Admiral Claudius Rodney was in the
conference room high upon the command tower of the Imperial I-class
Star Destroyer Warspite. Junior officers were moving about
frantically and mouse droids moved to and fro delivering countless bites
of critical data. On the tactical display a holographic image of the
planet Esseles slowly rotated, and then stopped, focusing in on the city
of New Calamar. The tactical readout showed the Terril Naval Base while
supplemental screens showed burning wreckage and a comm transmission
with the commander of the 948th Attack Line. The Admiral looked pained
in his facial expressions, and shook his head dejectedly as he received
an updated report. It had been a dark for the Galactic Empire ... one in
a series of dark days ... but he was optimistic that things would soon
turn around. He lowered his middle-aged face slowly, seeking out the
nearest available chair, handling a datapad to read up on the latest
casualty lists. There was an entire stack of casually lists coming in
from all six worlds these days. Things were getting out of hand.
Colonel Verus Theus subtly made his
entry into the conference room, weaving between the bustling staff
officers. He had been informed of the Esseles attack by fellow Bureau
colleagues, an incident which only added to the tally of Rebel strikes.
His own situation appeared moderately stable ... the raid and subsequent
arrest of the false terror cell was likely to win a portion of goodwill,
and plans were in motion to further locate the devious terror cells. The
Colonel approached the table and offered a salute to the Admiral,
preparing himself to receive another rhetorical question analogy.
The ISB uniform was fitted well to his
form, he stood at 1.73 meters, cold blue eyes observed the Admiral, as
Sergeant Jonas Garrett stepped into the room. The perfectly shined boots
falling heavy with every step that he took. A gloved hand readjusted the
cap, as he fitted it over buzzed short brown hair. He had just finished
replacing most of the gear that he had requisitioned for the original
mission, he saluted the Admiral, and took a seat at the table, placing
down a pad.
"I assume you have heard, Colonel?" the
Admiral began, without bothering to begin the conversation with
pleasantries. His right arm flung wildly towards the tactical screen
which were bringing the latest updates from the situation on Esseles.
"Two of our shuttles, fully laden with cargo were fully obliterated in
the first strike," he snarled as he went over the tally once again.
"Further an entire squad of Navy troopers were savagely murdered by
these rabble..." he continued, the words carrying particular weight as
he almost struggled to speak them out loud. "And if that was not bad
enough? Major Kiley's Storm Commandos were killed while responding to
the attack!" he said, as he tightened fist into a ball and slammed it on
the conference table with tremendous force.
The Colonel had grown accustomed to
various fists and datapads being thrown at conference tables; the
outburst by the Admiral did not particularly startle him. Theus allowed
the silence to continue in the room for a few moments, ideally enabling
the senior officer's anger to dissipate. With a brief nod, Theus raised
his voice. "I was briefed, sir. An unfortunate loss in Esseles, though
my forces are prepared to orchestrate a trap for the Rebels in Cormond.
We are close to finally making tangible progress against their terror
The Admiral quietly listened to the
Colonel's report, leaning back in his chair and seeming slightly more
relaxed when hearing the word 'progress'. "Progress is good, Colonel,"
he said as he studied the man's facial features. Too much seemed to
depend on this new ISB Tactical Unit that had been forced upon him.
Still, it was better than having to deal with Major Zevrin and her
conniving schemes. "The three 'Rebels' the Commandos captured the other
day have said nothing. They will be tried and publicly executed for
their crimes against humanity," he explained to the men, as his
attention fixated to the NCO. "Tell me, Sergeant. How is the morale in
the ranks?" he asked, placing his hands in front of him on the
conference table as he awaited his reply.
The cold blue eyes narrowed slightly as
the Admiral began already into the mission briefing without addressing
the problems with the previous mission. Jonas' hands remained folded
together in front of him, he raised an eyebrow very slightly, and
replied simply with a two words. "Low, sir." he said, though morale was
the least of his concerns.
"Which is why," the Colonel continued,
"that we must take direct action against the actual Rebel cell." Though
the Colonel had facilitated the false flag operation, he had personally
viewed it as an unnecessary excursion. Time and manpower were quite
scare, and he greatly preferred to be hunting the real threat. "Given
our conversation with the Vigo, I am returning his lieutenant with the
case of E-11 blaster rifles. The Rebels will undoubtedly learn of this
transfer, and we will be prepared to capture any assault force they
attempt to deploy against us."
The Admiral was concerned at the notion
of low morale among the ranks. He was of the school of thought that
believed that victory was built from the ground up. "Morale is very
important, but it is not something we can manufacture," he explained to
the duo as officers shuffled behind them. The fires had yet to die down
on the viewscreen off to the right as the fuel reserves continued to
burn into the night. "Do make sure the trap is successful, Colonel," he
instructed him, as he considered the plan carefully. "The Black Sun are
not to be trusted. When this operation against the Rebels is over ... we
should visit Vigo Chall," he said, sneering as he spoke the name ... he
long resented the Neimoidian crime lord and wished him gone from the
Jonas continued to wait for the details,
as he casually shifted his attention towards the screen, and the
destruction before concerning himself with what was going to be coming.
More than likely it was going to be a trap, Jonas knew traps. He
continued to bide his time, watching the both of them speak.
"Of course, sir." Theus also shared the
severe disdain for the Black Sun kingpin; any collaboration with the
Vigo would be a temporary arrangement at best. "Once we capture and
interrogate the Rebel terrorists, we will be able to move quite swiftly
against their allies throughout Cormond. They may still attempt to flee
the planet, however." The Colonel paused for a moment. "Has there been
any word on the status of reinforcements to the sector?"
"As we speak the Inquisitor is meeting
with the Grand Vizier to request just that..." Admiral Rodney explained,
his mind drifting for a moment to the Inquisitor's report, which had
alarmed him considerably given the negative impression she had at him.
"I do not think we can count on reinforcements, however," he explained
grimly, lowering his head and shaking it dejectedly. They could badly
use reinforcements, but thus far none had been forthcoming. "We must
prepare for battle with the resources we have," he concluded, waiting
for any additional information regarding the Colonel's plan for his next
"Snipers will be placed at strategic
points, all around the area ... I've also made notations of possible
locations where enemies may very well be, if there is indeed combat, and
will have explosives placed there, also at the entrances. I'm going to
have the local squadrons on call, so if I need air support it will be
there. There will be no failure this time, Admiral. I will personally
see to that." Jonas said, there was no smug satisfaction in that cold
The Colonel nodded in agreement. "During
the course of the engagement, if the Black Sun lieutenant is killed or
the E-11 shipment is destroyed...I will not be particularly distressed."
While civilians qualified as collateral damage, Black Sun personnel and
material hardly counted. "We will be onsite for less than fifteen
minutes. Given the location in an industrial sector, I anticipate no
Claudius Rodney nodded in approval at
the Sergeant and Colonel's preparation for the battle. He was a Naval
officer and he preferred to stay out of matters that involved ground
forces whenever possible. "I trust the Empire's future in this region
are in good hands, Colonel," he said with a firm nod of his head. "I
approve of everything the two of you have brought before me and I look
forward to news of our victory," he continued, as he rose from his seat
and walked towards the tactical display. "Unfortunately, the situation
on Esseles requires my attention at the moment, gentleman. I am
confident in your victory," he said, offering them a firm nod of his
head. There was much to be done and it seemed like each time they took a
step forward, there was another step back.
Two Swift Assault 5 Hoverscout speeders
zoomed into the area, moving past the numerous crates. Jonas' men had
already secured the locations, there were a few different ways in, and
out. He had the Hoverscouts stop in the middle, near a crate that did
not have any explosives rigged by it. He gave a double click over the
secure channel, informing that they were in position. He was in fully
enclosed armor, which he had taken some time to take a few weapons from
the Model 210 personal armor, and place them back onto his own personal
Several sets of eyes watched the
approaching Imperial speeders. The Rebel squad was quietly spread out
across the construction site, its location having been provided in
advance by Black Sun. A number of parked speeders were disguised and
hidden from sight, though remote activators were prepared to jumpstart
the vehicles to life at a moment's notice. The Rebels took no action for
the time being, simply waiting for the Imperials to begin unloading
their valued cargo.
Corporal Xiri Tallare looked out from
her perch, giving her comlink a double click go ahead on the mission.
Like a 'smart' leader, she was commanding from the back of the
operation. Several of the Rebel soldiers moved forward, A280's at the
ready, alert for any signs of danger. Not knowing their mission was
Lieutenant Lork Rantee sat nervously next
to the case of Imperial E-11 blaster rifles, not sure what to expect.
The Neimoidian Black Sun lieutenant knew he had been released from his
Imperial captivity, but he had been provided with no information on the
reasons why. He swallowed nervously, thinking they could have picked a
much better, or safer, location. "Hurry up!" he 'ordered' the Imperial
officer, wanting to get this whole thing over as quickly as possible.
Jonas gave another double click over the
comm, and the second transport which was in the open, opened, and two
men escorted out the Black Sun Lieutenant, leaving the cargo for the
moment in place. One of the troopers, spoke up to the Lieutenant,
<Click>"The cargo will be unloaded upon the arrival of your
"They will be here," Lork
them as he looked over the terrain nervously. Neimoidians were a
paranoid species and every corner screamed of danger. He peered out into
the darkness and every shadow seemed to pose danger.
The Rebel insurgents continued to watch
their target, noting the exit of the Nemodian from one of the speeders.
Sergeant Dren Cosgrove readied his A280 rifle, placing the sights over one
of the escorting Imperials. Three additional sets of rifles also sighted
their targets, as did two Viper 2 grenade launchers. The Rebels felt the
tension mounting as they awaited the visual confirmation that the E-11
blasters were indeed present at the construction site.
Frowning when she did not get the reply
clicks, Xiri hopped from her perch making her way closer to Cosgrove,
attempting to keep an eye on the squad and her surroundings. Hefting the
A280 up to her shoulder as she walked. A triple click from her sounded
through the Rebels comlinks, the shipment was spotted and confirmed.
Cosgrove heard the triple comm click,
though he still didn't see the cargo shipment. He moved his scope to
zoom in on the door to the second Imperial speeder, though he could not
gain a visual lock. Regardless, the triple click was the signal, and
Cosgrove nodded to the two gunners to his left. Both titled their Viper 2
grenade launchers and fired ... several *thunk*s were heard as the
grenades shot through the air. A mix of concussion grenades and reverse
polarity grenades descended towards the two speeders ... the concussion
grenades would ideally kill and maim, while the reverse polarity rounds
were designed to disable electronics and disrupt helmet targeting
Xiri's squad moved in, and she was not
far behind them. The flashes from the grenade launchers made her flinch,
firing once into the mass of Stormtroopers to try and draw their
attention away from the speeders. Her squad followed her lead expertly,
targeting the likely shipment guards.
The two troopers with the Lieutenants
sprang, quickly as they were radioed in a location, and then there was
silence, as a few explosions went off, the first was the explosives,
which knocked them onto they're backs, and the second cut off the
communication, with the main forces. The two barely got to their, feet,
and managed to pull a pin, on a grenade, and toss it. Each one tossed a
Bothan spore grenade towards the direction of where the bombing came
from. Jonas gave a slight grunt, as the transport he was in was at least
still operational, and information was coming in, he gave the order for
the explosives near the Rebels to be triggered.
"This is not good!" Lork
Rantee said as he
got down on the ground and began to panic. He quickly began to crawl
beneath the Imperial speeder, hoping his presence would go unnoticed in
the ensuing battle. "Kill them! Kill them!" he frantically ordered the
Imperials from his perch beneath the speeder.
The spore grenades landed somewhat near
the grenadiers, who had already started moving away. One grenadier was
hit by the spores and stumbled when the nearby pre-planted explosives
detonated. The first grenadier was incinerated, with his weapon
clattering to the ground. The second grenadier and Cosgrove were thrown to
the dirt ... Cosgrove growled as he turned to his partner, who seemed
lifeless. The Sergeant grabbed the fallen man's grenade launcher and
fired several additional reverse polarity grenades towards the speeder
before continuing to run. The troopers behind the Corporal began opening
fire on the speeder, and four of them had bungee-like cables connected
to their backs.
The numerous snipers had been waiting
for this moment. They took careful aim for the heads of the exposed
Rebels including Sergeant Cosgrove, Corporal, Tallare, and a few others
... they had orders for headshots only. They waited as the two troopers
that were firing earlier were incinerated by a grenade, since they were
exposed, and they fired stun bolts from their locations.
Xiri had seen the return fire, ducking
behind a pile of beams awaiting whatever use the construction site would
put them to. The stun bolt impacted the beams just where she had been,
causing her to duck down, "All units report in!"
Sergeant Cosgrove began stumbling as the
spores continued to take effect. He dropped the grenade launcher and
fell to the ground, saving him from the incoming stun bolt. Cosgrove swore
and regained his footing, though stayed in a low crouch by nearby
storage containers as he made his way back towards the stored Rebel
vehicles. Two of the gunmen charging the speeder went down immediately,
the stun bolts to the head having a rather ill effect on their health.
The third rebel was missed while the fourth ducked down, with both
almost reaching the speeder.
Xiri risked a look up from her hiding
place, seeing her the three others in her unit sprawled, dead, on the
ground. Looking around she tried to spot Cosgrove to combine forces with
him. This was not supposed to happen this way, it was almost like they
knew that there was going to be an attack. Darting out from behind her
pile of construction material, she headed for the next one, a target in
the open for a heart stopping fifteen seconds.
The grenades continued to rack his
speeder, wrecking the systems outside of the vehicle, the turret was now
useless. Jonas motioned to the door, as he called in for a head count on
the Rebels, while a few snipers took cover, in a few seconds the door
was manually opened. He heard that one Rebel had taken cover beside some
steel grates, and an explosive, and signaled for it to be triggered. The
explosive where Xiri was went off, a few seconds later, sending out
shrapnel in every direction, while the snipers started to increase their
Lork Rantee ducked his head back under the
speeder as a blaster bolt impacted dangerously close to his head. "What
are you fools doing? Kill them!" he again yelled from beneath the
speeder, wondering who was attacking them. This was not what he had
Cosgrove's footing was becoming more
unstable as he ran, though he was almost to the speeder. He pressed the
remote activation trigger in his pocket as he reached the Hover
Transport TC9. The vehicle roared to life and the side door opened ...
Cosgrove fell inside and began grasping for the controls. The two Rebel
runners had reached the Imperial speeder. In moments they unclasped the
bungee-like cords that were attached to their backs and squeezed the
activation mechanism. The end of the cords became spikes, which both
Rebels jammed into the Imperial speeder. The cords were now firmly in
place, and they extended all back to where the Rebels had emerged. Their
job complete, both were promptly struck by stun bolts to their heads.
Screeching in pain, the pile of grates
she had just ducked behind turned into molten shrapnel, reeling
backwards, her arms went up to cover and protect her face, completely
disoriented by the loud explosion right next to her. Xiri could not find
the rest of the squad, stumbling back against a pile of durasteel
supports. Trying to blink away the bright light, shaking her head to try
and clear her disorientation.
The two troopers exited the Hoverscout
speeder first. Jonas followed after them in the modified armor he was
wearing, it was a classic Stormtrooper armor, but here and there were
non-standard equipment. He took aim with his right gauntlet at the
engines of the Hover Transport TC9, and fired off a rocket from an MM9
rocket system. The snipers informed him over a comm, that they had a
target in sights, and started to fire stun bolt after stun bolt.
Pitching forward, Xiri fell to her knees
then onto her side with the impact of the first of the dreaded blue stun
bolts, a soft whimper all she could manage as the bright lights and pain
faded to grey then blackness. The A280 clattering out of her hands,
coming to rest a foot or two next to her. She was out like a light.
Cosgrove grabbed unto the pilot's chair
and hoisted himself up, slamming the speeder's throttle into full. The
speeder shook as the small rocket hit, though the TC9 was armored enough
to absorb the blast from a wrist launched explosive. The TC9 began
accelerating and the bungee lines connected to the Imperial speeder
suddenly became taught ... the two vehicles had been connected by the
Rebels. The earlier grenades had ideally knocked out the majority of the
weapons and engines on the Imperial craft, which would gradually start
being pulled along by the escaping Rebel craft.
<Click>"Secure the area, nobody
escapes..."<Click> He said to the two troopers, as he turned and ran to
where the explosives had come from originally, and picked up the grenade
launcher. He activated the jet pack and was in the air as the targeting
system in his helmet was brought online. He fired reverse polairty
grenade after reverse polarity grenade at the TC9. The two Stormtroopers
started with Xiri, securing her with stun cuffs, and then would start to
secure the the other troopers. The snipers had switched to kill, and
were firing only if they had a shot at the transport.
As the stuncuffs were fastened around
Xiri's wrists, the only acknowledgement given was a low groan of pain,
still prone and as helpless as a sack of vegetables. This day had
started bad and ended worse for the woman.
Lork Rantee felt the situation was well in
hand, and sensed a victory would soon be at hand. The Neimoidian stuck
his head out from beneath the speeder." Good jo-," he was interrupted aa
suddenly a bolt of energy tore through the side of his head, killing
The TC9 had begun building up speed when
the reverse polarity grenades started impacting the vehicle. The speeder
shook as its systems began failing ... the weapons were knocked offline,
followed by the sensors, and then the repulsor engine flickered. The
speeder plowed though the construction site fence, having lost the
majority of its maneuverability, and sluggishly turned towards a nearby
warehouse. Cosgrove braced himself as the hovercraft's engine died, and
the heavy transport burst through the warehouse wall.
Jonas landed on top of the TC9's door,
hearing the double click as the girl was secured, the two troopers would
be moving onto the other living men. He shouldered the grenade launcher,
and tore off a hatch, and started to manually open the door just enough
so he could fit something in. He removed a stun spore grenade from his
belt, and pulled the pin, before tossing it into the TC9, where it would
clatter, and start to spread it's foul poison into it.
Cosgrove was momentarily stunned following
the TC9s impact, though hearing an Imperial land on the vehicle jolted
the Rebel to his senses. He began moving towards the back of the craft,
opening a weapons locker and digging through the assorted grenades and
blasters inside. The Sergeant firmly grabbed a thermal detonator and
DL-44 heavy blaster pistol when the stun spores went off. Cosgrove swore
yet again, damning the blasted chemicals, and staggered towards the rear
of the speeder. He propped himself weakly up against a wall raising his
blaster towards the door of the doomed hovercraft.
Jonas took hold of the manual lock, and
slowly he closed the door back up, sealing the TC9, he jumped down from
the door, and started to walk away letting the stun spores billow
through the entire TC9, in a matter of minutes Cosgrove would either be
unconscious or dead, either way as far as Jonas was concerned he had
another double click on his helmet informing him that his troopers had
finished securing the four Rebels, and he stopped before the girl. He
examined her quietly seeing how badly her wounds were. He shook his head
in disgust, and turned his attention back towards the TC9.
There were multiple shallow cuts and
bruises from the shrapnel, but Xiri's breathing was steady, just quite
The Sergeant continued to wait for
several moments with his blaster pointed towards the front door, though
it became clear his guest would not be joining him. Cosgrove staggered
towards another equipment locker, his right hand losing feeling and
dropping the DL-44. He summoned his willpower as he opened the locker
and grabbed a stimulant, jamming the stimshot into his neck. His vision
momentarily cleared, allowing Cosgrove to identify the emergency exit at
the rear of the speeder. Feeling returned to his right hand as he pulled
the lever, revealing a small opening at the back of the TC9, and he
unceremoniously fell out and clattered down unto the pavement outside.
The two Stormtroopers, had moved on from
the captured Rebels, and started to open the door to the TC9, and were
currently working on getting in. One of the remaining troopers, started
to herd the Rebel officers off to be interrogated. He turned his
attention back towards the plant, where the TC9 was laying down dead.
Cosgrove crawled slowly from the back of
the TC9, his head still swimming and his vision continually blurring.
The pavement inside the warehouse was cold, though the Rebel had lost
feeling in most of his body; his movements were mainly the results of
continual training with the Rebel commandos. He made it around six
meters away from the transport, though he was trying his hardest to
The troopers were in, and in a matter of
seconds searched the entire transport, was thoroughly searched, he heard
over the comm it was empty, this annoyed him. He picked up an E-11 from
the hands of a dead trooper, and Jonas activated the jet pack, he was in
the air. The MFTAS online highlighting targets as he went.
Crawling with all his might, Cosgrove was
finally overcome by the Bothan spores. He slipped into unconsciousness
after one final push, and his thumb gradually released the thermal
detonator trigger. The dead man's switch, no longer depressed,
activated. An explosion of light and sound consumed the Rebel, extending
outwards ten meters and likely striking the transport. Once the
explosion had settled, there was nothing left of Dren Cosgrove.
Jonas was almost to the top of the
building as the explosion was triggered. His troopers told him about the
fact that they both were now wounded but alive. He had enough prisoners,
he thought as the jet pack carried him back to the ground, and he
radioed in that the mission was complete.
A comm buzz would be heard within Jonas'
helmet. Fifteen minutes had elapsed since the beginning of the skirmish,
and it appeared the Imperials had met their deadline. The familiar voice
of Colonel Verus Theus was heard on the other end of the comlink.
"Sergeant, excellent work. I trust the battle was not too much trouble
Jonas flipped on the internal comm unit
of his helmet, "Three casualties...Two troopers, and the Black Sun
lieutenant. I've captured five Rebel agents, and currently waiting for
Theus suppressed a smirk at the other
end of the link. As he had mentioned to the Admiral, the safety of the
Black Sun lieutenant had not been all that important of an objective.
"Very well, Sergeant. Leave the E-11s and the body of their man at the
scene, perhaps Black Sun will realize the error of their attempted
double cross. Report back to your safe house, we're done for the day."