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Pirate Hunting (Draco)

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Re: Pirate Hunting (Draco)

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:51 am

"I'm not a Jedi, as you've denounced. No magic here." Jax laughed back. It was all a very entertaining bit of battle talk to the professional warrior, any negativity from his partner rolling off his armor like so much low powered blaster fire. All good fun as far as the Mandalorian was concerned.

Jax laughs, the sound emitting through his external speaker eerily, when Draco suddenly goes on a tirade that clearly revealed a soft spot in his psyche. Apparently, even his friends found Draco in desperate need of a woman. Even if just for a night. "Have you ever considered just purchasing one in an appropriate location? Have her keep your place clean and stocked while you're gone, she'd probably appreciate it since its just a step shy of being practically free. She'd entertain you when you were around and then, when you got tired of her or she got too mouthy, you could free her, send her on her way, and buy a new one. Probably two or three years for a really good one, a month or two for the pretty but useless types."

"Don't get me wrong, I love a good fight from time to time but if you find the shit work of your Empire more fascinating than a proper woman then you've never been with one." That was possible. A lot of Jedi took a vow of celibacy even in the New Order, kept 'em focused. Why would the much harder Imperial Knights be any different? In fact, Jax wouldn't be surprised if any attachment other than the Empire was ruthlessly prosecuted entirely. Jax juked the bomber to the left, letting it drop suddenly as one of the Uglies streaked a concussion missile passed them. He marked it with his sensors, knowing it would come back around as soon as it could but since it had overshot its mark on the same course it would take a while for that turn around to happen. Eventually the missile would just run out of fuel and detonate where ever it was at that point.

Jax nodded, once and crisply in the military manner, at Draco's suggested alteration of the plan. "Sounds like a plan, we are nearly out of the main density of the storm. I'm setting the navcomp to calculate the jump just past the event horizon so we can jump just as soon as it is physically possible. Scatter those fighters a bit, we don't want them getting any straight shots during the run up to lightspeed." When the navcomp said they were at the right point Jax dumped two primed but unfired concussion missiles. "Two away. Not as much fun as a seismic charge but it should still make them jump in their seats."
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Re: Pirate Hunting (Draco)

PostAuthor: Antares Draco » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:23 am

Growling to himself as Jax mentioned an almost-but-not-quite slave, Antares considered - for the briefest of moments - just shutting off his comlink

Of course that probably would have left them dead...

Keeping his tongue - and remaining quiet as the Mandalorian mocked his work for the Empire, Antares jerked the turrets around and fired a string of laser-fire at the uglies. His affair with the princess-now-empress wasn't something you spoke about with a bounty hunter... by this time, Marasiah probably looked on it as a mistake... but it had been the happiest time of his life. Short as it was... it had made him ready to die to protect her and to protect his Empire.

Only he hadn't died... though he might as well have

Watching as the missiles were dropped, Antares cross-linked the canons and started charging an ion blast, "Let's see what happens if we give those warheads a little... extra juice," as the laser-and-ion blast tore free of the turrets, Antares grinned at the huge sensor-frying concussion blast tore free of the warheads. The ion-charge excited the warheads payload and lifted up the rear of the assault fighter just as the jump-order came through, "Sithspit!" Antares cursed as the fighter surged forward before jumping. Checking the scans he'd taken before the fighter jumped, Antares grinned, "Those uglies won't be following us anymore... and that corvette is blind. Two or three jumps and I'll link up our navi-comp with the freighters,"

Shutting down the weapon systems, Antares leaned back in the seat and rubbed at his face, "Home again home again..."
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Re: Pirate Hunting (Draco)

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:34 am

The guy in the back didn't respond and -that- was something that Jax could appreciate. It was the universal sign amongst Mandalorians that a conversation was closed, at least for the moment, and Jax wasn't about to offend his own sensibilities to keep prodding away at a man who might very well be giving his life some serious thought at that juncture. Jax himself had a little bit of a daydream about meeting a member of his own species, the Falleen, one day who would want to come live the life of a Mando'ade. It was unlikely to happen in the extreme, those Falleen raised on the home world or amongst their own would barely consider him worthy of doing business with, let alone having a friendly conversation. Mating with would be reacted to with revulsion. No, Jax was likely destined to meet a Human Mando who was fine with the idea of adopting solely.

Not that he would mind trying regularly for that impossible Falleen/Human hybrid, he chuckled the thought to himself.

The back end of the fighter bucked, causing Jax to take his hands off the yoke entirely. One hand went to the jump levers and the other to the throttle. He opened the throttle up all the way so they would ride the shock wave rather than be tossed about by it, getting them evened out just before he shoved the jump lever forward. The stars elongated into streaks and they disappeared into the rainbow effect of Hyperspace. "... jiggity jig." Jax added in after Draco's little sing songy comment. The Mandalorian immediately set about starting the calculations for another jump, getting the computer ready to start the final work as soon as they came out of the short jump he'd put up the first time. "If we are quick about it, we can get on the next one before they show up. Without a vector they'll be out of the chase."
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Re: Pirate Hunting (Draco)

PostAuthor: Antares Draco » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:39 am

"Should have known better than to try and pull that maneuver with the warheads," Draco muttered to himself as he checked the read-outs on his accuracy and system-damage report, "Almost sent us flying out of the system without even needing to jump to hyperspace," yawning tiredly, the Force user felt his internal chronometer start to slow down. The most important thing about adrenaline - even for force users - was that after the high came a crash. Even with the force, the most you could hold it off was thirty to forty minutes - and Draco wasn't exactly fighting it as he didn't need to stumble half-consciously onto the ship that had been charged with picking up the cargo.

As they made the second jump, Draco drew his senses into himself and closed himself off from the outer world - allowing his body to begin expelling the exhaustion and strain he'd been under for the past few hours. By the time they made the final jump and headed to link up with the cargo, Draco was just coming out of his trance as his targeting system began picking up the call-signs of the freighter shipments, "Linking up with the navigation systems... navigation systems responding... we're away," as the assault fighter jerked around and the freighters linked up with them, Draco started calling out the countdown, "Freighters ready for hyper-jump on your mark," holding his hand above the launch button, Draco smacked it down just as they made the final jump.

As they slithered their way through hyperspace, Draco kept one eye on the link-readout with the freighters and the other on the star-streaks outside the view screen, "You fought well, bounty hunter," Draco said evenly, "There was honor in your tactics and actions... they had plenty of opportunities to challenge you, but no chance all the same... Kandosii," there was no attempt made by Draco to make his accent or manner sound more Mandalorian as he used one of the few phrases he actually understood - it was simply a sign of respect from another warrior, "Surprisingly, today was a good day after all," the Imperial Knight said quietly, "It simply wasn't a dying day,"
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Re: Pirate Hunting (Draco)

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:35 am

Well, they'd gotten out alive so... Jax couldn't think of a recrimination he wanted to add to the decision to set off the warheads with gusto. "We got out alive, I'm not going to complain about it being a bumpy ride. It might even ruin their readings regarding our exit vector, keep 'em from even making the first jump out." Jax kept them random until they made it where they reached the rendezvous with the cargo ships, swinging in on their vector because it would be easier than making the three vessels match his. He reached up and pushed the hyperspace lever, jumping all four into hyperspace for the final run to meet up with the Imperial forces.

"My mother would be overjoyed to hear you say so." He hit a couple of switches so he'd get an alarm from any significant reading changes. "Not sure honor has anything to do with it, though. Most of my tactics rest on the shock and awe doctrine. Either they fold and I win, or they fight a losing battle and I win. I make a bigger profit in the former case and live to bemoan the financial loss in the latter." He turned his seat to face the Imperial Knight. "You ever consider changing course?"
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Re: Pirate Hunting (Draco)

PostAuthor: Antares Draco » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:22 am

Some of the Imperial Knights Draco had grown up with and trained with might have taken the Mandalorian's question at face value - but years with his somewhat maverick partner Ganner (utterly devoted to his friends, and possessing a calm demeanor and a balance between his duty to the Empire and his own personal choices) had given Draco at least enough common sense to pick up on the double-meaning of the Mandalorian's question.

Not answering right away, Draco met the Mandalorian's gaze for a few moments before turning his gunnery seat back to look at the holographic imprint of the stars that were racing past outside. Staring at it for the longest time, Draco almost didn't answer... but the Mandalorian had proven himself honorable. And a small glimpse into Draco's life - however small - could cause no harm in this last leg of the journey, "That armor you wear... it is Mandalorian... you could wear any armor - from any faction or empire or group or company... but you wear Mandalorian armor," glancing at the warrior out of the corner of his eye, Draco shrugged, "You also speak of your mother being impressed by the notion that you may have honor... that armor contributes to who you are - it defines you..."

Tapping his finger against his crimson chestplate, Draco said, "This armor - my pledge... that defines me - without it I am not Antares Draco. This course - this life - it gives me reason and clarity... without it I am rash and temperamental. I act without thinking. I am careless and haughty... I chose this armor - my place - because without it I am a different person. And I do not like that person at all," shrugging again, Draco continued, "I know I still have my own problems... I am not perfect. I have lost much... and it pains me... but I don't want to wear any other armor. I don't want to take another course... this is where I belong... THIS," tapping his chestplate again, Draco nodded, "This is who I am,"
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Re: Pirate Hunting (Draco)

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:09 pm

Jax waited patiently as the Imperial Knight struggled with his inner demons and the question that had likely roused them once more. It was a fascinating journey, the path that carried one through life. Filled with a thousand reasons devised to make one keep walking even when the path one was on wasn't serving the purpose. For his own part, Jax had been lucky. He didn't know how he would have liked his life if he had grown up amongst his species, raised by his parents. He couldn't even recall if they'd been good parents, or if he'd even had two biological parents in his life. What he did know was that being raised by Fey'bel Xefern had been a satisfying, even pleasing life thus far. He was happy, he regretted nothing, and his only loss had been never knowing a true father figure. There had been plenty of uncles and older cousins though, thus was the way of the Clan.

Draco had determination and grit, he was blooded and knew what it was to tow the line when it came to a life dominating creed or philosophy. There really wasn't anything 'wrong' with the philosophy the ImpKnight was pursuing either, with one small exception. "You make a strong argument for your current situation, I won't think less of you for sticking with it. My mother would appreciate knowing that I fought well, honor is good too but winning so that she could see me next seventh day dinner is all she's really concerned with as long as I don't violate the Resol'Nare, which speaks not of tactics. No... all you do is fine by me, friend. Being Mandalorian gives me reason, clarity. Everything I do is in support of my family, my clan, and my people. I think the only difference between our two philosophies is that mine makes me very happy and yours seems to be making you utterly miserable."

Jax turned back to the controls. "That's why I asked. Also, I can paint you a suit of beskar'gam that same shade of red. Probably get you one hell of a nickname amongst the Clans."
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Re: Pirate Hunting (Draco)

PostAuthor: Antares Draco » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:26 am

Watching as the Mandalorian finished his comment and turned back to the controls, Draco looked back at his hologramatic readout and frowned - was it really what he was, his Knighthood, that made him... miserable? The more he thought about it, the less he believed it - the Imperial Knights were all he'd ever known. His place among them - the respect he'd held - he wanted that even now as he played watchdog for a Bounty Hunter that didn't need it.

He craved the order and taste and feel of the halls and teachers he'd grown up with - the more it chaffed against him, the more conflict it caused within him, the better... because he knew that conflict hardened him. His arguments with Ganner on the duty of an Imperial Knight; they made him better. He wanted, almost desperately, to regain what he'd lost.

He wanted to be welcome in his own house again...

"It is not my... philosophy that saddens me. It is what I am now... and what I used to be," working the controls, Draco said, "It is... pathetic, my weakness and the sense of loss I carry around inside me. Surely you could not have missed the war that tore this galaxy apart little more than a year ago. It was the second war of its kind in the past few hundred years... and we lost," staring at the readout, Draco scowled, "I lost... everyone... lost,"

Finally looking at the Mandalorian with an almost serene calm on his face, Draco said, "There was... a woman..." for a second his gaze seemed to reach past the Mandalorian, and a rare event for him - a smile - formed on his face, "Such a woman... and she loved me for all I am. She went against law, tradition... everything I believe in... to love me," slowly his gaze returned to where he was, and Draco flopped back in his seat, "And I destroyed her world in return..."

Returning his gaze to Jax, Draco said slowly - as if he were forcing the words, "Her hand could never have been mine - it should NEVER have been mine... but what I took from her might have made it alright. Might have made it permissible... when I struck her father down I believed that what I was doing it for was the force," smiling sadly, Draco said, "It was the first time I'd felt something like that... a truth... a fact... her father HAD to die, I could hear it in the force - in the voices of the millions he might kill. I'd never experienced the force like that before... it was a field... a tool before that... now..."

Swallowing as if this last part was the hardest, Draco closed his eyes, "Now I cannot say if it was true... and that... angers me," his face twisting at barely contained rage, Draco said, "I was so much more once - so much better than I am now. I knew what I was doing. I knew who I loved and I knew who I needed to protect... things made... SENSE... now they do not... and I still cannot say, even with all I once knew, whether or not I killed her father... my master... out of lust,"

Looking at the Mandalorian one last time as the ship slid out of hyperspace and the Imperial Cruiser turned to meet them, Draco said, "That makes me miserable... I cannot blame the men and women I serve and at one time led for doubting me... because.... I doubt myself,"
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Re: Pirate Hunting (Draco)

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:42 pm

"Can't be the work environment. What other job can you do in this galaxy that sees you touring hidden pirate bases, defeating bands of cut throat mercenaries, and making daring escapes on luxury fighter bombers such as this fine example of government craftsmanship?" He flipped a couple of switches, checked the read out and continued. "Seems everybody has to learn the same lesson about the Sith for themselves. Never enough to simply be reminded that yes, the Sith are still the Sith... surprise!" Jax shook his helmeted head. The Jedi, the Mandalorians, the old Republic, the Galactic Empire, the new Republic, the GA, the Fel Empire. How many times were the Sith going to get to pull that same old routine and convince anyone else in the galaxy to cooperate.

Jax turned to face Draco again, laughing audibly. He reached up and cracked the seals on his helmet, pulled it off, and revealed his species to the Imperial Knight for the first time. His scales flushed out a light blue in amusement. "A woman... there is always a woman." His smile was full of sharp teeth but was indulgently amused all the same. Jax listened quietly otherwise while Draco went on about his miserable circumstances. A betrayal of some sort, interesting but not unheard of.

... dude killed the chick's father... that was fucked up. Jax wasn't a woman and he certainly wasn't foolish enough to claim he knew much about them but killing a girl's father was pretty much guaranteed to ruin ones dating prospects with said female. Being tormented by that seemed somewhat self-indulgent, to be honest. "Well... all the hocus pocus stuff is lost on me... but I do know my sister would shoot you in the face were she the damsel in question, galactic good deed or not. Your face being as it is, about what I expect of a human male, I'm guessing you're somewhat ahead of the game."

"True or not, it's done. Don't live in the past. Warriors are in the here and now, occasionally in the future when planning, but never can we live in yesterday. Mistakes or victories, either way. Why, what for, the deed is done. She'll believe what she wants about it, you'll believe what you need. Might be time to close the case and move on, build a new life and... one day maybe you'll find it's better than what you had. Even if it isn't with the Empire, maybe even if it is."
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Re: Pirate Hunting (Draco)

PostAuthor: Antares Draco » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:25 am

Draco barely met the Hunter's gaze throughout the conversation. It was embarrassing enough having any of this inside his own mind - letting any of it out in front of people made it worse. He wasn't looking for sympathy or pity - he didn't even pity himself. He was angry... angry at himself. Unfortunately, that often meant that he had a tendency to dish out that anger whenever anyone came near him

Though he seldom noticed it

As the ship shuddered from the effect of the tractor beam and a holoscan of tight-lipped, blonde woman in an Imperial Commander's brown uniform appeared on the dashboard, Draco decided to let the conversation drop - despite his respect for the Hunter, they lived two completely separate lives. Much of what he spoke of sounded... interesting, to be sure. But they were not things Draco craved or desired. He wanted his honor restored. He wanted to be trusted - relied on and sent on missions with life-or-death risks not because he was vainglorious or because it would bring him glory... but because it furthered the Empire's interests and gave him the purpose he now lacked out as a rankless outsider within his own order.

"Cruiser Valkyrie to GA bomber and... friends," the commander said brusquely, "What is your destination and system of origin?" sighing, Draco reached into his utility pack and pulled out a tracking beacon which he tossed to the hunter, "Here, they might give you trouble about being inside an unmarked GA-restricted craft - my tracker should prove you are who you say you are," shrugging, Draco said, "If that doesn't work let me talk to her, we can use the recognition codes the briefing team gave us before we were sent out,"
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For all that follows
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