The conversation is interrupted by what sounds like blaster fire and shattering glass. It takes only a few moments to hear screams of terror and panic.
The Imperial captain bounces to her feet immediately at the sound of blaster fire. She shakes her right arm slightly and a small hold out blaster appears in her palm. “I don’t suppose any of you have hidden weapons? This sounds serious and I only have four shots.”
“Not me. Be right back.” Zeva heads west into the kitchen and looks around for a mop or other suitable hittin’ stick.
Kay mutters. “Knew I shoulda bought her a damn sword.” She then turns to Hayes. “Not particularly hidden-like.” She draws her blaster.
Kes yanks out her blaster. It’s not her rifle, sadly, but hey. She offers a shrug to Kay. “I was expecting angry Imps, not… whatever this is. Sorry.”
Kai runs into the kitchen to look for some cutlery, preferably something one could throw.
More blaster shots are heard in rapid succession accompanied by more screams. Captain Hayes moves to the door of the private room leading to a dining room, her small blaster at the ready. “I’ll draw their fire; you try to flank them and get out if you can.”
Zeva finds a cleaning implement of suitable length. She grips it tightly and returns just as Hayes finishes her speech, nodding once.
Kay nods worriedly at Zeva and then addresses Hayes: “You be wanting us to run? That’s different.” She shrugs before sneaking through the kitchen door, trying to find a good angle for approaching the terrace.
Kes gives the others a stern look, particularly Kai, before heading towards the door leading to the kitchen. “Running, we can do. But who are they, do you know? More pirates?”
Kai finds a suitable long knife. She sneaks out into the dining room next to the kitchen to get a better view of the terrace. He spots several Viashin firing hails of blaster bolts at various patrons who are running left and right, trying to get away.
One of the Viashin notices Kai coming out of the kitchen; he takes aim and fires, grazing the Duros’ right shoulder.
Captain Hayes opens the door the second dining room, while staying to the side for cover. She opens fire on one of the Viashin murdering patrons. He takes a solid hit in the shoulder, but doesn’t go down. It is apparent their combat jumpsuits are not only for show, and that they are tougher than the haphazard pirates who assaulted the spaceport in Erawlon.
Zeva goes back to the kitchen and takes cover in the doorway to the dining room, getting ready to charge.
Kay mutters, “Crap, they spotted the Duros. This is gonna be fun. At least we’re good at the distracting?” She does a dive into a roll to get behind cover in the dining room, hopefully trying to avoid getting spotted or shot at.
Kes leans against the wall beside the door leading to the dining room, and peers in, getting ready to aim and shoot.
Both of the Viashin in the first dining room open fire in wild bursts on the few remaining patrons. The room quiets down considerably after that. In the other room, shots can be heard. A gasp of pain is heard from the private dining room. Hayes returns fire and Kai sees that the Viashin she had wounded receives a blaster shot to the head and collapses.
Zeva charges into the dining room, swinging her mop wildly at the closest Viashin. The bulky Viashin dodges the blow.
Kay shoots the Viashin closest to her. The shot visibly wounds the Viashin in the chest, but the bulky amphibian is still standing.
Kes fires at the same target her pilot wounded. The shot grazes his shoulder, but doesn’t seem to harm the alien much.
Kai advances a couple tables and tries to overturn one to get total cover.
The wounded Viashin takes aim and fires at Kay. The shot connects with her body. She slumps to the floor behind a pillar, swearing.
The other Viashin, in front of Zeva, gives out a series of clicking noises to her companion and takes a step back. She riddles the area around Zeva with blasterfire. Zeva leaps to the side, avoiding the worst of the onslaught.
The exchange of blaster shots seems to continue in the adjacent room.
Zeva changes her stance and keeps on swinging her weapon at the same Viashin. Her blow is deflected by the padding of the gunner’s combat jumpsuit.
Kay takes aim and shoots at the wounded Viashin again. Kay hits the wounded Viashin again in the chest, and the alien falls to the ground, quite dead.
Kes takes aim and shoots at the nearest foe. Her shot is far off its mark.
Kai picks up the blaster rifle.
The last remaining Viashin in the room fires off a shot at Zeva while backing off. The shot wounds her in the left thigh and her attacker runs off.
In the nearby room, the exchange of fire persists, with a grunt coming from one of the Viashins.
Zeva catches her breath from the exertion of battle and her wounds. Kay swears, still sitting on the floor behind the pillar, regaining her breath.
Kes moves into the next room and crouches behind a pillar. She spots three Viashin aiming towards the private dining room.
Kai runs back toward the entrance of the second dining room.
The three Viashin each throw a frag grenade in the private dining room, before two of them overturn the table in front of them and the third one runs behind a pillar. A series of loud detonations are heard in the room where Captain Hayes is taking cover.
Zeva cuts across the terrace to come up behind one of the Viashin, swinging her mop of death. Zeva strikes a solid blow at the back of the Viashin, but he is still standing.
Kay heads for the lower doorway, to attempt to get behind the Viashin and approach from the terrace.
Kes attempts to fire at the Viashin Zeva just struck, but the shot goes wide.
Kai moves in and fires. His shot takes the Viashin wounded by Zeva in the throat, and he falls over dead with a gurgle.
The Viashin closest to him fires into Zeva, while the one furthest away moves in closer and throws a grenade towards Kai and Kes. The blaster shot aimed at Zeva goes wide. The grenade bounces off the table and comes near the pillar; Kai and Kes avoid the worst the of shrapnel.“Ow!” Kes yelps.
A very bloodied Irene Hayes rushes out of the private dining room and moves to tackle the Viashin who just threw the grenade, but the much larger amphibian manages to avoid her.
The Jedi moves to attack the closest target and misses by a wide margin. Kay’s following shot goes wide.
The combined fire from Kes and Kai takes out one of the two remaining Viashin terrorists. The last one runs off. Zeva tries to strike down the fleeing Viashin, but his armor deflects the blow. Kes’ shot almost hits its mark, while Kay’s blaster bolt hits the fleeing Viashin in the shoulder, making him stumble for an instant, before he continues running.
Zeva goes to check on Captain Hayes’s condition.
Kes rushes over to Kay. “Kay, Kay… Are you okay?”
Kay stumbles slowly towards the group in the dining room. “You all right in there Captain? Zeva?” She then replies to Kes in a whispering voice: “I am much with the pain, but I should heal up fine, Captain. Are the Duros and the Imp captain holding up too?”
“Jedi’s with Hayes… Should take a look at the Duros, though to be honest, I’m more worried about you…” Kes whispers and offers her support to all but carry Kay.
Captain Hayes has a gaping blaster wound in her left arm, her uniform has been ripped to shreds from shrapnel of multiple grenades, and she is bleeding from several cuts. Nevertheless, she is still standing proudly.
Kay gratefully leans on Kes. “Shh. Seamstress, remember?” She grins tiredly.
“…Right. The…kid.” Kes replies.
“She is weirdly both younger and older than I am. I find that confusing.” Kay is slightly punchy and would be swaying on her feet if she wasn’t leaning on Kes.
Once sure that Hayes can manage, Zeva crosses the room and helps Kes to support Kay. Discreetly she transfers some of her life energy to the ailing pilot through the Force.
“Hello pretty… seamstress. Here I was worried about you getting shot, and I went and got hit myself.” Kay shakes her head sadly. “And here I kept teasing the Captain about the ducking.” She blinks as she suddenly feels better. “Wow.”
“I still can’t aim. I think it’s the good captain’s influence. Strikes fear into my soul, I tell you.” Kes gives a small smile to Hayes.
“We should be leaving now.” As Captain Hayes walk to the terrace, she wipes some of the blood from her face.
Zeva looks around and swallows, dryly. “Who are these people? Who would slaughter innocents like this?”
Kes tries to not look around.
Kay stares at the torn up Hayes. “I am very glad I didn’t try and kill you. You’re scary. In a completely awesome sort of way.”
“I’m sorry to say, they all died to make it look random, but I’m fairly certain I was the target,” the Imperial captain finally replies to Zeva.
“Well, obviously. Someone didn’t think I’d follow through. Or there’s a second someone who wants you really dead,” Kay suggests.
“So does someone else know of your… ambition?” Kes asks.
“Your Captain Reyes wouldn’t send Viashin after me. I have no idea who did this.” Hayes keeps on walking to the edge of the terrace. “Right now, I just want to get us to a medbay I can trust. There’s no knowing how far up this goes,” she adds in a throaty voice.
Kes peers at the bodies at last. “I just want to ask…”
Zeva starts out toward the shuttle to look for any more trouble.
The Lambda shuttle can be seen making its approach slowly, while sirens are whistling in the distance, but getting nearer.
Kay staggers along with Zeva, as she still hasn’t let go of her arm.
Kes pauses, staring at the bodies but speaking to Hayes. “Have you ever heard of a man called Nalin Nerr?”
The Imperial Captain shakes her head at Kes. “Should I have?”
“I guess not,” Kes replies. “Let’s go.”
The shuttle lands and deploys its ramp. Everyone promptly goes aboard before it turns around and climbs toward orbit. The copilot of the shuttle enters the passenger area with a few emergency medkits; he immediately moves to Hayes’ side, but she waves him off, indicating he should take care of the others first.
Kay nudges him toward Zeva first. The copilot administers first aid to Zeva and Kai. Zeva accepts it, not wanting to make a fuss.
After about twenty minutes the shuttle lands in the Victory’s hangar. As the group leaves the shuttle, with Captain Hayes in lead, they are greeted by four squads of stormtroopers and a large group of medics equipped with gurneys and a bullish, stocky man with the uniform of an Imperial commander.
The man speaks up with a worried smile. “You look horrible, Captain.”
Kay snickers under her breath. “We’re just all lacking the pretty now, aren’t we?”
Zeva rivets her attention to her boots, but smiles at Kay’s comment all the same.
Hayes chuckles and coughs out a bit of blood. “I’ve had worse. Remember when that crazy cyborg general ran me through?…”
The comment gets Zeva’s attention, and she bites down on the dozen questions that swim up in her mind. Kay stares at Hayes in shock a bit herself.
After a pause, looking at the assembled entourage, Hayes continues. “I suppose we won’t be able to keep our dignities and walk to the medbay?”
The Commander grins. “Afraid not, Captain.”
Kes gives a low whistle and glances at Kay with a raised eyebrow. “Crazy cyborg general? I swear, she gets more interesting every minute.”
Hayes lets herself be helped onto one of the gurneys.
“As if she needed the extra to be interesting. I think the scary meter went up even higher,” Kay adds discreetly to her Captain. Kes nods slowly.
The medical personals approaches Zeva, Kes, Kay, and Kai, to bring them unto gurneys.
Zeva whispers to both Kay and Kes. “She’s talking about General Grievous, who killed more Jedi than just about anyone else alive…”
“Okay, my scary meter’s broken now,” Kay comments.
“For her to survive such an encounter? Definitely,” Zeva agrees.
Kes’ jaw drops a little. “So… She’s… kind of amazing. But why was he stabbing her?… It…..Whatever.”
Zeva explain, still whispering: “He led the Separatist armies during the Clone Wars. I’m sure any meeting they had would be… violent.”
“…I should’ve paid more attention during the war,” Kes realizes.
“No kidding. Cyborgs and stabbings and Jedi… my life just used to involve merchants and smugglers and avoiding prickly Imps,” Kay adds.
“I’m not sure if our lives were better or worse,” Kes wonders. “Certainly less interesting.”
“Mine, too,” Zeva acquiesces.
Kay giggles. “You haven’t had a life in awhile. Definitely better to be unfrozen and awake, even if we’re all lunatics.” She grins. “And at least we’ve got good company while our world goes crazy.”
“I wouldn’t dare to ask for more,” Zeva states.
Kes raises an eyebrow. “You two are getting along well.”
Kay grins again at Kes. “I get along with everyone Captain, don’t you know?” She winks at Zeva.
“You’re never this nice to me, pilot.” Kes gives Kay a wink.
“She outranks me,” Zeva replies.
Kay laughs. “As if I’d ever liked anyone cause they had rank. I just like the Captain for her ship.” She barely maintains a straight face for just a moment.
Kes rolls her eyes. “That ship. I don’t understand what everyone sees in it. Piece of junk.”
“She’s your piece of junk, Captain,” Zeva helpfully adds.
“Absolutely,” Kes agrees.
“She’s not junk! She’s a lovely lady. A little temperamental, but lovely,” Kay protests.
“A little!” Kes scoffs. “You were never hit by that pipe.”
“If you’d be nice to her, she’d stop slapping at you to get your attention,” Kay explains.
“All I do is give her attention!” Kes protests before correcting herself. “IT.” She glares at Kay. “IT. All I do is touch it.” She pauses. “I’ll just stop.”
Kay laughs again. “So many things I could say to that one, Captain…but I’ll refrain. Just this once.”
Right before the group reaches the medical bay, Zeva asks, “Captain, who’s Nalin Nerr?”
Kay shakes her head and shushes Zeva. Kes’ eyes flick to Zeva and Kay, and she shrugs. “A man.”
“I see,” Zeva replies, not seeing.
Kay pats Zeva’s arm and smiles and mouths silently: “I’ll tell you later.”
Once in the medbay, Zeva, Kai, Kes, Kay and Hayes are put to sleep to receive surgery. They each wake up after a few hours later with bacta bandages, save for Captain Hayes, who has regular ones. The five are alone in a pristine if spartan recovery room.