Beyond Hostile Forces (Force Heretic AU) [UPDATED!]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Thrawn McEwok, May 5, 2003.

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  1. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    Tahiri stood behind Lance in the shuttle?s cockpit, watching in silence as the Yuuzhan Vong ships in orbit around the ochre-hued gas-giant grew closer. Over the comm, she could hear the voice of a controller, but she wasn?t really listening. It was taking all her strength to resist the subtle pressure against her mind, the whispering voice that told her that true strength was only found through pain and submission.

    ?You were right about the yammosk,? she said, tapping keys, refining the sensor scans, focusing on the two massive Yuuzhan Vong battleships. ?Aboard the bigger dreadnaught. The Broken Heart.?

    ?Has it found you yet??

    ?You?re thinking that?s a good idea?? she asked, starting to sweat. ?I?m doing my best to hide from it.?

    ?I?ll deal with it,? he said, sliding out of the pilot?s seat, and reaching out to her in the Force. ?Relax. My guess is that it?ll just tell you how to dock the shuttle with the dreadnaught ? but if it realises you?re fighting it, we?ll have Yuuzhan Vong on top of us before you can say ?coralskippers?. The best shot we?ve got at getting anywhere is letting the yammosk do your thinking for you for the next few minutes.?

    She didn?t even have time to resist.

    Riina blinked, and scowled at him. He smiled, shrugged, and she remembered Anakin Solo.

    ?I hope you know what you?re doing, infidel,? she chuckled, sliding into the seat as they swapped places, and taking the controls. ?Now shut up, or I?ll probably try to kill you.?

    They both felt silent, while she let the yammosk take control, whispering course-corrections and calm certainty. She tried not to think about anything else, letting the war coordinator?s thoughts guide her. Trying not think about the fact that she was betraying her people.

    She wondered why, memories of Anakin muddling in her mind with the very real awareness that Lance was standing at her shoulder.

    ?Dreadnaught Broken Heart,? she heard herself say, realising that she had opened a comm frequency to the big battleship. ?I am Riina of domain Kwaad. I have escaped from the infidels at N?zoth, and I have come to rejoin you.?

    ?Welcome, Riina Kwaad,? came back the answer. ?This is Subaltern Phleg Mhak, aboard the Broken Heart. Your arrival has been anticipated. The yammosk will guide you from here, if you are able??

    ?I am,? she acknowledged.

    She opened her mind to the gravitic voice of the war coordinator, and flew on.
  2. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    The shuttle ? a sleek, white-hulled Kuati design ? glided through the grav-shield, wings folding elegantly back as it settled on the deck. The ramp slid to the deck, and the company-strength honour guard of black-armoured Hapan warriors snapped to attention.

    Tenel Ka watched in silence as a man stepped down the ramp, wearing the dark, hooded robe of a high-ranking traveller, and flanked by four other figures in Consortium Navy combat armour.

    ?Come on,? Hazer clicked, with a friendly smile. For a moment, she hesitated, but to emphasise the Commander?s words, a trooper jabbed the muzzle of his carbine, and she took two steps forwards.

    She moved with wounded pride, still numb from the bolt, and the betrayal. A trained Jedi Knight could put up some resistance to the mind-scambling effects of a Gun of Command, but all that meant was that she could think about disobeying ? and wonder if it wouldn?t have been better to have been zapped into a state of catatonic ignorance.

    Beneath the heavy cowl of the visitor?s cloak, she could see a firm chin, a cruel, curved mouth.

    Something wasn?t right.

    Ni?korish, Hazer had said. The name of her great-grandmother, the inspiration for a brutal but largely ineffective secret society, dedicated to her overthrow and the accession of her idiot cousins.

    ?Ni?korish,? the man nodded, with a faint smile. He had a clipped, slightly netuered Core Worlds accent, cold and polite. ?Hapes will be great again.?

    As they traded smiles, she blinked, and felt a tremor in the Force. The man in the cloak seemed to flinch, just slightly, but then Hazer?s commlink buzzed, and she could focus her attention on that, instead of trying to think about complicated things.

    ?Commander,? she heard, one of the bridge crew. ?We have a ship on intercept. Krayt-class. They?ve raised shields and armed their forward batteries.?

    ?What?!? Hazer hissed. ?Excuse me, Master Jedi.?

    ?Oh, don?t worry,? the man in the black cloak nodded. ?They?re with me.? Then, grinning faintly, he turned to the leader of his own escort detail. ?Subaltern? Commander Tsa?vai asked that you purge this ship of these scum.?

    Hazer?s eyes went wide with alarm, but the amphistaff came down too fast for her to do anything. As the warriors? masquers peeled back, the man in the cloak took Tenel Ka by the arm, and guided her effortlessly away, as though steering her through a soirée.

    ?Really,? he sighed, leaning comfortably against one of the shuttle?s landing legs and folding his arms across his chest, watching the slaughter with the same faint smile. ?Old Ni Chume would have been so disappointed with the narrowness of their vision.?

    ?Who are you,? she demanded, staring at him.

    ?Oh?? he asked. ?Like yourself, Jedi Djo, I am a humble servant of the Force. My loyalties are with the true rulers of the Hapes Cluster ? and indeed, of the Galaxy.?

    The thin smile twitched, and he pulled back his cowl to reveal a pale, scarred face, iron-streaked hair pulled back in a tail, and yorik-coral bolts through his temples.

    ?You may call me Hal,? he said.
  3. pregnantpadme Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2004
    star 4
    Hal? Who's Hal? Is he Sith? (*realizes Thrawn has put no Sith in this story yet*)

    Why is everyone trying to kill and (further) maim Tenel Ka this week?

    I love the dynamic between Tahiri and Lance. That is a fascinating thing to watch grow.

    I'm off to nap.

    I'll give better notes later
  4. SpeldoriontheBlended Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2002
    star 4
    Thrawn: Hmm... yeah, that's a Recon-X? [face_thinking]

    Aye... :D

    No - do tell? :D

    Um... I can't find my copy of the article, but I'll see if i can precis:

    Basically, some time before he got himself killed, he was in a dogfight and got shot up. I can't quite remember whether it was the actual bullet or just a fragment of plane, but something smacked him in the head and sliced into his brain. It basically damaged whatever part of the brain suppresses his natural instincts on an animal, so in certain situations he lost control. He was, at heart, a hunter, which was why he perused that guy so relentlessly even when it was such a damn stupid thing to do...

    Of course, between the time he got shot and the time he died he still racked up a ridiculous number of kills... :p

    Sort of sounds like how Druss the Legend bought it, really, 'cept The Baron didn't drive his plane into the flak guns... [face_thinking]

    Inevitably wearing a cape! [face_laugh]

    I've just realised where all his money for new investments comes from: advertising! :D

    [face_laugh] He's a Rogue!? :D

    Read Solo Command recently? [face_mischief]

    Her guards deployed automatically into a protective circle around her, silent as snakes ? wreathed in the faint haze of light from their personal shields, blasters aimed into the darkness that lay beyond. The belt-mounted deflectors were dangerous to the wearer, and not much use against energy weapons ? but configured as plasma firewalls, they could stop most Yuuzhan Vong grenades, and they were considered less dangerous if worn by a ring of guards, rather than the person they were protecting.

    Heh. Nice practical details on this - but then, it isyou...

    Just out of interest, do they use the shields like Spartans or Romans? :confused:

    (And I'm well aware I may have no idea about what I'm talking about here... :p )

    She had been raised on savage Dathomir, and she had served as a Jedi Knight since the start of the war, but after Myrkr, she was going to leave combat infantry tactics to the professionals.

    :p

    She whirled in wide-eyed horror, staring into the darkness, feeling panic surge through her ? and, in the Force, through the warriors of her guard detail ? as a tall girl in black armour, stepped into view in the corridor junction, uncoiling an amphistaff from around her waist.

    :eek:

    Now there are three of them? :confused: [face_thinking]

    She saw one guard drop in front of her, the blade of an amphistaff cutting effortlessly through his shield. Even before he hit the deck, the man next to him went down, knocked to the floor by the kinetic punch of a thud-bug volley.

    Heh...

    The gold blade of her lightsaber jarred against an amphistaff, and she grimaced, giving ground.

    Gold? I thought it was turquoise...

    The Yuuzhan Vong were hard on her heels as she skidded round another corner, but she dropped low, and smirked as she kicked out one booted foot across the darkened deck. The first warrior stumbled headlong across her outstretched shin, and she was up and into the rest of them before they knew what was happening, her blade switching from side to side, spinning in her grip. Black blood spattered her face, and she began to hum a low, dark Dathomiri hunting-song.

    :cool: I like... :D

    The blade flared in her hand, stabbing up beneath his kilt.

    The look on the warrior?s face twisted into a very human expression of agony and surprise, fading to emptiness as she yanked the lightsaber back out of her body.


    Can you blame him? :eek:

    Poor lickle Vongsie-pies...

    ?Commander,? she grinned, and lowered her guard. But even as her smile spread, her eyes dropped to the levelled Gun of Command in the other woman?s grip.

    Ah. [face_plain]

    ?Ni?korish,?she whispered, and pulled the trigger,

    Oh?

    Is there more, or just a typo?

    And... Vong, or Hapian?

    Riina blinked, and scowled at him. He smiled, shrugged, an
  5. Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2002
    star 6
    Tahiri rejoining the Yuuzhan Vong? Why am I suddenly reminded of Reunion, but in a more twisted, Thrawn McEwok-ish kinda way?
  6. Pelranius Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2003
    star 5
    Where is that imbecile Vorrik, anyways?

    I'm surprised that there are enough members of the Ni'korish left to pull off something like that.

    I gather that "Hal" is an OC, right?
  7. SpeldoriontheBlended Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2002
    star 4
    Well Valin Halcyon^Hal Horn doesn't quite fit the bill, does he? :p
  8. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    pregnantpadme: Hal? Who's Hal? Is he Sith? (*realizes Thrawn has put no Sith in this story yet*)

    Haven't I? [face_thinking] :D

    And, um... well, Hal is Commander Tsa'vai's pet human; we've met him already, earlier - beyond that, let's just say that you echoed Jacen's question to Vergere in Traitor rather nicely and appropriately... :D

    Why is everyone trying to kill and (further) maim Tenel Ka this week?

    Localized Zeitgeist?

    I love the dynamic between Tahiri and Lance. That is a fascinating thing to watch grow.

    As Tahiri said (or have we reached that scene yet - and wasn't it Riina, anyway), it has a very... tactile handgrip... :p

    I'm off to nap.

    I'll give better notes later


    [face_whistling] [face_sings] [face_loran]

    Blended: Aye... :D

    Och! :eek:

    Ja? :p

    [face_laugh]

    Um... I can't find my copy of the article, but I'll see if i can precis:

    Basically, some time before he got himself killed, he was in a dogfight and got shot up. I can't quite remember whether it was the actual bullet or just a fragment of plane, but something smacked him in the head and sliced into his brain. It basically damaged whatever part of the brain suppresses his natural instincts on an animal, so in certain situations he lost control. He was, at heart, a hunter, which was why he perused that guy so relentlessly even when it was such a damn stupid thing to do...

    Of course, between the time he got shot and the time he died he still racked up a ridiculous number of kills... :p

    Sort of sounds like how Druss the Legend bought it, really, 'cept The Baron didn't drive his plane into the flak guns...


    And so, we return to Snoopers... :p

    Thanks, though... yeah, that makes sense... "going squid"?

    I'll have to use that phrase somewhere. Whips, maybe... [face_thinking]

    I've just realised where all his money for new investments comes from: advertising!

    Stormtrooper-1 Corellian Whiskey?! :eek: [face_laugh]

    Read Solo Command recently? [face_mischief]

    Uhh... [face_thinking] :eek: :confused: [face_worried]

    Help!

    Heh. Nice practical details on this - but then, it isyou...

    [face_blush] :p Shush!

    Just out of interest, do they use the shields like Spartans or Romans? [face_thinking]

    Like in Dune? o_O :D [face_thinking] :p

    (And I'm well aware I may have no idea about what I'm talking about here... :p)

    You mean, is it a round hoplon for phalangites and heroes armed with thrusting spears and slashing swords, or a tall scutum for battle lines and tortoises armed with javellins and stabbing swords?

    Neither? It's a full-body energy-field... ;)

    The ones in the early ANH drafts were hoplon-shaped, though... :p

    :eek:

    Now there are
    three of them? :confused: [face_thinking]

    Huh? Um... no... not if I think you meant what you meant...

    This is just a Vong subaltern - I'm just doing my bit for equal rights... :p :D

    Heh...

    "Adapt or die"? :p [face_tired] [face_plain] [face_thinking]

    Gold? I thought it was turquoise...

    I'm sure it was gold in SbS. And turquoise clashes horribly with Hapan uniform... ;)

    :cool: I like... :D

    An, um, "Song of War"? :p ;) :D

    Can you blame him? :eek:

    Poor lickle Vongsie-pies...


    [face_laugh]! Yeah, that's the idea... :D

    Oh?

    Is there more, or just a typo?


    Just a typo - I think there was more in a draft, when it was just a blaster set for stun... but now, no - just that palimpset comma... ;) :p

    And... Vong, or Hapian?

    Hapan? Well, the Ni'korish are, anyway...

    :eek:

    No...

    Surely not...

    *Calculates in head*

    The age fits... sort of...

    But not much else does...

    Hmmm...

    :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Given previous remarks on the subject, and the name, and the distinguished age and the Force-strength and the fact that he/it's working with the Vong...

    Mebbe I'll form a coherent theory tomorrow...


    [face_laugh] I've just realised we were talking at total cross-purposes here! :eek: [face_laugh] :D

    :oops:

    Spike: Tahiri rejoining the Yuuzhan Vong? Why am I suddenly reminded of Reunion, but in
  9. SpeldoriontheBlended Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2002
    star 4
    Propper reply tomorrow - but no, we weren't... [face_mischief] :D
  10. SpeldoriontheBlended Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2002
    star 4
    Thrawn: And, um... well, Hal is Commander Tsa'vai's pet human; we've met him already, earlier - beyond that, let's just say that you echoed Jacen's question to Vergere in Traitor rather nicely and appropriately... :D

    [face_laugh]

    But...

    Hmmm... [face_thinking]

    Tsa'vai's even more interesting that I thought... [face_mischief]

    As Tahiri said (or have we reached that scene yet - and wasn't it Riina, anyway), it has a very... tactile handgrip...

    [face_laugh]

    Tactile? :p

    Second time I've seen that word in the last few days... :p

    Stormtrooper-1 Corellian Whiskey?! :eek:[face_laugh]

    I can see the headline now: WHYREN'S RESERVE SAVE'S ACE'S LIFE!

    Uhh... [face_thinking]:eek::confused:[face_worried]

    Help!


    Corran and han are never seen together, so Allston suggests that they're the same person... :p

    You mean, is it a round hoplon for phalangites and heroes armed with thrusting spears and slashing swords, or a tall scutum for battle lines and tortoises armed with javellins and stabbing swords?

    Neither? It's a full-body energy-field... ;)

    The ones in the early ANH drafts were hoplon-shaped, though... :p


    Not quite what I meant...

    Scutums (or scutii or whatever) cover the whole of one's body front on when held. However, IIRC, a hoplon doesn't - he grip is behind the boss in the center, and so when held it covered just the left of the body. Spartans therefore fought in lines, each man covering both himself and the man on his left with his shield. Bitter of a downer for the man caught on the right-hand edge of the formation, but there you go... :p

  11. SpeldoriontheBlended Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2002
    star 4
    I hope this thread is doing a Corran rather than an Elegos... [face_plain] :p
  12. SpeldoriontheBlended Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2002
    star 4
  13. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    Blended: [Reply goes here!! :cool:]

    Tell you what - you update a 'fic! :p

    - The Imperial Ewok
  14. Brett_Bass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 4
  15. SpeldoriontheBlended Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2002
    star 4
    Thrawn: Tell you what - you update a 'fic! :p

    I haven't got any WIP(OTB)s... [face_mischief] :p

    But yeah... as I said, I'm working on it... :D
  16. Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah, c'mon McEwok, this is your best fic. Be good n updte :p
  17. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    star 6
    [Brett, Spike, Blended: when I update, I update! :D :cool: [face_laugh] ;)

    Or, to put it another way - this is very definately a case of quantity over quality! [face_frustrated] :p]


    Striker heard the order to fall back crackle over his helmet comm, and he responded without even thinking ? a glance and a nod at Tripswitch next to him, the reassuring slam-click as he slotted a new magazine into his carbine, and then the two of them were drop-hopping backwards, spraying fast bursts of fire to cover each other?s withdrawl.

    Do these guys have any self-preservation instincts, he wondered, as the Yuuzhan Vong surged after them. The warriors were showing a worrying enthusiasm for the idea of rushing into a hail of blaster-bolts, and he didn?t think it was entirely to do with the protective properties of their armour.

    After all, they weren?t wearing helmets.

    But thankfully, when their shots didn?t find faces and throats, E-series carbines on semi-automatic had enough kinetic punch to knock their targets back into the body of the ruck behind them, and that was slowing the scar-heads some.

    ?These guys are crazy!? he said, his voice raised over the stitch of gunfire and the wild thunder of Yuuzhan Vong war-cries.

    ?You noticed,? Tripswitch remarked, stopping and sending a fan of fire ripping back towards the scar-heads, allowing Striker to duck past him and drop underneath the battered blades of the broken fan that blocked the tunnel half-way down.

    ?Ready!? he said, rolling across through the shallow puddle that sat in the gully of the tunnel, and coming up behind the blades on the far side with his carbine at his shoulder.

    He thumbed the trigger, and red fire lashed past Tripswitch. The Lieutenant paused to send a grenade spinning down into the choke of warriors, before turning and dive-sliding back through the fanblades to join him.

    In front of him, the grenade flashed smoke and fire in the darkness of the tunnel, turning scar-head snarls to very human screams for a moment.

    ?Objetct-lesson in shared humanity,? he whispered, sending more shots zipping into the shadowy smoke. But then the war-cry went up again, and the Vong surged forward, trampling their own dead and dying underfoot.

    ?Oh, great.?

    Then, as the Lieutenant snake-spun up alongside him, motion tripped at the edge of Striker?s visor, and they both glanced back to see Guardsman slipping down the tunnel towards them, his cloak shaded to the colour of dried blood in the rusty darkness.

    Where?s everyone else? he wondered, dropping another grenade into the underslung launcher and spinning it out along the tunnel.

    The Yuuzhan Vong vanished in smoke and fire and noise ? and then, just when he would have expected the blast to start clearing, and the Vong to start coming on again, the roar grew louder, turning into a rolling rumble of thunder, and the darkness of dust and smoke came rolling up through the blades of the fan, to wrap the two stormtroopers in night and shade their white plasteel armour almost to black.

    The tunnel ceiling had just come down on the Yuuzhan Vong.

    Raising his eyebrows behind his mask, Striker glanced sideways at Tripswitch, and then back at the red-armoured Royal Guard ducking down to a crouch immediately behind them.

    ?Blasting charges,? Guardsman remarked, with a surprisingly un-Guardsmanlike shrug. ?One of the Ewok?s ideas.?

    The three of them looked back down the tunnel in silence ? a silence broken only by by their own quiet breath, the even quieter whisper of their armour?s built-in computer systems, and the sporadic chink and dink of stone-sized chunks of ferrocrete dropping from the shattered ceiling to bounce down the side of the rubble pile.

    Then, they heard the groans of the warriors.

    Then, they saw more warriors coming, wearing odd orange-brown armour rather than the black or blue or red of normal warriors, with masked helmets and short staff-weapons in their hands. They moved across the loose rubble of the collapsed tunnel roof with a poise and conf
  18. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    Kae Kwaad smiled as he watched the white-armoured infidel warriors falling back beneath the latest wave of Yuuzhan Vong attack. The Chosen were fighting with brisk efficiency, each cadre launching a sharp, swift attack on a weak-spot in the defences of the enemy position, and sending the infidels and heretics scattering in retreat.

    It didn?t hurt that it showed up the Domain Choka warriors as over-eager idiots, either.

    In the, a sudden flash flared in one of the multiple images of the battle being broadcast by the villip choirs. Kae Kwaad snapped his attention up and over to the screen, and watched in growing concern as the Chosen who had broken through into the main chamber of the heretic warren tensed around the human boy they had found there with the Shamed Ones.

    The human boy was armed with a Jeedai lightsaber.

    The concubines massaging his body moved instinctively to ease the tension from his shoulders, their trained tongues and teeth punctuating the gentle kneading with quick kisses.

    But Kae Kwaad?s eyes remained locked on the image of the Jeedai boy.

    This hadn?t been something he?d expected.
  19. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    Nom Anor watched in disbelief as the young human walked towards the Chosen ? smiling pleasantly, moving slowly and calmly, with a nonchalant grace that looked far less studied and deadly than it probably was.

    Nom Anor?s gaze slid back down to the cobalt blade of the lightsaber he held low in one hand, and he had to wrench his eyes away, to look at the disarming grin on the Jedi?s face. Somehow, he knew that the Chosen ? and the battered refugees and heretics ? were equally hypnotized by the steady shine and the soft, singing noise.

    Then, still smiling, the man reached inside his robes and produced a slim chrome cylinder. A small second blade flared alive in his hand, barely a span and a half long from hilt to tip.

    But it was enough.

    The Chosen roared, and charged.

    Nom Anor watched in disbelief as the human backflipped away, and dropped back into a fighting stance. No one infidel could win against that many Chosen warriors ? not even a Jeedai.

    And then a war-cry screamed out of the darkness, and Nom Anor ducked instinctively as one of the crèchelings? kites sailed past his head.

    Parpa, Nom Anor thought, as the Ewok leapt from the back of the glider, sumersaulting backwards and rolling upright. But this was another Ewok, his fur lighter than Parpa?s, and he was wearing only a bandolier, a gunbelt with a sheathed hand-cannon at either hip and a nasty expression on his face.

    The Ewok grinned, twirled his blasters, and opened fire.

    ?What?!? he asked.

    ?Oh, that?s Major Kolot,? Parpa remarked, appearing beside him with a nonchalant grin. ?He?s a barbarian, and a Reb to boot. But he does have his uses.?

    Nom Anor shook his head, watching the Jedi parrying a tsaisi away with his lightfoil, backing the blade in his hands and slicing the warrior?s belly open.

    ?No,? Nom Anor groaned, as the Chosen dropped bonelessly to the deck. The human boy was holding off the bulk of the cadre with his twin blades, and now Parpa was strolling over to join him, while Kolot darted away towards the treeline, pausing every few moments to spin and send a snarl of blaster-bolts back towards the three who were pursuing him.

    And then Parpa pulled out his lightsaber.

    Nom Anor blinked, wondering just where the Ewok kept the thing, and then the blade came alive in his hands.

    ?No,? he said. ?I don?t want this to be real.?

    He was almost relieved when three more Chosen warriors spun to stop the furball.

    But as he watched, Parpa leapt straight up, spinning and striking out with his blade, slicing through the armpit gills of the first warrior?s armour, grinning as he landed back on the deck.

    Somehow, two élite Yuuzhan Vong warriors against a single Ewok didn?t look like bad odds. If anything, it was the Chosen who were in trouble.

    On the far side of the group, the human spun his blades, and sliced, then stabbed.

    More warriors dropped to the deck. Warriors, and parts of warriors.

    Nom Anor just stared.

    ?Go!? the human yelled. ?Save your friend!?

    Nom Anor didn?t need to be told twice.
  20. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    In her chambers aboard the Provoker, Nol Kheyanni watched in disbelief. Unlike most Yuuzhan Vong, she knew what Ewoks were. She knew what they were capable of.

    And she knew that they shouldn?t be able to speak Basic.

    Sighing, she flicked the villip over to another feed, and saw stormtroopers running down a tunnel, pursued by Chosen warriors.

    That was more like it, she reassured herself.
  21. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    Tripswitch dodged, fire kicking at his heels. Either something had gone very wrong, or else Guardsman had decided he wanted these guys coming up this tunnel.

    He ducked into the next passageway, and found himself next to a tall, ugly-looking Yuuzhan Vong.

    ?Ah,? he said, looking down at the blaster in his belly

    ?Don?t move,? a cold, filtered voice said ? and Striker was behind the Vong with the blaster, the muzzle of his blaster pressed against the side of the warrior?s skull.

    ?Having trouble, Lieutenant?? he asked, with a nod to Tripswitch.

    In reply the Yuuzhan Vong laughed. A very human laugh. And two more humans stepped out of the shadows ? a slim, fair-haired woman in non-regulation combat fatigues and a tall man in the battered armour of a New Republic assault regiment.

    ?Shoot him if you want,? the woman shrugged, with a smile that made Tripswitch grin behind his mask.

    ?You talking to me or him?? Striker asked, lifting his carbine away from the fake Yuuzhan Vong?s head.

    ?Lieutenant Arnjak,? the ?warrior? nodded, holstering the blaster. ?New Republic Intelligence. Do ro?ik vong pratte,?

    ?Yub yub, Lieutenant,? Tripswitch nodded. ?I was wondering when you guys would show up.?
  22. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    Nom Anor skidded into the open space, in time to see Nijna knocked to the deck by a crunching blow to the jaw, delivered by the tallest and toughtest of the group of ochre-armoured warriors surrounding her. The rest of the Chosen leered, following up their cadre commander with a series of sharp kicks. At the edge of the group, Boba Fett turned towards him, raising his carbine in warning.

    Nom Anor stopped in his tracks, and swallowed hard.

    The bounty hunter nodded in approval.

    Without taking his eyes off his trigger-finger. Nom Anor offered him a peace-making shrug, and nodded his attention towards the game of hammersac that the Chosen were playing with their prisoner.

    With my friend, his thoughts surprised him.

    Not, he frowned, that he was going to make a move to save her.

    Not yet, anyway.

    Surrounded by a circle of powerfully-built Yuuzhan Vong males, Nijna Kaan rolled onto her belly and tried to rise, lips peeled back in a growl, hackles rising. The Chosen laughed, and stepped back around her gesturing for her to stand up.

    ?On your feet again, warrior,? one of the Chosen taunted. ?We want to hurt you some more.?

    ?How?d I guess?? Nijna asked, rising into a crouch ? and grimacing as shocks of inch-long quills slid slowly from her pores, bristling on her shoulders and forearms. ?This suit you?? And then she seemed to twitch, and fired.

    Nom Anor stared in disbelief.

    Most of the darts simply embedded themselves in the tough hide of the Chosen?s armour, and they brushed them off brusquely. But several quills found the vulnerable eyes of the three warriors directly in front of her, and they clutched their faces in agony, tearing the poisoned needles out ? to the sound of raucous laughter from their comrades.

    ?Try again,? the lead warrior hissed, wiping away the blood from his eyes with the back of his bracer ? and behind his mask, Nom Anor knew that he was smiling.

    ?Okay,? Nijna snarled hauling herself upright ? and she flexed, a salvo of raw plasma errupting from her torso, taking out the entire half-circle of warriors in front of her. The cadre-commander didn?t even have the time to be surprised.

    Nom Anor dived instinctively for cover, pursued by a burst of blaster-fire from Fett, and hauled himself, snapping off several wild shots with his useless blaster-pistol. Fett flattened himself against the bulkhead inside the open hatchway, and returned fire, forcing the Executor to duck for cover.

    ?Am I hurting enough yet?? he heard Nijna ask, and chanced a glance around the corner of the cargo-pallet he was hiding behind as she turned towards the surviving Chosen, serrated claws errupting from her wrists, elbows and shoulders. Her face was twisted in pain, her lean body seemed distended by the pain, her stomach pulsing as the plasma-cannon buried in her belly spat fire into the ranks of Chosen, and she strode towards them, the muscles of her upper body twitching in ways that could never be called natural.

    Nom Anor stared for a few seconds, then rolled away and to his feet.

    Nijna Kaan was walking away from a pile of blood-spattered Chosen corpses, her tunic torn to rags by the blast of the triple-mounted volcano cannons inside her torso, blood bright on the complex aparatus of serrated blades which had sprung from her arms and upper torso. She swung towards Fett, but the bounty-hunter just nodded in respect, and hammered the lock-plate with his elbow, sending the hatch slamming shut in front of him. Nijna?s body-cannons pulsed, but didn?t fire.

    Slowly, she turned back towards Nom Anor, and they stared at each other in silence for several seconds, listening to the sound of each other?s ragged breathing, and the blast of Fett?s jetpack as the bounty hunter roared off into the star-strewn sky.

    ?You? see?? Nijna gasped, her chest heaving, glands and muscles knotting inwards and pushing the implants back to their concealed positions, long, deep slits puckering closed on her shoulders, arms and belly, leaving only narrow scars that blended with her caste
  23. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    Legate Dannar stared. Like most of Yuuzhan?tar, he was transfixed by the scene playing out in the holofields of the villip-choir in front of him.

    The two Ewoks were busy putting down the last of the Chosen cadre.

    Nijna Kaan ducked back into the settlement bay, followed a moment lated by Nom Anor. The ex-subaltern was better than half-naked ? Dannar fondly imagined crèche-mothers across the galaxy hauling away their children from in front of the emitter. He imagined them gawping in disbelief, in much the same way she was herself as she looked around the chamber at the neatly ?saber-diced Chosen, the two grinning Ewoks, and the Shamed Ones and heretics tying up their prisoners.

    Chosen prisoners.

    ?I meant to say,? Nom Anor grimaced. ?The Ewok wasn?t joking when he claimed he was a Jedi.?

    ?Leave it,? someone said, off-camera ? human, female. Not a voice his implants recognized. He filed it away in the appropriate corner of his mind, but there were already other things to think about.

    ?Jeedai!? one of the young Yuuzhan Vong was saying, as several others mobbed Parpa. Behind them, the tall human was dusting imaginary lint off his robes, a slightly tired smile on his face as he looked at the crèchelings and corpses, each equally oblivious to the other.

    ?Okay,? he sighed. ?We?d best get this show on the road. Yomin Lah, your people know what to do. Where?s Quint??

    ?I think the Guardsman was wanting to kill somebody,? Parpa grinned, as one of the young Yuuzhan Vong began to ruffle his hair. ?They won?t be long?.?
  24. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    Na?knai parried the sweeping blade, and kicked for the Imperial Royal Guard?s crotch.

    The man snaked and sidestepped, but it was all the opening he needed.

    His tsaisi whipped away from the blade, and a punch and a flick of the wrist send it slicing for the visor of the red guard?s mask.

    The blow snapped the infidel?s head to one side, tearing a deep scar in the plasteel of his faceplate. Na?khai backhanded his blade across his visor, its fangs raking the armour, and then he stabbed.

    The blade slid beneath the flexible plates guarding the Imperial warrior?s ribs ? not deep, but enough.

    ?Hah!? he snarled.

    The Imperial Royal Guard staggered, one gloved hand clutching the wound. His twin-bladed weapon was low and loose in his right hand, and the Commander of the Chosen switched his own baton-blade sideways, lashing up and out with it to disarm the infidel.

    He blinked as the Guardsman rolled the weapon calmly out of the way of his strike, then spun the hilt between his fingers, and scythed the lower blade ? slashing it upwards across his torso.

    The Guardsman staggered back two more steps ? wounded, blood seeping out from between the fingers clutching at his flank.

    But Na?khai was staring down at the the wound that had been gouged in his own vonduun crab cuirass, from left hip to right shoulder. In ten thousand years, no Commander of the Chosen had suffered the ignomy of such a scar.

    Of any scar.

    ?S-sorry,? the Guardsman said, standing up stiffly and snapping the blades of his weapon back into the haft. He stood awkwardly, the haft of his weapon limp and slanted in the loose cradle of his fingers. ?I guess that?s us even, ah??

    Na?khai just stared, his mind reeling. It had never even occurred to him that he could be humiliated like that ? in front of his own warriors, and in front of an audience of billions of Yuuzhan Vong.

    Then, slowly, he began to laugh.

    ?Really?? he asked. ?Is that the best the infidels can do. A lucky strike??

    ?We have our moments,? the Royal Guard shrugged.

    ?Are you sure your time isn?t past?? he asked. ?You?re alone, injured, and hopelessly outnumbered.?

    ?From a certain point of view,? the Royal Guard said. But it was barely an interruption, still less a challenge.

    Behind his mask, Na?khai?s face twisted in a scowl.

    ?And now, Guardsman,? he spat. ?You will die.? He turned smartly to the senior surviving cadre-commander. ?Kill him. Kill them all.?

    The subaltern saluted, and turned away. Na?khai glanced back at the infidel. With luck, he?d fall over in front of the ol-villip and be killed like an animal, rather than standing bravely until the blade came down.

    But he didn?t.

    ?Hang on just a moment,? the infidel said, fumbling to hook his weapon to his belt, then raising his free hand. ?I think there?s something youre forgetting here?..?

    Na?khai?s eyes narrowed ? and then he saw the rustle in the rubble scree behind the Royal Guard, the figures rising up. Stocky aliens with very big guns, in Imperial armour, grinning beneath the blast-shields of their helmets. Behind them, scout-walkers lumbered out of the darkness, their turret guns training on the Chosen cadre.

    ?Don?t forget us,? another voice said.

    Na?khai spun on his heels again.

    ?What?!? he demanded.

    The speaker was a youngish human in the robes of a high-caste infidel, armed with two lightsabers. But Na?khai wasn?t really looking at him.

    He was staring at Nom Anor, who stood beside him with one arm around the half-naked Nijna Kaan. Around them were a miscellany of well-armed infidels and determined-looking Yuuzhan Vong - and three Ewoks, one with a lightsaber, one weighed down by weaponry ? including a cadre-commander?s tsaisi on a Chosen bracer round his shin ? and one in the field uniform of an Imperial officer, with tac goggles pushed back on his helmet, and a colonel?s tabs on his cuirass.

    Just for a moment, the look on his face was one of pure disbelief.

    Then he turned, the glint of light off a shrouded sniper-scope sparkin
  25. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    The last move of the encounter was very quick.

    A troop of armour from the 327th Cavalry, and a full assault company of Ewoks from the 1138th Provisional Infantry Batallion went through the Yuuzhan Vong in with the speed and fury of a storm. The Wraiths and the veteran stormtroopers from the 501st just stood back and watched the fun.

    Fifteen seconds after Commander Na?khai was shot, the last Chosen warrior dropped to the deck.

    Quint Fax simply stood where he was, clutching the wound in his flank and feeling warm blood seep around his gloved fingers, letting the white-armoured Ewoks sweep forward from the darkness around him. The pain suggested that the wound was going to be sore, if not serious, but now he turned, very slowly, to look the direction from which the shot which took down the Commander of the Chosen had been fired.

    A slim, broad-shouldered human in a frag-patterned cammo-shroud was rising out of a sniper?s covert, cradling a heavy long-range rifle. Beneath the brim of his bush-cap, he was grinning.

    ?I was wondering where you?d gone to, Major Donos,? the Royal Guard nodded. ?You do realise that you just turned a point of honour into a bad joke??

    ?Ahh,? the Wraith officer shrugged. ?He?s just stunned. C?mon, let?s get out of here before he wakes up.? He glanced at the miscellanious group of Stormtroopers, Wraiths, Ewoks and Yuuzhan Vong who had wandered out from the bunker. ?General??

    ?I wish you?d stop calling me that,? the Jedi sighed.

    ?Yes, Supreme Ruler,? Donos demurred, shouldering his rifle smartly, and performing a slightly silly salute. ?Is that more Your Imperial Highness? taste??

    ?Oh, much.?

    Quint Fax grinned behind his mask.

    ?Outfought by Ewoks, Imperial stormtroopers, and a bad sense of humour,? Nom Anor muttered, looking at the sprawled Chosen, some of whom were twitching as the stun-shots wore off. ?They?ll never live it down.?

    Quint Fax just nodded at the ob-villip bobbing above the ridgeline, its eye wide as it watched the victors walk away from the battlefield, leaving the groggy survivors of the Chosen to tidy up their own mess.

    ?That,? he grinned. ?Is the idea.?
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