Open War III: Reign of Chaos

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Re: Open War III: Reign of Chaos

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Mako
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Post by Mako » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:37 am

It wasn't much longer after the Republic pilots left that the medic went to find Xendar. It only took a few minutes of searching before he found the large docri interrogating one of the prisoners for information inside a room with several strategically placed ysalamiri around to keep the Force users from using their powers to cause problems. Taking a break from questioning Xendar walked toward the door. "Tough nuts to crack these two." Xendar commented as he left the room. "Either they truly don't know anything or they'd much rather foolishly die before they said anything."
"that could be a problem." One of the other medics said.
"Yeah a problem for them these two, they obviously haven't heard, there are much worse things than death."
"Sir." the first medic got Xendar's attention. "The leader of the republic pilot's gave me this data chit with his personal info. He says to keep in touch he might be needing our help later on."
"With things going the way they are for the NR he very well might." Xendar put the data chip away. "I'll get in touch with them soon enough for now though I've got a couple of trouble makers that need lessons in the horrors of keeping info."
Power without perception is worthless and of no use.
Current WIP The Lost Fleet everything else is on hold.

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Will T
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Galactic Empire
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Post by Will T » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:30 pm

Darv Gyttel found himself having to choke down an unprecedented degree of nervousness as he strode between the guards flanking the anteroom to the Emperor’s chamber. It as an emotion he was largely unfamiliar with, and its appearance here disturbed him. He knew it was the knowledge of what this one, singular man was capable. Politically, militarily and in a curious sense, spiritually. His abilities with the arcane were a step beyond anything he had encountered, beyond anything that had been described to him.
Gyttel was under no illusions. Whatever the official term for his stay on New Cophuran had been dubbed, he knew that he was a prisoner. For a prisoner to then stroll into the offices of one of the most powerful men in the galaxy and make a blunt request of him was a bold move, to put it mildly. The security detail guarding the door let him pass without more than a cursory glance at his face, and a swift check of the time on a chrono. Keeping his apprehension in check, Gyttel strode through.
Emperor Vince Trageton sat at a desk, his eyes perusing a series of reports suspended by holographic projection before him. He looked up at the sound of footsteps, heavy combat boots thumping on the hardwood floor.
“Ah, Major Gyttel,” he said lightly as he recognised the newcomer, “I was told you wanted to see me. You know I think this might be the very first time an Imperial officer has made an appointment with me.” He chuckled. “What can I do for the Palace’s most valued guest?” He asked with only the slightest air of irony. Lacking the political acumen to know what pleasantries he should open the discourse with, Gyttel chose instead his usual brute force method of conversation, diving straight in.
“I saw the news reports on my terminal this morning,” he began calmly, “the attack on the Jedi Temple.” He paused for a brief moment while he gathered himself, burying his pride, “Your Highness, I want to help.” The Emperor cracked an eyebrow, but made no other response. “I know why I’m here, what my status is among your people, but I can’t sit through something like this. An attack on the Jedi Temple, a successful one at that, represents a threat to the entire galaxy: to the Reb... ah, the Republic; to the ESS; and most importantly as far as I’m concerned, the Empire. I don’t care who I have to work for, I have to help. Somehow.”
“Major Gyttel,” Trageton began, a note of surprise in his voice, “I must say I wasn’t expecting this. You’re saying you would work for a government that is, at present, in opposition to your own?”
“With respect, Emperor, you’re still new to this galaxy. You weren’t here when Imperial forces themselves attempted an attack on that very same academy and failed. Disastrously so. Whoever these people are, they’re powerful and dangerous, and it won’t be too long until they attack the Empire. If helping you to take these people out, as I’m sure you’re already planning, will help my Empire, then I’ll do it without hesitation.” The Emperor scratched his chin for a moment.
“Say I went along with this,” he said cautiously, “say I was to grant you permission to go offworld, under supervision naturally,” Gyttel nodded at this, “grant you leave to pursue these terrorists, what exactly could one man achieve, even with your skills?”
“Firstly, Emperor, I’d have thought you were all too familiar with the effect one man can have, what a single person can achieve.” Vince shrugged and nodded his head acceptingly. “And secondly, it wouldn’t be just me. I’d need a team behind me, and if I can’t have my old team, talented soldiers from your forces would be acceptable. But more importantly, I’d have the help of one very specific man.” Vince raised his eyebrows curiously. “He’s a Jedi. Well... he was a Jedi, once.” Vince leaned back in his chair and motioned for Gyttel to continue. “His name is Gurn Akkare.” Gyttel said, releasing a slow breath. “A long time ago, back in the days of the Clone Wars, he was an apprentice of the old Jedi Order, a Jedi in training as it were. He and his master were assigned a mission by the Chancellor himself, an exploration mission. It went wrong. He and master, and the troops under their command were lost in the Unknown Regions, besieged by a hostile alien race. Admiral Pitto found them, nearly thirty years later. His experience there left Akkare... disillusioned with the Jedi way, and he agreed to assist the Admiral. He remains one of Pitto’s top advisors... and he’s a good friend.”
“I appreciate the connection, however dubious, but what does one failed Jedi have to offer us?” The Emperor asked with some degree of scepticism.
“He’s talented at foresight, I’m told. Though to speak to him, he fears his abilities; he doesn’t trust them. But I’m convinced this attack could only have been brought about by someone familiar with the Jedi arts, a Force user. And I’m told there’s no better way than to track a Force user than with another Force user, particularly one skilled in sensing far off things. Between Akkare’s Force abilities, my own skills and whatever specialists you can assemble, we’ll find the perpetrators of this terrorist attack, and we’ll stop them before they can harm either of our Empires.” Gyttel finished, and braced himself for the anticipated rebuttal.
“An interesting proposal,” The Emperor said finally, “I’ll consider it. There are others I need to speak with.”
“I understand, your highness.” Gyttel said, a little dejectedly.
“Don’t go too far, Major,” Vince said reassuringly, “I may just call on you very soon.”
Gyttel saluted, and strode back out of the chamber, the Emperor’s piercing eyes still glaring brightly in his mind’s eye. And so it was back to waiting, to sitting idly while others made decisions for him. But at least now there was a glimmer of hope that he might get his chance to return to action. The commandos eyes darted about the corridors of the palace, drinking in every detail. His time there may not have been productive, for the moment at least, but he was not going to pass up an opportunity to learn everything. Indeed, if the Emperor were to agree to his proposal, he may just be given the chance to kill two mynocks with one stone.
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General_Trageton

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Post by General_Trageton » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:07 am

Vince slowly paced through his spacious office, hands folded on his back, pondering about the past events. Major Gyttel's request to help with the Brotherhood affair had come rather unexpected - adding to a growing list of unexpected things.
While he had been to Corelia a trio of passenger transports had returned a fairly large number of ESS officer from Imperial Space. Most of them belonged to the crews that had more or less willingly defected to the Empire with Darron. ESec would need to commandeer a battalion of counsilors and psycho therapists in order to get a mental review for each of them before they could be allowed to retake ordinary positions within the ESS. Of course that future would greatly depend on his success against the Corellian conspiracy.

On a more practical matter, the NR Command over Yavin IV had informed him that Shiromy was now en route to Cophuran, accompanied by no less than Master Toth. While it was surely pleasant to meet the nautolean Master again and while it was somewhat expected that the jedi would send someone to keep an eye on Shiromy, Vince wasn't completely certain how Toth would fit into his plans for the ESS. Well, as long as he he kept his attention on watching over Shiromy and her actions, things work out fine. The whole thing was damn risky. He was playing high stakes against Corellia, the undisputed kings when it came to gambling. The key was to keep them with the impression they had the upper hand for as long as possible. In fact, Toth's accompanying Shiromy might proove to be another advantage for him.

Eventually Vince returned to his desk and keyed a few commands into his comm terminal. Moments later a hologram appeared before him. Adrian Monk rose his head and straightened, as he recognized him.
"Hey Chief!" Right there it was again. Once again Vince found himself thrown back into his pilot days. The name "Chief" had accompanied him eversince and some of his closer teammates, especially Kane and Monk, would occasionally use it, much to his relief.
"How are things on your new ship?"
"Good for now." Monk said with a shrug. "She's not the Seraphim, but she'll do."
"I'm sure you'll get accustomed just fine. Say, where's Darron and Mryna?"
"Uhm ... Getting accustomed, I guess." Monk said with a lopsided grin.
"OK, I won't ask any further." Vince said, defensively raising his hands. "Please tell them both to contact me - once they've got accustomed."

/////////////////

Shiromy and Toth were sitting in the shuttle's small mess, meditating. Suddenly her eyes sprung open, a tingling sensation warned her of danger. "You were right." She eventually said and rose to her feet. "They were looking for us."
"What the..." Came the pilot's voice from the cockpit. Before them the blueish kaleidoscope of hyperspace flickered and bulged. After a final flash the tunnel collapsed and white lines on black velvet took its place, lines that finally reverted to countless dots.
"We've dropped out of hyperspace." Toth commented hardly disturbed. "Interdictor?"
"Seems that way." The pilot answered. "All systems operational, so no failure on our - " He stopped in mid sentence "We're being hailed. Putting on."
"New Republic Shuttle" A scrambled voice addressed them. "You are outnumbered and outgunned. Surrender and prepare to be boarded or you will be destroyed." Turning around the pilot threw a questioning look. Toth nodded.
"This is Shuttle SSV Nathanium. We are on important business of the Jedi Order. We have Jedi ambassadors aboard."
"That we know." The voice replied. Even through the scrambling Shiromy could hear the glee. "You have ten seconds to power down your systems and await our boarding parties." Moments later the dark shape of a large cruiser-like starship appeared above them.
"Surrender!" Toth advised the pilot as they turned towards the boarding hatch. "We'll handle this."

/////////////////

About half an hour later, while Vince and the council were once again brewing over their political and organizational work, his priority comm chimed indicating the awaited call from Mryna.
"Gentlemen" Vince announced. "I'll have call for a twenty minutes' break here. I'll summon you, once I'm done with this."
Nodding in understandment the councilors rose from their chairs and quickly yet firmly left the room. Once the massive wooden doors had shut behind them Vince accepted the call and the holograms of Darron and Mryna appeared before him.
"Thank yuo for getting back to me." He addressed the two. "I'll get right down to business: What can you tell me about Major Darv Gyttel?"
Darron was first to speak. "Anything speciffic you want to know?"
"Well, the most important thing" Vince said. "How trustworthy is he?"
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
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FunkyFreshMan
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Post by FunkyFreshMan » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:55 pm

If there was one thing the Day of Reckoning was, it was quiet. She wasn’t the prettiest ship. Most of her rear section was one large hangar bay equipped with retractable blast doors on both sides. The midsection was an unremarkable, rounded off box that housed all the living and operation decks and the bow was nothing more than a tube with just enough room for a decent-sized rifle range and the ship’s sensors suite and backup atmosphere tanks. She was no warship, but she carried enough defensive weaponry to keep her safe from the average threat. Neither was she remarkably fast—though she could still keep pace with corvettes half her 210 meter length. But, she was quiet. Even with a pair of five-year-olds running amidst her living quarters, the Reckoning was absolutely serene compared to the bustle of the fleet’s flagship.
As per military protocol, Dav had returned to the WildFire first for debriefing. It would have been routine had that angry Gotal Faarg not been there as well. He had handed out quite the tongue lashing. There were few beings Dav disliked as much as Faarg and he was actually beginning to question whether the Gotal’s motives were completely honest. He found it all too convenient that he and his cohorts started sticking their noses in everything not long after this Brotherhood of Shadows hit Yavin.
But Faarg didn’t matter right now. None of it did. After everything that had transpired within the past week, Dav was looking forward to catching a few well-deserved hours’ sleep.
On his way back to his cabin, Dav poked his head into his son’s room, then his daughter’s. They were both already sound asleep. It seemed like they always were, but in reality the only time the entire family was together was usually well past the kids’ bedtime.
Once this whole mess is over, Dav thought. I’m taking a nice, long leave. The Republic can find someone else to jump through their hoops for a while.
He heard his wife’s soft footsteps on the deck behind him.
“They’re so precious, aren’t they?” she cooed, cinching the waist of a delicate hisp-silk robe.
Dav simply nodded.
She stood silent for a moment until finally she said, “Maybe we should send them off to stay with my parents on Thyferra until this whole thing blows over.”
“They’re safe here,” Dav reassured. “I know the Admiral will do everything he can to keep them that way.”
“But they’re not his kids!” she snapped. “And they’re not safe here. You were listening to the conversation I had with Zann, weren’t you? Didn’t you hear what he said? I don’t want my babies caught in the middle of this!”
She started to stamp away, but Dav caught her arm and turned her back toward him. He gazed deep into her emerald eyes. The hall’s harsh overhead lights glistened sharply off the excess moisture that was beginning to collect. “Do you really believe that felgercarb about his men being loyal to him? He’s just an old, washed-up hack. He’s not the head of this thing; in fact, they’re not even his men. I’m sure this Rygetto guy, or whatever his name is, couldn’t care less about what happens to a low-life like Zann.” He pulled her in closer to him, locking her in a strong, comforting embrace then whispered, “Zann’s just trying to get into your head. Don’t let him. I know you’re stronger than that.”
She pulled away slightly and caught his gaze again. “But these are our children we’re talking about,” she sniffled. “Are you saying I should just put them out of my mind?”
He tenderly wiped a stray tear off her cheek. “No, of course not. Just know that they’re safe here. If Zann really was planning something, don’t you think they would be better defended in the midst of a New Republic war fleet than alone in the Thyferran jungles?”
She sniffed again. “I guess so.”
“Trust me,” he said with a nod and a smirk.
She rolled her eyes as a weak smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. “You always say that.”
“Name one time when that was bad advice.”
“The Acheron Drift,” she replied almost instantly.
“We don’t talk about that,” he said, waggling his finger at her. “Look, I wouldn’t take that kind of risk with my own children’s lives. I can guarantee you that.”
She nuzzled her head up to his chest and softly whispered, “I know.”
As they stood there in each other's arms, the entire Galaxy seemed to pass them by. Everything seemed right, even though they both knew it wasn’t. But it seemed right, and that was all that mattered. Too bad they would have to let go.

Quiet. That’s all Frost wanted. Was that too much to ask? He ducked into his Calamari Cruiser’s pilot lounge hoping to find it. Of course, he wasn’t likely to find peace in a room full of hotshot pilots trying to out-brag each other, but at least there weren’t six different beings telling him to do ten different things.
The lounge grew silent as Frost entered. The pilots all stared at him, as if they were debating whether they should bother getting up to salute their commanding officer.
“By all means, don’t stop on my account,” Frost said, dropping himself into a plush chair near the computer-assisted pool table. “I just need to blend in with the crew for a while before I go insane. If anyone asks, for the rest of the day, I’m one of you guys.”
He melted into the soft chair as the commotion in the room quickly returned. He craned his neck to look down the hall that led to the smaller of the cruiser’s two combat flight simulators. It had been ages since he had climbed into the cockpit of a starfighter, be it real or a simulation. He was positive he could talk a few of the pilots into a quick skirmish. Later, perhaps. All Frost wanted to do was relax for a while.
One of the pilots—a short, brown-haired woman—approached him. She spoke in what could have been a gentle Coruscani or Corulag accent, though Frost knew the woman as a Naboo native.
“Welcome to the Sanatorium, Admiral,” she said. “Where the truth isn’t just stretched, it’s snapped in half and tied up with feats that would put even Han Solo to shame.”
Pilots still told tales taller than the Shawken Spire—some things never changed. “Quite an operation you have down here, Lieutenant Trace. Reminds me of my days as a fighter pilot.”
Ril’s eyebrow slowly began to arch as she thought of the grizzled old battle dog as lowly rocket-jock like herself. “Can I offer you something from our ‘extensive’ bar, sir? Right now we have Corellian brandy and some sort of green substance that may be engine coolant,” she paused and gave a bemused look. “At least, it tastes like engine coolant.”
He chuckled. “I think I’ll take my chances with the green stuff.”
She disappeared into an adjacent room for a few minutes then returned with a bottle of an effervescent green liquid and two tumblers.
“I brought the whole thing,” she said, shaking the bottle. “Looks like you need it.”
“They never told me I’d have to deal with this kind of thing when they promoted me,” he sighed, taking one of the tumblers. “Dangerous, life-threatening combat, yes. Obnoxious government officials, no.” He cautiously milked the edge of the tumbler, testing the green drink. He was pleasantly surprised to find that, whatever it was, it wasn’t nearly as bad as he thought it would be. If only everything could be like that. “At the officer’s academy, we extensively studied a whole host of ancient manuscripts that dealt with ways of waging war and, more importantly, winning them. An opposing faction isn’t the only enemy a fighting force has.” He took another, larger sip. “An army’s own leader can do just as much damage. There are three major ways that a leader can cause his own troops misfortune and one of them is when he tries to lead his army the same way he does a government. When he is ignorant of the unique conditions that separate the martial from the political, he sows restlessness among his troops, which more often leads to anarchy and internal strife than victory.”
“Now you’re starting to sound like Dav.”
“He’s a smart man,” Frost admitted. “Could have made Colonel by now had he not turned down all of those promotions. He’s read up on these ideas as well and he sees how these blasted ‘advisors’ are going to tear this fleet apart. Just their mere presence is killing our morale. I can tell you now that my men are getting restless. More than they have ever been under my command.”
Ril mused on that for a while. She was just a pilot, a frontline soldier who usually just did as she was told. She never really had any reason to question any of her superiors before. Dav, Frost, Djarkin—they always seemed to know what they were doing and they radiated confidence while doing it. But this was different, somehow. The confidence she had always seen in Frost was slowly fading. He seemed beaten, disheartened.
Sinking deeper into the soft, comfortable chair, Frost let his weary eyes slide shut, only to snap them open a few moments later when his comlink began to buzz. “Admiral Frost, sir!” the woman on the other end said. “Your presence is required on the bridge.”
“I left strict orders not to be bothered unless it was important,” he growled.
“It is important, sir!” she replied. “Long range scanners are picking up unknown contacts entering the system on an intercept course. We believe them to be hostile.”
“I’ll be right there. Put all weapon banks on high-alert, but instruct them to hold their fire until I give the order.” He silenced his com then quickly downed the rest of his drink. “Well, Lieutenant, that’s what I get for trying to relax.” He leapt from the chair, hastily smoothed the wrinkles from his uniform then started toward the exit. “You had better tell the others to gear up and get ready to head out. I have a feeling you’ll be needed.”
“Understood, sir,” she said, snapping a salute. “Commander Jassik certainly isn’t going to be pleased about this.”
“Tell him I’ll make it up to him,” Frost said before slipping out the door. “Somehow.”
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General_Trageton

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Post by General_Trageton » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:39 pm

Shiromy and Toth waited silently, as with a moderate yet constant ripple the shuttle was pulled into the cruiser's hangar bay. By now she had sensed numerous force-sensitive beings nearby. They definitely were on the right track. This was all one big farce, of course. She could lethally cripple or even destroy the cruiser by sheer will, if she had desired to. But Whatever investigation efforts were currently in action, this would surely not aid to their success. So she would simply go along and play her role of the mentally unstable Ex-Sith, so easy to be swayed to their cause. She could just hope Toth would be just as convincing.
The ripple became stronger and eventually ended in a single hard rock when the vehicle finally touched down on the hangar floor.
"So how should we go on?" She inquired - hardly serious. "brawl our way up to the bridge, shall we?"
"In your dreams" Toth replied dryly. "We'll do this right by the book." Yeah, you do that! Shiromy thought. Not that she was impatient, but if this was to succeed she had a reputation to uphold. After all she wanted to give the brotherhood a reason to either dread or desire her.
"Sorry!" She eventually said and placed a hand on the boarding hatch, which soon began to change colors - from dark gray to an increasingly bright red. "Never read the book."

The hangar deck was rocked by an explosion, when the captured shuttle's entry hatch - or what was left of it - was blasted out like a projectile from a mass driver. Drawing a firy trail the gleaming chunk of semi-molten metal obliterated everything in its path and finally impacted the rear hangar wall like a small asteroid. Slightly taken aback by the violent reaction the bystanding troops, cultists and security guards took a moment to regain their composure and continue advancing towards the now open hatch. A wall of fire blocked the entrance, framing the hatch like a curtain. Then - apparently unimpaired by the explosion the boarding ramp extended and lowered down. The moment it touched the hangar floor, what appeared like a gust of wind blew from the inside and pushed the corona of flames down - like a red carpet they rolled down the ramp leaving burning trails on either side that would continue a few meters along the hangar floor. A grand entry for the woman who once went by the name of Darth Pyra.

/////////////////

With a flash of light the Mirage pierced through the barrier of light that separated the real world from the obscure realms of hyperspace and back dropped into realspace. They had plotted the jump coordinates to revert a bit off their destination to remain outside the system and mostly undetected. A warship such as the Mirage was already big enough to draw some attention. After a few seconds a dim blue light filled the command deck, indicating that the cloaking system was being activated. Seconds later the panorama of the cruiser's dorsal hull beyond the view ports vanished.

The Kora System consisted of a number of pretty much uninteresting planets circling a dirty looking yellow-brownish sun. An ugly place hardly anybody really cared about, were it not for recent 'prominent' activities, that had caught her attention. Along with the leads that Mako had provided Jack had dug up rumors indicating that a man matching the description of Darius Rygetto had recently passed through here and made contact with one notorious ex-gangster named Tyber Zann. As far as her records told the man had used to be a big player in organized crime some years back. After some heavy setbacks he had pretty much gone down and retreated to that scummy little backwater planet of Kora IV. Still, given his background the fact that Rygetto had come here might prove an intriguing lead.

"Rygetto and Zann" she heard a voice next to her. Darron had stepped from his command post and was now approaching the empty space beside her at the large panoramic window. "A Force cult bundling with a worn down ex-crimelord - one week ago. Tell me again why we're here!"
"Investigations" Mryna suggested cocking an eyebrow.
"Why here? If those two really hooked up together they'll be long gone, the tracks will be cold by now."
"I guess so." Mryna agreed. "It's not my intention to find them, anyway."
"OK" Darron sighed. "Now you lost me." Mryna threw him a cockeyed smile that was somewhere between warm and wicked.
"Same way I got you - I make them want to find me."
"Right" Darron grimaced. He still gnawed on himself tripping into her trap so easily - or rather that her trap worked better than his. Eventually he shrugged. "Well, I had personal reasons to find you. They obviously don't."
"Not yet." Mryna agreed and her smile grew even wider. "That's why we're here."

"Urgent message from the Chief." Kane called out behind them - and instinctively both turned around, somehow feeling addressed.
"Again?" Darron was first to speak. It had been hardly three hours since Vince had last made contact to them - and that had been strange enough. Apparently Major Gyttel had caught up on the events evolving around the Brotherhood and had requested to help the ESS in this matter. Of course, given their past, Vince had been concerned and while Gyttel might be a useful asset indeed he was also just as dangerous, especially as a potential threat. If he should be allowed to undertake any actions against the brotherhood it would be under strong watch. Mryna had eventually agreed to take him into the team once they'd return from their current assignment. After Darron knew him personally - and Mryna knew how to deal with him.
"Alright, put him on."

Leaving the bridge they both entered the private communications chamber. Already the large holo projector was lighting up creating a life-size projection of Vince Trageton.
"Mryna, Darron" He addressed them. "We have them!" His expression was dark, but there was something odd in his voice. Over the holographic projection Mryna couldn't exactly make out, what it was. Worry, excitement, glee - even all of these at once. She simply couldn't grasp it
"What do you have?" she eventually asked - for now discarding the thoughts.
"Shiromy was en route from Yavin." He made a pause. "We recently lost contact with her shuttle."
"You think they got her?" Darron frowned. But Mryna knew the the question was more rhetorical. Who else? Knowing Shiromy Gitann it was obvious that she wouldn't drop out of contact for no reason. She would likely wipe out any obstacle or opposition and simply push on. While Mryna wasn't entirely sure about her loyalties she was certain that the Brotherhood would be enough of a challenge to draw her interest - and vice versa. Still ..."How could they have known?"
Vince merely shrugged. "I would assume someone has leaked information that Shiromy was not going to join the Jedi Conclave and instead return to New Cophuran."
"Someone?" Darron repeated. Vince merely shrugged, but his expression now seemed suspiciously innocent.
"Many people are interested in rooting out the Brotherhood. Some of them are willing to take more drastic measures than what the Jedi have come up with so far. Besides" now he grinned. "Shiromy dropping out of contact doesn't mean I can't reach her."
"So she know about this?" Mryna frowned. From her recent experience it seemed Shiromy wouldn't take lightly to such 'betrayals'.
"Not directly." Vince said. "But as I know her she'll have anticipated it."
"I see." Mryna said. "So what's next?"
"I already sent a cruiser to her last known position." Vince explained and a holomap appeared next to him. "I want you to reinforce them. I doubt Shiromy will actually be in trouble, but to avoid causing suspicion amongst the brotherhood we should at least appear to try and rescue her."
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
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Will T
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Galactic Empire
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Post by Will T » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:29 pm

The sun was dipping majestically in the sky with the onset of evening, a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges and purples streaming through the large, ornate windows of the Imperial Palace atrium. The expensive glass set within the giant frame had been made to a very specific composition for just this purpose, it's thickness and density perfectly calculated to magnify the intensity of the colours, and split them into beautifully defined bands that gleamed off the marble floors. Darv Gyttel was not usually a man to notice such evocative beauty, but he had been taken with the artistry the arhictects had achieved with little more than a natural phenomenon and melted sand.
And so it was, a few minutes later he found himself sat once more in the office of Emperor Trageton, for the second time that day no less, blinking back a splotchy afterimage. The Emperor's face was a little softer this time, the cold, questioning face of earlier replaced with a calm dignity that Gyttel knew must have come from the Emperor's, admittedly reluctant, years in high galactic politics. There was a soft warmth to his expression that left Gyttel with the sense that this was more friendly chat than brazen interrogation. And still the commando knew that Vince Trageton would never welcome him as a friend, never trust someone they both knew was a sworn enemy. What a skill to have to not let personal feelings interfere with such delicate business.
"Major," Trageton began pleasantly, "I've decided to acquiese to your request. I'm allowing you leave to join the ESS' investigation, under heavy supervision of course." No matter how guarded Gyttel had become over the years, he could not help but let a bemused smile slip through at that news. He had been expecting an outright refusal. "I felt it would be easiest to integrate you directly into the primary team, given there are some familar faces."
"Some friendly, some less so right?" Gyttel countered, his smile this time mirthless.
"Indeed. Though I have to confess the lovely Miss Qhalic's reaction to my announcement was a little harder to read than I anticipated. No matter what she might say, I think you've impressed her. At least so far as our little joint operation over Calim. Darron is of course far more open to the potential partnership."
"And my Jedi friend?” Gyttel remained strictly business.
“I’ll allow it,” the Emperor replied cautiously, “from what you’ve told me and what our minimal records show, I believe Mryna should be able to handle any... insubordination.” Gyttel nodded, a slow breath brushing past his lips. “Rendezvousing is, naturally, the complicated part. The team is currently on a critical assignment, and I can’t recall them just like that. I can, however, arrange an eventual meeting place and I can send you there early, under escort. I will also allow you to transmit these co-ordinates to this Akkare of yours, but he is to make his own way there. Alone. If I or your escort suspects even the slightest hint of a trap, or an attempt to ‘re-acquire’ you, I will have you brought back here and execute you myself. Or, at least allow one of my prisons to take away the rest of your life. Am I clear?”
“Crystal.” Gyttel replied evenly. Not that he had for a second entertained thoughts of escape. He was now far more useful to the Galactic Empire on the inside of the ESS than out of it.
“Good. Find your way to the Palace Guard hangar. A ship will be made ready for you.” The Emperor returned to his terminal instantly, his eyes taken off the Imperial in a quick, clear message of dismissal. That was something to be said about this upstart Emperor, Gyttel thought appreciatively: he didn’t mess around. Gyttel respected that. Without bothering to waste effort on unnecessary words of thanks, Gyttel stood and took his leave.

*****

Gurn Akkare looked up from his communicator, sighing at the brief sentence its screen had displayed. He lifted the mug in front of him and downed the last of his caf.
“Sorry Miranda,” he said apologetically to the woman opposite him, “it seems once again I’m going to have to cut this short.”
“That’s alright,” Miranda Leyvoss smiled knowingly, “I should probably be going anyway. The latest batch of interns are being given their placements today and I said I’d make an appearance. Duty calling?”
“I’m afraid so.” Akkare shrugged and shook his head. “It seems a wayward friend of mine requires my help. Seems I can’t get rid of him even he’s being held behind enemy lines. I hate to say it but I really think I’m too old for this.”
“Don’t be so cliché, dear,” Miranda smiled in mock rebuke, “when you get back, how about you take me out for something stronger than caf.” Akkare beamed back.
“Sure. They’re going to owe me a pretty big paycheque after this.”

*****

It was unusual to see Marcus Pitto in the hangar bay of Watchtower V, but with his affairs for the day taken care of, he felt he owed it to Gurn Akkare to offer him a personal farewell.
“And you’re sure you don’t want a Star Destroyer escort, it would keep you from having to fly all the way there.”
“Thanks Marcus, but no. The message was clear. I’m to come alone – any sign of a trap and Gyttel’s in trouble. Besides, most of the trip will be on automated flight in hyperspace. I can just sleep through it.” Akkare grinned roguishly as he climbed up into the cockpit of his refitted Delta-7.
“Right,” Pitto nodded in understanding, “one of those Jedi trance things?”
“Nope,” Akkare chuckled as he retrieved a small hipflask from somewhere in his dark blue robes, “I’ve got a couple of measures of Corellian brandy in there. At my age, there’s no better sleep medication.” Pitto smiled and shook his head in mock despair.
“Just be careful, the Empire has a pretty clear policy and drinking and flying.”
“Relax,” Akkare replied as he fitted a communications headset around his brow, “Jedi, remember?”
Pitto took a couple of steps back as Akkare closed the canopy, keying in the launch sequence and waking up the astro droid squatting just in front of the cockpit. As the repulsorlifts whined and lifted the small fighter into the air, Akkare lifted the hipflask and made drinking motions, a broad grin plastered across his face. Pitto kept smiling despite himself, and watched as the former Jedi guided the craft out of the bay and across the containment field, a brief flash from the ion engines marking its sudden acceleration as it set off across the stars.
Formerly known as The 95 Headhunter

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Mako
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Post by Mako » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:36 am

The meeting with the locals of Pantheon had proven to be quite fruitful. It would seem that the Brotherhood along with a lone Jedi had indeed been at the base. It seemed that the brotherhood was in search of something, the fact that Alaan had found a set of coordinates to Rhen Var gave her an Idea as to what it was. That could only mean big trouble lay ahead. Rhen Var was too far away for her and J.D. to do anything about it, So instead she opted to head for Kora IV and give Canthas a call to let him handle Rhen Var.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
Xendar sat at the nav computer of the Achilles, checking all of the hyperspace routes that any of the escaping craft that had left since the Republic Pilots showed. Thanks to their,now, very talkative prisoners Xendar had learned that non other than Tyber Zann himself had been present on Rhen Var. So it would seem that the old crime lord still lived. He would have proven to be a huge asset, it was such a waste that Tyber had chosen the wrong folks to work for.
Ah well if finding Tyber led to Canthas then that was what Xendar was going to do. Xendar was looking into another route that had been taken when one of the techs got his attention.
"Xendar, Alaan's on the line she's looking for Canthas."
"Alright I'll take it here."
Seconds later the fuzzy image of Alaan appeared on Xendar's counsel. "Xendar, where is Canthas?"
"That's something I'd like to know. Last transmission I got from him was from the surface of Rhen Var. He was doing some sort of pick up."
Alaan's eyes narrowed. "Pickup?"
"Yeah," Xendar nodded "seems some old associates got in some minor scrape and needed a way off planet. Canthas went in personally to do it, but shortly after that we lost contact with him. I've been scouring the system looking for him myself, but it seems as if the only thing we've just missed was an encounter with Tyber Zann."
"Tyber Zann was there? I thought he was dead."
"So did the rest of us."
"If Zann's still alive," Alaan said with a thoughtful expression on her face. "Then that would explain the brotherhood's interest in Kora IV, it would've been the only place that he could have hidden for so long. But I wonder, do you know of any recent excavations on Rhen Var?"
Xendar shook his head. "No , but then I haven't exactly been looking for any. Give me a second while I have a surface scan run." It took a few minutes, but shortly there after Xendar read the results to Alaan. "Other than the republic base that we already know about, there seems to have been some recent excavation done at Qel-Droma's Tomb."
"Damn, It's as I had feared."
"Xendar gave Alaan a puzzled look." Am I missing something here?"
Alaan gave Xendar a sideways look."Do you know anything about Rhen Var?"
Xendar just shrugged." Other than the fact that Mako wanted it erased from every known database so as to keep everyone away, no."
Alaan shook her head. "Xendar, you and Canthas really need to be around more for these kinds of things. Then perhaps We would be called the Circle Twelve as opposed to the Circle Ten. Anyway the reason Mako doesn't want anyone near Qel-Droma's tomb or the entirety of Rhen Var for that matter is that inside the tomb are directions to a vast fleet that's said to be indestructible. I would think that's something that Mako wants to avoid us having to face."
"Wasn't the same thing said about the Keepers? We were told they were unbeatable. We handled them just fine."
"Yes and look at what it cost Mako to get us that victory. And still some got away."
That was a sobering reminder. Even the ones you thought were invincible, relied on them to be, could be brought down. It was as Mako always said no matter how powerful you get something always comes along to bring you down. the Trick of it was to always think ahead so you could always keep that thing at bay. "Alright then I'll make it a top priority to find the ship with those coordinates to the fleet and stop it."
ALaan sighed. "It will be of little use. With the fleet's location in Tyber's hands, He's already there making use of it to his full advantage."
"Wait a minute." Xendar said thoughtfully. "Zann left from the abandoned Republic base, He doesn't have the Fleet's location. I don't even think he knows of the fleet's existence, but who ever has Canthas does. There's no way they'd head directly towards the Fleet. They'd want to lose any followers by using known rendezvous points, and I happen to know exactly where the nearest one is."
That brought a slight smile to Alaan's face."And how did you get that info?"
Xendar smiled back. "You sure you wanna know that answer?"
"No just get moving!"
"Already happening."
After punching in the coordinates into the Nav computer. Xendar ordered the 300th to form up and in an instant the battle group entered hyper space on it's way to rescue it's commander.
Power without perception is worthless and of no use.
Current WIP The Lost Fleet everything else is on hold.

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Post by squarehead93 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:06 am

Shiromy's entrance had taken the Brotherhood and their troops by surprise. She could sense their shock, but their faces showed it just as much. Except for one, who Shiromy assumed was in charge of them. He walked forward to greet her and Toth, removing his hood.
"Greetings, your Higness, Master Toth." he said, adressing each of them. "We have been expecting you."
The man had a full head of neatly cut gray hair, though he looked too young to have it. His entire body, including his face, was tatooed. Shiromy recognized the tatoos as being similar to Darth Maul's, except some of his natural skin was still left exposed.
Toth was getting nervous. Shiromy could sense it. "He's not intimidated like the others. Be very careful," he said to her throught the force.
"Who said I wanted to intimidate him? I was hoping to impress them. Watch,"
"My apologies," she said to the man. "I believe that I am inadequately dressed."
She began rearrange the molecules of her clothes, startling the Brotherhood once again. She was now wearing a dress that looked functional in battle yet incredibly sinister. It seemed to scream "Sith" all over it.
Shiromy had succeeded in impressing the man. "Ah," he said, rolling up his sleeves to expose more of his Sith body tatoo. "I see that you, like I, are reluctant to forget your Sith past. Most of the other Sith that joined the Brotherhood had their tatoos removed. I kept mine to remind me of where I came from, of what I evolved from."
You're not a Sith anymore! You're misleading them!" Toth said through the Force.
"Exactly," she replied. She spoke to the man again, sounding like she agreed with him.
"When I was a Sith, I was a slave to the dark side. Now, I am it's master."
"Excellent. But our master is interested in only the greatest force potential. You will have to do more than blow up a door and change your outfit to be of service to him. Now if you will-"
He was cut off by the sound of creaking metal. Shiromy had closed her eyes and appeared to be meditating. She had a wicked smile on her face.
“What are you doing?" said a nervous Toth.
“Just look calm.”
Glass started to shatter, pieces of the hangar were being ripped from their mounts. The entire ship felt as if it had just been put in a slow garbage compactor.
/////////////////////////////////////////////////
On the bridge, an officer shouted to the captain as alarms sounded and warning lights flashed.
“Sir, the ship is taking serious structural damage. Our hull is weakening, and we’re getting multiple breaches. Systems failing-”
“What the hell is going on?” asked the startled captain.
“I don’t know sir! I think it’s coming from within!”
////////////////////////////////////////////////
All the Brotherhood members looked frightened and were running to cover, except for the man who had greeted Toth and Shiromy. He was calm as usual.
Toth, for his part, was equally calm. Shiromy could sense the look on his face. He was looking at the Brotherhood as if he was showing them how aware he was of Shiromy’s power.
“That will be enough,” the ex-Sith said calmly. Shiromy opened her eyes and the ship stopped rumbling. Objects that had been flying through the air fell to the ground.
He started to smile at Shiromy. “Darius Rygetto would like to see you immediately.”
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General_Trageton

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Post by General_Trageton » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:39 am

Before they could even start off blaring sirens started to scream and the hangar lights changed color to a dim red. Immediately the grey-haired ex-sith reached for his comm.
"What is going on?" He demanded.
"Sir, a ship just exited hyperspace and is moving into attack position. They're ESS."
"You!" he hissed and whirled around. "You led us into an ambush!" Instantly Shiromy could feel the Force gripping for her throat.
"Don't be foolish." She hissed back. With a minor gesture she sent out a blast of lightning that swept him off his feet. Drawing on her own inner flame created an aura of fire surrounding her like a firy shield. "If I wanted to destroy you I would have done so already."
"They must have followed the shuttle's transponder." Toth said in a faked wave of anger. "And while we've been wasting our time with petty saber-rattling our pilot must have sent out a distress call."
"He shouldn't have done that!" The ex-sith said grimly. With a wave of his hand two armed troops hurried into the shuttle. Shortly after a pair of blaster shots could be heard as the unfortunate pilot was dealt with. The first pawn to be sacrificed for their goals. Surely more would follow. Turning around she rose a hand and with a loud crashing noise the shuttle was catapulted out of the hangar bay. Surprisingly their host, who had by now gotten back up to his feet remained silent at the sight of the depressurization pulling his soldiers out of the shuttle and into their doom.
"An eye for an eye?" The Ex-Sith eventually questioned.
"I'm a pragmatist." Shiromy stated neutrally and the firy aura died down. "If they could track the transport before they could do it again." crossing her arms she sled back into her role as the elevated Empress. "Now unless you want to engage in combat with an ESS warship I suggest it's time to leave."

////////////////

"The cruiser is changing course, Sir. They're trying to escape." The sensors officer reported.
"After them!" Colin Daskar barked. "Don't let them get away. The Phantom had entered the system about ten klicks away from the Brotherhood Cruiser, which was now quickly gaining speed. To make things worse the interdictor now moved in to block their path. "Open heavy fire on that Interdictor!" he ordered. "No one gets in our way like that unpunished!" With a rumble the Predator-class' heavy batteries awoke to live and sent a deadly constant energy barrage towards the smaller ship. Interdictors were effective at long range pulling ships out of hyperspace or preventing them from escaping. But when it came to combat - especially against a ship more than three times their size - their performance was less satisfactory. And so it took less than a minute for the Interdictor's shields to drop. A series of heavy fire from the Phantom's quad batteries hit the bridge section and burst it like an overripe fruit sending the ship drifting astray. But it was too late anyway. The Interdictor hat served its purpose depressingly well in drawing their attention and fire for as long as its companion needed to plot the hyperspace course. When the mass shadow died down the brotherhood cruiesr jumped into hyperspace.
It then appeared somewhat surreal that at the very same moment another ship leaped out of hyperspace at the very same place where the cruiser had just been.

////////////////

For the second time this day the viewports on the Mirage's bridge lit up brightly as the cruiser blazed out of hyperspace, shields up and weapons charged.
"So here we are." Darron commented then turned to the sensors terminal. "What do we have?"
"Well" Azrael said - and mild disappointment swung in his voice. "There's the Phantom - and a headless Interdictor." There was a pause, be fore he continued. "I'm getting another signal. It's a shuttle." Mryna's eyes narrowed. That was it.
"Damage?"
"Not much - no blast marks or anything. Wait ..." Azrael once again fell silent before he continued with a frown. "Looks like the boarding hatch is missing."
"any life signs around the shuttle?" Darron asked. Although his face and voice hadn't changed Mryna thought to notice his hands tighten their grip around the armrests.
"three - dead."
"Damnit!" Darron sighed heavily and sunk into his chair. "We're too late!" Mryna, too, felt a dreadding sensation creep up her spine. But still something told her this didn't add up. The Brotherhood wouldn't kill Shiromy. She'd be too valuable a prize for them. And the fact that only the hatch was blown off ...
"We're being hailed by the Phantom." Monk interrupted.
"Send our transponder codes then put us through to Admiral Dascar!" Mryna ordered.

A few moments later the image of Colin Dascar flared up over the large holographic table. "Mryna" the man said. "Glad you've come, although I'd wish you'd been there a minute earlier."
"Sorry we're late, Admiral." Mryna apologized sincerely. "What's the status?"
"We've been following the distress call as ordered and found a pair of ships here - that interdictor and a cruiser, which managed to escape seconds before you arrived."
"What's with the shuttle?" Mryna inquired, feeling the growing lump in her throat. "We registered three corpses nearby.
"We haven't been able to ID them yet, but it's not the Empress, that much I can asure you." Dascar answered quickly realizing her distress. A wave of relief washed over Mryna at these words. Darron, too, seemed to light up. "One seems to be the pilot but the other two may be from the cruiser."
"That's good to hear." Mryna said professionally, quickly subdueing any outward emotions. "So what's it with that shuttle?"
"Sorry, but we've been dealing with that Interdictor and didn't have a chance to take a closer look."
"Right" Mryna said, rolling her eyes in an exaggerated gesture of impatience. "Az, bring it up."
"On it" Azrael said and forwarded his results onto to the holo table, before joining Darron and Mryna. Next to Dascar's image the holo now showed a zoomed model of the shuttle. Mryna massaged her chin as she examined the hologram. The shuttle itself appeared undamaged safe for the missing hatch. No debris, no hatch. "Making an educated guess I'd say the shuttle was tractored in, the hatch blasted open, the passengers extracted and the pilot shot. Once they were done, all useless weight - the shuttle, pilot and the men who killed him - were dumped into space again, before leaving the area."
Eventually Azrael frowned and gazed at the projection. Apparently his artificial eye had made out something. Eventually he entered a few commands to zoom in on the hatch. "Look at this. The way the metal is deformed would suggest that the hatch had been blasted open from the inside."
"That sounds like Shiromy's handwriting." Mryna said. "Why wait to be boarded, when you can take the initiative."
"Doesn't make sense though." Dascar argued. "Even if she did go into the offensive, they had yet enough time to dump the ship and jump into hyperspace before she could get dangerous."
"I didn't say she'd get offensive." Mryna pointed out. "If she had destroyed that ship and its crew she'd only have hit the tip of the iceberg." Crossing her arms a smile spread on her face. It was becoming so clear now. "Get found, get caught, infiltrate, destroy. Does that ring a bell?"
Darron was first to catch up, frowning as he glared at her. "Isn't that your preferred style?"
Mryna nodded, as her grin grew wider. "I learned from the best, you know. So" She folded her arms. "Colin, could you trace their escape vector?"
"Yes, but I have my doubts on how useful it'll be to us. There's a number of potential places on that route and they could merely serve as a stop to change course and loose us.
"I see." Mryna said. "I need to take care of some business myself now. See what you can find out. Plot all possible courses and relay them directly to me. Do not engage pursuit until notified!"

////////////////

As sudden and unexpected as she had come the Mirage disappeared again leaving Dascar and his ship alone in the middle of nowhere.
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
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Post by FunkyFreshMan » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:44 am

Nearly a dozen or so contacts—mostly small cruisers and mid-sized corvettes—blipped onto the WildFire’s sensors. From them, numerous smaller ships—most likely fighters—broke off from their motherships in small groups before gathering into one large swarm. The intruding ships were poised to attack, but held their position.
Frost’s eyes darted between the small sensor screen before him and the wide view outside the bridge’s main port. “What are they waiting for?” he muttered before turning to a communication’s officer. “Are they hailing us?”
“Negative, sir,” the woman replied. “We’re picking up no transmissions whatsoever, not even among their own ships. I’m not getting any kind of transponder signals, either.”
He picked out what he thought might be the lead ship, an old Vengeance-class frigate that, like the other ships, appeared to be in desperate need of repair. “Try to raise that Vengeance. They didn’t come here just to admire us; find out what they want.”
“Right away, sir.” She returned to her station and brought up the hailing frequency. “Unidentified Vengeance-class frigate, you have entered a New Republic quarantine zone. Please, state your business or leave immediately.”
The comm was silent.
“Unidentified Vengeance,” she reiterated, “This is a New Republic quarantine zone. You must leave immediately or we will be forced to open fire.”
Again, nothing.
“Sir, I’m getting no reply. The squadrons are assembled and standing by for scramble. Should I—?”
The comm sizzled and popped before a low, eerie voice growled, “For Great Justice!”
Blood drained from Frost’s face and a chill ran up his spine. In one fluid, cohesive movement, the fighter swarm wheeled around and enveloped the nearest Republic ship, a heavily modified Marauder Corvette. Despite the corvette’s advanced lasers and point defense weaponry, the enemy fighters—all old, outdated models—effortlessly flayed their hapless prey.
Frost stared in shock, watching twisted bits of carbon-dusted durasteel drifting away from the skeletal remains of the corvette’s superstructure. “Contact the flight deck,” he said, grim. “Scramble fighters.”

****

It took only minutes for the New Republic pilots to mount their craft. Flight crews aboard the WildFire were known for holding some of the best scramble times in the Navy, most likely due to the extra hangar space the larger MC-85 had over standard MonCals.
The fighters raced to meet their enemy; attempting to intercept them early to draw them away from the WildFire and the Jedi she was housing. Due to the severity of the threat, Frost had decided to launch two full Republic wings—three of the WildFire’s four squadrons, two from the Nexus, and one from the Nebula Star Destroyer, Freya. The squadrons were divided equally into three superiority groups and three bomber groups.
The fighters assumed a loose vic formation being fronted by Jassik and his Halos. Roused after only an hour of rest, Dav was not pleased. “All I wanted was a little sleep,” he grumbled, “is that too much to ask? These guys have quite possibly made the biggest mistake of their lives because now I’m irritated! Halo and Slashrat Squadrons, form up on me.” He kicked the throttle and pitched the yoke forward, leading the two squadrons below the battle plane. “Ace, take your boys to the left; we’ll go right. We have to break that swarm apart so our bombers can break through to the capships.”
“Affirmative. You heard him, Rats. Let’s go part that sea!” Ace Azzameen—vaunted Rebel pilot and one of the many heroes made during the Battle of Endor—and his group of brash young rocket-jocks known as Slashrat Squadron banked their ships hard to port. Piloting the latest E-wing models, many of the Slashrats considered themselves “The Elite” even though some of them were fresh out of flight school. Ace and his more veteran pilots tried to keep the younger ones in line, but generally, when a fight broke out in the pilots’ lounge, one or two of the Rats could usually be found in the middle of it.
The two squadrons separated and flanked the swarm, catching them in a deadly pincer. Though the swarm was too much for a single, larger capital ship, in a head-to-head dogfight the poorly-trained pilots in the antiquated craft were overwhelmed by their crack Republic counterparts. Their fluid group maneuvering may have been impressive, but when the group was picked apart, they fought like beasts—overly-aggressive, inelegant, relying on sheer force and predictable tactics. Their numbers began to dwindle rapidly, turning the space between the two fleets into a thick field of debris. They were wounded; they were all but finished. But when a beast is wounded and cornered, it becomes desperate.
With the fighter swarm thinned, the bombers saw their opening. Two B-wing squads—Krayt and Stryker—led by an elite K-wing group, Grotha’s Angels, targeted the Vengeance, anticipating an easy kill.
“I want this to be a clean kill,” the lead K-wing’s pilot—a gruff old veteran named Ne’eram Grotha—said to his men. “Those old heaps out there don’t look like they got it in 'em to fight back. Hell, I’d wager they’d blow themselves apart if someone in there sneezed too hard. We all got unfinished drinks waiting for us back on the motherships, so let’s wrap this up quick so we can all get back to 'em. Got it?”
Before anyone could respond, a single Y-wing blipped onto the proximity sensors.
“Looks like we’ve got ourselves a hero here, sir,” Grotha’s co-pilot remarked. “Should we intercept?”
“Negative. If our fighter cover don’t nab 'im, our gunners will. No point breaking off a good run over one ruttin' fool with a death wish.”
When the renegade Y-wing closed into range, the K-wing gunners opened up on it. The Y-wing, still tough in spite of its dilapidated state, pressed forward, absorbing the blasts. Some it shrugged off, others burned off chunks of armor. As the Y-wing passed through the gap between Stryker’s lead and the Angels’ tail-end charlie, it exploded. The resulting damage was more severe than an average fuel and ordnance explosion typical of a destroyed fighter. It was almost as if the Y-wing had been carrying more than a standard payload of explosives.
“Sir!” Grotha’s co-pilot said. “I’m picking up small levels of baradium from some of the enemy fighters and that Vengeance frigate. Even at low levels it would be enough to completely decimate our fleet if they got too close. It’s almost like the enemy’s using…well, like they all rigged up to be—”
“Suicide ships!” Grotha finished. “And they just wiped out half our ruttin' squadron! Commander Jassik? Azzameen? Are you boys are done screwin' around down there? I think there’s something we could use your assistance with.”
“I saw it,” Dav replied. “If these guys are willing to blow up their own ships, I very highly doubt we’d be able to pressure them into a retreat.”
“Well that’s pretty obvious now, ain’t it?” Grotha snarled. “If we let that Vengeance get any closer, she’ll be just within range to do some major hurt to the WildFire. But if we blow her up ourselves, she’ll still go nova! One misplaced shot and we’re all going home a little more crispy.”
“With that much baradium floating around, I doubt we’d be going home at all,” Ace suggested.
“That’s not helping!” Jenn shouted, now trying hard to keep her distance from fighters that could possibly explode at any moment.
“You got any better ideas, sweetheart?” replied Grotha.
“First off, don’t you ever call me sweetheart again!” she said, irritated. No matter how dire the situation, being called sweetheart still irked her. “And, yes, I just might. I used to work with baradium a bit back during my…younger days. I picked up a few tricks.”
“Well, c’mon, woman, spit it out!”
As she began recalling her rather limited experience with disarming explosives, Jenn began to question even herself. “But I’ve only ever done it with small charges. I don’t know if it would work on such a large scale.” She was a lot better at setting off a charge than she was at silencing one.
“Look at it this way, Lieutenant,” Grotha reasoned. “If it don’t work and we all get blown up, at least we tried. But if we don’t try anything at all, we’re gonna blow up for sure. Based on those two outcomes, I’m willing to take a chance here.”
“All right,” she muttered, filled with self-doubt. “But pay attention, because we only get one shot at this.”
Grotha sighed and exchanged glances with his co-pilot. “I don't mean to undermine your overwhelming confidence, Lieutenant, but I certainly hope you know what you're doing.”
She swallowed hard then, under her breath, said, "Me, too."
NRAF Nexus: "When Duty Calls"
Draar chayaikir batnor jetii—ancient Mandalorian proverb.
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General_Trageton

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Post by General_Trageton » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:13 pm

Wherever the Brotherhood had set up their headquarters, they had made sure neither Shiromy nor Toth would get a clue where it was, locking them up in some windowless guest room aboard their cruiser. Now, finaly planetside, they were entering a temple-like building complex on a snow-swept high plateau. Darius Rygetto awaited them in what appeared to be some sort of ceremonial hall. The tall grown Cophuranee with long black hair and an aggressive goatee marking his chin wore a gray robe, cut similarly to the traditional garments worn by the Jedi. A thin scar ran along hisleft cheek just below the eye, likely from a vibroblade or lightsaber. His eyes were as blue as ice and just as cold - just like Shiromy had seen in the dying Padawan's visions. But in contrast to these memories his smile was modest and sincere as he approached her.
"Empress Shiromy Gitann" the man greeted her with a slight bow. "Or is it Darth Pyra? Or just Padawan Shiromy now? I must admit you find me at a lack of means to address you properly."
"Maybe you should have thought about that before having your dogs drag me here." Shiromy replied rather firy. "You are obviously well informed about who and what I am. Well enough to know the enourmous personal risk you are taking in bringing me here to meet you in person." In mild challenge she tilted her head and crossed her arms. "You must have a good reason to do it anyway."
"Indeed" Rygetto said and his smile broadened. "The same reason that drove you to follow my invitation without offering not the slightest resistance, even though you were more than capable to do so: Curiosity." Folding his hands on his back the blue-skinned man started to circle around her like a predator stalking its prey. "Cha'Lynh, Zhawn ti'Kur, Jedi, Sith." he accounted. "An impressive collection of titles. And yet - the more you add to this list the more you find yourself unsatisfied - more even: uncertain about your place in this galaxy, am I not right?"
"Places and roles change through time." Shiromy said with a careless shrug. "I go with the time and adapt to changes."
"Ah yes. You adapt. Like a colorful banner gracefully dancing in the wind, shifting and bending to every squall." That was not what she had meant! He chuckled, obviously noticing her irritation. "For a thousand years the Jedi would have condemned you for this - a renegade unwilling to follow their holy traditions. And yet it was these traditions themselves that would preach bending to the will of the Force itself - such sweet irony. So busy holding on to their tradition that they didn't see the world around them change."
"It was what led to their downfall." Shiromy commented - well aware of the cockeyed glance that Toth shot her from behind.
"Indeed." Rygetto agreed and finally came to a halt before her. "Now what about the Sith? Waiting hidden in the shadows for thousands of years. Changing with the course of time, adapting to changes and meticulously planning their revenge - a scheme that took millennia to prepare and execute. A strategical masterpiece. And still the price to pay was high. Only two Sith could coexist at a time. Proress was slow. Not to mention that their continuing strife to take revenge on their arch-nemesis made them just as blind for the things that really mattered. In the end it was their own blindness that - very much like the Jedi - destroyed them." He made a pause to let his words sink in, before continuing, almost solemnly. "One man, willing to break with traditions, was all it took to wipe out either of them. Anakin Skywalker to all but wipe out the Jedi, and Luke Skywalker to defeat the Sith."
"And now Darius Rygetto?" Shiromy questioned and cocked an eyebrow.
"Not me!" Rygetto declared and spread his arms. "All of us. Jedi and Sith - darkness and light united. You, my dear, have already taken the first step. Like all of our brothers you have had the blessing to taste dark and light. And this is how it should be." His voice was now almost chanting filling the chamber. "We will bring an end to these dogmatic and shortsighted religions and create a new order - one order - free of dogmatic prejudices and blind traditions." Something sparkled in his eyes as he seemed to gaze into the void. "As we speak our brothers are launching a massive assault on the Jedi and their pityful New Republic babysitters and make the way to our ascension." So it was like she had feared. The conclave at Yavin IV was to a silver plate. "Jedi and Sith will be cleansed in the fires of justice. And from the ashes they will be reborn in perfect harmony."
"Harmony?" Toth spoke up for the first time - apparently unable to hold back after the disturbing news. "This is your vision of harmony? Destroying both sides and putting your cult in their place? I don't know what has twisted your mind like that, but you have indeed fallen deep, my old apprent-" Without warning Rygetto dashed forward, producing a lightsaber in the motion and lashing for a lethal stab right through the Nautolean's heart. Instead however it met Shiromy's open palm, where the blade vanished - like the hand held a portal into another realm. Rygetto was fast, but not that fast. Apprentice! she thought. Interesting! So Rygetto was a former learner of Toth. This put the whole situation in a new light. It explained why she was allowed to go at all - and why Toth would insist to accompany her. With each passing moment this whole incident seemed less incidental. Very intriguing.

"Let's not overreact here, shall we?" she eventually said calmly, slowly moving between the two, while her hand seemed to push the glowing blade back into the handle. "I'm sure we can put our differences beside us, for the Force." Rygetto gazed at her in a mixture of surprise and suppressed fury, as she lowered her hand and continued. "Darth Revan once told me to pick my enemies wisely - a counsel I'd like to pass on to you now." Now it was her to fold her hands and circle around him, mimicking his dramatic demeanor. "I'll be perfectly honest with you: I cannot approve of your methods or morals. You're a disgrace for both the Jedi and Sith. Your actions are despicable - for what you have done I should execute you right where you stand." At these words she about a dozen hands in the room jumped towards their owners' lightsabers ready to strike her down on a word's notice. Ignoring them she once again rose her hand, clenching it to a fist. But instead of Rygetto's throat the controlled burst of fury hit the lightsaber he was still holding in hand. Like a burnt branch the handle started to crumble and flake apart, trickling from his hand in a cloud of ashes. "The only reason you're still alive, is that your vision of the Force is the same as mine and that your intentions are convenient to my goals. And that is why I will follow you."
The room was now dead silent but trembling with anticipation, all eyes and ears were now focused on her. "But know this: Ever threaten me or any of my associates again and I will tear this place and everyone within to pieces like this lightsaber." While she spoke her hand moved again and drew the fading ashes back together, forging the destroyed weapon anew, which she handed to him. "Am I clear?"

Once again silence, as now it was her gaze that was lasting heavily on Rygetto as he examined the weapon that had just been destroyed and restored. When he looked up his eyes were as clear as a cold mountain lake. The face of a man, who was understanding what odds he was facing - a powerful ally or the deadliest foe one could possibly imagine. When he spoke his voice was calm, composed, clearly audible. "Perfectly clear."
"Good." Shiromy said. "Now that we got to know each other it is time for me to leave."
"No!" Rygetto protested harshly, while she already turned to face the entrance, where a quartet of guards quickly moved in to block the way. Like everyone else in the room they had lightsabers ready in hand. "I can't let you -"
"You will." Shiromy shot into his words, whirling around and piercing him with her firy gaze. Once again their gazes clashed against one another like two raging storms meating over fuious waters. but only for a few moments before Shiromy calmed down again. "My people are looking for me." She said, now absolutely sound. "It won't be long until they bring up more than just a cruiser. And they will find me, if I want them to." Rygetto remained silent, seemingly deliberating her words. "Therefore I will go now and finish the business I came for when you intercepted me." Without waiting for his response she once again turned to face the entrance. A vicious smile played across her face and her eyes flashed up in a firy burst as she regarded the guards in her way. "You knew you would be placing your lives in my hand, when you sought me out."
"You can go." Rygetto eventually said, controlling his anger. At a gesture of his the guards moved out of her way. Now however, they were approaching Master Toth. "Your Jedi Master will stay." It was little surprising. Toth's outburst had ultimately betrayed him - and even if it hadn't - he was a Jedi no matter what he might pretend. Moreso: He was Rygetto' former master. Likely Rygetto would try to turn Toth to his course - just as Toth would try to convince his former student. It was obvious though that Toth was greatly outnumbered for his intentions. She could only hope that his will would keep him safe until she returned. If not ... a lot of pawns would be sacrificed before this was over, there was no doubt.
Finally Shiromy nodded "It is settled then." and left the hall.

////////////////

The Mirage silently cut through the azure mists of the Olympus cloud - the southern part of the snake-like nebula known as the Serpent Twins, which stretched through the eastern and original part of the Central ESS. The bright blue clouds shone a calming light through the viewports and once again Mryna found herself gazing out into the void and simply admiring the view. Since she had become a pilot twenty years ago she had visited countless places of stunning visual appeal. Space was beautiful.
Mryna had intentionally plotted the jump coordinates a bit off so they could cross the remaining distance - a few hundred kilometers - in real space. Mryna was standing at the large observation window of her personal quarters, and gazed out into the azure nebula. The range of sight in the dense cloud was rather limited. While at some points she could barely see the other end of the ship, they sometimes passed through areas where she could at least make out the next cloud they were approaching. However, as they approached their destination she could slowly make out a faint shape beyond the veil of clouds, a shape getting larger. Spectre base was one of several deepspace strongholds, hidden inside the countless nebulae across ESS territory, serving as base of operations for Mryna and her team of Executors. They would switch to a smaller, less conspicuous ship, before moving on to pick up their latest members: Imperial commando Darv Gyttel and semi-Jedi Gurn Akkare.
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
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Post by Will T » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:48 pm

Gurn Akkare rubbed his eyes as he examined the readouts before him. Looking back up, he squinted through the glare of hyperspace and adjusted the polarisation of the canopy to compensate. The soft pulsing of the proximity alarm had been reverberating through the cockpit for the last minute or so, and the holographic display before him showed the time remaining before the hyperdrive cut out.
Flicking a series of switches, Akkare prepared himself for the deceleration, double checking the inertial dampers were ready. With one final, drawn out ping from the alarm, the timer glowed green as it hit zero and Akkare disengaged the hyperdrive, watching as the swirling blue of hyperspace faded into distorted star light, and finally the deep black of space. The co-ordinates he had been given were for a mostly empty region of space; it was a mapped system, but the nearest planet was nothing more than a dead ball of rock with only trace amounts of argon giving it an atmosphere, one that was insufficient to trap enough of the weak star's emissions to keep it from being anything other than extremely cold. Orbited by an equally desolate and empty pair of moons, the planet lacked even a name - it's position on star charts marked only by an alphanumeric designation that few would ever remember.
"So, have they given you a name yet?" Akkare asked into his headset as he fired up the small starfighter's sensors.
"NEGATIVE. THIS UNIT RESPONDS TO ITS SERIAL NUMBER." Came the reply, in the form of text scrolling on one of the cockpit's display screen.
"No name, huh? How long have you been serving the Empire?" Akkare asked, only mildly interested in the reply.
"TIME SINCE LAST MEMORY WIPE: SIX STANDARD DAYS, SIXTEEN HOURS, SEVEN MINUTES AND THIRTY-TWO SECONDS. NEXT SCHEDULED MEMORY WIPE IN SEVEN DAYS, TW-"
"Alright, alright," Akkare interrupted, "I get it, even if that doesn't really answer my question." He sighed, looking out at the black coloured dome of the R2 unit plugged into his fighter just in front of the cockpit, as soulless a droid as he had ever met. "Anything on scanners yet?"
"NEGATIVE. WOULD YOU LIKE THIS UNIT TO BEGIN LONG RANGE SWEEP?"
"Well, yeah. I thought that's what you were doing?"
"NEGATIVE. STANDARD PROTOCOL DICTATES SHORT RANGE SWEEPS MUST BE CONDUCTED BEFORE-"
"OK, sure. Whatever you say. Now can you ignore 'standard protocol' and get the ship's scanners looking for another ship?"
"AFFIRMATIVE." Came the mindless reply. For all the advances Akkare had witnessed the Empire make during his service, they still regarded droids as little more than machines, property. He wasn't even sure if he disagreed with the policy, but he had seen what some of the droids in the employ of the Jedi Order had been capable of, even simply astro droids like this had eventually become capable of astounding leaps of logic, posessed of personality that was eerily... well if not human, then certainly sapient.
Akkare was distracted by a ping on the sensor boards. The scanners had located a small ship holding stationary roughly nine hundred kilometres away. Throwing power toward the drive, Akkare's small fighter hurtled towards it. Just to be sure, the former Jedi raised the craft's shields. As he got close enough for the sensors to develop a picture of the craft's hull configuration and emission signatures, the central display resolved into an image of the craft, matching its real life counterpart's orientation relative to Akkare. It was a stock BRX-700 transport, it's hull a uniform, dull grey and it's swept back engines belying the simple craft's speed. It's large canopy, though a vulnerability, gave the occupants inside an impressive vista, and its dark polarisation prevented his visual scanners a look inside.
"Well, I guess that's them." Akkare said aloud, to no one in particular. He keyed in a hailing frequency. "ESS transport, this is Gurn Akkare of the Galactic Empire requesting permission to approach." For what felt like several minutes, there was no response. The ESS transport was almost in visual range, and Akkare about to repeat his transmission when the reply came through.
"Akkare," Gyttel's gruff voice filtered through Akkare's headset, "good to see you. Apparently, the pilots want me to take care of all communication. Operational security or something."
"I see..." Akkare replied, eyebrow raised, "I have to say, I was expecting to see you on something a little... bigger. I don't think I'll be able to come aboard a small transport, not with the cockpit on this thing the way it is."
"I know." Gyttel said. "That's the point. You're not meeting me on this thing, our 'supervisors' are about to arrive on a bigger ship for pickup."
"Oh, wonderful." Akkare said dryly. "Guess I'll just sit tight then." Akkare slumped back in his seat as he started powering down systems.
"It could be worse, I've been here the past two hours. The two guys flying this craft aren't much for talking."
"Neither are you." Akkare laughed. "You hate people!"
"I never said the silence was bad," Gyttel replied, "it just means I'm struggling to come up with a reason to kill them."

*****

After a half hour of fruitless conversation with his stoic, infuriatingly mindless astro droid, Akkare was beginning to grow restless.
"I HAVE A QUERY." Akkare watched dozily as the words scrolled across the readout. He yawned, tempted to ignore the statment until he noticed something.
"You referred to yourself as I." He said incredulously.
"AFFIRMATIVE. I FIND IT MORE EFFICIENT. IT FACILITATES COMMUNICATION."
"Interesting." Akkare murmered to himself. "What's your query?"
"WHY DO ORGANICS PLACE VALUE ON NAMES?" Akkare raised his eyebrows and blinked, unsure how to answer. Had he got this stupid droid to think for itself?
"Well," he began, struggling for words, when the proximity alarm warbled. "Look's like that will have to be a discussion for another day."
A ship rocketed into realspace not ten kilometres from their poisition, significantly larger than the transport sat across from him. How do they get their jumps so accurate? Akkare wondered. As the newcomer declerated, Akkare lost track of it. The slowly resolving image on his sensors showed it to be primarily black in colour, but the colouration was meshed in such a way to provide excellent camouflage against the black of space. Without the glow of drive emissions, it was difficult to pick out, despite the glaring red on the flanks.
The sensor image showed it to be a lethal looking ship, all defined, sharp edges and meanly tapered prow and aft. Akkare let out a low whistle.
"Looks like they're bringing out some new tech." He said over the mic.
"Certainly does," Gyttel replied, sounding impressed, "apparently we're to await boarding instructions."
"Can't wait." Akkare said sardonically. So, once again, he was about to embark on some secret mission of great importance for reasons he couldn't even begin to fathom. I love my job, he thought privately, endlessly glad that Gyttel couldn't read minds.
Formerly known as The 95 Headhunter

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Post by squarehead93 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:02 am

Xiana's speeder bike stopped at a mansion on the Mandalorian countryside. Nothing but green hills and blue sky could be seen. It was the perfect location for one who wished to avoid the public.
The mansion was large, but not ridiculously so. It had a functional, almost fortresslike appearance to it. Parked on the landing pad was a battle scarred, green and brown Firespray gunship.
To everyone else, this was the home of the galaxy's most notorious bounty hunter. To Xiana, it was Uncle Boba's home.
She walked up to the doors, which were made of Mandalorian steel and appeared to be impenetrable, and rang the doorbell. Moments later, a man who looked just like Jango Fett, had he lived to be about decade older, walked to the door.
"Xiana!" Boba exclaimed, giving one of his rare smiles.
They hugged, then Boba said, "I'm surprised you didn't bring at least one bodyguard with you. You still have a lot of enemies here on Mandalore, you know."
"You wouldn't believe the amount of work it took to convince Two to let me go alone," she said. "But I am a Mandalorian, and a Fett."
Boba smiled again. "Good. I always knew you were made of the right stuff. That's because you share my blood."
Xiana's father had been Sergeant Gamma "Squarehead" nine-three, an ARC trooper in the Clone Wars. Boba had grown up with Nine-Three on Kamino, and they had been close friends. After the war, Nine-Three left the Imperial army and set of to live a life of his own on Mandalore. As a clone of Jango Fett, he had considered himself a legitimate descendant of the Fett line, and took the name Cal Fett. He got married and had Xiana. Soon after, Boba launched the Mandalorian Revolution, with Cal at his side. Cal had been one of the most celebrated heroes of the war, but was killed in the final days of fighting. Boba had still never completely gotten over the death of the only man he had ever considered to be his brother.
Xiana smiled like a little girl at Boba's reminder. She had always been proud of her heritage.
"Come on in," Boba said. "I'll get us some beer."
They both walked in. Boba went to the kitchen, while Xiana sat down in the living room. On Boba's cofee table was a partially dismantled blaster rifle. Various trophies were mounted and placed in cases around the room.
Boba came back with two bottles of Mandalorian ale. Xiana was probably one of the few to have seen him without his armor on, let alone like this.
Boba sat down and handed her a bottle.
“So, I take it you didn’t just come all this way just to have a beer with your retired bounty hunter of an uncle,” he said. “What’s on your mind?”
“You’ve heard of the Brotherhood of Shadows, right?”
“Everyone has. I saw the attacks on Yavin IV. I gotta give those bastards some credit. For a long time, I had dreamed of doing something like that myself.”
One of the few things that everyone knew about Fett was his hatred of Jedi.
“Well,” began Xiana, “You might get a chance to take out some force-users. A lot of them. My intelligence officers have reason to believe that the Brotherhood was behind Malzic’s rise to power and the war with the ESS. These people have been pulling a lot of the galaxy’s strings lately.”
Boba stared at her. “You don’t seriously think I want to help you take on the Brotherhood, do you? I’m having enough difficulty settling down as it is.”
“Yeah,” said Xiana pointedly. “Not even Malzic’s coup could bring you out of retirement.”
Xiana still hadn’t forgiven her uncle for not helping her in her fight against the one time Mandalore, Nyko Malzic.
Boba sighed, clearly not wanting to get into that conversation again. “Xiana, listen. During the revolution..”
“….all you wanted was Mandalorian independence, not a start in a political career,” said a frustrated Xiana, completing Boba’s frequently-used excuse. “But what’s the difference between foreign tyrants and tyrants on our own homeworld?”
“Look, Xiana,” said Boba defensively. “Let me remind you that I didn’t give Malzic any support, either. In fact, I had to force a lot of his people off of my property with my rifle. Came damn close to shooting a few of them, too. If I wasn’t who I am, I’d imagine they wouldn’t have listened, either. Listen, I’m just not made to be a politician. That’s your gift.”
Xiana didn’t care about her uncle’s kind words.
“So you didn’t help Malzic, but you let him ruin all that the Mandalorians, all that you worked for,” she said, even more dissatisfied. “When are you going to decide that there is something worth fighting for?”
Boba was beginning to feel bad now. “Xiana, I…”
“Don’t you get it?” she cut in, now crying. “These people could be the ones responsible for most, if not all of the suffering that we’ve gone through in the past two years, and the suffering of a lot of other people too.”
Boba got up, stared at her with a determined look on his face, and walked away.
Now Xiana was furious.
“This is just like you!” She cried. “During the revolution, you could talk so much about how you had the Mandalorians’ best interests at heart, but you want none of it. Every time I needed your help, you ignored me. You just wanted to be left alone. Well, you’ve got what you want! But when you’re down on your luck, don’t come crying to me because there’s no one left to come help you!”
Just then, Boba appeared. This time, he was dressed in his full Mandalorian armor.
“So,” he said. “Which direction do you want me to shoot?”
Xiana stood there, and smiled broadly. They hugged again.
“Besides,” said Boba. “Retirement was getting boring anyway.”
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Post by Seagulls » Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:41 am

Admiral Marcus Pitto stood before two young Lieutenants, briefing them for a mission he knew they didn't believe they were capable of. He smiled, thinking of his own near-impossible situation that ended in the massive promotion to Admiral.
"I chose you because of how strenuously you both work towards even slight promotions. Flying shuttles isn't fun, I recall. I know you two work well together, because I know both of your families and all of the commanding officers you've had since you both went to that holoart class when you were seven. Just stick together and you won't get hurt. I'm giving you Crescent, which I understand is your best friend, Aaron."
"Yes sir, helped me out of a tight spot, sir."
Both junior officers flashed quick smiles at the thought of command of a ship as well-tuned as the Crescent, A modified SoruSuub Personal Luxury Yacht 5000, the entire ship had been changed from a rich man's play-place to a fighting ship with hull modifications and many more weapons.
"Now as long as you two share," all three grinned, "this will be a piece of cake. Dismissed!" He returned their salute as they nearly sprinted out of his office. He relaxed in his comfy chair, thinking about the times he was briefed for something as exciting as supervising a maintenance crew for two whole days.
'They need the experience', he thought to himself as he closed his eyes and leaned back, enjoying the few moments of peace before his next appointment.
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"Now you're using that misfiring hunk of erratic machinery you refer to as a brain"-Ton Phanan. Pilot, Wit, Superior Intellect.

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Post by squarehead93 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:04 pm

Slave I arrived from hyperspace at the orbital shipyards above the Mandalorian planet Keldabe. These shipyards were home to almost 200 Lictor-class dungeon ships, ancient ships that had been built by the Mandalorians milennia ago. They were specifically fitted to handle the transport of Jedi prisoners. During the Revolution, Boba Fett had acquired them, but never used them. Officially, the ships were still privately owned by Fett, but Nyko Malzic, while in power, started to restore and upgrade them for what he thought would be an inevitable confrontation between his forces and the New Republic's Jedi. After he was overthrown, Xiana Fett halted the program as a gesture of peace towards the New Republic and the Jedi.
But it looked like these ships would be pressed into service again, this time against the Brotherhood.
////////////////////////
Lando Calrissian wasn't dumb. He had been tricked many times before and saw almost anything coming now. That is why his suspicions were raised about the mysterious people who bought almost 300 mole miners from him.
It was getting late and there was only so long the caf he drank could sustain him. He sighed and looked at the chrono. Just 30 more minutes, and I'll go to bed.
His search had had him going through the usual layers of middlemen and fake corporations to find the real buyer. It hadn't lead to much, until he realized that one of the parent corporations had some serious ties to Darius Rygetto.
Calrissian knew a lot of people who would want to see this.
He copied the information and began writing an email to Luke Skywalker.
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Post by General_Trageton » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:43 pm

The high-priority transmission from the Phantom reached Mryna just upon arrival at the rendezvous point. She had ordered the small crew to take Gyttel and and Akkare aboard, while she'd come to welcome them suite. In fact extracting the Jedi from his starfighter would prove the more tricky part, giving her enough time to answer this call.
"Admiral" Mryna leaned forward, forearms rested on the table, as Colin Dascar's image flashed up on her desk. "Found anything useful?"
"Indeed." Dascar acknowledged. "were able to cut potential courses down to five."
"Good work." She appreciated. "We'll take it from here."
"We found out more, though." Dascar continued and his expression changed strangely. "We examined the wreckage of that Interdictor were able to salvage its logs."
"Go on!" Mryna folded her hands and regarded the man. A trace of confusion, almost distress clouded his expression now.
"According to these logs the interdictor had entered the target area roughly twenty-four minutes after the distress signal was received."
Mryna cocked an eyebrow. "Maybe the transmission was temporarily interrupted before our posts could receive it?"
"That's what we suspected, as well. Therefore I had the signal traced back to its origin."
"And?" Mryna inquired anxiously.
"The original source has been removed from the transmission string. We can trace it back to the main NCI comm center, but from there the track is cold."
"Are you suggesting that someone intentionally errased the origin of the message?"
Dascar's expression darkened more as he nodded. "Could be the same person who had been in contact with the interdictor two days ago. Ship logs report scrambled communications traffic between the Interdictor and a non-identified vessel. We couldn't decrypt the message, but the code used is one I faintly recognized - top-level ESS security."
For a moment Mryna sat there in startled silence at this revelation. She then remembered something Vince had said earlier: 'It appears someone has leaked information that Shiromy was not going to join the Jedi Conclave'.
"This is most disturbing." Mryna said and her eyes narrowed. It was unfortunate that Dascar should be the one to find out about this first-hand. "Have you talked about this to anybody else, Admiral?"
"No Mylady." Dascar replied uneasily. "Noone but you."
"Good." Mryna replied and her tone grew sharper. "This must remain classified at all costs. If we do have a rat in the upper ranks they must not know that you found this out. Word of this gets out any attempts of rooting them out would be compromised. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Mylady." Dascar assured. "Perfectly." Then the hologram faded out and revealed Darron gazing at the empty table.
"So it's true?" Darron questioned with a deep frown. "Vince has betrayed Shiromy to the Brotherhood."
"- and feigned a distress call to get an ESS Cruiser to assist and keep up the illusion we were trying to rescue her." Mryna added.
"Whatever gets the job done, hm?" Darron sighed wearily. "I get it."
"Talking about getting the job done" She said and rose from her chair, giving him a quick kiss on the cheek as she passed him. "I think it's time to welcome our new guests."

////////////////

"Shiromy!" Vince seemed to literally fly as he came rushing towards her from the ship that had touched down nearby. Only in the very last moment would Shiromy move as well and leap into his opening arms. The brotherhood shuttle had dropped her on a rocky plateau somewhere amidst New Cophuran's equatorial rain forests in order to avoid any further attention. Dropped indeed, as she had left the vehicle skydiving half a mile above the ground using the Force to catch her fall and touch down with only a minor shockwave. From here she had made contact with Vince to pick her up.
"Are you all rigth?" he inquired worriedly.
"I'm fine, don't worry." she replied, nestling her head into his shoulder.
"When I heard the Brotherhood had taken you, I feared the worst."
"Liar!" Shiromy said and chuckled. No way in fooling her - he did have his hand in the whole situation - but that would be something to talk about later. Slipping out of his embrace she took half a step back and looked up at him with a wry smile. Vince only smiled back at her. Shiromy then realized that something was amiss. He looked ... different. His eyes - ice-blue as ever, yet something in them was different. His skin ... she just realized how flawless and deep-blue it was. He was a clone alright - obviously - she herself had killed his true body. No, there was something different. A strange distortion in his expression. Despite the body's relative youth he looked very old, tired, worn. "You look terrible." She eventually stated forth and reached up to touch his cheek. Stubby - even the beard which he used to keep trimmed and firm was beginning to sprawl out of control.
"A lot has happened since you left." Vince said.
"Indeed." Shiromy said knowingly. "I think there's a lot to talk about. Come on, let's go home."

////////////////

"Welcome aboard the Nighthawk, Gentlemen" Mryna addressed the two new guests, waiting in the GTS' boarding nexus. A brief handshake and a nod was as formal as it got. "I am pleased to see we could pull off this pickup quick and clean. Now, while I'd love chatting with you about the good old times chasing each other across the galaxy, I fear we have more pressing issues at hand, so I'll just give you the quick rundown on how things are run aboard my ship." Whether or not intentional she found herself putting a slight emphasis on 'my'. "You are here because our government - much like the rest of the galaxy - are facing a common enemy. This doesn't make us friends just yet. Still, given how well our little endeavor went over Calim IV, the Emperor decided to give you a chance and so will I. Since this is considered a joint operation you will not be treated as prisoners and are therefore free to move aboard this ship - with a few exceptions, of course. Should the situation demand lethal force you will be given access to weapons stored within the ship's armory along with the authorization - and order to use them. This is a non-military operation. Everything we do and say is therefore classified and off the record. This also gives us more flexibility in our ways of handling the challenges and getting the job done. It still follows the concept of command and therefore my word will be your law for the course of this operation." She regarded both men with a stern look. "Am I clear?"
Both agreed.
"Good." Mryna said contently. "There will be no guards babysitting you around either. Each member of my team is a well trained and experienced operative. Even the cook can kill you - but that's a fear each of us has to live with." She didn't expect any reaction from them and received none. Good. Were she speaking to less professional and experienced operatives she'd likely have caused a chuckle. It was good to see both of them understood the seriousness of the situation. "In other words" she continued. "should I or anyone else detect any signs of insubordination both of you will take a trip through the airlock. Are we clear?"
"Perfectly clear." Both said almost unison.
"Very well then, welcome to the team." Behind her she registered movement an slightly turned around to the dark-skinned man approaching from the ship's mess. "This is Shaft, our gunnery expert. He'll show you to your quarters. Dismissed."
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
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Seagulls
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Post by Seagulls » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:37 am

Second Lieutenant Aaron Valis ducked out of the refresher and into the bedroom he had shared with three immature ensigns. He quickly changed into his best dress uniform, polished each of the four rectangles and the code cylinder on his rank insignia and fastened it to his chest. He put on his hat, and pulled on the small brim to make hide more of his acne-scarred forehead. He grabbed his orders and light luggage, and stepped out into the hall. Ten minutes later he was at Bastion's space dock, waiting for his co-commander.

She arrived within minutes, collar unorthodoxly flipped down, Lieutenant's insignia on the right breast of her uniform rather than the left. Her personal sidearm swung from her right hip, a backpack's straps adorned her shoulders, and four ancient-looking books filled her left arm, the hand grasping the datapad that contained their combined orders. Lieutenant Alicia Rying kept on walking past him and up the boarding ramp.

They read themselves in in unison to the crew of 20, starting with "By the order of Admiral..." all the way through to "absolute authority and discipline including lethal force", Alicia in her quick voice and a smile, and Aaron with a small grin and a middle-range voice that cracked only once, bringing a smile from the crew which he had grown fond of during the stress-filled ferry that nearly ended in Crescent being blown to space debris by a pirate fleet in one of their course adjustments.

They were introduced to the officers, plus the intelligence officers assigned to them and the 10 pilots making up their small complement. Afterward, both collapsed into the chairs of one of the Holochess consoles that lined the inside curve of the Crescent's sweeping hull.

"Well, that went well eh?", He remarked, picking up the books she brought and scanning the titles. "Care for a game of holochess?"
She grinned. "Nope, I need a nap. I hit the Saabac tables late last night, won almost a thousand credits."
"Woah. I get ten percent of that for changing your age on their database. And for showing you the place where the MP doesn't patrol and where there are fat merchants who want to unload their cash in exchange for a difficult saabac game."
Alicia grabbed the book he was reading out of his hands, shouldered her pack, and walked away.
"I'll let you deal with the exit security."
"Fine. I'll just tell them we have a rogue officer trying to defect."
"Do that, I'll shoot your ears off and attatch space slugs to them. I need my nap."
He shook his head and started toward the one of the two spiral staircases in the Navy, the other being at the opposite edge of the ship.
The bridge crew was ready, his mate saluting him with a quick grin. The authorities let him leave almost immediately, and they set course for the Yavin system to offer support, a cleanup crew of 30 in the passenger cabins, and the best intelligence officer to be had in the executive suite. Aaron turned toward the front viewport and watched the stars blur as they entered into the chaotic blue tunnel of hyperspace.
Seagulls
Red 6
CRS Morning Star: Home of Red Squadron

"Now you're using that misfiring hunk of erratic machinery you refer to as a brain"-Ton Phanan. Pilot, Wit, Superior Intellect.

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FunkyFreshMan
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Post by FunkyFreshMan » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:12 am

The bridge of the Vengeance-class frigate Cruciamentum resembled a shrine more than a starship’s center of command. The lights were dimmed. At the center stood an altar; elegant tapestries hung from structural supports. Most of the ship’s systems had been automated to reduce crew size; any redundant systems had been removed altogether. The Cruciamentum only needed enough life-support to keep its occupants alive long enough to reach Yavin and fulfill their task. They were to cleanse the space around the Jedi sanctuary, sacrificing themselves for the Brotherhood and the greater good. Those few chosen for this duty would be remembered not just as faithful followers but immortalized as martyrs.
Generally, the Brotherhood hired small-time mercenaries to fill a starship crew’s more mundane roles. Not all Brothers were capable of running a ship’s systems and it could be difficult to find a Brother willing to act in some of the less-desirable positions. The Cruciamentum’s skeleton crew, however, was made up entirely of Force-adepts, hand-picked by Darius Rygetto himself.
“My Brothers,” the Cruciamentum’s commander—a towering, stoic figure clad in a deep navy-blue cloak—stood at the altar and spoke as his acolytes began to gather. “Our moment has arrived. We must rid ourselves of these pests and prepare the way for our ascension. We are of the Order of Purifiers. That is why we were chosen for this duty. Our deaths shall be glorious! Through fire we shall receive our salvation!”
The Brothers remained silent, solemn. They drew their lightsabers but did not ignite them. Instead, they each placed their hilts onto the altar then chanted in unison, “No Jedi. No Sith. Only the Force.”
Leaving his acolytes in a meditative trace around the altar, the commander performed an about-face then slowly strode up to the bridge’s main viewport. Outside, the battle raged. The commander allowed a small smirk to tarnish his otherwise humorless features as he watched a group of his starfighters fall victim to a single Republic K-wing. Those fools probably thought they had turned this battle; that they were doing well. True that the amassed Republic fleet was much larger than the Brotherhood’s, but it mattered not. In a few minutes, neither side would remain. He then fixed his gaze upon the massive Calamari cruiser at the other end of the fighter sea. He only regretted for a moment that he would not live long enough to watch it burn along with those pompous, self-righteous Jedi on board. But sacrifices must be made and he was honored to have been selected to make such a sacrifice. The Order of Purifiers was a small sect of master Force-adepts within the Brotherhood. They were completely devoted to the cause, taking their loyalty to an almost religious level, and each Purifier was as skilled and deadly as the next. To be singled out and chosen from such a group meant one was truly unique.
“I have served well in life,” the commander said as he hovered his fingers over the controls that would trigger the explosives. “In death, I shall be exalted.” Eternal glory was but a few heartbeats away.

****

In combat, a warrior was expected to be able to change tactics on the fly in order to best his opponent. To this effect, the Republic fighters now remained spread apart to discourage more suicide attacks. The entire purpose behind such an attack was to cause as much damage to the target as possible with a single, expendable unit. When the elements of the target were spread apart, it rendered such attacks inefficient. However, such a loose formation would only work against the small one-man ships. The area-effect of a Vengeance frigate loaded with baradium was bound to be much larger.
“Can’t we just hit it with a timed missile and move the fleet out of the area before it goes?” Zed offered. He cringed as a laser bounced off his X-wing’s fuselage just behind the cockpit, nearly frying his crimson astromech, Champ.
“Wouldn’t work,” Jenn replied. “They’re locked onto us and would have no problem keeping pace with our slower ships. Especially the WildFire. No way could we outrun them. Besides, hitting it with a warhead might set off the charge prematurely.”
“Well, then we’ll disable ’em,” Grotha said.
“Don’t you think I thought about that already? If they realize we’re trying to knock out their engines, it will only provoke them and they’ll trigger the explosives sooner. It wouldn’t take them long to close the gap and hit critical range. Definitely not a long enough window for us to move in and disable them.”
Grotha banked and pitched his K-wing, maneuvering it under an old Toscan fighter, opening up a clear line of fire for the K-wing’s dorsal gunner. “Then what?! I though you said you had an idea!” The gun turret spat fire, but the Toscan pulled away, looping around to the K-wing’s rear blind spot.
Jenn found the Toscan in her scopes and immediately broke to pursue. “No, I said I knew a few tricks. If you’d shut up for a minute, I might be able to think of some way to utilize them in this particular situation.” She lined up the Toscan, taking care to stay well out of range of any explosives it might be carrying. She fired a quick burst, but her target rolled downward causing the faster X-wing to overshoot.
She bit off a curse as she swung wide, hoping to position herself behind it again. “Okay, most of the time, baradium charges are triggered with an electrical energy burst as opposed to a miniature incendiary charge or fuse like most handheld explosives.”
Picking up the Toscan on his rear sensors, Grotha put his large assault fighter through a series of clumsy evasive maneuvers. “Hate to break it to you, sweetheart, but this ain’t exactly a grenade we’re dealing with!”
With the Toscan now focused on the K-wing, Jenn was able to slip in behind it and achieve a fairly easy lock. “You call me sweetheart one more time and being atomized will be the least of your problems!” She launched a single torpedo. It tore into the Toscan fighter’s aft; the baradium payload detonated, nearly vaporizing the entire fighter. “It’s still the same basic principle. All we’d have to do is jam the electronic trigger.”
The comm was silent for a long moment.
“And?” Grotha finally said.
“I don’t know! Jamming doesn’t disarm it; it just disables the trigger mechanism. Makes it safe to go in and remove the explosive core. But we can’t exactly do that, now can we?”
“Well, what happens once the detonator’s no longer being jammed?”
“Then it’s active again.”
“Wonderful! So we’d be right back where we are now!”
“Unless they’ve already hit the button while it was jammed. Your average baradium triggers are temperamental. You can stop the actual electronic signal, but if the switch is already flipped, it will still send that signal whenever it gets the chance.”
“So if they try to detonate it while it’s being jammed, it will still be primed. And if we stop jamming—”
“Boom!” She let out an aggravated huff. “That’s why I hate working with baradium. The standard mechanisms it uses are a lot more complicated than people think. The only really effective way to disarm something baradium-based is to completely separate the trigger from the charge.”
“Or blow it up,” Roho pointed out bluntly.
“Yeah, there’s that, too,” Jenn said, hardly amused. “Not exactly the most favorable of options right now.”
Dav broke into the chatter. “Look, they’re most likely going after the WildFire, right? Could you give Admiral Frost the jamming frequency?”
“Probably, yeah.”
“Then have the WildFire transmit the signal and have the fleet micro-jump to the other side of the system. You said if it’s already triggered, it will still detonate whenever the jamming signal stops. As long as the WildFire’s the last one out, it will cut off the signal and be long gone before those meatheads would even have a chance to realize what we just did much less follow us.”
“They certainly wouldn’t be able to catch up with us in time. But there are too many variables. First off, we’d have to assume they actually triggered it. And, if they figure out what we’re doing, they could still set off the charge by scuttling their own ship. A laser blast might not be as effective, but it would still do the job. Or, there’s the off-chance that they’re not using an electronic trigger in which case jamming it would be completely pointless.”
“Well, we’re gonna have to try something!” Grotha said. “Can’t just sit around and yap about it all frackin’ day!”
“Just have the WildFire make a close pass before she jumps. That might motivate them to hit the button. Plus, Vengeances are known for their thick armor; those smaller cruisers wouldn’t be able to puncture the hull fast enough. As for the trigger mechanism, well…not much I can do about that.” Dav tried to put as much reassurance into his voice as possible, but over a comm-line, it was bound to be lost in the static. “Do it, Jenn. Just trust me.”
She drew in a deep breath to try to calm her nerves. Her gloves stuck to the sweat on her palms and her flightsuit itched something terrible, but she did her best to ignore it. “All right. Here goes nothing.” She punched in the proper frequency and had Snitch send it to the WildFire.
“This is all on your shoulders now, Lieutenant.” Grotha clenched his hands around his flight yoke and muttered, “I really hope you’re wrong about that ‘nothing’ part.”

****

The Cruciamentum crept forward, drawing ever closer to her target. Seventeen-hundred meters. Fifteen. One thousand. The end of the Jedi was at hand.
The commander watched as the Calamari cruiser began lumbering toward them. This is much too easy, he thought, almost a little disappointed that the Republic wasn't putting up the fight he had hoped they would. It is as if they wish to die. He ran his finger around the edge of the detonator trigger. Just a few more meters.
An acolyte quietly approached him, bowed his head and said, “We are within range, Dear Brother.”
With a single gesture, the commander dismissed the acolyte. “At last,” he crooned, joyous. “This is our moment of salvation!”
NRAF Nexus: "When Duty Calls"
Draar chayaikir batnor jetii—ancient Mandalorian proverb.
"We're gonna explode? I don't wanna explode!" —Jayne Cobb, Public Relations
I'm the guy who stole your sweetroll.

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Post by Seagulls » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:27 am

Lieutenant Alisha Rying was having a beautiful dream, flying over an amazing stretch of countryside near her home. She leaned over to spot her rural house, and then felt the floor meet her nose as she fell off the cot she had commandeered. Her comm beeped as she sat with tears welling in her eyes, trying to determine if her nose was broken.
"'Ello? Who is it?"
"Who is within operating range of your puny comm?"
"PUNY COMM? This comm isn't legal because it works from outside 10,000 km!"
"And who is the only person who is within 10,000 klicks?"
"Ok, I'll be right up." She ended the call and exited her small 'officer's suite' and headed to the bridge.
"What do you want now?" She asked. I nearly killed myself in that cell I got on this thing."
"You're more persuasive than I am the New Republic might object to our late assistance, and decide that we look better as POW's, or worse. I'll just stand next to you and look like a trusted officer."
"Do that. You owe me one, though."
"Good, now you only owe me 50 creds instead of that 100."
----
After a slight delay, the 30 second warning beeped.
"Flip your collar up and straighten your hat. We need to make a good impression."
"Fine. Make that 50 into 25 credits."
He shook his head and stared out the front viewport to watch the hyperspace exit.
They reverted to realspace at the edge of a small battle, and the entire bridge crew ducked as the superstructure of a corvette-sized ship came within a meter of their heads.
----
The entire ship's crew was slow to respond, the first was Aaron. He grabbed his comm, switched it to shipboard frequency, and shouted into it.
"BATTLE STATIONS! PILOTS TO YOUR FIGHTERS! NOW!"
----
Alicia turned on the holocomm and ordered communications to open all local frequencies, including a directional to the huge Mon Cal out at 3:00 high.
"This is the Crescent hailing all New Republic craft, we are on a friendly support mission from the Empire. Please mark us as friendly craft."
"Now target those fighters. From the looks of that skeleton, they're a worse threat than they look."
Aaron took the joystick from the officer on duty, and wove his way through a few frigates before reaching the main battleground. His laser turrets began firing, and he squeezed the trigger to send a burst of energy into a fighter dead ahead, ripping it to shreds.
The fighter vaporized, sending a shock wave through the ship and nearly killing the pilots exiting the hangars.
"Ok... Keep your distance from those fighters when you take them down." He twisted the big ship like she was a starfighter, kicking the rudder pedals to the floor to make the maneuver. He looked at the slowly approaching capital ship, who was not firing or making any aggression toward any ships.
"Let's see what that thing is made of." He launched a single advanced torpedo out of the port warhead launcher and watched it speed away.
Last edited by Seagulls on Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
Seagulls
Red 6
CRS Morning Star: Home of Red Squadron

"Now you're using that misfiring hunk of erratic machinery you refer to as a brain"-Ton Phanan. Pilot, Wit, Superior Intellect.

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Post by General_Trageton » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:33 pm

It had seemed an eternity since the last time Shiromy had walked the crimson halls of the royal quarters. By the time they had arrived at the imperial palace, dusk had set in and the fading sun bathed the halls in firy tones of orange, red and purple.

"I received word of a brotherhood attack on this Jedi conclave." Vince remarked, after they had left the 'public' areas.
"I know" Shiromy said. "Rygetto has told me about their holy crusade, the cleansing of the Jedi in the flames of justice. I knew the jedi would make themselves an easy target by coming together at this time. Have we intervened yet?"
"No. The NR refused any offer of capital intervention. They've been broadcasting warnings to everyone to stay away."
"That usually doesn't stop you from riding in anyway."
"True" Vince admitted. "But usually I'm not facing the possibility of having to fend off a hostile takeover."
"You mean Corelia?" Shiromy queried and frowned. Vince nodded. They were now entering the spacious lounge room of the royal suites. out of instincts and old habits Shiromy found herself taking a seat on her favorite place on the spacious couch, while Vince proceeded to the amply stocked house bar and, after pacing back and forth along the countless beverages, eventually picked a bottle of old Briceran wine. While watching him Shiromy Extended one hand and, using the Force activated the lounge's sound system filling the room with smooth and relaxing jazz tunes.
"I believe in Wes' honesty," he said, while fetching a pair of bellied glasses from the cabinet. "but I don't trust the rest of that bunch any further than the tip of my nose. If things work out as I expect, they'll need to make a choice."
"What if not?"
Vince let out a low sigh. "Then we're headed for war anyway." A trace of bitterness swung in his voice. The betrayal had hurt him deeper than he'd admit. Wes and Vince had been close friends ever since the battle for Nexus Alpha. It had seemed that Corellia and the ESS had always shared a friendly, almost familiar relation. Seeing it all being reduced to a mere business matter was painful indeed - and Shiromy found herself upset as well.
"You're willing to see this through, then?"
"Absolutely." Vince said resolved. "I will not let them destroy what we built up with our blood, sweat and tears. If I have to fight for it, I will."
"You've allways been a rebel." Shiromy said with a warm smile.
"So have you" Vince retorted with grin and handed her one of the glasses.

"Now, as we're on the topic of you" He sat down in a spacious armchair across the glass table. "How did you fare?"
"Oh, just lovely" Shiromy groaned taking a sip. The wine had an elegant dry note to it - one of her favorites, in fact. "It would have helped though, if any of you schemers had told me right away that the whole thing was a setup, instead of letting me figure it out from Master Toth's vague implications and cryptic Jedi tantrums."
Vince rolled his eyes. "I feared he wouldn't be straight with you. But I knew you'd handle the situation." Taking a sip himself Vince leaned back. "So where is he now?"
"Still with the brotherhood. It was the only chance to get away without raising suspicion."
"You left him there?" A trace of worry darkened his features.
"Toth has his own agenda." Shiromy said with an equal shrug. "Rygetto was once his apprentice. I guess he wants to try and redeem his prodigal student."
"You don't sound overly convinced of his success." Vince remarked with a questioning look.
"One Jedi persuading the leader of a galaxy-wide fanatics cult to see the error in their ways?" She tilted her head. "I have my doubts. But I assumed that was the reason for my being there in the first place - to finish the job, if he fails."
"Hmmmm, I see." Vince pondered. "So what's your plan?"
"I've got two days to settle things here, before I must return. Once back I need to get a clearer picture of that cult - that will take some time."
Vince rubbed his temples. "I don't like the thought of seeing you exposed to the cult for a longer period. Subtle indoctrination can eventually break even the strongest mind."
"I know," Shiromy agreed taking another sip. "but that risk I must take, if we want to fully root them out."
Deep lines of concern wrinkled Vince's forehead. "I had somehow hoped for a quick resolution." But Shiromy shook her head.
"Beasts like that don't die just from cutting off their head. If I killed Rygetto and his cronies, a new leader would arise and we're right back where we began." As she took another sip, Shiromy realized how uncomfortable it made her to talk about the whole affair. Maybe it was the fact that she had pretty much been set up and thrown into this situation, which left a bitter taste even the wine couldn't wash away. She looked at Vince for a long silent moment. It was unusual for him to maintain this 'professional' side in private. These were serious matters, of course, but still he seemed extremely focused, almost obsessed to keep things on this level. Vince had never been one to openly show emotions - always the cool strategist and only those close to him ever saw what lay beneath this shell of ice. Now however it seemed as though he tried very hard to completely suppress any kind of emotion. So ... distant.

"So what now?" Shiromy eventually inquired, aching to change topics. "Is the council ready yet?"
Vince nodded with a tired smile - obviously thankful for her move. "Endless conferences and briefings. little to no sleep for all of us, but yes. I think we're ready."
"So this is it then?" Shiromy said with a wistful sigh. "Our time as rulers of the ESS ends as we lay down our crowns."
"You" Vince corrected her with a sly grin, leaning back again. "I won't be stepping down."
"What?" Shiromy winced irritatedly. "Am I missing something here?"
"That's all part of my evil scheme." Vince grinned and tipped on her nose. "Thanks to you I descovered a loophole - and an opportunity to teach the committee a valuable lesson in backstabbing."
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
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Post by Will T » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:11 pm

"I think she likes me." Gurn Akkare stated simply as their thus far mute guide escorted them down the brightly lit corridors of the Nighthawk
"What?" Gyttel replied, a note of incredulity creeping into his voice.
"That joke about the cook. It was funny, but in a kind of flirty way." Gyttel said nothing, he merely narrowed his eyes at Akkare as they walked. "I mean, when you didn't laugh, obviously I couldn't - didn't want to make you like the humourless gorilla you actually are, of course - but I wanted to. Mr Shaft, sir," Akkare tapped the bemused gunner lightly on the shoulder, "can I call you Shafty, by the way? How do you tell a girl in your cultured, sophisticated empire that one is flattered, but one also feels that as one is old enough to be the other's father - a rather scary thought while I think about it - one will have to politely decline."
"Is he... Is he joking?" Shaft asked Gyttel gruffly.
"Yeah, I think this is what he calls his sense of humour," Gyttel replied sneeringly, "I call it idiocy." Shaft chuckled.
"Oh come on Darv," Akkare said in mock protest, "you don't think that whole ice princess, 'this is my ship', 'any of us can and will kill you' thing was just an act? You don't think it's a mask to hide her secret feelings?"
"Akkare, I honestly can't remember why I thought bringing you along on this mission was a good idea. I'm serious. I'm beginning to suspect the palace staff were drugging my drinks. Would you shut up? How about at least trying to be a little professional here, this is a serious operation and we have to show these people we're competant."
"Fine, fine." Akkare held his hands up defensively as Shaft pulled up to a door. "All I'm saying is, which one of us has the ability to sense feelings? Huh? I take it this is our room, Shafty?" Shaft jolted at the moniker, but stopped himself short of getting angry, apparently unsure how much courtesy Mryna and the team had been asked to show their guests, technical enemies as they were. Flashing an irritated glance at Gyttel, Shaft nonetheless decided the best decision would be to simply shove the two newcomers in their quarters and get on with his duties. At least he could be professional about this bizarre arrangement, he acknowledged quietly to himself.
"Certainly is. If the two want to get yourself comfortable, one of the crew will call you up on the comm system when we have something to discuss with you. In the meantime, I'll have someone send down some refreshments."
"Excellent!" Akkare exclaimed. "Make sure it's strong." He beamed. "And thanks for the escort Shafty, I'm sure we'll see each other around soon." Shaft nodded uncertainly, but proceeded to shake Gyttel's hand, while the latter rolled his eyes at Akkare. "Oh," the aging Jedi added as Shaft turned about and headed back they way they had come, "till Ms Qhalic I appreciate her attempts, but I'm not interested."
Oh I'll tell her alright, Shaft thought as he retreated down the corridor, tell her this 'specialist' is a lunatic.
"Do you have to be such an idiot to everyone we meet?" Gyttel asked, exasperated, as he slumped into an armchair.
"Darv, at my age, you have to start finding new ways to have fun. We could very well die over the course of the next few days." Akkare's voice suddenly took a serious tone. "A few things in my life have made me realise that I have to enjoy the time I'm given as much as I can. I know that I willfully left the Jedi Order, and the Jedi ways behind me. I know I came to hate their methods and their arrogance, but a big part of me still wants to save the galaxy. Over the years I've been with the Empire, I've never flinched from my duties, but we're on the losing side Darv. Most of the galaxy thinks that their heroes are saving them from us. But I feel like we're doing the right thing here, and I want to make the most of that."
"Jedi intuition?" Gyttel scoffed, his outward skepticism belying his inner respect for the man opposite him.
"Maybe," Akkare chuckled, "but I certainly hope not. You know how well that normally works out for me."
Formerly known as The 95 Headhunter

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squarehead93
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Post by squarehead93 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:42 pm

Kareen sighed. The hours of interrogation each day had continued for weeks, perhaps months. His story haad remained consistent, he was under orders from Pitto to "supervise" Tyvis and his breakaway Mandalorian force. He had defied Pitto's orders and had lead an attack on Mandalore. He admitted over and over again how stupid that had been. He hadn't given them any suspicion of deeper motives involved. Due to his otherwise superb record, Kareen was given command of a slightly smaller fleet, with the promise of regaining full command of his previous force if he behaved well.
You have surprised me, my apprentice. I am much impressed said his master, speaking to him through the force for the first time since Kareen's capture.
Kareen, standing on the bridge of his Star Destroyer, grinned widely.
////////////////////////////////////////////////
A swarm of mole miners, starfighters, and small warships exited hyperspace over Keldabe.
"What?" said Boba to himself, from the cockpit of Slave I. His thoughts were cut off by the shipyard's commander over the comm.
"All fighters, scramble!"
This force was clearly not large enough to destroy the station or the ships, but didn't look like they had come just to harass the Mandalorians.
Boba sighted down a fighter and destroyed it in a hailfire of lasersfire.
"Who are these guys?" said one of the fighter pilots
They seemed too organized to be pirates too. Mercenaries, perhaps.
Boba noticed that the first wave of mole miners were headed straight for the Lictors, drilling into their hulls. That was it! They didn't need a big force to take out the ships. They were going to plant explosives and leave!
Boba was only half right. The first Lictor lit up as it activated. These attackers were trying to steal the ships, not destroy them.
BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP! Missile lock.
Boba swerved, avoiding the missile, then he all but killed his engines the attacker’s fighter sped ahead of him, right into his sights. Boba squeezed the trigger and enjoyed the explosion.
“Be advised,” said the shipyard commander. “Mole miners are boarding the Lictors. These are your primary priorities. Repeat, ignore the fighters. Defending the Lictors is your primary priority.”
The next wave of miners had to quickly evade an incoming storm of laserfire and warheads from Fett and the Mandalorian fighters, but the damn things were fast. A few were hit, but the rest sped on to the shipyard.
“There’s not enough of us here to take them on. Fett, any ideas?” said a pilot to Boba.
“Yes,” he said. “Be patient.” Fett wasn’t known for loosing his calm.
Fortunately, his patience paid off. The Mandalore, the largest warship in the fleet, exited hyperspace right in front of the shipyard, denying the mole miners an easy path to the Lictors.
Xiana Fett’s voice broke the silence. “You called?”
The nervous pilot was now overjoyed. “Haha, it’s the Mandalore, let’s kick some shebs!”
The Mandalore started to deploy its full fighter contingent, which would at least distract the enemy fighters and leave the mole miners unprotected.
Fett sighted down a pair of mole miners.
Beep, beep, beep, beep, bebebebebebebeeeeeeee!
He launched a missile at each. Both hit their targets. The comm chatter was full of pilots reporting kills. At this rate, the battle would be over in any minute.
“For great justice!” It took Fett a moment to figure out that this cry hadn’t come from one of the Mandalorians, but from one of the enemy pilots, broadcasting to everyone.
“What?”
A horde of Y-Wings gathered up and screamed toward the Mandalore They looked like they had been fitted with crude spare parts, but now it was clear that these were explosives.
Slow as they were, the Y-Wings avoided the Mandalore’s fire with ease, guided by expert pilots. They crashed one-after-another into the Mandalore
“Xiana!” Fett cried.
The Mandalore was rocked by explosions. It was too tough to be destroyed, but was certainly out of commission.
Now the miners had a clear shot at the Lictors again. One-by-one, the ships would activate and leave the shipyard.
“Uncle,” said Xiana over the comm, coughing as she finished.
“Xiana, you’re?”
“Alive? Yes. But they hit the main bridge. There’s a local ESS force in a nearby system. I’m going to contact them.”
“Bringing others in to do our fighting?” said a skeptical Boba.
“We have no choice,” replied Xiana.
//////////////////////////////////////
Luke was in the cockpit of an X-Wing, meditating. He needed a break from Yavin. He also needed peace after reading Lando’s email. What could the Brotherhood possibly want with a bunch of mole miners?
The Force was calling him. A disturbance. The shipyards at Keldabe. The Brotherhood were there. They were….stealing warships? That was it.
Luke wasted no time. “I hope you all sensed that,” he said to his squadron, also meditating. “We’re heading to Keldabe.”
/////////////////////////////////////
Senator Garyk Felmar had risen to fame after his successful campaign to disband the Core Alliance Peacekeeper Corps.
Whistling a tune as he walked into his penthouse, he noticed something wasn’t right.
“Hello?”
He was answered by the snap-hiss of a lightsaber.
“Greetings, senator,” said Rygetto, raising a hand.
Felmar felt some invisible force grip his mind. He…wanted…to…obey this man.
“Right now, the Senate is considering whether to take action against the Brotherhood. Currently, we are not listed as a major terrorist organization. I want it to stay that way.”
////
Rygetto returned to his shuttle. All the galaxy was his stage!
Emperor Trageton knew that Corellia was putting pressure on him, but he couldn’t have known that Janson didn’t make that decision freely. There was a lot of political pressure back on Corellia. Rygetto had made sure it would be this way. When Jym Vorak escaped Imperial custody (and he would), he would make the acquisition of the Mandalorians his first priority again.
Even the great Darth Pyra had played right into his hands. He had known that Vince would risk putting his own wife in this kind of danger. While Shiromy had unknowingly failed to be Rygetto’s instrument of the destruction of the ESS, she was now more valuable than ever. By allowing her to defeat him, she no longer suspected Rygetto as an individual to be a threat. She would either become his tool, or die failing to betray him. Either option had many benefits.
But most importantly Rygetto was closer than ever to getting to the Lost Fleet. When he did, he would purify the galaxy of the Sith and Jedi cancers once and for all.
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General_Trageton

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Post by General_Trageton » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:00 pm

Abord the ESS Legion Lyth Noraq was about to go take a small nap, when a high priority from supreme command aboard the Sovereign came in.
"We're receiving a distress signal from a Mandalorian Force near Keldabe." said Admiral Rhitargo. His green eyes gleaming intensely. "It appears they're under attack by a large scale attack by suicide bombers."
Instantly Lyth found a lump building in her throat. Suicide bombers attacking Mandalorians, forcing them to call for help? That was more than serious.
"My group is ready" She said with determination. "We can move out at once."
"Not yet." the Dhilani Supreme commander interjected. "We know that Keldabe is home to a major Mandalorian Shipyard. If they are forced to call for aid I fear your task force may not suffice. I want you to board the Warhammer and lead your fleet from there."
"Sir?" Lyth frowned. The Warhammer had used to be Rhitargo's former flagship. While Lyth's group of Predators and Frigates autonomous by themselves, the the heavy cruiser had been assigned directly to the Sovereign's command.
"Consider it part of your preliminary promotion, Commodore Noraq."
WHAM! that one came out of nowhere. For a moment Lyth found herself at a total loss of words. Rhitargo seemed to notice her confused look and - for the first time since she could remember - smiled. "I suppose the events at Calim IV have caused quite a stir and denied me the opportunity to properly acknowledge your achievements during the Roche crisis - on both military and diplomatic levels. You've earned this."
"Thank you, Sir." Lyth eventually answered and offered a formal salute.

/////////////////

"Coordinates are set, Ma'am." the first officer reported dutifully. "All ships lined up and ready."
Lyth acknowledged with a silent nod. She needed a moment to regard the unfamiliar vista beyond the trapezoid viewports of the Warhammer's command deck. It had been merely fifteen minutes since her unexpected promotion to Commodore and the accompanying change to her new flagship. In fact, her uniform still ranked her as Commander Then she was reminded that there was no time for admiring views right now. She nodded quickly.
"All ships, engage hyperdrives. Let's be off already!" She said and proceeded to her command chair.
Seconds later the Warhammer and her fleet were gone.

/////////////////

"And you're sure, this is going to work?" Shiromy's expression showed a trace of worry, as she and Vince slowly walked towards the hangar holding the Barracuda. A bleary Kyaara scuffled along holding her mother's hand. Being honest, Vince and probably Shiromy, weren't just that well-rested either. Neither had been really able to sleep in the face of the forthcoming events that would pretty much decide their future as well as that of the ESS. Eventually he offered her a tired yet wicked grin.
"Like I said, I'll accept no 'No'."
"He learned that from me!" Kyaara chimed in.
"I sure did." Vince said and cowered down to her. "You take good care of Momy, will you!" Raising back up he looked at Shiromy. "I'll be back tomorrow."
"Should I ready the fleet in case you have a horde of angry Corelians on your tail?" Shiromy mocked.
"That won't be necessary - I hope." Vince said and grimaced. "Can't hurt to keep some cruisers nearby though."
"You do that on purpose!" Shiromy sighed and thew him a reproachful gaze.
"Of course." Vince simply replied with a smug grin. "I've barely slept last night and am about to give the board of governors the finger. Somehow I have to keep my witts up." Before Shiromy could reply anything he leaned forth and kissed her. For an eternity they just stood there lips locked and arms slung around each other. After a few minutes Vince solved from the embrace and proceeded towards the waiting ship - just to be held back with one hand. by Shiromy.
"Be careful!" She urged him, before letting go. "I love you!"
"I know."
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
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Mako
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Post by Mako » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:26 pm

Xendar waited patiently as the swirling Vortex of Hyperspace went by then disolved into starlines then millions of pin points of lights. As expected there was nothing at the coordinates, but that didn't mean that the trail was yet cold. "Scan the area for all traces of emissions." Instantly the person at the sensors got to the task. Xendar hoped to find his lost friend soon. Knowing Canthas there was any number of things that he could've gotten into.
"Xendar sir We've got something."Xendar went over to the Sensors station to look over the shoulder of the humanoid maning the station.
"What is it?"
"It's an ion trail sir heading out towards the tingle arm, More precicely the Kharos system."
"Good work...ah."
"Shala sir."
Xendar finally took full note of the sensors officer noticing that she was an attractivly, young, Shistavanian female. "Shala? I will definatly have to take note to remember that."
Noticing how Xendar was looking at her Shala made no attempt to hide her own oogling. "Yes sir, you just do that."
Leaving his eyes glued to Shala for a moment longer, went back to the command chair. "Alright we've got our heading. Set coordinates for the Kharos system and get ready to crack some skulls."
---------------------------------------
The wait had been longer than expected before What appeared to be the leader of the Mercs came to visit. She wasn't much to look at, but from the way she held herself Canthas got the impression that she was purly professional and could easily take any of the other mercs under her command. With a simple glance she took the whole of the group's measure and made a mental note of who was going to be trouble and who wasn't. Canthas made himself look insignificant and hoped that the Jedi was doing the same. "Gentlemen and Lady," The Merc leader addressed them as she entered the cell with several guards at her back. "I am your host. You don't need to know my name what you do need to know is that you have something that I need. Now we can do this one of two ways, One you give me what I wat and you survive long enough to be accepted by our order. or two I kill you now, and still get what I need."
Blackmoon went to take a step forward and instantly every merc weapon in the place was trained on him.
"Make another move Jedi and we'll see just how well the force can protect you from every bolt we can empty into your hide." The Leader warned.
Blackmoon stopped dead where he was. "I would just like to simply ask what is it that you need."
"You know very well what it is that I need, and try any mindtricks like you did on the guards and you'll be the holiest Jedi this side of the galaxy." The leader turned to the rest of the group. "So who wants to hand me the Key to the lost fleet and live another day."
Canthas now knowing the full extent of the trouble he was in discreetly activated his locater beacon.
Power without perception is worthless and of no use.
Current WIP The Lost Fleet everything else is on hold.

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General_Trageton

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Post by General_Trageton » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:54 pm

The Warhammer and her group - a quartet of Predators, two inferno IIs and a trio of Vanguard Frigates - leaped into the Keldabe system in a briliant flash of light. Straight ahead one could see the large ship construction site - and a massive Jango-class dreadnought right before it. Soon sensors identified as the Mandalore. The next thing they revealed was something they actually didn't need to, as it was visible with bare eyes. The powerful dreadnought stood in flames. Numerous hull breaches vented atmosphere and smoke into space.
"This is Commodore Lyth Noraq aboard ESS Warhammer hailing MSS Mandalore. We're here to assist. What's your status?"
"This is MSS Mandalore" A female voice answered. "The ship is damaged but holding. Our greatest concern are our Lictor-class Dungeon Ships. The enemy is using mole miners to board and capture them."
"Launch Beastmaster and Harlequin squadron to take out those miners" Lyth ordered immediately. "Dispatch Cerberus and Mad Dog squadron to cover our own ships. Hellhound, Hades and Carmack, take rear positions. I don't want any surprises coming in from behind."
Two squadrons of TI-110 Mosquito interceptors launched from the Warhammer and raced towards the raging battle. Moments later another two dozen fighters - Piranhas - launched from the nearby Legion and Jericho, forming a dense screen around the group of capital ships as they advanced, while the Inferno II-class cruiser Hellhound and its two accompanying Vanguards took position behind the main group. The mole miners made small targets and their fighter escorts did a good job in distracting the mandalorian fighters. However, even those could not be everywhere at the same time. Scattering wide the two dozen of Mosquitos lunged at them like a swarm of angry insects. Too maneuverable for the enemy's slightly aged fighters they swarmed around them and picked out one miner after another.
After a moment Lyth turned back towards the comm system. "What about the Lictors that were captured already?"
"We'd prefer to retake them intact."
"No promises" Lyth answered. "But we'll do what we can."

////////////////

The hearing went pretty much the way Wes had predicted. Countless reports from various project sources. Contractual nitpicking from roughly 20 balloonheaded councillors.
The mood changed and things became interesting, when councilor Abram Nyrus decided to get emotional.

"We entrusted you with these star systems so that you would develop them and add to the strength of the Corelian Empire. Your performance through the years used to be adequate. Still I am sure you understand that the recent events have shattered our faith in you. While we have no doubt in your military skills the escalation in the Calim system showed to us a critical lack of political foresight."
"Conflicts forge a nation." Vince declared neutrally. "It is a natural part of the evolution process every young nation has to go through. As we grow we come to face challenges and it is our part to master these. As far as I can remember this escalation resulted in greatly improved relationships with the New Republic and at least an informal end to our War with the Empire."
"A war that was so carelessly started by Empress Shiromy." Nyrus pointed out. "Don't think we overlooked her part in this. Ending this war was the least that was expected from you. As for the New Republic" the elderly man bristled snidely. "They give out friendships to everyone who raises their hand, so don't be too proud of what you have accomplished here. If you're honest to yourself the whole affair was merely an attempt to cut your losses - while causing new ones."
A tense silence built up in the chamber, when another councilor began to recite the list of losses from the battle at Calim. Vince knew the list. He himself had read the damage reports earlier that week. Now as they were being recited they seemed to last even heavier on him than before.
"Do you have any idea about the costs you have caused?" Nyrus started as his colleague had finished. "Billions, Trageton, Billions! Not to mention the human resources that were wasted for this foolish vendetta of yours!"
"Vendetta?" Vince thundered and slammed his fist onto the terminal before him - sending lightning sparks zapping in all directsion. "If it hadn't been for my intervention a Sith Lady would have taken over-"
"Sith rise and fall as they always have!" Another Councilor interrupted him callously. "We would have dealt with her accordingly."
"You let your personal feelings get in the way of your judgment." Nyrus added snidely. "You screwed up. That's it, plain and simple." Nyrus took a deep breath and notably forced himself to calm down. "The project is over." The statement was plain, unmistakable, clear. "This committee has come to the conclusion that you no longer display the qualifications required to successfully lead and administrate an Empire, and has therefore decided that the ESS project is to be terminated. We hereby call upon the right of cancellation. The ESS and its territory will be integrated into the Corellian Empire and all outsourced functions and responsibilities will be placed under Corelian administration." So it had finally come down to this, as Wes had predicted.
"You can't do this!" Vince said. It wasn't even a protest. It was just another statement. The hammer was about to fall.
"Things are already in motion." Nyrus declared - apparently trying to sound comforting. Vince remained unimpressed. How true the man was! Things were already in motion. They might rant and declare as much as they wanted. It was too late. With this dramatized orchestration they had robbed themselves of any chance to undo the damage they didn't know they had done to themselves. "As we speak Corelian Security is seizing control over the imperial palace. Commanding officers are suspended from active duty until further notice. From this moment you are stripped of all your ranks and responsibilities as Emperor of the Seven Suns."
"From this moment" Vince repeated ponderously and rubbed his temples. Then he straightened and rose his voice again. It was time to drop the veil.
"Distinguished committee" He addressed them modestly. "May I ask, what time it is?" As expected a mutter of irritation went through the assembled councilors.
"What sort of question is this?" Nyrus thundered, irritated by Vince's distracting reaction.
"A simple one." Vince replied sincerely and rose a brow. Realizing that he was serious some of the councilors started to shuffle at their terminals.
"It's 13:14 galactic time." One of them eventually said.
"Well" Vince made and a thin smile spread on his lips. "Then I fear I cannot comply with your demands."
"What?" Nyrus snapped. "What do you mean?"
"Gentlemen, as you are well aware the Empire of the Seven Suns has ..." He paused dramatically. "had two entitled rulers, each holding full responsibilities." His eyes narrowed, as he continued with perfectly level voice. "'Had' because, while I've been wasting my time with this pointlessly dramatized farce of a hearing, Empress Shiromy Gitann has been attending the ceremonial surrendering of her rule to a new Government council. As of -" He took a look at his own chrono "sixteen minutes ago the Empire of the Seven Suns does no longer exist. It has been dissolved and reorganized into the Phoenix Systems Alliance."
"Nice try!" Nyrus laughed contemptuously. "But I fear this pathetic act of defiance will remain only another proof of your apparent incompetence." He pointed at the pile of documents before him. "Empress Shiromy cannot step down for you. The contract clearly defines that both rulers have to personally and actively surrender their power to a new government in order to complete the project."
"Unless one of them is deceased." Vince added and put on a grave and solemn tone. "Emperor Vince Trageton died three months ago at the hands of Sith Lady Darth Pyra. I am merely a humble clone fulfilling his duties to ensure the continuing stability until the completion of the project. These events have not been made public to avoid unnecessary panic among the citizens, but the carcass is being conserved in the royal mausoleum below the imperial palace." He his solemn expression made way to a smug grin. "It appears your legal experts didn't consider the possibility of death and resurrection." Unrest rose within the chamber as the councilors started frantically searching through the contract documents.
"Nonsense!" Nyrus rumbled and jumped from his chair ridiculously waving his fist. "You cannot possibly -"
"He's right" Wes Janson rose his voice for the first time. Through the whole hearing his friend had remained silent, meticulously observing the hearing and studying the contract documents - as if waiting for Vince to land the killing blow. Now as he looked up, he tried to hide a thin smile. "This course of action does not violate the contract."
Incredulous gazes jumped between Vince, Wes and Nyrus and shocked gasps of "Impossible!" were heard.

////////////////

Mryna found Darron with Gyttel and Akkare in the CIC. They had gathered around the large holomap screen and were debating the potential locations of the Brotherhood's headquarters.
"Hey guys" she said easily. "The crew's gathering down in the mess hall, There's something interesting on the holonet."
"Sounds great" Darron replied slightly irritated at her informal approach. "But don't you think this is -"
"You'll really want to see this." Mryna insisted, yet earned only questioning frowns. Eventually, rolling her eyes, she sighed and pointed her thumb at the corridor from which she had come. "Holonet. Mess hall. Now. That's an order."

////////////////

The stepping down ceremony was a bombastically and pompously orchestrated event. Shiromy couldn't imagine how he had done it, but the number of press representatives that Vince had activated were enough to populate a small moon. The eyes of the galaxy were now directed at her, as she knelt down before the new PSA council and symbolically handed her crown over to the chairman, who then proceeded to dispose the symbol of her power in a ceremonial furnace. Within seconds the plasma jets melted the gold and, once liquefied, it flowed into a prepared form, creating a relief sculpture of the PSA's new insignia.
No sooner had the symbol been taken from the smithy that the palace doors burst open and armed Corelian troops swarmed into the throne room. It had begun. Vince had predicted that this would happen. And he had made sure every press organization in the galaxy would be present to watch and cover. He had also instructed them to offer no resistance. A pity - this literally screamed for a fight.

////////////////

"While we are on the topic of violations" Vince continued and crossed his arms. "It now appears your 'security forces' have unjustifiedly invaded on foreign territory and forcefully taken government officials hostage - as well as a member of the Jedi Order. I highly recommend pulling out your troops immediately to avoid a political debacle. I might also imagine that the PSA government - as well as the Jedi Order - might see this as an unprovoked aggressive act."
"This is proposterous! We made you!" Nyrus continued rampaging. But with each passing moment it became clearer that Vince had the higher ground.
"Distinguished committee" He once again addressed the plenum, interrupting the raging councilor. His voice was deadly calm. "I shall speak plainly to you. Corelia has seen dark times recently, I did not ignore that. In fact, every offer for support from our side was rejected. Instead you wanted a bigger piece of the pie. I am a reasonable man and I am sure we would have found a mutually beneficial solution. Maybe it takes a demonstration like this for you to understand that trying to stab me in the back is definitely not the wisest course of action."
"You dare opposing us like that!?" Nyrus was now at an utter loss of self-control. "This is high treason! You should be -"
"Councilor Nyrus" Vince interrupted him with a voice as cool and as solid as durasteel. "Calm down and face the facts: I beat you at your own game." Folding his hands on his back he stepped away from his terminal and started walking down the rows of councilors. "I will be holding a public press conference soon. The press will want explanations about Corelian troops storming the palace in the middle of the decoronation ceremony. And they shall receive answers. What these will be, is entirely up to you now. You can be the sore loser and try to push through, and I will publicly accept this declaration of war. Following this my government will call upon my services as Supreme Commander and I will do what I must to defend our nation. Or," he made a pause. "you can accept the fact that both of us have gambled with high stakes and in the end I got the pot. In this case I will make sure that you retain your good reputation and we can both turn our attention towards real problems." Finally he returned to his terminal and let his gaze draw across each of the numerous councilors. Once again tense silence lasted heavily on the antechamber. "War or peace, Gentlemen. What'll it be?"
"Are you trying to blackmail us, Trageton?" Nyrus hissed, pointing at Vince. "Don't mistake us for a bunch of cowards groveling before you and your empty threats!" Nyrus was getting desparate. The more verbal assaults Vince delivered, the more the Corelian Councilor lost his solid ground. There was more to this man than met the eye though. It was obvious Nyrus played a major role in the whole affair. An instigator.
"Well, before whom do you grovel then?" Vince replied challengingly, causing a shocked gasp to echo through the chamber. "I recognize a corrupt politician, when I see one!"
Agitated murmur ran through the committee, as Vince and Nyrus faced off.
"Enough of this!" Wes interjected vehemently. "This is not the time and place for such accusations. Councilor Nyrus, Vince, meet me in my office!"
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
Vince T's Design HQ | Vince T's X-Wing HQ | My Steam Workshop

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