Escaping the Droid Uprising

Another explosion rocked the Security Center of Cloud City, and another pillar collapsed as the bombers dropped more explosives into the area. A cloud of dust and debris blew outward away from the building almost enveloping the fleeing individuals as they headed down a side street making their way west through the Military District.

Tarrsk was the last to follow, his heart pounding wildly in his chest. The last of the large, treaded security droids exploded in a fiery heap, and already his companions were way ahead of him. Why did I have to strap on that accursed heavy armor? he wondered grimly. It was so heavy and encumbering that he found himself falling way behind the others, and they had just set out from the Security Center. Behind, another host of security droids was moving into the area, and if they didn’t get out of there fast they were going to be caught in another battle they might not escape from. It didn’t look as heavy when I tried it on.

“Tarrsk!” Geldar cried as he noticed his friend lagging behind. “Hurry!”

“What does it look like I’m doing?” he shouted back, annoyed. “It’s this blasted armor. Even if I drop everything else I’m carrying I still can’t throw this thing off yet, and it’s what’s slowing me down the most.”

Geldar then stopped altogether and accessed the situation. The security droids would catch up fast if Tarrsk didn’t move faster, but if they stopped to have him strip off the armor they would be doomed as well. The droids were coming in a wave of about sixty, and there was no way they were going to withstand them all. They had to find another alternative of escape.

Ivanna noticed the situation as well and also paused to try to figure out a solution. As Geldar raced to a nearby, empty speeder to commandeer it Ivanna used the Force first to detect if anyone was alive within the bomber, and then she forced its steering mechanism to jerk downward. The ship suddenly took a dive and exploded into the Security Center in a massive fireball of destruction. Its wings tore off and shot across the courtyard smashing into a host of the security droids, and pieces of the building flew in all directions.

Tarrsk was flung to the ground with Geldar when the ship hit, and for a moment he thought he was dead. The heat from the blast could be felt on his back, and shrapnel flew about him in all directions.

But in fact Ivanna had cut off all pursuit. The explosion had collapsed several buildings around the Security Center, and the street behind Tarrsk was completely cut off.

Tarrsk lay there in the rubble-strewn street for several moments as him mind reeled. He tried to get his bearings. What had happened? Where was everyone? Was he still alive? His ears were ringing. His vision was clouded.

And then Geldar drove the speeder over to him and pulled it to a stop. The door to the passenger’s side swung open and he yelled, “Get in!” Tarrsk picked himself up and climbed into the vehicle a moment before Ivanna joined them.

“We have to pick up the others,” Ivanna told Geldar. “They’re still moving on ahead. I don’t think they really know what happened back here.”

And Geldar noticed that only Satchal had remained behind with Ivanna. The Jedi Master had raced to the vehicle almost instantly while Satchal was pumping hard just to catch up. Geldar waited for Satchal to reach the vehicle and jump in before he hit the accelerator and shot off after the others.

Meanwhile Lialla led the way down the street as the others followed after her. She searched the streets for the best avenue of escape and led them into a mob of panicked citizens. They were all being shot at from down the street by security droids twice as large as the treaded ones they fought at the Security Center. Reeling backward she shouted, “Not that way!” Then she took off back toward a different street.

Brin’tac froze in his tracks as a blaster bolt shot right past him. Ducking he spun around only to have Tso plow right into him. Both toppled to the ground in a heap as several citizens dodged around them. Nyarchagga saw the crowd just in time and, with dexterous skill, leaped up, caught onto a light post, and spun around it back in the opposite direction following Lialla.

The speeder flew around the corner and pulled to a stop just as Lialla reached the intersection. Geldar slammed onto the brakes as hard as he could and nearly plowed right into Lialla whose heart skipped a beat. “Jump in!” Geldar shouted, but Lialla needed no prodding. She was already climbing into the vehicle with Nyarchagga right behind. Now only Brin’tac and Tso were remaining in the street, and they appeared to be struggling to stand with all of the crowd charging past them.

Again Ivanna stretched out with the Force, but this time it was with a great strain. Obviously using the Force to bring down the bomber had drained her energy quite a bit. Lifting Brin’tac and Tso out of the sea of people she sent them flying upward into the air about ten meters or so. “Fly past and pick them up,” she ordered Geldar, and the Padawan was amazed for a moment at her insane plan. While Brin’tac and Tso were held aloft in the air they were easy targets to the security droids. Hitting the accelerator hard he shot up into the air towards them as Tarrsk, Lialla, and Satchal leaned over to grab them. Geldar swerved around them as he held his breath, and Tarrsk, Lialla, and Satchal snagged them nearly being torn from the speeder themselves. Blaster fire shot all around them as they ascended into the air and away from the terror below. The air speeder was hit several times, but the shots only scored the outer frame without any real damage done.

But now they had other problems. Tarrsk was attempting to haul in Brin’tac while Lialla and Satchal both tried to pull in Tso. Since Geldar wasn’t the greatest pilot the speeder swerved about on the winds in a much more rocky motion making it difficult for the Trandoshan and the two humans to pull them in. On top of this two of the military fighters had spotted their ascent and were now pulling into pursuit vectors while unleashing a barrage of cannon fire. Ivanna and Nyarchagga reached over the edge of the speeder to help them haul in the two dangling companions, and at last they managed to pull Brin’tac inside.

Still Tso held on to the edge of the speeder for dear life as Lialla, Satchal, and Nyarchagga fought to pull him in. A blast from one of the fighters hit the nearby building and sent debris everywhere. Geldar swerved nearly tossing the companions out. If it hadn’t been for Ivanna and Tarrsk grabbing onto them they would have all flew out of the vehicle and crashed to the ground.

One final heave brought Tso in at last, and the Sullustan collapsed to the floor as he tried to gather his wits. “Get to the controls before Geldar kills us!” Satchal cried, but Tso was a nervous wreck at this point.

Geldar shot Satchal a sharp glance as if to say that he didn’t appreciate Satchal’s comments about his driving, but that was all he could do. Suddenly, another vehicle shot around the corner of one of the buildings, and Geldar jerked hard on the controls, sending the vehicle into a tailspin. Everyone held on for dear life as they fought desperately to keep their last meal down. The vehicle he swerved to avoid shot past them only to be incinerated by one of the fighters a moment later. Geldar fought to regain control, but the vehicle bounced off of one of the low-rise buildings and spun across the street towards the buildings on the opposite side.

Ivanna closed her eyes and struggled with the Force to help Geldar gain control, but it was no use. She was too weak, and there simply too much going on for her to concentrate well. Another blast from the fighters struck the building they were heading towards, and fiery debris showered down on their heads. Then, all at once, the vehicle slammed into the building that the blast had hit, and instead of bouncing off of it they came to a jarring halt inside the building. Crashing through about four walls they finally came to a stop.

Nyarchagga, Brin’tac, Tarrsk, Satchal, Ivanna, and Lialla were all flung from the vehicle. They had crashed into an apartment building on the eight floor, and due to their great fortune Nyarchagga, Brin’tac, and Satchal all slammed into a couch which exploded with stuffing the moment they hit it. Ivanna and Lialla together hit a love seat set up in an “L” shape near the couch, and Tarrsk got his repeater rifle strap caught on the corner of an entertainment unit and jerked backward. He then dropped downward to the floor with the entertainment unit toppling down behind him, and he landed in a crouch position as if he had intended to land that way all along. As for Geldar, he’d taken the time to throw on the safety harness on the vehicle. Tso was on the floor when they hit the building so he was smashed into the rear of the speeder’s seats.

The End

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