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Stories / Re: Restless Hearts
« Last post by Theodorik on July 17, 2011, 01:46:08 am »
Theed, Naboo

0930 Hours, Thursday
Kamiko settled back into her chair, the RSF investigator moving on to the next contestant on “What Happened to the Loms?”  The brunette could not offer Captain Sykes any information; her odd hours meant that she rarely saw the regal family from the penthouse.  Of course, there was the time she saw Koyi in the elevator with Theo, but Kammi did her best to forget that.  Part of her wondered if the twi’lek family’s hasty exit from the building was due to the operation the Lieutenant was running.
At first, Kammi resisted the urge to call Theo and ask him what was going on. What if he hadn’t heard that Koyi and family were missing?  She didn’t want to be the one to give him that sort of news.  After a few moments of self debate, she decided the best course of action was to call him.  She picked her comm device up off of the table and punched in his number.
The connection took much longer than usual, she noticed, and then suddenly, a long, loud tone filled her ear.
“What the hell?” she exclaimed tearing the device away from her head.
She ended the call and tried the number again, this time receiving the “number is not available” recording.
“That’s unusual,” she shrugged, “guess I will just send him a message.”

Call me when you can, it’s important.


That should do the trick, she thought.
Lianorm, Naboo

0935 Hours, Thursday
Kaece Murran had found himself in precarious positions before, but this was something new to add to the resume.  Aircraft continued to buzz overhead, punctuated by what had to be the occasional crash of one of the crafts.  What looked like an entire mechanized infantry brigade was bearing down on the village, and he was suddenly transformed from bodyguard into evacuation coordinator.  One military transport had already departed with several villagers, and the second was nearing capacity. 
“Where are all these people coming from?” scowled Murran as he herded a couple and their children aboard the transport.
Mayor Ryltans directed another family onto the craft.
“This is the last of them,” he shouted as he ushered them in, “Kieren and Mai Lee are already on board, Lolana, get in!”
“Oh no, Dad, did anyone fetch Lady Taisia?” Lolana screamed back.
Lady Taisia was one of the longest residents of the village, but could not get around on her own.  She relied on the villagers to take care of her, which they gladly did.  In their haste to make a retreat, it seemed no one had gone to check on her.  Kaece’s first inclination was to leave the old lady, but the sense of urgency in Lolana’s liquid brown eyes changed his mind immediately.
Ferran turned to the transport ship and grabbed one of the crewmen by the wrist.
“I need three minutes, do not leave until we get back,” he begged the man.
“Three minutes,” replied the crewman, “No more.”
The Mayor knew it was futile to argue that his daughter stay while he and Kaece went for the old woman.  They did not have the precious time to spare debating the point, so they all ran down the street to Taisia’s humble dwelling.
“It’s the third one on the left, right there!” shouted Lolana, pointing to the village elder’s residence.
Kaece broke into an all out sprint toward the home, noting that a humanoid form began to slowly emerge from the structure.
“Young man, what is the meaning of all of this commotion?” Lady Taisia called out.
Suddenly, appearing at the end of the street was a pair of armored land speeders.  The gun turret from one of them swiveled in Kaece’s direction.
“Get back in the house!” he shouted, running at a track star’s pace.
In one impressive motion, the bounty hunter scooped up the diminutive old woman, and bounded into the front entrance to her home.  With as much care as the situation allowed, he dumped her onto a worn looking couch and then made his way back to the door.  Before he could peer outside, the streets were ablaze with gunfire; and Kaece got a sick feeling in his stomach.  He withdrew a pair of pistols and took a look out of the front window.
The Mayor and his daughter were across the street, tightly clinging to the side of a stone staircase.  So far, it looked like the infantry vehicle had not seen any of them, and after another 20 seconds of wild blaster fire, the turret ceased its operation.  The turret gunner had lost sight of the man on the street, so the squad leader ordered his troops to dismount and find him.
The transports were Arrow-23’s, actually developed for civilian all terrain use, but recently modified by the Alliance for military use.  Kaece watched as five well armed troops began to exit the vehicle, no doubt to try and locate him.  The hired gun took a second look at the humanoid forms filling the street.
“Gungans?” he said bewilderedly.
He took a deep breath, holding both pistols at the ready.  If he timed it right, he could take several of them out, and they wouldn’t know what hit them.  All he needed was the right moment to strike.  That was when the Imperial transport lifted off and rocketed into the sky.
“Ah frack,” he muttered looking at his chronometer.
“Wow, they actually waited four minutes,” he laughed.
Command & Control Center

Field Base Baz Nitch, Naboo

0935 Hours, Thursday
The Stormtrooper Garrison’s command staff had displaced all of Major Kassel’s people save one, Specialist Gestaad.  He was so deep in electronic signals and satellite link ups that the Colonel’s technicians dared not interrupt him.   It was apparent that the incoming force was employing some kind of pulse weapon that disrupted electronic equipment.  Terrestrial communications had now improved to sporadic, radar systems had not come back online yet.  The TIE pilots that had not gone down in the swamps reported failure of several of their electrical systems.
Major Kassel and Colonel Waynright stood over a table top with holograms representing the assets they had in the field.  The Major’s look was more troubled than her Stormtrooper counterpart, no doubt from years of being in this very position.  The older officer pointed to Lianorm on the map.
“It appears the enemy is intent on occupying Lianorm.  My best guess is that Keren is the next target,” the Stormtrooper Colonel suggested.
“Here are my thoughts Colonel, we have evidence of another force in this area right here,” Melyssa began while pointing to the map, “The two major targets in that region are the Weapons Development Facility, and the Royal Lake Retreat.”
“I see. I should tell you then, that I had ordered the 133rd Infantry Regiment to prepare to move out to reinforce Keren.  Their Regimental Commander estimated four hours until they were ready.”
“Sir, you have to trust me on this one, I think that the Weapons facility is the real target.”
“Ma’am, I will trust your intelligence, especially since you have clusters of armored vehicles marked in several locations.”
Melyssa responded with a nod.
“Now, the Lake Retreat on the other hand, is extremely vulnerable, but the surrounding terrain will make an attack by the mechanized vehicles unlikely,” stated the Major.
“The first elements of the 31st are landing northwest of Lianorm, to hopefully stop the advance of the Rebels.  I don’t have any rapid force to commit there, and I still have to consider the retaking of Lianorm and Lassay.”
Specialist Zehrmatt Gestaad suddenly slammed his headphones onto the console in front of him and cursed loudly.
“Ma’am, the terrestrial network is still giving me trouble, but I think I just copied a transmission from Royal Security, the Lake Retreat has been captured by some kind of Special Operations element,” he huffed angrily.
Lianorm, Naboo

0941 Hours, Thursday
Kaece Murran took a deep breath and took another look at the dismounted infantrymen.  He had to form some kind of plan, both to eliminate the Gungans and to get his gang out of the hostile city.
“One thing at a time, Kaece, just take these suckers out first,” he whispered to himself.
He lined up the lead infantryman in his pistol sights, hoping he could get off enough rounds to get them all before they returned fire.
“Okay, just walk a little further,” he whispered, Lady Taisia remained silent on the floor behind him, puzzled.
The turret of the other Arrow-23 suddenly whirled around in the opposite direction and began to fire.  The dismounted Gungans froze for a moment, and then were sent flying as the Arrow-23 that was firing exploded into a fireball.  Showtime, thought Kaece. Blaster bolts filled the air as Kaece began to fire on the stunned troopers.
The first Arrow responded by swiveling its turret around in the same direction as the now exploded one.  Before it could fire, however, a smoke canister was deposited somewhere near its rear door, obscuring the entire end of the street.  Kaece decided it was a good time to move the woman, and unceremoniously grabbed her up onto his shoulder and dashed through the front door.
“What’s going on?” asked Lolana as she met her body guard in the street.
“The damned Gungans are attacking, but I think someone is fighting back,” he shouted, “come on; let’s get the hell out of here.”
From within the smoke, a loud bang could be heard, followed by a pair of weapons discharging.  Kaece and company ducked at the noise.
“Wait, Kaece, look!” shouted Mayor Ryltans.
The trio turned, with Lady Taisia still hoisted over the bodyguard’s shoulder, to see several armed figures come out of the smoke.  One of them pulled off his helmet and began to run towards the group.
“Lolana!” Melky shouted.
“Melky? Melky, what the hell are you doing out here?” cried the brown haired beauty as he took her into his arms.
Hammer, Doc, Outlaw, Buzz, and a crewman from the Larty emerged from the smoke.  Hammer had what looked like a man in a pilot’s outfit slung over his shoulder.
“No time to explain, we have to move,” shouted Outlaw.
 The sudden emotion of the situation was too much for Lolana to bear.  Suddenly, the wise cracking tough girl melted into her rescuer, sobbing uncontrollably.  Everything had come crashing down on her at that moment.
"Lolana, it’s okay, I am here. Everything is going to be okay now," Milky reassured her.
"For fracks sake Melky, we don't have time for this," scolded Outlaw.
"I know Law, I've got it covered," he shot back angrily.
The girl's crying eased slightly as Melky stroked her hair.   
"I thought we were dead," she managed to say through her tears.
Corporal Berran wiped her tears, looked into her eyes and thought for a moment.  He was trying to think of something to say that wasn't cliché, or sounded like it came from a fictional story, but he failed.  Shaking his head and fighting back his own tears, he took a deep breath and said the first thing that came into his mind.
"Nothing is gonna happen to you, Lolana, not as long as I am here."
Lolana smiled at the statement, no matter how trite the line may have been, she knew it came from his heart. 
Now I tell you openly
You have my heart so don’t hurt me
For what I couldn’t find
Talk to me amazing mind
So understanding and so kind
You’re everything to me
General Discussion / Re: Comments on "Restless Hearts"
« Last post by Onyxs on July 14, 2011, 10:49:26 pm »

Going through mega-withdrawl here.

I GOTTA know what happens next!!!!!
Stories / Re: Restless Hearts
« Last post by Theodorik on July 12, 2011, 06:28:42 pm »
Command & Control Center

Field Base Baz Nitch, Naboo

0911 Hours, Thursday
“Something just occurred to me, Gestaad,” Major Kassel mentioned as she stood abruptly, “any movement on the tracking devices on the tanks?”
“The devices placed by the recon patrols? No ma’am, no movement at all.”
The Major wondered, were they decoys?  Then another idea altogether formed.
“We have TCN yet?” she asked.
“No Ma’am, but the satellite has been repositioned,” reported another technician, “the 31st’s Ground Support Wing is reporting heavy losses.”
“Already?” came the Major’s shocked reply.
An Imperial Army Corps Ground Support Wing was 40 aircraft deep, including a dozen TIE bombers.  The Empire was throwing combat elements haphazardly at the enemy, and they were paying the price for it.  The Major needed to talk to the Stormtrooper Colonel before they lost anymore assets.
“What’s the Stormtrooper Colonel’s name?” demanded the Major gruffly.
“Colonel Waynright, his shuttle took off moments ago, should be here in a matter of minutes,” shouted a Comm operator.
 “I need a link-up with that shuttle, I mean, right the hell now.”
Lianorm, Naboo

0915 Hours, Thursday
The approach to Lianorm gave the troopers a much different view than the last time they cast eyes on her.  To the south, the smoke and haze of battle was all the Imperials needed to know about the fate of Lassay.
“Mother fracker, do you see that?” shouted Milky.
A TIE bomber lay just west of the city, its flaming wreckage plowed halfway into the soil.
“Great,” sighed Hammer, “we’re going to get fracking smoked.”
“Okay, this doesn’t look good, but let’s do our thing and get the frack out of here,” Outlaw shouted, attempting to steady his crew.
Suddenly a rocket trail could be seen coming at them from the south.
“Hey! Hey! Incoming rocket, do you see it?!?” screamed Milky into his headphones.
“What? … A What? … I have nothing on the screen,” responded the pilot, “Oh frell, there it is … Frack me, I have no countermeasures.  This one is going to hit us.”
The pilot banked hard to the left, trying to put the massive armored bottom of the craft toward the incoming projectile.  All of the inhabitants of the crew compartment were thrown to the left hard. A scream of pain came from the port side door gunner as several troopers crashed into him.  The Larty’s motor began to struggle against the impossible maneuver, the pilot gritting his teeth as he forced the yoke with both hands.
The air speeder lurched violently forward as the rocket exploded meters below its tail.  The concussion from the blast caused the tail to twist and tore the starboard wing completely off.  They were 200 feet in the air and losing altitude rapidly.
“I’ve still got maneuvering thrusters, we ain’t dead yet,” reassured the pilot, calm demeanor unchanged.
The pilot was using his forward maneuvering thrusters to counter their rapid decent.  Outlaw felt the craft begin to slow slightly, and his visions of a spectacular fiery crash were replaced with a slower and less dramatic crash. Probably kill us anyway, he sighed.
“We are still going to hit hard, clip into something!” shouted the pilot, a tinge of urgency finally creeping into his voice. 
 The men occupying the compartment each quickly clipped their web gear into one of the many snap hooks throughout the cabin.  The Lieutenant knew his aircraft well; he knew that if the pilot did not strike the ground nose first, none of them had a chance.  Outlaw closed his eyes and took a deep breath; it was in the pilots hands now.
Alliance Underground Headquarters

Gallo Mountains, Naboo

0918 hours, Thursday
Captain Krieger allowed the Lieutenant, his replacement, to explain the situation at hand fully.  The first phase of the attack, the Gungan charge on Lassay and Lianorm, had been initiated early.  The Alliance’s forces were not fully in position for their part of the invasion, but it looked like it was now or never.  The Corellian saw his chance to make a move.
“I am certain the Spec Ops troops are prepared for their part of the attack.  It’s just a matter of the armor and mechanized infantry being ready,” replied Krieger.
Lieutenant Burchenall sighed heavily, “I am glad to hear you say that, you don’t mind if I keep this meeting a secret, do you?”
“As far as I know, you were never here,” he replied, reaching his hand out to the XO, “Hey, in this cell or not, we are still on the same team.”
“I am glad you feel that way, sir,” Burchenall replied, grasping the Captain’s hand, “I will see about getting you out of here.”
Captain Dale Krieger knew it was a lie, but put a warm smile on his face anyway.
“I’ve gotta go, thanks again Captain,” the rebel Lieutenant announced, turning on his heels and striding out of the room.
Moments later, the wooden door was again slammed shut and locked from the outside.
Command & Control Center

Field Base Baz Nitch, Naboo

0920 Hours, Thursday
“Colonel, we need a more coordinated response, this is only the first phase of a much larger attack,” pleaded Major Kassel.
So far, her satellite video conference was not going well with Colonel Waynright.
“Major, with all due respect, you are an intelligence officer; you have no experience with large scale battles.  I am confident that the Air Wing has wiped out much of the opposing force; a few Stormtrooper Battalions should mop them up easily,” replied the Colonel, still smarting from the loss of his office the evening before.
“You might want to talk to Theed on the SatCom, that Air Wing received 80% losses on their first sortie.”
“What are you talking about?” asked the Colonel, now thoroughly confused.
The Stormtrooper CO could be seen speaking with someone off camera, he then turned back to face the image of Major Kassel.
“I can’t confirm that information, but we are having electronics and communications failure of major proportions over here,” he began, then after a long pause, “when we touch down, you and I will pool our resources and try and figure out what we are up against here.”
Like a good commander, he didn’t pull the trigger on a major operational order until all sources were considered.  He had not heard back from the Air Wing, so he did not have confirmation of their success or failure.
“Thank you sir, it is my position that we are dealing with a two pronged attack.  I have strong intelligence indicating a large force located north and west of the current invasion.  We need to address some of its possible targets when you arrive.”
“Very good, we arrive in less than five minutes,” the Colonel answered, maintaining his professional tone.
For a moment, the Major wondered if she was right about a secondary force and an additional potentially more valuable target.  Right or wrong, they had a hell of a fight on their hands.
Stories / Re: Restless Hearts
« Last post by Theodorik on July 12, 2011, 03:14:54 am »
Chapter 15

Oh my life is changing every day,
in every possible way.
Though my dreams, it’s never quite as it seems.
Never quite as it seems.

Theed, Naboo

0800 Hours, Thursday
The modest apartment was dimly lit, the thick curtains still drawn to block the daylight.  Kamiko was a night person as far back as she could remember, preferring artificial light to natural.  She was sitting in her favorite oversized chair, gripping a hot mug of caf tightly.  Theodorik had given her the mug years before, right about the time he had gotten her addicted to the hot beverage.   The young brunette held the cup at arm’s length and inspected the graphic on the side.  It read, “Give Baby Some Sugar”, a nod to her taste for the sweetener.
The mug was a gift, and until this morning, had been tucked away in her closet.  Marcus would have a temper tantrum if he saw it, the bottom was marked “To Little K, Love Sturmy”.  Last night, she was struck by the inclination to dig it out, and now she was enjoying a hot mug of sweet memory.
She thought back to how her and Theo were always very casual together, especially when they were in the company of others.  He wasn’t much for public affection, aside from the occasional hand holding.  To most onlookers, they were just really good friends, enjoying food, music, and sarcasm together.   When they looked at each other, and when their eyes met, that was the betrayer.  Only recently did Kammi appreciate the love that Theo held for her in his eyes.
Kammi slowly took a sip from the mug, noting it was still extremely hot on her lips.  She raised an impish eyebrow and her face formed a smirk.  She was suddenly thinking of something else that was hot on her alluring lips.
“Boy, what I wouldn’t give for a hot glass of you right now,” she said aloud.
He was surprisingly gentle with her when they were alone, a detail she had never shared with anyone.  The handsome Stormtrooper had been her first, and took such special care of her that she cried when their first lovemaking session had ended.  Behind closed doors, the boy was such a contrast from his “street” persona.  His tenderness was something that none of her other lovers had ever been able to match.
The musical tone of her doorbell abruptly ended her daydream.  Kammi bolted upright and deposited the mug on her end table, spilling some of the liquid.
“Nuts,” she muttered, “Who the heck could this be?”
She trotted to the door, holding her hip length robe closed. Clearing her throat, she thumbed the button for the intercom.
“Hello, who is it?” she asked groggily.
“This is Captain Sykes of Royal Security Forces,” responded a gruff voice.
Kamiko tightened her face, confused.
“Can you show me some ID?” she asked, switching on her view screen.
A middle aged man was outside, wearing a long brown trench coat.  He reached inside and produced a flat holo card, then held it up in the camera’s view.
Gavin Sykes
Royal Security Forces
Investigations Division
Kammi shrugged, tied her robe, and depressed a button on the keypad in front of her, opening the door.  She figured that anyone that had gotten past Skip was legitimate, and he started his shift an hour ago.
South of Theed, Naboo

0840 Hours, Thursday

“You still haven’t told us where we are going!” Corporal “Milky” Berran shouted over the Larty’s engines.
“I am not one hundred percent sure yet, Milk.  Just like I told you, there is some activity south of Lassay that caught the Major’s attention,” Outlaw shouted back.
“Why is Imperial Intelligence always so vague?” chimed in Sergeant “Buzz” Candro.
“Wish I knew, Buzzy, I just do what I’m told,” Outlaw shrugged.
The pilot held up his hand and waved, drawing Outlaw’s attention, and then pointed to his ears, indicating the scout leader should put on his headphones.
“What is it?” Outlaw asked as he stuck his head into the bulky ear coverings.
“You may want to check in with your base station. I was getting some unusual sounding radio traffic about 90 seconds ago, and now I am getting static. I’ve got a strong feeling that we are getting jammed.”
“Jammed? Are you serious?” asked the Lieutenant.
“Yes, and I think my radar is also being jammed,” replied the pilot.
In the background, one of the men noted seeing smoke in the distance.  Outlaw removed the headphones and plunked his armored helmet over his head, and attempted to contact the CNC by terrestrial radio, but was met with static.  Just then, his information center received a message.  The squad leader removed his headphones and shouted to the men aboard the air speeder.
“Something’s going on guys; you better get ready to slug it out with some Rebels.”
The men momentarily exchanged confused looks, and then went about checking their gear.  Outlaw opened the message.
“Brigade sized? Frack, that’s something like 9,000 troops,” he said aloud.
“Brigade sized? What the frack is going on ‘Law?” interjected Staff Sergeant “Hammer” Abstreiter.
“We’ve got major problems,” Outlaw said, exhaling through his mouth heavily.
He grabbed for his headphones again, forwarding the message to his squad.  Outlaw then alerted the pilot of the intended destination.
“Guys, check your info centers,” the Lieutenant ordered.
Command & Control Center

Field Base Baz Nitch, Naboo

0858 Hours, Thursday
A small feeling of relief washed over Major Melyssa Kassel when she read Outlaw’s reply.  Got it covered was all it said.  Two large military transports were sent from Keren to evacuate Lianorm, as it appeared the enemy force had intentions of capturing it.  The long range team that the Major had tried to insert into the area had turned around after taking a rocket to the tail.  All passengers and crew were unscathed, but the pilot was forced to put the craft down about 4 kilometers south of Lianorm.
The LRRP’s aboard the doomed Larty reported around 2500 mechanized vehicles of many different types before the terrestrial communications network (TCN) went silent.  The Major assumed the logical course of action for the stranded troopers was to head to Lianorm.
“Major, I’ve almost isolated the jamming frequency; we should have the TCN back shortly.  In the meantime, the SatCom satellite is being repositioned,” explained Specialist Gestaad.
“Good,” she replied; the Intelligence Officer did not like being blind.
The Major took a deep breath.  A huge invasion force coming out of nowhere, she thought, they are going to have my head for this.  After the long range team was hit by the rocket, the commissioned officer reached out to the Theed Stormtrooper Garrison.  The Colonel readied four battalions of Stormtroopers, and ordered them to Baz Nitch.  He himself, and a small command staff, were also headed to the Field Base to command the operation.
With the expansion of the Galactic Civil War, the planet now quartered only the I Corps of the 3rd Imperial Army of Naboo, the rest of her troops were elsewhere.  While the I Corps boasted 48,000 troops, they were spread out across the planet, and could take up to 72 hours to assemble.  For now, the Colonel was relying on the 31st Air Assault Battlegroup, 10,000 troopers, 500 repulsorcraft, and 106 heavy tanks.  The entire Battlegroup was in orbit around the planet, on board I Corps' transport ship.  Initial elements of the highly mobile force would be on the ground within the hour.
“Spirits help me,” sighed the Major.
Alliance Underground Headquarters

Gallo Mountains, Naboo

0902 hours, Thursday
There was a noticeable commotion throughout the underground base; Captain Krieger could sense it even from his dim jail cell. Despite the rattle of keys at his heavy wooden door, he remained still. A frantic Lieutenant Burchenall rushed into the holding area.
“Krieger, I need your help,” blurted out his replacement.
“What?” the Corellian replied, his voice devoid of emotion.
“It’s the Gungans; they’ve started the attack early!”
Stories / Re: Restless Hearts
« Last post by Theodorik on July 08, 2011, 02:43:51 am »
North of Lassay, Naboo

0500 Hours, Thursday
The modified infantry transport lifted off the ground, its passengers sat in silence as they looked over the Imperial spy.  Captain Shellbee “Vixen” Belle wore a smug expression, and she looked rather refreshed considering the hour.  1st Sergeant “Slice” Ravenheart noted the subdued smuggler lying on the deck, bound at the hands and feet, with a black cloth over his head.  The non-commissioned officer rolled her eyes and scoffed.  They sent that little girl to bring in a prisoner, she thought, Intelligence must be out of their minds.
Sergeant Visk “Hawkbat” Chobrea rested his head against the back wall of the Larty, eyes transfixed on the intelligence officer.  He kept his expression neutral, trying not to let his amusement show.  The energetic looking brunette could have been a fashion model or an actress, he noted.  He nearly laughed out loud when he looked at the grin plastered on her face, but managed to limit it to a smirk.  It was clear from her body language that the 1st Sergeant was not impressed with the young field agent.
The entire long range patrol was looking forward to some much needed and well deserved sleep.  Their mission had yielded valuable information, and just like in most cases with a long range recon team, they may never know how valuable.  As they sped toward the field base, the Commanding Major of the operation was already asleep.  An aerial reconnaissance droid would be over a new area of interest within two hours.  Morning would hopefully bring some answers.
Command & Control Center

Field Base Baz Nitch, Naboo

0708 Hours, Thursday
Major Melyssa “Jezebel” Kassel sat in the Command Center alone, her entire staff now asleep in their shelters.  The commissioned officer had taken a refreshing two and a half hour power nap of her own, and was glad for it.  At 0800, two technicians were coming in to man the CNC, members of her staff that she had held in reserve so she had fresh operators for the daylight hours.  Until they reported to their consoles, Major Kassel would take care of all of the CNC’s duties.
Currently, the task was a simple one.  Only one aircraft was not at its base, and that was Theodorik’s Larty.  The rest of the personnel, the technicians, shooters, medical staff, etc, were secure.  Only one intelligence officer was in the field now, the twi’lek named Cabod Nive.  His latest information was that of a quiet return to office for Mayor Ferran Ryltans in Lianorm.  The only actual work was tracking the supply carts and watching the video of the aerial reconnaissance probe.  The probe was mere minutes away from arriving above the carts, several thousand feet overhead, out of reach of all but the most sophisticated radars.
“Theed Station to Field Base Baz Nitch,” crackled the terrestrial radio.
“Go ahead Theed,” Melyssa replied.
“Visual feed should be available for the aerial droid, you have a delay of about 15 seconds, but otherwise it should be good to go.”
“Roger that Theed, I am looking for a circular hover at the coordinates which I am sending you now.”
Melyssa raced to a different console and transmitted the coordinates, then raced back to her view screen, which was now showing the view of the aerial droid.
“Marvelous,” she said, watching the droid hover 80,000 feet above Naboo.
The camera on the droid spotted what looked like movement through the jungle below, the operator in Theed instinctively zoomed in.
“Whoa, I lost signal,” reported the droid pilot.
On her view screen, Major Kassel could see a round object rapidly come into view, until the screen went black.  She could hear angry shouts through her headphones, as Theed Station was not pleased at the loss of the equipment.  Looking up, the intelligence officer also noticed the tracking devices had ceased transmitting a location.
“Frack, they know we are onto them,” she muttered.

Imperial Garrison, Theed

0738 Hours, Thursday
An uncomfortable twi’lek couple sat at the Garrison Commander’s conference table, opposite a pair of serious looking Special Forces Stormtroopers.
“I know none of us slept well,” Outlaw began, “so I will keep this short and to the point.”
The First Lieutenant noted that the Lom’s daughter, Koyi, his most recent ex-girlfriend, had not come down to the conference room.  While she hadn’t been requested, the young man figured she was as hungry for answers as anyone else was.  Perhaps she was taking the break-up a little harder than she let on.  It wasn’t high on the concern list currently, however, so Outlaw pressed on.
“Let me tell you what I know, you fill in the blanks, deal?”
“Yes, that is acceptable,” replied the Interior Minister.
It was a slightly surreal experience for the young Lieutenant, questioning the couple that he met under far different circumstances.  Now it was Lord Lom’s turn to be uncomfortable, and Outlaw was the one with all the answers.
“Some heavy equipment arrives from Corellia, shipped from a Mr. Vantiss.  It bypasses customs, and is sent directly to RTA.  Corellian Security has pretty good evidence that Trade Minister Tossa allowed this.  Someone, quite possibly under Tossa’s direction, or even he himself, was using your electronic signature to send the equipment to Lassay.”
Outlaw paused as Lord Lom grew wide eyed.  The expression on his face told the soldier that Lord Tossa had been a trusted ally of Lom’s, and never would have suspected him of foul play.
“Corellian Security was actually investigating both of you, but on a hunch, Master Sergeant Novastriker had RTA change all the electronic signatures, and add a verification code to the process.”
“Skip thought we were innocent,” Lady Lom softly interjected.
“Correct, and that’s when everything came crashing down for Tossa, who is now missing by the way.”
The Lom’s immediately looked relieved, now realizing they were not in any real trouble now.  Outlaw took note of the way Lord Lom grasped his wife’s shoulders reassuringly.  That was when a uniformed crewman burst into the room.
“Lieutenant, you’ve gotta come down to the Command Center, right away,” he shouted.
“What the hell … okay … wait a damn second …” Outlaw held his index finger up to the man, a scowl forming on his face.
Outlaw exhaled hard as the man stepped out into the hallway.  Turning to the Lord and Lady, a tired smile formed on his face. He didn’t notice the door had been left open by the crewman.
“Lord and Lady Lom, I am sorry you had to be mixed up in this ordeal.  I also wish that things between your daughter and I could be different.  Koyi will always have a special place in my heart, but she is at an age where she needs to find her own way.  My destiny is with the Empire. Hers, well, who knows?  I hope you let her spread her wings and find herself. She is a wonderful girl.  Now, I am afraid this is the last time I will speak to either of you. So I must thank you for your hospitality and wish you well.  Master Segeant Novastriker will likely take over the questioning, I don't see any point in continuing myself.  I just wanted to shed some light on this situation that we are in.  I figured I owed you at least that much.  If someday, we do cross paths again, I hope that it will be as friends.”
Outlaw stretched out his hand to the twi’lek, who now wore a slightly amused visage.
“Theo, or should I say, Lieutenant,” he said with a wink, “You are a very honorable young man, I wish you well also.  And believe me, my wife and I know what a gem our daughter is.  I thank you for bringing out the best in her.”
The two men rose and reached across the table and grasped hands.  Outlaw offered a smile and a slight wave to the female twi’lek to Lord Lom’s side. She returned the smile and winked, reminding the trooper where Koyi’s looks came from.  The human took a deep breath and joined the nervous man in the hallway.  A muffled “What?” could be heard as they hurried down the hallway toward the elevator.  Outlaw hadn’t noticed a younger purple twi’lek hiding in the shadows across the hallway from the conference room.
“I wonder Theo, what would have been if you and I met at a different time, in a different place,” Koyi whispered.
Someday, Koyi Lom would find her place in the galaxy and someone to share it with.  Until then, she had the memories of her first love, the gallant Stormtrooper, Theodorik Sturmwolke.
I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to do with you.
It's personal, myself and I,
We've got some straightenin' out to do.
And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket,
But I've got to get a move on with my life.
It's time to be a big girl now,
And big girls don't cry.
Stories / Re: Restless Hearts
« Last post by Theodorik on June 27, 2011, 05:21:54 pm »
Village of Lassay, Naboo

0404 Hours, Thursday
Don’t kill him unless you absolutely have to.
Vixen twisted her face into a distraught expression as she looked into the refresher room mirror.  The message was slightly disappointing, but the spy understood.  As much as Captain Belle would enjoy leaving Naboo littered with Rebel corpses, it wasn’t practical.  The mission required that she bring Pohar in to be questioned, and then probably turned over to the RSF.  Her personal recordings of him while they talked at the bar were enough to convict him of high treason.  She tucked her hair back behind her ears and splashed water onto her face.
“Bragging idiot,” she said aloud.
Pohar was currently sleeping off the tranquilizer that Shellbee had slipped him.  He would awake in a jail cell at the field base, surrounded by a few people who wished to make his acquaintance.  Vixen had already sprung her Kaadu from the stable, and placed several tracking devices on the caravan vehicles.  She was now preparing to carry her prisoner off to rendezvous with a drop ship.  Major Kassel informed her that the ship was part of another mission, but could pick her up just before dawn, assuming all went well with its previous pick-up.
After confirming the street was clear, Agent Vixen carried the unconscious man to the waiting pack animal, and slung him irreverently over the saddle.  Satisfied that her baggage was sufficiently covered, she led the creature north toward her pick-up point.  The risk was palpable, being alone in the swamps with her “cargo”.  The Captain armed herself with a pair of KYD-21 pistols, but was counting on the pre-dawn hour to be her best defense.
“My work here is done,” she sighed.
Command & Control Center

Field Base Baz Nitch, Naboo

0415 Hours, Thursday
The makeshift command post had reached a level of somewhat calm, as the field operations began to wind down.  The speeder truck driver was being questioned by Agent Wraith; at last report, he was spilling his guts without hesitation.  Outlaw’s team had returned, as well as the other long range patrol from Field Base Acklay.  Remaining was Ravenheart’s team, who were on to the second phase of their mission, and Captain Belle plus one.  Major Kassel’s nervous stomach had subsided, and she finally relaxed her posture.
The command staff had much more information regarding the supply chain now, which was now effectively ended.  Outlaw was meeting with a CorSec officer in the morning to discuss the movement of the hardware to Naboo.  The missing links were the Trade Minister and his son, Heemo, both never returning from their trip from the day before.  CorSec had promised some answers, including a name from the Corellian side of the smuggling operation.
“Major, you might be interested in this,” interrupted a technician.
“What?” she asked, sounding more than a little annoyed.
“The supply caravan, they initially moved northwest toward our target area, but they’ve just turned due southwest.”
“They’re moving away from the target area?”
“Yes ma’am, same speed, but all of the tracking devices are now headed southwest.”
“Okay,” Jezebel was now on her feet, “Track them closely, keep me posted.”
The Intelligence Officer looked at her data device, now resting on the table.  The mission orders for the two LRRP teams were on the screen, centering on the today’s findings and the previous satellite imagery.  The blonde woman exhaled through pursed lips; she had hoped the teams tomorrow would be able to finally find the Rebel headquarters.  The supplies did not take the route that everyone had surmised they would take; the mission orders would have to be changed.
“Major, one more thing,” the tech announced.
“Yes, Specialist Gestaad,” she huffed.
“1st Sergeant Ravenheart’s team has been picked up, she is reporting that they did not observe any supply movement.”
“That confirms what the tracking devices are telling us, anything else?” she asked.
“There were signs of a path, coming from Lassay and heading northwest, but it had been days or longer since it saw any movement.”
Major Kassel’s brain was nearing shutdown, there was a surplus of information coming into her head and she couldn’t handle all of it.  Did the Rebels move their HQ in the last week?  Were there multiple bases out there?  She had one asset left to utilize, one that she normally did not trust.  Major Kassel’s hand was forced, her resources were spread thin, and the equipment and personnel would begin to show sign of fatigue soon enough.  She would send an aerial probe droid to follow the supplies they were tracking.
“Get the Theed Stormtrooper Garrison’s watch officer on my holo screen,” she demanded.
Stories / Re: Restless Hearts
« Last post by Theodorik on June 23, 2011, 11:41:45 pm »

Chapter 14
The path that I’m walking, I must go alone.
I must take the baby steps ‘till I’m full grown, full grown.
Fairy tales don’t always have a happy ending, do they?
And I foresee the dark ahead if I stay.
Field Base Baz Nitch, Naboo

0240 Hours, Thursday
The Imperial landing craft flared out into a slow hover and carefully descended onto the small landing pad.  Other than the dark sky, there was little indication that it was nearly 3 in the morning local time.  Crews were busy replenishing fuel and ammo in the Lartys, and making last minute adjustments before picking up 1st Sergeant Ravenheart’s team.
Lieutenant Outlaw Sturmwolke noticed Major Jezebel waiting for him, along with her security detail, and a very serious looking Warrant Officer.  They were going to question the delivery truck driver right now, it appeared.  As soon as he was physically able, the Stormtrooper Lieutenant was off of the craft, heading towards Major Kassel.  Outlaw was interested in some news on the other operators that were downrange this morning.  As he briskly walked to the Major, her security detail raced to the Larty to nab the prisoner they’d hauled in.
“Lieutenant, I have some news for you,” Jezebel began as Outlaw grew near.
“Okay, that sounds ominous, what’s the news?” the Stormtrooper replied.
“Your girlfriend, she is in protective custody in Theed,” Major Kassel managed not to sound smug.
“Kamiko is in protective custody? For what?” he stammered.
“Kamiko, ha … no … Koyi Lom, the twi’lek, she is being held at the Imperial Garrison in Theed,” Major Kassel reported, amused.
“Why is she being held?” Outlaw asked, relieved and confused all at once.
“Her father is tied to a smuggling ring it seems,” she paused for effect, “the same smuggling ring that was arming our Rebel enemies in the swamps.”
“Fracking terrific,” he cursed, “so, why are you telling me this?”
“I’m not heartless Theo, I am sure she needs to see a friendly face,” Major Kassel offered, “and I would have bet you’d want to see her too. But, it seems you haven’t lost those feelings for that Corellian girl …”
“Okay, enough, Melyssa,” he huffed, exhaling through his nose; “I’m going to Theed then, is that the plan?”
Major Melyssa Kassel was momentarily stunned by the use of her first name by the Lieutenant. He had only referred to her as Major or Jezebel since her short affair with a member of his team had ended.  She had initially been very close to the teams as the 220th was first organized.  Outlaw felt she was too close, and when he found out a man on his squad was bedding the Major; he became quite vocal in his opposition.  The man on his squad broke off the relationship at his Lieutenant’s request.  This was when the Major began to pry into the Outlaw’s personal life. 
“Yes, go to Theed.  They are refueling your bird and you are to go and find out how the Loms are involved,” she finally answered.
The Scout trooper remained standing in front of the Major, in silence, enjoying her discomfort.  He knew he hadn’t called her by her first name since the incident on Lok with his squadmate.  All of his troopers were instructed not to fraternize with the members of the intelligence officers. The chilling of the personal relationship included referring to the Major by her rank or title, and not her first name as she had requested of the troopers.  An intervention by his brother Krienz, a Colonel and the platoon’s CO at the time, had prevented disaster.  The order to refrain from fraternization of the two units was ultimately relaxed, but Major Kassel had distanced herself from the teams after that.  She did continue to ask the operators to call her by her first name, but Outlaw never would.
“I will be seeing to the questioning of this delivery truck driver, as you were Lieutenant,” she stated through pursed lips.
“Aye Aye Major,” Outlaw replied, swinging his arm briskly into a tight salute.
The junior officer held the salute until the Major returned it, and then he turned on his heels and strode towards the Larty.
“Damn that man,” Major Kassel sighed angrily, turning to tend to her own duties.
Imperial Garrison, Theed

0318 Hours, Thursday
The lights were low in the garrison commander’s office.  A pair of couches served as the beds for Lord Lom and his wife, about as comfortable as Imperial office furniture could be.  A roll away bed had been mustered for Koyi, only slightly more suitable than her parents current sleeping arrangements.  Ironically, her father insisted she have the actual bed, and she was the only one who could not fall asleep.  She had sent a barrage of messages to Theodorik, all unanswered.
“Can’t sleep?”
Koyi heard the soft voice, just above a whisper, and leapt up to her feet.  Standing in the doorway was Theodorik, all 6’2” of his rugged frame.  His face was cast in shadow, a light from behind him reaching into the room, giving him a spectral appearance.
“Theo,” the twi’lek sighed.
Koyi realized that she was relieved to see him, to see that he was not harmed.  It was an emotion she hadn’t allowed herself to think about this night.  She sighed deeply, admitting to herself that the biggest reason she could not be a military wife, was being in the dark.  She was surprised to see him, glad he was okay, but not knowing when he would rush out again, and for how long; that was too much.
“I’ve been sending you messages all night.  We sort of got into some trouble,” she breathed, purposely not rising to meet him.
“Sorry for that, my personal device is back at the base,” he replied softly.
She closed her eyes and nodded.  Tears began to stream down her face as she attempted to explain her feelings to the trooper.
“Theo, I don’t think I can do this anymore, you and me, us … I mean …” she said finally.
A definitive lump formed in Theodorik’s throat, as ego took charge of his body before common sense could.  He breathing became uneven, and words failed him as he took a step into the room.  He glanced at the sleeping Lord and Lady, and then back to the eighteen year old, wearing a hurt face.
“Let’s go out here,” he gestured.
She nodded and complied, softly gliding across the floor and into the outer room.  Theo exhaled heavily, watching her go, when a thought entered his head.  You weren’t going to marry this girl, this is for the best.
 “I know,” he sighed.
“What’s that?” the young girl asked, turning back to face him.
Theo shook his head, “I know. Koyi, it’s for the best.  It doesn’t make it easy. But you are right.”
“Spirits, that’s the truth, just kissing you, holding you, I am going to miss that,” she admitted.
“But I’m only eighteen, and you’ve made me realize that I can do so much more with my life,” she continued.
“Yeah, I can’t ask you to wait around until I return.  You should see as much of this galaxy as you can,” he chuckled.
“Theodorik, you have opened my eyes in so many ways.  The times we had together,” she paused, closing her eyes and inhaling sharply, “those thoughts will keep me warm at night, knowing that there are men like you in the galaxy.”
The Stormtrooper’s face crinkled into a smile, warmth building in his cheeks.  A single tear rolled down his right cheek, which Koyi promptly wiped away.
“That means a lot to me, that you think of me that way,” he supplied.
“You are a true hero, Theo. And I know that your heart belongs to another, even if I could be with you, you aren’t mine to have,” this time Koyi shed a single teardrop.
“I guess I am pretty transparent when it comes to that, and you know … her …” his voice trailed off.
“I know, Theo.  I knew when I saw your face in the elevator that night.  Twi’leks read body language better than anyone,” she laughed gently.
“I’m glad we had this time together, as short as it was,” he smiled.
“It was short, wasn’t it? It seemed longer, but I guess when you think about it, huh …” she laughed.
“It was long enough,” he joined her laughter.
“Koyi, I won’t forget you, and hell, why are we talking like this? This isn’t goodbye,” he put on a faux stern expression.
“Not goodbye,” she agreed, nodding.
“I’m going to miss the way your le’ku shake when you nod your head …”
She suddenly bounded into him, and enveloped him in a massive hug.
“Please be careful, and please keep in touch.  Tell that fire chick that she better take care of you, I know where she lives.”
Theodorik and Koyi held that embrace for a few moments, and then the two parted, both literally and figuratively.  The twi’lek was finally able to sleep a few minutes later, her mind at ease.  As he made his way to the elevator, Theodorik kicked himself for not asking about her father or the raid on their pent house.
He admonished his reflection in the polished silver doors, “Women really do knock you off your game, don’t they?”
General Discussion / Re: Comments on "Restless Hearts"
« Last post by Operative Ghost on June 23, 2011, 10:56:24 pm »
Fear the wrath of ......

I probably wouldn't want to fear the wrath of the pilot in my sig during pvp... oh you may be talking of someone differnt :p
Edit: Yay!  And lol about women throwing you off your game :D
General Discussion / Re: Comments on "Restless Hearts"
« Last post by Onyxs on June 22, 2011, 11:39:58 pm »

That updated scene in the last post of Chapter 13 . . . .

Just OMG, so totally awesome in so many ways--humor, action, suspense. Keep it coming. Fear the wrath of ......

Not going to tell you who/what, you just have to read it.
Stories / Re: Restless Hearts
« Last post by Theodorik on June 18, 2011, 12:37:11 am »
Somewhere Over “Roadway 1”, Naboo

0150 Hours, Thursday

“Things are starting to get interesting around here, eh Doc?” Milky shouted over the hum of the Larty engine.
Doctor Z turned and offered him a toothy smile.
“Yeah Milk, just like old times,” he shouted back.
The venerable Larty had delivered the Lancers to many battles over the last three years.  It was a robust craft, serving the Empire since before the days of the Clone Wars.  The ship was a welcome sight for the Clone Troopers, bringing much needed reinforcements, food, medical supplies, or just a much needed ride home.  The troopers affectionately coined the craft’s nickname, and crews grew quite attached to them.
Currently the old war horse was used sparingly in the Imperial Army, being replaced by the Imperial Dropship Transport (IDT) and the Multi Altitude Assault Transport (MAAT).  But it found new life within the Special Forces, being easily modified and much easier to maintain than the new transports.  Ship mechanics would often speak about the good old Larty with reverie, harkening back to a simpler time with less technology to go awry.
“What are we looking for ‘Law?” asked Buzz over his shoulder.
“A speeder truck, it should be pretty simple to find out here at this hour,” Outlaw answered.
Historically, the infantry transport was capable of carrying up to thirty troops and a pair of door gunners.  The Special Operations variants flown by the 160th SOAR held considerably less. In theory it could now carry nineteen, but fifteen fully laden SF operators was often a tight fit.  It was common for them to carry a single trooper lance, five operators, and the ship’s crew into battle.  The sacrificed crew room was the price of more powerful engines, larger fuel cells, and enhanced armor plating.  The SO-LAAT/I could stay in battle longer, and protect its occupants more easily.
“Lieutenant, I have located the speeder truck, 3 kilometers south, heading toward Lassay at a high rate of speed,” reported the ship’s co-pilot.
“Very well, we need to slow him down some, swoop in and light off the tree line a few hundred meters in front of him,” Outlaw ordered.
“Roger that!” came the reply from the cockpit, “hold on boys.”
The Larty turned to the south, picking up speed, then banked hard around until it was flying directly over the roadway.  The truck was still cruising northbound, its driver now wondering what the racket was behind him.  He focused on his rear view screen, which was pointed at the road behind him, and revealed nothing.  Suddenly, both sides of the road before him erupted in flames.
“What the frack?!” he screamed, bringing the repulsor craft to a rapid halt.
The driver gripped the steering yoke with both hands, breathing heavily.  The trees on either side of the roadway, a few hundred yards in front of him, were completely in flames.  He momentarily considered turning around and going back toward Lassay, but that would create a host of problems.  This was the only way back to Lianorm, and then to points north.  His boss and his girlfriend both expected him at a certain time tonight, and doubling back would risk raising suspicions with both of them.  No, he would continue forward, between the rows of flames.  There is plenty of room for the truck, I can make it, he thought.
As he was about to ease the truck forward however, he heard a low roar above his head.  Slowly hovering into position on the road in front of him, was a wicked looking air craft.
“What the …” stammered the truck driver, his body frozen in place.
Almost on cue, several armed figures leapt out of the sides of the craft, and advanced on the truck, weapons trained on him.  Still too petrified to move, the driver realized they were calling out to him as they slowly closed the distance between them.  Before his body could react, his door was being ripped open, and he was on the ground next to his delivery speeder.  Suddenly, it became apparent what was occurring, this had to do with his clandestine runs down to Lassay.  He only hoped that these dangerous fellows screaming at him were local law enforcement, and not rival pirates, or worse, imperials.
“Cuff him, throw a bag over his head, and throw him in the Larty,” shouted Outlaw.
The RTA driver had never heard of a Larty, so he was praying to the spirits that it was not some kind of torture device.  Suddenly, the lights went out, the aforementioned bag draped over his head.  The crooked delivery man did his best to follow what was going on, as best he could tell, he was aboard the flying machine.  I do hope this thing is the Larty, he thought.
He felt himself being sat upright, an uneasy feeling building in his stomach as the craft began to ascend.
“I hope you aren’t wasting your time thinking of excuses for what you did,” shot an angry voice, just inches from his face.
“What … wait … who are you?” he stammered through the fabric of the bag.
“We’re your worst nightmare,” shot another voice, from farther away, and then the first voice spoke up again.
“You were taking money from the wrong people, tough guy,” chided Outlaw.
The captured driver swallowed hard.
“I would just throw you out into the jungle if I could,” Buzz spat at the man.
“Me too,” Outlaw agreed, “But after Jezebel gets done with him, he’ll wish we did.”
The blinded and handcuffed man attempted to speak, but Outlaw shushed him.
“Quiet! Best thing for you to do, is to answer every question she has for you, and don’t concoct some ridiculous story, just tell the truth.”
The hooded man nodded and offered a muffled whimper of acknowledgement. It really wasn’t fair, Outlaw thought.  The guy was just a pawn, nowhere near a professional.  The Lieutenant was pretty sure he would have already cooperated without hesitation; he just wanted to make sure.
He gave Milky a smile, who responded with his own amused visage.  Too easy, Outlaw said to himself.

Village of Lassay, Naboo

0215 Hours, Thursday
Deel Pohar sat perched on the bar stool casually; eyeing the sultry brunette seated only a few places away.  He was having an amazing string of good luck lately, in both business and with the ladies.  The former law enforcement officer had now moved eleven shipments of illicit goods to the Gungans.  Other people might shudder at some of the cargo, heavy weapons, tank ammunition, etc, but Pohar didn’t lose a minute of sleep over it.  His new life was all about the credits, and he now had more than knew what to do with.  The smuggler turned to face the brunette again, this time making eye contact.
Pohar/Grifke motioned for the woman to occupy the empty stool to his left, she responded with an arched eyebrow.  The ruffian’s sly smile grew larger as he motioned to her again, come here and sit by me, he mouthed.  This time the woman obliged, slowly rising from her seat and sexily slinking to sit next to man.  Shellbee easily glided into place next to him, offering a coy come-hither smile.  The unaware thug returned the smile and placed his hand on the intelligence officer’s arm.
“I’m Deel, welcome to Lassay,” he greeted her smoothly.
“I’m Miss Belle, and thank you,” she answered.
“So, what are the chances of you and me spending some time together tonight?” the man asked next.
“Oh, I think they are very good,” replied the undercover agent slyly.
Hold me …
Thrill me …
Kiss me … Kill me!
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