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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
10.17.2012 , 09:17 AM | #11
Headspace-Vierce as I wrote the preceding:

"Oh, hi, Bright. Uh, I'm kind of trying to shave here. I – Bright? What are you doing? What is – oh, my stars. Quit it. 'Charmingly tragic'? What does that even mean? You're embarrassing me. Bright! Stop it! Mama, make her stop! – I'm not meditating on anything like that, Bright, and if you publish that I swear I will - oh, stars, just quit it! QUIT IT!" And then he pulled your humble author's hair until she agreed to stop writing.
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bright_ephemera
10.17.2012 , 09:19 AM | #12
Chapter 6. Nar Shaddaa: Meet M1-4X


That vault run was weirder than anything I could even invent.

It was tucked into a maze of Nar Shaddaa's less glamorous-looking avenues. Like the less pleasant areas of Coruscant, I guess, but with even more interesting stains on the floor.

I made sure the outside perimeter was clear before I spoke, and even then I was quiet. "I've got a feeling about this. What do you want to bet this isn't as simple as a grab-and-go 'within the hour'?"

"Betting against that? On a Nar Shaddaa op, no less? I didn't wake up on the stupid side of the bed this morning, sir." Jorgan nodded at the door. "Let's go."

We headed in to find a crate-cluttered room where a sleek-looking battle droid stood in the middle of a busy group of men in Republic uniforms. As Jorgan, Dorne and myself entered, the men gave us suspicious looks, exchanged rapid signals, and kept on working. All but the droid, who was facing a guy with captain's insignia.

"We're wasting time," the droid announced. "There is an entire galaxy full of depraved lunatics plotting against our great Republic, and we're busy rummaging for valuables!"

Huh. And Garza wanted the rogue droid's connection with the Republic kept quiet.

The captain sounded annoyed. "Be patient, Forex – black ops aren't cheap. Commander Tavus needs us to be resourceful."

"But I've been operational for days now! Imperial vermin across the galaxy should be cursing the Republic ingenuity that created me!"

I had to step in. "Uh, you. You know you're not actually serving the Republic, right?"

The robot whirred. "Contact! Multiple armed subjects!"

"Engage and terminate!" snapped the captain.

"Negative," proclaimed the droid. "Subject identity confirmed – officer, Republic Army. A valued ally in our battle against tyranny!"

The captain made a face. "Great." Then he glared at me. "Look, this is a top secret mission. Commander Tavus sent us himself. Does 'Havoc Squad Commander Tavus' mean anything to you?"

"More than you know. Drop your weapon."

Even if I'd thought this guy was legit Republic, the look on his face then would've convinced me otherwise. "Forex, secure the package and follow me," he said quickly. "The rest of you, gun this scum down and rendezvous with us at Objective Seven."

The droid gestured in an agitated way. "Negative! What you suggest is an act of betrayal, the murder of fellow – "

"M1-4X Override Code Five Five Eight! Secure the objective and follow me, now!"

"Sir, yes, sir!"

That's a problem. "I'm your commanding officer," I told the droid. "Ignore this man's orders."

"Negative." It almost sounded sad. "Override code condition five five eight. Obey only orders given by Commander Harron Tavus or personnel designated by same."

"He designated me for a lot of tasks. I was in his squad, for stars' sake."

"The access list for my command set does not include you, sir."

"M1-4X!" snapped the captain, and bolted. The droid followed.

After that, the rest of the uniformed men came after us. There are very few things I like less than having to harm my own people; I held the thought that their Republic uniforms were fakes. They were either defectors or straight-up Imps. I get to shoot Imps. So I took cover and fired.

Our...enthusiastic ally?...the droid, would have to wait.
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YoshiRaphElan
10.17.2012 , 01:48 PM | #13
Wow, this is great! It's amazing how you can change just a few lines or something and it makes the story that much more exciting.

Also, I just finished my trooper's story last Friday and I'm already missing it! I need to run another trooper after my BH and Smug.

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Earthmama
10.17.2012 , 02:48 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by bright_ephemera View Post
Mama, make her stop!

You're on your own sugar!! *admires the view* (Yes I realize he was probably referring to his actual mama....but I couldn't resist). xoxo

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Magdalane
10.17.2012 , 04:36 PM | #15
Sorry, I love military men, so in my head space Vierce is hunky, no matter what he looks like-- his character and values make him that way. Never meant to derail your thread, Bright, sorry
Love is the strongest magic of them all.

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bright_ephemera
10.17.2012 , 05:15 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by Magdalane View Post
Sorry, I love military men, so in my head space Vierce is hunky, no matter what he looks like-- his character and values make him that way. Never meant to derail your thread, Bright, sorry
Eeheehee! Not a problem!
Problem, ma'am. That was a problem. Just a small one, but a problem.
Quiet, you. --- And Earthmama! Way to deny the cute guy his refuge, Mama!
Hey. Bright? Not helping.
Sorry, Viersome. (The only thing better than fierce Vierce is fearsome Viersome, according to my head.) But the ladies loooove you for both your character and your dashing good looks. As do I.
Yuck. You're my sister.
Only sort of. I'm also your writer, deity, and arbiter of all things in your world including your love life. So I'm kind of involved there whether you want me to be or not.
Yuck.
Hey, how do you think I feel about this kind of situation? Over in another fic the son of my surrogate-self or twin or something, the little guy I raised from infancy and yelled many parental things at, has hit teenage years and started looking at girls. I can't even think about it.
Easy solution: Don't. Go 'way and leave him and me alone.
Hmph. Fine, then. Leaving.
Dammit, Bright, GIVE ME MY SHIRT BACK FIRST.
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bright_ephemera
10.17.2012 , 05:17 PM | #17
Chapter 7. Nar Shaddaa: Sporting Goods

Crossposted from the Short Fic Weekly Challenge thread, prompt Like No One's Watching.



Kirsk spread his hands in a pleading gesture. "You should come, Vierce. Seriously, when's the next time your job's gonna put us both on the same planet?"

"That depends," I told his holocom image. "When's the next time the prime scam of the month's gonna get set up where I'm working?"

"Have you no faith in me? I could rig up a scam anywhere you go."

"The job's keeping me busy, Kirsk."

"What, so you're too busy for family now?"

Ouch. Right in the hopeless, obvious weak spot.

Kirsk grinned broadly. "Game's at seven. Bring your friends."

"Not likely."

*

Nobody does sports bars like Nar Shaddaa does sports bars.

One whole wall was a holoscreen, which was less useful than you might think because of the patrons and the waitresses and the dancers and the beer fountain in the way. They still had a bunch of overhead screens, with subtle holo overlays of more dancers over the actual Huttball action. The neon trim on every edge in the room would've been blinding, except the screens themselves were brighter.

"Welcome," said Kirsk, gesturing broadly, "to the sole bastion of Nikto Fever fans in the galaxy."

"Don't they have any on Nikto?"

"Kintan, you mean. And knowing Fever's record? I don't think so."

The place was full fit to burst, but Kirsk led me right over to the bar and, through a stream of Huttese too rapid to follow, freed up seats for himself and me. We ordered up some beer and, at Kirsk's insistence, fried grease sticks. This cantina was the first place I'd found since I left my home sector that did grease sticks right. Kirsk waggled his eyebrows and smiled proudly when I told him so.

The holocasters finished up the team overviews in time for kickoff. The noise level in the cantina lowered, very very slightly, as a few of us shut up to sit and anticipate. The Nikto Fever was up against the Ghests from Rodia; they were just about the second worst in the Rimward League, so we had a chance. Maybe.

The game hadn't made it through three (surprisingly good) plays when Kirsk punched me. "Forgot. Here." He handed me a little flexiplast headband.

"You're kidding."

"Nope. Do it."

"We'll be seen."

"Take a look around, big brother."

I did. Everyone in the place was wearing a holohat, or holding a pennant – a cute rendition of what the championship pennant would be if the Nikto Fever had ever won one – or at the very least drinking from a mug with big plastoid Nikto-style face frills coming off the sides.

"Put it on, flip the switch," urged Kirsk.

"How come you get the relatively normal-looking pennant-waving part of this arrangement?"

"Because I set this night up. Nikto hat. On. Now."

"No."

"If you fail to wear that, and we lose, it'll be your fault."

"We'll lose anyway."

About half a dozen people within earshot turned to glare at me.

"Okay, okay!" I put the hat on. And flicked it on. And tried not to think about the ferocious Nikto face now being projected over my head. Worth it, I thought, if the team managed to score anything good tonight.

*

Halftime. I don't even want to go into the details of the game so far.

"Why did we ever like this team, anyway?" I asked Kirsk.

"Your fault. You fixated on that blonde runner they traded for a few years back, Lenna Dray? Converted wholesale just for her. You had it bad."

"That is definitely not how it happened. You probably tried to infect our house with Fever on a bet or something."

"Nope. It was your hopeless, eternal devotion to her right up 'til her injuries took her out of the game. We all had to cheer with you or else you'd beat us up."

"When did my beating you up ever convince you of anything? You chose to be here today, little brother."

"Because of your years of bullying. Monster."

"Hey, half's starting. We'll turn this around."

We started out okay, as we usually do. In fact, the place was up for a legitimate cheer before too long, and it was one I knew from back home. It eventually came around to me yelling along with "Smash their runners, crush their guard, Nikto Fever rocks you – I am going to die of shame right here."

Kirsk finished the chant and then shot me a weird look. "Uh, screwed that one up, Vierce."

"No." I nodded toward the door.

Sergeant Jorgan stepped in and strolled up to us with that horribly feral grin of his. "Took me quite a while to track you down, sir," he said. "I truly do not know where to start."

Kirsk waved genially. "Start by making fun of him for being unable to commit to two full lines of a proper chant."

"Shut up, Kirsk. Jorgan, this is my brother. I don't actually know him and I don't know why he kidnapped me and brought me here. Kirsk, Sergeant Jorgan, who is going to be very quiet if he knows what's good for him."

Jorgan looked around. His eyes eventually settled on my hat. "I always knew you had secrets, Savins, but this…the Nikto Fever?"

"If word of this gets out, they won't find enough of you to file a death certificate."

Kirsk piped up. "So you gonna pull up a chair or what?"

There was a long, very tense moment.

Jorgan's yellow eyes gleamed in the shifting light. Then he stepped in and signaled the bartender for a beer. "Been meaning to see whether that new offensive guard lives up to the hype anyway." He looked up at the screen and pretended he wasn't speaking to us. "We're never talking about this after tonight, Savins."
the Short Fic Weekly Challenge - 70+ authors to date. 2000+ stories. New prompts weekly!
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Ceterum autem censeo, Malavai esse delendam.

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bright_ephemera
10.17.2012 , 05:20 PM | #18
Chapter 8. Nar Shaddaa: Asking Nicely


"So exactly how long are we not going to say we know anything about the fact that those were Republic spec ops we were fighting, Savins?"

I glowered at Jorgan. "As long as SIS keeps asking. We've got our orders: say nothing about the defections. I don't see why SIS needs to know."

"If they're risking their necks getting information on that droid, I think they deserve to know why it's here."

"I don't want Garza chewing my head off for 'I think they deserve,' not like this."

"The other reason I was thinking to talk," said Jorgan, "is it might be a worthwhile exchange if Balkar thinks looking up the Deadeyes is an imposition."

"We give him answers on what's really behind M1-4X, and in exchange he finds you your in for your old squad?"

"That's it. Your call…but like I said, I think they deserve it anyway."

"Yeah. If it'll help, you make that trade."

He nodded. "Thanks."

That's when Balkar himself flickered up on holo. "Gentlemen, I have just finagled you invitations to the penthouse at the Club Vertica Casino. All kinds of Imperial security, but you can stroll in any time you like, meet whoever or whatever has been transmitting our droid friend's orders. The, ah, Imperial hosts may not appreciate your visit. But they don't want to be the ones to break the peace in Hutt territory." He flashed me an easygoing smile. "Neither do we."

"Got it," I growled. Never mind that there was no peace with Imps, anywhere, ever. If they didn't want an incident I could deliver no incident.

Probably.

"Hey, Jorgan?" I muttered.

"Sir?"

"When we get there, you do the talking."

*

Jorgan, Dorne and I got some funny looks walking across the Club Vertica casino floor in full armor, but I kept my hands off my weapons and nobody tried to slow us down on the way to the lift. In fact, we did make it clear through the doors of the eye-meltingly brightly lit penthouse.

The Imps inside were uniformed and armed themselves. A guy with major's rank bars turned around when he heard us. "Who the…impossible. Throw down your weapons, Republic scum! You have no idea what you've done, breaking in here."

"We're just here to talk," Jorgan said calmly. I mentally rehearsed the motions that would get the rifle out and firing in under a second flat. "If we wanted you dead we'd have just slagged the whole place." Troop disposition within the room indicated a thermal detonator plus rolling for cover would neutralize more hostiles more quickly. Noted. Jorgan's voice went on, steady, almost soothing. "Mind if I ask you a few questions?"

"You don't get to ask anything. Men, subdue these intruders. Use whatever force is–"

The big holo beside the Imperial major flared and brought up the sour-looking captain I had seen with M1-4X earlier. "Zardres, this is Andrik. We've got the last package, and we're heading for objecti–" Then he noticed us. "Oh. Oh, this is too much."

"Shut up, Andrik," snapped the major. "Can't you see we have a situation here?"

"Andrik," I said. Maybe I couldn't play nice with Imps but I could still taunt trash. "Is this any way to let your bosses treat you?"

He sneered. "Tavus is my boss. These Imps are just middle management. Soon-to-be-dead middle management, I'm guessing. Have fun dying, Zardres."

"Please," snorted Zardres, but he was sweating. "We'll have the situation dealt with in mere moments."

"Nah. In mere moments you'll be dead, and the situation will be headed my way. Nice knowing you."

Andrik gave Havoc Squad a last cold look. The holo turned off.

I really, really wanted to prove Andrik right in his prediction. Then again, Andrik didn't deserve that kind of support, and I wasn't supposed to shoot first. "Would you believe," I said to Zardres, "that this is the one day so far this year I'm under orders not to kill scum like you on sight? Tempting though Andrik's suggestion was. Could you just tell us where to find that war droid and his idiot handlers?"

"Are you insane? Why would I even consider telling you? Andrik may be scum, but his droid's activities are useful to the Empire. I cannot allow you to impede their work."

"The droid is Andrik's, not the Empire's," said Jorgan, "and you can bet he'll turn it on you the next time he thinks the winds are changing. Every credit, man, and minute you spend protecting him is a waste."

Zardres' lip twitched. "You're not far wrong," he grumbled. "If you think you can stop him…well, I for one won't miss him. You will find Captain Andrik and M1-4X in a facility deep within the Shadow Town district, unlocking the droid's full potential. That machine's power core is capable of far more than your scientists thought possible. Soon, M1-4X will have shields and weapons more powerful than any other droid ever created."

"Much obliged." I tried a grin. It probably wasn't a nice one. "I hope we meet again sometime, Major Zardres. Under less neutral circumstances."

The Imp sneered. "You have what you wanted. Leave before I change my mind. Oh, and tell Captain Andrik that it was nice knowing him, too."

I turned and headed out without a word, Jorgan and Dorne falling in behind me.

"That was very nearly painless," Dorne said as we reached the lift. She sounded surprised as well as relieved.

"That's what was so disappointing about it," I said quietly. "Hey, Jorgan?"

"Sir?"

"Remind me again why breaking the treaty is a bad thing?"

"The Treaty of Coruscant's just part of the disaster here, Savins. If we piss off the Hutts by getting blood on their carpet, High Command'll never find us for the court-martial."
the Short Fic Weekly Challenge - 70+ authors to date. 2000+ stories. New prompts weekly!
Bright's Fanfic Threads
Forever Shenanigans!
Ceterum autem censeo, Malavai esse delendam.

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YoshiRaphElan
10.18.2012 , 01:36 PM | #19
Once again, excellent. Jorgan is mah bro!

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bright_ephemera
10.18.2012 , 01:53 PM | #20
I'm glad you're enjoying! Aric Jorgan really is best-bro material. Great character, great guy, and, alarmingly enough, more tactful and peaceably minded than Vierce is at times. I laughed my butt off recently when someone pointed out that Jorgan actually has a +2 to crit on Diplomacy...I'd love to see him in negotiating action.

I kept Jorgan with me for about 70% of Vierce's class line play because he's awesome. He had to be the level-headed one more than once. I recall the line "Easy there, killer, we didn't come here to start a war" happening during one class conversation.
the Short Fic Weekly Challenge - 70+ authors to date. 2000+ stories. New prompts weekly!
Bright's Fanfic Threads
Forever Shenanigans!
Ceterum autem censeo, Malavai esse delendam.