((The RP XP with MJ #11))
The Zabrak Padawan Force-pushed aside the door and entered the dank back room of the warehouse, his lightsaber beam illuminating the space with a soft blue glow.
A chair sat in the middle of the room, torn bonds around its legs and hanging off the back. The crates and boxes stacked around the room all stared out with the crescent-shaped Czerka logo. There were no signs of anyone else nearby, though Tarik didn’t think to reach out with the Force to take a closer look. Instead, he found himself attracted to small dark speckles on the floor near the chair.
He crouched and reached down, smearing a finger across the spots before raising it to his nose and sniffing. Blood.
Then something heavy landed hard on his back and flattened him against the warehouse floor. His lightsaber extinguished and clattered off between two large boxes.
As suddenly as the weight hit him, it was gone. Tarik heard shuffling footsteps and looked up in time to see an orange blur rush toward his lightsaber. He reached out and Force-pulled it into his hand before getting to his feet.
He recognized the woman’s voice immediately, but ignited the lightsaber to see her. “Yulel?”
“Who did you expect, Tar? Man, Kendris really has to work on your training. I can’t believe you didn’t sense me up there.” The Twi’lek nodded to a stack of crates next to the door, on top of which she had been waiting while the bombardment leveled half the quarter outside.
Tarik stretched out a hand toward the room controls and turned on the lights. Then he switched off his lightsaber. “You ok, ‘Lel?” he asked in a soft voice.
The Twi’lek pouted and tilted her head as she saw him in the light. “You’re hurt.” She stepped up to him and gently reached up to touch one of the scarred horns on his head. “Were you caught in the bombardment?”
Tarik swallowed and nodded, unable to speak as his heart thudded painfully to match each bruise and cut on the Twi’lek girl. He reached out slowly and touched her cheek, then managed, “I’m not so bad off, but… but you.”
“Meh,” Yulel smiled. “I pretended to be in pain through most of it. Narcos do wonders for pain blocking.” She turned away and moved to the crates on one side of the room, checking the numbers and manifests attached to each one.
The pain in the young Padawan’s voice was personal. “You’re not still on the Narcos, are you? You promised me you’d get off that poison.”
“Here it is!” Yulel ignored him and crouched before a footlocker-sized box on the floor. “One-one-three-eight.”
“Tarik.” She ignored him and produced a small folding tool from her belt. She tapped at the keypad on the box as she waved the tool in front of the box latch.
Tarik watched her for awhile before stepping closer and crouching next to her. Overcome with curiosity, he decided to let the conversation about Yulel’s drug addiction wait for another time. “What are you doing?”
“Picking a lock. What does it look like?”
“Because the stupid bounty hunter and ignorant Chiss who held me here were looking for this. It was under their nose the whole time.”
Tarik glanced back at the chair just two meters away. “Why didn’t you tell them so they’d stop torturing you?”
Yulel stopped and looked at him. “Because it was funny.” She offered a crooked smile before turning her attention back to the box. It opened with a click and a snap.
Tarik reared back a little surprised. “How’d you manage that?”
“I used to be a locksmith for Czerka before I got into spice running.”
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