The Steel Wolf

2 years prior to The Force Awakens...
A persistent and interactive galaxy set shortly before the events of Episode VII

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Jagtai
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The Steel Wolf

Post by Jagtai » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:43 am

Ankhural

Steale crossed the courtyard at a brisk pace and knocked on the door to the main building. A muffled sound answered the knock and she stepped inside.

Her uncle, Thres Skarua, sat at the table eating. He motioned for Steale to join him. She sat down, placed her helmet on the seat next to her, took a plate and filled it with meat, bread and fruit. Then she looked at Thres.

"You wanted to see me, ba'vodu?" Thres nodded.

"Indeed I did, ad'ika." He took another piece of meat from the plate. "It is time for you to leave."

Steale looked at Thres in disbelief.

"Leave? Why?" Thres grinned.

"Don't worry, ad'ika. What I mean is that it is time for you to make your mark. To earn honour for you and your clan."

Steale's frown turned into a wolfish grin.

"Then you consider me ready, ba'vodu?" Thres shrugged.

"You have been ready for nearly a year, ad'ika. But I had business to attend to, before I could send you away."

"How so?" Thres looked into her eyes.

"Before your mother died, she tasked me with your upbringing. I take my responsibility seriously." Steale nodded but did not interrupt. "And now I have finally found a worthy teacher for you."

"Teacher?" Steale tried to hide her surprise - and anger. "Ba'vodu, I can match any aruetii in battle!" Thres grinned.

"I do not doubt you, ad'ika. But the galaxy is a dangerous place and you will need allies. Allies, who knows the business." Steale relaxed a little.

"That reminds me," Steale said, "what business do you suggest I earn my honour."

"I would suggest the time-honoured tradition of the beroya."

Bounty hunter. Steale grinned her wolfish grin again.

"Alright, when do I leave?"

"Before the end of the week." Steale nodded.

"And how will I find this...ally?"

"He is on Nar Shaddaa. Just find the seediest bar on the Smuggler's Moon and ask for Ziraax."

Steale nodded and rose.

"As you wish, ba'vodu.

* * * * *

As the Kom'rk-class fighter left Ankhural, Steale cast one last glimpse on her home. Then she flicked the hyperdrive switch.

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Re: The Steel Wolf

Post by Jagtai » Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:07 pm

Nar Shaddaa

Steale looked around the bar. It was seedy allright. The light was turned down low, obscuring the faces of most everyone there. How was she ever going to find this 'Ziraax' here?

She was already attracting attention, standing in full Mandalorian armour. She decided to ignore it and continue her search, confident of her abilities to defend herself. She walked to the bartender.

"Hey." She threw a few creditchips on the desk. "I'm looking for a guy called Ziraax."

The bartender stared at her for a moment, then quickly took the creditchips. Then he nodded towards the darkest corner in the bar.

"Over there. I hope you've made peace with your gods." Steale ignored him and began walking towards the corner. The bartender called out. "Don't say I didn't warn you!"

As Steale crossed the room, the din of talking died down, as more and more eyes followed her the closer she got to the corner. Finally she reached in and sat down. As she looked at the guy across the table, she had to stop herself from flinching.

The guy was a Trandoshan. He was big, possibly well over seven feet, and well-muscled. His reptilian eyes were a crimson red, and his mouth was filled with rows of jagged teeth. He was clad in some sort of light body armour. A power hammer was propped against the wall, and a repeating blaster lay half across the table, within reach.

* * * * *

Ziraax had heard the exchange between Steale and the bartender. He assumed that the woman was Steale, the one Thres had asked him to help out. Even so, it shouldn't be easy. He grinned to himself, as he drank another swig.

He immediately noticed the interets.

Frell. Why did she wear that damn armour?

The woman sat down.

""What do you want, Mandalorian?" Steale replied:

"Thres sent me."

Ziraax rose.

"Come with me."

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Re: The Steel Wolf

Post by Jagtai » Thu May 05, 2016 8:17 am

Steale followed Ziraax into a poorly lit backroom. After locking the door behind them, Ziraax walked onto a walkway opposite the door.

A pair of speeders were parked on the walkway, and Ziraax mounted one of them. He waited for Steale to follow his example, then set off and sped upwards.

Eventually, he turned into a hangar housing a modified Mobquet Medium Transport. Here, he dismounted and went up the ramp to the ship. Then he turned to Steale, who had followed him.

“Right. Thres said you wanted into the business?” Steale nodded. “Alright. What are your skills?”

“I am Mando'ad.” Ziraax raised a scaly eyebrow.

“A run-of-the-mill Mandalorian, then. Good fighter but too arrogant for your own good.” Steale's eyes narrowed, as her temper flared. Ziraax leaned in so their eyes met. “I don't need a partner who thinks she's better than me. I have beaten a dozen of your kind, and I can beat you too if I need to.”

“Is that so?” Steale could barely contain her anger. Ziraax snarled:

“Yes, it is, Mando'ad.” he spat out the last word.

“Then prove it.” Steale was determined to prove the lizard wrong.

“Prove it?”

“Yes. In a contest of skill.” Ziraax bared his teeth in a wicked grin.

“You mean a fist fight?” Steale shook her head.

“No. A series of challenges. Close combat, firearms, endurance, and so.” She grinned her wolfish grin. “Unless you're scared.”

Ziraax straightened to his full height.

“Scared? Of a Human girl with an enflated ego. I don't think so!” Steale nodded.

“Let's go, then!”

* * * * *

The two of them spent several hours setting up their course. To begin with, they were both surly and barely spoke. After an hour or so, however, they had both cooled down, and began exchanging lighthearted banter, mocking each other.

They started with a firearms contest. Steale won – barely - and turned to Ziraax with a grin. Ziraax stared at his gun, then at the target. Then he threw the gun across the room, picked up his repeating blaster, and blew the target to pieces with a salvo of well-placed blaster fire.

“Next challenge!”

The next challenge consisted of running an obstacle course on time. Steale started and finished in excellent time. Then Ziraax went through the course, narrowly beating Steale's time. His tactics included smashing through a wall, rather than going over it like Steale had.

Ziraax was grinning when he saw his time. Steale smiled at him.

“You cheated.” Ziraax shrugged, still grinning.

“I came through it, didn't I?”

They ended with close combat. Steale was losing from the get go, all her fancy tricks failing like water trying to beat down a rock. Each strike from the Trandoshan made her ears ring and her bones shake, but she tightened her jaw and kept going. Eventually, though, she had to forfeit.

She jumped out of reach and raised a bruised arm.

“Enough. You win.” Ziraax grinned.

“Damn right I do.”

* * * * *

An hour later, they were sitting in the lounge room of the freighter. Ziraax had his legs on the Dejarik table, while Steale was still applying bacta patches to her bruises. Ziraax turned his head and looked at her.

“You did good. There aren't many who can go toe to toe with a Trandoshan and live to tell about it.”

Steale grinned, as she applied a bacta patch to yet another bruise.

“I paid the price, though.” Ziraax grinned.

“Everyone does, kid.”

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