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Star Wars THE GALAXY AT WAR PART IV: PRISONER OF CORUSCANT

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  1. Ominous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: Didn't realize this was still going. Anyways, good to see it up and running on legs again. I am not even sure where to start or if to start. Work and school have taken the majority of my time these days. MOLP told me it was up again.
  2. Ominous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2004
    star 4
    IC: General Praetorian Darkeyes, Supreme Military Commander of the Alliance forces
    Location: Yavin IV, Command Center, Strategy room

    The bottle of Corellian whiskey sat on the table next to Torian’s glass. He was alone in his own thoughts, while Matrix and the team were stowing away the gear from their failed mission. This wasn’t the first time a mission had gone Bantha boobs up, but the General was hoping for a huge score on this last one. Munitions, food, and tools were in short supply and a trip to the Imperial Discount Warehouse Center was needed very soon. Torian took another swig of amber goodness and set his glass back down to be refilled. As he was pouring another round, a short, young officer entered the room excitedly.

    “General Sir, we may have our next opportunity for supplies!” He fumbled with the data pad and finally set it down in front of Torian. The hologram jumped to life off the screen and showed an insect of some sort and organic spheres.

    “Is this some sort of joke son?” Torian was clearly irritated with the young officer.

    “No sir! If you will follow me, the Intel officers want to show you what they found!”
    Torian set the bottle down and left the empty glass behind. “Lead the way son.”

    The maze of halls under the temples had become second nature to Torian and at times had to direct the young officer in the right path. When they finally reached their destination and foul odor began to creep into Torian’s olfactory senses. Waving his hand in front of his face, he scrunched up his nose. “Geez, it smells like “shhhhhhhhh” the doors opened up into the room allowing the rotting smell to fully attack his senses.

    The two Intel officers were dressed in hazard suits and masks, elbow deep in beetle dung. Boy and I thought my job was crappy sometimes, thought Torian. “What is the meaning of this?” Torian had raised his hand over his mouth and nose to no effect.

    “Sir, these crates were delivered recently and we found something interesting upon the initial scan.” The young officer walked over to a computer and brought up the scan. A small chip was imbedded in the dung heap. A loud sucking noise filled the room as the Intel officers finally pulled the hidden content of the dung. “AH! Finally!” The Intel officer stated with excitement.

    “I’ve never seen someone so excited about beetle dung.” Torian had to laugh. “What do you have there?”

    The officer held it up to the light as excrement dripped from the edges. “Well sir, smugglers have used this trick before sir. You see, most Imperials and other governmental agencies don’t bother to check dung cargo on pirate vessels. The smell alone is deterrent.”

    “Yeah, got that when I walked in, so?”

    “We’re not sure what we have yet, but whatever it is, someone didn’t want it found. We will run an analysis report back to you sir.”

    “Very well, Captain. Thank you and enjoy getting the smell off you.”
    TAG: To be continued
  3. Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2002
    star 5
    ~OOC~ Thank you to Pasha for your feedback on this post. I also want to welcome back Ominous! It is great to see you and Torian back :)

    ~IC~ Kaylee and Rowan Halcyon, Ariek, Kal
    Location: Icarus - Hyperspace - Unknown
    1 cycle before the incident at Coruscant

    I sat next to one of the beds cordoned off in the medlab of the Icarus. The lights were dimmed at this time because of the night, or more in the sense that it was considered night time for most of the ship. My gaze looked over the peaceful and resting form of Se’Iva, her hand within mine. Her body was supported in the brace to allow it to mend properly without restrictions, a veil of blue light from the medical scanner washed over her. Machines hummed and monitoring equipment beeped steadily, noting any change in her vitals.

    A bowl of water and a cloth beside me on the utility table, I wiped her feverish brow, cooling, cleaning.

    “The repairs on the hyperdrives appear to be holding.” I whisper to her. With each visit, I would talk to her unconscious form to keep her informed on everything incase there was a chance she could hear me. “We have done two successful micro jumps to test the waters and everything seems to be holding steady.”

    I returned the cloth to the water to dampen it some more and then wrung out the excess water before tending back to her.

    “Kaylee is more confident now regarding our new coordinates and her attitude has boosted the morale in the rest of the crew... except in Ariek who is acting unbearably pessimistic, though Kal has the difficult task of settling things. However, she might not be wrong. In my heart I feel as though everything has changed... I can’t help but remember back on the beach how you felt that everything is out of alignment.”

    I watched her lids and wondered if I had imagined seeing movement from her eyes beneath her opal complexion. Dabbing the cloth again, I continued. “I see Kaylee grow more at ease with her added responsibility, I am proud of her and to me she feels....” I sighed as I couldn’t think of the word I was seeking and shook my head. “...matured. I do wonder, but I dare not intrude on what is on her mind.... There is something that has her on edge, but I am not entirely sure it was the attack, as she claims it was.”

    I set the cloth down to brush Se’Iva’s platinum strands away from her face. “Estel misses you,” I smiled as I mentioned the little cub that must be pacing about in my cabin right now. “When you are on the mend I will bring him to visit you.”

    I glanced to her hand in mine and interlocked my fingers with hers. I can still feel her disconnected presence in my mind, her essence. Her deepest fears and regrets... hopes and dreams.... and everything in between. My eyes closed and I felt a tear squeeze out and roll down my cheek. I can still hear her scream in my ears... that pierced my heart like a cold steel shaft... before she went silent and limp in my arms. At that time, I had to sever her connection to the Force. As much as I understood the necessity of doing so in order to save her life, what I had done, the magnitude and the depth of pain it cause her I could not reconcile in myself.

    I lowered my head and touched her brow with mine. I whispered softly, asking for her forgiveness in my native tongue. There came an increase to the sound from the monitoring equipment which spiked my awareness. For fear that my close proximity might be causing interference, I kissed her brow and I sat back up. The machine went back to normal almost instantly.

    I let out a low sigh, it was unbearable to see Se like this, wings broken and her life force so drained. I felt helpless and frustrated, not only at the situation but with myself. Se was counting on me and I had failed her. Ever since our fateful meeting, Se had been a positive force and a compass for me. We are both survivors from a twisted time and I owe her for saving me from that place.

    More than just that, I smiled wistfully, she had saved me several times over.

    There was a knock. I looked up and saw a silhouette beyond the screen. “Enter.”

    Ariek entered and leaned against the doorframe with her arms folded. “You couldn’t be reached on the comm, but your presence has been requested on the bridge.”

    “Thank you,” I gave a nod. “I will be there in a moment.”

    I held her gaze for several seconds before she muttered something I couldn’t catch, turned about and headed out. I waited until I sensed her presence leave the medlab before I turned and took in Se’s serene expression.

    “I will let you know how it all goes, I’ll see you soon.” I stood up and kissed her brow. I caressed her cheek and hesitated for a second and then took her hand. “You will be whole again,” I whispered, kissed her hand and returned it to her side. “I promise.”

    * * * * * * * * * *

    When I entered the bridge, I overheard a technician called out from their post that they had extended the range of the passive sensors. I found myself automatically noting to myself that the next step after that would be to use the active sensors however that would risk giving away the position of our ship to whomever was listening. I glanced to the viewport as I stepped further to the centre of the bridge and noted from the vista outside that we had arrived within a planetary system. A distinct star stood out larger than the others and hints of other planetary bodies nearby.

    The crew member continued to read the feed. “Healthy yellow star... approx temperature is fifty-four hundred and-”

    Kaylee turned her head and our eyes met, she flashed me a warm smile and with a subtle gesture of her hand she reached out and took mine. “I wanted you to be here for this...”

    I returned her smile and squeezed her hand lightly as a sign of appreciation.

    “-lvin, we are a hundred or so AU from the centre...several planetary bodies are currently orbiting the star...”

    ‘So far so good’ I commented silently to myself.

    “...the nearest one is composed of ice and rock... Ah...” The crew member paused. “I read eight, no wait... one is artificial...this might be it...”

    ‘Could that artificial body be Centrepoint Station?’I remarked to myself, not wanting to get my hopes up. The mood on the bridge on the other hand had dramatically changed and became more upbeat, as though the crew had caught their second wind.

    “I have what looks like a conflict of orbits... that matches that of the twin worlds... similar setup to Tralus and Talus.”

    “Can you bring up the first world in the system?” I asked and stepped over to the terminal. “Can you get a visual?”

    “Ah... yes... I... just... ah...” The technician stammered as he rapidly flickered through the incoming data. “Yes... bringing it up now, sir.”

    I cupped my chin as I scrutinised the image before me, my index finger scratched my beard. The clarity wasn’t there but I could roughly make out the shape of the main continent and three other natural satellites. According to the readings, there was a large concentration of objects in orbit around the planet but our instruments were not strong enough to tell me what they are. It looked like it could be Corellia but it did not fit exactly how I remembered it...
    “I know my home and that does not look right...”

    I sensed Kal behind me and I saw him look over my shoulder from the corner of my peripheral vision. “Sure it is,” He patted me on the shoulder. “You’ve just been away for too long.”

    “Maybe it is time we considered registering this vessel with the BoSS.” Kaylee added as she joined in to see.

    “That’s a good idea, actually” Kal agreed.

    “Why?” I furrowed my brow and looked to both of them.

    “It would make our job easier if the astrogation charts were updated automatically when we reach port.”

    “So?” I don’t know whether it was my previous habits or natural instincts, but I strongly did not like the idea. “We just plug in to the port’s data when we have to. There are benefits to living off the grid.”

    “Such as?” Kal raised his brow and gestured to the viewport. “It would have saved us the drama of all this.”

    “We also don’t have our activities and whereabouts logged by third parties which can be used against us.” I countered.

    “The Bureau of Ships and Services is a neutral entity...” Kalyee started.

    “I am not taking my... our chances, it still leaves a trail. Besides, I have heard of incidents they have caused when they decide to get involved with conflicts on a galactic scale.” I folded my arms against my chest.

    “That only happened in the utmost extreme cases!” Kal scoffed. “There hasn’t been anything like that for thousands of years.”

    “It happened during one of those power battles between Alsaka and Coruscant...I believe it was... fighting over which one should be the capital of the galaxy. I think the last time was several hundred years ago...”

    “BoSS had nothing to do with that one, it was one of the earlier ones-”

    “...Alsaka and Coruscant may have started it but it took just Corellia to put an end it. Doesn’t that tell you something?”

    Kaylee gave me that look as to say that she was not impressed. “That you are deflecting the subject, again.”

    “I don’t trust them.” I added firmly.

    “You are just being stubborn.” Kaylee sounded amused.

    “You wouldn’t have me any other way.” I retorted and leaned closer.

    “You...” Kaylee let out a surprised gasp and then her voice went low. “Oh, I can think of a few ways that I love to ha-”

    “Ahem...” Kal interrupted. “What do you both suggest we should do now?”

    We both looked to him and I suddenly felt sheepish. We were on the bridge of a cruiser after all, not in the privacy of our cabin.

    “Hold the vessel on the edge of system...” Kaylee started

    and I finished. “...we will observe for the moment while we work out the best way to proceed...”

    “Once we confirm it is home, we should make contact to see if the Queen has made it safely too.”

    ‘Feye!’ There was a fleeting fear that she had not made it back to Corellia... but we had ensured that her vessel had escape undeterred and unscathed during the Cha’ala attack by drawing the bulk of the attention on us. I felt a sick feeling in my stomach and my hand instinctively went for the pouch on my belt to make sure that it was there. My fingers felt the cool metal of a bracelet that Feye had given me. Before we had embarked on this journey, Feye had given me a part of herself, a bracelet that bore the mark of the Royal Family. The symbol in itself was more than just that, it meant that we are family... and family sticks together.

    “Yes...” I murmured. “We don’t want to get our hopes up and have them deflated...”

    “Yet again... Yes...” I thought I heard a strain in Kaylee’s voice as she moved over to the helm. “Set an approach vector to the first world in the system and with caution we need to be wary of the other planets. Ariek and Kal?” She looked over to them. “When I give the signal, may I get you to ensure we have all crews to their stations. We don’t know if we are in a friendly neighbourhood just yet.”

    “Right on it,” Kal gave a mock salute to Kaylee as Ariek pulled his arm for him to come along.

    “Rowan...” Kaylee motioned for me to follow her. Once we were position at the forward most point on the bridge, in front of the viewport, she glanced about before leaning to me. “How do you feel about this?”

    I pursed my lips for a brief second, closing my eyes, I calmed my mind and focused. “The data before us suggest we are where we hoped to be...”

    “However?”

    I could feel her warmth as she leaned closer, I pushed back the temptation to bring my arm around and hold her close. “There are some inconsistencies that linger at the back of my mind... not all the pieces before us are connecting properly.”

    “I am glad you said that...” Her voice was barely a whisper. “I want to tell myself that this is it but I just... what we have been through to get this far... it feels too good to be true.”

    “I understand too well... I wish none of us had to go through it. We’ll know soon enough when we have more information... I should make the call soon and hopefully get a response from Feye.”

    “Hmmm...” Kaylee tilted her head up to face me, “...when we land, promise you will come with me.”

    “Yes, of course.” I answered her, my brow furrowed as I felt a wave of emotion pass over her. “What is it?”

    “When we get there... now is not the time.” Kaylee bowed her head and sidestepped away from my side. “Time to use our active sensors.” She called out. “Inform Ariek and Kal to wake everyone up.”

    There was an acknowledgement of the orders and the tasks were carried out. I counted down mentally from ten seconds as I watched the stars outside lazily drifted past the viewport as the Icarus headed towards the heart of the system.

    “Turn off the active sensors.” I ordered once my count had reached zero.

    “But we-”

    “Now.” Kaylee commanded. “And tell us what you managed to get.”

    As we gave them a moment, I hoped that we did not give our position away. All it would have taken for an array to be at the right position and at the right time for them to show up, however, our presence would only be mere seconds.

    “There seems to be some correlation with what we have... there looks to be orbital shipyards and a steady stream of activity and...that’s about it.”

    “I’ll go make the call.” I passed Kaylee and went to the communications systems. The gift Feye had bestowed upon me was only part of it, the other was a means to communicate with her. She told me that if I ever needed to speak with her, to use this key and frequency and I would have an unobstructed direct line to her. I held my breath as I keyed in the details.

    “Here goes nothing.” I muttered and activated the comm. “Hægl, Hūsian Solkrest. Est Rowan Halycon, Regnwaerd ab Corelisi...un ab uhl Icarus. Gecwemli andswaran.”

    I caught Kaylee’s quizzical look.

    “Ah,” I frowned, maybe that was not the way to go. There was the off chance that a member of her staff might be receiving it and would not be able to understand the native tongue of old. “Let me redo that differently.”

    Opening the comm channel again. “Hail House of Solkrest. This is Rowan Halcyon, Knight of Corellia, and of the Icarus. Please respond.”

    TAG: To Be Continued, Open
    Last edited by Corellian_Outrider, Mar 10, 2013
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  4. TheAdmiral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: This is a joint post between me and Pasha, thank you for the collaboration.

    IC: duchess Jori Atreides, Mitternacht, Admiral Veroti
    Location: guest chamber; ISD “Resolute”, Coruscant orbit

    Jori was still sitting in her chair as the ship decelerated out of hyperspace. The mesmerizing blue vortex was replaced by the small white dots and the enormous sphere that was Coruscant. It was a majestic sight that was for sure. She had been on the planet before but as a private visitor and not on official business. The world was symbol of the Republic’s and now the Empire’s power. It stirred something inside her, something that she couldn't explain. This world hypnotized her each time Jori see it.

    It was bustling with life and hundreds of thousands came and went. To be the ruler of such a place must be giving the person a sense of omnipotence. Coruscant made the Union look like a ragged band of Outer Rim planets. There will be a lot of work to be done if they were to catch up. For all their wealth the Union did not possess the soft and hard power that the Empire had. This thought gnawed her inside. The ascension of the Union depended on a lot of variables outside her control. These excluded the internal ones, as they were pretty much under control. Lord Vader was a mystery to her. Usually she was a good judge of character but Jori was unable to read him. Nor his wife for that matter but at least she felt more comfortable with her.

    The nervousness that she felt was a bit exhilarating as it brought something new. 'At least I am alive...' she kept telling herself. Jori hoped that Director Aurelius will be able to keep the peace intact in her absence. Which was the second hardest thing to do after the capture and elimination of the Enlightened. The success was amazed by the sheer amount of problems the Union had and the negligence of her predecessors. No one bothered to change the status quo for different reasons. Most feared to lose their heads, others had empty heads... The Union required a complete overhaul and not just separate measures that only prolonged the agony. That was why she gathered the best experts in different fields to form her team. Even now they were making analyses, making predictions and drawing plans for the future policy. They unofficially called it "The Union in 20 years time".

    Now she needed to secure her back by at least come to an agreement with the Empire. Jori needed a bit more breathing space so that she could start implementing these reforms. The Union needed if not friendly, but at least peaceful relations with the outsiders. This will also calm some of their partners down and will be able to do business as usual, even expand to new markets. If only the internal troublemakers will reveal themselves and to be done with them. But the reality was not that simple.

    Jori looked towards the door where Mitternacht was standing guard. Admiral Veroti should be coming any moment now...

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

    The ship was making fast time. There were currents, or places in the hyperspace that bore the wake of other ships and along such a wake they now sped to Coruscant. “We’re ahead of schedule, Captain. We’ll arrive within the next 30 minutes, sir,” said the navigations officer, reporting as Veroti required. “Very good, Lieutenant.”

    Well, then, better inform Her Grace, he said to himself. “Captain Po.”

    “Sir?” Po saluted crisply, a smile on his, for he was very happy they would shortly be in home orbit.

    “Take the bridge,” said Veroti, as he strode from the busy command of the ship.

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

    In a short several minutes he stood before the threshold of the Duchess’ temporary quarters. The gigantic and foul smelling ghoul stood barring anyone’s entrance. The Captain was quite seasoned and this was the most perverse culture to which he’d ever come in contact – the robotic animation of corpses! He truly felt his staff who’d had to navigate about the rotting thing.

    The bell sounded as he stepped out of the lift and those of his crew nearby saluted having been notified their Captain was on deck. Nonetheless, he announced himself a the Duchess Atreides open door. “…I’d like to have an important word with the Duchess, Her Grace.”
    Mitternacht observed the Admiral without uttering a word. It was aware that before it was a human, a very skilled one at that but now it was something purer, something one step closer to perfection. Its masters allowed a certain degree of self-awareness in order for it perform at a higher degree of efficiency. Its photoreceptors registered how the outsider Admiral regarded it with disgust. And it was aware that the original body had started to decompose when the ghola treatment which halted the process was performed. Nevertheless judging from the man’s reaction people who are unaccustomed to gholas and their distinctive “features”.

    Mitternacht turned towards the duchess who was looking at him.

    “Your Ultimacy, Admiral Veroti is here to see you.” it said with its ghostly mechanical voice.

    Jori smiled warmly at the Admiral and stood up.

    “Ah, Admiral, I am glad to see you again, despite the fact it has not been so long since our last meeting.” she said still smiling as she approached the man. “Mitternacht, wait inside...”

    The ghola regarded her for a second then moved aside so that Veroti can enter.

    “Your grace,” he said with a slight smile and then bowed. “We will arrive in Coruscant in roughly 15 minutes. We are ahead of schedule. However, debarking ship will not be immediately. I hope you will not have too much difficulty bearing with the process.”

    “I will tell you flat out, Madame, your guard ...eh...Mitternacht will not be allowed to venture forth with you on Coruscant. It is over-armed and will set off alarms wherever it goes. It has done so since boarding my ship and the security at the Senate and New Imperial Palace is at a high level since the ... new Emperor returned from battle. Perhaps there can be some arrangement made, but I wanted to prepare you. If I may be allowed to give counsel, Your Grace, perhaps if you can declare your ...eh...your ghola’s specifications and weapons compliment, it might be allowed to accompany you if it surrenders its weapons. If you wish an audience with His Imperial Highness, I’m afraid there is no other way. I’m sure if you give it consideration, you must realize your own security would surely not permit ... “outsiders,” as you say, or even your own system’s people to carry weapons in audience within your palace and before your person. It is not permitted for citizens of the Empire to do so, but for a very few who serve as the Emperor’s security.”

    Veroti rose on the balls of his feet slightly and offered the flaxen haired beauty a conciliatory smile.

    Jori’s smile did not leave her lips, though inside she was annoyed.

    “And what do you suggest to do with Mitternacht? It is a personal gift from my dear cousin Vernius and the genetic material used in creating it is very rare. If it can be returned to our fleet, wait here or someplace else where it is convenient I don’t object. As long as no harm is done to it...”

    Upon hearing the exchange Mitternacht turned.

    “Your Ultimacy, I must object!”

    “Know your place, ghola!” she snapped at it.

    She was sure that if it had a face it would have been sulking at this moment. Jori then smiled at the Admiral as she turned towards him.

    “If an acceptable solution could be presented I will not object.” the duchess paused “What about the Warmaster, he is practically a walking tank and he cannot leave his armor as he will die if done and he cannot leave as I cannot make any such important decision without the presence of the representatives of the Ruling Council. They will have to verify the legitimacy of my decisions and Gabriel is a member of the Ordo that was present during the formation of the Union.”

    Veroti, sighed, “Yes, well, I was going to address that,” he said, looking down to his side and rearranging some small antique vessels on the polish onyx side table next to which he stood. “You are correct,” he continued, looking back to the Duchess, “ your Warmaster possesses the same problem as the ghola. They are over-large, highly mobilized war technology...Frankly, I am surprised they are allowed in your presence Madame. As machines of war, they are only as reliable as their last scan. I’m terribly sorry, Your Grace, however, you may rely on me. I will do what I can so that you need not trouble yourself concerning their care. At the very least, I will be in stationary orbit for some time. I could arrange for them both to have steerage here until other arrangements are made.”

    The Captain fell silent a moment and pursed his lips, pinching them between his thumb and forefinger in thought. “Or ... have you a system’s person or representative living on Coruscant who could accommodate them,” suggested Veroti after a moment’s consideration.

    Jori sighed, her inner annoyance grew more and more.

    “Unfortunately the Warmaster must be present during the negotiations to verify that I have conducted them properly. Each of us is a proxy for a larger group of people so that I cannot make such big decisions myself. I am a proxy for the other houses, also the Ecclesiarchy has given me part of their voting rights, the Trading Guild and the Committee for State Security as well. The Warmaster represents the armed forces, along the other military orders. The Inquisitor represents the Inquisition, of course, and the Commissariat. Sister Nastya represents the Bene Gesserits only.” she looked intently at the Admiral “The Royal Guards are not just guards as their name implies their presence make these negotiations legitimate in the eyes of the Union public. All of them are here to verify that my ideological, theological, political, etc views are pure and not tainted and that I walk the line of righteousness and that I am guided by the principles of the Greater Good. You see in the end if we have to make an important decision me and the representatives have to vote for each point and article of what we are being proposed or what we propose...” suddenly an idea struck her “Unless the Warmaster agrees to give his voting rights and observation rights to another person.” Jori paused for a moment “Though he has to contact the representatives of each branch of the armed forces and military orders and convince them to agree to give their shares. But I think all of this can be arranged and I have a person in mind who can take his place that will be acceptable for the others and he is already on Coruscant, Lord Admiral James Xavier. Is that acceptable for you? But first a conference call has to be arranged to start the procedure. As for your last question, yes we have a representative who can accommodate them.” Jori paused again “If the Warmaster can attend the negotiations my previous tirade would have been for nothing. I don’t need him with me all the time, nor during informal talks, but if he can be allowed to be present during the official talks we can avoid the described by me tedious process.” the duchess managed to smile again.”Indeed our cultures are very different it seems...” she added.

    This could actually work to her advantage if she could maneuver the Lord Admiral in the place of the warmaster. Of course there will be some resistance and she would need to make some concessions when she was going back, but she was sure that she will be able to sway them. The Trading Guild won’t object, they didn’t care who represents the military branch of the Union. The rest of the Houses will even be content with this as of several days ago the Lord Admiral became the leader of House Supreme so effectively one of them. In this way her share will be a bit diminished, at least in their eyes. Everyone knew, at least the people of importance in the Union, that the people with her were her protegees and lackeys so what they had to say was irrelevant as she will be speaking through them. And with Gabriel and Mitternacht staying with Representative Magnus they will be able to use their machine brains to download as much as possible information that is open to the general public, no spy games, working all day and all night. No processing, just a pure information download.

    Either arrangement will work fine, but for now she had to put up a show by trying to defend Gabriel as it would be expected of her.

    Veroti considered her words in silence, a finger to his lips and then gesturing with his finger, he made a small flourish, “I can tell you, without equivocation, unless your ‘Warmaster’ and ghola can be disarmed of their munitions and weapons, they cannot be admitted. I understand what you say regarding cultural differences, however, there is hardly a place in this galaxy that does not regard disarming at the meeting of leaders a matter of etiquette to demonstrate they are dealing in good faith and that truce during negotiations will be honored. So, we are clear on this point.”

    He continued and looked to the Duchess. “ You say you have a person on Coruscant with whom they may be entrusted, then very good for all if I can get clearance for them to be stowed with this person, that is. You will be so good as to communicate the address and name,” he said walking to a console and bringing up a particular screen, “you may enter it here and we will make inquiry.”

    “Remember, the audience you have been granted did not come of regular negotiations. While I understand a breach of etiquette, your advisors through fault of ignorance, have allowed you to fall into a hostile encounter that could well have ended sadly. It would have been enough with only that infraction of Imperial space and your armed armada, but there were also the incidents at Derra and in Chommell at Naboo! It is regrettable, but fortunately, Lord Va...His Majesty is generously disposed to negotiate with you, perhaps due to Your Grace’s strength of character which does her much credit, if I may be permitted...”

    It was an awkward moment to have to both remind the Duchess that she had little room to require anything of the Empire, given how this diplomatic meeting had come about and to also allay her concerns.

    "Madame, you know, I'm curious, do the animals in the Union not ... avoid the dead of their own kind? In the rest of the galaxy it has been my privilege to travel, I have noted, only the carrion creatures will truck with corpses and then only if they are freshly killed. It's a natural defense against disease. I'm terribly intrigued with this ... this... how shall I put it... this morbid dithering with the dead."

    The communicator in the room rang with a series of soft “beeps” that signaled the Captain was wanted on the bridge.

    “Well, I must return to the bridge, Madame. I’ll be escorting you to the New Palace myself. So...we shall meet again in ....” he looked at the computer chrono, “...in another 20 minutes on the transport. You will be retrieved and shown to the hangar. Ah...” he exclaimed as a soft siren rang indicating they were leaving hyperspace. “...We are reverting just now.”

    There was a slight shudder as the engines changed over and the ship met with the friction of real space.

    “Until then,” he said snapping a curt bow, “Your grace...” and he withdrew. Outside the view port, a glittering orb appeared from the streaming lines of stars and heavenly bodies as the ship spilled into the “here and now.”

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

    Jori was confused ‘Of what weapons did he talk about for the Warmaster?’ she was able to convince him to disarm though his armor gives him extra strength and dexterity. ‘Maybe these are the weapons he talked about... the armor?’ In truth the Royal Guards were trained to be living weapons even if they did not carry one themselves. ‘Now I will have to maneuver the Lord Admiral in the place of the Warmaster.’ The Admiral was not right, at least in the Union, the gholas Death Cult Assassins, Death Guards, Inquisitors, Commissars, Royal Guards and even some dignitaries were allowed to carry their weapons in her or in her father’s presence. But there was no use to further antagonising him. All the support for the Warmaster was just for show, though there was a risk of overdoing it so no more arguments. Though only the task of contacting the actual Ruling Council remained but this was a formality.

    “Mitternacht!” she called.

    “Yes, Your Ultimacy?” the ghola turned towards her.

    “You and Warmaster Gabriel are to stay at the apartment of Representative Magnus. I know your task is to protect me but the situation is what it is and there is no way to change it. Besides I will be perfectly safe in the presence of Lord Vader. While at the home of the dear Representative you and Gabriel are to store open to the public news, disregard gossips and tabloids. It will be fine if both of you concentrate mainly on analyses.”

    The CSS did the same things, but she liked to have another source as sometimes the analysts tweaked what they sent her a bit. So in Castle Kaladan she had a team who did the same thing but while she was away there needed to be someone who did this on Coruscant for her.

    “You put them into categories and no hacking or slicing or whatever illegal methods. After all we are not here to break the law. Only open information that is available to the public. If a piece of information that you deem important but is available for a certain fee you will consult the Representative and if he approves he will pay for it.”

    The ghola just nodded "As you wish, Your Ultimacy."

    Jori moved towards the computer that the Admiral indicated so that she can key in the address of the Representative. The duchess saw that the room was equipped with a conference type of holoprojector. She tuned it to the necessary frequency and found out she had clearance to do it. Veroti had anticipated this, Jori smiled. The people that were not in a place that had no projectors will be present only with their voices. It was time to face the Ruling Council...

    As she managed to make contact a lot of surprised faces appeared. "Beylah heifla, Your Ultimacy!" Murmured each of them. It seemed everyone was in their cabinets. Every member of the Ruling Council was present: the Grand Cleric, the Grand Inquisitor, the Primarch of the Royal Guards, the Magister General of the Death Guards, the Commissar General, the Mother Superior of the Bene Gesserits, the Director of the CSS, the Director of the Trading Guild, the Chairman of the Landsraad, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the Master of the Death Cult Assassins, Magister Vernius - her cousin from Ix. Only the Supreme Commander of the Navis Nobilite remained who was with her on board the same vessel and will have to talk with her later.

    "Bey lah to you too..." before anyone could say anything she began to speak "We have arrived at Coruscant and our gracious host, Admiral Veroti, informed me that Warmaster Gabriel and Mitternacht are to remain with Representative Magnus and probably will not be allowed at the negotiations."

    She expected their reactions. Some faked them, some were genuine.

    "This is outrageous!" Came the booming voice of the Primarch. The man's body was so big that his hologram showed only his chest and head.

    The others murmured between themselves.

    "Calm down everyone, I have a proposal for a replacement." Jori said with a smile.

    "Who, if I might ask?" Director Aurelius of the CSS cut in.

    “Lord Admiral James Xavier...”

    “Unacceptable! He is one of your people!” this time it was the Mother Superior.

    Jori gave her a benevolent look as if talking to a small child.

    “But you and the Grand Inquisitor sent with me Sister Nastya and Inquisitor Ruhr so I guess now is not the right time to make such accusations.” and now with a firmer voice “Admiral Veroti made it clear and I agree with him that we are not in position to make any demands after all the gaffes that we made. So you take this offer or leave it. We can discuss this all day and still reach no decision. I have made up my mind and you are to accept it! I am the House Ultima!”

    “Don’t forget who made you Ultimate...” came the raspy voice of the Grand Inquisitor.

    “I will ignore this not so veiled threat, anyway with or without your support I will put Xavier.” Jori turned towards the Primarch “I am sorry for this Ultimus but there is no way around this. I tried but they are adamant. They want me to remove my ghola, who...” she gave a sideways glance at her cousin “...as you know is Vernius’ gift for me.”

    “The Lord Admiral is a honorable person who has the utmost respect of our Order. A lesser man to represent us would have offended us.” replied the Primarch followed by the nods of agreement of the leaders of the Death Guards, the Death Cult and even the Chairman of the Landsraad.

    Jori lowered her head “I am glad that you agree.”

    “I also vouch for James!” this was Lord General Xavius, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

    She nodded to him.

    “Do whatever you have to, my child. You have my blessing and the blessing of the Greater Good.” said the Grand Cleric with his elderly benevolent voice followed by the nod of agreement of the Director of the Trading Guild.

    “An excellent choice, by far...” her actual advisor, Director Aurelius, said as well.

    Jori restrained herself from grinning the two old fools Grand Inquisitor Karamasoff and Mother Superior Mohiam made fools out of themselves. Though she didn’t like that they were able to see the true extent of the support that she had behind her.

    “Good, thank you for this council. Meeting is adjourned.” before they were able to reply to that she switched off the holoprojector.

    Only a signal from Admiral Veroti remained...

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

    The Resolute’s decking shuddered gently for a moment as her engines adjusted to subluminal flight, the amber flickering planet looming before them turned the interior of the destroyer that the light could reach to a warm “firelight.” The com rang a series of beeps again, indicating they had settled into their stationary orbit.

    At the door a young encen appeared with a storm trooper detail of 8 to inform and collect the Duchess and her attending party. They were soon installed on a streamlined tri-wing transport and awaiting the Admiral who appeared without fuss or fanfare.

    “Duchess,” he said in greeting, before conferring with his pilot. The door to the forward cabin closed behind him and the com crackled on to announce they were departing and would land on planet in 20 min and welcome.

    TAG: To be continued
    Last edited by TheAdmiral, Mar 10, 2013
  5. pashatemur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: ...continuation and end of the Senate speech. Thank you again, C_O for your company and great contributions here. As always, it was a pleasure.

    IC: Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Mos Amedda, Sate Pestage, Celeste, the Reina Mavras of Ursa and soon to be Empress, the Enfanta Sophia Anastasia of Ursa, daughter of the Re Mavrat of Ursa and Imperial Executor, Grand Moff Tarkin, his wife, Lady Thalassa Tarkin, Grand Moff Trachta, Admiral Motti, Viceroy of Alderaan and Senator, Bail Organa, his sister Rouge Organa, a “guest,” and C3PO.
    Location: Senate rotunda, Coruscant

    Anakin did not say all he had said directly to Ahsoka in the earlier conversation - the Moffs would of consequence understand the immediate changes and know that they would be ineligible for the positions they currently held, even if the positions remained unchanged and as they were currently. The governors were all silently coming to that conclusion on their own as they listened to the speech, and though Ahsoka had been spared it thus far, Tarkin’s scowl now met her gaze. It was thinly veiled as a restrained smile, but Ahsoka knew quite well, that look, and she was certain he was not prepared for her cool appraisal, in return.

    "There are many monumental engineering projects that will require high degrees of coordination and planning. The Admiralty and sectoral fleets are excellently suited for carrying out such projects with their resources and machinery, infrastructure, and talent."

    "The Confederacy of Independent Systems is defeated, but enough of the leadership remains to be brought to justice and there are still systems who are opposed to the Empire. They do not pose the threat they once did, but make no mistake; there are still areas of conflict that will require military resources. Everyone is aware of the piracy that still plagues our shipping lanes. We need the Admiralty to defend our citizens."


    "As long as the corporations and banking clans can use piracy as an excuse for tightening the flow of credits, the cost of doing business and the cost of basic goods will remain high; the Empire’s current economic stagnation will become a precipitous downturn. What spending there has been has not resulted in more jobs and neither is the flow of credits equitable. There's no creation of new wealth and the current policies benefit the corporations and financial sectors over consumers..."

    "Are you going to present them with numbers and visuals?” she asked, her mind beginning to swim.

    "No, not in detail - they won’t absorb all that. Those numbers will come in the next sessions. This really isn't a state of the Empire address, but there will be the totals and highlights for now - just enough to drive home what the big picture is and why. They want to know what they can expect from me. You’re surprised to hear all of this coming from me? You're not answering! I've killed the conversation again. It’s a talent! I’m gifted that way.”

    Ahsoka, laughed. This was the Anakin she knew.“No...it’s just, I’ve got tunnel vision. I am concerned about your safety.”

    "Be concerned I am keeping their attentions. I know the government needs to be remade from top to bottom and I fear what I am saying will unsettle them enough to precipitate civil unrest, so I am erring on the side of vagueness, in which case I am not saying enough," he complained in frustration.

    Ahsoka put her hand on his arm and soothed
    , “No! What you are saying is that the current system will be ‘upgraded / updated’ to ease their minds rather than saying it will be scrapped. You know, perhaps you can offer some sort of tax incentives, deductions and the like for systems whose yearly assessments show they’ve allocated supplies and resources judiciously, you know, not “lost” them to patronage or graft.

    He nodded silently in approval.

    “What you’re saying is, now that the war is over, it’s time to stop living as if it’s still on. It’s time for the military to return to the function for which they are best suited, that continuing as the Empire has been is simply too costly and inefficient. Right?” She looked to him with a raised brow.

    Anakin puffed and blew hard.
    "Excellent! You get a gold star! There will be those who aren't going to like hearing this. I’m taking their very expensive cash cow to sell at the market...Maybe you should give my speech for me. You’ve summed it up well. Three minute speech - I like that idea...a lot! What do you say?" Anakin winked at her and laughed, breaking the tension, if only for a few minutes.

    Ahsoka put both hands up and said,
    “Ohhh, no thanks, Skyguy! This is your parade! Besides, I’m not having fond memories of the rotunda, at the moment.”

    He put his hand on her shoulder and squeezed before looking out to their destination, now fast approaching...

    ***

    Ahsoka had wanted to say something positive, but it was true, after what he’d explained, the sentiment of so many would be decidedly soured against Anakin for changing things and now looking out to the array of pods, Ahsoka could feel the expectant air turn to unsettled, angered.

    She knew Anakin must feel it too. He nonetheless continued.

    "CHANGE ... change doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Change is going to come whether we intend it or not. I didn’t make those rules. It’s the laws of physics. The question is, whether we are going to let ourselves be dragged into the future by change that we resist, or are we going to take the reigns and direct that change? I’ve been dragged before, I can tell you, it’s not the way to travel!"

    Ahsoka bit the inside of her cheek. Anakin had made his best attempt at a joke and one could hear a pin drop in the vast chamber.

    He cleared his throat and valiantly pushed onward.
    "We need to standardized Imperial legal codes. That task was never completed across the Empire. The war intervened. It was to have been a priority, but it turns out, it was better for some that we did little more than give the matter “lip service” rather than carry it out."

    "We need to standardized codes to ensure that people receive equal treatment under the law, they must maximize health and living standards, regulation and implementation of pollution controls that were lifted for the war efforts. We need them, if anything, to end the difficulty in setting legal precedence. There’s a lot to be done. I’ll say it again; this is why we need a strong Senate: it's the best means of communication between the local and central governments and for the government to communicate with the systems."

    There were, to his surprise some “boos” from the ranks of the pods.
    "Truly? There are barristers filing cases half-way across the galaxy in search of favorable laws for their clients! It is both costly and labyrinthine to negotiate the legal system internally and externally...AND open to grave misconduct and back dealing. The "cost of doing business" is something we will no longer afford."

    Again, there were cries of “Here, here!” and clapping. Anakin put his hands up, to quiet the chamber.


    "You, yourselves will negotiate new standards and define the needed practices. There will be no implementation without representation and there will be no changes to which there is not a proper consensus. When we put into law... enact, what must be considered some of the most important legislation, we will have an accord on the codes of conduct. You will all have a hand in them, each department of this government will. They will be published, so there will be no question about what is being enacted. You will have ample opportunity to debate them and in the end, the objections being addressed, afterward, there will be no contention..."

    What he’d said to Ahsoka, as the shadow of the Senate dome turned morning to a near "dusk
    ," was,"...they will have to work very hard to find objection to the codes, particularly under the public eye. Otherwise, they will reveal themselves as self-serving and lose the support of their constituents. Once the Senate passes these into law, then, under their own incentive, they will be compelled to begin removing from office, all who infringe upon those codes of conduct and any attempts at unrest will be construed by their constituents as the acts of the guilty trying to cover up their misdeeds..."

    "The first bureau to set new and clear standards must be the judiciary. The justices must be cleaned of any obligations to power brokers in the ranks of the government. The courts will bear the heaviest burden, but in order to make this work, it’s there where the procedure will be assured validity..."

    ***

    "Finally, on the matter of the monarch...the monarch, as head of state and in counsel," Anakin cleared his throat as he mentally checked off the items he wished to cover in his speech and the new articles added to the ancient codex which created the Senate, "with the directors of the major bureaus of the Imperial government who will comprise the Imperial cabinet, will constitute the executive body of this Empire," - looking up he announced, "please refer to the data transferred to your pod’s monitor. The Imperial cabinet, including by definition, governing leadership within the Senate, and the leadership of the military, the treasury and the Sector Commands, Judiciary, and other key departments you will see listed in your data, will sit in counsel to the reigning monarch. The Monarch will retain the prerogatives to support or deny support of ministerial candidates, to declare war or peace, and the 3 rights of supporting or denial of support to bills of legislation, the right to choose or dismiss a President," at this Amedda looked up from the list of department and bureau heads on his monitor, "and the right to be consulted, advised, and to warn."

    The chamber was rife with movement.

    “In balance…. IN BALANCE… the Royal Prerogative will be checked by public regard and conveyed by their elected representatives, just as structured in many other constitutional monarchies around this galaxy.”


    Anakin had reached his closing and Ahsoka felt a sense of relief they’d made it this far without incident.

    "I once had the temerity to suggest to one of your body, that perhaps the Senate should be made to agree. I was…young! This Empire… is young," he said calmly, his voice pliant and warm. “There will be change, make no mistake!

    “I can hand down proclamations, decisions, fiats, but from my experience in battle, I’ve learned that recognizing the talents of others and delegating to those best suited and specialized in creating solutions for particular challenges is the most effective means to gaining an objective. That’s my function - to husband the resources, fix what needs fixing, and make sure we all work in concert effectively to the betterment of the whole, not just for one group or another. That which seems to present us with difficulty has always been our strength, our differences. They bring fresh perspectives where the way seemed impassable before. We are in need of innovation and we are in need of strength of our numbers. Our future will be only as good as the shared vision we dare to dream. I have told you some of the difficulties that lie ahead, but I am not deterred. I know of what this Empire is capable.

    "As our troops and officers return home, families are reunited. We are one body and as one returning from war, this body needs to heal and let go of the past. This body will not starve a hand to let a leg prosper! We are one galaxy. We share the past! We share the present and WE WILL SHARE THE FUTURE – EQUITABLY, JUSTLY, AND SOUND!"

    TAG: OPEN
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  6. pashatemur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2004
    star 4
    IC: NRCs Captain M’rissa Braun, Captain Malcovich, crew of the Fortunate and her escorts, Zandra and Soubise, and “a meteor.”
    LOCATION: a set of coordinates off the confluence of the Hydian Way and Perlemian Trade Route on the way to Muunilist


    Imperial Captain M’rissa Braun waited the decanting of her Star Galleon Fortunata from hyperspace. The frigate class ship was approaching the waypoint, merely a set of coordinates in space where she would meet with another convoy that consisted of two more escorts and a heavily modified Acclamator-class cargo ship transporting a tank regiment and several battalions of stormtroopers, the Rilbek. The Rilbek, like so many modified Acclamator cargo ships sacrificed its emplacements to fit more cargo and extra thrusters. It possessed the barest of defense: 2 quad-turbolaser batteries and 4 light point-defense laser-cannon batteries.

    From the waypoint, the two supply ships would travel a short hyperspace jump to Muunilist. The war was over, no orders countermanding the requisition order had been issued, and until such time as Captain Braun was ordered to do otherwise, she would continue as originally directed.

    Certainly, the government staff, the passengers on board would be needed, and some of the vehicles and ordinances, but much of the cargo would have to be repacked and reshipped back to the military depository whence they had been requisitioned. Braun exhaled in a hard “puff.” It was times like these one felt there had to be a better use for ones time.

    “Captain Braun, Sir?”

    “Yes, Lieutenant?” replied the Captain to the com ops officer.

    “We’re ready to hail the Zandra, sir.”

    Braun sighed. She would check with Captain Malcovich, of the Nebulon-B escort frigate once they were at the waypoint, the Zandra. It was a formality. Then they’d all sit pretty and wait for the other convoy to arrive before continuing to their final destination – that is, if Supply Command didn’t contact them with orders to the contrary. “Very good, continue and patch me through…” Braun replied as she turned from the dizzying array outside the view port.

    It was normal for supply ships to have at least one escort. Pirates these days had grown bold. However, the cargo of the Fortunata included governmental codes and important staff, in addition to a particularly heavy payload of munitions and critical parts for Z-95-AF4 Headhunter fighters. So, Captain Braun’s ship was accompanied by the 2 Imperial Navy EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigates, the Zandra and the Subise.


    A versatile ship, the Galleon was a heavily armed cruiser measuring 300 meters in length with a cargo capacity of 100,000 metric tons and it could accommodate 300 passengers. Optimally crewed by 130 and 20 gunners, she could be crewed by only 50 with a gunnery of 10. She held 3 months worth of food supplies. Her interior could be reconfigure by remote control from the bridge. The ship was so well equipped, some considered her to be nearly impregnable, with 10 turbolasers, five to each of the frigate’s sides and enough blaster gas for 1000 shots, a concussion missile launcher (50 missiles in store) at the bow of the ship, and the frigate also possessed a Class 2 primary hyperdrive, a Class 15 drives as backup, deflector shields, navigation computer, an array of sensors, braking thrusters and six engines. She would need to be versatile and well armed, in order to withstand the cunning and boldness of pirates and privateers. Even the interior was equipped to deal with intruders with such defense mechanisms as blaster slits and gas dispensers. The cargo bay of the frigate could be ejected to prevent its capture. The self-contained cargo bay could be set to jump to a position selected randomly from over hundreds of coordinates if the pod was released. Then it would emit a hypertransceiver signal, so it could be tracked later to recover the cargo. If not retrieved after a time, the pod would automatically jump to a new and randomly selected set of coordinates again.

    Captain of a supply ship wasn’t the best of admiralty commissions, but the Fortunata was a good ship with a superb crew. They were not happy under the command of a woman, but that had changed in the last half year. M’rissa prided herself on winning and keeping their respect. They’d been away from home port for a year now and everyone was ready for a return.
    Maintain appropriate watch and wait – M’rissa considered getting some administrative work done while they anticipated the next jump. “Look sharp there, yeoman,” she said as she passed the navcenter and the ship made several soft squeals as the changed over to the sublights.

    Suddenly, the bridge was a stir and the relative quiet turned to a riot of activity, proximity alarms sounding and the ship signaling reversion.

    A female officer piped up from Sensor control center, “Captain, sensors are picking up what appears to be another ship of some size.”

    “Captain, we have the Zandra, Captain Malcovich wishes to speak with you…” the communications chief reported hurriedly having caught the concern in Malcovich’s voice as he asked for Captain Braun.

    Everyone looked out of the view port at the front of the bridge, the whorls and stripes of hyperspace fading to reveal the ghostly image of a “dead” ship ahead of them.

    Someone spoke in a hoarse whisper. “It’s a destroyer…”

    ‘Com ops’ reported, “Sir, she’s dead in the drink, still sending a distress signal. Call sign…The Hidden Dagger! Captain Wilform is her CEO.”

    The Captain murmured what others were thinking as they saw a rock suspended some slight distance from the prow of the drifting star destroyer before them. “That meteor must have struck her bow…”

    “Strange meteor. Looks like it has some sort of vine-like vegetation…”

    “Malfunction of their sensors,” someone wondered aloud.


    “Quiet on bridge,” called Quarter Master.

    Captain Braun called to the communications chief, “Coms, hail Captain Wilform on The Hidden Dagger!”

    “Sir, yes, sir…”

    Braun stood as so many others, transfixed by the view before them: An I-class star destroyer hanging motionless in space, her starboard side facing the Fortunata with a field of debris surrounding her forward section, including crew, floating now, drifting, having been wrenched from an open and molten edged hole in the bow of the familiar wedge-shaped Imperial ship.

    The fact that the debris no longer spun was proof, Fortunata were too late to save anyone in the cold grip of space.

    The hole in the bow was massive and the edges still glowed with residual heat, sparks still glinted here and there, other smaller holes shown in her hull, as well as scorch marks, and Fortunata’s sensors indicate the ship was “hot” from her reactors. The crew of the Fortunata were seasoned, but there was no spacer of any experience who would not feel the fate of these unfortunates deep in their bones.

    The com cracked as everyone fell silent. “Captain Braun, this is Captain Malkovich. Captain Braun...?”

    “Un...yes, Captain Malkovich, this is Captain Braun speaking.”

    Malkovich spoke quickly. “Captain, we arrived 3 minutes before you. I have nothing in logs or my original orders which should indicate that ship would be here...it...it looks like they decanted right into that meteor, but would their proximity...I guess not this time. Something isn’t right...”

    The horrible violence of whatever event took place was mocked by the seeming serenity of the objects floating in space a mere kilometer off the Fortunata’s bow, making the picture even more alarming.

    ‘Com ops’ reported, “There’s no response, Sir.”

    “Keep trying,” M’rissa said and then she signaled her second. “Have a rescue team assembled. Let’s clear that wreckage of any living and transfer their flight records and logs if they aren’t fried. How much time will you need before we scuttle her?” As the Captain beckoned to her second, to whom her question was addressed, she reflected on the fact that it was her duty to scuttle the beleaguered star destroyer. Imperial policy was to not leave any ship or it’s parts to be scavenged, should the ship prove unsalvageable.

    “...Captain Willform of the HIMS Hidden Dagger, this is the HIMS Fortunata, please respond...”

    The young Lieutenant came to Captain Braun’s side and saluted before speaking. “We should have a read on the reactor’s damage in another 3 minutes. If levels allow and there isn’t too much internal damage to impede us in searching the rest of that ship, then an hour at best and maybe three at worst. It might all be mute if they didn’t have the power to seal off sections for emergency life support and shielding.”

    “Captain Braun?” Malcovich’s voice came over the com speakers on the bridge, the ionization from the Hidden Dagger interfering with the transmission. “I’ve been ...tching that ...ck. I’m ... flashes of li..t ... it’s indent...s. Do ... see ...at?”

    “Captain, it turned! That rock just ...turned!” Someone on bridge spoke out of turn with alarm.

    The proximity sensors rang loudly and unexpectedly. The entire crew of the bridge nearly jumped from their seats.

    “Something is decanting, sir, to port...” The alert came from the sensor control center.

    The Captain’s second looked quizzically to Braun and blurted out in frustration, “It’s not time for the Rilbek to arrive. They must have gotten an early start...”

    TAG: Omi
  7. Ominous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2004
    star 4
    IC: General Torian
    Location: Aboard the Dreadnaught-Class Heavy Cruiser (Storm’s Eye), escorted by four CR90 Corvettes and two MC30c frigates (Titan’s Fist and Destroyer’s Nightmare)

    The General wasn’t taking any chances with this mission. Supplies were desperately needed for the Alliance and he meant to take it all. Two MC30c frigates, considered one of the most powerful mid-level ships used in the fleet were going to be the muscle behind the punch to the cargo’s guardians. MC30c frigates utilized proton torpedoes to bombard larger enemy starships in combat. In addition to this, it was also one of the fastest ships of its type. The Corvettes would act as interference for the shuttles attempting to dock inside the Fortunata.

    They were two minutes from the last jump location before surprising the Imperial cargo ship, The Fortunata. The Captain of the Storm’s Eye was busy barking out General Quarters as Torian and his mean prepped their shuttles for the ride over to the soon-to-be seized Imperial cargo. Each soldier was given a helmet and breathing apparatus, just in case the Imperial’s decided to gas them the minute they hit the ship’s interior. A fixed blade of Mullinine metal, 12 inches in length was attached to Torian’s left thigh. In case of close quarters battle or any other situation, the weapon would not fail like a blaster.

    An ensign assigned to the Captain of Storm’s Eye, ran up to Torian as he was throwing equipment and weapons onto the shuttle. “General sir? We have made our last jump before H-Hour, however, it seems that our Imperial convoy is not alone. We won't have any specifics until we are upon the Imperial convoy. Captain Galen is suggesting we jump further away from the convoy and proceed with caution.”

    “She’s the boss on this ship Ensign. If she feels that is the better strategy, then by all means, do it.” Torian understood that he was Supreme Commander and that it was protocol for subordinates to report and suggest other strategic options to him. However Torian was confident in the people he picked for missions. Galen was new to his outfit and would have to realize they are in command of the ship not him. “Tell the Captain that she's in charge while I am on this ship. Until the day comes where she's humping and jumping across the ground with me and my men, she must make decisions on her own ship.

    The ensign smiled, “Yes sir, General.” He turned and ran back to Galen.

    Torian turned back to his men. “Listen up ladies! We are jumping further out from our objective. This means that we will lose some of the element of surprise. Stay frosty and be ready for any situation. Understood?”

    “Yes sir!!” They yelled in unison.

    Back on the bridge, Captain Galen stood in front of her chair that looked out into the vast blackness of cold space. The General’s words were somewhat of a relief but now the burden of the mission fell on her shoulders while the General was on board with his men. She did not want to mess this one up as she was called upon by Torian himself out of more seasoned Captains in the Alliance. “Prepare for hyperspace. I want all weapons powered up and ready for action the second we decant from hyperspace. Notify the other ships to be in attack mode and on stand-by.”

    “Aye Captain.” The XO stated. “Prepare for hyperspace. All weapons powered up and ready for action upon decanting. Notify the other ships to stand-by in attack mode.”

    She turned back to the sensor array showing the Imperial convoy. Her butt seemed to tighten slightly more as she awaited the final jump into action.

    TAG: Pash
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  8. Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2002
    star 5
    ~OOC~ This post has been a long time coming, I hope you’ll enjoy. Quoted section comes from TheMaidofOrleans’s post from The Galaxy At War Part III: Schism of the Sith dated 13 June ‘08.

    ~IC~ Grand Admiral Mitth'raw'nuruodo, Captain Brandei, Lieutenant Garston
    Location: Chommell Sector

    Location: Naboo - Theed

    An hour had passed since the meeting with the Defence Minister of Naboo and the Grand Admiral was back at the Deeja Hotel. The holoform of Captain Pellaeon that flickered before him bowed and faded out as the communication ended. Thrawn stood there for a moment, alone with his thoughts and the faint ‘pitter-patter’ of rain against the windows.

    That didn’t last long though, a chime from the comm from the security detail in the hall announced that a Lieutenant Garston has been admitted and should be at the door momentarily. As true to their word, there soon came a small knock on the door.

    “Enter” Thrawn commanded.

    The door opened to a young man and oblivious to the water stains on his uniform, he entered and smartly saluted to the Admiral. “Grand Admiral Thrawn.”

    “Lieutenant Garston.” Thrawn returned the salute and gestured to a seat at the deep rosewood dining table. A datapad and portable holoproject was set up at the centre, a tray beside held a steaming pot and two cups. “Tea for this evening?”

    “No thank you.” The officer shook his head and sat down as instructed. “May I enquire as to how the meeting went?”

    “The meeting with Minister Nacluv was productive, as one would expect.” Thrawn sat down on the other end of the table and poured himself a cup. “Did you have any difficulty collecting the data from the their authorities?”

    The Lieutenant pulled out several small datacards. “It went without too many complications. I have duplicates of the records that the Naboo had made except for this artifact...” He produced something larger from his tunic and placed it on the table. “It was stored along with it but I’m not sure what it is.”

    “No…” Thrawn held it up to inspect it, a large flat rectangular device of an obtuse design. “This is a record keeping device.” His finger brushed over the markings that ornamented it and took a deep sniff of it before setting it back on the table. “This would be an original... I believe the Naboo confiscated it from them, but failed to return it. We will come back to it later. Let us start from the beginning…”

    * * * * * *

    Location: Obligon Nebula - ’Judicator’

    The discovery of a ship by the two probes within the nebula did not surprise them. Smugglers and other outlaws had been known to use the formations as hiding spots and shortcuts. What the crews on board the Judicator and Stormhawk was not expecting was to find was a military vessel. More than just that, it was a small fleet, a strike force!
    The visuals transmitted back to them showed no sign of life coming from the vessels, what they surveyed was a graveyard. Operators on the Judicator directed one of the probes to check out the frigate-class vessel whilst the other continued to survey the the debris field. Upon closer inspection, they could see that something was wrong with the Nebulon. Fractures in the hull could be visible where it had split and cracked under the pressure of some unknown force. They could not find any scoring of the hull or impacts that usually indicates that there was a battle. Three large sections that made up the frigate were barely connected together by the skeleton framework.

    Safely on the bridge of the Judicator, Captain Brandei’s stomach churned at the sight. With their destroyer in the ‘doorway’ of the nebula, it was difficult to think that something so pretty, so beautiful could be so deadly. Regardless of what faction, a disaster of this sorts is horrific.

    “Is there a way to retrieve their logs?” Brandei asked. “I want to know what happened and if there are any survivors.”

    The operators spied a large enough opening in the hull and manoeuvred the probe inside. Inside the frigate, the opposite bulkhead looked like it had warped under immense heat. Navigating down a corridor, the probe came to a sealed off section.

    “Open those blast doors.”

    * * * * * *

    Location: Naboo - Theed

    Thrawn’s hands clasped behind his back as he gazed down at the dark courtyard through thin slits of the blinds. The streetlamps pushed back the darkness though with less effect now, dawn is approaching soon and yet there is much work to do.

    They had covered the first case regarding the Union shuttle, Aquila, using the records from the Theed Spaceport, Courts and from their own recorded data. It was evident that the occupants of the shuttle had breached the Code Yellow without respect and regard for the Naboo customs.

    “What were they hiding?” Lieutenant Garston asked out loud. The officer was hunched over the table staring at the holoprojected footage of the incident, the perspective this time was from the ports security feed.

    “Step back and compare to the footage of when they departed the second time after being released by the Naboo.”

    Frowning, Garston brought up the other feed dated hours before Queen Amidala II had given the open transmission that had sent several Imperial into a frenzy. It showed them boarding their shuttle and leaving Naboo for the last time. Frowning even more, Garston played back the earlier footage and then to the later one. As they boarded the shuttle, he counted something....
    “This is strange... the number of passengers is lower the second time around.”

    “Preciously.” Thrawn turned, his red eyes burned warmly, the effect was enhanced by the glow of the lamps. “Two of the passengers had left the shuttle and never returned.”

    Garston brought up the statements Supervisor Dinn’s officers had collected from them. “According to the statement here given by Stasia Sunwalker... that she had... and I quote: “Agreed to go to the Union to teach Naboo literature at university for a semester. My nephew agreed to accompany me since my husband is staying here with our daughter.” End of quote.” Garston’s eyes read further down. “Her nephew... Eorge Drago... apparently... ahem.” Garston cleared his throat and continued reading. “When asked about whether they knew about the vessel leaving without permission, Eorge responded: “We were guests aboard their vessel. As my aunt said, we had no idea that they had disobeyed any procedures. I am a little disappointed, for both of us. This would have been an opportunity to introduce Naboo literature to a people not familiar with our culture.” End quotation... the officer had released them and noted for them to be available for further questioning.” He paused as he glanced further down. “Annnnd... it looks like there was no follow up.”

    “Stasia Sunwalker…” Thrawn nodded and sat back down. “...was on the original passenger list however Eorge Drago was not…” He brought up the passenger list that was filed with the spaceport before departure. “Instead, we have listed an Ougustus Niigel.”

    Garston frowned and leaned back. “A slip of identity?”

    “Run the identification images together…” Thrawn instructed “... with the description of Drago…” The projector flickered as it processed the visual requests from the datapad, side by side comparisons appeared of their profiles. “You will see that they are the one and the same.”

    “If he is not who he says he is... then the Professor... Sunwalker was in on it too? Then who is this person?”

    “A further background check is required, however, I believe an answer lies within these records.”

    * * * * * *

    Location: Obligon Nebula - ’Judicator’

    Meanwhile, the other probe prodded through smaller debris in the area, the way they lazily floated in the swirl of clouds made it hard to narrow down to an exact number of ships that was originally there. Slowly, fragments of fuselage and other disfigured material were electronically catalogued by the probe and sent back to the destroyers outside of the nebula. Back there the data was painstakingly pieced together virtually to identify the class and number of crafts they belonged to.

    “Starfighters... and smaller support crafts.” An operator commented.

    “You’ve found something?” Brandei asked as he turned from the team investigating the inside of the derelict frigate.

    “Yes sir. The smaller ships are starfighters... ah... they appear to be Koensayr Y-Wings.”

    “Y-Wings? Is this the quarry the Kuati ships were after?” Brandei spoke his thoughts and frowned as he remembered the ‘Be On the Look Out’ report regarding the Kuati activity on the other side of the nebula. Some time ago a star dreadnought and several destroyer and lancer escorts were in this sector of space. Then something dawned on him and flagged down a Lieutenant. “How long ago was that B.O.L.O. report regarding the Kuati vessel Independence?”

    The officer took a moment to answer. “It was about two to three days ago.”

    “Have we heard from them since?” Brandei inquired.

    “Negative, sir. Not a peep out of the Kuati vessels since that time.”

    The Captain glanced to swirl of red and orange ‘clouds’ outside the viewport. “Then we must consider the fact that we never will.”

    * * * * * *

    Location: Naboo - Theed

    “What was Eddard Dondarion’s business on Naboo if not related to the diplomacy between the Union and the Naboo?” Garston asked the Grand Admiral after having read out Dondarion’s statement to the Spaceport Officials at the time of arriving on Naboo. It was dated almost three weeks ago. “He did state he was tasked to start a diplomatic relationship with Queen Amidala II.”

    “The Queen of Naboo was on Ursa during that time.” Thrawn reminded him. “As was the Duchess of the Union. Amidala did not arrive back on Naboo until moments after the Aquila was forced back to port by Imperial involvement. With the sources provided, not once did he approach the Theed Palace during that period.” Thrawn took a sip of his tea. “It appears that this was a personal trip for the Ambassador.”

    “If this was personal, then it would take time to go through all the security feeds throughout the city to track his activities.”

    “That will not be required at the moment.” Thrawn shook his head. “There are a few crumbs that he had left behind... The most obvious is that passenger list. Now... if we search the database from HQ in Theed.”

    After a moment, several reports were flagged with the key word: Sunwalker. Glancing through them, it became noticeable that there were inconsistencies. “A small operation was conducted involving Imperial operatives at the Sunwalker estate and the University of Naboo... however, what is missing is the official report from the operations leader... Lieutenant Sturr. How intriguing…” Thrawn leaned back and brought his fingers together.

    Garston followed along and pointed out a section. “...It is also noted by several colleagues that they had observed that Sturr had been acting upon... his own ‘initiative’ and with a sudden obsession with the Sunwalker family. The most noticeable change happened after a visit from a young girl... the youngest daughter in the Sunwalker family. Following that event, there had been a shift of funds and missing resources and ‘classified’ missions with a handful of operatives...”

    “There is something significant about that family... something significant that it incited both Dondarion and Sturr to go after them. Maybe Sturr’s office should receive a visit.”

    “I’ll get..” Garston covered his mouth but a loud yawn managed to escape. “I’m sorry sir, I will get right onto that.”

    “That can wait for later, Lieutenant. You may take your leave and rest. I will summon you when I need you.”

    The Lieutenant stood up and seemed relieved to take a break from sifting through records and gave his leave. Thrawn remained seated at the table by the glow of the lamps and projector, with the records, an empty cup and a brewing teapot.

    TAG: To Be Continued, Open to those inclined
    Last edited by Corellian_Outrider, Mar 16, 2013
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  9. pashatemur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: This is a joint post with Jerjerrod-Lennox and Pashtemur. Thank you J-L for taking the time from a busy schedule to make this contribution. I’m truly grateful for your participation.

    IC: NRCs Captain Malcovich, Captain M’rissa Braun, Captain Babbit and crews of the Zandra - EF76 Nebulon B escort, Fortunata - Star Galleon freighter, and Soubise - EF76 Nebulon B escort, Commander Xi Lian of the Roi’k chuun m’arh frigate, Flames of Death and Commander Cha’Gara of the Yorik stronha, Sacrificial Honour


    LOCATION: a set of coordinates off the confluence of the Hydian Way and Perlemian Trade Route on the way to Muunilinst


    As if licked by wind, the ‘meteor’ flickered with an amber glow from the inside, like a burning lump of combustible soil and it was turning even as sensors announced the unexpected early arrival of the Rilbek convoy...

    Captain Kal Malcovich leaned forward at the console before him. What he lacked in height, he made up for in inquisitiveness. Communications between Soubise, Zandra, and Fortunata were worsening. Captain Braun and Captain Babbit of Soubise had already prepared rescue teams in coordination with the Zandra’s. Yet, he had not yet allowed them to leave. Something was not right.

    There were now a bevy of officers hovering over the Sensor Command. “Captain? Sensors are identifying that meteor as a ship.”

    The dark-haired Captain quickly stood in their midst and leaned in to see. “At first there were some fluctuations, heat, energy, and you can see the anomaly here,” said the sensor officer pointing to his monitors. “It seemed like interference from Hidden Dagger’s reactor, but you can see now, it is quite clearly possesses of all the signs of a ship.”

    “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” murmured, Malcovich to his Lieutenant. “Master, pipe to quarters,” he called, lifting his head from the group and walking till he could have an unobstructed view of the Hidden Dagger, its open bow before them, pointing to starboard, the “meteor/ship” floating a few hundred meters starboard of center of Hidden Dagger’s prow.

    ***

    The lights on bridge of the Fortunata dimmed as sirens rang and the ship readied for possible open conflict, crew flew quickly to their stations just as they were aboard the Soubise and Zandra; everywhere, there were concentrated faces lit by the vast array of controls throughout the each ship.

    Captain Malcovich’s voice again sounded in fits and starts over the comlink on the bridge of the Fortunata. “Cap...n Braun, Soubise is t.king up ... rear guard, I’m point ab.ve .ou. Sou..se ..d Z..dr. stand .eady. Th.. is highly ir....lar, ...tain. W. ..ve re...n to .....ve that is a s..p.”

    “Agreed, Capt. Malcovich. Our sensors seem to indicate the same and I do I believe the destroyer and that...meteor-ship are not here by coincidence. We tried reaching Hidden Dagger. We got no response.”” said Braun, frustrated by the realization that her communication would likewise be as impeded as the Zandra Captain’s.

    Malcovich acknowledged. “Neith.. hav. .e.

    Malcovich had the Zandra’s transmission boosted, but it made only a slight improvement in the clarity. Still, he arranged with Braun to have her team and Captain Babbit’s picked up. “Keep ... ch..... op.n.”

    ***

    On board Zandra, Malcovich turned to his second. “Mr. Ailes, there’s something very wrong here. You and I both saw that meteor turn. That is not an inanimate object. It appears to possess propulsion. Have Communications open a channel and hail that rock,” commanded Malcovich. “Have gunnery train all cannon on the meteor.”

    “S...? Aye, aye, Captain, Sir,” Ailes replied, at first confused. How could that rock be a ship? He was about to suggest that perhaps it had been recently released from a larger celestial body - perhaps a planet that had just broken up? Perhaps that was the reason the Hidden Dagger had suffered such critical damage?

    Aisles’ deep voice could be heard over the bridge of the Nebulon-b escort. “Communications, open a channel and hail that rock! Gunnery train all cannon on the meteor!”

    “Sir, we haven’t been able to pick up any kind of communications signal...”

    “Sir....Yes, sir....”

    The sensor officer, responding to multiple pings, called out just as the proximity alarms rang again, “Cronau one click off the starboard bow. Ship decanting.”

    “Gunnery at the ready.”

    The young officer at com ops could be heard to speak as authoritatively as he could, “ Uh...ahem...unidentified...ro...ship, this is His Imperial Majesty’s ship Zandra, you are at a secured military waypoint. You are ordered to transmit your identification and state your purpose here, immediately...I repeat...!

    “Sir...look at that!”

    “What is that thing?”

    “Look to your stations!” barked the Master.

    “It’s another damned ‘rock’!”

    Coms called to Ailes, “There’s no response,sir. There’s nothing to grab onto. We’ve tried all available frequencies. They cannot be reached.”

    A large darkly colored rock with crevices and divots suddenly revealed itself as the flash of friction dissipated. It’s surface, like the other smaller rock, seemed to be covered with some sort of strange fringe-like growths. Oblong, yet “fat” it hung there motionless, though oddly kinetic.

    “Its larger,”...

    “Thank you for stating the obvious, Ailes...” said Malcovich, arms folded tightly before him.

    “347.5 meters in length, Sir,” said the sensor officer.

    If asked, Malcovich could not say what made him so apprehensive, but he had a sliding sick feeling in his gut about which he would not let a soul know. “I have the distinct feeling that ‘rock’ is sizing us up too,” he said tightly.

    “Sir?” Ailes looked to Captain Malcovich expectantly.

    The ‘rocks’ were holding steady.

    If he sent the rescue teams to the beleaguered star destroyer, they could very well be lost, if the rocks proved malignant, whatever they were. They were losing valuable time if indeed there were survivors on the Hidden Dagger. “Get 3 of our Grek...” Malcovish stopped himself. If the destroyer was experiencing a meltdown, it was possible that there was unstable shielding, if any, in the hangar bays. If that was the case, they’d have to force board the ship. “Strike that, get 2 Katarn boarding shuttles up and going and coordinate with the Soubise and Fortunata for medical and accommodations should we need more than Zandra can handle.”

    He peered out of the viewport and grunted, fingers drumming the console before him. “I want a fighter escort with the teams. Put two on each.”

    ***

    On board the Roi’k chuun m’arh frigate known as the Flames of Death Commander Xi Lian looked out through the transparent portal at the scene that lay before him. Infidel ships everywhere, and the Yorik stronha vessel Sacrificial Honour had unfortunately run into difficulties.

    The Death had been assigned to assist the stricken Honour but there was more to this mission There would hopefully be sacrifices to be made to the gods especially Yun Yammka the god of war. But also, there was a chance that Cha’Gara, the commander of the Honour had found out more about these infidels that roamed this galaxy.

    Soon though, it would no longer be their galaxy, it would be the Yuuzhan Vong's, High Prefect Da’Gara had assured them all that their time was at hand that these infidels would either be cleansed or slayed all for the glory of the gods.

    His Subaltern, Zen approached crossing her fists to her opposite shoulders in salute. Like all warriors she was covered head to toe in scars and tattoos, in this case hers were a pleasing shade of pink.

    “We have arrived at the co-ordinates Commander Cha’Gara transmitted to us. There is a convoy of ships close by to where the Commander has crashed his ship. Should we move into position to protect the Honour?”

    “No” responded the commander turning to face his subaltern, his command cloak swishing as he turned “It would be more prudent of us to possibly attach ourselves to the dead ship in the center. We will then unleash our warriors on this ship, there may be some sacrifices for the gods on board. It will also give time for the Commander and his crew to make their way to us, the information he is carrying is vital for the upcoming war effort”

    The commander shifted his stance to face the portal again looking out on the convoy “Cha’Gara is also the High Prefects creche cousin, and he has asked us explicitly to bring him back unharmed.”

    “Yes Commander” replied the Subaltern “Shall I open communications with the Honour?”

    “You have my permission, meanwhile train our cannons on that convoy and prepare to fire, their sacrifices will provide a feast for the gods. How dare these infidels consort with machines, they will pay for their blasphemy. “

    ****
    Meanwhile on board the Sacrificial Honour Commander Cha’Gara and his remaining crew members were re-orienting themselves after a bumpy ride through darkspace. They had suffered losses due to the ramming tactic Cha’Gara had ordered but in war, sacrifices had to be made and Yun Yuuzhan would keep watch over those souls who had departed.

    His subaltern Si’ashan spoke from the far side of the bridge.

    “Commander, we have several vessels inbound towards our position. They are infidel vessels, but one looks like one of our ships. This could be our assistance sir”

    Just then a villip in the communications niche began to pulse for attention. The commander strode over to accept the transmission. A visage of another of his brethren appeared scars and tattoos running all across his face, Cha’Gara saluted the villip crisply.

    “Commander Cha’Gara this is Commander Xi Lian of the ro’ik vessel Flames of Death. We received your signal and co-ordinates and have come to assist you. As you are no doubt aware you are surrounded by infidels, we hope to clear the way for you in order to come aboard our vessel and we can depart back to our base”

    The Yuuzhan Vong always dispensed with pleasantries and got down to business, and Cha’Gara knew that his crew and passengers, or what remained of them had only a little amount of time left.

    “Thank you Commander, our ships defenses and cannons have been compromised, we do not have a lot of firepower left. Some of our crew and passengers have died, but they will no doubt be avenged by the sacrifices of the group of infidels in front of us.”

    “Indeed” replied Commander Lian “We have special orders from the High Prefect himself that you are to be returned safely, my warriors will make sure of that”

    “If Yun Yuuzhan or Yun Yammka wish for me to die, then so be it” said Cha’Gara “But nevertheless, we will make our way towards your ship and we shall prepare for battle”

    “The gods will favour us. We will arrive at the left hand side of the dead vessel you are attached to. On the way we will make an example of these infidel creatures and their abominable machines. May Yun Yammka smile upon you and your crew Commander”

    “And you Commander Lian” he ended the transmission with another salute before turning to subaltern Si’ashan.

    “Find a way into that vessel, we must get to Commander Lian’s warriors before the infidels do. Move out”

    *****
    TAG: Pash, Corellian_Outrider, and Omi
  10. Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2002
    star 5
    ~OOC~ This is a joint post between Pashatemur and myself, thank you for involving me with this, it is a pleasure.

    IC: NRCs Captain Malcovich, Captain M’rissa Braun, Captain Babbit and crews of the Zandra - EF76 Nebulon B escort, Fortunata - Star Galleon freighter, and Soubise - EF76 Nebulon B escort, Survivors of the Hidden Dagger


    Ablaze with activity, the Zandra achieved its protective position above and forward of the Galeon freighter, Fortunata.

    “In the meantime, Coms, keep hailing the Hidden Dagger,” said Malcovich, raising his voice to give the command directly to the communications officer.

    “...Aye,Sir...”

    ****

    A low mournful groan carried throughout the ship, it sent a shiver down the spines of those onboard the Hidden Dagger. A small group of survivors stopped what they were doing.

    “What was that?”

    Another groan followed as though it was answering the first.

    “Do you think it’s one of ‘em?”

    “One of what?”

    The deck shuddered. To them, it was like a herd of Rontos had reared up on their hind legs and then stomped down in unison. For a moment, they felt in their a gut a shift of gravity and then back to normal. A crescendo of loud creaks superseded by a loud metallic shriek from someplace aft.

    “Maybe it is the power trying to turn back on...” someone remarked to bring a positive light on things.

    “Sir, I’m ...” an ensign was going to say he was frightened, but bit back his words. Instead he kept his watery gaze on the officer and tried to look brave. He had an idea as to the direness of their situation, but would not let the thoughts complete themselves in his mind.

    The officer’s eyes settled on the ensign. “It will be alright.” He placed a hand on the young man’s shoulder and gave assurance, it was a lie, but no point in descending into anarchy now, not while there was still breath in their lungs. He had experienced that haunting noise once before in his lifetime during the Clone Wars and once was enough; he knew that something was seriously wrong with their ship. His gaze looked to the eyes of everyone in the group. Enlisted personnel, troopers, technicians and gunners these are the only ones that answered the call... those that came. “We have worked together for a long time, we will continue so and get through this.”

    They were cut off from most of the ship, sections of the ship were sealed off, blast doors locked in place and their controls jammed. Communications had been patchy and they had not been able to contact the bridge. The steady flickering of the white lights and bleeding into the emergency red... the occasional smell of smoke and ozone waffled out from the air filtration systems. Not enough power were getting to the right places... it felt as though the Hidden Dagger, herself, was fighting a losing battle... The officer grimaced inside and hoped she was not resigning herself to her deathbed.

    ****

    Two troopers wandered along the empty corridor’s, systematically testing each series of blast doors they came across to see if they could get them open to gain access to the other side of the ship. One of them complained under their breath about their current predicament. There had been an incident previously on the Hidden Dagger - Was it barely a week? - the Queen of Naboo was held onboard... they still were not given an official statement regarding that, but it did involve them evacuating and serving temporarily onboard Hammer Stroke but now that the Battle of Kalee was over, they were sent back to their own ship.

    “Return to your ship, he said... It should be operational, he said... Well it bloody well isn’t, is it now?!”

    “Quiet...” The other hushed him, though the other trooper still gave an agreeing nod and tapped to their helmet com. The trooper didn’t know who could hear them.

    “Yeah, well, I’m just saying it. They just dropped us off like children at a daycare and left us to-”

    “Did you hear that?”

    “-then that blasted thing impacted-”

    “Hush!” He gave a sharp nudge with his elbow.

    “-then Jaxon screamed “What the gruss is that?!”” He stopped . “Hear what?”

    “I don’t know... I can hear talking...” The trooper leaned his head to the door. There it was again.

    [“...is ..e HIMS Fortuna.. ..ease resp...”]

    ”Something is coming through on the other side of this...”

    “Isn’t Fortuna somewhere in the Lylat system?”

    “That’s from Star Fox.” The other trooper shook his head in disbelief. “You watch too many holodramas.”

    [“..Wilform of … …. Hi..en Dagger, this is … HIMS Zandra, …... respond...”]

    “Enough, let’s do it.” He pulled out a cylindrical device from his utility belt and primed the detonator. “Alright, step aside.”

    The other grabbed his arm and shook his head. “They call it a blast door for a reason.”

    “Shall I use your’s as well then?”

    ****

    Bridge of the Zandra...

    “Sir, if those ... those rocks are some sort of vessels. Surely, they’d have signaled by now, as is customary when ship’s systems malfunction. They could launch a beacon,” said Ailes, puzzling out the situation and regarding the strange ‘rocks’ that they were beginning to believe were actually ships. They hung, for the moment, motionless along with the “cold” Hidden Dagger.

    “Precisely, Mr. Ailes. Why haven’t they done so,” replied Malcovich resting his chin on the knuckle of his right forefinger, arms folded across his chest as he considered the two ‘meteors.’ “There are three options. They cannot signal. They do not wish to signal. They are oblivious and ignorant of the custom.”

    “If they cannot signal, well, they must be prevented from doing so...injured or dead...and if they do not wish to signal, they are belligerent. If they are ...oblivious and ignorant of the custom - I can’t imagine there is anyone in this galaxy that would not know the custom, Sir... it’s as old and universal the stars? Are you saying these ships are the technology of a newly found sentient?” Ailes’ eyes widened. If that were so, it would certainly look good on his resume!

    “Mr. Ailes, I don’t believe that hyperspace simply excreted that second ship. Recently, someone put it there and someone brought it out here and ... We’ve no idea of what those vessels are capable. What we do know is that this is either a new technology that someone is trying out on us, or it is simply new to us and preexisted without our knowledge. If these ... things belong to an as yet unknown sentient in our galaxy, it would be good to gather as much intelligence as we can,” said the Captain resolutely. He’d come to a decision.

    “They can’t be capable of much, Sir. They aren’t all that large. Scans show no residues but heat....” Ailes replied incredulously.

    “Alert all ships, Mr. Ailes. If those ‘rocks’ take another turn or light up like fireflies again, we can assume they are up to something. Concentrate fire on the larger one. Tell Captain Babbit to cover the 3 transports. That smaller ‘rock’ had to have been what made the hole in the bow of Hidden Dagger. Yet, see how the edges of the opening are all bubbled up and melted. That vessel had to have generated a great deal more heat than just the friction of impac....”

    “Captain! Captain! More ships, sir, to port! They just decanted.”

    “Are they more of this lot,” asked Malkovich quickly, gesturing to the ‘meteors.’

    “Eh...no sir, no sir, but there are ... two ... three ... three ships of size and .... 4 smaller ...”

    “BRILLIANT!” growled Malcovich. “I would say this is a security breach gentlebeings. Apparently there’s to be a Tea and we weren’t given the invite. High alert, recall the rescue...”

    Ailes looked to Malcovich as he put down his com. “Sir, the rescue teams have already launched.”

    “All Ships, Coms.” Captain Malcovich called.

    “Yes, Sir...”

    Again the sirens rang out on all three Imperial ships.

    “Fighters on standby, Mr. Ailes,” the Captain ordered.

    Ailes saluted crisply, “Aye, Sir.”

    Captain Babbit of the Nebulon escort had just finished positioning his ship, the Soubise below and to port of its charge, the Star Galeon freighter, Zandra and he stood upon his bridge beneath the shadow of the rounded and upper compartmentalized set of fuselages that made up the escort watching the three small transports fary their way across to the dark star destroyer. There was something very demoralizing about seeing the great wedge of the Imperial I class destroyed hanging unlit, riddled and motionless before them. He sighed. 3 escort TIEs and 3 Headhunter fighters swung down from the Zandra, above and forward of the Fortunata to form up protectively around the 3 rescue teams’ Katarn boarding shuttles all from Zandra, the Dok, the Inestine, and the Marti.

    Aboard Fortunata, Braun quietly directed her crew. Looking from the 2 ‘rocks’ to starboard and the as yet seeming empty space to port.

    “Weapons systems primed, Captain, all stations manned, Sir,” said her Lieutenant.

    “Good. Gunnery to await my command. Unless otherwise requested, we will be economical with our munitions. It will be difficult to hold back, but we will not fire except in defense - for now.”

    She knew that Babbit and Malcovich understood what this could mean. Nothing could be left to fall into enemy hands.

    ****

    TAG: Pash, J-L, Omi and CO
    Last edited by Corellian_Outrider, Mar 22, 2013
  11. Ominous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2004
    star 4
    Now that the internet is up again I will work on something tonight. thank you.
  12. Ominous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2004
    star 4
    PM me about the above two posts. I need more info, thanks.
  13. Ominous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2004
    star 4
    IC: General Torian, Captain Galen (NRC)
    Location: Aboard the Dreadnaught-Class Heavy Cruiser (Storm’s Eye), escorted by four CR90 Corvettes and two MC30c frigates (Titan’s Fist and Destroyer’s Nightmare)

    Upon decanting from hyperspace, the Alliance ships were suddenly thrown into what looked like a stand-off. Captain Galen’s stomach tightened as though someone had just punched her in the gut. “General quarters! NOW!” She barked at her bridge. “Have the corvettes circle the wagon.” There was a hint of excitement in her voice but also caution. “Wagon ma’am?” The lieutenant at the communications array didn’t understand the Captain’s lingo.

    She rushed over to the young officer. “The corvettes are to circle our ship, weapons hot. Do you understand now lieutenant?”

    “Aye, Captain.”

    Titan’s Fist and Destroyer’s Nightmare are to spread out behind us.” Galen returned to the viewport. Their prize was ten thousand meters out from their bow but further out in front of the Fortunata, a Venator-class Star Destroyer floated lifeless with what appeared to be a meteor fused to the hull. Strange, the Captain thought, there are no meteors out here. “Lieutenant, can you get a better visual of the Star Destroyer? What the hell is that thing attached to her?”

    “Captain!” Another officer yelled with excitement. “The rock has a heat signature!”

    What in the blazes?” She turned to her comm cemter. “Get me the General. It seems our well-laid plans have been compromised. Keep monitoring the Imperial ship and the damaged Destroyer.”

    Torian was standing outside the shuttle, smoking a cigar, when the commlink on his belt began to vibrate. Grabbing the device, he blew smoke into the air. “Yes? What is it?”
    “Sir, Captain Galen requests your presence on the bridge. It seems our mission parameters have changed.” The General dropped his cigar on the deck of the hangar and smashed it out with his boot. “I’ll be right there.”

    Throughout the ship, men and women were running around with purpose. This was supposed to be an easy mission, he thought. What’s with all the commotion? He would soon find out. Galen was a good captain and he trusted her instincts. As Torian entered the bridge, he could sense the pucker factor in the room. The tension was extremely high. Captain Galen stood at the bridge window looking over the space between their target and the anomaly further out. Her arms were crossed with one hand under the chin, a sign that she was deep in thought. “What’s going on Captain?” Torian was now standing next to her, towering over the female captain.

    “General Sir, it seems that someone else has arrived before us.” She pointed out the window at the motionless capital ship of the Empire. “What the hell?” Torian’s brow furrowed.
    “Exactly sir. Whatever is attached to the destroyer is organic, however it is not inert. It is creating a heat signature, which would tell me that it is a ship of some sort. One I have never seen in life.”

    She continued, “The Imperials have launched fighters and are on high alert. They have yet to attack the parasite for lack of a better word.” Torian turned away from the window. “Damn it!” He ran his hand over his head. “I want that Star Galleon Captain.”

    “Yes sir, I understand, but because we have come across an unknown vessel of some sort, I suggest we be cautious. Don’t you agree?”

    “Yes captain, as much as I don’t want to agree, you're right.”

    She turned back to her officers. “Continue monitoring the situation. Open all channels so that we may find out what is going on?”

    TAG: Pash, C_O
  14. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    Seeing you guys, talkin to Pash, I wish I had the time to write again. Keep up the great storytelling. G.A.W. is still a beast.
    Last edited by SithStarSlayer, Apr 6, 2013
  15. pashatemur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: SSS, thank you for stopping in. You are missed.

    My apologies for the wait. It’s been a long one. Thank you to C_O for being a sounding board for this post.


    IC: Captain Malcovich, Captain M’rissa Braun, Captain Babbit and crews of the Zandra - EF76 Nebulon B escort, Fortunata - Star Galleon freighter, and Soubise - EF76 Nebulon B escort

    LOCATION: a set of coordinates off the confluence of the Hydian Way and Perlemian Trade Route on the way to Muunilist

    Two EF76 Nebulon B escorts and the fully laden Galleon, Fortunata hung a small distance port side of the cold and riddled Imperial class star destroyer, Hidden Dagger, her bow open with the gash apparently made by the “rock” floating just out of reach of Dagger’s open “mouth,” and the second “rock” a short distance before the open bow and hanging quietly too. The three Katarn shuttles and their fighter escorts were now arriving at the destroyer’s main hangar.

    The “rocks” had yet to make any overt moves.

    ***

    On board the Soubise...

    “A bit like pointing our swords in two directions...” Captain Babbitt was saying, confidentially to his second. “We’re going on the sole evidence of heat signatures! It all seems a bit ... off. There’s no call sign, no BoSS registry, no comm frequency...! It’s a guess based on circumstantial evidence - pure phenomenology.”

    “True, Sir, but of course we actually saw movement from them,” his second reminded the doubtful Captain...

    ***

    While on the bridge of the Galleon, Fortunata, Captain Braun consulted her sensor again.

    “...No, Sir, not yet...the new arrivals are still over 0.3 klicks distance - a bit out of range to get an accurate reading, but they are approaching fast...They’re definitely probing us, though...”


    ***

    On the Nebulon B cruiser Soubise’s twin escort and command of convoy, the cruiser Zandra, the bridge had settled into an anticipatory quiet.

    Captain Malcovich listened to the sensor’s report. It could be the array was faulty and was giving a false positive, but, in short order, it was clear that indeed the report was accurate. They were truly between rocks and a very hard place, literally. The convoy would send a distress signal to the nearest Imperial Command post, but it would likely be distorted beyond recognition by the radiation from the Hidden Dagger and time was not on their side: support would come too late.

    “...zero point two four...Sir, they’re coming in weapons hot...”

    Malcovich nodded in irritation.

    Ailes offered that if these were pirates, they must be quite successful in order to afford such a cache of ships. “Do you think they’ve something to do with the “rocks,” Sir?”

    “No, I’m pretty sure they have a lot to do with the Fortunata’s cargo, Ailes. As yet, though, not enough information. However, as we are in the “thick ‘o it,” we’d better step fast.”

    The call signs were dubious and not all were free of a “flag” from the BoSS. Malcovich perused the sensor’s screen as the data ticked off subtle irregularities. The ships had names and affiliations, two had previously been listed as stolen, and still another had a “broken” or older registry number. However, the configuration and capabilities of the incoming ships were becoming quite clear.

    “We’re out gunned, Sir!” Ailes said quietly.

    Captain Malcovich smiled tightly and crossed the bridge to the communications center and leaning in spoke his orders to the comms officer. “Send a distress call with current information on the both those rocks and these ... pirates,” he said gesturing to the new arrivals, “and find another frequency for an ‘all ships’ command and stand ready.”

    “Aye, sir...”

    Ailes looked with concern to his Captain and Malcovich gave the officer a knowing look. There was no way another ship could arrive in time to give them additional fire power, but at least, there would be a record of these events and not just a field of debris once all was said and done. At best, the information relayed might lead to the insurgentes, but as to the rocks, who could say? Perhaps they were connected to the incoming pirates.

    “Helm!” Malcovich quickly had coordinates set for a micro-jump and then relayed them to Communications. “Relay coordinates for micro-jump and my command to all ships including the rescue teams. Teams are continue to the Dagger to board the destroyer as ordered. Escorts and Galleon will jump to the coordinates, 1.5 klicks distance starboard side of Hidden Dagger to buy time. We’re going to have to rely on Dagger’s instability as a deterrent to anyone else boarding her.”

    “All ships stand ready to engage the two alien craft and the approaching pirates at my command and prepare for my signal to jump.”

    Malcovich stood as tall as his frame would allow. “Comms, open a channel to these new arrivals.”

    “...Aye...”

    “Approaching ships! Your call signs indicate irregularities and you are in a restricted Imperial area, stand down your weapons and you will be treated with clemency. Resist and your actions will precipitate severe consequence...”

    Lieutenant Ailes felt his jaw set. The Captain’s tactic was a long shot.




    TAG: Ominous - General Praetorian Darkeyes - Supreme Commander of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Captain Galen of the Dreadnaught-Class Heavy CruiserStorm’s Eye, the Dreadnaught’s escort of four CR90 Corvettes and two MC30c frigates,Titan’s Fist and Destroyer’s Nightmare; Jerrod-Lennox: Commander Xi Lian of the Roi’k chuun m’arh frigate,Flames of Death and Commander Cha’Gara of the Yorik stronha, Sacrificial Honour;Corellian_Outrider: Survivors of theHidden Dagger
  16. Ominous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2004
    star 4
    IC: Ominous - General Praetorian Darkeyes - Supreme Commander of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Captain Galen of the Dreadnaught-Class Heavy Cruiser Storm’s Eye, the Dreadnaught’s escort of four CR90 Corvettes and two MC30c frigates, Titan’s Fist and Destroyer’s Nightmare

    Captain Galen stood upon the bridge of the Dreadnaught, Storm’s Eye intently watching the Imperials and their unknown visitor intimately attached to their Destroyer. General Torian sat at an open station, boots on the console. His patience was running thin. The sooner they sat here floating in space, the greater a chance the Imperials had of calling for assistance.
    “Captain! We are receiving a communication on the open channel from the Imperials.”

    Galen turned to the officer, “Put it overhead.”

    “Aye Captain.”

    “Approaching ships! Your call signs indicate irregularities and you are in a restricted Imperial area, stand down your weapons and you will be treated with clemency. Resist and your actions will precipitate severe consequence...”
    Torian looked up at the overhead speakers and started laughing out loud. From what he gathered from Galen, they were the ones that could precipitate severe consequences. He walked over to the comm. officer’s station and met Galen.

    “Don’t they realize we have the bigger gun at the moment?” Torian asked Captain Galen. “Tell them they can stand down and we won’t vaporize their sorry arses into oblivion!”

    “With all due respect sir, I believe they are smart enough to figure out they are outgunned. They are only trying to maintain some sort of bravado and force us to play our hand.”

    She walked back to the bridge view port and stared at the organic spacecraft attached to the destroyer. “Maybe we can convince them that we are weapons hot due to their disabled ship and we have seen this before.”

    “We don’t know anything about that parasite attached to their ship Captain!”

    “Precisely General and I don’t think they know what they are dealing with either or they would have already taken care of the unknown vessel.”

    Torian looked her over and paused. A sly grin crossed his face. “Captain, you would make an excellent poker player. Remind me never to sit across from you at a table.” He opened his palm and gestured to the communications station. “It’s your play Captain.”

    She grinned back at the General. The man wasn’t as bad as she had heard. He actually listened to his subordinates. “Lieutenant…open a line to the Imperials.” She walked up behind the officer and leaned in to the microphone.

    “We apologize for our intrusion into your restricted area. We are star explorers on a research mission for unknown species. Unfortunately I cannot order our weapons to stand down as we have encountered an incident with a similar organic vessel like the one attached to that ship ahead. Acknowledge.”

    TAG: Jerrod-Lennox: Captain Malcovich, Captain M’rissa Braun, Captain Babbit and crews of the Zandra - EF76 Nebulon B escort, Fortunata - Star Galleon freighter, and Soubise - EF76 Nebulon B escort, Commander Xi Lian of the Roi’k chuun m’arh frigate, Flames of Death and Commander Cha’Gara of the Yorik stronha, Sacrificial Honour; Corellian_Outrider: Survivors of the Hidden Dagger
  17. pashatemur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: I'm breaking my own rules, but well played Omi.

    "...It's The People's Front of Judea..." (LoB - Monty Python)
  18. pashatemur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2004
    star 4
    IC: Captain Malcovich, Captain M’rissa Braun, Captain Babbit and crews of the Zandra - EF76 Nebulon B escort, Fortunata - Star Galleon freighter, and Soubise - EF76 Nebulon B escort

    LOCATION: a set of coordinates off the confluence of the Hydian Way and Perlemian Trade Route on the way to Muunilist

    One could feel the surprised reception aboard the Imperial ships when the “pirates” responded sooner than expected. A female voice could be heard in a thinned resonance over the bridge communications system, “We apologize for our intrusion into your restricted area. We are star explorers on a research mission for unknown species. Unfortunately I cannot order our weapons to stand down as we have encountered an incident with a similar organic vessel like the one attached to that ship ahead. Acknowledge.”

    “Ac...knowledge?” murmured Malcovich, his dark brows arching as he looked slowly to Ailes, tall, square jawed, the image of the perfect human Imperial. Malcovich, fit but slim built, and not exactly Ailes opposite, was older. He had a strong sense of irony. His fellow officers once revered the man back when he had ambition. Malcovich was know as “cerebral” and right now his “cerebral” bent told him he was meeting with a matched bluff.

    Captain Braun’s voice could be heard above Babbit’s, both speaking simultaneously, “Request permission to confer with you privately, Captain Malcovich.”

    “Alright, quickly, in my ready room, Mr. Ailes, you too. Draper, take the bridge.”

    “Aye, sir.”

    “...Sir, it’s rather convenien...”

    “...Malcovich, I’m going to remind you that our primary concern is the cargo. We need to jump clear from this impasse and warn Rilbek,” warned Babbit with less deference than Captain Braun.

    Malcovich put one long hand up to quiet the two other Captains. “Let’s be clear here. Yes, our primary concern WAS the cargo until we came upon the wreck of the Dagger. Our weigh over gives us a window of 4 hours or until the Rilbek arrives. We have sent a warning to Rilbek. We’ve sent a distress call to the nearest post. You both know the standing order. We are obligated to see none of the Dagger is left to be salvaged and until we have made a good effort to ascertain if there are any survivors and to rescue them, we will remain!”

    “Captain, with due respect, if we are disarmed by these pirates masquerading as scientists, we will have given them both the Dagger and our cargo,” said Babbit, now irate.

    It was Braun who spoke up next. “Sirs, I am a junior Captain, but allow me to suggest that we aren’t so short handed as you both presume. The micro jump is helpful, but we do have access to more firepower, greater than they possess and surely than those “rocks” as well.”


    Braun spoke enthusiastically but was summarily interrupted.


    “Captain Braun, this is a real situation and not a hypothetical war game at the academy,” chided Babbit. “Look Malcovich, you may have abandoned your career to atrophy in this backwater of the Admiralty, but I have good years ahead of me and I do not intend to sacrifice myself because you are too lazy to read the signs. We should leave immediately and signal for help once away from the radiation of the destroyer!”

    Ailes spoke next, jumping in quickly, “Captain Malcovich, we should respond. How shall we treat the new ships’ response.”

    “One moment Ailes,” said Malcovich without taking his gaze from that of Babbit’s holo image. “Captain Babbit, I’m going to disregard your personal attack on my character for now. I am in command of this convoy and we will not abandon our away teams nor the survivors of the destroyer. We will follow our orders to the best of our abilities and we will not be found wanting. Captain Braun, quickly, what is it you propose?”

    Braun’s holo image could be seen to lift her chin slightly, “Sir, there’ve got to be fighters and corvettes on that destroyer. They have their batteries, mostly still intact. We can use the Dagger, Sir. I mean we can probably get those guns manned and it’s clear there is still some power available over there or there’d be no flare ups like we’ve been seeing off and on...”

    “We haven’t time for sorting all that out and assembling the crew and ...it’s a damned long shot...” protested Babbit.

    “Alright, Captains, get your people working on it and communicate our needs to your rescue teams. It may be there are personnel still alive over there that can manage what we may need...Let’s keep connected. In the meantime, we can play along with this bluff. It could be these “explorers” do know something and finding out more about how this came to pass with the Dagger is certainly part of our mandate here.”

    “Sir?” said Ailes beseechingly.

    “Open a line to our newfound friends...” said Malcovich.

    “Malcovich, we are wasting ti...”

    “Captain Babbit, are you questioning my command?” asked Malcovich darkly.

    After a brief moment, Babbit replied, “No...NO, SIR, I am NOT.”

    “Channel open, Sir,” said Ailes quietly.

    Braun and Babbit stood in their respective ready rooms and listened.

    “This is Captain Malcovich of His Imperial Majesty’s ship, Zandra. So, you have found yourselves at these secured coordinates by accident. The Galaxie is not such a large place, I’ll concede. It would be nice to know who I am addressing and what you might know regarding these organic ships.”

    Babbit’s image could be seen strangling back a guffaw, covering his mouth with his fist.

    TAG: Ominous - General Praetorian Darkeyes - Supreme Commander of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Captain Galen of the Dreadnaught-Class Heavy CruiserStorm’s Eye, the Dreadnaught’s escort of four CR90 Corvettes and two MC30c frigates,Titan’s Fist and Destroyer’s Nightmare; Jerrod-Lennox:Commander Xi Lian of the Roi’k chuun m’arh frigate,Flames of Death and Commander Cha’Gara of the Yorik stronha, Sacrificial Honour;Corellian_Outrider:Survivors of theHidden Dagger
  19. Ominous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2004
    star 4
    General Praetorian Darkeyes - Supreme Commander of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Captain Galen of the Dreadnaught-Class Heavy Cruiser Storm’s Eye, the Dreadnaught’s escort of four CR90 Corvettes and two MC30c frigates, Titan’s Fist and Destroyer’s Nightmare

    LOCATION: a set of coordinates off the confluence of the Hydian Way and Perlemian Trade Route on the way to Muunilist
    “This is Captain Malcovich of His Imperial Majesty’s ship, Zandra. So, you have found yourselves at these secured coordinates by accident. The Galaxy is not such a large place, I’ll concede. It would be nice to know who I am addressing and what you might know regarding these organic ships.”

    Torian was standing next to Galen who had the extreme pleasure of communicating with the Imperials. If it were him instead, he might have found himself threatening to ram his fist into this Malcovich’s stomach and breaking his spine. However, being a female, Galen was much cooler than he was at the moment. She recognized the condescending tone in the Imperial captain but decided to play it out and more importantly with humility.

    “Hi Captain!” She stated with enthusiasm. “Gosh, where are my manners? Sorry. We’ve been on a ship for far too long in the remote part of the Galaxy. My name is Professor Skolnik. The Galaxy is our lab and we have been researching other worldly creatures and species. I am so sorry we stopped in your secure area.”
    Galen mocked pushing up a pair of spectacles on her nose and continued. “As you can see for yourself, the organic is highly dangerous. We tried to analyze the last one we saw a few weeks ago and it seems to contain a variety of elements, some unknown to us and more than likely unknown to your Imperial majesty. However, we were unsuccessful at a full analysis. The ship became active and tried to our research vessel. Luckily our escorts that are with us which were paid for by a very important donor to our research were able to fend off the attack. It is more than likely eating its way through the rest of that ship out there! Oh goodness, I do hope there’is still time to save whatever survivors there are left on your ship!”

    She looked up at Torian who was chuckling under his breath at her acting. He gave her thumbs up. She flipped the communicator back on and spoke again. “Oh dear! Wormser hurry up and contain that algae. We don’t want it to eat through the floor!”

    Torian stepped away from the comm. station before he burst out laughing and gave up the ruse.

    “I’m so sorry Captain Malcawick but I must contain a Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii before it eats the Gracilaria.”

    She sounded out of breath over the communicator. “If you need our assistance, we would be glad to help. It would be the icing on our research if we could get a sample!” She sounded like a giddy school girl over the comm. “Oh Heavens! Now the Crepidoodinium austral is beginning to spawn eggs!!!”

    The communicator went silent on the Storm’s Eye. Galen made sure it was completely off before speaking to Torian.

    Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii? Gracilaria? Crepidoodinium austral?” Torian was in awe with her. She shrugged, “I was a biology major at first General.”

    TAG: Captain Malcovich, Captain M’rissa Braun, Captain Babbit and crews of the Zandra - EF76 Nebulon B escort, Fortunata - Star Galleon freighter, and Soubise - EF76 Nebulon B escort, Jerrod-Lennox: Commander Xi Lian of the Roi’k chuun m’arh frigate, Flames of Death and Commander Cha’Gara of the Yorik stronha, Sacrificial Honour; Corellian_Outrider: Survivors of the Hidden Dagger
  20. Jerjerrod-Lennox Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2005
    star 7
    IC: Commander Xi Lian, Commander Cha’Gara (NPC'S)
    Location: Ro’ik chuun m’arh frigate Flames of Death, Yorik stronha Sacrificial Honour, at a set of coordinates off the confluence of the Hydian Way and Perlemian Trade Route on the way to Muunilist

    “Commander” Subaltern Zen spoke up crossing her fists in salute “Another group of infidel ships has entered from darkspace. They have taken up positions near to where the other infidel group is situated.”

    Xi Lian frowned, stretching his facial scars. What were these infidel ships doing here as well?

    “I wonder if these ships are either friendly to the original group or if they are enemies” he waved away any response from Zen with a sweep of his hand “No matter, it provides the gods with more sacrifices. It is time to make our move”.

    He turned to his pilot, his head shrouded under the cognition hood which enabled him to pilot the ship and control the shielding singularities and weapons if there were no gunners remaining.
    “Move us towards that dead ship, once you are on the left hand side; latch ourselves onto the infidel ship. Commander Cha’Gara should hopefully be making his way towards that side. Meanwhile, order the gunners to fire at both groups don’t discriminate your shots, slay them all. For consorting with machines, they shall be sacrificed for the glory of the gods”.

    The pilot nodded and began to move the ship towards the dead vessel. A moment later balls of red flame and plasma shot straight towards the two groups of infidel ships. Lian grinned, this would surprise and shock them, and it would also provide good insights into how these infidels reacted to these new and unforeseen weapons.

    Soon these infidels would bow down to them, and learn the True Way…..

    He turned back to Subaltern Zen who was standing by.

    “Prepare our warriors for glorious battle. Our main objective is to make sure Commander Cha’Gara is safely back aboard our ship, and to get to him first at all costs” he smiled “And if they see any infidels in the way, slay them. Order the commander of our warriors to keep in contact with me at all times, he is also to keep in contact with Commander Cha’Gara, hopefully one of his crew will be carrying a villip.”

    “Yes Commander”

    ****
    On board Sacrificial Honour

    Commander Cha’Gara knew they didn't have much time before this vessel probably disintegrated. What was worse was that they were now going to make their way on to a dead infidel ship, and one that was probably in a lot worse shape than his.

    The commander had made his way to the back of the ship where it had fused itself to the infidel’s dead vessel, his subaltern Si’ashan and the rest of his crew were waiting for him. Luckily, when the vessel crashed it had created holes in both the Honour and the infidel’s ship. It was a small hole but they could take the pain of trying to squeeze themselves through.

    The remaining passengers on board had also made it to the back of the ship, some looking a worse for wear, but like all Yuuzhan Vong, pain was a pleasure, never a hindrance.

    “Commander” Si’ashan spoke up, the dim lights in the ship enhancing his dark tattoos and scars “I have taken the liberty of bringing along on of our villips should Commander Lian wish to contact us”

    “Very good” the commander turned to his remaining crew and passengers which included an intendant, probably been sent along by his crèche cousin to keep an eye on things.
    “We need to make our way to the other side of this ship in order to board the Flames of Death which has come to assist us. If it is our time to die, then we shall go gladly, knowing that Yun Yuuzhan will protect us on our road to paradise.”

    He smiled “And perhaps Yun Harla the Trickster will provide us with a few tricks of our own. Move”

    They all began to crawl through the hole to board the dead ship. Cha’Gara felt disgust at having to even board the thing, since these infidels consorted with machines which were a sin. He resolved to purify himself thoroughly should he survive this next confrontation.

    After making sure Subaltern Si’ashan had gotten through, he went through the hole, enjoying the pain of the yorik coral scraping against his arms, unfortunately it also caught his command cloak.

    Perhaps he would find some infidels to sacrifice in order to please the gods for being on this dead ship….
    .
    TAG: Imperial/Rebel groups, Hidden Dagger survivors.
  21. pashatemur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: I've been remiss, but congratulations J-L on an auspicious post. "This shall be a day long remembered...."
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  22. TheAdmiral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: Long time since last posting. Anyway here is a short post that I have been working on for the last few weeks. I have borrowed some parts (the sermon speech) from the lore of Warhammer 40 000 so the credit goes to all the talented authors that had come up with those parts.

    IC: Dennii/Drakoniss Sunwalker

    on-board Galactica-class Carrier “Hyperion”, Derra system

    Dennii tried to calm herself down. Everyone present was staring at her to continue her sermon. It had been almost an hour since she began talking. The things she said probably would have been enough to expel her from the Order. Not that she cared that much anymore. Dennii agreed with some of the postulates but not with the most extreme and xenophobic ones.

    "The warrior who acts out of honour cannot fail. His duty is honour itself. Even his death - if it is honourable - is a reward and can be no failure, for it has come through duty. Seek honour as you act, therefore, and you will know no fear." She began anew.

    Dennii tried to remember the warrior part of the Codex so that she could speak freely and not read from the large and beautiful volume in front of her on the dais.

    "What is the terror of death?"

    "That we die our work incomplete"

    "What is the joy of life?"

    "To die knowing our task is done."

    Chimed the faithful in unison. It was a powerful feeling, to lead all these men and women and guide them in their faith. But it was also a very swift path to the dark side. Nevertheless it was her task at present so there was nothing she could do about that. Duty and honor...

    "A Heretic may see the truth and seek redemption. He may be forgiven his past and will be absolved in death. A Traitor can never be forgiven. A Traitor will never find peace in this world or the next. There is nothing as wretched or as hated in all the world as a Traitor." She cautioned. "You will shoot your enemy once, to ensure he fights no more that day! You will shoot traitors twice, to ensure nothing less than their deserved death!"

    "A spiritu dominatus,
    Domine, libra nos,
    From the lighting and the tempest,
    Greater Good, deliver us.
    From plague, temptation and war,
    Greater Good, deliver us,

    From the blasphemy of the Outsiders,
    Greater Good, deliver us,
    A morte perpetua,
    Domine, libra nos.
    That thou wouldst bring them only death,
    That thou shouldst spare none,
    That thou shouldst pardon none
    We beseech thee, destroy them."

    The sermon was reaching its end. Dennii felt sick inside. The things she had to say were full of darkness and intolerance. All of which ran counter to what she had been taught at the Temple. Dennii was familiar with the Union doctrine as evidenced by the service she conducted. In her youth she agreed with most of the things she had read in the Codex, but now the situation was different, she was different...

    "To be Unclean
    - That is the mark of the Outsiders
    To be Impure
    - That is the mark of the Outsiders
    To be Abhorred
    - That is the mark of the Outsiders
    To be Reviled
    - That is the mark of the Outsiders
    To be Hunted
    -That is the mark of the Outsiders
    To be Purged
    - That is the fate of the Outsiders
    To be Cleansed
    - For that is the fate of all Outsiders"

    Everyone chanted in unison. The sickness inside her grew stronger. Doubt creeped in her mind. Was this the right place to live the rest of her life? There was no turning back to the Order, that was for sure. But where she could hide? She will be executed by the Empire if she was discovered. Alpha, her loved one betrayed them, though Dennii suspected there was more to this story that she knew. There has to be a good explanation for the ARC's behavior. Her husband, at least she considered him her husband, was not a man who could betray someone so easily. At least this was how Dennii wanted to think of him.

    She wondered what would Alpha or the other Jedi and Rebels would think of the things she had said. Nothing positive for sure, but it was inevitable as she wanted to blend in the Union so some compromises had to be made. Her audience stared at her with adoration and reverence. Malenkov's gaze was unreadable, though she could feel some traces of pride and satisfaction. There was something else... Were that tears? There was moisture underneath his eyes. Dennii was shocked. Was she that good? She turned towards the audience, clearly a lot of the people were moved as well.

    Malenkov went to his knees in front of her. Then took her right hand in his and kissed it. This was utterly unexpected

    "Bless me Mother!"

    At first Dennii didn't know what to do next. It took her several seconds before she regained her composure. She managed to put a benevolent smile on her face. It was as if she had been doing this her whole life. After a brief moment when she managed to free her hand made the sign of the Aquilla over the old man's head murmuring a blessing from the Codex Uniatis which she remembered rather vaguely.

    “The words of the faithful are the mountains. But the deeds of the faithful are the world.”

    Dennii looked around the room men and women were on their knees. Some of them were weeping from the ecstasy. She hoped that she didn’t force them to do something stupid, like starting a war with the Empire. It would have been ironic, to show up there and start a conflict...

    Drakoniss watched the scene with fascination. The Sith in him was pleased to see such an easily manipulated mass of highly trained soldiers. The Union he knew was quite different, yes the cult of the Greater Good had started to take shape but it was not, how to put it, so dark. He was not sure how his love, Loraine, had influenced those people. If only he could find her holocron or at least a journal. Her behavior when he last met her, before he had to kill her, was very strange and surely she hid something from him. It was typical of her to be so secretive.

    Drakoniss was now sure that Dennii’s fate and in that matter his fate was tied to the Union. That was why using Force Illusions he influenced their perception of the sermon elevating Dennii in their eyes almost to the level of a living saint. It was not something a Lightsider would do but it was necessary if they were to survive in this madhouse. Even the old cynic of a former Inquisitor could not remain passive. He was sure that he will have to use all the tricks that he had learned while being a Sith to maneuver them to safety and even unravel some of the mysteries surrounding the Union.

    He had his doubts about that girl, Jori, she seemed competent enough to be a leader but was she a good person? A bit naive question, but still, will she be a good influence on Dennii? He had seen the memories and there was something about Jori that bothered him. There was something dark and sinister in the soul of that girl. But for now she seems to center Dennii so will be good for now. He will have to be on the lookout when they will have to abandon ship. Unfortunately the chances of going back to the Jedi Order were slim for the moment. There was too much bad blood. For now he will have to guide her in the world of intrigues, though the last time it ended badly for him so the prospects were not good.

    At least now they will have a very interesting dinner...

    TAG: To be continued
  23. Jerjerrod-Lennox Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2005
    star 7
    OOC: This post is once again brought to you by myself and CO,always a pleasure:)

    IC: Sam Gerard, Cosmon “Cosmo” Rendell, John Royce, Savah Poole-Cooper, Noah Noonan, Bobby Brigstocke, Nani Kali’iwa, Dan’el Denison
    Location: Chommell Sector Obligon Nebula/Arrissa’s Field, ISD Ragnarök

    4:00

    3:59

    3:58

    3:57

    Royce and his group had managed to make it back to the shuttle even surviving a scare when they were stopped as part of a random security check. They still had not received word from either Cosmo’s group nor the Commander.

    Brigstocke was pacing up and down looking worried “What’s taking them so long? The Commander at least should be here by now” he looked at Nani to at least give him the good news.

    “A minute is a long time, anything can happen.” Nani checked her chrono, trying to assure the other two by acting as though they were last for a holodrama screening. “They have three and a half left. No biggie...”

    Meanwhile Commander Gerard and Noonan were making their way back to the shuttle eventually having to drag the Captain to the shuttle after Gerard had to use his “No Bargaining” rule. The scientific team however were leaving things to the last minute.....

    Alone to his devices, the bar finally completed. Dan’el didn’t bother to pack up his kit but ripped the cord and started running with the datapad. He certainly hoped Savah and Cosmo had gotten back alright. He turned the corner and bowled over two scientists that were coming back from lunch. “So sorry,” he yanked up the man, picked up his datapad and theirs... frowning.. which one was which?

    Savah meanwhile had managed to persuade Dr Smith to come with her back to the shuttle, Cosmo however had decided to wait for Dan’el nearby, there was one rule of this team, they never left a man behind.

    He heard a commotion around the corner and decided to investigate. As he moved round the corner he saw Dan’el picking himself and two scientists up. It also looked like Dan’el was having problem differentiating which data pad was his. He quickly sent a signal to Dan’el’s datapad confirming which pad it was. He had to be quick time was almost up.

    Back on the shuttle the others were waiting nervously for the scientist team to return. Savah had boarded with the good Doctor in tow, now it was just Dan’el and Cosmo to go.

    Gerard looked at his chrono, it had reached one minute until the ship exploded and they were still two people short. It looked like he would have to break his golden rule of not leaving any of his kids behind. He thought a moment then reached a decision.

    “Alright time to leave” said Gerard gruffly to the pilot “We’ll have to leave without them, for all we know they might have been captured”
    Royce shook his head “What happened to not leaving a man behind?”

    Gerard narrowed his eyes “Our mission is complete, we have the data we need and the ship is about to explode, we need to leave or we will all be caught in the blast. Two people missing is better than all of us”

    Royce growled and shook his head “I don’t like it, leaving them to die”

    “Neither do I” Gerard growled back and turned to the pilot “Do it”

    ****

    His heart was pounding, his head throbbing and time was running out. He knew each breath might be his last and yet Dan’el kept on running as the lights of the corridors flickered past and he could hear the cries of anguish behind him.

    Turning the corner, he almost collided with a trooper from the security checkpoint.

    “Halt!” The trooper levelled his rifle at Dan’el’s chest and then cursed, the rifle lowered. “It’s you! What’s the meaning of this?”


    Surprised, but thankful for the confusion. Dan’el pointed behind him as he thought quickly on his feet. “It’s loose. You have to contain them before it spreads.”

    “What’s loose?”

    “An experiment. There might be others.”


    “Call it in.” Trooper ordered his counterpart. “Who knows what they experiment in there.”

    “Hey!” A voice cried out. “Stop him!”

    Dan’el knew they had caught up with him.

    *****

    As the pilot began his preparations for takeoff, Cosmo jumped aboard the shuttle, his hair plastered to his head with sweat, he was panting hard as if he had run a mile.

    “Dan’el in trouble, might be coming” he said between gasps “Might be time to pack up and leave”

    “Couldn't have put it better myself” replied Gerard “Keep the ramp down just in case Dan’el decides to grace us with his presence”

    Cosmo made his way towards the others sitting in the passenger section “Hey, where’s the Captain?” he asked looking at Nani.

    * * * * *

    Skidding out into the hanger, he grabbed the frame and let his momentum swing him out faster. The hair on the back of his neck raised on end as a blue bolt shot past where he once was. Dan’el could see the shuttle.

    “Go! Go!” He yelled out between ragged breaths. “Start the engines!”

    Then came a collection of sharp skids as multiple boots hit the polished deck behind him. It dawned on him, the distance was too far and he knew he was not going to make it to the boarding ramp. All this way for naught...

    Something slammed into his back, his breath escaped him as he was lifted off his feet. The force sent him flying forward as he felt an overwhelming charge through his nerves. His eyes wide with shock and horror as his consciousness was aware of his body starting to shut down. The last image burnt into his retinas was that of a metal object rushing to greet him... and then darkness.

    ****

    On board, the pilot had just requested for an emergency exit from the Ragnarok when they all heard a clang on the open ramp. Noonan went to go and have a look and looked up in shock.

    “It’s Dan’el! Help me pull him in!”

    Royce immediately came to help the young junior officer pull the unconscious Dan’el back in. The pilot took that as the the cue to raise the ramp and then accelerated the shuttle out of the docking bay as soon as the controller started accepting their request for takeoff.

    As soon as they were a safe distance away from the Ragnarok, Savah got up and went to inspect Dan’el checking his pulse and breathing and shining a light in his eyes to check him.

    “He’s alright, he’s just down for the count. He’ll wake up soon enough”

    “I’d hate him to miss the explosion” said Brigstocke “Speaking of which, shouldn't the ship have exploded right now?”

    “Yeah, about that...” Nani replied looking a little sheepish “I added an extra minute just in case” she then smiled up at Brigstocke “Better to be safe than sorry”

    Cosmo and Royce were shaking their heads, Noonan looked confused, Gerard had a slight smile on his face.

    “So we basically ran our backsides off thinking we were going to blow to pieces, when instead we had plenty of time to get back in more than one piece” Brigstocke shook his head and smiled “You are evil, you know that?”

    Nani smirked at him and checked her chrono “Well get your backside towards the cockpit, you’re going to miss the firework show”

    As Brigstocke, Royce and Noonan went to watch, Cosmo turned to Nani.

    “As I asked earlier, where is the Captain?”

    There was a groan as Dan’el awoke, Savah restraining him making sure he didn't get up too quickly. He winced as he felt a sharp pounding in his head and sucked in his breath to hold back a gasp. His eyes met Savah’s and mouthed ‘thank you’ as he followed her directions.

    “He’s sulking in the back, along with the good Doctor” said Nani with a slight smile “Guess he wasn't too happy about being dragged in by the Commander.”

    “And the Doctor wasn't too happy with me using my feminine charms to get him aboard either” piped up Savah from where she was still examining Dan’el.

    “Remind me never to make you two ladies angry” replied Cosmo winking at the both of them, then joined the others in the cockpit as the pilot brought them around to face the Ragnarok.

    Whilst they waited for the inevitable explosion, Gerard proceeded to send a message back to Captain Dorja.

    * * * * * *

    Communications Officer Zeema abruptly leaned forward, the moment had finally arrived: contact. He took down the communique, it was short and concise and he stood up abruptly amongst his peers to seek out the Captain.

    The bridge was quiet onboard the Relentless, only the faint murmur of commentary from the crew and the clip of Officer Zeema’s boots on the decking could be heard and turned a few heads in his direction. At the security station was where he finally found Captain Dorja standing over a console with his back to Zeema.

    Swallowing, Zeema stepped closer. “Excuse me, Captain. I have an urgent message for you.”

    Dorja turned from the monitors displaying the live feed of Panthera Squadron’s debriefing and faced the Officer. He silently hoped the message was regarding their strike team’s development and that his friend was alright.

    “Continue.” Dorja commanded.

    “Sir, it is an update from Commander Gerard.” Zeema paused. “It appears their mission is successful.”

    “Very good.” Dorja refrained from giving an audible sigh of relief, while he never had any doubts about the team’s capabilities, they were cutting it close with the deadline for their next check in. It was still too soon to celebrate but this news meant well for the Relentless. “Arrange for a welcoming party to be placed on standby to greet them when they land.”

    “At once, Captain.”

    Dorja spared one last glance to the monitors of the security station and then followed Zeema out on the bridge. Leaving the Officer to his task, Dorja strode towards the forward viewport to view the Ragnarök for his final time.

    It’s hull glowed more brightly than usual against the orange-red glow of the nebula. From his vantage point, wisps of gases appeared to stream out from multiple openings on the modified destroyer just off Relentless’ bow.

    The activity in the crew pit picked up as they tracked the Ragnarok’s status, reports were called out:

    “Their shields are down-”

    “-fluctuations coming from within their power core-”

    It all sounded like music to Dorja’s ears as he zoned out from the words and watched the performance. Choral of the choir... He kept that thought only to himself.

    Material starting to filter out into the void of space, tiny sparks and flashes as they collide. Eerily beautiful and from this distance he could not tell what that might be nor did he want to. It was a matter of moments for cracks to spread over the hull. The volume of voices from the crew pit grew to a crescendo, Dorja allowed it to wash over him as though he was at a concert hall during the climax of a symphonic movement.

    The hull buckled and warped as though it was made from flimsiplast. The death throes finally subsided.

    And there it is…!

    The Ragnarök had reached full bloom; a fire flower! Slowly, relinquishing its flames to the harsh coldness of space, it faded away. Dorja watched the ‘petals’ wilt and fall, carried along by its own currents. Dorja allowed himself to reflect upon the years he had spent in this isolated section of the Chommell Sector. Now he felt a weight lift from his shoulders and a renewed sense of purpose with his servitude to Grand Admiral Thrawn. The Relentless is free.

    The crew pit had settled back to normal conditions, some were in disbelief about what had happened, even the moment felt surreal to Dorja as though he was experiencing a dream. But then Dorja's ears pricked up at the sound of Officer Zeema's voice:

    “Approaching shuttle, you are cleared and may proceed with your landing sequence.”

    Dorja smiled as his eyes tracked the small shuttle’s approach to the Relentless’ hull and soon disappear beneath.

    Welcome home.

    TAG: Grand Admiral Thrawn, Captain Dorja
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  24. Master_of_les_pauls Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2010
    star 1
    OCC A joint post by myself and Pash, again thank you for writing this with me!


    IC Jedi master Obi Wan Kenobi, Jedi Padawan Luke Skywalker


    Location The old Lars homested, Tatooine



    Of course its just for the parts” Luke said trying his best to fill his voice with mock indignation “Why else would I want to go to that hell hole”

    With that young Skywalker turned away from his master, wondering to himself did Obi Wan know and if he did how the hell had he found out? Was one of the perks of being a Jedi master the ability to read minds? If so it was something Luke would make sure he learn one day! Grabbing a small Drix fruit from the a fruit bowl placed upon the work top and took his place at the breakfast table across from Kenobi.

    As Luke took his seat Obi Wan placed there daily serving of porridge in front of him and then took his seat across from the young Padawan.

    As Luke took his seat Obi Wan, brushed either side of his moustache in habit and cleared his throat. He was going to remind Luke about his “language,” but let it go. He reached Luke’s bowl to the boy who had answered his Master like a rookie sabbac player and placed their daily serving of porridge in front of both their places, quietly taking his seat across from the young Padawan

    “Thank you” Luke said as he broke the Drix up and placed it into his cereal “So what time do you think we can make a move?” As he finished he shovelled a large spoonful of porridge into his mouth and Luke had to admit to himself Obi Wan was starting to get the hang of this cooking stuff!

    Obi wan looked up from his porridge, doing his best to pretend to ignorance. The Jedi sniffed the air and looked from one direction to the opposite and then shrugging his shoulders asked with his very driest deadpan face, “Oh... let’s see! What’s today’s date?

    While he enjoyed his little joke, he considered the situation and thought, perhaps it would be best to let things go as they seemed to want to for many reasons. Luke was acquiring skills quickly and bright and inquisitive, he daily kept Obi wan busy, just staying one step ahead. A slow smile grew under the the Jedi General’s now riotous beard.


    Obi wan's reply caught Luke a little of guard “What do you mean what is today's date?” He tried to figure out if today's date held any importance to either of them but again the young boy came up blank and then he blurted it out “There's nothing special about today, its not like its anyone's birth...”
    Before Luke could finish his sentence it came to him, today was Obi Wan's birthday!


    Luke lowered his eyes to his cereal bowl in embarrassment at forgetting just what today was, “Happy birthday master” Luke said not taking his eyes from the bowl.


    Obi wan lost his composed smugness suddenly and sputtered, “B...Birth...It IS NOT my BIRTHDAY,” he protested, never one to like the occasion made much of, but the tables had been turned and this would definitely be a lesson for the Master himself about mindfulness. “Oh dear, I’d forgotten completely..."


    Still keeping his eyes upon his bowl Luke could feel a smile forming and as quickly as the smile formed the young boy started giggling. Luke then looked up and began laughing out loud “Looks like old age is starting to catch up with you master” The young Jedi said through fits of giggles.
    Despite his giggles Luke still managed to finish his breakfast. Once he had finished Luke spoke “So master looks like we have two reasons to head into town today”


    "Oh, I'm certain there are at least two," said Obi wan, patting Luke on the shoulder as they finished packing a small bag of items for trade: various small circuitry, speeder and vaporizer parts. "Best we leave presently, Luke," he added, looking to the purple light as the twin suns signalled "first light."
    Of course master” Luke said looking up into the brown eyes of the older Jedi.


    It seemed Kenobi had infact given more thought to this journey then Luke had given him credit for, old age it seems hadn't blunted Obi Wan mind that much yet! With first light upon them soon the searing mid day sun would soon be upon them. The pair had slowly gotten used to many of the “delights” of life on Tatooine, however the afternoon temperatures was not one of them! Once the crono reached mid day the heat was near unbearable and as two off worlders they both often wondered how people managed to survive in such conditions.


    Luke quickly made his way into his room and hastily changed into some clothes more befitting of there status as a Father/Son moisture farmers as opposed to there true status as Jedi. The boy changed from his nightwear into loose fitting tan robes and placed what could only be described a bucket hat, which had become the latest fashion must have. Of course Luke had no interest in such things but he had a part to play of course.


    "Lock down the household, while I prep "Old Gertie," added the wooly Jedi General, slinging the bag over his shoulder with a sigh. He did not relish taking the old surveying speeder out for their trip; it was held together with ear wax and cable, but the speeder would blend in with the other hobbled vehicles that the denizens of Tatooine typically afforded, as opposed to the notice Kenobi's relatively "fresh" looking Eta actis II would bring. Even if he had managed to sand off the old Republic Jedi paint and purchase a counterfeit call sign, and even if the fighter would make the trip in fives times less that of the speeder, and even if the ride would be smoother and ...cooler... and...ah well.

    Yes master” Young Skywalker called out from his room, Luke quickly made his way to the security console and programmed in the relevant codes. Luke took extreme care into entering the codes because he knew just how dangerous the Sandpeople had become in recent months, there had been talk of several attacks on farms on the edge of town, and it seemed with each attack they were becoming bolder.


    It was because of these attacks that Luke felt the need to build himself his weapon, though he had no desire to fight or kill any of the Sandpeople Luke wasn't stupid enough to think that they would extend him the same courtesy. So he had to be able to defend himself if and when the time came. Once the last code was entered the farm would be protected by an energy field that had a radius of 8 miles and gave there home a very secure perimeter.


    Moments later, the old speeder sputtered and rumbled in the quiet and cool dawn. The Jedi donned a pair of goggles and drew an old synth-leather cap over his wild head of hair before pulling his cloak's hood over his head to protect against the elements. He waved to Luke to hurry and take his seat and strap in when the Padawan appeared out of the main doorway onto the sunken court around which the homestead was built.

    He smiled as he watched the boy through the bubble of the cockpit. The speeder was enclosed and could manage fairly high altitude, but that didn't mean the sand didn't find its way in. He took a last look about to satisfy himself everything was secure. The place still held a few vestiges of its previous owners, everyday yielding up small reminders of its past, but it was sufficiently out of the way and forlorn that few bothered the Master and his young apprentice who now jumped into the seat beside Obi wan.


    As Luke came running out of the home stead he saw that Obi Wan was already sat in Old Gertie and had the old girl ready to leave, the young boy leapt into the co-pilots chair and spoke “The farm is locked down, I set the shield and electro fence to rise the moment we move out of the security range”


    "Brilliant!" proclaimed Obi wan in a jovial mood. "Looks like it will be another fine day," he said, a liberal lacing of sarcasm dressing the simple seeming statement. "You take her up, Luke. Let's see how your piloting skills have progressed." The Jedi Master put his feet up and leaned back in his chair, gesturing for the boy to get things going...

    Moments later...

    Obi wan leaned over the arm rest of his seat and found a make do sick bag. "...and I thought these moments were all in my past." Feeling the speeder grind into the beginning of another barrel roll, the General put a hand out and shouted, to the best of his ability. "Luke! Please reassure me, you know how to manage a straight line! Oh..." he said holding his head once more, his face a slight shade of puce.


    “Oh relax master!” Luke said with a huge smile on his face “You I am actually very good at this you know!” As he finished the young boy squeezed harder on the small speeders throttle. There was now a mischievous glint now in Luke's eye, the Padawan made a point off weaving the speeder in and out of a small rock formation, he did so knowing full well the effect this would have on Obi Wan.

    The boy gave a small glance across at his master and saw that he was now a ghostly shade of White and that Kenobi also was wearing a marked look of frustration across his brow. Knowing that he was now only a few seconds from crossing the line into recklessness, Luke eased off the throttle and settled the speeders course down much to the relief of Obi Wan, no doubt!


    Today was turning into a far better day then Luke could have possibly imagined. Despite showing signs of being an excellent pilot, it wasn't often Obi Wan handed over the reigns and let Luke drive. The sensor relay began to bleep, they were around three miles from Ancorhead.

    We are about Three miles from our destination master” Luke shouted out over the drone of the Speeders engines “Any preference to were we set her down?”


    Tag TBC
    heels1785 likes this.
  25. Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2002
    star 5
    ~OOC~ A change from all the Imperial posts that I've been working on but there is more are on the way. Also great postings J-L, Pasha, TheAdmiral and MOLP. Let me know if you need anything. :)

    ~IC~ Kaylee and Rowan Halcyon, Ariek and Kal
    Location: Icarus - Corellian System???
    1 cycle before the incident at Coruscant


    There had been no response, not even a burst of static or data transmission. Was it that their long range communications had not been entirely repaired? Was it that no one could respond to their message?

    “Hægl, Hūsian Solkrest. Est Rowan Halycon, Regnwaerd ab Corelisi...un ab uhl Icarus. Gecwemli andswaran.”

    Or that they were simply in the wrong system? It could be a number of possibilities but they did not have any clear cut answers.

    “Hailing House of Solkrest. This is Rowan Halcyon, Knight of Corellia, and of the Icarus. Please respond.”

    Silence.

    “Gecwemli andswaran…”


    Kaylee felt helpless as she observed the disappointment set in on her husband's face as he repeated his message for the final time. His voice was drained, his eyes had squeezed shut and an expression of pain and sorrow crossed his face. Shutting off the comm, he stepped away and turned his back to everyone on the bridge.

    She heard his voice, barely audible above his sigh as he muttered the words. "Not here… not now.."

    "Rowan…" Kaylee whispered as she sidled up to him and touched his arm. Her eyes flick to over her shoulder and back to Rowan and felt acutely aware that the crew on the bridge were looking to them for guidance.

    His eyes blinked and refocused on her. In that brief connection they communicated with just a look, she saw he was weary and out of options but as she saw past that, there was something unsettling going on underneath.

    And then it was gone… in a flash his emotions were shrouded by a stoic 'mask'. A mask he wore too frequently as of late... she noted silently and disappointedly to herself.

    He turned around to face the others. "We can not remain like this forever, we need to push on…" he stepped towards them. "… find a habitable place to settle down, replenish our reserves-"

    "And where would you suggest we go to do that?"

    Kaylee recognised Ariek's pessimistic tone and sent a scowling look her way.

    "Well… ah…" Rowan stammered at first. "We... are working under the assumption that this system is the Corellian system, correct?"

    "Yes, however-"

    "Then we should find the closest planet that resembles Selonia." He did not allow her an opening to counter. "If the activity there is sparse then we find a suitable landing towards the southern continent. There should be an island chain just off the coast of a large body of land. The largest island should be suitable for our needs."

    "I suppose so…" She did not sound entirely convinced.

    "Good then, there's your heading. Now,” Rowan gave a sharp nod in her direction, “if you excuse me…” he turned and made his way to the access corridor.

    Kaylee pursed her lips and gave the helm a brief word about their heading and left to catch up with Rowan. Before she could stop him, Kal was there waiting for them.

    “About what was mentioned earlier," Kal folded his arms in front of his chest as he positioned himself in front of Rowan.

    Rowan sighed as he stepped around him. "Not now, Kal."

    Unphased, Kal followed him alongside Kaylee. "We should go to Coruscant.”

    “True. Though, the Republic would not be so courteous towards us and need I remind you that I am not on speaking terms with most of Coruscanti Jedi Council? Especially the embarrassment they and their precious Republic had suffered at Corellia.”

    “Ah then," Kal smirked. "Need I remind you that I was once a member of said council?”

    Rowan shrugged “Touché”

    “We can go there, do what we need and leave without too much fuss.” Kal offered. "Easy."

    Rowan stopped to face him. “We are several days overdue and I am sure her Majesty has been sending search parties for us, maybe even leading them herself.”

    

“I suppose you are right...” Kal didn’t sound convinced.

    “You sound like Ariek…” Rowan cupped his brow and shook his head. ”I know I am right about Feye.”

    

Kal arched his brow and pointed his index finger at Rowan’s chest. “What makes you so sure?”

    “Because she is my kin.”

    “Ohhh… ” Kal’s jaw visibly dropped “okaaay, time out. Since when did this happen?” He gave Kaylee a look. “Did you know about this?”

    Kaylee nodded and paid no attention to the mock hurt expression on his face. ”Yes, Kal. I had known for some time now.”

    “Then why was I not informed about such development?”

    “Because it was on a need to know basis and... I am still coming to terms with the responsibilities of being part of a larger family...” Rowan opened his mouth to say more but it seemed he had thought better of it and stopped himself.

    Kaylee regarded Rowan before turning to Kal. “We can talk about it another time, but right now I need you on the bridge to oversee our flight plan. Rowan and I have certain matters to discuss...” She returned her gaze to Rowan and added “...privately.”

    TAG: Open / to be continued...
    Jerjerrod-Lennox likes this.
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