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Form1
3 December 2001, 06:45 PM
"ALL STATES, all powers, that have held and hold rule over men have been and are either republics or principalities. ...Such dominions ... are acquired either by the arms of the prince himself, or of others... "

-"The Prince", Niccolo Machiavelli,


Morden sat back in his chair, contemplating. Everything was as it should be. Everything was good; everything was fine. And yet... And yet what? he thought irritably. Business was up. The collapse of Empire - and it's restrictive trade - had revitalized the galactic economy. It was as if a dam had burst, allowing free trade and prosperity to spread to every corner of the galaxy, and he, of all people, was reaping the benefits. And what's more, he was doing fine. He had lost the five pounds he had gained over the last weekend, and he, like most aristocrats, worried about his appearance. Unlike most aristocrats, he was in (relatively) good shape.

And yet... He didn't know what. He felt waves of ice on his spine. Something was going to happen. He just didn't know what.

Grimace
3 December 2001, 08:12 PM
Berthal Cummens sulked at his desk. He hated the way his fellow co-workers had harrassed him. It wasn't like he had claimed he was a galaxy renowned scout...he had simply said he wanted to explore out among the stars. For that, he'd been ridiculed and pestered. So what if he was a 3rd Level Administrative Clerk. So what if he didn't make enough in a year to take a trip to the Outer Rim, much less own a ship. He'd show them!

Berthal punched up the file that he had collected over the last year and a half. His eyes danced over the screen as it showed his planned adventure in all of its detail. Lost civilizations and ancient legends were just what Berthal was looking for. He had spent a great deal of time and labor to dig up such long, lost material. A believed extinct race once known as the Tugg, and their even more ancient legend about the Tugg End Days. He had some hand drawn pictures of supposed ancient Tugg ruins where riches and curses were buried. Berthal planned on going to the place where the rumored Tugg ruins lay. He didn't know how, but he would. Then he'd prove to the simpletons at his office that he wasn't to be taken lightly. He'd be famous. Rich and famous.

Then he'd make them pay for their insults.

scourgicus
6 December 2001, 12:35 PM
Kyle Machree yawned as he nudged the hyperspace levers back, bringing his Incom CC-120 Corsair back into realspace. Millions of stars blinked back at him as he increased speed towards the deceptively bright world of Tatooine.

The gun-metal grey starfighter slipped through the atmosphere, twin ion engines flaring brightly, the distinctive forward-swept wings concealing laser cannons. Machree sighed. Since the fall of the Empire he'd been restricted mostly to Rim planets, and was quickly growing a love/hate relationship with this particular one. "Can anything good come out of Tatooine?" he mused to himself, thinking he'd heard a similar statement somewhere before.

Activating he fighter's repulsorlifts he commed Mos Eisley Air Control. The bored-sounding controller directed him to landing bay 116, and Machree adjusted his course. Once grounded he shut down all the main systems and popped the canopy, vaulting to the ground.

Moments later, he left the docking bay and made for one of the local cantinas; blaster on his hip, a vibroblade slung across his back.

Grimace
7 December 2001, 07:25 PM
He had always dreamed that space travel would be fun, but Berthal never imagined the wonders that he'd see in his journey. Already he had met up with more alien races than he could possibly count. Tall aliens with odd looking bent heads, shorter aliens that were green and had almost bulbous black eyes. The sounds of the various languages alone were staggering and he enjoyed it all immensely!

Berthal had taken the big plunge, as some of his co-workers had put it (in murmured gossip behind his back) and had sold off some of his dear possessions in order to raise money to journey to the Outer Rim, and hopefully beyond. Berthal had met a fairly nice fellow on the long, five day journey to the Rim. The man was named Wate, and thankfully spoke Basic, so they had conversed extensively. Berthal discovered that Wate was a "retired" explorer. He claimed to have journeyed into Wild Space, and filled Berthal in on the "do's" and "don't's".

Now, as Berthal stepped from the very bedraggled looking transport liner that had brought him here, he was more excited than ever. From here, Devacus II, he would REALLY begin his journey to find the ruins of the ancient Tugg civilization. The first thing he needed to do was procure a private charter to take him to a place called Gowche.

Straightening his tie, and tugging slightly at his suit jacket with one hand, the other busy carrying his large, travel case, he looked around for something or someone that looked like a charter official. He'd never been to a place such as this before, and looking over the dozens and dozens of alien faces, he began to feel slightly more insignificant. For a hestitant second, he almost felt as if his co-workers may have been correct. With a flash of anger, he pushed that thought from his mind. Never would he let them be right! He'd show them all. Carefully, making sure not to bump into anyone as he moved, he made his way from the arrival area to where the other passengers were funneling into a large area. He didn't notice the shifty eyed alien watching his movements from the side of the docking bay.

Berthal thought to himself, "What an adventure I'm going to have. I'll be famous!"

scourgicus
10 December 2001, 08:01 AM
"Man, I hate this place..."

Machree slid into a booth and ordered a glass of lum. The attractive Twi'lek waitress flashed him a smile as she turned away. But he was already intent on his datapad, scrolling through a long list of names.

The Devaronian approached him with little regard, any attempt at stealth failed, or never intended. He was still a few meters away when Machree drew his blaster, pointing it in his direction. "Go away, Tolgon." He didn't look up from the datapad.

Tolgon spread his hands, a smile creasing his devilish face "Machree, is that any way to greet a friend?"

"You're not my friend, Tolgon" Machree sounded bored. He tapped a few buttons.

"But after all we've been through..." the smile got bigger.

Machree clicked the blaster's safety, off.

Nudging her way to the table the waitress took one look at Tolgon and rolled her eyes. "C'mon boys, we have a strick no vaping rule here".

Machree finally looked up, grinned evily. "Sorry, honey. Boredom does terrible things to a man."

"Whatever," depositing his lum, she turned away.

Machree holstered the gun and took a sip of his drink. "Alright, Tolgon, what do you want?"

"Why must it always be 'What do you want Tolgon? What new medieval torture do you have for me this week Tolgon?' Can't I be friendly?" he started to sit down.

Machree gave him a withering look. "Please. And I never said you could join me."

Tolgon held up his hands. "Fine, fine. Go on with your boring existence. I'll just keep all the excitement to myself." He turned to leave. "Have fun Machree. Doing nothing."

Ignoring the Devaronian, Machree tried to look interested in his list of Rodian plays. What am I doing with this card anyway? Laying the pad on the table he watched Tolgon meandering around the cantina, pretending to talk to a number of people. He sure is trying to get my attention. But what could Tolgon have that would interest anyone, except him?.

Downing the rest of his lum, Machree watched the Devaronian strike up a conversation with a Wookie. The way Tolgon was looking back at Machree made it apparent what his intentions were. Meanwhile the Wookie glanced up at the annoying creature interrupting his drinking pleasure, and summarily shoved him away. Tolgon fell into a booth filled with Barabels, who were less than happy to see him. He backed off, and bumped into a dour Gamorrean, whose hand went straight to his vibro-axe.

Machree was there in a moment, grabbing Tolgon's arm and yanking him to safety. "Sorry," he said to the Gamorrean. "My friend's a clutz." He dragged the Devaronian away.

"Ah, my savior" Tolgon sang.

"Clam it. This had better be good."

"Oh, it is" cooed Tolgon. "It is very good."

Grimace
13 December 2001, 06:12 PM
His wildest nightmares could never have envisioned a place like he was viewing. The cold, moist air gripped his body like an icy hand of death. The blackness of night blanketed everything, causing the flora of the planet to take on ghoulish appearances.

Berthal Cummens gripped his "exploratory pouch" even tighter in his hand. The cold air was beginning to numb his fingers and he felt that he might lose his grip on the bag that held his studies. He'd need them if this was, in fact, the ancient Tugg temple. In his other hand, he flashed the glowrod quickly back and forth in his path...his eyes darting wildly as the angst grew in him.

Berthal cast a look back down the slope that he had just climbed at the small transport vessel that had taken him to this place in Wild space. Even though the pilot, Dreeker, looked shifty, he had been the only one willing to take Berthal's money to fly him to this place. Most others had looked at Berthal like he was a madman when he asked them. One pilot had even said something about a curse, but Dreeker had dispelled that with a casual wave, saying that the old coot was just senile and paranoid. "No sense of adventure" was the term that Dreeker had said.

Berthal tried to keep Dreeker's casual attitude at the forefront of his mind as he moved slowly across the open space towards the ruins. His hard soled shoes crunched loudly on the loose gravel, only muffling slightly when he walked over a patch of dead grass.

The glowrod's beam continued it's wild dance around the area, as he went. Finally it settled, as if pulled by a magnet, at a darkened maw that marked the opening into the ruins. Old, dead vegetation had grown up around the edges of the stone wall and doorframe. As Berthal levelled his light at the opening, he felt a rush of cold air brush outward from the hole across him. It sent a shiver through his body. Berthal could have sworn he heard a low, nearly inaudible moan as the gust went by him. That alone chilled him more than the air.

He paused for a moment...a long moment, as the opening. Too many thoughts ran through his head. Could there be death here? Fortune? A curse? Casting one last look back, hoping to see some sign of the ship with Dreeker on board. It was too far behind and down the slope to see. Breathing deeply, trying to push away the fears, he stepped inside and seemed to disappear into the darkness.

As Berthal entered, he noticed that the slope was heading downward. His glowrod flashed over the walls and ceiling. He noticed strange drawings and inscriptions on the walls. He'd seem some of them before. They signified a long, forgotten language of a civilization dead and gone. His nose began to tell him of something foul smelling. It could be rotting vegetation, but he wasn't quite sure, having never smelled it before. The thought of having it be something else rushed into his mind, and his pace slowed even more.

Grimace
19 December 2001, 10:46 PM
Fear.

Not the casual, afraid of a bully, sort of fear.

Not even the heart quickening, something unknown is following you, sort of fear.

This was the compress the chest, feel your heart actually skip in fright, mind numbing sort of fear. The fear that reaches down into your soul and causes all of the nightmares of the twilight dreams to come alive.

What Berthal Cummens saw caused that sort of fear in him. He stood, terrified so much that he couldn't move, yet his mind screamed at him to run for his life. The scene in front of him was what he had envisioned in only his most forgotten and horrid dreams. The glow of green light that he had seen before now filled the entire room that he stood in. The glowrod in his hand was angled at the cave floor, but even the light from that seemed to be overpowered by the ominous green glow.

A figure, silhouetted by the source of the green light moved in slow and deliberate moves. The figure was enormous compared to the relatively small man that Berthal was. Four arms, powerful and awesome in appearance, ending in large claws, moved about in the light. The claws gripped and tore at something that Berthal couldn't make out, then lifted parts of the unknown thing so that the figure could survey them. A dark fluid drizzled out of the item in the figure's claws, and Berthal could hear the cold splatter of the fluid as it hit the stone floor, even though it was nearly 40 feet away. Berthal realized that he had stopped breathing, but he dared not make a noise, for he knew that the figure would turn it's hulking shape and terrible claws on him.

Up until now, he had seen inscriptions that he had copied. He was certain that the inscriptions told a story, a long and wonderous story about an ancient battle, thousands of years ago. He had, however, been intrigued by a strange, green glow and had stumbled into something that he wished he hadn't.

His mind kept screaming to turn and run, but his body refused to listen. The figure continued to move, the arms and claws continued to rip and lift, the fluid continued to splatter on the cave floor, making a sharp, crisp noise in the silence. Berthal realized that the foul smell, no...the stench, was worse now. He figured it was probably coming from the scene in front of him.

Slowly, as if the world was happening at normal speed, and Berthal was stuck in some sick and twisted slow motion, he slid one foot backward half a step. It was an age later when the other foot began to do the same. Before he realized what was happening, he had moved back another 10 feet, and then he was turning and bolting back the way he had come.

His mind raced, he swore the "thing" had seen him, and was now shuffling at super human speeds towards him...the awesomely grotesque claws reaching out to grab him and twist his spine out of him. Berthal ran like he'd never run before. He ran faster than a person in his shape, with his job history might be expected to run. Blindly he ran.

As he did, the glowrod flashed about wildly about, giving life to the shadows as he went. His mind put fangs on the shadows, claws on the rocks, eyes in the darkness. Then he fell!

The glowrod and pouch in his hands flew out of his grasp, and skittered across the cave floor. Berthal lay sprawled on the hard cave floor, smelling the cold, musty odor of the dirt. His mind still gripped in fear, he grasped wildly for his pouch, ignoring the glowrod. The contents of his pouch dumped out in his hurry. He issued a desperation wimper at this, and with trembling hands he quickly tried to collect the items and put them back in the pouch. As he grabbed wildly, his mind kept screaming at him to run, while his fear kept telling him to look at the oncoming creature from the green room. He resisted both urges and continued to pick up his belongings as quickly as he could. As he did, a strange yet attractive shimmer caught his eye in the darkness. At first he wanted to flinch away in terror, but the shimmer was that like a diamond, a splendid and gloriously pretty shimmer. It was in a small crack, but as he looked at it, he had the overwhelming urge to reach for it. It was wedged tightly in the crack, and he had to push his slightly pudgy hand hard into the small crack in the cave wall to reach it. His fingers touched something smooth and small. It was cold, almost frigid.

As he pulled it out of the crack, he looked for a half second at it. It was about the size of an egg, yet it seemed to emit a brilliant, white shimmer, like a light hitting a diamond just right. He shoved the "jewel" into his pouch and then was quickly on his feet again, forgetting entirely about the glowrod.

Onward he ran, up the slope that he had worked his way down, onward through the darkness. At long last he blundered out of the cave and was out on the wind swept surface. Still not breaking his dead sprint, even though his body ached from the strain, he kept running. Over the hard ground, through the chilled night air, he ran until he could see down the slope that he had climbed. There the wonderous lights of the ship glowed in anticipation of his arrival.

A slide and continued dash brought him to the ship, and completely out of breath he stumbled up the ramp to where Dreeker looked in shocked surprise at the man.

"We....must...leave!" gasped Berthal.

Bas
23 December 2001, 12:17 PM
"Calm down, calm down," said Dreeker. "What happened? What'dya see-" He frozes the long, loud roar that had been building up since he started talking reached auidible levels. "Oh, frell...." He muttered, his eyes wide, as the monster shambled out of the entranceway that was just big enough for it. It waved it's fanged head about, as if scanning the area, until it locked upon the ship. It sent up a short roar, and then began to charge. Dreeker snapped out of his freeze and ran into the ship, leaving Berthal on the ramp.

The creature covered the first hundred meters to the ship in under ten seconds, and it was still speeding up. The ship whined as it's engines powered up, but it wasn't going to make it in time before the beast had leaped upon it with it's claws.

Nintey meters away.

Seventy.

Fifty.

Twenty.

And then a blaster bolt hit the creatures foot, and it tripped, it's momentum suddenly dedicated to sending it crashing to the ground at speed.

"Hey ugly, over here!" There was a bolt, and a small flash, Berthal noticed, from about fifty meters to the right of the ship and about halfway towards the creature from the ship. A large clod of dirt, he could just make up in the darkness, was thrown up near the creature where the shot hit.

A inditinct figure began running from the source of the bolt to the ship, as the monster looked puzzeldly at the burn on his chest. Other than the puzzlment, it seemed to have little effect. "Don't raise the ramp yet! Get me out of this hellhole! shouted the figure, racing toward the ramp.

scourgicus
10 January 2002, 09:28 AM
"I will never understand how a sentient being can go for so long without relieving its bladder...and remain in so cramped a space! Don't you think its time to get a bigger ship? Machree? Machree I'm speaking to you!"

Kyle Machree stretched his aching muscles and yawned, ignoring the Devaronian. He casually reached up into the cockpit and pulled out his toolkit, making his way along the underside of his Incom CC-120 Corsair starfighter. Tolgon was attempting to crawl out of the admittedly cramped cargo space, complaining with every step. Or crawl as it were. Machree tapped a loose plate near the starboard laser cannon and pulled out a hydrospanner.

Tolgon half-stepped, half-fell out of the Corsair, sprawling onto the ground. "I don't think I can feel my legs..."

"Give it a minute," muttered Machree. "The pain will be there shortly."

"Ouuuch..."

Machree grinned.

When he was able to stand again Tolgon looked around him, taking in the sights of landing bay 114 on Aeseiria VI. "You know," mused the Devaronian. "For being on the edge of Wild Space this spot looks pretty decent." He glared at his companion. "And it better be. It seems years since I've seen a decent 'fresher."

Machree didn't reply and Tolgon stalked off, muttering something about "civilized beings require civilized amenities". He tried not to laugh.

Removing the plate, Machree took a look inside. Nothing seemed out of place. As he tested the various wires and eventually replaced the plate, tighter this time, he thought about the last three days. It had been an endless array of blathering and annoyance. Tolgon was frequently insisting on stopping at every planet on the route from Tatooine to Wild Space. "My bladder protests," he would say. Machree, of course, had more discipline than that, and the duo stopped once a day to grab a few hours of rest (the Devaronian refused to sleep in the ship). Machree explained he wanted to get to Gowche and find these alleged ruins.

"The details are fuzzy," purred Tolgon three days ago on Tatooine. "But apparantly the Tugg civilization was fabulously wealthy." He'd grinned maniacly. "A pearl ripe for the taking."

Machree wasn't big on the idea of graverobbing, or "salvaging" as Tolgon put it. He found such behavior reprehensible. But Machree was getting tired. He'd never admit it to Tolgon but he was getting weary of the long hyperjumps in cramped starfighters. It had been a long time since he had a bunk to call his own, let alone a home. The notion of a frieghter of some kind was incredibly appealing. No more sleeping in sleazy pits like the disgusting hotels in Mos Eisely. He sat back on bent legs for a moment and sighed. A permanent home, even if a ship. A place to call his own. In the long years since the fall of the Empire that was the one thing Machree had come to miss the most. He chuckled to himself. Funny the things you find yourself missing.

Kyle Machree stood up and dusted himself off, replacing the toolkit and shutting the hatch on his fighter. No. He wasn't in this to get rich quick or for bragging rights, like Tolgon. He was hoping for something a little more. Checking the charge on his blaster, Machree walked away from his sole possession and went to make sure Tolgon wasn't getting into trouble.

Grimace
11 January 2002, 10:32 PM
Berthal stood, his body in a paralyzed, stunned state. His eyes watched as the newcomer dashed wildy for the ramp of the ship. He barely registered the shifting gravity until the solid floor beneath his feet began to shift. Dreeker was lifting off!

The unknown figure ran full speed, also noticing that the ship was now rising from the cold, hard surface of the planet. Berthal grabbed a handhold, his vision still distant as though he was thinking about something that had nothing to do with his immediate surroundings. The figure leaped towards the still lowered ramp where Berthal stood. Berthal's eyes widened in fright, no...in terror at something beyond the newcomer. The "savior" barely noticed as he struggled to gain a hand-hold on the ramp as the craft lifted 5 feet - 10 feet - 20 feet off the ground. A semi-frustrated plea emitted from the individual still hanging with his legs dangling in the open air, "Lend a hand?"

As if he had been slapped, Berthal shook his head and looked down at the individual. Realizing that this figure had probably just saved both he and Dreeker, Berthal extended his free hand towards the figure. With some struggle, as Berthal was anything but burly, he managed to help the newcome up the ramp. Once they were both safely at the head of the ramp, Berthal pushed the access button and the ramp whined shut, closing out the chillingly cold air that blasted in from the night sky.

It was then that the full force of what had happened impacted Berthal. His eyes went blank and he slowly sank back against the wall of the ship and slipped to the floor, his eyes still open and staring blankly. The figure looked at the man on the floor, considering what to do next.

(OOC: Sorry for the delay, welcome to the game, Bas)

Form1
16 January 2002, 09:16 AM
Shard Cynax, captain of a ship that was once a rebel privateer, and was now a pirate vessel, stood on the deck, thoughtfully watching the display. She'd been in Wild Space for nearly a year now, pursuing an old enemy, one that had made the critical error in judgement of crossing her. The finale was near; she had recovered from her enemies last location scattered bits of information that were sufficient for her to find his final hiding spot. And she fully intended to ensure that it was, indeed, his final resting place.

"Captain, we're preparing to exit from hyperspace," a young, red-haired female officer said.

"Excellent, lieutenant. All hands to battle stations." Her lips curled ferally in anticipation of the coming fight.

As they dropped out of hyperspace, the scene displayed on her viewscreen was not at all what she expected. Not at all.

The remains of what was once a space station were clearly seen, but they were destroyed, ripped apart brutually by some unknown force. Huge docking pylons had been sheared, twisted, until they looked like a clay scupltures rended apart by some cruel child. The carnage was complete and utter.

"Sensors, get me a complete rundown of this. Have they already abandoned this base?"

"Negative! We're getting life signs... uh, sort of."

"Sort of?"

"There ain't no such thing as "sort of", ensign!" her second in command snapped.

"Sensors read life but... weird life. It's not coming through right. I don't know what to make of it."

Suddenly, the view on the screen changed. Green, yellow, and red... things... looking not so much like spaceships as mad hornets boiling out of a disturbed nest.

"Sithspawn!"

Saint
18 January 2002, 09:14 AM
Jared woke up and immediately regretted it. Eventually he was able to open his eyes without hot knives piercing his skull. Slowly sitting up, trying to keep the nausea at bay, Jared looked around to take in his surroundings. Standing up Jared managed to stumble out into the street.

Bright sunlight made him squint and almost caused him to blackout again from the splitting pain in his head. Sunlight! Something was very wrong here. Looking around his fears were confirmed. There was no way he should be able to see the sky. Walking up to the first person he saw, an older gentleman strolling along the street, he called out to him.

“Excuse me sir, I realize that this may sound odd, but what planet are we on?”

The older man, taking a quick look at Jared’s rumpled clothing, gave a bemused smile as he answered. “Must have been quite a party you had last night if you can’t even remember where you are.”

“Please sir” Jared responded quickly “It is very important that you tell me we I am.”

With a look of concern coming over his wrinkled face, the old man took a half a step back before responding. “Why you are on Aeseiria VI.”

Stunned, Jared stood in shock as the old man’s words echoed through his head.

“Young man, are you ok? Maybe you should see a doctor.” The old man took a step closer to Jared, intent on helping him.

Shaken out of his shock by the other man’s movement, Jared quickly took a step back. “Uhh, no, that’s ok. Like you said, it was a hell of a party.”

Turning Jared began to walk away. Aeseiria VI! How in the name of the Force had he gotten here? Aeseiria VI was clear out on the edge of wild space! Trying to remember what had happened, Jared looked back to the last thing he could remember.

He and some of his classmates had been out celebrating there pending graduation from the academy on Coruscant. Hitting their favorite bar they had been toasting each other and bragging about who was going to succeed the fastest. As the pain in his head began to fade, he began to remember more. He and his friends, with more alcohol than sense guiding them, had decided to head towards the lower levels for a little “slumming” as they had called it. He remembered meeting a woman there, although he couldn’t remember what she looked like. All he could remember was her eyes. So blue that they were almost black…

Shaking his head to force himself back to his current problem, Jared needed to come up with a plan to get home. Still contemplating his future, Jared suddenly found himself flat on his butt, staring up at an annoyed looking Devaronian.

“Uhh, pardon me.” Stammered Jared. “I guess I wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking.”


OOC
I hope no one minds me joining the party.

scourgicus
25 January 2002, 09:16 AM
“Uhh, pardon me.” Stammered Jared. “I guess I wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking.”

Tolgon looked down at the disheveled young man. "Well of course you weren't paying attention. Why any sentient being would purposely walk into another in perfectly beyond my understanding."

This guy sounds like a 3P0 unit, thought Jared. "Sorry about that. Uhm..I have a..."

The Devaronian offered him a hand. "Perfectly all right my boy, perfectly all right. Let's just make sure it doesn't happen again. Wild Space is...ah...a bit on the wild side as they say. One needs to keep their optical receptors active, you know."

Jared got to his feet and dusted himself off. "Yeah about that..." he looked up to find the Devaronian strolling down the street. "Hey!"

Tolgon turned as the young man ran up to him. Imperceptibly his hand snaked towards his jacket. What the frell does this runt want?

"I know this is going to sound a little wierd but I'm looking for a ride to Coruscant and I thought maybe..." he let the sentance trail off.

Tolgon just stared at him.

"...you might direct me to the spaceport?" Jared sounded hopeful.

"Of course," Tolgon pointed back the way he came. "A few hundred meters that way. You can't miss it." He turned to leave.

"Thanks," said Jared. "Its just I was with some of my friends from the Academy..."

The Devaronian stopped in his tracks. "What's this? Academy?"

"Yeah," Jared nodded. "I'm a student at the Academy on Coruscant..."

"My dear, dear boy," Tolgon put on his biggest, most devilish smile. The boys had suddenly turned into a giant cred chip. "How very fortunate you bumped into me. I believe I can be of service..."

Saint
30 January 2002, 02:33 PM
"My dear, dear boy," Tolgon put on his biggest, most devilish smile. The boys had suddenly turned into a giant cred chip. "How very fortunate you bumped into me. I believe I can be of service..."

"Really? How?" Tolgon's sudden demeanor change set off some warning bells for Jared. Of course beggars can't be chooser's and Jared was, after all, stuck on the edge of Wild Space with nothing but the clothes on his back.

"Why don't you come with me and we can discuss this." Tolgon smoothly replied.

The two beings began to walk along the street. "Why don't you tell me about yourself, uh, by the way, what is your name young man?" Tolgon looked down at Jared as they walked.

"Jared, Jared Vorson. Like I said before, I am a student on Coruscant. I will be graduating soon. Assuming that is I am not kicked out of school for disappearing like this. I planned on applying to the military academy after graduation."

"Really?" Tolgon looked over the young man. Just shy of 1.6 meters and rail thin, Jared was small for a human. "You don't exactly strike me as the soldier type..."

Blushing slightly at the comment Jared replied "I am stronger than I look, but my real talent is with computers." Straightening himself up he continued, "Besides, how big do you have to be to fire a blaster?"

"Now about that offer of helping me...."

scourgicus
31 January 2002, 03:26 PM
"Now about that offer of helping me...."

"Well you see, Jared, I am in the area on a business trip with another, rather dour gentleman. Now, he isn't the sort of man who extends aid to unfortunate beings such as yourself. Rather sad, if you ask me." He glanced over at Jared.

"Okay," Jared didn't like the way this was sounding, and couldn't help but wonder what kind of business this Devaronian was in.

"However," Tolgon continued. "I have considerable influence over him as we are old, old friends. From the Rebellion," he quickly added.

"You fought in the Rebellion against the Empire?" Jared looked at his companion with new found awe.

"Yes, yes. Aided the esteemed Mon Mothma in the acquisition of the Death Star plans and all. Nothing to get excited about." Little punk is buying every word of it.

But I thought Leia Organa-Solo stole the plans to the Death Star, thought Jared.

"As I was saying," Tolgon smiled. "This gentleman will be in a considerably better mood if he feels he's receiving something in reward for his generosity. Something like a fine meal. Now do you have any money on you?"

Jared checked. "No. I must have lost it."

Blast. "Well then, perhaps we could contact some of your relatives. Or a friend even..."

"Tolgon."

Jared turned. A tall (better than 2 meters), grizzled human was approaching them. His long brown hair was pulled back in a tail and blue eyes burned like cold fire out of his stern, wind-scarred face. He wore a blaster carbine and a vibroblade over his shoulder and Jared got the immediate impression this was not someone to joke around with.

"My dear, dear Machree!" Tolgon poured on the charm, glancing over at the younger human beside him. "This is the esteemed collegue I was telling you about. Machree, this is Jared Vorson, a student at the Coruscant Military Academy..."

"No I said the..."

"...and I was just telling him what a generous - OUCH!"

Machree walked right past Jared, grabbing the Devaronian by the ear and dragging him along. "Leave him alone, Tolgon. I'm sure he's had enough harship in life without you in it."

"Ow, ow. But Machree I'm sure his family is quite wealthy..."

"Shut up Tolgon."

They were a few meters away before Jared realized what happened. "Hey!" he said, walking after them.

The pair rounded a corner before Jared could catch up with them. "Uhm, hi, uh, Mr. Machree, was it?"

Machree turned around and came within a breath of Jared's face. The young man could see a long scar going crosswise from his forehead to the left side of his jaw. Could smell his sweat. See right into those blue eyes.

"Never. Ever. Call me mister, punk. Have you got that?" he pointed his finger in Jared's face.

He recoiled. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Look its just that I'm lost and this Devaronian..."

"I was offering to help him Machree."

"You were offering to rob him of all his money, Tolgon."

"...said you might..." Jared tried to interject.

"He doesn't have any money." the Devaronian folded his arms.

"...help me...?" Jared ended, a note of hope in his voice.

Machree, who had turned to look at his companion, looked around at the boy. He was short, filthy, and dressed in rags. Machree sighed. How do I get into these situations?

The trio had stopped in front of an espcafe and the aroma of cooking food was wafting out through the old hinge-style double doors. A loud rumbling growled out of Jared's stomach.

"When was the last time you ate?" Machree's voice was considerably softer.

"I'm not really sure."

Machree stood for a moment, some internal battle waging unseen in his heart, mind or soul. Or what's left of them. He glanced at Tolgon, then looked back at the boy.

"A student at the Academy, huh?" he almost whispered.

"Yes. I'm hoping to apply to the Military Academy, if I get back in time."

Machree sighed and turned to Tolgon. "You're going to regret this."

"What?" the Devaronian spread his hands.

"C'mon kid, let's get you something to eat." Machree reached for the door of the espcafe and opened it.

"Cool," said Jared.

Amazing, thought Tolgon.

***

Later, when Tolgon was smashed into the tight cargo space of the CC-120 Corsair, trying to pry the boy's elbow out of his face, he decided he definitely regretted it.

A few feet away in the cockpit, Kyle Machree actually smiled,as he pulled the levers to enter hyperspace. Bound for Gowche.

OOC - I'm assuming Jared is a student at a New Republic academy. If I'm wrong let me know.

Grimace
31 January 2002, 05:11 PM
After Berthal has "blanked" on the concious level, Dreeker had rather quickly punched his ship into hyperspace. Right now, two things were on his mind: What in the world had happened, and who was left in the back of his ship.

With a semi-cocky gait, he strode from the cockpit and was just about to say something when he saw the newcomer standing over the short, balding man....his fair...who was sitting with a dumbfounded look on his face. "Wha's goin' on here? Who're you?" he asked, giving a jerk of his head to the newcomer.

The newcomer ignored the question and motioned to Berthal on the floor. "Looks like your friend here has lost it. All the lights went out upstairs, so to speak. Can't say I blame him too much after seeing that thing back there, but he DID help pull me in, so I guess I owe the little guy. Let's get him off the floor and in a chair."

Dreeker, sensing that he could at least trust this fellow, nodded and looked down at Berthal. The man sat still, his eyes wide open and staring at something beyond the far wall, perhaps even beyond the ship. Dreeker and the newcomer both grabbed hold of Berthal and carried the man into his small room aboard the ship. Placing him on the bunk, then leaving him alone in the room, Dreeker moved back towards the cockpit with the newcomer right behind. Once back into the fairly cramped, two seater cockpit, Dreeker leaned back in his bucket seat type pilot's chair and gave a quick look over his control panel. As he did, he spoke to the unknown fellow. "Name's Dreeker, didn't catch yours yet. I'm shuttlin' that little man around back there. Says he's lookin' for some lost race or somethin' of that nature. What brings you out to these forsaken parts?"

scourgicus
23 February 2002, 06:26 AM
Machreee shook his head and prepared for another day of mind-numbing boredom.

Leaning back in his chair, he signaled to the waitress for more espcaf. She was tall and unhealthily thin, and as she came over flashed a smile at Jared. The young man tried (<I>tried</I>) not to blush. “Anything for <I>you</I>, honey?”

“Yeah,” stammered Jared. “I’ll take a refill of espcaf.”

“You got it, tiger.” Her eyes sparkled.

Machree shook his head as she jiggled away and gestured towards the younger man. “You do realize she’d rob you blind if you took her up on the offer.”

“For more espcaf?”

“She wasn’t talking about espcaf.”

Jared chuckled. “Well I don’t have any money, so too bad for her, right?” He looked mischievously at the girl.

“You’ve been spending too much time with Tolgon.”

Jared smirked. “Little hard not too.”

The kid had a point. The three of them had spent the better part of a week on the trip to Gowche, Jared and the Devaronian squeezed into the cargo compartment of Machree’s starfighter. Tolgon’s discomfort had been profoundly amusing, though Machree felt for Jared. Being in close proximity to the Devaronian must have been sheer torture. He knew <I>he</I> couldn’t stand being anywhere near Tolgon, let alone smashed up against him.

Since arriving at Gowche they’d had nothing but trouble. While they’d found a cheap hotel to crash at, they were having a terrible time renting a landspeeder to take to the Tugg ruins. “It must be one with ample cargo capacity,” Tolgon insisted. “For all the wealth we’ll be bringing back.” Machree thought Tolgon might want ample cargo space in the event Machree decided to lock him in. <I>I don’t think I’d be</I> that<I> cruel</I>. Still, the thought had not escaped him.

But in the process of renting a speeder, Tolgon had mentioned the Tugg ruins and the shop owner flatly refused the rental. “Something about a curse,” the Devaronian snorted. Apparently the owner felt so strongly about it he’d contacted most of the other rental shops, and hence, they had gone nowhere in almost a week. Jared suggested just flying out but recent events (“Tomb raiders, curse them!” said Tolgon) had caused authorities to declare a no-fly zone around the ruins. At the moment Tolgon was trying the last shop in town, but Machree doubted it would do any good. <I>We’ll just have to improvise</I>.

As Machree sipped his fresh, and very hot, espcaf, Tolgon appeared at the doorway. He saw his companions and headed towards them.

“Speak of the devil,” Jared quipped.

Tolgon gave him a withering glance as he sat down. “Well gentlemen, it appears superstition supercedes good business sense in this ridiculous city. Not a single shop will rent us a speeder. They claim some nerfherder from the Core stirred up the local demons digging for treasure.”

Jared raised an eyebrow. “They actually said that?”

The Devaronian frowned at him. “Oh yes, Jared, they told me all about their local mythology and it turns out you’re the god of Hutt dung – of course not you idiot! Some local legend about the Tugg and ‘the end of the world’.” He said this last with great disdain. “Supercilious fools, they’re losing a fortune this way!”

“Or are you losing a fortune this way, Tolgon?” Machree grinned. Just as the Devaronian’s expression turned from disbelief to open anger, Machree lifted up a hand. “Just kidding, Tolgon. Look, you’ve had a rough morning. Grab a bite to eat and we’ll get out of here. I think I can get us in undetected.”

Tolgon looked at the wall-mounted menupad. “I very much doubt there’s anything befitting my tastes.”

“Actually, the food’s pretty good,” offered Jared

The bubbly waitress returned and held up a datapad. “What can I get for you?”

Tolgon looked a few moments longer then said, “I’ll take the Quasar Nerfwich with spudspears. And a flagon of Corellian ale.”

The waitress gave Tolgon the same look she’d given Jared. “This early, sugar?”

The Devaronian’s smile went ear to ear “But of course, my delicate <i>rhyshcate</i>.”

Jared just shook his head in disbelief.

Grimace
23 February 2002, 12:59 PM
The torments of sleep wracked Bethals mind as he tossed and turned wildly. The worn out sheets of the bunk were drenched with sweat as Berthal coiled in them like a Rench Snake.

In his mind, a parade of strange and bizarre images moved along in a surreal display. Large, four armed creatures with huge canine teeth, strange shapes backlighted by eerie green light, and something black and overwhlemingly evil hidden in a darkness that absorbs all light contacting it. All of them were a visual torture for Berthal. He continued to twist and turn in his sleep, occasionally emitting a troubled wimper at what his mind's eye was seeing.

Unknown to the troubled man, inside his own little bunk room aboard Dreeker's ship, a strange green light was beginning to appear. At first it was barely visible, and couldn't be noticed by anyone considering the bunk room lights were still on. As time passed, however, the green light grew in intensity. Soon it was overwhelming, filling the whole bunk room with the eerie green light.

Berthal's sweating increased.

In the cockpit, Dreeker's expression changed from his usual calm demeanor to that of curious concern. Internal temperature aboard his ship was rising. The man next to Dreeker noticed the pilot's change and asked, "What's up?"

Dreeker barely shook his head at the question, muttering a response as he tapped the controls for a re-test. "Dunno. Reading real high cabin temps. Does it seem warmer in here to you?"

Just as the man was going to answer, all electrical systems, the lights and flight controls both, flickered off and then on again. Both Dreeker and the man jumped at the power interruption, looking at the ship around them and then at each other. "What the--?!"

Immediately after that, both men heard a scream from somewhere inside the ship...it sounded like Berthal screaming. A half second after that, all systems aboard the ship went dead.

Grimace
26 March 2002, 06:05 PM
Wellit Mantyre was used to confusion and mayhem. Generally, he was the one who instigated such confusion. Right now, he was angry that someone had beaten him to the punch.

With a scowl across his rough, reddish brown skin, he crossed the normally crowded, yet now oddly empty, docking bay. He moved towards the double access doors that would take him to the connection tube that lead to the Trade Hall. Looking about as he went, he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. No signs of combat, no odds smells, nothing...except for the acute lack of ANYONE. The docking bay was a lit up and clean as it would have been any other day. There were even two other ships sitting silently on deck.

The Klatoonian made it to the access doors and they opened at his approach. The connection tube was 300 meters long and well lit, but it too was completely empty. His boots made the only sound as he walked down the connection tube towards the Trade Hall. Mantyre *knew* that if anyone was to be found, they would be in the Trade Hall. All of the runners, smugglers, scavs, miners, scouts and hunters always clustered in the Trade Hall of Reiglan's Station.

As he neared the access doors to the Trade Hall, his pace slowed as his ears strained to hear the normal cacophony of the hoardes of people.

There was only silence.

Mantyre paused just shy of the door sensor; a strange feeling was gnawing at his gut. His arrival had been directed by an automated dock control. No officials or customs officers had come out to cause him grief. No techs were to be found in the docking bay, busily tinkering with various machines. None of the normal pests had bothered him for a ride to wherever he was headed. Now there was no noise in the Trade Hall. Something was seriously wrong.

Reiglan's Station held more than 6,000 space travellers and station personnel at any one time. He'd been here before, and never seen anything similar to this. His weathered hand snapped the strap off of his heavy blaster pistol as Mantyre almost stared at the still closed doors of the Trade Hall. "Something stinks," he muttered to himself.

scourgicus
1 April 2002, 11:10 AM
<I>“I think I can get us in undetected.”</I>

Jared stood outside the dilapidated shop and absently tapped his foot. Standing out in the hot sun for the better part of an hour was definitely <I>not</I> his idea of fun. They were on the outskirts of the city, but Jared felt they were at least a hundred miles from anything helpful. After lunch the trio had taken a taxi to the city’s edge, and had hoofed it the rest of the way. When Tolgon complained, Machree told him “The exercise will do you good”. The Devaronian’s response was less than dignified.

A refreshing breeze kicked up suddenly, peeling away the stink of grease, sweat, and fuel exhaust that hovered over the building. Machree had disappeared into an irising hatchway upon their arrival, leaving his companions to wait. At first he hadn’t minded but as time wore on Tolgon decided to fill the empty spaces with stories of his heroics during the Rebellion. Jared, of course, bought none of it.

“And then there was the time I was in a dogfight with Darth Vader. Against Vader that is. I was flying an X-wing, bereft of shields I might add, off of Fondor when…”

The hatchway opened and Jared had to repress a squeal of delight at being delivered. Machree’s form filled the hatchway and Jared was about to hail him when his eye caught the glimmer of something metal in the other man’s hand. It passed from view almost instantly, disappearing into Machree’s trench coat, and the younger man found himself doubting what he had seen. Tolgon’s loud reproof drove the thought from his head, and Jared had to hurry to catch up with the Devaronian, who was following his quickly departing companion.

Machree lead them around the building to an old-style manual-lift gate. Grabbing the handle he opened the gate to reveal a weather-beaten, if functional, landspeeder. Machree moved to the driver’s side. Tolgon’s mouth fell open.

“You mean you could have saved me all that work…all that <I>embarrassment</I>…of going to those speeder dealers?! I…I…”

“Shut up, Tolgon,” growled Machree. His mood had obviously worsened. “Let’s get out of here.”

As he climbed into the back of the speeder Jared said “Are we going back to the ship, to get supplies?”

Machree shook his head and fired up the engine. “There’s some in the back. And we’re on a time limit.”

“Oh, splendid…”

“Shut up, Tolgon.”

***

Kyle Machree put the speeder on standby and looked out on the Tugg ruins.

Stretching out in front of him were tall masses of stone collapsed on top of each other. Whether they had made up temples, or homes, he wasn’t sure. All he was sure of was the complete devastation around him. As he got out of the speeder, Machree fought off a number of unpleasant, unbidden memories, and tried to ignore the weight of the Imperial code cylinder in his coat.

Tolgon grinned widely, rubbing his hands together. “Excellent, excellent. Well done Machree, I knew from the moment I met you I could count on you to get me here. We will be rich my friend, rich beyond our wildest dreams. There are treasures within the likes of which…”

“I’ve never seen before,” Machree finished absent-mindedly. He was scanning the horizon. “So you’ve been telling me.”

Tolgon, beaming in the light of his expedition, went around the back of the speeder and began pulling out their supplies. Jared was looking around, shading his eyes from the sun. “Pretty crummy place to build a city…”

“Oh it was once beautiful, or so I’m told,” remarked Tolgon. “Full of fountains and great temples of granite and marble.” The Devaronian paused as though confused, before lifting a blaster rifle out of the speeder’s storage space. “What’s this?”

“That’s mine,” said Machree, and gestured for the Devaronian to toss him the weapon. Then he checked the rifle’s charge, and slung it over his shoulder.

After gathering their gear, the threesome moved slowly towards the edge of the ruins. Machree suspiciously looked around, occasionally peering through a pair of electrobinoculars, always keeping his hand near his rifle. They were nearing what may once have been an archway when Machree called a halt.

“Something wrong?” asked Jared.

“Machree, we really must get to work. There’s nothing to worry about, the Tugg have been dead for a millennia. Besides…”

Machree turned, pulling out his blaster pistol and handing it to Jared. “You know how to use one of these.” It wasn't a question.

“Sure.”

“Good. Both of you follow me.”

The elder man lead them a hundred meters southwest of the archway to a spot in the middle of a low flat area. As they were walking Jared thought he glimpsed movement out of the corner of his eye and quickly brought up the Blastech pistol. Off to his right stretched the long line of ruins and a dark gash in the earth. <I>What could that be</I>? Intrigued he stepped away from the others.

Further on Machree knelt down on the ground and gestured to a series of depressions. “Look familiar?” he asked the Devaronian.

Tolgon crossed his arms defiantly. “Not at all. What is this ludicrous goose chase, Machree. We really ought to…”

“Landing gear impressions,” he said flatly. He looked around him a circle of dust surrounding them. “With a broad repulsorlift dust-off.” Machree stood and unslung his rifle. “Someone beat us here.”

The Devaronian gaped. “What?”

Machree nodded, rechecking the charge on his rifle. “And it looks like they left pretty quick. Tell me again about these Tugg.”

“I really don’t know <I>that</I> much,” Tolgon frowned. “Only they were rumored to be fabulously wealthy…”

At that selfsame moment the roar of something very, very large broke into the darkling skies and echoed across the ruins. Machree lifted his rifle and turned towards the sound, finding only the empty line of Tugg ruins. He glanced back at Tolgon and paled.

“Where’s Jared?”

Saint
8 April 2002, 01:18 PM
The elder man lead them a hundred meters southwest of the archway to a spot in the middle of a low flat area. As they were walking Jared thought he glimpsed movement out of the corner of his eye and quickly brought up the Blastech pistol. Off to his right stretched the long line of ruins and a dark gash in the earth. What could that be? Intrigued he stepped away from the others.

Approaching the gash in the ground, it looked like something large had fallen and dug up the ground, and it was recent if the amount of growth in other areas was any indication. Jared was about to call Machree and Tolgon over when he caught movement, again just out of the corner of his eye. Looking in that direction he spotted light coming from an opening up on top of a nearby hill. Gripping the blaster tighter he headed up the hill.

Upon reaching the top, Jared realized that the opening he saw was a large doorway, surrounded by vegetation. Getting closer to the doorway, he realized that some of the overgrowth had recently been torn from the opening. The light that he had noticed earlier was coming from inside. Cautiously Jared stepped through the doorway and into the ruins.

Several minutes later Jared came upon the source of the light. It was a glowrod that someone had left on. As he reached down to pick it up a cold breeze blew over him from deeper in the ruins. Looking around quickly Jared spotted several sheets of paper laying about the floor.

"There is no way that this glowrod could have been here for very long. I wonder if those stories of graverobbers that were being told back in town had any truth to them?" The sound of Jared's voice echoed back to him from the walls.

"That was a stupid thing to do." Jared thought, silently berating himself. Quickly looking around to make sure nothing had heard him, he gathered up the scattered sheets of paper, intent on bringing them to Machree.

Another cold wind blew over him, this time carrying a horrible stench. And he heard a sound. What he thought was his heartbeat echoing in his chest was really what sounded like footsteps. BIG footsteps. Pulling his blaster back out Jared began to back up, working his way back to the outside.

As he reached the exit Jared turned to take one last look down the tunnel, and that is when he spoted the creature. A huge form with four powerful arms tipped in claws was rushing up the tunnel towards him.

A terror that Jared had never felt paralyzed his muscles as he watched the creature step out of the ruins. Even 20 feet away Jared had to look up at the beast. The creature stood there staring at Jared for a moment then charged forward, letting loose a terrible ROAR!



Machree lifted his rifle and turned towards the sound, finding only the empty line of Tugg ruins. He glanced back at Tolgon and paled.

“Where’s Jared?”

Grimace
8 April 2002, 09:19 PM
OOC: Excellent writing guys! Keep up the good story! :)

IC:

An access door snap-hissed open with a terrible loudness in the silent halls of Reiglan's Station. Mantyre's right eye twitched nervously as he passed through each accessway, finding a whole lot more of nothing. The entire level has was on had netted him a total of 14 empty rooms. The extremely disturbing part, even for a man like Mantyre, was that he had found food in the restaraunts that was still warm. Utensils were left on plates, as if the inhabitants of the station had just dropped everything and left.

There were no signs of struggle, no blaster marks anywhere. Not even any blood. Mantyre's boots made the only sound....a lonely sound, as he walked down the empty hallway towards the bank of turbolifts that would take him to the other levels of the station. "There's gotta be somebody somewhere," he muttered to himself.

By this time, Mantyre didn't know whether to walk around expecting hostility or not. His hand hovered near the blaster on his side and his senses tingled... as if they knew something was wrong. "Well obviously something's wrong. Ain't no one here," he said aloud, as if hearing a voice would calm him.

He reached the bank of lifts and checked to his right and left, as the hallway broke off in both directions. He'd already scoured most areas on this level, so he knew there was nothing, but something kept nagging at him. Suddenly, his reddish brown eyes snapped to the readout above one of the turbolifts...one was in operation! Heading up towards the level he was on.

He glanced around him again. No quick place to conceal himself. For some reason, he didn't want to see whatever it was that was aboard that turbolift He punched a lift button, and felt a jump of glee as the lift doors opened invitingly. He nearly hopped into the lift and jabbed a random button. Anywhere besides where he was had to be better.

As the doors slid shut with a hissing clamp, he felt the ever-so-slight motion as the lift began moving. Looking at the button he had pushed, Mantyre noticed that he was headed up to the sundries storage level. Perhaps that place would have some clue as to what was going on...somebody to tell him what had happened.

Sil7
11 April 2002, 04:06 PM
"Where am I?" was the most pressing question on Illian Marda's mind. As his consciousness came gradualy back to him, he felt a cold steel floor beneath him. Pain stabbed into his eyes as he forced them open. Quickly glancing around the room, it seemed he was in some sort of storage area. There were steel containers littering the ground all around.

<i> "Reigland Station!" </i> He quickly got to his feet as a cold dread descended on him. <i>Something is very wrong here.</i> Quickly checking the blaster at his side, Illian took a better look at his surroundings. Everything looked normal, except nobody was here and.... the lift tube! Something was coming up towards his level. Kneeling behind a container, He drew his blaster and trained it on the lift tube door.

<i>"Whatever it is, It better be friendly."</i>

Grimace
11 April 2002, 06:34 PM
OOC: Welcome aboard, Sil7.

IC:

The short journey in the turbolift gave Mantyre enough time to calm down. A person of his job choosing shouldn't be worked up over this minor trouble of "nothing". He was an experienced gunslinger who made a living at causing grief for others, so it was about time that he turned things around for this situation. Someone had to be responsible for the disappearance of the station people, and that someone could be dealt with.

The turbolift slowed and with a fluid motion that was like second nature to Mantyre, he drew the heavy blaster pistol and leveled it from his hip at the lift doors. With a hiss, the doors slid open to reveal the lit storage area, with several large containers stacked neatly a few meters distant. He didn't see anyone as he stood in the lift, the doors still waiting open for someone to exit. With a bold step, he was out of the lift and the doors hissed shut behind him. His reddish brown eyes narrowed as he looked at his surroundings. "Lots of places to hide here," he thought.

He began to move towards a pile of crates to his left, when he suddenly got the feeling that he was being watched. He spun quickly to face the direction where he sensed someone watching him, the blaster in his hand ready. "Who's there?" he called.

Grimace
11 April 2002, 06:48 PM
Dreeker slammed his fist into the steel bulkhead, realizing afterwards what a mistake that was. He was so frustrated, yet nothing he did seemed to bring the power back on. It was as if all of the power cells had been sucked dry. Added to that, his fair had turned into a pile of ash and now he had a strange newcomer aboard his ship.

The new guy was quiet and closed off. Add to that, Dreeker was beginning to forget that the fellow had saved the ship from whatever that "thing" was. All of that was moot now, as his ship floated powerless in space. "Saved from that monster only to die from lack of air in my own ship," muttered Dreeker.

Since all of his efforts so far had resulted in no power, Dreeker decided to try Plan B. He made a bee line to the storage area of his ship and began to rummage through several crates until he found the instrument he was looking for. It was a subspace distress transmitter. If anything, he was certainly in "distress".

Shaking his head, and hoping that he'd be found be someone who didn't ask too many questions, Dreeker flipped the switch and the instrument began to silently scream for help. "Hope help gets here soon. Probably only have about a day's worth of air left in here."

*Beep* *Beep* *Beep* *Beep* ....into space, in all directions, the distress signal broadcast it's message.

Sil7
15 April 2002, 06:22 PM
Illian saw the Klatooinian walk into the room. His first impulse was to shoot whatever came out of those doors, but he hadn't survived this long by living by fear. One thing was for certain, though. That man had seen combat before. The way he held himself, the awarness in his eyes, it all spoke of a man who saw alot of combat.

Illian brushed his dirty blonde hair back under his hat while watching the man, and jumped when he spun and looked right at where he was. "Who's there?" he called out. Illian thought for a moment, running his hand along the scar on his left cheek. <I>"He knows I'm here, and there's no other way out."</I> Illian readied his heavy blaster, and stood slowly, looking for any sign of hostility from the man. "I'm Illian Marda, who are you?"

Grimace
15 April 2002, 08:03 PM
Wellit Mantyre almost jumped for joy despite himself when he saw the shape of a human appear. While it wasn't his first choice for an alien to meet on the station, it certainly beat having no one around. The human seemed uneasy, and Mantyre thought the fellow might know something about the whole situation. Ignoring the human's question, Mantyre posed his own question in his slightly gruff tone, "What in Dreg's name is happening here? Where is everyone?"

Mantyre relaxed his posture slightly, bringing the barrel of his heavy blaster pistol to face the floor rather that at the human. Wellit was still wary of his surroundings, yet he figured information was best gained when the people he was talking to didn't feel as if they were Jawa's breath away from being blasted.

With his free hand, Mantyre beckoned for the human to come out from his hiding place. As he motioned, Mantyre began to move himself a little further away from the turbolift doors so that he could keep a good eye on them. Once he had moved over to a pile of crates, he waited for the human to come out and answer his questions.

Besides the sounds of the human moving about, the rest of the very large storage room was completely silent, save for the hum of the electric lighting.

scourgicus
18 April 2002, 09:12 AM
“Where’s Jared?”

“Uh…I…” Tolgon stammered.

Machree barely heard his response as he took off in the direction of the roar. “Get the speeder running!” he yelled to the Devaronian.

“But Machree…”

Clutching the rifle to his chest Machree did not notice himself slipping into the old habits of his training. The way his eyes scanned the ridge of ruins. The way he filtered out the crunch of dry earth and gravel under his feet. The way he breathed. The way he ran. The way he held his rifle. The way he missed the weight of armor.

Blaster fire sounded on the top of the hill to his left and Machree sprinted towards it, flipping his rifle into multi-fire mode. He hit the rise at full speed and was at the top in bare moments. In his mind he barely registered the four-armed monstrosity emerging from an overgrown arch, or the form of Jared firing at it for all he was worth. On instincts a dozen years old the rifle snapped to his shoulder, the creature sighted before he felt the press of the extended stock. His finger touched the firing stud.

We don’t ask questions, a voice from his past said.

“We just pull the trigger,” he heard himself whisper.

A blaze of coherent light slammed into the Tugg’s chest.

***

“I do so hate running.”

Tolgon felt like one giant wheezing lung by the time he got to the speeder. The Devaronian fell against the dented hull and wished he had a bottle of Corellian whiskey handy. Oh how that would help my thirst. But alas, he did not. Dispondantly he got into the speeder hoping the port had a decent dry cleaning facility (his clothes were so dusty) and began the start-up process.

He heard laser fire only a moment before the deep throated growl.

Tolgon shook his head. “This would happen to me.”

***

“Run Jared!”

Machree poured on the fire noting his shots, while certainly distracting the creature, were doing little damage. Thing must have hide as thick as Vader’s armor. Burn marks on its chest were smoking but it was still making its way inexorably towards Jared. The young man, on the other hand was backing away firing constantly at the creature. He either was ignoring Machree’s order or…

The sound of a Devaronian screaming and the whine of repulsorlifts reached his ears.

Machree looked behind him only a moment. A few hundred yards away, another of the creatures was standing behind the speeder. Tolgon was nowhere in sight. Or hidden behind the creature. Mahcree looked back around. Jared had backed up further than him and was almost to the edge of the hill. It only took him a moment to know what to do.

“Jared, get out of here!”

The youth shook his head, sending a bolt at the creature’s leg. It ricocheted off. “I’m not leaving you here.”

“Go and help Tolgon. He’s going to need you.” Machree fired again.

“We both go.”

Machree fixed his eyes on Jared, watched the sweat run down his face. He’s so young. He tossed his blaster rifle in the other's direction.

Jared glanced at the older man as he did so and paled. “What are you doing?!”

“Saving you,” Machree whispered.

He scooped up a rock and threw it. It hit perfectly in the center of the Tugg’s face. The creature stopped its pursuit of Jared and turned its attention to Machree. The older man stood still, hair and trench coat fluttering in the slight breeze. He reached for his vibroblade.

“Machree!”

“Get out of here Jared. Without that speeder we’re all dead.” The the sound of his voice told the younger man he had no intention of backing down.

Jared retrieved Machree's rifle from the ground. The creature was moving towards the older man and bitterly he realized there was nothing he could do to stop this man. “May the Force be with you, Kyle,” he whispered.

As Jared ran down the hill towards Tolgon and the speeder, Kyle Machree of the White Hand thumbed on his vibroblade. Gazing coldly into the nightmare face of the Tugg he smiled.

“You have no idea who you are messing with.”

Sil7
19 April 2002, 08:48 PM
Illian moved swiftly from his hiding place to stand out in the open. <i>Best to face things head on.</i> Leaning up against a stack of crates casualy, Illian let his hand rest near his blaster.

" People just started to dissapear. I was working up here at the time, and some other hired hand started to panic. He went basicaly out of his mind, and we struggled for a while. Threw me into some of those crates over there, just before he dissapeared. Must of knocked me out cold, cause thats the last thing I remember." Illian explained as he stared at the klatoinian across from him.

"What do you know about this?" He asked, staring at the man. "And what do we do now?"

scourgicus
26 April 2002, 09:27 AM
(OOC – please see my post on the IAOP: OOC thread)

(IC)

Chudan no kamae

Kyle Machreee brought the handle of his vibroblade into both hands and leaned back on his right foot, the blade at waist level and pointing straight at the Tugg.

The creature was approaching him slowly, black ooze spilling from multiple burn wounds. It seems we hurt it worse than we thought, Machree observed. Staring at it now he could not help but wonder at the thick cords of muscles beneath it’s coarse skin. It was moving slower now, approaching him with short, deliberate steps. Trying to figure out what I’m doing. Machree maintained the stance and waited. He did not wait long. Clenching the fingers on its four hands, it suddenly lunged at him.

Kocho Giri

Machree sidestepped the monster with the fluidity found only with hours of practice. Bringing the blade to point along the edge of his bent arm he swung it down in a viscious diagonal cut, slicing into the creature’s back. Enraged that it’s prey was no longer if front of it, the Tugg turned right, two huge forearms swinging to decapitate the intruder.

Hasso no Kamae

The intruder that was gone. Machree backstepped away from the creature, drawing his feet closer together, and his vibroblade against his right side, the tip of the blade almost level with his eye. Dark mucilaginous fluid was spilling from the fresh cut and the Tugg seemed quickly to be losing control. If it gets a hold of me, I’m dead. With a roar that hurt his ears it pivoted right and came at him again.

Hasso Gyaku Kasa Giri

The series of upward diagonal cuts that followed bit deeply into the Tugg’s flesh, opening angry incisions on its chest. It staggered backward a moment and Machree pressed the attack, bringing his blade up for another slash…

But found instead a hand the size of his torso battering him to the ground. Lying there underneath the beast, Machree tried to breathe and found he could not. Must’ve compressed by ribcage. At the moment he could feel nothing but the pain in his chest, even as he saw the death-blow fall. Time stood still and Machree suppressed the pain long enough to roll ungracefully away from four fists that certainly would have crushed him. He tried to stand but tripped, falling, rolling on the ground. As the creature turned towards him he finally drew a breath and saw his fallen vibroblade some ten feet away. The Tugg, moving with surprising speed for its size, was upon him in a moment and Machree again ducked the rain of blows, scurrying between its long legs.

Two breathes later, he had recovered his weapon and stood again in Chudan no Kamae. His lungs hurt terribly and there was no doubt he had bruised his ribs. None the less, Machree stilled his mind and waited for the Tugg to come for him.

Tachi Tsuki

The Tugg obviously was not expecting him to quick-step closer to it. Nor was it expecting the thrust into its lower torso. Even as he plunged the vibroblade deeper into the creature’s stomach (or what he hoped was its stomach), Machree observed that had he been using a true sword, he would never run it all the way through the creature. But that’s why God created vibroblades. He shoved in to the hilt, twisted, and pushed up with all his might.

The Tugg roared as its insides were carved asunder.

Moments later, awash in black blood, Kyle Machree limped down the hill, coughing. But alive.