Here's the promised update...
The first order of business for the MACO leader was to find a good defensible position, one where it might even be possible to set a trap and reverse the roles in the violent play that was about to be created.
Looking around as he and Carth were moving, careful not to show he was aware of the thugs following them, James finally found what he was looking for.
A short distance away in a side passage, strange aliens were apparently unloading cargo from a small shuttlecraft, using what looked like an anti-gravity sled.
He veered off in their direction, and when they were out of view of their pursuers, the two men broke in a short run so they would have more time to set their ambush up and, more importantly in James’s view, allow the workers to flee the area to safety.
As they reached the doors to what the big human could now see was a warehouse, the workers looked up from their cargo, surprise and hesitation breaking through the bored expressions set on their faces.
“Davik’s men are coming and intend on killing us.” He told the men, assuming they understood English, as most aliens apparently did.
He appeared to have assumed correctly, as the alien’s expressions turned to one of fear upon hearing James’s words.
“You and your friends should get to safety by getting out another door, quickly, because we intend to hide here.
You don’t have much time, and you know how Davik reacts if one gets in his way, don’t you?”
Then the workers left their posts at a run, away from Carth and him, away from the door they were facing, deeper inside the warehouse and another exit, or so James hoped.
When he had approached the aliens, he had feared that hearing upon Davik’s gripe with the two men, the aliens would decide to placate the crime Boss by capturing his prey and delivering them to his men.
That was the reason why James had drawn his Blaster pistol when warning the workers of the incoming fight.
Carth had done the same, and so the big human had once more continued on his path based on another assumption, that the workers would not be tempted to fight two armed and apparently dangerous men.
He was devising his entire strategy out of pure assumptions, but he was basing those assumptions on what he had witnessed and heard, and so he was confident they were sound as could be.
And at the moment, events were proving him right.
They went in the warehouse at the back of the workers, but while the alien workers were speeding towards an exit to take them to safety, locking the door behind them, James and Carth were looking for the best defensible positions.
The warehouse was huge, at least two hundred feet at a side, and full of big metallic crates, some five feet wide and ten feet long, and those bigger crates were piled high off the ground, stacked there using what was most likely an anti-grav sled.
It also contained smaller cases, boxes and barrels in neat stacks all around the place.
As Carth went towards the left of the warehouse, James examined the different containers and boxes stacked haphazardly around him, devising in which way to better use them in the coming fight.
They had been seen by their quarry, they were certain of it.
The band’s leader had noticed the slightly increased pace, the sudden change of direction as the two men they were pursuing oriented themselves towards a smaller side passage instead of continuing on the main walkway.
Gurmok, a powerful looking Trandoshan, with his brown scaly skin and his clawed three-fingered hands, tall even for his species, wasn’t surprised though.
Ban’Hak, the weak black-skinned human Davik forced him to endure, had described his earlier encounter of the two pursued men in great details, explaining how incredible these two were, especially the bigger human, a creature almost as tall as Gurmok.
The big reptilian creature had not believed all of it, of course, having long ago learned that Ban’Hak tended to exaggerate his own prowess to appear mightier than he was, and so Gurmok had talked with some of his contacts, one of them a Sith Soldier who had witnessed the scene, and had learned that, for once, the weak human had not lied or even exaggerated.
All the reports from his contacts had told him how fast and powerful the big human was, and how quick and precise with his Blasters was the smaller one.
The smaller of his two preys was even what was commonly called a “Twin-shooter”, a warrior capable of firing two Blaster pistols at once with high precision and skill, as if he was using only one weapon.
That was indeed impressive, as the only other true “Twin-shooter” Grumok knew of was Twitch the Rodian Duellist, whose prowess had allowed him to climb to the top Duelling spot after defeating Marl, Bendak Starkiller’s successor, after the great Mandalorian warrior had retired ten years ago.
A spot he still retained to this day, close to four years after he had gained it, with Marl still trying to reclaim it.
The big human, from all reports, was even faster than the pistol wielding one, with strength most likely rivalling his own, capable of crushing an Aqualish’s wrist as if it was made of cheap glass.
This was why Gurmok was not running after the two warriors as he was certain such a foolish action would spell his and his men’s doom.
When his group carefully rounded the side alley’s corner, he saw the open dock doors with the transport skiff parked in front, its rear hatch opened as if cargo was being offloaded, except there were no workers in sight.
Stopping, Gurmok flashed a predatory smile, his serrated teeth gleaming, and act which cowed some of his men.
So they think they can hide in a storeroom and wait for us in ambush, do they, the reptilian humanoid thought.
They will soon learn it is not so easy to surprise me.
The Thugs’ leader split his mean in two groups, one with seven thugs, the second one with him and four others.
While the main group would go to the side loading dock door and attack from that direction on Gurmok’s signal, he and four others would go around to the rear in search of another entrance, the thug leader knowing such places always had other exit points.
As the main group slowly advanced ever closer to the side door, Gurmok’s group rapidly went around the main building, finding the other door in short order.
It was locked, but the thug had a slicer, a small handheld computer that used powerful algorithms do decript security protocols and bypass them, useful equipment which allowed one to penetrate anywhere, except perhaps for highly secured places like the Sith base on their level.
This was one of the perks of working with a Crime Lord such as Davik, the fact that you always had the right tools for the right job.
The lock was dealt with in less than a minute, and then they were inside.
They had to navigate a small maze of tunnels, but they finally made it to a warehouse door.
Gurmok checked the lock using his slicer, and once certain it was unlocked, pressed on a small transmitter button on his Com-link to send the attack signal to his men.
A few minutes later, a terrible crashing noise was heard inside the warehouse, as if some heavy objects had fallen to the floor unhindered.
As Blaster fire became alive in the warehouse, the reptilian leader opened the door and peeked inside.
His view was blocked by many crates and barrels, but he could see Blaster bolts and Bowcaster pulses streaking to and fro deeper in the maze of crates.
Gurmok slid in the shadows on the right side of the door with one of his men, sending two to the left and the last one straight through, hoping they could take the two soldiers by surprise, knowing such a kill on his record would please Davik and put him in line for a well-deserved promotion, the Trandoshan tired of street-level work and aspiring to much more important jobs.
He was dreaming of one day replacing Canderous Ordo, the dangerous Mandalorian warrior, as Davik’s number one enforcer, as he went deeper in the shadowy recesses of the warehouse.
James had heard them coming before they had even reached the truck outside the docking bay.
After shooting a quick look at Carth, he quickly went behind a tower of crates he had previously spotted, a few meters from the docking bay doors.
He heard the thugs slow their pace as they came closer to the opened doors, caution dictating their movements, letting the two men know their foes weren’t idiots.
As the aliens came in tentatively, James and Carth, seasoned warriors both, reigned in the temptation to act, both knowing there would be a better opportunity to attack.
The aliens, some having gone around the parked truck, entered the warehouse in two by two cover formations, displaying their training in combat tactics, which surprised James, the big MACO leader initially believing the thugs to be the typical brutes relying on brute strength and numbers to get the job done.
He revised his opinion of the thugs, and modified his attack plan accordingly.
He had at first thought of pushing the crate tower he was using as a hideout on his opponents and then simply shooting the rest using his great speed to prevent them from harming him.
But the revelation that these men used tactics, and James’s realisation that he had seen more men following them previously then were now attacking brought up the possibility of a rear attack from the rest of the group.
When the two men closest to him passed in front of his hideout, James pushed with all his might, tumbling the hard crates upon the cautious aliens, flattening them to the ground as they comrades turned towards them and opened fire in the direction of the falling crates.
But James was already gone from behind the crates, going in farther in the maze of crates and barrels, making his way slowly towards what he believed to be the back door of the warehouse.
His progress was eased by the incredible noise coming from all the weapons fired in the warehouse, his Hearing Dampener helping his ears to cope with the reverberated noise.
He knew anyone not similarly protected would have a hard time hearing anyone approaching stealthily, just as he knew that while his ears were protected, and his hearing enhanced, he would also be hard-pressed to hear stealthy approaches.
And so he used his Low-Light and Thermographic enhancements in order to better navigate the warehouse’s maze of crates, his senses ever alert to warn him of possible impending doom.
In a short reprieve of fire, just before twin Blasters from on high rained scarlet death upon the thugs, the big human’s ears hard the soft scrape of a shoe setting on the hard cement floor of the warehouse.
James froze mid-step, but when the thunderous reports of Blasters were heard again, he simply stuck his back to the crate he was advancing next to, his hands poised for action, never even coming close to grabbing his weapon from its holster.
He saw a cautious hand grab the side of his crate, its bandaged fingers weakly steadying the body of its owner as he advanced around the crate, a Blaster Pistol shakily held in his left hand.
The Republic soldier, while fully confident his Jedi ally and he would triumph, did re-evaluate the odds as he saw the thugs using tactics to come in.
But it wasn’t until he saw James go farther inside the warehouse using the crates and barrels as cover that the thought of the thugs ambushing them came to his mind.
Still, he had to trust in the Jedi’s capabilities, having seen Tharnok in action before, and while he knew the fight was going to be difficult, he knew just as well that they would prevail.
As soon as the thugs had began blasting at the crate James had been using as cover, Carth had lined up two of the three outside, still waiting for their friends to clear the entrance before following in, while ensuring no one would come out from behind cover to shoot the thugs already deeper inside in the back.
The Republic soldier smiled as surprise etched itself on the third thug’s face when his two friends heads exploded, his twin Pistols having spat crimson energy pulses simultaneously at his targets.
He quickly turned towards the third one and fired again as his target as the third thug dove out of the open doorway’s field of fire.
He was too late, of course, Carth Onasi’s steady hands having blasted the life out of his body in the blink of an eye.
The thug’s smoking, lifeless body slapped hard against the permacrete ground as its former owner’s friends spotted the shooter in the rafters and opened fire on him.
Carth saw the thugs aim towards him and as they were firing, he did the only thing he could: he let go of his weapons and jumped off the rafters onto a stack of crates ten feet below, his rolling body absorbing the impact of his fall.
He stopped himself from rolling over the crate he had landed on and falling to the hard ground thirty feet below him, knowing the impact would have seriously injured him.
As he rolled back to the middle of the crate he had fallen on, he feverishly looked for his discarded weapons.
He saw only one near the edge of the crate, which he quickly grabbed as his cover was slowly being blown to bits, raining shards of hot plastic on his face and unprotected hands.
Looking around, he saw another crate stack of similar size, located away from the firing thugs, on which he could jump in order to take cover.
The only problem was it was over fifteen feet away from him.
He got on his feet in a crouch and backed up the closest he could the edge of his crate, and then, after only the faintest hesitation, he launched himself in a run and soared through the air to the other stack of crates, realizing in mid-air his jump was too short, panic almost overcoming his senses.
He barely succeeded in grabbing the lip of the other crate, but landed face first in its side, dazing him.
One by one, his fingers lost their grip, and he was falling.
His fazed mind had barely began to understand what was happening when he landed on his back, making a loud cracking noise, his head full of cobwebs, his heart full of hope the cracking sound he heard wasn’t his spine, before lazily spiralling out of consciousness.
As the man cleared the crate, his eyes saw James and bulged out as his mouth was about to cry for help.
As James's left fist impacted the man’s larynx, his right hand shot an atemi with bone crunching force at the man’s left wrist.
The Blaster was thrown clear of the man’s grip as his mind advised him his breathing was now much more labored.
His hands were reaching for his throat when the MACO leader’s hands grabbed his shoulders and pulled him in, a powerful knee imploding his rib cage, the sound of cracking bones being drowned by the constant Blaster fire.
He dropped the body to the floor, bemoaning the fact he had to resort to killing, angry that the first encounter with the thug had not sufficed to send the message that James and Carth weren’t to be messed with.
He felt foolish for believing it could have at the same time, knowing these criminals usually only understood one thing: extreme violence.
Unfortunately for them, James thought, I excel at extreme violence.
He did intend to leave at least one thug alive, if at all possible, in order to deliver a clear message to Davik that Carth and he weren’t to be messed with, or the cost to his operations would be high.
He went on for some time, stalking Davik’s men in the maze of boxes and crates and barrels under the cover of Blaster fire.
Three more thugs were down in short order when he noticed that there were no more Blasters firing, the warehouse now filled with the acrid scent of burnt plastic and melted metals slowly drifting up, being sucked away by the building’s air venting system and the open dock door.
The silence, added to the smoke, was like a death veil hung over the warehouse.
As he continued to make his way around the man-made maze, he silently touched his Com-link button to contact Carth, fearing the silence meant his partner was in trouble.
He heard the chirp of the Republic soldier to his left, close to the dock door, and so he slowly and cautiously made his way towards it.
“You should come out now with your hands up if you don’t want me to kill your friend”, Came a raspy, throaty voice.
Gurmok didn’t like speaking Galactic Basic, as its sounds were difficult to pronounce and hurt Gurmok’s throat, but he didn’t know if the big human understood Trandoshan, and so had decided to use it.
One more thing to make the humans pay for.
He was happy, though, for he had finally caught a lucky break.
The initial part of the battle had gone south from the beginning, the “Twin-shooter” killing three of his crew in record time before being shot off the rafters where he had been hiding by his remaining crew.
And though it had taken some time for his men to realize they were no longer being shot at, the soldier’s big companion nowhere to be seen, most likely eliminating the men he no longer saw from the security of the maze of crates, Gurmok had found the smaller human unconsciously sprawled on one container, no longer a threat.
The big reptilian had at first thought of killing the man, but then, knowing he was at a disadvantage against this man’s stealthy ally, had decided to make him his prisoner.
So with only four men remaining of a group of eleven, certain the others were all dead, Gurmok had decided to play his trump card.
He was no idiot, though, and so he was standing with the smaller human in front of him as a shield, while his back was straight up against a big stack of metal crates.
He had men on each side of his body, ensuring that the other human could not simply try to snipe him from any angle except up, which is where Gurmok’s gaze was directed.
His left arm was holding the now conscious human in a one-armed hug wile his right pressing the muzzle of his weapon, a nasty looking Trandoshan Disruptor Pistol, right under the man’s chin.
If the bigger man tried anything, his friend’s head would become red mist before the man could accomplish anything.
He didn’t have to wait for long for his opponent to show himself, hands in the air next to his head, a Blaster pistol in each hand held by an index finger in the trigger guard and a determined look in his eyes which immediately put Gurmok on edge.
This was not a man who intended to go calmly, the big reptilian knew instantly.
This was a predator, cornered and fearing for its life, and as dangerous as could be.
Which didn’t matter much to the reptilian thug, since he had every intention of killing the humans, using the first one simply as bait to get the big one to show himself.
And, Gurmok reasoned, the advantage was his at the moment, his men having their weapons trained on the big human, much more massive now when seen up close.
“Kill him!” He told his men in Trandoshan with a smile.
A smile that vanished as the big man exploded into action, blindingly fast, Blaster pistols magically aligning themselves in the man’s hands, mighty fingers pressing on the triggers with lighting speed.
While the man might not have understood the words Gurmok had uttered, he had apparently understood the intent clearly.
That, Gurmok reasoned, or the man had intended to act no matter what his opponent’s intentions had been.
Within a second, before any of his men could fire, they were dead on their feet, their lifeless bodies beginning to fall on the floor.
As the man turned towards him, the Trandoshan’s Distuptor pistol fired once, the shot only clipping the man’s left shoulder, coring through meat and bone to exit out the other side, finally impacting a plastic crate in an explosion of shards and vapor.
Gurmok’s actions had a price, though, for the smaller human used this distraction to snap an elbow at his scaly chin, knocking his head back at the crate, stunning him.
He instinctively pushed the small human down and tried to take aim at the bigger one again, only a Blaster bolt impacted on his right shoulder, his armor absorbing the brunt of the impact even though his arm numbed and the pain was great.
His weapon hit the floor as he stood there, his back at the stack of crates, the big man’s Blaster pistol aimed at his face.
The smaller man srambled to his feet while getting away from him, having appropriated Gurmok’s Disruptor at the same time.
The big human stood up, his shoulder seeping blood, an inch-wide hole seen going through.
Gurmok smiled, for even if he was going to die, he knew he had hurt the big man seriously.
When he saw the man drop his pistol and advance in a fighting stance, the smaller man moving away at a respectful distance from both of them, he smile even more, for while his shoulder was wounded, he was a Trandoshan, stronger than any human, as strong as most Wookiees, and an excellent unarmed combatant.
His teeth gleaming, his saliva dripping, he advanced upon his human opponent.
He swiped a left arm horizontally at the big human, hoping to disembowel him with his powerful claws, intent on following that swipe with a kick to his opponent’s groin, knowing full well how sensitive the human’s unprotected genitals were, the specie unable to retract them in a protective pouch inside their body like Trandoshans could.
He was surprised when his swipe went through unimpeded, grasping nothing but air as his momentum brought Gurmok sideways.
The reptilian thug felt a mighty impact on the left side of his head, followed by the incredible pain from his left leg as it was bent sideways by a powerful kick, the immense strength of the human surprising the Trandoshan, for Gurmok had never been hit as hard in his life, and he had battled mighty Wookiee warriors many a time before.
With no time to recover from the blows, he felt his head impact the crate he had been using as cover, cracking it from the strength of the blow, and he crumpled to the floor, pain flaring from all over his body.
As the soothing embrace of unconsciousness began to overtake him he heard the human’s voice in his ears.
“Go tell Davik to leave us alone, or he'll be in the fight of his life.”
Last edited by Praeothmin
on Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.