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My Name is Solomon Crae


iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
12.22.2012 , 10:53 PM | #1
This story began in the Short Fiction thread, so if you read that you'll probably have read most of this. I've done a bit of editing here and there, mostly to clear up some minor inconsistencies and make this stand more on its own, apart from my other cast of characters.

There will be some bounty hunter spoilers through the story. I'll mark them and spoiler them specifically where I can.

Hope you enjoy my scribblings
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
12.22.2012 , 11:03 PM | #2
1 - Hunting Hunters
Imp Belsavis spoilers - they've been put in spoiler tags

The wine made him smile. So out of place for a woman who lived such a hard-edged lifestyle. She liked blasters with plastight grips, pulled her hair back in a spiraled knot, swore like a sailor, ate Rodian street food any time it was available, and bought large amounts of Alderaan wine. The hunter lifted his head from the sniper scope as his quarry disappeared into her ship with a crate of the fine vintage.

Another time, sweetheart.

***

Skari stopped inside the main hatch, set down the crate, and rolled her shoulders, trying to get rid of the tension that had plagued her for days.

"Blizz!" she called as she packed her armor in the storage cabinet.

"*Hey Boss!*" he chirped happily, emerging from the engine room.

"Hi," she said, "Did you check the ship over today like I asked? Exterior and interior?"

"*Yep! Blizz check the whole thing!*"

"Find anything?"

He nodded. Her jaw tensed as she waited for the news. "*Left thruster need fixed, so Blizz fix it!*"

Skari managed to pull a smile together. "Thanks."

"*No problem, Boss!*" He scurried off to do who knows what.

She checked the locking mechanisms again, stowed the wine in Gault's room, and climbed the stairs to the upper deck.

"Hey, you don't look so good," Mako said as Skari stepped onto the bridge.

Skari sat down in the captain's chair and started flipping through the current bounties. "We haven't shown up on here lately, right?"

"Not since you took out Gor'tha the Hutt and half his mercs."

Skari nodded, a frown set deep on her face.

"What's going on?"

"I think we're being watched. Damn sure feels like it anyway."

"That why you had me run checks on all our firewalls?"

Skari nodded, "Any cracks?"

"Everything's solid.”

"Thanks, Mako," Skari said as the slicer headed down to the lower level. Skari rubbed the back of her neck and tried to relax.

***

The hunter walked along the Upper Promenade, hands in his pockets, eyes straight ahead. No one gave him a second glance: another lean man with half a face of scars, dressed in casual clothes and a hat. On Nar Shaddaa, he hardly stood out.

He kept pace with the Chiss on the Lower Promenade, watching for her out of the corner of his eye, the flash of blue every so often telling him she was still there. She stopped and scanned the crowd with a scowl on her face. He continued on a few paces, pausing to stop at a vendor selling some crap souvenirs. Before she moved again, he walked quickly down the ramp to the lower level, moving in the opposite direction. His patience was rewarded when she headed to the taxi speeder pad and set course for the Red Light Sector. And that little Rodian restaurant she liked so much.

***

The Rodian platter had been delicious. Skari walked along the dirty alley, eyes watching the corners. Should have brought the crew maybe, but they needed the time off to do their own things. Too much time in the cramped ship would drive anyone nuts, and she didn't need Gault threatening to strangle Blizz again for going through his stuff.

A slight movement in the corner of her eye had her pulling her blasters. Just a rat. Maybe it was too much time on the job. Got you paranoid, seeing things that weren't there. Or maybe she was being hunted. Again.

She heard a muffled pop a split second before her left leg went out from under her.

"Sh*t!" She went with the fall, feeling the numbness from the tranq dart stuck deep in her thigh spreading quickly through her body. "F**king bastard," she snarled as she tried to lift her blaster toward the hazy figure that jumped down from a ledge. Her vision was quickly fuzzing out. She wasn't going to walk out of this one.

***

Skari could feel her head spinning like she'd spent a few hours with some of Gault's wine. The room was shadowy. Cold. The floor nothing but dirt. A couple dim lights lit the space, but there was nothing to see but dark bare walls. She was tied to a chair in the middle of the room in her underclothes, her armor nowhere to be seen, and her hands in what felt like electro-restraints behind her. Her head cleared enough for her to be sure of one thing: whoever did this was going to f**king die...just as soon as she got the Nantellan key she had hidden in her hair into her hands.

She stretched her shoulder up as far as it would go, rubbing at the space behind her ear. She could feel the small piece of metal slide out of place. Carefully, she eased it down into the collar of her undershirt and down into the sleeve.

"Awake. Good." Skari peered into the dim light to make out a brown, whipcord lean man of average height entering the room. His face was all angles and planes - shaved head, sharp cheekbones, slanted golden eyes, narrow nose, faint lines beginning to form at the creases of his eyes. He was attractive, even with the mess of burn scars on the right side of his face. He was going to make a handsome corpse.

"What the f**k is this about?"

He walked across the room, stopping a few feet away to crouch down on his haunches so he was on her level. He had a knife out that he kept flipping while he examining her with a considering eye. "I've hunted a lot of people," he said after a moment, "but, sweetheart, you're one of the wilder ones. Lot of anger there."

"Oh you haven't seen angry, a**hole," she growled, jerking at her bonds a bit. The Nantellan key slid down her sleeve a little farther and out the cuff. She caught it between two fingers before it hit the ground.

He smiled slightly. "You really don't know when you're beaten do you?" He stood. "No sense wasting time." He walked over and sliced through one of the three scars that ran down her right cheek. She gasped as the pain seared through her and blood began trickling down her face.

"Now," he said coolly, "I need information. Give me what I need and your death won't be overly painful. Don't and I'll make you beg for it to end."

She laughed harshly, "It'll be a hot day on Hoth before I beg."

He cut down the second of her scars, pushing a curse out of her. "Yes you will," he said matter of factly.

Skari met his eyes directly. Gold eyes should be warm, but his were the eyes of a stone cold predator. She went to work maneuvering the key into the lock on the restraints while her blood ran in red rivulets down her blue skin.

"What I need is a name," he said, his eyes steady on hers. "Five years ago someone hired you to kill an accountant on Kasnee 8. Do you remember the job?"

Skari paused in her hidden efforts to unlock the restraints. "I remember the job," she said soberly.

"Young man, a boy really, blonde hair, large ears?"

Skari resumed trying to escape while she talked, drawing out the time. "And freckles."

"That's the one." His jaw clenched for a moment.

"He someone to you?" she asked.

"My brother."

"I'd say I was sorry," she said as she activated the key and felt the lock give way, "but I don't think that would matter much to you."

"You're right," he said, reaching over to slice open the third scar, "it doesn't."

His hand never reached her face.

She exploded out of the chair, grabbing his wrist with one hand while her other fist slammed into his ear. She headbutted him before he could recover and, for good measure, brought her knee up hard between his legs. He gasped and folded over for a split second. She twisted the knife out of his grip and quickly hooked one side of the restraints onto his wrist. He swung a hard punch at her which connected to her side, but she kept her head even as she lost a lungful of air and managed to get the second restraint over his other hand. She hooked her foot behind his ankle and yanked his feet out from under him, putting him down hard on his back. He lunged for the knife, even with his hands in restraints, as she scooped it up and stepped back.

He laughed hoarsely as he struggled to breathe through the blood running from his nose. "You are something else, sweetheart."

"Stop calling me that, a**hole," she growled.

"Whatever you say, honey." Laid out he might be, but the man didn't look beaten. Skari didn't dare get close enough to him for him to reach her, but she glared at his new pet name.

"I'm curious, how'd you get out of the cuffs?"

"A girl's got to have some secrets."

"Fair enough," he said, shifting slightly to make himself more comfortable.

"You waited a long time to come after your brother's killer," she said.

"Didn't hear about it till recently. We didn't talk much. Been hunting in the Tabrel Sector."

Skari frowned. "Lot of f**kers who think they’re hunters out there. Which one are you?”

“They call me the Tracker."

Skari took another step back from him. She was damn lucky to be alive, damn lucky. The Tabrel Sector was a thieves den: low on law and high on petty criminal kingdoms. To hunt bounties in Tabrel you had to be half crazy, and if the stories she’d heard were true, the Tracker more than qualified.

Skari thought for a few minutes. The thought that came into her head was incredibly stupid. But that job on Kasnee 8 had eaten at her conscience for a long time and maybe, finally, she might be able to do right by that boy. Last one on her list. She met the cold predatory eyes of the man at her feet. Incredibly stupid.

"What's your word worth?" she asked him finally.

"If I say it's as strong as Mandalorian iron, would you believe me?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.

Skari snorted.

"I thought not."

"I'd like to propose a partnership," she finally said. He sat up, his face completely serious. "I've tried to find Akko Nadras for years. Never sat right, killing that boy. I don't have the skills to track the guy who put the order in though. You do from what I've heard. But I need to be sure you're not going to try to kill me or harm my crew. Otherwise I'll kill you right now."

"A partnership. With the woman who killed my brother."

"I pulled the trigger. I won't make excuses for that. But I would like the chance to make it right. Well, as right as it can be." Skari considered just how stupid a move this was again as he got to his feet. Even with his hands in restraints, his movements were sure, balanced. He was strong and quick and dangerous beyond belief.

"I heard you've gone respectable lately," he said.

"I don't know about respectable," she said with a shrug, "Just trying to be on the right side for once."

He looked at her carefully. "Ok. A partnership. I don't try to kill you, and you help me take out the guy who ordered my brother dead."

"Word of honor?"

"For what it's worth."

So stupid. She stepped into striking range. Stupid stupid stupid. His face was inscrutable as she slid her key into the lock.

"A Nantellan. I'm impressed. Those aren't easy to come by."

"Had to find something to spend my money on," she said, slipping the key back into her hair as she watched him cautiously.

He held out his hand for his knife. Skari looked down at it. "How bout you give me back my blasters, and I'll give you your knife."

"Fair enough, sweetheart," he said with an appreciative smile. He walked to the door and opened it onto a deserted hall. He led her down it into a small room that he'd obviously been sleeping in. The spare pallet on the floor, bag, and collection of weapons marked this as his space. Everything was neat, even in the grimy room. He collected her twin blasters from the pile and handed them to her. She handed his knife back to him. He flipped it once and then sheathed it in the small of his back. Both of them continued to watch each other carefully, two wary predators ready for the other to strike.

Skari jerked back as he suddenly reached towards her face, pulling up her blasters.

He chuckled, "Relax, sweetheart, just cleaning up my mess."

"Just don't make sudden movements, okay?" she said as she carefully holstered her guns, "Or they might be your last ones. And quit calling me that."

He smiled as he gripped her chin with one hand and wiped the blood from her face with a clean rag. He handed her a med pack and began to pack up his belongings. She put the pack to her face, a sigh escaping her as the cool numbness started to lessen the throbbing pain in her cheek.

"Ready," he said in less time than she would have thought possible. He stood in the middle of the room, relaxed, alert, and capable of pretty much anything. This was probably the stupidest thing she'd ever done in her life,
Spoiler


"What's your name, Tracker? So I know what to put on your gravestone."

He laughed. "My name is Solomon Crae."
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
12.22.2012 , 11:10 PM | #3
2 - Claim to Fame
Ch 1 bounty hunter spoilers; I have them in spoiler tags but they do make the second part make more sense

"Where's my armor?" Skari asked Crae as he hefted his bag and slung his sniper rifle across his lean, muscled back.

"Gone."

"What do you mean 'gone'? That was high quality sh*t!"

He shrugged. "Cut to pieces and put through an incinerator."

Skari's eyes narrowed. "Cut to...what kind of damn vibroknife do you use???"

He chuckled, the smile on his light brown face evil. "One that's good at taking things...and people...apart."

"Got an extra cloak or something in there?" she asked, eyeing the bag.

"Nope." He didn't seem at all concerned that she was wearing just a bit more than a typical dancer.

She scowled at him, "Guess I should be glad I still have my boots."

"Guess so." His slanted gold eyes twinkled in the faint light.

Skari shivered briefly in the chilly polluted air as they stepped out of the building, but quickly warmed up as they started walking, keeping her head high. Her face still throbbed. The bleeding had stopped, but the cuts Crae had made were going to need more treatment.

She glanced over at Crae from time to time. His hard profile was difficult to read. "I've heard some messed up stories..."

Crae shrugged, "People talk."

"So is any of it true?"

His lips quirked into half a grin, "Probably."

Skari's face twisted in disgust. "You know, I've killed a lot of people, but if even half of what I've heard is true, you'd make a damn Sith proud."

"I save my best work for people who hurt my family," he said with a sideways glance at her.

Skari swung around into his path, her scowl ferocious. "You want a shot at me, take it, but either we work together or we don't. Got it?"

"I gave you my word," he said mildly, one hand on the knife tied to his leg.

"You sure? Cause we can f**king do this."

"You could probably take me in a straight fight, sweetheart, even in that outfit. Besides," he said with a mocking grin, "I like you."

"What a line of nerfsh*t." She started walking again.

"I heard one of those stories from a group of guys I used to do jobs for," she finally said after a few minutes, "Did you really set a dozen of their people on fire?"

"Just four of them."

"Why the hell would you do something like that?!?"

He smiled, "How'd you think I found you?"

Thoughts of how stupid she was being bringing someone like this back with her, trusting him in any way, kept most of the catcalls and whistles that followed them from being too irritating. The more obnoxious ones usually went quiet at the sight of Skari's blasters, but the drunk with the small group of armored mercs drinking in the open area in front of one of the smaller cantinas was not so easily put off.

"Damn, now that's how blue should be done!"

Skari glared at the tall obnoxious young human who was pointing at her with his tankard. One of his compatriots was seated next to him, shaking his head and laughing. The other, seated back farther under the shadowed overhang, was silent and still. She lifted her blasters into ready stance as they passed, tired of the day. Crae glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, his expression curious.

"Come on over here, honey, I'll show you how to use a real blas..." The drunk abruptly swore as his drink exploded in his hand. Skari raised an eyebrow, her blaster still hot from the blast.

The other young man burst into laughter, nearly falling off his seat as he pointed at his dumbfounded comrade who was staring at Skari's militant stance. The drunk whistled while he shook his hand, "Now that's my kind of woman!"

The man in the back stood, assessing her, and Skari looked straight back at him, noting the beskar armor he wore. The Mandalorian had seen quite a bit of action to judge by the blaster scars that covered half his face and extended below his collar.
Spoiler


The two young men's eyes got very wide. The older man nodded his head in respect. "I am Tranto Jarinda. Please ignore the besom. Kaysh mirsh solus." He glared at the drunk as he walked towards her. He rolled his gaze from her booted feet to her head, his eyes appreciative, but his tone respectful. "Tion'ad hukaat'kama? This aruetii?" he asked, looking over at Crae dismissively.

Skari snorted, "Not him, that's for sure."

He nodded, humor apparent as he took in her situation. "Copaani gaan?"

Skari started to shake her head and then chuckled. "You don't happen to have an extra set of armor on you do you?"

"I'd give you my own, but it wouldn't fit," Jarinda said with a grin, taking the opportunity to openly admire her, "Perhaps..." He pointed at his pack and the semi-sober one of the two brought it over. The Mandalorian looked through and pulled out a beautiful embroidered tunic. Jewel-like red and blue designs were sewn into the gleaming white fabric.

"It's beautiful," Skari said, afraid to even touch the tunic as dirty as she was, "I can't take this."

"My sister will be no worse for lack of a gift when I return," he said, handing it to her firmly.

"Vor entye," Skari said sincerely, "I will have it cleaned and return it to you." She pulled it over her head, straightening the beautiful fabric which fell to her knees. "Don't think I've worn something this pretty in a long time," she said with a slight grin.

"Elek, come to my camp, mesh'la," Jarinda said with a sly smile as he looked at her, "perhaps we will find something to hunt." He walked back to his table and sat down, lifting his drink in a salute.

Skari blushed and turned to see Crae lifting his eyes. "What are you looking at?" she growled at him.

"Seems I'm not the only one people talk about. Mesh'la."

"Shut up, Crae."



Translations:
Spoiler
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
12.22.2012 , 11:13 PM | #4
3 - The Den

Everyone wears a mask. Some of us hide it better than others, but we're creatures of instincts, habits, needs. Funny how people think they're more than the beasts I hunted so often as a child. They bleed the same. Eat, fight, rut, die. We're all just animals under our clothes.

I could tell the bounty hunter who had killed my brother was getting tense when we got closer to her hanger. Reminded me of the way birds get when you wander close to their nests. Or a manka cat near her den. Her muscles bunched in her shoulders under the thin white shift she'd been gifted. Definitely a manka cat. She whirled around, unfazed by the vibroknife I'd palmed. I raised an eyebrow, curious to see what my cat would do.

"Look," she said grimly, "I want to see this through, but you and I both know your reputation isn't the best when it comes to being trustworthy. Touch any of my crew, and I will hunt you down if it's the last thing I f**king do."

A small smile tugged at my lips. "What's the matter, sweetheart, don't trust me?" Last person who trusted me has probably been eaten by scavengers by now.

She stalked over, jabbed me in the chest with one finger, and glared up at me. "I don't f**k around when it comes to my crew, Crae. Hurt them and die."

"Guarding your cubs," I said, enjoying her ferocity, "it's almost cute."

"You're really weird, Crae, you know that?" she said shaking her head as she turned around to unseal the airlock. Mankas are one of my very favorite predators. I've killed lots.

***

"*Boss is back! Hi Boss!*"

My bounty hunter waved to a bouncing Jawa on the medbay landing. I'd seen the Jawa around the ship, checking it over, making repairs. Was half tempted to crouch down and see if he'd come to me for a few treats.

A slim dark haired girl ran down the steps from the upper level. "Where were you?!? We were so worried!"

I met her eyes briefly. Wide, doe-like. Easy prey. Not even a challenge there, I thought as I flipped my vibroknife in my hand.

A Devaronian sauntered out of the medbay and leaned against a wall. "You were worried, I was...concerned. Briefly. Don't look at me like that."

He met my eyes directly, his gaze sharp, assessing. This one would be a challenge. Snakes are hard to catch in the shadows. I should know. What's kept me alive so long.

A broad-shouldered young man followed the doe down the stairs, his eyes assessing as he looked at me. Direct, but without the cunning of his horned crewmate.

"Glad you made it back." His words went to my cat, but his eyes never wavered from mine. How do you kill a bull? By not being in front of him.

I slid my eyes away, intrigued by my cat's crew, her cubs. I looked around the ship. Was older than I'd have figured, not meant for luxury. I could feel Skari's eyes on me, concerned, wary. She is no fool, her interest in honor notwithstanding.

"What happened to your face?!?" the young female gasped, grabbing Skari's chin and yanking it to the side so she could look at the damage.

"I cut her," I said casually, curious to see what they'd do.

"You did what?" the girl yelled. The bull took a step towards me. I shifted my feet, prepared to move out of the way of his charge.

"It's fine, Mako," Skari said, jerking her chin out of her hand and meeting the young man's eyes directly, "Torian, I'm fine."

No one seemed convinced.

"And what happened to your armor?" Mako asked suspiciously.

"I cut that too." It was too easy to spook this one. Without her mama around, easy pickings.

"Shut up, you're making this worse," Skari muttered at me. I raised an eyebrow and smiled a little, ignoring the death glares I was getting from all the crew members.

"Guys, this is Solomon Crae. He's going to be joining us while we work on a new job."

Skari watched the group; I watched Skari. There was enough suspicion around to float a battlecruiser. More fun than a hunt in Voss's Nightmare Lands.

"Can I talk to you?" Mako demanded, pulling Skari towards the medbay.

I could hear her moving around the room getting kolto pulled together while Skari stood in the doorway, watching me. Torian and the Devaronian had taken up positions with their backs to walls, carefully keeping the me in sight. The Jawa was crouched behind some boxes, ready to leap. The handle of the knife landed solidly in my hand after every flip. Pack dynamics were always fascinating to me. This would keep me entertained for quite some time.

I could hear the doe muttering something to Skari as she applied kolto gel to the slashes I had made. I liked the cuts. They followed her old scars. Two new long lines down her face. I haven't decided if I'm killing her or not. She intrigues me, but my brother is a corpse rotting under the ground. The cuts are a downpayment.

"It's complicated," Skari said, meeting my eyes across the space. It's not. Not really. Not for me. She turned her head, and I heard something about the Tabrel Sector.

The doe's response was high pitched. Scared. Does were sensible creatures, I'd always thought. They recognized danger, ran the other way, fast. Course, some predators are faster.

Skari responded. Calm. Steady.

I heard something drop on the floor. "And you brought him back with you?!?!"

Everyone in the cargo area looked up at that outburst. I stayed relaxed. Didn't change my knife flipping. No point provoking them. Not yet anyway.

"Crae, lets get you settled in," Skari said, walking towards me with a scowl on her face, the cuts glistening with greenish goo. "Not sure where you're going to sleep, we're packed in here tight anyway."

"Some space on the floor is all I need." The ship would provide shelter, heat, interesting creatures to observe. Almost everything I needed. I followed her up the stairs, appreciating the view. Almost. The sounds of angry conversation below continued as she led the way up the stairs.

"Do you have a galley on this ship?" I asked, stowing my bag in the corner where I'd be sleeping, palming the canister of Denovian tea in my hand. Might as well take advantage of the creature comforts while I decided whether I'd kill her.

"Yeah, it's back this way." She pointed me towards the small space. I could feel her eyes on me as I walked down the passageway. Worried eyes. I do so love intelligent creatures.

I could hear the Devaronian speaking to her, his voice sour and sarcastic. "Well isn't that special. You brought home a pyschopath."

We're all just animals. I just rarely put on my mask.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

EverSteam's Avatar


EverSteam
12.22.2012 , 11:28 PM | #5
I'm so glad you made/making them into a thread.
I'll just go favourite this now....

MilaniGrey's Avatar


MilaniGrey
12.23.2012 , 12:03 AM | #6
om nom nom Solomon Crae. I also like your BH, Skari. BH Love. <3
The Islingr LegacyShatter the Darkness
Astaron, Narithia, Xalkory, Áilleacht
The Ebon Hawk Server
Forever Shenanigans!

irishfino's Avatar


irishfino
12.23.2012 , 12:16 AM | #7
I'm crae-zy for Crae!
You're downright insane.
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

Canino's Avatar


Canino
12.23.2012 , 06:32 AM | #8
This is great! I need to know what happens. Yeah, this is being favorited....
STATEMENT: I'm just a simple assassin...I mean bodyguard, master. You have nothing to fear.
---------

Syart's Avatar


Syart
12.23.2012 , 06:33 AM | #9
<3
Control, passion, diligence: these three principles shape your world.

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
12.23.2012 , 08:31 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by EverSteam View Post
I'm so glad you made/making them into a thread.
I'll just go favourite this now....
Haha, yeah I'd taken up so much real estate in the short fiction thread that it was getting silly calling this a "short."

Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
om nom nom Solomon Crae. I also like your BH, Skari. BH Love. <3
Thanks! I love them too, so it's always good to know that I'm not alone in my adoration of messed up characters hehe.

Quote: Originally Posted by irishfino View Post
I'm crae-zy for Crae!
You're downright insane.
Insanity knows itself, just sayin

Quote: Originally Posted by Canino View Post
This is great! I need to know what happens. Yeah, this is being favorited....
Woot! I'll be adding the rest of what I have written (and then what's left) in chunks - gotta pace myself since I'm doing some editing as I go.

Quote: Originally Posted by Syart View Post
<3


Thanks peoples!!
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box