Unrequited **04/01/03**

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Herman Snerd, Jun 17, 2001.

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  1. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
    *Sets out mugs of homebrew leading to thread*

    I've baited the trap. Lets see we can catch something.

  2. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

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    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    Hi RM. :D See's homebrew and decides to have a drink. Takes off leather jacket. ;) Relaxes in a nice comfy chair to wait.
  3. Padawan_Di-Lee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2000
    star 4
    Someone told me there were beverages to be had here. :D

    Hi, ladies!!

    Di-Lee looks around, snatches up a pint, & takes a long draw.

    Aaahhhhhh. That's better. Hiccup (Okay, so I'm a lightweight.)

    So where's the rest of the entertainment? ;)
  4. womp_rat208 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1999
    star 4
    It comes in pints?! I'm getting one! ;)

    *pokes herman* You can't let this die now that it has been found again, ya know. ;)
  5. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

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    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    So where's the rest of the entertainment?

    Herman's not here, he's off somewhere neglecting his obligations to us. So Herman, since you can't come up with a post, you're going to have to find some other way to entertain us. ;)
  6. Padawan_Di-Lee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2000
    star 4
    Hey, Womp_rat! Between your post & your sig I've got an itch to watch FOtR, again. There goes another four hours of my life. ;)

    But since there's no sign of a post (or the author) here, it seems like there's nothing else to do anyway. :p ;)
  7. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
    *brings in pretzels*

    party time!

    Uhhmmm. We should probably talk about Herman's fic. got to be official.
  8. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Patience, for the homebrewer it is time to drink as well. ;)

    Thanks for the show of support, folks. :) It makes me feel good to know that my poor neglected story hasn't been forgotten.

    I assure that work is proceeding, albeit at a snail's pace. I'll make no promises, but the ending keeps getting closer and closer.
  9. womp_rat208 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1999
    star 4
    *bows to di-lee* Pleased to be at your service. Just call me Mattigan Took. ;)
  10. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Just a shortie to get back in the flow. Believe it or not there's actually more written, but I'm just being a tease here. :p

    For those who don't remember exactly what's going on, just ask around and maybe somebody remembers. ;) :p


    **********


    Their first hurdle was getting past the security door that led to the administration section of the Vulcaran mining colony. That morning they had been able to simply submit a grievance and they had eventually been allowed entry to meet with Turq. This time there was nobody to let them in.

    Malko waited back among the chairs that compromised the waiting area while Jaina proceeded to the security door. He was attempting to appear aloof while actually keeping watch for anyone that might happen by. This was complicated by the fact that he was still unsure, despite Jaina?s repeated assurances, that a lightsaber would be able to slice through the meter long duralloy bolt.

    The sound of Jaina?s lightsaber igniting startled Malko slightly, sounding much louder than he remembered. Cautiously he peered back around the corner to make sure they were alone. Meanwhile, a steady hum let him know that his partner was still at work. Then, after what seemed an impossibly short amount of time, the noise ceased and Malko looked back to see that Jaina had returned to the waiting area and was motioning for him to follow.

    When Malko arrived at the door he was surprised to see ? aside from some molten rock that was still glowing ? that there was next to no apparent damage. Wondering for a second whether his concerns had been correct, Malko was instantly relieved to see the door opening out toward them. It took a moment for him to realize that the door seemed to be swinging open on its own, but a quick glance at Jaina answered the question of what was moving the heavy door.

    Without a word each of them grabbed a small bag of supplies that they had brought along and entered the tunnel that would eventually lead them to the administrative offices. Once inside, Malko grabbed the oversize door handle and muscled the door closed while Jaina opened the bag she had brought and retrieved from it a short length of cable. As soon as the door was closed again, Jaina looped the cable through the handle and then through a stanchion that she?d stuck into the rock wall. With a little adjustment to make the cable taut, the door was effectively locked again ? as far as someboy on the other side could tell. Unfortunately, it also meant that an avenue of escape in case of emergency was effectively blocked. However, it wasn?t their only means of escape.

    During their prior examination of the data that had bee sliced from the primary mainframe, Jaina had noticed something odd. A segment of the maintenance records had been encrypted. This had appeared unusual enough for Jaina to open the file. In it were records concerning the weekly inspection and upkeep of several single occupant escape capsules, presumably there to allow for the safe evacuation of key personnel in case of a catastrophic pressure breach. A little further digging had uncovered that there were fifteen such capsules ? twelve of which were housed in the crater rim expanding outward from the top levels of the administrative offices.

    It wasn?t much, but that knowledge allowed Malko and Jaina just a small bit of comfort as they stealthily climbed the steps and began to cautiously make their way up the curving corridor. There was only one office in this portion of the tunnel ? belonging to Turq and his single aide ? and its door was closed. Once they were past it the pair increased their pace until they reached the small cluster of windows they?d noted in their previous visit. Now they were at the bottom of the fissure that housed the administrative and accounting offices of Lawrek?s enterprise. The easy part was over.
  11. womp_rat208 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1999
    star 4
    *gasp* A post! Holy crap! ;)

    Well, I was a bit confused at first, but then I vaguely remembered what was going on, so I think I know what they're doing. Or, at the very least, know that they just broke into the place. LOL

    Nice detail, as always. Glad to know you've been working on this. ;)
  12. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
    Dang, I should have put the beer out sooner.

    They're in. Can't wait to see what happens next.

    *Leaves more homebrew for the author*
  13. Padawan_Di-Lee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2000
    star 4
    Ah, so that's how Jaina came to be where she was at the beginning...

    Nice to see you writing again, Herman. Don't keep us waiting too long. ;)

    In the meantime...

    Cheers, Mattigan! :D

  14. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Holy Gonk! Consecutive updates on consecutive days! :eek: ;)


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


    The ever-present storm that had been swirling that morning was now impossible to see. Even during the brightest part of the day barely any sunlight reached the planet?s surface. During the nights it was completely black. Yet still, the offices on Vulcara ? and in effect every other part of the operation ? operated in rhythm with the cycle of day and night.

    ?I don?t sense anyone nearby,? Jaina whispered as they paused in front of the doors to the central lift. ?Do we risk taking the lift??

    Malko seriously considered Jaina?s question. There was a certain sense of audacity to the suggestion that was apealling. It would certainly be unexpected for anyone to attempt such a thing, but at the same time it was much simpler for security to log unauthorized movement on the lift than it was for them to monitor the stairwells. In the end, caution won out over audacity.

    ?We?ll take the stairs,? Malko decided with a nod toward the sealed door to his right. ?It?s only seven levels up,? he added with a wry grin.

    With their ascent route chosen, Malko and Jaina proceeded wordlessly through the stairwell door and began to slowly negotiate their way up the dark, empty stairs. Though they moved slowly, the mental stress of their task was beginning to work on them and by the time Jaina raised her hand to halt them at the sixth level, both agents were already sweating.

    Malko was a bit surprised when Jaina motioned for them to stop and was even more surprised when she turned and flashed him a look of warning before indicating that they should retreat back down the stairs. Once back down on the fifth level, Jaina grabbed Malko?s shoulder to stop him and the two agents crouched in the darkness.

    ?Sentries,? Jaina answered in response to Malko?s unasked question.

    ?How many?? Malko whispered back.

    ?Not sure. At least five, but I?m not sure they?re in the stairwell,? Jaina answered. ?I?m going to head back up to check it out.?

    ?Not without me,? Malko shot back a little louder than he?d intended. Though his training told him that it was easier for one person to approach with stealth than two, every cell of his being rebelled against the idea of letting Jaina head off toward unknown danger without him at her side.

    ?Be reasonable, Malko,? Jaina argued, managing to restrain her voice with more success than Malko. ?I don?t have to get nearly as close as you do to know where any guards are stationed. Now don?t argue, sit tight, and I?ll be right back. That?s an order.?
  15. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
    *thunk* Two days in a row.

    Jaina's getting a bit bossy there. As I mentioned before her over confidence could be a problem. I'm worried about Malko.

    *sets out more beer* Third times a charm. ;)
  16. womp_rat208 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1999
    star 4
    Whoo, ever deeper (or is it higher? LOL) into the madman's lair. Hark, evil henchmen. Holy melted bolts Batman. ;)

    Good stuff Herman.
  17. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

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    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    Not bad. Jaina's going to regret leaving him. It's good to see you writing again. Send me some inspiration. :)
  18. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    *thunk* Two days in a row.



    Yeah, hard to believe ain't it?
  19. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Herman hits the trifecta. ;)


    This will be it until Tuesday. Believe it or not I actually have weekend plans. :eek:

    So read slow.


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


    Without waiting for her partner to counter, Jaina spun around and retraced her path back up the stairs, leaving Malko waiting alone in the darkness. At first Malko counted almost every second that Jaina was gone, but as the seconds stretched into minutes, a nagging impulse urged him to ignore Jaina?s command and follow after her. As the minutes dragged on the impulse only grew as he grimly imagined one scenario after another in which Jaina had fallen into danger and was waiting for his assistance. Rationally Malko knew that the continued silence was a positive indicator that Jaina was still safe and undiscovered, but the absence of any sound at all gave no solace to the myriad worries that churned through his mind.

    Finally, Malko was knocked out of his reverie when he heard footsteps approach him from above. He could only assume it was Jaina returning, but his hand automatically went to the collapsible fighting staff that was tucked away in an easily accessible pocket on his right thigh. He held it ready as the sound of the footsteps became more noticeable and tensed himself for a possible conflict, but his uncertainty was quickly replaced by relief when Jaina reappeared.

    ?Well?? Malko asked eagerly.

    ?The guards are all on the seventh level, but that?s not our problem,? Jaina answered mysteriously before continuing. ?Above the sixth level there?s no more access to the administrative complex. The stairs continue upward but there are no more doors until the tenth level, which is as high as the stairway goes.?

    ?What about the guards??

    ?The only ones I could sense were on the seventh level and inside the complex, not in the stairwell. From what I could tell they seemed pretty alert and focused,? Jaina said, still speaking softly but not bothering to whisper anymore.

    ?Well that?s just great,? Malko said despondently. ?The only guarded level is naturally the one we?re headed for.?

    ?That?s what I thought,? Jaina replied with a cryptic smile. ?Do you remember how many levels were listed on the lift control pad??

    Malko shook his head. When they had been in the lift with Turq he?d only paid attention to which button Turq had pressed ? the button for the seventh level. He hadn?t bothered to notice anything else.

    ?There were nine levels listed for selection in the lift, but there are ten levels of stairs,? Jaina explained. ?So why is there a missing level somewhere??

    ?Because that?s where the vault is,? Malko answered unnecessarily.

    ?That?s my bet,? Jaina agreed. ?It makes sense that the lower administrative floors have access to the stairs in case of emergency, but connecting those stairs to the vault level is just another possible security risk.?

    Malko nodded along as the pieces fell into place. The greatest safety risk to the mining complex would be massive overpressurization if some careless miner breached the surface of the planet and allowed the Vulcaran atmosphere inside the complex. For that reason the the entire complex was compartmentalized; the hangar, the mine itself, and the administration offices were all separate facilities with pressure doors to allow one part to survive if another became compromised.

    The administration complex had at least a dozen escape capsules spread out along the crater rim and the staff needed a secondary route to reach them, which necessitated the stairs where they currently stood. Security for the valuable chameleon stones, however, likely dictated that there be only one entrance to the vault level, presumably via the central lift or possibly a secondary lift to which only a few staffers would have access.

    In effect, the administrative complex was divided into two parts that were only connected in two places - the central lift, which serviced the entire complex, and at the top level where the emergency stairs re-connected with the upper half of the facility to provide access
  20. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
    Aren't we included in your weekend plans? ;)

    So close to the vault. At least nothing happened to Malko - yet.

    Be back on Tuesday.
  21. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

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    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    This will be it until Tuesday. Believe it or not I actually have weekend plans.

    How far away Tuesday seems. You mean we could get more? //faints.

    Aren't we included in your weekend plans?

    LOL, RM.

  22. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Aren't we included in your weekend plans?


    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: No, you're not.



    And be warned, I have plans for the upcoming weekend too. :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
  23. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    As advertised...


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


    Jaina and Malko returned to the bottom level without incident. Once the call button for the lift was pressed, they both readied their weapons just in case there was a guard stationed on the lift itself, but when the doors parted the lift car was empty. Almost nervous at their good fortune thus far, the two agents stepped into the lift and pressed the button that Turq had pressed that morning when taking them to Lawrek?s office. A small, doubting part of Jaina half-expected an alarm of some sort to go off to indicate unauthorized after hours use of the lift, but the system seemed fully automated and the doors closed without a hint of protest and they immediately felt themselves moving upward.

    As they rose, Jaina extended her senses to scan for any potential hostile reception when they reached the seventh level, or rather the floor that was officially labelled as the seventh. She soon recognized the feeling of the same guards she had noted earlier and was pleased when she felt the lift car pass those guards and continue upward. There was no one waiting for them and she just had time to give Malko a reassuring nod before the lift stopped and the doors opened to reveal a semi-lit corridor.

    Malko crouched low and stuck his head out into the corridor and gave a quick look in both directions before clutching the small equipment bag a little more tightly and dashing down the corridor to the right. His eyes scanned for danger the entire time but he never slowed until he reached the door to Lawrek?s private office.

    Jaina followed just behind Malko, though her eyes were watching for any activity in the direction from which they?d just come. Knowing that they were completely exposed while in the corridor, Jaina wasted little time once she caught up with Malko. Immediately she placed her lightsaber against the door and ignited the blade, effortlessly slicing through the locking mechanism. Just as quickly the blade was extinguished and Malko was sliding the door open.

    Once they were both inside and the door was closed again, they took a moment to catch their breath. It was almost impossible to control their excitement now that their goal was in sight, but after that momentary pause, they both moved on to their pre-assigned tasks.

    Jaina stood alert at the door with her weapon still drawn, ready in case anyone had noticed their entry or happened by on some random security check. Malko set his equipment bag down on the floor behind Lawrek?s desk and retrieved the self-contained module used to slice into the computer network. After a cursory inspection, he plugged it into the computer outlet. Immediately the module whirred to life and began searching for and downloading every file in the secondary computer system.

    Malko and Jaina could only stand by and wait as it worked.

    For the next ten minutes the only sound in the room was the hum from the computer terminal. Occasionally Jaina and Malko would exchange a nervous glance, but neither said anything to break the growing inner tension that they felt simply from the act of waiting.

    The night before it had taken just over an hour for themodule to dowload the contents of the main computer network. It was a reasonable guess that the secondary system would be considerably smaller, but both agents were surprised when the module shut down after only ten minutes and showed that it had completed its task.

    ?That was quick,? Malko quipped before removing the module from the socket and stowing it back in the equipment bag. As soon as the bag was slung over his shoulder, Malko reached into a secure pouch on his belt and pulled out a small transmitter. ?Ready to call in the fleet??
  24. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
    You know things are going to completely fall apart when everything goes smoothly in the beginning. Thanks for being so prompt ;)

    Random comment: I just happened to notice that all of your readers are 4 stars.
  25. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    I just happened to notice that all of your readers are 4 stars.

    Yeah, they all are pretty darn great. :D


    Hopefully those ugly stars will be gone soon.
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