Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Sean Brandt, Brandon Derive, Christopher Levy, Shawn Lovelett, and Alexander Oliva.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:9:18) in the Rhinnal system: Gilded Thranta and Hutt freighter.

Commander Derek Atio, Trooper Zek Correson, Corporal Lovora Rikki, Flight Officer Zan Shelby, and Trooper Kanner Varrik.


In the space surrounding the planet Rhinnal, an Action VI bulk freighter lay disabled and adrift. The large freighter had been disabled from within through a carefully conceived plan by Captain Dagon Tong and his compatriot, Tera Zeiss. The freighter was owned and operated by the Hutt Cartel, although it was broadcasting a nondescript transponder frequency. For the Rebellion this mission was something of a payback against the Hutts for their recent transgressions during the meet on Nar Shaddaa. The crew of some twenty individuals had began attempting to diagnose the problem, but finding no way to repair their transport, they had begun to broadcast a distress signal.

Aboard the Sigma-class shuttle Gilded Thranta, Commander Derek Atio sat quietly, as he listened to the distress signal. "Looks like the Captain's contact got the job done," he said to Officer Shelby, before indicating with his hand for him to move the shuttle forward towards their destination. He was not wearing his uniform ... none of them were ... and he had changed back into his worn bantha hide jacket and the grease stained clothing that lay beneath. "This is the Ringali Shell Security Force," he broadcast over the comm towards the adrift freighter, as they were pretending to be a rescue mission. They had rehearsed carefully. Everyone knew what to do. These men were trained operators and he expected the mission to go off a hitch, but in war anything was possible. They very well might end up executed on the charge of piracy instead of the charge of rebellion ... it made little difference as it was the same result.

Zan was back piloting the Sigma-class shuttle once more, nodding in silence as his commander said that the captain's contact had apparently got the job done. Zan wasn't so sure yet. A lot of things could go wrong and with his past experience, things tend to go AWOL when you least expect them to go wrong. Zan was out of uniform like the rest of the crew aboard the shuttle, he approved of that course of action. Get in and get out as quickly as possible without making a big deal of it. Zan was barely on the confrontational type, but if push came to shove then he would be there with the shuttle to provide cover and possibly cover fire with his blaster, which he now had with him at all times. "Don't worry about the pirate stuff, if it happens then it happens. All we have to worry about is what we have to do, and how we're going to do it" Zan said quickly, before bringing the shuttle closer to the freighter and docking with it.

Eased comfortably inside the Sigma-class shuttle, Correson examined the A280 rifle carried within his palms. Spent great deal cleaning the weapon, ensuring it were suitable for combat. Meanwhile he listened intently to the entire crew while keeping silent. Yet he overheard mention of piracy. "So, we're going up against pirates or using them to get to the Hutts?" Correson had been with the crew for good while, knowing that his smuggling days were over the moment he signed on for the Rebellion's crusade in restoring peace. Glances over to Atio, nodding. "Well, if you always need someone to shoot an eye out and leave a nasty scar on a pirate, yanno I can do it."

This sort of thing was pretty new to Lovora Rikki. While she'd had her rebellious phase (that, according to some individuals, was still very much in progress) she had never been anything like a pirate. Joining the Rebellion had been her first move into something real and, while she had found a niche she could excel in, a lot of this was trial by fire in a big way. This little mission was no different. Like the others, she was dressed for the occasion. The commando armor had been replaced by black and red leather with a handful of strategically (and fashionably) placed synthsteel plates. The style had been all the rage back home, a kind of pseudo-archaic look that fed perfectly into a teenage culture that hero worshipped rebels of the past. The one thing she hadn't given up, of course, was her beloved Z-6 rotary blaster. The weapon looked all the more ridiculous in the slender soldier's hands when she lacked the bulk of her armor to offset its size, but the way she handled it left little room for doubt that the girl knew her way around it. "I think what he's saying is that we are the pirates. Sort of. Pretend pirates, I guess." She spoke to Correson. "Not that pirating Hutts is really any sort of piracy. Kinda like stealing droids from jawas."

Derek was quick to unfasten himself from the seat once Shelby had successfully docked the shuttle with the bulk freighter. "Alright, everyone. Captain Tong's contact managed to successfully disabled the freighter for us. I wish I could share more information, but he's playing this one close to the blast vest," he said, was he moved towards the docking hatch. "Standard crew of one of these is about twenty. The Hutts could be using more ... they could be using less. Kill everyone. Then we'll load as much of the cargo as we can, and blow the ship. The Empire will think it was pirates," he said, as he began to climb the small ladder to the hatch controls. "Remember these are criminals. Now's not the time to grow a conscience. We've all come too far," and with that he grabbed hold of the handle, and pulled it out, rotating it 180-degrees before pressing it back in. There was a *hiss* of pressure gasses and then the hatch released, revealing the dimly lit corridors of the freighter that lay beyond, with only red emergency lights serving to illuminate the halls. "They're expecting a rescue. Not commandos," he told them, before he slid back down the ladder to allow Correson to go first. So far everything was going exactly according to plan.

Zan looked over to his commander as the shuttle docked with the freighter, His feelings already venturing into uneasiness. The docking was too easy, this freighter felt like the middle of nowhere and most of all he felt like exposed. Not in the exposure of being caught naked in public, but the exposure of being caught in a sniper's scope and there was nothing able to be done and you were finished. "I think that I'll stay with the shuttle, things are already suspicious as they are already. Don't need your pilot getting shot or losing an arm" Zan hadn't been talkative as he was on previous missions, he kept the majority to himself during the past few days and with an anniversary coming up. He would be keeping that way for a while at least. "Why do i get the feeling that is a trap for bounty hunters?"

Masquerading as pirates? "Remind me to get an eye-patch next time." As the freighter had docked in completion, the former smuggler unfastened his seatbelt and rose off ground. Gripped the A280 in hand, as well keeping the SSK-7 holstered against his right thigh. Glanced over to Command Atio addressing others before Rikki mentioned about making the scenario look like pirates. "Roger that." As the ladder was provided for the insurgent, his gloved hands gripped the durasteel ladder. Then applied both legs on either side, before descending swiftly down below. Upon touchdown, he immediately knelt down and raised the rifle upward securing the area momentarily. "Area looks secured." He spoke through the communications frequencies. Until his eyes captured an alerted Rodian. Quickly, he trained the armament then released a single crimson bolt which burned through the man's chest. "Area clear."

"Well I guess it's a good thing we aren't bounty hunters then, isn't it?" Lovora smirked, glancing back in Zan's direction while Correson went to make his way down first. She shuffled into place next, letting him get positioned before she got ready to descend as well. "Don't be so scared. You got two of the best you could ask for, and the man who keeps us in line. You'll be fine." She peered over Correson's shoulder as he prepared to slide down, muttering a few very unflattering curses under her breath as she worked to sling the Z-6. The blaster was meant to be carried, and trying to wear it over the shoulder or on the back was an awkward proposition. "Kriffing jerry-rigged docking..." She was on the ladder when she heard the blaster fire below, freezing for just a moment until she heard the all clear. Once it came she finished her own descent, shifting the Z-6 into her hands as soon as she was down there, powering up the rotary blaster for action. A look went to the dead Rodian, and then to a comlink on his belt. "Wonder if he was our welcoming crew. Maybe try saying something? Get a few of them down this way for easy clean up?"

Aboard the bulk freighter the crew began to stir. Each of them knew the sound of blaster fire, and the remainder of the crew began to prepare for the unknown. As the vessel was operating on emergency power there was no ability to sound the alarm, but a Trandoshan, a Houk, and a Bothan grabbed hold of their heavy blaster pistol and began to rush towards the sound of the blaster fire. When they arrived on the scene they saw that rather than a Ringali Shell Security Force rescue team ... it was pirates. The Trandoshan snarled and began to open up fire from his T-21 repeating blaster rifle, not bothering to take cover, because he was simply too big. The Bothan and the Houk grew concerned, and began to back up, pinning themselves against the bulkhead before unleashing a torrid wave of blaster fire down the corridor towards the two suspected pirates.

Witnessed the Rodian meet his demise, his corpse fell over as smoke emitted from the wound he inflicted. As Rikki descended, there was slight smirk curled across his lips. Quickly investigated the body of the dead Rodian, looting whatever contraband he possessed including his weapon. The former smuggler figured looting corpses might be vital to whatever items are deemed worth for themselves, and associates. Seeing the Bothan make it's wayward journey, Correson strafed. "Bothan!" Alerting others before them got harmed. The blaster bolt did miss Correson's arm by a centimeter, almost virtually grazing his bicep. "Sonuva a hutt!" Motioned opposite of Rikki and others in the corridor. "Rik, got any grenades on you? Would appreciate that right about now."

Lovora had really been counting on this being a covert entry and trusted that was the case, even after Correson had to gun down the Rodian. Unfortunately it seemed the crew of the Hutt vessel was on alert for trouble, and discovered pretty quickly that it was here. As Correson went to one side Lovora went to the other, shoulder hitting the wall just as blaster fire wizzed past. "No, but I got a big damn blaster!" As the words came out she was hoisting the Z-6 up and mashing down the trigger. For a fraction of a second the weapon whined, ramping up its energy, pulling power from the cell as it readied. Then a hail of blaster bolts flew down the corridor, lighting up the dim walls in brilliant flashes. The Trandoshan was the first to go, a hail of blaster bolts riddling his torso, killing him before his body had a chance to fall. She laid on the fire still, forcing the Bothan and the Houk into cover. "Dropping fire, get ready to nail one of these sorry bastards!" She didn't quite yell, just speaking loud enough for Correson to hear over her blaster fire, which, moments after she spoke, came to an end. Her finger hovered over the trigger, ready to unleash another barrage, but she waited to give the more accurate commando a chance to get off a shot that would do more than just force them to duck.

As the Trandoshan was obliterated, the Bothan and Houk panicked noticeably, as they were there to unload cargo, not engage in a blaster fight. The Bothan was the first to make a mistake, popping his head out from behind the bulkhead to get a better aim on the commandos, when a blaster bolt suddenly connected him squarely between the eyes, frying his brain and dropping him dead to the deck below. The Houk panicked and instead of continuing the attack, he tossed his blaster pistol out in front of him, and stepped forward to surrender.

"That's a lot of blaster fire," Derek commented, as he listened to the firefight that was raging overhead. The Tetan commander was quick to move towards the weapons locker where his trusty blaster carbine was contained, just in case one of their corpses suddenly fell back down the hatch into the shuttle. His eyes moved towards the chronometer on his left wrist, realizing that they were in danger of falling behind schedule and risk the real Ringali Shell Security Force ... or worse, the Empire, from showing up on the scene.

Disappointed Rikki didn't possess anything more obliterating but then again he shouldn't be using explosives on board other vessels, particularly ones deep into space. Seeing how his comrade eliminated the Trandoshan, Correson recuperated for brief moment collecting his thoughts as the graze wound stung severely. But luckily he wasn't killed off, or he wouldn't be standing anymore. Suddenly as those laser bolts stopped, he peered over his shoulder blade seeing nothing but the pistol drawn out with the Houk stepping out surrendering. "Commander do we need him alive?"

Lovora was ready to go with her blaster, the Z-6 no doubt the source of almost all the noise Derek had heard from inside the ship. It probably sounded like a pair of small armies, given the close quarters. The power cell had to cool before she could lay down any more fire without risking damage to the weapon, but all the same she kept it pointed at the Houk, trusting that he was none the wiser to the fact. "Keep your mouth shut and your hands where I can see them." She motioned for the Houk to come to them, the circle of barrels aimed at the alien all the while, finger on the trigger. Even if she did risk damage, enough bolts would be fired to scrap the Houk where he stood, so she wasn't overly worried about him trying anything while Correson waited on orders from the Commander.

Derek was quick to climb up the ladder once the blaster fire had subsided. When he emerged he quickly saw the downed Rodian, Trandoshan, and Bothan. "Excellent work," he said to them, but then he noticed the Houk standing there still alive. "No. We don't need him," he said to Correson, as he raised his QuickSnap 36T level with the Houk's chest. Without hesitation he pulled back on the trigger and unleashed a deadly bolt of crimson energy that tore into the man's chest and dropped him lifeless to the ground. "Shelby, get up here and help with the cargo," he yelled down through the hatch at the pilot. There was not much time left and he knew that they had to get as much of the cargo as they could ... their commanding officer had gone through so much to make the operation possible. "Correson, Rikki, be alert ... these four can't be all that's here," he said to them, as he brought up a projection of the internal layout of the ship. He showed them where the cargo was, as well as the best route to the bridge.

Zan was sitting back and relaxing in his pilot's chair of the shuttle as he could hear his commander's shouting orders towards his direction, Zan fell out of his chair and had his blaster ready in case it was needed again. Walking back to the hatch controls as he was ready to have it opened, his instinct already screaming inside him for not having the shuttle ready to go at the moment's notice. "Let me guess, there were hostiles on this freighter, just like i said there would be. I hate being right, why can't i be wrong for once." The hatch was opened as he finished his sentence, Zan stood by the hatch in the cover position and the shuttle was ready for take off as soon as the word was given. "This cargo better be worth it, we're too exposed like this"

Upon Atio's command, he witnessed the Houk being gunned down, indication there shouldn't be survivors. "Copy that, Commander." Figured being pirates they wasn't any sense of resilience nor remorse for the crew. None were to be left alive nor accounted for the scene. "Whatever you're gonna do, do it fast!" Calling out the Commander as he situated beside the other commando, Rikki. One knee met the surface they walked, as he sunk downward while he trained the weapon throughout the corridor. Kept his back aligned with Rikki, while scanning the corridor. Watched carefully during the procedure, as he awaited till Atio and Shelby got the loadout.

Lovora Rikki's breath hitched in her throat when she saw Aito gun down the Houk as if he were on a range shooting target droids. At first the brutality of it simply stunned her and she didn't really know how to feel, but a sense of wrongness seeped into her bones as she saw the lifeless body crumple. Sure, she'd just gunned down two and killed plenty of others besides, but every one of them had a gun in their hand, a blaster pointed at her or her friends and allies. Killing in a fight was one thing, but that was just...well, a part of her wanted to call it murder. "Yeah, copy." Some wind had been taken out of her sails and it was clear in her voice, but she busied herself checking the cell's power reserve on her Z-6 and moving in to cover Atio and Correson as they moved on. A deep breath and she had her blaster ready to go, about half spent in charges. As they made their way through she alternated with Correson, one taking first move down the hall as the other provided cover.

Zan was with Derek as Zan was securing the cargo, Moving as fast as he could considering the consequences of his last mission. The holster for his blaster was already loosen for a quick draw if needed be. "The one time i decide to be passive for once, we get unwanted company. My relatives on Theed would be most displeased with this, but oh well. They never liked me anyway." Zan was speaking aloud as he loaded the cargo onto the shuttle and was securing it firmly for transport. The deep feeling of dread inside him ever growing as the cargo was now secure inside the shuttle. "OK boys and girls, time to leave this place behind." Zan went back to the shuttle's piloting controls as he secured himself in preparations to leave.

Derek watched as the process of loading cargo began, slowly moving from the depths of the bulk freighter into the smaller shuttle below. As he stood there, he occasionally checked to see if anything worthwhile was being obtained, or if they had just wasted their time on this mission. He was pleased to see the amount of explosives and offensive weaponry they had acquired. He stopped, grabbing hold of one crate of explosive charges. "We're going to need this to blow the ship. We want the locals ... and especially the Empire ... to think this was just another pirate raid," he said to Correson and Rikki as he began to hand out charges for them to place at strategic points throughout the freighter. His eyes again looked towards the chronometer ... time was running out ... and Captain Tong was a stickler for efficiency.

Kanner had remained aboard the shuttle, his head was pounding, and his lip was swollen it felt as if he had got into a shock boxing match with a bunch of barabels. The synth flesh that covered the vibro knife wounds itched but didn't dare scratch at them. The Hutt's people had did a number on him back in the cells. He could feel the vibrations of the ship's engines through his boots as he hung loosely in the crash restraints. Kanner felt around his pockets when he became conscious looking for the holo image of him, and his sister, and felt a well of disappointment. It had been taken when they were taken prisoner by the Hutts, He also wasn't in any shape to help with first two phases of the current op so he sat there quietly nursing his wounds. Kanner felt the weight of his failure, and he just grunted as he stared at the durasteel paneled floor.

Assisted Rikki and others down the empty corridors reaching where the freighter was located. Spotted the smaller shuttle in distance as the area was deemed clear. Being thrown several charges, Correson began roughly implanting on each specific point Atio instructed. Once he go them placed properly, he activated the charges only return shortly to check the empty corridors for any incoming crew members.

With the chronometer on his wrist beginning to beep, Derek realized that the time they had allotted to the mission was up and it was now time to go. Once Rikki and Correson had made their way back into the Gilded Thranta, he was quick to slide down the ladder back inside of the shuttle as well. When all hands were safely aboard he activated the control panel to seal the hatch and begin the process of unbuckling the shuttle from the freighter. "Zan. We're clear. Get us out of here!" he shouted towards the cockpit, before checking to make sure all of the explosives were properly secure. If they were not ... Shelby's sometimes unconventional piloting could cause a serious problem for them all. His last action was to take the detonator for the charges that had been planted and tossed it towards Varrik, whom he felt deserved to be the one to activate them once they were clear.

"No problem" Zan was already strapped into his pilot's seat as he controlled the shuttle to release from docking clamps attached to the freighter, before leaving the ship behind them. Hoping that everyone was already aboard and strapped into their seats, as the shuttle hastened towards Ringali Nebula." Are we clear? Because I want to know before entering the nebula, because if i were hunting, I would be hiding there and waiting for my prey to enter my sights before firing."

Kanner blinked a few times in an attempt to clear his vision, and he let out a very loud groan as he heard the sound of quicken footsteps ran past him. Kanner wasn't trained as a medic but whoever had set his wounds probably wasn't either. He reached into his pockets looking for anything to and ease the pain in his skull, he found the pockets empty save for a small cylinder device that was cold to the touch. Kanner hit the latch on the restraints, and slowly stood up quickly regretting it as the ship shifted and he fell off to the side using the padding of the seat to steady himself. He licked his dry lips, and grunted at the pain as he started to walk towards the cockpit, it felt like every step was a struggle. The dizziness was something new it made his steps unsure. When he reached the cockpit, he spoke his voice cracked, "Si-r ... rea-dy for my part of the Op." Kanner said, he wondered if he looked as half bad as he felt.

Derek was busy making sure that the explosives were safely in place, when he noticed that Kanner was moving towards him. He looked through the viewport and felt they had moved safely from the disabled freighter and he offered a nod of his head to the trooper. "Let 'er blow, Varrik," he said calmly, as if it were nothing ... this was the effect the war had on him. He had changed a lot since he took command of the corvette Argo last year and the once jovial engineer who was rarely sober now found himself to be a stone cold killer and ordering the death of a dozen or so Hutt fiends left aboard the freighter meant nothing to him.

Kanner used the cockpit's door frame to steady himself, his right hand fished out the small cylinder object. He stared at it for a second, "I'm sorry sis for losing it.." Kanner muttered beneath his breath and then his thumb depressed the switch with a click. The explosion ripped out in space sending debris hurling away. Kanner dropped the detonator weakly, "Jobs done Sir...permission to go rest." Kanner asked.

Derek braced himself as the explosive wave moved towards the shuttle, causing it to rock lightly, but fortunately not enough to disrupt their explosive cargo. He was more concerned with the condition of the cargo than he was the men at the time being, for if anything went wrong they would likely all be blasted into oblivion. "Good job everyone," he said, as he moved to open a crate that was filled with bottles of Corellian ale. They had earned it, he thought to himself, before he moved to place a reassuring hand upon his shoulder. "Get some rest, Varrik. We should be able to get you some of the medical supplies soon," he said, with a firm nod of his head, realizing that the trooper still not had recovered from the earlier incident on Nar Shaddaa.

Kanner felt the pressure of the hand on his shoulder and he nodded weakly his throat felt scratchy and dry. He turned and walked back slowly towards his seat, "Didn't tell'em anything Sir...not a damn thing." Kanner said, he had to remind himself that all of the pain was worth it, he used the ship's walls to once again slowly make his way a few meters back to his seat, and he practically fell into it, before pulling up the restraints back into place.

As the shuttle transitioned into the Ringali Nebula he grabbed hold of one of the bottles of Corellian ale, which he was quick to open with a device that he kept in his pocket at all times when he was out of uniform ... he never knew when he might need it. The first swig of the ale was always the best and all the others that followed were not nearly as satisfying. He let out a sigh as he leaned back against the bulkhead, the cold ale doing much to calm him after another nerve wracking mission. And this had been one of the easier ones. They had come along way from their first operations in the Outer Rim and many commandos and support personnel had passed through their ranks, but now it all seemed to be finally coming together for them as they pressed deeper into their efforts in the Rhinnal system.

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