Star Wars Paradoxical Echoes

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Bravo, Sep 3, 2017.

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  1. Sith-I-5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Flight Lieutenants Baille Harte, Alex Qipao19, Conference Room, pretty-looking Government Building.
    Location: Lepsawn 1-9


    It wasn't too long before the Queen and her retinue arrived, and she bade the Away Team to sit at the table, then introduced her senior people, including her Royal Messenger, Xavier Simpleton, a dark-haired male in braided and embroidered white-and-gold military-style uniform, although a style light years away from the UNMF's.

    Baille spared him a sympathetic glance. No way he got through school with that last name, without getting the sith kicked out of him.

    She returned her attention to Natasha the Bold as she and the Commodore took up their back-and-forth.

    The young pilot missed being in her TIE Phantom, the cosmos spiralling around her as she took the thing into an evasive manoeuvre. She glanced aside at Alex, sitting beside her with the red plate-sized Rebel symbol that he had cut out of the paper, gripped between his gloved fingers, and wondered if he felt the same.

    The Queen dropped the first of her bombshells, that the room was bugged.

    This of course, was not news to Harte, as her UNMF buddy had already revealed this to her, but the Diplomatic Corps' Captain Vicks had trouble with this, spluttering enough that a couple droplets of saliva hit the nicely polished table.

    Baille flicked a glance to their Navigator, half expecting her to stand, lean across the table, and wipe it off with her one sleeve. She was getting that kind of vibe from the quiet youngster.

    The smoky-eyed Queen stopped his nonsense by abruptly changing the subject: "Withdraw all Imperial military forces from my planet, immediately, that came from that Star Destroyer and any other Imperial ships in orbit around my planet. You have twelve hours."

    Vicks just sat there, unable to move or speak.

    Baille knew how the man felt.

    "Madam President," Englewood asked gently, "And of our mission to the space station?"

    "I gave you twelve hours, Commodore. You, your team, Captain Vicks, and myself-"

    "Say what?!" The Flight Lieutenant blurted, but Suicide Sally was clearly used to ignoring the mutterings of underlings, and just continued.

    "-will continue on this mission of yours. Maybe, Commodore, you and your team can restore the trust and faith in the Empire that Captain Vicks has lost upon me and my people."

    Well, not if we get you killed, you silly slitch. Baille thought at her.

    "Yes, Madam President," Commodore simply replied.

    Harte's mouth dropped as the Queen finished up, telling them to meet her at a local spaceport in an hour, then along with her retinue, and all the UNMF, leaving the Imperials alone.

    "Well," Englewood said to the suddenly quiet room and thankfully ignoring Harte's outburst, "That was rather unexpected."

    "But it should it have been?" Baille queried aloud. "She's called 'Natasha the Bold' for a reason, so wouldn't this development be the logical conclusion?"

    Alex chimed in. "And she didn't mention bringing any of her people along, either, Commodore. To me, that smacks of her suspecting an assassination attempt, and she doesn't know who to trust."

    "No pressure." Englewood added.

    "What I don't get, is the twelve hour window."

    Markova went round to stand beside Englewood. "Excuse me sir," she started respectfully and quietly in her soft voice, "Why are we continuing with this mission? It is obvious that Queen Natasha does not want us here, she has ordered us off her planet why continue to assist when she's made it clear she does not want it."

    With the Commodore occupied with Markova, Alex lowered his voice so that only the pilots on either side of him, the Dark Nebula alumni, Baille to his left, and Reen to his right, could hear him.
    "I bet he wishes he'd brought that commando team now."

    Tag: @Bravo @galactic-vagabond422 @Mitth_Fisto @The Vanguard
    Last edited by Sith-I-5, Nov 4, 2017
  2. Bravo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Commodore Peter Englewood
    Conference Room (East Tower),
    Central Government Building, Lepsawn Central (planet of Lepsawn 1-9)


    "Excuse me sir," she started respectfully and quietly in her soft voice, "Why are we continuing with this mission? It is obvious that Queen Natasha does not want us here, she has ordered us off her planet why continue to assist when she's made it clear she does not want it."

    A fair question. But one all too often asked by lesser aged beings such as himself. Nearing middle aged, one could call Englewood more experienced in the matter of politics.


    "The Madam President is bluffing. She's playing Sabacc," Peter said frankly, "She has the Pure Sabacc hand. We have to find the Idiot's Array. She knows she needs the Empire. She adheres to the Empire's rule. She asked for our help. Its not us that she's worried about. Its something else. Something that would cause her to call into question our assistance. The question becomes, do we allow events to play out, as they should, and play the game by House rules? Or should we force the Idiot's Array into our favor, but risk losing if caught in the gamble to cheat?"


    TAG @galactic-vagabond422








    IC: Queen Natasha the Bold
    President's Office (East Tower), Central Government Building, Lepsawn Central (planet of Lepsawn 1-9)


    Natasha entered her office, the door closing behind her (with the shoulder of the bodyguard guarding her office outside just barely visible and a collection of her advisers just in the conference room with her huddling in the lobby area outside her office). Once the door shut completely, she undid the top part of her collar and sighed.

    "Is it done?" a man asked from behind her desk, his back turned to her as he looked out the wall-sized window of her office.

    "Yes," Natasha said with irritation, "And I'm the more fool for it! They won't believe it for a second. I had no justification---"

    "You had every justification," the man cut her off, "You're the Queen and the Madam President."

    "An idiot of a one," the Queen stressed, "My people, we need this alliance with the Empire. It's our only hope. And now, you walk through my door, and all of that is now is jeopardy."

    "Call the Empire what you will," the man said, turning from the window to face the President, "They are a organized and efficient government."

    The Queen raised an eyebrow and spread out a hand, "Then why, Lord Tarfa, did you have them withdraw their forces? That seems to be counter to an alliance I was hoping to maintain."

    The Intelligence Director took out a pocket watch to check the time, then put it back with a smile, "All in good time, Madam President. You will have your answers all in good time. We, too, hope to maintain this fruitful alliance with the Empire. Alas, we must move the chest pieces accordingly, in order to do that."

    "Will the Empire come back to Lepsawn 1-9?"

    "Yes. But in order to survive the coming attack, the Empire needs it's Stormtroopers out of harm's way. Without a Legion of Stormtroopers, who will save your planet from this evil?"

    "Are you sure you can't stop it?" Natasha pleaded.

    "Events are in motion, Madam President, that cannot be undone. If we would stop the attack now on the Empire's forces, then it would undo every bit of good in that conference meeting and your alliance with the Empire would truly be over."

    "And my people, Lord Tarfa? Will they be able to get out safe?"

    Tarfa could see the pleading in the woman's eyes, the longing for hope, "No," he said flatly, "No, they will not. But there is nothing that can be done about that now. If the House of Royal Intelligence would show our hand, here on Lepsawn One dash Nine, the after-affects would make this war between freedom fighters and the Empire look like a small affair compared to what is coming."

    "Then why warn us?" the Queen pleaded, hands out-stretched, "Why come all this way, just to watch events unfold as if you were never here?"

    "Because Madam President," the Intelligence Director said, walking around the desk and heading towards the exit, stopping besides her as he spoke, "There is more at stake then an alliance between Lepsawen One dash nine and the Empire. There is more at stake then preventing the death of thousands. There is, at stake, the fate of the galaxy. Right now, as we speak, the Empire you hold so dearly is gathering forces to begin searching for pieces of Red Rock, from the destroyed Red Rock Kingdom. Your planet, is unwillingly in their path. Captain Vicks has secret orders from the highest of commanders in the Empire to do what is needed to secure your planet for the coming Imperial task force; in wake of the recent unrest, invasion masked as aid was the easiest way to accomplish that. You, Madam President, have now robbed Captain Vicks of that, a failure in which he must report to hi superiors. Furthermore, through a series of unrelated events, we now must rescue the very same Imperial forces Captain Vicks sought to use against you, in order to save your planet and your people."

    "Do you know who planted the device?"

    "No," Lord Tarfa replied, "But we know its not Imperial. Whatever it is, however, is strong enough to take out an entire city. If Imperial forces are in the city----"

    "I understand, Lord Tarfa," Natasha said, "If we get Imperial forces out, you paint the idea on me that we had gathered intelligence on what was about to happen, then it makes it look like we saved the Empire from defeat. Then the Empire would be in our debt."

    "Precisely," Alic replied, "But we can't get civilians out too. If we do, it'll tip off whoever planted the device and they may make it go off early," Alic could see the sudden pain across the Queen's face, "I'm sorry Madam President. There is no other way. As Queen and as Madam President, you must be willing to looking beyond the suffering of a few, to accomplish the safe passage of many."

    "Comes from the man running like a coward," the Queen replied, as Alic inched towards the door.

    Tarfa paused, his hand hovering over the door nob, as he turned to address Natasha, "I will be in the shadows, watching. As I always have. I am not running, Madam President," he turned and started to open the door, then said with his face turned sideways to his shoulder, "Tora Senshi will be able to get hold of me. He will also ensure no harm comes to you. Your command is his to accomplish."

    "Tora Sen---who?" the Queen started, but it was too late, as the door had already shut, "Fine," the Queen said to herself, "I guess I'm just suppose to know who this Tora person is," Natasha turned around and jumped with a scream as Tora Senshi stood behind her, arms crossed over his chest, solid blue eyes radiating out. "GUARDS!" she yelled.

    The door flung open and Natasha shrank into their swarming presence, her finger pointing towards where the ninja-looking man was, "There's a ninja in my office!"

    "CLEAR!"

    "CLEAR!"

    "CLEAR!"

    Barked three separate UNMF soldiers, as their weapons swept the office and cleared it.

    "He was there," Natasha said, pointing a finger where the ninja-looking man had been just moments, "He was there!"

    The soldier standing behind her shook his head, "Madam President, nothing is coming across our sensors. There's no one in this room, but us."


    NO TAG








    IC: Xavier Simpleton
    Conference Room (East Tower), Central Government Building, Lepsawn Central (planet of Lepsawn 1-9)


    The door to the conference room opened and Xavier walked with, with two UNMF soldiers flanking him. He bowed respectfully, "Ladies and gentlemen, if you would come with me. Your chariot awaits."


    TAG ALL IN CONFERENCE ROOM
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  3. Sith-I-5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Baille Harte and Alex Qipao19, Conference Room
    Location: Lepsawn 1-9


    Baille listened to Englewood's response to Markova, and shrugged at Alex and Reen. She didn't get Sabaac.

    People were making moves based on card names?

    Baille was already looking past Alex, so was already facing the doors when they opened, admitting the Simpleton guy, flanked by two face-concealed UNMF guards.

    "We've got company."

    Alex turned to see.

    Simpleton bowed respectfully, "Ladies and gentlemen, if you would come with me. Your chariot awaits."

    "So what's this," she asked quietly, "the Ilthmar Gambit?"

    Alex leaned back to her, whispering. "Wrong game. That's Dejarik. Besides, I don't think even sabaac has a card for entering a room, and asking if someone called a taxi."

    Neither moved from their chair, waiting for the Commodore to take the lead.

    Tag: @galactic-vagabond422 @Bravo @Mitth_Fisto @The Vanguard
    Last edited by Sith-I-5, Nov 6, 2017
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  4. galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2009
    star 4
    IC: Natalia Markova
    Conference Room, Central Government Building (East Tower)

    "The Madam President is bluffing. She's playing Sabacc," Natalia's face darkened she never learned to play Sabacc her father taught her Dejarik and had great disdain for that game. It was a game of chance, no matter what defenders of it said, it was still chance what cards were in your hand. While she didn't fully understand what the Commodore said she could get the thrust of it.

    The Queen was lying, hiding something. She didn't really want them gone something was forcing her hand. The only way to 'beat' her was to find some powerful information that could make her reveal what was holding her back.

    She thought for a moment looking around the room. She knew that there were listening devices in this room. It could be that there were more all around the tower. If she could slice into them, she could maybe find something to use against the Queen, or just figure out what was going on. Again her grey eyes look about the room recalling bugs in the room.

    She leaned in closer, her chin nearly resting on Englewood's shoulder.

    "If you need," her voice was, even softer now, a whisper into the older man's ear. "I can…" she thought for a little bit, trying to find the right word, "cheat, for us. See which cards are coming." She hoped he understood what she meant. That she planned to slice into whatever security or listening devices that were around, trying to find what they needed.

    Later the man in white and gold returned bidding them to follow him to their 'chariot'. Natalia walked behind the Commodore waiting for any additional orders.

    TAG: @Sith-I-5 @Bravo @Mitth_Fisto @The Vanguard
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  5. Bravo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Lieutenant Steadfast
    Aft Hanger Control, Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Darkest Night, orbit over Lepsawn 1-9


    "Very well Leftenant," he used the ancient Coruscanti pronunciation as a matter of course, though he was clearly agitated by Steadfast's interruption. "What do you have for me?"

    Steadfast was no fool, he knew Shinzon's distasteful for him was boiling over, yet the Security Chief kept it behind his face plate & professionalism. His voice, however, betrayed his true intentions. A true Imperialist to the very word, Steadfast was first an alien, second a liability and wasted resource. Steadfast was fully confident that once given the opportunity, Shinzon would ensure that Steadfast meet an untimely accident while on an away mission is some forsaken jungle.

    Yes, the Security Chief would not be below that, in Steadfast's opinion. But, the Senior Lieutenant also knew that Shinzon would show class doing it, to ensure it was kept in the highest moral regard. Maybe Steadfast found himself a liability to the success of a mission after being wounded? Surely, even Stormtrooper operating guidelines called for the mission success over the individual. Surely Shinzon would find justification.

    But not today.

    The Lieutenant kept his voice low, "We sent a team planet side to the sentry moon, just prior to the Stormtrooper Legion being deployed. Mostly Naval Troopers to set up a monitoring station and recon camp to guard the back door. As you know, Chief, most of our fleet is on the backside of that moon as well," Steadfast took a breath, the Chief would not take kindly to the next words, "We've lost contact with your team, Shinzon. While normally, I would direct other commands within our task force to tackle this task, something doesn't feel right. You know your men. They made planet fall with a Sentinel-class Landing Craft two hours ago, TIE Fighter escort to planet-side. Six Scout Troopers deployed with them, thirty-six Naval Troopers, full combat gear and long-deployment gear. Six 74-Z Speeder Bikes, reinforced by four Compact Assault Vehicles. Standard mobile communication & long-range sensor suite, short-term base-camp, complete with fence-field and E-Web Heavy Blasters to provide immediate base security; Tripwires and Monoflament Screen Guards covered the approaches to the camp's perimeter. Night-vision, heat-sensor scopes. Four KX-series Security Droids and twelve Mark IV Sentry Droids. All-weather temporary structures and tents. You know, the works.

    "We lost contact on all channels, including sensors, twenty minutes ago. I have the coordinates for their base camp and everything you need. But their last communications were clean, no threats. Base camp command located a series of old structures, no reported life signs on scanners, in a canyon roughly three miles from base camp and sent in the Scouts supported by a squad of Naval Troopers. Shortly after that, all contact was lost with base camp command and all mobile units. ComScan read an acute electrical storm that gained in strength, just minutes before their disappearance. We warned the camp and they acknowledged, preparing for the coming storm. It could be, their equipment was fried, but they have back-ups. Its your call, Chief. Either you can go personally or I can assign it to another warship orbiting the moon. But their your men. I wanted to give you the option first."


    TAG @Bardan_Jusik
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  6. Bravo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Captain Duke P. (Patrick) Totter
    Bridge, Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Darkest Night, orbit over satellite moon of Lepsawn 1-9


    "Captain Totter," came Levric's voice over his comm, "I believe we have found something," she continued, which was never a good thing, "I would like to give my report to you and you alone, or perhaps directly to the Commodore. Is that a possibility? Over."

    Totter looked around the bridge; despite them having a holding orbit above the moon and reasonably out of harm's way, they were still technically on yellow alert, which meant all crews and officers were busy at their stations. But, if Levric thought this to be important and wanted to discuss it in private, then he had to accommodate her. The Commodore was never too pushy about his Ready Room, as long as you had the access code (which Totter did) and respected his things.

    Duke brought the comm to his lips, "Copy, Levric. Meet in the Commodore's Ready Room. Totter clear."

    Looking around, he spotted the next highest ranked officer and pointed at him to approach. When next to him, he lowered his voice, "You have the bridge, Junior Lieutenant. No one, and I mean no one, interrupts my meeting in the Commodore's Ready Room. Give me ten minutes. Is that crystal clear?"

    The Junior Lieutenant looked like he was about to pea his pants; the man's young twenty's look---barely beyond Ensign baby boy cheek fat, as the veterans always joked---looked as serious as he was nervous. "Yes, Captain," the man stampeded, "No one."

    "Good," Duke, beginning to leave, then the Lieutenant's voice softly cried out.

    "Ah, Captain, what if something happens while your gone. What should I do?"

    "Whatever you do, don't give away the home world *," Duke replied, then walked off. He was waiting to hear the thump as the young officer fell down out of shock, but sadly, he would have to be content with a puddle of urine on his bridge's floor.







    Commodore's Ready Room
    Several short minutes later


    Duke stood near the viewport, looking out at space and the sentry moon below. His arms were crossed behind his back, when the door chimed.

    "Enter," he said calmly;

    Levric entered, rather urgently---but not overly so---and gave as hasty as a salute as someone trying to run after a baby.

    Duke, personally, didn't care. He thought formalities, especially when addressed in a trusted working environment between comrades, was a waste of time. Duke returned the salute. There was something to be said of brotherhood and sisterhood in the armed services, instead of parade ground formalities between overly fat staff officers and those wishing to impose power upon lower ranked men & women, to prove a point. Yes, there was a time and place for formalities, but here and now in the middle of a war zone, was not the place.

    After the door shut, Duke extended a hand to one of the two guest chairs in front of the desk as he walked around and took a seat behind the desk, interlacing his fingers just below his chin, elbows on table, as he looked across the desk at her..

    "You found something, Lieutenant?"


    TAG @Laine_Snowtrekker


    OOG:

    * Babylon 5, season 1 (1994)
  7. Bravo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Commodore Peter Englewood
    Conference Room (East Tower), Central Government Building, Lepsawn Central (planet of Lepsawn 1-9)



    "If you need," her voice was, even softer now, a whisper into the older man's ear. "I can…" she thought for a little bit, trying to find the right word, "cheat, for us. See which cards are coming." She hoped he understood what she meant. That she planned to slice into whatever security or listening devices that were around, trying to find what they needed.

    Peter was about to reply, when the door started to open; instead, he shared a quick nod with her, that he understood.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, if you would come with me. Your chariot awaits." Said Xavier Simpleton.

    Engelwood shared a look with everyone and gave a nod and thin smile to Xavier, "So it does."

    This trip was already turning into more then he had asked for. What started as a way to save Imperial lives, may very well cost him his command. And at the moment, Englewood wasn't too entirely sure if that would be the worse of it either---maybe even his death would be an unexpected consequence of this journey.






    Motor Pool, Central Government Building


    As the blast doors closed behind them, Englewood was greeted by the cold air that usually shared space with a underground complex. Queen Natasha was present, dressed in something more in line with what Englewood and his team was wearing; flanking her---and not surprisingly, were two UNMF soldiers dressed in causal attire, their armored suits & helmets gone, replaced with ear buds and more blending in clothing and equipment. It should be noted, Englewood saw, that the UNMF soldiers seemed more observant then normal, not to mention the Queen herself looked as if she had a moment of panic just minutes before, but was clearly recovering from any ghastly episodes of horror. Englewood wondered, if so briefly, what happened?

    But, for the moment, it was none of his concerns. The two causally dressed UNMF soldiers were his immediate attention grabber.

    A course, a Queen or Planetary President wouldn't travel alone. While this was no shock to Englewood, he thought it mildly surprising the Queen and her advisers tried to keep it so secret. It wasn't like everyone and their mother didn't know she would have some form of protection.

    Behind the Queen and her bodyguards, was the standard collection of a presidential escort---four 8880 Limousines were bottled in on either end by a Gian Speeder each, while six Flash Speeders were throughout the formation (two split the Limousines in two groups each, being in the middle of the formation; the other four were divided up with two each, either in front or behind the Gian Speeders on either end); the 12 74-Z Speeder Bikes split their forces with one 3-triangle formation each in front or behind the front and aft Flash Speeders, with another familiar formation at the very end of the convoy (the last triangle-group acted as traffic control bikes between turns and stops). Naturally, UNMF troops were seen in all the vehicles. Two of the Limousines housed various staffers for the Planetary President, with a UNMF driver and a UNMF bodyguard shotgun passenger, with two additional UNMF soldiers in each Limousine in the back seats. The two last Limousines, in specific the second and third ones in line or first in front and first behind the Flash Speeders in the middle of the formation, was for the Planetary President and the Darkest Night away team (they both housed the standard UNMF counts as the other two Limousines).

    Xavier extended a hand towards the convoy, which was busy with activity as guards, staffers, and drivers all jockeyed for their positions and got ready. "Your chariot, ladies and gentlemen. You will be headed to the capital city's space port, where a YT-1300 Freighter awaits. It'll be a thirty minute drive under the Queen's best protection officers."

    So much for subtle, Englewood thought as he looked at the convoy, If the queen was trying to mask where she was going, she failed and is rather broadcasting it to the world. But why?

    Englewood kept his thoughts to himself as he approached the Queen and bowed, "The Empire endeavors to keep the Queen's trust."

    "Good," Natasha replied, then added, "Have you withdrawn your forces yet, Commodore?"

    "No, Madam President," Peter replied, adding quickly, "I was going to---"

    "Wait?" Natasha cut him off, "A good choice. We wouldn't want any rash decisions to put Imperial lives at risk. You have twelve hours, Commodore, use it wisely."

    Englewood was no spy, far from it. He was also no mind reader, lip reader, or anywhere close to guessing someone's motivates. What he was, however, was a military officer with a healthy respect for life experience. And his life experience just told him the Queen just broadcast to him a coded message in all the right words. Without the context of the conference room meeting, they would be taken at face value. But, with that context, Englewood saw the card she was holding.

    She then added with dramatic disgust, "Apparently, Captain Vicks does not honor political agreements. Shame. Well, Commodore, you are to atone for the Captain's grave error. I hope."

    Englewood bowed, "As I too, Madam President," it was clear Captain Vicks was nowhere in the hanger and Peter very well doubted he would see him. It must be nice being a rich, over-spoiled military brat. The Captain probably found a way out of it through his father's connections, "Madam President," Peter started as the wife started to walk towards her vehicle, "Do these hover vehicles have a connection to the city's communication network? My Navigation Officer, Miss Markova, needs to address a personal concern, not related to our mission. I'm sure the Queen wouldn't object to her just finding out her sister died and she needed to connect with her family outside of military channels for privacy reasons? We have thirty minutes, after all, my lady."

    It was a lie. A bold lie. But one the Commodore hoped would allow the would-be slicer the access she needed to the network. Something didn't feel right.

    Englewood had alarms going off in his head everywhere. If he was a betting man, he'd bet this whole convoy was being used to lure out a hidden enemy. It all seemed too convenient for such a task. For such a "secret mission" to the space station, the Queen was sure making a public appearance to Lepsawn Central Spaceport. This was war. There were spies everywhere. But even more bothersome was the end game. The space station wasn't it, this much Englewood was sure of now. The space station was a cover to keep Englewood and his away team in line, but also keep them close. But close, for what? Or for whom?

    "I don't see why we can't spare a minute for family," the Queen said, then added, "All on board!"

    Commodore quickly broke the team in half, signalling half in one Limousine, the other half of the team in the other. He made sure, however, that Markova was with him.



    TAG @Mitth_Fisto ; @Sith-I-5 ; @galactic-vagabond422 ; @The Vanguard
    Last edited by Bravo, Nov 8, 2017
  8. Laine_Snowtrekker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2003
    star 5
    IC: Gwen Levric

    As soon as Totter responded and gave the commodore's ready room as a meeting place, Levric pushed back from her console after transferring her findings to a datapad. "Keep tracking this data burst," she told Garcal, who deftly nodded. "And keep me apprised of any updates from the ground."

    Levric calmly made her way to the commodore's ready room and chimed for entrance. The door slid open, and she stepped into the room. Everything about this was, while tasteful, an example of Imperial opulence--materials from across the Empire, expensive materials, from Corellian hardwood to Japor ivory wood and actual plants and a fish tank. Englewood's office always had the additional effect of being a reminder that one was in space, alone in a void, detached from the things that made life, well, life. Whenever she visited this room, she ended up missing Corellia.

    Totter had been standing, looking out through the transparisteel, and was turning to meet her. She threw a fairly sloppy salute as a sop to formalities, in case Totter wanted to pull rank, but he returned it, his face almost bored. He did realize how out of order this was, right?

    The door slid shut behind her. Duke gestured at one of the chairs in front of the commodore's desk, then took a seat in the commodore's chair. He steepled his fingers under his chin and leaned on the table. "You found something, Lieutenant?"

    "Yes, sir," Levric responded. "While we're still in the process of tracking the traffic between Lespawn 1-9 and the Golan II station, we have already identified something that I believe requires me to immediately notify you. A double-encrypted data burst, originating on the planet, was bounced between nearly every communications relay on or around the planet, and ended at the station." She flicked the chart listing the origination and destination points to Totter's data pad. He didn't need to read it, but the list was rather extensive. To have compiled that within his hour-deadline had been a feat. "The first layer of encryption provided us with a string of data, and my team is still working on the next layer in order to decipher what the data itself is. However, that initial string does contain a nine-digit code that is only used by Imperials in highly classified messages."

    She paused a moment to sit, and to let that sink in, then calmly continued, "I see three possibilities. One, this code has been compromised by Rebels, and they are using it in their typical fashion, and MI has not yet realized that the code has been compromised. Two, the code was compromised, but its use by Rebels is being sanctioned by higher-up MI officials, and they have not seen fit to inform us on the frontline that the code was compromised. Three, that the code has not been compromised, and we are dealing with a highly classified situation that we have not been informed about. At the moment, we lack the necessary context to decide which of these possibilities is most likely. If there's a skifter in play here, we haven't pinpointed it yet."

    Gwen did have a gut feeling as to which possibility was the most likely, but voicing a gut feeling was not what was expected of her unless it was requested. Her priorities were the safety of the cause, the safety of the crew (including herself), and the safety of the ship. If her gut feeling was right, all four were probably in jeopardy.

    She let out a breath, then added, "I would suggest that I use an alias of mine to see if any unsuspecting Rebels would be willing to offer up information, but sending messages of that sort would be inappropriate while we are on a battle footing. While we may be able to glean information from the captured Rebels in the brig via the usual methods, that may take too long to keep our people safe, if indeed the commodore's plan is what I suspect."

    TAG: @Bravo
    Last edited by Laine_Snowtrekker, Nov 10, 2017
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  9. Bardan_Jusik Mand'alor - Manager of EUC, SWC and Anthology

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2009
    star 10
    IC: Security Chief Cain Shinzon
    Main hanger, ISD Darkest Night, Battle of Lespawn 1-9

    Leftenant Steadfast kept his voice low as he explained the situation to Cain. "We sent a team planet side to the sentry moon, just prior to the Stormtrooper Legion being deployed. Mostly Naval Troopers to set up a monitoring station and recon camp to guard the back door. As you know, Chief, most of our fleet is on the backside of that moon as well." Cain waved him to move on rather impatiently. He knew all of this, and wasn't happy about it to begin with. His security forces setting up an OP (observation post) while Stormtroops remained aboard the Darkest Night to guard incoming prisoners. It was madness, but it was also the standard Imperial way for two (or more) rival departments to duplicate efforts and creep in on the other's general mission parameters. It bred inefficiency, though Cain figured with as vast as the Empire was inefficiency no longer mattered. Besides, it was just this very sort of mission creep that had allowed for Cain to garner as much power as he did wield, not only aboard the Star Destroyer but in the Empire as a whole. Still, what the Leftenant said next made him no happier about the current situation.

    "We've lost contact with your team, Shinzon. While normally, I would direct other commands within our task force to tackle this task, something doesn't feel right. You know your men. They made planet fall with a Sentinel-class Landing Craft two hours ago, TIE Fighter escort to planet-side. Six Scout Troopers deployed with them, thirty-six Naval Troopers, full combat gear and long-deployment gear. Six 74-Z Speeder Bikes, reinforced by four Compact Assault Vehicles. Standard mobile communication & long-range sensor suite, short-term base-camp, complete with fence-field and E-Web Heavy Blasters to provide immediate base security; Tripwires and Monoflament Screen Guards covered the approaches to the camp's perimeter. Night-vision, heat-sensor scopes. Four KX-series Security Droids and twelve Mark IV Sentry Droids. All-weather temporary structures and tents. You know, the works." Again Cain nodded, even more impatiently this time. He knew what his men had deployed with. He had signed the authorization himself, and even as the Duros spoke Cain called up the landing party's TO&E and read along as it scrolled across his HUD.

    "We lost contact on all channels, including sensors, twenty minutes ago. I have the coordinates for their base camp and everything you need. But their last communications were clean, no threats. Base camp command located a series of old structures, no reported life signs on scanners, in a canyon roughly three miles from base camp and sent in the Scouts supported by a squad of Naval Troopers. Shortly after that, all contact was lost with base camp command and all mobile units. ComScan read an acute electrical storm that gained in strength, just minutes before their disappearance. We warned the camp and they acknowledged, preparing for the coming storm. It could be, their equipment was fried, but they have back-ups. Its your call, Chief. Either you can go personally or I can assign it to another warship orbiting the moon. But their your men. I wanted to give you the option first."

    Cain observed the Druos for a moment as he suppressed the urge to kill him where he stood. The blue skinned freak was enjoying this he was sure, vile creature. Right then and there Cain determined that he would see this Duros killed, whether he had to have security dig through everything in it's file, or trump up some other charges, the abomination would be killed, he would see to that.

    "Electrical storm?" He glared at the Duros through his T-Visor, Cain had other aiwha to fry now that the Rebel command staff had been captured. "Probably just a communications glitch." There was the issue of the basecamp having redundancy built into their comm system, but it would be the first time environmental factors had rendered both primary and backup systems inoperable. Still, 36 of his men were missing, plus the six scouts chopped to their command. He considered his options thoughtfully.

    "Task a flight of TIEs to do a sweep over the area," he ordered. Cain technically had no authority over the TIE Fighters, but Steadfast did. However, if the Duros refused the order on technical grounds, Cain would have him up on charges of hindering the mission and treason to the Empire. He licked his lips behind his faceplate, almost hoping the Duros would refuse, but knowing he wouldn't give Cain the satisfaction.

    There was also the matter of the TIEs potentially giving away the OP's position, but it was a large enough operation between the escort and the landing two hours ago that a TIE flyover wouldn't do much to reveal the troopers on the ground. Especially with the Empire in control of the system. It also occurred to him that an OP that couldn't communicate wasn't much of an OP either. If it was a comm failure than the post would be a bust and the men would have to be relocated elsewhere anyway.

    "Have them report their observations back to me personally, once we know more we'll either pull them out or reinforce as needed."

    TAG: @Bravo
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  10. galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2009
    star 4
    IC: Natalia Markova
    Conference Room, Central Government Building (East Tower)

    The door opened preventing the commodore from giving the verbal order, he just nodded his head. A tacit approval of her plan. With the door opening she didn't have time to slice in but, what she could do is scan for signals. Most listening devices were wireless easier to hide, easier to move, easier to install. The one downside, they were easy to detect, if you knew to look for them.

    With the few moments she had she locked in the datapad's address, making it appear to be a terminal within the office building, it would make it simpler to get back inside the system when she needed to. Her next act was to find the node the 'bugs' were linked to, smaller devices rarely had their own storage devices, took up too much space, too much power, they merely transmitted to a node that either stored the data to be sifted through later, or uploaded it to the datacore. The group was already walking towards the motor pool, or some sort of garage. Time was not on her side, she'd have to settle for getting the address of the node, to try and contact it later, when she had network again. Preferably a civilian one, so that her activity couldn't be monitored, well, not easily.

    Her eyes remained on her datapad only coming up long enough to confirm that she was still with the group and not walking down an empty hallway. Anyone looking at her screen would have to have some training or experience in Information Technology or Computer Science to grasp what she was actually doing. To most others it would look like a black screen with a bunch of characters running across it.

    She liked working in the base system of datapads, it stripped all the unnecessary features, the graphical interface, the pop ups and the applications. All that was left was simple commands, and replies by the machine. It was almost like looking into the inner workings, seeing all the little ones and zeros flip back and forth. It was cold, unfeeling, logical, one command did one thing, there was no ambiguity. It was comforting, to know that there were spaces where things were black and white in a literal sense.

    She continued to work, leaving little backdoors, markers for herself to use when she sliced her way in remotely.

    __________
    Motor Pool, Central Government Building
    Her head came up for a longer moment when she realized they had made it to the garage. Before her was the Queen out of her uniform of office, and dressed in more common clothes, more in line with the dress of the 'imperials'. Natalia wrapped her hand around her bare shoulder slightly covering the green and purple tattoo that was there. She'd been too wrapped up in her work and fighting her own thought spirals to care about the fact she was far out of uniform. However it did raise a question, if she was dressed incognito, what were the 24 vehicles behind her for.

    "Your chariot, ladies and gentlemen." The man in white and gold remarked, "You will be headed to the capital city's space port, where a YT-1300 Freighter awaits. It'll be a thirty minute drive under the Queen's best protection officers."

    The navigator's brow furrowed, was this not supposed to be a covert mission? How was traveling with a full speedercade going to aid toward that end. Was it a distraction, was there something else at play here?

    She looked to the commodore, hoping to see his own confusion, or see if he'll speak up.

    He did but, not to comment on the lack of subtlety of their conveyance.

    "The Empire endeavors to keep the Queen's trust." He said, Natalia returned her gaze to the floor looking at the cracks in the duracrete counting them to pass the time. She listened to the conversation between the Commodore and the Queen, a rather interesting one.

    "Good," The Queen replied adding "Have you withdrawn your forces yet, Commodore?"

    "No, Madam President," The commodore answered, "I was going to---"

    "Wait?" The Queen sharply cutting the commander off, "A good choice. We wouldn't want any rash decisions to put Imperial lives at risk. You have twelve hours, Commodore, use it wisely."

    This caused Natalia's head to come up. Why were Imperial lives at risk if the Commodore didn't remove them? There was something deeper going on here. Now Natalia was more eager to slice into the system, gather more information, get to the bottom of this.

    The only problem was network, she needed a connection to make her way back into node she'd made contact with.

    "Apparently, Captain Vicks does not honor political agreements." The Queen commented, Natalia cast her eye around finding no evidence of the political officer. When had he slipped away. Not that she was paying much attention to him. "Shame. Well, Commodore, you are to atone for the Captain's grave error. I hope."

    "As I too, Madam President," The commodore replied bowing his head. The navigator mirrored the movement, in part to make up for her error on the landing pad."Madam President," He continued as the Head of State walked away "Do these hover vehicles have a connection to the city's communication network?" Natalia's brow twitched, good, if they had connection she could complete her task. "My Navigation Officer, Miss Markova, needs to address a personal concern, not related to our mission. I'm sure the Queen wouldn't object to her just finding out her sister died and she needed to connect with her family outside of military channels for privacy reasons? We have thirty minutes, after all, my lady."

    A look of shock and confusion washed over her face as she looked to her commander. She was an only child, so she had to sister to find out has passed away. This must have been a ploy, a trick. Even though her rational mind knew that, her emotional mind, such as it was couldn't shake off the shock of what she was being asked to do.

    Act

    Pretend that she'd lost someone close to her. The initial stunned face she gave could possibly be read as horror that the subject was brought up, or as her first hearing this information herself. With nothing left for her to do she just looked at the ground again, her face turning slightly red with embarrassment.

    "I don't see why we can't spare a minute for family," the Queen replied, agreeing to the arrangement, "All on board!"

    Natalia took a few tentative steps forward still unsure of what to do with herself, inadvertently making her acting choice...stunned silent by the horrifying news.

    As the teams were split she made her way to one of the vehicles, it didn't matter which and took her seat.

    As soon as she could she began accessing the network, getting right to work unraveling this mystery.

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto @Sith-I-5 @Bravo @The Vanguard
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  11. Sith-I-5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Alex Qipao19, Baille Harte, Conference Tower and parking garage
    Location: Lepsawn 1-9


    "Hold on a sec'." Alex said to Baille as the group rose to follow the Queen's envoy.

    He lifted up the result of his arts-and-crafts project, the Rebel Alliance logo cut out of scarlet paper, holding it between them.

    "Very...pretty?" She offered, frowning at the thing.

    "Very funny." He told her as the group moved behind them to the doorway. "On a scale of one to ten, how much do I look like an Imperial Scout Trooper?"

    "Ten. Maybe nine-point-five, if we take all the scuff marks into account."

    "Precisely. And I'm going to march up to Rebels and terrorists looking like the enemy, and expect that to go well?" He held the logo up a bit higher. "I need to stick this on my breastplate, to hopefully offset the image. But I'm going to need you to put it on. Straight, preferably."

    "Hey! All of you!" Called a voice from the doorway, the filtered cadence suggesting it to be one of the UNMF soldiers.

    Alex raised a hand in acknowledgment, even though he had his back to the doorway. "Just a minute!"

    Pursing her lips, Baille took the paper off her wing-mate, quickly finding one side tackier than the other. She gingerly folded it in half.

    "Now isn't the time to be making it into a butterfly, Whoof!"

    Impatiently, she ran a fingernail down the centre of his breastplate. "I want to fit it into this crevice that you've got here." She did just that, pushing the folded edge into the vertical split in the white plasteel surface, then opening the paper up and folding and pressing it against the armour with her fingers and hands, pushing any bubbles under the material to the sides, and trying to reduce the inconsistencies from not having a totally flat surface.

    "You look quite cute with your tongue poking out with concentration, Little Sis'."

    "Thanks." The pilot dropped her hands and stepped away from the table to give the adhered symbol a visual once over.

    "How's it look?"

    "Not bad. You look like you could take on the whole Empire by yourself."

    Both Imperials gathered up their gear, Alex pocketing the scissors and glue. He liked to think that he took planning ahead to a new level.

    They hurried their pace upon seeing that they were the only members of the Away Team still in the conference room, and quickly crossed the carpet to reach the doorway still being held open by the faceless security trooper.

    "What're you meant to be, Apple Man?" The soldier enquired. "Perhaps we can drop you into one of the Neglected Cities; help persuade the locals into having their five-a-day."

    "Five a day?" Alex queried as he passed by.

    "Five portions of fruit in addition to the normal diet. Making healthy Lepsawns might be the first step to cleaning up those places, who knows?" As Baille passed through into the long ante-hall, sunlight beaming in through large square windows along the left wall, the guard added, "But what do I know, I'm no social scientist."

    ****

    The trio caught up by time everyone reached the turbolift, so all emerged together into the underground car park, the chill air causing Harte to pull the hem of her dress lower to insulate a little bit more of herself.

    She spied the Queen, now flanked by obvious guards, all three dressed in civvies like themselves.

    The planetary ruler looked like she had had quite the fright.

    "What's the matter with her?" She wondered aloud. "She looks like she's seen a rathtar."

    "Hey!" Alex snapped in rebuke, glaring sideways at her. "Not even as a joke!" He glanced around the shadowed, low-ceilinged area, beyond the blocky ferrocrete columns holding up the rest of the tower.

    Beyond the Queen and her guards, were an impressive convoy of modern limousines and speeder bikes that Qipao19 assumed had been provided by the Empire, and old style Gian and Flash speeders. Well, they might be old, but they could be damned effective with their mounted energy weapons.

    He didn't know if they would stop a rathtar, but certainly the sheer amount of attentive United Nation Mercenary Force soldiers around, would keep the thing busy while he picked Baille up and ran them out of there.

    The Royal Messenger extended a hand towards the convoy, which was busy with activity as guards, staffers, and drivers all jockeyed for their positions and got ready. "Your chariot, ladies and gentlemen. You will be headed to the capital city's space port, where a YT-1300 Freighter awaits. It'll be a thirty minute drive under the Queen's best protection officers."

    "Looks like we've got a convoy on our hands." Baille murmured, sweeping her gaze the length of the sevcade. As in surface effect vehicle. "You think they are all coming with us on the ship?"

    Englewood bowed, "The Empire endeavours to keep the Queen's trust."

    "Good," Natasha replied, then added, "Have you withdrawn your forces yet, Commodore?"

    "No, Madam President," Peter replied, adding quickly, "I was going to---"

    "Wait?" Natasha cut him off, "A good choice. We wouldn't want any rash decisions to put Imperial lives at risk. You have twelve hours, Commodore, use it wisely."

    Englewood did not respond to that immediately, which piqued the interest of both Flight Lieutenants, as did the woman's apparent emphasis on some of her words.

    But without the benefit of their TIE Phantom's suite of warning sensors, neither could do anything till the bolts started flying, so there was little point trying to interpret what was going on between Englewood and the Queen, if they were not going to be overt about it.

    Natasha the Bold then added with dramatic disgust, "Apparently, Captain Vicks does not honour political agreements. Shame. Well, Commodore, you are to atone for the Captain's grave error. I hope."

    Baille took a quick glance around, confirming that the caped diplomat was nowhere in sight. Though to be fair, they wouldn't have come down here if Simpleton had not been sent for them. The non-appearance might not be down to the captain

    Englewood bowed, "As I too, Madam President. Madam President," Peter started as the Queen headed for her ride, "Do these hover vehicles have a connection to the city's communication network? My Navigation Officer, Miss Markova, needs to address a personal concern, not related to our mission. I'm sure the Queen wouldn't object to her just finding out her sister died and she needed to connect with her family outside of military channels for privacy reasons? We have thirty minutes, after all, my lady."

    "Sister." Alex rumbled softly in a reasonable approximation of Lord Vader's voice, turning to their tattoo'd navigator. "You have a sister."

    "Well, not any more." Baille blithely clarified, before her brain caught up with what her voice was saying, and her mouth dropped open as she regarded the younger woman in horror at her slip. "Oh stang, I am so sorry!"

    She stepped in and put her arms around the poor girl. It was like hugging a tree. And she could feel the other's datapad pressing into her midriff.

    "Oh, you poor thing. If you ever need to talk." She released Natalia and backed off a step, giving her colleague a sympathetic look. "Or, y'know, tap out Calamari blink code with your hand..."

    The kid definitely did look shocked at the news.

    She made to follow her as she chose a limousine to duck into, only to find Alex' hand gripping her upper arm and determinedly pulling her towards the next vehicle, under the anonymous gazes of the gathered UNMF. "What are you doing? She needs comforting?"

    "With your level of tact?" Mr Self Aware countered, pushing her into the last of the 8888s, and poking the longblaster, 'Madeleine' inside so that it lay on the dark carpet. "She'll be throwing herself off the station." He did not elaborate that he meant the Golan, just in case there were some here that shouldn't know that little titbit. He climbed in after them.

    Sinking into the luxuriously-soft black synthleather of the seating, Alex eyed the open door nervously. He really wanted to shut it, to stymie the imaginary rathtar that he so feared whilst planetside, but knowing that Reen and whatsisface, Voss, still needed to choose their rides.

    "Seat belts, please." Their UNMF driver, beyond a glase partition, spoke from the front.

    "Oh right, yes." Alex twisted to study the seating near his white hip pouches.

    "What're you supposed to be, Apple Man?"

    Feeling the cool of the seat under her thighs, Baille had Alex' back on this. "S'not an apple." She pulled the stretchy grey restraint up from her left hip, also looking for a connector in the seat partition between her right side and Alex.

    Tag: @galactic-vagabond422 @Bravo @Mitth_Fisto @The Vanguard
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  12. Mitth_Fisto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Jengleheimer Voss ‘aka Jingle’
    Parking Garage Under Central Government Building

    After being escorted out of the conference room Voss had to endure that most grueling of duties. Try to figure out what in the planet these people ate! Apparently according to a soldier as they had left part of their diet was made up of 'apples', although like most food items you had to take a name with a grain of sodium-chloride, or table salt. An apple by itself simply told him that the fruit fit the geno-type of what one knows as an apple, but the flavor and texture of that apple could be so varied from one world to the next, not to mention nutritional value, that he couldn't ascribe the word sweet or sour to such a thing. So with a heavy he took deep sniffs whenever he passed a soldier or other member of this planet as he tried to pick up the tell-tale scents of what exactly these people lived off of. If he was going to impress the Queen when he got his shot he would need to know these kind of things.

    Once in the garage Voss let out a cough. Perfectly natural. . . yup, this was undercover. Mmm-hmm. It took a lot of willpower not to berate them over the present set up. Armored tanks would be less noticeable from space! A bloody double convoy that announced something was up, going to where they would be leaving from, even the general vicinity. . .those in the Golan surely just would need a good telescope and be watching either the Government building or the spaceport and they would be seen.

    Meanwhile the Commodore and the Queen seemed to be trying to pass hidden messages so brazenly that he almost wanted to take both at face value, but honestly? Until they changed his marching orders he was a good enough soldier still to know to just ignore it and admire the paint jobs on the speeders.

    When the group started to split up and head their separate ways Voss took a hard turn away from the limo he was headed to when he saw the sky jockeys getting into it, especially as one of them was practically the child of the chief medical officer. A simple pivot clank and he was on his way to the other vehicle. Ducking into it he tried scrunch into one of the corners as unobtrusively as possible. "Lovely night for a caravan." he simply stated before leaning back into the soft seats.

    TAG: @Bravo, @Sith-I-5, @galactic-vagabond422, @The Vanguard
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  13. Bravo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Rick Johnson
    Pilot Lounge, Darkest Night


    "So," Rick Johnson said, boasting as he usually did as sat reclined in the lazy boy-like chair, using his arms in swing motions to mimic a fight, "This enlisted grunt comes at me at the bar, boasting how this girl is his and I better lay hands off, right? Well, he lands the first punch---well lets be honest gents---I allowed him to land the first punch!"

    The handful of gathered pilots burst into laughing, urging Johnson to go on.

    The egotistical pilot continued with a grin, using his harms and hands in swinging motions again, "Well, the Army grunt had a solid first hit. I mean, gents, lets be honest, he is Imperial after all. But we all know that us pilots have the real stuff. I went in for the knock out punch after that, clocking him with a solid to the head with my left, then a upper cut with my right. Telling ya gents, best day in the brig after that. Well, the best day was the day after the brig with the beauty little fem in bed with----"

    "Bad Love Squadron, 2nd Flight, report to TIEs immediately for reconnaissance. Bad Love Squadron, 2nd Flight, report to TIEs immediately for reconnaissance mission."

    Rick slammed a fist into the seat's armrest, "Not another stupid reconnaissance mission!"


    *********************

    Aft (Primary Hanger Bay)


    "Another stupid recon mission, Rudy," Johnson complained as he slid into the TIE Fighter's ball cockpit; he looked up to the mechanic as the man handed him down his helmet as they both stood aboard the TIE Fighter and TIE Racks respectfully, "When are we going to get our turn at some real action?"

    Rudy Ash shrugged, finishing the last bit of his cigar, before putting it out and stuffing it into one of his work pants' pockets, "Be thankful for the little things."

    "Ya know," Rick said, sliding on his helmet, "For being a card gambler and drinker, you got a lot of philosopher in you."

    Rudy shrugged as Johnson dropped into the ball cockpit and the ladder came up, "Come back in one piece."

    "Don't worry, if I don't, I'll make sure to express mail my arse to the enemy," Johnson joked.

    Smiling, Rudy closed the hatch on the TIE's cockpit and jogged out of the way for launch.


    *****************

    Sentry Moon, entering atmosphere


    Rick watched as the last licks of flame withdrew from the edges of his TIE Fighter's cockpit, the fiery entrance from real space to Lepsawn 1-9's sentry moon giving way to blue skies and clouds.

    "Comm check, all TIEs," came Johnson's voice, doing the standard Imperial comm check after reentry into a planet's atmosphere.

    At first, the replies came in with a healthy dose of static, but as the heat and friction reduced off of reentry, so increased the clarity of the comm message.

    Satisfied that his Flight was in working order, Rick laid out the game plan again as the forested moon's land became visible through the clouds, "Okay gents, listen quick. Standard recon mission. We're reestablishing location and communication with a monitoring station. Command thinks an electrical storm cut out their comms and sensors. Bad Love Twelve, you stay high in the sky and keep sensors alert on any possible electronic weather changes. I don't want us getting fried too. Bad Love Eleven, your with me. We're take the original shuttle team's same approach along the river and back track their approach. Questions?"

    "Negative Bad Love Ten."

    "We get to celebrate another successful reconnaissance mission. How lucky for us!"

    Rick smiled at Bad Love Eleven's sense of humor, "I understand the pain, Eleven. Scanners at maximum----okay, lets go in!"

    Barrel rolling his TIE downwards, Rick dove for the thinly laced brown-colored river below, pulling up roughly 100 meters above as the river became larger and larger.

    Several minutes into their journey did sensors start to pick up modern buildings and technology, in the otherwise primitive world landscape.

    "Sensors are reading the encampment up ahead on that hill---the hill should be visible around the next turn in the river," Johnson announced.

    "Bad Love Twelve to Bad Love Ten. Negative on any electrical storm activity. I've tried raising the communication network of the monitoring station again---no joy."

    "Copy, Twelve," Johnson replied, then said, "Lets ease up on the throttle and guide in from above. I don't want to spook our friends down there and get shot at."

    "Roger Bad Love Ten. Lead the way."

    Easing up on the throttle, Johnson lifted the nose of the TIE upwards and out of the snaking river below, guiding upwards, as they rounded the corner in the river.

    "Is that smoke, Ten?"

    The words caught his attention as he leveled his own nose.

    "Yeah," Johnson replied, his hands tightening around the controls, "That's smoke. Sensors are reading life signs. Twelve, keep an eye out on any possible bogies targets in the sky. Eleven, drop back and keep scanners on the encampment and any ground bogies. I'm going in."

    As the copies came in from his Flight, Rick hit the comm switch, "Control, this is Bad Love Ten. We have located the monitoring station on sensors. Negative on any communication. Visible smoke coming from camp. We do read life signs. I'm going in for a closer look."

    Coming in from above, Rick angled his TIE as if on a precision bombing run, trying to get the best visual possible. He couldn't believe his eyes as he pulled up.

    Steadfast's crisp voice broke over the comm channel, "Report Bad Love Ten."

    "Ah..." Johnson started, "Going in for a second run. Smoke was blocking my vision."

    A course it was a lie. He knew what he saw. But he had to give time for his unbelief to catch up to what he had to verbally report.

    Coming around for a second pass, Johnson looked at the horrific scene again, pulling up.

    "Control, Bad Love Ten. Ah...."

    "Report Bad Love Ten. What is the situation down there."

    "Ah, sir, the camp's been wiped out."

    "Clarify, pilot, wiped out?" came Steadfast's voice, this time stern.

    Johnson swallowed the knot forming in his throat, "Destroyed, sir. Sensors are picking up survivors, roughly fifteen in total. Permission to land and administrator medical aid?"

    "Negative Bad Love Ten. Ground support is on it's way. Secure the skies. Good work. Control out."

    Johnson brought his craft around for another pass, coming in closer this time, and slowing down the speed. Below, he could make out hand signals from several survivors gathered around either natural or man-made defenses, as if they were waiving him in for aid and pointing towards the jungle. He could see the injured and dead Imperials. He also saw the enemy dead---a combination of wild animals he had never seen before and humanoids carrying what looked to be primitive hand-made weapons.


    TAG @Bardan_Jusik
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  14. Bravo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Lester Knocks
    Under Neglected City


    Lester watched from the catwalk that ran across the deep hole that fell below into the deep darkness of long-forgotten sewage pipes and power lines. All around him, leaking pipes, sewage lines, power lines, and communication lines ran all around, going up and up to the very bottom levels of the city 100 yards overhead. Here, in this surreal environment of underground tunnels & forgotten machinery, the deep wet darkness was only penetrated by large work-lights suspended along the machinery lined cave walls, catwalk lights, and the every now-and-then blinking light from equipment somewhere in the darkness or the malfunction and spark of said equipment. Here, darkness crept in everywhere and the lights available only kept it at bay so much. Here, modern civilization was reminded that nature still reigned supreme, despite man-made intrusions.

    Taking a glance down that long dark tunnel, Lester watched as massive crane wires from above pulled a massive machinery sphere from the depths, measuring at least 100 yards in all directions. Finally, he had found it. Soon, the weapon of mass destruction---a forgotten leftover from The Great Lepsawn Civil War---would be brought back to life in terrifying fashion. The Imperial troops fighting above them right now, Dark Battalion if intelligence reports served correct, would be completely and utterly destroyed. A prideful Imperial unit, the message would be clear.

    Lester Knocks' men, out on the Sentry Moon, had already located the second missing device from the civil war. It appeared an Imperial reconnaissance mission had accidentally stumbled across one of the many access points through an abandoned village to the device. Lester had been informed his men had stirred up the indigenous people into thinking the Imperials were out to kill them and that would delay the Imperials long enough---trying to figure out why a indigenous people attacked their men---for Lester to get the device into play against the Imperial fleet in orbit around the moon. After all, the device was in an abandoned secret launch site deep in the mountains designed to launch it into space. All Lester's men had to do was get the launch site back up and running.

    Finally, after over 10 years of searching, Lester had found the devices. There was a third device he had found months ago, in the development stages when abandoned, that his best minds and engineers were putting back together and making stronger, piece by piece. But, that device wouldn't be ready yet. And Lester had to make a move now, to show the Empire and Queen Natasha that he wasn't playing around. They would play his game and keep their noses out of the Javin Oversector, at least if he had anything to do with it in this little spot of space. After all, the Empire was bad for his spice running business; while the profits from selling weapons to The Rebellion helped balance out profits during wartime, Lester would rather have the best of both worlds, instead of just spice or gunrunning.

    Hearing footsteps, Lester turned around. His two personal bodyguards were behind him as usual---in the shadows against the wall---as well was one of his lieutenants who stood off to the side. Another one of his men came up the catwalks steps, delivering a hand written message. Lester looked at it and smiled. He handed it back to the messenger and simply nodded. The messenger smiled and went back the way he came.

    So, it appeared the Queen was preparing to leave the Central Governmental Complex. Spies within the Complex's walls are saying that she is headed to Lepsawn Central Spaceport. Escape? No, that wasn't the Queen. She wouldn't run and hide. No, there was another reason. A reason that Lester would stop her before she reached the Spaceport.

    Yes, Lester thought, he would tie her royal hide to this bomb as it explodes. Irony, wasn't it? She would be so close to the deactivation switch, but powerless to do anything about it.

    His men would be setting the trap now along her route of travel, redirecting traffic and closing down roads, disguised as city works personnel doing road maintenance. There would be no escape. Everyone would turn on her. Lepsawn Central was full of weak cowards, who would either run from the gun battle in the streets or turn on their Queen and Planetary President the moment their lives were pushed to the brink of death. These privileged capital city folks had never had to endure the hardships of the Neglected Cities. But, Lester smiled to himself, he would bring them a taste of the fear and bloodshed that every citizen of the Neglected Cities lived in every day over the last 50 years.

    Alas, he had other things to get to. Taking the com link out of his pocket, he typed up another message and sent it to the space station above planet, about the surprise attack coming to take care of the Capital City (a status updates of shorts). The signal would be encrypted on the highest levels and would bounce everywhere among the planet's communication network. It would have its own Imperial code in it, thanks to the Imperial agent he killed several days ago for the device. His engineers had reversed engineered the device, as to make sure it couldn't be tracked by the Empire. The messages were simple: to distract people. There was no surprise attack coming, but they didn't know that. The thing was, if someone was listening in on the traffic, it would distract them into thinking two things: an attack was coming and this whole thing was the Empire's doing. And he hoped the Empire was listening in, because when this device went off, and they assumed it was because of the messages they intercepted, then the cords of distrust and disloyalty would start to be feed through the Imperial ranks as the Imperials thought they were killing their own people in order to solve a military goal.


    NO TAG
    OOC: Background information post only for @Bardan_Jusik ; @Sith-I-5 ; @Mitth_Fisto ; @galactic-vagabond422 ; @The Vanguard ; @Laine_Snowtrekker

    Uses of this OOC information could be....

    • Communication network information you catch is odd (Laine)
    • Communications between the spaceport and city, like odd lane closures en-route, etc. (vagabond)
    • General information about the moon (Jusik)
    Last edited by Bravo, Nov 23, 2017 at 11:11 PM
    Sith-I-5 and Mitth_Fisto like this.
  15. Bravo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Captain Duke P. (Patrick) Totter
    Commodore's Ready Room, Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Darkest Night, orbit over satellite moon of Lepsawn 1-9


    "Yes, sir," Levric responded. "While we're still in the process of tracking the traffic between Lespawn 1-9 and the Golan II station, we have already identified something that I believe requires me to immediately notify you. A double-encrypted data burst, originating on the planet, was bounced between nearly every communications relay on or around the planet, and ended at the station." She flicked the chart listing the origination and destination points to Totter's data pad. He didn't need to read it, but the list was rather extensive. To have compiled that within his hour-deadline had been a feat. "The first layer of encryption provided us with a string of data, and my team is still working on the next layer in order to decipher what the data itself is. However, that initial string does contain a nine-digit code that is only used by Imperials in highly classified messages."

    Duke hated it when MI was getting involved without them telling him; he knew they had a mission and he had a mission. But for Force's sake, this was purely a military operation now and they should at least respect the Area of Operations and aid with the Darkest Night's operation.

    She paused a moment to sit, and to let that sink in, then calmly continued, "I see three possibilities. One, this code has been compromised by Rebels, and they are using it in their typical fashion, and MI has not yet realized that the code has been compromised. Two, the code was compromised, but its use by Rebels is being sanctioned by higher-up MI officials, and they have not seen fit to inform us on the frontline that the code was compromised. Three, that the code has not been compromised, and we are dealing with a highly classified situation that we have not been informed about. At the moment, we lack the necessary context to decide which of these possibilities is most likely. If there's a skifter in play here, we haven't pinpointed it yet."

    Well, that made things a little more interesting. And confusing at the same time. This was the whole reason why Duke avoided the Intelligence service: it was always all too confusing to keep track of.

    She let out a breath, then added, "I would suggest that I use an alias of mine to see if any unsuspecting Rebels would be willing to offer up information, but sending messages of that sort would be inappropriate while we are on a battle footing. While we may be able to glean information from the captured Rebels in the brig via the usual methods, that may take too long to keep our people safe, if indeed the commodore's plan is what I suspect."

    Duke nodded, running his fingers across the desk as he did so. He had to weigh the risk and benefits of what Levric was suggesting. While he didn't fancy upsetting MI, it was also apparent that MI was all the too comfortable running unnoticed as much as possible in this whole operation. Which, Duke reasoned, may give him the wiggle room he needed to give Levric the green light. If MI wanted to remain unseen, then it would logical that they would want Duke to react accordingly as to keep that card in play as much as possible. The last thing Duke needed was the Rebels having some slicer that could discover that the Darkest Night was purposefully avoiding scanning a string of communications, which would then lead Rebel slicers to unmask the MI contact. It was a game of cat and mouse, in which Duke and the Darkest Night was the cheese and one wrong move and the cheese gets it.

    "Okay Levric," Duke finally said, his fingers finished playing across the desk, "Track down this rogue communication best you can and by any means necessary. Notify me immediately if we need to intervene militarily on your behalf."


    TAG @Laine_Snowtrekker
    Last edited by Bravo, Nov 24, 2017 at 8:37 AM
  16. Bravo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Commodore Peter Englewood
    Motor Pool, Central Government Building


    Everyone was in; Markova was with Englewood, both sitting across from the Queen and her two bodyguards personally. Peter brought his comlink up to his lips, to address his own people in a light-hearted mood.

    "Don't ruin the expensive seats. Or it comes out of your paycheck," Englewood ended with a soft chuckle, then added, "Keep your eyes and ears open. You work for the Empire and we're just as responsible for the Madam President as her own security detail is. Enjoy the ride, Englewood clear."

    Peter turned to Markova, "Any luck yet, reaching your sister?"

    Overhead, the light through the sunroof changed from a garage darkness to a daylight glaze, indicating that the convoy was moving towards their final destination.


    TAG ALL IN CONVOY






    IC: Captain Jeffery Vicks / Master Sergeant Dax & Master Sergeant Davis
    Streets of Lepsawn Central (planet of Lepsawn 1-9)



    Jeffery impatiently looked at his watch as his eyes darted between the sudden road construction crews and him meeting the Queen on time at the airport. "This stupid traffic!" Vicks finally yelped, pointing at the sudden changing of alignment of the lanes as construction crews began moving into the area, forcing traffic to adjust to reduced lanes of movement, "I mean, seriously, who decides to start road construction in the middle of the morning rush! Idiots!"

    "Davis?" asked Dax from the back-seat of the armored civilian-looking landspeeder used for undercover VIP transport, where he sat with the ambassador.

    "It does seem odd," Davis replied from the driver's seat, "But I don't have anything to make more of it," the muscular man shrugged, "Maybe the ambassador is right. Their idiots."

    "Did you try the Queen again?" Vicks asked Dax, "Are you sure she got our communicate? The last thing I need to do, is to offend a head of state! I wasn't meaning to be late!"

    Dax nodded, "I tried twice. Both went to voicemail. I finally got hold of her office secretary. She said she would relay the message immediately to her staff in the convoy."

    "Hey Dax." Davis said, "I just got a good look at one of those construction workers. Sure doesn't look construction to me. Seems off. Good money says he's packing heat."

    "Yeah," Dax replied, taking a longer look at one of the construction workers through the tinted windows as they passed, "Looks gang-related. I got a bad feeling about this."

    "I'll put good credits on that," Davis replied.

    Dax sighed as he brought online his datapad and connected to the Imperial-provided channels for the communication network. He brought up travel routes and saw a disturbing trend, "Road construction is going up in three places, reducing the routes to the spaceport to one. No news reports or alerts from city works to indicate road construction on this scale would be taking place today. Get us off this road Davis and do it now!"

    "On it!" Davis replied, suddenly ignoring the signals of a construction worker and blowing through a recently set up barrier.

    Dax had his comlink out and he raised the local Imperial garrison, "This is Special Intelligence, Master Sergeant Dax. Get me the garrison commander," there was a pause and someone else responding back, then Dax replied back, "I don't care if the Commander is in the refresher! Get him on this comlink or you'll be cleaning refreshers out for the rest of your tour, soldier!"

    "This is Ambassador Vicks. I need to speak to the Planetary President immediately!" Vicks said over his own comlink, waiting for the other person to talk, "What do you her comlink is down!? Well, raise the convoy---" the person interrupted him, to say the news he dreaded the worse, "What do you mean you can't raise the convoy!"

    "By the Force!" Dax said, "They have a mole in that convoy! They're going to kill the Madam President! We can't risk sending a message to the Imperials in that convoy; we don't know who the mole is and they might kill the Madam President before we can get there. Davis, double-back as quick as you can to that convoy."

    "On it," Davis said, looking out his side-mirrors as he pressed on the gas, "But it looks like we have company! Not everyday a city works construction vehicle is chasing you down the road."

    Dax withdrew his blaster pistol and armed it, "That's no construction crew."


    NO TAG
    OOG: @galactic-vagabond422 for communication blocking of Queen and security escort comms (Imperial comms work just fine).
    Last edited by Bravo, Nov 24, 2017 at 9:15 AM
  17. Bravo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Master Sergeant DW-418121 (Animal)
    Residential-Economical Site One; Lepsawn 1-9 (Neglected City) --- Second Squad, First Section


    "Cease fire! Cease fire!" Animal barked over the comlink as acid smoke drifted throughout the waiting area from the intense blaster fight; the Master Sergeant gave the white smoke a moment to clear as he looked at----i appeared---what remained of the turbolift lobby. The Rebels were dead, that was for sure, was the lobby looked better for wear and perhaps operation even.

    "DW-418126 and Face, check those bodies! We'll cover you!"

    "I think you have a death wish for me," Face complained over the comm as he and DW-418126 headed forward. A few moments later, Face's voice came back, "All clear. One is wounded and still alive. Orders?"

    "You know what to do," Animal said as he got up and waived Tech forward. A second later, a single blaster bolt rang out from the turbolift lobby. Animal checked his comm, "Eyes, status report?"

    "Clear. I set up bobby traps, ID'd friendly for our armor. Anyone else and they'll be crispy. But I think we should hurry before that other groups figures out their buddies aren't responding and they're the dead ones, not us."

    "Agreed. Tech, find us another way down to our target floor. We want to avoid as many Rebels as possible at this point."

    "On it," Tech said, taking off his helmet and keying into the console, "Bringing up building layout now."


    TBC
  18. Bardan_Jusik Mand'alor - Manager of EUC, SWC and Anthology

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2009
    star 10
    IC: Security Chief Cain Shinzon
    Security office, ISD Darkest Night, Battle of Lespawn 1-9

    Cain stared in disbelief as the reports started coming in from the TIE recon flight of the now destroyed Imperial observation post. Those were his men down there, and though he didn't personally care for the well being of the men and women under his command, the fact they had been overrun so quickly, without even getting off a distress call reflected badly on Cain's command, and his honor. He had to rectify this, and soon. He had wanted to take part in the interrogation of the Rebel leadership his men had captured, especially now that he knew MI was engaged elsewhere. That would have bee quite the feather in his cap, but it would all be undone if he didn't get to the bottom of what had happened to the OP first.

    Heading to the nearby armory he grabbed his personal carbine, one of Mandalorian manufacture, not one of those shabla aruetiise (foreign) ones the rest of the crew utilized. This was a warrior's blaster, from a culture of warriors. Along with it he grabbed spare blaster packs, and enough explosive to knock the moon out of orbit (a slight exaggeration, but one that brought a smile to his face). Then he called out to control, "Get 1st Platoon, Echo company to the main hanger." He ordered an entire platoon from the Darkest Night's reserve security company to mobilize. "Yes, the whole platoon. Kit them out for surface ops." It was actually less firepower than had been overrun down there, but it was all he could spare right now. Half of 4th platoon was securing prisoners brought aboard the Darkest Night, the other half of the that platoon and just 2nd and 3rd platoons were all that was left in case of an emergency. He could ask for additional help from any Stormtrooper elements left aboard, specifically any walkers (scout or otherwise) they might have ready to deploy, but that would mean admitting he needed help, and revealing a weakness. No, best to keep the op to his own troopers, and small enough that they could pull out quickly if need be. Still, there was no need to be suicidal about things. "Have the TIE recon flight standby to escort us in, and then remain on station to provide air support or further recon if needed." He waited for the acknowledgement from control before heading down to the hanger bay himself.

    TAG: @Bravo Didn't want to move to far in one post, I'll either get Cain and his troopers on a shuttle and headed moonside in my next post, or if you want to move them to the surface Bravo I can go from there.
    Bravo likes this.
  19. Bravo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Abandoned Moon Facility
    Sentry Moon


    The scrawny man pushed his eye glasses up and out of the way again, as they slid down his nose for the 100th time!

    "By the Force!" the man breathed, as he looked up at the screen spewing data up above the viewport as he typed away endlessly on the console, "This equipment is so old! The system hasn't been in so long that----"

    "Knowledge," a man said as he gazed out the viewport and down at the massive machine-looking sphere that sat on a launching runway. Down there, people looked like ants as they climbed all over the place, bringing the deadly device back to life. Above, high above at the end of the angled runway were two massive blast doors that were overgrown with brown & green vegetation, "Does not accept failure."

    "Look," the scrawny man, wearing a white lab coat, said, putting his hands up, "I didn't say its impossible. Its just, this equipment," he spread out his hands, "This whole base hasn't been touched in forty years! When you leave equipment without maintenance for that long, it naturally breaks down. Its like starting up a landspeeder that hasn't been started in forty years. The battery is probably dead. Well, the same here. This equipment hasn't had a power supply to it for so long, that there's bond to be problems. I can fix it, I really can. I just need to find where the system isn't receiving the input and output signals. If I can fix those connections, then the system should give me a proper readout. Right now, the system doesn't know what is up or down or side to side. Its confused."

    "You," the man said as he turned around with a blaster in hand, "Can tell your Maker when you meet him."

    "Oh by the Force," the man pleaded as he raised his hands, "Please no. Please! I have a wife and a kid and---"

    A single blaster bolt rang out, echoing through the decades-abandoned command center. The scrawny man fell to the floor, his body lifeless. The man with the blaster looked up at the three other gang-members present, "Knowledge does not accept failure, family. As family, we understand this. So, go to that National Defense Force base and find me a technician that be worth me not capping his arse. Knowledge grows inpatient. And soon or later, family, the Imperials will find us."

    "How that be?" asked one of the gang members, "We did what you said boss! We're over fifty miles away from those Emperor's Black Bones' Imperials! They'll be hunting down those poor village people first. How can they find us here?"

    "Because," the man replied, "Once this place is fully operational, we'll be the brightest energy signal anywhere near Lepsawn 1-9. So they'll be coming. Now, idiots, get going for Knowledge and find me a scrawny worth his life. Or I'll be capping your arse's too!"


    NO TAG






    IC: Rick Johnson
    Sentry Moon



    Johnson looked below as he passed overhead the landing Sentinel-class Landing Craft, "Landing Craft, this is Bad Love Ten. We'll clear your skies for another ten minutes, until we reach bingo fuel. Don't worry, boys, we'll return to keep your skies safe. We'll keep our mics hot up here if you need us. Bad Love Ten clear."


    TAG @Bardan_Jusik
    Last edited by Bravo, Nov 24, 2017 at 1:42 PM
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