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Starship Captain
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Post by sonofccn » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:32 pm

Praeothmin wrote:Why, you devious Admiral, you!

Man, all your higher ups are plotting sons-o'-bitches, aren't they?
It's like you don't even believe there can be people of power who are honest and upfront... *whistles innocently* :)
Well there's Jackson he's pretty honest and upfront and from what little we saw of Yuran he seemed honorable but yeah. The Galactic Empire is a poor place to search for moral and upstanding officers.

Starship Captain
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Post by sonofccn » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:31 pm

Another bonus update as I continue the plot of the Admiral as he prepares for his shadow campaign. Because clearly we don't have enough plots yet. ;)

“ Credits brother? No. For this is more than some mad squabble in a sinful Galaxy. The goddess has ordained us to wage against the chaos of the Xeno. What is Diabolus Abyssus but the ultimate expression of that commandment?” Brother Ikras pledging his and his Order’s militia to the Admiral’s cause.

Imperial Classics-The Early Years:

Last time on Imperial Classics {The Early Years} a bold vision enacted. Fighting treachery from within the Admiral prepares an assault from the greatest threat without! Secured of an army and General the strategist now seeks the armada in which to carry them to victory!

Storage Depot one-seventy-

“I trust you’re satisfied?” Commandant Bora asked from his reclining chair, gesturing one hand towards the holodisplay generated from his desk’s center.

Where flickered a miniature simulacrum of the depot station and the moldering grave of battered hulks which surrounded it, looted wrecks and retired designs solemnly orbiting it like a spoke wheel. Vestige carcasses, human and alien, gutted of use then towed to what was to be their final resting place. But among the ripped and torn detritus, disintegrating neglected and unsung by the Galaxy, hung renewed forms of maliciously purposeful intent.

Posed like spear points above the station they silently circled it while worker bee shuttles glided between ferrying maintenance crews and work droids to the rejuvenating warships. Old war Reeks which had once terrorized the Galaxy, relic Commerce Guild cruisers culled from captured shipyards and veteran Bank Clan frigates taken in battle, to mundane stock of gunships and light cruisers such as the Munifex. Even the monstrous, bloated shape of the Lucrehulk tradeships, dwarfing all with their presence, looking sufficiently intimidating through little more than bulk freighters for warriors and equipment.

“ I’ll need a complete inspection Jon, you know I can be quite particular.” The Admiral said playfully taking his own seat in front of the Commandant’s desk.” Unless you’re trying to sell me a bill of goods.”

“Emperor forbid. Cheating you is the fastest way to a plasma bolt to the brain.” Bora chuckled leaning forward to press a button on his desk changing the hologram to a specific cruiser.

One which dissembled itself, key components and parts highly and expanded for the viewer’s benefit, in a slow and methodical manner.

“As you can see this ship, just like each of its fellows, is to your exact specification. Had my contacts scour half the sector to come up with all the parts, turbolasers, power conduits, deuterium reactors.” The Commandant ticked off.” Everything needed to make them good as new, better even. I’d trust them against the Empire’s finest.”

“ Perhaps but I’ll be the one to trust them.” The Admiral laughed, turning slightly in his seat as the door opened for the entering servant droid.” Unless you changed your mind Jon on following me.”

“And give up all this, my freedom and comfort, to go play soldier again?” Bora quipped as he swiveled and reached for one of the drinks on the tray the robot had brought.” I had enough of that back during the War. Remember Koru? ”

Accepting his own glass from the droid, which promptly turned and waddled away, the Admiral nodded reliving his own moments of the battle. Particularly the pangs of buckling metal as turbo fire gouged through the armored hull.

“ We all lived.” He mused, savoring the first taste of the proffered wine, as Bora answered a communication chime from his desk.” I wonder if the Liberty is out there somewhere? Among your wrecks?”

The venerable Invincible class, having proved unsalvageable, had last been seen by the Admiral floating among the tattered jetsam around Koru Neimoidia as he, buoyed by his taking command following the deaths of the higher echelons, was transferred to oversee an old Mandator reconfigured as a mobile Intelligence/Decryption base. Those last few months to the War the Admiral’s first taste of subterfuge and games of shadows. Excitable Bora in turn having served out the remainder unattached then, following the New Order, cemented himself into the crucial logistical arm which sprang to wrestle control on the Order’s conquests. Growing more sedentary and heavier than the svelte SubCommander that the Admiral remembered.

“Huh? Yeah we lived.” The Commandant absently agreed, distracted by the need to grant clearance to an inbound freighter.

One, officially, unscheduled and of alien design, suggestively Bothan, which Bora warranted to the unused third docking bay. Compliant droids and human overseers already diligently waiting to unload its cargo of contraband where it would in turn be siphoned and transported throughout the star systems of the sector. Spices, prohibited weapons, even the odd Twi’lek dancer, anything one could buy and transported under galleons carrying the seal and authority of the Empire circumventing the intending planets’ nominal security forces.

“But Admiral Callaghan and his Jedi taskmaster? They and their crew were vaped along with Serene Justice.” Bora flinched remembering seeing that Victory Destroyer go up in an Atomic cloud.” Or the ones who “escaped” in pressure suits, drifting aimlessly through the maelstrom, and left with the options to slowly choke on their own defiled breath or pop the seal and do it quickly? No, I tell you. That was as close to the front lines as I ever wish to get.”

“Which is a shame Jon. I’m going to need someone to shepherd this flotilla. Don’t mind my skills have becoming a little rusty since the War.” The Admiral amiably pressed to Bora’s stern refusal.

“ The cloak and saber stuff. Bit of a waste of a Fleet Officer but if it keeps you safe…” The Commandant answered at last taking a drink of his wine.” But I’m afraid I can’t help you. My skills wouldn’t be any sharper, hell I don’t think I’ve been in a warship, intact and functional at least, since the Liberty.”

“Which pains me dearly. I would like you to accompany my campaign.” The Admiral sighed with a shake of his head as Bora’s com beeped again.” If it’s a matter of payment I can assure you five or ten times your annual salary. All untraceable and more importantly untaxable by the Imperial accountants.”

“I’m not interested, please. And as far as credits from your patronage and my other ventures…I am fairly secure.” The Commandant insisted as he answered his chirping com-board.

Unprepared for the panged voice or haggard appearance of the overseer which sprung up replacing the rotating ship components. Ragged edge screams captured in the fuzzy background of the projection along with darker growls and sickening wet tearing of pliable skin against sharpen durasteel.

“Sir…alert security…they were on the freighter-the fetching freighter. From stern to bow, filling it!” He cursed, his image breaking up, twisting to shoot at something beyond the holo’s vantage.

The shot hitting something, which howled more with malevolent rage than pain at the affront and beget a scream of nigh panicked gibberish from the overseer which the Commandant struggled to cut through.

“Overseer, what is going on? What is aboard my station?” He demanded to the flickering, palm width simulacrum.

“Death…death has come…Emperor help us all…” The figure, cowering, wailed as a large, shaggy shadow descended.

Something which looked like a Wookiee male but only in a vestige, primordial way. The way a B2 battledroid superficially resembled the human form without having any of the substance of that shape. That was what Bora glimpsed, hunching over the sinking corpse to nuzzle at the blood spurting from a ruptured throat and chest, before the image tilted askew once more and collapsed completely. Leaving a stunned hole of silence as its departure stole the ghoulish shrieks and cackles whose emanations had dominated the lavishish trimmed Commandant’s office, one which made the officer’s voice sound small and frail and he punched up security. Barking orders, that sounded more like they came from a startled child than a experienced Spacer, to the head-sergeant until the Admiral placed his hand on his and lifted it off of the speaker killing the transmission.

“I really wish you had agreed to come with me.” The Admiral explained releasing Bora and standing up.” I wanted to avoid this…unpleasantness. But such is fate.”

Rising from his own seat the hefty Commandant, devilish realization dawning in his eyes, found his hand sliding to his holstered blaster. A hateful sneer forming on his pudgy lips as he spat the vengeful accusation at friend and former commander, knowing the traits of the Admiral to well to harbor doubt.

“Your responsible. You’re killing my crew…” He gasped, his fingers curling around his blaster’s grip.

“ I may have found that Bothan trader you deal and arranged to have my own cargo shipped yes.” The Admiral admitted as Bora vigorously squeezed his weapon’s trigger without result.” Regrettably it will appear that you were merely another unfortunate victim of the Wookiee pirate raids which have been building of late. And no one will dig too deeply, too many Captains would be entangled in your web. They’ll simply have it shut and closed.”

“ I’ll have your hide stapled to the deck plating, how is that for a clue?” The Commandant snapped pitching his blaster aside and hunching back over his desk to alert Security.” Sergeant?! I need a fething detachment in my officer immediately, forget the station. I repeat forget the station. Just a detail to escort me to my yacht.”

An extravagant and plush shuttle docked at a berth by itself in which he, and a small escort, could easily escape. Perhaps even the Admiral with them, Bora incensed mind filled with graphic images of what could be done with his former friend. Tantalizing dreams which were jarred by the blunt and authoritative voice of the head-sergeant.

“Understood sir but I’m afraid I’ve agreed to help the Admiral to it.” The Sergeant answered as someone moaned in the background only to be cut off by the hiss of a blaster.” If you can hear me sir, my team and I will be up there shortly.”

“Take your time, the hangers and crew areas will occupy the Berserkers for quite a while.” The officer replied, leaning to cut the link again, as the Commandant, looking like a skittish Shaak, recoiled against the far bulkhead.

“You’ll never get them, not your precious ships.” He spat, cringing, as the Admiral drew his own sidearm.” You think you’re the only one who can hire mercenaries? I have extensive security details on those ships, a small army’s worth.”

“I know. Which is why I had shuttlecrafts, dropped further out system and coasting in on inertia, bring not only signal dampeners but squads of spacetroopers.” The Admiral answered coldly raising his weapon up.” Rest assured by now the key points have been taken, all that remains is to shunt life support and then to eject the desiccated remains.”

Then he fired…

Jedi Master
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Post by Praeothmin » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:35 pm

There is so much back-stabbing in your latest chapters Chiropractors will be rolling in clients for years... :)

Good one, keep up the...

*Hears a noise and turns around quickly, Blaster drawn, seeing nothing*

Ahem, as I was saying, keep up the good treacherous updates...

Starship Captain
Posts: 1657
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:23 pm
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Post by sonofccn » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:42 pm

Bad late but I think still fun. Enjoy

“Lo that I enter the sepulcher of the damned and desecrated I shall not fear. For faith is my shield, reason my sword, and the M26 Pershing my big fracking tank!” Agent John’s “battle prayer” before leading the assault against a fortified cult of the Emerald goddess.

Talon-II, medical suit 4-D-

I.Welcome to my world-Simple Plan

Loud, bitter-sweet music poured from the suite’s speakers, the performers’ voices soggy and distorted, filling it with its macabre woe and lost promise. Speaking of lost ages and unfulfilled wonder, of Cyclopean landscapes and majestic cities beyond the imagination of the lesser kin, from before the pages of history. Before the infinite empire or the Rakata, back when the Galaxy was young and pure. Such was the operatic splendor of the “Dreams of R’yleh, even if only a pale imitative copy.

The Bith performers incapable of truly pronouncing the primordial words, shaped as they were for far differently shaped vocals, nor did the recording, made during the height of the Old Republic’s decadence, properly evoke the passions needed for the work. Lacking the boldness and self-assurance of the faithful concerts he’d witnessed in the secluded grotto caves of his family’s compound. Such was the luxuries of his former life, before he had to scramble away in the dead of night. Before the once agust name Delapoers as the fodder for intrigue and gossip rather than fear and respect.

Before he’d taken the name Sebastian Bechham, doctor, and had his features restructured to the late healer’s. Through Bechham rather approved of the latter, finding the doctor’s plain and just slightly doughy face a friendly alternative to his natural countenance. Having strongly inherited from his father Obed the “Delapoer look”, an insulting byword for the narrowness of head and scabrous of complexion which persisted through the family line, which he’d previously only slightly migrated with the forced replacement of his left eye with a synthetic artifice.

The red bauble his one concession from Bechham’s traditional look, believing it added a sense of intrigue and the draconian to his otherwise now jovial and pleasant face, a matter which had been trivially compensated by altering the late doctor’s medical records. It also invested him with a fuller range of the energy spectrum than its meat and tissue predecessor, the sensitive crystalline lattices of its matrix capable of analyzing a being’s physiology and pulmonary responses allowing him to diagnose in a glance. It as well meant he could “read” a human, peer into their soul as it were, and discern if they were attempting to employ subterfuge against him. Something he’d found invaluable in his life, both old and current.

Such was the being which closed the creased, age yellowed pages of the tarnished bronze gilded tome, itself a fragment from his once agust collection saved from the pillager’s torch, and turned a scarlet eye towards the opening suite doors. Attempting to rise from his chair as he saw Gambil, his at once savior and executioner, enter followed by one the chattering droids recently assigned to Bechham as support staff.

“My dear friend, it’s a pleasure.” Bechham scornfully greeted his guest, an impish discoloration on his amiable face, sweeping his treasured copy of “Cultes des Goules” into his seat behind him.” To what do I owe your…magnificent presence?”

Not that he couldn’t guess, or outright determine under his crimson gaze, but he of all people could understand the importance and…enjoyment of observing a ritual. And to see the smarmy Gambil brought low, if only for moment, to admit his innate frailties was worth it.

“Feth you and fething shut off that racket before I shove my boot up your asteroid. Fething understand me?” The Agent croaked, his voice like splintering glass, pushing his way past Bechham and taking a perch on one of the biobeds lining a wall.” Good, now get me some Tri-ox and let’s get this over with.”

Taking his seat there Gambil, with his frustratingly apologetic droid’s help, undoing his garments and weapon harnesses to reveal a lean and lightly scarred torso. His chest, despite the stern control of enforced on his visage, rising and crashing rapidly in shallow, feeble breaths in a fatalistic cycle at odds with the composed, heated words of his scratchy voice.

“Perhaps if you’d given me some warning I might have had something prepared but I didn’t expect you for months still.” Bechham, drawing a datapad from his pocket and pausing the selected play list, answered retreating to the mess of drawers and cabinets which housed the tools of his trade.

Taking from one a hypospray and a second, after a little rifling, a plum colored vial which he inserted into the former. Only letting his mind linger on a greenish hued canister he knew was in the cabinet beside for a moment, as Gambil had made clear that night in the light of his family’s burning palisade’s his untimely death would release certain files and documents the doctor dearly didn’t want loose. Adding to it, being found with the body of an Agent, no less one in which molecular acid had been injected, was not a situation conductive to long life.

Instead only Tri-ox found its way into Gambil’s bloodstream with an almost immediate slackening effect in his pulsating chest and expression of relief on his dogmatic and unflinching face. His tightly wound muscles not loosening as he laid back on the bed, to let the potion circulate and in preparations for the surgery, but taking on a subdued glow. A cocky, smug expression of pleasure and fulfillment.

One he’d worn that night under the greasy haze of Delapoers’ manor house burning down, when he truly realized the noose wrapped the doctor’s neck. Recognizing him despite the muck and grime of his mad plight through the under-berths of the family home and soggy caverns and bore holes which surrounded the estate.

“ Don’t tell me old friends like us are reduced to bureaucratic appointment wrangling.” Gambil laughed twisting his neck side to side, each with a loud pop, to loosen it.” I mean, I have a problem and I came to see you. What is more a more natural or friendly?”

“ I do have other responsibilities, I can’t always drop everything. Even for a “friend” like you.” Bechham warned switching the Tri-ox for a sedative compound.

Taking the time as he did so to see just what he had to work with, his red eye peeling back skin of Gambil’s chest, causing it to dissolve away like mist, before the grayish twilight of the simulacrum innards. Stopping on the hollow image of his beating heart and the morbidly enflamed lungs laboring to either side of it. Noting the mottled texture of the ghostly illusion, the pus filled protrusions he’d have to scour.

“That’s right, I’m your best friend. And friends deserve special treatment, and if we don’t our friends right…they stop being your friend. And then there is trouble.” Gambil, bracing himself as the mechanical arm of the biobed swung over him, taunted.” And we don’t want trouble. So forget your opera for a moment, your moldy old books or even that puissant Tun if that miserable fether is still alive. Just take care of me.”

“When you ask so nice, how can I refuse.” The Doctor replied over the gentle hiss of the hypospray.” And he is alive. Tun that is. Through not much of a conversationist, I was going to do a more detailed cranial scan to determine any further damage but…”

“No rush right? See, Tun isn’t your friend. So you can treat him like feth.” The Agent, quivering more from anticipation than the drug, answered dreamedly.” Like one of your world’s peasants, the ones you abducted in the middle of the night. The ones whose screams you tended to, in the deepest levels of the house, for hours on end.”

Gambil laughing at the analogy, find some twisted germ of humor limited to him alone in it, as the first of the bed’s invasive scans commenced bathing his flesh in a sickly green light. Confirming, in higher resolution and detail, what Bechham’s eye had already seen as well as constructing the surgery parameters which would guide the individual tools once he went in. The embodiment of the Imperial Medi-Tech it was quick, clean and efficient meant to waste not so much as a credit or joule in what was essentially an assembly line. Quite apart and separate from the antiquated in comparison tools he’d had back on his Birthworld, if less tactile.

“ I may have done a few blemishes but it was all in the name of progress. And what are a few lives in a Galaxy so big?” Bechham asked sweetly, retreating from the darkening edges of Gambil’s vision to sterilize and don mask and glove.

“ There was nothing progressive about what you were doing. And those were Imperial citizens, beings who are to live or die at the command of the Emperor or his appointed representatives. Of which, you fething little freak, are neither.” The Doctor heard his patient hurl, groggy and disorientated, as he slipped into unconsciousness.” You could but hope for the fate of Lemelisk if some of what transpired between those walls of stone and iron came to light.”

“But they were destroyed. All my medical files, all my test subjects. All eradicated by that mad Reek you let off his chain.” Bechham scolded, wagging one finger as he pulled a glove over its hand.

His family, and by extension himself, marked for death for political reasons rather than the fruits of his experiments. Experiments which had meant progress for his family and their goals, the latter what the fearful Imperial Security had imperfectly and most shallowly sensed. Dimly grasping the venerable and ancient family lines which were slowly gravitating towards the Delapoers, but oblivious to the real cause, and setting out for an example which would awaken the complacent local government to action.

Exercising, like a cancerous tumor, his family and the shadow of its influence in one brutal, sudden night. A family of dozens of extended members, some well over their first century, and tens of more of servants and attendants reduced by torch and sword to a sole refugee. A vagabond chained to an arrogant upstart.

All because of the Pale Man.

Talon-II, primary hanger-

II.Sharp Dressed man-ZZ Top

“Certainly knows how to make an entrance.” Captain Crell George thought from the observation deck as the shuttle entered through the bay’s magnetic screen.

A stylish and customized lambda shuttle, black hulled with crimson windows, emblazoned with the iconography of the Galactic Empire, so wantonly that it was better deserving of the decadent Old Republic, and the raised lettering proudly declaring its name of Imperator Phasmatis. Drifting silently on its repulsar field the gaudy vehicle settled down before the twin columns of Imperial Servicemen, and women, whom had been selected to enjoy the “joyous” arrival of the Commodore.

“You’d think the Emperor was arriving.” Winthrope, naturally at Crell’s side, whispered from the corner of his mouth as the two of them proceeded from the observation deck to the hanger bay.

Entering as the boarding ramp extending from the garish shuttle like a steely tongue and brightly polished white armored Stormtroopers began descending in a ritualistic manner an forming an honor guard for the equally armored figure whom followed at their heels. And it was immediately apparent it was not only the assembled Imperial soldiers and Naval officers whom thought this was the coming of the Emperor. A self-indulgent swagger to the Commodore’s walk, an egotistical grandiosity and conception of importance which had led to the garish trappings of his customized shuttle and personal dress. Not content to wear his Commodore uniform, to stale and unassuming for one whose star burned so bright, the arrogant arse strode in the gleaming white armor plate of a warrior Stormtrooper.

Through not a plain one of course, mustn’t have that, with silver trimming each of the immaculate and dazzling plates while golden pauldrons, shaped and stylized like eagles, clasped in their shiny beaks the hooks for his dark lavender cape flowing behind him. The sigil of the Galactic Empire darkly stained on its outer lining, as if to dare construe the latter and the Commodore were one and the same.

“Looks like Colonel Kratz has got his work cut out for him now.” Winthrope observed in a hushed whisper as Krevin, intoxicated by the assembled crowd, paused to personal greet a few of his admirers.” If he wants to stay the most flashy dunce on board that is.”

The flamboyant, but effective, Kratz having become if anything even more bold and ostentatious since taking the mining station, acting at times with his preening more like a spoiled war-prince under the reign of Xim the Despot rather than a professional soldier.

“Patience my friend.” Crell, equally mutely, advised watching as the Commodore kissed the hand of a particularly pleased to meet him officer of the female persuasion.” Let the fool have his little moment, let him reveal his incompetence, his imbecility, his lusts…”

Watching the slightest tinge of blush appearing in lieutenant Annita Stein face, a normally straight laced officer, as the Commodore upturn that predatory face of his from her cradled hand. Smiling a self-serving smile, hollow and gaudy like his armor, and murmuring little nothings to the veteran officer, whom fawned like an Imperial cadet on her first year, like some two bit, decacred joy-boy. Krevin, without regard for the waiting Crell or the dignity of his office, inquiring onto Stein’s first name, complimenting her on it, and other indulgences of the personal.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, my dear Annita. The Empire needs women like you. If only to remind us what we fight for.” The Commodore suggested as he at last released her hand and made to move on.” And I do hope I, like the Empire, can call on you if need. Say for a tour of your magnificent vessel?”

“Ahem…Commodore. That would be ill advised. Lt. Stein duty is overseeing her turbolaser battery.” Captain George, rather loudly, cut in, his own warning forgotten, as he swept hurriedly to reach the lecherous Krevin.

Winthrope trailing less than a step behind, a corporeal shadow clinging to its masters, doing his best to maintain the selected stride without breaking his droll and dutiful expression. Looking every aspect the smartly regimented officer, like a battle droid rolled off the Confederate assembly, whom blandly sought only the stale glory of fulfilling his duty. A far cry from the counterpart the Commodore had in Tyler but not without his uses.

Knowing, from remembrance, that the fastest way to become good with a ship’s captain was to promote the second officer to it, allowing a second avenue if his first outreach to Crell failed to flourish. Not that it should, the old dog no doubt was itching for whatever bone thrown his way, but it never hurt to have a contingency.

“But of course, my apologies then Captain.” He said with all the grace he could manage to the stuffy, old officer and than with more sincerity towards the lieutenant.” And to you of course Annita. I certainty do not want to interfere with your proscribed duties.”

Earning another smile from her before he was forced, by decorum not by choice, to return on the crusty face of the Talon’s captain. An act mimicked and reflected by the polished white of his bodyguards who, the Commodore’s acts of a humble hero over, swarmed protectively around him like fire-wasps around their queen blocking sight of the assembled crewmembers.

“I’m sure of it.” Crell answered Krevin darkly, the Captain making motions to turn and be followed as he lead them from the hanger.” And your right, the Talon is a magnificent ship sir. Perhaps not the equal of the Judgment but she proudly served through countless battles against Emperor’s enemies.”

“ Perhaps more than her share since I’ve assumed authority. I do have a tendency to go in blasters blazing.” The Commodore mirthfully joked only to see it fall skewered to the deck.

No trace of humor in Winthrope’s voice as he agreed, citing dryly that the number of engagements the Talon had endured, having already boasted ten long years of service, having doubled since assuming its place under Krevin’s squadron.

“I doubt even Death Squadron would be called upon so much.” Crell added.” But, as you say, we on the fringes have to make do. Nor is that likely to change for the immediate future.”

“Such is the wages of War and Conquest.” Krevin offered, suddenly feeling like a Nexu caught in a hunter’s pit, as they exited into the hall.” What else can we do but endure.”

From within he heard the sharp tongues of the sergeant-at-arms as they dismissed those of the crew whom had assembled, the mammoth blocks of people dispersing into individual rivulets as Crell continued guiding the Commodore and his entourage. Try as he might through he couldn’t sneak another glance at Lt. Stein, finding the prospect of her company increasingly more entertaining than the likes of his current companions.

“But let us not talk of that Commodore. I’ve prepared a light refreshment in your honor, a select cadre of officers in attendance, and after wards my SubCommander is prepared to carry out the inspection you want.”

All while showing off how immaculate the Talon’s operations ran and how much of a Tionese raider Krevin really was. The brazen fool had nearly done their work there on the hanger deck, Crell still disbelieving the informality and blatant attraction he’d shown to an Officer of the Galactic Empire, and in a darker moment the Captain had thought to leave him to it. But no, that would hardly have been dignified to let it be seen of him openly associating with the lecherous Commodore all but pawing a comely Lieutenant. Better to show stewardship and paternal prudence to the crew interrupting the scoundrel’s act.

Later, after a few drinks, during the inspection he would be freed from Crell’s oversight and he in turn of the responsibility. Free to show the idolatry masses the true face of the Commodore ship scuttlebutt was beginning to idolize. Unless one of the mute warriors who encircled him acted as a suppressant, a subtle voice of reason, to his baser urges. Unlikely, the imbecile unlikely to court opinions contrary to himself, but one Crell and Winthrope had prepared for.

Subtly needling the Commodore, the two of them would, about the need of such an impressive escort within the steely bosom of the Talon-II. Stroking his ego, his wish not to be seen as “stand offish”, to whittle his security force to nothing. After all, each would at some point press, what could possibly be a danger aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer?

Talon-II, medical suit 4-D-

III.the beast in me-Johnny Cash

“Please forgive my inferior and most faulty circuits O’ glorious master Bechham.” The moping droid wailed at the operating Doctor’s elbow.” I do not mean to trouble you too unduly but, not that I, your most undeserving servant, doubt your ability or knowledge honored sir, but am I correct in surmising that you know what you are doing?”

The question posed after drawn out, terse minutes of Bechham, eyes glued to the biobeds terminal and through it the actions of the robotic limbs he controlled, lasering open Agent Gambil’s chest. Peeling back the folds of skin with delicately slender versions of the bulk clamps he pried and wedged the operative’s ribs apart with. Freeing space the space needed for the bed’s spider like appendages, knobby and disjointed, to enter into the cavity. Each bristling with myriad pustules of tools and equipment; from old style scyth-saws, to plasma cutters and Synthskin sprayers by which he used to cut and seal mottle growths protruding in lumpy clots from the operative’s lungs to localized anesthesia needlers which prodded each time brain activity registered pain from the ordeal.

Each, with the Doctor’s nominal guidance, operating in accord with its mechanical siblings to degrees no human team of surgeons could rival. The plasma torch never hesitating in its act, never endangering the tiny silver clamps that would hold each pus filled growth and than lift it up to the large bladed claws which fished the trimmings out into a bio-waste bag for incineration, adjusting and modifying its fusion beam on a microscopic scale swiftly with every change in its feed back sensors. Concentrating or attenuating it as needed to carve off the enflamed boils while leaving the rest of the tissue intact and viable.

The limbs’ redundant processors cataloging the Agent’s vitals every few thousandths of a second, capable of correction whether that entailed staunching blood loss or reconnecting a nerve cluster before the attending physician would even be aware of the error. Through lacking the independence and adaptive programming of a medical droid such as a 2-1B unit the surgical bio-bed apparatus proficiency and intuitive controls ensured even a first year medical student could have replaced Gambil’s lungs. Which considering the state of the doctors the Empire turned out, specially for unglamorous ship duty, was likely the only reason any Stormtrooper survived their butchering.

But the device’s use was mentally sterile, tedious even, and strangely detaching. None of the sensations Bechham would have experienced using his traditional tools, elbow deep in squirting muck hacking his way through a bit of toughened gristle or bone, or the same smells. A mixture of anti-septic perfume released regularly by the limbs succinct sealing of any incision negating the normally “earthy” boutique of an operation.

“Don’t worry my little rust bucket, I must have performed this procedure a dozen times on our friend.” He answered absently rotating a control stick to tilt the terminal’s viewpoint over another of the rancid protrusions.” He has nothing unduly serious, regrettably, merely the ultimate result of being born in the lowest depths of an Ecumenopolis.”

“ I do not doubt you Master, and I offer a thousand pardons on my insistent refusal to understand, but when you assigned me to serve master Gambil I took it upon myself, foolish and imperfect creation that I am, to review his file master Bechham. It does not contain any listing of chronic illness.” The droid QT offered meekly and with a hesitant air, like a shivering pup.

Which was how it should be, Gambil and then Bechham going to extreme lengths to ensure all his biological data practically shined as an exemplar example of Homo Sapien. That such pronouncement failed to describe the whole truth…well what the Empire didn’t know couldn’t hurt it.

“It’s more of a bit of pride than anything but living down in the squalor of the deepest depths, the unfiltrated air, the radiogenics, the pollutants, the general refuge and debris unsanitarily disposed of from the upper berths…some genetic perversion is unavoidable.” The Doctor intoned lancing another boil.” Such as in our friend’s case, the gene sequence for his lungs has been corrupted so they developed these cancerous polyps.”

And in a few generations of the aggressive defect would likely render any hypothetical decedents of the Agent wholly dependent on transplants in order to survive. Adding a burden the Empire, or whatever government now sprang with them lost in another Galaxy, could afford better to use in more productive sectors like munitions. Which was likely the depressingly mundane and pragmatic reason, rather than heated rhetoric of manifest destiny, the Empire cracked down and increasingly regulated near humans and alien rabble reproduction. Not that they much hope in removing the “impure” from the genetic pool. Like his family, the Delapoers, people such as Gambil always ensured to cover their tracks, hide their alleged taint from prying eyes.

“I see Master, actions meant to ensure master Gambil’s protection from sanctions. Efforts I jeopardized with my incessant and unneeded probing of his medical file.” The droid sobbed as a start of an apologetic fit.

One which Bechham cut off with a raise of his hand, reminded a particularly abject retainer of his family, not having the patience for it. His first impulse to take a laser scalpel to the thing’s vocalizer and perhaps if he wasn’t still engrossed overseeing the Agent’s surgery he might have done so. Instead deciding on a diversion.

“That it is unnecessary. No was harm done, merely good prudence to protect one I entrusted you with. Now then, I do have a job for you if you do not mind.” The Doctor asked.

Wincing at the profuse and spinelessly determined squee from the ruinous piece of hardware, the overzealous droid almost begging for a chance to “redeem” itself. An errant program flaw Bechham exploited across the room to the corner where Tun floated suspended in a bacta tank.

“Do you see the control panel? The one with all the green lights? I need you to monitor it and if any of them turn red to alert me immediately. Tun’s life may depend upon it.” Lied the Doctor with a practiced air.

Not that it was needed, the pile of junk nearly jumping out of its circuits at the proffered opportunity and scuttling to monitor the tank’s life support controls, which while important were rigged to alarm, for a patient it was doubtful would ever regain consciousness. It’s metal feet clomping against the deck plate, regressing in the background, as the Doctor spun a claw around to snatch and lift up one of the remaining boils. Triggering the plasma torch only to have, instead of a narrow jet of super heated plasma capable of incinerating through a durasteel bulkhead, the terminal chirp in maddeningly warbles as the blood red text “parameter incongruent” scrolled across the flickering screen. The readout splitting itself in two, one half becoming deeply map template the biobed was using as its basis while the other began highlighting the differing anomalies.

Through the terminal’s eye he watched a pustule metastasize from nothingness along with dozens of others, predominantly situated in the lung tissue but radially spreading out from there, one which undulated when he probed it with a steel claw. The leathery sack of its skin rippling from the contact then splitting open down a middle seam, the serrated flaps folding back and receding from glisteningly wet, oozing orb which rotated towards the offending appendage. A burning, unblinking pupil staring up through the camera lens.

From somewhere distantly behind him Bechham heard the squeaky voice of the droid ask him some simpering question, asking if there was a problem with “master Gambil”, which he tried to shout down. Tried to release the surgical controls and retreat, to chronicle the metamorphous from afar, but at that same moment some mucus sheathed strand of sinew and meat ruptured out from the now immobile robotic limbs like a regellian blood worm. Its tips, which it curved serpent like through the mechanical appendages towards the Doctor, oozing pus as it too split opened and swelled into an ocular gland.

“Yog-Sothoth, keeper of knowledge, have mercy…” Bechham pleaded to his ancestral deity, that which had guided Delapoers for centuries, before the fleshy tendril snapped about his throat.

Its painful constriction silencing his out cry and subduing any struggle as the tentacle retracted him atop the surgical opening, now alive with writing curdled milk-gray maggots which revealed themselves with their emergence as leprous hands. Clammy, soft, misshapen things that soggily ended in growing, yellow claws which bound the Doctor’s limbs or body with iron grip or triflely snapped apart the bed’s mechanical arms. Tossing them aside as it pulled him inside, where the meat genuflected and folded sprouting thistles of ivory spurs on each fleshy end which blossomed into sickle like fangs.

His scarlet eye of artifice able to appreciate and capture in splendid detail the budding calcium peaks which rose up from the tissue like a long lost city being regurgitated from the sea or the webbing network of muscles sprouting and witheringly nurtured from the surrounding tissue. Just as it, before the saliva caked spikes were thrusted into him, captured the pained expression of Gambil awakening to the scene. His pale, sweat drenched face tortured in agony and fear as his mouth twisted agape in an utterly soundless scream, trying by instinct to use organs which no longer were.

Replaced by new ones which, aggressively worming their connections through his body as they were, belonged to another. A darker presence, one hungry and voracious, gnawing like a nest of rats up through him. Feeling it, its numbing tendrils, burrowing through him dividing endlessly through his being hooking into muscles, organs even his bones. Greedily devouring it the same as Bechham, torn into messy chunks, was sucked within the gestating creature. Sustaining it, fueling its growth.

Through it would need more soon, more fuel to drive, more flesh to sculpt, so very soon. But that would come it was sure, now through it had to feast. To grow strong, to prepare for the coming of more. Of more constructs of bone and meat, crude and simplistic vassals of the universal filament, through which it could expand. Survive and spread…its only goal.

One which the other living being in the suite counted on as she roused herself from her placid serenity, body flowing like wax as she moved through the murky, sticky fluid to tear away her rebeather. Setting of alarms and warnings as her fist, far more slender and diminutive than Tun’s, burst through the tank’s crystalline side. Forming a gushing outlet for the immersion substance which poured out into a stream. Forming a widening puddle beneath the cowering droid who nervously turned faintly gold glowing eyes to the suddenly active form within the capsule.

“Oh bother…” It wailed raising an arm to shield its face from the shattering glass.

The broken panes smashed aside to make way for the raven haired woman who daintily stepped out of the ruptured Bacta tank with mild splash, a hand rising to wipe a matted clump of tresses from her flint like eyes as she turned them piercingly towards the sniveling robot.

“Don’t even try it. I’m not in the mood.” Sylph warned it in a cold as stone voice, dismissing it immediately afterwards as she started towards the door.

Stretching her arms out and working the kinks from her altered once more muscular, a welcome relief to feel her customary lithe limberness rather than the blocky stiffness of Rynths or Tun.

“Never master…er mistress.” The machine groveled in a gratingly pathetic voice.” Far be it for me, your most lowly of servants, to question your wisdom oh great madam but I am but at your service. Give the word and by my Maker I shall have it done.”

“Cute. And the Bureau would love another Clockwork to play with…” Sylph toyed pausing at the exit, one hand running up its edge.” But I really don’t need the baggage. And in a few minutes our friend over there will be hungry. Why don’t you be a doll and alert security.”

Releasing the bulkhead, and moving with the confidence as if she owned the Destroyer, she than swayed from sight of the meek profusely acquiescing, droid. Promising to contact the Stormtroopers until his auditory sensors could no longer detect the noise of her footfalls or subdued breath, then abruptly ceasing as he canceled his thespian program. Becoming a new droid as he curved his palm and wrist towards his face. One confident and secure as his hand split open revealing the concealed communicator and he spoke to his master.

“Believed I have found “Rynth”, a polymorphic creature just exiting the medical Suite. Current form was of a human female wearing only a pair of bacta trunks. Further caveat through, the appearance of a voracious, mutagenic organism. Appears to have incubated in Agent Gambil and is currently absorbing Doctor Bechham. Gambil appears conscious but incapacitated.” The droid reported icily watching the operative’s face feebly turn towards his wordlessly begging for help.” “Rynth” recommended I alert security. Advise?”

“ Follow the lady’s advise then proceed to the extraction point.” The voice of the Man In Black answered back.” I’ll handle our other guest…”

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Post by Praeothmin » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:24 pm

Very good, but when did "Rynth" replace "Tun"?
Did I miss something?

And are we seeing John Carpenter's Thing in action?

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Post by sonofccn » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:35 pm

Praeothmin wrote:Very good, but when did "Rynth" replace "Tun"?
Did I miss something?
Nah, Sylph assumed Tun's identity "off screen" in the few minutes between Gambil getting his arse handed to him and the Man in Black showing up. What better place to hide? :)
Praeothmin wrote:And are we seeing John Carpenter's Thing in action?
Well as you can there is no 80's horror/sci-fi movie I won't steal from.

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Post by sonofccn » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:45 pm

Another Imperial Classic, mostly because Bechham's story set my mind wandering. Very brutal, in my opinion, and dark. Safe to say rather than dingy gray vs black this segment just is black vs even blackier. I'll leave it you to decide which is which.

“No, the question is: are we willing to allow those jackal Delapores torment us for another generation. Because that is what we talking about, forsaking our children and our children-children to hide in cellars and coal pits in the dead of night. To be taken by those bloated cretins to be hunted like sport or things I dare not speak out loud but which pass between each of us in hoarse whispers when we think no one else can hear. As for me, I say no more. I have lost my brother to these fiends, my wife…almost everything…my son will live as a man not as chattel to culled…” Speech excerpt of the Imperial citizen, identify unconfirmed, which was credited for starting the Nithon Revolt.

Imperial Classics the Early Years:

Last time on Imperial Classics {The Early Years} corruption rampant! The shrouded world of Nithon has fallen under the sway of venerable Delapores family. A ghoulish tribe of Xeno worshippers whom threaten the stablity of the Empire. But against this charnel den of monsters does the Emperor send its Angel of Darkness or a devil of its own...

I.Sounds of Music-shinedown

Delapore Manor house, Inner Sanctum-

“Am I to understand that, with the rabble coming over the very wall of the estate, you refused your duty?” Obed questioned, his plump lips making wet smacking sounds with each letter.

Reclining in a hover-chair which strained to support his bloated weight, his belly distended and drooping onto his haunches, the elder patriarch reached for a bowl of candied morsels on the adjourning table as he waited for a response. The hand plump, with rough almost scaly skin and covered with the finest bejeweled golden rings. Encrusted diamonds and sapphires glittering as he scooped up a handful to toss between his jowls, which like the rest of his head had been spared the gluttonous girth of his body only to elongate and narrow into something equally…inhuman.

So was the talk of the ignorant and superstitious peasants whom, if one stood out on the manor’s balcony, could be heard screaming through the outer terraces of the estate and could be spotted by the flicker of their torches as wantonly set all of it aflame. Couching their addled fear in talks of things they couldn’t comprehend, of ancient packs and cruel bargains made to beings who once drank seas dry and ate skies whole. Oaths and promises, sealed in blood centuries before, they now tried to set to the blade and torch.

And from that came the sniveling specimen, clad in the dark wool cloak of the family’s protectors, who prostrated himself at the foot of Obed’s chair.An unkempt youngling, or nearly so, with soot and tear stained face whom grovelingly looked up at the patriarch who would decide his fate. At either side stood another in his cloth, one with his hood drawn over a scarred face not much older than the younglings and the other pulled back to reveal a chipped and weathered warrior of hair and beard of iron gray. In front of them and on the side of Obed stood the lanky form of Kuranes, the younger of his two sons but appointed vizier and heir. His emaciated frame and stooped posture exaggerating the hereditary balding and peaked skull which were the stock of the Delapores.

“No my lord…when they came I warned them. I warned them we would fire.” The cringing youngling, Abdul the younger, pleaded.” When they didn’t stop I gave the order, we cut so many down my lord. You should have seen it but…when the tide did not falter…”

“ You ordered you skiff to flee.” Kuranes challenged, voice reedy and popping, making himself a blur as he lunged after and hefted up the tear streaked guardman.” You turned you back on your more devoted brothers and your sacred vows to the Delapores.”

Letting the youth dangle from his bony clasp, the Vizier relishing his futile writhing to escape, as he ran one elongated finger of his other hand down the youngling’s cheek. Its knobby, discolored nail taking a pinkish hue as he scrawled a thin, wet line across it.

“And you have the audacity to demand forgiveness.” Kuranes questioned, leaning in close to the youth’s face, as he dug his finger in deeper.” Such insolence can not be tolerated…”

“Please…”The boy croaked, a half heard throttled whisper at best, fighting to be heard as the claw-finger traced up towards his eye.”…I beg you…mercy…”

A plea wasted on the Vizier who, for enjoyment, did descend into the darker grottos to take his fill from what was chained or lashed in those dank hovels but not engorged Obed who with another palm full of salted nuts and a goblet full of red wine beckoned for his son to release the sobbing guardsman. An act Kuranes, scabby face broken into a scowl, he followed with the most reluctance. Allowing Abdul the younger to drop, gasping for breath, back at the Patriarchs mottled feet. Whom, grunting as he shifted his body mass, reached down with one jeweled, reptilian hand to grasp the youngling’s chin and up turn it towards his own radiance.

“Your family has long served my own prestigious clan, for more than eight generations no?” Obed soggily asked, rewarded with perfunctory agreement by the obsequious guardsman.” And of the last three I do not recall ever having need of raised voice or reprimand. Of which few other lineages could boast.”

“As you say my lord. I and my father, his father and his father’s fathers before all have been devoutly loyal to the Delapores family.” A cringing Abdul sobbed.” Please forgive me, it was a flight of madness…of weakness…”

“Yes, it was. But this is your first act since swearing the vows, taking the mark upon your body, your first battle in the family’s name. The inexperience of youth is always difficult.” The Patriarch pondered raising a leg of Shaak from the table beside him to gnaw on.” A time I left long ago, so it is not my place to judge you. Therefore I release you…”

The manor lord’s watery words drawing a particularly vengeful hiss from his Vizier as a still most supplicant and sniveling youngling clamored to his feet. Pausing to kiss the hand and feet of Obed before taking his rightful place among his robed companions. The most awful look of betrayal on his young face blossoming as the hooded one moved to restrain him and he heard the dry scrape of the bearded figure draw his saber.

“…to your father’s judgment.” The Patriarch, mouth filled, finished pulling the bone away from his pursed lips stretching out tendrils of meat and muscles which tauntly snapped.” Do with him as you see fit. He is no more concern to me.”

“As you will my lord.” Abdul the older answered, bowing his gray flecked head, before stepping behind and drawing his vibroblade to his son’s neck before he could scream.

Scarlet blood, vibrant with life, staining the two guardsman as the head was removed and allowed to tumble and roll across the ground to the Sanctum’s entrance way. Abdul the younger’s body similarly sagging to the floor, gushing his crimson tribute out onto the grounds, as his father raised his now deactivated blade and passed it over his sleeve in a ritualistic cleansing.

“Punishment meted my most magnificent lord, may our trespass be forgiven if never forgotten.” The Executioner intoned, bowing his head with his hooded peer, completing the rites only to be interrupted by a cackle of boorish laughter.

Abdul and the other Guardsman both turning to the spectacle making his way through the Sanctum door, a miser creature of withered, white flesh and scarred countenance. An eviscerated grin on his twisted face as he fiddled with the final touches of his green bow tie, itself part of his overly formal but chaotic choice to wear a deeply lavender dress jacket over a mustard cummerbund and black shirt.

“ Sorry, didn’t mean to break your moment, but the look on his face…its priceless.” The intruder, smacking his lips loudly and still snorting, said by way of explanation as he kicked the youngling’s sending it lopping back towards its father.” Seriously through sorry about junior, he seemed like a good kid. But he learned an important life lesson, first impressions count. Take me, what ‘s the first you think of when my suave and a sophisticated self enters.”

“That you forgot to wear pants.” Obed, panning his narrow head downward, growled prompting the pale figure to clasp the sides of his head in admonishment as he similarly gazed down.

Abdul the older and his silent companion both moving to intercept him on either side as the clearly crazed lunatic bolted back up right, his eyes as big as saucers.

“Holy missing wardrobe Obed, I think you just might be right…” The Freak, lowering his hands from his exaggeratedly astonished face, cackled before breaking into another triad of laughter.

Simultaneously, as the Guardsmen closed around him, from the sin eater upside his sleeve sprouted a slender shiv of yellow aged bone. Snatching it in his hand the Freak, that familiar pounding in his blood, pivoted and leapt towards the hooded warrior. Savoring the symphony of blood and flesh as, capping the fabric back of the Guardsman’s head, the laser sharpened pointy bit vanished up the man’s eye socket. Soft gooey juiced dribbling down out of it and down his face as the Freak, releasing him, turned again. This time, waving an imaginary cape and shouting “Oley”, out of the way of the way of Abdul the older’s thrust of his vibroblade which richly sang as it pierced into the hooded one’s gut.

Its viscera, frothing and churning from the sinking blade, spilling out over the Freak as he bowed at his handiwork and in the process scooped up the wounded warrior’s blaster which was slipping from his deadening hands. Abdul, wrenching the blade messily from his teammate, turning with his weapon raised for a deep, stroking cut just in time to look down the barrel. Eyes blinded, withering like grapes left out in the hot sun, by the flare of heated plasma which broiled and vomited his skull contents out as steaming confetti. The body itself kicked down atop of the smoldering ash and gruel, beside the headless body of his son, as the Freak relinquished him of his weapon.

“…the draftiness was a bit of a clue, I have to admit in retrospect.” He laughed, shooting Kuranes thrice in the back as the man tried to run.” But like I said, first impressions. If you can make that, your sold.”

The blood splattered fiend, tossing his blaster aside, then stepping over Abdul, both of them, towards the bloated corpse-body of Obed whose squamous hands he shakily rose to shield himself. From outside the Sanctum rattled the first explosions and panicked shrieks as the revolting peasants surged against the battlements, ensuring no coming help even if the engorged bag of pus could have reached a call button.

“The old man is pushing ahead of schedule. So I’m afraid I’m a bit pressed for time.” The Pale Man giggled sliding on the Patriarch’s diminutive lap, wrapping one arm around his pointed head while the other delicately played the knife edge against his leathery skin.” But don’t fret none, I won’t let that lower my standards any. I’m a professional.”

“Please…do you want jewels, women…name it and they shall be yours.” Obed, fat lips quivering, begged trying to pull his face away from the nicking dagger.” Just spare me…”

“Oh, what wrong? Is this your first time? Just relax, come on that’s it…” The Pale Man cooed, licking his lips, as the blade sunk in and began to curve beneath the Patriarch’s engorged mouth.”…give Pappa a smile…”

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Post by Praeothmin » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:42 pm

Dark indeed...

The Pale Man is dangerous, and not to be underestimated, even while singing "Le bon Roi Dagobert!"...

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Post by sonofccn » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:13 pm

Another update. Another jab at "emotional writing" before we resume with gibbering horror but I still think its fun. And we get a peek at what drives '19, a guy who died like fifteen pages ago, so there's that.

“ Its more than a diseases, an infliction. Some wild mutagen like the Corpus Ereptor that runs off of mad instinct. It has awareness, a purpose. And that purpose is to ingest all until it is all there is.” Doctor Neville describing Legion.

Talon-II, Communication Sub-quarters-

I.Men of Harlech

Meandering her way through the dull droning of her colleagues, Tactical Coordinator Hannah Bauer made her way towards her station seat in time for her shift. A plastic cup of stale recaff in her hand along with a datapad queued with her day’s reading material. Mostly juvie style adventure yarns, the sort where a dashing hero always managed to save the day, backdropped against the adventurous Clone Wars. When larger than life characters, from the fallen aristocrat Dooku and his sorcerer’s ways to fatherly Admiral Yularen, did do battle for the fates of entire planets and star systems. Where the pages of history had been turned by the point of a sword and soaked in the bloods of both innocent and guilty. Where, but for noble Jedi Skywalker, Mad Windu may have succeeded in assassinating the Chancellor and plunging the Republic into a theocratic dictatorship.

“You got that look again.” Tactical Coordinator Tagge, closing down his account on the terminal, said breaking Bauer from her remembrance.” Dreaming of rappelling with Clonetroopers to capture Grievous?”

The mousy Tagge, descended from a long and devote bureaucratic lineage, her counterpart on the previous shift and over the years the two had invariably began to know each other. Not to the extent Tagge wished but they’d exchanged hopes and dreams as well as reading lists. Regrettably Bauer had found his taste in “Speculative-Fiction” more cerebral, not to mention lurid, than she preferred. And Tagge had learned of her fascination with the Galaxy’s last vivid epoch to which he still liked to prod her about.

“Actually, this time we were after traitor Kenobi.” She corrected taking the seat Tagge vacated.” So, change over. Anything to report?”

“The usual my lady. Meteor shower off the port bow, fanatical Wookiee pirates fighting through the galley’s, and the Captain abdicated and appointed a protocol droid in a blow for automata rights.” He joked, removing his head set, as she typed in her operator number and logged in.” All part of being the most exciting ship in the most exciting squadron in the Emperor’s Starfleets.”

The good Tagge, as well as his questionable taste in literature, more than strongly disagreeing with Bauer’s “complaint” that nothing ever happened on the Talon. A dull, unassuming ship which had played a sound but hardly pivotal role the Empire and whose most interesting piece of note was the story of the first Talon for which it bore it’s name.

“So a slow day then.” Bauer smiled setting her stuff away on the console and accepting his discarded earpiece.” But didn’t the Commodore arrive during your shift? That should be worth something.”

“My lady, you have been listening too long to ship scuttlebutt. The Commodore is just some stodgy officer bloke not the daring saber rattling rogue the rumor mill makes him out to be.” Tagge, lingering at his former station, playfully chided.” No, I’m afraid he’s going to be wined and dined by the Captain and he’ll forget all about swinging in here on chandelier to sweep you off your feet. Through if you’re dead set on it, I can be changed and back in five minutes.”

“No Tagge. I don’t think that will be necessary. Besides, you’ll only fall and break your neck.” She chuckled, fitting the headset on, to her rather sedimentary companion.” But a girl can dream can’t she? Of danger, of excitement?”

Shaking his head at her “dreams”, his involving more lushes beaches and less blaster fire, Tagge bid her the best of luck and left her to them. As always heading for an after work drink with some shift workers while she set about routing the inbound communications across the starship. A tedious, if needed, service far removed from what she’d imagined volunteering for Imperial service.

Unusual tall, but proportioned, with above standard reflexes she’d first hoped for entry into the Stormtrooper Corps but had unfortunately failed to make the cut. Washing out she’d tried the Imperial Army where she’d been accepted, to a point. Half the Army, it seemed, being stringent advocates of High Hu-Man Culture and regarded her as little more than some despicable Xeno while the other half were staunch traditionalists of equally low opinion. Not that it stopped any of them from making passes but she’d never belonged with them. She’d been the other, regulated to “safe” duties with other “oddballs such as Near-Humans and out spoken critics of the New Order. And she’d eventually grew tired of it. Relinquishing her service to the Army she’d offered it to the Navy, perhaps hoping to live some of the rousing havoc and adventure she read so much of concerning the retreating Clone Wars, only to end up in nearly the same predicament.

Stuck minding a glorified telephone network with a bunch of well meaning but dull “office droids” of whom Tagge was only the most stereotypical and clichéd example. To them adventure was for the holo-dramas not something you let infest your neat, orderly existence.

“All glory to the Empire.” She muttered to herself reaching to connect the open com-link she saw flash on her terminal, medical suite in the Four-Dee section.” This is Coordinator Bauer, to whom are you attempting to reach?”

Expecting, as she raised her cup of recaff to her lips, to be all but drowned in the answer as the speaker hurriedly tried to spit it out all at once. Most users annoyed at the delays and inconvenience of the ordeal, apparently expected the hundreds of thousands of daily intra-channels to regulate themselves, and wanted to get through it as quickly as possible. This time, through the line was open, no one said anything. Instead she heard the harsh crackle of someone’s breath on the intercom and beneath that, in the background, what sounded like someone trying to dismantle a terminal with a lump hammer.

“Sorry, say again.” She, swallowing, inquired tapping the side of the headset.” I did not read that.”

“…loose, get me security…” The voice breathed, just barely above the groaning and creaking of metal in the background.” …it’ll kill us all…”

“Please state the nature of the emergency.” Bauer asked calmly setting her drink back down, acquainted with the ease many of her shipmates called security.” And who am I speaking with?”

“Bechham…doctor Bechham…I was treating a patient…crewman Trey Gambil and-“ The voice whimpered, suddenly growing taunt and worried at a particularly loud thud.” Feth! It coming for me! Help! For love of the Emperor help!”

“Please stay calm, alerting shipboard security.” She answered, voice like cold steel, triggering the proper sequences on her screen.” Stormtroopers are dispatched, they’ll be there shortly. Just stay with me!”

“No time…Xeno organism…inside Gambil…too late…save yourself!” The voice screamed as what sounded like a small shuttle slammed into the wall.

The voice shrieking into impossibly sharp tone than cutting off midway even through the line remained open, noise of the thumping and tearing still emanating. As well as now joined by a wet, gurgling moan. Nothing intelligible just a long drawn out raspy bleating which sounded it came up from a pit of soggy well. Taunting her as she fired open a link to the squad-Sergeant investigating the disturbance.

Calling up onto her screen his name and service record, satisfactory long and accomplished, as she did so. The man’s touch too loud voice blaring into her eardrum a second later.

“Dixon here Control, what is it we’re about to walk into?” The thick drawl of the Sergeant demanded.” Another Cordrazine freak out?”

“Negative. Hostile alien organism, killed one, possibly two crewmembers.” Bauer answered crisp and professional still listening to the loathsome growling of the Xeno.” No others are believed to be in the vicinity, should be a straight find and vaporize.”

“I hear you Control. Me and my boys will crush this bug.” He answered with the authority of the Emperor, perhaps more.

Bauer, excited beneath her rigid decorum, knowing it came from being the Emperor’s finest. You didn’t find pension grubbers or inbred blue bloods clogging the ranks like you might in the Imperial Army, didn’t find timid shaaks or nerf brained rejects who didn’t know which end of the gun to point. What you did find were some of the Galaxy’s hardest fethers who ever took grip on a blaster, heartless sons of banthas you could orbit-drop into a Mustafar magma ocean and they’d thank you after they waded onto the molten beach. Luxuries like fear and hesitancy all but surgically removed, the Corps rebuilding you, some more than others, in its image. A machine that killed. And through she’d been denied, rejected, Bauer still understood it.

“Don’t forget to scrub some off the sole of your boot for analysis later Sergeant, Command will have questions.” She added punching up the vid-feed from Dixon’s helm to her terminal monitor.” They have to stay busy too you know.”

Vicariously drawing from the choppy, low resolution images as she heard the deep rumble of the Sergeant laugh.

“ Yeah, got to hand it to the Brass. If my head was that shoved up my asteroid that would be a full time commitment, but not them.” The bellicose Dixon imparted, aware and no doubt smiling that it would be recorded for review for those same starched shirts.

Judgment, Science lab-

II.Pink Floyd-Welcome to the Machine

Warm, unfiltered sunlight danced over John Upton, Johnny to his friends, and sweet grass crumpled beneath his cleated shoes as he trudged across the placid, green field. Face red, chest heaving, with blades of grass sticking to his slick, sweat drenched flesh. More of it staining his crèche’s uniform, along with more grass and dirt which hung wedged between his protective armor and cerulean blazer, as it seeped off of him. Buckets full, enough , it felt, that he could have filled lakes. Still he smiled as he trotted to a stop before the other being he shared the field with under the spotless, summer sky. A being a few years older than Johnny and indisputably bigger even with the protective padding he wore. More musculared but with a certain leanness which hinted at untapped litheness of movements, speed Johnny understood and witnessed only too well.

“Not bad.” The larger man, Richard to his friends and fans, laughed reaching to accept the scrumball before feinting and pinning Johnny beneath one clasping arm.” For a little squirt. But you’re still slow.”

Pulling the helm and faceguard from his little brother, whom struggled without success to break free, Richard cupped a hand against Johnny’s matted hair scrabbling it back and forth furiously despite the latter’s pleas for mercy. It had never worked when they were younger, raising hell despite their mother’s pleas, and he, leaning into his brother’s ear, tauntingly whispered that to him.

“I know.” Johnny laughed just as his elbow exploded into his sibling’s unprotected gut, just enough to rob his breath for him while Johnny became as slippery was a squid.” Dad taught me some new stuff.”

Slipping free to the ground he rolled and rose, all a smile, half a meter from his big brother. Who smiled just as big as he rubbed the sore over his stomach.

“Getting vicious Squirt? What else is Dad teaching you, how to sharpen ironroot into spear tips?” He clucked bending to scoop up the dirt stained helmet of Johnny’s and toss it to him.

“Maybe if you visited more often you’d know. For now I think you should sweat it.” He teased slipping his helm back and giving it a hard thwack to ensure it stayed put.”Seriously through, I’m glad your back. My big, famous brother. Star player of the Imperial Patriots.”

“The way you say it you think I was the bloody Emperor.” Richard, shaking his head, joked picking up the scrumball and flipping it once in the air.” Come on, one more toss before shadowfell.”

Arching his arm back as he spoke, the arm that plucked him from their humble rural hold out to the glitter of the cityscape, refusing to give little Johnny any choice in the matter. The tyke running out across the field, like Richard knew he’d run next year when the scouts would make their second find out here in the sticks, as he fired off the ball. Sending it spiraling towards Johnny who leapt for and caught it. Falling with it towards the ground…

…cold, soggy ground which tried to suck him under. Gagging him with its revolting, putrid stench as he as he shifted and rolled under the weight of the rebel. Not a true Rebel, deluded simpletons hoping to restore their tarnished Republic, merely a burly grunt fether whom had decided paying Imperial tithes was for other planets. Likely, ’19 thought as the man pressed his weight down atop of him and his clawing hand shoved ‘19’s further into the muck, from the planet’s armed forces. Most, calling themselves loyalists of all things, siding with the local Executer rather than the Imperial Governor when the matter came to a broil. Through the shafts of soupy mud spooling over his eyes ’19 even imagined he could make out patches of the old style uniform underneath his opponent’s grubby and grime ridden appearance.

A distant brother, comrade in arms, which in another time and another place could have stood beside him shoulder to shoulder as they stood off some alien menace. Bleeding all too human blood and shedding all too human tears as one by one they perished. But such was not to be, in this time and this place brother culled brother and any tears wept were only bitter.

Above, half seen through shadows and intervening blood streaked fingers, he saw his enemy rise up off of him, drawing a curved edge dagger from off of a rotten sash tied about him. Hefting the harden steel into the air, where it caught the flickering glimmers of bombs and weapons fire reflected off of the moonless sky embroiled with clouds, through ‘19’s plastoid carapace into his beating heart. The man’s hate filled orbs like burning embers as he towered over his killing stroke, mottled features in his dead and filthy face breaking into confusion and fear as the Stormtrooper’s own hand scooped up and caught the falling blade.

Turning it at the wrist, twisting blunt side edge to meet the pockmarked surface of his armor, and pulling the ugly fether down. Pulling him into easy reach of ‘19’s other slime cover fist which he’d slipped from beneath the offending weight of the rebel’s stabbing knee and struck up across the narrow point of the man’s bony chin. Jarring him, sending him toppling with ’19 closely hounding him. Adding lighter but swifter blows to his unarmed chest and stomach relishing what he hoped was the sound of a rib or two breaking under the assault.

Not allowing himself to savor it through, rolling atop of the equally mad splattered fiend and wedging his weight against his upper torso. Holding him into the grime and muck as he wretched the rebel’s blade from his coiled fingers and slashed it across his grit coated throat. Letting it turn red as he dragged the knife down, stabbing it into his victim’s chest. First the left, then the right side like old Dad had taught him. Couldn’t risk letting him choke on his own traitorous bile, even a corpse a millimeter from death could pull a trigger after all. So he made sure, only then once the body stiffened in death’s embrace and he slump against it allowing himself to feel the pain in his side. The cracked armor staving off the worst mortar’s fragments but none of the pain, feeling like he’d let an AT-TE stomp all over him.

To it he could add a rattled skull, a jaw which ached from the butt of a blaster and a back which was on fire both from the explosion and full day’s march under full gear. The march…new worry blossoming in his fiber as he pushed himself up from the spongy bed of blood and muck searching forlornly across the ravaged killing field for Gunny…

…stepping over until he obscured the sunny sky Richard lowered to his haunches and offered a hand to Johnny. The youngling still cradling the scrumball he’d fallen with like a mother for her child

“Think you need to work on your jump Squirt.” The older sibling teased as he pulled him up.”Or maybe just your landing.”

“Maybe you should work on your aim.” Johnny, spitting bits of grass from his faceguard, derided tossing the scrumball to him before he pounced.” I’ve seen droids which could have shot straighter.”

The two colliding into a grapple, both trying to pin the other just like they’d always done. And as always Richard’s greater height and strength giving him advantage. Forcing Johnny down to his knees, his arms twisted behind his back, as his brother leaned over him.

“Getting jorblocks I see.” Richard noted approvingly.” But don’t think you can take me, I’m still the best.”

“So you keep saying.” Johnny laughed tucking and rolling into his brother knocking him down.

Freeing his arms which shot out grabbing Richard’s as he piled onto the larger man’s chest, holding him flat against the ground as Johnny glowered down as pleased as he could be.

“Hey!” A new, feminine voice, shouted breaking the younger’s brother concentration.” I thought I said I was the only one you could wrestle with.”

All the opening Richard needed to send his brother flopping face first into the bedding of grass, the heavier weight of the older brother acting as perfect ballast to hold him there as Richard spun a glance at the newcomer trotting slyly across the field towards them. A petite goddess with an impish grin, eyes like a summer rain and long, flowing strands of fiery hair. Her figure, not so hidden beneath her chosen athletic shirt and pants, equally note worthy adding to the Nexu like grin Richard wore as he turned back towards struggling Johnny.

“That’s little Kasey? That tomboy whom followed you around?” He asked with approval as he let his brother up.” What did you do for the Emperor to be so blessed?”

“Yeah coming from the guy who went with the homecoming queen for every year of his last four.”Chided Johnny scrambling to his feet, dusting himself as he trotted out towards her.” Not that I’m jealous mind you.”

Removing his helm as he stormed after Kasey, his little proton bomb, letting his arms swing around her supple waist and small of her back. Lifting her up, spinning her laughing form as he pulled her sweet as wine lips to his. Crushing her delicate, warm body against his grubby one…

…he staggered under the weight and caught himself, heckling himself as he heard Gunny groan beside him. The Veteran warrior straddling against ’19 moving with drunken and imprecise movements. The result of mixing pain killers and catching the brunt of a plasma shell. Old war dog still managed to surprise the coward fether whom come to finish him off, splitting the fool’s stomach open as Gunny had popped up vaporizing another’s rebel’s head with his heavy blaster.

“Come on Old man don’t you die on me.” ’19, fighting to regain what he lost, warned the sergeant as he soldered on towards the village the Company had been bivouacked.

Through calling the cloistered collections of hovels and shacks a village was an insult, instead one of the festering sores which sprouted around the planet’s cities where the Xeno and Near humans had been herded following the coming of the New Order. A fething joke when they’d been assigned there or a stark admission the rebels ran the city’s. If not in force than with sympathetic bureaucrats and politicos whom may not turn gunsights against the Emperor’s men but wouldn’t be sorry to see them all dead either.

So they’d been set up in the muck of the trash heap, among the queer and unnatural eyes of the alien and mutant. Degenerate cretins whom in their simplistic and childish minds had come to prefer to the new and unwieghed hand of the Emperor’s men to the accustomed hate of the Executer’s. So they threw their lot in with the off worlders and what did it get them?

Ahead the shanty town village burned, devil’s light leaping from one ramshackle hovel to the next in a wanton lust which went beyond the stunted battle Gunny and him had walked into. The rebels wanted, nay thirsted, to hurt the Imperials after the pasting they took at the Ilium range but they could have just thundered in with mortar fire and a quick insertion to clean up any survivors. Instead they were bunkering down, holding the Company down into the embers as they set everything thing to the torch. More than payback, it was an example to the other mongrel aliens. If they continued rejecting the Executer’s way.

The bodies of countless, wrongly proportioned in ways but vulgar and subtle, staked atop their pyres of their hovels. The dancing light of the flames glistening off of the flayed, moist flesh it slowly baked to golden crisp which added an oily miasma to the already hellish vista alive with the shrieks of the dying and howls of the living’s weapons. At his side, still trudging towards the devil’s den, ’19 felt Gunny stir. The old Sergeant craning his head up to the embattled village, stretching and pulling at the bandage ’19 had hastily staunched the tear of his neck with, with vibrant and clear eyes.

“I ain’t going die on you son.” He growled, voice made deeper and more grating from the plasma burn, in his fellow trooper’s ear.” Not while there still some of the Emperor’s enemies to punish.”

And ’19…

…at last set her down. His world spinning like hers as a kaleidoscope top, because of her. He could run all day and tackle head long into opposing players all night and never become winded but Kasey made his knees rubber and his head swim. And she knew it.

“Getting tired all ready?” She flauntingly asked him grappling for her own balance.” Maybe you should cut back on all this training then, if it’s going to drain your vitality so.”

“ Oh we Upton men don’t have to worry about things like that.” He laughed making reach and grabbing her again, pulling her warmth to his.” When it comes to our constitution we’re the Emperor’s Will made manifest. Real Frontiersmen types, everyone of us.”

“Oh Daddy warned me against you Uptons, that beneath your civility your all a bunch of wild savages who would lead astray a prim and proper girl.” Kasey giggled upturning her head to reach Johnny’s lips.

And with a grain of truth to the matter, the Upton clan having been cutthroat and bandit as well as Badlands judge and lawman. Through as of late the most exciting venture had been Richard Upton senior’s stint in the Republican militia back during the Clone Wars, adding fiery Coruscanti blood to the family’s lineage in the form of a comely militia sniper named Sasha Blackthorne.

“ That’s me Thar-zan, lord of Catachan, your big jungle hero. And you’re my Jhan.” Johnny reasoned after parting again, turning with a whimsical air towards his brother maintaining a descript distance.” And that makes that big lug Thonto or something.”

“ Yeah, me Thonto. Me remind you, great Thar-zan, nearly Shadowfell.” Richard, aping the loyal alien’s posture and voice, warned pointing a hand to the subtly darkening tinge invading the clear day sky.” That both promised big chief Richard we be home for evening-meal.”

“Hold your rancors, Thar-zan be not finished with his Jhan.” Johnny said turning back to nuzzle the laughing form of Kasey who…

…darted out between of the hellish twilight which hung suspended between the flickering tongues of flame devouring the hobbled village and the suffocating gloom where the embers had died out. A shifting morass of shades the visor in his helm couldn’t untangle, compensators maxed struggling with the shifting contrast and brightness. Didn’t see her until she was nearly atop of him, grappling to keep Gunny balanced as he swung a blaster towards her.

Frail. Definitely frail he noted as she stepped into clarity and resolution. Hunched not so much with years but toil, grubbing and in many ways unproductive farming the inhabitances were subjected to in order to survive. No sensible merchant in the city willing to sell to the Freaks less it had already spoiled. ’19 still vividly recalled how those scrawny, reedy children had jumped for the tasteless brick that was standard rations.

She was Xeno, obviously to be condemned to live here, through not a species he immediately recognized. Human enough to pass for it in the shadows against unaided eyes maybe, her own impossibly large and gray like the morning mists and vivid with fear. Despite it he would have fired was it not for the diminutive younglings clutching around her like shoals of fish around a leviathan.

“Move…” He breathed stalling in front of their huddling masses.

’19 needing to make it across, to make it to the dwindling encampment where the Company was entrenched. The rebels were throwing scatter through the coms, turning it to a quagmire of static, but the impromptu fort’s silhouette was still there rising above the squat village buildings. Still ablaze with weapons fire, the Regiment standard and Imperial banner still aloft proving they still held.

“Move, move or I’ll fire.” He warned his voice catching, something perhaps seepage of the surrounding smoke stinging it.

“Please…” Her voice a weak, pleading.

A desiccated, shriveled thing that almost turned to dust in his ears. Yet held so much, an expanse of wishes and wants which almost drowned ’19. Please that he’d help them. Please that he’d stop the rebels. Please that he’d save them. How could he? Looking back at her it was all he could do…

…to keep from her infectious tears as she leaned in to embrace her. Despite the noise and clutter of the Mag-lev station feeling as they were alone, alone for the last time.

“Why? Just tell me why Johnny and I’ll let you go.” Kasey whispered holding him so tight he thought he might break.” Why do this to us?”

And he wanted to answer her. He wanted to ensure her it wasn’t some childish tantrum. Some bruised ego or masculine vanity at being humiliated. That it hadn’t mattered testing positive for the “stimms”, that she mattered and was enough. Wanted to, but he couldn’t lie to her. Never could.

“It isn’t forever. A year, maybe two and I’ll be back to you. A better man, wiser having seen the Galaxy.” Johnny told her echoing the recruiter’s spiel.

See the Galaxy and, maybe, prove something to himself. To the Galaxy. To his brother whose disapproving face haunted him more than his brow beaten father’s. That they were all right about him most likely, no self-pitying delusions masking his actions.

That he was running. And a true Upton didn’t run.

“Promise me then. Promise you’ll come back to me.” She begged him…

…begged him. Not groveling, she was too haggard and tired for that, but blatantly all the same. Dry, wizen pleading which cut through his armor like a lightsaber.

“Don’t make me witch…in the name of the Emperor…” He faltered, weapon feeling like a dead weight in his arm.

“In his name, we took you in. Made you kin.” She wheezed through he no longer looked towards her.

Instead towards the pair of shadows which slipped onto the rubbish strewn street from one of the hovels, ragged uniforms and shivering vibroblades stained pink. A hungry look on their bared faces as they spied the woman and her charges.

But, perhaps, not ’19 and Gunny. No helms for the rebels, no augmented vision. The dark glade of burnt out embers masking them, every rational fiber in ‘19’s mind screaming at him to exploit that. To run, a battered Stormtrooper and a sergeant slipping in and out of consciousness poor match against a pair of harden thugs with unknown more in the wings. To run was sensible, let the butchers take their fill while they circled around and fled.

But an Upton didn’t run. His blaster feeling not as heavy as he swung it beyond the woman, startled by his sudden animation, towards the nearest of the arrogantly charging rebels.

“In his hallowed name.” He intoned squeezing the trigger, realizing with detached clarity how he suddenly knew how it would play out.

Knowing even as the woman ducked bidding her younglings to scatter that she wasn’t long for the world. A lucky shot, or unlucky, from the eviscerating rebel’s, his chest aglow with weapon’s plasma, compatriot. The grubby nerf herder packing a light repeating blaster, a knock off variant technically but lethal enough at close range. Never touching Gunny or ’19, never came close before the Stormtrooper snapped and cut him down but she would have already fallen.

No name, no identity. Not one even one the children knew, never meeting their savior before the moment she scurried them away in that night of madness. Just a causality.

And with this realization, this cosmic truth, ’19 felt the world shift once more, as it had been doing he know knew, returning him not to his beloved’s arms but to the untraversable gulf of inner blackness. That black sea he knew clotted within him like a cancer.

“Cerebral waves stabilizing, increasing synapse activity. Yes. Welcome back to the world of the living KT-4019's, you’ve been missed.” An electronic voice hissed from someplace both far away and disgustingly close.

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Post by Praeothmin » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:51 pm

I really liked the flashback from '19's past... :)

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Post by sonofccn » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:48 pm

Short update this time, through I do have a reason as you'll see, concerning Dixon's team first contact with Legion.

“Identitive nomenclature? Presumptuous of singular associative organization, inaccurate supposition. I am one from many, I am whole and undivided. I am Legion. All shall be I.” Excerpt of Legion “interrogation” conducted by officials of {CENSORED}.


I.- The Thing the musical

Through certain officers sitting in cozy chairs behind desks would argue otherwise something you learned quickly “stuck in it” was that in Phase III armor, inside a starship or starbase, you just couldn’t be stealthy. Dixion had seen Rancors make less noise than his fireteam as they sprinted through the corridor but that didn’t trouble him, the echo of their booted feet and creaking of their armor plate only served to warn the enemy of his fast approaching death. Wookiee pirates, Rebel scum and Megrachnids equally falling to the brutal, swift strike of his Stormtroopers. As well as far stranger and incomprehensible things, mutant force wielders among others, which came from serving underneath the Commodore’s squadron on the fringes of known space.

And the Emperor knew what would be added to the list now, lost in another Galaxy if the scuttlebutt could be trusted, as the Sergeant’s team unfurled and split apart. One half taking the nearest portion of the medical room and “suppression” it as the second group lumbered past taking up a mirroring position. Riflemen first, crouching low as they leaned around the door’s edge, backed by the fearsome barrel of a T-21 repeater ready to deluge any offending miscreant in a sea of volatile plasma. But there was no threat, no immediate movement detected by helm sensors or thermal reading to indicate troop or troops jostling in ambush, only torn apart biobeds.

The mechanical innards of which lay strewn beside the shattered glass and vicious fluids of a Bacta tank, making the floor wetly crunch beneath the feet of Rifleman Niles as he crept in. Panning his helmet and blaster across the twisted rubble for any signs of life. With frequent glances to the ruptured ceiling and damaged floor having been on more than his share of Bug hunts, Gunner Fueller sharing in his apprehension as plodded after his Rifleman and swept his light repeater across the opposite corner.

His action signaling for the other fireteam’s Rifleman to scoot up, his gunner swiveling around to cover their rear, as well as Dixon whom stalked over the room’s threshold like a predator trailing blood. His gait hastening on Fueller’s breathy exclamation of “Emperor” as he spotted their target crouched in a corner, its fleshy back to them.

The cry echoed in turn as they saw the heaving bloated sack of necrotic flesh, rippling with every ragged breath undulation, its engorged body covered with fronds of cancerous protrusions or nodes where an electrical tube or wire had been spliced in. A vaguely human head rose up from the corpulent girth on a stubby neck, a sickeningly smooth skull face that was both hard like stone and yet soft and flowing like melted wax. Eyes, bright red and far too many, glistened in recessed sockets glaring balefully at the intruding Stormtroopers while its lower jaw was a mess of metal. Twitching mandibles stolen from the destroyed biobed which clicked and popped as they jerkingly moved about, the tips of each crowned by a laser cutter which crackled and smoked as power was testingly applied to them.

Similar accouterments sprouting, like metallic tumors, from the disjointed and phlegm filled which stretched out from beneath the flabby folds of the pulsating body. Scaly malformed things still slick and new but which moved with practice ease, offering death and dismemberment by the diamond hard claws poking from the moist, spongy palms or from the plasma torches and circular saw attachments which encircled each appendage.

But that wasn’t what made Dixon catch his breath, for splicing in Bauer to gag or for Niles’s throaty whisper for his mother. No the gibbering sight which froze their blood was on the nearest side knotted shoulder, a recessed mottled blemished half obscured by the sagging folds. Mistakable for merely another quivering discoloration in its gelatinous blob of bile but for its eyes. Dead and haunted, beyond terror or fear, they stared imploringly from a submerged and stretched face whose fleshless lips sluggishly moved in a wordless whisper. A repetitive cant or prayer it continued to repeat even as its pale, drained tissue began churn and stretch.

“Kill…please…kill…me…” It mouthed as long slender talons protruded, scything the wet covering away from the laughing, pink stained skull.

Rotted muscular squirming over the dripping organ as it vomited forth from between the clawed hands, its bloody nape dangling from a mucus laden tendril which swooped up and towered above the fireteam.

Twisting to remain facing them as the creature lumbered to turn itself around, revealing a nest of fat, slug like tentacles which supported its base. Only then did the gory skull, dipping and swaying in the air, began to spasm with the rancid, crypt like air billowing up through the bloating tendril. Rotten gases escaping with a whistling cry from the head’s lipless jaws as it formed the first oozing, cyclopean note of its message.

“ Resistance shall not be tolerated, you shall be repurposed. Remade to a more purified form. You will be Legion.” It squawked jerking like a marionette.

To which, answering Dixon’s cry of “light it up”, the fireteam unloaded in response. The twirling head atomized by an impacting bolt, another boilingly severing its supporting tendril in two, from the fusillade which cratered the abomination. Its slick, mandible head erupting in a shower of bile as it staggered back, ripe underbelly bursting open in a cascade of steaming entrails, and collapsed with a wet smack on the littered floor. Unmoving save for the quivering of its mass at the continuing to pour blaster fire, venomously shredding into until Dixon signaled for a cease. Sergeant, kneeling, holding his arm aloft and gazing at the putrid, smoldering mess of pus and shorn sinew. Bits of machinery sparking and whirring within its pockmarked frame, charred and exposed wires which arced and burned the pooling fat dripping from the creature’s innards.

“Looks like Resistance wasn’t so useless. Bauer you still copying? Xeno threat has been engaged, moving to confirm kill.” He radioed slicing his arm out towards the beast sending Niles tiptoeing towards it.

The Rifleman gingerly approaching within arms length, prodding the alien’s ruptured gut with his blaster then firing off a shot experimentally vaporizing another finger width of its sinewy meat. Sizzling flecks kicking up from it and hitting Niles as he turned his head back towards his teammates.

“Fethers deader than Grievous.” He boasted raising his gun to fire through its torn chest to hammer the point.

The auditory sensors in his helm detecting in brilliant quality the hum as one of the myriad surgical saws reactived but not the accustomed squeal of bottled plasma escaping a blaster. A puzzlement along with the sudden chill which bisected his arm below the shoulder which he sought illumination for as he panned his head back, momentarily confused by the red fountain he saw manifested opposed to his gun arm. It, still clasping the stock and trigger guard of his blaster, laying on the below him on the abomination’s morphing flesh. Its chest splitting open, swallowing his arm and gun, into pursed lips lined with spiked teeth and a fleshy red tongue which lapped out around him as he felt that breeze of cold air pass through his knees.

Then he was toppling down into its smothering, revolting embrace, the fanged folds snapping shut around him. Piercing through his armor, his flesh, his skull…

The beast’s body imploding slightly, crushing open the largely indigestible plastoid shell for the succulent treat within, thousands of burrowing feelers questing through it draining it dry as the creature lumbered up and lunged through the tepid but growing wall of blaster shots. An arm, mangled from the wrist down from a sweep of a T-21, writhing and opening in a putrid blossom to reveal a bundle of hooked tendrils. Each of which snapped around one of the gunners, spearing into his meat, and hefting his screaming form up into the air where its head, pushing up through its ruined throat, to rip a bloody chunk from.

“Full power! Switch to maximum!” Dixon, screaming to be heard, commanded backing away from the resulting shower as Fueller’s body was torn open.” Switch to fething full power and roast this mother fether!”

“ Where do you fething shoot this bugger!?” Rifleman Cory, altering discharge as instructed, demanded watching eyes bubble up across the thing’s flesh like warts.

Large pustules festering among the milky orbs as well, growing into hooked or scissor like claws which lashed out at the retreating knot of Stormtroopers even as the intensifying blaze of fire blew the limbs apart as quickly as they formed from the rotted, regenerative matter, as it continued its assault. Its bloated haunches splitting open, making way for knobby segmented legs which scrambled across the med-area floor replacing the slug like tendrils it withdrew back into itself. Refashioning them, redistributing the additional mass to armor plate, digesting cross between human bone and tortoise shell, and rending claws.

Moist, mucus dripping scythes birthing from its polymorphic flesh, talon tipped claws with innumerable fingers or viper like tentacles. All killed and reborn again and again as the remaining humans staggered towards the door.

“Bauer get a full Emperor forsaken platoon down here! Feth! Get an AT-ST!” Dixon, the last one out, thundered priming a thermal detonator and flinging it into the churning, mutating mass as he leapt away.

The thing screaming, a spiteful curse, as the round cooked off and retreating but only for it sloughing armor to reharden and form. Growing thicker as it drove through the resultant mists caused by the nucleonic flash broiling, following after the Sergeant and his team down the corridor…

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Post by Praeothmin » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:35 pm

Holy Shit!
The Thing in John Carpenter's movie wasn't that tough...
How the hell can they kill it?

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Post by sonofccn » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:13 am

Praeothmin wrote:Holy Shit!
The Thing in John Carpenter's movie wasn't that tough...
Well I rigged the scenario with it "supercharged" off of the Bacta its absorbed and to be fair had they immeditely tossed a thermal grenade after they downed it they would have killed it. Maybe.
Praeothmin wrote:How the hell can they kill it?
Three words: Lord Protector Krevin*

* Sabaton-Carolus Rex

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Post by sonofccn » Mon May 06, 2013 8:01 pm

Just to prove I haven't been dragged off to some cyclopean otherworld beyond the spheres by some eldritch horror. (The protective runes for the summoning held it seems) Very short and inconclusive installment but, hopefully, it'll help me get back into the "rhythm".

“A moment comes to us Veterans, us old hands whom have trampled from one blood soaked battlefield to the next, an instant of clarity where your life unfolds around you like a colossal holo-vid. Old flames from years long lost, comrades stolen by fickle fate and hated enemy all reborn amidst you. Your every sling, hardship and triumph chronicled and engraved to your orbs as if by lasers. And you realize this is it, this is where it ends. Running from that…thing…I knew in my heart, my soul, that it was my moment. My squad’s moment. And then he saved us…” Sergeant Dixon, retired, explaining his first encounter with the Lord Protector.

I. Kansas-Dust in the Wind

“…so the Tionese shouts “ Remember Vontor” and hurls the Hutt through the air lock. “Winthrop, with forced cordialness, finished as if delivering some witty topper opposed to a moldering joke which had been stale five minutes after Xim the Despot’s regime had fallen.

The latest of his incredulously fossilized collection he’d fostered upon the Commodore as he escorted him through the ship, Krevin having agreed to escape the even deader social gathering of Crell. The starch pressed Captain the epitome of the old school, that old guard which could trace its roots back to the War with Deservo and the founding of the Old Republic, a disposition not so incidentally extended to his senior staff. Dour, gray haired men in uniforms whose idea of entertainment was to stand around exhaling cigarra smoke and blandly carry on about battles and engagements which predated the Imperial era, the Clone Wars and even the Stark Hyperspace War.

To be sure there was chilled Saurian brandy to be had along with the dry talk, to which the Commodore’s aching temples gave fervent praise, but other than himself the guests seemed reserved merely to hold a sweating glass in one hand as they pontificated and scrawled intricate diagrams in the air with wisps of smoke. Like old admiral Yuran, Krevin recalled fondly of his old superior, who, when he attended some function, never drank but instead wielded the beverage as a prop same as his crisp uniform and hand rolled cigarras to foster the right image of himself, the Admiralty and the Navy to any onlooker.

They hadn’t truly traversed in the same social circles, Krevin’s own infamy wouldn’t truly come into its own until his saving the Bantha lard from the incinerator at the disastrous Gamma-Alpha mission, but his status as the golden hero at Reach and Diabolia ensured more than once he’d find himself struggling in some crusty event or festivity. Where struggling and failing to mix with Governors and Guild Merchants with pedigrees dating back to the coronation of Contispex the First, and feeling more than a little humiliated because of it, he’d first come to the attention of the dignified gentleman officer. Whom had taken the young pup the Commodore had been then under his wing teaching him how to play the game, how to talk and when.

How to be the needed symbol, how to sell himself to civil and military leaders, and on the other side of the ScanDoc Yuran had helped round a “notable talent” into a honed skill. Giving him his first real experience or privilege with commanding multiple ships in formation and their effective tactics, through Krevin’s were always more by the seat of his pants than the admiral would have preferred, as well as instilling his interest, if not his passion, for the venerable Naval battles of history. Through it all, while he may have been a stuffy fleet officer who’d prefer to go to bed early with a glass of warm milk than anything, Krevin would always remember him as a warm and charmingly witty soul which his decorum only enhanced and magnified.

In far counterpart to the monotone patrons of Crell’s gathering, drab and gray individuals who mistook detachment for professionalism and stern aloofness for restraint, in which the Commodore had seen mortuaries more lively. All he could do to escape, even if it meant withstanding one lame misfire from the SubCommander after another.

“So…I’m correct to understand they actually used parts from the original Talon in the ship’s construction?” The Commodore, gesturing to the bulkhead they passed, hastily interjected before he could go onto the one about a Jawa entering a cantina.” I mean, that must be a proud tradition to continue.”

Banking, correctly he was immediately rewarded, that the cadaver like and stiff officer was endowed with a certain affection for the star going vessel which ferried him and crew through the void. Spacers invariably developing this fondness for the metal womb which shepherded them and if it avoided any more jokes older than the Rakata civilization he could indulge the trumped up Astro in expressing it. Even if compared to the glory and might of the Judgment the Talon-II was an simpering garbage scow.

“Naturally there weren’t any physical components to use per say, the Talon was virtually atomized, but what was recovered was melted to a molten sluice and reconstituted as part of the super structure.” The SubCommander corrected, none the less beaming with pride.” By certain reckonings, strictly unofficial, about twenty-five percent of the Talon-II came from her namesake. And another fifteen percent coming from Hapan Nova cruisers if you can believe it. Purified and refined to our standards of course.”

“Of course.” Krevin nodded, having trawled along the edges of the Consortium’s borders along with many others during his long career.” Star Destroyer grade is a weight unto itself, even outnumbered the Talon, with the support of her Taskforce, turned back multiple times the aggressors preserving our border.”

A border the Superiority augmented fleet, over a sixth of the Sector’s battlegroup, had been “readjusting” a few lightyears further inward to include certain strategically valuable star systems when the Talon’s battlesquadon got pinched. Its sacrifice through did allow the Empire to stabilize and cement its new holdings, the enemy battlegroups drawn to the thrashing Taskforce like Nexu after wounded prey.

“They say for a solid hour her guns never ceased firing, even in those final moments as the escape pods jettisoned…” Winthrop mused whimsically as he was cut off by the piercing scream of a klaxon.

Freezing them in place as, with certain tensing and loss of pallor, the continuing siren was joined by the patter of armored boot heels and the hissing crackle of rapid fire blasters. The sort rarely unleashed within the relatively fragile interior of metallic bubbles called spaceships, where a stray shot could conceivably punch through a bulkhead or shred delicate equipment. Despite this Krevin, his hand going without further prodding for his blaster, noted chilly that they were pouring it on. Stingingly reminded of the hectic, brutal running firefights he’d experienced on Reach. Of course then he’d had Hack and Killjoy to help save his arse, and Loon to endanger it, along with the rest of the irregulars he’d strung together on that war torn world. In comparison the white faced SubCommander seemed a tad under whelming.

A turning glance by the Commodore revealed the brow furrowed and nervous officer slinking, a blaster drawn and lightly clasped, towards one of the corridor doors which parted open with confused and excited crewmembers. Barking orders, or sputteringly trying to at any rate, belligerently at the cherub like Ratting nervously poking his head out of the nearest. Commanding him to patch into Control and find out what was happening just as “IT” came barreling into view.

First as a ragged fireteam of Stormtroopers who ran racing onto the scene dousing the passage behind them liberally in plasma bolts which in and of itself was a soul freezing scene. Stormtroopers, as much a matter of principal as propaganda, did not retreat from the enemy. They regressed, withdrew to flank and out maneuver. But they did not run fleetingly without thought to coordination or decorum as this squad was. Then what pursued them scrambled into view and Krevin’s already icy soul shattered into pieces.

His stilled heart rising in his throat as a cacophonous nightmare glimpsed previously only when he dared the iconography of the “Dreams of R’yleh “ or the gibbering hordes of the vile Megarachnids. His mind reeling as the towering sithspawn, easily greater than a man’s height and bloated with tainted corpulence, scuttled with deft purpose from weapon scarred corridor. Its vast bulk effortlessly supported by numerous, nimble segmented limbs which scythe-scratched over the deck plate with a horrendous whisper-murmur of a noise. Its skin armored, through pitted and carbon scored from countless strikes, by grungy yellowed bone-work which it habitually renewed and recovered or split open in messy fissures to make way for the wartish pustules which sprouted into claw tipped hands or razor hooked tentacles. Its head, little more than a sightless organ of duranium hard bone and dense muscle, a blunted knub of meat which unfurled into a mucus lined bed of jagged teeth and a dark gullet from which from which rose a hungry, wet cry. Of its eyes, whitish globules of pupil less jelly, they rose everywhere. From the cracks in its armored shell or blistering forth from its thrashing limbs, in the fat of oozing palms or on the bulging tips of tendrils. Dozens of which the Commodore felt turn towards him as it ambled within reach, driving incentive for the officer as he reacted the same as his distant ancestors would have with such a situation.

FRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!” He howled, frenziedly screamed, reaching for his blaster and turning to bolt in the same breath.

The latter, briefly, hindered by Winthrop whom he collided back first with and in turn slammed the poor Ratting into the door’s edge. The two becoming entangled together, falling to the wayside through the door as Krevin cleared them for his mad flight down the corridor. Not even dignifying to look at them as he shoved them aside, instead looking back over his shoulder and down his pistol’s iron sight at the looming specter of the polymorph. Offering, in contrast to the wild fusillades and scatter of the farther ahead Stormtroopers, only a thrice firing in quick succession. Each on a separate tangent and each releasing a broiling cloud and dank ichors as a descending limb incinerated and ruptured. Adding their greasy scent of burning fat to the already pungent odors filling the passage.

Then he was in full flight and gaining on the more heavily armored and laden Stormtroopers with the churning sithspawn, interest or rage piqued by his slipping from its near grasp, galloping after not nearly far enough behind.

“ You have got to be fracking kidding.” His mind, stubbornly clawing its way back to sanity, wailed as he dipped his blaster and began to cleave open the spawn’s scrambling, arthropod legs.

To be continued…

Jedi Master
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Post by Praeothmin » Wed May 08, 2013 7:53 pm

At this instant, his mind raced back to his youth, when he was but a young boy on his homeworld, hanging upside down in trees with his best friend Jen Eeh, a young lady who's parents left alone to do so as she pleased.
The memories of this one instant when young Krevin, the only time in his life where mere humans could scare him, the reason why he became part of the Imperial Navy, was getting away from three hulking kids, bullies all of them, always picking on young Krevin.

"Run, Krevin, ruuuuunnnnn!" He could hear Jen Eeh yell at him, and ran he did, just as his energy, renewed at the distant memory, had his legs pumping furiously to increase the distance between himself and the creature.

I hope you don't mind if I added this very short passage to your chapter... :)

Well done, as always...
Just to prove I haven't been dragged off to some cyclopean otherworld beyond the spheres by some eldritch horror
Well, I'm still in my writer's block, unable, and unwilling, to get back to it while I have to learn my plays and dance routine for the shows...
Hopefully, by June, I should once again accompany you in renewing the Fanfic section of this site...
Until Breetai comes back too... :)

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