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Old 11-21-2008, 05:48 PM   #81
machievelli
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The answers are upon you, Mach. That and numerous threats of ever annoying reviews and tar and feathering!!! THE PUBLIC DEMANDS MORE!!

This is the CQBC on Coruscant....
I ask for opinion and get threats!


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:06 PM   #82
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You betcha!


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 11-21-2008, 06:21 PM   #83
CommanderQ
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Well, you did say that you wanted to know whether or not to continue, yes? Good enough reason for our threats... As Endorenna put it, "YOU BETCHA."


you very much
If a tree would fall in the woods.....would the other trees laugh at it?
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:29 PM   #84
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I'm rather fond of this story.
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:36 PM   #85
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Ok folks. I see that mach has got himself a paparazzi going on. As much as he seems to like the abuse just keep the comments to playful ones and constructive criticism. The tar and feathers are a little much--JM12

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Old 11-21-2008, 07:38 PM   #86
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Oh, sorry about the tar and feathers, I didn't think them that dangerous seeing that we're on the internet...

Well, instead of the tar and feathers, we will simply force you to review bad works!!! RAH!


you very much
If a tree would fall in the woods.....would the other trees laugh at it?
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:09 PM   #87
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Oh, sorry about the tar and feathers, I didn't think them that dangerous seeing that we're on the internet...

Well, instead of the tar and feathers, we will simply force you to review bad works!!! RAH!
All right all right! The next segment will take a few days. I have to block out one hellacious battle.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:10 PM   #88
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Okay, we'll be quiet.


you very much
If a tree would fall in the woods.....would the other trees laugh at it?
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:11 AM   #89
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Today

Merisa stopped, sipping. She remembered that day as if it had happened yesterday. She could see the hostility among the young. The war against the Republic and then the Jedi had caused festering resentment. “The Jettiise have been our enemy and our friends time without number. Like Danika there, they have even been considered Mando.” She chided.

She looked at the children in reproach. “If we declared anyone who fought us enemy forever, we would have no one beyond our own blood to call friend.”

“What did they do with you?” The youngest asked. She looked terrified.

“Why Zakal they declared our contract fulfilled. They brought us home, and left us in peace. They had much to do you see. My home world was blockaded, and within fifteen years the economy collapsed, the people driven almost to extinction. Exar Kun by that time had become a Sith Lord, and one of the things he did was use that chemical binding they had created to form his Dark Legions.

“Most of the men of those Legions died. I will not say bravely, because to be brave you must have a choice to stand and die.”

She sighed, stretching. “I for one am for bed. Friends, there is room enough in the house for you. Sleep well and safe, for no one dares challenge a Mando in his own home.”

As she lay back, she remembered. The trip to Mando’yaim, her first trip on a spaceship. Seeing this valley from the air. It would be three decades before this house became her home. The world had seemed harsh, but she had grown to love it.

*****

After almost six decades, Merisa found herself awake before the sun as always. She dressed, strapping on the same antique pistol she had worn on her home world. The weapon had been something that reminded her of her father, but now it was an old friend she wouldn’t part with.

About half of the young were up, and she sent them back up to drag down the others. While they tried to be quiet, they were children after all, and soon Mission came staggering down, whining about not getting enough sleep. Merisa set a pot of black tea on the table, and as the Jettiise came down, looking insufferably neat and awake she poured. All of the children were up, stuffing their faces before the Republic officer and the Wookiee finally staggered down to join them. For a long time the only sounds were what you would expect when eating was the most important thing.

Three of the boys finished first and left to gather the milk from the nearby dairy farm in return for a bushel basket of tubers. The others moved outside, and began their morning exercises. The Jettise came out to watch, then joined the children. Their exercises were similar, but different from what the children did.

“All right. Training circle.” Merisa ordered. The children fell back with military precision. One of the boys stepped forward, drawing a line on the soil. He was a muscular 11 year old who had been training since five. Sasha stepped forward, dragging her heel on the soil and faced him.

Merisa considered. The girl was younger, true. But it was her choice. “Cha!

The boy dropped into a crouch, then screamed charging. Sasha watched him come, then stepped aside, her arm coming up, clothes lining the boy. As he flipped up and backwards with a squawk the girl spun like a dancer, catching his collar so he literally snapped out straight before hitting the ground. She dropped beside him, fist clenched to strike.

Pa-cha!” Merisa cried.

“About time.” One of the children snorted.

“Shut up-”

“Why, Kano?” The young boy snarled. “You’ve always used your weight and height to overawe everyone else. But our little Jetiise showed you!”

The boy leaped up, fists clenched. “Pa-Cha!” Merisa snapped. The boy froze. “Kano, your brother Shoji is correct. You have always won because you were bigger and faster. Sasha is half your size, yet she used her brain before she used her muscles. Young one, what style have you learned?”

Te-rehal-Vor.” The Cathar woman answered for her. “The style of the Echani which the Jedi also use.”

“Learn of your opponent before you fight.” Merisa told him sternly.

For an hour they practiced both hand to hand, and with dulled swords. Then the children split up, some to gather ripened tubers and fruits from the fields and orchards, others to begin clearing the fallow field around the parked spaceship.

As before they fell into an automatic division of labor. The young Twi-Lek proved willing to scrub and clean anything. The Wookiee moved furniture so the girl could clean, and Sasha this time had joined the other children. The Jettiise were working on the ship along with her older brother.

Lunch was a hurried catch as catch can meal as those close to the house ate then returned to their chores as others came in to take their place. Basket after basket of fruit or tubers came in, separated into the cooling cellars for storage. The children as they will ate their fill of fresh tart fruit as they worked. Merisa knew there would be bellyaches in the future, but she remembered her own times as a child.

Finally dinner was ready, and again they all sat down to eat. The children, as Mando children would, had accepted Sasha as one of them. They had accepted the Jettiise as just other adults of the clans. Even Zallbaar was just the big furry uncle.

This evening, sections of Besu’lik, the large snake of the planet were baked, and only the warriors who had taken it were allowed to cut the succulent portions for all. The beast was hard to kill, and Merisa grinned when her brother and the Republican Commander brought in the 10 meter squirming length. A meal fit for warriors!

Soon they sat again. Again the children as they would called for stories. Kiara told of her first battle during the siege of Dxun when it was taken from the Onderoni. Her brother told of the strange ship that had been seen in an asteroid belt, and Revan spoke of the Battle of Dxun when it was wrested from the Mando.

Kano growled about the duplicity of the Republic, and then it came to Merisa.

“Many times we have been accused of crimes,” Merisa began, pouring again the syrupy blood-wine. “Yet I remember once when the Republic broke the rules they espoused, and it was up to me to bring the criminal to justice.”

*****

10 Years earlier
Ruus'alor Merisa Becket Clan Ordo recorded the harvest from the fields of Harcour‘s smallest continent, noting the areas where that harvest had fallen below predictions. Three of the areas she understood the deficit. One had been smashed by hailstorms, another had been plagued by tornadoes. Another had been flooded for a third of the planting season. The other two…

A hand slid a pad before her, and she picked it up it was- She looked up, then leaped up, hugging the man that had delivered it. “Berek!” She shouted, hoisting the older man off his feet.

“Put me down!” The man laughed. “Is that any way to treat your al'verde?

She dropped him, grasping him by his shoulders. “It’s good to see you.”

“And you, little one.” He pounded his fists upon her shoulders.

Merisa grinned, few called her ‘Little One’ any more. She was over 50 now, married thrice and widowed twice, mother of seven, three of whom were still alive. She poured tihaar, passing a cup to Berek as she held the other. “Welcome.”

Berek accepted the cup, sipping the sharp liquor. “So you ended up here.” He said.

“What did you expect?” She asked, sipping her own shot. “I was too young for the Sith war.” She said. “I was too busy throwing sons and daughters to face our enemy.”

Berek sighed, sipping. The child they had saved on Carenta had grown into a stark warrior. Her rank was earned on battlefield after battlefield in this latest war. “How is your squad, my young sister?”

“Well, commander.” She replied. “While our warriors deal with harvests and the occupied, we still work to maintain our skills. I would put my squad against any the Republic would field.”

“Well enough little one.” He said. He looked sad, and she noticed. “Berek, what is?”

“Zakal was captured three months ago.” He said, draining the cup and pouring more.

“How?” Merisa was astonished. Zakal had been Mandalore the Ultimate’s leading intelligence officer. If she were lost…

“She resigned when we went to war with the Republic. She was aboard one of our merchant vessels bound for Vespana to visit our oldest.” Berek reported woodenly. “It was captured by a Republic Frigate on the way. She and fifty others were captured. They were sent to Sooribor.”

“Then she joins Kiara and Kono.” She said sadly. Her mother had been captured almost two years earlier when the Mando had finally attacked the Republic. Her husband Kono had been aboard a medical transport after the capture of Serroco the year before. “I have received messages from them. I wonder why Zakal hasn’t sent me one?”

“Because for the first month they are not allowed to communicate.” Berek snorted. “As if a warrior in a prison camp sees anything of importance.” He held up a set of data chips. “But I received these. One each from Kono Kiara and Zakal for you.”

She sighed, taking them. The worst part of this war was how little time she had with any of the three before their capture. Kiara had been captured when her ship was badly damaged by a Republic task force near Taris. Now Zakal was in enemy hands.

They spoke about the children, the sixteen Berek and Zakal had raised, all but one of the five survivors in the fight now. All but one of hers were also out there, and she mourned those that had died. Fro, Casi and Shoji had died as mercenaries, Tirith had died when they had invaded Cathar, though she had regretted that the girl had served under such a monster as Dererok.

To go into battle where your enemy didn’t even have a chance to properly bloody his blade! Bombarded from orbit, their cities shattered, farmlands and feed lots smashed into dust. Only then with almost 80 percent of the race slaughtered had the Mando landed. The survivors hadn’t surrendered.

The girl had died, not in battle, but by throwing herself between her own people ‘making an example’ of a rag-tag guerilla force fighting against their oppressors. When they had been captured, Dererok had ordered their execution. Tirith had set her weapons down, and stood between the firing squad and the half dozen survivors.

When the monsters had ordered her aside, she had merely replied, ‘Either kill me or stand down. I grow bored.’

So they had killed her. Then had gone on to drive the race into extinction. Merisa had wished she could exact her revenge personally, but Mandalore the Ultimate had taken it for her. All but a tithe of those ‘brave’ warriors had been forced into ‘honor death’ for their actions.

She slotted the first letter. “My dear wife, I miss you every day, especially your cooking. The camp is a bit crowded now with so many captured in the last months. It reminds me of a Zeges nest.”

Kono had waxed on assuring the Calor fields were properly cleared, and her eyebrows quirked. She had more interest in the fields around his ancestral home, and what he knew about Calor root could be written with a heavy marker on a credit transfer card, though it was a valuable cash crop. Clearing the land was hard true. Zeges, small hive insects used the areas where the roots had weakened the soil during the fallow times. The workers in fact looked like leaves, freezing into immobility when they sensed danger. They were not dangerous alone, but a hive could sting a man to death. Many a worker had entered a field and found themselves beset from all sides by them.

Why would he be warning her of this? And what was this ‘Dear wife’? He’d always joked that she was a hellcat and that the best way to deal with her was to feed her to repletion, and only then press his suit. Their arguments were not only legendary, but she had been told by some it was a favorite spectator sport.

As for cooking he was better than she would ever be. Her food was good but it was like comparing a fire in a fireplace to a star.

She shook her head, bringing up Kiara’s letter. “My beloved daughter, I hope this finds you well. The camp is quiet tonight. We have little to do but relax. You know how I love that.“ Merisa grew cold. Her mother exercised not only to stay fit, but to help her think. She had seen the woman fidget until she had to leap up and pace. The picture of her relaxing for any length of time was absurd.

Kiara went on to speak of even odder things. How she had worried when Fro had stopped her from getting hurt. How Tirith had waited in the kitchen for her, and Casi had fallen down and hurt himself…

She leaned back. Her mother didn’t speak of her own children, rather about her own family dead all these years. Betrayed by their enemy…

With dread she put the last letter in.

*****

Zakal hissed as the boot set itself in her back, slamming her down. “Crawl, Mandalorian scum!” The man snarled.

She shook her head to clear her hair from her eyes. The mess tent where all meals were served was 100 meters from the tent she had been assigned to. Originally her tent had been closer. But the Commandant of prisoners had changed that. She pushed herself back to hands and knees.

You must walk to the mess tent or you will not be fed.

Simple for someone with good legs, she thought crawling forward. When the bones had shattered all those decades ago the shards had scraped her nerves raw. Even now mere movement ran sheets of pain like fire through them. A hundred meters three times a day would ruin what remained of her legs. Others had tried to help her, some had been beaten until they could not move. Others…

A hand grabbed the back of her collar, dragging her back twenty paces. “I said crawl!”

She looked up into that ugly face, then turned herself, trying to crawl back toward the mess tent. The man used his rifle to club her into unconsciousness.

A time later she felt hands gently cleaning filth and blood from her face. She opened her eyes, looking into Kiara’s face. “You risk much, my friend.”

“Risk for a friend is not risk.” Kiara replied, rinsing out the cloth. She continued the task of cleaning the cuts. Behind her Kono Hando, Clan Ordo came in. He walked over, opening the front of his uniform, pulling out several slices of bread with meat shoved between them.

“Eat, Zakal.” He bade.

“What of the others-”

“They took their portion and ate some, but pressed the rest on me.” He told her. “We need you.”

She took the rolls of bread and meat, eating ravenously. In the last three weeks she had eaten four full meals, most of those back when she had first arrived in this hell. She wanted to save some of it, but the nightly searches would find any food stores, and punishment was for everyone in the tent, not just for those guilty.

She felt guilty that no one even looked at her as she ate. She had finished the last of it when the warrior guarding the flap hissed. Kiara moved as if she had practiced the move many times, taking the bowl and scrubbing her own face as Republic soldiers burst in. They spread out, weapons ready. Behind them the flap rested for a second, then Commandant Roykirk entered.

He was a short portly man, with an avuncular manner that fooled any new prisoner only as long as it too for the Commandant to open his mouth.

He walked through where the captives had marked their own spaces. There were small handcrafts laying there, and he picked up a piece of stone painfully carved to display an animal. The man smiled. Even that was insulting. “Oh dear, I see you have too much time on your hands.” He dropped the stone, shoving it into the mud. “Perhaps we need some land cleared for more of you filth. Everyone out. Oh except for our dear cripple.” He turned his attention to Zakal.

He walked over, and a hand came down, picking up a crumb. “Oh dear, did someone bring you food?” He dropped the crumb, turning. “Search them all. If anyone has crumbs inside their clothes we will kill them.”

“Enough, Autiise.” Kono said, standing. “I did what any would who cared for others. If you are going to kill anyone, I am responsible.”

Roykirk smiled. “Do you know what we do with responsible Mandalorians?” He asked rhetorically. Then his hand moved, the blaster came up and he shot the man.

“Well that is enough unpleasantness. Have your weekly letters ready to go please.”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by machievelli; 04-07-2012 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:31 AM   #90
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Excellent next installment, Mach! The fan base was definately not disappointed!


you very much
If a tree would fall in the woods.....would the other trees laugh at it?
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:34 AM   #91
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I agree with CQ. I love this story!
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:08 AM   #92
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Good chapter, Mach--but I don't like it as much as the others. I understand that you like the Mandalorians a lot more than most people, but here you seem to be going to the opposite extreme. I'm sure there were sadists on the Republic side, too, but still...

But thank the Lord you aren't making them the paragons of virtue! (shudder)


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 11-27-2008, 11:23 AM   #93
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Very nice chapter, Mach. The prisoner camps were horrid, to speak the least of them. I cannot help but wonder how the Mandalorian prisoner camps holding the Republic soldiers are, or if they take prisoners?

The descriptions of the planet in the beginning of the chapter were also interesting. I wonder if, perhaps, you're foreshadowing any potential events?

At any rate, a very nice chapter. Keep up the great work!
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:01 PM   #94
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Good chapter, Mach--but I don't like it as much as the others. I understand that you like the Mandalorians a lot more than most people, but here you seem to be going to the opposite extreme. I'm sure there were sadists on the Republic side, too, but still...

But thank the Lord you aren't making them the paragons of virtue! (shudder)
The problem with history is that the excesses of the winners are ignored. As an example there is a movie made in the 60s called 'Hell Is For Heroes) with a campaign between the Japanese and the English. At one point the Japanese have several men they have captured and are threatening to kill them. The men they are chasing hear them being killed (Shots and screams) In the next scene, you see the Japanese officer, until now portrayed as a total maniac handing one of the 'dead' prisoners some water. At the surprise on the prisoner's face he says 'What, you thought were as brutal as you paint us?'

I am not painting the entire Republic as evil, just the men under this man's command. In the next section I am going to explain more.

Oh BTW, did you know this piece, less than two months long had more hits in that period than all on my longer works?


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by machievelli; 11-28-2008 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:57 PM   #95
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*Tysyacha's jaw hits the floor*

Once again, you continue to amaze me. How the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks is Zakal ever going to get out of there?! I agree with you that the victors of any war or rivalry against another group of people write history, and the losers are confined to writing it their own way--and the winners call it "propaganda"...
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:59 PM   #96
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I could answer that, but I won't


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:15 PM   #97
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Today

Merisa looked at her audience. Manda’lor watched her with a concentration she would have expected of an enemy. Carth wanted to protest, but his own innate honesty stopped him. She watched both of them, but neither refused the challenge. She gave due honor for their forbearance.

*****

Ten years earlier

Merisa waited impatiently. She had taken several hours of working through the echelon of flunkies. Planetary governor, Sector command, fleet command, Operations, then Sector intelligence, now finally the Intelligence bureau.

After repeating herself ad nauseum she had almost reached the man she was trying to speak to.

Sencor Casio Clan Fett looked at her, his face bland, though she could see his distaste. When Zakal had resigned in protest, she had been the next person asked to assume the post. She might be a low ranking warrior, but she was considered highly intelligent. Merisa had refused, and Sencor had been chosen in her place.

“What do you need, Becket.” He asked.

“Have you been investigating the correspondence from our POWs?”

He gave a long suffering sigh. “Becket if you want this job all you have to do is tell Mand’alor what he wants to hear.”

“Answer the question, Casio.” She snarled, dropping civility since he wasn’t willing to use it.

“Every letter sent is checked for codes and ciphers.” He snapped.

“Then I am surprised that whomever you have doing so didn’t notice that Zakal has had her chair taken away, Kiara is not allowed to run, and Kono who hates the fact that he owns fields of Calor can’t think of anything else to talk about except how sweet I am and how he loves my cooking.” She saw the hesitation in his eyes. “So people are checking them but none of them know the people they are supposed to be examining.”

She sighed. “Casio, we don’t have to like each other. But something is wrong. Something is going wrong in the Sooribor POW camp. We must contact the Caamasi.”

*****

the Caamasi had been discovered 15,000 years earlier. Furred pacifist humanoids, they were appalled by the hostility of even the most benign race other than their own. It was recorded in history that if the Jedi had not been among that first contact team, the Caamasi would have refused to even meet the Republic.

None had the telepathic abilities of the Caamasi. The Caamasi were horrified even by the thought of war because they would feel the people die if they were close enough. No other race could implant memories in other species either.

If they were more militant; an oxymoron if applied to a single Caamasi let alone the entire race; they could have convinced the galaxy to be at peace by making every politician drug lord slaver and warrior feel the deaths and pain they caused. But they also had a strong sense of personal responsibility. People must take responsibility for their actions, and interfering with that choice was anathema.

Not long after the Caamasi had joined the Republic, they had begun proposing ways to mitigate some of the horrors of war. Over the millennia they had created rules, and gotten the Republic to agree with them. Most were obvious; since the innocent people of a planet were the source of it’s productivity, they were to be left alone where ever possible. The same with all industry not directly tied to warfare. Cities were to be left alone unless the enemy defended them, because you know the enemy will leave the people alive.

These were called the Caamasi Accords.

Until a millennia ago they had worked. The Sith had neither cared for nor even given lip service to the rules. If they wished to slaughter everyone, they would do it. The Sith war had been one of the most brutal in the Republic’s history for that very reason.

However this war, between peoples that accepted the rules should have been easier.

Merissa sat back, waiting for the holonet system to put Casio through. She had spent every favor she had to be part of this. Casio looked at her, tired and frustrated. “We have little more information, Merissa.”

She relented in her hatred. Something had caused him to try for civility. “May I ask, Sencor?”

He nodded. “We contacted Caamas. This is the transcript.” He touched a button. The screen cleared and she saw the Caamasi representative.

“Speaker Noral. I am Sencor Casio. I speak as representative of Manda’lor in relation to the treatment of prisoners.” She shook her head wryly. While she had learned from Zakal how to analyze a situation, Casio was so much better at the pompous crap.

As a race, the Caamasi were covered in a golden, downy fur, highlighted on their faces by purple stripes. Their most striking physical feature was their blue-on-green eyes. Noral would have been considered quite attractive by their measure. She was beautiful even by human standards.

“I see you, Sencor Casio.” She replied in a soft voice. “Speak and I will hear.”

“My questions concern the POW camps on Sooribor.”

Did that alien countenance flinch? “Ask your questions.”

“There are statements made in communications from our prisoners that suggest mistreatment-” She wanted to scream at him. You idiot! Don’t tell them how we know!

Now she was sure the alien did flinch. “The Sooribor facilities have officially been placed outside the Accords.”

The phrase left Merissa cold.

“How can they be outside the Accords?” Casio demanded.

“Under the Accords, the Caamasi are allowed access to all prisoners and officials at any time. The Caamasi have been denied access for the last two months, since Commandant Roykirk took command.” Noral replied.

“We informed Regar Danzik, the Provost Marshall of the Republic fleet. He informed us that the Sooribor facility was now designated a maximum security facility, and the Caamasi would be in danger.”

“That is not good.” Merissa commented. An institution or base declared outside of the Accords had no rights, and no oversight. By declaring it so, the Caamasi also allowed attacks on it, since a POW camp was not a legitimate target; they could only be liberated, not attacked. It was usually applied to units already in violation of the Accords, such as those who refused to take prisoners. To apply it to a POW camp suggested the same claims made by the Republic against them, albeit with only one quickly repaired incident at the Mando POW camp on Mando’Yaim.

She looked up at him. “What do you intend to do about this?”

“We’re going to launch an attack and liberate the camp. As soon as we find the right unit-”

“I’m going. With my unit.” She disagreed coldly.

“Have you asked your al'verde?”

“My adopted mother and husband are in that camp, his wife is. Do you think he will stand aside?”

*****

Today

She watched the eyes of the Republic officer and the two older Jedi. as she told the tale. The officer had the look of someone ready to call her a liar. But why did Manda’lor look haunted?

*****

10 Years earlier

The guards dragged Zakal, throwing her onto the floor of the commandant’s office. She caught herself from slamming down face first, but a boot jammed between her shoulder blades, shoving her face down. She glared through her ratty hair at the wall as the highly polished boots walked past a few moments later.

“Let her up.” Roykirk ordered mildly. Zakal leaned up, looking into his eyes without flinching. The man went through the papers on his desk, then tapped one. “It seems the Caamasi have been told about our changes here. How do you think that came to be?” He asked rhetorically. She merely stared at him.

“Well we have you to thank. I spoke with Provost Marshall Danzik, and he has approved our plan.”

“Plan.” Zakal spat.

“Of course. They think you’re being tortured, so they will try to liberate the camp. But we are set for what is to come.” He leaned forward. “A task force will be in position five light years away, ready to come to our aid when your fleet tries.” He laughed. “We’ll have the Mandalorians on scanner attacking a POW camp in violation of the Caamasi Accords. We can blame every death in the camp on them. The propaganda will unite our people in a wave to crush you.

“Using prisoners as bait in a trap is a violation of the Accords.” She told him flatly.

“When the War Crimes trials are convened, it will be our judges on the bench, not yours.”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:51 PM   #98
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“When the War Crimes trials are convened, it will be our judges on the bench, not yours.”
A most excellent and truthful line, Mach. That was my favorite part of the entire chapter. As for the rest, there were a few grammatical errors (I believe in the beginning, should it not be "What do you need, Becket?”), but that hardly overshadows the other shining parts of the chapter, such as the detailing of Roykirk's plan.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:44 PM   #99
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A most excellent and truthful line, Mach. That was my favorite part of the entire chapter. As for the rest, there were a few grammatical errors (I believe in the beginning, should it not be "What do you need, Becket?”), but that hardly overshadows the other shining parts of the chapter, such as the detailing of Roykirk's plan.
A little known (And frequently denied) fact is that Japan was a signatory to the Geneva Conventions. During the early part of WWII, when the Japanese invaded China, they announced that they would put the Conventions aside until 'circumstances allowed'. By legal definition, they decided the Convention didn't apply to them.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:56 AM   #100
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The Corvette Akaan Murcyur or Kiss of War burrowed through hyperspace in convoy with a dozen others. In her cargo bay an ol'averde; almost 300 Mando prepped their weapons, checked armor, or relaxed. Merisa sat with a group of younger warriors, showing them how to prep their gear for the assault. She walked among the warriors of her squad, touching a shoulder here, tousling a head of hair there. She treated her people like her children, and watched over them with the fierce attention of a mother Besu’lik.

Berek came into the bay, and every eye locked on him. “Attention to orders.” Berek said. Everyone gathered around, the traatika ver'alor (Platoon leaders) and Ruus'alor (Squad leaders) in the front. He looked them over, then tapped his helmet, a topographic map flashed against the side of an assault shuttle.

Slowly Berek laid out the operation. The ol'averde would land here, thirty kilometers from the POW camp; close enough for a fast march, but far enough away from the sensors that had been deployed according to the last intelligence update. They would move forward and capture the guards on the camp, then signal for pick up. Because of the situation, a number of innocents they didn’t want to injure, the ol'averde would land in light weapons configuration, only two heavy anti-vehicle blasters with two heavy grenade launchers per squad, the other 12 members carrying projectile rifles light grenade launchers or blasters.

As the time approached, the warriors found their own ways to relax. Merisa sharpened her Beskad, then tried to decide whether she would wear her blaster pistol or her old friend. She pulled the ancient pistol from it’s holster. She had been hand loading the cartridges for it over four decades now and had reached the maximum the chamber could accept. The weapon had been almost rebuilt four times, and she’d had paid to have parts made the last time. The action was as smooth as glass, the sights adjusted to perfection.

Of course the blaster had better penetration except at long range, so maybe-

She smiled gently. She always did this. It was her version of nerves. She looked over her squad with the love of a mother. Tahshi, the eldest of her team at forty. The youngest was Sange, only nineteen. Between them the team ran the gauntlet of ages. Her best shots with heavy blasters were Tono Kala Ger and Tasha. She decided the women Kala and Tasha; both wizards with the tracinya rapid fire heavy grenade launchers, would carry them on this assault.

Tahshi Canda, El and Mooti, four women alike as peas in a pod even with 20 years between the eldest and the youngest. They would be the point unit, silent, fast, and deadly. They would be followed by Saml, Coha Lan and herself. Toros Kalo, Sange and Grief on rear guard.

She yawned, going to bed.

*****

The squadron of corvettes dropped into normal space. They charged toward the planet, assault shuttles launching. Fighters came out to meet them, and a furious battle began. One of the engines on Akaan Murcyur stuttered and died, flames shooting from a broken fuel line, and she staggered toward the edge of the battle. A dozen fighters turned to target the cripple.

Laser blasts slammed into her shields, seeking her vitals. An internal explosion blew out her cargo hold, and a mass of debris shot toward the planet.

Merisa held the flying wing‘s control bar as she and the other members of the strike force fell toward the planet. Above them the fuel line stopped spewing fire, and the engine came back to life. She used the HUD to check the others. 290 green circles and one gold one dropped toward the unsuspecting enemy.

Like avenging hawks half a dozen Republic Frigates and another half dozen corvettes dropped out of hyperspace between the Mando warships and escape. The Mando ships split into combat groupings of four ships each, and each ‘hand’ broke to dive around the planet. The Republic strike group broke to pursue.

*****

Merisa adjusted her course. The landing zone was there, haloed in green. Nothing yet.

*****

“Nothing.” The gunner growled. The one ship that had approached had been out of range above the atmosphere and not come within range of the infantry cannon.

He snorted, seeing that blasted static again. The fleet had reported that one of the ships had blown a cargo bay, and debris was falling into the atmosphere. He refined the passive tracking information. Most of it was tumbling to fall far from him, but some… His eyebrow quirked. It was falling in another direction, away from the rest. In fact…

*****

They were 500 meters from the ground when active sensors lashed them. “Hot, zone!” Berek broke com silence. “Dump and get down fast!”

Below them a dozen heavy cannon capable of ripping apart a ship roared, and the night was cut by plasma blasts. First half a dozen, then a dozen then more of the icons for the assault force disappeared as fire reduced them to dust.

Merisa slapped the release, the wing lifting up, and beginning a preprogrammed evasion program as she plummeted like a stone. The wing carried out it’s primary function, radiating ten times what her armor did, and drew a bolt that would have killed her as well. A hundred meters up she hit the thrusters on her sen'tra, slowing her descent.

Around her, like well oiled machinery, everyone who still lived was copying her reaction. Berek halfway across the LZ from her; closer to the guns, roared, “Oya!” And leaped into a full run toward the suddenly blazing hill as infantrymen with rifles both blaster and projectile ripped into the Mando.

The Republic’s infantry manual would have called for retreating until out of direct fire, assess the situation, then formulate a plan. The numbers themselves should have given them pause. The Republic troops facing them knew they outnumbered the Mando. If you went by the book, it was exactly the wrong thing to do.

A pity for the Republic that the Mando had never read that book. They had learned by doing, and even the youngest among them had been a warrior in training since the age of five, and warriors in truth since they were 13. Fifty of the finest warriors the galaxy had ever seen charged into ten times their number ahead of anyone else.

Merisa and her unit had landed farthest from those guns, but at her signal she and those between her and the al'verde charged in his wake.

Thirty warriors leapt up that hill, weapons flaming as they shattered the lines of dug in men like glass shattered under a hammer. Fifteen breasted that hill, falling upon the crew of the cannon, blasting everything that moved, smashing weapons and men in their rampage. the few creman that survived did so by running for their lives.

Merisa and those with her smashed into the same line, still disorganized by the first assault, and reaped their own harvest. Nothing lived in their wake. She reached the knoll where the guns still sat, finding only seven still standing.

Berek was not among them.

Throughout the HUD had desperately been jumping from officer to officer, trying in it’s idiot best to choose who still commanded.

Of the almost 300 only 65 still stood. Merisa took a deep breath when the gold icon of command finally settled…

On her.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:58 PM   #101
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A very nice chapter, Mach. The first bit was expertly done, in my opinion, especially the pre-battle jitters experienced- and subsequently subdued- by the Mando. However, the brief space skirmish left me wanting more (to my eyes, it was a bit fuzzy).

The final rush up to the gunnery emplacements, I thought, was also well done, so kudos on that. I wonder what Merisa shall do with her new 'command' now, and, more importantly, how she will escape with her objectives intact?

I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment!
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:05 PM   #102
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Excellent next chapter, Mach! I really enjoyed the pre-battle jitters as Litofsky did, very accurate! Also like Litofsky, I found the skirmish scene to be slightly fuzzy, but then that also contributes to the actual confusion of battle, excellent job on that! I can't help but draw some parrelels to historical battles and situations, that definately makes this installment very good indeed! I hope you post the next installment very soon!!


you very much
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:43 PM   #103
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Impressive. How exactly do you write these kind of sequences? Do you have a rough idea of the major plot points and write the battle around that, or did it just come as you wrote?

I really never did a complex chapter that addressed prewar jitters, the fighting, and the aftermath which is coming next. I'm going to be having a few of these in "Prior to Exile" and would appreciate any suggestions on battle or fight scenes.
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:56 PM   #104
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^ What they said.


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 12-09-2008, 12:05 AM   #105
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Impressive. How exactly do you write these kind of sequences? Do you have a rough idea of the major plot points and write the battle around that, or did it just come as you wrote?

I really never did a complex chapter that addressed prewar jitters, the fighting, and the aftermath which is coming next. I'm going to be having a few of these in "Prior to Exile" and would appreciate any suggestions on battle or fight scenes.

As for the pre battle jitters I have my own secrets. As for the basics of the battle both in space and below, I had a basic idea roughed out, and when I got there let it flow.

Any help you need with scenes, let me know.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:31 PM   #106
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Those who think I treat the Mando as the completely good guys might be surprised by part of this next post. But considering what happens right before it I feel it expresses their mentality perfectly.

Today

Merisa paused. The panic of that time struck her yet again. 80% losses on the landing, an enemy of unknown strength before them. So many times she had awakened in nightmares afterward. She still didn’t understand what had driven her to go on.

She poured, this time from the bottle of tihaar.

*****

Ten Years earlier

“Com.” Merisa ordered. One of the survivors popped out the laser satellite transmitter. That worthy paused as the system scanned looking for a specific signature.

Far above, one of the pieces of debris ignored before this, stabilized. It was small, perhaps a meter square. It was an idiot simple device that used technology so ancient no one had ever considered countermeasures against it. As the laser beam from below hit it, the synthetic aperture camera opened, a lens the width of a human hand that mimicked one fifty meters across. It had a resolution of one meter in the present configuration, and at it’s tightest focus, of less than ten millimeters. Clear enough on a day time pass that it could read unit markings from vehicles. The computer judged the light from the target far below, switching to IR scanning mode. Only now did the second section spin, looking for ships of a specific design.

On the HUD the camp appeared from above as clear as if it hovered merely a kilometer above it. Merisa could see the rows of barracks, the prisoners, most of them not moving. A few were already awake, and as she watched, more were awakening to come out and watch the battle above. On one edge she could see her own people, already deployed in a lozenge shape thirty kilometers distant.

“Kastar.” She called the next senior, tagging 20 others. “Point. Surillo.” The next after that stolid man. “All heavy blasters, you’re rearguard.” 30 others were marked. “The rest in the middle with me. Oya!

*****

In numbers the ships now dueling far above were equal. In firepower, it was three to one. The frigates, not as fast as their smaller enemies pushed on stolidly. Ahead of them the faster Mando corvettes hovered just out of firing range. The Republic commanders cursed, demanding more speed. A gap grew as the Republic corvettes outran their larger vessels.

At they rounded the planet, the three hands rolled, each taking an exact reciprocal of another unit so they were now running full out not away, but toward an enemy formation.

As the Republic ships came screaming around the planet, their own corvettes in the lead, each pair of corvettes found itself being pounded by four more heavily armed Mando corvettes. Five of the six ships were battered into wreckage or destroyed outright, the sole survivor crabbing out of the battle as the Mando corvettes now concentrated their fire in pairs on the surprised frigates coming down their throat.

All told from start to finish, the engagement from the first weapons firing to the ships passing each other at a tenth of light speed lasted less than seven minutes. Seven of the Mando corvettes climbed away, and behind them four frigates duplicated their maneuver. Three ships, a Republic frigate and two Mando corvettes orbited as shattered hulks. The sole Republic corvette was already plunging into the atmosphere, going to her fiery death. The rest were scattered wreckage.

As the ships had passed, the satellite had transmitted their data to them, then began recording.

*****

Below, 63 people plunged at a lung tearing run through the forest. At a gesture, they froze in place. Sange gestured behind them. “Speeders, coming fast.”

The warriors spread out, weapons tracking the sky.

A dozen speeders roared in weapons blasting, and were met by concentrated fire. Half of them died before they passed over the Mando line, only two escaped the hell. But only fifty warriors raced on.

Merisa kept moving. Her own squad had lost El Saml Toros and Mooti in the horror of landing. Now Lan Kalo and Coha lay dead as the remainder raced forward.

Her HUD held a picture of the satellite feed. The numbers weren’t even close to what they had from the Camaasi. There should be over 600 prisoners, yet there were only 550 distinct forms there.

*****

Roykirk grimaced. The bulk of his free troops, almost a thousand men had been emplaced around the landing zone, less than 200 had reported in. The Mandalorians must have landed a thousand or more to inflict such damage! He keyed his com link. “Execute.” He ordered.

*****

Merisa snapped her arm up, and the formation froze. “HUD, display all.” She snapped.

The warriors watched as vehicles moved toward the camp. Figures dropped out in lines, and her blood ran cold.

*****

“So it begins.” Zakal whispered as assault speeders moved toward the camp. The guards, mostly young men stared as men in Mandalorian armor poured out. The figures dropped to their knees, another line forming behind them. The gleam of holocams showed near the edges of the camp.

*****

The transmission was frantic; a young man facing a holocam. “Command! The Mandalorians are attacking Sooribor!” Then there were screams as a hundred or more rifles began blasting. A guard leaped, hands up, and one of the men firing cut him down. The camera fell, and inside the wired enclosure others, their own people fell as the rounds that didn’t hit the guards tore through the crowd. Then suddenly the camera took a hit and the scene died.

*****

Aboard Ijaa kal (Honor blade), Commander Krios stared at the two screens. On one the massacre replayed. On the other the satellite showed the camp and a circle sixty kilometers around. On one edge were the dots of the survivors of the landing. In the center was the camp. He switched to the present readings.

“Communications, the vehicles that committed that atrocity have stopped at the following coordinates. Send them to our people on the ground. Then send Besu’lik. Navigation, pick a frigate, tell the others to target it.” He snarled. “No quarter, no prisoners, and no mercy.”

*****

The next few minutes etched themselves into the hearts of every warrior both in space and on the ground. Merisa felt rage settle into cold hatred. The information sent by that fragile laser was more than she need, beyond the target of her fury “I need a scout team. Ten-”

“I.” Sange snarled. He was followed by nine others, all furious at what they had seen.

“You will go to the camp.” Merisa ordered. The rest of us have other duties.” She checked the action of her weapon.

“Doing what?” Kastar asked.

“Taking the ones responsible.”

The smaller team moved off, then forty angry warriors moved on a divergent course.

The ground favored them. The enemy remaining speeders hung back, unwilling to risk a direct assault. They had tried an attack with speeder bikes but they had not even gotten close before being ripped from the sky.

*****

Above the seven corvettes made sharp turns. Two of them had to pass close to the hulk of the Republic frigate in orbit and the life pods still streaming from it. The guns began to fire, ripping into the hulk. After a few moments secondary explosions erupted from within, and the ship vanished in them. Then they began firing, ripping into the life pods. Seconds later they were past it, and nothing survived in their wake.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:43 PM   #107
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A nice addition, Mach. To be sure, the Republic commander utilized holoprojectors to, well, project Mandalorians attacking the camp (when they had not yet done so), in order to seem that they violated the laws of War, and such.

The space battle was much better, though I wonder why only seven corvettes arrived in the attacking fleet (perhaps I underestimate Mandalorian corvettes, or were the 'heavier' ships needed elsewhere?). The last paragraph, in particular, made me wonder: why would the Commander destroy the Republic escape pods? Perhaps it was because that they could be use to supplement forces elsewhere, and were a threat?
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:38 PM   #108
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A nice addition, Mach. To be sure, the Republic commander utilized holoprojectors to, well, project Mandalorians attacking the camp (when they had not yet done so), in order to seem that they violated the laws of War, and such.
Whenever you paint your enemy as evil, you need something as a rallying cry. As an example when Captain Colin Kelly's B17 was shot down, Hollywood made a movie of it showing the men that were bailing out being machine gunned by the fighter that shot the aircraft down. It wasn't until the Book Samurai! written by Saburo Sakai, the highest ranking Japanese Ace of WWII revealed that A: He had shot the plane down, and B, had not machine gunned any survivors, he was in fact out of ammunition, and instead used his camera to record their escape.

Another example was when the Nazis took concentration camp inmates, dressed them in Polish Army uniforms, and left them strewn around a German Army radio supposedly attacked by the Poles as a reason for invading.

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The space battle was much better, though I wonder why only seven corvettes arrived in the attacking fleet (perhaps I underestimate Mandalorian corvettes, or were the 'heavier' ships needed elsewhere?).
There were a dozen Mando corvettes, six Republic corvettes, and six Frigates. When the attack was completed, seven of the Mando corvettes had survived, four of the frigates had. As for where the rest of the fleet is, the battle hasn't ended.

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The last paragraph, in particular, made me wonder: why would the Commander destroy the Republic escape pods? Perhaps it was because that they could be use to supplement forces elsewhere, and were a threat?
Historically (And in Shakespeare's play) when troops hear of such acts, they return the favor in spades. If you have seen the movie Henry V, you got part of it. After the boys in the luggage were massacred, Henry went ballistic. The Play has him ordering the slaughter of all the prisoners taken to that time and messengers sent that told French units still trying to fight that if they didn't run, they would also be killed without mercy.

During the assalut on La Defensia in italy (1943), the First Special Service Force (The Devil's Brigade) had one German bastion call for a parley. The officer in charge went forward, told the Germans that they would accept their surrender. The German officer drew his weapon and shot the Canadian officer. From that point on, according to the unit's history unless ordered, they took no prisoners.

That was what the commander meant. The Republic violated the laws of war, and as such deserved no mercy. As of that moment, any Republic troops, armed or unarmed were to be eliminated.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:49 PM   #109
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Whenever you paint your enemy as evil, you need something as a rallying cry. As an example when Captain Colin Kelly's B17 was shot down, Hollywood made a movie of it showing the men that were bailing out being machine gunned by the fighter that shot the aircraft down. It wasn't until the Book Samurai! written by Saburo Sakai, the highest ranking Japanese Ace of WWII revealed that A: He had shot the plane down, and B, had not machine gunned any survivors, he was in fact out of ammunition, and instead used his camera to record their escape.

Another example was when the Nazis took concentration camp inmates, dressed them in Polish Army uniforms, and left them strewn around a German Army radio supposedly attacked by the Poles as a reason for invading.
Propaganda for justification, then? Leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but war isn't exactly the most pleasant of times. Anything to vilify your enemy and glorify your own side, I suppose.

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There were a dozen Mando corvettes, six Republic corvettes, and six Frigates. When the attack was completed, seven of the Mando corvettes had survived, four of the frigates had. As for where the rest of the fleet is, the battle hasn't ended.
My mistake, then. Should I assume, therefore, that the Mandalorian ships overpower their direct comparisons (corvettes to corvettes, etc), as evidenced by the fact that many more Mando ships were left (or was that just the brilliance of the CO?)?


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That was what the commander meant. The Republic violated the laws of war, and as such deserved no mercy. As of that moment, any Republic troops, armed or unarmed were to be eliminated.
An eye for an eye is the rule of thumb for the Galaxy, it seems.
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:04 PM   #110
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My mistake, then. Should I assume, therefore, that the Mandalorian ships overpower their direct comparisons (corvettes to corvettes, etc), as evidenced by the fact that many more Mando ships were left (or was that just the brilliance of the CO?)?
A bit of both. The Mando corvettes are more heavily armed in the assault (Head on attack) meaning they are weaker from astern or the broadside. So they would be considered about equal. The all guns able to fire forward fits their mentality.

As for tactics, The 12 ships of the Mando squadron spilt up, four each heading for (using a clock) 12 4 and 8. They were running fast enough that the Frigates would have trouble catching them, but the Republic corvettes would be able to gain, meaning they were ordered forward at their fastest speed. This caused a tactical seperation, distance growing between the corvettes and their frigate support. Each group was composed of two of each class.

As they came around the planet, the ships at 12 now changed course to run toward the 8 o'clock position, and the others made the same kind of turn, so 4 was now running due north. The four corvettes of each group ripped apart the corvettes, effectively destroying a third of the Republic firepower, but did not do as well against the frigates, destroying one, and crippling another in return for three of their own destroyed and two crippled.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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What we die for...
Acceptance
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Star Wars: The Beginning
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:26 PM   #111
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Thanks for the explanation, Mach. The Mandalorian tactics seem much more effective than the Republic's, despite being the 'underdog' in terms of numbers.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:51 PM   #112
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Today

Carth stood. “I am not going to listen to one more second of this drivel!”

“Carth.” Danika’s voice was soft, but there was an edge of command.

“Are you going to let this old woman lie to these-”

“Enough!” Danika stood. “Carth, this is a direct order. You will sit and listen until I tell you different. If obeying my order is too onerous, you can take the Ebon Hawk and go to Coruscant or to hell for all I care!” She was smaller than him by a few centimeters and several kilos, but after a moment the man sat.

She turned, bowing her head. “You lost so much in this tale, Ba-buir. Please continue.”

“Thank you, younger sister.” Merisa replied.

*****

Ten years earlier

Commander Saml, senior officer surviving among the Republic task group stared, desperately trying to find a way to strike back quickly, but nothing came to mind. The Admiral had off loaded all of the fighters to bleed the Mandalorians when they arrived, and the six squadrons had done that. Unfortunately the three squadrons of assault shuttles the Mandalorians had used had ripped them apart. They were slower, harder to handle, but their weapons fit had shredded the fighters as if they were wooden mock ups. That had left it to the big boys.

While the Republic force still had the edge in firepower it only mattered if they were in a tighter formation, not in penny packets like they were right now. The Mando would be formed up before he was, then split up attacking his ships from all sides, forcing them to fire in more than one direction, while the smaller ships could mass firepower against them.

The Mandalorians had gone insane! That attack on the ground murdering their own in the process. What kind of maniacs were they?

He checked the reports. Sentinel was heavily damaged, and her division mate Cascade was trying to stay with her, but the ship was still falling farther and farther astern. Reprieve was also heavily damaged, but her engines were not among those damaged systems. His own Thunder was least damaged of all because the Mando hadn’t targeted perfectly, three of their four attackers had targeted Gauntlet, the frigate they had killed. That left Thunder barely damaged and had cost them two corvettes for their rash mistake.

Sir!” The sensor officer brought up a screen. Despite, the crippled frigate in orbit was on the screen. Two corvettes approached her from astern, then began firing.

The ship was wracked by explosions shattering the hulk, then the guns turned on… “Gods.” Someone whispered. Saml didn’t reprove the man as every life pod that had not already reached the atmosphere was blasted into fragments. The two Mando ships slowed, and the rest closed on them.

“Time before we are in formation?” He demanded.

“Ten minutes, sir.”

“Time before they are?”

“Six minutes, and they will be within range of Sentinel and Cascade when they are.”

“Order Cascade to abandon Sentinel. Best speed to join up. We’re going for maneuvering room.”


*****

The transport speeder dropped the platoon of troops who immediately began to dig in. Assuming the Mandalorians were still headed for the camp, they were positioned to stop them. On the next ridge another platoon was digging in.

There was a flaw in their plan; the speed of advance had been predicated on what a Republic unit could do in the hour that had passed since the landing. The Mandalorians were much better. Sange looked at the men now blocking his retreat, and his team moved on their own course forward. But not without leaving a marker on the transport.

After all they weren’t going back that way.

*****

Roykirk glared at the screen. Provost Marshall Danzik was a fat oily man who had gained his position from political connections as Roykirk had. However Danzik didn’t have the belly for what was needed now.

Danzik was saying. “Admiral Dodonna is enroute, but will not be there for at least two hours. The task group we sent should have been adequate.”

“Your ‘adequate’ Admiral has already been killed along with over half of his task force! We need more ships, more men!”

“I can’t get you support any sooner.” Danzik replied. “I suggest you get into your command center and hold until relieved.” The holo shut off.

Roykirk snarled. “Call in all of the units. Deploy them to protect the base.”

*****

“Reporting.“ Sange’s voice cut into the stillness. Merisa raised a hand and 28 warriors froze into immobility. Their camouflage fields made them pools of water stood on end, just a slight wavering of the image that would go unnoticed unless the enemy‘s eyes were sharp. She looked around though her concern was unnecessary.

“Speak.” She ordered.

Instead of speaking, Sange sent the feed from the camera on his helmet. She bit back a curse at the scattered bodies. Some of them she recognized, had died throwing themselves between the guns and their comrades. The small team paced through the slaughter ground, and Sange stopped.

Kiara had a grimace on her face, as if she had been screaming at their enemy when she died. Sange, who knew the woman, bent, straightening her out as if for a pyre.

“No one has reported Kono or Zakal-” He paused. “Amendment. We have found Zakal. Still no word about Kono.”

She flipped the switch, and the feed went not only to her compatriots, but to the satellite and the ships above as well. Sange was walking toward the woman as if approaching an idol of an ancient god. He knelt, brushing her hair from her face. Zakal was almost smiling, as if she understood the joke that had been played on the Galaxy. Sange touched that face as he knew his leader would have wished to, then he bent, taking a small bread boarded panel from her hand.

“We have found no survivors.”

“Move to join us rapidly.” Merisa ordered.

Chu!

Merisa didn’t need to gauge her people’s anger; she felt it in full measure. The team moved at her signal.

*****

Sentinel tried to fight, but the Mando corvettes came in like a pack of hounds, ripping the larger ship apart for the loss of only one of their own. The survivors turned now to chase Cascade, which was still too far away to expect support.

Gauntlet and Thunder turned, moving to rejoin the stranded ship.

“Sir! Hyper transit, four ships!” The scream of joy died as the computers identified the ships. “Three Beskad class frigates and… A Basilisk carrier!”

Saml looked upon death, and grinned. “At least they’ll know they were in a fight. All ships, target the Basilisk carrier!”

The ships charged.

*****

Roykirk watched as the last of the Republic task group died, and knew he had lost. The Republic would be incensed, and gird themselves for the war with true vigor. But he might not live to see it. Still he had almost 500 men remaining, and unless they wanted to bombard him, they could not attack. After all there were less than fifty of those accursed Mandalorian troops on the ground. He could hold out until Dodonna arrived.

*****

Thirty-six Mando warriors settled in as Merisa scanned the headquarters bunker from about five kilometers away. It was a standard design battalion strength bunker, which meant that fully manned it would hold almost a thousand men. Large enough for the force they had already faced and decimated. How many of them remained?

But their prey was within; the commandant and his own pet thugs. The others would die because they were between the Mando and those that deserved death.

The problem was the six anti-ship lasers and the 24 anti-shuttle missiles set in three equidistant embrasures around the bunker.

Merisa turned. Thirty-six. Of her own squad only Sange and Tasha survived. Surilo still commanded her rear guard, but except for Tasha, the three heavy gunners were all from other squads. That was all they had when it came to heavy weapons and none had more than a single magazine remaining. Only four had grenade launchers but there were only fifteen rounds total among them. The rest had a blaster or projectile rifle with perhaps two magazines remaining and perhaps a pair of grenades each. Enough to break through, but to get out?

No way.

The communications dish was set up, and she connected a cable from her own helmet to it. The connection was swift. “Ground this is command aboard Tal Kar'ta.”

She recognized the voice. “Hello, vod. Finally showed up?”

“You know how I am.” Canderous replied. “I never miss a battle. Report.”

“Thirty-six effectives, threat estimated five hundred plus on the ground. The monsters that slaughtered our people are within. We have to get to them. We can get in, I cannot guarantee we will get out.”

“We brought Yaim Solus.” He replied. “Just give us a time.”

She checked her rifle. “Ten minutes from now.”

A whatever for the one that sees the pun in this one


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:38 AM   #113
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This story gets more and more amazing with each chapter. *Grins* I love your descriptions, and you can truly write a space battle! If I were writing the story instead of you, I'd be like, "Hurga durga doo, the ship swung in close and then exploded the other one..." Well, maybe not that bad, but you get the idea.

The pun, I think, is either Yaim Solus = "I am Solo" or Han Solo

Either that, or Tal Kar'ta = Talon Karrde

Just my two cents. *plink plink*
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:07 AM   #114
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This story gets more and more amazing with each chapter. *Grins* I love your descriptions, and you can truly write a space battle! If I were writing the story instead of you, I'd be like, "Hurga durga doo, the ship swung in close and then exploded the other one..." Well, maybe not that bad, but you get the idea.

The pun, I think, is either Yaim Solus = "I am Solo" or Han Solo

Either that, or Tal Kar'ta = Talon Karrde

Just my two cents. *plink plink*
Close Tys. It is linked to Yaim Solus


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:06 PM   #115
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Current Game: The Old Republic....what else?
I did a quick google for Mandoa, Mach....and I did a simple translation of Yaim Solus...

Yaim means Home
Solus is each/individual/alone

They brought Home Alone? o.O I didn't think the Mandalorians would like Macaulay Culkin....
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:11 PM   #116
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Is it, perhaps, that "ba'buir" means grandmother/grandfather, and Merisa responded with the words "younger sister?"

From what I've gathered, "yaim" seems to mean a place to be content with, a happy place, or something of the life, whereas "solus" translates as the number "one," or so Wookieepedia says.

At any rate, I liked the chapter, Mach, especially the scene describing the Mandalorian survivors inspecting the massacre sight. Rather gruesome (when one visualizes the scene, I suppose), but, to my distress, I could not find a translation for the Mando'a word of "chu." Would you mind posting the definition, or something of the sort? (Many thanks in advance)
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:13 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by JAvatar80 View Post
I did a quick google for Mandoa, Mach....and I did a simple translation of Yaim Solus...

Yaim means Home
Solus is each/individual/alone

They brought Home Alone? o.O I didn't think the Mandalorians would like Macaulay Culkin....
close but no cigar. What no EU readers out there?


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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What we die for...
Acceptance
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Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:17 AM   #118
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Is it, perhaps, that "ba'buir" means grandmother/grandfather, and Merisa responded with the words "younger sister?"

From what I've gathered, "yaim" seems to mean a place to be content with, a happy place, or something of the life, whereas "solus" translates as the number "one," or so Wookieepedia says.

At any rate, I liked the chapter, Mach, especially the scene describing the Mandalorian survivors inspecting the massacre sight. Rather gruesome (when one visualizes the scene, I suppose), but, to my distress, I could not find a translation for the Mando'a word of "chu." Would you mind posting the definition, or something of the sort? (Many thanks in advance)
It's my own Mando, Lit. I didn't find the equivilant of 'zu Beufel' (German meaning 'as you command') in Mando. But I can't picture a Mando trained warrior saying 'right boss' or something like that. I can see them snapping to and saying the equivilant of "Sir!"


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:32 AM   #119
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I just finished reading the last of the chapters that you posted, and I must say that this fic is really impressive. The battle scenes are great, as well as the plot. That one word pretty much sums it up; impressive.

I look forward to reading more of your work!

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Old 12-25-2008, 12:46 AM   #120
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She took the bread boarded circuit, linking it to her armor. Even in death, Zakal had defeated them. She motioned, and her people moved in closer.

The Republic had a long drawn out process for operational planning. The Mando, used the short form.

Merisa reset her transmitter to short range, less than 30 meters. First sending Zakal‘s treasure to all, so they knew what type of beast they faced, then she sent a schematic of the terrain and structure. “They have detachments, 200 here, here and here. We do not know how many are within.

“Surilo Zek Tasha, you have the heavy weapons. Stassi Magne, Jun, you have the heavy grenade launchers. You will position yourselves to attack the emplacements. Those guns and missiles have to be destroyed or seriously damaged. Once you have, run and hide.” She then targeted the door. “Once they have done that, the rest of us will assault here. We go in, capture this Di’kut who thinks we are playthings. Everyone else dies.

“As for the Di’kut, he is mine; or whoever lives in command to deal with him. Jump off in seven.”

They spread back out, the gunners with heavy weapons moving further a-field, finding their positions. The time stretched as it does in combat, seconds feeling like minutes, minutes like hours. Merisa had set her countdown timer so to her it was exactly seven minutes three seconds before she heard the thump of the grenade launchers.

*****

Lieutenant Costor paced. He was angry, but that was his natural state. The only reason he was here was because of the anti-vehicle lasers and missiles. That did not make him happy. Whatever those personal troops of Roykirk’s had done had driven the Mandalorians into a frenzy. They had whittled away at the survivors of the landing, but they had kept coming until maybe two hours ago, when contact had been lost. Would they come here?

No way, he decided. They had what, less than forty remaining out of almost 300? They would be insane to attack here.

He heard a thump from the distance, and spun. “What is that noise?” He demanded.

If he had known it would be the last thing he would ever say, he might have chosen something else.

*****

Tasha had targeted the fusion bottle driving the laser cannon. She knew the Republic surrounded them with packed earth berms, and knew the berms would stop any direct fire, but she also knew they left roofs off the bottle containment because the slightest impediment would stop them from blowing out upward as designed. However the Republic forgot one minor thing.

Most of the energy went upward, not all.

Her heavy blaster rifle spat four shots along the length of the fusion bottle. It might have survived one or two, but four slammed into it, causing a spike in the internal energy. That spike peaked almost 50% over the containment field.

Five percent would have been enough.

The bottle blew up, energy flashing out from it. 90% did go upward, but the ten percent was enough to turn the installation weapons and crew into plasma. Lieutenant Costor and the twenty men that manned the laser cannon and missiles were subsumed into plasma scattered by the missiles that exploded seconds later in the only grave they would ever have.

Within seconds, the three heavy blaster weapons had eliminated the guns and their missiles. Each of the men and women still had a dozen units of fire remaining and each of them focused on that fragile line that blocked their compatriots from their target.

Merisa wanted to scream at them, getting the six of them out would have been a small victory but she had known in her warrior heart they would not run. In their place she would not have. The fire ripped apart those facing them and 25 warrior reached that door.

“Time to dance!” Tasha screamed. Stassi, the grenadier with her, had fired her grenades not at the door, but at the 200 odd men station 200 meters west them, ripping the enemy formation apart, killing at least 50 of them. The remainder leaped to their feet, charging. Over the dedicated com channel she could hear Stassi screaming.

“Sanso, Devril, Maki, Verish…” A litany of her own squad mates and friend who had died on the attack, and two of those slaughtered at the camp. The grenade launcher fell silent and the woman flipped her rifle forward, now blasts of energy instead of grenades ripped into the men charging toward them, and still the litany continued. “Mako, Grieva, Maktiel…”

Tasha’s heavy blaster was empty and she threw it aside, the rifle she had picked up on the way swinging into battery. Her rifle spat projectiles, and the men charging fell like pins as she serviced her targets. Stassi’s rifle fell silent, and Tasha grabbed her shoulder. “We have to leave now!” she screamed. Stassi came toward her bonelessly, a round had blown through her chest, ricocheting off the back plate and through her neck. A bullet shattered her knee and Tasha grinned in pain and fury. “Keep my place, Stassi! I‘ll be right behind!”

She knelt, using the last thirty rounds to rip into their enemy.

Merisa pointed at the man sized entry way, ducking beside it as the warriors still carrying explosives began placing charges. They didn’t have a lot, but Republic design was so standardized that even a neophyte could blow the hatch. The last detonator went in,
and the team doubled back, stacking on both sides of the door. Then with a roar the hinges and lock blew free, the door fell with a clang and Merisa leaped in with a scream.

As each came through they covered a portion of the room, including above the door and the upper corners. The second team flowed past them.

Surilo was feeling his age. He was ten years older than Merisa, and had been looking forward to retirement. Sitting at home, training the young, watching the crops grow. That was what he had wanted mere days ago.

Jun who flanked him fired her last grenade at the second flanking unit, then flipped a Republic design rifle forward to begin firing. Surilo’s heavy blaster buzzed on an empty magazine, and he grabbed his own rifle taken from the enemy. “I’m dry!’ Jun shouted, throwing the weapon down, snatching out her neural disruptor.

“Time to go.” Surilo said, his own rifle empty. There were only twenty left, but the lack of fire emboldened them. Surilo turned just as a a blaster bolt struck the woman, blowing her leg off. Surilo didn’t even think about it. He caught her arm as she fell, throwing her over his shoulder. With her weight he only ran three paces before a dozen bolts and projectiles killed them both.

The assault team moved on. As they ran into resistance, they dealt with it. Not without losses of their own; the 24 that had breached the citadel fell to 18.

They took weapons from the dead, their own or the Republic, but they never slowed. Some of the Republic solders begged for mercy, threw weapons aside, surrendered.

They were given the same ‘mercy’ the enemy had shown their earlier prisoners. The only difference was these received honorable deaths.

Room by room they went through the massive building, and nothing lived where they had been.

Zek was the younger of the pair, but he had always been steady and cool. He stood, the heavy blaster at his hip tied into his HUD, and bolt after bolt shattered men rock or trees into flinders. Magne switched to his rifle, and precision fire ripped into the men running toward them. Zek added his fire as the heavy blaster died.

He went through the magazine, then threw the rifle aside. He drew his beskad as Magne did the same. “Come on!” He screamed. “Try killing a Mando’a who’s armed!”

The enemy ran forward, and the pair leaped into a run toward their enemy.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

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