Week 7, Day 1, Late Evening
Sᴀʀ ᴀɴᴅ Jᴇʀ
They weren’t very far from the village now. Sar had taken them through the safest part of the tunnel as he led the way back towards the cavern. His thoughts wandered; over Jer, Dominik, Lo. The Twi’lek man hoped and prayed he was making the right choice. Trust was the hardest thing he could give right now.
His thoughts were shattered at the sudden shaking of the ground beneath them. Sar fell to both knees in an attempt to avoid being knocked down completely. A few of the other men promptly met the ground with their faces before Sar glanced back at Jer just a few moments later. The tremor didn’t last long, but it was powerful, and had obviously come from a source nearby. Was it an earthquake? More mortar bombings? Sar’s thoughts were silenced again as the sound of a loud shockwave and explosion rattled through the tunnels, making the man cover his ears with his hands as his head rang painfully. It was over after a few long seconds, the echo of the blast running through the tunnels.
Sar’s gaze moved farther down the dark tunnel, only lit by the crystals that scattered the cave walls. His men had dropped their torches, the fire being snuffed by the ground, after they had fallen.
The sides of the tunnel cracked, small rocks fell from its ceiling, causing Sar to look up. After a few moments while holding his breath, nothing further happened. No cave in or collapse.. Thankfully. They hadn’t the resources to deal with another.
“Feven, Arso, lead the group back to check on the village, Jer and I will be right behind you.”
The former mercenary’s eyes went wide as he felt the entire cavern rumble. He went down roughly, the impact evident from the sound his heavy metallic armor made. Jer sat there as the shaking continued, praying that it did not collapse the entire cave system and crush them all. Ryloth had the occasional earthquakes but they never were that powerful. His eyes went wide at the distinct sounds of an explosive shockwave echoing through the tunnels. It brought him back to the war, those horrific moments of being shelled by the enemy. The only thing you could truly do was hit the floor and hope the blasts missed you.
Jer’s gaze darted upwards at the shaking ceiling, he breathed slowly in those dreadful moments which dragged on like hours. A large chunk of rock splintered off from the cavern’s ceiling, causing Jer to sprawl to his feet. It slammed into the floor and shattered into smaller pieces, filling the air momentarily with dust. As the bombing subsided and the cavern’s shaking ceased he glanced over at Sar as the twi’lek issued orders.
“I don’t think that will be the last strike on the caverns. I’d wager they’re gonna try to bring the entire cave system upon us.” He stated as he walked alongside Sar, watching the other men move off ahead. The prospect of relocating somewhere either deeper into the caverns or outside of them would have to be debated.
"That wasn't like the attack before…" Sar began, glancing to the man at his side. His eyes moved to observe the darkened tunnel, noticing the deeper cracks and falling dust from loose rocks. The main cavern was the safest thing; structurally it was very strong and proved to withstand the last attack against them. But if the tunnels collapsed, they would be trapped.
But… they were in no position to gather up supplies and move. Dominik had just woken, he was their main source of strength when it came to building and moving the larger things around. Many of what they had done wouldn't have been possible if Dominik hadn't have helped.
"We need to get back, to make sure the people are alright." Sar began, picking up his pace and making sure Jer could keep up as well.
Upon arriving back at the cavern, emerging from the smaller tunnel, it was noticeable the cavern had been hit hard by the shockwave. There were Twi'lek everywhere, helping one another around, assisting those injured by their fall or something previous. Picking up supplies that had been scattered from the shockwave.
Sar led the way through his people, assisting many as he walked by, gauging the damage that had been done. It wasn't just supplies that had been scattered and damaged, it was the morale of the people too. It had helped to know the Jedi Master lived after the mortar attack, but now another attack so soon afterwards? He could feel their frustration, their fear.
Sar knew he needed to speak with the Jedi. Something needed to be done. If they didn't lose the war via fighting, they would lose the war if the support of his people vanished. Sar led the way towards Dominik's hut, no doubt he'd at least find the older Jedi and his Padawan there.
“It seems they ramped up the attack. It just means we will have to act more quickly.” As Jer echoed Sar’s increased walking pace. The attacks would not cease any time soon.
As they arrived at the cavern the elder twi’lek’s eyes took in the sight of the gathered resistance movement. There seemed to be a panic to their motions, it was something he’d seen many times before with his experience in war. These people never signed up to be soldiers, they weren’t even that. They were simply defending their homeworld and taking up arms was the best they had. Even then the odds were not exactly on their sides as they faced an overwhelming opposition intent on bringing caves down upon them. Still, Jer had sworn to help them. With intelligent strategy, bold maneuvers and some luck they had a chance.
“How well stocked are we weapons wise? I could send a transmission to some old acquaintances and try to have some more firepower delivered.” He stated calmly, following Sar through the cavern towards the Jedi. Simple hunting rifles wouldn’t do much against well armed slavers.
"We don't have much in the way of weapons besides what we've been able to scrounge up from remaining villages." Sar explained as he noticed Aren walking towards them.
“I’ll see what I can do.” Jer stated right before the Jedi started towards them.
The Jedi Knight walked straight up to Sar whilst giving Jer a quick glance over. She hadn't the time to ask extra questions.
"Aren… how is Dominik?" The Twi'lek man asked quickly, to which Aren took a deep breath as she glanced back in the direction of his hut.
"I was helping him to stand when the tremors hit… he's not well. I think he's dealing with more pain than he's letting on. His Padawan is tending to him right now- she'll need help getting him back up onto the bed later." Aren glanced to Jer again before looking back to Sar, "I need to find Val. If you need any help don't hesitate to ask me later."
The twi’lek mercenary stayed silent as the two friends conversed. He did not recognize the young Jedi, or the other one that he spoke of. It had been some time since the war had ended after all. Jer also felt it was better for everyone involved if the Jedi here were ones that he didn’t know. He would already have a sour enough reputation among them for his wartime actions
“How many other Jedi are there here? I’m Jer by the way, Jer Vusid. Some of the slavers tried to ransack my home, I see they did a number elsewhere too.” He said as he spoke out to the Jedi.
“There are four of us total, counting the two Padawan learners. We’re hoping more will show soon, but the Council is very wary of sending aid right now. But in light of recent events, I do believe we’ll need it soon.” Aren said, replying to Jer before glancing at Sar and nodding.
“If you’ll excuse me.” she said, bowing quickly but politely before she turned quickly, hurrying off to try and find her Padawan.