sat quietly in her office. Try to shut them out though she
the sounds of the wedding pervaded through to her ears. For some
her sensitivities to the Force were stronger that night, her
filled with her twin sister Mairin.
grumbled to herself, leaned back on her chair and brushed her
briefly through her hair. Mairin. The runaway - the prodigal
Returned to the arms of her family after long months spent
with the Dark Brotherhood of Jedi.
shook her head angrily, desperate to remove Mairin's face
voice from her mind. She ran her fingers over a scar on her right
The scar itself was old, the result of one of the reckless
of Mairin's childhood, but tonight it burned like fire,
flipped a switch on her computer, turning it on, and stared at
shining screen for a few moments. Her fingers reached inexorably
the screen, and she chose to replay a message she had
just before the wedding of Mike and Indy. She gazed
at the screen, the image of her happy and joyous twin
her into loathing the very picture of happiness presented to
She was surrounded by weddings.
closed her eyes for one moment, sucked in a deep breath of
stale air of her office. Her hazel eyes snapped open. She rose to
feet, resolved, and went to join the party.
nearly took a step backwards as she walked into the room.
The last thing she had thought of, and the last thing she had
to walk in on. She had nothing to say. She paused in the
fiddling with the collar of her uniform and muttering
said Cody, crossing over and handing her a glass. "Let's
toast out of you. You're the last one to arrive after all."
could have killed him, but pasted a smile on her face and
the glass. She tossed back her dark hair from her face and
her mouth to speak.
and Indy... It's been a pleasure having you on board. You're
and good fighters." She paused, and her eyes lit up wickedly.
don't end up fighting each other now, will you?" She raised her
drank from it and put it down on the bar.
spotlight moved on. It was over. She could just sit here, look
she was having a good time... no-one would have to know what was
her. No-one would have to care.
knew that she had to be there. As the executive officer of
Aurora Force, it would be rude of her not to attend the wedding
of their members. And to cause gossip and speculation by not
would be to drag the spotlight away from Indy and Mike. It
their day. Galadriel knew that. She just could not help the
rage in her heart.
was getting married. Her twin sister Mairin, younger than her
a few minutes... Getting married. Galadriel curled her hands
fists, her nails digging viciously into her palms, creating
moon shaped cuts, drawing blood. The golden child, the darling
their father and mother, Dave's favorite, Jarla's favorite,
favorite. And Galadriel had been lonely, left out. She
been alone and hurting, and no-one had noticed. She had been
she had been patient, she had done everything, waiting for
fall from grace. And it had come, only to be followed so
by her restoration to pride of place in the bosom of her
And Galadriel was so... angry. She was so... JEALOUS.
landed on her shoulder from behind. She looked up into Troy's
"Are you OK?" he said.
Out of all his experience of being a commando trainer and having
sense in the force, Troy was able to sense something about
dark emotions. "You OK?"
he said again looking into her
opening for a response this time. "Yeah...
Yeah I'm fine..."
said regaining her thoughts of where she was.
"That doesn't look
being fine to me Gal." Troy said taking Galadriel's hand into a
and wrapping it around it to stop the blood coming from her
"Oh, well that was an accident.. I'll be OK" "What's the
Galadriel? I know when people are
stressed about something or
with something important." Troy said, sitting down next
He listened and occasionally took a drink from his drink.
had been in great moods all day. The wedding had brought
on the ship to the party, and not a one seemed as bothered
Galadriel told Troy the story of her sister, and of her being
in everything when it came to her sister Mairin.
that.. Your parents just don't know you as well as they
If they did they'd see that you were one of the greatest
they know. Probably better than
Mairin. You shouldn't have
prove your importance to your parents. They
should know you are.
do on the AF. We need you cuz not
many people could do as good
job as you can." Troy said, hoping not to sound like a parent or
"Now then.. We have a wedding going on and I think it's
you need to let go of your worries and enjoy yourself." Troy
with a sly smile and his hand extended out to Galadriel's to
She stands and wipes away the tears, smiling a little and giving
soft hug before saying, "Thanks Troy.
Where's your date
"Well.. You know me.. I'm a loner. Am
now and probably
will be." he said offering her a drink.
"Can't have both the
dateless at a wedding. Now can
we?" she said taking the
and taking a slow sip. "Well
in that case.. May I have this
Ms. Astoris.. er i mean Executive Officer sir??" Troy said
out his hand again for her to take, and they enjoy the
for the great and memorable day that it was.
After the wedding Troy just wandered around the deck, watching
guests retire to their quarters or continue talking about old
He was still in his Military uniform, black with a blue
running up the sides, the collar unbuttoned to free his throat
breathe more freely. The wedding
had been perfect in almost every
Stopping by the bridge of the ship, Troy leaned over the metal
and gazed out over the working helmsmen. During
had caught his eye. Morcant, along
with everyone else had
wearing their best at the wedding. But
the crest on Morcant's
had been familiar, as if Troy'd seen it somewhere.
much of a childhood. He was born on
Alderaan, and moved to the
outpost deep in space to learn new things about alien
By permission of the Alderaan Royal Family, Troy's parents
able to lead the mission, and bring their eager, young child
for the peaceful trip. But the
crest didn't seem to have come
the recent events in joining the RS. But
more from the past
Alderaan. Not many people wore the
crest unless they were
more than the average Alderaanian.
Troy lingered on the memory for a while longer before leaving
bridge and heading back towards the deck to grab another drink
the wedding waiters packed away the drinks.
1, complication set #4
As Deadmeet prepared to leave he sent a message to Mike and Raven's
files. To mike because he was a damn good mechanic and he showed interest in the
project and to Raven because he was funding the damn thing just to be a trainer
on the ship. God knows Deadmeet couldn't afford to finance it.
He messaged them to exact location of were it was going to be made and
when it would be ready.
Torin knew what it was and OKíd Deadmeet's departure. But that was
about the only other person that knew except possibly the Jedi and Indy, who
knows what mike tells and doesn't tell her. After packing up his stuff Deadmeet
headed towards the gym for a quick practice and a shower before he got back into
his small little ship(god knows if your gonna be in a ship for a while you don't
want to smell bad while doing it) So after a few laps and killing a holo trooper
about 60 times he took his shower and said his good-byeís. He left Indy and
Mike alone figuring that they were doing things that shouldn't be interrupted,
and he didn't know were raven ever is so he went to Torin for his good-byes.
"Decided to take that little vacation of yours?" he said as he saw
Deadmeet with his bag over his shoulder. "Yea figured i might as well,
we're between missions and everything has finally settled down."
"Sorry to see ya leave i was just about to beet you in sabacc after last
time, but i will just have to strip your creds next time." "Till next
time," Deadmeet said, as he turned and walked to the shuttle bay.
His old ship "The Grinder"(the irony) was there, looking as
impressive as ever. It was a Hapan Cluster Miy`til Fighter,
commonly know as "Storm" he found it in a junk yard. All the
essential systems were shot to hell but Deadmeet easily fixed that. With the
outdated laser and ion cannons on there, two ion and 3 linked laser, he
just couldn't resist improving it. After
purchasing new replacement ion and laser cannons he added two more laser cannons
right beside the existing three, one south west and one south east. Also he put
one more ion cannon on top of the cockpit. After the weapons were done Deadmeet
fixed the ion engine and added a hyper-drive just small enough to fit on the
ship. The over all speed was just above a Tie Interceptor at sub-light and just
slower than the millennium falcon at hyper-drive. The shields he only had to
slightly tinker with since they were already good after they were repaired and
then it was ready. All except the R2 which was missing when he got it and never
had one until the Rebels gave him one for his service.
After lifting off Deadmeet couldn't resist doing a flyby past the bridge
then he was off.
Slate stared at his picture of Karrialy.
He'd give anything to see her. He
loved her so much, and he missed her. For
a moment, he regretted ever leaving her. *If
you hadn't, you would be dead,* something told him.
He closed his eyes, running over the events of the night before in his
head. *Dad was a Jedi.....*
He walked over to the desk in his quarters and accessed the database.
He looked up his sister's file. In
bold letters, it said FORCE STRONG-GREAT JEDI POTENTIAL. Slate stared at the file for a moment. If Indy was Force-strong, what did that mean for him?
He looked up his own file. In
the same bold letters, it said the same thing:
FORCE STRONG-GREAT JEDI POTENTIAL. He
swallowed hard. He had the power to
become a Jedi? The thought occurred
to him that his new brother-in-law was apparently Force-strong.
He decided to talk to Mike at the earliest convenience....
Slate looked up as the door signal chimed.
He raised an eyebrow wondering who it was.
"Come in, it's unlocked."
He called out toward the door. Mike
walked in as the door slid open.
"I know." Mike
said, somewhat cryptically as he stopped just inside the door, waiting for it to
"Mike, i wasn't expecting you, even though i wanted to talk to
you." Slate looked at him, a
"Again, I know. It's a
Sedith thing." Mike smiled and
spoke again, just before Slate was about to.
"You want to train as a Jedi, you were going to ask me." Slate's jaw dropped, even more puzzled
"You.." Mike cut
him off abruptly, answering his question before he even asked.
"Read your mind, yes. I
must warn you that training in the ways of the force is by no means an easy
thing. Although, if you wish to be
trained I offer to do so. Before
you ask I'm not doing this for Indy, not completely.
I'm training you because I'm just about the best person on board for the
job. No that's not just my ego
talking. I suppose you have no
further questions." Mike
waited for a reply, even though he knew what it would be.
"Not really, except when do we start?"
Slate asked, just as Mike knew he would.
Mike answered quickly.
"Tomorrow morning, I'll come to get you."
Mike said that and vanished abruptly, utilizing a trick that Raven had
Well, it's over. The wedding went off without a hitch. Two of my only
friends are married. That's rather ironic, considering that I was sent here to
make friends. I'm not very good at it, apparently. But I'm not worried. I've
noticed that we tend to get closer the more likely we are to all die, and we're
expecting another mission sometime soon. I've been training in the simulators
for days now. I even managed to stop drinking, even at the reception (except for
my own toast, which was unmemorable even to me).I believe I am close to getting
back up to my old skill in a fighter, which is to say, not very. But, I'm
extremely tired. Simulators are hard to use for 14 hours daily. Especially when
it's nerve-wracking work like trying to stay alive. I need some sleep.
I begin to envy all of our Jedi onboard. They can use the Force to help
them sleep better. Me? I have this lumpy New Republic air mattress thingy. I
still toss and turn, and wake up to find my hair leaning to one side, and my
left leg asleep. Oh, well. I'll make do. Maybe I should become more socially
involved. I was trying to avoid Slate at the wedding, so as not to spoil Indy
and Mike's big day (after what happened to Quorn, I figured Mike would not want
to be interrupted) Silently, I wished them the best of luck, and climbed back
into the cockpit, my left leg tingling.
Indy yanked the X-Wing in a loop. The
sims got harder and harder every time she flew, but that's because each time she
beat one, the next was harder. She
was getting better though, she could tell.
As the TIE fighter chased her, she knew exactly what it would take to
take the thing out. She went for
Tag and her people had left shortly after the wedding.
The Echo Raiders had left a wealth of supplies and objects for Aurora
Force. Tag and Astrid had put together a slicer's kit especially for
her. Indy was a good slicer, but
she didn't think she was good enough. She'd
need to practice after she got done in the sim.
Slate was training as a Jedi, Mike had told her.
Indy could somewhat understand Slate's reasoning in wanting to learn to
use the Force. She also knew that
she didn't want to learn it. The
Force had caused her family so much pain that she didn't want to experience ever
Indy blasted another TIE fighter out of existence.
*One down, about another hundred to go.*
got to go in a bit. Anything you want to ask before I go?" asks
light-heartedly. "How many TIEís I've shot down with my eyes
How fast I've done the Kessel Run? Anything."
from Alderaan, aren't you?" asked Indy curiously.
suddenly became a whole lot less joking, "Yeah, why?"
said anything, Morc" said Indy, justifying herself.
I'm from Alderaan. Question answered. Anything else?" replied
you get testy about that"
well wouldn't you?" asked Morcant angrily.
shrugs, "That's like me getting all sad and stuff when I talk about
you're entitled to do that if you want. My entire planet was
says Morcant, raising his voice slightly.
know," says Indy quietly, her voice a calm contrast to Morcant's.
saw the Death Star arrive and decimate my world. I could do nothing
uncle died at that very moment. Hey, I'm sorry, Morc," added Indy.
was on Alderaan?" asked Morcant and then added under his breath,
one for the score pad." As he is saying this Morcant is
more and more obviously agitated. He is pacing around and
slamming his fist against a table or wall when emphasizing
he was a Jedi Master on Corellia. His final words were to tell
to leave and join up," Indy slowly turns away, the memories
a shit world sometimes. God the empire has a lot to answer for."
enters the conversation at this point, "Anger leads nowhere, I
looks up and takes another drink of ale, "Damn Imperials!"
thought that was only for you force users? Why can't I be angry? Why
hate the empire"
one that's universal, just like fear," explains Mike
turns round and snaps at Morcant, "How many times do I have to say
want nothing to do with Force-usage! I have forsaken my Jedi
and things will remain that way."
I'm not afraid of them if you're happy with that. And I was
leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to suffering,"
Mike, echoing the famous Jedi teaching.
I've got the anger, I've got the hate and I'm going to make the
suffer. I don't see a problem with that."
that suffering affects everyone."
will it affect anybody outside the empire?"
think there are no innocents in the empire?"
suppose not but they know what they are supporting. The empire
many worlds, anybody who supports them deserves whatever they
served them and I am ashamed. I kept the peace and allowed them to
to oppress the people of Corellia," put in Indy.
was in the empire once. I fixed, then flew for the Empire." explained
if I'd killed you at the time I wouldn't have cared at all," said
now?" asked Indy.
I have no reason to kill him."
me?" asked Indy.
have no reason to kill you either. You're both helping to bring down
were almost all imperial at one time," Mike pointed out.
that was before the emperor started committing blatant atrocities.
people just don't know any better," pointed out Mike.
like it or not, you were an Imperial Citizen once," observed
empire didn't come into being at any one time as the evil it is
slowly changed from being the Old Republic to the empire. When
realized the change, they rebelled. I only realized when they
all my family and friends."
point one of the cadets who had been listening interjected,
Didn't it just pop up over night? He was elected president,
himself the emperor. And there you have the empire. As soon as he
president he became emperor and started taking out his enemies."
slowly. He became a senator and started manipulating the political
then. He set himself up as a strong person since that is what
needed in the struggle to recover from the Clone War. When he got to
charge he got the military on his side and then he disbanded the
This wasn't overnight. He did it slowly. If he had done it
it would have been obvious but the changes were slow and
so people didn't notice."
he's dead now," stated Mike.
the empire isn't. You're fighting it, why are you arguing?"
terror lives on," said Indy, "In Iceheart, in the Warlords, in
Thrawn," says Mike shuddering.
was crazy! He thought he could control everything," said the
this is stupid. I'm going to go and get some practice in the
says Morcant as he storms out.
shouts Indy at the departing figure.
stormed into the simulator room. He headed for the nearest empty
to start to relieve his stress. As he headed over Baron called to
from one of the other pods, "Wanna do some practice together
just ignored him and kept going into his pod. He loaded up some
problems and jumped into an X-Wing. He loaded a simple program.
a corvette defended by a TIE escort. He was not as well practiced
fighters but he could still beat this run easily. He just wanted a
take his anger out. Rather in here than on those he called
the run several times. Getting near perfect scores every time. He
started on something more tricky. He started running Death Star
Mark 1 and 2. He was not as good on these and each time he failed
made his mood worse.
after getting in he decided to pack it in. He had just been shot
an Interceptor whilst skimming over the surface of the Death
and he was convinced that the program was rigged and the fighters
running at normal specifications.
foul mood he left the sim rooms.
Mike woke up smiling, just as he went to sleep.
The same smile seemed to be constantly on his face, but hey, could you
blame him. He thought of getting up
right away to go begin Slate's training, but the truth is that he wanted nothing
more than to lay there, staring at his beautiful wife as she slept peacefully
next to him, all entangled together. After
a few minutes of staring at her he decided to extricate himself and start with
Slate. He teleported himself away
from Indy, so as not to wake her when he got out of bed.
He quickly dressed, this time remembering to put on his underwear.
Mike kissed Indy on the cheek and left the usual way, by the door.
Arriving at Slate's quarters he let himself in, no problem even with the
lock. He stood over Slate, waking
him up with the force.
"It's time." Mike said, offering no other explanation as he
teleported them both onto a nearby capital ship, it was nearly empty and the
ideal place to begin training for now. "Welcome
to the MC-100 Cruiser Waterdeep. This
is where I'm going to begin your training.
We will proceed at a pace that perfectly matches your learning rate so as
not to go faster than you can handle, slower than you'd like probably, but
that's how it is. First rule:
Listen to everything I say and watch everything I do.
Second Rule: I am not infallible, sometimes, though very rarely I'm wrong.
Final rule: Use your own
judgment and ask questions. Follow these and your training will be easier.
I'm not one for rote memorization so you'll be learning by doing.
First you must learn the basics of accessing the force, i believe that
you have done it instinctively many times."
"I think so..." Slate
replied, falling into memories.
"In most cases you won't have to reply verbally, I can hear your
thoughts... Hey! I'm not all that
long winded, okay, maybe I am." Mike
waved his hand and all the lights went out.
"Don't worry, the lack of vision will help you to feel the force
more easily at first." Mike
began to move silently, now projecting his thoughts without speaking.
"Feel the force as it is around us, try to discern my location and
touch my hand, I'm moving around you within your reach and doing this
erratically.Ē Slate reached out
and touched Mike's hand, not on the first try, but not randomly either,
considering that Mike was hovering above him.
"Good, you have felt me with the force, now try to feel an inanimate
object." Mike tossed a small pebble, Slate caught it.
"Good, you learn quickly, now you must try to move something using
the force. Try to turn on the
lights, first feel for the panel and then turn on the lights."
Slate felt out and after a few minutes spoke.
"Lights on." The
room was suddenly illuminated. "You
tricked me, there was no panel." Slate
accused Mike, somewhat angrily
"But the lights are on, how did you do that."
Mike asked, though he already knew the answer.
"I felt for the panel, there was none, but I noticed a microphone
and figured it was voice activated. I
felt in your mind for the proper command."
Slate replied, calming down.
"You have learned much, more than Iíd expected in a day.
I will not train you further this day, you must practice what you have
learned." At that Mike teleported them back to Slate's quarters. "You have done well."
mike disappeared again, teleporting to Raven's medbay.
"Raven, remember when Indy gave you her saber?"
"Yes i do." Raven
took the lightsaber from the drawer he'd kept it in, guessing Mike's intentions.
"Here, I hope Slate appreciates it." Mike turned and walked out through the door, heading for the
mess, which was once again a mess. Dinner
was about to be served and training made him hungry...
He had been traveling for
over a day now just sitting in his cockpit staring out at the black holes he was
passing by. "Damn things, this place is littered with them." BEEB BEEB!!!
"Thanks Enyo," he said to his droid. He was almost at the station in
the middle of no were. "Perfect place," he muttered. "What a nice
idea, let's build it in the middle of a freaking black hole party, one
malfunction in the engines and whoops bye-bye ship." But he didn't mind, it
would be to powerful for it to fall into any black hole anyway. "Enyo,"
he told the droid, ďSend out the
de-cloaking signal to Stormlight, i don't want to run into the thing." Just
after he finished saying that a small beam fired and then his com link came
ablaze. "IDENTIFY YOURSELF," the semi-sentient computer said
"Deadmeet password..." he punched in a few numbers on his keypad.
"CLEARINSE GRANTED, security systems standing down, will reactivate upon
docking." Deadmeet thought Yea that makes me feel a WHOLE lot better.
That's when Deadmeet hit the thrusters as the spacestation Stormlight appeared
for a rendezvous with a legacy.
looked up as the door to the bar opened and he found himself
at the figure of Galadriel Astoris.
heard about what happened before," she said, and walked in,
him. She touched his arm.
"Want to pour me one of those
really," snapped Morcant.
shrugged, went behind the bar and made herself a drink. She
over the bar and looked into his face. "What's up?" she said.
mention Alderaan and you fly off the handle. I know you have
with Alderaan, Morcant - it's on your files. I don't know the
of them or how close you were to the people that died there.
can't fight people who are on the same side as yourself."
can fight the whole world," snapped Morcant. "Don't make me fight
raised an eyebrow, sensing the fury raging through Morcant's
She smiled. "I didn't come here to fight," she said. "I came
if I don't want your help?"
You can't take on the whole empire yourself. You need us.
away, Galadriel. You don't understand."
looked slightly taken aback and then she spoke again. "Make
understand," she said softly. "Tell me about Alderaan. Tell me what
there to make you hate the Empire so much."
slap came from out of the blue. Galadriel put her hand to her face
touched her stinging cheek. "Ouch," she said quietly.
said nothing for a few moments. Then he spoke quietly. "I'm
sir," he said.
said nothing. She moved quickly round the bar and put her
around him, drawing his head down onto her shoulder. "It's OK,"
said. "Forget it." Out of the corner of her eye she saw a woman
in the doorway of the bar. She ignored her.
felt Morcant's body starting to shake in her arms, and sensed the
that racked their way out of his tortured body. They seemed
to tear his lungs out.
couldn't - I couldn't DO anything," he choked out, and Galadriel
her head lowered to his, silent, allowing him his moment of
There was nothing she could do either.
sat at his holo caller. This was the happiest day of his life. He had just asked
Astrid Burns to marry him. He had only know Astrid a short time but he felt that
he truly loved her. He was excited now as he ran through the hall screaming
" Guess what, I'm getting married." He was really happy now. Astrid
was his true soul mate he felt it within himself. This must have been one of the
happiest days of his life.
Slate lay on his bunk, thankfully alone in his quarters.
He was tired, although Mike hadn't physically worked him that hard,
mentally, he was worn out.
The communications terminal in the wall pinged insistently with an
incoming message. Slate rolled off
of his bunk and answered it.
Karrialy Darjinn's face appeared. Slate
sucked in a breath.
"Hi Slate. I hope NRI didn't crucify you.
You were hurt pretty bad when they picked you up, so I hope they were
merciful. I just thought that I
should let you know that I'm all right, and I've managed to elude the Imps.
I miss you very much, and I love you very much.
I hope this message finds you in a better condition than the one I last
saw you in." She smiled.
"I'm sorry that I didn't contact you sooner, and I'm sorry that you
can't contact me. Hopefully, things
will change and I'll be able to get a transfer off of this rock."
She kissed her hand and blew him a kiss.
"Love you, Slate. I'll
see you when I see you. Good-bye."
As the image winked out, Slate felt both elated and crushed.
Karri was all right, but they were apart.
He turned back toward his bunk and lay down again, savoring the memory of
Hmm. Been busy lately. Too busy for all this stuff going on. Jedi here
and Jedi there. Can't keep track of it all. I have a ship to build. A ship to
put together. The "Star Turtle". Even if It won't be the flagship of
Legend Wing, it will be pretty important.
So here I am, in the innards of this YT-3400 CEC Freighter, installing
some more black market sensor systems. The black market weapons come next, of
course. I've heard rumors. Rumors that playtime ended along with the wedding.
Rumors that fights are on the way. Well, with Jedi, its a sure thing.
But whatever fights we have coming, this ship will be able to handle
them. I'll let Mike and the rest of Legend Wing worry about their MC-100, with
all its armor and such. This will be a good, old-fashioned hot rod, and thatís
the truth. Of course, it'll be a hot rod capable of single-handedly taking out 3
ISDs on its own. Well, back to work I go. The bugs in the ALS (Automated Laser
System) need to be worked out by morning, and the cloaking device has started
acting up again...
Dack picked up the hydrospanner and opened up the panel to the belly of
the A-wing. He knew that if you got the gears just right, you would definitely
get more power, which meant more speed, defensive lasers, and shielding.
He had wanted to pay the Alliance to buy an Incom 3X-D Avenger heavy
starfighter, but his Phoenix Squadron CO had told him the Avenger was still in
test runs, and still being modified. So, Dack had purchased an A-wing, a ship
that he normally preferred in a dogfight. When he needed a B-wing or a Y-wing,
Aurora Force might could supply him with one.
He allowed the thought to leave his mind, and started working on the main
was having trouble sleeping. No
real surprise there, he had been having trouble sleeping most of the time for
the past three years. Images keep
on coming to his mind. Images from
the past that was blocked. Images
from what had happened to him since that day on Ithor that had dropped into the
present without a past.
good, some bad.
Phase 1 Dark Trooper on Terrac III about to stab him......
pain of that first month....
Shynar home on Coruscant......
morphing into the Krayts and the Auroras.....
times spent with Janice......
message, written down upon his mind's eye, which he had never been able to
we are reunited, you will forget."
It's my first time back! I decided that I need some more practice flying,
and simulators just can't cover everything. Besides, Cody is always trying to
get his pilots to fly guard duty. I volunteered, and hoped against hope that
this would be quiet.
Well, here it is, three hours into my shift, and nothing has happened. I
have a wingman, but I'm not sure what his name is. He's part of a new squad from
the Courageous Group, and he's just arrived. We decide to fly back around one
more time, to the stern of the Imladris and back, than go on home, and let the
next shift take over. Fine with me.
I have spent the past three hours worried sick that the entire First
Imperial Fleet would show up, and I would make another mistake, and this man
beside me would die. Just like all the others. It was a relief when the bay
doors opened, and a pair of A-wings came out to join our X-wings in one more
pass before we headed in. My first flight (since my failure that is) is almost
over without incident.
Suddenly there is a flicker of psuedomotion to my starboard. Fearfully, I
glance over that direction, and see what I have fervently hoped not to see. It
should not be there. Not now. It should wait one more minute. But no. An
Imperial Mark II Star Destroyer has just entered the system.
Panic flared through me, as my wingmen turned around and headed for the
warship at full throttle. They seemed so sure of themselves, that I followed
without thinking. Wait. This is the exact same mistake I made last time. Fear
makes me act without thinking. I want to slow down and turn back badly, but I
know that if I do, the others will have that much less of a chance of surviving.
But I can't do this! I can't attack a Star Destroyer! Even with four fighters, I
will be killed. I'm not good, and their fighters outnumber us. ..... wait.
Where are the fields of TIE's? No enemy fighters have even been launched.
The ship just sits there. My sensors say that the shields are even at
half-power. Does it not know that it has stumbled onto a New Republic Warship?
Have the Imperials really become that stupid?
Ah, now it's launching. I see three blips appear on my sensors. I wait
for the computer to figure out what type of enemy I'm dealing with, as I try to
get a missile lock. It's a........ B-wing? But how did? Who?
A startled voice breaks through my headset "I'm being targeted!
Green Two! Unlock your torpedoes, now!" The mere fact that this one voice
registers in my mind makes me rethink the past half of a minute. The other
voices have not even been excited. Now that I think about it, I haven't actually
been paying attention to what has been said, or how it was said. I reach down
and turn off the switch that locks my torpedoes, but I keep the lasers on full
power just the same.
"Green Two, did you not hear me? I said we're going to escort the
shuttle in to the Imladris. Do you copy?"
"Uh, copy that Green Leader. Escort the shuttle." I don't see a
shuttle. Wait, there it is. I'll go in front of it and ..... wait a second. Why
am I escorting a shuttle coming off of an Imperial Star Destroyer? I read my
sensors again, and finally see the name of the ship. The Redeemer . Oh! This is
the ship that was captured by rebels shortly after the battle of Endor! This is
one of the rare Rebel Mark I Star Destroyers! Only important officials or
dignitaries get to use one of these to chauffeur them around! And if there is an
important officer or other person aboard, then he/she/it must be in that
I watch as the Lambda shuttle lands safely, then circle on more time to
prevent any untimely attacks, and bring my ship in. I jump out, and run over to
see who the hell ranks high enough to get a freaking Star Destroyer to take them
places. It's definitely NOT a low-profile person, or someone who doesn't want to
be noticed here. You don't take a Star Destroyer to look inconspicuous.
Mike turned his A-Wing toward the star destroyer, he knew that this
wasn't an Imperial for a couple reasons. 1:
It's not using standard Imperial engagement tactics, 2: It's launching a
shuttle, and 3: It's not getting
blown up today. He went to full speed, and I do mean full speed, 430 mglt with
all the power dumped to the engines and the SLAM's active.
He buzzed past the bridge, coming within a centimeter of the viewports.
A few of the officers will need new underwear.
Most pilots would get a reprimand for just such a stunt, but
not this one, the occupants of that shuttle were very appreciative of
that kind of flying, and so was that ship's captain.
Mike swung his A around and brought himself up in front of the shuttle,
inverted over the cockpit and his aft nearly touching the shuttle's wing.
He waved to the shuttles pilot, knowing him from some of the many
meetings and interviews, Wedge Antilles. Rogue
Squadron was on that shuttle, and so could Mike have been, he'd been offered a
spot with the rogues many times before, but he turned them down each time,
preferring to stay with Legend Wing, which was then just a Squadron, Dragon
Squadron to be exact. Mike was just
a pilot then, flying the best he could, then he got an appointment as Dragon XO. The CO at the time decided to take his retirement early and
Mike was made Acting CO until they could find a replacement.
After a couple weeks, Starfighter Command saw how well Mike led the
Dragons and officially made him CO. Mike
built up DS to be one of the best of the New Republic elites and it was made
into a Wing.
Mike snapped out of his quick reminiscence as they got nearer to the
Imladris docking bay and jetted forward a bit, doing two quick rolls and landing
gently on his spot at exactly the same time as the Rogues' shuttle.
He climbed out of his fighter and saluted the men, and women, coming out
of the shuttle.
"Sorry we're late for the wedding."
wedge shouted to no one in particular, returning Mike's salute, but not
recognizing him at first.
"You still don't recognize me, do you Wedge?"
Mike replied slightly sarcastically.
"No, but flying like that should've got you in the Rogues."
Wedge smiled, truly impressed by Mike's performance, not like he couldn't
do it himself though.
"It did, you practically begged me, I turned you down."
Mike smiled, seeing new recognition spreading over Wedge's face.
"You were sore because I vaped you 9 out of 10 in the sim."
Kenta, from nearby where he was working on the Star Turtle piped in.
"There's still that one, Mike"
Mike smiled as Wedge started to speak.
"That one we were in Y's and he took me down with Ions."
Wedge smiled, Mike was a great pilot, and he knew it. Mike smiled, Wedge was a real legend, and HE knew it.
"C'mon, Iíll get you guys a drink and take you to meet the other
guys." Mike turned around, for some strange reason everybody blinked
at the same time and saw that Mike was wearing his usual loose black pants and
black leather vest. Everyone
blinked again, wondering what just happened.
Mike chuckled slightly, knowing exactly
After the Rogues had disembarked from their shuttle, another figure
stepped out. He was slender, of
average height, with brown hair and deep green eyes.
Around him hung an air of calm reservedness.
This was Captain Nylan Bridger, Jedi Knight, and New Republic
Intelligence Special Operative.
found himself back in his room. He couldn't remember exactly how
got there. It wasn't that he was drunk, the amount of emotion
through him had just messed his head up a bit. He needed to relax,
There was only one place he could really do that. A place that
filled him with a sense of peace and wonder and above all a
that the galaxy had some things worth living for. It was a big
If you didn't take the right precautions you would die there and
of people died there even though they were careful.
signaled Una on the comm. She responded immediately, "What's up?
mostly," replied Morcant without much emotion. "I need you to do
thing. What is it?"
me on the Light as soon as possible. We're going for a short
minutes later the two were aboard the smuggling vessel. Morcant
the pilot's chair and Una sat next to him, keeping an eye on the
systems. Morcant got clearance from control and eased the ship out
hangar. Una was worried by this. She knew Morcant and how he flew
this was not it. He was flying like he couldn't be bothered to.
he would blast out at full speed and do a flyby of the bridge
he was pushing the throttle up like he was trying to push an
bantha. He hadn't told her what was going on yet either but
didn't mind. She trusted him to not do anything too stupid and
that if he didn't think anybody else needed to be here then
else was needed.
bent over the nav computer and seemed to tap things in almost at
The computer quickly spewed out a course and Morcant turned onto
exit vector. As they gained clearance from the Imladris he
the control to activate the hyperdrive. The ship disappeared in
streak of light leaving his friends behind in its wake.
turned to Morcant and finally asked, "What's going on? Where are we
Her tone was soft, friendly and comforting. She wasn't demanding
but just making it known that she was curious. If Morcant didn't
answer then he didn't have to.
We're going nowhere." As he said this the ship left
Una was somewhat shocked since they had only been going for
minute or two. She instinctively checked the instruments. No ships,
large masses. Wait... no small masses either. There was nothing
sensor range at all. They literally were nowhere.
finished tapping something into the computer and then stood up
back into the ship. "Una, I bought you along in case something
wrong out here. I'm not quite at the stage where I am being stupid
You know the basics of how to pilot a ship."
getting worried by this talk. Was Morcant about to do something
and dangerous? What though? They were a million miles from
and there wasn't much to do out here. "What's going on, Morc?
are we here for?"
turned to her with a bit of a smile, the first for a while, "I'm
for a walk."
saying he strode back into the rest of the vessel and headed for the
storage bay. Here was where the suits were racked up and the dorsal
He shut the door behind him and locked it. Una's voice came from
the door, "Morc, talk to me, please."
ignored her voice and minutes later he was in the suit, air tight and
two extra air tanks. He tapped the door lock again to release it
stepped to the airlock. He cycled through and climbed out the top.
stood on top of the vessel for a few moments and then as the airlock
behind him he gave a small jump and drifted slowly away from it.
10 seconds after the hatch shut the ship moved forwards. Slowly
first but then faster. Morcant wasn't looking and by the time he did
around the ship could not be seen. Unfazed Morcant just lay back
stretched out his arms.
worried. She had given up on trying to persuade Morcant to come
had locked the door and it wouldn't open. She returned to the
to try to work out the route back to their home base. The
route was fairly simple and the return course was easily
As the numbers came up on screen she tried to remember how
pilot this thing. She hadn't ever needed to before and though she
how to it was not the same as being able to. Then a light on the
panel lit up to say that somebody was using an air-lock. So
what he meant by taking a walk. She ran back to the storage area
he had gone. The door was open by the time she got there but he
already leaving the ship. She started to put on one of the other
when she felt the ship move. She hurried back to the cockpit where
that they were slowly accelerating forwards. She sat at the
and firstly ordered the ships sensors to keep a track of where
was. She then tried to stop the thing from moving.
the buttons to call up the main navigational information and saw
message from Morcant. The message said, "Una. Sorry I didn't tell you
personally but you would've stopped me. I wanted to be alone. Very
so I have programmed the ship to autopilot. It won't go far
Its just going to get it far enough to be out of my sight. I
you along in case something goes wrong and somebody needs to
pilot this vessel. My radio is on but don't try to contact me
there is an emergency, otherwise I'll switch it off. If the ship
pick me up in three hours come get me yourself. Morcant."
read the note again, somewhat less panicked this time. She had never
Morcant stressed out to quite such an extent. She thought back to
last few days and what Morcant had been doing that could have got
this bad a state. She felt it had started at the wedding. She
tell that he was thinking back to his family and friends back
It wasn't just his toast and later contemplating. She felt there
something about his clothes that was curious. She had never seen him
outfit. Never even seen the outfit. Apparently it was not
issue on board this ship and she could find no record that he
ordered it whilst here. Neither was it on board this vessel that she
though. It was a puzzle and a possible clue. However it wasn't
he had been talking with a few people in the bar she had heard
got a bit angry and upset and had stormed out. They had been
about Alderaan but he had apparently over-reacted by a long way.
what she had heard he was reacting worse than normal. He would
remain quiet about his past and just refuse to speak. He had
quite loud on his opinions and upset at others for not sharing
later on he had been with Galadriel, the XO. She didn't know what
had talked about but he had slapped her at one point and ended up
on her shoulder. She supposed that everything was resurfacing.
feelings on what happened at Alderaan were coming alive again and he
once again reacting with bitterness and resentment. Maybe this would
get it out of his system if he didn't try to suppress it again.
other hand it could consume him and drive him to do his death.
no choice. She sat there and waited for three hours. She could
gone and got some sleep or read something but she was too worried.
couldn't sleep with Morcant in this state and so she sat and watched
waited and worried.
stars turned slowly above him, or besides him. Up and down were both
meaningless here for him. He decided to call it up. Above his
was probably the best choice for up for lack of anything
He watched them turn and marveled at them. They had been
for so long. Millions of years. Some of them were no longer there.
had been destroyed long ago but their effects were still felt
the galaxy. The last of their light struggling to make it
show their beauty to everybody.
stars were one thing that relaxed him. It was amazing how many there
and how varied they all were. More than that it was amazing that
were here at all. As Morcant relaxed his mind started to wander.
was nothing to hear, the air was odorless and tasted of nothing.
were no new feelings and after the first hour his mind started to
the input from his eyes. His mind unraveled itself and let
flow through the galaxy. A feeling of peace came to him.
flicked through his mind. Old friends, new friends, family,
he vaguely recognized and people he didn't remember meeting. The
blurred from one to the next and with them came scenes. From his
came visions of home. He saw his home with all his friends there,
Garant, Filicow, and all the rest. Slowly the scene changed to
his room on the Imladris and his friends changed slowly to his new
Appearing from his old friends came Indy, Mike, Galadriel,
Mynok and more. He saw the truth and meaning behind the vision
tried to remember it. As it drifted off and was replaced by more
images however the memory slipped away too.
seemed like minutes later but it must have been hours when his suit
at him. He had four hours of air with him but had taken some of
merely as a precaution. After one hundred and seventy five minutes
alarm was set to remind him to get back home. He keyed his com and
the signal to the light to come back to get him. He had no idea
direction to expect it from, he could have remembered but that
would have defeated the point. He looked around however and
long discerned their ship approaching him. It stopped twenty
away and Morcant used his maneuvering thrusters to guide him
it. Five minutes later he returned to the cockpit. He was
more relaxed and happy than he had been for the last few months.
checked the return course that Una had plotted and before long they
home. Una talked about things to him. Possible upgrades she was
for the ship and other silly things. Everything that wasn't
with Alderaan. Morcant in return replied cheerfully and
and chatted like there had never been anything wrong. Una looked
as he got off the ship, once again in Imladris's hangar bay. Was
right again or was he just covering himself in a fragile layer of
If people weren't careful that layer might break and if
were relying on him then it might not be good. She would try to
him though and make sure that didn't happen. The first thing she
to find people and to ask them to be careful.
talked to some in person and left messages for those who were in
careful around Morcant. He is in a bad way emotionally but generally
long as you're careful with what you say. Don't talk about the
and try not to get him started on the subject of the Empire. I
don't know a lot of you that well but I thought you ought to
don't think offering to help would be useful though. He'll just
you for it.
Caltharis, Light of Dawn, Imladris."
The agent sat at the bar, in the corner, a glass of Whyren's Reserve in
front of him. His green eyes were
distant, thinking over all he had seen in the past year.
He had seen the commanding officer of this outfit, presenting himself as
who he was--Nylan Bridger, NRI Special Operative.
Nylan found it surprising that the general had not so much as batted an
eye at the sound of the words "New Republic Intelligence."
Most officers cringed. General
Torin Qel-Droma was the only the second fleet officer that Nylan had ever met
that had not reacted badly to his status.
The other officer was Tag Rendar.
Nylan sighed as he thought of his blood-sister.
He still cared deeply for her. He
knew that Tag still hadn't been told of his return from his mission.
Not many people knew.
Torin had informed Nylan of the presence of his cousins among the ranks
of Aurora Force. Nylan had yet to seek them out.
At that point, he was content to sit at the bar, thinking.....
I walked into the bar, rather nervous. I had heard that Rouge Squadron
was the group that almost made me change my flightsuit earlier, and I felt the
need for alcohol. Yeah, I know I kinda gave it up, but I REALLY need one. I
gotta calm down.
I get to the bar, and order my usual. A Coruscant Riot. It's really good.
I got hooked back when I was a cop there. The usual explosion in my stomach made
me feel better, so I looked around at my drinking buddies today. I look..... and
then I groan. Rogue Squadron is here.
It's not that I have anything against the Rogues, it's just that I tried
to kill them earlier. I'm sure they might resent that a little. And there's no
way I'm going to get in a fight with all of them. Or any of them. They're all
heroes, legends! I'm sticking to my stool right here at the bar until I finish
I glance over at the other end, and see ..... a familiar face? I know
that guy! I think. I know him from somewhere, but I can't seem to place his
face. I try over the course of ten minutes. The drink doesn't help my memory,
but I continue gulping. Finally it comes to me. I saw him while attending NRI
training. Only he was a visiting teacher, you know. One of those field agents
they bring in to impress the cadets.
What was his name? Nill .... Noll .... Nyl? Nylan? Yeah, that's it,
Nylan. Nylan ....ah, crap. Nylan Bridger. Another Bridger. He looked up at me
and gave a wane smile. I looked away quickly, realizing I had been staring.
"Yes," he said to me from across the bar. "Another
Eh? How did he do that? I didn't say anything about what I was thinking.
And how did he whisper across the bar? And ..... awwww crap. Another Jedi.
"You don't like Jedi?"
I glared at him, and contemplated the phrase Stop listening to my
"Sorry. I'll stop. It's just that the name Bridger has come up quite
often in this room's thoughts. Only yours was not referring to Indy or Slate.
You must know who I am."
I got up, and walked around the bar to the stool next to this man.
"Okay, let's not do that whole whisper thing, okay? I'll just talk to you
from here, how's that?"
"Good. Yeah, I recognize you. Do you recognize me?"
"No, but I can try." He closed his eyes, and concentrated.
"Four years ago. Coruscant." He opened his eyes again. "You went
"I told you to stop reading my mind." I murmured.
"I wasn't. I was just recalling the past few years photographically.
You weren't that far back."
"Why are you in here tonight Agent....."
"Lieutenant." I corrected him, sharply. I am undercover here.
"Lieutenant, then." He apologized. "Why are you slowly
poisoning yourself Lieutenant ..." He closed his eyes again, then slowly
opened them. "I never heard your name."
"Good. Never gave it." I smiled. "Lieutenant Baron, sir.
Glad to meet you. And I am not poisoning myself. I'm giving my throat a good
abrasive scrubbing. Nothing better than a good Coruscant Riot for that, by the
"Might I suggest some Romulan Ale?"
"Ummm, you might suggest that. If it actually exists." I told
"Oh, it does, though you'll never taste it. Damn shame."
"Oh, well. I'm happy with my own floor cleaner here." He
chuckled a bit. "Now let me guess why you're here." I started.
"You went to General Torin, and told him you're NRI, didn't you?"
He looked taken aback. And he also looked like he wasn't used to being
taken aback. "How did you....?" He began. "Are you a Jedi
too?" He said.
"God, no. You just have the look of someone who has just been told
that the greatest secret he holds was never a secret, or a surprise. Believe me,
I see it every morning in the mirror."
"Ah, Jedi are notoriously hard to keep secrets from."
"I've noticed." I said bitterly into my drink.
"Well, Lt." He got up saying. "It has been a true pleasure
meeting you. Now, can you tell me where I can find my sister, or my
"Well, as long as Mike over there," I pointed at Mike Bullian
who was still chatting up Rogue Squadron, "isn't with her, you can find
Indy in his *Ahem* I mean, her quarters." I wasn't sure if anyone told him
Indy was married, and decided to let her say it. I gave him directions, then
told him, "I have a feeling that as soon as you see Slate. I look forward
He looked slightly confused, but left in the direction of the newlywed's
quarters. I gave it about an hour before I saw him again. I finished my drink,
and was about to order another, but decided against it. I was going to have a
very mad Jedi at my door soon, and I remember what happened to Quorn.
Mike walked up to Baron's quarters and activated the door signal.
The door opened and Baron was standing behind it, looking a little
"Stephen, you want to take a sim run with me and the Rogues?"
Mike asked, a friendly tone underlying his voice.
"I think Iíll pass on this one." Baron replied, turning back
into his quarters. Mike grabbed
"You're not getting out of this one that easily.
You told me you wanted to get better in the cockpit and where else can
you get tips from the best pilots in the galaxy."
Mike said somewhat jokingly.
"Well, when you put it that way, okay."
Baron said, knowing that Mike was very persistent and that he really
wasn't getting out of this one.
Baron hopped out of the sim, having just toasted Dllr Nep for the third
time out of five and being himself toasted by Mike, who was flying Dllr's wing.
Mike's tips had paid off, a few of the others were still in the sims,
engaged still and from the look on the control board, Mike was pulling ahead in
the 2-man team melee. It was down
to Wedge, Hobbie, Tycho, Wes, Elscol, and Mike, the rest were watching the
control board to see who was in the lead. As
a brilliant strategic move Mike and Wedge had unofficially teamed up and it was
soon down to Wedge, Mike, and Tycho. Wedge
flew Mike's wing for a head to head. As soon as Mike saw Tychoís x-wing blow he felt lasers
slamming into his shields, Wedge had taken the initiative. He was 10 meters behind Mike.
Mike switched all shields rear and dumped lasers to engines, draining the
charged power into his shields. Mike
gunned the throttle, taking steady hits to his rear.
He dropped the throttle to zero to let Wedge crash straight into him,
Wedge responded quickly enough to not crash straight, but he did crash, the
cockpit crumpled and Wedge was out of it. The
blow took out Mike's engines and hyperdrive, but he was alive and relatively
undamaged, and the winner.
Mike hopped out of the sim and noticed that another man had entered the
sim room, he was familiar, the eyes though had a depth the type that he had not
seen on a similar face...
Dack was sitting down, running through his messages for the day, when the
chime at the door to his quarters sounded.
Must be the guys, Dack thought. He keyed the commands for the opening for
the door. Major Gerald Caridian and Captain Mike Bullian stood at the threshold.
Dack smiled. "Come on in, elite of Phoenix! "He gestured for them to
enter. A table had been set up in the center of the place. The Phoenix party was
complete, right down to the flatbread and Corellian Ale, finest draft Dack could
They all sat down, and Dack pulled out some Sabacc cards, tossing them to
the table's occupants. They began playing.
"So, any word from Colonel Horn, Caridian?" Dack asked.
"Nothing. Phoenix must be doing fine in our leave."
Dack grinned. "As soon as we get back, we need to talk to Glytch and
Horn about sending Glytch to the front lines."
Caridian snorted. "That kid can be so annoying sometimes..."
"Amen to that." Bullian agreed. "His motto is so...
"Unneeded?" Dack looked up from his cards.
"That's it." Bullian tossed in a couple of decicreds.
"What sector is Phoenix working these days?" Dack asked.
"I think they're mostly patrolling, but I heard they're also working
on missions to crack down on pirates." Caridian filled a glass with the
Ale, and took a bite of flatbread.
Dack glanced at Caridian. "I worked on a pirate ship once."
Bullian looked up from his cards with interest. "Really?"
"Yeah. I was desperate for work after getting out of the second
Death Star, and took up with a guy names Jadon Karrde, on a beat-up Corellian
Corvette called the Starrunner. I didn't stay for more than a year, don't worry.
Earned my gunnery skills there."
Caridian raised the stakes in the game a bit. "I've also heard that
the New Republic is almost through with the testing for that new Incom
Dack was surprised. "Really?"
"Oh yeah, should be in standard service in a couple of months or
Bullian whistled. "I remember that was a beeeauty of a starfighter.
An A-wing's speed combined with a Y-wing's defenses, shields, and weapons."
Dack nodded. "And two gunner's laser turrets."
Bullian nodded and took a sip of Ale.
Dack laughed. "Remember the Katholian rebel missions?"
Bullian and Caridian's noses turned up at the mention. "Ugh, don't
remind me. Escort and Protect is a mission I do NOT like." Bullian stated.
Dack nodded. "The pilots in the STD's were horrible. The Empire has
too many rookies these days. Not enough veterans to produce a challenge."
Caridian nodded in agreement, then, seemingly, an idea popped into his
head. "hey, wonder how many rookies are in Phoenix now?"
Dack shrugged. "Dunno. Glytch'll give'em a Swirlee, though."
The pilots chuckled at the memory of Glytch's antics. Whenever a rookie
came to Phoenix, Glytch had lured him into the hallway and, with the help of a
couple of other Phoenix pilots, had dragged him into the pilot's stalls and
plunged his face into the refresher units, flushing them, seemingly cleaning off
any previous Squadron associations, and giving him (and it had to be a him,
otherwise they would get in trouble for the event) Phoenix germs.
Dack and the others continued to play on into the night, reminding
themselves of old times in Phoenix...
Gerald smiled as he played cards with his squadmates. He enjoyed
reminiscing about Phoenix, especially nowadays. He had only been away for a
short time, and he started to miss the action.
"You know, I think we have some big missions coming up in Phoenix.
We might get called back to duty there." he said. He watched as the other
"What kind of missions?" Dack asked.
"I'm not sure. I just have a hunch."
In fact, he had been getting these hunches lately.
He knew his Jedi intuition was trying to tell him something. He closed
his eyes and sighed.
Color burst through his eyelids and swirled around in his brain. He began
to see pictures in the color...visions.
He saw a strange Calamari Cruiser floating in space, with Phoenix
Squadron approaching it.
He saw Corran standing at a podium, his face in a grim expression.
He saw a pilot reluctantly approaching the podium, and
"Major?" A voice startled him back to the real world.
"Major are you all right, you kind of blacked out for a second
there." Dack's look of concern filled his view, right next to Mike's.
"Should I go get some-"
"No, no, it's fine. Just had a small vision."
"A vision? Like, of the future?" Dack said.
"What was it?"
"I don't know yet. But I have a feeling we'll find out son
Mike looked up from his cards at the two other phoenixes, slightly
wondering about Gerald's vision. Mike
wanted to know what the vision was but didn't want to probe inside his mind,
such was rude. He wasn't about to ask either, that was rude as well.
Dack tossed in a couple decicreds and Mike raised it, Gerald folded.
Dack met, and called.
"We ARE playing Old Republic rules, aren't we?"
Gerald said, to remind them of the variant.
Dack laid down his four cards, 1 of staves, 2 of flasks, 7 of coins and
"Looks like I won this one."
Dack said, chuckling softly and reaching for the pile of credits.
Mike grabbed his wrist.
"Not so fast." He
laid down his cards, the Jedi Master, the Jedi Knight, the Ace and 2 of Sabers.
"Jedi's array, and pure sabacc to boot."
He laughed and pulled the creds into a small pouch.
"That's gonna be the last hand for me, I need to get down to the
hangar. I've got two new X-Wings to
tune up and such. See you later" Mike
stood up and walked out of the door, heading for the hangar.
He was at the turbolift when he bumped into the man who he had seen in
the sim room, he had the feeling that he was in for a talk.
Mike walked up to the man and shook his hand
"Hi, Iím Captain Mike Bullian, I haven't seen you around, you new
here?" Mike asked, a friendly
smile on his face.
"I got in with the Rogues, I saw your performance in the sim. no
wonder the Rogues are so desperate for you to join."
Mike smiled at the compliment. "By
the way, I'm Captain Nylan Bridger." Mike
kept the friendly smile on his face but thought to himself.
"Nylan Bridger? nooo,
it couldn't be. But it is." Those thoughts spun through his head. Mike decided to speak. "Yet another NRI agent on the
ship, we're starting to seem overloaded with intelligence." Nylan
took on that same look that Baron had seen in the bar, Mike smiled
genuinely at this. "it's no
big secret, Iíve heard a bit about you. You
save a woman's life a few times and she gets talkative."
Mike tried to see if he had accurately assessed the strings he could
"Indy? You won't have
to save her life anymore, she has family here to do it." Nylan replied,
just as mike had predicted.
"She's had family here for a while, her brother Slate, blood sister
Tag..." Nylan's eyebrows raised slightly at the mention of Tag. "her
husband..." A look of shock spread across Nylan's features.
Who?" Nylan was really
shocked, he hadn't known after all.
"I can tell you that she got a great guy, a really great guy.
He's a Captain, the best pilot in the galaxy, an accomplished healer, a
good cook and a Sedith Master." Nylan
was still shocked, but to a lesser extent.
"Sounds like you really like the guy, who is he?"
"I'll give you one big hint. You're
talking to him."
stepped out of his shuttle and looked around.
special about this hanger, he'd seen more than enough in his
but this one seemed different. Perhaps
it was simply the fact
this was the first time in almost fifteen years that he wasn't a
while in it. Did it matter really?
He had joined up with
group to create a better life for himself, and their weren't many
jobs as good as this one that were available for someone with
noticed also that no one was here to greet him and the other few
arrivals. All he saw were several
mechanics working on ships,
repairing them, others adding maintenance and upgrades.
the hanger now and headed down the corridor, glancing at
engraving their faces into his head. He
had learned awhile ago
remembering faces, even nameless ones could come in handy, since
previous profession one never knew when one's employer would
his agents to double-cross him. He
really didn't expect a
from the Republic, especially since he had now joined
but the practice had become a habit over the years.
into the eyes of some of the younger officers, he could still
innocence within them, something he had lost long ago, and
that would not last long for them either if they survived
passed an entrance, Bethan spotted what he was looking for, the
He would still need to drop off his bags in his quarters, but
what he'd gone through the past few weeks, he could stop for a
drink or two.
was alive with chatter as Bethan entered and sat down at the
He set his bag down next to the seat and ordered a drink.
began listening in on the conversations around him.
He knew it
rude, but he had learned through experience that politeness could
oneself killed if not careful. Most
of the conversations were
the arrival of Rogue Squadron to the Imladris.
the Mark II Star Destroyer he had seen coming in.
the Redeemer from the Battle of Endor, where his former
group had been hired by the Rebels then to help in the attack.
been the only one to make it out of that battle, and only
then. Though he was paid for the
entire group, he had
from joining other groups and opted to go solo.
the jobs he could reasonably take, but it did pay better.
most of the people here, this was probably the first time they'd
Rogue Squadron, but Bethan wasn't very interested in it. He'd
them before, several times in fact, and authority figures annoyed
some. They, after all, were usually
the ones who stiffed him on
though it was almost always their last mistake since many of
fell to mysterious accidents shortly after.
plopped down now at the seat next to Bethan.
Glancing over at
Bethan could see that this was another of the innocent ones,
not knowing the full extent of what war was.
He was fairly
about 13 years younger then Bethan, maybe twenty-one or
and seemed so excited and eager to talk to someone that
nearly jumping out of his seat.
cadet likewise turned toward Bethan now, looking Bethan over
moment. He could tell from the very
way he carried himself that
guy had been around the block a few times.
He could see that
was covered with old scars, some minor ones on his forehead,
which were covered by his thick sandy hair.
But the one that
out was a long one that ran from the left side of his forehead
the side of his face to just below his ear.
And the eyes,
had a story of their own. They were
deep with time and
but seemed cold and hard, as if all life was drained from
The cadet though, anxious to engage in any conversation said to
" Hey, you knew here? I'm Zack
Klein. And you?"
took a sip from his drink then sighing turned and said to
" Leitbur, Bethan Leitbur, and I'd like to be left alone now."
though, had no intention of going and pestered on, " You know
Rogues are here don't you? There
like, the best out there."
moaned now, fighting the urge to snap the kid's neck.
to himself, " Why can't this kid understand what it means when
says they want to be left alone?" Bethan
had no friends and
it that way. They always had been
weaknesses before, and though
he'd probably make some on board eventually, he had no
of befriending some kid less than half an hour after he
Still, he knew his only three options were to knock the kid
leave the room, or humor him a little until he could get
to leave on his own.
the first option carried some gratification, he had come here
for a new beginning, one that was better then the last one,
beating a cadet down inside the first day of arrival was not a
way to start off. And since he had
no intention of letting some
kid drive him away from anywhere, he turned and replied, " So
seen 'em before, see 'em again. Do
you expect me to go crazy
quickly replied, " No, but I figured you'd be at least a little
But you just talk in one dull, emotionless tone."
shrugged and responded, " Maybe I have no emotion.
Or maybe I
reason to use it."
had no idea what that meant and decided to change the subject
he got another answer like that. "
So where you from?"
Bethan sighed before replying, " Here, there, everywhere.
just threw his hands up at that one. Bethan
him very carefully. Then putting
his hand to his chin, he
" Do you understand?"
seemed baffled by the question and said, " Understand what?"
chuckled slightly under his breath before answering, " I'll
that as a no. And that is a fine
answer, no. An old friend I
had told me that you will be far wiser when you begin to
that which you don't understand. He
was right of course,
I'll give you some advice with that, don't understand too much.
if you do, you may not like what you find."
now got up and grabbing his bag began walking toward the door.
still had to find the CO and report in, and the sooner the better.
though spun in his chair and said, " What does that mean?"
simply ignored him and continued toward the door.
up from his seat and said, " Wait, where you goin'?
Hey wait a
grabbed Bethan's right arm and suddenly knew true pain.
had grabbed Klein's arm with his left and twisting it, yanked
forward bringing his right elbow up landing it in Klein's face.
then quickly brought his fists around and put several quick
blows into the kid's gut before bringing his leg around knocking
aside the head. Klein quickly fell
to the floor unconscious as
rest of the room had turned from what they were doing to see what
happening. Bethan glanced over at
them for a second with an
look on his face, then turned and left leaving Klein lying on
floor. He had no time or wish to
answer anyone elseís' questions
still had to report in.
Nylan's rather grim expression dimpled into a smile as he caught
of Wedge Antilles, Wes Janson, Derek "Hobbie" Kilvan, and Tycho
climbing out of the simulators. The
four Rogues grinned at the
man, who had spent much of their trip isolated.
He nodded to his
friends, who waved.
"Hey Nylan," Wedge said.
Nylan grinned at Wedge. "Hey
Wedge. Been a damned long time,
The other man nodded. "You've
no idea, man. Tag was a wreck for a
after you left, but she's better now."
Nylan looked down at the reference to Tag.
Wedge was her cousin.
better now, you said?"
Wedge nodded. "She's been helping me out some with uh....some
Nylan's eyebrows went up, but he didn't ask.
Wedge decided it was best to get off the subject, so he reached for
"Uh, Nylan, I'm not sure if the two of you have met, but this is
Bullian, your cousin's husband."
Nylan nodded slowly, a spark flaring in his eyes for a moment, then
It was obvious to all that looked at him that this man was a
one who had been through the fires of the Dark Side and had his
forged into one of diamond--shining, but hard.
Tycho tapped Wedge on the shoulder, and whispered in his ear.
nodded. "OK, Rogues, we've got
things to do. Move out."
The Rogues filed out, leaving Nylan, Mike, and Baron in the room.
moved to leave, but something kept him. He
stared at the man who
so much like Indiana Bridger Bullian that he could have been her
and shivered. Something......
Indy poked her head into the simulator room, and the tense air was
She smiled at her cousin, whom she knew was aboard.
I wasn't looking for you, but this is good."
Nylan turned and smiled at his cousin, heightening the family
He hugged her.
Indy glanced at Mike, and pointed at him.
"You I was looking for.
on, we've some things that need to get gone over before we get
into the mix again."
Indy pointed to Baron. "Like
making sure that Slate doesn't try to
this one on the next run. He's
coming, you know."
Mike shook his head. "Somehow,
I don't think that'll be a
"Well, let's make sure," Indy fired back.
"Come on." She
grabbed Mike's arm and pulled him from the room.
Mike and Indy headed to the hangar to work on their X-Wings.
passed the bar they noticed a new rookie walking out, Mike
in and noticed another of the new rookies kneeling on the
dazed and with a bloody, probably broken nose.
the spot of blood on the first rookie's sleeve.
"You'd better have a good reason for breaking that kid's
looked at the rookie's uniform "Lieutenant
"Who are you to care?" Mike
put on a show of being really upset.
"I'm Major Mike Bullian, Sedith Master, you do NOT want to get me
Mike's heart lifted a bit as he saw the rookie stand firm,
showing a slight bit of fear.
"In that case, sir, he grabbed my arm rather roughly as i was
i used a reflexive defense maneuver intended to disable
The rookie, Bethan, explained
"All right, you will escort him..." Mike indicated the fallen
"to the medbay, then you will report in to General Qel-
"Sir yes sir" He
walked into the bar as Mike and Indy went on
way to the hangar.
It was just like he had left it. With a few decorations of course. When
engineers and scientists are trapped on a space station for months at a time
they tend to get bored and get creative, like making new ship designs on the
walls. As Deadmeet looked at some of them he was startled to notice a few
interesting ideas with Tie fighter cockpits but on tanks. "A ball with
After a while Deadmeet found the central computer core and began to
activate all the automated mechanics, "I need all of you if Iím gonna be
done in time." Codyman had told Deadmeet when the next mission would be,
that was all right with Deadmeet anyway I work better with a deadline he
thought. After all the droids were
online Deadmeet inserted his data pad that had all the schematics
on it, the designs took up all the room on his pad and didn't have room
for anything else. He had to have Enyo carry the excess stuff.
By the time Deadmeet took a shower, ate some breakfast, and got to the
observation deck, were the normal eggheads could see what they were building,
the super structure of the ship was only a thousandth percent completed,
"God this will take for ever." Deadmeet felt a very gentle wind and
then heard mike say, "Rome wasn't built in a day." Deadmeet turned,
"Yea, but i bet the builders were just as impatient to get it done
too." They shook hands and gave each other a pat on the back. "Nice to
see you again," said Deadmeet. "You too," he replied. "So
what's going on back on the Imladris?" He shrugged, "Ohh nothing much,
the Rouges are still hanging out and a new recruit named Bethan hit Klein pretty
bad, you know same old same old."
After talking for a while longer Mike and Deadmeet played a game of
sabacc. "You know," Deadmeet said as he tossed down his cards for
about the 5th time in a row, "You should really show me how to win this
game, that's the 3rd time you got Jediís array." He shrugged, "Sure,
but for now i got to give you this and get back to the ship, I got a wife to
keep company and a brother-in-law to train," he said as he handed Deadmeet
the data pad. "I take it this is the modifications you made?" Mike
shook his head, "Yea, and a few good recipes for ya, I know how well you
like Indy's and my old fashion space cooking." Deadmeet laughs, "Ya, I
do. See ya Mike, you come up with any new ideas or recipes feel free to scare
the shit out of me when you appear out of no ware." "I will," he
said, and with that he was off just as quickly as he came.
Once again Deadmeet made it back down to the computer core and updates
the specs for the ship," The guys will like it when it's done." Later
he went to the mess on the station which really suited it's name. After doing a
little clean up he made some chicken and shrimp spicy stir fry which he got off
of Mike and wondered if he would get a visit from Raven, that is if he could
find time away from his own imperial disguise he had to keep up. After all, he
IS financing this project. The fact is Deadmeet could use just about any
company. Luckily there was a training area of the ship with holo projectors that
projected things you could actually touch. Calling his little R-2 over, the only
one that he knew of that had a devise that made it so it speaks English instead
of it's little beeps, he downloaded his favorite opponents and started the
program. "Stormlight," he said to the computer, "activate
program, Zero hour level 1, increase level every 5 minutes." Just as he
said the command the projectors went into action creating a jungle with the
sounds of his 4 enemies around him. Each one of them were programmed to fight
each other as well as him, so if he wanted to he could let them beet each
themselves stupid and then come in for the kill. BUT WERE'S THE FUN IN THAT?? So
he immediately set out to find his enemy.....
1 Complication set #5
hangar deck had the routine sounds of welding torches, banging metal, and yells
from irate crew chiefs. One sound
that had not been there before was the banging and grunting coming from the area
where the light capital ships were docked.
Specifically, the sounds came from the Peregrine's Claw.
was busy at work doing some routine maintenance on his ship, routine maintenance
that had rapidly turned into a hard days worth of crawling around through the
ship, locating system after system that had failed.
He was beginning to worry that Peregrine was starting to go to seed,
until he found the sensor link cable.
cut. Warning lights went off in his
head. He rapidly crawled out of the
Claw, and brought the wire to the head Crew Chief.
Patricks," Carlos said to
Master Chief Varsin Patricks, "We may have a saboteur aboard."
sure, Lieutenant? Thatís a
its either that, or Peregrine has started doing some very weird stuff in his
spare time." Right then one of
the other chiefs came up to Varsin.
two of the X-wings in my section appear to have been deliberately tampered
with?' Could you be just a bit more
specific, Lasiter?" Varsin said, knowing all his men by sight and sound.
sir," Crewman Lasiter Britegn said, "The power converters that feeds
into the laser systems appear to have been cut."
looked at Carlos. Both of them had
the same thoughts. It was no longer
"maybe" there is a saboteur, it was now a question of "who"
and "where". And when
will he or she strike again.
Ah, now this was something I could do! I'm not a fighter pilot by trade,
and though I could down anyone (without Jedi powers that is) in a drinking
contest, I finally have something worthwhile to contribute to the team! Back on
Coruscant, I was one of the best undercover cops in Section 5266, and my
specialty was a stakeout. I once managed to catch four "protection"
enforcers by hanging off a ledge for two and a half days straight just to get a
good angle on their conversations.
And now we have a saboteur. Hrm. It could be any of a number of people.
Let's look at the crime itself. Cut wires. That could mean anything, but I'm
guessing that the perpetrator is not a professional. A pro would not simply cut
wires and leave them clean like that. It's simply too easy to detect. If you're
gonna cut wires, you singe the edges to make it look like they burned out, and
you take a knife and fray the ends. You also don't do the same thing to every
machine you want to sabotage. It's real easy to simply rewire certain things,
and real hard to detect. And whoever did this wanted the whole squad out of
commission, and they didn't care who knew, or they didn't know better. That left
an amateur, or someone with a timetable that simply requires us to be inoperable
for a day or so as the only suspects.
The probable cause is that someone wanted the (in?)famous Rogue Squadron
out of the way for a day or two. But apparently they didn't count on the skill
of the Imladris Tech team. All the fighters were in working condition by the end
of the next shift. I decided not to stake the place out to make sure the
saboteurs didn't return. As much fun as it would be, it was insane. I have no
idea why they even bothered to turn down the lights. Almost every fighter-jock,
and wannabe detective was in there hiding behind a box, or ship, waiting for the
saboteur to return. If they did return tonight, they were stupider than any
amateur. They were a mental patient escapee.
I decided not to bother joining the circus. Besides, I already had a
fairly good idea of where I could find our saboteur. I walked down the hall
towards their quarters, and made sure my blaster was in the holster, and clearly
visible. I might just need it.
Mike Lifted Indy up on to her X-Wing, using the more conventional
of pulling by hand, not with the Force. They
were going over
ships, fixing the damage done by the saboteur and tuning them
little. Mike had already fixed his
A-Wing and was planning on
and tuning his X after they finished with Indy's.
hydrospanner, she was doing the work on this one and Mike was
though he was the better mechanic, it was her ship.
for hours, Indy tuning, Mike handing her tools and giving a
little tips on how to increase the performance, without sounding
teacher, or her superior. He knew
that it would anger her if
make himself sound superior, besides, she was pretty good at
an engine herself. They finished
her X soon, and they were
enjoying themselves. They moved on
to Mike's X-Wing and
this time Mike did the tuning and Indy assisted, Mike
done the work in less than an hour, but was having too much
want it to stop. He so enjoyed
spending the time with his
They soon finished on the engines and other systems Mike
to boost. Mike figured that both
X-wings should now have an
cruising speed of 150mglt and shield and laser recharge
They both hopped down from the X and headed off to their
to take a shower...
Nylan listened rationally to what Slate told him about Stephen Baron, his
face an emotionless mask, nodding slowly every so often.
Nylan, a product of the Rebellion's early days, had long ago promised
himself never to make opinions of someone after just meeting them.
True, he had seen Baron while the other man was undergoing training, but
he'd never actually talked to the man. He
remained silent and contemplative as his elder cousin spoke.
Slate found this maddening. Finally,
he just let loose on his cousin. "Nylan,
damn you, how can you just sit there and nod?
How can you not react to what I've been telling you?
That man nearly killed me."
Nylan blinked, and finally spoke. "You're
still alive, Slate."
"And most of my comrades are dead."
Slate spat back. "It's
"Is it his fault, Slate? Is
it really? Or is it the fault of the Empire that forced him into a bad
Slate ground his teeth. Leave
it to his cousin the Jedi to come up with the hard questions.
"Besides," Nylan added, almost as an afterthought, "I knew
that Agent Darjinn would get you out of any trouble you would get into."
Slate's gaze jerked toward his cousin.
"What do you know about her?" he demanded.
Nylan allowed himself a smile. "I
trained Karrialy Darjinn."
There was a knock on the door. Indy
entered as Slate shouted that it was open.
She glanced at them both. "I
was just wondering, the next run is coming up soon.
Are you two in or out?"
Slate shrugged. "I don't have a choice."
Nylan's face became an expressionless mask again.
"You're going to need all the help you can get, cousin."
There was a distance in those emerald eyes, as if he was staring off into
Indy shuddered, and again silently thanked her good sense to have
forsaken the Force, so she would never have to face what her family had and did.
Imperial Star Destroyer was over the planet now, and the people on
could see it from the capital city. There
had been uprisings
capital recently, and the Empire would not stand for it. Lara
was walking through the streets now, happy that the troubles
all soon be over. She had no
interest in the politics of it
and felt glad that soon she would be married.
Her fiancť was an
in the Empire, many people in town thought he'd be an admiral
and he had sent her a message that he'd be getting leave soon
could be married. The ring he had
gotten her was gorgeous,
shimmered in the light.
could hear the riot going on across town, protesting even in the
despair. She admired their courage,
though she felt it would
she heard a noise, and saw a terrible sight.
opened fire on the capital, taking supporter and protester alike.
turned to run as the image blurred to red flame.
awoke with a start now, cold sweat dripping from his head. He
the dream again. Fifteen years had
passed, and it still
him. He hadn't had it though in
years, but he had a hunch
caused it. That run-in with the
force wielder. He couldn't
the name just yet, but his face burned in his mind.
him the respect a superior officer demanded at the time, but it
more show than not.
would have survived. He didn't have
to take him to the Med
He had known the second he saw the man, Mike was the name, that
a force wielder. Bethan could spot
one a parsec away. Didn't
how, but he could. Just something
about the way they moved, the
their eyes. And a Sedith master,
he'd have to put on a real
act around him so not to offend him.
hated all force wielders with a vengeance, because of what they
from him. After the tragedy, he had
traced back through the
of command and learned that Vader himself had given the order.
ended his previous career and the start of his mercenary career.
said Vader was not really a Jedi and that all force wielders
not be blamed for his crimes, but a force wielder was a force
He'd fought and defeated force wielders before, but a Sedith
One thing for sure was that though he hated all force
to the core, he had developed a great respect for their
For now though, he'd have to keep an eye on them and learn
about the situation here. There'd
be time for action, but
was the true key to defeating any opponent, whether that be
Empire or his fellow crew members if necessary.
he was overreacting though. He was
starting a new life now and
important to bury the past. Still,
the habits of the past
fast, as did the paranoia that everyone was out to get him.
when Bethan realized that it hadn't been the dream that woke
but something else. Someone was
outside his door, not a force
he'd know that, but someone was standing there.
and silently he leaped from his bunk, pulling the knife he
under his pillow at the same time and moved to the side of the
He waited now with apprehension, wondering who could be out
The door opened now and a shadowy figure stepped in.
quick reflexes Bethan reached out and in one sweeping motion
the intruder against the wall, knocked the blaster on his side
and put the knife up to his throat. Then
staring into the
face a look of disbelief came over him. Then
in a still
surprised state Bethan said, " You? I
Nylan entered his quarters after his little talk with his cousin.
He tossed his jacket on the bed and sat down to take off his boots.
Nylan looked toward the door. There
was a duck sitting in front of it. He
frowned. *A duck?
What's a duck doing here?* He
began to get up. "Hey little
fella, what are you doing here?"
Suddenly, the lights went out.
Indy and Baron came running at the sound of screams.
They'd been talking over the sabotage situation, trading insights.
Indy realized that the screaming was coming from her cousin's quarters,
and cycled open the door.
Nylan collapsed onto the deck at he feet, bloody and barely conscious.
murmured, and slid deep into a Jedi healing trance.
Indy and Baron looked at each other.
Finally, Indy said to Baron, "Help me carry him to my
After they settled Nylan on the couch with a pillow and blankets, Indy
called an all-Aurora Force meeting.
"Damn it, Bethan! Put me down!" I hate being picked up by the
neck. It hurts like hell.
"Well, well." Bethan replied in the dark. "If it isn't
Sergeant Baron, Coruscant Police Force. Section..... What was it again? I'm sure
you remember." He never released me.
"9555." I choked out.
"Tell me why I shouldn't turn you in right here and right now.
You're an Imperial agent. You're aboard a New Republic Warship. You will be
tried as a spy, and shot. Hell, I might just get a few people to actually like
me on this ship, not that it matters, it's just easier that way."
"If you turn me in, I'll just disappear. There won't be a trial. And
it's 2nd Lt. Baron, New Republic Intelligence now." I waited until he let
me to the ground, then continued. "I thought I recognized you when you came
onboard. Small galaxy, huh?"
"You could say that." Bethan replied, still holding his knife.
"Why are you here?"
"Right to the point huh? All right." I sighed heavily. This was
not easy. "I need your help."
"My HELP?!?" He laughed, and almost dropped the knife.
"YOU?" I sat through at least half a minute of laughter, before he
asked me "Why in the hell should I help you?"
"Because of your special experience in this matter." I replied.
"You know almost better than anyone, certainly better than anyone on this
ship, how to disable a Jedi."
At this he went silent. Jedi were always one of his sore points.
"Yeah," He growled. "maybe I do. So what?"
"So, someone is mauling Jedi on this ship. Nylan Bridger got
bloodied up today, and he's in some sort of healing trance. I'm afraid that this
has to do with the sabotage earlier today. The two seem too coincidental not to
"And I'm not your prime suspect?" He countered, somewhat
"No." I told him. "For one thing, this was strictly
amateur. You are better than that. They just cut wires." Bethan made a face
of contempt. "And for another thing, you just don't like Jedi, you don't
actively try to kill them. Besides, I get the feeling that if you got in a fight
with Nylan Bridger, he would have at least scratched you."
"True." Bethan replied. "And I really didn't do it, but
you still haven't told me why I should help you." He then shook his head.
"You want me to help you first of all, and in the process, you want me to
help Jedi? " He said, slightly incredulous. "You really have forgotten
what I'm like, haven't you?"
"No, I just haven't played my trump card yet." I told him.
"I had hoped that you would do this out of honor, or something, but I can
see you don't have any of that left." That riled him, so I continued to
press that button. "If you ever had any." He looked murderous, so I
changed the subject. Especially since he held the knife.
"It is a small universe, Bethan." I repeated to him. "Do
you know who else is on this ship?" At his small shake of the head, I went
on. "Does the name Slate Bridger mean anything to you?" His eyes
opened slightly more, and he tensed a little bit.
"Slate is here?"
"Yes," I told him. "I believe you had a run-in with his
brother-in-law, Mike Bullian."
I swear I heard him mutter "Sithspawn."
"Maybe Slate would like to hear who exactly it was who sold out his
"Maybe he would like to know who did the actual shooting?"
Bethan countered, angrily.
"He already knows it was me." I said, softly. "The only
thing that has kept him from charring my corpse over the engines, is that I
managed to convince his sister and her husband that I'm not evil. You have not
managed to convince them of anything yet." That last one got to him. Jedi,
this guy could handle. I'd seen him do it while on Coruscant. But revenge
grudges carry a bit of weight. They don't die, or simply go away. Especially
when the avenger has a Sedith Master for a brother-in-law. I was actually doing
Bethan a favor by even telling him Slate was onboard. Slate would have seen
Bethan eventually, and then, if he hadn't been prepared, all hell would have
"Oh, and I might warn you," I went on "Slate has been
training." At the confused look on Bethan's face, I explained. "He's
undergoing some force-training. It seems our little naive rebel has a grudge
against both of us, and he is about to get really powerful. I don't think the
question is whether he will turn on us, but when." I waited for that to
sink in. A revenge problem with a Jedi. Even a bad boy like Bethan knew that was
a bad combination.
"I didn't want to sell them out." He growled. "I had no
idea you were a narc."
"Hey, it was my job. I was good at it." I countered. "And
besides, you had to have known that it would have made it back to the government
anyway. You just got lucky that I cut out the middle man. Besides," I
continued, "I seem to remember you telling me they meant nothing to you,
and you just needed the credits." That last one hurt him.
"Slate does not need to know any of this, if you agree to help me
catch the perpetrator. I have a good idea of who it is, but they just beat the
crap out of a Jedi, and I can't do this alone." He glared at me
momentarily, then with a sigh, got up, and gave me back my blaster.
"Let's go." He said. "Who do you have in mind?"
"Well, I'm actually undercover right now, so no one besides the few
involved know I'm NRI. It's actually kinda interesting..."
had spent most of the afternoon going over the evidence with the security detail
on the Imladris. They had been
reviewing the evidence, and had decided that the sabotage was probably more of a
distraction than the actual target of the bad guy.
What his actual target was remained to be determined.
being harassed, Carlos thought. This
saboteur is trying to distract us. From
what? What is his target?
With these questioning thoughts, Carlos went to his quarters to try and
get some sleep. He had no more
entered his room than there was a knock at the door.
He opened the door and got quite a surprise.
Aren't you on duty?" He
stopped as he recognized the look in her eyes.
It was a look that he had occasionally seen in some of the female
staffers on Salasia IVb. It was a
look of pure lust. He had never
seen it in her eyes. They were of
the same kind about that, and had already vowed to each other to save that for
when and if they take the vows of marriage.
Her coming on like this was his first indication that something was not
right. Strike One.
anymore, love. I'm all yours."
guess you want to get to know me a little better, huh?" he asked, testing
the waters, trying to find out exactly what was going on.
bet." Her positive response to this was Strike Two.
last Friday?" Trick question.
He had been on patrol all last of Friday night.
He had talked with Janice over the comlink, but they had not done that.
she said as she began to kiss him harder.
three, yer out, Carlos thought. Slowly,
unnoticeably, he moved his hand downward toward his blaster.
In one quick, fluid motion, he shoved the blaster into the impostorís
off," Carlos said as he put his command voice into play.
pseudo-Janice slowly backed off. Suddenly
she burst out into a grin, and let loose a deep, bass, malicious laugh.
Carlos watched as her form melted into a shimmering, bronze-colored blob.
He got one shot off, but it passed right through the blob as it flung
itself through the air vent with blinding speed.
Carlos stood there and watch for about ten seconds.
Then he went to the intercom and called the Security chief, XO Troy
Carlos. I found the
Indy knelt next to her cousin, carefully dressing his wounds.
She knew that he would have rejected the thought of going to sickbay--if
anything, Nylan had always been full of pride and confident in his skills as a
Jedi. An image suddenly flickered
past her eyes, and she gasped. The
vision was utterly impossible. *utterly.
She looked down at Nylan, who's eyes darted around beneath closed
eyelids. Suddenly, emerald green
eyes flew open and he almost shouted, "Duck!"
He thrashed on the couch, and would have surely injured himself further
if Indy hadn't restrained him.
Her hands firmly held him in place on the couch, forcing him to rest
against the pillow beneath him. "Nylan,
relax! You're safe. What happened to you?"
Nylan squeezed his eyes shut. "You
wouldn't believe me if I told you, Indy," he whispered, his breath rasping
in his throat.
Indy stared at him for a moment before adjusting the blanket over him.
"I think you need some more rest, Nylan."
"You are correct in that regard," he sighed.
Indy stayed by him until he was asleep again, and thought about what he
walked over to his bag now and began searching through it.
behind him waiting. Speaking over
his shoulder now he said, "
wait outside if you want, I'll only be a minute here."
shook his head and said, " No thanks.
If I might ask, what are
getting?" Baron had no
intention of pushing this if Bethan
to answer after what he had done a few moments ago.
Bethan wasn't one to annoy.
however, was willing to share. "
It's some of my anti-Jedi
I'm not taking much, mainly the lightweight stuff that is
effective against non-force users." He
went back to searching
then pausing said, " Do you know if this is a Jedi we're going
or just someone who can take down a Jedi?"
simply replied, " I have some idea to who it is, but all I truly
that they can take a Jedi. Why?"
It will just make things easier if I knew what I was going up
Bethan survival code: rule 14, know as much as you can about
what, where and when your objective is, or you'll be caught in an
replied, " I had a lot of time to think about things like that
now got up and putting on a headset with an optic scanning
over one eye said, " OK, let's go."
walking toward the door, he strapped another device with some
long, flat, rectangular box the length of his forearm and a slit
front to his left arm, and a circular object, similar to a
to his right.
then left Bethan's quarters and headed toward Nylon's.
to see firsthand just how badly Nylon had been beat up. It
let him know just what he was going up against.
As they walked
explained to Baron that the scanner was designed to lightly
the area for lifesigns, and could jam Jedi attempts to shut it
quite effectively, so even if they were playing with his normal
he could still find them.
Bethan chuckled slightly before saying, " Been a long time since
nodded, " Yeah, a lotís happened since then."
then said, " About what you said back there... don't ever try
blackmail me again. I would have
helped you anyway. You may not
this, but I do still have some honor and loyalty left.
you've been stabbed in the back enough times, you begin to sleep
one eye open, and suspect everybody. Just
remember this though,
do tell Slate, after I'm finished with him, before that Sedith
finds me, I'll find you, and find a very creative way to kill
And you know what kind of imagination I have."
nodded now, and took a half step away from Bethan, finally
that Bethan was one of the last people one wanted to
paused for a moment, as i realizing something, then said, " Why
there so many Jedi on board this ship anyway?"
shook his head then said, " I don't know.
That bother you?"
replied, " I just get suspicious when something rare happens is
One thing though. If you knew my record, why don't you think
some spy, hired on some long term reconnaissance mission?"
Because of your reputation. Didn't
recognize you at first,
once I did, I knew you weren't against us.
You're one of the
but you don't get those kind of jobs cause there are just as
mercs out there for the job who don't carry your price tag.
were always hired to break into and out of heavily fortified
quickly to sabotage, destroy, assassinate, or steal something.
don't do long term jobs, too much interaction, and too likely some
agent who debriefed you before would recognize you."
grinned slightly, almost showing pride that someone else was
cautious as he was. Suddenly he
turned and looked back down
hall. He then turned to Baron and
said, " Did you just hear
shook his head and said, " No, you sure you're all right?"
nodded and they continued.
arrived at Nylon's quarters now, and upon entering saw Indy
Nylon. Upon seeing Indy, Bethan's
eyes blazed with fire and
despised tone said, " Force wielder."
now turned and seeing that he was referring to her replied, " I
nothing to do with the force anymore. My
brother's one in
and my cousin is a Jedi, but I have forsaken it."
was taken back by this some, but he stood his ground.
he'd read her right on her abilities, but her response confused
However, he had no intentions of getting on her bad side and
his hand out saying, " Bethan Leitbur, pleased to meet you."
It was a bit longer before Nylan drifted back into consciousness.
He found himself alone. His
body ached, and so did his head. He
looked around, guessing he was in Indy and Mike's quarters, considering the
pictures of fighter squadrons and cops that sat on shelves, all mixed up.
Gingerly, he sat up, rubbing his head.
*That duck is no duck!* All
at once, he knew what exactly the duck was.
He had only trusted one shape-shifter, and that was Odo.
Fortunately, he knew how to beat a shape-shifter.
Unfortunately, he was in no shape to do it.
He stood up, and the room spun around him.
He made it five steps into the corridor before collapsing.
That was where the others found him.
Yeah, I know, I know. I really should have never threatened Bethan like
that, but I wasn't sure if he would help me, and I really do need his help on
this particular mission. By now I have heard that the saboteur is not the person
I was thinking it was. I really am surprised. Shocked actually. Who would have
guessed a shapeshifter? I have seen very few in my lifetime, and none of the
ones I have heard of are sentient. Most are creatures who live in swamps, and
enlarge themselves or change their appearances to scare off predators. I never
imagined one of those green, shapeless blobs could impersonate a human!
Fortunately for me, Bethan was still prepared. Damn, it's a good thing he
doesn't actively hate me. He really shouldn't worry, though. I will not tell a
soul who sold out Slate's rebel cell all those years ago. I have taken the
responsibility for that action all these years publicly, I will continue to do
so. We set off down the hall, looking for clues, and then, suddenly, we found
some. Nylan was outside his room. Unconscious. A most disturbing sight,
especially considering that he was also standing over the body lying down. Two
Mike prepared a small note for Indy telling her where he would be, then
he teleported to Stormlight station. Mike
knew there was something on the Imladris that was targeting the Force users, and
he being the most powerful Force user on the ship would be a prime target. Mike knew that by leaving that he may be suspected, but all
that was in the note. Mike arrived
on the Stormlight instantly and remembered...
"Indy is Force strong, she'll be a target."
Mike reached out and made a mental link with his wife that she might not
detect, but will let Mike know whether she was in danger, he could teleport
Mike walked into the operations deck and looked at Deadmeet, he was
watching his new ship being slowly built by a small army of mini-droids.
"Hey Deadmeet, I'm back" Mike
called out, smiling at how high he jumped "Sure is fun scaring you like
"Yeah, but you should see the laundry bills."
They both chuckled and went into the other room.
"I really liked those recipes you left, much better than this
reprocessed MRE crap that the Stormlight puts out."
mike pulled a datadisk from his pocket.
"Good, I brought more, and a few minor interior alterations, more
efficient for training, oh, and you should line the refreshers with this."
Mike held up a piece of metal. "There're
directions in the datadisk on how to synthesize it."
"Why?" Curiosity caused Deadmeet to ask
"Because this metal creates a Force-dead zone within a centimeter of
it's surface, and we all want a little privacy while in the 'fresher" They
laughed a bit at that and brought out a deck of sabacc cards.
They played for hours later and long into the local night, Mike didn't
sleep at all when he didn't want to, and he was keeping a constant vigil on Indy
through his link.
| To part II