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Topic:  VEN: Counterpunch: Death
Trykon
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Trykon
 
[VE-DJO] Adept
[VE-NAVY] Captain
 
Post Number:  2378
Total Posts:  3753
Joined:  Feb 2011
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  VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 9, 2013 4:22:51 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
OOC:
The discussion thread for this story can be found here.


Captain’s Berth, aboard Adjudicator
The Kamlott System, the VE-Occupied Territories
2 standard days after the destruction of Bloodmoon


The war is going well.

Even as he had the thought, Wyl Trykon cringed at how indecent such a statement sounded, even in his head.  But as macabre as it might be, finding satisfaction in so much death and destruction, Trykon had to admit, it was true: the war was going well.

He frowned and turned over in his bed, eyelids still shut tightly over grey-green irises.  He was exhausted, and determined to get some well-earned sleep, but his brain wouldn’t shut down.  He kept marveling at his good fortune one moment, and panicking about his plans the next.  He went over the sequence of events that had led to his present circumstances again and again in his mind, looking for flaws in his logic or evidence that he was on the right track… looking for anything, really, that might bring enough peace of mind for him to actually sleep, even for just one solid hour.

The endlessly-repeating story started the same way every time: after years of exile, Trykon had found the Vast Empire – a government promoting all the best parts of the late Emperor’s vision and indulging in none of the discrimination or violent excesses of the actual New Order – and he had joined up with the faction’s Navy.  His civilian experience as a pilot had served him well, and he graduated near the top of his Academy class: the future had been bright.

But almost immediately thereafter, the story went, his hope and optimism had been dashed, because by some cruel twist of fate, Trykon’s graduation day was the day of the Black Banquet.  Hundreds of the Navy’s highest-ranking, most-experienced officers had gathered for the annual Naval Review, only to be murdered by a poisoned meal.  At a stroke, unknown assailants had decimated the Navy’s leadership, leaving the VE vulnerable to more direct assaults.  Thus began the war.

Trykon played through the following years in his head at high speed.  The early missteps in the hunt for the perpetrators.  His own rise through the ranks in battles against pirates and rebels.  His eventual appointment to the post of Chief of Naval Intelligence.  His agents’ discovery that the Black Banquet was planned by the Imperial Dominion, and the realization that their invasion was imminent.  The desperate defense of the Vectra System when the Dominion Navy finally attacked.  It was quite the saga, flashing by in a sort of slide-show of revised memories, augmented by hindsight.  He featured prominently, and looked quite heroic, at least in his mind’s eye.

And the grand story took him all the way through to the discovery of the Bloodmoon Corridor, the decoy raiding he’d ordered along the established border with the Dominion, and the climactic clash in orbit above the Bloodmoon weapons lab between the Vast Imperial Second Fleet and the last remnants of the Dominion Home Fleet.

When I began active duty, the Vast Empire was reeling from the worst terrorist attack in its history, Trykon thought, his brows knitted together in a scowl above his still-closed eyes.  And now, look at us.  We stole the Dominion’s flagship – a Super Star Destroyer! – and sent them running, when they dared to face us openly.  We pushed them back across their borders, world by world.  We wiped out their vile weapons lab.  And now, we’re poised to end this war, once and for all.

But that was the problem, the restless Chief of Naval Warfare realized: the Vast Imperials were poised.  The Navy was on the cusp of ultimately victory, at the end of a long and bloody conflict, but the victory wasn’t yet guaranteed.  Everything had led inexorably to this moment, and to what was coming next.  But what was coming next was anyone’s guess.  It was nerve-wracking, being “poised.”  I much prefer uncertainty when it comes in the middle of a chaotic battle, Trykon reflected.  These storms of doubt beforehand aren’t any fun at all.

A chime interrupted his thoughts, and instinctively his eyes shot open.  Someone was at the door.

He sighed, and sat up in bed.  “Come in,” he called, not bothering to disguise his frustration at the interruption.

Jak Marr – his young orderly – entered.  “Begging your pardon, Captain,” he said, “but you asked me to wake you three hours before the start of Primary Watch.”

Trykon couldn’t believe he’d wasted four entire hours, obsessing.  “Yes, thank you, Mr. Marr,” he told the Senior Crewman.  “I’m up.”

“Apparently,” Marr clucked, obviously concerned that his charge hadn’t slept.  “I have readiness updates from several SCAPs and from Commander Krieg waiting outside, sir.”

Trykon waved away the reminder of the never-ending paperwork awaiting his review, approval, and signature, his brain silently screaming: The pillow is so close!  The pillow is so close!

But the young man wasn’t finished.  “And, sir, just so you know: the most recent recon flight to the Sollamens is about twenty minutes overdue.”

That little piece of news instantly killed any remaining thoughts of sleep.  Trykon threw back the covers and swung his legs out of bed.  “All four are missing?” he asked urgently as he stood up.

“Aye,” Marr replied, flustered, “but it’s only been twenty minutes.  They may have gone silent to avoid a patrol, or they might have lingered to sort out a technical problem, or…”

“They’re dead,” Trykon said with iron certainty.  He wasn’t sure how he knew the four TIE Vanguard pilots had been killed… he just knew that the small reconnaissance ships weren’t coming back.

And that was a development that had grave implications for the coming battle...

Before the war, the Vast Empire knew almost nothing about the Sollamens Asteroids.  It was the name of one of hundreds of billions of Star Systems in the known Galaxy, and it was far enough away from the VE’s sphere of influence not to matter overmuch to their planning.  But that had all changed when VE technicians had analyzed the partially-wiped main computer of the Super Star Destroyed Loyalty, captured from the Dominion at the Battle of Abrae.

Loyalty’s navicomputer log showed that there was a secret route through The Tangle – the anomaly which prevented hyperspace travel in and out of the Unknown Regions, which was where the ID homeworlds were located – and that the Dominion’s invasion fleet had used this “Bloodmoon Corridor” to launch their attack.  A short jump away from Vectra was Kamlott, the start of the Corridor.  Several zigging and zagging jumps distant from that was Bloodmoon itself, the Corridor’s terminus.  And Bloodmoon was a single jump away from the Sollamens Asteroids, a System about which the VE knew next to nothing… except for the fact that it was in the heart of the Imperial Dominion’s home territories.

All of a sudden, learning about the Sollamens had become the top priority for the Vast Empire’s Navy.

So, as Second Fleet regrouped at Kamlott, making repairs, offloading wounded, and taking on replacements and new supplies, Trykon had dispatched reconnaissance ships to the Sollamens, seeking information.  He had even asked the new Chief of Naval Intelligence to use VENI’s formidable web of assets to uncover any insights about the Asteroids.

So far, the findings were not encouraging.  The asteroid field was composed of dozens of large, planetoid-sized chunks of rocks, with thousands of smaller objects whizzing around between in complex, unpredictable patterns of conflicting magnetic fields and gravity.  It was not the densest asteroid field in the Galaxy, though: navigation was relatively safe.  The worrying thing was that the rocks themselves were made of an as-yet unidentified radioactive ore, which meant the entire system was constantly flooded by electromagnetic signals which completely overwhelmed traditional sensors systems, and severely limited the range of most communications gear.  At best, short-range targeting computers might work.  At worst, the conditions prevented even IFF transponder signals from being properly interpreted.

This was the decision which had kept Wyl up all night: whether or not to press his attack on the Sollamens.  The conditions would be bad, there was no question.  But the Dominion would have a hard time fighting there, too.  And redeploying his forces halfway across the Galaxy to invade along the more traditional route would leave Abrae vulnerable again, and it would take precious time, giving the Dominion a chance to dig in.  And that was the best advantage the Vast Empire enjoyed: the Dominion was stretched to the breaking point.

Until Jak’s news of the missing pilots, Trykon had held out some small hope that perhaps the element of surprise was still on his side.  Maybe the Dominion would assume the Bloodmoon facility itself was the VE’s target.  Maybe they would guess the VE still didn’t know it was possible to jump from there to the Sollamens directly.  Maybe, just maybe, continuing the invasion along the Corridor would not turn out to be as bloody a proposition as he feared.

But any chance of catching the Dominion unawares had surely died with those recon pilots.

Trykon frowned, shaking his head as if to banish the dark thoughts, and he gestured for Marr to fetch his duty uniform from the closet.

There’s no alternative, he thought as the kid laid out his clothes.  We have to attack now to win this war, and that means attacking the Sollamens.  As he pulled on his duty jacket and Jak adjusted his rank plack, Trykon realized something else…

…the four missing recon pilots were not the first Vast Imperials who would die in the Sollamens Asteroids.

OOC:
1,623 words.  Thus begins the fourth and final act in the Counterpunch saga (which is itself only part of the ongoing War against the Imperial Dominion plotline), Counterpunch: Death.

With so many new members joining the VEN during the last story, I decided to make this post a bit of an info-dump, catching us all up on the story so far.  Sorry it's so exposition-heavy, but I felt it was better to start the story ASAP, so nobody is waiting on me to post, rather than obsessing about making my post as engaging as possible.

After Action Report: 2 days after the Battle of Bloodmoon, newly-promoted Captain Wyl Trykon finally tries to get some sleep.  Second Fleet is regrouping at the recently-annexed planet Kamlott, while VENI and reconnaissance craft try to discover more information about the Sollamens Asteroids, the next system along the invasion route.

But Trykon can't sleep, he is so worried about the coming Battle.  He knows that this is the best chance the Vast Empire has to eliminated the Imperial Dominion threat, once and for all.  But the more he learns about the Sollamens, the more he fears what may happen to his victorious veterans, once they get there.

What's so scary?  Well, the Asteroid field is awash in electromagnetic radiation, coming from the rocks themselves.  That means that sensors will be almost useless sometimes, and communications will be much shorter-range than normal.  And what's worse, the Dominion has probably begun fortifying the system to make their last stand there: there are some indications - unconfirmed so far - that the Dominion is building a starfighter base on the largest, central asteroid, called Gwodd LK Nale, which would let them resist even after their big carriers and destroyers are wiped out.

When Trykon's batman comes in and tells him that a flight of TIE Vanguards has gone missing on a recon mission to the Sollamens, Trykon banishes all thought of sleep.  The pilots are dead; he can feel it.  And if they were, in fact, shot down, that means the Dominion knows for sure that the VEN is coming to the Sollamens.  And any hope that the Second Fleet might still have surprise on their side is gone.
CNW/CPT Wyl "Trick" Trykon/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE

[SoA][SoV][BWC][NSM][E][NAR][HNS][DSM][SWC][1NS][VC:B][LoM][VC:S][NC][GWC][VC:G][CoB][CC:3][2NS][LSM][VC:E]
(=*AE*=)(=*SAE*=)(=*TG*=)(=*SCFE*=)

TRN/AD Trykon/DJO/VEDJ
[This message has been edited by Trick (edited February 9, 2013 5:03:32 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Trick (edited February 9, 2013 7:21:51 PM)]
Avalar
ComNet Member
 
Avalar
 
[VE-NAVY] Petty Officer 2nd Class
 
Post Number:  308
Total Posts:  786
Joined:  Jul 2010
Status:  Offline
  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 10, 2013 12:07:39 AM    View the profile of Avalar 
The hangar bay was filled with people running about, consisting of mostly mechanics. Some ships were receiving attention still from the battle that was two days ago, and even though the work that was left was significantly less, there was still much to do. Well, at least for the mechanics and higher ups. The pilots on the other hand were getting a much-needed break. Sure there were still things to do, but Makenna enjoyed the fact that she could sit back and watch everyone go about their work as she reflected on the past events. Chlovi Squadron had been in a pretty thick battle, and the result of the battle had been depressing really. Not only had the Saints been left untouched by them, many of members of the squadron had been forced to eject in order to save themselves. It was not the kind of result Makenna had been particularly happy with, but it had happened anyway.

Frankly, it reminded her of some terrible memories. The last time a mission had failed, there had been fire and death. She closed her eyes and sighed. That was why she was in the hangar bay right now. Watching everyone go about their business was somehow distracting from the ghosts that were threatening to come back. She had thought that they had been dealt with for good, but now, with the lingering of battle behind her, they had returned to her. When she had been rescued from space, she had left her squadron mates with barely a word and headed to get a drink. Her mind had been fine before and during, but afterwards she knew that she was about to have problems. The defenses she used to have had been rusty, and the battle of Bloodmoon had broken them.

The day after had not been good either, but she knew brooding in her room, laying with her pillow so close to her was not going to work. Instead she had forced herself to get out and talk to someone, anyone. That day had not gone incredibly great either. She had met some drunk who tried to talk her up. Though, her responses to him had been pretty funny… Makenna wondered which squadron he was in and felt sorry for whoever it was that had to deal with someone like that. Her day hadn't entirely gone better when she had found Cabby and talked to her. The woman seemed off somehow, more numb than anything. ‘Kenna knew what it was like to feel as such and she extended warmth and friendship her way. Though the woman seemed to be closed in a lot of the time, flying beside her had obviously opened a small sense of trust, and it was good to see that 'Kenna had at least somewhat bonded with someone here.

Because truthfully, Makenna didn’t want to bond with anyone. She knew she couldn’t help it nor seclude herself, but the thought of watching a good friend die in her arms again was overwhelming. There were already too many deaths in her mind.

And once again she was back to that terrible day. She remembered every detail. They had been ordered to a raid on a planet with more security than they had ever dealt with before, but they had confidence. Makenna had no doubt at that time that they could take them. They had never really lost before, always coming out on top somehow, but this time everything had gone to hell.

“And the doors closed and the fires fell…” Makenna whispered to herself, still watching the VE personnel running around. Their army had arrived and trapped the pirates, separating them and killing them off one by one…

The shots rang through the storage room. Vanity had pulled Makenna to cover. The former Regents SC grabbed the young pirate’s arm and forced her to meet her eyes.

“You are getting out of here whether you like it or not. I will not see you die here. Not like this.”

“Vanity, what the hell are you saying? I’m not going to run!”

“Look, I don’t give a frak right now about dying with your pirate band. This is not the place for someone like you to be. It’s not your job to die because of a stupid decision someone else made. You have the option to get the hell out of here and live another day!”

“But—”

“Do it for me,” Makenna flinched as she heard an explosion that sounded too close for comfort. Vanity held onto her though, “I want you to get out of here. I want you to see tomorrow, and if you ever get the urge to fight again, do it for a better cause. Go to the Vast Empire,” suddenly Vanity grabbed ‘Kenna’s hand and placed a chain in it. On it was a chip of some sort, “And remember this name if you do, Sam Ja—” but another explosion went off, closer than before. Vanity pushed Makenna back and pulled up her sidearm, “Now get the hell out of my sight!”


Of course as soon as Makenna had begun to flee, she had run into the line of fire, and Vanity had taken the shot for her. It was not what she had ever asked for, the woman dying on her behalf, but it had happened anyway. What was even worse was the fact that ‘Kenna knew Vanity had so much more to live for. She had watched the former Regents SC change from a bitter train wreck to a harsh but loyal pirate. She had even taken a liking to Makenna, granted she didn’t always show it in the best way.

As ‘Kenna thought on this, she noticed a figure approaching her. Since she was the only person in the corner, she figured he was probably coming to collect the crate she was sitting on. Of course when she looked up, she knew she was not staring into the eyes of one of the attached personnel. No, the man that stood before her was more than just a pilot. He was built like an army dog, and he had many years of experience on him. She could tell from the first glance that this was not like Chlovi’s SC at all.

“Am I in your way?” she asked in annoyance, not caring what his rank was.

“I was once like you.” He said slowly, as he turned to face the nearest rack of TIE Interceptors. They stood out ever so slightly since they were not the standard issue imperial grey color, but these twelve were matte black. “Sitting here in the corner, watching the Galaxy go by. Feeling Ghosts trying to crawl up your spine and pull you away into darkness.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” ‘Kenna snapped, feeling annoyed that, once again, she had some random man talking to her out of the blue when she clearly wanted to be left alone.

“I’m talking about holding a friend as they lay dying in your arms. I’m talking about feeling their still warm blood flow down your pants into your boots. The look in your eyes says it all, only those of us who have been in the thick of things can look at the world that way.” He said as he turned around. She was stubborn, young, and truthfully perfect for his squadron. Of course, he was not going to tell her who he was just yet.

She sat there, a bit shocked at how deeply he had read her from such a small interaction. Of course she knew what he was talking about. It was not like she couldn’t identify the same look in someone else’s eyes as they battled their own death-filled past. She hesitated a moment before speaking, “And why is it your business what I am thinking of?”

He half smiled as he looked down at her, she reminded him of a bird waiting to fly. He could see her fingers pressed lightly to her legs waiting for a moment to strike if need be. Few would be able to understand her body’s language, but he was one of them. Slowly removing his right glove he pulled up his black sleeve to reveal the aged Black Sun tattoo on the inside of his wrist. “I thought having someone of your abilities in my squadron would help me keep some of my people alive.”

Turning away he began putting the glove back on slowly before stopping and looking down at her. “Besides, you come highly recommended.. pirate.”

Her eyes narrowed. Black Sun? Here? And what was that bit about his squadron? “Cut the talk, who are you and what do you want?” But as she asked those questions, she suddenly remembered seeing him before. It had been in the hangar bay when Dunny had been talking to Chlovi Squadron. What had their squadron name been... “If I had to guess,” she said suddenly, “it’s obvious you’re an SC and you’re probably the same SC that led your squadron onto the face of Bloodmoon.”

Smiling mostly to himself so she could not see him, he blanked his face and turned back around on his heel. “Guilty as charged. Reistlin Joamer Tremaine, Chief Warrant Officer. Trooper number 36706. Strill Squadron. Which also happens to be your new squadron. You should really read your mails.” He said as he looked over at her.

Makenna wasn’t sure how to respond at first. She had just been placed in a squadron and already she was being moved from Chlovi? Granted the thought of returning to Dunny was not a pleasant one, but she was going to miss the friend she had just made in her now former wingmate.

“Couple things, before I go find that fabulous Hutt of a deck chief and strangle it. A lot of information you need is on your pad, a billet has been assigned to you, and you have a package in the armory waiting for you. It’s a set of armor we wear, try it on and get used to it. Also, report to the weapons locker and pick out a sidearm and a rifle if you want one. Unless you have a personal weapon. First, however, get out of that bloody uniform.” Joamer said as he spied the Hutt walking away on the far side of the hangar bay. “Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go commit murder most likely. I can’t believe she tried to paint polka dots on my fighter.”

And that was the end of it. Joamer left her sitting there, a bit bewildered. It was as if the Squadron Commanders here were off their nut. Yet, for the strange interaction that existed between them, she felt a deeper sense of respect for him than she had for Chlovi’s SC. Something about Joamer felt colder and darker. Though he had never directly mentioned that he had been through hell for a long time, she knew she didn’t need to ask. Where Dunny was lacking in experience, Joamer had years upon years on his, and this comforted her.

She pulled out her datapad and looked it over, seeing the official words of her transfer. There was also a personal message from Joamer, and as she finished reading, she saw the closing statement.

‘Remember, for we are the Ghosts and the Darkness.’

“The pack prevails to ghosts and darkness? Isn’t life just ironic...” she whispered to herself, and with that she ceased her brooding and got up. She had a new squadron to meet.

OOC:
WC: 1,934 (sorry, got into it a bit much)

AAR: Makenna reflects on the result of Chlovi's fight with the Saints. She also reflects on the past couple days and her own history. I also show Vanity's death. Then suddenly Joamer approaches her and they talk. He reveals who he is and that she's been transferred to Strill, and Makenna finds irony in the mottos between the two squadrons in relation to her own history.

OOC: All dialogue was done collaboratively. This post is collectively mine and Joa's.
SXO | PO2 Avalar | Iron 2 | S:58 Strill | W:101 Blade | ISD Adjudicator | TF:A | 2Flt | VEN | VE

[SoA]  [MC1]  [CC:W]
[This message has been edited by Avalar (edited February 10, 2013 12:34:35 AM)]
Hades
ComNet Member
 
Hades
 
[VE-NAVY] Ensign
 
Post Number:  736
Total Posts:  1245
Joined:  Nov 2011
Status:  Offline
  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 10, 2013 2:01:05 AM    View the profile of Hades 
A freaking promotion? Hades thought, dumbstruck, And a quadruple promotion no less?

Either someone had been impressed with him or absolutely disgusted with him and so lumped a promotion on him that would ensure he had bucket loads of paperwork - Chief of Naval Training was a prominent position, held by many great men past, and now Hades. He didn't feel he deserved such an honourable role - and it was honourable, despite the paperwork accompanying it - but endeavoured to live up to his predecessors anyway. Despite his promotion and less than two days after the battle, he was still grounded. The psych test had not come back yet, nor indeed had he been properly debriefed, so he was stuck wandering throughout the Adjudicator whilst everyone else prepared for battle. Hades was surprised, then, that his comm beeped - it was an encrypted frequency, a memo that merely read 'hangar bay, ten minutes.' Not one to disappoint, the newly promoted ensign made his way to the turbolifts.

He took around five minutes, more or less, to reach the hangar bay. It was deserted, strangely enough - being in a system with no hostiles didn't normally have this effect on a ship, even if it did promote lulls among the fleet staff. Perhaps the hangar staff still had their heads on their pillows, or being dragged therefrom and thinking 'the pillow is so close'.. Either or, it was not Hades' position to really care. He was a Starfighter pilot, not a Fleet crewer. He didn't have to wait long; the woman he'd once seen aboard the Warrior - though then she had brown hair - was walking toward him. Hades narrowed his eyes slightly at her, blonde haired now and with a blank expression. "Hades." She said coolly, "I'm Ensign Grey."

"Figures.." Hades murmured, "What does Grey want from me?" Ensign Grey didn't respond immediately, but rather focused her analytical gaze on the young Ensign. She then turned her head to look at the craft arrayed in the hangar bay.

"We'll be forming a recon mission into Imperial Dominion held space. Obviously, the Adjudicator will be entering the target system in less than two days. We'll be sending a team to land on Tilsec Prime and stir trouble amongst the locals.." Grey continued, "But we need a recon pilot."

Hades eyed her. "You mean me?"

"I mean you." She confirmed, gaze unblinking.

"I haven't got my wings back yet," Hades protested. Grey simply shrugged.


"That shouldn't be a problem." Her cool eyes turned to the TIE Vanguards hanging daintily nearby. Something different bugged Hades about them. "You'll be replacing a member of the Adjudicator's recon flight, Incisor."

"I will?" Hades cocked a jet black brow, "Doesn't sound like I have a choice."


"Oh, you do." Grey half smiled, without emotion to support it, "but this is the only way you'll get to fly again before this mission's over. I believe that's enough incentive to get you into that cockpit, hmm?"

"You had me at 'fly'. What would be my mission?" Hades responded, mirroring Ensign Grey's emotionless facade - no mean feat.

"Firstly to assess the strength of Dominion forces in the Sollamens system from a fighter perspective and secondly to proceed via hyperspace to Tilsec Prime, where you will land, and meet up with an agent on the ground to prepare for the main team’s arrival.”

“Landing only makes sense if you expect the ID forces to prevent our escape..” Hades murmured. Grey remained silent now, a knowing look in her eyes. She always had a knowing look in her eyes, so here was no different. “Ah. I see.”

“You’ll be picked up by the main team – you won’t be there for long without us, though you’ll have the company of one of our agents on the ground.” Hades noted she said us, not them which meant she was probably planning on going too. “If all things go as planned you’ll be there around 12 hours before us. Our intel suggests that ground defences are minimal, but orbital defenses are thick.”

“Do we have any more info on that?”

“Negative.” Grey was about to say something further, but a few voices down the corridor indicate that the Vanguard pilots were coming down the corridor.  “Report in once on the ground.”

Hades’ gaze was focused on the hangar bay’s entrance, and he turned back to reply to Grey, but she was already gone. Interesting, Hades thought to himself. Little -to-no intel on what I’ll be up against and a fighter designed only for reconnaissance. Not a bad mission at all. By now the pilots of Incisor had emerged. There were only three of them, and Hades – standing near the Vanguards – caught their eye. “Are you.. Ensign Aita?” The man queried. Hades nodded in response to the larger pilot. “I’ve been told you’ll join us for this mission. I’m Lieutenant Vyrman, callsign Vile. These are CWOs Yard and Needle respectively. You’ve been briefed on our mission?”

“Aye sir.” Hades frowned slightly, “though it was.. brief.”

“You’re not the only one who got that. Captain Trykon wants us on the way ASAP, let’s get a move on folks!”

The three pilots knew where each of their fighters was, and the final one was left to Hades by process of elimination. Though he’d never flown a TIE-Vanguard, it was similar in design to the standard TIE – as were its controls. The advanced sensors and such would not be necessary just yet and if it ended up they were, then Hades could easily ask Lieutenant Vile. Running through the basic preliminary flight checks, Hades was forced to smile – this was probably the newest fighter he’d been in for a while. Each of the sensors flicked up with a pleasant green display, indicating that he was more or less ready for the mission. It was then he realised what was different about these Vanguards - they had hyperdrives! Either they had been specially modified beforehand or just for the mission, Hades did not know.

He relayed as much to Vyrman, who acknowledged his transmission and gave them all the green light to power up the engines and move out of the hangar bay. “I’m transmitting coordinates now..” The numbers and figures ran over Hades’ high-tech display as they were received from the flight leader. “Jump point in 1 mike.”

Ensign Hades clicked his comm in acknowledgement, but the other two remained silent. Perhaps it was custom to retain radio silence after lift-off, but Hades could only speculate. The minute to the jump location passed rather more quickly than Hades had thought and before he knew it, Vyrman was on the comm again. “Jump in 3, 2, 1.. engage hyperdrives.” Hades keyed the hyperdrive active, feeling the slightly disconcerting pull of hyperspace as the starlines began to stretch and distort. Hades had not been in a fighter with a hyperdrive for a long while, and he was starting to remember why. On top of being less comfortable both in size and the way they were affected by hyperspace but also because you were stuck in the cockpit for possibly hours, even days on end – though they weren’t going that far. There was some mild chatter between the four pilots, compensating for small positional errors and the like, but they were mostly silent, making it a lonely journey.

Hades decided to pull out a small manual for the Vanguard and began to read, careful not to bump any controls while he did so. After around 3 hours, Vyrman announced a proximity warning – less than half an hour until they reached their destination. By that time, though, Hades had learned most of the controls of the Vanguard off by heart. He felt well prepared, though he had no idea how comprehensive the ID early warning systems were, so it might just turn out that they were intercepted before they could even accomplish half their objective. VENI’s objective was by far the most important, so Hades knew what to do if he got into trouble. “Re-emerging in 3..2..1.  Reemerged.”

Hades now found himself back in the system that they'd just left.. Great, he thought bitterly. Bloodmoon. The place was a graveyard. Hulls of destroyed ships floated like gargantuan carcasses, the comparatively minute bodies of crewmen floating alongside. There were shattered TIE fighters drifting through the wreckage with missing solar panels, shattered view ports.. It was a somber image. The biggest image though, was the bloodmoon. It looked as if the fission bomb had robbed it of the majority of its colour, being a dull red now as opposed to its namesake.

"This place gives me the creeps, sir." It was Yard. "Can we get a move on?"

"Affirmative." Vyrman responded quietly, "transmitting the next coordinates now."

Once again, Hades saw numbers scroll across his screen and prepared to jump.

"Jump point in three, two, one.. Jump." Bloodmoon's graveyard faded away into stretched starlines, but Hades doubted he'd seen the last of it.. all in all, the short stopover had been a sobering experience for the entirety of Incisor flight.

OOC:
Wordcount: 1,501.

AAR: Set some time before Trykon's post, this deals with Hades joining the flight of (modified) Vanguards that is sent to recon the system - hades is given a VENI objective, but I've managed to divide it into two posts; the next will deal with Hades arriving on Tilsec Prime ahead of everyone else and get me up to the present time!

Chief of Naval Training, 54th Squadron Commander

SCO | ESN "Hades" | A-1 | S:54 "Gundark" | W:101 "Blade" | ISD Adjudicator | TF:Aurek | 2nd Fleet | SC | VEN | VE
CNT | ESN "Hades" | PLF Cappadocious | VENA | VEN | VE

VENI

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[This message has been edited by Hades (edited February 10, 2013 5:05:07 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Hades (edited February 10, 2013 6:15:22 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Hades (edited February 10, 2013 6:34:17 AM)]
DeepSix
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DeepSix
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 10, 2013 5:16:39 AM    View the profile of DeepSix 
The battle for Bloodmoon had ended and the Vast Empire flew victorious. Now all was well within the galaxy...

Except it really wasn't. Despite the fact that they'd won, the Vast Empire still incurred some losses of its own. They may have wounded a few Dominion ships as well as severely crippled the enemy's starfighter complement but even so the war still waged on. The only thing that changed was the location - a system known only as Sollamens Asteroids.

Suppose they'd win there too, what next? They'd follow the retreating fleet back to their very homeworld? That meant more battles and further death along the way and the lone VEN officer glaring at the simple Avenger before him just couldn't stop wondering whether that was a smart thing to do.

Granted it was a smart move to eliminate an irksome enemy, but in a galaxy where such enemies were always present and waiting for the slightest opportunity to act... did anything truly change as a result? The shape of the galaxy may change constantly but its core would always remain the same. So it remained already for thousands of years and so it will likely remain still in the eons to come...

"Lieutenant", a voice woke the Onderonian from his reverie. Turning to find the source of the disturbance Seth noticed a couple of pilots looking back at him. They were of his own squadron and given their less than formal surroundings neither they nor Seth bothered saluting. The man had never been a great fan of protocol himself, nor did he ever bother instilling such values into his own pilots - whether they were in his current squadron or the ones he previously commanded.

"What's up?" Qorbin answered casually as he fully turned to face the others. "The boys were planning on once more raiding the ship's booze supplies and we were wondering if you wanted to join us..."

Ah yes... the strong drinks most pilots required after finishing a particularly strenuous battle. As soon as Bloodmoon was history most of the Adjudicator's bars were sieged by the influx of surviving pilots, the latter wanting to either mourn their losses, celebrate their successes or maybe just try and forget everything had ever happened in the first place.

Vornskr pilots were no different and in the first twenty four hours since the battle's end Seth enjoyed countless drinks in the company of both his own men as well as those of other squadrons. That was a rather fun experience. Then again when he returned to his quarters to rest he found dozens of ominously looking datapads thrown all across his work desk.

Even without opening them, the man knew what they likely were - reports either sent to him or otherwise that needed to be sent from him. Transfer approvals, ships and equipment acquisition, battle analysis and even early performance reviews too... Qorbin however ignored all those things and instead went to sleep. He knew that if push came to shove he had some competent people who would be able to deal with those headaches in his place. Besides, it wasn't as if he taught them all how to almost perfectly forge his signature out of the generosity of his tiny little heart...

"I'll see if I can catch you there later", the Squadron Commander replied casually and next checked his chrono. For the time being the man had another appointment somewhere in that hangar bay. T'was a blonde Human woman he knew fairly well and whom aside from whatever she had to tell him, the man himself also had a few things to ask and joke about. Namely the nuking of Bloodmoon...

For someone who was supposed to thrive on mystery and secrecy blowing up a large chunk of a moon did not quite fit that profile... Not that any of the Adjudicator's crew or any other ship in the Fleet minded. Quite the contrary, they cheered and toasted and drank their worries away like there was no tomorrow...

"Lieutenant", a female voice announced its presence somewhere from behind the male VEN officer. A smile formed on Seth's face as he recognized the voice and realized this was the very person he was waiting around to show up. "Ensign", he replied in the same tone of voice and turned to face the new arrival.

"Before we begin - as well as in the interest of public safety - I simply must make sure... do you carry any explosive devices on your person?" The woman's expression barely sketched a momentary smile before turning as cold and calculated as ever. She did not bother replying to that question, instead getting straight to the subject at hand and informing Qorbin of what a certain masked individual would've liked for him to do during this next stage of their invasion - or as the brass preferred to name it... their liberation of wrongfully occupied ID systems.

OOC:
WC: 824
AAR: Short intro post with nothing of note happening until the very end when the Blade WC receives some unknown orders.
WC/LCDR DeepSix/Golden One/S:38th Vornskr/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE [=*TG*=] [=*VIM*=]

Consultant/LCDR DeepSix/PLF Golden Cappadocious/VENA/VEN/VE

TRN/AD DeepSix/DJO/Training Sect/VEDJ
Hades
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Hades
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 10, 2013 12:24:27 AM    View the profile of Hades 
The journey had taken slightly longer than their estimates – between the stopoff at bloodmoon and the single stop after that, it had taken them close to seven hours. As the proximity warning blared, Vyrman – otherwise known as Vile or Incisor 1 – spoke calmly over the comm. “We don’t know exactly what’s here, other than the Imperial Dominion.” The Lieutenant paused, letting the lack of intel sink in. Considering Hades was VENI, it struck him as somewhat ironic. “I want you to be careful; stay close and transmit only when I do.. We don’t want to get caught this far from friendly forces. We’ll be skirting the outside edge of the system at first, making sure there are no traps waiting for us, before we get a little further in. We know it will be comprised of several dozen asteroids, so make sure to use them as cover if we’re compromised.”

“Understood,” was Yard’s simple reply. Needle’s was a similarly simple acknowledgement, while Hades himself merely clicked the comm. He knew what he had to do.. and it might mean leaving these nice fellows behind, or even compromising them as a distraction. Sollamens was their final destination before returning to the Adjudicator, as far as the rest of Incisor flight were concerned – but even as Vyrman counted down to their reversion to realspace, Hades keyed in another set of coordinate for his next jump, just pre-empting any potential mishaps that would force him to flee quickly.. When Vyrman’s countdown reached zero, the four Vanguards emerged in the Sollamens Asteroids – or rather, the system’s outskirts – and were greeted with an unimposing asteroid field, mostly screening what Incisor flight could only guess to be a giant asteroid.

While there were signs of ID activity (missile & laser cannon emplacements dotted around the edge of the asteroid field) there didn’t seem to be any huge build of ID forces like the VE expected.. but appearances could be deceiving. Vile led the flight along the pre-determined route, sensors active – their report time was coming, Hades noted, in less than 20 minutes. He was sure Vyrman had it under control, else he’d not have been assigned an important duty like this. It was rather quiet to Hades’ untrained eye – untrained in scouting, that was – but the signs were still there of ID activity. One might even say it was too quiet. Hades flicked a switch near his control yoke and was rewarded by yet another gentle beep, alongside the occasional blip from some of the other sensor-control sections. Apart from that, it was almost uncomfortably quiet – in fact, not almost, it was uncomfortably quiet. Some might find this soothing, but to Hades it was pure hell. He was at home in the thick of battle and, although he liked to have his shore leave nice and calm, there was always something he could do to fill his time. All he could do here was watch readings come back negative and glide along ever-so gracefully.

The deadline for the report drew closer still, and Incisor continued their wide circle, still with minimal activity. Vyrman obviously realised that they’d have to go in closer, so began to guide the flight inward toward the asteroid field when he saw a gap between the defense platforms.. Something was off, though.. as soon as they got close, a squealing static overrode their comms and sensors. It sent a high pitched scream through the Vanguard’s system and Hades, knowing when enough was enough, pulled his fighter into a 180 degree turn and sped back out. The rest of Incisor flight kept going, not knowing of Hades’ turn due to lack of sensors, and unable to contact each other thanks to the same interference. Once Hades was out of range of the static, he turned his fighter into a gentle curve so he could see Incisor.

They were just at the edge of the asteroid field.. Hades paled at what he saw next – TIE Avengers, a whole squadron of them suddenly appeared from the asteroids like wraiths. Incisor saw the danger almost immediately and split, speeding in the opposite direction and taking evasive maneuvers. It wasn’t enough, though – these fighters were meant for recon, while Avengers were meant for obliteration and space superiority. Incisor didn’t stand a chance. Hades knew it was time to get out of here. He pulled the control stick of his Vanguard in the direction of the jump point he’d selected and keyed the hyperdrive – he was shown all green, but he decided he’d best get further away from the asteroid field lest one of them interfere with his jump. As soon as he was satisfied, the young Ensign jumped to hyperspace – his sensors telling him he hd seconds to spare, too, the Avengers having finished with his former flight-mates.

Hades breathed a sigh of relief as the normal space of the Sollamens was replaced with the mottled lines of Hyperspace. His astrogation computer said that his target was an average of three hours away by hyperspace, at his current speed. A short hyperspace trip by all means but even though Hades had not believed it possible, it was an even lonelier one than before. There was no reassurance that he’d have Vyrman’s experience with the Vanguard to guide him, no wingmate to help him out if things went sour. Hades was on his own now, and as much as his VENI exploits had emphasised the need for dependence on only yourself, Hades came from the fighter corps – he was a good team player and preferred it that way. The officer moved around in his seat carefully, trying to get comfortable – although that was no easy thing in a TIE fighter – and settled in for the rest of the trip.

After a time that felt much shorter than his computer told him it had been, his proximity warning went off. Tilsec Prime was approaching. Hades steeled himself for whatever was going to happen next. The now lone-wolf emerged from hyperspace on the edge of the system once again and was greeted by a terrestrial world that could probably be compared in geography to Naboo, judging purely from what Hades saw. But whereas Naboo was greens and blues, creating vivid colours and contrasts, this world was slightly more.. dull. Not quite an industrial world, but well on its way to becoming one. Where you’d see bright colours from orbit, here you saw faded greens and blues, mixed with a few browns, even a greyish tinge to some of it.

The trick now was for Hades to get close enough to the planet to land and meet up with this VENI agent..

OOC:
Wordcount: 1,111. On an unrelated note, 100th story post! Yay!

AAR: Hades and Incisor flight reach the Sollamens. The ID has concealed most of their presence therein and manages to get the drop on Incisor, though not before Hades has a 'bad-feeling' moment and bugs out. The EMP interference prevents him from warning his wingmates, and he does a hyperspace jump to Tilsec Prime -- here's where it gets really interesting for me

Chief of Naval Training, 54th Squadron Commander

SCO | ESN "Hades" | A-1 | S:54 "Gundark" | W:101 "Blade" | ISD Adjudicator | TF:Aurek | 2nd Fleet | SC | VEN | VE
CNT | ESN "Hades" | PLF Cappadocious | VENA | VEN | VE

VENI

{INTER} {SfrM} {XenMA} {GrAt} (=*SWC*=) (=TG=) {AFM} {HypM} {0Gee} {INFL}
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[This message has been edited by Hades (edited February 10, 2013 12:26:31 AM)]
Serpent
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Serpent
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 11, 2013 8:38:21 AM    View the profile of Serpent 
Pherik ‘Serpent’ Zail, Captain of the Victory II Star Destroyer Brilliant, sat in his quarters and nursed the glass of Kuati wine in his hand.  He took a long sip, savouring the flavour, and also savouring the music that came from speakers placed at acoustically strategic points around the room.  The orchestral strings and brass clashed loudly, at times trying to drown each other out, and at other times complementing each other with sublime perfection.  Ah, it had been too long since he had listened to his collection of opera.

It was a rare moment of peace and respite, the calm eye in the storm that was the Vast Empire’s latest offensive.  The recent battle against the Imperial Dominion had been tough, but it was only a matter of hours, days at most, before a second deadly encounter was to be had.  Zail felt anxious to get back into the fight, to seize the initiative from their enemy and beat them badly.  Serpent desired not just a win, but a decisive one, to finally put the rival faction in the grave.

Despite the cacophony of classical music, he still heard the door chime to his room.  He tapped the remote nearby, dropping the volume of the symphony by about sixty percent, and then said, “Enter!”

His First Officer, Vagen Eosel, stepped into the spacious quarters.  The Kel Dor took a moment to glance around the room, just one of several that composed the abode of the Captain, and then focused on his superior.  “Alderaanian opera?” He asked after a moment listening the music.

Zail smiled.  “Tetan, actually,” He said, “I’m not really that fond of the music of my home world.”  Serpent then gestured for his XO to join him in the comfortable leather chair opposite his own.  “How go the preparations?”

The other man took a seat.  “First off, sir, congratulations on your promotion,” He said, pointing to the new rank plate on his CO’s uniform.  Zail had only just reached the rank of Lieutenant, and was still getting used to it.  He bowed in acceptance of the complement and let Eosel continue.  “Reports are still coming in,” He said, “But it seems like we made it through the Battle of the Bloodmoon in pretty good shape.”

“So we are combat ready?” Asked Zail.

“Very much so,” Confirmed the Kel Dor, clearly proud.  “Tech teams are still working on a few niggling repair issues, but we should be ready to fall back to the Kamlott system and regroup with the fleet as soon as Captain Trykon gives the order.”

“Outstanding,” Said Serpent, delighted by the news.  “What else?”

“After the battle several Imperial Dominion fighters were left behind when their fleet withdrew.  As a large carrier with tractor beams we have been asked to take a few of them on board,” Said the XO.  “Plus, since you are also VENI Liaison, they thought that you would know what to do with the captured pilots.”

Zail seemed to mull that over.  “Very well.  Take as many as we can.  I am sure we can lock them up and spare some Stormtroopers to guard them.  As for their TIEs, can they be refitted for our use?”

“Just what I was thinking, sir,” Said Eosel.  “We lost a few Interceptors in the recent battle, but several of the pilots ejected.  We can put them in the captured ships.”

“Make it happen,” Said the Captain, yawning.  It had been a long time since he had slept.  “Now, if there is nothing else, I believe I am going to get some rest.  What time is it, anyway?”

“Its morning, sir, about oh eight hundred hours.”

“Very well,” Said Zail, “Wake me at twelve hundred and...” He trailed off.  “Wait, if you and I are both here, and it’s nearly eight, who is doing the morning announcements?”

Every morning at 0800 ship time, the Brilliant’s Captain or First Officer gave an address to the crew.  What had started life as a simple update on major events planned for the day (drills and the like) had since evolved into a welcome point of contact to the crew.  Zail used it to highlight promotions and note excellent department results, to recognise the crew and inspire them to work ever harder.

“Oh, Mr Mishima volunteered to handle it,” Said Eosel, “Since you were indisposed and I am heading to the hangar bay to oversee the arrival of our POWs.”

Serpent’s eyes went wide in shock.  “Dev Mishima?” He echoed, horrified.

The Kel Dor, seeing his superior’s displeasure, quickly began to stutter out an explanation.  “W-well he is the Com Chief and... and...”

“And a raging egomaniac!” Zail finished.  “We have to stop him!”

However, it was already too late.  When Serpent reached for his comlink to speak to the bridge, he found that inter-ship transmissions were temporarily suspended on order of the Communications Officer.  A few moments later, the main tannoy system activated, broadcasting Dev Mishima’s voice to every corridor in every section of every deck of the ship.

“Gooooooood morning VSD Brilliant!” He began.

-----

Serpent hurtled down the corridor as quickly as his legs could carry him, and crewmen threw themselves out of his way as he shot past them.  As he ran, he heard Mishima’s voice echoing down the hallway after him.

“First off, the votes are in for the ‘Hottest Female Crewman’ Award, and the winner is Deck 8’s very own Leading Crewman Elara Shival.  Big congrats to her, and Elara, you have won the grand prize of an all expenses paid dinner date with the hottest male crewman, namely yours truly.  See you on Lotaith you lucky girl.  Moving on....”

Zail reached the turbolift and punched in for the bridge.  Even inside the elevator the Com Chief’s ‘official announcements’ continued, furthering the Captain’s growing anger.

“Just a note that the Engineering Section are having their weekly Sabacc night this evening!  Participation is open to all who can pay the 100 credit entrance fee.  Remember folks, winner takes all!”

The turbolift made several stops on its way to the bridge, and every crewman who got on or off could see their CO standing with clenched fists and eyes wide with rage.  None dared so much as say hello to Serpent.

“And if you are a betting man (or woman), please be aware that Awe Squadron are once again putting bets on this week’s mess hall main course.  The odds are currently 3 to 1 against you being able to correctly name the burnt mess we are being served for dinner.  If you feel up to the challenge remember to stop by their briefing room later today!”

The elevator doors opened on the command deck, and Zail burst out like a rancor emerging from its cage.  He crossed the bridge in a few quick strides, jumping down into the crew pits and making straight for the Com Chief’s post.  When he got there, he whirled the occupant around in his chair to face him.

Mishima!” He growled, “What the frak are you doing?”

Petty Officer Dev Mishima, still with headset attached, managed to continue his string of announcements even in the face of his Captain’s wrath.

“In other news, people,” Said the Com Officer, “I just want you all to know that I liked being alive, and will sorely miss it...”

OOC:
1226 words.  Shakespeare liked to switch from comedy to tragedy to make the latter more poignant.  I have endeavoured to do the same, so my first post of the story is comedic, and the DEATH comes later....

After Action Report:  Just before the fall back to Kamlott, the Brilliant and her crew take a break after the Battle of the Bloodmoon, and get ready for the final offensive against the Imperial Dominion.  Plans are being made to take on board some captive enemy pilots, but first Zail must deal with his practical joker of a Com Chief.
SCAP/LT Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
[SoA][LoM][NAR][E][CBV][SoV][MiD][1NS][GWC][MC1][VC:E][CC:2][CAR][=*Eng*=][=*BO*=][AO]

"It isn't the killing, you know.  It's the beauty of battles that I love - the choreography and the challenge of executing everything
just right - and the challenge of matching your wits against a capable opponent." - Gilad Pellaeon
Hades
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Hades
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 11, 2013 9:34:25 AM    View the profile of Hades 
Chief Warrant Officer Markayn 'Pain' Hurt was never a particularly pleasant man, nor was he particularly unpleasant - just a sort of serene attitude between negative and positive. However, the recent events had left him leaning slightly further to the negative side.. A rather dark skinned Zabrak, Chief Warrant Officer Hurt had been - until Bloodmoon - the Executive Officer of Gundark Squadron, otherwise known as the 54th Vast Imperial Bomber Squadron, but given the previous SCO's unpleasant death, Hurt himself had been assigned temporary command. He was not dissatisfied with this turn of events, but he would have liked some preparation - and the luxury of not having to fill a dead man's shoes.

He was comforted in the knowledge that the squadron had looked up to him, both before and after CWO Vorn Yurazz's death, but it did not assuage all his concerns. His concerns might seem very little - their losses were minimal over the Bloodmoon, though even 1 man to the jaded Zabrak was too many, and their craft were almost brand new. The pilots were well trained, too, having at least a year's worth of experience in some other Bomber squadron before they'd been assigned here - Hurt had made sure of that himself. The last thing he wanted was a squadron full of new recruits, and his predecessor had very much appreciated his diligence to that extent.

Efficient, stoic and loyal, Markayn made an excellent XO.. but he lacked the charisma to effectively lead a squadron. Fortunately for him, he'd had the choice of a very charismatic XO; the former flight leader of Cresh, WO2 Hylda 'Cliff' DeBruyn. Brought up on Abregado-Rae, DeBruyn had been exposed to a vast sense of multiculturalism from a very young age and as such knew how to work with people much better than the newly appointed SCO did. DeBruyn would be a priceless addition to the squadron for the mission that was coming. There were a few that Hurt did not know well enough to be sure of, but their records had spoken highly enough of them to pass his watchful gaze, so he was satisfied for the time being.

A day after the battle of Bloodmoon, Hurt had received the news of his takeover of the newly founded Bomber squadron and had been both pleased yet worried at the same time - pleased in that they were choosing someone the squadron knew and trusted as opposed to a complete stranger, and worried due to his lack of charm. He knew very well that a good leader was able to inspire his squadron.. an ability that he felt he lacked. Despite his shortcomings, Markayn would do his best to ensure that Gundark did not lose another member. In the interest of cooperation, he'd called a squadron meeting - just to make a few announcements and introduce the new flight member.

They had gathered promptly, like the well behaved veterans they were and now sat in front of him within one of the Adjudicator's many briefing rooms. "Ladies, Gentlemen," The new SCO began, "You all know who I am, and I know who all of you are. We've lost a man, aye. Chief Yurazz was a damn fine man and a damn fine leader.. but we're still on deployment. There won't be any rest until the completion of this war. No funerals, nothing. I have been assigned to replace Vorn and I'm choosing Cliff as my XO. Shadow, you're hereby promoted to Flight Leader of Cresh. These changes are effective immediately..

"I'd also like to introduce our newest member, SCPO Zyl Runit - callsign 'Zeal'. He's joining us from R&R on Abrae, but is an experienced bomber pilot himself. Get to know him and vice-versa; Zyl, introduce yourself and talk with your new Squadron-mates." Markayn paused now, letting out a soft sigh, "I know I'm not an inspirational kind of guy, nor am I particularly charming. But I'm a team player and a damned good one at that. If we all work together, we can get through this blasted war and go home… That’s all for now. Questions?”

The room was silent. Markayn felt the expectant gazes of his new subordinates linger upon him. Did they expect him to say more? To give them the whole line about how easy it would be to bomb the crap out of the ID frakkers? If they were, they had sorely misjudged him. Markayn nodded to himself, “Alright then. Dismissed.” The Zabrak SCO descended from the small dais without further ado and headed for the exit. Gundark was starting to get up now and do the same, while Cliff managed to catch up to him. Her auburn hair caught the artificial light and make it seem luminous, contrasting beautifully with her pale skin. Cliff waited until they were out of earshot and sight of the squadron before she shoved the SCO up against a wall and kissed him passionately. Markayn was not entirely taken by surprise, but he did push her off. She didn’t seem to notice, though, as her eyes were staring at him expectantly.

“Well?”

“Well what?” He asked.

“You know perfectly well what I mean. What’s going to happen to.. you know,” she blushed slightly, uncharacteristic of such a bold woman, “us.”

Markayn let out another sigh, dark eyes focusing on her. They’d been seeing each other since before the squadron had been formed, but it had been pure luck that they’d been assigned to the same squadron. Whether it was indeed luck or misfortune remained to be seen. “Nothing, Deb,” the CWO responded calmly, utilising her affectionate name. “We just have to hide it better. I don’t want-“

Markayn paused as a group of Crewmen passed the entrance to the corridor they were in. The crewmen did not pause or even favour them with a glance, but you could never be too cautious. “I don’t want it to be spread that we’re seeing each other.” As soon as he said it, he regretted it – the expression on her face told him she did not like what he’d just suggested at all.

“Why not?” She retorted, bottom lip trembling despite her best efforts.

“For one, it’s unprofessional – and don’t give me that look, you know I’m right.” He remarked in regards to her puppy-dog eyes, “Secondly, it would ruin your reputation. How bad would it look on your record if you’d been found to be sleeping with your SCO?”

“My reputation?” She asked accusingly, “or your reputation?”

“I don’t give a damn about my reputation. I could be stuck at XO all my life and I’d be perfectly happy!” The Zabrak hissed, grabbing her by the shoulders, “it’s you I’m worried about! I don’t want you to follow the path that I have!”

She seemed to search his eyes for any sign of lie and, finding none, nodded slowly in understanding. “Okay.” The pretty WO2 exhaled shakily, “Okay.. I’m sorry for venting at you, Mark.”

“I understand, Deb.” He responded affectionately, “and it’s okay. We’ve all been under a lot of pressure since.. well, since Vorn’s death.”

“It’s not your fault,” Hylda replied, sensing his mood. “You couldn’t have done anything.”

“I could have, but I didn’t.” He murmured bitterly, “he should be here, not me.”

“But I don’t love him,” Cliff retorted stubbornly. Markayn’s eyes widened slightly.

“You.. what?” she didn’t reply, just pecked him on the lips and hurried away down the corridor, flicking a gaze over her shoulder before she disappeared around the corner. Markayn ran a hand over his lips absently, thinking on what she’d just said. Did he love her, though?

OOC:
Wordcount: 1,277. Introducing the NPC Gundark Squadron.

AAR: Gundark Squadron's newly appointed SCO, Markayn Hurt, displays some unease about filling his friend's shoes and does not have confidence in his abilities as a leader. Fortunately, he has WO2 Hylda DeBruyn, a confident, outgoing, energetic and attractive young XO - whom he's been seeing for a few months now. All in all, just introducing Gundark Squadron - more to come!

Chief of Naval Training, 54th Squadron Commander

SCO | ESN "Hades" | A-1 | S:54 "Gundark" | W:101 "Blade" | ISD Adjudicator | TF:Aurek | 2nd Fleet | SC | VEN | VE
CNT | ESN "Hades" | PLF Cappadocious | VENA | VEN | VE

VENI

{INTER} {SfrM} {XenMA} {GrAt} (=*SWC*=) (=TG=) {AFM} {HypM} {0Gee} {INFL}
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Serpent
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Serpent
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 11, 2013 8:05:22 PM    View the profile of Serpent 
Alone in the cockpit of his TIE Interceptor, Sval ‘Airlock’ Heysh seethed with anger.  He had given his all in the Battle of the Bloodmoon, and had personally downed three Vast Empire TIEs himself.  This should have been his finest hour, and as the third VE fool died under his guns, Heysh had allowed himself to fantasise about landing back on the Reactionary to the rapturous applause of his envious squadron mates.

And then it had all gone bad.  Not only had the Bloodmoon been blown up – actually fraking destroyed! – but in the chaos of the shockwave that had ensued his controls had been fried.  Left to drift in space, Heysh had been forced to watch as the Reactionary and the rest of the Imperial Dominion fleet withdrew, leaving him to the ‘mercy’ of the VE.

Time passed, as the cursed alien-loving Imperial wannabes had drifted about the system, collecting disabled and surrendered Dominion TIEs like barbarians looting a fallen foe for primitive trophies.  When he had got his com active again, Heysh had also transmitted a suitably obsequious surrender, and the VE had rushed to take him in.

But he never meant it.  Sval Heysh never gave up!  As long as he lived, he would fight.  He had always fought!  From the moment he had joined the Academy to train as a starfighter pilot, he had been fighting every step of the way for the respect of his fellows.

The memory of that first month of training still burned bright in his memory.  That slimy woman - what was her name, Deena? – had seduced him.  She had lured him to that airlock on the training platform on the pretext of a sexual liaison, and though it galled him now, he had fallen for it.  She had left him there, locked him in, naked, and ran to get the other cadets.  To this day he could not fathom the reason for her deception, but it was irrelevant.  The whole class had seen him, nude and humiliated, and though he had tried to shake it, the nickname of ‘Airlock’ followed him ever since.

Heysh had learned well, however.  He had taken the insult to heart, even made it his call sign, and schemed on a way to make it mean something else.  Deena had looked so scared as he depressurized her in that same hatch some months later, and oh how she had begged and pleaded for mercy!  Heysh had shown none, however, and managed to cover up his involvement in her death quite well.

Deena’s death was officially called an accident, but every other cadet in that class knew better.  They showed a healthy respect and fear of Sval ‘Airlock’ Heysh from then on!

His ship lurched suddenly, stirring Heysh from his memories.  One of the Vast Empire ships, a Victory-Class Star Destroyer from the looks of it, had him in a tractor beam.  His TIE, still with dead engines, could not fight against the inexorable pull, not that he even wanted to.  Where had he to go?  His Interceptor had no hyperdrive, and so he could not use it to return to the Imperial Dominion.  No, if he wanted to escape he would have to find other means of transportation.

Fortunately, he had been trained for an eventuality such as this.

Well, mostly trained.  Heysh and a handful of other elite Reactionary pilots had been selected for special training some months previous.  It involved infiltration and stealth, along with close-combat skills, weapons and tactics.  Few of them knew why they were being trained, though, or what role they were to fill.  Rumours persisted of a plan to create a flexible pilot/commando squadron, or even that they were being groomed for some secret fleet Intelligence agency.

Regardless, the Vast Empire’s latest offensive had interrupted the training and forced Heysh and his fellow trainees back into front-line service.  The project had been forgotten, but he had not forgotten his training.  By the time his Interceptor was approaching the cavernous hangar bay of the VSD, he had already ripped out the main console of his TIE and was working hard.

By selecting choice bits of tech, he wired together a crude short-range bomb.  It was a flashbang really, and would be all light and no real strength.  However, Heysh knew that a well-placed distraction at a critical moment could give him the opportunity for escape, if only he had the courage to take it.

The blinding white docking bay engulfed him, the tractor beams guiding his ship down to the deck.  Heysh swallowed his tiny flashbang for regurgitation and use later, and quickly set to work programming his fighter for one last act of defiance....

-----

First Officer Vagen Eosel watched the three TIEs land on the deck, released from the tractor beams and laying motionless.  The Kel Dor gestured and three full squads of Stormtroopers rushed forward, one per ship, and gestured with rifles to the cockpits.

“Attention pilots of the Imperial Dominion!” Called Eosel, his voice strong despite the muffling from his breath mask.  “Step out of your fighters and surrender!  You will not be harmed as long as you cooperate.”

Slowly, three figures emerged from the popped hatches of their craft, removing helmets and raising hands in submission as they did so.  The Stormtroopers watched them warily, gesturing them forwards and clear of their TIEs before searching them.

Eosel watched impassively as the soldiers forced the prisoners to their knees, and checked their jump suits for concealed weapons.  A few were found, merely standard-issue sidearms, and the prisoners made no attempt to conceal anything.

“Very good,” Said the XO, gesturing for the POWs to be brought forward.  Addressing the three men (all male, all human, all with simple buzz cuts), he said, “You will be taken and held here on the Brilliant until you can be transferred to...”

The rest of his sentence was cut off, as suddenly one of the captured TIEs exploded.  The blast echoed through the hangar, and as great licking tendrils of fire lashed out from it one of the Stormtroopers was caught and thrown to the ground.

Alarms blared to life and fire control droids rushed forwards.  Medics were called for the downed trooper, and as some sense was made of the chaos, Eosel glared daggers at the pilot of the detonated craft.  “How dare you!”

The man, a thin-faced weasel, met his gaze unflinching.  “I have surrendered myself, alien filth, but I am not surrendering my ship!”  He glanced at his two fellow captives.  “And you two had an obligation to do the same!  Pathetic.”

Eosel gestured to a Stormtrooper, who promptly hit the man on the back of his head with the butt of his rifle, knocking him to the ground.  The man looked back up at the First Officer, but did not speak further.

Eosel looked down at him, and read the name on his jump suit.  “Well, Sval ‘Airlock’ Heysh, you just earned yourself a trip to a very special cell.  Guards, take him away!”

The XO then turned to handling the damage done by the self-destructed TIE.  As such, he failed to notice Heysh’s smile as the man was marched off to the detention level...

OOC:
1206 words.  As promised, my first post was comedy, and now in the second things start to get serious on the VSD Brilliant.

After Action Report:  The Brilliant takes on several enemy TIE pilots as prisoners.  Co-opting their ships, the POWs are sent to holding cells until the fleet returns to VE space.  Among them is a man called Sval ‘Airlock’ Heysh, a pilot trained in advanced infiltration techniques.  Full of hatred for the Vast Empire, he has vowed to break free and wreak havoc on Captain Zail’s ship.
SCAP/LT Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
[SoA][LoM][NAR][E][CBV][SoV][MiD][1NS][GWC][MC1][VC:E][CC:2][CAR][=*Eng*=][=*BO*=][AO]

"It isn't the killing, you know.  It's the beauty of battles that I love - the choreography and the challenge of executing everything
just right - and the challenge of matching your wits against a capable opponent." - Gilad Pellaeon
Cervidae
ComNet n00b
 
Cervidae
 
[VE-NAVY] Petty Officer 2nd Class
 
Post Number:  24
Total Posts:  81
Joined:  Nov 2012
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 11, 2013 9:36:57 PM    View the profile of Cervidae 
Safe and sound. Just like she promised.

A few cuts and bruises, mostly from scrambling out of her own Interceptor when she finally landed inside the hangar, but for the most part safe. Even the medical analysis deemed her mentally and physically fit, clearing her without the need to spend any time in the medical center. Which, in reality, was more a relief to the young woman than the fact that she was alive. She would have rather been gunned down and left to die rather than find herself laying in a hospital bed again. A smirk pulled at Cerviade’s lips, humored by her own cynicism. Albeit very true, the melodramatics that her brain was running wild with had already made a very clear point; there was absolutely no need to remain brooding on the past when she was perfectly fine. On top of being still perfectly acceptable to fly, she had even reached her own personal goal of bringing Twitch back with her. The brunette sighed as her fingers danced over the screen of her datapad. Despite the fact a Saint (as Cerv was quick to learn the name of during a debriefing) was tailing her partner and a hole was blown in the Bloodmoon for some reason, the Chlovi girls had managed to find a way to return with the squad. Or, at least, what remained of the squad.

The battle had started off on a positive note for the green 50th Starfighter Squadron. A couple of distractions and a strong attack on the suicide squadron led to the general good all-around feeling that seemed to fuel ignorant bliss and pride through the squad. Which, in all honesty, wasn’t too hard to believe. Very few of them had ever engaged in combat in an actual TIE, much less had to kill someone. The fact that the general view was that everyone was able to take down their targets was something worth glowing about, especially in the Besh Flight’s case. With only knowing each other for such a brief period of time (nothing more than half a day at the most), Cerv and Twitch had managed to pull off a Corellian Slip with almost absolutely little fuss. But, none of them were prepared for the ambush of the 128th Imperial Interceptor Squadron. Sure, some of the pairs had been able to break off and escape together, but there were far too many close calls and deaths to claim that there was a victory in the Chlovi name. A casualty rate of nearly half was staggering numbers by any stretch of the imagination.

A sigh escaped the brunette lips as she rolled onto her back from off her side, moving her attention from her datapad to her ceiling. There was only so much that she could focus on at the moment and, to her dismay, studying was not an option. Too much was playing back in her head, especially the Saints. The young woman couldn’t bring herself to search the archives for their existence, no matter how much she wanted to. Everything she seemed to want to know about them had been answered in either the battle or the debriefing, but she knew there was more. Yet, for some reason, the more she wanted to know about them, the less her hands seemed to want to check. It felt irrelevant at the moment, especially as there was still so much to do. The members of her squad had to prepare themselves for their new mission and there was absolutely no time for this cloud of angst and depression. War was war; it took whatever it wanted, whenever it wanted.

Cervidae Sandor sat up in her bed, cracking her knuckles by clenching and unclenching her hands. She chewed absentmindedly on her lower lip, focusing on a new task at hand. For whatever reason deemed by those much higher than she, the young woman had been named the Squadron’s new Executive Officer. The promotion honored her, terrified her, and inspired her. She caught someone’s attention and was ready to do just about anything to make them proud that they chose her. Cerv felt her arms wrap around her body - the need for a reassuring hold dealing with itself before she even knew that she needed it. She knew, however, she wasn’t the only one in Chlovi in need of some sort of comfort. From what she had learned from a medbay nurse, even the once-confident commander of the 50th seemed to be taking the casualty rate extremely personal.

The woman stared at the door to her room, her eyes trained on it. No matter what she tried to do, her mind returned to dance around the absolute fact that there was really so much to do, so much to settle before Chlovi returned to the vast unknown of space. With a sigh, Cervidae felt herself rising up from off her bed at the thrilling rate of an endorian snail as she settled into work mode.  There was no time, it seemed, to lay around and accomplish nothing while there was still so much to do. She chewed on the inside of her mouth, gnawing over her current options. The best one, it seemed, was to check in with one Sam Dunn and get direct orders from him on what she should be doing - although, that meant actually going into the medbay and that wasn’t exactly the highest  thing on the woman’s priorities. Not because she didn’t want to see injured men and women fighting for their lives, but because it was still too soon for her to be anywhere near one. After so many days, weeks, months, years spent locked away on one of those overly-hygenic, too-stiff for comfort, cleaner scented beds, all she wanted to do was avoid going anywhere near them. “’S it even worth it…?” she mused to herself, putting her officer jacket on over a white tank-top and some well-fitting sweat pants.

She had managed to break away from her datapad earlier that day to spend a few hours training a bit, but never got around to changing out of her workout clothes in the time she returned. Gray eyes looked over to the mirror, glancing over her current outfit of choice. It wasn’t too bad, pretty unisex in just it’s own nature and how it fit on her, but still probably not the most professional thing to go visit a commanding officer. The jacket and a pair of  boots would at least make for some sort of professionalism. A smirk pulled at her lips, a slow nod working to her new task at hand. In reality, she was probably going to be thrown paperwork and such, depending on Dunn’s current status, but at least it was something to help make his life easier. After a crushing defeat like that, he could probably use all the help he could get. A gentle smile of surrender to the greater good followed after a final sigh. It was her duty as an executive officer to perform her leader’s bidding, was it not?

The woman’s footsteps echoed down the halls of the Adjudicator  Brown curls bounced freely as her datapad remained held close to her chest, struggling to leave her grasp as long as she could carry it. A posture of authority, despite the fact that she really didn’t believe it yet, carried her along with the trek to the medbay. Everything felt like it was taking longer to perform, most likely due to the fact that every step closer to the medbay was closer to memories that she didn’t want to re-live. Even if she wasn’t spending any time laying in the beds, Cervidae still couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable being near anything remotely hospital related... Deep breaths, girl. It’s just a checkup on the leader. That’s all you’re going in there for, right? Not because you’re spending any time at all as a patient. They cleared you as perfectly fine. Get a hold of yourself. Cervidae tried for a regular breath, but even that was a struggle in itself.  She had managed to work her nerves around the absolute loathing of this trip that it wasn’t until she was staring into a room full of suffering and neatly pressed, curtained-beds had she realized that she reached the bay.   



OOC:

WC: 1390

AAR: After returning from the last mission, Cervidae has spent a lot of time reading her datapad in attempts to comprehend the actual magnitude of the battle they had so barely managed to escape from. Unlike a good majority of Chlovi members right now, it isn't Survivor's Guilt that's keeping her attention on studying In fact, it's more like absolute inspiration by the enemy's fiyers. They had managed to go in and go out faster than the green squad had even noticed them, making them a center for Cervidae's new interest. As the Chlovi's new XO, she wants to be able to help the shell-shocked Dunn better prepare the squad for the next time they went up against the Saints. 

However, despite the fact she really does want to help Dunn's recovery run along smoothly, the whole fact that she has to be inside of the medbay for any period of time is making the young woman a bit fussy and uncomfortable, even if it is only to check in on Dunn and collect orders.
SXO/PO2/Cervidae/Cobalt 7/S:50 "Chlovi" W:101 "Blade"/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A/2FL/SC/VEN/VE [SoA][*CO*][MiD][MC1][CC:1]


"The world is not a wish-granting factory; you must earn what you deserve."
Joamer
ComNet Member
 
Joamer
 
[VE-ARMY] Sergeant Major
[VE-NAVY] Chief Warrant Officer
 
Post Number:  866
Total Posts:  995
Joined:  Sep 2007
Status:  Offline
  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 11, 2013 10:34:25 PM    View the profile of Joamer 
The music in the nearly empty bar was thumping loudly. With the main blast doors closed, only the faintest echo could be heard out in the corridor beyond. Inside though, the easily ten thousand credit stereo system was blasting out a fast tempo deeply metal sounding tune. The lone patron of the bar, besides the bartender, was an older man sitting alone at a large corner table. His long black hair was pulled back out of his eyes, a black sleeveless undershirt sat exposed due to him removing his uniform some time ago. His feet were propped up on the bench seat in front of him and his head was lulling to the side half asleep. His Strill, Lurk, was curled up in a pile of her drool on the seat next to him.

The table itself held a nearly full bottle of Corellian Ale, and about three dozen datapads. They ranged from transfer orders- to and from the squadron, requisition orders for new fighters, new paint jobs for all twelve of them, new uniforms for the new recruits coming in, and confirmation receipts on his wish to have extended sim time before they left the system.

Two days had passed since they left the Bloodmoon system, in that time it seemed the ship never stopped it’s high levels of activity. At all hours of the day and night crewmembers could be heard running up and down the decks. The bar he had taken refuge in had been told time and again to turn down the music. Eventually Joamer had convinced the bartender to close the blast doors, that way they would not be disturbing the ship and he could have a bit of peace. A smaller side door was available to anyone who wanted to enter, but for now it seemed everyone had something else to do. Joamer, however, just waited. His orders had been placed, his new recruits were in, and the squadron was working. The battle of Bloodmoon had shown him just what his group was capable of and what needed to be fixed. They needed a lot of work, to put it mildly.

When he shifted, he could still smell the lingering smoky smell on his uniform from the funeral pyre of Negom Monarel. After they had blasted away from Bloodmoon and joined back up with the Adjudicator, he had sent out a coded transmission that activated Monarel’s transponder in his Interceptor. The quick computer instructions Edge had given the fighter had been right on the money. The Interceptor had blasted away from the moon and settled into a slow drift a few thousand kilometers out. Rescuing the fighter and the body of their friend was a simple procedure after that.

Convincing the command crew they needed leave to go down to Kamlott and give their friend a proper farewell was not, however. It took two days, but finally Joamer in a private meeting with Trykon had gained permission to do it. The possession through the ship was slow, his body held in a small metal container with the insignia of Strill etched into it. They left the ship in a small shuttle and traveled to a deserted area on the planet. After a few hours of preparation, they stood in a circle as the pyre went up, and they paid their final farewells to one of the few who made it back to be given their last rites. During the ceremony they paid their farewells to Maidig Trallin, whose remains were never found. His fighter had been shot down too close to the crater that had been the facility.

Joamer knew the ceremony was odd compared to the standard Naval dogma that surrounded most everyone. When you died here, more often than not, nothing was brought back. He had made a promise to everyone though. If you died you would not be left behind. It might be his undoing one day but he would see to it no one was left behind again on his watch.

He could with certainty say his first mission as squadron commander went smoother than his first mission as squad leader. Thyveck was the absolute worst out of all his years in the army, Bloodmoon was a cake walk by comparison. Somehow he managed to lose only two people, with two more transferring out when they got back.The first was Isaac Fallen. The young man seemed a bit too young for this life. Or maybe he had realized finally what Strill was like. His transfer did not come as a surprise. The second leaving did though, he always assumed his wife and him would be partners for good, standing side by side. But seeing the look in her eyes when they got back told him all he needed to know. She would not fly again any time soon. He had received permission to allow her to stay on board and become one of the squadron’s mechanics, and it was a job she took to quickly, though he was slightly afraid she was going to kill the Hutt crew chief. Part of him doubted he would care if Flamingo died horribly, but he had to admit the creature did a good job.

The new arrivals were another story. Due to his reputation and thus his squadron’s he tended to get nothing but the academy rejects. The first was Macin Unn, a human female from a planet so small they did not even record its name in her records. Her scores were enough to pass basic flight but barely. Every instructor had her pinned for a suicidal charge due to her mental issues. She gained the nickname of Q-ball shortly after trying to crash her fighter when she noticed a bug was inside her cockpit. She was a natural behind the stick, but she was unstable. Perfect material for us then. Impossible to be a squadron that’s never been done before when I don’t get decent people. He thought angrily. He knew sleep was eluding him but he was stubborn.

The second was a human male, Thatcher Morrowind. Callsign of Thicket, passed basic flight by cheating on the final exam but the instructors did not notice it till it had been passed. He was ordered to retake the Academy again, the second time he was caught cheating at the mid-way point. Due to his connections he was put in the Academy for a third and final time, he passed with a mid-range score. No-one believed he did not cheat, they’d just not been able to find evidence of it yet. The story of how he got the callsign of Thicket was not for polite company, Joamer was still trying to unravel that one. Though, he knew he was not going to enjoy the outcome when he figured it out.

The third in the group of misfits was a human female going by the name of Nadya Mcintyre. A week into the academy some instructor made the mistake of calling her “lady” to get her attention. She promptly snapped and also snapped his arm in three places shouting that she was not a lady. She tended to use anger more than her own calm judgement, which meant she was perfect for Strill.

The fourth was his ace up his sleeve, using more than one favor he had coming. As well as putting himself into debt with more than one person he got her transfer approved from. Makenna Aleshire, formerly of Chlovi squadron, showed strong promise flying with them, but due to reasons only lightly recorded in the records wanted a change of pace. In the Academy she was an ace in the making, but relied more on her ground experience to get the job done. With her background as a pirate, and her knowledge of the seedier side of the Galaxy, he knew she would prove to be very useful in the oncoming months.

He had taken three rejects from the academy, in exchange for one person who could prove very useful to his squadron. If Avalar showed half the promise that was expected of her, it would be more than a fair trade off. He knew from scuttle-butt that more than one high ranking person was watching her already. He was just glad he managed to snag her first before they could get their hands on her. His first meeting with her a few hours before had gone like he had expected, just shy of downright hostile, and she made it clear she did not respect authority or those of rank. If they survived this mission he knew they would make a good team, but from the rumors coming in the next mission was going to be a real test for even a seasoned squadron.

The remaining people were not free of faults though. Earlier this morning he noticed Tik Tavrus, his Flight Leader of Cresh, sneaking out of this very same bar as he was entering. The bartender told him the amount of credits he had run up and was actually surprised he was still standing. The responsible side of him wanted to go find him and sober him up, but he knew everyone handled stress and dramatic situations differently. As long as he was sober for when they needed him, everything would be alright.

Keeping his eyes closed he wanted to just sleep, his mind would not let him though. Years upon years of training and experience were working against him. He knew he could not prepare for every eventuality that was coming in the next few days, but he would spend as much time as he had left trying to work out the more deadly surprises awaiting for them.

Slowing his breathing he let his body relax as the very old training techniques began their work. He could feel oblivion coming on. Finally he had stopped his brain long enough to let sleep happen. One nagging thought kept him from full sleep however. One small thing was digging into his skull, and he could not figure out what had been bugging him for so long.

Opening his eyes he sat up and stared at one of the pads in front of him. He did not read it. He did not have to, but his mind began churning finally. “Avalar.” He said softly. “Who... of course. Vanity Orlaya Morukuv. How does Makenna know her though? Unless, it’s a coincidence which I doubt. What did Scral once say about Vanity... ‘If she stabs you looking into your eyes, she trusts you.’ She can’t know her though, Vanity died. Has to be a coincidence.”

He did not call on his Black Sun connections often anymore, however, during those days he had used them to keep tabs on a few key people in case he ever had need of them. Vanity was one such person, and he knew he was one of the few in the Galaxy to know of her true fate. The Navy at large just believed she was simply AWOL, unfortunately the truth was far worse.

Leaning back down again he glanced over at his Strill as she purred softly in her sleep. The pile of drool was slowly making its way to the edge of the bench, and soon enough it would begin falling to the floor. Using his left arm he propped his head up but opened his eyes as he noticed a shadow above him. The bartender was holding an object just above him and nodding slightly. Smiling very slightly, he knew without a doubt, just like dreamless sleep, the pillow was so close.


OOC:
WC-1943.
Joamer relaxes in a bar alone with his Strill. The music is loud and awesome, his thinking sets up for the most part what has been going on for the past two days. And clears up some loose ends created by the last story, that were purposely carried over into this one. Our new minions are introduced, who all are almost rejects of the Academy. And we say goodbye to two people who left us.
Joamer Tremaine Reistlin
Chief Warrant Officer, Squadron Commanding Officer
Aurek Flight, Strill Squadron

SCO|CWO Joamer|Iron One|Squadron: The 58th  "Strill"|Wing: 101st "Blade"|ISD-II  Adjudicator |TF:A|2FL|SFC|VEN|VE
[CC:P] [CC:W] [SoV] [LoM] [E]
In memory of Ghost squad, we will never forget.
Hades
ComNet Member
 
Hades
 
[VE-NAVY] Ensign
 
Post Number:  750
Total Posts:  1245
Joined:  Nov 2011
Status:  Offline
  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 11, 2013 10:50:43 PM    View the profile of Hades 
CWO Hurt was still thinking about yesterday's conversation. He knew now that DeBruyn had fallen in love with him, contrary to their mutual agreement. Their agreement had been everything but love, now she'd taken it a step further. He definitely cared for her profusely, but he was still not sure whether or not he loved her. Markayn sighed; these were not the type of things he wanted to be on his mind when the Adjudicator was assigned to the next phase of the war against the Imperial Dominion. Such thoughts could be life-threatening. Slamming his fists into the punching bag one after the other, Hurt was trying to block it all out and get himself 'in the zone'. The bag rocked from each of the powerful blows and sweat had begun to drip down the unassuming Zabrak's powerful form, muscles bulging at the workout.

The Gundark Squadron commander grew tired of the bag quickly, though, and soon thereafter took off the gloves to head to the 'fresher. While he was in there, he heard a knock at the door. Please don't be cliff, he pleaded whatever powers existed beyond their fleet commander, not now. "Who is it?"

"Sir..?" Came back a male voice. Hurt exhaled audibly, finding that he had unconsciously been holding a breath in anticipation, "It's Traz."

"Ah," Traz was his.. unique wingmate. "What is it, Chief?"

"Well I was just thinking, boss, about the new XO.." Markayn froze.

"What of Cliff?" He responded tentatively,

"Well since I saw you mashing yer faces together after the meeting, I'd guess there's something going on." The SCPO on the other side of the door chuckled lightly, "but then, I'm just a grunt. It's not like I know anything, aye?"

"Get to the point, Traz." Markayn rolled his eyes. It was bad enough that someone knew, but Traz? The Squadron's joker? He didn't know if he'd rather have Trykon himself aware of it.

"As a grunt, I couldn't possibly be aware of what's in my CO's noggin, could I? So if I'm not, that means I gots ta assume that ye was doing some sort of.. commandering, aye?" Markayn frowned, "I suppoose I'm saying that what I don't know, I don't see neither. And if didn't see that there in the corridor yesterday then nobody did and for all intents and purposes you were.." Traz lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper, "..commandering."

"Yes, Traz. I was commandering," Traz wasn't very well educated, nor was he particularly smart. But he gave them all a laugh and knew how to pilot a bomber like it was an Interceptor. He'd even gotten 6 confirmed kills before he joined up with Gundark.

"Don't you worry, big boss. Yer commandering secret's safe with me, yes sir it is and you'd better believe it." Traz paused for breath, "I dun' kept the secret that Tyr's parents split up, did I tell anybody? No sir I did not!"

"Traz." Markayn interrupted him tentatively,

"Yessir?"

"You just told me." Hearing a cough from the other side of the door, Hurt was inclined to roll his eyes again.

"Told ye what 'xactly?" Traz responded innocently.

"About Tyr's parents?"

"Er.. that I did." Traz hesitated now, “Tell ye what, I’ll make you a deal.”

“Oh?”

“Yes sir I will, I’ll ‘ave you know that Traz is very good at making deals.”

“I’m listening,” Markayn exasperatedly replied.

“You don’t tell a soul ‘bout that there slip up, and I don’t tell a soul bout you and the honourable Ms. Hylda DeBruyn.”

“You weren’t going to tell anyone anyway?” Markayn ventured cautiously,

“That’s true, I wasn’t.” Traz replied, and Markayn could just imagine him nodding his head, “but this is what ya call… insurance. Ye like that?”

“Alright, Traz. I’ll not tell anyone about Tyr’s parents if you don’t tell a soul about what you saw yesterday,” the CWO agreed, “deal?”

“Deal, boss.” Traz responded happily. Markayn listened carefully through the silence for footsteps, but heard none. After a brief interlude of no-one speaking, Markayn spoke up.

“Traz?”

“Yessir?” Traz responded eagerly,

“Can I finish having a shower now?”

“Oh, yes boss, don’t mind me.” Traz fell silent again and Hurt nearly groaned aloud.

“Would you allow me some privacy?”

“Oh, I told ye not ta mind me. I’m as silent as the grave when people dun’ ask me what I heard and what I seen.” Traz spoke enthusiastically, emphasising his good side.

“I’d very much like to shower alone, thank you for your discretion, but alone is alone!” Markayn snapped. Traz was silent for a few more moments. Markayn still heard no footsteps.

After what seemed like an eternity of silence, Markayn spoke up again, “Traz?”

There was no answer at first, but increased breathing indicated Traz was still there. “Yes boss?” The SCPO replied sullenly.

“Alone.” Markayn hissed.

“Yes boss..” Traz responded in the same sullen tone, and this time Markayn heard heavy footsteps plodding away. Finally, some peace, Markayn thought as he managed to get back to his shower.

--- --- ---

Markayn emerged from the ‘fresher around ten minutes later, just as his comm buzzed annoyingly. “CWO Hurt, what’s up?”

“Well that’d be a question depending on perspective, boss.” It was MCPO Vladyan Treury, otherwise known as shadow, “technically, any direction in space could be up, for instance the Adjudicator’s bridge might be considered up, but I really guess-“

“Treury, get to the point.” Was his squadron suddenly filled with rambling buffoons?

“Ah, yes, the point. Approximately 1.3 kilometers away from me is the apex of the triangular-shaped Star Destroyer hull-“

“Treury, what do you want?” Markayn replied exasperatedly, starting to get annoyed now.

“I want many things, boss, like a girlfriend, a promotion, a few medals might be-“

“Damn it man, why in the blazes did you contact me?!” Markayn snapped finally, almost shouting across the comm.

“Oh. You could have asked that in the first place, sir.” Vladyan sounded offended now and although Markayn regretted it, it had been necessary to make him get to the point. “The Adjudicator has just gone mobile. We’re on the move..”

Markayn let that process. Being on the move meant that they were beginning the next mission prematurely, which in turn meant risking his pilots’ lives. “This is it, boss. The final stroke.”

“Aye,” Markayn murmured, “Aye it is. And we’ll play a big part in it. Gather the squadron in the briefing room, I want to address them.”

“Aye sir.”

--- --- ---

Around twenty minutes later, the entire squadron – the ramble, Vladyan and the joker, Traz were both there – was gathered, curious gazes focused on their newly appointed squadron-commander.

“Alright, Gundark. We’re on the move. The final stage of this war has begun, and we’re now en-route to our next battlefield. That means that we’re en-route to somewhere we’ll all have to risk our lives.” He paused, eyes scanning the crowd, “I’m not Yurazz. I can’t bandy words like him nor do I have his charm. But I will say this; though it won’t be easy, in fact it’ll probably be the hardest mission we’ve ever undertaken – but I have confidence in the abilities of each and every one of you, confidence that you will help me to bring all of yourselves back safely. I don’t want to lose anyone else – one man was far too many.”

He had their attention now, “Traz, I want you to stick close to me. Everyone do the same for their wingman. If  you don’t know him now, make an effort – they are the ones who will be risking their lives to protect you and vice-versa. They will be your best friend, your brother, your sister, hell even your boyfriend if you’re into that.

“Do not, I repeat do not leave your wingman. If we work as a team.. we can get through this, and I don’t have to visit any of your families.. Let’s do this, Gundark, and do it with no casualties.”

He fell silent now and looked at their still-expectant features. Had he said enough? Had he said too much? It was to his surprise that they began to clap, applauding his speech. He felt goosebumps run over his skin; an unusual feeling for him. Especially in this situation. He descended from the dais once again, just as yesterday walking amidst the now standing squadron. He got half a dozen pats on the back and twice as many appreciative nods. He found that DeBruyn had caught up to him again, “see, you’ve got it in you.” She whispered, giving him a playful wink. He stopped as she walked off and half-smiled. Yes, he realised, yes I do.

OOC:
Wordcount: 1,448.

AAR: Introducing more members of Gundark - specifically, Ihknar Traz, an expert Bomber pilot but lacking in intelligence and MCPO Vladyan Treury, almost the exact opposite of Traz but more alike to him than he might think.. Gundark is briefed by CWO Hurt as the Adjudicator is now underway, and the Zabrak realises he's got more leadership in him than first thought.

Chief of Naval Training, 54th Squadron Commander

SCO | ESN "Hades" | A-1 | S:54 "Gundark" | W:101 "Blade" | ISD Adjudicator | TF:Aurek | 2nd Fleet | SC | VEN | VE
CNT | ESN "Hades" | PLF Cappadocious | VENA | VEN | VE

VENI

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[This message has been edited by Hades (edited February 11, 2013 10:53:06 PM)]
Serpent
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Serpent
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 12, 2013 10:09:25 PM    View the profile of Serpent 
It had been a day since the VSD Brilliant had regrouped with the rest of the Second Fleet in the Kamlott system.  In that day, the crew of the Star Destroyer had been busy setting the ships to rights, checking systems and running reviews of the recent battle’s combat performance.  Generally the vessel was in good order, and her crew were in good spirits.

Except for one man.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Dev Mishima, his ragged sand-coloured hair even more unkempt than usual, sat alone in the Brilliant’s mess hall.  The overly-bright lighting and pervading smell of burnt bread hanging in the air did not help his mood.  All around him crewmen were eating from trays of multicoloured paste that he could not identify, but none sat with Mishima.  Few even acknowledged his existence, fearing that the cloud of depression hanging over him was in some way contagious.

“You’ve really fraked up this time, haven’t you?” Asked a muffled voice behind him.

Mishima turned around to see the Kel Dor who was the ship’s First Officer.  Vagen Eosel was holding a tray of slop, and looking around in vain for somewhere to sit.  Only the place opposite Dev was vacant.

“Oh great,” Said Mishima, “I was just wondering how things could get worse.  Please, sit and join me.  I was just thinking that I needed less charisma in my life.”

Eosel sat, and though the breath mask required by his species covered his eyes too, he was still able to frown.  “Always so hostile, Mishima,” He said gruffly.  “Perhaps you should try to lay off the acid wit for once.  You don’t seem too blessed for friends right now.”

“Hey, I’m still popular!” Protested the Petty Officer.  “It’s just that I’m on Captain Z’s hitlist right now, and few want to risk the wrath of the Blue-Eyed Snake by being seen with me in public.”

“And whose fault is that?” Asked the XO.  “You turned his daily announcement into one of your ego trips!” He said, placing the food in a special feeding section of his mask for consumption.

“I thought he was asleep!” Replied Dev.  “And while we are on the subject, how come you got off so lightly?  As the duty officer, isn’t everything that happens on the bridge your responsibility?”

“The Captain doesn’t see it like that,” Said Eosel smugly.  “So drop it.”

And they did, eating in silence for a few minutes, until eventually the Kel Dor spoke again.  “Why do you do it?” He asked at last.

“What?” Asked Mishima, exasperated.

“Everything,” Said the XO.  “You are constantly pushing Captain Zail’s buttons.  Why?  Do you have a reason, or are you just confused as to how advancement works in the Navy?”

Dev shrugged.  “Just the class clown I guess,” He said, looking a little lost by the question.

“We aren’t in school Mishima,” Eosel scolded.  “Actions have consequences here.  This last stunt got you temporarily relieved as Com Officer.  Next time, you could be facing a real demotion.”

“Is there a point to this?” Asked Dev, getting angry.

“Only this!” Replied the First Officer, also getting angry.  “You need to sort out whatever issues you are having!  And I mean need to.  It was all very well when you, me, Samasl and the others were the senior staff on a little Warden-class Light Cruiser, but we are on a Victory Star Destroyer now!  Get it?  We are big league, and we have to act like it.”

“I know that,” Said Dev, suddenly sad.  “I just... I don’t know.  Perhaps I’ve been playing the fool so long that I don’t know how to be anything else.”

“Well,” Said Eosel after a pause, “If you ever need help... I guess I’m here for you.”

Mishima looked at him.  “Why?  We aren’t friends.  Why would you help me?”

“Because I’m the XO,” Replied the Kel Dor matter-of-factly.  “I push the crew, but I never want to see them break.  I’ll help in any way that I can.”

Dev seemed to think on that for a few moments.  “Thanks,” He said at last.  “You know, I may often mention that you have all the magnetism and leadership skills of a brain-dead nerf, but I guess you’re okay.”

“Thanks, I guess,” Said Eosel, sounding a little confused.  He made a face as if he was going to speak again, but Mishima beat him to it.

“Anyway, I’ve got to go,” He said, rising.  “I’ve got to start my new shift.  Later!”

And so saying Dev departed, leaving the XO with his thoughts.

-----

Sval ‘Airlock’ Heysh, formerly a pilot for the Imperial Dominion, now a prisoner of war, stood silently in his cell.  Beyond the shimmering energy field that kept him contained, he saw the rest of the detention area.  The hallway had several other cells, mostly empty, though a few were occupied by fellow ID prisoners.  To his left, at the end of the hallway, was the circular desk from which the Vast Empire scum in charge administered this block.

The man, a naval officer with a Petty Officer rank, was flanked by a Stormtrooper, while a second white-armoured warrior stalked up and down the corridor between the cells.  Heysh followed the man’s path with his eyes, observing the pattern, counting the steps.  The Vast Empire’s personnel were disciplined and dedicated to routine.  And routine, Heysh knew, could be exploited.

Since his capture, he had been humiliatingly stripped and changed into prisoner fatigues.  They had taken all his possessions, but had not found the improvised flashbang explosive he had swallowed.  He could regurgitate it when he needed, and he knew he would only get one shot to use it and make good his escape.  But when?

Just then, as he was internally strategising his escape, he saw the door to the block open.  A man with sandy hair entered, pushing a hover-cart laden with food.  He greeted the duty officer at the desk, who looked surprised to see him.

“Mishima?” Asked the warden.  “Has the Captain got you delivering food now?”

The newcomer nodded and shrugged simultaneously.  “What can I say?  Zail can’t take a joke.  So yeah, I’ve got this job for the next two weeks.”  He reached to his cart and pulled out a few hot plates of unrecognisable food.  “Here.  Hand these out to these fools.”

“Thanks,” Said the warden, taking the trays.  “Hey, you have any idea when we are ditching these POWs?”

Mishima shrugged.  “No idea.  I’m not even allowed on senior staff meetings right now, though word is that we aren’t unloading them until we return to VE space.  And the word on that is that we are heading into Dominion space first.”

The duty officer seemed impressed.  “So, Captain Trykon really plans to take the war to them, huh?  Guess we are going to have a lot more captives before we’re done!”

“Here’s hoping!” Said Mishima.  “Anyway, I’ve got to go and drop off some of this alleged ‘food’ to the people in med bay.  See you!”

“Later!” Said the warden, and began ordering the distribution of the food.

Heysh had watched the entire exchange, listening with interest.  He had been wondering when best to make his escape, and had initially planned to simply leave the Brilliant at the first chance he got.

Yet now a new idea was forming.  If he timed his escape during a battle, he could take advantage of the crew’s distraction.  Maybe even spread some mayhem on his way out!  He could have revenge!

And then, when at last he returned to the Imperial Dominion, he would be an even bigger hero.  The man who brought down one of the Vast Empire Second Fleet’s premier warships!

OOC:
1289 words.  Continuing to show the pre-battle events on the Brilliant, as the stories of various NPCs start to interlink, laying the groundwork for the disaster to come.

After Action Report:  The Brilliant’s disgraced Com Chief, Dev Mishima, talks with the XO, Vagen Eosel, about his errant behaviour.  He then gets sent to deliver food to the prisoners taken in the last battle.  He says too much in earshot of the highly dangerous Sval ‘Airlock’ Heysh, giving the prisoner an idea about when best to strike at the Vast Empire ship holding him.
SCAP/LT Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
[SoA][LoM][NAR][E][CBV][SoV][MiD][1NS][GWC][MC1][VC:E][CC:2][CAR][=*Eng*=][=*BO*=][AO]

"It isn't the killing, you know.  It's the beauty of battles that I love - the choreography and the challenge of executing everything
just right - and the challenge of matching your wits against a capable opponent." - Gilad Pellaeon
Twitch
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Twitch
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 13, 2013 2:31:33 AM    View the profile of Twitch 
Twitch had spent the majority of the last two days between the medic bay and the gym. Was it a smart thing to do? Probably not. Did she care? Not one bit. A moderate concussion, four broken ribs, one of which had pressed up against her lung, and a dislocated shoulder, her orders was to be on bed rest. It wasn’t like she hadn’t tried. Honestly, she had. But she couldn’t stand being in bed. When she closed her eyes, she saw the two lives that her actions had claimed. And when her eyes were open, her own battle with the saint replayed on the ceiling and walls. It was worse when she slept. In her dreams, no one had made it back, the four Saints had doubled in size and had picked them all off with monstrous faces. Short of tying the stubborn girl to the bed, there was little that the medical staff could do to keep Twitch compliant with their wishes. One medic had joked about putting sedatives in her food but when he had woke her from a night mare, the joking had subsided. All they could do was tell her to at least try to take it an easy.

A hard left hook followed by a round house kick to the training droid and Twitch crouched to her knees, clutching her chest. She gave a snort, as much in disdain for her own weakness as for the waking nightmare that played across her eyes. What was she even doing here? Was the freedom that she felt in flight worth—worth this; Worth all this doubt and suffering, worth the worry that she would leave her parents daughterless, worth this blood on her hands? The blood guilt would only get worse over the years, she had not doubt about that, did she want to accept it.  She stood up straight and got her breathing under control, breathing through the pain until it subsided. She looked around the empty gym. In just a short amount of time, they would be at it again, and Twitch was terrified like she had never been before. She didn’t have any orders, not yet, but she was sure they would come. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other and wiped her brow with the towel. She should go see Dun. She didn’t like the man, but he was her commander and he needed support right now. She’d watch them bring him in while they were attending to her ribs, and it had not looked good. Granted, she had learned, that he had survived, and that, that did earn him a few points in her eyes. Either way it was no use staying here much longer. Her body was not ready for the rigors of any of the intricacies of combatives and fighting and she was too restless to endure even a level one meditation sequence, and she couldn’t face flying any simulated missions, not right now. She picked up her gym bag and packed her gear. That done, she stood up, trying to figure out something to do. She would see Dun, eventually, just she was not ready for the confrontation of another reminder of human mortality yet.

Slowly with feet leading of their own accord, she made her way to the hanger where the squadron had been before the fighting. She forced herself to look at the empty spots where members of the squadron had failed to make it back alive shocked that her feet would lead her here. As she stared at her own cobalt, it surprised her to learn that yes, she had been avoiding this place for that last two days. There was a sense of death hanging about, at least in her mind eye. Why did it seem like no one else was feeling self-loathing the way she was feeling it? it wasn’t normal, this level, was it? There and then, she made a promise. She would never forget a single one of their faces, not as long as she lived. Her eyes closed and she slumped against the wall. The Adjudicator was a large ship, and yet, Anita Cafall felt like a caged animal. Self-loathing and a terrible sense of foreboding mingled with the anxiety from what was to come mated with the waking terrors added onto a giant heaping pile of social anxiety that came with the fact that she still didn’t know any of these people very well, didn’t have any to consider friends was leaving the young woman off balanced. It wasn’t the first time though. Anita had always been accused of being wound tighter than a spring. Here cousins once took pleasure in trying to cause her to break, and there were predictions amongst the squib that when she eventually broke loose and accepted herself, all of herself, she would be a force to be reckoned with. They too had done their best to teach her to unwind, to stop taking thing so damn personally.

“Hey lady you okay?” twitched looked up at the mechanic that was addressing her and shrugged. He looked to the empty spots then back at her. “There’s a bar down that way. If you want to sulk alone.” Sulk? Had she been sulking? She didn’t think so. She’d just been lost in thought. Still, she shrugged it off and pushed off of the wall.

She could take a hint to get out of the way. She nodded her thanks without a word to make her way, stopping long enough to ask directions a second time. Drinking when depressed was never a good thing, and she didn’t plan on drinking to excess, but if she didn’t get these visions and thoughts to subside soon, then she wasn’t going to get any sleep, and if she didn’t get any sleep, then lord only knows what kind of shape she was gonna be in.  So yes, she was perfectly willing to result to alcohol to help. She pushed open the side door, letting the sounds of metal wash over her. How fitting for her mood. She stood there at the door way, head tilted to the side. She took in the loud noise, the bar tender and the single patron at the bar, whose head was on a pillow. She wondered bemusedly if he had brought it with him, knowing he’d drink till he passed out. What was his story? What was his role in the fighting?

She slowly made her way up to counter and waited patiently, trying to think of something that would do the trick of kicking her ass into slumber. A thought from her pass, a memory, her father and near uncle drinking around the small kitchen table, and telling stories about the good ole days when they were young and stupid and drunk half the time they weren’t in their crafts. The memory caused Twitch to crack a grin and she wondered if her CO was a drinking man. Well, she was about to find out. ” ‘scuss me sir. I was sent by my CO to grab a bottle of something called the “Green stuff”. I was wondering if you might carry any, or who would?” she titled her head innocently enough giving a shrug as if to say “what the heck kind of name is “green stuff” anyways. There was also an obvious look of distrust. “Unless of course there’s no such thing and they are just sending me running around with stupid errands for a good laugh. They got one of the other new cadets with looking for a box of grid squares and another one with the ID ten T form.” she gave a nervous shrug, as if she thought this was a more likely possibility rather than something actually being called “the green stuff”, though it had been funny watching those new recruits of nonmilitary background running around trying to find nonexistent items.

It was hard to remember that she’d only been out of the academy for little less than 5 days. In light of the lull in the fighting, some of the older wiser members had decided to have fun at the new cadets expense. For her part, Anita had yet to be targeted. She had instead, made a name for herself in the med bay, fighting the medical staff like her life depended on it. After the fifth escape attempt, they had given up and just asked that she at least come back when she was done doing whatever she was sneaking off to do. She shook the thoughts from her head. They had not been happy to learn that despite the broken ribs, she had been going to the gym.

The bartender gave her an odd look and shook his head as he hunted around for the requested bottle. She paid and hid the bottle in her gym bag. With a thank you and a friendly smile she left the bar, making her way back to the Med Bay. She inquired after Dunny, asking if he was awake yet, and how he was. Getting her bearings she would make her way to where he was lying in bed writing furiously in a note book.

She just stood there for a moment before second guessing herself and turning to leave. Her shoulder brushed against the privacy curtain and her hope of a clean get away was squashed.  When his head picked up and his eyes meet her she shifted her weigh back and forth again, suddenly feeling like she had when her father caught her with the cookie jar in her room. She stood there a moment longer. She had as good as told him to his face he didn’t belong as a commander, but he had said it first hadn’t he? She blinked, her eyes darkening.
“Well?”

She shifted again. “Um…sorry to disturb you. I just…wanted to see if you needed anything.” She was such an idiot. She didn’t even know if he liked to drink. She closed her eyes, straightened her posture. Well he was her commander after all and just a man, a wounded one at that. There was no point to cowardliness or shyness. Arm went behind her back and she resisted the urge to twitch, shift or anything of the like. was also wondering if you liked to drink she allowed herself to give a small half smile.

OOC:
words: 1745

AAR: mostly exploring Anita's state of mind over the last two days. Which is, to put it lightly, not good. Despite substantial wounds, Twitch remains stuborn and continues her daily routines at the gym, practicing the martial arts she's been taught her whole life. Medical staff is not pleased with this, but there is little they can do to contend with her will. 

It's not good. even she knows she's being stupid to push her body so hard and loss, she wanders around.

after a mechanic in the hanger points her in the direction of a bar, she goes and orders a bottle of a drink that she knows from her father and mothers days in the military as "The Green Stuff" She decided to try and be what passes for friendly for her with Dunny, bring the bottle to his cot in the med bay.

I apologies for the....crudeness of this post. But I wanted to get a post in so Cerv and Dunny weren't waiting longer and I won't likely be able to get on for a week.
FM/PO2/Twitch/B-4/ S:50 "Chlovi"/ 101: Blade/ ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE/[SoA][MID][SOV][CC:1]
Xanin
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Xanin
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 13, 2013 9:02:27 PM    View the profile of Xanin 
OOC:
Strill


“Enough, pull me out!” Xanin screamed as he received multiple shots to his limbs “Can’t you lower the… difficulty?”

“What would be the point, you might as well go to the shooting range…” the engineer said as he deactivated the simulator.

For the past 5 hours Xanin attempted to improve his ground fighting skills, be it throwing grenades, attacking from close, or just shooting to moving targets. All of those things were hard, and the man was making many mistakes, which often led to him being shot by the simulated soldiers.

“How am I supposed to learn if I don’t start from the beginning?” Xanin retorted angrily as he unstrapped himself from the simchair.

“Go to the Army then, if you want proper basics.” the technician responded, smirking. Xanin knew that the man was laughing at him in the spirit, probably laughing at the whole squadron. There was nothing that he could do about it though, unless he wanted to risk disciplinary action.

“Thanks, maybe I’ll do that…” Xanin answered shortly as he exited the sim room.

The past day were not of the best. Trying to get his mind off the battle and its aftermath, the crewman after debriefing went to sleep, and since then he sat in the simulator. He tried hard to even hit the enemies, but almost every single time he missed. How is that idiot expecting us to be ground troops… we’ll get killed instantly! he thought angrily as he pushed past a few mechanics. But regardless of all the distractions, the thoughts of the previous battle kept creeping up. His sleep wasn’t one of the best either. He kept waking up, having nightmares of Eight getting killed over and over, his burning body falling through the thin atmosphere. Adding to that, he was demoted from the role of FL over someone who was just recently transferred into the squadron. If only I wasn’t made FL… the fool knew I was out of proper flight for more than a year…

“Barman, something strong please…” Xanin said, wanting to drown his thoughts.

“Sure, mate…” the barman replied, smiling peacefully

“You got an easy life, you know that…” the man said as he sat heavily on one of the bar stools.

“Sure I do…”

The man looked around, seeing if there was no one here. The bar was quite quiet, if one ignored the music, which surprised Xanin.

“Where is everyone?”

“Asleep or busy…” the bartender answered as he placed  a flask in front of Xanin “Your drink mate.”

“Thank you.” The man took the glass and downed half of its contents, taking a deep breath as he nearly slammed it on the counter. As he thought of the battle, he couldn’t help but think he could’ve done things differently, perhaps not ordered his flight to pull out of their individual fights. As he took another sip, the pilot rolled his stool around, to take a look at the rest of the bar. It seemed strangely empty, only one person sitting next to a table, apparently sleeping. Next to him was an animal, one that Xanin did not recognise, but he couldn’t really care. The long hair reminded him of someone, but as he took another sip he disregarded those thoughts, got up and sat at another table.

“Now…” he muttered to himself, as he brought out a datapad he kept in his pocket. “did anything happen…”

As he looked over his mails he has saw none that were new. He already checked them before his sleep, and so closed the DataPad, put it back into his track-suit trousers and repositioned himself to a more comfortable stance. Guess I’ll head back to that simulator room… maybe this time I’ll hit one of them… he thought to himself as he slowly drank on the brew. His eyes were drawn to the mysterious patron, and only now he saw what the animal was, and by it being a Strill he recognised the man. …Joamer. he thought to himself, his thought once again filling with annoyance and slight anger. Thoughts of the promises the man made, and of his ‘inspirational’ speeches filled his mind. How are you expecting to keep up to them… I do not understand…

The man finished up his drink and returned to the counter. Bringing out some loose change he had in his pocket, he handed all of it to the barman and exited the nearly empty lounge. For a moment he thought of whether he really wanted to go back to the simulators, to the frustration and the pain. Quickly making the decision he made his way back to the simulator rooms.

“You’re back?” the surprised engineer asked, a smirk finding its way onto his face again

“Yes I am…” Xanin answered shortly as he sat in the simchair and strapped himself in “Same program. Lets see if the last session taught me anything…”

“As you wish…” the engineer replied, shaking his head as he activated the simulation.

OOC:
WC: 833
Xanin has a trip to the bar inbetween his ground simulator sessions
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FL/SCRW Xanin/Iron Five/S:58 Strill/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE/[MC2] [CC:1]
"I don't always desert my teammates. But when I do, they all die." - Xanin
Hades
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Hades
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 13, 2013 9:12:48 PM    View the profile of Hades 
Hades' hands danced over the controls of the modified Vanguard; there were no ships on the sensors yet, but he was too far out for the moment. As he got closer to the sun he'd only just be able to detect things in orbit of Tilsec Prime itself, thanks to the interference caused by having the sun between him and them. He had made sure to position himself in such a way that, in the same sense that he could barely sense them, they'd barely be able to sense him. He'd appear similar to a solar flare or some such, even though cutting it so close to Tilsec Prime's sun would wreak havoc with his sensors eventually. It was a necessary compromise, though, otherwise he'd be more or less knocking on the Imperial Dominion's front door. Even in their weakened state and as good as Hades knew he was.. He wasn't stupid. Approaching their homeworld head on was suicide, especially in this fighter.

As his twin ion engines powered away, his sensors steadily resolved - although not entirely clear, he could see at least two orbital defense platforms and one Star Destroyer-profile in orbit of the planet on his sensors. Just as another orbital defense platform materialised on his sensors, they began going haywire – it was most likely his proximity to the sun. This is it, Hades thought to himself determinedly as he increased throttle, make or break. The young Ensign could very well die here, in the orbit of an ID world, an unknown casualty. He highly doubted that VENI would disclose the nature of his mission or indeed that he was even on the mission. As far as Trykon and the rest of the Naval High Command were concerned, Hades was stashed away safely aboard the Adjudicator. The only way Captain Trykon would figure out that he was gone was by checking himself, or indeed looking over the hangar footage. Hades brushed away the thoughts about Trykon and the 2nd Fleet – they couldn’t help him now.

His Vanguard began to vibrate noticeably as he followed the sun’s orbit, sensors blaring at him. Vanguards did not like being so close to stars – if Hades were to linger there he’d likely die. Coming around the sun now with his sensors still dark, Hades saw what his sensors had picked out vaguely before – it was an unhealthy looking Victory-II Star Destroyer, matching the profile of the one in the battle of Bloodmoon, positioned alongside one of two Golan-class space stations. At the moment, it looked like it was docked so it wouldn’t be moving anywhere quickly – docking procedures took longer than most people thought. Hades, now moving out of the interference of the sun, got a better look at the system. There were three Golans in total, each positioned at a strategic corner of a triangle, which steadily orbited the planet. Two Golans were facing towards Hades as it was, with the third around the curve of Tilsec Prime’s slightly dulled surface. They hadn’t noticed him yet; it seemed the entire system was in a lull and, although Hades picked up the occasional civilian vessel, the traffic was all too quiet for his liking. His sensors picked up just what he was looking for – a scrap yard of sorts, hulls of dead ships either scuttled or fired upon as they came in to attack the world. It was a constantly moving debris field, getting closer to the planet with each passing minute. Hades headed toward it – not far from the sun, stretching all the way to one of the three Golans. He could see the Golan’s shields flaring in the distance as it brushed off small bits of debris, like a slate grey guardian barring the way to Tilsec prime. Hades also noted a small patrol craft zipping around and blasting any sizable chunks of wreckage into smaller ones, to prevent the larger wreckage from being pulled into Tilsec Prime’s atmosphere.

In short order, the Vanguard entered the debris field. It was treacherous, to say the least – wreckage drifting this way and that, each flat solar panel of a discarded TIE a potential wipeout. Hades threw his Vanguard into a short dive to avoid a drifting chunk of a luxury yacht, almost immediately climbing again to avoid what looked like a mix between an X-Wing and a TIE-fighter, unlike anything Hades had ever seen before. It too drifted past, a testament to the death surrounding this system. It seemed as if many pirate hopefuls, many New Republic incursions, smugglers and a whole mix of other things had tried to penetrate the outer defences of the Fortress world. None had passed.. Hades was close now and as he reached the edge of the debris field, he killed all of his systems that would reveal him, watching with the human eye alone. He would definitely make it into the atmosphere – the question was whether or not that patrol cruiser would be any trouble before then.

Hades watched careful as his fighter drifted; the patrol ship went back and forth like a shark, looking dangerous all the time. Hades got a break, though, when it passed the Golan and kept going – probably patrolling the entire span between all three Golans. Other than that, there were a flight of TIEs sweeping back and forth, but they were far from where he wanted to go. They were also just a little bit faster than him. Hades did not wait another second, pushing his throttle to its max once more as he powered up all his systems. The Vanguard shot forward, a short dive required to avoid the last of debris between him and the planet. Hades’ mouth set in a grim line of determination, eyes focusing on the planet. The fighter rocketed toward the atmosphere and his sensors began blaring. They’d seen him. Emerald eyes flickered to his sensors – he was tantalisingly close now, but both the flight of TIE fighters and the patrol craft were converging on him. His readings started to flicker, which told him he was coming into the atmosphere at speed. The heat began to rise, too.

Without warning, his sensors screamed at him and a planetary shield flickered into existence – just behind Hades, but close enough to short out his engines and send his fighter into a spiralling dive. Hades wrestled with the controls but to no avail – he was going down! Damnit! the young pilot cursed inwardly, twice in one campaign? This is not my lucky month..

Once the thin cloud cover had passed, Hades could see a remarkably normal world far below him. It was slightly duller-looking than a lot of planets, true enough, but it held some beauty. He could see the main city  in the distance, a sprawling metropolis that looked to be built up in the example of Coruscant and the like, though not quite there yet.

Directly beneath him were various settlements of farms or military installations, and he could even see mountains here and there. His fighter had seemingly chosen a flat plain immediately to the south of a series of hilly outcrops that led up to a mountain range on the west and the sea on the east – it looked small from up here, but where his fighter was angling would stretch for what was probably close to 100klicks in either direction. To the north, there were just more hilly outcrops, though slightly more rocky and somewhat flatter as they got closer to the city. To get to the city, though, Hades would have to bypass the mountains. There was no way he’d get through those hilly outcroppings without being seen or worse, killed. The fall was quicker than Hades had thought, and before he knew it his fighter had levelled out somewhat thanks to his efforts. The nose was now pointing at an angle, but was still dangerous.

With a bone-jarring thud, Hades’ fighter impacted the ground – bottom first, bouncing off the hard soil before coming back down on an angle and burying its wingtips in the dirt, tipping the cockpit forward so the viewscreen showed only hard earth. Hades growled at himself, but managed to gather his things – only a survival kit, blaster, combat knife and powerful comm. Unit – before popping the hatch and pulling himself into the dull, overcast weather. He balanced himself on the edge of the hatch, subsequently jumping down to land on the ground in a crouch. His keen eyes surveyed the surrounding terrain warily. I have to get to cover, Hades thought. He knew they’d be looking for him. His eyes alit on the mountain nearby – he’d ended up landing about five hundred meters from it, the side of which was dotted with trees and plenty of places to hide.

Here goes nothing..

OOC:
Wordcount: 1,467

AAR: Hades is now officially on Tilsec Prime. He managed to sneak past the Golan defense platforms by using a debris field, but they revealed their secret defense mechanism - a powerful planetary shield! The shield comes into play just after Hades enters the atmosphere, but emits EMP so much so that it shorted out Hades' engines and forced him to crash land.. So the tale of survival begins..

Chief of Naval Training, 54th Squadron Commander

SCO | ESN "Hades" | A-1 | S:54 "Gundark" | W:101 "Blade" | ISD Adjudicator | TF:Aurek | 2nd Fleet | SC | VEN | VE
CNT | ESN "Hades" | PLF Cappadocious | VENA | VEN | VE

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[This message has been edited by Hades (edited February 13, 2013 9:13:20 PM)]
Rikky
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 13, 2013 9:31:37 PM    View the profile of Rikky 
OOC:
Strill


The surface of the bar was cool against Tik’s hands,  a tether with which to hold himself from being consumed by the hangover currently crowding his head and pushing his brain to the back of his skull. He had drunk far too much last night, and remembered far too little of it to be very pleased. He sighed and ran his finger along the small, empty glass beside him. He’d need more to keep this headache in check. Or, at least that’s what he remembered his father saying. He wished he'd remembered how his arm got scalded so badly half as well as the advice his father had dished out.

“Bartender,” Tik called out finally after tiring of fiddling with the glass. “Another drink please.”

The man behind the counter, burly and serious, pulled the empty glass away from Tik, giving a small grunt. “Two days in a row like this and you’re going to either run me dry or break the bank.”

The bartender bent over and pulled out another glass and a bottle of whiskey, the clear, golden liquid sloshing in its container. When he poured it into the container, it reminded Tik of a waterfall in the afternoon. Or something like that; his head did not have a big capacity of imagery with the steady, rather purple drum beat of the hangover. There went the imagery again. Not a happy camper was Tik.

Trying to drown his own thoughts along with the pain in his head, he took a swig of the whiskey. He winced as it burned his throat, and relaxed as the not-so-familiar warmth spread to his stomach. This was only the third time he’d had any sort of alcohol, the day before being the second time and the birthday bringing him into adulthood being the first. And he always enjoyed it ‘til the day after.

Well don’t get drunk, He thought as he drank another mouthful of the swill. And you wouldn’t have to worry about the hangover. His datapad chirped happily in his pocket, killing the warm feeling the whiskey was radiating in his belly. He pulled it out and read it, sighed and pocketed it again.
“What was that?” the bartender asked idly. “Whatever it is, you don’t look so happy about it. Your lady leaving you or something?”

Tik shook his head and gave a roll of his eyes. “No, it’s the mistress,” he muttered  taking another generous sip. “My squadron is having a meeting in an hour. Conveniently, it’s right in this very bar.”

With a practiced motion, the bartender snaked the glass of whiskey from Tik’s hands, dumping the remaining contents down the sink.

“Hey now!” Tik called out, watching in horror as it was done. “What’s that for? That was still halfway full!”

“Half-empty from what I saw,” the burly said, filling a tall cup from the sink tap. “But you’d best not be intoxicated when showing up to a meeting, even if it is in a bar. My head might roll along with yours if you do something stupid.”

The cup, filled to the brim with cold water, was set in front of Tik. Begrudgingly taking the cup, he raised it up. “To confidence in my ability to hold my alcohol.”

“To the failed wooing of every woman that sat next to you last night,” the bartender added cheerily, making a quick shot and tapping it against the glass of water before downing it himself.

Now on full simmer and hoping fervently that the man was simply making a joke at his expense, Tik took a hearty drink of the water and left the bar, deciding that a solitary booth would be best ‘til it was time for the meeting. At least his headache was mostly gone. Alas, it was only a few blessed minutes before Joamer joined him in the booth, sliding into the spot opposite Tik.

“So,” Joamer said, looking at the crewman with his typical stony gaze. At least it seemed to have softened up in the casual setting. Tik figured it was now only a quartz-hard gaze. “I see you’re here early.”

“Yes well,” Tik began, trying hard to seem to muse over his cup of water, now only half empty. “I try. Early’s on time, on time’s late, and late is unacceptable; that’s the motto I was brought up with.”

“Mmhmm, I see,” Joamer responded dubiously. He looked from the drink in Tik’s hands up to his face, an eyebrow raised in a questioning manner. Water, Tik mouthed, receiving another slow, dubious nod from Joamer.

Tik nodded awkwardly with him, half-heartedly smiling and trying to think of something else to say to his SC that wouldn’t add to the oddness of the moment. “You ever wonder why they have bars on military ships? Seems like a rather bad idea, out in the deep of space and all.”

“See Tik, you ask questions like these and you ruin the fun for everyone.”

He sighed and returned to silence, taking a long sip from his cup of water. This is going to be a looong meeting. It’s times like this that drive a man to drink.

OOC:
WC: 840
AAC: Introducing Tik to this story and his recent drinking habit. He drinks off a hangover, and after having a few words with the barkeep he takes a booth and meets up with Joamer. Strill's meeting is imminent.
FM/LCRW /Iron Six/S:58 Strill/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:B/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE
[This message has been edited by Rikky (edited February 14, 2013 12:14:13 AM)]
Cabby
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 13, 2013 10:08:35 PM    View the profile of Cabby 
Fletcher lay on her back, a light blanket draped across her lower half. One of her legs was swung off the bed, her foot resting on the ground as if she was in the middle of getting up. But she made no motion to get out of bed. Her right arm lay across her breasts, tied up in a tight sling. When she had first been brought to the med-bay Fletcher’s arm had been completely useless. One of the doctors had informed her that her clavicle had been snapped clean in two along with her acromion and because of the force with which the bones had broken her brachial plexus was severed. She didn’t understand half the things they said to her, but she did understand the pain. Like someone had set her entire arm on fire and let it burn. Fletcher had sat and waiting for a day before they got around to doing anything for her. She understood though, she was not a first priority at all. There were others with far more severe injuries than she had and she was patient as ever. But Fletcher would be lying if she said she was not relieved when finally they got around to taking care of her. Fletcher had floated in a tank of goo, - a gasmask feeding her air -and waited for her bones and nerve damage to mend. The whole ordeal had stressed her out even more, and Fletcher was not looking forward to the second time she would have to do the treatment. Fletcher never thought herself to be claustrophobic but faced with an enclosed cylindrical tube… well she found herself cringing at the thought. The first treatment had mended her bones, but her nerves were still a brutal mess. She still couldn’t clench her fist, or move her arm.

    Normally she would have slept through the pain, unconsciously waited it out. But sleeping had become an ordeal almost as stressful as the goo. Each time she shut her eyes a variation of the same nightmare would start up again, like a projection paused at one spot, waiting to start up again. The nightmares always went the same way: her TIE was being chased by a nameless enemy, she would try to dodge, but she could never get far enough away. Fletcher would be hit, and her death would be moments away when a teammate would swoop in, and save her, exchange her live for theirs. And she would watch as they died. Each time she’d wake up, sweating, flustered and crying. She was sure she also talked during these nightmares: people always fluttered around her uncomfortably after she’d awaken. Fletcher didn’t mind that much though, she wasn’t up to talking to any at all. Normally Fletcher was a social butterfly, always talking and laughing. But now she could barely bring herself to mutter a few words. Perhaps she was punishing herself; taking away something she enjoyed doing. The punishment was not for her near death a few days before, oh no, this punishment was for the mess she had caused.

    Fletcher had been hit, and her death was a sure thing, she had accepted that. Fletcher had become comfortable with the thought of her death age of 18 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she had beaten the cancer, she did not beat her acceptation with death. What she had not come to terms was the death of others. Two people had rushed to her rescue, and two people who suffered greatly. Tony was in a medically induced coma and Dunny had lost a leg. Hot sick guilt pooled in Fletcher’s stomach. If neither of them had tried to help the torment could have been avoided. Sure Fletcher would have been dead, but Tony would be awake and Dunny would be intact.

    Fletcher looked up as a nurse shuffled over to her. The woman had her slightly graying hair tied up in a severe bun, but her stormy eyes had crow’s feet at their corners, which tilted up slightly towards her hair line. On the first day that Fletcher had been in the medbay she had introduced herself as Glenda “Good good, you’re awake,” she said, motioning for Fletcher to sit up. The young woman pushed herself into a sitting position with her good arm. “How was your sleep?” Glenda asked. Fletcher half shrugged, wincing at the pain the shot through her shoulder. “Still not talking are we?” Fletcher shook her head ‘no’ and gave a weak little smile. Her dreadlocks bounced against her cheeks as she did so and it gave her an excuse to look away from the kindly woman as she pushed them out of her face. Glenda tut-ed and busied herself with checking over the injured shoulder. Glenda had checked on Fletcher each day, sometimes to inspect the progress of her healing, sometimes just to make sure she was comfortable. Fletcher was grateful, and had resolved that once she had found her voice again she would return and thank the kind woman. “Oh sorry dear,” Glenda apologized as she moved around the offending shoulder. Fletcher winced and let out a hiss of breath. “Looks like those nerves aren’t going to reattach themselves,” the elder said shaking her head and sighing. Fletcher made a face that made Glenda laugh. “But it’ll be a bit of a wait before we can treat you again. So why don’t you go for a walk? I know it’s utterly boring but you should get out of this dingy place.” Fletcher gave a non-committal grunt and Glenda squeezed her good hand before departing.

    Fletcher preferred to stay in the medbay, no one in the medbay asked her questions that she couldn’t answer with non-verbal gestures or small sounds. She had ventured out once or twice and each time she had been met with people who insisted on forcing conversation on her. One of the people had been Makenna, and out of pure respect for her former wingmate Fletcher had forced out 3 words in a strained voice. Other than that small conversation she had said nothing. Not even to the psychiatrist who had interviewed her at Dunny’s request. She had been sitting at the end of Dunny’s bed, something she had been doing a lot lately. She wanted to apologize for the loss of his leg, but her words always came to a screeching halt in her throat. So Fletcher had just sat there, chewing her bottom lip till blood trickled into her mouth. That was the first time she had floated around his bed, just watching him work. She continued to do it and he would make light conversation that she would contribute to silently. But it wasn’t as if she didn’t want to talk, she had just lost her words. Fletcher planed what she was going to say and each time the words stopped short, refused to come out. So she resolved to sit at the end of Dunny’s bed and watch him work, wishing that he could read her mine. See how sorry she was.

    Fletcher pushed herself off of the bed and one handed slipped her already tied boots on. She looked down at her jacket before dismissing it. So she walked away from her designated bed in her loose cargo pants and her customary wife beater. The shirt exposed the constellation of freckles that stretched down from her face; the sun marks covered her entire body, though it was hard to see with the darkness of her skin. Also visible was the large Velker tattoo that curled around her left bicep and onto her shoulder. The same symbol was a chain that hung in her cab. It was a present from her father for becoming a cabby. She loved it so much that the same day she went out and got the tattoo. Her mother had nearly fainted the first time that she saw it.

    The young girl brushed her bangs away from her face as she walked towards were Dunny’s bed was. She stopped short though at the sight of Twitch, one of the members of Chlovi. From what Fletcher could tell, the other woman had gotten away nearly unscathed, which Fletcher was quite glad for. At least some of the squad was unharmed. But being glad for the woman did not make up for the fact that she didn’t want to talk to her. So, she put her head down and walked by the bed. She watched her feet scuff against the ground instead. Fletcher became so absorbed with her reflection on the toe of her black boot she walked straight into someone. Fletcher stumbled back and gritted her teeth at the pain if caused her busted shoulder. Her green eye’s raised to meet gray eyes of Cervidae. Fletcher straightened up, standing at the same height as the other woman. Fletcher opened her mouth slowly, choked on her words and closed her chewed lips quickly. Fletcher reached out her good hand, and took Cervidae, squeezing it lightly, hopping to communicate her apology. She then dropped the other’s hand and breezed past her and out the door. Once in the hall Fletcher let out a breath and leaned against the wall just outside of the medbay. She wouldn’t go far encase someone tried to ask her how she was, if they did, she could escape back inside.

OOC:
wc: 1,569
AAR: After the last mission Fletchers been in the medbay. She both broke two bones in her right shoulder, and she tore a nerve. She's currently getting it healed, but she's not a first priority. Fletch has also been having nightmares and shes also stopped talking. We then find out she was diagnosed with cancer at 18, and though she beat it, she's always been comfortable with the thought of her own death, which is why she feels extremely guilty about Dunny and Tony. The kind Nurse Glenda talks to her and she decides to go see Dunny, but sees Twitch there and thinks better of it. She then literally runs into Cervidae. And then goes to sit outside the medbay.
FM/PO2 Cabby/Cobalt 7/ S:50 "Chlovi"/ W:101 "Blade"/ISD 'Adjudicator' TF:A/2FLT/SC/VEN/VE
Hades
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 13, 2013 10:43:49 PM    View the profile of Hades 
There was another familiar face in the orbit of Tilsec Prime, one that had reappeared in this tale at the most inconvenient of times. Just as before,  Okyr Vrail was here. But instead of being a Lieutenant, he was a Commander and instead of commanding a lowly Tartan-patrol Cruiser, he commanded a proper sized Victory-II Star Destroyer. Vrail was not so pleased by his promotion as he thought he would be, though – he had been given the VSD-II Bombastic. During the battle of the Bloodmoon, the Bombastic had taken a beating and risked the entire fleet as it struggled to keep up with its heavily damaged superstructure. The Captain had been demoted and assigned somewhere land-based, so Vrail had been promoted in his place with an Imperial Cross. No matter how far removed his abilities were from his predecessor, there was little Vrail could do about the ship. Repairs had been hurried and were still on-going,  but the Bombastic would not be in any state to do battle at the Sollamens for a long time now. This meant that Vrail would be here while the fate of the Dominion was decided.. after all he’d done, he’d been sent here.

“Lieutenant,” Vrail called imperiously from his perch on the bridge, “Does Lieutenant Commander Yimura have an estimate of when we can detach from this dastardly station?”

“No sir,” His new XO, Tryil Hurran replied promptly, “But Yimura says it’s going to be at least four days until the Bombastic is up to full capacity again.”

“Four days?” Vrail’s eyes narrowed, “We can’t have that, Lieutenant. I need the Bombastic ready for battle by the end of today.”

“It will be ready, sir,” He nodded enthusiastically, “but it won’t be up to par.”

Vrail seethed silently. He had gotten a rearguard posting with a badly damaged ship. The Bombastic had lost almost all of its interceptors and those that it had not had been taken to replace those lost in the main fleet, giving him the outdated TIE fighters. It had been an insult to Vrail, one he’d not be likely to forget anytime soon. Captain Ramius Raizo thought of himself too highly and if he survived the coming battle, Okyr was going to make him regret crossing ID intelligence the way he did. Nobody insults me like this and gets away without suffering, Vrail thought venomously. His crew could sense his terrible mood, too, and made sure to do their jobs efficiently, promptly and without question just to make sure they stayed clear of his wrath.

Lieutenant Commander Yimura of the Golan Defense Platform Fortess was a man who was a miniscule amount of inefficiency away from earning the ire of Commander Okyr Vrail, something he’d learn to regret if he kept it up. There were two other LCDRs, one for each of the Golans – Bastion and Watchtower respectively – but he had chosen to dock with the Fortress because it was the best equipped, therefore had the best chance of repairing his new command with haste. It seemed he had been mistaken. “Sir!” It was the sensor officer, Lorik F’ra, “Wait.. never mind.”

“What was it, Mr. F’ra?” Vrail snapped at the man.

“Just a solar flare, sir.. It’s strange, but not unheard of.” F’ra replied steadily, trying to placate his superior. Vrail’s eyes narrowed and he returned to his silent seething.

“Contact the Bloodhound,” Vrail commanded, “Inform Lieutenant Yrrun that he is to begin a triangular patrol pattern, starting at the Bastion and finishing at the very same, visiting each of the orbital platforms in turn.”

“Yessir.” The XO responded, relaying the command to the comms officer.

“Sir! A TIE Vanguard has slipped past the Bastion and is heading for the surface!” The sensor officer called urgently some minutes later. Vrail’s cold gaze snapped onto the readouts – sure enough, the fighter was there.

“Contact Planetary Defense – raise the shield, send the Bloodhound and Seeker squadron to intercept!” Vrail barked. His orders were obeyed promptly while his blue eyes focused on the readouts. VENI, he thought without a doubt in his mind. Come to play more games with me..

“Sir.. The Vanguard got through, but sensors report it crash landed in the Primus-Mountain area. Teams are en-route now, but we can’t get through for another 15 minutes while we wait for the shield to be lowered.” Vrail cursed himself for not picking up on it earlier.

“Ready my shuttle! I want the Bombastic’s entire marine complement to follow me down!”

“Sir, are you s-“

“I’m positive, Lieutenant, now do as I commanded before I put you in the airlock!” Vrail hissed angrily. His commands were quickly obeyed, after that. His blue eyes narrowed as he glared at the display – this little VENI agent would not slip through his fingers this time.

OOC:
Wordcount: 800. I wanted to make it two parts but I had to rush out the door. I'll have the second part up in a day or so

AAR: Vrail is in the Tilsec Prime System, and none too happy about the Vanguard managing to reach the surface. He'll be hunting Hades personally, now.

Chief of Naval Training, 54th Squadron Commander

SCO | ESN "Hades" | A-1 | S:54 "Gundark" | W:101 "Blade" | ISD Adjudicator | TF:Aurek | 2nd Fleet | SC | VEN | VE
CNT | ESN "Hades" | PLF Cappadocious | VENA | VEN | VE

VENI

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StOrMz
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 13, 2013 11:01:15 PM    View the profile of StOrMz 
It'd been many years since the Wookie Admiral had touched the controls of a TIE. The once comfort he felt within his personal TIE/hk Hawkbat was now cold and foreign to him. The life he'd grown accustomed to allowed Stormz no time for personal flights, however, this time he'd made sure to set aside time out of the typical High Command meetings, to allow a chance to visit his Naval members.

Fresh off a victory in the Bloodmoon Corridor, a portion of space that earned it's name, the Second fleet was settling down for a moment and regaining some of their energy for the next phase of their war.

Ph'rranix regained his focus, went over the controls to refresh his memory of this sacred ship of his, and lit the twin ion engines, preparing them for a long journey.

[Atrrus Hangerr bay 3253, Vice Admirral Krrazn'rr rrequesting permission for deparrturre,] bellowed the Wookie.

"Vice Admiral, you are clear for departure. Safe flying," a hanger bay operative spoke with a monotonous tone. Stormz was glad he'd never been in that position, it had to be tedious and dull.

[Then again, without that operratorr, no one would be leaving this ship,] he thought for a moment.

The Admiral released his TIE from the hanger's stands, feeling the repulsor lifts flutter to life as the ship shuttered momentarily before stabilizing the Hawkbat. With a steady paw, he crept out of the hanger, leaving a menacing trail of noise behind him.

Stormz' began working the navicomputer, attempting to determine the most efficient jump route before realizing he'd had Tryk send him that earlier and installed it into the navicomputer pre-launch. His mind was failing him again, perhaps that's what happens when you get old and unfamiliar with things.

Pulling the route plans up, he realigned and darted off, leaving no trace of his existence in the Abrae system.

[Just fourr standarrd hourrs beforre I come out of hyperrspace. I betterr get some rrest, wouldn't want to be drrearry when I land in the Brriliant's hangerr,] muttered the Wookie, already preparing for a mid-jump nap.

OOC:
After Action Report:

WC : 356
Plot : Planning to land on the Brilliant in 0400 hours, unbeknownenst to Serpent, IC

Small post, but this is just to set up my next one after I coerce with Serpent.
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Avalar
 
[VE-NAVY] Petty Officer 2nd Class
 
Post Number:  315
Total Posts:  786
Joined:  Jul 2010
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 14, 2013 12:14:42 AM    View the profile of Avalar 
Makenna had done what she had been told, grabbing the armor assigned to her and trying it on. It was strange to think of flying in a cockpit with something like this. She was used to the flight suits that were much more comfortable, but she knew that if Strill were to touch down on any planet’s surface, they would need it. Though she had to smile at the thought that. Before now, she had never really worn much in the way of armor during a battle. Sure she had on some protective gear before, but nothing as official-looking as this. It helped her mind remove itself from the past memories.

She also made her way to the weapons locker to pick out her weapon of choice. Though she had been a pirate and fired many rifles before, she had never picked one out as her favorite yet. More often than not they had preferred to avoid all out war with whomever they were dealing with. Or rather, she preferred it. Sometimes the thought of jumping straight into battle was not especially pleasing to her, but she knew it was essential, and she was not afraid of it. Still, if she had her way, all of their missions would be stealth-related. It was much more fun to surprise the enemy and make off with goods than it was to barrel head-first into a conflict. But, she knew others who lived for that kind of thrill constantly.

Finally she settled on something standard but trustworthy. If only she had been smart enough to escape with more than just her blaster, then she wouldn’t have had to rely on standard issue weapons. Though, she had to admit, the VEN seemed to keep them up fairly well.

With all of her new things assembled, she checked the time. Joamer had sent out a notice that there would be a squadron meeting today, and that time was fast approaching. She sighed, thinking of how she never really got to know Chlovi very well. Sure, she was glad on one note to be in a squadron whose SC made a decent first impression, but she would not be able to share in the knowledge that their fights had been the same. Chlovi had been wrecked by the Saints and left in space. Strill had landed on Bloodmoon and attempted to use an ion cannon that ended up overloading. Both had been bad situations, but it seemed that Chlovi made it out more beaten up than Strill. Dunny had lost a limb. Cabby was emotionally a mess. She wasn’t quite sure of the state of Cervidae, but she knew that Dunny had made her XO of Chlovi. That seemed a bit much for so little time, but she didn’t question the decision.

And somehow through all of that, Makenna had appeared almost untouched. It was appalling. Sure she had gotten her own wounds, but they were scratches and bruises in comparison to what they had received. It didn’t seem fair that she had made it out so gracefully in comparison to the rest.

Life liked to work that way sometimes.

As Makenna had been thinking on this, she had made her way to the bar Joamer had told them about. As she walked in, she scanned the occupants until her eyes settled on the familiar figure of the SC. With confidence, she strode over, knowing that whoever was with him now were probably her new squadron mates, and she wanted to make a good first impression.

Or that is, she did, until she recognized one of the men sitting at the same table. Her confident, fast gait decelerated until she was standing at the table. Joamer had already acknowledged her when she was across the room, but she hadn’t acknowledged it yet. Instead she stared at the man who seemed interested in the drink in his hand. Thankfully, he didn’t seem intoxicated this time, but still, the memory of yesterday was fresh in her mind. She finally looked up at Joamer and stated, “I was told never to drive a speeder drunk, but I suppose TIE fighters don’t count so much?” she said, giving a pointed look at the man with the drink. He looked up, a look of confusion on his face. Confusion, replaced first by slow comprehension, then building horror.

“I-It’s you!” he choked out, seeming to nearly drop the glass. He turned quickly to Joamer. “This- her - She’s the one transferring to Strill?”

Joamer raised an eyebrow, his eyes moving from pilot to pilot. “I take it you two have met before?”

“‘Met’ is an interesting word. More like introduction through harassment,” Makenna hissed.

“Harassment?!”

“You have a better word for it?” Tik seemed to be searching for a real word to replace it with, but Joamer interrupted them.

“Now when did this happen?” Joamer asked.

“Yesterday,” she said, “when this idiot decided to hit on me while drunk.”




The nightmares had been vivid. Makenna laid there on her bed, staring at the ceiling. Yesterday had been chaotic. She knew she needed to face the pain and death that was around her, but it had come as a bit of a shock. Dunny had been rushed to medbay and the others were all hurt or broken. ‘Kenna couldn’t take the despair that everyone was emanating so once she was sure she could leave them, she did, and she made her home in the bar.

Now, the day after, the thought of making her memory slightly fuzzy was appealing. Covering her face with a pillow, keeping it close to her, was not going to help anything. So instead of laying there, she pushed herself out of bed and headed to the bar.

It was semi full, filled with mostly pilots who were dealing with their own ghosts or just simply finding something more cheerful to occupy their lives. Normally, Makenna would find a table by herself, but she figured sitting among others with their conversations would be nice, as long as they left her specifically alone. Though, she knew she’d probably get involved with the usual bar chatter.

So she found herself a seat at the bar next to a man with slick black hair. He seemed to be keeping to himself, but as she sat down, she immediately realized why this might have been. As she ordered herself a drink, she felt his eyes on her, and it made her suddenly uncomfortable.

“Hey, I shee you have your wings,” the man suddenly stated, one of his eyebrows raised in an inviting fashion. His words were definitely slurring a bit, “Flew your way right into my heart,” It was a very blunt hit. The man was obviously gone by now, and she had chosen this seat of all of them today. Perfect.

“That sounds painful,” was her simple reply, “How are you holding up from that?”

“Well at firsht it caused ssso-o-o-ome dishcomfort, but getting it off my chesht made me feel rrright as rain!” The man chortled and spun around once in his chair, nearly tipping over in the process. Unfortunately he kept his seat, and extended a hand out to Makenna. “The name’sh Tik, what’sh yours?”

Makenna ignored his hand, staring at the space in front of her. She stopped herself from giving her real name out of habit and thought up something else entirely, “Sashariowa,” she said, trying to add in as many syllables and S’s as she could think of.

“Shisharioh-ah, huh?” He said, trying hard to grasp as much of it as he could. “Sounds exotic. What part of the galacshy are you from, Shasharoia?”

“Oh it’s not a very well known place,” she started, trying to be clever on the spot. She paused, trying to think.

“Well, I’m from a little playsh called Corrrellya. It’sh got bi-i-i-ig shityscapesh and wide open farm lands. I lived in both in my time, acchally.” He paused to take another swig of his drink, putting it down on the bar, hard. He then leaned uncomfortably close, a grin spread wide across his face. “And I’m sher a shityshlicker farmboy like me don’t know what playsh you’re from, but I’d like ta learn.”

A look of disgust crossed her face, but she quickly covered it up with a fake smile, “Oh I’m not from anywhere special. Just a small planet called Samanashar. . . lameno. It’s not really well heard of,”
What the hell are you saying? Really? You couldn’t come up with something better than that? her mind lectured her as she pretended to not be bothered by his closeness.

He frowned then, drawing back and seeming to think very hard. “Shamanam... sharlemano? I’m pretty sher I would’fe remembered shuch a... ah-pretty shounding planet in my shtudies. I’m really very shmart, you know. I pashed fourth in my graduating clash. Tell me, Shashmaria, what ish it they feed you on Shamanashmerlemeno to make the girlsh sho pretty?”

“You really want to know the secret?” she said, glancing around, “I may get in trouble for telling you,” as she had glanced around, she met eyes with the bartender who seemed to be attempting to keep a straight face, but he was failing miserably, so he looked away.

Tik leaned in again, genuine surprise and curiosity on his face. “They really have shomething like that? I really would like to know.”

‘Kenna grabbed the bartender’s attention for another drink. When he handed it to her, it was nice and hot. The man gave her a knowing glance before leaving her and Tik alone, “Well,” she leaned in close enough so that her breath mingled with his, “there’s a fruit that grows on my planet. It’s called a Puerile Effete,” Tik seemed to nod his head, completely intrigued, “It has this effect on a woman’s body. Makes them curvier. The scientists studied this effect for a long time, enough to give it a name. It’s called the Gulayble Effect after the scientist who wrote about it. But once the effects were clearly studied, the government leader of our planet silenced everyone about it. Right now,” Makenna glanced around nervously, making her eyes land on every person in the bar, “if anyone knew I was telling you this, I would be killed.”

He audibly gasped, then put a hand on his mouth to silence himself. “Oh Shashimoia, I won’t tell a shoul, I promish you.” He placed his hand on Makenna’s leg, looking as serious as a heavily inebriated man could. “Not...  a... shoul.” He leaned in closer a he said this, getting closer to her ear and whispering more and more as he did so. “Yer Shecret’shafe with me.”

“Oh thank you, Tik. What a lifesaver,” she said, smiling way too sweetly. As she had been talking, she had slipped the piping hot drink into her hand. It was now hovering above Tik’s hand that was on her leg. She moved it so that the liquid would just miss her leg and turned the glass. The hot, beautiful liquid poured out, splashing onto his arm. Her smile widened as his face contorted, the heat doing its intended work, “Now if you’ll excuse me. I’ll find some more civil conversation, wino.”

He cried out in pain and stood from his spot, nearly tipping himself over on his back before catching himself on the bar with his unburned hand. “How dare you madame!” he shouted in a very drunk and outrageous manner. He rubbed his scalded arm and harrumphed loudly. “Here I am thinking your shecretsh are shafe with me, and then you do thish! I tell you now, I’m going to the presh! I’m going to tell everyone I meet about Purell Efficus! Jusht you shee!” He pulled his coat violently from its spot on the floor beside his seat, put it on with a bit of difficulty, then snapped the clothing in a crisp, professional manner. “Good day to you, Shashmara, I hope you enjoy the ashashinayshuns.”

And with that, he bumbled his way out of the bar, bumping into the sparse tables and apologizing in turn as he did so.

Makenna shook her head. The bartender had burst into laughter, and it helped her own mood. What kind of idiot pilot let himself become that way? She understood drinking away the pain, but that man had taken it a bit too far. Where was his SC? They were about to fly again in a few days and such conduct was not exactly healthy to have before a fight. Makenna knew personally. She had done so herself once, and she had resolved never to do so again.

Still, despite the fact that she was upset about it, she had to admit that the exchange had distracted her from her former mood. The bartender came up to her, still grinning. “Next one’s on the house for that beautiful conversation.”

“Thanks, but I don’t think I want to risk ending up like that idiot,” she said, “But I’m glad you approve.”

“I approve of both the conversation and your ability to keep from doing... that,” He responded, gesturing toward the exit that Tik left from.

“Not like it’s my first time dealing with a drunk. I
was a pirate once,” she began to pay her tab, but he insisted that it was on the house. With that, Makenna left, heading to the medbay to see how her Chlovi mates were doing.




“It isn’t as if it wasn’t warranted! You led me on ‘til you tried to kill me with that drink of yours!” Tik retorted shortly, trying to pass the crimson in his face for anger instead of embarrassment. “Joamer, we aren’t seriously taking in Sashariowa, are we?”

He turned suddenly to Makenna, realising something very important. “That isn’t even your real name, is it? Is everything you told me a lie?!”

OOC:
WC: 2,316 (collaborated)

AAR: Makenna gets her new equipment for Strill then heads to the squadorn meeting that Joamer has called. When she gets there she sees a man she remembers from a day ago. We enter a flashback about what happened, and Makenna handles drunk Tik by humoring him and ending it with a major burn. We then return to the present where Tik continues speaking. Cont in Joa's next post.
SXO | PO2 Avalar | Iron 2 | S:58 Strill | W:101 Blade | ISD Adjudicator | TF:A | 2Flt | VEN | VE

[SoA]  [MC1]  [CC:W]
Serpent
ComNet Member
Imperial Baronet

 
Serpent
 
[VE-NAVY] Lieutenant
 
Post Number:  664
Total Posts:  1214
Joined:  Jul 2011
Status:  Offline
  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 14, 2013 8:05:43 PM    View the profile of Serpent 
OOC:
VENI NPC Post


The shuttle touched down on the deck of the Brilliant’s hangar bay, and a lone human in a jet-black set of fashionably formal trousers and jacket stepped out.  His sleek and expensive ensemble matched his neat midnight hair, slicked back and smooth.  His firm chin was clean-shaven, and a light smile played about his lips.  Eyes, the most brilliant shimmering emerald green imaginable, swept the crowded dock before him, studying all the details.

His gaze fell on the woman waiting at the end of the ramp for him.  Ensign Grey, the beautiful and deadly right hand of Captain Grey, followed the arrival of the new-comer with her cool, calculating stare, and greeted him as he came to a stop before her.

“Agent Strings,” Said the VENI agent firmly, sizing the man up.  “Welcome to the Brilliant.”

Strings nodded.  “A pleasure to be here, ma’am,” He said, his voice smoothly cultured and sophisticated.  His jade eyes left her for a split second, taking quick note of the personnel around the bay and said, “I take it further conversation is to cease until we can relocate to somewhere more private?”

“Just so,” Said Grey.  “Please, come with me.  Captain Zail has put a meeting room aside for our use.”

The two members of Vast Empire Naval Intelligence ignored the curious glances of the Brilliant’s techs and crewmen, and made swiftly to the turbolift.  Rising into the bowels of the massive Victory-class Star Destroyer, the Ensign led them unerringly through the winding passages and to a small and unused conference room.

Once inside, Grey locked the door with a special over-ride code that few on the ship (save maybe the Captain who was also VENI Liaison) could over-ride.  Assured that they would not be interrupted, she gestured for Strings to sit at the table.

He did as was bidden, his eyes never once leaving her, and his strange half-smile never leaving his lips.

“You are aware why you are here?” Grey asked once she herself was seated opposite.

“I would assume that you are trying to foster change from within a hostile regime,” Strings replied simply, the answer self-evident.  “That is what Captain Grey usually uses me for.  What is it this time?  A backwater colony on the edge of the Unknown Regions?” He asked, sounding bored.

Now it was Grey’s turn to smile.  “So you know we are near the Unknown Regions, good,” She said, “But you clearly haven’t figured out just where.  We are on the edge of Imperial Dominion space.”

Strings seemed a little more interested.  “So, an ID-loyal world is the target?”

“Kind of,” Said the other agent.  “Their capital, Tilsec Prime, is the target.  We want to change the entire regime.”

The man sat stunned into silence for a moment, his self-confident smile gone.  When it returned, it had changed into a grin of glee and relish.  “Oh this is going to be good!  Finally, my talents are being put to their proper use!  When do I leave?”

“When do we leave, you mean, and the answer is in a couple of days,” Said Grey, but Strings had stopped listening.

“I work alone,” He said firmly.

“You work for VENI,” Countered the Ensign, “And Captain Grey is VENI, and I enjoy his full trust.  What I say goes, and I say we have a team.”

“I work best alone,” The other agent continued to insist.

Grey frowned at him.  She knew his reputation for confidence, and that it bordered on arrogance, and thought it best to put him in his place now before the mission got underway.  “Let me be clear.  You have done great things for VENI, undermining and altering the politics of half a dozen hostile worlds.  I will admit that few in our ranks can match your talent for reading and manipulating people.  But this is like no mission you have ever undertaken.  We are going to be dealing with a highly volatile and factitious group of power-mongers, united only by their hatred of Governor-General Karstok.  This needs to go right.”

“I see,” Was all Strings said, his smile gone but his piercing eyes still locked on her.

Grey looked back, studying those eyes.  Yes, they were intense, and their colour sublime, but that was to be expected.  Strings was not human but Near-human, a Zelosian as a matter of fact.  The Imperial Dominion was heavily humanocentric, but she had brought Strings in because he had a lot of experience with politics and could easily pass for human.  Truth was, she badly needed someone with his skills of negotiation and diplomacy, but she would never take someone she could not control.

The last time she had, the person in question had abandoned the mission halfway through.  The betrayal of Irya Pael still filled Grey with rage...

“I’ll do it,” Said Strings at last.  “For a mission this big I will follow your lead, but let me make this clear: I reserve the right to veto any of the rest of the team!  I don’t care about their skills, I don’t care which of them are talented snipers or infiltration experts.  If I doubt their ability to follow my lead in a negotiation, if I think they will blurt out something stupid at the wrong time and ruin everything, I won’t have them come with us.  Deal?”

The Ensign was not aware that this was a negotiation, but found herself nodding all the same.  “Very well,” She agreed, and then realised that perhaps this was encouraging.  If Strings could persuade her into concessions then perhaps he was as good as he said.

“Excellent,” Said Strings.  “Well then, I have a lot of prep reading to do!”  The Zelosian then smiled arrogantly and added, “Two days to learn the complete intricacies of the Imperial Dominion government, with evaluations of all principle political and military figures?”  He shrugged.  “No problem!”

Grey hated the man with a passion already.  “Quarters have been arranged,” She stated, her flat voice betraying none of her loathing for the other agent.

“Lead on,” Said Strings, following her from the room.

As they walked, Grey began forming a mental list of agents to fill out the rest of the team...

OOC:
1036 words.  Just a quick intro to my VENI NPC character, an arrogant Zelosian political manipulator who I shall flesh out in subsequent posts.

After Action Report:  VENI prepares for its mission into the Imperial Dominion to meet the resistance against Governor-General Karstok.  Ensign Grey has called on the services of the self-confident Agent Strings, a top negotiator experienced with changing regimes, as the first of the team she is assembling.
SCAP/LT Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
[SoA][LoM][NAR][E][CBV][SoV][MiD][1NS][GWC][MC1][VC:E][CC:2][CAR][=*Eng*=][=*BO*=][AO]

"It isn't the killing, you know.  It's the beauty of battles that I love - the choreography and the challenge of executing everything
just right - and the challenge of matching your wits against a capable opponent." - Gilad Pellaeon
Joamer
ComNet Member
 
Joamer
 
[VE-ARMY] Sergeant Major
[VE-NAVY] Chief Warrant Officer
 
Post Number:  870
Total Posts:  995
Joined:  Sep 2007
Status:  Offline
  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 15, 2013 10:54:04 PM    View the profile of Joamer 
He could feel his fingers running over his forehead slowly as the squadron began breaking down over useless details. He knew it had happened to everyone squad and squadron that had been closed or had been destroyed, they lost faith in each other then slowly had that darkness eat at them till there was nothing left. Now one mission into Strill’s life it was already happening.

He had a vision for the squadron, something he knew high command would not like until it was fully formed. It would be one that would prove anything was possible if you were crazy enough to let it happen. He needed them behind him though. His old squad had trusted him and he had pulled them out of more than one fire. They, in turn, had saved him from himself. Now at the start of the road everything was falling apart.

“Actually.” He said. His voice low but with a hint of danger lurking in the depths. “Her name is Makenna Aleshire and she is taking over as Flight Leader of Besh.”

The assembled group was deathly silent for a long moment. The only sound was the low thrum of the bass from a song currently playing near the bar. After a minute a half snort came from the direction of Tavrus, then more followed. Joamer raised his eyes slowly to look at the young man as he began laughing.

“You can’t be serious.” Everyone at the table besides the young man was not moving as he continued to not see the deadly look forming in Joamer’s eyes. “She’s a transfer from Chlovi, obviously a drop-out. Even I would make a better candidate than her,” as Tik said this, Makenna’s eyes hardened, a murderous look replacing her general look of disgust. She had been the star of the academy, NOT some drop-out and now Tik was beginning to piss her off in an entirely new way.

“So I’m the drop-out,” ‘Kenna said, her voice forming itself into a snarl, “Tell me, farm boy, have you ever watched all your friends die? Have you ever had to carry dead bodies back? And if you have, how often? Because I can tell you, I have been through more in my life than you have ever been,” without much thought, Makenna had pulled a knife into her hand. She was done with this drunkard and his antics. The conversation the day before had been amusing, but now he was plainly insulting her life, and she would not stand for that, “You wouldn’t be able to stand the torment of a pirate’s life, ever.”

Tik got to his feet, taking it as an invitation, “You think I’m weak? You are wrong.”

At the sight of a threat, Makenna took her knife and stabbed it into the table. At the same time, Joamer had pulled out his own and done the same, the SC now standing. Tik seemed taken aback by the simultaneous reaction of the two, but he did not sit down.

A light clear of the throat accompanied Iron Ten’s rise to her feet--at the impressive height of 5 feet and 4 inches. The Twi’lek, presently helmetless, drew breath to speak shortly following, in the most … ehm, calming tone she could muster, given the situation. “That will not be necessary, I think.” A pause, and she eyed Tavrus.

“After all,” she added, nudging the man with tone and expression, “he meant nothing by it.”

“I doubt he didn’t,” Makenna breathed, but she took the knife from the table, and sat down in one of the empty chairs. Yes, she had been angry and she had let the squadron see it, but it wasn’t a loss of control. They didn’t respect her yet, and she knew how to earn respect, whether it was through fear or otherwise. Strill needed to know she was not some newbie from the academy. She had her own experience to dictate her actions, “But think what you want. When the darkness comes and fire falls, I’ll show you that I’m not some inexperienced child,” she finished, diffusing the situation herself. Joamer stayed standing until Tik himself sat down, silent. Iron Ten was quick to follow, turning her attention in silence to the thick, non-alcoholic beverage between her hands.

Looking down Joamer studied his mostly full glass of ale and said. “And why would I entrust the fate of this squadron to someone who is a drunkard?” The words were soft but sharp. Pouring a glass from his Corellian Ale he slid it over to Makenna and raised his own in a toast. “You are my number two now. You are not executive officer but I value your opinion and expertise. Do well and we’ll see what happens.”

Taking a quick sip from his glass he sat it down as Tavrus only sputtered to himself in disbelief. He knew the rest of the squadron was quietly waiting for the next jack-boot to drop. Tapping his finger on the table a few times he waited before saying. “I know all of you have proven yourselves in combat. You stood and fought while some did not make it. Above all you did not run. This squadron is something new and I need a certain type of experience to see it through. Makenna has that experience. Her life has been similar to mine so I know the traits and abilities I can draw on when the time is needed.”

Breathing slowly he looked at everyone in turn even looking at Tavrus as the man began to turn red with indignation. After a long moment with each he continued. “Everyone here will be given a chance to see what they are made of. When the time is darkest and the fire the hottest then what you do right then shows who you are. I know a tiny tidbit of what we are about to be facing and trust me, we are going to need her guidance in this one.”

Leaning back he half-smiled as he looked as the assembled men and women before him. They were not the highly trained special operations commandos he would have liked to have. Nor, were they they ace fighter pilots some of the other squadrons got. These, instead, were unique. They were individuals that were not corrupted by the system to be mindless drones. They would think, they would act, they would trust, they would cry, they would love. If he had had a choice over the perfect group trained and conditioned he did not think he would choose them over this group. They were rough, untrained, mostly unskilled but they had guts. That was something you could not train into someone.

“Now, someone start talking about what the frak has been going on during these two days because I’ve been doing nothing but paperwork.” He said as he sipped his ale. He glanced at Tavrus for only a moment before setting the glass down. The situation was not over with the young man but for now it was pushed aside. The coming days would be bad for now though this group needed a little laughter.


OOC:
WC-1203.
Collab post again. This time we had a third party Honeydew joined Avalar and myself. And for anyone who is wondering every collab post is written 95% from the person posting it. The collab comes from their speaking parts and more ideas as it is being written.

Light-hearted squadron meeting that almost got out of hand. One member has problems with who was named Besh Flight Lead and let everyone know, before things could go bad Honeydew stepped up to calm the situation down.
Joamer Tremaine Reistlin
Chief Warrant Officer, Squadron Commanding Officer
Aurek Flight, Strill Squadron

SCO|CWO Joamer|Iron One|Squadron: The 58th  "Strill"|Wing: 101st "Blade"|ISD-II  Adjudicator |TF:A|2FL|SFC|VEN|VE
[CC:P] [CC:W] [SoV] [LoM] [E]
In memory of Ghost squad, we will never forget.
[This message has been edited by Joamer (edited February 16, 2013 8:54:10 PM)]
Cervidae
ComNet Novice
 
Cervidae
 
[VE-NAVY] Petty Officer 2nd Class
 
Post Number:  28
Total Posts:  81
Joined:  Nov 2012
Status:  Offline
  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 16, 2013 12:29:09 AM    View the profile of Cervidae 
The very sight of the medbay had made the young woman uncomfortable, causing her to just stare blankly into the results of the Battle of Bloodmoon. So many of these men and women seemed to only be in there for terrible injuries, but nothing too life-threatening. They were responsive to the medics, many of them appearing to be very good natured towards the sympathetic team of doctors and nurses who buzzed around the room as they dedicated their attentions to as many patients as possible. It was as chaotic as it was systematic, especially as they danced over the patients that had the bleakest of cases. The ones who had a 50/50 chance of surviving seemed to get the least attention, especially once they were put into a stable status. Cervidae couldn’t help but feel anger twisting in her stomach over the flashbacks to her days back in their position. Laying there, silently suffering as drugs dripped into your blood stream while a “beep” was the only thing to remind you that you were – in fact – alive. No nurse dared to stay longer than what was required of them,

The longer she watched, the longer the anger twisted. It was enough to push her attention from the room itself and to the datapad in her hands. Something, anything, to just keep her from looking up until she could control her own obnoxious nerves and unneeded anger. This wasn’t Lotaith, this was the Adjudicator. All terrible things of the past remained in the past and there was no use brooding over it just because she couldn’t control her nerves. Gray eyes glanced over the datapad with the desperate hope that something would pop up and keep her attention for an extended period of time. There wasn’t much, unfortunately, to keep her too enthralled. Former orders, a few pages of paperwork, and some messages she had already responded to stared back at her, almost giving her the only option to merely continue her path into the room she seemed to be dreading. Go in, check on him, get out. That’s it. Just collect your orders at a different time. Maybe he’ll just send them to you over the messages, eh?

There was really no use avoiding the visit. From what she had already determined, there wasn’t exactly anything else that was going to take her attention, so why keep avoiding things? However, the Petty Officer 2nd Class wasn’t even more than eight steps inside the medbay, putting the datapad back against her chest, before she made solid contact with something running into her. For the brief moment her eyes were shut, the woman PRAYED that it wasn’t a wall that she had run into in her moment of not-paying-attentionness. It wouldn’t have been very professional of a squadron executive officer if she wasn’t aware of her surroundings well enough to discover a wall with her face. However, the moment gray eyes opened to see panic stricken green eyes, a mixture of both relief and confusion over came her. It wasn’t a wall, alright, but it was a patient.

Instant panic iced her veins as her eyes widened. The look of pain on the girl’s face was obvious and Cervidae’s hands shot up out of reflex to offer some sort of comfort. The girl’s dreads bounced as she moved back, quickly reminding Cervidae that the woman she had just crashed into was Cabby. The flyer of Cobalt 11. The one who survived going against the Ace. Almost immediately, strings of apologies came pouring out of the brunette’s mouth as her hand’s struggled to be useful with a datapad still being clung to for dear life. Yet, as she struggled with attempting to right the wrong she was PRETTY SURE she caused, Elizabeth Fletcher merely outstretched her arm, looked into her XO’s eyes, and gave a little squeeze to reassure the woman that she was alright. And before Cervidae could start up the apologies again, Cabby ducked out of her grasp and was out the door. The brunette just stood there, a little dumbfounded, until a nurse caught the woman standing incredibly lost.

The nurse crossed her way over to Cervidae, picking up on the lost-child look in the woman’s eyes. “May I be of some help, dear?” the woman asked, giving Cervidae this almost-motherly look. Although Cervidae didn’t pick on the maternalistic attitude, she did pick up on the woman’s sympathy. “Sorry, that was… Woah. Sorry. That was Cabby, right? Elizabeth Fletcher?” Glenda’s smile was warm and understanding, as if she was expecting something like this to happen. “Yes, you’re correct. Miss Fletcher is just going on a little walk. She tends to be very restless, much like many others of the 50th Squadron.” The woman’s head nudged over to where Dunny and Twitch were exchanging in a conversation. “I’ll take it you’re the new XO?” The older woman asked, turning her attention back to Cervidae. “Dunn mentioned something about you being mostly hair.”

Cerv smiled, nodding her hair, “Yeah, I was just promoted. Was just coming in to ask for orders, but he looks a bit busy… I’ll come back?” Glenda continued her smile, nodding as she began taking her attention of the woman as she gauged that the brunette was just looking for an excuse to turn around and leave. “Don’t you worry about a thing, deary. I’ll tell him you came to visit and, if he needs you, we’ll just message you to come on back. Keep your datapad close, alright?” A blush crossed Cervidae’s cheeks as she nodded to the nurse before the woman turned on a heel and returned to her rounds in the medbay. Cervidae, however, lingered in her standing position for a moment longer. A sense of relief had come over her watching Twitch standing tall next to the CO, reminding the woman that she had accomplished everything that she had promised to do. Twitch was alive and well, despite the fact that she was slightly injured. Nothing too bad, from what the nurses had told her, but she still needed to be in the medbay for tests.

Tests. Endless tests.

Cervidae nodded to herself, declaring it time for her to take her leave as she turned on a heel and left the way she came. The moment that flashbacks threatened to distract her from tasks that were on hand, the woman decided that it was a good enough time to just not be in that room anymore. She would come back eventually, but not right now. Not if she had to wait to talk to her commander. The moment that she could control herself, maybe then she’ll return. The moment the door closed behind her, the Executive Officer let out a sigh and began walking the way she came.

Or, at least, she would have had she not picked up on Cabby leaning against the wall. The young woman would have completely missed over her, but the way Cerv escaped the room was just perfect for seeing the light brown dreads out of the corner of her eyes. The brunette came to a stop, turning to face the girl. “Oh! It’s Elizabeth, right? Look, I’m so sorry for running into you back there. It was entirely my fault; I wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t hurt you, did I? Gods, I’m really sorry.” The look of intense guilt covered the woman’s face, showing the absolute pain she felt for causing the recovering Chlovi member any more pain that she was already going through. “Is there anything I can do? To make it up to you?”

OOC:

WC: 1,269
AAR: As the Chlovi XO entered the medbay, she was instantly hit with painful memories of her days locked away in one back on Lotaith. The woman probably would have been sent into a panic attack were it not for the fact she was distracted by a quick glance at her datapad and physically running into the recovering Elizabeth Fletcher. The fact she caused the girl unnecessary pain, given her slow recovery, completely pulled the brunette's attention off of cordial visit to her CO and brought it to Cabby. After exchanging a few words with a nurse, Cervidae was quick to run outside and caught a glance of Cabby standing against the door. Out of guilt, the brunette continues her apologies.
SXO/PO2/Cervidae/Cobalt 7/S:50 "Chlovi" W:101 "Blade"/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A/2FL/SC/VEN/VE [SoA][*CO*][MiD][MC1][CC:1]


"The world is not a wish-granting factory; you must earn what you deserve."
DeepSix
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DeepSix
 
[VE-DJO] Adept
[VE-ICS] Pirate Swabbie
[VE-NAVY] Lt. Commander
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 16, 2013 2:47:59 PM    View the profile of DeepSix 
OOC:
VENI NPC post

"Hey, check it out!" Marheyl Qurnozs nudged a fellow grease monkey and upon receiving the other's attention, the former nodded towards the Lambda shuttle that just landed on the Brilliant's spacious hangar bay.

"What about it?" the second starfighter mechanic shrugged, not really understanding what the big deal was. Shuttles came and went quite frequently thanks to the upcoming battle. They were either bringing in supplies and manpower... or they were on the contrary taking supplies and manpower and moving them to ships in even greater need of them. A Lambda shuttle was somewhat less frequent indeed - usually reserved for tight-assed officers coming and going - but even those weren't all that strange to behold given the state of things.

"Not the shuttle you dolt!" Marheyl shook his head disapprovingly. "Well, at least not just the shuttle", the man corrected himself a second later. "I meant her as well", Petty Officer Qurnozs spoke and nodded his head in the direction of a blonde Human officer now making her way towards the very shuttle the other two were speaking of.

"Her?... What the heck buddy, is this some weird sort of deja-vu or something?" the other man asked after finally noticing the female presence approaching the shuttle now finishing its last stages of post-flight procedures. "Exactly!", Marheyl nodded his head vigorously before proceeding in a more excited voice "You got any idea who she is? Or why exactly is she playing welcoming committee in our hangar?"

"Not sure... Tell you what though - wouldn't mind her welcoming me to the very gates of hell, know what I'm saying?" The two crewmen exchanged a few stifled laughs before the harsh gaze of the deck master forced them back to work. Many of the TIE Interceptors still needed to be repaired, retrofitted and most importantly checked, double checked and finally triple checked before being handed over to the space jocks.

~~~~~~~~~~

"Welcome to the Brilliant", Ensign Grey greeted the new arrival without any particular warmth or excitement obvious in her voice. "Thanks", was the man's equally blunt response as he picked up a large case and stepped out of the ship and unto the Star Destroyer's surface.

He stopped just a couple of steps in front of the other VENI agent and remained there, just staring at her with cold ice blue eyes. He was a fairly tall specimen for his species, towering at 6'2" and as such enabling him to look down on many of his peers, Ensign Grey being no exception. He had spiky auburn hair and a beard that must've gone unshaven for at least two if not three days... or more.

Despite his height as well as the large case he was carrying in his right hand, the man did not look terribly imposing. He was clearly fit and showed a decent athletic build but there was no sign of any excess, both his arms and legs appearing rather thin and wiry instead.

"Agent QuaD, apologies on calling you so soon after finishing your previous mission. I trust you had a chance to recuperate from it?" Ensign Grey broke the silence. The message sounded interested and almost warm but the way it was delivered... the woman could've just as well spoken about the weather. From a whole week ago even...

"No", was the new arrived agent's once more simple reply. "Will that be a problem?" Grey further pressed the matter as the faintest threads of doubt began spreading across her sharp mind. She allowed no such traces to appear evident however. "No problem", was Quad's confident reply which helped once more clear Grey's head.

His response - blunt and short as it may have been - almost brought a smile to her full lips. For this stage of the war she would require the very best that VENI had to offer. Agent Strings was available for the previous stage too, but the man's skills were best suited to different mission profiles than attempting a suicide mission against a biochemical installation.

Agent QuaD on the other hand would've been perfect for that mission, the fellow's natural talents easily able to counter the combat inexperienced scientists she brought along. The Ensign's brow almost twitched as she remembered both Pael's betrayal as well as Frayne's constant whining upon bringing back the two ID defectors that helped create the deadly virus in the first place.

QuaD on the other hand... he was made of a whole different cloth. Just as the scientists the VENI officer brought along last time, the agent was rather brilliant himself - though in a field far removed from academical, medical, genetical or really any other type of research or activity that may have required a lab.

The man was skilled at four different things: bringing death, seeding decimation, causing destruction and of course being responsible for a whole lot of other devastation. In short the new arrival was just another killer - one of the very best the galaxy had to offer.

Despite not being an expert in any one field the man was however a well above average jack-of-all-trades. His knowledge of warfare, strategy, tactics as well as the ability to both lead and also follow orders made him a quite remarkable soldier. A soldier best suited to a certain class of missions...

Like any other self respecting intelligence agency across the galaxy, VENI too had its share of assassins to deal with some of the more difficult individuals they may be forced to interact with. Agent QuaD however was not just another such individual though.

No, an assassin usually had a fairly simple goal - get in, neutralize a target, get out. QuaD however was best used as a messenger of sorts. When diplomatic negotiations failed, when blackmail and coercion proved ineffective, when a large scale armed conflict was out of the question and when a simple assassination would've only given rise to someone else only to eager to repeat the same cycle all over again... that's when VENI sent in QuaD or a few select other agents with similar levels of proficiency.

The VENI agent's job was not as simple as getting in, wasting someone and then getting out... Oh no! The man did indeed need to both plan his infiltration and exfiltration routes, but other than that the man was responsible with not just killing an individual, but rather killing the very problem that plagued VENI or the Vast Empire as a whole.

If that meant going after a target's family, using innocent civilians as collateral or just leaving behind a blood trail so thick that any successor would think twice before considering following in the footsteps of whoever they may be replacing - well then that was just the thing QuaD had no issues performing. Worse still was the fact that the man was not only willing to perform such acts... but actually able to pull them off successfully as well.

If agent Strings was VENI's scalpel - meant to be used in order to delicately turn a faction's view in favor of the Vast Empire - then QuaD was by contrast the agency's chainsaw - meant to be set loose and wreak as much havoc as possible before other agents could be sent in to help set things back on whichever track VENI desired.

"Follow me please. We'll discuss your briefing in a more private setting. After that you are free to do as you please; Captain Zail has already made arrangements for your quarters and I highly encourage you to make full use of them", Ensign Grey's eyes narrowed slightly as she continued "Clean up and get some rest - but definitely start with a shower... and maybe a shave too."

The man remained silent and Grey chose to take his silence as a sign of understanding rather than of defiance. She turned and began walking towards the exit, sensing that the other was following only a few feet behind her. That's two, the woman thought as she progressed...

OOC:
WC: 1339
AAR: I pretty much used Serpent's post as a template for this one in order to introduce my VENI NPC, agent QuaD - the nick's explanation being explained in the post.
WC/LCDR DeepSix/Golden One/S:38th Vornskr/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE [=*TG*=] [=*VIM*=]

Consultant/LCDR DeepSix/PLF Cappadocious/VENA/VEN/VE

TRN/AD DeepSix/DJO/Training Sect/VEDJ
Xanin
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Xanin
 
[VE-NAVY] Senior Crewman
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 17, 2013 9:44:42 PM    View the profile of Xanin 
OOC:
Strill


Xanin stretched over his chair, the sound of the bones in his arms and back clicking somehow relaxing him. Glancing through all of the Strill’s faces he saw uncertainty in some, annoyance in others. The love pair of the group was obviously Tik and Makenna, who were hatefully glaring at each other constantly. Xanin was surprised at how people could take each other so seriously, but not being a heavy drinker, as well as being out of any extensive social situation for well over a year, he couldn’t possibly understand.

“Now, someone start talking about what the frak has been going on during these two days because I’ve been doing nothing but paperwork.” the SCO exclaimed as he finished with the two pilots.

The pilots started to shout out their random activities, which mostly ranged from only sleeping to training in the simulators. Xanin wondered what could be the purpose of this meeting, given that the most important things - though not the last minute things, like Makenna being promoted to FL of Besh - were already said in the debriefing.

“I see...” Joamer muttered to himself as the squadron finished telling stories of their doings during the one and a half days “Well, now that I know what you’ve all been doing, how about a little R&R?”

The squadron looked at each other, slightly intrigued. Xanin continued his stare at Joamer, a bit curious what he was talking about.

“We’re going to play a game. If you lose you will have to tell a story from your past, before VE. After you’ve done you don’t play, ok?”

The confusion increased, and now the squadron was not only confused, but also baffled and, from the looks from some of their faces, slightly annoyed. What is he doing... Well, I’m surely not telling anyone my story... Xanin thought to himself as Joamer slowly brought out about 12 straws. The game was simple. Everyone was to take a straw at random: the person who picked the shortest would lose. The unwillingness was apparent, no one moved to grab a straw as the SCO placed his clenched hand in the middle of table.

“Now, don’t be shy.” the smile on the CWO’s face was now visible “I want us to be together for a while, and if we are, we have to get to know each other. And one of such ways is to tell something from your past. Now, everyone take a pick, or I’ll pick one of you.”

The grin was now clearly visible, and it was clear that the SCO was enjoying the situation. One of the pilots smiled widely and quickly pulled out one of the straws. He’s excited... Considering how long it was, it was clear that he wouldn’t go first. Following his lead everyone slowly took each straw. After everyone has taken one, Joamer picked one as well dropped the rest on the table.

“So... who gets to storytell first?” Joamer asked “After all, we all must have a story, right?”

Xanin examined his straw and compared it with everyone elses. To his terror he saw that it was shortest. He glanced at Joamer, and he saw the cold pair of eyes staring straight back at him.

“So... we have our first victim.” Joamer slowly said, putting emphasis on every word, while leaning back on his chair “So, what’s your tale?”

“Born in a freighter, served in the NR. What more do you want to know?” Xanin quickly replied, trying not to say much. When accepted into the ranks he was warned by the recruiting officers that any attempts to recruit will be met with highest forms of punishments.

“Tell us a bit more that service in the NR. What did you do?”

“Served as a pilot, fought against Thrawn. My whole unit was killed, because our tacticians and propaganda officers were idiots. Anything else?”

“You’re the one telling the story. Are you going to continue to ask me questions?” the tone of the voice had a hint of danger, signifying annoyance. Xanin barely heard that hint, and combined with the wide grin and cold stare he started to feel really agitated. He took a deep breath, thinking over how much should he say. He knew that the veteran wanted to hear something, most likely the story Xanin already touched upon.

“We... were sent with a convoy on an escort mission. For some reason we were outfitted with A-Wings, even though they weren’t best for the assignment. When we came out of hyper we were attacked by Thrawn himself.” The man took a deep breath, trying to revisualize the battlespace, while thinking over his next words “Immediately released, we flew towards the Imperial Star Destroyer. Or at least my unit did, for I changed my course and flew straight into a nearby asteroid field... yes, you can call that desertion. Not my fault my squadron got indoctrinated with love for their government, which was clearly throwing them away.” Xanin took another deep breath, wanting to finish his little rant as quickly as he could “The imperials didn’t bother to chase me. As soon as I escaped the asteroid field, I jumped to lightspeed. A year passed and boom. I’m here. And the NR never cared, never searched for us. Just shows how much of the Rebel Alliance has that government inherited.”

The man wondered whether to show them his RA tattoo that he had on his chest. Choosing against doing so he threw his straw onto the table and glanced around everybody else.

“Ok then... so who’s next?” Joamer said, still grinning.

OOC:
WC: 943
Joamer presents his storytelling game, and Xanin gets to go first. He tells the short story of how he got out of the NR.
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FL/SCRW Xanin/Iron Five/S:58 Strill/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE/[MC2] [CC:1]
"I don't always desert my teammates. But when I do, they all die." - Xanin
Hades
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Imperial Baronet

 
Hades
 
[VE-NAVY] Ensign
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 18, 2013 5:57:40 AM    View the profile of Hades 
The Sollamens were quiet – deceptively so. There was an occasional weapons platform here and there, but aside from that there was nothing suspicious. If it hadn’t been for VENI information, it was doubtful the VE would have had a clue about this stuff.. But behind the quiet façade, the natural radiation that distorted sensors waited the final defense standing between the Vast Empire and Imperial Dominion space. It wasn’t a particularly imposing fleet, with some ships still in poor repair, but it was enough to make the Vast Empire bleed. If nothing else, they would make the Vast Empire pay for every inch of territory they took with blood.

Ripheus Kane, alias ‘Nighthunter’, alias PO1 Lyle Nyhun watched the preparations of the Imperial Dominion in the Sollamens with growing interest – things were going to get really bloody, really fast. Nighthunter knew for a fact that the Vast Empire outnumbered and outgunned the Imperial Dominion’s last stand fleet, but he also knew that despite having the odds in their favour, the VE was in for a pitched struggle for this invaluable grouping of rocks known as the Sollamens. Ripheus let his hands dart across the console before him, entering a sequence of commands known only to him. Aboard the Reactionary and essentially in charge of Starfighter Operations, he knew what was happening. He knew the locations of the fleet, but all the knowledge was of no use if he couldn’t transmit it to VENI.

They had an hour to send last transmissions after that Vanguard had escaped, before their communications were restricted to official ID business in the interests of secrecy. But thanks to the Sollamens’ naturally occurring electro-magnetic radiation transmissions were patchy at best. He typed up a message, but it was only brief.

[ GREY. ID WAITING IN AMBUSH FOR VE IN ASTEROIDS. FLEET WEAKENED. NATURAL ADVANTAGE. NIGHTHUNTER. ]

All of the words in there were chosen wisely and transmitted with his security code; Grey was smart enough to figure out what he meant. Before he logged off the console he hacked into the communications’ nexus and deleted the history of his transmissions. Ripheus’ eyes glanced around, making sure no-one had seen him before he went back to organising flight patterns and schedules for the Starfighters of the Reactionary..
--- --- ---

Yet another shuttle had just arrived on the Brilliant, carrying two highly specialised agents. They were both somewhat out of place in the ordered hangar bay; the larger of the two being six foot and - while not exceedingly tall - muscle bound, with bright blue eyes and the intense stare that could only come from a psycho. He was bald and had scars criss-crossing his weathered skin, a snarl almost permanently on his ugly features. The smaller of the two was.. well, smaller. He too had a very fit physique, though was lithe and muscular as opposed to the taller man’s bulkiness. He moved with a grace that implied danger, similar blue eyes to the taller man but with a far fairer complexion and with close cropped brown hair. The blonde lady approached them – Ensign Grey – and nodded once at each of them.

“The Brothers Grimm.” She half smiled, “Agents Grin and Grim.”

They both shared the same last name – after all, they were brothers – but their callsigns reflected their areas of expertise. While Grin’s name was a hint at the fact that he loved to kill people with a bloody grin, Grim’s was a nod to the fact his knowledge of technology was almost unparalleled. He had first served as a weapons-master for a group of Mandalorian mercenaries, meaning he’d gained a diverse knowledge of weapons and technology before he decided he needed a more lucrative career. The mercs – one of which was his brother – were wanted criminals. Despite their vows of brotherhood to the Mandalorians, Grin and Grim ratted on the Mercenaries to their local Vast Empire checkpoint. A VENI agent had taken interest in their abilities – especially Grim’s manipulative nature – and the rest was history.

“Grey.” Came the big man’s reply, psychotic blue eyes glaring at her accusingly.

“Ma’am,” was Grim’s acknowledgement, being the more subtle of the two for obvious reasons.

“Welcome to the Brilliant, Gentlemen,” Grey turned and walked away. Grin and Grim exchanged curious glances, before Grim shrugged and followed their superior.  Grim caught up and walked alongside the woman, while Grin walked a few steps behind, eyes scanning the corridor warily. “I trust you’re prepared for the mission at hand?”

“Let me kill things, and I’ll let you go home with a successful mission.” Grin replied sociably.

“Grin’s been looking forward to this.. ever since he was put on probation they kept him pent up in the fortress.” Grim explained, though Grey probably already knew that.

“Interesting.” The blonde woman replied noncommittally.

“So what will we be doing precisely?” Grim pressed.

“You’ll be briefed with the others.” She replied coldly, “These are your quarters. You’ll be summoned shortly.”

“But where do we-“ Without a backward glance nor any other acknowledgement, Grey had set off at a brisk walk, though she never looked rushed. Grim watched her with narrowed eyes, while Grin just kept his steady psychotic look on her backside.

“Attractive.” Grin said simply, causing Grim to smack him lightly.

“She’s your boss and she’ll have your guts for garters.” Grim murmured. Grin stayed true to his namesake and grinned.

“Not sure about guts, but she can have something else if she likes.” Grim shook his head disdainfully at his brother’s inappropriate comments. To tell the truth, they’d both been thinking the exact same thing. Grim was just a little more tactful than his younger yet bigger brother.

“I hear that. Let’s get settled.” He shooed Grin into the quarters they’d been issued, shooting a passing crewman a venomous glare. The crewman scuttled off, away from the two men.

OOC:
Wordcount: 980. It's a little short, but it's finally up.

AAR: Re-introducing Ripheus 'Nighthunter' Kane, alias PO1 Lyle Nyhun. Nighthunter manages to send a transmission to Grey, regarding the ID at the Sollamens. Also introducing The Brothers Grimm, two VENI agents - brothers - named Grin and Grim respectively.

Grin is the bigger, less intelligent brother, while Grim is the manipulative yet no less burly companion. Grin is an expert (and psycho) with heavy & melee weapons. Grim is an expert with weapons technology (i.e. inventing new gadgets for guns and killing people), has an almost unparalleled knowledge of weapons large and small, but specialises only in the use of long range rifles and knives.

Chief of Naval Training, 54th Squadron Commander

SCO | ESN "Hades" | A-1 | S:54 "Gundark" | W:101 "Blade" | ISD Adjudicator | TF:Aurek | 2nd Fleet | SC | VEN | VE
CNT | ESN "Hades" | PLF Cappadocious | VENA | VEN | VE

VENI

{INTER} {SfrM} {XenMA} {GrAt} (=*SWC*=) (=TG=) {AFM} {HypM} {0Gee} {INFL}
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[This message has been edited by Hades (edited February 18, 2013 6:00:45 AM)]
Avalar
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Avalar
 
[VE-NAVY] Petty Officer 2nd Class
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 18, 2013 1:28:58 PM    View the profile of Avalar 
The 11 other members of Strill Squadron are very interesting indeed, thought the blond-haired man as he placed his feet on the edge of the table. He extended his legs and pushed himself back in his chair slightly, his arms folded behind his head. Vivid cobalt eyes glanced about, watching the beautiful tirade of the pirate and the drunk. He couldn’t help chuckling to himself in amusement. The Strill member next to him heard him, and he glanced at her mouthing the word, “Priceless”. The woman seemed to at least partially agree because, though she had more of a look of disdain earlier, she was now smiling slightly. He turned back to watch as the blades came out and the poor table was abused. I was placed in the entirely right squadron. This is beautiful.

He wondered if the table was mahogany. There was once someone in his life who would fret over such a wood being tormented.

As the SC man calmed the storm, he asked everyone what they had been doing. Most of the answers were plain and boring. The blond rolled his eyes, rocking his chair back slightly more. He would volunteer his own information, but he thought better of telling the SC man about his secret escapades since he had been brought on the ship. He hadn’t yet felt out this man, Joamer, and though he was quite proud of his antics, he knew some who wouldn’t appreciate it.

Finally it came the time when the SC man broke out the straws, saying they each needed to take one. Classic. he thought, smiling. He always loved drawing straws, though, in his life, drawing straws had usually led to being the first to head into imminent danger. The blond retracted his legs from the table, his chair setting down normally, and picked first. The rest of the squadron was holding back, probably from fear of sharing their stories or something. Well, he didn’t fear it. He was fond of his history.

Sadly, he was not the first to go. Instead some man by the name of... well the man had never given his name. What a fail to the game. He should have introduced himself first rather than jumping into his less than sparkling tale. The blond knew the SC man’s game. He was letting everyone get to know each other, one by one.

When the ex-NR man finished, the squadron each checked the length of their straws. While Strill squadron had been paying attention to the story, the blond had purposefully broken his straw more, making him the “obvious” next victim. Joamer looked at him, as if he needed a signal to start, but he didn’t.

“Well guess that leaves me next, eh?” he said, grinning from ear to ear. He sat back in his chair, one leg crossed on top of his other, his arms laying over the back of the chair, “The name’s Thatcher ‘Thicket’ Morrowind. Yeah that’s my name, don’t wear it out. I’d tell you the story of how I got my call sign but well,” he glanced at each of the women in turn, specifically staring at Makenna to gauge the pirate, “I don’t think that topic of conversation is necessarily appropriate in front of the ladies. Ya can ask me another time.”

“As for my story, well, I’m a spacer, so no planet for me. Parents were a bit of a snore too. Always strict all the time. That’s why I left when I knew I could. Didn’t want to be tied down by the constant naggin’ of my parents for the rest of my life. So, I stole a fighter from my parents and blasted off into space, knowing a hell of a lot of nothin’ about anything. That’s what made my life so fun though, being all young ‘n carefree. Of course, it wasn’t long before I landed myself into trouble. Got picked up by another ship. Dun think they liked me much. Seriously though. Not quite sure why. Who could possibly hate this beautiful face?” Thicket threw his arms to the side, and looked at the squadron with incredulous eyes. Some of them were annoyed while others chuckled a bit. This audience sure ain’t very lively, he thought to himself.

“But anyway, I was lucky they didn’t outright kill me. Not quite sure how I got out of that one frankly. Guess they needed my manly muscles for somethin’,” Thatcher’s eyes locked with Makenna’s for a moment. The pirate girl seemed amused, which was interesting considering the fact that his introduction to her had been her argument with the drunk. Maybe she wasn’t the angry woman she had appeared to be.

The locking of eyes had caused a pause in his story that had been completely unintended. Thatcher coughed a bit and then sat forward, feet flat on the ground and his arms resting on his legs with hands clasped. His mood seemed a bit more serious suddenly, “Of course they wanted to use me though. I became a bit of their slave, doing their work. I didn’t know any better because I was a young’n at the time, but everythin’ I learned came from them. I learned how to get away with things. I learned when to keep secrets. I learned who I could trust after a matter of moments. It was through them that I became a rogue, and yet despite being used, they felt like family. I guess they replaced the family I left, thinking I knew better than them what life was all about.”

His cobalt eyes then turned to Joamer. The SC man seemed to be thinking. The gears were obviously turning in his head. And somehow, through that glance, Thatcher already knew what he thought of him and his story.

“I dabbled in all manners of criminal life in some form. Never quite fell into a place after I left the ship that had become my home. And when I had decided to return to them, they were all dead,” [i]When darkness came and fires fell....[/i “I knew it was about time I tried to find somewhere stable, so here I am, in all my wondrous glory,” he said, suddenly smiling again, “Though I wonder exactly how stable this squadron is. I think our pirate girl is going to kill the drunk. She’s been eyeing him again.”

“Are you quite done now?” Makenna asked, a slight edge to her tone after his remark.

“Hey princess, I’m just statin’ what I see. Relax will ya? Y’all are too uptight,” he grinned innocently at her, and though she was trying to remain like some dangerous force to be reckoned with, he could see her lips curve into a smile. She was touching her blade again though, “And what’re you gonna do with that? Stick me like the table? I thought that idiot was your target. Not me.”

“Oh that could change easily. I’m not always picky.”

“Then give me your best shot, princess. Come on. I’m waiting. Gettin’ kinda hot in here too. What with all this suspense-” Thatcher caught the blade without much effort as it sailed through the air. He examined it, “It’s a decent blade,” he said after a moment. He didn’t look up to see his squadron mates around him, but he knew they were probably shocked that one of their own had attempted something so dangerous, probably with the intent to kill. But he knew that Makenna hadn’t thrown it for that reason. What had looked like a taunt to hurt him was actually his way of getting to know the pirate girl, and she had been smart enough to pick up on it. It wasn’t like he hadn’t dealt with people like her in his life before. He knew when the line was not to be crossed, and she was nowhere near that line.

“It’s seen quite a few fights,” she said, suddenly seeming more approachable than before.

“I can tell. I’d like to not be on the end of this blade either. Especially if you’re the one holding it,” his eyes seemed to become distant for a moment but he returned to reality and slid the knife back to Makenna, not currently trusting his own knife throwing skills. Thatcher looked to the SC man, “So who’s next, Cap?”

OOC:
WC: 1,392 (so short! jk)

AAR: Enter Thatcher "Thicket" Morrowind, a newb to the squadron and an interesting fellow at that. He watches the squadron interactions, specifically the fight between Makenna and Tik, and thinks that he couldn't have been placed in a better squadron. Joamer asks everyone to draw straws and share their stories, smallest straw to largest. Xanin has gone first with his tale, and Thatcher breaks the rules a bit by breaking his own straw in order to go next. He shares his tale, trying to amuse the squadron. Then he and Makenna end up bonding over a thrown knife.
SXO | PO2 Avalar | Iron 2 | S:58 Strill | W:101 Blade | ISD Adjudicator | TF:A | 2Flt | VEN | VE

[SoA]  [MC1]  [CC:W]
Gurlanin
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Gurlanin
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 18, 2013 2:59:32 PM    View the profile of Gurlanin 
Grent walked in, having just been transferred from the Naval Training Academy. He saw the knife being thrown, and his hand immediately went to his own blades, preparing to retaliate. Failing that, he would use the DC-17m at his waist. However, he soon saw that it was not a serious throw, and stayed his hand. He carried on walking over to his new squadron, and sat himself down on a chair, as they shuffled apart to give him some room.

"Can we help you, Crewman?" came a call from the group: they were all staring at him. Analysing him. It was only fair, as he was doing the same to them.

"Yes. I've just been transferred to you guys from the Academy." There was a small groan. Another newbie. Fresh out of training no less. Grent picked up on the vibe, and raised his hands in protest, "Now now, I was told you were a friendly bunch!" he said, sarcasm lining his voice. That got a chuckle.

"Why don't you go next then, newbie? Tell us ya name and life story."

"Alright then. I'm Leading Crewman Grent Notimo, but everyone calls me Gurlanin on account of my home planet, Qiilura." Grent looked around, and only got blank looks. Perfect. "No-one's heard of Gurlanins? I suppose that's probably for good reason. They're a shapeshifting race. Best ones out there. They can go anywhere, get anything, become anyone. I grew up on a farm. Both my parents were Mandalorians that had become ..." Grent paused, searching for the right word, "Concerned with where things were going in the Aliit: the clan. They moved to Qiilura and farmed Barq, and sprouted out me.
"Skip ahead a decade and a bit, and you find ol' me in one of the toughest street gangs in Imbraani: the Diggers. Laugh at the name, but we terrorised the streets. Had a couple of Gurlanins with us too. My best friend was one of them, name of Iaened. Dude was the best friend anyone could ever ask for, but having a friend who's a shapeshifter has more than a few perks. Anyhow, word got out that the garrison were offering a big reward for info on an escaped convict. Well, we all knew where he was. Hard to hide from the Gurlanins. So we went up there, told them everything we knew, and split the fee. We got a taste for it. After Iaened, I was the best informer in the Diggers, so they nicknamed me "Gurlanin", saying that I had been separated at birth.
"Eventually I saved up enough creds to by a Skyhop'er. Beaut of thing. Flew like anything. Spent most of everyday in her. The garrison commander had me delivering supplies to the remote outposts and the like. It was 'im that suggested I go Navy. Paid for my ticket as well. So here I am."

Grent leaned back on his chair, and watched the reactions of his fellows. Some were impressed, others a little intimidated perhaps? He didn't know. All he knew is that these were the mavericks of the Navy. His training officer had told him that they did spec ops missions in and out of the cockpit. He'd signed up straight away, not wanting to miss a chance. Following day, he went down to Supplies and ordered himself the deece and a suit of Katarn armour, the T-visor making him feel at home. He just hoped he would have a chance to use it.

"So, where were we?" Grent smiled.

OOC:
WC: 588

Summary: Grent meets up with his new squadron for the first time, and gets invited to tell his story next, him not having a straw. He is still wary of his wingmates, but has a certain trust for them.
Leading Crewman Grent "Gurlanin" Notimo, 58th (Strill) Squadron

FM | LCRW Gurlanin | Iron Eight | S:84 "Strill" | W:101 "Blade" | ISD Adjudicator | TF:Aurek | 2nd Fleet | SC | VEN | VE

Retreat ....... Hell! We just got here!
Serpent
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Imperial Baronet

 
Serpent
 
[VE-NAVY] Lieutenant
 
Post Number:  673
Total Posts:  1214
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 19, 2013 7:41:27 AM    View the profile of Serpent 
OOC:
VENI NPC Post


Ensign Grey walked to the hangar bay, her team of VENI Agents at her back.  As she approached the entrance she saw one of the Brilliant’s technicians getting there before her.

“You,” She said, causing the young man to turn and look at her quizzically.  “Beat it!”

He frowned.  “I was ordered to check the...” The tech began, but Grey cut him off.

“Leave.  Now!” She barked, causing the Senior Crewman to turn and scamper off down the corridor in a panic.  Without sparing the youngster a second glance, Grey marched into the hangar, her team in tow, and made for the shuttle sitting on its own.

“This is the Nightdancer,” She declared, reaching the ramp to the Theta-class T-2c shuttle and turning to face her people.  “It has a Sensor Mask, making us hard to detect as we approach our goal of Tilsec Prime.  Once there we will meet up with the resistance, which our forward man should already be in contact with.  I have briefed each of you in turn, and you have had a chance to learn each other’s names.  If there are no questions then we shall leave immediately.”

She swept her gaze across those assembled, and saw the fearlessness and determination on their faces.  They already knew the score, knew that they were headed into the very heart of Dominion territory, and they were ready.  It was a tribute to Vast Empire Naval Intelligence that it had people of such calibre.

Firstly there was the arrogant Zelosian, Agent Strings, human looking but for his magnificent green eyes.  The skilled political manipulator was dressed in a sharp suit that made him look like a sleazy lawyer, and Grey wondered why the man cultivated such an image.  Strings had it in his head that, as the architect of several pro-VE regime changes, the mission to Tilsec Prime was somehow his.  Grey would have to dissuade him of this notion.

Beside the smug Zelosian was the tall and wiry form of Agent QuaD.  A master of warfare, the man was a one-man wrecking crew, and was now fully rested and recovered from his most recent assignment.  Grey was glad to have a warrior of such impressive skills on board, knowing that sooner or later assignments like this got messy.  Strings could do the talking, but eventually all that talking would give way to action, and that was where QuaD would come in.

Rounding out the team were two men that even Ensign Grey, with her keen memory and attention to detail, had trouble keeping straight.  The mercenary siblings known as the ‘Brothers Grim’, Agents Grin and Grim, were always paired together for missions, and this was no exception.  Grin, the bigger and more psychotic brother, was a killing machine that was kept in check largely by the smaller but by no means less deadly Grim.  Grey kept her eye on the smaller one, knowing that Grim had a cunning streak a mile long, making him (in her estimation) the more dangerous of the two.

Grey had had a hard time convincing Agent Strings to allow those two on the team (“If they can’t be controlled then they endanger everything” the Zelosian had complained), but the Ensign had a feeling that they would prove useful.  She had caught both brothers looking at her attractive physique, and just hoped that they could stay focused on the task at hand.

Grey gave the people time to voice questions, but there were none.  All the VENI agents assembled were professionals, used to accepting a mission and just getting on with it.  Satisfied that they were ready, Grey said, “Everyone on board!”  And led the way into the shuttle.

The lead agent would have preferred that the pilot of her last mission, Reeza Hayek, were on hand for the difficult and risky insertion onto Tilsec Prime.  The young woman was cocky and crazy, but she was good.  Alas, her injuries during the Bloodmoon Operation had left her in no condition to join this VENI outing, so Grey herself had to pilot.

Fortunately, the Ensign was quite good at it.

Once her team were settled and their hold full of supplies checked, she obtained clearance from the Brilliant’s bridge to depart.  She took hold of the controls and eased the ship off the deck, lowering its wings into flight position as it rose.  Then she tipped the controls forward and the Nightdancer glided out of the hangar bay.

Grey made the calculations for the jump to hyperspace, using the advanced navigation data that the Second Fleet had obtained about the Tangle, the mess of travel routes around the entrance to the Imperial Dominion.  It would take multiple jumps to reach the Tilsec System, and though they would be in realspace for only a short few minutes on each stop, the Ensign was taking no chances.  As soon as the Nightdancer was clear of the Second Fleet, she engaged the Sensor Mask.

“Okay, people,” She said over her shoulder to the four agents in the main cabin, “We are on our way.  It will take several hours to reach the Tilsec System, and even then I want to arrive at the outer edge of the system and creep in slowly under their sensors.  ETA will be about a day from now.  So settle down and sleep if you can!”

And so saying she punched for lightspeed.

OOC:
901 words.  I said that the team will take about a day to reach Tilsec Prime, giving Hades plenty of IC time to make contact with the resistance.

After Action Report:  The VENI team take the Nightdancer (from the last Counterpunch story) and travel to the Tilsec System.  For ease of reference, the team are as follows:

Ensign Grey – Human, team leader
Agent Strings – Zelosian, political manipulator
Agent QuaD – Human, assassination expert
Agent Grin- Human, weapons expert
Agent Grim – Human, weapons technology expert
SCAP/LT Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
[SoA][LoM][NAR][E][CBV][SoV][MiD][1NS][GWC][MC1][VC:E][CC:2][CAR][=*Eng*=][=*BO*=][AO]

"It isn't the killing, you know.  It's the beauty of battles that I love - the choreography and the challenge of executing everything
just right - and the challenge of matching your wits against a capable opponent." - Gilad Pellaeon
Trykon
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Trykon
 
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: Death
February 19, 2013 6:59:43 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
Less than a day after the Battle of Bloodmoon:

The Adjudicator, like all Imperial-class Star Destroyers, wasn’t equipped with only a single sickbay.  Smaller vessels could make do with limited medical facilities, perhaps, but the flagship of the Second Vast Imperial Fleet was crewed by the equivalent of a small city’s population, and it needed a sprawling hospital complex to match.  The central medical area stretched across several decks amidships, and there were satellite trauma centers scattered throughout the massive warship.  And so, when Captain Wyl Trykon decided to personally visit some of the starfighter pilots from Blade Wing who had been injured during the Battle of Bloodmoon, he first had to figure out where, exactly, the patients in question actually were.

“Damn it, Jak,” Trykon cursed, using his valet’s first name in an uncharacteristic lapse of propriety, “this shouldn’t be this hard.  It’s very simple: I want to see the survivors from Jexxel and Chlovi Cat squadrons, and I want to see them now!”

“Yes sir,” Senior Crewman Jak Marr said patiently, the pained expression on his face conveying his own frustration as well as his regrets.  “It’s a simple enough request, but I’m afraid that right now it isn’t going to be particularly easy to accommodate.  As I said, that last volley of ion cannon fire we took played havoc with low-level systems, including information-retrieval protocols for secondary and tertiary computer records.  Engineering has techs working on it, but until the reboot is complete, Doc Gibbs says they don’t have the manpower to keep tabs on the locations of every single individual patient, especially not since many of them are now ambulatory.”

Trykon waved away the excuses impatiently, and headed for the door to the outer office.  “It wasn’t a request, Mr. Marr,” he said as he stormed out.  He strode down the hallway to the nearest banks of lifts, officers and enlisted beings alike scurrying out of his way.  “It was a damned order,” he whispered to himself, as the elevator’s doors slid closed.

***


By the time Trykon reached the ship's main hospital, he’d realized that his anger was getting the best of him.  And that was puzzling, because he had captained capital ships before, and therefore he knew what battle damage could do to a ship’s efficiency.  It was hardly surprising that there were some problems, after the slug-fest endurance trial that was the Battle of Bloodmoon, and it certainly wasn’t the fault of Crewman Jak Marr.  So why did I snap at the kid? Trykon wondered as he approached the medical duty officer’s desk.

A harried-looking nurse saw him coming, stood up, and saluted.  “Sir!  We weren’t told you were coming down,” the young Gran said, his three eyes blinking nervously.  One twitched, as if he wanted to glance behind him, and warn someone that the Chief of Naval Warfare was about to barge in.  But the Gran Senior Chief Petty Officer was disciplined, and kept the posture of attention.

Trykon temporarily suspended his own emotional analysis, to be resumed later.  He returned the salute, and waved his hands at the nurse impatiently.  “As you were.  I’m not here for a surprise inspection, Petty Officer; you can relax.  I just need to speak to some of my pilots.”

“Yessir,” the Gran said, hardly moving.  “I’m sorry, but… it’s a bit of a mess right now, sir.  Do you know the names of the patients – erm, the pilots – that you want to talk to?”

“We can start with Sam Dunn.  I’ve promoted him to Warrant Officer Second Class, but I don’t know if the order transmitted down here properly; you could have him listed as an SCPO, still.  Anyway, he’s the CO of the 50th, callsign ‘Dunny.’”

The alien nurse’s tawny skin seemed to blanch a bit.  He nodded.  “Erm, well, yes sir.  I know the Chlovi Cat SCO.  If you’ll follow me, sir?”  He turned and started walking briskly.  When he passed through the outer doors to the hospital area, he snapped his pudgy fingers, and a Human subordinate came out to man the duty desk.

Trykon hurried to follow the nurse.

“Do you know… erm, that is to say, have you been told of the patient’s condition?” the Gran asked when Trykon pulled up alongside and matched his pace.

“Not in any detail, no,” Trykon groused.  “The only report I could get said he was wounded, but that his condition was stable.”  Trykon’s worry was evident in his voice, but it felt inappropriate to acknowledge that Dunny was his friend.  “The man’s one of my most promising squadron leaders,” he explained instead.

The Gran walked on in silence for a moment.  It almost looked like he was subtly shaking his head.  “Yes sir,” was all he eventually said.  They walked past operating rooms and banks of bacta tanks – most occupied – and then into a massive recovery ward.  Toward the back, they stopped in front of a small, curtained-off space, one of hundreds.  “This is him, sir,” the nurse said quietly.  “Senior Chief Petty… erm, that is to say: Warrant Officer Second Class Sam Dunn.”  The three-eyed nurse saluted again, and left without another word, clearly uncomfortable.

Trykon had had a sinking feeling since the Gran first recognized Dunny’s name, but as the nurse walked away, he resolved not to give in to dread.  “Dunny,” the CNW said cheerfully from outside the curtain, “it’s Trick.  Knock knock.  Do you mind if I come in?” he asked politely, before smiling and pulling back the dividing curtain…

…only to find the young pilot scowling in bed, his arms crossed and his eyes wet, missing one leg.

Trykon’s breath caught in his throat as the fact of the amputation sunk in.  Too late, he realized he was staring, and then when he realized his mistake, he had to fight not to cringe visibly.

“How are you doing?” he asked stupidly.

***


Thirty minutes later, Wyl Trykon closed the curtain behind him, and walked away.  His eyes were not dry.  Because in his balled-up fist he held Sam Dunn’s flight wings.

He pulled out his datapad, and while he walked he sent a quick message to his Fleet Executive Officer, Commander Ambril Krieg, and his Wing Commander, Lt. Cmdr. Seth Qorbin: “We need a need a new Squadron Commanding Officer for the 50th.”

OOC:
1,055 words.  Reconciling IC and OOC.

AAR: Trykon wants to visit the injured pilots from Blade Wing, to thank them for their service, wish them well in their recoveries from their physical injuries, and counsel them through their psychological and emotional trials.  Unfortunately, an attack with ion weapons during the recent battle has left the communication and administration systems for the ship's hospital facilities malfunctioning.  Annoyed, Trykon heads down to the medbay in person, and asks to see Sam "Dunny" Dunn (He has a promotion to announce, and a friend to see).  But the conversation does not go according to plan.  Dunny has lost a leg, and despite Trykon's wishes, the Chlovi SCO turns in his wings.  Reluctantly, Trykon starts looking for a successor for the position of Cobalt Leader.
CNW/CPT Wyl "Trick" Trykon/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE

[SoA][SoV][BWC][NSM][E][NAR][HNS][DSM][SWC][1NS][VC:B][LoM][VC:S][NC][GWC][VC:G][CoB][CC:3][2NS][LSM][VC:E][MSM]
(=*AE*=)(=*SAE*=)(=*TG*=)(=*SCFE*=)(=*FOCE*=)

TRN/AD Trykon/DJO/VEDJ
[This message has been edited by Trick (edited February 19, 2013 7:00:11 PM)]
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