Boot Camp Blues

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Post by Pryde » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:12 pm

As soon as the two girls had showered Isis met Clara by her bunk to help work on her essay, though in actuality Clara was the one working on it while Isis lay behind her reading Republic Soldier magazines. Eventually it was lights out and the two girls were in their own bunks. Isis had convinced, or in other words conned someone into switching bunks with her so she could be next to Clara so she really didn't have far to go.

The next morning the platoon had been gathered and they were all standing at attention in front of the barracks. A moment later Ramrod came out and and walked up and down the line addressing the recruits.

"Today I'm pitting both squads up against each other in a head to head competition. We'll be running several exercises that should get your blood going and then culminating in a final battle between the two squads. The first exercise will be a ten mile march, followed by the obstacle course then parade drills and finally a mock battle in which each squad will have a sieze or defend objective. You will be expected to work as a team, any squad that does not cooperate will lose points and losing points means your squad will potentially lose its opportunity to take leave this weekend. Now then, will Clara Molariou and Karl Dalan please step forward."

The two recruits obeyed the order and stepped out of line. Volkmar nodded at each of them then continued. "Cadet Molariou, you will command Alpha squad and Karl you're in charge of Bravo squad. As the leaders of each squad you will be solely responsible for the success or failure of your fellow squadmates. Should your squad lose this competition you will run a ten mile jog in full combat gear alone, do you understand?"

"Sir, yes, sir," they both shouted in unison.

"Good, now get your squads ready for the first exercise. Remember, only teamwork will pull you through."

Then he clicked his heels together and waved them a salute. The platoon returned it and Volkmar expertly performed an about face and proceeded on his way, leaving Ohara to oversee the competition.

"Squads, report to your starting positions in twenty, dismissed!"

Isis and Clara walked side by side back to the barracks to change their gear. Isis couldn't help but smile as she cast her friend a side-long glance. "Squad commander, huh? We're moving up in the world, aren't we?"

"Too bad for you guys, having a female commander," Jerrin broken in suddenly, a cocky smile on his face. Behind him several of his friends strolled up all wearing that same smile. "Our squad's practically guaranteed to win now. I hope you girls have fun running drills on Saturday instead of taking it easy in Coronet like we will be."

"Hey, why don't you shut it, jerk face," Isis said irritably," What makes you so sure you're going to win?"

Jerrin feigned surprise. "Don't tell me you haven't heard. Everyone knows that men make the best commanders. It's elementary--if you paid attention to history."

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Post by Halomek » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:39 pm

“Jerkface is right!” Clara chimed in. “You’ve been listening to Karl waaay too much, Jerrin. Trust me, it’s not good for you; turns your brain to mush.”

She looked him square in the eye. He was challenging her on history, one of her best subjects. Even if the remark hadn’t been a slam on women, there was no way she was going to let the comment pass. “No good female commanders, huh? Ever hear of Empress Teta? Or Nomi Sunrider!? Forn Dodonna!? Perhaps Leia Organa-Solo!? Maybe Mirith Sinn rings a bell!? I know, why don’t you ask Mon Mothma?!!!”

Jerrin struggled to come up with a retort, but Clara cut him off. “Don’t even try. I know quite an extensive list of boneheaded male commanders if you want your argument to look even more pathetic. Take my advice, the next time Karl tries to tell you something about women, just plug your ears. His kind of thinking is fit for the Empire, not the Republic.”

As Jerrin and his friends retreated, Clara stood with her arms crossed and watched them go; a fiercely defiant look on her face. Isis just grinned. “You should be careful, Clara, if you start using words to win all your arguments, people might think you’re going soft.”

Clara kept her expression a moment or two longer before it turned into a smirk of her own as she gave a sidelong glance at her friend. “Then I guess I’ll just have to punch them until they stop thinking that.” She turned and headed back to the barracks. “I didn’t want to hurt Jerrin. He’s actually an okay guy under the surface, but he doesn’t have a lot of strong opinions of his own. He’s real follower material. He’ll go with whatever the popular opinion is and unfortunately, thanks to the connections the Dalan family has, Karl’s voice tends to be loudest among the male recruits.”

She sighed. “I wish… Tolaris was still at the academy. If he were, Karl wouldn’t have gotten away with half the poodoo he’s been spewing lately. He kept the guys in line.”

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Post by Halomek » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:08 pm

Isis held out her hand, but with her arm bent as if she planned to arm-wrestle Clara. “It’s up to us to put Karl in his place then. We’re going to win this thing, no matter what. Right?”

Clara grinned with determination as she gripped Isis’ hand with her own. “Right!”

***

As they entered the barracks, Clara noticed with a little surprise that she had a message waiting for her, coincidentally enough, from Tolaris. With a none-too-hidden eagerness, she grabbed her datapad and played the message.

The image of a young man with dusty-blond hair greeted her. He had an easy smile and calm blue-green eyes that Clara just wanted to get lost in. Tolaris didn’t look any worse for wear now that he was a full-fledged New Republic soldier.

“Hey Claire Bear,” he greeted as she pressed the play button. “I wanted to say hi before I went on duty. There’s not much to report out here. The Empire seems to be holding to the truce it made with us. The man who has taken the reigns after Isard, James Ardin, actually appears to be an honorable fellow.” Tolaris grinned ironically. “Imagine that: an honorable Imperial. Stranger things have happened, I guess.”

He smirked. “While it might be bad news for you, a lot of us are relieved that it looks like this war just might finally be over. I wouldn’t worry though, there’s always trouble in some part of the Republic or another to keep us busy. Well, I’ve got to go, but you know I’m counting the days until you graduate from Beruss.” He winked. “Love ya, girl.”

And then the message ended. Clara was tempted to play it again, but thought of something better as she propped the datapad against a wall so the camera inset in it would be steady.

She stood back far enough to get in the shot and waited for the record light to go on.

“Hey yourself, Tallman,” she greeted, “Guess who just got made into squad leader…” She smiled. “That’s right. They even put me up against Karl, if you can believe it. I’m looking forward to letting a little hot air out of that fat head of his. I think the Force might finally be listening to me…”

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Post by Pryde » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:41 am

"You sure it was the Force, or the sound of Karl's nose crunching under your fist," Isis asked, purposefully placing her head between her friend and the camera.

"Sis, please," Clara replied with irritation.

Isis put on her most innocent smile and turned to look directly into the camera. "Oh, is that Tolaris you're talking to? Can I say hi to him? I've got some real personal confessions to make, like how I've been in love with him ever since I first laid eyes on him. It's tragic, I know!"

"Stop it, Sis," Clara nearly shouted, trying in vain to wrestle Isis away from the camera.

"I didn't want Claire Bear to know because I know how she feels about you, but I can't deny my love for you any longer," Isis continued mockingly, "Damn you, Tolaris! Why do you have to be so dreamy?"

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Post by Halomek » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:47 pm

“You’re damn lucky that’s just a recording and not a live call,” Clara said to her friend, more annoyed than truly angry. She was long used to Isis’ teasing about her relationship with Tolaris. “I should still smack you for ruining it though. I’m not going to get a chance to make a new one until after we’re done with these squad exercises against Karl.”

By now Isis was sitting crosslegged on Clara’s bed. “I think I can help you with that,” she said to Clara with a mischievous grin before pressing a button on the datapad. “There, now you don’t have to worry about it.”

“Did you…” Clara started, looking at Isis with shock. “You didn’t…”

“I sure did.”

“You sent that to him!?” she demanded, knowing full-well what the answer was. “Blast it, Sis! I’m going to wring your neck!”

Isis casually tossed the datapad on the bed and leaned back, completely unworried. “You’re so dramatic sometimes…” she paused before smiling and adding for emphasis, “…Claire Bear. Tolaris will love it.”

Clara scowled, but she couldn’t seem to put any real menace in it. “Whoever your first love is, I hope he turns out to be a long-lost brother or something.”

Isis chuckled. “Like that’ll ever happen. Come on, we’ve got to finish getting ready. You wouldn’t want your first time in command to be marred by showing up late, would you?”

Clara just sighed and let it go. Isis was right. With a quick change into her combat fatigues, she and Isis were out the door and ready to stick it to Karl…

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:54 am

The competition between Clara and Karl turned out to be closer than they thought. Karl may have been a jerk, but when it came right down to it he wasn't a bad leader. He may have lost the initial relay race to start it off, but he pulled his team together for a win in the parade drills. The obstacle course that followed did little to shift the favor in either direction, both teams had scored so close to each other that it may as well have been a tie. That left the mock battle as the deciding factor. Both commanders will have to out think the other in order to pull off a victory.

As the others were discussing strategy Isis sat alone on the other side of the bunker, cradling her rifle between her arms. She stared blankly out the view port onto what was to become their battlefield. She barely paid the others any attention as Clara went over the plan one more time.

"Hey, Isis, aren't you going to come over and listen," Jenni asked suddenly, "We can't win if everyone isn't following the plan."

Isis just looked at her with a confident smile. "Why? This assignment is a piece of cake. We go in, capture the objective and carry it back to the extraction point. Big deal! I could do it in my sleep."

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:28 pm

Clara shook her head. “Wrong, you’re staying back here to guard the base.”

“Are you kidding me?” she protested. “I’m one of the best fighters we’ve got!”

“You’re also the best markswoman at the academy,” Clara added, “which is why I need you to stay behind as a sniper. Karl is expecting us to both go after the base. I know how he thinks. He’s going to strategize around us both being gung-ho and charging through the front door with almost all our troops. He doesn’t think we’re capable of coming up with something more subtle.”

“Not like he could stop us,” Isis grumbled.

“We’re good,” Clara agreed, “but we’re not invincible. One-on-one, these guys are no threat, but in a group they could be a problem. There’s a chance they could take us down, remember, all someone needs to do is mark us with a lucky shot and we’re out of the fight.” Clara motioned to the special clothing and other accoutrements they were all wearing. There were special sensors embedded within them that would activate with a low-powered blaster shot. In order to simulate real combat, if someone took a glancing shot, the training fatigues would deliver a localized stun blast to make that part of the body go numb. If someone took a shot to a vital area, the fatigues would deliver a full power stun to simulate death.

“That’s why I need you here,” Clara summed up. “We’ll have strength at both points that way. Of the two of us, you’re better at a distance, which will be more valuable on defense.”

She directed Isis to the battlefield map. “Now pay attention this time. I’m going to play on Karl’s thickheadedness and make him believe I’m leading a full-on assault on his base just like he’s expecting. This will be a feint. While the main force is occupying his attention, I, and a few others, will sneak around back and take their flag and bring it back here. Karl will never see it coming.”

Clara looked at Isis. “I’m also expecting that Karl will assume we’ve committed our best people to the assault and try to send a team to take our flag. He’ll believe it’s easy pickings. That’s why you’ll be here with the defenders, Sis, to give them a nasty surprise.”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:00 pm

Isis gave her friend a sour look and crossed her arms disapprovingly over her chest. "Aw come on, Clara, you know I don't like waiting around," she complained but the other girl just gave her a hard look. Isis stared defiantly into those eyes for almost a full minute before she finally gave up. "Fine, alright? I'll stay behind with the others, but I better not get bored!"

Clara was about to reply when the whistle blew alerting the combatants that the battle has started. "Everyone to your positions," Clara ordered and the entire team scurried out to get ready. Isis followed along at a leisurely pace then stopped at the door to look back at Clara.

"Well, good luck, Squad Commander," she said with a smile and a wave, then she turned and headed out of the bunker with the others.

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:01 pm

The start of the battle occurred just as Clara had planned it. She led a large force towards Karl’s base and engaged his forces in a no-man’s land between the two bunkers, quickly resulting in a stalemate. Neither side could push past the other, but both were too heavily engaged to retreat since doing so would give the other side the territory.

Once both sides were well and truly entrenched, Clara enacted part two of her plan. Giving her gun to a nearby soldier to hold, she dove down, unhesitant, into a nearby mud puddle and made sure she was covered head to toe to obscure her, her uniform, and the team colors she wore. Two other volunteers followed her lead, making sure the action was hidden from Karl’s forces.

When everything was ready, Clara doubletapped her comlink to signal the next phase. Every soldier with her who was still active grabbed a flash grenade and lobbed it at the enemy positions. The grenades were harmless, erupting only in a bright flash of light, but if one went off close enough the unlucky soldiers caught in the blast radius (as measured by the suit sensors) would be considered dead for the purposes of the training exercise.

If the grenades actually took out some of Karl’s people, that would be a bonus, but the true purpose was to give Clara and the two other soldiers following her cover to leave without being noticed. As soon as the flashes began going off around the enemy positions, Clara made a dash for one of the wooded areas on the outskirts of the battlefield…

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Tue May 12, 2009 8:59 am

Isis rested lazily atop a grassy knoll overlooking their bunker. She could hear the sounds of fighting some distance off and the explosions from low powered stun grenades. She had her eye through the scope on her blaster and ran it over the spot where Clara and her team were supposed to be making their way to the objective, but a small patch of trees blocked her view. With a sigh she laid her head against her arm and stared glumly at the open area in front of their bunker. I knew I was going to be bored.

She laid there for a few moments longer and nearly missed the sound of a twig breaking somewhere behind her. She spun about with her pistol raised and ready to fire.

"Isis," the boy said in surprise, "I wasn't expecting to see you here."

"Jon," Isis replied in exasperation, "aren't you on the other team?"

The boy struggled with that for a moment then hesitantly brought his rifle up. Isis responded first and fired three shots into his chest, locking his armor in place and causing him to stumble and fall. Isis sighed again then turned her attention back to the bunker. A moment later she could hear the boy trying desperately to crawl up beside her.

"Those were really nice shots," he commented, rolling himself over onto his side so he could look at her. "I didn't even stand a chance."

Isis ignored that for the moment. "You had the drop on me, Jon, why didn't you take me out?"

The boy blushed then quickly looked away. Isis gave him a hard stare then shook her head. Idiot, war isn't the place for crushes.

"So, what are you doing," he asked finally, turning back to look at her when felt confident that his cheeks had cleared.

Isis rolled her eyes then swore quietly under her breath. Why me? "I'm busy doing what I was told to do, now can you be quiet?"

"Okay," Jon replied a bit glumly. He rolled onto his back and stared up at the sky. After awhile he spoke up again, "This is kind of nice, isn't it? Just lying here like this?"

"Jon," Isis said angrily, once again taking her eyes off the bunker to look at him, "would you please stop distra--oh, sithspit."

She looked back at the bunker and mentally berated herself when she noticed several figures making off with their flag. By now they moved into the trench and were out of sight from her blaster. She voiced a couple of choice words then gathered up her weapon and quickly regained her feet. "You idiot, Karl used you," she told him, "He sent you up here to distract me. Stay here."

She hurried down the side of the hill towards the bunker cradling her rifle in both arms as she ran. Clara's not going to be happy when she hears about this...

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Tue May 12, 2009 2:11 pm

When Clara reached the enemy bunker, she found it mostly deserted, which elicited a small smile from her. Karl was dancing to her tune perfectly. There were only two guards outside. No doubt he had already sent a team to try and take their flag. Clara could just picture Isis giving them a rude surprise. Her team would have this little exercise wrapped up before suppertime.

Clara ducked back behind the trees she was using for cover and silently motioned for Strammer to take out the two guards. Reni Strammer nodded a confirmation as he brought his rifle to bear. After two quick head shots to the guards’ helmets, the way was clear. Next to Isis, Strammer was one of the best shots at the academy. While Clara would never admit it out loud, she knew her own accuracy would suck at this range. Although she was confident she could have taken out the guards, it wouldn’t have been nearly as clean as Strammer’s shots.

She nodded in approval to Strammer before leading the way to the bunker. The bunkers were simple constructs, not much more than a room or two and some corridors, so it made it easy to clear out any remaining guards. In fact there was only one, watching the flag, which pleased Clara but also started to make her suspicious.

Tara Danui, her other teammate on the covert operation, voiced what Clara was thinking once they had taken out the last guard. “This seems too easy.”

“It’s easy because Karl’s a chauvinistic idiot,” Clara replied as she took the flag, trying to suppress her own doubts without much success. “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to keep our eyes open though.”

They headed back out, with Strammer and Tara leading the way to clear out any potential obstacles for Clara – the flagbearer. They had almost made it to the safety of the woods when they were suddenly assaulted by a flurry of laser blasts. Clara and Tara managed to make it to cover, but Strammer wasn’t as lucky. Clara had made it unscathed. Tara, on the other hand, had taken a shot to the arm, forcing her to switch her blaster rifle to her off hand.

“Told you,” Tara said with a grimace.

“Not now, Tara,” Clara replied brusquely as she snuck a peek back towards the direction of the shots. The sight almost made her sick. She spotted Karl and at least six others closing in on their position. Some return fire from the two women managed to halt the progress, but it was a temporary standoff at best, and both sides knew it.

“You look good covered in mud, Clara!” Karl shouted to her with a tone so cocksure that it made her want to retch. “Next time you feel like getting dirty, I know a much better outfit you can wear.”

She gritted her teeth. Although Clara couldn’t be sure, it almost seemed like Karl had known to expect her. She fired a few more shots hoping to shut him up, without success, as she tried to think of a plan.

“Last act of the desperate, Clara. It’s over, I’ve won,” he gloated. “I’ll admit we almost didn’t spot you in time, but your ruse is busted.” He laughed. “You know all about busts, don’t you?”

Clara was about to issue a withering retort before Tara suddenly lunged at her and shoved her out of the way with a warning. “Look out!”

Clara didn’t waste time asking what to look out for. Even as Tara took the blaster shots that were meant for her, Clara twisted her body and spotted two more of Karl’s people coming up behind her. She fired as she rolled, nailing one of them amid her blasts, but missing the other. She didn’t pause as she came out of her roll and rushed the last soldier, getting in close and disarming him with a well-placed strike before gripping him in a hold from behind and putting her blaster’s muzzle against his helmet.

“Just play it cool, Jerrin,” she advised her new captive. “We both know you can’t match me in a fight. I’m getting this flag back to my base and you’re going to be my insurance.”

Jerrin winced as Clara twisted his arm to make sure she had his cooperation. “Alright, alright, I’m not stupid,” he assured her. “Take it easy.”

“People who take it easy in battle end up dead,” Clara replied angrily. “I’m not going to let Karl get the better of me! Move it!” She marched Jerrin out of cover to display for Karl and his people. “All of you back up! I’ve got a hostage! You guys can have Jerrin back after my team wins.”

Karl simply smirked before blasting Jerrin in the chest. Clara could feel him go limp as the stunners took effect. “You were saying?”

“Are you mad!? You just shot your own teammate!”

Jerrin wasn’t slow to add in his own rebuke. “You bastard! We’re on the same side!”

“Oh, lighten up,” Karl said to them without any sign of remorse. “This isn’t real. Besides, Jerrin was a liability as a hostage. Now he’s not. All soldiers should be expected to give their life for the cause.”

“Ramrod is going to hear about this!” Clara promised.

“Watch me shake,” Karl retorted sarcastically.

Clara was seething, but she knew better than to act on it now. Karl wanted her to charge them so she could be shot down. Instead she sighed and appeared to give up, dropping her blaster to the ground for show. However, with Jerrin still held up to block their view, Clara secretly reached for her last flash grenade and armed it.

“Sorry about this,” she whispered to her short-lived captive before kicking him forward and slinging her grenade at Karl and his people. “Suck photons, bantha breath!”

Clara didn’t wait to see if her grenade would get any of them, she was already in the process of making a mad dash back to her base…

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Tue May 12, 2009 3:53 pm

Isis was still swearing by the time she hit the bottom of the hill, electing instead to dart across the open field rather than duck into the trenches. It was risky, of course, but Karl's cronies had a head start on her though they were restricted to following the trenches in order to stay out of sight from Isis. Trying to buy herself some time she raised her rifle and fired on their position, sending all three of them ducking for cover. She pushed herself even harder now, running as fast as her legs could carry her. She barely noticed when two of the boys popped out of the trench and started firing at her.

Isis hit the dirt almost immediately as blaster fire filled the air over her head. When it was over the three boys were up and moving again and so was Isis, racing along after them. She managed to catch up with them at the point where the trench turned and started to head back to the bunker. Now the boys would have to leave cover in order to make it back to their base, but between them and victory was a very irate girl with a pension for getting her way.

"I'll take that flag back now," she called out to them from behind the safety of a dirt mound just several feet from the trench.

"Over my dead body, Isis," Jake called back.

That's more or less the idea, Isis thought idly to herself as she edged over the mound to take a peek. The three boys were only a few yards from her, a well tossed grenade could easily cover the distance. Problem was there was no guarantee she'd get all three of them, she would need a plan. I think it's safe to say the fake prisoner thing is out. She knew if she tried to surrender the three boys would just shoot her. She had a reputation for employing the unorthodox and Karl would have warned them not to take any chances. She wasn't without options, though, there was at least one other thing she could try but she hated the idea of it. She took in a deep breath then let it out slowly as she reached for her grenade. You better win this one for me, Clara.

With a quick flick of her thumb she primed the grenade then she was up on her feet and moving, firing her rifle as she went. The three boys returned fire and Isis could feel several bolts hitting her right arm and chest. As her body started to go numb she gave one last desperate push with her legs and fell into the trench. The boys hadn't moved from their positions and continued to fire at her as she flew through the air and landed amongst them. When she hit the dirt the grenade fell out of her hand and exploded, activating the sensors on all three of the suits the boys were wearing. Isis smiled as their bodies went limp and the three boys collapsed in the mud beside her.

"Looks like Karl's going to have to do his own dirty work," Isis remarked sarcastically, rolling onto her side so she could see Jake.

Jake took a moment to spit some dirt out of his mouth before replying. "That wasn't even fair, Isis, you just blew yourself up!"

"And I got you three losers in the process," she shot back, "I'd call that a win."

Jake just stared at her long and hard for a moment then he sighed and rolled over onto his back. "Isis, you're impossible..."

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Wed May 13, 2009 9:42 pm

Clara didn’t look back as she dashed for the safety of her base. She didn’t need to. The occasional shot from behind told her that the grenade hadn’t taken out everybody. She turned on her comlink to try and raise Isis. “Sis, I’m coming in hot and unarmed. I need you to take out my pursuers for me.”

After a moment of silence, Clara tried again. “Sis, you there? Wake up! I need assistance.” After still more silence, Clara frowned. In this war game, when someone was tagged as dead, it automatically disabled the send feature on the comlinks to prevent any “dead” soldiers from relaying intelligence information. It still allowed the otherwise immobile soldier to listen to the com chatter though. “Damn it! You better not have gotten yourself shot! Any base defenders, do you read me?!”

No answer. Which meant that not only did she not have support, her team’s flag was likely missing as well. Without both flags, there would be no victory, only a stalemate.

Another laser blast suddenly impacted harmlessly against a tree, forcing Clara to weave in a different direction. She would be running out of trees, and the cover they provided, very quickly. As soon as she hit the open battlefield, she would be easy pickings for whoever was tailing her. She couldn’t pull back any soldiers from the battlefield since they were all engaged with Karl’s forces. It seemed as though it would be up to her to handle this alone.

Thinking quickly, Clara increased her dodging between the trees to at least temporarily lose those that were after her. She did this until she found the type of tree she was looking for, one with a low-hanging branch that looked sturdy enough to support her weight. She leaped and grabbed hold of it, using her momentum to swing herself up, before scrambling high enough that she would be out of the enemy’s immediate field of vision.

Clara did her best to quell her heavy breathing and remain as still as possible. A few moments later she spotted Karl rushing past her position and looking around wildly for her. “Figures that droch would find a way to escape the blast,” she thought to herself. The good news was that it seemed as though Karl was her only pursuer.

As tempted as Clara was to go after Karl and bust that smart mouth of his, she knew she couldn’t risk it. There was a chance he could gun her down before she got to him, and with the possibility that his team was bringing back their flag to his base at this very moment, she couldn’t play to any risk of him getting his own flag back.

After Karl was out of sight, Clara waited for about five minutes before carefully climbing down and moving as quietly as she could towards the edge of the woods. Once there she broke into a sprint again before leaping into a nearby trench and found herself landing unexpectedly upon a pile of bodies.

“What the-” she remarked in surprise.

“Watch the boots, Clara, you almost stomped my face!”

“Jake?”

“Clara?” another voice, a familiar one spoke up.

“Sis? What’re you doing here?!”

“No time,” Isis replied. “One of these guys has our flag.”

“Which one?”

She shook her head. “I don’t know.”

Grumbling a little to herself, Clara searched the three boys until she found what she was looking for. “Now to win this thing,” she declared with the first genuine smile she’d had since Karl had confronted her. Clara was about to leave before she stopped herself and grabbed one of the boys’ blaster rifles. “I don’t think you’ll mind if I take this. Keep them company, Sis. We’ll talk later.”

Clara didn’t hear Isis’ reply, she was already out of the trench and scrambling over the last length of land towards their bunker. As she reached the entrance she paused before going inside. Some sixth sense told her it wasn’t safe. So rather than walking in like normal, Clara took a few steps back and dove low, rolling past the entrance. She heard blaster fire pass over her and an exclamation of surprise that could only come from Karl.

Before Karl could correct his aim, Clara had him in her sights and loosed a few shots of her own, nailing him in the chest and dropping him. She smiled in relief at seeing her hunch pay off as she stood back up. “A sneaky little jerk to the end.”

“You got lucky.”

“Maybe if you were able to pull your face out of your ass once in awhile, you’d recognize actual talent when you saw it,” she retorted as she walked to the flag room. “I don’t need my family to buy my reputation.”

Clara ignored Karl’s reply as she set the flags down and slammed her hand down on the button in the center of the room. A loud ringing issued forth from the bunker and carried across the battlefield, informing all who heard it that the flags had been captured and the exercise was over.

Clara grinned in triumph. The day was theirs.

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Fri May 15, 2009 6:04 pm

When the horn blew Isis gave Jake the sweetest smile she could muster. "Well, it looks like we win," she said as she climbed to her feet.

Jake stood up and dusted himself off, but his face plainly showed his disappointment. "Oh, Isis, do you have to rub it in?"

"Of course," she replied, patting him on his cheek. Then she hopped over the side of the trench and headed to the bunker to congratulate Clara. The other girl was just coming out as Isis crossed the distance between them, she had a big grin on her face and rightly so. This win sealed their victory over Karl and ensured that their team would be able to go on leave this weekend.

"Those must've been some pretty fancy moves," Isis called out to her, "Wish I could have been there to see 'em."

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Fri May 15, 2009 7:06 pm

Clara shook some of the dried mud from her hair before giving Isis a teasing, though friendly, look. “Somebody had to pick up the slack. Don’t think I didn’t notice Lover Boy on the ground back there. The Force only knows what you two were doing.”

She sighed theatrically. “At least you finally gave the poor soul a break. I swear though, between Karl shooting Jerrin, and my best sniper lured away from her position by her fling, I think sometimes I might be the only person around here who takes these exercises seriously.”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Fri May 22, 2009 7:27 pm

"Hey, it wasn't even like that--sorta," Isis quickly objected, "If Jon hadn't distracted me..."

"Wait, Jon," Clara interrupted, "but I thought..."

"Shhh," Isis replied, frantically waving her hands about in the air, "Not out loud!"

She quickly glanced behind herself and breathed a sigh of relief when she noticed that Jake was no where in sight. "Look," she said, turning back to face Clara, "Karl knew I stayed behind. He sent Jon up to that hill because he knew even if Jon didn't succeed he'd distract me long enough for Jake to slip away. I mean honestly, Clara, how did he know I was there? I think someone's been feeding him information."

She had a steely glint in her eye and was deliberately grounding her fist into her open palm.

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Sat May 23, 2009 5:48 pm

Clara raised a mud-caked eyebrow. “I don’t like this. Karl was practically waiting for me when I infiltrated his base. I suspected something at the time, but I figured it could have been bad luck on my part… If he sent Jon over to make you weak in the knees though, then that changes things. It would be giving Karl too much credit to say he managed all this beforehand.”

“I say we pound him!” Isis suggested.

“And risk losing the R&R we fought so hard for when Ramrod gets wind of it?” Clara asked rhetorically. “I want to hurt him too, but I think we’re better off keeping this to ourselves for the time being. We need to find out who helped him first. The problem is I can’t think of anybody on our team who would give that worm the time of day.”

Some of Isis’ anger ebbed as she thought about it. “Neither can I.”

“Maybe Scanner can dig up something,” Clara suggested. “In the meantime, let’s worry about it after we get back.” She wrapped a confidential arm around Isis’ shoulder as she leaned in close. “I have it on a reliable source that Uncle Habas is in the Corellian system. I know how much you’ve been wanting to meet him.”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Mon May 25, 2009 11:40 am

"Seriously," Isis replied, giving her friend and eager look. "Clara, I would love you forever if I could meet your Uncle."

Clara's uncle had always been a sort of mystery to her and Isis had a great passion for solving mysteries, usually with blunt force though this time a bit of diplomacy would suffice. All she really knew about Habas was that according to Clara he was a bit of a black sheep in the family, kind of like her. On top of that he was an assassin and Isis had always had fantasies of being an assassin, the regular army just didn't fit her very well. She was far too independant and undisciplined for military service.

Clara smiled at Isis and opened her mouth to respond when suddenly another, more commanding voice interrupted them. "Attention," came the sound of Sergeant Ohara's voice and immediately the two squads of cadets formed ranks and stood at attention.

Vokmar came down onto the field and stood in front of them. After awhile he nodded and said, "At ease."

The cadet's relaxed their postures a bit and Volmar continued, "Congratulations, Cadet Molariou, your team has won the competition. However, in spite of what I said before, it seems that both teams will be getting that R&R I mentioned."

"Wait, that's not--," Isis started to object before Clara covered her mouth with both hands.

"Not fair, Cadet Sinclair," Volkmar asked, cocking an eyebrow. "I suppose you're right, but a unit of New Republic rangers has recently landed on Corellia and they've asked to borrow our facilities. So, for the weekend you all are free to do as you wish, but I expect to see you back here in three days promptly at 2200 hours, understood?"

"Yes, sir," they all answered in unison.

"Good, dismissed," Volkmar replied, then he stalked off the field towards the main building of the academy.

Isis turned to Clara with a dissatisfied look on her face. "What a load of bantha poodoo," she blurted out angrily, "Karl and his cronies lost, why should they be rewarded too?"

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Sun May 31, 2009 4:06 pm

Clara nodded. “No argument from me, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you don’t challenge authority in front of a group of people – especially in front of their peers – and especially in the military.” She glanced backwards at the departing form of Vokmar. “Besides, I get the feeling that this ranger training isn’t as innocent as Ramrod wants us to think.”

Isis looked at her curiously. “You think so?”

“Yeah, think about it,” she prompted. “The rangers getting permission to use the academy seems to have come through awfully quick since we’re only hearing about it now. Usually in the Red Tape Republic, even those of us at the bottom know about these kinds of things weeks, or even months beforehand while the paperwork gets settled.”

“Which means someone high up pushed it through,” Isis concluded as her train of thought matched Clara’s. “And that means it’s probably for some high priority mission.”

“Exactly,” Clara said with a smile. “That fact that they’re using our academy also leaves me to believe that the mission is on Corellia, or at least close by, and that means we should keep our eyes open. Since we’re planning to talk to Scanner about Karl anyway, let’s see if he knows what’s going on with this too.”

Clara dusted herself off to no effect, before smiling ruefully. “But first I need another shower… It feels like I took that whole mud puddle with me.”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:53 pm

"Aw, but you look good in mud," Isis teased her, "You could start a whole new trend. Maybe even have your own pin-up calendar, I bet Tolaris would love that. He might buy two."

"Oh, shut up," Clara said, leading the way back to the barracks. Isis trailed behind her with a big dumb grin on her face.

The two girls were halfway back to the barracks when a sudden thought occured to Isis. She pulled up beside Clara and started speaking in a hushed voice. "Hey, Clara, remember when you said your Uncle was on Corellia? You think it might have anything to do with the NR being here?"

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:45 pm

Clara stopped to think about it. “It’s possible… but… it’s tough to say. We don’t even know what’s going on yet.” She looked at Isis. “To be honest, I kind of hope it’s a big coincidence.”

“Why’s that?”

Clara tried to suppress a growing sense of dread. “If there’s something going on that’s drawn the attention of Uncle Habas and the Republic, then that can only mean Corellia is in serious trouble. Even though Uncle Habas and the Republic would never work together, they’re basically on the same side.”

***

After a shower and a change into her civilian clothes, Clara felt refreshed. Her civvies weren’t all that different than her military fatigues, but it was kind of nice not to have to worry about being inspection-ready while wearing them. Combat boots, a pair of tough pants with pockets to spare, and a tank top with a light jacket. She had some nicer clothes, but with the idea that there might be trouble brewing outside the base, Clara had opted for functional instead of flattering.

She looked over at Isis. “Alright, let’s see what Scanner has to say.”

OOC: I’ll leave the rest up to you, Pryde. ;)

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:52 pm

Isis nearly jumped at the sound of Clara's voice and quickly shoved something into her bag while covering it with clothes. She turned to look at her friend with a nervous smile and gestured towards the door. "Sure, after you," she said, but Clara was already looking at the bag suspiciously.

"What was that all about," she asked curiously, but she never got an answer. Isis quickly came over, gently turned her friend and urged her out into the hallway.

"It was nothing," she assured her and she led the way down the hall towards the mens barracks. They found Scanner inside on his computer as usual. "Hey, Scanner, you find anything weird on that box of yours," Isis asked, plopping down on the bed next to him.

Scanner just rolled his eyes. "It's called a computer, Isis, and what do you mean by weird?"

"Well, you know... Anything about why the Republic might be here."

The boy looked at her a moment then glanced up at Clara nearby. "You think there's something they're not telling us?"

"Well, doesn't it seem weird to you that we're just now finding out about this?"

"I suppose your right," Scanner replied, then he hit a few keys on his computer and brought up the local Corellian news. The three of them scanned through the recent headlines but found nothing to indicate that something was up.

"So, there's nothing then," Isis asked, sounding almost disappointed.

Scanner shook his head. "Well, no that's not entirely true. I have been noticing lately that a lot of encrypted packets are being passed around on the holonet, but I didn't think it was anything out of the ordinary. Now that you mention it, though, there could be something going on there."

"Couldn't that just be the Republic passing messages back and forth to each other?"

"It's possible, but I kind of doubt it. I've been noticing this increase for awhile now before the NR got here."

"Okay, so then something is going on, right?"

Scanner just let out an exasperated sigh. "If I say yes will you leave me alone?"

"If only that was all it took," Isis said with a sly smile, then she pulled herself off the bed and waved to the boy, "Well, we'll see you on the transport, Scanner, don't forget to bring your box."

"Computer," he corrected as the two girls walked away.

Isis and Clara stopped off back at their bunks to grab their dufflebags and after making sure Clara wasn't looking Isis quickly peeked inside hers to make sure the item she stuck in there was still okay. Then she hefted the bag over her shoulder and followed Clara out to meet the transport. They loaded their bags into the cargo bin on the side of the vehicle and just as they were about to climb in Isis noticed a boy about to shove his dufflebag on top of hers. She quickly caught it causing the boy to pull up short before he could toss it in with the others.

"Oh no you don't," she snapped at him, grabbing her bag and pulling it out. "Mine goes on top."

The boy just gave her an odd look then shrugged and tossed his bag in. Isis gently placed hers on top of it then followed him into the vehicle. The driver slid the door to the cargo bin closed and climbed into the transport after Isis. Then he started up the vehicle and they drove off towards the main gate and out into the city. It wasn't long before the transport came to a stop in front of a fairly nice hotel. Each of the cadets were separated into groups of four and given their own rooms. Clara and Isis were thrown in together with two other girls and they quickly hurried upstairs to find their room.

The rooms they were given were pretty standard, there was a small table on one side with comfy chairs on either side of it. The two beds made up the bulk of the furniture and sitting against the wall opposite them was a large cabinet with a holoviewer inside. Isis carefully set her bag down between one of the beds and the wall then plopped down unceremoniously onto the bed. They were fairly large beds, big enough to sleep two which was fortunate because that's what the girls were going to have to do if each of them wanted to sleep in a bed.

"So, any plans for tomorrow," Isis asked, rolling over onto her side so she could see Clara and propping herself up on one elbow.

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:57 pm

Clara was relaxing against the headboard, arms behind her head, and one leg crossed over the other as she watched one of the local programs. Their two roommates were elsewhere at the moment. She glanced at Isis with teasing nonchalance. “I don’t know, Sis, I think maybe I should ask you that. I couldn’t help but notice you’ve been overly-protective of your bag the whole trip. I figured I’d wait for a good time to ask about it.”

Clara arched an eyebrow. “So?”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:54 am

Isis' face started to turn red almost immediately and she quickly glanced away towards the wall. "I--have no idea what you're talking about, Clara," she lied, "I just don't like it when people put their stuff on top of mine, that's all."

"That's all," Clara asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Yeah," was Isis' reply.

Soon after the door to the room opened and Jenni and Tara walked in, dropping their bags in one of the corners. Tara glanced at Clara and Isis and gave them both a curious look. "Hey, what's going on?"

"Oh, nothing," Clara replied cheerily, "Isis is hiding something in her bag."

"Really," Tara asked, her expression becoming suddenly interested, "then I guess she wouldn't mind if we took a peek, right?"

Clara had a devilish grin on her face and before Isis could even protest the red headed girl was right on top of her and pinning her to the bed.

"Hey, wait a minute," Isis cried out, "This isn't even fair!"

"You're one to talk about fair," Jenni said from where she was helping Tara with Isis' bag, "I've gotten more claw marks and dirt thrown in my face from you than anyone else on the base."

"That's different! Um... Somehow," Isis replied sheepishly. "If you open that bag, though, I'll give you a lot worse!"

"Ooh, I'm shaking in my--," Tara began but then she stopped short when she unzipped the bag and pulled out the object Isis had been hiding. "A viol," she asked in surprise, glancing at the instrument curiously, "Since when did you play viol?"

"Since always, now put it away," Isis snapped.

Jenni had a big grin on her face as she looked at Isis. "You really are a spoiled rich kid, aren't you?"

Isis' struggles suddenly increased in intensity. "That's it," she nearly shouted, fighting to free herself from Clara's grasp with little success, "Damn it, Clara, let me go!"

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:38 pm

Clara kept her hold with a grin. “Sorry, Sis, payback for what you did to my message to Tolaris. Fair’s fair.” She was thoughtful for a moment as she kept Isis from moving. “You know, Rotter seems like the type to insist his kid play a musical instrument, but I wouldn’t expect you to bring it on base, much less worry about it, unless…”

“Unless what!?” Isis demanded.

With a suddenness that surprised the other girls in the room, including Isis, Clara abruptly released her hold and backed off. “Unless you actually enjoy playing it,” she concluded.

Isis was red in face, although whether that was from exertion, anger, or embarrassment, nobody could tell but her. Regardless, Isis couldn’t seem to find a response to Clara’s conclusion.

There was an awkward silence between the four girls before Clara broke it. “Are you any good?”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:37 am

"I dunno, I guess," Isis said, glancing away sheepishly.

"Well, play us something," Tara replied, handing her the viol.

Isis just looked at it incredulously and immediately shook her head, waving her hands frantically in the air. "Oh, no, no, no, I don't play in front of people."

Tara just looked at her curiously. "You know, Isis, you're pretty strange. You've got all this self-confidence when you're out there pounding heads but when we ask you to play us a song suddenly you're shy?"

"Come on, Isis, pretty please," Jenni added, flashing Isis her puppy dog eyes.

Isis just glared at them in return until finally she threw her arms up in the air in exasperation. "Fine," she said, grabbing the viol and lifting it to her chin. She tentatively tested the strings to check its tuning and when the instrument was set to her liking she set the bow to it and took a deep breath. The three girls waited in anticipation for almost a full minute before Isis finally began to play, almost hesitantly at first.

She played a measure or two of her favorite song then suddenly stopped, her cheeks burning a bright red. "On second thought, this is stupid. Why don't we just go to bed?"

"No, Isis, that was good. Keep playing, please?" Tara encouraged her.

Isis looked at her accusingly. "You're just saying that so I'd play more and then you can make fun of me later."

"Really, Isis, I mean it," Tara replied, shaking her head defensively.

The two of them sat there looking at each other for a long time before Isis finally gave in and lifted the viol to her chin again. She started that same song, hesitantly again but eventually growing in confidence. The song itself was slow and had a melancholy sort of melody to it, but Isis played the instrument with far more passion than anyone in the room thought she was capable of. When it was over the three girls sat in complete silence and poor Isis couldn't help but avert her eyes as she waited for their disapproval. Her cheeks were still rosy with embarrassment and she suddenly found herself feeling very small, a feeling she hadn't had since grade school...

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:43 pm

Clara responded first as she smiled and brought her hands together to start clapping. Jenni and Tara followed suit at almost the same time.

“That was beautiful, Sis,” Clara complimented as the clapping died down. “My brother Art tried to teach me how to play the quetarra after I wouldn’t stop bugging him about it, but I could never sit still long enough to get the hang of it. Every time I touched the strings, it sounded like I was imitating a drunk Hutt. I finally decided to cut my losses and save the family a little sanity.”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:03 am

"You--really think it was beautiful," Isis asked in surprise. She was certain her friends would hate it, hell she didn't even play it as well as she could have. There were a few notes she missed and on occasion the melody came out a bit flat. She chalked it up to the fact that she was extremely nervous, but still... Beautiful? That wasn't exactly the word Isis would have used to describe it.

"Of course we do, silly," Jenni replied, "and to think I never would have pegged you for a musician."

Isis' cheeks started to turn red again and Jenni immediately wished she hadn't added that last part.

"How long have you been playing," Tara asked, breaking the awkward silence.

"Six years," Isis replied, "Dad thought being able to play an instrument would be good for me, so he encouraged me to try it. He'd make me practice for at least an hour every day and at first I hated it but then I guess it sort of grew on me."

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:58 pm

Clara laughed, but it was out of good humor and not intended to be mocking. “I’d say so. I’ve never seen you this passionate about something before. I certainly never see you put the kind of effort into the drills that I’m sure you put into this.” She crossed her arms challengingly. “So, is that toothpick only good for playing melancholy songs, or can it play something a little livelier? I want to hear something that moves my feet.”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:49 pm

"Um, I'm not--," Isis tried to object but Jenni and Tara cut her off.

"Please, Isis," Jenni said, giving her that same look she did before.

"Just one more song and we'll stop bothering her," Tara added.

Isis' eyes went from Clara to Jenni to Tara and then back to Clara before she sighed and said, "Fine."

She lifted the instrument to her chin, set the bow gingerly to the strings and took in a deep breath. Then she counted off a steady beat in her and drew the first note, playing a fast paced melody from an old country folk song she learned back on her Uncle's ranch. Her fingers danced along the stem and her bow movements were short and crisp as she played. Feeling a little more confident then she had the melody came out crisp and clear with no noticeable mistakes, at least none that Clara and the others could pick up on. When she was done Isis felt a bit more pleased with herself over this song than she had with the previous one, though some part of her kept saying she could do it better.

She dropped the viol to her lap and looked at her friends expectantly. Despite being scared out of her mind she did on some level actually enjoy sharing her music with them.

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:38 pm

After Isis finished her second song, Clara looked down and away, as if rethinking her opinion of her friend’s talent. “I don’t know, Sis…” she started, sounding regretful. Clara looked up and could almost see the growing dread inside of Isis as she waited for Clara to finish her verdict.

Clara tried to keep a straight face but discovered it was impossible as a silly grin forced its way out instead. “Is it wrong for me to say I’m jealous?”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:12 pm

"It's not really anything special," Isis replied sheepishly as she set her viol aside.

Tara was giving her a wry look. "I don't believe my ears! Was that modesty I just heard?"

"I think she's sick," Jenni added, leaning forward to lay a hand on Isis' forehead.

"Hey," Isis snapped, slapping Jenni's hand away. "I'm not sick and no, I'm not being modest it's just--," she faltered for a moment then averted her eyes.

"Why don't we just go to sleep," she said as she slid herself off the bed. Then she gently put her viol away and hid in the 'fresher out of sight from the others.

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:26 pm

Clara chuckled as Isis made a hasty retreat to the refresher. The redhead looked at the other two girls. “Well, I fully expect that Sis is contemplating murdering us in our sleep now that we know her terrible secret, but it was worth it.” She shrugged, grinning. “Such is the price of admission to our private concert.”

Clara abruptly shucked her day clothes down to her underwear and laid back down on the bed, arms behind her head in a relaxed position. “I know I’ll be dying without any regrets now that I’ve heard her play. How about you two?”

“Definitely,” Tara agreed with a grin to match Clara’s. “This is like finding out Boba Fett runs a home for orphaned Ewoks.”

Clara snickered at the idea. “Love the mental image - and it still sounds more feasible than Sis playing the viol, doesn’t it?”

“Just about,” Jenni agreed. “Jokes aside, I have to admit that I am kind of half-expecting Isis to kill us all to keep this from getting out. You can never tell what she’s going to do next.”

“As long as it stays between us four, I don’t think you have to worry about it.” Clara paused before eyeing Jenni and Tara teasingly for a moment. “You two might want to practice sleeping with one eye open though, just in case.” She then stretched and pulled the bed’s covers over her. Clara sighed happily and closed both her eyes. “As for me, I know I’m safe at least until after tomorrow. Sis needs me to introduce her to someone.” She smiled. “Sleep tight, girls.”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:39 pm

OOC: I’ll move us along since it seems like we’re at that point.

IC: Despite the fact that they were both underage, the next day Clara and Isis were waiting in a bar for Clara’s uncle to arrive. A pair of fake I.D.’s that Isis had somehow been able to procure from Scanner got them in the door and any lingering doubts the bartender might have had about their age were swept away after a few seductive looks from the girls.

Clara was slowly enjoying a Phibian beer as she watched the sentients milling about the place, searching for her uncle. She frowned as one such sentient mistook her look as a come-hither. Despite Clara shaking her head in warning, the giant of a Human got up from his seat and began to saunter over to her, either too drunk or too oblivious to see Clara wasn’t interested.

“Picked up an admirer I see,” Isis teased her.

“Shut up,” Clara hissed.

“Youra a looka,” the man said in a thick accent, and a none-too-subtle leer directed towards her chest. He then gave Isis a wink. “Tha boths of ya. Woi not ang wit me pallies fo a litta fun?”

“Go away,” Clara replied with a glare. “We’re waiting for someone.”

“Be smart and do as she says,” Isis chimed in, tensing herself for action if the situation required it.

“Ah, don’ be like that!” the man said as he grabbed a chair and sat down at their table. “We al’ be gents. Your fren can’t be al’ tha great iffen he keeps visions lik tha paira yo’ waitin.” Without warning, and moving far faster than either woman thought possible, the man grabbed Clara’s wrist and stood up. Isis tried to swing at him, but found her arm intercepted and caught in his other hand. “Come wit me lovlies, we’ll show yo a good time.”

Clara was just about ready to step up her game against the brute when she heard the distinct click of a blaster safety being disengaged behind the brute. “That’s my niece you’re manhandling,” a strong voice spoke up. “Let her and her friend go now.”

It was hard to see around the bulk of the Human, but Clara was able to spot the silhouette of a familiar figure standing in the doorway to the bar. “Uncle Habas!”

The man turned to face Habas, but showed no fear at having a blaster pointed at him. “Scum! Ya think I’ma ‘fraid of yoo?! Me boys will handle yo!”

Without even appearing to look, Habas switched the blaster to his free hand and fired a shot at their table, neatly destroying a mug in front of the large man’s gang. Habas kept his blaster pointed at the table as he reached within his jacket to pull out a smaller blaster and aim it at the big man. Again, without warning, he fired a shot from the new blaster that just grazed the man’s earlobe.

“Those were warnings,” Habas told the astonished giant. “The next shots will be the last things you filth see. Let. Them. Go.”

“Yoube Habas Molariou!” the giant exclaimed. “Nowon else shoots lik that! Yoube good, but yoube messin wit tha wrong people! We’ll go, but we’ll see ya real soon!”

“I’m sure,” Habas agreed. “Give my regards to Lady Byrana.”

The big man let go of Isis and Clara and slunk out of the back of the establishment with his cronies while Habas watched them with blasters at the ready. Once they were out of sight, Habas holstered his weapons and stepped into the bar proper revealing a man of about thirty with auburn hair just long enough to look a little wild. His face looked like it had seen things beyond his years, but his smile at seeing Clara seemed to remove all the tension.

Clara practically leapt forward as she gave her uncle a hug, totally oblivious to the staring bar patrons. “Basmo! It seems like forever since I’ve seen you!”

Habas returned the hug. “Same here, Aramo. It’s good to see you. I hope you don’t mind my butting in, but I figured my method would be a little less destructive than yours.”

“I should hurt you for that, but I’ll let you off easy this time,” Clara retorted with a grin as she broke the hug.

Habas shifted his glance to look at Isis. He extended his hand towards her in greeting. “And I assume you’re the infamous Isis Sinclair Clara’s told me so much about?”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:34 am

"That's discomforting," Isis replied with a wry smile, "I can't imagine she had good things to say about me."

Then she glanced back over her shoulder towards where the giant and his 'pallies' had retreated and breathed a sight of relief. Something about the way that man moved made her uncomfortable. She didn't like the ease with which he intercepted her punch and though part of her wanted to chalk it up to being in a sitting position and uprepared she had a feeling it may have been more than that. Something he said to Habas piqued her interest as well, whoever this Lady Byrana was she sounded fairly connected.

"So, I have a question," she said, turning back to Habas and Clara and arching an eyebrow at them. "Basmo? Aramo?"

She knew Clara was in the habit of giving people nicknames and for a brief moment she wondered if Habas was too.

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:13 pm

“It might be a good idea to pick this up somewhere else,” Habas suggested as he eyed the bar patrons. “I’d rather not wait around to explain things for CorSec.”

***

A short time later, the three were walking along one of the backroads of the city.

Habas looked at Clara. “Aramo, you want to explain it? It’s your thing, after all.”

Clara shook her head. “I never explain my nicknames, or my reasons for them, but if you want to take a whack at it, be my guest.”

Habas chuckled. “Well, I don’t know why Clara came up these names, but I know how they work. They’re made by using the last three or four letters of the first name, and the first two of the last name, thus Habas Molariou becomes Basmo. It’s something I’ve only seen her use on family members. She gave the same kind of names to Arthor and Keven – her brothers.”

“Does she insist on being called Aramo then?” Isis asked out of curiosity, glancing at Clara.

“Nah, I call her that because I felt that if she was going to be giving her family these names, then she’d have to use one too.” He grinned. “It kind of backfired on me though. Now she’s got me using a nickname whenever I see her.”

“I was going to give you one too, Sis,” Clara spoke up with a grin of her own, “but yours doesn’t work too well. It’d end up being Sissi, which I don’t think you’d ever forgive me for.”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:25 pm

Isis pretended to consider that then shook her head. "No, I don't think I would."

Then she gave Habas a thoughtful look. "By the way, Uncle--you don't mind if I call you 'Uncle', do you? Anyway, about those men you, um... Rescued us from," she tried and failed to cover up that last bit by coughing into her hand, "You seemed to know them. I don't suppose you could tell us more about that and who this Lady Byrana is?"

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:17 pm

“Lady Byrana is a Selonian who operates one of the largest criminal syndicates within Corellian space,” Habas informed her. “Let’s just say she’s less than pleased with me for knocking off a number of her employees over the years. The big brute you ran into is one of her top enforcers, Bonvar Trag; a Rolani.” He looked at the two girls. “Are either of you familiar with his kind?”

When both shook their head, Habas elucidated. “Rolani originate from the Outer Rim world of Rolan, which seems to be locked in a perpetual civil war with its neighbors. The Rolani themselves are rumored to have once been Human, but were genetically altered a long time ago by their leaders to be the perfect warriors. They’re larger and stronger than regular Humans, and are basically trained how to fight from the day they’re born. Moreover, they’re extremely resilient, which means it tends to take a lot of damage to kill them.”

“I’ve heard that Trag himself is actually from one of the agricultural planets under the rule of the Rolani Dominion, which is where he gets his unusual accent.” Habas shook his head. “I’ve encountered a few other Rolani in my day, but Trag is a giant even among his kind. I tend to wonder how much good a blaster would be against him. I’m glad we didn’t have to find out.”

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Pryde » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:00 pm

"Trained to fight since birth," Isis repeated. That explains a lot. Then she shot a rueful smile at Clara and nudged her gently with her elbow. "Jeez, Clara, of all the men to pick up at a bar it had to be that one."

Clara gave her a sour face in return but Isis ignored it. "So, is that why you're on Corellia now," she asked Habas, her expression becoming suddenly interested, "Knocking off some more of Byrana's lackies?"

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Re: Boot Camp Blues

Post by Halomek » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:57 pm

Habas shook his head. “Not this time. I’d tell you more, but I think it’d be better if you girls didn’t know about it. Your duty to the Republic might compel you to try and stop me.”

“Why would I do that?” Clara demanded. “The only people you kill are people who deserve it.”

“That’s not going to hold a lot of sway during your court-martial, Aramo,” Habas pointed out. “As soldiers, you’re sworn to protect the Republic and its citizens, even if the citizen is a slimeball. If you know of a plot to kill one of those citizens, it would be your duty to try and stop it.”

“But-”

“No!” Habas cut Clara off with a sudden vehemence that startled her. Habas’ expression immediately turned softer. “Look, you’ve got a promising career in the military, and Isis I hear you’re in the top of your class as well; I’m not going to let either of you jeopardize that because of me. Please, let’s just drop it.”

Clara hated how vulnerable she felt at the moment. It was the first time she could recall Habas ever appearing to be angry with her. It was clear he felt pretty strongly about it. She nodded. “Okay, I won’t ask again.”

After a confirmation from Isis, Habas smiled with a little relief. “Well, now that we have that out of the way, Isis, I hear you’re something of a crack shot. Care to give me a demonstration?”

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