Beyond X-Wing: Rakehell Squadron - upd 3/16 (Syal Antilles, Myri Antilles, pilots, original characters)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Lane_Winree, Mar 2, 2012.

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  1. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Introduction and Dramatis Personae

    Title: X-Wing: Rakehell Squadron
    Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Angst, Political Conspiracy
    Rating: PG
    Timeframe: 43-44 ABY, During FotJ
    Characters: Syal Antilles, Myri Antilles, Original Characters, Pilots
    Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars. Plots and characters belong to George Lucas, Tim Zahn, Mike Stackpole, Aaron Allston, and the rest of the EU writing fleet.
    Summary: Moff Nyla Kaartinen has retreated into the shadows, but even with her plans temporarily thwarted, she remains poised to lunge into Alliance space to wrest power away from Natasi Daala and Jagged Fel. As she waits for the opportunity to jump, Syal Antilles lobbies her superiors to begin an investigation to find out who was behind the slave revolts on Orvax IV. When Starfighter Command turns her down, General Face Loran offers her another opportunity. There is a catch, however. Syal must build a hybrid unit of starfighter pilots, military commandos, and intelligence agents. Worse, her new squadron has to masquerade as an Imperial outfit.

    Author Notes:

    Rakehell Squadron is the sequel to my last longfic, X-Wing: Rogue Diplomacy and is the final entry of a trilogy. Like that tale, Rakehell centers around the adventures and trials of Syal Antilles, daughter of the illustrious Wedge Antilles.

    This fic is set in late 43 to early 44 ABY, during the Fate of the Jedi novels. Furthermore, Rakehell Squadron is canon compliant. Currently, twelve of the planned twenty-two posts are finished, meaning I've got a solid buffer to post without interruptions. Starting today, a new chapter will go up every Friday.

    As always, if you're interested in tracking my progress or just peering into my strange, fandom addled brain, feel free to hit me up on Twitter.


    If you're interested in getting a weekly reminder PM for updates, let me know!

    ***

    DRAMATIS PERSONAE

    With Rakehell Squadron

    Commander Syal Antilles (Rakehell One)(Commanding Officer)
    Captain Jamee Farlander (Rakehell Two)(Executive Officer)
    Captain Cheriss ke Hanadi (Rakehell Three)(Combat Specialist)
    Captain Telon Salan (Rakehell Four)(Demolitions)
    Lieutenant Kessila Zorvan (Rakehell Five)(Identities and Infiltration)
    Corporal Myri Antilles (Rakehell Six)(Intelligence Specialist)
    Lieutenant Serin Renarus (Rakehell Seven)(Slicer and Communications Specialist)
    Corporal Kavi Orikan (Rakehell Eight)(Field Medic)
    Corporal Athan Makinen (Rakehell Nine)(Combat Specialist)
    Lieutenant Treg Lacer (Rakehell Ten)(Ranged weaponry)

    Support Staff

    General Pash Cracken (Information Analyst)

    With The Galactic Alliance Military

    Admiral Gavin Darklighter (Commanding Officer, Fourth Fleet)

    With Galactic Alliance Intelligence

    General Garik "Face" Loran

    With the Imperial Remnant

    Jagged Fel (Head of State)
    Moff Nyla Kaartinen
    Agent Reetat
  2. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Prologue - Scuttled

    For the crew of the Imperial Class-II Star Destroyer Thrawn, it was a rare moment of complete and total chaos.

    A flurry of shouting inundated the bridge. Young, inexperienced tactical officers struggling to keep up with the frenzied pace of combat barked status updates from the twelve TIE Defenders that had been deployed only minutes earlier in a desperate attempt to preserve the integrity of a complex operation that was falling apart at the seams. The confusion and ambient noise level increased further as the pilots of the Imperial starfighters began their attack on eleven Galactic Alliance X-Wings that were pinned between the Thrawn and the world below.

    The world that, until hours earlier, had been on the verge of a full-blown civil war.

    Amidst the furor on the bridge stood a woman in her late twenties, clad in the traditional Imperial military uniform complete with rank badges that identified her as a Moff. Even in the Empire that was fourty-four years removed from the events of Yavin, seeing a woman holding a high-ranking position on a Star Destroyer was not quite a normal occurrence. Seeing a woman that held the prestigious title of Moff was significantly more shocking. The relatively young woman wasn't opposed to taking pride in her accomplishments, having risen through the ranks of Imperial politics so quickly in life to claim power. It was a solid starting point, a springboard to what would be a remarkable political career that would extend well beyond the political borders of the Empire.

    Today, however, her accomplishments of the past weren't nearly enough to overcome the disaster of the present. The starfighter combat to the port-side of the Thrawn was the final indication that her carefully laid plans to grasp for more control of Galactic affairs had been obliterated. And by who? Three retired military jockeys and a group of underworked snubfighter pilots. All the discord she had sewn, carefully exploiting the one politically weakness that Chief of State Daala was blissfully ignoring, and it had all been for nothing. The only thing the young Moff could do now was ensure that no one be able to trace the violence on Orvax IV back to her.

    That meant the eleven Galactic Alliance starfighters and their pilots needed to vanish.

    Admiral Karracker, the commanding officer of the Thrawn, leaned towards her. "Moff Kaartinen, it's highly improbable that we can eliminate all of them. Their X-Wings are flying in circles around our TIEs. Compound that with the fact that it's Rogue Squadron and ..."

    "Leave the excuse making for when you fail, Admiral," Nyla Kaartinen spat, failing to suppress a scowl as she turned to face Karracker. "Right now I want you to do whatever it takes to make sure those pilots don't get back to Coruscant. Do I make myself clear?"

    "Yes, Moff Kaartinen."

    She felt her hands ball into fists. Though they had carefully destroyed the Holonet relay stations on the ground and in orbit, there was still more work to be done to cover their tracks. The GA pilots that were approaching the Thrawn needed to either be captured or, preferably, killed. The fewer people that had seen firsthand the evidence of a conspiracy on Orvax IV, the better. She glanced up at the holodisplay, trying to process the flurry of red and green blips darting across it.

    "Tau Six is extravehicular!" the lieutenant at one of the monitoring stations said. "Tau Four has taken damage and is pulling out of the engagement zone."

    "Give me a count on the GA starfighers," Nyla ordered.

    The lieutenant hesitated before answering. "Eleven, ma'am. No losses to the GA forces. They are coming within range of our guns, however."

    "Then open fire on them!"

    Hope for a better result was quickly diminishing. One by one the green blips representing the X-Wings skirted past the Star Destroyer's guns and into safe territory before one finally vanished into hyperspace. Nyla's stomach sank. At that precise moment, she knew that all was lost. All it would take was one
  3. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Awesome start, full of the promise of nonstop action and pilot banter LOL =D=

    I'd like PMs please when you update.

    @};-
  4. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Great exciting start and PM please
  5. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    Even in the Empire that was fourty-four years removed from the events of Yavin, seeing a woman holding a high-ranking position on a Star Destroyer was not quite a normal occurrence.

    Mm, that is very much like the Empire. Even after Isard.


    All it would take was one witness and one flight recorder from a starfighter to confirm that there was far more at play on Orvax IV than a simple slave rebellion.

    I hope that?s what happens!


    He was very good at his job, which was why Nyla probably should have listened to him.

    Yes, well her loss is our gain.


    Glad to see that this is up! :D

    Thanks for the PM
  6. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    Excellent start. I look forward to reading more. Put me on the PM list, please!
  7. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    Woohoo!!! Here we go.

    Awesome start Lane! I'm looking forward to more.
  8. alhana_antilles Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 3
    Great start! And I must confess, although I love reading about the Antilles sisters, I got most excited seeing Pash and Gavin listed in the Dramatis Personae. Even if their parts are small it definitely peeks my interest all the more. They're woefully underused so I'm looking forward to their roles.

    And thanks for the PM!
  9. Katana_Sundancer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2009
    star 4
    Intrigue ahoy!

    Corporal Myri, yay!

    And Pash! And Gavin!

    *glomps Lane* I love this story already!
  10. Nymue Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Excellent, intriguing start. Agent Reetat sounds veeeeery interesting.

    "Moff Kaartinen, it's highly improbable that we can eliminate all of them. Their X-Wings are flying in circles around our TIEs.

    That's because X-Wings kick arse and take names! TIEs, on the other hand, well ... they're just kinda there, aren't they? ;)

    Compound that with the fact that it's Rogue Squadron and ..."

    Really, that was all he really needed to say. That's all you EVER need to say!


    Looking forward to more!
  11. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Looks like an exciting start to a good pilot fic! I haven't read all of FotJ, so I might get a bit lost here and there. Oh well. PMs please?
  12. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Jade_eyes ? Thanks! I?ll add you to the PM list

    Earlybird ? Thank you! First full post is below.

    SWpants666 ? Part of the reason the Empire has stayed so small since Vision of the Future. Not nimble, unable to embrace change. Definitely shows here

    Jcgoble3 ? Thanks!

    Hazel ? Thank you!

    Alhana_antilles ? I?ve had a few people tell me they?re super excited to see Pash and Gavin in this one. Gavin is more of a side character, but Pash has a fairly important role to play.

    Kat ? Ah yes, it?s going to be a fun cast to work with!

    Nymue ?

    Excellent, intriguing start. Agent Reetat sounds veeeeery interesting.

    Reetat is a fun character. I?ve had a blast working with him as a villain of sorts, something I haven?t realy done much of.

    Really, that was all he really needed to say. That's all you EVER need to say!

    Don?t mess with the Rogues. EVER!


    Luna ? Not to worry, it?s only tangentially related to FotJ. If you could get through the last fic, this one won?t be a problem either.


    Thanks for reading all! New post below.
  13. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Chapter One - Mending

    Had it really been six months?

    Syal Antilles took one last look at the room she had occupied for that stretch of time, letting her gaze drift over the sparse contents. The bed where she had lost hours of her life crying into a pillow. The holocomm terminal she often tried to distract herself with. The small window that gave her a view of the world outside the hospital, the cruelest of teases. Swallowing, she picked up the bag containing her belongings and stepped out of the room, closing the door behind her.

    She took a steadying breath as the door hissed shut. Leaving this place left her conflicted. Sadness? No, this wasn't a moment to mourn. Melancholy? That didn't seem quite right either. Syal wasn't sure what emotion was filling her entire being. Slowly, she made her way past down the hallway and towards the mess hall, the only place where visitors had been allowed. In a rush, the memories of her stay in the Coruscant VA hospital came to the forefront of her mind. Getting into an argument with Myri and frightening half of the room. Jamee arriving unannounced and, without giving a single care in the Galaxy about her surroundings, proceeding to do anything and everything in her power to make Syal laugh.

    There was the stranger, who claimed to be little more than a man who ran a tour excursion business with his wife, who insisted that despite everything that had gone wrong, she could leave this place as a better person. The memory of her mother's arms wrapped around her when she was at the lowest point of her life. Then there was Syal's father, the strong, infallible man who broke down and wept as realization finally dawned on him that his daughter was not well.

    That would be an image that would humble Syal for the rest of her life.

    Making her way into the waiting room outside of the psychiatric wing, Syal spotted perhaps the most important person she had met over the last six months. Doctor Dela Anarioss was a recent hire by the hospital. If Syal were to ever be cornered by an overpaid administrator and asked for an opinion regarding the quality of service, she would tell them to fire every doctor in the psychiatric wing and replace them with ten Anarioss. Until being paired with her, Syal was convinced that her stay here was wasting her time and was making her worse. As it turned out, sometimes all it takes to realize there's something wrong with yourself is to meet someone willing to take a tough-love approach with you. Doctor Anarioss did just that.

    "Finally getting out of this dump, I see," the doctor noted with a smirk.

    "Oh, it wasn't so bad, three square meals a day," Syal replied. "Of course, they were three horrible meals, so ..."

    "Your sense of inappropriately timed humor is still intact, so I believe I can clear you to get out of here. If for no other reason than for me not to have to hear you snark about the 'Dathomiri witchcraft you doctors call psychiatry."

    Syal couldn't help but laugh. What a strange feeling that was, she hadn't done much of that since ... since well before she was committed to the VA hospital.

    "I believe you have some guests waiting for you outside, so get out of here and don't let me see you again," Doctor Anarioss deadpanned before her face softened somewhat. "Unless you need to talk. Remember Commander Antilles, I've given you the tools to succeed and I know that despite the fact you're jarhead snugfighter jockey, you're smart enough to use them. If all else fails, you can always ..."

    "Talk to someone," Syal finished. "I think I can do that."

    "At last, I've gotten through your thick, Corellian skull!" Anarioss said. If there was one thing Syal was going to miss, it was the Doctor's no-holds-barred sense of humor. "One more thing," she said, reaching into her coat pocket and withdrawing a datacard and handing it to Syal.

    Tilting her head, Syal turned the datacard over in her hand. "Is this ...?"

    "Yes," Anarioss confirmed. "I think you know what to do with it."

    "Well, your faith is encouraging, but I haven't the slightest idea wh
  14. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Awww! Doran is cute when flustered huh? ;) :) :) Loved the title "Mending" - it has such a hopeful proactive sound. [face_dancing] Enjoyed the Antilles' family moments.

    :D

    Understand the parental apprehension: Are you ready to dive back into work? Syal's thinking: Might as well :p - it's been way too long. o_O

    Besides the fact she once thought she never would/could do the things she loved and was good at. [face_thinking]

    Fave line: Fair amount less crazy LOL - I love her ease - with Doran and with herself as reflected there.

    @};-

  15. alhana_antilles Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 3
    Working as an aide to Gavin . . . interesting.

    And I'm looking forward to seeing where Syal and Doran's relationship goes.
  16. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Loved this beginning with the release from the hospital and meeting her family.

    And now with Doran.
  17. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    I love the way you write Myri and Syal. Perfect sisters!

    DORAN!!! :D
  18. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    Leaving this place left her conflicted. Sadness? No, this wasn't a moment to mourn. Melancholy? That didn't seem quite right either. Syal wasn't sure what emotion was filling her entire being.

    And you know what? I don?t know if I can give you the emotion either, but I completely understand what you?re trying to say.


    "Your sense of inappropriately timed humor is still intact

    [face_laugh] That is good!


    "At last, I've gotten through your thick, Corellian skull!"

    Takes a lot for them ;)


    As much fun as it is to watch daddy squirm, I probably should play nice,

    Uh, yeah. Wedge deserves that at the very least!

    I love their reactions to Syal surprising them. :)


    She almost couldn't bring herself to eat the bantha steak sitting in front of her, it was far and away the tastiest looking dish of anything she had seen in months.

    [face_laugh] Savouring it, completely understandable.

    Heh, I like how Syal was able to get the conversation going.


    "It's just desk jockeying," Syal quickly amended. "I was transferred to Command Administration and I'll be working as one of Admiral Darklighter's aides."

    "Don't you think you should take some time off?" her mother asked.


    I agree with her.
    OTOH, a desk job IS Syal?s way of working but taking off.
    And also, getting back into some sort of normalcy can help her.



    And I love Myri.

    "Well Tiom," Syal said with a small smile, "you probably would laugh if you could see the mess I've made of my life lately. But I'm getting better. I promise."

    [face_plain] Ah, Syal. This?this is a you that I am glad to see. No more pining, and?

    Doran!!! :D


    Perhaps there was no sign that signaled she was ready to move on, but she was certain of one thing. She wanted to move on, to mend her life. If nothing else, she realized, Tiom would have wanted her to do what she thought was best for herself.

    :) :)
    [face_dancing]
  19. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    Great update! Love the banter, and especially the interaction between Syal and Myri. Going to a desk job essentially is "taking off" for her; I'm waiting to see how long it will take before she's allowed behind the controls of a snubfighter again. Keep 'em coming!
  20. Katana_Sundancer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2009
    star 4
    "Your definition of 'late' is when the rest of the Galaxy is on time."

    ^This. My fave line. So very Myri, and spot on.

    Loved Syal, all her emotions, and the way she's thinking about them. Loved the reunion, and all the awkward moments, and the way Myri was helping to break the tension.

    Of course Wedge and Iella want to be super overprotective (especially Wedge). He probably wants to surround her with bubble wrap and take her home.

    Administrative aide to Gavin, eh? That's going to be interesting.

    Nice establishing of the characters, and can't wait for more.
  21. Arin_Atona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 4
    Awesome beginning, Lane!

    Syal entering the story in such a vulnerable state lends a lot of charm to the story. Looking forward to plenty of pilot banter and intrigue.
  22. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Love how the discomfort they feel at trying to figure out what to say and do comes out. You can see their love for each other and also how hard it is to understand mental illness. Great update--looking forward to more Syal successes, and maybe the snarky doctor again.
  23. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Jade Eyes ? This has to be really tough for Wedge and Iella, Wedge in particular. I am having a ton of fun writing all of them, though. Myri is an absolute blast, and she?ll be even more fun later on in the fic. Syal has definitely embraced a bit of humor to deal with her situation, which does catch people like Doran off-guard from time to time!

    Alhana_antilles ? You have to wonder though, how long will she be content with desk work?

    Earlybird ? It?s been a great experience writing this journey for Syal, to be sure.

    Hazel ? The relationship between those two has been the highlight of the fic for me so far. Absolute delights to work with.

    SWpants666 ?

    Uh, yeah. Wedge deserves that at the very least!

    I love their reactions to Syal surprising them.


    I wanted all three of them to behave a little differently. Myri excited, Wedge nervous, Iella calm

    Heh, I like how Syal was able to get the conversation going.

    I think Syal is aware people are going to be dancing around the issue for a long time. This is her way to force them to confront it.

    OTOH, a desk job IS Syal?s way of working but taking off.

    Syal?s a lot like her father. Vacations? A few months of desk work is a vacation.


    Jcgoble3 ? Oh you know it?ll only be a matter of time before she?s convinced someone to let her fly again.


    Kat ?

    Loved Syal, all her emotions, and the way she's thinking about them. Loved the reunion, and all the awkward moments, and the way Myri was helping to break the tension.

    Of the sisters, Myri is probably the most emotionally in-tune with how other people are feeling. Granted, she?s not very good about acting appropriately when she picks up on these clues ?

    Of course Wedge and Iella want to be super overprotective (especially Wedge). He probably wants to surround her with bubble wrap and take her home.

    Oh you know that?s what Wedge wants to do. He doesn?t even want her to spend the night by herself.


    Arin ? Thanks! I really wanted this to show some humanity for Syal. She may be released, but it?s still an uphill climb

    Luna ? That discomfort was a real important thing to try and portray. It?s not just hard for Syal, it?s hard for everyone around her.



    Thanks for reading all! New post below.

  24. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Chapter Two - Lobbying

    It was easy to tell that the crew aboard the bridge of the Thrawn were tired and confused. That had been mounting since the orders to take the Star Destroyer to a seemingly random and empty part of space had been issued. Six months ago. It only got worse when none of the senior staff gave follow-up orders to redirect back to Bastion or some other part of Imperial space. For months they continued to make random jumps into various unpopulated areas, well outside of sensor networks. These days, the only words uttered by the crew were routine status updates to superiors. Even Admiral Karracker, the commanding officer of the vessel, appeared to be on edge.

    Months of agitation were about to come to an end.

    The moment Nyla stepped onto the bridge, hands clasped behind her back, the atmosphere amongst the officers and console technicians went from cold to hard-vaccum icy. She ignored the crew, keeping her face neutral as she strode towards the Admiral's side, placing a hand on his shoulder and silently beckoning for him to follow. Together, they departed the bridge and stepped into a repulsorlift, silently making their way towards the hangar level. All the while, Karracker remained silent. That was good, the man knew his place. He might technically be the senior most officer aboard the Thrawn, but the Admiral knew that it was Nyla who had the ultimate say in what happened with the ship and the crew.

    Karracker was a man who knew how to just when, how high, and how often to jump. Nyla appreciated that in a subordinate. That was perhaps why he didn't so much as bat an eyelash when she led him into her personal Lambda-class shuttle. She sat in the co-pilot's position next to the waiting Agent Reetat, strapping in and giving him the go-ahead to depart the Star Destroyer. It wasn't until they were well clear of the hangar and the drifting ship that the Admiral finally spoke up.

    "I think I could do with an explanation right now," he said.

    Nyla cast a sideways glance at Reetat, a quiet signal that she didn't want to explain any of this. He merely shrugged.

    "We're covering our tracks," Reetat said, a hint of annoyance edging into his voice.

    "That will be quite difficult to accomplish if your plan involves letting a Star Destroyer drift without orders," Karracker said, folding his arms over his chest. "It's only a matter of time before someone, either the Alliance or one of Fel's people, find it."

    "I agree. That's why we're scuttling the ship."

    There was an uncomfortable beat. Then a second, followed by several dozen more before Karracker said, "What?"

    "Slow and hard of hearing," Reetat said, looking over to Nyla. "You selected him for this mission why?"

    Nyla shrugged. "He has a very fine stock of Alderaani white wine at his disposal."

    Karracker was less than amused. "That's my ship! I refuse to let you destroy her just to make up for her mistakes!" He pointed an accusatory finger at Nyla.

    Perhaps not nearly as compliant as he should be, she noted to herself. "Unless you wish to be brought before Fel, I suggest you keep your objections to yourself, Admiral."

    "Absolutely not!" he spat. "Do you have any idea just how valuable a Star Destroyer is? I've worked my whole career to get command of that ship and I am not going to just stand by and watch you make another mistake, do you understand me? I will not-"

    Without so much as a word, Nyla withdrew the holdout blaster attached to her hip and leveled a shot, placing a well placed bolt right between the Admiral's eyes. He let out a single gasp before falling out of his seat and onto the shuttle's floor, blood quickly pooling around his now deceased form. Heaving a somewhat self-serving, decidedly melodramatic sigh, Nyla turned in her seat to face the forward viewport again.

    "Pity, he really did have a fine batch of Alderaani white," she said.

    Reetat dialed a few more calculations into the navigation computer. "For the best, I suppose. If he didn't like the fact that we were going to scuttle the ship, he re
  25. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    "A matter of time"? That was really quick! Helps to be friends with the admiral. I'm looking forward to seeing what these simulations entail. :D

    Oh, and did I just watch Nyla and Reetat destroy a Star Destroyer with all hands on board in cold blood? :eek: Perhaps I should keep an eye on them...
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