricity was something his shocked mind couldn't comprehend. Hell, his own horrified mind simply might not have been able to sense it in that second. She had dropped, her lightsaber had dropped; and there wasn't even so much as a mark on the door.
"It was a ray shield." were the first thoughts that actually made their way back into Laeo's mind. He'd remembered the few times he'd tried to break into an apartment or store when he was younger, only to get zapped when he accidentally touched the shields. It was such an amateur mistake and such a mundane security measure that he hadn't even thought about it when he'd seen the shield.
Yet the hutts apparently didnt' view them the same way, as proven by Kamelle's electrocuted body.
Laeonas... couldn't tell if she was dead, immediately. Even if she were alive, he had no idea if she'd stay that way for much longer, and there was nothing he could do.
The vault door stood in front of him, the ray shield impassable, as he'd so seen. "'Ow am Ai gonna disable th'at?" He thought, before coming to the inevitable conclusion that he hoped he would never arrive at.
If he kept trying to get into the vault, Laeonas would die.
He might've been able to break in with the Sith's help, and he might've been able to carry back some treasure with the Sith's help. If there were any further security measures on the other side of the door, he might have been able to take them down-- with the Sith's help.
Even with her lightsaber now laying on the duracrete floor, that wouldn't change the outcome of a fight against however many droidekas were inside, or assassin droids, or a few hundred AMS infected slaves.
He simply didn't have enough strength-- and he was already out of time. Laeonas' first priority at this point was getting in a ship, and flying off planet... and that could be incredibly difficult, seeing as the boy's only experience flying anything was as a speeder pilot. He couldn't believe for even a second that any of the other hunters had stayed long enough to pick them up...
...and that meant his only hope of escape was on the ground.
Laeonas couldn't help but tear up a bit. He hadn't felt this hopeless in... however long. The Sith's insults had brought him to a place he didn't want to be, mentally, but now that her body was splayed out as it was, the boy couldn't feel any worse. Not even the promise of mountains of wealth could help him now, and unless there was an immediate source of wealth right in front of him, he might have simply shot himself there and then.
Glancing around the room, he eventually looked down at the now fallen barred door. Laeonas studied the light, durable metal that covered it's front.
Something... clicked. He wasn't sure what, but the boy recognized what this was.
Stretching out his hand, Kamelle's saber, unable to be commanded by it's owners influence-- flew into the boy's hand. The crimson blade thrummed to life, and the boy brought it down on the bars.
The cutting of metal wasn't what met Laeonas; rather, it was resistance. Eyes widened, and he was almost glad-- but his facial muscles couldn't move to form a smile.
This metal wasn't cortosis; it didn't look like his vibrosword, and it made noises he'd never even heard before. He... wasn't sure, but Laeo knew of one other metal that could resist lightsabers. It was that legendary metal every child would dream of when being told stories of Mandalorian warriors.
Laeonas couldn't be certain it was beskar...
...but if it was, it could still make him rich. All he needed was to get off planet; and only one woman could do that for him now.
"HEY!" was all the boy shouted at first, turning and dropping by the side of the fallen Sith. He shook her body a bit, more than a little desperate to get her up at this point.
She'd made a blunder; one that, in retrospect, should've been more than avoidable. The decision had been stupid, and if their roles had been reversed, Laeonas had no doubt in his mind that he'd be left for dead. But with self preservation on the mind, and the slightest hint of altruism in his intentions, the boy still found himself trying to get her to respond.
He... didn't get an immediate response, and further, he couldn't tell if she was dead. The boy didn't know anything about treating electrocution-- but he knew how to swing a sword... or saber, in this case.
Turning around, he stood, reigniting the red blade, turning his attention back to what he correctly guessed was beskar.
All the boy needed to do was tear it off the door. The bars had a distinct texture and look, but the rest of the door that they happened to be connected to wasn't.
This hadn't been the first time Laeonas had held a lightsaber; but it had been a long five years since he'd felt the weightless blade in his hands.
It was why his hacking at the door looked so awkwardly amateur; though nobody was really paying attention. Laeo's primary goal had shifted from the now seemingly impossible task of breaking into the vault, and instead to the much more directly tenable possibility of walking away with some of the most rare metal in the galaxy under his arm.
As for Kamelle... in truth, it was out of his hands. Though he distinctly preferred attempting to escape with the help of a trained pilot instead of learning to fly when the Hutt's turbolasers started firing down at him. But, if the Sith did die...
The Sith and the mule had been getting into position, wasting no time since there was no time to waste. Beskar door in the vault door? That’s a footstool (more durable than a mule to boot). Shield that did not block said beskar? That’s an energy shield. The vault door took care of blocking the physical stuff (mostly).
So it took little thought to step on that beskar door and plug her saber hilt through the shield. She knew that she could not let the blade itself, a blade made up of some blazing energy, touch the energy shield or it would short out. The gap in the vault door, created by the beskar door, served her needs rather well. Screamer had thought the same thing.
So the lightsaber hilt’s emitter pressed upon the shield, then through it. The wielder’s hand was not far behind. She did not have much time to think, only act, so she acted. She moved. She did not delay. Though she did get a sudden thought even as she moved forward. Wait what if it's a ray—”AAEEEOOOEEOAEOAOEAOEOEOEAEEEEEEEEAAAAIGGGH”
Her thoughts had just turned to screams.
All of a sudden, Kamelle burst out screaming as energy burst into her body, currents of electricity coiling around her and cutting through her. “NghaaaAAAAAAA! HAEE, AAAAAUUGGHHHH!”
As the Sith’s body convulsed in excruciating pain, muscles burning as hot as her lightsaber, her body itself was locked in place and it was all she could do to stand there and take it. "aaa, ahhh ,AAAAHHH, AAAAAAAHHH,"
Yet, amid it all, she was still alive. In fact, as soon as her hand was touched by the force of the shield, well, of course her hand touched upon a different force. As pain and damage was dealt upon her body without mercy, Kamelle transferred that agony into anger, into hate, and for a dark sider that was how she channeled the Force into her being in the attempt to still keep her heart beating both during and after this horrifyingly terrible and terribly humiliating ordeal.
Then Kamelle fell.
The beskar door holding her up with the help of her mule suddenly declined and helped to save her life as her bond and bind was broken with the ray shield. To be fair, Kamelle had recently suffered from a deal of amnesia, so her knowledge of technology among other things was still catching up. She was now paying for it.
The Sith felt her body relax as she fell back upon the floor, but her body was suddenly useless. Her eyes just managed to glimpse the face of the boy who had come this far beside the woman. He was youthful, boyish, and looked as much a mule as a man, but Screamer was no longer alone in his screams and he was no longer the only mule in the room if Kamelle was to carry both their deaths on account of her own.
Then, one instant later, Kamelle’s eyes closed over, she heard the hum of her lightsaber as though she had somehow ignited it, felt a cold claim her after a fire held her, felt darkness take her, then her whole world went black…
...And an instant later she heard a “HEY!” and the pulsing blade of that lightsaber...
What saved Kamelle's life wasn't getting angrier or the pain - that simply wasn't how the Force worked. Getting angrier or getting hurt did not, in any way, make the Dark Side stronger. A common misconception but a misconception all the same. So while she tried to muster the Dark Side to save herself, she would be trying in such a way that did not actually bolster the Dark Side within her at all.
No, what actually saved Kamelle's life was that Laeonas had lost his concentration and his grip on the door she was standing on, sending her tumbling backward. The Sith was saved from death by the awkward reactions of the 'mule' as she called him. The dropping of the door sent her falling backward, hitting her unprotected head heavily against the duracrete ground below as nothing had broken her fall.
The fall itself would result in a brief loss of consciousness for the Sith, though even when she began to rouse from it she would find herself deaf in her left ear, her vision blurred and a sudden desire to turn around and vomit. Alongside the concussion from the fall, she would find her entire body hard to move as a result of the shock from the shield. Her right side, that she had touched the shield with directly, even more so with her entire right arm entirely unresponsive.
Kamelle's right hand was burned black at the fingertips and already it was beginning to show that the skin below it was pale.
Laeonas would, indeed, be able to cut through the connecting metal of the bars. The bars themselves were beskar, resisting the cutting efforts of the lightsaber with ease, but they were connected by industrial strength durasteel to cut down on costs. Still, it would not be quick work but the man would be able to cut 10 bars of beskar free from the door it had been arranged into.
Had Laeonas, the only one of the two currently capable of coherent thought, kept an eye on the timer he would find it a depressing sight.
Kamelle lives! But not without consequences; she has a bad concussion, her body will spasm during the remainder of this thread at random intervals (flip a coin to see if she spasms before you post, Die Shize and work it in), her entire right arm will NOT be usable for the remainder of this thread and her right hand (from fingertips to roughly halfway up the forearm) between the burns and permanent nerve damage? It's unrecoverable I'm afraid - amputation for her in the near future I'm afraid
When he'd finished hacking down with the bars, the slightest glint of a smile had slipped across Laeo's face. Deactivating the ruby blade with a hiss, Laeonas would slip the Sith's weapon into one of the pockets on his mesh. Not exactly the most befitting place to store such a legendary weapon, but he could care less about that right now.
There would be no hesitation as he began to scoop up the beskar. Five of the bars neatly fit under his right arm. He'd leave the left open to help the Sith on her right side. But as Laeonas turned around, his eyes widened at the sight of two different and very important things.
The first was the timer, which had dipped below a minute and was now sitting just under 50 seconds. Panic and despair began to well up inside him, but the two contrasting emotions kept either from bubbling outwards.
The second subject of Laeonas' notice was the Sith. Still on the ground, Laeonas could now get a much better look at her, whereas before he'd merely given a glance or two. Her condition was visibly dire, and while her presence in the force had stabilized... it would take everything the both of them had to get to the hangar, and there wasn't a question of her ability to pilot a ship.
Staring at the woman, Laeonas' mind slipped back, momentarily, to one of the last criminal operations he'd conducted on Brentaal before finding his way offworld. It had been a routine robbery of a small store that had gone horribly wrong. His partners had both been killed, he had lost all of the stolen credits, and he'd needed to move out of the district he and his mother lived in to escape the inevitable revenge of the mob boss he'd failed.
The entire ordeal had been a nightmare, one he'd relived in his dreams for weeks afterwards. The broken bodies of his comrades, splayed out in front of the store. Just as bad was the money, which he and his mother had been short on for a month afterwards.
Despite... everything the Sith had done, he genuinely didn't want to abandon her here. The boy was no saint-- there were no lofty moral reasons for why Laeonas wanted to save her; she could prove materially useful to him in the future. Though, in his heart of hearts, the instinctive compassion born to most sentient beings of the galaxy was demanding that he save the battered woman from her doom.
...but there was another part of him that screamed something very different.
It was the part of Laeonas that demanded his own self preservation above all else. The instincts he'd relied on to get this far into the complex, to survive Dantooine's cruel wilderness, to fight off predators, or AMS victims, or other beings in the galaxy who wanted to kill him. Right now, that part of Laeonas wasn't telling him to abandon the Sith-- it was telling him to save his own life.
...which meant abandoning the Sith.
He thought back once more to the treasure in the vault. Unquestionably, there was no time to break in now-- his only hope for escape, if there wasn't another obstacle waiting for him, was the presence of a ship.
Still, the call of treasure-- of an escape from his old life of poverty and crime-- called to him. The boy relished the possibility of finally achieving all he wished for-- a means towards wealth, influence, and fame. A chance to never once see his mother decide on whether or not to skip meals to pay for bills. A chance to live comfortably, for however long he could manage it.
He'd already abandoned the chance of riches beyond his imagination. He wasn't about to leave empty handed-- not for the Sith. Not for anyone.
And as disgusting as he found it... Laeonas found that his own life genuinely meant more to him than this woman. Not even on a sense of self preservation-- he genuinely felt more important, more powerful. In that moment, as he stood, beskar under his arm, he saw the chance to achieve his goals-- or at least, come closer to them. He had all the power in this situation, and with the power in his grasp, victory could follow-- and he could break the chains tying him to this place, and be free of it forever.
He still looked the girl in the eye as he started to run. There was no malice, however; cruelty didn't fill his gaze, not even the slightest contempt.
Drawing on the force as he had when running down the hall to get to the vault, Laeonas did the same once again, this time away from the vault and back towards the hangar. If Kamelle could fully regain consciousness, she would be able to see that he had gone, taking her lightsaber and five of the beskar bars on the door.
He had chosen, once again, to abandon his comrades-- though this time, the money was in hand... and his comrade was still alive.
There was only really one line that could justify his actions within his own psyche. One that rationalized how he had gone well beyond basic self preservation, and well into the territory of abandonment for profit.
The trip back through the area that the fight against the beasts had taken part in was brief, allowing Laeonas to quickly leave the downed Sith behind. Carrying the beskar bars across the distance to the hanger was hard work, however, with the metal weighing heavily within Laeonas' arms. Perhaps they were not the only burden he now carried but time would tell on that front as it would in all things.
One thing it told the young man was that he needed to hurry to escape.
Laeonas would find the hanger mostly emptied of ships, limiting his options for get-away vehicles. Luckily for the plucky adventurer turned plunderer, a single Aurore-Class freighter sat open and waiting for him. The ship was neither pretty or spectacular in any way but it was something that could be flown by a single, desperate, man.
And that described Laeonas perfectly.
As Laeonas took off in his newly stolen freighter, Kamelle would be able to see the numbers on the countdown from where she lay. Injured beyond the ability to recover quickly enough to escape, Kamelle would be able to watch as the numbers counted ever down and Laeonas' footsteps faded into the background.
She would have just enough time to curse - the Galaxy, the Force, Laeonas or whatever else she wanted - before the Hutt armada hovering above the planet unleashed their concentrated firepower. Due to their thieving, the Hutt leading the armada had the ships focus their fire on the location of the vault out of petty spite.
Turbolaser fire from several different classes of capital ship raced down at the vault. The Infected covering the entrance were vaporized, as were several dozen layers of duracrete and durasteel. Between the constant bombardment of turbolaser fire and bombing runs, the vault would begin to cave in on itself.
Kamelle and the vault of unknown treasures would be swallowed whole by dust, stone, metal and fire.
Kriff… Kamelle thought as she opened her eyes. Her body burned but her hand was on fire. The Force had not saved her but it would help preserve her dignity as she waited for her inevitable fate as footsteps faded away.
So...Screamer screamed himself away… He had left his fellow treasure hunter to die. Had taken the beskar. Had stolen her lightsaber. Saw it coming… Kamelle afforded a smile. Had their positions been reversed, with her as the mule holding him up until he was dying on the floor, well, she would have done the exact same thing.
Her eyes glimpsed the numbers, those flashing numbers, and my O my were they such tiny things! 49 had become 30, 30 had become 25, 25 became 20, 19, 18... Come on, come on! You can do it! Kamelle cheered the scoreboard, would have shaken a fist but, eh, one hand was a gross black oozing thing and the other hand was too busy clutching a womb pregnant with death.
As such certainty slipped over her being to take her into an endless slumber, Kamelle was not afraid. She had seen her death and, while the scenery was different, the circumstances were rather similar. The Sith had been prepared to die ever since she came screaming into this galaxy from her bitch of a mother. Now she had it coming. Saw it coming. Here we go…
...Did I leave the oven on..? Definitely left some prisoners to starve in the basement… Oh shit if I did leave the oven on then Doug is going to absolutely reek.
Hope my mule enjoys wrapping his hand around a hilt of Human skin...though he probably does that every other hour...would explain the screams…
I should have killed the mule. Oh well. Kamelle’s smile broadened. In one perfect moment, in one flash, she saw it coming. Saw it in those numbers. Saw the numbers of all those she had maimed and mutilated and murdered. Saw the flaying and the rage and the Flayed Rage. Then she saw him. Not the mule, not him, but him. Saw his face. Saw his rage. Saw him coming. "Your turn...brother..."
With that, Kamelle closed her eyes and went to sleep. Darkness took her, her world exploded, but all she heard were the screams of a supernova as it devoured a black hole. And then...nothing.