The Rescue


Indy kept a close eye on the counter set into the main console of the A-Wing she was flying.  Tag had asked her to hand-deliver some orders to a particular asteroid base in the Hoth system, saying that she was the only one trustworthy enough and innocent-seeming enough to make the voyage.  Indy hoped she was right.  She had taken the A-Wing because it was fast and she knew how to fly the darn thing.  She would have liked to use a X-Wing, but there were none available.

She tried to relax.  There was still another two and a half hours before she was due to set down.

Suddenly, her ship was jerked out of hyperspace.  The jolt was enough to send Indy’s helmeted head bouncing against her forward console so hard that she saw stars.  To her horror and dismay, an Indictor cruiser hung above her.   Indy’s hands flew toward the steering yoke and, knocking the throttle up to full, looped tightly around and prepared for a blind hyperspace jump—anything to get her away from the Imps.

Her ship shuddered, and she silently despaired.  They had her.

*     *     *     *     *

Indy squeezed her eyes shut.  The truth serum that had been used on her was causing terrible hallucinations.  She knew that even the greatest of New Republic and Rebel officers before them could stand up to most kinds of truth serums—especially the kind that caused hallucinations.

“What do these orders mean?”  Her interrogator boomed.

“I don’t know,” Indy answered.

“Who were they to?”

Indy only half-answered that question.  “Some officers.”

“Why were they sent?”

“I don’t know.”

“This one’s strong,” someone observed.  The voice was familiar.

“They all break in time,” the interrogator snapped.  “Who are you?”

“Bridger, Indiana.  Corellian Security Force.  ID 774932,” Indy mumbled, numb.

“I will repeat,” the voice said again.  “She is strong.”

“She will break, Agent!”

“Perhaps,” the voice said.

Indy realized she’d heard the voice before.  The name oozed from her lips.  “Kirtan Loor.”

“Yes, Sergeant Bridger.  Kirtan Loor.  I’m glad you remember me.  When I was told someone had been brought in fitting your description, I just had to come and see for myself.”

“Damned bastard,” Indy mumbled.  Although she’d only been at the precinct for a short time before joining the New Republic, she had met Kirtan Loor and decided that she hated him.  “Got my parents killed.  Got Hal’s murderer off.”

“Oh, don’t tell me you’re a clone of Corran Horn, Sergeant Bridger.  I would have thought you smarter than that.”

Indy opened her eyes.  She guessed that the two-headed rancor was Loor, and spat in his face.

“Ugh,” Loor said.  “Get her out of here.  I’ll deal with her later.”

Darkness closed around Indiana Bridger.


Tag swung into Mike’s quarters.  “Mike, I need your help.”

“What is it?”  Mike asked.

“It’s Indy.  I sent her out as a special courier—to help clear up this mess.  She was supposed to report in.  She hasn’t.  I think that she might have been taken.”

“Uh-oh.”  Mike grabbed his jacket.  “Let’s move.”

As they hurried through the halls together, Mike asked, “Why me?”

“I trust you,” Tag snapped, “and I know you.  I’m pretty sure that we can do this.  That’s why.”

“You know Mynok,” Mike pointed out.

They reached the hangar, and Tag dragged him over to her X-Wing.  She climbed on top of it and began to dig around in the cockpit for the items she kept hidden there.  “That doesn’t mean I think that he can do this.  The Imps really don’t know your face, do they?”

“Not in any sector from here to Hoth,” Mike said.

“Good.”  Tag’s voice was muffled.  “Then my plan will work.”  She climbed down from the cockpit.  Her hair was now bleached blonde and her eyes were gray, and a livid scar ran from temple to chin on the left side.  “You’re looking at Major Shane Janus, Imperial Intelligence, Lieutenant Shane.”

Mike shook his head.  “The way you two think...are you two sure you’re not real sisters?”

Tag grinned.  “No more than blood-sisters.”  The smile faded.  “Come on, let’s go.”

Indy lay curled on a narrow bunk in a cold cell.  “Later” had come and gone.  She had been laying on the bunk for hours, feeling too terrible to move.  The Empire had tried to torture information out of her, using a combination of the truth serums and physical torture.  She had no idea what sort of information she might have given up.  I have to get out of here, she thought.  Painfully, she sat up, staring at her food tray.  Finally, she picked up the fork from her food tray and started in on a small panel that she knew would allow her access to the door controls.  Imps are so stupid.....  All she could do was hope that they were stupid enough.

Mike and Tag were closing on the Imperial Indictor cruiser Black Sky.  They had figured out a cover—as Intelligence agent Major Carla Janus and her bodyguard Lieutenant Janus Shane.  No coincidence in the naming—their cover had them both as Kuati.  Neither of them knew that an intelligence agent was already aboard the cruiser, and that one of them would not be returning quite so soon from this run.

Raven Conall (

Raven needed a break from it all. He was getting tired and the last thing he needed was to hear more about the case at this moment. He decided to take his modified X-wing out, hell it was the easiest way to relax. He grabbed his gear and put it on and jogged to his X-wing. He got into it, made sure his R2 unit was secure. He needed to get out of the ship before he went crazy. He took off and called himself in to go on a patrol around the ship. That’s when he saw the shuttle take off, he scanned it and it had no registry. He moved in and scanned it’s contents and it said, Personnel. “Well that’s odd.” Raven mumbled. “Griffon 9 to Imladris, Where is that shuttle going?” raven said into his comm. A second later they responded with, “Imladris to Griffon 9, They have an unregistered lift-off, land and Pick up your Tie Defender and Follow them. If they are heading to the Empire we don’t want you caught in an X-wing, and we can try and slice were there heading.” mumbling in the background and then, “We’re working on it.. Please Hurry up Griffon 9. You don’t have long.” Raven groaned as he headed in and jumped out of his X-wing. “C-ya Extwo, I gotta go follow them.” The R5 unit twittered something. “Thanks Extwo.” Raven replied. Raven changed into Tie Gear figuring it would be the smartest Idea and climbed into his Tie Defender. He unclipped the IFF changer and radioed in his IFF code so the Imladris could register him as friendly. Hopefully so would any Imperials. He launched off and started following the shuttle. Then the shuttle disappeared into Hyperspace “Sithspawn” raven muttered. Then raven turned on his comm, “Grif...errr.. 8 of squadron 11524 to Imladris, Did you slice it from them?” The Imladris responded “Imladris to 8 of squadron 11524, Negative. But you can try the Hoth system. Another shuttle left for the Hoth system a while back. It’s possible that that’s were they’re heading. And according on their last heading IS the Hoth system.. So try there.” Raven sighed and mumbled to himself “God, not Hoth again.. Once was enough...” “Roger that Imladris” Raven said into his comm reluctantly and plotted the course, checked it twice and hit the Hyperspace lever.

Mike Bullian  (

“Mike Help!”  Those words swirled through his head after his abrupt awakening from his disturbed sleep.  He jumped straight up, his fine-tuned combat instincts having him in a defensive stance before he had even assessed the situation.

“What’s wrong?”  Tag said from the doorway, looking a little concerned.  Mike hesitated before replying.

“Nothing, just a bad dream.”  Even mike wasn’t really sure of it, it didn’t feel like a dream...

“No it wasn’t, i can feel it.”  Tag replied somewhat cryptically.

“How?...  Ohhhh, almost forgot for a second.”  Mike said, remembering that Tag was trained in the force.

“It’s Indy, you have feelings for her.  I’m surprised i didn’t realize sooner.”  Tag said, a look of sudden understanding spreading across her features.  Mike smiled, a pained smile due to the fact that he knew Indy might be lost to him, but also he knew that he would do anything to prevent that.  “We’re about to drop out of hyperspace, try to compose yourself.”

“Okay, I’ll be ready.  That’s my uniform right?”  Mike said indicating the black Imp Intel uniform hanging on the wall.  He put on the uniform and walked up to the cockpit.

“We’re about to drop out, so strap in.”  Tag said to Mike as he entered the cockpit.  Mike strapped himself into the copilot’s seat.  The swirling colors of hyperspace gave way to starlines and then stars as they dropped in to the area of the Interdictor Black Sky.

“Unknown Shuttle, this is Black Sky control, identify yourself.”  A voice came across the comm

“This is  Carla Janus, Imperial Intelligence, transmitting clearance now.”  Tag flipped a switch on the shuttle’s controls.  “Don’t worry Mike, it’s an up-to-date code.”  The shuttle landed in the Black Sky’s landing bay.  Mike stepped down the landing ramp of the shuttle and looked over at the group of TIE pilots on the other side of the docking bay.

“Sithspit.” He said low enough that only Tag could hear him.  “That’s Commander Radin, he knows me, we better hurry up.”

Kenta Jelnor (

Kenta was getting changed out of his flight suit and setting his X-Wing up for the next run. Soundly, his comm pad chimed. It was Mike, and he said he was en route to an Imperial Interdictor. He said that Indy was being held captive on the Interdictor, and that they could use another starfighter, as back-up. I said, sure, I’d love to stick around on stand-by for them. I neared the location of the Interdictor, but stayed out of sensor range, and I then waited. Waited for the signal from Mike to help them in their getaway from the Interdictor.

“Hmm...” I thought, “30 debris clouds, 60 shots fired, 30 Ties vaped... It’s Corellian Whiskey time.”

I went EV and pulled a few bottles out of the X-Wings cargo bay, gave Toli some oil, got back into my ship, pulled out my latest copy of “Starfighter Tactics” and settled down to wait...

Orian (

All Orian could do was wait for the trial. He had been shuttled to the Calhoun, where he would wait to be shuttled elsewhere. He inquired if he could bring a friend along, but the answer was a strict “No” from some jerk in a fancy suit and a bunch of little tags. Orian never got any tags. He was a 2nd Lieutenant, whoopty do. Why couldn’t he have any tags?

Three days. Three days, four hours, twenty nine minutes and seven seconds to be exact. How quickly things worked within the New Republic. The trial would last about an hour or so and he would be sent to some spice mine, shot where he stood or executed by some silly little droid with some silly little injection. Where was Namon where he needed him?

Muddy eyes looked about the cell boredly. It was plain and simply. A small cot on the floor, rusting metal walls all about, semi-running water and a triple-layered door. Was this how the New Republic treated all people who committed treason? Like it mattered to him at this point. He was going to die. His defense council consisted of only commandos and Jedi. Things weren’t looking that great.

The Twilight Colony ...

Destroyed all that while ago and it was his fault.

Now he knew why he was going to be executed.


Indy [Tag]  ([])

With Orian’s meal, a datacard arrived, with a reader.  Warily, he picked up the datacard and slid it into the reader.  Text began to scroll over the small screen.


*I hope that the guards don’t have their heads too far up their asses so that you don’t get this.  You did nothing wrong.  I know this, because I was ordered to allow the destruction of the base at Twilight Colony—it was my operation.

*Officially—as in for the public to know—I’m here to visit my blood-sister and some old war buddies—Indy, Mike, Mynok, and so on.  Unofficially, I’m here to clear up this mess.  I came here because of the saturation of people with quote-on-quote “shady” pasts, i.e. Imperial defectors, bounty hunters, and ex-smugglers such as yourself.  I figured at least one of you would get blamed for the destruction of the Twilight Colony.  Unfortunately, I was right.

*I’ll have you know that the base at Twilight Colony was under my command.  It was a medical research facility, home of Operation: Aldera’s Ashes.  Because of the nature of Aldera’s Ashes, the destruction of the base was necessary.  It was the planned end to the operation.

*Unfortunately, someone at NRI screwed up big-time, so big that I’ve spent the past month trying to clean up the mess that they made.  If anyone is guilty of any crime, it is me, for allowing this to come so far.

*So you see, Orian, you shouldn’t have to worry.  In fact, as soon as I return, I will demand your release.  Don’t ask where I am.  You don’t want to know.

*Sincerely yours,

*Captain Tag Erin Antilles Rendar

*Alliance to Restore the Republic Intelligence

*New Republic Intelligence

*Echo Raiders Battlegroup

Orian frowned.  Who was this mysterious “savior” of his?  Did he really want to know?

He looked at his meal, then at the datacard and reader.  He reached for the tray, discarding the reader and datacard.  He’d worry about things when the time came.

Orian (

Orian hated vegetables, which was what half of his meal was. There was one slice of meat, a piece of bread and the rest? Vegetables. All of it was VEGETABLES!! He hated vegetables! Sure seemed that whoever was feeding him read his records and noted his dislike for vegetables.

He pushed the tray aside after eating the meat and bread and took the reader and datacard back up. Again he read it, and again he carefully studied the name at the bottom. Tag. Who was this “Tag” person anyway? Antilles, Rendar ... he knew the first, heard a faint bit about the second but that was it. Was this “Tag” person really related to Captain Antilles? Eh. Maybe not. Maybe just a large coincidence.

Setting the reader aside, he gave another bored glance about the room, idly wondering if a thermal detonator could blow door out ...

Who was Tag?

Was Tag a man or a woman?

How could this Tag demand his release and expect it to happen?

Thoughts poured through his mind as he mindlessly munched on a cooked vegetable.

Mike Bullian (

            Tag and Mike, or should i say Carla and Shane, hurried through the docking bay, neither of them wanting Mike to be seen by Commander Radin, who would definitely recognize him.  They make it safely through the docking bay to the intersecting hallway, where they met with the Black Sky's captain.

            "Admiral Wessels, We need to speak with the prisoner."  Tag checked her datapad.  "Indiana Bridger, i believe."  Tag put away her datapad while Admiral Wessels summoned a nearby officer.

            "Lieutenant, Take these two to the brig, they need to speak to our new prisoner."  The lieutenant indicated that they should follow.  They made quick progress to the brig and were let in by the ever present cell guard.  As they entered Indy's eyes lit up with surprised recognition, but were stifled by a look from Mike, as if Indy was going to blow their cover anyway.  The door shut and Mike said to Indy in a tone somewhat reminiscent of an old holovid biography of Luke Skywalker.

            "I’m Mike Bullian, I’m here to rescue you"

            "It's about time!" Indy replied a little too excitedly

            "Stow it." Tag said.  "Indy, resist a little, make it look like we're transferring you to a proper Interrogation facility."  At that Mike pounded on the door to get the Lieutenant's attention.

            "We're transferring the prisoner to Tervine Facility." Mike said when the door opened, making a reference to one of the Empire's toughest Interrogation Facilities.  They walked out and headed toward the docking bay where their shuttle was waiting.  When they walked through the door Mike noticed that Commander Radin was still there, Indicating this to Tag and Indy they hurried, as Indy had just made it to the loading ramp Radin looked over at Mike, recognizing him from when they were both on the STD Crucible.

            "Stop them, they're impostors!"  Radin yelled out, drawing everyone's attention to the three rebels trying to make their escape.  Mike noticed that Indy was already in the shuttle and Tag was right behind her.

            "Get out of here, NOW, I'll cover you"  Mike yelled to them and drew his blaster pistol.  He shot at Radin, hitting him right between the eyes.  "good, he deserved it anyway."  mike thought to himself as the shuttle lifted off and blasted away.  Mike turned his attention to the throng of imperial stormtroopers, led by someone that looks like Raven, wait a minute, that IS Raven.  He shot a few times in that direction before blacking out, an obvious use of the force by Raven.  Just before blacking out Mike sent a message to Kenta through the force.  “ Kenta, Indy and Tag are on the shuttle, make sure they get out all right”

Raven Conall (


Raven was sleeping when he was jerked out of hyperspace, 20 minutes behind the Shuttle. He looked around and realized everything that had happened instantly... Indy was caught by this and tractored in.. so that’s what this shuttle was doing. But who was in the shuttle. Well might as well do what he had to do. Then his comm snapped on “8 of squadron 11524, this is Black Sky control. You have clearance to land in Bay 6. Welcome back Admiral Ravon Dark. We will be awaiting your arrival.” Raven was stunned, how the hell. And then he remembered... His commission.. The Interdictor  he was on when he left the Empire. The Black Sky. Ravon thought for a second then said in his comm “8 of squadron 11524 to Black Sky control, Thank you Lieutenant. I wish to see the Captain on your vessel, and the roster, and lastly, the passengers on the shuttle that would have landed about 20 minutes ago.”  Ravon approached the landing bay with the normal procedures, and landed his Defender like he used to. 1 barrel roll and hit the deck. Most the pilots on board were amazed that he could successfully do it. He jumped out of the cockpit and the tech’s ran to it and started repainting it. They still kept his record I guess, he walked along the wall to the roster, and they already added his name to it. His name was still number one on the Ace of Aces plaque. “Old habits die hard I guess...” Ravon muttered. He turned around and there was his XO, now the Captain on board. “Well well.. How are you...” looks at his old friends rank “...Rear Admiral Thomas Wessels?” Ravon smiled. Thomas smiled at him and said “Admiral Ravon... We thought you were dead.... Oh, I’m fine, Sir.” Ravon said to him, still smiling “What did I say about calling me sir?” Thomas started to laugh. “OK, OK. Ravon. So were have you been all this time?” Ravon responded “Oh you know.. Here there... I was on Yavin 4. Nice and quiet.. Avoided those pesky rebels.. You know.. the usual...” Thomas still smiling said “Well we’re glad to have you back aboard Admiral Ravon. Shall I have your uniform pressed and hung up in your room?” Ravon shivered and said “I have to wear that again?” smiles “Of course Thomas.. And make it quick.”

Raven Conall (

Ravon made Mike black out after he made the two wild shots and yelled “ENGAGE THE TRACTOR BEAM! INITIATE THE GRIVTY WELLS! CATCH THOSE DAMN REBELS!!!” The stormtroopers behind him ran up to Mike and two hauled him off to the Brig were Loor would have some fun with him. Then perhaps Ravon would... The Tractor beam slid into place overhead and engaged to the shuttle. The shuttle hit the chaff, but luckily these men were experience and disengaged the tractor beam to wait for the shuttle to get clear. The shuttle exited the field and the turbolasers opened up, all expertly pointed at the engines to take them out. The tractor beams started again as the shuttle left the chaff. Then the ship started moving to try to catch the shuttle.

Kenta Jelnor

I started abruptly out of my nap, awakened by Mike’s voice in a half-dream, and instantly set the throttle to full power. Then I signaled a warning to Toli, before racing towards the distant Black Sky. I went ahead and put full power to engines, watching as the distance ticked down, and speeding along at 150 MGLT.

Within 5 minutes, I was pretty they had picked me up on their sensors (Be disappointed if they hadn’t, I was only 10 klicks away). I was relatively certain the 2 flights of Ties, and the flight of Squints coming towards me were not the welcoming party, and that the shuttle being harried by those Squints about 3 klicks away wasn’t being escorted from the system. So, I (after charging my shields all the way up) re-routed all laser power to engines, and plowed right at the oncoming Ties.

I picked a single Tie, and went directly at it, jinking to miss the laser shots. He spanged off my shields and exploded as I raced past. The Tie flights scattered around me, and I kept on course straight for the 6 Squints that were going after the shuttle (with Tag and Indy aboard, who both had the sense to get away from the Interdictor’s lasers and tractor beam, and were trying to get out of the range of the interdiction field). The 12 Ties behind couldn’t keep up with my speed of 112 MGLT, and the Squints were pretty much even, in terms of speed. And they were far enough out that their shots were missing.

As I neared the harried shuttle, I primed my torpedoes and locked onto the squint closest to the shuttle. I then fired a torpedo at it. The pilot was too focused on the shuttle to notice when the spear of blue cut through his cockpit, but he probably noticed the fact that he was dead pretty quickly. Then the 5 squints turned and headed at me. Well, at least they are leaving the shuttle alone, I thought. But then I saw the flight of 3 Tie Defenders launch from the bay of the Interdictor. Oh shit.

So now I had 12 Ties and 6 squints behind, 5 squints ahead, and 3 T/D’s going after the shuttle. All I need. So I steadily locked on and fired at each of the T/D’s in turn, while I was only able to destroy one, it distracted the other two for a while. While the T/D’s were occupied, I turned my attention to the 5 nearby squints, while the others were a ways off. I managed to destroy 3 before the 6 other squints arrived. The Ties were still a few clicks behind them. I had destroyed 5 more squints (and my shields weren’t looking good) when I heard from Tag that the Defenders were closing on them, and locking on with c-missiles.

I pulled away from the Tie infested melee, and raced after the T/D’s. I got in behind one, and fired my 2 remaining torpedoes blindly at it, so he had no warning when the first took down his shields, and the second took out his ship. I then swiveled in behind the last T/D, which was within seconds of firing on Indy and Tag, a shot that would surely destroy the battered shuttle. The laser pangs on his rear shields soon distracted him, and we got into a classic circling dogfight. I told Tag to punch it, and go as fast as she could at sublight speeds. She only had 4 klicks to go before she was safe.

Then the 15 other assorted Ties and Squints showed up. Fortunately, they decided they would rather take me out than go after the shuttle. Also fortunately, they couldn’t hit me, because I was circling behind the T/D, trying to get a shot in on him. Finally, I destroyed the last Defender. I then turned my attention to the Ties, and had 4 of them destroyed in no time. With only 11 bogies left, and my shields still at a reasonable level, I was feeling pretty good. Than I saw the Interdictor launch all of the rest of its Ties and Squints. 20 more started heading at me.

Luckily, they were still a long way off. Indy was now only 2 klicks from the field’s limit. I went ahead and destroyed all but 2 of the remaining 11, and those two were hull-damaged and had already started back. The 7 new Squints were still 4 klicks off, and the new Ties were 5 klicks away. I told Tag to hurry up and punch it. They did, and I watched as space twisted in front of them, and they then disappeared. Horrified, I saw the Interdictor warp space and then start after them, shooting above my ship, and narrowly missing. They had left their pilots here, in their rush to stay hard after Indy and Tag’s beleaguered shuttle. Well, I figured Indy wouldn’t have much to worry about, because these Interdictors are real slugs in hyperspace. I radioed the remaining Ties to either sit tight and wait for a New Republic shuttle to come pick them up, or attack me and become new stamps on the side of my craft. They chose to sit tight. I then sent a message to all nearby New Republic ships, requesting transport for the Imps and backup for me. Then I entered hyperspace after the Interdictor, who was chasing after Indy.

Baron (

Ouch. I hate hangovers. Remind me not to try to beat the mechanic’s records anymore. It simply can’t be done.

I spent the morning guzzling aspirin, and then managed to get on my feet by noon. Of course, I was in space, so there was no pesky sun to get in my eyes. No matter. Something was bothering me. I had to check it out. I got into a computer station, one of the big ones, not the little datapads. I checked in using my NRI passwords, and was soon given a secure top-secret line directly into NRI headquarters’ central archives. I began running background checks on my fellow squad mates. Of course, I was doing thins to help out Orian, in his trial, but curiosity made me check the rest. They all checked out. Former Imperials, old Rebels, smugglers, the usual (usual in the New Republic Military anyway). Until I came to Raven. There was nothing in his background. His record started with his service to the rebellion. No history, no birth, nothing. I checked into the code of the record, but it hadn’t been spliced. It simply wasn’t ever put in. Odd.

I decided to check the older Old Republic records. Maybe they had something. They did. It took longer to get into these records, because they were rarer, and required more security to get in. But I made it, and I was soon looking at Raven’s face on my screen. He looked healthy, but when I looked at the date, I had to rub my eyes. This picture was taken over a hundred years ago! Astonished I checked further. There was nothing. This time the code had been spliced. It had been erased. I used his picture to get more records, and found out many interesting things. Old Republic Jedi, General, you name it, this man had done it. The last entry had been erased, but I was able to splice most of it back out of the old code. It read “Raven Connell ******* to  ********* left *** for Imper** Service. **** Soon promoted ****** Admiral.”

I was shocked. An Imperial Admiral? Sure, I could handle a Dark Jedi Master, but you only got to be an Admiral if you were really smart, or really cruel. I could only guess which one Raven, or Ravon, or Ravan was. I decided I had to check Imperial records. I would have to go to an Imperial garrison to do that though. No big deal, these things are rarely secure. Yeah right. I did know one thing, I had to do this by myself.

Mynok  (

Mynok spent his hours wasting away two bottles of Sullustan gin. He was saddened  because of the news of Indy’s capture and now he drank away his problems. He had once managed to drink two bottles of Sullustan gin and still stand. But that was not the case now as he blacked out on the floor.

Morcant (

Morcant wonders into the bar on the Imladris. The mission is over and although a lot of other stuff is going on he has nothing better to do. He isn’t a lawyer. He doesn’t know where the others have gone. He doesn’t see the point in visiting Troy Nexus and saying “hey, you got in a lot of trouble by the looks of things”. So he went to the bar.

As he walked in he looked around to see who was there. It was fairly busy in there, he recognized a lot of faces including Baron, propping up the bar. He looked like he’d been drinking a lot. Also at the bar was Cody.

“Hi Cody,” Morcant called as he approached his commanding officer.

“Hi Morcant. You’ve decided to drop the Sir then have you?” he smiled.

“Well, we’re off duty now so I didn’t think it appropriate. I could call you Sir if you like though?”

“If you do you’ll regret it!”

“OK, well, since we’re friends I’ll do that for you then. What’ve you been up to recently? I thought you were just going to be a pilot but here you are in charge of this sorry outfit. What happened? You lose a bet with high command or something?”

“Hey, we’re off duty now, lets not talk about the job. Come on, join us for a drink over there” offered Torin.

“OK,” laughed Morcant, “I’ll be over in a minute. I want to talk to Baron. First of all though I should buy you a drink for your promotion. And I’m buying it with my money. I know all the drinks are on you but you can’t get somebody a celebratory drink on their tab can you?” As Cody moved back to the table he had been sitting at Morcant moved over to Baron.

“You all right Baron,” you seem to be drinking more than a lot.

“I’m fine, just drinking so I don’t have to think about how long it is till this unit falls apart.”

Baron takes another swig at his drink and gestures the barman for another. Morcant stands uneasily not knowing quite how to respond. As he is about to speak Baron turns again and says, “You noticed the number of Jedi in the unit? You ever wondered why? You ever been suspicious? Think about it. Just go and think.” With that the conversation was over.

Morcant thoughtfully turned away. What exactly was Baron getting at? What did he mean?

“Morc! Come on over!” came Cody’s shout from across the room, interrupting his thought patterns. Morcant’s somewhat vacant look dissolved as he turned and walked over to Cody and the other members of AF.

“What’s all this I’ve heard about Orian anyway? I’ve heard lots of bits and pieces but I don’t know what if any of it is true.”

And so they drank and chatted till late...

Indy Bridger (

As Indy dashed up the shuttle’s ramp, she saw Tag turn, drawing a blaster.  Indy grabbed a spare from near the hatch and dashed back out onto the deck just in time to see Mike fall.  She let out an anguished cry.  My friend!

“Indy, get in the shuttle!”  Tag bellowed.  “We have to get out of here now!”

Indy ignored her, firing at the stormtroopers that were already beginning to fill the bay.  She didn’t feel the pair of blaster bolts that caught her in the thigh and arm, that sent her slamming into the deck and into darkness, so intent was she on killing the stormtroopers.  As she fell, she heard Raven’s voice in her mind.

Indy came around on the shuttle, lying across one of the benches in the cargo area, covered by a thermal blanket.  She groaned softly as pain hit her in waves.  She heard Tag talking on the comm.

“Mynok, this is an all-Rogue’s call, if you remember what one of those is.  I need you to get every volunteer you possibly can and meet me in the hangar.  We got Indy, but Mike’s been taken and Raven’s put his plan into effect.  You know what that means.”  There was a slight pause, and Tag caught her breath.  “I need you to go in my pack and get the datacard labeled A-A-117.  Get a reader, too.  Make sure everyone’s got combat gear; we’re gonna be going up against an Indictor cruiser full of Imps, one of ours, and an Intel officer.  Have a med team meet us in the hangar, too.  Indy’s gonna need a dunk in the sticky tank.”

Mynok’s voice came from the comm.  “She’s hurt that bad?”

“Unfortunately,” Tag said in a brittle voice.  “You’ll have maybe ten or twenty minutes after we get in before we leave.  It all depends on how far the security guys in the brig have their heads up their asses.”

Indy sat up painfully, trying not to scream.  Pain shot through her left arm and right leg.  She barely stifled a moan.  Getting shot hurt.  With her good hand, she held the blanket around her as she painfully stumbled up to the cockpit and dropped into the copilot’s chair.  Tag looked surprised and angry at the sight of her.  “What are you doing up?”

“I’m coming with you,” Indy said.

“The hell you are,” Tag snapped.  “You’re gonna go for a swim in the sticky tank as soon as we get back.”

“You wouldn’t if you were in my place.”

Tag gave her a withering look.  “I’m allergic to bacta.”

“So?  Even if you weren’t allergic, you’d still be doing what I am.  I’m coming with you.”

“You can’t,” Tag said stiffly.

“I am.”

Mynok’s voice came from the comm again.  “Uh, is that all you need from me, Tag?  ‘Cause if it is, I better get in gear.  What’s your ETA?”

“About twenty minutes.  Run, Mynok.  Rendar out.”  Tag shut down the comm and continued to stare at Indy.  “Indiana Bridger, I am not going to just stand by and let you do this.  I had the strength to lose your cousin, but I don’t have the strength to lose you, too.”  Tag shook her head.  “If you were to be captured again, Indy, and if we weren’t able to get Mike out, he would snap like a twig in interrogation, Indy.  He loves you.  He just never had the guts to come out and say it.”

Indy’s brow furrowed.  “Mike loves me?”

Tag nodded.  “I can’t let you do this.  You’re staying aboard the Imladris when we get back.  I owe that much to Mike to make sure you stay out of danger.”

“You don’t think he’ll be alive when you get back, do you?”

Tag shook her head, her expression grim.  “He’ll be alive, I just don’t know what shape he’ll be in.  Circular, maybe.”

“That wasn’t funny.”

“I know,” Tag sighed.  “I know.”

After seeing Indy safely off to sickbay, Tag took the datacard and reader that she had asked Mynok to hunt down for her and headed to the brig.  She stopped square in front of the two officers guarding the door to Orian’s cell.  “Release the prisoner,” she said.  “Or so help me God, I’ll see both of your careers vaped.”

The two guards looked toward each other.  “Starfighter pilot?”  One observed.

The other nodded.  “Starfighter pilot.”

“Intelligence officer,” Tag snapped.  “Now open the door.”

“Ma’am, he’s being held for crimes against the state,” one of the officers said.  Tag found him familiar-he had been with her at Twilight Colony.

Tag’s gaze was withering.  “Dimitri Daskin, you know as well as I do that the young man in that cell is innocent of any wrong-doing.”

“Ma’am, I don’t even know who you are, but right now you look like an Imperial Intelligence agent who’s been in a fight.  We should be putting you in the brig with him.”

“Oh, shaavit,” Tag sighed, realizing that she’d forgotten to remove her wig, contacts, and the scar.  She turned, removed the items, her long auburn-laced brown braid falling down her back as she turned back toward the two guards.  “I’m sorry, Dimitri.  I forgot about the disguise.”

The young guard’s jaw was on the floor.  “Lieutenant Rendar?!”

“Captain,” Tag corrected absently.  “Let the prisoner go.  He’s innocent.  She handed him the datacard and reader.  “There is a copy of the report I handed in to High Command after the destruction of Twilight Colony.  You’ll notice the wording ‘All things went according to what we planned; the colony was destroyed with minimal Alliance casualties...’.”  She motioned to the door.  “This young man has been implicated in the destruction of the colony.  If anything, we should be giving him a medal.”

“Xander, open the door,” Dimitri said equally absently, staring at Tag.

As the other guard cycled the door open, Tag smiled at Dimitri.  “Thanks, Dimi.”

He nodded.  “Good to see you again, Captain.”

Tag smiled and stepped into the cell.

Orian had been laying on his bunk.  He sat up when he saw the short woman with the dark hair and bloody uniform enter the cell.  Her eyes were mismatched-one green eye, one indigo.  He shuddered inwardly.  Is this the New Republic’s answer to Iceheart?

“Before you ask, no, I’m not NRI’s answer to Iceheart.  I’m Tag Rendar, and you’re a free man.  Get your combat gear ready, Orian.  I need your help.”

Orian was already on his feet.  “Where are we going?”

“To an Indictor cruiser called the Black Sky.  I believe a friend of yours is aboard as a prisoner.”

Orian paled slightly.  “Who?” he asked as he ran the possibilities through his head.

“Mike Bullian.”  Tag let that sink in for a moment.  “Indy’s in sickbay, if you’d rather stay here, you can keep an eye on her.”

“What happened?”  Orian asked.

“I’ll explain on the way.  Right now, you people have a job to do, and I’m here to help.”

Mynok (

Mynok raced along the halls. He searched every where for available pilots. He had found three so far Cody, Morcant, and Baron who was recovering from a hangover. For that fact so was he. He raced finding two more recruits Troy and Deadmeat.  He needed more. As he ran frantically through the halls looking for volunteers he thought of what master Skywalker had said to him. After discovering that he may be related to one of the dark Jedi they had meet on Lantare he had called the rebel commander. he assured him that he would do some research on the subject. He also said that this could be the beginning of some tough times in his life and to “Keep his head above Mon Cal’s waters. “ Now he was in the hanger he had wrestled up 20 pilots most of them mechanics who knew how to fly what they fixed. He had also invited the three  best pilots from his own squad that was stationed in another sector. Raven and Mike also flew with this squadron.

“ Now people we are going to be flying whatever we can get our hands on.” Cody had a knack for briefings.

“ This means if you have any personal ships you will need to fly them,” Cody continued

“ Mynok here has called in his best three pilots from his own squad,” Cody went on   

“ Since he is the closest to Mike and Raven  he will lead the operation.”

“ Before he gives you the schematics of this operation I would like to introduce the three pilots he has called in  John Rico, Evan Crum, and Aren San-Solo.”

Mynok began. “ OK as you can see we have an Interdictor cruiser, our objectives will to be to rescue Mike and Raven as well as destroy the Interdictor.”

“We will have two flights each of ten pilots, the first flights job will be to destroy the Interdictor’s shield projectors and gravity well projectors, the second will fly cover.”

“ Any questions?”

“ No well get to your ships and may the force be with you.”


Mynok walked slowly to the hanger bay. this was going to be really fun.

Carlos DeLong (

Carlos ran to the hangar to join the other pilots.  Cody stopped him midway into the hangar.

“Carlos, I though you were just a commando, can you fly?”

“Boss, I got my own personal ship in here.  Y’all ain’t leavin’ without me, ya he’ah?”

“What exactly can this ship of yours do, Carlos?”

“Ask Troy.  He’s seen it in action before.”

Carlos ran toward the sleek Surronian assault cruiser that sat in the hanger bay.  The Peregrine’s Claw outsized almost all of the craft in the hangar, except for maybe the troop dropships.  He figured that the ship wouldn’t even need him to fly it; the droid brain Peregrine could fly loops around most pilots.  Even so, he enjoyed getting behind the controls and flying the ship.  He walked up the ramp and into the cockpit.

“Peregrine, we’ve got some combat action commin’ up. You ready, son?”

“Yes sir.  All systems check out.”

Just to be safe, Carlos did a personal check of the weapons.  The amount of sheer firepower that the Surronian engineers had managed to cram onto this ship still amazed him.

Proton torpedoes-check.

Advanced concussion missiles-check.

Flash missiles-check.

Cluster missiles-check.

Turbolaser batteries 1-4-check.

Ion cannons-check.

Rocket pods-check.


Carlos had Peregrine fire up the ion engines, and the Claw joined the rest of the squadron in space.

Mike Bullian (

“Hey, wait a minute, I’m unconscious, then why can i see everything, including my own body?”  Mike was confused by this, until he realized that his spirit separated from his body and was free to move.  “i should get word to Aurora” he thought as he channeled his mind into the force trying to transfer a portion of his spirit back to the Imladris. 

“Mynok, stop!”  Mynok turned and a shocked look rose to his face.

“Mike, you’re not....”

“Dead, no, just outside my body, look, I don’t have much time.  I want you to use my fighter, it’s the modified A-Wing in the corner of the hangar.  My astromech’s in my quarters, he’ll give you the key decoder if you speak the passcode “jones”, the ship’s statistics are in it’s computer’s maintenance database.  I have to get back if i ever want to be in my body again but before I go, tell Indy I love her, i never got the chance.”

“I will Mike.”  at that Mike faded away, a smile on his spiritual features.

Mike got back in time to return his spirit to his body, now on an Interrogation table on the interdictor Black Sky.  He woke up to see the familiar face of an old Imperial acquaintance, Kirtan Loor, looming over him...

Morcant (Morcant

“Can I just ask everybody to be careful when they take out the shield

generators? There are going to be some of us in their as well remember.

Careful shots. Oh, and we’ll get the light of dawn in there. She doesn’t

look like much but she has a few tricks up her sleeve. Anybody needing a

lift is welcome to join us.”

As they all boarded their ships Morcant gave a smile, “Its all go here

isn’t it. Not a moments peace but that’s how I want it.”

The Light of Dawn lifted off of its pad and drifted out of the hangar doors. As it left it turned and started the engines up full strength.  The Nav data flooded in from Mynok’s X-Wing and into the computers of the Light. Morcant turned to the Navicomp. He plotted a new course, two hops, the second more of a micro-hop. Just before he went into hyperspace he sent a last message to the others, “People, I have a plan.  I’ve plotted a course which will take me through them on a feasible cargo route. The interdictor pulls me out of hyperspace and I give them our sliced ships ID and ask permission to pass on and get out of there.  You lot turn up and I then ask for protection in the Rebel attack. They then respond in one of two ways. They tell me to dock until the fighting is over at which point we start the op. Alternatively they tell us to stay back and flag us as a friendly. Either way it gives us some element of surprise. Especially with some of the other tricks Una and Degmar have got rustled up in our airlocks.

“See you at the Black Sky and may the force be with you and all that stuff.” And with that the Light of Dawn engaged its hyperdrives. It accelerated and become a blur just before disappearing from site.

As the Light finished its first jump Ralrra growled into the internal comm system.

“All check back here,” came Una’s reply.

“We’re ready Ralrra. Relax a little,” came Morcant’s reply after Degmar nodded his confirmation.

The new transponder was keyed in. The ship would report itself as The Gambler’s Ruin. A trading vessel registered in the Corellian system, captained by Deb Ranootie, played by Morcant. As Morcant prepared for their next hop that would bring them out near the Interdictor  he stopped a while in thought. It occurred to him that he seemed to act as captain more than Ralrra did a lot of the time. Ralrra stilled controlled the business side of things but in combat situations, which is what they were in most of the time, Morcant gave the orders. It wasn’t anything that had been consciously decided. It just ended up that way. But the crew were all happy so it wasn’t a problem.

“Just remember that if our story doesn’t work we have to survive two or three minutes before the rest turn up to cover us. Be ready and we’ll be fine.” Morcant’s last warning was a sensible one. Their cover was plausible but not infallible. They would have to hope that the imperials weren’t checking too hard.

“Engaging hyperdrive,” said Morcant giving the occupants barely enough time to prepare for the brief lurch as the ship made its jump. Five seconds later they exited hyperspace slightly before they expected.  Well, that was good. It meant that the Interdictor did still have its gravity well projectors operating. They wouldn’t have to perform any kind of bluff to try to persuade them they were on when they weren’t.

“Unidentified ship. Please Identify yourself and your purpose,” came the harsh down to earth voice of the duty officer on the imperial vessel.

Morcant took a deep breath as he prepared to give his answer, “I am captain Deb Ranootie of the trading vessel ‘The Gambler’s Ruin’. We are on route from Demarkes to Larandor. We aren’t quite sure what we are doing here. The hyperdrives cut out on us early. We apologize, our mechanic is heading down to fix them now.”

“Gambler’s Ruin, hold your current course and speed.”

A few seconds passed and then the officer came back on line, “We have confirmed your identity and your route. Turn to this course to achieve the best place to make your jump. If you deviate from that course you will be fired upon. A warning shot first and then to kill.”

Morcant turned the ship on that course and started traveling. His course was currently taking him closer to the cruiser. By the calculations that Degmar had done they should be roughly between the cruiser and the incoming fighters when they arrived.  They sat patiently. One minute fifty-eight since they had left hyperspace and then it happened. The Light, or the Ruin as it was currently being called, was three clicks from the cruiser. Two clicks in the other direction ships were exiting hyperspace.

“Black Sky, this is The Gambler’s Ruin, we have ships that are coming towards us on an attack vector.” As Morcant spoke he felt the ship rock.  The ship was being hit by the occasional long range laser shot from one of the fighters. “Black Sky, we are not able to engage in a fight, we need protection.” With this Morcant turned the ship and headed towards the cruiser towards the docking bays underneath. He could always use the excuse that he wanted fighter cover as soon as possible.

“Ralrra, can you see who that is firing at us?” The gunner was quick minded. The shots were powerful enough to look like they were doing damage but not powerful enough to have a chance of actually doing damage. It helped the argument with the imps no end.

“Rrrrooaaaawwwr rrrrrraarr” replied Ralrra and Morcant smiled. Who else would it be?

Orian (

It was all a confusing state of affairs. How this woman managed to just free him by word of mouth he didn’t know. He just knew her name—Tag Rendar. She was an odd woman, but a woman with command. Orian liked that in a lady. But at this moment, it wasn’t time to be thinking about women. There were things to do. Aurora Force never rested.

The story itself was confusing. He barely understood it, but understood one thing:  Somebody needed help. Indy would be fine in the care of the medtechs and droids and what-not, peacefully getting soaked in bacta—or whatever was wrong with her. His mind was focused upon getting armed and ready to go. Somehow his “friends” managed to get him out of his slump, now it was his turn.

He liked playing hero.

Into the locker rooms he went, changed into some half-decent clothes, and then ran down to the weapons facility. All he would need was a blaster. It’s all he ever needed. Though it wouldn’t hurt to take a vibroblade and a thermal detonator or two just in case ... which he did. Things might get ugly, and it would be best to make things uglier.

Idly he wondered what ship he would get stuck in now.

Indy Bridger (

Indy was half-conscious as she drifted in the bacta tank.  Her mind darted in every direction, but her thoughts always returned to the same place, the same image—Mike, collapsing onto the deck of the Black Sky.  She wondered how she could have possibly missed his subtle ways of telling her he loved her.  Was she that dense?  Was it possible?

The biggest question was—Did she feel the same way?

That one was the only one she had an answer for.

Indy had fallen for Mike the first time she saw him.  Whether it was fate or destiny or the Force or something else, she didn’t know, nor did it matter.  Something inside of her was drawn to him like a magnet.

If Indy could have sighed, she would have.  As consciousness left her fully, she promised herself that when Mike came home, she would tell him how she felt.

She also prayed she would have that chance.

Mynok (

After getting Mikes message through the force Mynok headed to Mikes quarters. He saw his R11 unit sitting there silent. Mike had modified this unit so it could fly his starship by itself. he had promised Mynok that he would build one for him and upload his R2 Blipp’s memory into it. But now he had more important things to do. He spoke the single word “jones” and Mikes R11 came to life.

“ Hey hawk it is me, Mynok i need you to fly with me in Mikes A-wing.”

“ Bleep- blip beep.”

“ I know he is not here we need to go get him so come on.”

“ Bleep blip blip beep bleep.”

“ OK lets go.”


Mike had highly modified his A-Wing. He had added a droid socket so hawk could tag along. Mynok joked with Mike often that this thing was a  casket with a hyperdrive. But hey it was the fastest A-Wing he had ever seen.

“ Hawk fire up engines, lets go get Mike and Raven out of there.”

“ Bleep blip blip beep.”

“ Yes Blipp will be all right staying here.”


Hawk and Blipp had become friends early in Mikes and Mynok’s career. he started up the A-Wings engines and sent out an all call.

“ OK flyboys the person with the most kills buys drinks.”

Mynok heard lots of cheering.

“Lets go get  Mike and Raven.”

The ships sped out of the hanger and started there journey to the interdictor.

Mynok was sitting in the cockpit of Mikes A-wing thinking to himself en route to rescue Mike when he heard some comm disturbance.

“ Hey Mynok this is Tag me and Orian are going into the Interdictor and we are going to rescue Mike, could you and your buddies do us a favor.”

Mynok replied “ Sure what do you need?”

“ We need you and your fly boys to cover us and blow the gravity well projectors.”

“Can do.”

“ OK Rendar out.”


Mynok opened a channel to all the ships in his rag tag bunch of pilots.

“ this is Mynok, I just got a message from Tag—she and Orian are going to land on the interdictor.”

“ All we have to do is fly cover and blow those gravity well projectors.”

He heard a bunch of whoo-hoos from the flyboys who did not want to land on solid ground. This was going to be more fun then blasting womp rats.

Mike Bullian (

Kirtan Loor, some would say that he looked like a younger Moff Tarkin, I’d say that he looked like a demon from my wildest nightmares.  Of course my view is tainted by the excruciating pain and the maddening dullness of the myriad drugs he’d inflicted upon me.  Questions, endless questions.  “Who are you, Why are you here, Where are your friends, When did you get the delusion that you could escape unnoticed, What is your problem, How the hell are you resisting me!”  As you can probably tell, Loor was getting upset, but I will never break.  Another face surfaced in my vision, Raven, he dismissed Loor with a wave of his hand and begun the process of my “Interrogation” all over again.  The same questions over again, obviously a show for Loor.  Raven pried inside my mind, tearing information from me, turning my whole being upside down, Oh how that hurt!  I screamed in agony over and over until i couldn’t hear myself anymore, but i still would not break.  Raven dug into the farthest depths of my soul and twisted my entire spirit until I couldn’t take anymore, finally, mercifully I blacked out, but this didn’t end the torture, Raven jerked me to consciousness, healed my body, straightened out my spirit, and started all over again, twisting, churning, bending, it felt like i was being ripped apart inch by inch, maybe i was, i couldn’t tell.  This dragged on for what seemed like days, like i said before maybe, i couldn’t tell.  Finally the torture abated and i heard words.  “It’s over Loor, this one can’t be broken.”  That was Raven, he sounded disappointed, disappointed because he had to do that to me? or disappointed because he couldn’t break me?  I wish i knew.  I drifted into a merciful healing trance as Loor and Raven left.  I wasn’t sure that i could ever fully recover.  I thought Raven was my friend....

Baron (

I never thought I would miss the day on Lantare, or whatever that planet was called. This is boring. At least that was exciting. Sure, it was the most excruciating experience of my life, but I wasn’t bored. Shot, stabbed, whatever, not bored. Whenever I start feeling I am immortal, I tend to get hurt badly. It usually snaps me back to the present. Maybe I should stab myself with a pen to get over this.

I am sitting here watching Indy float around in this big vat of bacta. Have you ever watched fish swim in a bowl for hours at a time? without actually moving? If you have, then you know what it’s like. It’s not that I mind, far from it! Indy saved my life (I think. I almost died so many times, it’s hard to remember)! I feel honored to watch over her, and I’m kind of mad that I wasn’t able to help any more, before she was hurt.

When Mynok grabbed me, he told me I was needed for a rescue mission. I was on my way to get a pilot and a ship to fly me to an Imperial world to look up Raven’s past. Maybe it’s the NRI agent in me, but I have to know who I’m working with. When I found out that the mission involved me flying, I politely reminded the group that I do not know how to fly. Needless to say, I was embarrassed. Hey! Not every New Republic or Alliance Agent is a hotshot pilot! I’m sorry I don’t have the skills necessary to fly, but I’ll bet not many of the other crew can splice a code quite like me, or can even think out a grand strategy with as many subtleties, but enough about me. I knew that everyone on the ship who knew how to fly was leaving, so I was stuck here. No big deal. I had plenty to read on the ship.

And I was certainly catching up on my reading. Most of it was Old Republic records of Raven, or Ravon, or Ravan, or whatever else he used to call himself. I read a lot of his supposed past exploits while keeping watch over Indy. I couldn’t tell quite what to believe. Was the story of his fighting off a band of Pirates single-handedly true? That one happened 500 years ago. How about the one where he extinguished a sun? I had no idea that he had such a long history. One thing was certain. He was fickle. The records show Raven changing sides numerous times, almost always to the disadvantage of the side he was previously on. This is not encouraging, since I think he is currently on my side. I think.

I put down my datapad, and rub my eyes. God, I feel like I’m reading a Spiritual Text. Raven sounds rather God-like. If you believe in that sort of thing.

Did Indy just move? I strain to see, but I can’t tell. She’s just floating there. Hey, no biggie. I can wait till someone else gets here to take over, so I can grab a quick nap. I promised myself no alcohol until Indy snaps out of it. I hope she’s okay soon.

Mynok (

Mynok sat in the cramped cockpit of Mikes A-wing. A-wings cockpits were already small with out adding a droid socket behind them. This one was really cramped. On Mikes A-wings computer Mynok worked out the flight groups and their jobs. He decided to make the A-wings and X-wings fly cover for the shuttle, they would also cover the other ships who were more heavily armed but slower as they destroyed the gravity well projectors. This was all done quickly before they came out of hyper space and had to engage. Just as he thought that to him self a voice came over the comm system.

“ Mynok this is Tag again we are in the system and waiting for you guys to arrive.” Tag continued.

“ What is your ETA?”

“ Well be there in five minutes.”

“OK thanks”


He opened a comm channel to all of the ships.

“ This is Mynok, get ready to fight boys Tag’s in position and were exiting hyperspace in three minutes.” he continued

“ So power up your lasers and get to it.”

He heard cheers from all the pilots who had never flown in combat before. He presumed these would be the first to die. As he exited out of hyperspace he saw the over looming sight of the Interdictor cruiser “Black Sky”

He powered up his lasers and went for the first TIE fighter in sight.

Morcant (Morcant

As the light of Dawn started heading in towards the cruiser, trying to

bluff its way into protection, the cruiser opened fire. The first shots

hit the Light and Morcant reacted swiftly. He put the ship into a dive

and roll and corkscrewed its way out of the sights of the gunners.

“Looks like our trick didn’t work. You ready to piss off some imps,


“When you are Morc” came the reply with a touch of anxiety. No matter how many battles Una took part in she was always anxious. she wasn’t worried that they might get destroyed. She trusted her crewmates better than that. No, she was just worried about how much damage she was going to have to patch up on the ship after it was all over.

“Hit it,” came the message to Una. With that she flicked the switch that would start the airlock cycling. She was suited up all ready and strapped onto a safety cord. This meant that she would not float off into space if she lost her grip. Not that she would have a grip. In her hands was the end of a large tube approximately six inches in diameter.  The tube was connected to a large device which took up a considerable amount of the room in the airlock. The apparatus was relatively simple and the majority of its space was storage. Compressed air filled a chamber in the machine and as the trigger mechanism was depressed the container was opened into the tube. The air would get sucked out causing a motion down the tube. The other part was of course that their was a projectile in its path which got pushed along with it.

The projectile itself was about five inches wide by about twelve long.  It consisted of a small tank of compressed air for guidance and a small but powerful modified sensor package. The sensor pack would give off signals indicating another craft including transponder signals. When these were launched they would travel off into space and after fifteen to thirty seconds activate. The crew of the cruiser would probably assume ships incoming from hyperspace. Friendly ships would have received the transponder codes so would be able to mark them as space debris or whatever on their sensors.

Una started launching the projectiles. She made sure that they traveled in different directions and as the light spun around taking evasive actions the small packages were scattered across the battle area. As she was doing this she could see laser blasts coming from other ships and also from Ralrra as he manned one of the turrets.

Ralrra was strapped into the port-side turret. A lot of ships had turrets above and below but the light had gone for the somewhat different approach of having the turrets on the sides. This created a larger blind spot between the two guns, in a ring around the top, bottom, front and back of the ship. However the greater angle they were able to turn towards one another meant a greater field of fire where the two overlapped at the longer ranges. Ralrra was busily fending off the fighters that were swarming around the Light. He took many shots but their speed was making targeting hard. However the number of them around meant that it was easy to find a good target. Ralrra took two of the interceptors down in the first few minutes but there were still plenty about.

In the cockpit Morcant was busy trying to avoid the fighters. He was in

fact too busy dodging the blasts coming in to even try to line up

anything but the occasional shot at the Interdictor, a target large

enough that his forward fixed lasers could hardly miss it. As he jinked

and juked he saw an element of four interceptors preparing for a

strafing run. This was going to be nasty, their combined firepower could

easily penetrate the shields, and it was going to be hard to dodge them

because of their angle of approach and speed. At that minute however an

A-Wing came up behind them and while they were intent upon their targets

managed to loose off several shots to destroy two of them. The other two

broke hard to avoid the same fate and as he watched Mynok screamed

around after one of them.

The fight continued, the fighters slowly thinning out and giving Morcant more time to think and more importantly more time to attack. “Lets make a run on the interdictor. See if we can worry them a little shall we?” said Morcant as he turned the ship towards the cruiser. He aimed it a little over the cruiser. That way the gunners would have to track him rather than having a target stationary in their sites. The turrets poured blast after blast of energy into their shields, weakening them but not doing enough to get through them.

“We have a fighter coming up behind us,” Degmar stated calmly, “I should be able to get rid of him. He thinks we’re distracted and is taking time for his shot.” All the time Degmar was speaking he was manipulating controls on his console. A screen in front of him showed the enemy ship slowly drifting in behind them. He zoomed in further, he could see the pilot through the front of his cockpit. The TIE pilot smiled, presumably at the thought of the kill he was about to get. “Die laughing,” chuckled Degmar to himself as he pressed a button. The screen in front of him lit up as two laser bolts appeared from either side of the view and punctured the cockpit of the TIE.

The laser at the back was not very powerful or adjustable but it was more accurate than any of the others and was hidden so the fighters never knew it was there until it was too late. It could not even be used often due to the overheating problems. Most lasers on the outside so that they would cool quickly. This one had most of its mechanisms inside the vessel so it needed time to cool or the crew would all cook. A useful weapon considering the number of fighters that tried to jump on their six.

As Morcant swung the Light around for another pass at the cruiser his sensors showed that the cruiser’s shields had failed. Time to be more discriminating with their shots now.

Carlos DeLong (

The Aurora Force ships gathered a little ways away from the Imladris.  After a quick check in, they headed for hyperspace, with the Light of Dawn taking the lead.


The squadron was set upon by scores of TIE fighters, and a few TIE defenders.  The X-wings and A-wings worked to carve a path through the TIEs for the B-wings, the Light of Dawn, and the Claw to make their attack runs on the Interdictor.  The Claw broke off from the run to help the Xs and As hunt TIEs. 


Carlos threw the Claw into spins and twists to dodge enemy fire.  Peregrine, the ship's AI brain, handled the guns.  They made a lethal combination.  More than on TIE Defender got on the Claw's rear and suddenly found itself being torn to shreds by turbolasers and missiles.  The TLs could each had a firing arc that resembled a half sphere.  No matter how Carlos twisted the ship, a laser was always on target.  Some of the fighters were hit, but their pilots ejected just in time. 


The Xs and As cut huge rifts in the TIE swarms.  The B-wings made attack runs on the Interdictor's shield generators, blowing them up and allowing the rescue shuttle to land.  The Interdictor's Turbo lasers were beginning to be a problem, though.


"Peregrine, those TLs on the IC are causing us some trouble."   Carlos shouted.


"I'm on it, sir."


Carlos maneuvered the Claw around for an attack run on the Interdictor.  Peregrine adjusted the turbolasers to cover the rear, and activated his advanced sensor system.  The position of all the TLs on the Interdictor were plotted.  Three points above the Cruiser’s surface were identified and targeted.


"Targets locked.  Flash missiles will fire at your command."


"Aurora group.  This is the Peregrine's Claw.  Turn away from the Interdictor.  I repeat, all ships turn away from the Interdictor!"


"We copy, Claw.  Heading away."


"Fire the missiles!"


Two missiles streaked from the Claw toward the two points in space.  The resulting flash blinded the gunners on the Cruiser.


"All ships, the guns are out!  Commence the attack on the grav-field generators."


The Claw led the strafing run of B-wings across the bottom side of the Interdictor, firing torpedoes, turbolasers, and concussion missiles at the exposed generators.  The Claw liberally sprinkled rockets and cluster missiles on the Interdictors guns.  Morcant, in the Light of Dawn, was doing the same thing with his flight of B-wings on the top side.  All four generators were destroyed in a matter of minutes.


The rescue shuttle leapt from the hangar bay and jumped into hyperspace.  Several of the Interdictor's fighters, mostly the TIE defenders, were still alive and were fighting the Aurora force.  The Interdictor abandoned those fighters when it jumped out.  It took only a few minutes for the final slaughter of those pilots to occur.


Some of the less experienced pilots in the AF were talking excitedly.  Carlos was subdued.  This had been his first actual combat mission in space.  The resulting sensations that he had were the same as those from ground pounding.  Satisfaction.  Sorrow.  Pleased that it had gone well, sorry that the Imperials had wasted all those lives.  Enraged at how the Interdictor had just left the pilots behind. 


"It is good that war is so terrible," he whispered to himself, "Lest we should grow to fond of it."  He couldn't remember who had said that.  Couldn't remember.  Story of his life.  The intercom beeped.


"Sir," Peregrine said, "I have two messages for you.  One is from General Skyy, asking to return to Salasia IVb ASAP.  The other is from Chryson Shynar.  For your eyes only."


"Gotcha, Peregrine."  Carlos hailed Torin on the com unit.  "General, this is DeLong.  I need to head back to Salasia IVb for a while."


"Okay Carlos," said Torin, "When will you be back?"


"I don't know, sir.  Shouldn't be more than a week or two."  He was way off in that estimate, but he didn't know it yet.


"Okay Lieutenant.  See you then."


Carlos turned the Claw to a new heading. 


"All right Peregrine, take us home."


As the Claw entered into hyperspace, he read the message from his NRI contact, and surrogate father, Chryson Shynar.  It was very enlightening.


He had promised the AF an absence of no more than a couple of weeks.  He would not return for another month.

Indy Bridger (

Aurora Force ~ The Rescue

The fighter group dropped out of hyperspace before Orian and Tag’s shuttle and proceeded to make trouble and Tag managed to slide the shuttle undetected beneath the shield shell just as the shields went up.  “They’ll be sounding general quarters,” she said tightly.  “Lock and load, we’re not going to have much time.”

She was right.  They set down in the hangar and that’s when the internal firefight began.  Tag and Orian blasted away at the TIE fighter pilots and Stormtroopers that suddenly were upon them.  Orian flung a thermal detonator into one formation and it exploded, sending bodies and blood flying in every direction.  “That’ll keep them busy for a while,” he muttered.  “Come on!”

They pitched through the corridors, killing all in their paths indiscriminately.  Deep inside the prison sector, Tag suddenly pointed to a door.  “Mike’s in there.  Blow the door.”


Tag rolled her eyes and shot the door.  It slid open.  “*That’s* how.”  She brandished her weapon and bounded into the room.  Mike was lying on an interrogation table, badly injured, looking terrible, and unconscious.  Tag’s hand rested on his forehead a moment before she said, “He’s in a Jedi healing trance.  Let’s get him out of here.”  She tossed her blaster rifle to Orian and picked up Mike in a rescue-carry.  “Cover, and let’s go.”

Many bodies and a dozen thermal detonators later, they were back in the shuttle.  Tag settled Mike on one of the benches-the same one, in fact, that she’d set Indy on when they were on their way back from here once before-before dashing into the cockpit.  “We should be able to punch through their shields from the inside,” she barked.

Orian was in the copilot’s seat; Tag in the pilot’s, and together, they managed to manipulate the controls to make their daring escape.  Tag toggled the comm.  “Get those damned gravity well generators off-line!”

A new voice broke through on the comm, one that certainly shouldn’t have been there.

“Tag?  Is that you?”

Tag’s eyes nearly bugged out of her sockets and Orian watched.  “*Del*!?  What the hell are you doing here?”

“Helping, I think,” the voice answered.  “The gravity wells are out.  I’m heading back to the coordinates you gave me before you left Kindar.”

One of the A-Wings disappeared.

“Run her up to jump,” Tag snapped to Orian.  “I’ve got to take care of Mike.”

Orian nodded, still wondering about the woman who seemed to be little more than a child but managed to have the bearing of....well....of something.

Tag hurried back into the rear part of the shuttle to where Mike was as the shuttle jumped to hyperspace.  She noticed that Mike was fighting his way out of his healing trance.  “That’s stupid, you know,” she said to him.

“Don’t care,” he croaked.  “Can’t let them see me like this.  Raven’s medbay....there’s a tank....better they think I’m dead right now....”

Tag frowned.  “You would do that to them?”

Mike coughed, and some blood came up.  “Easier that way.”

“Back into that healing trance you go, Mike, even if I have to make you do that.”

Mike squeezed his eyes shut.  “Promise me they won’t know.”

Tag sighed.  “I promise, Mike.  They won’t know.  No one will know.”

“Thanks, Tag,” he mumbled as he slid back into the healing trance.

Tag shook her head and sighed.  “This is going to tear everyone apart.....”  She glanced toward the cockpit.  “Orian, we have problems.......”

Since she was already wheezing and coughing from getting Mike into the bacta tank in Raven’s medbay, Tag stopped in to see Indy.

Baron was standing in front of the tank, staring at the young woman who floated there.  He half turned to see Tag.  “Well, well, well, if it isn’t Taggie Rendar.”

Tag managed a bleak smile and hugged Baron.  “Hi, Stephen.  Good to see you again.”

Baron nodded.  “Where’s Mike?”

Tag looked away.


She didn’t answer.

“Oh, skies,” Baron murmured.  “Does anyone else know?”

“Just Orian and I, and now you.”

“I’m sorry, Tag.  He was your friend, wasn’t he?”

She nodded solemnly.  “Aye, he was.  I’m afraid this is going to destroy your morale.”

Baron shook his head.  “Unfortunately, I think you’re right.”

Tag coughed and motioned to the tank.  “How’s Indy?”

“Medtechs give her another few hours.  You look like you could use some rest.”

“I could.”

“I’ll walk you to your quarters,” Baron said.

“It’s not necessary.  I’ll be fine.  Will you tell Torin about Mike for me?  I think it would be best of Torin made the announcement.”

“Of course.”

Tag walked to her quarters, surprised that Baron had believed her.  The other NRI operative was usually extremely perceptive and seemed to be able to tell when Tag was lying-which she certainly had been in sickbay.  She pushed open the door to her quarters.  Why did I agree to do this to everyone?  Mike, you’re my friend, but Goddammit!.....

“Hi, Tag.”

Tag’s gaze jerked up from the floor.  “Del!”  She hugged Del Sinowa, her beau, tightly.  “I didn’t think you’d make the trip.”

“You guys got lucky when I got pulled out of hyperspace back there.  What were you doing, anyway?”

Tag shook her head.  “It doesn’t matter.  My job.  It’s good to see you.”

Del held her around the waist.  She was much shorter than he was, but that had never been a problem.  “How long are you still here?”

“About a week.”

He nodded slowly.  “Then we have a week.”

Tag smiled, a true smile, for the first time in a long time.

Torin uncharacteristically wore a perfect black uniform as he stood before Aurora Force.  He gazed at their bleak-expressioned faces-especially those of Mynok, Kenta, Orian, and Indy.  “For those of you who haven’t heard,” Torin said quietly, “Lieutenant Mike P. Bullian was killed during interrogation by the Empire.”

In the back corner of the room, Indy began to cry.  She retreated into Mynok’s arms, sobbing.  I never got to tell him I loved him I never got to tell him I loved him I never got to tell.......

Things were quiet on board the cruiser Imladris.  Because of the news of Mike’s death, many were subdued.  Mike Bullian had been an integral part of their lives, and now that he was gone, presumably killed by Raven, the rumor was, things just weren’t the same.

However, for Tag and Orian, things were different, but for another reason entirely.

Orian stepped into the sealed medbay where Mike was still in the bacta tank, six days after he’d been brought back to the Imladris.  “You think we should take him out of there now?”

Tag rubbed her face and coughed.  The room was slowly spinning in circles.  “That’s why I called you.  I can’t come in contact with that stuff, so you’ve got to haul Mike out of there.”

Orian nodded, and proceeded to pull Mike out of the tank.  There was a heavy silence in the room for a long time, except for the draining of the bacta tank and their own breathing.  Mike sat on the surgical table, wrapped in a towel and a blanket.  “Does anyone know?” he asked quietly.

Tag shook her head.  “No one knows.  Indy’s a mess, and although they don’t show it, Mynok and Kenta are, too, I think.  Everyone’s taking this damned hard, Mike.”

He smiled faintly.  “I feel loved.”

“Yeah, well, unless you rise from the dead soon, we’re all in trouble,” Orian told him.  “We can only keep this a secret for so long.”

Mike looked around.  “You have some clothes for me?”

Tag pointed to a bag sitting on a table.  “Right there.”

“Good,” Mike remarked.  “Here’s what we’ll do......”

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