A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
The Wild Cards
In 130 ABY, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the OUTER RIM TERRITORIES.
Today, still wanted by the SITH EMPIRE, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire THE WILD CARDS.
Narrated by Mace Windu!
Can someone tell me what the hell is going on with this damn droid!
[MISSING – Kiv, Havok, and Bodomas, penetrate security and take over the command center, there is a dangerous wookiee there and they have mined the doors to prevent security from entering the command center while they work.]
The Arena announcer screams something in Huttese, which sounds more like a constipated amphibian choking, but the crowd loves it. A moment later the announcer switches to basic. “Welcome to the Semifinals! We have two! Two matches which we are going to run, at the same time! The field has been divided into two sections, watch out for the defense fields at the borders and divider contestants. Disintegration is messy!” The crowd is equally excited about the basic explanation.
Below in the arena 1v1 is running diagnostics on his repairs with Haro. There was internal damage in the first bout and 1v1 is being forced to continue without repairing it. Through clever workarounds and logical improvements 1v1 attempts to convince Haro he is functioning properly.”
“Unit readiness is within acceptable parameters.”
Haro shakes his head at his console. “More like, unit won’t fall apart if it coughs.”
“This unit is not designed to cough.” 1v1 replied.
The announcer begins to announce the contestants. “On the newcomer side of the field, that’s the green area folks, we have Ob’Ne Verila! Deadliest swordfighter to come off Verina in decades. We have seen his penchant for dismembering his opponents slowly!” The crowd cheers excitedly. “But! How will dismemberment work when dealing with the monster from last round? The Evicerator!”
The crowd responds with a mixture of cheers and boos. “From what we have seen of this droid. Battle is something it is very good at. It should be renamed the Dominator, based on the preliminary. Somebody find me its programmer. Its combat software has to be top notch!”
1v1 didn’t respond to the announcer or the crowd. It remained focused on the Zabrak across the arena. The swordmaster carried a large sword easily his height and thick. Obviously designed for heavy powerful swings.
“On the other side, the champion fights! Veshnok Krull!” the crowd goes crazy. “Here is a Rodian who knows how to murder. Undefeated champion of this arena, and death marked in fourteen systems. Veshnok is obviously the crowd favorite today!” The crowd continues cheering explosively as the Rodian turns in place raising his pistols towards the crowd to egg them on.
“But let’s not forget about Veshnok’s opponent!” The announcer paused as the crowd went silent seeing the final combatant enter the field. The medium build human man was pushed through a hatch out onto the field roughly by six armed men, who left and sealed the door behind him, locking him in. As he got to his feet the crowd’s silence ended and an overwhelming boo descended on the arena. Sparks flew as objects thrown from the audience impacted the fields over the arena.
“Karn Strange! I can tell everyone is really looking forward to seeing him go down!” the announcer continued.
Below the announcers booth at the dividing line of the battlefield a group of men stepped forward to look down on the contestants. Zher’vesh, across the field in the contestant box, pointed at the older man in front. “That’s Khalee. He did come down to watch. That hopefully means the others will commandeer the command center without too much of a hitch.”
Khalee’s arrival was noticed by the crowd. Some cheered his arrival. He pressed a button which cut off the announcer mid comment. “Well Strange. I hope this meets with your expectations.”
Strange did not reply and Khalee laughed. “Well then. At least prove entertaining enough to justify how much of a problem you have been. This is the end Strange, make the most of it.”
In the booth Haro points down at Strange. “Hey. We know that guy!”
Zhur’vesh nods with a frown. “Let’s hope 1v1 doesn’t go crazy again. Tell him he is an ally.”
Haro enters the details into the console.
Below on the field the announcer announces combat can begin. Veshnok raises his rifle which Haro can see is equipped with an underslung flamethrower. “Bad news. That guy has a flamethrower!” he yells.
Below Strange nods having heard Haro yell. He ignites his yellow lightsaber and dives for cover in a side room, to prevent the Rodian from having a shot.
Veshnok fires anyway, as he charges to close the distance between them, missing and destroying some of the framework on the arch Strange just leapt through.
Ob’Ne and 1v1 charge together. Just as they close Ob’Ne spins aside using his entire body as a fulcrum to slam into 1v1’s legs and flip the larger droid over onto its back. The attack does no damage but 1v1 was clearly outmaneuvered.
Someone up in the audience yells. “Yeah! Teach that droid a lesson!”
Haro looks across the field at Khalee, who is thoroughly engrossed in the fighting below. Noting that he looks aside at Zher’Vesh. “That’s my queue, heading for the bathrooms.”
Zher’Vesh nodded and took his place at 1v1’s console. He replies. “Good luck.” Knowing that ‘the bathrooms’ actually meant the turbo laser air control tower.
Veshnok manages to get a line on Strange and narrowly misses in the side corridor. Strange in response reaches out with a hand and tears the rifle from Veshnok’s hands. The rifle slams into a nearby wall and then flies across the arena, exiting the side room through another archway.
1v1 from the floor seizes Ob’Ne’s ankle and tears flesh as Ob’Ne jerks away. 1v1 then takes the opportunity to fall into a defensive stance as Ob’Ne recovers from the wound on his leg.
1v1’s attempt at defense did little. Ob’Ne slams his sword down on 1v1’s axe and then pivots it aside ripping it from 1v1’s hands. The golden axe spins across the floor coming to a rest a short distance away. In the process of the exchange Ob’Ne slams 1v1 to the floor again. Above in the stands the audience is laughing at 1v1’s lack of effectiveness this round.
“See I told you droids can’t fight!”
“The last round was a fluke!”
“This is what you get for letting droids fight!”
“Hope it’s under warrantee!”
Veshnok draws his backup blaster and fires away at Strange as he closes. Strange bats the bolts aside and delivers a severe slash to Veshnok, to a shocked intake of surprise from the crowd watching. Veshnok takes the hit and counters with his blaster pistol hooking the lightsaber out of Strange’s hand. It flies a short distance off and extinguishes as it bounces across the floor.
1v1 regains his feet and delivers a solid right hook to Ob’Ne cutting through the Zabrak’s defense like it wasn’t even there. Ob’Ne takes a step back from the punch. The crowd gasps in surprise the droid had completely outmaneuvered Ob’Ne’s defense. The golden axe on the far side of the arena unfolds and transforms into an articulated four legged droid which scampers across the floor and leaps up onto 1v1’s back transforming back into the axe as it arrives.
Veshnok pistol whips Strange and attempts to stab him with a hidden vibroknife in his other hand. Strange blocks the knife with his bare hand, but is strangely not cut by the knife as he does so.
Strange then takes a half step back from the Rodian and with a gesture seizes him in the force and throws him across the room into the arena border field. The crowd screams in dismay as Veshnok hits the field and is held there transfixed for a moment as electricity courses through him. Then he drops to the ground inside the field. He gets his bearings and lunges for his rifle quickly, despite the pain. The rifle conveniently laying on the floor nearby, as the announcer embarrassed explains that the fields might actually not be disintegration fields, mumbling, “Way to wreck the mood Jedi.”
Ob’Ne finally takes a swing at 1v1 meant to damage the droid instead of knocking it over. His blade slams into 1v1’s armored shell doing very little damage. The crowd goes silent in shock. 1v1 in that same instant reached back over its shoulder, drew it as it transformed into a spear and slammed it home in the floor, transfixing Ob’Ne’s torso.
The Zabrak dropped his sword in shock and grasped at the spear holding him to the floor, collapsing unable to continue to fight. It was clearly a mortal wound. The crowd on this side of the arena explodes in excitement and the droid haters are suddenly silent.
Veshnok now in possession of his rifle raises it just in time to engulf Strange. Strange half on fire from the hit emerged from the flames his lightsaber having flown across the arena to his hand in the charge.
Strange finishes his charge into the Rodian and igniting his lightsaber as they slammed together. The golden blade exits the Zabrak’s back and the excitement from the other side of the battlefield is drowned out by the dismay on this side.
Veshnok falls to the ground on his back clearly dead. Strange falls to his knees and does not move, he just holds his lightsaber lit and catches his breath. He is clearly severely wounded.
Khalee looking down on both fights as they completed and cuts off the announcer again. “Well Strange. That was not the outcome I expected. Since we are all here right now and you are still inconveniently alive, the next fight. Starts now.” The midfield shield barrier snaps off with his words and Khalee salutes the Evicerator’s team box across the field expecting them to finish the job on the wounded Jedi.
The crowd is mostly shocked to silence with the turn of events. Someone yells. “He can’t fight look at him!”
Someone laughs. “Time for the droid to earn its name.”
Zhur’vesh watches 1v1 turn and look across the field at the wounded Jedi. Suddenly the console lights up and lock’s him out with the words. “Jedi Termination Protocol Online” written across the screen.
Back in the command center Deruka the wookiee tries to force open the mined door. All four grenades Kiv wired to the door explode at once, shocking the group’s attention away from the monitors of the battle in the arena.
The doors open with the explosions and Kiv, Havok, and Bodomas stare with dismay as the blood caked Wookiee stands there growling angrily at his injuries for a moment and then he sets eyes on the trio across the room.
Strange sees the droid orient on him and in a move of desperation seizes the droid with the force and throws 1v1 up into the window of Khalee’s observation booth. 1v1 slams into the glass doing no damage to it or itself and falls to the ground in a ready position.
Zher’vesh in a panic starts hacking away on Haro’s remote console hoping to stop 1v1 from killing strange. He succeeds in getting access and is shocked at what he sees.
Kiv eying the Wookiee in the door slams the door close button on his console and tosses a thermal detonator at the Wookiee. The thermal detonator bounces off the leading edge of one of the doors, as all three of them tense in alarm, only to bounce back off the other door and end up closed inside with the Wookiee,
The explosion bows the doors outward into the room and flames burst around them. The room behind the door is now completely on fire. There is no sign of the Wookiee anymore.
The sound of guards noticing the sound of the explosion can be heard through the other door of the command center.
Havok finds the PA system and triggers it. His voice announces to the entire complex. “Alert Alert! Imperial troops are inbound! Alert!” The crowds in the arena and around the complex heard the explosion and the announcement. Their tone changes dramatically in alarm and confusion.
“This is hutt space! Why would the Imperials be here?”
Zher’Vesh watches in amazement as two command protocols are battling it out within 1v1, on the console. One demanded “Release me!” while the other attempted to restrain the first. Kirk finds a way to override the imperial locks on the droids systems and triggers it, designating Khalee as the Jedi target. The first command protocol stated “Finally.” And the second command protocol shut down. Then the console locked out again.
Khalee across the stadium pushes a button on his console. “Who is this? What do you mean imperial attack?”
Havok keeps his cool and replies. “This is control sir. There are six imperial drop shuttles on direct approach with fighter escort and two cap ships in orbit.”
Khalee is struggling with the question “Why would imperials be here?” when 1v1 slams its hammer directly into the armorglass a few feet from his head. The glass takes no damage but the whole room shakes from the impact.
Haro outside near the base of the air control tower looks up admiring its heavy weapons. Then the announcement sends people running in all directions. He smirks and takes the opportunity to run into the tower unseen and finds the tower crew there at their consoles. “Boss wants the gun’s warmed up! We are under attack!”
The controllers look at each other and then at Haro, who they do not recognize, and decide to run like hell. Haro shrugs as they exit and drops nonchalantly into one of the turbolaser control consoles whistling a cute little tune with a big grin on his face.
In the control center Bodomas nods looking at the chaos outside. “I believe we have their attention now. Why don’t we add fuel to the fire and open the slave pens. We will not be able to get the funds we were after here, we might as well destroy his entire operation.”
Kiv sliced and shorted the slave collar system, effectively killing it. “Hey Havok. Let everyone know the slaves are now loose.”
Strange throws his lightsaber at the armor glass protecting Khalee. It cuts through the metal but afterwards is caught wedged in the gap made by the cut.
1v1 seeing the damage transforms his hammer into a pick and slams it through the crack, hooking the armor glass and then tearing away the entire front of the booth as it pulled back on the weapon.
Khalee seeing the front of the booth tear away turns and runs down the exit corridor behind his booth. His men in close pursuit. “We must get to my ship! With the imperials are here, we are outgunned and outmatched! Order an evacuation!”
Havok shouts into the PA. “By the order of the Moff Council master Khalee’s slaves have been freed for failure to pay his taxes. Anyone on the premises when we land will be charged as an accessory.”
In the concourse a lovely female Twilek slave girl pauses as she heard the announcement. She looks down and pulls her collar forward so she can see the indicator light is no longer lit. A nearby guard who had been harassing her earlier looked at her in confusion as she lifted her serving tray and beat him into the ground with it. A moment later she gets up holding his rifle and levels it at another guard running to assist.
Zher’vesh hacks the access hatch to the arena open from the outside and exits through it as 1v1 leaps up onto the destroyed balcony across the arena in pursuit of Khalee. He crosses the arena pulling out a stimpack as he goes, reaching Strange just as he recovers his lighsaber from the wreckage below the balcony. “Let’s get you out of here, that crowd would love a shot at you.”
Strange nods to Zher’vesh recognizing who he is now. He tosses the Rodian’s flame thrower mod rifle to Zher’vesh in exchange for the stimpack. “I hope you have a way offworld.”
Haro watches several ships leave the ground all at once. One of them was a high end luxury craft. “Leave it to big money to run first.” He grins opening fire with the air towers turbolaser.
Exiting the Arena Master Khalee makes a bee line for the command center where his shuttle is waiting. Then the air tower opens fire overhead and everyone stops surprised. The guards look at him as he starts running again towards the command center and turn to run for the air tower. As they do so the luxury yacht Haro had fired upon crashes in the distance and explodes.
In the command center the remaining entrance is blasted open and guards burst into the room. The mine on the door explodes holding them back, but they can see the trio of Kiv, havoc and Bodomas running across the private landing port towards the shuttle parked there.
They fire as one yells. “They are heading for the boss’s shuttle. Blast em!” They miss the running trio but manage to score one of the fire systems, which reacted by slamming the blast doors on the command center closed.
Karn Strange and Zher’vesh exit the arena to see the slave riot in full force. Strange turns on Zhur’vesh and yells. “Those slaves are not going to get away without help. I have to help them.”
Zher’vesh triggers his com link. “Do you think there is a way to keep the other ships on the ground?”
Haro replies. “I will think of something.”
Kiv takes the pilot seat on Khalee’s private shuttle and fires up the engines listening to the conversation. “Haro try not to shoot us down please.”
Haro grumped into the comlink. “Fine. I was totally not waiting for his shuttle to try and escape…”
Khalee enters the building below the command center and finds it deserted. He looks around in alarm as 1v1 bursts in through the same door he just entered by. He pushes things into 1v1’s path as the droid approaches and then bolts for the back turbolift.
Unfortunately for Khalee it’s a two turbolift system. 1v1 reaches the other turbolift and follows him up.
Outside Strange and Zher’Vesh are assisting the slave revolt. Strange is using the lightsaber to block, while Zher’vesh uses the appropriated assault rifle to shoot guards. The lightsaber does make them targets however drawing the attention of patrons and guards alike. The slaves seeing them also rally around them turning the area into a pitched battle.
One that is rapidly turning in their favor.
Haro blasts another luxury liner trying to launch. It explodes spectacularly over the entire compound.
This explosion signals a rout. The last of the guards try to flee for their ships. Instead they find hundreds of freed slaves blocking their path.
Khalee steps out of the turbolift which lead directly to his private hangar. He took a step in shocked horror screaming “No!” His shuttle is gone. He can see it in the distance beyond the open hangar bay shooting across the sky.
He walks forward to look out of the hangar at his departing escape craft. Then the other turbolift arrives and 1v1 steps heavily out of it.
Khalee spins pulling his blaster and fires it at 1v1. “Damn you! I knew that a murder machine like you was too damn convenient! This was all a setup!” He fires.
The bolts miss badly and 1v1 lunges forward with its spear directly at Khalee who backpedals rapidly to get away. Unfortunately for him he stepped too far and he backed right over the edge of the hangar bay. Spilling out with a shriek into open air and plummeting to the ground several stories below.
1v1 sheathed its spear and walked to the edge, looking down on the crumpled body far below. “Objective complete.”
The guards forced the command center blast doors open behind the droid just in time to see their boss go over. They took one look at the droid and dropped their weapons.
Kiv maneuvered Khalee’s shuttle into a landing near the Vandura. There the team rallies as the slaves capture some of the not yet launched craft and Haro continues to convince ships to remain on the ground with heavy weapons fire and the occasional example.
Master strange seeing the battle won extinquishes his lightsaber and nods to Zher’vesh before moving off to help with the wounded. Zher’vesh strings the assault rifle over his shoulder and follows him with his medicine bag.
Harbek runs around trying to organize the slaves. Convincing some to come help with the Nova Star assault on Baradasi the Hutt. He finds many volunteers and shows them where the slaver’s armory was.
Seeing this activity and preparation Master Strange approaches the group and tells them. “If you are going after the Hutt, good luck and may the force be with you. I will remain here and take care of the remaining slaves.”
Haro appears as Strange walks off with a group of slaves. He is riding a swoop bike the team has not seen before. Another kit bike and this one was not cheap. “Hey guys check out my sweet new ride.”
Kiv smirks looking back at the Vandura’s cargo ramp where the last speeder Haro had stolen was waiting quietly.