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Before - Legends The Old Republic: Family Ties

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Revanfan1, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    (Repost, more or less, of my broken thread.) Okay, this story will have a lot of spoilers for The Old Republic, so those who haven't played, ye be warned. However, I'll try to avoid retreading canon whenever possible, but there will be some scenes ripped specifically from the game.


    Seventeen year old Prudii Bralor jerked back as his rifle cracked. The shatual buck in the clearing dropped, and Prudii grinned behind the visor of his Mandalorian helmet. Lowering his hunting rifle, he walked over to the dead buck's side and examined it. Oh, yes, his family would be eating well tonight. Grinning, he slung his rifle across his back and picked up the buck.

    His father and brother, Dha, would be down in the field harvesting fruits, while his mother and adopted sister, Briika, were in the kitchen preparing the other fixings for dinner. As the oldest child, it was Prudii's responsibility to hunt. He walked out of the woods toward the field. He could barely see his father and brother above the vines of fruit.

    Suddenly, there was a rumble. Eyes widening, Prudii dropped the buck. That had been a bomb! Unslinging his rifle, he charged toward the field. Starfighters swooped down toward the field. Sith Empire starfighters! The Empire was supposed to have a treaty with Mandalore; why were they attacking? Prudii raised his rifle and fired several shots and the fighters. One shot pinged off a fighter's wing and it spun aside. The other fighters continued to drop bombs.

    "Prudii!" his father's voice came through the helmet. "Go to the house. Get Briika and get her to safety!"

    Prudii's eyes widened in fear. His four-year-old sister, Briika! He ran toward the farmhouse. There, he saw Imperial soldiers advancing. His mother stood in the doorway, firing at them. Two of them dropped. Prudii raised his rifle to his visor and fired, catching one trooper in the back. Several of them caught sight of him and turned. Prudii cut them down without hesitation. He ran inside the house.

    "Mom!" he said. "Where's Briika?"

    "Here," his mother said, holding the girl out. "Take her. Get here out of here."

    Prudii nodded. " I will. Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum."

    "Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum, Prudii. Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum, Briika."

    "I love you too, Mommy," Briika replied tearfully.

    "Go, Prudii," his mother said. "Run!"

    Prudii ran out the back door, carrying Briika in his arms. He dropped his rifle and whipped out his pistol instead, firing behind him as he ran. Shots bounced off the back plates of his armor and he groaned in pain. Briika cried softly, but she had been trained well–she did not panic. She just did as she was told and held tightly to Prudii's chest.

    "What are we going to do, Prudii?" she asked.

    "I'm going to drop you off with the neighbors and come back and help," he replied. "Hold on tightly."

    They were just over the hill when there was an explosion. Tears jerked from Prudii's eyes and he knelt, setting Briika down. He pulled his helmet off and looked back. Their home was in ruins. Even as he watched, starfighters dropped bombs on the field where his father and brother had been. Prudii's tears flowed freely, staining the grass.

    "They're all dead," Briika moaned sadly. "Momma, Daddy, Dha...they're all gone."

    A salty tear rolled into Prudii's mouth. "We'll survive, Briika. Dad told me where he hid his starfighter; no one else knew, not even Mom or Dha. Come on. We're getting out of here."

    Prudii would spend the rest of his life trying to avenge his family. But first, he had to care for Briika. He carried his still-weeping sister to the starfighter, and they left the smolders of their old life and their farmhouse behind.

    * * *

    Sixteen-year-old Dha's jaw tightened as he blasted down Imperial troops. He and his father were backed into a corner. Imperial troops surrounded them. Dha's father, seeming to realize it was hopeless, and no doubt thinking of what was best for his son, dropped his blaster and surrendered. Dha reluctantly did the same.

    The strike team leader walked into the tangled mess of vines. He was tall, wearing gray and black armor, and had deep red skin. Dha felt anger warm his dark cheeks as he realized that this was a Sith Lord. The Sith had signed a treaty with Mandalore! Why had they attacked the family? The Sith grinned wickedly.

    "You traitor," Dha's father growled. "How could you do this?"

    "My men needed training," the Sith said with an elaborate shrug. "You sufficed."

    "You used my family for target practice?!" roared Bralor.

    Dha's eyes widened. He'd never seen his father this angry. Suddenly, the Sith reached out with the Force and without decorum snapped the senior Bralor's neck. Dha choked out a sob as his father fell to the ground. The Sith sneered and walked away.

    "Come with me," he said. "You and you, kill the boy."

    The two troopers selected approached Dha. Fueled by rage, the Zabrak boy leapt forward, grabbed the first soldier's rifle, and smacked him in the chin with it. Turning the rifle, he blasted the second soldier, killing him, and did the same to the downed first soldier. Dha watched in horror as the farmhouse exploded, and he knew he had to get out of here fast. Sprinting for the woods, he barely escaped the bombs the fighters dropped on the field.

    His family gone. His life in tatters. Dha had but one choice. He'd take up the life of a bounty hunter, he'd make a name for himself and earn credits. And then, he would find this Sith and he would make him pay. His family would have justice. Dha walked to the nearest town and bought passage on a Nar Shaddaa.

    * * *

    Lady Arannia looked down at her eight-year-old son, Gareb. The young man was quite Force-sensitive, but Arannia refused to let her son be trained as a Sith. She would've given him up for training as a Jedi, but Phaeda, their homeworld, was on the edge of the Sith Empire's space. So Arannia was teaching him to keep his powers hidden.

    "Conceal it, don't feel it," she told him.

    Gareb nodded solemnly, his sandy hair waving. "Don't let it show."

    Arannia smiled and kissed him on the forehead. "Very good. I love you, my son." She put her hand on the hilt of her lightsaber. If the Sith ever came for her son, they would find themselves very sorry. "I always will."
  2. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013


  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wow! =D= Intense and riveting start already. =D=
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  4. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    Thank you!

    Chapter 1
    10 years later

    Prince Jasin of Phaeda was, as always, out among the people outside the castle. He took several hungry-looking peasants to a food stand and bought them a small meal. The castle would cover it. Jasin hated being royalty, not because of the fact that he was royal in and of itself, but rather because it escalated him over these people, and he knew he was no better than they. But for his parentage, he'd be just like them.

    "Jasin," crackled a voice over the comlink. The voice of his cousin, Gareb. "You need to come back to the castle, now."

    "On my way," he replied.

    Jasin jogged briskly back toward the castle. At the gates, the guards saluted him and Jasin gave a polite nod in return. He found Gareb, along with Jasin's brother Methic and their father, King Aros, in the war room. Methic looked bemused, but Aros and Gareb were downright grim. Settling in for the worst, Jasin approached the table, standing in between Gareb and Methic.

    "What's wrong?" he asked.

    "The Empire is going to attack," Aros said.

    "What?" Jasin asked in surprise. "We're a neutral world. They can't do that."

    "They don't care," Aros replied. "They will be here within the hour."

    Methic turned and stalked out of the room. Jasin frowned at his brother's back. What was that about? Clenching his fists, Jasin leaned forward on the holographic table. Phaeda had no navy, so the Empire needed only to come out of hyperspace and land its ground forces. There would be no resistance. No, that was unacceptable. Something had to give. Something!

    "We'll fight," Jasin said. "As long as I breathe, they won't breach the castle."

    Gareb nodded. "I agree. I'm with you, Jasin."

    "I will be in the throne room," Aros said. Jasin's father was ill; he would be unable to fight. "Do as you deem best."

    "I will. Be strong, Father. You must be strong, for us."

    "I will, my son. Now go, alert the guards. We haven't much time."

    * * *

    Prudii pulled himself out of bed at the first sound of the electronic buzz that awoke the recruits each day. He found himself face-down on the floor, realized he was only half awake, and stood grumbling. He swiftly pulled on his tan trousers and blue jacket, shoved his pistol in its holster, and strapped his rifle across his back.

    Sergeant Rakiya, a female Mirialan, stepped into the dorms. "Good, you're up. The rest of you slobs, on your feet!"

    The other troops groaned. "Yes, ma'am."

    "Private Prudii, since you're the first up, you can get your one-mile jog done."

    He saluted. "Yes, ma'am!"

    He was used to running a long ways. Back on Mandalore, before he'd joined the Republic, he'd gone for a jog daily twice as long in search for animals he could bring back for dinner, and even done it in full Mandalorian armor. This was nothing.

    As he jogged, he thought about his sister, Briika; his only surviving family that he knew of. Now sixteen, Briika was living as a second mate aboard a merchant trader's ship, and Prudii made sure to keep in constant contact. She was, so far, enjoying the experience, though they missed each other madly. Prudii promised to meet up with her when he was on furlough from the army.

    He finished his jog and got back to the base camp with only light beads of sweat forming around his cranial horns. He grinned, ran a hand through the thin strip of hair on the top of his head, and stood at attention as Sergeant Rakiya approached.

    "Good job," she said with a smile. "The next-fastest trooper is coming up right behind you."

    Prudii crossed his arms and turned to watch. A human female with stringy red hair and a cybernetic on her left jaw came into the camp, panting for breath, but just barely.

    "Good work, Private," said Rakiya. "Prudii, this is Private Eryn, codename Plasma-Torch. She's our techie."

    "Good to meet you, Private," Prudii said. "I'm Prudii."

    "Good to meet you."

    "All right, head for the mess," Rakiya said. "Firing range after."

    "Yes, ma'am!"

    * * *

    Prudii raised his rifle to his shoulder, lined it up on the holographic targets head, and prepared to fire. He glanced around. Plasma-Torch was two rows down, her rifle readied in a similarly professional fashion. Another trooper, a male with short blonde hair and blue eyes, also appeared to have previous training.

    No matter. Prudii would be better.

    "Ready," said Sgt. Rakiya. "!"

    Several troops made the mistake of opening up on full auto. Prudii shook his head and took a single shot at the holo's head. It hit cleanly. He fired again. Again. Every one was a headshot. At the end of the five-minute round, Rakiya called a ceasefire.

    "Private Prudii, well done," she said. "You scored the highest. Second was Plasma-Torch, and third was Private Jonsen."

    The blonde-haired man grinned and slung his rifle over his shoulder.

    Prudii nodded. "Thank you, ma'am."
  5. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013

  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Excelent details =D= I get a real sense of the characters and the context. :cool:
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  7. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    Chapter 2

    Jasin locked the throne room doors and turned, heaving out a sigh. He knew there would be little chance of victory here–but at least, he hoped, they could die with honor. He moved swiftly to the armory. Gareb was already there, arming himself with a dueling vibrosword. Jasin's cousin squeezed the grip of the sword, and the blade began to hum and vibrate until it was nothing but a blur. Gareb nodded, satisfied, and sheathed the sword over his shoulder.

    "Are the guards ready for battle?" Jasin asked.

    Gareb nodded. "They know what they must do. They will die for you."

    "Not for me," Jasin said firmly. "For their kingdom." He paused. "Where's Methic?"

    "Haven't seen him since he left the command center."

    Jasin frowned. He wondered where his brother was. Turning, he took a vibrosword of his own off the wall and tested the weight and the power. He sheathed the sword and walked out of the armory to the main hall. A large screen on one wall showed Imperial dropships already landing in the courtyard. Palace guards raised their rifles and fired, cutting down Imperials as they came out of their ships. Jasin stood in the middle of the hall beside Gareb, amidst ten or so armed guards. They were hopelessly outnumbered, Jasin knew.

    "Call in the guards from the other corridors," he said. "We can't spare any men."

    "No can do," Gareb replied grimly. "They're refusing to fight; they say they've been ordered to stand down."

    Jasin's eyes widened. "What?"

    Gareb nodded grimly. "So either they're being tricked or..."

    "Or we have a traitor in the palace."

    Jasin grimaced. That was not good. He looked up at the viewscreen. The Imperials had killed the last of the guards and were moving toward the front doors to the palace. Jasin clenched his jaw, drew his vibrosword, and prepared for a fight. The guards raised their rifles, training them on the doors.

    "This is your home," Jasin said. "This is my home. If we cannot keep them out then we'll make them crawl over our bodies. You know what you have to do."

    "Yes, sir," said the captain of the guard. "We understand."

    The door was breached, and the guards opened fire. Imperial troops dropped like stones, surprised by the defense. It took another few minutes before they finally made a hole big enough to advance. Jasin and Gareb charged in, their vibroswords swinging, cutting plastoid armor like butter. The troopers dropped, bleeding out or already dead from their blows. Jasin whirled to strike down another soldier when suddenly an invisible blast caught him in the chest and sent him flying back. He groaned dizzily as his head slammed into a bannister.

    The fight didn't last long. The blast had come from a Sith apprentice, who now entered the hall and slammed Gareb aside, and then proceeded to dismember the guards' heads from their bodies. Now, it was just Jasin and Gareb. Jasin fought to rise, but an Imperial kicked his sword away and grabbed him forcefully, shoving him into the center of the hall beside Gareb.

    "Enough of this!" a rough voice growled.

    Jasin looked up to the top of the stairway. Methic stood, arms crossed, weaponless. Several Imperials readied their weapons. Methic merely uncrossed his arms and descended the stairs. The Sith took a step forward and Jasin's insides curled with fear. His brother would surely be killed! But the apprentice did not draw his lightsaber; instead he put a hand to his chest and bowed deeply.

    "Apologies, my lord," the apprentice said. "They resisted."

    Methic fumed. "I ordered the guards not to fight! I didn't want anyone to die."

    "You...what?" Jasin gasped, horrified. "You ordered the guards to stand down? You'd give our world to the Empire?"

    Methic looked down at Jasin apologetically. "I knew we did not stand a chance. I didn't want you, or anyone else, to get hurt. They agreed to spare us all, even Father, if we surrendered unconditionally. As prince, I took matters into my own hands. You would've brought destruction on us all, Jasin."

    "And you've succeeded in doing so, Methic!" Jasin spat back angrily.

    "Restrain them," the apprentice said. "Come, Methic. Take me to the throne room."

    With one last apologetic glance, Methic turned and led the apprentice and a handful of Imperials up the stairs toward the throne room. Jasin's inarticulate scream of rage howled throughout the corridors.

    * * *

    It was over. Held prisoner by the Imperial troops, Gareb looked around sadly as he watched them smash the priceless relics in the hallowed halls. It was maddening.

    Something swirled inside him, something he'd hidden for years. He'd had to hide it his whole life. Conceal, don't feel, his mother had said. Don't let them see. He'd asked what would happen if they came after him. She had touched the pretty silver cylinder by her side, and said she'd protect him.

    It was too late now. Well, they'd find out anyway.

    Let it go, Gareb! he told himself. Just let go!

    He did. He felt the power building up behind his palms...and he pushed. Half a dozen Imperials went flying across the room, slamming into walls. Gareb grinned. That had felt so good! Why had he ever hidden it? It was time to show them what he could really do...!

    He sent a Force blast flying at one of the guards, sending him reeling. Then he lifted another with the Force and slammed him into a wall. Two of them raised their rifles to blast him and he shattered the weapons like toothpicks. Another trooper drew a vibrosword and charged at him. Gareb sidestepped the blow and let out a Force push point-blank. The trooper hurtled away. Gareb clenched his fists, and hurled vases, shattered and otherwise, at the troopers pouring into the room.

    They all fell back, beaten and bruised by the thrown objects. Then, quickly grabbing the doors with the Force, Garab slammed them shut. He dropped to his knees, feeling simultaneously exhausted and ecstatic. That kind of power, that...that was a gift! He had to find out how to use it; it was something that could not be hidden.

    He realized that Jasin was looking at him in shock. The prince was still kneeling on the floor, his hands bound. He seemed unable to find the words he wanted to speak. Finally, they came forth.

    "How did you do that, Gareb?" Jasin asked.

    "I have the Force," Gareb replied. He picked up a vibrosword and cut Jasin's bonds. "Come, we need to get out of here. Go to the Republic for help."

    "But Methic," Jasin protested. "We have to find him!"

    "If he's the one who let the Empire in here," Gareb replied, "then we can do nothing for him now. Jasin, I sense that you have the Force, too. We cannot let the Empire have our potential. We must go to the Republic, and we must be trained as Jedi."

    Jasin gaped. "As Jedi...? Do you think we could?"

    "Yes. Both of us." Gareb grabbed Jasin by the shoulders. "We have to, for the memory of our planet."

    Jasin nodded. "You're right, cousin. We must."

    "Come, the emergency shuttle will not have been discovered yet. But we must hurry."

    Jasin nodded and picked up a vibrosword of his own. Together, they ran. Toward the shuttle, toward the Republic, and the Jedi...and their destiny.

    * * *

    Sorry for all the Frozen references with Gareb, but everything's better with Frozen. :p
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= Excellently riveting and crucial turning point.
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  9. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    Chapter 3

    Methic stood at the end of the throne room, watching with sadness the look of betrayal and anger on his father's face. The Sith apprentice and his entourage of soldiers advanced on the king. Methic felt helpless, knowing that what he'd done here had saved his father's life but also earned his eternal distrust. Slowly, Methic followed the Sith up toward the throne.

    "You betray me, my son," the king said sadly. "Why did you do it? Did they offer you credits? The throne?"

    "No," Methic said urgently, "I would never do that. I let the Empire onto the planet because it was our only hope! They would've left us in ruins...killed you. They agreed to leave our kingdom intact and you alive."

    "About that," the Sith apprentice interrupted. "You did not keep your part of the deal. There was resistance where you said there would be none. So I'm afraid we cannot keep our part, either."

    Igniting his lightsaber, the Sith stepped forward and decapitated Methic's father without further word. Methic's eyes widened in horror.

    "No!" he exclaimed. "Blast you, why did you do that? He was a harmless old man...he couldn't have resisted if he tried."

    The Sith gazed dispassionately at Methic. "I sense much power in can put your hatred to good use. Come to the Sith Academy. Train with us. It is your only chance now." He gestured at the guards, who raised their rifles. "Choose. You become a Sith, or you die where you stand."

    Methic bowed his head. "I...will accompany you to Korriban, of course."

    "As it should be."

    But to himself, Methic promised, I will never serve the Sith or the Empire. One day, I will bring them to justice for what they did here.

    * * *

    Over the next two months, Prudii proved himself again and again. He shot more accurately than anyone else, had wilderness-survival skills from his time on Mandalore that none of the others had–at one point he saved a whole group of privates when he used an animal call to scare away a rampaging manka cat–and he consistently awoke before the others were even aroused.

    The electronic awakener buzzed loudly and Prudii instantly hopped out of bed and dressed. He disassembled his rifle, cleaned it, reassembled it, and did the same with his pistol. He was about to go for his jog when Sergeant Rakiya entered.

    "No jog today," she said.


    "Someone noticed your skill," she said. "You're being transferred to Ord Mantell, to serve as the new member of Havoc Squad, and you're being promoted to sergeant."

    Prudii's eyes widened. "I...thank you, ma'am!"

    She grinned. "No need to call me ma'am–we're the same rank now. Pack your bags. Good luck, Sergeant."

    He nodded. "Thank you."
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    :eek: Sith will always look for a loophole out of an 'agreement. Looking forward to the exacting of justice. :)
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  11. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    Chapter 4

    Dha stepped out of the gunship onto the nasty soil of Hutta and had to force himself to keep his face impassive against the stink. Clenching his jaw, he blinked to activate his helmet's air filters. He sighed in relief as fresh, cool oxygen flowed through the helmet. Then he stepped into the spaceport and gave the place a look around. Shady, as he'd expected; Trandoshans cut deals with humans, while street rats cowered from patrolling Gamorreans.

    He thought back to the day he'd first known he would be coming to Hutta. He'd been in one of Nar Shaddaa's back alleys, hunting down some two-bit slicer who had made a Hutt mad. It had fallen to such depths–he couldn't even preserve his armor anymore so he was forced to wear whatever grimy uniform he could pay for off his meager bounties.

    He'd captured the slicer and returned him to the Hutt, and accepted his payment. Then, he'd returned to the nasty flat where he lived. Outside his quarters, a female Twi'lek in a slave outfit had attempted to win his favor, but Dha had refused her. Inside the room, he'd sensed something was wrong and drawn his blaster.

    "I wouldn't do that," a voice had said.

    Dha had seen the man sitting on the couch then, unarmed save for the blaster strapped at his side, well away from his hands. The man was bald, with bright green eyes. He was definitely aged, Dha had decided, and was well past the point where he might've been able to take Dha on. But something about him had been so familiar...

    "Who are you?" Dha had demanded.

    "The bigger question is, who are you?" the man responded. "I know you, Dha Bralor. You were the son of a great hero of Mandalore...and look how far you've fallen. Living in this place, taking on bounties on defenseless slicers just to pay the rent. You haven't even upgraded your kit in months..."

    Dha had stiffened. "What's it to you, old man?"

    "It's my last chance for glory," the man had responded quietly. "Kid, I'll give you the chance of a lifetime." He'd leaned forward in his seat. "You ever heard of the Great Hunt?"

    The man must've known full well that Dha had; every Mandalorian, even a disgraced one like Dha, had. But he'd asked the question anyways, which meant it wasn't just random. No, this question had been phrased with an intent of a follow-up.

    "Of course I have," he'd responded.

    "Good. Would you be interested in a chance to enter? I've seen your skills, kid. Before you had to start taking these one-off little bounties, you could hunt with the best of 'em. You outshot some of the best gunslingers on the Rim, and you brought them all in."


    "I'm going to be your mentor, kid," the man had continued. "And one of your crew. Give it a chance and I guarantee you'll have riches and glory beyond your wildest dreams."

    Dha had seen more than that. He'd seen a chance to get back the honor of being a Mandalorian–if he won the Great Hunt, the Mandalorians would see his worth, and he'd be able to rejoin the clans. That was all he lived for, now. So he had nodded, and held out a hand.

    "Deal. But you still haven't told me your name."

    "Braden," the man had responded. "My name is Braden."

    Now, Dha stood, looking at the Poison Pit cantina, where Braden had promised to meet him. He had taken every last credit he had, down to the last decicred, and bought a serviceable set of armor. Nothing, really, but it was better than the uniform he'd worn before. The chest plate was a replica of Canderous Ordo's Mandalore armor, and most of the rest of the set was archaic Mandalorian Neo-Crusader armor in various states of disrepair. Dha had painted the kit to individualize it–the main plates on the chest, legs, and arms, as well as the gloves, boots, and helmet, had all been painted a metallic red, while the somewhat thinner body armor underneath was jet black.

    Dha had to admit, even if the armor wasn't as cutting-edge as a modern Mandalorian's, he looked pretty threatening.

    He took off his helmet and entered the Poison Pit, and cut straight for the back room. Inside were Braden, still clad in his pseudo-armor with a blaster at his side, a female human with short, dark hair, and a Nikto male reclining in a chair behind a table covered with various kinds of alcohol.

    "We're almost set up," Braden said. "See if you can't get that security network running, Mako."

    "Sure thing, Braden," the short-haired woman–a girl, really–replied. "We'll be–" Then she caught sight of Dha. "Hey, now..."

    "Hey, indeed," Braden finished as he turned. "The main attraction has arrived. Team, this is the man we're pinning all our hopes on. Best shot I've ever seen and nerves of steel. He's Great Hunt material, all right. What do you say, hunter, ready to meet your team?"

    Dha glanced at the Nikto, the young girl. "My team...I like the sound of that."

    "Let's do things official-like," Braden said. "This is Mako, a little genius I picked up on Nar Shaddaa. She provides intel and tech."

    "Hope you're as good as the old man says," Mako said.

    Dha gave her a once-over. She was small, petite, but actually quite cute. Her chestnut-shaped brown eyes positively glimmered in the dim light, and her button nose and gently curved lips completed the image of a girl barely out of her teenage years–if she even was that–and only the cybernetic implant beside her left eye implied that she was anything more than she appeared. Given that Dha was only twenty himself, he found her quite attractive. But he put the thoughts aside quickly. He was here for the Hunt, not for a girl.

    "And the big bruiser is Jory," Braden continued, gesturing to the Nikto. "He handles the heavy lifting and provides security for our base of operations."

    Jory waved casually at Dha. "Greetings. I am at your disposal. Feel free to make us all incredibly wealthy and famous."

    "Nice to meet you both, and though Braden's probably told you, my name's Dha. Now, let's get to work."

    Mako's eyebrows quirked in surprise, but she quickly covered it.

    "All right, enough introductions," Braden said. "Down to business. We're here because the Great Hunt has been called. Little Mako is the most rabid fan of hunter history this side of Geonosis–and even she doesn't know exactly what the Great Hunt entails."

    "I do know the names of every Great Hunt winner, though," Mako added. "Bloodworthy, the Defenestrator, Jew'la Nightbringer..."

    "Every bounty hunter who's won a Great Hunt went on to massive glory and riches–which is why we're here."

    Speak for yourself, Dha thought. I'm here to get back into my clan.

    "What's our first move?" he asked.

    "Here's what I know so far," Mako said. "The Great Hunt has two groups: the Mandalorian elite and the freelance bounty hunters sponsored by influential crime lords. There's no time to make you a Mandalorian, even though you already look the part. That means you'll need a sponsor."

    Dha bristled at that. If only she knew...

    "Nem'ro the Hutt runs this stinking little town," Braden said. "I've got just enough pull with that gangster to get you an introduction. Mako, scan for every bounty in the area. I want the nastiest, most brutal, untouchable scum you can find."

    Was that a jab at me? Dha wondered. Is he reprimanding me for hunting gutter trash? Probably.

    "I'm on it, Braden," Mako was saying. "One nasty character coming up..."

    "We need to get you situated as a big-time hunter," Braden said to Dha. "At least as far as the locals know. Then we contact Nem'ro. Mako will plant rumors about your offworld exploits, but you have to take down someone impressive–and local–to sell that reputation."

    "You find a target and I'll take it down hard," Dha promised.

    "How's that scan coming, Mako?"

    "Found something. Check this out...Vexx: Corellian, champion quick-draw artist, wanted for robbing fifteen Imperial pay stations."

    "Of all places to get credits," Jory muttered, "why would a sane being rob an Imperial pay station?"

    To prove how good he is, Dha thought. The kind of scum I've taken down dozens of times.

    "Perfect," Braden said. "This Vexx is either a madman or a glory hound–and he's obviously dangerous."

    "Says here Vexx has a safe house in the bad part of town," Mako put in. "Right in the heart of the madness. That'll be fun."

    "Nem'ro the Hutt's enemy took over this part of town. It's dangerous poking around in there, but it's your best shot. Raid Vexx's safe house and look for something that might help us track him down. But be ready for anything."

    "Excuse me," Dha said with a grin, "but I've got a safe house to shoot up."

    "Be safe out there," Braden said.

    Dha nodded, turned on his heel, and march out, slamming on his helmet. Finally, he was back in the game–and this time, he intended to go all the way to the top. To regain his honor, his place in the Mandalorians–and to find and kill the scum who'd executed his parents.
  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Great stuff. =D= I'm rooting for Dha's restored honor. :cool: I like Mako already, if she's the same one in Sabyne's "Dating the Mandalorian" :cool:
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  13. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    She is! She's a bounty hunter companion from the video game.
  14. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    Note: from this point on, spoilers for Star Wars: The Old Republic will apply. If you've not played the game and plan to, you will be spoiled.

    Chapter 5

    The shuttle touched down on the verdant world of Tython, and Jasin stepped out, feeling the cool breeze on his face and smelling the pine trees. He closed his eyes and soaked it in. In just months, he'd learned to direct the Force and sense the life around him. His eyes popped open. He sensed another being approaching–someone else strong in the Force. The man wore the tan and brown robes of the Jedi, a lightsaber clipped to his belt. He had light brown hair and brown eyes. Jasin stepped completely off the ramp and walked over to the man–he was probably Derrin Weller, the man who'd been assigned to meet him. The Jedi nodded to him and led him inside. As they approached a room–Jasin assumed it was the man's office–the man spoke.

    "Welcome to Tython," Weller said. "Everyone at the Temple is looking forward to meeting you." They entered the office. "Your former Masters praise your combat skills. They say you're becoming an expert duelist."

    "It's easy to excel when you're trained by the best," Jasin said politely.

    It was true. Even before joining the Jedi, his fighting skills had been trained by the best duelists Phaeda could offer. After joining the Jedi, Jasin had focused on physical combat more than on Force skills. He was not prideful, but even he knew that he was a masterful fighter.

    "The Jedi Council will assign you a new Master to oversee your final trials," Weller continued. "You'll be tested in ways you can't imagine. But when you leave Tython, you'll know what it means to be a Jedi Knight. More importantly, you'll know yourself."

    "I'm eager to face these trials," Jasin said. "Where do I start?"

    "There's a speeder here that will take y–" Weller's comlink beeped. "Hang on. Getting an emergency signal..."

    A hologram of a Bith in Padawan's clothes appeared. "–under attack, repeat, under attack! Flesh Raiders are invading the Padawan training grounds! They have blasters! Send help!" The holo disappeared.

    "Flesh Raiders? Armed with blasters?" Weller frowned. "He must be mistaken."

    "Mistaken or not, that Padawan's under attack," Jasin noted. He'd clearly heard the sound of blaster bolts over the holo.

    "They've never come this close before...Flesh Raiders are a species of hostile natives. They're smart enough to use tools and violent beyond reason." Weller activated his computer. "I'm sending every able-bodied Jedi down to the Padawan training grounds right away–especially you."

    Jasin felt a surge of joy that a Jedi Master was that confident in him. "Just point the way; I'll handle the rest."

    "Take the speeder outside to the training grounds. Push back the Flesh Raiders–and find out if they're really using advanced weapons. Go. I'll catch up after I alert the Jedi Council. May the Force be with you."

    With a nod, Jasin rushed out the door, pulling his training lightsaber from the sling on his back.

    * * *

    Gareb entered the Jedi Master's office eagerly. Gareb had just arrived on Tython to meet his new Master and he was eager to begin his training. He'd apparently been even stronger in the Force than he'd known–he'd quickly surpassed every other student in telekinetic and mind-altering abilities. Apparently a Jedi Master had taken note of his prowess and wanted to take him as her Padawan. The Master sitting behind the desk was a male, head shaven except for a tail pulled back behind his head, and a goatee on his chin. His hair was gray; clearly, he was a venerable member of the Order.

    Ah, Padawan!" the Master said. "I heard your shuttle arriving. I'm Master Syo Bakarn, of the Jedi Council. Welcome to Tython. This is the ancestral home of our order, where the Jedi first came to be. And where our most promising Padawans complete their training."

    "The chance to see where the first Jedi walked," Gareb mused, "train where they trained–it's quite an honor."

    "So eager. You and your new Master should get along nicely. Your instructors tell me that even in childhood you had a remarkable connection to the Force. We haven't seen such power in decades. I was...hoping your new Master would be here. Yuon left her dig site and is returning to Tython specifically to train you."

    "It sounds like Master Yuon's putting a lot of faith in me. We haven't even met."

    "Trust in your initial training. And never forget the Jedi Code. 'There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force.' This is..." Syo's eye lit up at someone behind Gareb. "Yuon! I was beginning to worry."

    Yuon Par approached. She was an aging woman with long, brown hair and green eyes. There was an intellect in her eyes that Gareb had seen in few.

    "So you've arrived safely, my Padawan," she said kindly. "I'm sorry I can't greet you properly, but we already have a crisis on our hands."

    "I'm at your service, Master," Gareb replied.

    "Tython is a treasure trove of ancient Jedi relics," Yuon explained. "Recently, our researchers uncovered several 'teaching holograms,' but they've not been fully studied. These holograms may be records of the founders of the Jedi Order–they're absolutely irreplaceable. But a large group of Flesh Raiders has been rampaging through that region. Those priceless holograms are in danger."

    "Is there a way to protect the holograms?" Gareb asked.

    "Someone must slip past the Flesh Raiders to recover these holograms' projectors. I intend this to be the first task of your training."

    "No!" Syo protested. "Yuon, you can't risk a Padawan against Flesh Raiders, even for such important artifacts."

    "A Padawan who was stronger in the Force at four years old than I was at fifteen?" Yuon replied sardonically. "Gifted students need greater challenges."

    "So I must recover these holograms, and watch for Flesh Raiders," Gareb said. "Where should I begin?"

    "The holograms are in the Gnarls," Yuon replied. "Be vigilant, that region has dangers of its own. If you encounter any difficulties, contact me on this holocommunicator." She handed him a comlink. "When you have the holograms, meet me at the Jedi Temple. We have much to discuss."

    Gareb nodded, pulled his training lightsaber to his hand, and left the office.
  15. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    Chapter 6

    The shuttle rocked violently as it passed through Ord Mantell's atmosphere. Prudii clenched his fists impatiently; he hated not being at the controls of the ship, especially since they were currently flying through a tense space battle. He felt a slight pop as the shuttle's turbolasers fired, incinerating an enemy starfighter coming toward them. The pilot looked back.

    "We're coming in hot!" he said. "Get ready for descent through the atmosphere."

    Prudii pulled his restraining straps over him, wishing he was wearing his armor, but it was back in the hold with the rest of his belongings. He was only wearing his dress uniform, a deep blue shirt, tan pants, and black armored boots. At least in his armor he might've been able to survive a decompression by sealing the helmet so he could breathe for at least a few hours until a pickup could arrive. As it was he'd be killed if the ship took a blow to the viewport. Eventually, the ship entered atmosphere, rattling slightly. Prudii winced.

    "Okay," said the pilot. "We're safe now. Fort Garnik's turbolasers will take care of our pursuers. We're landing in a military spaceport, a few klicks out from the fort. A walker will come to pick you up and transport you to the fort."

    Prudii nodded. "Thanks for bringing me."

    "No problem. Anything for a member of Havoc Squad."

    The shuttle touched down, and Prudii unbuckled and strode back toward the landing ramp. He picked up his bag and threw it over his shoulder, and then grabbed his armor case with his other hand. He stepped out of the shuttle. Near the foot of the ramp stood a tall, muscular man, dark-skinned, with his hair shaved into cornrows. He wore white Republic armor with orange stripes on the chest, and legs. A member of Havoc Squad. Prudii descended the ramp, stopped before the man, and saluted. The man saluted back and then nodded to the walker behind him. They mounted the walker and sat down. The walker began to move.

    "Ah," said the man, "there's not a feeling in the galaxy like riding a hundred-tonne walker right through the middle of a combat zone, huh, kid?"

    "Approaching Drelliad Village, sir," said the walker driver over the intercom. "Scopes showing small-arms fire and enemy movements in all quarters. Separatists are definitely moving on the objective."

    "Another beautiful day on Ord Mantell," the man said jovially. "You excited, kid? Nervous? You know, you're the first new entry to Havoc Squad in some time."

    "I'll fight the enemies of the Republic with everything I've got, sir," Prudii replied.

    "No need to call me 'sir.' We're in the field–you can lose the formality. I'm Lieutenant Bex Kolos, but everyone in Havoc calls me Gearbox. We're a tight unit–you'll like it with us."

    "Prudii Bralor," he introduced himself.

    "Let me tell you why we're here," Gearbox continued. "The separatists have nabbed a Republic bomb off a downed transport–a serious bomb, one of those orbital strike numbers. There's no telling where these grimy bushwhackers have hidden the thing. They have popular support and hideouts everywhere. Finding this bomb won't be easy."

    "I specialized in tracking back on–back in my early days," Prudii replied. "We'll find it."

    "Hope you're right, kid. That bomb goes off and the whole island's one big crater. You'll get a full op brief once we reach Fort Garnik. For now, just sit back and–"

    There was a sudden explosion. Prudii was jerked from his seat and thrown to the ground; his armor case, sitting on the floor, flew and slammed into the wall just above his head, and he rolled aside to avoid being flattened.

    "Code red! Code red!" snapped the driver. "We've been hit by an AP missile! A shoulder-launcher from somewhere in the village! Everyone hold on–"

    There was another explosion and the driver fell silent.

    "Driver? Driver!" Gearbox called. "Blast it, he's down! Backwater separatists aren't supposed to have armor-piercing missiles! They'll tear up every convoy that passes through here!"

    "Major hardware in enemy hands," Prudii said dourly. "Seems like the kind of thing we should've been warned about."

    "Let's get out of this alive and worry about filing complaints later, all right?" Gearbox said with a grim smile. "Fixing things is my specialty, kid–I'm nowhere near the fighter you are. I'll stay and get this walker moving again. You'll disable the separatist missile launchers. Understood?"

    "Understood, sir," Prudii replied. No time to put on his armor–he just unslung his rifle and prepared to move.

    "The separatists will probably have their missile launchers piled together in a cache somewhere in the village–and you can bet that cache will be heavily guarded. Find the cache, disable the missile launchers, and then double-time it back here. Got it, Sergeant?"

    "I hope the seps brought plenty of body bags–they're gonna need them."

    "Good luck out there, kid."

    Prudii took off down the ramp, rifle firing.

    * * *

    Smuggler captain Dankin of the freighter Emerald Dagger took his ship down over Ord Mantell, setting it down gently on a landing pad outside Drelliad Village. He had a shipment of illegal weapons to bring to a client here–not the separatists; Dankin was strictly apolitical–and he was eager to deliver them and get out of here. A Mirialan, Dankin had a slight connection to the Force and he could sense the turmoil of battle here. Closing off that part of his mind, Dankin rose and walked down the Dagger's landing ramp.

    At the foot of the ramp was a man in a blue jacket with long, brown hair, a slightly-too-large nose, and a tattoo on the right side of his face. There was something shifty about him but that wasn't unusual; Dankin worked with a lot of shifty characters, being a smuggler and all.

    "Can't believe you made it through that separatist shooting gallery, Captain," said the man. "Your ship isn't even scratched. It takes guts landing in the middle of a battlefield. Nice flying."

    "I owe it all to my lightning reflexes and crackerjack timing," Dankin said with a grin.

    "You've clearly got lots of experience getting shot at."

    With that, the man turned and walked back toward his garage. Dankin shrugged at the guy's back and then followed him into the garage.

    "The name is Skavak," the man said. "I'm picking up those blasters in your cargo hold. Excuse the rush, but I need to get out of here quick. This village used to be safe, but the separatists are taking over. If I were you, I'd haul jets as soon as we're done."

    "Who are these people?" Dankin asked. "What are they after?"

    "Separatists want to break away from the Republic. Judging by all the explosions, they're serious about the idea. Sounds like the bombing is getting closer. The separatists will be right on top of us any minute. Here's your payment for making this run, Captain. Soon as I have those blasters, you'll be free to fly."

    Suddenly, a man ran into the room. Dankin turned and looked him over. He was probably five years younger than Dankin, but not for lack of trying. He had scars on his nose and throat, brown eyes set in warm tan skin, and brown hair pulled back in a tail of dreadlocks. He wore tan and green combat armor and had a rifle strapped across his back, a pistol at his side, and a vibroblade in a boot sheath.

    "Skavak!" the man said. "We've got a big problem. Separatists took over the local air defense cannon."

    "Whoa! Slow down, slow down, Corso." Skavak stepped toward the man. "What are you talking about?"

    "They deployed some kind of remote control stations. Hijacked the cannon's targeting computer. Separatists just destroyed an incoming Republic transport!"

    "I'm sure the Republic troops will get everything under control," Dankin said. He really didn't want to get involved.

    "They've already got their hands full," Corso argued. "Separatist rocket launchers just attacked a Republic walker. Knocked it down hard. With those remote control stations, the separatists can override the air defense cannon's computer–turn that firepower against us any time they want!"

    "That's bad news, Captain," Skavak said. "The separatists will blast you out of the sky if you even think about taking off."

    "The separatists have remote control stations all over the area," Corso continued. "You'll probably have to hit several before they lose control of the cannon."

    Dankin exhaled. Reluctantly, he said, "If I die, I want to be buried with my ship."

    "Good luck. Hope we see you again," Corso said.

    "Let's move, Corso," Skavak interrupted. "We're running out of time."

    The two walked off. Dankin turned and walked out of the garage, and into a storm of blasterfire. He ducked behind a fallen tree, whipped out his blaster, and looked out from his cover. Separatists and Republic troopers were firing at each other, the separatists from inside the village, the Republic outside. Dankin sighed. If he wanted to blow those stations, he'd probably have to help deal with the seps. Aiming his blaster, Dankin prepared to open fire. So much for apolitical.
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  16. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    Chapter 7

    The shuttle descended towards Hutta, and Agent Merok adjusted the lapel of his generic gray uniform as the pilot announced they would be landing shortly. Merok was a Chiss, an uncommon sight outside of Imperial space–even more uncommon on criminal worlds like Hutta. Merok was undercover, although his superiors had declined to give him further information until he'd arrived. All he knew was that he was to go to the Poison Pit cantina.

    The shuttle's landing ramp descended and Merok stepped out onto the fetid world of Hutta. He managed to keep his nose from crinkling in disgust; a Chiss had more self control than that. However, inwardly he couldn't have been more disgusted if he'd tried. He crossed his arms and looked out over the landing pad. Criminals and "security guards" working for Hutts milled around. Merok's lip twitched in what might have been a smirk. This was what passed for the law around here–green-skinned Gamorreans who probably couldn't even spell "law."

    Shaking his head, Merok uncrossed his arms and headed for the Poison Pit. It was a short walk from the spaceport. He approached the cantina and was about to enter when a red-armored Mandalorian exited at the same time. They brushed shoulders, Merok mumbled a half-hearted apology–no need to get on a Mandalorian's bad side–and continued on. He walked into a back room and let the door slide shut behind him. Sitting on one wall of the room was a holoterminal playing a constant loop of the image of a scantily-clad Twi'lek dancer. Merok walked over to the holoterminal and sliced into it. The Twi'lek disappeared, replaced a moment later by a tall, thin-faced man with piercing eyes and no hair on the top of his head, but ringed about the back.

    "Secure transmission established," said the man. "This is Keeper. We may speak freely, agent; prepare to receive your orders."

    "I'm ready, sir," Merok replied efficiently. "What's the assignment?"

    "In short? Subversion. You were chosen for this operation because of your exemplary performance during training. Imperial Intelligence needs agents capable of working independently in the field. Now to apply your training to the real world. Nem'ro the Hutt and his organization run Jiguuna, and you're in the town to convince Nem'ro to supply the Empire."

    "I understand," Merok said with a nod. "How do I proceed?"

    "We need to know what Nem'ro and his advisors are thinking before we can act. I want you to obtain access to the Nem'ro clan's inner circle. You'll require a cover identity. One of our contacts–an alien named Jheeg–has prepared a background for you and will provide the details."

    "So how do I find him?"

    "Jheeg will be waiting for you at a safe house. Locate him, take what he offers, then report to me."

    "Consider it done."

    "Most of Jiguuna is caught up in a turf war," Keeper added. "Some of the gangs involved belong to the Hutts; others are independent. Your combat training should see you through, but expect brutality, and expect to be targeted. Jiguuna isn't friendly to strangers. Now find Jheeg and report back to me. Keeper out."

    * * *

    Dha frowned as he brushed past the blue-skinned alien. Was that a Chiss...? The aliens were common enough in Imperial space, but here, on Hutta, they were a rare sight indeed, and to see one traveling unmasked, not bothering to hide his identity, was even odder. He paused and looked back over his shoulder. The Chiss had already disappeared inside the Poison Pit. Dha shrugged.

    He could see Vexx's safe house across the town. Outside were three mercenary guards–two human or close enough, wearing hoods and goggles. They had heavy blasters strapped to their sides. The third was an orange-skinned Twi'lek carrying a blaster rifle. Dha decided the best way to handle it was just to press on, so he did–raising his blaster, he shot one of the humans in the chest. The human jerked back, but didn't drop; he was wearing some kind of blast armor under his clothes. The three mercenaries whipped up their weapons and opened fired, the bolts bouncing off Dha's beskar'gam with minimal damage. Grinning, Dha raised his wrist and fired a rocket.

    The rocket exploded, sending the Twi'lek and the human Dha had already shot flying. The third human avoided the blast and fired at Dha again. The bolt chinked off his shoulder pad, creating a deep scratch. Dha fired his blaster three times, and the human dropped. Holstering his weapon, Dha proceeded inside the safe house. He saw two guards standing beside a door around a corner. Close quarters, here; it could be dangerous to use his blaster. He charged straight in, ramming his fist into the first guard's jaw. The man, surprised, reached for his blaster. Dha grabbed his wrist, twisted it until the blaster fell on the floor, and twisted him around. The other guard drew his blaster and fired. Dha hurled the first guard in front of him. The second guard's bolt caught him square in the chest, killing him. Dha leapt over the corpse and grabbed the second guard by the head, twisted sharply, and dropped the body.

    Inside the room was a bulky man standing over a table. Dha drew his blaster and pointed it at the man's head. The guy had fast instincts; he whirled and fired his own blaster. Dha dodged the bolt and fired several shots. The human rolled behind an upholstered chair. Dha shot the chair until stuffing flew everywhere, then he raised his wrist and fired a rocket. The chair exploded, sending stuffing and padding everywhere. The human stumbled back, surprised, and Dha shot him cleanly in the head. He looked around. There, on the table, was a datapad. He picked it up. This should be enough to satisfy Mako and Braden–he hoped.
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  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Ah, success for Dha. =D= The datapad doubtless will hold valuable info.
    Revanfan1 likes this.