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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:37 pm 
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He gasped for breath, his throat dry and raspy, and everything breath sent shivers of pain down his back and into his stomach. Had he anything in his stomach, he would have wretched. Instead, all he could do was dry heave as a vice clamped down on his head and threatened to force his brain out through his eyes. In some strange recess of his thoughts, he almost wished that would happen--it would have stopped the pain. As it stood, he gasped for air again, rolling over, too nauseous to care about the slime that could only be spittle and stomach acid oozing down his cheeks.

He pinched his eyelids shut, willing the pain from behind his eyes, just to be assaulted by a second wave of nausea. He'd never been this sick before--never. Suffice to say, even nights of drinking and no water didn't make him like this. At least then he had day-old ale to accompany the spasms in his stomach and throat. If nothing else, part of his survival training was kicking him, and kicking him hard: he needed water. He was dehydrated and dehydration meant certain death. "Hydrate or die!" The words floated up to him--appropriate, but strange. Even in his worse moments, Micus was somehow pushing him. He'd probably be there, too, yelling at him, standing bedside on his wedding night--

A third wave of nauseous brought him to a sitting position. He immediately regretted it, but fought the knives of pain working their way across his brain, eyes, and extremities. Everything hurt, as if he'd ridden a dewback for years, on his face and stomach, then been dropped, shoved, picked up, and dropped again. Keeping his gummy eyelids shut, he reached for the pouch on his belt--

Nothing.

Then it struck him: when he'd wretched, he hadn't splattered it across his face because--well, he had been dry-heaving... Yet, there was stuff on his cheeks and it hadn't splattered back on his face, which meant he hadn't puked while wearing his helmet, which meant he didn't have it on. For that matter, everything hurt because he wasn't wearing his armor.

His armor!

He all but tore his eyes open, feeling lashing coming away where they should have stayed, but he ignored it. He had to find his armor! It was all--

His desperate gaze stopped when he saw the dark armored figure watching him and the barrel of a black blaster pistol sighted on his face. The figure--the Imperial Stormtrooper--watched him with all the silent knowing of one too often accustomed to killing. If it wasn't for their past, the Imperials and the Mandalorians might be one and the same.

"You're awake."

It was only then that Saith realized he wasn't alone with the Stormtrooper and the pistol...and the cave they sat in. Off to the right, a shorter form of the Imperial stereotype sat cross-legged, the blue hue of the datapad in his lap illuminating the sharp features of the helmet he wore.

"It's about time."

The voice was the same one that had woken him...before... That familiar inflection when he spoke Basic--similar, but not as crisp or pronounced as Imperial Basic; rather, it was smoother and a little more...slanted, similar to Concord Dawn, and yet...

K'olar, Mando.

The way he'd pronounced his words in Mando'a had been...awkward, like he wasn't used to saying them. Or rather, like a youngster learning how to speak the father tongue, with all the funny pronunciations and strange form of childhood.

"You know, k'olar means 'come here'."

If the Imperial had reacted to his statement, he didn't show it.

The other Imperial--the one with the pistol--stirred a bit, his helmet moving only a fraction. To Saith, who'd spent his entire life around people in armor, it was more than obvious that this one was saying something over a private comm. He slid his gaze back to the cross-legged Imperial, still looking down at the datapad, but nothing--the fellow was unreadable.

"I no longer know the word for 'wake up'," he said after a while, never once taking his eyes off the datapad, and completely in Basic.

"And yet you know the joha'buir?" Saith asked in Mando'a.

This time the Imperial stiffen some, but played it off as he shutdown his datapad and sat up, turning his helmeted gaze directly on Saith.

"I know some." This also in Mando'a.

"And him?" Saith asked, cocking his head to the Imperial with the weapon, still in Mando'a.

He hesitated a long moment, studying Saith from behind those black goggles, probably calculating how much of risk Saith posed. Without my armor, not much, he heard himself grumble in the back of his mind.

"Nayc," the Imperial replied. Remaining in Mandalorian, "No one else in my unit knows Mando'a."

Saith felt his mood lighten, if only a little. Perhaps this wasn't as bad as he'd thought. Perhaps this fellow was a Mandalorian double-agent. He allowed himself a slight grin. "What brings you here, ner vod?"

He regretted the words the moment they left his lips.

The Imperial tensed with all the ferocity of a Rancor that had been backed into a corner. In a flash that Saith's splitting head couldn't follow, the Imperial all but leaped the few meters between them. He felt himself fall backward, thumping hard on the dirt, landing hard, but before he could react, something hard forced the air from his lungs and clutched at his air, pulling hard. The Stormtrooper was on top of him, on knee in his stomach, the other pinching his right hand down. The man's left hand yanked at his air, pulling his chin up to give a clear path to his throat. Only then did he feel the cold metal pressed against his neck, a razor edge pushing every so carefully against his jugular, and certain death.

Saith didn't move. Even with one hand free, he'd be dead before his mind realized what had happened. He watched as the black helmet grew closer until it was finally nearly pressed to his nose. A second passed like a century and two like a millennium.

The voice that spoke was so tense, it was hardly recognizable as being the one from before, whispered, full of venom; "Never...ever...call me your brother again."

Saith swallowed hard, the tip of the vibroblade all the more apparent with the bounce of his throat.

"Do you understand?"

Saith nodded what little he could.

For a long moment, the Imperial just stared back at him, and in those seconds, Saith was certain he'd sealed his own fate, but then the Imperial let go of his air and stood.

Saith didn't dare move, watching as the Imperial slowly released the fist in his right hand. With a sickening hiss, the vibroblade disappeared, sheathing itself above the Imperial's knuckles into what could only be a Katarn-class knuckle-blade, or the Imperial version of one. He'd seen them before, made all too popular by the stories of Jango Fett's commandos--Republic commandos. The thought alone made him sick. Mongrel half-Mandalorians, created to be unthinking, uncreative soldiers whose who sole goal in life was to serve the Chancellor, and then the Emperor. They looked like Mandos, they sounded like Mandos, some even spoke the language and pretended to be Mandos, adopting clan names, but they were nothing, disgusting decisions made out of greed by one of their own, a Lord Mandalore--a former Mandalore.

There were rumors that Boba Fett himself was one such half-breed. Not the seed, but the exact duplicate of Jango--

When it hit him, it the Imperial might as well have knocked the air from him again. If he was an Imperial.

He spoke the joha'buir, though badly, awkwardly...like a child. He sounded like own, that accent from Concord Dawn, so familiar, the same the Fetts carried.

"You're..."

The Imperial turned from what he was saying to the other, the other also standing, both hands on the pistol, barrel trained on him, unflinching.

"You're cloned." He said the second word as though it were a curse. He spat at their feet. "Mongrel, half-breed! What, has the Empire finally found some cloning cylinders? A willing Mandalorian traitor! Your very existence disgusts me!" The words echoed loudly off the cave walls, deep into the caverns beyond.

The two Imperials exchanged looks, something between amusement and confusion. Neither seemed very insulted or even bothered, but maybe that was just as it should be. If they were clones of Mandalorian stock, then they would know their existence was an insult to any true Mando, and they would accept it. And still, they didn't seem distraught, which bid another question: maybe they weren't clones. Maybe the one Imperial knew Mandalorian by chance and not be choice--he had forgotten certain words, and certainly didn't speak the language like a native, if only oddly. But, then, why had he reacted so badly to being called a brother? Even a clone would have been happy to have someone call him that, as an equal. It was an honor to be called a brother, a sign of trust! If anything, he should have thanked him!

All this flashed through his mind in the span of a few nanoseconds. All that time, the Imperials watched him--and the pistol remained trained on him.

He considered yelling at them again, if only to provoke a reaction, but he quickly quelled that thought when two more black-armored Stormtroopers--Scouttroopers came running from deeper in the cave, their blasters leveled at him, glowrod beams aimed at his face. He squinted in the bright light and considered his next move. He was unbound, unrestrained, blasters aside, but no armor. His eyes flickered around his immediate surroundings, but there was nothing--dirt and dust. It even looked as though they'd pick up all the rocks before laying him here, just to make sure he didn't have anything use against them.

So it came down at hand-to-hand--

The thought left him when he noticed the knuckle-blades on all of the Imperials, one on each hand. They were all sheathed, but one wrong move, and he'd be facing four angry Imperials, each with two vibroblades at the ready. That assumed they didn't blast him first.

A motion of the first Imperial's hand--the one that spoke Mandalorian--lowered the blaster carbines, and then, reluctantly, the pistol. So maybe he did have a chance at hand-to-hand--

"Mandalorian, I take no insult at your petty words," he said in that accent... "Perhaps to someone a little more weak-minded, it would mean something, but to us." He shook his head.

"I'm no Jedi," Saith found himself declaring. "I don't bother with weak-minded fools."

The Imperials all exchanged looks, again, their reactions somewhere between amused and perplexed. At this, Saith wondered who was the weak-minded fool...

"I let you live, Saith, because we have some use for you--"

"How do you know my name?"

The Imperial paused, clearly taken aback by the question. "You told me," he said, as though he were speaking to a child.

Saith's eyes widened as the memory came to him--so he had... Weak-minded--

"If you value anything, you won't do anything foolish like what you did a moment ago again." With that, he turned away, further down--or was it out?--the cave and started away, only one of the new Imperials following him.

"Hey, wait!" he shouted, standing.

The reaction to his sudden move was expected. Both pistol and carbine came to bear, and one of the Imperials gruffly ordered "Sit down!" over the audio amplifier.

Saith moved in compliance. "Hey, wait!" he called after who was very apparently the commander. "What the hell is going on here?! You kriffing bastard, what do you want with me!"


OOC: That first "shot" of the Imperial commando aiming the pistol as Saith was inspired by this all too familiar image.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:28 pm 
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OOC: ‘Cause SOCL yelled at me to post something new…

IC: Before I really registered what I was doing I’d pulled my blasters on the Jedi again. “You could have done that and gotten Igens across without a sound. Why didn’t you?â€

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:18 pm 
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OOC: Sorry about the extreme lack of posting. I'm really planning on jumping in soon. Promise!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:09 am 
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Great posts you guys. Keep it up. - Grand Moff Conway


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:40 am 
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Nice work, Tofu. The dialogue without marker is cool--a page out of Ernest Hemmingway's book, or less metaphorically, literally open any of his books and one actually has a hard time keeping up with speakers because he goes to a certain extreme. You strike a clean balance, Tofu. What's the bad? Well, I seem to remember a younger Tofu complaining about Timothy Zahn's use of "Delta Source" because of the word delta, and its origins in real-world Greek. So what about "bullshitting"? :roll: Did I manage to forget Mandalorians keep bulls, and understand the real-world concept of "bullshitting"? :roll: Of course, that would make a neat and somewhat humorous bit for a scene--as a way of explanation.

Mandalorian: "I was bullshitting."
Other: "You were what?" inspects ground for feces
Mandalorian: "It's a saying for stalling, or making stuff up."
Other (probably Runt): "Okay, so what's a bull?"
Mandalorian: "Think of a bantha, except..."

You get the idea.


I really need to post...

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:54 am 
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SOCL wrote:
I really need to post...

You need to post?!? I'm like a post or two behind you guys! *shakes fist at the heavens* Damn you uni!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:04 am 
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SOCL wrote:
Nice work, Tofu. The dialogue without marker is cool--a page out of Ernest Hemmingway's book, or less metaphorically, literally open any of his books and one actually has a hard time keeping up with speakers because he goes to a certain extreme. You strike a clean balance, Tofu. What's the bad? Well, I seem to remember a younger Tofu complaining about Timothy Zahn's use of "Delta Source" because of the word delta, and its origins in real-world Greek. So what about "bullshitting"? :roll: Did I manage to forget Mandalorians keep bulls, and understand the real-world concept of "bullshitting"? :roll: Of course, that would make a neat and somewhat humorous bit for a scene--as a way of explanation.

Mandalorian: "I was bullshitting."
Other: "You were what?" inspects ground for feces
Mandalorian: "It's a saying for stalling, or making stuff up."
Other (probably Runt): "Okay, so what's a bull?"
Mandalorian: "Think of a bantha, except..."

You get the idea.


I really need to post...


*Cackles insanely* Oh, I had hoped someone would try this, just so that I could prove them wrong! Just because the word bull can refer to a male cow does not mean that it always shall! Bull is a term for the male of some species, or the particularly fiercesome, and I took it to mean the Bull Rancor! Hah!
You have been anti-BEAKed! :twisted:

... Now somebody post something. I have the whole second half of this planned out in my head and none of the first half written, nor even the rest of this mission figured out... I just know what needs to happen.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:54 pm 
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OOC: Granted, Tofu. :roll: But here's my questioning: are you implying that the act of purging the body of solid waste material, for instance in the case of a Bull Rancor, is commonly used as slang for stalling or making something up? It's a purely real-world phrase in that sense, and more specifically English; I'm not really concerned about the animal itself. How do you explain a Mandalorian knowing a purely English-language slang phrase? :roll: I really think it's something worth exploring in a quick form of dialogue, even in throw-away conversation for the sake of having some believable, realistic dialogue like most people do. It's not plot important, but it would be Allston-esk humor: a quick, concise, throw-away joke.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:50 pm 
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OOC: Granted- but I'm not Aaron Allston. I've found that venerating someone too much and trying too much to write as they do limits one. Besides, there are several phrases that are only vaguely altered from English, such as "I get the holo." Also, we know that they speak English because A) We have the letter designations for the YVH droids and B) Nom Anor mentions a pun of the word "Drone" in Traitor while talking with Tsavong Lah.

Primarily I'm only refusing to do it because I know it will tick you off, though. :P :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:59 pm 
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*sits back with popcorn in hand*
Don't mind me guys, keep going - this is more entertaining than the RP!
*stuffs mouth full of popcorn*

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:40 am 
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OOC: Good logic, Tofu. I'll just let it go.... :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:14 pm 
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I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I'm undressing you with my eyes, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I'm still undressing you with my eyes, though, man alive, I hate you... I couldn't exactly help the stream of thoughts as it went through my mind, and truth be told, I didn't care to.

This Jedi woman, Omen, was practically forcing me to march point, though on the upside, she kept the heavy pack behind us suspended in midair, preventing me from having to shoulder it as well. I was surprised to see her taking that sort of initiative as few Hapan women I had met would consent to so much as look at anything that needed carrying when a man was around to pamper them, yet she wasn't so much as casting me a dirty look over shouldering the burden.

Then again, she wasn't exactly "shouldering" it, what with her mystical little Force, and I couldn't be certain that the dirty looks she kept sending my way didn't include that she had to carry a heavy pack. I'd only assumed that they had to do with the choice comments I'd made about the whole of the Hapes cluster, her ancestry (I'd particularly enjoyed that one), and the meddlesome role of the Jedi in this war.

I turned a corner and held up a fist when my helmet gave a soft ping within to indicate that one of more life forms were now within a twenty meter radius of us. It could mean that we were one floor down from where we would encounter resistance, it could mean that we were about to encounter it, or it could mean both.

I flattened myself against the dilapidated duracrete wall of what had once been a hall leading through old, dingy rental rooms that I was almost certain had looked just as bad six or seven months ago, before the planet was taken.

Keeping both blasters pointed in front of me (I'd never seen any point in aiming at the cieling when you were better off hitting something in the event of an accidental discharge) I swung around the wall and stared- into an old, under-cleaned refresher that appeared to have backed up some time ago. Apparently the life forms I'd detected were above.

Omen appeared behind me, wrinkled her nose, and said, "I can understand why you'd be afraid of that, really, I can, but it isn't about to kill you. Should I go get your mommy and-"

"Quiet." I breathed the word, but put as much menace as I could into it, the silent promise of protracted death if one went too far.

"Oh, is mommy gone for Krassus? Get used to it. You probably had a mother and a father for at least a little while, unlike some of the world."

I laughed bitterly. "Oh, I've got a whole damned family who's just dying to see me half the time." I pointed up. "Now, then, if you wouldn't mind shutting your fat trap, there's something up there that may or may not be friendly. If it's like Hohass-"

"Just call him Runt, already. It's much easier."

"If it's anything like Hohass told us," I repeated, stressing the humanoid's name, "There should only be Shapers tending to the roots. While disposing of them wouldn't be an issue-"

"There would still be the slightly suspicious residue of a couple of dead shapers with blaster wounds and lightsaber scarring, yes," she finished. "The only trouble is how, exactly, we get through unseen to plant whatever this is."

I nodded slowly. "Well, fortunately we don't need to leave it behind. A large backpack clipped to a root would be pretty conspicuous. So far as I can tell, the larger part is a fairly non-reactive chemical. Only a few things react with it, but when they do, they do so violently. This," I held up a small rectangular box roughly as large as the palm of my hand, "is chock-full of one of those things that reacts with it. The backpack drains the chemical into the building's system, where it gets mixed in with food and treated as nutrients, being stored throughout the body as the Vong-life equivelant of fat. If we need to get rid of the plant," I tapped the little box. "all we have to do is send some of this in. Instant fire wherever the other stuff is stored."

Omen looked at me skeptically, then shook her head, as if exhasperated when talking to a small child who was insisting that Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia had not, in fact, been brother and sister, but father and daughter. It set her black hair swaying in an almost hypnotising effect, back and forth behind her head and thin, gentle body. "Idiot." The illusion was broken instantly.

"This only works once the food's been stored as fat. This thing is hyper-matabolizing, growing as quickly as it can. The chemical will be broken down into its individual elements almost right away. Are all men this stupid, or is it just you and Runt?"

I smiled coldly. "Stupid is in the eye of the beholder."

"What?"

"You don't know how the Vong-life works. It hyper-matabolizes, yes, but it does so differantly from the life you're used to. Everything is converted to fat or fat equivelant as quickly as possible. That's then burned when it's to be used, thus it's actually making use of what it ingested yesterday rather than what it's being fed to today. Today's food is tommorow's din-din." I smirked. "Biology wasn't your best subject, was it?"

"The Force is life, biology is the study of life. I know plenty about biology, just more about this universe's biology than theirs."

I smirked even wider, even though it wouldn't show; I'd never had to constrain my facial expressions before, thus I didn't. "Reproductive biology in particular?"

Her eyes narrowed even farther, and I imagined that if not for the helmet, I'd have been slapped by now. I pointed to the old, no-longer-working turbolift. "Going up?"

OOC: Yeah, Krassus is a sexist asshat. He's supposed to be.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:31 pm 
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Good post Tofu, and the sexist stuff doesn't bother me, though I don't consider myself sexist.- Grand Moff Conway


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:18 am 
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“I didn’t think you’d come along,â€

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:50 am 
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