Character Background Mini Stories!

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-Jatne in conversation about his training.

Post by AlleKote Yesterday at 2:32 am

"He turned you into brilliant warriors, Kal should be proud of himself." Roxil said.
"Training us was hard on Kal'buir, he still hasn't forgiven himself for any of it."
"How bad could it be teaching some boys to shoot straight. I've been here three days and I've learned to shoot." Roxil never actually had to train to be fearsome, he had no idea what it entailed.
"You think he just had us run some target practice? We'd all be dead by now, every one of us." Jatne took a particular tone whenever he was upset. "No, first you learn the actions. Then you drill, drill more, and continue drilling until your body can preform those actions without waiting for permission from your brain. That's just the physical combat. We also needed endurance.
He'd lock us in rooms overnight with the temperatures so low we turned blue. He'd deprive us of sleep, by any means necessary, for days at a time. We would be denied rations and water. We had to tab sixty kilo packs for kilometers though desert conditions. He subjected us to abuse unaltered by pity or love, both physical and verbal. We'd be forced to endure  humiliation on a regular basis. More than once we were cornered and attacked in nothing but our unders and expected to fight back. Nature gave us teeth and fists, we were expected to know how to use them. It tore him up but we had to be able to cope in every scenario if we were ever going to survive. Those abuses are all that stand between us and death more often than you think. Every awful thing he did made us the soldiers we need to be.
And Kal'buir never handed the dirty work to someone else. He never abandoned us to be abused by anyone else just to keep being the spotless father figure.  That was a lesson in its own, being prepared to do the whole job. No, all the things we learned as children that make adult civilians cringe or cry, we learned it all from him. He drilled us until we could kill without remorse when it was necessary. That man saved our lives, then he equipped us with everything we need to save them ourselves. We owe everything to Kal'buir, everything."

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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by AlleKote on Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:58 am

The first time Kal'buir drilled us in a killing house we were four years old with the bodies of eight year olds. We didn't have anything but basic body armor and standard dome helmets modified with basic HUD visors. Those helmets did have an internal mount for our commlinks at least. Skirata promised us intel. There were three things he told us never to trust; the weather forecast, the mess menu, and intel.

Our objective was neutralize six tinnie hostiles, and subdue two. There was also important data on supply networks to be recovered. So we have to fast rope our way to the bottom of a spherical chamber big enough to swallow a flagship to get to the structure, Kal'buir said we weren't allowed to use the turbolift. Jaing and Mereel laughed the whole way down. It was a hobby for those two to swing around on their rappel lines and take pot shots at Kaminiise engineers. Mereel broke more than a few bones scaling the walls in Tipoca. I enjoyed a good fast roping, but I was already totally focused.

At the bottom, we discovered a field made to look like a mass of infantry already assaulted the structure but ran over a remotely armed mine field. The ground was thick with disturbingly realistic body parts, jagged fragments of armor, and a blanket of guts and blood. Some of the flesh was burnt by mines and all of it was starting to rot. Most of the yard was filled with barbed wire, but the mines had created a maze of trenches. I took a deep breathe and dropped prone. 

The smell was agonizing and the texture on the ground was repulsive. I very nearly threw up right on the spot, Kom'rk and Ordo did. We never did laugh at them for that. When we started to crawl through the trenches the armor shrapnel scraped our arms and legs. Droids started firing at us out through the window. We usually drilled with plastoid rounds, but I could feel the heat from bolts impacting around me and they kicked up a sickening steam from the flesh scraps.

By the time we made it to the door A'den had also thrown up, the tightness in my throat and watering in my mouth told me I had come real close again. I crouched to the left of the door with Mereel standing over me. Kom'rk crouched to the right with Ordo over him. Mereel placed small pieces over thermal tape on the hinge side of the door. We could hear Prudii make a gulping sound like he was trying not to puke, then he gave a thumbs up. We were determined that one day we'd be able to handle the sickener, but we weren't there yet.

"Cover," Ordo whispered and Mereel pressed the detonator; when the door fell inward a droid immediately started shooting out but only hit air. Kom'rk leaned in and shot a burst of four shots, they all hit center mass and the droid dropped. I pulled a lumipen from my belt and drew a tally on my arm plate. Ordo carefully maneuvered a strip as thin as flimsi through the door and linked the video feed to an icon in our HUDs. Mereel and I rolled in one EMP grenade a piece, disabling two more droids visible from the entryway. We were up to three tallies on my plate. A'den and Jaing went through the door first.
"Front room right, clear" A'den whispered.
"Front room left, no hostiles. We've got computers. I'm going to set a proximity alert and hang out here. I'll catch up when I slice this and see what goodies I can find." When it came to slicing, it was always when for Jaing. The remaining six of us moved on. Ordo and Mereel checked down the hall while Kom'rk kept an eye on a stairwell going down, A'den and I watched one that went up. 

"Back room right, no hostiles. File cabinets, I'll see what we've got here." Ordo disappeared into the room.
"Back room left, clear" Mereel whispered and headed back to go down the stairs with Kom'rk. They came back up only moments later and gave a silent thumbs up, nothing. Five of us went up stairs.

I ducked around the door immediately to the right at the top and fired a short burst and made sure it would show in my POV icon when I added a tally. Kom'rk destroyed another. We were up to five. Mereel held up a fist outside his door, all the droids had been blue, his slipcam showed us a green droid. I jumped in with A'den. He tackled the machine and I slipped a probe in its dataport marking it as subdued. I put a single tally on my other arm plate. Prudii and Mereel checked the next room with the slipcam, nothing. There was another flight of stairs. Mereel placed remotely activated thermal detonators in each room.

The last two targets had to be up those stairs. We couldn't risk an EMP with a droid hostage up there, our objectives were clear, two of them could not be naturalized. We nearly crawled up the stairs, I was first, Prudii and Mereel were behind me, and A'den and Kom'rk were behind them. Mereel passed me a thermal but I shook my head and showed him the plate with only one tally, he was insistent. I took it, he must have been up to something and he was. All of the guts had been removed and replaced with a remote camera.

I reached up just enough to roll the grenade over the top of the stairs. Mereel carefully negotiated the remote's controls making it wobble and roll just enough to get a good look at the room while making it appear to roll naturally. One droid straight ahead, we didn't see another one. When the grenade first rolled in though, I was sure I had heard a sharp intake of breath, the last target was a wet one. We made a snap decision, the last droid was blue so we rolled in an EMP and tossed a flashbang after it. The trick was, we primed the flashbang and held it for close to a second while I rolled onto my side and threw the device straight up. We closed our eyes and covered our heads until the deafening sound made our ears ring.

The five of us rushed the stairs, Jaing was with us now, poor Ord'ika got stuck with the paperwork.  The last droid was disabled but Prudii fired once at it anyway. We formed a circle with our backs inward and scanned the room. Movement in the back corner. Jaing and I ran to either side, I had my vibroblade ready, he had his DC-17. I hadn't noticed before, we were still small enough that the rifles looked silly in our hands. They were surprisingly light compared to the DC-15 and much more versatile, but Jaing was leaning back just from the size of it. It was funny sometimes what you noticed on an adrenaline surge.

I heard a shattergun fire, and my shoulder hurt, but I didn't stop. We pounced the wet. Jaing knocked him to the ground belly down and jumped on his back, I grabbed the shattergun and tossed it aside.

"Son, did you just throw my Verp? You know they don't bounce, right?" A very familiar voice said from under Jaing, a voice we all knew and loved. We froze.
"Ordo did it?" I gulped, buir loved his Verpines.

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Endex

Post by Corsenna on Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:31 am

Skirata hated putting his boys through hell, but it had to be done. Things would have been different if they had volunteered, but this seemed cruel. They never had a choice, they never had a real childhood, but they needed to be ready for anything. The abuses he put them through made him sick. However he made it a point of rewarding them and praising them whenever possible. They were exceptionally clever lads and he was open with them about how much he loved them. They made him more proud than anything else. In fact, every one of them was more precious to him than his own life. 

It had taken help from several other Cuy'val Dar to set up the killing house this time. The Nulls had seen and beaten everything he could think to throw at them. He wasn't going easy on them, they were just that good. Just trying to keep up with their growth was hard enough. Anatomically they were about eighteen, but they were just nine years old. This time, he needed to challenge them.

The house had four floors with six rooms on each. There were more traps than he could keep count of. He had four snipers outside and nine more hostiles inside, one of which needed to be captured. His Nulls would be going in with no Intel this time, he always gave them something, but not this time. This was also the only time they had to gather Intel for the killing house and complete it in a time limit, they would only have one hour.

"They should be making their way here now," He said out loud in the room with no one else. He was looking at several viewscreens relaying images from cameras hidden in and around the house. For a moment he thought he saw movement and his gut tightened. His boys had plastoid rounds, they sure did hurt, but they wouldn't kill anything. The snipers and indoor hostiles were all using live ammunition. He had them firing real bullets at his nine year old boys; they just happened to also be roughly eighteen, he still hadn't come to grips with that.

"Sniper two disabled," A choice suddenly emerged from his commlink. Skirata scrutinized the viewscreen looking that way, but saw nothing. Then a yellow-white ball of light erupted inside the house. Skirata felt the cold sweat building up between his shoulder blades and an image of a two year old Ordo flinching at the lightning played in his mind. He flipped through all the commlink channels, his boys were crafty and had a way of gathering equipment in the field, he found only static and went back to the minder channel. They hadn't started with helmet comms and if they had gathered any by new they didn't seem to be using them.

This time he really did see movement, he was breaking all the rules in this one. "Rin," he called to one of the Alpha ARCs Jango had lent him. "Approaching your position at eight oh clock, eyes low." Something outside moved and Skirata started to focus on it but another ball of light flashed inside.
"Room two, back left, hostile contact request-" The voice was suddenly cut off and there was another detonation. 
"Sorn, I've got movement on you, five of clock." One of the snipers said. There was a muffled grunt and one of the ARCs activated their 'Dead' beacon.
"That enn-twelve sure does like breaking necks," The man said over the comm.
"Quieter than putting a few rounds in you."

They were only twelve minutes in when the front door flung open, Kom'rk came out dragging an ARC behind him. He was covered head to toe in filth. Skirata was ashamed of himself for checking the man's tally. ARC-82, the designated hostage, appeared to be unconscious. "Ended!" He shouted, end of exercise, over the loud speaker when a loud crash and tumbling thumps on the commlink cut him off. An ARC was shouting for medevac.

Jatne was being taken to medical. He had complied perfectly with endex protocol. He came out of hiding and slung his weapon on his armor's webbing with his hands clear of it. One of the ARCs approached to guide him out between traps, but the explosions had weakened the structure. Their combined weight brought the floor out under them. The ARC, Merv, caught himself but Jatne had been in the center. 

Normally Skirata and the Nulls handled first aid on their own, but a broken leg and spine required time in the bacta tank if his boy was going to be on his feet again. Jatne was trying not to sob, they had all been injured more times than they could count, but it never stopped hurting. He was covered in scrapes and his lip was bleeding, probably banged against the inside of his helmet during the fall.
"I can't feel my legs, Kal'buir," he said in a shaking voice.

"It's alright, son," Kal said walking along side the repulsor bed. Jatne's six brothers started appearing at his side as well, stripped of their filthy armor plates. The medical team took the bed and closed Skirata and the other Nulls out, all they could do was watch. The door closed and the sealed lock hissed. Something wasn't right, they should be bringing him straight to the tank after checking his file but instead they were hooking a cannula to the back of his hand. Skirata banged on the transperisteel to get their attention but they simply went about their business oblivious of him.

Moments later the Kaminoan medics exited the room leaving Jatne alone with a faintly orange fluid dripping from the bag to his vein. Kal ignored the medic and rushed to Jatne's side, his file was still open on the computer screen and Skirata's heart sank and was simultaneously filled with rage. 

"I feel sick, buir," He said weakly. Skirata immediately tugged the cannula out, he did it as quick as he could, but the voice in the back of his head said it wouldn't matter. He clutched Jatne's hand. "I'm going to be fine, buir, I always am. Don't look so sad," His voice was getting fainter by the second. "I just feel sick, that's all."
"Yeah, you'll be ok Jat'ika." Skirata said add Jatne closed his eyes looking exhausted. Only a second later the monitor flatlined. Seven years later and Jatne was still marked for reconditioning after killing Orun Wa. He would have been found, everything should be fine, his injuries were minor enough for a few days in bacta to solve.

Skirata shook and openly wept, the other Nulls latched onto their brother's arm. No one needed to explain what happened. Jatne was injured when the exercise was over, they had obediently completed their objective with a speed that surprised even Kal. They had even done it without ever coming into full view of one of the remote cams. A minor spinal injury was an easy fix as long as they rushed to medical, so they had. The file for N-02 on the computer showed 'Killed in Training' and vanished, admin had already removed him from the roster. Everything should have been fine, instead Jatne was dead.


Last edited by Corsenna on Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:15 am; edited 5 times in total
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N-02 on the history of Null Class ARCs

Post by AlleKote on Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:24 pm

Do I remember my childhood? We Nulls remember everything, we remember as far back as when we were still in the incubation vats. You see, Kaminiise are obsessed with perfection so naturally they decided to tamper with the Fett genome. Eidetic memory, enhanced aggression, even our sense of loyalty is elevated. Well, turns out we were more trouble than the aiwha-bait expected.

We remember the day we were told we were going to be reconditioned, in our case that meant terminated, we were two years old. Skirata, Kal'buir, was ready and even started to fight in our defense. Our psychological testing indicated that we were highly intelligent but unreliable, deviant, disturbed, and uncommandable, to use the exact words of Orun Wa. Two years old or not, I already knew how to handle a blaster, so I lived up to Orun Wa's assessment. I shot him, my hands were nearly too small for the blaster stolen from Kal's boot by my brother, but we were already experienced marksmen. I shot, a direct hit center mass. I killed Orun Wa and I'll never regret it.

Yeah, Jango was pretty furious for a minute, but he laughed it off after a few good shouts. He admired our gett'se, we didn't know what that meant yet but it wasn't hard to work out. So Kal'buir made us his own responsibility and he gave us our heritage. He gave us Mando names, he taught us the language, he gave us our souls. I could see how hard it was on him to watch us grow too fast. We scared him more than a few times, he said we should have been more concerned about cuddly toys than stripping and cleaning rifles or properly priming explosives.

My brothers and I made a pact, we would do everything and anything for Kal'buir. He was more concerned with saving us, and he did keep doing it. We shipped out on our first deployment when we were eleven, Geonosis. That was also when Kal'buir's contract ended, his rank no longer valid, we weren't his boys anymore. We always were too curious, Jaing found our next orders before we even got to Coruscant, cryostasis. 

Deviant, disturbed, and uncommandable. We were soldiers through and through, battle hardened as much as any man more than twice our age, but that scared us. No, that terrified us. We were going to be chilled down because no one could command us, no one but one man at least. When Jaing sliced our orders, we all know he said cryostasis, but we all heard reconditioning, termination, dead. I had been exposed to live ordinance and ammunition before I was two years old, I was a competent sniper and assassin, and could hold my own in martial combat. None of that would matter once I was in a freezer.

They were actually surprised when we started an armed siege. General Camus ended up calling in four commando squads, two sniper teams, and a sizable number of CSF officers to secure us; fortunately he also called in Skirata in hope of a peaceful resolution. Kal'buir saved us again that day. He agreed to talk us into standing down, but he had conditions. He was reinstated into the Grand Army, and we were his team. I nearly cried when he talked us out of that building, when he refused our chill down orders. I couldn't believe anyone needed to be told that we were terrified. Maybe it was all the guns that confused them, but I had to control my shaking just to aim straight that day. I can tell you, there are plenty of things scarier than a battlefield. 

We remember everything, but there was nothing ordinary about our childhood. We had only even seen one hundred humans in the flesh our whole lives aside from the millions of other clones, children just like us. Everything sentient species we knew of otherwise, not counting Kaminiise, were just images from flash training that identified behavior, weaknesses, and a plethora of other things soldiers need to know. We never played in a park or ate at a restaurant. We didn't go to school or shop with parents in a marketplace.

Kal'buir wanted to give us everything and every experience but he couldn't. He could only give us the ability to fight and survive. If you want to know why we only follow his orders, he proved more than once what no one else ever did; that we could trust him with our lives. We never had any possessions beyond GAR issued armor and kit, or lives were the only thing we had and we couldn't even really claim those as our own.

Kal'buir always said he needed us. He told us the days we were on Geonosis, when we didn't even have a chance to say a proper goodbye before shipping out, were the longest, loneliest, and most miserable days of his life. He says we gave him his purpose. The truth is we needed him, he didn't just prepare us for our purpose, he gave us our very lives. Make no mistake, if it hadn't been for Kal'buir, killing Orun Wa would never have saved us. It was a desperate act committed out of fear and hatred. None of us expected to be alive the next day.

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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by AlleKote on Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:12 pm

"Vod, are you taking a nap?" Jatne nudged his brother with his boot. A'den's POV icon had been staring motionless at floor for several minutes. The icon remained still when A'den lifted an arm to tap his helmet with two fingers where his ear would be.
"Sliced the reception droid. Keeping tabs on everyone it lets it, monitoring comm traffic, SOPs." A'den typically used standard operating procedures as an excuse when he was bored. Very little of what they did could ever be called standard. It was also his blanket cover when he was watching vids on the job. Jatne invited himself into the privacy of his brother's helmet to check out his active displays.

"That SOP has some very blue skin, ner vod. What is she doing?"
"That's what I was trying to figure out. I didn't think they could bend like that."
"Oh that's just not right," Jatne whistled, still watching A'den's display. "I think we might need to suspend your bucket privileges."
"All targets inside," A'den's vid display snapped off and sensor telemetry took its place in his HUD. "Mereel rolled out the welcome mat yesterday so-"
"P for plenty, got it. I really wish he would calculate and measure like a good little specialist."
"Where's your sense of adventure, Jat'ika?"
"I think I lost it watching that vid."
"Now I know you have no sense of adventure. You sure you got the right genes in incubation, ner vod?" They finished packing away the few things they brought to lay up for the night and each hoisted a grapple launcher. They fired in the same instant sending the lines hurtling across the two thousand meter deep chasm between buildings. The chunk of hooks embedding themselves in the permacrete on the other side was barely audible but they took cover for a few seconds anyway. "Clear, securing line." It only took a handful of seconds for both men to secure their lines on this side before Jatne attached his pack and sent it across to test the line for strength. They silently pulled themselves across the horizontal cords to the balcony of the apartment.

"Alright, Mer'ika, I know you want to say it. You always do," Jatne took cover at the far end of the balcony, away from the sliding door, A'den took cover opposite from him.
"Knock knock," Mereel loved making things explode. There was a deafening boom and a bright flash of fire that transformed quickly into thick smoke. He could feel both explosions, the one closest to him and another one level down, in his teeth.
"Take, take, take!" He shouted into his comm as he and four of his brothers stormed the building. They had recced this apartment for only two days until they could verify that Republic agents were using it to leak Intel to Seps. A longer recon would have been preferable but they knew the location was going to change, if they didn't make a move now they'd be starting from scratch. Three agents from three different departments and two Separatist contacts, all dead in the first fifteen seconds. Jatne now found himself face to face with an unknown; a terrified, screaming, and startlingly beautiful woman.
"Please don't kill me!" She pleaded with him, eyeing the rifle he still had trained on her. "I'm only here to serve drinks! I just go where my boss tells me, please!"
"Sit back down," The external speakers in his helmet made his voice more imposing than usual and the woman flinched. "Don't talk, don't move, don't even breathe." Jatne very rarely made mistakes, he remembered every second of training clearly. It wasn't like him, or any of his brothers, to overlook even the smallest details like a cylindrical bulge on the woman's jacket pocket, the beskar boots up by the front door, or the crease in her brown hair like it spent too much time tucked into a suit of armor. He helped his brothers search the bodies. They needed identichips, comm transmissions and frequencies, datapads, and anything else they could use to stop the Seps from digging back in. It took Jatne an embarrassing several seconds to realize his fault. Not all soldiers are fit young men and they don't all wear uniforms.

The woman had stopped screaming the moment he turned his back, he heard a distinct vvzzzmmm sound. Jatne spun on his heal and raised a gauntlet under the woman's chin as she brought a lightsaber down through the air. He saw the blood running down the gauntlet though he missed the satisfying chunk sound from the vibroblade ejecting. Everything was silent, adrenaline can have some funny effects, he thought. Then he saw his arm drop even though he hadn't been conscious of pulling it back, but it didn't fall to his side, it just fell.

"Jat'ika, hold still!" Sound was coming back into focus and the pain was overwhelming, worse than anything he experienced in training. Mer'ika was yelling at him, telling him to stop moving so much. When had he hit the ground? Why couldn't he feel his arm? Adrenaline was surging through his body and he wanted to make sure the woman was dead. Surrendering only to attack when his back was turned, that's something a coward would do. 
"Heads up, bacta spray!" Jaing shouted. This wasn't the time or place for field aid, exfil always came first. If no one was dead it must not have been wise than a cut, it could wait.
"Buir, bring the speeder around, man down!" A'den had a hand against his head, he was tapping his foot impatiently. Mereel had his full weight on Jatne's chest and a strong grip on his right arm. Jaing pulled the body suit back from Jatne's left shoulder and stabbed him hard with a single use painkiller sharp. When Mereel moved, his head rolled a little to the side, enough to see something very peculiar.

He recognized the arm as his own, the pattern of matte gold paint on the armor plates confirmed it. He also recognized that the arm wasn't attached to a body. The vibroblade made a series of of clicking and whirring sounds as it continually failed to retract into the gauntlet. An extra dose of painkillers rushed through his system making everything hazy, his own voice sounded distant like he was hearing it through water.
"That's my-" He struggled not to finish the sentence. It didn't feel real, maybe that meant it wasn't. Maybe he hadn't made a near fatal mistake, this could all be a horrible dream. 

The lights overhead were too bright against the white walls and ceiling, the scent if sterilizing fluid burned in Jatne's nose. His body felt too heavy to move and he noted the label on an the IV bag, heavy sedatives ran through the line connected to the back of his right hand. A blanket was pulled up over his left shoulder, but it didn't look quite right. Beyond his bed was a rolling trestle table with a durasteel arm on it. Kal Skirata was resting in a chair against the far wall, he looked asleep.

"At least you're not dead, ad'ika." Kal's voice was reassuring. "They'll have you patched up and fit to fight again in no time at all, son, but don't you ever scare me like that again you di'kut." He was serious. So it hadn't been a dream after all. He really had turned his back on a potential threat, it had almost cost his life. His arm was still a hefty price to pay for a lesson that shouldn't have needed teaching.
"I'm sorry, buir," It was all he could think to say. He let his father down, he'd disappointed his brothers, and he could have blown the whole op with a mistake like that. "I'm sorry,"

"She was a low rate merc caught with her shebs out of armor. She just got lucky." Skirata tried to reassure Jatne.
"A soldier only needs to get unlucky once, that's one of the first things you taught us buir. No she didn't get lucky, I got dumb. What if it had been Mereel or A'den that paid for my stupidity? They were right there."
"Son, you could spend your whole career asking what if. You and all your brothers came back alive and that's good enough for me today."
"Good enough isn't good enough. We're supposed to be the best, perfect soldiers. We don't get dumb because we see pretty girls. Shab, buir, I didn't think they came so pretty."
"We usually don't, vod. Next time try to keep your brain in the right part of the armor." Jaing came through the door with a toolkit and went right to work pulling apart the arm on the table. "They aren't putting any new circuitry in my brother without a thorough once over first."

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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by Corsenna on Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:30 pm

The Gathering had been both educational and fun but Roxil was glad it was over. Even he didn't have the stamina to keep up with that many festivities and his fresh tattoos were aching from the exertion. When the third night was done and all the Lunars were leaving, Tawasu and Maaki were eager to get home. They took turns sleeping for decades at a time to maintain control of their village.

Roxil quickly realized it was more than a village. On the way to Shishimissi they led him much further east, into the Bordermarches where Roxil had never dared go before. The two women focused, ahd kept going, further and further, into the Middlemarches. They kept walking until the bubble around Shishimissi, creating the artificial zone of Creation, was in sight.

He stayed with them for a little over two weeks. Maaki finished his tattoos in two more all-night efforts before returning to her nap. She still had thirty two years of sleep ahead of her. Tawasu demanded he stay for another week so she could make sure his tattoos were healing properly. It only took a few days for the pain to dull enough for him to move easily. His mentor's constant attempt to teach him to read didn't go unnoticed, but he was too distracted now even if he wanted to learn. Even so long after the gathering the voices calling for cat man didn't subside, if anything there were more of them now, a lot more. Then he recognized one, it sounded just like Arkur. He had sworn he heard Dia earlier as well, but that was impossible. 

When Tawasu was satisfied that his tattoos were healing cleanly and wouldn't get infected she offered to lead him most of the way back home. On the journey she taught him more about the ritual hunt. He saw the trail of a large bear and offered the hunt to Luna like he had been told. It took less than an hour to find his target and he amazed himself by fighting it down with his bare hands when it occurred to him he wasn't holding a weapon. Tawasu caught up and handed him a knife. That's right, to learn to become something you had to consume its heart's blood at the end of a hunt. He didn't feel any different, but sure enough he became a prefect copy of the creature he hunted.

The number of voices in Roxil's mind continued to grow as he got closer to home. There must have been at least a hundred of them. When he entered the familiar village people cheered. In the month he had been away the number of houses and residents seemed to have doubled. The temple that had served as a meeting place was now decorated with cloths dyed in a brilliant assortment of colors and there were more cushions and pillows then he could count piled inside.

"God is returned!" A woman shouted, gesturing for some beautiful young girls to bring heated water to a large bronze bath. "Catman is back!"
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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by AlleKote on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:26 pm

"Can we stop with the rolling, Jat'ika? I should not have had that extra slice of cake with breakfast."
"Last I checked, debris doesn't fire thrusters, we'll stop rolling if we stop."
"Or if we hit something," Mereel never enjoyed zero gravity training.
"That'd be a treat," Jatne teased. "Then we could roll the other way for a while, that's almost like a change of scenery." The two of them had been drifting in a shuttle for three days. "Canteen,"
"Fresh out vod'ika, we're on recycled water now." Mereel made a show of sucking on his suits straw attachment extra loud.
"I'm not that thirsty yet. Filtered within acceptable deviations doesn't do much to inspire my confidence." Jatne steadied himself with a relaxed hand on the wall when the shuttle collided with something else caught in the debris field. He heard a sharp intake of breath from Mereel at the sound of grinding metal before the craft bounced away and began rolling again. Mereel clutched a safety bar like his life depended on it. His POV icon showed him looking straight into the bulkhead from centimeters away. "Rule fifteen, just because you can't see them doesn't mean they can't see you."
"What?"
"That wall more interesting than the Seps we're looking for?"
"If the Seps aren't spinning they'll be a welcome sight, who taught them to keep a schedule? Disgraceful," Mereel clicked his teeth the way Skirata did when he was annoyed, it took a lot to put Mereel on edge. 
"Trust Intel like the word of a Hutt. Wait one," A single red light appeared on the holo chart in the cockpit. "Seal your bucket, we've got company." 
"'Bout time," Mereel secured a PLEX launcher strap around his pauldron, strapped his DC-17 across his chest, and checked the Verpine shattergun under his arm. He unraveled a few centimeters of strip charges and secured the roll to the inside of his gauntlet while Jatne clipped the jet aperture onto his back plate. A second red light appeared on holo chart.

Mereel was ready now, he had something to focus on, a clear objective made all the difference. The two of them ran a quick check to make sure everything was bolted in place. Jatne hooked his boots under the rails he installed into the shuttle floor, shoulder width apart. Skirata's Verpine sniper rifle felt like a toy in his hands it was so light. He started venting atmosphere from the cabin. At the same moment the shuttle bounced off another piece of debris Mereel blew a small charge that sent the loading hatch careening off into space. Mereel jumped free of the shuttle, letting himself drift slowly toward the closest Sep fighter. He managed to get a grip on the hull without making a sound. The quiet wouldn't last long. He went to work lining the hatch with the strip charges hanging from his gauntlet.

"Knock knock," Jatne heard him say over comms and fired his sniper rifle once, twice - the hatch on the closer fighter was ripped from the ship by the explosive decompression when the charges detonated - the front viewport of the further fighter cracked. Jatne released the sniper rifle and grabbed a grapple launcher. He magnified the view in his HUD and watched the cracks until the viewport buckled. He fired the grapple and secured his end to the shuttle and activated the winch. The tethering lines had a break limit of five hundred kilos in gravity, no reason it couldn't pull a shuttle in vacuum. 

The pilots were dead before either of the Nulls boarded their targets, lost to the decompression. Jatne always hated the anticlimactic nature of real combat. It was usually over fast after it started, then you were all pumped up on adrenaline with nowhere to go. They stripped the navigational computers from both fighters, pulled the chips from the comm systems, and downloaded everything else to sift through later

Jatne pulled himself back to the shuttle on the grapple line and activated the cockpit systems after strapping himself into the seat. Mereel climbed to the second fighter and went inside for over a minute before releasing the hook and attaching it to his own belt.
"P for plenty," He said, drifting back to the shuttle and pulling the launcher from his shoulder. When he fired the two shuttles erupted into split second explosions and fragmented in all directions. "Told you I could do it without the jets." Jatne could practically hear Mereel grinning, until he bounced against the shuttle wall and remembered he was in zero gravity. "I think I'm gonna throw up,"
"Well then keep your bucket on and keep it to yourself because you're not about to feel any better; you just wedged buir's Verp against the wall," Jatne waited for a response as Mereel spun and saw the weapon float away from where he had been. Kal Skirata was extremely protective of his Verpine weapons, they don't bounce. If you break my Verps I'll break you was nearly Skirata's motto.
"Fierfek, think he'll believe me if I say you did it?"
"Maybe you can get Ord'ika to break the news,"

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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by Corsenna on Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:51 am

Tawasu and Maaki woke up early the next morning ready to get walking. Roxil ached, the skin around the fresh metal tattoos on his back, around his neck, and down the backs of his legs was red and still bled a little. Today was different though. Tawasu and Maaki kept asking him questions about what happened when he exalted. They wanted to know very specific things about the moments before, during, and after seeing Luna. They allowed him one opportunity to shapeshift today, and told him Luna had blessed him with a third true form.

"Third? I missed something I think,"
"Right, it was in the scroll you couldn't read, you moron." Tawasu replied. "Right now, you're in the shape of a human. Luna gives all her Exalted a second true form we call your spirit shape. Some Lunars, yourself included, have a third true form. The war form is somewhere between your human and spirit shapes."

Roxil focused for a moment with his eyes closed, when he opened them he was much taller than he had been. His body was covered in thick black fur, he took a mirror that Maaki offered and looked at his face. His features were like a cat, including the pointed ears on top of his head, and the gloriously fluffy tail. He was very proud of his tail. The two woman also went into war forms. Tawasu was also a cat, Maaki seemed to be a bear. They ran clear through until evening without taking a break, Roxil's legs were sore from the tattoos but the run hadn't worn him down at all.

They had gone so far east that the trees were bigger around than houses. One of the trees had been hollowed out in a fire centuries ago. Inside that trunk were hundreds of people, all of them with silver tattoos on their entire bodies. There were a dozen people in war forms dancing naked around a fire. There was a feast laid out with an incredible supply of mead. He was told to wait where he was while Tawasu ahd Maaki met with the elders. The moment they walked away he went straight for the mead. 

Roxil drank six mugs of mead before he became aware of people talking to him. He looked around for the source but didn't see anyone trying to get his attention. He clearly heard several people calling out to a cat man but that didn't fit with anything he saw. 


"This one is real fresh, doesn't even have all his tattoos yet." The boy talking about him now however, was clearly visible. He had pale skin, short brown hair, and eyes that looked black in this light. He looked like he should be tall, but he was two feet shorter than Roxil when he got up close. "Does that war form make you feel special?"
"Me? I just feel more comfortable like this. My mentor told me I can't shift a bunch until my tattoos are done and we had to run a long way. So I thought-"
"I didn't ask for your life story, kid." The boy didn't look like he was much older than Roxil. 
"I didn't mean any offense. I'm sorry if-"
"I'm late for a very important meeting. Your mentor better have a good reason for leaving fresh meat wandering around." He didn't give Roxil a chance to respond, he just left and went up a ladder to a higher level in the tree trunk. Both Tawasu and Maaki had gone up that same ladder. He continued to hear new voices calling for cat man, but he still couldn't figure out where they were coming from.

It was several hours before he saw any familiar faces again. He saw two separate orgies, a lot of different people playing music in a lot places, a lot of people dancing, and some very private looking conversations. Roxil joined in the activities for a while, but his tattoos still ached and the voices persisted, he wanted another drink. When Tawasu did return she pointed out the boy Roxil had encountered earlier, his name was Jerrik and he was nineteen hundred years old, one of the elders. Turns out, both Tawasu ahd Maaki were also elders.
"He expressed some displeasure with you, I cleared it up. I told him to just ignore you 'cause you're kinda dumb."
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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by AlleKote on Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:26 am

"General Camas, sir." Jatne tapped the Jedi's shoulder at the landing platform. "Sergeant Skirata sent me to pacify the situation. I'll go in and talk them down, get them to come out peacefully." 

They made the mistake of bringing Jatne's brothers back from Geonosis on the same Laarty. That would have been fine if they hadn't also been told that their next orders were to report for stasis. The Nulls had a very functional sense of self preservation and  - after being given a death sentence at the age of two - a healthy fear of being put into stasis. When Kal saved them from termination he volunteered to train them as black-ops commandos. It was no secret that they took their orders directly from him. They didn't trust anyone but their brothers and Kal'buir with their lives. Jatne's brothers were hunkered down in the landing office and they were very heavily armed.

"Finally someone to make them cooperate. Very good, clone."
"You misunderstand General Camas, sir. I have no interest in making them cooperate. I said I will get them to come out peacefully. If you try to put my brothers in the freezer again I will no longer be cooperating." He hooked his thumbs into his belt drawing attention to the two Verpine scatterguns strapped under his arms and the heavily modified holdout blaster on his thigh. The weight of his black ARC's kama and pauldron gave his movements a distinctive swagger. Those were the mark of clone officers but black wasn't in Camas' file. "And sir, my name is Captain Jatne. If you'd like to avoid a situation like this with my brothers in the future, I suggest you avoid calling us clones." Jatne tapped the armor tally on his chest plate but the general didn't need to scan it.
"You're one of them aren't you, the Nulls?"
"Proud to say so sir. Now how about I get my brothers to put the guns down?" He casually walked toward the single room landing pad control office and turned off the external audio in his helmet.

"Udesii, vode. I took the liberty of implying it might be good for their health to take those chill down orders and shove them up their shebse. I've got the barracks all set up."
"Kandosii, Jat'ika. We were ready to make that ugly and that really would be a waste of my good looks. Where's buir?" Mereel waved from the door. "Kom'rk and Prudii have snipers in the windows, they're feeling less trusting than I am."
"He said this would have Ord'ika in a rotten mood so he was going to run an errand, he'll meet us at barracks." Ordo brushed by Jatne and pretended to ignore the jab, but he clicked his teeth the same way as Kal'buir when he's irritated. Kom'rk and Prudii were the last two out of the building. 
"Buir is having a friend send a couple of taxis. We're supposed to watch for the Wookie. Enacca, she's really very nice."
"Has he heard the numbers?" Mereel suddenly sounded much more serious.
"He isn't happy, I'm not either."
"We didn't encounter a single Jedi on the field that knew they were going to have an army. They only got their orders shortly before we did. They accepted an army they had no training to deploy and command. It wasn't pretty."
"Fierfek," There was nothing else Jatne could say. He had hoped the Jedi had simply learned to keep their training and orders in their heads rather than on computers, but that didn't seem to be the case. Someone had to have known there was an army waiting for them. Someone had to have hired Jango for the clone army to have been created ten years ago.
"That pretty much sums it up," Prudii gave him a traditional Mando style hand-to-elbow handshake as he came out. All the other clones were put into stasis as soon as they got back. Reformed commando squads hadn't even been given an opportunity to meet their new members. 

Commandos were grown in pods of four, there was a special bond forged between pod brothers. It broke Skirata's heart every time a clone was lost in training. The Nulls kept a mental list of people responsible. Geonosis was different, nearly half the commandos were dead or listed as MIA and left for dead because they were deployed by generals that weren't expecting an army. The GAR won on sheer numbers alone.

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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by Corsenna on Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:02 pm

The last night Tawasu ahd Roxil camped before arriving at the Gathering she dug a rolled up piece of paper from her bag. These are all the names you need to know. Try not to have any problems because I need to go hunting."
"I have a problem."
"Really? You haven't even started yet,"
"I can't read this."
"Is it in the wrong language? My seer usually gets this sort of thing right."
"Let me rephrase that," Roxil said calmly and smiled. "I can't read."
"I... you... what? How old are you?"
"I was a slave, then I was on my own so I stole just to get by. Not really much opportunity for an education there, and I've done just fine without it anyway. Now I've got plenty of food left in my bag, I'd be perfectly happy to share it if you tell me about this hunting ritual again."
"No," She seemed to see something Roxil was oblivious to. "Maaki caught up to us. She's going to ask you a lot of questions, just answer them honestly. She's going to help me determine you caste."

Another woman, wearing a very small black leather dress and white wooden mask, stepped out of the woods. She had pale skin and much more jagged tattoos than Tawasu. She pulled a small pouch from her belt and seemed to inhale something inside it, then she just looked at Roxil for a while. After a long silence, all of which Maaki spent motionless watching in his direction, her questions came all at once. She posed to him a whole series of scenarios. 

Maaki never gave him a clear objective and she didn't leave him with any time to think before getting impatient. By the time she motioned for him to stop talking he had amassed a fair fortune in his scenario and taken the seat of power in an unnamed prominent village.
"Changing Moon, better get started." Maaki tossed him a large pack filled with rolled up leather. "To lean forward onto. Tawasu told you this is a very specific process didn't she? I'm going to start with your back as soon as the moon is fully up." She retrieved a bottle of what appeared to be liquid silver from her own pack, as well as a small hammer and a bone spike.
"This is not going to feel good, is it?" That was the only question Roxil could think to ask.
"No honey," It sounded like Maaki was smiling under her mask. "It's not."
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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by AlleKote on Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:46 pm

Jatne headed toward the hangar to wait with his brothers and called Skirata. The three dimensional image projected above his gauntlet, Kal'buir had gone on a trip two months ago, it was good to see him again even if they weren't together. 
"I had a fighter sent for you, Jat'ika. They only plan on having troops on the ground for twenty four hours so I'm bringing you here to Coruscant."
"Understood, sir." There were a lot of other things Jatne wanted to say, but he was going to be with Kal'buir again before his brothers. If anyone was going to talk to him right now it should be them and they had to stand by for orders.

Ordo gestured for him to transfer the transmission to his comm. "We've been ordered to assist the command structure, buir. Word is most of the generals are new and haven't commanded ground invasions before."
"I don't like the sound of that. K'oyacyi."
"Oya k'oyacyi!" The Nulls said all together as they split up to their assigned gunships. But Jatne wasn't going to hunt with his brothers, he was going to the safety at the center of the a Republic. Mereel put a knowing hand on Jatne's shoulder before disappearing into the last gunship. 

As soon as Jatne landed on the GAR strip in Galactic City Skirata was waiting for him. The view was overwhelming. The canyons rivaled some of the cavernous spherical rooms of Tipoca city, there were busy skylanes both hundreds of meters below him and above him. Skirata grabbed his arm.
"C'mon son, we've got work to do." Jatne frowned, Kal'buir's hair had all gone grey. "Don't give me that look, I'm not the one you should be worried about, Jat'ika."

It was his job to make sure the room at barracks was ready for his brothers. They didn't have private 'freshers but they could address that problem later. They had their own room with four bunk beds and only two dressers but ample closet space. Their room also had a desk spanning most of a wall with cabinets above and drawers below. He swept the room for bugs and set up a computer on the desk. Skirata went to pick up more supplies both they were but listening to the same thing. Jatne cycled to the GAR comm channels and was listening for the combat to start.

Twelve hours into the combat they were at two thousand nine hundred confirmed commando casualties and another one thousand three hundred missing. Jatne's brothers were all the still alive. RC-1136 couldn't contact the rest of his squad. There were two other tags Jatne recognized with missing squads, RC-8015 and RC-1309. He had memorized the names of every commando, that was Darman, Fi, and Niner sill looking for their teams out of Skirata's batch. There were many others as well.

After another twelve hours all forces were recalled for exfil. Squads were already being reassigned. Niner was being put in charge of Fi, Darman, and one commando from Sergeant Vau's batch Atin. They were already scheduled for their next mission, they were shipping out in month. They were going to be kept in stasis until then. Jatne had bigger problems right now, they also wanted to put his brothers in stasis. They were going to make sure that didn't happen and he was going to help them.

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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by Corsenna on Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:27 am

The villagers were overjoyed, no one had been hurt but that one innocent young boy. Some of them went straight to heating water so Roxil could have a bath. He was a mess with the bandits' blood and plenty of his own. His wound was completely healed but there was a nasty scar in its place. The people wanted to have a party tonight, for the birth of his son and for saving them from the bandits. 

The villagers were quite good at organizing feasts. There was an entire table just for meat. They also had a huge assortment of fruits and vegetables as well as ale, mead, and wine. He never even got up, the people insisted on keeping his plate and his cup full for him. Every person that lived in the village was gathered in the large open space in front of the abandoned temple the village had been built around. Roxil's team only bothered with it at the time for convenient storage. 

That made it easy to spot the stranger. There was a very tall woman approaching. She had skin as dark as Roxil's, it contrasted with the shining silver tattoos everywhere she had exposed skin. She had short black hair and grey blue eyes. Her shorts and top were made of leather.

"My name is Xipoba Tawasu, and I need you to come with me." She looked like someone that wouldn't accept a refusal.
"These are my people, I'm not prepared to leave them." He did wave all but one of them away so he could speak to the woman in private. Only Thizri remained. Tawasu seemed to be thinking carefully about her next words.
"My seer sent me here, she said a man about your age would exalt. Tell me, did you see Luna?" She had his attention.
"I did,"
"I want to teach you all about the wonderful abilities Luna has gifted you with. I also want to get you tattooed before those abilities cause you to mutate most likely ending in the murder of everyone you love. That's not a threat by the way, Luna has a special connection with the Wyld, the tattoos protect you from the consequences of that. However, I have obligations I don't want to be late for so you'll have to come with me to. The elders have called a gathering so every Lunar within several hundred miles will be there. Expect to be away for a month, these tattoos require a very specific process, they will be part of you for a very long time."

Roxil looked to his wife, Thizri nodded to him. He had to admit that the tattoos alone didn't make it sound optional. However the opportunity to meet so many experienced Lunars sounded irresistible. Tawasu wanted to leave as soon as possible, she expected to be walking for several days at least. Normally she could make the trip in just a few hours but she repeated to him constantly how important it was that he did not shapeshift. Thizri packed a bag with some food for him and he prepared to go. Walking for days at a time was nothing new to Roxil.
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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by AlleKote on Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:28 am

"Hey, Mer'ika, I think the aiwha-bait is afraid of us!" Jatne laughed.
"Miserable little things, such a shamefully failed product Orun Wa created." The Kaminoan said, his voice all pride.
"Failed product? But I'm positively dripping with natural charm and charisma!" Mereel replied. He put on his most convincing smile, and he was very good at it. 
"You wish," Jaing's voice says over the comm. "As soon as we're off this rock you know it's me all the ladies will be looking at. Anyway, Orun Wa did get punished for his mistakes."
"Ner vod, the ladies won't even know which one is you." Ordo responded in a deadpan tone.
"New exclusive offer! Take home your very own Fett! But act quickly, only three million are available!" Jatne mocked. "Yeah, I'm sure we'll be flying off the shelves."
"Yeah but, we're the luxury model! So much more sociable than the meat cans." Jaing insisted.
"Sociable in what way? The way that we'll disarm them with a gorgeous smile all while strangling someone? I admit I'm no expert having never seen a live human woman, but I assume they'd probably find strangling disconcerting." Ordo tried to join in the jokes but his sense of humor never quite developed like his brothers. "You don't even know what you're talking about anyway. You're just as tired as the rest of us of being cooped up on this shabla rock. You should stop watching so many holovids" 

He wasn't wrong. They had spent every moment of the ten years they had been alive on Kamino, in Tipoca City. It never stopped raining and they were always surrounding by ocean. Kom'rk nudged the Kaminoan with the barrel of his rifle in a silent command to go. It couldn't hear them anyway. They had retreated to the privacy of their soundproofed helmets. Even if this aiwha-bait was wearing a commlink, no matter what bypasses the Kaminiise had, Jaing's encryptions were always better. The only non-clone that could hear them was Kal'buir.

Today was their tenth birthday, in clone years that made them twenty. Jatne knew it upset Kal'buir to see how quickly they grew. An emergency message flashed in his HUD. Official GAR orders. 

All GAR forces prepare to deploy to Geonosis. Exception: N-02 report immediately to your commanding officer for orders. 


Jatne always knew this day was coming his brothers were going to war without him. That was his punishment for the murder of Orun Wa almost eight years ago. He was still able to help though, Kal'buir had plans for him on Coruscant.


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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by Corsenna on Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:21 pm

Today was like any other beautiful day. The village was fully populated, the farm was ready for its first harvest, and Roxil's wife was starting a nursery with his son. Today was just a routine run to the nearby village for Roxil, he just wanted to snag a few bolts of fine silks and wool from someone that had more than enough to spare and no willingness to share. He'd ran back to the fort to let his friends know the baby was born, now he needed to double back on himself to get to the town.

He had only been away for maybe twenty minutes but something didn't seem right as he neared the village. He was far enough away still that he couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. There was a peaceful morning mist hanging between the trees and a gentle breeze. There was also an unusual sound that tugged at some long buried painful memory; screaming. He heard screaming.

All else ceased to exist at the moment, all plans forgotten. He pushed himself to his limits running full speed toward his people. When Roxil rounded the first small house his heart sank. One of the newest members, a young boy no more than eleven years old, was dead on the ground with a knife still clutched in his hand.

"You want to die?" An unfamiliar voice shouted. "All the food goes on the cart now!"

No, Roxil pried the knife from the boy's cold hand. He had never killed anyone, he had never so much as thrown a drunken punch. Today, there was a new clear focus in his mind. This was a place of peace and protection, and he would kill whoever he had to to keep it that way. My child is here. They brought this violence to my son's home. 

He came in so fast the bandits hadn't reacted yet. He grabbed the first one from behind and dragged the knife across the man's neck and let the body fall. There were almost a dozen more, he didn't care. What they had in size Roxil made up for in agility and pure genetic advantage. He was eighteen now, standing a little over six feet tall. Despite being unusually lean Roxil was almost pure muscle.

He took on the bandits with an almost indescribable sensation, an unlikely combination of focused clarity and blind rage. He didn't know how many were dead now, but at least half of them remained. Only the awful pain in his side, growing more intense with every motion, distracted him. Roxil hadn't realized what happened until he stumbled, his vision blurred, and he felt the hilt of a blade flat against his skin. One of the bandits pointed and laughed. Before it all went out of focus Roxil saw him pull a woman - no not any woman, it was Thizri - out of a building. He just didn't have the strength left, Roxil fell to his knees too weak to keep moving.

The focus came back, just enough to see one person in perfect detail. It was a beautiful woman in a tattered leather dress soaked with blood. She had curling silver horns and wild eyes, but a sweet smile. He never saw her lips move, the smile never faltered, but he heard her voice clearly.
"Do you want to save them? Do you want to protect them and everyone like them?" She asked.
"Yes," Roxil was completely unaware of the next few seconds, maybe it had even been minutes but for the briefest of moments when he dropped to the ground again panting, he didn't recognize his own hands. They couldn't have been his, they were covered in long, silky, black fur and matted with blood. He must have been hallucinating because the fur vanished and he could see his own skin.

"Catman," One of the villagers said. "Roxil is... He saved us."
He stumbled back to his feet and looked around, the bandits looked like they had been clawed and mauled by some giant beast. Catman? The fur, was it really him? A name he had only heard as a child stood out in his mind, he heard it again today though it was never spoken; Luna. The fickle lady, creator of the Lunar exalted. Dragon Blooded propaganda called them Anathema, tricksters, but Roxil had never believed a word of it. He had never even seen one and often questioned if they even really existed at all.
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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by AlleKote on Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:17 pm

"This makes my eyes hurt, buir," Jatne said. They had been with Kal Skirata for a month now. They caught him off guard so often, seemed like normal young boys even just for an instant.
"Shut off some of the interference until you get used to it, just POV icons for now." Skirata adjusted Ordo's visor. The visors replicated the HUD systems they would have when they were issued armor. It was important that they got used to it now, they would need to be able to look at the HUD and through it all while moving. 
A few deliberate blinks closed out some of the icons on Jatne's HUD but it was a complicated system he accidentally turned on the night vision filter trying to shut out the telemetry readouts. 

"Don't be a baby, Jat'ika. Buir, can these access the 'Net?" Jaing asked with just a hint of the trouble he was already planning in his voice. "Oh cool! I got into the droid command!"
"How?" Mereel asked filled with excitement. "Never mind, ner vod, I found it. No wait, shipment schedules! Let's get some spiced Warra nuts!" 
"No I want some jogan fruit pastries!" Kom'rk chipped in, Skirata sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, these boys were a handful. He noticed them all staring at him when he moved his hand away from his eyes.
"Did we do something wrong, buir?" They asked as one voice, he could see the worry in their faces, they were asking if he decided to have them reconditioned after all.
"Shab, no. No boys. Just wondering if an old di'kut like me can keep up with you that's all." That was the honest truth, these boys were his life, and now he had hundreds more clones to look after and train as well. "Do me a favor and try not to get into to much trouble while I'm working with the commandos, okay? Better yet, you want to help me and get a little more training yourselves? I'm starting them on surveillance, tailing, and covert ops. Sounds to me like they need something to hunt."
"Us?" A'den grinned. "Poor vaar'ike, I don't think they've got much of a chance. Can we hunt them back?"
"Just try not to hurt any of them. Remember, you're built different, stronger. And you've got more training behind you. I don't want any casualties." His commandos were afraid of the Nulls. The newer clones thought the Nulls were crazy, truthfully they probably were, but crazy or not they were his boys. 
"Oya!" The boys cheered together, let's hunt!

"En oh six detected. Can't get a visual. Ten oh clock, can anyone confirm?"
"I've got it on my HUD, there's no where for him to hide though. Should be right there,"
Kom'rk was prowling on a walkway above the first boy. He had removed his identifier tally, which should have been impossible, and put near the entrance to one of the 'freshers. Slicing into their private comm channel, he didn't want to call it child's play being that he was a child, but it had been easy.
"Are the coords off? Could be inside,"
"Don't go in alone, Fi, let's regroup and-"
"Three-oh? Vad, you there? Talk to me? Anyone have contact with Vad?"
"Sorry, he's a little tied up now, ner vod." Jatne tapped the boy on the shoulder from behind and pointed up to the walkway where Kom'rk had a hand cupped over the little commando's mouth. There was a lumipaint splatter in the middle of Vad's chest, and now there was one on Fi's as well. Skirata had said the commandos wouldn't have a chance without an advantage, so they started with weapons, HUD visors, and comms. The Nulls started with nothing but they had already dropped five squads of four commandos and secured the comms for themselves. There were only four squads left. The commandos hadn't caught a single Null yet, but like Kal'buir had said, they still had training to catch up on.
"No hard feelings. Vode an, right?"

Vode An, brothers all, a Mandalorian marching song. It had been modified to fit the republic message and it was the only piece of Mandalorian teaching that all clones received. Jango insisted on making it part of the flash training program to give the clones a sense of brotherhood and loyalty.

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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by Corsenna on Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:06 am

"Alright, Arkur and Zheineh, you guys be ready in case we need a distraction. Thizri and I will go in the back, they've got enough grain seed to start a dozen farms over and we only need enough for one." The sixteen year old Roxil took his job very seriously. It had started with just Dia, he taught her every thieving trick he learned himself. There were too many of them to keep moving now. They picked up more strays at every town they passed. Their group was up to nineteen members by now. Roxil wouldn't leave anyone behind. They had set up shop in an abandoned fort, a little repair work and a couple simple beds made them a decent home. They all looked up to Roxil. It had never been part of his plan but he had become their leader. Now the beginning of a real plan was forming. He could make a difference. He could gather the abandoned, the abused, and the dispossessed, and he could give them a real home.

Not far from their fort, there was also a run down temple. They had already done most of the repair work, the last few weeks had been spent gathering supplies. They had a wide assortment of tools, a couple spare beds, they had even cut enough timber to make a few small houses. Dia was there now organizing a small team to get construction started. It wouldn't be anything fancy, they didn't have the expertise, but someone would call it home. There was already a wait list, adults that didn't want to be under the thumb of the Dragon Blooded, people that just wanted to live in peace. They were all farmers so far, but every village needed a farm.

Thizri was only 15, and she was small, but surprisingly strong. She was also the love of Roxil's life, along with Dia. They had both given him strength when he thought he would run out of steam. They had both sat up with him when the nightmares came back, when he woke swearing the fort was burning. Thizri had the same look in her eye of someone that had lived through something awful, but always said she couldn't recall what it was. Tonight they were both strong though, and on top of their game. 

Thizri climbed a post behind the barn and put out a torch. The upper window was unlocked. Roxil was right behind her and he went through first. They both froze to the sound of someone to the front.

"Excuse me, my husband is real drunk and I don't know that I can get him off the road myself. I'm so sorry, could you help me? He usually doesn't do this but his father just passed away..." Zheineh loved her drunk husband truck to lure away trouble. Arkur was also exceptional at feigning drunk, but he spent enough time in the state to replicate it. Roxil and Thizri scrambled back into action. They had done this enough times with fruit and bread that it was automatic. Roxil jumped down and passed up a sack of seed and second and a third. They probably didn't need more but he grabbed a fourth just for safe measure. They didn't just store grain seed here so one of the sacks might be something different anyway. Thizri had already dropped the sacks out the back by the time he climbed back up. Almost as they closed the shutter behind themselves they heard the front open and a man's voice. They regrouped with the other two and each grabbed a sack to bring home.

It was hard to believe it had only been two months, they were running out of space. A dozen small houses had been built, each with no fewer than four people living in it. The farm was coming along nicely, but at the moment they still had to resort to raiding the nearby town's food stores. The man running the place used the villagers like slave labor. He paid less than the work was worth and didn't give them a fair share of the crops. Most of Roxil's own villagers were comprised of people that had abandoned that town. They were happy to work without pay when they all had full bellies at the end of the day. 

Everyone put in work, everyone had a home, and everyone had food to put on their table. Tonight they were having a celebration. One of the newcomers had just finished fermenting a large supply of wine, and Roxil was getting married. No one was surprised to see Dia on one arm and Thizri on the other, most of them were only a little surprised to see Arkur with them. They had long since learned however that gender had almost no meaning for Roxil and it seemed he had an endless supply of love to give.
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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by AlleKote on Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:48 pm

Scared didn't fit what the Nulls felt at this moment. Terrified wasn't even a strong enough word. They were shaking as the security droids ushered them down the clinically white hallway. N-7 and 10 had managed to snatch a datapad, handed it back and forth like a prize before eventually showing 11 what they had done. They had a big laugh about it at first. They sliced Tipoca's database. The two of them radiated accomplishment, until they kept reading.

Final assessment of Null class ARC test batch: Adequate intellect, however they have shown an inability to work within acceptable parameters. I agree with Ko Sai's recommendation for termination immediately following Fett's arrival for inspection. Assure him the Alpha batch will be ready for inspection in three standard weeks.

They were being taken to Orun Wa's office, Jango Fett had already arrived. Their fear grew more intense with every step. At two years, eight months, three weeks, and one day of life, (a little over 5 years 4 months developmeally)  they were all going to be killed. The droid casually tapped a control by the door and it slid open. There were three people in the office. Orun Wa sat behind his desk. They recognized Jango Fett, but there was another man in sand gold armor with greying hair. That man seemed shocked to see them.

"Shab, they're just kids." The man said. The Nulls were only vaguely aware of the rest of the conversation. When Orun Wa suggested reconditioning, meaning he was telling them it was already decided, the stranger wanted to know what that meant.
"In this case, termination." The man stepped between them and their Kaminoan overlord. The word opportunity sprung to N-11's mind when he spotted the holdout blaster in the stranger's boot. The adults argued, oblivious of the children now huddled behind the man in gold armor.

11 grabbed the blaster before any of the grown ups could react. The Nulls heard the talking, the stranger telling them to calm down, but they weren't ready to submit. 11 couldn't get a clean shot without risking injury to the man that appeared to be trying to protect them. N-02 could, he took hold of the blaster almost too big for his tiny hands and took the shot. He didn't waver, he didn't flinch, it was a clean kill.

Jango was yelling, the stranger - placing himself between them and the new threat - was frantically attempting to calm the man down. After a few agonizingly slow minutes of argument Fett burst into laughter.
"Kandosii! At least we know these kids have gett'se! If you want them, they're your responsibility, Kal"
The stranger, Kal, turned suddenly and gently ruffled 2's hair. "The bad Kaminiise is dead, you're safe now, I'll make sure of that. How about you hand me that blaster and we'll get you boys something to eat. That sound good?" He smiled, no one had smiled at them before, if Kaminoans even could do such a thing. 2 hesitated for a moment, but caught the slightest nod from 11 in his peripheral vision, and returned the weapon to its owner.

Kal brought them to a room apparently meant for him, where he gave them each a slice of a sweet cake. They had never eaten anything but the flavorless ration cubes, perfectly portioned servings of protein, carbohydrates, and everything else they needed to develop into perfect soldiers. He wanted to know their names.

"En one one, sir," 11 said. That wasn't what the man had been expecting at all. After some thought he pointed to each boy, lined up in number order, starting with 2. "Jatne, Prudii, Kom'rk, Mereel, Jaing, Ordo, and A'den." They were no longer N-2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12. They had names now, this man wanted to give them identities and heritage. He told them they were Mandalorians. 

After giving them each a second slice of cake he tried to teach the language. He counted from one to ten in Mando'a but looked lost, like he was failing them somehow, like he was trying to teach them too much too quickly. He wanted them to repeat it back to them.

They took a single collective breath and spoke as one voice. "Solus, t'ad, ehn, cuir, rayshe'a, resol, e'tad, sh'ehn, she'cu, ta'raysh." He looked baffled for a moment and they worried they had messed up.

"You boys absorb every word, don't you?"


Last edited by AlleKote on Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by Corsenna on Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:53 pm

Roxil had long since lost count of the days he spent walking. He stopped at any outpost, village, or city where he might be able to discretely snatch a piece of unattended bread or a sip of water, but none of them seemed to have a permanent place for a stray like him. It had been several days now since he had seen anything of the sort. His stomach rumbled but he kept moving. Can't stop. If I just lie down and die now surviving in the first place was worthless. Eventually he came across a small stream so shallow it might as well have been flowing mud but he stopped anyway.

He dug a hole out to capture more liquid and did his best to drink some. At that moment Roxil didn't care how dirty it was, it was magnificent and refreshing. He caught sight of his reflection for the briefest of moments. His hair was a tangled mess, but the burns on his face and neck were healed, only dull scars remained as evidence of that horrible night. Sometimes when Roxil slept, he could still hear the screaming, he could smell the fire, and feel the burns. Now wasn't the time to dwell on it, his stomach reminded him it was time to start moving again.

Roxil could tell his path brought him east when the trees grew bigger, and farther south when it was consistently warmer. He could see a worn down road that indicated enough traffic that a village was probably nearby. After only a few minutes the wall was in sight. Leaning against the outer wall was a girl probably a little younger than himself. Her clothes - or rags more accurately - were as tattered and dirty as his own.

"You hungry?" He asked. She simply nodded. "Wait here," Along his journey Roxil had become a very successful, and much more bold thief. He returned to the girl outside after about half of an hour. He had something bundled in the blanket he had been wearing like a cloak and was holding a wooden bowl. Roxil spread the cloth on the ground revealing two loaves of bread and what looked like freshly washed sheets with a spool of thread, and set down the bowl of stew that was still warm. The little girl's eyes lit up and she smiled.

"My name is Dia."
"Roxil," He said with his mouth already full of bread. He pushed the other loaf toward the girl who happily excepted the offering. The two of them ate in silence, both too hungry to pause at the moment. When the meal was finished Roxil spread out one of the stolen sheets and pulled a knife, presumably also stolen, from his belt. The girl watched curiously while he cut it into pieces, and carefully started sewing them back together again. After quite some time spent concentrating on the task he held his project up with a grin. Roughly made as it was, he presented the girl with a clean dress with no holes that was close enough to her size. The moment he turned his back he could hear the rustling of fabric. The girl ran back in front of him and surprised him with a hug and a wide eyed smile.

"I used to mend my mom's clothes after she got sick," He said shyly. "The other adults taught me a lot too."
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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by AlleKote on Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:15 pm

Nearly five months had passed since the devastating loss of TU-04, loss for the clones that is, the Kaminoans simply wrote it off. It had been back to business as usual, relentless studies, reflex testing, and holo-drills. In real time the boys were nearly two years old, that put them at just about four. They were tested nearly every day for academic knowledge, reflexes, critical thinking, problem solving, hand-to-hand combat coordination, and weapon accuracy; everything children that age should never even think about. They were no longer designated as test units. The TU prefix was replaced by N. Null class, no use. Kal'buir preferred to believe it was because Orun Wa ahd Ko Sai called our abilities immeasurable; we were off the charts, impossible to rate even for the data obsessed Kaminoans.

The bomb room had been a psychological test, little more than an experiment to see how the children would cope with exposure to live ordinance. The Nulls were growing restless, agitated, and unmanageable. They had been pushed beyond the limits of stress a normal human could reasonably endure, but they weren't normal. Their genome was taken from superior specimen and modified to what the Kaminoans had hoped would be as near to perfect as a lesser species such as humans could get.

Orun Wa had long since determined it was unsafe to let the Nulls out of confinement, but was determined to learn what he could from them until the Alpha ARCs had developed. Today he assigned them a new test.

"In the next chamber there are six hidden data sources. You must collect them, and neutralize eight hostile droid targets. Failure to complete these objectives will result in reconditioning." His tone was the same impossible mix of grace and detachment as ever.

The door slid open and with nowhere else to go the boys took cover behind a low wall. N-11 used his elbow to shatter the casing around one of the lights embedded in the floor. He retrieved a piece of the glass and held it carefully above his head to look at the reflection. One droid floated serenely by, only inches away. He gestured to N-09 and 12 to move to the edge.

As soon as the droid came into view 12 rolled out pulling the droid to the ground. 9 jammed another shard of glass into the flexible area around the droid's arm causing enough damage to pull it clear off the body. 11 followed suit with the second arm. They scavenged the blasters and ran in a low crouch to the next piece of cover. 11 held up a fist, the silent signal to stop. He pointed to 9 then to one side of a simple wooden door. They each took their positions on either side, he then pointed to N-02 and jerked his thumb toward the center of the door. They didn't need words to understand the plan. 2 took position behind 11 and waited while 9 cautiously turned the handle and swung the door inward. 9 and 11 leaned in firing at the droid inside until it fell to the ground. 2 jumped in and checked the room. He quickly dismantled the lone computer and retrieved its datachip while 12 and 7 relieved the second droid of its blasters. 

The process of silent communication and cleanly executed maneuvers went on while they found three more droids, two more datachips, and two datapads. Five of eight droids in total, and five of six objective items. The Kaminoans lacked creativity in the Null's opinions and had shown a strong distaste for variation, that made them - and their tests - predictable. 

Once again 11 took position on one side of a door, 12 on the other, and 2 ready to clear the room. Everything went smoothly. The expected droid was disabled and 2 bolted in toward the computer on the single desk against the far wall. 9 heard the whirring sound first. There was no time to do anything else, he ran in and jumped on top of the droid knocking it to the ground. 11 followed with lightning reflexes pulling his brother clear and firing point blank into the machine until it stopped moving.

9 was sobbing weakly between ragged breaths. In the center of his chest was a large scorched blaster wound. The sobbing - and breathing - went silent only seconds later. They all had the same thought, they couldn't stop now no matter what. If they failed, if they were all killed, the deaths of their two brothers would be nothing but data for the Kaminoans to mull over, that was an unacceptable outcome. They had no choice but to keep moving, to shove their emotions aside to deal with later. They just needed to find one more droid.

5 spotted the last droid hovering behind a nearby wall after they cleared four more buildings. He took aim but 11 grabbed hold of his shoulder. A plan was forming in his mind. He pointed to his brothers and then to several positions leading toward the exit door they found. They had noted the positions of thirty surveillance cameras that turned on set angles. He went back and found a charred piece of plastoid and used it to etch a map onto the ground. They each huddled around the rough drawing to work out where the cameras could see. The only way the Kaminoans could know for sure the test was completed was to give the shutdown command and physically count the objectives.

The Nulls obediently took the positions 11 had previously assigned to them. They popped up one at a time allowing the droid to see them. When they took cover again it would move toward them, and the next boy in line would continue the process until the droid hovered around the door searching for its hidden target. 

"Endex," 11 shouted just like he always did after a holo-drill. The Kaminoan minder opened the door to release them. They had no reason to program the droids only to fire at humans. A Kaminoan would never be in the area during an active test. The droid recognized an organic creature, movement, and it opened fire. As soon as the Kaminoan slumped the boys shot down the final droid, they continued firing until their blasters ran out of charge.

"No, now it's endex." 5 said with a half hearted chuckle as they stepped over the lifeless alien.


Last edited by AlleKote on Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by Corsenna on Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:59 am

It was not a beautiful day, perhaps the was the point. It was dark from clouds and pouring rain. The ground squelched and sloshed around Woneyi Malor's feet, putting as much ground between himself and the port from the Blessed Isle as he could. Even if this child survived, even if someone found it, no one would know where it came from. Malor only wanted one kid, he wanted to prove the strength of his bloodline, one heir is all he needed to continue his legacy. Twins were unexpected, one of them had to go. This unlucky infant drew the short straw, a raw deal but the kid probably wouldn't live long enough to know it.

When Malor came to a path and the port was no longer visible even across the perfectly flat terrain he decided it was far enough. He simply placed the bundle of tattered blanket - no sense using one of the good ones of course, this one belonged to a servant - in a nook behind a tree. Malor turned back toward the port looking as though he had already forgotten the unfortunate child.

"I saw General Woneyi on the mainland on my way back from town," An old woman said to her husband. "Almost didn't believe my eyes at first but the insignia on his cloak was clear as day. Saw him drop something. That family is bred for strength so when I saw it was a boy I thought I should take it. He could easily replace the slave we lost when he grows." 

The old man was overjoyed. They weren't rich by any means and slave labor was costly. He brought the bundle to the single room house beyond the field and dropped it in the lap of an exhausted woman. She had given birth to a still born child only a day ago.

"Raise it, teach it what it needs to know to work the farms." He said dispassionately. He turned and left before she even opened the bundle.

Lessia peered into the infant's face, brilliant green eyes looked back at her. "Roxil," She called him beckoning someone to take him closer to the small fire in the center of the room to keep him warm. She would cherish the years to come with the boy that would call her his mother.

"Stay inside mom, I've done your chores and mine so they'll never know." Roxil was nearly seven years old now.
"This early? You are energetic, aren't you?"
"More than you, it's not right. They know you've been sick, how can they expect you to keep doing so much?"
"It's our lot in life, sweet Roxil. I'd never have wanted this for my boy but there often isn't a choice." Lessia had agonized over the loss of her child but this boy had a good heart and had filled much of the gap in her own. He treated her well and took the work load of many of the older slaves voluntarily onto his own shoulders. He was a wellspring of strength and energy and often said he wanted to put it to use, to take the burden off those that weren't so blessed. 

He loved his family deeply, and in his eyes all the slaves were his family. He had woken today with an ominous feeling he couldn't place. He had hoped to offset the increasingly foul mood of their owners with his productivity. Some people, however, were never pleased.
"Everyone inside, all of you!" The old man shouted. He didn't say he was selling the farm. He didn't say most of the slaves were to old to sell. He didn't say Roxil couldn't be sold at all, he looked too much like his birth father, no one would believe they owned him. General Woneyi's face was well known, his portrait hung nearly everywhere people of the Dragon Blooded military gathered. The man put a heavy lock on the door when he was satisfied they were all in. No one thought anything of it, they were used to being locked in for the night. No one thought anything of it until they saw the flames rising outside the window. They all knew how slaves too old or feeble to work were dealt with.

It was all they could do to break the wooden bars on the back window and raise Roxil through. They told him to run, but he wouldn't hear it. The boy ran to the door instead and pulled at the lock and beat at the door while the flames rose. He continued until the building was nearly engulfed, until he couldn't keep convincing himself he could save them. All he could do was run away from the heat and the screaming. The smell of burnt flesh followed him as far as his legs could take him until he realized it was his own skin. His hands and arms were a brutal shade of red against his otherwise dark tan skin and he could feel the heat still on his neck and face. All he could do now was cry and accept that he was alone.
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Character Background Mini Stories!

Post by AlleKote on Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:09 pm

One year, six months, and fourteen days; that's how long ago the first test batch of ARCs was birthed for lack of a better word, perhaps 'produced' actually was fitting. That put them, developmentally, at barely over three years old. Despite their age it had not escaped their notice that there were only nine of them compared to the twelve vats. For now they were designated with the letters TU standing for test unit and the numbers 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Up to this point they had only received flash training during gestation and the most basic holographic drills. Today they had been sedated and transported somewhere new. TU-02 woke huddled with his brothers in a small room made of some ancient crumbling stone. He was cold, and as hungry as ever for someone that grew twice as fast as a normal human. One by one the others woke as well, they were all scared, with only each other to cling to.

TU-11, always the steady source of their courage, rallied his brothers. He lead them out of the building cautiously. They found they were surrounded by more crumbling buildings. This was some sort of test, navigation, that had to be it. They just had to find their way out. They each chose a nearby building and climbed to the top to survey their surroundings. That's when the first bomb detonated. TU-02 fell, but he wasn't hurt. The bomb had been far enough away that they only suffered the tail end of a shock wave.

They stumbled around for over an hour, there had been sixteen more explosions. So far they only had minor injuries, just a few scrapes and bruises from shock waves throwing them against walls and stones. Finally TU-04 glimpsed the door. He ran to it, ignoring 11's urges to stop and regroup. 04 didn't even scream, the others couldn't even spot more than a small splash of blood among the newly charred and destroyed rubble.

The door didn't even lead to their room with their meager cots and rations. It was just another equally small sterile white room with a window spanning the length of the outer wall. They had grown used to looking out over the endless expense of ocean and eternally cloud-filled sky. They knew tonight would be different. They had lost a brother. Each flash of lighting left them cowering together. The test units would never forget the flashes of light or the roar of bombs. The Kaminoans would know that, they engineered these units with unerring eidetic memory. They would never forget the pain of losing their first brother. The units knew they had to be perfect, they had to be strong, and they had to learn everything they could to survive. The Kaminoans had no fear of killing them.

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