The Yuuzhan Vong came in force on the fifteenth day at sunrise local time, and from the shadows the bedraggled survivors awaited them. Here was the opposite side of Coruscant, the planet city of spires and towers that had served as the governing head of the galaxy since time immemorial. Here the great and the influential, it was told, emerged at sunset and worked through the night (inasmuch that there ever was nighttime where the glow of lights and engines overwhelmed the stars), so that they would not miss a single happening on Republic Hill, half a planet away, their lives linked with the service mandarins and lords who presided over the galaxy. Here, in the district surrounding the four graceful towers, the tallest within thirty kilometers, two million permanents and God knew how many itinerants lived out their lives. There were apartments like insect hives and shops, utilities and warehouses and mysterious rooms announced by old-fashioned brass plates, all honeycombed through the blocks, above which the twenty-six hundred meters of the Zoughnies towered like the apostles of wealth overlooking kneeling supplicants. Under the shadows of the towers and the bridges of airspeeders, above the darkened surface that was smothered under the skyline like water beneath oil, life had been normal, before. Nobody needed to ask before what. For the Coruscantis there could not be a single person in existence who did not know the apocalyptic days that separated before from after, that began with the day that Garm bel Iblis put decency before desperation and refused to order his guns to fire on the helpless ones whom the Yuuzhan Vong had herded before them, and the days of fire that had followed when the government had cast itself and any who could cling along into exile, emerging at sunset beneath the thunder of orbital fire and the earth-shaking answer of the surface batteries. Before, the street oracles would say, staring into banked fires made of salvaged furnishings, we transformed from residents into fugitives. There had followed straight days of combat, enclaves of New Republic forces and desperate citizens, firing whatever they could against the landing Vong and giving way before the flying wedges of Vong shock troops, vanishing into the underworld. Where they made brave or desperate last stands charred corpses made barricades, before which were piled the bodies of Vong infantry whom they had cut down in the last moments of their lives. Walls of transparisteel, forming the flanks of once-proud towers, showed scorches where infantry fire glanced off, craters where artillery hit, gigantic rends where crashing starfighters and air vehicles ripped through; block after block showed the decaying bodies of Vong war beasts and Republic vehicles, starships half-interred in impact craters or balancing precariously on the wreckage where they had crash-landed, and everywhere the stench of burning concrete and cremated corpses. Before that, the wise ones said. But it would not be until later that they would decide, with the murmuring assent of street rumor, that though they formed a before, they could not constitute a basis to judge after. This was important, they said. For the inhabitants of Zoughnie Towers the days between the gradual dying of the resistance and the consolidation of their new masters were stunned days, days in a ruined limbo, with held breath and suspended thoughts. Gradually they came to the conclusion that the effort needed to swallow the world had exhausted the Vong, too, and this was strengthened by stories of a half-hearted firefight between a few surviving soldiers and a squad of Vong, before both sides vanished into the maze of buildings and were never seen again. Those days could not count. And thus it was that after fourteen sunsets and fifteen sunrises in dreamlike suspension, time began flowing again with the arrival of a fleet of air transports in their usual driveless silence, disgorging their troops into the tall spires of the four Zoughnie Towers.
edited 2nd Aug '12 1:51:52 AM by SabresEdge
==>Lower down from those towers, and I mean quite a bit lower, lay a strange land where there actually existed streets. The old fashioned kind, where repulsorlifts rarely skated and the droid pilots of airspeeders look down upon and think, "Thank The Maker I don't have to work down there." Down there, laid a bar. It wasn't the kind of Hive which housed all sorts of criminals and had naked women on a pedestal all the time, no-sir-ree. That one was about half a block down the street, The Hutt's Chance. This, right here, was The Dinged Boat, not exactly perfectly legal in its dealings but not evil, by any chance. It was small enough, and outside of it hung a helpful sign describing what a boat is, placed there long ago by one of the owners who grew tired of explaining such things. Inside the bar was a lady. This lady was the 31st and current owner of The Dinged Boat, Fish'ti'ree. As she would tell you, her name is "Shtir" and not "Fish". In her hands was a very snazzy sniper rifle. She lounged about at her desk, watching the handy little monitor to see if any of the 46 mines she placed outside were being approached. Nothing today, she thought. Good enough. Her bar had managed to see a sharp drop in revenue when the Vong invaded, surprise surprise. Those scurrilous demon bastards. In the same way, the only people that ever seemed to come to the bar nowadays were spies, thugs and looters. Out of her little fantasy world, there were a number of looters that had to be explosively deterred from stealing, all of them interested in that this was the only place down here with working lights, however dim. This did not cover all the explosively deterred people, however, nor the people that she had to deal with personally once they managed to get past the mines. But the last few days seemed uneventful enough, as the craters outside along with signs reading "THERE IS A LOT OF MINES HERE PLEASE DON'T GO HERE" she had placed seemed to be doing the job. She felt tired after pulling 3 all-night watches, during which she was twitching at the thought that some one has to have come in. Alas, it seemed safe enough to take a quick nap. She curled up next to her favorite potted plant, Mr. Hat and, still holding the mine detector, fell asleep.
edited 2nd Aug '12 8:07:52 AM by wikkit
Asst. SupernumerarySomewhere higher up, almost at what could be considered the 'surface' of the hive world a body lay stretched out under a torn up sheet that had been badly stapled with it's mate to form a canopy. Kilometers away from the nearest crashed remains of a Coruscant Defense Force ship's landing pod Maja Kalranoos was trying to cool down in her makeshift fortress of solitude/home. The Vong may not have moved into the neighborhood yet, but it was already far too humid down here on the surface for any sane species to live there. One arm was sprawled across the un-inflated life raft towards one of her bottles of emergency water, while the other was absently tightening and loosening around the grip of her service pistol. In an abstract way, ever since she had left the system for the last time all those years ago, she had always figured that her life would play out on the surface of a hellish planet far from her beloved space. Naturally, Maja had never suspected it would be the one she tentatively called home. The pilot stared at the slowly billowing cloth above her; this day was shaping up just fine.
The Earth is the cradle of mankind, but one cannot remain in the cradle forever.
WalrusmasterAce lurked in the shadows. He had been through quite a bit these last two weeks. In fact, he had been through "quite a bit" these last five decades, but the events of the last two were what had left him "quite a bit" frazzled. But for now, he was quite content going through "quite a bit" of a dumpster outside of some sort of club where a sign was visible - in the infrared spectrum, at least - that identified it as "The Hutt's Chance". But when he was sure he had gone through it, it was clear that the club and most of its surroundings had been pilfered. He held an empty can in his hand as he reflected on the situation. "Thieves!" he said to himself. Then it reminded him that he hadn't checked himself recently. "Foot, foot, hand, hand..." he counted out the various pieces of his armor visible in the diagnostics screen, as well as visually. "Nine!" He had lost a finger... no, no, wait, there it was, behind the can, he was fine. But down the street was a much nicer more promising-looking bar. The only problem was the lights - someone could see him. There was also the issue of the mines and what looked like several places a sniper could position themselves... Mines! Sniper! He was no longer on Coruscant, he was back on Muunilinst. But why did he have a jump pack? Only droids had them, otherwise he'd break his legs. And why was his armor gray? Where was his blaster? But he had to stop thinking - he had to act fast or the rest of his squad would be killed - the same Mandalorian blood in their veins flowed through his, and he couldn't let them down. The only thing on the ground at the end of this day would be oil and steel. He darted off, leaping over the mines and landing with a loud thud near an opening. He threw in a "fragmentation grenade"* and dove back behind a wall, waiting for the blast.
edited 2nd Aug '12 5:04:55 PM by nman
==>Shtir already heard the loud thumping sound of someone stomping about outside, as the durasteel wall was the only thing seperating the two. What she didn't expect was the loud explosion. Recovering her senses, she had realized the best. The fool had managed to trip the backup mine placed under the mat! Ha ha ha ha Haaaa! Shtir picked up her rifle, took off a leaf from Mr. Hat for good luck and headed opened the office door. Sure enough, there was a nice indent in the main doorway. Shtir hoped that something salvageable survived the blast. Maybe a nice rifle, or some more armor to complete the set. As she walked around the corner, the lack of scrap goods was filled with a sudden abundance of Trooper. Big, gray trooper. She sort of just stood there, mouth agape and a bit too shocked to try and shoot the guy...
edited 2nd Aug '12 6:56:01 PM by wikkit
WalrusmasterAce felt the explosion rattle his bones - or rather, the cybernetics in his prosthetics picked up vibrations and relayed them to him. He smiled - well, he thought he smiled, he didn't really have a face anymore - knowing that his squad could move forward. But he couldn't afford to get cocky, they had to move fast and clear out the building. As he prepared to storm the fortifications - really, where was his rifle? - a Chiss woman stepped out with a rifle. Where were the droids? But... no... that was over forty years ago... where was he now? ... The building were pretty big, Nar Shaddaa? No, Coruscant, that's right. But regardless of where he was... she still had a large blaster. That could only mean one thing: She was there to steal his limbs. He took a step back and blasted off, landing on an overhead bridge. He couldn't risk any more visible movement, so he slowly started to move away from where he landed, lying prone on the ground.
edited 2nd Aug '12 5:37:03 PM by nman
==>Shtir let out a small "meep" like sound as she ducked back into the doorway. Zounds! They actually sent a armed soldier to kill me now!, this weird blue lady thought. They've sent out spies, but now they're going to take this bar by force! He can't be the only one. The goons must be a bunch of the most elite, powerful troops they've got. No normal soldier wears a jetpack! Speaking of which, he should be ooooveeerr... She risked a peek over at the bridge, where not a single helmet peeked back at her. "I know you're out there, Imperial Scum! If this is the way it has to be, " she yelled in his general direction, "then come out and fight me! We can have a fistfight! To the death!"
edited 2nd Aug '12 9:55:48 PM by wikkit
Walrusmaster"You think I'm stupid, " the crazed cyborg yelled back down. "You can't beat me in a fistfight! The second I pop out, you'll fire your blaster at me and salvage my limbs!" And if it really was a fistfight, he thought to himself, I'D STAB HER AND STEAL HER BLASTER!. He quickly popped out and retracted his left vibro, staring at it as he mentally chuckled.
==>"...Well...If you're going to be a coward, then send your squad of highly trained death-dealers to give me a proper death!" ...Shtir grinned as she thought up something. "...Or...you could spare yourself the pain of losing a few squadmates by coming down and negotiating! Unless you're a...chicken!"
WalrusmasterSquad? She could be feigning ignorance, but that was a blaster, and it was certainly useful to have one in this fast-paced modern Coruscanti world. In her hands it was a waste. He deserved the rifle. He knew how to use one. He was bred to use one. With that gun in his hands, nobody would steal his legs if he could shoot them from a distance, and with the girl out of the way, he'd have a defensible, mined, position that he could maintain for a long time. But why did she think he wanted to kill her? Negotiate? "We... we aren't shooting you... yet, " Ace called out, "because we don't want to damage... the bar... with... the mines - but we'd rather obliterate it than let you keep it. I can go down there and negotiate your terms of surrender, but you'll have to put the rifle down. If you do that, I promise you'll be able to leave alive."
edited 2nd Aug '12 8:33:16 PM by nman
==>"Nah, no, I know that you've been after me for years, " she yelled back at him. "How about this: I keep my rifle, you come down here with your jumping...thing...and talk to me. I promise to not shoot you, and you can keep your team of trained snipers on me to ensure your safety!" She walked out of the doorway, and looked up at the bridge.
edited 2nd Aug '12 8:59:57 PM by wikkit
It had watched the encounter ever since since the one with the blaster rifle had been hiding. Species: Chiss. Standard Humanoid Female size. Noted Combat Scars. Thirteen had been standing still for over 26 hours, just watching. Unlike the crazy Cyborg, he didn't have any organic parts that needed rest, so he had maintained his watch. Armed only with his electrostaff, he had waited. He needed a better weapon, a ranged weapon. Analysis of the female's rifle suggested that it would do. Then this...trooper interfered. Thirteen had kept up with the Imperial armed forces as the Republic changed into its harder newer image. His owner had insisted on it. Jump Pack, jet fueled. Could possibly mis-fire if struck at the right angle. No ranged weapons suggested, but if member of the Zero Dark Trooper cyborg project could have significant physical strength. Thirteen wasn't worried about close combat. He had been built to kill Jedi. And one deranged clone trooper was not a primary threat. The Chiss was the primary threat. He shifted his head slightly, still in shadow, keeping his optics dimmed as much as he dared to conceal his bulk. The black cloak he wore blended into the dark street. He listened to their conversation. Thirteen knew a little about what was happening to the planet. Invasion. Protocols suggested finding Command, Weaponry, Base, Reinforcements. In that order. Command was out, Confederacy Command was gone, decades ago. Weaponry, not likely to be found, unless these two were eliminated. Base, see Weaponry. Reinforcements... The Chiss, in her paranoia, might see a threat, biological 'instincts' being proven right. Same with the trooper, with combat experience. So Thirteen threw gasoline on the fire. “He has no Backup.” His droid voice was, flat, mechanical, and harsh as all get out. It boomed in the opposite direction from 'behind' the Chiss and up. He had seen the warning signs about the mines and had gone up to avoid them. In the shadows of the various buildings, only his glowing red optics, now brought to full strength, could be seen.
Where Shadows Hide A Gundam RPG.
WalrusmasterNo! A third party. His plan was ruined. All thanks to that voice... the voice... that was... that was a droid's voice. A droid... "DROID!" Ace yelled angrily, looking around. "YOU CAN'T HAVE MY BITS!" When his optics detected the red light they zoomed in and enhanced in on the location of a mechanical unit ... it was a Magna Guard. He brought his hand to his head, using his "radio". "CC-777, confirmed visual on IG-100 squad. General Grievous is near. Requesting full-strength heavy-weapons squad. Will maintain visual - " his eyes glanced towards the Chiss, "caution, civilians in area." He leaped down from the bridge, landing near the Chiss. He extended a hand towards her. "Ma'am, you are in danger, come with me."
edited 2nd Aug '12 9:51:53 PM by nman
==>The Chiss stood there for a brief moment as she tried to figure out what the hell was going on here. She surmised that there was something up with the Trooper already, being that with the invasion/bombardment and all, there was little way for the conspirators that have been hunting her to actually know if she was alive or not. He seemed...unstable enough, talking about the Griever guy that her father mentioned long ago... Speaking of her father, he had this odd saying: "Unless it's one of your brethren, Red Eyes are generally not a sign of a friendly person. And don't talk to strangers." This new guy fit both criteria. She quickly put her hand into the armored one before her, gripping tight.
WalrusmasterAce grabbed the Chiss's hand tightly and picked her up, jumping back to the bridge. He took care not to injure the woman in his arms as he landed - much easier to do when jumping up, as his landing velocity was minimal. "No place for a civilian, ma'am. Your blaster won't be any use against that armor. But don't worry, reinforcements are on their way." He glanced around as he started to run - he hadn't remembered to set her down, so unless she had decided to roll out and run on her own, he would still be carrying her - and radioed in again. "Republic Command, where is that gunship?"
This place is filthyIn the shell of a gutted hab complex, quite a way above a certain well-defended drinking establishment, a figure watched the descending transports with a grim eye. Some people had glamourous, exiting stories of how they survived the first day. Desperate escapes from collapsing towers, running gun battles in the streets, nail-biting flights through the orbital hellstorm. Zora Kolkeen, on the other hand, had spent the first 36 hours of the invasion of Coruscant unconscious at the bottom of a turbolift shaft. When the doomed starship - a Mon-Calamari frigate of some sort, judging by its slumped corpse in the distance - had winged the CSF HQ during its fiery descent it had brought the entire northern wing down. The resulting maze of twisted metal and half-collapsed maintenance tunnels had taken her a day and a half to escape. All in all, Zora had to be grateful she even had a story to tell at all. A lot of her colleagues did not, as she had found out when she emerged on the 4th day. Her search for survivors had eaten up another 2 days, both fruitless. The men and women of CSF Divisional HQ - Quadrant V-77 had taken what wounded they could find and fled. They could have regrouped somewhere in the lower levels, or they could be scattered across half the planet. They might even be all dead, Zora had no idea. So now, on the 15th day, here she was - alone, cut off from her superiors and friends, with the enemy bearing down on the district - and she'd be damned if she was going to crawl into some scum-hole and hide. The young Zabrak squared her shoulders and turned away from the view, striding back to the relatively-undamaged corner where she'd spent the night. Her leather coat was deftly pulled on, its battered state no longer illiciting the winces it used to, and over that her yellow CSF body armour. The rest of her meagre belongings were scooped up and slung across her shoulders - the gun belt with its salvaged blaster pistol and spare energy cells, the satchel bag holding what little food and water she had. Zora's face was set in a grim frown as she hurried down a set of flame-scorched duracrete stairs, heading for the building's lobby and the wartorn walkway beyond.
Has Spiffy ShoesArlong looked at the downed speeder.
The entire front of the machine was crumpled beyond repair. Metal and rubber and wires poked out like spines and the front plate was twisted near completely off. He was impressed he'd managed to do so much damage to it in all honesty.
He'd been doing what everyone else had been - trying to get the hell off world. But by now it had been sixteen days and he'd gone through one custom-job freighter and a couple of landspeeders due to a mixture of Vong weaponry and city collapse. So he was getting a little tired.
"Stupid hunk of junk." he said and kicked the speeder's flank non-commitally. There was no point in losing his temper, he'd just make further mistakes and die even quicker. No, best just to cut his losses and move on to plan F.
Arlong looked around himself. Not an unpleasant neighbourhood, if not the nicest part of Coruscant either. Looked like there'd be some entertainment establishments somewhere nearby - a couple of bars or clubs or something. Could be a place to find some shelter for the night. Maybe even supplies if he was lucky.
Arlong started walking.
"Hey, you could tweet people's sigs!" "...but why would you want to?"
Hermit PurpleToday was looking up in some respects for Galvin Vekarr, smuggler extraordinaire. He had managed to find a good place to secret away his hastily (and illegally) acquired TC9, and he suspected that he had managed to evade the attention of any undesirables. And anyway, surely the New Republic would be sending a task force to blow away the invaders any day now. Admittedly, he would much prefer it if it was his fellow smugglers coming back to get him out of trouble, but beggars couldn't be choosers. Although he was faintly aware of the alien vessels, he brushed off any concerns as being something for someone else to deal with. He thought back to how he had ended up trapped on Courscant. He had been returning to his ship, the Star's Bounty. It was a YV-100 and although it may not have been as fancy or as heavily modified as some of the vessels plying the trade routes, but it was one of the few that he felt genuinely at home in. Unfortunately, just as he was about to walk out on to the landing pad the Star's Bounty had been destroyed, sending pieces of metal - his livelihood - spinning and burning through the air. He never found out who or what was responsible, but if he did... He found his hands slowly compacting into fists, and shook off the emotion. Galvin had tapped into his survival instincts, finely honed by a life of crime, and had more or less melted into the background while chaos ensued. Now he wasn't so much interested in making a profit as just getting off this crazy rock. He could use his TC9, but considering how well that had went for other would-be escapees, that simply wasn't an option. Galvin quietly tapped the vehicle's location into his datapad and saved it. It wouldn't do any good if he forgot where he was keeping it, after all. He also activated its' security features. The last thing he needed was someone making off with his transport. Taking a quick, furtive look at his surroundings one last time, Galvin made sure that his Renegade heavy blaster pistol was properly secured and set off into the great unknown.
Locking you up on radar since '09 See him surface in every shadow, On the wind I feel his breath
==>And so, she did roll out of this other fellow's grip. Seeing as he was still running for cover on this bridge, Shtir tried to keep up pace with him. Him being a mostly-droid kind of guy, this was hard enough as it is. Trying to take in air at the same time, she yelled out, with the indignant tone of a person who is slowly realizing that the person they put their trust in isn't very qualified for job, or any job besides that of ranchhand at the Funny Farm. "Well-*huph*-sir what year-*hph*-do you think it is?!-*hoph*-why would the New-*hph*-Republic be-*hph*-trying to help an-*hph*-imperial-*huphhuph*-oh, damn these faulty synthetic lungs!" She stumbled and stopped to catch her breath, before taking her rifle and checking if the assailant(?) was still over there.
Walrusmaster"Year fourteen, of course, " the trooper replied as the civilian stumbled, and he stepped back near her as he followed her gaze and looked out for the droid. "And I am with the Republic, miss. We're going to have a gunship here any moment because I just called in a sighting of Grievous's guards - with luck, we'll get that bastard this time."
==>Shtir was looking down the sights and talking at the same time, confused. "It's 27, sir. 27 ABY? And besides, from what I remember that General guy died right before the end of the Clone Wars." Apparently, a droid with glowing eyes was hard enough to find, even in the dimness of the bottom layer. She looked back up at the man. "...Bad time to ask, but are you alright?"
New development. The Trooper was delusional. Although it wasn't unknown in biologicals to suffer dementia after being in combat. This one apparently was more crazy than others though, if he could misplace most of several decades. Considering that the female had the only ranged weapon, and the trooper did not have a ranged weapon, Thirteen moved. He slide around a corner of the structure he had been standing on and moved out of sight of the two fleshies, and quickly jumped across the open space and clung to the wall on the opposite side, his metal fingers digging in for support as he scaled the wall upwards.
Where Shadows Hide A Gundam RPG.
Asst. SupernumeraryIn the distance there was a soft whump. So quiet that if the city wasn't in the middle of a rather quiet spell the sound wouldn't have traveled nearly as far as it did today. Maja sat bolt upright, her unbuckled blast vest flopping against her already soaked through undershirt. The Arkanian knew that sound. Crawling towards the window, Maja peeked out and down. Damn the temperature there was someone with military grade ordnance left in this district . "HX2. Antipersonnel. Old, cheap, simple compound, easy for civilians to buy, not in the Vong inventory, " she grinned. The one thing her kit was seriously lacking in, "Someone has kriffing mines." Scrambling for her binocs Maja turned them down towards the street for any signs of a blast. Running her eyes up and down the abandoned habs as well, she saw nothing but a CorPo officer on the beat. Wait. The binocs view slowly shifted back to the security officer.... so the city wasn't dead yet.
edited 3rd Aug '12 2:45:21 PM by hotelkilo
The Earth is the cradle of mankind, but one cannot remain in the cradle forever.
Walrusmaster"Twenty seven? A... ABY?" Ace asked. Even if he hadn't been living forty years in the past, he was somewhat... busy... when the new calendar was introduced, so even if he had been thinking clearly, he still wouldn't be able to make sense of the date. But the others things she had said made a connection in his mind. "Grievous... dead... war... over... it can't be over, why else is - how can - then how - why can't I feel my face? What are those lines in my eyes? Where did I get thi-" whatever breakthrough he was in the middle of was abruptly interrupted as the droid moved, shifting his focus. "RUN!" he said to the Chiss, as he started to backpedal.
edited 3rd Aug '12 8:01:45 PM by nman
==>With the agility of a sort-of fast, mildly overweight dog, Shtir stood up and ran for the hills whether the nutball trooper was following or not. Speaking of which, it seems like after she gets out of this, she would have to talk him down from suicide. The situation reminded her of when a guy decided to take a thermal detonator and eat it in front of her entire bar. If it wasn't faulty, there would've been no chance for her to shoot him! Ah, that was a weird day. ...She realized just how off track she was, and stopped to turn around.
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