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and here's my swordsman!



H i r o h i k o
• Ishin Academy, Sapporo (Japan) •




It was at this point that Hirohiko finally unfroze from where he'd been facing the wall. Who was it who'd shouted down the flashy boy who was practically the only one his height?

It...seemed to be a little girl? But...did that mean Knightmare was actually a robot or a suit that she piloted with her quirk? That'd be awesome! If someone like that could use her quirk to become a powerful hero in spite of NEVER getting taller, maybe he could do the same thing! Clearly, she was actually the best choice to teach someone like him and...well, wasn't she actually really, really mean and scary though?

Hirohiko got to his seat, still pleasantly surprised that he was nearly half-way away from being at the bottom like he'd expected he'd be in the end. Still, he wanted to know why Knightmare had chosen not to hide her now-obvious smol-ness, given that he struggled to be taken seriously himself at times for that very reason.

"Um, excuse me sensei! Why did you choose to walk into the classroom out of your armor? I mean, people are more used to your armored appearance, so why did you want to make this kind of first impression instead?"

The fact that asking such a thing might be suicide didn't occur to Hirohiko at all, a testament to the mental density that came with his physical density.
...seriously? There's a Co-GM label right next to Alf's name. You're talking to a Co-GM for the game.
Skidder and Koren Part 2


“I ask because there’s a shipment of Umbaran weapons and technology being sold in Hutt Space. I need you to go verify the legitimacy of the weapons, purchase them if they’re the real deal and bring them back to Paradise.” Koren wasn’t in the habit of stockpiling arms, however this was a serious game changer and could tip the scales of the conflict in Hutt Space. He wasn’t ready for anyone to have this kind of an advantage, if they were fraudulent then he didn’t care as much. Though these weapons could turn a small time player into a big player, and that was a power upset he didn’t want to witness.

“I’ll pay the usual rate, and I’ll even include money for a protection detail. However the stipulation is that a hired gun with you does not see, or touch the merchandise. That’s a no go. Any questions?”

Well, Skidder hadn’t expected that! It might almost be worth it to be able to say he’d traded genuine Umbaran weaponry. Rare feats like that helped build a reputation. On the other hand, “Your terms are good enough. But am I allowed to know who the initial seller is, Your Generousness? I mean, I am one of only a handful of sellers who could authenticate such weapons, so I’d like to know who I’ll be dealing with if it suits you.” And with that information, the sorts of people who’d likely be trying to kill him over the merch, though with such a rare find the list was going to be long. “Not to mention where the sale’s taking place. Can’t go there if I don’t know where it is.” Skidder knew that Koren liked to keep details on certain jobs close to the chest, it wouldn’t be the first time he’d just been dropped a set of coordinates and a pass-phrase for whoever he was buying from or selling to in the least.

Koren shrugged. “The initial seller? Not terribly important. He’s an old contact from the Clone Wars, a Neimoidian. Turns out he apparently managed to smuggle out a ship full of Umbaran weaponry. He’s been living quite happily as an arms dealer, turns out he’s managed to make quite the killing out of selling combat droids. Nothing quite like the amounts serving in the Clone Wars of course. Though apparently a couple of years ago the Empire found his factory and destroyed it, he’s lived quite happily off his riches for a long time though with the fall of the Emperor and the instability needs to do some upgrades to his compound, and while he has money he doesn’t want to use all of it, hence the shipment of Umbaran tech he’s been sitting on for years.” Koren brought up a hologram flicking through the apparent catalogue of items. From blasters and bodysuits to droids and mines.

“He doesn’t have any vehicles apparently, though I’ll see if your ability to talk can find out if there is truth in that. In terms of Venue, there’s few places that don’t have a large criminal presence. I’m sending payment to a new group of mercenaries on Ques-” Not that he actually believed them to be mercenaries, though the planet and their suspected origin would work to his advantage “-to clear a landing zone big enough for your ship, and his. Completely neutral, I’ll forward you the coordinates once you leave. I should point out, you’re not selling. You’re not redistributing, or keeping for yourself. These weapons are being brought right back here. Any questions?”

Skidder took in Koren’s meaning well enough. Try to hold onto a portion of the stash himself and it would be a violent violation of their agreement. Not that he wasn’t tempted, but even Skidder wasn’t foolish enough to try and keep a secret like that from Hutt Space’s most notorious information broker.

“None, now that that’s cleared up. Seems like a fairly decent point-A-to-B deal unless the information and location have already leaked to other ears-” Skidder was hasty to add “Not that I doubt your security and discretion. I’ll still take you up on that payment for extra muscle. Being shot by a glitchy old Battle Droid from the Clone Wars isn’t how I want to get out of the business. Unless there’s anything else, I’ll start my search for talent. I’d appreciate any suggestions in that direction, but only if they come free of strings or charge.”

Koren shrugged. “You’re perfectly capable of picking your own bodyguard.” Koren stood up. “Alright, are we done here?”

Skidder stood up as well, still grinning albeit less from nervousness-although a certain queasy feeling remained- and more from excitement at the thought of such rare weaponry and his being associated with it.

“Yeah, we’re done Your Perspicaciousness! You’ll have your guns shortly! Just be sure to give me the credit and the credits when the job’s through!”

Then, Skidder turned and walked out with as much dramatic dignity as he could before scurrying off to find an mercenary he could trust to not get too curious about his soon-to-be cargo.
Paradise
The Tipsy Rancor, dive bar


Skidder just quietly sipped his Kowakian Rum while the woman at the bar demolished two of the more stupid patrons hanging around. He made sure that he had his back to one of the corners and his eyes on an exit just in case any real trouble started up. Taking in a barfight or two was okay, especially since he was just killing time until whatever errand the pleasure ship's owner had summoned him for began. It wasn't like anyone had any cause to pick a fight with Skidder right now either, and if some old grudge showed up looking to punch his lights out he could easily slip under the table and scurry for the exit while the Wookiee bouncer played interference. He was pretty sure the big fuzzy treeman would step in if any such trouble came Skidder Grace's way, after all he was the Best Gun-Runner in Hutt Space and the big bossman of this place had sent for him personally. They did have something of an officially unofficial business relationship of course!

So for now he just sipped his drink, waited to be called up, and kept his eye on the woman who looked like a bar-hopper and fought like a killer.


April 1st, 2020
Hub City Country and Polo Club


Tim always found it a little hard to believe that there was a part of Hub City where you could tear around a field on horseback just for fun without the risk of accidentally trampling some hobo looking for a place to sleep, but then again the armed guards out front probably had something to do with it. The whole thing made Tim feel pretty uneasy and reflective whenever he entered the place, considering it was a pretty solid reminder of how weird and lucky his whole life was that parts of it had to be backed up by guards visibly packing heat.

That feeling usually faded pretty fast though, considering Tim had been coming here for as long as he could remember and some of the staff here had even known his father when he was Tim's age. Beside, Tim liked Polo a lot. Sure, it was the ultimate rich boy sport so it meant getting matched up with some of the more obnoxious kids from school and dressing like even more of a dweeb to ride, but it was also riding around on horses while hitting stuff with a hammer and that was undeniably awesome. Plus, it had good food. So all in all even if by the end of the day he was usually too worn out to move, Tim really liked going there.

"Son, I need to talk to you about some things..."

Except on days when his Dad used it as a staging ground to start conversations he was uncomfortable with. Then he definitely hated it. He was too tired to really argue or be evasive since they were sitting down at a table after more than half an hour's worth of chukkers, probably just as planned.

"Look, it's about all the fights you've been getting into.

"Dad this is a crappy April Fools' joke-"

"-Not my worst, but before you say anything else I want you to listen. Just think about the kind of people we are, the way we raised you. My love of a good lawyer joke aside, part of why I love your mother is that she's probably one of the last honest lawyers in the whole city. She believes in justice coming from something more important than your fists and you know that already. At my job, what people choose to say and when and how they choose to say it, well that makes or breaks just about everything. The power and value of words, reasoning and truth are important to this family. What I'm trying to say is if you see something really bad happening, I only want you resorting to violence when everything else fails."

"If you didn't want me to fight, how come you had me learn how? If I can stop something right now shouldn't I do it?"

"You were supposed to learn to protect yourself, not beat up kids whose parents should be doing a better job. I had you take the sort of lessons you did because the world is a big, unpredictable place with even more unpredictable people in it, this city especially and I want you prepared for the worst outcomes. But I also want you to try for the best outcomes."

Tim just kept quiet, irritated at being sermonized at but not really able to find anything to disagree about.

Anyways, letcturing agitates my sweet-tooth. Lemme see if they got any new cake in, or maybe some ice cream."

"Aren't you supposed to be watching your blood sugar?"

"What your mom and my pre-diabetes don't know won't hurt either of them. Besides ya gotta live while you can, kiddo!"

Tim couldn't help smiling and decided that was one thing they could agree on for now.

March 12th, 2020
McClellan Residence, A Prison of His Own Making


Tim didn't think being suspended for a few days was much of a punishment at first. Considering the way his mom had gone full lawyer and stormed out of the principal's office threatening to ruin Lloyd Senior's family and the school for apparently being fine with letting his son assault a student attending on a scholarship if Tim's punishment went further than that, maybe it wasn't really meant to be one. Still, being stuck in the house all day with no one around for two days running was starting to get boring. His parents had locked his tablet up in a chest in their room to 'teach him a lesson on solving his problems with violence first' even if they might agree with his reasons for doing it. He'd been thinking about all of it a lot when he wasn't distracting himself with his phone or TV.

What was the point talking things out with people like that? You had to stop them from hurting people first and then maybe you could talk with them about not being a complete-

*bbzt!*


Tim checked his phone, more desperate than he thought he'd be for reciprocated contact from the outside world. It was Elliot. Tim thought he might have given Elliot his phone number before he'd gotten called out over the PA. Maybe he'd gotten it off of someone in class.

So how'sprison?


Tim was typing up a response, already grateful his parents hadn't tried taking away his phone so they could still contact him for emergencies.

Help me break out? I'm bored:

R u kidding?! u're lucky u didn't get x-pelled! I didn't think ne1 could get away with smthing like that and u're only gone 4 a few days!

Yeah I guess that's true. mom's a lawyer and dad works for KBEL the broadcasting company. Think they threatened to do legal stuff and spread it all over the news.-Better not say he was vice-chairman. It was the kinda thing that made friendships weird. Anyways, time to change the subject-About the news you think Lady Arcana really fried the police commish?

Ionno, it's sus. She could just gank him whenev no need 2b sneaky. Arcana doesn't kill NEway.

Yeah I mean she didn't even kill that Nazi dude and he prob deserved it. It's the kinda thing that knocks her out for the spot for #1 hero

Wut?! No way! Arcana's the gr8est!

You're crazy! I mean the Question's cool and mysterious and old school and awesome! Sure he's really just a Hub City guy who fights local crime but he's probably the closest thing we have to the classic Actor Activists from waaay back and being a normal dude fighting for the everyman in Hub just makes him cooler! Plus he's supposed to be a crazy good detective! Then you've got Grim in Gotham, who's amazing if at least even half the rumors are true AND they aren't afraid to off criminals who deserve it! They probably deserve the number 1 spot more than Arcana does! You have that Superman guy in New York too but he kinda seems like a massive jerk who doesn't care if he wrecks the city while he does his thing right? I dunno if he's a hero or just a guy doing what he feels like so Arcana's above him at least. I guess you hear some stories about that Vinestalker thing occasionally showing up to do hero stuff but isn't that more of a bigfoot or a loch ness monster deal so I don't think he counts. So I mean sure Arcana's probably the most powerful real hero in the world and she's cool but she takes it way too soft on bad guys who deserve it. I guess I'd give her like the number 3 spot so far but there's probably better heroes out there and new heroes keep showing up right?


aaaand that killed the convo pretty quick. Tim should've known better than to hit Elliot with a wall-of-text rant on superheroes when he probably would've just been like 'I still like LA tho'. after the first sentence and been fine. Tim sighed and went over to the indoor hutch where he kept the rabbit his parents had picked up for him one day, just because they felt like doing something nice, according to his Mom.

"Hey at least I don't have to worry about you judging me for beating up bullies or getting hyper about heroes, right Hoppy?"

Still, if had a chance Tim would love to really be a hero and not just watch them. He'd do way more than just stop some kid from getting beat on. It'd be great. If only.

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