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Nar Shaddaa

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The final minutes before launching a major operation were always a frenzy of activity. Ships bearing munitions and fuel raced to and from Fidelity and her escorts, making last-minute deliveries before the operation's timetable forced the MC90 Cruiser into hyperspace. Troops on shore leave were summoned back to their stations, and the starfighter patrols were doubled and then doubled again in preparation of the pandemonium that would erupt once the fleet reappeared out of hyperspace. The airspace surrounding Fidelity was alight with sublight engines.

 

Crammed into standing room with forty Alliance marines into a shuttle intended to ferry twenty, Admiral Slaughter listened to the comm chatter and swayed instinctively with every turn of the shuttle as it returned to Fidelity. Perhaps it was just the rush of adrenaline after having been killed in simulated combat with a simulated Sith, but he thought he detected a certain unprofessional excitement leaking into the chatter from his bridge crew. He grinned; after months of merely trying to survive, it felt good to finally go on the offensive again.

 

A few minutes later, he was at his familiar station in the tactical pits of Fidelity's bridge, trying to reach the Imperial Head of State on a comm channel.


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Even though a response never came, Mythos enjoyed his meal rather lavishly. He may have looked like a wild animal, but his manners were well behaved as he cut the steak into small morsels and ate the potatoes with a spoon. When he finally sat back and let his full stomach press hard against his clothes, he let out a satisfied sigh before encircling his stomach with his paw, his long tongue licking the small portions that remained between his maw and gums.

 

But today would not stay all calm, cozy, and collected as his comm unit blared out loud and briefly interrupted other patrons, Mythos apologizing as he scooped up what remained of the credstick and made his way out the door. Looking at the comm unit with slight despair, he sighed, and put the unit away. It was back to active duty, only a shifting moment of relaxation enjoyed. Gathering his equipment and finding a quick restroom to use, it wouldn't be long before he was aboard the Misericordia. He only hoped his mind would not end with his derelict of duty this day.


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The trip had been much longer than Ro had expected. The galaxy was a different place than the Watcher's memory engrams had once remembered it. It was one thing to watch the changes from behind a desk on Coruscant. It was another to explore it first hand. Most contacts had shifted places since the destruction of Coruscant, as well as the Alliance's occupation of Nar Shadda. Truth be told, finding someone to help them get a new transponder code had become a wild goose chase of sorts, dodging government patrols while trying to track down the necessary underworld figures. Of course, once located, Durose's old contact -- a sleezy backwater Mon Cal named Bon Vox -- was capable enough to do the job. The price wasn't cheap, however. Ro had little choice but to dip into Rose's assets as his money had been tied up in the banks on Coruscant since that entire world's collapse. Hopefully she wouldn't miss 10,000 credits too much.

 

Since Dhon could care less about the new name, Ro renamed the ship “Rose’s Gambit” and had it put in Durose Roshan’s name. Before long, the process was finally done and the two Cathar bid Bon Vox farewell.

 

At last.

 

Weeks had now gone by since they had begun their journey. By the time they had arrived on Nar Shadda, Ro was wary. Rose plagued his dreams. He had relived at least three different variations of her death in his dreams, each time being unable to save her as he watched her die in his arms. Her smile haunted him. But perhaps the most haunting dream of all was the one he kept having every few nights.

It was always on an idyllic beach. The sun was setting as the waves rocked rhythmically in and out, crawling up and down the shore. There was the sound of children playing but every time he followed it around the bending palm trees he was always met by Rose.

She is standing there alone. And as he approaches, another man appears from the bushes behind her and embraces her. He kisses her tenderly on the cheek. Ro can never quite make out the man or his features. It is as if he is always just out of focus, Ro's gaze fixed firmly on Rose instead. Rose, meanwhile, just stares at the former Watcher with that same haunting hint of a smile that she died with. 

 

But when he approaches, she suddenly frowns and say to him, “Why didn’t you come find me? Why did you let me die? Why did you fail me, Roar Roar?”

 

He always argues that he did not mean to leave her or lose her or fail her. But the words are never enough. It doesn't matter what he says or how he says it. She always point to the ocean when he finishes and he looks to see ominous explosions in the sky as if the world was collapsing and the Mandalorians were coming to destroy their pretty, beach-side getaway.

 

And then he smells it. The smell of burnt flesh. And when he looks back, there stands his Soo'Gah'Wee. But everything is wrong. The world shakes as the air swirls the sand around them. Rose’s pale body now has a hole in her chest and there is blood rolling down her lips. Durose always tries to run towards her in a moment of panic but he finds that his feet are heavy as if he has been suddenly trapped in quicksand. As the ground shakes beneath Rose, pale, faded blue hands of buried cadavers would reach out of the ground and grab at her ankles, pulling her slowly underneath the sand. Starting at her feet and spreading upwards, Rose's vibrant flesh slowly tints to match the hands of the dead holding her. He locks eyes with the helpless Durose as she laughs at him mockingly and begins to sink out of view.

 

Then he’d wake up, striking with an overwhelming sense of fear and loss. And then he'd remember that Rose was, in fact, gone.

 

But now here he was. He had finally arrived on Nar Shadda. Armed with the lightsaber he had found on the ship and a new wardrobe Ro had purchased along the way, he was finally ready to seek out his destiny. Standing on the edge of the YT-2400's ramp, Ro looked back once more at his Cathar “twin.”

“Don’t forget my stipulation. Return the helmet to the woman and the ship is yours.”

 

“I gotcha, bud. Don’t worry about me. Me and nannybot 3000 got this covered.”

 

“That’s not her name.”

 

It’s name,” Dhon replied, rolling his eyes a little. “I can call it whatever I want. Finders, keepers. It’s the law of the wild.”

 

Ro gave Dhon a look of frustration, the sort of look you give someone when they say something that is completely ridiculous but you don’t have the energy or interest in breaking down just how many things are wrong with their statement.

 

“Just take care of it alright,” Ro replied as he turned and takes a deep breath.

 

As Dhon started to walk back up the ramp, he paused for a second. He then smiled back at Ro.

 

“You know... It was fun, Watcher.”

 

Ro craned his head skeptically, “Fun? What are you talking about now, Dhon?”

 

“You know... running around the galaxy. Doing shady things. Interacting with unusual characters. The wilderness of Cathar is nice. It’s home. But I forgot... well... you know...”

 

“What the life we never had was like?”

 

Dhon shrugged, “You know. 'Core-UH-sont,' 'Core-uh-SANT.' What if we lived it? What if we didn’t? It’s our memories, bud. The rest is minuciosa.”

 

Ro squinted his eyes at Dhon, “You mean ‘minutia’?”

 

Dhon laughed.

 

“See. There you go again! This is what I’m talking about! Live a little, bud. Memories or not, we only live once. The fact that we have diverged from the original Dhonarr proves that, Ro! You do you and I’ll do me.”

“Are we done here?” Ro replied with defeat in his voice.

 

Dhon chuckled a little to himself before he pushing the bottom to retract his new ship's ramp. Shaking his head a little, Dhon yelled out to Ro before it was completely closed.

 

“Don't you worry, pally! We are done here, bud! You have my word, and we both know what that means! Oh! And one last thing!”

 

“What’s that?”

“Good luck, Mr. Roshan.”

 

As the ramp closed behind him, Ro could feel a sense of finality. It was as if a chapter in his life was finally over. The last vestiges tying him to Rose and Victoria had been left behind. He could only look ahead now.


Wading through the crowded streets and various vendors, he headed to an eating establishment that he heard some force users frequented. Walking right up to the bartender, Durose pulled out the lightsaber in full view of everyone and set it on the counter.

“I’m looking for the Jedi Order. Might you know where I can find them?”


___
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Posted (edited)

((considering the time that has passed... legal double post... detour of plans after all...))

As Ro sat at the bar, looking left and right for any reaction, the female twi’lek bartender approached with a bit of a chuckle and a smile on her face.  Ro glared at her while she cleaned off a beer glass with her towel.

 

Shaking her head, she rolled her eyes at him, “You want me to believe haven’t heard, padawan?”

 

Ro raises an eyebrow at her, “Padawan?”

 

The bartender pursed her lips and gave him a knowing glare, “I know what you are, cougar. That robe didn't fool anyone the moment you walked in. Don’t try to play dumb with me and act like you and your Jedi friends caught me in the middle of anything. You can tell your masters that everything has, is, and continues to be above board in my establishment. They don’t need to keep watching me like a hawk.”

 

“What gave it away?” Ro replied with a satisfied smirk.

 

She shrugged. 

 

“I don’t know. Maybe your clothing underneath your robes? Or your holier than thou attitude," she rolled her eyes at him again. "I like to play games as much as the rest of um, but to be honest, I’m surprised the Jedi sent you to waste your time harassing on me. Don't you have very important business to take care of?”

 

Ro gave her a confused look, “What do you mean?”

The Twi’lek eyes him with irritation, “I wasn't born yesterday, Jedi. What? Don't tell me your masters found you too brain dead to bring along!” 

 

Ro frowned at her in response, “You got quite the mouth on you, you--”

 

“I’m not stupid, padawan! You really are dense if you don’t think I don’t know about the general call for emergency help sent out to the Jedi. Or that the bacta shipment you guys are sending is in the middle of final preparations to leave.”

 

“I--”

 

“Don’t worry,” she began with a wink. “The bar will be safe and sound while you are gone. All Nar Shadda will be just fine without you. It ain’t like this place is suddenly a den of thieves with you all gone or something.”

Waving at Ro, she gave him a coy smile, "I think you have somewhere to be, Jedi. Have a safe trip. I'll be here if you get back."

 

That’s the Nar Shadda spirit I remembered.

 

Snatching up his lightsaber, Ro left a few credits with the bartender and flipped up the hood to the robe he was currently wearing. Before arriving on Nar Shadda, Ro had done a little shopping and gone to great lengths to have the Jedi robes of the Mon Cal that he had come across on the Traitor’s Gambit recreated in his size. It would seem that they perhaps had belonged to a padawan that may or may not have gotten very far in the Order. Clearly, this costume and his ruse had work. At least to the uninitiated. He wasn’t thrilled by the idea of what he was about to do next, though.

At least one thing has gone right. My tailor was actually worth the money. Small victory but I'll take a win at this point.

 

Dashing back towards the spaceport, Ro asked one of the passer-bys for directions to the aid transport. Following their directions, he soon found himself in a restricted hangar bay. Attempting to casually walk by, Ro was stopped by one of the Alliance guards standing there.

 

“Excuse me, sir. Can I--”

 

Dropping his hood, the former Watcher opened his robe to reveal a lightsaber attached to his belt.

 

“Uh... sorry, Mister Jedi. I thought that all of you had already been assigned and left with the first wave of transports.”

 

“At ease, soldier. Easy mistake. I had a few errands that were required of me to handle for the Jedi before I could join the others. You know how the Jedi Order can be,” Ro ended with a grin.

 

The guard smiles, “I know what you mean, Mister Jedi. You guys are busy people. And if I may say so myself, I really respect what you guys are doing. It’s heroes like you that give us regular people hope.”

 

Ro nodded, “That’s our job, soldier. Aiding people and providing hope to the masses. Like on Chandrilla.”

 

Ro nearly bit his tongue holding back his sarcasm.

 

The guard gleefully nodded in agreement before leaning in towards Ro and whispering, “Between you and me, I’d be a little terrified to head to Mon Cal if the news turns out to be half as bad as the rumors I’ve heard...” 

 

Shrugging a little, the man leans back at attention before adding, “But then again, I don’t have all those fancy powers, right? Glad it’s you and not me! I would probably be peeing my pants if the Jedi sent me there. But I guess that’s why I’m still a guard and you are a Jedi hero.”

 

Smiling and nodding to the man, Ro headed into the hangar. At this point, boarding the transport and interacting with the crew would be relatively easy without another Jedi present to identify him as an imposer.

After all, if we were headed somewhere as bad as that guard was making it sound, who in their right mind would try to impersonate a Jedi and stowaway on this death voyage? 

Roshan decided to laugh to keep from crying. He was feeling less and less thrilled about whatever he was walking himself into. But then again, he had survived the destruction of Coruscant and the attack on Chandrilla.

 

What could possibly be worse than those two unmitigated disasters?

___

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Edited by Durose Roshan

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As ships approached Nar Shaddaa from a distance troops and vehicles were ready to exit upon the bass they were assigned to. On the ship were the Trandoshan Nudono, the remnants of a once proud tribe who flourished years ago. They were still taking off their gear as they tensed to the weapons first, doing any repairs that needed it or sharpening their blades. The fight on Chandrila, Hannah City left some of them physically wounded from Krexis and the hole ate through his scales and into the soft layer of skin, and Varsus nearly had his right hand broke and his left side riddled with blast marks from an explosion. It was a good fight indeed, but not even Vox walked away without taking any damage. 
.
"So... we can rest now?" The young Varsus asked curiously as he sat in a chair, "I mean, that's it right?" 
.
Vox turned slightly as he put the rest of his scratched armor into it's proper case, clipping the latches shut, "Should be. Unless we have another assignment."
.
Silently Krexis carefully lifted several objects above one of the taller chests, the objects heavy and seemed extremely fragile. It was a jar of white salt, or what looked like salt however much finer than that and several other jars of cooked jerky of different animals. He'd received a jar of the finest sugar and flavorful jerkies from a native for saving their life, though he was no cook he was certain Romulus would have something in mind for it. That was when his chest began to sting and itch just slightly, a sign that the patched hole was beginning to heal. Trandoshans heal far quicker than most other species and to deny such a thing was complete idiocy. 
.
However Krexis would never forget the look the woman gave him when he and Varsus saved her daughter, in that moment he felt... odd. He and the other Trandoshan remained behind to help guide the others and look ahead for enemies but on the end stayed that way to help the "good fight," whatever that was. He hadn't felt anything toward killing others, he never needed anyone else but his brothers but the moment the family of two broke down mourning for their loved ones, after the firefight was the moment the albino sniper felt sympathy toward another. Varsus was the most sympathetic of the entire group, and due to his young age he couldn't help but feel for those who lost everything, but hid his emotions compared to most others. 
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As Equinox and Rylast put away their shields and heavy armor the former turned to Vox who seemed to stare off at the planet. He tapped the Chieftain on the shoulder to which the latter replied, "I've never seen how beautiful a planet can be, Equinox." 
.
"Getting soft on me?" The First Lieutenant asked with a smirk, standing left of his elder brother and stared at the large orb, arms crossed and huffed, "You think we'll ever be back to our homeland?"
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The leader remained silenced as they drifted closer at a snail's pace toward the planet, giving it some thought, "I... wish to. I need to. Once we've found a proper home for the tribe we'll go back and liberate our people. No doubt they're regretting the decision to stay, but if I... We, do this then we cannot life the same way as our ancestors did. Isolated, hiding technology to be so called peaceful. Peace cannot exist without conflict, nature is that way with the soothing wind and the coming storm. Our enemies are far more advanced than us, we must adapt, even if it means tossing few of our traditions away." 
.
Equinox gazed at Vox curiously but gave his brother a nod, then looked back to his twin who was making sure all weapons were accounted for including the amount of ammunition they had. They purposely left the spare crates of replacement pieces to both armor and weapons, any excess ammunition left as well as to not drag around dead weight that could effect their combat capability. Equinox then turned his head back to the planets view, "I know that. For years father and grand da was always trying to change the way everyone thought. I think he knew it would come to this. I think he'd be proud of you, Vox." 
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With that the younger brother gave his older a firm clap on the shoulder before going to raid Krexis's jerky. At that point, others were beginning to take the meat and eating it vigorously but before long their bellies full of protein, for as hungry as the clan was they could only eat few pieces at a time. Sighing, Vox turned from the planet, his thoughts weighing on his mind until Romulus caught his attention with a cough. 
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"Varsus needs to heal, so does Krexis before they fight anymore," The smaller Trandoshan stated before continuing knowing well Vox would protests, "They will affect how we fight, one shot through Krexis' armor and he's done for, Varsus can't even hold a gun upright and his entire side is burnt." 

"Very well, then it'll be just four of us. You'll stay with them on case we have a new mission."

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‘Rebel,’ he pondered the word in his head, trying it on for size. There was something about being designated a mutinous insurgent that the grizzled Imperial officer inherently disliked. The grimace on his usually hard-set face was only visible by the slight downturn of the corners of the man’s mouth. Something about being thrown in with the same pirates and scum that preyed on the hyperlanes of the outer rim was stomach churning. 
 

Standing aboard the bridge of the aged Hammerhead Cruiser , Divine Justice, Vice Admiral Nikolai Kolchak nodded to his helmsman, an equally grizzled Imperial navyman. “Take us to planet so ve can report for duty.” He instructed, “Captain Typho has con.” 
 

The naval veteran turned to leave the bridge, but before he got to the lift a voice gave him pause, “Sir you may want to see this.” As the ship began to swing about to begin her approach to Nar Shaddaa. There materializing in the viewport, the freshly minted medical task force Bloodsteele; a testament to the newfound outlook of the Empress’ empire and a sign of the times. Six frigates dedicated to fleet repair, rescue of personnel from disabled and devastated ships, and providing the best the front lines could offer when it came to medicine.

 

Vice Admiral Kolchak’s brow wrinkled. He had been told the fleet he had come to command had several newly constructed ships from across the empire. The view before him had not been what he envisioned. Coming back to defend the cores or the Empire, Kolchak had been secretly hoping that the time had come for him to take command of one of the legendary arrow-headed Star Destroyers. He had not been expecting, with his years of service in naval intelligence and fighting pirates, to get stuck guarding ships full of doctors and nurses. “It seems ve are in more difficult situation zan I vas led to believe. Vhere is Imperial gunrunners. I cannot believe medical vessels ran by smugglers.”

 

As the Hammerhead cruiser began to accelerate towards Nar Shaddaa and the awaiting medical fleet a swarm of gnat like ships began to approach from the distance. They did not seem to have any particular formation, nor did they seem to feel the need to yield to a larger vessel.

 

As Captain Typho began to veer the aged Hammerhead out of the way, the ship groaning and creaking with the effort, the ship’s comms lit up with echoes of laugher that played across the bridge, “Hahahahaha. G’day cap’n Imperial Gunrunner task force reportin’ fer assignment. Lets wipe some Sithsh** off the boots’ven the galaxy.”

 

A half amused smile flitted across Nikolai's eyes as he stepped back towards the command console. Depressing the comm button, he responded; “Vell zat is velcome if I ever saw one. Good day commander. Arrange ships and avait orders. Glad to have you.” Releasing the comm, Nikolai turned to Captain Typho, “Ve must appreciate zeal even if they are practically pirates.”  A chuckle escaped his mouth. These were more his type. He got all types in the Outer Rim, renegades, malcontents, and blood-thirsty sailors who made the holonews one too many times when on shore leave. A flurry of corvettes might be something the enemy would not expect from a seasoned Imperial commander; just what the Vice-Admiral ordered. Pirate hunting was more unorthodox and off-book anyways.

 

“But zey are not Mandalorians. I vas promised Mandalorians . . . “ Nikolai scanned the makeup of what he expected to be his newfound fleet. There definitely were no Mandalorians in sight. “Oh vell, if zey do not know ve are here; ve ought to tell zem.” Nikolai nodded to Captain Typho signaling him to notify Imperial Command they had arrived and to continue on their way towards the planet. “I vill be in room.”

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Nar Shaddaa, by this point was dotted with garrison stations and training grounds. The largest of these was situated at MARPROG at the Alliance's headquarters, but Captain Johanna Bryce was stationed planetside in one of the smaller garrisons--little more than a repurposed warehouse, but Bryce had seen worse rust in her time in the army. As for the rust in her unit, it was clear that they hadn't had occasion to assault a capital ship in months.

 

“Slow this time, Talons,” Johanna Bryce began her debriefing of the latest training evolution. She held a helmet to her hip and paced from side to side in the briefing room, not making any use of the room’s voice amplification. Shouting was a skill she had learned decades ago. “Four minutes, thirty-seven seconds from the hangar to the bridge, that was enough time for their troopers to mount a response and make our job a lot more difficult. And if a Sith was on board,” the towering marine flashed a quick smile. “We would have had to earn our pay.”

 

There was no misunderstanding as to what Captain Bryce had conveyed with that last statement. The Bridge Rush was a training evolution that Talon Company had developed during the war while they were still serving under Starlisk: the objective was for a single platoon of shock troopers to storm the bridge of a mid-sized capital ship--typically a Victory-class or Carrack-class--and keep it until the marines could bring aboard reinforcements. Speed above all else was critical during this operation--if they were not free of the hangar within fifteen seconds, they were at risk of being vented out the magcon. If they were not on the bridge within four minutes, they were in danger of being bogged down by counterattacks from the ship’s stormtroopers. And if there was a Sith on board… attempting to scuttle the ship from within was an option worthy of consideration to the hospitality that the Empire of The Spider was offering prisoners.

 

Pacing around a holograph of the Victory-class Star Destroyer Iron Fist, Johanna walked through the results of the training evolution and the numerous mistakes of her platoon. Hangar: walking wounded marine continued with the squad and should have made their way back onto the assault shuttle. Secondary engineering: no need to assault the room, just toss two grenades into the compartment and continue the charge. An amateurish delay in hot-wiring a blast door cost them nearly ten seconds of time. And finally, fourteen seconds of lost time in clearing the bridge, and an overexcited Private had left their carbine set to kill and destroyed the Conn.

 

“Remember Talons, the goal is to be fast, not thorough. Use your concs and follow up. With luck, we take the bridge before the captain can transfer controls to the aux. Hit the showers, hit the miss. We’ll repeat the drill at twenty-hundred. And then we’ll run it again if we don’t get our time down by at least twenty seconds. Dismissed!”

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Nikolai set the holofiles down on the small metallic desk jutting out of the wall of what had been deemed the commanding officer’s quarters. A bunk, a desk, and a solid-framed straight back chair; plus the coveted locking door to keep out nosey ensigns, were all the comforts a man could expect aboard a vessel such as this. Rumor had it the Empress had quite the quarters aboard her assigned ships though. The Admiral had never met the woman, just seen her at a few events or in passing. She gave the orders, and he would follow them to the end; but in Nikolai’s mind, such a person had no need to see how her will was actually carried out.

 

Sighing, the mighty man drummed his fingers in the holofiles as he looked up towards the ceiling. His metallic eye replayed the scanned documents before him as he pondered. “Barely better zen pirates,” he noted, “but zey are loyal and merciless. Perhaps pirates are vhat ve need now . . .” The thought did not sit well in Nikolai’s gut. He had seen how effective and ruthless the freelance raiders and rapscallions had been along the Outer Rim. He also knew they could turn tail at the first sign of overwhelming force. That was something he could not have. Going against a bigger and, dare he admit, more powerful, adversary, might require some unorthodox techniques though. It was a technique he had picked up during his time in Imperial Intelligence.

 

The Mandalorians assigned to his fleet though, he knew they would never back down from a fight. He might not particularly like the Mandos, but Nikolai knew better to doubt their abilities.

 

“Vithout scruples and Vithout mercy. Maybe dis is just what ze doctor has sent for order.” He smiled as he thought more and more about it.“Zey vil never know vat hit zem.” Spinning about in his chair chair, Nikolai stood and took the two strides to the comm beside the door. Depressing the button to call the bridge he spoke, “I vil be going to corvette Rebound. Notify captain to prepare for arrival.” Letting by go of the button he concluded to none bit himself, ”Until I know vat zese pirates are capable of, I vil command zem myself.”

 

——————-

 

Within the hour, Vice Admiral Nikoal Kolchak was disembarking to an awaiting crowd of decidedly unmilitary looking beings. Beards, piercings, tattoos, weapons from blasters to mine cutters hung at waists or on slings, Imperial uniforms with as many modifications as there were beings, apparently nothing was sacred. Still, at least they had assembled in what could be called an attempt at formation.

 

The Vice Admiral looked over the assembly with a raised eyebrow. It was together worse than and not as bad as he had feared.

 

Stepping up to great him with an extended hand, a rather grizzled looking man with what appeared to be permanent grease stains on his hands and face that matched those on his uniform, if it could be called that,!identified himself. “Cap’n Jobes sir. Pleasure to be workin’ under ya.”

 

Nikolai looked the man up and down before turning, ignoring the handshake, “Valk vith me captain.” He did not wait as the captain quickly shoo’d the assembked crew back to work and scurried to fall into step with the Vice Admiral. “I appreciate as much as next man some personal touches. Ve must remember zat ve serve Empress and Empire above all. I understand zat you and your men come from less zan militaristic backgrounds, but let us at least take pride in appearances.”

 

“Begging yer pardon Admiral sir, but me and my boys and girls weren’t exactly given mucha choice in all this. Still, we’re serving out of love fer the Empire and the Empress, sames you. Take us into comat along with those captured zealots in the Lifebloods and we’ll show ta we can put our experiences in the Empire’s pits te good use.” The captain had interrupted to voice his concern at the Admiral’s disdain toward them.

 

Nikolai stopped walking and turned to lock eyes with the captain, his cybernetic eyes twirling and clicking as it focused and recorded everything from the Captain’s suddenly worried look to his pulse visible pulsating in a protruding vein. “I have read files Captain. Your records speak for zemselves. Ve are not in pits. Ve are fighting trained enemy. Ve vil make zem suffer dearly. All i vant is zat ve look ze part. Historically ze Empire’s mere presence, stormtroopers to Star Destroyers, vas enough to placate entire systems. Let reputation do half battle and ve do rest. I am looking forward to seeing your crews in action.” He stopped and extended a hand, grabbing Captain Jobes firmly and shaking it, “Ze Sith vill never know var hit zem.” He offered his first smile since stepping aboard as the Captain’s mood visabky changed as he realized that he and his crew were not being judged openly as inept or incompetent. The Admiral just didn’t like their uniforms. Neither did the Mandalorians he knew; but if that was all, then they still could prove themselves. “So, we, uh, got orders then your admiral sir? Going to Corellia maybe? Taking a bite out a’ Onderon’s backside; stick that Spider with a spork?”

 

Nikolai smiled as they fell back in step towards the bridge, “Somesing like zat. Ve have orders. In due time, you and your boys shall earn keep.”

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Warning klaxons heralded the arrival of the Rebel Alliance strike fleet back from drydock over the ex-criminal moon of Nar Shaddaa. One of the triumvirate of leaders that the Rebel Alliance now boasted, Raven Nasra, erstwhile Empress of the old Imperial Remnant, sat in her command seat alongside her Admiral in the flagship Misericordia. An older model Imperial Star Destroyer II, painted jet black, but one that had served with distinction through many campaigns from Carida, to Kuat, and now just recently from the liberation of Chandrila. The Ship still bore the scars of that campaign, though hastily patched and repaired, long lines of boiled away paint, and newly patched durasteel had yet to be repainted in the regal black. 

 

But appearances were not of concern for now. And with a point to the Comms Officer, she directed a transmission to the Rebel Alliance fleet and leaders of ground forces. @Vox @Mythos @Nikolai Kolchak and @Johanna Bryce

 

“Come aboard for strike preparation, one hour.” 

 

It was time to make a difference.

______________________________________________________________________

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command Flagship

Taskforce Experience Green

Under command of Admiral Valiston Alekseyev - Imperial Knight

- Assigned Callsign - 

Aurek

KDY-Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer  Misericordia |20/20|

Axial Weapon Upgrade

 

Rebel Alliance Precision Strike Carrier Group

Taskforce Experience Green

- Assigned Callsign - 

Besh

TSC-Tapani Class Frigate Deton-Rusic |3/3|

TSC-Tapani Class Frigate Admiral-Fish |3/3|

Fresh

DP20 Corvette Bel-Ilbis |2/1|

DP20 Corvette Mothma|2/1|

DP20 Corvette Skywalker |2/1|

DP20 Corvette Tarkin|2/1|

Cherek

KDY Ton-Falk-Class cruiser-carrier Ghost of Carida|9/9|

 

Rebel Alliance Covert Strike Force

Taskforce Experience Green

- Assigned Callsign - 

Dorn

Victory I-class Medium Cruiser Ancillary Justice |9/9|


Raven_Sig.png

Pretender to the Galactic Throne

Co-Leader of the Rebel Alliance

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The Captain and the Vice Admiral had barely stepped foot on what passed for a bridge of the Assassin Class CR92 when what Nikolai suspected was an officer, it was hard to tell with this crew, turned and with an astonished voice, “Sirs, The Empress’s flagship wants you aboard for orders, within the hour!” The man looked almost as bewildered as Kolchak felt. It was not every day one was summoned to such a vessel. Rumor had it she was aboard too.

 

“Now thats more like it! Lets get going Admiral sir! Get te blowin’ up us some Sithies!” Captain Jobes excitement fell to a sudden stop, however; as Kolchak raised a hand to silence him. “I vil go. Zis Rebound assassin vil take me zere. You, Captain Jobes, vil take me zere. Vile I am aboard, see zat men have new uniform issued.” Nikolai raised an eyebrow towards the man at the comms and inclined his head slightly while locking eyes with the suddenly dejected Jobes. “Show me on zis mission your boats have vat takes and next time, you join me. In new uniform of course.”

 

”Now begin docking procedures Captain.”

 

—————-

 

Exactly fourty-six minutes after the order was issued, the Rebound was docked alongside the much mightier Misericordia. Kolchak watched in awe as they were overshadowed by the much larger ship. It was what the Empire had been known for and what every junior officer dreamed of commanding. Outside their hull the eleven other corvettes, Imperial and Mandalorian swarmed, carefully watching their lead ship dock and wondering where they would be going next.

 

Stepping off the ship, Kolchak smoothed the leg of his Imperial navy uniform. Most officers travelled with an entourage. On the outer rim, such a thing invited danger while offering protection at the same time. Kolchak did not consider himself above such a show of station, but such a thing in such a place was uncalled for. Besides, he was not sure the Rebound could muster a fit looking escort at the time anyways.

 

Walking alone through the ship, Kolchak was offered several salutes and given a wide birth as he made his way through the vessel, impressed as he was by the sheer Imperial might of the thing. It did not take long to receive direction to where he was supposed to be and upon entering the room, the Vice Admiral slipped towards the back of the room. They were part of the Rebel Alliance now, whatever that meant. As far as Kolchak had been concerned, he was part of the Imperial Navy securing the Outer Rim before he got called back. The last Rebel Alliance had a sour taste towards the Empire. Kolchak figured it’d be wise to assess the situation before speaking out of turn. 
 

——————

 

FALLEN IDOL IMPERIAL FLEET
 

Imperial Gunrunners

Hit and Run Tactics

Experience: Green

 

REBOUNDS

CR92a Assassin Class Corvette Rebound 2/1

Crusader Class Corvette Lifeblood 3 2/1

Crusader Class Corvette Lifeblood 4 2/1

Crusader Class Corvette Lifeblood 5 2/1

RAVAGERS
Raider Class Corvette Ravager 6 2/1

Raider Class Corvette Ravager 7 2/1

Raider Class Corvette Ravager 9 2/1

Raider Class Corvette Ravager 2 2/1

KEEPERS

Raider Class Corvette Keeper 1 2/1

Raider Class Corvette Keeper 2 2/1

Raider Class Corvette Keeper 3 2/1

Raider Class Corvette Keeper 5 2/1


 

Reborn Allegiance

Destroyer Group: Focus Fire - Turbolasers

Experience: Green


JUSTICE

Hammerhead Class Cruiser Divine Justice 9/9

BIKADINIR
Mandalorian Cruiser Bikadinir 9/9

 

BloodSteele

Medical / Engineering Task Force

Experience: Green


RESPITE

EF76 Nebulon-B Escort Frigate Merciful Touch 3/3

EF76 Nebulon-B Escort Frigate Raven’s Touch 3/3

RESCUERS

Zebulon-B Frigate Mecha Metal 3/3

Nargi-class Pursuit Frigate Watchman 3/3

Corellian Rescue Frigate Majesty 3/3

Corellian Rescue Frigate Majestic 3/3

Edited by Nikolai Kolchak

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Despite wanting to rest, Vox had a feeling that things were bound to pick up in a day or two. And though he had injured soldiers they'd recover within eight moons. That simply left the Chieftain, his two lieutenants Equinox and Chaox, and one of the shield brothers Rylast. The four of them could hold out well and do just as much as a smaller squadron than the usual seven. However their odds were culled just slightly, still, they were enough.

 

Finishing loading his gear, Vox paid a bit of mind to his skin-tight padded suit. In places there were cuts and tears clearly from previous combat. The inner plating that helped with protecting vital areas were wore thin and chunks missing, the silver could be seen under the fabric as well as the various scratches. The attire did well to serve the soldiers but it's time was done, if only the Nudono had Vulcans that could repair these things. The closest was Romulus but he could only go do far as to make the equipment work. 

 

Varsus popped on his helmet to make sure it wasn't entirely damaged despite half of it blackened and the visor cracked. He hopped up and handed it to Vox, "Sir! We have new orders!" 

 

Vox was quick to slide on the helm as orders were just now being communed, a heavy sign escaping the helmet before taking it off with swiftness and barked, "Rylast, Equinox and Chaox, you're with me. Get whatever repaired equipment we have and reload. We've another task." Though Vox was clearly not happy about this, he was enlightened that none of the three Trandoshans spoke up with the exception of Krexis.

 

"Sir, I highly recommend taking me. I'm quite fine-" Krexis' protest was cut off immediately by Chaox's deep tone, a luxury spared for moments like this.

 

"Stay. That's an order from your Chieftain and I. We'll manage with four of us. And if by chance it's close quarters most the way it will be an easy task. We cannot risk our recon. Rest, and eat well." Chaox explained in a more distance yet aggressive tone, showing that orders were to be followed regardless of the situation with warning. 

 

Twenty minutes passed as the quad of lizards put on what armor for them and what were repaired, Chaox leaving the arm plates and ripping off the useless latex fabric from his arms. Equinox and Rylast donned their heavy shields again, this time equipping with more grenades than ever and Vox merely equipped himself with a Puncture, a Type-52 Pistol, a Spiker and Mauler, topped off with plenty of ammunition and two of each grenades. They slipped on their helmets before rushing to their next objective: one of the Corvettes stationed for takeoff. This was a mission, he assumed briefing would take place on one of the ships. 

 

Before long they arrived and climbed aboard one of the Corvettes, awaiting further orders. Chaox stretched his large arms, muscle regular Trandoshans barely possessed and stated, "Ah! This is much better!" 

 

Rylast curiously asked, "Was it necessary? We need full protection..." 

 

Chaox huffed, "The armor I had vary held together. And the suit is holding on by stitches. It's best to leave it than have it in the way." 

 

Vox wasn't amused by Chaox's attitude. Yes, they may or may not be in close combat, but he was too relaxed for this. But knowing his younger brother, Vox knew that Chaox always got his head right just before the battle. Maybe since he couldn't rest this was his way of expressing it? The Chieftain held his tongue as the Shield Brothers quietly bickered back and forth about their equipment. 

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Eighteen seconds. There was an audible groan of dismay when Johanna Bryce, clad in plastoid plate as though she were a member of the assault team, marched onto the bridge of the ersatz Victory-class Star Destroyer announcing the failure of the Talons. The tall Bespinian paced rapidly from side to side as she announced the results of the latest training evolution, her carbine swinging from its rigging.

 

“Not bad,” she allowed. “No critical mistakes were made. And you didn’t shoot up the conn this time. But that’s not good enough. That leapfrog through the munitions corridor needs to be faster. Shouldn’t even need to speak down your advance, one fireteam moves up twenty meters while the other provides suppressing fire, then you trade off like clockwork. In fact,” Johanna smiled brightly. “That’s just what you’ll do for the next two evolutions. No spoken words, just hand signals and eye contact. Get the time down by another five seconds, and then you’ll earn back speaking--”

 

At that moment, forty-one triple-chirps issued from the platoon’s headset comlinks.

 

“Misericordia in one hour, Cap. Something big is coming down,” rasped the bassy Calamari voice of Commodore Kolchar in her ears.

 

____

 

Forty-five minutes Bryce’s command gunship raced through the formation of Rebel ships that had gathered for the mission in store. Several veterans of the Chandrilan campaign had returned and were repurposed for the new offensive--one of the fearsome Neo-Kandosii Battleships had just been released from drydock, refitted with spare parts, and had been gifted the unassuming monicker Wrecking Machine. The old blunt-nosed capital ship stood unpainted against the glittering backdrop of Nar Shaddaa, surrounded by a host of smaller ships, including two Carracks and several of the peculiar new corvettes from Naboo--a reflective flying wing that resembled a pleasure cruiser more than it did a warship. Bryce shook her head at the sight of those strange ships--the reputation of the Naboo’s aesthetic predilections was even worse than that of the Alderaanians. The Alderaanian Clone War-era frigates at least appeared to be armored.

 

Bryce’s command gunship landed within Misericordia’s ventral hangar bay. She and three of the fireteam leaders of her unit, the Talon Company, jogged through the old Star Destroyer’s corridors, determined not to be late for the briefing despite having arrived from moonside. They were a peculiar sight on board--most of the armed forces of the Republic had assimilated into the Galactic Alliance and abandoned their old traditions in the name of unanimity in the coalition’s armed forces, but the Talons had guarded some of their regalia, even as supplies dried up and some of the intransigent ex-Imperial units complained. Theirs was a long, curved vibroknife that was worn on a shoulder scabbard--more like a vibromachete, as the blade was nearly forty centimeters long. To them, the long knives were not really weapons--they were more akin to dogtags and the members of Talon Company simply carried them wherever they went.

 

And somewhat thoughtlessly, as they had boarded an Imperial Star Destroyer that was crewed partly by veterans of the last war, and were en route to a briefing that was undoubtedly to be attended by senior Rebel leadership. But Bryce wasn’t concerned about that tiny faux pas; she just didn’t want to be late and leave her commanding officer waiting.

 

 

Element Dar'Manda

Destroyer Group [Railguns]

Experience: Green

Neo-Kandosii-class Battleship Wrecking Machine 20/20

 

Patrol Group Colonia

Defensive Escort (Suppressing Fire)

Experience: Green

Bothawui Wing

Carrack-class Light Cruiser Spoilsport 3/3

Warrior-class Frigate Dragoon 2/1

DP20 Frigate Sophie 2/1

Senth-class Picket Ship Constitution 2/1

Senth-class Picket Ship Badger 2/1

Yevetha Wing

Carrack-class Light Cruiser Allegiance 3/3

Warrior-class Frigate Lancer 2/1

DP20 Frigate Cutlass 2/1

Senth-class Picket Ship Currahee 2/1

Senth-class Picket Ship Patriot 2/1

 

Task Force Carbonari

Electronics Warfare Pod (Information Control)

Experience: Green

Bothan Assault Cruiser Heraldric 9/9

Sacheen-class Light Escort Tanto 3/3

Sacheen-class Light Escort Lanvarok 3/3

Senth-class Picket Ship Iskallon 2/1

Senth-class Picket Ship Nebula 2/1

Edited by ObliviousKnight

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The datapackets were easily plugged into an alliance issued datapad, one of those sparse, mass produced, olive green devices every officer and a good many of the men carried. Some of the older datapads even bore the triple mark of the Anaxes academy, while others carried the oval of the Imperial Remnant. Though every officer now wore either the flat dark earth coloured uniforms, or the erratic uniforms of militias or planetary defense groups, they represented well the Alliance as a whole. 

 

The two captains from the Tapani sector had come many lightyears from their homeworld of Procopia. Their pale blue uniforms, heavily embroidered with golden finery marked them from the same kingdom that was helping the current battle on Corellia. And their TSC frigates sat waiting in formation with a recently formed carrier strike group. They stood talking to the captains of the assault corvettes and the carrier cruiser itself, all old imperials who's gristled faces marked them as long veterans of the galaxies many wars. It couldn’t be doubted that most of those in command had at one point of the other been at war with each other. But for now they chatted eagerly, and plugged their datapackets into their pads.

 

The room quieted with the entrance of the once empress and now pretender to the galactic throne, Raven Nasra. As a concession to her compatriots in the Rebel Alliance, she did not wear the stark imperial uniform, but instead wore the jacket and jumpsuit befitting an Admiral in the Rebel Alliance. Tan over tan, blood stripes and a belt of brown leather. The only thing befitting her as Empress to those that had come from the Imperial orders was the circlet of dark silver that rested softly above her ears. Her voice was calm and her eyes looked at each smiling face in turn as she spoke. 

 

“Soldiers, officers, and friends, I must thank you for responding so quickly to my request.” The screen behind her filled with a current map of the Kuat System. The main manufacturing yard for the Sith Empire. “As you in the admiralty may know, we are suffering from our losses of shipyards. And with the recent Sith Invasion of Corellia and Mon Calamari, this will only become more pressing. As such the high command has suggested a mission with two objectives. Firstly, to distract Sith forces at Corellia and Mon Calamari in order that we may reinforce them, and secondly that we may reinforce our own numbers of ships.” The map behind her focused down to a small section of the orbital ring. “Stealth cruiser Ancillary Justice has established the presence of several Kyber class Star Destroyers in the drydocks of KDY-13. They are undergoing final commissioning for their first missions as are allegedly fully stocked and provisioned, though not fully crewed. Beside them are three victory three class cruisers, also undergoing fitting out in the drydocks of KDY-13.” 

 

The view behind her widened out to show the presence of a single Golan defense platform overseeing the drydock. “The drydocks are under the cover of a single battery, which will need to be neutralized before we can efficiently cut out any of the Sith vessels. These are both jobs for the Alliance Marines and Militia of whom we are most thankful.” The screen flashed with a representation of the Alliance strike force. “The fleet  will emerge as directed by our stealth cruiser right at the edges of the orbital ring. As such it will be hard for us to successfully extract if things go wrong within the first few minutes of the mission, but such a risk is warranted. We will then set up a screen to protect the escape of the cut out vessels from the responding Sith fleet, then escape ourselves.” 

 

She nodded to her friends and captains, then the screen behind her darkened. 

 

“Briefings have been issued for each team.”

 

She looked at the amassed men and women as they began to stand. 

 

“And may the Force be with us.”


Raven_Sig.png

Pretender to the Galactic Throne

Co-Leader of the Rebel Alliance

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To say Nikolai was shocked at the sight of the Empress, his Empress, in rebel aligned  naval attire would be an understatement. Looking about the room, he quickly realized that perhaps his opinion of the men under his command had been premature. Still, they were under his command. The Imperial Navy had standards.

 

As he stood silently in the back of the room listening to the plans, Nikolai began to formulate in his own mind how he would explain the orders to the commanders of the vessels under his immediate command. Piracy,  that was basically what they were undertaking. Liberating vessels from the enemy; not a bad battle strategy all things considered. 
 

When the Empress paused, Nikolai careful cleared his voice,  “Beg pardon highness, but who vil crew vessels from system?”  He asked, not because commanding such a vessel was a desirable goal, but out of genuine curiousity. Surely she did not intend for the marines to commandeer the fleets to safety, did she? Glancing about at the myriad of uniformed sailors of differing creed and code he continued, “I suzpect ve vil be engaging upon arrival. I look forward to vhat ve accomplish together. May ze force be vith us.”  The Vice Admiral offered a slight bow towards Raven as he smiled slightly.

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Raven smiled softly at the grey haired admiral Kolchak as the briefing broke up. 

 

“We have several skeleton crews of trained men that will be accompanying the Marines and Militia. It’ll be hard fought, and they are crews straight from the academy, but I believe they will do us honour.”

 

She put a hand on his shoulder, giving it a squeeze of reassurance and thanks. The old Imperial Admiralty  could have easily retired into obscurity and no one would have blamed them. Macleod had done that, much to her chagrin, as had Phillep, but Kolchak? Kolchak she could trust in. 

 

((To Kuat KDY13))


Raven_Sig.png

Pretender to the Galactic Throne

Co-Leader of the Rebel Alliance

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Warping out of hyperspace were the remnants of the fleet who'd raided the Sith Shipping Bay. Behind them were two capitol Kyber Class Star Destroyers that had seen some form of damage. Warping just behind the fleet outside the Nar Shaddaa orbit were the Kyber Destroyers that had few pieces missing, one of them the neck of the bridge somewhat concaved and the other seemed to be missing a chunk of put layering however neither has sustained too terrible a beating. What was a moment of stress turned into shock and awe, the stars stretching toward them only to find themselves a moment in the planets view. 
.
Slinking into the Captain's chair, Vox exhaled loudly, the tension relieving his nerves and shoulders. The man he'd brutalize, a Sargeant Norris Quarl, began to stir and shift and beginning to rise with shaky limbs. That was before Rylast walked over nonchalantly and pressed his metal boot down on the man's back, applying enough force to wake him up and hold him there, but not enough to really do any damage save for the boot print that might be left on his back. Vox smiled just slightly and began to chuckle. Today was not a bad day, and he should be proud of himself. Not only did he, and three other Trandoshan capture two ships filled with enemies, a task which was difficult to the Rebels but he also had a prisoner of war. The fact it took four, Four, Trandoshans who had primitive weaponry bested enemy forces the allies had trouble with, to reiterate. 
.
That smile turned into a grin once he heard familiar voices over the communications channel of the ship. Equinox and Chaox arguing... again. Whatever it was would need to wait however, Vox looked down to the waking Sargeant then to Rylast who still had his boot pinning down the man. The Chieftain ordered calmly, "Rylast, let him up. Go ahead and start cleaning up the bodies we left here... don't want our guests coming into such a mess." 
.
"Sir." Rylast said with a quick bow before doing as he was told. Sargeant Quarl took several minutes to slowly rise. He felt like hell, no hangover, not even the torture that was training could compare to this. Norris always was prepared for the unpredictable, even if caught off guard he was quick on his feet. Had he known he was going again a foe who was bigger, stronger, and more skilled than meager pirates there would have been a possibility for victory. But the Sargeant wasn't ready, just like the insurrection within the docking station, no one was prepared for that. 
.
As they approached the planet Norris looked up through the front panel of the bridge. The Rebel Fleet was still intact, somewhat, courtesy of the Sith Empire. He looked from the fleet to the planet almost recognizing it at first before glancing back to the Trandoshan in the chair. It was then the moment hit Norris like a bombshell, though not tied up or imprisoned yet, he'd been captured... and his entire squadron dead. Glaring at the smiling lizard, the Sargeant demandingly asked, "Where are we?" 
.
Vox didn't answer as through the door some of the remaining crew of Rebels entered and upon seeing the Imperial aimed their weapons. Upon realizing he was unarmed and seeing their hulking ally sitting idle they moved in to confirm the Sargeant was harmless. He'd been beaten to a pulp and was far too tired and disoriented to even throw a proper punch. A soldier holding him with one arm on each side and a weapon lowered to his stomach, another Rebel used something Vox couldn't see to bound the Imperials hands behind his back. The Trandoshan stood and replied to the Sargeant in the Trandoshan tongue, "Enemy hands." 
.
Vox then exited the room where the charred and or bodies were lined slumped against the wall. One was missing though and the Chieftain looked to Rylast who stood against the other wall with weapon held against his chest, "There were three?" 
.
"One survived," The taller tribal answered, "She lost a lot of blood but will receive some form attention for it. I assume she'll be questioned?" 
.
The Chieftain shrugged as he walked past the Shield Brother who began to follow, "By the Rebels, yes. But by us, they don't want us interrogating soldiers lest they would be dealing with the aftermath. Come, once we land we'll meet the other half of our squadron." 
.
As soon as they dropped out of Hyperspace Chaox looked through the front panel of the bridge. From here, the planet was beautiful, the massive cities like flickering lightning bugs in the stars and the different shades of blue, green, and other Earthly tones. The last time he had seen a planet like this was Trandosha when they quickly left, but now he could see a planet and not feel sorrow for abandoning it. Chaox knew they would return and Vox would usurp and slay his other half, Atrinox, to free his people and guide them toward a better future. The question was when it would happen. 
.
Equinox stared at the planet but before he could say anything several Rebel soldiers barged in, and only seeing the two Trandoshans they immediately went to work, stationing themselves to the controls and whatever else Equinox could think of. It didn't matter to him, and it seemed Chaox was reading his mind when the twin began to walk out of the room, the Shield Brother in tow. The two traveled down the hall but would stop against the wall any time some soldiers hurried past them, and they walked in complete silence. Once they arrived to the main door, Chaox took his helmet off, a hissing of oxygen escaping to break the silence.
.
"So... I guess this is it then." Chaox stated to no one in particular. He leaned against a large metal box, relaxing himself from the insane few days he'd, and everyone else in the War Pack, have had. 
.
"What is "it" might I ask." The taller twin asked crossing his arms.
.
Chaox sighed as if annoyed to answer, "The last mission before we can rest. Not certain about Vox, but I'm going to wash up, eat, then sleep." 
.
"We could have another mission," Equinox intervened, "Gods knowing I could use some rest as well." 
.
"If we have another, Vox can shove it up his-" Chaox began however was interrupted by his older brothers voice over the comm in the helmet. 
.
"Shove it up my what, Chaox?" Vox was smirking as he managed his way to the cargo hold where the main doors were, ready to exit as soon as the ship landed.
.
"V-Vox! I uuhhh... wasn't talking about you! I was talking about Rylast!" The shorter twin backpedaling quickly said, "You know I wouldn't talk smack about you, you know!" 
.
There was a silence over the comm link, then two hoarse laughters escaped the radio. The comm link clicked off and Chaox could feel his temperature rising. He knew his older brother was nothing short of a trickster, but that fear turned into joy. He hadn't heard Vox laugh in years, even before they left the planet the Nudono Tribe always fought against the Slavers of Trandosha. It's how the twins list their parents, trying to defend the hatchlings before being gunned down. Of course, that was years ago, and this was now. Chaox had secretly hoped he'd get to explore the city and it's wonders, get some adequate rest before taking off again. And he also felt satisfaction for the first time, for the first time in however long the Nudono War Pack finally got their second victory. 
.
"Choax," Equinox began a bit hesitant, "I'm... Sor... Sooorr... I... apologise for my burst back there..." 
.
Chaox was silent, contemplating the most reasonable and logical answer, but in all honesty he didn't have an answer. He just simply replied with what popped at the top of his head, "Equinox, I understand your pain, as does everyone else. We're going through the same thing, we've lost everything but ourselves. You asked why I glorify my kills, it's simply to take my mind off it. Fighting the enemy is how I take my mind off it. Vox does by usually either honing his skill or simply undertaking something. We've all grieved over our lost ones, but we must not become drowned in our sorrows. There will come a time this injustice in corrected, but only in due time. Vox made me realize that. And please, for the love of Gods don't do that ever again." 
.
The rest of the trip was spent on silence between both parties, collecting their thoughts and ready to get a bath and sleep. Most likely Romulus, Varsus and Krexis got that, but they would still be out of commission. Well, Varsus would at least. Vox felt the mission could have gone swiftly had it been the seven of them, even if divided by a three-four team ratio it still could have gone smoothly than what it actually was. And still, the Chieftain knew the three soldiers- two soldiers and engineer would happy to know that the Nudono Tribe hit heavily and successfully without them. They weren't mere pirates, they were the remnants of a near forgotten tribe that would rise again, for better or worse. And it would either be Vox or Atrinox who would lead after their fated meeting. That time was a long ways away, and he couldn't help but feel that things would get much, much difficult in his journey.

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There were no prisoners. 

 

That wasn’t the result of a barbaric, no-quarter sweep through the Golan, but out of urgency. Any wounded were simply stunned and abandoned for the Sith to recover--the Talons were in and out of the station within minutes, and all of the wounded left behind had yet to even stir by the time the Rebels exfiltrated to their transports. There were no awkward conversations in the rear of the transport, no shivers or whimpers from restrained Sith troopers, no one demanding to know what unit that their Sith adversaries belonged to.

 

Instead, there were six wounded shock troopers groaning in pain, one unconscious, blaster scarred man wheezing with every breath, and one very harried medic somehow managing to race about the tiny passenger compartment and keep them all alive. As adrenaline began to seep away, pain began to fill its wake and Johanna began to struggle to keep up with the medic. Observing that Bryce was beginning to pale and list even under the exertion of applying pressure to a weeping neck wound, their medic dragged the Bespinian off to the side to treat a neglected wound.

 

“How’s Tharen?” 

 

“He needs a bacta tank. Let’s have a look at that--” Bryce yelped out loud in pain when the bottom of her tunic was lifted to reveal a bleeding, reddened blaster crease along her lowest rib. “Yeah, there’s your problem. Why didn’t you tell me right away? Tyrell, keep pressure on this patch…”

 

The Bespinian let out another yelp as a bacta patch was spread over the wound and indelicately pressed against her inflamed skin. “For fifteen minutes. Don’t let the Captain move. I need to get back to Tharen. Have HQ ready a tank once we pop out of hyperspace.

 

Thirty minutes later, the LAAT/i burst out of hyperspace in the vicinity of Nar Shaddaa. Johanna couldn’t help but rise despite the protestations from her ribs, and saw the prize of the battle over Kuat and their infiltration of the Golan station: two damaged Kyber-class Star Destroyers. Even through the narrow slats of the transport, the Bespinian could see that the two capital ships had suffered extensive damage to their command superstructures, with scarred armor plating and buckled decks surrounding the bridges. If knocking out the guns aboard the Golan had saved those ships from being scrapped, then maybe their aborted attack hadn’t been a waste of manpower.

 

Ten minutes later, the LAAT/i transports converged on Wrecking Machine and landed aboard the Mandalorian battlewagon. While the medics carted away the wounded in need of bacta, Johanna gathered her company around her and tried to ignore the repeated attempts of a medical droid to guide her away. “Good work, Talons. Get some rest, get some food. We’ll report to the shipyards at oh-eight-hundred for training. We need to make sure that we’ll never have to do that again.”

 

And with that, the Talon commander finally allowed the medical droids to do their jobs and guide her to a medical bay and proper care for her blaster burn.

 

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