Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Jordan Bednarz, Christopher Levy, and Kyle Sisk.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:2:6) in the Yavin system: Argo and Yavin 4 (Great Temple).
Commander Derek Atio, General Jan Dodonna, Colonel Bob Hudsol, General Akilist Volkov, Lieutenant Riak Wheeler, and Major General Vanden Willard.

The CR90 corvette Argo emerged from hyperspace in the Yavin system, her hull visibly shaken from the encounter with Imperial forces in the Ringali Shell. Dwarfed by the massive red gas giant, the small vessel proceeded towards the fourth moon. On the bridge, Commander Derek Atio seemed to be relieved that the craft had returned safely. The mission to retrieve General Volkov had been a difficult one, but he had accomplished it without any losses. As two BTL Y-wing starfighters came alongside the vessel, it began its descent into Yavin 4's atmosphere. On the horizon, the Great Massassi Temple came into view and a Rebel trooper was visible in a watchtower monitoring their approach.

"Bring us in for a landing," Derek ordered calmly, before the ship began to rely on its repulsorlift engines to circle over the Argo's assigned landing spot in the dense jungle below. The lush canopy was torn asunder as the Argo descended, displacing much of the vegetation and causing an assortment of creatures to go scurrying deeper into the jungle. The landing gear retracted, bouncing upon the soft terrain as the ship jolted for a moment before setting on the ground. Pressure gasses released from various valves on the hull of the ship. They were home safe.

The sensation was indescribable, and equally undesirable. Various accumulations of dust, dirt, gravel, and so forth from the jungle floor were kicked up into the air by the repulsorlift engines of the descending corvette, spraying Lieutenant Wheeler: those awaiting the Argo's arrival below. Among them was young Lieutenant Riak Wheeler, who had refused a ground crewman's offer of goggles not five minutes earlier. Foolish move- in an attempt to impress those around him, he was now going to look absolutely disheveled for his first appearance on the new assignment. "What was the purpose?" he mused to himself, "...For wearing a brand new uniform, freshly starched...when it was now covered with offal from the Argo's arrival?" Riak rotated his torso forty-five-degrees back towards the arriving vessel, having turned away briefly to avoid the bulk of the spray from engaging his eyes. Cobalt blues narrowed slightly, tracing up and down the graceful lines of the vessel. This would be his new home...knees hinged down briefly to allow Riak to pick up the two small canvas bags into which he piled his authorized uniforms and belongings. His stance relaxed somewhat, as he awaited the drop of the boarding ramp, so that he would cross the next frontier in his twenty-eight years of life.

The sound of hydraulic pressure overshadowed the sounds of the jungle creatures as the Argo's ramp descended to the ground below. Halfway through its descent, it jammed and remained elevated halfway in the air. "Damn it," the annoyed voice of Commander Atio was heard from inside the ship. A moment later he walked on to the ramp and began stomping his feet down upon it, angrily. "Work damn you," he cursed as he continued to punish the machine with his feet. An instant later, the ramp 'fell' to the ground with a dull *thud* as it descended the rest of a way in an instant. Taken off guard, the Commander stumbled from his perch and rolled down the ramp the short distance to the jungle floor below. "Oof!" he grunted as his chest impacted the ground, his eyes looking up at Wheeler and the other new personnel. He got up from the ground almost instantly, his teeth clenching down on his lips to keep from revealing any sign of a pained expression. His hands dropped to his uniform, shedding the moss and other dirt from it as he smiled to the new crew. "Well," he began with a smile, "...that got her fixed."

Wheeler's teeth bit sharply into his lower lip, as he strained with all his soul to keep from smiling, laughing, smirking...or otherwise showing any emotion at the superior officer's tumble down the boarding ramp. It was a failed effort ... as a hint of pearl white were revealed when the corner of Wheeler's lips curled upward. Reflexively, Wheeler's boots were brought together sharply online, toes pointed out evenly. The audible *click* of the heels coming together was drowned out somewhat by Wheeler attempting to find his voice, to greet the superior on behalf of the small accumulation of replacement crew members, waiting patiently. He hadn't called the group into any sort of a formation, which would have made for a much better presentation. Rather, the rag-tag accumulation was scattered randomly around the ramp. Wheeler's arm rose sharply in a salute, as the stammer continued. "Detail, attention!" Wheeler's salute remained fix, eyes that ordinarily would have faced straight ahead...instead darting back and forth from the boarding ramp, to the officer that had mishapenly emerged. No further words were added to the greeting to the much superior officer.

There was something about being saluted in the jungle that never made Commander Atio comfortable. His eyes peered to the jungle nervously before raising his own hand to the side of his forehead in what could only liberally be described as a 'salute.' He nodded his head to each of them, his discomfort showing through a nervous facial expression. It would be clear to even the least adept among them that he was not comfortable with the rigidity of command. Having only some months prior served as Chief Engineer aboard a cruise liner for Galactic Tours, it was no small wonder that situations like this were difficult for him to become accustomed to. His attention focused on Wheeler politely for a moment. "All hands," he began, starting to sound somewhat professional in his mannerism, "Report in." He then stood by the ramp and waited for each one to check in before boarding the ship to take their assignments.

Seriously? The lack of formality in the superior's approach created a knot in the spit-and-polish Lieutenant's stomach. Wheeler ordinarily prided himself on appearance and first impressions, since it tended to make up for his performance flaws. He had never been close to top in his class ... his enthusiasms for the missions, for the training, had waned due to frictions with other classmates. There was not a doubt that when the 'rubber hit the road', that Wheeler could drive on to secure the objective. However, motivating the Lieutenant was often the problem. Wheeler sniffed with disdain at the informal start to the boarding, and awaited other junior officers and crewmen to board the vessel, choosing to go last. During his turn to board the vessel, Wheeler stepped directly in front of the Commander, one pace to his front, and one pace to the left, repeating the position of attention and rendering a sharp salute. "Lieutenant Wheeler reporting for duty, sir!". Enough enthusiasm was thrust into the greeting, to exceed that of the several previous officers in the boarding line. If they looked at him as a 'suck up' or someone who was not a 'team player', so be it. Wheeler was not here to make friends ... the success or failures at a first assignment had a significant impact on an officer's rise through the ranks. As much as these other officers were his teammates, they were also his competitors. And the word 'competitive' didn't even come close to describing the fiery Wheeler. Standing at just short of two meters tall, the reddish-blonde hair of the Lieutenant was clipped to the skin on the sides, and styled in a brush cut on top ... to make up for the four centimeters of height that he felt he was jilted for, genetically. Everything was based on impression.

Derek gave a soft nod to the Lieutenant as he approached the ramp. He looked the man over from head-to-toe and could tell that he was a serious customer who enjoyed the uniform a bit too much. He made a mental note that he would review the man's personnel records at a later date and try to determine where the man's rigidity came from. Outwardly, he smiled cordially, as he did to each new member of the crew he met, and extended his right hand towards the man for a hearty handshake. He cleared his throat, his mouth was slightly dry as he was not accustomed to the jungle climate. "Commander Derek Atio," he began, introducing himself. "You're our new Operations Officer, right?" he continued, but he was certain he already knew the answer. "Well aboard the Argo," he concluded with a kind smile, uncharacteristic for a military man such as himself, "You will find the officers quarters on Deck 4." He then nodded his head a final time and turned to the next man in the line.

Wheeler's jaw dropped open momentarily, as he prepared to launch into a response to Commander Atio's greeting...hoping to impress the man with his intelligence, or otherwise strengthen his first impression. Instead, as the Commander turned to the next man in line, Riak's hopes and ego deflated like a balloon. Teeth clenched together briefly, jaw was set tightly for a fraction of a second, before the rational side of Wheeler's conscious soothed over that delicate ego of his. "He must be busy. You've have plenty of time later, to show him what you're made of..." that voice chided him. Wheeler nodded perfunctorily, before gripping his travel bags, and stepping up the boarding ramp. Working his way through the ship, Wheeler had hoped to find his way directly to Deck 4, to begin stowing his things and finding the best accommodations available ... if it wound up being first come, first serve. Instead, Wheeler wormed his way out onto the bridge ... gulping nervously about being lost. Ah. There it was. The officer's lounge. A perfect place for him to drop his bags, and not appear to be as blatantly lost as he was. Wheeler anxiously hoped that no-one noticed that he had his bags with him...a sure-fire sign that he did not have a clue where the officer's quarters were. He would have a tough time bluffing through that one. Wheeler slammed one duffel tote down on a table in the officer's lounge, digging through it fitfully to find the datapad that had the layout of the Argo that he was supposed to have memorized, days before.

Commander Atio nodded to the last of the crew members as they reported aboard. He was concerned by how young and how inexperienced they were, but it seemed in their current situation they were in no position to turn anyone away. His hair was blown awry by an incoming gust. His eyes peered up as he watched a T-65 X-wing soar above the jungle canopy, buzzing dangerously close to the canopy and causing considerable concern to the man. "Hot shot pilot," he muttered to himself as he turned to look at his nemesis, the ramp. He folded his hands behind his back as he 'carefully' proceeded back up into the hull of the vessel. He would be sure to send an engineering detachment to the area immediately, because he did not want such a thing to occur on an operation.

Wheeler continued to dig through the canvas satchel containing an assortment of his belongings, finally retrieving the datapad in question. He engrossed himself in it for a few minutes, attempting to retrieve the location of the officer's quarters, so that he could stow his belongings. In the meantime, he continued to sit in the officer's lounge, looking all the part of a displaced refugee. Rumpled, dirty uniform from the landing blast. Bags at his side. Nervous frown on his face. Eyes narrowed. Wheeler certainly not at his best.

Akilist Volkov rolled uncomfortably around in the small cot that had been provided as his place to lay his head for the night. His mind raced with wonder along with the inevitable inability to gain a clear enough mind to seduce himself into a subconscious state of sleep.

Commander Atio arrived outside the quarters that had been assigned to General Volkov. He adjusted his uniform, although it was quite soiled from his fall down the ramp earlier. He cleared his throat and brought his hand up to the door. He knocked his knuckles against the door thrice, not sure if the General had woken up yet. After knocking, he took a step back and folded his hands behind his back, coming to a more rigid form of attention as he waited for a response. His eyes darted to the chronometer on the wall. They would be gathering in the command center soon and their arrival had already been delayed by the taking on of new personnel.

The softness of the feather downed pillow nestled comfortable beneath the resting cheeks of the most esteemed revolutionist within the rebellion seemed to provide him with the necessary comfort needed in order to give him the desired rest suited via his satisfaction. His face jerked involuntarily as the echoes from the transparisteel door echoed throughout the dorm, his subconscious ears in their sleep state unable to decipher the urgency of the knocking at his quarters. Amongst a series of tossing and turning, his mind began to gather itself before snapping into an alertness of self conscious awareness. The knockings had transpired into physical interpretation to his senses now. Upon recognizing the greetings dispatched at his resting place, Akilist Volkov, let out a slight groan from his sleeping state upon wakening and raising his body to answer the call that had been brought before him. With one hand straightening upon the small cottage, his elevated himself into an upright position, his chin ducked down as he shook his head from left to right in an effort to shake the dizziness of freshly awakened stagnancy from his mind. He then rose upwards onto two feet before pacing gingerly toward the durasteel dual-chambered door that fortressed his command post. The esteemed general brought his hand upwards to enter a sequence of key commands on the control console before a collective series of confirmed beeps and computer squeals disengaged the command lock on the security console. With an unsudden gesture, the massive doors hissed to life with vapor jetting out of either side as the pressurized doors fluctuated open to reveal the hardened and stern face of the infamous General, Akilist Volkov. He elevated his chin in order to meet the gaze of the custodian before him. He then began to speak in a most cool and modulated tone of voice before questioning the man in front of him. "Yes, I'm awake. What is going on here?"

Commander Atio did not fit the typical profile of a military officer. The human male in his mid-40s was slightly overweight and below average height. He did however look the part of an engineer, which he was before the untimely death of Captain Dartanyn several months ago. The uniform he wore was soiled and unkempt and did not flatter his frame in the slightest. He, and his crew, had been engaging the enemy almost twenty-four hours a day with little rest and zero relaxation for months now. Frankly, he no longer gave a damn about his personal appearance. It was just one of the many luxuries that had been stripped of him in this dirty war. He knew the General only by reputation and the brief time they had spent together had been under a near-constant state of attack and had afforded him no opportunity to sit and chat. There would be no time for that now either, as he came with orders that he would soon present. "General," he began in a crisp voice, wasting no time and moving directly to the point, "We have arrived at Yavin 4 and command awaits you in Massasi Station. I have orders to escort you there immediately." Concluding, he offered a tired smile, content with the fact that he had completed the mission and returned his battered vessel to home base. There were repairs that needed to be made, but there would only be time for a few before they would be ordered back into the fray.

General Volkov stood boldly before the officer presenting his deer plead, both of his black synthleather gloved hands rested behind the confines of his lower back. He nodded his head in acceptance after hearing the report from the young commander before responding with his very own means of communication. The general began to pace in a circular motion around the position of the commander before coming to a halt at his back. Noticing the young man remaining diligently in his current position facing forward and away from him, a sharp punch was nestled into the lower back of Atio. His grasp clutched onto a handful of fat that had been harvested within the General's hand before his lips stopped within mere millimeters of the man's right ear. He spoke quietly, but with crude harshness in his voice. "Straighten that back Commander, I'd expect my commanding officers to stand somewhat taller than an inch from the ground. You, an inch from the ground, are nothing more than a mound of Bantha Fodder in the looks of I. Now harden your backbone, straighten your stance and readdress me with the report which you have just given me." Volkov waltzed merely around his circular motion before coming to a halt once again in front of Commander Atio, awaiting the young junior officer to reconstruct his orders in Volkov's likened fashion.

Derek let out a pained groan as the General's fist connected with the small of his back. "Ugh," he exhaled sharply as his body stiffened into something more upright, akin to traditional military fashion. This was terrible, he thought to himself as she stood there. He had spent the entire transit in hyperspace on his hands and knees at the head of a repair team attempting to keep this ship in one piece and this was the last thing he needed. Locking his knees and holding his arms frozen at his side, he looked forward and cleared his throat. "General, sir," he stated loudly and clearly in a voice he had not used since the Clone Wars. "I have orders to bring you presently to the command center in Massasi Station, sir," he concluded, his body motionless and unwavering as he bellowed the report. It was going to be one of those days, he thought to himself as he stood there, awaiting permission to move.

Volkov allowed his striking glare to diminish momentarily as he looked downwards to his left in collective thought upon hearing the orders from the officer before him. Hmmm he thought to himself as he evaluated the detailed orders. Perhaps headquarters had devised a much more intelligent plan that could benefit the entire sector for their hard and well earned efforts within the Ringali Shell. Working long into the early mornings had been a son of a bitch for Volkov. Darkened tones of blackened shades had formed into bags beneath his eyes from the stress and drama which had surrounded his current situation. He knew that this would be his only way out. The Imperials were well onto his trail. With a most regrettable personal defeat, the general nodded his head in compliance with the commander in utter surrender, "Very well, I shall go with you and regroup. However, do not see this confrontation as a mere defeat young comrade, but do see it as a rally in order to launch our next blow into the heart of the Empire. Believe you me, upon all things that may ring true to the heart of the underdog, I, Akilist Volkov, will bring justice to those who have sworn allegiance and obedience to the treacherous dogmas of the Empire. Beneath my fist, the Empire crushes as it so shall be, upon the highest of highs as the banister of the Rebellion sways diligently into the winds of reformation. We, the Alliance to Restore the Republic, my friend, shall reign victorious." With those words said, Volkov remained silent, awaiting a response from the young officer waiting patiently before him.

What a piece of work this guy was, Derek thought silently to himself. "If it would please the General to follow me..." he stated plainly as he began to walk through the corridors of the Argo. The vessel had clearly seen better days. The once pristine white hallways were scarred from battle and there were open access panels at every junction. From the top bulkhead various fiber optical cable dangled precariously and some of the hallways were not even illuminated. As he moved towards the exit ramp of the ship, he slammed himself against the bulkhead as a crew of maintenance technicians with many crates begin to move through. "Gangway!" he warned all those around as he gave them a clear moment to pass. Eventually he began moving again, heading down the ramp to the lush terrain of the jungle moon. Before them stood the ancient Massassi Temple, so recently converted into a base of operations for the fledgling Rebellion. In the distance an X-wing elevated from the hangar, heading off on its regular patrol. "Right this way, sir," he said as he turned over his shoulder to make sure he was keeping up. Pushing through a sea of technicians, soldiers, pilots, and refuges as they moved through Massassi Station. Eventually they arrived at the command center where the Generals had patiently waited, standing around a large readout of the Yavin system with various communications and sensor displays.

The general moved forwards with sounded awareness of his approach as black synthleather combat boots clapped simultaneously across the darkened durasteel platform of the command quarters. Upon entering the command center, Akilist Volkov, gasped as he was quite surprised to be met with the advanced technological displays and equipment which filled the control room before him. Twin glowing orbs of icy blue eyes scanned from left to right before falling onto the likes of a most irrefutable identity of the most heralded General Dodonna. He approached casually, has boots clapping along the flooring as he walked. Upon coming within reaching distance of Dodonna, he paused, both hands stricken to his sides, he performed a proper bow toward his superior officer. "General Dodonna. What an honor it is to finally be able to share with your in person. How may I be of service my dear friend?"

Vanden Willard smiled confidently towards General Volkov as he strode into the command center. "When we heard about Ralltiir ... we feared the worse," he stated dejectedly, lowering his head in respect for all of the helpless souls currently trapped on the planet.

General Dodonna, the most aged and senior of the three commanders, stepped forward and nodded appreciatively to his comrade. "You have done a brave thing in the Ringali Shell, my friend," he said proudly as each of his tired old hands raised briefly before coming to rest upon Volkov's shoulders. He looked him in the eyes, never wavering as he spoke with confidence and praise. "Being cut off as you were there were those among us who feared it was a suicide mission," he admitted that which they had held in the strictest confidence. "Yet, here you are despite such obstacles," he continued, a smile slowly growing upon his weathered face. "...alive and well and with us here in this command center. Few would have believed it," he said as his hands tightened upon his shoulders. "There is much to be done," he added as he nodded his head repeatedly, looking from Willard, to Hudsol, and finally to Volkov.

Volkov matched the swapping of general greetings, as he also tugged gently upon Dodonna's shoulder upon greeting. He stared Dodanna deeply into the eye as he examined the authenticity of his words upon viewing his bodily functions to reveal any such unsubtleties. Seeing that Jan was in full confidence, Volkov nodded his head in acceptance of the General after receiving his praises. Volkov elevated his head slightly in order for his eyes to fall in direct alignment with the looks of Dodonna before speaking gently "My good friend." He squeezed tightly on his right shoulder "What a great moment it is to once again to see my greatest of friends face to face once again. The times which have been presented, yes, they have been tortuous. But, with great resolve and understanding of the ultimate desire of our forces, we meet on common grounds my friend. Many sacrifices, yes, have been made. I urge you however, my friend, do not scuttle yourself in comfort of my fort comings, yet, my sacrifices, my troops, their lives, their blood...let us bring it to the land...the heart...the beating rhythm of the Empire's anthem." Volkov stared him down strongly with ambition blazing in his eyes before waiting the response of his superior. Volkov was indeed the light and soul of the rebellion within Ringali.

Dodonna listened intently to each of Volkov's words in the manner only a man who had given his entire life to military service could understand. He was tired and the burden of command weighed heavily upon each decision. The youth had been easily corrupted by the Empire and it seemed that most of the Rebellion's senior leadership was comprised of men who should have long since retired, but the crisis did not permit such luxuries. His hands released themselves from Volkov's shoulders and he moved away, letting out a tired sigh. "I was sorry to have had to recall you, Akilist," he explained thoughtfully as his eyes maneuvered downward to simultaneously study the report from a flight of Y-wings operating in the system. "...but we lost Roons Sewell..." he said, his voice breaking slightly as he recounted the death of his dear friend and colleague. "...and the Rebellion could stand to lose but one leader this month," he concluded as he moved his head away from the display to regain eye contact with Volkov.

Volkovs' chin nodded regret after hearing the news of Roons Sewell. The two had performed independent operations oblivious to the rebellion considering their workings had predated the alliance by more than 20 years. Akilist allowed his grip to tighten even further upon the shoulders of Dodonna. As he recognized the sorrow within his companion, Volkov brought the chin of Dodonna up to equal balance of his own vision. "Look. Roons did exactly as instructed to do so. Without such obedience, we would surely be in a much unpredictable situation here now on Yavin." Volkov's hands elevated onto the cheeks of Dodonna, his eyes penetrating his very soul. "We must not reflect on the undoings of our past decisions. Yet we must marvel at the forthcomings of the command in which we must illustrate our future soldiers in the most brightest of futures. To produce a realm of peace, of love, of tranquility, together this mission, I believe it can be achieved."

Dodonna nodded to Akilist, signifying agreement with each word that he spoke. "Colonel Hudsol has begun preparations for the complete evacuation of our forces in the Ringali Shell," he began to explain, shifting the focus away from the personal and more towards the professional as his hand moved to signal his executive officer to step forward. "I do not like to give ground, Akilist," he said bitterly as she shook his head in disgust. "...but our presence there is doing nothing but jeopardizing the very lives of the people we are trying to protect." He sighed as he lowered his head, not mentally prepared for the tactics the Empire was beginning to use in this intensifying war. "If the Empire is prepared to lay waste to their own worlds, to slaughter their own citizens, merely to keep them from showing aid and comfort to us then I do not know what victory even means in a war such as this..." he concluded, walking away from the trio to collect his thoughts.

Stepping forward, the slightly shorter, and considerably rounder Colonel Hudsol presented himself to Volkov. "After discussing the matter we feel the best tactic would be to evacuate all at once using the Ringali Nebula as a shroud," he began to explain, extending a datapad with their thoughts to the General. "By splitting the forces and attempting to make the jump to hyperspace at all five worlds simultaneously it is our estimation that at least sixty-five percent of the forces will survive," he stated very coldly, the dead were just numbers on a datapad to him. If he put a face to each one he would have no choice but to return to his quarters and hang himself. Justifying death on this scale was impossible for any man, but this was war, and there was no alternative.

"You are right of course" Volkov hesitated "The Empire is indeed quite treacherous in the least sense. Indeed the people in the surrounding areas will suffer for their so called blasphemies against the Empire. However, simply pulling out of this system to preserve the infrastructure of its people does not make much sense. Considering we are the mind and focus of this particular movement, our people, the land, the bodies are the sound and voice of the people which shall echo our word amongst the masses. Without such a voice, the rebellion shall crumble indeed. I do know that the current state of affairs have called for a more exertive approach towards the oncoming affairs. However, I do believe that with resolve and unchallenged desire and will to present health and prosperity to the people of Ringali, that we shall rise above the corruption and dominion of the Imperialistic idealism of the Galactic Empire. If you wish to withdraw, then so be it. But if you do decide to do so, my forces shall stay and fight in order to withstand the onslaught of the Imperial tyrant."

"General," Hudsol said calmly, having listened to his each and every word with polite respect. "There are tens of thousand of dead on Ralltiir," he said, restating the situation in stark detail. "Many of them some of the finest Rebels we had at our disposal," he continued, unwavering in his determination. "There are hundreds of thousands who are currently suffering. It is a tragedy on a scale that we have never before seen," he continued, stating the figures without any need for a reference. They were burned into his mind like candles that he could never blow out. "Millions more will suffer and die unless we back away in that region," he ultimately concluded. "We have no way to break the blockade that currently is strangling Ralltiir," he grimly explained. "I do not want that suffering on my conscience. Not when I know I could prevent it just by redeploying the forces to another region. Do you want that on yours?" he asked, his voice growing increasingly more serious, nearly cracking at one point.

"Obviously the casualties have been predetermined and calculated into our estimates for futuristic rational concepts and predetermined statistics, for incase of battle, the we may predetermine the oncoming flow of things as they may present themselves. No one individual may truly understand rather a man fall to the likes of a laser or not. Considering the blockade of Ralitir, you speak of no hope. Yet I, Akilist Volkov, offer into you free willingly more than enough to provide you efficiently with the amount of starships to overcome this target. Do I want this on my soul? Obviously this is a most exclusive predicament, with many more personal involvements thrown into the equation. But as suggested earlier, preservation is the ultimate cause of the rebellion. If not to act, if not to do so under our very will in which we very well harness the capability to conduct and carry out such actions, we shall crumble into a most dense cloud of darkness, forever being interpreted amongst foreign language yet unknown to the tongue of the educated."

"This war will be won here in the Outer Rim Territories, General," Hudsol continued, still content to disagree. He believed in his findings and was confident it was the best tactical situation based on currently intelligence. "We need those men and materials here," he said emphatically as he moved towards General Willard to read the latest intercepts.

"...and we need you here, General," Willard was quick to add, supporting his compatriot's findings. "It is never easy to vacate a command, Akilist," he continued as he stepped around a computer screen to get a better look at him, "...but this is an enemy much larger than us in every capacity other than spirit." He nodded to Colonel Hudsol as he looked over the report once again. "We must fight a new type of war. One where we fall back into the shadows and then emerge only long enough to swat at the demon's nose," he said firmly as he slammed a clenched right fist into the palm of his left hand. "They have shined the light on the Ringali Shell," he said as he shook his head remorsefully, "...and we must creep back into the shadows before they stomp on us like bugs."

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