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Kit Gwynne and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:2:2) in the Essesia system: Interrogator.
Sergeant Batua and El-Nay Darr.

El-Nay Darr had arrived to the training facility aboard the Interrogator a half hour early. The young Mandalorian woman was decked out in her old armor in the style of the Nite Owls, which was painted an obnoxious shade of orange to represent her 'shereshoy', or lust for life. She had spent the morning cleaning and polishing her armor and it looked better than it had in years. She went to the armor and reloaded the munitions she had expended during the raid on The Void and the wound that she had suffered at the hands of Min Traebor had healed nicely. As she waited for Sergeant Batua she was shadow boxing, trying to get warm, and mentally psych herself up for what was to come. The last time they trained she ended up in a bacta tank ... it was her hope there would not be a similar result this time. Personally she felt the training was unnecessary, as she doubted an Imperial Stormtrooper had anything worthwhile to teach a Mandalorian. From her perspective it was *she* who should be teaching the Stormtroopers aboard the Imperial vessel. She had been promised the opportunity to hunt down the Black Sun operative who escaped The Void, and with whom she had a tense personal history with ... provided she made it through this.

As El-Nay was shadow boxing, she would suddenly become aware of someone slowly clapping for her. Turning around to face the clapping, she would find Batua standing there, leaning against a wall watching her. "Congratulations, Mando'Brat, you just lost me a bet."

He pushed himself off the wall and walked a bit closer to her, "I guess you can learn a thing or two and actually be early." Batua was dressed in his armor, but holding his helmet under one arm. "I take it those weapon loads you're carrying can be deactivated for a spar? No sense in us trashing the nice facility, eh?" At his side was holstered his trusty E-11 blaster.

"What?" El-Nay replied, not able to understand his meaning about the bet. She tilted her head like a confused animal and stared blankly at him from beneath the safety of her domed helmet with its distinctive T-shaped visor. "I have been informed that a mission awaits me if I complete this task," she said, matter-of-factly, as she took several steps towards him, closing the distance. She brought her left wrist gauntlet up, and with her right hand pressed several buttons to deactivate her wrist rockets and flamethrower. There went the fun as well as the potential to even the score. "Very well," she muttered, bitterly, with a twinge of disappointment. "What is it you wish to attempt to teach me?" she inquired, folding her arms in front of her chest, and shifting her weight to the right as she waited, like a typical, impatient young woman.

Batua chuckled, "What I hope to teach you is some awareness of your surroundings. That, Mando'Brat, is your biggest flaw, your certainty that you know everything that's going on and don't need to pay attention." He spoke a few commands to the training room and a small hologram of an urban landscape appeared before him.

"Let's play a game, shall we? This," he pointed to one end of the landscape and a red circle appeared, "is your target. You get there in one piece, you win." He drew his E-11 and held it pointed at the sky, "I'm your opposition. Shall we see if you can get past me? Just you and me, a few defenses to make it interesting, just as if you were infiltrating enemy territory. Hmm? Oh, and you can 'use' your deactivated weapons, the computer running the room can duplicate the effects."

El-Nay laughed when she heard that Batua instructed. "You mean to say I just have to get to the other end of the room?" she asked, as if in disbelief that he was assigning her something as simple as this. Her hand moved to the top of her helmet, lowering her targeting scanner over her visor in preparation for the expected targets. A moment later she activated her jetpack and blasted off the ground towards the top of the room. If this had been in the field, she simply would have gone to her maximum altitude and avoid the streets entirely. Unfortunately for her, this was merely a simulation and she was limited to the confines of the training facility. As she looked back down with the benefit of her targeting scanner she debated turning her weaponry back on, but she figured the by the book Stormtrooper would say she 'cheated' and deny her the mission. She was going to have to get through this with just her old DT-57 heavy blaster pistol, which was older than she was.

Batua nodded, "Yep," placed his helmet on his head, a rather amazing feat in and of itself since he did it single handed. Once his helmet was on his head, the training room disappeared and was replaced with the landscape Batua had shown at the beginning. Batua disappeared from her scanner as well since it was now blocked by a wall in the direction Batua had been.

Once El-Nay had activated her jet pack, Batua chuckled to himself, knowing what was coming. Once she cleared the walls, about fifteen to 20 feet, her scanners would report short range missiles, rather small and probably equipped with anti-personnel loadouts. Not something to be to concerned about, unless a lot of them hit her at once. But if any hit, that paint job might need some touch up. Several options might come to mind, dive behind some cover, try to avoid them or shoot them out of the air.

Batua's voice came over her comlink, "See, sweetheart, I told you there were other defenses, but did you scan for them before you took off? What did I tell you, awareness of your surroundings." A blaster bolt came flying towards her from down below, missing her, but not by much. "Know what a nice target you are, flying around up there?" If El-Nay looked down, she might see a flash of white ducking behind a ruined wall ahead of her, between her and the target.

El-Nay panicked when the missiles were detected heading for her position, and her first instinct was to activate the wrist rockets on her gauntlet again. As she hovered above the surface of the training facility, she fired off a rocket into the oncoming swarm of missiles that were approaching. When her rocket exploded the missiles were destroyed, but at a large collection of fire and debris fell to the ground beneath her. "If you're using projectiles ... so am I," she informed him, as she began to jet her way towards one of the rooftops. When she landed, she crouched against the side of the roof and looked out over the terrain. "All right. All right. I'm looking," she said to him, like a brat, as she scoped out the situation.

"Good for you, sweetheart, good for you," Batua commented through the comlink. El-Nay's scanners would reveal four locations for the missile launchers guarding the entrance to the objective. The were within a 15 meter square, far enough apart that a single thermal detonator wouldn't take them out, close enough together to concentrate fire. If she can get through those and past Batua, then she will win. As she's thinking about this, the missiles launch again, most of them splattering against the building she's on, but forcing her to duck back behind the wall around the rooftop. Waiting a few seconds for another wave before sticking her nose out was good, but that's when that horrible sound of building collapsing started.

From a building across the way, she could see a gleam of white as Batua took aim at the building, firing into the support beams the missiles had exposed. His aim was steady and the fire from his E-11 almost a continuous stream. The rooftop lurched suddenly.

"Wha- Woah!" El-Nay squealed, like an animal, as the building gave out beneath her, and she collapsed through the roof onto a pile of debris. She landed awkwardly, and the armor she had spent cleaning all morning was now coated in a sickly collection of duraplast dust. "Ugh," she groaned, as she lay haplessly on the ground, shaking her head as she wondered what was going on here. "No fair. You said we weren't allowed to destroy the room," and as she sat up, her hand went to her gauntlet and she activated *all* of her weaponry. She was beginning to wonder if his request for her to deactivate them was some part of a trick to weaken her for what was in store. She rose back to her feet, run her hand over her armor, and shook off the dust that was covering her. A moment later she blasted off with her jetpack and rose up through the the fallen wreckage of the building. Noting the missile launchers near the target she reluctantly realized that her shortcut was not going to work, so she landed on the street, and began to proceed on foot. Anti air defenses should not bother her on the ground, she thought to herself, as she cleverly felt she had found her solution.

"We're not, sweetheart, it's all a simulation," came Batua's voice, "pretty neat, huh?" She could hear someone else moving through the area to her left. Batua knew how to move in armor, but even he could only move so silently. "I'd highly recommend against using that stuff in this room. It might look bigger, but it's really not. Hate to see you blow that silly head of yours clean off."

As she rounded a building, suddenly blaster bolts forced her to get cover behind a wall. As she went for the cover, she could see Batua racing across the street, firing at her and then disappearing into a building. If he was going to climb to a higher story, it would take him a little bit of time. If he was running through to another vantage point, again, it would take him a bit of time. One of the advantages of a jet pack was faster movement and Batua was stuck to the speed his feet could take him. Now the decision, go after Batua in the building? Or proceed to the missile launchers and take them out?

"Hey ... uh ... I probably should have asked this earlier, but..." El-Nay asked, as she huddled behind a wall for protection, noting Batua's rapid movement across the street. "If one of these laser blasts hit me ... will it kill me? I mean, are they real?" she asked, before proceeding further down the street. For the time being she chose to ignore Batua, as her objective was to get to the target, not eliminate him. When she had visual sight on one of the missile sites, she dropped to her knees, and leaned out in front of herself, as she aimed the missile on top of her jetpack. The missile fired heading for the target and nearly knocked her off her feet as it was fired.

El-Nay heard Batua chuckling in her ear, "No, sweetheart, where's the fun in killing off recruits while in training? Only the really dumb ones gets killed. And I'm hoping you aren't one of those. Interesting choice of targets there. You do realize you're leaving an enemy at your back?"

The missile launcher exploded nicely, the ordinance loaded in there cooking off as well. Random chance or a computer glitch also had the one parallel to it get damaged and thus out of commission. Now the only missile launchers still operational were the two in the back. Both of them swiveled to a new target area and launched a swarm of missiles in El-Na's direction. Many of the missiles detonated against buildings, chewing large chunks out of them and spewing debris and smoke all over the place.

"Nice shot, Mando'Brat, maybe you ain't as useless as I thought... Maybe," came Batua's voice, "but ya still got two missile launchers to go. And me!"

"You're like twice my age. I doubt you can keep up," El-Nay replied over the comm, before noting the position of the other two launchers. She was rapidly running through her ammunition, and with the one missile gone she had lost her heavy ordnance. She moved quickly between the buildings until she had the second launcher in sight, but all she had left was the simpler weapons in her gauntlet. She fired off the smaller rockets from her wrist, unleashing a torrent of smaller explosives at the launcher. She was not sure if they would pack enough punch, as they were designed as anti personnel weapons, but she was sure she was out of ammo outside of her blaster and flamethrower ... and neither would be any use against the third launcher. "Um. Am I allowed to go back and get more ammo?" she asked, as she smirked underneath her helmet, unsure of what else to do.

Batua laughed, "You got guts, kid, I'll give you that. Be a good move to get some smarts with it too." The launcher went down as a few of the rockets got lucky hits. After the debris cleared, it was definitely canted to one side and out of commission. The last remaining missile launcher fired a volley at her, but it was not as effective as before.

"Sure," said Batua, "If you can get through me," in response to her question. "I even got a thermal detonator that will take out the other missile launcher. Or, you can figure out another way to get past the launcher. Either way, kid, it's your funeral." A few blaster bolts were fired her way from behind her, letting her know that Batua was near.

"A thermal detonator?" El-Nay exclaimed over the comm, shaking her head, as she dodged the latest barrage of projectiles. "Nobody told me I could bring thermal detonators..." she complained, bitterly, as she wondered why she did not think of that in the first place. Growing increasingly frustrated and erratic, she decided to activate her jetpack and ascend into the sky again. Her plan was to cause the launcher to expend all its ordnance, while she maneuvered through the buildings, causing them to detonate harmlessly. "How many missiles do these launchers have anyway?" as she hovered just long enough for it to get a lock on, before descending wildly back towards the simulated urban terrain.

Batua nodded to himself, Interesting tactic, he thought, perhaps the kid can learn. "Just about that many," he said, as the launcher expended itself. There was a whir of gears however as it began to reload, "But not for long, sweetheart." As she descended, Batua decided to shoot at her again, forcing another direction change.

"Gaah!" El-Nay screamed as she dodged the missiles only to take a glancing shot from Batua's blaster that sent her careening into a wall. She was momentarily dazed, staggering, as she began to see stars from the second blow to the head that she had taken in this exercise alone. Perhaps concussed, she made the decision to make her move while the launcher was reloading. Blasting off with her jetpack she set an unwise, reckless course directly at her objective. "C'mon! C'mon!" she yelled at her jetpack, as she accelerated toward its top speed, nearly reaching the goal. She could see it now ... she could smell it ... she could taste it. She wanted to be certified for her mission against the Black Sun, but more than that she wanted to stick it to Batua for all he had done to her.

El-Nay was almost to her goal when her jetpack was hit by Batua's bolt. Racing the missile launcher reload was a good idea and probably would work. Not putting at least a little bit of dodge into her course was her downfall. She tumbled to the ground, just centimeters from the target line. As she lay there stunned, she could hear Batua's armored feet walk up behind her. "Not bad, little girl, not bad," she heard in her comlink. "A moving target is always harder to hit, except when it's moving in a straight line."

Batua's boots were probably about a foot away and behind her. She heard the E-11 charge up to a kill bolt, "But, before you think of shooting me, I'd reconsider," he said. "You did a pretty good run. I'm just a tiny bit impressed. Didn't expect you to get this far, Mando'Brat."

There was silence for a few moments, "Guess I'll let the High Inquisitor know there's hope for you yet." The E-11 powered down and the simulation faded away, leaving both of them on the training room floor, El-Nay on the ground, Batua standing behind her, E-11 in his hand. "Not bad, Mando'Brat," he said, "Not bat. See you when you get back from your mission, if you haven't gotten yourself killed, that is." Batua walked out of the training room without a glance behind him.

El-Nay's fall to the ground had most assuredly given her a concussion, and she did not move while Batua approached and spoke to her. She spoke no words and all that escaped her mouth was a series of low groans. She heard perhaps one word in three, but as she lay there on the ground, face down, she could see from the readout in her helmet that she was only a few centimeters away. She reached out with the blades on her gauntlet, dug it into the steel ground, and physically dragged herself forward. It hurt ... *badly*. She repeated this process, for perhaps an hour, until she traversed the remaining ground and reached the objective. A small smile curled upon her battered lips beneath the helmet before she lost consciousness and faded into darkness.

The next training session started and a squad of Stormtroopers walked into the facility. They stopped seeing the prone armored form on the floor and the trail of gouge marks. One of them commented that Sergeant Batua was likely to be upset at the treatment of the floor, the other activated his comlink to summon a Med Team. When the Med Team got there, the lead technician sighed and sent for another team. Getting a Mandolorian out of armor was oftentimes tricky. But there was one team expert on one set of armor. The lead technician didn't even want to know how many times they had to get the injured Mandolorian out of her armor. He was beginning to think he needed to set aside a bacta tank just for her.

Within the hour, the Mandolorian was once again floating in the bacta tank getting fixed up. The technician wondered what the next set of injuries would be, she was already racking up an impressive list even for a technician who mostly dealt with Stormtroopers.

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