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Overcoming Adviercity: A Trooper's Tale

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Fan Fiction
Overcoming Adviercity: A Trooper's Tale

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bright_ephemera
10.16.2012 , 10:02 PM | #1
The personal account of Republic Trooper Vierce Savins. More drama than comedy for this guy. Vierce is the unlikely spawn of a "play the story initially only because I feel vaguely obligated to play all storylines" character and some prompts in the Short Fic Weekly Challenge thread. Well, it turns out that I've gotten to like him, so now he gets his own thread. Trooper spoilers are pervasive in Vierce's story, as it follows the Trooper storyline; he mostly leaves the other classes alone.

Much of Vierce's tale has taken shape in the Short Fic Weekly Challenge thread. I will mark crossposts as such. I'll post the previously-established background up to one new passage in this initial rush.

Vierce and his cyborg brother Kirsk:

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bright_ephemera
10.16.2012 , 10:03 PM | #2
Chapter 1. Meet Elara Dorne

Crossposted from the Weekly Challenge Thread.


The first Imperial I ever saw was, when I saw him, in the process of killing my father.

I say "in the process" because he didn't make it fast. He had ion cells to spare, time to kill, stims to keep the entertainment conscious; besides that the "security sweep" of the occupied village was…nah, enough of that. Spend a day in my head and you'll see the whole thing over again anyway, some days more vivid than others.

So anyway. That was a long time ago. I grew up, made good, joined the Republic Army, and found myself "leader" of the "elite" "Havoc Squad." I try not to be sarcastic, but in effect I'm replacing a bunch of defectors (to the Empire. The Empire! Who does that!?) to command an angry, recently demoted Cathar. That's Havoc Squad. Him and me. I think they're just that desperate to keep the name active rather than admitting the Empire swiped our best.

Jorgan's all right, mind you. He's like my brother only not a scumbag. Well, he's a different kind of scum. It's hard to describe. We can't get six words without picking another fight, but he's good people.

Havoc Squad's first priority? Hunting down its old members, of course. And boy, do I have every reason to want to see them stand and account for themselves.

My first lead was on Taris. The planetside control center I walked into was busy. Decent variety of people. I couldn't help but notice the bright golden hair of one woman working over a console across the room. It was done up in one of those buns you might call severe, but it looked nice. And when she looked my way…you know how blondes all have gold dust on their eyelashes? I swear I could see it from where I stood.

I reported to Colonel Gaff, who was in a snit at Havoc Squad having the gall to storm through demanding support for an unspecified mission. He stonewalled me until Sergeant Gold Dust left her console and walked up to directly contradict his claims of knowing nothing useful.

"Patrol teams three, five, and eight were all lost, all without explanation."

This news might have been more tactically interesting if it hadn't been delivered in a pitch-perfect Imperial accent.

The woman and her stupid yellow bun came to stand opposite Colonel Gaff. They glared at each other. I glared at her, but I don't think anybody was counting that, except maybe Jorgan.

She turned her eyes, dull overgrown lashes and all, away from the colonel and saluted me crisply. "Elara Dorne, sir. Sergeant, first class, commander of Search and Rescue Squad 204." Imps command our squads now?

"Lieutenant Vierce Savins. Havoc Squad. Colonel, is there anyone you can recommend to brief me on this matter?" Is this person actually qualified to be here?

Dorne didn't respond to the slight. Gaff processed my displeasure and gave me a sullen sneer. "That would be Sergeant Dorne. She's all yours."

"If you would, sir." The sergeant tilted her head toward a conference room and led me and Jorgan in, standing by to shut the door after us.

I had work to do, I reminded myself. Leads to pursue, and somehow Sergeant Imperial was the only one talking. I wouldn't take her information at face value, but there was a chance it was better than nothing. Therefore: "If you have information for me, sergeant, I'll be glad to hear it."

She nodded crisply – crisp was a big thing with her – and laid out the whole story of the base's standard patrols, their usual patterns, the communications of the missing patrols, every item of standard procedure they had missed. She had paragraph citations for the procedural violations. The constant rules mentions, done in that accent, really made her seem like an Imperial trooper scribbling "I AM LEGIT REPUBLIC" on her helmet.

But she got me the information to start. Whoever was screwing with our patrols might have other information I needed, and I sure didn't have any other leads, and it was possible that Colonel Gaff didn't actively encourage Imp operatives to send officers he disagreed with into deathtraps. It was possible.

I thanked her, as politely as I could stand to - she did have the uniform, after all, so I figured I could pull together some courtesy - and excused myself.

Jorgan fell into step beside me on our way out. "That was…interesting. I've had drill sergeants more relaxed than that woman. Not to mention that accent."

"Yeah, well. Imps aren't known for their capacity to relax."

"There's a story with her," said Jorgan. "But I don't think we're getting it until we finish this little job."

"I have a better idea. We skip the story." I rubbed my neck and growled. "Gah. Let's go. Sooner we find Needles, sooner we get off this rock."

It was, I realized as we mounted up outside, the first time I had ever met an Imperial without physically attacking her. (Or him.) The encounter felt more than a little unsatisfying. But I had work to do. Eh, with any luck she would've wandered into a rakghoul nest by the time I got back to base.
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bright_ephemera
10.16.2012 , 10:05 PM | #3
Flashback 1: What's in a name?

Crossposted from the Short Fic Weekly Challenge thread.

6 ATC – Republic Army base on Coruscant – during Vierce's basic training


I picked up the holo in a hurry. I had some down time at the base, and I hadn't heard from my runt brother in a few weeks.

Kirsk appeared, decked out in some bizarre jacket with a one-shoulder thing I couldn't figure the use of. Kirsk was sporting new cybernetics in his cheeks. I wondered what they were for. With Kirsk, you never knew.

"Long time no see," said Kirsk, with that smooth low-key delivery he had been practicing since he was fourteen. "How are you, big brother?"

"Saving the Republic, one lap of the yard at a time," I said. "You?"

"Busy days, busy days."

Before he could continue, I broke in. "You call Mama lately? She worries."

"I'm calling her. Not to worry." Kirsk ran his hands over his slicked-back hair. "You two. Honestly. Anyway, I was checking in, because I'm a nice guy like that. Good to know basic training is letting you flex your do-gooder muscles. I literally got to rob from the rich to feed the poor yesterday. It was amazing."

"Sounds fun."

"Yeah, until the rich shot me." Kirsk tapped his cheek. "Glancing blow, but it didn't fix up too well. Figured I would get some sensors put in while I was having the thing fixed up."

"He shot you in the face?"

"Yeah."

"You robbed a guy and he shot you in the face?"

"Yeah."

"And you think you're doing good things with your life?"

"Hey. It resulted in my feeding a starving and very pretty girl, plus ten or twenty others. I'm happy."

"Tell me you didn't kill anybody."

"Nah, you know I'm more the take-the-money-and-run type." He grinned. "Speaking of which, I have a paperwork update for you. I wanted new credentials set up before I struck out to explore the galaxy with my very own ship. You are looking at Mister Kirsk Volheis, Esquire."

"What?"

Kirsk feigned worry. "Uh, which part is 'what'?"

"Volheis? You're ditching Savins? Just dropping it?"

"Relax, brother, nobody's gonna forget we're related."

"Seems to me you're anxious to forget already. Or are you telling me you really intend to come home for Summersday in your new rig with your new girl and your new face and your new name?"

"Don't be like that, Vierce."

"Don't vanish all at once, Kirsk." I rubbed my neck. "Look, change your name if you want, just...keep in touch, okay?"

"I will! No need to worry." Kirsk hesitated. "Just, uh. One question. Are you technically obligated as a soldier of goodness to turn in known criminals you happen to encounter over Summersday dinner?"

"No. Even if I were, I probably wouldn't do it."

Kirsk gasped theatrically. "And you think you're doing good things with your life?" He grinned his signature, glacier-melting grin. "Good. It'll be safe to see you. Say hi to Mama for me. Kirsk Volheis, signing out."

The holo went dormant.

I glared at it anyway. "You said you would call her yourself," I said.

Picking up after my little brother's promises: My job ever since he was old enough to talk.
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bright_ephemera
10.16.2012 , 10:09 PM | #4
Chapter 2. Taris: She's Coming With You

Crossposted from the Short Fic Weekly Challenge thread, prompt Worst Day Ever.


Hell of a morning. Less I say about Needles' lab, the better. At least we gave the Havoc Squad defector the execution he deserved.

I returned to my ship, sent in a barebones action report and tried to take my mind off the things I had seen in Needles' lab by playing Gunners. Classic holo game. They still have it in a lot of arcades. Simple, yes, but it's soothing when you don't want to think.

A holocall brought me out of it. Kirsk showed up. His jacket was half shredded and his face looked bruised.

"Kirsk? What happened?"

"Uh, a few things," he said, "it's been exciting. For instance, did you know that Rodian dermitis not only develops pungent symptoms within an hour, but can actually spread through shiv-to-dermis contact? Also, could you spot me five thousand credits?"

Kirsk held up his arm. It dripped.

"Credits?" I said. "Credits are your priority here? For goodness' sake, hang up and get to a doctor!"

"Only doctor 'round here who won't turn me in requires cash up front."

"You're on Coruscant, Kirsk. There's gotta be a thousand doctors within a klick's radius."

"Yeah, and every last one of 'em is very interested in either the police feed or the local bounty board. Only one I can trust is the guy who takes cash."

"I don't believe this."

"I'll pay you back, big brother. Just sayin', this…uh…condition…isn't getting any fresher."

"You got it. I can manage five." Barely. "I'll zap it by right away."

Kirsk beamed. "You're the best." He tightened a bandage around his arm and added, cheerfully, "So, how're you doing?"

"Well, I just watched a man forcibly inject one of his underlings with a weaponized rakghoul strain, then maintain an amused-sounding running monologue explaining the agonizing transformation as it happened. So I stopped the doctor, and the new rakghoul, and then my subordinate, who's usually a decent guy, chewed me out for not wanting to wrap the remaining pathogen up in a bow and hand it to our weapons lab. Now I have a hell of a headache and I probably have to kill you because I ran off my mouth and dropped sensitive inf– "

"Oh, ha, wow, that's interesting! Gotta run!" Kirsk wasn't even looking at me. His last word was almost lost in the sound of blaster fire. He managed one last dazzling grin before sprinting out of the holocam image. A second later the call went dead.

"Dammit, Kirsk." I scraped together five thousand credits and wired them to the last known dead drop I had for my little brother. On the assumption that he was still alive. He usually was, after exits like that; it just took him a few weeks to resurface. That idiot.

No sooner had I arranged that than a call came up on the ship's main holo. It was General Garza. I called Jorgan in and activated the holo.

"General." I saluted.

"Savins. I received your report. Very good work. I'm most impressed."

"Thank you, sir."

"I am disappointed that we couldn't recover a sample of the weaponized rakghoul strain."

Jorgan and Garza gave me matching hard looks. Right. Yeah. Sorry my conscience inconvenienced you.

"But," said Garza, "you did get the primary objective. Now, having reviewed the relevant information, I'm wondering what you thought of your contact, Sergeant Dorne."

"Dorne?" Do you have any idea how far down the list of things I want to think about she is? "I guess she got the job done."

"I looked over her service record. Most impressive, I must say. Were you aware that Dorne served with the Imperial military for almost two years?"

"Not just Imp, military Imp. That's great, General."

"It left a disciplined mind. Sergeant Dorne earned more commendations in her two years of Imperial service than most soldiers earn in ten."

"So she's good at being an Imp. With respect, is this leading somewhere? Because I'd like to be out of her neck of the woods soon."

Garza ignored my outburst. "Since joining the Republic, she's earned two Medals of Valor, both for rescuing wounded soldiers under fire behind enemy lines. This woman has led an exceptional career."

"I'm not too impressed by her intimacy with enemy lines."

Garza's look got even sharper. "Sergeant Dorne is Havoc Squad material, Savins, and she's already successfully demonstrated the ability to work with you. With her you'll be halfway to a full squad."

"General, I'm not thrilled about having an Imp in my squad."

She gave me the no-excuses look. "You don't have to be thrilled," she said sternly. "And I think it might go better for you if you avoid calling her an 'Imp'."

"Yes, sir," I said, trying my best to sound professional. It came out sulky and I knew it.

"I'll handle the paperwork. You go give her the news." Garza's image flickered out.

I rubbed my eyes. "Tell me I hallucinated that one."

"No sir, that just happened," said Jorgan. "Garza's got a point about her record."

"She's putting an Imperial in Havoc Squad, Jorgan. Does that not get a reaction out of you?"

"Seems to me she got our Republic operation done fast and right. Takes guts to become a defector, Savins, and she's got skill besides."

"Fine. Fine. Eat first, then let's bring her in."

We ate quickly, then left the ship and headed on back to the control center, where Dorne was at her station. She looked up when we approached. "Leftenant? Is there something else I can do for you?"

Scrub the accent or get out of my life, or maybe both. "General Garza's having you transferred to Havoc Squad," I said. "You'll be shipping out with me."

"A transfer? To Havoc Squad?" She lit up, way outside what I would've thought that little rules recitation machine could express. "Leftenant, this is…this is the greatest honor of my career. I'm speechless."

If only.

Jorgan spoke up while I practiced biting my tongue. "Membership in Havoc Squad is the highest achievement in all of the Republic Armed Forces, Sergeant. Congratulations." He saluted.

Yeah, what he said. Except without the congratulations.

Dorne saluted back. "I'll prepare my Regulation Six Personnel Transfer documents at once!" she gushed. How do you remember which rulebook you're quoting all the time, anyway? Do Imps use different document numbering systems?

"I'll meet you back at the ship, Sergeant," I said. She saluted me and headed out with a spring in her step.

"Try to be a little less gracious," growled Jorgan, "I think somebody in orbit didn't pick up on the 'you're unwelcome' vibe."

"The sergeant's still happy, isn't she? So's Garza. We hit our happiness quota. I don't have to contribute. So move out."

He scowled harder at the look on my face. "Sir, a commander should– "

"We're not discussing this, Sergeant. Move. Out."

I hurried to the ship and settled down to glare at Gunner on the bridge console. My reflexes were off. I was doing a terrible job. This, on top of everything. I couldn't even blow up little digital mutant mynocks. That rakghoul victim's changing screams were still ringing in my ears, I was freshly broke, my brother was probably dying of an exotic stupidity-transmitted disease, Jorgan was mad at me again, I had an Imp on my ship and everybody thought that was a great thing, and I couldn't even blow up digital mutant mynocks.

She found me on the bridge while I was still struggling to get past the end rush of level eight. "Sir," she said, and waited for me to pause the game and look up. "My equipment and personal effects have been stowed in full accordance with transport code section two." Then, warmly, "If I may say so again, sir, it is truly an honor to be selected for Havoc Squad."

"General Garza doesn't choose slouches," I said. It was civil. I can do civil.

"I intend to begin reviewing and memorizing all relevant dossiers and intelligence reports on our next assignment immediately. If I discover any points of confusion or areas where I believe I can contribute, I'll submit a full 587-B report."

Are you for real? "Or just talk to me, Sergeant."

"If…you prefer, sir," she said doubtfully. Then she saluted and walked out.

Jorgan passed her on her way down the stairs. He stepped onto the bridge, leaned up against the wall and crossed his arms. "Can't imagine why she would rather submit paperwork via HQ than talk with you," he drawled.

"Would you stop that?"

"I can give as good as I get, Savins, but you can't expect the total-jack*ss command style to work with everyone. Way I see it, she's pointing her blaster at the same guys we are now, so you may as well start giving her some respect."

"Way I see it, I'm the CO and she was transferred here against my stated recommendation on qualifications I have yet to see." I turned away. "Now beat it. If I don't finish level eight by bedtime I'll be forced to declare this day a total loss."
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bright_ephemera
10.16.2012 , 10:11 PM | #5
Chapter 3. Dreams and Nightmares

Crossposted from the Short Fic Weekly Challenge thread, prompt (Un)Invited Guests.


"No, no, there's some juice left in him. Or rather, we can add some."

I had finally wriggled out of Mama's grip, drawn by my father's screams. I made it up the stairs and paused in the doorway, briefly, staring at my beaten, blaster-scorched father and the two Imperials standing over him. They were touring the town just because they could and they just dropped in on us to have a good time. The bigger one reached down with a syringe and injected Da with something or other. The littler one hauled him up to up to his knees, then kicked him down again. Da stiffened, arched, seemed to revive a little as the shot took effect, and that's when I finally got over my fear and charged.

In my memory the bigger Imperial just laughed and backhanded me, hard enough to knock me out until long after they were gone and my father was dead. In dreams, though, that moment of watching the Imperial's kick connect kept playing slow, every fresh raging injury showing clear on Da's pale skin.

I woke up to the sound of somebody pounding on the door to my quarters. I coughed painfully on my way to answer.

Jorgan and Sergeant Imperial were standing out there. "Sir," said Jorgan. "I know it's standard, but she insisted on checking." He jerked a thumb at Dorne and stepped aside.

She was carrying a little case. "You were shouting, sir. Are you all right?"

"Yeah," I said, my voice low and gravelly. "I'm fine."

"If you prefer, I have a sedative available." She opened the case and pulled out a syringe.

That just snapped something. "YOU DON'T PUT NEEDLES IN ME!" I bellowed. "Get back, stay away, and put in some motherloving earplugs if I'm bothering you!"

Jorgan shrugged at Dorne and padded away. Dorne shrank back, quickly hid the syringe, and stammered "Y-yes, sir. I'm sorry, sir." I turned right around and went back to bed rather than stand there fighting the urge to do something I would regret.

I slept dreamlessly after that, but woke up feeling raw-eyed and unrested. I showered, got dressed, went to the mess for breakfast. Jorgan was doing something at the counter. Dorne came in a couple of minutes later.

"Sergeant," I said by way of greeting.

"Leftenant," she said.

I hated her being there, being on my ship and in my life at all, but since she was, something was bugging me and I had to set it right. Even if I wasn't counting professional concerns, I wasn't raised to menace women half my size. "I'm sorry about last night. I was out of line."

She looked down at her rations. "It's all right, sir. I understand you weren't yourself."

"Obviously when we're out there in the line of fire, or medical attention has to happen, do what you need to."

"Yes, sir. Sir," she continued – dammit, woman, leave well enough alone – "there are resources established under Regulation 529-B to provide for counseling and other treatment for trauma incurred in the line of duty."

"Oh?" I said. "They gonna fix up things that happened seventeen years ago?"

She stared at me. She could do the math. I wasn't a soldier in the line of duty then, no more than any kid in an occupation zone is.

"It was a guy with an accent a lot like yours waving needles at the time."

Her brow scrunched up. She was prettier, I thought irrelevantly, when she smiled. Not that I had seen much of that in the week of her work here. "There's a reason I left, sir," she said, quietly, steadily.

That stopped me cold. Why hadn't I thought of it earlier? She was only here because she had walked out on them.

Did that change anything? Could it, really? Or did defectors take the rottenness with them? The mere fact that she had chosen to leave didn't make anything much easier just then. Still...

"I was out of line again, wasn't I," I said glumly.

"Yes, sir," volunteered Jorgan.

"Would you stop that?" I asked him.

"Yes, sir. As soon as you stop being wrong." He grinned maliciously at me.

I decided to ignore him. "I apologize, Dorne. I'm…just gonna go be elsewhere now."

I walked off feeling more or less like I'd done the right thing by trying to be civil. But until I could get over thinking of Dorne as an Imp – and how could I get over it, the way she talked? – I could not possibly feel right about having her in my home.
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bright_ephemera
10.16.2012 , 10:13 PM | #6
Flashback 2. We Won

Crossposted from the Short Fic Weekly Challenge thread, prompt Turning Points.


6 ATC

I cried the night the last Imperial transport left Kegled II. I don't know a soul on that planet who didn't. For thirteen years the brutal Imperial occupation ravaged us, robbed us, and tried to break us.

We're made of tougher stuff than that.

A lot of us were gathered in the local resistance HQ. The Imps had been dismantling their operation for weeks; on this night we all went topside to watch the last transports lift off from the spaceport and streak away.

Somewhere in the middle of the cheering I started walking. I dunno, I just wanted some time alone. I hopped up to swing onto the fire escape ladder on a nearby building and climbed up to perch on the edge of the roof and look out over West Ford City. My home, finally free.

That meant a lot of cleared records all around. My brother especially. Some of us resistance people were better than others at staying under the radar. I had a few outstanding warrants on account of I never met an Imp I didn't try to punch, strangle, or shoot. It didn't bother me much. But Kirsk, Kirsk was something else. He never took a combat assignment, but he loved to show up Imperial security with a slick slicing job or a daring theft. He always framed it to be as embarrassing as possible for the Imps he was messing with. I was run-of-the-mill scum to the Imps; he was an active, humiliating, spectacularly expensive sore spot. They didn't have his face – a point of pride for him as he walked down the street greeting Imp patrols – but if they ever attached the misdeeds of the fictional Smiling Bek to my brother, he would've been in for a world of hurt.

All in the past. Nobody was coming to arrest us now.

Habit propelled me to my feet and got my blaster ready when somebody opened the roof door behind me. It was just my friend Flash, though.

"Hey," he said. "Don't shoot."

"Hey," I said.

"Nice light show, huh?"

"The last streak was really the kicker."

"Yeah." Flash came up to stand beside me at the roof's edge and look out at the bright night city. "So, you coming with us next week?"

"What?"

"Word went out right after liftoff. Republic army's recruiting. Not here, of course, because there is no Republic presence here." We shared the standard, knowing snort at that. "But," he continued, "if a bunch of us should happen to stop by the recruitment office on Coruscant, I have it on good authority we won't be turned away."

This was news to me. "I…wasn't planning on it."

"Oh? What was your plan, then?"

"I hadn't really thought about it. We just cleared this place out, Flash. I've gotta get back home. You know I haven't been able to stay overnight with Mama and Kirsk for years. I've gotta make sure the shop's running all right, see that Mama's got the help she needs with it. That's where I belong."

"You're kidding, right?"

"I've been fighting for Kegled II. She's free now. It's about time I got back to my family."

"Vierce. You been dreaming about killing Imperials, training to kill Imperials, or killing Imperials, since before you lost your baby teeth. You gonna stop now just because we ran out of 'em on this planet?"

I thought about it for a while.

Flash gave me some time. Then, "Your mother will understand. And there's other planets out there have it as bad as we did. You join up with us, we can take care of that."

"There is that."

"I can't think of a better way to pay the Republic back for all the support they snuck us. Besides, it'll be fun. Join the Army, see the galaxy, cultivate the mystique of the dangerous rebel veteran…"

"Now you sound like Kirsk."

"Kid knows what he's about. Well, sometimes. I'll see you later, then. Right?"

I looked up at the stars. Something about it felt right. "Yeah. You will."

Flash headed out, and after a little while I went on back to HQ. The party was ongoing. I bumped into Kirsk on my way in; he had his arm around a pretty blonde I had seen around once or twice. He caught something in my face. He does that. "You're shipping out, aren'tcha?" he said cheerfully.

"Did everyone know about this Republic bandwagon but me?"

"Well, that's why I'm the intelligence guy and you're the thug. Lucky you, you have me to clue you in on these things."

"Right. Well, I am going. Not right this minute, but I'm going."

He shook his head and passed a hand over his slicked-back hair. "Thought you might. You are officially no longer allowed to call me the idiot in this family. Still. Pop two or three for me, wouldja?"

"Believe me, more than two or three will be getting theirs. You'll look after Mama, right?"

"Yeah, sure. If you're gonna flake out on us, I'll just have to step up." He smiled widely. "See you at home tomorrow." Then, to his girl, "Come on, gorgeous." They headed out.

I made a last round of the festivities, shaking hands and hugging what few friends have hugging privileges, and then I headed home. Tonight of all nights, Mama could use my company. And after everything we went through to get here, I could use hers. Doubly so if I was going to turn around and leave next week.

Seems I'm never home for long these days.
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bright_ephemera
10.16.2012 , 10:16 PM | #7
Chapter 4. The Deadeyes

Finally, something new.


Something I've noticed, I don't usually have the nightmares on evenings I spent talking to Jorgan. Something about being around people, or people I trust, makes it go easier. How it is that swapping war stories makes the occupation less vivid in my sleeping mind I'll never know. But I won't complain.

So I was talking to him. "I'm struggling to see you as a sniper," I said. We were just sitting around after a big meal. Dorne was off reading rulebooks or whatever it was she did with her time. "You're good with the hard heavy high-dynamic combat. Sitting still for a few days like you described? Doesn't seem like you."

"I won't pretend it was more exciting than Havoc Squad. Good work, though. The Deadeyes set up a whole lot of operations for success by cleaning the leadership out early."

"Yeah," I said, "something to be said for precision strikes. Wasn't exactly my specialty."

He gave me a look on the edge of a smile. "Why am I not surprised, Savins?"

"Hey. Smashing everything sets operations up for success, too."

"If it doesn't get your whole squad killed."

"Now, now, I don't intend to repeat that mistake." A pause. "That was a joke."

Jorgan visibly relaxed.

We sat quietly for a bit.

Jorgan spoke up. "Funny you should bring up the Deadeyes, though. I got word just the other day. They got captured."

"What? Where? Who's pulling them out?"

"Happened during a routine officer hunt. Somehow the Imps got the drop on them, rounded up the entire unit. Careless." He shook his head. "It's been weeks. I don't know that there is a recovery mission."

"There better be."

"Doesn't sit right with me, either. They were on Nar Shaddaa. Hutt territory, they shouldn't have had any business operating there in the first place."

"Hutts could mean we can cut a deal for information."

"Maybe. Assuming the Imps didn't just black the whole operation out." He pressed his lips thinner for a second. "I need to know what happened to them. Whether they're still alive. If the military has no leads, the Strategic Information Service on Nar Shaddaa might."

"Got any contacts?"

"Not yet. But you can bet I'll find one."
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bright_ephemera
10.16.2012 , 10:22 PM | #8
Chapter 5. You can find anything on Nar Shaddaa

Original to this thread. Sometimes I'm lazy and just copy game conversations. With character reactions, sort of, or mildly tweaked lines.


We hit the ground on Nar Shaddaa with minimal information. A prototype Republic war droid had been taken by Tavus and was finishing its development, in Imperial hands, somewhere on the planet. It seemed to be doing its testing by running around making trouble.

Our local contact was a Jonas Balkar, Strategic Information Service. I hadn't dealt much with the SIS to date. I really hoped they knew what they were doing. Both for this, and for the questions I knew Jorgan had lined up.

Balkar turned out to be a dandy in street clothes, slouching in a private lounge off a cantina in the eye-burningly lit Promenade. He greeted us with a lazy wave. "There you are. Go ahead, take a seat. And keep your voice down."

"Jonas Balkar, right?" I said.

"Let's just stick with Jonas." He flashed a decidedly unsettling grin at Sergeant Dorne. Oh, if only you knew. "Hope you like the cantina. It's not one of my favorites, but it is conveniently located. And I do know which drinks they make best here."

"My eyes are up here, Balkar," I said dryly.

He raised his eyebrows in an innocent kind of way and peeled his eyes off Dorne. She did look entertainingly irritated in a cold high-and-mighty way, but I had work to do. "Right, then," Balkar said breezily. "There's a vault, not far from here. It's a merc operation, holds valuables for anybody with the credits to pay. Our mutual friend is about to pay them a visit."

Oh-kay, jumping right in. "Uh, do we have a welcome party arranged?"

"Not exactly, no. A group of paramilitary types always shows up on the scene before the droid's attacks. We've already spotted them casing the vault. You could head in now, but I don't want you to scare them off. We wouldn't want the guest of honor to skip the party, would we?"

Either the guest is the droid or I am very badly lost. "It would be bad if our party was ruined. Definitely bad."

He waved casually again. "I have people with eyes on the vault. Once they spot our target we'll get the party started." Then he crossed his arms and leaned back. Calculation started edging out the casual look in his eye. "So, Havoc Squad, huh? Pretty nice of Garza to loan us her very best. I'm – ah, excuse me." He took out his holo.

A young woman, also in street clothes, showed up. "Jonas! I just wanted to let you know I made it to Ithor safe and sound."

"That's great. I'll talk to you later, then." He hung up and winked at me. Or possibly at Dorne. "That's our cue. The target is in the vault. Are you ready to move out?"

"Havoc Squad is always ready." Corny, maybe, but I liked the sound of it.

"Take care of the droid and we'll have you on your way within the hour. Nice and tidy. Good luck. We'll have our eyes on you."
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Magdalane
10.17.2012 , 05:33 AM | #9
*Miriah dances with Risha, "Look, Rish, Vierce has his own thread!"

"Bout time," Risha answered, as they settled in to read about the hunky trooper.*
Love is the strongest magic of them all.

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bright_ephemera
10.17.2012 , 08:50 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Magdalane View Post
"Bout time," Risha answered, as they settled in to read about the hunky trooper.*
Hunky XD

The first-person narration means I don't get to ramble about any gorgeousness he may or may not have. (Hint: May.) Which is a total shame. He would have to internal-monologue as he shaves his manly manly scruff in the morning:

I watched myself in the mirror as I guided the razor along the square solidness of my jaw. I didn't look so tired, not really. The [sympathy-inducing] nightmares hadn't been so bad [because I need to sound charmingly tragic without having it get in the way of normal functioning]. I was awake, alert, ready. Even in the glare of the mirror lights my brown eyes were lustrous, softer than really suits a man my size. [Modest demurral about one's best attributes: Also highly sympathy-inducing.] Careful shaving around the scars; I turned a little, my vision slightly obscured by my own long lashes and chiseled nose, as the razor glided over, gently sweeping the roughage off the long-hardened marks of the past. Next I combed my hair, the movements of my big hands dextrous and careful. The full brown waves seemed a shade too pale against the tan I had picked up, but that didn't matter so much. I'm not the type to turn heads anyway, at least not in the good way. [Unawareness of my own gorgeousness is an interesting and not at all overdone character trait, you see.]

I backed off from the mirror, toweling the last lingering beads of water from where they still clung in my [manly yet not excessive] chest hair and around the edges of my [spectacularly] muscular shoulders and arms. [Perhaps I briefly meditated on the last time I held a woman in these arms.] I skimmed on a thin white undershirt, and I will find some contrived reason to explain why it needs to be both thin and skintight, clinging to stretch with every motion as I
your author is actually going to barf, sorry, Vierce-cake time is over.



We now return you to your regularly scheduled adventure time.
the Short Fic Weekly Challenge - 70+ authors to date. 1900+ stories. New prompts weekly!
Bright's Fanfic Threads
Forever Shenanigans!
Ceterum autem censeo, Malavai esse delendam.