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Downtime

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YoshiRaphElan
03.14.2013 , 08:16 PM | #1
These will be unrelated shorts (some serious, some funny) that happen between my previous story, Legacy of Destruction, and the ROTHC expansion (I will be writing another full story after ROTHC). Enjoy!

Smuggler

Karaoke Night


As usual, Dankin found the most unusual cantinas.

Sitting in the far back booth, he facepalmed epically as a Rodian tried (and failed) to sing an upbeat jazz-wail song. As he crescendoed into the final notes, Dankin thought his ears might actually fall off, so he reached up and rubbed them.

Karaoke night? At a cantina? Where people, ah, drank?

Bad idea.

Unfortunately, the more drunken patrons loved it to pieces, so it kept going. Dankin never thought he'd hear a Trandoshan mating song in a cantina, and he really, really wished he hadn't. So. Of course Dankin's companions would think it was fun and give it a try.

Risha was an adequate singer, but she missed several notes by a lot. Dankin winced each time, hoping no one else noticed.

Guss hopped on the stage and tried to regale the audience with a head-banging Baka rock song. Tried being the operative words. Dankin had heard Mon Calamari operas before and had assumed they were all fantastic singers.

Guss must have missed those genes.

Bowdaar got up on stage and began singing a Wookiee folk song, only to collapse from too much alcohol halfway through an admittedly adequate song.

Corso began singing an upbeat Ord Mantell country song about Life in the Space Lanes. When he finished, the audience, including Dankin, roared with applause. He bowed, stepped off the stage, and modestly returned to his seat.

Then it was Akaavi's turn. With her voice, though he loved her, Dankin was fearing the worst. To his surprise, he was wrong, completely wrong. She sang a Mandalorian war chant, beginning in low tones.

"Kote...kandosii sa ka'tra, mhi vode an....bal kote, darasuum kote! Jorso'ran, kando a tome! Sa ky'ram, nau tracyn, kad vode an!"

Silently, with no applause but everyone staring agape, Akaavi left the stage.

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YoshiRaphElan
03.15.2013 , 01:33 PM | #2
Republic Trooper

Assembling the Team


Major Backblast crossed his hands behind has back, looking over his new squad. The five of them would be going to Makeb, a planet inhabited by the Hutt Cartels, to make sure there would be no threat. Backblast had insisted Major Prudii of Havoc Squad would be better for this job. General Garza had insisted Havoc was needed elsewhere.

So, Backblast had reluctantly accepted.

An interesting squad, he thought. His XO was a dreadlock-haired man with a missing eye, much like Backblast's own. He looked rough and had an odd habit of passing his rifle back and forth between his left hand and his right.

"So, Lieutenant Rogers," he said. "How did you get the scar?"

Rogers grinned. "Went head-to-head with a Sith Marauder, sir. You should see the other guy."

"Good man."

Sergeant Lamming was a handsome man, tattooed with black arrows. He had tan hair that he kept tousled.

"Sergeant," Backblast said. "How did you attain your rank?"

"When my CO went down in combat," Lamming replied evenly, "I led the remnants of our platoon in an attack on the walker heading the Imperial column. We won."

Backblast nodded, moved over. The next man was squinty-eyed, with bushy sideburns and dark hair. A scar criss-crossed his face.

"Specialist Arden," Backblast said. "Nice scar."

Arden rubbed it. "I suppose it is. Fought a Mandalorian swordsman with a shiv."

"We'll need that. Good."

The last soldier was a woman, white-haired with both her eyes replaced by cybernetics. She wore a technician's badge.

"Technician Urress," he said. "Cybernetics?"

"Replaced my own eyes, sir," she said grimly.

"Oh-kay," he replied. "And...why?"

"Because now I don't need to blink. Blinking can ruin a tech's life."

Ah. He simply nodded to her, not sure what to say. He backed away from the squad.

"All right," he said. "Everyone gear up. We move out in an hour."

Spoiler

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YoshiRaphElan
03.17.2013 , 02:58 PM | #3
Bounty Hunter

The Miracle of Life


Mako shrieked in pain, but Dha knew it was a perfectly natural pain. He squeezed her hand encouragingly, wishing he could take some of it upon himself.

"Push, Mako!" Melyyk said.

Melyyk was a Chiss female and a Mandalorian doctor headquartered in Keldabe. She was the best doctor for hundreds of kilometers, and Mako had insisted on getting a specialist. Mako screamed again.

Blizz, standing outside the bedroom, had one hand on the doorjamb, the other over his eyes. Mako caught sight of him and laughed, but was cut off mid-laugh by another scream. Dha patted her hand. Torian, kneeling at the foot of the bed, grinned.

"Baby's coming!" he said.

"I can tell!" Mako growled.

"Push!" Melyyk insisted.

Mako let out a shrill cry, and Blizz actually darted down the hall. Torian winced. Skadge, somewhere farther down the hall, grumbled. Dha knew Skadge had changed his view of the crew in the past weeks, even throwing himself at a cave full of rubble to save Gault. But he still kept aloof from them.

"Okay, one more, Mako!" Melyyk said. "Push!"

"AAAAGHH!" Mako screamed, and followed it with a distasteful Mando'a curse Dha didn't know she knew.

"It's out," Torian said, "I got it!"

Dha glanced over. "No wonder it hurt," he said. "She has her daddy's horns."

Indeed, the baby was a girl with Mako's features; a small, pudgy nose and wispy black hair. But she had several jutting cranial horns representative of her father's Zabrak heritage.

"She's beautiful," Torian said. "Ori'mesh."

"Thanks," Mako said weakly.

"Rest now, Mako," Dha said. "Rest."

She did.

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YoshiRaphElan
03.18.2013 , 03:22 PM | #4
Jedi Knight

Decisions


Jasin leapt above Scourge's lightsaber blade, flipped sideways, and pulled his lightsaber up to block the red blade as it nearly smashed into his head. Jasin grunted as Scourge's brute force pushed him back. He let his weight drop and rolled back, Scourge's lightsaber slapping harmlessly against the ground.

"You fight well, Jedi," Scourge said. "But you could be better."

Jasin pointed his saber at Scourge's throat. "If this is another lecture on the dark side...I'll pass."

"Hear me out," Scourge insisted.

The Sith Lord took a sidestep and raised his lightsaber to smash it down on the crown of Jasin's head. Jasin dropped to his knees, letting the saber graze past his head and singe the hair on the back of his neck. Then he came up in a roll and rammed his blue blade into Scourge's gut. Scourge winced in pain and fell back...and the "wound" fizzled as the cortosis armor diffused the lightsaber blade.

"I don't need the dark side," Jasin said. "See?"

Scourge shook his head. "I marvel at you, Jedi. You do not understand your opportunities. Do you not remember the victories you won for the Emperor while under his influence?"

Jasin's ears burned. He leapt in the air, bringing his lightsaber down toward Scourge's head. Scourge raised his blade and blocked it, and then kicked Jasin hard in the gut. Jasin toppled back.

"Ah, ah," Scourge mocked. "Temper."

"No," Jasin said evenly. "I don't remember anything from when I was the Emperor's pawn. And I like it that way."

Scourge sniffed. "That is a mistake."

"Why?"

"Because you will not learn."

Jasin shook his head. "Neither will you, apparently."

Then, almost casually, he hit Scourge with a Force push that sent him out of the dueling ring and splashing into the stream of water surrounding it. Several Jedi looked up from their meditations or training, but returned to what they were doing when they saw everything appeared to be all right.

"It's not going to happen," Jasin insisted firmly.

"Fine," Scourge replied.

"You know," a third voice said. "Jasin is not the only one who could turn."

Scourge and Jasin turned. Jedi Knight Praven stood, arms crossed, at the edge of the dueling ring. Jasin nodded to him, and Praven bowed slightly at the waist.

"Scourge," Praven said. "You could join the Jedi."

Scourge spat in the stream. "Never."

"I did."

"You are weak."

"Am I?"

"Obviously. Or else you have...mental deficiencies."

Praven raised an amused eyebrow. "I think my mental deficiency was serving Darth Angral, frankly."

"Angral nearly won."

"But he died."

"So did Jaric Kaedan."

"But the Republic won Ilum."

Scourge paused. "Point made."

Praven entered the ring and ignited his lightsaber. Before, immediately after his turn to the light side and during the Battle of Corellia, he'd continued to use his red blade. In the months since, however, he'd switched to a blade of pure white.

"Care to test me?" Praven asked.

Jasin tried to hide a grin, backed out of the ring. Scourge stood out of the puddle, squeezing water out of his white robe. Jasin had insisted he wear something at least vaguely Jedi in appearance when around the Temple. Scourge, surprisingly, had agreed, on the stipulation that he wore his old combat armor whenever they went on a mission.

"Fine," Scourge said.

He drew his bloodshine blade. The two red-skinned Sith stepped forward, saluted with their sabers, and leapt into combat. Scourge, with his three hundred years of training, had advanced his use of Juyo, the most aggresive lightsaber form to near perfection. He was a living weapon. Praven, however, tended to use more defensive Soresu, the preferred form of the Jedi, and had even before turning away from the Sith. Scourge leapt in and delivered several brutal blows that should have knocked Praven to his knees. However, the gray-armored Sith merely deflected each blow to the side in an almost casual manner. Jasin grinned.

Scourge swept at Praven's legs. Praven neatly stepped aside and swung his blade at Scourge's neck, and the Sith ducked under it, delivering a stab at Praven's abdomen. Praven twisted his lightsaber in a downward motion and blocked the blade, pulling his torso back so Jasin could actually see the millimeter of space between the tip of Scourge's blade and Praven's armored gut.

Several Jedi had gathered around the ring and were watching, the Padawans in awe and the Knights and Masters in keen interest, as the two Purebloods fought. Scourge stabbed at Praven's head. Praven dodged. Praven made a diagonal slash at Scourge's chest. Scourge blocked it and forced Praven back. Praven spun around behind Scourge in a lithe movement, ramming his lightsaber toward Scourge's back. Scourge leapt five meters in the air and came down with his feet directed at Praven's head. Praven flattened himself to the ground before Scourge landed and rolled aside. Scourge's booted feet slammed harmlessly into the ground.

The fight continued for almost ten minutes, more and more Jedi gathering around to watch, and eventually Jasin saw even Masters Satele and Kiwiiks emerge from the Temple to observe. Finally, it ended, not with a combatant victorious, but with both panting desperately for breath, standing several meters apart. Scourge deactivated his lightsaber first. Praven followed suit.

"You have left me much to consider," Scourge said.

He walked away, brushing past Master Satele, and slowly the observing Jedi dispersed. Jasin glanced across the ring to Satele and Kiwiiks. They nodded kindly at him and moved away.

As Jasin left, he watched Praven sit in the middle of the ring, lightsaber reactivated, and meditate, staring into the brilliant white blade.

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YoshiRaphElan
03.20.2013 , 03:37 PM | #5
Agent

Negotiations


Republic Strategic Intelligence Service Agent Merok, formerly Cipher Nine of Imperial Intelligence, crouched outside the hut and squinted, his blood-red Chiss eyes working to make out anything inside the building. He couldn't see anything; it appeared the person inside had added sun-reflectors to the windows.

"Report," Merok said.

A Republic soldier in full combat armor crouched beside him. "Sir, the ambassador is currently being held in Room One," he said, motioning to a holographic display of the hut. "He's guarded by two thugs. Thug One is wearing a red combat vest and black trousers, wielding a Balmorran blaster rifle. Thug Two is dressed more casually, a white shirt with a gray vest and pants. He's got a DC-15 blaster pistol."

Merok examined the situation, and as he did he thought back. He was still, technically, an Imperial Agent, since SIS had him in the Empire posing for them still, but he occasionally came out to help the Republic in situations like this, when other SIS agents were occupied.

The thugs could easily shoot the ambassador if they just tried breaking and entering. More, they wanted the thugs alive to find out who had hired them. There were three likely suspects at this point; Empire, Hutt Cartel, and Dread Masters. Merok, personally, was betting on the Hutt Cartel.

"How's the rest of the layout?" he asked.

"Room Two holds two more thugs," the trooper said. "One had a green combat vest and a vibrosword, the other a full suit of durasteel body armor, and twin blaster pistols, probably N-110 Power models."

Merok nodded. "Anyone else?"

"Only one. Main Room holds who we assume to be Thug Leader. What we see suggests he's in full Mandalorian armor, with a Balmorran Bunker Buster heavy cannon, and two Balmorran Hand Cannons."

"A Mandalorian?"

"Yeah."

Merok considered. "Imperial?"

"No, we don't think so," the soldier replied. "Otherwise we'd have a ransom threat by now. This is almost certainly a Cartel operation."

Merok nodded. "Okay."

"What do you want to do, sir?"

He paused a beat. "Hand me a loudspeaker, Captain."

"Yes, sir." The trooper complied, and then motioned for his troopers to flank the house.

"What are you planning?" Kaliyo asked.

Merok glanced up at her. She was in white-and-gray armorweave, a face-exposing helmet snugly fit over her head, a powerful blaster rifle cradled in her arms. Behind her, Temple readied her pistols. Vector and Lokin would be on the other side of the house, Merok knew, and Scorpio was with the troopers hidden a fifty meters from the front door.

"I'm going to talk him out," Merok said.

"If you can't?"

"Then we go in."

Kaliyo grinned.

Merok tugged at the collar of his orange jacket and raised the loudspeaker. "Unidentified kidnappers, the is Republic SIS agent Merok. You are surrounded! Come out with your hands up and you will not be harmed. Do not fire on the ambassador!"

A moment later, the door slid open. The Mandalorian stepped out. He was clad in red-gold armor, his helmet held under one arm. His head was shaven and a nasty scar ran from the base of his skull across the top of his head until it reached the top of his right eyebrow.

"What makes you think we'll talk?" the Mandalorian demanded.

"You don't want to die," Merok said. "Or you wouldn't be talking now."

"What if we just kill your ambassador? Then you fail, too."

"No need for that," Merok said. "We can work this out with no one harmed."

"You don't understand us, do you?" the Mandalorian spat. "We live for battle!"

"But being surrounded and cut down isn't honorable."

"No surrender, Republic scum."

Just--"

"No."

The Mandalorian reentered the house without another word. With a sigh, Merok turned to the Republic captain. The captain slammed his helmet on.

"You have a sniper on the room with the ambassador?"

"Yes, sir."

"Don't let the thugs kill him."

"Yes, sir."

"Tell your men to move in." He turned to Kaliyo. "Let's go."

He, Kaliyo, and Temple charged down the hill silently. Kaliyo reached the door first and kicked it down. There was a surprised yell and Kaliyo opened up with her rifle. Merok and Temple squeezed in behind her. The Mando was nowhere to be seen, but Thugs Three and Four had charged out, weapons in hand. Suddenly the back window blew open, and Vector engaged Thug Three blade-to-blade.

Merok raised his rifle and fired at Thug Four. The durasteel armor absorbed the shot and he fired with his twin pistols. Raina shoved Merok to the ground, the shots barely missing him. Merok fired from the floor, cleanly shearing through his head. Vector finished Thug Four.

There was a commotion in the back room. Merok knocked the door down. Three Republic soldiers were in the room. Thug One was dead, and two of the Republic soldiers were detaining Thug Two while the third freed the ambassador.

"The Mandalorian?" Merok asked over his comlink.

"He ran out the back door!" the captain replied.

Merok took off, determined not to let him get away. They had to interrogate at least a few prisoners; they had one now, they needed another. He sprinted up the hill after the Mando. When he reached the top of the hill he saw the Mando approaching an Aratech speeder. Kneeling, Merok sighted up and fired. The bolt blew the engines apart. The Mando whirled, enraged. Merok threw a flash grenade, but the Mando's self-darkening visor prevented the man from being incapacitated. Merok took advantage of the opportunity to leap in. Before the Mando could react, Merok fired a stun dart at his opponent's neck seal. The Mando grunted and collapsed.

The captain, who had caught up, panted. "Good job!"

"Mission accomplished," Merok said simply. "Now, we'll be returning to Imperial space to continue our subterfuge. Have Command call me when they identify who the kidnappers were working for. Kaliyo, Temple. Gather the crew; let's go."

Spoiler

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Magdalane
03.20.2013 , 08:12 PM | #6
Yoshi, I'm really enjoying your vignettes relating to the wait on 2.0 ! Keep them coming!
Love is the strongest magic of them all.

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YoshiRaphElan
03.21.2013 , 03:27 PM | #7
Thank you, Mag!

Sith Warrior

Night on the Town


Methic pulled off his shirt and threw it in the corner. Vette hated it when he did that, but he was in a hurry. He'd risk her wrath; he was, after all, the Wrath. He opened his closet and looked for something less Sith-y and more casual. He found a few shirts; a formal tunic, but he hated wearing that, even to formal events. It itched. A lot. Then there was a less formal black jacket with red pinstripes down the sleeves, but he didn't think that was appropriate, either. Groaning, he pulled off his boots and threw them in the corner with his shirt.

This would require a total change of outfit. Running a hand through his long, straight hair, he groaned and looked again. He supposed he'd have to do something more Sith-y, after all. He finally decided to wear a red and gray shirt with black pants and gray boots. He left his gloves and bracers on the bed along with his blue-bladed offhand lightsaber. He slid his main-hand lightsaber into the sheath hidden in his right sleeve.

"About time!" Vette groaned as he exited the bedroom.

She was wearing brown trousers and a white shirt with a tan vest over it. Methic wrapped an arm around her shoulder and gave her a kiss on the cheek. They entered the main hold together. Jaesa was wearing a different, more casual Jedi robe than she usually did -- no over-robe, just a blue-and-tan shirt and skirt. Pierce was wearing a yellow shirt with a gray blaster-proof vest and brown bandolier over it. Broonmark was wearing the same combat vest he always did, and appeared to be combing his fur. Looking for female Talz tonight, maybe. Quinn, surprisingly, had actually changed out of his high-collar Imperial officer uniform, but his outfit still looked combat-ready -- a gray form-fitting shirt that had an armpit holster.

"Are we ready?" Methic asked.

Everyone nodded.

"Let's go."

* * *

With a reluctant breath, Methic entered the Nar Shaddaa cantina. Last time they'd been here, Quinn had been kidnapped by the Jedi Nomen Karr, and their day off had been ruined by a trip to Hoth to rescue Quinn, during which Karr had been killed.

But nothing happened as they passed through the Promenade, and Methic breathed a sigh of relief.

The night passed relatively uneventfully, except for the fact that halfway through Pierce passed out from too much drink, while Quinn and Jaesa excused themselves to find some time alone. Methic snuggled up next to Vette. Broonmark skulked off, probably to find more to eat.

"What a night," Methic said.

Vette nodded. "And totally boring."

"Let's never do it again."

"At least invite the Jedi or Darth Nox or someone who wants to kill you."

"Deal."

They kissed hard on the lips to seal it.

Spoiler

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YoshiRaphElan
03.28.2013 , 11:36 AM | #8
Republic Trooper

Names


Prudii pulled off his helmet as he walked into the Senate tower. He clipped it to the back of his belt and glanced around. He had been summoned by General Garza, and told not to go to her office but instead to the Supreme Commander's meeting room on the second floor. Prudii started through the tower toward the Grand Hall. He had just reached it when two troopers approached, arms crossed, and blocked his path.

"Hello, Prudii," one hissed.

Prudii glanced over his shoulder. Jorgan and Dorne hadn't arrived yet. Great. Clenching his fists, he turned back to the troopers.

"What's wrong, guys?" he asked.

"You," the second one spat.

"Our unit just was decimated by a team of Mandalorians."

"Sorry, guys. Really."

Prudii knew where this was going. He'd encountered other soldiers just like this many times before, even before Ord Mantell. They always took out their anger at Mandalorians on him, just because he had a Mandalorian name. Prudii still considered himself one of the Mando'a, but he'd distanced himself from the culture to spare himself some of...this.

"Sorry?" the first one repeated. "You're sorry?"

The second one stepped forward and shoved Prudii. Hard.

"Tell that to your Mandie buddies."

"Look, they're not my buddies. Mandalorian culture is–"

"Are you honestly going to give me a lecture on the people who murdered my buddies?" he snarled.

Prudii wouldn't fight back. These guys were just mad; he'd seen it a hundred times. Usually a punch or two later they'd calm down and move on. Unfortunately he didn't have time for a punch or two; he had to get to the Supreme Commander's office in just a few minutes.

"Guys, the Supreme Commander is expecting me. Move."

It was an order. They didn't take it as one. The second one moved in and grabbed him by the right arm. The first swung his fist toward Prudii's gut...and an armored fist caught the hand. Surprised, the first one turned and received a punch in the face. The second let go of Prudii's arm in surprise and suddenly snapped around and was punched, as well. Vik and Jorgan dusted off their hands.

"Get out of here," Jorgan ordered. "I'm reporting you both to your superiors. Go."

The soldiers hastened to do so.

"Sorry we took so long, sir," Jorgan said.

"No worries," Prudii replied. "Come on, we don't want to make the Supreme Commander mad."

"What was up with those two, anyway?" Vik asked.

"They were taking out their anger at a squad of Mandalorians on me."

"That can happen," Jorgan muttered.

Prudii sighed. "Should I change my name?"

"What?" Jorgan seemed taken aback.

"It seems to offend people, having a Mandalorian on their side," Prudii muttered. "The ugly black mark on their record of perfection."

"Don't ever think that way, sir," Jorgan said. "You be proud of your culture. It won the battle with the Dread Masters, remember?"

Prudii nodded. "You're right. Sorry, didn't mean to push a bunch of self-pity on you. Let's get moving."

"Yes, sir."