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Tal Cuyot

Mandalorian
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About Tal Cuyot

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    Alternate Character of Je'ka Cuyot

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  1. A Calm and Civil Solution

    He managed to drag Jair back to the Mand'alor's position. She wasn't happy, screaming furious invective on internal comms; at some point on the drag back she'd drawn her pistol and was firing wildly in the direction of the traitors. The Mand'alor was firing, too, shining pistol blurting bolts at the upstart Trenox girl. "Tal, you and your people have a job to do when we settle all this. We'll discuss it once we're out of the fire. Take me anywhere but here." she said; Tal could barely hear her over Jair and the blasterfire, but he nodded. "We got air support incoming. When they get here, we'll make a break for the speeder." It wasn't a long trip from the Cuyot farm to the center of Keldabe. In a shuttle or starship, it was barely a minute. Allowing time for getting in the air, maybe two and a half, three. It had already been about one. Not a long wait to go. Longest shabla minute of Tal's life. The fight had decayed into a standoff. Two sides with heavy armor and heavy weapons. Only way to do it now was up close and personal, beskade and vibroblades, and nobody really wanted to get into that. Tal didn't blame them. A couple Aran guys taking cover by the Oyu'baat were readying up, drawing weapons, but he waved them off. Couldn't have them getting in the way here. That wouldn't do. Not a second too late. He heard the unmistakable shriek of an Aurek strikefighter in atmosphere a second before the actual vehicle came in sight. S-foils already extended, it was coming in fast and low. "Clan Cuyot, to the rescue..." crackled Torris' voice over the comms. Tal punched the air with a gauntleted fist. Nothing got the blood pumping like close air support. "Oya! Oya!" he shouted at the top of his lungs, words dragging themselves out of his raw throat. Jair on the ground echoed him, voice shot through with pain. Torris opened fire, incandescent red bolts streaming from the Aurek's cannons. The traitor position erupted, dust, smoke, and bodies flying into the air. It was glorious. The pass seemed to last forever, even though it was probably less than a second. In that time, he hauled Jair up, got her over his shoulders. "Let's go!"
  2. A Calm and Civil Solution

    Tanvir wanted it brought it outside. Probably a smart move. More space, less anger trying to blow the top off a tapcaf. Also got him a bit further away from blasters, which was not an insignificant concern. Tal could agree with all that, because what was happening here was essentially a Mantellian standoff on a large scale, and that wasn't going to turn out well at all. One of the Trenox chakaare had a blaster to someone's gett'se, a few others had blades to throats... it was a mess. But nobody's dead yet... Tanvir put on his buy'ce and walked out. Tal let him, lowering the blaster he held on the barve. "Yeah, outside sounds good." he rasped. Though his words weren't exactly commanding, his tone was, and the blasters put some force behind it; he began to see some nods and murmuring. The big Trenox shabuir stated his assent, and that seemed to help. Tensions deflated somewhat, weapons going down, and almost comically, Mando'ade began to file outside. Clan Cuyot were among the last to leave, along with a couple Aran barves, shepherding everyone out so nobody shot 'em in the back. But Jair was getting jittery, movements quick, less than precise. Tal had never seen her quite this nervous before- she was ori'rami'kad, jatnese be te jatnese, she'd led squads through the bowels of an enemy Star Destroyer, she'd walked fearlessly into hostile situations, she'd done a hell of a lot that required more gett'se than this, but for some reason this situation was getting to her bad. "You okay, Jai'ika?" Tal asked, through internal comms, as he pushed out through the door. Jair was in front of him; she nodded, without looking back. "Yeah. Yeah. Just... Mando'ade fighting their own vode." Yeah, that was certainly disconcerting. He didn't let his own feelings about it show. "Osik happens." They got outside, pressed through the crowd to the front. Everyone was circling around the two combatants; Tanvir was conferring with his aliit, Ma'rik was just pacing, beskad in hand. She was impatient. Tanvir looked... well, determined. He was bigger than her, no doubt stronger, he had years of experience, but she had youth and she had conviction. Tal's bet was on Ma'rik, of course, or he wouldn't have let this happen, but it was going to be a close, brutal thing. And they began. Tanvir had knuckle vibroblades, and he hit hard. Ma'rik, on the other hand, was fast. It wasn't a long fight, but it was long enough. Tanvir kept trying to end it quick, Ma'rik kept just dancing away; they both landed blows, but there wasn't much blood. The beskar'gam saw to that. For a second, Tal was worried, as they seemed nearly evenly matched- and then Tanvir left himself open for a microsecond, and then Ma'rik's beskad was buried in his chest, between the plates. "Kandosii!" Jair shouted on internal comms, so loud it hurt Tal's ears. Shouts went up from the crowd, mixed in joy and despair, as A'den Tanvir dropped to a knee, fighting desperately for air. Blood bubbled from his mouth, flowed like the Kelita from his wound. The ivory helmet tilted up, void-black T-visor angled towards his killer. Ma'rik tore the beskad out, crimson blood spattering the dusty ground. The weapon followed the blood, clattering down; Ma'rik seized the dying man's buy'ce in her hands. In her shuk'orok, Tal realized. He hadn't even noticed those. The killing blow took far too long for Tal's liking. He'd seen a lot of things in his life, but the squealing of beskar, the way A'den Tanvir's arms flailed... it seemed to last forever. It was shabla nauseating. Suddenly, finally, the sharp crack of the visor shattering split the air, and the buy'ce imploded. Blood began to find its way out of the crumpled mass of metal; Ma'rik pushed the convulsing corpse away, falling to her own knees in what appeared to be exhaustion. Manda'yaim had a Mand'alor once more. Tal punched the air, clenched fist high in triumph. "Mand'alor Alesha!" he roared, masking his relief that it had actually worked out well. Chel slapped Jair's back, nodding happily. They had a Mand'alor again, one who wouldn't spinelessly sell them out to the Republic. It had been resolved in the time-honored way, and no Mando'ad could say otherwise. There was a dull thud, and another, and another, and another. Hissing. Smoke. Tal was in the middle of the crowd, and wasn't tall enough to see anything over anyone's head, but there was smoke rising up, and then a second later, blasterfire. Someone set up a shabla ambush? "Cover the Mand'alor!" Tal shouted, as loudly as he was capable, rushing in to do exactly that. Pulling up his carbine, he snapped the stock open, checked for charge- full- and dropped to a knee in front of Ma'rik. Chel was at his side, slug pistol in his hands; Jair followed, rifle up. "Ma'rik, my speeder's around the corner. Can you run?" She'd been wounded, she was tired, and now they were getting shot at. The pro-Republic chakaare, no doubt. Maybe the Trenox, they'd seemed pretty willing to do osik like this. The vode were scattering, rushing for cover. Vossir Aran and a clanmate, those brave, beautiful bastards, were actually standing, facing the blasterfire, shielding their Mand'alor with their bodies. There were already corpses on the ground. This was bad, very bad. He could see the enemy now, and yeah, they were Trenox, and some of the other pro-Republic clans. Hut'uune. Couldn't win in a fair fight, had to set a shabla ambush. There were rules here, and this did not abide by them. He turned, firing from his kneeling position, carbine on full-auto. It wasn't going to do too much to a fully-armored Mando'ad, but it'd force them to keep their heads down. What they needed was support here. Switching hands with his weapon, he kept the suppressing fire up, activating the comlink in his right kom'rk. Couldn't trust buy'ce comms in a situation like this. Selecting the code for Torris back on the farm, he tried to get him. Nothing. "Osi'kyr!" Kula, instead. Thankfully, Kula picked up. "Tal, what-" He could hear the blasterfire, no doubt. Tal cut him off. "Get Torris. Get my Aurek, get the shuttle, come to the Oyu'baat. Everything's gone osik'la. Expect to take fire. Quickly." He cut the link there, getting both hands back on his blaster just in time for the power cell to die. Ejecting it, he snatched another one from his belt. Vossir Aran fell, smoke curling from his torso. He wasn't dead, but he was hurt bad, thrashing about in pain. Keeping low, Tal ran over, grabbing him by his collar plate and hauling him back through the dust. He'd been hit in the side, where the plates didn't cover. There was a lot of blood for a blaster wound. Not at all good. Aran's blood-slickened gloves clutched feebly at Tal's gauntlet. "It's okay, vod, you'll be okay." He had no way of knowing that, but sometimes you just needed to be optimistic. This was one of those times. The other Aran barve collapsed too, falling hard on his face, hard enough that his feet kicked up before dropping back down to the dust. The Trenox were advancing. Jair went running for the other Aran. Vossir's grip on Tal's gauntlet grew strong. "Dead." the wounded man gritted out, voice unmistakably pained even through his helmet speakers. "Leave her. Dead." He'd be able to see his clanmate's armor readings through his HUD, Tal realized. "Jair! Jair, she's dead, get back!" Jair heard him. She turned to run back, but at that moment a blaster bolt took her in the leg, in the unprotected thigh. She dropped with an abrupt, agonized cry, her blaster falling from her grip. "Shab!" With an effort worthy of Canderous Ordo himself, Tal dragged Vossir back a couple more meters; another Aran, buy'ce painted white, a medic, took custody of the alor. Wasting no time, Tal ran back out for Jair. "Buir!" cried Chel, in warning; that big slugthrower barked twice, so loud it was easily distinguishable even in the noise of battle. A Tanvir hut'uun not ten meters away collapsed, blood fountaining from his perforated neck seal. Tal hadn't seen him, concealed by the smoke. No time for thanks, though. He ran up, seizing Jair's webbing to drag her away. She was still trying to crawl, spitting half-coherent curses. Torris and Kula better get here soon.
  3. For the Discerning Killer

    "High-caliber I can do. Integrated suppressor I can do." It was a relatively common request. He didn't make very many weapons every year, but he made enough, and those features tended to be at the center of most of them. They were, after all, the two niches that the Big Three and most other bigger companies didn't venture into. "Two round burst and automatic doesn't seem like too much of an issue... but why? Why two?" She wanted a suppressed assault rifle, it sounded like. Two round bursts weren't common though. Three or four or five, yeah, but two? That was interesting. Burst-fire itself wasn't hard to achieve, but she called it a challenge. Had to be more to it. And now Tal was very, very intrigued. "What's your expected range?" Shab, that was the wrong question. All the questions were wrong. Tal wasn't quite good at conversation. He coughed, shaking his head slightly; reaching up, he scratched at the torc of smooth tissue at his throat. "More- what's the expected use? How many targets? What range? How often?" So many questions. So many shabla questions. If it was just for a couple barves at fifty meters once a year, it could fire the biggest shabla simple projectiles he could make that wouldn't knock her over, and he could make it as quiet as someone snapping their fingers. If she had to slot a bunch of chakaare every other day from a couple hundred meters, there would be some changes required. And then the measurements- so many measurements, too. A good custom rifle needed to be fit to its owner just as a good set of beskar'gam did. Shab, he was actually excited. Always was for a good custom job, but every time it felt special. Already, he was thinking of how to make that happen. He didn't actually currently have a standard large-caliber rifle cartridge for his weapons yet, though he did have a number of large-caliber pistol cartridges in limited production. Could neck up the cases for the eight-millimeter round used in the CRS-5s... He indicated another stool. "Have a seat- tell me exactly what you need..."
  4. For the Discerning Killer

    Chen Karnok. Hadn't heard that one before, but that, of course, wasn't surprising. She didn't look like the sort of shabuir that ran in his circles. Those kind of people wore a lot more armor, generally. Apparently she ran her own arms company, though. "Vor'e." he replied, nodding his head in thanks. "A good blade is all you need, sometimes." She'd drawn her own weapon, a recurve sort of thing. Reminded him of Je'ka's beskad, or the big fighting knife he normally wore on his own back. A good design, an ancient, time-proven one. No real decoration, just like the one Tal had been polishing. As she said, function and form. Tal believed personally that function was form. Could decorate things, could engrave and etch and inscribe, but that could never make a sub-par weapon into a good one. "More to the point, though, I would like to commission a weapon, a rifle. I have certain specifications for what I would like the design to entail, and cost is of no concern. I imagine we can come to some kind of arrangement?" "But most of the time you need something that goes bang." Knives didn't cut it all the time, that was for sure. Certain specifications, she said? That would be... interesting. What could she need that a blaster rifle couldn't do, or one of the rifles he already marketed couldn't? And if cost was of no concern... shab, what would she need? "What specifications? I got a model of slug rifle in limited production now, eight-millimeter projectile, mag-fed, bolt-action, accurate to thirteen hundred meters- but you probably already know about that, if you know about this place." He was actuallly intrigued. Tal wasn't a curious kind of person, generally, but this sounded like it'd be good. And he did like a challenge, especially in this realm. If she ran her own arms company, why would she need to outsource? Why would she come to Manda'yaim? So many questions...
  5. A Calm and Civil Solution

    Tal shrugged in the face of the angry Trenox’ tirade. “It doesn’t matter how the aruetiise think of us. It matters how they treat us, and fact is Sith pay well and often. Now, what we’re talking about here is the Republic, and the Republic doesn’t pay well or often. The Republic has its own army, and frowns upon mercenaries. The Republic has everything it wants already, aside from hegemony over this sector and its taxes. We don’t need to involve the Mando’ade as a whole in their business.” This was getting ugly. Very, very ugly. Trenox kept talking. Another voice chimed in, and she addressed it; Tal backed up a little, tapping Chel’s shoulder plate. “Buy’cese, ad’ike.” he rasped, softly enough that with all the other noise, only Chel and Jair would hear. He didn’t have to tell them twice- after all, it wasn’t hard to read the room. Or just hear the nonsense spewing out of the Trenox’ mouth. Almost in unison, the three Cuyot representatives slid their helmets on and sealed them. Now they were protected, and almost more importantly, they could speak privately. “Why’d you tell us to take ‘em off if we were just gonna put ‘em back on?” Jair asked. She was joking, trying to lighten the mood, but Tal could hear the strain in her voice. This wasn’t good stuff at all, and she knew it. “Look how far being civil got us.” “Just anger and bad fishing references.” Chel muttered. “What’s the plan, buir?” They were bad references. Tal wasn’t into fishing at all, or boats, or any of that- he preferred his feet on the ground- but even he could tell they were overdone. It was like these di’kute needed to announce just how shabla nautical they were, just how special and different they were than anyone else. Seemed like the female felt like she needed to prove it physically, too. This was just a mess. “Ma’rik’s my pick. What do you think?” “Yeah.” “She’ll do right by Manda’yaim, sounds like.” So what to do then? Didn’t want this place to erupt in all-out violence. That wouldn’t turn out well. “We got to stop this place from turning into a bloodbath. Jair, know anyone here, aside from the Aleshas?” “Yeah, the barve in the purple’s a friend. Vossir Aran. Good man to have at your back.” “A’right. Go talk to him. Tell him to get his people to follow my lead.” This was going to be… interesting. No other word for it, really. “Che’ika, we’re going to hold everyone back on my mark. I want you on that Trenox shabuir, the female. She moves, slot her.” “Understood.” All business now. The kid was the best shot out of the three of them, and out of the whole of the room- well, if anyone was going to interfere, it’d be the Trenox girl. Tal stepped forwards again, switching to external comms to speak again- and then she drew a beskad, threatening violence. Wonderful. That made her a target all by itself- who drew steel at one of these things, in the middle of a bunch of Mando'ade, to threaten someone? Insane. Couldn’t make a move yet, though. Had to hear back from Aran. So after the big Trenox’ oddly childish monologue, Tal pushed further into the center of things. “So you want us to run a shabla protection racket on the Republic? Are you serious?” It just hit him then. A moment before, the room had been filled with shouting, nominations for Mand’alor. And someone had said his name. Someone had nominated him. Shab, that hit like a ton of bricks. He could do it. He could go for this. And be what? Mand’alor te Mir’sheb? Stay in your shabla hoverlane. You do better out of the public eye. He shook that thought away. No need to worry about that. Ma’rik Alesha was going to become Mand’alor here, no two ways about it. Back to the Trenox issue. “I’m no gangster, Trenox. Pretty sure none of us are. I stay away from that aruetyc osik.” Jair clicked back on in his internal comms. “Vossir says he’ll cover our shebs, and the rest of Clan Aran will too.” That was enough for him. He blink-clicked over to internal. “Now.” He drew, his Merr-Sonn heavy pistol in his right hand and his little BlasTech holdout in his left, one for the big Trenox with the spear and the other for A’den Tanvir. In a room full of trained, armed, and heavily armored special forces, he’d drawn his weapons. Well, this would either work out real well or real badly. No in between. Chel had his own pistol drawn and aimed in an instant, a big nickel-plated semi-auto slugthrower. It was one of the ones Je’ka had left around the farm, stuck under a table; when Chel had found it, Tal had shouted at Je’ka, and he’d just said the ad’ika could keep it. It was a hell of a weapon, firing eleven-point-five-millimeter hollow-point slugs, and it was pointed straight at the Trenox female’s face. Jair had pushed forwards, her blaster in hand and pointed at one of the Tanvirs at A’den’s back, a burly chakaar with a square face and a frown. The Arans, all with the same black aliike on their beskar’gam, had their own various weapons out, covering various belligerent-looking Mando’ade around the room. At least the Cuyots and Aleshas weren’t alone in this. Tal switched back over to external comms, dialed the volume up loud, just to make sure everyone heard. “Vode, cool your shebs. We don’t want a massacre in here.” Shab, he sounded like he was robbing the Bank of Aargau in a bad holovid, but he wasn’t sure how else to do it. “We need a Mand’alor and filling the Oyu’baat with corpses won’t do that. Sounds like we got two main candidates in the running.” His throat hurt. It was the old wound, for sure, but there was also certainly a bit of pain just from thinking about what he was doing here. “So we either get to an agreement, or Ma’rik Alesha and A’den Tanvir fight it out. Just them.”
  6. A Calm and Civil Solution

    And that was Ma'rik. Ma'rik shabla Alesha was here. Tal actually grinned- as much as he could, with half of his mouth being a scar-tissue mess. She tore into A'den Tanvir like a strill into its prey, her disdain for the Republic coloring her words. She was a good fighter, that girl, and from what he'd seen a good leader. She'd been with him in the sewers of Nar Shaddaa, splashing through the osik by his side when they'd found Chel, and she'd helped them take the fight to that Lethan hut'uun that had orphaned the ad'ika. Back then she'd been just getting into the beroya's trade, wading into the deep end straight away; now, she had a clan at her back, and the fire in her soul to lead it. Jair glanced sidelong at Tal, quirking an eyebrow. "Wasn't she shorter before?" The scarred merc shrugged, folding his arms across his chest and watching Ma'rik spit well-deserved invective all over Tanvir. He'd never actually met the man personally, but Tal had heard he was an odious little pile of osik, and that certainly didn't seem like a lie given what he was seeing here now. The Tanvirs and Cuyots did have prior bad blood, though, so maybe he was just predisposed to hate the shabuir. Je'ka did shoot the barve's son in the face, though. It's not like he didn't have a reason to be angry. From what Tal knew, Je'ka had put down a couple of the Tanvirs up north in the Olankur. They'd come after him with a gunship, before Corey Black had stopped it all. Lucky for those chakaare- while Je'ka was unstable, to say the least, he was no slouch when it came to killing beings. Wouldn't have been too many to come home, and then things would have just gotten worse. It had been, he'd been told, a mess. How did Je put it? Said he'd "splattered Tor Tanvir all over an alley". Can't blame his buir for having a problem with that. Tal was worried about his brother. This was certainly an odd time to be thinking of that, but it happened. He'd have to deal with all that later. For now, the fractured Mandalorian leadership. He opened his mouth, starting to step forwards to say something, back Ma'rik up- but then something thudded loudly. Tal didn't like loud, sudden noises; neither did a lot of the Mando'ade present in the tapcaf. He heard a few blaster charge indicators whir and beep across the room; he'd whirled around to the source of the noise and wrapped his hand around the heavy fighting knife at the small of his back before he'd even had a millisecond to think about what was going on. Turned out it was some di'kut in grey with a spear, looked like he'd been banging it on the floor or something. Had a couple beings with him, one in orange and black, the other in just black. He relaxed and turned to Jair, nudging her with his elbow. She slid her pistol back into its holster, snapping its retention strap, and looked quizzically at him. "What?" "Who's that?" She shrugged, one hand going up to scratch at the freshly buzzed hair at the back of her head. "Uhh, think it's the Trenox alor, off Irmenu. The nautical motifs and all. Could be wrong." Trenox. He'd heard of them before, though only through Je'ka. Apparently one of them, some female called Nola, had been with him during the episode with the Tanvirs up north. No description of her, though. Maybe the unhelmeted one in the orange and black? Had eyes tattooed on her chin. Certainly an oddity there. Disrespectful chakaar, the one in the grey armor was, making light of the dead like that. The barve finished his monologue, sitting down; Tal could see A'den Tanvir nodding there, folding his own arms petulantly. The mohawked female continued, though, on the same shabla theme. "Tanvir's thinkin' lucidly. Weighing his options. See, he wants to rebuild. Pick up the pieces. Am I right? You know what we get, cutting our self off from resources? Empty stomachs, empty weapons, fuel-less starships and nothing to show for it except leaving us economically and militarily in the weaker position anyway, like Ma'rik would have us do. Resources that could go into repairing and recuperating the damage instead will lie untapped. I do disagree on a few things though. Shouldn't get quite so kissy-faced with 'em. Arms length deals. But this is the perfect environment to operate in. You guys think the republic is looking for a war right now? They're licking their wounds. And so many sharks swimming around them in a completely uncontested outer rim. They'll be short on manpower. They'll pay through the nose for quality. We are not admitting any weakness. The Republic will be admitting it would have been easier to pay rather than snub us like they always have. Yeah, they killed our wives, our brothers, our sons, but it's not like we weren't doin' it right back at 'em, or are we gonna start saying the Stereb Cities was a mistake? That the blockade we put on republic trade routes was a kriffin' traffic dispute? Business. That's what it boils down to in the end. Whether we want to stay in business, and rebuild our coffers and manpower...among...other things..." Tal stepped forwards without thinking, making his way out to the center of things. The center of things is where he'd tried to spend most of his life getting away from, but right now he tried to forget it; he was conscious of Jair and Chel coming up with him, remaining a couple of steps behind. But damn it if this mir'sheb was going to be spouting this nonsense in the Oyu'baat like it was reason. "Or whether we want to stay in our territories, with no back up, a ton of wounded people and lost materiel, and...sulk," "So what you're saying is that you shabuire stayed neutral before, stayed out of the fight that the Mand'alor put us in- whether advisedly or not, I don't give a shab- and are now advocating allying with the chakaare that we just fought against, in the name of economic benefit? I haven't got a problem with changing sides," he rasped angrily, annoyed at how uncomfortable it was to raise his voice, "but I honor deals I've made, and I know most of you around here aren't the sort of slime that don't. Fact is we got paid to fight for the dar'jetiise, our Mand'alor led us there, and we did our shabla job like we were supposed to. We didn't do it for our ideals. We did it for Manda'yaim. I lost friends fighting in their civil war. We all did. I didn't do that because I wanted some particular Sith Lord in power, I did it because they paid us, and the barves who I killed would have been looking at us next to conquer. Now, if the Republic's going to offer me a stack of aurodium credits to shoot chakaare for them, I'll consider it. What I won't do is whore out Manda'yaim as a whole to the Republic. I don't want their administration, I don't want their interference, I don't want their taxes, I don't want them involved. Manda'yaim stands alone, as it always has, and will endure, as it always has." He paused, licking his durasteel teeth to stop them sticking to the inside of his mangled cheek. It hurt talking this loudly for so long, with his old throat wound, but it was worth it, that was for sure. "You want to work for 'em? Sure. They pay osik, but who really cares? You do what you want. You stay neutral wherever in haran you hide, I don't care. You want me to fight for them? Nayc. No. Never. I do what I please, and unless the Mand'alor tells me that it's real important and to please come help out, I fight on my own terms. Like you say, the Republic is working on its own issues. Let 'em. Economically, you think they're gonna help us? Shab, they can't balance their own budget, and guess what helps them do that? Taxes. Tariffs. Regulations. Might work on Coruscant, but I make guns. I make maybe fifty, seventy-five a year. I make beskar'gam. I work on small margins here. We all do. You think without the big bad Sith in the galaxy they'll provide employment? They got their own army. They're cheaper. You think we need the military help? Circular shabla logic there. Are you arguing if they need us to kill chakaare or if we need them? You arguing that they'll come for us, that they'll bring a fleet? Because if you aren't ready for an instant ba'slan shev'la, what kind of Mando'ad are you?" "Says the murderer's brother..." hissed A'den Tanvir. Tal stopped mid-monologue, swallowing hard. Jair tapped him on the backplate, as if to say let this one go, which he probably should, but he was fired up now. He wheeled around, fixing his gaze on the beady little black eyes. "I'm no jetii, Tanvir. I can't fix broken minds. I also don't send gunships after one naked man in the wilderness and fail, so ne'johaa." Bastard was... well, just that. A bastard. Wasn't as if that even needed to be brought up here. "Manda'yaim stands alone. We endure, like always, independent."
  7. A Calm and Civil Solution

    Melona, 3630 BBY... The Oyu'baat was full, even more so than usual. Wasn't the normal crowd, either. Every booth was full, and quite a few beings were standing, the only completely clear space being that surrounding the fire. The holoscreen was shut down- no sports today. Nobody was at the bar, either. Alcohol would be a pretty bad idea at this particular gathering. Someone had called a clan council. Tal actually wasn't sure who had, but evidently a couple of the barves in here had gotten together and decided something needed to be done, and started comming people. Every aliit Tal had ever heard of and more had someone here. His targeting in his HUD was picking out sigils for him; in the corner of the display, he was compiling a list of everyone he knew there. That sort of thing helped. He wasn't the best in social situations, so a cheat sheet was always useful. Manda'yaim required a Mand'alor. That was no secret. Corey Black had disappeared. Nobody seemed to know where- dead, maybe, Tal had heard. Lost in space. Prisoner of the Republic. The theories abounded. Once he'd overheard someone saying that he'd become a Sith and had vanished with what was left of the Empire. It didn't really matter; Tal might have liked the barve, but he was gone now and they needed a leader. Trouble was that there wasn't anybody who really stood out, and with the destruction of the Empire, there were some questions to be answered. Tensions were a bit high, to say the least. "I'm gonna grow a shabla beard from all this testosterone in the air." Jair said, voice crackling through internal comms. The yellow-armored female was on Tal's left side, gauntleted fingers tapping at the BlasTech piece on her hip. She was on edge, he could see. Shoulders up, ready to make a move. She wasn't the only one, either. He could have cut the atmosphere in the tapcaf with a vibroblade. It was how things went, though. Not much to do for it. Tal was nervous himself. He'd been called to come as alor of Clan Cuyot. He'd never really thought of himself as a clan leader before, but now that he thought about it, he had to admit he was. This was of some concern to him, as he had never been one to take the lead on anything aside from breaching a door. Sort of felt like the situation was out of his control. "You might look good with a beard. Who knows?" That was Chel, on Tal's right. The kid was getting tall, about as tall as Tal already. He'd taken to wearing a sort of poncho-thing, dark fabric wrapped loosely about his neck and draping down his back; it was rather distinctive, over his sky-blue beskar'gam. Out of the Clan Cuyot group, he was the only one who didn't seem to be under pressure here. Who'd have thought that out of the three of them it'd be him? The ad'ika had always been pretty good at keeping his cool, though. Hopefully everyone else in here can manage it... Didn't look like it. The body language all around looked pretty damn hostile. Crossed arms, tensed shoulders, frowns on practically everyone without their buy'ce. This, Tal decided, would not be a particularly fun day. "Looks like we're standing, ad'ike. Buy'cese off, got to be civil here." Tal rasped, glancing around for a good place to plant his group. Wasn't much space left. Settling on a little niche in the crowd near a roof support, he walked over there, at the same time pulling his helmet off. It smelled like tabac; someone had been smoking, it seemed. Beings were already arguing. One heavyset chakaar in ivory beskar'gam was pretty animated, motioning furiously at another in purple. "Look, it's just survival," he was saying, one gloved finger extended from a loose fist. "The Empire's gone, and they're looking for another enemy. We've got to play nice with them." The one in purple was still wearing his buy'ce; his voice hissed out low and menacing. "Tanvir, that doesn't mean we've got to join the shabla Republic..." Tanvir, apparently the name of the one in ivory, shook his head violently. He had short black hair, beady eyes underneath low eyebrows that looked about as agitated as he sounded. Square face, deep lines on his forehead- being here and talking like that, that meant he was probably A'den Tanvir, the head of the clan. "What, so you want to fight them again? Look how that's worked out in the past." The argument continued. Tal resisted the urge to roll his eyes, and instead looked over at Chel next to him. The ad'ika had taken his helmet off, and was running his fingers through his short blonde hair, combing it back after being in the buy'ce for a while. "Looks like a mess." he said, without looking up at Tal. Jair shook her head. "Males. Everyone thinks they're the alpha." Tal sighed, air whispering from the hole in his face. She's right.
  8. For the Discerning Killer

    The scrape of stone on beskar was calming. Slow, rhythmic- the sound of a killing instrument being perfected, one stroke at a time. Leaf-shaped, it wasn't the sort of thing Tal himself would use, but he could certainly appreciate it. Kula would do more with it, he hoped. He heard a speeder. It wasn't the high-pitched whine of the SoroSuub he'd gotten for light duty around the farm, the one Kula and Chel would be taking to find vhe'viine, rather a deep buzzing that set his durasteel teeth on edge. Wasn't someone from the clan, unless Ruul had brought a cargo speeder with the billets he'd gone for, or bought a new ride, and the Zeltron would have commed him first. Probably that Falleen coming to collect his rifle, but you could never be sure. He was wearing his beskar'gam, the dull red and orange suit that had served him well since young adulthood, minus his buy'ce and some of the auxiliary plates- and of course, most of his weaponry. Didn't go around his own land armed, after all. Tilting his right wrist slightly, he checked the flamethrower readout. The tiny cylinder of compressed fuel was full, enough for a good ten seconds. The tiny holdout pistol in his boot was charged and ready, his utility knife was on his belt, and he still had his big recurve fighting knife at the small of his back. Never hurt to be ready. He'd learned that a thousand times over his career. Unconsciously, the Mandalorian reached up to scratch at the thick torc of scar tissue visible just above the neck seal of his bodysuit, a reminder of one of those times on Haruun Kal. He'd dropped the ball, and was lucky to be alive after that. Hadn't helped his voice any. Tal returned to his work, changing to a finer stone. The speeder noise was going away again. Looking up momentarily, he saw a female human walking towards him. Short, red-haired, in unremarkable clothing. On her hip dangled a sword, a rather impressive specimen. On her other, some sort of firearm. As she drew closer, he could see that she bore her own scars. One in particular matched his, across the neck. "So this is Cuyot Arms?" she asked as she approached close. Heavy Corellian accent- either that, or a bad attempt at a normal Corellian accent. Tal's credits were on the former. He sucked in a breath, air whispering through the hole in his left cheek and past his durasteel replacement teeth, and pointedly glanced up at the sign. Aruetii had to be able to read, after all. Sorta hard to end up on another planet without being able to read. "Yeah." the Mandalorian rasped, matching his words with a stroke of the stone on the blade. "I'm Tal Cuyot, and we make arms." He set the stone aside, letting the beskad hang from his gloved hand, and pushed himself to his feet. Running his empty hand's fingers through short-buzzed black hair, he shrugged. "You here for something?"
  9. For the Discerning Killer

    Melona, 3630 BBY, just outside the city of Keldabe, Mandalore... Tal Cuyot had never thought of himself as one who could properly appreciate natural beauty. Maybe a well-crowned rifle barrel, blaster burns on beskar'gam, a knife edge honed to perfection- but a sunrise? A rainbow? The normal stuff? That had never really been his cup of tisane. Still, even he could appreciate the morning sun playing over the bas neral growing on the Cuyot farm. He lived in a beautiful place, and sometimes he didn't remember that. This was the sort of thing that reminded him why he'd come back to Manda'yaim. Opening the door to this, instead of speeders zipping back and forth through hoverlanes and the stink of a thousand different beings and their bad hygiene... yes, sometimes he took the beauty here for granted. He'd done his rounds of the place earlier, just after dawn. Coming back inside, he'd worked on finishing painting the sigils on a commissioned buy'ce, and had just finished. Now it was nearly noon. Kula had just finished in the fields, the gangly twenty-year old human brushing dirt from his arms as he returned to the house. He was a new addition to the Cuyot clan, such as it was. New addition to the Mando'ade, matter of fact. Jair had picked him up on Corellia, decided he was mandokarla, and brought him home. Seemed like she'd been right. "How're you liking Manda'yaim, ad'ika?" Tal rasped, cetare clicking as he finished walking down the stairs from the front door of the house. "Looks like you've got plenty of it on you." Kula glanced over at the scarred Mandalorian. "Isn't bad at all. Better than Corellia, that's for sure. Saw some vhe'viin tracks out there, though." The young man had been a freightloader on the docks at Coronet City before Jair had crashed into the place shooting chakaare, and had apparently saved her shebs. Long journey from there to the fields of Mandalore, but he was doing all right. "Want me to handle 'em?" Tal nodded slowly. Vhe'viine weren't good news, but they came around and you couldn't really do much 'till afterwards. "Yeah. Grab Chel, he's pretty good at getting the little shabuire." That was an understatement. Chel was a damn fine marksman, and aside from earning credits covering Jair on jobs, that helped a lot in keeping the fields free of vermin. "He's inside. You can take the speeder. I'll let everyone know there'll be some shooting." Wasn't as if it'd be out of the ordinary, given that they'd converted one of the fields into a test range, but still had to be done. "A'right." Kula nodded, passing him to go inside. Tal went on his way, too. The workshop, a long low building was attached to the side of the much larger house; on the side of it was an open area, where the forge was. It had a sign, Tal's concession to Jair's assertion that perhaps they ought to mark the business. Well- not just Jair. Chel, and Kula, and Torris, and... well, all of them had thought it was a good idea. Tal still wasn't sure that it was necessary, but there it was. "Cuyot Arms", in little black letters, in Basic and in Mando'a. A little building that made the best, that was how he thought of it. Torris had even started advertising. "Cuyot Arms- for the discerning killer". Maybe a bit on the nose, but it worked. He entered, pushing the geometrically carved door- a hobby of Torris'- open. It was just Jair and Torris in there right now; Rool was off in Keldabe proper, negotiating a purchase of billets for receivers. They were hard at work. Jair was assembling one of their flagship rifles at a workbench, the CRS-5, the only thing Cuyot Arms made that wasn't a full custom. Tal had had reservations about that one, worrying that quality would drop, but they'd convinced him, and it had worked out. Torris was working on a stock for the same model, carefully hand-checkering the precisely contoured veshok wood, the Twi'lek's long, blue-skinned fingers drawing his cutting tool down in slow, measured strokes. He flicked a lek to acknowledge Tal's presence without looking up; Jair, on the other hand, stopped what she was doing, looking up with a broad smile on her face. "How's the kid doing out there? Getting his hands dirty?" Tal shook his head slowly, smiling as much as he could with the wound in his face. "He's twenty Standard." "Yeah, he's a kid." "You're twenty-eight." She waved it off. "He's young. Anyway, we got another order in today. Another one of the '5s." "Who's this one?" "Not sure. Came in from Nar Shaddaa. Probably another Hutt lackey." Assassins and mercs, that was their general clientele for this sort of weapon. Most who tried to order didn't end up going through; Tal required that anyone who wanted one of his weapons had to come and order it in person. That was for a couple reasons. First, the best guns were fit to their owners. Second, he didn't like getting stiffed. Cash credits, half before, half on delivery. Third- well, it weeded out the riff-raff. The hut'uune of the galaxy who couldn't be bothered to come to Mandalore didn't deserve one of these weapons. "I'll get back to him. Forward me the message." "Got it." She went back to her work, sliding the bolt back into the weapon. "The Falleen barve who ordered this one is coming today, I think." Yeah, that was what he remembered, too. "A bit later. You want to deal with him? I gotta finish up Kula's beskad today." "Yeah, sure." He nodded and turned back around, taking the beskad from the hook it hung upon by the door. It was a short one, a bit less than half a meter. Heavy single-edged blade, with a false edge on the back. Just needed some finishing touches. Taking it outside, he sat down on a rough stool next to the forge, and took up his polishing stones.
  10. Beroyase bal Aliit

    Ma'rik was talking, but Tal could barely hear her. Dorric had ambushed them, had killed the Mando'ad that had come before them. They were ready for Mandalorians, then. How could they get to that hut'uun now? They would get to him, no doubt about that now, if there even had been before, but how? Did Shadua know about this? Was this why he was paying so much? The Mandalorian's fists had clenched tight, the material of his gloves squeaking. He'd seen a lot of death in his time. He'd lost comrades, good friends- he didn't really have any good friends left anymore, hadn't for a few years now. The beroya's life was a dangerous one, and they all knew that going in. This kid's mother had known it too. Why was this getting such a rise out of him? The kid was right there with it. He'd seen it, more than likely. Tal's own father had been killed in a starship accident. A navicomputer error had slammed his vessel into an asteroid upon exiting hyperspace. He and Je'ka had found the wreckage when Tracyn hadn't called in, combed through it, hoping they'd find something. A couple scraps of beskar'gam was all that had survived the crash. It had been crushingly painful, and was probably the biggest reason why his relationship with Je'ka had deteriorated to the point it had. His vod was dead now, killed aboard an escort cruiser somewhere in space off Balmorra by a couple of jetiise. Who'd have ever thought that Je'ka would have made a naval captain? Those deaths had shut him down emotionally for a while, both of 'em. Hadn't gotten along with Je'ka, but even so. And he'd been an adult for both of them. He couldn't really imagine what the child had going on in his head right now, being right there for the violent death of his buir. No- he could, almost, and simply trying to imagine hurt like haran. I've killed parents in front of their children before. Three times- that barve on Selonia, the Rodian here on Nar Shaddaa, and that other one in deep space off the Hydian Way. What makes this different? This child was a Mando'ad, that was it. He could have been this ad'ika twenty-some years ago, if his father had been less lucky. "A kilometer and a half back the way you came, I don't know how far after coming out of the sewers." said the kid, to something Ma'rik had said, his head never rising. "Gang safe house. Buir didn't know what it was." His tone was evening out. Tal recognized that- it was the sound of someone pushing themselves to do what no reasonable being could be expected to, to continue on when by all rights they ought to have stopped. He'd seen it before on the battlefield, felt it himself, the mindset of a being who knew something was irreversible or inevitable, and knew they needed to keep going. It was the point where you stopped being you and became a droid. He hauled himself to his feet, clicking his comms over to internal. "It's shabla personal now." That was really all he needed to say. Vivid images played in his head, of that red-skinned Twi'lek shrieking, lekku flailing, of the knife making him scream. "Will you show us where you came down here?" Tal asked the kid, back on external comms. That was how they were gonna get the guy. They were just gonna shabla blast in there and mow down any hut'uun they came across, that was how. "Yeah." The kid's buy'ce tilted up, and then slightly down and to the right, glancing at his mother's body. He'd dragged her that far, and he wouldn't have to leave her now; Tal bent down and pulled the body up, grunting with the exertion. Armored corpses were heavy, and although he'd done this too many times before, it didn't really help. Managing to get her over his shoulders, he straightened up as much as he could. "Let's go." The ad'ika got up, blaster pistol in hand; he readjusted the rifle he had slung across his back, and then pushed past Tal to lead the way.
  11. Beroyase bal Aliit

    Tal followed her down, boots splashing into a veritable river of refuse. It wasn't the first time in his life he was thankful for the filters in his buy'ce, and he highly doubted it would be the last, but this one was... special. There were lots of things that his bucket helped him endure in the realm of smells- rotting corpses, blaster-burnt rotting corpses, Twi'lek food, and so on- but the combined osik of millions of degenerates of a thousand different species was probably the worst. He almost vomited at the mere thought. Hard maneuvers in gravity, harder maneuvers in zero-G, and the bodily waste of thousands of sentient and non-sentient beings, those were pretty much guaranteed to turn his stomach. He could stand most anything else, though. And of course he'd gone down straight into the filth- Ma'rik had landed on the walkway, slightly to the side. He'd just jumped in, more worried about what was following. Just shabla wonderful. The Mandalorian hauled himself up onto the walkway and stretched up on the tips of his toes, managing to catch hold of the the sewer cover to pull it over the hole. Couldn't get it all the way; drawing one of his many knives, a long stiletto with no actual edge, just a needle point, he hooked it into the hole of the cover and pulled it closed with a heavy clang. That dropped them into total darkness, and so as he returned the knife to its sheath on his calf, he switched on the spotlight embedded in the rim of his helmet's visor. "You got that shabla right." he rasped in reply, holding back his urge to gag. It really was just... terrible. He started walking down the walkway, trying to figure out what they were to do. Dorric was cloaking himself, he'd known they were coming somehow... It was fair to say that these guys probably had some sort of source with the Hutt. Briefly, he thought of comming Shadua and letting him know he had a problem, but immediately discarded the idea. Couldn't get a signal out of here, in the first place, and if Shadua had someone giving information to Dorric's buddies, then that'd just be letting them know that they were still coming for him. They'd be planning on that, for sure, but no need to confirm it, was there? "So, that cloaking device complicates things a little bit. Do you think the gang has anything else like that to surprise us? That kind of tech isn't really common with street criminals, so should we just assume now that they have better firepower than we anticipated?" Tal shrugged. "Yeah, better firepower. Not such a big deal, though- more that these shabuire knew that we were coming. They knew." That was was more disconcerting. They'd known they were coming, they'd been loaded for gundark, and so Dorric would likely be in some safe house or something. They'd have to find that, and take him down, and not get killed themselves. Not too hard, in concept. "So we find somewhere to resurface at a safe distance, far enough from their territory that they won't just be waiting for us above, and then we figure out a way to come at them in a way that they won't be expecting. Shabla simple." He spat those last two words like they were venom. Yeah, wouldn't be so simple in execution, would it? But what in haran was that scraping sound? He'd just noticed it. From ahead, around a curving corner in the sewage pipe. "You hear that?" he asked Ma'rik, looking up from the ground, where he'd been lighting his footsteps. The scraping stopped- shab, he'd let the light up to shine on the wall. Whatever was around there could see it. But no quick scurry away, none of that. Not borrats, then. "Goin' round." He brought his carbine up, surging around the corner. There was something there, and he sighted it, safety off, about to blast it to bits, but at the last second he pulled his finger away from the trigger- a child. A child, in blue Mandalorian armor, standing over another armored shape on the walkway. That child had a blaster pistol in its hands, though, and it was pointed right at Tal. A blinding blue flare of light filled the tunnel; Tal felt the bolt smash into his beskar'gam, over his stomach, sending him staggering back, winded. "Osik!" he hissed, dropping his own weapon to hang on its sling. The child still had its blaster leveled in a textbook grip, but it hadn't fired again. The smoking muzzle of the weapon was wavering slightly, however, and Tal realized that the armored shape was a Mando'ad as well. Or- had been. Its armor, the same blue as the child's, was blackened, scorched, and bloody, and there was a very obvious wound in the upper chest, between breast and collar plates. "Ad'ika, you okay?" Tal asked, switching to external comms, the fact that the kid had shot him already forgotten. Displaying his empty hands, he took a step forwards, and then another; the kid's arms shook, and then the blaster pistol went down. A voice, human-sounding, likely male, came out from the child's buy'ce. "Yeah." The ad'ika holstered his pistol on his belt and knelt down, grasping the corpse's collar plate fastenings and began to drag it, away from Tal, with a sort of single-minded determination. "What- why are you down here?" was all the Mandalorian could think to say; the kid's T-visor tilted up to look at him. "I have to get away from them, and get buir to a medcenter." He said it so... matter-of-factly. His buir was clearly dead, though, and Tal realized he didn't actually know what to say in a case like this. It was so bad he couldn't really process it. A child, dragging his dead parent through the sewer. Why? What had happened? Was there a way to handle this with tact? Tal settled for walking over and dropping into a squat, putting his hand on the kid's shoulder plate, trying to figure out the right words. The ad'ika threw his hand off, with a violent jerk of his shoulder, but he let go of the body, its helmet clanking onto the walkway. "They can help at the medcenter. They have to." The kid's voice had cracked, halfway through the first sentence, audible even through the buy'ce speakers. A hard sniff, and then he sort of collapsed back onto his shebs, folding up to grasp his knees. Who did this? What sort of sick shabuir shot this kid's buir and left him to drag her through the sewers? I'm going to find that hut'uun and gut him like a shabla fish, and I am going to enjoy it. Tal found it hard to contain the fury he felt at seeing this, but the logical half of him took over, put him on autopilot. Mechanically, he stepped over the body and sat down next to the ad'ika, not touching him. "Who did this?" "A bounty." The kid's shoulders came up slowly and then dropped as he took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. "A Twi'lek and his guys." The T-visor turned and angled up, to look at Tal. "She's.. she's dead, isn't she?" Tal already knew, but he still leaned forwards, pulling the body's helmet off. The face underneath was a human woman's, middle-aged, a faint scar on her chin. Blonde hair, tied back into a tail that disappeared into the neck seal of her bodysuit. Her eyes were half rolled up, and he felt no pulse when he put his fingers to her neck. "Yeah." "Osik." The kid's head dropped forwards. Tal reached out reflexively, hesitating for a second before putting his hand on the ad'ika's shoulder again. This time, he didn't throw it off. Dorric did this. Dorric and his buddies. That's why they knew there was someone coming. They'd already fought someone off.
  12. Beroyase bal Aliit

    And she just shabla jumped. Shabla ad'ike. He'd asked if she had a line, because if she hadn't, he'd have just helped her down with his jetpack. Not told her to jump off a shabla building. Who did that? What sort of sane being just did that, instead of asking the barve right next to them who'd just come up with a jetpack if he could get them down? Tal rushed to the edge of the building, looking over. She was there, having broken some sort of awning and tipped over a cart full of foodstuffs. Alive, thankfully. "What in haran were you thinking, gar shab'ika? Gonna break your shabla neck doing di'kutla osik like that!" he yelled over the comms, the words hurting his throat. Jare'la. Shabla jare'la. He jumped over the edge of the building himself, triggering his jetpack to lower himself to the ground safely. Not through a shabla food cart. Seriously, what had she been thinking? "I don't know where in all the Corellian hells this chakaar is gonna go to, but I do know we can't find out if we're kyrayc in the gutter. And there are a bunch of 'em, so we ought to get moving, find a place to regroup, plan stuff out." He jogged past her, looking around for some way to go. "Sanitation, maybe. Nobody wants to be down with the osik, especially not here. Look around for a grate or manhole cover labeled "sewer", would you? Might be in Huttese, though." Shabla everything was in Huttese here. Probably because it was in Hutt Space, believe it or not, although the language wasn't just limited to that area of the galaxy. Huttese was useful to know, especially for a beroya- lots of the lawless places across the galaxy used it as a trade language, and lots of work was done for those big slugs. Most of 'em weren't big fans of anyone hindering their business. Tended to take it as a personal affront when a being did, and that's when Mando'ade got called in- like today. "Wait." That was one, a bit further away, if he wasn't mistaken. Hurrying over to it, he saw that he was right. "Found one." Drawing his big recurve fighting knife from the small of his back, Tal knelt down and set the beskar blade into the small space between the cover and the permacrete. Was shabla heavy, but he could handle that. With a grunt, he levered the cover up, and pulled it to the side. "You first." he said, sheathing his knife.
  13. Anything you can do I can do better!

    Have at it. Well, at least she was reasonable. Or... well, she was quite abrasive, but he supposed that was fair. Had gotten into a gunfight with her, after all. Still, didn't make it any easier to resist the temptation to blast her. Really, really, really didn't. But if Tal shot every di'kut who pissed him off, there wouldn't be anyone left on this osik'la planet. Had standards, after all. Wasn't just some murderer. And they had been Republic troops. He filed that away, made sure his buy'ce was set to record, which it always was on jobs. That information would be worth something to the Imperials, as would holos of the specific chakaare involved. He wasn't a murderer, but it wasn't like he'd just let her walk away from this, and letting the Imps know about this would undoubtedly interest them. Maybe he could at least get paid a little bit, what with all the tracking he'd done. The Mandalorian smiled as much as he could under the impassive T of his visor. Yeah, that sounded good. Let the Empire know all about her, about the osik she'd caused, see how that worked out for her. Ought to at least pay for his jetpack. "Take what you need pal. A finger, a wallet, his gun, eh chu ta je take more delicate pieces if you really want. Sure the Imperials can identify what's left from their castrations of their officers." she said, sliding out of the other side of the speeder and crouching down behind it. Didn't trust him. That was fair, too- who'd trust a Mando'ad they'd shot in the side to not kill them? He moved forwards, pistol still in a two-handed grip. Yeah, that was the officer there in the speeder, and he was very dead. Most beings didn't get up after decapitation, and Tal was pretty sure that this one was no exception. Keeping his weapon ready in his right hand, he reached out slowly with his left to open the speeder door. No sudden movements. Didn't want to spook her, after all. Needed something for DNA evidence. Fingers were generally what he took- with a holo of the corpse, it tended to work pretty well, and they were a lot easier to take than some barve's head. Reaching in, he grabbed the corpse's boot and pulled it closer to his side of the speeder, so he could reach the hands without having to actually get inside there. Better to stay standing outside, so he could move and fight as necessary. Left thumb, that'd work. Taking the digit in his left hand, he ejected the vibroblade housed in his right gauntlet and took it off. The vibroblade made a metallic chunk as he retracted it; keeping his pistol up, he backed away, back to the entrance of the alleyway. "A'right. Got what I needed." He came out of the alleyway and turned around, jogging away. Shabla Mirialian. Shabla Republic.
  14. Anything you can do I can do better!

    Aw, osik. That little green-skinned chakaar... She'd shabla chopped the barve's head off. That explained all of that blood. She'd gone and killed him. Why, though? If she'd wanted the Imperial dead from the start, she'd just have shot him and be done with it. Or have one of her friends do the job. "He'd have kept it if you hadn't shown up so...indirectly you got your man. Hope you needed him dead there." the Mirialian continued. Well, that was one way of looking at it. Actually, a fairly profitable way of looking at it, if he wanted to go claim a dead bounty for something he hadn't done. He wouldn't, because that would be like watching some di'kut get run over by a speeder and then calling it in. That was wrong, and it wasn't the way he did things. But she seemed to be trying to give him something to hang on to, and that meant she didn't want a fight. Which was good, that meant they could just part and not have to worry about dying. "You going to shoot me if I get out of the speeder? Can't say I've heard of many vindictive Mandos but not sure if I insulted your mother with a headshot or something." Not the most personable being he'd met over his life. Far from the least, but still. "I don't need you, just proof of his death." he rasped back in reply. Shab, he wanted to kill her- she'd shot him in the head, wounded him slightly, destroyed an expensive jetpack. He wanted to empty a full power pack into her and toss the burnt lump of once-Mirialian into the underlevels. But that wasn't right. She'd beaten him fairly, and fighting now would just end up with one of them dead. And he didn't really feel like taking the chance on this one. Could just tell her it was safe and then blow her away when she got out... but that, too, was wrong. Not that kind of person.
  15. Beroyase bal Aliit

    "Has to be hiding in a building? Shab, they knew we were coming. Why would he be anywhere near here?" At least if Dorric was smart, which it seemed that he was. Set up an ambush, appeared to have some way of knowing they were coming. What sort of di'kut would want to be anywhere close to some place he knew bounty hunters after his shebs would be coming? Especially when that place would be the site of a shootout? He came out onto the street between the buildings, moving over to the wall of the one Ma'rik was on. Had to keep watch for any more of them, which there almost surely would be. They'd have to get out of here, regroup, find a different way to go after Dorric, because this one sure as shab wasn't working. Would- "Found him, he's up on my building and he's got a personal cloak. That's how he slipped past us I guess." Ma'rik commed. And from the sound of that, things weren't going ideally up there. With a hissed Huttese curse, Tal took a few steps back and activated his jetpack. The jolt of liftoff felt like it would pull his spine out of his body, but it was necessary- couldn't leave the verd'ika up there alone with a cloaked enemy. Altogether too easy to get a vibroblade between the plates when you couldn't see who you were fighting, and he wasn't about to let her die on his watch. He rocketed up onto the roof of the building, cutting off the jets and landing hard, carbine up and ready. "Expedience would not go amiss, he is putting up a bit of a fight." Ma'rik said, just as he landed. Couldn't see anyone right here, but if he had a cloaking device... "Switch to IR." he commed, doing just that- there he was, clearly visible in his buy'ce's infrared sight. Too bad he was already swinging; whatever blunt object the Twi'lek was carrying smashed into Tal's thigh plate, forcing him to stagger back a step. Letting loose a burst from his carbine, the Mandalorian was rewarded with a cry of pain- but he'd clipped the target, no more. Another burst went wide as the shape in his HUD disappeared down the staircase. "Osik." A cloaking device. Never good. Tal charged after him, going down the stairs; catching a brief glimpse of him, he fired another burst and missed. Shab, he ought to have just jetpacked down and caught him at the bottom- but maybe he wouldn't even go all the way down. Maybe he'd just hide in the building, wait for backup. Or go out a window, or blast out a wall or something. Shabla cloaking. He heard blasterfire then, and it wasn't the familiar sound of Ma'rik's weapons. Sounded like heavy stuff, and there was raucous laughter with it. And then the chattering of a slugthrower. Dorric's backup was here, it looked like. Tal broke off the pursuit and looked out of a burnt-out window. Yes, there they were, firing into the sky. They wanted to make their presence known- probably because he could see at least ten, fifteen of 'em already. So we get out of here, regroup. He turned back and ascended the stairs, coming back up to the roof. "We're gonna have to get out. Away from them and down. You got a line?"
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