Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Trials and Tribulations of Iyace Resol

Here's a new one for you, something I whipped out pretty quick to get a feel for writing in first person. This could also be considered the introduction of Iyace Resol, a character I feel pretty good about fleshing out a bit more. Also, this is posted from the new Google Chrome browser, so how about that?

Ending Things With a Bang.

I guess we should start from the beginning.


My name is Iyace Resol. I’m a Mando’ad, colloquially called Mandalorians by the galaxy at large. Just by admitting that, I’m among the most feared and misunderstood beings in history.


I never knew my parents, or my real name, but by Mando standards, that’s fairly common. According to my adoptive mother, she found me in the ruins of one of the worlds the Galactic Empire decided to “educate” during the earliest days of it’s regime. I was raised on Concord Dawn in the typical Mandalorian fashion, “blasters before grade school”.


Now, just like all the Mando’ad living in diaspora, I’m trying to carve out a living by offering my martial skills to the highest bidder.


Which is what led me here. I’m standing out side a dingy swoop-bike bar on some backwater world whose name I can’t remember. 


The Hawkbat’s Grill caters to a certain type of clientele, and Mandalorian bounty hunters certainly aren’t on that list. Unfortunately, my current target, a gutless chakarr by the name of Cleff Olarr has been holed up in here for the last two weeks, trying to shake off the Corellian Security agents who have been attempting to chase him down.


Olarr promised to rat out some fellow swoop bikers to beat a rap sheet about as long as my arm. Somewhere along the line, Olarr had a sudden change of heart, and went into hiding. CorSec called me in discreetly to help Olarr reconsider.


I sigh to myself as I consider my options. Going in the front door is out of the question, which leaves sneaking in. Throwing a long black traveling cloak over my beskar’gam, I take a length of fibercord from my utility belt, and unravel it.


Walking around the side of the bar as if I’m just passing by, I duck quickly into a side alley once I’m out of site of the bouncer standing guard at the door. I hurl the grappling end of my fibercord onto the roof, and feel it stretch taut when it catches on something.


I give the rope a couple experimental tugs to make sure whatever it’s gripping onto will hold my weight, then I begin my climb. I make it to the roof with no problem, and move silently to the nearest grate set into the top of the building.


Fortunately, it leads right into the men’s refresher. Popping the grate off, I lower myself on the seat of the nearest toilet, only to slip on the wet surface, and plunge ankle-deep in to the fetid water of the bowel.


Osik, I mutter to myself as I remove my soaking pant-leg from the water. I have my helmet on, so the smell doesn’t carry to my nostrils, but I know without having to smell my pants that they’ll need a serious washing when I get back to Concord Dawn.

If only Mandalore had enough beskar left for the knee-high greaves I wanted, I muse as I move towards the bar itself. The Empire strip-mined Mandalore of its precious iron a while ago. Beskar is still around, but my mother had to call in a few favors to get a suit of it made for me.


Pushing the door open, I’m relived to find that the bar decided to have a live music night, so the loud noise of the glimmik band and the light show accompanying it help to mask my entrance.


I quickly spot my target hunch over the bar, nursing a glass of lomin ale. Not the sort a man you’d expect to be in a swoop-bike gang, Cleff Olarr is a relatively small, thin man, but his loose clothes serve to disguise his wiry muscular frame.


A few empty glasses occupy the bar nearest to him, so I figure I can lead him out of here without much trouble. Yeah, just a friendly Mando playing designated driver to a wanted criminal. A loose smile plays over my lips as I lay a hand on Olarr’s shoulder.


I keep my voice cheery. I’ve been told it’s more discomforting to hear a cheerful Mandalorian. Lends itself more towards the unpredictable sociopath than the hardened merc.


“Hey there, Cleff. A few of our friends have been looking for you, and they’re concerned that you’ve gone off the wagon again. Why don’t you come back with me, and we’ll all have a nice chat.”


Olarr doesn’t respond, but he does raise his hand to signal for another glass of ale. The Zabrak bartender ignores me with the practiced ease of someone who’s seen this routine more than a few times.


Olarr lifts the glass to his lips as I lean in closer, and lower my voice to a more threatening tone.


“Listen, chakarr, I’m running out of patience. We’re going back now, and you’re too drunk to stop me. So get up.


Olarr finally turns to look at me. His eyes are glassy, and my helmet’s sensors detect a fair amount of alcohol in his breath.


“Yeah, your right, little Mando. I may be too drunk, but my friends aren’t.”


I hear the stun baton whooshing through the air about a second too late. The baton collides with the plate of armor on my back, and the heavy metal absorbs most of the impact. I still stumble forward into the bar, and manage to doge the second blow.


“You kirffing bounty hunter,” comes the voice of my assailant “We’ll teach you for trying to take in one of our own!”

So these guys don’t know that Olarr was going to rat them out, eh?  I turn around to face my attacker, and see I’m facing a huge biker about twice my height and width.


He’s exactly the sort of stereotype of gang members that are played out in the holodramas. Face obscured by a huge mane of white hair, and an assortment of gang tattoos visible on his arms, he stalks towards me, smacking the baton into his hand.


“Think you could just walk in here, and leave as you please? Sorry, Mando, that ain’t going to happen. See, we’ve seen too many buddies leaving here in shackles, so now’s our turn to have a little fun, ya hear me?”


  Great. The band’s stopped, and now the whole bar is looking at me. There’s no way to talk myself out of it, so my only option is to fight.


Before anyone can react, I point my holstered blaster pistol backwards at Olarr, and fire a low-intensity stun burst into him. At this range, a full powered blast would fry his nervous system, but this will at least keep him out of it for a while.


The massive biker raises his baton for an overhead smash, but before he can bring it down on my head, I drive a gauntleted forearm into his chest. Being hit with a solid block of beskar hurts, and the biker lets out a grunt, and falls backward into the mass of people behind him.


I pull my blaster pistol, and switch the power selector over to full power, and begin firing indiscriminately into the crowd. The blue rings of the stun blasts hit the patrons at close range, sending them reeling, and clearing a path towards the door.


As I reach backwards to grab Olarr, I hear the distinctive click-clack of someone working the slide on an archaic shotgun. The bartender is pointing it straight at my back. Before I have a chance to duck the blast, the Zabrak fires.


Even through the beskar plate, I feel the burning force of the shotgun’s discharge. Grunting in exertion, I whip around and clock the bartender across the face with a left cross. He falls back into the display of fancy liquors behind him, shattering the bottles and pouring a cascade of multicolored liquid onto the bar.


Grabbing Olarr by the belt and hauling him up over my shoulder, I begin to make my way for the exit. The bouncer is standing in my way, but I swing my body around and use Olarr’s booted feet as a club.


The heavy footwear catches the bouncer in the chin, and he slams back into the door. Racing outside, I throw Olarr over the saddle of the nearest swoop bike, and quickly hotwire the engine. I toss a small EMP device at the remaining passel of swoop bikes.


The bike comes to life in a throaty roar, and I gun the throttle. In my helmet’s 360-degree view, I can see the mass of angry bikers begin to mount up on their respective steeds. Triggering a button on my gauntlet, the EMP grenade explodes, and fries the engines on the remaining swoops.


The angry shouts of the bar’s patrons reach my helmet’s aural sensors, and I smile to myself. Not a perfect operation by any means, but I’m always happy to end things with a bang.

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