Saga - PT Dreams of Tesserone (All OC's with occasional canon appearances)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Vehn, Sep 4, 2017.

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  1. Vehn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    OOC: The following story is a prequel set nearly two hundred years before Fields of Tesserone and its sequel Shadows of Tesserone. It tells the story of the very first member of a family whose generational tales span centuries. A story that has long been in my mind with the release of Rogue One last year and has been begging to come out and be told. This is for @Trieste and @jcgoble3, and anyone else who is interested....enjoy.


    Title: Dreams of Tesserone
    Author(s): Vehn
    Timeframe: 0 BBY
    Characters: Airen Vehn, additional OC's with an occasional guest appearance from canon characters
    Genre: War, Prequel Era, Political Drama
    Keywords: Jedha, Empire, Rebellion,
    Summary:

    For nearly 20 years the Galactic Empire has ruled the star systems of the Old Republic with an iron fist. An entire generation has been born under the flag of an authoritarian government and knows nothing else beyond the supreme power of the Emperor and his armed legions. The last vestages of the Old Republic are on the verge of being permanently swept away. Powerful military officers of the Imperial bureaucracy stand ready to assume control of entire sectors. Rumors of rebellion and worlds under military occupation swirl throughout cantinas, on the decks of trade vessels, and in the halls of local government.

    Some families put their heads down and carry on as if nothing has changed. Some families rebel and suffer greatly for their insurrection. Some families join the Empire out of hopes of saving those who are yet to come.

    Airen Vehn, last surviving member of his line, has sworn an oath to the Emperor and the New Order. An oath, he hopes, he will not live to regret. He has received his first orders upon graduating from the Imperial Academy. Orders that will send him straight into the jaws of war. Orders that will carry him far from his ancestral home to a world steeped in tradition and rich in galactic history. A world unlike any he has experienced before.

    A world known by only one name.

    Jedha.

    [IMG]




    0 BBY



    Forward Operating Base Talon

    Jedha City, Jedha


    Lieutenant Airen Vehn made landfall in the early dawn hours. He'd slept most of the trip out from the Imperial Academy on Bastion and had only awakened as the shuttle thumped down on terra firma. The other occupants of the shuttle slowly made their way out into the world beyond. He took his time. Partially because he was still waking up and partially because he had no real desire to expedite his journey to the world of Jedha. Jedha was a backwater. Jedha was a graveyard of old religions and hokey spiritualism. Jedha was a place to end ones career rather than a place to began anew.

    Airen gathered his few belongings and descended the ramp into a world unlike any he had experienced before. A world that was frigidly cold despite the deceptive beauty and perceived warmth of the sand all around. A world that was as old as the galaxy itself, an ancient world. A tall spire jutted high above the city. An ancient temple. A place of worship. It meant nothing to him.

    Airen made his way across the assembly yard and suddenly it dawned on him how the harsh conditions of Jedha had taken its toll on the equipment of the Imperial war machine. Maintenance crews were hustling here and there as they tried in vain to keep their equipment operational. AT-ST's were down for repair, helmetless stormtroopers kicked sand and grime out of their armor, and there was a general sense of suffering amongst the rank and file as Airen entered the command post.

    "Lieutenant Airen Vehn reporting for duty," he said as he saluted and clicked his heels together.

    The commanding officer, Captain Myn Kolvaard hardly looked up from his overcrowded and cluttered desk. His uniform was unkempt and his hair had the look of a man who hadn't had access to a shower in a few days. His eyes were tired and his demeanor was such that if one more thing landed on his desk he'd break in half under the strain.

    "Reporting for duty, sir," Vehn repeated.

    "What was your name again?" Kolvaard asked.

    "Lieutenant Airen Vehn," Vehn responded.

    "Vehn. A strong name. A good name. You must be my new second," Kolvaard replied.

    "Yes sir," Vehn replied.

    "Good. Well, try and stay alive longer than my last," Captain Kolvaard said.

    Myn straightened a pile of loose flimsi and then reached inside his desk drawer where he quietly poured himself a drink. He finished the drink in one gulp and then leaned against the desk momentarily to recover from the effects of the alcohol.

    "Are you well, sir?" Airen asked.

    "No, lieutenant, I am not well," Captain Kolvaard replied as he straightened his tunic and walked over to a window overlooking the heavily guarded base in the heart of Jedha City.

    "I've got half a squadron of AT-ST's down for repairs, a garrison that has neither the will nor the manpower to fight, supply problems, and High Command breathing down my neck wanting more protection for our shipments that we send off world. We've had two shipments destroyed last week alone. To make matters worse I lost my second in command to a sniper a few days ago. Damn fool. Oh, and there's this little problem of an insurgency that will not be subjugated no matter what I try. Damn Saw Gerrera and his partisans!"

    Airen wasn't sure how to respond. He reviewed his orders in his mind: Report to Jedha City at once. No questions asked. The situation on the ground appeared grim. He wondered if the Empire really knew how difficult it was out here. The struggles of those on the front lines of Imperial occupied worlds was not something that was taught at the academy on Bastion.

    "Is High Command sending any help?" Airen asked.

    "I have requested help, Lieutenant, and all I get is silence. High Command isn't listening. They only care how many shipments make it off world," Kolvaard explained.

    "Shipments? What sort of operation do we have going on here?" Airen asked.

    "Kyber crystals. The secret to the weapons of the Jedi. There's only one problem. We're not making lighsabers. We're sending the material to be put to good use on a secret project. Not just any project, either. Something big. Something important. Something that requires a high security clearance," Kolvaard explained.

    "If this project is so important you'd think High Command would protect the source," Airen pointed out.

    Captain Myn Kolvaard laughed and shook his head, "You're smart. I can respect that. You don't yet know what it's like to serve a galaxy spanning bureaucracy. You don't know the realities of what we face here on the ground. You are fresh out of Academy but I can tell you that the dreams you have in your head about serving the Empire are going to come crashing down all around you one day. The reality, Lieutenant Vehn, is quite different, explosive, really."

    As if on cue a pair of explosions erupted in the assembly yard sending debris everywhere. More followed, and then more. They rattled the windows and sent the alarms blaring. Half dressed stormtroopers, AT-ST pilots, and other membes of the base went scrambling for cover. There was general chaos. No order. Not even returned fire.

    "Mortars! Fracking partisans!" Captain Kolvaard cursed as he threw on his hat and blaster and ran out the door.

    The explosions stopped. Slowly, cautiously, the base returned to usual operations.

    "When are the reinforcements coming, sir?" Airen asked.


    "Not soon enough," Kolvaard replied with disgust.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
    Last edited by Vehn, Sep 4, 2017
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  2. Vehn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4

    0630 Hours

    Jedha City, Jedha

    The trooper in front of him went down hard, armor sizzling from a precise shot to the head. Airen ducked around a corner as more blaster fire came from the run down neighborhood east of the base. They'd walked right into an ambush.

    Troopers and vehicles lay strewn about the alley in various states of decay. The AT-ST providing cover in front of the column of stormtroopers was now a smoldering hulk of ruins. The pilots hadn't even had a chance to bail out as a rocket had slammed right into its vulnerable cockpit.

    The mission was supposed to be simple, straightforward. Head into the eastern neighborhood and apprehend an insurgent leader. Get in, get out, no problems. Unfortunately, somehow, someway, the insurgents had beaten them to the punch and laid a murderous trap for the Imperial patrol.

    The young officer quickly assessed the situation. There were only eight stormtroopers left alive from the 16 who'd gone on the initial patrol. His route of escape was cut off, his supplies were getting low, and he could hear the insurgents cheering and jeering as they tightened their noose. The blaster fire wasn't the most accurate but it was only a matter of time before a round found its way home.

    "I need reinforcements, now!" Airen barked into his comm. unit as he rested behind a low slung rock wall that formed the backyard perimeter of the house his unit was holed up inside.

    "Negative, Talon Six, reinforcements are occupied at the base. The insurgents have launched a two prong attack. You must hold out, over," command replied.

    Airen cursed and returned his attention to what few troopers remained under his command. The helmeted, faceless, recruits of the Empire stared at him with blank, dark, impossible to read eyes. Airen knew that they would die for him if that was what he ordered. They had been trained for absolute loyalty. Somehow, somewhere, the Empire had discovered that recruits were better than clones and that loyalty amongst the new breed ran very deep.

    "We're going to make it out of here," Airen said to the troopers, "I promise you I will get you back to base."

    The blaster fire intensified. From the sound of the incoming laser fire Airen could tell that the insurgents had setup a blaster cannon on a tripod. Every so often the heavy fire would stop as the blaster cannon cooled off and then it would resume again. Airen listened to the cadence and figured out the reload pattern. He motioned for a trooper to hand him the standard E-11 with a scope. Airen grasped the weapon and heard the pattern repeat.

    Silence.

    Airen rolled away from the low slung backyard wall to an opening created by an errant grenade. He sighted down the scope and placed the crosshairs squarely on the insurgent manning the cannon. The insurgent cursed and smacked his blaster cannon in frustration as the weapon cooled. Airen didn't hesitate and pulled the trigger. The insurgent crumpled to the ground, weapon silenced.

    Airen rolled back to cover and handed the weapon back to the stormtrooper who'd given it. "We need to fight our way out."

    "On your lead, sir," the nearest stormtrooper replied.

    Airen nodded and sprinted with the stormtroopers in tow down a back alley. Insurgent cries could be heard as they spotted the Imperial retreat. The blaster fire was growing more accurate as the alleyway gave way to a tiny square in the heart of the eastern city. The Imperial contingent entered the square only to be surrounded by insurgents who trained their weapons on the occupying force. It was over.

    "Orders, sir?" one of the stormtroopers asked.

    "Fight until they kill you," Airen replied.

    Airen was prepared to die when he noticed the sunlit square plunge itself into darkness. A heavy shadow fell over the city. The temperature dropped as Jedha's sun was blocked out in sudden obscuration. The insurgents surrounding the Imperial patrol pointed up at the sky and fled in fear. Airen looked up and his mouth fell open as he saw the massive underbelly of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer hovering over the city disgorging TIE fighters and troop transports to the embattled garrison below.

    [IMG]


    "Things are looking up, gentlemen. The Dauntless has arrived," Airen said.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
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  3. jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 5
    Oh, now this is different and very interesting. To think that a Vehn was on the ground on Jedha during Rogue One? Incredible!

    Somehow I missed the original tag (or it didn't work right), so I'm just now seeing this. I will definitely subscribe to this thread and follow this with great anticipation. :D
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  4. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    Actually, the thing that strikes me the most here is that the perspective of the occupier of a desert land vs. a local insurgency. This is completely new and doesn't make me think about Rogue One differently in light of any events of the last decade or so. Nope, not at all...

    ;)
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  5. Vehn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    Thanks for the feedback guys. More to come as the story unfolds.
  6. Vehn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4


    Imperial-I-class Star Destroyer Dauntless

    Conference Room 24-A

    Jedha City

    Lieutenant Airen Vehn took a cursory glance out the conference room window of the Star Destroyer Dauntless as TIE fighters and armored troop transports descended toward the Imperial garrison of Jedha City that had quickly become his home. The show of Imperial might and power awed him. The insurgency stood little chance now.

    "Captain Myn Kolvaard, Lieutenant Airen Vehn, thank you for joining me on such short notice," Major Tam Forsyte, commanding officer of the Dauntless said.

    "How may I be of service to you, Major?" Kolvaard asked annoyed to be pulled from his duties.

    Major Forsyte moved toward the windows of the conference room overlooking Jedha City. The cold, desert world spread out far into the horizon. The sprawling Holy City rested below with its towering peak denoting the ancient temple reaching upward like a hand crying out for help. The crowded, hapharzardly thrown together neighborhoods, appeared as if they were a great puzzle woven together over centuries of existence.

    "I've read your reports, Captain. The situation on the ground is far worse than I could have imagined possible. Your garrison is barely functional, your mechanized equipment is on the verge of permanent breakdown, and the insurgents have made some significant inroads into Jedha City proper. High Command should have pulled the plug on this entire operation months ago. I cannot see why High Command bothered to dispatch an entire Star Destroyer to oversee a backwater planet with little value save for archaelogy and history," Forsyte observed.

    "Kyber crystals, Major Forsyte," Vehn spoke up.

    "Kyber crystals? You must be joking. What would the Empire want with kyber crystals?" Forsyte inquired.

    "A top secret project," Captain Myn Kolvaard replied, "that's all I know."

    "I see. How typical of High Command to keep field operations in the dark," Major Forsyte remarked. "Well, gentlemen, the Dauntless is here now to make the best of a bad situation."

    "What is our plan going forward, Major?" Captain Kolvaard asked.

    "Protect the kyber crystal shipments at all costs and destroy the insurgency in the process. It's time Jedha be reminded why it is no longer on any of the main travel routes. It's time that the mystics and religious zealots down there have a personal meeting with their Maker," Major Forsyte said, "dismissed."




    Two Days Later

    Forward Operating Base Talon

    Jedha City

    "You're not going out on patrol today," Captain Kolvaard said as he finished his morning cup of tea.

    "Why not?" Vehn asked.

    "Since the Dauntless arrived we have plenty of stormtroopers to police Jedha City. The stormtroopers from the Dauntless are going to step up their patrols, push for ID checks to root out insurgents and rebel sympathizers, and generally remind the local populace that compliance with the Empire is to be in their best interests," Kolvaard replied.

    "That may inflame tensions rather than ensure cooperation," Vehn reminded his superior officer.

    Kolvaard shrugged. "You spend enough time in this Sithspit of a planet and you tell me if you care about inflaming tensions. The insurgents only understand one thing, Lieutenant. The business end of a blaster."

    "We're not winning hearts and minds, Captain. We're out there subjugating and arresting. There's a big difference. The insurgents won't come to the table to sue for a peace if the Empire continues the occupation of Jedha City in an aggressive manner," Vehn pointed out.

    "Peace? Are you crazy? Why would we make peace with the insurgents? We have a frakking Star Destroyer parked above Jedha City, Lieutenant. One wrong move and this entire planet would go up in flames. You really think they want peace? I think they just want to kill as many Imperials as they can get their grubby little hands on," Kolvaard replied.

    "I suppose its only a matter of time before they kill us all, then," Vehn said in a resigned fashion.

    "Now you're talking. I've had enough of this planet. I intend to either exit Jedha by dying or being evacuated," Kolvaard said.

    "So why do you care if I'm off patrol this morning?" Vehn asked.

    " There's a very influential man in the financial district who neither supports the insurgents nor gets in their way. This man has a great deal of knowledge about Jedha City and Jedha as a whole that could help us find safer routes for our shipments. I need you to make contact with him and see if he can be convinced to work for the Empire," Kolvaard said.

    "And if he doesn't?" Vehn asked as he suited up for his new assignment.

    "I'm sure a firing squad could be arranged," Kolvaard replied, "after all, what is one less citizen of the Empire in the scheme of things?"


    "One less problem," Vehn replied as he began the day with a new objective in mind.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
    Last edited by Vehn, Sep 28, 2017
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  7. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    I wonder who this influential man is...
  8. Vehn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    OOC: @jcgoble3, it doesn't get better than this. Two old hands returning to nearly where it all began...fun times! Done in cooperation with the man himself. ;)

    Jedha City

    0900 Hours

    Inn of the Wandering Traveler

    [IMG]





    Airen Vehn had chosen plainclothes for this particular mission. His Imperial uniform wouldn't do him any good where he was going unless he wanted to get himself killed. The rendezvous was nestled deep in unoccupied territory. Imperial intelligence had indicated that the residents went about their business all the while quietly resisting the occupation any way they saw fit. The neighborhood was target number one for the crew of the Dauntless should the insurrection suck Imperial resources into its maze of alleyways and narrow neighborhood passageways.



    That's why they sent you, Airen thought, because you're going to avoid protracting this war any further.

    Airen stepped down into the threshold of the Inn of the Wandering Traveler and quickly found a corner booth preferring not to draw too much attention to himself. He was keenly aware that he stuck out like a sore thumb in this neighborhood. He'd only hoped that that any attention directed his way was borne of curiousity rather than suspicion that he was gainfully employed with the occupying forces. He ordered himself a beer and waited. His contact would be arriving soon.


    [IMG]


    "So, you're a front door kind of being then?" came a voice from the booth next to Airen. It belonged to a human male sitting with his back to the booth. "I've always been a back door being, myself. It's nice to know where the exits are before your walk in, especially when there's a war on, you know?"



    The human slid out of his booth and into Airen's, bringing a drink with him. The human wore a light jacket, something to protect against Jedha's scorching sun but not overheat. He looked professional, but nondescript. Then again, in a shadowy cantina it was easy to be less than memorable. "By the way you keep your shoulders pinned back, I'm willing to bet you're the one I was told to expect." It was a heck of a lot safer way to say, You look like an Imp, in this neighborhood.





    Airen examined the stranger in the dim light of the cantina. He had an air of fine breeding about him. He was clearly educated and his mannerisms suggested Western Outer Rim as his home planet. If he'd ever taken a life he'd done so professionally and perhaps with a bit of respect toward his target. That was rare in these parts. That was rare even in the place Airen had once called home.



    Time to find out what information this individual possessed.



    "The war brings in all kinds, it seems," Airen replied, "especially those who traveled a long ways to come to Jedha City. I don't know about you but I'm not interested in dragging this war out any longer than necessary. Enough lives have been lost on both sides. I can tell you aren't from around here. What brings you to this backwater anyway?"



    "I have--" the barest of pauses was inserted here, "--a friend who needs to leave the city, which is easier said than done with the tensions cooking around here. I'll see them safely on their way and be compensated for my efforts--and they have been considerable given the circumstances." The human leaned in slightly, but not enough to look conspiratorial to any eyes that might pass over the booth. "I'm told that you and yours are interested in discreet ways in and out of the City. For purely humanitarian reasons, as you said." The human gave a bit of a smirk as he took a drink. "Now, I don't like surprises, so I've made it my business to discover every exit to this City and who knows about them. All I care about, however, is getting my friend off Jedha. If there were an easier way to do that, one that involved a lot less difficulty for me...like Imperial transponder codes...well, that would be worth the fruits of my labor of the last week. Maybe even save a few lives, since that's a priority for you." The human's grin widened a bit



    Airen nodded. What this particular individual said to him made sense. Almost too much sense. He didn't have the time to try and make things right. He only knew what limited authority he had and how Imperial lives and innocent civilians that called Jedha home were hanging in the balance.



    "It's true that we need a proper map of this city. I'm prepared to offer you a two fold reward in exchange for said map. You will be compensated monetarily," Airen pointed out as he slid a data pad across the table, "to the sum of the amount shown. The other part of the reward is personal. I have in my possession Imperial transponder codes, slightly out of date, that should get you off world. There's only one catch. I need you to know that not all of us joined the Empire because we believed in some of its more suppressive policies. Some of us, well, we didn't really have a choice.



    "I'm sure you don't believe it all," the human replied. "I'm familiar with tolerating less than savory aspects of life. But let me ask you one question." The human swung his blaster up from under the table and pointed it between Airen's eyes. "What are your choices when someone puts a blaster to your head?"



    Airen looked steadily into the eyes of his potential killer. He didn't flinch. Not one second. It wasn't the first time he had been on the receiving end of a blaster pistol. He did, however, want to make sure it was his last for today. He thought quickly. Thought for the right words. Something to take this pressure off. Something to save his life. Anything.



    The being in front of him had asked a serious question. It required an equally serious answer. It required honesty, candor, and most of all, heart. One wrong word, one wrong sentence, and his brains would be splattered across the cantina for the droids to clean up. He had to be very careful



    "Kill or be killed," Airen replied in a steady voice. " In war those are the only choices. Seeing as you have the gun pointed at me I will say that my options are severely limited. Let it be known right here, right now, that if you kill me, your chances of escaping Jedha will be close to zero percent. You will not leave this planet alive. I can guarantee you that."



    Airen paused for a moment and calmly sipped his drink.



    "Judging from your accent, which is hardly noticeable unless one also grows up in the Western Outer Rim, I would say you're either from Fondor or Bakura," Airen said taking a gamble, "and Fondor simply isn't attractive enough for a man of your sophistication. So that leaves me with Bakura. A world under Imperial occupation. A world that has an infamous prison orbiting its lovely body, which you are undoubtedly aware, to which no prisoner has ever successfully escaped. I'd hate for that prison to be your final resting place."



    He took another drink and cleared his throat.



    "Bakura is a world that has the potential to be great if only the Empire had left it well enough alone. A world that is dying to say that it is truly independent, democratic, and free. My own home world of Bastion knows nothing but the heel of a stormtrooper. Generations are raised and recruited by the Republic and now the Empire. My family has contributed its fair share of willing soldiers for the New Order. I was the next one up. It wasn't my first choice but here I am, simply trying to survive. So you have a choice, sir. You can pull that trigger and watch Bakura go up in flames or you can be there when Bakura is one day free.



    The man didn't move for a moment. Then, he slowly, deliberately, lifted his index finger from the trigger. With his thumb, he flipped the safety and then turned the blaster's muzzle up in the intergalactic symbol for drawing down.



    "You know, some beings wouldn't have said they had any choice when a blaster is pointed at their head. That you do what they say or they shoot you. I say they're wrong." This last word came out harshly as the human set the blaster on the table, barrel pointed at the wall. "You can take the blaster, you can pull out a bigger blaster, you can call their bluff, or you can do any one of 146 other things. And reminding the being holding the blaster what they have to lose...that'd be on the list.



    "As for Bakura and me...you could say we have a more than passing acquaintance." He swirled his drink in its glass and considered it for a few seconds. "Not sure I share your rosy vision for its future though. There's a reason I'm here and not there. I realize there's some irony saying this to someone in your line of work, but my homeworld's xenophobia and insularity doesn't go over well with me. The day you speak of? Not sure I'll live to see it. For now, I'll just concern myself with living and that means doing what I'm here to do. So I'll take your codes--because they make my life easier--and I'll take your money because...well, I'm not rich enough to say no to your pieces of silver." He smiled as he reached, slowly, into his jacket. He withdrew a data stick. "The map. I think of the two of us, you're the one a bit short on trust at the moment, so you confirm I've provided what I say I have and send the payment. If not..." The human shrugged. "...I've done enough things the hard way."



    He finished his drink and stood, taking his blaster with him and putting it in its holster. The Bakuran was about to turn and go when he stopped. "Oh, and by the way, the blaster bit? The next time you think you don't have a choice about something? That you've got to go along with some commander or emperor or president who says you don't have a choice? Well, I'd say you've got 150 choices." He smiled and gave a two fingered salute.



    Airen mulled the words of the Bakuran as he turned to leave. There was truth there. The Bakuran was right. It was hard for him to trust. Being Imperial was the first problem. Being from a planet such as Bastion presented its own set of issues. He slipped the data stick into a spare data pad connected to a secure network. The information came back exactly as the Bakuran said it would. The maps were accurate. The information was correct, for now.



    "Payment wired," Airen said with a flick of his thumb. He set the data pad aside and finished his drink. "Before you go I need you to know one thing. My name is Airen Vehn, I am the last of my line, and I hope you find safe passage off this rock."



    "It's been a pleasure. Airen Vehn, last of your line," the human said. "And should you ever find Niall Trieste, itinerant wanderer, at the other end of your blaster...know that he's got options." The human departed with that final thought.


    Last edited by Vehn, Oct 12, 2017
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  9. jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 5
    :D :D :D :D :D

    Absolutely perfect. Triestes and Vehns go back to the First Galactic Civil War? Who knew? Awesome.

    By the way, out of curiosity, who actually wrote Niall's parts? I honestly can't tell, and that's a good thing. :)
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  10. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    They very much do go back that far!

    As for writing duties, I humbly admit that I did a guest spot at @Vehn's request. :)
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  11. jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 5
    Well, I hope we continue to see Niall pop up occasionally! :D
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  12. Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    Very enjoyable! These characters are well written and fleshed out. It's also amazing to see jeddha in a different perspective. Well done!

    Your characterization is sound!
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  13. Vehn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    OOC: Thank you @Kalio_Dynkos!! These events take place directly during Rogue One just for context.




    1430 Hours
    Jedha City

    "Let's go, let's go!" Airen yelled to the garrison around him as the AT-ST's started to lumber away from Talon Base toward the narrow alleys of Jedha City. He held onto his hat as he raced out of the garrison, stormtroopers in tow, as the base responded to the cries of help from their comrades.

    [IMG]

    The convoy carrying kyber crystals had fallen under attack to Saw's partisans. The partisans had disabled the heavily armored TX-225 grav assault tank and trooper escort with relative ease. Imperial intelligence reported that they'd had help. Several beings had aided the partisans and were now putting up resistance to reinforcements that had rushed to the scene.

    Airen rounded a corner and saw the burning hulk of the TX-225 tank. His eyes tracked over the bodies of the dead stormtroopers. He could tell from the pauldron of the dead commanding officer that the soldiers were from the Dauntless. He spotted a man carrying a stick. Airen surmised his was blind by the way he moved.

    "Arrest him!" Airen cried out as the platoon of stormtroopers advanced, weapons drawn.

    Words were exchanged and the blind man refused to yield to Imperial authority. In the flash of seconds a number of stormtroopers went down as the blind man used his stick to great advantage. Airen was in utter disbelief. He'd never seen a man move that fast much less one that couldn't see. Blaster fire erupted from beyond the blind man's location as more Imperial reinforcements arrived to help.

    The partisans and their friends fled toward the perimeter of Jedha City. Airen knew better than to follow them into a partisan friendly neighborhood. There would be more deaths, more losses, if the Imperials followed them back to their base.

    Airen threw his hat down on the ground in frustration as he surveyed the damage. Sickening. The kyber shipment was totally destroyed. There was nothing left, nothing salvageable. He stepped over the fallen checking for any survivors. There were none. The partisans had done their job and done it well.

    "Orders, sir?" A stormtrooper nearby asked.

    "Take the fallen back to base, trooper," Airen replied, "there's nothing further we can do here."

    Airen looked once more at the burning TX-225 grav tank and realized that the Empire had lost Jedha. There would be no victory here. Not in the traditional sense. That time had long since passed. All they could do now would be to survive. Live to fight another day.

    The words of Niall Trieste burned in his mind, "There's always a choice."

    What choice did he have now?




    One Hour Later

    "The ambush was thorough and accurate and there were no survivors," Airen reported to Captain Kolvaard, "Imperial or partisan."

    "Their attacks have grown more bold, more violent," Kolvaard observed, "and every day our control over Jedha slips away."

    "What are we doing here, sir?" Airen asked.

    Kolvaard sighed and looked out the window overlooking the garrison. "I've asked that question myself many times over, Lieutenant. I don't know. I honestly don't know anymore."

    "Are we losing the war, sir?" Airen asked.

    "Hardly," Kolvaard replied, "this is a miserable rock. I say let the partisans keep it and we can move on to greater things. You might be relieved to hear that I do have some good news for you."

    "Oh, what's that?" Airen asked.

    "It appears that the garrison is being reassigned. I just heard from Major Forsyte of the Dauntless, they've received orders to secure all Imperial forces and depart within the hour. The last of the kyber shipments is safely aboard. You and I, however, are not going to the Dauntless. It appears that High Command is actively looking for experienced field commanders to be stationed aboard their new battle station."

    "Battle station?" Airen asked, confused. "The Empire doesn't have a battle station. There must be some mistake."

    "I thought the same thing," Captain Kolvaard said, "and I reread the orders at least three times. Make no mistake, Lieutenant Vehn, we are stationed aboard a new weapon of war. A secret weapon of war. It's currently orbiting Jedha as we speak. Our shuttle departs in just a few minutes. Shall I have your things packed?"

    "I'm all set to go, sir," Airen replied still reeling from the sudden change in orders. "I brought few belongings with me in case I needed to transfer out."

    "Very well," Captain Kolvaard said, "new adventures await us."

    "That they do, sir," Airen replied, "that they do."




    The Lambda class Imperial shuttle slipped away from Jedha's atmosphere in a matter of minutes. Airen looked out the viewport at the frigid world that had been his home the past few months. He thought of the men he'd commanded and mourned those who would not be returning home. His sharp eyes picked out the wedge shaped Dauntless climbing out of the atmosphere no longer hovering over Jedha City.

    "Lamba Alpha Six cleared for arrival, hangar 37-A," a voice crackled over the cockpit.

    37 Hangars? How big was this thing? Airen wondered as he clambered up into the cockpit.

    The pilot's didn't mind. They were too focused on the approach vector. Airen squinted against the glow of Jedha's orbit. He couldn't see what they were heading toward until Jedha's star peaked across the horizon and illuminated their destination. Slowly, carefully, a massive object appeared out of the depths of space.

    The object was a massive battle station dotted with lights and protected by numerous Star Destroyers. The battle station quickly jumped into view, hanging low over Jedha's orbit, and loomed large in the cockpit window. Airen's jaw dropped. He'd never seen anything so huge in his entire life. It must've taken years for the Empire to build such a platform.

    "Maker, what is that thing?" Airen asked.

    One of the pilots barely turned his head in response, "We're calling it the Death Star."


    [IMG]


    Tag: @jcgoble3; @Trieste; @Kalio_Dynkos
    Last edited by Vehn, Oct 14, 2017
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  14. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    OOC: And with permission from @Vehn, a guest post for you all.

    Niall Trieste leaned against an adobe wall, his face in shadow and body baking under the sun. Jedha didn’t seem to be an easy place to live, especially for someone who was born on a wet and rainy planet like him. However, he hadn’t seen Bakura in years. Niall thought the Imp’s grand visions of the future were more like delusions of grandeur. He had no intention of ever returning to his homeworld. He just lived one job at a time, wherever that took him.

    Selling his exit routes had been lucrative, but painful. He’d spent a week figuring out how to get his friend out of the city. The transponder codes, if a bit stale, would offset the loss, but it didn’t make his life much easier. After all, his friend lived in Imperial-controlled territory in Jedha City. Stormtroopers were everywhere and that was going to be a problem.

    As it turned out, his friend was really more like his “friend.” They had never met before. Niall didn’t hang out in the high finance set like his “friend” did. His “friend” was an unofficial hanger-on to Imperial occupation forces. Though officially the Empire might be raiding the temple on Jedha (for what, Niall didn’t know and didn’t want to know) to fuel Maker-knew-what in its vast bureaucracy, unofficially its officers less scrupulous than Vehn were also pillaging the local economy. Niall’s “friend” was here to launder that money into their Coruscant, Denon, and Empress Teta bank accounts, covering their financial tracks by channeling funds into legitimate investments. The Imperial bureaucracy was apparently okay with this arrangement as long as it wasn’t too overt and they got their tax revenues.

    That didn’t mean that everyone was okay with it. Certainly not Niall’s crime syndicate clients who had some of their assets seized. The Empire was the Empire and top gundark in the galactic pecking order, but the crime syndicates were probably the next largest conglomeration of power and wealth. That meant they could offer big contracts when a job was important and a bounty hunter like Niall was happy to oblige.

    Niall checked his chrono. Should be about time, he thought. He pushed off from the wall and walked across the dusty thoroughfare to rap on the metal door of the villa he’d been surveilling for the last three days.

    The door slid open after ten seconds and revealed a protocol droid. “Uzkak residence.”

    “Droid repair calling,” Niall said brightly.

    “We have no need of droid repair here. I am the only droid on premises and I am functioning properly, thank you very much,” the droid replied haughtily.

    Niall placed a hand on the droid’s chestplate. “You should really consider some preventative maintenance.” He removed his hand, revealing a restraining bolt. “Now be quiet, stand in the corner, and don’t move until I come back.” The droid had no choice but to obey, even if its receptors seemed to glare at him as he complied. As far as Niall was concerned, the droid was lucky. Under other circumstances he would have just shot the droid like a good Bakuran, but he needed this to be quiet.

    The bounty hunter took the stairs two at a time, his footsteps muffled by carpeting (a sign of the wealth and influence of Uzkak that he could keep it clean with all the dirt and dust continually tracked in from the streets). He counted the steps in his mind, checking them against the plans he’d bribed someone in the city records department to see. ...four...six...eight...ten...twelve...fourteen… He was at the top now.

    “H2!” came a call from an open door, right where Niall expected it to be. “Who’s there?”

    “Mavon lady calling,” Niall said as he stepped into the doorframe with his blaster pulled, not at all looking like a cosmetics door-to-door saleswoman. “Let’s not make any sudden moves, shall we Mr. Uzkak?”

    The human male looked like an eopie caught in the headlights of an Imperial prison transport about to run it over. “What’s…” His voice failed after just one word.

    “Your work on Jedha is done,” Niall informed him.

    “You can’t kill me,” Uzkak said, regaining his voice.

    “Can’t or won’t?” Niall asked philosophically.

    “There is an entire platoon of Stormtroopers outside!”

    “If by ‘outside,’ you mean ‘this general neighborhood,’ then yes, and if by ‘is’ you mean ‘on a way-too-routine patrol route that isn’t coming by here for the next 15 minutes,’ then yes again. Now stand up and put these binders on,” Niall ordered, using his free hand to toss the money launderer the cuffs.

    Uzkak slowly complied. “If this is about money--” Uzkak started.

    “It is and yours isn’t worth not taking theirs,” Niall said as he crossed the room and pushed Uzkak out the window behind his desk. Thankfully, the side-hinged windows were unlocked like just like they had been for the last three days when Niall had checked them.

    Uzkak wailed as he fell. Niall tucked his blaster into its holster and vaulted out the window, landing in the open-topped garbage container he’d placed beneath the window. Uzkak, still surprised he was not dead or seriously injured, was thoroughly unprepared for Niall to haul him out of the container and shove him into the back of a waiting, enclosed landspeeder. He slammed the door after him and jumped in the driver’s seat.

    “Now, if you’re very good I’ll turn the air conditioning on back there,” Niall said cheerily as he basked in that pleasantly chilly delight in the front. “This speeder’s been sitting in the sun all day in this alley and I imagine it’s rather hot back right now. Might be able to cook an Endorian chicken egg on the seat if we tried. You ever been to Endor? Nice little place. Completely uninhabited. Near my homeworld, actually. They’ve got these birds there. Really could make a fortune on them if one started raising them commercially...”



    Half an hour later, Niall’s rickety freighter was leaving Jedha behind. Niall breathed a sigh of relief. He had to submit the transponder codes twice to be cleared for exit from Jedha, but Vehn had come through. It wasn’t until he was past the Star Destroyer in orbit that he began to think he might be out of hot water. He wasn’t sure until he hit hyperspace.

    However, that was never a comforting experience. His freighter had seen better days and whenever he engaged the hyperdrive the whole thing shuddered and lurched with a bang. Niall always wondered if it was going to break apart instead of bend physics. He’d heard that an imprint of KDY, MandalMotors, was working on some kind of new, exclusive craft that was supposed to set a new standard for starfighters. If it could be modified to include a “hold” for “passengers”, that had some potential for his line of work...if he could find the credits.

    Credits. Niall certainly needed those, especially if he was going to get a ship that wasn’t a deathtrap. This job would help with that. Speaking of which… Niall got up from the controls and walked back to the holding cell where he’d unceremoniously dumped Uzkak. Their ultimate destination would take several hours, so unfortunately Niall would have to feed Uzkak to ensure he delivered him looking healthy. That always helped keep the price on the upper end of the range.

    He tossed a ration bar into Uzkak’s cell. “Eat. It’s a better last meal than my cooking,” he explained. “Assuming of course, my employers want you dead. They’re a creative bunch so I give it 50-50 odds.”

    “Look, you can’t take me back to them. You can’t. You don’t know what they’ll do to me,” Uzkak begged.

    “No, and I’m really happy not knowing,” Niall said as he munched on his own ration bar.

    “I know where millions of Imperial credits are. I can clean them out. Give it all to you.”

    “Let’s see--millions of credits and default on a job, get on the wrong side of people who hired me to find someone who stole from them in the first place...or I don’t do any of those things, get paid, and sleep at night,” Niall considered. “I choose door number two.”

    “I’ll do anything. Anything,” Uzkak pleaded.

    “Friend, there is nothing you can offer me that’s going to change my mind.”

    Uzkak paused and thought. “You’re clearly someone who’s okay with danger.”

    “Not the have heinous-criminals-on-my-tail kind of danger,” Niall corrected. “I have a very well-developed sense of self-preservation.”

    “No, I mean you could actually do it,” Uzkak considered. “You’re one of the few beings who could get it and maybe not die. Which means if I told you what I heard…” The money launderer trailed off.

    Despite himself, Niall was intrigued. He tried to mask his curiosity. “If you’re going to talk crazy, then I’m going to go watch a holodrama,” he said, turning to go. “At least those resolve their plots.”

    “Wait!” Uzkak exclaimed. “What do you know about the Jaded Emerald of Sollost?”

    Niall looked over his shoulder. “Nothing,” he said, which was the truth. It sounded like some hokey legend from a holodrama. In fact, it probably was, now that he thought about it, Uzkak groping about for something, anything to save his life.

    “If what they say is true, with the Jaded Emerald you’d be so rich you could buy a crime syndicate,” Uzkak said.

    Niall raised an eyebrow. “Go on.”
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  15. Vehn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    OOC: Brilliant writing @Trieste!! Yes, the Jaded Emerald, somehow, someway, I don't think we've heard the last of that one.
  16. Vehn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4


    The Death Star

    Northern Quadrant, Observation Deck

    [IMG]

    "Welcome to the Death Star, Lieutenant Vehn," Director Orson Krennic said as he casually gazed out the transparisteel window at the world of Jedha below.

    "A pleasure to be here, sir. I still can't get over the size of the station," Vehn replied.

    "It does take some getting used to, doesn't it?" Krennic remarked, "It took us decades to build the Death Star. Decades of money and men and material.There were project delays to be sure but I was brought in to finish the job. I am pleased to inform the Emperor that today my project is complete."

    "I believe congratulations are in order, sir," Vehn said.

    Director Krennic turned to look at Airen for the first time. He smiled ever so slightly, pleased that his work was being recognized. His eyes flashed with a newfound appreciation of the young lieutenant.

    "Do you have the map?" Krennic asked.

    "Right here, Director," Vehn replied as he handed a datadisc over.

    "Very good," Director Krennic replied, "I'll make sure to keep this safe on Scarif when the time comes."

    "And what about our arrangement? I nearly got my head blown off by a professional to get you that map," Vehn asked.

    Krennic turned to face Airen directly, cape whirling with the movement, and nodded as if he remembered something important. " I've decided to modify our arrangement slightly. I'll assign you a permanent position here on the Death Star. Something discreet. Gunnery on the north trench. It's a safe position. Nothing will come of you there. You'll be paid handsomely. In exchange I need you to do something for me."

    "Go on," Vehn said.

    "I'd like you to keep a close eye on Grand Moff Tarkin," Krennic said, "earn his trust, learn his strengths, his weaknesses. You will report back to me."

    "You're playing a dangerous game, Director," Vehn warned. "Grand Moff Tarkin is not one to be underestimated. If he were to find out-"

    "He will not find out," Krennic challenged his voice getting raspy with anger. "Tarkin is too focused on subjugating the Imperial bureaucracy to the will of the Emperor. With his attention focused elsewhere you can tell me exactly what I need to know to bring him down. Tarkin is a powerful man, an influential man and in a few hours I shall have that same power. I will have the Emperor's favor!"

    Vehn was well aware that Director Krennic was a climber. He was a working class officer. A self made man. He wasn't one of the highly educated elites from Eriadu like Tarkin or the other Moffs. He was the everyman who wanted to ascend to the highest echelons of the Imperial hierarchy. Krennic wanted to go straight to the source of the Empire's power: the Emperor.

    Krennic's feud with Tarkin was increasingly becoming a public affair. Both men refused to back down at times and Vehn had heard that they had nearly come to a physical altercation once. The officer's mess was buzzing with rumors that Krennic and Tarkin were finally coming to a head. Something big was brewing as various high ranking Imperial officials continued to make their presence known on the Death Star.

    "As you command, Director Krennic," Vehn replied though he still had a few misgivings, "and what is going to happen in a few hours that will elevate you in the eyes of the Emperor?"

    Krennic smiled and waved a finger. "If I told you, Lieutenant, I'd have to order my personal escort to kill you. You're invited to the overbridge for a personal demonstration of this battle station's abilities. Dismissed."

    Vehn gave a crisp salute and left.


    His job with the Empire just got a lot more complicated.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3; @Kalio_Dynkos
    Last edited by Vehn, Oct 20, 2017 at 10:47 PM
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