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Fandom Star Wars: Twilight of the Force

Sub Genres
  1. Action
  2. Adventure
  3. Star Wars
OOC
Here
DURING THE DAY the city of Canto Bight was a sight to behold, but at night it was truly spectacular. A beacon of opulence on an otherwise barren world. Ringed by an imposing mountain range the city was located on the shore of the galaxy's largest artificial ocean. A popular destination for society's elite across the galaxy. Wealthy tourists, gamblers, and war profiteers gathered in equal measure to visit Cantonica's luxurious casinos and bet on the fathier races. Elena hated this planet. Nowhere else in the galaxy was the decadence of high society so blatantly on display as it was here. The rich and powerful gambled and drank themselves into a stupor while the less fortunate worked the casinos and the race tracks.

Nestled among the foothills, a scant five hundred meters from the wall of Old Town to the west, lay the Tangle. An encampment of shanties, tents, and shelters half thrown together into a makeshift settlement. Out of sight, out of mind, the Tangle represented a loose band of homeless beings who long ago came together to form a semi-autonomous community on the far outskirts of the city. It's where a fair number of the denizens working the casinos and the racetracks lived. In squalor, like animals, while society's elite trampled over them.

Elena had half a mind to do some trampling of her own, but she was here on business and trampling wasn't on the itinerary. With a sigh, she came to a stop in front of the Coruscant, one of Canto Bight's largest casinos. She looked up at the neon sign, one hand pulling her hood tighter around her face. She wasn't dressed in anything fancy, not like the other denizens around her. She wore typical spacer garb: a muddy gray poncho over dark shirt and trousers. It served to hide her weapons from prying eyes. Several beings descended the stairs from the casino, Elena had to step around them to get out of their way. As they passed, she overheard one of them comment on her appearance, mocking her in front of the others. Elena stuck her tongue out at them after they had passed. Feeling a bit childish she checked her chrono then ascended the stairs to the casino where a large, burly bouncer stood outside of a massive entrance.

"Gotta check ya for weapons," the Nikto told her as she approached.

"You don't have to check me for weapons," she answered, without faltering in her step.

The Nikto stared blankly ahead then shrugged. "Guess I don't need to check ya."

Inside the noise was ear-shattering. Between the music, the slots, the crowds, and the constant sound of poker chips and dice rolls it was a wonder anyone could hold a conversation. People passed by almost shoulder to shoulder as servers carrying drinks carefully made their way through the crowd. A large uproar rose up from a nearby sabacc table. Someone was on a roll. She didn't have the luxury of partaking in the games though, she was here to meet someone, a man known only by his title, Master Codebreaker. She had no idea what he looked like, only that he wore a red plom bloom on his lapel. He could typically be seen rolling dice at a high-stakes table at any of Canto Bight's casinos. Apparently, he wasn't allowed to touch the digital stuff.

Can't imagine why...

She stopped next to a large card table, her eyes searching the crowd for the red plom bloom. There were so many people that the task of finding a single person based on his pin seemed like an impossibility. Finding her, though, wasn’t nearly as hard as it didn’t take long for her to garner unwanted attention.

"Well, well, what do we have here," a man asked as he sidled up next to her at the table, eyeing her from head to toe. "A bit dirty for my liking, but that's all right. I bet you clean up nice. You all alone here, Darlin'?"

"Not interested," Elena said.

The man looked disappointed. "Aw, don't be like that, I haven't even introduced myself."

Elena sighed then discreetly lifted the edge of her poncho to reveal the Westar 35 she carried beneath. "I said scram," she snapped at him.

The man's eyes bulged at the sight. "Uh, yea--right," he said, slinking back into the crowd.

Elena rolled her eyes then turned her attention back to searching for the Codebreaker. There was another commotion from a table not far away that drew her attention. There was a large crowd had gathered around a craps table. Packed so tight they completely obscured her view of the dice roller. Pushing away from the table she tried to make her way closer. She’d barely made it a few feet when a pair of larger beings suddenly obstructed her path, forcing her to dance around them to avoid being knocked over. The two Ithorians seemed not to notice her as they passed, idly chatting among themselves while pointing to a row of slot machines.

She glowered at them then turned her attention back to the crowded table. After moving a bit closer she could barely make out the form of a well-dressed man wearing a white jacket through the gaps in the crowd. He was leaning forward over the table to pick up the dice when she saw him. As he did so he briefly flashed a small red pin on his lapel.

Red plom bloom, she thought before working her way around to his side of the table. Her first attempts to push her way through the crowd earned her a few nasty comments, but she persisted until she was standing right next to him.

"Are you the one they call the Master Codebreaker?" she asked.

The man paused briefly to look down at her with what looked like the slightest hint of surprise. "They letting kids in here now?" he asked, one hand reaching for the dice again.

"I'm not a kid, I'm eighteen."

"My apologies," he said with a shrug before tossing the dice down the table. There was a brief pause followed by a celebratory pump of his arm.

Elena stared at him, a frustrated look on her face. "Look, I don't have time to be coy. I've got a job I need you to do, so are you the Codebreaker or not?"

"I don't work pro bono, Kid, and you don't look like you have much to pay with."

He wasn't wrong, she wasn't exactly swimming in cash. "Can we go talk somewhere private or do I have to do this here?"

"Depends on what you're offering," he said, reaching for the dice once more.

She scowled. "I was told you'd be sympathetic toward my plight."

"Told by whom," he asked, never taking his eyes off the table.

"Maz Kanata."

Finally, he stopped to look down at her, a curious glint in his eye. "How do you know that name?"

Elena refrained from answering him, instead picking up the dice and placing them back into his hand. Then she nodded toward the table. Codebreaker gave her a strange look but tossed the dice anyway. As they tumbled across the table Elena made a simple gesture with her hand, stopping them on a five and six. There was a celebratory cheer mixed with a few groans from the patrons around the table. The Codebreaker, however, had not yet taken his eyes off his winning roll. After a moment he leaned over to the woman standing next to him.

"Cash me out," he told her, even as the dice were being passed back to him. He ignored them then turned to face Elena. "Come with me…"
 
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The Codebreaker had led her to a private room off to one side of the casino. A woman joined them there, the same one from the craps table hanging off Codebreaker's arm.

"Lovey, do be a dear and get us some drinks," the man said to her, gesturing to a nearby bar.

Lovey gave him a brief look but said nothing as she moved to fulfill his request. Finally, Codebreaker turned his attention to Elena. She opened her mouth to say something but he cut her off with a finger before reaching into his pocket to pull out a small device. After turning the scrambler on he finally lifted his head to speak.

"When we got word that Skywalker's temple had been destroyed there wasn't any hope for survivors," he began.

Elena averted her eyes as a brief memory flashed through her mind. "Let's just say I got lucky and leave it at that," she told him, her unwillingness to speak about what happened plain on her face.

The man studied her for a moment then shrugged. "Very well," he said as he sat down in a plush chair next to an opulent end table. Lovey came back from the bar with two drinks and handed him one. She tried to offer the other to Elena but the girl waved it off.

"So, what do you need from me?" he asked, sipping idly from his drink.

"In short? A new life," Elena answered, "and to completely wipe away the old one."

Codebreaker arched an eyebrow. "You're going into hiding," he said, a note of disappointment in his tone.

Before leaving Takodana Maz Kanata had told Elena that the Codebreaker was a freedom fighter. No doubt he was on Canto Bight working an angle of his own. This planet did, after all, draw the worst types of beings from all over the galaxy. Rich snobs rubbing elbows with diabolical warlords.

She looked at him helplessly. "What would you do if you were me?"

Hearing the desperation in her voice his expression softened somewhat. "I don't think you need me to answer that."

No, she didn't. The answer was obvious. "I'm sorry," she apologized, "but I'm not like you, or Maz. What's coming after me is far too dangerous to face alone."

Lovey, who'd only been listening up till now, had a worried look. "What is it," she blurted out suddenly, "What's coming after you?"

"Lovey," the Codebreaker said, silencing her with a stare. No good would come from invoking the name of the First Order here. He turned his attention back to Elena, "What you want from me is extremely difficult--and temporary. I can create for you a new identity, but it won't last."

He was right, of course, Elena knew that. The First Order wasn't just a quasi-paramilitary dictatorship. They had regular dealings with a group of beings who could sense her presence the same way she could sense theirs. No amount of computer wizardry was going to help her hide from them. "It'll at least buy me some time," she said.

"But for how long?" he asked, when it was obvious that she didn't have an answer, he continued. "There are others like you, you know. The Resistance—"

"No," she interrupted him, though a bit more abruptly than she’d intended. "No more wars. I didn't sign up to fight for the Republic, I was just trying to get out of the shithole of Vorzyd V."

Codebreaker held up his hands in resignation. "Fair enough. I'll need a few days to prepare the necessary documents. Lovey here can set you up with a place to stay until it's done."

"How will I find you?"

"I'll find you," he told her, then downed the last of his drink and stood. "What is your name?"

Elena cast an uncertain look at Lovey before turning her gaze back to him. "Elena Connor."

"A pleasure," he said, nodding toward her before heading toward the door. As he passed, he paused briefly to rest a hand on her shoulder. "Keep your head down, alright," he said quietly, loud enough for only the two of them to hear. "No sense in you getting yourself killed before I'm done."

Taken off guard by the gentleness in his tone, she hesitated a moment before managing a nod. Once the door had closed behind him Elena turned to the room's only other occupant.

"This way," Lovey said, gesturing off-handedly toward the door...
 
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Lovey took her across town to the poorer districts of Canto Bight. She pulled their speeder up in front of a rundown apartment building in a part of the city that was reminiscent of her old neighborhood back on Vorzyd V. After exiting the vehicle, Elena couldn't help but notice the homeless man sleeping on the street next to the apartment's front door. There were piles of garbage stacked up along the side of the building and the air was rancid with the scent of week's old urine. The young Jedi covered her nose with an elbow as the two women entered the building. There was a man waiting at the front desk but Lovey paid him no attention and the man made no attempt to inquire about why she was here. Instead, he simply half rotated his chair away from them and went back to reading the news report on his datapad. Elena watched him curiously, only looking away when Lovey placed an arm around her shoulders and lead her to the elevators.

Elena gave the older woman a baffled look.

"There's no need to worry," Lovey assured her, answering the unspoken question as she pressed the button to call the elevator. "Hector knows when to mind his own business."

That appeased Elena, at least for the moment. She let go of her concern and the pair of them waited in silence for the turbolift to arrive. When the doors opened, they stepped inside and Lovey pressed the button for floor 17. Neither spoke as the lift began its laborious journey upward. Elena kept her eye on the number above the door, occasionally stealing a glance at her mysterious companion. Lovey seemed not to notice, or if she did, she didn't care.

Eventually, the pinging from the turbolift stopped as they reached their floor. If the street below had been any indication of what to expect inside, what waited for her when the doors finally opened was beyond her expectation. The hallways were filled with junk. Old furniture, broken appliances, and boxes filled with various knick-knacks lined the walls. The air was not much better than outside, though the scent of urine wasn’t quite as powerful. Lovey led her down the hallway and around the corner to a doorway labeled 1734. She reached into her pocket, pulled out a keycard, and swiped it in front of the door to open it.

Thankfully, the interior of the small apartment was not quite as bad as its exterior. The air smelled cleaner, but the rest of the apartment was clearly beginning to show its age. The walls were dirty, though someone had tried to scrub them clean. The furniture was old, showing signs of wear and the refresher, well... Suffice it to say Elena was not looking forward to an extended stay.

"I don't understand," she said as she walked to the center of the apartment. "The Coruscant literally has a hotel right above it, so why take me here?"

"Here you don't have to worry about eavesdroppers," Lovey explained, "At the Coruscant the walls have ears."

Elena remembered back to her meeting with the Master Codebreaker. Before he allowed her to speak, he’d pulled out a small scrambler to mask their conversation. Were there listening devices in every room? She felt a cold shiver run down her spine at the thought of such a blatant violation of privacy.

Lovey handed the keycard to Elena. "If you have to leave don't stray far from the apartment. Stay away from the richer parts of town and wear something to cover your face. Lastly, but most important, never tell anyone your name."

Okay, mom, Elena grumbled to herself as she accepted the keycard from her. "What should I do after you leave? How do I contact you?"

"The Codebreaker will get in touch with you when the job is done. Until then you need to keep your head down," Lovey told her. Then she pointed toward the rear of the apartment where the kitchen was located. "The fridge is filled with enough food to last you a few days. The bed is clean and bug-free so there's no need to worry."

Elena hadn't even thought to ask that question. The fact Lovey had brought it up at all meant that it could have been a possibility.

"If you run into trouble do not call the authorities for help. Instead, go to ground and make your way to these coordinates," Lovey said, handing Elena a small data chit. She turned to leave, adding. "We won't be seeing each other again so take care of yourself," from over her shoulder before the door shut between them.

Elena stared at the chit in her hand before depositing it into her pocket. Then she made her way to the bedroom, pausing by the door to turn on the light. It was plain to see that the only thing that was clean about the room were the sheets. With a sigh, she slipped her poncho off and threw it on the bed. The shoulder bag she wore underneath she deposited on the bed as well, but her gun and her lightsaber she kept with her.

As she turned to leave, she felt a pull from the corner of her mind. Pausing, she turned back to the bed undid the latch on the bag and withdrew a palm sized blue cube. As she stared, she could feel the device calling to her—something it had never done before.

Closing her eyes, she focused her mind on the cube and called upon the Force. There was a pregnant pause before the Holocron rose up from her palm, its corners twisting away from the main body. From deep within the device a blue light began to glow, growing brighter over time.

Suddenly she heard a pounding from the unit next door followed by the sound of a couple screaming at each other. This interruption broke her concentration and the holocron fell to the bed, its corners reattaching themselves while the blue light faded back to nothing. Elena groaned inwardly before grabbing the Holocron and shoving it back into the bag. She left the room, closing the door behind her. In the living room she plopped down on the sofa, grabbed remote from the table then turned on the holovid. As she flipped through the various channels searching for GNN her mind wandered back to the bag in her room.

Before the temple was destroyed Elena had a habit of "borrowing" the Holocron from Luke's vault. She had felt like she'd fully mastered everything Master Luke had taught her and that her training wasn't progressing fast enough. That wasn't true, of course, but as a girl Elena was eager to learn. It took her a while to figure out how to open the Holocron at first, but when she did, she began to use it to train whenever she thought no one was watching. The night before the destruction of the Jedi temple was the last time she’d "borrowed" it. She had fully intended to put it back when she was done, but she never got that chance. Lightning had struck the temple, collapsing a wall on top of her. If it wasn't for a support beam falling in just the right way she would have been crushed under the weight of the debris. As it was the temple had been burning and she’d only had moments to escape. Shielded by the debris she was spared from the worst of the heat, but her fellow padawans were not so fortunate. The sound of their screams as they burned etched forever in her memory...

A sudden advertisement blasting audio into the room snapped her back to the present. In a huff, she grabbed the remote and turned the device off.

"I'm going for a walk," she exclaimed, despite being alone. She pulled herself off the couch then headed back to her room to retrieve her poncho. She slipped it over her head, cinched up the hood around her face then left the apartment, remembering to lock the door behind her...
 
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