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Nikolai Kolchak

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Nikolai Kolchak last won the day on June 3

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  1. Neither Kolchak nor his crew took any note when @Qessax Jal Todda or the few other less dedicated departed. Their final task was at hand, once again, and they would pour themselves into it with all the zeal an dedication expected of those within Intelligence Command. System alarms blared as the Constantine’s point defense lasers worked to rebuff the most lethal of enemy barrages. “Hold ze line. Ve must protect the evacuees.” Kolchak’s voice boomed over the chaos. Even now, he was aware of the arrival of Imperial and Allied craft as they began to scoop up the countless pods from their flagship, returning barrages of fire as those on the fringes took it in turn alongside the Constantine The Constantine’s shields glowed beneath the onslaught of the Raven’s Bane, holes erupting and jettisoning air, crew and cargo into the void of space as internal security measures sealed off portions of the ship. Those trapped within, doomed to an agonizingly cold death at the grasp of the void. ”Hold. For ze Empress.” His voice cracked with the air of authority as he felt the rising tensions across the bridge. They were surely doomed to die here, each lightyears away from their home. There was no greater honor than to die in the service of one’s liege, lest it be to die saving others from such a fate. To willingly lay down one’s life. Beneath the onslaught, the warship’s shields finally breathed their last, their energized barriers collapsing until they could be repaired, revitalized, or recharged. All that remained was the thick metal plates to keep the interior and exterior, life and death, separated. Feet and inches of steels and amalgamations, the finest science had to offer, were all that kept this contained microcosm of the Empire, the last stand of Imperial might, afloat; a wall, a moat, against the lawless infidels beyond. “Hold!” It was all he said. It was all he need say. Any words worth saying had long since been uttered. Last wills and testaments long ago laid down. The scream of sirens filled the craft. Every man, woman, and droid knew that the end was near, that it may be upon them any moment. Still, they did not feel the subtle tug of G-forces as the craft began evasive maneuvers. It was because there was none. They knew their commander. They trusted him. They were as dedicated as he. Here, thousands would die to sage hundreds of thousands more. With a telltale glance, a slow nod, Kolchak and his Chief exchanged a knowing glance. A code was entered into the cracking static of the command console. Any crewman not on the bridge was to evacuate to the escape pods immediately. They were beyond the need to repair anything. The ship was doomed. Anyone not immediately vital to keeping the craft on course, paralleling the Misercordia, were to flee, to make for the rescue craft immediately. Within minutes, Kolchak and a skeleton crew were all that remained; the most dedicated and loyal. They saw it before they felt it. The Misercordia’s hull integrity was lost, swallowed by reactions within. The Constantine moved to close with the larger ship, to absorb the brunt of any blast that might echo from it. In doing so, they knew what was to come. “Gentlemen,” Kolchak spoke, his voice solemn as their ship careened forward, every eye on the bridge turned to him. Those at their posts still stood, attention diverted to the speakers thst channeled the Grand Moff’s voice across the dying ship. “An honor.” A cheer of defiance echoed across the ship, across comms to nearby craft. As the explosive might of the Misercordia enveloped the Constantine. The shield of the craft shielded the vulnerable pods and warcraft beyond as the Constantine absorbed the brunt of the explosion. As fire and void broke into the ship and swept along her corridors, every system began to fail. In the final moments before all life aboard was extinguished, one final line carried from the ship. The cry of Imperial Intelligence, of Kolchak and his command. “Ve are tip of spear.”
  2. The Constantine groaned beneath the barrage of Sith firepower. It moved to protect the pods of the Misercordia from the hellfire of the Sith fleet and bore the brunt of the assault. The wail of alarms filled the bridge. “Sir,” called out the communications officer, “Heaven’s Taint has attained orbit. We have relayed the situation to them.” Even as the small bubble of life-sustaining atmosphere that was the Constantine began to fail, command of the fleet, the task of seeing the freedom and the Empress prevailed remained. Not a man or woman left their station. ”All power to shields.” Kolchak ordered as the ship began to drift, a shielding shadow in space. Only then, did he turn to face Qessax. “Ve are in emergency proceedings brother. Zpeak freely and quickly, zhen make your choice. Zhere are many lives zhat ve can save.” New warnings began to flash and flare up as different areas of the Constantine began to vent atmosphere to the cold grip of space. Facing the mask-adorned warrior, Kolchak glanced over his shoulder, “All who are vital, to zhe pods. Make for zhe Ancillary Justice and Heaven’s Taint. Find zhe Empress!” He then turned back to Qessax, the urgency apparent in his one good eye as he planned to take command of the dying craft.
  3. Like a bronzed statue, Grand Moff Kolchak stood at his command post amidst the bridge of the Constantine. The crackle of unanswered comms spoke volumes. That the Misercordia had begun evacuations all but sealed the verdict. And yet, it was not a finality that one could accept. The Constantine shuddered under incoming enemy salvos as it rocketed towards the jettisoning escape pods. If the Empress had managed to escape, it was their, no his, duty to see that she survived. So even as Qessax spoke, Nikolai knew what needed to be done. It was the prompt that was all he needed. He already knew their objective and the dangers it entailed. So too did the stern commander know the response of those under his command; each and every one hand-picked intelligence officers and seasoned veterans. ”Bring ze Constantine in close. Protect ze pods so zhat zhey might be rescued. Ve vill be ze veil of protection against ze enemy.” The Constantine barreled ahead, her shields glowing against the black of space as it intercepted incoming fire and moved to place itself between the enemy fleet and the defenseless pods. Meanwhile, the Victory I Star Destroyer Ancillary Justice and Nebulan-B Medical Frigate Merciful Touch moved in to provide additional coverage and began the taking on of pods. Each hoping that within one, the Empress may be found yet unscathed. Laserfire and missiles filled the air as the hodge podge rescue fleet poured forth return fire in the shadow of the drifting flagship. Turning his head to surveil his crew, Kolchak noted the resolute determination by which each set about their task. The warning klaxon began to wail, indicating that the shields had reached a critical stage. Within minutes they would fail. He knew their hearts and minds, dedicated warriors and cunning adversaries; and so, even as he spoke, he knew that none of those under his command would falter. Keying the ship wide comms he spoke, his voice grave and gravelled, “Zis is your commander speaking. Anyone who does not vish to die such a death in ze zervice of ze lives of others is free to make vay to escape pods now. Zhere vill be no judgement. You have zerved vell. It has been honor. It vill be honor to die alongside you.” Turning to Qessax, he offered a slight bow from his neck and waist in respect to the young warrior he had taken under his wing so many years before. “Live vell my brother.” Picking up the ornate baton that contained his recent promotion he thrust it into the Kaleesh’ hands. “Zee zhat zhis iz delivered under General Slaughter or returned to ze Empress god-willing. Safe yourself. Make haste to ze pods.” And with that, Kolchak turned to face his command once again. He leaned heavily on the console, the weight of their actions pressing in him physically as they weighed upon his mind. Not a soul left their station.
  4. The defenders of freedom stood firm. Their turbolasers and blasters cut through the Sith fleet like a warm knife through bantha butter. Their backs were against the wall and they would not, they could not, fail. And yet, the Sith onslaught was relentless. The void of space was continually being fed like a unquenchable maw. Imperial and Alliance ships withered beneath the constant barrage. Some fell, willingly intercepting barrages met for the planet below, a planet that was ablaze. Others vanished in explosive silent gouts of flame and debris. Even so, cracks were beginning to manifest in the enemy offensive. As floating wreckage accumulated on both sides creating a debris field to claim even more lives, star fighters zipped in and out in relentless unending dogfights. In the mass of Sith aligned craft, Allied sensors noted that even now, they were beginning to retreat Pressing the attack, the Alliance and Imperial forces rallied, driving into their foes with renewed vigor. Even now, there was hope. In that hope though, there was pain. The bridge of the Constantine rattled as it absorbed incoming enemy fire. For now the shields were holding. That was not the concern, even as Nikolai Kolchak’s biomechanical mind whirred taking it all in. No, what worried was the announcement that the Misercordia had been ordered to evacuate. No reason had been given and readings indicated that while worn, she still had fight left in her. And so, the Constantine and several other craft had diverted themselves from their assigned vectors and even now raced across the perilous battlefield towards the flagship of the Imperial Remnant. The vessel shuddered under the newfound attention of numerous Sith war elements. It did not matter. What did was the Empress, even more so the hope that was enshrined in her existence; the truth that freedom could be won. It was a flag that Nikolai Kolchak had fought too hard to seen carried to let fall now in these final moments. ”Sir!” An alarmed voice called over the din of the bustling bridge. “The Misercordia is launching all escape pods.” Kolchak’s eyes, both biotic and mechanic turned with renewed vigor to the mighty ship that was beginning to fill their viewscreen. ”They are not responding to hails. All attempts at communication are failing.” The same voice narrated, albeit with a level of concern in her voice. Reaching to his starched collar, Nikolai pulled forth a simple stringed lanyard attached to a communications chip. A direct line to the Empress’ comms. The most encrypted channel in his possession. Something only the select too echelons even knew existed. Plugging it into his console, pointed to his communications officer, “Hail ze Empress.” The woman nodded and spun back to her console. “Empress Raven. This is the Constantine. We are standing by ready lend aid. What is your status?” The comms fell silent, save for a light static that played across the bridge’s speakers. “Empress Raven. This is the Constantine under Grand Moff Kolchak. Do you copy?” Static. “Misercordia, this is the Constantine. Please respond.” Static filled the now nearly silent bridge as eyes turned from their stations to the viewports and to Kolchak still arrayed in his Vice Admiral’s uniform. The Supreme Commander and second in command to the Remnant and her forces stood like a statue, processing what he was seeing and hearing, and not. The soft static in the air was nearly deafening, only broken by the voice of the comms officer. “Empress Raven. Misercordia. This is Constantine and Kolchak. Is anyone there? Please respond.”
  5. The deluge of Sith ships and fire was pressing in on the defensive horde of Allied fleets. Yet still, they fought on, holding their own, holding the line, trading blow for blow overall. Overall, save for the Scarab and her fleet who, aside from diverted fighters seeking to lessen their barrage and an incoming slew of explosive-laden ramships, was left relatively unchallenged. At the center of the Constantine’s bridge, Nikolai Kolchak stood. His lips were pressed into a thin line as his good eye regarding the looming warship. His cybernetic eye related scanned informations and assessments. It did not look good; however, Nikolai Kolchak was a Corellian by birth. Corellian blood flowed through his veins. It was not the odds that mattered, so long as there was a chance. They would take it. The Constantine moved to attack position, her gravity wells gripping the area, a defiant message that escape was forbidden. This was where they stood and this was where one or all would die. And yet, suddenly, in the chaos of battle, a new chaos emergee. The chatter of comms erupted as new voices, accents and languages filled the channels before being diverted to pre-prepared talk groups. From behind the Scarab and her fleet, at the edge of the gravity wells’ range, space churned with bright flashes of blue. Compact corvette-styled ships armed to the teeth, sleek custom Nubian warships designed for heavy battle blinked into existence as they charged forward into the fray their heavy guns roaring to life. Alongside them, surviving Irregular Forces from Coruscant arrived, determined to avoid the fate of their own world. With a zeal that bordered on fanatic the vicious defenders, bent on revenge and thirsting for blood loosed salvo after salvo of explosive ordinance towards the Scarab. To punch a hole into the impenetrable carapace of this symbol of destruction, to take as many of them into the afterlife as they may; it was a lofty goal, a goal they would die to achieve. With berzerker screams they fell murderously to their task. And yet more came, allied forces, hidden alliances and friendships amongst Kolchak, his spies, and their associates the galaxy over. Lumbering Fondorian warships, thickly armored and shielded plowed into the fight, enemy fire being absorbed by theit defenses as their point-defenses sought to disrupt any that came to close. Imperial trained Twi-Leki defensemen honed and accurate, ready for battle. Powerful Wookies and their craft customized and designed for a primitive combat evolved to the spacelanes; but still, they carried an edge many advanced cultures had lostin their questing for advancement. Wayward Mandalorian clansmen and their brethren born and bred for this level of destruction. Unafraid and thirsting for the devastation-worship of their gods. Countless hive-mind-bound fightercraft acting as one. From the bowels of Mechis they erupted from hyperspace like a swarm of locusts. They would show no mercy, their calculations deeming the Sith a scourge that needed eradicated. And finally, teams of Chiss forces, independent from their government, but wishing to see to the defense of the galaxy, to protect their own. Here, before the chaos erupted over their home. Their swift pursuit craft prowled the fringes, giving chase to any Sith attack craft that strayed from the herd. And so, perhaps, the tides had turned. Kolchak’s thin pressed lips regained some of their color. So they had gotten his call. Turning his eyes beyond the battle to the peaceful stars of space, he knew something; something the odds did not tell him. There were more. The Scarab would fall. The tables balanced once again. Kolchak could feel the ride turning. Fresh forces to the fight. The forces of good would triumph at any cost.
  6. The full might of the Sith war machine seemed to be upon them. Here on this nondescript former criminal world, the fate of the galaxy hung in balance. The Alliance, led by the reformed Imperial Remnant, was gathered en masse to stand on the side of freedom and liberty for all. And as the weight of the Sith armadas pressed inward, they were met on every front by a countersurge of equal or greater resistance. Rumbling massive Imperial war machines stood alongside ramshackle hodge-podged defensive fleets from the last century, interspersed with sleek shadowly acquired rebel war ships and merchant marines. They stood together as one, their steal wills determined to prevent the wholesale slaughter of those below. Blow for blow they matched the enemy and met them, providing a wall of steel against which the enemy forces flung themselves. Both sides suffered greatly; but where the enemy was press-ganged into service, unwilling combatants driven by threat and fear, or zealous maniacs, the forces of the Alliance stood for something greater, something that they carried in their hearts; each man and woman having examined themselves in the crucible and come out pure. And so the assault continued, small pockets of enemy forces breaking the line from time to time as hole were torn in both sides, a dreadful deadlock threatening to extinguish them all should the balance not be altered, and then it was. The Black Scarab’s arrival was a shock to many of the Allied Republic and Imperial commanders, wrongfully having assumed that the full might of the Sith were already in play. The scales had suddenly been tipped in favor of the invaders. Aboard the Constantine, Supreme Commander of the Allied Fleets Nikolai Kolchak swore loudly and freely. This was a setback that he had hoped he would not see. Standing against the tidal wave of evil, every ship, every crewman, every commander had and knew their place, their task, their target to protect, to defend, to destroy. This newly arrived fleet punched in without discourse, blasting a hole in the Defenders of the Alliance. In minutes, thousands upon thousands of lives were snuffed out and greater than the total gross domestic product of some core worlds was turned into flaming space junk. That was a blow that cut the Grand Moff deep, to see his men cut down. What pained him even more was the near constant stream of nuclear ordinance blasted towards the defenseless below. The Sith would turn their own generals to plate glass, he knew that for sure. ”Emergency frequency.” Kolchak bellowed, “Let zhem know what is coming down! Divert any available forces to intercept and stop that beast.” He pointed to the Scarab as it filled his port side viewscreen. Fighter wings that were between runs broke away, intercepting missiles with blaster fire. Plumes of nuclear explosions filled the space above the atmosphere of the planet; but not even they were enough to stop everything. Robotic ramships already accelerating towards the fray altered their courses by degrees, the mighty flagships of the Sith fleets their targets. They were all that could be spared. Kolchak worried, knew, that with this newly arrived Sith threat, they would not be enough. As the Constantine shook beneath the enemy salvos, her shields held; but the Corellian-born refugee, raised amongst the Mandalorians, and honed by the Old Empire knew it was not going to be enough. They were outnumbered now, outgunned. All that they had was their devotion to a cause, a cause Kolchak and countless others were willing to die for. So slowly, the Constantine turned it’s prow towards the Scarab, unleashing her own salvos of rockets and turbolaser fire. If they were to die, then Kolchak, his most dedicated men, and the Constantine would lead the last great flight of freedom. ((PART 1 response to @Delta73))
  7. The Sauibian forces were obliterated in a mere instant as their pirated fleet of salvagers were shredded in mere moments. As the Captainiest Commanding Commander Captain Boss, Snufu, felt the gravitational forces rip his ship apart beneath him and tear at his furred limbs he died with a sense of awe in his eyes. Such power and magnitude that paled their own gravitational weapons. He could only hope that someday one of their own could harness such a power. The Hapan fleet fared only slightly better, their sleek engineering and powerful engines straining as several were shredded piece by piece, a measley few tearing themselves from the dark side fueled singularity and straight into the withering fire of the remaining Sith fleet, exploding in plumes of fuel-induced color. Feeling themselves drawn towards the singularity, their souls drawn to it by a dark fearful lust for the unknown. The naval forces of a dozen allied nations began to creep towards the rip in the fabrics of time and space, their engines straining against it. Some fought the draw, the furthest out wrenching themselves free. The closest vessels were drawn forward against their will plummeting towards their doom as they were torn asunder. Still, the weakest minds succumbed to the dark temptations and cackling manically gave themselves into the throws of their darkest passions. Fighting against those who tried to stop them, the fallen charged willingly into the Maw, gleeful at the tempting deceptions of lust. The maelstrom grew so large, so fast, that it’s creeping touch could be felt throughout the system. Minefields, tossed about by warping gravitational wells and shadows were subjected to even more stress as they were drawn towards the black hole. Some spontaneously burst under the pressures, others were veered off course as the homed in on their designated targets hurtling towards Allied and Sith fleets alike like unguided torpedos of destruction and despair. The ships that broke free, streaked about the edges of the maelstrom’s strongest grips using the gravitational forces to fling them and their payload at the remaining Sith fleet and into the warped fields in attempts to satiate it, force it closed, and destroy the source. It was these same forces that wrapped their greedy fingers about the monstrous salvos poured forth by the Abaddon Star Destroyer and it’s entourage. As the Sith fleet unleashed their vomit of obliteration, they were sucked from their course as they plummeted onwards. In an instant the Damascus bore the brunt of the assault meant for their fleet. The entire Star Destroyer erupted in a dominoed chain of explosions that split it like a tin can spewing flaming bodies into the cold void of space. This far from the maelstrom, the ships were able to correct their trajectories as the battle erupted in full. Chaos spit forth from all corners as Imperial carriers launched their full compliments of Tie Fighters, Interceptors, Bombers, Hunters and Aggressors like swarms of angry buzzing bizikian hornets as they swooped in and out of larger less ninble craft delivering their destructive payloads and driving any damaged craft towards enemy command. The fleet of Imperial craft, began to move to intercept, to engage the enemy where they stood. Point-blank defenses erupted, cycling unstoppingly as they joined the cacophony of turbolasers, cannons, and missiles filling the air. Packed ram ships lurched forward, their engines grinding as their momentum carried them towards the huge flagship of the Dark Lord Mavanger. Aboard his commandship, the Interdictor Constantine, the air became tense. Even Nikolai Kolchak’s spine stiffened as the alarms of the ungodly salvo of the Sith force painted a picture of certain doom. The maelstrom itself played havoc on their sensors and saving the ship from the initial surge of Sithly doom as the Damascus erupted in death. Reports were called out from stations across the room. Analytics, trajectories, field reports, losses, and all manner of reports streamed through Kolchak’s cybernetic eyes, feeding the information at warp speed to his mind as he analyzed it subconsciously. With a tap of his fingers, orders were beamed to his captains across the fleet, and then… they arrived, cultists. Just as quickly they were set upon bu the forces of the Alliance. Seeing this a smile played across the stern navyman’s face as he keyed a task force of his own, a carrier group, to move to intercept. Swarms of TIE craft setting upon the cultists’ crafts with ferocity.
  8. Aboard the Constantine, Nikolai Kolchak, Supreme Commander of the Imperial Allied Fleet, inhaled sharply as the whole of space was suddenly interrupted by the coordinated arrival of Sith armadas. Hundreds of ships hived with their buzzing hornets. Slowly Kolchak exhaled as the bridge of the Constantine erupted into a well-ordered chaos. Each man, woman, and why droid knew their place and their job. The Imperial war machine sat silent, prepped and ready for the onslaught, guns primed as scores of Twin Ion craft were belched forth in response. Some streaked towards the planet on intercept courses for the first few forays of enemy exploratory forces. If they desired the surface, the skilled veteran pilots in their assortment of interceptors would act to ensure that it was at a high price, if at all. Suddenly the minefields about the world began to shift in places. Warnings erupting signaling enemy usage of gravitational weapons and fields. It was sooner than he hoped; but watching the smaller, immobile mines dot the atmosphere with flashes of fire, he chose to act. With a signal, the Constantine hummed with energy, it’s own gravitational fields erupting outwards to balance the field and attempt to hinder incoming attacks and inevitable retreats by their attackers. Across the Imperial fleet other interdictors began to spin up as well creating an overlapping net between the attackers and their quarry below. Holding fast the Imperial faction took moments to assess the enemy laid out before them, analyzing for weaknesses, chinks in the armor. Already the battle had commenced as the Court of Madness seemed to take a racially motivated interest in the diminutive squirrel fleet of salvaging pirates and their gravitationally based weapons. With rabid screams as some of their needler ships burst into blossoms of fire and death, the Squibs drove into the fray, tearing at their foes with tractor beams as they surged towards the offending turbo weapons. They hoped to crack apart their attackers like a nut to salvage the desirable bits within. The deaths of their brethren fueled their ravenously rabid counter assault. Moving in support of the screaming rodents, sleek Hapan cruisers and Mon Cal warships unleashed volleys of colorful energy against the Mad press as fighters tore into the fray in practiced formations. Other independent factions, called into service by Kolchak, also began moving to engage the swarming maelstrom of the Lord of the Krath, the massive Hutt cannon firing energy-wrapped explosive salvos toward the most likely command ship. Rockets, missiles, and blasts of energy filled the void of space. Staring at the unfolding battlefield, a twitch tugged momentarily at the Admiral’s face. He recognized some of the craft before them. “Inform ze Empress, ze Lady Nyrys has arrived.” He growled as he turned to the third fleet. “Ze ravager iz ours. Shields up.” Several Imperial destroys began to move forward on intercept paths, creating a screen between the Sith fleet and the world below, prepping broadside volleys in response to any aggression. ”Get those refugees out of here!” The order was shouted from somewhere on the bridge. The hulking Kuati capital ships and Corellian and Kesselian smugglers and attack craft moved to try and create an opening in the press of Sith forces to allow for escape by the innocents and refugees from Nar Shaddaa. On to fixed points in the galaxy and then forward to their rendezvous points; at least those that survived. Meanwhile, the Bothan and Imperial spy craft began to fill the space waves with streams of code as they invisibly began to attempt their assault of the sensors, computers and electronics of the enemy fleets. Invisible attacks in an attempt to tip the scales before the battle was fully met. In the middle of it all, from his command post on the bridge of the Constantine, Nikolai Kolchak took it all in. He chanced a glance to the planet below and the countless readouts that ran through his eye. They were why these men and women stood in the gap. It was not about power or prestige. Looking about the bridge of his command ship, Nikolai knew each one had done things, risked more than they would ever admit, and even now would lay it all in the line again. They would stand in the gap, a shield for the innocent, a shield of freedom and will.
  9. The hubbub of the Constantine’s bridge slowed to almost a halt at the arrival of the Imperial Knight as she made her presence known. Those whose work could not wait those few moments carried on in silence, the beeping of comms and consoles a soft background to the forceful decree. As the Knight began to speak, Nikolai Kolchak and his crew directed their attention to the decree. A sense of awe swept the bridge. The reading ceased and the scroll crackled as it returned to a loose circular form. A silent wonderment hung in the air. Clapping his shining booted heels together, Nikolai Kolchak came to attention, his arms stiff at his sides. He bowed his head, inclined at the waist slightly to the Imperial Knight. “As ze Empress commands. I accept vith honor.” Standing to his full height, spine straight, Nikolai accepted the baton of office. It would have to do for now. There was no time to change or adjust rank cylinders. They had a siege to prepare for and win. “Zank you Knight.” Nikolai responded as he turned back to the bridge of the Constantine, his Constantine. As Grand Moff and Supreme Commander of the Allied Fleets, it was distinctly possible that his vessel of command would be changing, if he survived the coming onslaught. “Prepare command.” He instructed aloud to the bridge. “Grand Moff Nikolai Kolchak, High Admiral of Allied Fleet, instructz all allied craft of Imperium and Allied fleetz direct their strength, load out, and position to ze Constantine for combat preparation and azzignment. Long live ze Empress. Long live Ze Rebellion.” ”Order confirmed” the response rang out. In minutes the order was relayed about the air and orbital space of Nar Shaddaa to every military aligned, allied, Imperial, Rebel, and privateering craft; from thebl smallest refugee transport all the way up to the Misericordia. ‘To: All Imperial, Rebel, and Allied craft From: Grand Moff Nikolai Kolchak, Supreme Commander of the Allied and Imperial Fleets All craft are to immediately relay, when safe, their current: -position -trajectory -strength of arms and men -load out -current assignment -combat readiness -nation or organization of loyalty to the Constantine for evaluation and assignment. All orders for the upcoming battle will be directed via the Constantine with secondary command from the Misericordia. Long live Empress Raven and long live the Rebellion. Until freedom is had by all.’ Once the message was sent, Kolchak waved Qessax over to him where he stood command. “Vith such promotion, ze stakes have changed. I vill require associates outside ze Imperial hierarchy. Loyal guardsmen to ztand in ze gap.” He let the comment hang in the air, sure that Qessax understood his desire for loyal soldiers who were not on the Imperial payroll. Kolchak’s men were loyal to him, had been since they had been selected, hand-picked stormtroopers. That was as Vice Admiral and commander of Naval Intelligence about the Outer Rim. Things were much bigger now. Intelligence assets that before could be handled with certain funds or favors would expect exponentially more, at least some would. Some would remain loyal seeing the benefit of their position still or more. Others would need to be faded out before they caused trouble. Still others would expect even less, their association itself an asset. They would each need to be reevaluated. All in good time. First things came first. With his new rank, Kolchak’s authority to assist Qessax’ father increased exponentially for the same service. Qessax and his men could be expected to remain loyal to the Alliance, to Kolchak. Whatever came of the chaos of coming battle, Nikolai Kolchak had a duty to do. Staying alive and functional suddenly became even more important to the cause.
  10. Kolchak righted himself from his slight bow, a hand smoothing the waistline of his naval uniform. He stared unblinkingly at the Kalee. His request was no small one and yet, it could be simple enough to grant. Kolchak understood the value of loyalty and anyone who would risk their own blood for a greater cause were worth allying beside; provided there were not other factors in play… In local politics, there were always other factors at play. To throw his weight behind Qessax’s father would be to extend himself into the unknown of Kalee politics. Yet Kolchak knew his father, had bested him in battle, and taken his son, Qessax, as one of his own crew. To make such a request belied it’s importance. He was an honorable man. And so, Kolchak would honor such a request. Strong and loyal allies were hard to find. Honorable warriors even more so. With an entire network of agents and soldiers, ships and technologies, at his command, Nikolai Kolchak would not hesitate to pit the warriors of Kalee against whatever the enemy had to throw at them, even the Mandalorians themselves. Were these not the same partisans who had ravaged worlds with little more than space-capable tech? Yet, there was more to it. Turning his eyes from Qessax, Kolchak surveyed the busy crew all about them. The bridge was abuzz, the hivemind of a great trans-galactic fleet of commandos and grunts, legionnaires and men-at-arms, guerrillas, conscripts, and dragoons. To add the Kaleesh to such a vast and varied botherhood would be most welcome. In time, every rave and nation present would desire a return on their investment. For some, it was freedom, for others it could be much more complex. The visit of a military officer to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in peace, to present the might of this Alliance, would undoubtedly be an easy task to cement a brotherhood carrying into the future. A smile cracked the hardened Admiral’s face. “Qezzax. You have been vith me how many year now? You know, to grant sush a gift, I vould do in hartbeat. Before ve set date zhough, let us zurvive ze coming battle. Ze foe vill be many and zhey vill villingly zhrow zhemselves unto ze grinder to advanze ze cause of zheir masters. Vonce ze duzt zettles, ve vill, togezher, journey to Kalee and ztand zide by zide az varriors ov ze highest degree vith your vazher.” Kokchak reached outnto place a fatherly iron grip on Qessax’s shoulder. “Take your brozhets. Let no landing forzes approach ze Red and Black headquarterz.”
  11. The Constantine’s bridge was a well-oiled machine. Even though it was not the largest or most intimidating ship in the fleet, the cruiser’s interdiction fields were as legendary as their commander. Serving as the coordination point for a plethora of naval forces, the hallways of the craft were filled with different uniforms and military traditions; all bound together under the promises of freedom and peace, all aligned under the orderly command of Imperial commanders who had not fallen to the darkness of their former order. Good men dedicated to a good cause; but good men were still dangerous. As the Kaleesh emissary called attention to himself, Vice Admiral Nikolai Kolchak slowly turned to face him from where he stood at command in the center of the bridge. From his elevated command dias, Kolchak’s cybernetic eye whirled as it took in the somitary black-clad warrior. “Ze great chief.” Kokchak turned the title over slowly on his tongue as if he tasted the title for the first time. He savored it.l as he extended a hand to take the datapad. His good eye scanned the readout on the datapad; a task force of vintage corvettes. The machinery left something to be desired; but Kolchak could see beyond the surface. Each of these crafts bristled with dated Republic weaponry and were manned by warriors, born and bred. These were not simple Academy graduates, these were soldiers from the times they could walk. Their reflexes honed and their bloodlust barely contained. Any who stood before them melted in fear or were cut down. “To zend zuch a delegation from ze tribes iz much apprezhiated.” An aid approached the Commander of Naval Intelligence and Rebellion Fleet Commander. Kolchak sensed him without a glance and extended the datapad. Taking it, the aid moved towards his console adding the ships to the naval roster. Comms would be synced and orders coordinated. Bowing slightly at his waist out of respect, Kolchak did not take his eyes from the Kaleesh warlord’s son. “Vhat iz zhiz request?”
  12. Aboard the Constantine, Nikolai Kolchak took command of the bridge. Standing there amidst the orderly hustle and bustle of a fine-tuned crew within a fine-tuned machine, he felt at home. With his right hand still held firmly in the small of his back, the commander swiped through the console screens before him. Diagnostic readouts, engineering reports, status updates both planetary and regarding naval forces all read out before him. The call had gone out. At times through official channels. Other times through common associates or back room contacts. Nar Shaddaa would be the place the Alliance made it’s stand. Anyone wishing to ckntribute to the cause of freedom, with proven loyalties, well, proven, at least in Kolchak’s eyes, would be welcomed. Already he noted the presence of a Squib reclamation fleet in the outliers of the system. Sometimes they were little more than pirates, but they were a contact via the Jedi and he welcomed their chittering presence. In addition, it appeared that a wide range of Kuati refugees aboard their stolen warships were prepared for combat. Bothan cruisers and spycraft pinged off their sensors as they intermingled amongst the other Rebel fleets. Sleek Hapan cruisers, quick bristling Corellian warships, massive Mon Cal luxury craft converted to war, some local Hutt frigates accompanying a single massive gun-bearing craft, beautiful Naboo starfighters and their transports, Dubrillion Defense Craft, abd Kessellian smugglers all sat in orbit ready for the pending battle. Each had answered the call and had tied themselves in with Alliance Command. From this close to the planet, it was a sight to behold. From the distance, the world seemed to glisten in a haze of warships as each took up their assignment in tandem, augmenting and adding to the defensive measures already in place. Even so, they were not done. Emissaries and naval forces from several more peoples had been on contact. Their arrivals imminent. Soon the might of the free galaxy would be assembled and lut to the test against the forces of evil. Still yet to arrive were Nubian outriders, warriors of Kalee in their dated Republic corvettes, Csillian pursuit craft, Coruscanti Irregular Naval Forces, pirating private armadas the galaxy over, lumbering Fondorian heavy attack vessels, Wookiee warcraft, hive minds of Mechis, freedom-aligned Mandalorians, and Twi-Lek defense forces. All would be in place before the battle commenced, ready to stand for truth and freedom. Each loyal to a cause greater than their own. There, on the bridge of the Constantine , amidst the hustle and bustle, Nikolai Kolchak did something uncharacteristic. He smiled. Small and brief as it was, knowing the coming dangers and destruction, he still could not help but feel a sense of pride. These people, peoples he and his had worked hand in hand with over the years, had all come together. Where they usually worked alone, the chess pieces had finally been brought together to their final attack where the powers of each singular piece multiplied exponentially alongside one another. The Empire itself, once the Enemy of the Rebel Alliance, was now complete. No longer an Empire of fear, but one of brotherhood, dedicated to a future of freedom for all.
  13. One of the stormtroopers canted his head to better look at the trio of clones when breeding was mentioned. It was subtle and he returned to his stance in a mere moment. Could have ben nothing but a twitch; except, well, these were some of the finest the Imperial Stormtrooper Corps had to offer. Each a combat veteran, crossed trained in both espionage and counter-espionage. That was it and Kolchak was slowly nodding his head. The slightest of smiles played faintly at the edges of the Admiral’s mouth. It did not reach his somber eye and his body did not reflect it. Still, when the clones asked for more, Kolchak was pleased. “Vonce zhe vork plnetside is done, report to zhe Constantine.” The Admiral gestured and an aid walked rapidly, and calmly, down the ramp of Kolchak’s shuttle and offered 3 scomp links to the clones. “Plug these into your buckets and you’ll be in direct communication with the Constantine. City overviews, real time intel reports, updated orders. Less red tape.” Holding out his palm the officer held a datachip, encrypted, encoded, and equipped with biometric securities. “Take zhat chip to Corporal Kran, Zcouting Corps. He vill brief you. Ze Empire zhanks you vor your zervice gentlemen.” Kolchak offered as a cryptic method of explanation. His attitude softening only slightly as he grew more mysterious. —————————————— In orbit far overhead between the defensive minefields and the evacuation fleet and moon a task force of Rebel-Imperial warships drifted menacingly. The SFS Immobilizer 418-class Heavy Cruiser Constantine was the most worn and battle hardened member of the fleet. The craft served as Kolchak’s mobile command station for intelligence operations. Every crewman had been vetted to the highest levels and served in their capacities as naval or Stormtrooper Corps members as well as members of Naval Intelligence. It was a spider atop a net awaiting her prey. Ringing the aft of the craft, 4 DP20 Corvettes sat like young spiders waiting to strike. The Surprise, Crescelle, Hawkbat, and Audacity, all wartorn and hardened. Nearby, to the port of the Constantine, the newly minted MC80a capital ship, Tessek’s Revenge, buzzed like a hive of angry insects. All manner of fast attack craft, each equipped with advanced sensors and scanners buzzed to and from searching the nooks and crannies of the Imperial Stronghold for silent watchers and listeners. The craft stood as a gleaming testament to a hero lost in the Liberation of Mon Cal; a guerilla who had fought against the Sith occupation only to die in the final charge of freedom. Crewed by experience naval officers from both Mon Cal and the Imperial Naval Academy; Tessek’s Revenge hungered for payback. To Constantine’s Starboard bow floated the solitary Wailing Whaladon. Bulbous and nondescript, the ship looked to more than likely be a part of the evacuation fleet. The truth; however, was much more sinister. The ship was laden with weight and explosives. Crafted under the Sith rule of Mon Cal, the vessel waited to drive it’s weighted prow into the bridges of enemy craft. Death and destruction would be immense. In the order of battle, chaos would reign as soon as the Whaladon struck. —————————————— As the bits of gear and data were accepted by the clones, Vice Admiral Nikolai Kolchak dismissed them with a crisp salute before he turned on his heel and made his way to his waiting shuttle. The detachment of troopers turned to follow. All except the trooper whose attention had been caught by the clone comment. He broke from his detachment and hurried after Tilt, intercepting him just before he boarded. “Captain. From one clone to another, watch out for those scouts. They’re cowboys. Not like us.” He nodded knowingly from behind his helmet before turning to hurry back to join the others and board the shuttle.
  14. Kolchak stood, hand in fist tucked in the small of his back, looking over The Mantis. He did not turn around when the clones approached, notified by the silent communications from his escort of veteran Imperial commandos. As the clones saluted, the Vice Admiral spoke, his voice carrying up towards the ship. ”Ze Corellian Ackalay type light freighter.” He described the name of the craft, reaching up to brush a piece of debris off the freshly painted aurebesh lettering. “Vourty-eight meter, vone-hundred ton cargo capazity. Nonztandard for official naval uze. Unregiztered in Imperial databazez.” He droned before finally clipping his boots together and spinning about to face the three clones. “Very appropriate vor vhat iz planned avter current emergenzy” Nikolai Kolchak eyed the three, his mind-linked mechanized eye assessing and analyzing the derelict-yet-pristine fit outs. “Your viles are most imprezzive and you look vell for age.”He opted to not comment on their dated, yet like-new, armor. How had they kept it so well? Had these clones seen combat or were they fresh from the vats somewhere? The admiral turned, leaning on one hand against the hull of the bulky craft. “Ze Empire exzpects zat you vill be quicker zan zhis tub. Can you do zhis? Ve have great need vor men ov your . . . . . exzperiencez in,” he rubbed his fingers of his free hand together as he paused looking for the word, “azzymetrical varfare.” Nikolai finally directed his one good biological eye to the three. “I am Vice Admiral Nikolai Kolchak, Vleet Commandant of ze Outer Rim, head of Naval Intelligence, under ze command of ze Emprezz herzelf.” He did not need to explain that he had spent his career ferreting out pirates, drug cartels, and warlords from the lawless Outer Rim. It was present in his stature, by the way he carried himself, just like his synthetic skeleton. It was a dangerous, almost criminal outlook; one contained within the confines of the uniform, and by it the rules, of the Imperial Navy. “Currently, ve are evacuating any non-essential personz to avaiting tranzportz in orbit. Intelligenze axzets have indicated pozzible Zith attack on Zhis vorld. Zector tventy-zhree iz being cleared now. Vill you azzist gentlemen? Innozent lives are at stake.” The question hung heavily on the air as Kolchak stared unblinkingly at the trio. The seriousness of the situation broadcast to the men a sharp divergence from the usual hubbub of the planet. They were back in the military.
  15. As the engineer dove in front of the droideka, the engineer’s eyes narrowed to suspicious slits. “What is going on here?” She asked as she slowly stood up. Her gun lowered, although she kept it angled towards the droids. Stepping inside, she made sure that there was always some sort of cover between she and the droids. As Tilt addressed her, the zabrak fished the keys to their craft from her chest pocket and jangled them. “All done. Paint job too. Looked like someone had already prison broke the thing once before. Shoddy Sith engineering if you ask me.” Slapping the keys on the wooden workbench, the zabrak’s eyes did not leave the droid even as she chanced a glance to Tilt. “The Admiral said that when I found you that you’re late and he’ll be waiting for ya.” ”Good luck.” She smiled as she slipped out the door and out of sight down the alley. ——————————- The Mantis had been docked alongside Kolchak’s Lambda Shuttle. A dozen white clad storm troopers stood watch as the Admiral stood admiring the craft. His mechanized eye whirred and clicked as it took in the design and uniqueness of the ship.
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