Your Captain Morgan stash looks absolutely devious.
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Your Captain Morgan stash looks absolutely devious.
A few short minutes saw the unlikely pair once more standing in the street just outside the accursed, now corpse-strewn house where theyÃ¢Â€Â™d just endured the past several hours, fondly regarding the long-dead Rodian in the road like an old friend. Despite all the recent chaos, blood loss, and hysterics, Nossk was in a rather outstanding mood, although that may have had something to with his current appearance. On an unrelated note, it might also have been because Demarq let him make a new staircase out of dead bodies to replace its demolished wooden predecessor.
The Trandoshan had gone on a sort of ghoulish shopping spree with the dozens of corpses littering the cellar floor, and picked out his choice weapons after heÃ¢Â€Â™d assembled a considerable stockpile of death-dealing apparatus. The towering Trando now had a small arsenal festooned about his scaly body, from the pair of vibroblades hanging from his left hip to the repeating blaster he hefted onto his shoulder and everything in between. The lizard-man was back in his power-house element, and it was none to soon for his weary, wounded, and diminished human companion. Before leaving the house (which had once again sharpened their paranoia of basements), the pirate captain had insisted that Nossk destroy the remainder of his little weapons cache, an order he reluctantly obeyed by tossing a frag grenade into the beautiful mass of weaponry (his stock of the destructive little orbs had been replenished by the mercenariesÃ¢Â€Â™ ammo bandoleers).
And so the patched-up pair of prisoners took to the streets once again, this time with a more specific purpose than staying alive or looting some booty: They were going to start a crew.
The small bands of prisoners roaming around in laughable, temporary alliances had all been easily slaughtered so far, but that was quite simply because the two of them had been fighting as a line of work for years beforehand, and had a rather obvious advantage. But what if someone was to round up the few that were still venturing about on their own, alone but still elite in their own right? This new gang of escaped convicts would be, at the very least, the match for any mercenary squad, the only issue would be keeping together a group of men all killing for a prize only one of them could walk away with. ThatÃ¢Â€Â™s where NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s big bad scaly self would come in, where all the diplomacy and smooth-talking in the world wouldnÃ¢Â€Â™t get the message across as well as a few snapped limbs.
Ã¢Â€ÂœSo where to, boss?Ã¢Â€Â Nossk asked the wounded pirate, emphasizing the last word with thick sarcasm.
Ã¢Â€ÂœSurprise me Sparky, pick a direction.Ã¢Â€Â Demarq growled impatiently, limping heavily on his torn leg and trying not to think about the itching sensation that lingered where his hand should have been. Ã¢Â€ÂœGhost limbÃ¢Â€Â they called it, and now he understood why.
Ã¢Â€ÂœI pick that way.Ã¢Â€Â Nossk said at once, pointing down a random street.
Ã¢Â€ÂœThanks for letting me know, now start walking.Ã¢Â€Â
This process continued for several blocks, winding and weaving their way through the deceivingly large faux village with no other guide than NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s brilliant sense of direction. A couple days of ceaseless combat seemed to have thinned out the BattledomeÃ¢Â€Â™s ranks quite a bit; either that or there was some elaborate game of hide-and-go-seek that the wayward duo werenÃ¢Â€Â™t cool enough to get told about. Regardless, the only sentient theyÃ¢Â€Â™d come across was an eccentric Gran who opened fire with his blaster the moment they came into view. With no opportunity or particular desire to make their offer of recruitment, Nossk snapped off a quick burst from his newly acquired Merr-Sonn repeater, and that was that. The task of assembling an effective crew, however, grew more daunting by the minute.
Hope reared its bedazzled, glorious head as they rounded the next spontaneously-selected corner. He stood in the middle of the street, covered in scraggy brown fur and the bottom half of his prison coveralls. A recoilless rocket launcher was poised on his shoulder, seemingly daring any brave challenger to take his best shot. Nossk stood frozen at the mere sight of the heavily-armed, confident figure. He and the human watched and waited.
The Chadra-Fan glanced in the newcomersÃ¢Â€Â™ direction, and proceeded to quite violently flip the frack out. The tiny furball began chattering excitedly, and waved his oversized weapon in their direction, still squawking his high-pitched surprise and alarm.
Ã¢Â€ÂœI want him.Ã¢Â€Â Nossk exclaimed abruptly, instantly amused by the tiny alien with the missile launcher. Surely something with so much gusto and chutzpa (and a huge gun) would be a valuable addition to their soon-to-be fellowship. Ã¢Â€ÂœCan we keep it?Ã¢Â€Â
Demarq sized up the diminutive creature, nervously hoped that the excitable thing didnÃ¢Â€Â™t decide to paint the nearby houses a new shade of red, and finally sighed in resignation. Ã¢Â€ÂœDo whatever you want, but youÃ¢Â€Â™re cleaning up after it.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœThis is gonna be the best.Ã¢Â€Â Nossk growled victoriously. He took a few steps towards the jittery alien, at which the Chadra-Fan immediately began to freak out in a considerably more vigorous manner; the Trandoshan stopped. Ã¢Â€ÂœPut that thing down.Ã¢Â€Â
The Chadra-Fan squeaked a quick but distinct negative.
Ã¢Â€ÂœNo, you put yours down first.Ã¢Â€Â Nossk said a little louder, still keeping the barrel of his underslung repeater trained on the tiny prisoner.
A long string of ear-splitting chitters responded, which, although indecipherable, sounded thoroughly insulting. Despite his Trandoshan friendÃ¢Â€Â™s insistence on continuing the endless conversation, Demarq was rather certain that the lizard-man had absolutely no clue what the little thing was saying.
Ã¢Â€ÂœNo, donÃ¢Â€Â™t you try to play me like that!Ã¢Â€Â the reptile yelled, Ã¢Â€ÂœI said you first!Ã¢Â€Â
The pirate captain was about to intervene, about to explain to Nossk why it would be impossible to enlist the aid of a jittery creature that could neither understand them nor be understood, when a deep rumble shook the ground beneath their feet. At first Demarq was terrified that the twitchy little bastard had snapped and actually fired the little death cannon perched on his tiny shoulder, but the confused look on the Chadra-FanÃ¢Â€Â™s face coupled with a conspicuous absence of death laid waste to that theory.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat in the hell - ?Ã¢Â€Â The pirate began, his puzzlement only deepening as the tremors grew increasingly violent. It was as if an earthquake was ripping through the Battledome itself, and for a brief moment the human considered that throwing one into the mix would be just like the sadistic little slug. A moment later, Theory #2 was cast aside just as quickly and completely as the first.
One of the pristine white houses farther down the street was instantly reduced to an explosion of splinters as a massive, leathery body crashed through it. As the shattered timbers and roofing tiles rained down on the shell-shocked occupants of the little suburb neighborhood, the rest of the creature started to take form as it emerged onto the street. First the huge, talon-tipped hands; then the arms, thick as tree trunks and strong enough to level the home with a single sweep; then the titanic torso Ã¢Â€Â“ fat, gnarled, and unbelievably enormous. The rancor trudged through the remainder of the buildingÃ¢Â€Â™s foundation and stepped into the street, appraising its surroundings with the slow comprehension of a true semi-sentient juggernaut.
Even the bewildered ball of missile-toting fuzz was rendered speechless.
It was at this fortuitous moment that, at the far end of the now-too-crowded street, a massive (although still dwarfed by the rampaging monster that had just made its stunningly dramatic entrance) red hssiss lizard skidded into view. On its back, nestled between the double row of dorsal spines, sat a human woman, presumably its master (how one could manage to tame a dark side dragon, none of them had the time or knowledge to ponder).
The rancorÃ¢Â€Â™s attention shifted from the three miniscule humanoids previously engaged in a worthless argument to the infinitely more interesting, not to mention meal-sized, beast and its fair-skinned rider. The one-eyed lizard ground to a sudden stop as it appraised its new adversary, taking care not to throw Nell. The living weapon bent low on its front legs as it slowly began to circle the huge creature, its single eyeball jerking every which way as it searched for a weak spot among the thick layers of brown flesh. He had found none when the rancor opened its drooling, gaping maw and roared its murderous intent to whoever might be unfortunate enough to be within earshot.
One of its mammoth, ponderous legs shook the earth and pulverized the pavement as it took a slow, deliberate step forward
The last thing Nell had seen was the giant monster growing ever larger as Red closed the distance between them. She felt the familiar roller-coaster ride as his powerful bounds brought them scant meters away from the extraordinarily lethal monstrosity, dodging its sledgehammer fists as Red bolted between its legs and lodged his fangs into the meat of the rancorÃ¢Â€Â™s right thigh. Venomous daggers sliced as deep as they could through the larger beastÃ¢Â€Â™s natural armor, but even so drew hardly a drop of blood through the impossibly thick hide. Now, latched onto the rancorÃ¢Â€Â™s leg like a vice and largely immobile, the agile lizard was an easy target for the giant creatureÃ¢Â€Â™s flailing arms. A fist the size of a small speeder crashed against RedÃ¢Â€Â™s ribs, throwing the dragon skyward and taking a sizeable chunk of the rancorÃ¢Â€Â™s leg with it.
All at once the eerie neighborhood became a spinning blur as Nell was sent hurling through the air, lizard and all. The huge hssiss was tossed only a few meters, but Ness sailed through the air for about half a block before coming to an abrupt stop in the most unlikely of places - a thoroughly confused Trandoshan's open arms.
"Hi." The gun-bristled reptilian said amiably.
Nell reflexively rolled out of the TrandoÃ¢Â€Â™s arms, landing gracefully on her feet before whirling to face him. She took in his considerable armaments at a glance, and instantly snapped a savage kick aimed at disarming the reptile of his massive repeater, or at least knocking it off target. Before her leather-shod foot could make contact with the cold metal, however, she met unexpected resistance. The human standing nearby had leapt between her and his Trandoshan companion, blocking her strike with his left forearm. For an instant his attractive face was contorted with pain as he winced from the blow, and Nell noticed with no small degree of astonishment that the forearm holding back her kick ended with a bandaged stump rather than a hand.
Ã¢Â€ÂœNow hold on there sweetheart.Ã¢Â€Â The pirate panted, trying to keep a straight face despite the unbearable pain lancing through his ravaged arm. Ã¢Â€ÂœThis is hardly the time.Ã¢Â€Â
Nell returned her foot to the ground, still maintaining her fighting stance. Again she lunged for the reptilian, understandably assuming he was the largest threat and thusly deciding he should be dealt with first. Just as before the man stepped in her way, pale and bandaged yet somehow dangerous in his own right. His eyes shone with the pain and agony just moving must have caused him, but at the same time they were indescribably aflame with resolve: there was no way he was going to allow her any closer to the Trando - oh no, he had other plans.
Ã¢Â€ÂœThatÃ¢Â€Â™s really a bad idea,Ã¢Â€Â the pirate remarked again, not reaching for the pistol on his thigh but still blocking her path. Ã¢Â€ÂœIf youÃ¢Â€Â™ll let me finish, Fido here might be the only thing capable of keeping your little pet alive.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat? Against a rancor? Thanks Stumpy, but IÃ¢Â€Â™ll take my chances with Re Ã¢Â€Â“Ã¢Â€Â
Demarq had no intention of letting her finish her skeptical protest. In fact, once heÃ¢Â€Â™d established that she was no longer going to try to kill either of them, he lost most of his interest in here entirely Ã¢Â€Â“ at least for the moment.
Ã¢Â€ÂœNossk, launcher.Ã¢Â€Â He called over his shoulder.
Ã¢Â€ÂœGot it.Ã¢Â€Â The Trandoshan immediately let his repeater clatter to the ground and took off at a dead sprint down the road. He vaulted duracrete blocks and large, deadly-looking splinters from the wrecked house, keeping his glassy eyes locked on Chadra-FanÃ¢Â€Â™s missile launcher. The first time Red had been tossed through the air, heÃ¢Â€Â™d landed squarely on the tiny alien, crushing him to death instantly. His oversized weapon, however, still lay perfectly operable and ownerless on the cracked asphalt. Nossk bolted back and forth, dodging even more debris that hurtled through the air as the two beasts battled. He dove to the side as a complete, and rather affordable bathroom set threatened to cut his interesting little obstacle course short. Nossk pulled himself to his feet, took a few moments to orient himself among the thickening dust and rubble, and took off yet again. Both Nell and Demarq looked on with considerable anxiety, each quietly concerned for their respective lizards.
Ã¢Â€ÂœMine eats people, you know.Ã¢Â€Â Nell commented, wincing slightly as Red was once again thrown through the living room wall of a nearby house.
Ã¢Â€ÂœSo does mine.Ã¢Â€Â The pirate captain responded casually, cheering inwardly as Nossk spun neatly out of the way of a falling cinderblock and continued on his way.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWell I can ride mine.Ã¢Â€Â The beast trainer persisted, observing as her hssiss shook off the wood and drywall like a wet dog and once again leapt at its significantly larger foe.
Demarq thought for a moment. He supposed technically he could ride Nossk, but it was probably not the wisest of ideas. Ã¢Â€ÂœWell you got me there, mine talks though.Ã¢Â€Â
The Trandoshan dove forward as a kitchen window smashed to pieces behind him, showering him with glass as he rolled back to his feet within arms-reach of his precious objective. Nossk grabbed it up and quickly checked to ensure that it was loaded before hefting it onto his shoulder. He peered down the rocket tubeÃ¢Â€Â™s sights at the dueling monsters, but the lightning-fast hssiss was everywhere at once, practically crawling over the rancorÃ¢Â€Â™s body like a squirrel in a cartoon holovid; it was impossible to get a clear shot.
Ã¢Â€ÂœOh ya? Well mineÃ¢Â€Â™s bigger.Ã¢Â€Â Nell snapped.
Demarq paused noticeably before turning to face the concerned trainer watching her friend and companion fight just as the pirate was. His expression was one of stung disbelief.
Ã¢Â€ÂœOh no you didnÃ¢Â€Â™tÃ¢Â€Â¦Ã¢Â€Â
Their argument was cut short as Red was thrown a third time, instantly grabbing both their attention. The crimson reptile sailed through the air, a sensation he was in general quite unfamiliar with, and came down in a scaly heap where Nossk had stood a moment before. The Trandoshan had leapt just clear of the crash zone, taken a knee, and finally drawn a clear bead on his enormous target. It was impossible to miss.
Nossk grinned a positively devious grin and let fly.
When the smoke cleared, Demarq turned smugly to Nell, who was coughing into her sleeve as a wave of dust swept over them.
Ã¢Â€ÂœMine just blew up a rancor.Ã¢Â€Â
It's tradition, we all went through em.
Hmm....managed to find a couple from one of our more entertaining days up here.
We call them the 'worm pits'. I know I look half-retarded but hey, the sun was in my eyes. Anyway this attractive picture of yours truly made it onto the cover of our school's rook week dvd, I was quite flattered.
This one was taken the same day, but post-worm pits. We went on a jolly little run through a nearby river for awhile, each lugging a stupidly heavy rock that was supposed to serve a reminder of what we'd worked for - most of em get used as door stops. I'm the one at the front of the line blocking that golf cart deal.
That's like me saying I look like this xD :
doesn't everyone wish they could be Jason Statham?
Gettin a little risque Daenna? xD
Sleeping for us is like gold; beautiful and rare. I get an average of 4-5 hours of sleep per night, though I make up for it a little bit on the weekends. Love it when I can get it.
Yoink! yet another recipient of the BFFC Playa Award. Props dawg.
My ex told me to read the books, for which she received a prompt "hell no", but I was duped into seeing the movie, which I didn't enjoy much more than the prospect of wasting dozens more hours reading about it. The only part that made me feel even mildly motivated was when the random drunk jocks who apparently chill in empty, dark parking lots were like "omg, ur mad hot" and she's like "stfu", and then Mr. Hollywood Vampire comes driving in all screechy and squeely and gets out. At this point I was ready for a badass fight scene, especially with the "Get in the car." line. But no. He glares at them and they run away, I mean come on.
I agree: Christian Bale is a gorgeous piece of man.
The stage was set.
The setting: the cellar was bathed in a harsh red light, shining upon a grim tableau before the inoperable bacta tank.
The four executioners: rifles raised, faces blank, minds calm, and target all but defeated.
The protagonist: lying crippled, hand disintegrated, sleeves now devoid of aces, resigned to his fate.
The pissed off newly healed Trandoshan brute just back from holding congress with his vengeful goddess: awake, rejuvenated, furious, bloodthirsty.
LetÃ¢Â€Â™s break a leg.
The gunman leveling his blaster at DemarqÃ¢Â€Â™s beaten body was just a brief moment away from sending the pirate to meet his own god. The muscles in his hand began to tighten; two pounds of pressure built on the three-pound trigger. None of them saw the huge lizard floating motionless in the tank stir back to life, nor did they notice as he glanced down at the collapsed humanÃ¢Â€Â™s burnt and bleeding form. Not a one witnessed his glassy eyes narrowing with hateful vengeance, gleaming like motes of fire in the turquoise cylinder. Two and a half pounds pulled at the rifleÃ¢Â€Â™s trigger.
Ã¢Â€ÂœI SAID I AINÃ¢Â€Â™T LETTINÃ¢Â€Â™ HIM DIE!Ã¢Â€Â
A resounding crash and an earsplitting roar made sure the other half pound never made it. All four mercenaries whirled in the direction of the sudden cacophony, silently wondering what it could possibly be that theyÃ¢Â€Â™d all missed. As their eyes met the source, the soldiers, seasoned though they were, could not help but be awestruck. There, quite impossibly, stood the Trandoshan, who until moments ago had been quietly comatose and most likely dying.
Nossk panted air back into his deprived lungs, having already torn off his useless breath mask. The floor was flooded with thousands of credits worth of bacta, and still more dripped from the TrandoÃ¢Â€Â™s naked and revitalized body, silhouetted against the shattered bacta tank by the crimson emergency lights. Shards of the tube protruded from his clenched fists where heÃ¢Â€Â™d broken through, but he paid them no heed. In fact, he never remembered feeling more alive, more powerful, or more perfectly on time.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat in the name of Ã¢Â€Â“ is that a Trando?Ã¢Â€Â One of the men spoke into his team comm, his voice thick with confusion, anxiety, and, most importantly, fear.
Ã¢Â€ÂœOf course itÃ¢Â€Â™s a gorram Trando, look at the thing.Ã¢Â€Â Another responded.
Ã¢Â€ÂœBut arenÃ¢Â€Â™t those tanks made of transparisteel? No normal humanoid can just break through one of those, not even a Trandoshan.Ã¢Â€Â Interjected a third.
Ã¢Â€ÂœFrack that, look at his eyes, heÃ¢Â€Â™s gotta be on stims.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœDoesnÃ¢Â€Â™t matter, light him up.Ã¢Â€Â
Nossk heard exactly none of their conversation, but blaster bolts were usually a pretty good sign that it was time to fight, and heÃ¢Â€Â™d just gotten his breath back. The Trandoshan roared another war cry at the shaken mercs, and charged. Some say it takes a special kind of man to fight naked. Others say it takes a crazy kind of man to fight naked against a quartet of armed and armored professional soldiers. As fortune would have it, Nossk was just that special kind of crazy.
A pair of hastily-aimed blaster bolts scorched through the air over NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s right shoulder, but the other two gunmen had to sidestep to shoot around their comrades, buying the Trandoshan the precious seconds he needed to close the gap between himself and the mercenaries. Once the frenzied reptile was within armÃ¢Â€Â™s reach, the blood began to flow.
Nossk didnÃ¢Â€Â™t even try to stop as he reached the first of the mercs - he simply lowered his left shoulder and drove into him. The Trandoshan reared upwards as his shoulder smashed into the manÃ¢Â€Â™s abdomen, lifting him off the ground and propelling him several meters away where one of the basement walls put an end to his brief airborne journey. Nossk shifted his weight and wheeled immediately to his right, where the soldier whoÃ¢Â€Â™d been standing abreast of the man now slumped against the duracrete had swiveled his long-rifle to bear on the rampaging reptilian. The weapon wasnÃ¢Â€Â™t exactly ideal for the up-close-and-personal style on which Nossk thrived, and he grew eager to show him why. The Trando (some part of his subconscious registering the two other mercs trying to draw beads on him as he bolted across the bacta-slick floor) swung his arm out in a wide arc, catching the lengthy barrel of the mercenaryÃ¢Â€Â™s rifle as he spun to face the hired gun, and pushing it aside; the weapon discharged harmlessly into an already-useless console.
Grasping the gun barrel tightly, Nossk wrenched the weapon towards him this time, sending the surprised mercenary reeling into his arms. The Trandoshan grabbed him around and neck and turned so that his new friend was between him and his companions, making the soldier an effective human shield. His captive saw what was about to happen, saw that the crucial command had already gone from his partnersÃ¢Â€Â™ brains to the muscle of their fingers, and understood at once that there was no way of stopping it. The two other mercs fired.
Ã¢Â€ÂœNo! DonÃ¢Â€Â™t Ã¢Â€Â“Ã¢Â€Â The man screamed, but before he could finish a brace of blaster bolts burned into his chest, cutting him off mid-plea. Nossk felt his weight go limp in his arms.
Not wasting so much as an instant, the Trandoshan held the corpse out at armÃ¢Â€Â™s length and kicked it in the back, sending it lurching towards one of the allies whoÃ¢Â€Â™d just unintentionally blasted him into the next life. The merc caught the body out of reflex, taking his blaster off target and branding his masked face with a look of unbridled disgust and astonishment. That priceless expression was wiped clean as NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s fist plowed through the manÃ¢Â€Â™s faceplate, spewing dozens of tiny shards into the tender flesh as well as breaking his nose outright. The mercenary reeled backwards, dropping his weapon as his hands flew to his mangled face. Blood streamed between his fingers, and the man flailed blindly around the basement, effectively blind.
The last gun standing gave up on trying to squeeze off another round, and instead opted with knocking the rioting lizard-man to the ground. He dropped low and delivered a sweeping kick to NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s knees, collapsing the top-heavy juggernaut with little difficulty. The Trando hit the ground hard, but still managed to snap a savage kick at the recovering soldier, who now saw his rifle spinning across the basement floor. A second strike to the groin had the merc doubled over, his head dangling in the air over NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s body in a way so perfect, he couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t help but feel warm and tingly inside. The Trandoshan grabbed his helmet and pulled him closer still Ã¢Â€Â“ their skulls were now so near one another that they could hear whispers between them, as young lovers might, if Nossk was ever such a thing.
As it happened, the Trando did whisper to the man in his arms; what he hissed, however, was anything but sweet.
Ã¢Â€ÂœThis is the end.Ã¢Â€Â
NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s opened his jaws wide, revealing his maw of jagged teeth, and fastened them around the mercenaryÃ¢Â€Â™s throat. The weak, flexible material around his neck gave way easily, and in seconds the reptilian felt warm, life-granting fluid running down his chin. He threw the hemorrhaging body from him and stood up, surveying the carnage heÃ¢Â€Â™d created. Blood ran thick with bacta across the floor, mixing in strange, swirling patterns about the bodies littered there. Nossk picked up a fallen blaster, almost as an afterthought, and fired two rounds each into the motionless figure slumped against the wall and his wailing partner, who still clutched his ravaged face. The Trandoshan then tossed the weapon away, and for a few moments just stood there.
He was quite a sight to behold: tall and powerful, his healed body streaming with blood not his own, his eyes gleaming red like some sort of fairy-tale demon, his massive chest heaving up and down with each invigorating breath. He decided he very much missed being alive. A rasping breath from the basement floor reminded Nossk why he was here, and he immediately picked his way through the quartet of bodies towards Demarq. He appraised the humanÃ¢Â€Â™s condition at a glance - the bruises, the shrapnel in his legs, the disintegrated hand Ã¢Â€Â“ and extended a hand to him. The pirate grasped it with his remaining hand, and the Trandoshan hauled him to his feet. The two stood facing each other in silenceÃ¢Â€Â¦until Nossk finally found the words.
Ã¢Â€ÂœYou look like hell, stumpy.Ã¢Â€Â
Hey bro, ya gotta chill. Believe it or not I wasn't always the gorgeous hunk of man you see today either. Glasses aren't necessarily a bad thing, and braces are something most kids gotta go through nowadays, but you'll be done with those in a couple years at the very most, right? That's when you'll wanna get going on the women anyway, right now is just the pre-game, you got time to prepare.
And don't beat yourself up so much, no one likes a guy who's too self-deprecating.
Five hours earlier.
Ã¢Â€ÂœTankÃ¢Â€Â™s filled!Ã¢Â€Â Nossk called out impatiently. The pirate captain had disappeared a few minutes ago with the remainder of his explosive arsenal, leaving the Trandoshan to twiddle his claws as bacta slowly filled the large transparisteel tank. When the cyan miracle liquid finally stopped cascading down from the spouts at the top of the healing unit, the TrandoÃ¢Â€Â™s anxiety spiked; for the next eight or nine hours he would be unconscious and helpless, trusting his life completely to a space pirate heÃ¢Â€Â™d met not a single day ago. He had to strain his feeble memory to recall a more absurdly suicidal endeavor. Still, he called out to the human, unable to deny the fact that his odds of survival were even slimmer if he didnÃ¢Â€Â™t manage to get himself fighting fit, and soon. Ã¢Â€ÂœYou gonna get me into this thing or what?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœWait a minute.Ã¢Â€Â Demarq barked in agitation from the other basement room.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWait a minute,Ã¢Â€Â Nossk murmured mockingly under his breath, Ã¢Â€ÂœIÃ¢Â€Â™m a skinny little human, watch me make stupid traps and waste all my handsome, Trandoshan, badass friendÃ¢Â€Â™s grenades.Ã¢Â€Â
Before long Demarq returned to the bacta tank room and began preparing the reptilian for bacta submersion. In scant minutes Nossk was riddled with needles, nodes, and monitoring devices, and no more pleased with his situation than he was before he became a Trandoshan pin cushion. The pirate jammed one final needle through NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s thick scales, most likely with just a little more force than was absolutely necessary.
Ã¢Â€ÂœAlright, now climb on in Fido, IÃ¢Â€Â™ll wake you up when itÃ¢Â€Â™s time for school.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœSometimes I wonder,Ã¢Â€Â Nossk remarked, dipping the bottom half of his battle-torn body into the tank and donning a breathmask, Ã¢Â€Âœif itÃ¢Â€Â™s possible to hate someone to death.Ã¢Â€Â
With that the scaly brute slid completely into the rejuvenating tube, and waited for the human to commence the healing process. He stared through his blue-green tinted cylinder as Demarq typed a few commands into a computer console, and immediately felt a couple of the needles stir as their adjoined tubes injected something into his body. The room quickly began to warp and distort, and despite the fact that he was floating upright in the tank Nossk felt like he was falling over. The next moment everything was black.
Some time later the big Trandoshan opened his eyes, although at first he wasnÃ¢Â€Â™t so sure he had. He felt his eyelids open, but still that all-engulfing darkness was there, swallowing his world in infinite nothingness.
Am I dead? Nossk thought, immediately wondering if Demarq had failed to protect him. That horrifying moment, when the reptilian believed that heÃ¢Â€Â™d been ended in his sleep, suffered a simple death without resistance nor honor, was perhaps the most terrifying of his life. Had he truly been sent to the Scorekeeper? If so, then where was his exulted deity now, as he hung there in the dark? Had his failures displeased her so much that he would be denied even his reckoning?
IÃ¢Â€Â™ve shamed no one, do you hear me Scorekeeper? NO ONE!
Yes, thatÃ¢Â€Â™s what heÃ¢Â€Â™d said. ThatÃ¢Â€Â™s what heÃ¢Â€Â™d roared to the dust and the Bartokk as he winked at death and thrown it the finger. The Scorekeeper had said herself that she felt no more love for him; had blamed him for failure when heÃ¢Â€Â™d fought his best, and while his battles hadnÃ¢Â€Â™t quite gleamed with glory, he was still alive wasnÃ¢Â€Â™t he? Still surviving, even now trying to mend himself so that he could escape this place and live longer still.
She has no right, Nossk snarled in his empty purgatory, no right to condemn me like this. My entire life IÃ¢Â€Â™ve spent proving my worth and drenching my hands and her alter with blood; IÃ¢Â€Â™ve grinned at death like an old friend only to slap him in the face and remain with the living, all just to lay more faith and worship at her feet. Now she casts me aside like a dirty rag, leaving me stranded and alone, staring down the greatest trial IÃ¢Â€Â™ve ever faced. She is no god of mine.
Ã¢Â€ÂœCan you hear me, Scorekeeper!?Ã¢Â€Â Nossk bellowed to the vacuum around him, Ã¢Â€ÂœI donÃ¢Â€Â™t need you, bitch! Even if this is death, IÃ¢Â€Â™d rather stay here than eat in your hall with whores and traitors!Ã¢Â€Â
After such blasphemy the Trandoshan honestly expected lightning, or fire, or some divine force to strike him and his heathen tongue down, but there was nothing - only the emptiness in which he floated. It was some moments before a voice rose in response.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhores? Traitors? Oh my, it certainly didnÃ¢Â€Â™t take very long for you to become a vindictive little lizard now did it?Ã¢Â€Â It was the very same voice that had taunted him in the basement last night Ã¢Â€Â“ it was his Scorekeeper. The Trandoshan, rather than rendered awestruck and speechless with this second divine apparition, was infuriated.
Ã¢Â€ÂœDonÃ¢Â€Â™t call me lizard, devil-woman.Ã¢Â€Â Nossk growled to the shadows, Ã¢Â€ÂœYou cursed me even as I killed for your glory.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœYou fought like an imbecile, and very nearly died.Ã¢Â€Â The ScorekeeperÃ¢Â€Â™s voice echoed, thick with disdain.
Ã¢Â€ÂœIÃ¢Â€Â™VE BEEN ROTTING IN PRISON FOR THE PAST YEAR!Ã¢Â€Â (HeÃ¢Â€Â™d in fact lost track of time, and had no idea it had been half again as long) Nossk bellowed, furious with the unfairness of it all. Ã¢Â€ÂœWHERE WERE YOU THEN, ALMIGHTY HAG!? Did you expect me to be freed and fight on as if nothing had happened!?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœIt is no fault of mine that you were imprisoned.Ã¢Â€Â The feminine voice pointed out.
Ã¢Â€ÂœAnd it is no fault of mine that my *** got crippled. The odds were against me; this is war, it happens, so stop being so gorram pissed off over a few scrapes and get over it.Ã¢Â€Â Pride and excitement flooded the TrandoshanÃ¢Â€Â™s non-corporeal body. Telling off the deity that had scolded him so brutally felt good, very good, and with each word that passed his pointed teeth he felt more powerful. To hell with the consequences, he might be dead already anyway.
Ã¢Â€ÂœRarely do I let a mortal speak to me in such a way.Ã¢Â€Â The Scorekeeper spat.
Ã¢Â€ÂœYeah? Ask me if I give a frack.Ã¢Â€Â The reptilian shot back, flexing his arms as if he was making ready to fight. The gesture was useless in this metaphysical state, but to Nossk diplomacy through physical force was second nature. For some time there was nothing, and the Trandoshan nervously wondered if the goddess had simply left him to hang in limbo for all eternity. At last, the insulted deity spoke.
Ã¢Â€ÂœYou were always a defiant one, Nossk of the Trandos, but a respectful one. I wonder whatÃ¢Â€Â™s become of that loyalty?Ã¢Â€Â The ScorekeeperÃ¢Â€Â™s patronizing voice pondered.
Ã¢Â€ÂœReally? After being so nice, I really dunno what would make you seem like a two-faced wad of Sith spit. Wait, wait, wait, IÃ¢Â€Â™m getting a little somethingÃ¢Â€Â¦was it that time you called me disgrace and abandoned me? IÃ¢Â€Â™ve killed things for less, woman.Ã¢Â€Â Nossk couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t explain the freedom and wit with which the words were flowing from his mouth. Never in his life had he ever been one for words; heÃ¢Â€Â™d always felt they were thoroughly lacking in the way breaking things or hurting people got his feelings across. Now, though, as he traded words with this infuriating god-woman, the retorts he spat left him strangely satisfied.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat use do I have for an incapable servant? Can you truly blame me for letting go of a troublesome burden?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœIncapable servant?Ã¢Â€Â Nossk hissed, fuming, Ã¢Â€ÂœIf you are really a goddess, you know my past. You know what IÃ¢Â€Â™ve done, what I can do Ã¢Â€Â“ and you still think you can call me Ã¢Â€Â˜incapableÃ¢Â€Â™?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœFor all your talk of former glory, youÃ¢Â€Â™re still here arenÃ¢Â€Â™t you?Ã¢Â€Â The voice answered. A shimmering image of a woman appeared in the blackness in front of the Trandoshan. She was aglow with white light, and it was impossible for him to make out any further details. The figure gestured to the emptiness in which they argued as she spoke.
Ã¢Â€ÂœAnd where is Ã¢Â€Â˜hereÃ¢Â€Â™, devil-woman?Ã¢Â€Â Nossk snarled, remembering that his current predicament, aside from arguing with his angered goddess in an endless sea of darkness, was largely a mystery. He still didnÃ¢Â€Â™t know where this was, or what it was, or how he could leave, or if he even could leave.
Ã¢Â€ÂœThis is death.Ã¢Â€Â The Scorekeeper said simply.
NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s eyes widened in shock. He was dumbfounded.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat?Ã¢Â€Â He breathed. The Trandoshan toppled from the high ground heÃ¢Â€Â™d held, completely disarmed by his disbelief.
Ã¢Â€ÂœIs it so hard to believe? The little miracle you found in that basement was rigged; the moment you lost consciousness, you condemned that human to death.Ã¢Â€Â The Scorekeeper explained, practically cooing as she relished the reptilianÃ¢Â€Â™s bewilderment.
Ã¢Â€ÂœNoÃ¢Â€Â¦Ã¢Â€Â Nossk couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t believe his ears. Could he have gotten them both killed by trying to heal his own wounds? Would Demarq really fight to the death just to protect his helpless body rather than run?
Ã¢Â€ÂœYou left that man to fight dozens as you slumbered peacefully in your tank, so let me ask you, Trandoshan, who truly abandoned whom? Who is the betrayer now?Ã¢Â€Â The light enveloping her body dimmed enough for Nossk to make out a smug smile on her face. The lizard-manÃ¢Â€Â™s jaw clenched, his eyes narrowed to burning slits Ã¢Â€Â“ subdued anger slowly started building again with each beat of his heart.
Ã¢Â€ÂœYou lie, witch.Ã¢Â€Â Nossk growled through grinding teeth. His fists tightened unconsciously, digging his claws into the scales of his palms. Blood dripped slowly into the infinite nothingness below him.
Ã¢Â€ÂœOh. WeÃ¢Â€Â™re fracked pretty hard, I can believe that. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s this whole being dead thingÃ¢Â€Â¦Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat about it?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœIt sucks! I donÃ¢Â€Â™t believe IÃ¢Â€Â™m dead, and I donÃ¢Â€Â™t believe that spineless human is either. Now IÃ¢Â€Â™m getting bored, so let me out of this place before the pirate kills everything.Ã¢Â€Â The Trandoshan demanded.
Ã¢Â€ÂœDonÃ¢Â€Â™t make demands of me, lizard Ã¢Â€Â“Ã¢Â€Âœ
Ã¢Â€ÂœI think we had a conversation about that word.Ã¢Â€Â Nossk interjected; the Scorekeeper carried on as if he hadnÃ¢Â€Â™t spoken.
Ã¢Â€Âœ Ã¢Â€Â“ for all your impudence IÃ¢Â€Â™ve told you the truth: the human is dying, and the tank your body hangs in has been shut down Ã¢Â€Â“ including your breath mask. YouÃ¢Â€Â™ll both be dead in moments.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœThatÃ¢Â€Â™s a little different from dead.Ã¢Â€Â Nossk shot back, starting forwards through the intangible darkness towards the glowing figure of the Scorekeeper. Ã¢Â€ÂœGet me out of here. Now. I want to wake up.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœItÃ¢Â€Â™s not so simple Ã¢Â€Â“Ã¢Â€Â The image tried to explain as he approached, but the Trandoshan would have none of it.
Ã¢Â€ÂœI disagree.Ã¢Â€Â He interrupted, not sure if it was possible to harm the shining figure in this place, but determined to try anyway.
Ã¢Â€ÂœThe system failed, but there are still strong anesthetics running through your physical body; itÃ¢Â€Â™s quite impossible for anything to remain conscience with so many drugs present.Ã¢Â€Â The Scorekeeper said, unflinching as Nossk drew nearer and nearer.
The TrandoshanÃ¢Â€Â™s huge hands wrapped around the figureÃ¢Â€Â™s throat as he brought his sneering jaws inches from its face. His claws felt solid matter as they gripped the glimmering form, and though he was by no means convinced that this was truly the Scorekeeper in all her glory, he was reasonably sure that he would be able to tear this strange envoy apart if she didnÃ¢Â€Â™t give him the answers he wanted.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWrong answer.Ã¢Â€Â Nossk applied pressure to the tender throat beneath his claws, curious as to whether or not this thing needed to breathe in this place, be it a dream, delirium, or some sort of spiritual congress with an image of his abandoned goddess. Regardless, the mercenary refused to believe that there was nothing he could do besides float around inside his own head and wait for him and Demarq to die. If the human was about to be killed as well, that meant heÃ¢Â€Â™d stayed by his side, and intended to fight to his last breath to keep the other combatants from ending the Trando as he slept. If a mere human could summon that much courage, then there was no reason why he couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t force himself to wake up and fight.
The ScorekeeperÃ¢Â€Â™s visage regarded him curiously, despite the vice-grip on her trachea.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhy do you want to go back so badly?Ã¢Â€Â She inquired thoughtfully. As always the image was calm and serene as the chipped, grimy claws left indentations in her immaculate, marble skin.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat are you, a fracking idiot? You think I want to die?Ã¢Â€Â Nossk shouted, briefly tightening his death-grip.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat if I offered you forgiveness and redemption for your insults, your failures, your defiance Ã¢Â€Â“ a place of honor in the afterlife. If you abandon your intention to return to that foolish reality, that is.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœEternity with you?Ã¢Â€Â Nossk snorted with laughter for just a moment before his eyes locked with hers again, seemingly aglow with his furious resolve, Ã¢Â€ÂœNot a chance in hell.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœThink carefully, Trandoshan. Hunters like you spend their entire lives driven by nothing more than a need to satisfy me with their prey; only such a belligerent thing as you would cast your belief aside so quickly and violently, but now that you have, what point is there is living? Why would you keep killing? Keep surviving? Your life would have no purpose anymore.Ã¢Â€Â The Scorekeeper said, hoping to appeal to his practicality and sense of loyalty Ã¢Â€Â“ it was a poor choice.
Ã¢Â€ÂœHe saved my life, probably twice. IÃ¢Â€Â™ll start with paying that back and figure it out from there, since youÃ¢Â€Â™re so gorram curious. Now no more talk, get me out of this hellhole.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœYouÃ¢Â€Â™re really telling me youÃ¢Â€Â™d rather save the humanÃ¢Â€Â™s life?Ã¢Â€Â The figure laughed; a high-pitched, irritating noise that wore on NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s already threadbare nerves. Not a wise decision considering the location of his hands. Ã¢Â€ÂœCamaraderie hardly suits you, Nossk. But I have a generous alternative: The men about to kill him are professionals, theyÃ¢Â€Â™ll realize your unconscious body will simply suffocate and leave you for dead, not worth the ammunition Ã¢Â€Â“ I will let you return to your precious mortal coil after theyÃ¢Â€Â™ve left, even guaranteeing your survival, you couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t ask for a better Ã¢Â€Â“Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœYer makinÃ¢Â€Â™ me repeat myself. Twice.Ã¢Â€Â Blood welled up around the tips of NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s claws. Every muscle and nerve in his body screamed for him to squeeze with all his might, but he held off just a little longer. Ã¢Â€ÂœFirst, I told you to shut yer ever-fracking mouth and take me back. Second, and you better get it through yer shiny little skull this time, I said I ainÃ¢Â€Â™t lettinÃ¢Â€Â™ him die.Ã¢Â€Â
The glowing formÃ¢Â€Â™s lips curled into a smile as it dribbled precious red fluid down his hands, as if the last laugh was still somehow hers.
Ã¢Â€ÂœCould it be that the great and ruthless Nossk has Ã¢Â€Â“Ã¢Â€Â
But NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s patience had finally just expired.
Ã¢Â€ÂœI SAID I AINÃ¢Â€Â™T LETTINÃ¢Â€Â™ HIM DIE!Ã¢Â€Â The Trandoshan warrior bellowed, and finally he bowed to his instinctsÃ¢Â€Â™ demands. Powerful claws clamped down on the witchÃ¢Â€Â™s tender throat like a bony vice; Nossk heard cracking as its solid shape gave way.
In that moment, as NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s rage assumed control as it had so many times before and crushed the life out of his deityÃ¢Â€Â™s mind-fracking reflection, his world exploded.
The ScorekeeperÃ¢Â€Â™s body erupted in a shower of blazing light, in the matter of an instant turning the TrandoshanÃ¢Â€Â™s world from one of utter darkness to blinding white. NosskÃ¢Â€Â™s eyes widened in understandable surprise, only to be shut against the dazzling light a moment later. The reptilian struggled to understand what had just happened, but before he could conjure so much as a single comprehensive thought, he felt himself begin to fall.
A wave of dÃƒÂ©jÃƒÂ vu swept over him, and when he next dared open his eyes, the world was blue.
But Greenie, you make us girls sound to be like a dog or animal. GF's (or BF's for that matter) don't really work that way. At their best is some one to share things with and do things together. If the relationship is simply a chore... then thats not a healthy relationship and it needs to change one way or another. I'm sure it seems like I say this a lot but, don't rush things. Enjoy what you have now, and you can only do what is right and normal for you, not everyone else.
But eh, I'm a bit bittered out on the whole "love" "gf/bf" thing anyway. I guess thats a sign that im supposed to be alone.
Not at all, dawg. I haven't told a girl I loved her in I dunno how long, because it just wasn't true. Just because you haven't gotten that feeling, or are getting almost tired of hearing about it, don't mean you gotta be a bitter single old lady with too many cats. Wait for it Si, take your own advice and don't rush things, it'll come to you.
((Yo everyone else, this one's all me, just lettin you know.))
Then it won't take long before you start seeing the point of them >; )
In other news, Im a sexy shoeless god of war.
Sounds pimp, good luck with that dude, and have fun with it.
For those of you who like WoW-related humor, Ive recently been introduced to a D&D-based web comic that is absolutely ROFLMAO-worthy hilarious. I experimented with a little dungeons and dragons back in the day, but anyone who hasn't might not get some of the finer humor, either way, clicky da linky:
Oh come on Si, Dooon't stop, belieeeeeevin, hold on to that feeeliiiiin.
There should really be like, a "surprisingly appropriate song lyrics" thread. On a semi-related matter, met this new girl at a friend's college over break. Cute, funny, godly sense of good music; we'll see what goes down.
I cant tell whether or not Terra is taking a sexual poke at younger guys, we get real sensitive yknow......
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