Author Topic: Hope Squad: Stone-Cold (BETA Chapters)  (Read 12605 times)

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Laney97

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Hope Squad: Stone-Cold (BETA Chapters)
« on: December 19, 2011, 04:45:48 PM »
Ah, yes. A new fanfiction.net account brings a fresh start. So, I am posting beta chapters of my new story, named Hope Squad. A RC story.

I will update each chapter with improvments you suggest. Once I feel happy to go, I'll post the full story here:

PoetForLibertas

If no one replies, I'll just use this as a staging area for my chapters. To see them out of LibreOffice Writer, basically. So, I hope you enjoy Hope Squad!

Prologue: The Dark Times (Note: Version 2.3)

God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine

CIS Operating Base Alpha-Delta, Zero Hour, Clone Wars, Geonosis


Republic Commandos were born to fight and bred to die for the Republic. They were cold-hearted, nothing more than killing machines. Stone-cold. That was what most people who knew commandos thought they were. They were wrong.

"I have a bad feeling about this...”

Ky'ram – a name that was Mandalorian for Death – otherwise known as RC-7340, looked through the door he had just blown open. He was the squads Demo expert. What he saw through the smoke, ash, and rubble was not good; Super Battle Droids. And lots of them.

His squad engaged the SBDs, almost immediately, but more came quickly to reinforce the already strong front line. All of the squad were concentrating fire where the squad leader had designated. It was in the middle of the droids, where most of them were positioned. One knelt down to fire at Ky'ram, and he darted for cover beside his squad mate.

“Ky'ram! Cover me, I'm going to call for support!” shouted the squads leader, RC-2573 – Triple, as he was known to his squad because of his last number – as he changed comm frequency. “Libertas, this is Hope Squad. Requesting immediate support on these co-ordinates. Enemy strength estimated at... three hundred. Low on everything.”

Triple kept repeating the message, but no response came. This was the squads first mission, but that was same for the entire Grand Army of the Republic. Geonosis was just red sand with bugs flying around to Ky'ram. Even Datto, or RC-1092, wasn't happy on the planet. And he wasn't afraid of anything, being the sniper. Then you had the last squad member; Shebs. He got his name for being a pain in the backside with his slicing skills. Given the nickname by his training sergeant, he didn't understand at the time. When he finally did... he didn't care anyway.

Hope Squads mission was to capture an enemy outpost, in the hope of strengthening the main assault from a fortified base. And even for four elite commandos it was not an easy task. It would take at least three squads, and even more regular troopers.

The battle continued, and Ky'ram knew the entire squad would have to perform as good as the training sergeants favourite squad; Theta. And that wouldn't be easy. They passed the Killing House almost as well as Delta.

Datto and Shebs split up from Ky'ram and Triple, getting up close and personal. Datto liked that more than anyone.

“Sir, man down!” screamed Datto, shocking Ky'ram. Ky'ram looked towards him, but couldn't see anything, “get off me you bug-freak. Take that... and that – ahhh!”

“Datto! No!”

Both links went dead. Ky'ram turned to see Triple, and knew what had happened; Shebs and Datto were probably dead. Triple just shook his head. Ky'ram didn't even have time to get angry, as smoke filled the room just as a response came from Libertas. “Hope Squad, this is Libertas. LAAT/i gunship inbound. ETA ten. Delay due to resistance in sector, how copy?”

“We need them now, sir!” Ky'ram said, as he suddenly became angry and unfocused. They had just lost there brothers – men who he could never become closer to – and now they had to hold out in smoke, dirt and rubble with low enemy and millions of enemies for 10 minutes. “Sir! We only have two left. Me and Triple! We cannot hold out much longer!”

“Hang in there, Hope, we are coming!” replied the officer frantically and sadly, “Hang in there!”

But Ky'ram had been over ran by the word “hope”, which was ironic. His last thought was on Triple, and all he saw of him was an SBD firing a rocket at him. It hit, Triple fell. An impact of something hard hit Ky'ram and he fell into what he thought was death.

He awoke unsteadily. Eyes unfocused, hurting him as he tried to keep them open. He pushed a rock out of the way, knowing he was alive or in some twisted afterlife. More rubble was atop of him, so light he hadn't noticed, and he pushed it aside, piece by piece. It was still bright outside; light seeped through the hole Ky'ram had blasted, but it was dim. As he rose, he saw a bright white light hit his eyes, making them burn. He put his hand out to shield them, before he heard someone shout, “We've got a live one!”

He was the last member of Hope Squad.

That realisation hit him like a punch to the gut, and a knife had just been plunged into him and twisted. He couldn't live without his brothers. They were his first memory, his family, his team. As he was taken on the Gunship, Ky'ram didn't take in his surroundings. He was detached from the situation, knowing he couldn't redo the mission. Knowing he could have fought harder. His training sergeant – a man named Kal Skirata, a Mando Merc – would have understood, though. He wondered where he was, what he was dong with all the credits he earned from the clone program.

That'd have to wait. The future was now fragile for him. What is a clone without his brothers? Ky'ram thought, What do I do? That was what I fought this battle for. To make sure they lived. Well, no matter what the result for the Republic was, I lost/

He knew what was next. The Kaminoans had told him what happened to any Commando whose squad had been mostly killed. He'd be assigned a new set of Commandos, who lost there squad too. And there had to be someone who had lost there brothers.

Ky'ram promised himself and his dead brothers he'd keep the name as Hope Squad, to keep there memory alive. And to have hope. Pain was a funny thing. It wasn't always physical, and sometimes it would never heal. Ky'ram suspected that if his pain did, it'd take a long time. And he now understood what war felt like. It wasn't what he was trained to believe.

The light was a searchlight attached to a troopers DC-15, or at least that's what Ky'ram could make out as his vison was still blured. The welder switched it off as another trooper kept his weight as Ky'ram couldn't support himself fully yet. It was sunset; the battle had ended, and it looked like Republic victory. More gunships flew past with the high-pitched noise. Troopers stood guard of landing zones and an AT-TE was visible in the distance. Waves of heat lifted from the ground, making Ky'ram feel ill. He was half dragged, half carried to the gunship, which was waiting a few metres away from what looked like armour. Ky'ram didn't want to check.

Feeling lost in the dark was something Ky'ram had never experienced, but as he lifted off in the LAAT/i, he knew what it felt like to be alone.

Then his comlink activated with a click, “Anyone there?” said a voice, “This is Triple. Hello?!”

Stunned, Ky'ram staggered backward, hitting another trooper. Was Triple still alive? “Triple? Can you hear me?”

“Anyone there? C'mon, reply!” Triple was becoming frightened. Ky'ram now knew Triple couldn't hear him.

Having relief of some kind flood him, he quickly moved towards the open cockpit. It was easier than he thought; the gunship was practically deserted, save for a few clone troopers and one other commando.

“Pilot,” said Ky'ram, “Can we turn back?” he knew that was a pathetic way to convince the pilot, “One of my squad mates is alive. I have him on the comm!”

“Can't turn back now, kid,” said the pilot without remorse. He was a mongrel, “Last lift off.”

“Turn back. Now! Or I'll show you a nice trick with a vibroblade!”

The pilot laughed, “Good luck, Shiny Boy.”

Ky'ram knew he was going to need it. Not to kill the hut'uun, but to survive without his brothers. He walked back to where he was sitting in silence, keeping his rage down. He felt the ship rock around as it left the atmosphere, just before the other commando tapped him.

“Sole survivor, hey?”

Ky'ram nodded, not looking at him. He didn't want to see a clones face, not yet. “Yeah. Hope Squad.”

The commando seemed to be more sympathetic than the pilot, “So am I. Bomb Squad. And can I point out the irony? It helps to realise these things when overcoming loss.”

Ky'ram finally looked at him. He looked exhausted and sad, just like Ky'ram himself, but Ky'ram was unsure how the commando knew how to overcome loss, “Sure. What's your name?”

“Double T. Don't ask why, 'cause I didn't.” the commando almost chuckled, “How 'bout you?”

“Ky'ram.”

“Oh. Again, can I point it out?”

“Sure. How do you think we'll get reassigned? By skills or just randomly?”

“Dunno. Probably randomly, 'cause the Jetti don't 'ave a clue,” the commando looked down, “Stupid di'kuts deployed us in the middle of nowhere. We 'adn't any air support. Got us killed, that did.”

The LAAT docked, and Ky'ram waited a moment before getting out. It was the Jedi. They deployed Hope Squad without any support, too. “You're right,” he said, “They don't.”

Update 2.0: More detail and fixes.

Update 2.1: More detail and typo fixes.

Update 2.2: Name fixes, few more details about the characters, chapter renamed Prologue.

Update 2.3 : Minor fixes, exploring emotions more, and a grudge begins to form!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 05:13:10 PM by PaperHats »

Shereshoy

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 05:12:29 PM »
God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine
Now where have I seen that before?

I see a few spots of rough grammar. Oh wow, 'there' is not possessive, 'their' is.
Interesting ending. A bit splotchy, but it's workable. Pretty good stuff.
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
-David Nicholas


You are two parts personality and one part confusion.- Eparavu

Delta 42

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 05:48:29 PM »
So far, I like it. But I think that the commandos could have had more original names.

Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 06:01:15 PM »
Now where have I seen that before?

I see a few spots of rough grammar. Oh wow, 'there' is not possessive, 'their' is.
Interesting ending. A bit splotchy, but it's workable. Pretty good stuff.

First: I think you know he answer.

Two: I didn't proof-read. As I said, all are beta chapters.

Third: Again, beta.

So far, I like it. But I think that the commandos could have had more original names.

Again, beta! Most of this will probably be gone.

Shereshoy

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 06:06:38 PM »
I could have just
^_^ like some people...
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
-David Nicholas


You are two parts personality and one part confusion.- Eparavu

Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 06:08:12 PM »
But you didn't. See?

Okay, I have started work on it. It used to take days to get a response on beta chapters (e-mailed them to a friend) so I am happy that I got a quick response.

Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 06:31:51 PM »
Right. I posted Version 2 because it's all I am doing for now.

Shereshoy

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 06:37:01 PM »
If I may suggest, you need some kind of transition between the 'light' and the gunship. But this is better.
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
-David Nicholas


You are two parts personality and one part confusion.- Eparavu

Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 06:39:51 PM »
I'm just tired (bad nights sleep. I got about ten minutes). It takes about a minute per sentence now.

Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 06:52:46 PM »
Scrap that. I'm writing today until i fall asleep. Update 2.1 up.

Shereshoy

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 06:57:04 PM »
Good job.
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
-David Nicholas


You are two parts personality and one part confusion.- Eparavu

Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2011, 06:58:52 PM »
Ah, crap. Noticed BIG mistake. I lost the actual file so this is what LibreOffice recovered. Obviously, it didn't recover all of it.

Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2011, 07:06:19 PM »
Okay, I re-wrote what I could remmeber the best I could, but I can't keep my eyes open. So, maybe more later.

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2011, 09:48:33 PM »
I love it how you spelled Kyr'am the way I misspelled it...

Good to know my errors rub off on people...

Laney, this was good. Seriously.
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Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2011, 07:17:51 AM »
I took you and made you the base for it. All incorrect spelling is by accident on purpose.

LibreOffice is messing me around. Everything is now "Invalid". I'm going to continue editing until Thursday or Friday, then begin Chapter 1.

Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2011, 04:41:31 PM »
Okay... 2.3 now. Another big update may happen, but I doubt it.

Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad: Stone-Cold (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2011, 05:39:07 PM »
Okay, I triple post now. Unless no other advice can be given, this story will go live on my fanfiction.net profile (see first post) on Wednesday or Thursday.

And did you know fanfiction.net acounts are completly free? And you don't have to pay for bonus features. The community is alright (some really bad flamers, but it's mostly constructive critisiscm) and there is always someone looking at it because of how popular and worldwide it is. I think some of you should join this or http://www.fictionpress.net for original stories and poetry. It'd just be nice to see some of you on it, because some are really good writers.

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Re: Hope Squad: Stone-Cold (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2011, 11:46:35 AM »
Just wanted to point out that "Their" is possessive, "They're" is a contraction of "They are", and "There" indicates a place. They'res a few times that their mixed up. :D

Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad: Stone-Cold (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2011, 12:51:49 PM »
I know. I have updated the actual file on my computer. But now I am only going to update this version if I do a major change.

Laney97

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Re: Hope Squad: Stone-Cold (BETA Chapters)
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2011, 02:51:53 PM »
Okay, people. This is what I have done with Chapter 1 so far. Remember, comments are welcome!

Oh, I've hidden something in there... no one will guess it, though.

Chapter I: Split Up With An Enemy (Note: Version 1.1)

When the world says give up, hope whispers try it one more time.

Arca Barracks, Coruscant, three months after Geonosis

Ky'ram, now thawed out from his stasis, looked around for his squad. But it wasn't for his new one. He still expected Triple, Datto and Shebs to be there, waiting for him like always. He only realised when he entered the briefing room of Arca Barracks, when he saw two clones with scars and the commando he met in an LAAT/i.

“Good to see you again,” said the commando, nodding, “Lucky we are in the same squad, eh?”

Ky'ram sat down and said, “I guess so,” he still wasn't happy, but seeing a commando he knew – Double T – gave him some comfort, “What's the squad name?”

The room wasn't big: it had a few seats, some holocharts, a desk and two windows. The walls were blue, which made Ky'ram feel ill. The seats were very basic; held by four legs and just big enough to seat a commando in Katarn Armour.

Double T looked at the other two commandos – who had their helmets on – for confirmation for what he was going to say. One nodded, “Hope Squad,” said Double T, “You said you wanted it to be called that before we were chilled down, didn't ya?”

“Uh-huh,” said Ky'ram. It was time to learn his squad in the few minutes he had left with them privately. He wasn't too bothered that the squad was called Hope at that moment. He looked at the other two, “Names?”

The one who nodded responded, “I'm Flick. He's Switch.”

“Well, lets hope we stay alive,” said Double T, “I wonder when our commander will get here.”

Just then, the doors opened with a whoosh, “Stand to attention,” said Flick.

A Jedi – with all of her traditional robes and lightsaber – entered the room at a slow pace. She was small, thin, with light skin and human. The entire squad stood to attention, remembering that – against everything they wanted to do – they had to respect their superiors.

She looked at them carefully, before saying, “At ease, gentleman. Take a seat.”

No Jedi Ky'ram had seen since Geonosis to entering the room – five, at least – had called them anything other than clone. The squad complied, and went back into what Ky'ram thought of as the two halves of the squad; Ky'ram and Double T, and then Flick and Switch.

The Jedi raked her fingers through her hair. It was very light brown, “Okay. Time for names. I'm Leonah. Leonah Rex-Fern.”

Ky'ram spoke first, “I'm Ky'ram. Spelt wrong on purpose, with the apostrophe inbetween 'y' and 'r',” he gestured to each squad mate with his thumb as he said their names, “Double T, Flick, and Switch.”

She looked exhausted, “Okay. I'll be working with you on... Endor. Yeah, Endor.” Leonah was obviously either under stress or dumb. Ky'ram thought she was dumb, because of his bad history with Jedi, “The moon of it. Some tip off of a Sep factory there. Seems like the CIS are expanding.” her brown eyes looked at Ky'ram, “Who is the leader of the squad?”

“I am, ma'am,” said Flick. Leonah looked at him, wondering why he hadn't offered the squads names, “I commanded my old squad, and none of these are sergeants.”

“Very well. Zey will go into more detail tonight, and we'll embark Libertas at oh-seven hundred hours tomorrow. Get some rest.”

“ 'Kay, ma'am,” said Double T, “Me and Ky'ram know Libertas well, don't we?”

Ky'ram looked embarresed as Leonah looked at him, “Yeah, we do.”

“Okay,” she left, leaving the squad alone.

Double T nudged him with his elbow, “You like her, don't ya?”

“She's a Jedi! Why the shab would I shabla like her?!” Ky'ram snapped.

Switch said something out of his and Flicks comm, which was unexpected, “You blushed when she looked at you,” he took off his helmet, “And she isn't what we expect of the Jetti at the moment, is it? She is drowning in stupidity with us. She has no idea why we are fighting, and is as lost as we are.”

“I bet something happens on Endor,” said Flick.

“You aren't on your helmets comm, Flick,” said Ky'ram, “I heard that!”

Double T became a mystic for a second, “Love is natural, Ky. It's a will of nature. You never know.”

“Can we talk about something else? Like squad roles?”

“Sure,” said Flick, yawning, “I'm the leader, you're the demolitions man, Double T is the sniper, and Switch is the slicer,” he began detaching his armour plates, “happy?”

“I guess...”

“Happy with Leonah?”

Ky'ram put his helmet on and went for the doors, angry, “Shut up! I don't like her!” Ky'ram left and headed for the 'freshers, where he always overcame anger back on Kamino. He got as far as halfway down the corridor before he ran into Leonah. Literally.

“Oh!” she said, as his armour hit her, “Oh, Ky'ram, it's you.”

“I thought we looked the same.”

“I can tell you apart via the force. You are permanently angry at something, and that grows when you see Jedi, doesn't it?”

“Correct,” he said. He began to move around her, “Excuse me, General, but I'm going now.”

“Of course,” she carried on walking towards her private room. Ky'ram envied that about Jedi; they had privileges. Clones didn't exist to the Republic. They had fewer rights than droids.

Ky'ram was surprised how free-thinking he was compared to the rest of the GAR.

He was also convinced the Jedi wouldn't get closer to him. In fact, he put Leonah in a place in his mind marked enemy.

Endor, two days later

“Well, shab. This looks fun.”

Hope Squad starred into the distance from the vantage point. Located behind a tree, the vantage point was an old fort used by an unknown army. It had taken an entire day and Leonah with her Force skills to find a way up. All they could see was droids, and lots of them. Thankfully, no SBDs were visible.

“Lighten up, Ky'ram. Time for some payback,” said Flick. Relations within the squad had improved over the last day.

That didn't extend to the General.

“Flick, do ya like killing?” Double T asked, “ 'Cause I do.”

“Yeah. Especially tinnies. They make a lovely noise when they die. Sometimes an SBD can moan and shout when they are destroyed into a billion pieces...”

Ky'ram looked at Switch, who said, “Some say his vat was spiked. I just think he went loopy very quickly,” Switch then looked at Leonah and said, “I have an operational plan ready, ma'am.”

Leonah stretched her arms out, “Okay. What is it, Switch?”

“It looks like their defence systems are vulnerable during the day. Strange, eh? Anyway, we could launch this now, because I have worked out everything...”

Ky'ram cut in, bored at listening to Switch go on with his 'brilliant' mind, “What's the plan?”

“I was getting to that,” said Switch, annoyed, “We split up into two groups now. One will have three commandos and the other will have one commando and the General. The groups advance towards either point A or B – I'll mark them on our HUDs later – and breach at the same time. A quick scan shows an explosion near point A will disable droid production and possibly destroy the factory. So whoever goes to B is a distraction.”

“Sounds messy,” said Leonah, “Okay, lets get the groups sorted.”

“I say me, Double T and Ky'ram go for A,” said Flick, “And you and Switch go for B.”

Ky'ram felt better. They've stopped going on about it! “Great,” said Ky'ram, “Let's get this done.”

Boom.

An explosion happened behind the squad, and they were all sent flying in different directions. No. No no no! Not again. Not again! Ky'rams fall was broken by some smaller trees, and he landed without injury. Then he felt something land on top of him.

He shoved it aside with ease due to how light it was. He got up and shook his head violently to clear it. Well, he was alive again. Katarn armour... my best buddie. He didn't know about the rest of his squad, though, and that still caused some worry. Twice? Man, we should be renamed No-Luck Squad. He was so fixed on his new squad he hadn't thought for the General.

...

Leonah felt like she had been knocked out for what seemed like eternity. Her face was covered in dirt, and her clothes were wet and dirty. She was hungry, thirsty, and cold. When she finally awoke, she jumped to her feet straight away. She could sense a clone nearby, and headed for where it was.

After a few minutes run she found the source; Ky'ram. He had built a small fire – small enough so very little smoke went into the air – and a makeshift tent. In the darkness, the fire illuminated him. He was sitting next to it – still in armour – drawing things in the dirt.

“Ky'ram?”

Ky'ram jumped, but relaxed a little when he saw who it was. But Leonah immediately sensed his anger levels rise, “Hello, General. Seen anyone else?”

Leonah sat down next to him, “No. You were the first person I sensed.”

Ky'ram was shocked again by how un-Jedi like she was, “Person? Not clone?”

“Person,” she smiled, “What are you doing?”

“Planning. I will find them.”

“And I'll help you.”

Ky'ram just looked at her, eyebrows raised, “We can't go yet. Droids are doing routine patrols. I built this way away from them,” he said, “You landed on me, General. About a mile away from the vantage point. Katarn armour saved us both.”

“I'm now best friends with Katarn armour for life,” Leonah said, “I go where you say. You know more about this than me.”

Ky'ram realised he probably did. Leonah was probably just like the other Jedi – inexperienced, stupid – yet different somehow. Then he suppressed the though. Shab! Don't go soft on her. She's a Jedi. Dumb, stupid, wasteful, a girl... uh... dumb!

Version 1.1: Typo fixes.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 03:14:24 PM by PaperHats »