Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Sini
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Sini

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What a shambles. This was a rushed, badly prepared pile of bantha crap someone had dumped into his lap. A catastrophe in the making, the kind of which Collem had not seen since the later days of the Great War. Whilst staring out from the bridge, Collem reviewed the recent events. There was some mild chatter in the pits behind him, but he felt their tension. The long-range scanners had picked up something. Into the breach, let's get this shit-show over with, rang his grumbling thoughts.

The strike was supposed to be surgical: quick and clean. He had need of stealth ships, black-ops teams and commandos… Instead, they had given him a small flotilla of run-down vessels scraped together from wherever they could have been found and a roster that smelled of improvisation.

Furthermore, this was a Deep Core theatre, and that meant none of the massive Harrower-class Dreadnoughts. They were needed to keep local systems in line, and menacingly patrol borders. Besides, their size would have made the hyperspace jumps (of which there had been many) harder than they already had been. That was alright, he preferred smaller and more mobile forces anyway.

Even if the Terminus-class Cruisers around which he had built his task force were crewed by green boys and officers, Collem was happy for it. He was confident they would rise to the occasion. After all, these vessels were perfect for pursuit and interdiction missions, and would more than be able to go toe-to-toe with the Republic’s convoy. The rest of the Imperial detail: two modified Class VI bulk freighters (which were antiquated and hideous to look upon) and an Ajuur-class heavy cruiser. Their job was to vacate their complements of fighters and smaller craft which contained the boarding parties, and then draw the Republic’s fire. Some of these smaller craft would be auto-piloted or controlled from a capital ship’s bridge. Collem thereby intended higher survival chances for his assault teams, and hoped to increase the element of shock.

Once the target had been located and taken into custody, the boarding parties were to get her to one of the waiting Terminus cruisers. Meanwhile, the Class VI and Ajuur would serve as little more than sponges to soak up laser and ion fire, as well as give the ambush a sufficiently dubious character. The Empire needed to be able to plausibly deny having executed this deep strike. They were at peace, after all.

According to his intel, the Republic would be transporting the high-profile target on one of three Hammerhead-class cruisers. They being Hammerheads as opposed to the sleeker Thranta-class meant they could field substantial starfighter support which matched their own. He would rather have had the upper-hand there. In fact, he had requested a carrier-role vessel but had been denied. In addition, Hammerheads were notoriously sturdy and would be able to take an almost vulgar amount of punishment.

As he had just had to explain to his captains, this was a boon. It meant they would be able to lay down heavy fire, while not having to pull too many punches due to the risk of hurting the subject of the Emperor’s obsession. Of course, he had not used those exact words… that would have been madness. The Emperor did not obsess!

The main boarding parties were each put under the command of a junior officer assigned to the Sith who had joined the mission. He was counting on their force powers to aid them in locating the high-profile force-user the Empire wanted to lay their hands on so desperately. Let them sniff one another out. One squad, Collem remembered, had a Mandalorian mercenary assigned to them. The chap had bridled at the position, made some crude jokes about it too. Clearly, the fellow preferred working alone but Collem was not about to just allow that. This was a matter of Imperial interest. Besides, troopers (as much as it pained Collum to say) were expendable. He would rather they took a blaster shot than a mercenary tracker… that was what they were there for. He had said as much to the man. Like the Sith, this Zaek Saxon was there to hunt. And like a hunting dog, the Mandalorian would do as he was told. Collem wagered he would know better than to bite the hand that fed him.

After the final briefing, he had ordered the flotilla to dip into a nearby nebula with their bridge crews and captains looking at an extensive set of coordinates. He had sent ahead a small scouting party which had covertly mapped the vicinity of the refuelling station, providing them with the proverbial lay of the land. Already the 975th Special Duties Battalion had proven its worth to this mission. Now, once the Republic convoy of Hammer- and Axeheads would show for a rapid refuel, the Imperials could fall upon them with ease. Collem had ordered battle-stations and cloaking measures in effect. Like Dxun’s Maalras, they were lying in wait.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by vFear
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a̧̞̦̭̲̪k͈͟k͏͔̩͈͓̳d̠͚͔0̥̖̣̦̟̖̀g͉̰͎̯͜_̥̮͈̬͜
Stationed aboard the ███ █████████. ██:██ local time. Galactic coordinates ██████-██████, ████████ system, ████ sector. ██:██ local time.
The white light from the hallway made the slicer squint and scrunch her face. It was an uncomfortable reminder that time had yet again passed faster than she cared to notice. It had all become routine a few days ago: she didn't leave her corner of the ship for anything short of the bathroom or an evacuation. Even then, the number of times she had been seen in the halls could be counted on one human hand.
"Come on, you've hardly touched the last one." the crewman remarked as he held the tray out to the chorus of dim strobing lights. The last tray of food waited at his feet with most of the food from the last serving intact. A metallic arm reached out from the darkness to grab the new tray by a narrow end.
"I don't need much." a feminine voice remarked as a second metallic arm, somewhat smaller than the last one, reached out and grabbed a corner. A third and then a fourth followed the four arms together bringing a husk of a woman out from the dark of the room. Three of the arms held her up as if in a seat, while the fourth lifted the new tray of food up to her eyes. "I just need enough. I can't focus if I'm full." The sickly woman sniffed at the food, assessing it carelessly before she plucked something from the tray with a set of bony fingers and sat it in her mouth.

"Surely there's one meal you like, akkdog? Something you'll eat in full? I'll smack you if you collapse on the job, y'know." the crewman jabbed. At first, akkd0g_'s presence on the ship had been something of an enigma. She was like a stray cat, hiding in dark corners and batting at computer tables all day and night. Her posting came covered in stickers and tape covered with Strategic Information Service stamps, which even the bridge crew supposedly saw fit to question. Rumors suggest that the captain of the ship had enough of hearing about it by the end of day 3 and ordered that there be no more discussion about it.
"She is here with the blessing of the Republic for the sake of our mission," the Captain asserted one evening, "and I'll hear no more about it. Just leave her well alone."

Since then, akkd0g_'s presence on the Republic vessel had slowly become something of a reluctant reality. Some of the crew had even become comfortable with it. Whenever something didn't work, like a door or a lock, all they had to do was press the button until she found them, and she'd fix it or get someone there who could. Some of the crew even started testing what systems she can and can't control from her corner and they have yet to find any. Every time she did something, she'd make the lights strobe blue for a moment. Some of the crew hated it and some of the crew found it comforting. Most of the crew didn't care.

akkd0g_ shook her head as she dusted her hands off over the tray.
"I mean... one or two things, but not while I'm on the job. As I said, I need to focus." akkd0g_ answered as she shifted the bulky goggles on her head. Several cords followed after her, running from her back in mass to all sorts of machines that dominated the room. After she sampled another thing or two on the tray, she floated back into the darkness at the whim of her four droid arms. The crewman let out a sigh as he snatched up the old abandoned tray.
"Just leave a little less food this time, okay? I hate wasting it." the crewman called out as he whisked out of the room. A disinterested 'mhm' sung in return to him as the airlock sealed shut. Once again, bar the dim red from above the airlock and the dim strobing lights from all the machines, akkd0g_ was left in solitude.

All of her orders came in through one of two encrypted channels. One was attached to the captains terminal, but that one had always been pretty quiet. The other was an encrypted channel from outside of the ship network. Most of her orders, which came from the RSIS, came through that channel.
"Spooks being spooks, I guess..." she muttered at the thought. She had 3 sets of orders for the journey. The first is to track the 'priority person' through the ship surveillance suite. akkd0g_ constantly had cameras and sometimes even audio on her, but nothing ever happened. Still, she fed it all through to the RSIS. The second was to survey neighboring systems for suspicious activity. This was a little more difficult, as this involved accessing and analyzing data from all-source intelligence on the fly, but it kept her busy. Before each jump, she got the details from the captain, automated the data collection, and would feed it through to the bridge and to the RSIS. The last one, and by far the most important one, is to maintain the security and confidentiality of the ships computer network and operation. Nobody could know who they were, who they had, and where they're going. She spent most of her time combing through all the outbound and inbound data, whether from the all-source intelligence sources or the ship itself, constantly making sure that nothing was amiss.

So far, everything was in order.
"If something's wrong, someone in the bridge will pick it up." akkd0g_ asserted before putting another small handful of food in her mouth. So the husk of a woman stayed in her corner, the epicenter of a mess of droid limbs and wild wires, blinking at interfaces in her headset and gingerly eating without care.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Moskau Spieluhr
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Moskau Spieluhr A Traveler of the Binary Seas

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Lieutenant Satra Maral




The secluded hanger bay echoed with low laughter. Laughter at the same old jokes that they'd tell before each mission. Maral had learned that they never really changed. The fear never did. It was only redirected into better uses than panic. Even the Jedi felt fear, she'd seen that herself. They weren't ready for a war. They'd been too busy playing at being heroes. The battlefield was no place for heroes. The universe didn't need genocidal cultists playing at gods, it needed stability, and it needed order, real order far beyond the corrupt politicians hiding on Coruscant. The Republic was a rotten, diseased thing. It had been dying for thousands of years. It had to be stopped. The universe had to be cured of the sickness of the Jedi and the politicians they had ensnared. She was the tool, the scalpel that would separate the diseased tissue, that would save what could be saved, and dispose of the rest. She didn't need a code to tell her what to do. She had orders. She had purpose. She had seen what mercy the Republic offered. She had seen what justice meant on Coruscant.

Familiarity brought Maral back from her thoughts. Familiar patterns of movements. Familiar conversations. Familiar gear checks. Familiar weapon checks. Familiar enemies. Maral and the 975th were old hands playing at an old game. There was comfort in the familiarity of it all. There was nothing to question or doubt while on a mission. There was no time and no place for hesitation. Not if you wanted to live. Not if you still wanted to play in the big leagues. Maral felt focused. She felt ready. They were ready. It had been a rush job by necessity, but that was nothing new. The war might have gone cold for everyone else, but for the 975th, the war was still burning brightly.

The orders she had received were simple and she rattled them off in her head without a moment of hesitation.

Objective 1: Cripple the Hammerhead carrying the prisoner by targeting critical systems of the cruiser.
Objective 2: Capture the RSIS operative located aboard the ship.


Accomplishing the mission however, was not simple. Retrieving a prisoner from a Hammerhead cruiser full of Jedi with adequate time and proper resources would have been difficult. It would be even more difficult with the hastily assembled force that Captain Corvinian commanded. Maral trusted that the soldiers of the 975th would rise to the challenge and she trusted Captain Corvinian, as much as she trusted any superior officer in Imperial Intelligence. She trusted the Sith warriors that stalked the Terminus cruiser far less. They were an uncertain variable in the equation. Capable, but exceedingly dangerous and unpredictable, even to loyal soldiers of the Empire. The rest of the forces assigned to the operation were a great disappointment to Maral. Mercenaries, green soldiers, and whatever criminal scumbags could be convinced to sign up. They would do as cannon fodder and not much else. The mere thought left Maral shaking her head in irritation. Working with amateurs was never fun.

Loading their gear into a waiting boarding shuttle, the Imperial Intelligence operators showed neither the unrestrained fear of the common troopers, nor the boundless emotion of the Sith warriors. Maral wouldn't have allowed either. There was no room for mistakes when you were hunting force users. You had to be thoughtless, formless, striking from the shadows, and operating on instinct alone. But most of all you had to be creative. If there was one thing Maral had learned about force users it was that they relied too much on the force. Whatever it was. They often forgot that there were different ways to solve a problem. They never seemed to expect clever use of explosives.

Decked out in darkened battle armor the operators of the 975th were ready for the corridor-to-corridor fighting that was sure to follow. Fighting in the cramped corridors of a space ship was never ideal. There would be no way to avoid casualties. The losses to the Empire would be horrendous. But it would be worth it. The Republic would lose something far more valuable. With no need for stealth, Maral had made sure that the 975h were fully equipped for battle. Heavy battle armor, blaster carbines, and personal energy shields. The very best technology that the Sith Empire could offer and then some. Maral shifted the disruptor rifle that she held in her own hands carefully, it would make short work of any shields, and shorter work of any organics. She had no need for feigned morality. There were no rules in battle. There was no consolation price for losing a war. You fought with all you had and worried about what was right later when all of your enemies were dead.

The 975th was prepared. She was prepared. They had requisitioned all the charges they could get their hands on. They had enough shaped charges to reduce the Republic spaceship to space debris should it be necessary. For any Jedi that survived the Sith warriors they had prepared a nasty combination of poison gas, sonic charges, and glop grenades. Apart from the prisoner, there would only be one survivor. There was a greater game afoot, beyond the Republic and the Sith Empire. The endless waltz of one intelligence agency trying to defeat another. Imperial Intelligence had planned a masterstroke, a final poke in the eye of the RSIS as they recovered the prisoner. They were going to flip an asset. They were going to use one of the RSIS's most trusted weapons to ruin them. It hadn't been hard. They had only needed to push the right buttons. One button as it turned out. They had only needed to find the right man. Maral would have smiled at the thought of pulling a fast one past the RSIS, had she permitted herself that trivial sort of dalliance.

"Any word from our contact, Lieutenant?" Second Lieutenant Diruno inquired with a respectful nod. As second in command of the 975th he'd been in the briefing with Maral and High Colonel Sarkin Ziracch. He knew as much as she did about the prisoner, the mission, and their contact in Republic space.

"Our contact has confirmed that the secondary target is broadcasting. The encryption is good, very good. Good enough that I almost wouldn't be the reports if I hadn't seen the code myself, but thanks to the information our contact has provided we've been accessing the data as soon as the RSIS, maybe sooner."

"Good, good. We'll need to move fast if we're to avoid getting caught any traps."

"We have additional electronic countermeasures in place. The second we breach the hull they'll be deployed by our own specialists."

"Do you think that's going to be enough to bag us a spiced up cybernetic slicer?"

"We'll soon find out," Maral answered, silencing Diruno with a quick gesture as an incoming transmission pinged her communicator.

Lt. Maral. Operation is imminent. Official confirmation soon to follow. See that primary and secondary objectives are completed.

"975th," Maral began, addressing the Imperial Intelligence operators around her with a voice still full of ice. "We proceed as planned with Operation Harvest Moon."

Maral did not miss that Sergeant-Major Eldin broke into a broad smile, clapping his hands together with a relieved breath. The rest simply nodded, increasing the pace of their preparations She knew that Sergeant-Major Eldin had been itching for battle. He didn't believe in R&R. He said it made him too soft. The Zabrak was happiest when they were deployed on an operation. The more dangerous the mission and the worse the simulations that the Imperial Intelligence statisticians provided the 975th with were, the happier he became. He was a good soldier and that was all that mattered to Maral. It was the chief reason she didn't discipline him for his occasional outbursts of emotion. He was cold when it mattered. He was ice cold when he was pointing a blaster at the enemy.

"Prisoners?" The Sergeant-Major asked, turning an eye towards Maral.

"No," Maral replied tasting the word with the edge of her tongue. Murder.

Without a pause, Maral brought up a holo-map of the ship with her wristlink. With the press of a button a preprogrammed set of assault routes appeared, "I want a clean sweep of the control room. We are going to take their generator offline, and then we're going to take out their life support systems one by one. The emergency generator should maintain artificial gravity and a breathable level of oxygen long enough for the others to complete their mission."

Centering the holo-map on an indistinct room located in the heart of the Republic ship Maral continued, "On our way off of the Republic ship we are going to pick up another prisoner. Alive, if possible."
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Ruby
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"There's a lot of armor."

The technician said it, again, as if that meant anything to her. Bright eyes slipped from the secondary AUX control box wiring under the floor to the Imperial wrench monkey that was light on age and experience, and heavy on try hard. She knew the difficulties all the armor would present her. Like trying to fly a metal box through an asteroid field. It's not as if the Republic task force was going to just let them waltz in. Yet Briar found herself not feeling overly worried about that aspect of the mission. She could fly a metal box through an asteroid field--she had all the confidence in the galaxy of being able to do that.

It was the mission itself that gnawed at her. It was a insect crawling under her skin, itching and burning, but nothing she could do about it without ripping into it all: the mission boss had made it very very clear that there was no going back. There was no calling this off. This had been a favor, and she was just now beginning to see why Collem had called in the fighter ace. This wasn't just tricky flying, this would have just as much to do with her sidearms, and her abilities in sussing out bullshit from reality if the mission went Sith sideways: competing agendas coming into play.

But that didn't seem all that likely to her; of the three Sith present they seemed a far cry from the warriors Briar was used to. They seemed far more dangerous to her. They were quiet enough to almost be confused for reserved had they not been so...aggressive. They were masked in black with masked faces that were near designed in some vague beastly fashion, as if the Sith below were wild and predatory. One had been downright kind to her. At least she had thought so, until that night in her rack she had dreams that weren't her dreams. She felt the dreams like a violation, a feeling that went bone deep.

She'd confronted the Sith in the tiny passageway about it. He didn't apologize, he didn't say much of anything. He called her a pretty, fragile, little thing and wished her luck on the mission. The dreams became nightmares that night. Last night? Nothing. Restful, peaceful, sleep. Maybe the Sith was just letting the pilot sleep before a mission, maybe he'd grown bored, either way Briar would be glad to be done with this mission and back with her squadron.

"Thanks. We'll be heading out soon."

The technician nodded in response as the pilot finished her visual inspection of the spacecraft prior to launch, wandering back to Collem. In her meandering she passed the 975th. As far as Collem had been willing to share and she could tell they were the competing agenda; shadowy commandos being sent in to assist the three Sith sent by the mysterious Darth in part. Their real mission? Collem knew. Briar didn't, and that was fine with her. Their leader wasn't anything like the mysterious Sith. A female shorter than Briar by an inch or two at most given the serious nature of the woman's boots and how thick their soles were. Probably not much shorter outside the boots, if Briar eyed the special operator carefully.

And Briar had. Enjoying every second of it.

Now all Briar offered a half-grin to the woman and her people as she walked by in her grey flightsuit, as well aware of how complimenting of her figure that her flightsuit was as she was aware that at least a few of the special operators would notice the same as she went by. It was a chuckle inducing kind of moment. The kind of moment that quickly fades the closer to go time Briar felt them get. When she finally got to Collem he looked almost peaceful. It was a front, and Briar knew him well enough to know that, but it was a front that even gave her a little bit of comfort.

She stood close to him. Close enough to whisper very carefully.

"This is the weirdest mission I've ever been on. There are dark things going on around us, C. Those Sith frighten me more than normal, and that group of commandos is unsettling in how good they seem to think they are," neverminding Briar fully believed they were as good as they thought they were, "Thier commander makes me as nervous as the Sith." A faint snort flared her nostrils as her head tilted just so, to allow the longer and messier than typical mission pony tail to escape her face.

"Please tell me you at least know everything that's going on in this mission. Competing agendas on the same mission always end so well for us."
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Sini
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Collem kept a tight lid on his personal reservations concerning the mission, but he knew that Briar was able slip passed his stoic exterior – much like she would be able slip passed the Republic’s emergency scrambled fighters and flak. A commander was supposed to exude calm and confidence, present a bedrock for his subordinates. Nothing was as contagious as panic. He had seen one rout and one mutiny during his time with the Imperial Navy; vicious and violent experiences both of them. Collem cared not to relive anything like it again.

The blonde ace sashaying in her flight-suit neglected calling him by his rank or title, a personal privilege. It was not as if he was a stickler, but a certain distance between superior and subordinate had to be maintained. Collem was against befriending those serving under him. After all, it was hard sending your friends into the jaws of war never mind sending them to their deaths when the greater good demanded it. Briar, however, was different. There were other designs and plans in motion, things in play. Even if it was his old man pulling their strings, Collem admitted he was extremely fond of the blonde pilot. A rather considerable notion that, he thought as he reminisced of how whimsical she could be.

But not when she flew. Her concentration and skill were sharp enough to split atoms. There was no doubt in his mind as to her expertise in handling a spaceship, which was a great font of comfort for the Captain.

Even if his eyes kept on surveying the hurried but meticulous preparations for the impending strike, he saw how well the uniform suited her, how effortlessly smooth she moved, how her pony-tail swayed merrily. A woman in uniform… Why must she torment me so? He noted the other women in tight-fitting uniforms and the air of professionalism, and was forced to amend his thoughts. Women in uniform, why must they torment me so?

They stood close to one another, close enough for the omission of rank to be allowed. He grimaced, shadow flitting over his face as the mask of confidence momentarily slipped. “If they’re half as good as they think they are, we’re in the clear.” He had had little time to acquaint himself with the prowess of the elements at his disposal. Some he had been familiar with, others he knew only from military manuals, briefings and personal research. Most of those participating in the operation might had been battle-tested… but not by him. That made a world of difference.

She coaxed a wry, ragged smile from him that stripped away years and almost made him look boyish. “Are you referring to that business on Sarapin?” They had made it out alive by the skin of their teeth, and largely because of Briar’s skill with a stick. “Or that sith-spitting debacle over Lannik?”

For a moment he considered lying to her, claiming he had the full scoop on the assignment. Would that make her better at her job? Instead he clasped his hands behind his back and set his face. He saw no point in hiding from her. “Apparently I am on a ‘need to know basis’. So, you can be sure of it that several agendas are being served by this… helter-skelter OP." Collem sighed, numbing the anger in his chest. "I did some heavy digging before being told to cease. They threatened to pull me off this detail, but I could not think of anyone else remotely qualified to pull this off.” Conceited, perhaps, but also responsible, he judged. Collem could practically hear Briar playfully rolling her eyes at him. The lack of information and intelligence (the latter nonetheless thankfully augmented with the 975th's efforts) would mean a lot of people would die today. A lack of intel almost always translated in a higher loss of life. Trust had forever been in short supply within the Empire.

“I don’t like it one jot. After this is through, I intend to pick up the shovel again. This thing goes high up the food chain, very high.” The lights suddenly died, turned red as the air was cut into shreds by the horn. Even after all the years of hearing the blaring alarm, it still put the fire in Collem’s bones. “Right. On. Time.” There was nothing boyish about the grin adorning his face now. He made to turn but paused, then put a propriety-breaking hand on Briar’s shoulder and squeezed down. “I will be watching closely from the bridge the whole time. Good luck…” A surprisingly gentle look softened his otherwise stern features. “And… be careful, Briar.” He followed up with a very uncharacteristic thing to say. "No unnecessary risks... please."

Then he was gone, brightly spit-shined boots beating out a purposeful cadence in the crimson-lit corridor. Collem was already volleying commands into his comms. “I’ll have the hide of anyone not at his designated station by the time I make it back to the bridge,” growled the Captain. “Get the tractor beams running hot, all squadrons go, priority targets are their engines and comms.” If all went according to plan they would be muffling any signal trying to go out of the system, but one could never be too careful.

Soon the Imperial vessels would swoop down upon the non-suspecting Republic convoy, turbolasers and ion-cannons blazing and ripping through space to be followed by waves of personnel craft. Looking back, Collem saw the crews froth into action. His eyes caught the masked sith one last time before the door hissed shut. An epigram of some distant memory of a Kaas City play came to mind. Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war.

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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by vFear
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a̧̞̦̭̲̪k͈͟k͏͔̩͈͓̳d̠͚͔0̥̖̣̦̟̖̀g͉̰͎̯͜_̥̮͈̬͜
Stationed aboard the ███ █████████. ██:██ local time. Galactic coordinates ██████-██████, ████████ system, ████ sector. ██:██ local time.
One of the first things akkd0g_ did after skulking into the back corner of the ship was integrate herself with the ship's critical alerts. It took some finetuning to filter the relevant alerts from the not-so-relevant alerts, but it mostly came through. Even then, almost all of the alerts that akkd0g_ got filtered through to her headset could be written off after having a quick look. That's why when the first alert came through of a local spatial anomaly, she didn't bother to stop chewing. The ongoing all-source intelligence feed didn't come up with anything, so it was almost definitely an isolated incident. But then there was another isolated incident, then another, before all of her warning feeds screamed.

Spatial anomalies and power surges hardly covered the tip of the iceberg of the chaos that erupted outside of the hull. akkd0g_ almost choked in her panic to throw her food aside and pull up a keyboard. External camera footage only confirmed her worst fears: the Empire had found them. The frantic transmission on the captain's line was only more to the pile. She thought back to all of her precautions - her feeds, her encryption, everything she used and abused to make sure their voyage would be the Republics' best-kept secret. The nagging thought very quickly moved into the back of her head, a gnawing doubt and a sense of dread: how? Everything was as close to perfect as it could be. If she had time to think about it she probably would have.

With a beat of hesitation, akkd0g_ sent the message on the RSIS line: MANEUVER COMPROMISED. SUBJECT AT RISK. IMPERIAL FORCES, TREATY BROKEN. SOS. With what she had written, as much as she loathed to use it, the message would be sent every 90 seconds. As much as she loathed the thought of the cold war going hot, she only hoped that the message might make it through.

Beyond her solitary station, the Republic warships had lurched into action. As the power held in reserve during low-emissions travel started to come through, shields began to glow and point defense batteries groaned to life. Through a wall of flak and turbolasers, Republic fighters scrambled to meet the Imperial offensive. Interceptors followed shortly after as organisation came to the Republic efforts, starting their way after bomber squadrons and Imperial aces. But as akkd0g_ quickly came to notice, it wouldn't be enough.

In the opening exchange of turbolaser fire, a select set of components of the main vessel were crippled; functional, sure, but limping and lame. There was little doubt to anybody that it was a calculated maneuver, the cost of letting the Imperials seize the initiative. In the midst of all the batteries and the battle, there was a cone of unprotected space, just wide enough to fit a tightly packed squadron all the way to the starboard auxiliary hangar. Just wide enough to fit a cunning Imperial boarding party. It wouldn't be that simple though: the point defense batteries were only crippled and they were fighting to turn the guns to cover the gap, and the Republic fighters had already scrambled to secure it. For a prospective Imperial boarding party, it would be a daring maneuver that needs great support, but it may well be the only one - as well as the only one they need.

From her damp corner of the ship, akkd0g_ almost flew about the room on her four octopi limbs. She jacked in and out from electronic ports almost erratically and hammered at several keyboards in a panic. With the repair process streamlined, she could put her attention where she wanted it to be: how did that information get out? If she had a lucky break, she might even have the time to find out.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Heat
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Heat It can't rain all the time.

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The frantic sounds of mass activity aboard the Sith freighter made Zes feel cramped. The shifty assassin had joined the mission at the request of the powerful Darth Katherion. She had personally ordered him to take part in it, feeling his skillset was ideal for the job. It was not the type of mission that he would've personally volunteered for. He was not typically one for ordering around soldiers, too much potential for risk or getting caught in a massive firefight. His fellow Sith did not strike any fear in the veteran assassin, he kept his distance from them, only keeping distance watchful eyes upon them. Two pretty human apprentices and a hulking brute of a pureblood. They would not interfere with his own mission plan, which he'd hatched in the hours before launch of assault. The dashing Falleen would slip onto the Republic vessel containing the one known as 'Selene', slice into a console. map the ship and find her location. It ran some high risk in that he would be slinking by himself through a heavily guarded enemy ship but every mission came with its own risk and yet success was quite often in the cards for the accomplished assassin.

As he walked through the bustling hangar his eyes danced through its confines at all the soldiers readying themselves for a difficult operation. He could sense the nerves in several of them, some of them were not even Sith troopers. They were freelancers who were paid to fight in the raid, from different walks of life than the rank and file trooper elite. He could feel how a group of them looked at him as he ascended the ramp of one of the boarding craft, clad in his fearsome Sith armor, helmet in hand. Some were already inside, seated and chattering among themselves while a trio stood outside having a vulgar chat about some twi'lek women. Laser beam gazes were upon him as he walked silently towards one of the empty seats in the corner of the ship. One of the freelance soldiers across from him leaned over to another, letting out a whisper and a quick laugh as both men stared at Zes. A third stood near them, a mean looking human man with an intense tribal tattoo across the right side of his face smirking widely. The group continued their chit chat as the Sith assassin sat silently, eyes towards the floor, deep in thought.

Zes wondered if he was the first falleen these mercenaries had seen, at least one within the Empire. Aliens in the Sith ranks were not a common sight, he was the only of his people that he knew of who was in the Sith order. He wagered to guess they had been expecting either a human or a pureblood, but more likely not a Force user to be accompanying them. He'd noticed that the other Sith warriors had elected to stick closer together, Ves had put in a direct request with Captain Corvinian to be aboard a more discreet ship in the boarding party entourage. Multiple Sith warriors altogether would draw all sorts of eyes, blasters and lightsabers, as would a ship emptying elite troopers onto the Republic vessel. As soon as Zes and the freelancers were aboard he would split from them, direct them to go cause mayhem in a different part then he was going. Hopefully he'd be able to sneak away and avoid any major Republic forces. Even if he did then his strength with the Force would allow him to succeed.

"So you're fighting with us, sir?" A voice broke Zes from his thoughts, as he glanced up from his seated position to find the tattooed mercenary speaking to him. The smile had gone from the man's expression, though his friends across the eisle were still smiling and watching the conversation with interest. He was surprised the man had addressed him formally, but that might've mostly been the merc not wanting to anger the 'fierce Sith warrior'.

"Briefly, yes." Zes firmly replied, placing his helmet in the empty seat beside him as he looked the man in the eyes.

"Briefly, sir?" The mercenary replied, apparently slightly confused at the assassin's reply.

"Yes. I'm not one for charging down corridors and blowing everything up. I'll leave that honor to you, you can take all the glory. All I ask is that when we get aboard the ship is that you and your, friends, cause a commotion. Any republic soldiers you see I want them gunned down immediately and brutally. Throw detonators, make them soil themselves in shock and fear. I'm going to slip away and hack into their systems." Zes stated with a nod, speaking plainly and calmly.

"What about any Jedi?" The human replied, scratching the back of his bald head.

"They're not immune to blasters or explosives. Just don't allow them to close in on you. Open fire with everything you've got and they won't be an issue." The assassin replied, staring at the man with his blazing orange eyes.

"Yes, sir." The mercenary replied.

"Excellent. I am sure you will all do a great job." He added, then stopped looking at the freelancer, eyes returning towards the floor. The mercenary took it as an abrupt sign that the conversation was over and returned to his friends.

Zes remained silent as the shuttle slowly filled up with gathered mercenaries. Each one trying to look more fearsome than the last one. Some of them were non-humans, aliens that had signed up to kill at the reward of credits. All that mattered to him was that they could hold their own and provide an ample distraction for him to accomplish his own battle plans. He had faith that the Empire would not have hired them if they couldn't fight. The assassin was confident in the mission, as he always was.


The ship rumbled and rocked as it streamlined through the stars towards the formerly unsuspecting Republic convoy. As they zoomed across the emptiness of space the pilot hollered from the cockpit, screaming for everyone onboard to strap in tight and hold on. One of the mercenaries laughed with cockiness at the comment before he was bounced out of his seat and skid across the floor by an intense rumble. He embarrassingly tried to get to his feet and make his way back to his seat. Zes smirked at the sight from underneath his helmet, his hands clenching onto the straps of his seatbelts. The Sith had the element of surprise but the damn Republic were defending themselves now. There were no windows in the back of the boarding vessel to peek out of and see the chaos occurring but with every single shake of the ship Zes could feel it in his bones. He did not believe they were being directly hit by laser fire, the sounds and shaking would be even more intense.

"We're getting close! Woah!" The pilot exclaimed, as he swiveled the controls sharply and avoided a barrage of rapid laser bolts.

One of the freelancers lurched over and vomited, gagging as he he held onto his gut. Several of the mercenaries left as one of them sitting next to him patted the unfortunate man on the back. Zes himself was not custom to such aggressive flight, but he'd managed to keep from losing his last meal, thankfully.

"Alright we're in the clear, boarding gear deploying. Got some fighters covering our entrance, keeping anyone off our asses." The pilot shouted as their rapid flight through the stars had slowed down, the rumbling have calmed as they idled beside one of the the large Republic vessels. Then he flipped a switch as the mercenaries began to unbuckle themselves and ready for their deployment.

"Form up on me, we're gonna tear through this ship and make those bastards bleed. We have to provide our Sith friend here a distraction so he can break off and hack into the ship's systems." The bald mercenary shouted as he removed his blaster rifle from his back, around him the others did the same. A scarred trandoshan clad in heavy armor readied a massive heavy blaster rifle, a wide smile on his face.

"We're not gonna be the only ones boarding this vessel, if we find allies we link up with them and carry on the attack. Whoever guns down the most Republic dogs gets a cozy bonus." The freelancer added with a laugh as the side door opened, the breach about to begin. Zes was on his feet, in the back of the group.

"Go, go!" The pilot shouted from the front of the ship, as he slapped his hand against the back wall of the cockpit, emphasizing the need for everyone to pile out and start the attack.

The mercenaries charged through the boarding tube, hollering as they slammed out the otherside into the Republic ship. They nearly trampled each other over as they bull-rushed through, bloodlust in their minds. Zes was the last one to emerge, as an orgy of combat exploded around him. He ducked to avoid a shot which slammed into the ceiling, leaving a black smoulder where it crashed. Blaster bolts careened down the corridor as the freelancers pushed down the hall to their left, drawing the attention of the Republic soldiers who greeted the boarding party with returned fire. Flash grenades exploded down the alley, blinding Republic eyes caught in the blasts. The trandoshan screamed as he popped from a side wall of cover, slamming an angry stream of blaster bolts towards their enemies. The Sith assassin smiled as he dropped a smoke grenade where he emerged, expertly covering his retreat down the opposite corridor, away from the action.

As Zes paced down it the sounds of action only increased, he could hear more Republic boots storming down the opposite hallways, drawing more attention away from the one in which he moved down. The Sith had to give the mercenary band some credit, they did what he had asked of them perfectly. He only hoped they would hold their own and keep as much attention on themselves as possible. He turned his head briefly towards their direction, as he heard more screams as they pushed even more ahead. Then he glanced ahead of himself, finding several winding corridors and hallways in which he could head down. He had a momentary stealth advantage, though he was certain there were cameras which he'd have to make short work of. Thankfully Zes had made sure to pack several computer spikes, he would need to properly map the vessel so he knew where was going. As he slipped down one of the corridors he felt the Force tinge in the back of his head, as if he it called out to him. He'd bet this was the ship 'Selene' was being held on.

Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Ruby
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Avatar of Ruby

Ruby No One

Co-Admin Seen 0-12 hrs ago

(Selene)


"You're all going to die."

Her lips let slip the short sentence in a single, quiet, breath. The two Jedi in the room snapped their attention to her; it was the first time Selene had said anything the entire trip. The Jedi Council had seen to it she got on the transport, they saw to it that they sent Jedi brutes to guard her, yet she noticed there was a noticable absence of Republic commandos. There were some, sure, but not the giant that was with Shan. That wasn't an accident, she felt, and it was a feeling she trusted. No small part of that was due in her mind to what she had seen under Tython's surface.

She had spent the entire trip in meditation. Focusing on what she'd seen.

"You make a poor prophet, Selene," one of the senior Jedi retorted, pretending to feel secure.

Normally she would have hissed at such a creature uttering her name like it KNEW her. In the dimly lit brig of vessel specifically designed to hold a Force user her breath didn't bother in the cold recycled stale air. The Jedi warrior was dead, whether he or any of the other Jedi, knew it. She merely flicked her dark eyes opened and stared at the Jedi, never even breaking her seated position of meditation. After a few belabored moments Selene slowly drew away her eyes and closed them again. The Jedi would speak to each other, some discussion about a meal or rotations, Selene didn't pay attention.

It didn't matter.

Right?

Selene's body deflated with a sigh, and her eyes fluttering open once more, lazily instead of sharply, sticking towards the floor this time. "Listen...I know you can't allow yourself to believe me. And I don't blame you. If I were in your shoes, I'd be too concerned about mind games and tricks. What prisoner headed to the unbreakable prison actually gets their transport messed with? None. Maybe one in a billion. And I know you're all very tired of me being that one in one billion..."

Her dark lips spread a light smile. She understood that. If Selene wasn't Selene, she'd probably want to kill herself. Luck eventually runs out. And so it had: despite what she was able to focus on within the Tython vision, all she had after the screams died down was...blackness. Nothingness. Nothing except one scream left; her own. That was far from a comforting feeling. Selene had been trained for torture. She still had the scars from the training. But everyone breaks, Selene told herself for the hundreth time in the last twenty-something hours.

And she was scared. "You're going to die, but at least they won't torture you, at least they won't play with your soul. You're a Jedi: you die, and the Force takes you in. I die, and...if I'm lucky I linger as some remnant spirit." She shrugged, letting a half-sigh except her lips as her tongue wetted them again, to continue, "Spend your time with your fellow Jedi. Go take the most glorious shit you've ever experienced. Have a drink! Play a GAME! YOU'RE GOING TO FUCKING DIE SO STOP JUST STARING AT ME AND DO SOMETHING WITH WHAT LITTLE REMAINS OF YOUR L--"

As if on cue the red lights of the starship and the alarm began to blare. The sudden sound stole the very emotion from her, the anger in the Jedi being so stubborn he'd rather stare at her like an idiot then go life his fucking life. All that was left was a full, heavier, sigh. Her dark eyes back on the ground--she'd given up on the Jedi now. "Go. Guard me. Die knowing you tried to keep me from their hands. Die playing your part. I hope it matters to you, in the end."

The Jedi had stared, but refused to react outside the widening of their eyes when she screamed at them about living their lives. Or trying, anyway. When she gave them up they turned their attention to each other. But it was too late. The ships were already descending, and the ship with her name on it flown by the girl with golden glowing hair and commanded by the starry eyed dead man. She had seen them. She had heard them.

---
(Briar Vaughn)


She had to ignore the instruments. One of them was already giving her a reading that had to be avionics crap, doing the math quickly in her more or less confirmed it, assuming her math was right. She felt comfortable with that assumption, though when she made it she did sneak a peek to the person next to her in the cockpit...and grin as wickedly as she ever had. She always grinned in the cockpit. She always enjoyed herself, even when everyone else was doing anything but. Hence the name of her fighter: the Suicide Blonde. But this vessel was NOT the Suicide Blonde. It was like trying to fly a battering ram.

The rest of the task force started in on the actual combat, but not them. There was some token tracking fire on their way in, but for a second it was as if the Republic ships just never saw them, or even noticed they had a gaping hole towards a hangar bay. It seemed unwise, but Briar had no misunderstandings about what she was about to fly into: The Republic and their fucking Jedi wouldn't be shocked someone had come for this target, the main target, anyway.

Little did the Republic know the Sith had their target, the Empire it's target, and then various on either side of the same side who undoubtedly had yet THEIR own agendas to toss into the rush of operations. The co-pilot she'd been forced to take, though he was at least a capable flight mechanic, asked, very loudly, how was it she expected to live when she was ignoring vital flight instruments. Briar looked side-eyed at the Imperial scab, flared her nostrils, and tried to smile.

"I have to process ten or so things at once while trying to fly straight WHILE things shoot in our direction and our ships try not to hit us. WHILE," she continued, having already turned her attention back to the mission and the flying at hand, "having to try to explain to you how and why?" Briar's head tilted to the right and her shoulders rose in a tiny shrug. Her real focus, her eyes on the field in front of them, never again broke. "Learn later, in the meantime maybe don't miss those fighters coming in at us."

The co-pilot blinked, and Briar turned on the internal comms: "Fighters coming in hot. We're going too fast to deal with shooting back, so strap in and enjoy the rest of your flight." It wasn't entirely useful, but Briar had always been talkative pilot in the very rare times she found herself with passengers. Truly, truly, if she ever wanted a change of direction she felt a civilian transport pilot would be right up her hyperlane.

"Co-guy, bypass the safe-guards and give me manual access to manuevering thrusters." Normally they fired as the computer AI directed them, compensating for a living pilot's miscues. This wasn't normally, and Briar knew she'd need the extra umpth of thrust to make the sharp angle was getting ready to take. After the co-pilot confirmed to her she had her right hand danced over the control panels staring her in the face, her knees angling the control stick of the craft just-so, her left hand activating the channel between her shadow, the craft making it by following her. "Don't back off, turn tight, you won't hit me."

"You're the mission commander." The pilot on the other end was someone she knew by mutual acquaintance and she trusted that he was skilled. He resented not being the mission commander for this one, not flying point--he was older and had more pride than Briar. It wasn't something she would ever let distract her, let alone bother her. The cockpit was neon hues of red and blood orange with the occassional pop of blue or green or yellow. The air was colder here in the cockpit, her cockpit, anyway. Briar had always liked it cold. She ran hot, and the Flight Doc backed that up: her heart beat unusually fast. Not enough to interfere with her or make her a flight risk, but it made her warmer than most people.

"Hold on, Co-guy."

Her craft cut hard along the Z-axis after a quick roll. The Republic fighters had met long distance fire from the gunboats, it caused enough chaos for them to underestimate Briar's angle of approach, the hull of the vessel glowing as every micro-thruster fired with the main thrusters at the command of her Sith red painted fingernails, their tips seperated from most of the fingernail with a thin black line that angled across, nothing but dazzle and glitter from black line to nail tip. Her nails were usually short, though longer than normal for this unofficial mission.

There was no one to inspect her.

And anyone else on either boarding vessel was either holding on for dear life or screaming. The Force of gravity wasn't something her co-pilot was as used to, out of the corner of her eyes she noticed him start to fade. As quickly as he started to let his eyelids lower they snapped open with the quick correction and the sheer force of the vessel going full power. Not full recommended power. Full power, the sound of engine and hull vibrations and nothing else. It was a dangerous thing to do; she was doing the approach by the seat of her pants.

The literal seat of her pants. The flightsuit was tight for a reason, and it wasn't to make her hips look nice: the difference between blowing up and success was the moment Briar decided it was time to throttle back. That, in that scenario, was pure feel. And she was far more concerned with aligning the boarding vessel with the target hangar bay. Again her hand activated the hot comms line. "Line up Port side. Tell your people to be ready. They definitely know we're aiming for this hangar and why."

Her voice was tense, irritated: whatever Republic technician was behind the CIC analysis that sent Fighters at them was a shit. A shit. If not for the gunboats being just in range...her gold hair swayed as her head shook sharply. Not the time to review. The engines throttled down, and the ship had a good hard shake until it quickly stabilized. The computer liked her angle of approach, and she agreed with it. This time when her hand went to activate the comms, it was internal communications that came to life. The hangar bay was rushing to them impossibly fast.

"Minute out. Good luck."

---
(Sela ir-Ramalla Vitaal VII)


"Tell me. Tell me now."

She didn't want to move. She just cried. So the man took the sharp angled tip of the rod and whispered it across the exposed skin of her leg. Her body betrayed her, convusling and her voice screaming the shrill scream of the young child. The electricity rocked her little body, and when he removed the rod she sobbed so hard her rib muscles seized and cramped and burned. Breathing became daggers, her tears truly her only comfort. Her cousin stared with dead eyes. She begged in incoherent whimpers, sobbed, begged again quiet like a prayer that no gods would answer if she said it too loud.

Maybe if she was quiet. Maybe if she didn't scream. The little girl would try again.

"Please, Jeth..." she tried to say more but nothing came. Breathless from desperation and pain and misery, her little body tried to hide her legs under her, the stinking wet oversized shirt they'd given her to wear two months ago. "I don't have to be the Queen, I don't want to be the Queen. I'll sign anything. Please, Jeth, please Jeth pleas--" her body twisted so hard something popped loudly."

His brown eyes looked black in the half-shadow of the cold stone room as he lowered himself to a squat in order for her to get a closer look at just how empty of anything his eyes were. Her hair was matted, a rat's nest of misuse and abuse. Her aunt had hung her up by her hair for wearing the dress put out for her. The dress was purple. Purple was the color of traitors and criminals, the color of her mother and father. Her aunt had tested her, Sela should have refused the dress and demanded the blue of her aunt's bloodline. There was too much of her mother in Sela and her sister. The sister would be sold off as a wife to whoever gave them the best alliance, the younger the better, her aunt had declared.

If their parents were dead...they were lucky. That's what the little girl thought to herself. That's what woke the voice up, not her father, but her ancient father. He told her to get angry, not sad. Death wasn't lucky, it was just death. And there were better ways, he told her. He promised her there in the dark as her oldest cousin took the back of her head by the rat's nest of hair, and took her chin in his big hand. And squeezed] until she screamed. She wiggled, her body twitched hard every way it could to get away.

Only through a cover of teary eyes could she even see her eldest cousin. "I didn't, Jeth...I didn't ask anyone to do anything, I didn't talk to anyone, you've see me every day."

He smiled. Sela's heart dropped. "I know, little Sela. I killed my mother, or had her killed. Close enough in the eyes of our ancestors. But you, you dangerous little Force witch, brainwashed to believe you were the great founder of our bloodline reborn. You'd kill anyone and no one would ever know how you did it. For the protection of all you must be kept prisoner. One day you can earn forgiveness. I will show you the path, and one day, when you've earned that and you're older...you will be Queen and I will be the King and husband that you've grown to rely on. Because you're a witch, you're evil, and since your sister told us the truth about you surely it means she doesn't trust you either? Who would? You can only be safe with my guidance. All you have to do is commit your crime, child."

"...she wouldn't, she wouldn't, she would never tel--"

Her body trembled as the electricity forced a broken howl of pain from the little girl's lips. Revenge, not fear. Anger, not terror. Anger. He said it again, and again, and again, with every rapid beat of her strained little heart. Her sister wouldn't tell. Her sister wouldn't betray her. Heart and mind fell into sadness. If Mari turned on her, if her parents were dead as her aunt, if...

When he pressed the tip of the rod to her lower leg, the spark arced and flashed blindingly bright--she didn't even see it, she only felt it. Her anger seethed past anything she had felt before. Her aching head felt nothing but heat, every hurt and every scar just felt hot. Nothing hurt. She felt no fear, no dread, no sadness...she felt only anger. Only rage. True blinding white rage. Sela didn't realize until the flash of light too bright for that rod dimmed enough for her to see it.

Lightning. Lightning from her little hands. Jeth's dark hair stood on end, blackness and char at his chest where his thick tunic had been. Blood at the edges of his mouth. The rod was just dropped, forgotten as her cousin quickly escaped the room in a strained limp. The heavy lock of the door thundered into place, and the sound came again. So loud and high even her little girl's scream could never match it in the past, her dirty hands clutching her ears.

But she wasn't screaming this time. She was shaking, but it was rage that trembled her frame. For the first time since the night she and her sister were kidnapped from her bedroom, the last night she had seen her parents, she wasn't scared. She didn't want to die. She wanted her cousin to die. She wanted everyone who ever hurt her sister, her parents, her...she wanted them all to die.

When Selene's eyes opened, slowly, the memory was back where it belonged. But the rage she felt as that tortured little girl was still there. Her eyes were so bloodshot now they were bright red. The one Jedi left in the room was trying to contact someone on his communicator, the ship had been hit and hit hard. Lights flashed, power flickered. Selene took the chance she knew would come if she was patient. The Jedi wouldn't have another chance. The attack hit him so hard, so fast, his own lightsaber was the weapon used to end him. Between the unnatural twist of his neck and the ignition of his lightsaber into his side, what was left of the Jedi just fell. And bled.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Almalthia
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Avatar of Almalthia

Almalthia Friendly neighborhood redhead

Persistent World Mod Seen 7 hrs ago

Tishombra Ferro



Location: Briar's Ship

Interaction: Daymon Rylic (NPC) & Selene @Ruby

Mentions: Commander Corvane Voycnor @vFear; Captain Collem Corvinian @Sini & Lieutenant Briar Vaughn @Ruby




Tishombra gently opened her data pad and connected to the Galactic Holonet. Commander Corvane Voycnor wasn’t that difficult to find. His involvement with the Theater in Dromand Kaas was obvious. She called up a vid phone and fingers flying keyed in a code on the data pad then dialing a number.

She smiled as the call went through. A male human voice that came on the line hadn’t been heard by her in awhile. “Evening, this is Daymon Rylic owner of Steel and Shield speaking. Whom am speaking with and how can I help?” The practiced tones were practically accentless. Daymon had fostered his I’m-from-nowhere accent to get himself more business and fit in.

“Daymon long time.” Tishombra stated without preamble.

She heard a chair squeak sharply. “As I live and breathe is that Tishombra Ferro?”

“You got it. How is Dromand Kaas by the way?”

“Boring till you called.” They both chuckled for a moment. “So what can I do for you?”

“Well I really need you to deliver that nice replica if the sword from that play Resurgence of Power to someone. Along with a nice bottle of brandy.”

“That sword was for you. You paid for it. So who is this guy?”

“Look Daymon I’ll pay you for the brandy and swing by after this is over to demo your latest sword once I come back. Deal? Besides all you’re worried about it your reputation. Which I have cultivated and will continue to do so if you keep me happy.”

“Can’t say you don’t know me. Who’s the lucky person?”

“To Commander Corvane Voycnor. From Tishombra Ferro Apprentice to Darth Embrus. That’s all it needs to read. Make it in Basic on the outside. Don’t get all fancy.” Tishombra paused and tapped out a few things on the data pad. “Your payment has been sent. Oh and Daymon? I know that it all depends on the questions someone is asking if I know you or not…” Tishombra ended the call.

Tishombra had packed light for the trip. This was taken care of quickly. A couple of black leather outfits as well as a couple of red leather outfits. A black cloak, her rapiers, and her lightsabers. She was a light traveler and material possessions never really held much sway for her. The only things that meant much were her lightsabers and swords.

She looked around the room. Rarely did it look lived in much the same as her apartment or her rooms at Darth Embrus' residence. Books were normally read in the library. I suppose it looks cold and remote. But I like to keep things that way. At least on the outside.

She wandered out into the hallway outside her room on the ship. Briar, Lieutenant Vaughn, was piloting the ship and as such did not have time to continue their conversation on the ramifications of actually taking Corellia or at least her space to free up the trade route for the Imperial side. She'd have loved to hear Captain Corvinian's opinion on the matter. The man was easy on the eyes and intelligent too boot.

They were dropping out on top of the target and boarding ships to find a young Force User with dark hair and blue eyes, female and human. Target is considered highly dangerous and extremely important. Or so she recalled from the limited information that was disseminated to the crew and by default her.

Checking that she had her lightsabers and normal saber she proceeded to the area that would be boarding the ship. "Fighters coming in hot. We're going too fast to deal with shooting back, so strap in and enjoy the rest of your flight."

Grinning Tishombra rushed to a seat and buckled the five point harness around her. As the ship rocked and pitched finally settling. Red lights still blinking and people peeled off harnesses rushing around with data pads.

Tishombra let the soldiers do their jobs by going in first. She watched two groups go ahead of her and as she took her first step onto the ship she felt the presence of the Jedi and a… well to be honest a good reason to take a closer look. Grinning wickedly she stalked after the soldiers.

There was an exchange of fire in short bursts and the first group of four, was reduced down to two. Stepping over bodies Tishombra quietly stalked in farther turning toward the presence that called out to her curiosity and was faced with a young man. The young male Jedi sneered at her “Sith!” his curse only made her smile.

Tishmobra sketched a bow never taking her eyes off him. “But of course, thank you for noticing. So do you want to die today or are you going to surrender to me? Please say no.”

“I will die before I surrender!”

Tishombra grinned and unsheathed her sword moving in a blur she crossed the room. Plunging the sword through the young Jedi. She pulled it out with a twist. Blood spilled over her sword and splashed across the hilt the heat of the life force of the Jedi ran across her right hip and down her leg “Your wish is my command.” well that was the reason she had worn the red leather.

Tishombra let the body of the young Jedi fall lifeless as she heard a very distinct sound. A lightsaber turning on. Looking down a corridor she saw the last two soldiers of the previous group fire on the Jedi wielding a blue lightsaber. Their bolts were reflected and they fell. Sighing she wiped her blade clean and sheathed the sword.

Hearing the Jedi approach Tishombra threw the body of the fallen Jedi at the other still living one. “You will pay for that.” This one was a female, a twi’lek to be exact, and better trained apparently.

Tishombra tilted her head, birdlike and smirked. “That is very dark thinking. Good let it in. Hate will serve you well Jedi.”

The Jedi leapt at her and Tishombra drew her sabers engaging the Jedi blocking her downward strike. Tishombra spun her saber and was blocked. The crackling energy and thud of her strike being blocked by the Jedi sent a thrill through her. Baring her teeth in a grin she gave ground to the Jedi waiting for her to advance.

As predicted the Jedi advanced on Tishombra. The strike was a downward one as the Jedi’s saber clashed with Tishombra’s parry. Viciously pushing the Jedi’s saber up with both of her own Tishombra stepped in closer and turning her wrist sliced off a head tentacle of the twi’lek.

Staggering back of balance and shrieking the twi’lek left herself open for Tishombra to slash her saber through the Jedi’s upper torso cutting off the shriek quickly. Tishombra shook her head. The fallen Jedi was better than her. She could admit that much but one wrong move and a master could fall just as easily as a novice.

Keeping that last thought in mind she knew she didn’t have the luxury to play around anymore. She had a mission and her senses were telling her that she needed to press on to find what she was looking for. She was pulled down the hall by the Force and let it guide her.

Someone else was creating such havoc in the rest of the ship that it wasn’t a challenge to get to where she was going. She walked past fallen Jedi and wondered who had dispatched them and gone the wrong way. Recalling the schematics for this ship the likely place for a prisoner was not where she was headed but she trusted the Force and continued on.

Coming to an empty corridor and a door that she could feel the presence on the other side as well as that of yet another Jedi. She saw him trying to get a communicator to work. How she didn’t know. Pushing the thought of how aside she opened the door.

Reaching out she choked the Jedi with the Force and as she advanced on him. But that was not what killed him. What killed him was his own lightsaber in his side.

Tishombra hid her shock at the power that pulled from the slip of a girl. Human, dark hair and lips. Selene. She smiled as she released her hold on the Jedi no longer needed. The girl had killed him. Oh this is precious. No wonder the Emperor wants her.

As the dead Jedi collapsed and the door shut behind Tishombra she tilted her head birdlike at the girl. “Well go to liberate the captive and find that the captive does her own liberating. Refreshing for once. Keep that up. Now how would you like to get the hell out of here?”

Tishombra smiled at the girl. Genuinely smiled I like her spunk. I’ll let her know she can call on me when they put her in training. It always helps to have someone to back you up upon occasion.
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Hidden 29 days ago 29 days ago Post by Heat
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Heat It can't rain all the time.

Persistent World Mod Seen 11 hrs ago

With deliberate, but careful footsteps Zes moved down the corridor. Before he turned down a corner he paused, then drew his lightsabers slowly. He felt something in the Force, like an itch in the back of his skull. The assassin took a deep breath, then flicked on his matching weapons as he turned the corner. A sudden pause in his stride was brought as he found himself staring down a robed figure, the unmistakable aura of a Jedi knight shimmered in the force around them. Zes stared angrily at the Jedi, the twin blades of his crimson red lightsabers shimmering as he walked slowly towards his enemy.

"Stop right there Sith, drop your weapons immediately. We can end this peacefully." The Jedi exclaimed, a calm looking Mon Calamari. The amphibious being had not drawn his own lightsaber, though Zes could make out of the shape of it on the Jedi's left hip.

"Peace? Your ship is under attack. You're all going to die. Every single one of you." The falleen replied coldly, no peace or mercy would occur today.

"You're making a huge mistake, more Republic ships will arrive soon and your disgusting assault on the convoy will end. Give yourself up." The Jedi replied, as Zes took another step towards them. Then he too drew his own lightsaber, the green blade expunging from handle as he flickered it on.

The assassin twirled his weapons around menacingly, watching as the Jedi crouched into a defensive stance and tried to read Zes' motions. The standoff proceeded for a few more seconds before the aggressive Sith dashed forward, using the Force to launch himself at an incredible speed at his opponent. Both his blades spun as he slashed for the mon calamari's gut, nearly ending the duel before it could begin. He grunted as the Jedi met his attack with a well practiced block, green clashing with red as Zes contorted his body and hung in the air. He carved downwards as he landed on the opposite side of his opponent, trying to catch them off guard. The Jedi then quickly went on the offensive, reaching out with a flurry of slashes aimed at Zes, causing the Sith to backpedal with his own blocks. The Jedi was not a terrible combatant, Zes almost felt himself breaking a sweat as the two exchanged attacks.

Then Zes kicked it up a notch as he slipped to the side, just barely avoiding taking a lightsaber through the hip as he shifted out of the way. He let out a howl as he slammed both of his lightsabers directly forward, a smile slipping onto his face as he felt them tear through flesh. A loud clang sounded in the hallway as the Jedi dropped his lightsaber, staring ahead in shock as death took a grasp on the fool's soul. Zes shut off his own weapons, having won the duel as the Mon Calamari slumped to the floor in a heap. The assassin shook his head at his now vanquished opponent, before continuing on his way. He found what he was searching for, a pair of doors which lead to the surveillance room. As he attempted to open them he was met with resistance, the ones inside having locked them to prevent entry.

Once more he ignited his lightsabers, then shoved the twin blades into the doorframe. Zes had to move quickly, as he dragged the blades through the metal of the door he traced a hole large enough for him to fit through. The ship shook slightly underneath his feet, the battle still raging on the outside, and now the inside of the spacecraft. Metal screeched and burned underneath his lightsabers as he forced his way inside the room. Smoke emitted from the blades as he finished the job, then he kicked forcefully, then again as the metal door slammed forwards into the room. The smile on his face rapidly vanished as he heard blasters fire, and bolts slammed into the opening, causing him to duck to the side. He groaned as one had made contact with his stomach, his armor having absorbed most of the blow, though an ache sounded in the area of impact from the force of it. More shots rang out, crashing into the wall of the hallway opposite from the doorway.

He sighed, trying to think of a plan on the fly. Explosives weren't a choice here, he'd destroy the equipment inside and have made this journey for nothing. He did not believe there were many armed personnel inside of the room though, judging by the amount of shots fired. He'd wager at most three armed with blasters. Then the Sith figured it out, calling upon the Force he expelled an illusion into the room in one direction. To the Republic fools within it would seem as if Zes had just charged inside without a care in the world, drawing their attention. Predictably the men opened fire, in reality leaving a smoky mess on the wall. A moment later the Sith dashed inside, charging in from the opposite side of the room as the illusion. The poor trio of soldiers had no time to react as the actual Zes was upon them, slashing into the nearest one, nearly carving the man in half before he lunged towards the next and impaled him upon a lightsaber. As the third shifted to react he was launched upwards, slammed into the ceiling before Zes was upon him too and drove both blades through the poor sap's chest. They never had a chance against such a superior opponent.

With all immediate danger having been exterminated Zes took in another deep breath as he switched off his lightsabers and placed them back on his hip. He removed his helmet and walked towards a set of monitors displaying a multitude of views of the ship. Many of which were occupied with scenes of combat and death. Zes set down his helmet on a desk, then sat down gingerly down in a seat in front of a console connected to the monitors. His gut tingled slightly, he was certain he would find a bruise there later from the bolt which had struck him. The pain would only drive him harder to succeed and not allow such a mistake to happen again. As his eyes took in the monitors he focused on one in particular, which displayed a dark haired woman in a cell accompanied by a single Jedi.

It had to be her. Selene, oh how fun it will be to meet her.

Zes removed a computer spike from his belt then slammed the device into the side of the console, the screen rapidly flashed different displays before it allowed him access. He quickly downloaded a layout of the interior of the ship, narrowing in on the location of the brig in which the target was being held. Then he rose up from his seat and used the Force to utterly destroy the console, the monitors exploded in a flurry of glass as he crushed them. The Sith warrior then placed his helmet back on as he walked out of the room, sidestepping the torn door as he re-emerged into the hallway. He mapped the most rapid path to the target with his helmet's display, delighted to find that he was not that far from it at his current location. He ran down a hallway, then another one, pausing as a trooper squad stormed down an adjacent corridor, the soldiers too focused on a nearby firefight to even notice the wandering Falleen.

A turn down another hallway caused him to pause, counting a number of bodies in a trail leading to a doorway. Two clad in the robes of Jedi. Another Sith (or more) must have been here, which likely meant they had reached to the target first, to Zes' rage. He slammed his fist into a nearby wall, swearing loudly and leaving a dent behind before he walked ahead. He stepped through the doorway into the brig to find two beautiful women before him, in any other situation he would have been delighted by that prospect. His eyes danced over both of their frames, as he subtly clenched his left fist. A fiery haired Sith clad in red was there, alongside the mysterious Selene. Still, the day was not done, he would be the one to bring back Selene personally. Two consecutive failures were not something that Zes tolerated.

"I'm guessing you're the cause of all the impressive carnage out there? Too bad I did not arrive sooner." Zes stated to his fellow Sith, it was not small feat to carve through two Jedi. A third Jedi laid dead nearby, though who had killed him seemed different than the other two. It only dawned upon Zes that this mysterious stranger who had been the reason he and the others were aboard this wretched Republic filled ship was the cause of that death.

"You're free of those Republic dogs now. The Empire sent quite the strike force to get you. Though it does not seem like you needed rescuing." He added as he spoke to the dark haired woman, feeling the Force shiver powerfully around her.
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Hidden 24 days ago 24 days ago Post by Jackdaw
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Jackdaw

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Yellow Six – The Deep Core


Space was mostly empty, except when it wasn’t. It was full and alive now, with screaming engines, flashes of laserfire, and the wreckage of gutted ships drifting across the solar plane.

Camara Effree had graduated first in her class out of the academy. She’d been good at flying all her life, since she was a girl on Mirial at the helm of her father’s airspeeder. As a teenager, she was obsessed with the idea of flying with the Republic Navy, engrossing herself in hours of guncam footage from the frontlines of the Great War. She realized, now, that she’d never really considered the bone chilling fear of live laser fire that could cut her from the safe, sheltered cocoon of her cockpit and spill her out to freeze in the black depths of space.

But now she was here, and her hands were slick with sweat under her gloves as she followed her wingman’s lead through her first dogfight. Captain Tav Codey brought his Aurek into a sharp bank, rolling onto the tail of an interceptor, and she followed suit. A green lance came across the nose of her fighter. She assessed her HUD, fear gripping her by the throat. The cold analytical half of her brain, assisted by years of training sims and live flights, determined she was clear, but she looked again and again.

Red lights flashed ahead, and her eyes were pulled forward just in time to watch Codey tear the fighter apart with a burst of laser fire.

“Yellow Six, you okay back there?” Codey’s voice came through her intercom. Cool and collected, a veteran of how many sorties through the years of war.

“Yes, sir!” Camara answered. She did her best to sound confident, and her best to guide her Aurek smoothly after his. She managed the ship better than the affirmation.

And then the old man’s voice came through her comms. “Yellow Squadron, this is Colonel Tua speaking, do you copy?” Colonel Vos Tua, the aged Nautolan commander of the convoy’s fighter wing, spoke with calming authority. It reminded Camara of the day to day, the preparation, the easy confidence she felt before she strapped in today. She stretched her grip and breathed, banking with Codey as he moved to tail another interceptor, this one on the tail of a friendly Aurek.

“This is Yellow One, we copy, Colonel,” came the crisp response of Camara’s squadron leader over the command-comm.

Codey loosed a hail of red lances, and this time Camara followed suit, pulling the trigger and unleashing a burst of laser fire from her Aurek’s twin cannons. The nimble fighter stayed out of their line of fire, the pilot reading their target locks and adjusting while keeping on target himself.

“Yellow One, the enemy have jammed our communications.” The voice was far off, even in her ear, as she watched with horror as green blades cut through the Aurek’s left wing and turned the fighter into dust. “. . . launching a hyperspace capable shuttle . . .“ the voice continued, but Camara was paying no attention now. She pulled her Aurek up on the z-axis as Codey dove, trapping the interceptor between their guns. As the hostile pulled up to maneuver away from Codey’s sensor lock, he drifted directly across Camara’s line of fire. She squeezed the trigger and reduced the ship to wreckage.

“Great shot, Six!” Codey shouted over the wing-comm, and Camara exhaled a sharp breath. It was all she could do to keep herself from screaming with exhilaration.

“You need to escort that shuttle to the hyperspace egress. Your tac-net is being updated now.” Colonel Tua’s voice brought her back to her base, and she realized their commander had been feeding them an assignment.

“Understood, Colonel,” Yellow One answered.

As he spoke, Camara’s holographic display of the battlefield updated with a dozen flight routes to guide Yellow Squadron to a hangar on the far side of the refueling station, still undamaged and operational in the face of the flying turbolaser fire. Less than a dozen, she realized with a numb chill. Yellow 3 and Yellow 10 were no longer on the map.

“Make sure someone hears about this, pilots,” Tua said, and the command-comm went dead.

Camara brought her Aurek to bear on Codey’s left, watching as the hull of his ship was illuminated red and green in the exchange of cannon fire in the void, and followed him toward the target.
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Hidden 18 days ago Post by Fallenreaper
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Fallenreaper ღ~Lil' Emotional Cocktail~ღ

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Drey’s consciousness turned inward. He had slumped into the corner nearest Brair's cockpit, idly listening to the others board. His hand tugged at the shirt collar clinging to him. He hated being out of uniform, but the operation had its orders. Any possible evidence of Empire involvement avoided. No uniforms, weapons or other obvious clues left behind. Drey didn't think it mattered much. The Republic's blame would itself at their front door no matter what.

Ever the good soldier, he followed his orders. He traded in his Imperial uniform for a merc one. The pieces of armor had seen better days. Discolored by age, they had a dull, reddish coloring to the once gunmetal gray. He had them placed on his chest, legs, and face. They protected the most vulnerable areas. The helmet had a faded skull pattern painted over the front. It served well to hid his identity while blending into the unruly crowd of mercs. Underneath it, he wore a simple brown tunic and black trousers ending in boots. His weapons were close at hand with the blaster pistol on his hip and his blaster rifle rested beside him. Any traces marking it as Empire were removed.

When Briar rolled the cruiser to the upper right, his arms snapped and gripped his seat. His elbows locked in place to keep him from toppling over. A harsh grunt slipped past his lips when a heavier merc, far better armored, slammed into his side. The guy muttered an apology as he straightened up immediately.

“It’s a rough ride, don’t worry about it.” Drey genuinely sounded unbothered by it.

Briar had talent as a pilot, but her flight patterns often left newbies rattled or queasy. In one’s case, Drey heard him hurl chunks on the metal grate. Drey couldn’t help the soft chuckle muffled by his helmet. When Briar’s voice came over the speakers, his hand moved to his blaster rifle. He quickly unclipped the seat's straps and stood upright. While the others were filing toward the boarding tube, he looked at the door to the cockpit. A few moments passed until life stirred from him.

His index finger curled then he did a few quick taps on the cockpit’s frame. Back in the day, whenever he departed from her ship, he started this tradition. It was his way to let her know she did well. Drey knew he couldn’t exactly tell her right now or guarantee he would survive to tell her afterward. So the little gesture worked best.

He inhaled.Go time, he thought then he began to file out with the rest. He doubted that Captain Corvinian knew he was on board because the rooster was vast. Drey truthfully didn’t know how Collem might’ve reacted to his presence, but he didn’t risk a negative one. Besides, he was a soldier first and a friend second.

Drey rushed out into the hanger. He followed the last of his boarding party right into the thick of the fighting. Heavy blaster fire came in from all directions. The Republic troopers attempted to advance. They failed.

A man next to him went down. The shot to his head took him down fast, the corpse crumbled and others kicked it away. No respect for the dead until after the fight. Drey hunched down. He overheard orders for counter fire. His eyes found nearby offloaded cargo crates and slide into cover. He took a knee then listened to the shots. His eyes caught the form of a Falleen Sith slip into one of the far, less busy corridors. Naturally, the Jedi went for the bigger threats: the Sith. The Jedi scum, unfortunately, numbered the few Apprentices he counted earlier. Eventually, a Jedi would cross their path. For now, Drey discarded this thought. Worry didn't help survival odds.

A bolt hissed as it darted past his helmet.

In response, Drey pulled up. He fired the blaster rifle trigger three times. One trooper dropped from a blow to the head, another clipped in a shoulder and the final shot missed. He dropped behind the crate. The man next to him popped up. He let out his own two shots and also dropped down. Like a well-oiled machine, they took turns firing in rotation. The blasts were random as they observed each other’s stance, ready to take the other's place. Drey’s heart began to thump heavily against his chest. The adrenaline filled his head until it buzzed, the idea of surviving death lingered at the back of his mind.

“Fucking Republic,” his shooting partner hissed.

“I rather deal with Republic troopers than the Jedi. Eventually, one will cross our path if the Sith don't deal with them.”

The man got back up and fired, “Are they that tough?”

“Haha, you better believe it. One on one combat, you want to avoid at all costs.” Drey answered and took his turn.

He spotted a Republic trooper take a chance and rush ahead of schedule. When his ally rose for his turn, Drey’s hand shoved his head back down. The man went to curse at him, but a blaster shot narrowly missing his head. It silenced him. Drey turned back to his 'friend'.

“I think it’s time to switch up the pattern. Don’t want them picking us off, right?” He suggested.

“Right,” the merc said, catching his breath again. The shock poured into his stature, but Drey continued to ignore it. For the man, only gaining experience would change it.

“You toss a flash grenade and I’ll give you cover fire. Ready?”

The man nodded. Drey counted down on his fingers before he rose and opened fire. Several shots flew toward the enemy. The last few stranglers dropped down for cover again. A few mercs, seeing Drey’s aggression, joined in his attack. A firestorm provided the perfect cover. The young merc pulled the pin then tossed the flash grenade. Drey's hand jerked to cut his neck as a universal gesture to stop. All fire died down from his improvised team.

Seeing an opportunity, the enemy looked out from cover and aimed to return fire. A blinding flash followed by a deafening sound met them instead. Drey briefly ducked behind the metal crates until it died. He gestured for half of the mercs to advance before the rest started a new round of blaster fire on their targets.

Drey watched the surviving troopers slip into the nearest corridor. Once in a while, they stopped to fire causing Drey and his team to seek cover. Seven mercs had followed him into the upcoming storm. It became a shitty one soon enough. A human woman in her late twenties walked down the hall with purpose. Her hand pulled a metal cylinder into it. It hissed to life, a green blade of light at the end. A Jedi had arrived. She began to bat away the blaster shots, deflecting them into the walls or floor. A lucky shot almost hit a merc on occasion.

“Shit, fine.” Drey looked to the men.

“Open fire with everything you got, but aim for the allies, not the Jedi. She will hold back to protect her allies. Don't stop firing until they stop moving. One of you get a grenade ready and toss it at the Jedi’s feet. I’ll do the rest.”

They nodded then began to pour down a hail of fire on the small group. Drey pulled his helmet off. He needed the full range of sight for this shot. The earlier merc he befriended had gotten out a grenade and looked at him. He smiled then counted down from three.

Three.

Two.

One.

The explosive bounced toward the Jedi’s feet. Immediately the Jedi stretched out her hand to send it. She spotted Drey move into position too late. The aim to spread out her focus working perfectly.

As Drey pulled from cover, he aimed for the grenade. When the Jedi moved to throw it back, he had already fired twice. One-shot at the grenade, the other at her ally. Drey just smirked.

An explosion engulfed the Jedi and her allies. It sent their bodies into the far wall as they crumbled into the floor. When it died, Drey and his team continued. Drey stepped over the corpses. He paused at the Jedi's. He aimed his blaster rifle down and double-tapped. The Jedi's body twitched from the impact but it didn't move again. He couldn’t be too careful with these force users as he rushed to catch up with the other mercs.
Hidden 17 days ago 17 days ago Post by Jackdaw
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Jackdaw

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Yellow Six – The Deep Core


“Take the lead, Six, I’ll cover your tail,” Codey said.

“Copy that, Five,” Camara answered, and pressed the acceleration forward as Codey eased off and fell to her right. On the one hand, Camara didn’t like that her senior officer was covering her, as if she needed protection as the youngest and most vulnerable member of the squadron. It felt like she wasn’t pulling her weight. On the other hand, she’d developed a keen fear of death over the past half-hour.

“Who the hell are these guys?” Codey growled over their wing-comm.

“Pirates, maybe?” Camara offered. The enemy, whoever it was, flew a motley array of ships. A few Sith interceptors, like she’d seen in wartime holovid footage in the academy, a few Aureks just like the one she flew, and a handful of Star Guards. The remainder were more outdated models – Ravens, Pikes, Honor Guards. The fighter she’d shot down was a Chela, a three-hundred-year-old model that was proving itself a battlefield threat even today.

“What kind of pirates go blow-for-blow with the Republic Navy in last-generation starfighters?” Codey asked. It was an unsettling question, and Camara didn’t have an answer.

She was saved from speculation as her IFF systems picked up a hostile target sensor painting her Aurek. The image on her HUD would have given her a rush of adrenaline if her system weren’t already flooded with it. A holographic display of a Mark VI interceptor, projected in light blue tones, hovered above her console. She was being engaged by a Sith fighter. She almost felt the urge to laugh – to think she’d dreamed about gunning down these fighters in her teenage years, before the academy, before Yellow Squadron.

That urge was warded well off by the horror of knowing that her first encounter with one might very well kill her.

As she banked away from the targeting sensor’s lock, she craned her neck, watching as it moved to Codey’s tail and poured green fire into the void. The captain evaded the interceptor’s tracking with a deft bank that mirrored Camara’s, but only barely. She thought she saw him take a glancing shot or two.

“This is Yellow Five, there’s one on my tail,” Codey shouted into the squadron’s comm channel. The interceptor rolled with him. Aureks were great fighters, but the Mark VI had a terrifying nimbleness to it. “Shields at forty percent, I need an assist.”

Camara watched her tac-net as it rendered the positions of the ships, the rendering of the interceptor closing distance with Codey’s Aurek. It was nearly on him, and the rest of Yellow Squadron was nowhere near close enough to help. As soon as it came within a few hundred meters, Codey would have nowhere to go. The VI would outmaneuver him and tear him apart. The Aurek was an incredible ship, but it was older, slower, and just less maneuverable enough that during the early stages of the Great War the ratio of kills to losses had been as low as one to four. But then the Navy’s fighter corps had developed the Tranchi Weave.

“I’ve got you, Five,” Camara answered him, “let’s pull him into the weave.”

Codey’s voice came through the wing-comm now. “We don’t have the distance for that.” He was right. The Tranchi Weave required intersecting flight paths that put enough distance between the two for Camara to get an angle on Codey’s pursuer. They didn’t have time to make the arc they needed for Camara to turn in on the VI. They needed something else.

“Sorry about that,” Camara answered. It wasn’t her fault, really, she knew. He was flying second to her, and should have kept more distance between them, but she could have called it out. Should have called that out. In a training exercise she would have brushed it off, pocketed the slip up as a learning experience to handle better next time. This time, though, might be the last chance she got.

“Not your fault, just need a better idea,” Codey answered. Camara’s mind raced.

“Flip-and-burn,” Camara answered sharply, resting her hand on the acceleration. She wished she’d had another idea, anything else, but that was what she had. “Hold your speed, I’ll make a hard burn to get some distance."

There was a longer moment than usual before Codey answered. Camara’s tac-net blared an alert as the interceptor gained meter after meter on them. “Okay, Six, you got it.”

It took another second to resolve herself to it. Better to do a thing, once you've got your mind made up, than live with the fear of doing it. Camara punched the acceleration, and her tac-net showed her moving away from the pair. She’d seen this in the guncam footage, a rare treat and one of her favorites. It wasn’t a particularly popular one because the g-forces were liable to kill you. Camara thought, somewhere in the back of her mind, that she was young enough that the risk of having a stroke might not be as bad as pilots said. Hoped, maybe.

She put a half klick between herself and Codey before cutting thrust and redirecting power to the microthrusters. They screamed as they capped out at their maximum capacity to flip the ship on its head, fighting against the Aurek’s enormous momentum. The stars and glittering lances of laserfire blurred and lost their colors as she pulled up. Blackness creeped in on her vision. Her breathing was hard and heavy. She thought, distantly, that someone had once told her that whistling was a good way to keep yourself breathing in high-g maneuvers. She wondered who.

She just managed to maintain the presence of mind to hit the thrust again to complete the flip. The positive vertical gs relented and were replaced by the excruciatingly worse negative gs of rapid deceleration as the ship stabilized to level out, and the rapid deceleration as the ship’s engines fought against its velocity. Her vision was clear, if red, as the g-force dampeners overclocked themselves keeping her alive and conscious.

And that was it. She was sliding through space, backwards, decelerating rapidly, nose of her Aurek pointed directly at the oncoming hostile. Codey’s Aurek slipped by her with hardly ten meters between them. Her HUD lit up the transparisteel to highlight the interceptor hurtling towards her. Targeting sensors were painting it clear as day. She squeezed the trigger. A pair of glittering red lances, deepened to a blood crimson by the pressure on her retinas, punched through the cockpit of the Mark VI.

She cut all power and let the ship tumble weightlessly through the void. She would have collapsed if she weren’t already couched snugly in the cockpit. She let out a shuddering exhale as the Aurek’s shielding batted away the debris cloud, and she wiped blood from her nose.

She brought the engines back online and pulled up and away, falling back into her ship’s angle of velocity and bringing her back to Codey's wing.

“Six, you alive out there?” came Codey’s voice through her comms.

“Yeah,” she said weakly. Alive, but in desperate need to empty her stomach into a vac tube.

A whistle came through the comms. “That was a hell of a shot, kid,” Codey said.

“Thanks,” she said with a cough.

The shuttle was a light stock freighter, dressed up in Republic colors, that exited the refueling station hangar with gusto, blue jets emanating from the engine block as it soared into the void. Codey and Camara dropped into a close escort formation, and together the three ships banked toward the fray.

The hyperspace egress point was beyond the hostile capital vessels. Whoever these people were, pirates or otherwise, they’d set up a masterful ambush in a transitory bottleneck, effectively blockading the hyperspace route with just a couple of vessels. Ordinarily these vessels wouldn’t stand a chance against three Republic cruisers, but they’d caught them at their most vulnerable. Two were disabled, engine blocks eviscerated by heavy weapons fire, but the third had managed to disengage from the refueling station and was just then moving into a battle line formation. Granted, it was a battle line of one, but it was her ship.

Some strange emotion clutched at her chest, and she felt a sudden urge to cry as she watched the Autumn Gold, her ship and home between worlds, badly beaten and battered, taking a stand in the face of what felt like overwhelming odds. Turbolasers splashed harmlessly and dissipated against newly onlined shields, and the Autumn Gold’s turrets answered shot for shot in an impressive display of Republic firepower.

“Yellow Squadron, this is Yellow Leader, Colonel Tua and Red Squadron are heavily engaged. We’re getting hit hard, and it’s up to us to start hitting back. The Autumn Gold is damaged but reporting in as fully operational, with shields at thirty percent and steady. Captain Soo is initiating a hard burn into the enemy capital formation. Yellow Five, Six, Seven, and Eight will escort the shuttle to the egress point. The rest of you, arm your proton torpedoes, form up on my wing, and prepare for an attack run on that Ajuur-class. Understood?”

“Understood!” came a chorus of voices over the comms.

“Understood,” repeated Camara, wiping the rest of the blood from her nose and gritting her teeth.
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Hidden 13 days ago 12 days ago Post by Ruby
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Ruby No One

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No. Nononono--

Selene's mouth twisted into a wry grin. "You're not supposed to be there."

The Jedi's lightsaber went off, either a moment later or the moment the second Sith entered the quarters. The ship swayed, lights flickered. Selene could feel the galaxy starting to slip from her fingers. She started to feel like she was falling. No. The feeling wasn't helped to her in the slightest as the two Sith who weren't supposed to be there, at all, showed up sounding almost glib to her suddenly bone cold ears and terror stricken mind.

Oh no...

It happened within an instant. ...sister save me, no. The wry grin vanished, and pretty dark brown eyes caught in unsightly dark circles swelled with tears that began to stream more with every heartbeat after. The Sith Empire was going to win. The anger followed the tears almost as fast. Steam appeared where tears had been before the cascade of bitterness and anger and hatred rolled in what felt in her heart like thunderclaps.

Desperation and anger collided, the Jedi's lightsaber activated again.

"I would have enjoyed this any other moment of my life. Please know that."

Her body lowered into something that resembled a Makashi stance. It was a ruse best started with sleight of hand or trick. Most magic was, Selene knew, and Sith magic was most effective when that was still true. Sure you could recite the right words in the right combination of harmonics between self and the Force. You could invoke the ancient power of the right spirits. You could have started the magical pull of the Dark before you even put the lightsaber into the Jedi's side. All of this was true. It was all just a lot more effective if you made them look with some words and lightsaber antics first.

They weren't idiots. They were highly skilled. But the Jedi rose all the same as they watched her reignite the lightsaber and take her stance, and she didn't blame them for that. The Jedi's eyes were alive with a purple light so jagged with dark lightless energy that the shriek the thing let out was a mere distraction from it's insidious gaze. And that was before the former Jedi's frame burst into flame.

Selene was already in the maintenance shaft of the cargo bay rigged holding cell in literal seconds. She cursed herself. She thought of her sister. She thought of the red haired Jedi, and the way she looked in the shadow and glow under the silent surface of Tython. But mostly she thought of ways out of a situation she knew there was no way out of. She had to create chaos. The fire was fine as a distraction, but she needed more. And pyromancing was a skill Selene still had yet to find any meaningful source material on.

The amount she would pay for that, the amount of effort she would put into stealing it, in this very moment.

The Dark Side seemed to mock her. The hatch was a shit thing, and fragmented. There was no universal crawl space, forcing her out into a corridor. A Republic technician inside a comms room sweating and cursing loudly jerked around when he heard the door open. His eyes blinked. Her eyes narrowed, her lips busy with the right words at the right pitch to carry out and out and further more within the Force, stringing together the energy of past spells and their echoes within the Force, a wave of symphonic Sith spells that felt infinite. The lightsaber was sudden as she was, a speed as close to infinite as practicality allowed in the situation.

There was no rise. There was no shriek. Selene ran quickly, knowing there would only be a sudden and explosive burst of flame. The ship would burn. Systems would fail far faster. Corridors would fog with smoke and the smell of electrical fire. Her head whipped from side to side outside the comms room, wavy and half frozen looking hair flaked with frost waved about following each sudden move of her head.

Her head stopped in a direction. Her body started moving a hard walk forward, Jedi weapon off but in her hand within a grip so tight she couldn't feel her fingers. Desperation and anger. Doors opened and Selene saw a ship. A Sith ship. No one was at the open rear ramp, Selene peeked and walked a half step a time in silence as the larger ship all around them lurched and darkened and began to truly die.

The business end of the unactivated lightsaber pushed at the cheek of the blonde woman. She swatted and turned with irritation and stopped dead at the sight she saw. Selene smiled. "Fancy a ride? Start it--what's your name?"

The blonde shot a death glare inbetween whatever flicking of switches and pushing of buttons were required to comply with the order to start the ship up. "Lieutenant Vaughn."

"Let's go."
Hidden 12 days ago 12 days ago Post by Sini
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Sini

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Collem watched the alerts, messages, number values and reports with grim vigilance. A holographic projection of the ongoing ambuscade was played out before his eyes, making the control station glow in reds and blues. Things were progressing better than he had dared hope. So far, most of the plan had worked: most shuttles and boarding craft had managed to get through and get in. Operatives who had infiltrated the refuelling station were still intact and causing trouble. Fighters and gunships were engaging the enemy all over the board. The Republic had been caught with their breeches down, but their scrambled fighters were putting up stiff resistance. Soon, he knew, those Hammerheads would recover from the initial shock and bring their arsenal to bear.

“Tell Flight Commander Turan to watch those breakaway squadrons. They might try to get around them,” Collem pointed out a small party of Aureks flitting around on the hologram. Aside from the possible damage, those Republic fighters might try and get far enough way to get some message out beyond the jammed communications bubble. Watching the battle unfold, he recognised patterns, feints and probes. Like a director picking out the notes in a symphony, Collem analysed the space battle as if it were a dance floor.

It was time to face the music.

A communication officer stood ready to forward Collem’s orders. “They will be lining up for attack runs soon. Tell the captains to put their point defence on alert, and bring interceptor squadrons into position. I bet they will be gunning for the Ajuur.” He nodded as if confirming with himself. He pressed a button to bring up a direct line of communication with the captain of the Ajuur-class. “Purple Jewel, this is Captain Corvinian. Recall a few fighters from their engagements, set up a screen to intercept. They’ll be coming for you soon.”

The Purple Jewel confirmed reception of the command. “Copy. Captain Jarmand requests support. Considerable support.”

“Get the bulk cruisers to cover your sides.”

“No, sir. He wishes the Terminus cruisers to join the fight. One of the Hammerheads is moving into a defensive position.”

“That’s a negative. Reform the attack line with the bulk cruisers and engage that lone Hammerhead.” There was still a chance they would be able to win this without deployment of the two distinctly imperial vessels. That is, if they were able to put the Republic cruiser out of the fight soon, before the other two had had a chance to slip their moorings. He knew he was asking a lot. Keeping the corridor to the boarded ships open was starting to take its toll on the motley fighter squadrons. Casualties and losses were gradually mounting as more and more Aureks were scrambled.

“Damned foolish bravery,” Collem hissed under his breath, and felt a begrudging grin tugging at his mouth. He would have done the same. That Hammerhead was about to get a pounding that would crack it open like a crustacean, but it would give the other two the opportunity to get into the fray. “Any word on the asset yet?”

“None, sir.”

Jarmand’s Ajuur-class cruiser was reporting the first incoming fire. Damage was minimal, but they all knew proton torpedoes would be coming soon. “Hail Vaughn’s ship… and get our systems hot. We might have to lock horns with those Hammerheads sooner than I had thought. Notify Jarmand's Purple Jewel, command him to fall back a little and see if he can draw those Republic cruisers into range of our guns.”

Hidden 6 days ago 6 days ago Post by Ruby
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Ruby No One

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Collab between Ruby (Briar, Selene) and Sini (Collem)

Briar didn't hear them coming. That, to her, meant that they were likely a Force user. Otherwise she would have heard feet on the false floor of the craft's interior. This working theory of the Imperial Ace was very quickly confirmed with the presence of a lightsaber. Briar knew there was a chance someone not trained in the Force could use a lightsaber, it's just what Imperial citizen hadn't seen those videos? Some idiot, usually some non-citizen, cutting bits of themselves off of themselves because they had no idea what they were doing with a lightsaber.

Funny as they were these days Briar suspected maybe it was the Sith themselves who produced the videos. "See? So vastly superior is our space magic that even attempting to use our weapon will leave you maimed." Or, what precious little amounts of age and wisdom she had hard won allowed her to consider, she was just a jealous non-Force user and a little paranoid about the Sith.

At the command, Briar didn't hesitate a beat of her quick beating heart. "Lieutenant Vaughn."

When the woman told her to go, Briar clipped her harness in, smiled big, and jolted the sticks. There wasn't much space in the hangar, but enough for her to zip up without hitting anything too hard. The force alone was enough to send her out of her seat flying if not for the harness. The woman who threatened her went flying, slamming the back of her dark haired head against bulkhead.

Briar was out of the harness and had her blaster pistol in hand. The hull shook, and for a heartbeat Briar thought she might have hit the stick, but it was the woman: the look in her eyes and the way her hands reached out. Under her breath she cursed all Force users, and aimed the pistol at the woman's head.

"You will NOT win this confrontation."

Briar's voice lowered, her blaster did not. "And you will not make it anywhere alive without me Sith."

The response was immediate, and insulted. "I'm not a Sith."

Briar snorted hard. "Sure as hell act like one."

---

Selene blinked, stunned. Do not! was the immediate response at the tip of her tongue, but even she knew better than to lower herself to adolescence.

"Incoming hail."

Her head snapped. Hope? "Who?"

"My mission commander."

It felt, not for the first time in the last hour, like her heart fell straight to her stomach. Her face was trained not to show it, but even the facade of the Sovereign was starting to crack under the stress and anxiety. Her body was fast to its feet, faster to the headset that the pilot handed her.

“This isn’t your pilot. It’s your target. Who are you?”

---

A momentary silence, followed by a clipped voice sticking to the point. It was clear the person on the other end would give away as little as possible. He was weighing his words as carefully as a spice addict weighed ryll. “Collem Corvinian, in charge of this task force sent to rescue you.” The rescue claim was a half-lie, and indeed the term ‘retrieve’ was the one used in the mission description. “Where is Lieutenant Vaughn?”

---

Selene let off the mic's button, staring down at the pilot, her heart threatening her chest with explosion. "...I really was your mission target." Words Selene spoke with absolute certainty and unmistakable sadness. The mic went back up to her lips, the shock and sadness of seconds before hidden behind that cold hard mask. "A Sith asking about his pilot? I think maybe he likes you."

Selene smirked, though she was still a little too stunned to be her true brand of smartass, giving the blonde only the slightest wink instead. The pilot's eyes rolled, and Selene had to keep herself from a defeated little chuckle escaping her lips into the mic as she made click hot. "Rescue my ass. She's as safe as I am, for now. Who ordered the mission?"

---

Deplorably, the audio link did not convey the cocking of Collem’s eyebrow in response to the verbal crassness. Selene’s profanity made him switch tack. “Preferably all of you, not just your ass. It is my damned head on the line if something were to happen to you. Body parts - and apparently politeness - aside, I have no idea who ordered this strike… other than it is someone far higher up the admiralty than I am.”

---

"He's not a Sith," the blonde pilot interjected as Selene considered her next response, "I know him. I've served with him before. That's why I'm here. I'm an Imperial fighter pilot. I'm an Ace. I'm not lying to you, and neither is he...we have no idea who ordered this mission. All we know is it must come from up top. The Sith they sent after you...they're old, they're powerful, they don't speak much. They make me more scared than any fight I've ever been in, just standing next to them. I've never seen anything like them come on a mission like this. I've never been asked on a mission like this...I don't know who you are but there is only one way out of this for any of us, and it's that man on the other end of that comm line."

Selene stared but remained silent. And remained silent. The Sith the pilot described didn't match the two Sith that had reached her...but Selene had seen the Sith that the pilot spoke about before. In visions, in nightmares. Finally her hand went up to the headset, and the mic was turned hot once more, "Collem Corvinian, how much time can you give us to talk before the Sith those 'higher up the admiralty' sent for me get their hands on me?"

“Just you and I?”

Selene snorted, depressing the mic’s button. “Just us. The pilot, you, me.”

“Long enough for us to figure out some answers, I daresay.” There was a hint of relief in the undertone of the Imperial’s voice.

Fingers snapped at Selene, her eyes darting at the sound. The pilot held out a gloved hand, and after a moment of uncertainty, Selene placed the headset in the gloved hand of the pilot.

"It's Vaughn. Try to give me some cover; the moment I leave this ship and head back to ours I'm gonna be the popular girl on the dance floor. Oh and there's no one else on this ship with us. You might have to help that second ship make it back considering it'll be filled hull to hull."

---

“As if I do not already have a complicated battle to fight as it is…” Collem sighed through the comms. One could practically hear him grip the station. “You do know how much I love messy challenges. Very well, I’m assigning two squadrons to keep that corridor open. It will be tight, Vaughn, one of those Hammerheads is moving into position and our Terminus cruisers will join the fight soon enough. Be sure to treat the flyboys to a round of Corellian contraband when you get back.” A bit of static and then a final sentence before the comms went dead. “They’ll need it.”

---

The pilot looked at her, impatience growing by the microsecond. "Strap in, sweetheart, this is gonna be one hell of a ride."

Selene found co-pilot seat. Found the harness, a few clicks and a tightened strap and she was ready. Her body inhaled a deep breath, uncertainty and anxiety cascading through her limbs. Quietly her right hand took ahold of her left, to keep it from shaking so hard. Ready to go to the Sith ship, to the heart of the darkness she had been running from for far too long.

"Screw it."
Hidden 4 days ago Post by Moskau Spieluhr
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Moskau Spieluhr A Traveler of the Binary Seas

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Lieutenant Satra Maral

975th Special Duties




Dropping down through the unremarkable maintenance hatch, Maral found herself in momentary darkness before her vision-enchantment flickered on and turned the world a subtle green.

Sergeant Foss had cut off power to the compartment the second they had latched onto the Republic cruiser. The Imperial pilot had been as good as promised. Better even. He had to be to be able to crash the boarding shuttle into a maneuvering enemy ship in a controlled manner. He had to be better than good to hit the bullseye and smash the reinforced boarding shuttle into the maintenance hatch that was located conveniently close to the bridge. The shuddering impact as they rammed into the Hammerhead and the timing of their approach made it unlikely that Republic spacers would suspect anything other than a downed boarding shuttle. Not that it mattered, they only needed a bit of time. Time that the mercenaries and the Sith warriors were buying them. Ship mounted plasma torches had made short work of the airlock and before the Republic soldiers knew what hit them, the 975th were on board.

The 975th were quiet ghosts that swept along the ship in unison. No pauses. No hesitation. No wasted movement. Each member of the unit knew when to move and what angles to cover as they bounded down the corridors, jumping from cover to cover. Their blackened heavy battle armor melted into the pitch black of the metal corridor. They wore no unit markings, no rank insignias, and no Imperial flags. Everything that they carried was common, high quality and expensive but not uncommonly rare. Operating on a tight deadline, the quartermasters had used all of their back channel contacts to ensure that the serial numbers of the fresh gear that the 975th sported could be easily traced back to a number of less than reputable weapon smugglers and mercenary outfits. The 975th looked like mercs, they looked like a kill squad. Exactly the sort of mercs that would be making some extra credits by running pirate jobs. Just the right type of psychopaths that would ever consider targeting a Repbulic Navy ship.

Maral didn't need to waste time on orders. They had drilled attacks like this a thousand times. They had died hundreds of times in the simulators. They had felt the painful electrical current of simulated injury and death as they made mistakes. But they had learned. They had perfected their movements. They no longer needed to think. They existed only in the moment. They reacted with the unthinking perfection of a killing machine. It bought them seconds, it bought them lives, and it kept the Jedi or Sith guessing. The mind without mind. The body without the emotion. Adrenaline and carefully curated reflexes acting in perfect harmony.

When words might have been needed, quick hand signals were flashed and tense moments passed in complete silence. Shouting across the corridor of a spaceship was a fast way to reveal your position and to swallow a grenade seasoned with blaster fire. Comms were an option, but comms could be intercepted, comms could be jammed, and comms could break down.

Contact with the enemy was inevitable and from the middle of the unit, Maral could see as the leading elements of the 975th rocketed to a halt. Through smoke she could see Repbulic personnel shouting as they rushed to set up a perimeter. They were combat troops. They were Republic Navy Marines. They were the real deal. But they hadn't seen them. They didn't know which direction they were being attacked from. They were searching for ghosts in the darkness.

Maral drew a long steadying breath and then the 975th opened up, unleashing a hail of accurate blaster fire at their unsuspecting foes. Blaster bolts cut through Transparisteel armor and the Republic Marines fell amid desperate shouts for back-up. The 975th didn't stop, but kept moving. One team of Imperial commandos suppressing the Republic marines, while another bounded forward. They had to be aggressive. They had to keep moving. To hesitate and to stop, was to die. If they were pinned down by the defenders it would only be a matter of time before they were overwhelmed by enemy numbers. They had to get close and they had to stay close. They were ready and the Republic Marines were not. They would not hesitate. They would not falter. They served the Empire. They served the Emperor. They were the spooks that did what had to be done without flash and without reward. They had a ship to cripple.

50 meters forward. Left turn.

As they closed in on the embattled Republic Marines, the teams of Imperial commandos fluidly broke into pairs, finding new angles as they heaped intensifying fire onto the the Republic Marines. Burning flesh welcomed Maral as she followed the tide of advancing Imperial commandos. The welcome heavy thud of her disruptor rifle accompanied Maral with each leap forward. Aiming down the holographic targeting cross-hair projected across the inside of her combat helmet Maral took aim at the first officer that she could spot. His personal shield had kept him alive, but it gave him away. She aimed center mass, it was pointless to be fancy when you carried a disruptor rifle. Thunder raced down the corridor as she braced herself against a wall and fired. The arc of plasma smashed through the military shield and through the grayish Repbulic armor. Maral heard only a brief, maddened scream before the man disintegrated within his armor.

Stepping over the smouldering pile of armor, Maral kept pace with the rest of the 975th. They had no time to admire their handiwork as they finished off the last of the Republic Marines. They had to keep moving.

20 Meters. Hard right.

50 meters forward. Left turn. 20 Meters. Hard right. 34 meters forward. A final right. 45 meters to the blast doors. 20 more to the bridge.

The Imperial commandos raced down the corridors at a breakneck pace. The Imperial commandos of the 975th overwhelmed the confused units of Repbulic Navy specialists and technicians that they encountered as they advanced. Distracted by the mercenaries and Sith warriors, the Republic troopers had put up a pitiful fight against the unexpected foes. Maral didn't care. She wasn't adding notches to her weapon. She was winning a war. There was no time for mercy. The barrel of her disruptor rifle had begun to smoulder and she popped the red-orange barrel off with a deft movement of a hand. Ducking behind a metal column, she replaced it with a fresh barrel. She wouldn't need the rifle for much longer.

34 meters forward. A final right.

Taking the corner in pairs, Maral and the Imperial commandos of the 975th found themselves facing a heavy repeating blaster emplacement hastily assembled from metal crates and sheet metal. The fire that greeted them should have been overwhelming. It should have cost them a commando or perhaps even two. The Republic troopers should have made them pay for each step forward. But they didn't. They shot wide. They were slow. They were gasping for air. They were panicking. Taking cover, the Imperial commandos returned fire as they shifted closer. They were already dead. They all knew it. Anything they did would buy them time. Aggression was the only option. Maral watched with satisfaction as the closet Imperial commando lobbed a stun grenade over the makeshift barricade. Surging forward even before the grenade exploded, the 975th leaped over the piles of debris with salvo of blaster fire that cut into the writhing defenders.

Officers. Engineers. Technicians. They weren't combat soldiers. They had never been. The survivors dropped their weapons. Maral counted three of them. Survivors were unexpected, but they were useful. Especially the two officers.

45 meters to the blast doors. 5 more meters to the bridge.

"Password," Maral said nodding to one of the Imperial commandos who pressed the blade of his knife against the neck of the Republic naval officer.

"I don't know any passwords. I don't have the security clearance!"

"Last chance," Maral whispered as her sergeant drew blood. "You're the officer in charge of this section. You know the password."

"You can't expect me to divulge information that put Republic lives in danger-"

"Sergeant."

The Junior Lieutenant fell to the floor with a silent thud, drowning in her own blood. Maral turned to the warrant officer cowering next to her. "One chance, Senior Warrant Officer, you have one chance to live. You tell us the password, we bring you with us. You refuse, you die here. Drowning in your own blood, like the Junior Lieutenant."

The woman flinched as the Imperial commando guarding her stepped closer. Maral could see the panic in her eyes. The rapid breathing. The shudder that moved through her body. The commando kept her quiet with a simple gesture of his knife. Squeezing her eyes shut, the young specialist spoke just barely above a whisper, "Esk 7 7 9 2. That's the password. Please-"

Maral didn't need to give the order. Her soldiers knew. They were only leaving the ship with one prisoner. Stacking up on either sides of the blast door, the 975th wordlessly set up a perimeter as Sergeant Foss plugged into a nearby access panel.

Contact, a commando signaled as a squads worth of weapons pointed towards a new set of figures that moved down one of the adjoining corridors leading to the bridge.

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