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Calm Before the Storm ?

Posted on Thursday October 1st, 2020 @ 8:21pm by Rhea Nyx

Mission: When a Hutt Laughs
Location: Zhar System
Timeline: MD1 - 1435

OOC: This takes place during the latter events of 'Arrival of the Star Runner'

Leaving Sara in Elam Tash’s capable hands, Rhea’s focus quickly shifted towards other things that needed her attention. Namely, the contact she’d reached out to earlier who finally managed to get back to her. The fact that her contact already had something for Rhea put her on edge more than at peace. She supposed it wasn’t necessarily bad news, nope, that would come from Sol himself when he got back. ‘Haar’chak, Harizzo!’ she thought to herself, at this point, the phrase was becoming her mantra, but Rhea supposed it could be much worse. And maybe it was about to go that way even before she had a chance to talk to Harizzo. She dreaded to think what she would have to do if that was the case.

She strode into the small operations centre and headed towards a console. Leaving the people in the room to their duties, Rhea entered a few commands and sent the incoming signal to her helmet. Satisfied that it couldn’t be traced or tapped, the Mandalorian moved to a more private area of the bolt hole ensuring no one would be able to overhear them.

“Kieran,” she spoke into the helmet’s mic, “Sorry to keep you waiting.” She added but didn’t elaborate.

“Nyx, last time you said that I nearly died!” Came a somewhat grumpy retort.

“And that would’ve been such a shame,” Rhea spoke, her voice carrying sweetness and tones of sarcasm as she raised an eyebrow. She was glad he couldn’t see her face right now; otherwise, she’d have a hard time explaining the smile on her lips. “Maybe next time I say it, I’ll be the one pointing the blaster at you instead of hauling your arse out of trouble,” she reminded him.

“Promises. Promises.” Kieran responded.

“Do not tempt me. It’s been a *very* frustrating week so far,” Rhea said blending in with the shadows of the darker area of the bolthole where the Mandalorian knew she had complete privacy. “What do you have for me?” she asked, her tone lowered a notch, just in case.

There was a long pause. Rhea frowned. “Kieran,” she spoke, drawing his name out, her voice peppered with hints of anger as she kept the worry and concern at bay. “Spill it…” she left the threat unsaid, but her voice carried it quite clearly.

Kieran told her all he’s managed to gather so far. Rhea took a step back briefly taken aback by the information he revealed; this could change things drastically for the way she operated. ‘You have no idea what it truly means,’ she reminded herself. However, the Mandalorian now had a massive hint of just what sort of 'bad news' Sol had alluded to before he left. She was liking it less and less.

“Nyx…?” Kieran asked, “still there?”

“For the moment,” she replied, suddenly her voice sounded tired, ‘Dammit, Harizzo!’ she thought once again, ‘no, dammit Rhea for not keeping a closer eye on him and things on base,’ she scolded herself. She closed her eyes, steadying every single fibre of her body and mind, this wasn’t the time for her to lose it, not with everything going on right now, not with everything else she still had to do and certainly not with everything that was at stake as far as she knew so far.

“I take it, that's not what you wanted to hear…?” Kieran queried.

“It rarely is what I want to hear these days,” Rhea spoke, other than the hint of heaviness she felt given the position she was currently in, her voice was back to normal. “Thanks for the intel,” she added.

“Anytime,” he said. “Tihaar is still on me next time,” he reminded her.

“Sure, I could use it to degrease my Fang’s engines,” she replied flatly, having no desire to partake in the drink herself.

He chuckled, “you and that damned fighter of yours.”

“Hey, that damned fighter was key in making sure your operation is still around,” Rhea shot back.

“Well, aren’t you glad my operation’s still around, then?”

“Well, aren’t you glad I was there to ensure that your operation *could* stick around?” she shot back, a slight smile creeping across her lips at the memories.

“Touche!” he chuckled, then stopped short, “I gotta go. Aiden’s back. Good luck, Nyx!”

“You too. And thanks again, Kieran” Rhea spoke, gratitude in her voice.

Moments later as the connection cut, the Mandalorian let out a frustrated groan. “Dammit Sol, what did you do?!” she whispered as she took off her helmet and ran a hand through her hair. She let her fingers settle at the top as she briefly tugged at the short dark hair before letting her hand drop by her side. For a moment she felt a lump in her throat, making it hard to swallow as she thought of what Kieran's intel can mean for the squadron, for Sol and Rhea herself. She curled her free hand into a fist, fighting to control the feelings and emotions rising from within. The options were many, very few of them were good, at the moment Rhea wasn't sure which way to go. Slowly and quietly Rhea slid down the wall into a sitting position; putting her helmet aside, the Mandalorian buried her face in her arms more out of frustration than anything else.

‘Now what, Rhea?’ she asked herself, she was starting to get a headache, whether it was due to lack of sleep, all the pent up frustration and anger she’s keeping bottled up or the current situation itself, Rhea wasn’t sure. At least Elam made sure she had something to eat and drink whilst she was looking over the holomap earlier. The man knew how to take care of the needs of people on base, the Protector herself included. But the current conundrum wasn’t something Elam could help with; this was all on the Mandalorian for the time being.

Rhea pinched the bridge of her nose, closing her eyes and allowing herself to feel the silence around her. ‘Calm before the storm,’ she thought, taking a few deep breaths. ’Enjoy it whilst you can.’

She found it sort of ironic that the base Grey Wing was about to head to next is named ‘Havoc’ because things were about to get thrown into havoc in a variety of ways, she was sure of it. Mostly if Sol failed to show up, but even if he did show up, things were bound to get 'interesting' at the very least; it all depended on what sort of 'bad news' he was talking about.

Sol Harizzo was only part of the problem, Rhea knew she was very likely the other part of it, but maybe together they were the solution; provided Sol comes back, that is. A solution to what, Rhea wasn’t entirely sure yet, every time she thought she got close, the answer shifted away from her. And Rhea hasn't exactly been that attentive in chasing after it. Shaking her head slowly Rhea flexed her hands, letting her gloved fingers curl into the palms of her hands as she thought things through.

‘Zeltros sounds so good right about now…’ she thought to herself closing her eyes for a moment, fully aware Zetros was never going to happen, not for a ‘vacation’ in the typical sense of the word anyway. Rhea thought about how different her life would be if things would’ve gone just a touch in another direction many years ago, had the Empire not muscled their way in control of Mandalore all those years ago.

Letting out a long sigh Rhea glanced at her helmet sitting on the ground beside her, reminding herself what the re-forged beskar armour she wore signified to her now. Her path was different these days, even if she wasn’t entirely aware of all the details yet. Maybe one of these days she will know for sure, but for now, the Mandalorian had her work cut out for her trying to keep others safe, just as she has always done. No matter how much she tried to avoid getting too close or involved too deeply with elements like the Grey Wing, the fact that she gave her word to Sol that she would take care of Grey Wing likely meant she was already too deeply involved. Rhea did not want to think of the price tag that came with that involvement.

“K’atini, Rhea Nyx!” she admonished herself, pushing the memories of her past aside, now was definitely not the time to take a walk down the memory lane, especially not *that* memory lane.

Closing her eyes and taking a few deep breaths in and letting them out, Rhea imagined herself at the controls of her Fang. The fighter's pivoting wings swinging around as the pilot zeroed in on a target in the distance, pushing the throttle forward, the Fang’s afterburners kicking in sending the fighter speeding towards its target. Back in the room, her eyes still closed Rhea smiled, the same predatory smile she had when the Mandalorian had her intended target in her sights and was about to maneuver her way into a kill shot facing the enemy head-to-head. Rhea Nyx let herself feel everything she would’ve felt if she had been in the middle of a standoff in space, and she embraced each of those feelings wholeheartedly. She stayed with the visual and the feelings for a minute or two as she centred herself mentally locking her past back where it belonged before bringing herself back to the room and the present moment opening her eyes and releasing a long breath. The predatory smile turned into a satisfied grin as Rhea looked around, her mind was more settled, her next target clear in her sights.

“Let’s get to work, Protector,” she told herself. Getting to her feet with renewed energy, the Mandalorian slipped her helmet back on and headed back to ops at a brisk pace. She had work to do.


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