Sunday, May 21, 2006

It's All Hunting - SWG FanFic

Things had changed for the old ranger and his crew over the years. Things were always changing, life’s like that, so what was the problem?

Sitting in his apartment on the 76th floor of the Coruscant Mining Corporation’s accommodation block in central Coronet City watching the sun try to burn through another layer of smog to glint dully off the herds of speeders and skytrains that flocked round the dark housing towers for the past week now, ken' had had a lot of time to consider the ways life changed over time.

He’d lived in a small town on the desert planet Tatooine for much of his early life. Trained as a craftsman like his father and fathers before before going off to the Academy to learn to be a pilot for the Emperor like all good, loyal citizens were expected to do. Basic training was, as expected, short and brutal. Flight training was equally shrt, if you survived, you could fly. If you didn’t, well, you were an expendable resource after all, plenty more willing, ahem, volunteers waiting to take your place. Fortunately, he could fly but it seemed the Empire had other plans for him…

So, he’d ended up back on Tatooine, beating feet across the damned sands, clearing out pockets of ‘resistance’ and ‘seperatists’ and ‘insurgents’ by any expedient means. You were expected to follow orders, take your squad of troopers to point X, make robust enquiries, remove any potential threat to Imperial stability and to ensure that enough citizens were allowed to survive to ‘educate’ others about the consequences of wrong headedness. Other vermin, like the sandpeople, jawa and kitonaks were just so much target practise. Filthy non-human scum.

But that reasoning didn’t help keep the dreams at bay and, after one particular muon and industrial alcohol fuelled screaming session, he’d been retired from the service on medical grounds. Of course, nobody really retired from the service and his convalescence was to be spent watching for infiltrators and other troublemakers here in C-Net. During the day he’d spend time trekking out into the grasslands with hunting groups, observing, learning and without realising it, beginning to relax and get to like these people.

People. Trained to think of ‘targets’ ‘subjects’ and other dehumanising tags, he’d stopped looking at his fellow citizens as people. But now, working daily with the hunters and hanging out with the miners in the cantina at nights he started to hear more than just complaints about Imperial brutality and started to understand that they too had wants, needs, dreams and hopes. Something inside uncurled from the dark corner it had been hiding in and he realised he had begun to sympathise…

He spent more and more time hunting, travelling to other planets to look for more and more exotic creatures. The hides and meat he brought back in the hold of his ship always sold for a good price to the local artisans and the bio-med suppliers. He grew rich, well, at least ‘comfortable’ and, thanks to his old Imperial connections was able to secure a long lease on this apartment. It was ironic then that he should use this apartment to meet with so many of the separatists, insurgents and other rebels that he’d originally been sent to track down and identify.

They didn’t trust him immediately, that itself was understandable. But over time they began to realise that he could be trusted to gain information for them, carry out small disruption missions and conduct long distance patrols deep into Imperial territory.

He eventually agreed to become a guide for the Alliance, taking small groups into the wilds and training them in survival techniques, how to track, how to skin and flesh carcases and how to live off the land for days or weeks at a time. His knowledge of Imperial military tactics allowed him to train his teams in insurgency and counter-insurgency techniques. They became a fast moving, hard hitting Ranger unit and were rewarded well for their efforts in hindering the Empires progress.

As his squad began to trust him entirely they began to function as one ‘entity’. A target would be identified, they’d move fast and silently to the best position to aquire the target then, with a withering, focused burst of fire, the target would be eliminated and they’d withdraw rapidly, covering any signs of their passing as they went.

Conceal. Observe. Move. Hit. Withdraw. It was a simple tactic. It worked and it created the maximum disruption to the Empire with the minimum cost in lives. Just like hunting the krayt on Tatooine or the Gorax on Endor, target the vital point, hit it as hard as possible, neutralise the threat, kill, harvest, celebrate when you get back to camp safely.

Sitting at the window of his apartment, watching the sun burn through another layer of smog and glinting dully off the herds of speeders and skytrains that flocked round the dark housing towers, ken’ considered ‘change’ and how, if you made the best of it, it wasn’t all that bad really.


A quiet chirruping bleep drew his attention to the terminal on his desk. A new prey had been located. An Imperial officer had been identified as the serial killer dubbed “Darth Gaydar”. Using the private holonet chat channels this psychopath had been terrorising the, uhm, alternately gendered for over a year now, luring them to meetings in the undercity which inevitably resulted in a badly mangled corpse being dumped outside a cantina in the middle of the night.

A nice bounty had been offered by the local Seamstress’ Guild for anyone who could stop the fiend in his tracks. A tidy bonus was offered if all wounds were restricted to one small area of the body…. Vindictive old hags those seamstresses.

This mission would need special camouflage and, though he preferred the heft of a rifle, there wasn’t going to be much room to conceal many weapons in this outfit. Hopefully the blaster wouldn't make too freakish a bulge..

Changes, eh? Different kind of camo, thats for sure, but how was he going to negotiate terrain in these heels?

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