Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Liz Dorner, Andrew Douglas, Robert Dunmire, Todd Fitzgerald, Nate Lentz, Christopher Levy, Larry Mottola, Amy Paris, Thomas Rogers, and Samantha Sinclair.

One year before the Battle of Yavin (34:9:9) in the Arzid system: Argo and Arzid (Imperial Outpost).


Commander Derek Atio, Lieutenant Leo Kincaid, Lieutenant Quar Klynn, Petty Officer Tashi Ling, Trooper Miranda Nielson, Sergeant Zev Ordo, Lieutenant Riffa'rdac'olounasa, General Roons Sewell, Corporal Seekith Shardin, Sergeant Aami Tina'da, and Captain Dagon Tong.


The Corellian Corvette Argo emerged from hyperspace in the Thuris Sector. The small craft's hull was pot marked with battle damaged. It had seen better days. If it were possible for a vessel to look tired, surely this craft would be showing all the signs. It had been only twelve hours since the ship left Dantooine after hurriedly taking on scant supplies, replacement personnel, and a new commando unit. The crew were still getting used to one another. They had seen their share of the war and they were tired. It would take everything they had to survive and get through this mission.

On the bridge of the Argo, Commander Derek Atio sat nervously in his command seat behind the pilot and co-pilot. "Phew," he sighed in relief, "We made it." He was never quite sure if the old girl would survive the trip through hyperspace. He half expected the vessel to prepare to enter hyperspace and instead for the engines to fall off. He had received orders while on Dantooine to proceed to the Thuris Sector ... nothing more. As much as he disliked vague orders he hated having his vessel sitting exposed in Imperial space more. "Sensor scan, Mister Ardac," he ordered quickly.

Ardac sat upright, working the appropriate controls, powering up the Argo's scanners, for a passive sweep. "Sensors are go, Captain," The old Chiss replied coolly. "Initial scans show nothing ... no activity, in the system." Ardac leaned forward, incase he missed something.

"I don't want anyone getting the drop on us," Commander Atio explained, "Bring the shields and weapons online."

Ardac brought up the shield first, and then the weapons. "Weapons and shields online, Captain." A beep, coupled with an indicator light, blared on Ardac's comm panel. He turned slightly, addressing the Captain. "Sir, incoming transmission from the Revel Frigate Comfort."

"Finally," Commander Atio said in relief, "Patch it through."

"Yes, Sir." Ardac keyed on the comm, opening the channel to the Comfort.

The familiar face of General Roons Sewell appeared in the viewscreen in between the pilot and copilot. "Ah Commander Atio," the General said, "Listen Derek ... I'm going to have to make this quick. We had to get off Dantooine in a hurry and we're about to duck into an asteroid field for cover. We'll be in the dark for several hours." The General paused and sighed at the situation, "Look. We all know your situation, but you've got the only ship in the area. You've got to get down to Azrid. There's a small base down there. Get in. Find out what the hell the Empire is up to out here. Get out. I wish I had more Intel, but I don't even know where they packed my clean underwear. Get to it Commander. You know what has to be done. Sewell out."

"Understood, General," Commander Atio replied, "Argo out." The Commander stood from his chair on the bridge and sighed. He was tired, but they were all tired. He would get them through this ... somehow. "Mister Ardac," the Commander began as he exited the bridge, "Take command. I'm going down below."

Barracks life had always been rather boring for Tong. It meant that he either was not doing what he was being paid to, or he was being paid to sit around, and that was worse. He had not moved from the small cot that was his for most of the twelve hours, and all of that time had been spent cleaning his weapons, and putting his kit back together.

Aami was knelt beside Zev's cot wrapping a bandage around his injured ankle. She secured the bandage with a pin and closed her medical case as she sighed.

Zev sat up in his bunk after Aami finished with the bandage, flexing his left ankle to check the wrapping. "Thank you Sergeant, that'll be all."

Miranda sat cross-legged on her bunk. Her blaster was in its myriad component parts, spread out across the tightly drawn sheet. A recently used deck of cards occupied the far corner of her bunk.

Leo Kincaid sat against the wall with a bundle of supplies and a checklist, counting and recounting blaster packs, medical supplies, tools ... he looked bored, but he took his job seriously, people's lives depended on it.

Commander Atio took a deep breath as he approached the barracks. He had not had the chance to properly meet the unit and this was not the way he wanted to do it. "Everyone settled it?" the Commander asked as he stepped into the center of the room.

"Captain on deck!" Miranda swung her feet over the end of her bunk and stood up. Standing at ease with her hands behind her back, her left wrist held in her right palm.

Tong glanced up as he slid the power pack back into his disruptor pistol. "Good as they're going to get in deep space." Apparently, he was not one for creature comforts.

Commander Atio raised his right hand towards Miranda and nodded several times, indicating for her to "relax." "I'm afraid it's time to go to work," Commander Atio said as he motioned with his hands for everyone to gather around, "We've just received orders. We have got to get into an Imperial outpost down on Arzid. Don't ask me for Intel ... I don't have any." He sighed and looked at each of them, "Yeah ... I know this isn't how we all like to do things, but we drew this and it's on us." His eyes focused on Captain Tong, "Have your squad ready in fifteen." His head then looked over at Kincaid. "Oh and Leo," he added as he started to walk back towards the bridge, "You're going too. We're short on supplies."

A soft growl escaped Tong at the thought of no intelligence, but he lit a cigarra and looked around the barracks at his squad. "You heard him. Kit inspection in ten. Move." And with that, he started gearing up.

Hearing his instructions, Miranda quickly reassembled her rifle. Practiced hands quickly connected components, assembling the rifle in moments. Her combat suit was pulled on quickly as well as gathering the rest of her gear.

The commando unit's heavy gunner sat with his eyes closed, and his head leaning against the barrel of his BlasTech T-21 light repeating blaster. His eyes drifted as he heard the order to gear up. The large Cathar known as Corporal Seekith Shardin, "Seek" for short, stood up and started checking his equipment.

Zev nodded silently in response to Tong's order as he finished replacing his left ankle boot.

Aami stood up, quickly tied her hair in a ponytail and slid on her helmet. She put on her medical backpack and picked up her A280 blaster rifle.

Leo's face twisted into a look of surprise, then a grimace, he was not happy about being in the field. He sighed and relaxed before gathering what was needed: pistol, bag, and pack.

Commander Atio emerged back on the bridge. He dropped like a sack of potatoes back into his seat behind the pilot and copilot. "Mister Ling," he ordered, "Set a course for Arzid and enter a low orbit."

The brown piercing eyes of foulmouthed Corellian pilot Tashi Ling narrowed on her commanding officer fiercely. The proverbial loose cannon of protocol, the woman wore no discernable uniform and would just as soon tell you to pound fodder for looking at her the wrong way and manage to *not* drop the cigarra from between her lips. Turning her thoughts of choking the man with her bare hands, she refocused on the controls of the Corvette as it swept down towards the surface and into the atmosphere. She handled the controls deftly, maneuvering in low to remain as far below any scanners the Empire may be running, eyes panning the viewports keenly.

"Lieutenant Ardac," Commander Atio began authoritatively, "Scan the surface of the planet. See if you can't find this Outpost."

"Aye, Captain, initiating planetary scans." Ardac's hand movements were skillful, and had not slowed with age. As soon as the words left his mouth, the scan was sixty-percent complete. A moment later, he chimed in the cool, calm tone he often carried. "Sir, the planet is mostly covered in giant mushrooms ... except for one clear-cut section in the northeast quadrant. There is a walled in compound with three structures, one of which is giving off some major energy readings. Think we've found our base, Captain."

"Good work, Ardac," Commander Atio said with a sense of genuine glee. It had been painless ... so far. "Mister Ling," he continued, "Take us in. Try and finding a clearing to land. Not too far from the base. Some of those ground-pounders might be allergic to mushrooms."

Tashi's face plummeted into a scowl, but she let it go. Taking a long draw on her cigarra, the tip glowed bright red for a moment. When she exhaled, the smoke came out of her nostrils and she grumbled "Those filthy Imps. I can smell them over the smoke. I'm sick to think we breathe the same air." More to herself, she smirked, shifting the control column to push the ship further towards the fungi-covered canopy of the planet surface. Two hundred meters from the base was a large enough clearing to set the craft down...barely. Tight squeeze, she decided, but pursed her lips and pushed on. The Corvette slid to a smooth halt above the clearing, the repulsors angling downward and reducing gradually in thrust to set the ship comfortably down. As the landing gear emerged from its respective bays, they touched down carefully with the subtlest of bumps. Leaning back in her chair, Tashi plucked the cigarra from her lips, snuffed it out on the arm of her chair and flicked it across the bridge. "We're heeere" she announced coyly.

Tong had moved to landing bay, and as soon as word came down that they were on the ground, he lowered the ramp, and stepped out into the night. With the cloud cover over head, there were few stars, and no moonlight to speak of. The sounds of local wildlife could be heard, but they certainly were not anything that the rest of the galaxy offered. Razor bushes and arachnors were not common though. There was the smell of rain in the air, and almost a drug induced vision of giant mushrooms creating a forest for them to pass through on their way to the target. Tong's EE-3 came up, and he peered through the scope while he gave a soft order. "Alright, let's move out."

Aami walked to the ramp and stopped, her A280 in hand, very worried of the safety of the group. She walked down the ramp to the dark planet's surface as images of the enormous flesh-eating spiders that dwell in the thick dark mushroom forest filled her head. The thought of them made her skin crawl.

Miranda descended the ramp, staying low. Sweeping her rifle, she scanned the surrounding jungle. That is if a bunch of overgrown mushrooms could be considered a jungle. She took up a defensive position at one corner of the ramp.

Zev got to his feet, his gloved hands reaching up into the compartment over his bunk. In a moment, they removed an E-11 blaster rifle, lifted from the corpse of a dead Stormtrooper on a previous mission. With that, he double-checked his E-11s power pack and hurried down the ramp behind the others.

Kincaid was the last of the group to walk out, almost apprehensively, his hand tightened on the still holstered blaster pistol fearfully, a supply bag on his back, with two empty supply bags tied on. He looked around nervously, but kept close to the group. After staring at one of the giant mushrooms for long enough, he quipped, "We need any food?"

Quar rose from his seat walking down the ramp of the Corvette. His hands were empty except for a small satchel that he clutched in his left hand. As he exited the craft he adjusted the comlink in his ear. His eyes scanned around the terrain of the planet. His nose crinkled at the smell of the growing fungus and decay.

Leading with his trademark feline smile, Seekith Shardin moved swiftly down the ramp of the Argo. Being that he was the last one off, there was not much left to cover. He looked at Captain Tong and winked, "That's the last of us, sir. We're clear."

"I've got point, our intel, supply, and medic stay in the center, Ordo and our other rifle, flank them, watch out for them. Seekith has rearsec. No sound on the way in. Move out." And with that, he was moving, like a ghost through the mushroom stalks, headed for the west wall of the outpost.

Quar moved towards the center of the formation, allowing his legs to carry him swiftly. He brought his satchel to attach to his olive drab mission vest.

Kincaid moved towards the compound, head swiveled towards the surrounding forest, worried, sweaty hand still clutching his pistol.

Aami moved silently over the terrain keeping a careful watch to the left side after hearing several strange noises in that general direction as she clutched her rifle tightly.

Zev stepped towards the left side of the formation, his right hand thumbing the safety off his E-11, his eyes alertly drifting over the unfamiliar surroundings. He looked towards the middle of the formation. "I bet you haven't seen fungus like this since your last girlfriend, huh Quar?" He said this in his typical, joking manner, a smirk on his face.

Moving quickly and quietly, Miranda's attention focused on the right flank. She listened for odd sounds as much as attempting to peer into the darkness.

Seekith took up the rear of the group easily keeping pace. He made sure to spin around and clear behind them every four to eight seconds. He muffled a small chuckle as heard Zev ribbing Quar.

Those who had reason to venture to Arzid, an obscure world in the Outer Rim known only to few, the greatest threat would seem to come from the arachnor, a large spider-like creature. However, visitors should be keen to keep at least one eye focused on the fauna below the large mushrooms. With no warning a tentacle suddenly shot out from beneath the brush. Its target was the knee of Zev Ordo. Instinctively it wrapped around and tightened its grasp, impaling his flesh with sharp barbs that dug in deep. Just as suddenly it retracted with another force to pull him to the ground and drag him towards the underbrush.

In an instant, Zev felt a sharp pain in his right knee. Before he realized what had happened, he was on his backside, his E-11 dropping to the floor beside him as he flailed his hands about instinctively. As he fell, he yelled out to rest of the squad "Ahhh"

Tong halted at the sound of commotion behind him, and a second passed while he made sure he did not have a threat in front of him, and then his dead eyes whipped around, his voice a growling whisper. "Cut him loose..."

Kincaid's look expressed only shock, and he froze in his boots, despite the fact he had a blaster attached to his hip.

In one motion, Miranda spun, sighted the "vine," and fired. It was only after the shot that she had time to think about what she had just done.

The sound of a sizzle was heard as the blaster bolt tore through the tentacle, severing it. The remained of the dead tentacle were firmly impaled in Zev's knee with the added affect of a goo-like substance gushing from the creature's wound.

Quar took a look at the action and shuffled away. In his movement his foot went into a puddle of what appeared to be excrement from some sort of animal. A frown came across his face as he stared at the substance on his boot.

Hearing the excitement and then the blaster fire, Seekith spun back forward, looking down his sites at the bedlam. That look of, "ah damn it" spread onto his face. Their position may have now been given away.

Aami quickly ran to Zev's side and took off her medical backpack and pulled out a small metal case with special medical items. She took out a syringe and filled it with a strong painkiller and set it back down. She turned to him "This might ... I'm not going to lie it will hurt." She pulled the tentacle off him the barbs ripping his flesh a little. She picked up the syringe and quickly injected the painkiller. Aami placed the empty syringe in the case and pulled out a disinfecting cream that she opened and applied to the wounds rubbing it in carefully trying to keep him form loosing too much blood. She put the tube back in the case and took out gauze and a bandage and began to wrap the injury. Aami tied the bandage and helped him up. "I suggest you don't run and let's hope you don't break out in some allergic reaction." With that she closed her case and placed it back in her backpack.

"The only thing I'm allergic to is fat Rodian women," Seekith jokingly interjected.

Zev winced as she removed the "leftovers" from the vine-predator and rubbed the cream onto the wound. The burning pain of the wound persisted momentarily before quickly dissipating. His right hand grasping his E-11, Zev used the shaft as a modified crutch to help himself up. He turned to Aami, nodding once before grumbling, "Thank let's keep moving. Who knows what's going to be alerted to our presence now..."

"See what happens when you make fun of my love life?" Quar commented with a smile on his face. His eyes were fixed on the ground rubbing the animal excrement off of his boot as he began to retake his position in the formation.

The trip to the base went off without a further hitch, fortunately, and it left them in the mushroom line, eyeing the west wall. "Simple assault plan. We set charge and breech. Our three principles stay here ... cover the actual breach from flanking. I'll stand rear sec. The other three sweep and clear the whole thing. It's ugly, it's not easy, but it's simple, and if we hit hard enough, and fast enough, they'll think a platoon was raiding. Can your knee handle that Ordo?"

Zev stood a few feet from Tong, his hands clutched to his E-11 anxiously. Quietly, he asked the Captain, "You want me to provide cover fire, or you want me going in there? This knee is just fine, and personally, I like the smell of burnt plastic from up close."

"If you can handle it, I want you leading the other two in. Two up front, one at the back. I don't care about prisoners either. Get set. Breach in three...two..." Tong pitched the satchel charge against the wall as everyone else got in position. After "one," He turned his eyes away from the wall, and detonated the satchel charge, hoping it would tear a large hole in the wall, and make the breach easier.

A large explosion tore through the thin durasteel wall creating an eight-meter gap in the perimeter fence. From inside the central structure an Imperial officer and one Imperial Stromtrooper emerged. From the rectangular building in the northeast quadrant of the compound three Imperial Stormtroopers emerged. They had heard the explosion, but had no idea what was going on. "We're under attack," the Imperial officer yelled. The three Imperial Stormtroopers by the rectangular building turned their attention towards the explosion, while the Stormtrooper next to the officer took up a defensive posture to protect the man.

Seconds after the smoke dispersed, Zev turned to the other two troopers. "Stay on my ass and keep firing!" With that, he turned back to the hole and took off through the breach, his eyes looking sweeping the immediate area in front of him, his E-11 stock dug into his shoulder, fingers at the ready for first available target. His destination was the central building.

Miranda followed Zev inside, staring down the sights of her rifle. Sweeping to one side, to cover the flank her first targets would be the three guards. Sighting on the first one to come under her crosshairs, two rounds were fired off in quick succession.

Seekith barreled through the breach, staying tight on Miranda. He quickly caught site of the three Stormtroopers looking their direction. Shooting his large repeating rifle from his hip, he let out a constant stream of blaster fire at the Stormtroopers, a loud and fierce war cry escaping his lips as he did.

Some preferred finesse while others preferred brute force. In this case both proved to be effective. The carefully placed shots by Miranda impacted the first Stormtrooper that emerged from the barracks. He was dead before he knew what him. The stream unleashed from Seekith's T-21 rained down upon the other two troopers, riddling them with blaster bolts. They soon joined their commander, dead on the ground. The remaining Stormtrooper aimed his E-11 at Seekith and fired off wildly. The Imperial Officer who was standing next to the trooper panicked and ran back inside the central structure.

Seekith had been strafing on the troopers at the barracks when the laser bolt grazed across his rear end. His head snapped forward in surprise seeing the last trooper. He had mistakenly assumed that since he was the last commando through the breach, some one in the front of the charge would have been covering their forward direction.

With a quick pivot Miranda fired another pair of rounds at the remaining trooper.

The final Stormtrooper was still squeezing the trigger of his E-11 when the bolts impacted his chest. The weapon fired wildly into the ground as his body joined the others on the ground. There was now no sign of any Imperial activity outside of the three structures.

Spotting the Officer franticly run inside the central building and what seemed to be all of the Stormtroopers dead on the ground, Zev grinned and called out towards the Captain, "All clear, Cap'n, come on in!"

Seekith came to stand back to back with Miranda, still clearing his field of vision with his rifle. He extended his left free hand back over his shoulder in a fist. "So that's two kills a piece? Right on!" He waited for her to hit it back.

Miranda dropped into a crouch, centering her sights on what appeared to be the barracks. "Celebrate when we're out of here." She did not care about how many kills, just completing the mission with as few friendly casualties as possible.

Tong nodded slightly. No casualties. It was a start. He came into the base, his weapon up as a precaution as he linked up with the squad. "Ordo, stack up with Nielson on the northeast structure's door. Pitch a stun grenade in and clear it. Seekith, with me. Same thing on the northwest's door. We clear both hard, get the special people in here, let them do their jobs, and we go home. Any questions? Medic and Supply, post at breach point, cover central structure. If anything tries to go north of it, it dies. Understood?"

Having arrived at the central building, Zev looked towards Nielson, his E-11 still at the ready. "You heard the man." With that, he set off towards the northeast building, searching for any sudden movement.

Miranda followed a short distance behind, ensuring she did not cross into his line of fire.

Zev stood to the right of the door, his left hand reaching onto his belt for one of the two stun grenades he had clipped on it. He turned to Nielson, "You open it, and Ill throw it...on my count." He thumbed the activator, the grenade set for impact.

Miranda thrust the heel of her boot out to kick in the door, and then spun off to the side.

Immediately after the door swung open, Zev hurled the stun grenade into the building. He turned his head away as the grenade impacted, exploding on contact. Ordo stepped inside. He quickly realized all that was inside was a mess and a head.f

Tong stacked up on the door, a hand on the latch, ready to open it. He gave a nod to his partner shortly afterwards, letting him know that the door was coming open. The captain made sure he was clear of the door, and then pushed it open and turned away, listening for the bang of the grenades.

Seekith let his T-21 slide to his back, on its sling, as he moved after his Captain. By the time he reached the door, he already had his stun grenade in hand and was heaving it through the open door. His momentum brought him to the other side of the door, rifle back in hand.

Tong hit the room, his weapon seeking targets, but saw none. They needed optiwands for this. It would have saved most of this equipment to know there was no contact inside. Perhaps the engineer could do something with the stuff ruined, and the power packs could always be recharged anyway. "Regroup, prepare to assault and clear central structure. Supply, get in here. Northwest building. Steal anything that isn't bolted down." And with that, he headed outside, to wait for his squad to regroup so they could hit the last building and be done.

Lieutenant Kincaid heard the order and jumped up from his prone position behind a mushroom trunk and took off jogging through the hole, pausing for a moment as he drew his blaster pistol, still nervous about running into an Imperial compound. He jogged along the perimeter to the west, keeping the wall to his back, slowing down as he neared the building he had been instructed to. "Nice cleaning job, guys..." He stepped through the door very carefully, pistol pointed at the ground. Upon seeing that he really was okay, the pistol went back in its holster and he ran to the nearest supply rack, clearing it all onto a pile before pausing. He inspected one of the blaster rifles and his face turned sour. "Nice going ... fried. This is junk!" His eyes rolled and he packed it anyways, even scrap metal had its uses, one bag was filled with various weapons and tools, another with food, pausing to inspect the ready-to-eat meals. He chuckled, not giving away what was in them, then finished filling the second bag up. "We're good to go." He smiled, as he struggled to stand with a load of new equipment, eager to leave.

"Stack up. And go. Clear the thing hard and fast. Ordo and Nielson in, Seekith trailer. Move!" Tong was hustling to a cover position, just off center from door and five meters back. "Supply, get back outside with the medic, and cover our evac."

Zev hurried towards the central building's entrance, his left hand coming up to grip the E-11's underside. With his momentum carrying him, Zev kicked his left foot outwards to slam into the wooden door.

Miranda moved in right behind Zev. Her gaze quickly swept the room. Locking onto the Officer, another pair of rounds barked from her rifle.

Miranda's blaster bolts tore through the back of the chair and tore through the Imperial officer. "Ahh," he screamed in pain as he slumped over dead. "Lieutenant," a voice said over the comlink, "What is going on? Repeat. What is your situation? Over."

Seekith was the last one inside. He propped himself against the door, covering the entire room with repeating rifle.

Zev's eyes went wide for a second, realizing what just transpired over the comlink. He quickly turned to the doorway, calling out "All clear! Get in here ASAP and get what we need, we don't have much time!"

"Intel, move. You have two minutes. We dust off in two minutes, thirty seconds. Everyone inside the outpost. Ordo, stay with Intel, Nielson, Seekith, get back out here and make sure we stay secure." He turned, and faced north, aiming to keep that sector secure.

Quar's ears perked at the order. His feet swiftly carried him towards the computer room. Upon entering he noticed a few bodies littering throughout the facility. His attention returned to the computer room which he was heading to. Upon enter the room Quar walked over to the main terminal. His left hand reached inside of the olive drab pouch located on the front of his vest. Out came a small datapad with a few cables dangled from the rear. With a silent 'thud' he set the datapad down on top of the computer terminal. Quar then moved to the side of the computer terminal, wedging his foot behind it. He then used his leg muscles to push the console away from the wall. He grasped the cables from the back of the datapad and hooked it directly into the input of the Imperial terminal. Quar remained there as he took the datapad into his hands and began scrolling through several Imperial log in screens. He gritted his teeth as he thought for a moment of the proper login and ID. He shook his head lightly as he reached back into that olive drab vest to remove a sealed envelope. He brought the top of the envelope to his teeth and clenched down on the tip, clearly ripping the top. Quar moved his gloved hand to remove the contents and that information was entered into the datapad. The screen danced for a few moments as information began to flow freely. The datapad began recording the information, which was being accessed. He then crumpled up the paper in his hand and placed it back inside of his vest. "Almost done," Quar announced. The datapad screen confirmed that information and files had been transferred. He yanked the cords out of the back of the terminal and then wrapped the cords around the datapad. In single movement Quar stood and set the datapad back in his vest. The crumpled paper soon found its place in the same vest pocket. "Let's roll."

"Argo, we need dust off at the outpost. It's cleared, a safe LZ, but we need you here now. Mission accomplished." He didnt waver from his post, just moved his hand enough to get to the com.

Ardac's comm unit lit up as the ground team's commanding officer contacted the Argo. "Commander, ground team is ready for dust-off."

"Mister Ling," Commander Atio began as he leant forward in his chair towards her, "Lift off and bring us to them."

Tashi was in the middle of lighting another cigarra when his voice violated her eardrums yet again. Chocolate pools flickered to him for a fraction of a second before she shifted in her chair. A bit of fast work on the panel in front of her and the repulsors were firing hot. A gentle tug on the controls and the craft lifted up as if it were weightless. The ascent continued until they had cleared the highest points of the canopy. Rotating the repulsors horizontally created forward movement and the craft eased forward without a hitch. Across the 200 meters in a matter of seconds, Tashi's eyes scanned the ground for their makeshift rendezvous point. When the temporary LZ came into view, she nodded her chin towards it slightly. "Going down" she mumbled, and brought the Corvette into another gradual hover before lowering her gently. Precarious balancing kept the ship about a meter off the ground, included clearance for the still lowered ramp.

Zev ran towards the ramp of the Corvette, checking over his shoulder to ensure no one was left behind. "Come on, let's get outta here!"

Aami had her arms full with boxes of medical supplies "A little help here" She stumbled a bit and walked onto the ramp.

Tong moved quickly, stepping aboard the ramp, before he turned and kneeled down, his weapon pointed towards thhe ground in a safe direction while he covered those that were still boarding. "Mount up. Move."

Seekith back peddled to the Argo, still covering their extraction. As he made it up the ramp, his eyes grew wide as he snapped around in excitement, "Do I smell roasted Shaak?!"

Leo Kincaid ran towards the ship, balancing both freshly filled bags of supplies, a slight look of terror on his face. Star Destroyers tended to do that to rebels, especially non-combatants. He dropped his bags once he boarded, bending over, hands on his knees to catch his breath. "The party was fun, but I'd like to leave before it gets crashed"

Miranda covered the right flank as they covered the ground between the buildings and the ship. She was still on guard against other guards that might be lurking about.

Quar hurried towards the ramp of the Corvette, his left hand brushing against the inside of his vest, just double-checking that the datapad was indeed there. He laughed once to himself, "Wouldn't want to have to come back here."

With all his men loaded, he slapped the close button on the ramp. "Get secured away for a rough evac. Strap in. I don't know if the pilots are trustworthy yet." And so the Cuy'val Dar were all happy and alive.

Red eyes flashed with a mix of irritation and concentration as Ardac's gaze shifted from the pilot's cigarra back to the vast control panel laid out before him. He was at home at the controls, and preferred his home smoke-free. Just as his lips moved to form a complaint, a sensor went off. His eyes widened a bit at the message the unit displayed ... and he instinctively heated up the weapons systems, and readied the shields. "Commander, sensors indicate a Carrack-class light cruiser hovering in orbit. Just sitting, like a Mynock. Orders? Systems read green across the board."

"Blast!" Commander Atio shouted as he heard the report, "They must have issued a distress call. Ardac ... get the weapons online." He turned his head towards Tashi and addressed her quickly, "Tashi ... get us out of here!"

Ardac's blue digits were a blur as he ran through all necessary protocols to get the Argo's weapons ready. Firing solutions and the like were already rolling across the screen as he switched aiming from auto to manual. "Guns are hot and ready to fire on your order, Commander."

Unfazed by the presence of an enemy craft, the greater response of Tashi's came by the mere usage of her name. Her eyes widened a bit, half rolling "Finally" she muttered. Moving the cigarra to the side of her mouth, both hands hit the controls and they were lifting beyond the safety of the foliage. A bit more abruptly, the Corvette lurched forward, skimming as tight an arc towards the atmosphere as the ship's design would allow. "Hope everyone remember to fasten their crash restraint" she mused, one corner of her mouth lifting as she envisioned the crew being tossed around the bay along with all the cheap eatery food wrappers and disposable cups.

The Carrack-class light cruiser began firing upon the Argo as it emerged from the planet's atmosphere. The turbolaser fire impacted the ship's shields and caused considerable damage to the jury-rigged system. She could not take much of this!

"Hold together," Commander Atio said to the ship nervously. His head then snapped forward towards the co-pilot, "Return fire!" and then to the pilot, "Set a course for the Vergesso Asteroids and get us out of here!"

The corners of Ardac's eyes creased, a hint of worry and as much as he would show. Their shield took the full brunt of the blow. He rerouted what extra power he could to the shields, before leveling all of the Argo's quads on the Carrack-class. He opened fire, hoping to cripple the ship quickly so they could make a getaway. "Shields sustained damage, operating at forty percent and dropping. I don't know if we can hold them for long, Commander." As soon he was able, he fired again, the lasers streaking across the darkened sky-like lances.

The Argo's batteries impacted the shields of the Carrack cruiser some effect, but by no means could compare to the damage being inflicted on the Argo herself. As the vessel prepared its escape the Imperial craft continues its seemingly endless barrage.

"Sir, I'm rerouting as much power to the shields from all unnecessary systems as I can...we have three standard minutes, by my estimation, before the shields fail completely. Weapons firing at seventy-seven-percent..." The Chiss unleashed another volley of blasts. He spared a glance to the pilot, hoping for some of that tight maneuvering he knew she could pull off.

Tashi's fingers were already working the nav computer. When it produced the results she was hoping for, she began prepping the engines for hyperspace. "We have the coordinates...everyone say a prayer..." she said.

"Looks like we're in for a bumpy ride ... shields holding, but not much longer. I knew we shouldn't have fixed them with gum." A smirk touched his lips, a faint show of confidence that they were going to make it. He fired again, with all the Argo had in her.

The engines flared to life on the rear of the Corellian Corvette Argo. Suddenly the vessel prepared to enter hyperspace and surged forward ... no more than fifty meters. The indicator alarm on Tashi's panel would indicate      "hyperdrive malfunction."

"I just fixed that thing," Commander Atio exclaimed and rose from his seat. "Take evasive," he ordered as he proceeded down the corridor towards the turbolift. The turbolift shook violent as he made his way down to engineering. The vessel was holding up under the stress of the attack as he joined the technicians in the repair of the hyperdrive, which was being held together with something that looked like gum. "Gentlemen," Commander Atio politely explained to them, "Now would be a good time..."

Suddenly a blast from the Carrack cruiser penetrated the Argo's shields and impacted the hull. The entire vessel shook violently from the impact.

"Damm it Ardac! I told you to put more then five credits worth in her" Tashi's brow knit. "Hang on to your arses" she called, and with a shove on the column, the Corvette reeled into a sharp dive with a few barrel roles in for good measure.

"Rerouting power to sub-lights. Fore and Aft shields at twenty-two-percent. Weapons systems are at sixty-percent and dropping. Sir, might I suggest we throw rocks at them? It couldn't hurt." Ardac worked with cool precision at his controls, despite the tight spot they were in. His stomach lurched slightly as the pilot rolled them.

Commander Atio tried to maintain his balance, but was thrust against the hyperdrive panel they were trying to repair.

The impact of Commander Atio on the panel somehow forced some circuit back into place and in a flash the Argo lurched forward into hyperspace, streaking across the Outer Rim towards its rendezvous in the Vergesso Asteroids.

Seekith Shardin took a deep breath, holding it for a few seconds before letting it out. His adrenaline high had just worn off. They had escaped the carrack cruiser over Arzid. Those who had just finished the ground portion of mission stood in the armory. Seekith had already stripped off his pack and its attached repeating blaster and had started to work on his armor. He winced as he suddenly remembered the blaster burn he had received across his posterior. He glanced over his shoulder and could see the hole burnt across his pants.

Aami, after taking off her medical gear and vest, tiredly headed towards her bunk. She lay down covering up and fixing her pillow, sighing as she went.

Seekith was soon down in the barracks of the ship. The problem with the Corellian Corvette was that there was so little room for individuals that most of the commandos had to share one large room with lots of bunks. He nodded to Aami as he passed her bunk and then crashed down onto his own, just a few feet away. "Yaaa! Gorramit!" He immediately shot back up, only to bump his head on the bunk above him. He quickly rolled over, one hand grabbing his head, the other grabbing his rear.

Aami jumped up and ran to him. "Are you okay!?" she asked him in a concerned tone as she helped him up. She saw the burn on his butt. "Ouch! Why didn't you say something to me earlier?"

"...I forgot?" he asked with a smile. "You were off...ducking somewhere and i still had two buildings to clear. I wasn't about to stop and have you bandage my butt."

Aami laughed and smiled at him, "Well let's get that fixed right now. Lay down on you belly."

Seekith chuckled while gesturing at the bed as he spoke, "I don't even fit on this thing when I lay on my back, let alone on my belly."

"Okay fine then. Lay on my bed. It is extra long, even though I don't need a long bed," Aami pointed to her bed.

"How the Hell did you get an extra long bed? Man, I'm the tallest person on this ship. Fierfek! Oh well, let's get this looked at." Seekith stood up with a grumpy look on his face. He then turned around and started to bend over, his hands resting on the tops of his thighs. The very mild burn could be seen through the hole in his pants. "...just look at it here." His butt floated several inches from her face as he waited to hear the diagnosis.

She pulled her medical backpack out from under her bunk and then she examined his wound. "Hmm ... I would say that is a first degree burn but it's not bad at all. I can treat it easy." Aami chuckled a little and opened the backpack.

Seekith had not turned to look back yet, "First degree burn? No way. It's just a little toasting back there.  It's all fur anyways. You're just seeing my singed hairs."

Aami ignored his comments as she searched the backpack pulling out a tube of burn ointment. "Okay, hold still please." Aami rolled down his pants enough to get to the burn as she popped the cap. Pouring some in her hand and rubbed it on the burn. Placing the tube back into her pack, she then pulled out gauze and some medical tape and began trying to bandage the burn.

"Holy Hutt!" Seekith screamed as he felt the cream hit his butt. Before she could get the bandages on, he had snapped around and was protecting his buttocks with both hands. "Hey! It's fine. Just Singed hairs. Hairs! The skin is fine." He stomped his foot with each syllable, "Leave it alone! You already got the cream on it, it'll heal up...the fur will all be stuck together now, but it will be fine."

Aami sighed with a sad expression and walked out the door with her head hanging. Her medical bag still wide open.

Seekith sat down on the bed, his rear-end hurting just a little less. He peered into her medical bag while she was gone and took the chance to take some bandages for later. They were already in his pocket before she returned.

Aami walked back into the room and to her bunk holding a bottle of medicine for a headache. She sat down, popped open the bottle and took one. "Ugh! My head is killing me."

Seekith reached his hand out silently asking for a pill for himself, "The mission get to ya?"

Aami placed a pill in his hand. "No. It's not that. It's just ... Ah never mind, it's nothing." She lay back on her bed.

"Nah, tell me! What's the worst that will happen? I'll laugh at you and call you names?" Seekith took the pill and waited for her answer.

"It's just that I get bad headaches occasionally." Aami sighed and stared up at the top bunk that was empty.

"I do too sometimes ... usually after I get them after something broken over my skull though.  What brings on yours?" Seekith asked.

"Anything," Aami closed her eyes and yawned. Her eyes reopened as she quickly sat back up, "I need to stay awake."

"Baah! Battle's over. Take a nap. It's the best thing to do after one."  Seekith looked down for a moment and then turned his head back up at her with a quizzical look on it, "Was that your first battle? I don't really know much about you."

"That was my first real battle, yes," Aami laughed a little, "What's there to know? I'm the medic and I'm small. There you go."

"What?! That was really your first battle?" Seekith excitedly started spiting out questions, "Wow! Were you scarred? Were you excited? What did think? Are you ready to jump right back into the heat and kick some one in the face? Tell me everything!"

"Whoa slow down! One at a time!" She looked completely confused from all the questions. "Now let's try this again. Yes that was my first battle and no I wasn't too scared."

"Not scarred? I was terrified my first battle. At least for the first seventeen seconds of it. After that, it was greatest rush I had ever had. I was guarding a space port in the Corporate Sector. We got hit by terrorists. I just stood there in shock for a few seconds. Then I pulled my blaster and just let loose. Before I knew it I was in the thick of it, literally throwing bodies around. Man, what a fight! Was it anything like that for you?" Seekith said.

"Yes it was a rush of adrenaline." Aami scratched the back of her head. "Any other questions you want to ask me?" she asked as she stood up and stretched.

"No, no. I'm just surprised. I mean I figured a small girl like you..." Seekith caught himself and back tracked with a sarcastic tone that made it so you could not tell if he was joking or serious, "not that it matters. But no prior combat training ... Most people in your position would have frozen up."

"Uh..." Aami blinked a few times. "Well I guess you have to be tough in situations like that." She sat back down and crossed her legs. "But I guess everyone can't be courageous."

Seekith smiled as he leaned back against the post of his bunk, "You're a tough little one aren't you? And here I was getting ready to offer to be your Alien-Shield, but it looks like you've got the guts not to need me."

Aami laughed a little. "Nope don't need a shield." She yawned again, "Still gotta stay awake."

"Well I need a shield. Mind if I pick you up by your belt and use you some time?" Seekith lifted up his left arm and swung it around like he had a rag dog blocking for him, "Use you to deflect off all the blaster bolts coming my way. In case you haven't noticed I'm a big target and I need all the help I can get."

Aami's mouth dropped open. "You can't be serious!" She sat up quickly, "Who would heal you after that?"

"...Captain Tong? He seems like the nurturing type in an, I'll beat you to death with your own arm kind of way." The Cathar chuckled at his own joke, causing his mutton chops to bounce. "Well, if our tough little medic ever does get scared, you may use me as your shield. Better yet, just always use me as your shield. That way if I ever get hit, you can plug up the hole with your finger and I can keep on shooting."

"Great!" Aami explain sarcastically, "'cause that's why I join the Rebellion. To have big smell fur ball bleed all over me."

"Fine then little one," Seekith chuckled, "Why did you decide to be a medic for this wondrous Rebellion of ours?"

"Do you know why I do what I do?" Aami asked, "I do it because the Empire killed my mother who was a nurse on a Rebel frigate. She was killed a long time ago during a raid on a base when I was young." She looked around at the Corellian Corvette. "Heh ... it's kind of funny really." She then looked at him again, "that sort of is the summary of my life. But I don't want to bore you with meaningless facts."

Seekith leaned back again, his face taking on a more serious look, "Hey no! It's not meaningless. We are nothing more then a sum of our actions and experiences. You should get some rest though. I don't think they will need to be debriefing you. But me..." Seekith stood back up and stretched a little bit. "I should get moving to the conference room."

"Maybe you're right," Aami yawned and blinked a few times. "I am a little tired after that." She laid back and looked at him "It was good meeting you Seekith. Maybe we can get together tomorrow and talk more over lunch?"

Seekith gave her the kind of wink a big brother gives a little sister. As he walked by, while headed towards the door, his left hand snapped out and ruffled up her hair, "Of course I'm right.  Now go get your beauty sleep!"

Aami laughed as he messed up her hair. "Hey cut it out." She laughed and smiled. "Okay I will." She grabbed her covers, pulled them over her and placed her head on her pillow.

A gloved hand lifted to brush a few rogue strands of straight brown hair back from her face. From her perch halfway under a bulkhead, curled with her booted feet propped up against the panelwork, Tashi Ling worked meticulously on a bit of wiring, hoping desperately both it and the Corvette would hold out for a bit longer. Her work area laden with discarded cigarra butts, she inhaled, filling her lungs with the smoky poison and loving every minute of it.

Commander Derek Atio approached Tashi from behind. He had been secretly carrying on with the beautiful young pilot for several weeks now and he had been careful to not let the rest of the crew find out. As he approached her from behind he wrapped both of his arms around her and ran his hands over her smooth stomach. He closed his eyes and sighed tiredly. It had been a long day and they had only barely survived. "Let's go to bed, Tashi," he said pathetically, as he moved her back against him tightly.

Tashi's lips flattened as she eyed the wiring and with a wary sigh of resignation, turned to look over her shoulder with tired eyes. She plucked the cigarra from her mouth, lifted a foot and crushed it against the thick rubber sole. "I'm coming" she mumbled, running one of the black leather gloves over her ponytail. "I need a shower first" she added, the strain of the mission evident in her voice.

"Don't be long," Derek said quietly as he moved his face down towards the back of her neck. He adjusted her ponytail and kissed the back of her neck sweetly. He turned to walk back towards his cabin and then stopped suddenly. He turned his head over his shoulder and looked at her for a moment, smiling. He then nodded and disappeared down the corridor towards his quarters.

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