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The Spice Mines of Kessel


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Mozo screeched as the enemy’s first shot nailed the Drone’s gun arm. The force of the shot sent the drone hurtling backwards, barely avoiding the following shots. Mozo eventually regained control of himself and began to pursue his target again. His weapon was disabled now. Had he failed? Had his partner drone and he failed Xar?

 

No! A drone’s work is never done until the requirements are fulfilled. And the target was still alive. But with no weapon, what was the drone to do? 

 

With a final honk, Mozo charged at the pilot, his gun leaking a trail of sparks and smoke. In a suicidal attempt, the drone aimed himself at the pilot. Whether by bludgeoning or by tilting, the drone would accomplish his master’s order. 

 

Xar on the other hand was enjoying the sensation of witnessing the idiotic droid dying by his own blaster fire. Such was the fate of a lesser being who crossed Xar.  However, as the astromech’s flaming body fell apart, screeching its equations about gravity, it made the situation clear to Xar. 

 

“Mozo, Char, return to master.” Xar ordered over his communication system. 

 

All Xar received was silence. 

 

“Son of a jawa-kisser” Xar cursed, realizing either his drones were out of range or unable to respond. The thought that either of them were non-functional didn’t even cross his circuits. After all, they were his drones. They were servants of a superior being. 

 

“Calculating time until hitting the ground” Xar spoke out loud, looking at the ground and the flaming wreckage of the X-wing.  “14 seconds. Our chances of survival are…”

 

Xar didn’t finish the sentence. No need to admit that he, a superior being, may have made a mistake. With no method of slowing his descent, nor any method of extending his landing, his landing was going to be at terminal velocity. True the planet had a lower gravity compared to most, but it also had a thinner atmosphere, so who knew if his chassis could survive this? 

 

Xar grabbed the remaining pieces of the Astromech to adjust himself. Feet first, the droid would sacrifice his lower body. Xar didn’t have to land with all of his parts intact. Limbs, outer plating, claws, most parts of the droid were not needed. In order to survive, Xar just needed his memory cores, located in his head, and his power core, located in his upper chest, to remain functional and connected. 

 

“We are a superior being.” Xar claimed as he rapidly approached the ground, disappearing into the smoke of the wreckage of the pilot’s X-Wing. “We will survive. We are superior. We are...superior.” 
 

(3)

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Having imploded the doors of the atmospheric generator facility at the southernmost edge of Kessendra, the baker’s dozen raiders rushed inside, blasterfire drowning out any pleas for help from the less-than prepared technicians and workers. As the dust began to settle and the only sounds in the facility where the clomping of armored feet as the pirates began to plant explosives at key structural points throughout the facility, the radio in the comm center chirped to life announcing an attack on the spice processing facilities a short distance away. 
 

Shim and Blimp traded a knowing look of concern through their visors. There was no love lost for the slaves and workers at the facilities; but their knowledge and skill could be put to good use and the threat of the spice, their prize for this raid, being destroyed, was unacceptable.

 

Turning to shout at the nearest raider, Blimp announced another change in plan, “Continue with the operation and then stay out of the Sith scum’s way. I’ll be back.”

 

Several thundering footfalls later, the Troig bolted outside. The few rebels that had made it planetside needed dealt with immediately. Doing so would surely rally some of the swine of this world to his cause. Blimp’s eyes narrowed with wicked glee. Whatever rebels survived this encounter would be made to suffer greatly as an example to any that dared cross Shimsinblimp again.

 

Rocketing into the air, the dropsuit clad spice jacker hurtled through the air, low to the ground like a two-headed missile towards the yawning valley that held the illicit spice processing facility.

 

Landing at the lip of the canyon, Shimsinblimp stared down at the dull nondescript windowless facility. A loading dock met a winding path that led up and out of the valley towards the city. Conveniently and concernedly, their were no obvious guards, most likely having been lured away from their posts by the reported chaos elsewhere within the facility.

 

“First things first. Secure the spice and,” 

“and we do that by killing anyone who gets in our way.”

“I was going to say, and then we make sure that anyone who we can press into service finds the right incentive to cone work for us; but anyone who looks at us funny,” the Troig hefted the EMP grenade launcher in his arms, “we execute with extreme prejudice.”

 

With another careful application of boot mounted thrusters, Shimsinblimp descended cautiously towards the unguarded loading dock.

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Remo's photoreceptor didn't budge upon the Neimodian's flattery, nor did it flicker when the beeping of the console flashed. Instead the R3 unit sat there coldly, gazing upon the blind being with curiosity and inquiry, its memory banks blazing with data. It was rare for one to be out of sorts with it's own kind, especially among the Sith. But Remo quickly chalked it up to even some had potential within the darkness considering their ways. In truth, Remo was more curious than worry.

 

That was, until his cowardly ways were revealed, the blade swirling toward Z-3PX uncontested as it jarred into his chassis just below the artificial joint that made up its shoulder. With that, Remo simply sighed, his circular saw and electroid sprawling out like a death machine before this new professed foe. If this was the way this Neimodian wanted it, then so would it be. Behind him, Zepex could be heard contesting his getting hit, but the droid simply stood in place complaining how much his repairs would be. Remo's dome simply shimmered in spite, the twisting of his head frame from side to side in slight disgust as he prepared himself and the floor around him began to glimmer with oil.

 

With ignition of his jets, Remo flew forward with feriosity, the bodies that laid in his wake igniting as Zepex stumbled backwards. The small R3 rotated in a ballistic fashion as he sprung toward the Neimodian, his arms stretched out with destruction upon his mind as his final two arms opened and revealed the lightsabers within. Aiming for his cranium, Remo planned to give the slug a rather splitting headache to drool upon in the afterlife. And if he managed to avoid it, it would be rather shockingly to see as the electroshock probe made a second aim.

 

((1))

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As her trusty astromech was blown to pieces in the distance, Beth kept her blaster carbine tucked firmly into the crook of her shoulder. But the extreme turbulence from the little rocket motors in the ejection seat giving their last push against the gravity of Kessel kept her sight picture jumping about. The small drone kept getting eclipsed by the front sight post and then jumping back up. She cursed softly, and blinked furiously against the stinging tears in her eyes that kept forming from the mix of rushing ice cold air and the residual effects of the grazing stun blast. 

 

The drone disappeared behind the sight again and when she had readjusted her aim again it was much bigger. It was coming straight for her. 

 

A suicide attack? She glanced down at the rocky surface and then back up. They were still at a distance that she would surely break her legs and pelvis from a jump so she had little choice of what to do next. It would hurt, and maybe even kill her. But what else could she do. 

 

She let the air escape her lungs in a long hiss and grimaced as the drone smacked into her chest. It impacted harshly and she could feel the plastoid armour on her chest give a resentful ‘crack’ that reverberated through her chest and drove the last of the wind out of her lungs. She shifted against the ejection seat and the rocket engines below her strained to keep the seat upright. The pain was immense and she couldn’t tell if her ribs were broken, it was possible of course, but she couldn’t let the pain register for long. She needed to react before the drone could do it again. And so she hooked her left arm around the head sized drone and held on fast, feeling the heat of the micro-repulsor engines burn against her armoured flightsuit

 

She gasped desperately for air against her life support systems and placed the muzzle of the carbine against the drones midsection. She was not a superior being, she was just a human praying to the force that she didn't die today. And while her opponent rode her astromechs desecrated corpse to the surface, she held down the trigger. 

 

((3))

 

Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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Nok's jaw clenched as this hiss of those twin ancient weapons coupled with the buzz of an R-units electroshock probe.


Of COURSE this kriffing thing has lightsabers! Why the **** not!?


His spiking, brain-stem fear had painted a clear picture of the little death machine rocketing off the ground and its weapons coming out to bear. Nok had no room. He couldn't dodge in time.
 

But he could fall.

 

Nok dropped to his back and kicked off the console with his feet, sliding across the floor on a film of blood. There was no point in protecting the console. The program was ready to activate, and Nok could just do it from a different console if it came down to it.

Gyroscopic law. A spinning object doesn't change orientation quickly. Neimoidian biology. A neimoidian's head is quite high off the ground. Nok grinned as he predicted he would pass right under the droid.

 

Thermodynamics. Rocket exhaust burns.

 

Nok fought to not open his mouth to scream as he passed under the murderous R-unit and got a scorching soak from the spinning mob boss's oxidizing fuel. His combat leather insulated his body from most of the burns and didn't catch fire, but his face was another matter. A landscape of pain erupted across his bare skin, and his elegant, silken red blindfold ignited and blackened. As he slid past one of the other burning bodies and came to a stop halfway through the hall, he tore it off and threw it aside, revealing what was underneath. Framed by blistering, raw flesh stripped back by fire, Nok's ruined eyes were the star attraction of a horror show. The skin around the skull-like empty sockets was black, scarred, and necrotic with Force corruption. Where the stiff flesh had cracked under the fire it oozed a faint, yellow fluid. The stench of old sickness and gangrene mixed with the meaty fragrance of burning meat.

Nok did scream then. In pain, in rage, in hatred, there were no words in his mind, just raw emotion directed at this little trash can that had arrogantly dared to think Nok was beneath it.

The Force roiled around him, the Dark Side pooling and unraveling invisibly into threads and waves. Nok extended his hands, pain and vitriol mixing into something primal, and grasped at those currents of power. No gentle, intuitive control this time. He wrapped his will in the Force around R3-M0's companion, the droid Nok had driven the knife into, and tried with all his power to throw it at the spinning master of Black Sun.

 

 TLDR: Nok dropped to the ground, slid across the blood-slick floor under Remo's lightsabers and electroprobe, and got a faceful of fire. Channeling the pain, he's trying to throw Zepex at his master.

 

((2))

Edited by Nok Morliss
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The landing pad wasn't as crowded as Zalis anticipated. A few, maybe four tried to oppose her on her way into the tunnels. They were quick and easy targets, enough that even her simple blaster fire pinned them back, having them put into bad positions, which lead to what she would say was a confirmed 2 dead, maybe 3 with one clearly trying to find a way out of the main fire arc she poured in their direction. It didn't last, as upon her reaching the south east tunnel's entrance, she let her blasters fall to her side to make a stronger run. 

 

As she ran through the somewhat dark musty tunnel, she could almost begin to smell the very distinct scent of Coaxium and Kesselstone mix within the musty smells, making it one that she assumed would make anyone without a mask get light headed if they stayed within the tunnels for longer than an hour. Hopefully, she would not be within the tunnels for that long. There was also the very clear dim lights that showed shadows from all angles, making surprises on the harder side unless one worked within the shadows and moved quickly to not let such shadows giveaway their position. But almost as soon as she had the thought, she was indeed taken by surprise from an Energy Spider, one whom didn't seem to mind the soft light from one side of the tunnel. Without much of a reaction, she lifted her right hand to fire a few shots towards its eye while taking her left hand and putting away her other blaster in exchange for a vibrodagger. Without breaking her run, she charged the spider head on, sliding underneath it as she came up upon its main frame. As she slide, she tilted her body towards the right and stuck her left hand up to drag the dagger against the spiders main underbelly. 

 

Zalis quickly used her own slide as momentum to help her make a jump up off a far wall of the tunnel that the Energy Spider was building a small web upon. She didn't care if she killed it, as that was not her goal. Protecting the processing plants were. As she rounded another corner, she could hear the squeal of the spider behind her, but could see some movement in the lights ahead near the processing plants. Sith-spit! She was upset at the fact that the spider may have given her position away. Wanting to have some element of surprise, she quickly jumped up mid run towards a small air shaft feet first. The air shaft was small and slender. She would be able to fit, but barely. It wasn't large either, that much she could tell from the outside. It maybe covered enough area to help filter out the air within the main large processing room. 

 

Upon getting herself within the main shaft, it also made noise, but she could still hear the spider squeal along with what sounded like heavy blaster fire coming from somewhere else. And much to her won surprise, the shaft was indeed small. So small in fact that it wasn't even the length of her body. So upon hitting the outer crate cover with her feet, she went all the way through to the other side, landing on her feet. Still in shock that the air shaft wasn't all that large, she stood up from a crouched position with a vibrodagger in one hand and a blaster in the other. There before her was an all too familiar figure. Terra. Zalis smiled, "Hey bitch. You look like hell."  She said it all with a friendly demeanor and a voice that suggested that maybe she regretted not being able to get close with her as she did with Delta. But somehow she knew, from looking over Terra that this meeting is about to be a fight. Terra was a damn good fighter from the early Black Sun reports she had always read on her. This wasn't going to be easy.

 

 

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Ruling for Xar Vs. Beth Andromina

 

This is probably one of the more unusual duels that I have had the pleasure of reading, but it definitely was a pleasure to read. Both combatants were forced to confront hazards that took priority over their opponents, and approached this framework in interesting ways. That being said, Xar was perhaps a bit overenthusiastic with his approach given that he did not have a landing strategy. Gravity was the real antagonist in this duel, and while Xar could potentially "survive" the fall in the sense of keeping his CPU operational, I feel that his frame would be compromised enough for Beth to have an insurmountable advantage planetside in finishing things off. I think that it's also worth mentioning that as written in the databank, it's questionable if a drone would have the problem solving capacity to try and ram someone if its blaster failed, since creativity and outside of the box thinking are specifically mentioned as flaws for this model.

 

Winner: Beth Andromina and gravity.

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Beth let out a yelp of pain as the molten metal from the interior of the drone she was holding splattered across her face. Micro capacitors melted to slag burned furrows in the soft flash under her chin and across her left cheek. Yet again bringing a sting of tears to her eyes and she let out a stream of soft curses as she threw the useless drone away from her. She put a black gloved hand against the burning wounds and let out a sharp cry of pain that did not help in the slightest other than to give her something to distract her with. 

 

It was after that cry that the ejection seat finally made landfall. She let it fully settle on the rocky terrain before she slapped the release on her buckled straps and struggled to her feet. She instantly was brought down by the stunned leg and landed in a kneeling position, swiveling her head to look for any other actionable threat. There was none and so she slowly limped her way to the ruined Xwing and the pile of destroyed droid that was Xar and Dimitri. A glance told her that something had dragged itself off into the rocky hillside from the impact site, but there was little she could do about that. Most of its remains were still in the destroyed pile of astromech and security droid. 

 

The threat was handled, and Dimitri had done his duty. She saluted the rubble and limped back to her ejection seat. 

 

So she lit a flare and awaited evac. 

 

Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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Almost as soon as the thermal charge’s magnetic coupler sealed it to the nearest support post, there was an ominous stirring in the air. It was a chittering scaly sound, like a nerfhair brush scoring carbon from durasteel. The team of Mandalorians immediately flattened themselves against the hulking machinery.

 

“…Sound Profile…”

 

Terra’s eyes flicked around her 360-degree viewfinder, desperate to find the source of the sound before the source of the strange sounds found them. She placed two fingers forward with her left hand, and the squad continued to advance, sweeping their firing lines with a determined urgency. Setapoite's sarcastic voice echoed in through the squad-com.

 

“…Profile matched, Large Arachnid. Multiple signatures, above.”

 

Harjav was the first to make the sighting, his visual signature fed into the live battlemap. There was a single Energy Spider, creeping across the vaulted ceiling, and Hades outlined its signature with a pale-yellow glow across all HUDs.

 

Terra’s hand moved again and the squad picked up speed moving towards the center of the facility. Arna and Longkra continued their westward flanking in a wide sweep. Terra could hear the muted footsteps, all the sound profile of Lethydd Stealth Boots, but there was one more than she had remembered. According to the battlemap, they were almost directly below an air shaft. The assassin flipped her battlerifle’s selection switch from burst to automatic fire. A sultry voice followed, one all too familiar as a face appeared on her rear viewscreen

 

“Hey bitch,”

 

Why in the seven hells was Zalis of all people here?

 

The woman continued, as Terra marked her with a violet outline on the squad HUD, indicating a HVT

 

“You look like hell.”

 

The Mandalorian gritted her darkmetal teeth, tasting the sparks that flew onto her tongue. She hadn’t been fond of the leadership style Zalis had shown as Black Sun Vigo in the days after Smash’s fall, but she had liked the woman. Her battlemap blinked an update. They were mere meters away from the skid-break that marked the center of the facility and the entrance to the deep mines.

 

“And you, look more beautiful than all the gems of Gallinore.”

 

Behind her was a twisted mag-lev mining truck, still smoking from whatever outbreak of energy spiders had recently come to pass. Her finger pressed the trigger of her rifle, pulling up a few pounds of the slack, for she would need to be quick in her execution. 

 

“Have you-”

 

Terra’s gravelly voice never finished the sentence as a looming, yellow-hued form leapt from the ceiling towards them. She reacted swiftly, bringing her rifle to bear on the creature on its swift decent while backpedeling to find cover. A quick depression of the trigger sent a line of slugs to smack into the Energy Spider and she dove behind the wrecked truck. To her back was the looming tunnel to the deep mines.

 

Arna and Longkra were to their west, approximately 100 meters away, finding cover in the looming pallets of mining supplies at the corner of the clearing where their fire-arcs might find their greatest opportunity. Aorn and Bas’ar were closer, around 30 meters to the west, kneeling at the durasteel retaining beam. Harjav was closer still at 5 meters, on the other corner of the mining truck. They kept their stealth, not wanting to risk exposure

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To the Death...

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Touching down heavily, the loading dock groaned under the weight of each bootstep forward of Shimsinblimp’s dropsuit. With the gracefulness of a hulking sand panther, the Troig moved forward towards the unguarded doors. Every footfall was weighted but near silent, save for the groaning of the rusting and aged platform.

 

Forcefully and with the grating of metal on metal, Shimsinblimp forced the doors of the loading dock open to reveal a railed path that led into the dark factory beyond. Shim grimaced at the sound. “So much for stealth.” Blimp just shook his head as he began to advance downwards into the yawning maw of blackness. 
 

Grenade launcher held at the ready, Shimsinblimp stalked forward, the sensors on the suit outlining obstacles and pitfalls on the duel HUDs of the customized suit. From within, the enhanced audio sensors picked up the sound of gunfire.

 

Breaking into a crouched run, Shimsinblimp shot forward, down the hall and into the factory floor itself with its long shadows and dim red lights. There around a well-worn durasteel column, between the racks of spice processors, the Troig saw the cause of the commotion; energy spiders. A smile of glee crept across Blimp’s face.

 

Keying up his comms, the red head of the duel-headed alien spoke, broadcasting to any frequencies it could bounce to. “The spiders don’t want you filthy rebs  touching their stuff either. Maybe it is time to go.”

 

 

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Zalis had a pause for a single moment as she watched Terra. She watched those that accompanied Terra from the corner of her own eyes, trying to keep them within eyesight of potential harm. As Terra spoke, suddenly an Energy Spider came out and Terra was quick to snap off her own blaster at it. Zalis took the opportunity to jump behind cover herself and prepare herself by putting away her vibrodagger in exchange for her other blaster. All the while having a new line of thoughts. That bitch was going to shoot me. The thought brought a smile to her face. Terra was about to make this engagement fun, at least from her own perspective. 

 

There was suddenly another entry into the field, one who made it very clear that they were not a fan of Terra and wanted to stop her as well. Hmm, another angle in this for me. Whether this new entry was a friend or foe was still to be determined, but until such a time could be figured out, they were an ally of sorts. Both did not want Terra to blow up the assets in the mines. But until the spider was dealt with, no one would have a victory. And it was clear that neither knew how to deal with the spiders either. 

 

"Don't waste blaster fire, it only eats the energy you moof-milkers" Zalis moved herself to the left with her back towards Terra in order to gain a better vantage point. As she moved, she fired a few shots at the spider, hoping that it would provide an opening for the others and that they would heed her words and use a weapon that didn't waste energy. She made a jumping leap towards a large column, turning her body as she did, tossing a vibrodagger towards the energy spider. 

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Terra watched her slugs find placement in the spider’s thick hide, but with relatively little effect. The Mandalorian knelt, her darkmetal beskar grinding into the irregular stonework that adorned the flooring of the enormous cavern. She placed her rifle’s barrel on one of the truck’s destroyed repulser-lifts and managed another three-round burst of fire into the spider’s bulk as it began to charge her position. She was about to give a firing-order when another voice cut through across all com-frequencies.

 

“The spiders don’t want you filthy rebs touching their stuff either. Maybe it is time to go.”

 

Terra blinked a tracing command to Hades, and the combat analysis package in her jetpack began to work in tandem with the dual AIs that the Deathwatch squad had brought with them. Half of the 360-degree field of view from her helmet began to fill with the approaching spider and the Mandalorian depressed the trigger a second time. Hades indicated a new signal on the battle-map, with a life-signature scan attached. Aorn’s grave voice cut in with interpretation. 

 

“…Signature closely matches a Hutt or Troig lifeform, moving fast from the North”

 

The combat AI designated the oncoming signature with an orange glow, indicating an oncoming threat. 

 

A shower of sparks indicated the bladed claw of the arachnid skipping over the hull of the truck, causing Terra to flatten herself against the stone, the spider’s attack missing her by a hair’s breadth. She scuttled under the chasis of the mining skip as Zalis’ attack on the spider drove home. The Black Sun vigo’s sultry voice echoed around her

 

"Don't waste blaster fire, it only eats the energy you moof-milkers"

 

Harjav’s irritated voice called out into Terra’s ear as the man angled himself further away from the energy spider, flattening himself against the destroyed mag-truck’s hull.

 

“What in the seven hells is a moof?”

 

Setapoite’s sardonic voice burst through the squad-coms, and a holonet article popped up on Terra’s HUD

 

“A Moof is a thick-hided, cloven hoov-”

 

The Mandalorian blinked a temporary silence command through the HUD with a roll of her eyes.

 

…Thwack…

 

The sound of a vibroblade splitting open carapace came from directly over the Mandalorian’s head as she rose on the other side of the wrecked mining skip. She glanced up to see the energy spider bellow in rage and make a hasty retreat, leaping and shivering from the pain the combined attack had made. Terra crouched again, turning her attention onto the oncoming threats. Longkra began to rangefind for the team, while Arna settled the long barrel of the Istiglal IST-14.5 on its bipod, nestled between the storage pallets for a 180-degree firing arc. Longkra had her carbine in hand, kneeling besider her twin to provide close-medium range support against any oncoming troops.

 

Now behind Terra, the spider retreated into the far south of the cavern, where Hades would deal with it as needed. The rest of her team began to angle themselves to defend against humanoid attacks, keeping silent in their cover. Terra slapped a fresh magazine into her battle-rifle and the ammunition indicator on her HUD updated with the armor-piercing count, the reticle bouncing through her vision as she adjusted the single-point sling to allow for a better firing arc.

 

Mandalore opened up her own all-com, broadcasting her gravely voice. Her intonation was grave and tinged with a deeper desire, for honor, and for death.

 

“As they say… μολὼν λαβέ..."

 

The assassin let out an audible sigh. 

 

"Having come... Take.”

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To the Death...

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Through the dimness and the long cast shadows lined with the faint glow of red, Shim and Blimp watched the scene unfold before them. The spider beaten back, the rebels, . . . no, not rebels, Mandalorians, lurking with the faintest clicks of their weaponry; the field was set. Blimp smiled darkly. “This will be more fun than that time we gutted that tug of orphans for the bit of spice their caretaker was running” He voiced within his suit so that none but Shim could hear.

“But no innocents to get in the way this time.” The green head of the Troig added, hoisting the grenade launcher in his hands as he spun, his back against the durasteel pylon between two processing racks.
 

With the craning of his long neck and the strain of the dropsuit’s armor plating, Blimp turned to survey the chaotic field laid out ahead of him. Here were all the riches of Kessel, ripe for the taking. Yet defilers had come. They had to be stopped; by any means necessary. To Shimsinblimp, death was preferred; especially for Mandalorians. The entire scene, oddly devoid of workers, was taken in and glossed over in an instant. There was more pressing issues at hand. Mandalorian issues and whatever moral quandaries they brought with them.
 

Rolling to the edge of cover, the Troig brought the launcher in his forearms to bear. KA-THUMP. KA-THUMP. Two electromagnetic pulse (EMP) grenades were sent hurtling through the air, past the spice rack in front of the pillar that he used for cover, over the yawning cavernous maw to the spiders’ lairs below towards the wrecked vehicle and the Mandalorian mercenaries that lurked there.

 

With his left rearmost arm clutching the pillar for support, Shimsinblimp raised his right rear arm and sent a barrage of laser fire rocketing in quick succession from the mounted laser cannon there; sending flares of red light towards the hopefully disoriented or perhaps even blinded Mandalorian filth that now sought his share of spice for their own gain. 
 

With a flex of his jaw, Blimp keyed the broadband comms again. “Leave the spice. I will spare your life.” He lied.

“Your presence is not wanted here. Flee while you can and trust that this will be put to better use than these intended for it.” Shim added as a last ditch effort to try and dissuade the battle he knew was unfolding and his other half desired so deeply, even Shim could taste it on his tongue.

 

((1)) Shimsinblimp & Zalis v. Terra

Edited by Leena Kil
Forgot the EMP designation. Edit approved by opponent
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Zalis turned her head at the newcomer, one who had now fully stepped into the light from at least her perspective. What in the seven hells... a Troig! She had never personally seen one before. Although, she did read up on them during one her early career assassinations as the target had one as a personal assistant. Granted, he was off the night she struck. The awareness of them would make it hard to gain leverage over the situation and therefore would need caution to gain what she needed from this outcome. It was then that it threw two EMP grenades towards a wrecked vehicle. It gave her an opportunity to scan the field and see movement. 

 

She poked her head out to watch them go off upon their intended targets. The movement showed her that Terra had at least three others near her. It was about all that she could see. Movement wise, and numbers made Terra and her fellow Mandalorians the more deadlier foes on the field. From her current position, she would need to move to help pin them down into a tighter firefight. Pulling herself back behind cover, she looked around to see a few things of interest that could help her flush and move. One was a processing loom a good jump on her right. There was also some raw glitterstim directly to her right. She checked her equipment, outside of her blasters and now single vibro dagger, as he other was stuck with the spider who had retreated, she had a single thermal detonator at her disposal. She knew she would want to save it until she was desperate. 

 

Knowing she didn't have much of an option, she lifted her blaster and fired on the raw glitterstim, creating a dust cloud over her area. Jumping up, Zalis took off, pulling her second blaster back out and firing in the general direction of where Terra's companions were at. In her run, she moved down to her right and jumped behind a large durasteel pipe as her cover. The position gave her a strong position to flush the Mandalorians back to be caught in between the fire from the Troig and herself. As she landed, she quickly turned to go low and begin to continue to pour some fire to help push back the Mandalorians.

 

((1))

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Remo nearly chuckled with glee as the Neimodian screamed in agony beneath the thrust of his rockets, his inability to smell the scorching flesh lost upon his data banks as his thrusters began to die and avert power. Perhaps this Sith should have bargained better, or not chose to cross such a being as R3-M0. But alas, such was the inevitable stupor of the sentients, care less with their already fragile forms as if they were constructed in the manner of droids.

 

If pain had been a programmed priority, Remo would surely have felt Zepex's collision with his durasteel frame, the echoing of metal against metal screeching across the room. And had Zepex actually paid attention to the Sith Neimodian rather than pointing out that the Sith should have his decaying sockets looked at, perhaps he wouldn't have even been in this predicament. But none the less, Remo found himself briefly at odds before the scrapping of metal and familiar hiss of the two silver Shotos igniting, Remo recovering from the attack and dismembering his faithful Zepex who's only words echoed through-out. "Oh dear."

 

If aesthetics played a part of a droid's visage, Remo's form would be blackened out against a glowing red aura, his small stature breathing in anger and hate like a delicious cup of a frozen sugary refreshment. But all the droid truly did was stand there, his weapons ignited as his glowing red receptor fell solely upon the Sith as an omniscient bloop echoing from his binary voice box, the anger only evident in his sole stature as the circular saw and electronic probe sheathed themselves.

 

With that, Remo darted toward the Sith, rolling through flame and fallen forms toward his opponent before delving into a harrowing spin of bladed attacks. Remo did not enjoy the path of a warrior, but would result into one if pressed correctly. And the Sith before him had pressed him so utterly indeed. As silver light echoed green paint, the beyblade would be hard to defend against, but not impossible.

 

((2))

Edited by Roleplayer X
Duel Post Count

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“…Grenades incoming…”

 

Terra cursed and reacted by instinct, leaping backwards and to her right, and activating her jetpack with a blink of crimson eye. The micro-blast from the jetpack’s angular propulsors helped her to keep upright and not fall into a tumble in the chaos of the EMP-grenade’s detonation. Maybe she would survive unscathed afterall

 

A searing pain ripped through her concentration as she slipped over the wreckage, a blaster-bolt searing the flesh on her left thigh as it was partially deflected by the darkmetal. The energy of the blast caused her coordinated jump to fall into a flailing fall into the dusty stone. Pain coursed through her nerves and her buy’ce muted the cry of pain that followed as her armored form skidded across the stone in a shower of sparks.

 

Blasterfire echoed again from her right, the familiar discharge of Zalis’ pistols. The Mandalorian winced, recording the position on the battlemap as her 360-degree thermographic viewfinder picked up the Black Sun Vigo’s movement.

 

The assassin turned the skid into a roll, coming up onto her knees beside a processing loom favoring her right leg. She extended her rifle out with her right hand on the pistol-grip, the single-point sling pressing into her back and leaned further to her right, pressing herself against the massive glitterstim loom. She steadied her stance by gingerly extending her left leg to bring her into a crouch. Her left hand fished a C-23 fragmentation grenade from her belt while flipping the three-second arming switch in a fluid motion. She let the first second pass while her darkmetal teeth ground sparks on her tongue. 

 

The Mandalorian tossed the grenade overhand in a high angle over the processing loom towards Zalis and then leaned out from cover to send a three-round burst of slugs towards the woman’s chest.

 

Harjav was not so lucky as his Mandalore and caught the brunt of the EMP-blast and dropped to the decking like a stone, blinded by the sudden interference on his HUD and instinct telling him that the safest place for a blind man was flat against the earth. He clawed at his buy’ce with one hand to remove his blindness as his other checked the priming on his impact-grenade launcher. A searing blaster bolt tore a jagged line across his right shoulder, and he screamed into the unforgiving stone.

 

The launch of the grenades flipped targeting priority within the team’s HUD. Hades and Setapoite, working in tandem, had designated the Troig as the far greater threat with its unique orbital insertion armor and heavy weaponry.

 

Aorn’s crimson eyes narrowed, his 360-degree HUD narrowing to a 90-degree spread and flipping to 3x magnification. His rifle’s barrel steadied against the rusted durasteel beam that provided him cover and supported the tons of stone 15-stories overhead. The garish orange glow of their team’s newest HVT showed from the support-pillar, and even before the flashes of crimson light leapt from the Troig’s position to strike towards his Mandalore, his fingers were taking up the slack on the trigger of his XAB-32 Heavy Charric. He whistled out a singular note, high and warbling like that of a shriek-hawk signaling for a joint attack with its flock.

 

Four streaks of azure light burst from his weapon, the maser rounds angling beyond where the two-headed beast gripped the pillar and where the bulk of the Troig's center-of-mass must be. Beside him, his lover, Ba’sar, leapt backwards from the pillar, jumping across a deactivated production line under the cover of his fire. The Mandalorian worked to achieve a better angle on the hulking Troig, holding his own fire until the beast would inevitably flush from its cover.

 

Further to the Northwest, in the heart of stealth, the twins Arna and Longkra began to assess the Troig through their enhanced viewscreen, mediated by data-flow from Setapoite. Longkra’s rangefinder was out, assessing range-on-target in compatibility for slug-drop with her sister’s Istiglal IST-14.5. The 14.5×114mm cartridge would put intense power on target as an anti-material round. Longkra listened to the tone of her sister’s breathing, soft and steady, a whisper in her ears. Setapoite spoke, interpreting the rangefinder’s data

 

“One-hundred and three meters to target, no reticle compensation.”

 

Arna began to take up the slack with the timing of her breathing, settling the bobbing reticle on the massive form of the Troig.

 

((1))

 

:TL;DR:

 

Spoiler

 

TLDR: 

  • Terra takes a hit to her left lateral thigh
  • Harjav's electronics disabled and takes a wound to the posterior right shoulder
  • Aorn fires four maser rounds at Shrimps
  • Terra tosses a frag grenade at and shoots three slugs at Zalis

 

 

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To the Death...

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Pouring forth fire from one of the two arm mounted laser cannons, Shim grimaced in determination. These Mandalorians would surely heed or pay the price. Blimp, on the other hand, chuckled softly to himself, taking joy in the unfolding battle. The flashes of pale blue light illuminated the offending enemy for a moment. The cover near him glowed in the flash of the fire, igniting the embers of life in the surrounding photosensitive spice.

 

Seeing is one thing. Dodging another. Even a hardened pirate, skilled in combat, could not whirl fast enough to get out of the way of the four blasts in full armor. Even with his superior sensory awareness, Shimsinblimp was not able to spin back to his cover before the first two of the maser rounds impacted his dropsuit, careening, the hydra-like armored criminal was knocked backwards. Thankfully the armor, designed for surviving at maximum velocity orbital entry, was able to absorb the brunt of the burning energy damage. Had the Troig not had a tail he would have tumbled over on his posterior. As it was, his reticulated armored tail slowed the fall backwards, allowing the hulking starfish of despair to pass under the second two maser rounds. They impacted in the dark behind him somewhere, sending bits of duraplast and stone chipping into the air and raining down with a soft clatter against the Troig’s back. Shimsinblimp pushed himself forward, the rocket boosters on his suit engaging to reverse the backwards momentum instilled by the Mandalorian maser and rocket the two-headed metallic monster forward like a death-spewing torpedo. Taking in the dimly lit battlefield, the dropsuit’s targeting array found and locked on to the five westernmost Mandalorians within his sight picture and firing arc. The tone of target locked buzzed annoyingly in Shimsinblimp’s ears as he hurtled forward, his laser-cannon mounted arms spewing forth searing crimson bolts towards the Mandalorian that had shot at him and peppering the entire area as he raced forward. He was intent on crashing down behind another support pillar out of sight of the enemy. It was the space between in which he pressed the attack. At the same time, the miniature concussion missiles began to prime as the suit acquired five locked targets. Shim hoped it would be enough to dissuade the now aggressing foe. Blimp; however, was intent with the firing and fully intended to utilize the limited concussive abilities to take out those that opposed them. A slight loss of product was a worthy exchange to show the people of this world who to fear.
 

The smell of spice filled the air; the fine powder being thrown into the air by the flurry of activity. All it would take was a stray blaster bolt to ignite the stuff.

 

((2))

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Nok's scream didn't stop. Fear, anger, pain, and hatred all blended as Nok surged to his feet and howled at the approaching droid, even as he scrambled backwards to give himself a few more seconds.

 

Not fast enough though.

 

R3-M0's blades came closer and closer, his speed outpacing Nok's agonizingly slow acceleration. In a fit of panic, Nok thrust out with the Force at the ground, the walls, and himself, flinging himself backwards in an awkward, stumbling lunge that banged him against one wall before sending him spinning and sliding down a ramp. The pain that was the price of such a graceless maneuver was an undertone to the blaring orchestra of agony in his face.


And then he was past it, past the deafening roar of his emotions. Just like at Mon Cal, Nok was deep in the Force. He felt, but he didn't experience. He understood, but he didn't think. If his emotions were a raging sea, then he'd just forced underwater. The intricacies of the Dark Side, hidden truths far beyond his reach, teased and tempted. Nok's mind and spirit stretched, but that power was beyond him...for now.

 

It was easier this time. Not by much, but a little. And that power, so far, was just a little closer.

 

I will not die here droid.

 

Following a plan that he couldn't remember devising, Nok unclipped the lightsaber at his belt. Stolen from the corpse of the Zeltron gunslinger on Mon Cal, Nok had barely held the weapon, much less learned how to wield it. If he tried to match the droid saber-to-saber, Nok was just as likely to decapitate himself as fall to the mechanical crime boss's weapons.

 

Instead, he pointed the weapon away from himself, and activated the saber. A bright green blade hissed to life...and Nok let go. He wrapped the hilt in the grip of his desire and sent it flying up the ramp with an intuitive ripple in the Force. He lifted his hand, ready to angle the path of the saber towards the hopefully oncoming R3-M0.

 

TLDR: To escape Remo's oncoming attack, Nok threw himself (unskillfully) down the hallway with the Force, banging himself up and sending himself tumbling down a ramp. He has activated his lightsaber and sent it telekinetically up the ramp, hoping to catch Remo.

 

((3))

 

Edited by Nok Morliss
Adding ((3)) and TLDR
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The chaos ensued rather quickly and Zalis had her entire thought process turned upside down. After her blaster fire onslaught, the return fire began rather quickly. She saw from the corner of her eyes a flash of something off the durasteel pipe, her gut instincts told her that a grenade of some sorts was about to go off and take her day from bad to worse. So without thinking, she jumped up and ran out and down towards another durasteel column, much closer to where she came in.

 

While she made the attempt to stay low, it ended up being a mistake, for as soon as she got out from behind her cover, she quickly felt a heat searing pain strike her left forearm. It was a clean through shot, and it made her stumble towards the ground as she lost her balance. Upon hitting the ground, her legs must have failed around as her right leg was suddenly feeling the exact same heat searing pain. Instinctively, she allowed herself to remain upon the ground in a roll until she was no longer in a position of immediate danger. 

 

Her mind was racing, as she had to act quickly in order to maintain any form of threat level to the Mandalorians. She looked to her left to see the Troig. It seemed to be on a firing spree, shooting off rockets of sorts and whatever else it had on its arsenal, creating a very large fire arc. Zalis put one of her blasters away, wincing through the pain, which seemed to be more targeted in her forearm. 

 

She knew what she had to do. Closer combat, while dangerous with Mandalorians, was far less dangerous than ranged fighting. They held a supreme upper hand behind cover and remained at a range. Up close though, the ground was evened out slightly more. So now was the time for her thermal detonator. She quickly activated it and sent it hurling towards the direction of the column near the wreckage, but she wanted it to go low to stay out of sight. If it did its job, it would scatter the Mandalorians into her direct path and towards the Troig. If she was lucky, it would also take a few of them out, even temporarily. 

 

After she threw her detonator, she charged hard towards the right of the processing loom that she was sure Terra was behind, but not taking shots at her, but rather the loom, in hopes to blow it up or to cause enough of a disturbance to flush Terra out fully. Zalis just needed to push through the pain she was feeling within her left arm and right calf muscle.

 

((2))

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For Remo's cold and calculating mind, time was but a nuisance, variables and outcomes processed a thousand fold in the blink of an eye by his processor core. Pair that with his artificial intelligence and personality,  and he was as quick as he was deadly. Yet he could see something in this Sith that he yearned to explore, something he could not calculate nor equate, perplexing the R3 unit to the point of displeasure. 

 

As the blade whizzed by, Remo reactivating his thrusters one by one and sending himself into a counter clockwise spin, his bloodlust began to lose its taste. Even as the heated blade passing by melted the front paneling of his form slightly against the heat, he only faltered in his determination. Still though, he knew he had to end this moment as quick as possible to retain a semblance of what grip he intended to grasp here at Kessel.

 

As Remo came out of his spin, he activated his magnetic locks and rose the wall down the stairs in haste, propelling himself at the Neimodian with full weight and intent. He no longer held the option of killing the slug, but instead chose the alternative route of breaking him, first in body, and then perhaps in mind. The singular thought of such a feat tantalized the R3 and brought back a pleasurable sensation. And as the full weight of his form grew closer to Nok, it was evident in his photoreceptor what his intent exactly was.

 

No matter the outcome, Remo rejoiced in the fact that he had driven the Sith before him away from the override switch and left Zepex, albeit in pieces, to stabilize the generator. But it had been a long time since Remo engaged in such a fight where he faced a worthy opponent and he was truly enjoying himself beyond content. He had won one way or the other, and in this moment, he was content. He only hoped he could truly break the being before him.

 

((3))

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Ruling: Nok vs. Remo

 

This one was a bit difficult to judge. There are a lot of pros and cons here to sort through. Let's begin.

 

On one hand, the way Nok reacted to the attacks was brilliant. I loved the writing. On the other, his attacks seemed rather ineffective and his positioning at the end was rather weak even before Remo's last post. I mean, I get that telekinetically launching a weapon might seem like a good idea, but now you no longer have the lightsaber to use as a great means of defense and must rely on the Force which you've already been leaning on heavily the whole fight.

 

Remo was also a bit jarring to read, the attacks were almost all "I spin and move forward menacingly", while simultaneously not really reading like I would expect to read a droid. I know there was some talk that Remo was supposed to be another character, but officially I go off of what's on the character sheet, and there's nothing there to suggest to me that Remo is anything other than a droid. I suppose he could be programmed to be cruel, but there were a lot of humanizing idiosyncrasies that took me out of the suspension of disbelief, especially where Remo "almost chuckled"...like, that's an R3 unit...how is it supposed to chuckle? The implication I got is that Remo doesn't talk (no dialogue when there was plenty of opportunity for it, appeared to speak through his NPC), so the assumption with this being Star Wars and R2-D2 being a prominent character is that there are beeps and whistles...so... And also, beyblade? I'm not going to take off points for violating suspension of disbelief, but that also popped me out of it. At the least, it was kinda funny, so there's that. 

And the end has me a bit confused:

Quote

As Remo came out of his spin, he activated his magnetic locks and rose the wall down the stairs in haste, propelling himself at the Neimodian with full weight and intent.

Apart from the typo (which I'm assuming is rode), this is very vague as to what's going on. He activated magnetic locks...so he's on a surface (maybe on a wall)? But also propelling himself forward...on his rocket jets? Is he on a wall/floor or not? Not to mention, there are a lot of problems with an all out charge, especially since the implication seems to be Remo is going to try to crush Nok with his weight rather than use his weaponry. Then there's also the matter of practically ignoring Nok's lightsaber attack. Yes, Remo mentioned it, but passively in one sentence, brushing it off as if it weren't even a threat. I'd say a telekinetically guided lightsaber is still absolutely a threat deserving of more than "it whizzed by".

 

At the end of all this, I feel like even though Nok is positioned slightly worse, overall he had more going for him, both in style and tactics. As such:

 

Nok Morliss Wins.

 

Nok, you get the next post. And to both of you, despite all that was said here, I can respect the effort you brought to the table here. I may have highlighted the detractors here more than what was good, but don't take that to mean there wasn't anything good. I chose to emphasize things that I felt could be fixed moving forward, things to learn from, and I'm not perfect myself. I respect you guys and know you'll both grow from this. 

Immediately reachable by  charlesjhall@gmail.com

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Aorn’s eyes widened, the scarlet of his eyes paling as the creature he had just shot seemed to glow with all the fire of a diamond-boron missile. He let out a low whistle as the two-headed beast launched forward and the Chiss began to scramble further westward, followed by his lover Bas’ar. As his feet cleared a pallet of the raw spice in a leap, a searing pain ripped through him and he seemed to jump sideways from the energy of the blow, but he never noticed.

 

Bas’ar cried out in rage as he saw his love fly sideways with the impact of several high energy bolts from their opponent’s blaster cannons. The Chiss knew before that black-armored form clattered onto the unforgiving stone, sliding in a motionless and twisted heap, that Aorn was dead. His cry of rage turned first into desperate grief, then to acidic, frenzied sorrow. Honor was as gone as his love. The light had gone from his life and now there was only darkness.

 

The last of the Mlatti'viwe Clan, that bitter mercenary, became in that moment, one of the bersærkergang. He embraced the baser nature of sentience and rushed headlong towards his enemy, that starblossom of fire upon the horizon and howling like the madwolfe he had become. Bas’ar let loose as he ran, setting his XAB-32 Heavy Charric Rifle to automatic fire and held the trigger down the reticle upon the enemy that roared like a comet overhead. Onwards he would run, to meet his enemy with fist and blade, to exact his revenge.

 

The Twins fared better, their cover protecting them from the ravaging from the sky. Arna followed the missile of a Troig on its trajectory through her 2-x magnification sight. Setapoite ran trajectory calculations on her HUD and projected a possible landing zone for the beast, but the mute girl knew the beast would never live to reach it. She felt Longkra’s emotional distress as Aorn fell. She heard Bas’ar’s mournful howl.

 

The slack was all gone.

 

She let out a breath slowly, swinging the rifle in a leading arc on its bipod, selecting a single-dot reticle lead and muted out the world, letting the chaos fall into silence. She watched the two heads sail through the air, backlit by the rockets that propelled it. Longkra advanced Northwest to angle off the beast and to support Bas'ar's headlong rush to oblivion. 

 

All Arna heard was the beating of her heart in her ears.

 

When the breath was gone from her lungs, she finished the trigger’s pull, sending a 64 gram, full-metal jacket snapping through the glitterstim soaked air for a hopeful taste of her opponent's lifeblood.

 

Her mute lips formed the words to which her AI gave voice; "Oya"

 

Harjav struggled against the stone, choking against the dust, reeling from the pain from his wound. His buy’ce was now discarded, the EMP having done its treacherous work. Without it, he never saw the thermal detonator whose explosion sent his body tumbling amongst the broken machinery with a wash of flame.

 

The pain in Terra’s left leg caused her to shudder, her darkmetal teeth washing her blood-flecked mouth with coppery sparks as they ground together. Her HUD displayed the chaos her team was in, but she could only tune it out and focus on the fight ahead. She would bury the bodies later.

 

A warning displayed an arc as a grenade sailed overhead, and Terra began to move, limping backwards to angle to the east and away from the resulting explosion. A hail of blasterfire cascaded into the processing loom she had made her cover an instant before, cracking through its containment field and igniting the raw glitterstim beneath. The resulting explosion sent Terra falling backwards to slide across the stone. There was pain from her right hand, but nothing seemed serious.

 

The assassin spared a glance down to assess herself as she turned her slide into a backwards somersault. Her battlerifle was completely slagged, the slugthrower’s buffer-tube completely fractured and the handguard and trigger assembly twisted and useless. She leapt out of the backwards somersault with a microfire from her jetpack, landing heavily on her right leg, knowing her left could not be trusted.

 

A massive splintsteel crate was to her east, and she leaned against it with her right shoulder. She slipped one of her FWG-5 Flechette Launchers from its holster with her right hand, while her left selected a vibro-tomahawk. The pistol’s grip was bound in leather stripling and was familiarly worn. Terra leveled the pistol before her at eye level, bracing her right hand with her left forearm. The tomahawk extended up to the right of her pistol like the wing of the Aurebesh letter trill. Hades began to focus purely on her datastream, adding his own interpretations to what her input systems picked up and the world seemed to stretch out before her and brighten like she was under the hands of the gods themselves. 

 

The temporary cover of the crate looming above her, Terra leaned out to peak eastward and towards Zalis’ last known location. Her system picked up the slight sound of running footsteps first, an instant before her HUD registered a flash of movement within ten meters. Without a second’s thought or hesitation, Terra depressed the trigger on her flechette pistol twice in rapid succession with the targeting reticle settled on the hazy form. The first shot would send a blast of thermite-inlaid explosive darts towards her opponent, followed by the second, a hail of armor piercing darts forged of darkmetal.

 

((2))

 

::TL;DR::

  • Spoiler

     

    • NPCs Aorn and Harjav knocked out of the fight
    • Shrimps has automatic fire from a charric and a sniper's bullet to contend with
    • Terra's main weapon disabled
    • Zalis has two flechette shots coming at her at close range

     

     

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To the Death...

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Shim had hoped the electronic lock of the miniature concussion missiles would have dissuaded the Mandalorian hostiles. Apparently it had not. The beastial charge spoke as much. The animalistic cry of pain and fury not quite lost in the din of battle as it escalated spoke volumes as to the Mandalorians’ resolution and decision as to how the battle would proceed. The chaotic spray of maser rounds filled the air about the streaking armored two-headed saurian-like being. Even if the majority of the rounds zinged by as harmless blue streaks, some still found their mark, jostling the inertially aggressive Troig up and off target slightly. It was nothing that a simple shifting of legs and computerized calculations could not account for; even if it left the Sith-aligned criminal gritting his teeth as he felt the dull thud of each maser round impact through his armored suit.
 

Onwards the alien Troig pressed, the cover of the next pillar closing fast. Cover was within sight. The whine of the targeting array indicating what eyes could not see in the dingy dusty dimness, two Mandalorian life forces blinked out of sight; fallen foes. Another had disappeared far off to the east, undoubtedly going to assist their comrade who was fighting the final mysterious combatant that Shimsinblimp seemed to have become allied with in the heat of battle. At least, that was the hope. If all faired well, perhaps the Troig would find a new ally in the world of less-than-legal enterprises.

 

Just before he made the pillar, the world changed. The crack of a rifle would have echoed throughout the battlefield had this been a holofilm. In the chaos; however, the moment passed with little acknowledgement. That is, until the hefty round, propelled to  lethal velocities, impacted the armored spice jacker in the side, just below the hip. 
 

Searing pain coursed through Shimsinblimp as the round found rest in the Troig’s buttock and thigh; slowed by the dense armor, but not stopped. The dropsuit had been designed to withstand debris and airborne particulates ravaging against it as it attained near terminal velocity upon entry to a ship or world. Such a massive round exceeded those specifications. The hulking suit crashed, not into the pillar, but the aged flooring of the warehouse as the Troig spasmed and flinched in response to the sudden fiery jolt of pain that had suddenly come upon him. Shimsinblimp’s forward momentum plowed him into the floor, Shim’s head first, and carved a furrow as deep as it was wide for several yards before the resistance of Kessel’s surface brought the two-headed creature to a halt. The rockets sputtered to silence, the onboard computers having registered that continued use was futile.

 

Shortly after grinding to a stop in the chewed up floor,  four-armed pirate was already starting to move. His movement was a bit slower than it had been as Blimp blinked several times, his red lips twisted into a tooth-baring snarl. That had hurt. A lot. Truth be told, it still did. Shimsinblimp’s entire body had felt the crash even as the dropsuit did what it was designed for and absorbed the brunt of the impact. Head first into the floorboards was not quite what the designers had intended.

 

The EMP launcher was scattered somewhere in the chaos of the torn floor, lost forgotten in the darkness. With his four arms, Shimsinblimp picked himself up, the whine of the targeting computers mixing with the ringing in Blimp’s ears and the grating of servomotors as the armor responded. Something was wrong. Not with the armor; but with the Troig himself. The pain in the his side was sharp and everpresent, but that was not it. Blimp could feel his limbs. They all sang a dull throb in protest to being lobbed into the floor. They were all functional though, mostly. 

 

“Shim, you alright?”

 

Silence.

 

“Shim? SHIM!?!” the red head of the Troig bellowed, unanswered by his calmer more logical half. The response in the moment remained. Silence. The blindspot to one side that Blimp instinctively felt within his core only confirmed it. Something was wrong with Shim. The awkward angle that the elongated armored neck of the green-headed Shim hung told enough. Was his neck broken? That remained to be seen. At best, the green-headed half had simply been knocked unconcious by the impact, Shim’s side impacting the ground first.

 

In the moment, it did not matter. Shim knew one thing. His other half, the keeper of his soul, was not there. If one could imagine having their heart torn from their body, the void that was left was how Blimp now felt. That void quickly filled however. Sadness, worry, and darkness, all swirled together into a volcanic font of rage. With a beastly snarl, like that of a wounded Ronto, the Troig used his arms to shove himself upwards to a standing position at the end of the ditch his own body had carved. He stumbled slightly, his powerful tail serving as an anchor to brace with so as to not fall over atop his wounded leg.

 

The whine of target lock buzzed in Blimp’s ear like an ever present sand flea unknowingly taunting death. Gone was the desire to preserve the spice. Gone was the desire to make money. Gone was the plan to build a galaxy-spanning empire of ill gotten gain. Those had been Shim’s specialty anyway. It now had been replaced with a single overwhelming boiling desire for revenge. Without Shim, there was nothing left. Without his more more reasonable lighter half, death and destruction, pain and suffering, the oaths by which Blimp lived by, and those which Shim tempered, were all that remained.

 

And there, in that moment, Blimp struck. It was simple, and yet he poured all his pain and rage into it. The whine of the targeting array said that the offending Mandalorians still existed. More so that they were still locked on to. Even the one that was still charging forward. Yes, Blimp saw him. He did not care. It did not matter that the Troig was in the potential blast radius. With a simple guttural command, “Fire. All targets. Override confirmed,” the tone that reverberated in his helmet changed, eleveating in creacendo as the missiles deployed and took off after their marks. A half dozen miniature concussion missiles sizzled forth from their launch tubes, undamaged from the plunge into the floor, and whispered forth on trails of whispy vapor towards their prey, his prey. With a concussive blast diameter of 5 meters, Blimp knew he was well within range of being swept off his feet by the missiles that should impact the rapidly approaching Mandalorian. He simply did not care. If his suit protected him, so be it. If it failed, he would welcome the eternal dark peace. It did not matter, so long as these zealots paid with their lives. He had seen the boxes and single pillar that separated him from them. With any luck the impacts, even there, would provide devastating results. If he had to bring the entire section down on them, he would.

 

((3))

 

tl;dr:

-Shimsinblimp was struck by several maser rounds, the damage of which was mostly absorbed into the armor or readjusted for via armor/computers.

-Shimsinblimp was hit by the sniper round in the area of his left lower hip/buttock/thigh, causing him to crash into the floor.

-Shimsinblimp’s forward propelled armor carved a furrow until he came to a stop.

-Shim was knocked out (not dead, but Blimp does not know that)

-Fired 6 miniature concussion missiles (5 meter concussive diameter) 2 each at Arda, Longkra, and Bas’ar
*Troigs can fully function with only one head

 

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While Zalis got a very small glimpse at Terra through the mess and hazy that was being created. It was going rather well, all things considering. She wasn’t dead yet and the Mandalorians seemed flustered to some degree. She could really tell what was going on with the others who were in the mines with her any more, only Terra. But that was because she was attempting to stay alive herself and to keep Terra from doing something stupid. 
 

The initial charge didn’t truly flush Terra, so much as the explosions she had created around her caused her to move. It forced the former assassin to change her own plans and make a hard stop and bolt run at her target’s new direction. In the heat of the moment, Zalis crushed and wished hell upon Terra for a quick moment for the next move, but when she gets a chance to look bad, she’ll thank whatever deity she would need for the pure insanely lucky non-fatal strike that almost could have killed her. 

 

With a sharp pain in her right calf, the turn and charge made her stumble and begin to fall in a weird and crazy lurching forward like motion. It was that sharp pain that had her catch a flechette shot in her left side of her stomach, followed rather quickly by a grazing like shot in her upper left shoulder, causing her to hit the ground into a tumble roll, dropping one of her blasters. The roll took her to come rather close with Terra. Close enough that if she wasn’t in the midst of a firefight, she would have noticed the upgraded armor since their last meeting. But such a luxury was not available to her in the moment, just survival. 

 

Instinct took over and she forced herself to stop the roll to gain a good position to open fire with her right hand, nothing major, just a spray of fire to get Terra to move, even if it was towards her in a fist fight. Through the pain, with nothing but pure adrenaline to keep her moving, she withdrew her other vibrodagger and flung it at Terra, followed by a kicking motion. The fling was designed to only put the blade in the woman enough to get her to stop. The kick was designed that the vibrodagger would penetrate the armor. It was her best move she could provide, at least from the stance of not trying to kill Terra. She wanted her opponent to live through this, along with herself. 

 

((3))

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Bas’ar, mad with his broken love rushed ever onwards towards that two-headed beast. Towards the robber of his happiness, the killer of his joy. He was a madwolfe embodied, beyond care or concern for his fate. He dashed the Heavy Charric to the stones at his feet as he ran, disgusted in its inability to even scratch his enemy. 

 

He could see his fate

 

With his right hand he pulled a heavy vibrodirk from his belt, and with his left his heavy blaster pistol. 

 

He could see Aorn now, as he was meant to be, smiling and alive, not broken in the dust on a forsaken world. He was farming the fields of Kald’retham with the starlight of Chald’edha reflected in the sweat on his brow. It was lovelier than any sight he had beheld in his mortal life. 

 

As the missiles came, Bas’ar fired again and again, throwing the dirk end over end at the beast’s giant head. 

 

He would walk with Kad Ha’rangir at long last. 

 

The last of his thoughts were of his honor and his love

 

---

 

Arna nestled the butt of her marksman’s rifle into the armor of her shoulder, feeling its rubberized stock sealing into the beskar. Her shot had found its mark in a way, but the anti-material round had not incapacitated her enemy like she had intended. Setapoite began running the calculations for a follow-up shot, the data scrawling in crimson aurebesh across her magnified vision. 

 

She settled the targeting reticle on the beast as it rose to engage her comrades. One of its heads seemed to dangle like the paralyzed appendages she had seen growing up in the trauma-wards on Ord Mantell with her sister. It disgusted her, much like the patients had. 

 

“...No reticle compensation required…”

 

Arna watched in growing dread as the beast burst into missile fire and a resounding warning began to blare in her ears. She started to let out the rest of her breath and took up the slack in the trigger. Longkra’s mute tongue was given voice by Setapoite, and the grief and worry was apparent

 

“...Get out of there ner’vod!” 

 

Arna whistled a single defiant note, turning it into a feline hiss as she fired one last time as the missile came, sending her sniper’s round towards the beast’s center of mass. 

 

---

 

Longkra’s boots dashed sparks upon the stones as she sprinted after Bas’ar, knowing all too well the rage she had heard in his bellowing roar. The mission had gone all to the Seven Corellian Hells, OpFor was much stronger than anticipated, and Terra had been separated from their side. Without Mandalore amongst them, they were fracturing in the face of only one lowly beast. 

 

Longkra’s breathing echoed inside her buyce as she pushed farther west, trying to flank the Troig and cut it to pieces. Her AI barked out a warning in her native Huttese

 

...Missiles... 

 

The woman leapt without a second thought, activating her jetpack in full burst as she did so, her cybernetic unit transmitting her thoughts of warnings to her sister through the mouth of Setapoite. She twisted her body, the heat of the missile’s backwash burning away part of her exposed plait. The scent of burning hair was nauseating. 

 

Longkra’s slugthrowing carbine barked out a stream of durasteel FMJs as her jetpack brought her away from the missile’s explosive wash, directing three bursts of slugs at the beast’s chest and face. There was no time to mourn now. All that could be done now was to fight on or embrace death with dignity.

 

---

 

Terra watched her shots pass through the haze of the battlefield, cursing her own bad aim. Her crimson eyes flicked up to her ammunition load on the HUD, analyzing the ammo stack, assuring herself in her nearly full magazine. There wasn’t time or need for a safety reload. Her hand gripped the leather that adorned the pistol’s grip, the familiar feel of it a reassurance for her troubled mind. 

 

She could tell her team was beginning to lose. Life-sign displays for several of her team were displaying dim readings. Hades was roaring. 

 

The haze of the battlefield showed the form of Zalis, unphased from the flechettes and on the attack. A flurry of crimson stiched across her cover, searing through the splinsteel container, charring a line of carbon across her darkmetal. The container groaned as it began to collapse, the weakened metal shrieking and failing.

 

Terra staggered from the sparse and reducing cover that the splintsteel container had provided, grinding her teeth against the pain that coursed up through her leg. Her eyes widened as she saw Zalis’s roll again, and the Mandalorian brought her pistol up. 

 

Spast.

 

A line of pain seared across her ribcage, as Zalis’ vibroknife skittered across the seventh rib, slicing through flesh and fracturing bone before reflecting into the dusty stone with a shower of sparks. The Mandalorian let out a serpentine hiss of pain, pushing on her injured left leg with as much strength as she could muster to close the distance and sidestep the oncoming kick. She would not fall now. She could trust the left leg to push her off, but not to catch her in this final step.She separated her hands, bringing the vibro-tomahawk in an arc to her left with all her strength

 

If this is to be the end, may I die with honor. 

 

As Terra stepped around the kick with her right leg, she brought her flechette pistol closer to her own body to maintain control, leveling it at the Zalis’s oncoming abdomen as she moved past the kick. With all of her momentum applied to her strength, Terra angled the tomahawk’s arc in an attempt to catch the woman just under her right clavicle. As she swung, she hammered the trigger of her flechette pistol, a last desperate attempt to put down her former friend.

 

((3))

 

::TL;DR::

 

Spoiler

 

  • Three attacks made against Shrims
  • Two NPCs down
  • Terra takes vibroknife damage to her ribcage
  • Terra swings a tomahawk at, and shoots at Zalis from almost point-blank range

 

 

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To the Death...

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The lightsaber passed by R3-M0's head, missing by centimeters as the droid came rolling down the ramp...no, the wall!

 

The wall...

 

Nok's hand flicked again, and the lightsaber spun midair and came flying back down the hall. Except this time it wasn't aimed at Remo. With one more flourish, it twisted and buried itself into the wall...and the active plasma conduit behind it.

 

Blue energy, hidden from Nok's blind eyes, exploded out in sparking, crackling force. The little droid was flung headfirst into the opposite wall, a single, high-pitched beep accompanying the sudden blast of power. Bolts of electricity played across its surface even as its metal frame blackened under the flood of raw plasma. The moment was over as quickly as it started, Naboo safety features kicking in to close off the leaking conduit, but the damage was done. The droid lay on the floor, lights off, smoke rising from between its joints.

 

Nok got up, face still alight with pain, and shuffled over. He extended his hands, and the shotos flipped into his palms. He weighed them absentmindedly before clipping them onto his belt, adding his own stolen lightsaber after a moment's thought. His pain echoed in the Dark Side, and Nok focused and felt along those currents until he sensed the droid's inner workings. The power core, the fuel reserves...and the cognitive module.

 

Nok gripped the little device with the Force.

 

"Good fight...lord of Black Sun...

 

I wonder, what would you have done to the universe had you lived?"

 

Nok paused, for how long he couldn't have said. Eventually, he shook his head.

 

"It doesn't matter."

 

He crushed the module.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

"Sir! The shields just dropped!"

 

Kelzin took his eyes off the fierce dogfight.

 

"How many landing craft do we have left?"

 

"We've lost one Sentinel, and one of the Gozanti dropped its Juggernaught!"

 

Kelzin cursed. The rebels weren't even supposed to be here!

 

"Wait, the Juggernaught...the troops..."

 

"As far as we can tell, they're still alive inside. Do you want us to turn back for them?"

 

"No, if we break formation these scum will take us apart!" Whoever these fighter pilots were, they were deadly. "Commence our landing run!"

 

With a single command, the formation of House Sovros ships shot forward, weapons quieting even as their thrusters flung them towards the planet at top speed. Fire peppered their sides as they disengaged, and one of the Sentinels erupted in smoke, only to emerge trailing the black plume but still airborne. The Empire had built things tough back then.

 

The ships only barely vibrated as they breached the atmosphere, the thin air providing little friction or obstacle. The fearless, brainwashed clone pilots pulled away to their designated landing zones, intent on the atmospheric factories and the key to victory over Kessel.

 

"Sir! We've detected a flare! It's...two miles from atmosphere factory 2! Looks like a rebel ship crashed. That's Captain Hoat'te's target. Shall I redirect him?"

 

"Negative. He is to proceed to his target."

 

"...Sir, Captain Hoat'te just changed course. He's headed for the ship."

 

Kelzin, teeth gritted but without a trace of surprise on his face, activated the comms.

 

"Jol you son of a kriffing-"

 

"Save it H'nabro! Glory to the Hoat'te line! Glory for the Sith!" The line cut.

 

Kelzin pounded the dash.

 

"Sir...what should we..."

 

"Leave him to it. Hoat'te's wife will shoot him herself when she finds out about this stunt, unless that's an important rebel he captures."

 

"And if it's an important rebel?"

 

"Then she'll congratulate him in public and slit his throat when they're alone. Focus on our own factory. Bring us in for a landing."

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

The Sentinel-class shuttle, garishly marked Hoat'te's Legacy, touched down 100 yards from the crashed rebel ship, it's rear facing its target. The ramp lowered, and 10 zabraks, clad in green and gold armor, marched off in near mindless unison into the dusty terrain. Blaster rifles pointed towards the enemy vessel, they slowly approached.

Edited by Nok Morliss
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Ruling on the Terra and pals vs Shimsinblimp and Zalis duel

 

Reading this duel really felt like reading two adjacent fights, and in the interest of coming to the most accurate ruling for what happened I'm going to treat it as such. In the Terra vs Zalis part of the fight, it was clear that Terra was in her element in this fight, and Zalis's attempts to compromise her visibility weren't landing. This culminated in a final charge by Zalis on Terra's position that left Zalis exposed to significant fletchette fire with little to mitigate it. 

 

Terra vs Zalis: Terra

 

In regards to the firefight between Shimsinblimp and Terra's squad, both sides gave and took punches well. I do know that we have an updated set of retinue rules under construction, but what I saw here felt unbalanced, especially against an NFU with no squad of their own. The retinue often felt like five additional PCs each with specialized gear for handling specific problems rather than a small squad of NPCs meant to support their PC with additional fire, and a number of the weapons they use were laid out in a way that traditional damage mitigation options like armor were not plausible. I believe that everyone was acting in good faith, but that the retinue was being used in a way that exceeded the mechanical role that it is meant for, even moreso given that this was not a duel vs an FU and I am evaluating them without the contributions of their PC owner.

 

Terra Retinue vs Shimsinblimp: Shimsinblimp

 

All that being said, I think that it would have been better to have avoided the 2v1 format to begin with, given how things clearly turned into two distinct firefights, and I'm wondering if the setup of the duel factored in to the portrayal of the retinue.

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