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Read The Jedi Gambit! by Greg "Rackham" Moran aka Kylun

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Author Topic: Dar'buir, ba'vodu solus, gai bal Manda  (Read 2477 times)

Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy

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Dar'buir, ba'vodu solus, gai bal Manda
« on: March 25, 2012, 08:08:27 PM EDT »

Dar'buir, ba'vodu solus, gai bal Manda
Not a parent, an uncle only, heart and soul.

Born: 25 BTC Vhett Compound, Dromund Kaas
Current name: Ghan'ikavhett Sheteshoy
Age: 35
Sex: Male 
Species: Zabrak
Current Residence: Clan Cruiser A'denn Verd

These chronicles of Clan Sheteshoy begin their log ten years prior to the the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant. They tell the tale of the beginning of Clan Sheteshoy, and of the lives of its members. Their primary concern is that of Ghan'ikavhett, the head of the clan. Translations of Mando'a for you areutii can be found here:

Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy

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Re: Dar'buir, ba'vodu solus, gai bal Manda
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 08:21:58 PM EDT »

Chapter One
Nu kyr'adyc, shi taab'echaaj'la
Not gone, merely marching far away

     Ghan Vhett crouched, alone again. The room was silent, suddenly oppressively so. For the first time in many years, Ghan could relax, but he only felt more tense. He had finished at last the dying wishes of his mother.

     "Take care of them, Ghan'ika," she had said. "The only thing I can give them is you. Your father and I have trained you, you are of age. You are fifteen, two extra years we have trained you, but now you must go out on your own. You have seen the corruption of the Sith. We were betrayed for the price of some  chakaare's life. Mirdala has been greatly gifted, and the Sith will not easily let her go. Mirsh lives her name, you must let her help you escape. She can think much more clearly under stress than you can, trust her judgement. Your greatest gift is . . ." Rav paused. "I go to the Manda, listen quickly. Take Mirdala to the Jedi temple, she will be safe there. Mirsh will learn any trade quickly, protect her."

     Ghan's eyes teared up at the memory of his mother's face. He would not forget that day. His father Valin had served in the Imperial Army for almost forty years with great honor. But when a junior officer disobeyed direct orders and remained at base instead of deploying with his regiment, he overheard Colonel Vhett mention his force-sensitive daughter to a friend. This junior officer then went straight to the Sith to turn in the Colonel. The Sith offered Valin a deal: turn over your daughter or resign your post. "Come and get her" had been his reply, and that day a battalion came to remove Mirdala from the clan compound. They left with half their strength dead, and another quarter wounded. A Mandalorian clan does not take lightly child stealing. Rav had taken Ghan and his five-year-old twin sisters and had headed for the spaceport after seeing Valin die at the hands of his betrayer. Ghan remembered the long run, carrying his sisters. A random jungle patrol had stopped them, injuring Rav before Ghan cut them down. It was there his mother had given her final words. Ghan carefully had removed her armor to keep for Mirsh, and had then carried both girls the rest of the way to the spaceport.

    Now, five years later, he had followed through. Mirdala was safe for the time being. A Jedi stranded on Dromund Kaas had taken her with him when Ghan had cleared out the prison for the Jedi to escape. His short stint in Imperial intel had come to an end that day in a fiery tempest at the prison gates. Executions of criminals was one thing, but to kill a man because of his genetic makeup was something else entirely. Ghan refused a direct order from the Sith in charge of Ghan's unit. The Sith was a Pureblood, and did not take insubordination well. However, that particular Sith was young, and a conc charge quickly separated him from his lightsaber. The rest of the hit squad had backed off to let Ghan and the Sith fight it out, but quickly seized the opportunity to rid the galaxy of a worthless Sith. Having then, a "situation" on his hands, Ghan decided it would be easier to jump the fence than to explain to his CO what had happened. A minor squabble ensued with the men from the squad, but that was soon settled. The squad agreed to help spring the Jedi, so long as Ghan would stay behind to help them out back at base if things got sticky. The Jedi, an ancient Miralukan, hardly looked like a dangerous criminal, but the very fact that someone without sight could walk around normally showed his true power. Ghan gave the Jedi the coordinates of where Mirdala would be waiting for pickup and transport to the temple.

     When Ghan returned to his apartment at the spaceport, he had found a note from Mirsh saying that she had gone with the Jedi to watch after Mirdala. The silence was suppressive. Ghan was alone and free from the Imperials. He turned his thoughts toward working, and decided to pay a visit to the Mandalorian compound at the Citadel.  He went to his armor closet and pulled out his armor that he had built last year at the old clan foundry. It was not a very good set, but for the time being, it would do. Ghan strapped on his favorite Verpine holdout, locked up the apartment, and headed off to a new life.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 10:11:02 AM EDT by Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy »

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Re: Dar'buir, ba'vodu solus, gai bal Manda
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2012, 11:16:09 PM EDT »

Chapter Two
Cin Vhetin
Clean Snowfields

      Ghan's breath left all at once the second he hit the ground. He struggled to breathe as he picked himself off of the floor. Fighting a Mandalorian was not a suggested practice, especially when he was armored and you were not, but Ghan kept at it. Armed only with a traditional beskad, he again charged the training sergeant.

       Upon his arrival at the Citadel, the sergeant took one look at Ghan and told him to leave. "We don't take children here. True Mandos only. Go home to your nanny hutuune and come back when you can carry your helmet."

     Ghan flushed. At two meters tall and 120 kilos, no one talked to him like that. "Ne shab'rud'ni! I could carry you and your armor," he retorted to the sergeant. "Not only that, but I could disassemble and reassemble your armor in a minute, with my eyes closed, and have it work better when I'm finished." Ghan took off his helmet so he could show his face. A solitary scar ran down the right side of his face. "You see this scar? I got it when I was fifteen. I killed a Sith with my bear hands, and he still had his lightsaber. This cut was the last one he made. I saved my family by that action, and you can take your ideas to haran with you when you go after I finish with you."

     The sergeant was visibly rattled, but could not back out of a fight. "If you're as good as you say you are, you shouldn't need any armor then," he goaded Ghan. "You probably wouldn't use a blaster even if I handed you mine."

      Ghan dumped his armor and grabbed his baskad, charging the sergeant. After ten minutes of fighting, Ghan was regretting his decision on the armor, but the sergeant was wishing he had kept his mouth shut. Ghan's first hit had shattered the sergeant's holdout blaster, and very nearly his hand with it. The sergeant had taken the momentum of that hit to spin into a roundhouse kick that knocked Ghan flat, driving the air from his lungs. The sergeant jumped on Ghan with a gauntlet vibro ejected, but Ghan rolled out from under the blow. He landed a solid hit on the paldron of the sergeant's armor, nearly taking the plate off. The sergeant brought a knee up into Ghan's gut, then slammed his helmet on the back of Ghan's head. The beskad found its way between plates and ripped a gash in the mesh of the sergeant's body suit. Blood beaded on the thin scratch left behind.

      The sergeant fired an electric stun dart point-blank into Ghan's back. 50,000 volts jolted through Ghan's body, convulsing the muscles. The sergeant threw off Ghan's body so the sergeant could get to his feet. The sergeant landed a punch that dislocated Ghan's jaw. Ghan gradually shook off the effects of the stun and rolled onto his back. He kicked upward with both feet, cleanly removing the helmet of the sergeant. The red face of a Sith Pureblood stared back at Ghan. His training kicked in, preventing his shock from showing on his face. The sergeant capitalized on the momentary distraction to land another hit, relocating the jaw to another position. Ghan swung a last ditch attack to gain some time. The hit connected, leaving a deep cut in the chin of the sergeant. The sergeant activated his jet pack, and blasted Ghan back four meters. The sergeant aimed a gauntlet explosive dart at Ghan, but suddenly jerked and fell back. A shimmer in the air dissolved into the form of a female Chiss.

      "Udesii! Both if you stop right now before I have to stop you my way," the Chiss said. "My way generally involves knives and exploratory surgery, so I wouldn't recommend it. The name is Aay'han, and both of you are needed. I represent a faction within Imperial Intel that is not at all impressed with the Sith. I realize, Nobrin, she said referring to the sergeant, that your father currently serves the Sith, but any intelligent being could tell he does not agree with them. What I am proposing for you two is a job in Intel as deep cover agents. Ghan's last term of service with intel will force him to the Republic Military, but you Nobrin, will stay as you are-- a free-lance mercenary for those with deep pockets."

      Aayhan was interrupted by the sound of Ghan's jaw moving back to its original configuration. Ghan tested his jaw to make sure he had reset it properly before speaking. "Nar'sheb, dikut. You interrupted a lesson on manners, so if you'll excuse me, I have other business." Before anyone could intervene, Ghan had, with the accuracy that told of his medical and sniper training, thrown his baskad at Nobrin. The blade shattered Nobrin's chest plate into a small hill of fragments in his lap. "An old trick I learned from a poor, oppressed soul when I freed him. Don't look so surprised Agent, the force manifests itself in many forms."
The agent quickly gained control of her expression and addressed the two men. "You have forty-eight hours to decide."

      Ghan spoke first. "I am all for dumping the Sith, and most Jedi too, but they are the glue that keeps the galaxy at each other's throats. I will transfer to Republic Intel as soon as your spook crew makes my record appealing. Skippy here will need the work to buy a new set of armor, so he agrees as well."

     Nobrin nodded his assent, clearly thinking only about the Chiss messenger. She gave them their reporting orders, then activated her stealth generator and disappeared. "You need a new name for a new job tiny," he said to Ghan. "In true Mando fashion you shall now be Ghan'ika, since no one likes big gifts anyway."

      Ghan accepted the thought, chewed it over, and swallowed it. "So now we're supposed to go our ways and separate. Like that will ever happen. I hate your Sith guts, but I can work with you. Although you will need some lessons on the finer points of treating customers." Ghan looked over at Nobrin and grinned.

     Nobrin got up from where he had been sitting and walked over to Ghan. The two looked at each other for a long time silently before they clasped arms, elbow to wrist. "Cin Vhetin, ner vod," Nobrin said at last. "All is forgiven, let's go muun'bajir some chakaare and show them what it's like to mess with Mandos."
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 10:21:38 AM EDT by Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy »

Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy

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Re: Dar'buir, ba'vodu solus, gai bal Manda
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2012, 10:23:47 PM EDT »

Chapter Three
Family, Clan

          The holo shimmered to life in front of Ghan'ika. Aay'han appeared in the field. "That was some display you put on in the compound. I have heard of shatter point force techniques, but that was the first time I have actually seen it. But to business. You have been assigned to Republic Special Forces. A minor post was all that my contact could secure, but given your abilities, you should be able to move yourself to a better posting. You are to report to Bravo Company on Carida for basic training. From this point in, you are on your own, and are expected to find allies and resources without further help. I will contact you later when you have specific orders."

     The transmission cut out, and Ghan settled in for a long shuttle ride. Completely encased in his best armor, none of the other long haul passengers approached him. Two quiet days passed on the ride to Nar Shadaa, with the most exciting news being a scuffle in another tramp class bay. Ghan disembarked into the spaceport with the other passengers, and eventually found a taxi to the Promenade. A growing suspicion bothered Ghan almost as soon as he walked into the Promenade. It took all of his powers of observation coupled with the best sensors money and skill could install into his armor to pinpoint the source. A tallish being wearing a stealth generator was tracking him with exceptional skill. Ghan gradually drifted out of the crowds to a lonely platform. He spun quickly, catching his pursuer across the ribs with a stun bolt from his vambrace blaster. The stealth field dissolved, leaving a tall, red haired Zabrak female in its wake on the floor.

      Although the face was completely foreign, the tattoos were altogether much too familiar. Ghan ripped off his helmet and knelt down next to his stalker. He administered a stim to revive the girl.

      "Mirsh, are you alright?" Ghan asked as his sister slowly shook off the effects of the stun bolt.
       "If you wanted anonymity, you should change your armor a bit," Mirsh began. "Those orange sigils are rather distinctive."
      "So are the tattoos vod," countered Ghan. "How have you been getting along? You're almost 13 now aren't you?"
      "Yeah, been doing great. I've picked up a few new tricks since leaving Mirdala at the temple. Like that swoop bike over there, I could grab you one if you wanted." Mirsh and Ghan walked together for a while in silence before Mirsh asked the inevitable question. "So what's a guy like you doing on this side of the galaxy. There's still a war going on in case you hadn't noticed."
     "I'm not with intel anymore, remember? That little incident that got you and your sister off-planet put me on the unemployment list. I picked up the odd job with the Mandos, but now I'm Spec Ops for Republic Army. They pay better anyway, besides the fact that questioning absurd orders doesn't get you killed."

       The two siblings spent the afternoon together before Ghan's shuttle left for Carida. "Here's some credits Mirsh, you will need them before I do. I'll also mail you some parts when I can get to my cargo locker for those mods you keep tinkering with. I'll keep in contact with you if you can keep track of Mirdala for me. I should be free in a dozen weeks or so. Koyaci, vod."

    Mirsh returned the traditional send off, then disappeared into the crowds at the spaceport. Ghan checked in at the terminal for passage to Carida, and began taking notes of his competitors. A few recruits were clearly fresh out of Academy training, but most looked like veterans of many conflicts. Most had bits and pieces of personalized combat gear, but Ghan was the only one with a full set. Three men and a woman sat together in a corner, an entire combat squad headed to training together. The trip was nonstop, so by the end of it, everyone was well-attuned to many of the subtle gestures of the others.
    The recruits were welcomed to Carida by a full honor guard. The commandant of the training facility gave a short speech stirring patriotic fervor, to which the veterans paid no attention. The grand tour of the base came next, and Ghan noticed several of the veterans stashing gear in odd places. He took the hint and began dispersing his equipment throughout the premises. The fresh Academy grads followed the guides rather closely, keeping all their gear within a hand's reach. Dinner that night was served after the recruits had deposited their gear in their bunks. Ghan was quite surprised at the quality of the food, not at all expecting the lavish three-course meal that was prepared. He had almost forgotten why he had hated Basic Training by the time he has finished eating.

      An hour later he remembered. The recruits had returned to their bunks to find their gear replaced with Republic Issue grunt equipment. The bunks were labelled with company divisions and unit numbers. Whatever personal affects had been left on the bunks had disappeared with the gear. The entire barracks was silent, but that was soon broken by a deafening thunder of cursing that could only be the DI. The shortest, broadest human that Ghan had ever seen burst in through the doors, continuing his string of invective, and followed by his exact opposite. An enormous Wookie followed the DI. Whereas the DI barely reached 1.5 meters, the Wookie towered just under 4. The two probably weighed about the same, since the DI had muscles in his neck larger than most of his recruits' thighs, while the Wookie could have been blown away with a strong breeze.

      "Alright you maggots!" began the DI. "You have had your relaxing time, you all owe me 50 pushups for each plate you ate at dinner. Get moving!"

       The brigade dropped as one. As they finished their required calisthenics, the DI started up again. "I want 10 k's out of you. Now! You've had the tour, you know where the track is, get your hind parts in motion, or Karyysh here will move them for you."

     Ghan followed the rest out to the running course, giving a ten-count before he started after them. The course was long, only requiring two laps to complete the necessary distance. It was about the fourth kilometer that Ghan noticed the higher than standard gravity taking its toll on the other members of the training class. Ghan made it to the last kilometer before he really felt the effect of the higher gravity. He came in at the finish line a small way back from the front of the pack, with the complete squad and a few others finishing first.

      A different NCO pair was waiting at the finish of the course. It looked like trouble to Ghan, and trouble it was. The two were Nikto, and they introduced themselves as combat instructors. The training sergeants turned out to be quite good at their jobs, and in short order had the recruits improving in many areas. The hours turned into days turned into weeks, and training continued. The soldiers began to diversify in their training, many taking advanced weapons courses or defensive tactics. Ghan opted into a combat medic training, one of the few who didn't choose an assault course. His training also included a heavy weapons certification course, giving Ghan the necessary clearance to operate with assault cannons and explosives.

      As the training progressed, Ghan and the others who had stashed gear away began to pull it out so they could begin augmenting and modding out their gear for their combat role. Ghan was quite popular around the armory, as his clan had been quite well known in the armoring industry. Ghan realized that he was at this point completely separated from his family on Dromund Kaas, and therefore needed a new identity, a new clan. He continued to think on this as the training program closed down. Ghan could not forsake his past, since that had made him into the man he now was. At the same time, gar  taldin ni jaonyc; gar sa buir, ori'wadaas'la. Your past had little value, but the future was of ultimate importance.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 11:56:06 PM EDT by Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy »

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Re: Dar'buir, ba'vodu solus, gai bal Manda
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2012, 11:58:24 PM EDT »

Chapter Four

         This matter weighed heavily on Ghan's mind as he shipped off as part of a two-squad team to prepare the way for an assault on Xagobah. Ghan's squad was somewhat atypical in that two of the squad had no specific field of expertise. The fourth man was an enormous mountain of a man specializing in defensive tactics. The other squad was the three-man-and-a-woman combo who had spent the entirety of their training secluded from the rest of the class. The two squads were under Ghan's command, merely by the drawing of straws. A message icon blinked in the corner of Ghan's HUD. He opened the channel, noticing that by doing so, he was separated from the rest of his team. 

         "Suy'cal gar, vod," an accented voice came through the earpiece. "I have been informed that your team has come to my corner of paradise. I'm here cleaning up some loose ends for disgruntled aristocracy, so we may get to work together."

         "Nobrin! Glad to hear you haven't gotten yourself killed yet playing around in the galaxy. Hope you haven't had any run-ins with beskads since we last met. I can't spend my days patching up your armor."
           Ghan muted the helmet mike for a moment. He pulled off his helmet to address his team. 
           "Set up camp on the other side of that stand of trees. A local may be tagging along to help us out, so check before you put a whole through his helmet if you could please." 
          Ghan returned his attention to the helmet link. "Nobrin, where are you working at the moment? We could use a local to show us the touristy sorts of places. You think you could keep your bucket on for three days?"

       "Sure could. Turns out my loose end happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and has met with an unfortunate accident. I'll meet up with you once I can get into a more neutral set of armor. This Imperial suit is nothing more than a glorified body bag." 

       The sniper from the elitist squad, the woman, called out an incoming as the squads sat around eating. Ghan walked over to her position and looked through the macrobinoculars at the figure approaching. An outrageous shade of green covered the majority of the figure's armor. The only exception was the jet black helmet, all the more conspicuous because of the contrast. 

      "His left shoulder pauldron is loose. Shoot it off," said Ghan. 
      "Sure boss," the sniper rolled into a steadier stand and aimed her rifle with veteran confidence. Her rifle was a custom projectile model, with replaceable mods to convert it to a standard laser weapon. She slipped a single pellet into the chamber, paused for a split second, then relaxed. The only indication that she had fired was a surprised yelp from the earpiece in Ghan's helmet. 

       Invective poured from Ghan's helmet in languages as numerous as the decibels. Ghan put his helmet down with the neck up, and could still hear Nobrin. "What kind of stunt are you trying to pull? That shot nearly took my head off! You could've gotten me killed! I don't take kindly to being shot at by allies."

      "Udesii, vod. Maybe you should pick a different color, those plates don't match your eyes well; you should try pink, it would suit you well."

      "Nar'sheb! You're jare'la if you think you can get away with osik like that. As much as I like you, patience runs thin pretty quickly for getting shot without warning." Nobrin gradually calmed down as he got closer to the camp. He handed Ghan a badly crumpled neon green pauldron. "You're the only goran of note in the area. Fix it."

       "Strategy meeting while I appease our touchy friend here," Ghan ordered. "Nobrin, what's the target sight look like?"
       "Looks like two attacks would be best, but with lopsided split. Your Objective Cresh is virtually unguarded, but Senth is well-manned. I would suggest 6-3, with you and one other with me on Cresh."
         "Alright, you, Sard, you're with me. The rest of you hit Senth. We will move out at 0300 tomorrow. My team will attack first to draw off forces from the other objective. Once you see troops move out of Senth, that's your signal to move in. Synchronize chronos at 1900." 

       Ghan and Nobrin stayed up the whole night on watch, letting the others sleep up for the attack. The two caught up on recent developments. Ghan told Nobrin of Ghan's thoughts of a new clan, one that would embody his new life, while still keeping in mind his history. The two men discussed formalities and ceremonies. 
      "I think," began Ghan, "that no ceremony would be proper. Mandalorians don't hold to formalities like other folks. We're nomads. If someone decides to start a new clan, he goes and does it. If that someone is on a space journey or in combat, the only things that matters is the commitment of the a'lor to his aliit, and the commitment of the aliit to their a'lor."

       "You're right. I think you should be the aliita'lor, you have better makings of a leader in you. I'm altogether too much of a loner to be an effective leader. Now all we need is a name."

      "Vhett will no longer be an apt name, as farming is not what I see any of us doing. But whatever name we choose will need to wait until after this raid, since we are supposed to move out in an hour. Let's wake the others and go raise haran."

        The teams moved out silently. Ghan, Nobrin, and Sard took the main road toward their objective, intentionally sacrificing stealth for speed. They moved off the road as they neared the research compound that was their objective. This particular compound worked with chemical armaments, so special care was needed to knock it out. Once the team had a visual on the weapons plant, the three men spread out. Ghan went to the discharge area, hoping to effect a silent entry. Double clicks on the helmet comm told him the others were starting their attacks. Ghan placed shaped charges around the waste piping, then stepped back to blow them. The pipes crumpled silently, immediately spilling their contents into the surrounding terrain. Ghan pulled a chemical probe out of his belt to test the spillage. The scan came up green, no hazardous chemicals in the waste. Ghan sealed his armor and covered his assault cannon with a weather-proof tarp. He pushed the cannon in front of him as he crawled through the pipe. Ghan's atmospheric sensors told him the the density of the chemical effluent was increasing, and also that the pH was dropping. He could make out a viewing panel in the side of the waste channel. Two technicians sat at monitoring consoles, looking altogether too interested in what was running through the tube beside them. This was going to ruin their day. 

     Ghan used his gauntlet blade to cut a small leak away from the window. One of the technicians immediately noticed and moved away from his post. Ghan slid forward to the window and slapped a charge on it. The window blew out in a fantastic display, shattering into millions of shards and flooding the room with waste. Alarms went off all over the walls, and Ghan finally realized what the material was in which he had been crawling. Agar bilge was ankle deep by the time he had cleared the room. Ghan slid a probe into each of the computers in turn, ripping all the data off the system. The bulge was almost to the top of his boots when he overrode the safety lock that had sealed the chamber. The hallway outside was absolute chaos. No one noticed Ghan until the bilge spread out and staff began to step in it. They were screaming, but couldn't be heard over a new wave of alarms indicating power instability. Nobrin had hit his first objective. Ghan moved through the compound, opening doors and causing random failures in whatever systems he ran across. The facility shook with the force of an explosion, inducing fire alarms. Ghan and Nobrin met up outside the main research laboratory. Ghan resealed his armor and double-checked the seals. The warnings on the doors indicated nerve agents and other hazardous materials. Ghan blew the doors and both men rushed inside. Scientists were rushing to seal their specimens and protect their research. Nobrin threw a flash-bang and the activity stopped. Ghan dashed to the left, knocking scientists toward the middle of the room while Nobrin went to the right. The two men tied up the scientists, and waited for the signal from their third man. 

Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy

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Re: Dar'buir, ba'vodu solus, gai bal Manda
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2012, 11:59:37 PM EDT »

       Five minutes went by, then ten. Ghan fidgeted. As the fifteen minute mark came and went, he checked his weapon and went toward the front of the compound. The sounds of a firefight greeted him as he approached the outer gate. He could see what must have been the entirety of the security forces at the facility. They stopped firing just as Ghan approached. The scene was silent for a few moments. A few moments was too long. Ghan opened up with a grenade volley into the defenders' position. The surprise was forever frozen on their faces as Ghan mowed down their line. Ghan rushed through the gates into the face of another force of security. Ghan didn't think, his body in combat mode only continued, firing as fast as full-auto would allow into their ranks. When he could see the outer gate, his heart fell. Beyond the gate was a well-armed band of Imperial Army troops. Ghan could just see the armor of Sard in a pile of debris he had been using as cover. The Imperials at once opened fire, but Ghan didn't care. He charged into the oncoming sheets of fire, trusting his handiwork to keep his armor together. He reached Sard with little incident, although his armor was becoming more pitted with every bolt that struck home. Ghan ducked into cover behind the rubble next to Sard. Ghan could tell Sard was alive, but just barely. Ghan pulled his medical equipment out of his backpack and set to work as quickly as he could. An emergency medpack came out of the bag first, followed by several bacta stims. Sard slowly regained consciousness and slowly rolled into a sitting position. 

     "You stay still for a while. I will hold them off for a few minutes until you're feeling better."
      Ghan pushed Sard back down and repacked his medical supplies. Ghan hoisted his assault cannon and began to return fire on the Imperials. Energy streamed back and forth between Ghan's position and that of the Imperials. Ghan threw a grenade into the middle of the pack of Imperials causing them to scatter out of cover. The grenade itself was intentionally a dud, and its blood payment came from those who left cover into the ever-hungry streams of plasma from Ghan's cannon. Grenades came back at Ghan, but most went wide or long or short, deflecting off of the debris barriers Sard had erected. One grenade did drop into Ghan's makeshift bunker. Before he could react, Sard had rolled over on top of it. The explosion lifted Sard vertically even with the top of the barriers, but he had activated his shield in time to absorb the majority of the damaging effects. Ghan checked his helmet scans on Sard's condition. Shock already had begun, but Sard somehow was fighting through it. Ghan activated his helmet comm. 

        "Nobrin, we're in a spot of trouble back here, what's you situation?"
        "I've got all the data we need, as well as samples and test versions of most of the junk in here. I'm not a chemist, but this stuff looks pretty nasty. I'll come out and give you hand once I've disposed of these scientists."
         "Leave them. We don't need dead for the sake of dead. We'll lock 'em in and let the main force pick 'em up. Sard's in pretty sorry shape, but I can keep him operational until we evac. Can you get a sitrep from our other team?"
         "Got it already, they walked in, played around with some explosives and walked out. They found out the entire force had shifted to cover this facility right after we closed comm contact. You're facing the entire compliment of Imperials for this sector."
       "Call for evac on your way over will ya."

      Ghan ducked again as fire ripped over his head. He checked over Sard. The armor seals were hardly holding the plates together. Blood tricked out of an opened seal on Sard's helmet. That was bad. Very bad. Ghan tied several grenades loosely together so that they would come apart while airborne. He heaved them out over the Imperials. Five grenades blew apart over the Imperials, raining plasma and shrapnel into their ranks. Fires burned in the underbrush where plasma found no other targets. The smoke began to thicken over the scene as organic material burned into base carbon. Helmet filters could filter out most smells, but burning flesh was not one of them. Ghan stood up to have a better firing arc, and immediately was knocked down by a blast of a portable turret. His armor integrity was good, but the paint job was a goner. Ghan always found it interesting what the mind had time to notice and catalogue in the middle of combat. 

        "That's quite a racket you're making," came Nobrin's voice over the helmet comm. "Which way should I be running when I step into the doorway?"
        "Preferably, head to whatever side is not engulfed in flame," Ghan replied. "Since that will most likely be on the other side as where I am." Ghan extended a small camera over the edge of his bunker. The turret that had knocked him down was not fully assembled, which meant the shot Ghan took was a weak discharge of whatever power had been left in the turret's cells after its last use. "If you can hurry, you might be able to move in while they're distracted with a turret misfire."

      Ghan thought about what he might be able to do in order to disrupt the assembly of the turret. He rummaged through his utility belt until he found a special power cell. This power cell would send electrical discharge for a fair distance over a few seconds, which is all Ghan would need. He changed out the power cell and let loose. Electricity sparked across the surface of the turret and arced across to all nearby surfaces. The charge was quickly dissipating as the cell in Ghan's cannon depleted. Ghan was running out of tricks when the constant fire from the Imperials started first to falter, then shifted away from his position altogether. Ghan could hear bolts hammering against the walls behind and to the right of his position. He hazarded a glance over the battlement. Nobrin was standing in the open in his bright green armor, absorbing fire in his shielded armor. When he saw Ghan above the lip of the bunker, Nobrin activated his jetpack and shot three meters in the air. He unleashed a barrage of missiles from his armor as Ghan shouldered Sard and carried him back to the main gate. Nobrin wasn't finished though. Without dropping to the ground, he switched over to blasters and continued to rain death on the Imperials. His jetpack boost ran out, and Nobrin landed in a careful stance on the ground. He fired a few chemical darts at those that looked like leaders. Nobrin began backing toward the doors slowly, using his pistol to pick off the more inquisitive of the Imperials who had broken cover. Just as he was at the door, a Sith stepped into view behind the remaining Imperials. Behind the Sith were Imperials. Lots more Imperials. The Sith jumped to Nobrin, slashing downward with all the power the Sith could muster. The lightsaber skidded off the Nobrin's armor plates. A thin black line was the the only mark to indicate the path of the saber. 

        "Beskar'gam, Aruetii. You can take your shiny stick and go home now and don't let the gate hit your shebs on the way."
        "Insolent weakling! If you were truly powerful, you wouldn't need to hide behind the work of others' hands."
        "You can 'truly powerful' this!" 

        Nobrin flicked on his flamethrower mounted in his armor. A jet of flame sprayed into the face of the Sith. Nobrin slowly rotated his arm to spray the Imperials the had charged in behind the Sith. The flames reached over four meters out in front of Nobrin, catching two ranks of Imperials in the inferno.  Nobrin used the built up pressure in his jetpack to blowback the Sith into the ranks of blazing Imperials. Nobrin scrambled quickly back to Ghan. Ghan was working over Sardiscorinth, the injured trooper with all the skill and training Ghan could recall. Sard's helmet and chest piece were set aside so Ghan could operate on Sard's injuries. Nobrin resealed the gate as best he could, checking the ETA of their evac ride. 

     "Looks like you've got another thirty minutes before you get any medical help, Ghan. I'm not very good at putting things back together, just taking things apart."
       "He's got pretty serious concussive damage. Armor is great for keeping things out, but unfortunately it also rattles its occupant around quite a bit in a wild fight like that. I think I can keep him alive that long with what bacta and kolto I have, so long as you don't go and get shot." Ghan removed his helmet to wipe sweat off his face. "Do we have any help from our other team?"

       "Doesn't look like it. They headed to the exfil zone when they cleared their objectives. They should be getting picked up as we speak." The doors began to shudder under sustained fire. "Looks like our friends are back. What do we have for ammo?"

        Ghan and Nobrin laid out what they had left for ammunition. Ghan opened Sard's packs, but there was hardly any ammo left on him. Ghan selected two cells for his pistol and one for his assault cannon. He pushed the rest over to Nobrin. 

      "Keep them busy, will ya. I've got other things I have to look after."

      Nobrin gathered up the supplies and rearranged them in a more accessible pattern in front of the door. Nobrin worked a small slit into the side of one door. The doors shook with the impacts of the Imperials' bolts. Nobrin expanded his hole large enough to fire vambrace darts. These darts could be silent and deadly at the same time, which made them ideal for this scenario. It took a while for the Imperials to notice the gradual thinning of the front rank. The back ranks of Imperials were slow to approach the spots where comrades had silently been killed by an unseen enemy. Nobrin covered his firing slit with a strip of cloth and moved to find another firing position. He walked down the hallway a bit, but couldn't find any openings. He eventually found a stairway that led to the parapet walkway. He crept up the stairs and laid out prone on the roof. The Imps had sent a demolition team up to the door under the fire of their other ranks. Nobrin armed his last grenade on a timer and rolled it over the roof above the door. The det dropped silently over the lip of the roof and into the demo squad. No explosion followed. Nobrin inches forward and looked down. The grenade had landed where he wanted it to, but was a dud. The demolition squad hadn't even noticed. Nobrin hated to blow cover, but the only way he could be sure to stop the team was to dislodge their explosives. He fired his harpoon cord at the pack of explosives, but missed. He had hit the technician next to the explosives. That got his attention and that of the whole crowd outside the gate. Nobrin pulled his harpoon back, and was just as surprised as the technician when the harpoon pulled the tech up to the roof to Nobrin. Nobrin recovered quickly, removed his harpoon, and shoved the tech off.  The Imps focused their fire on the roof, quickly chipping away the edge of the roof. Nobrin scooted back on the parapet out of sight from the assaulting force. A  mortar tracer round arced over the wall and landed behind Nobrin. The next rounds were considerably closer, and Nobrin ran toward the stairs. Mortar rounds pounded into the roof and exploded, quickly eating their way into the upper floors of the gatehouse. By the time Nobrin returned to Ghan, the cacophony of crashing shells had risen to deafening pitch. Ghan was up to his elbows in blood and kolto. Ghan was finishing sealing up the incision he had made into Sard's ribcage.  

      "Had to take some emergency measures. Whatever round bounced him around inside that armor must have been something. I had to manually re-attach several ribs and brace the rest, but he will be good as new once our medevac gets here." Ghan checked his chrono. "Should be here anytime, actually. Life's a funny thing. We can't make it, we can't say what makes it work, but we sure spend a lot of our time trying to hang on to it. I can keep life in or push it out, but even I can't truly control it. Sard here should be dead, but something inside him holds on to the thin scraps of healing I have been feeding him."

        A low hum grew quickly into the shriek of an approaching aircraft. The gate shuddered again, then flew off its hinges as the techs outside set off their charges. Ghan immediately grabbed his assault cannon and burned out the charge into the ranks of charging Imperials. As fast as Ghan fired, faster still came the Imps. The bodies began to pile up and block the entrance as the charge ran low and eventually gave out. Nobrin stepped forward and spent the last of his fuel to set the piles of corpses ablaze. Ghan had already hoisted Sard in a rescuers' carry and was heading toward the research compound's landing pad in the center of the facility. Nobrin gathered the remains pieces of gear and ran after Ghan. The men reached the pad to see their drop ship lowering the boarding ramp. The sniper and one other of the other squad came out and knelt on the sides of the ramp to give cover fire to Ghan and Nobrin. Nobrin was the last to climb the ramp. He turned to the pursuing Imperials and gave them in easily understood hand signals what he thought of their attempt to capture him. 

       The ships's turrets came to life as the ramp sealed behind Nobrin. The engines strained against the gravity well, and then the team was clear. Nobrin went to find Ghan. He found Ghan in the med bay talking softly to a semi-conscious Sardiscorinth. Nobrin waited until Sard fell asleep then walked into the bay. 

       "How's he looking Mr. Dr. Sir?"
       "He'll be just fine with a little more rest. His constitution is extraordinary. I've never seen anyone recover this quickly. He'll probably be awake and fully conscious by the time we get back to base. But that's not why you wanted to talk to me is it?"

        Nobrin hung his head. "See what I mean," he grinned sheepishly. "You are perfect for aliita'lor. You can read minds and everything." Ghan smiled. "I was thinking about what you were saying inside the compound." Nobrin pushed forward with his train of thought. "You came up with the perfect name for our clan while you were tending Sard. Sheteshoy. Life. Fighting to live. Living to the fullest. Those already describe you, and I think upon closer examination, we would find there are many who would agree with us along those lines. This is us now, and many more tomorrow and after."

      Ghan was silent for a long time. "Gar serim. To the future! Gar shuk meh kyrayc! I hereby adopt you as the first member of Clan Sheteshoy. Ni kyr'tayl gai sa'vod darsuum. It's official. Vode An, brothers all."

Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy

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Re: Dar'buir, ba'vodu solus, gai bal Manda
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 03:29:54 PM EST »

Chapter Five
Vode An

       Ghan'ikavhett Sheteshoy leaned back in his chair. His desk lay buried under reports and forms. Ghan turned to the window behind the desk and looked out over the cityscape. A name change was not recommended in a beauracray, especially one as large as the Galactic Republic. Although the application and subsequent paperwork had gone through properly, the name change had cost Ghan his posting. The return from the Xagobah mission had been routine, with a standard debrief once Sardis had fully recovered. Ghan had been transferred out to this job on Coruscant for a purpose unknown to him. Two and a half long years had dragged on, with Ghan's requests for a combat deployment going ignored. Ghan chafed at his desk, always longing to be at the front with his former squads. Ghan had taken a trip to HQ to find out the reason for his removal from the active deployment list.  Nobrin had come with him, staying in borrowed trooper armor to avoid any altercations. Upon investigation, Ghan and Nobrin had found that when Ghan's name had changed, his combat record hadn't transferred. The two men had argued for days to try to get Ghan back on the roster, but to no effect.  Nobrin had finally left in frustration, and Ghan had not heard from him since. Ghan spent as much time as he could in the barracks with troops in between their deployments, but he couldn't wait to be out on the front lines again. 

      The past years had not been entirely unprofitable; both of Ghan's sisters had joined the clan. The one real joy of being on Coruscant was that Ghan could spend more time with his sister Mirdala, who was confined to the temple until she completed her training. Ghan had spent many days in the temple with his sister. It was this time spent together that convinced Mirdala to join the clan. Mirdala had never been much into Mandalorian culture, but she certainly valued many of the same things. Mirsh had joined in a heartbeat, and had disappeared just as quickly. She had dropped by occasionally to deposit things in the clan accounts, but she never stuck around long. Ghan had begun to treasure the time he spent in the temple. The Room of a Thousand Fountains was always so relaxing and peaceful. Mirdala met him there every week to discuss the events of the the week. The two walked through the pathways, talking quietly. Mirdala greeted her fellow Jedi and introduced Ghan to the newest arrivals at the temple. Ghan was in full armor today, his helmet clipped to the back of his belt. Although with his transfer to Coruscant he had been issued matte-grey armor, Ghan had kept his homemade orange helmet from his personal armor collection. He normally would have been in fatigues, but Mirdala had sounded worried when she had called him over. 

        "So what's on your mind?" Ghan and Mirdala had found a secluded bench and sat down. "You don't quite look yourself today." 
       "The Jedi Council has agreed to send representatives to peace talks with the Sith. This is the first I have heard of it, which means the talks have already commenced in all likelihood. I don't think the Sith will play fair."
         "You're right. This is seriously out-of-character for the dark council. I wonder if this is some Grand Moff trying to win some hearts and minds to sway public opinion. I don't see this being sanctioned by Imperial High Command, but they will capitalize on it nonetheless."
       Mirsh held up a hand to silence Ghan. "Wait. I feel something very wrong."
       "I have a bad feeling too, but that could just be my past experience with the Sith."

       Ghan sat still. He unclipped his helmet from his belt. The uneasy feeling in his gut grew stronger. He sealed his helmet and activated his comm channels. All of the military channels were quiet. Mirdala stood up suddenly and began moving toward the main hall. 

       "What's up?" Ghan grabbed his assault cannon and began following Mirdala. The temple shuddered, and Ghan stumbled. All of the sudden, the military priority channels exploded into activity. Ghan shut down most of the channels, keeping only the overrides open. 
       "We have a Code Red! Imperial forces have entered orbit, all forces deplo-"

       The comm channel cut out and static blasted over the lines. Ghan closed down the remaining channels and followed after Mirdala. As he got closer, Mirdala suddenly disappeared from his sight and scanners. Ghan threw that into the category of Jedi trickery, and moved out on his own. A dadita burst came over his helmet, and he quickly translated in his head.  'Mirsh inbound you have Imps out yer ears I'm pulling you and Mirda meet me behind the temple' Wonderful, that makes evac easy. Ghan rounded a corner into a security station to see an armored Mandalorian joyriding through the systems. Ghan barely got behind the doorframe before a jet of flame rushed out. He recognized the clan markings on the armor as Vizla clan, the clan that had betrayed Ghan's family back on Dromund Kaas. Ghan rolled a gas cylinder under the flames. The gas was a nasty corrosive agent that Mirsh had found somewhere unpleasant and had brought back for Ghan. The flame stopped, and Ghan swung around the corner with his cannon firing at full auto. The Vizla saboteur was  halfway out the door on the other side, sporting several sizzling patches on her armor. She turned quickly and fired a stun round at Ghan. He ducked behind the corner, but couldn't escape the blast radius totally, receiving a painful shock. The gas was still heavy in the security room, so Ghan decided that the Mando would be a score to settle later. He turned his attention to the rest of the temple. Ghan came out on the upper balcony of the main hall. An Imperial shuttle rested in the middle of the hall, and there was a massive hole in the entrance wall. Jedi and Sith fought on the main floor. Temple security fought with Imperial soldiers, both groups proving no match for their force-wielding comrades. In some places, combat revolved around two or three advanced swordsmen or force adepts, but most of the floor was a mass-melee. Ghan searched the crowd below for his sister, but couldn't see her. He saw three security men pinned down behind a collapsed pillar. Two Sith had seen them and were heading toward the pillar.  Ghan switched to grenade rounds and fired down on the Sith. They never saw it coming. A double explosion erupted underneath the Sith. The security troops looked surprised, but simply chose another target. Ghan watched a trio of Jedi rally against the Sith, only to be torn apart by what must have been the strike team leader, an enormous man who cut through the crowds unhindered by numbers or skill of the defenders. Ghan could only watch as clumps of Jedi were targeted and killed by this Sith.

      The floor shook under Ghan, and the balcony began to crumble away. Ghan rode the collapsing balcony down to the main hall and into a group of Imperial troops. Ghan dropped the lot of them before they could react, and moved on into the fracas. An Inquisitor hid in a corner, drawing deep on the Force to blast lightning at all who came close. Ghan fired off a charged volley, only to see the Sith deflect them back at him. The bolts knocked Ghan back on his heels. Ghan used his electrical discharge cell, but the Sith caught most of the charge on his lightsaber. Mirdala appeared behind the Sith, cutting him down. Mirdala nodded her head to acknowledge Ghan, then disappeared. Another transmission came in from Mirsh: 'Get out now fighters incoming'. Ghan looked up for a moment to see the Sith leader battle a Jedi to a standstill, then kill the Jedi the instant the Jedi made a mistake. Ghan could see a flight of Imperial fighters come in to strafe the temple. The Jedi that were still able to began to disappear into side passages and hideaways. The Sith began a wholesale destruction of anything standing, as well as finishing off any Jedi they found alive. Ghan backed into a better position and began fighting in earnest. A small group of Sith charged his position, only to run into a very unhappy Mirdala. Her double-bladed saber appeared first, cutting through two Sith before Mirdala herself appeared in front of the attackers. She showed exceptional skill with her blade, using one side to parry and entangle her assailants' blades and the other blade to attack and defeat the Sith. Ghan got up from his crouched position and motioned for Mirdala to follow him. Ghan ran toward the back exit of the temple with Mirdala following close behind. Ghan rounded a corner and ran straight into two Purebloods. One was clearly an older veteran, but the other was a young girl who was probably on her first mission. The veteran dropped Mirdala with a lightning fast pommel strike. The follow-through of that hit ignited the blade and the full strength of the Sith powered the blow into Ghan's helmet. Ghan staggered under the blow, but the beskar held, saving his life. The Sith didn't react at all to the ineffectiveness of his weapon, he only shifted his tactics, using the force to incapacitate Ghan. Ghan's helmet came clear, and the Sith brought Ghan's face next to his own. Ghan soon lost count of the scars on the Sith's face, as they all seemed to be connected and interwoven on each other. 
      "Listen to me soldier," the Sith spat out in a harsh, grating voice. "My son says you can take good care of people. This is L'chaim," he continued, indicating the young girl beside him. "She cares not for my way of life, so I want her to be trained as a Jedi. You are now responsible for her, and I will hunt you down if anything happens to my daughter. The only other thing you need to know is that L'chaim is more than capable to make her own decisions, so forcing something on her is out of your ability."

      Ghan noticed a flicker out of the corner of his eye a moment before the Sith turned on his heel and disappeared. The Sith reappeared almost as fast as he had gone. He crumpled to a heap fast asleep on the floor. Ghan snatched his helmet off the ground and crammed it back in place over his head. Mirsh dropped her stealth field and helped Mirdala carry the tranquilized Sith. The young girl followed without a sound as the group ran down the hallway to the landing pad Mirsh had appropriated for evac. Mirsh had found a hangar tucked away under a heavy monolith. Through the hangar opening, Ghan could see fires raging across the planet's surface. A shadow passed over the hangar entry. A stealthed fighter appeared in the entrance and landed. Two Chiss walked down the boarding ramp, completely unafraid of the gathered crowd. 

      "Ghan!" called out the taller of the two Chiss. This is Aay'han, and before you start shooting, my accomplice is my brother Racto. You are needed in the middle levels. The rest of your friends are free to leave, but you must stay and help your people. The Imperials must not get to the lower levels."

      Ghan barely had time to react before Mirsh and Mirdala had incapacitated both Chiss. "Let Racto go. He poses little danger to us. Take Aay'han with you, I know where to find you when I'm done here."

         "Don't go Ghan. We have the whole clan together for the first time in nearly two years. Let's pull out now, while we still can. You owe the Republic nothing, let's go," Mirsh said. She paused to let her words sink in, but Ghan was not listening. Mirsh reached out and touched Ghan's arm. Ghan shook her off. 

        "Release Racto. I've got to grab my ship anyway. Might as well thin out the Imperial payroll while I work. I'll meet up at the agreed rendezvous."

Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy

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Re: Dar'buir, ba'vodu solus, gai bal Manda
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 03:32:04 PM EST »

        Ghan turned his back on the assembled crowd, and without turning back, headed out of the hangar towards a speeder depot. He had gone about half a click when he heard someone approaching behind him. Ghan turned to see the elder Sith running to catch up. The Sith closed the distance much faster than Ghan would have expected, and the two were soon walking side by side.

          "You looked lonely," the Sith began. "By the way, I'm Nobrin's father, Scathelocke. I thought I would come help you get your ship back." Scathelocke flourished his twin sabers matched by an equally dangerous-looking smile. "I could use some exercise anyway."
          Ghan was a little put back by the sudden change in demeanor of the Sith. The Sith suddenly leaped to the catwalk above Ghan, dropping a lowlife that had strayed too far from his safe house. Scathelocke dropped back next to Ghan with the agility of someone many years younger. Scathelocke took off at a run, following the path Ghan had planned on taking without asking. The speeder depot was empty when they got to it, but most of the speeders were still there. Smoke was beginning to become a visibility issue as Ghan hotwired a multi-passenger hovercar. Scathelocke slipped into the pilot's seat, taking off into the smoke cloud.

        Scathelocke piloted through the smoke with exceptional skill, relying on the Force over gut instinct. The hovercar veered sharply to the left, and Ghan saw another speeder flash by his window. The smoke drifted in and out in patches as they descended into the heart of the city. Ahead, they could see an Imperial walker team street-clearing. Scathelocke pushed the speeder over in a tight barrel roll to dump momentum, and landed neatly several hundred meters ahead of the Imperial team. Ghan threw open his door and ran for cover. He found a squad of Coruscant Security troopers behind a collapsed tower. Ghan looked for Scathelocke, and saw him making his way up a level above the action. The security forces had deployed traffic barriers across the path of the Imperial team, and were in the process of assembling a vehicular anti-armor platform. The troopers looked up, relieved at the presence of reinforcements.

     "I'll hold the Imps here for a while," Ghan said. "You folks fall back a ways and see where else we can slow down our guests."
       "Yes Sir!" One of the troopers handed Ghan a somewhat bulky box. "It's an old style radio transmitter. Works under the jamming. We've got everyone we can muster in this sector in radio contact. Final stand is two klicks behind us. Hope to turn them back before then."

         "Where is the main thrust of the Imperials' attack?" Ghan asked.
           "Their main columns are advancing in this sector, over a width of about a quarter klick."

        "I guess I'll stay in the area." Ghan was interrupted by an explosion out in the street.
        "Mines, Sir. They're on us!"

        Ghan helped push the anti-armor platform out into the street. The Imperial walker fired instantly, rocking the platform back on its rests. The platform was shielded, so the Security officers stayed in cover behind it as their captain activated the turret. Ghan turned his attention to the foot soldiers, spraying blaster fire in an arc in front of their ranks, scattering them and dropping a few less-agile ones. Scathelocke dropped from a catwalk into the rear of the Imps' ranks. His lightsabers burst to life, even as he cut through the crowd. Faced with enemies in front and behind, the foot soldiers were quickly thinned, and survivors were captured. The walker and the turret were at an impasse, neither powerful enough to overcome the other's defenses. Scathelocke closed his eyes for a moment, and the walker began to lift off the street. The walker tipped over, and Ghan rushed up to the access hatch. The hatch was not difficult to demolish, and the crew were completely unprepared for a direct conflict. They were armed with sidearms, but only one gun cleared its holster before Ghan emptied a clip into the cabin. Ghan exited the vehicle to see Scathelocke putting on a swordsmanship clinic for the amazed Security officers. Rank after rank of Imperials were mowed down as Scathelocke floated through the street, engulfed in a red haze of whirling lightsabers. The security officers headed out to reinforce other positions, and Ghan began assembling supplies and salvaged pieces of wreckage with which to make a defensive line. A trio of Imperial fighters came into view at the far end of the street-canyon, strafing the buildings as they approached. A large, deceptively bulky freighter overshadowed Ghan then tore through the Imp fighter wing. One last dadita burst came through before Ghan's helmet went silent again. 'Your welcom c u at rv'

      Ghan slid a pile of debris into the street. He could see the head of the Imperial column approaching, marching in an impressive show of strength. Scathelocke used the Force to form a barricade of the fallen first wave. Ghan began unloading his armor pack and pouches. He activated his armor probe and attached it to his armor so that it could work autonomously. He reviewed his supplies in his head. He had enough ammunition to hold for about 20 minutes, more if he could rig a recharge station from Imperial parts. Ghan grabbed as many Imperial rifles as he could, pulling out their power cells and plugging them into a portable adaptor he carried as part of his kit. He loaded a depleted cannon cell into the adaptor to let it recharge. Ghan's custom cannon could hold the charge of six Imperial rifles, but generally did the work of 20.

     The Imperial line was just outside of maximum range when a young human ran out of an adjacent building and slid into cover beside Ghan. "Are you using all those rifles?" she asked. "If not could I use one? Mine stopped working after I busted an Imperial's face with it." The girl had Kiffu facial tattoos, and that put Ghan a little on edge.
      "Why don't you take some from that pile over there," answered Ghan. "I'll probably end up using all the ammo over here." Ghan had heard of the ability of Kiffu to see a portion of the past if an object was given, and Ghan had no desire to find out if those stories were true.

        The Imperials had stopped no more than a meter outside Ghan's maximum range, obviously sensing a trap when they saw the wreckage of the walker and piles of corpses. Scathelocke leapt from his hiding place on the side of the street, striking down a Captain in the second file of troopers. Imperials began to spread out, giving Scathelocke plenty of space in the middle of their ranks. He took two long strides into a large group of soldiers and executed a short flip, blasting a small radius of troopers with Force energy. Not pausing even to finish them off, Scathelocke moved deeper into the ranks, using his greater agility and speed to leave a string slightly injured troops. He let out another blast of energy, hitting all around him with powerful sonic waves. The Imperials were now totally focused on Scathelocke, and Ghan began pushing his makeshift cover forward. He could see in his HUD peripherals his new ally also creeping forward, but using natural cover with the ease of a lifetime street fighter. Ghan noticed some unusual attachments on the rifle she had chosen and was unsure whether they were her mods, or if they had come with the gun. Ghan and his ally finally reached a good range for engagement. Ghan threw a plasma grenade over the heads of the infantry, letting it explode in the air and spread out over a larger area. Scathelocke began herding troopers from the back closer to Ghan and his firing buddy. She fired a harpoon dart into the crowd of Imps, pulling an unlucky man over to her position. A vibro knife flashed and disappeared faster than Ghan could track, and the soldier fell limply to the pavement. A flurry of fire from the Imps dropped Ghan's inadequately armored friend. Ghan sent an advanced med probe over to her location. Ghan stood up and fired a volley of grenades, followed by a sweeping arc of blaster fire. Ghan tripped an overload switch on his assault cannon and laid down a screen of heavy fire as he raced over to his companion. Ghan knelt down and began administering first aid. Three bolts had torn through her meager chest plate, and another had charred a large portion of her leg. Ghan pulled some trauma med droids from his pack and set them to work patching up his companion. A blaster bolt screamed over his shoulder, and he ducked instinctively. Ghan rotated around and gave the advancing Imperials the business end of his assault cannon. Scathelocke began working his way back toward Ghan to give him time to work. Ghan injected his patient with an impressive collection of stims and adrenals to stabilize her condition.

      "We have to move out," Ghan called over his shoulder to Scathelocke. "Whoever she is, she did the Republic good service today, and I'm not losing her without getting her trained."

       Scathelocke nodded in approval. "You carry her, I'll keep your back mostly clear."

         Ghan lifted his wounded ally in carry more suited to an older brother than a medic, and ran his patient behind a building. He returned to the barricade where he had left his gear. He piled all the rifles he had gathered in a pile and left his spare grenades on timers. He lifted his pack into its usual position and ran to the corner. He again lifted his patient, and he and Scathlocke took off for the dock where Ghan had left his ship. Ghan made it about twenty steps before the sound of an explosion roared down the alley. Confident the inferno he left behind would hold up the Imperials, he slowed from a run to a jog.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 11:07:21 AM EDT by Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy »
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