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Topic:  Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
Trykon
ComNet Sage
 
Trykon
 
[VE-DJO] Dark Jedi Warrior
[VE-NAVY] Commodore
 
Post Number:  3136
Total Posts:  3782
Joined:  Feb 2011
Status:  Offline
  Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
June 28, 2013 6:54:10 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
Chapter 9

Prelude

For years, tensions have been rising between the newly independent government of the Corellian System and the ever-expanding Vast Empire.

Now, the Vast Empire's Naval Intelligence bureau discovers evidence that the Corellians are preparing to attack the Nusiuu Docks Reserve Fleet, near the friendly world of Absit.  The Navy responds immediately.  The Second and Fourteenth Fleets are hastily mobilized, departing from their staging area at Bestine ready for war.

The Corellians and their New Republic companions are not on the best terms, and they are not expecting to be opposed at Absit in any real strength.  The VEN will have to exploit any divisiveness in the enemy ranks, and will have to capitalize on the element of surprise, if they are to successfully defend the ships of the Reserve Fleet, and thereby preserve Imperial-aligned Naval strength for the coming campaign of conquest....


Imperial Network Star Wars Image

VENI Headquarters
Abrae
Vectra System


Mirit Cohen hugged herself tightly, grateful for the fur lining of her coat as she made her way across the icy open courtyard.  Ahead of her in the frosty mist loomed the Tower, the monolithic structure that served as the headquarters building for the Vast Empire’s Naval Intelligence bureau.  She always caught a chill when entering her workplace, and it wasn’t just because of Abrae’s sub-freezing temperatures: the evil-looking building had an infamous past that stretched back to the days of Palpatine’s regime, when the moon had been a particularly forlorn – and unpleasant – Imperial penal colony.  How many thousands of prisoners had died over the years on this frozen little rock at the edge of the Galaxy?  Mirit didn’t know, and as she crossed the courtyard’s midpoint she had an even grimmer thought: it was doubtful that anyone still living knew the exact number.

The fat cylindrical building was dotted with security holocameras, and as she approached Mirit knew many of them were monitoring her intently.  Sure enough, the featureless outer door slid open several steps before she reached it; she didn’t even have to break her stride, the watchers’ timing was so precise.  With one last exhale that visibly curled around her head in the chilly breeze, Mirit left the white snowscape of Abrae behind, and stepped into the Tower.

While the outside of the massive structure possessed a sort of a foreboding simplicity, the interior contained only the friendly faces of her coworkers, engaged in a familiar flurry of chaotic activity: the changeover from the day shift to the night shift.  Mirit made her way through the press of beings, cleared the various security checkpoints with no fewer than five distinct methods of identification, and at last made it to her desk in the Corellian Sector Office.  There was something comforting in routine.

The rest of her team were already hard at work, scanning through the day’s signals intercepts and looking over reports from VENI’s sentient intelligence operatives in the Corellian Sector and the surrounding areas of the Galaxy.  Mirit draped her coat over the back of her chair, and glanced to the back of the big room, where she caught the eye of her boss, Sara Jeltan.

Sara motioned her over to her own, much larger desk, and as Mirit walked over, she couldn’t help but notice the frown of concern that was darkening her superior’s soft features.

“What is it?” Mirit asked as soon as she was in earshot.

But Sara waited until the younger woman had closed to within whisper range.  “Take a look at this,” she said softly, and handed Mirit a datapad.

Her curiosity rapidly turning to foreboding, Mirit began to read.

On the datapad was a report prepared by the day shift team, chronicling a sudden and unmistakable build-up of the military forces of both the New Republic and the Corellian League.  Scores of warships had been mobilized, with corollary movements of starfighter squadrons and supporting ground outfits.  And the operation had started only a few hours before.

“Emperor’s bones,” Mirit cursed softly, as she realized her day was going to be anything but routine.

“I need your gut reaction, Mirit,” Sara said intently.  “Right now.  Is there any chance the Corellians and the Republicans are gearing up to fight each other?”

Mirit was one of the senior members of the Corellian Sector Office, with long experience as a VENI analyst.  And she was the only expert on the politics of the Corellian Worlds who had accurately predicted Thrackan Sal-Solo’s ascent to power in the coup that had since become known as the Bloodstripe Conspiracy.  In her head, she ran through everything she knew – and everything she had been able to infer – about the political situation in the Sector, before offering a regretful answer to Sara’s question: “I mean anything’s possible, but if you’re asking me what I think, I think they’re gearing up to run a joint operation, probably against an Imperial target.  If they’re not hitting us, then certainly they’ll be hitting one of the other Imperial factions.  Sal-Solo wants a gesture of strength.  A symbolic victory.  And the New Republic will be only too eager to assist in any way they can; they know how close they themselves came to a shooting war with the League, in the aftermath of the murder of Micamberlecto.”

Sara just nodded absently, probably already teasing out the implications in her head.  “Go to work,” she said.  “Get together with the SigInt people and coordinate on a probability analysis: I want to know where they’re planning to attack!  I’ll brief the Naval High Command.  You’ll have maybe an hour before they’re going to want details.”

Mirit nodded, and hurriedly returned to her desk.  If she had stopped to think about it, she might have realized that she was one of the first citizens of the Vast Empire to know that war with the Corellian League was almost certainly coming.

But of course, she couldn’t stop to think about it; there was no time to waste in determining where the hostile fleet would strike.

***


The Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Adjudicator
in orbit of Bestine IV
Bestine System


“Where in the hell is Asbit?” Gregor Hanf asked gruffly, stumbling a bit on the unfamiliar word.  The broad-shouldered man sported a patch on his duty uniform that marked him as a member of the Fourteenth Vast Imperial Fleet, known as the Frontier Rangers.  He also sported a Commodore’s rank insignia, which marked him as the commanding officer of that Fleet.

“Absit,” Wyl Trykon corrected gently, his voice impeccably polite.  “It’s pronounced Absit.”  The slender Kuati was the only other person in the room with the rank of Commodore: both he and Hanf had been officially honored with a lavish dual promotion ceremony only minutes before the impromptu meeting had been convened, which explained why most of the other attendees were Admirals.  I suppose it’s lucky they happened to be in-system, Trykon thought mildly as he scanned the concerned expressions all around him.

Hanf shrugged a little and shook his head with an impatient snort.  His body language made it clear that his question still stood.

Lieutenant Commander Pherik Zail – the liaison officer between Naval Intelligence and the Navy’s Warfare Department – provided an answer: “As I was about to say, the Absit system is in the Inner Rim, near the center of our recent acquisitions, roughly equidistant between Tilsec and Belgaroth.”

Hanf’s bushy eyebrows shot up as he heard those names.  Tilsec Prime had been the capital world of the Imperial Dominion, a rival faction that had finally surrendered to the VE only months before.  And Belgaroth was the headquarters of Trykon’s command, the Second Vast Imperial Fleet.  If this Absit place was between them, that meant it was smack dab in the middle of the Vast Empire’s steadily-expanding sphere of influence, and even a bluff, unimaginative officer of the line like Hanf couldn't miss the significance of that little quirk of location.

Noting Commodore Hanf’s sudden attentiveness, the Lieutenant Commander continued: “Naval Intelligence is now prepared to say with 83% certainty that the Corellian League plans to attack the Nusiuu Docks Reserve Fleet – near Absit – within the next two days, standard.  VENI also thinks that the New Republic’s Sector Fleet will accompany the Corellians, but we’re unable to say whether the Republican forces will involve themselves in any fighting, or whether they have been relegated to a support role, or indeed whether they will only be along as observers.”

“You’re ‘unable to say?’” Hanf asked derisively.

Zail didn’t skip a beat: “At this time,” he confirmed evenly.

Hanf harrumphed, and crossed his arms.

A startling roar pierced the quiet, and all heads turned to the Wookiee Naval Commander in Chief.  A protocol droid at Vice Admiral Krazanr’s side dutifully translated: “The fools are doing exactly what we wanted them to do,” the droid said precisely, its flat, emotionless timbre strangely incongruent with the fierce, gloating growls coming from the Wookiee.  “They’re attacking us.  They are breaking the peace.”

Lieutenant Zail cleared his throat.  “It’s worth pointing out,” the junior officer said carefully, “that Absit is not a member of the Vast Empire.  With that said, the Vice Admiral is correct: the Corellians are attacking an Imperial-aligned world, in our sphere of influence, and one with whom we have a long and mutually-beneficial working relationship.  Public opinion, both in the VE and across the Galaxy, should be with us for the coming campaign, after this.  We will be seen as stalwart defenders and righteous liberators.  Or at least more so than had we struck first.”

Trykon had been frowning to himself, deep in thought, since Absit was first mentioned.  The Kuati had worked with the Imperials at the Nusiuu Docks facility two years before… they had been good people, dedicated to helping other former citizens of the Empire survive the horrors of the Plague Wars.  Suddenly, Trykon shook himself out of his remembrances.  “Strength estimates for the two enemy fleets?” he asked Zail.

“Still being finalized, but we think the Corellians have mobilized at least forty small craft for the operation, and a dozen warships.  The New Republic looks ready to bring their entire Sector Fleet.  That’s thirty capital ships.”  Zail looked grim as he relayed the figures.

Trykon nodded to himself as he considered the information.  The odds weren’t great, unless… “The Corellians don’t seem to trust the Republic to have that many ships in their home system while they go on a mission,” he thought aloud.  Abruptly, he stood up, and dropped his head in an abbreviated bow that indicated his respect to the room full of Admirals.  “Gentlebeings, it appears we have our work cut out for us.  If you’ll excuse the Commodore and I,” he said, gesturing to Gregor Hanf, “we have to brief our people.  Thank you, Lieutenant Commander,” he finished, catching Zail’s eye.

Without another word, the meeting broke up…

…and the war between the Corellian League and the Vast Empire finally began.


OOC:
So begins the Navy’s involvement with Chapter 9!

Please see the Navy's Chapter 9 discussion thread for more information, and as always, use that and irc to coordinate posts and storylines with each other.

1,830 words.

After Action Report: VENI analysts spot a build-up of Corellian League and New Republic ships in the Corellian Sector, and predict the assembled fleet will attack the Nusiuu Docks Reserve Fleet near Absit, a world friendly to the Vast Empire.  The Second Fleet is mobilized for war, along with the relatively new and rough-around-the-edges Fourteenth Fleet, commanded by Commodore Gregor Hanf.  Their mission: defend the docks and the Imperial warships in the yards from any attempt to capture or destroy them.
CNO/COM Wyl "Trick" Trykon/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE

[SoA][SoV][BWC][NSM][E][NAR][HNS][DSM][SWC][1NS][VC:B][LoM][VC:S][NC][GWC][VC:G][CoB][CC:4][2NS][LSM][VC:E][MSM][CNQST][IGC][IG]
(=*AE*=)(=*SAE*=)(=*TG*=)(=*SCFE*=)(=*FOCE*=)

SM/DWR Trykon/Dark Jedi/Shades/Raven L-04/DJO/VE [EoP]
[This message has been edited by Trick (edited June 28, 2013 6:55:55 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Trick (edited June 28, 2013 10:01:50 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Trick (edited June 29, 2013 3:28:00 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Trick (edited June 29, 2013 3:59:40 AM)]
DeepSix
ComNet Member
 
DeepSix
 
[VE-DJO] Adept
[VE-ICS] Pirate Swabbie
[VE-NAVY] Lieutenant Commander
 
Post Number:  800
Total Posts:  973
Joined:  Jul 2010
Status:  Offline
  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
June 29, 2013 2:47:07 PM    View the profile of DeepSix 
The Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Adjudicator
A few days ago


Something big was about to happen... Hours, days, maybe weeks at the most before the gates of Hell would uninvitingly open once more and suck within more Vast Imperial lives... Ship captains, decorated officers, experienced gunners, knowledgeable medics, veteran troops as well as skilled pilots would once more be lost as a result of it.

By most this realization would likely be considered tragic - but by the few that have seen it happen time and time again it would merely be another day on the job, as harsh as that may sound as...

The first time Seth Qorbin realized something was wrong, was when his scheduled R&R vacation suddenly became delayed. Indefinitely so... A little scooping around revealed that his was not the only case either. Quite a few other officers also found themselves in similar positions. Even so the man wasn't particularly worried until after the brass began calling back the crewmen on leave. For anyone having served in any Navy across the galaxy that was definitely not a good sign.

By the time supplies and fresh recruits came pouring in, Seth was already prepared for yet another battle. Another large battle by the looks of things... The thing he didn't yet know was just whom the Vast Empire was about to engage next? The Imperial Dominion had finally been crushed after all, their military strength either annihilated or absorbed in the aftermath of the events that had transpired on Tilsec Prime. Scuttlebutt mentioned the New Republic, the main Remnant faction as well as half a dozen other smaller factions that the Vast Empire was close enough to strike at.

Alas, therein lied the very thing that struck Qorbin as strange. Whilst it was true that the Vast Empire's Navy had mostly recovered from the war against the Dominion, the political situation still wasn't fully stable throughout the newly annexed territories. The smart thing would've been to first consolidate the newly gained systems, to properly ensure the borders safety and only then think about expanding once more. These were basic tactics and strategies and unlike the sort of unorthodox approaches Seth often employed in the field, these tactics had proven themselves successful throughout history. Why then risk it? The Wookiee in charge of the VE's Navy may have been impulsive and quick to act - as many of his species were - but he was however neither stupid nor reckless...

~~~~~~~~~~


Wing Commander's quarters aboard the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Adjudicator
Presently


"Enter", Seth Qorbin spoke out and mere seconds later the door to his quarters slid open, in so doing revealing an eager looking Petty Officer. "Sir", the younger crewman saluted and continued immediately afterward, "Captain Trykon asks you to prepare a meeting with all other squadron leaders and XOs in briefing room Cresh Three, one hour from now."

The Petty Officer next remained silent, assuming an on ease position and awaiting new instructions. And at long last light shall be shed upon this mystery, Qorbin mused as he stared at the other individual. "Thank you", the blond Commander answered casually, in so doing dismissing the eager messenger.

After putting together and sending a quick message asking all other squadron leaders and XOs to report to the designated location, the Adjudicator's WC also sent another message to his own squadron, asking them to wait for him in the Vornskr barracks. Chances were good he'd need to brief them afterward anyway so he may as well get that over with as quickly as possible, maybe next using whatever time would be left to come up with some new tactics and moves...

Gotta' feeling this may take a while, the man released a deep sigh and next made his way out into the ship's busy corridors.

OOC:
WC: 637
AAR: I feared that upon return from vacation I would end up struggling to fit in the middle of the chapter's action but thankfully - for me at least - that does not seem to be the case. Heck, I even managed to get the 1st reply! Must be fate I reckon...

Anyways, there's not a whole lot to describe in this post as I have yet to discuss jobs and objectives with the interested parties. Rest assured that will change within the next couple of days at the most. Meanwhile I'm basically setting the stage for a briefing. Whether it'll be Trykon himself who briefs everyone or not - I leave that up to him though
WC/LCDR DeepSix/Golden One/S:38th Vornskr/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE
[=*TG*=] [=*VIM*=] [=*SWC*=]

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

TRN/AD DeepSix/DJO/Training Sect/VEDJ
Joamer
ComNet Member
 
Joamer
 
[VE-ARMY] Sergeant Major
[VE-NAVY] Officer Candidate
 
Post Number:  968
Total Posts:  996
Joined:  Sep 2007
Status:  Offline
  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
June 29, 2013 9:02:09 PM    View the profile of Joamer 
-=Commanding Officer Quarters. Strill Squadron=-

He could hear the Adjudicator being prepared for war again. The long months of training and waiting were hard on those accustomed to action. Strill had begun to fall into a state of disrepair from lack of activity. The seemingly endless training runs both simulated and in the cockpits of their new Hunters had proven useful. After a while though even the older members had begun to lose faith. Even the ground missions designed to teach them combat techniques outside a cockpit did little to lift their spirits.

Now when the orders came down, delivered personally by Trykon himself, Joamer knew few would find their next mission easy to swallow. What they were going after made sense strategically. It even made sense due to what was happening on that planet, but deep down in a place he thought long dead something had come to the surface. Now a calling from his past had filled the void.

Glancing at the chrono next to his bed he knew his squadron would be waiting in their private briefing room. He had passed orders quietly for all pilots to be in the briefing room in one hour. In full flight armor with their choice of weapons. The cargo capacity of a Hunter was just under one hundred kilograms, but it gave them enough room for a decent variety of supplies and weapons. For the time being he knew they would be on their own. Cut off yet again from the fleet and any hope of rescue.

“Time to go, girl.” He said as he stood up. His armor settling into position quietly. It was not as heavy as he wore in the army, but you had to sacrifice protection for flight abilities. He was not planning to get into a heavy drawn out firefight with ground troops, but things rarely went according to plan in a battle.

Clipping his helmet to his belt he grabbed his pulse rifle and slung in on his back. His pack of supplies was already loaded into his Hunter. So was the rest of his squadron’s supplies. It had been done quietly early this morning when few were running about. Trykon had thankfully passed his orders first so he had time to assemble what was needed. Strill squadron would not be at the main briefing. For the first time in a long time he would land first in a battle zone and secure his location. He hoped his squadron’s orders were known to only a few. If they were to play the waiting game he needed no-one to know of their location. A surprise could be ruined by one person talking.

Lifting Lurk up to his shoulder he walked out of his private room and into the now very busy corridor. His armor was unadorned but the matte black appearance, and the fact the crew knew him now gave him free space to walk. Beginning his walk towards his squadron’s briefing room he was stopped by a small group of crewman.

The look in their eyes told him everything but the leader still spoke, “I know what the fleet is planning eventually. Attacking Corellia in the coming months does not sit well with me, all I ask is please...” He was stopped by a small female behind him. He glanced down at Joamer’s legs before back up again. “I see. I had no idea.”

“It’s ok. I’ll protect as many as I can.” Joamer said quietly. He was not talking only about his squadron. Nodding to the group he continued his walk. The corridor never cleared but as word spread he found the middle lane clear as he never broke stride. Like a lot of the crew he could not voice his opinion on what was happening, but he did it in another way. One shining beacon to saying this move might be the right one, but it was still going to hurt.

Stopping at a close door he keyed in a long code. A moment later the door opened and he stepped inside to a small room that housed a small amphitheatre that say only two dozen chairs. The door closed behind him as it did the atmosphere in the room changed. The air seemed to stop as a series of electronic beeps sounded. All conversation stopped as twelve sets of eyes turned to face him.

“This room is now under a level ten lockdown.  Full security and privacy systems are now engaged. Electronic snoopers and microphones are pumping out a variety of background noise designed to confuse anyone or thing listening in. Even this door will not open without a delay. Trykon’s access code will give us a twenty second warning before he is allowed in. Most others codes will not even open this door. This was installed a few months after Strill became a reality. We’ve never used it before. So I want to let what I’m about to tell you fully sink in. Our briefing will not be in this room. It will be in hyperspace on datapads I have for each of you.” He said as he handed four pads to each of his flight leaders, then handed the three remaining pads to his own flight. “Those will not activate for one hour. Do not let them out of your sight. They are keyed to the biometrics of this squadron only. Anyone else tries to access them and they short out.”

No one spoke. It was not needed. His squadron knew they were something special. They had survived what was put before them and came out the other end strong and united. Even if most of them disliked one another on occasion. Thankfully none of his pilots were new. Every one of them had at least a month or two as a pilot for Strill. The downtime after the asteroid was a relief in a few things. Having the time to finally training his pilots correctly would come in handy for what he knew was coming.

He stepped up to the front podium to where a small desk was sitting slightly behind it. Slowly drawing a long bladed knife from his belt he slammed it hard into the desk. Inside the hollowed out handle were three messages. One to his wife that was not on the ship anymore, one to his parents, and the third would be sent out electronically by his wife if his end should come. Who it was addressed to was a secret and someone he had not seen in a very long time. He tried not to dwell on what had happened late at night a week or so before. It was something he could not change, and right now he had more pressing matters to deal with.

“Report to your fighters, begin preflight and prepare to disembark. Don’t forget to place your death-notes in the pack by the door.” Stepping away from the knife he walked to the door and put in another sequence. The door opened and he stepped outside followed by his own flight. He knew the rest would follow him soon enough.

-=Maintenance Hangar=-


Stepping into the hangar bay he almost looked up out of instinct to his see fighters sitting in their racks. Instead all twelve of them were still sitting in three lines with techs finishing up routine maintenance, ordnance and supply loading. The wings locked into flight position made the fighters look dangerous even resting on their landing gear.

“Chief.” Joamer said as he motioned for the members of his squadron that had followed him first to climb inside their respective fighters.

“We’re good to go. They all pure like an angry... Strill.” The older crew chief said with a slight forced chuckle. Joamer watched the man close his eyes and draw his emotions back under control. He knew it was not for the bad pun the man was upset. It was the orders that had begun to filter down to everyone. For someone who had been in this life long enough the ultimate goal of the fleet was obvious. That was why the man now wore red piping in a line down the sides of his engineer coveralls. The same piping that was now etched into Joamer’s own leg armor.

After a moment the man righted himself and nodded. He held out his wrist and was grasped in turn by Joamer’s wrist. “Strength and Honor.”

Nodding Joamer repeated softly, “Strength and Honor.” It was an older phrase rarely heard nowadays. It was not Corellian, but something passed down through the generations.

Walking to his fighter he climbed the short ladder then turned to look at each of his pilots in turn. Removing his helmet from his belt he dropped inside the cockpit. Flipping a series of switches he felt the craft come out of standby. He watched as the various power levels began climbing to full. Placing his helmet in a specially designed area he locked himself into his chair. Lurk did not bother to remove herself from his shoulder but only settled into a more comfortable position then began purring softly.

“Iron lead showing two green.” Reaching above him he flipped a lever that locked his hatch into place. He heard the life-support systems take over as the pressure inside his fighter changed just slightly. Through the squadron commlink he could hear small chatter as everyone signalled their ready status. He waited till everyone was showing green before he flipped frequencies over to the one used by the bridge. “Iron lead to Adjudicator actual.” He knew Trykon would be on the bridge in this moment. He knew the time Strill would be leaving the ship.

“Actual, go Iron lead.” Trykon said a moment later. He had, over the long months, become one of the few people Joamer trusted.

“Strill Squadron departing.” Joamer said without anything more.

“You are cleared. Happy Hunting, dismissed!” The way he said it said more to Joamer than words could. As a Commander the man could not say some things, but to those who knew him they knew what to listen for.

Waiting only a moment more he engaged his repulsorlifts letting his fighter lift off the hangar floor. Rocking his wings up and down in a goodbye salute to everyone watching. Giving her some throttle he flew out of the magnetic field then shoved his stick full forward then punched the throttle to full. Leaving the hangar this way felt weird after the dozens of times he had left through the squadron’s normal means. However, as his fighter quickly accelerated to full speed and he felt his Hunter’s systems fully warm up odd thoughts left his mind.

“Iron squadron, set coordinates for hyperjump four.” Without a nav computer of their own the squadron had to rely on coordinates sent to them by other means. Their own systems were capable of storing the coordinates for ten jumps. It was a sort of astrogation buffer, and while he wished they had true navigation computers this was better than being tied to a carrier. Every coordinate they had stored was personally researched and put in by him. This was the one thing he wanted Trykon to understand. No one could know of their exact location. It was a game of trust, you give some and you get some.

“Clear of all gravity wells.” He said after he checked his readings. “Jumping to hyperspace.” The channel had been switched to fleet wide. This was something else Trykon and him had talked about. He wanted the enemy to know they would be somewhere, just not where. Let them fear what awaited them in the darkness.

Pulling back on the levers he felt his fighter shudder slightly as the starfield began expanding. Taking his hands off the controls he breathed evenly as his fighter shot away, the starfield becoming the calming spinning vortex of hyperspace.

OOC:
WC-1985.

I know this reads as rushed but it's meant to. I wanted to convey a sense of urgency about getting off the ship. We have our spies, the enemy has theirs. And for a mission of this type secrecy is paramount. The actual mission plan will come in the following posts. Squadron members we will either talk on IRC, or I'll post on the squadron topic what we will be doing. Feel free to give your characters viewpoint on what just happened. A bit of a backstory is allowed right now.
Joamer Tremaine Reistlin
Ensign, Squadron Commanding Officer
Aurek Flight, Strill Squadron

SCO|ESN Joamer |Squadron: The 58th  "Strill"|Wing: 101st "Blade"|ISD-II  Adjudicator |TF:A|2FL|SFC|VEN|VE
[CC-P] [CC-W] [CC-D] [SoV] [LoM] [E] [NS-H] [VC:B] [CNQST]
Imperial Network Star Wars Image

In memory of Ghost squad, we will never forget.
[This message has been edited by Joamer (edited June 29, 2013 9:04:17 PM)]
Xanatos
ComNet n00b
 
Xanatos
 
[VE-NAVY] Senior Crewman
 
Post Number:  14
Total Posts:  26
Status:  Offline
  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
June 30, 2013 9:44:32 PM    View the profile of Xanatos 
“So that’s what it looks like, huh?”
The speaker was a human male, with tanned skin and a thinning head of hair that had long since lost its brown hue and gone grey. He was wearing a flight-suit that more or less matched his hair, and both were stained with dirt, grease and rust. His hands, bare now that his gloves were tucked into his belt, were covered with cuts, burns and scars that attested to a hard life. Xanatos 676 Pip-Pip had grown up in the scrapfields of Belgaroth, and had been working on damaged spacecraft his entire life. Meeting Sarna, the woman whom had changed every other aspect in his life, had not done anything to change that detail.

Still, as his son stood in front of him, beaming in a rare display of open emotion with a medal in his gloved hand, the old mechanic could not remember ever having felt this proud. His son was a little shorter than he was, and his eyes were blue, like his mothers, instead of the green hue typical of the Pip-Pip line. His face had been carved from the same stone, though, right down to the jawline. A jawline that was busy smiling.
“Yeah, and it came with an assignment to Blade Wing!” The younger of the two added, the excitement plain in his voice. It was rare to see his son this animated.

He had plenty of reason to be. Blade Wing was known as the tip of the Vast Empire’s spear, an elite Starfighter Wing that always seemed to be on the cutting edge of innovation. It had better craft, better tactics and only the most promising recruits or the most seasoned of veterans. There was a reason it had been in every major battle in the war between the Vast Empire and the now defeated Imperial Dominion. The Brilliant, where Xanatos Senior had served as a mechanic since before the defection, still had a strong affection for their previous senior officer, the man whom now commanded the ship Blade Wing was stationed aboard.

“Trykon’s a good man, son. He’ll look after you. Though the way you’re going, you don’t need any looking after. I’ll probably be saluting you next time I see you.”
It was true enough - talented Starfighter Pilots had a way of shooting up the ranks like a Nexu with a stun prod in its backside. As long as his son didn’t get killed, his prediction was not entirely impossible. Of course, his chances of survival depended in some part on which Squadron he had been assigned to.
“So which Squadron did they give you?”

“The graduates are being funnelled into Jexxel and Chlovi. I’ve been assigned as Jexxel 12 - that means I get to try out a Mk II!”
Xanatos Senior did not share his son’s confidence. Out of all of the Squadrons that had taken part in the fighting against the Imperial Dominion, Jexxel and Chlovi had faced the toughest resistance, and they had suffered for it. Both had strongly rallied behind their Squadron Commander, and the loss of both had sorely affected each unit’s morale and cohesion. Apparently, Dunn was in self-imposed exile at the Naval Academy, and Chlovi’s members were still awaiting the return of their founder.

Jexxel, meanwhile, knew their beloved founder, Wolfrott, was never coming back. Xanatos Senior’d had a chat with the Hangar Chief of the Adjudicator, one Hangar Chief to another, and none of what he had heard inspired any confidence. Disobedience and insubordination threatened to develop into outright mutiny, apparently. The rumour stated that the new Squadron Commander had lost the confidence of her subordinates and her control over the situation.
“Just be careful, okay son? Blade Wing got badly mauled, so they might not share your enthusiasm. Remember what your mother taught you - show no weakness, and you’ll scare most predators off.”

He was about to say more, but a voice boomed over the hangar bay’s PA system.
“SHUTTLE TERRORSAUR DEPARTING TO ADJUDICATOR IN 5 MINUTES. PASSENGERS, PLEASE BOARD.”
Their time together, already too short by halves, had just been cut even shorter. Xanatos senior held out a scarred hand, which his son immediately took. Trying to blink back tears from his eyes, the older man smiled fiercely as he drew his son into a bear hug, squeezing him tight. His first response was a yelp of surprise, before his son returned the gesture.
“I’d tell you to go out there and make me proud, son...but you already have.”

As father and son went their separate ways, Xanatos Senior did not bother to hide the smile from his face. Mechanics were well-known for not being shy with their emotions: They would curse hard, party harder and work even harder still. Today, he was going to do all three. His son had become a better man than he, and he couldn’t possibly be any more proud of the confident young Starfighter Pilot he had spoken to in the hangar, with his Senior Crewman’s stripes and his Star of the Academy medal.

He just hoped that Xanatos Junior was as ready as he seemed to think he was.

OOC:
WC: 865 Words.
AAR: Just out of the Academy and aboard the VSD Brilliant whilst waiting for the shuttle to the Adjudicator to launch, Senior Crewman Xanatos has a heartfelt reunion with his father, one of the hangar chiefs aboard the VSD Brilliant. This post is entirely Character Development.

*Sniffle* My little boy's all grown up and saving the galaxy...
FM|SCRW Xanatos 677 "Xanatos" Bombassa
Jexxel ?|S:46 "Jexxel" W:101 "Blade"
ISD Adjudicator|TF:B|2FL|SC|VEN|VE
Avalar
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Avalar
 
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 1, 2013 4:41:42 AM    View the profile of Avalar 
The calm after the Sollamens was something Makenna had been looking forward to after being made XO of Strill. Such a jump in leadership in such a short time had already put her on edge. Where she came from, a leadership position was a position one earned from having experience and gaining respect.

Respect...

But of course, after returning to the Adjudicator life had been anything but peaceful. If it wasn’t bad enough that Makenna was going to have to learn how to be an XO of a squadron, she was promoted, by Trykon, to lead Jexxel who had been devastated in both of the Sollamens battles. It had been everything Makenna could do to keep the shock from her tone when the news came, but she knew that there was no hiding from him. Even knowing she had little experience, he had promoted her. It was obvious that he saw something she didn’t see. Even Hades said as much to her when he had visited after the fiasco with the Jexxel veterans.

Now though, Makenna could sense that the “calm” was fast approaching its end. Some people she had remembered seeing in passing a while ago were suddenly appearing again. Work that had been put on hold was now resuming. Sure she might not have been in the Navy for all that long, but when something was about to happen, it became obvious. The matter of what was happening though... now that had a tendency to be a surprise.

And for the first time Makenna was afraid of going into battle. Not to say that she hadn’t felt the typical adrenaline or excitement that usually accompanied flying into death. This was different. When she was just a flight member, she was responsible for herself and her wingmate. Now as a Squadron Commander, she was responsible for eleven lives, and if any one of them were lost, someone somewhere down the line was going to blame her, even if only irrationally. And when that happened, because it would no doubt happen, would she take all the blame on herself or would she stand up and shake it off in order to live another day?

She looked over the roster again. More changes were being made by the day as new recruits passed the academy. One of the newest members was a man named Xanatos. The scores the kid had in the academy were pretty outstanding. She wondered though. What would he do in the real situation? Simulators were one thing, but they still never compared to the chaos of a true battle where suddenly self preservation became an issue.

The sound of a nearby conversation suddenly caught Makenna’s attention. One of the voices was familiar and she wasn’t surprised to catch sight of Dante standing a ways away talking to his possé. They were gathered around their new MK II’s, and, while she wanted to assume they were talking about the fighters, she had a sneaking suspicion that the conversation was more geared towards her. Nonetheless Makenna perked up her ears while she pretended to be doing something with the datapad.

“... Shrike is more trouble than good. Pirates don’t lead squadrons! All they’re good for is killing and pillaging then moving on to the next round of alcohol.”

Silently Makenna found herself sighing. Dante’s words were getting more acidic by the day, and she knew she needed to do something about it, and she needed to do it sooner rather than later. Though the words hurt and made her angry, she had received news that she had feared.

---A day ago, Makenna’s office---

“Enter.”

The small frame of Kenth Tillian entered the room. He saluted her, but she waved him off, not wanting to deal with formalities at the moment. Though Kenth was a Jexxel veteran, he had been concerned about his friends’ actions towards Makenna, and he had gone out of his way to apologize to her in secret. Now he was here by Makenna’s orders. After her meeting with Hades, she had been thinking and watching Dante, and something did not sit well with her.

“What did you want from me, ma’am?” Kenth asked, still standing like a pole. It made her smirk to see the kid try to be so formal with her when not long ago she would have been the one in his position.

“Kenth,” she said, emphasizing his first name to help kill some of the formalities, “you have been in Jexxel for a while now. You were here before the battle of the Sollamens, and you know your friends better than I ever could,” she paused as if ending on a question rather than a statement. Kenth had relaxed while she had been speaking, some realization of the topic sinking in.

“Yes. We all got along together well before that happened...”

“Tell me, what kind of person was Dante then?”

“Well...” Makenna pointed to the chair in front of the desk as he started, not wanting to keep him standing the whole time. He sat down, gathering his thoughts at the same time, “Dante was always a passionate person. He had an opinion on everything however minor it might have been. But he was always reliable. Honorable even.”

The Squadron Commander sat back slightly, “And his attitude towards Warrant Officer Wolfrott?” she used his title out of respect for his death.

“Dante was probably his biggest fan. There was almost nothing that our former SC couldn’t do in his eyes.”

“So he was his idol then.”

“To put it bluntly, yes,” Kenth said, fidgeting at the mention of the dead Squadron Commander. Makenna felt for the boy. She knew all too well what such loss felt like, and though she didn’t want to broach the subject, she needed answers for the betterment of the squadron as a whole.

“So when I’m not around, what is Dante like?” Makenna did not like inquiring about what happened with someone behind the scenes, but she already felt that Kenth would be more than willing to answer her questions.

“Well....” he hesitated, “I guess the best word is aggressive,” Kenth waited til Makenna nodded for him to explain, “He’s been lashing out about a lot of things. Even yelling at Lindi which he never did before. He always had this thing about yelling at women. He’s just... different,” at this Makenna’s eyes narrowed. That was not what she wanted to hear, but somewhere in the back of her mind, it had been expected.

“Thank you, Kenth. I appreciate your honesty.”

“Um... Ms. Aleshire... ma’am...” Kenth said quickly, as if she was going to suddenly get up and leave.

“Yes?”

“Don’t tell any of them that I talked to you. I don’t want to be on the other side of their wrath. I don’t want to look like a traitor,” Poor kid. He’s really stuck between a rock and a hard place.

“I know something about loyalty, Kenth,” Makenna started, “And trust me, I will not breath a word of this to any of them. They are your squadronmates and your friends. But I also thank you for realizing you need to be honest with me. I want to solve this too, and I want to do it in a way that no one gets hurt. So I will be silent on the matter. As far as Dante will ever know, I came to these conclusions by simple observation.”

“Thank you,” Kenth said, standing as Makenna stood. And as he left, Makenna smiled to herself knowing that, even if the main problem wasn’t fixed yet, she had the respect of one of the Jexxel veterans.

---present time, Adjudicator hangar---

Now, as Dante continued to throw insults, Makenna felt she needed to make a move. However a woman approached her and saluted.

“Ma’am, a meeting has been called for all Squadron Commanders and Executive Officers.”

Sighing, annoyed that the situation would have to wait yet again, Makenna nodded, “Thank you.”

No doubt Maroy would have just been informed of the meeting so she decided to meet her at the briefing room. As she left the hangar, she strode by the group close enough for them to think she was approaching. They stopped and looked up, all of them saluting save for Dante. Makenna returned the salute briefly and continued on her way.

One way or another, I will get through to them.

OOC:
WC: 1,404

AAR: Makenna thinks about how she came to be SC among other things. She sees the group of Jexxel vets and remembers what Kenth told her about Dante's change in personality. She's about to go do something about it when she is called to a squadron meeting.
SCO | CPO Avalar | Silver 1 | S:46 Jexxel | W:101 Blade | ISD Adjudicator | TF:A | 2Flt | VEN | VE

[SoA]  [MC1]  [CC: W] [DSM] [CBV] [CC: D] [CNQST]

TRN | INI Zarya | VEDJ | VE
Maroy
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Maroy
 
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 1, 2013 5:04:35 AM    View the profile of Maroy 
Maroy absent-mindedly double- and triple-checked the squadron roster on her datapad as she went over all the changes in her head. They’d had quite a few roster shuffles since she and Makenna had taken command of Jexxel, and that meant more paperwork for her. Not that she particularly minded, of course, since she’d made no friends among her new squadron and her old friends were all busy... or ignoring her.

Her disorder had been very confusing at first, and the other personalities that now shared her mind had been switching in and out constantly. She often found herself trapped in a dark unconscious void as another personality acted in her stead, sometimes with disastrous results. Her psychiatrist, Eahil, had explained that the personalities were called ‘alters’, and that each alter had a certain role to play. Her roles were that of ‘host’ and ‘gatekeeper’: she was in charge of interacting with the outside world and preventing the alters from taking over when not needed. With his help and plenty of therapy sessions, she’d gotten a decent handle on the whole process by the time the orders had come in for her reactivation as the Executive Officer of Jexxel. She’d initially planned to refuse, but Eahil had eventually convinced her otherwise.

She didn’t know Makenna extremely well, despite being the one who first introduced her to Chlovi and flying as her squadronmate for a while, but she’d quickly developed a good deal of both respect and empathy for the woman. The former XO of Strill was still fairly green, although surviving the Dominion campaign did wonders in that area. Maroy had been a squadron commander before, albeit very briefly, and had served more than her fair share of tenures as an XO. It was a stressful position, and half her squadron seemed determined to make things even harder on her.

The four surviving veterans of Jexxel were almost fanatically obsessed with their late commander, Markus Wolfrott, although Maroy couldn’t really blame them for that. She’d flown against Wolfrott’s Jexxel as a member of Chlovi in a particularly tough simulator run, and she knew first-hand just how brilliant the man was, but the fact remained that the guy was dead. People higher up on the naval food chain had appointed Makenna as his successor, and the vets were just going to have to deal with it. Maroy had been very reserved during their initial confrontation, but in reality she’d only just managed to prevent one of the more violent alters, Breaker, from getting loose and landing both Dante and herself in a detention cell. She’d approached Makenna afterward and assured the woman of her support, but beyond that, she’d kept her distance to prevent increasing the already-crippling levels of stress the SC was going through.

Speaking of being reserved... the fact that she was the only alien (and a tenuously sane one at that) in a squadron full of humans worried her. She’d been practically raised among humans, sure, but it still made her uneasy to stand out so much.

A voice echoed up from the back of her mind, interrupting her. That new guy, Xanatos... he’s supposed to show up any minute now, right?
Ooh, right. Thanks for the reminder, Jark.
No problem. That’s what I’m here for.
You know, I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to talking to myself and then hearing people talk back. It’s so strange.
Is it? Hmm...

-----

Three pilots, one human, two alien, and all wearing the markings of Chlovi Squadron, relaxed in their chairs at the little tapcaf in a remote corner of the Adjudicator. The human, a girl who seemed barely old enough to be a pilot, much less wear the patch of a Chief Petty Officer, leaned forward almost conspiratorially. “We’re gearing up for a major fleet action, obviously. From what I heard, even the frontier fleet’s been getting shuffled around-”

“Aha! The senior officers of Chlovi! On time as always, I see.” Talen Robavu, former Chlovi pilot and primary employee at the Thermal Sink tapcaf, approached the table with a grin. “Should I put you three down for your usual?”

Lunei matched his smile with some enthusiasm of her own. “Please. Tell the cook ‘hi’ for me!”

The Duros grinned at their in-joke. The cook was actually a particularly grumpy APA-5 mess hall droid who despised the idle pleasantries of organic beings. “As ordered.”

As he walked off, Lunei turned back to her companions and resumed their discussion. “Anyway, everything points toward another expansion campaign, like the Dominion war. So, then, what’s the VE’s next target?”

The Cerean woman propped up in the chair across from her chuckled. “You know, Lunei, you could just wait until they call a briefing-”

“Oh, give it up. You want to know just as much as I do.” Lunei Taneg, ‘temporary’ Squadron Commander of Chlovi Squadron, smirked at her XO. Kaitlyn Batnac shrugged and conceded with a smile.

The third member of the party, a Gran by the name of Mehks, chuckled. “Well, if I had to make a guess, I’d say Thyferra. It’s not too far from Abregado-rae and Belgaroth, even if it is a bit more rim-ward, and gaining control over the bacta market would go a long way toward financing the plague refugee relief programs.”

“You’ve got a point there.” Lunei leaned back and stared up at the ceiling for a moment. “Something tells me that Command won’t gun for the Thyferrans, though. Most of the other galactic factions have profitable trade agreements with them, so there’s no way in hell we’d be able to hold onto it for long. Especially if our goal really is Imperial Center, we’ll probably be shooting for something much more core-ward. As for where, though, your guess is as good as mine.”

Kaitlyn lowered her tall head in thought for a moment. “There’s not much trailward, at least, not much of military significance. That just leaves spinward, so...” She looked back up and her expression hardened slightly as she caught Lunei’s eye. “Corellia.”

Before she could reply, a young male officer walked up to their table and snapped off a salute. “Excuse me. Chief Taneg?”

“Guess you’ll be getting that briefing after all.” Kaitlyn murmured.

Lunei stood up and returned the salute out of courtesy, although she technically outranked the Petty Officer. “That would be me, yes.”

The young man straightened slightly. “I’m to escort you and your second to a Starfighter Command briefing, ma’am.”

The woman turned back to the table and motioned Kaitlyn to follow. “Sorry to bail on ya, Mehks. Mind saving the food for us? We’ll probably need to brief you afterward anyway.”

Cresh leader blinked his three eyes and nodded. “Sure thing. Just let me know when you’re done.”


As she followed the aide, Lunei thought over everything that had happened since the end of the war with the Imperial Dominion. Chlovi had lost a significant majority of their pilots to enemy fire, transfers, and even a desertion. Several of the surviving veterans had been moved to shore up squadrons that were otherwise comprised of fresh recruits, leaving the squadron effectively dead for a while before the pilot assignments began trickling back down to Chlovi. Lunei had been unexpectedly triple-promoted from Senior Crewman to Chief Petty Officer and assigned as the provisional squadron commander, on the assumption that a veteran would be pulled from a different squadron to take over, but as time went by it became more and more apparent that her replacement would be a long time in coming. She and Kaitlyn were the only original Chlovi left, and most of the pilots were green, but they’d been lucky enough to snag Mehks: a former ace in the Kinyen Defense Corps with quite a bit of combat experience under his belt. Between the three of them, they were set on meeting the precedent that Sam Dunn had set for the squadron when it was founded and creating a squadron worthy of their namesake. They were going to be an unstoppable team, a pack of tightly bonded hunting animals. The pack would prevail.

OOC:
WC: 1404
AAR: Maroy reflects on her disorder and her new position in Jexxel. Chlovi's latest leaders engage in a discussion on the VE's next target before being summoned to the briefing.
XO/WO1/Maroy/Silver 5/S:46 "Jexxel" W:101 "Blade"/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A|2FL|SC|VEN|VE (=*A*=) [GCM] [CBV] [IG]x2 [MC2] [MC1] [VC:B] [LoM] [CC: P] [CC: W] [CC: D] [LC]
[This message has been edited by Maroy (edited July 5, 2013 2:58:03 AM)]
Serpent
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Imperial Baronet

 
Serpent
 
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 1, 2013 5:58:03 AM    View the profile of Serpent 
Pherik ‘Serpent’ Zail had managed to maintain his composure during the Intelligence briefing he had given the fleet leaders, but now that he was clear of the meeting room and its Commodores and Admirals, he allowed himself a deep sigh of fatigue and frustration.

Trykon was okay, as were one or two others, but the rest of those officers present had looked upon Serpent with open disdain and hostility.  Once he would have put that down to his openly tight relationship with VENI, but no, such was not the reasoning today.  It had been months since the fall of the Imperial Dominion and Zail’s disastrous performance at the Battle of the Sollamens, yet the memory of it was still fresh in everyone’s minds.  He had allowed enemy agents to tear up his ship, and lost the Naval Commander in Chief to capture.  Such failures blighted his here-to-for sterling military record, and now those jealous of his meteoric rise were gunning for him.

The aftermath of that fiasco had been tense, and Serpent had fully expected the worse.  But no.  Had he been punished?  Had he been stripped of command of his warship?  He had even been forced to surrender his position as the XO of the Second Fleet?  No, no, and no again.  Zail had in fact been promoted, no doubt owing to his supporters among the Naval High Command (Trykon, and even Vice-Admiral Krazanr himself, who was recovering well from his torture and had not spoken ill of Serpent regarding his abduction).  Still, that Pherik’s career was currently in trouble was not in doubt.  One more slip up and even Trick would not be able to shield him.

Lost in thought he boarded the shuttle that would take him back to the Brilliant.  Settling in for the short trip to the Victory Star Destroyer that was his pride and joy, Zail tried to turn his thoughts to the coming battle.  The Corellian League would be an interesting foe, and he wondered just what sort of challenge they would provide.  He was not one to stereotype, but just the word ‘Corellian’ evoked certain imagery that was hard to shake.  Excellent spacers, but also a little wild and undisciplined, fighting Corellians would be akin to fighting pirates with military-grade vessels.  Now that would be different!

Serpent might have dozed during the short shuttle trip, he could not be sure, but when the pilot announced their imminent arrival it took him a bit by surprise.  The Lambda-class vessel touched down in the Brilliant’s main hangar bay and Zail stepped out, returning a salute to the pilot who stood at the top of the ramp.

Through the cavernous bay, and a duo of Stormtroopers fell into step alongside the Lieutenant Commander.  Serpent was about to dismiss them as unnecessary, but the memories of Sollamens returned unbidden, reminding him that no, he was not safe even on his own vessel.

When he reached the bridge, though, Zail instantly felt better.  The gentle murmer of the crew going about their work, the hum and whir of the computers and duty stations, and the sight of the great big viewport where he often stood and gazed imperiously out over his mammoth vessel.  It all cried ‘home’ to him in a way that his apartment back on Belgaroth never did.

Striding across the command walkway to the front of the bridge, he approached the red-haired woman who stood there scowling at the bridge officers under her command.  Warrant Officer Saitroni, his First Officer since Sollamens, had settled in well to her role.  She had not bonded with the crew so much as imposed her will upon them, driving them relentlessly towards her lofty goals of high performance and efficiency.  Zail could not have been happier with her.  She was strict, but never crossed the line, and he was learning to trust her judgement and ability to cope during his frequent Intelligence-related absences.

Moreover, the crew had taken to singling out Saitroni as responsible for every tough decision that was handed down.  Where once they had complained about Serpent, ‘the Blue-eyed Snake’, now they directed their private grumbles at the ‘Scarlet Scourge’, and so Zail had noticed his popularity improving of late.

“How did the briefing go, sir?” She asked as he drew to her side, all business and no pleasantries.

“They listened, and they are preparing to act,” Serpent told his XO.  “Bring the ship into formation with the rest of the Second Fleet and stand-by for jump orders from the Adjudicator.  We are going to war!”

“Glad to hear it, sir,” Replied Saitroni, who then turned and began barking orders at the crew in a voice that seemed wholly disproportionate to her small frame.

Zail watched her, listening to her voice and her curious mix of a Coruscanti and Kuati accent.  For all he respected his First Officer’s professionalism, he knew little of her personally (aside from her skill with a vibro-rapier, as their frequent sparing matches attested to).  He found himself wondering if Saitroni had any problems with fighting the Corellian League, being as they were her fellow Core Worlds humans.  Somehow, he doubted it.  Saitroni was like him, fighting whoever she was ordered to fight without letting emotion get in the way.  Zail himself was Core Worlds born, and he had no problem with battling....

He paused in mid-thought, and suddenly saw it.  How could he have missed something like that?  With sudden and horrific clarity, Serpent found himself looking around his bridge.  His XO, his Helmsman, his Com Chief, Weapons Chief, they were all human!  The only non-human on his senior staff was Xela Fendar, his Khil Chief Engineer, and she preferred to work down in the engines as opposed to the bridge.

How could he have let this happen?  The Vast Empire was supposed to be free of the old Empire’s speciesism, and yet Zail had somehow recreated the all-human crews for which Palpatine’s people were so infamous.

Yet something else to make me look bad, he mused.  Admirals above me are jealous of my rise, and young up-and-comers below me want my command.  And what do I do?  Screw up battles like Sollamens and then hand them propaganda tools that could paint me as a closet Imperial racist!

Serpent decided at once that he did not care.  His crew were the best he had, regardless of their race.  If others wanted to criticise him on a lack of aliens, then so be it.  His defence would be to simply go out there and show how effective his ship and his crew could be.

Zail had nothing against the Corellian League really, but he quickly realised that pummelling them into oblivion would cover up his recent failings and silence his critics.  The coming battle would be a case of make-or-break for the Alderaanian, and Serpent was not about to give up all he had worked for without a fight!

OOC:
1157 words.  Some CD as we prepare for the battle to come!

After Action Report:  Serpent returns to the VSD Brilliant deep in thought.  He notes how precarious his career has become since his mistakes as Sollamens, and suddenly notices that his all-human command staff are not exactly helping him look good!  Officers both and above and below him in the ranks sense blood and are closing in on Zail to advance or secure their own careers.  Serpent decides that doing well in the coming campaign is the only way to keep his ship and position.
SCAP/LCDR Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
[SoA][LoM][NAR][E][SoV][MiD][1NS][GWC][MC1][VC:E][CAR][AOx3][CoB.][NC][CC:3][CNQST](=*Eng*=)(=*BO*=)


"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
DeepSix
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DeepSix
 
[VE-DJO] Adept
[VE-ICS] Pirate Swabbie
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 1, 2013 4:24:00 PM    View the profile of DeepSix 
"It just feels too soon Commander", Kolt Orzso - Vornskr's SXO - spoke when he was alone with his CO in one of the Adjudicator's turbolifts. The two men had been discussing this new mission, brainstorming whom and why they would attack next. Seth Qorbin smiled when he heard his second voice out loud the very same thoughts that had troubled him ever since he first realized that a new campaign was being prepared. "I agree, but don't let the brass hear you. They get... touchy about such subjects", the blond Onderonian replied as he made a vague reference to the sort of answers he got when he attempted to gain more information on his own.

"I understand the need for secrecy. Hell, as an officer I can actually respect it even. That said there should be limits to just how secretive the brass can be on occasion. There's a certain line that if and when crossed can have the exact opposite effect of whatever they're trying to accomplish", the SXO of the toughest squadron on the Adjudicator spoke casually, his leader's influence having rubbed off on him in the months having served together.

"Take Strill for instance. The boys know their mission - whatever it may be - is somehow related to all of this. Yet the very fact they were given a mission even before the rest of us learned of what exactly is going on here... Sir, this doesn't really sit well with most of them. It doesn't really sit well with me either for that matter."

The man grew silent after the turbolift reached its intended level and the two pilots stepped outside. Both individuals knew that there was a time and place for everything, and such discussions were best carried out in private - or in the presence of trusted ears. A simple plaque above a door indicated they were standing outside briefing room Cresh Three, the very same briefing room they were required to reach in order to find answers to questions long since left unanswered.

Salutes were exchanged after the two men entered the room. Some saluted because it was simple military protocol but others did it for an extra reason, both Qorbin and Orzso having proven their skills in the last two campaigns - campaigns that inflicted heavy casualties as far as the Vast Empire's Starfighter Corps was concerned. Unfortunately not even the greatest fighter wing of the moment was able to escape such casualties. Many great pilots - most of them above the norm - as well as quite a few talented charismatic leaders perished or were otherwise retired from active service as a result. Unfortunately such were the crude realities of war - a fact that Seth Qorbin repeated to himself after staring at some of the new faces in the room.

A little more than ten minutes passed before the ship's captain himself stepped inside the room, a couple of Stormtroopers flanking him as he did so. Will Trykon briefly looked around the room and seeing ten individuals in it, the man immediately knew that everyone was present and accounted for. Well, everyone save the pilots from Strill - but even if they weren't present they were still accounted for... for the most part anyway.

"Greetings gentlebeings! Please be seated..."

The briefing turned out to be less of an actual briefing and more of a situational update. The Adjudicator's pilots were finally told whom it was that they were planning to fight against, where and for the most part how. The specifics however were purposely omitted though. Whether it was because he lacked the time, or because he had other pressing matters on his mind, or maybe because he wanted each task to be known only by the squadron or squadrons involved, Trykon cut the meeting short and after assuring everyone that they'd get more detailed information on their datapads later, the ship's captain saluted and stormed out of the room, no doubt to some other important meeting or some such.

Whispering and hushed conversations followed after Trykon's departure. So the new enemy was Corellia then? Things could've possibly been worse... but not by much alas. Or so at least Seth Qorbin thought in silence. The man knew that as far as equipment went, the Vast Empire might still hold the edge. Then again the Corellian shipyards had a certain galactic reputation for making some of the sturdiest starships out there. The Corellian techs were also amongst the best when it came to improving stock systems or bringing new ideas and concepts in shipbuilding.

To make matters worse the Corellian pilots were amongst the galaxy's best. Seth always believed that talent had nothing in common with any particular region but rather with an individual's skill, knowledge and cunning. That said he sort of agreed that around Corellia there seemed to be a lot more such individuals than in other parts of the galaxy. Dogfighting would as such prove a very real challenge this time around.

And to top it all off the New Republic was more than likely to sponsor their allies in the fight against the VE. If that was the case then this new planned campaign may yet prove harder and deadlier than even the one against the Dominion...

"What are you going to do sir?" Kolt quietly inquired his commanding officer. "Wait for orders and then plan accordingly. Kolt, go ahead and meet me in the barracks. I'll catch up to you", Seth Qorbin told his SXO and then got up and made his way to Jexxel's new squadron commander. He still couldn't believe Markus couldn't come up with some brilliant plan to save his life in the previous war but such was life the blond Onderonian thought as he stopped before the new female commander of the same squadron.

"Chief, got a moment?" Qorbin inquired and waited for a response. He noticed the recently promoted SCO's surprised look followed by a meek nod and finally by a more confident verbal approval as well "Ehm, yes... yes, sir."

"Follow me, Chief", the Blade's WC commanded simply and then led the way out of the Cresh Three briefing room. The man didn't bother offering an explanation as to where they were going and for whatever reason the Jexxel SCO didn't ask either. The journey through the Adjudicator's innards lasted a little over five minutes, when the two pilots finally stood before one of the ship's smaller hangars.

There were a couple of guards outside and one of them gave a subtle nod in the WC's direction upon the latter's approach. Seth returned the same cryptic nod only in passing though, not in the slightest breaking his stride as he crossed in the hangar's spacious area. There were only a couple of broken down TIEs in this small hangar but there were no techs or droids working on them at the moment. In fact the whole hangar appeared to be empty at a first glance.

A closer look however would reveal that in the very middle of the vast expanse, seated on top of a couple of larger crates stood yet a third individual. Another pilot judging by his flight suit - another Jexxel pilot judging by his squadron patch.

"I believe the two of you know each other", Qorbin casually introduced the already present Master Chief Dante Vangelos that got to his feet and approached the two new arrivals. The man offered a salute, though given his slight shift in position Seth almost felt that the salute was for him and him alone and not including the squadron officer still trailing behind him.

After returning the other's salute, Seth briefly explained the odd encounter "Chief Aleshire, Master Chief Vangelos here believes you are not fit to lead Jexxel squadron. The Master Chief believes you are not worthy of filling the big shoes left behind by Chief Warrant Officer Markus Wolfrott. Under normal circumstance I'd allow this situation to resolve itself in-house. This is not a normal situation however. We're on the brink of yet another war, a war that given the identity of our foe, will likely wreak a whole lot more casualties in our ranks. Dissension amongst a squadron could prove fatal under these particular circumstances so I'm giving you two a chance to work out this problem here and now. Talk it out, fight it out - I don't care one way or the other. Just get it out of your systems so that the squadron will have a better chance of surviving this coming shitstorm. For the next hour or so the two of you won't be interrupted", Seth Qorbin spoke and without really waiting for any questions or anything else, the blond WC turned away and made for the hangar's entrance. Once outside, one of the guards would step in and ensure things wouldn't get out of line whilst the other guard would ensure nobody interrupted the two remaining pilots while the two tried to work out their differences...

OOC:
WC: 1506
AAR: Meeting takes place. Trykon informs us of whom we'll be fighting against and where but then runs along before offering specifics for each squadron. Expect said specific objectives to come to each squadron via datapads in the immediate future - likely no more than a few hours time.

Oh, and on the sidelines Jexxel pilots will have a chance to either lessen or worsen the tension between them. I leave this matter in Avalar's hands.
WC/LCDR DeepSix/Golden One/S:38th Vornskr/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE
[=*TG*=] [=*VIM*=] [=*SWC*=]

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

TRN/AD DeepSix/DJO/Training Sect/VEDJ
Avalar
ComNet Member
 
Avalar
 
[VE-DJO] Initiate
[VE-NAVY] Chief Petty Officer
 
Post Number:  602
Total Posts:  786
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Status:  Offline
  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 2, 2013 3:06:45 AM    View the profile of Avalar 
The meeting with the squadron leaders had been rushed, and for the information Trykon did give them, it did not help. Attack the Corellians of all people. Even if we have elite squadrons and trained men and women, Jexxel is no where near fit for this mission. And this will be my first time leading them... The thought started to make Makenna worry. She had yet to fix the situation with Dante, and she knew as long as that rift existed, there was no hope in getting the squadron to fight as one unit.

Makenna had been relating some of her concern to Maroy when she heard a voice. She turned around to find Wing Commander Qorbin addressing her.

"Chief, got a moment?"

"Ehm, yes... yes, sir,” she replied in a bit of shock that the Onderian was seeking her out. Her mind swam through a list of reasons why he would want to speak to her.

"Follow me, Chief," the man replied and began leading Makenna away somewhere. Too shocked to ask, she complied, following him through the halls of the Adjudicator.

Much to her surprise they walked into a small hangar that had guards posted outside and seemingly nobody inside. However, Makenna could make out one figure sitting on some crates, and her heart sank at the realization as to what the Onderian was getting at.

"I believe the two of you know each other," he said as the heavily built human male came towards them. Makenna was not surprised when he saluted his Wing Commander and not his Squadron Commander.

"Chief Aleshire, Master Chief Vangelos here believes you are not fit to lead Jexxel squadron. The Master Chief believes you are not worthy of filling the big shoes left behind by Chief Warrant Officer Markus Wolfrott. Under normal circumstance I'd allow this situation to resolve itself in-house. This is not a normal situation however. We're on the brink of yet another war, a war that given the identity of our foe, will likely wreak a whole lot more casualties in our ranks. Dissension amongst a squadron could prove fatal under these particular circumstances so I'm giving you two a chance to work out this problem here and now. Talk it out, fight it out - I don't care one way or the other. Just get it out of your systems so that the squadron will have a better chance of surviving this coming shitstorm. For the next hour or so the two of you won't be interrupted", and with that, Seth Qorbin left the two mortal enemies to themselves.

Silence settled in the room as the two stared at each other. The game of chess had been set, but the question of who would begin still hung in the air. Makenna used the moment to remember the things Kenth had told her. A man of passion. Strength. Honor.

“Well I guess we could just stand here and stare at each other. Just shows you don’t know what you’re doing,” Dante finally said, glaring.

“I see you contacted your Wing Commander,” Makenna said, dismissing his unoriginal comment, “I would have appreciated if you came to me first.”

“And what would have come of that? Someone needs to know the truth about your inability as a Squadron Commander.”

“Oh? You make it sound like I’m hiding something, Master Chief Vangelos,” Makenna said, echoing the title to further emphasize that she was not above admitting he was higher ranked.

“You’re a bloody pirate. What pirate doesn’t hide behind a mask?” he growled. She studied his face for a moment. His eyes burned with anger, but behind that there was deep grief. By all accounts Markus Wolfrott should have lived, and Dante knew it.

“I can assure you, I have no need for a mask. Ask me anything you want. I will answer any of your questions.”

“A fat lot of lies that is.”

“I have no shame in my past. Whatever you need to know to resolve this issue, I will tell you,” Makenna let her hands stay at her side, her left hand clenched tight and her right hand clenched as much as it could. Strength.

“It doesn’t matter what you say, nothing will change the fact that you are less than qualified to fill the position of Squadron Commander! How could you ever compare to Markus? You barely did anything at the Battle of Bloodmoon, and what did you do at the Battle of the Sollamens? I was there you know. You didn’t put in much kills at all. In fact you crashed a fighter and then backed out of the second battle! How could such a failure hope to come from such low points and take the role of a man who was one of the shining stars of the Navy?! As far as I am concerned you can go back to your little pirate band and go drink your sorrows away, you ugly shrike.”

At the mention of Makenna’s pirate band, something inside her snapped. Suddenly she was lunging at Dante, grabbing for his wrists. The man might have been strong, but Makenna had been trained in speed. She pulled his arms behind him and kept them just taught enough to cause some tension in his arms.

“Now listen here, Dante,” the Squadron Commander said in a sudden tone that wreaked of death. She let her anger flow freely in this situation not caring that he was seeing a part of her that only those who knew her before the VE had seen, “since you seem so keen on picking fights with me, I say we capitalize on that sentiment. What do you say? You think you can beat the pathetic, honorless pirate?” The man knew better than to struggle out of the position, but it was obvious he was thinking of a way out of it. He stayed silent for a moment as he struggled ever so slightly, then he stopped fidgeting and said in a low voice.

“Bring it on.”

He stepped backwards onto Makenna’s foot, and she quickly let go of his arms. Dante stepped away from her and turned so that he was facing his new opponent. Makenna held up her arms, anticipating what his next move would be. No doubt that, if Kenth’s word was any good, Dante would prefer brute strength to speed. In which case she would have to play defense.

Just as she thought, Dante came barrelling towards her, throwing punches and kicks. She blocked and dodged, feeling some of the rust of old and partially forgotten training. Though her reactions had to be faster than Dante’s, her mind was having some trouble.

Thinking is an enemy to speed. The words of a trusted and now dead friend reverberated through her mind. Keep your mind free of the extraneous and you will overcome even the strongest opponents.

Breathing deeply, Makenna let the worry and the anger fall away. She had one goal, to show Dante that she had more strength than he gave her credit for.

Slowly she began to back away from Dante. One of his fists landed square on her shoulder and she winced, stumbling backwards. As her hand went up to the now hurt shoulder, he took the moment to come in with another attack, but she had been waiting for him. Makenna danced to the side and kicked the man in the back of the knees, causing him to collapse. He rolled away before she could pin him down though and soon the two were facing each other again, circling slowly.

Makenna backed away slowly and turned to look over her shoulder, noticing the wall was directly behind her. She turned back to Dante and braced herself. Her right hand began to throb again like it usually did when it was used. Even though many of the nerves had been torn and thus caused her hand to be fairly numb, the damaged part of the hand that still had feeling throbbed at the slightest touch. Dante had no doubt noticed this because the next punch he threw was aimed towards her weak point.

But Makenna was more of a risk taker than he gave her credit for. She grabbed his fist with her right hand, but instead of stopping him, she pulled him through the punch causing him to stumble forward. She then pressed him up against the wall, his arms pulled behind his back and her knife, which she always kept with her, somehow in her hand.

She let Dante see the blade clearly and held it against his neck, “Fun fact. Have you ever wondered how a shrike kills its prey?” she paused long enough to have Dante grumble an acknowledgement, “Since the shrike hunts insects with hard exoskeletons, it needs to break through the hard shell in order to kill it, but its beak isn’t strong enough to pierce through the shell. So instead the shrike will take the insect and pierce it on a thorn,” Makenna pressed the tip of the blade against Dante’s skin, “So I guess you could say that calling me a shrike is more than accurate.”

The man struggled against Makenna’s grip but soon stopped, sighing.

“Do you yield?” she asked.

“yes,” he replied softly, clearly embarrassed.

Makenna stepped back, letting go of Dante and slipping the knife away. He turned around and looked her in the eye, clearly frustrated. He appeared as though there were a lot of things he wanted to say, but, for once, the man held his tongue. Makenna used this opportunity to get a new point across to the Jexxel veteran.

“Like I said, I have nothing to hide. I lack the experience to lead a squadron. That being said, I need to rely on my flight members to help get us through this. If my veterans are against me, then we are all as good as dead. I need you to trust me, and in turn I want to trust you. You seem like a man capable of honor and a leader at that. With your help I can rebuild this squadron,” Makenna straightened herself making sure to drive the last point home, “I will never replace Chief Warrant Officer Wolfrott, but I’ll be damned if I let him down and break the legacy he created here.”

Dante held her gaze but then broke it, looking off to the side. His stance, which had been tense, had started to relax. He sighed, seeming to actually be taking her words to heart for once. Whatever was going through his mind, she had no idea, but it was obvious that his hostilities were not worth maintaining anymore.

“As much as I hate agreeing with a pirate,” he started, and Makenna found herself trying not to smirk at his opening statement, “I do want Markus’ legacy to continue. And I’d rather not have another Battle of the Sollamens take place,” at this, some of the grief he had been holding back showed in his eyes despite his straight face.

“So you see, we have the same goal. Keep Jexxel alive and make her better than ever before,” Makenna said, “And one of my ideas for that was to pair every green pilot with a veteran. This next battle is going to be hard, harder than we’ve ever faced, and we’re going to need the experience of the Jexxel veterans more than ever.”

Dante nodded at this, suddenly becoming serious, “I will take on whoever you assign to me. You can trust that I will train my wingman to be worthy of the Jexxel name.”

“That was all I ever needed from you,” she said then nodded, “Right. Now that we’ve come to an understanding, I have information to look over. A squadron briefing will be held in less than an hour. Your wingman has no doubt already arrived. Go and meet him and get to know him well because we won’t be able to do any training before this mission,” and with that Makenna began to walk away from Dante towards the door that was still being guarded.

“Chief,” Dante suddenly called. Chief Petty Officer Makenna Aleshire turned around, wondering what else the man could possibly have to say. But instead of saying anything, he stood at attention and saluted her.

Shocked at this motion, Makenna returned the salute then called, “Don’t stand around there all day, Master Chief Vangelos.”

And with that Makenna left the room, sudden confidence filling her steps as she walked through the halls of the Adjudicator, finally believing what Hades, Trykon, and the others had been saying all along.

She had it in her to do this and to do it well.

OOC:
WC: 2,124

AAR: Going off of Deep's post, the Onderian WC leads Makenna to a room where he lets the SC and Dante duke it out. It is apparent that words won't get through to the Jexxel veteran so the two fight. Once Makenna shows that she is not so easily beaten, she further drives home the point that all she ever wanted was to work with him and maintain the legacy Markus Wolfrott left behind. Dante has a change of heart and is finally willing to work with Makenna.
SCO | CPO Avalar | Silver 1 | S:46 Jexxel | W:101 Blade | ISD Adjudicator | TF:A | 2Flt | VEN | VE

[SoA]  [MC1]  [CC: W] [DSM] [CBV] [CC: D] [CNQST]

TRN | INI Zarya | VEDJ | VE
Serpent
ComNet Member
Imperial Baronet

 
Serpent
 
[VE-NAVY] Lieutenant Commander
 
Post Number:  901
Total Posts:  1214
Joined:  Jul 2011
Status:  Offline
  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 2, 2013 6:32:03 AM    View the profile of Serpent 
Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex ‘Sunburn’ Larsh narrowed his grey-green eyes at the slop on the tray before him.  He had only been with the Vast Empire a month, and in that time his hope that they served better food on their ships had been thoroughly dispelled.  Imperial Dominion or VE, mess hall meals were the same wherever.

Larsh spooned another lump of.... pink stuff into his mouth, winced at the taste, and then washed it down with a glass of... orange stuff.  Briefly he let his gaze lift from the food and glance around at the tables nearby.  They, like every table in the Brilliant’s primary mess hall, were crammed with crewmen, techs, and even a few of his fellow pilots.  And yet Sunburn sat alone.

He was not surprised.  He had gotten used to the life of a pariah.  Three months ago he and the Imperial Dominion had been battling these people.  Larsh fully expected that he had even killed some of the friends of people on this ship.  Then the ID lost, their military was absorbed, and he had found himself demoted and then assigned to serve those he had previously battled.

The crew of the Brilliant had not been forgiving of his past allegiance.  And nor had his fellow pilots.  He had flown training missions with them, but they had yet to accept him.  If Sunburn got in trouble in an actual dogfight, he was not sure that his wingman would even bother to save him.

And a large part of that negativity came from the man who was now making his way through the throng towards him.  Warrant Officer 2nd Class Walud ‘Wasp’ Darbiles, the Commander of the Brilliant’s 323rd Fighter Wing, was a harsh Duros by anyone’s standards.  His blue skin was dark to the point of being nearly black, and his eyes and mouth were shaped for anger, not laughter.  Darbiles was popular among his own people, but kept himself and his pilots distant from the rest of the Star Destroyer’s crew.  And distant from Larsh too.

“Greetings, sir,” Said Sunburn as his Squadron Leader walked past.

Wasp stopped in mid-stride, and glanced down at the human pilot as if noticing him for the first time.  “Larsh,” Said the Duros, his voice neutral.  “How’s dinner?” He asked, the question seeming like a forced pleasantry.

Sunburn shrugged.  “Same as usual, sir,” He said, disparagingly.

Darbiles’ eyes narrowed.  “Sorry our food isn’t good enough for you, Petty Officer,” He said darkly.

Larsh sighed.  He had not meant his words as an insult.  “I just meant...” He began, but it was too late.

“I know what you meant,” Snarled Wasp, “But in the 323rd we do not speak ill of our ship, its crew, or even its food.”

“I’m sorry, sir,” Said Sunburn, genuinely apologetic, “But I was just expressing an opinion.  It was not intended as a criticism.”

“We do not express opinions in the VE,” The Duros Wing Commander told him sternly, “It’s not good for morale!”

Larsh felt his temper flare at the other’s overbearing attitude.  “As I said, sir, my apologies!  I had not intended to endanger the cohesion of this ship and its crew by talking about my lunch!”

By now several crewmen at nearby tables had ceased their own chatter and were listening intently to the two pilots.  As if aware of the attention, Darbiles raised his voice, making his point loud and clear.  “We don’t appreciate sarcasm in the VE either, Petty Officer!  Your variety of lip and disloyalty may have helped drag down the Dominion, but I won’t allow it to drag us down too!”

Sunburn was on his feet before he even consciously knew what he was doing.  “Don’t bring my past into this, sir,” He said darkly.  “Don’t!

“Or what?” Demanded Wasp.

And the first punch flew.

-----

Pherik ‘Serpent’ Zail gazed over the desk at the two pilots before him.  They were flanked by a duo of Stormtroopers, and standing behind them was Warrant Officer Saitroni, who had broken up the fight and dragged the two men responsible to the Captain’s office.

“That will be all, XO,” Said Zail softly.  “Guards, you are also dismissed.”

The three saluted and filed out.  As soon as the door shut behind them, Darbiles spoke.  “Captain, I would like to apologise for the...”

“Shut the frak up!”  Barked Serpent, incensed by the behaviour of the two men.  Both Wasp and Sunburn’s faces were covered by cuts and bruises, and even their uniforms were torn by the ferocity of their brawl.  Thankfully it had not escalated, and no one else had joined in.  Seems the crewmen in the mess hall were just content to watch and cheer today.

After taking a deep breath, Zail continued in a more level voice.  “The 323rd is a decorated and proud unit,” He said, “In this Fleet it is second only to the 101st Fighter Wing.  Your actions today have tarnished that fine reputation.  All I want to know is why.”

“It was a misunderstanding, sir,” Said Larsh.  “The Wing Commander thought I was criticising this ship, but disloyalty was not my intent.”

“I see,” Said Serpent, flicking his gaze to the Duros.  “You are a harsh officer, Mr Darbiles, and normally I have no problem with that.  However, I must ask.  Was this... misunderstanding merely a result of your normal terse attitude, or was it coloured by Mr Larsh’s previous affiliation?”

Wasp tensed noticeably before answering.  “Possibly, sir,” He confessed.  “If truth be told, sir, I still do not trust this man’s loyalty to the Vast Empire.  A few months is hardly enough time to shake off years of anti-alien propaganda and human supremacy rhetoric.”

Sunburn’s face twitched in disdain.  “I never bought into that garbage, sir,” He declared.  “Human or alien, I care not.  Ability is all I respect.”

Zail found himself pleased by the words, but unnerved by the fact that they had to be spoken at all.  He had recently been wondering about the racial make-up of his crew, wondering if it was too heavily human.  That his pilots were feeling racial tensions, even if they were stirred up by a former member of the Dominion, did not bode well.

“Your opinion in this matter is not relevant,” Said Serpent firmly.  “VENI has cleared this man for service in your Wing, Darbiles.  You will treat him as any other pilot under your command.”

The Duros’ lip curled.  “I am to ignore his background and treat him as a regular, loyal VE citizen, is that it?”

“Subject,” Said Sunburn.

Wasp frowned.  “What?”

Subject,” Repeated Larsh.  “We serve an empire.  The people of a republic have rights, including the right to vote, so they are referred to as ‘citizens’.  We do not serve a republic, we serve an empire.  We have no rights and certainly do not elect our leaders.  We are ‘subjects’.”

Serpent smiled.  “Well said, Petty Officer,” He said, and then shifted his gaze.  “Be careful of your words, Darbiles, or Intelligence will wonder why you are banding about republican terms.”

The Duros stiffened, but said nothing.

After a long silence, Zail announced with finality, “I’ve had enough of this.  Both of you are dismissed.  I shall note this incident on your records but take no further action.  However, if either of you so much as looks at the other sourly I shall end both your careers immediately.”  And with a harsh look in his eyes he added, “Or I’ll end your lives immediately.  Either way, prey you don’t have to find out.”

The two pilots nodded, saluted, and then marched out of the room.

Serpent watched them go, and wondered just how life on his Star Destroyer had gotten so complicated.

OOC:
1292 words.  Two new NPCs for the Brilliant:

- Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex ‘Sunburn’ Larsh
- Warrant Officer 2nd Class Walud ‘Wasp’ Darbiles

More on these two as the story develops!

After Action Report:  Wing Commander Darbiles gets on the case of one of his pilots, Alex Larsh.  Larsh is formerly of the Imperial Dominion, and little loved by the Brilliant crewmen.  The two come to blows in the mess hall, and then are taken before Zail.  Serpent has stern words for them, and wonders just how tense life on his ship is becoming.
SCAP/LCDR Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
[SoA][LoM][NAR][E][SoV][MiD][1NS][GWC][MC1][VC:E][CAR][AOx3][CoB.][NC][CC:3][CNQST](=*Eng*=)(=*BO*=)


"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
DeepSix
ComNet Member
 
DeepSix
 
[VE-DJO] Adept
[VE-ICS] Pirate Swabbie
[VE-NAVY] Lieutenant Commander
 
Post Number:  812
Total Posts:  973
Joined:  Jul 2010
Status:  Offline
  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 2, 2013 2:02:24 PM    View the profile of DeepSix 
Now that the Jexxel issue was being resolved - or at least so DeepSix hoped at any rate - the Wing Commander had his own squadron to meet and discuss stuff with. Especially now that he knew whom their foes were. On one hand the man knew that the good ole' TIE Avengers his squadron flew were likely superior to most crafts the Corellians might throw against them. The blond pilot was also fairly confident in the skills of his own men, believing them to be at least on part with most Corellians out there.

What the Vornskr SCO was more preoccupied about however was the fact that some of the other pilots in the VE might not be as skilled or may not be in a position to take advantage of a superior craft to give them a needed edge. In other words, should the fighting drag on there was a chance for the Corellian League to get the upper hand as far as space superiority went.

If however the VE Starfighter Corps were at a somewhat disadvantage when compared to their opponents, the same could not be said about the Vast Empire's Fleet as well. Imperial cap ships tended to be sturdier and more lethal than the alternatives used by either the Corellians or the New Republic. Again this meant that a quick skirmish was preferable to a dragged out battle - a fact no doubt already considered by veteran military analysts...

Seth Qorbin had almost reached his destination - the Vornskr barracks - when a voice called from behind: "Commander! Commander Qorbin!" Turning around, the blond pilot came face to face with a plain looking Warrant Officer that briskly saluted before beginning to speak "Commander, I'm here to relay a message for your ears only, courtesy of a certain timid Captain."

Seth returned the salute with a smile. The only timid Captain he could think of was Jigsaw, otherwise known as the elusive Captain Grey - an individual always hiding his features behind a freaky mask. The odd approach also seemed to be more his style than any other captain he was currently acquainted with.

"Let's go to my quarters then", Qorbin invited the other agent and within minutes the two men were inside the former's private quarters aboard the Adjudicator. "Sir, have you received your squadron's orders yet?" the anonymous Warrant Officer inquired once they were alone and outside any external influence.

"Not sure, I'd have to check my datapad first..."

"Sir, Captain Grey would like to hand you a separate mission... The specifics are enclosed in this holodisk. I was also tasked to give you this", the man reached inside his pocked and pulled out both a small holodisk as well as a tiny, military looking ear piece. Reaching over to get the two items, Seth stared at them dubiously but thanked the other fellow all the same. "Good bye sir, and good hunting!" the still unknown Warrant Officer - if that was even his real rank - saluted once more and without waiting for a reply turned and made for the exit, leaving Seth Qorbin behind to try and figure out what VENI wanted him to do during this next engagement anyway.

OOC:
WC: 538
AAR: Just a quick post opening up possible new venues for me to explore once the fighting starts.
WC/LCDR DeepSix/Golden One/S:38th Vornskr/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE
[=*TG*=] [=*VIM*=] [=*SWC*=]

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

TRN/AD DeepSix/DJO/Training Sect/VEDJ
TosthAaaiser
ComNet Initiate
 
TosthAaaiser
 
[VE-NAVY] Chief Petty Officer
 
Post Number:  149
Total Posts:  232
Joined:  Jul 2011
Status:  Offline
  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 2, 2013 10:13:31 PM    View the profile of TosthAaaiser 
Abrae, Bureau of Naval Medicine and Surgery

“You’re lucky, Crewman. Lucky I’ve only just arrived.” There was absolutely no response from the human. The Ithorian decided to get his attention. Putting as much effort as he could behind his next breath, he opened all four of his throats and both of his mouths and let out an ear-shattering scream. “Break another one and your head will be my next specimen, you mudlicker! Dismissed!” The newly appointed Commodore was livid. He had only just arrived and his new crew seemed next to useless. There was a complete lack of any level of discipline throughout the entire bureau. No questions now as to why the old man was fired… We’ve been scraping by for years and things were almost impossible to manage during our previous campaign.

Commodore Habend, previously holding the rank of Ensign and the position of Chief Medical Officer aboard the Second Fleet flagship, an ISD-II class, the Adjudicator, was very surprised when he was approached by Naval High Command and offered the positions of Chief of Naval Medicine and the Chief of the Bureau of Naval Medicine and Surgery, better known as BUMED.  He warily accepted the position, knowing he would have to leave his family aboard the Adjudicator in the Medical Department. But something had to be done.

It was time to turn this bureau around.

***

Once he had finished settling into his new office, he began drafting up a general order for the bureau. The bureau would function again, no matter the cost.

•    The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery is hereby charged with management of the following:
    o    All medicines and medical stores of every description, used in the treatment of the sick, the diseased and the wounded;
    o    All boxes, vials, and other vessels containing the same;
    o    All clothing, beds, and bedding for the sick;
    o    The management of hospitals, so far as the patients therein are concerned;
    o    All appliances of every sort, used in surgical and medical practice;
    o    All contracts, accounts, and returns, relating to these and such other subjects

Anyone who was found slacking or shirking their duties would be made an example of. Of this he would make sure.

***

Adjudicator, Chief Medical Officer’s Quarters

That old hammerhead is bold. I’ll give him that. Newly appointed Chief Medical Officer of the Adjudicator, Ensign Docker Gibbs, had always held his former Commanding Officer, Yortaw Habend, in slight distaste. Now he had to go and get a massive promotion and reign supreme over all of us. His medical nonsense with major surgeries and pharmaceuticals will not stand aboard my ship. I will have my way.

***

Ensign Gibbs’s holopad let off a sound, informing him of incoming communications. It appeared to be from the Chief of Naval Medicine.

What in the blazes is that fool doing now? First he takes the job and now he’s reforming everything?

•    The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery is hereby charged with management of the following:
    o    All medicines and medical stores of every description, used in the treatment of the sick, the diseased and the wounded;
    o    All boxes, vials, and other vessels containing the same;
    o    All clothing, beds, and bedding for the sick;
    o    The management of hospitals, so far as the patients therein are concerned;
    o    All appliances of every sort, used in surgical and medical practice;
    o    All contracts, accounts, and returns, relating to these and such other subjects

Each ship will have inspections being run within the next week. I will be sending representatives to observe day-to-day operations, ensuring everything is running properly. Any issues
will be reported to me and I will be fixing them.

Furthermore, I will begin standardizing contracts for supplies across the fleet as soon as I am able; I will keep all of our Chief Medical Officers informed on the progress. Until then, keep to ordering in supplies as per the norm.

COM Habend


Another transmission. Why the kriff is this happening now? I just got settled in. I was hoping for some peace. He opened it up. Trykon? What the kriff is going on? And why is there a meeting in place?

***

Abrae, Bureau of Naval Medicine and Surgery

He knew he would have to be careful having placed Gibbs in charge of the Adjudicator’s medical facilities. That man could completely destroy everything he had worked to establish there; Gibbs had completely impractical medical practices for a warship; his practices were even worse aboard the flagship of the Second Fleet, but not promoting him before leaving would have caused issues in the chain of command; after all, Gibbs was the most senior officer aboard that ship after himself. And military medicine is fundamentally different than civilian medicine.

Hours after arrival, a human woman entered his office. She was different than the rest of the people he had met so far on Abrae; there was an aura of discipline within her. An aura that he could respect.

***

“… So in closing sir, you want me to act as an envoy to the Adjudicator, and run the inspections aboard that ship?”

“Yes, Ms. Saphire. As I have previously mentioned to you, there are certain… implications with his command. I trust in my department heads that nothing shall change, but one can never be too careful. Be subtle; talk with the crew members and make sure everything runs according to our new standards.”

“Very well, sir.”

“Dismissed. And good luck, Warrant Officer. Gibbs can be very hard to handle.”

***

Adjudicator, Chief Medical Offices, Medical Meeting Hall

“Remember, have your departments split up into teams and ready; we will have many injuries and deaths with this next action.” The Ensign looked at the department leaders assembled in front of him.

One voice quipped in. “And will these so-called preparations lead to more deaths?”

“Excuse me, Mr. Kaj? Did I hear you correctly?”

“Yes. You did, sir. Your practices, if you are planning on implementing them aboard this ship, are not viable. We are a warship. Not some civilian hospital.”

“Are you mocking me, Warrant Officer?” The hall became deathly silent.

“Mocking? Never. Cold, hard facts never mock. But if you expect my ward to bend to the will of retro-technological medical practices, you are sadly mistaken. I will not cost the Vast Empire any more deaths than it will already have; we have lost too many already.” The Falleen stopped speaking and exited the hall, leaving a livid Chief Medical Officer and a crowd of dumbfounded medical officers behind him.

***

Adjudicator, Surgical Ward, Dr. Xad Kaj’s Office

“I am meeting with each of my surgeons individually, Mr. Aaaiser. We are about to launch another campaign and with your previous experiences, I will need you to begin taking care of a few items. You are the most knowledgeable about our current supply status and our supply draining rate. As you have ordered in supplies in the past, I need you to order in more supplies, within the next few days. I will be busy assigning the other surgeons their roles in the upcoming battle. As for you, however, I want you to stay near the surgical wards; we need as many of our experienced surgeons ready to manage incoming patients and make sure our ward is functioning at optimal levels. And a word of caution, Petty Officer. Keep out of the way of Ensign Gibbs.”

“Sir.”

“Is your assignment clear?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then you are dismissed.”

OOC:
WC: 1450

AAR: Mostly an NPC post. Been wanting to do a bit of development there.

The former CMO of the Adj gets promoted to the position of CNM and Docker Gibbs takes the newly open CMO position, without taking a 2IC.

Habend, the new CNM, creates a general order to begin instilling discipline and order to the medical department, while handpicking an envoy for the Adj's inspection.

A bit of conflict between Dr. Kaj and the new CMO also emerges. And Fishhead also receives his first round of orders.
JC |CPO Tosth “Fishhead” Aaaiser |ISD Adjudicator | TF:A | 2Flt |FC |VEN | VE
TO | CPO "Fishhead" | PLF Cappadocious | VENA | VEN | VE

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Joamer
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Joamer
 
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 2, 2013 11:51:51 PM    View the profile of Joamer 
Min Buyinom did not fit her callsign in the slightest bit. Sure she might be stick thin and dressed more like a guy than anything. However, Tiny did not fit someone who was taller than most males. What did fit her though was the name of the squadron. Back in the Dominion she was lead pilot of second flight, Wildcard Squadron, Queen of Hearts. Now though, she was flight member, Strill Squadron, Iron thirteen.

Thinking about it for too long now made her physically sick. She was the only surviving member of Wildcard, the others had perished or had simply vanished. Now she sat in her shared quarters, on her bed naked save for a sheet she had wrapped around herself. Nothing in this room was hers. Oh sure they had provided her with clothing, weapons, credits. After the various branches had cleared her she was even placed into what they considered an elite squadron.

“How the frak did we lose to this lot?” She said out loud. “There is no way this squadron could really be elite. Sure we fly the Hunter but they’ve been stripped down to almost stock. It’s like their high command wants them all to die horribly. No trust here, they are not as united as they seem.”

Her roommate one Yvaine Thorn stayed away a lot of the time, which was a good thing. The young girl was a good pilot but she was also a medic. Which was an oddity but seeing the squadron practicing in the area designed for the army dogs stationed on the ship made sense. If they squadron was going to do ground work they would need a medic eventually.

She remembered the first time she saw the Commander. An outwardly imposing man, early fifties easily. He wore the age well from the way he moved, and from the rather large pistol he always carried on his hip she knew the records from his army days were not exaggerated. He never asked anyone to do something he would not do first. She at first thought he would have been an army dog first and pilot second, but she had been wrong. The information about his early life was sketchy at best, it was obvious he had been flying for most of his life. In short he was someone she could follow blindly into Hell, and it annoyed her to no end.

She had never saluted him, and he seemed relieved at that fact. His first words were simple and not really directed at her just at one of the guards “She’ll do.” Then hours later she was being given a uniform, modified armor, and then shown a brand new Hunter with instructions to report to the simulator and then the army area to begin training.

The months passed quickly. The army work was tough on her, she was strictly a pilot and a damned good one at that. Which she proved in the agile Hunter. It was not as fast or agile as her old Avenger, but it made up for that in the ways the squadron flew them. They took the thought of a Strill and hung onto that image. The shadows were where they lived, they waited, watched, then pounced. Then simply melted back into the shadows.

She hated this new Empire she was thrust into. She had to give respect to this squadron though, they took the bad and made it into a strength. There was not a cohesion here like in the Wildcards, but there was something else. They could come together when it was needed then break apart and fly without wingmates. Instead of the norm they had become the abnormal and somehow it worked.

If scuttlebutt was right high command did not much like the squadron. She could see why, they were the oddities. A trial run that was still here. They held on by their fingertips to survive but they did it.

Of course all of this was before news reached them what their next target would be. After that everything changed for her. She became set on a course. No longer would she be a slave to this new Empire. She would bring Strill crashing down. She would kill the Commander.


--=Present Time.=--

Loosening her seat straps for a moment he proceeded to run her body through stretching exercises created for a flight seat. For all the advancement the Hunter had they still could not create a comfortable flight seat.

“Though the Avenger seat was just as bad. All sharp edges and no padding.” She mumbled to herself as she watched the spinning vortex of hyperspace.

She did not know where they were going. The coordinates were mostly a mystery to her without a navcomputer to decrypt them. Even the datapad that held their mission was still locked. Apparently the Commander knew the necessity of secrecy. He still had to die, even if he went to extremes to protect his squadron.

What about him being Corellian then? She fumed over the red bloodstripes he showed up to the briefing wearing. She had no doubt he had earned those fully. A tiny part of her heart tried to shine for a moment but she crushed it. I am not Corellian. I am Dominion. I won’t stop fighting till my last breath. She thought angrily.


OOC:
WC-898. Everyone welcome our ex/still Dominion pilot. Apparently she is going to kill Joamer soon.
Joamer Tremaine Reistlin
Ensign, Squadron Commanding Officer
Aurek Flight, Strill Squadron

SCO|ESN Joamer |Squadron: The 58th  "Strill"|Wing: 101st "Blade"|ISD-II  Adjudicator |TF:A|2FL|SFC|VEN|VE
[CC-P] [CC-W] [CC-D] [SoV] [LoM] [E] [NS-H] [VC:B] [CNQST]
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In memory of Ghost squad, we will never forget.
Xanatos
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Xanatos
 
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 3, 2013 2:11:26 AM    View the profile of Xanatos 
Xanatos pressed the flush button on the refresher, but he lingered a little longer than needed as he washed his hands, Outside of the cramped ‘room’, the mood in the Shuttle Terrorsaur was distinctly less than cheerful. Xanatos was a man of few words at the best of times, and he simply did not know what to say that might cheer his depressed friend up. He sighed to himself as he ran his hands under the sanistream, then the turbo-dryer. He understand how Pendar felt – they had been flying together for a full year, and he guessed they had always kind of assumed that they would remain three of a kind after they graduated.

After all, they had aced the final simulator exam that the Vast Empire’s Naval Academy had cooked up for them, communicating with their landing lights and military flash code in order to get around the nebula’s comm-jamming properties, then laying waste to a good quarter of the fighters in the simulation. The fact they had been deployed on opposing sides without their knowledge meant that technically, they had failed to complete their objectives, but Warrant Officer Koate had been impressed enough by their quick-thinking to override the automated grading system. They had all graduated with the Star of the Academy medal, as well as double promotions to Senior Crewman.

Hell, Xanatos thought to himself as he opened the door and stepped out into the passenger compartment of the Terrorsaur, they had even all been assigned to the elite 101st Imperial Composite Starfighter Wing, better known as ‘Blade’ Wing. He often wondered at that. The wing itself was named after a blade, but the Squadrons were named after various animals. He almost wished he had been able to sit in on whatever meeting had produced those names. He was sure it would have been interesting. He fished his deployment orders out of his pocket, looking at the flimsiplast and remembering the smiles on the trio’s faces as they had all seen “101st BLADE WING” in bold capital writing on the top.

It hadn’t been until they looked down at the squadron assignments that the bad news had hit them. Turning to look to his right, he could see Pendar clearly in profile, the grey-skinned Duros was looking just as morose and glum as he had been when Xanatos had stepped out to the refresher. He walked over to his seat, plainly obvious because the one right next to it was stacked high with a large backpack and two duffel bags, both full to bursting. When he had informed the shuttle pilot that one of the bags was full of Heavy Blaster Pistols, the man had almost had a fit. Neither of his friends had nearly as much baggage has he’d brought along.

A man had to have his hobbies, his mother had always told him. Otherwise, he got bored and started to lose his mind. For Mandalorians, that usually ended in a fair bit of bloodshed. He fell backwards into his seat with a dull ‘thump’ and turned to regard his friends. As usual, Van was trying his best to cheer up Pendar, whom was still staring at his deployment orders with an expression that flickered back and forth between disbelief and despair. Of the three, Pendar was the most emotionally unstable, and although it seemed to do wonders for his reaction time and dogfighting instincts, it also meant that out of the three pilots, he was going to be the one who’d cope the worst if split apart from his friends.

“We’ll still be on the Adjudicator, all three of us. We can still hang out in the mess hall in between missions and book out the simulator rooms. It’s not like we’re being assigned to different ships.” Van was making a valiant effort of it, but Xanatos knew full well that when Pendar got like this, it took something pretty major to snap him out of the nightmare that the Duros was painting for himself. Reaching over, he placed a hand on Van’s shoulder to get his attention. The buff Corellian turned to face him, an eyebrow raised in a silent question. Xanatos shook his head in answer. Better to give the poor man some space.

Van nodded, hiding a sigh as he leaned back against his chair and closed his eyes, leaving Pendar to his thoughts. Xanatos opened up the top-most duffel bag and pulled out a massive EE-3 Blaster Rifle, which he had managed to cut down to the size of a ridiculously heavy pistol. He was still filing down the area where the stock had been cut off, and after fishing out a wood file from one of the many pockets of his flight suit, he contented himself with starting to smooth down the bump on the Wroshyr-wood handle where the stock had once been.

“Honestly, I’m not surprised they decided to split us up.” Van spoke up after a few moments, clearly not quite comfortable with making the final journey to their new lives as TIE Pilots in silence. He wasn’t surprised – the big Corellian was louder and larger than life, and unlike Xanatos, whom was perfectly comfortable with silence, or Pendar, whom was lost in his own little world of anxiety, Van didn’t seem quite content with doing nothing, or with simply sitting and waiting. Not looking up from his work, Xanatos nodded his head a little.

“Why’s that, ner vod?” It would be easier in the long run, Xanatos knew, just to humour his friend. He already had one member of the team freaking out. It wouldn’t do to have two of them starting to panic. The gleam he saw in his friend’s eye, however, made him instantly regret everything he had just said. Van was onto another of his damned conspiracy theories.
“Think about it. As a team, we’d be unstoppable. The war would be over in a month – two at most. The Vast Empire can’t have that: It is running on a war economy, and if there wasn’t a war, it’d go bust! So, they can’t let us team up, because we’d win the war and destroy the Vast Empire at the same time. They’re probably sabotaging all of their units just enough to make the war drag on, so that they can get the economy ready for the change from war to peace.”

There was a full minute of silence, as Xanatos tried to decide if that was the most brilliant thing he had ever heard, or the dumbest. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that it was both. If Van’s massive grin was anything to go by, he was intentionally trying to rile his friend up in some kind of joke. Xanatos, his voice dripping with sarcasm, decided to play along and see how far they could take it.
“Palpatine’s Patella, I think you’ve got it! Of course they couldn’t have us in the same Squadron! We’d overrun Coruscant before the Empire’s even had time to consolidate its gains over the Imperial Dominion! It’s the only logical explanation! But what if it isn’t the Vast Empire making the decisions?”

It was too much for any conspiracy theorist worth his scales to stay out of, no matter how depressed. Pendar Zhug looked up, and Xanatos knew that if the Duros had any eyebrows, they would be breaking orbit any second now.
“You mean the Hutts?” The question was hesitant, as if Pendar wasn’t sure if he was hooked in on the conversation yet. Of course he was, however. Once Van and Xanatos got on a conspiracy conversation, Pendar couldn’t resist. They were too ridiculous to miss out on.

“The Hutts are just a tool, a smokescreen for their true masters to hide behind: The shadowy puppetmasters whom have been controlling everything since before the Clone Wars even started – ever since the Trade Federation got too big for their boots….”
Pendar took the bait, speaking up instantly.
“The Rodian Hunter’s Guild?”
Van took his own shot, aiming for even more ludicrous.
“It has to be the Ewoks. They’ve been the best off since Palpatine died.”
Xanatos, true to form, shot them all down.
“Oh no, it’d take real geniuses to sort all this out. That means the Gammoreans.”

The Conspiracy Theories continued for the rest of the trip, all the way from the Brilliant to the Adjudicator.

OOC:
Word Count: 1400
AAR: A completely pointless post in which nothing of interest happens whatsoever
FM|SCRW Xanatos 677 "Xanatos" Bombassa
Jexxel ?|S:46 "Jexxel" W:101 "Blade"
ISD Adjudicator|TF:B|2FL|SC|VEN|VE
Gurlanin
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Gurlanin
 
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 3, 2013 3:11:17 PM    View the profile of Gurlanin 
Even before Joamer walked into the room, the conversations were quiet. Everyone in the room was nervous, not knowing what was going on. For weeks, the entire fleet had slowly been making battle preparations. Grent himself had arrived in Strill in the middle of the campaign against the, now former, Imperial Dominion. As such, this was the first time he had been on the ship from the start of the preparations, but he doubted that it would be the last. The entire galaxy was full of skirmishes, some small and some large. The Vast Empire was becoming a threat to the major powers in the galactic politics. To top it all off, he had been approached, after the VENI training exercise (which he still felt that there was more about it than the Lieutenant Commander had told them), by a VENI representative. The other man had heavily implied that Intelligence wanted him in their ranks, and mentioned both the exercise, and the classified mission that Grent had been sent on. He'd been given contact details, should he want to pursue it. The young Mandalorian has been turning the idea over and over in his mind ever since.

He was sitting in one corner of the briefing room, with the rest of Cresh flight around him.

"So what do you think, Tops? We gonna have another fight like last time?" said Lady calmly. She was not her usual, laughing and joking self, which worried Grent.
"I don't know."
"Probably some 'do or die' mission, or ..."
"What part of 'don't know', do you not understand?" Grent snapped back.
"Sorry, Tops, I-..."
"No," interrupted Grent, "I'm sorry. It's just that ... well, there's a lot going on."
"Believe us, Top," said Edge encouragingly, "We know."

Cresh had become a tight knit group. If Strill were the outcasts of the Navy, then Cresh were the worst of the bunch. They'd earned a well deserved reputation for being jokers, and woe to anyone who entered Strill's little piece of the ship without being prepared. Buckets, filled with water from the refreshers, being tipped over unsuspecting crewmen, women, and officers alike, was a well used favourite. Of course, no harm was meant by it, and even Tryk had been on the receiving end once (the holo footage of that particular incident was currently on prominent display on Joamer's desk, who had purchased it from Cresh for a couple of rounds of drinks).

Everyone was there, in the briefing room, except for Joamer. A series of electronic noises heralded the arrival of the man in question, as the door slid open. There was a faint sound of the security systems kicking in, as the room silenced. The datapads were slid across the table, and Grent handed them out to the rest of his flight.

-----------------

In the hangar, Grent was checking over his fighter, and storing some of his new equipment in the extra space, compared to the Interceptor. Pride of place, were his new swords. Over the last few months, since he had been made Flight Leader, Cresh had been put through their paces. Zero-G combat, close combat martial arts, melee weapons, infiltration, slicing, marksmanship ... everything a Strill commando would need. Of course, he had not neglected their piloting skills: they were pilots first, after all. Yet something told Grent that they needed to brush up on their ground combat skills. They were not to be like the regular army, and do all the ground work. No, they were specialists: get in, do the job, get out. Let the army do the main fighting. Strill were there for specific missions, that required more subtlety than the heavy combat boots of the grunts could provide.

"This is Iron Eight. Cresh flight, sound off." The voices of Edge, Lady, and Tinker came back over the comm, as Grent climbed into his cockpit, and prepared for takeoff. He then switched to Joamer's comm channel, "Cresh is ready when you are, Boss."
"Roger that, Gur," came the reply.

A beep, and a flashing message icon on the Katarn helmet's HUD, caught Grent's attention. A few blinks, and it came up: it was from Starlight.

"This is gonna be fun."

OOC:
WC: 698
AAR: Just the same post as Joamer, but from Gur's POV.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Grent "Gurlanin" Notimo, 58th (Strill) Squadron

SXO | PO2 Gurlanin | Iron Eight | S:58 "Strill" | W:101 "Blade" | ISD II "Adjudicator" | TF: Aurek | 2nd Fleet | SC | VEN | VE

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Romanflame
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Romanflame
 
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 4, 2013 1:19:44 AM    View the profile of Romanflame 
Arthur left the Adjudicator on his shuttle and boarded the Hammer.  On his trip he received the mission debriefing and started to prepare for this next mission.  When Arthurs’ shuttle landed he quickly moved to the briefing room and waited for the rest of his crew.

When the crew walked into the room Arthur started the briefing.  We are going to the Nusiuu Dock a fleet of the Corellian League and the New Republic is on the way to attack it.

“We currently don’t have the exact numbers, but we do have a plan to win this fight.  The majority of our fleet will be hidden outside the system.  Jason I need you and your crew to make our ship seem like we are getting repairs, but no major problems that will get us shot down.”

“We will get started on this right away sir.” Jason

“Sergeant Ishart, I have two separate jobs for you.  They both need ten soldiers the first ten are going to be stationed here.  The second ten are going to be stationed on one of the ships in system with a few of our people acting as gunners.”  Arthur said.

“Rodger that sir I’ll deploy my marines as soon as we reach the ship yard.”  Ishart responded.

” Ariyn I want you in charge of the gunners I’m sending with the marines,  I know they are going to be a bit rusty at the position, but I know you can get these guys into place.”  Arthur ordered.

“You bet sir, I will have them practice till we leave with the fleet.  I hope that when we arrive in system that they are ready for an actual fight.” Ariyn said.

Arthur wrapped up the rest of his briefing, and waited for the fleet to leave for the station to prepare for the attack.

~~~A few Hours Later~~~

The fleet was ready to leave for the Nusiuu Docks.  The Adjudicator was the first to leave the system which was followed by the Brilliant and then the rest of the fleet.  The Hammer was the last to leave the system.  A few seconds before the Hammer jumped to Hyper-space the guys training on the guns stop and braced for the jump.

After the fleet arrived in system Trykon began to deploy his forces to where they were believed to be needed.  Arthur began to scout out the ships at the station to find the perfect one to send his marines and gunners.  Quickly Arthur spotted the Interceptor a Republic Interdictor Cruiser and thought that’s the ship we are going to protect, and Arthur was in luck there was an empty docking berth next to it.

Arthur sent a message to Trykon about which ship was under his protection.  The Hammer quickly docked and began to off load the crew and started to prepare them for the battle.  The marines got into their full battle gear and grabbed their rifles.  Ariyn lead her men to the Interceptor and placed them at the turrets facing away from the station, but faced into the figured kill zone.

Arthur realized that the marine detachment was most likely not enough to watch the whole ship, but he didn’t have the trained manpower to watch them.  He called up Petty Officer 2nd Class Ieha'igh his second shift Sensor man.

“Sir I am reporting as ordered.” Ieha'igh said after he arrived on the bridge.

“I want you to go aboard the Interceptor, and watch their sensors you are in charge of keeping the marines informed about possible boarders.”  Arthur ordered.  Ieha'igh saluted and was on his way to the Republic Interdictor Cruiser.  The crew began their wait for the battle to began, and finished up trying to make the ship look like it needed repairs but able to be fixed rather easily.

~~~ The Interceptor~~~

Ariyn was walking around the Cruiser looking for any weak spot and as she was going she saw the bulk heads.  Ariyn decided to seal them on one side to slow down any boarders.  She relayed the news to the marines that if they needed to fall back to seal them up behind them.  Ariyn also decided to leave only the systems she needed on, and the rest were shut down till the battle was started to make it appear as if the ship was unmanned.  Once she was ready she messaged Arthur, and the crew began to wait for the attack.

OOC:
735 words

AAR: Arthur set his plan in motion by having half his marines guard the Interceptor with a green gunnery crew.  HE also made his ship appear to need repairs to fool anyone attacking the station.  Ariyn also decided to seal half the Interceptor by closing the bulk heads.
SCAP/OCAN Arthur 'Romanflame' Dragon/CR-90 Hammer/TF:Besh/2nd FLT/VEN/VE
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Grey
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 5, 2013 5:49:18 AM    View the profile of Grey 
The Tower, Abrae
6 hours before the briefing on the Adjudicator


His walk was slow, his footfalls heavy.  The Tower, the centre of Vast Empire Naval Intelligence, had been his home for so long, and yet today he gazed upon it as if he had never seen it before.  Captain Grey surveyed the dark walls and twisted corridors of this, the centre of his power, with eyes full of sadness and nostalgia.  He would see this place again, of that he had no doubt, but not like this.  Like someone about to move house, but told by the new owners that he was “free to stop by whenever”, he knew that even if he did the place would not feel either welcoming or right.

He had only just arrived by shuttle, and had stepped off it already wearing the hood for which he, the Second Captain Grey, had become infamous.  The all-enclosing mask covered every one of his features from the neck up, eyes, ears, nose, mouth and hair.  It was only by the contours of the fabric that one could tell that he was humanoid underneath it.  Constantly, the hologram fibres woven into the hood shifted and changed, a swirling maelstrom of white, black and grey static that had been known to give headaches to onlookers.  Grey valued his secret identity, and that mask assured it.

As he strolled towards the small office at the heart of the complex, he heard a noise drifting through the Tower.  As oddly out of place though it was, it was music.  Grey suddenly recalled that a few of his operatives were about to go undercover by posing as a band, and no doubt they were practising.  However, they had not started playing just yet, though, it was more like they were tuning up.  The first few keyboard notes, sharp and distinct, echoed down the corridors.

Grey reached the end of the hallway, pausing to place his hand on the door release and activate the genetic locking mechanism.  The door hissed open before him, and he strode into his office for the last time.

The Head of Naval Intelligence approached the single, unadorned steel-grey desk, running a hand along it as he circled towards the chair at the far side.  He recalled doing the exact same thing when he first ascended to his current position, back on the eve of the Battle of Abrae.  That felt like a lifetime ago.

He took his seat, and ran his eyes over the computer terminal and draws full of datadisks.  A wealth of knowledge and power at his fingertips.  How could he say goodbye to this?

Through the walls, Grey could still hear the music.  It was starting to take form now.  A few notes here and there, though still only the keyboard.  Slow, steady, a gradual beginning.

The door to his office opened, and Ensign Grey marched in.  “Sir!”  She said, saluting smartly, and thrust out a datapad before her.  “Glad you could make it so promptly.  I have here the full summary of Corellian and Republic activity, prepared by analyst Mirit Cohen and her supervisor Sara Jeltan.”

“Thank you, Ensign,” He said, taking the datapad and scrolling through it.  “I shall depart soon to brief High Command and the Admiralty on the matter.  However, it shall not be like this,” Added Grey, his tone oddly lifeless.

“Sir?” Asked the Ensign, his faithful Adjutant since early in his tenure as Intel Chief.  “Is something wrong?”

The music was louder now, the notes coming thick and fast.  A second instrument now joined in, stringed and delivered with speed and life to complement the keyboard’s lethargic pace.  The melody continued to build.

“My services as the Head of Naval Intelligence are no longer required,” He said at last.

For the first time ever, he saw Ensign Grey, the highly-trained ex-Imperial Intelligence Operative, surprised.  “Why?” She asked at last.

“I am to be assigned elsewhere,” He said simply.  “I was briefed shortly before I departed to come here.  It is not a demotion, and I have been given full authority to choose my successor.”

“I see,” She said, quickly regaining her composure.  Grey recalled the first time he had sent her into the field, to infiltrate the VSD Brilliant under then-Lieutenant Trykon.  Damn she was good.

“Tell me true,” He asked her.  “Have I done well during my time here?”

“You have been a fine leader, sir,” She told him sincerely.  “You shall be missed.”

“Thank you,” Replied the Captain, wanting to believe her.  In the background, a third instrument had joined the others, a drum of all things.  As the first two rose in volume and pace, the drum thundered out a base.

“I have done so much,” He went on, lost in thought.  “I have sent men to die, ordered the assassination of dictators, and even overseen the destruction of a planet.  All in the name of duty.”

The music was growing now, building into a frenetic crescendo.  Other instruments joined in with the cacophony, layer upon layer weaving into a complex and gloriously chaotic rhythm.  “I have not flinched!” Declared Grey, remembering every deed great and small, good and bad.  “I have led VENI as best I could, and I ensured that we are a force to be feared and respected by our enemies!  That’s what I was called in to do, and that’s what I have done!”  He thundered.

“Yes, sir,” Said Ensign Grey, shocked by the outburst.

The music continued to build, ever louder, seeking ever higher plateaus of energy and life.

“But there was so much more I could have done!” Declared the Captain, thumping a gloved hand on the desk.  “Enemies I should have killed, plans I should have set in motion!  I.... I... I feel like I am leaving the job half done!”

A final few notes, an echoing chorus, and the music reached it pinnacle.  And then all the instruments ceased, save the keyboard, which went back to tapping out the last few melancholy notes.  The calm after the storm.

Captain Grey took a deep breath.  “I just don’t want you all to feel like I am abandoning you,” He said to his Adjutant, his voice suddenly weary.

“We could never think that, sir,” She told him.

“Thank you,” He said again.  Then he rose from the desk, report for the High Command in hand.  “It’s time I was off,” He said at last, as the music trailed off and silence rained once more in the Tower.  Reaching to the hologram projection unit on the desk, he keyed in a high level code.  “Give my regards to my successor,” He told her.

Then, without another word, Captain Grey walked past her and towards the door of the office.  As it opened before him, he paused, and turned.  Reaching up, he pulled the mask off, revealing a strong human face with piercing blue eyes.

He tossed Ensign Grey the mask.

“I’ll leave that for the new guy,” Said Pherik ‘Serpent’ Zail.  “Maybe he’ll wear it, maybe not.”

His Adjutant nodded, and then watched Zail depart.

No sooner had the door closed than the hologram projector activated.  The image was masked and distorted, both in visual and in voice, but that was to be expected from the new Head of Naval Intelligence.

“Captain Grey, sir,” Said the Ensign, addressing the image, “VENI is now at your disposal.”

And in the background, the music slowly began again...

OOC:
1245 words.  You all knew it, but it’s now official.  Time to say goodbye to the job I loved so much...

After Action Report:  Captain Grey visits the Tower to get the report on the recent Corellian and Republic activity, and to inform his Adjutant that he is being transferred away from VENI.  As he departs his office for the last time, a hologram of the Third Captain Grey appears to take charge.
Serpent
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 8, 2013 6:35:03 AM    View the profile of Serpent 
OOC:
NPC Post


Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex ‘Sunburn’ Larsh walked across the deck of the Brilliant.  He walked quickly, but furtively, as if afraid to be seen by others.  It was not that Larsh was doing anything wrong.  He was a pilot in Shock Squadron and was perfectly within his rights to inspect his TIE Interceptor ahead of the battle to come.  It was just that, following his confrontation with Wing Commander Darbiles, he felt that the rest of the squadron were watching him.  He passed a few of them on the way to his TIE, and saw their disapproving glares.

He was not surprised.  Larsh was former Imperial Dominion and Walud Darbiles was a respected pilot who had saved the lives of his people many times over.  It was only normal that everyone take the Wing Commander’s side.

Larsh was not too bothered, though.  He knew how tense life could get in the military, and had long ago developed a method to cope.  Just keep one’s head down and keep doing one’s job, and sooner or later one would be accepted.

He reached his Interceptor, with ‘Shock Four’ written upon the side in crimson Aurebesh.  Taking a hydrospanner from his belt, Sunburn opened a hatch at the back of the TIE’s cockpit and began to carefully check the wiring.  He moved methodically from system to system, ensuring that everything was in order.  It was routine stuff, but Larsh took it seriously.

He was at the task for nearly twenty minutes before he paused suddenly in his efforts.  Larsh squinted as he moved in for a closer look at a power coupling.  “Frak,” He exclaimed under his breath as he noticed that simple wear and tear had caused the part to short out.  Looking about, he saw a hangar technician nearby.

“Hey!” He called, and the tech turned around.  “I need a new Dekk-5 power coupling.  Do we have any?”

The man gave Larsh a dirty look before responding.  “Not around here,” Said the tech at last.  “You’d best go try the main engineering stores.”

Sunburn sighed.  “Thanks,” He said, though he did not mean it.  If he had any respect around here the tech would have happily run off to fetch the part for him.  From the man’s tone it was clear that that was not going to happen and Larsh would have to waste time doing it himself.

Closing up the section of his TIE he was working on, Sunburn headed off out of the hangar bay.

-----

He arrived at the storeroom quickly, keyed in his access code, and headed in.  The cavernous chamber was cold and quiet, filled with row after row of long, graceless metal shelves.  Each was stacked to the ceiling with containers, containing enough spare parts to keep the Brilliant and its carried vessels spaceworthy for years at a time.

Larsh lifted a datapad from a stack near the door, and brought up an inventory of the storeroom.  He swiftly located the part he needed on the list, and then began following its directions to the container full of power couplings.

As he neared his goal he saw that he was not alone in the room.  There was someone else at a shelf near his intended destination, and the person turned around to face him suddenly, startled by Larsh’s approaching footsteps.

The person bore a Petty Officer patch on their uniform, and though Sunburn noted it quickly, he was more drawn to the individual’s face.  The person was an alien, of the Khil species, and had a smooth, hairless head and a face obscured by dangling tentacles.  Larsh had read about such aliens, but had never met one while growing up on Tilsec Prime.  It suddenly occurred to him that he had no idea how to tell the gender of such a being.

“Oh, hello,” Said the alien in a soft, almost timid voice.  Female? Wondered Larsh.  “I had no idea that anyone else was in here.”

“I’m just here to pick up a power converter for my TIE,” He said, still wondering at the gender.  The Petty Officer seemed... top heavy, but breasts were a feature of mammalian species.  Were Khil mammalian?  He could not recall.

The alien performed a gestured similar to a squint.  “A pilot?”  The person asked, and Sunburn nodded.  “Well, we have plenty of TIE parts,” And so saying headed over to the relevant containers.  “A Dekk-5 or 6?”

“A five,” He said, quietly impressed by her knowledge.

The alien frowned.  “Fives are just holder parts, they don’t have the longevity of the later models.  Trust me, slap a 6 in there and it’ll last a lot longer.  In fact...” The person trailed off, and began looking around.  On a higher shelf the Petty Officer found a smaller container and pulled it down.  “Aha!  I thought so!  Here are some Dekk-7s, just arrived and yet to be logged on the inventory.  Their power transfer rate is 93%, a full 2 points lower than a Dekk-6.  However, they keep that level for months, long after other converters drop down to 80%.  Help yourself!”

“Thanks!” Said Larsh with genuine appreciation.  “Wow, you really know your parts, don’t you?”

The alien gave a gesture that he interpreted as a shrug.  “I was a hangar tech long before I became a Chief Engineer,” Came the explanation with quiet modesty.

“Oh!” Said Sunburn as realisation dawned, “Sorry, I had no idea that you were the CE!”

“It’s okay, I’m easily forgettable.  The name is Xela Fendar,” She said, and he knew enough about names to now confirm her gender.  “And you are?” She asked, her voice still soft despite her new openness.

“Alex Larsh, callsign ‘Sunburn’,” He said.  “I’m one of the new members of Shock Squadron.”

“Well then, welcome to the Brilliant,” She said.  “Alas, you’ll have to excuse me, Mr Larsh, I have some work to do.  This place is behind on its inventory and I’m looking for something.”

“What is it, may I ask?  Perhaps I could help?” He offered, keen to repay the favour for the Dekk-7 she had provided.

The Khil woman glanced at him.  “I need to find a Kuati 745-AH Enabler for the ship’s null quantum field generator.”

Sunburn smiled.  “If it’s been misplaced then I think I can help you,” He said.  “The 745-AH Enablers were built using the same casings as Thesh-R Power Converters.  It was a way for Kuat Drive Yards to save costs on the parts they produce.  I’ll bet the part you need has been accidently stored with the Power Converters.”

Xela led the way to a different part of the store room, and sure enough, when they opened the Power Converter container, there was the part that the Chief Engineer sought.  “Yes!  Oh thank you so much!” Beamed the Khil in delight.  “How did you know that?”

“Oh, well, I used to collect this dumb series of tech manuals back when I was a kid,” Larsh admitted with some embarrassment.  “You know, collect a new one each week and they come with schematics of starships and stuff?  It was called...”

KDY For Kids!” Said Fendar with a smile.  “Yes, I used to collect that too!”

“Really?”

“Yeah!  It’s how I fell in love with ship design and engineering.  Tell me, did you get the special on warships of the Open Circle Armada...?”

And just like that they were off.  Their conversation took them from the storeroom to the mess hall.  And by the time their hour-long reminiscing was done, Alex Larsh had made his first real friend on the Brilliant, and to the shock of all who knew of his Imperial Dominion background, she was an alien.

OOC:
1285 words.  More character development, and again I’m kind of exploring the idea of speciesism.  How would someone raised in an all-human colony react to an alien?  Even if he isn’t prejudiced, he might still be award around non-humans.

After Action Report:  Alex ‘Sunburn’ Larsh is doing some maintenance on his TIE Interceptor and needs a new part.  He goes to the store room, where he meets the Khil Chief Engineer Xela Fendar.  They help each other out finding parts and strike up a conversation based on a shared love of engineering.  They begin to become friends.

Naval High Command
CNW|Lieutenant Commander Zail|NHC|VEN|VE

SCAP/LCDR Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
[SoA][LoM][NAR][E][SoV][MiD][1NS][MC1][VC:E][CAR][AOx3][CoB.][NC][CC:3][CNQST][PWC](=*Eng*=)(=*BO*=)
Trykon
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Trykon
 
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 11, 2013 8:53:51 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
Corellian Defense Forces Staging Area
Goorla System
Corellian League Space

The Hymn of the Five Brothers – the official state anthem of the newly-independent Corellian League – started blaring from speakers on every ship in the armada, and on all fifty vessels, Corellian crewers snapped to attention.  On half-a-hundred bridges, loud shouts of command were yelled over the swelling patriotic music.  And in response, the gathered strength of the Third Corellian Defense Fleet lurched into motion, accompanied by strident trumpets and thundering timpani.

Despite himself, Commodore Wil Tavere of the Corellian Defense Forces felt pride stirring in his chest, as the patriotic tune crescendoed to its climactic finish, and as his own bridge crew guided his ship – the CC-9600 frigate Osprey – to the lead position in the formation.

The sensation twisted into something much less pleasant, though, when a moment later Tavere turned his eyes to the New Republic fleet waiting at the far edge of the Goorla System, just beyond the boundaries of the restricted CDF staging area.  Thirty capital ships were arrayed out there: a hulking, brooding collection of big foreign designs, from Kuati to Mon Calamari to Bothan.  And at the center of the jumble of huge alien warships was the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Consensus, the mammoth flagship of “Admiral” Rao Gaeth.

Tavere felt a sudden urge to spit at the sight.

The symbolism of the moment was too damned perfect.  Gaeth was a haughty political appointee, named to his position more to assuage the population of his home world than because of any personal merit, and his flagship reflected the ironies and hypocrisies of the rapidly-fracturing New Republic.  It was almost comical: the Corellian Sector had been split in half by the Corellian League’s declaration of independence, and yet the Third New Republic Battle Group – the fleet tasked with protecting the remaining Republican holdings in the Corellian Sector – was using a captured Imperial Star Destroyer as a command ship... a Star Destroyer named “Consensus.”  In short, Admiral Gaeth and his ships represented everything wrong with the New Republic, and Commodore Tavere was once again reassured that Corellia had made the right decision in breaking away from the galaxy-spanning government.

But of course, we haven’t really broken away, have we? he asked himself with a grimace.  Not completely.  Tavere’s mission was proof enough that Diktat Thrackan Sal-Solo’s new government was not as independent as it liked to claim.  For even though the fifty frigates and corvettes of Tavere’s Third Fleet were not formally attached to Admiral Gaeth’s Third Battle Group, the Commodore’s orders had been very clear: he was to cooperate with the Republicans as much as possible, for the duration of the joint deployment.

Tavere scowled out at the looming New Republic ships, and at the stars beyond them.  Despite the forced cheerfulness and demonstrative patriotism of their musical send-off, and despite the stern speech Sal-Solo had transmitted, setting forth the League’s reasons for enmity with the Imperial-aligned worlds scattered across the galaxy, Tavere knew that none of the crewers aboard his ships really understood exactly where they were going, or why.

Which doesn’t distinguish them much from their commanding officer, he thought sardonically.  But, unlike them, I at least have some idea who’s actually behind this operation.

Tavere’s frown deepened, and he steadied himself against the bulkhead as the Osprey accelerated to cruising speed.

Mon Mothma, he thought.  That’s who came up with this “plan:” the New Republic’s Chief of State.  And Sal-Solo and Gaeth actually seem to think it’s a good idea!

Tavere took a deep breath and ordered himself to stop worrying.  It was an easier command to give than to follow, but he was a disciplined man, at least by Corellian standards.  Still, only a civilian – and a civilian who didn’t have Corellia’s best interests at heart, at that – could have come up with the brilliant idea of an unprovoked attack on an Imperial target.

We’re supposed to “surprise” the Imps, he thought disgustedly, as if there’s any hope of hiding a mobilization this big from their Intelligence agencies.  Not just the Third Corellian Defense Fleet, but also the Third New Republic Battle Group, both gathering at the same time?  Every Imperial installation in the galaxy is going to be on high alert, before we’ve even jumped to lightspeed!

Tavere took another breath.  He supposed complete surprise wasn’t really necessary, when you’d been able to assemble nearly a hundred ships.  Provided you chose a sufficiently weak target.  Which, he had to admit, seemed to be the case this time.

His orders were to accompany the 3rd NR BG to Absit, an Imperial-aligned (but officially neutral) world in the Inner Rim whose star system also contained the relatively vulnerable Nusiuu Docks Reserve Fleet, a collection of older Imperial warships held in reserve, and loaned out to Imperial factions for specific humanitarian, training, and defensive operations (Thrawn’s Confederation, the now-defunct Imperial Dominion, and the Vast Empire had all used ships from the NDRF in the recent past).  There, the Corellians would commandeer as many of the stored warships as possible, and destroy the rest, while the New Republic forces made a show of blockading the planet.  The idea was to supplement the CDF's operational strength with a few large capital ships, while simultaneously denying potential enemies - the various Imperial factions - those same fleet assets.

Left to his own devices, and assuming he’d had no choice but to carry out these insane orders by attacking an Imperial world which had never threatened his own, Tavere would have gone about it very differently.  First of all, if the New Republic insisted on tagging along, he would have had them rendezvous at Absit itself, rather than meeting up in the Corellian Sector and then making their way down major hyperlanes all the way to the target.  Second, they wouldn’t bother trying to steal any of the ships; they’d just be going to raid the facility and do as much damage as possible.  And third, the ranking officer in the joint force would definitely be a Corellian.

But sadly, Tavere was only a professional naval officer, not important enough to be consulted on minor details like choosing the joint fleet’s course, or tactics, or commander.

He scratched at his beard angrily, and turned away from the viewports.  If the operation was a success, Sal-Solo would no doubt take all the credit.  If something went wrong, Admiral Gaeth would probably blame Tavere for failing to properly execute the plan, and Mon Mothma would secretly congratulate herself on successfully pitting two enemies against one another (the Imperial Remnant versus the Corellian League).  And either way, the Corellian Defense Forces would have many more enemies to fight in the coming months.

The Commodore shook his head, trying to banish his dark thoughts.  Thrackan Sal-Solo was his Diktat – a veritable hero of Corellia – and Wil Tavere was duty and honor bound to obey the man’s orders, whatever he might think of the reason they’d been given, and no matter what difficulties they might entail.  Corellia needed a show of strength, a symbolic victory that could serve as a warning to a hostile galaxy: leave us alone.  For good or ill, this “joint operation” had been chosen as that show of strength; it was designed to be that warning.  It was Tavere’s job to save the operation from the incompetence of Admiral Gaeth, it was his job to secure the Imperial warships at Absit, and it was his job to make an example of the planet and docks facility, if they chose to resist.

So, a bit of a challenge, then, he thought to himself with a sudden, wry grin. 

“Signal the Consensus,” he told his communications man evenly.  “Tell them we’re ready to make the jump to hyperspace.”

And as the Osprey accelerated, and the stars stretched into lines of light outside the viewport, Wil Tavere realized: despite all his mental griping, he was looking forward to the challenge.

OOC:
1,329 words.

AAR: The joint fleet - Corellian and New Republic - leaves their staging area at Goorla.  Commodore Wil Tavere of the Corellian Third Defense Fleet has reservations about the plan to attack Absit, and doubts about the higher-ranked Admiral Gaeth of the accompanying Third New Republic Battle Group.  But despite the Corellian commander's worries, part of him is looking forward to the challenge of the assignment.
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SCAP/COM Wyl "Trick" Trykon/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE

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[*IG*][*AO*][HNS][1NS][2NS][LSM][BWC][SWC][GWC][CC:4][CNQST]
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(=*AE*=)(=*SAE*=)(=*TG*=)(=*SCFE*=)(=*FOCE*=)

SM/DWR Trykon/Dark Jedi/Shades/Raven L-04/DJO/VE [EoP]
[This message has been edited by Trick (edited July 12, 2013 12:23:11 AM)]
Serpent
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 12, 2013 6:55:15 PM    View the profile of Serpent 
Pherik ‘Serpent’ Zail stared at the computer screen before him, his blue eyes serious and contemplative.  Before him the display was a mass of words, extracts from several speeches by various New Republic Senators over the course of the last three months.  The Lieutenant Commander constantly read and re-read certain lines, scrolling up and down through masses of data.  There was something here, some pattern, he just knew it, but what?

The door chime interrupted his thoughts.  With a sigh he sat back in his chair and said, “Come in!”

The door of his bridge office opened and his XO, the stern and efficient Eylana Saitroni, entered.  “Sorry to disturb you, sir,” Said the red-haired woman quickly, “But I just wanted to inform you that it is time for the shift change.  Farish Quinn and the Third Watch shall be here to relieve me soon.”

Zail’s eyes rose in surprise.  Clearly he had lost track of the time.  “Very well, Eylana,” He said.  “Go, get some sleep.  I will need you rested and ready to go when we arrive at Absit.  This will be your first big battle as my First Officer, and I am eager to see what you can do.”

“I shall not disappoint you, sir!” Declared Saitroni.

“I know you won’t.  Dismissed.”

The XO did not leave immediately though.  She paused, hesitated a little, and Serpent could instantly tell that she was trying to decide on whether to say something or not.  “Is something wrong?”  He asked.

“I... sir, it may be improper of me,” Eylana began carefully, “But I would respectfully note that you too need some rest.  You have been in this office, studying that computer, since before my shift began.”

“You are right, of course,” Said Zail, suddenly realising that he was too weary to put up a fight.  “It’s just... have a look,” And so saying, he turned the screen around to face her.  Intrigued, Saitroni took a step forward and looked at the data there-on.

“Official and unofficial statements by Republic officials regarding the Corellians,” She said.  “I don’t understand.”

“There is something here,” He said.  “Some message or point that I think we’ve all missed.  At times the Republic is hostile, at others conciliatory.  Now, out of the blue, we have the Corellians and the Republic launching a joint operation against us.  To what end?  If they provoke an Imperial faction, don’t they realise that they will retaliate?  Are the Republic using the Corellians as a diversion or a shield?  Why would Sal-Solo allow that?  Unless he isn’t and he’s a step ahead of both the Republic and us.”  Zail stopped for a moment and shook his head.  “I’ve been studying statements by Corellian leaders as well, but nothing seems to add up.  It’s maddening.”

“I see,” Said his First Officer slowly.  “I respect your attention to detail, sir.  However, you need some rest.  We must focus on the battle to come, not distant politics.  Surely this is a matter for Captain Grey and VENI?”

The words, spoken in all innocence, caught Serpent as a slap in the face.  Captain Grey, he thought.  Yes, this is a job for him.  And I have to get used to the fact that he and I are no longer the same person.  “Yes, Eylana, you are right of course,” He said after a few moments.  “I’ll head to bed soon, I promise.”

Now that he had stepped down from being the Head of Naval Intelligence, Zail was allowed to reveal who he was and speak of it to high ranked people.  He longed to let his XO in on his time in VENI, but that would have to be a conversation for another night.

“Very good, sir,” Said Saitroni.  “Sleep well,” She said, and then saluted smartly and showed herself out.

Serpent watched her leave, and then flicked his gaze to the computer.  He reached out, tapped the power button, and let the screen go dark.

-----

It was not deception, or so Eylana Saitroni told herself.  Her shift was over, her time was now her own, and she would go to bed eventually.  Firstly, though, she had something of great import to attend to.

She marched through the halls and corridors of the VSD Brilliant, irked by how conspicuous she was.  Everyone knew the First Officer, and as Saitroni passed various crewmen they saluted or otherwise noted her passage.  She marched on, headed for the less inhabited parts of the vessel.  Though it had over six thousand crewmen, the Brilliant was still a massive warship, and there were plenty of sections that were often deserted.

Finally alone, Eylana altered course and made for one of the ship’s many storage areas.  Some of these were massive warehouses, storing masses of parts and equipment.  Others were smaller, set aside for use when the Brilliant took on extra supplies for special missions.  These smaller rooms were currently empty, and she had one all locked up and enterable only by herself, waiting for her arrival and exclusive use.

She reached Storage Compartment 24-D, and keyed in her access code.  Saitroni glanced around to ensure that no-one was watching, then opened the door and slipped inside.  The room was empty, bland and featureless, merely a box five meters by five meters in size.  She made her way to the room’s single item, a box in the corner, and opened it.

Inside were two objects.  One was a robe, which she began to change into immediately.  Shrugging off her uniform, Eylana donned the long flowing robe of black and crimson.  It felt lightweight and comfortable, and left her midriff exposed, showing the tattoo that she bore around her navel.  This was the mark of her deity, Psusan.

Psusan, or at least a figurine representing her god, was the second item.  With reverence she lifted the obsidian statue and placed it proudly upon the box.  Saitroni whispered a few words in prayer, and then bowed before it.

Then came a knock at the door to the storage room.  Rising, Eylana walked to the door and waited for a moment.

“Eclipse,” Came the single word, spoken by the person beyond.  Saitroni accepted the password and opened the door, beckoning the woman inside.

Over the next fifteen minutes, over a dozen people arrived by ones and twos, representing a cross-section of the Brilliant’s crew.  The Disciples of Psusan was a female dominated cult, so most were women, but there were two men too.  There were a few technicians, a pilot, a couple of marines, one of medical personnel, and others.  All were human.

After the last one arrived, Eylana called the assembly to order.

“Welcome,” She said.  “Let us offer prayers to Psusan, so that he may watch over us in the battle to come, and destroy those who stand against us!”

OOC:
1140 words.  A split story, the first half being CD for my character, and the second half dealing with CD for my XO, Eylana Saitroni.

After Action Report:  Serpent has been in his office, studying official statements from the Republic and the Corellians, trying to make sense of their relationship.  His XO, Eylana Saitroni, tells him that he should rest and leave such things for Captain Grey and VENI.  Zail realises that he is not either anymore and decides to leave it be.  Saitroni then departs and goes to a secret gathering of her fellow Disciples of Psusan.  She has now set herself up as the leader of the cult on the Brilliant.

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SCAP/LCDR Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
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StOrMz
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StOrMz
 
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 15, 2013 11:26:36 AM    View the profile of StOrMz 
His vacation had been amazing. It had been years since Stormz had been to the inner and core worlds, not to mention his home planet. Coruscant was breathtaking, as always. The immense buildings were always something that intrigued the Naval Commander. It reminding him slightly of Kashyyyk, a metal, human version.

[oh, and Kashyyyk,] he told himself. There is nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than being home. It was the one place he could retreat to and just let go. No politics, no clothes or uniforms, just him in his natural habitat doing what Ph'rranix loves to do, explore. Of course, he still had his body guards but they did well in letting the Wookiee do as he pleased while on his home planet. Not that it would have mattered much. He was much more prone to climbing up and down the giant worshyr trees than his human counterparts.

Footsteps swiftly approaching snapped the Admiral out of his daydream, grudgingly.  A short, heavyset man approached, sporting a clean kept beard. Judging by his movements, Ph'rranix determined the information was rather important.

[What is it, Lieutenant?] Admiral Kranzr barked.

Without taking another step, the Lieutenant snapped a sharp salute before handing the Wookiee a hologram. "It's from Commodore Trichon, Admiral. I am unsure of the message as it was made explicitly clear for only you to review."

Stormz shot the fat man a quizzical look for a moment, dismissed him and began his short journey to to the NCC's office.

*****

The massive furry form sat down behind his desk, and sat the holo down. Taking a moment to decipher why Tryk sent a holo instead of just using the ComNet. It made little difference, he had the message anyways. stormz leaned forward slightly and began the message.

"Greetings Admiral, with the upcoming battle of Absit, we are expecting a enemy large force. Our plan is to have a small defensive fleet stationed in the orbital platform, with several to appear as inoperable and under maintenance. A secondary fleet will be positioned within a single, quick jump range for backup once the enemy has initiated battle. I request that we have a small task force, consisting of an Imoblizer-418 Interdictor to be stationed with jump range as well, and to drop behind the attacking fleet once engaged. I hope this will entrap the enemy, forcing a quick surrender and minimizing damages.

Please respond whenever convenient for you, Admiral.

I eagerly await your response."

Ph'rranix sat for a moment, pondering the brief plan. Tryk's idea was well thought out, but putting an Interdictor on the battlefield, especially with only possessing a handful to start with, was a huge risk. He wondered if the risk was worth the potential reward. It's far easier to replace a wing of TIE's or a few cruisers than to get your hands on another Interdictor.

[On the other hand,] he told himself, [dropping an Interdictor would probably scare the enemy into a mistake, even a small one could allow the VEN to gain a huge advantage, and end the conflict early.]

His mind was made up. Grabbing his com link, he contacted Commodore Will Trichon and secured a channel.

[Good to see you Commodorre.] the Wookiee bellowed.

"You as well, Admiral. what can I do for you." the CNW replied.

[I just received your hologram, and I wanted to inform you that I will be issuing a single Immobilizer-418[/] with an ISD-II and [i]Carrack-class cruiser to be within range of your conflict.]

A wry smile crossed Tryk's face, no doubt glad to hear the acceptance of his plan. "Thank you Admiral."

[I will be aboard the Interdictor, and commanding that task force in unison with your forces. I am eager to work with you again, my friend.]

"You as well, sir."

Stormz clicked the link off, sat for a second, then left the office to begin preparing for his move to one of the Immobilizers.

OOC:
Word Count - 716

After Action Report: Stormz joins the preparation. Tryk and Stormz discuss tactics for the upcoming battle
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[This message has been edited by StOrMz (edited July 17, 2013 9:28:24 PM)]
Serpent
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 17, 2013 6:32:57 AM    View the profile of Serpent 
The Victory Star Destroyer Brilliant hurtled through hyperspace, en route to the Absit System.  The colossal engines of the warship thrummed and caused its full nine hundred meter length to shudder, its hull barely able to contain the incomprehensible power running through it and necessary to accelerate it to beyond the speed of light.

Within the collection of armour plating and cannons, six thousand crewmen were preparing themselves for the conflict to come.  Arrival at Absit would not, they knew, be immediately followed by combat, but sooner or later a battle was to come.  Some fretted and stressed, some preyed to deities, some drank, some slept, and some simply focused on their tasks and tried to take comfort in routine.

On the bridge of the Brilliant, Second Officer Farish Quinn stood proud, a tried and tested member of the ‘focus on their task’ category.  He monitored the command deck, overseeing the simple and routine activities of the crewmen, and if he was honest with himself, doing little.  And that suited Quinn just fine.

Farish had had a pretty routine career.  Average grades at the Academy, average performance reviews from a host of superiors.  Really, there was little magnificent about Quinn, except in one regard: his dependability.  If he said he would do something, then he would.  He had a knack for getting things done, and that carried weight.  And so, slowly but surely, he had advanced himself to become Second Officer of one of the most powerful warships in the VE’s famed Second Fleet.  His career was a triumph of perseverance.

Farish knew of many other officers for whom such slow advancement would be agony, though.  He had seen them come and go a hundred times, young hotshots convinced that they were the next big thing.  All of them had fought hard, reached high, and died young.  Quinn was different, and proud of that.  He was no genius tactician, no charismatic motivator.  He knew that Second Officer, worthy only to command during the quiet non-combat hours, was the best that his naval career would see.

And so he got on with his job, quietly and efficiently.

“Time to arrival at Absit?” Quinn asked the young man at the helm.

“Thirty seven minutes until hyperspace reversion, sir,” Said the pilot.

“Very well,” Said Farish.  “Communications station!  Alert the senior staff.  Tell them to report to the bridge.”

“Aye, sir.”

Quinn smiled.  Much as he enjoyed his evening rule of the mighty Brilliant, Farish was more than happy to let the far more experienced shift take over for the battle to come.  He was no coward, not in the slightest, but he recognised his own weaknesses and limitations.

Maybe someday he would overcome whatever it was that was holding him back.  But that day was not today.

-----

Doctor Padrin Praan got the call, the beeping cutting through his head like a primitive hacksaw through a bone.  Angrily, the grouchy Arkanian medic smacked the com unit beside his bed.  “I’m up!” He snarled.

“Acknowledged,” Said the voice of whatever youngster was on the bridge.  “I shall alert Medical that you are on your way.”

“Of course I’m on my way,” Said Praan.  “And don’t bother alerting sick bay!  They know I’m coming!  I’m always there, for frak’s sake, they’d be lost without me.”  He continued ranting as he rose from bed and reached for his uniform.  “Some of those nurses can’t even put on a plaster right without me to give them direction!  And as for an actual operation, forget it!  Oh, and don’t get me started on that fiasco with the appendix last week...”  He trailed off, noticing that the com unit was off, the call ended.

Praan sighed, finished getting ready, and exited his room.  It was a small room, much to his annoyance.  The Brilliant was huge, and he was the Chief Medical Officer, but for some reason the Doctor was consigned to some small quarters that would have barely sufficed for a junior officer.  Awful.

He stalked through the corridors, scowling at those crewmen he passed as they threw themselves out of his way.  Doctor Praan was glad of the fear that he inspired in others.  Not the deadly fear that men like Vader once inspired, but the fear of crossing a man whose notorious bad temper and razor wit combined in often explosive fashion.

At last the Arkanian reached the Med Bay, the centre of his world, storming inside and demanding the attention of his staff, akin to a King entering his throne room.  “I’m here!” He declared.

“Oh Doctor!” Said one of his nurses, running up to him, “It’s such a relief to have you here!  There’s a crisis!”

“Of course there is!” Said Praan.  “I’ve been asleep for six hours, it’s a wonder you fools haven’t blown up the ship by now!”

“Er... yes, Doctor,” Said the nurse, a short Gran woman.  “Come this way,” She said, leading the way through the maze of beds to where a female technician lay.  Her hands and arms were burned, as was the side of her face.  The woman was moaning and rolling about in agony while another nurse tried to restrain her.  “She was injured in an electrical fire,” Explained the nurse.  “She was repairing a conduit and...”

“Yes, yes,” Said Praan dismissively, “I can see her injuries!  Now strip this woman down and prepare a bacta tank!”

As the nurses rushed to comply, the Doctor set upon his patient with sedatives and soothing medpacs, trying to ease her suffering.  The woman’s wails of agony grated on the Arkanian, but he steeled himself and did his job.

Despite all his insults and acerbic wit, at the end of the day, Padrin Praan always did his job.  And the crew secretly admired him for it.

-----

Within twenty minutes the young technician was down to her underwear and floating in bacta, a breathing tube secured upon her mouth and nose.  She had been sedated, which was for the best given the extent of her burns.

Praan watched her floating there for a few minutes.  The human woman’s auburn hair danced in the liquid hypnotically, but that was not what drew the Arkanian’s gaze.  Instead he found himself drawn to her stomach.  The flesh there was not so burned as the rest of her, protected as it was by her uniform, and Praan could make out a tattoo.

He frowned.  The tattoo consisted of a group of black markings surrounding the woman’s navel.

Doctor Praan thought he had seen the markings before, on another female crewman during her annual check-up.  What was the symbols’ significance, he wondered?

Eh, it probably was not important.  If he remembered, he would look into it later.  In the meantime, Praan had a battle to prepare for.

OOC:
1133 words.  A little bit on two of the oft-neglected NPCs of my crew, the Second Officer, Farish Quinn, and the Chief Medic, Doctor Padrin Praan.  Also, I threw in another sign of the growing influence of the Disciples of Psusan on my crew.

After Action Report:  The Brilliant nears Absit.  Second Officer Farish Quinn orders that the primary shift officers be woken and summoned.  Among them is Doctor Padrin Praan, who heads to the Med Bay.  There he deals with a technician who has been burned in a random power conduit accident.  The woman is put in a Bacta tank, where Praan notices the strange tattoo on her stomach.  He thinks little of it, however.

Naval High Command
CNW|Lieutenant Commander Zail|NHC|VEN|VE

SCAP/LCDR Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
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TosthAaaiser
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TosthAaaiser
 
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 17, 2013 3:57:34 PM    View the profile of TosthAaaiser 
Adjudicator, Surgical Ward, Dr. Xad Kaj’s Office
“Mylla, why won’t you let me be? You know I never wanted this to happen. I could have saved you.”

Silence ensued.

“Mylla, it wasn’t my fault. I would have saved you if I had been stationed aboard the Halcyon then. If anyone but that amateur had operated on you, you would have survived.”

The silence continued.

“Kriff it. I’m not getting anything from you, Mylla.” It was only then when the Falleen realized he was once again imagining the presence of his twin sister Mylla, who had died during the during the fleet actions occurring around Belgaroth, on the operating table of none other than Docker Gibbs.

What must I do to force you out of my mind? All I want is peace. It’s been years, Mylla. Please, just give me the peace I need.

A knock on his door shook him back into reality. “Come in.” His response was crisp and curt, with no evidence of the pain he had been experiencing just moments before. The knock came from one of his staff; it was the Petty Officer Fishhead. “Ah, Mr. Aaaiser. You have our orders ready to be submitted?”

“Not quite, sir.” He moved aside to let someone else into the office. It was someone that Xad did not recognize. “This is Ms. Saphire. I have been informed that she is from the bureau on an inspection tour, before the next campaign is launched.”

“A pleasure, Ms. Saphire. I’m not quite sure why my colleague brought you here…” He gave the Mon Calamari a pointed look, “but I am Dr. Xad Kaj, head of surgical operations aboard this ship.”

“Yes, that I had already known.” Her voice was very much like his sister’s.

“Then why are you here, Myll…” Kriff. “Ms. Saphire. Should you not be with the Chief Medical Officer currently?”

“Suffice it to say, I have my reasons to begin here. I wanted to meet with the staff before meeting the head of the department…”

***

Adjudicator, Chief Medical Officer’s Personal Quarters

What does that Falleen have against me? What have I ever done wrong? Of course, that question was moot. He had done plenty wrong over the course of his life; who didn’t?

But now was not the time to ponder upon this; he had work to do. This ship’s medical department had suffered for years under the command of the Ithorian.

A voice cut through his ongoing thoughts. It came from his holocommunicator. “Sir, the inspector from the Bureau is here.”
“Very well. Have her wait in my office. I will be there momentarily.” I cannot win against this Ithorian. Unless…

***

Adjudicator, Dr. Xad Kaj’s Personal Quarters

Fishhead still was pondering what had happened with the slipup of his mentor, Xad Kaj. It was very unlike the Falleen to show mental weakness such as that. He was very wary to ask about it to the superior officer, but they had talked about such things in the past few months.

“Sir?”

“Yes, Mr. Aaaiser?”

“I really dislike prying like this, but I have come to think of you as a friend… And I noticed an inconsistency in your behavior during the meeting with the inspector…”

He could see the wheels turning in the Falleen’s brain, trying to formulate a response. “I see you caught that. I suppose there’s no point in hiding it; there are far too many pieces moving right now…”

“Pieces, sir?”

“Ah… Never mind that. With any luck, it should become clear very soon. As long as Gibbs has been waiting, he will force his hand too soon. Moving on… Most sentients already know this about Gibbs and myself; I believe you had fallen back into civilian life months before…

“The name I almost uttered was the name of my twin sister, Mylla. She and I were as close as one could imagine. But then came the day I joined the Vast Empire’s Navy as a Medical Corpsman. That is the moment I regret, for when I made my decision, Mylla decided to join as well. She thought she could keep me from being killed.” He chuckled. “And I thought the same for her. Ah, but fate is such a cruel mistress… She became a starfighter pilot. Everything was fine for years. We were both rising through the ranks and stayed just as close as before.” He took a moment to collect his thoughts and steel himself. “Then we started the campaign to take Belgaroth. At that time I began to think her invincible, never failing a mission. Turns out I was wrong. Dead wrong. She was almost mortally injured, according to the reports submitted by Docker. But there was something in the reports that just didn’t seem right. “After a very deep breath, he continued. “I then did something that was possibly the hardest damn thing I had or ever will have done. I performed an autopsy on her, after being given the proper clearance and admittances. After that autopsy, I learned that Gibbs killed her. Not intentionally, mind you, but he did. There was a deeper vein that had been pierced that had gone unnoticed; it led to her eventually bleeding to death. I don’t necessarily blame Gibbs, no. Those who have little experience with reptilian anatomy often can overlook or even not notice certain problems within them.” Another pause.  “But I knew, I just knew I could have saved her… If only I had been posted on the Halcyon to save her, not on the Defiance…” Shaking his head, he continued. “What could I have done? Gibbs was a senior officer relative to me. Nothing I would have said would have made any difference then. The Chief of Naval Medicine who held the position before our friend did almost nothing. He was extremely corrupt as well.” He shook his head once again. “ I’ve seen her in my mind almost every day since she died, hence the name confusion from the meeting. That inspector… Resembles Mylla in form and in voice. But, moving on, ever since Mylla’s death, I have never trusted Gibbs again. And as of late, he has been acting very strangely… Keep an eye on him, Mr. Aaaiser. Just not too close you lose it.”

OOC:
WC: 1045

AAR: Not a whole lot happens here. The inspector arrives aboard the Adj and it is uncovered why Dr. Kaj holds a grudge against the new CMO.
JC |CPO Tosth “Fishhead” Aaaiser |ISD Adjudicator | TF:A | 2Flt |FC |VEN | VE
TO | CPO "Fishhead" | PLF Cappadocious | VENA | VEN | VE

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Trykon
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 18, 2013 8:53:47 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
OOC:
Post #1, of 2


Joshua Redd walked briskly though the corridors of Nusiuu Control, covering a yawn with the back of his hand as he made his way to the expansive space station’s Operations Center.  Another day was starting at the Nusiuu Docks, and as a senior officer in the local Imperial Reserve Fleet, Commander Redd was due in Ops for the start of his shift.

The career Navy man let his mind wander as he walked.  He passed large viewports that looked out over the sprawling complex of space stations, docking slips, and repair yards that collectively made up the Nusiuu Docks facility, and he thought about the thirty capital ships of the Reserve Fleet that were spread throughout that complex, huddled together in ordered rows.  He frowned under his bushy white mustache, as he did more and more often when he thought about the Fleet: there were thirty – thirty! – large, powerful warships sitting unused out there, and every one of them seemed to be a perfect symbol of how far the galaxy had fallen since Emperor Palpatine had been assassinated.  All thirty ships had been built in the heyday of the Galactic Empire, back when that name was an accurate descriptor for the government, rather than just a stubbornly-retained, ill-fitting moniker claimed by a dozen or so pathetic successor states, all fighting each other over the tattered remnants of a once-great civilization.

Redd sighed heavily and shook his head as he boarded a lift bound for the interior of the station, where the heavily-armored Operations Center was located.

The Commander knew that indulging in nostalgia and despair was not the most effective use of his free time, so as the elevator descended down the decks of Nusiuu Control, he purposefully guided his thoughts to the pride he felt at serving in Ops.  Nusiuu Control was the centerpiece of the Docks facility – the largest, most important station in the complex, located right in the middle, with arms of interconnected habitation modules reaching out in many directions, like some fat-limbed arachnid, tending its web – and the Operations Center was in turn the station’s central brain.  At forty six years old, Redd was proud indeed to hold the position of day-shift communications officer, responsible for managing the ten-man crew that kept things running smoothly at the Nusiuu Docks.

For despite the state of the galaxy at large, Redd reminded himself, his little Nusiuu community had done well for itself, and for its stellar neighbors.  The total crew complement aboard the various stations of the Docks was only a few thousand sentient beings – not enough to operate even one of the five Imperial Star Destroyers in the Reserve Fleet, really – and the nearby planet of Absit didn’t boast an especially large population, either.  But through all the years of civil war the Docks facility and the planet had cooperated, and these two small groups had worked something of a minor miracle.  Not only had they managed to maintain the Docks facility and the ships of the Reserve Fleet, without any help from a central galactic government… the Nusiuu community had also fought off multiple attacks by desperate would-be thieves, successfully protecting the ships under their care.  And their diligence and perseverance had paid off: hundreds of thousands of refugees had been saved over the years, when various local Imperial factions had borrowed vessels of the NDRF for short-term rescue and escort operations.  Through their modest efforts, the Nusiuu Imperials had saved entire future generations.

And so, by the time the lift slowed to a stop and the doors slid open to reveal the station’s Command Deck, Joshua Redd’s frown had disappeared.  With a self-assured swagger, the middle-aged Imperial officer strode up to the security checkpoint outside Ops, flashed his Ident Card, and proceeded inside.  It was going to be another routine day, dominated by the thousands of tedious little puzzles that needed to be solved just to hold his little community together, at the far edge of the galaxy.  But in that moment, as he walked into Ops and took his station, Commander Joshua Redd of the Imperial Reserve Fleet didn't feel bored, or frustrated, or sad, or worried.  For the first time in a long time, he just felt... content.

OOC:
705 words.  Introducing an NPC, and through him the Nusiuu Docks.  More on the facility - and the ships of the Reserve Fleet - in part 2, coming very soon!

AAR: Commander Joshua Redd of the Imperial Reserve Fleet heads to work for the day.  He's the chief communications officer in the Operations Center of Nusiuu Control, the large central space station that dominates the Nusiuu Docks facility.

The Nusiuu Docks are located about a light year away from the Absit System, and the Docks will be the location of our battle, not really Absit itself.  But that will be more clear after part 2, which as I said will be up ASAP!
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Grey
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 18, 2013 11:47:40 PM    View the profile of Grey 
The Tower, Abrae

Somewhere in the room, music played quietly. It was a steady tune, a calm and almost ominous orchestra of noise that culminated to send shivers through any normal person. But the person who stood at the door of the office now was far from normal, far from even solid - the person who stood at the door was not there, the ghostly blue light of the full-body hologram a fitting aura to surround the recently appointed agent, an individual who lived and breathed manipulation. His eyes were strange and the hologram somehow distorted, almost as if there were some strange kind of interference that kept the body of the hologram in constant disarray, preventing a proper identification of the shimmering figure. His eyes alighted on the mask that lay on the desk nearby, a bemused tilt of the head his only reaction to any of the things inside the storied room that had housed so many important meetings, so many things that would never make it beyond these four walls. The hologram swiveled in place, taking a step forward as the hologram projector/receiver covered most of the austere room, allowing him to effectively explore. He didn't need to explore because what was in his office mattered little and less to him. Perhaps the information stored in secured datachips, granted, but there was little that mattered materially to the man. Knowledge was far more powerful than any material asset, the person behind the hologram knew that.

"Sir," a neutral female voice accosted him from behind. He did not turn or recognise her presence in any way, continuing his silent traverse. Ensign Grey knew when to remain silent, now being one of those times. She watched the hologram with a trained eye, though even with her time under the old Grey, there was nothing she could do to track the hologram. Not that she wanted to.. Finally, the hologram turned, distorted features revealing nothing.

"Ensign Grey," the response had taken long enough and when it did come, the voice was distorted, an electronic effect taking the usual undertones, every tiny inflection or habit in the hologram's speech and twisting it, tearing it apart, hurling it around, slamming it against walls and hard things until it was so uniquely broken that even put back together it was just the voice of a machine.. Were it any more distorted, the new Captain Grey's voice would have been unintelligible. As far as Ensign Grey was concerned, she was still the adjutant to the Chief of Naval Intelligence, and would remain so as long as he wanted her there. A part of her mind wondered, though.. She had been a part of the old Grey's staff. Was she to remain in her position?

"I have here a summary of our ongoing missions and pending requests for you to-"

"I've read it." Grey replied, at such an angle that he might have been watching her, or might not have. The hologram was handy that way.

"Very well sir," the Ensign straightened slightly, though she did not show any sign of being disgruntled by his words. She watched him expectantly as the hologram nodded - might have nodded, though it was hard to tell - and began to move about the unremarkable office slowly once more. The Ensign watched him carefully, feeling ill-at-ease with this new head of VENI. The hologram paused at the desk, not turning.

"Was there something else?" He asked at last. Ensign Grey paused before she responded.

"Do you mean to replace me, sir?" She answered his question with a question, quite boldly at that.

"Yes," Grey said simply, without hesitation as the hologram turned at last. Ensign Grey had not been surprised by the revelation, but neither could she speak for a short time.

"May I ask who my replacement would be?" She asked in response, clear that she liked the job she was in. Her tone was solid and unflinching, to her credit.

"Ensign Grey." Grey spoke without tone, though a hint of amusement crept into the mechanically distorted audio.

"Sir?" Ensign Grey's well-maintained facade flickered for just the briefest of moments, though it was enough. She cursed herself inwardly for the falter.

"Your replacement," He explained, "is Ensign Grey." There was nothing from the woman for a while as she grasped the fact, exploring it with her sharp mind. He would not tell her who the new adjutant was, other than that the new adjutant was of the same rank as her and now the same position.

"Ah," She said at last, softly, unsure what else she could say.

"VENI thanks you for your faithful service." Grey said coolly, as if that made it all better. He waited a moment longer in silence, before adding, "You may go."

She offered him nothing in return save a smart salute, "thank you sir." As Grey watched her, he got the impression she was not happy.. But as per usual, the woman did not express her discontent. She simply turned and left, exiting the office she was so familiar with. Deep down she felt two things that were most prevalent: disappointment that she had lost the job she loved, but also satisfaction in knowing she had done her best under the old Grey. The once-Ensign-Grey paused at the secure turbolift, running a hand across her chin as she tried to comprehend what had just happened. I am no longer Ensign Grey, her thoughts whispered to herself.

Back in the office, the new Captain Grey's hologram was unmoving. Had he felt any guilt at the dismissal of Ensign Grey? None whatsoever. Another figure stepped into the office, "Sir," the shadow remarked in much the same way as Ensign Grey had. As with before, the Captain was silent for a long moment.

"Ensign Grey," He said at last.

There was silence between the two individuals, the scene all-too-similar to the previous Ensign Grey's dismissal just minutes ago. The shadow spoke to break the silence, though, "Will she need eliminating, Captain?"

"No," Grey said slowly, before reiterating, "No, she's too professional for that, despite her love for this job."

"As you say, sir," Ensign Grey responded.

Silence again, but for the quite tones of the music coming from somewhere within the room. Grey pondered on the matter of the former adjutant but said nothing more on the matter and without another word whatsoever, the hologram disappeared.

OOC:
WC: 1079

AAR: There's a new Grey in town.
Norsedragoon
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[VE-NAVY] Senior Crewman
 
Post Number:  41
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 20, 2013 2:57:32 AM    View the profile of Norsedragoon 
The echos of his metal shod right foot echoed in odd counterpoint to the near silent tread of his left as he strode off the transport. They had impounded his ETA-5 upon finally reaching the sanctuary of VE space under the premise of checking it for security threats and new technology, but promised to return it to him when they had finished their examination.

Einarrs thoughts drifted back to his 'triumphant return' to what he still viewed as his home. The dark clothed men who searched him as well as his fellow prisoners in lieu of the medical staff and Intel personnel they had been expecting to be met with. They had confiscated everything they could strip off of him with the exception of the armor he wore which had begun to meld with his skin in a cybernetic symbiosis of flesh and nanowire. His weapons, taken. His patches for Regents squadron, taken. They had even called in programmers to attempt to crack the programming in his hardware, but here they were diverted, their attempts blunted and turned aside by Cassius. He had no clue what had become of Admiral Stone, but his crew had been permitted to transfer with him to his new posting. The ISD Adjudicator was a spacious ship with a large crew and the liberated marines as well as the female mon cal Sunder had followed him, blending into the crowd of busy personnel prepping the ship for the next fight. Sunder matched pace on Einarr's right as Brutus, Akito, Ragnar, and Branson formed their own silent honor guard for the creature who had brought them back to freedom. Einarr shifted the Demi Cloak with his new squadron patch covering his right side in lieu of a fitted uniform due to the integrated armor making him more machine than man as the group stopped at the border of pilot country. Einarr turned to His people and snapped a salute to those who had kept him moving forward for the past 2 years in the squalor and humiliation of the New Republic prison camp. Though each outranked him they returned the crisp salute before breaking away to report in to their own duty stations. Memories threatened to overtake him again of the long passage out from Dantooine to the small neutral world whose only merit was its orbital repair yards. The fight as they staved off a small pursuit force of new republic ships as the yards worked hard to bring their main ships back to full function. The last hyper jump from a system fading fast under refugee ships from plague worlds to the relative safety of home. Ta'sri and his pirate crew had liberated a rebel cr-90 from somewhere and were in the wind once more.

Ta'Seh'Roh gave his right arm as well as leg in a final defense of one of that world small ISP defensive ships. His Kaleesh friend would never be the same despite the limited prosthetics he was able to acquire and had elected to remain behind with several dozen of the Remnant turncoats to give the remainder a fighting chance at escape.

Einarr shook off the memories as he passed the final barrier between his past and present. His steel shod foot resounding on the floor of the pilot locker room as he returned from the dead, and rejoined the ranks of the warriors on ion powered wings. Einarr moved down the rows of lockers seeking the one assigned to him, and upon finding it popped it open with the appropriate code. The empty space within seemed appropriate, the only occupant of the locker being a pair of replacement dog tags hanging from a hook on the back wall and the thin dossier folder with his new orders resting on the slightly dusty floor of the locker.

Einarr solemnly removed the dog tags and slid them carefully over his head to rest around his neck, then slid the dossier folder into a side satchel bag strapped to the waist of his armor. He then pulled a duffel bag off his left shoulder and began packing his meager replacement belongings into the coffin like confines of the locker. the black robed men who had performed his 'debriefing' turned interrogation had told him that his former belonging would catch up to him in due time, but he did not have a strong amount of faith in that prospect.

As a final sign of his returning to the land of the living he drew a combat knife off his left legs holster and etched the symbol that had brought him hope while he was trapped on that backwater planet onto the back wall of the locker. The VEN sigil, under that the regents sigil, and finally his enlistment date as well as the date he was declared dead by navy intelligence. As he completed this last act he let out a soft chuckle before resheathing the knife and turning to look for from Jexxel to whom to report.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
OOC: a mere 835 words.
AAR: Einarr returns to duty and heads to the locker room to stow his gear, reflect on the actions that brought him back to find his old squadron defunct, and to prepare for duty.
FM/PO2/Einarr "Norsedragoon" Ghylthir/A-3/S:153 Regents/W58: Javelin/IMF II Fearless/TF:B/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
[MC2] [SoA]
[This message has been edited by Norsedragoon (edited July 20, 2013 3:12:27 AM)]
Trykon
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Trykon
 
[VE-DJO] Dark Jedi Warrior
[VE-NAVY] Commodore
 
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 20, 2013 9:34:51 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
OOC:
Post #2, of 2


Commander Joshua Redd’s feeling of calm contentment didn’t last very long.  One hour into his shift, the relative quiet of the Operations Center was shattered by an alert klaxon, its shrill wail warning the command staff of Nusiuu Control that an unauthorized vessel had dropped out of hyperspace unexpectedly, somewhere within the restricted Exclusion Zone that surrounded the Nusiuu Docks complex.

Redd ran his index finger and thumb through his mustache in a deliberate, habitual gesture that helped him remember to breathe slowly, and keyed the button on his console that would connect his headset to the Chief Sensors Technician, whose station was located on the other side of Ops.  “What do we have, Toombs?” Redd asked, trying to keep his voice steady.

Lieutenant Donall Toombs was even older than Redd, but there wasn’t a better sensors technician anywhere in the Sector.  “Waiting for confirmation, Commander,” Toombs replied in his measured, professional way.  Two seconds passed.  “Confirmed: single warship, Imperial II-class Star Destroyer.  Realspace reversion exactly two meters inside the EZ.  Markings and transponder code positive match for Adjudicator.  That’s Vast Empire.  Last knowns are flagship of the Second Vast Imperial Fleet, and Line Captain Wyl Trykon commanding.  They’re holding position; coordinates should be up on your monitor now.”

Redd nodded to himself as Toombs read through the database entry, and he glanced at the tactical plot the Sensors tech forwarded to one of his station’s flat screens.  It was encouraging to see that there was only one ship, even if it was an ISD, and it also boded well that the single ship was holding its position at the far edge of the Exclusion Zone with its shields powered down: it was the most non-threatening posture an unscheduled arrival could possibly adopt.  And certainly, the Nusiuu Imperials had enjoyed a good working relationship with the Vast Empire in the past...

But then again, the VE was known to be an expansion-minded faction, and their recent war with the Imperial Dominion might have left them desperate for more ships… ships like the thirty vessels of the Nusiuu Docks Reserve Fleet.  As a precaution, Redd keyed in the sequence that initiated a station-wide call to battlestations.  He listened to one of his subordinates send out a brief announcement over the internal comms channels, calling all senior officers and administrators to the Operations Center, and then he steeled himself to deal with the Vast Imperial captain, face to face.

Redd opened a channel, drew himself up to his full height, and spoke straight into the holocamera: “This is Commander Redd of Nusiuu Control.  We have you on our scopes, Adjudicator.  Be advised, you are in a restricted area.  You will explain your presence in the Exclusion Zone immediately, please.”

Instantly, a full-size hologram materialized, showing the Vast Imperial commander.  He was a relatively short, slender Human male, wearing the insignia of a full Commodore, rather than the expected rank of Line Captain.  But the other details of the man’s appearance matched his dossier: intelligent eyes stared out from sunken sockets, and despite an unmistakable pallor of sickliness, he radiated confidence and an air of command.  The man’s numerical age was listed as thirty years standard, but somehow he looked both older than that and younger, simultaneously.

“This is Commodore Trykon, of the Adjudicator,” the hologram confirmed.  “I apologize for the dramatic entrance, Commander, but we didn’t have time to schedule a visit through the usual channels: enemies are on their way to attack your facility, and we’re here to offer you our assistance.”

Redd swallowed heavily, his throat suddenly dry.  He hesitated, searching for an appropriate response to the stranger’s announcement.  “Acknowledged, Commodore,” was what he finally settled on.  “If you’ll hold your position a moment longer, our commanding officer will be available to speak with you directly.”

“As ordered, Nusiuu Control,” the Vast Imperial officer replied with a short little aristocratic bow.  “But you should be aware: the Second and Fourteenth Vast Imperial Fleets will be dropping out of hyperspace in just a few moments, behind us.  I promise you: none of our ships will move without my order, and I won’t give the order to advance without your commanding officer’s approval.  But time is short; the enemy won’t be far behind us.  You have my word, we’re here to help you.”  Somehow, the man’s hologram managed to convey a sense of sincerity and camaraderie.

Commander Redd found his suspicions and doubts ebbing, the more he listened to the Vast Imperial speak.  And when, seconds later, Toombs reported the realspace reversion of dozens of other VE warships, Joshua Redd found himself smiling at the news.  They’re here to help us, he thought to himself.  They’re our friends.

A moment later, the senior command staff arrived.  Captain Demhoff got a sitrep from Toombs, while Administrator Yarl studied the tactical hologram showing the large Vast Imperial force hovering right at the edge of the Exclusion Zone.  But despite the sudden flurry of activity and the attendant spike in ambient emotions, Commander Redd’s sense of contentment and calm had returned.  Trykon was a friend.  There was nothing to fear.  Even the coming enemies were of no concern: the Vast Empire would save Absit, the Docks, and Redd himself.  Trykon had promised.

At first, Captain Demhoff seemed skeptical.  But Redd was pleased to see that after just a few minutes of conversation with the Vast Imperial Commodore, Demhoff realized the truth.  The captain gave his permission for the Vast Imperial ships to approach the Docks, and he ordered Redd to send them coordinates describing a clear route through the encircling minefield.

Redd had already prepared the transmission, and was only too happy to press the send button.

For the next hour or so, Commander Joshua Redd of the Imperial Reserve Fleet was quite busy.  Coordinating communications between the huge VE armada and the various space stations of the Nusiuu Docks was a challenge, especially since the Vast Imperials’ battle plan was so complicated.  Fifteen of their capital ships would dock next to the other ships of the Reserve Fleet and power down, masquerading as mothballed hulls, while the others would hide just outside of sensor range, a short hyperspace jump away.  When the enemy raiders came, the first force would give them more than they were bargaining for at the Docks, and then the second force would hit the interlopers from behind.  To make the two-pronged attack work, though, various differences in communications protocols between the two sides had to be ironed out. 

But one hour later, everything was in readiness.  Ninety six starfighters from the Vast Empire were scattered through the yards, powered down to look like decommissioned wrecks, their pilots ready to swing into action at a moment’s notice.  Fifteen fully manned warships were similarly spread throughout the facility, disguised as repair-jobs and salvage operations, their systems primed for quick restarts.  The NDRF defense force – a few frigates and two wings of starfighters – suddenly had a lot more firepower bolstering their strength, and best of all, that firepower was hidden from the enemy.

After checking one last time with all his department heads, Captain Demhoff nodded at Redd, and the communications officer nodded back.  Redd opened a channel to Trykon on the Adjudicator, and relayed the NDRF’s message: “We’re ready here, Commodore.  See you when the shooting starts.”

“Adjudicator Actual here,” the reply came.  Trykon’s voice was comforting.  Encouraging.  Redd felt himself relax, subtly.  “We’ll be back before you know it.  Try not to hog all the glory yourselves, will you?  We want a piece of the victory too, remember.”

And with that, the Fourteenth Vast Imperial Fleet – and Task Force Aurek of the Second Vast Imperial Fleet – jumped away from the Nusiuu Docks facility, leaving a nasty trap behind them for the coming enemies of the Empire.

On some level, Commander Joshua Redd of the Imperial Reserve Fleet wondered why he wasn’t experiencing any trepidation at the thought of the coming battle.  But then the explanation repeated itself in his head: Trykon is my friend; the Vast Empire will save Absit, the Docks, and me; there is nothing to fear.  Redd’s sense of calm contentment returned, and the mantra echoed yet again in his brain: Trykon is my friend; the Vast Empire will save Absit, the Docks, and me; there is nothing to fear.

Patiently, Joshua Redd awaited the arrival of the enemy, and the fulfillment of Commodore Trykon’s promise.

OOC:
1,408 words.  Somehow, this post kept getting longer, without actually managing to cover the specific information I'd hoped to include.  See the discussion thread for more details about the Docks and Reserve Fleet, and for specific missions/orders for all VEN units.  Sorry all that didn't make it into the post itself.

AAR: The Adjudicator reverts to realspace inside the Exclusion Zone, the restricted area that surrounds the Nusiuu Docks facility.  This gets the attention of the Operations Center on the central Nusiuu Control space station, where NPC Joshua Redd is stationed.  At first, the comms officer doesn't know what to make of the Vast Imperials, but after talking with Trykon via holo, Redd's fears are assuaged.  When Captain Demhoff and Administrator Yarl (the senior officer and senior administrator of the Docks facility, respectively) arrive at Ops, they're suspicious of the VEN ships, too.  But just like Redd, after speaking for a few minutes with Trykon they agree to let the Vast Imperials through the minefield, to help bolster the Reserve Fleet's defenses.  Task Force Besh from the Second Fleet is spread throughout the docks facility, along with 8 full squadrons of VE starfighters (a mix of interceptors and bombers).  These VE craft are the trap, meant to look like empty hulls, salvage jobs, and scrap sources before the battle.  The rest of the VE force hypers away, to jump back once the battle starts.

Note: this is the first post of mine that alludes to the fact that my player-character is a member of both the VEN and the DJO.  Please keep in mind that the no-Force rule still applies to members who aren't in the DJO.  I assure you: even those of us in the DJO are going to be walking a very delicate line, during the Chapter.  But this is a good opportunity for me to reconcile the two sort of halves of my character's life in the VE, so I hope you won't begrudge me a little combining of Force-user Trick and Navy Trick.
Naval High Command
CNO/Commodore Trykon/NHC/VEN/VE

Second Vast Imperial Fleet
SCAP/COM Wyl "Trick" Trykon/ISD Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE

Decorations
[*IG*][*AO*][HNS][1NS][2NS][LSM][BWC][SWC][GWC][CC:4][CNQST]
[NSM][E][NAR][MSM][SoA][CoB][VC:B][VC:S][VC:G][VC:E][SoV][LoM][DSM][NC][IGC]

(=*AE*=)(=*SAE*=)(=*TG*=)(=*SCFE*=)(=*FOCE*=)

SM/DWR Trykon/Dark Jedi/Shades/Raven L-04/DJO/VE [EoP]
Serpent
ComNet Member
Imperial Baronet

 
Serpent
 
[VE-NAVY] Lieutenant Commander
 
Post Number:  968
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 21, 2013 2:46:19 AM    View the profile of Serpent 
The VSD Brilliant hung in the dark, its angular prow aimed at the Nusiuu Docks Facility in the distance.  The colossal shipyard, which currently housed some thirty unmanned capital ships, loomed large before the Second and Fourteenth Fleets of the Vast Empire.  Pherik ‘Serpent’ Zail stood on the bridge and viewed the Docks through the Star Destroyer’s forward viewport, suppressing a smile.  On any other day, with such an armada with us and such a tempting target, I’d be in full conquest mode.  I’ll have to keep reminding myself that we are here to protect, not to invade.

The Brilliant and the rest of the armada had only just arrived, and Commodore Trykon was still talking to Nusiuu Control, no doubt trying to assuage their fears that the VE was here to do exactly what Serpent found himself itching to do.  While the talking took place, the fleets were urged to hang back and wait, and while Zail had no problem with the order, he sensed that perhaps his crew were not so calm.  They had arrived here at Absit ready for a fight, and that the enemy were not already here and queuing up to be shot seemed to disappoint them.

Serpent walked from the viewport and to the port side of the bridge, and the Admiral’s Own plaque that hung on the wall.  He reached up and brushed some dust from the award, making a mental note to give it a thorough cleaning later.  Once done he decided to take a walk along the command deck walkway, gazing down at his senior staff in the crew pits.  All were tense and ready to go, motivated partly by their professionalism, but also by his harsh and dictatorial new XO, Eylana Saitroni.

He moved to her side, where Saitroni was busily studying a hologram of the Nusiuu Docks at the tactical simulation projection table.  Naval Intelligence had provided maps of the facility prior to the fleets’ departure, but now that they had arrived and had more up-to-date information they had a more complete picture of the soon-to-be battlefield.  “Thoughts?” He asked her.

Saitroni’s eyes remained locked on the tactical display as she responded.  “I like the look of quadrant Besh, here,” She said, pointing to a section of the Docks.  “Its equidistant with most of the powered down ships we want to protect, and this vacant bay here is easily big enough to accommodate us.  In fact, it a bit too big, and so won’t interfere much with our ability to launch TIEs during the initial attack.”

Zail nodded sagely, agreeing with her analysis.  The plan was for the Brilliant to lie low inside the Nusiuu Docks, pretending to be one of the unmanned ships there, and wait for the Corellian and Republic fleets to arrive.  When they tried to steal the vessels there, the hidden VE warships would give them a very big surprise.  “Okay, we’ll settle in there, then,” He told her.  “Make it happen as soon as we are cleared by Nusiuu Control.  We will also need to co-ordinate the other ships playing dead with us.  Continue to identify key positions for them too.”

“Yes, sir,” Said the XO and resumed her studying of the hologram.

It was at that moment that Coms Chief, Dev Mishima, spoke up from the crew pit.  “Incoming holocall from Commodore Trykon on the Adjudicator, sir,” He announced.

“Let’s see it,” Said Zail, turning to the nearby projector.  A split-second later the blue and white light from the emitter resolved itself into the commander of the Vast Empire’s Second Fleet.  “Sir!  How goes the negotiations with Nusiuu Control?” He asked without preamble.

“All is good, Pherik,” Said the Commodore.  “We’ve been given permission to assist them and can proceed into the Docks.”

Zail arched a quizzical eyebrow.  “That was... fast,” He observed.

“Perhaps they are desperate,” Said Trykon.  “Regardless, we have been given time and can’t afford to squander it.  Take your portion of the fleet and settle them among the Facility.”

“Will do, sir,” Said Serpent.

“Good hunting, BrilliantAdjudicator out.”

No sooner did the Commodore’s image disappear than Zail turned to Saitroni.  “Go,” He said, and the First Officer leapt into action.

“Helm, half speed ahead to Facility section Besh!  Weapons prepare shut down sequence and move to emergency standby!  Engineering also prepare to shut down main systems!  Coms, here is a list of destinations for the rest of our force.  Begin contacting them and assigning them their places in the Docks!”  The XO continued to rattle off commands, sharp, quick, and accurate, while Serpent watched in admiration.

He did so appreciate efficiency in an underling.

The Brilliant glided forward, and soon entered the Nusiuu shipyards proper.  They passed the defence systems and patrol vessels of the locals, people whose allegiance Zail was still not completely sure of.  If there was going to be a ‘hey!  We were with the Corellians all along!’ surprise attack, it would come now.  This fact was not lost upon his bridge crew, who remained silent and tense all the way to the dock that Saitroni had picked out for them.

“Bring her in careful and slow, Helm,” Said Zail softly.

“Like a baby to the crib, sir,” Said pilot Ysanne Samasl.

Eventually she brought the Brilliant to a halt, in the shadow of a towering storage yard off its port side.  Elsewhere, other ships of the Second Fleet were also coming to a stop in their assigned berths.

“Begin shut down,” Said Serpent, and Saitroni leapt to relaying the command.

Along the length of the mighty Star Destroyer, lights dimmed or went off entirely.  Shields and weapons went down, as did long-range sensors and a host of other primary systems.  Even on the bridge darkness descended.  The main glow-panels ceased, and now the only source of illumination came from the control consoles and displays at the bridge stations, casting the faces of the officers there in eerie relief.

Zail, his face mostly in shadow, turned to his XO.  “And now we wait.”

OOC:
1008 words.  Just moving it forward a little.  My ship and crew are ready to go!

After Action Report:  The Brilliant arrives at the Nusiuu Docks with the rest of the VE armada.  After a wait, Trick appears and tells Serpent that the locals will allow the presence of the Second Fleet.  Zail orders the Brilliant in to section Besh, along with several other VE warships.  They then power down the Star Destroyer and wait for the arrival of the Corellians.

Naval High Command
CNW|Lieutenant Commander Zail|NHC|VEN|VE

SCAP/LCDR Pherik “Serpent” Zail / VSD Brilliant /TF:Aurek/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE
[SoA][LoM][NAR][E][SoV][MiD][MC1][VC:E][CAR][AOx3][CoB.][NC][CC:3][CNQST][PWC][2NS][LSM](=*Eng*=)(=*BO*=)
DeepSix
ComNet Member
 
DeepSix
 
[VE-DJO] Adept
[VE-ICS] Pirate Swabbie
[VE-NAVY] Lieutenant Commander
 
Post Number:  874
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  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 22, 2013 6:02:14 AM    View the profile of DeepSix 
Although the time spent at the Nusiuu Docks facilities was short as far as the 2nd Fleet's bulk was concerned, Seth Qorbin still managed to make use of that time to launch from the Adjudicator and actively explore the surrounding area. The man had gone over the maps and mission briefings a dozen times over but there was still no real replacement for first hand reconnaissance.

It thus only made sense for Seth to take advantage of the opportunity and check out the Docks, the ships actually undergoing repair jobs as well as the ships that were only faking it. The man also made note of the main celestial bodies in the immediate vicinity in case such information would prove useful. The most dangerous activity the man pursued though was without doubt his run through the minefield.

Three distinct operators, two working for the Docks themselves and one supervising him from the Adjudicator, ended up sending him messages warning him of the danger and asking him to turn back at once. The Adjudicator operator was smart enough not to pursue the matter but the other two, particularly the final one was so insisting and annoying that Seth finally shut off his comm system altogether to get rid of his increasingly loud warnings.

Besides, what those control operators failed to understand was that a minefield was hardly as dangerous to a small craft as it was to a larger one. It would for instance be impossible for an ISD-II like the Adjudicator to pass through it without blowing up every single mine in its path. It would be nigh impossible for even a corvette to attempt it - though the latter might be sturdy enough to survive one or two blasts.

Whilst it was true that regular fighters would surely be taken out by even a single mine, it was just as true that there was enough distance between them to allow a certain degree of maneuvering. Any decent pilot would be able to go through a minefield provided he would not be in a particular hurry to reach the other side. Any skilled pilot would be able to pass it at a regular cruising speed too. It would take only a mad ace to go through it at full throttle however - and as much as Seth wished to try that out... he decided against it and instead just navigated at a regular pace, choosing to take into account the average distance between mines as well as the general area these appeared to be protecting.

The silent stroll through the deadly obstacles proved rather invigorating as a matter of fact. Not only did the Onderonian pilot get a chance to get back into top shape, but he also got a chance to think real hard about the changes that would be coming soon. Changes that Seth knew about thanks to the former Captain Grey's message.

Even as the latter was asked to step down, the masked individual still tried completing as many of the schemes and machinations he started out. Seth actually wondered just how many projects was the man involved in at any given time... Not that it actually mattered. Not really...

Finishing both his minefield run as well as chance to think on certain things in peace and quiet, the TIE Avenger pilot chose to return to the Adjudicator before the latter would have a chance to jump away and leave him behind with the other lures. He actually considered having his squadron stay and also lie in waiting but decided against such a course of action. He knew that the odds for him and his pilots would increase if they would end up engaging an enemy already focused on other targets. A cheap and selfish tactic, yet one that held almost immeasurable potential as was often proven by past battles, both ones that the Vast Empire partook in as well as others throughout the larger galaxy...

OOC:
WC: 659
AAR: Just a filler post, mostly revealing that something important will happen in the immediate future. Basically SQ takes his fighter out for a spin and then returns to the Adjudicator before the latter jumps into hiding position.
SCO/LCDR DeepSix/Golden One/S:38th Vornskr/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE
[=*TG*=] [=*VIM*=] [=*SWC*=]

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

TRN/AD DeepSix/DJO/Training Sect/VEDJ
DeepSix
ComNet Member
 
DeepSix
 
[VE-DJO] Adept
[VE-ICS] Pirate Swabbie
[VE-NAVY] Lieutenant Commander
 
Post Number:  876
Total Posts:  973
Joined:  Jul 2010
Status:  Offline
  RE: Chapter 9 Prelude: Navy
July 24, 2013 7:08:32 AM    View the profile of DeepSix 
OOC:
VENI post - We come in peace! arc


Absit's surface, one hour before Commodore Trykon jumped in system and initiated contact with the Nusiuu Docks personnel

"Is the ship ready?" a Human male in his mid twenties asked gravely. "Just give the order Lead", another Human replied confidently. "Do it then!" the first individual ordered swiftly and within moments the small shuttle found only a hundred couple meters away, blew up in a blaze of heat and smoke. "You're sure there will be no traces left, right?" the same fellow asked as he watched the flashy spectacle before him. "Positive!" the second individual spoke reassuringly. "Nothing but burnt metal will be left behind..."

"Good", the first man nodded and continued watching the fire for a couple more minutes. By his side stood the Human he had been conversing with, as well as seven other individuals - all of them Human and all of them geared in similar equipment.

"Move out", the man in the center spoke once more and within seconds the entire group split into three smaller teams, each heading in a separate direction, leaving behind just a still burning and fuming pile of metal and melted electronics...

~~~~~~~~~~


Absit's surface, half an hour after Commodore Trykon jumped in system and initiated contact with the Nusiuu Docks personnel

"I repeat: unidentified craft, state your business and intentions, over", an agitated voice again delivered the same message as before. This time around though a blonde Human female decided to answer it: "This is Commander Talix of the Vast Empire's Navy. I have information regarding imminent attacks against your government by Corellian forces, including spies that according to our information have already infiltrated your planet. I request an immediate meeting with your leader so that together we may prevent unwanted tragedies..."

For a couple of minutes there was nothing but a heavy silence looming in the air. A silence that seemed like it would've lasted forever had a different voice not replied over the official comm channel "Commander Talix, you are cleared to land. Please proceed to the following coordinates..."

"Take us in, miss Hayek!" the blonde woman instructed and next waited for the ship's pilot to handle all the landing procedures. The easy part, that of getting official access to Absit, would soon enough be over. The hard part, that of befriending the planet's government, would only just begin...

~~~~~~~~~~


Three women, all of them Human and all of them roughly the same age, stepped out of the large Carrack-class Light Cruiser that had carried them over. One of the women, the one in the center, wore a VE Naval uniform whilst the other two by her side wore instead Army garments.

"Commander Talix", the Yatir male standing in front of a medium sized armed security force, called out. "I'm Colonel Hubeq Thrask. I understand you have information regarding a possible breach of security?"

It was the blonde woman in the center that further stepped forward and nodded. "Indeed. We've been tracking the movements of the Corellians for a while now and we're certain that they have managed to successfully send a few agents over here, as well as on the Nusiuu Docks. We're not certain regarding their exact purpose but we're confident that whatever it is - it's not going to be pretty. We're talking about men and women trained in infiltration, assassination and sabotage. I would like to coordinate with someone in charge so that together we may be able to find and neutralize these threats before it's too late. And I fear that time is against us..."

The Colonel remained silent for a few moments whilst he processed the information he just learned. The man knew that if someone really wanted to gain access to Absit, then they'd be able to... somehow. Their planetary defense forces were simply not enough to be everywhere at the same time... Plus there was also the matter of that one strange report he received less than an hour earlier - a report according to which a small shuttle was found burning in one of the fields outside the capital.

If there was even the slightest chance that the two events were related, then the Colonel knew he had no choice but to bring the matter to someone further up the chain of command - someone with the authority to actually do something about this whole situation...

Turning to one of his men, the Colonel whispered so that the new arrivals would be unable to hear: "Inform General Gackker that I'm bringing him some VE visitors." The Yatir male next turned once more to face the Vast Empire's representatives. "Commander Talix, please follow me."

OOC:
WC: 774
AAR: First post in my We come in peace! arc. The action has started just a short while before the 2nd Fleet jumped in the system for the first time and will continue to develop until after we'll have finished dealing with the invading fleet.

So far two separate events are described on the planet's surface - that regarding a small group planning to pursue some unknown goals and that of a small VE cap ship landing on the planet. The one in charge, a certain Commander Talix, claims she has information regarding an imminent Corellian threat against the Yatir people.
SCO/LCDR DeepSix/Golden One/S:38th Vornskr/W:101st Blade/ISD-II Adjudicator/TF:A/2Flt/SC/VEN/VE
[=*TG*=] [=*VIM*=] [=*SWC*=]

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

TRN/AD DeepSix/DJO/Training Sect/VEDJ
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