(94 replies, posted in Role Playing)



not to 'respectfun' of others? I'd correct that, but I have no idea what you were trying to say.

add period.

Well, Boba Dude made 13 words without grammar mistakes, but it looks like you've still got a ways to go ARC.


(94 replies, posted in Role Playing)

Thirteen words and no errors, not as hopeless as you made it seem is it?


(94 replies, posted in Role Playing)

Alright mate, you need to cut with the exclamation marks. In addition, you need to work on your reading as well as your grammar. I said, and very truthfully, that you write like a n00b. You do, and I think that people old enough to use the internet and go to school should be bloody well able to spell. So you know what? How about to actually listen to all those people that yell at you because of your grammar, and do something about it. Not even that hard, just type everything in Microsoft Word before posting here and run a spell check. This entire post I'm writing has not been put through a spell check, I just wrote it in the message box; so there's no excuse for the slaughter you've performed on the English language. We're talking syntax genocide here.

ain't* (you misspelled an already improper word, nice job mate)

Well sai, you still have grammar and spelling problems, so apparently, you do need more from me. And you tried telling me what to do again, that part made me laugh.


(94 replies, posted in Role Playing)

ARC Fett wrote:

well thats a good way to indrose your self correcting me

yeah i know my spelling isnt that greatest but people can still read it

so dont go off correcting people man

I could've sworn you just tried to tell me what to do. Heheh, funny mate. I am the vengeance of the English language, which n00bs have so brutally eviscerated and killed.

period after me.
Capital Y
capital I

And I require no introduction sai, I was here before, and it's not I who writes like an insatiable n00b. And Boba Dude, don't go barging into things that don't concern you, or I'll rail on your grammar next, like so.

question mark after sucks
don't correct mine

One thing you guys need to get into your heads: This isn't instant messenger. These are message boards, where you aren't pressed for time in any way. So take the time to run it through a bloody spell check first.

The blast doors opened, and Arcuse and Sathik immediately saw...nothing. Just bare, durasteel walls and bulkheads laid into the framework every few meters. The Ubese shone the beam of his glowrod down the corridor, but it met yet another wall only a few meters in front of him. A corner.

Alright, so sight’s useless. There could be an army beyond that corner for all we know, just waiting for one of us to stick his head around the corner. But seeing isn’t the only way to locate an enemy, we could always-

“You hear that?” Sathik asked to his friend, the dark hunter’s voice hushed and hurried.

He did. It was only when he strained his ears to listen that Arcuse noted the slight grinding sounds coming from around the corner. He nodded his affirmation to his friend, tightening his grip on his BlasTech. The noise seemed to be some piece of rusty machinery; but that didn’t tell him much, who knew how long it had been before anything living had set foot on this ship, much less performed basic maintenance.

“Sounds like something hasn’t been oiled in awhile.” Sathik said again, lining up his shotgun’s iron sights. “Like metal on metal...droids?”

“Indeed.” Arcuse rasped, the coarse sound he emitted sounding not unlike the rusty grind they were hearing now.

“Grenade?” His friend asked beside him, almost eager to hear a positive response.

“Not yet.” The Ubese said absent-mindedly, trying to see in his mind’s eye how far the droids were from the corner by their sound alone. It wasn’t the simplest of tasks; then again, it wasn’t the hardest either.

“Then wh-”

“Now!” The rock-on-rock voice of the alien-hating Ubese rose as high as his vocal chords would allow – barely more than a hoarse whisper. He and Sathik primed and threw grenades in perfect tandem, bouncing them around the corner and into whatever make of droids had been sent to kill them. The pair waited for the twin explosions, then dashed down the short corridor and around the corner, firing as soon as they had targets.

Look like B-2s. Thought all of those got scrapped during the Clone Wars. Guess I was wrong. Arcuse thought.

And then there was no more time to think, just time to kill. The Ubese’s E-11 belched fire in his hands, aiming for the B-2’s (or SBD’s, as the clones used to call them) depressed, oval-shaped heads. His aim was as precise as ever, and during the first two seconds of the encounter he’d blasted four of the super battle droids, he and Sathik having already wasted a full half of them with their grenades. The Ubese took a solid hit to the chest as he stood motionless firing his rifle, but his armor absorbed most of the impact, the bolt didn’t penetrate the plasteel plates,

Sathik worked through the last 3 ½ droids (one was minus a pair of legs) with brutal efficiency. The first went down with a shotgun blast to the torso, blowing the droid off its feet and drawing forth an eruption of flames and smoke. He paused to duck a blaster bolt before acquiring his second target, which met a fate very similar to its most recently-killed companion. Throwing himself sideways to avoid another volley of crimson projectiles, Sathik rolled to a crouch, worked his slugthrower’s pump-action, and gunned his third victim’s legs out from under it. The B-2 fell to the floor with a resonating clang, and looked back at the dark hunter just in time to witness its own execution by Sathik’s spreadgun.

The last crippled droid made itself known with a poorly-aimed burst of fire, and was promptly put down by another of Sathik’s thunderous gunshots. Then, there was silence, save for the constant sparking of disabled droids which now littered the ground.

“Mate must’ve had a fried targeting computer, courtesy of our frags I’m guessing.” The shotgun-wielding hunter commented, referring to the legless droid and its ineffective last stand.

Something’s not right again. That voice was whispering in Arcuse’s ear again, sewing paranoia into the Ubese’s logical, virtually fearless mind. It was too easy. Ancient, rusted battledroids? You think they wanted you dead? No, whoever’s running this show is just testing your strength, gauging what it’s up against. I’d be careful if I was you soldier-boy, because this thing’s not like anything you’ve-

Enough. It was Arcuse’s own mind that finally got a chance to speak now, entering this psychotic, schizophrenic conversation. You’ve said what useful advice you had, now let me get back to killing things.

There was no response.

“It was too easy.” The Ubese rasped, now out loud. That second voice of his had been right about that much at least, and the part that followed. “Whoever’s in command of this ship was just testing our strength. Wouldn’t have complained if the droids had killed us, but I don’t think he really expected them to.”

“So, what, you want to go back for more weapons? You’ve got some nice ion pieces in that arsenal of yours. EMP grenades might not hurt either.” Sathik said, thinking more weaponry might set aside of his friend’s edginess.

“We’ll re-arm, but that won’t solve all our problems. We need to find out where the real Promised Jewel is, and maybe disable this vessel’s weaponry before taking off again. The Morbis Ferre can’t take any amount of sustained fire from this thing; we already almost got vaped coming in, and I don’t want to die without a gun in my hand, unaccompanied by a host of corpses.”

“Right, right, warrior’s death and all that. So, we get guns now?” Sathik said inquisitively, raising an eyebrow as he looked at his black-clad friend, the armor of whom was still smoking, giving him a frightfully god-like appearance.

“Yes.” Arcuse sighed, “We get guns now.”

They backtracked through the short, metallic tunnel, and arrived back at the Ubese’s Skipray in mere seconds. Arcuse unlocked the craft, lowered the cargo ramp, and followed Sathik into his ship. Coming back to the Morbis Ferre, unlocking it, re-arming, and then re-sealing it would be a timely process, but both of them would rather be prepared; and besides, until they had a reason to hurry, they could take all the time they needed as long as it didn’t put them too far behind in the hunt.

“Those droids looked like they hadn’t been taken care of for a few dozen years at least.” Sathik said, strapping an ion blaster to his right thigh. “I don’t think there’s anything alive on this ship, except for us and the other hunters, so we can concentrate on ion weapons for now.”

“Indeed.” Arcuse rasped his usual response. He removed the grenade launcher from under his E-11’s barrel and added a cut-down ion caster to the BlasTech’s accessory rail. After confirming that it had a full charge, the Ubese exchanged half his fragmentation grenades for special-made ion ones, noticing that Sathik had done the same. The human had of course kept his shotgun and S-5, but his personal armaments now included the ion weapons he’d selected as well.

More or less satisfied with their weapons, the pair left the Morbis Ferre again, sealed it off, and made their way back to the blaster-scorched location of their brief skirmish with the droids. The corridor kept going for a few dozen meters, finally ending at a pair of turbolift shafts.

“Think they’re still working?” Sathik asked, looking towards his armored friend.

“The weapons were.” The Ubese said simply, and stepped up to the lift on the right.

“Good point.” Sathik conceded, following Arcuse and waiting for the lift to get down to them. Apparently, the last person to use this had gone to the bridge, or whatever was on the higher levels of this damnable cruiser. The glowing numbers showing which level the lift platform was currently on began winking out as it descended. The countdown stopped at Level 5 (which was apparently the level they currently occupied), and the two bounty hunters readied their weapons. The doors slid open, revealing an empty platform.

Too easy again. Whispered that bodiless voice. There should’ve been a bomb on that car, or more droids; anything to slow your progress. Think about it soldier-boy, that’s what you’d have done had you been in command of this ship.

“But we don’t even know if there is someone in command here.” Arcuse hissed under his breath, speaking, to put it simply, to himself. “Mayhap it’s just a few droids that remained active. The turbolasers could always have been set to defend the ship if anything fired in close proximity to it, as sai Sathik did.”

He knew that this was unlikely, and that there was probably something in control of the ship, but he’d try anything to get this voice in his head to shut up and let him work. To his surprise, the voice didn’t respond, and he was able to bring his attention back to the real world.

Sathik stood on the lift platform, eyeing his friend strangely. The Ubese didn’t know if the plagued hunter had heard him talking to himself, but he hoped silently that he hadn’t.

“You comin’?” Sathik asked, tapping his foot in a mock gesture of impatience. Arcuse walked into the lift beside his companion, but gave no verbal response. As much as he hated to admit it, the thing in his head was right. Something was trying to stop them, and the fact that he didn’t know what it was or why this ghost ship was even here made him uneasy. Arcuse of the Ubese gripped his E-11 tightly, and watched the level-indicator relight the numbers one by one as the lift platform rose.


(94 replies, posted in Role Playing)


The Morbis Ferre dropped into subspace 300 kilometers off the Promised Jewel’s bow, weapons primed and shields holding at full charge, ready for any trace of defensive action from the ghost ship. At first, there was none, and the Ubese pilot’s paranoia appeared to be unfounded. The Skipray cruised onward, its owner’s talented hands tightening ever so slightly on the ion cannons’ triggers.

Something’s not right. Whispered a bodiless voice into Arcuse’s ear. He’d heard the voice before, and had learned over the years to heed its advice. He knew the apparition very well; and why shouldn’t he? It was his own mind speaking after all. It was the small whisper of intuition that had saved his friends’ lives on many occasions, and his own even more.

Where are the other hunters? Surely you weren’t the first to arrive; the [\i]Morbis Ferre’s[i] a good ship say true, but not known for its speed. There are no ships attached to the hull, no landing bays to be seen, and no debris or any other signs of a space battle. He thought, eying the sleek, massive luxury vessel with great suspicion.

The Promised Jewel[\i], target of every bounty and treasure hunter in the sector, seemed to be, in every way, untouched. Where any normal hunter might’ve seen this as a blessing, the Ubese warrior sitting at the [i]Morbis Ferre’s[\i] controls grew all the more doubtful that everything here was what it seemed. One black, armored glove reached for the intercom:

“Sathik, I need you on the turret.”

There was no answer for a few seconds, then: “Why, we got trouble?”

“Not yet.” Arcuse rasped, letting go of the ‘talk’ button and bringing his full attention back to his viewport. His control board informed him that the topside gunwell had been powered up; thus encouraged, the Ubese took the gunship in closer, fingers still twitching beside his firing studs. Helmeted eyes still glued to his viewport, he keyed the intercom for the turret.

“I’m taking us in closer, be ready.”

“Always, Arc.”

The [i]Morbis Ferre[\i] drifted ever closer, every weapon in her considerable arsenal trained on the hull as it approached. Arcuse’s gaze shifted momentarily to his sensor readout, assuring himself that they weren’t about to be blindsided from behind.

[i]Be ever vigilant sai, if the instructors back on Uba taught you anything, it was to stay alert and shoot straight. Now, what to do about this ship...

“You see any docking clamps? Landing bays?” The Ubese soldier asked into the intercom.

“Not a one. We could always use one of those forced entries we pulled back on that Imp garrison. You remember Willy?” Sathik answered back.

“I’d rather not. And no, we’ve got no thermal paste to burn our way in. Perhaps you could blast us a hole? I’m not reading any shields on the vessel, should be simple enough.” The Ubese returned.

“Arc, I thought you’d never ask.” With no further discussion, the laser turret began to beat its steady rhythm through the hull, launching lances of crimson energy at the starcraft below. Arcuse’s paranoia-enhanced eyes followed the first salvo with intense curiosity, wondering if perhaps the term ‘ghost ship’ was meant to be taken all too literally this time.

[i]Mayhap the blasts will pass right through.[\i] The Ubese thought, not quite believing himself even as the notion crossed his mind. [i]Such things are illogical, it would do you good to concentrate on possibilities that may actually occur.[\i]

A moment later however, Arcuse proved himself wrong and right at the same time. The paired laser bolts passed [i]through[\i] the [i]Promised Jewel’s[\i] hull, and out of the Ubese’s sight. Sathik’s voice came through the comm a moment later.

“Arc?” Said a perfectly calm, and thus obviously wrong voice.


“Did you just see that?”

“If by ‘that’ you mean your opening salvo going through the-”

“Arc! Look out!” Sathik suddenly yelled, the loud noise causing the Ubese’s hand to dart towards his holstered blaster out of reflex. In his line of business, shouting was generally followed by gunshots. That reflex, the very one that had kept him alive a dozen times over, now betrayed him. As his right hand dipped towards his thigh holster, an emerald pillar of light struck the [i]Morbis Ferre’s[\i] amidships, throwing Arcuse against his pilot’s harness and shaking the entire ship. Had he seen the turbolaser blast coming, and had his right hand been on the flight-stick, then he might’ve had a chance to veer out of the way in time. Most unfortunately for the Ubese however, he [i]hadn’t[\i] seen the blast coming, and nor had his hand been under his control so much as it had been under his reflexes’; needless to say, he didn’t have a prayer.

Arcuse immediately grasped the Skipray’s flight-stick and shoved it forward, throwing more power to the engine with his left hand as he did so. The ponderous gunship lurched forward and dove, causing the second blast to do nothing more than skim across the shields. The Ubese gunslinger looked to his shield gauge for an instant, and saw them already 2/3 gone. Had those shields been down, he and Sathik would be just so many particles floating in space.

“What in the Nine Circles of Hell just happened!?” Arcuse rasped angrily, one of the few emotions he experienced. He would’ve yelled, it was certainly the right time for it, but his very anatomy prevented him from doing so.

“Fire came from the kriffin ship!” Sathik bellowed through the comm, perfectly capable of yelling, and doing so. He’d begun firing blindly into the ‘ghost ship’s’ not-quite-real hull, hoping to hit whatever had just tried to shoot them down.

“What? I didn’t see any gun turrets as we were coming in.” Arcuse responded, throwing the [i]Morbis Ferre[\i] into a corkscrewed climb and firing a few ion shots into the ‘ship’ that filled his viewport.

“That’s just it!” Sathik yelled back, “There [i]are[\i] no gun turrets. Those shots came out right through the hull, just like mine went in.”

“Interesting.” Was the only response Arcuse gave, though more to himself than to Sathik. He looked down at the seemingly very solid hull skimming a few dozen meters beneath his ship, and raised an amused eyebrow at his own audacity. If the blasts went through, it’s possible that...

[i]Victory does not come without risks.[\i] He’d been taught, but was this taking it too far? Perhaps it was.

Whether it was or not however, played no part in Arcuse’s decision as he pushed the flight-stick forward again, putting the [i]Morbis Ferre[\i] into a steep dive – directly towards the [i]Promised Jewel[\i]. The sleek hull rushed towards him, and a questioning sound came through the intercom.

“Uh, Arc?” Sathik asked.

Arcuse didn’t answer.

“You do realize that we’re, umm, ya, kind of going to hit the ship?”

The Ubese kept his silence, and his eyes remained fixed on where they would hit in just about...now.

As the holographic plating of the [i]Promised Jewel[\i] engulfed first the bow, and then the middle (the laser turret’s location) of Arcuse’s Skipray, he heard Sathik spitting a chain of expletives from down the corridors. He hadn’t used the intercom. Almost smiling, the Ubese brought his attention back to his viewport, just in time to barrel-roll out of the way of another turbolaser blast. This time, he could see the shot’s source.

“Hello beautiful.” Sathik murmured to the intercom as he brought the turret to bear. His target wasn’t exactly a dreadnaught, but it was far from an impossible shot either. The problem he was going to have though, would be firepower. Even with the cannon upped to maximum power, he was doubtful it would have much impact on the cruiser’s, if it was large enough to be called that, shields. “Might need a wee bit of help here.” He said, leaving the intercom on so he wouldn’t have to keep keying into the cockpit.

“We’re not going to destroy it.” Arcuse rasped, hating the very words that came out of his helmeted mouth.

“It shot at us Arc. Took off more than it could chew, and now whoever’s on that thing needs to die. Natural selection, I thought you loved that kind of stuff.” Sathik said, wanting to blow the vessel out of space as much as Arcuse did.

“There are two bounty hunter craft docked with that ship. One of them is the Slave I.” The Ubese said, checking the starships’ profiles on his sensor readout, looking up every second or two to avoid what could be a killing shot from landing.

“Your point being? So we even get to eliminate our top competition [i]and[\i] kill the ship. I mean I like the old Fett more than most people, but he still cuts into our profits from time to time.” Sathik said, still firing with little effect on the small, compact cruiser.

“The Bounty Hunter’s Creed sai.” Arcuse rasped, needing to say nothing else.

[i]I will not kill another hunter during a hunt, unless he himself breaks this creed. On this I give my word.[\i] Just one of several points in the Creed.

“Y’know what Arc? Sometimes I really hate that sense of honor of yours.”

“How did we meet again?” Arcuse inquired, wanting to cut the talking as soon as possible so he could get his mind back to keeping them alive. At this, Sathik fell silent, knowing the answer very well. At a competition on some forgotten (and now destroyed) planet, a killing match called the Battledome, Sathik found himself running through a forest with two rancors on his tail, far from a good position for anyone to be in. The rest was simple: Arcuse saw the situation, deemed it unfair, joined in, and between the two of them he and Sathik had dispatched the titanic creatures. In short, Arcuse’s overzealous sense of honor had quite possibly saved Sathik’s life.

With no further arguments, Arcuse throttled the [i]Morbis Ferre[\i], draining power from the laser turret and feeding it into the crippled shields as he grew closer to the still-firing cruiser. With his honor gaining priority over his lust to kill, the only remaining option that could include surviving the ship’s constant barrage of fire, and not abandoning the hunt, would be to board the vessel. Besides, maybe he could get some clue as to where the real [i]Promised Jewel[\i] was.

The Skipray took another hit on its way in, blowing away what was left of its shields, but Arcuse didn’t much care. The closer they got to the ship, the worse its aim became, such is the glory of turbolasers. The Ubese kept the ion cannons blazing all the way in, and even fired off a half-dozen concussion missiles for good measure. The latter exploded semi-harmlessly along its shields, but the former went straight through the transparent barrier and made contact with the hull, shorting out systems wherever they struck.

“So, what exactly is the plan?” Sathik asked as the gunship decelerated near the dense vessel’s hull.

“We pull a modified Han Solo.” Arcuse answered.

“Come again?” The Dark hunter in the turret inquired, not entirely sure what his friend meant.

“We get in close and dock with the ship to avoid fire.”

“I got that part, but where does the modified part come in?”

“We kill anything on that ship that isn’t a bounty hunter.” The Ubese replied simply, punching the clasp on his chest to release his crash harness as the Skipray drifted slowly towards one of the cruiser’s docking ports.

“I think I’m going to like this plan.” Sathik said, and likewise untangled himself from the gunwell’s harness. The pair of soldiers met moments later in  the [i]Morbis Ferre’s[\i] cargo hold/armory, and began quickly browsing the vast shelves of weaponry. In the end, Sathik took his shotgun and his S-5, along with the assortment of omnipresent knives he had on him. Arcuse took his usual E-11, with all its various accessories, his standard BlasTech DL-36 sidearm, an HSB-200 hold-out blaster in an ankle holster, a combat knife on his opposite ankle, a pair of elongated vibroblades on his back which he’d recently taken a liking to, and a pair of wrist lasers. A good deal more firepower than he normally carried while out on the job, but Boba Fett was on this ship after all, and if they ever met up with him, the Ubese warrior wanted to be as ready as possible.

He’d always wondered when he saw the Mandalorian, which he did occasionally, if he would come out on top in a fight. Arcuse was certainly younger, which generally meant faster and stronger, while Boba wasn’t exactly in his prime. The Ubese was a near perfect shot, capable of shooting a pistol out of a boy’s hand almost completely out of reflex, dare he say maybe a better shot than Boba Fett himself. Still, there was something about the legendary hunter that had kept him alive through his years of hunting, something more than intelligence and firepower. Arcuse had no idea what that unknown skill was, and silently hoped that he and Sathik would finish their business here [i]without[\i] being forced into a confrontation with Fett.

[i]If we do,[\i] The orphaned soldier thought to himself. [i]I’ll do my best to kill him if he tries to do the same to me. If I’m lucky (maybe that’s his secret; ironic that it’s what saves Solo every time if it is) I’ll at least drive him off.[\i]

“Ready?” Sathik asked, blowing Arcuse’s thoughts away like breath to sand.

“Always.” The Ubese replied, using his friend’s own saying. His plagued friend punched the ramp release, and immediately noticed that the air tasted...old, almost stale somehow. Arcuse on the other hand, noticed nothing; his helmet’s air-scrubbers kept the air the usual fabricated clean he was used to.

As the cargo ramp touched the deck, both hunters descended the incline, crouched low with their weapons at the ready. There was no illumination in the airlock, and likely none elsewhere either; Arcuse activated the tactical glowrod on his BlasTech rifle, and panned the light across the walls, searching for anything that might be a problem. His quick scan came up clear, and the two proceeded onwards. Sathik had spent much of his life in the dark, and could operate without much loss of efficiency in it.

They reached a blast door simply by walking forward after exiting and sealing the [i]Morbis Ferre[\i], quite obviously giving access to the rest of the ship. Arcuse checked a panel on the wall to the left of the door, and grew more than a little uneasy to discover that the massive doors were unlocked. The Ubese hit the door release, and then stepped back next to Sathik. The two shouldered their weapons, and waited for the blast doors to open, completely oblivious as to what might be on the other side.

It is currently midnight as I finally post this, and I blame any bad, horrible, or in any other way not good writing on my exhaustion. Nice to have a scape-goat every once in awhile.


IG-88, hands down. Evil, metal, lots of guns, no reason not to like him. Then there's the whole take-over-the-galaxy plot going on, and though it fails, twas still very cool.

((Come on Mel, half a dozen RPGs together and you don’t find it suitable to tell me when we get a new gorram site!? I’m hurt, really.))

“Looks like it’s go time.” The voice, on the surface, had nothing strange about it. Just another piece of a galaxy full of sound, nothing to give so much as a second thought to. If one were to go deeper into that voice however, into the dark being to which it belonged to, what they would see would be enough to bring most men to tears. What they would glean, was the life of a killer. A life brimming with a fear long past, literal monsters that wanted nothing more than to gorge itself on his flesh, armies of trained soldiers standing against only himself and a trio of his friends. A life of death. This was more literal than most would think; because Sathik, was a plague carrier. His breath, his blood, any bodily export carried his disease, which was deadly on an incredible level.

Friends. Sathik thought to himself, a word that would have been foreign to him years ago. Now however, there was a single being that stood out when that word came to mind. A warrior, like him; orphaned, deadly, and like he had been, completely alone before he’d met Sathik.

“It does indeed.” This voice, much unlike his dark friend’s, had a very unique sound to it. Like rocks grinding together, a low, rasping excuse for a voice brought on by his species’ natural anatomy. This being’s past, if one had the courage to peek into it, was very much like his friend’s, and at the same time very different. He was a soldier, trained from the age of eight. That very training, was cut short before his ninth birthday, not even a year later. The reason, quite simply, was that his trainers, his family, and the majority of his species, had died all at once. The tale of his life was a long and sad one, full of death and loss, but one not known to anyone living, save Sathik.

The difference between he and his friend, was that Arcuse, so he was named, had gone his previous five and twenty years without knowing what fear felt like. He’d had not even a year of Ubese warrior training, say true, but in that part of a year he’d learned more than he would from years of conventional military training. Primarily among the knowledge he’d gain, was his lack of emotion. He'd felt fear once before however, at the hands of a demon, for there was little else you could call him. He'd saved that demon's life, but before he did, that evil-tainted monster had shown him what fear was. He felt a few others more regularly; rage, anger, hate, and at the head, vengeance. Ever since that day when the Old Republic had laid waste to his homeworld, his family, and his life, he’d sworn vengeance upon the man responsible. To this day, he’d never found him.

More recently, he’d begun to feel kinship, or friendship if it do ya. Sathik was his friend, he was very sure of that, and he’d trust him with his own life in a heartbeat. His other friends, though not trusted to such a degree as his plagued companion, were his crew aboard the Ana Ng. Though not many, it was a considerable number when one took into account how Arcuse had lived throughout the previous years of his life. The rest, were very few indeed. A female Jedi, though he’d last seen her years ago; and a fellow hunter, who had, though he and Sathik had never spoken of it, had feelings for the she-Jedi. Dash, as the hunter was called, they had accompanied on recent bounties, the Jedi, they did not know when they’d see next.

Sathik rose from the booth he and his friend had occupied during the bounty briefing, stepped over the few bodies that had accumulated on the floor, and stretched. The bodies, or corpses as they now were, had been the result of a few belligerent brawlers who’d tried to get the two warriors in on the fight that had broken out earlier. Much to their dismay, the pair had obliged.

The plague-ridden bounty hunter wore little in the way of armor, preferring to rely on his speed and skill than to be a blaster-sponge. The stock of a rifle-style weapon protruded from the scabbard on his back, giving him relatively easy access to the weapon while not restricting his movement. The gun he wore, was, in fact, a slugthrower. And further than that, it was a spread-gun, more colorfully known as a shotgun. The slugthrower had been his weapon of choice since he’d encountered the horrors he’d witnessed as a child, and had saved his life more times than he could count. In a shoulder-rig he toted a Sorosuub S-5 heavy blaster, on Arcuse’s insistence, and had more than few blades hidden on his body. The last bit of noticeable gear, was his mask. The bit of apparel fit over his mouth and nose, and kept his disease where it belonged.

Arcuse too slid his way out from their corner table, stepping on and over the bodies as if they weren’t even there, and followed Sathik as he strode towards one of the Palace’s exits. He was the pinnacle of intimidation, or so he’d been told, covered from helmet to boots in a jet-black armored flight-suit. The reflective faceplate served to keep his face a well-kept secret, as was the custom when in the presence of non-Ubese. He had a BlasTech E-11 rifle slung across his chest with a shoulder-strap, mounted with an under-barrel grenade launcher, grappling spike launcher, and tactical glowrod. As a sidearm, the Ubese warrior wore a BlasTech DL-36 pistol in a thigh-holster, with the end of the holster secured just above the knee. The weapons, like Sathik’s shotgun, had been his faithful armaments for years.

The two bounty hunters left without a word, Sathik ever-vigilant as he scanned stairways and darkened corridors, and Arcuse looking over the bounty information. As a rule of thumb, the mercenaries generally took dead-or-alive bounties, with their preference being the former after a mix-up back in an Imperial Garrison involving the details of the bounty. Treasure hunting then, was far from their forte, but for a million credits preferences can shift very easily.

Content with his basic understanding of the merchandise, and knowing he could always review the information later aboard his ship, the Ubese deactivated his PAC20 wrist comm, which had been acting as a datapad to display the datacard’s contents, and rested his hand on the pistol-grip of his E-11. He switched his visor’s optics mode to a low-light setting, granting him greater visibility in the dark, humid hallways of Jabba’s palace.

After a few minutes of navigating the stone fortress, the two hunters were released into the scorching heat of Tatooine’s two suns.

“Never seems to get any cooler whenever we come here.” Sathik sighed, squinting his eyes as they adjusted to the harsh light. “Don’t know why I expect it to.”

“Indeed.” Arcuse agreed, voicing his almost universal affirmation.

“Oh shut up Arc, you can’t even feel the heat in that suit of yours can you?” Sathik asked, his voice not matching the harshness of his words.

“Mayhap I can. Mayhap I can’t.”

Sathik sighed in resignation, giving up the subject as they approached his Ubese friend’s cargo-speeder, affectionately named Mule. The repulsor-craft wasn’t as bad as the name implied in reality, and could attain respectable speed while still being able to seat four and carry a sizeable amount of cargo. The plagued bounty hunter took the controls, while Arcuse seated himself towards the rear, armored hand still grasping his blaster rifle. His paranoia turned out to be unfounded, and they set off towards Mos Eisley unopposed.

It took the better part of an hour for Mule to get them to the spaceport, with Sathik taking occasional swigs from a water jug. Apparently, Arcuse’s air-sealed suit did keep the temperature at a comfortable level, because he made the entire journey without a single mouthful of water.

After traversing the busy streets for yet another quarter-hour, the pair pulled into Docking Bay 19, where Arcuse’s precious SFS GAT-12 Skipray Blastboat lay waiting in the now-setting Tatooine suns. The Ubese soldier dismounted, keyed in his vessel’s various passcodes, and entered the craft. He went immediately to the cockpit, started the pre-flight sequence, and opened the rear cargo-hatch so Sathik could bring in Mule.

The ship, christened the Morbis Ferre (which means ‘Death Bringer’ in an ancient form of basic) was a masterpiece of modern armaments. Setting aside the enormous collection of weapons in Arcuse’s armory, the Skipray sported three capital-ship grade ion cannons, a high-powered fire-linked laser cannon turret, a proton torpedo launcher with a magazine of twelve torpedoes, and a concussion missile launcher that drew from a store of eighteen missiles. Add that to a full set of top-notch durasteel armor and a dedicated shield generator, and the Morbis Ferre became a mechanized killing machine. Cold, dark, and a little bit evil, just like its owner.

“Mule’s locked up, we’re ready to go.” Sathik yelled down the Morbis Ferre’s ‘neck’ corridor into the cockpit. Without a response, Arcuse strapped himself into the pilot’s chair, his eyes following every tick of the pre-flight countdown timer.

Two minutes later, the large gunboat’s repulsorlifts roared to life, and the mass of metal and weapons headed skyward, almost daring anyone to attack by its sheer amount of firepower alone. The Morbis Ferre disappeared into the void of hyperspace moments after leaving Tatooine’s atmosphere, bound for a destination given to them by one of their few friends, Al-Kwarzeme. The Tiss’shar was the pilot aboard the Ana Ng, the ship that Arcuse and Sathik would crew when there were no bounties worthy of their exclusive attention. The smuggler/pilot had more than his fair share of underworld contacts, and had given them the most accurate location on the market of the Promised Jewel’s resting place. They could only hope that information was reliable as Arcuse’s Skipray barreled through hyperspace.

((Alright, anyone want to tell me why HTML isn't working? I can't live without italics.))