Author Topic: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers  (Read 2956 times)

Offline In Rem

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K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« on: March 3, 2006, 01:16 AM »
Here's a link to Chapter 1, in case you missed it.








CORUSCANT: CAPITOL OF THE REPUBLIC





A lone, factory-fresh LAAT rumbles through the morning air. The steady rapping of the engines echoes against Coruscant’s mighty facades, creating a strangely calming white noise for the warriors aboard.

But no rhythm can calm the angst in one soldier’s soul. The freshly christened LAAT Scourge III is on a rare but important Homeworld mission. The group is en route to intercept a replacement for a fallen brother.





It is the kind of mission Commander Koe abhors. He always knew replacing one of his own would be hard on him. He could hardly imagine replacing his Jedi.





Fifty-seven.

The number pierces Koe’s best attempts to distract himself with the scenery as the LAAT dips into a thick fog hovering among Coruscant’s towers.

Fifty-seven special operations without losing a man . . . and I lose my Jedi, my gunship, and those worthless pilots all at once.





Only three days earlier, Koe was celebrating the success of another mission with Jedi Master Jole Suud, a Gran warrior of the highest ability and ferocity.





The celebration had been premature. The Killers let their guard down early, and Suud had paid the price for their lack of focus.


 

A droid sniper team had made its way into the extraction LZ and put a blast in the base of Suud’s neck.





A consummate warrior, Suud drew his blade and turned to fight in spite of his mortal wound.

The hail of fire was too intense. He didn’t have a chance.





Suud hit the dirt and took his last breath. Koe’s boys threw fire up at the sniper’s position, and Koe – for reasons he still couldn’t explain – scooped up Suud’s light saber.





The volley continued as the Killers attempted to cover their commander’s retreat.


 


Before the squad could board for takeoff, a frag missile exploded over the cockpit of the gunship, killing the pilots and knocking most of the Killers out, including Koe. The soldiers already aboard the Scourge II had been sheltered by the LAAT’s reinforced armor. They evacuated every Clone – even what was left of the pilots - before launching the crippled Scourge to a low flying attack cruiser.





...the Jedi was left for dead.

Koe would return the light saber to the Jedi Order. He felt personally responsible for the loss of Master Suud’s body, and would make amends before he took on this new Jedi.





The whole incident was just the kind of disaster Koe had learned to avoid over the course of so many battles.





As a senior Asset Recovery Officer in the early days of the war, Koe was specially trained for work on sparse, often booby-trapped battle fields. His missions were always simple. Destroy remaining CIS ordinance. Recover salvageable Republic gear.





Make sure no injured Clones were left breathing.





He’d finished off many of his brothers on the field of battle. He had always done so without so much as a blink before pulling the trigger.





Clones were tools of the Republic, and he was assigned to decommission them.





But as the war moved from months into years, Koe encountered more and more cases of Clones showing something he had never seen among common grunts: a will to survive and keep fighting. Clones began to ask to be saved and returned to service.





It was a rare enough occurrence that Koe had been able to slip most of the fallen who asked for help back into his salvage cruiser’s medical bays. The wounded were healed with bacta treatments. Clones with lost limbs were fitted for cybernetics.

Each became a fine soldier and bore out a new breed of Clone. Not a commander, but a free-thinking, fiercely loyal warrior that instinctively knew the art of survival even in the most perilous battle.





Koe was soon reassigned to lead his band of salvaged soldiers. The team was attached to Homeworld Security Command as a special ops unit, and was matched with Master Suud and his extensive battle resume.

In a war where Clone casualties by the tens of thousands were hardly a cause for concern, Koe had defied the odds and kept his small band intact for well over a year.

Then Suud died.

Today they would meet Suud’s successor.

Koe could only hope his new, young Jedi could fill the mighty Gran’s boots. . .





Sir, how do we feel about this new Jedi?” Qoz, Koe’s most trusted brother in arms, breaks Koe’s train of thought with a question that cuts right to the point.





I can’t speak for you, Qoz, but I know he’s green. I know he’s bookish. I know he carries a light saber like the rest of ‘em. Other than that, I have no idea.





Seems the Jedi are digging deeper into that Temple for warriors lately,” Qoz huffs. “If I may say so, sir, I’d much rather have a fighter like Master Suud.





We have to take what we’re given, Qoz. We’re not permitted to go blowing up the galaxy without a Jedi in tow. Command and the Council see something in this young Knight.





Besides, whatever he doesn’t know about warfare, we can teach him better than any book...





At least he’s punctual. That’s a start.” Koe points out a group of shadows below as the pilot steers the Scourge III toward an empty spaceport.





The rapid pattering of the LAAT slows as the pilot points the belly of the gunship at the approaching platform below. The morning fog is too thick to get a good visual, but the crew know who waits for them below.





Jedi Knight Sedo Crus: the newest of Koe's Killers.

---

I hope you all like it. Comments are encouraged.

On to Chapter 3
« Last Edit: November 21, 2006, 01:16 AM by In Rem »

Offline Jediknight760071

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #1 on: March 3, 2006, 01:23 AM »
I really liked it!

*100 Cool points awarded for sepia tone

You're pictures were fantastic, as well as the story...One of the few photonovels I'm checking up on. :)

Offline PenDragon

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #2 on: March 3, 2006, 09:15 AM »
awesome, man :o



I loved it all except the one shot where Qoz beaks the 4th wall - but that's minor at it's worst.

And nice use of a different helmet for the other main clone - really helps drive home the fact that he's a seperate, and important character.

LOVE the fact that the fallen clones are killed

I also really like that Koe basically created his own team of brotherly kick-a$$ misfit and "salvaged" clone grunt survivors with attitude  ;D

Oh, yeah, and the writing ... like I said before!

Offline In Rem

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #3 on: March 3, 2006, 09:25 AM »
Man... Qoz really is looking RIGHT at you, huh. :)  Sorry 'bout that.

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #4 on: March 3, 2006, 11:12 AM »
Wow, you really set a high bar with these In Rem.  I really like the dark, dreary perspective you paint on the war.  Very awesome and I'm in awe of your photo-editing talent.  Hot damn!  The best pic I think was of the docking back where Sedo Crus is waiting with Kit Fisto, though maybe a pic looking down at them from a different angle may be a bit more appropriate since the gunship is in air landing.  Just when you make something this outstanding I think it lends itself to someone like myself having more suggestions.

I wish we had seen more of the actual explosion by the ship when the frag missle was launchedand perhaps some more Battle Droids to show more of who the clones are fighting, but the way you did things was very artistic.

Jedi Knight Sedo Crus is going to be fun seeing join this squad, he seems like the type that will be more of looking for peaceful solutions to problems and that might conflict with the way the clones are used to doing things.

 :P

Offline In Rem

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #5 on: March 3, 2006, 11:26 AM »
Thanks for the comment, CHEWIE. I'm glad you're digging it.

I had tried some elevated perspective shots on Sedo and Kit for the approach, but Sedo can't look up like I want him to.  :-\ I wanted to catch his face, as I think with the hood up he looks somewhat afraid.

As for the action shots, I kept them minimal b/c they are Koe's memories of the events surrounding Suud's death. It really was a hit-and-run attack they suffered, as a small group of battle droids had managed to stage an ambush. I'm not even certain Koe would have seen any of them... they just laid down a hail of fire to cover their retreat, but too late for Suud. I didn't do a good job of communicating this in the pics, but Koe would have gone back toward the droid fire to get to Suud, so he was slightly freaked out as all this happened.

The missile attack pic was the last thing Koe would have remembered in any visual sense before being knocked out. That missile didn't hit the gunship, it merely detonated above the cockpit, throwing frags all over the area and shredding the pilots. It didn't totally destroy the Scourge II, but it damaged it bad enough that the Killers were issued a new gunship :) The pic shown is the instant before that detonation... let's call it a Hitchcock style where I leave it to you to come up with just how bad that kind of an explosion would have to be (plus I didn't have to do explosion effects, which I'm really bad at, even in sepia tones). :P

Again, thanks for the comments. Based on the responses I've already gotten, I think I achieved the right kind of backdrop for these guys (Sedo, Koe, and Koe's Killers) to start telling the rest of the story.


Offline BrentS

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #6 on: March 3, 2006, 11:41 AM »
In Rem,
I want to write more detailed comments later.  But in a few words, I'm amazed.  Your photography and editing skills are top notch and the match equally with your dialog writing and story telling.

I thought that Chapters 1 and 2 would have been linked more but I can see what you are doing with setting up backstories on each character individually and I think it works.


Offline S_A_Longhorn

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #7 on: March 3, 2006, 04:12 PM »
COPIED OVER FROM RS BOARD:

Great story, IN REM! I wish I could make these types of pics and backgrounds. Your storytelling is the best part, giving us a real glipse of the Jedi in chapter 1, and now the clones in chapter 2.

I love the effects of fog and custom figs. Your pics look like actual movie stills. The way you pose each fig brings them to life. The flashback scenes really give the story more weight and realism. Great technique.

Looks like it will be a long story, but that's only a good thing! Can't wait to see more!
"WE HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE.  TODD WILL COOPERATE."
-Sarah Palin to Charlie Gibson, a week before her husband, Todd Palin, refused to cooperate

Offline Greg

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #8 on: March 3, 2006, 09:00 PM »
Dude, that was awesome. The pictures and story were fantastic, as were the clones. I liked the effects in the pictures the best. Even my friend, who saw a few of the pictures while I was reading the photonevel, was utterly amazed. (He's not even a Star Wars fan.) Keep up the great work my man, your story series is right up there with CHEWIE's Rykrof Enloes stories and SA Longhorns stories.

By the Way: I have one question, does putting the tubes on the clone pilot helmet, like you did, damage it in any way? Thanks!

Offline Clone Commander

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #9 on: March 3, 2006, 09:38 PM »
Thats a great story so far!
I cant wait to see what this leads up to.   ;D
Clone Commander Appo.

Offline Quazar

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #10 on: March 4, 2006, 12:45 AM »
Not only does this story boast positively stunning visuals, but in two short chapters you've created  (thanks to your wonderful felicity of expression) the two most well-developed characters in photonovel history.

Bravo.

I can't wait to see where these wonderful creations will end up.
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Offline Darth_Ennis

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #11 on: March 4, 2006, 11:21 AM »
Very good stuff here. I will be following this one very closely. I cant wait to see more. The story is intriguing and the set up and production is top notch.

Offline In Rem

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #12 on: March 4, 2006, 11:18 PM »
Wow. I'm really, really happy to hear this is being well received. I thought I'd responded to everyone in my last post, but it appears I only responded to CHEWIE. That ain't cool. :)

Jediknight760071:
I'm glad you liked the sepia work. For Koe and Koe's Killers to work, I needed to establish a. who they are and b. where they're coming from. The only really good way I knew to do that was to use flashback. I typically HATE flashback, but when I can use a visual signal for it that doesn't make me say in the story "This is a flashback", I think it works OK.  There will be more flashing back in later stories, but not nearly this much (I am toying with the idea of telling how Qoz came to be a Killer and possibly with telling about a couple more of the Killers... think "LOST", but less involved. :P )

I hope you will keep up on this PN and ALL the PN's here at JD. These things require an INSANE amount of work, especially when you consider that the author/creator gets exactly two things out of it: The fun of creating something and the fun of talking with others about it in these forums. :)

PenDragon:
Thanks, man. :)
I am pleased with the basic hook of what makes these Clones unique. As for offing wounded Clones, I sort of think of it like this: Clones are equipment for the Republic. If it costs more to fix a Clone than it does to replace it, just replace it. That leaves a lot of terribly injured soldiers to dispose of, and if the Republic doesn't neutralize them, the CIS could rehab them and then extract information. Same goes with other pieces of equipment. Destroy anything the CIS leaves behind, and return or obliterate anything of the Republic's. :)

And yes, the Killers are first-class bada$$es. It will be tough for me to prove that to you in the near future, but I think you'll appreciate their skills soon enough. (I hate to put off too much of the action, but this is really about Sedo getting some questions answered, and that will require some chit chat)

CHEWIE:
You already got special treatment.  :D But thanks again for your comments.

BrentS:
I'll look forward to your more detailed comments. The more detailed the better. I'm glad your comments have been positive so far.

As for the connection between Ch. 1 and Ch. 2, I wanted people to know that this isn't just ANY Jedi being assigned a unit, and this most certainly isn't just ANY unit he's been assigned to. There are forces at work here between Republic Command and the Jedi Council that are bringing this to bear, and they have their reasons.  ;)

S_A_Longhorn:
It means a lot for you to compliment my photos. Quite frankly I think what you do with photos is mush more work intensive and requires more skill. If I mess up, I can undo or use a digital airbrush or whatever. If you mess up, you have to reshoot, and THAT is hard. :)

This will be a long-ish PN, but it will tell one story. I'm afraid we're a little late in the war for a saga with these guys like CHEWIE has with R.E., although you never know where things might lead...

mister_palpatine:
Thanks, dude. :)
I really appreciate the comp. with R.E. and S_A_'s. I'm not sure it's deserved, but it does mean a lot to me. I've read every frame of CHEWIE's and S_A_'s work that I'm aware of, and that - along with Quazar's interactive PN - is what got my wheels turning that I might be able to make something, too (and I think that's what a customs forum is all about, BTW). :)

I didn't actually do anything to that Clone pilot helmet. I just put it on wrong intentionally to give it a different look. I knew that in sepia the color and whatnot wouldn't matter, so that's an off-the-shelf Evo Clone with a pilot helmet on :P

Clone Commander:
Thanks! I'm eager to tell the rest of this story, so it's nice to hear you're eager to hear it. If I could snap my fingers and tell the entire story tonight, I would. But, as it's a PN, we have to wait on the P's. :)

Quazar:
Wow. Neat compliment. I'm not sure these guys are as developed as Rykrof or, well, the players for your interactive PN. Very high praise, though, and I appreciate it. Hopefully the coming chapters will give me the opportunity to introduce some other compelling characters.

Darth_Ennis:
Thanks! I hope you will come back for the following chapters. It took me a LOOOONG time between Chapter 1 and 2. I'm hoping the next break isn't as long, but work is ramping up again for me, so...

Phew! I really should have been responding more frequently. Again, I am very pleased with all of your responses. Thanks so much!

Offline darthmac

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #13 on: March 7, 2006, 05:06 PM »
Great shots, how did you achieve your fog?

Offline In Rem

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Re: K.O.E. Chapter 2: Enter the Killers
« Reply #14 on: March 7, 2006, 05:36 PM »
Great shots, how did you achieve your fog?

In photoshop, add a new layer. Completely fill that layer with a mid- to light gray tone (should be completely opaque when you do this, but the back layer will be intact). With your color palete set with the light gray foreground and white background, go to filter and render clouds (you can also do difference clouds).

Turn the opacity on the new layer down to between 10 and 50% (depending on how thick you want your fog). If you want holes in the fog or want something in the foreground to appear to emerge from the fog, set your eraser to airbrush and wipe away the areas of the new layer where you want the background to show through.

Works like a charm. :)