First things first: Hi Gojan!
Second things second: I vote that we keep Gerba alive a little while longer. Have some more fun with him that way. All in favor?
Third things third: my post.
Continued (sort of) from my previous post:
PART II: THE FIGHT
Demarq felt a searing hatred toward the Hutt at that moment. Not that he hadn't been expecting a trap of exactly this sort, but still, it just wasn't fair. The first time things were starting to go their way, and now they probably had an entire quarter of the Battledome knowing exactly where they were. That sadistic Hutt was going to pay for turning what should have been a relaxing couple of hours into yet another battle for survival.
He still had a good while before he had to start worrying: it would take the combatants some time to make their way to the street Gerba had mentioned. Even then, there were dozens of houses on that particular street. The prisoners and mercs would be fighting each other and trying to search all the houses at the same time, which shifted the odds a little bit closer to Ã¢Â€ÂœreasonableÃ¢Â€Â on the Fairness Spectrum. They might not even figure out which house they were in at all, since the basement was fairly well-hidden.
Yeah, maybe, if you hadnÃ¢Â€Â™t left a present for them at the front door, sneered the self-critical portion of his brain. Nothing screams Ã¢Â€Â˜occupiedÃ¢Â€Â™ like a grenade blowing up 4 of your buddies.
Better than just hoping no one finds us, defended the cautious portion of his brain. Besides, we didnÃ¢Â€Â™t know for sure there was any kind of trap associated with the tank. Some rest would have done us good, and we couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t have risked resting without some sort of alarm system.
I could go for some cake, mused the portion of his brain that really liked cake, but no one paid it much mind.
All he could do now was wait.
<Hey Isamm, get over here!>
The RodianÃ¢Â€Â™s eyes darted left and right, to make sure there were no other mercs close enough to take a shot at her. Satisfied, she let her carbine fall from her shoulder and sprinted over to the buildingÃ¢Â€Â™s door where Neepa waited for her with his usual calm stance she could never hope to imitate. He looked vaguely amused at her nervous expression, which always irritated her to no end. As usual, however, she kept quiet; after all, he was the seasoned mercenary. Indignant sass is no way to address a superior, even when that superior is your older brother.
<IÃ¢Â€Â™ll crack open the door and secure the area inside,> Neepa buzzed to his sister in their native tongue. <Just make sure you cover my back. Can you handle that?>
His sincere concern bugged her even more than his comfortable stance did: she was a warrior too, dammit! She didnÃ¢Â€Â™t need his protection! Still, she bit back her spiking anger and nodded that she could in fact handle it.
<Good. Because here we go.> He eased the door open slightly, peered inside, then kicked it the rest of the way open.
Isamm flinched slightly, almost expecting the door to be rigged with explosives. Of course it wasnÃ¢Â€Â™t, and Neepa went about his business securing the interior of the house. He headed upstairs, and Isamm wandered her way about the ground floor. It looked identical to the other two they had already been through, with the exception of the open cellar door. Someone had clearly been here already.
<Neepa!> she shouted, hating herself for relying on her brother so heavily. WhatÃ¢Â€Â™s the matter little girl, afraid of the dark scary basement? She took a step closer to the door, and heard a faint buzzing from the darkness beyond.
Suddenly Neepa was at her side. <Interesting. SomeoneÃ¢Â€Â™s been here already. Step back, Isamm.>
She did, letting her self-loathing embroil her as he did the task she should have been able to do. He took a bold step into the basementÃ¢Â€Â¦and promptly disappeared with a crash.
She peered her head inside. It was nearly pitch black, and she could only make out the reflection of the faint light from her brotherÃ¢Â€Â™s eyes from his position where he lay two meters below.
<Isamm, the stairsÃ¢Â€Â¦theyÃ¢Â€Â™ve been knocked overÃ¢Â€Â¦I thinkÃ¢Â€Â¦I think my leg is broken. I need you toÃ¢Â€Â¦figure out a way to get me upÃ¢Â€Â¦>
Before Isamm could do so much as move, however, the buzzing rose sharply in volume. There was another brief reflection- something hard, like a shell, or a carapace, and suddenly Neepa was screaming.
Isamm wanted more than anything to be the hero. She wanted to jump down there, beat down whatever was attacking her brother, and more than anything she wanted to save him for once. But all she could do was stand there, frozen, and she hated herself for it.
Thankfully she didnÃ¢Â€Â™t have to hate herself for long, because a black claw shot out from the darkness and snapped around her ankle. She too was dragged into the darkness, and before long there was nothing left to hate.
Elsewhere, a merry band of prisoners stood outside another door in the endless sea of identical prefabricated houses. The leader, a woman dressed in dark leather, kicked in the door and jumped through, the sights of her blaster rifle held at eye-level. She whirled once, twice, then motioned to her four men (two other humans, a twiÃ¢Â€Â™lek and a wookie) where they waited expectantly. They split up, and had fully searched the house from top to basement in 45 seconds.
Ã¢Â€ÂœNothing,Ã¢Â€Â the woman spat unnecessarily. Ã¢Â€ÂœAll right. Next house. Move it.Ã¢Â€Â
Yet elsewhere, a Gamorrean kicked in the front door to a house, stepped inside, and nodded to his companions. Two human males, a twiÃ¢Â€Â™lek male and a Devaronian male all crowded in, trying to be the first to get at whatever loot the dwelling might hold.
Before they could get very far, the grenade that had been taped to the doorframe exploded, engulfing them all in flame. The sounds of the blast and their screams rang through the faux neighborhood.
A story below them, Demarq sighed. Well, it took them an hour and a half, but they found us. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s going to be a long nightÃ¢Â€Â¦I hope.
Ã¢Â€ÂœYo Cap, we got mercs approaching the front door! You better make your search a quick one!Ã¢Â€Â
A human male, the one known as Cap and the leader of this band of prisoners, swore under his breath. He thought heÃ¢Â€Â™d gotten lucky, finding this place after the initial trap had been sprung, but before anyone else could respond to the explosion. Right place right time, heÃ¢Â€Â™d thought. Unfortunately, there was apparently a merc group that was in a slightly-less-right place at that right time, and his ragtag group couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t stand up to armored professionals in a firefight.
Ã¢Â€ÂœRingo, lay down some fire, make them take cover, buy us some time. Allie and Kooper, you get the upstairs, IÃ¢Â€Â™ll take the ground floor. Holler if you find the med gear. We gotta find a good place to stake out.Ã¢Â€Â
The prisoners about their orders, Cap did a quick check of the ground floor. Nothing out of the ordinary in the sitting room, or the kitchen (though, didnÃ¢Â€Â™t those other houses have chairs at the table?). He was about to check the basement door when a shot far louder than RingoÃ¢Â€Â™s blasterfire rang out.
Ã¢Â€ÂœAllie? Kooper? Report!Ã¢Â€Â Cap bellowed over the blasterfire in the adjacent room.
Ã¢Â€ÂœKooperÃ¢Â€Â™s down, some kind of trap they set up in the room. Took a slug to the face, itÃ¢Â€Â™s not pretty. IÃ¢Â€Â™m searching the room now.Ã¢Â€Â
Cap nodded. He had expected more traps after seeing the aftermath of that grenade in the entry hall. Ã¢Â€ÂœRingo, what kind of resistance are we looking at?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœActually, they ainÃ¢Â€Â™t mercs. Five prisoners, three humans, a tentacle-head and oneathose fuzzballs. Woozie? Wookzy? Whatever. One of those.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœWookie, you ignorant ass. Just keep Ã¢Â€Â˜em pinned down. Keep track of them while I search the basement.Ã¢Â€Â
There was a slight pause as Ringo tallied up his opponents. Ã¢Â€ÂœSay, whereÃ¢Â€Â™d that one human chick go?Ã¢Â€Â
Right on cue, a blaster bolt came through the side window, splattering RingoÃ¢Â€Â™s head against the charred wall and adding his headless body to the pile of grenade victims where it looked right at home.
Cap swore again, more severely this time. Ã¢Â€ÂœAllie, RingoÃ¢Â€Â™s down, theyÃ¢Â€Â™re coming in!Ã¢Â€Â Before he could get a shot at the female dressed in leather that had gunned down his point man, she ducked out, presumably to rejoin her four men and invade.
One of the human males was the first to enter the house; he committed a bit too much to his entry, aimed squarely into kitchen, and took a shot from Allie perched on the steps to the second floor. Allie squatted down further behind the banister for cover, and Cap stepped out from inside the kitchen to take the other human. 2 down, 3 to go.
The prisoners were more cautious now; it took a good 5 seconds for them to try again. It was a two-pronged attack: that damn woman was back at her window, firing at Cap and forcing him back into cover. Meanwhile the wookie charged in and crashed headlong into the banister Allie was hiding behind. It was all she could do to get out of the way, but it seemed like the enraged creature was immune to blaster bolts. It shrugged off her attacks, grabbed her ankle, and dragged her down the stairs where he continued to pound on her.
The twiÃ¢Â€Â™lek also took this chance to enter, momentarily cutting off the leather-bound womanÃ¢Â€Â™s line of sight. Cap used the opportunity to riddle the tentacled alien with energy before retreating further into the kitchen and working his way around the other side, through the study to the other side of the sitting room. The wookie was still pounding Allie into pulp against the wall, blood beginning to mat its fur. Cap took careful aim, and let loose three shots into its skull. The beast collapsed mid-pound and fell atop Allie without so much as a whine. Cap didnÃ¢Â€Â™t bother checking to see whether Allie was alive. It was just him and that leather-woman now.
He headed back through the study to the basement door and opened it. That woman was younger, and probably faster than he, and he needed every advantage he could get. Before he could take a single step, he felt a searing pain as a knife entered his back. He staggered back, looked into the womanÃ¢Â€Â™s sadistic smile, and collapsed on the kitchen floor.
Ã¢Â€ÂœBasement, huh? MightÃ¢Â€Â™ve missed it. Thanks for the tip.Ã¢Â€Â She removed the knife from CapÃ¢Â€Â™s back, stepped over his corpse, and began descending the stairs.
After two steps, however, the step buckled under her weight. A single thought ran through her head- trap! and then she was falling: a quick drop to a sudden stop, impaled on four of the waiting stakes.
A man sitting against the far wall stood up and stepped over to her. He was very attractive, although too lean to be healthy, and his right hand was rolled up in a bandage. He stopped right in front of her face and squatted to her eye level.
Ã¢Â€ÂœOoh, so close. Thanks for playing.Ã¢Â€Â He reached over to her belt and pulled out the knife, still covered in CapÃ¢Â€Â™s blood. Ã¢Â€ÂœAnd thanks for this.Ã¢Â€Â He drew the knife across her throat, and that was that.
Demarq wiped off the knife on the womanÃ¢Â€Â™s clothes and tucked it into his own belt. Two hours in and IÃ¢Â€Â™m out of surprises. Time to see what else the universe can throw my way.
**OH boy this is taking longer than i thought. here's something to chew on while i finish this mother up. it'll be done this evening. It'll be worth it, i promise