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#13813716 Jul 13, 2018 at 06:18 PM · Edited over 3 years ago
FLOrian
11 Posts
Kelmor, a forest planet. The planet has large trees which almost reminds Sallus of Kashyyyk but not quite that big and tall. Once a staple planet of the now defunct Gathial Empire, the Gathial people there, Kelmorians, live peacefully alongside the native race Ecquiron. The Ecquirons are squirrel-like bipeds that stand as tall as to Sallus' chest and they tend to be arboreal. Even now he can see Ecquirons among the crowd.
Dressed in his nondescript armor with helmet on as he used to do back during the Galactic Civil War days, Sallus stands behind and to the side of Perry as they stand in a group of others from Perry's homeworld of Mylur. In front of them on a podium behind a stand stood Borles whom has his back to them. Borles is a greying man who is one of the Mylur leaders as well as its ambassador who is now speaking out to a crowd of various people. Sallus is glad he is wearing his helmet as that unlike others he seem to have a hard time paying attention to the speech. To distract himself some, he silently switches his helmet visor from normal through other visions. Something odd he glimpses caused him to cycle back a couple steps. Sure enough on one vision he can see a light beam which didn't appear on the other visions. He ponders as he half-listens to the speech.
{What could this be..?} he thinks then an idea dawns on him with a shock. Without another pause Sallus springs into action, racing for Borles as he shouts in his mic that was open to both local security as well as Mylur's and others. He tackles the surprised Borles to the floor. Turning from Borles, he spots the source of the noise behind him that happen almost at the same time. In that wall he can see a fresh mark from a rifle that wasn't there seconds before. He ducks and covers Borles as another shot hit the floor closer to them. {A shot done in too much of a hurry} he thinks as he gets up and looks around for the shooter. He can see to their credit security is already searching for the shooter in good order while a few protect Borles and hold Sallus for later questioning.


Walking down a main hallway then down a secondary in the Admiral in a market area, Sallus and Perry moves with a purpose. Sallus thinks back to the attempted assassination of Borles. The security there had kept Sallus for a time and question him till they let him go and was praised a hero and even thanked by Borles himself. The sniper himself had rushed to shot a second time and lost the window of time for his escape. The assassin died in a firefight with security. Though security found clues on the sniper pointing at Jurile and started their investigation into it, Perry saw another clue and he and Sallus is here at Admiral to do their own investigation. Perry had told him he thinks the Jurile clues were misdirection and saw a tattoo on the sniper that pointed to a little-known and top secret special forces unit from the fight against Gathials. Perry had met and teamed with them before becoming one of few that would recognize the tattoo for what it is.
They enter into a shop selling various musical instruments. The one that looks like the owner sees then walks to them. He and Perry hug and smile in a shared friendship. "Perdion," he says, "It has been years. So good to see you. What brings you here?"
"Not the best condition for visiting, I am afraid, Glutron" Perry asks, frowning now.
"What is wrong?" Glutron replies, frowning now and speaking much softer.
In soft secretive voice, Perry begins to explain the assassination as well as the clue he notices. Glutron listens intently as he thinks deeply upon what he heard with clear internal conflict. Glutron says softly and firmly, "Don't need this to be said to others, "seeing both Perdion and Sallus nodding their understanding and acceptance, he continue, "After the war most of my team didn't do well job-wise. So some of us do "side jobs" secretly. From what you describe him. It sounds like Kill-eye." shaking his head in sorrow of a comrade that was dear to him.
"Why would he try to kill him?" Perdion asks, clearly recognizing the name.
"He wasn't the type," Glutron continue, "He was very apolitical. He never took notice of that stuff. So he probably didn't truly realize who he was after. Still, all I know was giving him to meet the customer for instructions: ask the bartender of the Drunken Star in Rictol City, Rictol, then ask for the pink Hastam. Don't let anyone know I told you that. This might be worse than I thought."
Perdion nods his head then smiles and hugs him, saying out loud, "Sorry I can't join you in you business, but appreciate the help." Then after an understanding nod from Gultron, Perry and Sallus walks off and out of the shop to stop after 20 steps and Perry seems to be thinking.
"Think he is telling the whole truth," Sallus asks with his voice very low so only Perry could hear. His eyes start to dart around as something now seems off but not sure what. He can see people walking about doing business or focusing on where they going as well as Gultron talking to a customer to do a sale. None of this seems off at all.
"Yes, he seems very genuine as I recall he was back then but he did give a clue we can go look in..." Perry said but gets cut off as Glutron's shop blew up in a fireball. The concussive force knocks both Sallus and Perry off their feet to slide away across the floor.
Sallus shakes his head to clear it and the ringing in his ears. He sits up and looks around to see the shop is in ruins and on fire. The ringing in his ears clear up and now he can hear the ship's alarms going off as well as cries of bystanders, wounded and maybe a few dying. He spots Perry getting up also dazed. Droids and people for damage control as well as the Auxies start to appear to deal with the situation. They both get out of the burnt debris and sit on a bench and they recover. A medical droid comes to check on them as an Auxie also comes to them but asks questions so to investigate the explosion. Both Sallus and Perdion answers the questions as the droid check them for injuries though neither said about their own investigation or what Glutron told them.
After the droid and Auxie left them, Sallus and Perdion stand up as they gather their thoughts. Sallus can see Perdion staring at Glutron's dead burnt body with concealed grief and anger. "What now?" Sallus asks quietly as only Perry can hear.
Perdion turns and walks off, speaking back softly, "We check out this new lead."

Rictol. A quaint planet and breadbasket of this region of Lamaria. Rictol City is the second largest starport of Rictol with Jukow being the biggest. While Jukow easily has far more traffic and does mainly high volume exports and imports, Rictol City focuses on far less volume trades as well as more specialized and expensive foodstuff. Because of that Rictol City tends to be more quiet and lay back with a combination of natives and outsiders.
Sitting and hiding on top of a one-story building, Sallus watches across the dirt street to the bar that Perry had enter a minute ago. Holding his blaster carbine firmly, he listens to the piece in his ear which sends him what Perry hears from the hidden open comlink on Perry's person. He listens as Perry investigates the clue Gultron given them. Since it might be a trap Sallus stays back as back-up. He can hear Perry talking to others as though he is just visiting for a drink. Sallus turns the safety off on his blaster as he hears Perry giving the password, waiting tensely for the reaction. Though he couldn't make out the exact words, he can feel a tense silence. He brings his blaster up as the silence is broken by shouts and loud noises.
Aiming across the street, Sallus sees Perry nearly flies out of the door onto the street diving down with blaster fire flying just over him. When two men appear out the door aimed with blaster and aims at the prone Perry. When they spotted him, he fires twice, knocking down one of them with the second shot.
The man looks around, realizing he is facing more than one person. Not sure how many he is actually facing and not wanting to try his luck, he dashes off to the side, jumps on a speeder bike and guns it off. Perry gets up, shouts in his comlink for Sallus to come down and join him which Sallus does immediately then he gets on another speeder bike that seems to have belong to the downed man. As Perry guns its engines, Sallus hops on the back of the bike then they zoom off in pursuit.
They follow their suspect as he races across the road then one field after another of various crops. Though they can't seem to catch up with him, they could see and follow him clearly despite what he does. Sallus holds on and helps keep an eye on their target as shooting would be too inaccurate and awkward from his position. It is obvious to him that their target keeps looking over his shoulder at him and becomes more desperate and frantic as they keep on his tail no matter what.
He watches as their suspect panics more and flies straight across a field of grain then stopping at a barn then gets off the bike and rushes into it. Sallus jumps off the bike as Perry stops it not far from the barn entrance. He pulls out his carbine and readies himself to enter the barn. Stopping as he feels a hand on his shoulder, he turns his head to see it is Perry. He nods his head in understanding as Perry signals Sallus to enter as Perry goes to outflank their suspect. As Perry then moves to run around the barn for another way in, Sallus quietly and quickly enters the barn with his carbine at ready.
Unable to see just yet from the lighted outside to the dark barn, Sallus moves quickly and to the side. Knowing time might be not on his side, he changes his visor functions to other forms. Just in time too as one vision form shows their suspect aiming straight at him. He ducks barely in time as a couple hot bolts flashes across where his upper chest just was a split second before putting still burning marks in the wall behind him. Sallus moves to the side shooting his blaster back to force the suspect to duck. {Fiery blaster.. this isn't good} he thought of the suspect's weapon. The fiery blaster is a highly restricted or illegal variant of the blaster which "stores" its energy in such a way that it makes the bolts it fires far more likely to ignite anything it hits. {Must end this fast} he concludes.
Crouching down he runs from one spot to the next, trading firing with him, each trying to hit the other. He also figures time is on his side as he knows Perry should be showing up to tilt the balance and end this quickly. Finally the firefight ends sooner than he thought and unlike how he would thought. He ducks as the suspect wildly fires back in panic sending many shots in many directions. A bright light flashes before him as he is hit by a tremendous force and thrown back hard before he blacks out.
He comes to in stuffy blackness. He realizes he is laying on his back as someone comes to his side then helps take off Sallus' helmet. Then Sallus realizes something is very wrong with his helmet as the visor isn't working and seems to be dented in. He blinks his eyes as the sun rays blind him but soon he sees it is Perry kneeling beside him with his own armor dented and burnt in places. Perry helps Sallus to sit up. Sallus pauses as he hurts all over. He brings his hand to his side as it hurts the worse and hurts more at each breath.
"What?.." Sallus starts to ask as he looks around. His armor is more burnt and dented than Perry's and with many pieces of shrapnel sticking in his armor but not enough to hit his body. He then looks to the side at his helmet which lays on the ground also dented and burnt with the eye lens broken and burnt black. Looking ahead he sees the barn or what is left of it, burning fiercely with a noticeable hole in the wall where he must have been thrown through.
"He must have hit something that was highly explosive," Perry says as to explain what happen.
With much of Perry's help, Sallus gets up on his feet feeling bruised black and blue and his hand to his side as it doesn't stop hurting badly even making breathing painful. He focuses on moving much with Perry's help. "What happen to him?" Sallus asks which Perry just points at the burning barn where inside lays a corpse lay in middle of the fire burnt all black. They then spot a small run-down repuslor truck which Perry helps to put Sallus to lay in its bed. Sallus lays there in pain with his hand still to his side and his other hand holding his broken helmet. He watches as Perry walks off.
Soon Perry comes back showing some items, "Got some.. clues at least. Let's get out of here," He then jump in the front seat of the truck and guns the engine before speeding off towards the starport.


Strolling along the lush garden of a courtyard, Sallus breaths easily thinking about the time that brought him here since Rictol. He and Perry had made it back to Mylur and meet up with Borles, telling him all that had happen as well as handing over the clues. Borles turns the info and clues over to some of his men that were far more skilled and equipped for such investigation. After Perry left to go back home, Sallus stayed under Borles' insistence at his private but big manor as a way of thanks for saving his life. And for two months he has stay at this manor recovering from his bruises and a couple broken ribs while his armor gets repair.
He pauses under the canopy of some trees as he sees Borles walking towards him. During his stay here, he has only seen Borles two or three times because Borles is quite busy with his diplomatic duties. He waits as he walks to him and finally stop before him to talk.
"How has your stay been here?" Borles asks with a friendly sincere smile.
"It has been very good," Sallus says with a small friendly smile, "I am almost fully recovered."
"Oh that is great. Would you like to join in the investigation?"
"Well, I thought you have people doing that?"
"Yes, but they have narrow it down to a place where the probable conspiracy leader might be in. I figure you might like to join the team in raiding the place."
"I would love to," Sallus answers, truthfully as he is starting to get restless and would like to do something as well as to take care of this assassination plot. He follows Borles as he leads him out of the courtyard down a couple corridors, up an elevator to a hanger. They stop at a group before a waiting Stellar Eagle-class ship. Sallus recognizes most of them as part of Borles' bodyguards and security.

Tel Dolsar is a space station set in the Fyor system which is on a minor hyperspace route. Even Sallus can tell it has definitely seen better days. Now it is operated by a group of entrepreneurs and has few rules which allows many traders as well as others to come and go without little fear of various law enforcement in Lamaria.
He and the security squad had come to the station disguised as traders. Once they got a location of their target, they secretly switch to combat gear and move stealthy through the station towards the location avoiding the busy spots. He grips his blaster rifle firmly as they exit out of a corridor into a large disheveled warehouse.
They spread out, going behind one crate after another. They can see the room is occupied by mercenaries busy with preparing gear, weaponry as well as planning. Upon a raised platform they can see the leader a dignified warrior in grey full armor, sans a helmet, whom was obviously commanding and instructing. Over hearing them saying about planning another assassination of Borles, they know they have little time left.
Sallus readies their weapons and grenades. They toss the grenades. Once the explosions happen, causing much cries of confusion and anger, they get up still behind cover and start to shoot and move to outflank and overwhelm since the mercs outnumber them. Much to their credit the mercenaries quickly recover and start fighting back. Sallus swiftly realizes these mercs must be seasoned and well-trained fighters, very deadly. Knowing their time is short and good chance to be overwhelmed, Sallus starts shooting deadly shots to kill each time, never staying in one spot. The firefight increases in intensity and deadliness as both sides understand the importance and precarious of it all. He can see members of both sides being struck down.
Shooting down two mercs, Sallus realizes he is just by the platform. Looking up he can see the leader shooting his heavy carbine in anger and frustration. A stray shot hits his carbine, destroying it into pieces. The leader looks at his destroyed blaster in shock and anger but then notices Sallus. The leader focuses on Sallus as he draws out a well made vibro-sword, turn it on and slashes down at Sallus in horrifying speed and power. Sallus dodges and ends up rolling on the platform, as the blade misses him by less than a hands-width to stick into the metal. {Yikes, his armor must have some sort of servos to augment his speed and street as well as having some skills himself,} he thinks, knowing he must react quickly or die. Extending his left hand, Sallus fires his armor's flamethrower shooting out a cone of fire directly across the leaders torso to his face then rolls away as the leader cries out in pain and fury as he turns away blinded by the flames. Sallus rolls to a kneeling position and shoots right at the leader while others of the security also fire at him as most of the other mercs were down or wounded. The leader falls down dead as a few of the blaster bolts find a weakness in his armor weaken by the fire which has die down by now.
With the leader dead, the fight quickly comes to a close as the mercs either gets shot down or wounded. While security force takes care of their own casualties as well as the merc casualties and gathering evidence and gear, Sallus and the security leader checks out the dead leader. "Now we will find out who he is.." Sallus frowns, trying figure out why the armor looks so familiar.
"Oh I know who he is," the security leader says, grimly, "He was Vutran. The nephew of Urion. A formidable warrior and high up in the Torillan command. This is much bigger than we first thought." then turns and gives command to gather what they could as well as to get some transport before changing outfits to get back to the transport quickly and as quietly as possible.
{Urion?} Sallus thinks, recalling first meeting him when he had came to Lamaria and even locked in the brig of Urion's warship for a time before Perry got him out. He shares the feeling this is much bigger than they first thought.

When they arrive back at the hanger of Borles' manor, the security leader talks with the manor majordomo. He was asking to find Borles but finds out Borles is away on a very important diplomatic mission. Their conversation gets cut off as Borles elegant but not overly decorative yacht flies in the hanger to land. Not long afterwards, Borles walks up with Perry not far behind, both with serious sad facial features. Borles stops and listens patiently to what has happen but shockingly didn't show any surprise.
"This is unfortunate but not a surprise," Borles says, shocking both the security leader, majordomo and Sallus, "Think it is better to explain this in my study then here." He leads them from the fairly busy hanger down a few hallways then into his personal study. He then waits for them to get in and starts to explain, "To make a long story short, Urion and his fellow Torillans as well as some of his allies have claim war just hours ago." He waits to let it sink in then he goes in some detail, "Ever since Jorzo 5 or maybe even before that, it seems Urion has been working to gain more power. Unfortunately, the full extent wasn't noticed till now. The recent mission I just come from was to find peaceful means but.. I failed and Urion has start a war of conquest. He has some strong allies as well as others that are staying totally neutral. All others are either weaken or hurt by broken alliances. Now fighting has occur or at least out in the opening. I got much work to do now if anything can be salvage with this." He pauses and sighs, showing a heavy burden and sorrow on him then he straightens himself as he steels himself as he lets his words sink in.
"So we are fighting an uphill war again?" Perry asks, clearly disappointed by it. Seeing Borles nodding a yes in response, he continues, "I was hoping not to do this as we had to do with the Gathial Empire. Well, I'll help all I can."
Finally Sallus speaks up, "Though I am still finding my way home, I will gladly help as well."


The war increases in intensity and scope as fights turn into battles then into campaigns. Perry goes back into forming units from Mylur as well as special ops missions as he did in the war against Gathial Empire. Sallus finds himself helping in training others to become warriors and to his own surprise he is fairly good at it. Still at times he would like to be out in the field.
One evening, Sallus walks from the hidden training camp to sit by a waterfall and sips his drink as he thinks all that has happen and wonders when and how to keep finding a way back home. Deep in thought he didn't notice Perry walking up to him and placing his hand on Sallus' shoulder. Sallus looks at Perry in surprise because he thought he was on some mission.
"How has being an instructor been for you, my friend?" Perry asks with a friendly smile, glad to see his good friend.
Sallus gives a genuine smile, also glad to see such a friend still alive and well, "Mostly good. My teachings seem to have good affect on them."
"But you want to be in the field?" Perry says, reading Sallus' mind. Upon seeing the answer in Sallus' eyes, he continues, "Well I got a very important mission where I need some real good fighters for and I want you to join in."
"They won't mind?"
"You done a great job here, but think I can get you on my team now."
"I'll go with you then," Sallus says in excitement, standing up, "What is the mission?"
Perry pats his back and leads him back to the camp, "First, get your gear and meet me at the Moongem, you will learn it once we get to the briefing."

Hanging high in orbit about the red and blue planet Wesxa, a few series of dry docks hover as many of its slots are fill by ships either being built or being repair or refitted. In one dock separate from the others rests the biggest of all the ships there. A long capital ship proud and old sits as it is near the end of its repairing and refitting schedule. Its name Viklar Wrath is based off a Torillan wolf-like animal which is widely and popularly used by Torillans as a symbol of their culture and history.
At this time, the Wesxa dry docks are at their night time of its work cycle so the space traffic and work throughout is at its lowest. Among the traffic a few small dry dock shuttles cruise towards the large cruiser to carry maintenance crew to it. In one of the shuttles Sallus, Perry and a few others sit behind the pilot and co-pilot. Sitting with his back to one of the walls, Sallus turns his head to see the Viklar Wrath growing bigger through the front window as they draw closer to it then turns his head to look at Perry whom is sitting across from him. He is impress with Perry's skills in getting this mission set up and all the preparation to capture this cruiser.
Except for the pilot and co-pilot, all the team members are dress in black infiltration outfits. Softly holding his blaster carbine, he asks, "So is that the ship you found me on? It looks odd compare to the others I seen."
"Yes," Perry says, holding his rapid-firing blaster carbine, "And yes, it is an unique Gathial battleship. None else like it has been built."
"Gathial? How did the Torillans get it? Thought they weren't Gathials."
"You are right. They are not Gathials. But.." Perry pauses as he gives a big smile, like saying a much beloved legend as other team members smile hearing it as well, "About a century ago, a small coalition were able to sneak into a Gathial shipyard and nearly take away almost half the Gathial fleet there. Members of that coalition were able to put those ships in their own navies. Viklar Wrath was one of those ships and the one Torillans took as a prize and it became their flagship."
Soon the shuttles land inside one of the several hanger bays of the massive cruiser. They quickly head out towards their own objectives. The squad he and Perry are in heads for the bridge. Though the ship seems to be almost empty, they sneak swiftly, sticking to the shadows. Coming across an armed and alert guard, Sallus by himself moves forward silently taking out a slugthrower with a silencer. With practice ease and calmness he aims and fires shooting into the guards killing him instantly while the silencer automatically sends out sounds of opposite wavelengths counteracting the noise of the pistol. They quickly move the guard out of view. They move forward quickly as time is important. They also make sure to clear out any guards they come across.
After several tense minutes of near silence, their squad enters the bridge, securing it. Once it is secure, Sallus moves to his position, the helms. While he rarely ever flew a capital ship, he knows enough to do the basics. The squad checks the instruments to see if the other squads done their job already. To their delight and growing excitement, everything is a go and they start to bring the cruiser up to moving out of here. Upon Perry's command he steers the ship out of its dock, glad the tractor beam anchors were turned off as planned. Though they were taking the ship, he didn't see any good reason to destroy things so he steers it carefully out so not to damage the dock itself. Once out of the dock he moves it on the closest route to jump into hyperspace as a few other shuttles enters the ship as planned. From what his sensors and what the other squadmates say any opposition has been slow in responding, much too slow. The security ships will not reach them before Vilkar Wrath jumps. A couple tense minutes later the ship makes the jump as they cheer.


Walking down a street of Eerion Center the main city of Eerion, Sallus walks through a local open market. He looks and checks out various booths as though looking for something to buy. Deep down he knows he is here looking for a contact of Perry that went silent and he is here to find out about it. While such a mission can be complicated, he lucks out in that he was able to get in indirect contact with the contact fairly quickly and now he is heading for the secret meeting. Keeping alert for anyone tailing him, he heads through the rest of the market at a leisure pace.
Soon he leaves the market behind and heads down various allies till he enters a back alley where even the noises of the market can no longer be heard. He moves till a short man steps out nervously from behind a stack of old boxes. Sallus stops as he sees that it is the contact he is looking for.
"Have you been follow?" he asks nervously.
"No, I made sure I wasn't," Sallus answers though he has an odd feeling about this. He thinks that is normal considering spy business can be confusing at times.
"I have some information you need.." he begins to say, slowly as if unsure.
Sallus waits, finding this slow talk to be unusual. Spotting a shadow of someone on the wall behind the contact, Sallus automatically sidestep to get some cover, knowing whoever the shadow belong to was up and behind him. This move saves his life as a burst of blaster bolts sliced right by him, so close it burned a mark across the upper arm of his outfit, then it almost hits his contact before hitting the ground several steps further. Turning around he spots a couple men masked and in black outfits and 4 more appear as well.
Looking at the way they approach him he thinks, {Not Torillans.. definitely not bounty hunters... assassins..} figures it out as he sidesteps a downward slash from the vibro-sword of the nearest assassin. Seeing an opening he punches the nearest assassin in the stomach before he could recover his weapon from the strike. As that assassin bends forward from the blow, he slams him head first into the nearest wall, knocking him out cold.
As he prepares himself to fight the other assassins as they moves closer to him to attack in unison, he looks to corner of his eye at his contact. Not to his surprise for some reason, he can see his contact is not scared but instead demand his money from the nearest assassin, apparently the leader. The contact gets furious as the leader stabs the contact in the shoulder as the only payment to someone so unworthy. The contact falls back to hold his bleeding shoulder in shock and anger. The leader doesn't attack again but dismissively ignores the contact to join in the attack on Sallus.
Sallus could not see anymore of the contact as the assassins attack him. He jumps to the right, going over a stack of boxes with the help of his hands. He then ducks low to the ground as he dodges the shot of a flechette pistol. Standing up quickly, he brings his fist up in an uppercut right into the bottom of an assassin's chin knocking him back and off his feet. He finds he is unable to follow through as another assassin gives a kick at his midsection. Again he side-steps, trapping the leg with one arm as he brings his elbow down breaking the kicking leg. Again Sallus dodges another attack but not quickly enough as a vibro-dagger cuts his side, deep enough to draw blood but not enough to hit anything vital.
Stepping back he moves to give him some room. But he hardly gets a couple steps back when two assassins charge him together. One is wielding a wicked serrated blade and another stabs with a needle-thin blade, most likely poisoned. As he done before he side-step then pushes the nearest charging assassin into the other, disrupting both attacks.
"No one!!! No one will ignore me again!!" a voice yells clearly in injured pride and uncontrolled fury. The contact, the source of the voice, stands there quaking in anger with his shoulder still bleeding, "I brought him to you. If It wasn't for me, you'll never got to him. I want my money NOW!!!" Seeing he is being ignored still, he lost what control her had and produces a handful of grenades. Blinded by his pride-driven rage, he arms all the grenades and throws them at the assassins and Sallus, much to the horror of all. One of the grenades is so sloppily thrown that it hits against a nearby wall and bounces back to the horrified contact's face then it explodes. The other grenades also explode hitting the assassins first. The explosions and the flying bodies hit Sallus putting him in pain before he blacks out.
Losing track of time, he keeps finding himself coming in and out of consciousness. He wonders if he was going to die now, get capture or maybe worse. Finally he comes to consciousness briefly as it seems like night and he spots what seems like lights from a speeder hovering down to where he is. He then blacks out once more.

With a start, Sallus wakes up from the darkness of unconsciousness, sitting up. For a few silent minutes, he wonders if he is dead. His surroundings are totally different than before. He is sitting in a big plush bed in silk pajamas, feeling some aches and pains as well as some bandages but his injuries are mostly healed. The room is a big bedroom that is luxuriously decorated and designed. He gets out of the bed, finding he is more than able to. He moves across the room then out the door, knowing this is all real but has no good explanation to what happen to get him from the alley to here. Walking out the door he finds himself in a high hallway that also seems to be part of a mansion. Before he decides to sneak on, he notices a Wyram pressed in formal attire like a butler whom looks at him.
"Master Sallus," the Wyram says politely with no sign of fear but genuine concern, "I see your injuries have healed up wonderful. Mistress Herena will be very pleased."
"Herena?" Sallus asks, stunned by this turn of events, "Who.. where..?"
"You can call me Bomar," he responds, "And I think Mistress Herena would prefer to explain it all to you. Please, follow me."
Figuring he has nothing to lose, Sallus follows Bomar, thinking the names seems slightly familiar. {This is way too ornate and detail to be a trap..} he thinks as he is lead down a hallway then another. They stop as they come to a beautiful curvy lady studying her datapad with a business focus as she stands on a balcony high in a skylight-topped atrium.
"Mistress Herena, may I present Master Sallus?" Bomar says as he bows to her.
She in turn gives a friendly smile and nod then smile brighter as she looks at Sallus. "Excellent," she says to Bomar, "You may go." After Bomar leaves she puts down the datapad with a big smile, "Sallus, it is a delight and pleasure to see you since last time." Seeing the questions in his eyes, she continues, "I am Herena. We first met when you rescued me from some muggers on Nadow."
Sallus thinks deeply as she have given him what he need to know. He finally recalls her and Bomar and saving them from those muggers. He was there on that treasure hunt with Lomcus.
Noticing his recognition of memory she continues on, "I have been keeping track of you since then. No, nothing intrusive. I had a strong feeling you could be quite interesting person," they start to walk leisurely down a hallway side by side, "To my delight I found out you arrive here on Eerion. When you were attacked by those assassins, I decided to do something about it."
"The assassins.. what happen to them?"
"The ones that were with you are dead or close to it. Don't worry you are safe here. My family had experienced dealing with such throughout its history”
"So they were assassins," Sallus says, "Why were they after me? Who sent them?"
"Urion sent them," she notes his curious look, "I tend to hear a lot. It helps in many many ways. Don't worry I am not in league with him at all, I have been very neutral on all this. So how are you feeling? You seem very fit and your wounds have healed wonderfully."
He tests his muscles to check his wounds, "I feel very good. Almost completely heal."
She nods her head in delight of the news, "Very good. You can stay here as my guest till the heat is off so you can go back." stopping as they enter a bed room.
He stops too and looks at her. He can tell she moves fearlessly and gracefully like a predator though not as a danger to him. "What do you want in return? Most things are rarely free"
She gives a sly grin, "I could use much company. It can be quite lonely around here and I could use someone to talk with.”

For a few days he stayed at Herena's mansion. They spend time together talking, playing game, or use of other entertainment. When she was busy with her work, he stayed in her large mansion using its large extensive library as well as its pool, gym and firing range.
This evening they walk arm in arm down a corridor into a long wide hall that looks like a museum of sorts dealing with her family.
"As you might can tell by now I am of the Klensmoth family. Owners of the Myreuth Company," she says, pausing to let her words sink in.
He thinks on it. He immediately recognize the company name. Myreuth is a large and popular company that makes and sells a very wide variety of products from datapads to starships along with having a number of subsidiaries. The Klensmoth family would be a highly wealthy and powerful family on Eerion. He asks, almost stuttering, "What would others think of who having a stranger like me here?"
She smiles and almost giggles as they slowly walk in the hall, "They'll say nothing. As long as I am quiet about it, they will be too. Plus they would think, rightly so, that I need company and companionship."
"How about your family?" he asks, still looking at her.
This time she frowns, showing some deep sorrow, "Unlike me, my husband Doran was a Gathial royalist. He and my oldest son Udit left Eerion when the other such royalists did. Udit died at the Battle of Dormian," referring to the battle just before Battle of Jorzo 5, "Doran.. he died at the battle of Jorzo 5.." she goes quiet as they walk on holding his arm a little tighter while he stays quiet to let her grieve before she continues on, "My other son Theodron was killed when the Killer Moons attacked his ship. Hydoria my daughter died in a speeder accident."
He stays quiet as they walk on, giving her time then decides to switch subjects, "Your family is fully Gathial?"
She smiles at this much to his delight, "Yes.. we had own this company since the Gathials came to Eerion."
"Where did Gathials come from?" he asks, a mystery that he came across in his search. They walk out the hall through a hallway then to an elevator.
She laughs this time, "That is a big mystery. What few sources, there are, are conflicting and vague on the subject. Though it seems that there was much effort in finding their way back."
"Did they ever find their way back home?"
"Doesn't seem like it. What is known for sure is that we Gathials showed up out of hyperspace as a fleet in the orbit of Eerion. We settled here as well as other planets before starting the Gathial Empire. The rest is history.


Walking up in middle of the night in the fairly dark bedroom, Sallus finds he can not fall back asleep for some reason. Getting out of bed, he puts on a robe and heads out of the room, thinking to find Herena as she sometimes stays up late doing business. He goes out into the hallway. Seeing a servant droid, he asks, "Where is Herena?"
The droid stops and looks at him, recognizing him as a special guest of Herena then responds, "She is in her private office, Master Sallus."
He nods his thanks and the droid smoothly and quietly heads back to its duties. He didn't have to ask where is that as she had shown him it days ago. He walks to it as it is not far at all. Upon reaching it, he found that the office door was wide open with her sitting at her desk working on the computer, her side to him. He stops just inside the office as she works, knowing she knew he was there now.
Before he could say anything, she says without looking from the computer monitor, "I know you are fully healed and will shortly leave. I knew it would happen and won't stop you. So as a thank you gift for all you helped me with, I have a wonderful gift for you," pressing a button and the computer shows an astronavigation chart on its holo, "Before he died, Theodron was working on a secret pet project to open a trade route. I have come to the conclusion you could use a copy far more than most."
He leans forward to look at the details better. He narrows and focuses the chart on some parts that seem odd. As a easy way to try narrow it down he brings up focus on just one system in the odd part of the route. As he looks at the details his excitement and near unbelief grows making him speechless for a good awhile. {Aeolus system... this is Aeolus system,} he thinks in ecstatic joy. Aeolus system is a major trade system that is in the known galaxy for Sallus, just a sector away from his home of Nexus
Finally after all these years, he has a clear way back home. He turns to look at Herena who looks back with a big smile as she can see how overjoy he is. When she then hands him a datachip of the route in a small hard case, he gladly takes it then pulls her up to stand right before him. "This is.. the best gift I ever got in Lamaria.." he says excitedly, embracing her in joy and thanks.


Standing in a busy courtyard of Borles' manor, Sallus finishes explaining to Perry and Borles what has happen to him since he had disappeared, politely deciding not to tell the personal part of his dealings with Herena but emphasizing that he finally got a way home. Perry pats him on the shoulder delighted by this news then proceeds to tell him what has happen while Sallus was gone. The war has grown more intense but against Urion. Now the alliance against the mainly Torillan forces is on the verge of attacking Urion's last great stronghold.
"I don't fault you for wanting to leave to go home, Sallus," Perry says, sharing Sallus' joy, "You have my blessing. Now I need to help prepare for battle and have much to do and help to get. Though I would happily give you a ship for your travels."
As Perry turns and talks to others as he plans and prepares for combat, Sallus goes into deep thought, holding the datachip firmly as a reminder. He could see his good friend, almost like a brother, could use his help, but he now has what he needs to get home. {Not my fight..} he thinks, then recalls others saying that about Rebel Alliance when he had fought for the Rebels. Now he sees the other side of the statement. After what seems like hours in anguish of debate in his mind but was just a minute, he made up his mind and walks to Perry.

After deciding to help Perry, he finds himself helping side by side with him to get the logistics right. Before he knew it, they along with a part of the force are on some backwater desert planet at a staging site which is situated in a narrow valley between tall mountains with tents set up, tall enough to easily walk upright in them. Even there he was helping to set things up. As night falls, he joins in one of the biggest tents which was a mess hall as Humans and aliens of different sorts party knowing time for battle are just days away at the most. He finds himself enjoying the feast as he meets new people and hearing tales as well as new foods.

Next thing Sallus knows he is waking up in his bed in his personal tent. Last thing he recall was at the party. Feeling sluggish he turns his head and to his surprise and shock he sees the bare back of a young woman as she puts on a bodyglove, glancing back at him with a smile in her eyes. He shakes his head as the hangover hits him and wonders if he is imagining the woman. Looking back up he sees the flaps of his tent's entrance moving like someone just went through it. He quickly gets up to see if he can find out. He steps halfway out the tent entrance to look around. The night was quiet and the area around the tents nearly empty except for sentries. Before he could do anything a voice stops him.
"Sallus," Perry says as he walks to him, "Something has change and I could use your help."
Sallus nods his head to agree then says in confusion, "Did you see someone.."
"Haven't seen anyone but the guards. Wait did you drink ale?"
Thinking about it, Sallus nods and replies weakly, "yes...."
Perry smiles in understanding, "Maki ale... can give quite a punch to new drinkers and maybe illusions. Now get completely dressed and get your gear. You and I are heading out.”

Sitting in the co-pilot seat of the Moongem with Perry piloting, Sallus sees they are flying over a meadow with scattered light forests. "So where are we going?" Sallus finally asks.
"A small staging point. Some recent intelligence came in and we need to send a team to knock out a communications outpost. I know it is not glamorous or a great target as others but I need it down and I can trust you to get the job done."
"I'll do it. What support will I have?"
"Got three others joining you," Perry says then gracefully banks his ship to the right, "there.. over there, Sallus," pointing out the side as they near the spot. Sallus could see a scar in the ground now worn down with erosion and meadow plants but still visible. "The natives here call that Gem's Grave."
"Gem's Grave?" Sallus asks, wondering if it might mean what he thinks.
"This is Jorzo 5," he answers, " That's where your ship, Queen Gem, crashed."
"They knew?"
"Yes, the crash was hard to miss and both sides could tell it was from the wrong direction. The natives made that spot a memorial for the battle," Perry talks on as they zoom pass that spot.
"Did... did they find any other survivors?" he asks nervously.
Perry shakes his head, "No, none was found as far as I can tell. But the battle was very chaotic so I can't be sure. Anyway, many of those space mines were quite nasty."
"Space mines?"
"Yes.. it took a good bit to clear those mine fields in orbit after the battle. When they backtracked the course of the Queen Gem, they found it had went through one of those fields. So that is what they decided what happen to it."
Sallus nods his head as he thinks as one mystery is solved.

In his full armor and keeping his blaster carbine at ready, Sallus moves quietly through a less-used maintenance tunnel of the Torillan communication base. Behind him his 3 squadmates follow him also armed, alert and moving quietly. Back on Jorzo he was surprise to see his squadmates are Lomcus, Hurnie and Knotora. All three were already a part of the fighting but then decided individually to join Sallus on his mission. Once geared up they were dropped on some planet he never heard about, Then they sneaked into the facility through some long-forgotten maintenance hatch they found when they searched after finding that the entrance they did planned to use was locked tight with too much security on it.
Stopping as the tunnel leads into a door to a regular hallway, all four huddle together. Sallus looks at them and repeats this part of the plan though all know the details, "Ok, Hurnie and Lomcus.. head to the engineer section to disrupt the comms while Knotora and I will get secondary comms center." When they quietly motion their understanding, they split up and quickly move to their objectives.
Moving along Sallus and Knotora have little trouble sneaking past any guards and technicians. They didn't run into problems till the entrance to the secondary center where they find some guards that were apparently highly-trained and skilled warriors. As Sallus and Knotora stops just before a little-used door to the center finding one such guard, they look at it each other. Despite both wearing a fully-enclosed helmet, they know the other was also wondering about this strange situation. Knotora motions to him that she has a plan. As he readies his carbine as a backup, he watches her movng up in a crotch as silently as she can. He watches as she stops then raises and points one arm at the guard then with practiced skill shoots a dart hitting the weak spot at the neck.
The knock-out serum from the dart acted fast as the guard falls onto the floor without saying a word. Sallus smiles in delight at the idea and they quickly move to the door and then quietly open it. The secondary is a dome but filled with various walkways and columns preventing them to see much of what is there. He stops as he listens to his comlink in his helmet.
"At objective," Lomcus voice says over the comlink, "And the battle seems to be already happening."
"Understood. Also at the our objective and soon to fulfill the mission," Sallus says softly back.
Sallus and Knotora sneaks on though finding it odd the monitors here are all on when this section should be on standby mode. Quickly they find the surprising answer. He can see two more of those elite guards but in the middle of the plat form stands a strong man in ornate and masterly made armor with a long fur cloak holding a power hammer as ornate and masterly made as his armor. Immediately Sallus recognizes him, having seen him once long time ago. {Urion, what is he doing here?} he thinks, totally astonished. They must have trip an alarm or spotted by some other sensor as Sallus sees Urion looks from the monitors directly to Sallus and Knotora.
"How did you know I was here?" Urion says with a deep aggressive voice, "No matter. You have been a thorn in my side much too long, even avoiding my assassins. I should have had you killed or left you to rot in prison when I had you those years ago. Now I can personally rectify that mistake." Upon that, the two guards fire their blasters.
After both Knotora and Sallus duck behind columns to avoid the shots, Knotora zooms up and away firing her blaster rifle at both guards getting their attention. Seeing Urion arming his blaster at her, Sallus fires at Urion but to his shock his shot fizzled just inches from Urion. {Great.. a personal force field..} he thinks. Still his shot did switch Urion's attention from her to him. He ducks behind panels to avoid Urion's accurate shots which a couple almost hit him. Sallus fires off a few more shots as he keeps moving behind monitors and columns to keep Urion's attention on him as well as to slow down Urion's firing.
Upon noticing the firing stops, he sees that Urion is in middle of changing his blaster's power pack. Knowing he has very little time as Urion is changing the power packs easily and smoothly as a seasoned warrior, Sallus runs in the open, ignites his jetpack and barrels to Urion then with that momentum gives Urion an uppercut under his chin, knocking Urion back several paces stunned as well as making Urion drops his blaster. {Just what I thought.. only an energy protection shield,} Sallus thinks as he grins of figuring this weakness of sorts.
To keep on the advantage, he turns and aims his arm to fire his flamethrower from his armor at Urion. But Urion moves faster and fires from his armor's forearm a gel substance that spread out and harden into a net then hits Sallus, knocking to the floor and holding him fast on his side with his back to Urion. Hearing Urion's footsteps drawing closer, Sallus thinks how to get out of this constricting net as he knows any moment Urion will be close enough to use his power hammer. With a flash of an idea his other forearm produce a long blade of a vibro-dagger. As it quickly turns on, he hurriedly cuts at the base of net close to the floor. Then once a big enough hole appears he rolls on his side out of the net just a moment or two before the power hammer slams right where he was trapped at, pulverizing the platform tiles there.
Sallus jets off and up on his jetpack towards the ceiling to get some distance. Looking back he sees to his surprise, Urion riding his own jetpack up to him with his hammer posed to strike. He barely has time to jet away another direction as the hammer slams into a brace where he was at just moment before, shuttering a big chunk from it. He flies to another beam and turns around to find to his shock again that Urion is almost upon him with his hammer ready to strike. Dodging barely in time, Sallus fires his flamethrower at him almost point-blank, causing Urion to scream out then heads to the floor almost like a flaming meteor.
Instead of crashing Urion lands on his feet though busy smothering out the flames. Sallus jets back to the platform to keep on the offensive. Sallus fires a small explosive rocket as he is halfway down. The rocket zooms straight down hitting into Urion's right side not far under his arm. Its explosion rocks Urion back and makes him cry out in shock and pain, dropping his hammer. Landing Sallus runs to Urion, picking up the hammer. As Urion recovers quickly and turns to attack Sallus in some plan, Sallus beats him to the strike, hitting Urion fully in the chest with the power hammer. The strike knocks Urion back on his back, cracking the armor.
Seeing Urion isn't trying to get up and hardly moving, Sallus walks up to stand by Urion but out of reach. He can see Urion's once ornate superb armor is now cracked and no longer viable. Urion himself is at death's door, bleeding from his mouth and his body most likely broken in numerous places.
"No... no," Urions says weakly, getting weaker as he coughs, "It is my destiny to rule Lamaria. To bring it to greatness...You.. nor anyone else sees this... I know better than anyone else how to take us there. No one else is chosen by destiny for this.. now it is for naught.." He coughs more but weaker still. He then laughs almost insanely though ever weaker as he opens a panel in his forearm armor and starts to tap the pad there. "Now you won't live to be famous... for taking down one much better than yourself.." then he presses a button. Suddenly the base alarms go off as well as warnings flashing across the screens of all the still working monitors. Then Urion relaxes completely and breathes out one last time then goes still as he dies.
Sallus pants as he recovers, staring at Urion for a couple seconds to make sure he is dead then turns to look at the monitor as Knotora hurries up to stand by his side also looking at the monitors, her armor showing signs of the fight she just finish with the guards.
"The base's self-destruct system has been activated," Hurnie's voice comes across the comlink in his usual calm droid manner.
"Can you stop it or slow it down?" Sallus asks as he thinks through the options.
"No," Lomcus says, "We already tried. It was activated by the master code."
Sallus glances at the dead Urion realizing what he had done then says, "We need a way out of here.."
"We could use the doorway we came from.." Lomcus says.
"No, the explosion will be much too great even if we drive off in a speeder," Hurnie interrupts, "There is a Starcat on a little-used landing pad. Sending the coordinates.."
"Got it," Knotora says as she grabs Sallus' shoulder to lead him away, "We'll meet you there"
Because of the panic of the people in the base, Sallus and Knotora are able to avoid them or be ignore. Seconds later they come to a landing pad that has definitely seen better day and on it sits an old Starcat that also seen much better days. They run up to the ship then up the lowered ramp relieved to see Lomcus just inside signaling them to hurry up. Once they enter the ship, Lomcus hits the button to close the ramp as he shouts in the comlink, "They are in. Take off." Before Lomcus finishes the sentence, the Starcat raises off the pad then zooms up into the sky, speeding up as if homesick for space. Along with Lomcus and Knotora, Sallus moves in the ship and into the cockpit where Hurnie is piloting. They sit down and strap in as the Starcat keeps climbing into the sky.
The base finally explodes in a massive explosion, destroying the surrounding forest for miles and sending shock waves high in the sky. The Starcat rocks and shakes wildly from them but soon it stops rocking as it flies beyond the range then into space. Now they could see the two fleets but curiously no fighting.
The communication beep as they are being called. When answering the holo of Perry shows up. Sallus smiles wide and takes off his helmet glad to see his close friend is still alive.
Well, well," Perry says with a smile, "I was wondering who might be on that ship. And from very nasty explosion from the base as well. What has happen?"
Sallus gives a short but detailed version of what happen with Hurnie, Knotora and Lomcus adding clarifying details at some points. They also answer any questions Perry ask.
"Mmmm... so that Urion was hiding out. Very unexpected. Though makes sense why the Torillan fleet surrender so suddenly at the time of the base exploding," Perry says as he figures it out, which explain why they didn't see the two fleets fighting.
Borles appears in the holo now, "Sallus, you have done far and beyond what was asked of you. It would be wrong to ask more of you. So what have you like to do?"
Sallus pulls a protected datachip from his armor and passes them to Lomcus who was at the navigation seat. As Lomcus plugs the datachip in to check on the route and if possible, Sallus grins wide, unable to keep his excitement in check, "I want to go home as soon as I can."
"Do you have enough fuel and supplies for the trip?" Perry asks, "If not I could get one for you within hours."
Sallus looks at Lomcus whom nods his head to say it is very possible for this Starcat to make the trip. He thinks again on his decision but so eager to get home after so long in trying and not able to he decide to go now. "This ship is able to and I want to go now."
Borles smiles in understanding, "If any of your squadmates don't want to go, they can move to one of our ships with ease so not to hold you long."
"I'll go with him to bring him home," Hurnie says almost immediately.
Standing up and moves forward to be shown in the holo, Lomcus says, "I"ll go too.. he has helped me immensely and I would love to see him get back home."
Taking off her helmet, Knotora then gives her answer, "I'll go with him."
"That's a surprise," Borles says but not meanly, "I'm afraid I might not be able to pay you for that."
"Just put money for the mission as well as Urion's bounty in my account," she replies calmly, "Sallus has earned my respect and I would like to make sure he finds his way home. I"ll be back."
"Fair enough. It would be done," Borles says, "And my deep thanks to you, Sallus. I wish you the best." He then disappears from the holo leaving just Perry.
"You will be miss, my friend," Perry says to Sallus, "I wish you the best. But do try to visit us soon," with that the holo cuts off.
A couple minutes later the old Starcat jumps into hyperspace to bring Sallus home... finally.

THE END
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