The health of the Jedi Order came first but even Elias had personal reasons to put that aside. It had been years since he had last seen his mother and father, the only visible memory being when the enforcers kicked down the door to the home before he was sent flying through the air in his fighter. He had no idea what had happened after that, if his parents had been killed and his house burned down or if his father simply paid them off to continue letting them live peacefully. He hadn't received any holo, message, or shit even a card. It was all in the unknown for him and it left an aching feeling that he couldn't fill in. He wouldn't stop until he was able to find the answers he sought.
He would have loved to fly straight to Nal Hutta and performed a daring rescue but it just wasn't possible. That plan was likely to cause more casualties than save people and that was something he couldn't put on his conscience. Especially when it risked harm to his family. That left one suitable option left for him and it was Nar Shaddaa. It was practically the metropolis version of his home and attracted every single walk of life. Pirates, mercenaries, nobles, and even dregs of society could come there and make it in a blaze of glory or die as a nobody. It was the perfect place to find the information he needed and possible leads.
Elias strolled through the packed streets as he was dressed in civilian clothing so he didn't stick out. It was just a thick jacket, pants, and some boots as his lightsaber was hidden underneath his clothing. He intended to keep it there unless it was sorely needed. It would be better for him if the Cartel didn't know that he was coming by waving his weapon around like an idiot. As he walked under the neon signs, they lit him up like a rainbow, cloaking him completely in red, purple, blue, and other varieties as holographic dancing women above him tried to lure him into their building. He easily ignored it all as he walked with no deviation in his path.
Eventually, he found a bar nestled in the corner, a snake fighting some sort of bird as the establishment's symbol. Fly away, was the name of the place and it had a sort of ring to it. He walked up the steps and pushed into the door to enter. There was a smokey haze inside as every other customer held a cigarra in between their fingers and made some sort of ruckus. Elias' arrival was barely noticed and he made his way over to the counter and ordered himself a drink as he sat himself down and waited.
Of all the advisable things Aadya could do to pass the time in-between her various shenanigans, spending time on Nar Shadda was probably on the absolute bottom of the list- mostly due to the fact that her most recent foray into Sith dealings had her hijacking some ships from the Black Sun.
Then again, if Aadya ended up having to avoid every place where she could have possibly made an enemy, she figured after awhile she wouldn't be able to go anywhere. So as far as she was concerned, might as well just live your life the way you wanted to and whatever happens, happens. Probably not the best vibe choice if living to old age was your overall goal, but oh well.
For the past few hours, Aadya had been hanging out in some dive called Fly Away, downing the occasional Corellian whisky and bumming cigarras from the local pervs looking to hit on her. Checking her chrono, Aadya noted the time and her ever increasing feelings of boredom. Nothing interesting seemed to be happening here, maybe she was overestimating how many kriffs the Black Sun actually gave about losing a few men and a few ships.
Just as she was consigning herself to sliding off her chair and leaving Fly Away for greener pastures, Aadya noticed a newcomer saddle into the bar next to her. She didn't notice him because he was particularly interesting looking - in fact he was.. painfully average, even his clothes were boring - but Aadya did notice something about his eyes. There was something in there.. something swirling behind the otherwise uninterested look painted on the stranger's face. She wanted to find out what it was.
Deciding to sit back down, Aadya looked at Elias and flashed him an unassuming smile before offering him a smoke. Not usually a smoker myself but this place has a way of dragging you down to its level. She said with a laugh before taking a swig of her drink. Name's Aadya. What's yours?
Aadya's phone buzzed with a message but she decided to ignore it for now. Little did she know, it was a warning from some of her friends who had their ears to the Syndicate's dealings. It was a short message, but an important one.
Someone recognized you. They are coming. Get out while you can.
Meanwhile, Aadya continued to nurse her drink, hoping that the stranger would be willing to strike up some conversation.
Once he was seated, Elias did his best to blend in with the rest of the patrons inside. He did his best to hide where his eyes went as he glanced at those nearest to him, attempting to somehow be lucky enough to discover a cartel member through an insignia or something. He had been too young for his father to tell him any connections he made through his career as a mercenary and that made his search comparable to finding a needle in a haystack. When his drink was placed in front of him finally, he drew it to him before taking a sizeable gulp.
When he turned he found Aadya there, already flashing him a smile before offering him a cigarra from her pack. Elias glanced at the pack and then at her once again before flashing a smile as well and a slight nod, "Unfortunately, me and nicotine have quite an extensive relationship. Thank you." She certainly didn't appear Cartel. He pinched a cigarra between two fingers before he pulled it free and placed it in between his lips. Elias didn't have a lighter and he motioned it to Aadya before he leaned towards her and offered the end of it to let her ignite for him. He puffed on it as she did and when he pulled back, he used two fingers once again to pull it from his lips as the smoke ejected from his nostrils. "Damn." It had been a while since he was able to actually sit and just smoke as the buzz came quick.
However, when she mentioned that her name was Aadya, she would be able to see him pause for a moment and just have his gaze locked on her. It was clear she had pulled on a string of familiarity and when he looked at her once more, it was in a completely new light. "Aadya Rasheer?" There was a slight confusion in his voice as he almost couldn't believe it. If it was her, the last time they would have seen each other would be years ago back when they were practically kids training at the temple. He remembered how she would always be the one to voice her opinions no matter who tried to silence during class, it's how he could recall her name.
"It's Elias." He remembered seeing her in one of their classes together before one day she had just disappeared quickly. At first, her fellow students had just thought she just skipped but it didn't take long for them to realize she was gone for good. "Where the hell have you been?" The two have never really been close but it was like seeing a ghost from the past and it completely derailed him from the purpose of him visiting Nar Shaddaa. Why had she left the Order? What did she do as replacement?
There were many responses to telling someone your name and asking for theirs that Aadya was prepared for. There were the obvious ones, like a simple declination or polite acceptance. The less obvious ones like outrage at the possibility or anger at being spoken to by a stranger. And then there were the least likely ones, and the ones you never saw coming in a million years.
Elias' response was one of the million years kind.
Elias? She repeated back to him, not because she didn't hear what he had said, but more to give herself just a couple more moments to process what was going on. Elias Ryn? Aadya wasn't surprised she hadn't recognized him immediately. It had been several years since they'd seen each other, and the young baby-faced boy she had known as a Jedi now sat across from her all grown up. The genuine surprise and the tinge of anxious fear in Aadya's voice was nearly impossible to mask. What are you doing here?
Nar Shaddaa wasn't a typical haunt for a Jedi, so the wheels in Aadya's mind were spinning all manner of reasons why Elias might have found her. Did he do it on purpose? Was he here to drag her back to the Jedi even if it was kicking and screaming? How did find her? Why in the name of the force was her phone still kriffing buzzing?
But then something else hit her, and it seemed far more plausible than anything she'd come up with in her own head so far. There were no coincidences in the universe, no mere happenstances. There was the force.
Are you asking because you genuinely aren't sure or are you asking because you're hoping against hope that you don't already know the answer? Aadya asked, her eyes staring daggers of apprehension into Elias'. He had to have known there was really only one place that you went when you fled the Jedi. Going back to a normal life was never really an option, was it? You can't be that naive, Elias.
Downing the rest of her whisky, Aadya finally broke the tense eye contact with her former Jedi friend and looked at her datapad. The messages were numerous and each one had an increased level of warning. By the time she'd scanned through to the last one, it was already too late.
The door to the bar flew upon violently and several Black Sun enforcers strode in with confident grins plastered across their ugly mugs. Blaster rifles in hand, it was quite clear they were here for a fight. One of them, a grizzled looking Quarren, pointed towards Aadya and said something in Huttese to his compatriots.
Elias, I need your help, Aadya said hurriedly, drawing a blaster pistol and hopping over the bar.
Please The last part would enter his mind telepathically as Aadya took cover, the Black Sunners raising their weapons and starting to open fire.
Aadya in turn, stated out his name and only confirmed for each other who the other actually was. Immediately, Elias reached out with the force, sensing the same energy that coursed through her just like him. But it was different, it was darker compared to the last time he had seen her, heavier. Why did she leave? Why did she turn herself into this? She had always been a raging fire contained in a tiny heart but he didn't expect this path for her. She asked him what he was doing there but the question just flew over his head as he stared at her.
She called out the ridiculousness in his question but he just shook his head slightly, "No but I can't believe you were that desperate. You could have reached out." He felt a little guilty but for reasons, he couldn't quite fathom. She had been in his class and that didn't mean in the slightest he had a responsibility to her but he felt like there should have been for letting a fellow friend fall from grace. Elias didn't really know what to expect, was she about to leave because she had been discovered, or had she been completely consumed by the Darkside and left them with little choice?
But before they could continue, her phone continued to blow up and it even drew his attention as he glanced down at it. But her next words shocked him, she wanted his help? "Oh, you gotta be joking." He murmured but that's when the door was banged open and a group of enforcers entered the establishment with blasters already in hand. All of the occupants stifled in their seats, wondering what could have happened to have their night possibly ended and their life. But when the Quarran pointed at Aadya, most of the other customers and performers started to run out of the bar and for safety.
By the time Elias turned to spot the Quarren himself, they had lifted their weapons in their general direction. He ducked down as the enforcers fired over him and into the wall of bottles as precious alcohol exploded. Shards would rain down on Aadya and other liquids as smoke started to fill the room while debris collected. When they had unloaded their clips, Elias had still been in his stool with the counter right next to him almost completely torn to shreds as holes littered it and small fires started to form.
His head had been tucked in his arm and when the blaster fire stopped, he finally lifted it and glanced around. The enforcers stepped forward with brazen, clearly unworried about the possibility of law enforcement or a third party interrupting. Elias's grip tightened around the glass he had from the beginning as it began to tap lightly on the counter with it. A surprising dose of anger flooded through him at the spectacle. It reminded him of when his own home had been broken into and it brought back painful memories that he tried to keep buried for this reason. The enforcers had always picked on the weak, especially with the backing of the Syndicates and Cartels.
Aadaya's voice replayed in his head, Please. She was a Sith and technically the enemy but even then, images of her in padawans robes just like him came to mind as well. He was here for the Cartel and he knew he shouldn't do it as it would completely derail him but he couldn't help it. As the enforcers slowly approached and practically ignored, Elias finally lifted his glass fully and spun around before slamming into the face of the Quarren as the shards broke into his face.
Elias then quickly grabbed the enforcer's shoulder and spun him around to use a body shield as the alien's blood spilled down his face and blinded him. He quickly grabbed for the hand that held the blaster and lifted it up, shooting one bolt into each of the other enforcers and where the armor was thickest. It wouldn't kill them but it would knock them down and give Aaddya a moment to prepare herself.
Things unfolded in the cantina at a very fast pace. From behind the counter, Aadya did her best to use the force to shield herself from the glass and alcohol raining down from the shelves behind her. When she finally got brave enough to peek her eyes over the counter, Aadya watched as Elias seemed to dismantle the group of thugs with almost no effort.
Although she had to say, it was a little disappointing how evident it was that Elias was going out of his way not to kill them. Sliding out from behind the counter, Aadya approached the two enforcers on the ground and before they could recover, unloaded a shot from her blaster into each of their faces.
There was no sense in leaving violent criminals alive to continue their particular brand of terror as far as she was concerned. If they weren't here, they'd surely be somewhere else making someone's life miserable. Thugs like these were scum who would have shown her no remorse, so Aadya felt like it was her obligation to respond in kind.
Turning towards Elias and the thug he was holding, Aadya's eyes narrowed fiercely as she looked at them. She wanted to murder the other Black Sun guy too, but figured a Jedi probably wouldn't appreciate killing a defenseless man - and for now, she needed Elias' help for as long as he was willing to give it.
Letting go of her anger for now, Aadya shrugged her shoulders. They're gonna be looking for you now too, you know, She said to Elias, almost wanting to laugh at the predicament the Jedi now found himself in. It reminded Aadya of her padawan days, always getting into trouble with the instructors and most of the time, dragging some other padawan down with her. Was it really Aadya's fault if Jedi didn't know when to say no?
Gripping the barrel of her blaster, Aadya raised it quickly and clubbed the thug with its hilt, knocking him out quite effectively. Whenever the dude woke up, he probably wouldn't even remember where he was.
Turning back towards Elias, Aadya couldn't help but flash him an amused smile. You never did tell me why you were on the Smuggler's Moon, Elias. Makes me think it's for.. not so Jedi like reasons. Rifling through the Black Sunner's pockets, Aadya snagged one of their datapads and fired off a message to the most recent contact that the job had been completed. That should buy us a little time.
Looking around, the cantina was now all but empty so Aadya helped herself to the one of the bottles of liquor that hadn't been destroyed by blaster fire and gave it a swig before holding it out to Elias. We probably shouldn't stick around here much longer. Someone will come looking for these idiots eventually. We can dip out the back door.
Aadya would wait for Elias to decide what he was going to do, stick together or go on his own. Either way, she'd probably just follow him. They had a better chance of getting off world together than apart, even if Elias wanted nothing to do with her.
Each of the bolts landed and with the enforcer's not expecting a third party to intervene, they all crumbled to the ground and groaned in pain. Elias held the alien in his hands as he waited to see if anymore would try and come out. The only movement however was Aadya as she stood up from behind her cover finally. As she walked over to the incapacitated enforcers, he could instantly sense what her intent was and he used the alien's own gun, which was still in his hand, to slam it into the side of the Quarran's temple and knock him out cleanly.
When Aadya lifted her blaster pistol to shoot each enforcer in the head, he pushed the Quarran to the side before calling the force to him to dispose of her weapon. She would feel it start to shake uncontrollably in her grasp before it was just completely yanked out as her fingers right as she was about to squeeze the trigger. It would zip through the air straight into Elias' hand and he immediately ejected the energy pack from inside the weapon before tossing it on the counter. "No, you're not killing anyone. If I'm helping, you're playing with my rules." Aadya may have been Sith but that didn't mean he changed for the worse and he wasn't just going to let her kill people in front of him if they barely posed a threat. If she tried to reach for it or attempt something else, he would be right there to stop her again.
"After all, you should be familiar with them." They were the rules that she had decided to run away from. It was hard to see how she easily just lifted the blaster and was ready to pull the trigger without any remorse. It served as a reminder that she really was a Sith and that he needed to proceed with caution, despite the fact he was helping her. Aadya could argue with him if she wanted but the resolve on his face would tell her it would be the hill she would die on.
Aadya started to try and sniff out his reasons for being on Nar Shaddaa and Elias gave a grin right back to her, "We're actually going to have a talk about that." He sort of viewed it as a way of payment for helping her escape whatever trouble she had gotten herself in. After she sent the message, she reached for one of the bottles that miraculously hadn't been destroyed and held it for him after her swig. Elias glanced down at the bottle before he simply just shook his head and took it for himself. "Let's get out of here then." They didn't need to run the risk of being intercepted by even more goons.
Elias turned and made his way to the back door as he stepped over bodies and debris. The place had effectively been destroyed and he suspected the Black Sun weren't going to reimburse whoever owned it. When they reached the door, it swung open wide and revealed an empty alley for them. The Knight glanced to his left and then right to make sure the coast was clear of any eyes. He stepped out once it was and used the force to help him leap up to the roof of the next building over. When he landed smoothly, he waited at the top for Aadya before they continued on.
All things considered, Aaday was pretty happy that she had ran into Elias despite the awkward tension that had thus far plagued their interaction. At the very least, the Jedi seemed to have trained him well. Perhaps too well, given that he seemed to weak to finish off pathetic criminals in the manner in which they assuredly deserved.
Following Elias' lead, Aadya also utilized the force to reach the top of the next building, a vantage position that would allow them at least a moment's respite to gather themselves and assess the situation at hand. Glancing at the street below, no one seemed to be moving with purpose indicative of arriving backup for the men inside the bar. At least they had that going for them.
So if we're gonna talk, lets talk. Aadya said, looking at Elias, her lips pursed slightly. Jedi don't come to Nar Shaddaa for no reason, and the way you've been avoiding my question makes me think think you're here to do something the Jedi might not approve of.
There were a lot of things running through Aadya's mind as she stood on the roof with Elias. Despite her best efforts, seeing someone she knew from her past brought up insecurities about her choice in leaving. For now, though, she and Elias had much bigger things to focus their attention on. Getting off the Smuggler's Moon key among them.
The wait wasn't long and Aadya would only take a moment before joining him on the roof. They lost the thugs for now or at least confused them enough to get time to speak. Elias still had the bottle in his hand and he took one swig before setting it down. He needed a drink for what he had gotten himself into with Aadya. It was a complication he hadn't expected and has now completely derailed him.
"I wouldn't say they wouldn't approve. They just don't know about it." It was a sly way to answer the question as the Jedi most likely would have disapproved of the reasoning if they were told. He made his way to the edge of the roof and peeked over the side, once more seeing the street clear as he returned his attention to her. "Who is chasing you? Obviously, it's one of the Syndicates. But which one?" They would be the only ones with the balls to light up an entire bar on Nar Shaddaa and not expect any consequences.
Elias's personal beef was with the Hutt Cartel but he could possibly pull some useful information out of whoever was tracking her down. What he wanted was practically insane but no obstacles were gonna scare him off from this. He needed the schematics to the Hutt palace on Nal Hutta to infiltrate it. The plan could have been told to Aadya but they had just recently met and he didn't know where her true allegiances lied. She hasn't struck him down yet but she also hasn't completely abandoned him and their partnership was only formed out of necessity.
Black Sun, Aadya said simply, deciding to ignore Elias' obvious attempts to be purposefully vague about the nature of what he was doing on the Smuggler's Moon. She figured that continuing to pry into his true intentions would likely only be met by a stone wall eventually and she didn't want to piss off the only person on world that was willing to help her, even if it was just temporarily.
I did a job a little while ago, breaking into one of their hangers and jacking a few of their ships with some friends of mine. Thought we'd gotten out without leaving anything behind, but apparently these assholes must have gotten a hold of my face. Guess I'm not as good of a slicer as I pretend to be on the holonet. A bit of a joke, if for nothing else than to break the seriousness of the situation so far. Aadya was probably divulging more information than she should have, but she was nervous and when she was nervous sometimes she didn't know when to stop talking.
Peering down over the ledge of the roof with Elias, Aadya let out a worried sigh. The Black Sun still hadn't sent in any backup, which seemed weird - and weird stuff always gave her cause for concern.
Not sure what it is that you need to do here Elias, but whatever it is, I can help you with it.. if you want. Aadya said eventually, still gazing out into the skyline. The young Sith had no idea what the Jedi's plans were for her, if any. Did Jedi just let Sith escape? From what she remembered of her own lessons, it seemed unlikely. Though, Elias already seemed like he'd grown into not quite your normal Jedi, so who knew.
The Black Sun. It wasn't part of the Cartel but it was part of the Five Syndicates. While it would have been better if it was the Cartel, at least for him, he assumed the Black Sun could also have what he needed. Aadya explained why they were chasing her and the reasoning sounded very much like her, especially with the comment about her not being that good at slicing. "What a shocker." He commented with a chuckle as he had never been able to see her sit in front of a computer.
It did break the tension, not between them really as it was mostly in his head and made him ease slightly. He didn't know what to do with her really. She had abandoned the Order but he also knew her and she was asking him for help. Elias exhaled softly, obviously debating with himself as she came over to stand by him. He didn't even glance in her direction, his eyes just locked on the door they came from.
Eventually, he turned towards her as he crossed his arms over his chest, his hip leaning against the railing for support. "Is this from the bottom of your heart or because it's a safe ride for you?" That would be going over semantics and she offered to help anyway, making it not really matter and more personal. He shook his head before speaking again. Elias would just have to trust for it as it meant he could also keep an eye on her until both of them left the planet. "I need information about the Hutt Cartel. Not their operations here but on Nal Hutta, how many guards, weapons, et cetera. You help me get it, I'll help you get off the planet."
When he offered it, the two of them would hear thrusters before he glanced to his right. There was a transport flying above the roofs, a searchlight combing through each one before it moved on. Both of them didn't need a sign to know exactly who it was. "We have a deal?" It would only be a minute or so until the searchlight would find them but he remained stoic as a statue, his fleet planted to the ground as he locked eyes with Aadya.
I might know someone who can help you, Aaday said after thinking for a moment. She'd made quite a few contacts while dicking around on the dark-holonet, and one of them lived here on Nar Shaddaa. They'd always proclaimed that they could dig up information on anything, guess it was time to see if that was true of just artful boasting to seem cool on the internet.
Noticing the transport and its ever watching searchlight, Aadya made a split second decision although she was unsure how it would go. In an instant, she would grab Elias by the wrist and pull him in for a kiss, spinning his body so that his back would face the transport and hers would be pushed up against a stairwell that lead down into the building.
She figured there was no possible way they were going to outrun a kriffing flying transport, so their best bet was to seem like some random couple who'd snuck off for a late night rendezvous on a romantic rooftop.
They'd only have to keep up the charade for a few moments, the searchlight panning over them but not seeing what they were looking for. It flew off away from them, continuing its fruitless search.. at least for now. Pushing Elias away, Aadya flashed him a sheepish smile, hoping that the Jedi wouldn't be too upset with her for what she had done.
Come on, She said, heading off in the opposite direction that the transport was going. You can tell me more about exactly why you're looking to take it to the Hutt homeworld while we go meet my friend. His apartment is not that far from here and we should be able to stay out of sight for the most part.
Taking a running start, Aadya leapt over to the next rooftop, keeping her pacing brisk but not breakneck. After all, it would be hard for Elias to explain himself if they were in a full sprint at the same time.
It seemed it had been a good idea to help her. Elias had lived in the merc life but he never met anyone on Nar Shaddaa who could help him. Thankfully, it appeared Aadya knew of someone or something that could help him. He pretty much took it as her accepting the deal and gave a nod. Elias' hand was still on the railing and as the transport flew towards them, he was about to just hop over and take some cover in the shadows. Aadya had different plans.
Right when he was about to jump, she grabbed onto his wrist and pulled him in without a word. His lips connected with hers as she pulled him towards the wall with her back to it. His frame would press against hers as his other hand would slam into the wall above her head so that she wasn't crushed by his weight. Her lips felt nice against his even though he didn't move against hers. But just as fast as it happened, it stopped once the transport passed before both of them separated from each other.
Elias simply pressed two fingers to his lip before chuckling, "Have you been holding that in for a while?" But Aadya was on the move once more and he followed her as he easily kept up. At first, he didn't answer her question, not exactly knowing what to say to her or really, what he should reveal. She was still the enemy but it was confusing because she wanted to help. Her assistance could only be till he got off the planet and then she would use it against him.
He decided to tell her the truth but not the full version of it as they leaped onto one more roof. "I believe there are people I care about in the palace, against their will. I'm going to get them out... somehow." His voice was iron despite the activity they did. It was a commitment he made to himself that he couldn't be pushed away from.
Well I can tell you now you're either the bravest or stupidest person I've ever met. Aadya said, trying to suppress a laugh as Elias joined her on the next rooftop and sorta-kinda divulged his true intentions. If you think the smoke you get trying to kriff with the Cartel on Nar Shaddaa is something, trying to take it to the Hutt palace on their much covered shithole of a homeworld is on a whole 'nother level.
Aadya kept her pace brisk, sticking to the shadows as much as she could as they crossed several more rooftops. Eventually, Aadya and Elias would find themselves on the roof of a dilapidated looking apartment building. Making her way over to the fire escape, Aadya headed down a couple flights of rickety durasteel stairs before stopping at a blacked out window. You're lucky you ran into me, Elias. Getting people into where they don't belong is kind of my friend's specialty.
After rapping on the window in a distinctive pattern, a few moments would pass before the window cracked and Aadya opened it a bit more and slid inside. When Elias joined her, he would find himself inside a small apartment, the only light inside coming from the screens of holonet terminals scattered haphazardly across the only room making up the home.
In the corner, hunched over a terminal that was a bit bigger than all the rest was a rather flamboyant looking Hapan man, slapping away on the keyboard with determination. You would have thought he was completely unaware two people were now standing in his house if not for the single finger he raised in the air to signal to them that he was almost finished doing something and didn't want to be interrupted.
After a few minutes, eventually the man turned around and faced Aadya and Elias, a grin spreading across his face as he stood up and walked towards Aadya, motioning for a hug.
I see you got my message before those Black Sun dicks blasted you to high hell, He said before abruptly releasing his hold on Aadya and eyeing Elias up and down with the critical eye of a disappointed parent. And who's this?
This is my uh... friend, Elias. Aadya said, trying to come up with the best word to describe what she and Elias were was more difficult than she would have assumed. Elias, this is one of my oldest friends, Uza. Figuring there was no sense in wasting time with prolonged introductions, Aadya moved straight to the point.
I'm gonna be honest with you Uz, Elias and I need some help. Whatever information you have on the Hutt palace on Nal Hutta would be great. \
Turning towards Elias, Aadya sort of jerked her head towards Uza, indicating that now would be the time for him to give some specifics if he were willing. Not much an information broker can do for you if they don't know what kind of information you needed, after all.
"Could be a little both." Elias simply replied as he agreed with her and was in her position of not knowing what he was. He was being driven by his passion for his parents and his eagerness to see them once more. There wasn't really logic in his plan as he had just come to Nar Shaddaa with no plan to meet someone. "There's a good reason why I'm doing it. Trust me, I know the shit that's going to rain shit down on my head." There was no way past it but it was just the consequences he would have to bear.
The trip to the apartment wasn't too bad as Aadya led the way. They seemed to have lost the Black Sun for the moment but there was always a risk of them popping out. Elias headed down the stairs with her and reached out with the force before they reached the blackened window. He didn't think she had some ultimate plan to kill him and he didn't sense anything sketchy from her but regrettably, she was still Sith and he was slightly suspicious. "Well, let's see if you're right."
A small code was exchanged through knocks before the window finally unlocked. Aadya slid in first and he followed her in after to enter quite a normal-looking apartment except for the number of computer screens in the room. Elias thought it was empty at first but then he heard the intense clacking of keys. When they laid eyes on Uza, he turned toward her with a questioning look in his eye but before he could open his mouth, the man raised a finger to cut everyone off.
Elias just remained silent as the two exchanged words, wondering what their relationship was as they embraced. When asked, he stuck out his hand for the man to shake, "Pleasure, Uza." When Aadya described him as a friend, he spoke through the force to her, Nice way to put it.Two childhood friends who joined different sides that were mortal enemies. Always a great story. At least the Uza and Aadya were actual friends and seemed willing to help.
When Aadya told Uza that they needed information on the palace, his mouth practically dropped. "You want information. On the Nal Hutta palace. What the hell are you planning?" Elias gave a simple shrug, "We're..." He quickly corrected himself,
"I'm trying to get in, and yes if you can help it."
Oh no, this is definitely a we thing now, Elias. Aadya said plainly, giving him a look that said "as if, dude." Going by yourself is just suicide, and there are much faster ways to kill yourself if that's what your overall goal is.
Clearly not entertained by Aadya's and Elias' conversation, Uza wheeled himself over to one of his terminals and popped in a thumb drive. I got some info that might help you out, but it'll be up to you to make it work. Uza said as he typed in a few strings into the command line and started a data transfer.
I've been keeping an eye on the shipping lanes coming to and from Nal Hutta for awhile now. Not super useful, but easy to snag, so I figured why not. I got everything from what kind of cargo to exact time and place for transports leaving Nar Shaddaa. Shrugging his shoulders, Uza went back to his original terminal to continue whatever he was doing before. If you can figure out a way to play stowaway or get in one one of the transport jobs, well I figure that's about as close as you can get to just walking in the front door. The data should be done transferring in a few minutes, do with it whatever you want... or don't, not really my concern.
Just as the data was done transferring with a small blip of affirmation, the front door to Uza's apartment blew off its hinges like it had been kicked open by a freaking krayt dragon. Several Black Sun thugs poured inside, looking for a fight.
Kriff! Aadya shouted, drawing her own blaster and popping one of the thugs square in the chest. Guess the Black Sun got eyes on his somehow, She said to Elias, an annoyed look on her face. They had been so careful.
Not much they could do about it now, though. Just another chance to take out the trash before figuring out their next move.
Elias brought his gaze to Aadya when she countered his words and told Uza that it would be them together. Why was she stuck on helping him? She was right, it was practically suicide and it was the reason he was trying to go by himself. Wouldn't she want this to be a suicide mission for him? He opened his mouth to speak but Uza cut him off as he put in the thumb drive. The sound of clacking keys came next and Elias just closed his mouth as the man went to work.
Uza revealed that his plan involved the shipping lanes to Nal Hutta. Elias hadn't really thought about how he'd get onto the planet because it was his home and he thought he could always rely on his own knowledge to get through it. As he spoke, the Jedi leaned forward and placed one hand on the spine of the hacker's chair. "Can you find a transport that directly enters the palace? Either cargo or anything else?" If Elias could be dropped off inside, that would make his life much easier.
When the transfer was complete, he could hear the PDA inform with a beep and he turned to pick it up. But when he reached for it, the door was practically blown open as men flooded into the room. The first one had gotten shot by Aadya but the second sprinted straight past and right to him. Elias pushed off the chair but before he could even reach for a weapon, the enforcer simply ran right into him and tackled him as they went through a wall. Dust exploded outward as planks of wood flew everywhere from the collision. The two would keep going until Elias' back struck right into a pair of cabinets as they cracked and fell from his weight.
His head would snap back and hit one of them as stars would appear in his vision. Elias glanced down and dropped an elbow in between the enforcer's shoulder and neck. It made the man drop him to the ground as the Jedi did too and onto the floor. He coughed as he was covered and dust and grabbed onto the counter to lift himself up. The enforcer finally cleared his head as well and charged again right at him once more. Elias reached around until he felt something and when his fingers wrapped around a handle, he spun around and swung with it. The handle led to a pan and it smacked the enforcer right in the cheek as it sent him flying back. Elias spun around to face Aadya, checking to see how she was doing.
This whole situation was turning shittier by the second. Not only had the Black Sun managed to track them with an almost unbelievable sense of accuracy, she'd also comprised one of the few safe spaces that she had on Nar Shaddaa in Uza's apartment. Rage roiled violently inside Aadya's gut as two of the thugs charged towards her, one holding an imposing vibro-knife and the other some kind of stun baton.
The knife wielder was the first to close in, stabbing his weapon violently towards Aadya's torso. The attack was brutish and overtly broadcast, like the guy had never actually had a knife fight in his entire life. Aadya was easily able to dodge the attack, but unfortunately his buddy was a little bit smarter and used that as an opportunity to slam her in the ribs with the stun baton, sending her reeling and onto the floor.
The pain was, quite frankly, kriffing immense. The response it invoked in Aadya was one she wasn't very familiar with. Her rage and frustration bubbling over, the darkside erupted around her and she reached out with the force and gripped the man tightly around the throat. In an instant, Aadya's lightsaber snapped to her hand and ignited as she got to her feet, its crimson blade bathing the entire apartment in harsh light.
The knife wielding thug, now realizing he was completely out-gunned, tried to get another stab in - only to be met with a quick parry from Aadya and a lightsaber blade buried in his chest. The other thug, still floating in the air and grasping desperately at his throat, would soon find himself flying out of the window Aadya and Elias had entered through. Smashing through the glass, the Black Sun soared over the safety of the fire escape and careened all the way down to the hard duracrete below, his life ending in an audible crunch and splat.
As quickly as she'd produced it, Aadya stowed her lightsaber back in its place as she forced herself to calm down. Looking at Elias, she wasn't sure what to say other than cocking her head towards the window. It was time to go.
Hoping that her very... anti-Jedi display hadn't ruined the potential she'd been cultivating all night, Aadya finally let out a sigh as she headed for their exit.
I'm pretty sure I saw a couple entries about transports taking slaves directly into the palace in the datasets I managed to catch. Should be able to stow away on one of those and get ourselves in easy-peasy. With one leg out the window, she clashed Elias a faint smile, almost apologetic for what she had just done... almost. Whether you like it or not, you'll never accomplish what you're trying to do alone.
Heading back outside, Aadya started scaling the fire escape to return back to the rooftops, one of the Hutts main transport hangers was only a couple blocks south of where they were. Pulling her pack of smokes back out, Aadya lit one and took a long drag, smoke billowing from her nose as she exhaled.
When he spun around to check on Addya, his eyes widened as he saw what she did. The rage that swirled within was palpable to him and he managed to catch her running her blade through one of the enforcer's chest at the last second. The other one levitated in the air and clawed at his throat with his airways closed before he was thrown for the window. His body would smash through the glass but instead of falling to his death, he remained floating in the air. Elias had his hand outstretched, the tendrils of the force wrapped around the criminal before he was thrown back into the room and into safety.
When Aadya suggested going, the Jedi simply stared at her without saying anything as his gaze drifted to the lifeless body beside her. Without saying a word, he walked over to where the PDA had been and slipped it underneath his clothing. Elias then glanced toward Uza, "Thank you for helping. I'm sorry for what happened to your place." It was Aadya who had led him here but if it wasn't for his reasons, then they never would have showed and it made him feel slightly guilty.
When they climbed up to the roof, he walked over to the edge and placed his elbows against the railing as he stared down at the street below. Aadya's words played over in his head and eventually, he just shook it. "No, our agreement was that you help me find how to get in the palace and I would help you get off this planet. That was the deal." What happened inside the apartment did sour whatever had built between them and it was a reminder of the harsh reality that she was still a Sith and not the girl he once knew. It had been ignorant of him to think that there was a chance for her to change.
"I'll figure out how to get in the palace. Either by myself or some other way but it can't be with you." His voice was monotone as if he just had to accept it. While the mission was personal, he wouldn't let himself tear down his own beliefs and creed to achieve what he wanted. Elias didn't trust himself to take her along with him. The control of his emotions was waning and if she came, it could possibly be the last straw before he snapped.
If she were being honest, Aadya would have been able to admit that Elias' words hurt her feelings, but for why she wasn't entirely sure. It could have been any number of reasons - the righteous indignation, the clear way that he looked down his nose at her, or maybe it was just the memory of a friend who now regarded her with such contempt.
Had she really changed that much? No, Aadya didn't think so. The actions she had taken - or attempted to take, before Elias and his savior complex decided to seemingly always step in - were more than justified. Aadya was so sure of that.
You need to stop pretending like saving criminals, people who want to slit our throats and watch us bleed out in the gutter, makes you a good person Elias. The Jedi's ingrained guilt hangs off of you, it clouds your aura so deeply but you cannot even open your eyes to see it. Aadya's tone was harsh but not angry, the hurt she felt in her chest finding itself slipping into the way that she spoke. I'm not out here killing innocent people, Elias. No matter how much you pretend to be, you are not better than me simply because you chose to stay and I didn't, or because you choose to spare murderers and thieves. The Jedi kill people every day. Don't kid yourself.
It all just sort of.. fell out of her mouth, Aadya barely taking a moment to grab a breath let alone give Elias a moment to interject. Her level head returned, Aadya glaring at Elias like she couldn't believe he still had the idea of going through with his plan alone. If the Jedi were willing to help you, you wouldn't have showed up to Nar Shaddaa alone. You know as well as I do that with the force, there are no coincidences. We were meant to find each other again, and we were meant to help each other out. I am still willing to put my own neck on the line to help you with whatever it is you want to do inside the palace, despite you seeming to want to ditch me at every possible opportunity your brain can come up with.
Aadya could hear the sound of the engines of the Black Sun transport that had nearly caught them before. She was pretty sure the little ruse they'd used last time wouldn't work this time, not to mention Aadya would have bet dollars to doughnuts that Elias found her more repulsive now than just a couple hours ago.
I can play by your rules if you can at least try to attempt to trust me, She said, a little bit of urgency creeping into her voice. They didn't really have the time to dawdle around anymore. Come on, if we get moving now we can still catch the next transport.
Aadya would head off in that direction, entirely unsure if Elias was going to follow or not. At this point, there didn't seem like much she could do to convince him that she wasn't his enemy that she hadn't already tried. Regardless, the transport hub would probably have some pilots willing to let her sit in a cargo bay for a few credits.
Aadya did need to get the kriff out of Nar Shaddaa, after all.