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Topic:  VEN: Counterpunch: War
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  VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 4, 2012 6:31:29 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
The discussion thread for this story can be found here.

CNW’s office, Station Cappadocious
The Vectra System
The Vast Empire

“No, Admiral,” Wyl Trykon said, shaking his head at the holographic likeness of a Wookiee which was floating above his desk, “I don’t think so.  The Lancer-class is impressive, to be sure, but they’re a bit slow, for their size.  I’d prefer to transfer all of them to First Fleet, and take on more Strike-class Cruisers to fill out the line-up.  If we’re going to war, I want us to hit hard and fast, and any support craft I bring along need to be able to keep up, and adapt to whatever comes at us.  A slow, specialty vessel like the Lancer would be a hindrance almost as often as it would be a help.”

A sudden soft chime announced that someone was outside Trykon’s office.  He frowned, just as Vice Admiral Krazanr growled another question.  Trykon shook his head again, more forcefully.  “Come in,” he called out, distractedly, and the door slid open.  He continued speaking into the holocam, without looking up: “Admiral, my interview is here, for the staff officer position.  To answer you, briefly: I am worried about enemy bombers and snubfighters, but not overmuch.  The Navy’s spent a decade training up aces and fine-tuning ace-making machines: our pilots and our starfighters are the best in the Galaxy.  Second Fleet will rely on her TIE screen, sir, and you can keep the Lancers.”  He forced a grin, despite the exhaustion he felt.  “Trykon, out.”

With the connection severed, Trykon let out a quiet sigh.  “Now, then, Mrs. Krieg,” he began to say, as he turned to face his visitor for the first time, “you come highly recommended, and after looking at your file…” Trykon trailed off, mid-remark, as he finally noticed the being in front of him.  He was expecting to see Ambril Krieg, a forty-five year old Coruscanti woman he’d selected as a possible Executive Officer of Naval Warfare.  But instead, there was only a very short, very young-looking Human boy with a mess of jet black hair and a shoulder patch that identified him as a Senior Crewman.  Trykon was too surprised even to react, at first.  After a moment, he sputtered, “You… Who are you?”

The young man didn’t bat an eye, as if his presence was perfectly natural.  “Senior Crewman Jak Marr, sir, reporting for duty as the Commander’s orderly,” he said breezily, as if he spoke to members of the Navy’s High Command every day.

“My orderly?” Trykon asked incredulously.  Years before, the Kuati had maintained a large household, with many servants, but that felt like another lifetime.  “I don’t need a valet, I need a damn Department XO!”

“Oh, yes sir, of course,” this Jak Marr fellow agreed happily.  “All the same, I’ve been assigned to you, and I’ve just popped in to tell you that Commander Krieg is waiting in the corridor.”  To Trykon’s considerable dismay, the kid’s smile was utterly disarming.

Just what I need… a charming distraction, he thought ruefully.  “Well, don’t just stand there, grinning like an imbecile, Mister Marr!  Send her in!”  The kid loped off to comply, and Trykon caught himself smiling.  “Focus, Wyl,” he told himself when Jak had gone, shaking his head as if banishing a thought.

The door opened again, and this time, it admitted the tall, willowy woman Trykon had been expecting all along.  “Ah, Mrs. Krieg,” he said, rising from his seat in greeting.  He indicated a chair.  “Please, take a seat.”

Under her officer’s cap, Krieg’s bright blue eyes seemed to take stock of the man in front of her.  The look didn’t last long, before she primly sat, as invited, but Trykon couldn’t help but notice it.

“I need an XO for the Warfare Department,” he said without any ado.  “Your file is impressive, and you come highly recommended from the personnel wonks.  Want the job?”

She pursed her lips, and her eyes narrowed every-so-slightly, but her response came a mere moment later: “It would be an honor, sir.”

“Excellent,” Trykon said heartily.  “We’re taking on two more Strike-class cruisers, and two more Nebulon B frigates, and transferring two Dreadnaught-class cruisers and two Lancer-class frigates over to First Fleet.  The names and registries are listed here,” he said, handing her a datapad, “and the transfer needs to be complete in the next… two hours,” he finished, glancing at the wall chrono.  He looked up, expectantly.  “So, you should get to work, Commander.”

Krieg’s lips twitched up at the corners.  “Yes sir.  Thank you, sir,” she said, standing.

“Don’t thank me yet, Commander,” Trykon said, stopping her before she could leave.  “I’m asking you to do the impossible: take thirty capital ships which have been out on campaign – thirty ships that need repairs and resupply – and you must get them all ready for all-out war, all in less than two days.  If you fail to meet this superhuman timetable, Mrs. Krieg, we may lose our chance to finally kill this enemy.”

“We can’t have that, sir,” the older woman said, with a sour grin.  “The fleet’ll be ready on time.  You’ll see.”  She saluted, and withdrew.

“I like her,” he admitted aloud after she’d gone.  He stared at the pile of datapads on the desk, and slumped, elbows on desktop, rubbing at his eyes with the heels of his hands.  “Time for a nap, Wyl,” he muttered to himself.

“Yes sir, I think some sleep would do you a world of good.”

Trykon snapped his eyes open and half-stood, at the unexpected voice.  Standing at the door was the same, still-smiling Senior Crewman!  “Mister Marr,” Trykon began, warningly.

But he couldn’t finish.  The young man raised both hands, as if in surrender.  He was still grinning.  “I’m sorry!  I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.  I came in to properly introduce myself, is all, but you were resting.  Sir, you need to sleep, and Commander Krieg can handle things for a few hours.”

The kid was probably right with the end of that sentence, and the first part was definitely true.  “Fine.  I’m heading to my quarters.”  The boy’s face lit up.  “No, you’re not coming with me, Mister Marr,” he said exasperatedly.  “When I wake up, among the many, many decisions I have to make, I’ll I'll also decide what to do with you, because I most assuredly do not need an orderly.”

“Whatever you say, sir,” Jak said, before flashing another grin.

Trykon harrumphed, and fled the office.

1,082 words.  A little fun introducing two NPCs.  The first is personal, to give poor Trick some companionship: a batman, named Jak Marr.  The second is more generally interesting, I should think: an NPC temporarily filling the role of XNW (the CNW's second-in-command).  She will be the one whipping everyone into shape in-story, in the coming days, so she should be fun to play with in your posts (love her, hate her, etc.), but her job will be up for grabs at the end of this story, for ANYONE in the Navy who impresses me enough, Fleet Command or Starfighter Corps.

After Action Report: Trykon discusses his philosophy for Second Fleet with Stormz, revealing that he wants a more mobile, more adaptable offensive force, that relies on starfighters and capital ships working in support of one another.  He meets a young Senior Crewman who's been assigned as his orderly, and an older Commander who will serve as his XO in the Warfare Department.  He's set the goal that the reformed, refit, and repaired Second Fleet - some thirty vessels, all told, including an all-new starfighter wing on his command ship, the Adjudicator - will be ready to depart in just two days.  A tall order, but he knows that time is of the essence.
CNW/CDR Wyl "Trick" Trykon/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE


[This message has been edited by Trick (edited December 4, 2012 6:45:24 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Trick (edited December 4, 2012 7:51:18 PM)]
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 4, 2012 6:32:57 PM    View the profile of Dunny 
“One to Squadron, check in.”
The man spoke with an slightly casual, jovial air, though there was an undercurrent of tension in the exotic Kathol Outback accent as it came over the speakers of the members of 50th Squadron. Their leader, promoted straight from a mysterious absence into command, had done his best to adjust to his new command, but he was just human. His scarred face hidden by the full-face flight helmet that all Imperial Pilots wore, he settled back into the wampa-hide cover over the seat of his cockpit, the TIE Interceptor's Twin Ion Engine throbbing beneath and behind him as the interceptor waited in the hangar's launch rack, like a war-beast chomping at the bit. He affectionately patted the dashboard with a gloved hand. Soon he soothed the beast mentally, his nervousness slowly melting away as the prospect of combat neared. He turned his head, feeling the bones in his neck pop as he eased out the tension, and waited for his new Squadron to check in.

“Two here, green light.”
He could hear two's Twin Ion Engine throbbing just behind his own fighter, his wingmate just behind him on the launch rack, ready to follow him into hell and back. Two was a true veteran, a man whom should have been leading a Squadron long ago, and would have been were it not for his blatant refusal to accept any of the promotions offered to him. The man had settled into the 50th without any issues, and had already become something of a father figure to the team, along with 10, Cresh's flight commander. Solid, dependable and utterly reliable, the man sounded completely calm and focused, and the Commander knew that there wasn't anyone he'd rather have watch his back. Emperor knew, with his flying style, he certainly needed the backup.

“Three, green.”
His voice was young and eager – that of a kid fresh out of the Imperial Academy, with all the spit, polish and bravado that came from being untested in combat. One of the many newbies that had been assigned to the squadron, Three had scored top marks in the Academy, and was a promising student, with a knack for surviving seemingly impossible situations. If he could just learn to stop underestimating the enemy and get a bit of caution through his Imperial-regulation hair and into his skull, he'd make a great pilot. He was popular with the newbies in the squadron, though the vets had yet to warm up to the brash, over-eager pilot.

“Four, all systems green.”
Heavily accented by the Duros's unique psychology, Four's voice sounded relatively strange, but it was something that the squadron members had gotten used to in their time with him. Though he was full of wild stories of the Vast Imperial squadrons of old, he had yet to actually serve in a combat sortie himself – a fact that his easygoing nature and excellent piloting skills did a lot to conceal. He made a good wingmate to Three – the Duros was one of the only newer members of the squadron to be able to keep up with his comrade's erratic flying. The fact the two were firm friends helped too, the Commander didn't doubt.

“Five, green across the board.”
The Squadron's 2nd In Command was the real deal, a multi-ace with plenty of victories under her belt and dozens of kill-markers on her TIE. The female Twi'lek barely dodged the catastrophe of Lehon and was there for the infancy of the now-infamous Regents Squadron that filled so many of Four's wild tales. She'd served in Nightshrike, Tuk'ata and now she was the Executive Officer of the 50th – and she'd already made herself indispensable. The Commander knew that without her, the squadron wouldn't be nearly as ready for war as it was now. Compared to a veteran of her calibre, he was still a babe in the woods.

“Six, green...for now.”
Another veteran, though not quite of the calibre of his flight leader, Six's voice was calm and collected, possibly even with a hint of boredom. He'd been doing this a while now, and he knew the ropes. The man's piloting skill was matched only by his cynicism – he'd seen far too much to buy into the 'galactic heroes' hype that the newbies were all eating up. It had taken a little effort to get the man to be a part of the team at first, but after that nudge he had settled right in, and was starting to show some admirable initiative and had contributed some good ideas for the newly-formed Squadron. He was focused on the task, totally serious and ready to go.

“Seven, all good here, bossman.”
If Six had been serious and disciplined, then Seven was anything but. He spoke in a sleepy drawl, and definitely sounded bored. The man was...The Commander shook his head and raised an eyebrow, privately wondering how the lout had ever gotten through the Academy. His uniform was always a mess, he couldn't stand up straight to save his life, and odds were the man was reclined in his cockpit, boots propped up on the dashboard. If it wasn't for the fact the man had apparently saved one of the high-ups lives by accident and flew with a natural grace that many envied, the Commander would have had him booted out days ago.

“Eight, seeing some minor stabiliser fluctuation, but I can handle it.”
That was troubling, but if anyone could handle mechanical problems, it was Eight. An ex-smuggler and quite possibly an ex-pirate as well, the man's coloured history was the stuff of rumour and legend amongst the squadron. Apparently, he'd been recruited to the Vast Empire at the point of a blaster and had fallen in love with the woman holding it. The man was an experienced freighter pilot, but hadn't quite gotten the hang of the lighter Interceptors yet. Strangely enough, he and Six had somehow become best friends.

“Nine, green.”
Another oldtimer, one that technically outranked the Commander himself, Cresh Leader was another oddity – a mystic whom had been around before Lehon and had disappeared for a decade on some kind of idealistic crusade. He had only just returned when the 50th was activated. The Commander wasn't sold on the man yet, finding his hokey religion more than a little unnerving, but there was no doubting the man's leadership ability or piloting skill. The Commander just didn't trust the man to not suddenly run off on some kind of mystical quest in the middle of a dogfight.

“Ten, reading green.”
Her voice was light and cheery, but nothing less could be expected of 10, whom the Commander had never seen in any other mood than upbeat. He could tell that her permanent happiness was forced, however, a coping mechanism that helped her to cope with the horrors of war. Not the best pilot in the squadron, her creativity and tactical thinking had more than made up for her shortcomings, and the Commander had placed her as 9's wingmate, knowing that she would be able to exploit the openings he made in the enemy's defences. She was damn cute, too.

“Eleven, green.”
Eleven, mockingly nicknamed Three-Eyes, was every bit as cheerful and sociable as Ten, and was definitely at his most comfortable in the company of others. A three-eyed Gran, his people had evolved to be a very social people, and he made for an excellent team member, happy to help others with a twinkle of mirth in his eye. Fresh out of the academy, he was a promising flyer, but only time would tell if the alien pilot would prove himself to be as useful a member to the team in the cockpit as he was out of it.

“Twelve, all systems are green.”
At first glance, Twelve appeared to be a bastion of Imperial discipline and sanity amongst the otherwise mentally flexible Cresh Flight. A scientist in her previous occupation, she was cool and analytical, though unlike the rest of her Cerean people, she was a fast thinker with a tendency to play fast and loose with the rules. Another newbie from the Academy, her top marks had translated well on the simulations so far, and the Commander had little doubt that when her trial by fire came, she would perform exceptionally well.

The Commander cracked his knuckles and grinned to himself as he heard his Squadron – that was a thought he was going to have to get used to: HIS Squadron – report total battle readiness. A few days ago, he hadn't met the vast majority of the members, but through hard drilling and near-constant simulations they had began to transform themselves into a cohesive unit, learning each other's strength and weaknesses and working with both. This simulation would be the last test, a challenging scenario against Jexxel Squadron, another new squadron that had proven themselves to be a force to be reckoned with.

His own Interceptor had a dashboard full of green lights and a tank full of fuel – totally ready for battle. He had long since pushed the fact it was just a simulation from his mind: Everything was realistic in here, from the g-forces in atmospheric flight to the shudder of the Twin Ion Engine under his feet. He grinned, and keyed in the channel for the Adjudicator's flight control, patching himself through to the Squadron's own flight officer, a human from Tatooine named Halivan Quinn.
“50th to Adjudicator – Squadron is ready to launch.”
The reply was quick when it came, with only a short pause in between the Commander's message and Halivan's confirmation.

“Adjudicator to 50th, understood. Launching in 5...4...3...2...1.”

With that, the whole world seemed to lurch as the launch catapult that held his Interceptor, Cobalt 1 (nicknamed Findsman) in the hangar spat him out like a bad taste, sending the lightning-fast starfighter screaming out from the hangar bay of the Interceptor. He leaned down a little on the control yoke, a subtle dive that took his craft out from under the belly of the Star Destroyer and into the blackness of space. Already, Cobalt Five and Cobalt Nine were on either side of him, forming up into Squadron formation as the next fighters in the three launch catapults the Squadron had were tossed out into the void.

“Assume Aurek formation and prepare for data-feeds from Adjudicator.” He called out to the others on the comm Cobalt 2 fell into formation behind and above him, watching the Squadron Leader's back as he watched the squadron neatly fall into formation. Cobalt Five dropped into place below and to his left, and Cobalt Nine slid into position below him and to his right. The flight members took up formation a little outward and behind their leader, with the squadron forming a three-dimensional arrowhead, with the Commander in the front. Aurek formation was useful because it allowed everyone to see at least one other pilot, making keeping formation easy and visual scanning constant.

“Adjudicator to 50th, Two flights of hostile TIE Interceptors detected. Downloading co-ordinates and targeting data to your computers now.”

Only two flights? Jexxel must be holding one in reserve as an ambush unit. It was obviously a trap, but the question was how best to spring it. He knew that his team's pilots were slightly greener than Jexxel Squadron, but they'd been practising their teamwork since 50th had been formed. So long as they were smarter than the other team, they would win this little exersize. At least, that's what the Commander hoped.

“Flight Leaders, we've only got two of their flights on scope. It'll be a trap. Aurek will flush 'em out. Besh, when we pull out, that's your chance to take out anything that hops on our tail. Cresh, you're mobile reserve – if Besh gets in trouble or we find that third flight, you pounce and you pounce hard.”

Acknowledgements came in from Five and Nine, the leaders of the two other flights of 50th Squadron. It was simple wingmate tactics taken to the obvious next step, but with the added flexibility of a reserve in case things got nasty. It would be up to the flight leaders how they went about getting their orders done – he trusted them to have enough creativity to figure it out. After all, they'd been doing this for a  few days now, hopefully they'd have the hang of it by now.

His fingers rested on the throttle as targeting data from the enemy ships popped up on his targeting computer, and he knew that the rest of his Squadron was getting fed information straight from the massive sensors of the Adjudicator as well.
“Allright Aurek team, we're going in, stinging them and then pulling straight out. Watch each other's backs and make sure to break before you get range – that way they won't be able to catch you. On my mark...



WORD COUNT: 2182 Words.

50th Squadron is engaged in a simulated match against Jexxel Squadron in open terrain. Jexxel's pilots are more experienced than us, so make sure to pay attention to wingmate tactics and evasion. You've been training constantly in flight maneuvers and wingmate tricks for the past few days, so it should be fresh in the pilot's minds, even if the names of the other pilots are still a little fuzzy.

Jexxel is GOOD, so this should be a challenge. Aurek flight will draw out the enemy, then Besh Flight springs the trap (that's you, Maroy and DR). I expect to see some CD and teamwork – use IRC or PM's to plan out your attack. Remember, this is our chance to prove we're the best Squadron on the Adjudicator – make me proud, people. Once you guys are in position, I'll post again and start the dogfight proper.
SCO|SCPO Sam "Dunny" Dunn
Cobalt One|S:50 "Chlovi" W:101 "Blade"
ISD Adjudicator|TF:A|2FL|SC|VEN|VE

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[This message has been edited by (edited December 6, 2012 3:21:44 PM)]
[This message has been edited by (edited December 6, 2012 3:23:55 PM)]
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 4, 2012 6:43:46 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
Governor-General’s Palace, Tilsec Prime
The Tilsec System
The Imperial Dominion

“There’s nothing to worry about,” Governor-General Vasilov Karstok proclaimed, his sharp facial features bathed in the multicolored glow given off by the tactical hologram of Imperial Dominion Space which floated above his desk.

Donnel Zaqarian, for his part, spoke with far less certainty, wary of angering the volatile leader of the Dominion: “Isn’t there, Governor-General?  The Vast Empire smashed our invasion fleet, and burned the border worlds.  T-8-chex is gone.  It’s clear they’ve found the Bloodmoon Corridor, and our delegation to Kamlott has gone silent.  They must be gathering for a final assault.  And you’ve left the border completely undefended!”  His passion got the better of him, and his voice crescendoed as he gestured at the hologram, toward the cluster of star systems around T-8-chex.  The border worlds were empty… not a single icon denoting an ID warship was present.  “After everything that’s happened, don’t you think you’re underestimating them?”

Karstok leveled a withering gaze at the Premier.  Zaqarian swallowed heavily, as his throat went dry.  “Do you have a magical way to transport our Thrawnist allies though The Tangle, Donnel?” he asked in a caustically sarcastic tone.  “Because if you don’t, then the fact remains that we are cut off from reinforcements, even if that alien Grand Admiral could be convinced to part with any, for the foreseeable future.  I have to make due with what we have.”

Zaqarian bowed his head in a gesture of acceptance and apology.

“Now,” the Governor-General continued, “I know how little you like being kept in the dark, Donnel, and as a reward for your unwavering support of this office in the past couple weeks,” he smiled condescendingly, “I’ll clue you in.  The plan is to gather all of our forces here, at the Sollamen Asteroids,” he said, pointing to a star system on the map for emphasis.  It was adjacent to the Bloodmoon System: the first system beyond the Tangle, in Imperial Dominion Space proper.  The map location was marked with several navigational hazard icons and color-codes, some of which were unknown to the Premier.

Zaqarian studied the map for a moment, and despite himself, he couldn’t remain silent.  “But you’ve left the border worlds wide open!” he erupted, still thinking of the heart-wrenching messages his office had been told to ignore.  “We’re still receiving distress calls from our colonies – they’re desperate for our help, dying.  And if the Vast Imperials invade along the T-8-chex Trade Route – which would be the traditional course of action – there’s nobody to stop them!”

“They won’t,” Karstok said with iron certainty.

“But… please, Governor-General… how can you be so sure?”

“You said it yourself, Donnel.  Our border colonies are flooding us with distress calls.  The Vast Imperial raid was designed to draw our attention to the T-8-chex area.  It was a feint!  They retreated the moment they encountered significant resistance, and they left us to clean up the mess.  I intend to confound their expectations.  And besides,” he added, his features twisting into a grim grin, “you’re forgetting the most important strategic reality of all: the Bloodmoon facility is the Dominion's most powerful – and most vulnerable – weapon.  We must give our people there all the time they need to complete their work.  If the Vast Empire even suspects what is going on at Bloodmoon, then the laboratory will be the first target of their counter-invasion, and so, yes, I have gathered what strength we have at the Sollamen Asteroids.  They will fortify that system as a fallback position.  And meanwhile, when the Vast Imperials come to Bloodmoon – and they will come – the Sollamens are just a short jump away.  We’ll throw everything we have at them, and stop them in their tracks,” he concluded, confidently.  “And if the worst happens, and we’re forced to abandon Bloodmoon… well, they won’t get past the Sollamens.”

Zaqarian glanced at the Sollamens on the map again, trying to parse the layered icons and warning labels.  He wondered what surprises the Governor-General had in store for any Vast Imperials who made it past Bloodmoon to the asteroid field.

But before he could ask, a silver E-3PO droid tottered into the room, servos whirring.  “Governor-General Karstok, please excuse the interruption, but I have a Doctor Rakelle Vice here to see you,” the droid said in its curious mechanical voice.

“Ah, Doctor Vice,” Karstok said warmly, as he rose from his desk to shake her hand, “your timing is impeccable.  We were just talking about your project: the hope of all the Dominion.”

Two stormtroopers had escorted the white-coated woman in, and they stood at attention to either side of her.  Their presence made Premier Zaqarian uncomfortable: they looked more like jailers than bodyguards.

“We are very close to perfecting the strain, Governor-General,” Doctor Vice said, after withdrawing her hand as quickly as she could without being rude.  “I’ll spare you the details of our experiments and processes, but the long and short of it is this: If you can hold them off for two more days, I can give you your plague.”  Her frown after she said the word betrayed her distaste for the concept.

But Karstok seemed oblivious to her discomfort.  “It will target the species-defilers, too?” he asked, almost gleefully.

“That’s… that is correct,” Vice said with a nod.  “At the conclusion of this incubation period, we will have a highly virulent strain of Hive Virus, engineered to infect nonhumans and any human being who has spent significant amounts of time in close proximity to members of the target mammalian alien species.  Again, that’s Bothans, Cereans, Gran, Drall, Duros, Selonians, and Wookiees.”

Karstok rubbed his hands together.  “Most impressive, Doctor.  A special plague, just for the VE.  Mortality rate?”

“99.74 percent.”

“So, that’s it, then,” Karstok said.  “If we can hold them off for two days, then it doesn’t matter how many ships they have.  With this virus, we’ve won.”

990 words.

AAR: Governor-General Karstok of the Imperial Dominion has anticipated Trykon's battle plan, and has repositioned the entirety of his military at the Sollamens Asteroid Field, the first system any invasion fleet will enter, beyond Bloodmoon.  He has nasty surprises in store for us if we break through, and the forces there will be just minutes away from Bloodmoon, ready to intervene if/when we attack.  Doctor Rakelle Vice, a member of the Bloodmoon team, arrives to report that the plague they've been working on - the Hive Virus that not only kills nonhumans, but also any humans who've spent time among aliens - is almost ready.  It's now a race: we get to Bloodmoon and stop them, or countless billions of our citizens could die.
CNW/CDR Wyl "Trick" Trykon/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE


[This message has been edited by Trick (edited December 4, 2012 7:54:12 PM)]
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 5, 2012 9:11:01 AM    View the profile of Serpent 
Pherik ‘Serpent’ Zail was sat in his office on the CR90 Defiance when the transmission came in.  The com unit on his desk beeped to notify him of the incoming message, and he put down the datapad he was studying to flick the acknowledgement switch.

“Incoming holo-call from High Command, Captain,” Came the deep and muffled voice of his Kel Dor First Officer.

“Put it through, Mr Eosel,” Said Zail calmly, taking a quick moment to smooth his uniform and sit a bit straighter in his chair.

The com unit switched to hologram projection mode, and suddenly the air above the desk was filled with the image of Commander Wyl Trykon.  “Hello, Pherik,” He greeted warmly, “Good to see you.”

“And you too, sir,” Said Serpent, genuinely pleased to see his old friend.  They were both busy men these days, and had not had enough time to catch up recently.  “What can I do for you?”

Trick smiled, his grey-green eyes flashing noticeably even in hologram form.  “Actually, Pherik, it’s what I can do for you.  We are assembling the fleet to continue our campaign against the Imperial Dominion, and I have need of a fleet Executive Officer.  I’d like to offer you the position.”

Zail could not keep the look of joy and surprise from his face!  For a second he just sat there, stunned.  He had only recently finished his brief appointment as the temporary commander of Taskforce Aurek, serving as such during their raid on Dominion worlds, and he had been wondering if he had done a good job or not.  For the Chief of Naval Warfare to offer him this position seemed to confirm that he had at least performed satisfactorily.

“Well, of course I accept!” He said at last.  “Thank you, sir!”

“Ah but there is more,” Continued Trykon.  “The job also comes with a perk...”


Serpent strode onto the bridge of the Defiance with a massive smile upon his face, feeling better than he had in a long time.  His bridge crew turned to regard their CO and his uncommon good cheer, and his grin only grew.

“Sir, are you alright?” Asked Mr Eosel.

“Very much so, Vagen,” He told his XO.  “People, I want you to be the first to know that I am getting transferred.  The Chief of Naval Warfare has seen fit to grant me the VSD Brilliant, and I have accepted.”

The assembled command deck personnel were warm and appreciative in their applause at his announcement, offering words of approval.  However, when his helmsman, Ysanne Samasl, said “we’ll miss you, sir,” he frowned.

“Miss me?” Pherik echoed.  “Oh no, you misunderstand.  You are all coming with me!”

Soft-spoken Khil, Xela Fendar, widened her eyes in horror.  “But... sir!  With all due respect, I’ve never commanded such a large engineering department as on a VSD!  Perhaps you would be better...”

He raised a hand to forestall their objections.  “People!  You are my crew.  I need men and women I can trust at my side,” And silently added, Besides, Trick has taken all the existing command staff with him to the Adjudicator.

“Even me?” Asked smart-mouthed Com Officer, Dev Mishima.

“Even you, Mr Mishima,” Said Zail.  “You are going to be with me for a long time.  And when I am dead, I have left orders for you to be entombed alive with my corpse,” He said, smiling.

“I hate you so much, Captain,” Said Dev bluntly.

“I know,” Said Serpent and then set his face and tone to business.  “Okay people, we don’t have much time.  Set course for the Vectra System, where we shall rendezvous with the fleet and transfer to our new ship.  We only have a couple of days to get settled in and ready for battle.  Let’s go!”


The fleet amassing at Vectra was slightly confusing at first, and as the Defiance arrived in system Serpent, looking through the bridge viewport, could make out ships of both the First and Second Fleets.  Looks like a major re-alignment of our forces, he thought.

He could not see the Brilliant anywhere, but then there were so many ships blocking his view.  They came in and docked at the Platform Cappadocious, and from there Zail and his senior staff transferred to a shuttle that took them to their new vessel.

The pilot took them swiftly and skilfully in and out of the busy fleet traffic, and as the Lambda came around past an intervening Dreadnaught, Pherik got a long look at his new ship, and it was love at first sight.

He had seen the Brilliant before, of course, but now he studied the sleek Star Destroyer with renewed interest.  The precise lines and smooth, dagger-like hull glinted in the light of the nearby Vectra star, revealing a ship that was a finely crafted testament to the skill of Kuati engineers.  Row after row of quad turbolasers, heavy turbolasers, and ion canons jutted from the superstructure, enough firepower to reduce whole cities to ash in mere minutes.  Deck after deck of lights gave hint to the six thousand plus crewmen within.

It was staggering.  And it was his.

His bridge officers were equally impressed, and began chatting amongst themselves.  Arrogant Doctor Padrin Praan murmured that finally his great skills were being rewarded with a true medical staff, and Chief Gunner Kol Yandeer rattled off statistics and figures relating to the ship’s destructive firepower.  Only Zail was silent, savouring the moment.

They docked and made their way to the bridge.  A Stormtrooper escort, four of the fully one thousand such soldiers on board, marched alongside their new commander.  Down long hallways and through efficient turbolifts they travelled, the smell of polish every present.  Crewmen saw Serpent and his entourage pass and saluted smartly.  He returned the gestures with a salute of his own, plus a self-indulgent smile of satisfaction.

In many ways the ship reminded him of the Halcyon Warrior, and though smaller than that Star Destroyer, he got more of a buzz off being on the Brilliant.  Was it the novelty of being Captain that had so changed his perspective?  He suspected so, but that was just fine.  Pherik had worked long and hard for this, and he planned to enjoy it.

Eventually they arrived at a bridge in the midst of frenzied activity.  The Brilliant had had its key personnel taken by Trykon to his new command, and it showed.  The remaining bridge officers were running about, trying to see to a dozen tasks at once, in order to resupply the ship after its last run at the Imperial Dominion.

“People,” Said Zail to his command crew, eyeing the chaos.  “We have work to do...”


It took several hours for Serpent to meet the bridge officers and integrate his people into their departments.  Eosel was settling in as First Officer, and doing a decent job of prioritising and organising the massive to-do list in order to make the Star Destroyer ready for its next mission.  Xela Fendar was already down in Engineering, getting to grips with her new and massive department, and Kol Yandeer was touring the weapons systems like a kid in a candy store.  The rest were all equally busy.

Finally, after a quick tour and some handshakes with crewmen that he knew he would soon forget the names of, Zail moved into his new office.

He pulled out some mementos that had once decorated his small ready room on the Defiance but it hardly filled the space available in the large room.  Perhaps he would have to invest in a wall hanging?  Perhaps one of his home world of Alderaan...

He had no time to consider it further, for he had plenty to do.  Settling into the surprisingly comfy chair, he called through to Mishima at the Coms Post and asked for a transmission to be sent to Fleet Command and routed to his office.

A few moments later and the torso of a stern-faced woman materialised before him.  Her thin features had no softness to them, and her eyes flashed with the annoyance of one who had little time to be contacted for a chat.

“Yes, Captain Zail, what is it?” She quipped.

Serpent cocked an eyebrow.  “Who are you?” He enquired, baffled as to her identity and how she even knew his name.

“Commander Krieg,” She said stiffly, “The new Executive Officer of the Warfare Department.  Now I repeat: what is so important that you see fit to interrupt Fleet Command while we are planning a major offensive?”

“Executive Officer of...” Pherik repeated dumbly.  He was instantly irked by her attitude, but since she was a Commander there seemed little he could do about it.  “I was just trying to get an estimate on some deliveries.  The Brilliant requires major restocks of...” He began, but she cut him off.

“I know all the requirements of your ship, Captain,” She told him tersely.  “Rest assured that they will be delivered before we depart.  Other ships have been prioritised before yours, so be patient.”

Prioritised before mine?” He echoed, trying to keep his irritation under control.  This woman had quickly got on his nerves.  “Commander, you may be the Warfare XO, but as of today I am the Taskforce XO, and I would very much like it if the second ship of this armada was resupplied immediately!”

“Be careful with that tone of voice, Captain,” Said Krieg sternly.  “Commander Trykon has put the logistics of this fleet’s readiness in my hands, to organise and execute as I see fit.  I have already told you once to be patient, and I do not like to repeat myself.  Request denied, Krieg out.”

And with that the transmission ended, leaving Zail feeling very deflated and tense.

This, he suspected, would not be the first time he clashed with Trykon’s new right hand...

1646 words.  My new ship, my new role, and my new problem superior!

After Action Report:  Serpent is transferred from the CR90 Defiance to the VSD Brilliant and becomes the new Taskforce Aurek XO.  Elated, he transfers to his new command, but swiftly gets a reality check when he clashes with the new Warfare XO, Commander Krieg.
SCAP/CWO Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE

"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
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 5, 2012 5:11:33 PM    View the profile of DeepSix 
One point six kilometers. That's how long a regular Imperial II-class Star Destroyer was. By pretty much all existing standards that was still one very large ship within the confines of the known galaxy. Despite this however, Seth Qorbin still found himself wishing it was even bigger still. Not because an even larger ship would've been even more dangerous as a result... Oh no. The blond Wing Commander simply found himself running out of places to hide on that mile long vessel.

Since his return from the previous mission that he did not officially partake in thanks to good ole' VENI cover-up stories, Qorbin had been plagued with one administrative nightmare after another. First was the transfer from Drac's ship, the Halcyon Warrior. This was also the easiest one to deal with as well - just get aboard, pack up all personal effects, sign off on a bunch of transfer approvals as well as another bunch of acknowledgement memos and voila! everyone was free to move over to the Adjudicator. Since both ships were ISD-IIs, the differences between them were rather minor anyway. The crew was most likely the biggest change...

Ah, the crew - the backbone of any ship, the ones doing all the work simply because others ordered them too, the little people without which no war machine could properly be operated... Well the crew happened to be Seth's next big problem. Not the Adjudicator's crew though. Nah, the men, women and other undetermined species serving aboard the Vast Imperial warship were after all strangers to the Onderonian officer. Well, with a few exceptions here and there... and even in the Captain's office too.

Still, the crew that Qorbin needed to deal with as soon as he unpacked was his own. In other words all the pilots serving on his wing. His wing... The very notion sounded so hollow and superficial - not unlike the blond Commander himself for that matter. For the longest time Seth Qorbin was respected and admired enough to be given command of what was without doubt the Vast Empire's best starfighter wing in a fairly long time, the Javelin.

Alas, the transfer to the Adjudicator also brought along a different sort of transfer - from the mighty Javelin to the very good, but not quite as good Blade. Perhaps it was a classic case of "my javelin's got a bigger reach than your blade" though - at least that's what Seth chose to tell himself when he begrudgingly took the assignment. In all honesty the man never particularly gave a damn about being famous in the first place. The fact that once upon a time, Blade Wing happened to be better than even Javelin also gave Qorbin hope.

Hope that under his leadership and thanks to the contacts he carefully cultivated throughout his career thus far, he would be able to once more repeat that history and in so doing regain the fame he had no interest in whatsoever - but that which all the same he preferred having, rather than not having. The one thing he liked best about the 101st Starfighter Wing was its reputation. Javelin may have been currently known as the best Vast Imperial wing out there, but the Blades were known as the most vicious. DeepSix as such had little doubt in regards to him getting used to the new environment. Plus the wing's patch looked better than the old one. So much more colorful, so much more... expressive. The Imperial officer would make damn sure to make that patch a symbol of dread and terror as far as the Dominion, the Remnant and especially the New Republic were all concerned.

Anyways, since he was not the only one getting transferred to a new wing that meant a whole lot of paperwork needed to be filed in, checked, double checked, triple checked and resubmitted to the cursed Imperial bureaucrats that ensured the fact that the regular citizens would never have any love for them. Never and under no circumstances in hell... Accursed leeches - Seth often thought of them whilst imagining the dead eyed clerks opening their mouths wide only to suck the very life essence from those they would encounter.

To populate the new wing, Qorbin had to use a mixture of existing Blades, a few transfers from Javelin - which he needed to pull a few strings to get, a few transfers from other wings and quite a few new recruits unfortunately. He tried to only choose the best, the brightest, the ones who looked like they'd be down with sharing a few drinks and playing a few hands of sabacc, the ones who would look good in skimpy female non-regulations bathing suits, the ones who would above all be there to watch his back in a dogfight and make him smile any other time.

The leaders of the other five squadrons were picked by the fairest possible means known to man - a credit toss. Well, twenty credit tosses to be specific... Seth Qorbin stared long and hard at the results and contemplated scrubbing them and trying again - a course of action he would've had no qualms undertaking if not for two impediments. The first was the fact that he did not believe Lady Luck should be crossed lest he was confident enough to brave her wrath afterward. The second was the fact that he was late for a meeting involving lots of free booze and a high stakes sabacc game.

So it came to be that the 101st Starfighter Wing ended up having Squadron Commanders such as the strange sounding Sam Dunn, the halfman Joamer and the blasted Hades - the latter an individual whom DeepSix knew all too well didn't like him. And I'm such a likable fellow too, the Onderonian pondered on the issue when he was all alone with his thoughts, yet in the company of an appealing glass of Whyren's Reserve.

On the plus side, Seth had managed to get his hands on a few precious members from his previous squadron, the best of the freakin' best - the Razors. The man had to forfeit some debts, threaten, go through the horrors of making proper and official requests along the chain of command and even beg and whine - only when nobody else was looking of course - to get what he wanted. Even so, he failed to get as many of the ace pilots as he had really wanted but then again a few good men were still better than a lot of unknown bastards that he only knew by boring looking service records...

"Lieutenant Qorbin!" a voice rang from across the wide corridor, causing most passerby to stop, turn and stare. How does she do it? Seth thought as he clenched his teeth harder and quickened his pace, all the while pretending not to hear. Less than a day from her appointment to War XO - or whatever the official designation was - and Commander Krieg was already trying to bury him under whole new mountains of paperwork. The whole damn Navy was on the verge of war with the Dominion, yet the middle aged woman seemed intent to fight her own battle with Seth on the nightmarish battlefield of bureaucratic BS.

On one hand the woman annoyed Qorbin if for no other reason than the fact that she was following all the small, tiny and hardly important sounding rules and regulations. On the other hand the Commander was showing impressive resourcefulness tracking the elusive blond WC throughout the huge ship all the while still supposedly preparing the entire fleet for war. Now that sort of multitasking level warranted a certain degree of respect and Seth Qorbin was not the sort to just ignore such truths.

I'm seriously running out of places to hide, the Vast Imperial officer cursed his luck as he tried blending in the crowd and making himself scarce as quickly as possible...

WC: 1329
AAR: Initial plan was to only read the story tonight and then star writing / possibly finish a post tomorrow whilst at work. Somehow felt in the mood to write tonight though and since I was in a somewhat good mood at that, decided to make this first post relaxing, enjoyable and hopefully at least a little bit amusing as well. An ice breaker if you will.

Nothing important happens yet, as I'm mostly just reiterating the VEN's reforms and how they affect me personally, how I end up dealing with the new wing and towards the end how I interact (or cleverly avoid doing so) with Tryk's NPC.

I intentionally left a few blanks as far as the wing is concerned - I'll fill those in as the story progresses and I also make time to properly finish the squadron's and wing's wiki pages. In regards to Tryk's NPC - I'm still deciding whether I'll hate her, respect her, like her, a combination of some or all the above or something entirely different still.
WC/LTJG DeepSix/Golden One/S:38th Vornskr/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE [=*TG*=] [=*VIM*=]

TRN/JRN DeepSix/DJO/Training Sect/VEDJ
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 5, 2012 8:54:25 PM    View the profile of Fyston 
"There you go," said Fyston politely as he finished stitching up a wound that had reopened. "Cover it and change the bandage at least every day. The gash is a nice size, though, so it'll take a few weeks before it's healed. Try not getting it wet for the next few days, either." As he finished, the gunner nodded and stuck his hand out, which Fy promptly but firmly shook. "Thanks, doc," said the gunner, grabbing his bag and walking out of the clinic.

With the recent battles, there were enough injuries to go around. The serious ones, those involving potential loss of life or limb, were taken care of first and most were shipped off to medical centers across the VE with replacements shipped in immediately. Lesser injuries were being handled by medics across the fleet, which allowed them to both gain experience and give the exhausted physicians and higher ranking medical personnel a rest.

Unfortunately, however, medical supplies were dwindling. Minor injuries still took up supplies, however small, and when there were more than five thousand people to account for on one vessel alone, the task got quite daunting. Sure, not every crew member was wounded, but there was a steady trickle of casualties into the medbays. Even when not in battle, accidents happened and injuries were sustained, further taking up supplies.

At first, there seemed to be enough supplies to go around but not enough personnel. Shuttles ferried available medics back and forth between ships to either assist in upcoming surgeries or help with the swarms of wounded. Now, however, medics were too common and medical supplies were in high demand. When there were spare supplies, which were often not enough to fill a CFAK, a Combat First Aid Kit, a medic returning to the ship brought them.

In a normal day, sick personnel could get treatment, though medics were turning away those who had a higher chance of normal recovery. To put it bluntly, the fleet was strapped for medical supplies and was doing its best to provide care for its crew members.

"Hey, flyboy, guess who's on her way here? The person in charge of our supplies. Go convince her to get us more gauze, medpacs know what? Tell her to bring us everything. We'll sort out what we need and store the rest." The Zabrak, looking at the man, smiled. "Yeah, yeah, Druhn. I'll go do that and you scrounge up old shirts for bandages."

Another round of joking later, Fyston exited the side door and made his way to where the older woman was waiting, datapad in hand. She looked irritated, angry even, and the Zabrak took on an empathetic look as he approached.

"Bad day," he asked politely. "Quite, Mr...," said the woman, trailing off to allow him to answer her question. "Sutsgy, ma'am. Fyston Sutsgy, at your service. If you don't mind, ma'am, would you mind walking toward the mess hall? There's quite a lot of activity here, and it's not conducive for effective communication. Plus, it'd only exacerbate your headache." She looked him over once and raised a questioning eyebrow. Nonetheless, they began walking.

"Ahh. Well, you see, ma'am, I'm a medic, but the nature of your position has to be stressful, doubly so considering everything you have to do within the next few days. I can only imagine the yelling and arguing you must endure. People can be jerks." Krieg responded with a chuckle, and Fy thought he saw the slightest glint in her eye as she looked up at him. "You have no idea," she began with a smile. "More people have yelled at me in the few hours that I've had this position than haven't. I can count on one hand who has talked to me this politely and I don't think Commander Trykon counts."


Thirty minutes later, Krieg was all laughs, the two silently talking in the mess hall despite having finished. "Well, Fy, I've got to say. I honestly expected another tirade about how your section was most important. I agree medicine is important, but there are twenty-nine other ships in the fleet. I'm glad that you see sense." Fyston smiled and took a sip of his water before responding. "I understand how difficult it can be doing such a big project. Someone has to do it, and I can't say I envy you."

And then Krieg said something that surprised even the veteran Zabrak. "Due to all of this commotion, I fear I've pulled a muscle. Would you mind doing me a favor and checking it out? My quarters would be far from the hectic medbay. Maybe afterwards we'll see about the medical supplies, hmm?"

With a knowing smile, Fyston nodded and stood, tossing both disposable plates into the trash. If this was how he was going to resupply the medical department, then he'd do it. Besides, she didn't look that bad, and he'd have fun resupplying the medical department.


Halfway across the ship, Zorne Kisgart slipped his black helmet over his head with a smile. Today, he'd be flying with his new squadron. They'd already flown together, but it was, for the most part, in the simulator. This was their first chance to test their skills against a real foe while having little to no threat of dying. He was proud of Chlovi squadron, and he'd watched them all closely.

During their training, Zorne made sure to keep pace. Obviously, it was all training that he'd done dozens of times before. He'd made the same mistakes that the other pilots had made, and he did his best to help them better themselves without seeming overbearing. With decades of flight experience in the Galactic Empire, and a few years in the Vast Empire, Zorne had been through everything that the other Chlovi pilots were going through. He spent an impressive amount of time with the new recruits, as well, making them feel welcome and establishing a relationship. With someone they could talk to that remained impartial and gave honest but friendly advice, it did wonders to improve morale and, through improved morale, improve performance, as well as making the squadron a little less like a strict military unit and a little more like home.

"Drinks are on me when we win this. We've been training nonstop for quite some time, and our easy time is drawing to a close. We need to celebrate before we go into combat and we need one family function that we can all enjoy before we go into a situation where someone dies." It may have sounded brutal, but Zorne needed to ensure that everyone was prepared, particularly the new transfers who had yet to fly a combat mission. Death was always a threat to starfighter pilots due to the nature of their MOS. When your shields failed and energy ripped through your hull, you tended to explode. Zorne made sure his boys were taken care of, but he didn't pamper them or protect them from the realities of war.

With the check-in complete, Chlovi squadron launched from their home, shooting off into space. Zorne followed their Squadron Commander into his dive, though he waited an extra second to allow him to fall in behind and above the man. Zorne had originally been offered to be Cresh's Flight Leader, though he'd declined. In fact, he didn't simply decline. After the first simulation, he'd contacted one of his boys that was in a position to change the roster and had him placed as Dunny's wingman. He didn't do it to watch the man or provide some form of intimidating message, but rather because Dunny's previous wingman, now known as Cobalt 7, refused to place himself in a position where he could die. Unfortunately for 7, that was where Dunny liked to be. Having decades of experience and a sense that you'd lived your life, as well as a desire to bring home everyone alive, allowed you to take risks in order to see the best outcome. In fact, after seeing the personalities and ways the various squadron members worked, Zorne had some changes made. They weren't major, as only two or three people were rearranged in total, but served to increase cohesiveness and performance of the squad.

When Dunny gave the order to charge, Zorne simply smiled and followed the Squadron Commander as he dove into the fight. The veteran increased the throttle to keep up with his wingman. As they approached the 'enemy' squadron, Zorne slowed his craft down, allowing Dunny to rush in after one of the Jexxel pilots. In typical fashion, the targeted pilot's wingman sandwiched Dunny in, firing at his rear with infrared shots that the shields would pick up. They were harmless, but the control panel would flicker when the pilot died.

As soon as the second Jexxel fell into Zorne's trap, the man sped up, sandwiching the very pilot who had sandwiched Dunny. He manipulated his lead indicator to allow for increased accuracy and fired, scoring three hits of five shots. The shields of the second Jexxel flickered after the second and Zorne's computer indicated light to moderate damage on the second fighter. Meanwhile, however, Dunny was having much more success. Though he had taken a hit or two, he had increased his rear shields to prevent shield failure and damage. Using an infrared 'missile,' Dunny had taken his target out of the fight, causing the Jexxel interceptor to flee from the fight and convincing his wingman to peel off and flee back to the safety of his friends. Dunny shot after him, and Zorne simply smiled and fell into a protective formation behind him.

WC = 819. It's a bit short, but I'll be editing in a second portion later involving an NPC in the 50th

AAR: The lack of supply in the medical portion is gone over and Fy rectifies this. By bedding his superior.

EDIT: My second portion is up and the word count for the fighter portion is 785, bringing the grand total up to 1614 words.

AAR: I go into a bit of what happened from Zorne's POV and the fight starts with Dunny 'killing' a fighter and Zorne scoring a few hits. Because of the fast nature of their attack, they've yet to be fully pounced on, but they could probably use backup.
JBO/CPO Fy/1-3/S:82 Tuk'Ata/W:245 Scimitar/mSSD Atrus/TF:A 2Flt/SFC/VEN/VE [SoA] [=^SUR^=] (CAR)
[This message has been edited by Fyston (edited December 6, 2012 10:25:43 AM)]
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 6, 2012 12:24:19 AM    View the profile of Joamer 
The shadow among shadows was quiet as he waited for the footsteps to reach him. His breathing was slow and even, his heart rate normal as he lightly gripped the rare particle magnum laying against the front chest-plate of his modified commando armor. I will not fear, fear is the mind killer. I will let it pass over me and through me. When it is gone there will be nothing, only I will remain. He thought to himself as he prepared himself for what was to come. The saying was old, but it help keep himself calm even during training moments like these. He knew anything could happen, and most of what he did he replied on fate and luck to see him through it. Being naturally lucky helped him pull off the insanity he was known for.

He did not move as he saw a blaster muzzle turn into the darkened room, his breathing did stop as he willed himself to become more of a shadow. He knew from experience not to under estimate his enemy now, at first they had been slow in understanding but finally they were beginning to catch on. The left shoulder plate bore the markings of a stun bolt that hit too close to home an hour ago, his arm still tingled every few minutes from the blast that had almost done him in.

His eyes never left the commando's eye-slits in his helmet as he turned more into the room, he knew from experience the stock armor had defects. One of them being the very dim light that came on around the eye-slits when night-vision was turned on. He heard the voice a few moments later from the trooper's comm unit "Rooms clear, move out." The dim lights never did come on around the eye-slits as the figure stepped out of the room.

Fools, this room is not clear in the slightest. Stepping to the other end of the doorway he peered down the length of the corridor the men had just came from to check to see if any more nasty surprises were waiting for him. Seeing none, he turned on his heel to see the three figures walking slowly down the hallway. Bringing up his particle magnum he thumbed it off safe and onto stun a second later he fired in quick succession three times before turning around and walking the way they had just come. He let the three soldiers slump to the ground unconscious, in ten minutes they would wake up to continue the game of cat and mouse. This time they were lucky the game was not prisoner, this time it was only hunter.

He did not know which ones they were, but he knew neither was his Rain or Edge. Their armor was different and they moved in a way that reminded people of water and air. Moving down the hallway he slid into a nearly hidden maintenance arch and vanished into the more remote bowels of the ship. To make things easier none of the instructors could team up together, but the students could build an alliance with each other, or one instructor if they wanted. On more than one occasion Joamer had seen a group that was too well guarded not to have done just such a thing. The group he had just left had not, and now they had a ten minute nap in compensation for not clearing a room correctly. Hopefully it would be a lesson they would not repeat every again, if that had happened and Joamer was truly an enemy they would be laying on the ground dying now because one mistake.

After Trykon had given them the plans for what he had in mind, Joamer had begun to plan and work himself. The weeks he had hoped they had to build a squadron capable of being what command wanted Strill to be was shortened to only days. They were given the nearly impossible task that would see them designed to fail and for the Navy to go back to the old ways. He knew if this idea failed more than just his scorched reputation was on the line. Trykon's and everyone who had stood for these plans would fall, normally Joamer would not have cared one way or the other but in Trykon he was beginning to find someone he would willingly follow blindly into hell.

To survive what was coming Joamer and those few who had experience in war like this had to go against army and navy doctrine. The squadron had to be broken, in a very short amount of time.

They marched into the squadron's barracks just as everyone was getting ready to get some much needed sleep and tossed down academy recruit overalls and jack-boots. Three minutes later every member of the squadron was jogging through the corridors of the Adjudicator to the astonished looks of the naval crew. The jogging sessions were broken by a recently designed obstical course deep in the underbelly of their new ship. He pushed them till they were ready to collapse, then pushed harder.

For twelve long hours he broke his squadron to what sat deep down inside, then made them look at what was revealed to them. Normally this was done after long months of training in the army, the navy rarely got to that point. He did not have the time required to mentally prepare the men and woman of what they would find when they looked deep inside. The ones that made it through that would be the stronger for it, they would be the ones who stood the highest chance of success in this mission. When it happened, it happened at different times for everyone. When it did one of the three instructors would take the man or woman into a different room and talk things over, help them through the transition point. When he or she returned to the group they stood a tiny bit taller, was more confident, breathed easier, and tried even harder to prove they wanted it.

Everything he asked them to do, he did first. To the astonishment of them he even failed the first few attempts but kept trying till it was done. He did this for two reasons, one was to show them he would never ask them to do something he would not do. The second, was to prove to himself he could still do this job. Two years of retirement had unfortunately made him slower than he used to be. He knew they hated him by this point, but the ones who would make it home at the end of the day would understand. The ones who would not make it back, would die on their feet shouting defiance at whoever took their lives. They would draw their last breaths with the knowledge the ones standing with them would bring them home.

None of the experienced soldiers took it easy on recruits, they attacked every time with everything they had. They never showed one tiny bit of encouragement when they recruit did not spend every ounce of strength and skill. Only when they landed a blow, or landed a shot did the word or two of encouragement happen. False hope was not something anyone needed, if you wanted it you earned it.

It quickly became apparent if you wanted something you went the distance for it. Joamer was sure by the end of the first day half the squadron was planning out ways to kill him, but they were still here. He knew they saw something new and exciting happening here and wanted to be the front line group that paved the way for the future.

After that things really took a turn for the worse. That was when their armor showed up, and the wargames began.

WC-1312. Joamer becomes a harsh taskmaster with designs to do only one thing. Bring home as many men and woman as possible. To do this, he breaks his squadron in the first day of formation. After that, things only get worse.
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] [SoV] [LoM]
In memory of Ghost squad, we will never forget.
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 6, 2012 12:55:15 AM    View the profile of Maroy 
Maroy was very nervous. It wasn't her first time as a squadron's executive officer, but she'd been less experienced the last time she'd been promoted. Less aware of all the things that could go wrong. On a huge campaign like this that was filled with so many unknowns, there were literally over a million things that could end in her squadron-mates' deaths. And she was willing to bet she'd find a way to blame every single one on herself.

Normally she tried to distance herself from the pilots she didn't already know very well, so she wasn't as affected when they died. But she'd finally realized it was futile. In a squadron like Chlovi, you needed the pilots to bond, to get to know each other. Everyone needed to understand and trust everyone else. And though she'd only been with Chlovi for a few days, she already thought of most of them as friends.

She had three pilots who served under her in Besh: Darian, Justy, and Tony. Darian, the only one she was particularly familiar with, had served in the now-defunct Nazgul squadron. While not distinguished enough to earn a command position in Tuk'ata or in Chlovi, he was a capable pilot with plenty of experience under his belt. Justy and Tony were still mostly unknowns- Justy seemed fairly immature and selfish, as well as being somewhat hesitant behind the flight controls of a TIE, while Tony was a battle-hardened ace both in the navy and, allegedly, out of it. The two had been good friends prior to their transfer to Chlovi, and their relationship had helped springboard them into their roles as wingmen. Between Darian's, Tony's, and her own experience, Besh flight was pretty well off.

Seeing Dunny again had brightened her mood significantly. She'd lost so many friends and fellow vets in the recent past, especially Cayden, Scral, and now Joamer. Having someone she trusted and could identify with, as her squadron commander, no less, brought her out of her cold mental isolation. She had a job to do now, and while she couldn't help but be nervous, by the gods she was going to do it.

Chlovi had been training nearly non-stop since Sam arrived, most of it in skirmishes against the other squadrons in Blade Wing. As far as they could tell, they were one of the precious few that the new Executive Officer of Naval Warfare actually liked. They'd even tried a quick run against the smug and elite Vornskr squadron, and though it had been a defeat for Chlovi, the elite pilots lost quite a few more simulated Avengers than they were used to. It was a useful exercise in humility for all involved. Almost immediately afterwards they flew in a cooperative simulation with the mostly green Krakana Bomber squadron, working together to defeat Jexxel and Gundark in an equal-forces Nebulon-B vs Nebulon-B engagement. Chlovi and Jexxel found themselves about evenly matched, but the latter's commander made a tactical error that exposed Gundark and allowed Dunny's team to gain the upper hand for the rest of the engagement. It was a very close Chlovi-Krakana victory and, naturally, the Jexxel commander requested a rematch. And so, after a few short hours of sleep, they were back in the sims.

Aurek closed in on the approaching Interceptors at top speed. Maroy and her charges followed as closely as possible without tipping off Jexxel to their plan.

"Alright, Besh, you heard the commander. Set your lasers for dual fire and mark your targets as soon as they break formation. Prioritize any fighters that get a lock on Aurek."

[[Acknowledged, Five. I've got your back.]]

[[Shoot straight this time, Eight.]]

[[As ordered, Seven.]]


Lunei found her mind wandering as she and the rest of Cresh circled the area well out of combat range. The main thing on her mind was Jak. And Vash. And Hades. And every other pilot they'd left back at Bloodmoon. They were alive, somehow. She was sure of it. There was no way they could die like that. Not them. No matter what the other pilots kept telling her. And when the time came, she was going to push harder than the rest of the Navy if she had to to get them back. But until then, she was going to make sure Chlovi was up to the challenge.

She'd only had a short time to get to know them, but Chlovi was proving to be quite an interesting group. She was Cobalt Ten, the wingman to Cresh's flight leader. Sheridan was absolutely fascinating, if a bit eccentric. He was almost legendary, known for performing crazy stunts and maneuvers that surpassed even Regents at times and for running into trouble with his superiors almost constantly. He seemed like a swashbuckling hero out of an old Corellian holovid, and hadn't hesitated to take her under his wing.

Cobalt Eleven was the Gran, Three-Eyes. He loved to strike up conversations about pretty much anything: gravball, the latest Interceptor upgrades, fashion trends on Coruscant, you name it. And no matter what you'd say, he'd never get angry, frustrated, or offended. He was fun to be around.

Twelve was an odd one. She analyzed everything quickly and thoroughly and made snap judgments based on her observations... and always ended up being correct. She'd shown up to the first Chlovi briefing wearing a tight non-regulation jumpsuit and prominently displaying a high-powered disruptor pistol on her hip. While Lunei wasn't exactly a stickler for rules either, she had to wonder how Kaitlyn got away with it... Although she did have her suspicions. Nevertheless, the Cerean had proved herself to be an incredible pilot for someone with no actual mission experience, and Lunei knew they'd become fast friends as soon as they got some time to socialize.

And of the rest of the squadron, she had to admit that Commander Dunn had especially grabbed her attention. His accent and scarring lent him an exotic air that left her hanging on his every word, and his observant bright blue eyes consistently arrested her attention. From what she knew of his records, he was highly skilled both in the cockpit and on the ground, and the past few days had proven his command abilities to her a thousand times over. She felt that as long as he was leading them, there was nothing they couldn't accomplish.

[[Cresh, keep your eyes open for that third flight. Aurek just engaged the hostiles.]]

WC: 1079
AAR: Recapped the squadron's actions over the past day or so and introduced the pilots of Besh and Cresh a bit more thoroughly. Aurek has just engaged Jexxel and Besh is in position to light 'em up when they move to pursue.
FM/WO2/Maroy/Cobalt 5/S:50 "Chlovi" W:101 "Blade"/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A|2FL|SC|VEN|VE (=*A*=) [GCM] [CBV] [IG] [MC2] [MC1] [VC:B] [LoM] [CC:P]
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 6, 2012 8:45:29 AM    View the profile of Grey 

Stepping off the shuttle, fresh from her mission, Ensign Grey moved swiftly.  Her boots rang loud on the black stone of the hallway, echoing down the deserted corridors.  There was life here, but very little of it, and few of the rooms she passed were occupied.  The Tower, the fearsome bastion of VENI strength, was home to Ensign Grey, and its silent corridors and dark decor had long ceased to bother her.

A scream to her right brought her to a halt, and she turned to regard the nearest door with her piercing eyes.  Curious, she keyed in her authorisation code, a master code that would unlock any door in the Tower, and stepped through.

The room beyond was a circular chamber with a vaulted roof.  Blood red lighting was provided from below, and it threw twisted shadows upon the walls.  In the centre of the chamber a human male lay almost naked, strapped to a metal table, bleeding in many places.  He was screaming in agony as a modified medical droid loomed over him, expertly making cuts and injecting drugs right into his nervous system.

She knew this one.  Lieutenant Stronast, captured at T-8-Chex and handed over to VENI for interrogation.  It was hoped that he would have some insight into the Imperial Dominion’s navy.

Ensign Grey watched for a moment, blind to the horror.  She was under no illusions.  This was the game that they played, and if she or any of her fellow agents were ever captured they could expect no less at the hands of the enemy.

“Please!”  Begged the man, noticing her, and managing to speak between sobbing cries of agony.  “Please... make him stop!  I’ll tell you everything... everything!” He pleaded.

She nodded, walking to his side.  “Yes, I believe you will,” And then, like a viper striking, her right hand darted forth and grabbed him by the chin.  Turning his head towards her, Grey studied the look in his eyes.  Pain, yes, but also... a hint of defiance.  “But not yet,” She concluded.  “Another week or so and you should be ready.”

“What!?” Exclaimed the man.  “No.. no... NOOOO!!!” He wailed, and the droid resumed its work.

She walked from the room and continued on her way.  Grey travelled up a tubrolift, heading for the deceptively small and bland office at the heart of the Tower.  Keying in her access code she stepped inside.

The white walls and pristine black desk had always seemed simply clean, but now, without Captain Grey’s presence, the office merely looked dull.  Lifeless.  Ensign Grey could empathise.  Without her master, the Head of Intelligence, she too felt a little diminished, a little without purpose.

Stepping to the desk, she sat down in the Chief’s chair and activated the com unit on the desk.  It was a top-level encryption device, hooked into a transmitter that broadcast a shadow signal hidden within the normal HoloNet.  It only took a few moments to connect with its recipient, and soon the voice of Captain Grey filled the room.

“Ensign, you have returned,” Came the voice.  The audio-only transmission was distorted, the voice altered, though whether that was by the comlink he was using or because he was wearing his special mask disguise she could not tell.  Probably the former, for if he was not in the Tower it meant that Captain Grey was out among the regular Navy, putting on the performance that was his double life.

“I have, sir,” She said.  “I was hidden on the Brilliant during the mission into The Tangle.  We found an Imperial Dominion bio-weapons lab near to Tilsec Prime.”

“Indeed, I have been notified by High Command, but shall read your report regardless,” Said Grey, sounding almost pleased by the news.  “We must take that facility out.  Commander Trykon is re-organising the Fleet to go after it now, but while the regular Navy engages the Imperial Dominion defences, I want you to lead a strike team onto the Bloodmoon.”

“Of course, sir,” Said Ensign Grey, fully expecting the order.  “I shall assemble a group of agents immediately.”

“Do that, Ensign,” Said the Intelligence Chief.  “The Fleet leave in just two days and we need your team and its ship safely hidden away amongst the Taskforce before it departs.”

Inwardly Ensign Grey was shocked and a little worried by the tight time-frame, but regardless she promptly told him, “It will be done, sir.”

“Excellent.  Grey out,” Said the disembodied voice, and the transmission ceased.

No sooner had the conversation ended than Ensign Grey accessed the computer at the desk before her.  First, she brought up the database of secretive vessels maintained by VENI, the so-called ‘Seventh Fleet’.  This strange conglomeration of ships were a ragtag mix of captured warships and small transports, intended to allow any VENI agent to travel in the galaxy without having a Vast Empire logo stamped on their hull.

Ah, there was what she was looking for!  She hit upon a small Theta-class T-2c shuttle, named the Nightdancer.  An old model vessel from the Clone Wars, it did have one colossal advantage in that it had been fitted with a Sensor Mask.  While not a true cloaking device (and how Ensign Grey ached for VENI to get their hands on one of those!), the Mask would confound sensors and make their ship a lot harder to detect as it approached the Bloodmoon.

She punched in a request for the shuttle's immediate dispatch to Abrae, and then brought up the VENI personnel records.  She needed a small team with plenty of skills, and she needed to restrict her search to agents who were ready to go now.

First, she needed a pilot for the Nightdancer, plus a security systems expert to allow them to penetrate the base.  A scientist with knowledge of pathogens would be handy too.

She began her search, and the clock was ticking.

982 words.

After Action Report:  Ensign Grey returns to the Tower on Abrae, and after talking to Captain Grey begins assembling a strike team to board the Bloodmoon facility.
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 6, 2012 7:16:56 PM    View the profile of Dunny 
VENI Post – Two hours ago.

Just outside the office of the 50th TIE Interceptor Squadron's commanding officer, two figures in jet-black Naval NCO uniforms stood at parade rest, talking in soft whispers to each other as they awaited the arrival of their superior. The one on the left, Sergeant Drazin was a giant of a man. Over two meters tall and wrapped in layers of muscle, he cut an imposing figure. A trio of large, jagged scars ran down the right side of his face, claw marks from time spent in the wilds on Nal Hutta. Beside him, Corporal Elsek was dwarfed by her much larger companion, standing in his shadow. Her skin, tanned from the light of countless suns, was unscarred, and she stood with an easy confidence that spoke volumes for her experience.

The two might well have been fighter pilots – indeed, the way they stood and the casual conversation they were having hinted at exactly that, but those whom looked closely enough would have realised that neither of them had a Squadron Patch on their uniform, or indeed any sign of what unit they were even from. Other than their rank, their uniforms were completely unmarked. The lack of insignia on their uniforms stood as a unit designation itself: These individuals belonged to the shadowy organisation that kept the security of the Vast Empire in check, the dreaded Naval Intelligence department. Not much was known about the Vast Empire's spy network, other than the fact that it was very, very good.

After a few more minutes of idle discussion, the two snapped to attention as they heard the soft, lyrical sound of whistling coming from the other end of the polished corridor that they were standing in. The whistling was to a song that neither of the two had ever heard before, and it was so badly out of tune that it actually hurt their ears a little, but they stayed standing at attention as their commanding officer approached. He was still wearing the flight suit of an Imperial TIE Pilot, with the jet-black helmet held at his side as he walked casually down the corridor, belting out his tune as if he honestly had nothing better to do. The man was every bit as tanned as Corporal Elsek, and even more scarred than Sergeant Drazin, but his ice-blue eyes sparkled with mischief and his lips wore a casual, lopsided smile.

Today had likely been a good day for the man in the flight suit, though he tended to be as cheerful as he was now every day. That was the first thing the two had learned about their commander – his stride was nigh impossible to break. They saluted as he arrived outside the door, and the man sharply stood to attention and returned the salute, his grin only widening.
“Good t'see ya two nice 'an early today. Come on inside, we ain't caught up in ages.” He spoke with a Kathol Outback accent that was as thick as the armour plating of the Atrus. Opening the door for the two agents, he stepped inside his office and immediately headed for the large chair behind the equally large desk, settling in onto the Wampa-fur seat cover with all the formality of a Womp Rat.

The name stencilled onto his uniform was 'Dunn', and the Squadron patch on his shoulder was black and green, with a snarling Chlovi Cat over an Imperial Cog. This, then was the commander of the newly formed 50th Interceptor Squadron, nicknamed 'Chlovi'. This was Sam Dunn, the pilot infamous for flying with his shield generator shut off and his engines always at full power, for knowing only one strategy (attack) and always getting into trouble the moment he got out of his cockpit. The man didn't know the first thing about discipline – to be expected from the product of a prison colony. That was his reputation anyway: Brash and uncultured, but ultimately effective.

As he settled into his chair and shuffled the pile of paperwork before him, the smile disappeared without a trace, as did the twinkle of amusement. In a single, startling moment, every single trace of levity in the man died. He looked up at the two for a long moment, before he spoke, this time with a cultured Coruscanti accent.
“Be seated.”
The two agents knew in that moment that they were in finally, properly in the presence of their superior officer, the fearsome Agent Exodus: VENI's own assassin. The death of Tal Dirbach, the escape from the VSD Overconfident, the man's exploits were legend amongst VENI Operatives. His talent for murder was matched only by his talent for deception.

As they sat, the man looked each of them in the eye for another moment before speaking, assessing in his mind their readiness.
“As you know, pilots from the TIE complement of the VSD Brilliant were shot down during a reconnaissance mission three days ago. What isn't common knowledge, is that before they were, they revealed the presence of a top secret chemical weapons facility belonging to the Imperial Dominion – a facility code-named Bloodmoon. I've received news from Grey that a team is being assembled to take it out.”

He paused for a moment, letting the information sink in. The fact that the Dominion, currently at war with the Vast Empire, had access to chemical weapons was a terrifying, game-changing prospect for the Vast Empire. He let the implications of what this meant settle in on the expressions of the two agents, and when they were sufficiently grave, he nodded minutely and continued speaking.
“I'll be leading 50th Squadron in an attack against the station's air cover, so I won't be a part of the strike team. I want you two to go in my place. Drazin, you're the best sniper that VENI has, and we're going to need those skills if we're taking the facility down. Elsek, your talent for infiltration and deception scares even me – if anyone can get into the facility unnoticed, it's you.”

The two paused for a moment, and shared a long glance. The two had worked together for years, and the friendship they had built transcended words. One glance was all it took, and then Elsek spoke for the two of them.
“We would be honoured, sir.”

Word Count: 1,058
Summary: Exodus fills in his two agents on the mission ahead. Introducing Operatives Drazin, the Sniper, and Elsek, the Infiltrator.

SFC Post – Present day, in the Adjudicator's simulators.

Even as he opened up the throttle and sent his tiny Interceptor screaming through the void towards the target that Halivan had uploaded to his Interceptor's targeting computer, Sam Dunn was already adjusting the power management system inside his TIE Interceptor, cutting off all power to the shields and dumping it straight into the Twin Ion Engine that screamed behind him as his fighter kicked forward, injected with a considerable boost of speed. A man trained in the old school of craft, back before Shield Generators were a big thing, Sam had learned that speed and agility were far superior to armour or shields – after all, those things were entirely defensive. Being able to dance around an enemy's fire and take an advantageous position at the same time meant he had a more even split between attack and defence.

It was well known that Jexxel were the trickiest Squadron in the wing, infamous for their cunning ploys and expertly-planned traps. Their intricate schemes always gave them the advantage over the enemy, and their pilots were very good at executing their Squadron Commander's plans to the letter. Sam Dunn knew that he couldn't even begin to compete with Jexxel on the planning department: He just knew they had some kind of nasty, nasty ambush or trap waiting for him, and their pilots had the skill to pull it off – they'd drilled in pre-prepared strategies over and over until it was second nature, able to switch their strategies in a moment at the behest of the Squadron Commander, a bona-fide genius. If the 50th tried to engage Jexxel in a battle of wits and strategy, they would fall.

Sam had trained the 50th Squadron in a completely different method. With the assistance of Maroy, he had taught each pilot that rigid obedience was far from the ideal a pilot should aspire to, instead training them in pairs and teaching them each a variety of simple but effective wingman-level maneuvers and tactics that they could initiate, execute and switch entirely on their own, without any instruction from him. Rather than doing exactly as told, they were versatile and adaptable, able to respond to changes on the battlefield all on their own. The Flight Leaders, however, he had run through a complex and difficult leadership course, teaching them not only battlefield strategy at both Flight and Squadron level, but also taught them to care for their troops off the battlefield: how to maintain and inspire their subordinates both on and off the battlefield.

The result was that whereas Jexxel had been formed into a Squadron that existed as an extension of their brilliant leader's will, the 50th didn't need their Squadron Leader at all – they were able to operate independently at any level and, hopefully, adapt faster, fight smarter and outfly their opposition at any level of combat. All he had to do was to tell them when to engage the enemy, and they would be able to take care of things from there on their own. The constant simulations had gotten the pilots used to Sam Dunn's unique style of leadership, and had moulded each pilot into a competent strategist as well as a skilled pilot. He just hoped that the two days he'd spent training them were enough. If not, then his Squadron of someday-aces would never reach that mark.

There, he could see them now! Below him and two his right were eight Imperial TIE Interceptors, waiting for orders from their commander. He grinned, and pushed his control yoke downwards, speaking out the order even as he sent his fighter screaming in a steep dive towards the fighter right at the center of the formation, knowing whom his target was even as he screamed in with all the strategy of a blind Womp Rat and all the aggression of a rabid Laigrek.
“Stoop and sting.” He gave the attack order as he dived right into the middle of the hostile formation, completely unsurprised when they scattered the instant that he was within firing range, acting on a pre-prepared order, no doubt. He didn't care – their strategy was unlikely to survive for too long in the fire of battle, and without their brilliant leader, they would be completely unable to think up a new strategy in time. All he needed to do was be aggressive and adaptable...and cut off Jexxel's head.

He pulled up sharply, cutting power to his engines and activating his manoeuvring jets to bring himself to a near stop right behind Jexxel Two, the brilliant leader's wingmate and bodyguard. He knew he'd never get a shot off at the leader with his deadly Ace of a wingmate in play, so instead, he decided to focus his attack on him instead – and use himself as an irresistible bait that Jexxel Leader would be unable to pass up. He pounced without warning, his finger jammed down on the firing stud as brilliant-green light stabbed all around the opposing Interceptor, causing it to break hard to the left and dive just as sharply. Matching his move, he followed his prey in, and smiled as the 'target lock' indicator appeared on his targeting computer, just as a shrill warning informed him that someone had a targeting lock on him.

He pressed the thumb of his right hand on the firing stud at the top of his control yoke once even as his left thumb moved from its easy position on the throttle controls to a large, red button jutting from the end of the throttle control, pressing it the moment that his own Concussion Missile had roared free from the firing port below the cockpit, screaming towards the enemy fighter that was even now breaking hard, trying to restore power to the shields that Dunn's lasers had already overloaded. The cockpit went dark as the red button kicked into effect. An emergency measure he had installed long ago at the Battle of Coveway, every bit of available power left weapons, engines and targeting systems and was dumped directly into the shield generator he so rarely used. For a moment, a visible cobalt flicker appeared around the Interceptor.

“All yours, Two!”
The enemy's expertly placed fire, normally enough to overwhelm an Interceptor's shields and punch right through to the Twin Ion Engine at the rear of the craft, was harmlessly dissipated by the overcharged shield that his panic button, an aftermarket feature he had installed himself, had generated for a few precious moments around his agile but vulnerable fighter. He let go of the button the moment that the target lock alarm went silent, as his wingmate swung into place behind the enemy commander and hammered its shields with rapid-fire blaster bolts and sent it breaking hard away from the fight, damaged. That would put the fear of the Emperor into Jexxel's leader, too busy concentrating on keeping his own skin intact to organize a proper counter-attack.

At the same time, he watched as his missile scored a hit, and his own target was taken out of the fight. One down already, and one badly wounded – and that was just from himself and Zorne. Even as he disengaged and shot after Jexxel Leader with all guns blazing and all spare power in the engines, determined to finish the wounded foe before he could execute another of his brilliant plans and send Aurek Flight packing. He spotted Cobalt 3 and 4 at play, similarly springing a small trap of their own aboard a pair of enemy fighters that had taken the bait that Cobalt 3 represented as he shot past them and began to evade wildly, keeping them so focused on the elusive target in front of them that they didn't notice Cobalt 4 slip smoothly in behind them and unleash a pair of Concussion Missiles until it was far too late.

“One for us, lead.” The Duros pilot commed in triumphantly as the two slid in a little bit behind Dunny and Zorne, apparently getting their bearings but in reality opportunistically waiting for any hostiles that tried to eliminate Dunny's own bodyguard, using their own leader's insane flying style as bait. He hadn't taught them that trick, they'd thought of it all by themselves, and Dunny couldn't possibly have been more proud. His grin turned savage as Jexxel Lead attempted a Tallon Roll to escape his gunsights, and Sam Dunn, a master of dogfighting, turned into a scissors to bleed off enough speed to stay behind his foe, a trick that his own opponent matched. It was a deadly dance, and while Jexxel leader was distracted, he wasn't leading his own unit. The chase lasted but a few seconds, the wounded fighter unable to out-dance Dunny's pristine craft, and a pair of lasers finished off his foe.

“Jexxel lead down – that's the prize. Break and disengage!”
With three hostiles down for no apparent losses, the advantage was theirs, but Sam wasn't going to tempt fate by waiting for the enemy's reserve to spring the trap and the enemy to recover their wits and take out the outnumbered fighters in their mist. Running time.

AAR: Dunny launches a suicidal charge into the enemy lines, trusting the training he had given to his pilots and the inflexibility of Jexxel Squadron to give his team enough time to take out their leader and run for it. Three enemies are slain, in no small part thanks to the wingmate tactics tha 50th has come to rely on. Now, the enemy are gathering their wits and giving chase, determined to avenge their leader. Things are going to be tense, even with Besh racing to the rescue.
SCO|SCPO Sam "Dunny" Dunn
Cobalt One|S:50 "Chlovi" W:101 "Blade"
ISD Adjudicator|TF:A|2FL|SC|VEN|VE

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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 6, 2012 9:19:11 PM    View the profile of Serpent 

With precise skill he gently nudged the controls of the mechanical hands.  His fingers guided their robotic counterparts inside the sealed room beyond, moving the needle ever closer to the bio-sample.  Squinting into the computer monitor, his cybernetic eyes zoomed in, studying the image.  He watched as, inside the hermetically sealed chamber, the needle punctured the body of the baby bantha.  The syringe compressed, delivering its dull green liquid into the shaven flesh of the specimen.

He let go of the controls, his work with the mechanical hands done, and instead watched the herd beast with rapt fascination.  Almost instantly he could see it begin to buck and writhe in its restraints, but he dismissed the simple muscle spasms as a reaction to the needle, and hardly relevant.  Instead he focused on the skin of the beast, exposed with a razor prior to the experiment, and saw the darkening of the flesh.  The veins of the bantha were visible now, turning black as the virus was spread through the body, riding the hosts own vital system of arteries to reach its goal.

His gaze flicked to the corner of the computer display, a series of life sign monitors showing heart rate, pulse, and other data.  Also there was a timer, began at the moment of injection, and he watched the numbers roll up as the virus spread through the bantha.

Thirty second mark: The bucking and writhing had escalated.  Heart rate and respiration were also way up.

One minute mark: Life signs in the red, death imminent.  Neural activity spikes indicate that the subject is in great agony.

One minute thirty: The respiratory functions have dropped, breathing is laboured, the virus has reached the subject’s lungs.  Neural activity has also slowed.

One minute fifty-seven point two one seconds: Complete failure of respiratory organs.  Subject’s neural pathways have ceased activity.  Subject is dead.

“Not even two minutes,” Mused Doctor Argolo Frayne, somewhat disappointed.  Turning on the holo-recorder, he spoke into the camera.  “The subject was immunized with my new anti-body, PRT-117, two days ago.  Injection of the 1st Grade Poison known as ‘Fringer’s Fall’ seems to have utterly overwhelmed PRT-117, though there was a marked improvement of a full eight seconds in the survival of the subject.  I had hoped for a more successful trial of PRT-117, but perhaps my efforts to develop an all-purpose vaccine for the VEN are on the wrong track.  For PRT-118 I shall try instead using a different chemical formula, perhaps by utilising...”

The sound of a door chime cut the scientist in mid-sentence, and Doctor Frayne ended the recording there.  Turning to the door, he called, “Come in!”

A split second later a woman entered his laboratory.  The figure, a stunningly attractive blond woman in a sharply contrasting bland naval uniform, paused inside the doorway and took a quick look around.  Doctor Frayne recognised the analysis of a security professional when he saw one, noticing as the new arrival’s flashing eyes swept the room for additional entrances/exits, and for any potential threats.

What else did she see, wondered Doctor Frayne?  Did this woman understand what she was observing?  What did she make of the active holograms showing DNA strands, the rows of bottles and test tubes containing a multitude of chemicals, and the body of a New Republic Intelligence agent floating in a bacta-tank (a fascinating case of a body just barely clinging to life)?

More over, what did this woman make of Doctor Frayne?  Aside from his stereotypical white lab overalls, there was little about the scientist to warrant note.  His face was long and perpetually calm, his cybernetic eyes neatly fitted into his face so as to be un-noticeable as artificial.  His dark hair was unruly at the best of times, a mop of tangled curls that belonged to someone younger than Frayne’s late thirties.  He was utterly average physically (and, until he had voluntarily had his eyeballs replaced, had been below-average in terms of visual acuity), but he was also quite extraordinary mentally.

“Doctor Argolo Frayne?” Asked the woman, striding across the room and speaking to him.

“Yes, that is I,” Replied the scientist.  Something about this woman’s posture and bearing, and the lack of rank insignia upon her uniform, unnerved him.  Frayne was a military scientist, and it was not uncommon for naval officials to interrupt his work with questions and requests.  Indeed, in his years labouring in his semi-secret research facility, he had gotten used to it.  Something about this visit, however, told him it was different.

“I am Ensign Grey,” She said, identifying herself.

Frayne shrugged.  The name meant nothing to him. “Yes, and?”

“By order of VENI you are hereby ordered to cease your current activities for temporary assignment elsewhere.  Effective immediately.  I shall give you a briefing of the assignment and then you will have just fifteen minutes to pack and make ready.”

Her words came out finely clipped and rattled off like a repeating gun firing.  Frayne held up his hands to slow her down.  “Woah!  Hold on!  VENI?  As in, Naval Intelligence?  I don’t answer to you,” He told her simply.

“Yes, you do,” She told him in equally blunt terms.  “When you joined the Naval R&D division three years ago, you signed an agreement outlining your service.  Article one hundred seventy three of that agreement clearly states that, in return for your high level security clearance, you may be called upon to exercise your scientific knowledge in, quote: ‘specialist assignments of a sensitive nature’.  In other works, VENI Operations.  I am here by activating you.”

He stared at her dumbly.  Was she serious?  He remembered signing something, but did it really say what she said, and mean what she claimed?

“Okay...” Said Frayne carefully.  “May I ask what the job is?”

“Of course,” Said Ensign Grey.  “That same clause binds you to secrecy and non-disclosure, so you have access to all intelligence pertaining to the mission.  We are to travel to the Imperial Dominion...”

She spoke, and he listened.  He grew intrigued, even scared and excited, as the words ‘secret research lab’ and ‘bio-weapons’ came up.  By the time the VENI agent was done, Doctor Frayne was sold on this, whether he was obligated to go or not.

“Fifteen minutes to pack, you said?  I’ll be ready in ten!”

1055 words.  My NPC for the VENI side of the story is ready!

After Action Report:  Doctor Argolo Frayne is a military scientist working for the VEN.  He is an expert in viruses and toxins, and normally works to create immunizations against them.  Now, Ensign Grey has activated him for VENI work and assigned him to the Bloodmoon strike mission.
SCAP/CWO Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE

"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
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 7, 2012 6:39:24 PM    View the profile of Bacredi 
Why am I here…again.

He had been in and out of the navy for the past seven years. He had gone from a desk job at VENI to commanding the whole seventh fleet, but none of this felt like enough; his life on Lianna was plain and bureaucratic, his life was boring. Twenty four hours ago Bacredi had landed on Cepany, a couple hours later he was on a shuttle bound for Vectra.  As he landed on Vectra he was put on another shuttle, this time sending him out into space. He set foot on the Adjudicator five minutes later.

His first step onto the star destroyer caused him to look down at his boots, he tapped the hangar floor with the tips of his toes and relished the sound that it made.

You don’t get shit like this on land.

The familiar soft tapping continued as he walked towards the hangar turbolift. He loved that sound.

“Uh, excuse me,” one of the hangar officers ran out in front of Zhar as he attempted to get on the turbolift.

“What?” Bacredi had had one of the worst travel days of his life, what did this guy possibly want.

“We have strict protocols on board Vast Empire ships sir that require visitors to check in.” The MCPO obviously noticed that Zhar was not wearing a uniform, he didn’t even own a uniform. Bacredi searched his pockets while the MCPO looked at him quizzically, and he eventually grasped his identification in his pocket and pulled it out.

“I am Commander—wait, no, Captain—Bacredi, sorry I’m not wearing the garb I haven’t had a chance to get outfitted.” The MCPO swung to attention and saluted, allowing Bacredi to board the turbolift.

“So sorry, sir, won’t happen again sir!” were the last words that Bacredi heard as the turbolift doors shut.

What floor am I even going to?

He pulled out a crumpled piece of paper and read his room assignment, he was on the executive floor. He gave the turbolfit a number and it shot straight up the lift shaft. As the elevator was going up and up and up, Bacredi began to stretch out on the handrails by throwing one leg at a time on it and stretching out his back.

I am in no shape to serve…

Bacredi grimaced with pain and he gingerly got out of the turbolift at his floor, he made a mental note to hit the gym at his first opportunity. Two hallways later he found his assigned room, it apparently did not have a door. Bacredi peeked his head in and shouted out “hello!”

“Uh, yeah?” said a deep voice from some corner of the room, Bacredi walked into the room expecting to see a tall man but instead he found a tiny one.

“Hello…” Zhar said, not really knowing what the man was doing here.

“Sorry, sir,” a thick accent flew from this man’s lips, “I was just finishing up your room. Kind of on short notice if you know what I mean.”

“I do, I’m Zhar,” he stretched out his hand, the man took it in a firm grasp.

“Roger, Senior Crewman, sorry I shouldn’t be intruding I’ll get out of your hair.” The crewman left, and Bacredi was puzzled why he was even there in the first place. He looked around the room, totally dissatisfied.

“Imperial decoration at its best” muttered Bacredi as he walked over to his twin bed, surrounded entirely by metal. The pillows were thin and the sheets were too thick and wooly. Apparently Bacredi’s brain had a mental block on naval quarters, as he hadn’t remembered any of the ‘luxuries’ that appeared in the room: a chair, a holo-center, a refrigerator and a bar area. Two doors were right next to each other, one marked ‘Bathroom’ and the other ‘Office’.

When did these rooms get so big?

In reality they weren’t much larger than Zhar’s previous quartering on the Monarch (where he had the captain’s chamber), but they were aesthetically more appeasing in shape. This made the rooms look bigger.

After forty minutes of getting settled in Bacredi broke open the packages that were waiting for him near his chair, he dressed in his grey Imperial uniform and placed his ranking on the left side of his chest. He opted to wear his cap as his ever receding hairline was becoming more apparent, and the egotistical man that he was wanted to stay in his youth (who doesn’t?). The bottom of one of the packages held Navy’s new com unit, it was significantly smaller and better looking than the one he had started using with the VENI so many years ago.

He pressed the com, “hello?”

“This is bridge, identify,” a female voice shot back.

“This is the XO, where’s the CO?”

“Uh, the CO’s currently in a meeting with the NCC. Just come up to the bridge and you’ll run into him.”

“Got it, I’ll be up in a bit.”

In my true fashion I really don't know how to close posts, so yeah, there it is. an intro.

Quite short: 833 words.

I just tried to insert myself into the plot somehow without it sounding too ridiculous.
Captain-"ish" of the Monarch
[This message has been edited by Bacredi (edited December 7, 2012 7:04:10 PM)]
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 8, 2012 6:57:09 AM    View the profile of DeepSix 

The work of a Grey was never done - as Ensign Grey discovered a long, long time ago... No sooner had the woman returned from one mission that her master, the ever so elusive Captain Grey, tasked her with a new assignment: to put together a team, find a transport, infiltrate a dangerous enemy installation and once there kill the hostiles, capture the researchers, retrieve any data that could be salvaged and when all was dealt with, finally destroy the whole damn thing and in so doing cripple the ID.

Acquiring a transport was easy - just a quick glance at all the ships VENI had stored away in locations both VEN run... and not, then ordering for said ship to be brought in within the Vectra System. This the efficient Ensign managed within minutes of receiving her new orders. What was left now however was putting together a team to board that transport and attempt the other goals Captain Grey had set out for them. That... would be a tad more difficult, especially given the very short time available to prepare and also the fact that most agents were already on the field, acting as either spies or lying dormant as would-be saboteurs.

Even so VENI still had plenty of resources available at its disposal, and Ensign Grey knew of every one of them - minus the ones Captain Grey no doubt kept so secret that he alone knew they even existed. The Ensign knew that first of all she would need a crew for the Nightdancer - the modified shuttle she had picked as their transport for this mission. A pilot, a copilot, a gunner, a systems operator and maybe also a mechanic in case anything happened during flight. Since this was a mission behind enemy lines, able combatants would also be required.

In this regard Grey prioritized those that showed particular prowess when it came to stealth and close ranged combat. A couple of combat engineers would also be necessary to prep explosives and ensure there would be nothing left of the base when they would finish with it. Lastly however Ensign Grey also required a few specialists in the field of research, genetics, bio-weapons and chemical compounds. Since most agents had no such training, the female Grey would have to rely on some of the more special assets VENI had acquired throughout time.

One such asset was doctor Frayne, a Human researcher that voluntarily agreed to work for the military in exchange for access to classified knowledge, to state of the art equipment and most important of them all to almost limitless founding and only minor ethical concerns. It was the doctor's long dream to create a vaccine that would be able to fend off most of the known viruses and diseases. A vaccine that when it would eventually be released on the open market would not only deal a heavy blow to the bio-terrorists, but would also help save billions of lives across the galaxy in the present time alone. In a mere century or so his research could very well be responsible for saving trillions upon trillions of lives. Surely that would earn him a bright spot in the whole galactic history...

The blonde VENI agent was not particularly impressed by all that knowledge though. She wished for the doctor to succeed in his endeavor, but at the same time she knew that even if all the known viruses suddenly became obsolete, then terrorists would merely employ other means to get what they wished. Besides, more saved lives also implied more required resources to maintain a denser population which in turn was bound to lead to more conflicts and wars. Point was that whatever lives doctor Frayne may be able to save through the discovery of a miracle vaccine, just as many lives could very well be lost thanks to the simple nature of most known species, Humans in particular...

Whether she was kind or just did not particularly care one way or the other, Ensign Grey decided not to burst the doctor's bubble and instead chose to stay silent. Who knew, maybe someone else would be able to make a different discovery, that combined with this one, would truly change the face of the galaxy...

Though that was technically possible, Ensign Grey had a definite certainty that such a discovery would not however be found by Irya Pael, the next person on her to volunteer list.

Irya Pael - species: Arkanian; gender: female; age: unknown; cybernetics: yes, both exterior and interior, exact number unknown. Irya Pael, an Arkanian researcher, came seeking sanctuary within Vast Imperial space after amassing a generous bounty on her head, being hunted by both large corporations as well as a few fringe governments, where she had equally amassed a high enough number of arrest warrants for crimes including but not limited to: cruelty, torture, kidnapping, grave desecration, bio terrorism, espionage, war crimes, treason, genocide...

Had the albino specimen gone straight to the politicians leading the Vast Empire, chances were high she would've been caught, restrained and either sold back to the corporations in exchange for the generous reward or trialled and executed in a very public fashion so as to gain more VE sympathizers in those puny worlds on the Outer Rim and the Unknown Space. The scientist however knew how to play her hand right and instead chose to take a lesser risk by instead making contact with the Intelligence branch directly. Then again even Captain Grey, as ruthless and scheming as he may have truly been, had doubts about whether or not to accept such a specimen work for him.

In the end though, a brilliant mind combined with virtually no inhibitions whatsoever seemed like the better deal as far as he was concerned... if only by a fairly small margin though. So it came that VENI ended up faking Irya's death and for the past four and a half years managed to keep her safely stored within the Tower, for both her safety but also that of Abrae, the Vast Empire and possibly the whole galaxy beyond that.

Although Ensign Grey was a true professional that almost never revealed what was on her mind, the Human agent couldn't help but feel both large quantities of repulsion and disgust but also some hints of admiration as far as the Arkanian was concerned. Sure the alien was cruel, despicable, and perhaps even mad by most social standards, but she also seemed to be able to see past most appearances, norms and regulations. Her intuition combined with her intellect had already produced numerous poisons, viruses and in-depth physiologic and psychological data in regards to some of the other alien species the Vast Empire most frequently dealt with. She'd even managed to improve a couple of the neural implants VENI agents used for either deep cover assignments or special infiltration missions.

Helpful as she had proven herself, Captain Grey still did not fully trust her though. He did not fully trust anyone for that matter, but he trusted the Arkanian even less than the norm. That was part of the reason why an armed guard was always stationed outside her quarters. Official version was that he was there for her own safety, though both parties knew damn well that was not really the case. Ensign Grey also knew this, and as much as she hated dealing with the alien, she knew that for the purpose of this particular mission the Arkanian's skills could prove invaluable.

"Stand aside", the Ensign clearly told the guard after exchanging military salutes with him. The man immediately sidestepped and allowed access to the room that from outside looked the same as any other within the Tower. The Ensign next stepped forward, drew a deep breath... and keyed in her access code.

There was a slight hissing sound as the door swished open, revealing a dark room beyond that. The lights were off so only shapes and shadows could barely be distinguished from the doorway. From within, the rather loud notes of Heavy Isotope music could also be heard. A regular person would've probably been unable to perceive anything else, but a trained agent such as the Ensign could just tell there was movement inside. Faint air currents and barely noticeable shadows playing amongst themselves...

The female agent drew another breath and stepped forward once more, instinctively moving her hand on the wall, where the lights switch was found in all of the Tower chambers. She finally found the button she was seeking and pressed it. A bright flash of light occurred next, following which the whole room was enveloped by cold, artificial light.

The Ensign felt her body temperature drop by one or two degrees as she was able to finally see. Different sized jars holding what appeared to be various organs, stood on the walls, every now and then a datapad also lying between them. A large computer monitor showing DNA strings as well as various cells interacting amongst themselves was found on the other side of the room. A simple bed with a few files scattered on top of it could also be seen on the other wall. By the looks of it, nobody had used it for a couple of days now...

The most disturbing sight of them all however was the large table in the middle of the room. It was a metal table with strong hold down straps that incidentally happened to actually be occupied at the moment. Ensign Grey recognized the Zabrak twitching helplessly on that table - it was a New Republic spy the Vast Empire caught during an operation in one of the neighboring systems. The man was still being tortured and awaiting interrogation when she left on her previous mission but seeing him there now could only have meant that he had already been broken and debriefed.

Rather than keeping the prisoner captive or maybe just giving him a quick execution however, the Arkanian seemed to have gotten a hold of him. Ensign Grey almost felt sorry for the enemy spy. She knew they were on opposite sides but she also guessed what sort of things laid in store for the captive and nobody truly deserved going through all of that...

"Ah, Ensign Grey! What a wonderful surprise", the white haired woman hovering over that table finally spoke as he realized that she was no longer alone. The Arkanian scientist moved over to the computer and after keying in a few buttons the loud music stopped and only the Zabrak's barely audible moans could be heard next.

"To what do I owe the unexpected pleasure?" the alien continued as she approached Ensign Grey. The latter could see she was being looked at from head to toe, no doubt analyzed and quite possibly even weighed in as a possible next experiment. However disturbing the thought was, Grey could just not put it past the mad scientist to try something crazy like that...

"By order of VENI you are hereby ordered to cease your current activities for temporary assignment elsewhere. Effective immediately. I shall give you a briefing of the assignment and then you will have just fifteen minutes to pack and make ready", Ensign Grey replied casually, though the speech itself felt rehearsed.

"Brief away, Ensign", Irya smiled as she made her way to the chest found at the foot of the bed. From there the alien produced some civilian clothes which she threw on the bed. She listened silently to the VENI operative's briefing even as she changed, giving no other regard to the other woman standing on the other side of the room. When she was through she merely nodded her head and approached the Grey female once more "What are we waiting for then?"

WC: 1970
AAR: Introducing Irya Pael, an Arkanian researcher. I know Serpent already produced a scientist for this VENI arc, but I figured why not have a regular scientist and a mad scientist working together?
WC/LTJG DeepSix/Golden One/S:38th Vornskr/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE [=*TG*=] [=*VIM*=]

TRN/JRN DeepSix/DJO/Training Sect/VEDJ
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 8, 2012 6:02:35 PM    View the profile of DarianRogue 
Tactics. Strategy. These words describe mental capabilities any good naval pilot should have. And indeed, Dunny had been drilling such capabilities into Darian and the rest of the newly formed Chlovi Cat Squadron.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Sam Dunn. Darian wasn’t sure what he thought of Chlovi’s Squadron Commander just yet, but that didn’t preclude Dunny from having acquired Darian’s respect. He had a unique style of leading the Squadron, and that was okay. Whereas other squadrons may put emphasis on individual capability or pre made tactical formations, Dunny had trained and drilled Chlovi in such a way that everyone was capable of adapting to any situation with tactics of their own, at any level of combat, from one on one to flight versus flight.

But of course, we excel at element level tactics. Our wingmate is our most important ally in any battle, it makes sense we should be able to do anything with them.
Darian’s wingmate was the Squadron Executive Officer of Chlovi. Warrant Officer 2nd Class Maroy. Darian didn’t know her that well, despite their time in Tuk’ata together, but had come to trust her and respect her piloting abilities over the course of Chlovi’s time training together. Darian hoped they could reach a level a friendship that he only reserved for a select few, ever since Bakura.
The rest of Besh flight was another story. Chlovi 7 and 8 were the unlikeliest of friends, and yet there they were, great friends, and only one of them was a worthy member of the team. They were both good pilots, but only Tony, 8, was a team player. 7, Justy, was immature, lacked any sense of commitment, and was afraid of death. He obviously joined the VE because he was some lazy, spoiled kid who didn’t want to pay for his own life when his parents died, but must have had some sort of capability with flying to be given to the VEN. Tony, though, he was a good pilot, and he wanted to help his Squadron. There were some strange rumours about him being an ex-criminal and falling in love with an officer, but Darian didn’t pry. If the rumours were true, that showed the man’s motivation, but it really didn’t matter that much to Darian if Tony had other ambitions or whatever. As long as there was someone else there to watch the backs of everyone else in the Squadron, Darian was satisfied.
As for the rest of the Squadron, Darian didn’t know them that well, but he overall appreciated and respected Chlovi. This will be a good assignment. Things are going down, action will be had, people will die, and it will take a combination of skill, tactics, and teamwork in order to win and preserve as many lives as possible. This is war.

And that was why Darian had complete confidence in Dunny’s plan. Indeed, he sees a lot. He realizes that Jexxel relies way too much on prior planning. They aren’t very adaptable, and while they are capable of carrying out any plans to a T, it is within their leader that the brains lie.
So, as Aurek charged Jexxel, Besh followed close behind to cover their backs.

[[Alright, Besh, you heard the commander,]] Maroy commed to Besh. [[Set your lasers for dual fire and mark your targets as soon as they break formation. Prioritize any fighters that get a lock on Aurek.]]
“Acknowledged, Five,” Darian replied calmly. “I've got your back.”
[[Shoot straight this time, Eight.]]
[[As ordered, Seven.]]
One thing Darian could say for 7 and 8: Their banter and dialogue was always chuckle-worthy.
Aurek had managed to take down 3 hostiles. Jexxel’s Aurek flight had one member left, who, along with the 2nd Flight, was in pursuit of Chlovi’s Aurek, angry and frustrated. The hidden 3rd flight had yet to appear, though. That’s Cresh’s problem though. It’s our job to spring the trap and keep Aurek alive. Focusing on element-level tactics for now, Besh proceeded to do just that. Justy and Tony had managed to spring ahead in pursuit of the two fighters close on the tails or Aurek.
[[Alright, Six,]] commed Maroy. [[Those two will take care of… those two. Let’s take care of the stragglers.]]
Heh. Stragglers indeed. It’s not exactly as if they’re that far behind either. But very well. Darian clicked his comm in acknowledgement, and proceeded to go on the offensive with Maroy.

Though, Maroy wasn’t completely wrong. There was one who was farther behind than all the rest. The survivor of Aurek. He had to get his bearings. He wasn’t a threat for now, so the flight passed him by. “Working alone… bad way to go…” muttered Darian under his breath. However, there was a pair of so-called stragglers who seemed to be taking a long way around to reach Chlovi’s Aurek flight. They seemed to be going faster than their normal engine power would allow. Oh. “Five, those two there want to take them from the side.”
[[I saw that too, Six. We can’t let them.]]

There was something to be said for fighting a squadron that was so focused on what it was doing to the point of no adaptability. They’re too busy chasing Aurek. They won’t notice us coming on their radar, and even if they do, they won’t care. They think their trap is foolproof. Just in case, though, Darian sent most shield power to the front, and was ready to send it all to the back in the matter of less than a second. He directed most of the rest of the power to his engines so as to catch up.
Within half a minute, Maroy and Darian were ready to go on the offensive. They transferred power over to weapons and huddled close together so that they could attack a similar location on the same enemy fighter and be more likely to overload its shields.
Within a matter of seconds, it was done. Darian and Maroy had fired their dual-linked lasers at the side wing of the enemy fighter, overloading its already less-powerful-than-usual shielding and seriously damaging the wing. The fighter went spinning out of control, flaming, and was as good as dead. “No way he’s recovering from that.” However, the other fighter was now prepared and ready, so Darian split off from Maroy. He can only chase one of us… and of course he chooses me…

[[Don’t worry, Six, I’ve got your back just as much as you’ve got mine.]]
“Thanks, Five. I’ll try to outmanoeuvre him until you get a lock.”
[[Acknowledged, but don’t do anything too insane. Throwing him off is all well and good, but not if it throws me off too.]]
“I know that well enough at this point, Five. Often, the best tactics are often the simplest, I think, so I’ll give you the opportunity you need.” Darian broke up and right, forcing his pursuer to turn as well, and giving Maroy the opportunity she needed to sandwich the Jexxel fighter in.

Within seconds, the oldest trick in the book was working. The bogey was sandwiched in. Almost too easily. Darian had sent most shielding to the back, so he should have been fine. The bogey was lagging behind, though, and had stopped firing for a second. Could he be--? Darian was cut off by the explosion and the flickering of shields behind him. Maroy had managed to come to the same conclusions he had sooner than he had, and had fired her own missile in return.
The Jexxel fighter, badly damaged, broke off to flee under the pretence of helping the fighters, or, rather, fighter being attacked by Justy and Tony. Those two hadn’t been doing so poorly themselves; they had taken down one of the fighters, and had dealt mild damage to the second. But something was off…

“Where’s that loner?”

WC: 1316.
AAR: Darian and Maroy take down one of the Jexxel fighters chasing Aurek, Justy and Tony downed another. One more is badly damaged, and another is mildly damaged. The fifth, the survivor from Jexxel’s first flight, seems to have disappeared (for now, he’s there, Darian just didn’t see him immediately) and is undamaged (except for whatever damage he/she may have taken from the fight with Aurek.
To Maroy: I hope I didn’t portray you too OOCly in this post.
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 8, 2012 6:54:22 PM    View the profile of Xanin 
You failure…

Xanin could feel the exhaustion catching up with him. For the past 43 hours the newly made Navy Squadron was doing everything but Navy. They’ve been working out, eating army rations, and not having a minute of break. The times that Xanin actually rested was when they were doing jogging all around the ship – he could’ve sworn he knew the entire structure of the ISD after a couple of these lengthy jogs –, being the least mentally and physically requiring activity of all of them. But the moment Joamer received Strill’s armour, their lives turned from horrible to hell. Everything that they’ve been doing so far has been put to test. Xanin loathed it, he loathed the way Joamer was training them, but he knew he should’ve expected it that and so tried not to show it.

As the group of four flighters reached an intersection their HUD suddenly flashed red, signifying the loss of teammates. “It’s Aurek…” Xanin said as he turned back around. “And they were in the southern docks, not too far from here.”

“We should go reanimate them, FL.” One of the Besh members said.

FL… Xanin thought to himself. He never got accustomed to the new title, and it seemed that Joamer just threw the two of them at random. It didn’t make any sense whatsoever, as there were higher ranked people in the squadron. He either doesn’t trust the veterans, is insane, or wants new thinking in his squadron…

“Fair enough... But we must be careful. I bet one of the instructors is lurking around there, expecting us to check on them. Utan, Pelkon, you cover our backs. Firenex, you will be in front with me.”

The squadron started moving southwards. They had to be fast for this to have any sort of sense. It usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes to wake up, by one would also had to keep in mind the exhaustion of the flighters. Their commando armor was concealing them nicely in the shadows, but they knew that they also had to be silent.

As they reached Aurek, Xanin took out 3 syringes, each containing an adrenaline dose big enough to wake up a nearly dead bantha, which were the same doses they started using 10 hours ago, just to be able to stand straight. “We’re good?” Xanin said. The moment he heard confirmations from Besh he put down his rifle and started injecting the 3 Strillers with the adrenaline. It only took a few seconds for them to wake up from the stun effects.

“It was Joamer… he’s somewhere here…” the temporary leader of the team panted out as he got up, grabbing his rifle “We managed to find him and started pursuing him but then he disappeared… moments later he stunned us…”

“I see…” Xanin said, trying to gather up his thoughts. It was difficult considering his exhaustion. “Where do you think he went?”

“Hell if I know…” The flighter said as he got up and stretched “But let’s start looking for him again… he’s not invincible… we managed to shoot him and hit his organic arm. We were that close from taking him out.”

“Well then, we need to catch him before the effects wear off.” Utan said as he peaked into a room.

“We’ll head off this way. Good luck.” Xanin said as he gestured his team towards the corridor opposite to where they came from.

“Good luck to you as well.”

The two groups separated, each going where the other one came from. Besh was hurrying, trying to catch as much of the shadows as they could, while maintaining speed. They knew that the chance of finding Joamer, or any of the instructors, was completely random as they had no indication of where they are.

“Oh my god, there he is…” voice of Pelkon said. The group turned around to her as he started sprinting away, trying to aim his rifle. The group followed her, but after a few seconds of running she stopped. “He went into this maintenance area.”

“Of course!” Xanin nearly shout into his comm “Why weren’t we searching them before... They obviously wouldn’t be hiding in the main hallways…”

“Dude… don’t make me think, I’m exhausted…” Firenex panted out, leaning with his hand against a pipe. “We’ve been training non-stop for the past…. day? I hate this guy…”

“Stay or… leave, your choice.” Xanin said as he took out an adrenaline syringe. He could feel the exhaustion overcoming him. “No one… told you, that you have to… stay here…” he pushed the syringe through an opening in the armour, deep into his skin. He didn’t know if he hit a vain, but as soon as he could feel the energy pumping through the blood he knew that he did. His vision fallen back into focus, and he could feel at least some of his energy returning to him “That’s what I needed…” he breathed out as he dropped the syringe and grabbed the metal fence “Come on guys, we have to catch him before we lose him again.”

The group jumped over the fence into the maintenance area. The loud thud from their landing was a sure give-away, but perhaps it would cause Joamer to try and surprise them, thus giving them a chance to find and incapacitate him. They slowly walked through the maintenance area, staring into the darkness. “Everybody, spread out, check every opening and possible hidey hole.” The team split up, checking various hiding location. Xanin knew there were in no condition to do such things, but they had to regardless. Moments later his HUD flashed.


“Time’s up. Move towards the northward exit, you’ll find me there. We’re going to have a little meeting…”

Oh frak… we’re done for… Xanin thought as he put away his rifle, knowing that the hell they were in will change into something worse.

Strill Squadron
WC: 985
Continuation off Joamer's post
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FM/CRW Xanin/Iron Five/S:58 Strill/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE
"I don't always desert my teammates. But when I do, they all die." - Xanin
[This message has been edited by Xanin (edited December 8, 2012 6:55:25 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Xanin (edited December 8, 2012 7:38:02 PM)]
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 9, 2012 1:30:14 AM    View the profile of Joamer 
"Xinn seems capable enough, only vastly ill experienced in battles like these." Edge said as he checked his datapad again going over information they had been accumulating over the past day.

"They are all like that, Naval dogma has drilled working as a team into their heads so much breaking away from the fireteams is a no go for them." Rain said with a grimace, after a moment she looked at the wall she said, "From the insane mission plan we've been tasked with we need a group that can operate together and solo, something few people achieve. Xinn may be capable but he's quickly becoming a stim junky, he's popped four in thirty six hours so far."

"That's going to come back and bite us soon. I know we need to push them and weed out those who don't have the heart for this, at this rate we won't have a squadron to run if they all pass out due to stim induced stupor." Edge said as he put away his datapad and propped his feet up higher on the stack of crates he was laying against. Joamer could see the weariness in the man's eyes, same with Rain. He could feel his own eyes wanting to snap shut and stay that way but he tried to ignore it.

"How long to flush out four stims?" Joamer asked as he turned away and faced the far wall where a hidden hatchway would be their exit route if they were suddenly attacked.

"Standard issue flush kit, and twelve hours of sleep." Rain said from memory alone, snatches of previous missions came back to Joamer from her tone alone. For Xinn it would not be bad, but during one of their missions it had been. They had popped stims for nearly a week to stay awake, the detox process took them a month. They had continued to feel the lingering effects for months afterwards.

"Would be a better lesson to let him come off them suddenly, but we don't have time." Joamer said as he heard light talking through the bulkhead in front of him. "Always running out of time. Alright, one last lesson then we'll let them sleep."

Stepping closer to the bulkhead he picked up what was being said on the other side, after a moment he smiled and half laughed as he heard the quartermaster losing his mind over something.

"What is it crewman? I don't have time for your stupidity today, what with those morons from the fighter corps suddenly running around here all willy nilly, they are messing with my schedule." The quartermaster shouted loud enough for Joamer to hear clearly, "What the frak is this? An empty case? You moron, I need a case with four stones in it! Not one or two or three but four! Four stones! What the frak am I supposed to do with an empty case?

"Sorry sir, will do better next time sir. I'm new at this job, sir." The very green crewman stuttered obviously nervous over the new job he had been assigned.

"But, you can still count. Look it's easy. Look at my fingers, four stones, four crates. Zero stones, zero crates!" The quartermaster shouted at the crewman ran off in some direction.

"Stones? What is he going on about?" Joamer said as he stepped away from the wall, half fearful the man would come crashing through it to exact his revenge on the army folks hiding behind his supply office.

"Energy stones probably, they use them in some of the circuits here. When they become empty they are exchanged for new ones. I guess the crewman brought in an empty case without the stones. Looks like our wargames are playing havoc on the locals." Edge said with a slight smile. He enjoyed giving the navy brats headaches, Joamer would never admit it out loud but he did too. For all the rank and badges he had, he was still very much an army man.

"Nuggets are back finally, from the count that's all of them." Rain said as she glanced out a hidden opening in one of the walls. "Harsh lesson, but a fun one. Deploying the gas agent in twenty seconds, let's see how fast they get their helmets back on and sealed."

Turning on a commlink Joamer looked through a small window into the next room and saw his squadron milling about, some of them even taking the brief moment of rest to sit down. Speaking loudly he said suddenly, "Alert! Air borne viral agent detected, emergency procedure zero one one five!"

The twenty seconds went by quickly, before just over half of the squadron had secured their helmets the viral agent was released into the room. It was mostly smoke, but a special added bonus was that it slightly dried out your throat just enough to cause coughing. A simple drink from your hydrapack you wore under your armor would fix the problem, but few of the squadron remembered this as they began coughing loudly.

Waiting for the room to clear Joamer opened the hatchway and stepped inside, he saw some of his squadron raise their rifles for a moment wanting to fire on him. After a moment they lowered them and stepped aside as he knelt down by two of the nuggets coughing in unison. "Take a drink, hold it in your throat for a moment then swallow. You'll be fine in a few seconds." Standing up he motioned for everyone to take their helmets off, to put them at ease he sat down on a crate and waited for everyone to get comfortable. "I know the past day has been tough on you. That was just a taste of what we went through during hell week at the Academy, and even worse during spec ops training. Thing is, we don't have time for you to get the proper training you need or deserve. For that I am sorry, the fleet has not left yet and I have standing orders for anyone that does not find this life style is for you. Stand up and say no more, and you will be transferred just about anywhere you want."

No one stood up, which worried him. He knew someone would quit, this life was hard but still they wanted to prove to the people next to them they were not weak. "My first time through the spec ops training I did not make it, I left after the forth day. It was too much for me, but it took a great deal of strength to prove to myself I was not ready. Six months later I went back, and made it through. I know you all want this, you want to be the first to do something no one else has done. If you go without truly believing this is what you want, you won't come back. I can't make you a promise I will get you home, I am not a God. I am simply a man trusting in the people around him and many years of experience. If you stand up now, and say no more. I will personally give my recommendation to anywhere you want to go in the Navy or the Army."

"Petty Officer First Class, Utan Kynes. No more." A young man said as he slung his rifle over his shoulders and picked up his helmet.

"Utan Kynes... any relation to Liet Kynes?" Edge said a few moments later as he stood up.

"He was my father, sir."

"Good man, good commando. Saved my life more than once, died facing impossible odds so we could escape." Edge continued.

"It's why I joined this idea of yours, I wanted to honor his legacy."

"You have, I promise you that. I see him in you, come back to us when you are ready and you will shine." Edge said, as Joamer stayed quiet. Only nodding a few times, letting someone else talk for the time being.

"I will come back, you can count on that." Without a salute, thankfully, the young man pivoted silently on his left foot and walked out of the room to disappear down the corridor.

"Now, for what you are all worried about. The next phase of our game is about to begin. First off, all of you go shower. Then I want twelve hours of uninterrupted sleep from each of you." The squadron did not move, thinking this was a trick. "I'm not joking, go before I change my mind! Xinn, stay for a moment."

They moved with that command, almost as one they ran out of the room leaving nothing but a quiet room behind. Xinn stood in the center of the room avoiding the stares of the three commandos leaning or sitting on crates starring at him. After a moment Joamer said, "Stims are good things sometimes, but they have major drawbacks. Four in thirty six hours is borderline overdose and you can create a dependence on them quickly at your rate. Report to medbay, and get a stim flush kit. Then sleep for twelve hours with the rest of our squadron. I would not waste time either, you are going to need the rest for what we have planned."

After a moment the young man raced out of the room, almost leaving a trail of dust in his wake.

"I for one plan to use these next twelve hours sleeping, husband if you will?" Rain said as she moved towards the doorway.

"Work, work, work." Joamer half joked as he looked at Edge and grinned. "Orders stand for you too, go sleep. Moral goes down the tubes when they see their Gods passing out in front of them."

Leaving Edge chuckling slightly Joamer followed his wife into the corridor of the ship. He knew the squadron would eventually be what the Navy needed them to be, but for now he was worried he would have a lot more names to put on his list when this mission was over with. It was going to be a harsh lesson for those that survived, but they would survive it and move on. Taking his wives hand he squeezed it gently as they followed the twisting corridors to the nearest lift. Letting his mind go quiet from thinking about tactics he felt the hard yet still soft folds of her hand and smiled.

WC-1742. I so was not expecting what showed up. Anyways, apparently our quartermaster is losing his mind, poor new crewman just got an earfull. We also lost one new recruit, which is pretty normal for the insane training we are putting the squadron through.
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
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In memory of Ghost squad, we will never forget.
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 9, 2012 3:04:47 AM    View the profile of Maroy 
Lunei watched as Besh joined Aurek and quickly took down several Interceptors with almost no losses. This is too easy. Jexxel might not have been training for dogfights quite as much as we have, but they should still be putting up an even fight. They've gotta have some trick up their sleeves. They have two guys from Besh, the four pilots from Cresh, wherever they are, and... where'd that last guy from Aurek go?

Suddenly the missing TIE blinked into existance on her sensors, screaming in from 'below' the fight at maximum speed. Before anyone else had a chance to react, he launched two missiles at Chlovi Three and Four, who still had their shields adjusted full aft. Karl had just enough time to shout an expletive before both fighters vanished in a cloud of shrapnel and fire. The ace expertly dodged the explosion and looped back, heading for Dunny and Zorne's afts. He slowed down, probably because he was charging his lasers for a killshot.

The rookie and the bard, both down. Well, guess that answers my question.

[[Hang on, Lead. I'm on my way.]] An almost imperceptible bit of fear tinged Maroy's voice. Lunei had a pretty good guess as to what it was: Maroy was afraid of having to command the squadron herself. She was going to have to get over that if she wanted to stay with Chlovi. Lunei wished she was the one flying to their commander's rescue.

The Twi'lek and her wingman broke off from their pursuit of the damaged Besh fighter and began moving toward Dunny's attacker and away from each other in a pincer maneuver. The other two pilots in Maroy's flight stayed behind, struggling to land a hit on the remains of Jexxel's Besh flight. They worked well together,  Eight finally nailed the damaged one with a quad burst, vaporizing it, but its wingman followed up with a vicious attack of his own on Seven. The latter panicked, flying away from the dogfight and leaving both of them wide open to attack.

Sounds like a good time for Cresh to join the party.

On cue, her flight leader's voice came over the comm. [[Cresh, you are clear to engage, but keep an eye out for any surprises.]]

They swung around toward the main engagement, remaining in formation to increase their chances of survival. Lunei increased the power to her forward shields and shifted some of her weapons power to engines to keep up. As they were flying, a tiny blip appeared on her targeting computer's display. It jumped around erratically before disappearing again. "I'm getting some kind of sensor glitch. Probably nothing. Anyone else seeing-" Without warning, she was slammed against the controls and everything went black.

The screen lit up again, displaying a simple summary of her performance. A concussion missile had taken her out in one shot. She pounded the side of the cockpit with her fist angrily. How the frak did they do that? There was no warning, nothing on sensors, nothing! She stopped for a moment and waited for herself to calm down. Whatever it was, it was a neat trick they pulled. 'There is no teacher but the enemy', an academy instructor had once told her in one of his more philosophical moods. It was a useful mantra, one she'd come to live by training against the much better pilots of Blackguard. She would just ask their squadron commander how he managed it... and maybe find a way to use it herself later on.

She climbed out of the simulator pod and into the comparatively brightly lit room outside it. The other downed pilots milled about, some alone, some watching a display that displayed a text-only feed of the simulation. Karl sat alone in the corner, poring over a copy of his performance summary and looking despondant. Talen, on the other hand, seemed pretty proud of his performance. The Duros was showing noticeable improvements in his combat reflexes, one of the few aspects of piloting that didn't come naturally to him. And getting shot down by a bold move like that was sure to make a good story later on. But it wasn't a Chlovi pilot that she was looking for.

She looked over the Jexxel pilots lounging around, but couldn't find their commander. She walked over to the nearest one, a broad man that looked to be nearly a foot taller than her. "Where's your commander? I'd like to talk tactics with him."

The man chuckled, clearly amused by some private joke. He motioned towards one of the simulator pods. "He's in there, probably wiping out the rest of you lot right now."

"What do you mean? We shot him down earlier." Before she'd even finished talking, the cockpit next to the one she'd used opened up and Three-Eyes stepped out, his normally bright expression dimmed slightly. Then it hit her. Aurek and Besh had gone down so easily because Jexxel had put most of the experienced pilots, including the commander, in Cresh. The other pilots were just a diversion for something much more dangerous- a fully equipped flight of bombers, probably with advanced sensors and jamming packages.

The man saw the realization in her eyes and laughed before joining his friends in their corner of the room. Unless the remaining pilots came up with a plan, and fast, Chlovi was going to fail.

They'd fallen right into the trap.

WC: 913
AAR: After Chlovi's initial apparently lucky success, the missing Jexxel ace takes out Three and Four with little effort. Seven and Eight destroy one of the other two fighters, but Justy panics and the last fighter gets the upper hand. Cresh moves to assist, and then Jexxel springs their trap: they have a flight of bombers at the very edge of the sensor range, which quickly snipes the exposed rear of Cresh's formation. Lunei and Three-Eyes are shot down.
FM/WO2/Maroy/Cobalt 5/S:50 "Chlovi" W:101 "Blade"/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A|2FL|SC|VEN|VE (=*A*=) [GCM] [CBV] [IG] [MC2] [MC1] [VC:B] [LoM] [CC:P]
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 9, 2012 2:06:26 PM    View the profile of DeepSix 
"What do you think, sir?" Vornskr's second in command asked the blond officer standing next to him. "A good show. Both squadrons have played their cards perfectly but as always, the trick is to know when to reveal those hidden aces up your sleeve. Wolfrott knew this, and now thanks to this exercise Dunn will know it also in the future", the other man replied casually as he kept starring at the holographic display that showed what was happening inside the simulators.

"Check it out, yet another one bites the LogOut" another spectator spoke perhaps louder than intended. Like other pilots present, Seth Qorbin also turned to see who made the comment... and was not all that surprised to notice it was yet another Vornskr pilot. The pilot was called Jorran Thrang and was part of Besh flight. Seth hadn't flown with him before so he didn't know a whole lot about him other than what his service record showed.

Arrogant, cocky and with a few issues against authority. Also a decorated pilot that had flown and survived over a dozen serious engagements, managing top 20% kill counts in each and every single one of them. The fellow was a fairly good example of how the rest of Vornskr squadron looked like - all unbelievably talented pilots, and almost all every bit as arrogant...

The three eyed alien that stepped out of the simulation pod either did not hear the other's comment or was diplomatic enough to ignore it so as not to cause a scene. In a way Qorbin respected the defeated alien more than his own man if for no other reason than the fact that he was managing to remain calm, collected and proud even given the circumstances.

"Should I deal with him, sir?" the squadron's second in command leaned in closer and spoke softer so as only Seth would be able to hear him. "No", was the blond officer's firm reply. "He hasn't technically done anything wrong after all", he added as he turned back his gaze from the cocky pilot back to the holographic display.

It wasn't that Jorran was wrong either - the truth was that the three eyed alien did indeed "die", as did a few of his other companions only seconds before him. Had they been better pilots maybe that wouldn't have happened. Had they been able to foresee this trap, once more maybe this wouldn't have happened. The fact however remained that Chlovi did fall for Jexxel's trap, and fell rather hard at that...

Markus Wolfrott, Jexxel's CO, was a man whom Qorbin rather admired. The former's strategies, combined with his natural charisma, managed to lead his squadron to success on more than one occasion. When it came to traps, ambushes and nasty surprises Markus was simply brilliant. Seth was in fact pleasantly surprised to see Dunny was proving out to be a decent enough opponent for the other CO.

Their approaches were fairly different but at the same time also had something in common as well. Both men had a certain charisma that made those following them want to believe in their leaders, in their odds of success. Both men also relied on their entire squadrons rather than their individual skills and sort of made the matches between the two even more entertaining to watch, one never being quite sure who would win right until the end. For a gambling man like Seth that was most enjoyable too...

"They're dropping like flies", the same Vornskr pilot snickered as yet another sim pod hissed open, releasing yet one more fatality. The Wing Commander didn't even bother to check out whether the fatality this time was Chlovi or Jexxel. He knew that it didn't really matter at this point. Besides, it was likely only a matter of minutes at most before the whole engagement would finish - one way or the other.

"We should someday have a match with both these rookies - us against them combined. That should even the odds somewhat", the man continued. Not asking for input a second time though, Kolt Orzso, Vornskr's XO, left Qorbin's side and approached the pilot flying in his own flight. Seth noted from the corned of his eye how the two exchanged a couple of whispers before Jorran Thrang straightened up, saluted and left the sim room.

A few sighs of relief and even a couple of smiles did not escape Seth's notice as this happened. He himself found himself smiling as he returned to watch the match. Part of him however wondered. Wondered whether if indeed Vornskr would have a match against the combined forces of Jexxel and Chlovi, they would manage to win or not? Casualties were bound to be high on both sides but the outcome still wasn't clearly cut however.

On one hand it was true that Vornskr had the better pilots, so a regular skirmish against any single other squadron would've had a fairly high chance of ending in a win. They also had the superior crafts, so that would've further diminished the handicap of fighting two on one. Then again Dunn's teamplay combined with Wolfrott's surprises... Might actually try this sometime, DeepSix figured as he continued imagining just how such an encounter would turn out. A few friendly bets would also make things more interested as well, the VE officer continued thinking as if it was perfectly normal to also consider such things as well...

Will really need to think on that, the man decided as he turned to leave. He wouldn't have minded staying a bit longer to see the Chlovi-Jexxel outcome, but on the other hand he sort of figured that if he did that then there was a high enough chance for that blasted Commander Krieg to find him once more. Come to think of it, it's almost strange she hasn't found me already. Wonder if she found something better to do instead?

As the man pondered on that matter, he exited the sim room, leaving behind the other pilots - whether they belonged to Chlovi, Jexxel or were simply other spectators there to just enjoy the show. Come to think of it there was something the man needed to discuss with Lurek Zalis, Krakana Squadron's CO. Since the latter would likely be found in the barracks, that's where the Lieutenant started heading off towards.

He was almost there when the sounds of heavy footsteps drew his attention to one of the intersecting corridors. Seth obviously turned to look only to see a bunch of armored people barely dragging their feet in his direction. If he didn't know any better he would've sworn those were just zombified troopers trying to march their way into the afterlife.

The comparison was about to make him smile when he realized just who those sad looking individuals were. Oh! his expression changed as he continued staring at them. Guess this explains why I hadn't seen Army boy around lately, Seth further contemplated as he realized that Joamer had indeed not been around for the past... day? day and a half? maybe even two days?

When the sad looking fellows approached even further, Seth took a step back to get out of their way. He just hugged the wall and waited for the others to pass... really, really slow. They'd better be hitting the showers, DeepSix hoped as he tried not to breathe in too deeply. The heck they've been doing anyway?

Note to self - have a talk with Joamer about unit hygiene. This isn't some deserted craphole in the middle of nowhere after all... Shaking his head, the man continued on his way to first see Krakana's CO though. The business he had with the bomber commander was after all a tad more important overall. What with the ID war imminent and all that...

WC: 1308
AAR: Another intro post - basically me indirectly observing both Chlovi and Strill. Also lightly describing your typical Vornskr pilot. I'd like to point out that not all of them will actually share his traits... just most of them. Oh and I've also named the two NPC SCOs - figured it would come handy later on.
WC/LTJG DeepSix/Golden One/S:38th Vornskr/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE [=*TG*=] [=*VIM*=]

TRN/JRN DeepSix/DJO/Training Sect/VEDJ
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 9, 2012 3:57:40 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
“Sir, I have a Vice Captain… Bacredi, here, to see you?” Jak Marr mumbled uncertainly, his usually confident tone replaced by hesitation as he pronounced the unfamiliar name.

“Mister Marr, have I finally found an officer you don’t know?” Trykon teased lightly.

Twenty two hours previously, when the cheeky Senior Crewman had barged into his office, Trykon was almost offended by the idea of having an orderly.  The Kuati Commander was hardly old, after all, even if the years had not been particularly kind to him.  But over those few hours, Jak Marr had proven to be invaluable.  For the past day the kid had taken care of all the day-to-day details of life on Trykon’s behalf, preparing meals and sorting out scheduling and tidying up living spaces, freeing up precious time that the CNW could devote to more important matters – work, drug-assisted sleep, and more work – and in the frequent moments of frustration, when Trykon’s spirits had sagged, Jak had chimed in time and time again with an amusing anecdote or a charmingly naïve piece of advice, and Trykon invariably found himself returning the young man’s smile.  And besides all that, Marr had a near-holographic memory and an indefatigable work ethic, and in preparation for his new assignment as aid to the Chief of Naval Warfare, he’d apparently memorized almost every command-level officer of note in Second Fleet.  Every time Trykon mentioned a name, the overeager Senior Crewman rattled off the officer’s rank and position, almost compulsively.  But with Zhar Bacredi, it seemed he’d transcended the limits of his encyclopedic knowledge.

“I don’t know him yet, sir, true enough,” Marr shot back.  “But ask me again after your meeting.”  He grinned.

“Yeah, sure,” Trykon said mildly.  “Well send him in already, so you can go look up his file.”


A moment later, Marr was back.  “Vice Captain Zhar Bacredi,” he announced, before withdrawing to the outer office.

“Captain Bacredi,” Trykon said, rising from his chair and offering a respectful salute in honor of the other man’s higher rank.

Bacredi returned the gesture, in deference to Trykon’s loftier position, and, when prompted, took a seat.

“How was your flight?” Trykon asked conversationally.

“Long,” Bacredi said with a grimace.  “But it’s good to be back.”

The Kuati’s lips twitched into a half-smile.  “Well, I’m glad you chose to make the trip.  I know you haven’t been properly briefed yet, but I also know that you of all people understand the security concerns involved.  I’ve had a full report drafted, which will get you up to speed,” he said, handing Bacredi a datapad, “but the simple facts are these: we’ve discovered that the Imperial Dominion was behind the recent acts of terrorism against the Vast Empire, and after defeating their brazen attempt to conquer Abrae, we’re taking the fight to their capital planet, as soon as possible.  We captured their command ship during the battle in the Vectra System, and from that ship’s astrogation logs, we’ve learned of a second route through the Tangle to Dominion home space.  After an initial, two-pronged probing mission, it is my determination that the Dominion has made a critical error, and the time for our attack has come.”

Bacredi slapped the datapad into his palm a few times, rhythmically.  “Sounds like you have a plan, Commander,” the man said, slowly.  “So, why did you contact me?”

Trykon leveled a searching gaze at the other man.  “I have a plan,” he agreed after a moment, “but I need the Navy’s best with me if that plan is going to succeed.  That is why I asked you to come out of retirement, Captain.”

The other man’s shoulders squared as the compliment hit home.  “Like I said, it’s good to be back,” Bacredi said.  “But, I have a request.”

Trykon quirked an eyebrow.

“Can we drop the Vice Captain rank?  I’ve been out of the game long enough that I need to ease back into command – that’s why I accepted the offer of being your Executive Officer – and I never liked the sound of ‘Vice Captain’ anyway.”  The older man shrugged.  “Besides, I’d rather not outrank the ship’s CO.”

“Mister Bacredi, if I thought it would make you more comfortable, I’d call you a Grand Admiral,” Trykon joked.  “For this mission, you’ll serve as a Commander, then.  Now take the datapad, and get yourself up to speed, Commander,” Trykon said, standing.  “In a little more than two hours, Secondary Shift is scheduled to take over the Watch: I’d like you on duty to lead them.”

“Aye sir,” Bacredi said, standing too.  He snapped off a salute, which Trykon matched.

The moment he’d left, Jak popped his head in.  “Former Chief of Naval Training and former Chief of Naval Intelligence,” the young Senior Crewman said, his voice an awed whisper.  “Just like you.”

“Yes, Mister Marr,” Trykon said with an indulgent nod, “like me.  Zhar’s had a colorful career, and after some setbacks he thought that career was over; I wanted him to give Navy life another chance.”

Jak seemed to consider those words for a moment.  “With respect, sir… why do you care?  I looked, and you never served with Bacredi.”

Trykon exhaled heavily, and waved the kid in.  “Do you know where this is all headed, Crewman?” he asked when the office door had closed.

Marr recognized a rhetorical question when he heard one, and waited patiently for Trykon to reach his point.

“Imperial Center,” Trykon continued in a hushed voice.  “One day, our fleets will fill the skies above Imperial City, and our ground forces will escort Supreme Moff Kadann to the vacant throne.  That is the perfect ending to this saga of war among the stars, Mister Marr: a strong, benevolent leader, ushering in an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity, guaranteeing justice and security for every sentient being in this wounded, weary Galaxy.”  Trykon paused, letting the kid absorb the propaganda line before he personalized it.  “The Vast Empire is the last, best hope for that universal peace and that universal well-being, Mister Marr; our little faction is the New Order, in its purest, strongest, most adaptable form.  But if we can’t extend second chances to retired captains in our military now, what hope is there for the Galaxy’s hard cases, when we take over the reigns of power?  A united Galaxy where all may prosper is only possible if we are united, now, and if we allow everyone here to prosper, now.” he said, tapping the desktop for emphasis.  “The new Galactic Empire will only be as inclusive – as successful – and as good for people – as we can be, here and now.”

“Understood sir,” Marr said simply.

Trykon nodded again.  “Okay,” he said, “what’s next?”

1,122 words.

AAR: Trykon meets with Bacredi, who formally accepts the XO position aboard Adjudicator, and requests a working rank of Commander.  After the meeting, Trykon confides in his orderly, sharing his belief that the Vast Empire must live by the ideals they champion.  If the VE wants to rule the Galaxy and bring prosperity and justice to all, we have to prove capable of providing prosperity and justice to our own people, first.  By extending second chances and helping each other to be the best versions of ourselves, we prove that a compassionate New Order is possible, keeping alive the hope for our desired future.
CNW/CDR Wyl "Trick" Trykon/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE


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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 9, 2012 4:13:47 PM    View the profile of Joamer 

The fur clothed figure stepped off a shuttle into the bright cheery lights and into a high security welcome center, heavily armed guards came to alert at his appearance but he ignored them. His clothing looked worn and earthy on the outside, but on the inside hidden by layers of animal skins could be seen the tell-tale outerskin of custom stealth body armor. His back slightly bent under either the weight of the pack, or as a way to put people more at ease in his passing. He walked slowly, favoring his left leg. His hands were empty, but a large pack sat comfortably on his pack carefully positioned to not bother any sudden movements he would need to make. He appeared weaponless, but that would be a dangerous mistake few would live to regret.

Stepping slowly to a side wall he growled at a guard that was in the way for a moment before he stepped aside but trained his weapon on the bent over figure. Activating a hidden panel he keyed in his access code and growled, "Trathras." No command code, no identification number, only his name. He looked at the guard for a long moment, and watched as his finger slowly moved towards the firing stud of his shiny rifle. Before the man could fire the door opened slightly, grinning mostly to himself he stepped inside the hidden corridor and made his way deeper into the tower of Abrae.

He ignored the looks he got, or the stares from the guards as he approached even higher security doors and walked through them with only the mention of his name. He did not like this place, but knew this day would eventually come. He had to go home for the first time in many years. His life was not a happy one, created in a lab by one group and then modified by another. Only survivor in a research study meant to create a better soldier. What they got was better and worse, what they got was Trathras.

He was good at some things, then suddenly forgot how to do them as his brain chemistry changed. To call him unstable was an understatement, probably why he was a distant forgotten part of the spy community. They tossed him into the furthest reaches of the Galaxy, hoping he would disappear.

Pushing past a guard that was in his way he stepped into a brightly lit office and restrained himself from growling. He simply watched as the assembled people finally took notice in him. He figured the tall woman sitting in the chair could be considered beautiful by human standards, but he did not find her appealing. By her clothes and general deminere of self rightous authority she had to be of the Grey. Putting aside the thought of killing her in front of her friends he simply growled deep in his throat as a way to alert the blind ones someone was here.

"Who in the seven layers of Abrae hell are you?" Some tall human male said as he starred down at Trathras, the slight snear on his lips told the fur covered creature the man was a fool.

"I am Trathras, you are of the fool. She is of the Grey." He said in a deep growl, pointing to the fool and the woman sitting in her chair. The room was silent now, men and woman both moved their hands slowly to concealed weapons. Grey Lady however simply sat in at her desk calmly watching the scene play out.

"Well, I've never heard of yo.."

"Not many have, it's to be expected. Trathras have a very sad life, probably have very sad death. But, least there is symmetry." He said as he watched only the lady.

The man blinked, not following the creatures actions or antics. "He's brain fried obviously, escapee from one of the lower laboratories. From the look and smell he's survived on the bottom dwellers for a long time." The man had obviously missed the body armor only partly concealed by the animal skins. The Grey lady had not from her carefully hidden smile.

Moving quickly Trathras grabbed the man by the throat and shoved him to the ground. A second later a wickedly bladed knife was held to the man ribs. Growling slowly, he said carefully for the simply minded in the room to understand. "I am Trathras, you are going to Bloodmoon. I am going with you."

"I feared one day you would show back up. You were a mistake that went wrong, one mistake in so many." The Grey Lady said slowly, trying to ease the tension forming in the room. Sitting on the man but removing his knife from his ribs he looked over at the lady as she continued. "Your report shows you were spec ops in nature, but were human before the experiments. Now you are..." She looked up the question in her eyes.

"Now, I am Trathras. I am alone." He said as he began inspecting the knife in front of him.

"How did you get past security?" The man being sat on said between trying to breath with the full weight of some creature sitting on him.

"Having one of the highest security clearances we have helps, plus he's a security expect. Among other skills." Someone in the back said as he read off a datapad. "I vote we keep him, at the very least he provides us with entertainment on sitting on people."

"Very well, add him to the roster. That makes us a full crew, Trathras will you get off him? He's beginning to turn blue." She said as she turned to a hidden compartment in her desk.

Standing up he sheathed his knife into some hidden pocket in his clothing and stepped to a corner. His jack-boots now clicking on the floor because he wanted them to, the furr covering them did a good job of concealing what they were however the army members in the group looked over at him again as they began making up their own minds on what he was.

WC-1026. All welcome Trathras, from that it can be assumed he is or was a highly trained spec ops type person. Modified in a lab, but it went wrong. Of course, all that is just assumption. It's better to just admit he is Trathras.
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] [SoV] [LoM]
In memory of Ghost squad, we will never forget.
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 9, 2012 8:15:49 PM    View the profile of Bacredi 
The last time Bacredi had been on watch most of his Seventh Vast Imperial Fleet had either been crippled or captured, and his ship—ISD Daring—was boarded and later deemed a total loss. He was reprimanded by the Vast Empire press and became the figurehead of a weak, Imperial wash outs in the New Republic papers. He walked away from the navy after that, accepting a desk job in intelligence before washing out entirely. He had a good life on Lianna, he had stability, good weather, a beautiful home, a great job, why was he back on an Imperial Star Destroyer?

I honestly don’t know.

At least his CO gave him some confidence in his decision to return—Commander Trykon was fifteen years his junior, still had hair on his temples (and hadn’t yet greyed), yet Bacredi had confidence in the man. Bacredi had been wrong before, though—look at Jaden.

My judgment has always been a little off…

But Bacredi had his reasons for being here. The Commander had contacted him, and had it been any other time Bacredi wouldn’t have accepted—but it wasn’t any other time. The Vast Empire was under attack from all sides, terrorism and strife covered the systems under her control. From what Bacredi remembered of the NHC from when he left, it was totally different, only the NCC was the same.

What even happened to Driver? To Shazam?

This wasn’t the worse thing in the world. Shazam had a cult of personality that Zhar absolutely despised and Driver resembled an absolute monarch. The fresh faces in the NHC were a good thing. Trykon was the prime example of this.

As Zhar rode the lift down to his room, he had two hours to kill. He had already asked for and received the ship’s manifest and a local map on his datapad. As he exited the lift he strode past a cleaning droid and down the hallway, finally entering his room. He didn’t stay long and took the left into the attached office. Someone had already put up everything Bacredi had requested: a painting of the entire Imperial Fleet prior to the Battle of Endor hung behind his desk, a portrait of his great-grandfather sat on his desk next to his computer, and a ceremonial, wooden hunting rifle hung opposite of the painting. The room had a window, two chairs in front of the desk and a modern, stylish chair behind it—it wasn’t perfect, but it was the closest thing too. The drinks tray that would’ve graced any officer’s quarters prior to the Battle of Belgaroth were gone, and replaced by a pitcher of water that was awkwardly full. It was a truly changed navy.

He took a seat at his desk and checked his stocks—nothing was going horribly wrong as the family bank account was still stupendously full.

An hour and a half flew by and Bacredi was out the door, heading for his first official watch. He popped back into his quarters and grabbed the logbook and his datapad, and then did a sweep for anything else he might need. The turbolift ride took ages, and then Bacredi stepped onto the glistening bridge.

“Commander.” Bacredi saluted Trykon, who saluted back.

“Welcome, Commander Bacredi,” Trykon had apparently already gone through with Bacredi’s request, as he pinned a new badge onto his chest.

“I’ll try to not look too sad,” Zhar stepped forward into back of the bridge, “Primary shift you are relieved.”

“All controls are now granted to the first officer; Zhar,” Trykon looked directly at him now, “get to know the crew, I find it helps in social situations.”

Not what I was expecting.

“Sir,” Bacredi saluted as Trykon left the bridge. The secondary watch crew funneled in as the primary watch shuffled out, Zhar hadn’t even though to learn their names yet. Then a potent, bellowing Correlian accent broke through the air.

“What is our course, sir?” the man who appeared to be the navigation officer looked up from the depths of the bridge. His rank badge told Bacredi he was a Senior Chief Petty Officer.

“Keep the current course; we’re just idling for now,” Bacredi stepped forward into the nose of the bridge and turned around to face the secondary watch crew. “Please, introduce yourselves—rank, name, position.” The crew around him looked puzzled and awkward, almost as if Bacredi was playing some kind of strange and muddled joke on them.

When no one spoke up, the XO pointed to the man who had just queried him. The brown hair, blue eyed man stood up from his station and his back was perfectly straight.

“Umm, I’m Senior Chief Petty Officer Max Riggelin, Secondary Chief of Nav.” The man sat back down at his station, and to the right of him a blond haired woman stood up.

“Chief Petty Officer Natalia Sax-Coburg, Secondary Pilot, sir,” she sat back down in a rushed, nervous manner. The next person that spoke was standing on ground level of the bridge and leaning against the back wall.

“Petty Officer, Second Class Grant Lorderson, Political Officer for the Adjudicator and representative of the monarch on this ship,” Lorderson resumed leaning on the wall.

Is that a joke?

Before the next crewman could stand Bacredi stopped him and spoke up “excuse me, Petty Officer, but what is the necessity for a political officer to be on the bridge?”

“I am only here to advise you on decisions that could possibly affect the Vast Empire.”

So, basically, you’re useless.

“Thank you, next,” Bacredi called for the next crewman. After all of them had gone through Bacredi began to do the rounds and the standard checks that had been in practice when he was the commander of the Daring. He was mildly surprised to see how much had changed—naval protocol was now much more thorough and less dubious, while the code of war had been tweaked to allow for interventionist policies.

I just hope that all these changes are for the best.

WC: 1,008
Summary: I was just trying to interject myself into the bridge and give some character to my bridge crew. I’m also trying to paint a picture of what my room and office will look like (Note: the painting that I mentioned basically shows star destroyers in battle lines heading towards the Death Star. I just thought it was a cool image.) I was trying to emphasize on how the navy has been reformed sine Jaden’s treachery and how Zhar has changed too.
Captain-"ish" of the Monarch
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 9, 2012 9:45:56 PM    View the profile of Echelon 
The towering, but slim figure of Rhycus “Echelon” Bandoran stood frozen at the front of the bridge, staring into the deep depths of hyperspace. The flickering stream of light that danced in his viewport hypnotized him as he became entranced in its techni colored glow. His mind began to wonder, jumping from thought to thought as time passed on.

He smirked. He was exactly where he wanted to be in his naval career. He was a medium ranking officer, commander of his own ship, and the Chief of Naval Training, a Naval High Command position. He decided that there was nothing more he could want. Sure, a bigger ship would be nice or a higher rank, but he was happy with what he had.

“Sir,”  came the mellow voice of Elbatt Andia, the ship’s Executive Officer, “entering the Vectra system in approximately thirty seconds.”

“Brilliant,” said the captain, turning away from the viewport. “Upon entering the system, direct us to the fleet rendezvous point immediately. I want us to be punctual for the realignment of the fleets. It’ll make a good impression on our ship.”

“Whatever you say, sir.”

Then, just as the captain turned back to the endless streaming of glowing lines, it ended. In its place was the wide expanse of the Vectrian system, the heart of the Vast Empire Navy. In the distance, a sun glowed, each flicker illuminating its system’s celestial worlds, giving them heat and warmth. It was a sight Rhycus had experienced not too long ago, during the bloody battle of Abrae. At that very moment, he was suddenly swept with memories of the battle, and how the Vast Empire became victorious, despite the odds. He was only a bridge officer then. A mere Petty Officer aboard the Atrus. During that battle, he learned the real meaning of war, and to this day, he would never forget it.

As the Stonewall travelled further and further into the system, Rhycus could just begin to make out ships against the backdrop of stars. At first, they seemed like stars themselves, only pinpricks of light, but as he travelled closer and closer, they began to achieve distinguishable outlines. It was a fascinating sight, seeing all of the various spacecraft race about, completing their various assignments. Rhycus was glad his ship could be part of the wondrous sight.

Then, as the Stonewall neared the rendezvous point, the bigger ships began to emerge. Dreadnought Cruisers, Victory-class Star Destroyers, and even an Interdictor-class Destroyer all turtled towards the invisible point of assembly. Huge, glowing exhaust ports lit up their backsides, propelling the massive ships forward, and various fighter squadrons darted around their hulls, escorting the colossal vessels. It was an intimidating sight to say the least.

“Sir,” Andia reported, “we’ve reached the rendezvous point.”

“Excellent, Andia,” Rhycus replied, continuing to look out into the maze of ships, “please notify me once we’ve been issued orders. I’ll be in my office.”

“Of course, sir.”

At that, Rhycus broke his gaze and silently exited the bridge.


Rerek Elker was notorious on the Stonewall as being a ladies man, not necessarily because he went after women, but because women were naturally attracted to him. He was tall, muscular, good looking, intelligent, creative, and talented. He had everything going for him. Despite this, he remained true to his job, not letting himself become distracted. As the ship’s second officer, there was a lot of work on his plate. Being the lowest of the command staff, but still part of the upper echelon, he was given most of the tedious support jobs, such as night shift and managing the ship’s logistics. If anyone else was in his role, they might have gotten discouraged, but he was always optimistic, and he looked forward to that day when he might command a ship of his own.

Rerek strode down the hallway, smirking confidently to himself as he did so. As he past a door, something caught his attention. He stopped, and listened, trying to make out what he was hearing.

At first, there was nothing to be heard, then the silence of the hallway was broken as a faint voice echoed out from one of the doors. This voice was not talking, Rerek realized. It was singing.

The voice was mellow, soft and elegant. As it rose in pitch, it did not gain any intensity, remaining soft throughout the entire melody. Rerek could not make out all of the lyrics, but he could distinguish a few words, including, “Empire,” and, “Glory.” As the song ended, Rerek was left a little in awe. Singing, he noted, was not as common as it once was, and good singers were even more uncommon, especially one on an Imperial warship. Then, the song started up again. However, this time, it was a little different. The melody was higher in pitch, and it did not follow all of the same notes. It was not wrong - it was just different.

Who could be singing this? Rerek wondered. His eyes darted to a sign next to the doorway, “CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS,” boldly labelled on it. His eyes lit up at the sight. Not only was there a great singer on board, but it was the captain! Without thinking, he knocked on the metal door frame. With a gush of air, the doorway slid open, revealing none other than the captain.

“Yes?” Rhycus asked, not impressed, “this better be important. I the middle of something.”

Rerek blushed. Perhaps bothering the captain was not the best thing he could have done. “Well,” he began, “I was walking through the hallways when I noticed a lovely singing voice coming from the room. Sorry if I bothered you...”

It was now Rhycus’s turn to be embarrassed. He had not anticipated his voice being heard outside his room. However, he was not ashamed, just surprised. “Erm, yes. That was said it was lovely?”

“Of course! I rarely hear great singers in person. What were you singing?”

Rhycus smiled at the compliment. “For the first melody, I was singing the bass part, but then I switched to the tenor part, just to compare the two more closely...actually, for some time now, I’ve been trying to arrange a piece. I call it, ‘Glory of the Vast Empire.’ It’s supposed to be...well. Come inside. I’ll explain.”

Rerek followed Rhycus inside, sitting down in chair across from the captain’s desk, where Rhycus in turn sat. The captain’s office was perfectly clean, almost too clean. The framed degrees and wall decorations were perfectly symmetrical, to the centimeter. The desk was neat and organized, clear of any loose paper or pens, and even the various furniture and the floor was well kept and clean.

“Basically,” Rhycus began, resting his chin on his hands, “I have this dream.” He paused, looking up at the ceiling. “I have this dream of starting a VEN choir. In secondary school, I was part of the chorus. During that time, I became a great singing, and I strove to learn more. The choir director soon took me under his wing, and he began to give me lessons on music theory and composing. At that too, I was a natural, but I had other desires at the time. I wanted to go into Naval studies, so I did. After that, I never really returned to my musical passion. Until now. I am composing this piece, with a four part choir and orchestra, that will be a patriotic song to the Vast Empire! Then, we will share this piece with the entire empire!”

Rerek was stunned with silence. He was not sure what to make of Rhycus’s dream, whether it was insane, or great, but as he thought about it, he began to think more of the latter.

“That sounds brilliant!” he replied, “but how could you gather crew members from all different ships? There would be a lot of hoops to jump through.”

“That’s true...”

“What if you started small? Like, maybe a ship choir? Then, if that becomes popular, you could start a...Task Force choir.”

Rhycus’s eyes lit up at the idea. “A ship choir! I could even get that together in a few days! But would there be enough people to join?”

“I’d join! Back on Tadath, I was the best singer in the family. Though, that doesn’t count much...”

“Gosh this is a great idea, Elker! Remind me to make an excuse to get you promoted. Now, I have actual work to do, so, if you could leave me, that would be splendid.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Rerek replied, a wide grin on his face as he saluted. As he left the captain to himself, he tried to remember the songs he used to sing as a child, humming them to himself as he walked down the hallway. There were a few he could remember, but most were lost in memory and time...

Word Count: 1,505. Well, I jumped a little late to it, but I got a post up!

AAR: The Stonewall enters Vectra, arriving at the rendezvous point, and Rhycus confesses to his dreams of starting a Naval choir. Instead, he decided to start a ship choir, and work up from there.

SCAP/WO2 Rhycus 'Echelon' Bandoran/CR90 Stonewall/TF:B/1Flt/VEN/VE

CNT/WO2 Rhycus 'Echelon' Bandoran/PLF Cappadocious/VENA/VEN/VE

[SoA] [NAR] [CAR] [MC2] [BWC] [HNS] [MC1] [SWC] [1NS] [LoM] [VC:B] [CC:F]
[=*ENG*=] {VehM} {SfrM} {HypM} {Astr} {LogS} {Shut} {Gunn} (*SCFE*)

Naval High Command

MVP of Out of the Invisible

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Imperial Baronet

[VE-NAVY] Chief Warrant Officer
Post Number:  586
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 9, 2012 10:21:31 PM    View the profile of Serpent 
The alarm chimed, buzzing at a pitch high enough not to merely stir Pherik ‘Serpent’ Zail from his sleep, as to rip him from it.  His eyes snapped open, seemingly instantly awake, but no.  Just that effort sapped all of his strength and he slowly began to close them again.

“Your four hours are up, sir,” Said his droid, RA-7, stepping into Zail’s bedroom.  The room was part of the vast Captain’s quarters on the VSD Brilliant, a luxurious accommodation bigger than Serpent’s last three ship accommodations combined.

“Four... hours...?” Groaned Pherik, wondering at the short length.  And then it came to him.  The whole vessel, his new command, was still in the middle of a 48 hour preparation frenzy for the assault on the Imperial Dominion.  After going for twenty hours straight, Zail had been convinced to take a break, and Doctor Praan had insisted on no less than six hours.  So Serpent went for four.

“Uniform...” Pherik managed to say, slowly emerging from under the covers.

“Yes, Captain,” Said the droid.  “I am sure that my several-thousand calculations per second processor can strain to the task of fetching clothing...”

“Not in the mood, Raseven!” Barked Zail, waking up more fully and headed for the shower.

When he emerged his uniform was laid out neatly for him.  Despite the machine’s complaining, Raseven was a competent servant.  Once dressed, Serpent headed quickly to the bridge.

Quickly, but not quick enough.  It was quite a walk, longer than the entire length of his previous ship, the Defiance, and he arrived a full three minutes later than he had intended.

“Captain!” His First Officer, Vagen Eosel, greeted him with a salute.

Pherik crossed to the Kel Dor’s side, the middle of the bridge command walkway.  All around them in the crew pits the other duty officers were hard at work, quietly and professionally, already a far cry from the chaos of twenty four hours previous.  “Looking like things are on course here,” Observed Zail.  “Wait, when do you sleep?” He asked the XO, suddenly wondering at his presence.

“I am not human,” Said the masked alien.  “I have different sleep patterns.”

“Uh-huh,” Said Serpent, recognising a lie.  “Well, I’m ordering you to take a break.”

The other moved as if to speak, but Pherik interrupted him.  “No!  Don’t try to get out of it.  Now, I’m going to my office to check some things.  When I emerge I expect Mr Quinn to be standing here giving the crew grief instead.  Clear?”

Eosel sagged slightly.  “Yes, Captain.”

With that, Zail turned and strode off towards the back of the bridge.  When he entered his still unfamiliar office, he saw a mountain of datapads piled on the desk.  This both wearied and pleased him.  Yes, it would take a while to read through, but the fact that so many departments were reporting in on time was a good sign.

He sat down in his chair and lifted a few.  He just skimmed the reports in brief first, getting the gist of them.  The ship’s TIE complement was fully refuelled and ready to go, and his Engineering department had now completed their full check of the ship.  All was ready, and pleasingly fast too.

And then, just as he was reading a datapad about their troop complement, the computer at his side blazed into life.  No warning, no messages from the bridge about an incoming transmission, the screen just came alive.  Pherik turned to it, and saw four letters in Aurebesh rendered there.


The reports were instantly forgotten.  Keying in his Intelligence Fleet Liaison authorisation code, he read the priority message that suddenly scrolled across the screen before him.  It was brief and to the point, spelling out the pertinent facts in order, and Serpent recognised the writing style of Ensign Grey.

The shuttle Nightdancer was on its way with an elite VENI strike force, and they needed it concealed on the Brilliant.  Reacting instantly to this, he activated him com unit.

“Mr Quinn?” Pherik asked.

“Yes, sir!” Came the prompt reply from the ship’s Second Officer.

“Are you on your way to the bridge?”

“Yes, sir.  I am heading there to relieve Mr Eosel.”

“No, you aren’t,” Corrected Zail.  “Divert to the secondary hangar.  I want it cleared of all personnel.  Now.”

“Understood, sir,” Replied the Second Officer.

“Very good,” Said the Captain, knowing that it would be taken care of.  Logging off the com system, he erased the message from his computer and then returned promptly to the bridge.  The XO was still there, waiting for Quinn’s arrival, but when he saw the look on Serpent’s face he knew that something had changed.

“Sir?” Asked Eosel.

Zail held up a hand, forestalling further questions, and instead descended into the crew pits to talk to his least favourite officer on the whole ship.

“Mr Mishima!” He said, approaching the human at the Com Station.

Dev Mishima instantly looked panicked to see his CO approach.  Rushing through his mental list of ‘Things I’ve Done Recently That Could Piss Off the Captain’, he selected the most likely.  “Sir!” He began quickly, “If this is about those twins on deck 12, well, listen, there is no regulation against inter-species threesomes, and besides...”

“Shut up,” Said Pherik quickly, too busy for the smart-mouth officer’s antics.  “Here,” He said, handing him a datapad with a high-level encryption code upon it.

“What’s this?” Asked the Com Chief.

“In a few hours we will be approached by a shuttle,” Said Serpent, deadly serious.  “It will broadcast this authentication code.  When it does, clear the shuttle for landing at the secondary hangar bay.”

Mishima nodded slowly, the look on his face indicating that he was beginning to understand the gravity of the situation.  “And then I notify you, and forget that any of this ever happened, right?”

“Exactly,” Said the Captain.  “You catch on fast.”

“Catch on to what?” Said the other with a smile.

Zail nodded.  All was in readiness.  When the Fleet left, the Brilliant would be carrying a little VENI-related surprise for the Imperial Dominion...

1017 words.  Covering VENI activities, but not a full VENI NPC post.

After Action Report:  The Brilliant is just about ready to leave, and now Serpent has received a message from Intelligence about the arrival of Ensign Grey’s strike force.  He makes preparations for their docking.
SCAP/CWO Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE

"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
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 9, 2012 11:04:32 PM    View the profile of Dawn 
Trudging back to his bunk, Dawn could hardly keep his eyes open. He plopped down on his cot but didn’t try to fall asleep. He’d recently gotten in contact with an old friend of his, Jacen. He grabbed his data-pad and checked his resent messages, seeing one from him he opened it.

'From Jacen:

Hey, so about those Army vets, who are they? I might know them.'

Replying to the message:
'To: Jacen

The guy is Joamer Reistlin. His wife, well, to everyone she knows it's just Brightstar. Anyway, just open up a coms channel and we can talk through that. I'll probably be awake for a few minutes.'


'Comms Request from: Jacen

Jacen: Hey Isaac
You: Hi
Jacen: I do know Joamer and Bright
You: Do you now?
Jacen: Yeah, they were my SL and ASL a long time ago
You: Really? Any messages you want me to pass along?
Jacen: Yeah, to Joamer, tell him Whiskey died when he left and that we couldn't get the body and then break his jaw for me.
You: What? He'll break my arm
Jacen: Tell him it's from me first, then break his jaw.
You: Fine, just because I know how much Whiskey meant to you and I kinda want to get back at him for this hell.
Jacen: Good
You: Bye
Jacen: Bye

Communications Terminated'

Powering down his data-pad, Isaac closed his eyes and fell asleep.

*                                        *                                    *

11 hours later, Isaac opened his eyes. Sitting up groggily he realized he was still in his armor and that his neck was killing him. He checked his chrono and saw he had about an hour before Joa was going to do anything to them. Sighing he stood, rubbing his neck the man started walking to the canteen on board. The few crewmen that were about gave the man odd looks as Strill hadn't gone through this part of the ship a lot. After eating nothing but army rations for the past few days, Issac was looking forward to some real food.

He grabbed a tray full of food and a mug of caf and went to a corner of the room. The food wasn't all too appetizing, but anything was better than rations. He scarfed it down and downed his caf quickly. He was soon awake and had another forty-five minutes left. Thinking that Joa would probably have something planned for them soon after the rest woke up, he decided to warm up in the weight room.

Entering, he looked around no one was in the main room but behind a transparasteel wall Dawn saw something that shocked him. Joamer was doing some form of yoga dance. He walked into the yoga room with confusion on his face.

"It's called Prana-bindu," Joamer said, not reacting to the person disturbing him, "and it's very old. It centers your mind and body, and gives you control. Masters can control every muscle separately, it takes a life time and requires absolute servitude."

"What?" Isaac replied still confused.

"I have cybernetics, so I don't need the strength. I do it for the speed, control, and flexibility."


"Dawn, I can see the look in your eyes. This training is not for everyone, it requires a commitment that far succeeds anything you have ever known. Take a good long look at yourself, then come back when you are ready."

"I'll think about it. Anyway, one of your former squaddies gave me a call last night."

"Hmm? Who?"

"Dusk, he also told me to give you a message."

"Alright, what is it?"

"Whiskey's dead, soon after you left. On that mission actually."

"Did he say how the funeral was done? She earned the right to be buried the way RAIDERS were. We had a saying, we live and die in starlight."

"He said they couldn't retrieve the body. But he also told me to break your jaw."

The FL stood there for second, facing the wall with his fists clenched. "I suggest you leave now, and if you talk to Dusk again before I find him remind him we don't leave our people behind."

Dawn could almost see the anger in Joamer so he decided to take his superior's suggestion. As he walked out he heard things being thrown against the wall, and a very feral angry scream come from the room. He decided not to look back.

WC: 735
After Action Report: Dawn is tiered from training. He talks with Dusk and has an interesting conversation with Joamer
FM/CRW Issac "Dawn" Fallen/Iron Four/S:58 Strill/W:101st Blade/ISD-II/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 11, 2012 12:01:11 AM    View the profile of Dunny 
Petty Officer Jha Komi grimaced as his wingmate was taken out in the suicidal forward charge of the enemy, and wrenched his control yoke to the side. His small TIE Interceptor spiralled out of the growing dogfight between the two Squadrons, and gathered his bearings, diving down under the furball to avoid detection for a few precious moments. He watched through the black eyepieces of his helmet as Aurek 1 was destroyed, and the enemy flight flew back in full retreat. He watched carefully as they disengaged and raced for safety, noting in his head that whilst the two whom had taken out Aurek 1 were very skilled pilots, the other two members were obviously lacking in experience. He nodded to himself as he let his hand rest on the throttle.

They would be the first to go.

[[“Aurek 4, flank. Besh Flight, keep them occupied. Cresh, on me.”]]

Markus Wolfrott, the CO of Jexxel Squadron, had spoken. Jha saw what his commander had in mind, so without bothering to signal an acknowledgement and give away his position, he angled his control yoke off to port and pushed on the throttle. The Twin Ion Engine roared beneath his feet as his Interceptor was sent hurtling further away from the battle, swinging around wide as he saw the ion trails of Besh Flight eagerly give chase to the retreating opposition. Jha watched as the fight was joined, with Chlovi's 2nd Flight swooping in to engage. In sharp contrast to the rapid charge of Chlovi, the enemy was prepared for this one, and sprang their ambush.

He watched as Besh 3 was shot down by one of the enemy, send spiralling into oblivion, and Besh 4 took a nasty hit. He hoped that their sacrifice would be worth the positional advantage it was granting him and the boss. He took up a position beneath the battle and switched his Ion drive off, floating silently in the void as he waited for the attack signal. Markus had instilled discipline into the Squadron from day one, and he knew that to attack without orders was to invite disaster. The boss had a plan, and Jha would carry it out to the very letter. He had absolute faith in Markus to win the day.

[[“Aurek 4, engage. Cresh, targeting data incoming, blow them out of the sky.”]]

That was all that Jha needed to hear, as he fed power into the Twin Ion Engine and screamed upwards, the targeting data for the enemy rookies from Aurek flight already uploaded into his computer from the Adjudicator. The fools had kept their shields on double-rear, and now they were going to pay for their mistake. He fed the targeting data to the two concussion missile launchers located in the ball cockpit of his fighter, making sure to do it manually so the enemy had no warning of a target lock until it was too late, and pulled the trigger., screaming in towards the enemy formation at top speed.

Two concussion missiles screamed from their launchers, one locked firmly onto each of the two targets as he grinned. Within a second, both fighters had been converted into balls of ignited fuel and scrap metal, a pair of silent explosions in the void. He snap-rolled to starboard to avoid the shrapnel, and swung around, cutting power to the engine to pull a very tight turn around the two explosions, using them to mask his sensor signature. He waited a moment for the flight control officer to feed him the targeting data of the enemy's ace, Aurek 1, and dived right in, determined to keep the enemy commander from having any effect on the rest of the battle.

“A4 here, three down. I'm on the leader.”
He grinned as he saw one of the enemy fighters race away from the battle, obviously panicking, and Besh 2 casually sent a pair of concussion missiles his way. There was no sign of Besh leader. It wasn't his problem, the ace decided as he lined up the cobalt-striped Interceptor that was filling his vision, and came in sharply from port, filling the air around the fighter with rapid-fire blaster bolts.

[[“I'll take his wingmate.”]] Besh 2 signalled to him, the only other surviving Interceptor racing after his target's wingman and preventing any possibility of Jha getting caught in a sandwich attack. As the enemy fighter broke to port faster than Jha thought an Interceptor was capable of travelling, he smiled softly and matched the manoeuvre. This would be an interesting dance.

Word Count: 750 Words.
AAR: Jexxel's Aurek 4, the ace who destroyed half of 50th's Aurek Flight, sets his sights on Dunny and launches a vicious attack. Dunny's in for the fight of his life: This guy is possibly even better than he is!

Markus Wolfrott, the leader of the newly formed Jexxel Squadron and the architect of the strategies it was becoming famed for, grinned to himself as he sat comfortably in the seat of the large, twin-pod TIE/sa Bomber. A student of the strategies of the Old Republic, Markus had learned during his long and colourful career that the key to victory was deception. The man whom was able to deceive his opponent was the one whom controlled the battlefield, and as looked at the four TIE Interceptors that were circling around on his starboard side, he smiled to himself.

With their ion drives switched off and only their communications systems online, there was little chance that the enemy would spot the four jet-black craft floating at the edge of the battlefield. Just a few moments more, and the time would be perfect for him to spring the trap. All he needed to do was wait until the enemy committed that flight and they put their shields to forward, and the four TIE craft that he had held back in reserve would be able to spring their trap. Any moment now...

...there! The ion trails of the four fighters brightened as they picked up speed, and he immediately sent the order through his comms.

“Aurek 4, engage. Cresh, targeting data incoming, blow them out of the sky.”
With that, the two TIE Bombers and two TIE Vanguards started up their systems. The two Vanguards, operating on the wings of Cresh 3 and himself immediately activated their jamming systems. In a single, horrible moment, the pilots of Chlovi's Cresh Flight realized that they were completely cut off from their comrades, and about to be ambushed in a big way. Before they even had a chance to react, a pair of concussion missiles left the bomb bay of each of the bombers, arcing towards the doomed craft.

To their credit, two of the fighters reacted instantly, veering off in random vectors and evading as though they were born for it – those two managed to just barely avoid death at the hands of the missiles, though one of the fighters was locked in a deadly dance, just one step ahead of destruction. Two of the fighters, however, were obliterated, destroyed before they even knew what happened. He smiled tersely as he made an adjustment to his targeting computer, drew a bead on the fighter that was still trying to evade the missile, and pulled the trigger, sending another two concussion missiles out.

[[“A4 here, three down. I'm on the leader.”]]
[[“I'll take his wingmate.”]]

Good, they were engaging what was left of the enemy's command flight. That would hopefully keep Dunn out of the picture. The man wasn't the best strategist in the Imperial Starfighter Corps, relying more on his ability to teach than to lead in order to help his Squadron, but the man was still an excellent pilot, and Markus didn't want the ace interfering in his counter-attack. If anyone could take down Dunn, Jha was the man to do it. Markus considered Jha to be his secret weapon – the man had only served in two sorties so far, but his talent was remarkable. Markus was confident that the situation was well in hand.

“Finish off these two, C3.” He ordered as he boosted the range of his targeting computer, already far more accurate than the dogfighting-tuned models used in Imperial TIE Interceptors. He saw two TIE Interceptors on his screen, both of them bearing the Cyan stripes that signified ace pilots. The two were peeling off to assist their leader. That couldn't be allowed to happen. Markus punched them into the targeting computer, trying to get a missile lock on the two targets. The knowledge that they were being hunted should be enough to make them reconsider their priorities. He spotted an explosion off to his right, and grinned savagely. One of the Chlovi Interceptors they'd ambushed had bitten the dust.

[[“Got one. That other one can dance, though.”]]

So one of the pilots was good – very good. Probably the leader, he mused as he finally achieved a target lock on the two Cyan-striped fighters and squeezed the trigger with a frown of concentration etched onto his face, unleashing two Concussion missiles on each of the fighters. That ought to buy Jha the time he needed to take out that blasted overconfident Dunn. He paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts.
Yes, he definitely had the advantage.

Word Count: 750 Words.
AAR: Markus Wolfrott, the genius leader of Jexxel Squadron, springs his ambush. With TIE Vanguards jamming the enemy and Bombers threatening to pick them off from afar, things look bad for Chlovi Squadron – even with even numbers remaining.

Sam Dunn cursed to himself as he yanked his joystick hard to port and snap-rolled clear of the sudden enemy fire, feeling his fighter shudder as a glancing hit rocked the side of Interceptor's solar panel and sent sparks racing into the cold void. Grimacing to himself as his fighter started to lose power, Sam quickly stabbed at the dashboard controls with his finger, adjusting the power management system to re-route around the damaged area. His fighter's engine roared as he climbed hard, pulling up and out of the target's line of fire. Laser blasts flashed below him, brilliant green, and Sam swore inside the privacy of his cockpit.

The stars spun before his eyes as he threw his fighter into a sharp spin, trying to make himself even harder to hit and even harder to predict as emerald laser bolts flashed around his cockpit. At least if there was one thing Sam Dunn was good at, it was not getting shot. He pushed the joystick down slightly, turning the spin into a corkscrew, before pulling up and back, thankful that he wasn't in atmosphere. In gravity, his wings would have sheared clear from his fighter long ago.

This guy was good. Very good. Sam didn't know if he could keep this up for long. He threw his fighter into another evasive manoeuvre, a feint to port and then a sharp dive that kept him just out of the way of the seemingly undending stream of laser fire. Damn it, he couldn't think under this much pressure. He needed to snatch back the initiative, and now. He could just barely see the enemy fighter off to his port side if he craned his neck, looking through the slit in between the two wing panels on his Interceptor. Damn it, the guy was still right on top of him!
“Cresh, engage!”

It was when he realized that no reply had come that it dawned on him that something was very wrong. Where the blazes was Cresh Flight? Why weren't they responding? He growled from frustration as he tried a Tallon Roll, and growled even harder as the enemy matched the movement perfectly, engaging him in a scissors contest. He immediately cut power to his weapons and targeting computer and threw it into the engines, corkscrewing hard to try and bleed off speed. From the lack of fire coming at the bogey behind him, Sam had a nasty feeling that Zorne had run into problems as well.
“Someone get me a visual on Cresh!” He ordered, even as he banked and turned...just in time to see a pair of explosions light up the darkness of space.

[[“This is Adjudicator – Two opposing bombers, two TIE Vanguards. The Vanguards are jamming Cresh Flight.”]]
Well, wasn't that just wonderful? Sam tried another couple of evasive maneuvers, and each time they just barely saved him from death. He was going to have to think of something, or he was in a lot of trouble. He yanked hard on the control yoke and stamped on one of the pitch pedals as he barked out an order to the remnants of the Squadron, trying to steal back the initiative.
“Besh, get over there and help Cresh out. Don't worry about me, Maroy, I can handle this guy. Don't let those Bombers get a solid lock on you!”

He thought hard for a moment, before a realisation came to him.
“Zhar, get ready – we're gonna have to try an Antilles Slip.”
It was crazy – even for Dunny's tastes. A move invented by the infamous Wedge Antilles, it required split-second timing, perfect co-ordination and absolute trust in your wingmate. It was a move usually only seen amongst the elite Rogue Squadron – but if they were going to be able to take back the initiative from these two pilots, they were going to have to try something insane.

Word Count: 655 Words.
AAR: Casualties are: Aurek 3,4; Besh 3; Cresh 2,3,4.
Aurek is currently engaging the two remaining Interceptor aces – and it's a fight for their lives. Cresh is all but destroyed, their one survivor is currently undergoing some jamming issues. It's Besh and Cresh's survivor versus the remaining enemy flight, filled with veteran pilots, electronic warfare and heavy weaponry.

How will Besh get past the wall of fire ahead of them and take down the enemy? Will Jexxel have their victory? Only you can decide, team.
SCO|SCPO Sam "Dunny" Dunn
Cobalt One|S:50 "Chlovi" W:101 "Blade"
ISD Adjudicator|TF:A|2FL|SC|VEN|VE

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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 12, 2012 2:14:54 AM    View the profile of Joamer 
The rhythmic clicking of his jack-boots was the only sound in the private ready room the squadron had. It had been one hour since his outburst in the gym. In that hour he had nearly destroyed the equipment in that room then retreated to his quarters to think. After a shave, a long stay in the refresher and putting on his dress uniform that consisted of a simple black outfit, grey piping running around his shoulders and circling his neck. The only other decoration on the uniform was the squadron patch, no rank bars, or even a wing emblem decorated the uniform. His none-military issue particle magnum sat on a holster on his right leg. His long hair was pulled back and tied off.

Not stopping his pacing of the presentation area, he turned smoothly around and continued his marching to the other end. He was waiting now, five minutes ago he had called the whole squadron to this room. His words had been simple, but very direct. Now he waited, not looking up as he heard the door open he simply turned on his heel and marched in the opposite direction. Holding his hands clasped behind him he did not look at who was entering, only continued to march to the other wall then turn on his heel. Bright was leaning against one of the walls below the stage, Edge was mirroring her on the other side of the small room.

He could hear various members of the squadron talking softly as they entered, once they caught eye of the three troopers at the bottom of the room the talking went silent and they found their seats quickly. Looking at his chrono as the last person entered, he made a note of the time it took for everyone to arrive. Seven minutes, need to improve on that. He thought to himself.

Stopping in the dead center of the room, he squared his shoulders and looked out at his squadron. He barely knew them, but he knew the lengths he would go for them. It was his job as commander to see them home safe, or give his life in trying. That was the hardest lesson he learned in the army, and it was one he would always believe in now. They said sometimes the mission is more important, but he had come to realize a new truth. The various members of the group were more important, you got them home at all costs. Everything else was secondary to that objective.

"One hour ago," He said softly, but his voice amplified itself around the room due to the acoustic design. "I received word from my old squad. During the last mission I was called away, it was a simple training mission so I was not worried. They were well trained, and could handle most things without me holding their hands. However, nine months have passed since that mission. It took nine months for word to reach me, our most important rule had been broken." He looked out at everyone in turn, meeting their eyes for a few seconds then moving on. "That rule was, no one is left behind. One was."

The squadron did not respond overly much to that news, he did not expect them to. It was someone they had never met, nor cared about. Looking down at the ground for a moment, he looked back at them and said, "I have almost fifty years of experience I will share with all of you. I have been told on numerous occasions I am a horrible teacher, I can only show you these things. It's up to you, to take them in and learn them. My greatest lesson will be this. No one is left behind. If you fall in battle, during those last few seconds I want you to know you will not be left behind on my watch. I will see you are given your final honors, that is a promise I will keep. You will be remembered, and your name will be recorded for the future to know. We are paving the way for a new way of thinking in the Navy, if you fall on the road we will bring you home."

The room was dead quiet when he stopped, thinking like that was something few if any of them had heard before. Thinking like that in the Empire a few years ago would of gotten you shot, to them it was a tiny glimmer of hope in the darkness. Maybe it was just enough to get a few of them home knowing someone had their back.

"Now, on to other news. Scuttlebutt has it the fleets beginning final prep for our jump back to Bloodmoon, no doubt the Dominion have had time to call in reinforcements. I don't know what our mission will be, but I have a feeling we will at the very least be skimming the surface of the moon at high speeds." Pausing for a moment, he sighed slowly then continued. "I don't think our luck is good enough to not put our feet on the ground, so this is what I want everyone to be doing till we begin. There are various models of rifle in the armory, I want each of you to pick one you can get comfortable with and head to the range. The more rounds you put on target, the better your muscle memory will be when the time comes to use it."

Squatting down on his heels he looked out at everyone and for a moment was silent. After a few seconds he said softly, "I know we should of spent time in the simulator, but we are all pilots here. Never flying together is going to be rough on us, but we know the training. Our biggest problem will be when we put our feet on the ground, everyone is to take it easy from now till we show the Dominion who is boss. However, the more training you get in the mean time the better everyone will be when the time comes. If you have loved ones, I suggest you write a letter to them. I'm not the type to give you empty promises, I can't promise you everyone will make it back. Spend the time we have left making peace at what is coming, then when we go out there I want you to make those bastards earn it."

Standing back up he turned around as a way to dismiss the squadron. The room was almost dead silent as everyone left slowly, he knew those words were not what they were used to. He could not in good conscious give them false hopes, it was not in his nature. He wanted them to know they could die, that way they would push that tiny bit harder that may see them get home at the end of the day. He wanted them to know, even if they fell those beside them would bring them home.

Turning to Bright he jumped down from the stage and embraced her in the empty room. "I think we just reached the point of no return. Once more we venture into the darkness and fight our way back out." He said softly into her ear.

"We've held out against worse before, we'll do it again. It's as simple as that." She said in a voice that no sane person would argue against.

"I don't deserve you, but I plan to keep you nonetheless." Smiling as she scrunched her nose at him for an instant he led her out of the room and down one of the corridors. He would spend the time they had left, just enjoying the simple things. Once the insanity began anew it would be those small moments he would miss the most.

WC-1234(Cool Huh? I did not plan that at all either.) Anyways, Joa does some soul searching, then informs the squadron of his greatest lesson he can teach.
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
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In memory of Ghost squad, we will never forget.
[This message has been edited by Joamer (edited December 12, 2012 2:15:53 AM)]
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 12, 2012 6:55:07 PM    View the profile of Maroy 
[[Besh, get over there and help Cresh out. Don't worry about me, Maroy, I can handle this guy. Don't let those Bombers get a solid lock on you!]]

Maroy hesitated for a moment, torn between rescuing the rest of the squadron and rescuing Dunny. After a moment of internal debate, she swung the fighter around and faced the Bombers and Vanguards approaching combat range. Eight, missing his wingman but no longer under attack, slid into place alongside Darian behind her.

"They've got enough missiles to vape us long before we get in firing range. Any ideas?"

Six responded first. [[Maybe we could fly in a straight line and use the person in front as a shield?]]

Maroy pondered that for a moment. "That might work, but when they explode we'd be close enough to take a lot of damage as well. It's risky."

[[But their sensors probably can't separate masses this small at that distance.]] Eight shrugged. [[If we fly in a very tight formation and disable our IFF transponders, they shouldn't be able to lock on to us individually.]]

"What does that buy us? The explosions would still do us in."

[[Not if we break formation before it gets into detonation range.]]

Hmmm... Actually, that's brilliant. At the very least, the missiles will only end up hitting one of us. And they'll have to reacquire locks again, which gives us some maneuvering room.

"Sounds like a plan. Let's see how tight of a formation we can make."

The three Interceptors carefully arranged themselves in a ring and then shot forward, staying as close as possible without bumping into each other. Maroy reached over and flipped off her IFF transponder and active sensors. It was going to make targeting difficult, but with the Vanguards' jamming it was a moot point. She singled out one of the dim specks of grey against the black backdrop and mentally tracked its position.

They closed into targeting range, and Maroy strained her eyes to pick out any sign of a fired missile. The same systems that warned her of a missile lock also made locking on to her that much easier, so she was stuck with visual only. Is that... yes. There's one. The dark speck was silhouetted against its glowing ion trail.

"Get ready to break on my signal."

She located the speck from earlier, now distinguishable from three others. Without targeting computers, this is going to be tough. The missile streaked towards them, crossing the distance faster than an Interceptor's engines could go. As soon as it got within fifty meters, she pulled back on the controls and shouted "Break!"

She didn't waste time keeping track of the torpedo as she rolled away from it as quickly as possible and began a loop back toward the two bombers. A quick glance out the viewport caught Tony doing the same, but she couldn't see where Darian went. She zeroed in on her target, which was starting to turn to track Tony. Linking her blasters for quad-fire, she adjusted for the bomber's movement and opened fire. The first few shots splashed against the shields, but the remainder joined with another Interceptor's shots and hit hull, slagging the missile launcher assembly. The Jexxel fighter veered off, mortally wounded.

The second Bomber jumped to full throttle and began maneuvering in an attempt to shake its attackers. It was soon joined by the other two fighters, the Vanguards. They weren't as nimble as the Interceptors and they only packed a single laser cannon, but they were still a threat.

She dropped in behind the last bomber and attempted to stay behind him, but the pilot managed to stay just out of her sights for several seconds. Emerald blasts flew past her own wings, indicating one of the Vanguards had singled her out. She quickly looped back, hoping to get a shot at her pursuer. The bomber took advantage of the moment to get clear.

Suddenly her pursuer exploded and another Interceptor flashed past her. The jamming lifted temporarily.

[[I'm the only one left. Eight, you're with me...]] Cresh lead's voice trailed off as the static overtook the comm again.

So Lunei and the others are gone. That just leaves four of us against the three of them. Still sounds like good odds to me.

WC: 717
AAR: Besh formulates a quick plan and attacks Jexxel's third flight, nearly destroying one bomber. Cresh lead joins them and destroys one of the Vanguards. Six and Nine are both heavily damaged.
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 12, 2012 9:19:04 PM    View the profile of Grey 

The Nightdancer dropped gracefully out of hyperspace, guided expertly by the hands of Ensign Grey.  The shuttle moved easily at her delicate touch, and she could not recall the last time she had piloted something so graceful.  It made a welcome change from most of the run-down wrecks that Vast Empire Naval Intelligence assigned her.

Seeing the Second Fleet amassing ahead of her, she activated the ship’s Sensor Mask, suppressing its energy signature.  It would do nothing against someone simply looking out the window of their ships, but as far as the fleet’s electromagnetic detection equipment was concerned, the Nightdancer did not exist.

Guiding the shuttle around the capital ships, Ensign Grey steered them towards the sleek angular form of the VSD Brilliant, and transmitted the authentication code she had provided to the VENI Fleet Liaison Officer.  She received the response almost immediately, and throttled up towards the Star Destroyer’s secondary hangar.

The Nightdancer entered inside, touching down on the gleaming silvery-white deck.  Ensign Grey looked out the window, noticing that the cavernous docking bay was totally empty.  Not even a droid moved about the deserted hall, testament to how thorough Captain Zail was in ensuring the security of his VENI fellows.

Rising from the pilot’s chair, Grey walked back into the main hold of the Theta-class T-2c shuttle.  There she surveyed her hastily assembled team, the best that Intelligence had on short notice.  The destruction of the Imperial Dominion’s top weapons research facility was their task, and Grey vowed that they would achieve that.  At any cost.

There was the massive Sergeant Drazin, his face scarred and his body ripped with muscle.  He was an elite sniper, often called VENI’s best, and Grey admired his skills.

In the big man’s shadow stood the bland-looking Doctor Argolo Frayne, a military scientist who had devoted his life to creating chemical defences against poisons and toxins.  A worthwhile goal in the current era of chemical warfare.

Next was Corporal Elsek, a small woman whose skills of infiltration rivalled Grey’s own.  Looking at her, the Ensign saw a miniature version of herself, and wondered idly how the Corporal would have fared in Imperial Intelligence.  Probably would have thrived.

A discreet distance away from those three was Frayne’s polar opposite, Irya Pael.  A cybernetically modified Arkanian, the female scientist was quite likely mad.  She was cruel and ruthless in the pursuit of her science, and while Frayne was motivated by the desire to save lives, Ensign Grey had to admit that she had no idea as to what drove Irya Pael.

Right at the back of the shuttle sat the strange man known as Trathras.  The fur clad being was a spec ops trained elite warrior, and was also a genetically modified anomaly.  Strange of speech and strange of motivation, Grey had welcomed his presence on the mission.  It always paid to have something unexpected in one’s arsenal.

That was her team, but there was one more piece to the puzzle left to come.  Grey herself was fully capable of operating the Nightdancer, but she requested a dedicated pilot for the mission.  He was already on board the Brilliant and she would meet him in due course.  For now, she had to tend to the others.

“People, we have arrived,” Announced Ensign Grey, drawing their attention.  “Captain Zail has given us limited accommodation on board his ship, but try to keep to yourselves.  We won’t be on board long.  You all have my com frequency, so be sure to check in with me at regular intervals of one hour.  Dismissed!” She said, ordering them down the landing ramp and out of the shuttle.

Ensign Grey watched them go, her gaze flicking across each one and taking their measure.  So interesting, so skilled, so unique.  It was a VENI strike team and no mistake.

But good as they were, they were no guarantee of victory.

Walking to the back of the shuttle, Grey approached the storage compartment.  There she had put together an assemblage of weapons and equipment, explosives and portable computers.  Her team had seem them all, selecting choice pieces for themselves (and, in the case of Pael and Frayne, arguing over certain bits), but all had missed the most significant item present.

Ensign Grey pushed aside some of the items and reached to the secret door at the back of the storage compartment.  The cover was barely a meter across and half that in height, and such a snug fit that it was hard to tell the door from the hull plates.  Carefully she pried it open, and took a moment to behold what lay beyond.

The Fission bomb was a masterpiece of destructive power, quite capable of laying waste to an entire city.  Grey admired the weapon, potent in the extreme, admired and feared.

She was no fool.  She knew that, once the Bloodmoon began producing lethal pathogens, that the Imperial Dominion would turn those plagues loose on the Vast Empire.  No hesitation, just genocide.  Therefore the Bloodmoon had to fall.  Preferably to her team of infiltrators, but if not, then the Fission bomb was her insurance.

She set the timer for one hour after the fleet was due to arrive at the Bloodmoon.  That would be time for her people to get in, secure what information and defectors they could, and blow the laboratory sky high.

And if they failed, and did not get back to the shuttle, the bomb would detonate.  They would die, the facility would die, and any ships of the Second Fleet within range would die too.

A major loss, but better than the deaths of billions of VE citizens.

“I do not matter,” Intoned Ensign Grey, “Only the mission matters.”

954 words.

After Action Report:  The VENI team arrives at the Brilliant.  They are now ready to depart with the Fleet for the Bloodmoon.  They carry a Fission bomb, and one way or the other, the weapons lab will fall.
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 13, 2012 2:49:46 AM    View the profile of Bacredi 
“Petty Officer Riggelin,” Bacredi walked through the center of the bridge and looked into the right bullpen straight at the SCPO. “You have the conn, Petty Officer McGinn please note the date and time that Petty Officer Riggelin took the deck in the ship’s log.” Bacredi gave Riggelin a hand as he stepped out of the bullpen and onto the bridge.

“You are relieved, sir,” Riggelin did a half-hearted salute and Bacredi saluted back just as nonchalantly.

“I have my com if anything comes up.”

He walked towards the blast door that guarded the bridge from the horrors of a boarding and nodded to the guard, who pressed a button and the blast door slid open. The elevator bank that was outside the bridge didn’t really scream “Imperial” like Bacredi would have preferred, and they weren’t necessarily pretty to look at. Six elevators on the left, six on the right, a boring gray paint scheme mixed with a Vast Empire insignia on each elevator door.

Bland. Bland. Bland.

It’s not that being on a Star Destroyer was wearing on him, it was that it was bringing back the graphic memories of the Seventh Fleet. His idiocy had led to an entire fleet being mothballed and caused him to lose his position as Director of Imperial Intelligence. He didn’t care about those; really, the thing he really cared about was how the losses had damaged his confidence. He no longer had any confidence to do the job and that was the reason he hung up his tunic and set sail. He didn’t want to endanger any more Vast Imperial lives.

Zhar swiped his ID card on the closest elevator—the officers elevator—yet another perk of being above a Lieutenant.

Pay still sucks, though.

The elevator was carpeted, albeit with a heinous color, and decorated with Imperial propaganda. He had to consult his datapad to find the floor he needed, but he found it soon enough and within thirty seconds the elevator had come to a soundless halt. The officer’s mess was typically full of higher-ranking navy men and women attempting to pass the time on an ISD, yet today there were only a few souls in the room. Zhar took a seat at the closest seat he could find and within moments and idle waiter was on the table like a vulture on its prey.

“Hello, sir,” the man spoke to Bacredi in a benign, monotone voice that reminded Bacredi of his Aviator’s Exam.

Do we have those anymore?

“What can I do for you today?” Those seven words made Zhar realize that the nervousness he had felt for his watch duty had translated into a loss of appetite, and he was absolutely starving.

“Menu, please, I have no idea what this place even serves.” The man was back within seconds with a menu, and he gave Bacredi some time to look it over; once he had decided on an order he raised his hand for the waiter and he once again trounced on the table. “I’ll get the Covado salad with the kebroot stew please and also a cigar and an ashtray.” Bacredi had been a fan of Ithorian food since his childhood and he was extremely surprised to find Ithorian food on any menu, let alone on one of His Majesty’s Vast imperial ships. The waiter brought out a cigar and cut it for Zhar, and then placed an ashtray on the table. Zhar whipped out his own lighter and lit the thing, he hadn’t smoked in years.

Just something to pass the time

He let out a huge cough, not accustomed to the rancid taste of smoke. He scarfed down the Ithorian salad and the Alderaanian stew and after the meal he was extremely happy that the food on the Adjudicator was above two stars. He had been “surviving” on global cuisine of the highest caliber since his retirement after all, and the food made by the spooks on the Daring was nerve racking to eat because he simply never knew if it was going to be his last meal.

I’m beginning to like this place.

700 Words.

Kind of a weird post. I was trying to make it seem like he was feeling more comfortable, i dunno if i got that though. However I did kind of describe an officer's mess and an officer's elevator, kind of nice .
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  RE: VEN: Counterpunch: War
December 14, 2012 12:58:35 AM    View the profile of Fyston 
As a result of his 'philanthropy,' some of the first supplies in were important medical materials, be it gauze or anesthesia. It would be obvious if the only thing on the first few transports was medical materials, so by keeping it from taking up a major portion of the transports, it was hoped that few, if anybody, would realize what was going on. Other important materials were brought in, such as munitions and replacement parts, but replacement personnel were given bags of gear that were filled with whatever their respective section needed. Replacement medics carried large duffel bags of various medical supplies while engineers and repair crews brought tools and what parts they could carry.

This influx of supplies was what was causing Fy's muscles to ache, his arms close to muscle failure. While the shuttles had brought supplies from the transport ships, they didn't bring the crew needed to unload them. As a muscular, tall Zabrak, you tended to volunteer for unloading duty unless you wanted to be volunteered. The Zabrak was in high spirits, though, and not even the fatigue and the boring nature of unloading duty could bring him down.

It wasn't necessarily because of his encounter with Krieg, either. They'd both agreed to avoid such a scenario again while she was in a position of authority over him. As it stood, it was entirely possible that someone had figured out what had happened, though unless they had proof it would be hard to substantiate any rumors.

No, the biggest impact on Fy's high spirits was the reality that his transfer was complete and tangible. Just being transferred to the fleet position he was in seemed to lift a weight from his shoulders. The constant threat of death in what was, effectively, a tin can bore down on every pilot's shoulders, no matter how determined they were to seem unfazed. A pilot who stayed alive long enough lost more than their fair share of friends, and Death became a constant companion. As a pilot, you developed instincts that were so honed as to match a deer but at the cost of lost hours of sleep. Every alarm became a short run to the hangar and, for those who had lost friends or family, every dream brought forth familiar faces that were gone from the galaxy.

With his transfer, Fyston was allowed to help in a way that didn't require a flight suit and an Interceptor. He was safer, more secure from the harsh realities of combat, a fact that both helped and hurt him. Death was no longer a constant companion, but he couldn't help but feel like he was leaving behind those who needed him most. There were other medics, but good pilots weren't a dime a dozen.

Still, little could rock him out of his high spirits, not even the heavy boxes of supplies. He'd walked everywhere from the engineering department to the munitions pit of a weapon emplacement. He'd been doing it since he woke up, and he had lost track of the time some time ago.

When he returned to the shuttle, he noticed a fairly large, rectangular box marked "MED" on it. He motioned to another medic, the same one he'd spoken to just before meeting Krieg, and nodded his head at the box. "You love interrupting my breaks, don't you, lover boy?" The Zabrak smiled before responding, picking up his portion of the box as he did so. "What do you mean?" "Cut the crap, Fy, everyone knows what went on with you and Krieg. How else would we have gotten these supplies so urgently. It's barely been a day and the medical department of every ship in the fleet is almost overflowing with equipment. We've got enough personnel and gear to perform medical procedures around the clock for six months. She talks to you and just happens to order all of this equipment to get here? You might be a smooth talker, but nobody's that good."

Fyston couldn't help but chuckle as they made their way into the hallway, working in unison to avoid the various mouse droids and other obstacles present in the hallway. "How bad is it, Tiny?" The other medic had gotten his name from the other medics during corpsman training, when he had been one of the larger, more muscular medics in a room full of slim medics who looked like they had yet to hit puberty. Since then, the name had stuck and he was known to all as Tiny. "It's pretty bad, Fy. Rumors went around the ship when the first transport arrived and now I'm sure even Trick knows." "A hundred credits says they transfer her." "Are you serious? She's an officer and has a job way more important than yours. I'll take it, though." With a laugh, Fyston rounded a corner, a busy crewman almost running into the box. "They'd have to move one of us to the First fleet. The First fleet is defensive and, while it has medics, loses them far less frequently due to transfers or injuries. Plus, they need the best medics they can get considering what we're going to be doing in a few hours. A great medic, when injuries are present and continuously occurring, is worth his weight in credit chips."

"You're insane," said Tiny with a smile, eliciting a chuckle from both of them as they maneuvered the box into position inside one of the medical storerooms.

AAR: Fy unloads supplies and Tiny brings up the fact that everyone knows what went on. They even place a bet on who's gonna get transferred

The battle raged on around Zorne, but he dutifully followed Dunny through every loop, bank, and maneuver that the man could think of. Most of them Zorne had performed before, both as the lead and the trailing member. After all, in combat it didn't matter if you were 3 or 4, you were wingmen and you kept each other alive.

The same principle applied here. He kept on Dunny's tail as the man broke off and followed Jexxel's Aurek 1, destroying it with little difficulty. That can't be right, thought the pilot as he began scanning his sectors, using both his scanners and his eyes. Nobody would get SC with that level of skill. Did they seriously pull a switch? With a groan, he opened a channel and prepared to inform the squadron that Aurek 1 was not Jexxel's SC.

He was interrupted, however, when another starfighter entered his field of view, threatening to crash into him. Thinking it was one of the overzealous new pilots, he yielded, though he was proven wrong when the new starfighter began chasing Dunny in the typical predatory way that was typical of dogfights. In the same instant, he was set upon by another ace, Besh 2. Green bolts shot past his cockpit as Zorne rolled away from Dunny, seeking to prevent a stray shot from hitting his wingmate.

The elder pilot furrowed his brow in deep thought, working to understand the battle thus far and how to both keep himself safe and help Dunny. All the while, his hands moved on instinct alone, pulling the craft into an Immelman at first, the veteran pilot, allowing his craft to 'fall' back down into a Split-S. Despite the seemingly erratic nature of his flying, the attacking Jexxel could keep up fairly well. Neither could gain ground on the other, Zorne's evasive maneuvers eluding Besh 2's fire. Zorne took a few hits, though he strengthened his rear shields and quarantined the small energy leak by disabling a small portion of power to one of his engines, though not enough to severely limit his flying abilities.

Besh 2 received a particularly nice surprise, however, when Zorne performed a low speed yoyo, fully anticipating Besh 2's ability to counter said yoyo. At the bottom of the maneuver, however, Zorne manipulated his craft, bringing his guns to bear on Besh 2. Squeezing the trigger, the green bolts of energy slammed into Besh 2's shields, though one got through and was able to damage his sensors.

Performing a snap roll, Zorne shot forward and found himself behind Besh 2 and firing at the man's cockpit. Besh 2 was no fool, however, and was sure to keep up his share of evasive maneuvers. It was at that time that Dunny's call came over his comm channel. "Were I a woman, I'd get upset at being called someone else's name. I'm on my way, though."

As if waiting for Zorne to finish his conversation and formulate a plan, Besh 2 bled off speed in a typical rollaway. It would have been simple to counter the maneuver, though Zorne needed to save Dunny and overshooting his opponent was part of his plan. He noticed the triangular shape of Dunny's craft and maneuvered to face him, counting down as he approached. He was taking fire, sure, but his shields protected him from further harm. "3," began the elder pilot as he made final changes to his approach. "2," continued the man, leading on Besh 2 with a single tantalizing move of his wings. At the same time, he put all power to the forward shields and where Dunny would, most likely, hit if he did so.


As he spoke, Dunny's fighter bounced ever so slightly off of the shields of Zorne's fighter, the low angle redirecting him safely away from what was unfolding. At the last moment, Zorne pulled the lever on the side of his seat, ejecting him with great force from the fighter just moments before all three craft exploded in a fireball. "I'm fine, but unless one of you can bring me a fighter I'm done."

AAR: Zorne sacrifices his craft to take out two Jexxel aces. Yay for sacrifice.
JBO/CPO Fyston "Fy" Sutsgy/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A 2Flt/FC/VEN/VE [SoA] (=^NDr^=) (CAR) {AFM} {Infl} {Inter} {XenMA}
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