The Corellian Corvette Argo emerged
from hyperspace in the Yaga system. Intelligence reported that the
Empire was moving largely unprotected bacta tanks through the region. It
was their hope that such a mediocre shipment would go unnoticed by
pirates and the Rebellion. Therefore, inside the Curich-class
shuttle Anxates the Empire had placed a valuable cargo in the
form of a new Human Replica Droid named FRN.
On the bridge of the Corvette, Commander
Derek Atio hovered nervously behind his bridge officers. He did not like
operating behind enemy lines, but he also realized that the enemy
controlled almost all of the galaxy and such luxuries were not possible.
His attention immediately turned to the transponder and his gaze fixated
upon Officer Ling, "Mister Ling, is the transponder working?"
The lithe five-foot five-inch frame of
Corellian-born Tashi Ling sat in a semi-reclining position in her chair,
feet propped up on the edge of the console and crossed at the ankle. She
chewed casually on a sugary piece of bubble gum as brandy brown eyes
darted across the monitors for a quick assessment. "At the
moment...but who's to say that won't change" she replied haphazardly,
one corner of her mouth dropping in a subtle frown.
Commander Atio nodded once to Tashi and
felt a bit more relaxed, "Do you have the shuttle on sensors yet, Mister
There was a pause in the conversation again
as she prioritized blowing a sizey pink bubble. When she was good and
done, she bothered to answer. "Affirmative, Miss. Mindin' in it's own
"Lieutenant Thrum," Commander Atio said as
his attention turned to the pilot, "Bring us to within weapons range."
The ever attentive azure gaze of
Lieutenant Wes Thrum was scanning constantly over the readouts
before him, position, speed, relative speed against their target... The
man never seemed to relax, he was the exact opposite image of his fellow
bridge officer... His head shifted on a swivel at his name before Wes
focused his attentions forward on the controls once more. "Aye, sir,
Closing at a relative seven megalight, estimate weapons range within the
next thirty seconds."
In the cold depths of the space that was
the Yaga system, the Corvette Argo's engines grew a degree brighter as
it eased ever closer to the shuttle 2,500 meters off their bow. As it
closed, it came in just above the plane that the shuttle was maneuvering
on, less conspicuous perhaps to the shuttles pilots, and a better firing
position for the bristling weaponry of the Argo.
Wes guided the corvette the last meters
into firing position, and once there, would ease the ships controls back
to match the running speed of the Shuttle running ahead of them. "Sir,
firing range achieved, slowing to match target speed and awaiting
"Lock turbolasers on target," Commander
Atio said to Tashi as he stared at the Imperial cargo shuttle through
A chocolate eyebrow arched, and for the
first time in hours, Tashi drew straight in her chair. "I was hoping
you'd issue some command" she smirked. With the weapons locking tightly
on the shuttle, a small indicator beeped to life on the array before
her. "Lights...camera..." she waited for the green flag, all the while
entertaining the thought of blowing it to bits.
"Fire," Derek growled angrily as he sat
upright in his chair.
The woman grinned. Those dirty Imps. With
that, she compressed the firing stud, throwing a volley towards the
shuttle in relentless aggression.
The Curich-class shuttle shoot
violently as the turbo lasers impacted the undefended craft. The
piloting crew moved over the controls quickly to try and send the vessel
into hyperspace, engage the shields, or something ... but it was too
late. The small craft's main reactor had gone offline from the third
volley and slowly game to a dead stop in space.
"Open the hangar bay and envelop her,
Lieutenant Thrum," Derek ordered to his pilot.
Wes eased back on the engine controls as he
saw the shuttle go to a dead float and brought the Argo directly
above the shuttle, the 150-meter corvette dwarfed the smaller craft as
it closed its distance, and with a well placed nudge of the maneuvering
thrusters the Argo slowly descended on its target, the bay doors
sliding back into their recesses as Wes triggered the bay control. "Aye
sir, closing, bay doors open, lowing the magnetic field now." Another
guiding tap of the Corvettes thrusters would slowly bring the ship to a
relative halt as the Curich-class shuttle passed through the
lower bay doors of the CR90 corvette. Another guiding series of commands
on the panel before him would order the electromagnetic field back
online before the bay doors would be allowed to close once more.
"Capture complete sir, holding."
"Get us out of here," Commander Atio
"Aye, sir, bringing us around, running
computations for the Vergesso System belt, hyperspace in forty-five
seconds." The engines of the Argo flared brightly to life once
more as Wes set into full thrust. The body of the corvette rolled
slightly as its pilot brought her around to their escape vector. Wes
checked his position, alignment, and angle once more before he cycled
the hyperdrive online. "Jumping now." The stars in the viewport seemed
to stretch and blur as the low whine of the hyperdrive resonated through
the hull of the ship, another 5 seconds later and it was enveloped in
the relative safety of a hyperspace tunnel. "We're away, sir."
Tong had been ready since the plan of
action was announced. Dressed in the standard wear for his Cuy'Val Dar,
which sadly, was simple combat fatigues, with his EE-3 and hated MSD-32
disruptor pistol, he was waiting at the hatch so they could enter the
bay, affect breach, and clear this shuttle.
Jake Dayga was a big man. Close to two
meters tall, with uscles on his muscles and a two day growth of beard,
the Corellian was ginning form ear to ear. "They shot this thing to
pieces," he said as he stood outside the shuttle, A280 rifle propped
over his shoulder. "How many guys you think are in there? Six maybe?
Maybe twelve. I hope it's twelve." He rubbed his upper lip, then
laughed, "Hey, I ever tell you the one about the Twi'lek and the Wookie?"
Leo Kincaid stood at the back of the
boarding party, ready to go in, he cradled an A280 blaster rifle, but
more so as a safety measure. His job was not to clear the ship, only to
inspect the cargo and inventory it, taking what they could. He looked at
Tong, "I suppose you want to clear the ship first, or do you need
another gun?", though he wasn't planning on going aboard until the crew
had cleared it.
Jargo was prepared as well, anxious to see
a little action after spending a little too much time in the sack. He
was dressed up in his finest combat fatigues, even went so far as to
shine his DC15. And last but not least when he heard there was company
coming he put together a nice bouquet of thermal detonators for the
welcome party, god he loved his job. As the local Combat Engineer he got
to do all fun stuff such as blowing things up if needed. When he came
bounding down to join the boarding party he looked like a kid about to
get a present. "Howdy, how's about we get this here can opened up?" He
smiled brightly, almost comically at his squad mates. One didn't serve
in the 501st Legion without getting a certain taste for battle.
"Alright, can it. Dayga, Kincaid stay back
and cover. I'll accompany Marx up to the hull. Marx, you're going to be
cutting us a way in. Everyone clear?" Tong kept his eyes on the craft,
and his finger on the trigger of his carbine.
"Sir, yes sir!" Jargo quickly replied
adopting a more disciplined attitude for his Commanding Officer. He
shouldered his firearm and from his utility pack produced a fusion
cutter. He moved to the hatch staying low incase any of the imperials
inside got any funny ideas. Once upon the hatch he lowered a set of
tinted visors to shield his eyes as he applied the cutter to the
exterior of the hatch. The blue flame emitted cut through the hatch like
a hot knife through butter and in no time at all Jargo had a nicely
shaped hole cut out for them. Once finished he placed a thermal charge
on the outside to blow the hatch in. He signaled everyone to cover.
"Fire in the hole!" He hit the detonator and the hatch was blown
"Yes, sir." Jake didn't get paid enough to
talk back, the joke could wait for later. He took a few steps back, then
leveled his rifle at the hatch. Anybody comes out of there's gonna have
some pretty big holes in them. Teach them to do whatever they'd done.
Jake flinched slightly as the detonator went off, then he dropped to a
knee and peered into the hole. If anybody was standing there, they were
Tong turned and moved out of the way of the
charge, and turned his head away from the blast. Once it was all clear,
he waved what had to be his partner, because it was his only other
rifleman, ordering him in just after the Captain himself. Tong hit the
ramp, and immediately went in, the EE-3 up and ready instantly as he
swept for targets in the first compartment, and only a second after the
breaching charge had gone off.
Leo Kincaid held his blaster steady at the
hatch, still in the rear of the group, waiting for them to storm in and
clear the way.
Jake followed after him, keeping his rifle
pointed down the hall, over Tong's shoulder as they moved inside. "You
think any of them have grenades?" He asked while Tong swept for targets.
"Or a flechette launcher. I saw a guy hit by one of those once, it was
pretty gross." Bacta tanks, bacta tanks, bacta tanks. Nobody was
shooting! "These Imperials are pretty dumb, huh?"
"This ship isn't cleared yet." Tong turned
and moved so he could cover the door of the cockpit. "Make sure we're
secure while Marx makes us a whole to finish the job through. MARX! Get
up hear and get me into this cock pit."
Jargo rushed in behind his comrades, rifle
posed to take out any potential resistance. Unfortunately all he found
was bacta tanks, "Kravtiz..." he cursed. He heard his name called and
got on the move double-time." You got is boss, one door way comin' up!"
Marx took a slightly different approach this time. He knocked open the
door's control panel revealing the interior circuitry. After crossing a
few wires he mangled to hot wire the door causing it top open partially
at the bottom. He took out a flash bang and pulled the firing pin and
rolled it under the opening. "Fire in the hole!" He turned his head away
form what would be a brilliant white flash.
As soon as the flash bang went off, he was
through the door, weapon up. He was left handed, so the left hand side
of the cockpit was his. And the pivot of his EE-3 showed that as he
sought out targets instantly.
The shouts of several Human male voices
were heard from the cockpit after the grenade went off. Eventually a
series of perhaps four blaster bolts began firing randomly from the
"Yeah, secure, on it." Jake swept through
the cargo bay, sticking his rifle in anywhere it didn't seem to be
wanted before heading back towards the cockpit. "We're clear down here,
nobody's..." Jake had apparently been a little slow, as he heard a boom,
then saw some blaster fire. He was missing the action! Jake dropped
where he was, then just started firing through the open door of the
cockpit as fast as his rifle would go.
The first two men on the left were Tong's
priority. And so that is where the three round bursts from the EE-3
went. The first two rounds to the chest, and the third to the head on
each man. The technique was meant to ensure a lethal or incapacitating
hit no matter what, which was aided by his tactical scope.
"Frack!" A bolt almost took his head off as
the occupants began firing randomly. Jargo whipped around the right
corner along side his CO. There were two Imp. Officers on the right who
did not look too welcoming. He pumped them both with a few shots from
his DC15 in the chest, a few rounds too many perhaps but if wanted
something dead you had to do it right.
In a matter of moments the blinded,
disoriented crew of the shuttle were reduced to smoking corpses. There
were no additional Imperials left aboard the craft.
Jake, meanwhile, was still randomly firing
from outside the cockpit without actually hitting anything. His guys
knew better than to get in the way of his blaster fire, right? Sure. "I
got ya covered guys!"
"Shuttle Secure. Kincaid, get in here,
catalog this, and strip this burnt out tub to her guts if it's anything
useful. We clear?" Tong turned, and moved back to the ramp before
speaking to the supply officer, and when he did it had been a shot
across the bay. He paused, letting his weapon hang from its sling, and
waved the man in. "You're safe now."
Kincaid looked at Tong and shook his head
slowly at the carnage they had just wreaked and the relatively long wait
time, his arms were tired and he dropped his blaster rifle, letting the
sling keep it hanging from his shoulder. "I was wondering when I would
get to go in..." He walked aboard, completely sure that everything was
dead, making his way to the cargo bay, as if it were his own ship. He
took a quick look around and decided to start from one end as he pulled
as a pad to inventory the stuff. He looked up from his pad at one of the
bacta tanks, only to see a human form floating in it. He dropped the
datapad immediately, as with his jaw, and blinked in disbelief. "Guys!
We got a live one here..."
Tong lit a cigarra, and let his supply
officer shake his hand. At least it was not a combat medic in his face.
The revelation that there was a living thing in there was certainly
news. "Dayga, check and make sure it isn't a hostile."
Jake got up off the floor in the middle of
putting another power pack into his rifle, he had bled the first one dry
with 'suppressing fire' through the cockpit door. A job well done, he'd
probably gotten at least one of them. Maybe all twelve. "Huh? Yeah sir!"
He slapped the new power pack into place, then went to go look what
they'd found. When he got there, he whistled, "Hey, I think we got some
Imp chick. Looks kinda...floaty. They supposed to floaty like that?"
Behind the glass, she remained offline and
looked as if she was in a deep sleep. Submerged in water her shoulder
length hair would float around her pale and child-like face as she
floated lifeless in her tank prison. Unaware of what was going on.
"Hey, she's kinda cute. Think she likes big
guys Kincaid?" Kincaid snickered at the man's comment, then shot back.
"I found her first"
Jargo idly shifted over to see what was
causing all the commotion. What met his eyes made his jaw drop. "Frack
me...a suspension unit..." He had heard of such units in theoretical
class back at the academy, but to actually see one up-close was
Kincaid quickly looked down at the bacta
tank controls, working to drain it so he could remove what he thought
was a woman. He watched as the liquid drained out slowly and he opened
the tank up, swallowing a lump in his throat. "Where do you suppose she
came from?" He reached in, picking the form up and shifting its weight
into a bearable position over his shoulder. "Go grab a repulsor bed, or
a medic, or anything" He had no clue as to what they were going to do
with one more, but he knew that it was important to make sure she was
functioning and to find out where she came from.
All Jake said was, "I got dibs."
"Grow up, laser brains" Jargo remarked
giving Jake a charley horse.
Tong blinked a minute, and then radioed
back to the bridge while he listened to the chatter. "Bridge, we need a
hover bed out here. One live one in the bacta tanks, or we can cart her
out in the tanks. Take your pick and let me know."
"Acknowledged," Commander Atio responded
over the intercom from his position on the bridge. He then rose from his
seat and headed towards the bridge turbolift to investigate the matter
further. He took the lift two levels down and walked down the corridor
where he was met with a repulsorbed. Stepping forward into the hangar he
saw the familiar sight of the shuttle they had captured and walked
towards the carved opening. "One of the ship's crew alive?" he asked as
he and the repulsurbed emerged inside the shuttle.
"I sure didn't shoot him and then throw him
in one of the tanks. Sounds like a woman in one of them." Tong replied.
Jake waited with his rifle held casually
over his shoulder, "I'm just saying, I got dibs. I called it, it's
fair." In Jakes mind, he was absolutely right, and perfectly willing to
deck anyone who disagreed with him. "Next time we find some girl in a
bacta tank all floating and being pretty, then you can call dibs."
Kincaid shook his head as he lowered her
form down onto the repulsorbed. "A female human by the looks of it, if I
had to guess I'd say it was a prisoner, but why here, why in a bacta
tank on this shuttle?" The intel we got said nothing about anyone on
board." Kincaid was in disbelief, staring at her.
"In one of the tanks?" Derek asked in a
confused tone, proceeding towards Lieutenant Kincaid, "Uh, what's the
"Now that's a very mature thing to say
Jake, I'm so glad we got brains like you around here." Jargo said with
just a hint of sarcasm. He looked back at the girl curiously.
Kincaid shot a dirty look to the large
newcomer toting his blaster. "You're an idiot. I doubt she goes for the
all brawn, no brain type anyways."
"Only one way to get the answers we're
looking for," Derek explained, "Open it!" Derek placed his palm across
the unconscious woman's face as she was laid out on the bed. "Who are
you?" he asked quietly, not expecting an answer.
The words that had entered her ears caused
her to slowly open her dark eyes and glance at all the faces around her.
"Hello...My name is FRN...how can my knowledge assist you..." she said
with a voice that sounded rather soft-spoken and almost child-like.
"Don't get jealous guys, I'm just too much
man is all. Imps go running and girls start screaming when they hear the
name Jake Dayga." He grinned a huge smile, then turned to the repulsor
bed as the girl woke up. Uh oh, officers were in the way though. Jake
stepped up behind them, looking over their shoulders at the woman and
Commander Atio snapped a quick glare over
to Trooper Dayga before returning his attention to FRN. "A droid..." he
said quietly, stating the obvious, "and a very unusual one at that."
"But don't droids got beepy parts?" Dayga
"Someone wants to clean the refresher,"
Derek said in a matter that could easily be heard by all.
"Are you the Governer Tavira?" FRN would
ask Commander Atio. Her eyes would look to him from the corners. Her
face remained serious as she waited for his reply.
"Governor uh..." Derek repeated, "No. I'm
not." He then turned his attention to Lieutenant Kincaid, "Looks like we
have something here more than bacta tanks."
"Frack me..." Jargo thought he was having a
techie's wet dream. Lord how he would love to get his hands on her
technology and find out what made her tick. His natural techno curiosity
took over him faster than he could control his mouth, "FRN, what
function do you serve? What are your operation parameters?"
Kincaid's eyes were wide in wonderment.
"I'd say, you think they're gonna miss this?" Kincaid snickered then
went suddenly silent at the prospect of having something too hot to
"Wouldn't you?" Derek quickly shot back at
Tong moved back aboard the shuttle, a thick
stream of smoke rolling from his nose. "And standing here staring isn't
going to get us any closer to being done. It wouldn't be the first time
we've bitten off more than we should have."
"Hey hey!" Jake put his hand on the Jargo's
shoulder, "I called dibs, no fair moving in after I called dibs, you
gotta wait your turn."
"Bug off Jake, this is serious stuff!" The
corporal shook his hand off making it clear he would pull rank if he had
"The only thing either of you is competing
for is who gets to clean the head if you don't knock it off," Atio
barked at the troops.
"Enough of that. You could be calling dibs
on a meat grinder..." Tong growled at the new transfer.
"I do insist that I be taken to Governer
Tavira at once." FRN would say before looking to the person whom asked
her yet another question and blinking a couple of times. "I am and
administrative droid assigned to Governor Tavira."
"Aww great, now you got them mad at us."
Jake humped, waved at the girl again, then headed towards the shuttle's
ramp. "If there's nobody respects dibs, then it's no wonder the Imps
outnumber us." Probably had better health care too.
"Well, somehow I don't think you're going
to run into him around here," Derek explained to her. "You ever heard of
this Tavira fellow, Captain Tong?" he asked.
"Governor of Eiattu. Grand Moff. Might be
worth picking the droid's brain after all." Tong's voice had a thick
sound to it as smoke escaped his lungs.
"'Grand' Moff?" Derek replied in dismay,
"Great." He snapped a gaze at Leo, "Next time ... someone else picks the
"I'll do it, sir!" Jake volunteered.
"The hell you will, ahem, I mean, with all
due respect, sir, I think I'm the most qualified to examine the
droid...sir." Jargo interrupted abruptly.
"Shut it, Dayga. And if it's his personal
assistant, it might have preloaded files. Codes, who knows. If the droid
brain on the Argo can talk to this thing, or even that damned
astromech, it might be worth it." He glanced at the two people who
seemed all to eager to get their hands on a droid.
Kincaid looked offended by the statement
from Atio. "Hey! I got you a ship full of perfectly good bacta tanks!
Who would have guessed we'd have some Grand Moff's personal droid on
FRN continued to lay there listening to all
the commotion. "If I am not at the destination on which I am assigned,
then I wish to request knowledge of my present situation..." FRN would
ask as she waited for someone to reply.
"Up the creek, I'd say..." Derek replied to
FRN's question with a nervous smile.
"You're somewhere between the unknowns and
Hell. Don't worry, we will report you to the proper authorities, they
will retrieve you." Tong took another long drag from the cigarra, and
waited to see if she would bite.
Jargo saw he was getting nowhere fast and
the officers were getting tetchy, time to make himself scarce.
"Permission to be excused, sir, that is if Im no longer needed."
"You're clear. Just make sure you secure
your gear. We're too low as it is." Tong nodded a bit, and shifted his
carbine a touch on it's sling.
"Yes, sir!" Jargo clicked his heels and
saluted before scurrying off to secure his gear and get some rack time
in before they had to hit another rock.
"Tell me the current location of up the
creek..."FRN would ask once again, "so that I may report to the proper
authorities of my current whereabouts." FRN remained serious before
closing her eyes to do so. "Please lead me towards the main computer so
that I may make contact with the proper authorities, so that I may let
them know I have not seen Governer Tavira yet..."
"Somehow that doesn't sound like a good
idea," Derek observed.
"The computer system is failing aboard our
ship. Asteroid damage. This is Sergeant Revan, Stormtroopers. We will
get you to the Grand Moff as shortly as possible, and notify him of your
delay, but right now any attempts at communications view the ship or
transmitters could result in catastrophic feed back, and permanently end
all missions." Tong would have rather shot this droid and been done with
it, but Intel like this was hard to give up.
"Please tell me who you are? I'm afraid I
have not downloaded your faces into my databank." FRN would ask once
more as she waited for a reply. "and Aaso...what do you need of me? Name
"All will be explained after we have a
chance to examine you," Commander Atio explained, "Can you walk?"
"Allow me to investigate walking..." she
would say before lifting herself up and maneuvering herself to sit on
the side of the bed before pushing herself off. She landed gracefully
before slowly rising herself. She was a very short droid indeed,
standing about 5'3 as she looked up to Commander Atio as she waited for
a response for her action.
"Do you have combat capabilities?" the
"I was made only created for
administrative purposes," she remained standing
there perfectly still as she studied Commander Atio's human features as
they were burned into her databank.
The Commander nodded at her quietly and
then turned to Captain Tong, "Regardless, twenty-four hour armed guard."
Tong gave one of those looks to the ship's
CO, and debating commenting on that one. "Turning my men into MPs now?"
Rescue missions, guard duty...not even Tong wanted to know what was next.
"Such are the times we live in," Derek
"Aye. Such are the times when my pay check
isn't large enough, and I'm too far away from my objective. Alright
droid, we're going to store you while we affect repairs, so move out."
Droid brought back bad memories, and he did not care for them in the
FRN would then soak in every word as she
now acknowledged the fact that Commander Atio was in fact the leader of
this rabble of humans. She would then turn to the human who asked her a
question. "My databank does not have a file on this ship's interior..."
she said before looking away and appeared to stare off into space.
"That is why you will follow my directions,
and we'll get you to storage." And by storage, Tong meant the brig. A
Force cage should hold this one.
"It's too old for that," Derek said with a
laugh. He then turned again to Captain Tong, "Better get her to secure
quarters until we arrive."
"Aye...sir..." Tong gave a nod, not to the
CO, but to the droid, and gestured with the muzzle of his EE-3.
"Alright, out this way. Straight ahead."
FRN would nod in compliance before
following the human without saying another word. She had a rather slow,
but almost graceful walk about her. She kept her eyes straight forward
the whole time she was lead to secure quarters. Their destination would
remain unknown to her until they would arrive.
Those secure quarters were indeed the brig.
And after Tong had prepared a Force cage, he stood by a control panel,
and waved towards the small cell." Step inside and deactivate. We'll
have you to your destination shortly."
FRN would stand there a moment to scan the
room before slowly making her way inside. She would then stop in the
center of the room. The sound of something switching off could be heard
as she stood there with her head hanging low and her eyes closed.
Tong activated the force cage shortly
after, and took up his com link. "This is Tong. I want a guard at the
brig immediately...no, I really I don't care. And you'd better be
armed." He stood and remained impassive and emotionless even when he was
relieved, just lighting a new cigarra on his way to his rack.