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Saga Last of the Empire - Post-ROTJ AU (Firmus Piett, Imperials, OCs) - Chapter 2 - 8/23

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Admiral Volshe, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Last of the Empire
    [​IMG]

    Era: Beyond (Very end of ROTJ and onwards)
    Genre: Epic AU, adventure, drama, action. Plus just a little fluff :)
    Characters: Firmus Piett, Maximilian Veers, Tiaan Jerjerrod, Jost Gherant, Ysanne Isard, Sate Pestage, OCs.
    Summary: Firmus and Jost survive the Battle of Endor, but the war is far from over. Sate Pestage claims the throne and chooses Ysanne as his advisor. The Imperials have hope that new leadership will mean the Empire will change for the better, distancing itself from the Sith. Ysanne has never been one to serve however, and it soon becomes clear she has plans of her own. On the other side, the Rebellion is planning to thrust a vibroblade into the Empire's heart - hoping to destroy it once and for all.

    Disclaimer: As usual, pretty much none of this is mine. Just the OCs, fanon, and the order of words in the posts. Credit to where credit is due, and thanks to GL and Disney :)

    Dramatis Personae:
    (Some first names are my creation. This list may be updated as time goes on.
    Other disclaimer, not all these characters are major or even secondary).
    The POV is of Imperials - but that doesn't mean it's only the Imperial side.

    The Pietts
    Firmus Piett (male human)
    Valyn Piett (female human)
    Zeven Piett (male human)
    Callista Piett (female human)
    Keirei Piett (female human)


    Imperials
    Ysanne Isard (female human)
    Sate Pestage (male Pau'an)
    Antoiz Obelon (male human)
    Thurax'eni'avathros (female Chiss)
    Thanos Altair (male human)
    Maximilian Veers (male human)
    Jost Gherant (male human)
    Tiaan Jerjerrod (male human)
    Silvia Dol (female half-human, half-Arkanian)
    Parthavirius Lorenthus Odenthal III (male human)
    Ashaa Reb (female Togruta)
    Atelia Vandron (female human)
    Chandrila Tajis (female human)
    Jori M'iin (male Mirialan)
    Ria Drellik (female human)
    Tulan Oqu'tra (male Theelin)
    Xone Nnqueubss (male Kaleesh)
    Oren Tarthis (human male)
    Tion Veekan (male Hamadryas)
    Chi-sen (male Talz)
    Jianna Wessex (female human)
    Jom Sartori (male human)
    Kerra Zatane (female human)
    Natalya Zhel (female human)
    Arkonius Curran (male human)
    Elgin Cvetkovic (male human)
    Grenz Adras (male Zeltron)
    Ruen Caladrian'ath (male human)


    47th Squadron:
    Kazic Drexel (male human)
    Ras Nomante (male human)
    Aden Resk (male human)
    Devon Treidum (male human)
    Laana Marquand (female human)


    Trebor Ralt (male human)
    Irmina DeRyth (female Umbaran)

    Cameos/smaller roles for:
    -Rogue Squadron
    -Luke Skywalker (male human)
    -Leia Organa (female human)
    -Han Solo (male human)
    -Threepio (droid!)
    -Artoo (droid!)
    -Mon Mothma (female human)
    -Crix Madine (male human)
    -Carlist Rieekan (male human)

    Darth Valikus (male human)
    Lord Luxios (female human)

    Important Information:
    -Biographies are mostly fanon, due to the change of canon.
    -More minor canon information will be added in footnotes as required. A wiki may be added, depending on the amount of information that comes from the second half of this. :)

    Ranks of the Empire:
    [​IMG]

    Branches of the Empire:
    Basic overview, though truthfully this is a lot more detailed.
    [​IMG]

    Uniforms
    Rank and branch plus division are depicted by rank bar and coloration of code cylinders.
    Imperial Navy:
    Black and/or olive.
    -Officers: Olive uniform. Rank bar as depicted above. Code cylinders are silver with blue tops.
    -Enlisteds: Olive uniform. Rank bar as depicted above. Code cylinders are silver with blue tops. Crewmen may also wear special blue-grey flight suits with patches. Code cylinders in those are worn on the arm, just below the shoulder patch.
    -Pilots: On duty: flight suit. Off duty: black uniform. Patches are worn on flight suit indicating rank. Code cylinders are silver with blue top.
    -Planetary Defense Forces: Olive uniform if capital ship, black if flight. Pilot uniforms are the same as pilots. Code cylinders are silver with blue top and black stripe around the top.
    -Engineering Corps: Only up to sublieutenant. Black jumpsuit or uniform. Rank bars indicate rank with uniform, patches indicate rank otherwise. Patches appear as an Imperial logo stating “engineering corps” in basic, with stripes indicating rank below it.
    -Naval Technologies: Division of COMPNOR, thus olive uniforms with COMPNOR rank bars.
    -Naval Intelligence: ISB uniform with naval officer code cylinders.

    Imperial Armed Forces
    For all special divisions, patches on jumpsuits may indicate rank.
    -Ground Transport: Specialized jumpsuits with patches. Black uniform with silver code cylinders with red tops.
    -Assault Armoured Vehicles: Specialized grey jumpsuits, or white armor, though commanders may wear olive armour instead bearing rank bar. Uniform is black for enlisteds, olive for officers. Code cylinders are silver entirely.
    -Stormtrooper Corps: Armour is white with pauldron indicating speciality. Rank is indicated by striped notches on pauldron or shoulder. When not in armour, a black uniform is worn by enlisteds with rank bars and silver and red code cylinders. Officers wear olive with silver and red code cylinders.
    -Armed Forces Intelligence: ISB uniform with armed forces officer code cylinders.
    -Armed Forces Technologies: Division of COMPNOR, olive uniform with COMPNOR rank bars.
    -Armed Forces Engineering Corps: Black jumpsuit or uniform. Patches differ from the naval division in color.
    -Planetary Defense Forces: Almost identical to Stormtrooper Corps. The exception is entirely silver cylinders with a black stripe around the top.
    -Elite Operations Division: Code cylinders have a gold stripe around the top but are silver. In armor, a gold stripe is added. Pauldrons are entirely black.

    Imperial Intelligence:
    Red uniforms for officers, grey for below Special Agent. Code cylinders differ in shape (rounded with raised circle on the end, like this)
    -Technical operations: Code cylinders are silver with blue top and black stripe around the top.
    -Field Agents: Silver code cylinders with blue top. Alternate field uniforms.
    -Elite Operations Division: Silver code cylinders with gold stripe around the top,
    -Ministry of Justice and Public Safety: Grey uniforms with black code cylinders.

    Government:
    Olive uniforms for officers, grey for enlisted. Code cylinders differ in shape from military. See Grand Moff Tarkin.
    -Planetary government: Usually grey uniform, black topped silver code cylinder.
    -Sector Government: Grey or olive uniforms, silver code cylinder with dark grey top.
    -System Government: Grey or olive uniforms, silver code cylinder entirely.
    -Government Regulation Agency: Grey or olive uniforms. Blue topped silver code cylinder.

    COMPNOR:
    COMPNOR: Dark grey uniforms.
    ISB: White top, black pants. Rank bars follow that of COMPNOR. Code cylinders are typical silver. Those who served as law enforcement officials wore deep green uniforms with alternate rank bars. Both also had alternate field uniforms that were lightly armoured with patches and stripe on the pants.
    Imperial Biological Corps (BioCorps): Specialized lightly armoured olive field uniforms with black pants and olive stripe. Patches indicated rank and membership of the BioCorps.
    Imperial Reclamation Service (IRS): Olive field uniforms with black pants and yellow stripe.
    Imperial Medical Service: Grey-blue field uniforms.

    The minister wore two golden pins on their collar with the symbol of their ministry. Other officers wore silver pins.
    Ministry of Science and Technology: Dark grey uniforms, with blue and silver rank bars.
    Ministry of Justice and Public Safety: Law enforcement officials, see ISB. Dark grey uniforms were otherwise worn, with entirely silver code cylinders.
    Ministry of Health and Wellness: Dark grey uniforms, with red and silver rank bars.
    Ministry of Transportation: Dark grey uniforms, black and silver code cylinders.
    Ministry of Trade and Revenue: Dark grey uniforms for most officials with dark grey and silver code cylinders. Customs officials wore dark blue lightly armoured uniforms, with both rank bar and patches indicating their station.
    Ministry of Information and Culture: Dark grey uniforms, with gold and silver code cylinders.
    Sub-Adult Group: Dark grey uniforms with collar pins. No code cylinders.

    TBC


    (Further information that is not explained in depth will be placed here).


    Fanon Links:

    Reserved for the future.
    (These links will likely contain spoilers!)
     
  2. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    NightWatcher91 , Nyota's Heart



    1

    "Too late!" Jost Gherant yelled, only milliseconds before the rogue A-wing ripped into the bridge.

    An eerie silence fell upon the bridge as the disabled, sparking shell of Green Leader's ship exploded through the viewport of the Executor. A massive blast of flame rolled viciously through the bridge, before a deafening blast of shattering transparisteel and metal followed it. Crewmen ducked from their controls, trying futilely to block themselves from the overwhelming heat. Klaxons screamed angrily at the crew. An ear-splitting screech joined in as the oxygen quickly drained from the bridge. The protective durasteel plating was slower than the air's rapid pace and it began to pull the struggling crew towards the open maw of space. The cloud of flame billowed further out, enveloping everything in its path. Time slowed to a crawl. Cries of pain and fear were drowned out in the roar of the explosion.

    Firmus Piett dove for cover, landing just beside the crew pit with a thud he could only feel in the roaring explosion. A tsunami of flame rolled over his head, the painful heat clinging to his skin and uniform. Another explosion bloomed from the rear wall, leaving an empty, charred maw in its place.

    The air howled around him deafeningly, the air pressure of the bridge lowering with each second. He could feel the pull of the air around him, roaring past his ears. Grabbing for his body, it attempted to tear him away and throw him violently into the cosmos. But that wasn't all. There were flames. The consoles around him were crushed by the A-wing's destructive path, and walls of fire leapt from their crippled frames. The crewmen pits were filled with smoke and fire, the rows of men lost behind the curling orange talons. The remaining walls of the bridge were jagged. Metal beams hung down limply in the spaces left behind.

    He managed to shove himself to his feet and instinctively glanced around, searching for Jost while attempting to step forward. To his surprise, Jost was already ahead. He clung to the jagged edges of the wall, using it to guide him against the savage vacuum of space. He was making his way towards a single steel door. Even more surprising was the single crewman already at the door. Despite his charred skin, despite his glaring wounds, he had survived as well. Firmus scanned the room quickly before realizing why the crewman was standing there.

    The escape pod.

    Lord Vader had placed it in the schematics, despite advice against it. It was illogical that such a feat of engineering as the Executor would require it. Yet, here they were. Firmus recognized they had seconds before the vicious flames overtook them. That was, if the air pressure did not succeed first. The klaxons were already blaring, clashing with each other as the Executor continued to crumble. He only had one option. One option between life and death. Adrenaline burst into his veins, his singed skin suddenly pulsing with energy. Ignoring the roar of air around him, he pushed forward. The crewman noticed him and started waving frantically, his other hand desperately clutching a console, fighting the current of air.

    Jost gasped for air, the sound echoing sickeningly, before Firmus realised that he too, was unable to breathe. He sputtered, his mind recalling for a quick second those that Lord Vader had executed. A shudder rolled through him, before he snapped back to reality.

    Another klaxon chimed in as Firmus tried to break through the wall of escaping air. This one, the vacuum shield. It would only last mere seconds, he knew. It was not built to contain such a massive breach. But those seconds could mean the difference between life and certain death. The Admiral gulped down air, ignoring the fumes and heat as they scorched his throat. The vacuum around them slowed as the alarm blared again. The shields were going up.

    Using every sinew in his battered body, he charged forward.

    He caught something out of the corner of his eye, a crewman...crewwoman…at one of the consoles, flames nearly enveloping her. Orange lapped against her skin. Her teeth were clenched, her eyes nearly vacant. The flames danced in her glassy irises. They mimicked corusca gems, her pupils glistening with the tendrils of gold. She locked eyes with him, nodding, before the blaze surrounded her. A shriek escaped from the walls of fire, and he briefly shut his eyes. He knew she had overridden the shields. They weren’t supposed to activate in such a critical event, he wasn’t even sure that they would hold against the gaping wound into space. She had possibly saved their lives with her actions. Without the shield, they would be destined for the cold, cruel void around them. With them, if they held, they had a chance of survival. Firmus thanked her silently before his eyes darted back to his destination.

    Though the air surged past, he could smell the thick smoke, the heavy bitterness of chemicals and burning flesh. Accosted by the stench and gusts of wind, his eyes watered. He blinked twice, rapidly.

    Jost had already made it to the door. With the sudden release of pressure from the slowing air, he tumbled into the airlock. The crewman held the doors, continuing to wave the Admiral forward. Firmus reached them within several strides, his body beginning to scream in agony as he got to the doors. Once inside, he doubled over, slamming his hands into the airlock console. His lungs emptied with a whoosh. Another breath quickly followed, his heart starved for precious oxygen. His face contorted as vibroblades stabbed into his throat and lungs.

    "Thanos!" Firmus called, trying to summon the crewman into the airlock. It took him a split moment to realize he was calling his name, not his surname. The crewman no doubt barely recognized it after months aboard. "Altair!"”

    His eyes slid right to look at the doorway. From his position, he could see the orange glow of flames as they inevitably roared closer. Most of the bridge had been ripped from its bearings; sparking wires arced in between licks of the vicious inferno. The rear wall of the bridge was nothing more than a gaping wound with embers flooding into it. No doubt the A-wing had pummeled through, even further into the Executor’s command bridge. The whistle of escaping air began to grow even louder, accompanied once more by an alarm. The last shields were failing. In less than seconds there would be nothing left between them and space. In seconds, they would be subjected to its unforgiving emptiness.

    The air was rushing even faster into the abyss of space now. It screamed past his ears and he clamped onto the console in front of him, bracing for the vacuum. A panting voice came from behind the Admiral. He could barely hear the footsteps of the crewman as he approached. Firmus could hear the grimace in his words.

    "Admiral…Sir....it's Altair...I'm here sir, close the airlock. Fast."

    Firmus turned a single knob before hitting a flashing orange button. The walls around them began to creak and the durasteel door behind him slammed shut, the last hiss of oxygen hurtling out towards the cosmos. With a deafening crack, the escape pod door seal popped and Jost shoved the door open. A smaller crack echoed flatly in the room. Jost let out a low moan as his arm fell limply to his side.

    Altair stood back, allowing them both to get inside. Firmus dove in, ignoring the stabs of pain that threatened to take his breath away. Jost followed. He moved much more gingerly, wincing with the slightest move. Both of them settled in benches near the control panel. The pod was far from spacious, with only a few benches, cabinets, and a small control station within. The emergency power was activated as well. Only two lights glowed and the air filters were at minimum power, resulting in a dim and stale atmosphere.

    A resounding blast shook the pod just as the crewman entered. Aftershocks rocked them before the pull of gravity yanked them towards one side of the small ship. Firmus clutched the bench around him, his legs nearly dangling as they began to angle downwards. Within the pod, a proximity alarm began to blare. The Admiral knew they were in the gravity well of the Death Star now. The impact would kill them all, if the Executor did not simply disintigrate first. Sweat fell from his brow, his hands shook with the fully encompassing pain. The crewman swung the door shut, yelling as his scorched skin contacted the metal. Firmus leaned towards the interior console and clung to it. He then jammed his code cylinder into its opening, before frantically flicking on the anti-gravity boosters and forcing his palm into the launch button.

    The pod trembled violently for a moment. Finally, it filled with an unusual whirring before its propulsion engines finally kicked in. It roared like a nexu before jerking forward. The trio was shoved to their seats as the pod forced its way out of the Death Star's artificial gravity. Firmus closed his eyes. The sudden pressure made his head pound and his chest burn with excruciating pain. Thanos and Jost both lie across the benches, their breathing labored. He knew they were most likely even more wounded than he was. With each sharp breath, he hoped that they hadn’t been too late. The Death Star’s gravity was powerful, designed to trap small ships. The escape pod was barely even a small ship, built with only the bare necessities and only ordinary engines. They continued to shake as the pod fought against the pull of gravity, forcing its way up towards the stars.

    Firmus gazed out the smaller viewport, towards the shrinking Death Star and Executor. In mere seconds, the once grand ship of Lord Vader crumpled to the dystopian surface of the space station. Flames licked out greedily before being extinguished from the lack of oxygen. With a final fireball forcing its way outward from the wreck, the Executor folded upon itself and exploded forcefully into insignificant bits of space debris.
    The small pod floated further, now through the debris that remained of the Executor. The fractured remains created an arrhythmic cadence as they hit the small ship's exterior. Firmus leaned his head back against the cool steel wall, counting the seconds as they ticked by painfully. Shadows chased at the edges of his vision as he fought to stay conscious.

    He opened his eyes only as the pod began to slow. Looking out one mediocre viewport, he saw that they had begun to approach another Star Destroyer. Its grey hull cut through space and intermittent blasts of red and green danced around it.
    He reached tentatively to the control panel, before catching a glimpse of his arm. It was covered in melted fabric, spots of blackened skin in between the large patches of olive green. His stomach lurched. Despite his many years in the Empire, he had never seen something as disturbing as his own flesh ravaged by flames. Trying to gain his bearings, ignoring the searing pain and nausea, he reached for the comm system to put out a distress call. His throat ached as he spoke the words. Each breath shot pain through him. The flame had scorched his lungs. The landing on the deck had crushed his ribs. The image of his arm was burnt behind his eyelids and he fought the nausea it brought, breathing slowly. Using his other hand, Firmus flicked a switch. The comm lit up, a soothing beep indicating that the channel was open. His hoarse voice flooded the cramped escape pod.

    "Imperial Fleet, this is...Admiral Piett…with Gherant...and Altair...", he gasped, "requesting... immediate...assistance, sending tracking...and...ID signals now."

    With one last switch, he transmitted the data to any of the hundreds of Imperial ships surrounding them. A breath stuck in his chest, the pain dizzying. The dim light in the pod pulsed in his eyes with every beat of his strained heart. He took a moment to compose himself, hoping to resend the message. A transmission broke through before he could even catch his breath again. He fell back against the durasteel wall, relief mixing with the vertigo. The man's voice was cool, collected, yet tinged with disbelief.

    "This is Rear Admiral Obelon of the ISD Eminence. We have your location and are nearby. If you can, deactivate the remaining thrusters. We will have you safe aboard soon, sir."

    "Send…a medical team with as well," he breathed, his voice raw from the searing heat. Force, were they lucky. Two out of tens of thousands.

    "Acknowledged," the reply came quickly, with an unusual urgency.

    Firmus extended one arm to the other side of the control panel, wincing as he turned the dial until the thrusters stopped. The pod stopped shuddering and went quiet. Only the breath sounds of his comrades and the gentle hum of the life support systems remained. The lights flickered, for a moment only the glow of the stars lit the small room. Jost shifted and Firmus looked toward him. His face was nothing less than drenched in blood, his uniform saturated as well. An ashen color slowly crept into his cheeks as more blood dripped down. Thanos was sitting up and pressing a shred of fabric to Jost's temple, but it did very little to suppress the hemorrhaging. Their harsh breathing filled the confined space with a discordant symphony.

    Firmus clutched his ribs as another violent stab of pain shot through him. He heaved, grasping his chest even more tightly as his stomach’s painful spasms took his breath. It was then he realized that he too was bleeding. His chest was damp, his hand now dyed a dull scarlet. A bead of crimson rolled from his mouth as he exhaled warily, glancing out the viewport. He cautiously wiped it away, anticipating his arm and aching ribs to protest.

    The ISD seemed enormous now, dwarfing the pod they were in. They were close, and rapidly getting closer. Firmus could make out the forms of ships darting around the Star Destroyer, sending out blasts of green in exchange of the volleys of red.

    The comm system crackled to life again. A younger voice spilled through the speaker this time.

    "Admiral..Sir, this is the ISD Eminence. You are nearly within range of our tractor beam. Prepare for docking."

    He was obviously inexperienced. Nervous. But in that moment none of the men cared. The Eminence was their savior. The pod lurched once more as it caught in the tractor beam and began to ascend towards the hangar. Firmus let his head roll back and closed his eyes, focusing on the increasing vibration. He counted the seconds. Each shudder was stronger than the last, and with each second the tractor beam brought them closer to the Eminence.

    His breaths ached, his throat narrowed, and every inch of him roared with pain. But they were safe. Far away from the flames, from the blaring klaxons, from the destruction. Almost delirious with pain, Firmus mouthed the word.

    Safe.
     
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Thanks for the tag, and wow, great heart-stopping action! Safe is right. =D=
     
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  4. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2006
    That's a great mix of intense detail and Humanity, V! =D=
     
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  5. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Yay, it's finally here. :) Knowing that you love Piett as much as I love Teebo, one thing is for sure - this will be written straight from the heart. One advice, though: don't hurry the chapters, by any means. Make it perfect.

    What's best about the first chapter is that this could have probably happened for real. One single small spaceship could not have caused the whole Star Destroyer to blow up, given where it was hit, so this seems like a possibility. The only thing I am not sure is how much the vacuum of space would've affected everybody on the long run, but I guess we're yet to see how fine or not fine they are in the next chapter.

    The action was top-notch! In terms of little details, I loved how they were all on first name basis in the face of death.
     
  6. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    You're welcome! And thank you for reading and the reviews! :D

    Thank you!!! @};-


    Yes, it will be. :D I've been working on this for two years, so it's hopefully not going to come across as rushed.

    Definitely we will follow up with them, vacuums and fiery explosions don't usually do a body good :p

    Thank you :D
     
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  7. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Ewok Poet , Nyota's Heart , NightWatcher91

    This...is long. I don't think I've written a chapter this long in years.

    2

    With a large thud, the pod settled onto the docking bay's floor. The shock of landing pulled a scream from Jost, who was now white as Hoth. Firmus let his eyes wander to the viewport, not wanting to see his comrade so gravely injured again. He no longer had the energy to vanquish the images from his mind. Another voice came through. Once more, it was the Rear Admiral. His words narrated the scene through the viewport. A throng of medics and engineers were outside. Beyond them, soldiers stood guard, amongst them were groups of pilots and naval officers.

    "Sir, the door seal is almost inoperable due to the explosion...the manual override failed. Our engineers are working to extract everyone. It will only take minutes, at most."

    He could see the flash of torches and machinery outside; they were already working on opening the pod. Within seconds, their tools were cutting through the heavy steel door. He closed his eyes again, listening as the plasma torches melted through. The seconds ticked by, each second the vertigo and pain worsened. Sleep tugged at him, inviting him away from the waves of pain and nausea. A couple of slow blinks forced the sensation back to the edges of his mind.

    The Admiral continued to gaze outside, watching pilots rush to their stations. TIEs and Interceptors were taking off every few seconds, the enormous hangar now almost empty. The remaining officers barked orders. He could see the sweat on their brows and almost hear the wrath in their orders. Their faces were stern, as were the pilots. A few pilots cautiously glanced towards the pod. Despite the viewport being glazed in reflective material, his eyes locked with theirs. The concern and determination in their eyes only lasted a few moments before they turned back to the officers.

    Finally, he heard the hiss of air as the seal was broken. He released a breath, not realizing he had been holding it for so long. The buzz of the plasma torches and machinery now permeated the small room. The vibrant orange of molten durasteel cast a glow on them now. He tried to focus on the progress, the pain still threatening to overwhelm him. He lifted his left arm, remarkably unscathed, to wipe away another trickle of blood from his mouth. His body grew impatient, his breaths more rapid now. Even the slightest noise added to his frustration. Despite the rapid work of the crew, he was agitated. He was concerned about his cohorts and their injuries, about the battle raging beyond the Star Destroyer.

    Firmus blinked, the soot and residue from the bridge still biting at his eyes.

    Jost let out a sigh and his eyes rolled back in his head. Thanos gently roused him, wincing as Jost grabbed his arm. The crewman mumbled something unintelligible and Jost released him, keeping his eyes open now.

    The pod was now filled with a stench of burning metal and the fumes of the equipment the engineers were using scalded their already raw throats. Thanos coughed, his breath hitching - no doubt from the searing pain they all felt. Jost seemed to be the only one who wasn’t afraid to breathe. His breaths were short and close together, regular and incessant. Despite his attempts, Firmus couldn’t stop his eyes from glancing back to where the crewman and Jost sat. Jost’s face was still bloodstained, drips of red falling from his chin to his lap. His face was ashen. The harsh contrast of red and white was startling. Thanos’ scrap of fabric was dripping itself as it futilely tried to control the rush of blood. Thanos was far from well himself, near half his body was burned. Blisters had already begun to form and swell. His eyes were essentially swollen shut, and his breaths were ragged. The Admiral grit his teeth, resisting the urge to heave yet again. Sweat dripped down his cheeks and stung as it raced over his wounded flesh.

    Firmus let his eyes close, waiting for the images to fade from behind his eyelids. The torches continued to purr outside. The durasteel creaked as they finally separated the door from its bearings. He counted Jost's breaths, the only thing he could focus on. Without warning the door broke away, crashing to the hangar floor. The medics rushed in, and within seconds he was on a stretcher in the hangar's cool, clean air. The burning of his skin was soothed for a moment by the sudden change, before slowly beginning to smolder again. Now supine, he could feel his blood-stained uniform stuck to his chest as he attempted to breathe.

    One of the medics cut his sleeves, trying to separate the melted fabric from his skin. Through the intense pangs, he could hear someone speak. He only noticed now his hands clenched the rounded metal of the stretcher and that his body was shaking with the inevitable onset of shock. Someone clasped his mostly uninjured hand, gently pulling it out of its claw like grasp. A brown eyed face appeared above him, short locks of auburn hair falling forward. The officer clicked a scanner above him and waited a brief second for the results. The man’s eyes narrowed before widening with concern. The scanner flashed urgently as he handed it to another young medic.

    In the distance, Firmus could hear voices. The murmuring of crew members and blare of hangar control’s instructions rang in his ears. Jost’s voice cut through them, now calling out for his son. His voice broke. The fumes and smoke had made it hoarse, fragile. Despite his weak yells, his voice was filled with pure agony. For a brief moment he remembered his own family - his parents, his wife, his children - before a wave of pain shattered the vision. He tensed again. Firmus could feel his heart drop. He wished he could not comprehend Jost’s suffering.

    Another flash of pain surged through him and his eyes snapped shut. A voice called his name. Once, then twice. He exhaled, wincing once more and letting his eyes slowly open. The voice seemed parsecs away. It was as if the man were speaking through layers of plasteel. As he spoke, a hand reached for Firmus’s uniform cap and pulled it away. The Admiral could see the extent of the damage. His hat was singed and tattered, the silver emblem danging by threads. It still smoldered, tendrils of smoke wafted into the air. Yet another of Jost’s yells echoed in the hangar.

    The voice called him again and he looked back towards the face above him. It was hazy now, swirling with the creeping blackness at the edges of his vision. Firmus blinked, trying to focus.

    “Sir, my name is Medical Officer Selzin. You are severely injured. We will do our best to take care of you, but we need to give you a high dose of symoxin to improve your chances. It may be risky, but it will also allow us to help you.”

    He nodded slowly, knowing fully well they were using the potentially poisonous anaesthetic to induce a coma. A breath rose inside his chest and he savored it for a moment, attempting to ignore the mind-numbing pain. He closed his eyes before wincing, feeling the bite of the needle and the burn of the medication as it raced towards his heart. Smothering a brief moment of anxiety, he exhaled. His heart pounded in his ears as the symoxin reached his brain. His screaming muscles began to relax and his mind quieted. Finally, he would escape the pain. Hearing his comrade’s yell once more, feeling one last jolt of pain, he let his heavy eyelids fall.

    In mere seconds, he was encompassed by calm darkness and the comfort of sleep.

    ---

    “Look alive, men. We’ve got two VIPs onboard the Eminence, and the Rebels aren’t going to let us out of here without a fight.” Obelon’s voice patched through their comms.

    “Right, sir.” Kazic Drexel nodded and flicked on his stabilizers. This was going to be interesting, but nothing the 57th couldn’t handle. He’d been squadron commander for 4 standard years now. He’d been flying for 8. Before that, he was breaking records at the Imperial Academy. As far as he was aware, he still held those records. He held his team to the same standards. Excellence - nothing else. The Empire’s Fury was one of the top squadrons in the Empire for a reason. Now was their chance to prove it yet again.
    He turned on the shortwave comms and called to his squadron. “Xesh formation. Tight. Keep the scum off their backs.”

    A unified chorus of affirmation returned to him.

    His scanners sent off a quiet beep as all 8 of them fell into position. It was just in time, as a Mon Cal cruiser was trying to position to fire on the ISD. It glided through space effortlessly; the majority of the Imperial forces were still under orders to hold fire.
    “Watch it,” he instructed, holding the squadron at 50% speed. “Wait until they fire. Ras and Aden, take their starboard turrets. All the rest of us, pattern 372-B. We’ll get their shields. Then the engines once we regroup.” With their turrets and engines disabled, they’d have to rely on the Rebel squadrons to fend off attack. Exactly what Kazic wanted.

    “They’ll be sitting ducks before they can blink.”

    “Sir,” Aden’s voice crackled through. “Are we sure they aren’t loading the starboard shields?”

    “One way to find out,” he replied. “If they are, we’ll go for the generators. Watch each other.”

    “There!”

    Kazic looked up quickly. Sure enough, the first red bolt had shot through the vast space. It deflected harmlessly off the Eminence’s shields. It didn’t matter whether it had crippled the ISD or barely touched it. It was their signal.
    “Alright, Fury. Let’s go.”

    He turned on his thrusters and pulled up, hard. The other two followed behind him. Aden and Ras split off, their TIEs gliding rapidly towards the target.
    “Boss, Rebel ships, to our 3.”

    He glanced to the side; a squadron of X-Wings swooped from below the Eminence.

    “Take them with us.” He pulled to the left, twisting into a corkscrew. The other two followed him. The X-Wings curled up behind them. They weren’t in range yet, but they would be soon. He clutched the yoke and pushed the engines harder. Once they made it to the Rebel ship, the X-Wings would prove a valuable asset. They were fast…a little too fast. He smirked.

    “Are we going for what I think, sir?”

    He nodded before replying.

    “Oh yes. The brilliant Corvaj manoeuvre.” It was named after a creature that was unexpected and volatile. Anyone who had ever met a corvaj knew that it would fake them out before going in for the kill. Often the victim would lose their bearings, leaving the creature to rip them to shreds. Any smart person fighting one would keep their distance. Lucky for him, the Rebels didn’t know what they were up against.
    They were approaching the Mon Cal cruiser. The shield generator’s outer shell protruded visibly in front of them.

    “Ready?” Kazic flicked on his rear deflector shields and slowed to a crawl, the rest of them following suit. The X-Wings banked a turn behind them and started heading straight for them. The lights on the console blinked angrily, warning him the Rebels were getting too close. That’s just what he wanted. It continued to blink, the X-Wings getting closer until finally, they were close enough.

    “Now.”

    The trio thrusted forwards, toward the capital ship. The X-Wings followed. Kazic watched as the beige surface, speckled with lights, grew closer. They had seconds. He saw the shield generator and clicked the target into his computer. Bolts of red soared past them now. The X-Wings were in range.

    “Three…” He started the countdown, his eyes focused on the small blinking blue orb that protruded from the belly of the ship. He jerked the yoke to the side and flicked a few switches.

    “Two…”

    “One…”

    “Go.” They all said it in unison. They pulled up and took a sudden turn, flipping upside down as they raced back across the bottom of the Mon Cal. Three of the X-Wings managed to peel away, but the other three did not. They collided violently with the shield generator and were reduced to space dust. A burst of flame shot out from the generator, enveloping the remains of the X-Wings before dissipating quickly. With it destroyed, the shields were offline. The capital ship was open to any attack.

    His comrades let out a whoop as they swung back around, seeing the remaining embers from the generator rain into the debris of the X-Wings.

    “Ras, Aden,” Kazic sent out the call to them, gently righting the TIE and stabilizing it. “The turrets are all yours. We’ll get the engines. Rendezvous at point cresh.”

    “On it, sir,” Aden replied. He could see them crisscrossing near the surface, their green plasma volleys leaving a trail of explosions. Red bolts shot out in return. They missed the TIEs, Kazic’s teammates wove around them expertly. He turned his attention back to his small group.

    “Kaz, sir, look.”

    He looked up, into the space between the Eminence and the cruiser. A group of Rebel ships were flooding from the hangar. He cursed under his breath, watching as the ships formed into three squadrons, their foils locking into place. All three went separate directions, artfully dodging debris and the vibrant green of plasma bolts. They had seen right through his plan.

    There were only 6 sets of engines at the rear of the Mon Cal. The vital systems were out in the open on each set. It would be easy to pick them off one by one, now that the shields were down, but they didn’t have time for that. The Rebels would be heading straight for the Eminence’s bridge and vital systems. There were other TIE squadrons, of course, but Kazic never liked to rely on them alone.

    “Ras, sitrep,” he called, unable to see their position. The glowing dots on his console weren’t much help when they were surrounded by enemy ships.

    “Port turrets are out,” Ras replied, the comm crackling over his words, “we’ve got a couple more starboard, but they shouldn’t be a problem.”

    “They went for it early,” Kazic let out a sigh, trying to decide the next move in the moments they had. He had to get another TIE squadron out before they could do anything. Before he could call anyone, his comm began to blink angrily. He switched the channel to comm-one, the main channel and let them know he was listening.

    “Fury Squadron, this is the Eminence, set course for point Besh immediately,”

    “Negative,” Kazic replied, not worried about the reaction he would get for disobeying orders. “I count 3 squadrons of six-fives headed for you. Point Besh is too far out.”

    “Admiral Obelon, here,” Obelon’s voice broke through, “That’s a direct order, Drexel.”

    “I hope you have a plan, sir.” Kazic began setting his course for the point, almost a 200 kilometres away. The complete other side of the battle. They wouldn’t be doing much good out there.

    “We will rendezvous with you there, along with the Accuser. Eyes open.”

    The comm clicked off.

    Kazic turned the channel back to his squadron. He trusted Obelon, but the admiral of the Accuser – Danyat – he had disagreed with on numerous occasions. Ras had almost been fried under his direction.

    “Fall behind, set course for point Besh. Now.”

    A reply of “yes sir” and “aye” flooded in.

    The squadron of TIEs cut through the battle. Kazic kept an eye on the Eminence as its massive form turned. Jolts of crimson reflected effortlessly off its hull, the shields holding as the Rebels attempted their offensive. He sighed with relief every time a turret blasted one of the X-Wings. There were more where that came from, he knew, and he just hoped the Star Destroyer wouldn’t be subjected to the fate of the Executor.

    “Kaz, look. Dead centre,” Ras said, shortly after falling into formation.

    He looked ahead, more Rebel ships bleeding into the abyss of space. That wasn’t what caught his attention, however. It was the enormous Mon Cal cruiser.

    “Home One,” he said, his eyes glued to the capital ship as it floated ahead. The ship was nearly double the other ships in the Rebels’ fleet. They had brought everything they had. Surely Obelon and Danyat understood that they would be staring down the Rebel ship in moments.

    “Admiral, sir,” he patched through to the Eminence one again, “That’s Home One.”

    “It is, Drexel.”

    “And what are we doing about that?”

    “Letting the ships that aren’t carrying vital Imperials handle it. We have direct orders to get them away from the battle.”

    “Sir, with all due respect, which Imperials are we carrying?” He hadn't thought it important to ask the question before, but retreat orders were rarely given to any Imperial ship. He had never witnessed one in his 8 years.

    “Admiral Piett and Commander Gherant.”

    Kazic furrowed his brow beneath the helmet, but he finally understood. He had seen the Executor’s crippled form explode violently, but he hadn’t realized there were survivors. Anyone who had seen it would have thought there was no chance of survival. Kriff, anyone who heard about it would say they wouldn’t have had a chance. The middle of this battle was definitely not the place for anyone who had managed to survive, not with what seemed to be the entire Rebel fleet surrounding the Death Star. He shuddered at the thought of what they were enduring right now aboard the Eminence.

    “Understood,” he replied. He grit his teeth and focussed on a way to help them past the enormous ship. Hopefully the hold-fire still didn’t apply; otherwise they’d be in for a rough ride.

    “How in the Force…” he heard Ras comment on their closed channel.

    “Just keep the Rebels off their back,” Kazic ordered, not wanting any questions. There would be no way they’d make it past once the Rebels realized they were edging out for an escape to hyperspace. Five TIEs against their largest ship, and more beyond. He noticed the Accuser moving into position far ahead, other ships of the Death Squadron moving to form a discreet shield.

    “I think that’s your plan, boss,” Aden piped up. He grinned, enjoying Kazic’s being outdone by Obelon.

    “So it is,” he retorted, unimpressed.

    “Hey Kaz,” Ras replied, knowing him well enough to change the subject. “What are our orders?”

    “Inside the perimeter, but be ready for anything.”

    Kazic eased the TIE over towards the formation of Star Destroyers.

    “Rear deflectors up,” he instructed as the fire from the Rebellion intensified. They no doubt could see the Eminence making its way towards where Home One rested. Beams of red shot past their viewports on multiple occasions, trying to destroy them before they could make it behind the force of ISDs. They flew closer, the Star Destroyers’ gargantuan forms ahead. Kazic could see a few squadrons of TIEs race from the hangars as they approached.

    Aden crackled through on the comm.

    “Sir, on our sevens. They’ve got RZs, modified six-fives, and SFs.”

    He looked on his scanner, trying to get their locations. They weren’t close enough to fire, but they were closer than Kazic would have liked. The A-wings – which the pilots usually referred to as RZs, were fast but lacked firepower and armour. The T-65s and the B-wings were another story. Anytime he heard SF or B-wing, he was on his toes. Their hulls were strong and they carried more than enough firepower to challenge squadrons. He hoped an Interceptor squadron was available. The only way to disable multiple B-wings was going to be speed and the right distraction. For now, they didn’t have time to worry about getting rid of them. They just needed to evade them.
    Or maybe, they could do both.

    “New mission, Fury,” Kazic addressed the entire squadron, “We get rid of them and get to the Eminence.

    The ISD Cataclysm had stopped about 20 degrees to their right, up ahead. It provided the perfect opportunity. If they stayed close to the upper hull, the turrets could pick off as many of their pursuers as possible. Any left behind would soon meet the full force of the Empire as they crossed into the protective formation of Star Destroyers. Ideally, they would have a squadron of Interceptors to assist them. They were fast enough and had enough firepower to annihilate the Rebel ships that pursued them. A battle was never ideal, though.

    “Stay close, fall into Xesh again. We’re going in close to the Cataclysm.”

    “Not sure Nomarth’ll like that, Kaz,” Ras replied, recalling the Cataclysm’s commander and his icy demeanor.

    “The ints aren’t going to be here in time,” Aden replied, before Kazic could.

    Ras didn’t reply, instead gently lowering his fighter towards the ISD. He wasn’t going to argue – he had no inclination to. If the manoeuvre resulted in any damage, he wasn’t going to be held accountable. Kazic’s fighter was right ahead of his, gliding down in almost perfect synchronicity. Focussing ahead, he mapped out a path. It made sense to go straight across, but the turrets were arranged so that would make it far too easy for the Rebel squadron tailing them.

    “Diagonal, up until the second step up. Take a hard right,” Kazic instructed, almost as if he had read Ras’ mind. He knew better, though. Their childhood together had given Kazic the ability to anticipate Ras’ logical mind and the questions he always had. They would start close to the bow, snapping to the second ledge of the Star Destroyer, where the strongest ion cannons resided. Past that ledge, they could disappear towards the stern and escape towards the Eminence.

    “Right, sir,” he prepared the directional thrusters and readied the shields for the turn. Kazic adjusted his own stabilizers, preparing for the slight increase in gravity flying close to the Star Destroyer would bring. The TIE shuddered slightly as they broke through the faint gravity well.

    Kazic focussed his scanners on the squadron of ships that still pursued them. He hoped he wasn’t making a mistake. Their proton bombs had the potential to wipe out a TIE instantaneously. The snaking path they had between turrets and fortifications would hopefully help the 47th avoid that fate. He carefully manoeuvered around an ion cannon. Bolts of green fired rapidly at the Rebel squadron behind him.

    Three orbs of blue shot past his viewport, obliterating a turret just ahead. They had better aim than he thought – and they had a strategy to get through the shields.

    Aden could see the Y-wings gaining behind them, their pilots prepared to launch another group of proton bombs. The other two Fury pilots were falling behind, trying to evade the turrets narrowly. This wasn’t a good idea, but even he couldn’t tell himself there was another better idea. Either all 5 of them were in trouble – or just two. He sighed.

    “Sir, Marius and Thanadon aren’t doing so hot.”

    “I see that, Resk.” Kazic replied, trying to figure out a way to maintain position and allow them to catch up. “Can you afford to fall back?”

    “Negative, sir, that’ll be too tight. They’ll have a clear shot.”

    “Ras?”

    “Permission to boss them around, sir?”

    “Granted.”

    “Marius, Thanadon, Aurek-Cresh-seventy two,” he instructed, hoping the pilot officers remembered their Academy training better than he had in their position. He recalled his first battle with a chill, pushing it away.

    “Aye,” Marius replied. He recalled the manoeuvre fairly well, but he wasn’t sure he could pull it off. It was usually used on missions on world – swinging around difficult terrain. The turret-dotted surface certainly counted as difficult - but the Star Destroyer only had faint gravity. They had only been taught to perform it accounting for half gravity, not non-existent levels. He gripped the yoke and prepared in the split seconds following.

    Thanadon replied as well. Ras breathed a sigh of relief. At least they were teaching the recruits something. The last thing they needed was to be thrust into an elite squadron without proper training.

    He watched on the scanners as they swerved out at the next opportunity, a couple of Rebel fighters breaking off to pursue them. It was then when he realized the modified 65s had suspicious looking attachments.

    “Kaz, are those what I think they are, on the belly of those 65s?” His usually calm demeanor changed in an instant as he saw them race up behind the two TIEs of their squadmates.

    “I have no idea, Ras. What the kriff are they?” Ras was the kind of person who spent hours researching starfighter technology - Kazic expected him to know, not ask him questions.

    Aden piped up, confirming Ras’ suspicions. “Boss, those are homing rocket launchers.”

    Ras started to fall back. Kazic wasted no time patching through to them and barking orders. “Marius, Tharandon, back in line. Prepare for evasive manoeuvres.”

    “Sir, why?”

    “They’ve got homing rockets. In line, now.”

    The silence was palpable. Ras could see them both attempt to cut through the line of turrets back towards the squadron. Their vivid red insignias glistened in the light as they darted inward and outward, trying to find an opening. He saw the thin flames and gust of smoke erupt from the first rocket launcher. Eyes widening in shock, everything seemingly move in slow motion.

    “Oh, Zenda,” he exclaimed, replacing a choice word with the famous jewel of his homeplanet.

    Kazic’s tone was filled with grit as he ordered them to evade the homing rockets. They had seconds to split and take some sort of sharp turn – hopefully fooling the rockets into colliding or taking out some other structure.
    “Permission to fall back, sir?” Ras asked, hoping to be approved. He’d be putting himself in danger, but he was more than an expert at close-range fire.

    “Denied,” Kazic replied, simply. “We lose you, this mission’s over.”

    Ras slumped slightly in his seat. Without any backup, they weren’t going to make it. He couldn’t bring himself to argue, though. If Kazic was right –then he knew fully well the mission at hand was more important. If he failed, it would be Kazic and Aden against the squadron. He gripped the steering yoke and adjusted the accelerators. There would be no more surprises this time. He glanced over to where the two TIEs were frantically trying to evade the homing rockets. The white and red missile bulbs streamed through the air, a dim glow of blue surrounding them as if they were a comet. They inched closer with every second. Yet the evasive actions the other pilots took failed to work. Each swerve or spin only allowed them to get closer.

    Ras took a deep breath as the rockets got within a metre and ignored the proximity alarms that screamed through the comm system. He turned his attention ahead. There was nothing he could do. They had joined the squadron mere months ago, new graduates from the Academy, and there was nothing he could do.

    Kazic spoke quietly now through the comm. He was thanking them for their service. There was nothing else he could do. Even if he was flying their TIEs for them, these rockets were more advanced than any of them liked to admit. They had done all they could do as pilots – they had remembered their training and executed it.

    Ras tried to avoid closing his eyes beneath the onyx helmet as the alarm signifying they had been cut off from the squadron. The image of billowing flame and debris snuck into his mind’s eye, paining him for a moment.
    “Never forget,” they all whispered in their separate cockpits, an eerie symphony as it echoed through the comm.

    “Don’t let them do anything else,” Kazic said, his voice much quieter. “We are the 47th. We are the Empire’s Fury.”

    Ras nodded and placed his mindset back into the battle. They were close to the turn now, though it still seemed too far away. Adrenaline still coursed through his veins. He hoped it would be enough to sustain him. He could feel the guilt billowing up in his throat. He had told them what to do. There were hundreds of other strategies he could have used, and one of those could have saved them.

    “Ras,” Kazic said, knowing exactly what ran through his mind. “Don’t think about it.”

    Kazic prepared himself for the next turn. He glanced down at the scanner. No doubt the Rebel ships knew exactly what they were planning now. He realized that 3 of the 7 ships had been reduced to dust within the span of a minute – two at most. Four remained, but they were mostly the modified 65s. They had locked their foils into place now, preparing to follow Kazic and the remaining two TIEs. Kazic hoped they didn’t expect the ion cannons that were directly above them. If they did, he hoped they compensated. That would buy them enough time. Just enough time that they would try to catch up and hopefully, make a mistake.

    They rounded the turn, Kazic flicking the shields to compensate for the heavy fire he expected from them. The other two followed suit. He could hear the quiet clicks through their comms. A brilliant blast of green soared past them, illuminating the cockpit briefly, before one of the dots on his tracking computer disappeared into oblivion.

    He breathed a silent sigh. Three more Rebels, that would be it.

    His computer starting beeping angrily just as he had exhaled, indicating something was wrong. It only took a brief glance to establish it was a proximity alarm.
    Incoming missile – 750 metres.

    “What’s going on?” he questioned.

    “Homing rockets, again, sir,” Aden replied.

    “There’s three of us this time, though,” Kazic smirked grimly. On one hand, three TIEs meant that the rocket could easily be confused. On the other, they had just seen what it could do to skilled pilots. “Head towards theEminence –“

    Another flash of green came from the turrets on the level above them, interrupting him briefly. The alarm stopped.

    “Sir, he hit it. I don’t know how, but he hit both!”

    Whomever was controlling that turret deserved a medal and a two-tier promotion, he thought. Never had he seen such a brilliant shot. An X-wing and a homing rocket in one. He shook his head incredulously.

    “Curl towards the Eminence,” Kazic repeated, “Point Besh is under a kilometer away.”

    “What about the last two, sir?”

    “Either we’ll deal with them, or they’ll be space dust by the time the Eminence gets to them. They’re RZs, not much they can do about us.” He certainly didn’t like being pursued by any Rebel fighters when heading for a landing, but he didn’t have much choice. It was reassuring they were RZs, though. Their proton bombs were the only thing powerful about them and as most proton weaponry did – they had dreadful aim. Their ion beams were little more than a sandfly bite as well.

    They glided towards the hangar, a miniature rectangle of blue glowing in the distance. With any luck, the hangar turrets would have the RZs destroyed as soon as they were in range. The Eminence continued to grow, the rectangle soon engulfing most of their viewports. The Rebel ships still refused to give up on their target, stray proton bombs soaring past their TIEs.

    The turrets locked on as Kazic expected, blasting the first RZ out of the sky before the second attempted to flee. Its small dot on the scanner vanished soon after it had tried its escape, multiple blazes of green shooting through the vacuum of space towards it. They broke through the shimmering blue force field, guiding their TIEs into the racks above. Kazic pulled off his helmet as soon as he heard the reassuring click of his landing gear, waiting for the hangar’s scaffolding to lock into place beside the spherical cockpit.

    “Admiral, sir, Drexel, Nomante, and Resk are aboard,” he announced into the comm, breathless as his adrenaline began to wane. He hoped they noticed their comrades were missing. He hated to explain what happened. This wasn’t the first loss – he knew it wouldn’t be the last. But he could never bear to deal with the situation.

    “Understood,” came a reply, though not from Obelon.

    He rested his sweat-laden head against the seat, before popping open the cockpit and climbing out onto the steel-grey scaffolding. He took in a deep breath of filtered air and sighed, rubbing his brow. The Eminence lurched softly beneath him, a gentle hum surrounding him as the ship broke into lightspeed.
     
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent action =D= You write starfighter battles very well. @};-
     
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  9. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2006
    V, can Cushy be added to tag update list? :) I comment after read.
     
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  10. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012

    I will tag you next time! :)




    Thank you :D
     
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  11. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2006
    II:



    I appreciate how you really engage with showing the effects of injuries and struggles, V. I think that is often glossed over particularly for the Imperial side, which I consider unfair. Firmus definitely earned his rest by the time the shot took effect. I hope the men and their families will be all right.


    You sure know how to convey intensity, V! I'm glad to see the balance you're striking of making the Imperials breathing, feeling men but likewise you're allowing them to fare their licks and take losses. =D=
     
  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    1: Riveting first chapter! What a scary situation to be in on a spacefaring vehicle, having the vacuum of space so close and prone to be sucked into it at any moment. I can't help but think of that harrowing scene in Alien Resurrection (I think it was) where the hybrid "baby" alien was sucked slowly (!) through the broken window into space; and I imagine some of the crew of the Executor must have had similar things happen. The image of even the flames being consumed from the lack of oxygen jumped out as a powerful one somehow—must be a rather scary thing to see when one's used to fire just burning and burning and burning. Kudos to that quick-thinking and heroic crewwoman who overrode the controls—someone who no doubt will be remembered by the survivors.

    But the most powerful image: three military men of completely different ranks, including the highest and the lowest, thrown together in that flimsy little escape pod, all huddled together in that cramped space in searing pain and utter exhaustion. Because that kind of closeness is what happens in drastic, life-threatening situations in wartime, and you captured it spot on. And for some reason it seems important that the escape pods were specifically designed into the ship by Vader... I'll file that detail away in my mind. ;)

    2: I like that Firmus, Jost, and Thanos's troubles are not automatically over as soon as they hit the Eminence's docking bay. There's the persisting nausea and pain, probably some drowsiness form the stale air, the endless waiting for the pod to be cut open, the horrible spectacle of seeing one's comrades maimed and bleeding and near death... then the wash of voices, then the oblivion of the anesthetic... you name it. All the senses are at work here, virtuosically so. :cool:

    You do a great job with the military sequences and lingo and aerial dogfights—I am impressed by those who are conversant in that kind of thing, because I'm just the opposite. Pacing was just right, and there was nothing extraneous. I could keep track of each member of the group and where each of them was (and who fell to the homing rockets), which I can't always do when I read scenes like this, so kudos there! Kudos too on capturing Kazic's reaction to the loss of his young squadmates—very believable mixture of sincere regret with the feeling that one just has to keep on fighting and doing one's job.

    Here the interesting detail was the fantastic marksbeing controlling that one turret—is that something I should file away in my mind, too? ;)

    A small spelling thing: if you're referring to the steering unit / stick of a ship, that would be yoke instead of yolk.

    I just have to ask: is the name Drexel a remnant of your Chicago years, by chance? A very specific portion of the south side comes to my mind whenever I see that name. :p

    Thanks for the opportunity to review this, and I look forward to reading more! =D=
     
  13. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Thanks so much Findswoman ! I am glad I was able to reach you so well with this! :D Thank you for the kind words.:)
    I was quite worried about the details of the space battle, so I am very glad I didn't make it confusing.

    The yolk thing...haha. I knew I was going to do that. Thanks for catching it!

    Drexel is Chicago inspired, yes! Nice catch. ;)

    Keep a hold of those details. They may come in handy. [face_batting]


    Thank you! I am truly aiming to show reality on both sides here. I am glad it is successful so far!
     
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  14. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Your space battle scenes are very realistic and I love that Piett makes it. Escape pods that close to the bridge is brilliant from Vader. Of course since the Death Star I was blown to bits it was a safe assumption to plan ahead like that. We're not able to see the plight of the Imperials when massive vessels like the Executer downed and this is a great take on the survival aspect of it. Great stuff AV. :)
     
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= Yuppers, agreeing with Finds. I could keep up with the space battle stuff too. Usually, I'm like what? Who was that? :p AV is multitalented. @};-
     
  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I can't believe that I never left the comment on chapter 2. Oh yes, that was because I'm incapable of understanding dogfights to the extent you describe here and I had to ask you a bunch of stupid questions, re-read multiple times and then, seven months later, search Facebook messenger convos for your answers *again*. I thiiink I finally got it.

    The overall darkness and uncertainty from chapter 1 continue, much to my delight, and everything depicted here is VERY believable, which is something I adore about your AUs in general. Piett and his comrades cannot have an easy escape and the consequences they might face are a fascinating, albeit an unsettling set thereof.

    And in this context, Eminence is very much like S.S. Carpathia.

    Would say more, but Findswoman beat me to it back in August, so I guess I will just nag for updates and speculate why the title says LAST. Are the others going to die? *bites nails*
     
  17. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Holy Sith! That first entry was brilliant!

    Well done for exploring that scenario, particularly how far the A-Wing went, and the escape pod placed into the schematics.

    Nice that the admiral remembers the crewman's first name, even if it is never used.
     
    Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.