Beneath the lush jungle canopies of the jungle moon Yavin 4, the pot
marked hull of the CR90 corvette Argo rested in the shade. The
sound of the local creatures scurrying through the flora had Commander
Derek Atio feeling uneasy as he stood at the bottom of the ship's
landing ramp, leaning against one of the extension arms for support.
Although they were only a short distance from Massassi Station, situated
inside the Great Temple, the jungle was dense ad crawling with creatures
that he would not want to encounter without an armed escort. His right
hand hung over his holster nervously, fingers curling over the handle of
his SoroSuub QuickSnap 36T blaster carbine. His eyebrow arched quickly
as he heard movement approaching the ship. "Was it a creature?" he
wondered silently to himself, or was it the next group of replacements
reporting aboard the corvette.
Unlike her soon-to-be commander, Sergeant Judah loved the creatures
of the jungle. Each sound fascinated her. Currently she was trying to
convince a baby Woolamander to take the small piece of fruit she was
holding out for it. The young medic was squatting down near some low
ground cover ... a variety of plants that she had no idea what they were
other than that together they made the area peaceful ... she was dressed
in standard Rebel fatigues that had been given to her upon completion of
her probation period. The fabric was not as comfortable as Imperial
uniforms, but she'd get used to it. "Come on little one...I will not
Derek turned his head down to look at his wrist chronometer and noted
the time. He was running behind schedule, but it could not be avoided.
Hopefully the extra time had given the technicians the ability to get
all of the systems back online. While the exterior of the Argo
left much to be desired, the interior of the ship recently had a major
overhaul during its time on Yavin 4. It was the Commander's hope that
some of the frequent malfunctions that occurred during the last few
missions did not repeat themselves in the days to come.
Jace was worried that he was late for his first assignment! His boots
kicked up a cloud of dust right in front of the commander as he slid to
a halt at the bottom of the ramp. While he caught his breath he dropped
his pack, which contained his weapons and other stuff. He threw a crisp
perfect salute to the commander as he stood to attention. Once he had
caught his breath he spoke up rather loudly like the typical soldier
would. "Trooper Jace Mereel reporting for duty, sir!"
Commander Atio looked over the young Trooper standing before him. He
shook his head slightly in despair ... it would seem they were taking
them young and younger now. He nodded to him and forced a diplomatic
smile onto his middle-aged face. "Welcome aboard, Privately." he said to
him cheerfully. "Report to steerage quarters, deck five," he instructed
the young man, "You'll find the armory on deck two." His eyes peered
into the jungle where he could barely make out the woman and the Woolamander. "Gaah," he groaned, noting he would never get that close.
Alanya literally appeared out of the jungle. The shadowsilk bodysuit
hugged close to her form, the passive material absorbing light as well
as sound as she seemed to melt out from one of the shadows under the
extended branch of one of the low-hanging trees. The specially fluffed
silk cut even the whisking noise one might expect, there was nothing but
complete silence as she stepped forward. The shadowsilk was all
encompassing, save for small opening for the eyes, which was covered by
a pair of snooper goggles, the macrobinoculars were currently off, but
looked intimidating none the less. A small rectangular black backpack,
made of the same shadowsilk was worn upon her back, buckled across her
upper chest and waist to hold it snugly. Even her Blastech A280 rifle
was covered with shreds of the shadowsilk, attached at various points
over the blackened weapon so that it almost melted into her body as she
walked forward tow ards the ship. Alanya did not tolerate malfunctions,
which was why she insisted on testing out her gear for a few days out in
the jungle, alone. Only now was she returning to the Argo, right
on time, of course. She approached the ramp, straightening and throwing
a tight salute, but remained silent, waiting for the other woman to
speak as she held her bearing as well, macrobinocular covered eyes
Reilly heard the 'gaah' and turned quickly toward the noise. Known
for her dislike of violence, she did not carry a weapon unless ordered
to do so, so nothing would be drawn. The fruit was dropped and the
creature picked it up and scurried past the commander, getting a chuckle
from Reilly. "Mooch." She then looked up at the man and realized he was
her new Commander. Instantly her body straightened, all signs of the
smile were gone. She was in Imperial mode, or well,
"That's Commander Mooch," Derek was quick to point out to the woman
in the jungle. His eyes again quickly darting to his wrist chronometer
before clearing his throat. "Shouldn't you be reporting in?" he asked
her, taking a few steps towards her. He left the safety of the durasteel
ramp and entered slightly into the jungle. He felt something move
against his foot and squirmed visible in front of her. "Ungh," he
groaned as he picked his foot up off the ground frantically. It was only
"Oh...I meant the..." Reilly pointed downward though the baby critter
was long gone. A glance behind her was given as she continued to speak.
"I was told to..." and then remembering her rank and purpose she
saluted the man. "Sergeant Reilly Judah reporting for duty, sir."
Following the order like a good soldier, Jace threw the strap of his
pack over his shoulder and made his way up the ramp of the corvette
missing the strange animal lady as well as the one who could turn
invisible. Black combat boots clicked lightly against the deck as he
moved. Jace was average height around six feet or so with a medium
muscular build. Blue eyes glanced around the corvette's halls as he made
his way toward the steerage quarters.
"Welcome aboard, Sergeant," Derek said to the young woman as he gave
her a courteous nod. He would have to review her service record later,
but he was under the impression she was the new Medical Technician. They
would need skilled medics where they were going and he did his best to
seem kind and unassuming. She might have to replace one of his kidneys
one day after all. "You'll find sickbay waiting for you on Deck 3," he
informed her with a kind smile. "You'll find your quarters further down
on Deck 5 with the other members of your unit." He cleared his throat,
extending his hand to her politely, "I'm Commander Atio and hopefully I
won't require your services." His eyes then darted back into the jungle,
believing he saw something slither.
"Thank you, sir." Reilly had nothing with her. The Rebellion had
provided her a change of clothing but that had been burned in a rescue.
Said rescue also left her right hand scarred, though it was healing
nicely and no longer tender. This information was certainly in her
records so she assumed as they had said in the temple that she would get
new uniforms onboard the corvette. Brown eyes drifted to where the
Commander looked. She smiled as she saw the snake-like creature. "Isn't
he beautiful!" Of course she quickly scurried on board so as not to be
scolded for speaking out of turn, a problem she had with the Empire as
well. Good thing she was great at what she did or she would probably
have long since been executed for being too nice and relaxed.
Derek's attention now turned to that of Trooper Rockturne as he
hurriedly returned to the ramp. She was impressively dressed ... he had
seen one of those outfits before. "A little warm in that thing,
Trooper?" he asked as he nodded to her. He never liked being saluted ...
he always thought someone was going to jump out of the bushes and shoot
him whenever it happened. "Let's get on board," I've received our orders
and we'll be leaving this jungle soon. He looked over his shoulder one
last time, shuddering.
"Sir. No Sir. Personal discomfort is irrelevant to completing the
mission, sir." She responded quickly, before dropping the salute and
stared at his back as he went up the ramp, noticing the shivering. It
was only after a moment's pause that she continued up the ramp as well,
soft grip boots making her footsteps quiet upon the normally noisy
decking as she headed up into the ship. Too bad, this place had grown on
her. She had liked hunting the ample game and using the more than ample
cover of the jungle to creep about.
So this was going be his new home eh...well it was not that bad. Jace
had seen bigger ships on Concord Dawn though but those were mostly the
Imperial Navy. He tossed his pack onto the first empty bunk and took a
seat next to it. A small smirk rested on his lips as he ran a hand
through his short cropped light brown hair. As he was putting his
personal things away he was silently praying to the gods of all the
worlds that something exciting would happen soon. His short time in the
Rebellion had been boring so far.
Derek walked up the ramp into the cargo hold and slapped his palm
against the control panel, raising the ramp behind him as it slammed
close behind him. He tilted his head slightly, determined to make sure
it was sealed properly. He could not get the image from his head of that
time they took off only for the ramp to open and spill of their cargo
onto that small village. He was amazed he had kept his command after
that sorry incident. Satisfied, he proceeded into the turbolift and
headed up onto the bridge on Deck 3.
Reilly found the sickbay with little effort. It was nothing compared
to those she had seen on Imperial ships, but it did have a lab so late
night experiments might be a possibility. Ah the things you do for fun
when you do not have sex. An exploration of the cabinets found typical
supplies, some primitive equipment, and nothing really surprising. She
sighed and then headed out to find her sleeping quarters.
When Derek reached the bridge, he sat down on his center seat gently,
listening to it crack audibly beneath him. He arched an eyebrow and
began giving orders to get the ship underway. As the vessel's main
reactor powered up, the entire ship began to shake noticeably. A moment
later, the vessel lurched from the planet's surface and soared above the
jungle canopy. A pair of BTL Y-wings from Gold Squadron pulled alongside
as the Argo entered the atmosphere and proceeded into the Yavin
system. "All hands stand by for hyperspace," Derek announced through the
ship's intercom. The small craft surged forward in space with a jolt,
the stars becoming one swirling mass as the vessel made its way from the
Yavin system to the Sesswenna sector.
Ugh, Reilly hated that surge forward into hyperspace. Thank the Force
she did not have to be on the bridge when it happened or she would
probably have vomited. Just what she would need to do to further impress
her new Commander. Bad enough he found her conversing with primates. Her
bunk was unimpressive, but did contain a change of clothing. Well, that
was something at least. She sat on the edge of her bed, pushing downward
to check it's springiness.
Well, that sure got Jace's attention...light eyes glanced over toward
the comm system as he heard the message. He gripped the bunk as the ship
lurched into hyperspace...as soon as he was sure they were in hyperspace
he stood glancing around for uh...someone, anyone to tell him what was
going on. Not seeing anyone in the bunks he remembered the captain
talking about the armory. A smile slid onto his lips as he thought of
the weapons and he made his way eagerly toward the second deck.
After Derek received confirmation of their time in transit, his hands
again moved to the intercom, "All commandos please report to the meeting
room on Deck 3." He stood from his seat and took a nervous look around
the bridge. There were so many new faces and he had barely gotten to
know any of them. This current assignment would prove hazardous and he
hoped they would be up to the task ... only time would tell. He
proceeded from the bridge, comfortable that the electrical system was
not about to imminently short circuit and made his way into the
conference room. He was glad to see that the tactical display of the
Sesswenna sector was already activated and displaying brightly on the
wall. "Things are looking up," he said to himself as he adjusted his
jacket and waited for the troops to arrive.
Alanya hardly seemed to slow even for the jump to lightspeed. Perhaps
she had 'space legs' as the old deckhands would say. She had dressed out
of the shadowsilk and back into her black thinsuit, preferring it for
shipboard tasks. She had of course, left her A280 behind in her
quarters...she was not apt to let anybody else touch her weapons.
Especially any incompetent ship's quartermaster. She did all her own
work and calibrated it just the way she liked it. She would arrive
first, as was usual for her as she treated any meeting as the most
important thing ever. She exited the turbolift on Deck 3 and walked the
short distance to the meeting room, stopping as soon as she entered and
throwing another salute. "Sir. Trooper Rockturne reporting as ordered,
Sir." Obviously she even took 'please' as a direct order.
"OK girl, time to work." Reilly bounced off the bed and strolled
toward the exit of her room. Steps seemed light and she had a smile on
her face, though as soon as she hit the corridor that smile and bounce
vanished. Her demeanor was all professional now, though if one looked
carefully they would see a bit of sparkle in those brown eyes. The lift
shot her up to Deck 3 and soon she was entering right behind the other
female. To her please meant casual meeting so she sauntered past to find
a chair where she plopped down, datapad in hand, ready to learn where
people would be shot.
It was like fate was on his side...Jace got to enter the meeting room
right behind both of the woman and he took complete advantage of his
luck. A small knowing smile was on his lips as he was watching them walk
more than anything else. Unfortunately he was not able to make it to the
armory before the Commander had called the meeting. He blinked a few
times and shook his head to clear it of the thoughts he currently had
and snapped to attention. "Trooper Mereel reporting, sir..."
Reilly found it odd that the commander was calling a briefing instead
of the man in charge of the commandos. As she looked around, this guy in
charge seemed to be missing. A sigh escaped before she realized it.
"Be seated," Commander Atio said to the trio of troopers that had
arrived. With the more experienced personnel still needed for the last
of the Yavin 4 assignment it seemed he would be tasked to accomplish
this task with new personnel. He cleared his throat and shifted his
attention to the display. "We are headed to the Sesswenna sector," he
informed them, beginning the briefing, "It is the capitol of Governor
Tarkin's oversector." He paused, as the planet Eriadu was highlighted
and magnified on the display. "Recently High Command has detected an
unusual amount of comm traffic between the Governor and his command," he
said, continuing, "They want us to go in and hit one of his comm relays
and see what we can find." He cleared his throat as the Moshaw Dark Star
was highlighted on the map, "This Black Hole will provide an excellent
point from us to operate in. The Dark Star Hellions dominate the area,
so we should not have a hazardous entry or exit." He moved his hand,
touching the area of the screen where the comm relay was located. "Now,
this is our obje..." as he touched the screen the entire thing shook and
then went dark, cutting off his words.
Alanya would of rather had a shot at Tarkin himself, than some small
comm relay. She was the one that should of been sighing. But she said
nothing, and displayed nothing on her face as she listened, blue eyes
absorbing the information displayed across the screen. She was familiar
with the locations, she had not been there, but knew of them. She stared
forward as the screen shook and went dark, her eyes only narrowing
slightly towards the screen, and then at the Commander for a second,
before returning to the screen, as she remained standing, hands now
clasped behind the small of her back.
Most would be shocked and perhaps gasp. Reilly had to refrain from
laughing. It had been a joke that the Rebels used tiny creatures to
power their ships because of their ineptitude toward technology. Oh how
some of the others she had worked with had died laughing at this. OK,
back into the Rebel mindset. She kept an expressionless look, waiting to
see what the commander would do.
He figured this was just going to be some boring meeting so he took a
seat when the Commander offered it. The talk of a mission brought him
out of of his daydreams of the two woman he was lucky enough to get a
good look at and the smile on his face was for a different reason now.
He paid close attention to the layout as well as what the commander was
saying. An arched eyebrow accompanied the malfunction of the holo
projector...maybe he should have stolen some equipment from Concord Dawn
before he left.
Derek tilted his head dejectedly like a child who had just broke his
new toy. "Just a moment," he said nervously, his cheeks reddening
slightly as he slammed his hand against the side of the display once,
twice, and finally three times. "It does this you see," he said, buying
some time as he tried to nurse it back to life. Eventually the screen
flickered, though now on in black and white, and the communications
relay became visible. "Who needs color," he said as he turned and looked
at them, smiling embarrassingly. "Where was I...," he paused, thinking
outwardly, "This comm relay is our objective. It has a standard Imperial
operations and security crew. We're understaffed, but you can handle
it." He turned, looking at the Medic. "Sergeant Judah," he said in a
slightly authoritative tone, "You will have command of the mission." He
then turned and looked to them all, "Questions?"
Reilly nearly fell out of her chair at the Commander's words. "Me,
sir? I'm a medic...surely..." She looked around. Two troopers. That was
it? "...Sir, no offense but, you're sending a medic in with two
troopers? Did we do something that warrants execution?"
Derek looked at Reilly, believing she was selling herself short, but
her point was valid. "I don't pick the missions, Sergeant," he explained
to her sympathetically, "I just give them out." He looked to her and
then the two others, "Command wouldn't trust us with this assignment of
they didn't believe in our ability to pull this off. We'll be arriving
in Sesswenna soon, so unless there are any questions I suggest you start
prepping." He nodded to them all, doing his best to boost their
Alanya shifted slightly, before speaking up. "Sir. If I may make a
suggestion, sir?" She asked, glancing from side to side at the other two
before she looked towards the Commander, straightening her stance just a
bit as her head tilted upwards slightly. Most SpecForce meetings were
informal, but one never knew how a regular 'Mud Foot' officer would
react to a suggestion from a SpecForce trooper.
"Go ahead, Trooper," Derek said to the ambitious SpecForce
Infiltrator. Hopefully she would finally get to put her skills to some
use other than killing the local wildlife, although while they were on
Yavin he was glad that the critters roaming too close to the ship met a
Alanya nodded her head. "Sir. I believe we have insufficient
equipment and...human resources to take the station by storm without
suffering unacceptable casualties." By that of course, she meant the
other two operatives. She had no intent on dying, even on a suicide
mission. But, she would offer an alternative. "We should apply our
limited resources and skills in such a way to provide maximum benefit.
Therefore, I recommend that we approach the comm station in the guise of
a relief crew or in some other manner, to gain access to the comm
station and subdue the crew, without having to take it by storm. Could
we not retrofit the shuttle we have onboard to the appearance and code
of an Imperial one? Or perhaps it would be possible to steal a shuttle
from a nearby world. Perhaps one of the more poorly defended maintenance
points of fleet of Oversector Outer, sir?" She asked, tilting her head.
"We have no qualified SpaceTroopers that I am aware of take the station
by storm. Doing so would be risky and unadvisable, unless time pressures
prevent us from looking at other options...sir." She said, before
becoming silent, her eyes still fixed upon the viewscreen as she stood
straight, her hands clasped.
"Don't worry, honey, as long as your head's attached I can bring you
back." Reilly smirked, knowing full well the cocky militant-like women
did not mean she was concerned about herself.
"There just isn't any time to steal a shuttle from one of those
worlds, Trooper," Derek explained, though admiring the softer approach
she was taking ... he was impressed, "but we can go ahead and 'try' the
softer approach using the old Sigma-class we have on board." As
he concluded his thoughts the ship shook violent and they could feel
themselves moving back into realspace. A moment later the ship lurched
violent in space and he staggered backwards, slamming against the wall.
"Gaah," he said as he hit in the intercom on the wall. "Report!" he
yelled through the comm, annoyed.
"We came out of hyperspace too close to the black hole, sir," a voice
replied over the comm sheepishly, "correcting now."
Derek shook his head slowly as he turned back to the commandos ... it
was going to be one of 'those' days. "Get your gear," he said, unable to
afford anymore time, "and get to the shuttle."
Very professional outfit they had going on here...Jace was going to fit
in perfectly here. He kept quiet just watching the three of them. The
commando chick had a good plan...but he assumed the Commander was right,
there was snot enough time. He nearly laughed when the Sergeant
spoke...maybe the two chicks would start fighting or something now that
would be a site for sore eyes. The return to real space brought his
thoughts back to the mission. At the commanders ordered, he hurried to
the armory...to see what they had in the way of weapons.
Reilly rose and headed out back to sickbay to grab a field bag. She
frowned as she lifted a blaster from inside the bag inspected it. The
DH-17 blaster pistol was ready, safety off now. Soon enough she was
strolling toward the shuttle, still frowning.
Alanya nodded her head slightly. She glanced towards the
Sergeant...and was that a slight smile tugging at her lips before she
turned back to the Commander? Whatever it was, any observation was
disrupted by the lurching of the ship. She slipped her left foot
forward, and her right foot back, rocking with the ship as she stayed
upright easily. Space legs indeed. She returned her legs together,
throwing another salute. "Sir. Yes sir!" She said waiting until the
others had left the room. She would use her thinsuit still, as it
provided some vacuum protection. Moving quickly she skipped the armory,
and instead headed for her quarters. Again she would use her own
equipment, taking of course her favorite multi-weapon. An oblong tube
which contained a weighted end for clubbing, a thin slide-out dagger
that locked into place and a garrote wire that could be pulled out. She
clipped it to her belt. Unfortunately, she would have to leave her
beloved A280 behind, instead opting for an Alliance Adjudicator, a
classic slugthrower pistol that was whisper silent, clipped onto her
belt from it's holster. A breath mask was added to her favorite small
backpack, and a rapid fire "Intimidator" IR-5, the rapid fire pistol
useful in close quarters for 'spray and pray action.' Several powerpacks
were added to her pack and she was ready to go, heading towards the
shuttle, glancing towards the Sergeant in charge of the mission with a
critical eye, watching her.
That critical eye would find one very relaxed Corellian sitting in
the co-pilot's chair. It was an act, just like her military persona,
though this one was closer to the real Reilly. A look over her shoulder
followed by a nod was made to the woman as she boarded. "Welcome aboard
the ship o'doom."
It seemed the armory did not have much to choose from. A sigh escaped
Jace's lips as he realized that if he wanted better equipment he was
going to have to buy it on his own or steal it. Glancing over what they
had he frowned...hopefully he would be able to loot better things off the
dead Imperials. Taking what seemed to be the best out of the junk he
gripped a DLT-20A blaster rifle for his main weapon...a sigh escaping
his lips over that. He would have preferred the A280 or even better an
E-11. At least they had his favorite little blaster, the DL-18. Taking
the weapons along with a Mk 45 Protective Vest, cargo belt and some
extra power packs he mad his way quickly toward the hanger bay trying to
put the armor, belt and holster all on at the same time. He was sure he
looked a fool to anyone who caught a glance at them.
"Thank you, Sergeant." Alanya said in that very professional manner.
Immediately she climbed up the ladder to the turbolaser turret, removing
her small black pack and placing it in her lap, just incase as she
settled into the turbolaser turret, powering it up and running a systems
diagnostic as she glanced down, watching the other member of the assault
team board the vessel...tis was not making her feel any more confident
about the mission.
"Uh...do you fly?" Reilly asked in a louder voice since the woman was
Alanya paused from buckling herself into the turret chair. "Yes. I am
capable of piloting a variety of space and ground vehicles. Why do you
ask, Sergeant?" She asked, suddenly getting a sinking feeling as she
leaned down, peering down the hatch into the shuttle.
"Pa always said that women shouldn't fly. Guess for once I listened
to him." Reilly frowned and was about to say more but the third man of
their party finally entered. "Hey! You fly, right?"
Derek reclaimed his seat on the bridge and looked out at the Moshaw
Dark Star, an ominous, swirling dark mass that loomed large through the
viewport. "Try not to get us any closer," he said nervously, his hand
moving to adjust his collar which was feeling increasingly tighter by
the moment. He activated the intercom again. "Sergeant," he began,
"You're cleared to depart as soon as you're ready." He paused for a
moment before adding, "Good luck." He could be delightfully corny at
Reilly turned back toward the control panel and pressed the comm. "Thank
you sir, everything's...ya know...in order n all that. We'll be off
"...You mean fly that hunk of crap?!" Jace stopped dead in his tracks
one arm out of his shirt as he was pulling it over the blast vest. He
always hated how dorky the things looked so he wore them under his
shirt. Always have to look good you know. Finishing dressing he threw
the strap of the rifle over his right shoulder and made his way up the
ramp mumbling about flying coffins.
"Don't think of it as a hunk of crap, think of it as a large three
person coffin. Now get yer bottom into the pilot's couch." Reilly said.
The hangar bay beneath CR90 corvette Argo began to open
beneath the shuttle. It took some time, but eventually it opened and
gave the shuttle enough room to descend into space. A few cargo
containers that had not been secured properly were sucked out in to
space and sent spiraling into oblivious in the black hole.
Alanya watched as the crates were sucked out into the black hole.
There was the reason why she didn't let anybody else handle her
equipment, for reasons exactly like that. She spun the turbolaser turret
around, slewing the gun from left to right to make sure it would not jam
when they needed it. "Are you sure one of you can adequately pilot this
shuttle? There is a rather large spatial anomaly out there also, I would
prefer if our mission not end microseconds after it begins." She said as
she slipped the intercom headset down on her head, adjusting the boom
mic. It might get hard to hear if she had to fire that turbolaser, all
the cycling machinery inside of the ship would be moving.
"Nope, 'n quit talkin' like a droid. We all see the big black hole of
death. Don't need to be so technical." Reilly said.
"I've test piloted the new Y-wings. I'm sure I can handle
this...thing." Jace muttered a few more horrible words about flying
coffins and women...for that matter. Slipping into the pilot's seat he
slipped on his headset with his right hand his left began to power up
the shuttles main systems. "So...I suppose we just fly down there and
pretend to be Imperials..."
"Seems to be the plan." Reilly said.
Alanya stopped moving the turret, satisfied that the bearings were
not stuck. She listened quietly to her fellow operatives below, ignoring
the comment that the Sergeant had made as she looked out through the
turret to the black hole beyond, studying it for a moment before she
placed her pack to the side of the turret chair, unclipping the breath
mask from her pack and instead putting it on her thinsuit and leaving it
there, just in case, it seemed.
"Right...I hope that other chick knows what she's doing with the
turbolasers..." Shaking his head, Jace took the controls of the Gilded
Thranta. He had not flown anything this old...ever the shuttle was
probably older than he was. But he got the hang of it quick enough. The
small Sigma-class shuttle began a slow decent out of the
corvette. Clearing the larger craft he increased the speed of the
shuttle heading in the direction of the com relay thing.
"Seems like a breathing battle droid. Don't you fret." Reilly nearly
rolled her eyes at her own words. What was there not to fret over?
Alanya kept her eyes outside, immediately scanning for targets. Her
eyes flicked back and forth from the tactical computer in front of her
to scanning space. Somehow she didn't feel confident enough to rely on
her compatriots or the Argo to provide overwatch, so she would do
it outside, always on alert as if a TIE fighter would appear from
nowhere, or out of the black hole even. She scanned constantly, turning
the turret every now and again to scan a new sector of space for
anything out of the ordinary.
Keeping the shuttle at the same approach speed, Jace glanced toward
the sensor readout making sure there was nothing else out there that
could surprise them. He glanced over toward the Sergeant as he spoke.
"Ma'am...they will want to be hearing from us in a minute or two...are you
"Sure..." Hey, Reilly could do Imperial good!
The comm unit on the shuttle flared to life, static, followed by a
Human male voice. "We have you on our screens now," the authoritative
voice began, blaring over the comm, "Please identify." Two TIE/ln
starfighters broke from their patrols and pulled alongside the shuttle
and began to run the standard scans.
The shuttle continued its slow and perfect approach toward the
station Jace figuring this is what an Imperial would do. The two TIE
snub fighters appeared on his sensors a moment before the voice broke
over the com unit. Muttering to himself how this was a dumb idea he
activated the com unit and gave a quick nod to the Sergeant.
Reilly glanced down at the data pad which had the fake ID for the
ship and crew. After winking to the closest TIE pilot she hit the comm
in response. "Shuttle Elektra here to repair your communication
with Governer Tarkin's new tech to help with the black hole anomaly."
With the comm off, she glanced at her pilot. "They don't buy this, I
hope you got some fancy flying up your sleeve."
The screech of TIE/ln starfighter engine could be heard as it crossed
over the top of the shuttle and circled around to come up behind it. The
comm remained silent for a moment as the shuttle continued on its course
towards the comm relay. "Shuttle Elektra," the voice replied back
over the comm, "You are cleared to initiate docking procedure. Over." It
would seem the transponder was working.
"I couldn't out fly a space worm in this thing..." Jace said.
"Alright! Seems we're in." Reilly sat back in her seat, sighing in
Jace could not believe that he had been expecting to fly them into
the black hole to get away from the imperials. Sighing his fingers
flicked a few more controls across the board. Bringing the small sigma
close toward the docking hatch of the comm relay station. "So what...we
open the doors and then start shooting now..?"
"Nah, we look like geeky techs...not a stretch for you at all...and
then head to where the com system is." Reilly said.
As the shuttle neared the comm relay station, a welcome part of an
Imperial Navy ensign and three Imperial Navy troopers took up a
formation at the hatch. They were not sure what to expect, and stood
waiting for the hatch to open on the shuttle.
Alanya kept the turret forward, not wanting to spook the pilots or to
make them think that something was out of the ordinary. She glanced from
side to side in the turret, studying the TIEs. She hoped the Argo
would be able to deal with them without falling apart. Otherwise the
three of them would be in real trouble. She unbuckled herself and slid
ladder, removing the breath mask and placing it over her face. "As it
would be impossible for me to do so I suggest that you two enter, and
that I remain on the shuttle. I believe I can find my own way in, if you
agree, Sergeant?" She asked, glancing over at the other woman as they
Reilly scrambled out of the co-pilot's seat once they had landed and
opened up a small storage container that held the appropriate uniforms.
She tossed one to the male trooper and then looked at the warrior woman.
"Yeah, get hidden. If we're more than twenty minutes do what you can to
complete the mission."
The dock of the station seemed to just be a hatch they would have to
connect to. Great...they could shoot them one by one on their way out of
the hatch. As the shuttle lined up rather perfectly with the docking
port Jace put the small ship on standby keeping it hovering along side
the station. Taking the DLT-20A into his hands his left hand on the
barrel grip and the right around the trigger he turned to face the two
women. "So...this is the plan." He smirked as he caught the uniform and
held it up for inspection.
"Seems like a great one, yeah?" Reilly slipped the jumpsuit on over
her clothing, which apparently had an Imperial flare to them if this was
supposed to be secret ops. "Put that rifle away. Techies wouldn't carry
"Yeah...great one." Jace muttered to himself as he let the rifle rest
on his seat. Apparently the techies would not be wearing a blast vest
either so that went right along side the rifle. Which meant he had to
strip all over again. Someone could told him all of this at the start so
he would not of changed in the first place. Of course this did give the
two chicks who were probably going to end up getting him killed a short
time to check out his body while he put the jumpsuit on. He was not
going in there unarmed though, so the small DL-18 was slid into a pocket
of his jumpsuit.
Alanya watched for a moment, almost certain that the two of them
would be caught. At least it would provide her with a bit of a
distraction. She moved towards one of the emergency hatches, barely big
enough to fit out of as she opened the inner door and slid inside,
closing the inner door as she doubled over to fit inside of the small
space between the inner and outer hatch, waiting and listening as she
slipped the breath mask on over her face, securing it into the groove
onto the thinsuit that then sealed tight around the mask, creating an
airtight seal. It was meant for emergency use only, but this would
probably qualify as an emergency.
"Lead the way, Ma'am..." Jace said.
Reilly smirked once her partner was ready. "Makes ya look like you're
excited. Might wanna use a holster." With that said, she moved to the
ramp, hitting the button that would launch their opening into enemy
Taking a datapad with him, he followed the Sergeant...figuring the dork
type would have nothing better to do than look at the datapad instead
of...the Sergeant in her fancy jumpsuit. He kept his eyes down at the
screen. The device was held in his left hand. His right in the pocket
holding his DL-18.
When the hatch opened the Imperial officer stepped forward, the three
Navy troopers remaining behind. "Welcome aboard Communications Relay
Station 406," Ensign Bardon Strikos said in a polite, but authoritative
tone. "Allow me to escort you to the data relay center." He concluded,
nodding his head to the duo as he looked them over carefully. It was his
nature to be suspicious.
Reilly nodded to the Imperial, keeping her face expressionless like a
good little Imperial. "Mind fueling us up while we work? That black hole
is hell getting near."
Seemingly preoccupied with whatever was on his datapad, Jace gave a
quick, but polite nod to the Imperial who greeted them. He did take a
quick glance at the three troopers though. Those three were the real
danger. He started to formulate his plan. He would take the Ensign and
use as a shield as he killed the other three. He would probably be able
to get two before they killed them. He held in the urge to mutter under
"See to it Trooper," Ensign Strikos said to one of the troopers who
then hurried about his business. The officer, and the two remaining
troopers, then proceeded down the corridor towards the data center. The
officer walked on one side of the two 'maintenance workers,' while the
two troopers lined up against the other side of the corridor, wedging
them in the middle of the corridor.
Reilly kept looking from where she was walking to the officer.
Finally she slowed down just a bit. "Don't I know you? You look really
Ensign Strikos stopped in his tracks and looked her over from
top-to-bottom, she was attractive and that was all he noticed. He did
not think he had seen her before, but if he had he probably would have
remembered it. "No," he began slowly, "I don't think so." He looked at
the boy, thinking him awfully young to be a technician. "This way
please..." He said, continuing down the corridor.
Reilly shrugged and began to pick up her pace again. "Hmm, you look
just like this guy a friend of mine met at the last cotillion on
Coruscant." Once they got to the site, she patted her Trooper on the
back. "Get to it, wonder boy." With that she leaned against a wall,
crossing her arms. "Ever been to a cotillion there?"
Alanya waited a few seconds after they had left before she equalized
the pressure in the crawlspace, and then opened the outer hatch. She
remained there for a few more seconds, before slowly easing her head out
and looking around. Making sure that neither of the TIEs were near, or
that any of the station's defense guns happened to be pointed her way.
Only when the proverbial coast was clear did she reached back into her
pack, removing two small molecular adhesion disks and slipping them over
her gloved hands. Using them to climb out of the access-way she began to
crawl over the hull of the shuttle, grateful for the dark color of her
thinsuit as it provided her with some camouflage.
Ensign Strikos, being from Berchest, had never even been to Coruscant
and was now beginning to wonder about the woman. "No," he continued,
becoming slightly irritated at her continued pressing of the matter, "I
think you must have me mistaken for someone else." He then proceeded to
enter the six-digit access to code to open the doors to the data storage
"Pity, you'd have all the ladies lining up to dance with you." Reilly
Jace nearly missed a step when the Sergeant said that. She really did
want to get them all killed. He glanced up not having to feign shock. He
shook his head and glanced at the two troopers...well at least they were
close enough now where he could maybe not get killed. But he'd probably
have to save the woman...and die in the process.
Ensign Strikos stepped away from the door as it opened, providing
them access to the data storage room. "You think so?" he asked her
nervously, wondering if she was flirting. He adjusted his tunic and
looked down at her. "Maybe you would like to stay and join us for dinner
after you've finished for work?" he smiled at her, hoping for a positive
Reilly bit her lower lip and cast her head slightly down, allowing
her eyes to gaze upwards in that cute sexy way chicks could do that men
just could not resist. "I'm probably speaking out of turn. That'd be
nice...but I gotta get wonder boy to his next assignment. Tarkin loves
this kid. Got a mind like a droid they say."
Ensign Strikos smiled as he looked down at her, moving away from the
troopers to lean against the wall and admire her more carefully. "That's
a shame," he said, in a mock disappointed tone. "Perhaps some other
time..." he speculated aloud as he motioned to the open doorway. "Well,
there it is," he informed them.
Reilly looked at her trooper and then back to the ensign. "Maybe on
our way back. It sure would be nice to share the company of such a
Jace flashed the Imperial who was doing the talking a nervous smile
when the Sergeant pulled that lie out of her ass about him. He stepped
past them both toward the console. Sliding into the seat he had no
choice but to let go of the small blaster in his pocket and began to
hook up his datapad to the console. He did not want to jinx the mission
or anything but it seemed to be going rather well. Only downside was it
looked like he was not going to get to loot the dead Imperials for their
weapons and whatnot. He finished hooking the datapad to the console and
started to scan the files for the information they were looking for. "It
may take a while to load the new software, sir...ma'am."
"You think I'm handsome?" the Ensign asked, leaning up against the
wall. "Sure," he said to the boy, dismissing his presence entirely as he
focused on the woman.
Alanya had not seen anything that indicated an alarm. Mildly
surprised that they hadn't been captured yet she clamored over the
shuttle and then the airlock, crawling onto the hull of the station as
she would glance around. Instead of heading towards one of the entrance
hatches she headed towards the relay, crawling quietly along and
avoiding viewports, going out of her way to avoid crawling over them.
Now that could of raised some eyebrows...
"Yes, quite handsome. But I'm sure you've been told that a lot."
Reilly flashed a shy smile along with a bit of red coming to her cheeks
in a blush. Yeah, she knew how to work this.
"Are you sure you wouldn't like to stay for at least a drink?" Ensign
Strikos asked, smiling down at her, admiring the many facets of her
face. "I have a lovely bottle of Whyren's Reserve aboard that I've been
saving for such a lovely person like yourself," he said, using every
once of his charm.
"I'm not supposed to let wonder boy out of my sight. Though..."
Reilly looked into the room at her man and then to the troopers and then
back to the Ensign. "No...I couldn't." She lowered her gaze, giving the
impression she was embarrassed of something.
Ensign Strikos frowned, almost as if he were pouting and shrugged at
the young woman, giving up. "Disappointing," he commented, "But I
understand of course." He changed the subject as he looked over at the
datapad, "What exactly does that software do?" He wondered, not entirely
sure what they hoped to accomplish. There's even talk about sending a
ship into the black hole." She looked up and smiled. "I do hope it won't
"It strengthens the signal." Reilly shrugged. "Actually, most of my
training was medical, but I did well enough on the placement that I was
assigned to assist the tech geek with his work. Once this is installed
throughout the Empire, nothing will be able to hinder communications."
Jace glanced up at the Imperial who was looking over his shoulder at
the datapad. His fingers continue to move across the keys as he searched
through the various programs for the information they were looking for.
He gave a nod to the Imperial indicating that the woman was right about
the software. Just a few more minutes of this and he was sure they would
Alanya continued her crawl. It was tough work, and slow, but
eventually she reached the relay and opened one of the external panels
and peered inside. She got to work using her multi-tool to tap into the
wiring, searching through the complex mesh of cables and cords as she
looked for what it was that she needed, ignoring the rather amazing
sight of the black hole not too far away. Glad for the adhesion disks as
they kept her from spiraling off into it.
"Just strengthen the signal?" Ensign Strikos asked. He did not
understand, as theirs was one of the most widely used communication
relays in the Outer Rim. "I'm sorry," he continued to look down at the
young woman, "But I'm afraid I don't entirely understand. Certainly
there is more to it than that." His eyes peered into the room with the
worker again, wondering what he was up to.
"Yeah, lots more. But like I said, I'm the side kick. Wonder boy is
the whiz and Tarkin's all over this like ice on Hoth so it must be good,
right?" Reilly said.
Ensign Strikos nodded to her and assumed she was just another
attractive woman who had no idea what was going on. "Of course," he said
to the woman, nodding and smiling at her politely. "I'm sure it's all
outlined in your work order," he was quick to point out. "May I see your
work order?" he asked, inquisitively.
Jace kept an ear open to the conversation the two were having in the
hall behind him. But knew he could not keep looking over his shoulder at
the two. He hoped the sergeant knew what she was doing. A small tone
brought his attention back to the datapad. He had found what they were
looking for. A few quick commands from his fingertips on the console and
the download of the information began. Hearing what the ensign said he
took a breath to calm himself and slipped his right hand into his pocked
fingers sliding around the small blaster.
"The technology is on a 'need to know' basis. This one Admiral nearly
shot me for not disclosing our orders. You could check with Tarkin's men
though. ...You do have access to Admiral Daala, right?" That last part
was said in a very low voice. Few knew about Daala, though there were
rumors. The only reason she knew was because an ex boyfriend had been
stationed on it to set up weaponry.
Ensign Strikos titled his head and looked at her quixotically. "There
'has' to be a work order," he said to her, his eyes now narrowing on her
carefully. "Are you telling me you don't have a work order?" His eyes
darted quickly to the troopers, wondering if something was afoot.
"I'm telling you that Governor Tarkin has this assignment nearly as
'hush hush' as the girlfriend is. You got issues, call him." Reilly
Alanya carefully use the blade of the tool to slice open the outer
covering of a wire, peeling it open like a fruit to expose the core
underneath. She reached back into her pack, holding on with the single
adhesion disk as she removed a small clip on carrier bug. Carefully
sliding the small bug over the wire until it's edges clipped on a small
light glowed green, indicating it had a good connection. Only then did
she pull the stripped cover up to partially overlap the bug, and tuck it
back in amongst the other wires before she slipped the panel back over
and screwed it back into place, glancing around as she folded up the
tool and clipped it back to her belt. She turned, using both hands to
drag herself along the skin of the station, coming to one of the
viewports she peeked over just slightly, peering inside of the station.
"I will do just that," Ensign Strikos announced as he pointed a
finger at one of the troopers. "Contact Governor Tarkin on Eriadu
immediately," he said. With that, the one trooper left the group and
proceeded back towards the command center. This left the Ensign and one
trooper remaining with the two 'technicians.' "Watch him," the officer
said to the other trooper. The lone remaining trooper proceeded into the
data center and stood over the young man's shoulder.
"Man, they got you on edge out here, don't they." Reilly looked
toward 'wonder boy' concealing the removal of her DH-17. "Hey Dav, you
go that message from Tarkin on ya? These boys are getting tetchy." She
then turned, the blaster at her waist and fired toward the Ensign,
nearly at point blank range. *Bam!*
Ensign Strikos was caught off guard. The blaster from her DH-17 tore
through his chest, dropping him to the ground before he even knew what
hit him. The smile from her flirtation was still plastered upon his face
as his body lay slumped against the corridor.
So much for doing this all covertly. Jace spun around in the chair
the small DL-18 coming out of his jumpsuit pocket as he brought the
sights of the small blaster set to kill to bare on the neck of the
trooper. At this range hopefully the small blaster would be powerful
enough to kill the man through what ever armor the guy might have. He
squeezed the small blasters trigger sending a crimson bolt blasting form
the DL-18 barrel toward the front of the trooper.
The trooper was not expecting a move like this and the blast from the
DL-18 caught him in-between the shoulder blades, tearing through his
uniform and dropping him to the ground as well.
"Let's move!" Reilly started down the corridor, blaster leading the
way. "We can only take what we've got so far. Come on!"
Corporal Jakob Elatron, the Imperial trooper who had stayed by the
shuttle to supervise the refueling, heard the shots and he immediately
went for his DH-17 blaster pistol. He aimed down the corridor from where
they were coming and pulled back on the trigger. He unleashed a series
of wild, unaimed crimson energy bolts down the hallway. The young
trooper was panicked and not knowing what to expect.
Well, Reilly hoped the other Trooper had listened and stayed on the
shuttle and could now take care of the fire coming their way.
Jace turned back to the datapad as he stood to his full height. He
glanced down at the device to check the download. Thankfully the device
had finished it's download. He unhooked the cables and slid the small
device into the pocket of his jumpsuit as he headed toward the two dead
Alarms began sounding on the station. It was clear that their
intentions had been discovered. In the upper levels the small garrison
was preparing for battle, while Corporal Elatron remaining at the
docking hatch nervously clung to his DH-17 as he waited for
"Let's hope our warrior woman can follow orders..." Reilly moved down
the corridor, keeping close to the wall to avoid the blaster shots. As
they entered the docking area, she began shooting. Just in the direction
of the trooper since right now that was all she could do while keeping
Corporal Elatron squirmed as random blaster shirts went all around
him. "Baah," he grunted as he pulled back on the trigger and fired off
several more random shots from his blaster. "Surrender," he yelled
towards them in an angry tone, "And I will spare your lives." He again
fired off a series of blaster bolts, hoping he might get lucky.
Sliding the DL-18 into the other jumpsuit pocked, Jace took up the
Ensign's DH-17 in his right hand as he slid the other one into the band
at his waist. He followed the Sergeant down the hallway keeping an eye
out for any other Imperials who would surely be on their way now that
the alarm was blaring. His boots clicked softly on the deck, Concord
Dawn security training paying off in the ways of stealth. His thumb ran
over the DH-17 safety making sure it was off.
Reilly laughed at that. "Cocky, dead guy." She looked at her
whose name she did not know, and nodded, hoping he would take out the
trooper and they could be on their way.
Great, the woman ran into the room shooting. Jace muttered to himself
as he slowed his pace keeping close to the side of the wall using it as
a shield. As he reached the opening to the docking hatch he peeked
around the corner, taking a quick glimpse of the area so he could spot
exactly where the trooper was. He was as crazy as the woman was just
random pot shots like that.
"Would you kill him already!" Reilly said.
Ignoring the crazy woman, Jace went to one knee incase the trooper
saw him peek around the corner. This way if the trooper was aiming at
him hopefully he'd miss. He leaned out from the corner again this time
bringing up the DH-17 to where the trooper should still be. A quick
reflex brought the sights of the large pistol to bare on the torso area
of the trooper. Another squeeze of the trigger sent a larger crimson
bolt than the DL-18 could deliver from the carbines barrel toward the
center mass of the trooper.
Reilly continued shooting as a distraction, hoping wonder boy would
get in a good shot and they could be on their way to face death in
Corporal Elatron failed ins valiant effort to prevent them from
returning to his ship. The blaster bolt impacted his chest, dropping to
the ground and falling dead in front of the hatch with a dull *thud*. At
the other end of the corridor, an entire squad of troopers began
marching down. There were more greatly armed and prepared.
She assumed that Alanya was back on the shuttle, not that Reilly was
much on caring at the moment. She strapped herself into the pilot's
chair and hit the engines full blast. The shuttle barreled away from the
comm relay, breaking off in a matter of seconds. Any turret shots
brought jukes and tilts, much to the chagrin of the crew no doubt.
"Strap in, it's gonna be bumpy!"
Bumpy yeah you could say that...Jace muttered to himself as the crazy
woman took control of the shuttle. Dropping the pistol, his hands out
stretched toward the wall to brace himself. "You...should calm down,
"Unlike you, son, I enjoy life, including time with the opposite sex.
I'll calm down when my lilywhite ass is safe on the Argo." Reilly
Jace shook his head...hoping that not all these Rebels were so
inexperienced. You had to keep calm and a level head during missions
otherwise you would end up just dead. Finally making his way into the
cockpit, he glanced at her in 'his' seat. "So...are you going to fly us
outa here or am I..?"
And just because he said what he said, Reilly took the shuttle in a
full 360-dregree horizontal flip. And then flipped the comm. "Argo,
this is your suicide crew." She then looked at him and smirked. "Yeah, I
lied about not knowing how to fly, go figure."
The two TIE/ln starfighters soared back towards the Sigma-class
shuttle. The comm unit flickering to life once again. "Stand down," was
all that was heard over the comm as the lead starfighter opened up on
both of it's laser cannons and began unleashing a stream of fire in
front of the shuttle.
The shuttle veered to her starboard, turning over again. "Get one of
those guns online!" Reilly said to Jace, since hopefully Alanya was
already in one and shooting.
Alanya had not made it back into the shuttle. In fact, only a last
ditch leap from the surface of the station to the shuttle right as it
had powered up had allowed her to latch one of her adhesion disks onto
the hull, holding on for dear life as the shuttle had rocketed away,
only managing to slap the other disk hard onto the shuttle to keep her
onto it. Crawling across the station was no easy thing to do, mind you
at speed. Instead she simply hung on, watching as her fate hung in the
hands of the two at the controls, something she was not too hopeful
about. It was not until the Argo arrived that she realized she
might not perish out here but still didn't believe it until the shuttle
was actually in the hold of the corvette, still hanging on with her
The Argo emerged from the distance, having heard the distress
call from the shuttle. Her guns were blazing at the two TIE/ln
starfighters, who did not expect to find a capital ship in the vicinity.
One of them took a hit on it's port-side engines and swirled into
oblivious, assuredly to be pulled into the black hole. The other TIE/ln
turned tail and moved off away from the shuttle and the corvette. The
shuttle eventually made its way into the welcoming hangar bay of the
corvette. It would seem they had survived their first assignment, but
not without considerable effort.
Reilly unstrapped herself once the shuttle was securely on board the
Argo. No words were spoken to the other two. She made her way
down the ramp, unfastening the jumpsuit as she walked.
Commander Atio walked into the hangar bay to greet them, wondering
how their mission had went. He saw the Sergeant emerging from the
shuttle, seemingly unhurt and for that he felt relived. He smiled at her
diplomatically, but waited for the status of the other members of the
unit before acting too outwardly excited. He looked up, spotting what he
thought looked like Trooper Rockturne atop the ship and his face turned
very confused. "Trooper?" he asked as he took a step backwards, unsure
what might have transpired.
Reilly stopped in front of the Commander. There was a hint of anger
in her expression and definitely present in her tone. Looking up at him
took a bit of effort, he was a bit taller than her. "What's the
punishment for disobeying orders?"
The Commander tilted his head to look at the Sergeant, not
understanding. "What do you mean, Sergeant?" he asked, his voice eager
to illicit a response. "Was your mission successful?" he asked in a
Reilly nodded to the woman on top of the shuttle. "I needed her and
suddenly she wasn't where she was supposed to be. Not sure if you think
of crap like that being good for rebels, but in my book it's disobeying
orders and putting fellow soldiers in jeopardy. If she was more than a
trooper I'd ask that she be stripped of rank and but in the brig." Oh
yeah, someone had a temper.
After gathering the blast vest along with the rifle, Jace made his
way down the ramp of the ship glancing at the two women as well as the
Commander. He only got the tail end of their conversation but he decided
it was time to be somewhere else. Sliding the data pad from his pocket
he held it out toward the commander. He was probably a site to see,
Three DH-17s cradled in his arms along with the DLT-20A, and the blast
vest. "Sir, mission went fine. Here is the information. I'll report to
the armory to give them the weapons I collected."
Derek stood there and braced himself against the storm unleashed by
the obviously agitated Sergeant. "We'll get to the bottom of this," he
told her as he looked up at the Trooper still attached to the ship. "But
more importantly," his attention shifted to the Trooper who was offering
him the data.
"Fine? Four men died. How is that fine?" Reilly said.
Jace really did not want to be in the middle of this, the crazy
Sergeant woman already wigged out in his mind. When she took the ancient
shuttle into a loop. Which caused him a small cut on the side of his
head. If they looked close enough they would see the dried blood in his
hair. "None of them were us, ma'am."
Derek was glad they had accomplished the mission and acquired the
information. "This is what's important, Sergeant," he said to her as he
held up the data, "and unfortunately in war countless souls will perish
before our ultimate victory."
Alanya released each magnetic adhesion disk and dropped to the
decking, landing upright as both legs spread and lowered to absorb the
impact, her right hand lowered down to steady herself before she raised
back up again and looked around slowly as she slipped the adhesion disks
off her gloves. She reached behind her back and unstrapped the
fasteners, removing the pack and placing it down in front of her,
slipping the adhesion disks inside. She grabbed a small datapad and
flipped up the antenna, checking in on something.
"And that makes a difference?" Reilly said. "You sound just like
"As much as I would prefer this would be a bloodless conflict," the
Commander was quick to reply, "In war such situations cannot be
avoided." He nodded to her and the other two. "You accomplished your
mission," he said to her in a congratulatory tone, "And took no
casualties. You are to be commended on a job well done." He smiled to
them both, quite satisfied with the outcome.
Right...well Jace was done here and did not need to get his eyes
scratched out. He would have his head looked at by someone after the
armory. He made his way out of the hanger bay heading down toward level
"I want that one court-martialed." Reilly said with a quick point
toward the woman and then she walked away, heading for her quarters.
Derek was a bit surprised by her abrasive response, but tucked the
data under his arm in a satisfied gesture. He then walked over towards
Trooper Rockturne who was standing near the shuttle still. "How did you
end up on the exterior hull of the shuttle he asked?" He looked her up
from head to toe and it seemed that she was remarkably intact. Her
skills as an Infiltrator did prove extraordinary after all it would
Alanya remained quiet, saying nothing to the Sergeant's words.
Instead she studied the datapad before glancing up as the Commander
approached and quickly shut the folding screen of the datapad, pushing
down the antenna and dropping it into her bag. She assumed a straight
stature, and threw a quick salute. "Sir. I ended up on the exterior hull
of the shuttle during the extraction from the mission, sir." She said,
dropping the salute.
After dropping off the three carbines at the armory, Jace made his
way up to level five to his bunk to drop of the weapons he was going to
keep. Then it was off to sickbay to see what needed to be done about the
small gash in his head.
"I ... see," Derek replied, although he failed to see how it was as
simple as she made it sound. "Are you all right?" he asked as he tilted
his head to look at her more carefully. In all his years in space he had
never heard of such a feat before. "Well, I will read the Sergeant's
report on the matter," he concluded and nodded his head to her politely.
Reilly had changed and then headed to the sick bay to return the
medpac to its proper place. Entering just behind the trooper she paused
momentarily trying to come up with the proper words to say.
"Thanks...you did great." Yeah, that covered it.
"Of course I did... "Jace flashed her a charming smile as he made
himself at home on one of the beds in the medical center.
"You're...crazy flying gave me a little souvenir." He indicated the
small gash on the side of his head along with the dried blood. "Next
time though...show a little cleavage and maybe we would not of had to
Alanya nodded, and saluted again. "Yes, sir. I am sure it will be an
interesting read, sir." She said, in that level tone of hers that made
it hard to tell if she was being sarcastic or not. Indeed, she seemed
quite fine, without a scratch on her as clambering on the outer skin of
a station in only a thinsuit and breathmask seemed suicidal. "Yes, sir.
I am unharmed. I trust the mission was completed to your satisfaction,
"Aww did joo get a booboo?" Reilly moved to the supply cabinet and
pulled out an antiseptic and then turned back around to face him. "I had
that guy waiting for me to get naked. You were just too slow. Up on the
"Well, that's not for me to say Trooper," Commander Atio confided in
her. "I'm just the delivery boy," he continued as he walked with her
into the turbolift so that they could exit the hangar bay. "I am
satisfied that some data is here, that you all have returned, and that
the shuttle survived," he added, "But not in that particular order." He
chuckled slightly as the doors closed behind them and the lift began
raising to Deck 3 where he could return to the conference room.
Alanya picked up her bag and followed. She remained standing, staring
straight forward at the closed doors as she stood straight, before
speaking aloud. "Sir. Permission to speak freely, sir?" She asked, her
eyes still not moving from their fixed spot at the center of the
turbolift doors. She slung the bag up from her hands and onto one
shoulder, letting it hang there as she shifted to slip her other arm
into the loop.
Reilly moved to a datapad and began recording her report. It probably
should have been done after a few drinks, just to calm her temper down,
but she wanted to do it while it was still fresh in her mind and she
would not let details slip away that might be important later on.
"Go ahead, Trooper," Commander Atio said as he exited the turbolift
and walked forward back into the conference room with her. Once inside,
he took a seat and lay the collected data on the conference table in
front of him. "Would you like to sit down?" he asked her, motioning to
one of the ubiquitous empty seats surrounding the table. His attention
was focused on her, eager to hear both sides of the account.
"All was going smoothly until some idiot 'forgot' to give us a work
order... No...idiot is wrong. Well, not wrong but not appropriate for a
report." Reilly erased the sentence and retyped, "All was proceeding
according to plan until a work order was requested by the Imperial
Alanya followed, staying silent however until they entered the
conference room. "No thank you, sir, I prefer to stand." She said,
clasping her hands behind her back before she spoke. "Sir. I feel I must
tell you that I will be applying for a transfer from this duty station
at the earliest opportunity, sir." She said, evenly, not looking at him
as she stared at the wall, her eyes unmoving again. It was so hard to
read her face...was she upset? Angry? Sad? It was impossible to tell,
even when she was not wearing a breathmask.
Commander Atio was a bit taken back by the young woman's request, but
given the animosity that developed between her and the Sergeant he felt
her feeling uncomfortable might be justified, but he did not want to
lose such a valuable asset to the ship on future missions. "I want you
to take some time to think about it," he said to her, his face growing
dejected, "I would hate for you to request a transfer after only being
here a short time." He nodded to her, as he rose from his seat to deal
with her on an even eye level. "Let's give things time to cool it down,"
he said to her, hoping she might reconsider.
Alanya did not move or react to his words in the slightest. "Are you
denying my request, sir?" She asked in that deadpan voice. A ship's
commander could of course, deny any request such as that before it would
ever reach the eyes of others. She had a way of cutting right to the
bone of an issue, of stripping everything away. She was in a somewhat
better debating position, as her face was completely hidden behind the
breathmask, although even with it off her expression would not give him
much. Her arms remained at her sides, palms resting against her hips.
Well, Reilly had covered the facts, the orders she had given, those
that were disobeyed, the results. What she could remember of the
Imperial technology. After finishing, she leaned back and sighed. How
the hell did she get put in charge of a mission?
"I am simply requesting that you withhold your request for a period
of forty-eight hours," the Commander said to her as he extended his arm,
and placed his hand upon her shoulder. "If after that time," he
continued as he focused on morale rather than parsing the data for the
time being, "You still wish to request a transfer ... then I shall
consider it." His eyes widened a bit as he looked her over, wondering if
his words had made any impact on her outwardly resolute, stoic approach.
Well, time for that drink. Reilly sent the data to the Commander's
personal computer and then headed for someplace that looked like there
might be alcohol.
Alanya seemed to think on it for a moment. "Very will, sir. I will
wait forty-eight hours from now." She said as she looked back at him,
her breaths slow and even as that mask increased the volume of them
somewhat. The polarized eyepieces gave no hint as to what she thought of
his words. "By your leave, sir?" She asked, raising her hand and
"Will you take that blasted mask off now, Trooper?" Derek asked,
making a request of her. "You're liable to convince some individuals
that Lord Vader has come aboard ship," he commented with a slight
chuckle. He could tell she took her job very seriously. He sat back down
and his eyes guided over the datapad as he began to see what was
Okay, Deck 4 it was then. It did not take a Corellian long to find
the bar. Reilly took a seat at an empty table in a corner, not really up
for chit chat yet In honor of the fallen ensign she ordered Whyren's
Alanya nodded her head. "Yes, sir." And reached up immediately,
removing the straps that held the mask to her head and slipping it out
of the seal, revealing her pale skinned face, and her blue eyes. She
looked remarkably calm as the removed breathmask was placed into her
pack. She pulled down the head covering of the thinsuit, bunching it
around her neck as she shook her brown hair out around her shoulders.
She stared at him, tilting her head. "Is there anything else, sir?" She
asked in that same even tone of voice.
"Yes, Trooper," Derek asked as he was glad to see the mask had been
removed. "What prompted you to go outside the ship in the first place?"
That was the one part of the story he did not quite understand just yet,
and he was eager to illicit some sort of response from her in the first
Alanya stared back at him for a long moment. "I am not at liberty to
say, sir." She said, evenly and clearly, knowing that was not exactly
what he wanted to hear at all. She remained as she stood, her eyes
straight forward. She had not wanted to say anything at all in the
matter, and to simply get by with a failed attempt to enter the station
from the outer skin. But, she doubted he would of gone for it, and it
probably would only of created more suspicion than anything else she
could of said.
Derek's expression turned blank as he considered her words, only to
repeat them, "Not at liberty to say?" He had no idea what she meant by
that and he was a bit surprised by her use of the phrase. "May I ask why
you are not at liberty to say?" Derek asked, attempting to work his way
through the logic she used and hopefully reach some sort of
"I am not at liberty to say that either, sir." Alanya responded with
an even more frustrating response. There seemed to be no logic to get
at. There was simply a durasteel wall that went up, seemingly blocking
every attempt he made to understand what had happened upon the station.
She however, kept that even, almost deferential tone in her voice
towards him, and did not raise it or even change it in the slightest as
she simply seemingly refused to answer any of the questions he was
"I need a drink," Derek mumbled to himself as he looked towards the
Trooper. "Very well," he said as he determined he would worry about it
later, "You are dismissed." He rose from his seat in the conference room
and walked through the corridors until he reached the turbolift.
Alanya saluted again. "Sir." She said as he exited, lowering her dead
as she turned her head to watch him go, studying him for a moment before
she turned to exit as well, heading towards her quarters where she would
quickly unpack her equipment, and that datapad again which she glanced
around from side to side to make sure she was alone in the bunks, a rare
moment of semi-privacy as she activated the pad, the glow highlighting
her face as she read.
After a moment in the lift, Derek arrived on the next level and
walked the short distance towards the lounge. Inside, he spotted
Sergeant Judah, who also seemed in need of a drink. Walking up to the
bar he nodded to the automated bartender, "Alderaanian Ruge." He then
turned to the Sergeant as his drink was poured. "Tough first
assignment?" he asked.
Reilly had yet to touch her drink. Instead she was staring at the
liquid while her fingers turned the glassine container around on the
table. As she heard the commander she looked up at him. "Would have been
a cake walk if your girl was where I told her to be."
Derek brought the drink to his lips and took a hearty swig, happy to
have a relief from the rigors of duty. He cleared his throat as the Ruge
went down, place his glass on top of the bar. "Sergeant," both you and
those under you returned unharmed 'and' you accomplished your mission
successfully." A smile formed upon his face as he looked at the newcomer
on the ship. "Please," he continued, "Be satisfied with that." He
brought the glass back to his lips and took another sip. "As for her,"
he added, having just confronted her himself, "I will discuss it with
Command upon our return."
"Not when one third of the troops disobey orders. Sir, she could have
gotten us all killed. Surely you see the need for teams to be in sync on
missions. And if you don't, well frankly, I'm on the wrong boat then."
Derek seemed to be surrounded by dissatisfied women lately. He sighed
as he instructed the droid to pour a drink. "I understand your point of
view, Sergeant," he said to her as he considered the matter in great
detail, "And I am sure your report with be forthright on the matter.
However, she claims to have been operating on some alternative task and
therefore I must allow Command to sort it out when we return to base."
The newly poured drink was hurriedly consumed as he looked to wash away
the rigors of the day.
"See, here's the problem with that, the way I figure..." Reilly
leaned forward, letting her crossed forearms rest on the table. "She was
on my team, Palpatine be damned if she should do something that could
jeopardize lives. Can't see any reason other than being a plant that
that would happen, can you?"
Derek raised his eyebrows at her and heard the logic in what she was
saying and was found hard-pressed to agree. "Sergeant," he began as he
sipped the drink, "We are both links in a chain. We both just do our
best to follow the orders given to us." He put the glass down, wiping
his chin slightly, "It is possible she was acting on orders from someone
further above us. Until I get back and speak with Command I really
cannot be certain." He lowered his head dejectedly, hoping she would
"So its OK that me and the kid nearly got killed. As long as she
obeyed someone else's orders?! That's a big heavin block of sith spit,
sir." Reilly said.
"It is possible that she was acting on something of greater
importance," Derek speculated, not entirely sure of the Trooper's true
intentions himself, "I am not told everything. Only what they feel I
need to know to captain this vessel and guide it safely from point A to
point B." He sighed deeply, even though he had not participated on the
mission, it seemed to be taking quite the toll on him. "Please
understand that I will seek out the advice of Command upon our return
home," he concluded, hoping she would listen to reason.
"Understand? How about you understand that two of 'your' crew nearly
died because she disobeyed orders. And where is she now? Not locked up,
I'm bettin! She's a risk to your whole ship and you just sit here like
some pup waiting for a master to give you the ok to arrest someone who
is practically a murderer?" Reilly said.
"Believe me, Sergeant," Derek quickly, visibly moved by her words,
"There is nothing more important to me than the welfare of every life
aboard the ship." He allowed himself to take a long sip of his drink to
calm himself down before refocusing his attention on the woman. "If I
found she was acting without instructions from a superior officer," he
continued, "Then she shall be disciplined severely, but given her role
as an Infiltrator ... she is often privy to assignments that I don't
Reilly took her drink and downed it in one gulp. Then rose from the
table. "She acted without instruction from her superior officer on this
mission. The rest of this is kriffen dung, nothing more." The glass was
slammed down on the table and she headed toward the exit in a lovely
Derek sighed deeply as she stormed out of the room. He continued to
sit there and smile at the droid. At least there was some good company
to be had. The Argo was on its way back to the Moshaw Dark Star,
having completed its first mission on its new assignment ... with
Alanya did not head to the lounge to relax. In fact, as one would
think about her she was not relaxed at all, rather she was doing
pushups, one after another after another in the semi-privacy of the
belly hold, nobody ever bothered to come down here. The layout of
supplies offered various impromptu exercise opportunities. At the moment
her legs were on top of a supply crate, toes hooked under a supporting
length of synthrope while her hips and body hung off the other side,
hanging upside down as she stared off. She had paused with her pushups
and had decided to switch to sit-ups. She was however, lost in thought
about something, ignoring the trickles of sweat along her skin that ran
down towards her head, dripping from her forehead onto the deck.
Everything was upside down indeed...she herself, was upside down. In
more ways than one.
Derek's shoulders lowered, the weight of command a heavy burden upon
his back. He sighed as he felt the alcohol fuel his mind. He understood
the Sergeant's complaints, but at the same time had an opportunity to
spend a great deal of time with Trooper Rockturne on Alderaan. He
suspected that someone like her was likely involved in something far
beyond what he realized. He was giving this too much thought. His eyes
turned down to look at his chronometer, it taking some time for his eyes
to shift into focus now after the drinks. They would be back soon and
then he would sort this out.
Alanya stared straight ahead a moment longer before she pulled
herself up. In one powerful motion she pulled herself up from lying flat
back against the crate up and around all the way up, until the tips of
her extended hands touched the tips of her boots, and then she went back
down again. She had changed out of the thinsuit into something more
suitable for exercise, a charcoal gray tank top and a pair of black
utility pants. She remained silent, except for the small noise air made
passing between her lips as she repeated the extended sit-ups, she
concentrated only upon that, upon punishing her body to the absolute
extremes again and again and again with each sit-up, or so it seemed.
Booted feet indifferently stepped over the down, fallen corpse of an
Imperial soldier ... a causality in the guerrilla assault on the station.
Black Imperial uniform slacks were bloused over uniform boots, a white
long-sleeved uniform tunic worn over the male's upper torso. A holsters
was on his thigh, boasting a DE-10 blaster pistol in the leather
holster. The station's Commanding Officer was busily explaining the
details of the assault to the laconic Imperial Security Bureau officer,
whose eyes were idly roaming the hallway scorched with misfired blaster
shots. Calloused thumb brushed along the stubble-covered jaw-line, only
half listening to the commander as Major Sixtus Brand surveyed the damage.