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Old 07-24-2008, 10:21 AM   #1
Burnseyy
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The Huntress

The Huntress
Chapter One

Money is Hard to Come By.


They say that there were an assortment of credits to be made on the smugglers moon, if you knew what you were doing. The thing was, seventeen-year-old Mandalorian refugees were the hindmost thing any 'employer' wanted to hear, and word spread swift on Nar Shaddaa.

To be frank, these last few years had taken quite the toll on me, due to the consequences of these struggles, and where ever I trod, people knew - somehow, everyone had knowledge of where I had come from and what I stood for. Even presently, as I was slouched against the Cantina bar, my fair complexioned face and red haired head balancing somewhat comfortably on a half-hearted hand, eyes jittered my way, as if I was about to suddenly reveal that I was a Sith Lord and had come to annihilate the moon and everyone on it. I hated it - I wasn't a uselessly broken droid, and I sure as Sith wasn't a sight for sore eyes... not these days at least.

So here I was, ordering a favourable Ithorian Mist, to ease the toils of living life as Mira. I observed as the male bartender fumbled about with several murky pint glasses, underneath the bar, possibly attempting to conceal the vulgar condition of his glassware - and doing a terrible job of it, at that. At last, he jolted up, as if shocked with a Droid Electric Arm, and instantaneously slapped down a lever, the beautifully brewed Ithorian beverage drifting out into a chosen container. With an intriguingly feminine flick of his greying locks, and a wink of his wrinkled eyes, the bartender handed the drink over, in exchange for the last of my credits.

Fantastic. I was back to square one.

I took a singular sip, feeling the influence of the draught, already, as I glanced about. The regulars were here, tonight - Pazaak gambling biths, who had been banned from the Pazaak Den, or were merely unaware of the password, egocentric quarrens, discussing how ‘evidently disgusting’ humans were, and war veterans, just looking to drink their troubles away for the night. The bar continued into a long, hexagonal shape, divided into four sections, which was usually inhabited by separate species. As the rules went for this Cantina - if you amalgamated with the wrong crowd, you would end up in a dumpster, stripped of your money, arms and clothes. And despite the fact this had never occurred to me, I would not put it past the citizens of Nar Shaddaa to conform to this cliché.

I took solace out of the neon vibrancy and ‘plasma’ setting that this place offered - it was often said that places such as these were hell - full of gang adversity, bounty brawls and intensely angered customers - but to me... I felt at peace, somewhat... or maybe that was the Ithorian Mist, swaying my thoughts into ideals. Nevertheless, I drank it all in - the beverage and the atmosphere.

Most people would never really get used to living on Nar Shaddaa - but it hadn’t taken long for me to settle in, when I had arrived at the age of fourteen, and relish in the locality. To anyone else, this moon was a big waste dump, void of urbane people, but from where I stood, it felt like home, even if I was living life hard. I needed some way to get by, and so far, all I had achieved was selling spare parts I had fixed up... and they were not exactly the greatest of inventions - the business was trifling - if anyone could consider it a 'business'.

As I stared about the scenery, a small group of new arrivals barged their way, violently, through the door, purposely knocking over a particularly zealous bith, spilling his orange-yellow cocktail everywhere. I quickly diverted my attention to the disruption, glad that the Cantina had finally reeled in some action, after the long week of lacking credits and aimless thinking. I noticed the bartender, behind me, stiffen up, apparently afraid to speak up against these thugs. I didn’t blame him... his years were surely catching up with him.

I observed, taking short sips of the drink I held, hoping for a dispute of some kind. The bith, despite this, appeared far too faint-hearted to retort in any kind of manner, and shied away, scurrying on behind one of the Cantina tables. The group of ruffians howled at the 'hilarity' of the scene, scoffing their way into tomorrow. I perchance should have said something, but it wasn't my place to interfere. If you stepped one place out of line, on this moon, you were done for.

I retracted my view of the thugs, swinging about on my chosen bar stool, which was surprisingly slippery underneath my skinny fit, and understatedly itchy trousers. It was these kind of things I had become accustomed to, with my poor state. As my mode of address was directed to the bar, I came face to face with a wary bartender, and raised a brow, inquiringly, as I tapped my fingers about the pint class, and hastily downed the remains of it's contents.

"Got a problem?" I asked the bartender, realising just how ridiculous the question sounded. Of course he had a problem - some heavy weight thugs just made an entrance into his Cantina! Since I had started hanging out here, every weekend, after I realised just how much the bouncers were interested in young skin, I had become acquainted with this man - his name was Avery, and he was quite apprehensive; shaken, even. Why he had chosen to work on Nar Shaddaa, I would never know.

"There's going to be trouble with those men..." Avery murmured, in a suspicious drawl. His forehead grew wrinkles of anxiety, in an instant. I could understand how he may be fearful of a brawl breaking out; however, being the smugglers moon, wouldn't it be anticipated by now? There was something more to his worry, but I lacked care and concentration - the drinks had hit my bloodstream. I was ignored by the people of this city, why should I care for them?

Before I could respond, I heard an ear-shattering bang, and a high pitched squeal that left my senses feeling like they were being split. I shot myself around to the cause of this disturbance, and found myself staring on at the same thugs that had barged in, moments prior. Perhaps a fight was about to break out - but they seemed too tough for something petty and entertaining... perhaps I should have been careful of what I wished for.

A particularly muscular trandoshan - the 'top dog' of the crew had approached a middle aged man, who was previously - possibly - enjoying a simple game of Pazaak, (due to the scattered cards now evident across the floor), and had flipped the table they had been playing on, onto it's back, along with the man and his seat. I blinked, astonished at the lack of care the thug gave to his surroundings, as he pulled the victim up off the ground, by the scruff of his neck. The ruffian growled, as he glared daggers into the poor man’s eyes.

He spoke in Dosh: “Boss wants those credits, now, human,” the distance between the male and the ground was growing, gradually. “Says he’s tired of waiting... so I’m thinking... you cough them up, before I acquaint you with my blaster.”

“Please,” the man gasped, struggling for air under the trandoshan’s vice like grasp. “I - the money - I’ll give - Goto-” he stuttered, his legs, now kicking back and forth in panic. I felt my body temperature rise in shock, as my heart beat quickened it’s pace. “Please!”

You no got the money?” the monster of a trandoshan chuckled, menacingly, turning back to his gand cooperatives, who too, s******ed in their alien pitch. This brought absolute fear into the mans eyes, and despite the fact he could not voice this expression without so much as a groan, his face said it all. He was growing red, even purple, in the face, being suspended in the air for such a prolonged amount of time, yet the trandoshan did not appear to care about this. In fact, he seemed to find it entertaining. His grip clasped even tighter around the neck it held, and just when I thought the human would suffocate from the tremendous attack, the trandoshan slung him to the ground, with a terrifying crash!

Other characters in the Cantina, including Avery, were in complete silence, were stood in line - still, and incredibly immersed and mesmerised by the abrupt and merciless assault. I wanted to step in, help the middle aged man to his feet and fight in his place... I knew I could, with my experience in the Mandalorian squad... but I could not move. I found myself glued to my seat, in trepidation, and thoughts were wheeling through my head, at immense speeds. I wanted to help - but why? What assistance would I be able to offer? The creator of this scheme would evidently return to the man for the payment, another time, whether sooner or later... involvement may even bring the hostilities to more dangerous levels, and this sort of thing occurred every day.

The trandoshan surveyed his victim cowering at his feet, as the gands behindhand to him squealed in delight at what their vision brought them. The man clutched at his attacker’s left leg, and begged: “I’ll get the money to Goto tomorrow, I promise! I only need a few more, and It’ll be paid! Please!”

At this point, I was almost lead to believe the thug would have let him be, permitted an extension on his debt, yet before I could even register what had taken place, the trandoshan whipped out a blaster from his waist, chuckling to himself in utter vanity, and brought the weapon down upon the man with a boisterous echo, to end it. The mans fingers slowly repelled from contact with his attackers leg, and lay motionless on the Cantina floor, with nothing more than a brief moan of pain. I looked away, returning my gaze back to Avery, as if telepathically instructing him to rid of the monsters that had entered through the doors.

Avery nodded in comprehension, and began chanting words for them to depart at once. I did not know what became of the body, for when I glanced round, minutes later, it was gone. No doubt his home would be looted for possessions and any credits he did have, in seconds to come. However, as to why I did not step in whilst I had a chance, I didn’t know... and it didn’t concern me too much, even if death, across the moon did not phase me in the least. Not after I had put forward a facade of detachment, I guess you could call it. Despite this, the fact that I had lost my loved ones to such a starving beast as murder still wrenched at me.

I felt myself fall absentminded, my thoughts wandering to the time I had landed on the moon, at the time of the war. I knew my family was out there, somewhere, fighting for me; fighting for what they believed to be right. I remembered thinking that they would be home... That they would be back to help me through this cesspit of a planet, but when word reached me that the Mandalorian Wars were over, and the Republic had succeeded... when no word was received of my family... it hurt. I never gave up hope, not for a year - but after that amount of time with no contact from your family, a girl’s got to believe all hope is gone - for them, at least. It was such a difficult thought to come to terms with... but time had healed those wounds.

Avery, on the other hand, was staring on in sheer horror, even still, at the spot where the killing had happened, as if he were the ghost of the unfortunate Pazaak player. The murder victim could not have been utterly innocent, due to the fact he wasn’t in the Pazaak Den to begin with, but murder was a crime that the Vertical City saw, always. And it tore at me. How people and aliens could muster the detachability, eluded me.

“Those Bounty Hunters are all the same,” he spat, in disgust, his features now saddened and oddly sallow. “Countless murder after murder - they’re lucky this Sith damned moon does nothing to uphold ‘law’.” at this point, he shook his fist, threateningly, at the air.

“It could’ve been resolved without murder,” I added, fumbling about with the empty pint class, I had encased between my hands. My words were brief, but they seemed to have affect on the bartender, before me.

“No it couldn’t - Nar Shaddaa’s Bounty Hunting has gone off the rail,” Avery grumbled, in an angered tone. “It was bad to begin with - all the crime it promoted, and that...” he shook his head, slowly, and disapprovingly. “Here, it’s just insane. What ever happened to Guild rules? I thought even they would give some restrictions. These Crime Lords are menaces.”

I paused and considered this: why would anyone go through so much trouble, such heartless acts, for as simple a reward as credits? The victim who had been in debt was now gone, and his family... if he had one, would suffer the consequences of the Bounty Hunter's ruthless attack. I racked my brain, and I could find no ulterior reasons as to why brutes lowered themselves to such... a crude approach to existence.

Almost as if Avery had read the thoughts that encircled my mind, he answered: "The money's good, though, y'see..." he s******ed, possibly in pity for the currently resting man. "those Bounty Hunter's will be rewarded greatly, when they get back to Goto." he was now leaning, crookedly against the bar top, in parallel to me.

"Rewarded?" I repeated his words, curiosity now overwhelming my being. I kept my ears strained for his reply, determined to hear how great a prize there would be for murder. I had to admit, despite the gruesome display, mere moments prior, the whole concept did sound interesting.

"Oh yeah, plenty of rewards. Might even boost up a rank, y'know - get the better bounties," the bartender spat into a pasteel cylinder, which was situated just beside him. I raised a brow, somewhat disgusted. “I knew a fella’... his bounty was pretty much average. Oh yeah, the Bounty Hunters loved it. They came to his house one night, killed his child, injured his wife and slaughtered the poor guy... and you know what for?” I spoke, not, however, my ears were keen. I felt dumbfounded. “Seven thousand credits, his bounty was. Seven thousand....”

“That is good money,” I muttered, a sensation of excitement rolling over me.

“Yeah, and that wasn’t even a big’n. It’s good money, but it’s crime... tell ya‘ what though... if I ever did see a Bounty Hunter who didn‘t kill his bounties, I‘d respect that...” Avery broke off into a rant, his thick accent muffled and unheard against my musings. Spinning the pint glass carelessly about, between my hands, I felt a mischievous smirk creep onto my features, and not before long, I had the look of a kath hound on stimulants about me.

“Bounty hunting, ey?”


--------------
Okay - the trandoshan was supposed to talk in nonstandard english, so don't point out the 'mistakes'. :P

hope you enjoyed!


"If God is a DJ, then life is a dance floor, love is the rhythm and you are the music."




Last edited by Burnseyy; 07-24-2008 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:00 AM   #2
Darth_Yuthura
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Considering the time you invested in writing this, I really wish I could quote something and say why I liked it. The truth is that you had an elaborate description of the world around Mira. You have a talent for taking dialog and adding a vivid description of how it is said and what actions take place outside the conversation... that is your talent. If you compared this to my YB story, you would find I have a lot of dialog, but often lack... something that you have here. Great job!
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:08 PM   #3
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Yeah agree. You take a dialog which isn't necessary great- you could make your fics much much much better by trying to improve your dialogs- and add some of your magic: description, and voila!


*Note: Chapter 8 is out!*
[Fic] The war of the ancients, seen through the eyes of one young men, as he walks the road of destiny... The Triumvirates War

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Old 07-24-2008, 04:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
Considering the time you invested in writing this, I really wish I could quote something and say why I liked it. The truth is that you had an elaborate description of the world around Mira. You have a talent for taking dialog and adding a vivid description of how it is said and what actions take place outside the conversation... that is your talent. If you compared this to my YB story, you would find I have a lot of dialog, but often lack... something that you have here. Great job!
thanks! and what do you mean you wish you could quote something and say why you liked it? Didn't I put enough into the story?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheExile View Post
Yeah agree. You take a dialog which isn't necessary great- you could make your fics much much much better by trying to improve your dialogs- and add some of your magic: description, and voila!
there wasn't really much more that needed to be said lol
It was a brief description of a fight in the Cantina.

thanks.


"If God is a DJ, then life is a dance floor, love is the rhythm and you are the music."



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Old 07-24-2008, 05:18 PM   #5
Darth_Yuthura
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Originally Posted by Burnseyy View Post
He spoke in Dosh: “Boss wants those credits, now, human,” the distance between the male and the ground was growing, gradually. “Says he’s tired of waiting... so I’m thinking... you cough them up, before I acquaint you with my blaster.”

“Please,” the man gasped, struggling for air under the trandoshan’s vice like grasp. “I - the money - I’ll give - Goto-” he stuttered, his legs, now kicking back and forth in panic. I felt my body temperature rise in shock, as my heart beat quickened it’s pace. “Please!”

You no got the money?” the monster of a trandoshan chuckled, menacingly, turning back to his gand cooperatives, who too, s******ed in their alien pitch. This brought absolute fear into the mans eyes, and despite the fact he could not voice this expression without so much as a groan, his face said it all. He was growing red, even purple, in the face, being suspended in the air for such a prolonged amount of time, yet the trandoshan did not appear to care about this. In fact, he seemed to find it entertaining. His grip clasped even tighter around the neck it held, and just when I thought the human would suffocate from the tremendous attack, the rodian slung him to the ground, with a terrifying crash!
How much of this was dialog? I would not say very much... most of this was describing the dialog and what the characters were doing as they interacted. You used a wealth of actions on top of just talking.

I dare you to try and find ONE paragraph in Shrouded in Darkness that has this much detail for so few spoken words. My story revolves around dialog... yours around the simple gestures and backround of the characters.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
Considering the time you invested in writing this, I really wish I could quote something and say why I liked it. The truth is that you had an elaborate description of the world around Mira. You have a talent for taking dialog and adding a vivid description of how it is said and what actions take place outside the conversation... that is your talent. If you compared this to my YB story, you would find I have a lot of dialog, but often lack... something that you have here. Great job!
QFT. Wonderful job, as always.

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Old 07-24-2008, 05:34 PM   #7
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QFT. Wonderful job, as always.
elaborate... what does QFT mean?
I forget. =|

And thank you for the comments! Next chapter should be up asap.


"If God is a DJ, then life is a dance floor, love is the rhythm and you are the music."



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Old 07-24-2008, 05:40 PM   #8
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Quoted for Truth. > QFT

Quoted for Emphasis > QFE

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Old 07-24-2008, 06:19 PM   #9
Marius Fett
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Aaah, veeery nice!

As was said above, your descriptive writing is superb!

I eagerly anticipate chapter 2.
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:28 PM   #10
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I eagerly anticipate chapter 2.
QFT.

I really liked it, and I like your interpretation of Mira's background - it's believable, which is really important.






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Old 07-24-2008, 06:55 PM   #11
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Good job, Burnseyy! I liked how you described the trandoshan hitting up the man for Goto's credits, and how, just a moment later, the body was gone. Scary stuff.

I liked how you described where Mira got the 'I don't kill my prey' attitude from.

Here's to another great chapter!
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:19 PM   #12
Burnseyy
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thank you everyone, so much. your comments are greatly appreciated.
I have 3 stories on my plate at the moment, so updates are going to be slower than usual, but I hope you enjoy what I've written so far.


"If God is a DJ, then life is a dance floor, love is the rhythm and you are the music."



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Old 07-24-2008, 07:41 PM   #13
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Just wondering what brought you to like the character so much. I know that you do, but is it her personality? Does she resemble you? Did you dye your hair to look like her? lol
Just asking the question 'why' since everyone else is asking 'who' 'what' 'how' and 'where'
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Darth_Yuthura View Post
Just wondering what brought you to like the character so much. I know that you do, but is it her personality? Does she resemble you? Did you dye your hair to look like her? lol
Just asking the question 'why' since everyone else is asking 'who' 'what' 'how' and 'where'
uh, well my natural hair colour is her hair colour lol
i dyed it red purely out of wanting to have a non-boring look

I probably like her personality and what she stands for. And perhaps I can relate... in a very non-star-warsy-way.


"If God is a DJ, then life is a dance floor, love is the rhythm and you are the music."




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Old 07-28-2008, 02:12 PM   #15
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This was a great description of Narr Shadda. I agree witrh DY, the way you can put so much description in so small a paragraph is amazing.

Anyway, I like the reference at the end, how the bartender says he would like a bounty hunter who didn´t kill his bounties...way to tie Mira´s in game dialogue with your story. Well done. I was actually going to write, (about a year ago) a fic about Mira in the Mando wars, serving with the mandelorians. Funnily enough one of my title options was Huntress. Heh, crazy eh?

Looking forward to future instalments.

-HOP



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Old 08-07-2008, 04:30 PM   #16
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wwwweeeellllll ssssiiiiiccckkkk but i already read in o n fa fiction 4 times lol i llove it =]


Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.


The rule of two -
One to embody the power,
And,
One to crave it
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:20 AM   #17
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The Huntress
Chapter Two
Step One - Pt One.


Every day was analogous - wake up, sell inutile grenades and droid parts, gather a total of thirty Republic credits, and join the deadbeats at the Cantina to squander it mostly on drinks. I sometimes even played a few rounds of Pazaak, but not today - not anymore. I was going to cease this ostensibly endless routine, find a batch of bounties and start my life afresh... As soon as I could uncover a clean upper garment.

I was scouring about my miniature, back alley apartment, clothes strewn across the floor - if you considered recycled, patched up rags, clothes - and began flinging them to the opposite side of the room, to organise them into 'clean' and 'unclean'. So far, everything had settled into 'unclean'. I verily needed a cleaner environment - I was truly surprised my body hadn't become infected with disease yet, though I comprehended one thing... I couldn't prance about the disreputable streets of Nar Shaddaa, without being fully clothed... Or could I? No... no, Mira, you couldn't.

I paused, throwing myself back onto my dingy bed - which I reckoned looked more like a cardboard box, than anything else - to analyse my progress. With the 'bed' creaking alarmingly as if it were about to snap in two, I perceived the room to appear precisely as it had done before I'd commenced my search. I was getting nowhere. The room was sombrely obscure, and with no artificial lights, I had grown accustomed to the light that glinted perpetually through a boarded up hole in the wall. It still permitted a deathly, icy air to leak through nonetheless, and occasionally, I would awake to discover bites ascending up my arms - evidently the deeds of insects. It scared me to envisage that some may yet be lurking, prowling within range of my body, now.

The walls were stone clad, save for a strip of green decoration I had attempted to liven my living place with... I never got round to it - instead, dampness had crept amongst it and smothered itself across my walls, leaving the decor to peel and corrode. Even the walls themselves had become depreciated with tincture from the Force knew what, and cracks had materialised over time. I commanded ownership of very little and meagre furniture, to boot. I owned a bed, clothes, very scarce food and water, which I frequently found expired, due to the fact I had no refreshment tank, to keep them fresh. My kiosk was not even that - it belonged to a previously deceased rodian, and had been battered up from time to time, by thugs and ungrateful refugees. To put it accurately - I was a tramp, a beggar, and to make matters worse... I was alone.

At last, my eyes wandered athwart to a distinctively timeworn holograph I had taken away from before the Mandalorian Wars, with me. I extended my reach over, my fingers quavering, aberrantly, and lightly touched a button on it's side. Instantaneously, an image blipped across the screen, still and mesmerising. I peered closer, knowing all too well what I had done - conjured up an image of my parents... just about the only object I had managed to recover from the disaster that was the war. I used it as a memorial, though my eyes had not been burdened with the grief of viewing it for some time, as evidence of the dust. I blinked and gazed at it, feeling my eyebrows scrunch themselves up - a knot in my chest. As if the dismal apartment, encompassing me, had evanesced, I concentrated only on the holograph, only on my family.

They stood there, arms about one another, grins escalating across their faces. It was taken just before the start of the Mandalorian Wars - it was a tradition amongst the clans, so that the ones who died in battle would not be forgotten for their honour. The background was unclear, though I contained little care for it. They seemed so happy, so at peace... who knew that they were going to... well... lose. They looked so perfect. My heart's rate sped up slightly, and the sensation of it thumping against my chest, erupted, in an uncomfortable manner, causing my throat to dry up. I could not recall much about them - about much of my childhood, apart from the Mandalorian Wars, to be precise - it had been so long ago... I didn't want to forget. I execrated forgetting. I merely wished for their memory; I wanted them to be with me, if not in person, at least in mind... and I had been left with a measly picture of them. I had not even been permitted with something valued by the heart. Just a worthless piece of space junk, which only recorded the tiniest fraction of a second of their life. No one would ever remember them, and they were worth more than that - they were heroes. They fought their best; tried their best. Why had I, their daughter, been left with nothing but a holo vision? I deserved at least something... but no.

Why did I have to desist them, before the terminal battle?

I intuited as my hand attempted to trace it's contents, though despite this, with even the slightest of contact, the picture blurred and fell to static. I hastily revoked from it, and my parents swam back into view.

Something inside felt as if it were about to implode on itself, scratching at my skin, trying to escape from it's hell hole. My head pounded, as the ground that my feet rested upon, spun dangerously. I had heard younger people, or aliens, wishing they were 'free' from family, from restrictions such as parents... and it hurt. I resented even admitting this to myself, I would rather ignore their opinions, than allow myself to be affected by such repugnant, negligible idiots... but why would they desire such a thing? And to think, if we could trade, times wouldn't be so demanding. I sighed, running a hand through my ember coloured hair, prior to resting my head, heavily on it. I couldn't keep doing this to myself...

I quickly shut the holograph off, and lay back against my bed, my head situated comfortless on an ice cold, hard cushion, and shut my eyes, in a coerced manner. My senses hit me, and I was back in the torn down apartment of Nar Shaddaa... the wounds weren't truly healed, despite what I frequently told myself, but at least I could forget, until next time. I needn't preoccupy myself, anymore. I couldn't. Just forget.

~

After ultimately giving up on searching for a clean top, I reinstated the clothes I had worn the prior day, to my body. I figured the stench of the Nar Shaddaa docks would drown out any odour emitting from them, and in all honestly, I wouldn't bat an eyelash if my clothing smelt of those fumes, even when they were clean.

I was ambling along the rim of the walkway, gazing contemplatively down at the endless pit that centralised the Refugee sector. Wastes, broken machinery, carcasses were hauled into this ever expanding chasm of the smuggler's moon. It was often advised by local Cantina staff, or information points, to distance oneself from it's outline, otherwise accept the risk of falling in. Despite this, I had never been afraid to walk by it; I shockingly enough, admired it. It may have stunk of rotting flesh and burning rubber, yet it was the one place upon the entirety of the Vertical City that remained silent - the one location that held no complications, no noise. Others would disagree, naturally... but whilst they would look upon a typically cliché sunset or sunrise, I would apprehend this. Some nights I had even dreamt of falling into it's gaping darkness, to find myself jerking awake - the intriguing thing was, there was a sense of thrill to those dreams. I liked them.

The street's civilisation was founded on war veterans and refugees, poor ones at that, seeking out money, shelter or just a place to lay low. Bounty Hunters, Exchange thugs and measly criminals rarely exposed themselves until late, or at least when there was more prey to watch squirm. To them, a small collection of already spirit crushed people were not entertainment enough to satisfy their needs... and I presumed this was a vast improvement from the times of war - back then, all they wanted was to make life harder, more soul destroying for those who had lost family, friends and lovers. It was cruel, and I had often been victim to such hardships, but this only aided me to become stronger and more tolerable of the filth that wandered the surface of the moon. On the most part, I thanked them. Likelihood of surviving on the weak level of income and food, without that 'aid' was almost unthinkably low.

I presumed it was all down to luck.

Heck, no it wasn't. I was simply more proficient than most war survivors, and that was due to my Mandalorian upbringing. What could I say? For a refugee, I was pretty good.

I had been roaming in a desultory manner for what I interpreted to be hours, now, knowing where I should be headed, but my feet weren't taking me there. I felt a strange sensation bubbling in my stomach, like a chemical imbalance... it was an emotion I had come to know all too well, however, never really could explain the effect it had on me - fear. It was as if an invisible barrier was preventing me from reaching my destination, only I had created it. And kept bumping into it. Frustration was boiling over, but still I could not bring myself to approach Grovisk the Hutt, and request he gave me some bounties.

I let the piercing city lights dissolve into the back of my mind, blocking out any distracting sights, as I considered the consequences... If I went to Grovisk, then there would be no turning back - I would have started my ‘career’ as a Bounty Hunter, and once I had money, I wouldn’t want to give it up. I wouldn’t allow myself to. But if I ignored this shady opportunity, I would remain a near destitute refugee until I could find myself some work - and when would that come along?

I exhaled a great heap of air, and collapsed onto the railing that outlined the pit, craning my neck upwards, so the sight of a murky, dim lighted sky was apparent to me. The clouds groaned, washing in with it’s neighbour, thieving the others space, and corrupting it so that the two merged together. No laws, no schedules, no warning... in many ways, Nar Shaddaa’s sky was a mirror image of the life on it’s surface. Things did not have to make sense, things did not have to be maintained - the one way, was that if opportunities were not taken, then you could never amount to be the greatest - you could never break free from restrictions. Did this apply to me, additionally? Could I be more than a typical survivor of the war? Would I let myself?

I shook my head, bringing my gaze down, to the pathways I had trodden upon for the past hours. I knew not much of time, since I had no possible method of telling, due to the fact I could not afford a device to conform to such. I was a wanderer, on the most part, floating through life. It made things simple, since I did not have to live up to anyone’s expectations - I was never expected, never wanted anywhere, but I never wanted to be expected, never wanted to be wanted. I was my own person... and if I dug up some Bounties, would that require me to break those chains? Or perhaps I would merely be hated, rather than invisible...

...Hey, at least people would have knowledge of my existence, then.

I knew of Grovisk, because he was a small time Crime Lord that handed out bounties to small time Bounty Hunters - usually ones that never made it, in the long run, or never progressed to the larger bounties. Moreover, he was a slave trader - handled slaves, bought them and sold them. Yeah, he was a renowned asset of the Refugee Sector, particularly when it came to hitting up the poor for their money. He let people do his dirty work, and I despised him for that, but I needed credits, and who was a better Bounty Hunter, than she who comprehended what it was like to be poor? I would rather place my life in my hands than any of the other ruffians that lurked about the moon.

“For Sith’s sake...” I whispered, and almost as if it were reflex, I hounded my heel against the barrier, not regretting the pain that seethed, afterwards.

I required an answer, this instant. I was trapped half way between stepping through Grovisk's doors and retreating to the confines of my shadowy one roomed apartment. Admittedly, I was afraid - not of the crime, or the reputation, but whether Bounty Hunting was something my parents would have agreed with. I seldom needed anyone’s approval, and I unusually ever considered the opinion of my deceased family... nonetheless, I found this decision demanding more than a mere flip of the coin. As to why? I didn’t know...

“Right,” I whispered to myself, unsympathetic to eavesdroppers, “you’re going, and you’re getting some money,” I spun about on my heel, my vision concentrated on a small ground based building, parallel to my situated point, and commenced a march, forcing my feet to continue forth to the destination, in juxtaposition to merely breaking off into an absentminded wander. You don’t have to keep with the hunting, you just need credit to meet ends-meet; it isn’t a terrible crime.

My footsteps pounded in my head, and before I knew it, I was striding through the front doors of Grovisk the Hutt’s ‘headquarters’ door, with my head held high, taking in none of the apparent surroundings. I was done with thinking; done with weighing out the bad and good - it was time to face what had to be done, even if it was the easy way out... I resented conforming to such, but in times of desperation, I was in no mood to follow the rules.

Guards were positioned on either side of the compartment, stun batons clutched cautiously in their hands. They eyed me, in a suspecting manner, as I glided between them. The interior was a twin of it’s exterior, in the sense that it was plain, filthy and flat. Grovisk was the type of Crime Lord who preferred to let himself be known, and he had weights of bodyguards, and henchmen, due to this, who, according to rumour, used cloaking devices to conceal themselves from potential attackers. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, merely pondering upon this, as I stepped into a blackened room, lit only by chandeliers propped up against the walls, and a group of miniature creatures, who’s eyes emitted a powerful beam of light... and there he was.

Between yet again, two trandoshan body guards, was Grovisk the Hutt’s slimy self, sprawled across an abnormally wide platform, with a blue twi’lek at his side, and a yellow one at his ‘foot‘. I frowned in absolute disgust, nearing the platform gradually, as if I were floating. I felt like I was metres behind myself, looking down on this redheaded, poor girl approaching the Hutt, hoping she would listen to me, and turn back. I knew there were other ways, more difficult ways, that required time and a tonne of effort... however I was also aware that time was a virtue I could not afford to misuse. I needed this, now - I could not wait any longer... if I did, then I may well have been one of those twi’leks at Grovisk’s mercy - no independence, no life, no self respect.

The nearest trandoshan spoke up, his voice harsh and croaky: “Why do you approach Grovisk?” the other henchman and he tensed their muscles, force pikes wielded, and set. The other growled, restlessly, their scaly skin reflecting the light from the chandeliers in such a way, that caused them to scream the word 'intimidate'.

Nonetheless, I stood my ground and stared, hard, back into the alien’s eyes. He greeted it with a hateful glare. “I want to collect some bounties...” I muttered, honestly, and quickly flitted my vision in direction of Grovisk - I would need more than honesty to sway his opinion of me, and so I attempted to up his ego: “I heard this was the place to come, very successful... apparently.”

Grovisk peered down at my being, his slug-like profile now beginning to shudder, as an unpleasant roar of amusement erupted from his slit of a mouth. A foul stench of rotting gizka drifted into the air, as consequence of this, and despite my hope to impress, I could not resist a well earned cringe. Immediately after this display, he turned to the persistent body guard and muttered, in Huttese: “Let this human be, trandoshan - let me hear what it has to say.

Ignoring the fact he had referred to be as an ‘it’, I observed pleasantly as the guard faltered in his battle stance, and resumed his upright post on either side of Grovisk’s platform. Nonetheless, the untrusting and displeasured frown remained plastered across his tile-like features lingered, threatening to dispose of me, if even a word were to step out of place. My fingers twitched, uncomfortably.

So, what is it, human?” Grovisk enquired, lifeless and scarlet eyes bearing into me, as if I were some form of unique specimen. He basked in his royalty, savouring the moment of false popularity that I had lead him to believe he possessed.

I did not want to sound as if I were in desperation for money, for that may have swayed Grovisk's opinion of me, and caused him to refuse any sort of bounty that I may request. Nonetheless, I did not want to come across as an experienced, murderous and dedicated hunter, due to the fact that he may put me in a position where I could die, or fall incredibly ill... and then there would be no ultimate need for money. I swallowed, nervously, and gazed, reluctantly at the slug. It had to be done.

"Apparently you hold very high standards... especially in your bounties," I uttered, the lies seeping through into the atmosphere. I felt my surroundings swell, as my senses honed in on the Hutt, singularly, hope biting at my sides. "I wanted to request a few bounties, myself, being a business woman and a hunter, at once... so where a better place than this humble domain?" The vocabulary I was producing was mere a facade to imply to him that I was legit, or at least a recognisable and respectable character. I prayed that it was working, and so, just to put the icing on the cake, I added, "of course the pleasure will be all mine." I felt sick with how convinced I was with myself.

"And why, pray tell, should I, the great Hutt, Grovisk, listen to the simple pleas of an insignificant human?" the Hutt spat, croaking in a nauseatingly grotesque manner, as his exterior melted with slime. I felt that if I was forced to endure his presence any longer, I may just vomit across the entirety of his domain, despite how 'humble' it was. Despite this, I remained calm and accepted this attack on my false demeanour. "Well?" he pressed on, silently demanding an answer.

"Well, mister Grovisk," I replied, instantaneously, and receiving a somewhat pleased response from the overgrown slug, at the mode in which I had addressed him. "I'm efficient... I get the job done," I interrupted myself, subconsciously, to share an inward laughter at my absolute falseness. If Grovisk had not discovered these spontaneously invented lines were in fact, lies, then any reputation that he withheld could not be a very proud one to obtain... his stupidity reached far beyond natural. "these petty bounty hunters that you employ to attend to your dirt-- er, work... can't match my expertise. Give me a shot, and I'll ensure you get your satisfaction from them."

He shared a haste and unknown joke with his two bodyguards, and looked down on me, suspicious. If only he could hear my insulting thoughts, he would have ordered me dead minutes ago. "Why not?" I felt relief roll over my entity. I wanted to sigh, in rejoice, yet I could not give up my act. I allowed him to continue. "I have two bounties I need clearing up as soon as possible... one man named Dill Rossbergh - owes me credits... he’s said to hang out at the Pazaak Den, frequently. Another is a rodian female by the name of Kaza Leen... she runs a freelance medical kiosk somewhere in the Refugee sector... she too owes me credits. Get them to me.

“Thank you very much, sir,” I muttered, and nodded, as humbly as I could muster. I gave myself a mental note to slap myself, later, for being so polite to such filth. I did not know him personally, yet I comprehended that he was a slaver, a Crime Lord, and a selfishly rich slime who needed to be put in his place. “How much do each owe you?”

Rossbergh owes me four hundred credits, and Leen owes me one hundred and fifty. I will give you a cut of both of these.” Grovisk slurred, in Huttese, and chuckled once more, in his menacingly and sickly way.

Nodding, I exited Grovisk’s lair, my footsteps clattering loudly in my head, as the wind rushed through my locks. My pace now sped up, as I hit the Nar Shaddaa air, and headed back to my apartment... a thrill rising up in my stomach, like I was extending beyond the dismal clouds of the smugglers moon... I had attained what I set out to take, and now it was only a matter of time....


------

Okay, I'm not happy with this half a chapter. But I wanted to get it done before I went on holiday, so I could relax. The second half will be up, but I think this is enough for now.
Ah, I love leaving sort-of-cliffhangers.


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Old 08-14-2008, 01:26 AM   #18
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Really nice... but if you say it's bad, then I'll humor you.

I despise the whole thing! This was just a waste of time and effort! Get outta here!


Well I liked how Mira was just trying to adapt to life in terrible conditions in her apartment. The holo device was a nice touch to her past. And the thoughts about why she survived was very believable.

Again your attention to detail was not an issue. I look forward to the next half of the chapter.
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:13 AM   #19
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Thank you, but it won't change my mind
I'll just have to improve on the second half.


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Old 08-14-2008, 10:56 AM   #20
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I enjoyed that, even if you don't like it.

Should be interesting to see how Mira takes out those Bounties!




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Old 08-14-2008, 11:20 AM   #21
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I honestly don´t now why you dont like it Burnseyy. Narr Shaddaa was very well described. I like how Mira had to get her first job with that Hutt, it seemed very realistic, her reactions and second thoughts, none of it overdone.

What do you think needed improving?

-HOP



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Old 08-14-2008, 11:31 AM   #22
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I don't know... it just doesn't seem right. You know what I mean?

Well as long as everyone else likes it, I guess I can't complain lol but still, improvements will be made in the next part!

Again, thanks.


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Old 08-14-2008, 02:36 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Burnseyy View Post
I don't know... it just doesn't seem right. You know what I mean?

Well as long as everyone else likes it, I guess I can't complain lol but still, improvements will be made in the next part!

Again, thanks.
I think the reason you aren't satisfied is that you're following some advice my grandfather gave: You should be your own worst critic.

It's good you aren't satisfied, but don't go to such extremes as to punish yourself needlessly. If you're unhappy with the work, then you could go back and rewrite the first half after you're done with the whole chapter.
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:48 PM   #24
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I really am my own worst critic! It's unbelievably frustrating, but I guess it drives me on to do better.

I think I'll leave this chapter. There's just something about it I disliked... least there'll be some action in the next one.


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Last edited by Burnseyy; 08-14-2008 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:21 PM   #25
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You mean you'll just say this chapter is done and next post will be chapter three?

I really did like the chapter and wouldn't want to be put up to improving it... I just wouldn't know what would make it any richer than it already is.
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:23 PM   #26
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I too enjoyed this chapter even if you don't like it. Very suspenseful. Can't wait to see how Mira handles the bounty situation being that her currnet bounties own someone credits. Can't wait. Great job!

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Old 08-14-2008, 05:17 PM   #27
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I have a lovely little plan for the next bit, concerning the bounty. but that'll have to wait until after my holiday I think.
I won't be on as much as of tomorrow, so hopefully updates will be up. Not sure though.


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Old 08-14-2008, 11:40 PM   #28
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Well from reading this fic I can tell it sounds pretty good right now. It has a good amount of detail for the fic.

Anyway I eagerly await the next chapter


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Old 09-08-2008, 03:08 AM   #29
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This is great! I love Mira! This is great, how you're explaining her reasons for not killing her bounties (which never made sense before). Also, mentioning what she did before she became a bounty hunter was good, as well. I never really bought that some 14-year-old girl showed up on Nar Shaddaa and instantly became "The Huntress" The tie to her past was well-placed, too.

I'm really looking forward to the next installment of this.

Edit: Your description of the Hutt was priceless.


Chapter 12 of A Soul Adrift is out.

Short stories:
T'katlu: On the planet Felucia, a young apprentice of the Dark Side thinks back to the beginning of her training as she lies in wait for her prey...

All the Time: After four years in the Unknown Regions, the Exile returns to the known galaxy to visit an old enemy.

Broken: A master of the Dark Side finds himself about to lose the one thing he cares about--and he will do anything to stop her from endangering herself.
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:28 PM   #30
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I didn't notice this comment - oops.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback! I figured everything Mira said in K2 needed a little more depth in explanation, so I put in a few ideas... also, Hutts always seemed dim and funny in my head, so I had to write it so, in this.

Again, thanks. Next installment is on it's way.


"If God is a DJ, then life is a dance floor, love is the rhythm and you are the music."



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Old 10-13-2008, 11:07 PM   #31
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Here's one last request to see a great story at least not come to an indefinite close.

It is rare for a really minor character to have a story of their own worth reading and receiving praise such as this. I am saddened to know it will not evolve to much more than this, but I do hope that it does not fade before coming a little closer to its potential. I do hope to see a chapter three even if it requires a long wait.

I really like this story and hope that the author does not abandon it forever.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:18 AM   #32
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I second the motion.


Chapter 12 of A Soul Adrift is out.

Short stories:
T'katlu: On the planet Felucia, a young apprentice of the Dark Side thinks back to the beginning of her training as she lies in wait for her prey...

All the Time: After four years in the Unknown Regions, the Exile returns to the known galaxy to visit an old enemy.

Broken: A master of the Dark Side finds himself about to lose the one thing he cares about--and he will do anything to stop her from endangering herself.
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