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[Quest-M] Panic at the Disco

#1
Trixie’s head was wrenched from under the ice-cold water just as she had begun to pass out from lack of oxygen. Coughing violently and gasping for air the redhead felt her matted hair cling to her soaking face. As she vomited what water she could up from her lungs the clear fluid spilled down her chin mixing with the blood from the various beatings she had been receiving for the past three weeks. The ICE wing of the Tier 1 military prison did not take kindly to having its guards shown up by a female inmate. Of course, all it did was amuse Palpatine to find out that one female soldier took on four armed guards and had come out relatively unscathed.

“This is a sad day, Beatrix. You’re being released from my care today.” The Inquisitor said, wiping blood from his hands.

Had her hands, arms, and legs not been bound together tightly with rope Trixie would have loved to give him a parting gift. Maybe a compound fracture that she could rip out and use as weapon? Bone had the potential to be sharp when it splintered. Instead the Mistress clenched her jaw and ground her teeth together as her torturers assistant planted a firm strike to her stomach. Try as she might the redhead couldn't keep from coughing up anything her stomach could produce all over the floor. She was a complete mess. To her surprise it was at that moment the door to the “prisoner correction” room swung open and the warden strolled in followed by the four guards she had beaten.

“Awww it’s a family reunion!” Trixie said, laughing through her pain.

Just as antagonist guard one was about to strike her shoulder with his club, which would have guaranteed a shattered bone, it stopped inches away from her person. Instead it was forcefully thrown from his hand and plunged through the Inquisitors face killing him instantly. From behind the warden came a robed Sith who had his saber drawn, but not ignited.

“I think that’s quite enough. Your failings as prison guards do not reflect upon the prisoner. They reflect on the Empire.” He spoke through a voice modulator that was built into his mask.

All four guards that had entered with the warden immediately had their necks snapped at the same time. Their lifeless bodies to dropped to the floor. The Warden retreated behind the only remaining prison personnel left, the Inquisitor’s assistant. Trixie felt her bindings loosen and in one push of her power she broke free and dropped to her knees. Wiping her hair from her vision she bit down hard on a piece of rope next to her and reinserted each shoulder into it’s appropriate socket. Getting to her feet she stood upright. Despite being completely naked and covered in the filth she had been left in the look in her eye was a wild one. Extending both hands she clenched them both into fists and before her eyes she watched as both the warden and assistant were crushed into pulp. The pool of blood felt warm between her toes as she spun around to meet her savior.

“Assuming you’re from the Emperor to finally let me go. Does that mean we have an arrangement?” Trixie asked, dropping her hands.

Her question elicited a nod from the Sith Lord in front of her.

“Good. I’m going to use the shower in the Warden’s office, take some of his clothes and head home. Sound good?” Trixie said, not really caring what the person in front of her said.

Extending an arm, the Sith Lord gestured to escort her. Spitting out some blood from her mouth onto the corpses at her feet, Mistress Zulenka followed the Sith out of the room and to her freedom.

***

Trixie’s arrival in the hangar of the Venator brought gasps and stares from the crew around her.

Why was everyone shocked that she was arriving home at her own ship?

It wasn’t until she asked the Master Sergeant on duty that she became furious. Some Lieutenant from the 8th Ranger Corps with contacts in Imperial Command needed some experience so they had disposed of Bianca’s authority and converted her home to his play area. On top of all that bullshit her second in command had been permanently restricted from field work. Anger swelled within Trixie as she took hold of the datapad the Hangar Sergeant was holding. Punching in her newly acquired login she overwrote the command authority in the system.

Command Transfer Successful. Welcome back, Captain Zulenka.

Ship Ownership Transfer Complete. Congratulations on your new purchase, Captain!

User LT19650 deleted. Remove active user from system?

…Done.


Pushing the piece of technology back into the Sergeant’s hands she looked him straight in the face.

“This ship is now under 13th Legion jurisdiction. You are to vacate all 8th Ranger troops immediately, Sergeant.” She ordered.

With a nervous nod, he began calling for his crew to start warming up transports prepping dropships for troop dispersal. With her ship now under her command again, at least from a records point of view, the newly promoted Captain made her way to the turbolift that led up to the command deck. To the Lieutenant who had taken her command it was a very unpleasant site when the turbolift he was waiting for opened and out came Trixie. Behind him was Seventeen and Nova who had been detained by 8th Ranger Military Police. The four Clone Troopers from the 13th she had grabbed on the way up raised their weapons and exited the lift with their superior.

“Drop your weapons!” The Lieutenant ordered, his voice cracking under the stress of the situation.

Zulenka grinned maliciously  and flipped the collar on her new dress shirt up revealing the Captain’s insignia pinned to it.

“Release Sergeant Major Seventeen and Sergeant Terra at once.” She ordered.

Before the MP’s could do anything, they were pierced with blaster fire from behind as four more Clone Troopers came around the hallway from the other lift. They moved up and unlocked both Seventeen and November from their shackles.

“You look like shit, Zulenka. Did they put your through a blender?” Seventeen asked as he rubbed his wrists.

A smirk formed over Trixie’s face. It did not last long as she gripped the Lieutenant by the neck and crushed his wind pipe, pile driving him with one hand into the floor. Standing up once again she beckoned to her two squad-mates to follow and led them to the briefing room where she sealed the door.

“I’m sure you’ll both want an explanation as to where I’ve be-“ Before she could finish her sentence Nova had slapped her.

Seventeen immediately felt uncomfortable being in the middle of a lover’s quarrel.

Nova broke into tears before words could be exchanged. Zulenka wrapped her arms around the blond and pressed her face against her chest, rubbing her back.

“I’m sorry. High Command decided that they wanted to test my loyalty and vet me. In case I was a spy or something. That was part of the news I have.” Trixie explained as she sat down in one of the leather chairs in the room, Nova sitting across her lap, head buried into the woman’s shoulder. 

“The news being that you’re a Captain now and I’m suddenly a Sergeant Major. Care to explain why I was shelved for weeks on end?”

“I only just became privy to the situation, but it appears that you pissed off someone from the 8th Ranger Corps so they just removed you from the problem and put someone else on your duties. I believe the Clone Troopers I sent to kill that man should be disposing of his body at this very moment.”

Seventeen nodded, putting his hands in his pockets.

“So…is that it?” He asked, eyeing Nova.

“You thought I had abandoned you guys, didn’t you?” Trixie said with a laugh.

Seventeen bit his tongue to avoid from changing his facial features and letting his true thoughts become visible. 

“It’s understandable. I glanced at the report on the way up the lift. They set it up perfectly. I was summoned by Dredd and simultaneously that Lieutenant swooped in to take over, somehow knowing that I wasn’t going to be returning any time soon. Begs the question as to how they knew of the meeting.”

Trixie got up, pushing Nova from her person. “Go to my quarters and wait, Terra. I’ll be there shortly.”

November saluted her superior, tears still staining her cheeks and left the room leaving it awkwardly silent. Beatrix tossed a datapad from the table to Seventeen, he caught it and examined the file open on the page.

“They want to honor us on Tier 2?” He said, deep in thought.

Trixie nodded.

“With a banquet so we can regale tax payers and donators about our Imperial careers?” Seventeen’s tone had changed, sounding slightly annoyed.

Trixie nodded again. 

“Sounds like a god damn trap.” The raven-haired concluded.

“Bingo.” Trixie laughed. “It’s a fundraising event and they want us to attend as a thank you. We’re going to get dressed up and go hob nob with royalty.”

With a sigh Seventeen put a hand to his head. He didn’t even own a good tuxedo.

“We’ll speak later about the details. I've reinstated all your permissions and updated your rank. Do whatever you’d like in the time being. Punch some 8th Ranger cunts for all I care. We’ll meet back tomorrow evening to discuss arrangements. Dismissed, Sergeant Major!” With a salute, Trixie took her leave and the two friends went separate ways in the Venator.

***

Her quarters were dark and cold just like she had left them. As the redhead walked into her mini apartment she began to undo the buttons on her shirt. Two hands came from between her arms and grabbed hold of her breasts through her shirt. With a firm squeeze, Beatrix was pulled backward into November’s naked body. She could feel the blonde’s curved figure through her clothes. Her body began to ache for contact with her love interests skin. Taking hold of November’s hands, she pried them from her bosom and pulled away.

Ripping the new shirt from her body she felt Terra’s cold hands unclasp her bra. As Nova pressed her lips to Trixie’s upper back, the mistress inhaled sharply as the rush from the sensation washed over body creating goose bumps. Letting her bra fall to the floor Trixie quickly unzipped her pants, feeling Nova’s fingers slip into the waste and pull them and her underwear down over her hips. As soon as Zulenka was naked, November led her into the bedroom where she had prepared candles and a plethora of pillows for them to lay on.

Pushing Trixie forward onto the bed to her stomach, Terra laid her flat and climbed on top of her, pressing her bosom to the redhead’s back. The blonde began to massage her lover’s shoulders. Trixie could feel herself succumbing to the pleasure. There were things that needed to be done, but at this very moment the Sith Warrior felt her responsibilities melt away with Nova’s sensitive touch.

It was good to be home.


Quote:Quest: A Day in the Life, Coruscant, Tier 2
Post Word Count: 1867
Post Character Count: 10594
[Image: trixiesig2018.png]
[First Prime to Escape the Underverse]
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
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#2
Beatrix Zulenka was many things.

One of those things was an efficient stickler for military decorum.  

By the time Seventeen made it back to his quarters, there was already a parcel envelope attached to the wall just next to the hatch control.  Tearing it free, the cyborg opened the top and inverted the buff-colored packaged into his left palm.  A pair of rank insignia plopped into his hand, along with a rolled up document that probably contained some military mumbo-jumbo about his new position.

“So many fucking arches.”  While the chevrons remained unchanged, the machine-hybrid new rank featured not one, not two, but three arches underlying the icon of the Imperial Military forces that lay at the center.  He hadn’t bothered to wear the old designs that often, but with this fundraiser thing, Seventeen was certain he was going to have to break out the whole array of military decorations.

Entering his private quarters, he dropped the rank insignia onto his desk and made for his closet.  With the doors wide open, he flicked on the fluorescent track lighting and took a step back to survey his collection.  To the far left, his trench coat was half-concealed behind shadows and other shirts.  In a past life, the item had been a ‘focusing cloak’—which apparently meant it was designed to help bring out the best in a fighter.  Had he bought the original on Earth, he would have called bullshit, but Seventeen had made the original purchase on Vegeta.  The saiyans were anything but bullshitters when it came to making themselves stronger.  

A ball was no place for a greatcoat, so the cyborg kept scanning the oversized closet.  Unfortunately, it quickly became clear to him that he would be—in the words of Trixie—SOL.

On the opposite side of his clothing rack was his saiyan armor, another piece of equipment from a past life he had summoned out of nostalgia.  In front of that set or gear was his stormtrooper armor, which was in dire need of some maintenance if he wound up back in the field.

In between the armor and the greatcoat was over a few dozen hangers, yet absolutely nothing there would be of any use.

Why?

Twenty hangers sported black t-shirts, and the other twenty sported white, long-sleeved undershirts.  Over the years, the machine-hybrid had developed a look he enjoyed, and with rare exception, he didn’t deviate from the norm.

Underneath the rack of shirts was three drawers that each contained six pairs of blue jeans with light brown belts.  Next to the jeans, a tiny basket contained about twenty pairs of green striated socks.  The last part of the floor was filled with a three-tier shoe rack that housed five pairs of brown boots and five pairs of blue, lo-top sneakers.

Above the clothes rack, a stack of three orange bandanas was neatly folded and weighed down with a nostalgia-inducing saiyan scouter.  Also atop the rack was the sheathed Power Sword, an empty belt holster, a Dragon Rader wristwatch, and a bin filled with a variety of assorted knickknacks that he didn’t have shelf space for in the rest of the room.  Normally, Seventeen would stash a lot of his portables into a trusty brown belt bag, but he had been sedentary for a majority of his time in the Omniverse.

“Yea, no formal clothes.”

He was certain he used to have a few suits in the mansion, but that was a lifetime ago (like many other things).

Do I just summon a tux? Seventeen frowned.  That felt too wasteful.  Surely, he could just order something and have the Empire cover the cost?  He was a hoity-toity sergeant with a bunch of arches on his shoulders.  That had to entitle him to tap into the company’s discretionary funds, right?

With a shrug of his bony shoulders, he slid the closet doors closed and went to go find the intercom.  He already knew his measurements down to the exact—a bonus derived from the machine that helped him function and the fact that his biology never changed with time.

***

“Trixie, where am I meeting you?”

There was a burst of static before the response came.  “Helipad on the roof of A-Deck.  Are you dressed already?”

Seventeen glanced down at the tuxedo and pressed out a ruffle he saw near his hip.  “Yea, I’m all good.”  Aside from epaulets that housed his rank insignia and a collection of medals over his left breast, the attire was your standard formal tuxedo, complete with bow tie, pseudo-buttons, and fake pockets on the front.  The black slacks and matching dress shoes were shiny but otherwise unremarkable.  Beneath the jacket, a pair of dark suspenders kept Seventeen feeling snug and unafraid of gravity.

Through the static, a mildly exasperated response came.  “Give me three.”

The cyborg shrugged his shoulders as he made for the nearby lift that would take him to his destination.  Along the way, he did his part to ensure that nothing was unsymmetrical with his attire.  The quartermaster assistant had been kind enough to provide him with various ‘pro tips’ for ensuring he looked as ‘snazzy’ as he could at the fundraising gala.

He was still shuffling around the medals when he heard the tap of heels on the rooftop.
[Image: 17.jpg]
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#3
The couple had spent over an hour exploring depths of pleasure that each one could inflict on the other. The clock on the wall chimed one hour closer to the fundraiser in honor of their achievements as Imperial soldiers. Peeling November from her body, Trixie gave the blond one last long and lust filled kiss on the lips before she pulled away and headed into the bathroom to shower and shave. Terra sat on the bed with a dejected look on her face. Everything they had been through had left her feeling extremely clingy to her redhead lover. She felt as though Trixie wasn’t giving her the time of day even though her words and actions said exactly the opposite. November knew something was wrong and that Beatrix was hiding something from both her and the team, but she didn’t want to press the issue for fear of losing her. Tears streamed down the blondes’ cheeks as she fell forward into the plethora of pillows on her commanding officer’s bed, burying her tear stained face.

The hot water felt amazing against Trixie’s battered body. She hadn’t been able to shower or shave in more than three weeks. While she had wished she could have done so before engaging Nova in bed, the blond was obviously in need of some love. Finally, in the shower the redhead could wash away the filth she had accumulated on her person from the various holding cells. The natural ability to regenerate injury the Mistress had acquired from her time in the Underverse had corrected all the physical maladies that plagued her. What remains were faint scars, dried blood, and slight bruising as the more severe injuries were left to finish healing on their own to provide a uniform and more complete recovery. As Trixie sat down, razor in hand, to start grooming herself she began to formulate a plan. Being a double agent for the Empire whilst serving Diablo to the fullest extend she could was extremely hazardous to her life.

Marka Ragnos had completely vanished from contact and everyone who knew she had been an agent was now dead, save for Emperor Palpatine. Trixie needed a failsafe in place to secure her life. The only thing that popped into her mind was something she had read months ago in the top-secret files Luna had left on her personal servers. That King Aragorn and his Dalaran Mages were reasonable. If she needed to survive whatever was headed her way she could throw herself to the mercy of the Dalaran Court and help them. I’m sure Aragorn would love to extract and use a high-level Imperial soldier.

Betray the Empire?

As the thought ran across the Sith Mistress’ mind she bit down on her lip as she nicked her leg, causing a stream of diluted blood to run down her shin to her ankle. Within moments the flesh wound sealed it self and the bleeding stopped. Beatrix couldn’t believe what she was thinking. Was she really considering becoming a traitor to everything she ever stood for just to have a way out incase everything failed? With a sigh, the Mistress ran her razor under the stream of water as she finished up ridding her pubic area of hair. Shutting off the water the redhead grabbed a towel and wrapped her body, exiting the bathroom to find November going through an assortment of dresses that had been delivered to the quarters.

“Shower’s free.” Zulenka said, heading to the giant dresser built into the wall in the master bedroom.

Pulling open the top drawer she pulled out a black lace bra with the matching panties stuffed into the cups. Nova climbed off the bed and placed a gentle kiss to the back of Trixie’s neck before turning to grab a clean towel from the shelf. Heading into the bathroom she closed the door and went about her own cleaning ritual in preparation for the party. Slipping into the bottoms of her underwear, Trixie threw the bra over her left shoulder and exited the bedroom. Making her way down one level into the dark living area she crossed into the office which held her personal terminal. The office was dimly lit by the black login screen on the monitor. Taking her dog tags from a hook on the wall she thumbed one of them into position in her hand and inserted it like a key into a safe behind her desk chair. Entering a series of numbers Trixie cranked the safe handle and opened it up, removing her Czerka pistol and holster. Closing the safe, she cranked the handle a few times to ensure it had locked. Moving back upstairs to the room adjacent the master bedroom she flicked on the light and pulled open the top drawer of another dresser.

Removing a black clutch purse that looked to be about the size of her pistol the mistress opened it up and revealed it to be a concealed holster. Taking the Czerka weapon from it’s stock holder she inserted it snugly into the middle of her clutch purse and closed the middle fabric, hiding the fact that she was concealing a firearm. Nodding the redhead returned to the bedroom just as November was pulling up a pair of stockings over her freshly shaved legs. With the hand opposite the one she was carrying the clutch in, Trixie ran her finger up her lovers’ smooth-shaven thigh. A grin formed over her features as the blond began to display goosebumps.

“Like that, do you?” Trixie teased as she tossed the clutch to the bed and inserted her arms into her bra.

As she did, November came up from behind and in one motion had one of Zulenka’s breasts firmly in her grip, her mouth kissing the Sith Warrior’s bare skin.

“Trixie where am I meeting you?” Seventeen’s voice cut through the sexual tension reminding the duo of their engagement tonight.

Trixie smiled and pulled away from Terra, depressing the button of the intercom to her bedroom.

“Helipad on the roof of A-Deck. Are you dressed already?” She replied, immediately letting go of the button.

Snapping the back of her bra together, Beatrix swung open the closest and immediately spotted what she would be wearing. Seventeen confirmed he was ready and waiting which meant she had to get her ass into gear. Taking up her data pad the Mistress sent a message to Aisha and confirmed that she’d meet her in the elevator in three minutes. Responding to Seventeen, Trixie took the dress from the closest and proceeded to get dressed. 

***

In a feat of pure skill both November and Trixie were out of the door in less than two minutes in full makeup with their dress of choice. Grabbing Aisha in the corridor on the way to the helipad lift the trio arrived as Seventeen was fussing with the medals pinned to his chest.

“Looking good, Sergeant.” Trixie said, holding her clutch purse. “The transport should be here within a few minutes.”

The four main guests of the fundraiser in honor of the Imperial Military entered the turbolift and headed up to one of the few exterior landing pads on the Venator. It had been quite rough these past few months. The team had seen their original base destroyed, their members personally attacked, and fucked over from all sides. As the doors to the lift opened, exposing them to the wind-swept platform that their luxury transport had touched down on, Trixie couldn’t keep from thinking about what she had been mulling over in the bathtub.

An escape plan that would betray everything she stood for.

Zulenka cared deeply for her comrades. She would do anything to keep them safe and to get them everything they needed. However, a deep seeded fear of being exposed kept her from truly letting herself succumb to the overwhelming feelings of love she had for November or from being an involved friend with Seventeen. The Mistress even kept Aisha at arm’s length, Luna’s younger sister. The woman who gave everything to make sure her secret stayed safe. Trixie had promised to keep Aisha safe and she would do that, but with everything going on now she was deathly afraid of letting anyone get close.

With a deep internal sigh, Beatrix boarded the transport along with her fellow soldiers of the 13th Special Forces.

“We’re here to regale these people with stories of our exploits. Remember that. Just have an enjoyable time and try to get a little drunk. I think we deserve, at the very least, some time to cut loose.” Trixie said as their ship exited Tier 1 air space and made its way down towards Tier 2.

It wasn’t just that the team deserved some time to cut loose. They deserved at least half a year of vacation. Trixie and Seventeen had been on active calls for the past year. With everything they’ve seen and done, not once did High Command pull them from active duty. Every little thing that the normal Stormtrooper Corp couldn’t get done, Colonel Skleros had deployed them to resolve. Seventeen alone had wrangled with two Primes back to back, not to mention the prison riot and the attacks on their base. If they four of them could get one night to just enjoy themselves Trixie would be happy.

“So, let’s be honest here, Captain.” Seventeen said, adjusting one of his medals.  “You’re expecting things to go south aren’t you?”

Trixie looked at her second in-command and then down to her clutch purse.

“I would by lying if I said no. The party is a perfect target and it’ll be the one time we’re in the open without our gear.” She replied, handing him an ear piece.

Handing two more to Nova and Aisha, “Keep in touch at all times. Bianca said there was nothing to worry about, but I’m inclined to disagree.” The redhead explained.

Aisha nodded, tapping her bosom to signal that she was packing a concealed weapon in her bra. The rest of the ride was relatively quiet. The group exchanged banter on assorted topics and favorite liqueurs they enjoyed drinking. Seventeen introduced his commanding officer to the concept of golf. Something Trixie had never heard of before. The transport touched down right on time in front of the massive reception hall on Tier 2. Everyone nodded at once and the group disembarked and headed inside along with everyone else. As the four soldiers entered the establishment an announcement was made.

“Please welcome four members of the 13th Stormtrooper Legion to the party! Captain Beatrix Zulenka, Sergeant Major Seventeen, Sergeant November Terra, and Specialist Aisha Knudal!”

Thunderous applause broke out among the guests as pictures were taken and waiters and waitresses arrived to offer drinks or hors d'oeuvre’s. Trixie could see numerous other military members in attendance. Several troopers from the Ranger Corps, Imperial Intelligence Shock & Awe Corps, and the Corps of Engineers. Taking up a glass of a bluish sparkling wine the Sith Soldier made her way into the crowd to mingle.


Quote:Quest: A Day in the Life, Coruscant, Tier 2
Post Word Count: 1851
Post Character Count: 10524

Trixie's Dress
[Image: 1519410324881.jpg]

Nova's Dress
[Image: Black-and-White-Dresses.jpg]

Aisha's Dress
[Image: 1.jpg]
[Image: trixiesig2018.png]
[First Prime to Escape the Underverse]
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
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#4
He couldn’t recall the last time he’d worn a formal getup.

The cybernetic warrior had never got married nor had any of his associates popped the question during his lifetime. When you were busy running around the quadrant slaying cosmic villains and partaking in interstellar politics, you often lacked the free time to get hitched. Sure, there was plenty of ‘action’ to be had, but how rare was it for those romances to work out?

Seventeen had found something, until he lost her.

Mikey had found something, until he lost her.

Violet had found six or seven somethings, until she lost them.

Now, here in a world an unknown number of universes away, Seventeen found himself dressed in the hybrid spawn of a tuxedo and a marine corps dress uniform. With the scene set all around him, the cyborg slipped back into a group of people and made his way silently toward the bar. He made it as far as twenty paces before he found himself accosted by a group of middle-aged men wearing top hats and donning monocles. For a brief moment, Seventeen questioned whether or not someone had spiked the air of the banquet hall.

“Sooooo,” one of the men remarked, his ring-adorned fingers wrapped around a crystal glass of sparkling blue chardonnay. “You’re that fancy soldier who runs around blowing stuff up … How is that, hrm?”

Seventeen glanced around, initially hoping that they had been speaking to some other nearby soldiers. When he realized that he was shit out of luck, he swallowed his pride and flashed a warm smile at the quartet of venture capitalists. “It’s springtime in Coruscant, so business is… booming,” the cyborg replied with a straight face. He had hoped for a chuckle or a grin from one of his acquaintances, but it seemed they lacked the processing power for sarcasm. Most of them merely nodded their heads before moving on with their lives.

Breathing a sigh of relief, the cyborg slipped backwards and smacked into someone. Spinning on his heels, he saw a somewhat familiar face—blonde, female, medic… the eyes were wrong though.

“You should watch where you are walking,” Aisha Knudal spoke softly as she glanced at the floor. Her drink had spilled a little, but she had been holding it nearly at arm’s length, which meant she’d avoided the need for a new dress. “You already trying to escape?”

The cyborg snickered as the pair wove their way toward one of the ancillary bars on the periphery of the banquet hall. “I’ll do better once I have something to drink,” he added as slipped into a spot adjacent to the bar. Aisha stood behind him and took some sips at her magenta-hued liqueur while Seventeen ordered one of his vintage favorites. When the raven-haired man turned around with an almost fluorescent green liquid adorned with a lime, the specialist furrowed her brow.

“What did you order?”

“Diet Mountain Dew and vodka,” he replied as he took a long gulp from the short glass. Without skipping a beat, Seventeen’s second drag from the glass sent the remainder of the mixed drink down into his gullet. “Excuse me, I need a refill, Miss,” he said with a grin as he turned to reorder.

With the second round in his hand, Seventeen took as smaller drag from a larger glass before exiting the bar.

“Something from where you’re from?” Aisha asked, gesturing to the green drink and its citrus accent.

“A classic,” Seventeen replied, leaving out the circles in which such a legendary beverage would be considered ‘classic’. The specialist, who seemed like she was somewhere in her twenties, didn’t need to know the long and storied legend that he brought the cyborg from the afterlife of one realm and into this bizarre, pocket universe and its talking turtles and white space fascists.

Somewhere in the distance, Seventeen heard something shatter. Despite the throng of people, he heard it as clearly as if it had happened at the bar behind him. He couldn’t help himself—he tensed almost instinctively. It was a miracle that he didn’t accidentally squeeze the glass in his left hand to death as he anticipated some sort of scream or eruption of violence. Instead, the moment simply passed, and the person who had dropped their glass slinked off to find a replacement drink.

“Looks like the captain isn’t the only one who thinks there’s some rot beneath the glossy veneer,” Aisha said, referring to the sea of drinking revelers. Somewhere in the distant corner of the banquet hall, a house band started to play tunes. They began with the same song that had ushered the quartet of soldiers into the building—it was the marching music for the Imperial military. On the other side of the hall, the Master of Ceremonies announced the arrival of some additional VIP guests. Seventeen didn’t recognize their names, but their ranks pegged them a few rungs lower on the hierarchy than Trixie.

“You never know,” Seventeen whispered before pausing to take another sip. “It’d be an easy target, wouldn’t it? A fancy, upscale building packed with a bunch of up-and-coming Imperial military whiz kids? What rebel wouldn’t want to blow this entire place to shit?”

“Of course,” Aisha remarked nonchalantly as she sipped at her own mixed drink. The woman was carrying heat on her, which naturally must have made her more relaxed with the idea of diving into combat.

“Begs the question, though,” Seventeen chuckled. “Maybe the Empire knows that. All we know, they might have the surrounding neighborhoods blanketed with undercover operatives. We could just be one giant honeypot they’re using to lure in would-be revolutionaries.”

Despite her stone-cold exterior, Aisha smiled and even laughed. “So we’re unknowing participants in a giant sting operation? Don’t those things usually involve drugs and prostitutes?”

Seventeen shrugged his shoulders. “Look around you. I bet you I could get drugs and prostitutes in under ten minutes.”

“Make it five and you’re on.”

“Deal.”

Quote:YOU TRACK THE WORDS JOE

SCRUB
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#5
Able Company had been assigned along with the entirety of the 15th to lay siege and assist in taking over Telos for Sadow’s regime. Sergeant Zulenka and her fellow soldiers had already been forged in the crucible of battle from their time on Ziost. Unbeknownst to them, this time the odds were stacked against their favor. Telos had been ready for the invasion. When the Virgo was finally deployed it arrived amid a massive fleet battle going on in orbit around the planet. The initial assault forces had been completely decimated and the only Star Destroyer with any of it’s main systems still functional was the one housing Able Company and the 15th Legion. As the Virgo launched its squadrons and called for support the order was given to get the 15th down onto the ground. Word had been sent that pockets of Sith Troopers were entrenched and holding their positions but were in imminent danger of being overrun.

After a risky orbital bombardment that left half a continent barren and ignited with plasma fueled flames, Trixie and her company were launched. The ride to the surface saw Charlie, Dog, and Fox companies take complete losses. The transports collided with the ground, unable to sustain flight by the time they were under the firing arc of the planetary anti-ship weapons.

Gripping Corporal Masters by the collar, Trixie pulled him from his seat and dragged him out the door as the rest of Able poured from their burning landing craft. Artillery and gunfire could be heard in the distance. In the skies above the Virgo was alone and surrounded by dozens of enemy cruisers.

“We can’t stay here!” Masters cried over an incoming mortar round that ripped into the crashed dropship, tossing a few soldiers onto their faces.

Trixie sprinted forward, forcing her second-in-command to give the order to pursue. They had been dropped dead center in the middle of the devastation that the orbital strike had caused. The ground beneath them was flat and charred blacker than night, staining their armor with a charcoal like substance.

“Hit the dirt!” Trixie ordered, dropping to one knee next to Masters.

Sliding a data-pad out of a canister on her lower back she clicked it open and displayed the map that had been provided. A heavy downpour of rain began to drench the area and turn the field of charred ash into thick mud.

“Ilo City! We’re standing in it, Corporal!” Zulenka shouted over heavy laser fire that had been aimed in their general direction.

“Command took out the entire city! We’re-“ Her sentence was interrupted by hatches being opened from beneath the newly formed mud.

“Able Company! Close combat!”

Readying her blaster rifle, she squeezed the trigger and ripped through the flesh of a Telos Soldier that had begun his climb out of the hole in the ground. Soon red and yellow blaster bolts were being spit back and forth between the exposed 15th and the ambush troops coming out of disaster tunnels beneath their ruined city. Sprinting back to a Corporal from Third Squad, Beatrix opened his backpack and removed a large metal plank from it’s holster. Tossing it into the dirt she clicked a button and the portable cover inflated as the explosive inside used gas to fill the chamber.

Signaling Masters, she dropped down beneath it as groups of fellow soldiers followed her lead and began deploying their own cover. He handed her the receiver to the radio on his back and took up an overwatch position, laying down fire on Telos Soldiers as they came out of their holes.

“Able One Five to Virgo! Come in!” Trixie shouted over heavy blaster fire. Static was her only response.

A tap on her shoulder made the redhead lookup to her Corporal. He pointed up just as the shockwave reached the surface and blew the entire 15th to the ground. The Virgo had been split in two and was crashing down to the surface.

Directly onto them.

Able Company had only been deployed once before. This was their second time in the field. Trixie handed back the receiver to her second-in-command. As the sounds of the battlefield became deafening to the relatively green Sergeant the world came crashing back down all at once.

***

Trixie took a sip of the liquid in her glass as the noblewoman in front of her stared on in awe at the story she had just heard. It had been first time Trixie had thought of that deployment in nearly a decade. Sith Command had given them the Virgo II and filled the 15th with soldiers again so fast it had been like nothing catastrophic had ever taken place. Out of her peripheral vision she could see Aisha leading a group of women over to the other side of the room. The same location where Seventeen looked to be brokering some sort of exchange for substance packaged in baggies.  

“Excuse me for a moment.” The Mistress excused herself and pushed her way towards one of the balconies. Nova had caught the sense of tension in her lover’s voice and was right on the redhead’s tail.

“Out.” The blond ordered to the few members of the party that were enjoying the rainfall on the covered balcony.

As the last of the party goers left the sniper closed the doors behind them and turned to face her commanding officer who was leaning over the edge, letting the downpour soak her freshly washed hair. In Trixie’s mind all she could hear was the rain, sporadic blaster fire, the sounds of artillery, and the twisting sound the frame of a ship makes as it breaks apart upon re-entry above you. Sweat began to form up along her face and neck, enough to make her skin glisten in the neon lights of the night-time illumination. Nova reached out to place a hand on Trixie’s shoulder, which made her jump causing Terra to wrap her other arm around the Mistress’ stomach and pull her close into an embrace.

Trixie thought she could hear Nova whispering to her, but she couldn’t make out what it was that she was saying. In her field of vision all she could see was Corporal Masters and the rest of Able Company sprinting in front of her as she ushered them out of the barren city-scape. Building sized pieces of the Virgo crashed down around them as they were fired upon, shelled, and driven from their position.

Beatrix had done everything she could to put that deployment out of her head. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she closed her eyes just as one of the engine ports landed in front of the 15th’s escape route. So many good soldiers killed that day. Colonel Astrada had been killed when the Virgo I was destroyed. The man who had shown a Nightsister from Dathomir more than she could have ever hoped to see just living in seclusion on her planet. He took her body and her heart to the grave with him. Something she had given freely in a moment of passion.

“What’s wrong?” Nova said, softly into Trixie’s ear.

Trixie opened her eyes as more tears built up. She blinked causing fresh streams to flow down her cheeks, continuing to stare off the edge of the balcony at nothing, but simultaneously watching in horror as her other self unknowingly dragged half of a Sergeant from Easy Company into a section of fallen Star Destroyer for cover. Masters had been hit in the leg by shrapnel and was holed up nearby. The only thing alerting Sergeant Zulenka to his presence was the fire from his blaster rifle as enemy combatants came into range, still determined to kill the invading 15th Legion.

Nova caught the redhead as she fell to her knees, a blaster bolt hitting the younger Trixie square in the waist as she was sprinting to Masters’ position. Her armor had already begun to treat the wound and compress it to stop the bleeding. She still had that scar. The blond spun her Commanding Officer around and gently placed a loving kiss to her lips. Leaning into the redhead, she forced the Captain to her butt against the railing and knelt, gently rolling her lips across Trixie’s in quick succession. Gripping Nova’s hair, Trixie pulled the blond in closer and delved her tongue into the kiss before pulling back and burying her face into Terra’s, now messy, bun of hair.

“You’re okay, Trixie. I’ve got you.” Nova cooed as she gently brushed the Mistress’ hair with her hand.

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[First Prime to Escape the Underverse]
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
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#6
Seventeen scowled as he watched the blonde medic sashay in from the adjacent corridor.  On each of her elbows, she had a woman in a very, very short pencil skirt.  At least one of the women still had what seemed to be white dust dabbled above her upper lip.

Dust my ass, son of a …

As she passed by the cyborg, Aisha grinned from ear to ear before gesturing toward one of the magnificent clocks that hung high on the walls of the banquet hall.  She mouthed the words ‘three minutes’ as she escorted her ladies-in-waiting into the morass of mid-level Imperial bureaucrats.  Once Aisha’s eyes were off of him, Seventeen couldn’t help but smirk.  He wasn’t one to indulge beyond the simple constraints of a hard liquor, and while he was fairly certain the Omniverse was still a terrifying, parallel hell dimension designed to make him suffer amid a sea of anthropomorphic furries and hyper-strong midgets, that didn’t meant he had any intentions on slumming it up in a fascist police state.

Fucking Omniverse…

Still smiling faintly, the raven-haired warrior slipped around the edge of the party until he found a window that wasn’t flanked by a half-dozen half-sober bureaucrats.  Lifting his drinks up to his lips, Seventeen stared at the stars that glittered and gleamed in the early night sky.  The Empire was a police state, that much was clearly evident by their approach to crime, immigration, and free speech, but what fucking police state would spend millions of dollars (or whatever the equivalent was in fairy universe) to create an artificial night sky?

Maybe this place wasn’t entirely shitty?  Seventeen lifted the tall glass back for another long gulp of the sparkling, vodka-scented contents.  He wasn’t sure if it was supposed to taste like water at this point.  That usually didn’t come until he hit the second dirty dozen, but here he was, barely at twenty.  Had being dead so long wrecked his constitution?

Then again – was he even alive right now?  Or would he go to sleep one day and wake up from this like it was a bad fever dream?

Seventeen glanced at the nearly empty glass and scowled.  Too many questions irritated him to no end.  Too many questions meant more time thinking and less time enjoying life.

But again … is this place even living?

“Shut the fuck up, dude.” Seventeen groaned beneath his breath as he ended the drink’s life and set the glass on a nearby table.  “I don’t feel like being deep right now.”  He added as he heard the sound of solid boot steps behind him.  Turning on his heels with a little more grace than someone twenty drinks in deserved, the cyborg nearly caught Aisha off guard.  The medic, her pupils a little too dilated for someone with everything together, recoiled and nearly spilled her drink onto the floor.

“Nimble on your feet, aren’t you?”  She whispered as she stepped up next to him and glanced out the window.

The raven-haired man smirked.  The woman’s dress was still a little disheveled—she had missed a button on the back and one of her straps was inside-out.  “Where did those two, uh, companions of yours venture off to?”

There was a slight delay, and then Aisha chuckled as she set a hand on the table to balance herself.  “I think they went to ply their craft with some CFOs from PepsiCo?”  The woman leaned in close enough to the cyborg that he could feel the warmth of her breath on his ear and taste the thick, heady aroma of rich scotch and cheap gin.  “They didn’t charge me… they offered to pay me,” she started to laugh, which caused her to topple sideways onto the cybernetic warrior, who managed to get his arms under her before her head ricocheted off the tiled floor of the banquet hall.

“Nice catch,” Aisha whispered quietly before breaking out into a fit of slurred, erratic laughter.

“You sure that was just cocaine?”  Seventeen chuckled as he helped the woman up to her feet only to have her fall back onto him, her hair obscuring half of his face in the process.  Feeling eyes on the pair of them, the cyborg put a smile on his face as he slipped his left hand around the medic’s waist.  He used his other hand to grasp her spare set of fingers, and a beat later, he was guiding the mostly nonresponsive medic in a very slow dance.  When he completed half a turn, he saw the same people who had been staring holes in his back had returned to their own gossip and rumor-milling tales.  

“Think they had some extra in there,” Aisha whispered into Seventeen’s neck.  “Sluh… uh, muh… Slo-Mo,” she managed to finish as the cyborg led the pair on a slow pathway around the perimeter of the banquet hall.

Of course it’s fucking Slo-Mo.

The botched field mission that had resulted in Seventeen being shelved for several months over the summer had been related to the synthetic drug running amok in the second and third tiers.  While metaphorically shackled to his office chair, the cyborg had learned that the drug wasn’t that prevalent beyond Tier Three.  Apparently, it was considered a luxury drug—something for the aristocrats to enjoy alongside their caviar and fancy horse races.

“You fine?”  Seventeen whispered.  “You gonna pop?”

“I… I’m good,” Aisha murmured, despite the fact that her skin felt clammy on the man’s fingertips.  He knew she would eventually be all right, but once the manic effects of Slo-Mo wore off, it left the person a barely functioning mess.  The medic had a sturdy constitution, but even her well-maintained physique would take some time to bounce back from the drug.

Bang!

Seventeen tensed as he glanced in the sound of the crash.  When people didn’t immediately start running and screaming, he realized what he’d heard.

“Dinner gong?  How classy,” he mumbled softly as he slow danced back in the direction where they had begun their journey.  “We’ll wait for the crowd,” he spoke to the woman as he watched the aristocrats, bureaucrats, and military up-and-comers start filing into the main dining hall.  As the herd started to thin, Seventeen screened around for Trixie and Nova.  The pair had to be somewhere, unless they had just run off the moment they saw their chance to escape the oppressive ‘party’ atmosphere.

And who would blame ‘em?
[Image: 17.jpg]
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#7
November had finally gotten Trixie to her feet and was in the process of braiding her hair into a single French braid to mask that she had drenched herself in the rain. The Captain was not your typical girl. She didn’t care about her appearance much, but Nova had come prepared. The blond had brought a few basic makeup supplies and set to work fixing the redheads eyeliner.

“I’m…sorry you had to see me like this.” Trixie said, keeping perfectly still as her comrade traced the black pen across her eye lids.

 “You have nothing to apologize for. I’ve read the dossier on your previous military history. Those assholes in there glorify what we do, but don’t realize the toll it takes on us. I love you and everything you do for us. You know that.” Nova reassured her squad mate, capping the eyeliner and using a tissue to wipe away the smudges on the redheads’ cheeks.

The dinner gong resonated through the area and as Nova turned to lead them away something made Trixie grab hold of her arm. Pulling the woman close she embraced her into a tight hug, burying her face into the woman’s hair. The smell of her lavender shampoo and rose petal perfume was calming. Nova wrapped her arms around Beatrix and slowly rubbed her back.

“You’re okay. You’re here with me. We don’t have to go to dinner just yet.” Terra said, kissing the Mistress’ head.

 
***

“I’m…going to…going…” Aisha placed a hand over her mouth.

Seventeen immediately swept the blonde off her feet and carried her over to the ladies’ room as fast as he could. Kicking open one of the stalls he let the woman down who immediately dropped to her knees and began to wretch into the toilet. Like a true gentleman, Seventeen squeezed in next to her, taking hold of Aisha’s hair, he held it behind her head as she continued to void her stomach contents into the porcelain throne.

“This doesn’t mean you win the bet.” Aisha said, wiping her mouth with a piece of toilet paper.

The raven-haired cyborg smirked. “You sure? I don’t have my head inside a toilet bowl.”

“Shut u-“ The blond tried to reply, but couldn’t finish her sentence as another bout snuck up on her, forcing her to expel her stomach contents again.

Flushing the toilet Aisha slid to her butt and sighed, wiping sweat from her face.

“Guess you can’t kiss me now.” She said dejectedly, as if she had been expecting it.

“What?” Seventeen asked, slightly taken aback by the blonde’s words.

Before she could reply the entire building shook as an explosion from the main dining hall ripped through the party guests. Two more massive explosions caused Seventeen to lose his footing and fall into Aisha’s lap as dust and debris fell from the ceiling above them, the building being shook by the violent explosions coming from somewhere in the banquet hall.

***

With the dinner bell having been rung the party goers were taking their assigned seats at the long dining tables littered in specific spots throughout the giant ball room. Kitchen staff and various wait staff began brining out carts of food and entrees for the guests to enjoy. From roast pig, chicken, steaks, and every side dish you could imagine the food was pouring from the kitchens. The final dishes to arrive were three giant roast turkeys that were placed at each of the noble tables for the upper echelon to enjoy. As the wait staff switched over to pour drinks and providing service to those who needed it the first turkey situated in the middle of the table housing a group of nobles from Tier 1 including several officers from the Expeditionary Force exploded. The blast ripped through the surrounding crowd and threw viscera and chunks of table everywhere. Like clock work the other two turkeys exploded, taking out their respective tables. Officers from the Ranger Corps and Police Department were included in both blasts.

As the shock from the explosions sent everyone into a panic, groups of Stormtroopers came crashing through the paneled windows set vertically in the wall. Almost immediately they opened fire with their blaster rifles upon any of the remaining survivors caught in the billowing smoke and roaring flames. Trixie and Nova had been thrown to the ground on the balcony they were standing on. Opening her clutch purse, the mistress pulled her pistol out and pulled the blond to her feet. The glass doors leading out had been shattered, forcing the curtains to blow freely as the fire roaring inside consumed oxygen.

“Figures.” Trixie said kicking open one of the doors.

She squeezed off a few rounds and dropped one of the false Stormtroopers. Almost immediately they shifted their fire and began showering the Sith Warriors’ location with blaster fire. Nova had to pull her commander back onto the balcony, moving them both to the corner wall for cover. Terra had drawn her pistol from the holster under her breast and was letting off a few covering rounds, but it did nothing to stop the mass slaughter that was going on inside the ballroom.

“Captain Zulenka, to the Sulaco!” Trixie shouted over heavy fire as she rotated left and shot through the shattered window, pegging one of the impostors in the leg.

“This is Sergeant Juno. Go ahead for the Sulaco, Captain.” A voice replied. 

Where was the Sergeant Major?

“Scramble Able and Bravo Company. Get them to my location on high alert. An attack has taken place at the party. Full response.” The Sith Warrior spoke into her communicator, squeezing off another salvo of rounds.

“Affirm, Captain! We’re on our way!” The Sergeant replied.

As one of the imposter Stormtroopers came barreling through the doors to the balcony, Trixie spun around Nova and latched onto his throat. With a swift toss she casually threw him over the ledge to his death.

“Fuck these guys.” Nova spat, reloading an energy cell into her pistol.

As quickly as it had started the troops were already retreating. Trixie opened the ruined glass door and stepped into the banquet hall to survey the damage. Fire suppression systems had kicked on, raining down cold water onto the party. Each blast point was relatively clean typical of such a high-power explosion. The real mess was the areas in between each epicenter. Shredded corpses and various body parts littered the floor. Those who had survived were moaning and crying out for medical aid. Spying one of the Stormtroopers she had pegged in the helmet, the redhead took hold of his armor and removed the headgear. A quick scan of the Holo-Net and Trixie’s fears were realized. He had been a rebel soldier. Switching her communicator to a different frequency the mistress placed the receiver close to her mouth and dialed the number for Colonel Skleros.

“Bianca, we’ve got a situation. I need you to alert Coruscant PD and Legionary HQ about a possible missing squad of Stormtroopers. Our party was hit by rebel soldiers wearing our own gear.” The redhead told her commanding officer.

Terra arrived at Trixie’s side having shut off the fire system from the back wall. Sirens could be heard as fire personnel and police approached the ruined party. Switching her communicator back to the 13th general comms channel a voice broke the silence. “This is Lieutenant Baker of Able Company. I have Bravo Company under Captain Rex in tow with me, we’re about two minutes out.”

“Good job, Lieutenant. Police, fire, and emergency services are on their way. You’ll have jurisdiction, so I want you to get some men on the ground and begin sweeping the area. Have Captain Rex meet me in the main hall. If anyone gives you trouble detain them immediately. This is a Code Orange situation.” Trixie replied, her voice finally calm.

“Roger that, boss. Able One Three, out.”

Holstering her pistol, Trixie began checking the survivors for any she could reasonably move to a safer location. November followed her lead, rushing to the only bar left intact and grabbing what first aid kit they had. While it wasn’t going to reattach any sever limbs or fix severe trauma, they could at least salvage some of the people from this mess.

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[First Prime to Escape the Underverse]
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
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#8
“Guess you can’t kiss me now,” Aisha slurred. From her tone and the defeat on her face, it almost seemed as if she had anticipated this to turn into some bizarre version of Romeo and Juliet.

“What?” Seventeen shot back as a smirk started to form on the edges of his mouth. He couldn’t get out his next thought—a carefully crafted quip designed to disarm and move on from the situation. Instead of some high-quality sass from the cyborg, an explosion went off in the main hall. The ground shuddered violently as the machine-hybrid reflexively threw out his hands to brace himself against the walls of the stall. Beneath the standing man, Aisha lost her grip on the bowl as the shaking elicited some more vomit from her depleted stomach.

Before Seventeen could react, two explosions tore through the adjacent room in short succession. For all his training and physical fitness, the cybernetic warrior couldn’t hold his balance through both blasts. The tremors tore apart the linoleum, causing the walls of the stall to snap off and topple like dominos. One moment, the cyborg was grimacing and up on his feet, and faster than he could blink an eye, he was collapsed on top of a slumped, vomit-scented Aisha.

“Cover your head!” He barked as pieces of the ceiling started to crash down onto them. In the distance, he could hear screams and what sounded like gunfire. Were they under siege? Before he could right his focus, a chunk the size of a dinner plate struck the crown of his head and exploded, and with it, the cyborg lost consciousness.

When he regained his grip on the world, Seventeen’s first concern was his companion. Even though he could feel nothing south of his waist, he tried to turn his blurred eyes and ensure the well-being of the medic. Even after his vision found its focus, he could see nothing—there was a thick haze that lay over everything. The air smelled like sulfur and shit, and the fact that his impaired hearing could pick up the sound of gushing fluids led him to believe that the plumping had been grossly compromised.

“Aisha?” He asked, his voice barely able to muster enough strength to be heard over the ringing in his head. The blonde should have been right there next to him. He had smacked the floor just a few inches from her right knee, so unless the ground had collapsed, she couldn’t be far.

Before he could find Aisha, the cyborg heard the crunch of something wooden just a few yards away from his position. “Is anyone alive in here?” A voice shouted through the voice tech of a stormtrooper helmet.

“Y-yes,” Seventeen croaked as he lifted his hand to be seen through the fallout. Closing his eyes to the dust, he waited as the thuds drew closer. Hands grabbed onto his shoulder and wrenched him up off the ground with a little too much gusto for his taste. The raven-haired warrior’s eyes popped open as he tried to blink away the dust. “What happened?”

“Nothing to worry about, Sir,” the man replied as he reached for his waist.

Seventeen didn’t bother. He lifted a hand and grimaced as he summoned a ki saber. The cylindrical shaft of energy roared up from his bloodstained palm and slipped silently through the soldier’s lightly armored chest and out his back. A glance down showed what the cyborg had expected: A sidearm just a few inches from a now quaking fistful of digits.

When the hands on him went limp, Seventeen relaxed his own grip and had to shift his own weight to avoid the mass of the stormtrooper. The dead weight thudded past him onto the twisted remains of a bathroom stall.

***

Trixie was calling the shots from what remained of the main room. Her subordinates had arrived, and the situation was under control. Or, at the very least, there was a nice façade of control laid out over the scorched husk of the banquet hall. “Causalities?” She barked as she moved to confront the local response teams.

“Uhh,” an unarmored trooper with the local branch of the police muttered. The man had beads of sweat around both temples. It was clear from his lack of chill that he had never dealt with a situation like this during his tenure. “I think they’re still sifting through the people.”

“The bodies,” Trixie clarified, her expression hardening as she looked the little man up and down. Without a follow up, she stepped forward and grabbed the small piece of tech from his hands. A single glare wilted what remained of the policeman’s confidence, and he quickly shifted away to tend to his own subordinates, leaving Trixie to process the information on the data pad. The list of casualties had yet to be cross-referenced with the party-goers.

A voice from across the wreckage of the dining hall yanked Trixie’s focus from the handheld screen. “Ma’am!”

The Captain craned her neck to see a trio of armored troopers helping a scrawny, bloodied man walk his way over to her. “You’re alive,” she replied as Seventeen lifted his head to meet her gaze. The woman’s tone was stern, but the cyborg saw the faint glitter in her eyes that betrayed the truth of the matter. “You are a stubborn one.”

“Yea,” Seventeen groaned as he politely shrugged off the troopers. After making sure he could stand on his own two feet, he spat some more bloody flecks of tile and paint from his mouth. “It’s a good thing they didn’t know that my weakness is a rocket to the face.”

“What?” Trixie asked, furrowing her brow as she spotted an unconscious Aisha being carried into the room.

“Long story,” the cyborg smirked as he followed his commanding officer’s gaze back to the medic. In the haze of being manhandled over to Trixie, he had forgotten to ask if they had found anyone else under all that debris. “She alive?” Instead of waiting for an answer, the raven-haired warrior jogged over and helped the soldiers lower the woman down onto one of the many blankets laid out in the ruins of the banquet hall. Seventeen cupped the right side of her face in one hand as his other felt the side of her throat for a sign of life.

“She has a pulse,” one of the soldiers answered as they took another sweep of the nonresponsive medic with their tech.

Just as they had said, Seventeen eventually found the faint yet telltale sign of life within the partially scorched form of Aisha.

“Scans show that she’s stable, but she needs to be transferred to a medical facility if a full recovery can be expected.” Those remarks weren’t aimed at the man crouched on the ground but instead at his commanding officer, who still stood a few yards back. “Should I prep here for transfer, Ma’am?”

“Negative,” Trixie remarked as she put a hand up to her ear. “I’ll have the boys with Able Company fast-track her back to the Sulaco. They’ll treat her there… it should be quicker than any civilian installation.”

“Of course, Ma’am,” the local responder said firmly as he scampered off to assist with the other injured survivors.

Before he left his former companion for the evening, the cybernetic warrior removed his bandana and used it to wipe away some of the dust and dried blood that marred Aisha’s face. Once you could tell she was a person, he tied the garment around her neck and smoothed it out so it lay flat on her chest. Was this his fault? The feeling in his gut certainly made it seem like he was somehow to blame for the woman’s present state.

“What’s the move?” Seventeen broke the silence and rose back to a fully vertical stance. He shifted his gaze back to Trixie and tried to turn his mind to the grimy business at hand. “We going to track down the perps and book ‘em?”

There was the faintest trace of a smirk in the left corner of the woman’s mouth—enough to make Seventeen feel like he’d served his actual purpose here. “Seek and destroy mission.” Trixie replied in that stern voice she used when she read Imperial dossiers out loud at meetings or went over professional development manuals with the recruits. “They were using stolen gear, so they had to have some connections. Coruscant doesn’t usually just let this much materiel fall off the grid without some sort of paper trail.”

“Wasn’t she our medic?” Seventeen asked as he gestured toward the unconscious Aisha. “Do we have a backup or are we just going to hope our skin is thick enough? Do you want me to bring up the story where I got impaled by the changeling? Or the time that the avatar hacked my arm off? You know what I was missing in both those instances? A trained medic.”

Trixie rolled her eyes. “Your arm would grow back here, and an impalement might actually give you some character.”

“Is that sarcasm, Ma’am?”

The captain scowled as she reached a hand back up to her ear. She nodded a few times, and from her body language, it was clear that there were no unpleasant developments to report. “Able and Bravo are organized outside and waiting on my orders. They’ve managed to contain the situation outside, but for the moment, they’ve mostly focused on dispersing the crowd. Gawkers, mostly, but you never know who might be a hidden rebel. They’ll be thorough out there… probably to the point of wasting a lot of time and resources, but those’ll be orders from beyond the colonel. If they follow the rulebook, it’s possible that they’ll want to sweep the entire neighborhood. That could get dicey.”

Seventeen nodded his head. While the banquet hall was an opulent piece of Imperial architecture, he knew that due south was a collection of streets that housed a degree of illicit activities. There was nothing more pleasant than a bunch of spooked contraband dealers and upper-class gangsters. “What other options do we have?”

“Not many,” Trixie remarked as she stepped a little closer to a giant, gaping hole where a bay window had once been. “Aerial scans will take too long and be just as undesired by the local population. This is a docile region, but there are some seedy elements that might get startled by all the troopers knocking on doors. Last thing they want is a dozen more Jagiellonian Pharmaceuticals.”

“Don’t remind me about it,” Seventeen groaned as he followed Trixie up onto the ledge. “We’re getting gear, aren’t we?”

“Should be arriving from the Sulaco,” she spoke a little softer as she pointed to the skyline to the south. Looking back over her shoulder, she flashed a small smile. “So do rockets mess with your wiring or something? Scramble your computer parts?”

The cyborg couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the woman’s mostly serious inquiry. When he composed himself after a few moments, he shook his head. “Just some bad memories of being blown up. I used to get blown up a lot by jealous rivals and space demigods. Being blown up is awful. One second you’re all in one place, and the next…” Seventeen just gave another slow shake of his dirty, blood-spattered head.

“Don’t worry,” Trixie muttered beneath her breath. “You blow up here, and all your bits go back to the fountain. Unless…” She trailed off, and there was something in her tone and the sudden far-away look in her eyes that told Seventeen he didn’t need to push her to learn what she meant.

“I still think I’ll pass on being blown up.”
[Image: 17.jpg]
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#9
As Trixie, Nova, and Seventeen finally exited the building where the party in their honor had been taking place they were met with the deafening roar of Low Altitude Assault Transports touching down and taking off. Beatrix had called in the full support of both Able and Bravo, which meant that two full companies of clone troopers were now being ferried to their location for security and support. Three hundred soldiers were going to be running around this area and Trixie had to come up with a plan, and rapidly.  Two troopers wearing different colored armor jogged up to the Mistress and saluted.

“Captain Rex and Lieutenant Baker reporting, Ma’am! We have your gear unloaded over here.” Rex said as he led the Special Forces team towards an array of trunks and cases that contained their emergency deployment equipment.

In the event of situations just like this, exact replicas of their gear were packed into portable trunks and cases to be used only in cases of immediate need or rapid transport; when changing into gear aboard the Sulaco was unavailable or if replacement armor was needed.

“You’ll notice the new rifles are in as well. Your WESTAR is now obsolete, Ma’am. We updated our emergency kits a few days ago with the new gear.”

Trixie unlatched her trunk and flipped it open, the top level that held her new rifle moving up and sliding backward to reveal her armor neatly packed into the case, separated only by foam inserts. Taking hold of her dress where it stopped just above her breasts, the Mistress ripped the fabric from her person and wiggled out of it. Without missing a beat, Lieutenant Baker of Able Company undid his superiors’ bra from the behind and let it drop to the floor. Nova was already stripping in front of her own series of equipment trunks. Taking the special issue skin-tight jumpsuit from one of the sealed pouches in the armor bin, Trixie slid her feet into the spandex like material and pulled it up around he body. Sliding her arms into the sleeves she zipped up the front causing the material to fuse together into one piece.

Zulenka was finished donning her armor first and had moved to examine the floating hex map stationed by the drop ships that had carried in Able Company. The ships had been powered down and parked as the decision was made to send Bravo Company knocking on doors and to send Able with Trixie and her team to face the threat head on. A beeping from her communicator informed the Captain that someone was calling her and as she slid her helmet down over her eyes, locking it into position with her armor she heard Chun Li’s voice come over the radio.

“Captain, as far as your hunch regarding a missing Stormtrooper squad. The 3rd Legion reported an entire company missing a few hours ago.”

An entire fucking company of Rebels walking around in our armor.

Mistress Zulenka clenched her fists and slammed the map, splitting it in half, to the surprise of every trooper around her.

“Angry like a Sith. Weapons like a Sith.” A hooded woman followed by a red skinned Twi’Lek approached the angered Trixie from the side. “Not a true Sith though.” Her words were laced with judgement and dislike.

Beatrix took a step forward which made every trooper around her back up and clear out of the way. Nova had finished getting her armor on and held up an arm to hold Seventeen where he was standing, his helmet still in his hands.

“Watch this.” The blond whispered to her raven-haired comrade, obviously knowing something he didn’t.  

Without warning the hooded figure was lifted from the ground and violently tossed off the side of the platform to plummet down through each Tier towards the bottom. Lighting quick the Twi’Lek had drawn her saber and spun clockwise bringing a slash upwards at the armored Captain. Nova’s fingers pressed into Seventeen’s chest plate with anticipation. The saber stopped inches away from Trixie’s new helmet, the hum of the energy blade the only sound anyone could hear, before an armored foot planted itself square in the middle of the red-skinned alien’s chest, sending her stumbling backward.

“Crusader Rangeas…For someone trained as extensively as you, I figured you’d be the one to land a blow on me.” Captain Zulenka said through the modulator on her helmet.

Landing on the ground with a thud as if she had jumped her way back up, the hooded woman from seconds prior held out a hand to waive off her associate from attacking again.

“Kneel or die.” Zulenka demanded, squaring her stance towards both the new arrivals. She wasn’t in the mood to play games and, as the words escaped her mouth, the entirety of Able Company readied their weapons and trained them on her targets.

Both women knelt before their superior and bowed their heads in respect.

“Inquisitor Melorn and Crusader Rangeas assigned from Sith High Command to your detachment, mi’lady.”

“Your reports?” The armored woman demanded again, sounding more agitated.

“Just as the Council feared there is a Jedi behind this attack. A mere Knight, but a general nonetheless. Crusader Valerian spotted them headed towards a sparsely populated district on this Tier where some of our old warehouses are; to the northwest sector.”

With zero hesitation Trixie turned to Captain Rex, “Take Bravo and these two Sith. Investigate the leads we have that point us toward Tier 1. Drag people out of their beds. Make noise. You have point, Captain. The Inquisitor and the Crusader are guests on this Op.”

Rex saluted his superior and began mobilizing his forces as the two appointed Sith guests made their way into the rank and file with Bravo Company.

“Lieutenant.” She said, moving towards the closest transport where Baker was standing.

“Mount up. Able is moving out. Coordinates will be uploaded from my datapad.” With her orders given, she beckoned Nova and Seventeen to her, both with their new armor, weapons, and ammo pouches filled with magazines.

“ABLE COMPANY! ON YOUR FEET! MOUNT UP!” Baker shouted to his fellow soldiers.

The area began to buzz again with the whir of repulsor engines as each LAAT transport fired up and began taking on it’s share of clone troopers. Trixie stepped up into an empty one, pulling a Corporal from another craft to be her pilot.

“Nova, Seventeen, you take the door guns.” Trixie ordered as she pulled a magazine from her chest pouch and slid it into her rifle. Slamming the butt of the energy pack into the weapon it began to whir as it charged the energy banks from the newly inserted power source.

Seventeen saluted and began climbing into one of the domes that housed the gunnery controls for the laser turret on his side of the landing craft. As Nova passed Trixie, who was helping left over soldiers from Able into their transport, the blond pressed Falkner’s lightsaber against the Mistress’ chest.

“I kind of guessed they wouldn’t include your main weapons in our emergency supplies considering we’re not a sanctioned Sith sect of the Military. However, a girl never leaves home without her toys.” Nova was grinning wildly behind her helmet.

A smile formed across Trixie’s face, hidden by her armor, which made the Captain pull Nova into a quick embrace, helmet to helmet.

“Whatever happens…you two stay with me. Able will do what they do best, but I need you two to stay with me.” Zulenka’s words were carried to both of her friends through the comm system in their helmets.  

“Stay on your ass. Got it boss.” Seventeen replied through their comm channel. 

“Take us out Corporal. Lieutenant, here we go.” Trixie spoke to every soldier in Able Company.

“Colonel, this is Able One Three. Show us moving to northwestern region of Tier 2.” The Mistress relayed as she punched in the coordinates she had gotten from the Inquisitors report in her data files.

“Roger, Able One Three. Good hunting.” Bianca replied, having been roused from her sleep for this incident.

As the group of transports made their way away from the ruined party, Trixie could finally survey the damage that had been done. Fire Response crews were still battling proxy fires that had sprung up and the police force, assisted by Bravo Company were beginning their house to house sweep. When the venue for the gala ball was a tiny orange light in the distance Trixie keyed her mic to the Sulaco.

“Sergeant Major Li?”

“Go ahead, Captain.” The Master at Arms replied.

“Scramble Charlie, Dog, and Fox companies. My location. Forty minutes. Status…red.” Trixie was angry. They had hurt Aisha, killed many of her fellow soldiers, and made the Empire look weak for everyone to see.

It was time to show the populace of the Omniverse that the Ultramarine’s were not the only force to be feared.

Trixie was on a war path.

Quote:1496 Words
CwS: 8660
[Image: trixiesig2018.png]
[First Prime to Escape the Underverse]
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
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#10
Seventeen thumbed the controls of the gun turret as the landing craft hummed across the skyline of suburban Tier 2. His fingers made goofy noises as he flexed the plastic-esque digits of the stormtrooper armor. Had they always made these sounds?

“We’re nearing the boundary of the CZ.” The pilot spoke into everyone’s helmets as the landing craft started to decelerate. From his bubble, Seventeen could crane his neck and see the right side of the vessel, and he knew that behind the walls were a cadre of stormtroopers ready to stomp out into the streets. Also inside the vehicle was Trixie—Captain Zulenka—and a bunch of other people with fancy titles and scow-covered expressions on their faces. The cyborg could only assume there was some politics he had missed out on during his tenure with the redheaded soldier.

“We’ll come in low and establish a forward LZ,” Trixie’s familiar voice barked through the comm line. “Once entrenched, we should be able to carry out operations in relative quick order. Whoever they are, they won’t be able to hide from us for long. We’ll find them.” The conviction in the woman’s voice was astounding—there was no hesitation or room for second-guessing in those words.

Behind his trooper helmet, Seventeen felt ambivalent toward the whole thing. Were they all convinced about how well this would be or was everyone just accustomed to the fact that something would go terribly wrong? In a couple of ways, he felt like the guy at the party who didn’t know any of the inside jokes.

“Do you spot anything on your side, Sergeant?”

It took the cybernetic warrior a moment to realize that he was the one being addressed. “Uhh,” Seventeen scoped the area once again with his eyes before taking a glance through the visual display on the gun turret. There weren’t any life forms down below, which had to mean they probably weren’t safe.

Didn’t I not have a ki signature back home?

“Nothing, but what if they’re cloaking or something? This turret display is just UV.”

Trixie’s voice rang out a moment later over the comm. “Can you sense anything?”

Seventeen scowled. “No, but what if they’re cloaking or something?”

A voice that wasn’t Captain Zulenka’s invaded the communication channel. “These are rebels operating on Tier 2, do you really think they were able to smuggle advancing cloaking tech up here under our noses, Sergeant?”

The raven-haired warrior rolled his eyes. He couldn’t remember the man’s name, but he already disliked him.

“We’re going to come in low to that park at the corner of 17th and Wabansia,” someone else barked into the comm as the transport vehicle executed a wide turn to get around a five-story office building. As it cleared the north side of the building, Seventeen saw the strange flicker of light from a nearby convenience store. Too late, he caught the dark shape silently streaking across the evening sky.

“Rocket!” Seventeen screamed as he grabbed onto the controls and mashed the trigger. Bolts of red energy stitched across the façade of the two-story storefront, but the projectile advanced uninhibited and slammed viciously into the side of the aerial transport. The machine immediately pitched sideways, one of its wings scythed about six yards through the adjacent structure before snapping apart. A scream—Nova?—over the comm told the cyborg that the gunner on that side of the ship had not found a suitable conclusion to their ‘routine’ ride into this ‘calm, containable’ Tier 2 neighborhood.

There was chatter on the comms, but Seventeen had torn off his entire helmet and let it drop down into the bottom of the gunner bubble. He didn’t need a panicked lieutenant to harp at him that the other transporters carrying Able Company to the scene had come under fire from anti-aircraft weapons stashed in far too many of the nearby homes and businesses. Three blocks away, seven energy missiles converted on one hapless transport and slaughtered everyone crammed inside of the transport.

This is overkill. Seventeen thought as another streak of yellow and orange burned across the darkening sky.

The LA-AT collapsed helplessly against the five-story structure and convulsed as one of its primary engines erupted. Bricks and masonry from the crippled building started to rain down as the transport started its freefall into the streets. Seventeen, finally free from the harness that had secured him into the gun turret, offered one last glimpse to the blackened side of the transport before he orbed his way free from the dying metal bird.

In a swirl of white and blue light particles, the cyborg rematerialized inside what had once been the focal point of his neighborhood. The structure had been a suburban headquarters for some larger company that operated out of Tier 1, and while the building was still standing, Seventeen wasn’t about to test the limits of its structural integrity. Before he had a chance to leave, he heard the spark of gunfire.

It wasn’t just in the streets below.

It was everywhere.

The steady rapport of energized sidearms tore into the darkening sky with a fury that the machine-hybrid hadn’t heard since the days he had spent defending an alien city from invasion. From the third floor of the office, he could see as far as his cybernetically augmented eyes would allow him, and on every city block, the stromtoopers were under siege from all angles. They tried to fight back, but in the dark and the noise, their discipline had faltered passed the breaking point.

Bravo Company wouldn’t last the night. Hell, at this rate, they wouldn’t last the hours. Those soldiers that survived the ambushes against the transports found themselves being swarmed as they tried to shake off the confusion and defend themselves.

Seventeen stepped up to the ledge of what had once been a wall-length window. He craned his neck and hoped to see the faint glow of more approaching LA-ATs. Trixie had called in more response teams prior to their arrival, so where was the cavalry?

Through the din, the cyborg heard something that nearly froze the blood in his veins. “H-help!”

His eyes dropped down, and he immediately spotted the movement amid the flaming wreckage of the transport.

Dropping down from the window, the cyborg landed with a dull, cement-splintering thud and rushed forward to where part of their transport lay smoldering on the street. Up ahead, the street was littered with the remaining pieces of the machine. For now, Seventeen was focused on the figure pinned beneath a twisted wing. A fist of broken and scorched trooper fingers clenched around the warped steel. With a surgical precision, the raven-haired warrior sliced apart the metal and pushed the pieces off of the imprisoned woman.

“Nova,” Seventeen muttered as he dropped to his knees and helped to gently pull the woman away from the remains of the LA-AT. Although she still wore her helmet, a chunk of it near the bottom right had been sheared off in the catastrophe. If not for that, he would have never been able to hear her cries for help.

The gunfire was growing louder and closer to their position—the remnants of Able who had survived the initial ambush were being forced back toward what should have been their leadership’s LZ. Instead of a landing zone, the area was a smoldering pyre for the stormtroopers to throw themselves into. Once he was closer to the office building, Seventeen propped the injured woman against a decorative fountain and lifted her chin to meet her glossed, half-focused eyes. “Nova.”

She blinked a few times and tried to press a hand against her blood-matted hair. The cybernetic warrior wasn’t a doctor or a field medic, but he figured it wasn’t that hard to diagnose a concussion when the person in question barely seemed aware of their own name.

“Be… Beatrix?” Nova muttered, her words a bit of a slur as she winced once before squeezing her eyes shut entirely.

“Where? Was she in the ship?” Seventeen asked softly as he glanced over his shoulder. He hadn’t spotted any corpses littering the small square in front of the office, but that didn’t mean there couldn’t be bodies pinned inside the flaming wreckage strewn about the scene.

“Eve… evacuated. They juh-jumped. I got out… but the maga…”

“Rest,” Seventeen whispered as he helped the woman around to the other side of the fountain. She’d been lucky to escape with all her body parts still attached if the turret she had been manning had blown up that close to her. “I’ll get everyone, and we’ll sort this situation out.”

Nova nodded slowly before pulling her knees up into her chest and letting her head sag down. She would live, but she wasn’t going to be ordering any air strikes or tactical assaults anytime soon.

Lifting his gaze from his wounded friend, Seventeen could spot the armored figures just a few yards outside the square. Enemy fire was still falling on them from several various vantage points. Although broken, the rout had stopped. The stormtroopers were lucky that any of them were still alive, let along the two or three dozen still trying to retreat in an orderly fashion. Seventeen reached for his belt and swore at the lack of the comm device. His was likely a half-melted heap of steel and plastic somewhere on the side of the office.

“Why did I never become telepathic?” Seventeen lamented as he recalled old companions who could converse across vast distances. “Stupid computer parts making me reliant on technology,” he murmured as he grabbed his sidearm and moved away from the fountain.

“C’mon and fight, you dogs! For the Empire!” Someone roared from a nearby street.

Seventeen turned and saw that it was one of the ‘guests’ sent to accompany them on this ‘standard operation.’ Having never bothered to acquaint himself with the scowling, Imperial bureaucrats, Seventeen didn’t know if it was the Crusader or Inquisitor who was trying to rally the broken remains of a platoon.

“Looks like they’ve got that under control.”

The cyborg moved slowly and cautiously as he crept across to the side of the square. His eyes scanned the twisted remains of their LA-AT, but he saw no clues to indicate the fate of his commanding office. By the time he reached the far end of the gradually shrinking perimeter, he finally saw the familiar paint job on one of the stormtroopers. With a few surviving troopers on her flanks, the figure was backing up slowly even as the invisible mass of rebels crushed down against them with incessant small arms fire.

Seventeen had opened his mouth to scream for her attention, but the words froze in his mouth when he caught the movement further down the street. His eyes couldn’t spot the shape, but his extra-sensory powers picked up on all the familiar shapes and angles. Even if he couldn’t see what was coming, he could sense the treads as they rolled down the pavement. He could sense the gears grinding in the turret as it lined up for the shot.

“Run!” He barked as he rushed forward and hurtled himself like a missile into the side of the unsuspecting woman. Even under the helmet, Seventeen heard a mixture of obscenities as the pair rolled and tumbled from the scene, but any fury or scorn Trixie may have felt was washed away when the tank shell slammed into the mouth of the square and slaughtered the collection of troopers who had stood with her.

Lifting her helmeted head, Trixie remained silent as she watched the burning chunks of the massacred troopers litter down from the sky. When the initial horror subsided, she turned her plastic face to her companion. “Where’s your helmet? I’ve been trying to hail you on the comm.”

“I lost it,” Seventeen embellished. He knew she wouldn’t give him shit for it, but he didn’t feel like explaining how much he disliked having several dozen voices in his head. “Where’s everyone else? Who survived?”

“We escaped through the opposite side hatch door before the ship tore apart,” Trixie muttered as the two rose to their feet and fell back behind nearby cover. “The Inquisitor was injured, and the Captain may be dealing with some serious bone fractures.” Trixie paused, her muffled voice failing to hide any of the emotion that had been seeping into her words. “Did you find Nova… she was in the other gun turret.”

Seventeen nodded his head, and he didn’t need extra-sensory powers to know that Trixie breathed a massive sigh of relief behind her helmet. “She’s okay. A little shaken. Needs to rest. I have her back near that office complex.”

Trixie nodded her head, even if he was certain she wanted nothing more than to check on her partner. “The situation…” She muttered.

“SNAFU,” Seventeen interjected as a shell screamed through the square and reduced a building to flaming rubble. “Please tell me the cavalry is coming soon, Trixie.”

“Three companies of troopers,” she spoke as she glanced up at the purple sky. In less than thirty minutes, it’d be nighttime, and she wasn’t sure if that would make the situation better or worse for them. “They’re landing a few miles south of here, and they’re coming on foot. Skies are a killing field… even more than this was,” she muttered behind the helmet.

“So we keep retreating?”

Trixie stood silent for a few moments before answering. “We have no choice. Able and Bravo are broken. There are some troopers who broke rank during the initial ambushes spread about the surrounding streets, but this neighborhood was one giant trap that the Empire played right into.”

“When’s the air strike?” Seventeen asked, only half-joking two tanks started to fire into the square.

“They’re scrambling now,” Trixie answered. “Controlled bombardment. Five square miles. Hammer fall in t-minus thirty-five minutes.”

“Don’t people live here?”

Silence again. Seventeen hated the silence. He never liked what came after the silence.

“Command said ‘rebel sympathizers are collateral damage’.”

“That’s bullshit and you know it,” Seventeen whispered.

Trixie nodded her head but didn’t answer. She knew too well that the comm line could easily be tapped. “Standard protocol. Fire bomb it all, and then sweep through the debris.”

Seventeen shook his head. “So we just fall back? Hope to escape the bombs before they start falling? What about the others? Captain Rex?”

“We’re not abandoning anyone,” Trixie reassured the cyborg as she held a hand up to the side of her helmet. She fell silent for a few moments as she sent a missive over the comm line. Once that was done, she checked her weapon and looked over to her ally. “We’re routed. They all have orders to break rank and retreat in an orderly fashion. That office complex with provide cover for a period of time.”

“I feel like you have more to say,” Seventeen spoke as a tank shell tore apart a nearby structure and sprinkled the pair with shards of brick and wood.

“These people want to fight the Empire,” Trixie growled. “They want to target my people. I’m going to give them a taste of what they want.” A fire burned in the woman’s eyes—the same fire she’d had when she was organizing this op. “They think they’ve won, but I will orient them to the error in their judgment.”

Seventeen nodded his head as he unlocked his gauntlets and discarded them. He’d yet to find a suitable piece of tech that would let him channel ki through the armor. The last few prototypes had exploded in spectacular fashion, and that was the last thing he wanted to deal with. “Let’s give ‘em hell, Cap’n.”

Quote:My word count - 7560
[Image: 17.jpg]
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#11
The situation on the street had gone from bad to significantly worse as the broken remains of Able Company and Bravo Company ‘advanced in the opposite direction’ toward their fallback rally point. Trixie had tied Nova to her back with the help of her Sergeant Major; the blonde had a compound fracture of her left femur and was effectively out of the battle. The duo had stopped to splint the wound, tourniquet her leg, and give her a syrette of bacta for pain.  She had landed a little too hard on a pile of debris after narrowly avoiding a tank shell burst. As the duo sprinted their way across one of the last remaining intersections they were cut off by a squad of flanking rebels. Pushing Seventeen back into the building they had just exited from, the redhead cut the straps holding her lovers body up and carefully passed the blond to her second in command.

“Get her to the landing zone. It’s two streets over. Charlie company has already landed with armor and vehicles. Dog and Fox are minutes behind them.” Beatrix commanded as she removed her helmet and placed it on the ground next to them, tying Nova to Seventeen’s back with the remaining climbing line she had in her personal kit.

“What about you Captain!?” The rave-haired cyborg asked, unsure of what his commanding officer was planning to do.

“I’m going to buy you time.”

Seventeen grabbed his commanders--no--his friends chest plate and pulled her close. “That’s suicide.”

The ground rumbled beneath them.  Fires bloomed high over the nearby buildings as screams rang out from the retreating columns.

"They need help or they're dead," Trixie remarked as she watched fresh pillars of smoke billow up from where the remnants of Able and Bravo had staked out their withdrawal.  "I can take care of myself."

Seventeen scowled as he stole a glance to where the columns had vanished just minutes earlier.  He knew the woman's game, but that didn't make it less true.  "I'll be back for you," he said before breaking into a sprint.

She managed a smile, watching them run off, before breaking through the wall she was standing behind and emptying out into the street. The rebels had ceased firing, unsure of what to make of the lone Imperial soldier walking casually toward their front line. The Sergeant Major wasn’t about to waste this opportunity to gain some distance. He continued down the street carrying Nova on his back, images of Aisha flashing through his mind, and through his periphery he saw an enemy tank line up and take a shot. As the cyborg reached the corner he saw the round explode in front of his Captain, enveloping her in thick flames and billowing black smoke. The ground buckling under the shockwave of the blast, littering the area with bits and pieces of concrete and asphalt.

“TRIXIE!” Nova shouted, groggy from the pain medication and loss of blood.

Seventeen backpedaled away, his eyes never leaving the cloud of smoke where his best friend used to be. It was when a single blue saber pierced the flames and a soot stained mech unit came walking out from within the crater in the street that the Sergeant Major felt sure that Trixie knew what she was doing.

“Tallgeese ExoSkeleton at 100%. Ready for combat.” An automated voice spoke into Trixie’s new ear piece.

Exploding forward with thrust powered movement the Mistress sliced through the middle of the medium tank that had just fired at her. It exploded taking out the rebel soldiers on either side. Diving into the squad of rebels the Mistress grabbed one of them by the leg and, wielding him like a blunt weapon, began knocking back his friends. Ripping the man in half and showering her new armor in blood left the Sith Warrior open for a tank shot from another vehicle stationed back where they had fled from. The main column of rebel soldiers had caught up. Deciding to ignore the risk of friendly fire the enemy had given the order to take her out. An incendiary round dug into Trixie’s right shoulder and exploded, removing the entire right half of her newly acquired armor, forcing the rest of dissipate in a cloud of Omnilium as the advance processor couldn’t repair the damage. While the squad that the red-head had been attacking was dead, she was now back in her normal --extremely tattered-- armor face down in a pool of her own blood that was slowly creeping along the ground.

From the direction of the shot, just like she had sensed, two more companies of rebel soldiers with their remaining medium tank arrived on scene marching in orderly fashion. Out in front was a cloaked woman who ordered the column to halt before stepping out into the middle of the destroyed intersection to inspect Trixie’s body. Rolling the redhead over, the blonde commander grinned as what was left of the Sith Mistress’ skin peeled away from her right side having adhered to the molten asphalt. Without warning Trixie planted two feet to the woman’s chest and pushed her back.

“You’re a hard woman to bring down, Zulenka.” The enemy commander said as she regained her balance. “What was your plan? To hold all of my men here while your soldiers retreated?”

Zulenka was now in extreme pain whilst lying on her back. That cheap shot had interrupted her bodies attempt to reconnect muscle tissue in her torso, causing fresh tearing and internal hemorrhaging. Using every ounce of her strength Zulenka pulled herself into a seated position, managing to get into a crouch, keeping one hand on the ground to steady her balance.

“Praxida Skleros; we meet at last. Bianca said she had a cunt of a sister. Didn’t mention anything about her being force sensitive though.” The Mistress was wheezing through her words, her lungs barely managing to keep oxygen flowing.

Beatrix dropped to one knee and coughed sharply as her healing abilities repaired the severe damage to her right side. As her right lung was sealed once again she wretched blood onto the ground and like something out of an old mummy movie, her right hand which had been nothing more than muscle and sinew began to weave new connections and new layers of skin to cover her muscular and skeletal systems. Christening her new hand, the Mistress wiped the blood from her mouth and met the gaze of the Skleros woman before her. Lifting herself to her feet through the screaming pain she felt in her legs the redheaded Sith Warrior broke open the cover on her wrist data-pad. Despite all the damage she had taken it was still functioning, albeit barely. Seventeen’s bio-signature was on the way back followed by about 600 others. She had to hold them for two minutes.

Two minutes. You got this. Just two minutes.

Reaching out with the force Trixie located the lightsaber Nova had given her and summoned it to her freshly minted and outstretched hand.

“That isn’t yours… General Praxida said, recognizing whose lightsaber she was wielding.

“Come and take it then.” Trixie baited, dropping into her Juyo stance.

As the blue lightsaber ignited the redhead pushed off the ground with her thigh muscles and sprinted full tilt towards her mark. Jedi General Skleros scowled and drew her saber just in time to deflect a blow away from her person. She twirled the white bladed weapon to her right bringing it up across her person in response to Trixie entering close quarters. The redhead looked like shit and her armor was barely functional, but she was ready to do whatever it would take to hold her ground. Starting at the edge of her right shoulder blade and rotating around her right side, down to the right half of stomach, Trixie’s body was still partly covered in the shredded nanofiber suit that was standard issue for all 13th Soldiers. The parts of her bosom and bare skin that could be seen had been severely burned or shredded away and were in the process of being healed. You could see beneath the single layers of skin to the woman’s muscle and vascular systems as her regeneration worked to repair the damage.  

“YOU DARE STAND AGAINST US ALONE!?” Skleros shouted as she stepped forward, swinging her saber as hard as she could to the left.

Pushing the inexperienced Jedi with the force, Trixie formed a fist with her right hand and unleashed a bolt of lightning directly into the woman’s chest. The sheer force of the impact sent her flying into the line of troops behind her. Rebel infantry picked up their fallen leader and assisted her back onto her feet. Trixie’s right arm was still bent at the elbow and held close to her body, lightning coursing along her forearm and up her bicep. A grin crept along the redhead’s features as she twirled her saber clockwise, pointing the blade downward in her stance. Without warning she began sprinting towards the front line, the rebel forces could do nothing but backpedal as Seventeen and the entirety of the reinforcements from the Sulaco emerged from the smoke behind her, sprinting in their direction.

It was something out of an ancient history textbook as both the rebel forces and the clone troopers from the 13th Legion clashed on the open street. Imperial walkers had rounded the corner and begun opening fire on the remaining enemy tank, drawing its fire away from the infantry following their de-facto general.

Trixie was locked in a heated duel with Jedi Skleros, surrounded by laser fire and dying soldiers. TIE Fighters and TIE Bombers roared overhead, laying waste to their designated targets and destroying anything not labeled as friendly. Fires sprung up the size of buildings that engulfed entire blocks in their plasma and gas fueled rage.

Feinting left, Trixie side stepped a wide slice from Praxida, skirting around the woman, her blue saber held at the ready. Rotating the blade counter clockwise the Sith Warrior brought it down onto a well-timed guard, causing both weapons to screech and chatter as the two beams of plasma fought for dominance. Jedi General Skleros was the first to break the clinch. Striking Beatrix in the stomach with a right knee, she feinted left and let the Mistress stumble forward, blood dripping from her mouth. Trixie’s hair had long since been knocked from it’s bun, her face being hidden by the blood red locks of hair hanging from her head. Praxida could only see the thick crimson liquid spilling from her enemies’ mouth as she spun around to bring her white blade through the back of the Sith Warrior’s neck.

Tilting her neck right and stepping back, Trixie planted a firm elbow to the blonde Jedi’s gut, quickly changing her grip on the blue saber so that the blade exited from the bottom of her fist. Rotating and rising to meet Praxida, the redhead seared across the Rebel Jedi’s midsection with her blade. Snap kicking the woman backwards, the Imperial Duelist watched as her prey fell to one knee holding her cauterized laceration.

“Damn you, Sith.” Praxida spat as she wrestled with her body to stand.

Every nerve ending screamed where Trixie had slammed a solid bolt of lightning into the woman’s chest. The Jedi eyed her opponent who looked as if she could barely stand herself. Trixie’s eyes were deadened. They held no emotion for the actions taking place. The redhead was in a state of complete autopilot, her years of combat training and military experience taking the reigns and leading her through. As each strike came Beatrix countered or blocked, striking back at her assailant until both were back in a clinch, fighting to break guard. Once again Jedi General Praxida won the struggle and sent a squared punch to the bridge of Trixie’s nose, flooding her face with blood from her broken nose.

“Kill her. Drain her life!” Palpatine’s words screeched through Zulenka’s mind as she staggered backward, saber still held out in front of her.

Letting the blood run down her chin she eyed the white-haired ARC Trooper before her. In one last ditch effort the two warriors lunged at each other. Trixie swapped her saber to her left hand last minute, driving it into Praxida’s ribcage, up and out through her shoulders. Taking hold of the Rebel General by the neck the Mistress let out a battle cry as red force energy crackling around her right hand which had latched onto Skleros’ neck. Lifting the woman off the ground despite the white lightsaber piercing Trixie’s torso she unleashed a force powered scream and dug her nails into the woman’s throat, ripping into her trachea. Ripping downward, Beatrix tore the Rebel Commander’s throat from her body in a shower of blood and viscera. Removing the blue saber from her prey as she fell, Trixie pivoted on the balls of her feet taking Praxida’s head from atop her shoulders with a horizontal slice.  

As the battle raged on around her the Sith Mistress felt her world fade away, her head held low, shifting her hair over her face. With Skleros’ ignited lightsaber still piercing her torso the Mistress let out a dark side powered wail of rage and agony, before falling to her knees, not having the strength to remove the blade from her person.

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[First Prime to Escape the Underverse]
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
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#12
Quote:Runs concurrently with much of Trixie's post

The blue beam cut through the haze of smog and fallout, and the cybernetic warrior knew that the woman could handle herself.  Even if she couldn’t, he’d just drag her sorry ass out of the fountain and make her buy the next thirty-five rounds at the local brewery establishment.

With Nova’s head lolling along his left shoulder, Seventeen pressed forward—ere, backward—as fast as he could manage.  If his commander’s words were to believed, he was going to be the white-hatted asshole who rode in with the cavalry.  In his long history of perpetually throwing himself on the enemy spears, Seventeen couldn’t remember the last time he had been the one charging in at the end to make the save.

Somewhere up ahead, the remnants of the two companies had fallen under siege.  The survivors were entrenched wherever they could find shelter from the hail of laser bolts and energy-propelled projectiles.  More often than not, their cover provided insufficient, as evidenced by the muffled screams from the dying troopers.

“So sorry, girl,” the cyborg whispered as he leapt through a storefront and unceremoniously dumped Nova behind the counter.  “You stay there,” he whispered rhetorically at her half-conscious form.  With the woman out of harm’s way, he checked the status of his sidearm.  Once it was exhausted, he’d have to rely on the good ole fashioned staples in his arsenal.

Leaping out from what had once been a lovely storefront window, Seventeen trained the WESTAR at the second story of the closet building and pulled the trigger.  By the time the rifle clicked empty, he was close enough to discard it and leap up into the pockmarked post office.  Forearms crisscrossed in front of his face, he crashed through the wall and immediately shifted his focus toward the entrenched rebels.  A few were dead, but the vast majority regained their composure in a matter of seconds.

“Nah,” Seventeen snarled as he threw his left hand out and rattled off a quick burst of ki before diving sideways through a doorway.  Once back on his feet, he threw out his hands and grinned as they started to sparkle.  “You’re gonna love this one,” he whispered as he glared through the wooden wall.

Private Kalos was one of the handful of survivors on the street.  The green soldier had survived the previous ambushes, but the fifth had proved to be the end of his luck.  A spray of energy-infused shrapnel had chewed through their left leg, and in the ensuring carnage, they had managed to find shelter in an inoperable hover-truck.  For the last minutes, Private Kalos had simply been waiting for the final jolt of pain before oblivion ushered them into its embrace.  

The last thing the half-conscious soldier had anticipated was the massive discharge of energy that tore through the second story of the post office, screamed across the street, and obliterated a pair of apartments buildings.  Private Kalos glanced down at the mangled stump of a leg and knew they weren’t moving anywhere on their own.  Despite that reality, they could spot the dust-smeared shapes of fellow troopers as they broke into sprints that would usher them to the safety of the approaching legion troops.

A thud from outside the dead truck startled the private back to the reality at hand.  This was it.  This was the moment.  Private Kalos squeezed their eyes shut behind their helmet and waited for the darkness.

“Are you alive in there, Solider?”  A voice asked as the door to the truck was thrown open and a pair of palms clasped around the trooper’s armored shoulders.

Private Kalos craned their neck to see a man clad in blue-accented stormtrooper armor and wearing all the insignia and decorations associated with the 13th Legion.  “Sergeant Major?”  The injured trooper groaned after nothing the chevrons on the pale, black-haired man’s shoulders.

“Who else?”  Sergeant Major Seventeen grinned as he leaned into the truck and gently pulled the soldier from the truck.  Once Kalos was standing on their remaining foot, the cyborg placed his thumbs under the sides of the helmet and popped the fasteners that kept it snug.  With a swift motion, Seventeen removed the helmet to reveal a very shell-shocked young woman with pale blue skin, purple hair, and pointed ears.  Glancing at the white, immobile visage on the helmet, Seventeen glanced back at the private.  “They’re doing you a disservice,” he said before flagging over a nearby pair of troopers.  

“Your fellow sister-in-arms needs your help.  Help here and run!”  He shouted without the slightest shred of sugarcoating.  “Unless you want Johnny Reb to take yer legs too.”

“Aye aye!”  The two healthy stormtroopers barked as they snapped off firm salutes, draped Kalos’ arms over their shoulders, and hustled like hell to reach the fifteen or so remaining survivors.  Once the trio had departed, the machine-hybrid flipped the helmet upside down and reached inside.  With all the surgical precision of a toddler, he wrenched out the entire comm apparatus, wiring and all.  After jamming the speaker into his ear, he reattached the power couples and found the correct frequency.

“This is the Sergeant Major,” he spoke through the soft sea of white noise.  “Someone tell me Chuck’s waiting just up this street.”

The static lingered just long enough that the cyborg almost started running back to Trixie’s location.  As he was about to dump the helmet, he heard a voice ring through the comm.  “This is Charlie Company, Lieutenant Sieve speaking, over. Dog and Fox are set up, and we’ve just received the survivors from Able and Bravo, over.  You can’t be more than a minute and a half from our LZ, Sergeant Major, over.”

“Excellent,” Seventeen replied.  “I’m turning around, and I want all of you to follow.  Fast.  El Capitan is holding off the bulk of the rebels.”

“Moving out on your instructions, over and out.”

Turning around, Seventeen relied on his ki senses to reorient himself and pluck out Nova’s weakened signature among the haze.  Had she moved?  With a frown, the machine-hybrid discarded the jerry-rigged helmet.  As he made for Nova’s position, the last thing he had anticipated was for the woman to come hurtling forward.  Years of combat training and cybernetically enhanced reflexes allowed for the fighter to catch Nova and gentle guide her to the ground.

“Nice catch,” a voice replied as a figure strode from the darkness.  With a crackle of energy, a beam of green energy emerged from the device in the rebel soldier’s hand.  “You’re going to die here, along with your sith bitch of a boss.”

Seventeen, who had exhausted most of his patience throwing himself through a brick wall, extended a clenched fist and summoned a ki saber.  “See,” he asked as he lazily swung the weapon through the air and listened to the soothing hum of the condensed beam of energy.  “Next-level, no handheld.”  He smirked as the rebel soldier clenched his lightsaber handle in his fists and rushed him.

Both fighters swung high, and their similarly-themed energy swords met with a loud hiss above their heads.

“You see what’s wrong with this situation?” Seventeen asked as he lifted his left hand and wiggled the fingers.  “I still have a free hand.”

The rebel scowled even as the flash of ki punched clean through their chest.

“One hand,” Seventeen muttered as the corpse fell to the ground.  “You don’t need two.  It can’t weigh that much.”

Unfortunately for the sneering cyborg, the victory was a short-lived one, because the thud of boots closing around him lacked that lovely, plastic-esque echo of stormtrooper footwear.  “Come out!”  The raven-haired warrior slashed his energy weapon across the pavement in front of him as he tried to focus his ki senses on the individuals closing in around him.

Bolts of energy hissed through the gradually clearing haze.  Seventeen swung up the ki saber and managed to deflect a handful of bolts before one finally clipped his shoulder.  While the armor withstood the blast, the force staggered him, and before he could recover, half a dozen more bursts crashed against the chest and abdomen of his armor.  Had he not discarded his helmet a long time ago, it would have been chirping at him about impaired structural integrity.  

Lashing out with a hand, Seventeen fired a bolt of ki.  With most of the debris settled, he watched the burst catch an approaching rebel in the gut.  Even as that soldier fell, the others closed their half circle around the cornered Imperial sergeant.  Once they got within five feet, they drew their stolen laser swords.

“En garde,” Seventeen rasped as he reached up and wiped some blood from the corner of his mouth.  The trooper armor had collapsed against his chest, and even if he couldn’t feel the singed fragments scalding his skin, he had his own internal warnings on his HUD.  The five rebels moved in to secure their kill.  With the last moment of forethought, the cyborg summoned a second sword and swung them both out to intercept at his flanks.

Shoving those two soldiers off balance, Seventeen spun forward, parried a second pair, and then took a blade through the right side of his abdomen as he drilled his weapons into rebel number five’s heart.

Once he had wrenched his weapons free, the machine-hybrid dropped down to avoid the swinging blades.  With zero pause, he cleaved through his opponent’s knees.  As he sprung back to a fully vertical stance, Seventeen stumbled forward and winced as a sniper bolt punched out through the front of his right shoulder and crashed into the ground.

His vision doubled, but he managed to parry with his good arm and lash out the bad one a beat later.  That rebel soldier let out a scream as the energy saber slashed open his throat.  A second round tore a quarter-sized hole in the left side of his abdomen.  In that moment of star-addled hestiatation, Seventeen failed to intercept the surviving rebel soldier, who swung his light saber and hacked off the cyborg’s right arm just above the wrist.

Losing his grip on his other weapon, Seventeen clamped at the charred stump and staggered.  His ears were ringing and his vision was doubled, but he swore he heard something explode in the background.  Was that nearby or twenty miles away?  He couldn’t tell—his marred focus was on the grinning rebel soldier stalking toward him.

“Last words?”  The rebel asked as he lifted the light saber.

Seventeen, his ki senses picking up the nearby signatures, put on half a smile as he glanced up at the rebel.  “Two of them,” he muttered.  “Too.  Slow.”

The rebel turned and looked at something up the street.  His young eyes went wide, and the cyborg saw his arms tense just before the round tore him into half at the waist.

“So sad,” the machine-hybrid snickered as his knees buckled.  

Before he could slump sideways and crash into the pavement, there was half a dozen hands grabbing at him.  He felt the pinch of a needle in his neck as a field medic pumped his bloodstream full of painkillers.  The meds switched off the majority of his over-firing neurons as the spray bandages were applied to the spots where his trooper armor had failed him.

“Are you okay, Sergeant Major?”  A helmet-muffled voice asked as cyborg’s hearing slowly started to return.  “Lieutenant Sieve, and if I may say so, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”  The stormtrooper remarked as a grin slowly spread across the raven-haired soldier’s face.

“The pleasure is all mine,” Seventeen slurred as he flexed one leg and then the other.  Despite the painkillers, the underlying cybernetics was more than happy to compensate.  

“Here you go, Sergeant,” another trooper spoke as someone stepped forward and handed the machine-hybrid his severed hand.  

“Put it on ice,” the cyborg muttered before pointing with his remaining hand to where Nova lay unconscious.  “And get her back to the nearest field hospital as quickly as you can.”  

“What next, Sergeant Major?”  The Lieutenant asked once the medical crew departed with Nova and his hand.

Seventeen smiled as he turned his eyes up the street.  “Let’s roll.  Everyone.  El Capitan needs a cavalry charge.”

Lieutenant Sieve pressed the comm.  “Roll out, all companies!”

***

With the battle won, the machine-hybrid rushed forward and slid down next to this commanding officer.  His handless arm slipped around her shoulders as he grabbed the handle of the light saber with his working set of fingers and deactivated the weapon.  Once the beam was gone, he slipped the weapon onto his belt and lifted the mangled red head’s chin.

“Don’t lose consciousness,” he said with a blood-laced smile.  

Trixie, her breath coming in shallow, rapid heaves, turned his bloodshot eyes to her friend.  “Killed the bitch.”  She muttered as she lifted up her hand to show a fistful of flesh and what seemed to be a biological tube of some sort.

“Obviously,” Seventeen replied as he ground his teeth and pushed up off the ground.  Leveraging his stump into her armpit, he got the captain onto her feet.  “This is easier when you’re not deadweight,” he whispered.

“I… shot my system.”  Trixie rasped as she lifted a trembling hand stained in blood and sporting at least three broken fingers.  “Not regenerating anymore.”

“We’ll set you up in one of those chambers with the blue goo,” Seventeen muttered as the pair limped their way back toward the 13th Legion.  “They got those in Coruscant, right?  I can make hamburgers out of rainbows, so I’m guessing they have the magic, healing goo technology.  Am I ri—” The cybernetic warrior glanced over and saw that his commanding officer had lost consciousness.  “Hey, I ain’t that boring.”  He muttered as the surviving leadership for their legion moved to collect them and usher them toward an extraction vehicle.

“We’ll take here, Sergeant Major,” a young lieutenant spoke as Trixie was ushered onto a gurney.

Seventeen, who was being ushered toward a medical tent, glanced back over his shoulder.  “Make sure you put her on one of the transports that won’t get blown the fuck up.  She’s got a bad track record with getting’ transports blown up!”

The lieutenant tilted his head like some sort of confused house cat before snapping off a quick salute.

“Over here, Sergeant Major!”  A voice shouted from the tent as the remaining trooper helped the noncom into the quickly erected temporary structure.  Inside, a pair of medical stormtroopers had a gurney and a few IVs established.  Off to the side, the cyborg’s severed hand was resting in a steel refrigeration cube.  “Lie down.”

“Where’s my morphine?”  Seventeen joked as another trooper came over and poked him with one of the IV needles.  A few moments later, the cyborg relaxed his systems and promptly slipped into unconsciousness.

Quote:Seventeen Counts
This Post: 2484 words / 14650 CwS
All Seventeen: 10048 words / 58390 CwS
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#13
As a sedated Seventeen was loaded onto his own emergency triage Lamba-Class Shuttle, Nova’s had already lifted off among the other medivac LA-AT transports that had arrived to carry off the wounded to the Sulaco. Sergeant Major Chun Li had already started getting reports as the first shuttles arrived with troops who had survived the ordeal or had been classified as walking wounded. Trixie was the last senior officer on site to be loaded into an emergency shuttle that came with its own triage team for en-route care. However, it’s staff couldn’t get the Mistress sedated or calm enough to begin treating her extensive and severe bodily wounds. Her cries of pain echoed through the makeshift landing zone as the nurses had to peel her armor away from her chest, exposing charred flesh, muscular tissue, and in some places, bone.

“I need you to lay back, Captain.” The head nurse said, pushing against the resisting Sith Warrior as she was wheeled up into the Lamba-Class shuttle.

“I can’t find a vein, Doctor. Should I get the drill?” Another nurse, who had been trying to find a functioning vein on the redheads severely burned right arm, questioned whilst removing a small case from a lower shelf.

“Approved. We’ll drill her.” The triage surgeon said, as he wrapped the nylon straps across the Mistress’ torso.

Her face had become swollen, her hair clinging to the dried blood on her face. Two male nurses grabbed hold of her legs as the ramp began to close and the shuttle prepped for departure. Taking hold of Trixie’s right arm a nurse held it to the gurney as the doctor prepped the intraosseous drill.

“Captain Zulenka? Can you hear me?” He asked, taking notice of the redheads’ sudden lack of resistance, as another nurse lifted her eye lids to check her pupils with a small light.

“She’s going into shock, doctor.”

Without hesitation the triage doctor spun up the drill and pressed into the Mistress’ elbow, drilling a hole into the bone of her humerus down to the marrow so they could deliver lifesaving fluids.  Stringing up an IV bag of electrolytes, synthetic blood, and pain medication he immediately gave her a heavy dose of morphine.

“Pilot! Inform the Sulaco that we have a severity seven trauma case enroute. I need a bacta tank prepped and ready, an OR ready to go, and a spinal surgeon paged from Coruscant General on Tier 1.” The triage doctor ordered as he read over the initial reports on Trixie’s wounds.

Preliminary scans from the portable medical equipment on the shuttle had shown the saber that had pierced her torso had also nicked her spine, that seventy-five percent of her torso was covered in third degree burns, and most of her skeletal system was broken in some fashion. While her regeneration had been able to save her from paralysis, the surgeon was going to have to go in and pack it with bacta gel so the Mistress would be able to heal properly. Her burns and broken bones would mend in time within the tank, but she’d have to be intubated and kept in a mild coma until her respiratory and circulatory system could function on its own.

Captain Zulenka had given everything she had for the 13th and word was spreading rapidly about it. Walking wounded survivors from Able Company and Bravo Company had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of their Division CO’s medical shuttle. Wounded and healthy soldiers alike cleared a path through the hangar as the medical team whisked away the redhead into the bowels of the Star Destroyer medical facility that was located one deck higher from the main hangar. As they brought her out of the morphine induced coma to prep her for surgery her cries of pain could be heard through the halls. Chun Li had to station Easy Company guards outside of the Trauma Wing to keep personnel from disturbing the medical teams working on Zulenka, Nova, Aisha, and Seventeen. Once Trixie had been stripped and prepped they could flush her system and re-sedate her with the proper medication used in bacta tank healing. It took about two hours for the spinal surgeon to clean away the cauterized flesh from Trixie’s torso wound and pack it with a solid block of bacta gel that her own body heat would slowly melt. Once she was ready the Captain was intubated, slid into the goo filled tank, and monitored around the clock as her shattered and broken body slowly began to heal.

***

Trixie was violently awoken from her coma as her bacta tank came crashing down from atop the Venator Class Star Destroyer. It exploded, ripping away both of her legs and cutting into her right arm at the elbow. As she bellowed in agony the pain was suddenly gone and she found herself sprawled on the cold stone floor of Diablo’s throne room. The painful sensation of his brand searing itself into her flesh once more was little compared to the pain she had just experienced. Crawling forward the naked Agent of Chaos managed to bring herself to one knee and bow her head in respect.

“You learn quick, little one, that you are but a mere pawn in a much larger game.” Diablo’s words seared through her mind like molten ice picks being stabbed into her ears.

“This Jedi you sent me has given up the location of her remaining compatriots on Tier 5 of Coruscant. You are to wipe them out and report back to me how they have been moving around undetected.” The Lord of Terror stepped out of the shadows and loomed over his servant, who dare not raise her head.

“Am I clear-” His words trailed off as a lone spiked finger moved under Trixie’s chin to force her to meet his burning gaze.

“Herald Zulenka.” With her new title he touched a claw to her brand, piercing her torso with liquid fire as it changed in appearance. Instead of two horns, it now had four.

“Complete this mission for me and your title will be official outside of this room and to all of my Agents. Fail me...and that new brand will consume your body and send you back here to me for punishment. You have one month.” The Terror Demon explained before snapping his fingers, dropping Trixie into a sea of molten rock to burn alive.

Turning back to his throne Diablo returned his pawn to her own reality. The Mistress' eyes shot open inside her bacta tank, her heart rate skyrocketing. She had no idea how long she’d been submerged, but she knew what had just happened. The new information that now tugged at her mind and the mild burning sensation under her left breast told the Sith Warrior everything she needed to know. As the automated system pumped her with a mild sedative and she drifted off to sleep she found herself yearning to see Nova.
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[First Prime to Escape the Underverse]
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
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#14
In his dreams, he was the man he had always wanted to be.

His twins were giggling and laughing, their hands clenched as they ran through ankle-high grass that Seventeen was certain he had mowed just a few days prior.  Why did grass have to grow so fast?  Was there something in its genetic material that just programmed it to never stop?  The backyard of the mansion was bathed in sunlight, and it frequently rained in this region of the continent.  It wasn’t like the damn field of green was starving for its requisite resources.

Glancing away from the children, the cyborg smiled as his wife strode out from the back door of the house.  As always, Paige looked great—her red hair was styled in that lovely, old-school way that made it bounce as she descended the steps.  Even after half a dozen deaths and a handful of violent, near-death experiences, she still had that glitter in her green eyes.  After half a decade traipsing around the galaxy, they’d finally laid down their swords and settled down with the children, who were just a few years shy of qualifying as preteens.

“Everything going well out here?”  She asked as she set a pitcher of water down on the small patio table.

“Of course,” Seventeen replied as he poured himself some water, chucked a lime slice into the glass, and took a long drag.  Before turning back to his children, his glance went toward the back of the house, where the setting of the sun had bathed the small courtyard in gradually shrinking light.  While most of the marble statues had grown weathered from a decade or so of use, there were three of them with half the shelf life.

My daughter, the general.

Seventeen turned back toward his twin son and daughter.  The little red-haired girl playing with her brother would never deal with the calamity that the statue’s foundation had. That version of Piper had become a woman in a world of hurt and misery, only to fall back in time and have a chance to set things right.

She’d succeeded.

“It’s a shame none of this is real,” Paige’s voice tugged Seventeen’s focus back to the woman at his left. The redhead smiled as she took a sip of chilled water.  “Such a shame you couldn’t stop throwing yourself on the sword.”

“I had to,” Seventeen muttered.

“Yes, you just had to sacrifice yourself for a planet that wound up in danger of being destroyed half a dozen more times over the next 3 years.  You just had to do it.”

“You vanished too, ya know.”  Seventeen muttered.  “Who knows, there’s a possibility that me dying was some cosmic inevitability or something.  Perhaps if I hadn’t died, Kirano would have never wound up falling in love with that Saiyan princess that went out with me.”

“So strange how she came back to life, isn’t it?”  Paige sneered.  This was the part where the world started to go sour.  The part where the cyborg’s insecurities about his past life choices tainted what was supposed to be an idyllic jaunt through his subconscious, turning it into a self-loathing nightmare.  “Hadn’t she died like, a dozen times before that?”

Seventeen shrugged.  “Maybe?  They wouldn’t let me back.”

“You didn’t want to come back.”

“Not true,” the cyborg replied.  Truthfully, he didn’t know how true or false the statement had been.  The couple had drifted from each other near the end.  Something in Paige’s eyes had changed, and it wasn’t related to hormones or new mom psychosis.  There was a way she had looked at him that had taken a shift in the wrong direction.  He hadn’t been able to figure it out, but then again, it was a lie to say he had dedicated the time to do so.  He had run away instead, participating in a tournament, one of the Syntech shows, and ultimately blowing himself up to save the Earth.  He’d run away.

It was something he knew he had always been good at.

The edges of the dreamscape started to unravel—colors and shapes blending into one another before it all collapsed into a great, black nothing.

With a sigh, the cyborg opened his eyes to the virtually grayscale realm of the Sulaco.  The grounded vessel had once felt like something close to home, but after reliving the halls of his old house, the steel sheets and track lighting felt more like a prison.  Rolling onto his side, Seventeen saw that it was still early in the morning by the standards of the medical staff.  Most of them didn’t start their rounds for another hour and a half.

Sliding off of his gurney, the raven-haired man reached over and pulled the drawstring for the lamp.  The bulb flickered before casting its dull yellow glow across his ward.  Despite his protestations, they’d placed him into this private little cubbyhole while he underwent the PT for his injury.  Apparently, the fact that his tissues had magically healed wasn’t good enough for the medical staff, who wanted to make sure he didn’t suffer any adverse effects.

‘Prime healing can be an unstable process.’

‘We need you to stay calm and relaxed.’

‘Peaceful environments are a must.’

Despite his best efforts at shrugging his shoulders and rolling his eyes, they had succeeded with the support of the colonel.  Even so, the cyborg had retained the ability to mostly come and go as he could within the larger medical ward of the Sulaco.

With the halls mostly empty, he allowed himself to wander just a little bit.  The cloth hospital booties he had worn for the last few days made his footfalls silent as he purposefully headed toward a room near the end of the corridor.  The latch was unlocked, as were all of the wards—they were cautious in the Sulaco but not the point of rampant paranoia.

“How you doing?”  Seventeen whispered once he had shut the door.

The room was dark, but a nearby switch turned on a red-light lamp next to the bed.  On the bed, el Capitan was lying heavily sedated.  In the corner of the room, Aisha had fallen asleep in an armchair.  Either that, or she had additional skillsets that the cyborg wasn’t aware of.

Fired! Seventeen mused as he turned his attention from the bruised young woman to the unconscious redhead on the bed.  There had been some type of incident just after their arrival back at the Sulcao, where the woman’s tank had registered several abnormal spikes in her heartrate.  No one, even Specialist Knudal, had been able to trace the root of the issue.  The cyborg scowled.  Even in her sleep, Trixie didn’t look like she was at peace—her facial muscles were tense and her fingers were clenched into tight fists.  A look at the medical equipment showed that her vitals were still within the normal ranges. What type of demons haunt your sleep, Trix?

Glancing over his shoulder at the sleeping Specialist, Seventeen slid over to the light switch and turned it off.  Rather than take the door again, he closed his eyes and waited for the warm swirl of white and blue orbs to usher him out of the room and back to his chambers.
[Image: 17.jpg]
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#15
The sound of November hobbling into the room stirred Aisha from her slumber. Reaching to her neck she winced at her sore muscles and rose to help the blond but saw that a brunette dressed in a black Imperial flight suit was already assisting the woman walk. Aisha was quick to notice the rank pinned to her collar; twin silver bars. Whoever it was, wasn’t a ground solder, not wearing what she was, and with the flight helmet strapped to the rear of her waist.

The Specialist saluted her obvious superior who looked at her with a raised eyebrow.

“At ease. I’m Captain Terra out of the 8th Carrier Battle Group in the Vasty Deeps. You don’t have to salute me.” Annabelle said as she sat Nova down in a chair next to the comatose Trixie.

Aisha nodded and retook her seat next to the Mistress’ medical equipment, a yawn escaping her mouth.

“Do they know when she’s going to wake up?” Nova said to her medically trained comrade, tears welling up in her eyes.

Aisha smiled softly as Annabelle put a hand on her sisters’ shoulder. “She will. The damage she sustained was extensive to both her respiratory and circulatory system. They’re keeping her sedated while her body finishes what the bacta tank couldn’t repair.”

Captain Terra moved to the foot of the bed and lifted the clipboard that was hanging there from its holder.

Emperor’s wrath. According to the after-action report she took a direct hit from a high explosive round out of an old Clone Wars era walker? How did your rebel friends get their hands on such tech?”

“We’re still determining that.” Aisha sighed, crossing her arms and leaning back into her chair.

“The two Sith that joined us are headed back with some prisoners to find out.”

“Fuck them.” November said, scratching at her cast with a pencil.  

With a flustered sigh, Annabelle swatted her sisters head with the clipboard and placed it back into the holder.

***

“Your love for this Nova woman is a weakness.” Diablo said, moving past his newly promoted Herald as she stood, in some shadow realm, watching her friends discuss the events that had happened around her comatose body.

“Weakness that can be exploited.” The Terror Lord’s voice echoed as he vanished into the shadows.

“Your failure extends to her. If you fail to find out what I need, your beloved woman will be banished to Yennefer’s care. I know you wouldn’t want that.” His demonic laugh tore through her consciousness.

Trixie’s eyes widened in terror. She had killed Yennefer!

“You think I’d let veteran agents of mine die so easily?”

Diablo’s voice pierced her mind which made the redhead scream, her vitals spiking rapidly, setting off several alarms throughout the room. As nursing staff and the doctor in charge ushered everyone out and began working to keep Beatrix from dying a single hypodermic needle filled with orange liquid appeared before her.

“Inject my blood into your IV and become the warrior and minion I expect you to be. Otherwise…”

Trixie began to experience traumatic flashbacks of her time in the Underverse. Except instead of her being beaten, tortured, and mutilated it was November.

“You will never see her again if you fail my task. Consider this your motivation. I’ll make sure she suffers a fate worse than death or banishment.”

Without hesitation Trixie took hold of the syringe. The heat radiating from it was almost unbearable, but she couldn’t let Nova down. She couldn’t let her squad down. As the Mistress pressed the needle into her IV, her heart stopped. Depressing the plunger, she watched as the orange fluid raced along the clear plastic tubes to her arm where it caused her veins to glow. Immediately her heart restarted, but soon her body was spontaneously combusting. By the time the fire suppression system in the Sulaco was triggered it was far too late. The Sith Warrior’s entire body was engulfed in flames and she was gone.

***

Trixie shot up from her hospital bed, gagging as she pulled the intubation tube from her throat. Nova jumped in her seat as she was woken from a dead sleep. Quickly moving to help her lover, the blond removed the breathing tube and tape from the redhead’s mouth. Trixie gripped the blondes’ oversized sweatshirt and pulled her into a tight hug.

“Please never leave me!” Beatrix cried into Terra’s shoulder, tears streaming down her face. “I love you too god damn much to exist without you, Terra!”

November was taken aback by her partners sudden outburst of emotion and held her even tighter as the redhead sobbed.

“Shhhh love. You’re okay now.” Terra said, sliding herself onto the bed so she could sit down.

Trixie clung to November’s clothing, burying herself in the woman’s blonde hair that had been tied into a tight pony tail and draped across her left shoulder. The redhead could smell the strawberry shampoo she used whilst fighting to regain control of her emotions.

The marksman peeled her partner away from her bosom and looked her in the eyes. Fresh tears were streaming down Zulenka’s cheeks. She was in severe distress and it broke November’s heart to see her like this.

“Calm, love. The Force is with you.” A feminine voice whispered into Trixie’s mind which had an immediate calming effect.

At that moment one of the Mistress’ irises became bright red.

“Are you okay, Trix?” Nova asked, concerned at the sudden change in pupil color, but before she could address the issue further the redhead had blinked, and her eye had returned to its normal shade of green; tears still streaming down her cheeks.

Wiping her face Beatrix nodded and swung her legs over the side of the bed. Pulling the various needles from both of her arms she stood up and stretched her limbs. Untying the hospital gown, she dropped it to the floor, turning around to face her lover who had been taken aback by her rapid change in composure.

“What the status of Able and Bravo company?” She asked, pulling on a loose fitted t-shirt with an Imperial logo printed on the front.

“Thirty-five percent strength. Replacements will arrive within the week.” The blond replied, taking a moment to recall the figures Chun Li had given her.

The Mistress contorted her face in thought as a knock came at the door. “Enter.” Trixie ordered.

Inside came a lone Royal Guard dressed in his signature red armor, carrying the force pike they were infamous for using.

“November. Go tell Chun Li we have an upcoming operation and to get Easy Company mobilized. Dismissed, Corporal.” The Mistress said, beckoning Terra out from the other side of the bed.

With a reluctant nod the blond sniper made her way passed Trixie, only to be grabbed by the arm and pulled in for a kiss. Zulenka let go of the woman’s arm and let her go relay the information to the Sergeant Major. As soon as she was gone the Royal Guard locked the door and removed a flat disc the size of his palm and about as thick as a tin of mints. A hologram of the Emperor appeared just above it.

“Captain. Tell me you have some news.” Palpatine said.

Dropping to one knee and bowing her head, Trixie replied, “I do.”

“Gooood.”

***

In the days following Trixie’s release from the Medical Bay, operations were returning to normal. The replacements for the casualties taken across all companies were in the process of being trained and shipped out from the cloning facility on the other end of Tier 1. Nova’s sister had seen to her kin’s recovery and was called back to the Vasty Deeps on urgent business. The departure of her Veritech Fighter was something of an event for the day, because it hadn’t been something much of the hangar crew ever experienced or would ever have the clearance to deal with. It was an aerial superiority fighter from the Diablo War that was mainly used in the Deeps due to its extreme speed and long-distance coverage. So just being in the presence of a pilot and jet that had fought against Diablo and survived made Captain Annabelle something of a celebrity.

Captain Zulenka had received intel on a Rebel Cell on Tier 5 that Palpatine had approved of destroying knowing full well that this was information garnered from Diablo. Trixie and the special forces along with the entirety of ARC Trooper Company E were being shuttled down straight into the middle of the enemy base. Preparations were already under way to ready the LAAT’s for landing under heavy fire. The chosen mission LAAT’s were being stripped of non-vital parts and turrets for speed but strengthened against anti-vehicle rockets with state of the art chaff and point defense systems. Mission details were still being hashed out by High Command and Colonel Skleros, but Trixie and her team were to prepare the hangar for King Bradley in the interim who was on his way for a special visit. The vehicles in the main hangar had been moved temporarily into the bow to make room for the entire Legion to be present for whatever it was Bradley was coming to do. His presentation was to be at 1300 hours exactly, with the entire Legion present, including commanding staff. Colonel Skleros had arrived early in the morning to help coordinate with Sergeant Major Li.

After everything that could be done to prepare had been done, the entire 13th Legion was mustered into the hangar of the Sulaco by Battalion and by Company. On the stage in front of everyone was a podium and behind it sat four chairs. In each chair by order of rank was Trixie, Seventeen, Nova, and Aisha. They were each in their formal military uniform reserved for looking nice in front of high ranking officials. Each of the women had their hair done up into a tight nit regulation bun and fastened. As King Bradley made his way onto the stage the PA system began to play a very imperial themed marching tune. The entire Legion, including everyone on stage, stood to attention and saluted King Bradley as he took his place behind the podium.

“At ease, Thirteen.” The King said, holding up both his hands.

Every Clone Trooper, as if programmed in unison, put both hands to behind their back and widened their stance.

“I have gathered you here to honor some of the Empire’s finest soldiers. For in its hour of need they took the initiative and sought justice for crimes committed against the state.” He said into the microphones, motioning behind him to the special forces team.

“When I first met Captain Zulenka she was an Ensign with everything to prove to the Empire and that she wasn’t a criminal. That day I ordered a stay on her incarceration along with Corporal Terra. I told them both to prove themselves. I’d say they’ve done that and more. Wouldn’t you agree, Thirteen!?”

The last sentence he shouted, raising his hands to the crowd, which caused the entire room to erupt into cheering and shouts of praise for the team who had successfully stopped two full companies of Rebel Soldiers on Tier 2 and avenged the lost members of the Empire at the party. Trixie scanned the room as each of the Clones around her, including hangar personnel and military staff cheered for her and her team. To finally be on the good side of the Empire almost brought tears to her eyes, but the Mistress maintained composure. Righting her posture and fixing her gaze on Bradley, he had turned to take something from his assistant.

“Captain Beatrix Zulenka. In recognition for your heroic action on Tier 2 you are being awarded the Imperial Cross and promoted to Major. Congratulations!” He held out his hand for Trixie to shake, which prompted the newly promoted redhead to step forward and firmly shake the King’s hand.

“Thank you, sir!” She said, saluting him as he handed her a wooden box containing her golden oak leaves.

As she took it from him, he pinned an Imperial Cross to her uniform over her right breast. Standing to attention he saluted her which she did once more in return before taking her seat. Seventeen was the next to be called up. He was promoted from Sergeant Major to First Lieutenant. Nova received a bump to First Sergeant and Aisha was moved to Sergeant. Beatrix wasn’t quite sure if what was going on was real or if it had been another drug induced dream like the ones she had been having while recovering in the bacta tank.

Good, my love. Make them proud. Pride will be one of your strengths.

As another round of thunderous applause shook the hangar the Mistress held her head in pain. Whoever was whispering to her, she knew for certain it wasn’t Diablo. Could it have been that Succubus from the Underverse?

Incorrect.

Nova placed her hand on Trixie’s leg to make sure she was okay which made the newly appointed Major immediately try to hide that anything was wrong. However unbeknownst to her, one of her irises had turned bright red again, which caught Nova’s eye. Once the Mistress blinked it was gone, but the blonde was sure of what she had seen. Something was wrong with her beloved, the woman she cared most about.

November was determined to find out what.


Quote:Trixie and Seventeen have been awarded the Imperial Cross by King Bradley. They now have access to communications with him directly. Accompanying this is an officer grade blaster pistol. It can be made into a move or be purely aesthetic according to the quest. 

[Image: Imperial_Medal_of_Honor.png]

Trixie has been promoted to Major
Seventeen has been promoted to First Lieutenant
Nova has been promoted to First Sergeant
Aisha has been promoted to Sergeant


Post Word Count: 2255
Character Count: 12859
[Image: trixiesig2018.png]
[First Prime to Escape the Underverse]
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
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