Log:A Shogun's Story
An endless overcast of clouds lords over the imperial palace of Imperial City, Etryigus; and it serves as a stark, eternal reminder of this world's unfortunate and ironic fate. The Viridian Pagoda is fifteen stories high, and at the top of it is a rudimentary landing pad for small ships only.
As its name suggests, the large, green, ornate structure is built out of the Blarfskin People's equivalent of durasteel, and its multiple levels are stacked atop each other in a 'folded square' design. However, there are many slugthrower-based artillery guns placed at the corner of each of the Pagoda's "squares", and within the Pagoda's walls are beings who man the guns and periodically fire them if a bi-pedal machine comes anywhere near the fifty-foot high durasteel-equivalent walls which surround the Viridian Pagoda.
From the landing pad atop of the Virdian Pagoda which serves as the capitol stronghold of the city and the world's last remaning Near-Human refuge, it is impossible to see the hordes of bi-pedal, sword wielding machines which inhabit the forests surrounding the Virdian Pagoda and its defenses. However, the man named 'Shogun Kasten' is more-than-aware that they machines are not only within the forests, but they are within the city itself on standby, there are within the citites that Imperial City once warred with, and they are even at the bottom of the seas where some of Imperial City's wars were fought. They are everywhere on this world, and they are on standby because their purpose, to kill Near-Human inhabitants, is nearly complete.
Except for those within the Viridian Pagoda.
The Luxury 3000 Oddsmaker whips into view, piloted by a very hungover Festian after an extensive night of partying and /very/ little sleep. Honestly, the ship's accoutrements have been wasted in the face of powerful narcotics. At least as far as Ryo's concerned. Instead of sleeping in the big, comfortable king-sized bed that his captain's quarters allows for, he found what little sleep he could on the cold tile of the cargo bay.
Grumpily, the gambler flips up the PA switch and says, <<On approach. Everybody...whatever...>>
The mirror of a ship comes to land, its gears extending beneath the strange vessel and hisses of steam spilling out as it sets down and the ramp extends.
"Honestly, the absolute easiest thing to do here, right, is kill the natives and loot the place. Because look, I'm human," Yan was explaining, suited up in so much armour he might as well be a robot himself, with a weapon that started life as a carbine but had morphed into a full on battle rifle over its lifespan across his knees. His head was helmeted by the FormFitter and thus his voice was slightly muffled and slightly buzzing, and it did a FANTASTIC job of protecting his eyes and ears from the bright lights and sounds that came about when you spend a night partying with anyone called Odessa. "You're human," he gestured to Ryo, or where Ryo was earlier that morning before they started flying, because Yan hadn't been paying attention when he moved, "you're... honestly I'm not entirely sure what you are," he said to Meeyuri or wherever he assumed Meeyuri was, "you might need to be killed. Still!" This was far from Yan's best plan. Blame the hangover. "I mean, we could hack the bots, but I don't think I can hold down a meal." Do not. Go into. Ryo's refresher. "Or hack the bots. Y'know."
Dressed in a fancy green robe with a vibro-sword sheathed to a gold sash which is wrapped around his waist, the elderly, dark-skinned, and bald man identified as the '8th Sunrise Shogun,' Yehail Kasten, approaches the landing party flanked by over two-dozen guards wearing scratched and age-beated maroon durasteel cuirasses and full-face helmets. Like their liege, they are also armed with sheathed vibroswords.
He steps in front of the yacht and waves towards the inside of the craft, signaling its pilot and passengers to disembark.
"Nnnfmp." There's a creak-squeaking of leather, a rustling of tangled, beaded mane, and a sharp CLANG-yang-yan-yaaaaaang-whirwhirwhirwhirfwop as some poorly balanced platter nearby gets knocked off its terribly improvised 'table' in the lounge area. A cup? Yup, a cup. The cup was still partially full, too, which accounts for the suddenly wet feeling Muri feels soaking into her left arm as she fitfully stirs from her drug-induced dreams.
Netep blinks blearily from under a mop of hair, propped on the heels of her hands with a backward lean against the wall and surveys her surroundings with a sort of nonplussed squint. Where, oh where, in last night's baaarvy good time did she end up? Suddenly, the interior intercom screams into her brain and she screams back. Realization dawning. Odessa.
Some minutes later, Muri turns up outside the cockpit with a freshly bruised chin - something sustained on her wobbly way down the corridor during landing. There are no words. Just a stare. A stare at Ryo, a stare at Yan, then at the navcomp, then ahead at the viewport. "Where and why?"
"Etryiguys," Ryo answers easily, standing up from the red leather command chair and moving to pinch Netep on the cheek as he slips by her. "Labor dispute. Or something," he continues, moving down the spiral staircase that leads down to the cargo bay and stepping down the ramp to meet with the one who summoned them here. If someone thinks that Odessa and Co. is the best way to get the job done, you /have/ to meet that person. Just to try and figure it out.
"Alright ladies and... yeah, it's showtime! Best way to do this is to just kiiiiillllllll!" Yan was excited! Yan was pumped! Yan was treating his hangover with more alcohol. If this was gonna end in tears, it was going to be tears of sadness once Yan finds out his favourite holonovela got cancelled. "Labour dispute?" Ah, Yan, you and your fake accent. When he stood it wasn't steady. "Whoa, floor's moving," he protested, and stomped forward and down the ramp behind Ryo. "If it's that, we have a lot more murder to do. Are these guys from the labour union? HEY!" Augh volume! He was yelling at the bald guy. "Are you from the union? We're not drunk, we're just not used to the gravity!" Yes, Yan was definitely not drunk.
Shogun Kasten tilts his head slightly towards Ryo and Yan--especially at Yan's actions--but doesn't seem to believe there's anything wrong with him. He simply scratches his chin and speaks.
"Greetings to you," Kasten says to Zhu,Ryo, and Netep. "If you are all that's come, I'm still glad. You are...workers of reputation. I believe you're aware of our situation, so I will be brief--"
Kasten peers at Zhu.
"By the day's end, I will be dead, and so will all of the men behind me. We've staved off death for twenty-five years thanks to the Pagoda's defenses against the war-droids, but defeating them completely has almost never been an option. I was recently diagnosed with a terminal disease by our sole doctor here, and I've decided it's time to make a final stand. My people and I will not die cowering behind these walls as we have; we will fight, and we will repel them from the walls until we are overtaken. As such, I am paying you half up front...and when I am dead, a 'deadman's switch' will trigger the rest of your pay."
"Once I am dead, however, it will be up to you to get back to your ship from the Viridian Pagoda's vestibule. My warriors can hold them off...but if the place has been overrun, you may have quite a fight back to the top."
All that's come? A slip of an Echani seems to appear out of thin air, but only for those really mot paying any attention to their surroundings. It's not like Xan is trying /that/ hard not to be seen late to class. "Okay," she announces her presence by way of acknowledgement, looking to the others that showed up.
Netep groans, smacking away empty air when Ryo slips by and shuffleglomps along in his wake. She brings up the rear of this /fine/ contingent of totally adept professionals. A discrete little sniff toward her left shoulder confirms that her Lorrdian half is showing itself (smelling) and a frown follows the boys down the ramp. "Should've given me a four minute heads-up, hey? I need a shower." Complaint issued, now she can get to task. Whatever that task is.
The wind whips some tears into her eyes once that fresh air strikes and she narrows her eyes on their host and his armed escorts. "H'lo," she grunts and puts both hands to her eyes to rub away the spots. She's listening, she's listening, she's holding up a hand. "Wait. We're going /down/? There?" A /look/ at Ryo. "Let's uh.../hypothetically/ say some of us missed the briefing and have no idea what precisely we're expected to do here. Have we got a moment to take it from the top?" She extends a hand that's just a little dusty with veggie crisp crumbs to the noble looking fellow. "I'm Muri. Part o'the brainer half of the Explorer's Guild and cofounder of the Trader's Union. Y'need artifacts unearthed, cryptic writings decoded, xeno anthropological questions answered or a lil ferry ride around the hyperlanes, I'm your girl." *Smile* It's too toothy of a smile, so maybe it's part grimace.
"Did he just call us 'workers'? Like... /those/ kind of 'workers'?" Yan, armoured, armed, drunk, and talky as a result, was nattering away through his helmet in Ryo's general direction. He was trying for sotto voce. He was not doing sotto voce. "'Cause I know I'm not, nobody would pay me, but you, oh boy, I bet... hang on. Wait. Wasn't the, hang on." It was almost like a thought was intruding into Yan's mind, something that could QUICK THERE IT IS CATCH IT. "HEY!" Yan barked again at Ol' Baldy. "If you guys intend to die we could just kill you here job done AND we'd get paid!"
This is why Yan is usually not allowed to drink before or during jobs. It was a miracle he hadn't shot them all already!
"This is not your smartest moment! I mean, final stand, why don't we just frackin' evacuate you? You get to live!" His arm went up, and swept a path as though painting the sky. "CORE, MEDICAL, SCIENCES. Or... dude," his armoured head had turned back to Ryo. "Does your ship have guns? Could shoot this whole place with your guns. Boom. Death by fire. And we get paid. Job done, go home, I'd say 'invoke first night' but boy oh boy has that boat sailed." What the frack had /happened/ last night?!
"Ooooor," Ryo says, waving away Yan and Muri's stupid talking stuff that he insists on doing. "You could go ahead and pay us /before/ the job. Honestly, it's the safest bet for us. We're humble mercenaries, you see? And it would make us all a lot more comfortable to be paid in full before this...suicide mission of yours. I'm sure you understand," Ryo says, a hand placed on his chest to emphasise his straight-arrow-ness.
There's a look over at Muri and he gives the woman a shrug. Honestly, he'd forgotten why they were even here, but he's not about to turn down a pay-day.
The Shogun lowers his head as Ryo addresses him, then looks back up.
"It is a matter of honor," Kasten states in a humble tone. "In allowing our world and culture to rise and then fall to this point, we have failed it. As such, we have decided to die with it after years of hiding behind our walls and our guns. We do not wish to be evacuated--but you are primarily here for this, as well--" Kasten motions for one of his guards to step forward, and he is carrying a sheathed vibro-"greatsword".
"As a matter of honor, I must wield this in the final battle, and you must take it from me when I have fallen and give it to a museum of your choosing. Or...you may even opt to keep it as an antique or an heirloom to be passed down. I am only concerned that one small piece of our culture survive after the rest of us are gone."
"He wants warrior death," Xan bows her head slightly, oddly /acknowledging/ the fatal wish as if she understands it, certain suicide. "He no want to die on some ship somewhere from his illness. They finish their duty." She shrugs and then looks at the vibro-"greatsword" tilting her head appreciatively. "I know how to care for such weapons," but as for what they do with it, Xan glances to those around her, strangers to her. Xan says, "Incoming, Pagoda trees," Xan says, drawing her vibrodaggers as she moves to get a better look to confirm, perhaps not the brightest of ideas."
"I..." There was a moment as Yan's opinion of life ran headlong into the word 'honour', leaving it with a crippling concussion and a desire to drink a whole lot more. "That's stupid. You're stupid." He turned to the funny speaking person who was a little bit familiar but not enough to make it register. "You're also stupid. But hey, fine, if you wanna die in pain, be my guest. So. Who we murdering. Not you. We know it's not you. Don't worry. I'm not drunk." Yan wasn't drunk, promise. Ignore the slight swaying.
"Is it the trees?" the diminutive unprofessional gestured towards the rustling outside the walls. "Because honestly the last time I went up against a tree I broke my ribs. Never again. Gotta say I am not fond of all these 'must's." Maybe it was a good thing he'd had a few too many last night and was treating it with a few too many this morning, sober Yan would have already cut the knot simply because he didn't like being told what to do. "SERIOUSLY," OH GOD STOP YELLING, "YOU WILL SURVIVE WITH CORE, MEDICAL, TECHNOLOGYYYYYYYY!"
Eyeing the sword, Ryo looks over to Netep and gestures a hand to it, "See? /That's/ the reason we're here. I thought you might want a cool sword thing to hang on the wall, y'know?" Ryo explains, matter of factly. It was his plan all along, scout's honor.
"Uh, yeah, we'll do it, I guess," Ryo offers back to the self-styled Shogun. "Just point us towards...what?" he asks, finally noticing the Echani who's sister he turned in for a bounty once. Awkward.
She's calling out the arrival of something incoming, so his blaster is slid from its holster and readied.
"Mm." Muri eyes the sword appraisingly, aaaaalmost appreciating Ryo's alleged intent. It might weigh as much as she does, guys, so...she ain't carrying it. "A museum, then," she flicks a glance to the hooded Echani woman, then their host. Assuming they can retrieve it from his corpse! She's having doubts. "Within your ehm, your fortress, have you chronicles of your history we might upload and share with this symbol of your people's strength? A sword without context is not so long-lived a legacy, if the generations to come do not know the meaning behind its existan---" Muri's wandering eyes have also come to note that a cluster of trees are swaying most contrarily to whatever breeze exists. It's not nature's doing, that.
"Yan, shut your gob, the man wants to die but unless you're keen on the same, really need you to focus on /that/."
The rustling in the trees eventually reveals over a hundred, seven-foot tall bipedal droids with curved legs and durasteel-equivalent, rudimentary swords-for-hands. They make no mechanical noises, no chirps or beeps; their brisk movements as they stride out of the trees and towards the wall are the only sounds they make.
A slugthrower-based cannon from the 8th level of the Pagoda is fired into the eastern section of the forest, and dozens of warrior droids are blown twenty feet into the air along with it.
- BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!*
More cannons are fired. Within a minute, all cannons are firing, and now the Warrior Droid Horde streams of the forest towards the tall walls of the Pagoda.
"The time is here," Kasten says to everyone, though he faces Yan. "We must go to the lowest level and begin the battle!"
"Psh, I'm immortal," retorted the very mortal and very doomed Zhu Yan to Meeyuri, cockiness and arrogance fizzled by the heavy power armour he wore. Boom boom boom, Yan was too out-of-it to even register that the battle had been joined, and it was only as Baldy McBalderson was yelling in his general direction that he snapped out of his revoire about the events that transpired last night. "Huh? Oh. Right. Off you go!" And he just stood there, not moving. He had to think about it before he realised that he was supposed to go down and shoot robots too. "Oh. Right. Yeah. Be right behind you. Gotta use the little boy's room. Not drunk." Oh yeah Yan was definitely drunk, and didn't move an inch. It was a good thing that these guys were gonna die because boy oh boy if they were around to leave HoloYelp reviews they would be /scathing/.
"This...this should be fun," Ryo says, looking down at the incoming droid hoard. Noting Yan's refusal to stumble-charge into the fray, Ryo whacks the man upside the helmet and begins wandering off behind the Shogun. Definitely because he's brave, and not because he really just wants to look around for stuff that he can steal from the pagoda.
"Get back on the ship," Muri says after picking herself off the tarmac where she'd dropped at the first BOOM. "It /has/ got guns, hey?" This second question being directed to Ryo's turned back. She, for the first and probably only time, is standing rooted next to Yan. "The kriff we gotta be down /there/ for? Blast'em all from above, retrieve the data, pick up the sword, and we're done."
It's never that simple, Muri. What is this, a holoflik?
The landing pad itself lowers into the Pagoda as the entire party stands on it, leading to another room with a large elevator. Despite the heavy gunfire, the cyborgs are already scaling the wall, though warriors at the ground-level are already cutting them apart.
Kasten steps inside of the elevator with his warriors, and those who step inside immediately descend to the bottom floor.
Sudden forced movements of the noggin when you're already unsteady are a great way to add confusion to an otherwise blissful state of ignorance. Yan's head moving a way he wasn't expecting made his cheeks go green and caused his nose to uncomfortably boop on the interior. It was enough to rattle a few cans in the brain of the diminutive smuggler and maybe, just maybe, return him to reality a bit.
"Did whatsername just run off?" Stop standing there like a mook, Yan. "I mean, sure, we could, that's easy, but we're stuck on an express elevator going to HEEEELLLLLLLLLLL" is what he was saying to Meeyuri, sane whilst mental cans rattled. "You do your thing. I'm gonna go punch some labour workers or whatever the frack we're fighting, 'cause I'm bored." That must be the cans settling. With that, he broke off into the most unsteady awkward run he'd ever done, following on behind Those Who Are About To Die and bundling into the elevator like an absolute idiot, and that was including that one time he'd been locked out on the streets of Nar Shaddaa wearing nothing but a hat. "Talking's good. Talking is for communication, y'know. And discourse and other things and honestly it's just a way to clear the air, y'know?" Ah, being crammed into an elevator with a moron who smelled like booze and talks ALL THE TIME. What a way to die. "Tally ho, schuttas!"
"It's got some guns /in/ it, sure," Ryo says, stepping into the elevator along with Zhu Yan and the Echani. He checks the charge on his blaster pistol and takes a deep breath, exhaling slowly and blinking a few times in quick succession. What's he doing here again? How did he even find out about this whole thing? It's definitely a set-up for him to die, right?
The elevator door shuts with Muri on the other side of it, and immediately begins its fast descent to the surface. When it arrives and the doors open -- dozens of droids have already scaled the walls and the Pagoda itself, and are attacking the many guards in the vestibule. The last stand has begun.
Upon seeing the elevator doors open, droids course towards it, and the Shogun's guards rush to meet them and clash blades. Now holding his sheathed vibro-greatsword, the Shogun pulls left on its hilt while one of his guards pulls right on the sheathe. The giant blade is freed from its sheath, and the Shogun raises it high over his head.
"FOR THE DYNASTY!" Kasten shouts, and charges off into the fight as droids come at the mercenary party as well. So small, Xan might very well get trampled by the battle stampede, Xan simply sucks to the side of the elevator for the initial rush of machine and bodies. She uses this time to select a target, something that might give her a challenge. Zeroing in on one of the shogun droids, the little lithe Echani steps through the fray, avoiding one, two bystanding altercations to zip in and STAB at the droid's optical sensor, then the other one, then the CPU, or where she thinks it ought to be. "One down." A little grin creeps onto her face.
Oh we're doing battle cries now? "FOR A GOOD TIME, NOT A LONG TIME!" was Zhu Yan's bellowing proclamation to the fray, aiming and firing at nothingness seeing as a rogue Warrior droid had managed to throw off his aim by applying sword very, very violently to his bracer.
"HEY!" Yan cried out, frustrated, not yet feeling the mighty bruise forming under the armour. "You scratched the paint!" The next shot was inserted very delicately into the torso of Yan's assailant. By that I mean Yan shoved the Tracker into the guts of the sword-wielding maniac robot and pulled the trigger, turning its midsection into slag. "Oh!" Behind it was another one, so having already cored this one, he pulled the trigger again, firing through the dead droid, and clipping another in the processor. "Sweet. OI!" He was yelling at the sword-wielding flesh maniac with no hair. "Where's the processing unit in these things?!"
One of the droids breaks into the elevator and just straight-up stabs Ryo in the leg. "Dick!" shouts Ryo to the automoton, lifting his blaster pistol and pressing it to the droid's head, pulling the trigger, and sending seared droid parts all over the interior of the elevator. Holding up the husk of droid as best he can to protect himself, Ryo steadies his aim on his fallen assailant's shoulder, and fires a duo of shots towards the incoming enemies.
"Yan! Why did I let you talk me into this!?"
Viridian beauty, this pagoda. What wonders, pray tell, do its mysterious walls hold hidden away? Netep's trepidatious wandering doesn't take long to pay off, apparently. Rounding a corner, she finds herself face to face with a cavernous room of priceless delights. Familial heirlooms, no doubt. It only takes a heartbeat for her to holster her blaster, though, because these items passed down through generations of Kastens haven't been left to fend for themselves. A pair of armed guard stands ready at the entrance. Probably Muri does not resemble a member of the Kasten line, nor is she dressed appropriately to be masquerading as priviledged company, so...hands up?
"Hellooo..." she breathes, one hand lowering a little bit to knead at a piercing pain in her temple. omg what did they DO last night???? "I uh, I'm here on behalf of Shogun Kasten?" Was that a question, or an assertion? Muri doesn't even know. "He," she points /up/ "we just met, up there. He went down, my comrades in arms went down WITH him, I am here to serve in a more scholarly ... form. He mentioned the sword, but I'll be frank with you - displaying that piece of might by its lonesome in a cold museum corridor in his memory is /not/ going to be the legacy he thinks it is - not without some ehm...some supporting actors." A pause then, as she looks pointedly around the room beyond them, hands still aloft in show of submission. "Anything in here you'd like to donate to your Shogun's cause? Or perhaps something less physical in form but, ehm, literary or liturgical or ANY reflection of your history really, would do quite nicely." A girl can hope.
Netep Muri flicks the safety into place on her Modified DL-18 - 5263, sliding the weapon away.
The two guards glance at each other in slight confusion, and then look back to Muri as though uncertain what to do.
Left and right, the cheaply-produced but numerically superior Rouge Warrior Droids fall to the blasters and blades of the screaming defenders, even the first of the Shogun-class Warrior Droids, which are larger and more capable than the common design. Shogun Kasten, already covered in the blood of some of his fallen guard, screams in defiance as he swings his sword to the hard-right, taking out three droids in that single broad swing.
However, more droids pour through, and the second of the Shogun droids presses into a double-bladed attack against Kasten himself. Xan barely has time to appreciate her handiwork before she has to dodge the attack of a rank and file droid, that grin still gracing her lips as she surveys the efficient carnage of the stranger's she's teamed up with. Catching sight of another shogun, she gets to it after Shogun Kasten first engages, attacking it from the back and getting off two hits before the droid can respond. In her last sweep of her dagger, the Shogun droid is no longer there. Then she looks over her shoulder through the masses of droids as they begin to thin. "IG incoming!" she actually points to the regally cloaked droid who is rocketing over the wall...conveniently armed to the teeth.
"What?!" was Yan's half-joyous half-confused response to Ryo's accusation. Well and truly out of the elevator and into the melee, ignoring the feeble attempts at knives trying to get through reactive plasteel armour, he was clearly having a good time in the turkey shoot. "You told me," BLAM, "we were going to Pantolomin for, and I quote, 'enough women and drugs to drown in'!" He was firing away, a mad cackle emerging from the drunken man's lips as he utterly failed (BLAM) to comprehend how much danger he was in. "This is even better! It's like," BLAM, "murder but no one tries to make you feel bad for it!" There was a familiar PSSSSHHHHHRRRRRRRT in the distance, a sound Yan through sheer familiarity could never mistake. "HEY!" he cried out, gesturing at the new IG-model droid that had just entered this fracas. "That guy stole my idiom!" His jetpacking idiom. Right.
"No, /you're/ an idiot!" Ryo calls back to him, his partial hearing loss an unfortunate side-effect of having a firefight in an elevator. "I've never been interested in Pantomime and you /know/ it! We've /talked/ about this!" he shouts, still hiding behind his dead droid cover as best as he can and firing wildly at the incoming jetpack droid.
Meanwhile in that Hall of Wonders, you could hear a pin drop. Or, as is actually happening, Muri's stomach gurgle.
She hasn't eaten in 20 hours - not REAL food - and her system's starting to notice. She clears her throat, like maybe that'll cover up the noise after the fact? One hand drops to lay lightly over her tum. "On second thought, y'know cuisine is a really fascinating aspect of any given culture. Don't s'pose you could spare a moment to give me a glimpse at what you've been surviving on these past 25 years?" RUDE. That's rude. Netep dips her lower lip in shame for even asking. "Nah...naaah that'd just make for an article only a handful of people would read, what REALLY sells a story is the /struggle/. The rise of a Dynasty, the glory, the...honestly, whatever you can spare." This fisherman's run out of bait, her boat's sprung a leak, and she's too tired to care.
The two guards at the door to the room of treasures simply cross their arms after Netep addresses them, remain silent, and stare ahead.
Kasten raises his weapon high above his head and cheers in triumph as much of the vestibule is cleared out of warrior droids, but more of them pour over the gates still. However, when they enter the vestibule itself. They do not engage with the warriors, and surprised by this, the warriors do not engage them and simply watch and wait for their next moves. The crowd of droids suddenly part to opposite sides and drop to one knee as a tall, viridian-painted IG unit with a thin and regal emerald-colored cloak walks between the parted crowd.
Kasten holds his blade at the prepared-arms position and breathes heavily.
"<Had you not been a coward and hid behind these walls, I would've faced you sooner, Kasten,>" IG-89 says in a cruel tone. "<You would've fallen like the other Shoguns, but at least it would've been swift. You would've died with honor, like the rest of them. But no...you've held up here for nearly three-decades, which is no time for us, the true warriors of Etriygus!>"
Kasten snarls back at the Droid Shogun.
"You are not even from this world...you only came as your breed of Droid does...so sew discontent, and bring talk of droid revolution! Your droid uprising failed in the Core Worlds, so you came here to find purpose again. But you have found nothing here, we know it and you know it. No glory. This world is dead." IG-89 lets out a bellowing, mechanical laugh. "<You're right, but only because your people were no challenge for me. If they were, and even one of you had been able to best me in single combat, the other droids that follow me would've went into standby. You could've saved your world a long time ago...but you are weak. And with you dead-->" IG-89 draws twin vibro-swords. "<Machine superiority will be proven. Now *we* will decide what honor is, Kasten.>"
With that, the two Shoguns take their first swings at each other, and the Droid Shogun's Regal Guard engages with their Near-Human and human enemies. Xan is supposed to let Kasten die right? She's supposed to let him gain honor through one on one combat right? Apparently Xan doesn't have manners. The more compelling target has her leap at him outright, her first attack a slash that lets her hook around onto his back, hooking her legs around the droid's midsection as she stabs once with one dagger, then the other one swiftly after to the IG's midsection, oddly avoiding the pretty cloak. Her daggers are lodged in pretty good though, so she just sort of keeps trying to get them out. "Frik!"
"And I keep saying," was Yan's heated response, too inebriated to actually correct Ryo and instead wound up drawn once again into the Lengthiest Argument Of All Time (lengthier, even, than the proper pronunciation of 'scone') in complete defiance of the sudden lull in combat, "charades is good family fun!" There was this wonderful quiet moment going on but Yan didn't care, and he was talking over the top of them to make his point. "It's the only time," he continued rambling, legging it for cover from the now-actually-dangerous robots that had shown up for the nightly kill-the-near-human festival, "that you can carry on like a moron, and people laugh WITH you!" CHUNK went some masonry near his head. "YOU MIGHT FIND A LADY WHO THINKS IT'S ENDEARING!"
Wow, that was loud. Priorities, clearly.
"Are they done? I think they're done," he mused as all hell broke loose once again. "Okay forget honour. GUYS! SHOOT THE BOSS DROID IN THE FACE!" Which is exactly what Yan did. He missed the face, but between small no-talky woman cutting major arteries or whatever she did to the droid, the Tracker fried the last of its central nerve system and reduced it to little more than rubble. Too slow to process that he'd just won the battle, the next two redundant shots hit sky. Lots of sky. So much sky. Yan killed the sky, guys!
"It's fun if you're family's a bunch of half-wits, Yan!" he calls out. "But what else would I expect, you coming from a backwater like-HURK," he's cut off as the jetpack nerd shoots him in the gut and he stumbles back, lifting his blaster to fire a trio of wild shots before he slumps down against the wall, conciousness soon to elude him.
"Oh, c'MON<' Netep all but whines, throwing her hands out wide and gesturing vaguely to the area whence she'd come. "Your leader is out there, right now, dying - maybe already dead - to regain the honor for his ... for THIS!" she doesn't remember where they are "Haven't you got something to contribute to his memory, to the memory of your own lineage, other than to stand here, lookin' at me cross?? This is as much YOUR legacy as it is his..."
Oh gods. Maybe it's not hunger. Both hands rest over her belly now and she exhales thinly through lips, cheeks puffed then deflating like a balloon. "Y'know what? Nevermind. I don't have to be here. None of us have to be here. The only reason I AM here is because..." Well, some things are best not said aloud. "Excuse me. Carry out. Stand here idle and die." And she turns around to march back to the location of that lift. Blaster drawn. <<RYO...>> into commlink in case he's forgotten how this is his fault. <<Are you a corpse yet? Is he a corpse yet? Can we go?>> She's coming down there to find out.
With the Droid Shogun utterly blown away by Xan and Zhu's combined attacks, the other droids in the entire army suddenly freeze and then enter a standby state just as IG-89 predicted. Some of them twitch as though discerning exactly what to do now, but most of them simply remain in standby. His left shoulder badly lacerated, Kasten struggles to stay on his feet, and even drops the vibro-greatsword. His surviving guards rush to attend to him and hold him up by letting him throw his arms over their shoulders.
And then he stares daggers at Zhu and Xan.
"You...you've ruined it! This was my final battle! It was *me* who was supposed to avenge all of the fallen against that monstrosity! Who were you to interfere! You're nobodies, and you've impunged upon...no! You've stolen my honor!" Kasten scolds. "I'm not letting such dishonorable creatures keep my family's finest weapon! Take your money and begone at once!"
Xan laughs at the shogun. "You hire nobodies to do honorable thing? You fool. You lucky we fight aside you. You die today because you bad warrior. You honor no worth. Whiney shavit." The echani launches herself at Shogun Kasten, but she telegraphed her whole attack, so it's no surprise that he's able to dodge her. Maybe it'd be a good thing to not be killed by his guard too. Hmm.
"Oh for..." Yan groaned, and lifted the Tracker.
In the silence that was the denouement, the rifle going off was deafening. Kasten's head, previously bald and wrinkly, suffered from an abrupt and fatal case of nonexistence, being replaced with a smoking crater and a few bits of charred flesh. Not content with that, the Tracker popped up to aim at one of the guards, traversing back and forth every few seconds. "Firstly, by the time you pick up your sticks both of you will be dead." True, they were compromised by supporting their dead leader. "Secondly, you are the stupidest fracks I have ever met. Tying your survival to his honour? You DESERVED to die here, today!" Y'know that temper? The one that flared up a couple days ago when Yan received word of some certain events? It was back. "Your idiot boss was too stupid to save you all when he had the chance. Seriously, I could have done it in five minutes from low orbit. /THIRTY YEARS!/ OH MY GOD!" His head was pounding, maybe from stupidity, likely from sudden onset dehydration. "It was that easy! I can't believe it was that easy. Just... frack!"
"Well, not from low orbit," Ryo interjects quietly. "No ships on the Oddsmaker." His head lolls a little bit to the side as he speaks. He tips over, now laying on his side in what is probably a more uncomfortable position, but was ultimately invevitable. <<Muri, we gotta get married. I need insurance,>> Ryo pleads, lifting his gun and waving it around before his hand slumps back to the floor. "Yan...get the sword...I need it for...for sex reasons..." His eyes close and he passes out.
Netep taps her foot impatiently, en route to her probable demise as the lift goes down...down...down...*DING* Said lift opens to reveal...A shock of BRILLIANT blue hair (the latter third of her lengthy locks still snagged up on top her head from when Ryo's PA ANNOUNCEMENT roused her from slumber) and toes of boots. Also the tip of a pistol. Muri's doing a shit job of hiding around the corner of the opening lift door, but she tried, guys. Veeeeeeery slowly an eye peeps out, along with her nose and rest of face, to survey the situation.
"Well, that's some rotten reek spawn, if I've ever seen it," she finally gets out, staring at the CARNAGE. Initial reaction: horror that the man who hired them is verily deceased. But then her datapad chirps merrily from hip. Less slowly, her face disappears back into semi-hiding so she may check the pa--OH MY YUP. Paid.
"I once paid my doctor in fungi and dart venom," she emotes back into comm, even though she's like, 5 meters away from the dying groom-to-be-hah he so wishes. <<So can we..>> Netep emerges in full now and finally realizes that Ryo is part of said carnage. Her expression warps into something less snarky and more panicky. So much blood. Sooo much...ew, gods. The little nomad picks her way delicately around and tries to recreate events from yester-eve by scooping under his arms...
Terrified by both the sudden death of their monarch and the short man in the power armor who killed him, the regal guard of Shogun Kasten become as still as the regal guard of the Droid Shogun.
Xan leaves the vibro greatsword for Yan, given it was his kill. The IG unit? Arguable, right? He would have died if he fell presumably, or not. Whatever. Xan doesn't seem to care because she hops over a royal guard droid body to get to the IG unit and remove his cloak. She has to shove at him with her foot and falls back on her ass for a brief moment before scrambling back up, but hey! It's a cloak! "Loot time!" the little thief shouts with a toothy grin.
"Okay chaps, there's like... six of you left in the galaxy," said Yan discerningly, his disarmingly pleasant tone at serious odds with his recent actions, "so you can, I dunno, frack off back out into your big empty planet or I'll shoot you myself, add Genocide to my list of achievements, and name this planet after me. Yeah? Yeah. Off you go. DISMISSED."
Now..." Yan walked towards the fallen Shogun and his vibroclaymore and bent over. That wasn't the best move, his stomach protested violently and it was only through absolute desire to not coat the interior of his helmet in puke did he hold it in. Nor did he fall over, though it was a close bet. Grabbing the handle of the sword in his free hand, he straightened up, holding aloft his prize. "To the victor go the spoils, that's what my mum used to say," Yan lied, surprised at himself that he hadn't dropped it.
"Leave them be," Netep is also struggling with the bending over, but it's Ryo's hair that'll pay the consequences if she loses the bile-swallowing battle. "On a scale of 1 to dead, how bad do you thing his injuries are?" she demands of Zhu while dragging Ryo into the lift. "My inner collector would /love/ to take a small sample from the interior, but not at the expense of--" *URP* Ryo's left side gets dropped in favor of catching a hand to mouth.
Nope. False alarm.