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Dune Sea
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Star Wars: Episode VIII: Binds of Tyranny Forum Index » Tatooine » Dune Sea
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Xaph
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Joined: 31 May 2006
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 Post Posted: Thu, June 07th 2007 02:11am    Post subject: Dune Sea
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The desert’s expanse seemed to go on forever, dipping and rising into the horizon in a never-ending sea of dunes. No wonder the Jawas used sandcrawlers.

Xaph would have been thankful for the sort of protection the mechanical behemoths provided. Even with his specialized air filtration system, it was stuffy under his mask, and nothing could have protected him against this heat. Even for a Falleen, it was a bit much.

Xaph considered taking his helmet off, but just for a moment, and then dismissed it. Even out here, in the middle of nowhere, with noone around, it wouldn’t be safe. Could be the start of a bad habit. Better to have it on, and wish it was off, then to have it off and wish that it was on, he thought.

HK-47 was taking to the HK-50 model fairly well, although he would never admit it. He seemed impressed by their skills, although he never missed a chance to criticize something they were doing wrong, even if he was the only one to have seen it. He already had them acting like a team, with different designations and everything, and they seemed content to be subservient to him. Xaph was impressed.

Right now, he had them fanned out around their ‘convoy’ in defensive positions. They were arranged into two groups: an outer ring and an inner ring. The outer one was sparser, and were to act as sentries to alert the inner ring of the direction in which any possible ‘organic’ – HK-47 was still not able to get them to use what he saw as a more correct term – would come from. They were all centered on Xaph, HK-47, and the wagon they had rode in on.

It was a landspeeder, really, and it looked like it was built more for combat than for driving. Xaph had hoped that it may have provided relief from the suns, but it was to no avail. Still, it was better than walking.

HK-47 was out now, inspecting the outer ring for anything it may have done wrong, when it happened.

“Warning: Master! Sand-people!”

“Are they going to attack?”

“Estimation: There is a 98% chance they will attack us on sight, and a 2% chance that they will allow us to slaughter them mercilessly. That is, however, most likely wishful thinking on my part.”

The warning came from the northern part of the outer ring, where HK-47 had been. As ordered, the outer ring began to contract, closing in on it’s center, as Xaph began to unpack his sniper rifle. If there were any of the Tusken Raiders out there, they were in for a surprise.

HK-47 was running towards him now, pacing well ahead of the outer circle, which would stop at about half the distance that they had been away from Xaph. The inner circle would then expand to halfway between the outer circle and Xaph, and would then cover any retreat the outer circle had to make.

“Statement: Master, there seems to be quite a few of them, both on their mounts and off.”

“How far are they?”

HK-47 pointed out in the direction he had ran from. “Indication: You will see them come over that Sand Dune in a matter of seconds, Master.”

The HK-50 droids were ready. The inner circle readied their sniper rifles as Xaph did, and the outer circle formed a staggered line between the Raiders and the convoy.

“Statement: Snipers hold your fire until the Master begins.”

“Anyone with a rifle, go for the ones on the Banthas. We have the sun behind us, so they’ll have to get into melee combat soon.”

The HK-droid line had few faults Xaph could find, but their lack of melee combat ability was the one Xaph was annoyed by the most.

HK-47 had pulled out his own rifle now, and instead of joining the HK-50’s stood next to Xaph.

“Statement: We are ready when you are, Master.”

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Xaph
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Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 921

 Post Posted: Thu, June 07th 2007 01:36pm    Post subject:
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The first Tusken Raider over the dune was taken out at once. Xaph pulled the trigger moments before the head appeared, and the blaster bolt had gone straight through his skull, erupting out from the other side in a shower of blood and burnt cloth.

The other Sand People took this as a sign to fan out. They usually traveled single file, but at the first death, they all fell into a mad rush to get to the target. To answer the oncoming rush, the HK droids opened fire, and more Sand People fell.

“Statement: Master, there may be too many. We will have to fall back.”

“You fall back. I’ll stand and fight,” said Xaph, through volleys of fire. There seemed to be an army of the things, and they were getting closer. The droids fire would not be able to hold them back for long.

As HK-47 called out an order to the others, Xaph placed his sniper rifle down gently, and pulled out his vibro=glaive. He bounced the handle up and down in his palm, considering, and decided against the two blades, and only ejecting the one long one from one side.

He barked an order to HK-47. “Thin out their numbers, I can’t afford to be surrounded.”

He was alone now, as the HK’s had already initiated a fighting retreat. Tusken Raider after Tusken Raider fell to them, and there did not seem to be anymore coming from over the dune.

The wave of Sand People broke on Xaph like water gushing around a stone. He swung his glaive in a wide arc around him, slashing the three nearest Sand People, and let his momentum carry him around full circle and stab into the center one. He pulled his blade out and was swinging again before the Tusken hit the ground.

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HK-47
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Joined: 20 Jun 2006
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 Post Posted: Sat, June 09th 2007 08:00am    Post subject:
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It was truly a delight to watch my Master kill so efficiently. He was surrounded by Sand People, but none seemed to manage to get close to him. He wielded his weapon with perfect balance, precision and finesse. He was well-trained.

The crowd’s numbers were dwindling now, and my Master had extended the second blade of his vibro-glaive, and his killing efficiency was doubled. He was hit only once, as he attempted to change form, but the shot was ill-placed, and bounced off his shoulder plate.

The inferiors had stopped shooting a while ago, and I began to order them forward, to the Master. He would need help clearing out the Tusken bodies.

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Xaph
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 Post Posted: Sat, June 09th 2007 08:55am    Post subject:
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Xaph deflected the last Tusken’s blows effortlessly, and ended his life with a quick decapitation. He turned around, ready to continue the fight, but found only the HK droids, bounding towards him.

HK-47 was in the lead, and Xaph actually found himself panting as he began to talk. It was an odd and exhilarating feeling, fighting without the Force. The motions were all still there, just when to use them was more guesswork and calculation than precognitive ability. The old voice that used to tell him where blows would be coming from was now a mere whisper in the wind: there, but he couldn’t hear it.

“Praising Statement: Exquisite, Master.”

A lot of praise coming from a droid who couldn’t hold a vibro-blade. But that was an unfair judgement: HK-47 was a superb killing machine.

“The Twi’lek here yet?”

“Statement: That dune over there, Master.”

Over to the north, resting on the top of a sand dune was a group of beings. Not just the Twi’lek, but his hunting group as well. They were very well armed, even from here: they were all riding in what Xaph could recognize as some sort of military vehicle. Those were definitely launch tubes of some sort.

“You do know that I want the head intact?”

The Twi’lek had disembarked and met up with Xaph. “My men can aim.” He gestured towards the pile of dead Tuskens HK-47 had the others piling up. “You’re handiwork?”

“Nope. Here when we got here.”

“Good. I’m sure whatever government has claims on this planet wouldn’t welcome accidental genocide. Unfortunately, the smell will attract the supposed—“

The statement was interrupted by what to Xaph sounded like an ear-piercing screech. To anyone without the unique sound dampening of his helmet, it must have been even worse. Which is why Xaph was so surprised when absolutely none of the hunting party seemed to mind. The Twi’lek tapped his ear, revealing a small blue piece.

“Sonic dampeners. Standard issue when you’re hunting prey like this. He’s no doubt attracted to the smell of the Tusken’s corpses. We ran across the herd of Banthas they were leading through the desert; the dragon can smell it from their gathered corpse’s. I must give you credit: I did not truly expect you to have found a Krayt dragon.”

“You trusted me enough to bring weapons.”

“We would have hunted whether you were here or not. It is just a different prey. We will not have much time now. You’re droids, are they built for hunting?”

“You…could say that. They don’t have anything that could bring down a Krayt, though.”

“You could tell them to aim for the eyes; the one point of a dragon where a blaster will be of some effect.”

“Except my client needs the eyes.” A bare-faced lie.

“As you wish. We will attempt to weaken the dragon’s back legs, and then we must find someway to take him out.”

“You take out his back legs, I’ll kill him. And I’ll do it clean.”

“Very well. If you don’t succeed, we will take the dragon, head and all.”

“And what if I have something to say about that?”

“Do you not understand? If you don’t manage to succeed, you will die.”




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Xaph
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Posts: 921

 Post Posted: Sun, June 10th 2007 07:59am    Post subject:
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The group of droids and hunters fanned out in a semi-circle around the cave. The hunters had shared out their heavy weaponry with the squad of HK's, and Xaph had given them each specific orders. Their programming meant that on Xaph's death, they would immediately shut down until they found their next owner, which by proximity meant the hunters.
The dragon began to emerge from the cave, towards the smell of Tuskens and Banthas that the hunters had brought. Xaph was the closest to the mouth of the cave, as he would be the one who would need to kill the dragon, and so he got the best view of it. 30 meters from toe to tail, he was lucky that it wasn't one of the Greater Krayt Dragons, which would be far more difficult to take on.

As the dragon came out further, the launch of missiles sounded out from around it. Each one managed to hit the rear legs of the dragon, although two bounced off of the scaly hide before dropping to the sand and exploding. Ammunition was expensive, and it was unlikely that their would be any more after the opening salvo. The first missiles did their job, however, effectively crippling the dragon as his right leg was mutilated, and the second crumpled under the weight. The tail and the head, however, still remained the most dangerous parts of the dragon, and Xaph took his pick, figuring that at least the tail didn't have eyes. His assault rifle left with HK-47, and the glaive left in his speeder, the only weapon he had was his vibro-blade.

The dragon, unfortunately, was not as crippled as Xaph would have hoped. It's two forelegs still managed to give it a degree of rotation, even if he could not move forward or back, which was why Xaph realized more than ever how much he missed the Force as he leapt towards the dragon and grabbed it's tail. The dragon, apparently sensing the weight on it's back, attempted to shake it off. Xaph grabbed onto one of the ridges that ran along the dragon's spine, barely hanging on to where the tail met the dragon's back. Resting on this part of the dragon's back, his weight was not felt as much on the dragon's thicker skin, and it's determination to shake him off was replaced with the pain of it's explosive amputation.
It was only when Xaph dug his foot in to one of the ridges and pushed off that the dragon became aware of him. With a burst of speed, Xaph made it across the dragon's back and to his head with three long strides, and pulled the ornate vibro-sword from it's place on his back and rose it over his head, bringing it down in a thrusting motion into the Krayt dragon's head. The blade sunk through the dragon's scales, through the weak sinus cavity, and into the brain.

He had done it. He had killed a Krayt Dragon.

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