The World of The Gunny

The Wasted World of Gunnery Sergeant DeShane
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 Post subject: A Man(dalorian)'s tale
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 15:56 
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I tried posting this as a link and forgot you have to join to even lurk. So I'll repost this here. Note that its a "run-on" (a competition where people contribute to a story to complete it, usually from their characters point of view) so I will make notes when others post but you can see the change in the writing style, but it contributes to the end story so I can't just leave it out. (Other members will be noted in the subject line, if its blank, its me!) But for the most part its me, a lot of new BSG fans remark that my writing style is really dark like BSG, which scares me honestly but judge for yourself. As a note, we are post Battle of Endor Imperials still holding out against the New Republic.




Mare Arturus System
Co-ordinates 1145.6484c483


The text almost seemed to leap from the datapad. Kadon Beir wondered why he was being redundant. He'd memorized the coordinates the first night he'd found them. It was a clue and he was going to find out what waited there for him. He looked up and saw the waiting faces of Cyclone squadron looking at him. He'd lost his place. Beir coughed, "...so the uh, point of this patrol will be to..." he trailed off.

"Patrol sir?" Lieutenant Commander Dempsey answered.

"Naturally. Launch time at 0835, I expect to see you suited up and on deck at 0-8. Dismissed." The pilots of Cyclone shuffled out of the room but Commander Styles stayed behind.

"Something bugging you sir?"

"Not anything that can concern us at the moment. Don't worry about it Zos, I'm fine."

"Whatever you say sir." he stepped out and went to his destination, wherever that was and Beir was left alone. He pulled the datapad off of the podium and looked at the text on its face. He then removed a bottle of liquor from underneath the podium, sat in a briefing chair and began drinking.


Last edited by wolfblade on 02 Nov 2007 15:59, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 15:57 
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Beir kept drinking. He needed to find a way to get away from the Challenge. He could request leave again but he'd done that enough. And his stunts involving his birthday celebration had probably dropped his name a bit in the Admiral's mind. Though it never hurt to ask.

He looked at the datapad again. He'd planned his trip a few different ways. He'd need to get his personal equipment out of his office. This was personal and he didn't want to advertise the fact he was an Imperial Remnant. It would most likely end up with New Republic entanglements.

He took another drink and noticed the bottle was half-empty.

An hour later the young and enthousiastic Lieutenant Godo walked into the room where his Squadron Commander sat.

"Sir, I have a question about.." Said the Lieutenant while he was silence by the, quite drunk, Commander.

"GET OUT, leave me be. I will deal with your questions later Lieutenant!" said a, quite drunk, Beir.

"I'm sorry I disturbed you Commander, I was.." The Lieutenant was silenced again.

"Leave!" Screamed Beir.

The Lieutenant slowly walked backwards towards the doorway.
Once the Commander finished his 2nd bottle of liquor someone walked into the room..


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 Post subject: This one by "Dempsey"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 15:58 
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Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Challenge, a man in his middle ages slowly walked through the corridors, trying all he could to avoid being seen. A few times, he was almost spotted, but each time he had managed to slip underneath some stairs or inside a broom closet just in a nick of time.

The man wore a long, brown robe with a large hood, just like the Jedi of the Old Republic had often worn.

The man was clearly looking for something. Or someone. In his hand, he had an old photograph. The paper was wrinkled, and the photograph had yellowed out. Whoever was on it, was barely visible. On the back of the paper, hardly readable, was a name.

Kadon Beir.

As the man slowly progressed, and moved up to the next deck, he looked intensely at the face on the picture again, and then put the photograph away. As his robe slid to allow his hand in a pocket, the cold steel o a blaster pistol glistened in the artificial lighting.


Last edited by wolfblade on 02 Nov 2007 16:01, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Me
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 15:59 
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"Beir, we need to talk." Colonel Darklord entered the room as Beir sat, spinning the empty bottle in his hands.

"We always need to talk." Beir replied, letting the bottle hit the floor and roll about.

"I understand we almost lost you a few months ago but you haven't been the same since. Its affecting your performance as a Commander. Honestly, I'm this close to grounding you." he held his fingers about an inch apart. "What's got you so wrapped up?"

"You wouldn't know and you certainly wouldn't understand." Beir stood up.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"You wish you knew." Beir kicked the bottle and it slid and rolled towards the door, opening it. Beir walked out without saying a word.


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 Post subject: "DanielBonini"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:00 
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Colonel Darklord reported in to the Challenge Commodore, at his office:

Darklord: Dan, I'm really concerned about Beir. Something is really wrong with him....I can't tell if he's in danger, or if something private happened....either way, he's falling...perhaps we should remove him from command of Cyclone for now...

Dan: no, let's wait for a while. We are not exactly going to battle right now, and there's time to plan things, so we can take it easy. If it comes to it, we'll assign someone to be a-CMDR while he recovers. Just don't let him take the squadron out for now...and perhaps we should ask someone to keep an eye out for him....if he's not safe, we can't leave him out of our sights...

Darklord: I'll talk to CM Styles....Beir trusts him....and so do I....

Meanwhile, Kadon Beir headed for Challenge cantina, looking for another round. At that time, Challenge corridors were much more deserted than usual, and Kadon walked alone through the already spinning corridors from the effects of the empty bottles. Little did he know that at that time he was already being followed...


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 Post subject: Dempsey
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:07 
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The shadowy figure behind the commander moved through the corridors without making a sound. The man was considering his options. He had definately found what what he was looking for, but still, a million things could go wrong.

As he looked around a corner, he saw the cantina doors close behind Kadon Beir. He quickly stepped up, and peeked through the window. The cantina was empty, except for Kadon. He figured this was probably the best shot he was ever going to get.

Who are you, and what are you doing on my ship?

The voice of Vice Admiral Bonini echoed loudly through the empty hallways. The man however wasn't startled at all, he knew he was found out even before he heard the voice. And that allowed him to act quickly.

Before the echoes of Bonini's voice had died away, the ship's commodore was staring down the barrel of a very deadly looking blaster pistol.


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 Post subject: Zosite Styles
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:07 
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Two men approach Wing X Cantina. Their faces seem exhausted and concerned:

- So you won't take Cyclone Commanding, no matter what I've been telling you about your current Commander performance, am I right?

Colonel Darklord seems to have a hard time containing his rage. It's the second time today somebody doesn't follow his advises, if not his direct orders ("Oh, well, at least we haven't reached that... yet")

- No, Sir. Lieutenant Colonel Kadon Beir is the only Cyclone Commander for me 'till he decides to step down or is retired due to bad management or something alike.

- To the hell with your loyalty, Styles! Your first loyalty is for Cyclone itself then your ship! Squadron Commanders come and go. And I'm telling you that something is very wrong with Beir; he keeps drinking and drinking, sunken in his own dark thoughts. Unable to perform as we expect from him, leading one of the best Squadrons of the Fleet. We just can't stand that! I don't know what's up with him I tell you but if he keeps...

- You know it, Sir... Oh, sorry for the interruption but I think it's important to clear some things down. You should already know what's wrong with him. I know about too, it's only I also know he doesn't want me to ask about.

- Ok, Styles. Tell me what you know.

- It's about that portrait he has on his office's desk...

- His wife... Ceres?

- Yeah. His kidnapped wife. Alive or dead... who knows? Anyway I've seen him contemplating it for hours recently. And I didn't like what I saw on his face I tell you.

The Wing Commander's face turns dim as he speaks.

- If that is the problem is even worse than I thought. I'd never doubt about Colonel Beir's loyalty... except if it's related to his wife. He never told me about her in depth but I know when something is more important for an officer than his responsabilities; I've been used to it. I don't know what to do except asking him about. May even we could send some detachment from the Challenge to help him in finding his wife again. Actually if what he says is true she's on Rebel hands and we shouldn't stand that... not to mention we'll secure his loyalty, maybe forever.

Commander Zósite mutters for himself:

- You could secure his retirement though...

- What?

- Nevermind. Sorry, Sir, just wondering what will be his next move.

- Heh. As long as he keeps trying to drown his grief with all our Chalquilla around there won't be "next move".

Suddenly a loud explosion from a blaster shot shakes the entire corridor. Colonel Darklord's eyes are fixed on the nearby stairs which lead to the Cantina and Commander Zósite grabs the BlasTech DHL-17 from his duty uniform.

- What the hell was THAT?!!

- It seems it came from the Cantina, Sir!

Now both officers run towards the origin of the sound as Wing Commander Darklord shouts orders through his commlink...


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 Post subject: Me
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:08 
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The man stood unblinking in the passageway, keeping his blaster trained on Admiral Bonini.

"I said, who are you, and what are you doing on my ship?"

The man stood silent, holding his blaster, like he was just making a threatening action. The doors hissed open and Beir slowly walked outside. The man whirled and fired a quick shot which singed across Beir's shoulder. Beir let loose a growl of pain and reached out and grabbed the man by the throat. Or at least in his slower mind he thought he did. But, the stranger moved fast and knocked his arm down and tried to pull his blaster in close.

Admiral Bonini pulled his blaster and aimed at the entangling mass of bodies.


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 Post subject: "DanielBonini"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:08 
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CM Zosite and COL Darklord rushed into the cantina hallway, to be surprised by the situation of CMDR Kadon Beir, wounded, charging at a strange man to begin the struggle, while the Vice Admiral pulled his blaster, aiming at both fighting bodies. It was very hard to tell where one ended and the other begun, but the Admiral did not hesitate to fire one single shot, and the stranger aboard his ship fell down, moveless. Zosite and Darklord approached kickly, looking at the body on the floor, while the Ship Commodore turned to his wounded officer, that didn't even look in pain, mostly because of alcohol.

Dan: Beir, let's go to the infirmary...

Darklord: What's going on here??

Dan: We'll find out....AT the infirmary....


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 Post subject: "Zosite Styles"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:09 
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While Vice Admiral Bonini and Colonel Darklord help Lieutenant Colonel Beir to reach the infirmary, Commander Zósite approaches the moveless body on the floor still aiming him with his blaster, but soon he realizes the deadly accuracy of his Commodore and returns it to his belt.

Zósite retires the brown hood to reveal the stranger's face... none known to him although he could swear to have seen him before. He starts registering the body, knowing he must act quickly before some crew come to retire it. He founds an identity electronic card...



Code:
Engineer Mark Phalleus. Hyperdrive technician.
Passage clearance 11.5454.76/AA54-B : Hyperdrive section
ISD Challenge



"That's it! I saw him among the technical crew recently assigned here. The hyperdrive section is not far from my Destillery"

But that's not enough for Zósite. There must be another thing... another clue... there it is! And old photograph of CMDR Beir with his name on the back.

"Oh... look! Kadon Beir without beard! Hehe... this is gold. So this guy was actually an assassin infiltrated here. But why...?

The last clue doesn't resist another check from Cyclone Flight II Leader. There, perfectly visible after retiring the brown robes, a metalic cylinder with few buttons that even Zósite, not knowing a damn about those mysterious "Force-lovers" (he calls them despectively "monks"), can identify as a light-saber...

"Oh, by Palpatine's sakes! Why didn't he use it against the Commodore and Beir? I know these things are deadly, much more than a blaster... the only reason I can concieve for him not using it is that he was sure of his succeeding and didn't want his true identity to be revealed... but, wait, what's this? A little piece of paper secured inside the bottom of the saber!"


Code:
---Incoming transmission transcription---

From: Serec Rieb, Mare Arturus
For: Mark Phalleus, Shuttle Hyp-tech 1A45, on route to Aurora Prime
Subject: Only for his eyes

Kill him, G'horast. You won't have another opportunity. If you fail me you'll meet your destiny by my hand.


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 Post subject: Dempsey
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:10 
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As Commander Styles read the paper, LCM Dempsey walked up behind him, crouched down, and removed the light saber from the corpse. She stood up, and flicked on the saber. A short hum, and a bright red beam of light erupted from the handle. She made some quick moves to see how it felt.

"What are you doing, Dempsey?" Styles said. "That's a light saber!"

"I know," Dempsey replied, as she put her hand almost on the beam of light. No heat. She flicked the saber off, and brought the handle close to her face. She looked at it intently.

"This is a beautiful one at that. Crafted by an expert."

Her fingers caressed the handle and its shapes.

"Most beautiful indeed."

With a quick move, the light saber disappeared under her flight suit.

"Been too long since I held one of these," she said to Styles, his eyes wide open at what he just saw. "I have a feeling I'll be needing this soon."

With that, Dempsey turned and walked away, back to her quarters.


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 Post subject: Me
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:10 
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Beir snuck away, clutching his shoulder as he slid around the passageway. Near death tends to sober one up real fast. He was angry and was making a beeline for his office.

The door hissed open and he entered and began ripping through the shelves and cabinets. Grabbing random items and shoving them into a space bag. He removed his set of armor from its hidden place in his closet and put it into another bag with his weapons. He slung the bags over his shoulders and left his room practically ransacked. He checked his chronometer and left, going towards the hangar deck.


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 Post subject: "Dempsey"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:11 
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"Unauthorized launch in progress!"

The voice of the junior bridge officer reverberated through the bridge of the Imperial Class-II Star Destroyer Challenge, the flag ship of the TIE Corps.

Colonel Darklord stood up from his chair. Well, it was his anyway while the Vice Admiral wasn't on the bridge.

"Details please, lieutenant," he calmly said.

For a few moments, the young lieutenant stared at his screen and punched some keys.

"There's a TIE Defender prepping for launch in hangar bay Three Alpha Niner," he finally said. "Hangar bay doors are opened."

"Close them," came the order.

"Negative, sir, I'm locked out of hangar bay control."

Darklord frowned. Then he touched a commlink pad on the chair. "Commodore to the bridge. Security teams, meet me at access hatch Three Alpha Niner Six." He turned and quickly walked off the bridge. On his way out he pointed at one of the senior officers present. "Keep this ship intact until the Admiral gets here!" he commanded. Then he disappeared through the door.
As soon as it closed behind him, his brisk pace turned into running as he made his way to the hangar bay as quickly as he could.

Halfway there, he was interrupted by a comm transmission to his commlink.

"TIE Defender has cleared the nagar bay, sir. It's heading out at maximum speed. Computer signature indicates it's plotting a hyperspace course."

Darklord stood still for a moment to respond. "Track it! Sound alert and launch Thunder. Tell them to disable the Defender. If they destroy it, they'll be scrubbing the hyperspace generators on our next jump!

"Too late, sir," came the voice of the officer he'd left in charge. "The Defender just jumped away. We were unable to geta fix on it's heading."

For a moment, Darklord stood there. He knew what had happened. He didn't know why, and he didn't want to believe it, but everything that had happened, and every neuron in his brain told him that one of his best squadron commanders had just stolen a very expensive piece of Imperial equipment. The punishment for which wasn't exactly light.
Despite what his feelings said, he knew procedure.

"Order a head count. I want every man accounted for within the hour. Prep a search team and have them in my briefing room in 15 minutes."

Slowly, he started to walk back to the bridge, and his briefing room. This was gonna be a bad day.


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 Post subject: "DanielBonini"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:11 
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The Vice Admiral encountered the Wing Commanderat the bridge doors:

Dan: I was already on my way...Beir ran from us...what's going on?

Darklord: We just had an unscheduled TIE Defender launch...we'll have a head count soon, but if I'm guessing right...

Dan: Beir....dammit....could we track him?

Darklord: No, but I'm assembling a search team...

Dan: It's unlikely that we find him...it's probably a good idea to have force sensitive pilots in the search team....we'll only find him using the force...

Darklord: Will do!

Dan: Meanwhile, have Cyclone Squadron meet me in the CMDR's chamber....we'll dig through Beir's leftovers in the hopes of finding hints of his whereabouts....a long shot, but worth the try...

The Wing Commander noded as he entered the bridge, while the Commodore walked towards the elevators...


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 Post subject: Me
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:12 
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Beir lie huddled in some cargo containers in the cargo bay of the YT-2000 he had charted. It was making its normally scheduled delivery runs to the Challenge.

"Beir, we're clear from the hangar but one of the fighters came tearing out of the hangar and jumped into hyperspace. I have no idea why."

"Hmmm." Beir thought to himself. It was extremely odd to say the least. He opened up one of his bags and began donning his combat armor and weapons. "Take me to the Mare Arturus system."

"Hey, you payed, I'll take you anywhere."


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 Post subject: "Dempsey"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:12 
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Forty minutes after the launch of the rogue TIE Defender, Wing X was assembled. Wing Commander Darklord, flanked by Commodore Bonini, looked at his pilots.

"I have sad news for us this day," he started. "As you may have noticed, not everyone is here."

He paused, while people looked around them.

"First of all, after the attempt on his life earlier today, Commander Beir has left the Challenge. We are unaware of his current location or destination or exact reasons for doing so. All we know is that he did not take leave, so is now officially AWOL."

Disturbed murmers went through the pilots. Darklord wondered what they were more upset about: the attempted assassination, or the AWOL.

"To make matters worse, Lieutenant Commander Dempsey is also missing. She, too, has been officially declared AWOL. We know of an unscheduled and unauthorized launch of a TIE Defender about an hour ago, but with two people missing we don't know who was flying it. All we know is that most likely it was one of these two, and that the other found a less conspicuous way off the ship."

Darklord took a step forward.

"The retrieval of these two has become our primary concern for the time being. We're breaking orbit as soon as the last of the supply ships has finished unloading its cargo. In the mean time, all available pilots will conduct a search operation of possible hyperspace vectors of our TIE Defender. With any luck, we can find it."

While the pilots on the Challenge prepared themselves for their mission, the TIE Defender exited hyperspace for the fifth time in the past forty minutes. Dempsey knew the hyperdrive engines on a starfighter were never meant to make so many hyperspace jumps, but she also knew it was a necessary precaution to prevent her fellow pilots from tracking her vector. She definately didn't want them following her. Not this time.

As she entered the last set of coordinates into her navcomp, she double-checked the figures against an old starmap.
"Hathrox III, here I come," she whispered, as she flicked the hyperdrive speed and took her TIE Defender to light speed for the last time...


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 Post subject: "Zosite Styles"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:13 
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Cyclone Squadron pilots gather on Commader Beir's chamber under direct command of Vice Admiral Bonini. The Commodore stands near the door while talking to "The Demolition Crew".

- Ok, gents. Now we're going to search and find whatever bloody clue around which could lead us to where your Commander went. I mean: screw up the place if necessary but bring me something useful! Maybe we'll find also something involving LCM Dempsey but I doubt it.

After a couple of minutes, as well as a couple of bad pushes, it becomes obvious that 6 pilots in a room are but too many pilots for a room...

- Oh, well... Lieutenant Xgmx, Colonel Ayanami, I want you in Thunder quarters within a minute. Ask Colonel Angel's people if they noticed something strange on that TIE Defender which departed without permission. I know they were unable to track its hyperspace vector but maybe their sensors did their work on time.

- Yessir! - answers the Lieutenant - In a minute, Sir!

As Lieutenant Xgmx runs through the door Colonel Ayanami follows him quietly, with some strange kind of majestic calm. Suddenly Vice Admiral Bonini notices that Captain Bjorn Wolfblade has stopped searching and just stands in the middle of the room, his eyes fixed on the floor.

- Any problems, Captain?

- Somehow... I can feel it: LC Beir wasn't piloting that TIE. No way since I feel he abandoned the ship later. Don't ask me why but I know it.

Commander Zósite looks briefly at Cyclone 1-3 with disappoint but it seems the Commodore has not so many prejudices. Besides he knows Captain Wolfblade is not the only force-sensitive officer in the room.

- I see. What do you say, Captain Dent? Can you feel it too?

- Ummm... yeah, as well as I feel the clue we're looking for must be in this room...

Captain Bodo Dent starts looking at stuff left over CMDR Beir's desk until he notices the empty frame. As he takes it he starts talking slowly but firmly.

- Here it is... the drawing that belongs to this frame... it's not here but it contained the clue we're looking for. I'm pretty sure... a flight path... coordinates?

- Keep it on, Captain! Tell us more!

- Sorry, Sir; my sight can't reach further information from it.

As Captain Dent is still talking Commander Styles starts working on a nearby terminal.

- Great, Bodo! You did your work using from that "Force" in which you trust and now it's my turn using from what I trust... technology!

- Hmmpfff, I doubt you'll find something useful beyond the powers of the Dark Side using that...

- Heh. Just some logic here; it won't harm us. If LC Beir actually found some coordinates here it's very probably he didn't know about the place. Otherwise he would have gone before to start his investigation there. So, would it be strange if he used our own known space databases to gather info about that place before departing? I guess not.

- Dammit! It makes sense, Commander - VA Bonini's eyes are fixed on the screen.

- Here it is: 12 searching records on last few days about some system from LC Beir's terminal. The name is Mare Arturus...


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 Post subject: "Dempsey"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:13 
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Anahorn Dempsey stood tall and looked at the horizon. A vast emptiness was all she saw. The planet Hathrox III was even more desolate than she had expected. She knew coming here she shouldn't expect much. After all, that biochemical war over 1200 years ago had completely destroyed the ecosystem and all life on the planet, but somehow it looked even worse than she had expected.

The same could be said for her TIE Defender. She looked behind her at the smouldering wreckage that was once one of the most powerful starfighters the galaxy had ever seen. Now it had even less use than Bantha dung.

A calculated risk on her part. She'd known that once she got here, she would most likely never get off the planet again. TIE Defenders weren't meant for atmospheric flight, and they certainly didn't have any landing gear allowing for nice cosy touchdowns.

Anahorn closed her eyes and focused her attention. Then she turned, and started walking. Where exactly she was going, she didn't know. But something was there, something big. What it was exactly, no one knew. The New Republic hadn't quarantined this world for nothing. No one since the Great War had returned from a visit to Hathrox III.

Her hand slid over the light saber she'd taken from the would-be assassin on the Challenge. She now had it clipped to her belt, in plain view. No one here would know she wasn't a true Jedi, and those who doubted... well, she knew enough about the Force to be able to fool them into thinking she was. She'd been practising those little tricks for years, ever since that fool on the Chimaera had tried to instruct her.

Her mind wandered. The name Chimaera brought memories of Grand Admiral Thrawn. His name brought memories back of that faithful day the traitor Rukh ended all hope for the Empire. The feelings of despair and regret she had felt back then on the Chimaera's bridge came back, and disrupted her concentration.

The poisonous gas from the planet's atmosphere started leaking into her flight helmet. She coughed, and immediately went to full concentration again, slowly driving the gas out of the helmet. That was one thing she had not anticipated - the helmet, which was normally good enough to withstand the vacuum, had been damaged in the crash. Some microcracks had appeared, and allowed the gaseous atmosphere to penetrate. Nothing a Jedi trick couldn't fix.

After she had cleared her helmet, she continued walking towards an unknown destination. She was in for a long walk...


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 Post subject: "DanielBonini"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:14 
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As soon as Zosite finished speaking that last sentence, the ship commlink beeped:

Comm: "Vice Admiral Daniel Bonini, there's a priority call from Aurora Prime waiting for you"

Dan: Ok, will take it in my office...

The ISD Challenge Commodore turned to his pilots, and ordered them to carry on with the investigation. Dan then headed to his office, knowing what was to come....he knew for some time now that this day was coming....the day he would have to accept a higher calling, and leave the position he held for not long enough, at least in his heart.

Nonetheless, it was time for celebration...


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 Post subject: Me
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:15 
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Beir stood on the landing platform at Sillum City, Mare Arturus VI. It was a start. The co-ordinates referenced to the system at least. And there was only one inhabited world that the co-ordinates didn't end up in an ocean or extreme enviroment. On Arturus VI it was at the edge of Sillum City, a good place to start.

Beir's armor shimmered and it went from a flat back color to a flat gray that seemed to blend in with the drab city. He added some personal flourishes in his hologram system and then set off to find the building where he was hopefully going to find his next clue.


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 Post subject: "Dempsey"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:16 
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Moments after the immense Imperial Class-II Star Destroyer Challenge emerged from hyperspace, several squadrons of TIE starfighters were launched from the huge hangar bay on the ventral side of the ship. As soon as they cleared the Star Destroyer, they swarmed out in all directions, starting a systematic and thorough sweep of the system.

On the bridge, the newly appointed Rear Admiral Darklord watched through the transparisteel window. This was not how he had wanted to start his tour as Commodore of the Challenge.

"How is the search progressing?"

The voice of Admiral Bonini brought Darklord back from his thoughts. He turned and faced the new Flight Officer.

"Not good, sir. We've swept 10 systems so far, not a trace of that freighter."

"Keep searching," Bonini said. "They have to be somewhere. Corellians are becoming rare these days. All the smugglers are using better ships, and what keeps flying around doesn't fly for long. Sooner or later we'll run into someone who has seen it."

Darklord nodded. Sure, it was only a matter of time. But still, he'd rather have Beir and Dempsey back aboard his ship.

His ship. That sounded so good...

After a long, excruciating and very tiresome walk, Anahorn noticed something in the distance. For the last three hours, she'd walked along the deserted world of Hathrox III, focusing all her attention on keeping the toxic atmosphere out of her flight suit.

It was exhausting to say the least.

But now, she stood still and looked in the distance. There was definately something there. But was it real, or were her senses deceiving her?

She closed her eyes and concentrated. She reached out with what control she had over the Force, but touched nothing. That didn't mean much, her training had been mediocre and short, she probably wouldn't sense a Star Destroyer filled with Jedi at this distance.

She sighed, and started walking towards the whatever it was in the distance.

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

Meanwhile, several thousand light years away, Kadon Beir walked the streets of Sillum City. He was looking for something, but he wasn't exactly sure what. It was a tall building, that much he knew. He also knew he would recognize it when he saw it. For now, he just walked the streets of the city, trying to blend in with the crowd.

Not that there was much of a crowd, but still, he tried his best. His armor was a good thing of course. The downside is that there were not many people walking around in the armor of a Mandalorian, but the upside was that no one would even suspect he was a high ranking Imperial officer.

Suddenly he froze. Across the street, between two large structures, was a small building. It didn't stand out in its surroundings, there were several identical buildings in the street. But this one had something. Beir couldn't put his finger on it, but he was certain of it. So much for his knowing the building he was looking for was a tall one...

After a moment, he glanced around, saw that no one was paying any attention to him, and walked over to the building. He grabbed the door handle, and with a quick move and a small crack gained access. He shut the door behind him, and took a moment. His eyes needed to adjust to the darkness.

An uneasy, unsettling feeling came over him. This was definately the place he needed to be, but something was wrong here. Very wrong.

A tremor went through the mighty Star Destroyer as another volley of proton torpedoes hit the Challenge's shields. On the bridge, the newly appointed Rear Admiral Darklord almost fell down, but he managed to keep standing.

He watched the men on the bridge carry out their duties. Each was intensely concentrated, and seemingly unaffected by the violence.

He knew better.

Most of them were afraid. And they had every right to be.

Finally, after two weeks of intense searching, they had come across the Corellian YT-1300 freighter they had been looking for. Together with the Interdictor Cruiser Retainer, the Challenge had intercepted the Sabre's Tooth on a cargo haul to the Outer Rim Territories. It had taken 10 minutes to get the freighter secured in the hangar bay, and then all hell broke loose.

No less than four New Republic Star Cruisers had jumped almost on top of them, and several dozen X-wing and A-wing class starfighters had been launched. Even with their far superior TIE starfighters, the Imperials had been vastly outnumbered, and slowly their numbers were going down.

"How's that hyperdrive coming?" Darklord asked.

A bridge officer who had just transferred from the Star Destroyer Immortal turned. "Another 10 minutes at least, sir!" he responded.

'Damn,' Darklord thought to himself.

Completely taken by surprise, the first attack wave of X-wings had managed to knock out the Challenge's hyperdrive. And they had been lucky. The two squadrons of X-wings that had gone after the Retainer had managed to cripple the Interdictor so much in their initial attack, that they had met no resistance at all while finishing her off.

Darklord winced as he remembered the enormous explosion that engulfed the Interdictor, and the emptiness that had remained after the explosion had faded. More than three thousand Imperial soldiers had died in the explosion. He clenched his fist. These ratched Rebels would pay for that!

"Republic Cruiser closing to firing range!" one of the officers reported. "It's the Bothan's Hope," the man continued. "It shields are deteriorating, our Missile Boats are pounding it relentlessly."

Darklord turned to the navigation officer standing to his right. "Come about," he ordered. Bring our topside around to face them." Turning towards another officer, he said, "All ventral laser batteries: open fire as soon as that Cruiser is in range. Divert as much power as possible to the ventral shields."

Darklord watched as several people quickly carried out his orders, and he felt the shift in the Destroyer's movement. The a slight tremor as forty heavy turbolaser batteries simultaneously opened fire. The green light of the high intensity lasers quickly made its way to the Mon Calamari Cruiser now within range of the guns. He watched as the laser's energy dissipated along the Cruiser's shields. The lit up nicely, and with every laser that hit, they seems to light up a little less.

"Cyclone, bring all guns to bear on that Cruiser!" The voice of Commander Styles, who had taken temporary command of Cyclone Squadron, sounded over the radio. Darklord squinted his eyes, and in the distance discerned the exhaust lighting of several starfighters lining up. Cyclone's Missile Boats were set on approach. Even though he knew it was only his mind playing tricks, Darklord could have sworn he saw the flickers of light signalling the launch of torpedoes from the fighters. What he didn't imagine, were the flashes indicating the explosions of those torpedoes against the Bothan's Hope's shields.

And the explosions of the torpedoes that had broken through, and now slammed into its bare, unprotected hull.


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 Post subject: "Dempsey"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:16 
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"Enemy shields buckling," a report came in. "They're taking hull damage and breaking off their attack. They're trying to run!" The tone of victory was clearly audible in the man's voice. And he was right. The Mon Calamari had stopped it's barrage of laser fire against the Challenge, and had started to turn away.
"Shield status?"
A moment of silence.
"Dorsal shields at eight five percent because we've been shifting their power to the ventral side. Ventral shields at fifty two."

Fifty two. Not bad, but not good either. They could easily withstand a massive assault from the second Cruiser, but if the third decided to join the shooting, they could be in real trouble.

"New contact, bearing three zero niner!"

Darklord stepped forward. "What?" he said.
"Five new contacts sir, receiving IFF transponder signals now. They're ours!"

The holographic display of the battle arena suddenly showed five more red dots. A second later, names and ID codes were displaying as well.

"This is the Star Destroyer Corellia to Admiral Darklord. Sir, I brought the Illustrious and three other Assault frigates with me. Mind if we launch fighters and join the party?"

Darklord signalled his comm officer. "Affirmative, Corellia. They're all yours!"

Twenty minutes later, it was all over. Three of the four Republic Cruisers had been reduced to nothing more than debris, as their burning carcasses drifted aimlessly through space. The fourth had managed to jump to safety, but barely. In the count, the Imperials had lost one ship, and twenty starfighters. A little more than a full squadron in total. The Republic had lost three cruisers, and almost seven squadrons worth of fighters. With repair crews at work, and a constant ferrying of material, personnel, and damaged fighter between the ships, Darklord had finally had time to go down to the hangar bay to get the prize this all started for. The Corellian Freighter stood there, secured to the hangar deck. It was an old freighter, but a beauty.

A technician walked down the freighter's hatch and saluted. "I think I have the information you were looking for sir," the man said. "The nav computer indicates that after they left our hangar bay, they made two stops before unloading their passenger. The records indicate the passenger was Lieutenant Colonel Beir, and they dropped him off in the Mare Arturus system."

Darklord thought for a moment. The name vaguely sounded familiar, but he couldn't place it.
"Excellent, lieutenant," he said, as he turned and walked towards a comm panel.
"Darklord to bridge. Set a course for the Mare Arturus system and take us to lightspeed as soon as all personnel and fighters have been accounted for.'


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 Post subject: Me
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:17 
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The room adjusted as he stood in the foyer. It was rundown and empty. But something just didn't seem right. He adjusted his armor for a dark matte black and moved into the room. Now would be a good time to have my helmet. He thought. He drew one of his blasters and moved about the area looking it over. Some old furniture lined the walls, leaving the floor space empty. A sound caught his attention. It sounded like music coming from up a staircase at an office at the top of the warehouse.

He methodically made his way up the stairs and entered the foreman's office. It was empty though a terminal was on and emanating some type of music, stringed instruments of some sort. As he neared the terminal the blank screen flickered on. A short video looped. It appeared to be a person getting beaten in a torture chamber of some sort. A figure stepped forward and and removed the victim's hood. A bruised, bloody, torn and very recognizable face appeared and spat saliva and blood at her tormentors. She was promptly slapped. The video began to loop again. The hairs stood on Beir's neck.

A laser bolt tore through a window and burned into one of Beir's pauldrons, spinning him off his feet and knocking him to the ground. He could hear footsteps clattering up the stairs. At least six individuals from the sound of it. He also heard his blaster clatter to the floor and skid across the room. Always carry back-ups. He thought as he drew his two slug weapons. He could see the blue beams of tagger lights as his enemies moved up the stairs. This should be interesting.

The door exploded inward and Beir stood his ground as it atomized into small pieces of ferroplastic fiber. The first figure entered and Beir began firing, the thunderous roar of his .45 slug guns drowning out the ringing in his ears. A body dressed in light combat armor was torn and crumpled to the floor. The next one came through with his blaster rifle blazing. A few bolts punched into Beir's chest, bringing him to a knee but he began firing again, the next assailant losing an arm as an explosive bullet hit a shoulder joint. The other attackers stood outside waiting.

This is what I live for.


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 Post subject: "Zosite Styles"
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:17 
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Commander Styles arrived at Cyclone's CMDR Office 15 mins. after the battle was over. All Challenge personnel were advised to be ready to enter hyperspace within the hour (stop all external communications and such). Mare Arturus VI was going to be their destination.

As the acting-Cyclone CMDR threw his pilot helmet over the desk a familiar voice came from behind.

- I'm still wondering how the hell you manage to keep all that hair inside there. One of these days we'll found you asphyxiated inside your own Flightsuit, Zós.

Commander Zósite didn't answer but took seat behind the deskt while looking closely to his new guest. He was using an EH dress uniform and as if it wouldn't be quite enough he was also wearing all full medals that the space at his chest allowed to. In anyone else case this alone would have been enough to put the dude on the airlock but this particular guy had also a purple collar plus silver trims and a Squadron badge featuring a strange helmet.

- DV, long time not seen, my friend. I should have known it was you just for the smell but you know, I came from battle so I guess I don't smell much better. Still trying to kill Rebels knocking them with all the wreckage at your chest?

- May I remind you that the last time we flew together it was me who saved your hair to be used as some Rebel Lord's fancy curtain cord?

- Oh, well... we'll stab ourselves later, Colonel... do you have already that info I asked you for? Your new über-uniform tells me some crazy higher-up appointed you as your Squadron CMDR so I can also guess your passage clearance within the Lichtor V will is almost absolut.

- Some funny SDIR will ask for my head too if he realizes what I did to his precious security software at the database. But here you are what you wanted...

Commander Styles reads carefully the whole inform compiled by the Intel guys until he reaches one of its last sections. There's a picture of a young pretty woman there.

- Serec... Ceres... so it was her after all as I thought when I found that strange note on the assassin's corpse. She's working for them and even commanding some force-lovers task force. But... why in hell would she...?

The Praetorian Commander takes the report and points to the last section. Commander Styles reads it and talks again.

- So she's not working on her will. Somebody's commanding her, maybe even against her own desires. But how... and who?

- NOW that's a good question...

The Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Challenge, flagship of the TIE Corps, exits hyperspace followed by the Interdictor Fairchild and the Strike Cruiser Hermes. At Challenge's bridge Rear Admiral Darklord contemplates the orbit of Mare Arturus VI and it's only moon. The classic young Lieutenant approaches him.

- Sir, the Astra-Fighter and escorts have just arrived.

- Excellent. Somebody tell the Flight Officer to come here as soon as he can if possible. And signal the Blizzard's Captain to launch immediately to Sillum City along with a stormtrooper detachment and Thunder escort.

Some minutes later Admiral Bonini joins the Challenge's Commodore at the bridge.

- So this is the place... do you have any more info on the subject?

- Not much, Sir. But something is terribly wrong here. Do you see that moon over there? It's side hidden from us can't be penetrated by our sensors and something is providing scanning interferences from there. And there's a Nav Buoy orbiting the planet at only 10 kms. from here whose IFF can't be decoded...

- Maybe we should use the EER (specialized energy receptors) just in case.

- Actually I'd be happy if we could only find Beir quickly and get outta here ASAP. Something is not well here I tell you.


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 Post subject: Me
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2007 16:18 
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A spherical object clattered through the doorway and skittered across the floor on its own legs. It was moving fast towards Beir. He fired at it, letting off a few shots before his guns clicked empty. The drone-grenade jumped into the air and exploded. The room was filled with blinding light and Beir's ears were washed out as the noise overcame his senses. He tried to shake the afterimage out but couldn't. When things cleared he saw the stocks of blasters as they came in at his face. He crumpled under the assault and threw his arm out, hoping to catch a leg. He did. An attacker fell to the ground as Beir ripped his leg out from underneath him. A hard stroke to the head made Beir see stars and his vision began to blur and swim. He tried to stand up but was quickly put back down by a butt stroke to his back thigh. He saw a figure enter the room dressed as the rest and it leveled a pistol at him and fired.


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