Author Topic: Vode None.  (Read 26052 times)

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Eparavu

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2010, 04:02:52 PM »
Ah, there is always that. I will get it up when I can, my free time is too sparse and scattered to write.

No hate here, only creeper love.
Watching you through your windows.
Staring from a distance.
Always watching.
Always loving.
ALWAYS.

Carnivore 1

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2010, 11:39:26 PM »
Hi Everyone!

Let me throw something in here. I'd love to read some of your stuff but I'm WAY busy.

So do me a favor, ignore Drake and his mouth, sometimes he opens it without asking permission and strange things fall out, like rude comments when he's not intending it.
The  purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in
defense. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more
important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.

Drake and I agreed on something. Somebody get the camera out to capture the moment.

Eparavu

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2010, 11:46:59 PM »
I appreciate the attention. Soon as I finish making a livable environment out of my basement I'll be back to constant updates so, look forward to that ^_^.
And I can live with Drake, at least he's a reader :p

No hate here, only creeper love.
Watching you through your windows.
Staring from a distance.
Always watching.
Always loving.
ALWAYS.

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #43 on: August 02, 2010, 08:37:28 AM »
Real life is a shabuir.
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- SWTOR
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.

Drake Vhett

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2010, 11:23:57 AM »
Hey, at least I don't have a high pitched voice.


Drake is flamboyant, and may go over the top, but if he were not that extrovert then who would move things along?

Vlet Hansen

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2010, 11:28:06 PM »
Smooth, Drake...
It's Indiana Vlet!
Stealing text walls everywhere!

Eparavu

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2010, 08:07:29 PM »
   Bangor sat alone in the middle of Geonosis' dry, red surface. He stood up in the trench he had dug himself, and peered from the camo tarp covering it. Nobody out there. Nobody in here. For the third time in his life, Bangor was entirely alone. He sat, and popped a food cube into his mouth. It was coated in the red dust that blanketed the planet, as was he.  He closed his eyes, tried to numb himself from his loss. The food cube was gritty, and tasted foul. He decided it was better than the nothingness of food cube classic. It took his mind off the loss of his mates, and his rage at their pilot. Between his unamicable attitude to piloting them to their dooms, he blamed the worst of it on Barrel.
   This was the third time he had lost his squad. The final survivor from a horrific training accident left him alone, until reassignment and acceptance by another squad. Then not once, but twice, this infernal planet had taken his entire unit from him. One would think that such events would make one numb to the loss, but it only seemed to dig a deeper gouge in a wound that would not heal. He closed his eyes, tried to remember what his mandalorian training sergeant told him: "Don't waste your time mourning your comrades on the field of war. Their deaths leave you with that much more responsibility to the mission. The best way to honor them is to put all of your attention towards that to which they gave their lives." Bangor slid his helmet back on, opening his eyes as the blue T lit up the dark trench. He had a job to do.

* * * * * * * *

   The stars sure are lovely. I lay on the rocky outcropping on which I landed, staring up at them. I have tried for hours to sleep, but it won't come for me. My leg feels better already; I stand and stretch. I am loath to leave the still-warm rock surface, as the night air is bitter cold and my damaged helmet seems to have set my climate control haywire. My face and torso are stiff and numb from chill, while my legs and feet are like plastoid containers of warm clone soup.
   I sigh, and begin looking for a way back up to my ship. There has to be something there I can salvage, some way I can call for help. My comm is useless. The mountain is an infernal spire of red stone, jagged points and, I would imagine a few traps. They know they have company now.
   I haul myself over ledges, up slopes and around cliff faces. This is grueling. I remind myself that if I ever make it back to safety, I am requisitioning a jet pack. That has to be how these mandalorians are getting around. I've overheard the stories, even saw Jango Fett once. Something like that would certainly be ideal for traversing this crimson hell scape. I crane my head around, straining my eyes and ears for any sign of armored death wafting in like a malevolent odor.
   I clamber over another ledge, and spot something in the gloom. I freeze, trying to further acclimate my eyes to the darkness.
"A ladder?" I wonder aloud.
   I could be wrong about the jet packs, I decide. The ladder is made of a heavy rope, tied several feet up. Convenient. I am all to aware that the overhanging cliff looms far out of my reach. One hand over another, I make my way up. My fingers are freezing cold; I hate this planet. Finally the ladder ends, and I climb up, grateful for not being molested while climbing.
   It takes less than a second to realize I am right where I stood a few short hours ago: the smouldering wreckage of my larty is still filling the area with black smoke. I glance up to the peak where the red mandalorian stood, with the rocket launcher. I have never been so relieved to find myself all alone. My eyes drift involuntarily in the direction the unfortunate two commandos ran. Katarn armor is certainly durable, but anything that could drop a transport from the sky certainly made a bigger mess of a wet, no matter the armor. Nothing they had would be useful.
   I wander over to my ravaged vessel, and find the third commando, the first death. I can see that the missile hit us in the front right. That explains why I took the second most damage, next to the unfortunate commando before me, his body a mess of plastoid, blood and rent metal. I waste no time mourning him; he is lucky to have lived as he had, with friends to die beside. I begin turning over rubble, frantically searching for his weapon. My luck has apparently run out, as everything useful has been liberated from his body by his killers. With not even a food cube to my name, my situation grows more grim.
   I tentatively climb back inside the husk of my ship, in hopes of finding a boon. The entire thing has been cleaned out, even going so far as removing the components of the console. I never knew mandalorians could be such scavengers. I turn to leave, hopeless, when a metallic glint catches my eye. Beneath my seat sits some forgotten item, passed over by my attackers. But what is it? It is not immediately recognizable as something from the ship, perhaps it is a container left behind by the commandos.
   I drop to my hands and knees, straining to view the mysterious object. No sooner do I reach for it, than it opens with an audible pop. Only then do I realize that in my fevered search for salvage, I stumbled onto something left behind intentionally.
   With a hiss, the tempting trap sprays a slimy blue liquid all over my face, my hands, even my knees where they touch the floor.
   "Awarrghaablaaarb"
   I shake my head, straining to spit out the foul goo and shake it from my face. However, it does not show any intention of releasing me, and I soon find I am rapidly growing more adhered to the floor of my ruined craft. In my struggle, I have now attached my forehead to my forearms, trapped in an embarrassing fetal position.
   I can hardly breathe, as the substance locks me in place, can not hear the gentle fwoosh sounds outside, nor that of four boots on geonosian stone. I can, however, hear a surprisingly female voice nearby, growing closer.
   "--can hardly believe, you clever little shabuir. You were right. We caught one. I wouldn't think these clones would fall for that. I'll be back shortly, with a guest. Tell them I said to prepare a force cage and my usual implements."
   I fought to break free of the incarceration I brought upon myself, but will not budge. There is a hiss, as a spray canister dispensing something, and suddenly I can remove my face from my arms. A pair of hands none-too-gently tear my helmet from my head. I open my mouth to speak, but don't know what to say. I feel the bite of a hypodermic in the back of my neck, and swear.
   I am possessed by a floaty feeling, as though I fly again without a ship, coasting above the ground with out worry. Then there is darkness.

No hate here, only creeper love.
Watching you through your windows.
Staring from a distance.
Always watching.
Always loving.
ALWAYS.

Mereel Skirata

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2010, 08:53:52 PM »
Loved this chapter!   Clever Bev'ika!  :D



Bangor is becoming an awesome character.... fear him  >:D
Resident Costumer.

"Now boys.. no comparing verp sizes...."

Eparavu

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2010, 09:05:25 PM »
Hahaha.... yeah, I have plans for that one.

No hate here, only creeper love.
Watching you through your windows.
Staring from a distance.
Always watching.
Always loving.
ALWAYS.

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2010, 08:16:48 AM »
Did I mention that this is the best installment yet?


Oh, wait, I did. :D
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- SWTOR
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.

Eparavu

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #50 on: August 10, 2010, 12:39:30 PM »
*Mimicks 2d voice* "You always say thaaat..."

No hate here, only creeper love.
Watching you through your windows.
Staring from a distance.
Always watching.
Always loving.
ALWAYS.

Eparavu

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #51 on: August 18, 2010, 09:32:53 PM »
   Bangor scanned the wind-blasted surface of the mountain, searching for any sign of the mandalorians. Intel was determined that the enemy lab was located in the premises. He had no idea whether it was on the mountain, under it, or sitting in the open on the other side of the thing. The wind blew, and for a moment he thought he saw something. He centered on the area, waiting.
   There it was again. A flash between obscuring crags, a maroon offset on the flat red of the planet. Through brief flashes of movement, Bangor quickly determined the being's destination to be the cliff on which they crashed and his brothers died.       
   He could not see atop the cliff; the outcropping obscured his vision. He checked his equipment without looking, began unfastening his cover without looking away.
   Before long the figure reappeared, standing at the edge, staring down. Something white was slung across what was obviously the red mandalorian. Bangor absently ran his fingers over the various charred areas of his armor. So much fire. He had no choice but to retreat. He wished he had died instead; if the squad sniper were in his place, he could plant a shot right in the t-visor from here. Poor Joker, he thought glumly. Poor everyone.
   The mandalorian, much to his surprise, stepped lightly from the cliff, plummeting straight to a larger ring of rock, which surrounded the mountain's bottom in an effect not unlike a felucian mushroom turned upside-down.
   Halfway down the separatist warrior lifted its legs and activated a jet pack, illuminating a small sphere in the umbral sandscape. Bangor immediately recognized the figure carried as his pilot, Barrel. He was obviously alive, but unconscious. His limbs were slack and swayed gently; were he dead, early decomp would have rendered him rigid.
   Bangor stood in a crouch, his head peeking up from the trench. One hand was on his binoculars, the other on the edge of his camouflage tarp.
    His blood pounded in his ears, barely checked fury screaming like a mental patient in the back of his head. It spurred him to lurch from his hole, attack the arrogant mandalorian whilst it was unsuspecting. He forced himself to wait, to find out where it was going.
   The jet pack cut a few feet from the ground; the mandalorian landed in a crouch, squatting to minimize the impact.
   "What the shab are you doing?" Bangor wondered aloud. He was aware of the irony of the situation: swearing at his enemy in mando'a.
   As if to reply, the red figure turned to face the rock wall, still with Barrel over its back, and walked calmly forward as a section of wall gave it berth. The enemy, with hostage, calmly walked into the fissure, which closed immediately.
   Bangor sprang from his dug-in position and broke into a dead run toward the mountain. Now he knew where the target lay. His mission was clear: kill the mandalorian, destroy the facility, and possibly rescue Barrel. Now was his chance, to fulfill his duty to his squad, the republic, and a clone he did not even know.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   My name is Zero. I am a reasonably mellow, cheerful clone. I am five years old in galactic standard years, and learning to be a pilot for the republic. I am calmly enjoying my lunch. One of the rare days when we had free time on Kamino, was when the cuy'val dar have a meeting and the kaminoans were all busy. I took the time to get an extra meal, a small catharsis for my lot in life.
   "Zero!" I turned my head as Barrel came racing in. He looked panicked.
   "What is it?"
"Follow me! Quickly! We need to get to our dorms, fast."
   Barrel was my only friend on Kamino; another pilot, like me, the only company I have had in the five years of my existence. We would often sit together for meals, try to sit near one another during flash training. I can't imagine what it would be like to live here alone. He was always stern and serious, and acted a bit sardonic. His cynicism went right over me though, and I often forced a smile from him when nothing else could. He always told me I need to calm down, to 'act my age'. I reminded him that we were only five; this always brought the argument to a stalemate, but never a conclusion. He still insisted I should be more serious.
   Today however, his stoic disposition is overridden by a palpable aura of panic.
   "We need to hurry, Zero. There's no time."
   I follow him back to the dormitories, where he begins stripping off his uniform. I open my mouth to speak, confused.
   He interrupts me first: "Take off yours too. Quickly!"
   I oblige, filled with anxiety and fear. "What kind of game are you playing at, Barrel?"
   He hands me his uniform with identification insignia inscribed, and snatches mine from my hands. He begins redressing in my clothes, the garment that verifies my identity.
   "I'm not Barrel now, you are."
   "What?"
   He grabs me by the shoulders, and gives me a long hard look. "Whatever happens, no matter who asks, you are Barrel. Act like Barrel, think like I would, talk like me. You know me well enough to become me."
   "But why, Bar-- er, Zero?" I asked, playing along.
   Just then, as if to answer my question, a kaminoan technician glides into the room, gazing about with its large, haunting eyes. They settle on the pair of us.
   "Ah, there you are, ct-1042." I realize it meant my designation, currently displayed by my only friend in the world.
   Zero glares at me, conveying a silent message to say nothing. When his face turned to the kaminoan, it transformed into a portrait of devil-may-care nonchalance. 'Is that what I really look like?' I ask myself, scowling.
   "Yes ma'am!" He replies.
   The kaminoan's voice is like a surgical knife. Cold, sterile, and precise. "You have been selected for reconditioning," it coos softly the horrible phrase, "please come with me."
   My only friend in the world looked at me sorrowfully, then stood up straight and marched out of the room.
   I am Barrel. And I am a bitter, lonely clone.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

   I wake with a start, and scream involuntarily. I am sweating profusely, despite being, as I notice, naked. I am strapped to a metal table, surrounded by bare rock walls. Any curiosities I have are drowned out by the tremors of my nightmare. Whatever I was drugged with, it dredged up things I'd rather leave buried. The lighting is low, but not so much as to obscure the details of my environs. That is not to say, however, that there are any finer details. Just rock, all around me. Occasionally a power line snakes across the ground, but by and large there is only the metal table to which I am affixed, and a large metal door.
   I wonder what they did with my armor? Not that it matters, really. It is not as though I would have any use for it, damaged beyond practicality. I feel a pang of mourning when I recall the state my craft was in. It is funny that as I lay naked, likely waiting to be tortured and killed, my thoughts are for my armor and ruined ship.
   My time to think is short, however, as the metal door slides open. I expect to see one or both of the mandalorians that assaulted me, but instead am approached by a battledroid, in turn escorting a medical droid. The cylindrical medical unit glides over to my table, sinister implements twitching in a disconcerting manner. One mechanical arm raises, brandishing a readied hypodermic.
"What is that?!" I shriek.
The battledroid's vocabulator croaks: "It is just bacta."
"Are you serious?"
"Roger roger."
   With no choice in the matter, I accept the injection. The med droid jams the syringe into my neck; I flinch,  not bothering to act tough for some tinnies.
   "Why are you bothering to let me convalesce?" I inquire at the sentry droid. It stares back with its empty, dead photoreceptors. I have to wonder if, somewhere in its complex mind of metal and electricity, it is the same as I am. A conscript in another man's war, a pitiful existence that never asked to be.
"Answer me!" I gurgle at the droid, straining my bare neck against my restraint. I finally look like I have always felt: the republic's trained beast, collared and restrained. "Are you going to torture me? Keep me healthy as I have to be to maximize your liberty? Well have fun you separatist bastards, I don't know anything! This infernal republic has us grown like crops, harvested to be thrown like expendable ammunition at their foes! Then they can't be bothered to tell us even why we're doing it! So come on, have at me! Just make sure I'm dead when you're done finding out nothing, I am getting out!"
   I realize I am ranting at a pair of droids. I don't expect a response.
"Roger roger." The droid replies.
   Before I can verbally lash out at it again, the door slides open, and the mandalorians partly responsible for my current position stride into the room. To my surprise, the taller one removes its helmet. I am shocked to see the cascade of brown hair that emerges, taken aback to find that my attacker and captor is not only a woman, but a fairly young one, and more than reasonably attractive to a clone.
   She clips her helmet to her belt; the shorter one beside her shifts his feet. He doesn't move otherwise. The female mando looks me up and down; despite having spent countless hours nude among other clones, republic officers, and kaminoans, I felt suddenly naked for the first time.
   "An interrogation is still on the menu," she begins. I have never heard a voice like hers. So full of warmth, and ice, simultaneously. So human. I have heard female jedi speak, but they are invariably monotonous detached. As if they are so afraid of commitment as to conform their tone to their garb. Suddenly my neck and wrist restraints are loosened; I am more comfortable, but still immobilized.  "But I think we have more important things to talk about first."
   Without warning, the shockwaves of an explosion rock the entire room.
"We will have to talk fast," she adds, "it looks like your friend finally followed the bait."

No hate here, only creeper love.
Watching you through your windows.
Staring from a distance.
Always watching.
Always loving.
ALWAYS.

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2010, 09:55:24 PM »
LIKELIKELIKELIKE


Except for that Zero bit.

I hate you for that :P
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- SWTOR
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.

Drake Vhett

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2010, 11:21:05 PM »
My favorite part was the bit with Zero. Helped flesh out the character and show us why Barrel is like he is. But then I have a much more refined taste than you Ky'ram Parjai'Kote the twentieth.


Drake is flamboyant, and may go over the top, but if he were not that extrovert then who would move things along?

Eparavu

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2010, 11:24:27 PM »
I am so glad someone could appreciate that part.
The input means a lot.
Next part is the last one! The end of Vode None, the genesis of many other stories.

No hate here, only creeper love.
Watching you through your windows.
Staring from a distance.
Always watching.
Always loving.
ALWAYS.

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #55 on: August 19, 2010, 08:01:17 AM »
Yeah, at least Barrel understands what I meant by "I hate it".

Meaning I liked it, I'm just teasing him for it.
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- SWTOR
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.

Eparavu

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #56 on: August 31, 2010, 09:32:21 PM »
   Bangor squatted in the darkness, frantically tapping at his data pad. This facility was small, but whatever they were doing here was of absurd significance to the CIS. Try as he might, he could not seem to penetrate their firewalls to view their files, nor could he access the camera system. the place was sealed up tighter than a holocron. Electronically, at least. He had managed to snoop around the entrance and find the waste chute, where he was currently huddled, thanking the republic for air filtration systems. As he worked, he allowed himself to daydream back to happier days, such as when he had gotten his tongue stuck in aforementioned ventilation system. The squad laughed at him for days.
   Which squad was that? The first? Second? Not the third, certainly. He reluctantly allows himself to pose the question to nobody. He was loathe to admit that with each loss and the eroding influence of time, his memories blurred and bled into one another. It didn't matter. Nothing matters except the here and now, the mission at hand. Finally satisfied that he was getting nowhere, Bangor unplugged his data pad from the data line and replaced the bit of panelling he had removed to get to it.
   What was the next move? Think. He could set a small charge to provide entry into the 'freshers, but that would draw attention. No... what he needed was a distraction. Bangor placed the small entry charge to the drain form the 'freshers, set it on a five second delay. He then reached to his belt and thumbed the now grime-covered detonator. With more enjoyment than one would expect, he pressed the button, activating the massive 'door charge' as he called it, placed right at the entrance to the facility.
   The world went on spin-cycle for a moment, as the shockwave threw him to his back. He was grimly reminded of when Barrel was responsible for something similar. Bangor had heard of clones with bad attitudes, but Barrel was a jerk. Still, so long as he was a clone fighting for the republic, he was a brother.
   The second charge popped a shallow echo of the first, showering his visor with horrid organic refuse. Light shone through the hole he had made, and he charged through without hesitation. The time for plans was gone, from this point was naught but hope and improvisation.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

   A few moments prior, a man dressed in a lab coat staggered into the refreshers, drained of color and visibly horrified.
"Ohnohnohnoimgonnadie" He panted, breathless. He had just started his shift when the front door erupted in a shower of flame and rocky shrapnel. Without hesitation he had ducked into the nearest room, to hide. Nobody would look for him here. Then came another bang, smaller, but much closer. He realized it was a few feet away. Slowly, with stricken face, he turned his gaze toward the stall that was responsible.
"Jyural? Tell me that was you man." His voice broke as panic overtook reason, and he backed toward the wall. He could hear droids clomping about in the hall, preparing to defend the facility.
   The scientist involuntarily soaked his uniform as the stall door burst open, and gave berth to a monster streaked in black and red and smelling of horror.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

   Bangor was in full kill-mode, and loving every minute of it. To his pleasure, the droid sentries were investigating the main entry, and never expected a filth-streaked commando to burst from the 'freshers, firing his deece and generally causing a scene. He had equipped the ion attachment to his gun, and as a result the droids fell before him by the handful. He could hear more approaching, and in preparation closed the distance to one  thumb-shaped super b*droid that yet stood against him in the cavernous entry. He ducked under its firearm-arm, ejected his vibroblade, and uppercut hard into the droid's photoreceptors. He withdrew his arm, and immediately shoved his data pad into the droid's access port. Within the few seconds that reinforcements arrived, he had stripped the droid's programming, leaving only fire and walk on automatic. As foes marched stiffly around the bend from the hall, they were met with Bangor walking slowly behind the droid, firing his gun over its shoulder as it shot blindly at its brethren.
   At that moment, if one could silence the array of blaster-fire and the clanking of mechanical limbs, they would hear only Bangor's maniacal laughter echoing throughout the reaches of the hidden facility. It was a mad, bellowing laugh, but a small change in perspective would imply that he was crying. Yet still he fought on, long after the droid and his weapon both exhausted their munition, long after portions of his Katarn armor was gradually burned away by the defending droids.  One eye glared out from a hole seared into the visor, wide and unblinking.
   Scientists, droids and staff fell before his onslaught, which was unhindered until a door opened at his approach to reveal the mandalorian pair that had murdered his squad. They seemed shocked to see him, insofar as an emotionless t-visor will portray. He dove toward the red one first, driving his vibroblade into its throat, then ripping it out with a gush and a gurgle. The smaller brown one stepped back in horror, but did not get far as Bangor tackled it. Pinned face-to-ground, the armored figure struggled helplessly as Bangor, fueled by rage and blood lust, firmly gripped the front of the helmet as well as the underside of the chin, covered by a neck-seal. He roared his vengeance at his foe and twisted until he heard a snap, and then for a moment after. He stood, looking defiantly into the t-visors staring back at him, and he swore to himself that the inanimate visages looked satisfyingly lifeless.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

   I open my eyes, and blink furiously. Why was I asleep? Oh, not again! I've been drugged! That has to be the case; I never dream if I am drugged. A small consolation to the situation. I look around: bare rock, one security door. My, what decor. In its simplicity it reminds me of Kamino. I would rather be underground than back at that infernal hydropolis. Is that even a word? Beats me, but I am keeping it.
   I try to stand, and quickly find myself tethered to the wall. Well, that is just keen. I can not remember what happened before I woke up... they must have found some use for me. A glance at my cellmates sends a cold lance of fear through my gut as to what I may be used for. A few feet away, there sit huddled together a pair of humanoids, clad in the same patient-garb I wear. They appear to be a young male and an adult female, but I can't be sure. The younger one, with short-cut brown hair, has bandages wrapped around his eyes. They are soaked through with blood; I am horrified to consider why.    
   The pair sit in silence, not moving or looking around. Occasionally there is an explosion from beyond the door, and the three of us face it, not knowing what to expect. Each time, the sound seems to be growing closer.    
   My head feels like a fog, slowly clearing as the medication wears off. I am groggy, and having recollection problems, but I feel oddly well. I strain my mind to help me remember, but it seems like a far off light in the fog. I bury my face in my hands. This is miserable. I have been captured, and any minute now the fighting will be over, and business as usual will resume. A part of me considers that it beats being a lackey to the republic.
   The blaster fire dies, the explosions stop. Somebody must have won. The door slides open, and I stand, ready to face whoever came through it.
   To my shock, and chagrin, 'whoever' happened to be the one surviving commando. His armor was positively riddled with burn marks, entire missing sections, blood, and what appeared (though I am loathe to believe) to be poo. My imagination whirs comically at the possible explanations. It jars loose a bit of my memory, from before my blackout. Ah, that is right. Now I remember.
   "NER VOD!" The commando howls at me. He spreads his arms as though he were about to hug me. I back away, and put my hands up. What was with him? He seemed a touch... touched. For starters, nobody was ever that happy to see me. Secondly, he is lacking the DC-17 ubiquitous to commandos, and is instead wielding a severed droid arm by the wrist.
   "I will free you with haste, comrade! Then we will finish our mission for the republic!"
   He hobbled with evident exhaustion over to the control panel by the door. The nearby medical droid waved its various limbs menacingly; without looking, he kicked it aside. Seconds later, I was released from my bonds. I glance at my cellmates. They do not regard me.
   "A few things first, Bangor... for starters, see if you can locate a means of escape with that console."
   He claps his gauntleted hands together excitedly, then turns back to the controls.
   "Secondly," I resume, as I bend over the prone medical droid. I grasp it around the rim of what I choose to consider its head. "I'm done with the republic."
   He turns to face me, a touch too slowly, as I catch a glimpse of his one exposed eye, wide with insanity, before I swing the droid into the side of his head. He grunts and lands in a heap. I drop the flailing medical droid, and stare at Bangor's unconscious form.
   "Lastly, I told you once before. I am NOT your VOD."
   I hear feet shuffling behind me. I turn to see Hettyc Talyc Eparavu releasing herself from her bonds. She claps slowly.
   "Well done Barrel. Nice improvisation. Bev'ika, are you ready?"
   The smaller figure nods, but does not remove his bandages. Unsettling. I am beginning to wonder what kind of folks I have thrown my lot in with, but there is little for it now. I follow them out of the room and down the hall, taking in the carnage wrought by the mad commando. Dismembered droids lay scattered everywhere, and in some areas huddled groups of personnel look to have been brutally executed.
   "What a monster." Hettyc says what I am thinking. "Good thing we used decoys; If we tried to fight him we would likely have died. I might have been able to handle him, but I can't risk my sons' lives." She opens a door to a room full of lockers, and looks back at me. "I mean you too, Bar'ika."
   I avert my gaze while they change into their armor, and ponder what she said. I could feel myself flush involuntarily at the words. The last thing I expected to find on Geonosis was a family. The final wispy clouds of the drug gone, I can remember clearly her offer to join them, to give up my world of plastic slaves pretending to be mandalorian, to be an authentic, proud warrior of iron. I asked her, in my infinite cynicism, what she could possibly want with me. I am no warrior. I couldn't even keep my ship from being shot down, and piloting is all I know. She laughed, that warm, non-mocking chuckle. Said she could teach me. But that I had survived their attempt on my life was the only prerequisite. And my desire for a better life.
   I turn back around, to find them more or less outfitted in their iron armor. A chill runs up my spine as the twin t-visors turn toward me, mouthless faces whispering promises of death. An increasingly familiar voice breaks the mysticism.
   "Sorry Bar'ika, I don't have any armor for you... yet." She tosses me a uniform, with the CIS emblem shining from its insignia. I pause only for a moment, feeling the gravity of my actions. Then I shed my prisoner's garb, and stepped one leg at a time into my new role in life.
   "Good. Now let's get to the ship." She leads us toward the opposite end of the facility, far from the scenes of mortality and betrayal.
* * * * * * * * * * *
   Bangor stirred. His mind flashed with images and impulses. He did not think. He did not hesitate. He stood, and raced out into the hall. He would find the mandalorians. He would find the traitor. He would kill them all.

* * * * * * * * * * *

   I stare wistfully up at the LAAT sitting serenely amidst various separatist vehicles. Hettyc presses a button on her gauntlet, causing the hangar doors to open with a rumbling and grinding of stone. I turn to face her, smiling.
   "My favorite. How ever did you know?"
   Hettyc stuffed some weapons into a bag and slung it over her shoulder. Her son, Beviin, stood with his arms crossed in silence, bringing only the swords on his back. I remember all too clearly being smashed in the face with it.
   "We don't like to let good kit go to waste. Yours was a necessary loss. Am I forgiven?"
   I cannot see her face, but I can picture the smile underneath the helmet. I slide the hatch open and move to the cockpit.
   "Hello there," I say, caressing the controls. "My name is Barrel. pleased to meet you."
   I sit down and fire up the engines. The larty hums happily. I can sense we will work well together. Behind me, Hettyc has loaded her weapons and sat down. Beviin is climbing in behind her. His head is drooped, but suddenly snaps to attention.
   "Hurry vod, we need to go now." He slams the hatch on the larty shut.
   I don't question the creepy little squirt, lifting off and preparing to fly far away from the place. According to Hettyc, there business there was concluded.
   We gain a few feet's height, and I punch the thrusters. In a matter of seconds, we are sailing out over the red geonosian surface. It feels so good to fly again. I glance back, and see Beviin staring at the hatch.
   "Problem?" I shout back at him. He nods.
   "We have company."
   Hettyc stands to join her son, producing a flechette gun. Without warning, the hatch opens and a screaming Bangor is clawing his way inside. Beviin tries to kick at him, but his foot is grabbed by the intruder.
   "BAAAARREEEEEEELL!" Bangor howls. "TRAIIITOOOOR!" He slides backward more from the ship as we gain speed. He is clutching Beviin's foot, the owner frantically swiping at Bangor with his sword. Before he can drag my new brother from the craft, Hettyc drops the flechette gun and grabs her son's free arm with both of hers.
   "BAAAARREEEEEELL!" Bangor yowls. I punch the autopilot and scramble to my feet. I'm sick of being limited to driving while others fight. I grab the flechette gun from the ground, and find the trigger. I face the gaping hatch, at the red dust billowing by and the rabid clone trying to kill my family.
   I point the gun more or less at his face.
   "Get off my ship."
   I pull the trigger, and there is a flash as the slug thrower sprays its munition at the target. Some pings off Beviin's shin plate, off the floor, or sails out into the open. However, my aim was just good enough that most of it impacted with Bangor with a loud pop. The commando released his captive handhold and plummeted from the ship. I never looked back to see where he landed.

[I I IoIOIE<))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))> Epilogue 

   The room was dark. Through the one-way transparisteel they could see the clone sitting patiently in a chair as he was asked questions about his mission. One figure picked a bit of lint from its robes, then spoke.
   "What are we seeing here, general?"
   The other figure replied: "RC-4334. First went by Tratto, then his last squad convinced him to change it to Bangor. He has failed to respond to either. Oddly for a clone trooper, he is preferring his numerical designation."
   They watched Bangor report his mission. He was calm, but his eyes held a feral rage behind them.
    "It took us days to find him; he wandered the desert for an undetermined amount of time before highjacking a separatist patrol vehicle and sending out a distress beacon. When we picked him up, he was in an uncanny state: near mortally wounded, covered in blood and filth, and his armor almost completely destroyed. Yet somehow he still managed to not only survive, but succeed in escaping. We have a truly unique specimen on our hands."
   The other figure fidgeted. "He seems a bit... unstable."
   "Which is entirely beneficial, I think. His experiences will serve him well when he gets back from his ARC training."
   "ARC training? Are you mad?" The first figure found a loose string in his robes and tugged it nervously.
   "Think about it. ARCS are prized for their independent and creative thought. I think this one may prove to be a paragon of that virtue."
   "He is insane!"
   "He is the perfect amount of sane for what I have planned for him: he will be a top clone hunter."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

   Sarlacc squad sat in the felucian foliage, silently chewing their food rations. The past few days had been hard, and pickup was late. Morale was dropping, but none of them wanted to say what was on their minds.
   Charge looked at his brothers, and opened his mouth to speak. However, he was interrupted by a sound they all knew too well. The alien funguses and massive plants shook with a familiar sound, a sound of salvation, of familiarity and safety. They stood as one, and celebrated in their own way, cheering, taking off their helmets, hugging their brothers as the larty drew near. They waved down the craft they so longed to see, but soon realized something was amiss.
   The craft hovered, and did not lower. Instead of dropping sideways and opening the hatch, it swiveled to face them, revealing the CIS emblem painted over its insignia. Behind the transparisteel windshield, a figure with their face but clad in blue-and-black armor waved cheerfully at them, then pressed a button and released the missiles.

                                       His name is Barrel. He is a happy, fulfilled clone.

No hate here, only creeper love.
Watching you through your windows.
Staring from a distance.
Always watching.
Always loving.
ALWAYS.

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #57 on: August 31, 2010, 10:08:32 PM »
...Dude...

You...

You...

Shab you for being so awesome.
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Mereel Skirata

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #58 on: September 01, 2010, 11:26:26 PM »
Ho.........ly.................CRAP   


I dunno what to say dude....
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Eparavu

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Re: Vode None.
« Reply #59 on: September 01, 2010, 11:32:22 PM »

No hate here, only creeper love.
Watching you through your windows.
Staring from a distance.
Always watching.
Always loving.
ALWAYS.