It felt like months had passed when Sai finally awoke.
His head was spinning and everything was sore, but he didn't seem to be unharmed. As he got to his feet in the cockpit, he put the pieces together: the shuttle had come in too fast, crash-landed, and knocked both pilot and passenger unconscious. The Miralukan quickly roused the pilot and checked he was unharmed, then the two of them examined the shuttle for damage.
"She's taken a hammering," the young pilot admitted when they had finished. "That's not the best landing I've ever made, but we're still in once piece. The shuttle...I think I can repair it. Her chassis isn't damaged and the armour plating took most of the impact, so I just need to re-route systems until she can fly. But that's not what I'm worried about."
He cast a glance up at the sunset sky. The two stood outside near a fire that Sai had built and lit to ward off the rapidly approaching night chills.
"Those pirates that shot us down will be looking for us, and we tore up a fair bit of ground on the landing. We should be fine until dawn, but they're going to be looking for us, and I don't think I can fix the ship before sunrise."
Sai was half listening. They were close to the settlement - he could feel it calling to him, a whisper on the edge of hearing. With his knowledge of forests and without the pilot to slow him down, Sai reckoned he could reach the settlement within half a day - maybe even before sunrise if he left now, and used the Force to speed him there. Fifty kilometres would be a hard journey for a normal person, but Sai was a Sith, and he had been trained by Lady Rhaenona. He was in his element here.
Already dirty from working inside the engine, the pilot rubbed a greasy hand over an oily chin, thinking.
"I'll be honest, I'd rather stay here," he admitted. "We all get survival training, so I could manage the forest, but if you can draw the pirates away and make them think everyone's fled the crash I might be able to have this thing ready to fly in..." He thought, tapping the hydrospanner hanging from his belt. "A day. Maybe as early as this time tomorrow. They build these things tough and the hyperdrive's fine, so if I can get at least one repulsorlift working and get us high enough to use the main engines we can get out of here. But not if those fighters come after us again. If they come after you maybe you can get some information out of them, find out where their base is so you can destroy it. They might even have ships of their own! Save us the repair time."
As Sai raced off into the trees, the pilot drew in a breath and steeled himself. Leaving the landing ramp open, he quickly gathered up as many tools as he could and headed into the forest, taking care to leave as few traces as possible. The pirates would search the crash site for sure - once they had he could head back in and start repairs.
As Sai raced into the night, he began to sense the approach of danger. Soon pirate ships were passing overhead, more of the small starfighters that had shot them down. They began criss-crossing the area in search patterns, projecting powerful spot lamps down into the forest to aid their search which Sai was able to easily avoid. Traveling in more-or-less a straight line and leaving a broad trail behind him, these searching pirates soon began to zero in dangerously close to Sai's position.
Unnervingly, the further Sai proceeded into the forest, the greater the black hunger he sensed grew. The Miraluka began to feel uncomfortably like the main course in a banquet.
Sai's erratic path through the jungle succeeded in keeping attention focused in his vicinity. The destruction he left behind was spotted by the pirates searching in their starfighters above, but Sai was careful to switch off his lightsaber when they drew near to prevent outright detection. However, he knew there would be ground parties searching for him. Running along with the Force speeding him, Sai nonetheless soon heard the whine of several approaching speeder bikes behind him. Using the unique vision of his people to temporarily expand his field of view to 360 degrees, Sai quickly spotted three speeder bikes, each carrying a pilot and armed pirate passenger, following the trail he was leaving through the jungle.
At his current speed they were slowly gaining on him.
Sai heard several yells behind him when he fired the flare gun, along with the sound of an engine accelerating to incredible speeds before its flight terminated in a fiery explosion. Risking a look behind him, Sai saw that the other two bikes remained unharmed; the riders had gotten off their bikes and were stumbling to the ground, whilst their passengers now took over. Drawn by the explosion, the searching craft began to center on his rough vicinity. The other two speeder bikes, with fresh pilots driving them, made a beeline towards Sai's current location, where he had fired the flare from. At the risky speed they were going at, they would surely detect him in moments.
Darth Xaos: Talk to ya later, mate.
Sept 6, 2017 16:51:17 GMT
Darth Strigus: Alright, gotta head out. Nice chatting, though, see you soon
Sept 6, 2017 16:50:43 GMT
Darth Xaos: I might just check those out. I've definitely never read/watched any murder mysteries with such an unexpected setting.
Sept 6, 2017 16:43:24 GMT
Darth Strigus: Found it by coincidence, too. A friend found it in a sauna, knew I liked Rome, and gave it to me for secret santa. I started in the middle of series, but they're stand alone, so it's basically fine
Sept 6, 2017 16:43:22 GMT
Darth Strigus: If you like either one, I'd definitely recommend them.
Sept 6, 2017 16:42:31 GMT
Darth Strigus: It's called Roma sub Rosa, by Steven Saylor. It's a bunch of murder mysteries that are set in Ancient Rome, so it combined two things I love
Sept 6, 2017 16:41:33 GMT
Darth Xaos: Oh, yeah? What series is it?
Sept 6, 2017 16:40:56 GMT
Darth Strigus: I'm in the middle of a series now, though, so it might be a bit before I start
Sept 6, 2017 16:40:31 GMT
Darth Strigus: I might just go with NuCanon. As much good as I've heard about Thrawn, it'll probably just be hard to keep everything straight going forward
Sept 6, 2017 16:40:14 GMT
Darth Xaos: I'd say start with the books from the '90s since that's where it all began. Unless you'd like to jump right into the NuCanon in which case any of them seems a fine place, I've heard good things about most of them.
Sept 6, 2017 16:39:18 GMT
Darth Strigus: I've never read any of the Star Wars books, oddly. I'll have to give them a shot. Any starting place you'd recommend?
Sept 6, 2017 16:38:01 GMT
Darth Xaos: Just finished Dark Disciple and it's given me an itch to read a bunch of the the NuCanon books.
Sept 6, 2017 16:37:23 GMT