View Full Version : The Tails of Paps & Taps - Part One

Talon Razor 'GM'
21 April 2003, 02:41 PM
Here is a new series I am starting (Bracknacker didn't hold appeal.) Let me know what you think. Critize it, pull a Simon, say whatever! I want o know your thoughts!


It’s funny, how one death can change your life. One accident can alter it all. I guess that has been the story of my life, accidents. Wrong place at the wrong time. Someone else’s action determined the course of my life. We weren’t involved, yet, because of our association, it was assumed. We were innocent from day one. The cards were stacked against us.

It just determines how you play the game. Play the game baby, play it right and you make it. We did. But, hey, you only live once, and we did set out to experience how much life could offer us.

Evidently, a lot.
- Excerpt from Paps journal

The music hammered away at the place. Noise reverberated off the walls, thundered down the aisles and swept over the seats. It reached into the massive ceiling and into the private viewing booths a floor up. The entire hall was filled with the loud music.
And no one was there to hear it. The place was empty, save for a single being seated in the back. Feliniod, he watched with obvious discomfort. A nice nerf-hide Corellian flight jacket he wore and beneath the open jacket was a plain Far’ghul summer shirt. He had the air of a pilot and has green eyes and brown fur. In fact, he looked a lot like another Feliniod, the one singing and dancing on the large stage that he shared with seven other band members. They were, in fact, twin brothers.
The band continued to pump the music that sounded liked a cross between wild drumming and electronic melodies. The electronic-altered voices sang a rapid song and the feline watching endured. The song wrapped up and the feline on stage paused.
“Woo, nice guys,” he said in his rather pleasant voice. Another singer, a female Twi’lek, nodded. “Yes, though it was a little fast on the ‘Now, ooh-aah, I am the one’ part. Let’s slow the tempo…”
The feline in the back tuned out the Twi’lek’s voice. He was a Far’ghul, twin brother of the other Far’ghul on the stage. Both were born and raised in Correllia, where their parents had moved from their home planet after the Empire was formed. They had lived on the planet for years, he becoming a skilled pilot, performing stunt gigs and aerial shows. His brother did singing gigs and performed at local events, a skilled musician and singer. They both were best friends, close in brotherhood. They did everything together, from an early age. They did all kinds of stuff, from pulling practical jokes together, going fishing together, even learning to drive together.
“Paps, can you make that call? We should be done rather soon. Mr. Borella wanted to be informed about the pickup and technical equipment.”
The feline nodded and stood. He was tall for a Far’ghul, a whole six feet, and he walked with an easy, self-confident gaunt. The entire air about him was that of ease and friendliness, a quality that made him and his brother so likeable.
Paps made his way out of the auditorium and into the foyer. They were in the Regal Grand Entertainment Victory Hall of the Imperial Convention Center, a rather long-winded name, in Calamar, capital of Esseles. The Esseleians were always celebrating something and this time there was a week-long festival, celebrating the arrival of a new Imperial Governor. He wrinkled his nose at that thought.
Paps wasn’t a fan of the Empire. They tended to be too heavy-handed and just plain didn’t like fun. But they ruled currently and Paps didn’t really care about politics and all that. Let whoever governed govern, as long as they didn’t interfere with his life. Although Paps had seen Imps interfering with people here and there, he didn’t want to make a big fuss. Just let life ride that was his motto. Still, he wasn’t fond of the Imps.
A Zabrak was sitting on a highchair, looking bored. The Zabrak smiled as Paps neared. “Mr. Halo! How’s it going?”
“Hey Snick, bro man! They’re getting wrapped up in there. Anything exciting to report?” the Far’ghul smacked his fist together with the well-built Zabrak’s. Tron Yoth, or Snicks, was the band’s security man, in charge of keeping the fans at bay and keeping physco killers from making a run on one of the members.
“Oh ya, just thrilling. What can I do for you?”
“I need to call Borella.”
The Zabrak nodded and slipped off his chair. “Sure thing. Hang around and I will raise him on the comm.”
“Thanks Snickers.”

While he was waiting, a human came out of the auditorium, sounds of singing escaping from behind the doors until they sealed. Paps nodded at him. “Yo Dalton.”
The human grinned at him. “Hey Paps, that E-121 A modulator box make it in?”
“Not sure,” he shrugged, “I flew in the last shipment.”
The media technican nodded. “Right, one of the mods in there now can’t make it. I need one before tomorrow.”
“I’ll see what Borella can tell me.”
“Thanks. Gonna check on the booster set. By the way, Taps sounds great today.”
Paps nodded and Dalton moved on past him. Paps ran his paw through his hair, a gesture he had pick up from humans. O thy Noise was not a big band but they still had about half-a-dozen support crew members just to support a seven-member group. That wasn’t including the droids. Those totaled a dozen. Paps duty was flying the big Correllian Space Cruiser modified so the band could fly in comfort. The vessel also carried on their equipment and Paps, his co-pilot, and three droids were responsible for the upkeep of the craft. Taps had all the glory, the star. He was one of the lead singers and had quite a fan-base. Sometimes, sometimes, Paps was envious of all the attention Taps got.
Snicks handed him the com and Paps begun to negotiate with the band’s manager and supplier. It was a long job and he wrapped up about the same time the band emerged from the auditorium. Several hours wrapping up technical complications and the group headed out for the day. Dalton and most of the others went to the hotel to check some sleep while Snicks, Paps and Taps went to one of the better cantina-casinos. Paps and Taps rode in a taxi while Snicks drove his private speeder. Taps stretched in the taxi as it whisked through traffic-lanes.
“I think we are going to have a killer performance.”
Paps nodded. “Good, Dalton said you were sounding great.”
Taps nodded his perfectly identical head. To the average observer most Far’ghuls look the same but even those who could tell differences couldn’t see any in Paps and Taps. Those who knew them could tell. Paps was much more serious and tended to look after Taps, who, if left to his own devices, would be in trouble faster then a Rodian on a date.
“So, what did you think?”
Paps shrugged. He never did like O thy Noise’s style. “It sounded good.”
Taps eyebrows raised and Paps shook his head. “Well, I just don’t know why the songs have to be that fast.”
Taps shrugged now. “You know, you didn’t have to take their offer to fly for them.”
“I know,” Paps said, “But I had to keep an eye on you, right?”
Taps snorted. “You’re a twin, not an older brother. But seriously Paps, you are flushing your own piloting skills down the drain with this. Why don’t we quite and you can get a job with StarTrans or CorFrieght or the Imperial Shuttle Service?”
Paps shook his head. “No way! Your on a roll! Can’t just drop off like that. I’m fine, I enjoy flying Noise 7. Here we are. Check your gear. And change your appearance”
The casino named “Lucky 7” loomed overhead. Taps bent down and pulled out a holdout blaster in his boot, checked the power, then ran his paws under his belt to feel the two vibro-daggers hidden there. He pulled out a small rectangle box, and opened it. Inside was a Sabbac deck. He pulled out a card and touched the card, to watch it change. Taps grinned at Paps, who chuckled. They both begun to apply items to their faces.
Paps was armed too. He wore a Flash 5 blaster on his hip and he opened his jacket to make sure his two holdouts were there. Paps pulled out his vibro-dagger in his boot, then smiled. “Lets go make dough.”
Taps paid the droid while Paps talked with Snicks, who wore heavier weapons since he had permits. Together the trio entered the casino.
An hour later, Paps was in a very vicious Sabbac game with his brother, a Rodian, and two human males. Paps was leading, barely, with Taps close behind. The cards had been dealt for another round and Paps held up his cards. He suddenly dropped one and quickly grabbed it, an incident so fast and simple that no one paid heed.
However, the card had been switched. Paps tapped one of the corners and his skifter shimmered and changed. He had a pure Sabbac. A small device kept the randomizer field from changing the cards. Paps upped the bet. One of the humans looked at Paps demeanor, glanced at his cards, glanced at everyone else, and backed out. The Rodian and other human stayed in. Paps just radiated confidence, sure that he was to win.
Taps grinned and upped it again. Paps glared at him, but matched it. The Rodain looked nervous, and backed out. The other human stayed in. Paps called it, and everyone laid theirs down. Paps beat everyone with his pure Sabbac, even Taps’ Idiot’s Run. Taps was crestfallen, then glared at Paps.
“This is incredible. Three Sabbacs in a row?? That’s impossible!” Taps bursted out.
Paps shrugged nonchalantly and collected the pot. Taps stood angrily. “You must be cheating!”
Paps stood also. “How dare you accuse me of cheating? It seems to me that you know the backs of the cards as well as the front!”
Taps grabbed his chest. “An insult! I am insulted, how dare you impugn my honor!”
Paps grabbed Taps and growled in his face. “I’ll impugn more then your honor, you nerfherder!” They raised their fists when one of the humans jumped up. “Now, now, let’s not be hasty.”
Suddenly Snicks broke in as if he was a bouncer. “What’s all the commotion?!”
Taps tore away from Paps hold and pointed in a dramatic scene. “This, this…whelp is cheating and dares to defy it by turning the accusation on me!”
Paps face clouded in anger and Snicks barked. “Let’s see the cards.” Paps shook his head. “You think I cheat? Why, what kind of place…”
Taps seized one of the cards and picked it up. He tapped a corner and everyone cried out as the card changed. “Ah! Ahah! You did cheat! You are a cheater, sir, and before this assembly you are caught!”
Paps remained incredulous. “Caught! Why, you miserable creature, I am playing with the deck you gave me!” he turned to his gambling partners, which were rising to their feet in anger. “He gave me loaded cards!”
“You are the one cheating sir and seek to pin the blame on me? I think not! You are the culprit sir!” replied Taps angrily.
Paps suddenly shoved Taps. “What! You cur!”
“How dare you strike me!” Taps lashed out, sending Paps crashing into the Sabbac table. Gambling holders flew everywhere and Paps wheeled into the Rodian, who pushed him away in disgust. Paps suddenly dug into his jacket when there were three quick shots and a high-pitched scream.
Everything dissolved into chaos. The Rodian scrambled for his gun when he was taken out with a head-butt by Paps. The Rodian proceeded to shove Paps into another Sabbac table. Jacket flying, Paps landed face down on a pile of credits, while blaster fire overhead scattered the patrons. When Paps arose, all the credits were gone.
Taps meanwhile tripped over something, and landed on somebody’s bag. He rolled over onto a blaster and stood, those item miraculously disappearing. He tripped someone, who went flying, and bumped into someone else. As Taps turned, a Toydarian slammed into him and he fell to the ground.
Paps appeared in the crowd beside Taps. “You got enough?” he said in the din of panic. Taps nodded. “Lets go!” Paps shouted. He helped Taps up and fire a couple shots at a door, causing everyone to clear out. A laser shot whizzed in front of him and took out a security droid. Snicks suddenly appeared and grabbed both of them, propelling them towards the nearest exit. They emerged right on top of his conveniently parked speeder and piled in. The speeder tore away, minutes before the wail of sirens were heard down the streets…

Taps scooped up the pile of credits that Paps had picked up. “How much, over five thousand? Nice job with falling on the credit table, Paps.”
Paps shrugged. “Somewhere around five or six, at least. Plus the four thousand I won from the game. Let’s see what you got.”
Taps pulled out bag that he had tucked under his bulky overcoat. He also laid down the blaster he had picked up. “Plus, I got this,” he said as he slapped down a wallet, “from some poor fool.”
Paps flipped through the wallet as Snicks entered the hotel room. He eyed the stuff on the bed. “Why guys? Why do you do it? You get twice as much from the band.”
Taps grinned. “For recreation, of course. Here’s your part. And those shots and scream was perfectly timed Snicks.” Taps flipped him a credit chip with two thousand on it. Snicks quickly palmed it. “Aren’t you afraid one of these days someone will recognize you?”
Paps laughed. “In this get-up?” He removed his blue contacts and pulled off his fake long moustache. Taps also was in disguise. His entire fur was sliver and black, instead of the nice light brown that it normally was. He also sported a bandanna wrapped around his head.
Snicks sighed and slipped the chip into his pocket. “Ya, but I just don’t like the risk.”
“Ah, but what about the rewards?” Taps countered. Snicks shrugged at this and turned.
“Well, anyways, I am heading out for the night. I and Dalton got some businesses.”
Paps waved him off. “Have fun.”

Once again, the music slammed into the hall. Pounding beats and fast electronic pulses tore through the air. On the stage, the feline was belting out a furious song, filling the chamber with his upbeat voice. He pranced on the stage, the other members playing their hearts out.
Only this time, the hall was packed. Thousands upon thousands filled the area, on their feet, chanting with the music. The teeming masses consumed with watching the band, shouting and cheering. In amongst this jubilant throng was the other feline, watching.
Paps stood near the back, near the droids monitoring the sound and injecting the electronic noise. They were watched closely by Dalton. Paps watched his brother wrap up that song.
Taps finished the last line and whirled in time with the ending note. The crowd cheered and he grinned. “Woo! All right, ya like that?” The crowd roared. “Ok, before we get a’ rollin’ on the next one, we have a special guest here tonight. Imperial Governor Thomas Snad! Woo! Give him a hand!”
One of the spotlights swung across and centered on the governor in the box seat near the stage. The Governor waved as the crowd thundered. As Paps watched him, he noticed that the Governor stared frostily at Taps. It made Paps uncomfortable, watching the Governor take in the mostly alien band.
Taps didn’t notice. He mopped his brow and glanced back at the twi’lek lead. She nodded and he gave a thumb up to the rest of group. “Here we go,” he shouted, the microphone droid floating in to get a better audio lead, “Here we go, go, go! Everybody go, go, go!”
The wookie drums begun to sound, a big huge thud, thud, boooom. Paps groaned. He hated this song…
Two hours later, the concert was over but the festival was just getting started. Most of the band went to the hotel to sleep. All though Paps and Taps wanted to join the festivities, both were exhausted. As they went down the hall to their room, they passed by Dalton, the kloo horn playing Bith, and the Dug that played the drums.
“Dalton, Shamsin, were you guys heading?” Paps said as the group approached.
Dalton glanced at Shamsin, the Bith, and clenched and unclenched his hands. Paps knew he was nervous. “Well, umm, Oba here,” he said pointing at the Dug, “said, that, umm, we should check out the party. So, ahh, that is what we, what we’re doing.”
Paps frowned. “But, Shamsin, you hate parties.” The Bith didn’t answer, just stood there, looking at him. Oba spoke up, “Well, that’s what we’re gonna do. Everyone else went to their rooms. Bye Paps.”
The Dug pushed the rest forward and they headed down the hall. Paps shrugged and glanced around for Taps. Paps went into their room where Taps had already fallen on the bed sleeping. Paps dropped into a chair. Just going to sit here for a mi…he dozed off.

Thomas Snad sat back in his honor chair, in the dignitary stand, watching the proceeding. He didn’t like all the foolishness and hated being with these aliens. He was a rather proud and arrogant man; his gut was the only thing that surpassed his arrogance.
The sun was setting but the massive square where the festival was taking place was very well lit. Couples danced in front of him to the music, ale was being consumed by the gallon, and many fireworks were going off. In all, a disgusting show.
His large hat sat on his bald round head and kept slipping down. He shoved it back up and waved away another waiter offering him some local drink. An aide suddenly tapped him on the shoulder. Snad turned irritably to him. “What?!”
The aide pushed forward a comlink. “A call Governor.”
Thomas shifted his huge bulk to grab the comlink when a shout came up. A speeder was plunging over the heads of the festival goers and did a 90 degree turn in front of the stands. The Governor’s aide knew what was about to happen and hurled himself in front of Thomas. At the same time, a barrel stuck threw the window of the speeder. It opened fire, sending a deadly stream of blaster shots into the stands. The aide took three shots in the chest and collapsed into Thomas’s lap. The shots tore through another officer of the court. The barrel finished traversing to Thomas’s right and swung back, striking the officers of the court several times, and hit a stormtrooper that was trying to protect the Governor. Thomas felt someone grab his arm and attempt to pull him away from the stream of red darts. It was too late. Blaster shots hit the Governor across the chest and face, blowing away most of his left arm. His bodyguard got hit in the face and side. Another official further down got hit in the stomach and crumbled while squads of stormtroopers pushed onto the stand. The speeder banked over and shot away from the area of death.
Thomas lay in his own blood, listening to the alarms wailing in the distance and the thud of feet as stormtroopers and medics rushed around. Slowly everything grew dark, then faded away into nothing…