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Life Aboard the Thunderclap


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YoshiRaphElan
11.29.2012 , 02:38 PM | #31
Chapter 23:
Captain Gall


Tanno kept his rifle ready as they went into the complex. He didn’t want any surprises like last time.

Ahead, a Chagrian knelt on the ground, hands locked behind his back. Three soldiers in prison uniforms–the Daggers–and a human male in a Republic blast vest surrounded him, weapons drawn. Vik slowly slung his rifle over his shoulder.

“Freeze!” one of the Daggers, a light-blue skinned male Twi’lek, said.

He raised his blaster and trained it on Prudii. Vik instantly reached for his rifle, but Jorgan put a restraining hand on his arm. Vik decided to respect Jorgan.

“Take it easy, Symo,” said a female Zabrak. “They’re Republic soldiers–they must be here to help.”

“Havoc Squad,” Prudii confirmed. “We are here to help.”

The Twi’lek, Symo, slowly lowered his blaster.

“Havoc Squad?” the Zabrak asked. “One of you have an uncle in the Senate, or something?”

“Not me,” Symo said. “Does this mean we can finally get out of this place?”

“We’re not going anywhere!” the man in the blast vest said. Vik assumed he was Brok. “I swore an oath to keep the prisoners on Belsavis locked up. I’m not gonna leave and let this scum escape.”

Vik looked down at the Chagrian. Gouge, he assumed. He stood waiting for Prudii to make a decision, which he had no doubt been considering even as Brok spoke.

“I go free, whether you stay or go,” Gouge said smugly. “Run now, and maybe I won’t find you once I’m out.”

Vik snarled and pointed his rifle at Gouge. No one threatened his team. Prudii ignored the convict.

“Dagger Wing needs to leave,” he said. He gave Brok a look. “I don’t need you, but I’m disinclined to leave a fellow soldier.”

The Zabrak shook her head. “In Dagger Wing, we do what we say. And we said we’d help Brok hold this position.”

Prudii shrugged. “Gouge is scum. I’m not about to leave him to be freed to serve the Empire. Bring him with us.”

“It’ll be a hard run,” Brok said. “But if you get us back to the entrance, we can take Gouge the rest of the way.”

“We’ll follow your lead, Major. Let’s get out of here,” the Zabrak said.

Prudii tilted his head toward the door, indicating that Vik and Yuun would take point. Vik nodded, slung his rifle, and drew his vibrosword. Side by side with Yuun, he went back through the hallway.

A squad of Imps ran in, firing. Vik charged in, letting his shoulder armor take the bolts. He cut one Imp across the chest, his blade slicing the gray armor like tin. Yuun was beside him, cutting Imps apart with his electrostaff.

Blaster bolts rushed up the hall from Prudii, the rest of Havoc, and the Daggers. Soon, the Imps went down. Symo cheered.

“We’re here! We made it!” he said.

“Thanks, Major,” Brok said. “We’ll drop Gouge off at a holding cell and get back to base. See you around.”

* * *

Jorgan relaxed as they got back to the watchtower where Kal was stationed. Prudii held up a hand and motioned for Dorne to come with him, and the rest to stay outside.

“You did a good job in that breakout,” Jorgan said to Yuun and Vik. “Not many could handle a fully-armed squad of Imps with melee weapons.”

“No problem,” Vik replied. “Back when I lived on Nar Shaddaa, blasters were as rare as credits, practically. We used whatever we could get our hands on, and vibroblades were a decicred a dozen. Guess when you’ve cut up gangsters with blades more than guns, it kind of becomes second nature.”

Yuun added, “Gand Findsmen use force pikes in their hunts. When Yuun joined the army, there were no force pikes, so Yuun trained with the staff until he won nine out of ten duels in the academy.”

“Well, it shows,” said Jorgan. “I don’t know anyone else that could have done that and not take a hit or two.”

Vik grinned. “It helps to have shoulder armor like a Baragwin battle tank.”

Jorgan inclined his head in agreement. He sat back, grateful for a moment’s rest, and looked out over the wall. Belsavis was really a beautiful planet without all the blaster shots and monsters.

It reminded Jorgan of tales he’d heard, early in his training, about this place. Private Iresso had been with Jorgan on Ord Mantell, and they’d been in the mess hall. Iresso, bored, had begun telling tales of an ancient monster called The Primal Destroyer. Other troops in the mess had laughed it off. Jorgan hadn’t quite been able to shake a feeling of wrongness.

Prudii and Dorne exited the watchtower, and Prudii had a grim look on his face.

“Time to find Commander Gall,” he said.

* * *

Jorgan entered the tomb with his rifle raised. He had a strange feeling about this place, and he was not about to let his guard down.

Vik and Yuun were acting as rear guard, their rifles also raised, and Prudii was at point. Jorgan was about to step into the next room when Prudii raised his fist to halt them.

Jorgan froze and blinked into his helmet’s HUD several times so he could see from Prudii’s armor cam. Conrad Gall was in the room ahead, being Force choked by a Sith Lord–probably the same one the Daggers had bombed Fest for.

“Go!” Prudii said.

He ran into the room, firing his rifle. Jorgan closed his HUD, rolled, and fired, taking down one of the Sith Lord’s Imperial guards. Prudii took out the other guard, and then Havoc Squad entered the room, weapons trained on the Sith Lord.

The Sith Lord did not turn, but he threw Conrad Gall across the room and dashed for a door that went farther into the tomb. Jorgan started to pursue but Prudii tapped his arm and motioned to Gall.

“Major?” Gall breathed. “Is that you? Ugh…we never had a chance. Ondorru, he…lightning, straight out of his fingertips. Impossible.”

He tried to sit up, but fell back. Dorne moved forward and pulled out her medpac.

“I can’t…I can’t move,” Gall said. “You have to capture him. You can’t let Ondorru escape–only he can prove that Dagger Wing is innocent!”

“He’s in bad shape,” Dorne said. “Please, try not to move, Commander.”

Gall snorted. “Are you listening? He’s getting away! He could change everything!”

There was a rumbling sound deep in the tomb, and Jorgan raised his rifle to the far side of the room, while Tanno and Forex whirled to guard their rear.

“What was that?” Vik snarled.

“It doesn’t matter,” Gall insisted. “Go! Forget about me, just get Ondorru!”

“Dagger Wing needs its commander,” Prudii argued. “We can hunt down that Sith Lord later.”

“This may be the only shot we ever get at that Sith scum!” Gall shouted. “Harlan can take over Dagger Wing, and Ondorru can clear their record. I’ll gladly die to make that happen. Now go!”

“Havoc Squad doesn’t leave anyone behind,” Prudii said, finality in his voice.

“No,” Conrad begged. “Get out of here. Go!”

And then the beast entered. Jorgan had seen rancors in holos and sculptures, but he hadn’t ever seen one in person. It had red eyes that almost seemed to glow, and its skin looked like armor plating. It gave a low growl.

“Havoc Squad,” Prudii said, “attack!”

Jorgan opened fire, hitting the beast in its belly, the most likely weak spot. But the rancor only roared and charged. Vik and Yuun leapt in, their blades carving at the beast. Vik’s thick sword cut deep gashes in the rancor’s legs, but it bashed him aside.

Dorne placed a shot between the rancor’s large nostrils, and the beast swatted at its nose before resuming its charge. Yuun was knocked away by its leg. Prudii and Forex barraged it with their entire arsenal, but it remained stubbornly on the attack.

And suddenly Yuun was there, leaping atop its back and attacking the top of its head with his electrostaff. The beast roared and swiped at Yuun, and the Gand ducked under his fist and smashed his electrostaff down again. The rancor roared, and fell down, but did not die.

Yuun leapt off its head, and Prudii charged in. He ducked under the rancor’s massive arms and then buried his knuckle vibroblade into its eye. It roared and tried to stand, and he stabbed it again. The beast went into a frenzied panic.

It rolled over and smacked Prudii away, but it was now lying on its back. Raising his rifle, Jorgan blasted it in the throat. The beast flailed wildly for a few seconds and then stilled.

“Kandosii!” Prudii exclaimed. “Great job!”

Then they ran over to Conrad. He was lying on his back, a look of disappointment and defeat on his face. Jorgan looked up when he heard footsteps and saw Harlan and the Daggers running in with Guard Captain Zess.

They’d actually done it. They’d won.

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YoshiRaphElan
11.30.2012 , 11:36 AM | #32
Chapter 24:
The Primal Destroyer


They were on their way back to the Republic base when a distress call went out on all channels. Dorne put her hand to her helmet to listen in.

“This is Republic Patrol Team Cresh!” a male voice said. “We’re under heavy assault in the ancient tombs! We need immediate assist–”

“Let’s head that way,” Prudii said. “This is Major Prudii, Havoc Squad. We’re on our way to Patrol Team Cresh’s last location.”

“Roger that, Havoc Squad,” replied a controller. “We’ve got two Jedi and a privateer heading that way, too. Rendezvous with them there. Control out. Good luck.”

Dorne didn’t like the sound of that.

* * *

When they reached Team Cresh’s last location, Jorgan went in expecting anything. Ahead, he saw a flurry of brown robes and white armor, so he assumed the Jedi and their teams were here.

“Jasin!” Prudii said. “Gareb!”

The two Jedi looked up and greeted Prudii. Jorgan glanced at their allies. He remembered the droid T7 and the girl Kira, but Jasin had gathered a few more to his cause. He now had a roguish man in a Balmorran resistance uniform, a Chagrian in a Republic trooper’s armor with sergeant markings, and surprisingly, a red-skinned Sith Pureblood.

Gareb also had a few more allies–a Twi’lek with a sniper rifle, a young girl in Jedi robes, and–

“Iresso!” he said.

The man looked up. “Jorgan?”

Jorgan walked up to Iresso and grasped his arm at the elbow. Iresso grasped Jorgan’s arm, and they nodded to each other, grinning fiercely.

“How you doing, Jorgan?” Iresso asked.

“Good.” He looked at Iresso’s armor. “Made it to lieutenant, eh?”

“Oh, that’s nothing…Captain,” Iresso replied.

Jorgan laughed. Prudii tilted his head.

“Captain Jorgan, who is your friend?” he asked.

“Lieutenant Felix Iresso,” Jorgan replied. “He is one of the troops I was stationed with back on Ord Mantell, before you came. Iresso is very good with women…but he never taught me his tricks.”

Vik barked out a laugh. “No wonder you can’t get a date!”

“Stop!” Gareb’s Twi’lek ally said.

Jorgan whirled, his rifle raised, but relaxed when he saw Dankin, Corso, and Bowdaar. What were the odds?

“Corso?” he said.

“Aw, great,” Corso muttered. “What did we do to get in trouble with the Republic Army?”

“Corso, it’s me, Jorgan.”

“Oh!” the man said. “Jorgan!”

Dankin glanced at Prudii. “Meet my new crew, Major. Akaavi Spar, Guss Tuno, and Risha.”

Prudii nodded. “Spar?” he asked. “You’re a Mandalorian.”

A female Zabrak nodded. “Yes,” she said. “I am. Akaavi Spar.”

“I am Major Prudii,” he said. “I was once a Mandalorian.”

“Once?” she asked.

“Long story,” Jorgan said, knowing what Prudii would say before he said it. “He still hasn’t told us. And we’ve known him for over a year.”

Jasin looked up. “Hey, is this a social meeting? We need to find out what happened to this team.”

Jorgan nodded and turned to the corpse. A wide gash opened his torso from hip to shoulder. Other corpses had been maimed in similar manners.

“What could do this?” he asked.

Suddenly, there was a rumbling noise, and an enormous beast with massive tusks leapt from the top of the mountain. It roared, knocking several of them over.

“Shab,” Prudii and Akaavi said.

“Fierfek,” breathed Vik.

“Blast,” Jorgan gasped.

It was exactly how Iresso had described The Primal Destroyer. The beast roared, and at least five lightsabers snapped to life. Jorgan shouldered his rifle, and saw over a dozen other blasters snap up.

The beast charged at them, sword-like teeth gleaming with blood. Jorgan fired, but this beast was more impenetrable than the rancor. It smacked away the Sith Pureblood, who had leapt in with full strength. Then it turned and made as if to bite down on Jasin.

Jorgan watched in surprise as the Pureblood blasted it with the Force, just enough to knock it off balance so its teeth sank into the ground. Vik and the Wookiee Bowdaar charged in, vibroswords swinging.

The beast picked up Bowdaar and smashed him down onto Vik. Jorgan moved to a better position and opened fire–and so did Prudii, Forex, Dorne, Corso, Iresso, and several other armed beings.

The Twi’lek with the sniper moved behind the Destroyer and began climbing the mountain. He had his sniper rifle tightly slung over his back, and Jorgan wondered what he was doing.

The Jedi Gareb barraged the Destroyer with rocks and refuse, smashing them against its skin at speeds that would have ripped holes in starships. Even so, the Destroyer seemed unaffected. It just pressed on, apparently single-mindedly determined to get the Jedi.

“It eats Force sensitives,” Jorgan said in sudden realization. “It eats Force sensitives, so what good can we do?”

“Just keep fighting!” Vik snarled.

Jorgan glanced up at the Twi’lek. He’d made it to the top of the mountain, and he now had his sniper rifle trained on the beast. But what good could that do?

“Trip it!” someone yelled. “Its tusks make it top heavy!”

Jorgan fired at the beast’s feet. Gareb and Jasin stabbed their lightsabers into its feet, and it howled and kicked them away.

Three sniper bolts slammed into its back in rapid succession, and it seemed off-balance for a moment, but it quickly regained it and once again tried for the Jedi.

The Sith Pureblood unleashed a wave of Force lightning into the Destroyer’s legs. The electricity arced up its body, and it roared in agony…and then turned its roar into a blast that knocked the Sith into the nearby lake.

Jorgan tossed a grenade between the beast’s legs, hoping it would knock it off balance. Gareb slammed a wave of large boulders into the back of its head, trying to knock it over. Still, the beast kept its balance.

“Impossible,” Jorgan said. “It’s unbeatable.”

“Not necessarily,” the Twi’lek said calmly over the comlink. “Just knock it over.”

Jorgan’s eyes widened as he got an idea. He looked at Forex.

“Your grapnel hook!” he said. “Tie its legs!”

“Of course,” Forex replied.

He fired his grapnel from his wrists, tying one around each leg. Then he yanked them in opposite directions. His abnormally strong metal arms were able to fight even this beast’s legs, and the beast began to tumble.

And then, even as it began to regain balance, the Twi’lek fired a rapid series of shots from his rifle directly into the beast’s left tusk. Roaring in anger, the beast toppled.

“Off the mountain!” someone said.

The Twi’lek didn’t climb down–he leapt. Gareb caught him with the Force and lowered him to the ground.

Then, the Sith Pureblood emerged from the lake and blasted the mountain with an unbelievable wave of energy. Jasin, Gareb, and their apprentices joined in, and the mountain toppled on top of the fallen beast.

The Primal Destroyer roared in agony as the rocks crushed its skull and spine. The roar knocked Jorgan and several others off their feet.

Then, quietly, Jasin said, “It’s dead.”

They’d just killed The Primal Destroyer.

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YoshiRaphElan
12.02.2012 , 01:07 PM | #33
Chapter 25:
Decisions


Space station A-77 was an Imperial prison, and it currently held over three hundred Republic soldiers including one Ava Jaxo.

Jorgan glanced as Prudii as the major processed the information. Prudii and Jaxo had been briefly involved back on Coruscant, and he got the feeling Prudii had always had a soft spot for her, despite his relationship to Dorne.

“Blast it,” Prudii whispered.

“Sir?” Dorne asked.

“Elara…I thought you should know she and I were involved for a while.”

“I see, sir.”

“It won’t affect my judgment,” he said.

“I trust you, Major,” she said.

Jorgan loaded his rifle and slung it over his shoulder. Then he slammed down his helmet.

“Tanno, Yuun,” Prudii said, “stay and guard the Thunderclap. Dorne, Jorgan, Forex, you’re with me in the prison.”

They saluted. “Yes, sir!”

* * *

Dorne entered the control room, her blaster at the ready. Below, she could see the Republic prisoners working at menial slave labor. It boiled her blood.

“You!” a technician said. “You’re Republic, right? This is a jailbreak? Please–I’ll do whatever you want. Just don’t hurt me!”

“Relax,” Prudii replied. “Follow orders and I’ll free you, too.”

“Oh, thank you!” the tech said. “Thank you so much! You want me to unlock the prisoner cells? I can do it, it’ll only take a m–” The holocom came on, revealing a familiar face. “General Rakton!”

“Impressive,” Rakton said calmly. “Your time from learning about A-77 to storming its command deck was shorter than even my most aggressive estimates.”

Dorne felt ice form around her heart, and she suddenly realized what had happened. Prudii did, too, apparently.

“You knew we were coming,” Prudii observed.

“Of course. My strategies leave no room for an error this size. Your soldier’s escape was no accident.”

Suddenly, A-77 rumbled fiercely. Dorne and Jorgan immediately readied their weapons, but as she did Dorne realized what the rumblings were.

“Imperial warships have maneuvered into position around A-77,” said Rakton. “The facility will be obliterated in a matter of minutes.” He smiled faintly. “Goodbye.”

“The shields are already failing!” the technician said. “I have to reroute power…”

Prudii leaned forward on the console, staring at where Rakton’s holo had been.

“You want to give me an update here, Major?” Jaxo asked over the com. “It feels like someone is shooting at us.”

“We are being shot at,” Prudii confirmed. “And we’re working on it. Stand by.”

“They’re going to blow up their own prison?” Jaxo asked. “This is insane!”

“I can do it,” the tech said. “We can all make it out if I just vent the systems level.”

“You can’t vent the systems level–I’m on the systems level!” Jaxo exclaimed. “There are droids everywhere. I’d never make it out–who is this moron?”

“We’ll find a way,” Prudii said shortly. “Don’t worry.”

“There is no other way,” the tech insisted. For a noncom that was about to be blown up, he was amazingly calm. Maybe he realized he was about to die. “Please forgive me, but we have no other alternative.”

Dorne felt bad for Prudii. There really was no choice–three hundred soldiers or one soldier–but he and Jaxo had been close, once. How could one make that choice?

What would she do if she were in his position and he in Jaxo’s?

“Without shields, we could never get the cells open fast enough,” the tech insisted quietly. “All of the prisoners would die.”

“You’ve got to get me out of here, Major,” Jaxo said. Her voice was loaded with panic, as if she had never faced death like this before. She probably hadn’t, Dorne mused. “I can’t die in this place, I can’t!”

Prudii was utterly silent, staring down at the prisoners below. All of them were loyal soldiers of the Republic, like them. Dorne could almost see what was going through his mind.

“We have no choice,” she said suddenly. She had not even realized she was going to speak. “We are clearly compelled to rescue the greatest number of prisoners possible.”

“There’s always a choice!” Jaxo’s voice was really full of panic, now. “Please–don’t do this!”

Prudii moved into action. “I have to save these men, Jaxo, or Rakton will kill thousands more like you. I’m so sorry.”

He turned to the technician and just gave him a nod–just a nod. The tech got to work.

“But…no,” Jaxo begged. “It can’t end like this. It can’t–”

And then there was a grinding noise, and static. And then, silence. And Ava Jaxo was gone.

“It…worked,” the tech said. “Shields are back to ninety percent, but they will not last forever. You should return to your ship. I’ll ensure the prisoners are freed and find their way to the transport.”

Prudii walked away wordlessly. Dorne pulled her helmet off and nodded to the tech.

“Thank you,” she said.

* * *

Upon return to the ship, Major Fel contacted them, thanked them, and asked what had happened to Jaxo. Prudii relayed the news.

“Oh,” Major Fel replied. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize. She ought to get a medal. We’d never have gotten out if she hadn’t slipped away to call for help.”

“I’ll relay that request to General Garza,” Prudii replied.

“Thank you. It seems like the least we can do to try and repay her. I won’t hold you any longer–thanks again, Major. Fel out.”

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YoshiRaphElan
12.03.2012 , 03:03 PM | #34
Interlude 1:
Ava Jaxo


Prudii lay on his bunk and contemplated. So she was dead, then. Sergeant Ava Jaxo was dead. He hadn’t lost someone close to him since his family’s death.

It wasn’t something he thought about much, let alone talked about. That was why his past was such a mystery to Jorgan and the others–he didn’t like to think about it himself, so why should others?

But now another person he’d been close to was dead. Jaxo hadn’t been marriage material, but she had been a good friend. He remembered returning to her home briefly after the Quesh mission.

* * *

Prudii entered the house alone. He was nervous about coming, mostly because of his relationship with Dorne. He didn’t want her to see this as a sign of disloyalty.

He pressed the access panel and entered the home. Jaxo was lounging on the couch across the room, a glass of liquor in her hand. She smiled at him.

“Hey there,” she said. “Glad you could make it. Sit down, take a load off. I hear you’ve been a busy man lately.”

He nodded politely and sat beside her.

“Havoc’s got a lot on our plate these days,” he confirmed.

“Quite a stunt you pulled on Quesh,” she said. “I’ve got a pal in the Safecrackers who says you took on half the Empire single-handed. She wanted to know everything about you, of course. I did my best to make you sound boring and ugly. Enough competition out there as it is.” She laughed.

Prudii smiled a little, unsure how to break the news about Dorne to her. After that statement, she would take it badly. But he had to tell her.

“Look, Jaxo,” he said. “I have to be honest with you. I’m in a relationship with someone.”

Her smile slowly straightened. “Huh,” she said, obviously trying not to sound hurt. “Figures, I guess.” She paused. “She’d better be the second most charming and attractive girl in the galaxy, or I’m not going to be happy.”

He saw no reason to beat around the bush. “It’s Elara Dorne.”

“Dorne?” she exclaimed. “I mean…that’s great. She’s a looker, after all, but…a bit stiff, eh? Sorry.”

Prudii smiled gently. “Look, no hard feelings.”

“Great. I’m happy for you, really I am.”

There was an awkward pause, and Jaxo sipped her liquor. Then she set it down on the table and stood quietly.

“Maybe you should go,” she said.

So he did.


* * *

He felt guilty for leaving like that, because now she was dead, and they’d parted on bad terms. He hated that.

Elara knocked gently on the wall beside his open door. He motioned for her to come in. She sat on the bed beside him, and he put his arm around her.

“Did you love her?” Elara asked.

“No,” he replied immediately. “No, she was just a good friend. I only feel this miserable because the last time we saw each other, after Quesh, I left her while she was angry, because I told her about you.”

“I see.”

“Dorne, I’m the kind of person, I can’t stand to have people upset at me. And when they die while, in all likeliness, still upset at me…well. You get the idea.”

“Do you regret our relationship?” she asked.

Prudii smiled. “Not for an instant.”

“Good.”

Prudii considered for a moment. He never wanted to lose Dorne, but more importantly, he wanted to be with her forever.

“Will you marry me?” he asked.

She paused, her eyes wide. “Yes!”

Prudii smiled. “Great. I love you, Elara.”

“I love you too, Major. I wonder if General Garza will be so kind as to officiate. She has quite the powerful voice.”

“Yeah,” he said. “We can have a ceremony, but after Rakton’s dead on the floor. For now, we can do a Mandalorian marriage ritual.”

“Right now?”

“Yes. Mandalorian culture is very quick and to the point. Marriage takes seconds, and ironically divorce takes much longer.”

“Makes sense,” she admitted.

Prudii nodded, then took her hand, meshing his fingers with hers.

“Mhi solus tome, mhi solus dar’tome,” he said. “Mhi me’dinui an, mhi ba’juri verde.”

Dorne paused, taking it in, then said, “Mhi solus tome, mhi solus dar’tome. Mhi me’dinui an, mhi ba’juri verde.”

“I love you, Elara Dorne.”

“I love you, Major Prudii.”

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YoshiRaphElan
12.04.2012 , 12:38 PM | #35
And now we come to maybe my favorite action cutscene in the game!

Chapter 26:
Voss


Jorgan was still in wonder at the world of Voss. It was quite a wonderful planet, he decided. Somewhat like his homeworld Cathar, but…different, somehow.

And the Voss themselves were an odd species. Mostly human, they had metallic skin with tattoos in mixtures of reds, blues, and yellows. Their eyes were droid-like in their vacancy. And they acted unlike any being Jorgan had ever seen.

They’d been here for almost three hours, killing Gormak for the Voss and Imperials behind their backs. It wasn’t a good idea, he knew–if their battles were discovered, Havoc would be kicked off the planet, with no chance of freeing up the local Republic battalion they needed for the fight with Rakton.

Worse, the blasted Senator was watching their every act through Prudii’s armor cam–any action he didn’t approve of, and he’d reject their help and keep the battalion.

Now, a Voss commando team was pinned down and Havoc Squad had to save them. Prudii came to the door to the Gormak complex and held up a fist to halt them. Then, he stepped inside slowly and nodded. Ahead was a Gormak corpse. Jorgan gave it a quick once-over and frowned. A high-tech blaster, not like the Voss’ at all, had killed this Gormak.

Prudii knelt and touched its chin. Suddenly, a smoke grenade went off.

“Enemy contact!” Jorgan said.

A squad of Imperials rappelled from a second level, rifles firing. Prudii made a hand gesture and the squad disappeared into the smoke. Jorgan had his rifle leveled, ready for Prudii’s command.

One of the Imps fired at Prudii, and he rolled off into the smoke. Jorgan trained his rifle on the Imp, but Prudii checked Jorgan over the comlink.

But Prudii didn’t check himself. He stormed in, a man on a mission. He jabbed his vibroblade into the first Imperial’s chest, and then backhanded the second Imperial. When the Imp fell, Prudii stepped on his chest and choked him with both hands.

“Wow,” Vik said. “Brutal.”

“He’s been through a lot,” Dorne said.

Ahead, an Imperial officer had his arms on his hips, watching his troops fire on the Gormak. One last Imperial limped away from Prudii, and the officer turned. The Imp soldier collapsed. Prudii motioned for Havoc to enter the room. The officer glared at them.

Jorgan trained his rifle on the Imp, as did Prudii and Forex. Dorne, Vik, and Yuun brought up the rear.

“That’s quite enough, Major,” the Imp said. “We have the rescue operations well in hand. Sadly, for Havoc Squad, the challenge of the Gormak was simply too much. Your remains won’t be recovered for some time. My condolences.”

“I’m here to rescue the Voss,” Prudii said. “You can help, or you can get out of the way. If not, I’ll shoot you. Simple.”

The major scoffed. “No one will ever know we’re involved with your death. Why not remove the greatest threat to the Empire? Men, open f–”

Jorgan snarled and shot him in the chest. The officer dropped, and the other two Imps opened fire. Prudii and Forex cut them down.

“Move it on, men!” Prudii said.

They ran into the next room and opened fire on the Gormak. The aliens were powerful, but they were not expecting to encounter six Special Forces soldiers. Jorgan cut down the last of them as they ran off.

Prudii ran up to the Voss. One raised his rifle, and for an instant Jorgan thought the Voss was going to shoot Prudii. Apparently so did Prudii, because he snapped his rifle up. But the Voss shot past Prudii at a Gormak that had been sneaking behind them. Prudii whirled and shot another one.

“You arrived as predicted,” the Voss said. “We return alone.”

Well, Jorgan mused, they could have been a little more grateful. But this job wasn’t for the thanks.

“I’d be happy to escort you back to Voss-Ka,” Prudii said.

The Voss walked past Prudii and said, “We return alone.”

Then he and his men were gone.

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YoshiRaphElan
12.06.2012 , 03:05 PM | #36
Chapter 27:
All the Marbles


This was it.

After Voss, Garza had called Havoc back to Coruscant because a Senator was demanding a hearing. As it turned out, the Senator was on an Imperial payroll.

After Prudii had brought him to justice with inarguable evidence, they had returned to Garza’s office to find her gone.

That shocked Jorgan–the woman never left Coruscant. But her aide had said that Rakton had attacked Corellia and she’d been needed. So now, the Thunderclap was flying full speed to Corellia, and Havoc Squad was ready for Rakton.

It was time to end this.

* * *

Kneeling outside the Bastion, Tanno Vik watched as the three battalions of Republic soldiers–infantry, artillery, and the Safecrackers–entered the courtyard.

“Amazing,” he said.

“Yuun has never seen such an occurrence.”

Vik looked over at the Gand. He had his hands crossed, standing attentively with his electrostaff slung across his back at the ready. Vik was amazed at his calm, even as they prepared for the biggest battle of their career.

“Yuun contemplates,” the Gand said. “It is quite likely that one or more of us will not come out of this alive.”

Vik’s heart dropped. “Relax, buddy. No way the Major will let us go down.”

“The Major is not immortal.”

Vik sighed. He hated Yuun’s straightforward attitude. He always said what he meant, and that was usually the truth.

“Havoc Squad!” Prudii said. “Move out!”

* * *

They fought through the Bastion, blasters blazing. No vibroswords or electrostaffs now–it was pure black-ops, blaster-to-blaster. Yuun raised his rifle and blew apart a security droid.

“Move in!” Prudii said.

Yuun bashed another droid with his rifle, and its neck crumpled and the head rolled off. Another team of security droids charged in and fired at the squad. They took cover almost as one.

Yuun knelt and switched his rifle to full auto. The droids fell as each of his bolts pierced their energy cores.

Then, they were outside Rakton’s command center. Prudii stood to the right of the door, and Jorgan took the other side. Vik planted explosives on the center control panel, and Yuun, Forex, and Dorne stood back and trained their blasters on the door.

“Clear!” Vik said.

He rolled aside, and the door blew apart. Jorgan threw a grenade inside, and as it exploded Prudii swung in. Yuun charged in behind Vik and Jorgan, and the rest of the squad filed in.

“Ah, the one worthy opponent in the entire Republic,” Rakton said.

He stood in the middle of the room, an Imperial soldier on either side. Rakton stood casually, his hands crossed behind his back and a sniper rifle slung over his left shoulder.

“Ironically,” Rakton added, “outmaneuvering all of my plans to save the Republic’s people. Can you not see your corrupt and weak-minded leaders are dragging you down?” He sighed wearily. “Your Republic will fall–by the hands of the Empire or by the weight of its own decadence. The end is inevitable. Why prolong the suffering?”

Prudii stepped up face-to-face with Rakton and, to Yuun’s surprise, removed his helmet.

“General Rakton,” he said quietly. “There will always be bad leaders–the Empire has its own, and Artus Lok of the Mandalorians is possibly the worst leader we’ve had since the Mandalore who sided with Exar Kun. But that does not mean that this is the answer.”

Prudii stepped back and slammed his helmet down. Then he stepped back.

“You serve the Empire–who are you to choose the leader of the Republic, let alone Mandalore? Yes, I know the truth–Artus Lok, the man so many Mandalorians call Mand’alor–was set in power by the Empire.”

He snarled. “General Rakton, in the name of the Galactic Republic, for crimes against its citizens, and for setting up a puppet ruler on Mandalore, I place you under arrest. Resistance will be met with death.”

Rakton shook his head. “Very well. Kill him.”

Then he ran backwards. Yuun threw his rifle down and pulled out his electrostaff. Then, as the two Imperial guards attacked, he leapt in.

“Go!” he said. “Yuun and Vik will hold these!”

Prudii nodded and ran after Rakton, followed by Dorne and Jorgan. Forex remained behind to guard the entrance.

Yuun attacked one guard, and Vik the other. The guards had assault cannons, and it took all the flexibility in Yuun’s body to avoid each shot. He jabbed and slashed at the Imp, who continued to fire while dodging Yuun’s blows. Clearly, these troopers were Rakton’s most elite.

The guard bashed at Yuun to throw him back. He grunted and rolled with the blow. As the Imp fired, Yuun leapt to his feet and rolled in the air. He spun his staff in quick circles, deflecting bolts as a Jedi would.

When the guard paused to reload, Yuun leapt in and jabbed his electrostaff into the guard’s cannon. The weapon overloaded and exploded. The guard dropped to his knees, and Yuun jabbed his staff into the guard’s gut.

He sighed in relief and glanced over at Tanno Vik. The Weequay had cut apart his opponent’s chest piece, and blood ran across the corpse.

“Well done,” Yuun said. “Come. We must help the others.”

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YoshiRaphElan
12.07.2012 , 11:01 PM | #37
Interlude 2:
General Rakton


Prudii dashed after Rakton, not even bothering to see if Jorgan and Dorne were following. Rakton, seeming to realize he was being followed, stopped in his tracks, threw up an energy barrier, and pulled his rifle from its sling.

Prudii ducked behind a console as a series of sniper blasts came his way. He let the fear build. His father, a great warrior, had told him that you could either let your fear control you, make you panic in battle, or you could use it, fight with it.

So he added to his fear anger–anger at his parents’ deaths, anger at the destruction of his first home, anger at the realization that Artus Lok, the Mandalore he’d served so faithfully, was a plant.

Standing, he fired at Rakton. The general ducked back behind his energy barrier. Prudii saw that Jorgan and Dorne were firing at him from the cover of another console.

Rakton rose just enough to lay down fire at them and force them to drop behind the console. Prudii fired a mortar round from his rifle, which knocked Rakton away from the energy barrier. He charged in and bashed Rakton across the shoulder.

Rakton grunted and dropped his rifle. Prudii pointed his rifle at the man’s temple. Jorgan and Dorne ran up behind Prudii.

“So…this is how it ends,” Rakton said. “A lifetime of service to the greatest cause in galactic history. What happens now? A simple execution? Or will the last civilized man in the galaxy be paraded through the streets of Coruscant as a trophy for your ignorant masses?”

Prudii considered. He couldn’t very well kill the man in cold blood–as much as Prudii disliked the general, he was a fellow soldier, and he deserved a trial, just like any other POW. But parading around through Coruscant–that would be demeaning.

“Neither,” he said. “You’re going to Coruscant, but you’re going as a political prisoner–certainly not a trophy.” He turned. “Jorgan, call for evac. We’re done.”

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iamthehoyden
12.08.2012 , 10:52 AM | #38
That final battle on Corellia was a good one. The target maybe wasn't as epic as some of the other classes, but the battle was pretty nifty.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

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YoshiRaphElan
12.08.2012 , 12:44 PM | #39
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
That final battle on Corellia was a good one. The target maybe wasn't as epic as some of the other classes, but the battle was pretty nifty.
Yeah, I just wish we could've fought alongside those other troops - like the Gauntlet mission x10.

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YoshiRaphElan
12.09.2012 , 03:59 PM | #40
This part intersects with the Ilum portion of my Lieutenant Pierce story - read up!

Chapter 28:
The Battle of Ilum


Jorgan sat aboard the Thunderclap and wondered. The new Chancellor, Saresh, had actually released Rakton to the Empire in exchange for thousands of prisoners of war. Now Havoc would have to hunt him down all over again–blast.

The Thunderclap was headed for Ilum, now. The Empire had attacked the Republic there, trying to capture the crystal caves the Jedi reserved for their lightsaber construction.

“No break, huh?” Vik asked.

“No break,” Jorgan replied sharply. “We go where the Republic needs us. Besides, if Supreme Commander Rans himself is on Ilum, it must be pretty bad.”

“Coming in for a landing!” Prudii called. “Get ready!”

Jorgan briefly thought about the Deadeyes. Before he and Prudii had left Coruscant, they had talked to Garza about them–but she had been so distracted by Rakton that she hadn’t been able to work on that. She promised to contact her people.

He hoped they found them.

As they touched down on Ilum, Jorgan looked outside. He saw blaster fire and lightsabers lighting up the night sky. Then he looked up and was awed. The sky was filled with meteors and ice from the orbital rings falling through the atmosphere, and it made for a stunning display.

No time to think about that.

“Let’s move, Havoc Squad!” Prudii said.

As they leapt out of the ship, Rans contacted them to give them orders. Jedi Master Gareb was on the ice fields outside the crystal caves, and he needed backup.

They charged in, weapons firing. Gareb and his apprentice Nadia were battling a Sith Lord with a pair of lightsabers–blue and red. Jorgan thought that was odd, but he didn’t question it; he just went in firing.

The Sith Lord had backup–an apprentice, a pair of Imperials, a Twi’lek with a pair of blasters, and a large Talz with a vibrosword. Vik charged in at the Talz and Dorne took aim at the Imperial with the captain’s badge.

As Jorgan fired, he saw Gareb shake his head at the Sith Lord and then drag Nadia away–strange, but maybe Rans had ordered him elsewhere. Yuun and Jorgan fired at the Sith Lord, and he deflected their bolts back at them.

Jorgan grunted as the bolt hit him square in the chest–and so did Yuun. They fell to the ground, and Jorgan thanked his lucky stars that the bolt had not hit his face. As he stood, he saw that the Sith Lord and his allies had moved toward the cave. He grunted and stood.

“New orders,” Prudii said. “If we can’t stop the Empire from getting the crystal caves, we at least stop them from blowing them up.”

“They’re trying to–” Jorgan stopped. “So that’s where that Sith Lord went.”

“Jorgan, Vik, you get in there. The rest of us will hold off the Imps.”

“Let’s move it!”

Jorgan charged into the cave, rifle shouldered. Inside, the Imperial captain–snotty looking man, he decided–was talking to the Talz, who bllorped in an unintelligible manner. The third Imp, a soldier with lieutenant’s markings, was setting the bombs.

Jorgan fired on them, but they ducked and ran out the back tunnels.

“Vik! Disable these bombs, now!”

Jorgan ran into the cavern and glanced at the bombs, then charged after the Imps. To his surprise the snotty Imp whirled back around the corner and snapped off a shot. Jorgan ducked back and gave a snarl of annoyance before ceasing pursuit.

“Uh, Jorgan?” Vik said. “We better get out of here. These bombs…they can’t be disabled!”

“Move–!”