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Saga - PT Death Watch: The Journal of Praetor Ordo [DDC 2020] - Updated Weekly

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Volund Starfire, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 5, 2012

    Author: Volund Starfire

    Timeframe: Between 20 BBY and 19 BBY.

    Genre: 2020 Diary Challenge, Mandalorian, Death Watch, Journal

    Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Dave Filoni for his awesome rendition of the Death Watch and Mandalorian society (even if it was a little HATED BY EVERYONE WHO WEARS A T-VISOR in the beginning), Uncle George who gave us a great galaxy to play around in, Disney for keeping the sandbox open, and The Mandalorian for lighting a fire under my shebs to take this story on again!

    Author’s Note: This is my take on the events in and around the Death Watch story arcs as they are depicted in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This is my second try at this journal and I’m GOING to finish it. Additionally, some of the language in this story uses the Mando’a dialect. If you don’t know Mando’a, then you can either pick up on what it means based on context or there are a couple websites that offer translations.
  2. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 056: Kidnapping

    It all started about lunch time. Dal’buir was inside the house fixing the meal and I was helping jag’buir with the mine. He was inside the actual shaft because, as mother said, I was still too young to go down. So, I was outside waiting to throw the ore from the droid-pulled carts into the extractor to separate the iron from other ores and melt it into ingots. Beskar mining was still the one way we could make enough money to keep the lights on and food in the pantry.

    One of the droids, a repurposed astromech we called Red, was pulling a load out when the periscope hatch popped open and it started smoking. I went over to take a look, waving off the acrid smoke, and saw that the droid was completely nonfunctional.

    Buir,” I yelled into the open mine. I heard my father’s footsteps a few moments before he walked out into the light. He lifted his visor and let out a sigh as he looked at the poor droid.

    “You damn son of a kriffing di’kut… Drek!” he yelled before glancing over his shoulder toward the house. Dal’buir always chided him on his language around me. If she had overheard his cursing, he probably wouldn’t even get any haashuun for lunch. She said it was bad to curse in front of me in case I learn the bad habit. Little did she know, I used far worse language (Basic, Huttese, and Mando’a) with my friends in town.

    All was silent from inside our house, so he began to mutter more curses in a couple languages I didn’t understand as he pulled a tool off of his belt and removed the droid’s head.

    Ad, go into the shed and get the spare droid motivator. It should be in the back on the middle shelf.”

    Elek, jag’buir,” I said before turning and running to the shed. I looked on the shelf he said it was supposed to be on, but didn’t find it. I knew I’d probably be punished if I came out of the shed without locating the part, especially with the dush mood he was in, so I kept looking. I finally found it tucked inside the fourth toolbox I upended.

    I was about to unbury myself from the mess I had made when I froze. I heard the unmistakable sound of a speeder approaching. Besides the low whine of a landspeeder, I heard the higher pitch of a couple speeder bikes. A moment later, I detected the low rumble of a sen’tra. I’d only ever seen jetpacks in town, but the sound was unmistakable. I launched myself over the pile of tools and parts to peek out the door at the new arrivals.

    There were seven of them. They were all dressed the same. They had blue kute with a dark blue blast vest over it. Their beskar’gam was dark gray along with their kom’rk and lovik’gam. Their buy’ce was also dark gray with light blue around the black visor. All of them wore jetpacks, even the ones on the speeder bikes. Each also had a pair of pistols holstered in thigh armor and three carried carbines, though one had the weapon clipped on his belt.

    “Why are you here,” father said. There was a hint of fear in his voice, but he didn’t show it in his posture. He was already standing and wiping his hands on a rag. His posture was relaxed, but his hand was also resting on the pistol holstered at his belt. “I gave tribute last season and the next tribute isn’t for another three weeks.”

    “We aren’t here for tribute, old man,” one of them said. “We’re here for recruiting.” The rest laughed at that comment, but then went dead silent. One looked up at the house and his finger dropped onto the trigger of his carbine. Father noticed that and closed his grip around the pistol.

    “I already told your boss, I fought for his father for twelve years and was rewarded with exile to this rock.” Jag’buir lifted himself up to his full height, his cybernetic leg creaking with the strain. “I’m done with fighting. All it ever gave me was dents to my armor and this leg.”

    “I never said it was you that we were here to recruit, old man.” The leader pulled a pistol and shot at the same time as my father. The blast deflected off of the leader’s beskar armor, but my father wasn’t armored. A smoking crater was all that remained of my father’s chest. He fell to his knees and looked toward me for only a moment before he slumped forward.

    Three of the strangers ran up to the house where I heard dal’buir screaming. There was more blaster fire and then silence. After a few seconds, I smelled smoke and heard things being thrown inside the house. The three walked back to the group, one shaking his head.

    The leader pointed directly at me and one of the armored men started walking toward the shed. I wouldn’t be able to hide if he opened the door. Father taught me the kind of sensors those helmets held. I was surprised they hadn’t found me as it was.

    “Maybe he’s in the mine,” one of the others said. The leader nodded and the group of three ran for the cave entrance. The one walking toward me stopped and turned back to his commander only a meter from the door.

    I knew it was my time to strike. Only with surprise could I hope to overcome the sensor package in his buy’ce. I burst out of the door and threw myself down at the back of his knees. They buckled the moment I hit and I reached up and dislodged the pistol from its holster. I shot once under the back of his helmet and hit his gauntlet with the grip.

    It must have been dumb luck because the rocket shot off his pack and blew up the deactivated droid that was standing near the commander. At the same time, the dead warrior’s jetpack thrusters activated. I rolled off of him, catching his arm and redirecting him in a spin at the mouth of the mine. I only hoped that his pack would explode when he hit, but saw it had beskar plates to protect it.

    I sprinted the short distance to one of the speeder bikes and leaped on. It rocked slightly under my weight as I pushed what I hoped was the throttle. There was no explosion from the cave, as I hoped there would have been, just a sickening thump as he hit the wall. By the time it registered, though, I was halfway to the tree line. If I could make it there, I could get to the primary speeder lane for town.

    I saw a blue ring of energy flash past me and immediately turned away from it. A second ring caught my right arm and I felt every nerve in my arm, shoulder, and the right side of my chest explode in pain before going numb. If I weren’t leaning forward, I would probably have been okay. Unfortunately, my arm went limp and I rolled forward off of the speeder. I hit the grass-covered ground and rolled.

    I didn’t think that I hit my head, but my ears were ringing and my vision was foggy. I was on my back on the ground and saw the five men walking around me. One of them had a tourniquet on his left arm, his coverall slashed under it where blood mixed with the circuitry beneath the ablative bodysuit.

    “You missed,” one said looking at another who was holding a carbine.

    “He’s on the ground, isn’t he?”

    “Yeah,” the commander said, pulling his pistol with his one good arm. I knew it was the commander because he still had the carbon scoring on his chest armor where jag’buir shot him. “Let’s make sure there is no more trouble for the ride back to camp.”

    I was looking down the barrel of the blaster when things slowed down. I saw his finger tighten on the trigger, and then a blue ring came out of the barrel. The ring hit my face and everything went white. A moment later, it went black.

    I woke up in the cramped hold of a land speeder with six other kids. I couldn’t see much in the glow of the dim red light within, but definitely felt movement. Three of them were unconscious, their breathing the only indicator. The other three were holding their knees to their chests, and one was crying.

    I don’t know where I’m going or if they’ll take my journal, but in case they do… Whoever you are that finds this, please help.

    I live on Concordia, outside Refugee Mining Center Tad’eta. My mother and father were killed. My name is Praetor, House Ordo, of Clan Ordo, I am twelve years old, this is my journal, and I’ve been kidnapped by Death Watch.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  3. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 57: Initiation

    I woke up and felt numb all over. The numbness was replaced with the stabbing feeling of pins and needles as if I had slept wrong on my entire body. I don’t know how long we had traveled. There were no windows and the only illumination in the cramped compartment came from the dim light indicating that the door was locked. I knew we were moving from the occasional change in the center of gravity during turns and the gentle pull of acceleration.

    Inside the transport were six other kids like me. One, I’d guess he was about nine or ten, was just sitting in the corner crying the entire time. The others were scared, like me, but also looking around at each other. After a while, the one kid’s tears dried but the sobs continued.

    “My name’s Praetor, House Ordo,” I said quietly to a boy next to me.

    “Drain,” the boy replied. “House Bratt.”

    “How did you get here?”

    “The seven of them kidnapped me from town. Someone yelled, but one of the guys with the carbine shot him. They threw me in here and stunned me. You?”

    “My home. They killed my buire. I think I killed one of them when I ran, maybe two. I don’t know.”

    “Impossible,” one of the other boys said. “Drik, House Gemungh.”

    “It’s not impossible,” one of the other boys said. “I’m Bum, House Shugg from roleta’shecu. My buir kyrayc one of them. Took his head off with her kad.”

    “I surprised one and was able to shoot him under the back of his buy’ce before I took a speeder bike and tried to run. I only saw five before they stunned me.”

    The boy in the corner looked up and said, “I’m Kay, house…”

    His sentence was cut by the whine of the speeder cutting out as the vehicle came to a stop. The red light turned green for only a moment before the hatch was opened and blinding light filled the compartment. The breeze was chilly and carried the smell of pine, dirt, and sweet sap. As my vision adapted to the brightness, I could see the low scrub trees from the forests outside the mining zone.

    “Everyone out,” one of the faceless warriors barked, waving his carbine to get us to move faster. I crawled out and looked back to make sure the other six got out, too. The little one was pulled out by the back of his shirt and thrown face down on the grass to the laughter of two of the other men.

    We were on the outskirts of an old strip mine. There was grass on the rim and shrubs clinging to the walls. We were led down a series of ramps to the bottom. I saw that the edges of the walls were rounded and smooth, speaking to its age. It might even have been before the civil war.

    In the bottom of the mine, there were about a hundred kids and about twenty of those strange armored warriors. The kids looked about my age with a very few older and younger. Though, I noticed that there were no girls. The warriors were the same, all jagyc.

    When we got to the bottom of the pit with the other kids, one warrior used his rocket pack to jet to the second tier of the mine. His armor was beaten and dented, unlike the almost pristine look of the others. I knew it took a lot to damage beskar once it was refined. He had a huge scar across his buy’ce. He lifted it off of his head and revealed a plate bolted over his eye in line with the scar. His hair was white and he had a sneer that seemed to never fall off of his lips.

    “My name is Ruus’alor Devin Farr,” he said. His voice was loud and echoed around the walls, drawing even the whimpering to a silence. “I am your Rally Master.”

    He looked around at us and spat. “You will follow orders without question or you will be shot. If you disobey, you will be shot. If you fail, you will be shot. If we are displeased with your performance, you will be shot.”

    He looked around at the frightened faces. I wasn’t scared, though. He made eye contact with me and I narrowed my gaze. I wanted to kill him, to kill them all for my buire. I saw him smile for just a moment before continuing his gaze around.

    “Are any of you injured?”

    There was a slight buzz of conversation before a boy not too far in front of me raised his hand. Those of us around him cleared a small circle, but I found myself uncomfortably close to him for the look Devin Farr was giving him.

    “I… I think my wrist is broken,” he said. He held out his hand. There was a purpling bruise around his forearm and his hand was bluer than it should have been. He cradled it back against his chest.

    Devin nodded to a warrior who walked through the crowd toward the boy. When someone wasn’t quick enough to get out of the way, they were backhanded or kicked. The warrior roughly grabbed the boy’s injured arm, causing a cry of pain as it was turned and inspected. The boy tried to pull away, but even that elicited another shout from him.

    The warrior let the boy’s hand go and started walking back to the edge, the kids in front of him clearing a wider hole for his passage. The boy had tears streaming down his face, but he didn’t make a sound. He just held his arm to himself protectively. When the warrior was back in his original position, he looked up at Farr and nodded.

    The older warrior smiled like a wild nexu, drew one of the blasters from his holster, and fired a single shot that hit the boy in the chest. The force of the blast flung him back into me. I didn’t move, only let his lifeless body fall to the ground. The smell of charred meat made me want to throw up, but I swallowed the bile back.

    “You are now Ge’verd,” Devin Farr announced, donning his helmet. “For those of you who do not speak the glorious language of our forefathers, and you will soon enough, that means you are almost warriors.”

    He launched himself into the air and hovered over us, quite a feat without the control from the helmet. I shied away from the heat blast from the thrusters. “Get them their uniforms, feed them, and show them where to sleep. Welcome to Death Watch!”
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  4. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 62: Daily Grind

    The slow ones were the first to die, followed soon after by the weak ones.

    It’s almost sickening how I am no longer even fazed by the deaths of others. We began a few weeks ago with one hundred and fifty kids, and are now down to just seventy-five. Most of them were killed by Rally Master Farr or his instructors; the rest either took their own lives or died in training.

    The training was brutal. We woke up and had too little time to deal with personal hygiene before being run out of the camp and onto the obstacle course. After the obstacle course, we ate a quarter portion while being given classes. After the classes, we were back on the obstacle course until our quarter portion lunch before technical training. After that, we ate a quarter portion for dinner and then were allowed to go back to our barracks for what little personal time we had. Most of us used the time to clean our clothing and gear, clean up in the fresher, and pass out until the next day.

    The camp was at the base of a strip-mining pit. It consisted of a series of modular arch shelters set up for various purposes. The largest was the command bunker that the warriors and Rally Master slept in. There were a number of barracks for us that held twenty kids each; we were reassigned as the numbers shrank and the shelters disassembled. There were a couple of other bunkers set up for an armory, kitchen, and some that none of us had any idea what they contained.

    There were two starships on either side of the base; Kom'rk-class fighter/transports we learned in one of our classes. There were also a row of speeder bikes, a couple of land speeders, and an Armored Assault Tank that was purchased from the Trade Federation. Strewn about the grounds were supply crates and moisture vaporators. Some of the crates were full, others were empty for us to use while training.

    The training was brutal, and I cannot stress that enough. Most of it involved an obstacle course set up around the lowest tier of the mine. We had to climb the steep wall to the tier and then run around the course until it was time to stop. Three-quarters of the kilometer-long course was just flat ground to run across; anyone who slowed to a walk was shot. The remaining quarter was the obstacle course.

    It involved climbing, swinging, crawling, and jumping across various hazards. A couple of kids were injured and shot, a warning to the rest of us to be more careful, according to the Rally Master. Those of us that survived were becoming stronger and quicker, though. As I said before, the slow were the first to be killed, followed by the weak.

    We all learned the benefits of our new uniform, as well. We were each wearing the same blue combat suit that the warriors had. In addition to the suit, we also had lovik’gam, or knee armor, attached to padded magneto-plates in the kute, which saved me more than a few times from injuring myself during falls. Each of us also wore positive-traction boots and grip-gloves. Those protected and aided us during the daily exercise, but also kept us warm during the down-time.

    The classes were a respite that we all looked forward to. Most of them dealt with teaching Mando’a to those who were not raised with the language. We also had classes related to the history of the True Mandalorians and the schism of the Supercommando heresy. I knew it was propaganda, but I paid attention during the classes to avoid being beaten or killed. My buir taught me all about the Death Watch movement and the battles that led to the exile.

    The technical classes familiarized us with the integrated heads up systems of the buy’ce. We also learned about the jetpacks, weapons, and vehicles that were primarily used by Death Watch. Every day we looked at a different item. We were shown basic maintenance and repair, but never how to actually use them. Oh, and we didn’t look at any explosives.

    At the end of the training day, we would be allowed to go back to our open-doored barracks. A couple of kids tried to escape during the darkness of skotah’ca and munit’ca, the short night where Mandalore eclipsed the sun and long night of the moon’s rotation, but they were killed before they got more than a few steps outside.

    The barracks were sparsely furnished. We each had a cot with blanket, insulafoam mattress and pillow, a wall locker for the small amount of gear and hygiene items we were allowed, and an additional blanket for the colder nights. The barracks held twenty of us and we all shared a large refresher in the middle of the bunker.

    Did I mention it was brutal? Because it was. Hellish, really. The entire thing. The first week, most of us cried ourselves to sleep. After that, we either stopped or walked outside the doors. I’m not going to die, though. I’m going to live long enough to see the entire lot of them taken down and killed, hopefully by my own hands.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  5. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 67: Target Practice

    It felt good to be doing something other than running the obstacle course as we had been doing for the past two months. It was not any less brutal, but at least was something different.

    The first morning of the training, after our classes, we were taken to the armory and given a set of thigh plates like the warriors wore. Holstered on each plate was a Westar-35 blaster pistol. Their sleek silver and gray bodies were heavy, but didn’t feel that bad when the thigh armor was magneto-sealed to my kute.

    One of the kids pulled his pistol out and immediately shot himself in the head, which caused some of the warriors to laugh around us. Another pulled his out and shot one of the warriors in the chest, which caused even more laughing as the blaster bolt struck the armored plate uselessly. It didn’t even deflect off. It was so low power that the energy dissipated on the beskar. The warrior’s full-powered blaster killed the foolish kid on the spot, though.

    The weapons we were issued were little more than target blasters. The boy that shot himself came to a few minutes later with major burns from the blast, but little else. The blasters were identical to those carried by the warriors in all other respects, though. They were now our responsibility and we were told that we would be punished severely if we lost them or failed to properly clean them.

    We spent a couple of weeks on how to aim and fire the pistols, since they didn’t have sights. Mostly, it was firing by feel and reflex, but we were also told it would be much easier when we received our helmets. Not that it stopped the instructors from beating those who were bad marksmen.

    We spent another week on dual-firing the pistols. It wasn’t as easy as it sounded, but was definitely more fun. I was one of the few that had a hit rate higher than 80%. For the last part of that training, we were all put in a group and told the last one standing would win. I wasn’t the last one standing, but I was in the top five. Not that the burn to my right shoulder didn’t hurt. One kid was hit in the head and lost an eye; he was still unconscious when the Rally Master finished him off.

    We practiced on the Westar-35 Blaster Carbines, as well. They were also under-powered, but were enough to kill if the target was too close. They had a greater range than the pistols and were more accurate. It was easier to sight along the length than the pistols. I think I was a little more accurate than others. I guessed this only because I wasn’t beaten as badly the few times I missed.

    Our other classes didn’t let up in the late afternoons. Our training on weapon maintenance got into greater depth. We were shown how to recharge the blasters while we slept, how to break them down to be transported without detection, and even how to repair damage to their internal components. Sure, they had plates of beskar on the body, but that didn’t stop a lucky shot from getting through.

    The last month a dozen of us were broken off from the rest of the group and began familiarization with a sniper blaster rifle. It had a much longer range than the carbines, precision optics and a bipod, but wasn’t Westar design. One of the trainers said it was obtained from Separatist supply lines.

    At the end of the marksmanship training, the Rally Master had us all form up into a group. He had me and two others separated from the rest of the mass, and had another three taken aside away from us.

    “You three are free,” he spat toward the other group. “Start running and make your way out of the pit.”

    The trio of stunned recruits looked at him for only a moment before he fired a shot at their feet, causing them to take off running for the ramps up toward the rim of the strip mine.

    “You three are the best shots here,” Rally Master Farr said. “They are the three worst shots. Prove your skill is justified by killing one.” He added, “or die,” as an afterthought.

    The first kid took aim and fired almost immediately. It was too quick. The shot missed by two meters over all three of their heads. The kid was dead before he even looked away from the scope, a smoking hole where his spine used to be.

    The second kid was more careful with his shot and caught one of the three in the small of his back. The sniper rifles were full power because the boy slumped forward while his legs ran two more steps before he hit the ground.

    I got down into a prone firing position, like my father showed me, and let the rifle rest on its bipod as I pulled it into my shoulder. Jag’buir showed me how to shoot the small game in the forest near the house; this wasn’t really any different. I just sat there, the target reticule centered on the back of the rear runner’s neck, and waited.

    I heard a warrior draw his pistol behind me, but ignored it. Likewise, I ignored the low grumbles of voice in an internal comm from Farr to the warrior that caused the pistol to go back into its holster. I disregarded the green light in the scope telling me it was linked to Farr’s heads up display. I just waited until the boys were in the right position, just like a pair of hartalopes.

    The only way I would be able to defeat Death Watch was by being the best. The only way that could happen was to give in to the training, the blood thirst, and the brutality. I lightly brushed my finger over the trigger until the blaster bolt flew from the barrel.

    I had waited for just the right moment, when both boys were turning to climb the last ramp to the edge of the pit. The bolt tore through the neck of one, taking out enough to put him down before slamming into the head of the other. Buir always told me I had a special skill with lining up shots.

    “Clean hit,” Rally Master Farr said before jetting off the landing and back into the main camp.

    My revelry was short-lived, though. He hadn’t even landed before the sniper rifle was ripped out of my hands and I was kicked for lying down. The sixty-three of us were run around the obstacle course a couple of times before technical classes to learn how to perform a more advanced maintenance on the weapons.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020 at 9:42 AM
  6. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 77: My First Revenge

    I can’t use my right hand very well, but it’s not too bad. Thankfully, I didn’t break it. I’m pretty sure that has more to do with the new armor on the backs of the gloves than anything else. It wasn’t much, but it definitely helped with the training we had this past month.

    Yes, we received a new piece of armor for our kits. Small tombstone shaped plates that mag-connect to the backs of our grip-gloves. They’re made out of the same light metal as the rest of the armor plates and painted the same dark gray as the thigh armor.

    Instead of more marksmanship, this month the ge’verd who survived were led to the raised gravel pit. The Rally Master was already waiting for us with his usual cadre of warriors in their identical armors. This group looked slightly more muscular, though.

    “Today, you will learn unarmed combat,” he yelled out to the fifty-three of us who were gathered on the perimeter. “Those of you who cannot will be killed.”

    We were broken into groups of ten with one extra kid in my group and two others. For the next week, we were taught how to throw proper punches, kicks, elbows, knees, and headbutts. At first, we did this against pads with the instructors demonstrating proper techniques on those who didn’t do it right. Every one of us was used as a practice dummy at least once. By the end of the week, I had the basics down fairly well. I remember training in some of it with dal’buir, but she didn’t beat me if I got something wrong.

    We next moved to wooden targets that were generally humanoid in shape. We were taught combos and how to properly aim our attacks, again with the instructors showing us the proper way if we didn’t get it right on our first try.

    The training progressed into having to break the boards. The first kid who tried broke his elbow and was killed on the spot by the Rally Master. The rest of us were much more careful. It still hurt, though. One kid dislocated his fingers, but we pulled them back into place after training was over. I ended up hurting my wrist, but it wasn’t broken, only sprained.

    We went on to match-ups against other kids. I lost a couple of fights, but won a few more. Some of the kids were getting brutal in their attacks, but I made sure to stay in control. We’ve all talked about how easy it is to give into the training and be as bloodthirsty as the warriors, but without the training we’d just get dead.

    After the match-ups, we were given instruction in how to use the butts of our pistols and the carbines as weapons, and how to include them into the combination of strikes. But the end of the training was the most surprising.

    One morning, after our run, we came down to the pit to find the instructors all had long sticks with electro-pads up most of their length and wider grips. We immediately formed up on our respective instructors before the Rally Master landed in the center of the pit.

    “One thing that all members of Death Watch must learn is how to fight jetii. They are the worst enemy of our people. Each of the instructors are carrying dar’kad'au. One touch by the training lightsabers will render you unconscious.”

    A trainer activated one of the strange weapons and the plates on the blade glowed to life with blue crackling electricity. He reached out and lightly tapped it to a recruit’s arm, causing the kid to let out a scream and fall to the ground, convulsing and wetting himself.

    “Don’t get hit.” The Rally Master jetted off and we were left with our instruction.

    Jag’buir had often told me about the Jedi. They were wizards who fought with laser swords. He said they were invincible, but that only the Mandalorians knew how to really kill them. I was learning just that for the entire week.

    At the end of the month, we were set into one-on-one matches against instructors in front of the Rally Master. However, I was more interested in watching the instructors than my fellow ge’verd. Mine always used his jetpack to jump and come down with a flying kick before striking with his stunstick. I thought I could use that to my advantage. I was the eighteenth to fight.

    My instructor’s first attack was a sweeping slash, but I didn’t back away from it. Instead, I stepped into it and threw a punch into the instructor’s elbow. I heard a grunt and the roar of his jetpack activating. At the last second, I dropped to the ground and hooked my foot around his ankle.

    It didn’t do much more than throw off his balance, but that was enough to make him go higher than he usually did in the fights. He came down with that same kick, his fake jetii’kad raised for a downward slash.

    I rolled forward and threw myself backwards. His kick missed and the force of my weight pushed him off balance. I turned and pulled at the maglock of his jetpack, sending it flying into the sharp gravel. He also wasn’t able to recover as quickly with its weight replaced by mine.

    I was able to bantha kick hard into the back of one of his knees before wrapping my legs around his waist. I grabbed the edges of his vest and jerked his neck armor against his throat.

    He dropped his weapon and started scratching ineffectively against the metal as it pushed into the neck seal. The Rally Master tilted his head a little and I stared directly into the scarred T-visor, picturing his one eye and the plate under it. I saw a slight nod and knew what I had just been given permission to do. I was glad to do it.

    Letting go of his vest, I quickly wrapped my right arm around his helmet and grabbed his left ear plate. My other hand did the same behind his helmet and found purchase on his right. Before he could get a proper grip on my elbows, it was too late.

    With a roar of strength and emotion, I pulled as hard as I could with both hands. I felt the vibration of popping from somewhere inside the helmet and heard the wet snaps below it. The warrior went limp.

    I stood over the man’s body, his head looking back over his right shoulder. The Rally Master nodded as I walked back to the edge of the pit with the rest of the kids. Everyone was silent, recruits and instructors alike. I wasn’t beaten for killing the instructor. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t beaten again for the rest of the month.

    Counting the one I killed when I was kidnapped, that makes two down.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020 at 9:43 AM
  7. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 85: Things that go Boom

    We were issued our belts and waist wraps today. The magneto plates of the belts are perfect for carrying some of the gear we typically use and it provides a little more armor around our midsections. The side plates also have an attachment to hang our carbines from if we need our hands for other work. We were not lacking in that other work this month.

    If I had to describe explosives work with one word, it would be tricky. If you cross a wire the wrong way, enter a code the wrong way, or drop a detonator the wrong way, you’ll just end. Sure, other people will see the explosion, feel the shockwave, and have to clean their armor and clothes, but you’ll just cease to be. Needless to say, we weren’t beaten as hard or as much during this portion of our training.

    In the beginning, we used inert blocks of clay with the detonators. We learned how to take down support braces, how to rig anti-personnel explosives, and how to wire-sabotage bombs so they couldn’t be disarmed. But later, we did the same thing using actual detonite blocks. I’m just glad that none of the other recruits were killed during this portion of training.

    Grenades were a little more involved, though. We began practicing with dud grenades, but the instructors made sure that one in five of them were live so that we didn’t get complacent. If we didn’t make it past a certain distance, we were within the blast radius. We lost eight ge’verde in the first week before we began throwing harder. After that, we didn’t lose anyone else.

    We’ve been having more freedom to move about the camp, but we were still only allowed to go as high as the obstacle course, and it was death to go into the command building without permission. Unfortunately, that was also one of our regular assignments.

    Each of us had to do two hours a night on the radio in case there was a comm from another Death Watch base. I never received one, but that didn’t mean I was just left alone. I’d get hit by warriors walking by, I’d clean up purposefully made messes, and I’d have to perform other degrading tasks. But, it’s also where I met her.

    Faytil was from the eastern mining zone, across the main city from where I came from. She was kidnapped like me, but her parents were alive and forced to work in the mines. She was too until about a week ago when she was moved here. She was restricted to the command tent, only able to go outside when the Rally Master let her. Otherwise, she watched the radio and cleaned when we recruits were training.

    We were told there were no girls allowed in Death Watch, but she said she wasn’t training. She was sent as a ‘training aid’ or something. Not even she knew what that meant. It didn’t matter to me, though. I liked spending time on my shift with her and found myself trading shifts with others to spend time more time with her. She didn’t seem to mind, either.

    The Rally Master noticed my shift trades and actually complimented me on my determination to be part of Death Watch. He didn’t know I was really doing it to see Faytil, but my beatings ended up being less severe after that. I just saw that as a bonus.
  8. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 88: The Freedom of Flight

    The training is getting a little more fun for me. I used to like piloting the family speeder when buir went to town, but I never imagined anything like what happened this month. The physical activities feel like they’re getting easier, but we’re still doing the same exact things we had before. The only difference is that now they added pop-up targets to the obstacle course and actual battle droids for us to shoot and attack in hand-to-hand while doing laps.

    We were given kom’rk, boot, shin, and cod armors to wear with our uniforms. The gauntlets were a lighter gray, like our knees, and the rest were a darker gray. We had a couple of classes on how to use them in both an offensive and defensive manner. I was able to get in a surprise shot on the instructor showing me. I nailed him right behind the cod. It was fun watching the puke squirt out from under his helmet. I didn’t even get beaten for doing it, either.

    The rest of the training was better. We were learning how to pilot the vehicles around the compound. I did okay on the landspeeder, but was only in the middle of the group of forty-seven of us. I did much better on the speeder bike, though. One of the instructors told me that I was a natural, and would only get better when I got my helmet. One of the other guys, who did best on the landspeeder, actually got to pilot the AAT through a target course. I was a little jealous.

    However, my favorite training was the simulator for the big transports. The Kom'rk-class attack transport was the primary starship of Death Watch. Besides classes on maintenance (which I didn’t particularly like), we got lots of time in the simulator. It was one of the buildings that used to be closed to us. Inside was a full cockpit mockup, including an inertial repulsor to give the feeling of movement.

    Out of all the training, I enjoyed that one the best. I liked it so much that I began using the simulator even in the evening off hours, even giving up some sleep to be able to fly a mission or two. I got really good at it. So good, in fact, that I was selected as one of the recruits to fly an actual ship!

    I walked up the boarding ramp and made my way to the cockpit. Before I got there, though, I heard a voice from the troop bay call me over. I found the instructor seated in one of the jumpseats, a series of mission drop chairs that could be lowered from the cargo compartment for dropping troops at a moment’s notice.

    “What do you think you’re doing, ge’verd?” He asked in an almost bored tone. He was absently twirling a pistol around his finger.

    “Going to the cockpit to begin pre-flight,” I replied. He didn’t even look up at me.

    “Nope,” he said and leaned his head back against the rest. “You forgot the first rule of piloting your own ship.”

    I thought I was dead, but the warrior just stood, spun his pistol one more time and slid it easily into his holster. He walked past me and motioned to follow. For the next ten minutes we went over a full external check of the ship. He seemed annoyed that I couldn’t jetpack up onto the wing, but otherwise spoke to me like a normal person. After that, we began doing the full internal check. Thank the Ka’ra that Faytil found a datapad with the manual for the ship and helped me study it when I pulled the comm shifts.

    When we got into the cockpit and it was ready for flight, I took a seat in the copilot chair. That’s the first time the instructor, who told me to call him Dush, actually hit me. It was just a light cuff to the back of the head with his palm. I looked back and he pointed at the pilot’s chair. I wasn’t going to argue.

    Five more minutes and we were skids up. It was the first time I had actually flown higher than a hundred meters. More than that, it was the first time I had actually been into space.

    Dush let me do my own thing, flipping the odd control when he needed to as copilot. Otherwise, he spent most of the time with his chair leaned back and his boots kicked up on the main console. He was the most laid-back instructor I had ever met.

    We went through some programmed courses, did some target practice in Kaiga Gorge, and he had me do some basic hyperspace calculations. It was all amazing and more information than I thought I could even remember.

    After landing, Dush and I performed post-flight checks and did some basic maintenance on the wing-spin mechanism. He said it felt a little sticky during the firing drills. I didn’t know what he was talking about, but I didn’t question him.

    That night, I spent the entire two hours of my radio shift telling Faytil all about what happened. I was so excited that I didn’t even realize I was using my hands to show her the maneuvers I had done in the sharp turns of the canyon. She noticed an instructor walking in and got scared that I’d get beaten for moving around so much.

    She grabbed my hand and pulled it under the table beside her as he walked by. I recognized Dush’s voice as he chuckled and walked into the barracks. After he left, she didn’t let go of my hand. It was strange because the moment she grabbed it, I felt like the temperature shot up about five degrees. My mouth also went dry and I couldn’t do anything more than just look in her eyes. Neither of us could even speak. Then, as if it hadn’t happened, she practically sprinted back to her room. I saw that her face was red under her blonde hair.