Lieutenant Randi Trainor eased back on the throttle of the Lambda
Shuttle Kwai as it descended towards the city of Cormond,
Brentaal's capital. As she spotted the Imperial facility in the
distance, she cut the throttle almost to a stop and activated the
repulsorlift engines. The pilot activated the landing gear, which
gently touched down on the platform on the East side of the
compound. Her final move was to lower the ramp beneath the cockpit
to allow the passengers debark.
Admiral Claudius Rodney, the Imperial commander of the Ringali
Shell, descended the ramp into the compound. He was stern-faced, as
always. After walking down the ramp he came to a stop before where
Major Tong was waiting, and moved several steps to the right to
allow the compliment of Imperial troops to debark after him.
''Disembark!'' came the rough voice of the Noncommissioned Officer,
Lieutenant Valo Revan. Unlike the rest of the squad he was dressed in
uniform. He paused to brush a few specks of dust from his sleeve as
the squad of six including himself marched out by twos. Valo
bringing up the rear. The Stormtrooper glanced towards the important
VIP passenger. He paused to click his heels and give a salute at
chest level. You never knew if a rebel sniper was peering down the
barrel of a blaster gunning for an officer. ''Admiral Rodney, sir,''
he rumbled and was already struck by the arid and hot climate. He
could feel his skin sticking to his uniform already. It would be
hellish inside the Stormtrooper armor he was sure.
Dagon Tong looked like a mercenary more than a high ranking officer,
in combat coveralls and armor, his face obscured by a pair of
sunglasses and a scarf like article that wrapped around the lower
half of his face. Both hands rested in front of him, on the top of
the blaster rifle that hung from his body by a three point tactical
sling. He did not not salute at all, only nodding his head slightly,
his left hand falling to his side as he came to attention just
slightly, his clenched fist stopping just a few inches from the drop
holster on his thigh, and hanging straight for a moment. "Admiral
Rodney, given the state of security around here, you will, I trust,
forgive the breech in etiquette," he stated.
"Ah, Major," Admiral Rodney said politely, trying to hide his
disdain for the attire. "I decided to accompany the first element of
soldiers deployed to the surface," he began to explain, "hopefully
the locals won't become too alarmed by this development." He paused,
motioning towards the Lieutenant next to him, "This is Lieutenant Valo
Revan. His squad will be the first deployed to Brentaal. They'll be
assigned to assist the Storm Commandos in whatever manner
''Sir,'' Valo said giving a nod of his head in his direction. Slowly
he quashed the urge to give the Major an ass chewing about his ...
attire. If a man was dressed like that in his squad, there would be
hell to pay. But rank had its perks he did suppose. ''Certainly the
locals will see it for there own ... safety and protection from
insurgents,'' he said in that same calm tone. That hawk like gaze
spearing the Major where he stood.
"They just lost a hospital to terrorists, I wouldn't be surprised if
they'd welcome the troops," Dagon stated as he turned to look at the
new man who had disembarked from the craft, his eyes noting the
glare, his own flat, dead gaze barely bothering to return the look.
"I would recommend moving the meeting indoors, sir. There have been
more than one attempt on officers on planet, as you well know," he
"Yes, that seems like the prudent course of action," he informed the
Major, "after you."
Dagon nodded a bit, and turned towards the administrative building,
which sat closest to the landing pad. The building contained most of
the conference rooms on base. The major's boots made little sound
against the soil and and duracrete that they fell on as he led them
out of the possible line of fire.
Admiral Rodney moved close behind the Major, surveying the facility
with a keen eye before entering into the building. He seemed a bit
more relaxed once he was indoors. He continued to follow the other
officer into one of the conference rooms. It was not as
sophisticated as the conference rooms aboard his flagship, but it
would make do for the matter at hand.
''Sir, I would recommend that we question the locals ... discover
possible hideouts for rebels. And root out sympathizers. Then
conduct raids,'' Valo growled as they arrived in one of the
Once inside the building, the major, removed the cowl and
sunglasses, his eyes turning on the Lieutenant for a moment. "Question
the locals huh .. what, just hope to find one that knows something,
in the thousands of people in this city? Not that I especially enjoy
finesse, but one of the recent death's may have given us a
more efficient route to a source of information," he stated, as he
moved to the edge of the table and leaned to the center, inserting a
holodisc into the display module there. Once activated, it spewed
forth the file that Lieutenant Targen had created on the informant
before his last, and fatal meeting. "If we can get this informant to
try and make contact again, I think we'll have the information we
need, or at least a place to start where we can find it," he stated.
"Please brief me on what operations you have planned, Major," the
Admiral said, as he took his seat at one of the chairs at the large
Valo was at the least irritated by this upstart Major but chose to
keep his mouth closed. He waited for him to continue.
"The major one is a sting on this informant, ISB will make contact,
as they were the agency contacted the first time. Upon verification
that this is the man, my team, or the Lieutenant's Stormtroopers can
affect the arrest without too much trouble. After detention, the
suspect will be transported back to ISB offices for interrogation,"
Dagon stated. The scarred visage turned to look upon the Lieutenant
for a moment, as he cited the man's forces. "We have also begun
reconnaissance against local nobles and politicians, starting with
those suspected to be Rebel sympathizers, and the most ardent
Imperial supporters. Brentaal is not teeming with either. The few
prospects available will be analyzed, and one selected. Within the
next two weeks, a rebel squad will strike and kill one of the
Imperial supporters here. With ties that can be traced back to one
of the sympathizers. The public will see its leaders falling to
terrorists, as did its hospital. Rebel support will dry up like a
puddle on Tatoonie at high noon, and if not, there will certainly be
less people willing to hide them." The supposed upstart did not
smile throughout any of the briefing, only looking those he briefed
squarely in the eye. "SAGroup will also begin normal operations
within the month," he stated.
"Excellent, Major," the Admiral said. The Imperial operations on the
surface seemed to be meeting with greater success than those in
space. "Are there any other resources you require," he queried.
Lieutenant Valo Revan to say the least was impressed. A hand scratched
at his chin as he shut his trap and let the officers chat.
"We are well stocked with arms here. And with the inclusion of the
Lieutenant's forces, I think there will be little need for further
assault troops," Dagon stated, but he left out the fact that he had
brought his own men in almost a month ago to aid in this, though he
figured he would be forced to divulge it at some point. "I do have
on request though, sir," he stated.
"Yes, Major," Admiral Rodney inquired, leaning forward in his chair
slightly to give the manner additional attention.
"I have a man, Corporal Enzaki. He sustained an injury during an
operation, and lost a finger. As a demolitions expert, he needs all
ten for maximum dexterity and effectiveness. As the hospital was
detonated, such an item is not easily found here. I would like
permission to send him back to the Warspite for the prostetic,"
"Very well, Major," the Admiral replied, "have the man brought
aboard my shuttle.
"Thank you, sir," Dagon nodded a bit, and waited to see if there was
another question in the wings.
"Well, then," the Admiral said, rising from his seated position,
"Lieutenant ... I leave you in the Major's able hands. Keep me posted
on all of your operations, Major, and please let me know if there is
any additional support that can be provided to you."
''Thank you, Admiral sir ... if you wouldn't both mind I'm going to
see that my men are billeted properly," Valo stated, and then left.
"Aye, sir. And thank you for not broadcasting my arrival widely, and
particularly my identity. It has saved me a great deal of grief,"
Dagon decided that the fleet officer deserved thanks for that, after
the previous night. The Mandao was not above a thanks when it was
deserved, though he seldom thought about it.
"My staff would have me take all the press, Major," the Admiral said
in jokingly as he exited the conference room.