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31
Stories / Re: Restless Hearts
« Last post by Theodorik on March 31, 2011, 03:30:42 pm »
Chapter 9

The changing of sunlight to moonlight,
Reflections of my life,
Oh how they fill my eyes.
The greetings of people in trouble,
Reflections of my life,
Oh how they fill my eyes.

 
Command & Control Center

Field Base Baz Nitch, Naboo

0119 Hours, Sunday
 
Theodorik sat hunched forward in his chair, elbows resting on his knees, hands covering his face.  He exhaled hard, one of the paradoxes of the Special Forces, he thought. To be selected for specialized duty, you had to be combat tested as a conventional solider, likely seeing many of your friends and squad mates die in the process.  But once you were SF, you were surrounded by a higher caliber of trooper, and everything you did was so carefully rehearsed and planned.  Death of a teammate was much rarer, but much more difficult to handle, considering how intimate you knew your people.
 
Allison Ravenheart sat across from him in silence, leaned back, arms crossed, a weary expression draped over her face.  She loathed the position she was in, not only losing someone she knew well, but someone she was responsible for as a patrol leader.  Gart was young, and new to Special Forces, but by no means was he “green”.  He excelled as a scout and pathfinder, the ideal point man for a trooper lance.  The 1st Sergeant replayed everything in her mind over and over, wondering if she could have done something differently.  She sensed Outlaw was mentally going over the information from the incident, preparing to make his own assessment of her tactics.  Slice was not the tactician that the Lieutenant was, and her decision making was not as sharp or definitive.  No one’s was, Allison thought.
 
“After Kah made contact with your pursuers,” Outlaw spoke softly, posture unchanged.
 
“He called for me, Hotshot and I came to his position,” the patrol leader answered.
 
“Hotshot covered us while we went through the bodies, Spider and Hawk kept look out.”
 
“Okay, did you consider an extraction at that time?”
 
“I did, but there was no evidence that we had any more trackers, and we found no communications devices on the three that were behind us. I doubted they had called to warn anyone else of our presence.”
 
Outlaw inhaled deeply and then sighed dramatically once again.  He sat back in his chair, head tilted back slightly.  Slice wasn’t sure if it was the stress of the situation or that he just didn’t buy her answer, it was a true statement however.
 
“Okay, now to when you reached the abandoned building, Kah and Visk both told me that Gart was too close to the bad guys to move out.”
 
“Yes.”
 
“And you decided to wait for the bikes to arrive, which is a sound decision in my book.”
 
“Okay,” she answered, still not at ease.
 
“I’m just disappointed in your situational awareness, Allie.  You had tunnel vision.”
 
Tunnel vision was a result of the body’s high adrenaline production, and reduced the effectiveness of the peripheral vision.  It was constantly plaguing troops in the field, despite attempts to counteract it both medically and with specialized helmets.  The only practical solution was situational awareness, the intersection of perception and reality.  You had to continuously keep information regarding your surroundings coming into your brain.  If you focused on only one task, even something as taxing as a firefight, you could get caught unprepared.  It was why flanking was still a viable infantry tactic, despite being known to virtually everyone.
 
“I know ‘Law, it happened so fast,” she paused, drawing in a deep breath, “I know it’s not an excuse.”
 
“Hey, it’s a difficult situation you were put in, and I am not a hundred percent sure it contributed to how things ended.  Just keep it in mind, and make sure everyone in your squad understands this, or Gart will have gotten killed for nothing.”
 
“I understand,” she replied, relaxing slightly.
 
“I’m still mad at you for the night in Lianorm, though,” Outlaw continued, surprising the 1st Sergeant.
 
“What?”
 
“Why would you let the other Larty take off first? You left the transport with Poppy on the ground! He was our objective, getting him out of there should have been the first priority!” Outlaw straightened in his chair as made his point.
 
“I know,” she sighed, “I was more afraid of leaving you guys behind, I wanted to stay in case the other transport wouldn’t wait for you.  I should have gotten out and waited with the other Larty.”
 
“Well,” Outlaw yawned, “I appreciate the concern for us, but if any two idiots would have been okay with being left alone, it would have been Kah and I.”
 
“Yes Outlaw, I know this.  I felt responsible for the screw up with the Flash Speeders and I didn’t want to see you guys get left because of it.”
 
The Lieutenant sighed and dropped his hands to his knees.
 
“I guess that’s as good of an explanation as any.  Just keep your eyes on the prize next time, Slice.”
 
Allison nodded in acknowledgement, the long day apparent on her face.  Theodorik rose and scratched his head; the stress of the mission caused a throbbing to creep into his skull.
 
“I'm going to bed, Allie. Get some sleep,” he said, “They are shipping Gart out in the morning.”
 
Sleep, yeah, like hell, Allison thought.
32
General Discussion / Re: Comments on "Restless Hearts"
« Last post by Operative Ghost on March 23, 2011, 03:42:27 pm »
Yay, Happy belated B-day! 

Awesome entries, I am liking them :)
33
Stories / Re: Restless Hearts
« Last post by Theodorik on March 22, 2011, 10:21:44 pm »
Theodorik was greeted at the elevator door by a very serious looking blue skinned twi’lek man, lekku resting neatly on his freshly pressed shirt.
 
“Mr. Sturmwolke, I presume,” Lord Lom stated sternly.
 
“Yes sir, Lord Lom, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Theo replied, knowing the Minister of the Interior from the picture in his intelligence file.
 
The Nabooian diplomat looked through rounded glasses at the Stormtrooper, lips pursed and both hands resting on his hips.  Theo began to close the distance between them, and offered his hand to Koyi’s father.
 
“You’re older looking than I expected,” he mused as he shook the younger man’s hand.
 
“I feel much younger than I look,” Theo said with a smile, the attempt at humor lost on the twi’lek.
 
The Interior Minister led his daughter’s guest further into the apartment, a large table adorned with flowers occupying the center of the vast foyer.  There was a second story balcony on the opposite side of the room, and a grand staircase emitting from it, large ornate banisters on either side.  The large foyer was filled with various sculptures and works of art.  But, of all the statues and artwork in the room, none was lovelier than what Theo saw next, Miss Koyi Lom on the balcony above them, hands delicately perched on the railing.
 
Words failed the Scout Trooper as he cast his eyes on the young twi’lek and her slinky black floor length dress.  She wore a seductive grin as she gracefully descended the stairs, her father looking on with arms crossed.
 
“Hello Daddy, I see you’ve met Theo,” she giggled as she reached the bottom of the steps.
 
Mr. Lom remained silent as he looked her over.  The pretty young twi’lek pressed her palms flat against the skirt of her dress and smoothed it over her shapely legs.  She flashed her boyfriend an absolutely devilish grin, causing his eyes to grow wide.
 
“You look stunning Koyi,” Theo finally mustered.
 
“Of course she does,” called a female voice from the other room, “she looks like her mother.”
 
An older female twi’lek, sporting the same purple skin tone as the younger girl, swiftly glided into the room.  Lady Lom wore a modest grey and silver frock, but her black patent leather high heels made her outfit anything but plain.  He noticed they were only slightly shorter than her daughter’s own footwear.  The lady of the house also wore the same black nail polish as the younger Miss Lom.  At least now he knew where his girlfriend got her sexual nature.  Lady Lom played with one of the several strings of pearls that adorned her neck as she reached her hand out to the Stormtrooper.
 
“Ilia Lom, welcome to our home,” she greeted him warmly, a seductive grin of her own forming on her face.
 
A male servant dressed in a white shirt and black bowtie strode into the foyer, towel draped over his arm.  Theo thought back to Koyi’s first time at the field base, and the surprise she exhibited at the encampment’s “servants”.  The Corellian had originally thought her disdain came from low-life soldiers having someone feed and clean up after them.  Now he realized Koyi had everything done for her, and she was probably weary of the hired help always hovering over her.
 
“Lunch is served in the dining room, Lord, Lady, Young Miss, and honored guest, please follow me,” directed the steward stiffly.
 
The nobles and guest casually ventured through huge double doors into a spacious dining room, the still very serious looking Lord Lom bringing up the rear of the group.
 

The speeder bikes finally coasted to a stop beside the three armed men, a total of four bikes, each with a single rider.  The conveyances were all different, all pieced together and haphazard looking. One of them looked like it could have been a Scout Trooper’s Aratech 74-Z speeder bike at one time, with very few original parts remaining.
 
Fracks sakes, seven of them, Fixer thought, this was going to be painful.

The men were loudly talking and slapping each other’s backs in greeting, oblivious to the danger that lie only meters away.  1st Sergeant Ravenheart steadied her breathing and moved the fire selector on her carbine out of safe mode, it was time to dance.  There was a saying that Theodorik’s brother Aliksander had always muttered before they were about to have contact with the enemy. Let’s do the nasty.

“Open fire,” she ordered calmly.
 
Five Scout Troopers began to spray blaster fire at the gang of criminals and their vehicles.  Almost immediately, one of the bikes erupted into a brilliant flash of light, obviously struck by a round.  Three of the bandits were dropped during the first volley of fire, another two lie on the ground disoriented or injured.   The final pair was able to return fire in the patrol’s general direction, but with questionable accuracy.
 
Spider had seized the opportunity and retreated behind Slice’s position.  Hawkbat alertly noticed his comrade’s retreat and hurled a fragmentation grenade into the group of bikes.  The resulting explosion momentarily blinded the patrol and silenced the remaining thugs, who now lay motionless beside the flaming chorus of bikes.  Suddenly a scream emerged from behind the slack man.
 
“We’re being flanked right!” shouted Hotshot, whose statement was punctuated by wild blaster fire from the 3 o’clock side.
 
The troopers swiveled to their right side, and returned fire at a gang of oncoming enemy.  Their numbers were obscured by the jungle growth, but the volume of fire indicated a minimum of five weapons being discharged.  Sgt “Fixer” Freedark was struck in the left forearm, rendering his information center useless, but otherwise causing him no harm.  Suddenly, the familiar sound of a grenade being tossed through foliage could be heard, and the patrol hit the deck.  Each member held their breath as an explosion ripped through the afternoon jungle.
 
Hotshot and Fixer shook their heads for a moment, realizing they were unscathed, continued to fire into the charging enemy.  Slice blinked her eyes a few times, and tried to assess the damage done by the explosive projectile.  To her left, Spider lay sprawled out motionless, camouflaged armor charred a sickening black and grey.
 
“Frack me, Spider’s been hit, we have to bail, now!”
 
“I’ve got him, Sarge,” Fixer shouted as he forearm crawled to his wounded squad mate.
 
“Rally 300 mikes, to my 4 o’clock!” she screamed.
 
Fixer slung the motionless body of the squad’s point man over his shoulder and began to run into the jungle, to the point indicated by the patrol leader.  The spot was a natural depression that Slice had identified on the map as a possible hide site.  It would hopefully provide enough cover to call in air support or an artillery strike, not to mention an extraction.
 
Hotshot and Slice rose and fired one last volley and then darted into the jungle behind Fixer.  Hawkbat remained on the ground, firing his carbine with gusto.
 
“Dammit Visk, let’s go!” Hotshot’s voice cracking as he screamed.
 
“I’m right behind you, one last trick up my sleeve,” he answered calmly.
 
Moments later, a foursome of enemy combatants came charging into view. Sergeant Visk “Hawkbat” Chobrea rose and removed his rucksack, tossing it a few meters behind him as he sprinted towards the Rally Point.  The pirate leading the charge paused momentarily as he spotted a camouflaged military rucksack bounding towards him.  What he didn’t see, was the length of para-cord stretched from the bottom of the sack to Hawkbat’s utility belt.  Nor did he notice the pin for the thermal detonator pull out through the bottom of the hurled item.
 
 
Theodorik had impressed the Lom’s throughout the dinner and the accompanying conversation.  It was clear where her father’s concern was rooted, the age difference and Theo’s profession.  It wasn’t that he felt a soldier was beneath her, in fact, her parents had called him a ‘hero’ and his cause ‘noble’ frequently. No, the real worry was the soldier’s life itself, mostly the uncertainty of where you would be sent from one day to the next.
 
As the afternoon wore on, the stern Lord Lom had relaxed his demeanor slightly.  His daughter was happy, and that was really all that mattered to him.  He did caution the young Stormtrooper from hurting his baby girl in any way.  One might think the much older and less fit Lord Lom would not last 8 seconds in a tangle with the rough and tumble Mr. Theo Sturmwolke. But the Lieutenant was sure the diplomat would be a force to be reckoned with regarding his only daughter.  The Corellian reasoned that Lord Lom could always pay someone to track him down.
 
The pleasant lunch had given way to afternoon tea, and the conversation grew more and more lighthearted.  Theodorik let out a sigh; he was beginning to feel at ease.  Koyi sat across from him, absolutely beaming from ear to ear.  This elicited a grin and a slight chuckle from the young man, his girlfriend was happy that he was getting along with her parents famously.  Theo’s smile faded as he abruptly bolted upright in his chair.
 
“Excuse me for a second,” he asked politely, rising from his chair and removing his data device from his pocket.
 
Need you here. Wawo’s base found. Team Bayonet being extracted; taking fire.  Air support en route.  BARC Speeder waiting out front five minutes. Jezebel.
 
 “Oh no,” Theo muttered as he pocketed the device “Lord, Lady, Koyi, I have to go.”
 
The twi’lek couple sat in mild shock as the young man suddenly departed.  Lady Lom raised her eyebrow at her husband who offered her a shrug.
“What is it Theo? What’s wrong?” Koyi asked as she rose to meet the young man, who was already halfway through the foyer.
 
“I’m sorry babe, I’ve gotta go, there’s been a development down in Lianorm. I’ve gotta go, please apologize to your parents for me. It was wonderful meeting them.”
 
 
The bandit sidestepped the tossed rucksack easily, scoffing out loud as he leveled his weapon on the now fleeing Scout Trooper.  A split second later, a powerful blast disintegrated the shooter’s lower body and ignited all the surrounding vegetation.  The other three pursuers had their bodies similarly shredded by the unexpected detonation.  The ensuing concussion flung Hawkbat forward onto his stomach, a temporary setback as he quickly rose and continued his retreat.
 
At the Rally Point, Slice was calling for the extraction and selecting a location for the Larty’s to land.  Fixer was attending to Spider and Hotshot was putting out a trio of anti-personnel mines in case they had more company.  Hawkbat had made it to the depression in the terrain and flopped down beside his 1st Sergeant.   He made an attempt to assist Fixer, but Slice waved him off.
 
“Call the Artie Boys, pummel that bunker,” she ordered.
 
Visk nodded, he would call for artillery aka the “Artie Boys” to unleash some hell on the pirate base of operations.  He selected the proper channel on his comm set just as some sporadic fire began to erupt in the distance.
 
“DX-1 this is Bayonet. Immediate suppression, grid 071078. Authentication is Kilo Romeo, over.”
 
“This is DX-1, Firing immediate suppression, grid 071078. Out.”
 
Hawkbat was going to suppress the incoming fire first, and then make it rain on the bunker.  Kilometers away, at Fire Base Dxun, the crews for a pair of Self Propelled Medium Artillery Turbolasers, or SPMA-T’s input the coordinates given to them by the forward observer.  Moments later, the pair of guns aimed skyward and each thumped two laser pulses into the sky.
 
“Incoming fire, take cover,” Sgt Chobrea announced.
 
A hundred meters away, the jungle exploded into bluish white light, and the enemy fire suddenly stopped.  Seconds later, another round of bluish white laser blasts rocked the ground, Hawkbat resumed his fire mission.
 
“DX-1, Adjust Fire, over.”
 
“This is DX-1, Adjust Fire, out.”
 
“Shift Fire, Left 60, add 400, Fire three rounds. Over”
 
“DX-1, Left 60, add 400, firing triple, authentication Alpha Juliet, over”
 
“Bayonet Authenticates, Whiskey, out”
 
The well trained observer watched as the artillery struck with precision, smashing into the bunker with several direct hits.  Multiple secondary detonations could be heard as the turbolasers penetrated deep into the concrete bunker, obliterating its occupants.  The hum of the incoming Larty’s could be heard over the din, music to everyone’s ears.
 
“Let’s move out, there is a clearing 300 mikes to the north,” 1st Sergeant commanded.
 
The patrol trudged toward their destination, and the awaiting transports.  Fixer carried Spider over his shoulder again, Hawkbat raced to him to offer his assistance.
 
“Hawk, I’ve got him,” Fixer reported seriously.
 
“Kah, I can help …”
 
“Visk, Spider’s dead, I’ve got him.”
 
The patrol remained silent all the way to the landing zone.
 
 
Koyi dutifully offered to accompany her boyfriend to the door, Theo was too preoccupied to refuse.  The Stormtrooper Lieutenant scratched the back of his neck as the pretty young twi’lek clung to his side.  The elevator suddenly stopped on the sixth floor, eliciting a muttered curse from the Imperial as he awaited the new passenger.   The doors whooshed open and Theo casually lifted his head to meet a familiar set of violet eyes.
 
“Theo?” asked the brunette.
 
“Kammi!” Theo exclaimed.
 
The young Corellian girl looked at the couple in the elevator, the rich twi’lek girl from the penthouse and the love of her life, standing there arm in arm.  Her eyes moved to the twi’lek, and the smug expression on her face as she tightly grasped the young man.
 
“I’ll take the next one,” Kammi sighed sadly, allowing the doors to close in front of her.
 
Theodorik stood awestruck as the elevator continued its descent.  When the doors to the lobby opened, he was greeted by a squad of Stormtroopers.
 
“Lieutenant, we have BARC speeder out front for you, we have to hurry,” stated the squad’s Sergeant.
 
Koyi hugged him one final time.
 
“Sorry Koyi, I’ll miss you.”
 
Sorry Koyi, I’ll miss Kammi more.

Cause every time we touch, I feel the static.
Every time we kiss, I reach for the sky.
Can’t you feel my heart beat so?
I can’t let you go.
I want you in my life.
 
34
General Discussion / Re: Comments on "Restless Hearts"
« Last post by Onyxs on March 22, 2011, 09:10:07 pm »
Oops, I missed one.

Happy Belated Birthday to Theo (the character), as we learned early in the story his birthday was March 17th.





Beyond that, LOVING the latest installments. I think my favorite quote currently is:

"Then a slightly older man, handsome and muscular arrives, calling on her parents, and he looks as nervous as a long tailed jax in a room full of rocking chairs."
35
Stories / Re: Restless Hearts
« Last post by Theodorik on March 21, 2011, 08:42:17 pm »
Theed, Naboo

1300 Hours, Saturday
 
Theodorik Sturmwolke shifted uncomfortably in his seat as the shuttle began its laggard decent into Theed.  The young man hated traveling this way, not just the speed, but the surroundings.  Mass transit, the bane of my existence, he thought.  The shuttle was mercifully empty, as not many people chose to travel to Theed from the Lake Retreat this early on a Friday; generally it was the other way around.  It was times like these that Theo missed the original “Outlaw”, his black and green AV-21 land speeder.
 
The scout trooper prematurely rose from his seat, catching the attention of the pilot, who had thought about admonishing him until he saw the scowl on the Corellian’s face.  His intense dislike of shuttle travel was allowing him to keep his mind from focusing on his actual worry, meeting Lord and Lady Lom.  He had practiced greeting them most of the day, fearing the alliteration in their name and titles alone was enough to make him stumble on his words.
 
The shuttle finally touched down and its doors opened with a whoosh of pressurized air, and Theo stepped out onto the platform.   He pulled his data pad out of his pants pocket and found the address he was looking for, a regal looking luxury apartment building a few minutes’ walk away.  The Lom’s occupied the entire top floor, which Koyi had called the “penthouse”.  His global positioning software selected a route for him to travel, but as usual, he would deviate from it in case he was being followed.  The unfortunate side effect of being a field spook was that you never could turn it off, at least not completely.  Theo would alter his routes and frequently double back to ensure no one was tailing him.
 
Within a few minutes of walking, the young man found himself at the Lom’s building.  He caught himself gazing skyward, admiring its height, a classic tourist move.  Theo silently cursed.  He had drawn the attention of a few people in the street, which dismissed him as a country rube in the city for the first time.  The humiliation starts before I even get in the building, he griped silently.
 
“Can I help you, sir?” asked a man in a red doorman’s uniform.
 
“Huh? Oh … Yeah, I’m here to see Lord and Lady Lom,” he blurted out.
 
Theodorik realized he had been standing there, directly in front of the doors for almost three full minutes.  He was sure he had removed any doubt in the door man’s mind that he was new to the city, still the man remained polite.  Theo figured it was the trooper’s imposing physique that kept the door man from treating him with complete disdain, much in the way of the maitre‘d at the Lake Retreat.
 
“They are expecting you, I presume,” the concierge stated rather than asked, quite respectfully Theo noted.
 
“Yes, yes sir, they are,” Theo replied.
 
“Come with me then, and no need to call me sir, I work for a living just like you, soldier,” the man grinned, leading the younger man into the expensively decorated lobby.
 
Theodorik suppressed a smile of his own; the man knew he was military.  The trooper fought back the urge to introduce himself, instead offering only his hand.
 
“Theo,” he stated as the man clasped his outstretched mitt in his own.
 
“Call me Skip,” the man said.
 
The man’s grip was strong, and it was then that Theo first noticed the attendant’s deep blue eyes, with the fiery glint of a Special Forces Operative.  The man looked about 50 to the Lieutenant, which meant he was probably older, and was simply maintaining his fighting shape.   The look was familiar to the Corellian, he had seen the same glow in his father’s eyes, before it was muted by the death of his beloved Katara, Theodorik’s mother.
 
Skip strode over to a rounded desk and reached behind the counter, thumbing a button.  A moment later a familiar female voice could be heard.
 
“Yes?” asked Koyi, her voice dripping with sweetness.
 
“I have a visitor for you, Miss Lom,” Skip reported.
 
That statement caught Theo’s attention, as he had stated he was there to see the Lord and Lady.  The attendant was astute, to be certain.  When you looked at the situation from the perspective of a field operative, it was really quite transparent.  His first clue was Koyi, a young girl, out all hours of the night, constantly wearing a goofy smile.  Then a slightly older man, handsome and muscular arrives, calling on her parents, and he looks as nervous as a long tailed jax in a room full of rocking chairs.
 
“Send him up, please, Skip,” Koyi replied excitedly.
 
Skip acknowledged politely, and then pressed another button. Moments later, the elevator doors across the lobby opened.
 
“It’s the fourteenth floor Theo,” Skip directed, as the Lieutenant moved toward the open doors.
 
“It was good to meet you, sir,” he added tipping his hat.
 
“Likewise,” Theo grinned as he pressed the button for the fourteenth floor, the doors sliding closed a moment later.
 
 
Gallo Mountains, Naboo

1300 Hours, Saturday
 
Spider was carefully stepping through the vines and shrubbery on the jungle floor, being careful to break as little vegetation as possible, disguising their presence.  It wasn’t known if the Rebels had any dedicated unit of pathfinders, but the varied background of its troops guaranteed there were trained hunters and woodsmen in their ranks.  The Empire had the advantage here however; the Rebels were unaware that their long range recon capabilities went beyond the conventional biker scout.  For that, they owed Outlaw’s brother, Brigadier General Kreinz Sturmwolke.
 
Four years prior, Major Krienz Sturmwolke was commanding Alpha Company, of the 1st Shadow Stormtrooper Battalion.  The officer had earned the trust of Darth Vader while completing several special missions for the Dark Lord.   After the Battle of Yavin, Sturmwolke was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to Vader’s Death Squadron, on a council responsible for furthering the Empire’s unconventional warfare capabilities.  The Imperial Defense Reform Act of 0 ABY established a unified Stormtrooper Special Forces; Lt Col Sturmwolke was the major contributor to the project.
 
Under the council’s direction, a series of special schools and courses were either created or formalized.  A school emphasizing small unit infantry tactics and advanced reconnaissance was created. The school would rely heavily on the doctrine employed by the ARC troopers during the Clone Wars, as well as borrowing elements of the Antarian Rangers and Shadow Troopers.  Its instructor cadre was formed from renowned survivalists and experts in small unit tactics hand selected by Lt. Col. Sturmwolke.  The first Recondo (Short for Recon Commando) School graduated 17 members less than a year later.  The school would be renamed Imperial Lancer School, as its focus was operation in teams of five, what the scout troopers referred to as a “lance”.
 
Sgt “Spider” Beza was a graduate of the fifth and latest Lancer School, and recently assigned to the 220th.  He noticed the jungle was eerily quiet in the secluded valley this afternoon.  He was walking “point” on a reconnaissance patrol a few kilometers North of Lianorm, in search of Wawo Merkrit’s bunker.  During his interrogation, Leerlani Merkrit, Wawo’s father, had given am approximate location of his son’s base of operations.  The captured Mon Calamarian warlord couldn’t offer much more, including the number of undesirables that might be hiding out in this bunker. It was that bit of information that worried Spider’s 1st Sergeant.
 
The team’s commo specialist Sgt “Hawkbat” Chobrea walked behind Spider, in the “slack” position.  1st Sgt “Slice” Ravenheart walked third as half of the security element, and Cpl “Hotshot” Firestone was the other half.  Sgt “Fixer” Freedark was the rear guard, and the team medic.  Fixer’s job was to lag behind the patrol and ensure they weren’t being followed.   This was particularly important for this patrol, which was moving through the jungle in daylight.
 
There was some apprehension amongst the squad on daylight maneuvers, but in this case, it was necessary.  The terrain in this valley sloped dangerously, and lacked a natural trail for humans to move.  Slice’s main concern was the fauna that populated the dense jungle, most of which chose to sleep during the day and hunt at night.  They were here to fight Rebels, not tusk cats.
 
The patrol scout was about to step over a log when he noticed something metallic looking on the ground in front of him. He quickly signaled the patrol to halt and scan the area for enemy activity.  When no threats were found, Spider crept slowly to the item, quietly announcing that he had found a wrapper from a field rations kit.  The squad leader, a graduate of the first Lancer school, moved forward carefully to examine the item.  1st Sergeant Allison Ravenheart was a galactic cultural expert, and could identify just about any item in use by any military in the known galaxy.
 
“It’s Chandrilan, this did not come from a band of common thugs,” Slice deadpanned.
 
Fixer was about 60 meters behind the rest of the patrol when he heard Slice’s transmission on his helmet mounted comm set.  Almost as if on cue, he heard movement in the vegetation behind him.  The rear guard dropped behind a felled tree and observed three armed human men, cautiously moving through the jungle.  Fixer held his breath as he noticed they were looking for signs of the patrol.  Slowly and methodically the trio grew closer to the Imperial, who remained patiently in hiding.  He noticed they wore light armor and sturdy boots, all brownish and green in color, but each of a different make and model.  They closed the gap between their unknown observer to less than ten meters, when Fixer leapt to his feet and sprayed blaster fire in their direction.
 
The three stalkers all tumbled violently backwards, each of them hit with a flurry of blaster bolts.  The Stormtrooper Sergeant sent another volley of blaster fire in their direction, this time aimed downward to where they had fallen.  Fixer then immediately returned to cover, his carbine pointed at his fallen enemies.  The other four members of the patrol also reacted to the blaster fire.
 
“Point team, cover us,” Slice ordered, as she and Hotshot turned and began to move toward their rear guard.
 
“Fixer, report,” she ordered next.
 
“Three, lightly armored and armed, I think I hit them all, but I am not certain.”
 
Slice acknowledged as she moved toward him, her and Hotshot alternating their field of vision.  Spider and Hawkbat were doing the same, observing 270 degrees at one time by alternating where they cast their eyes.  It went without saying that the weapon always went where the eyes went, it was a patrol fundamental ingrained in each of them.
 
The female patrol leader arrived at Fixer’s position quietly, followed a few meters behind by Hotshot.  Patrol discipline dictated that he not draw too close to Slice or Fixer, as incoming fire could possibly kill all of them at once.
 
“Cover us Hotshot. Fixer, let’s check these bodies and hide them,” the 1st Sergeant ordered.
 
The pair cautiously moved to the three felled enemies, now confirmed as corpses, and searched them methodically.  The Stormtroopers then covered the bodies in leaves and vines to conceal them, in case there were more interlopers on their trail.  When they were finished, Slice motioned for Hotshot to remain behind as the new rear guard, and called Fixer up to the security element.  She moved forward until Hawkbat was in her sights, about 15 meters behind him.  Fixer took the position behind her, and each trooper alternated their view from the team member in front of them once again.  They continued forward for another half kilometer, when Spider again held up the patrol.
 
“I see a man made structure to my 2 o’clock.  300 mikes,” he reported.
 
Slice switched to the electro-binocular view in her helmet and spotted the object indicated by her scout.  It was nothing more than a light gray metallic looking rectangular building, with a single door on one side.
 
“Visk, you’d better start recording this.  Uplink it to the CNC also,” she ordered.
 
Slice was checking her maps in the information center for anything that was supposed to be out here.   It would have been bad form to call in an artillery strike on a Water Authority pump station.  The 1st Sergeant shook her head; this was the entrance to an abandoned mine, once in use by the Mining Guild.  If there was a criminal organization in this area, this would be an excellent base of operations, as it was nearly invisible from the air.
 
“Sergeant, the door just opened. Three armed and armored persons are now out on open ground,” reported Spider.
 
Slice returned to her magnified view of the door, and the three figures that now appeared in front of it.  Suddenly, the sound of speeder bikes could be heard in the distance.  More people coming to the party, the patrol leader thought, we don’t want to be here anymore.
 
“Let’s back out, Hawkbat, cover Spider’s withdrawal. Spider, you’re move,” she commanded.
 
But Spider did not move or speak, and suddenly she realized why, the trio of armed men was less than 20 meters from his position and closing.  It was obvious they hadn’t seen him, a credit to his selection of cover and his camouflage.  They finally stopped walking a mere 5 meters from the point man, as the buzzing of the speeder bikes drew nearer.
 
“They’re on an animal trail,” Fixer whispered, “Spider is only a few meters from it.”
 
1st Sergeant Ravenheart had a man in trouble, the only thing they could do was take out the threat.
 
 “Get ready to fire; I’m waiting for the bikes to arrive. No grenades, Gart is right on top of them,” she whispered, receiving a series of squelch breaks in reply.
36
General Discussion / Re: Fir Na Tine
« Last post by Onyxs on March 17, 2011, 03:17:54 am »
:: dons green to commemorate the holiday ::

:: smiles ::

:: sneaks up and steals a kiss ::

:: runs off ::




That aside, Happy St. Patrick's Day.
37
General Discussion / Re: Fir Na Tine
« Last post by Onyxs on March 16, 2011, 03:10:17 pm »

Have a blessed Feast Of Saint Patrick tomorrow.


You too:)
38
General Discussion / Fir Na Tine
« Last post by Theodorik on March 16, 2011, 01:08:19 pm »
When the great potato famine and massive Irish immigration to the East Coast of the United States, factories and shops had signs reading "NINA"-No Irish Need Apply. The only jobs they could get were the ones no one else wanted -jobs that were dirty, dangerous or both - fire-fighters and police officers. It was not an uncommon event to have several firefighters killed at a working fire. City Fire Department's like Boston, Chicago, and New York are deeply rooted in Irish tradition because of this.
 
Have a blessed Feast Of Saint Patrick tomorrow.
 
(Even though I'm only half Irish, I am still honoring any offers to "Kiss me I'm Irish")
39
Stories / Re: Restless Hearts
« Last post by Theodorik on March 03, 2011, 11:09:30 pm »
Chapter 8

I still hear your voice when you sleep next to me.
I still feel your touch in my dreams.
Forgive me my weakness, but I don't know why,
without you it's hard to survive.


 
Theed, Naboo

1131 Hours, Friday
 
Kamiko clutched her pillow tightly, not knowing what else to do but wait.  The raven haired beauty had spent the better part of the last four days angry at herself for treating Theo the way she had.  It all came crashing down on her in that aircraft, what he had meant to her and what serving the Empire meant to him.  She regretted not keeping in touch with him, for even thinking he should quit the Corps for her.   He had fallen deeply in love with her, and she betrayed that by treating him like a prize she had won.
 
There were many realizations over the past few days. But the most troubling was that she could close her eyes and see him, smiling at her.  Kammi could feel him, hear his voice, and even smell him.  But she couldn’t hold him, which she longed for now more than she ever did as a young girl.  There wasn’t any denying it, she had screwed up and let him get away from her.
 
The paramedic knew that the best thing for her to do was to tell him how she felt, and tell him she was sorry.  When fate brought him to her again, she would hold on with both hands and never let go.  The reality of the situation was evident, that time was not now.  A shared meal spent in awkward silence was all the proof either of them needed; they had no idea what to say to each other.
 
 Theo had been hurt by the young woman and his instincts told him to scream at her for it. Unfortunately, he loved her so much that he couldn’t, so he sat without a word.  Kamiko’s silence stemmed from her guilt, and her inability to vocalize it.  There was only one solution now for the couple. Kamiko needed to assure her beloved that her contrition was sincere, and she needed to wait until he was ready to forgive her.
 
 
Command & Control Center

Field Base Baz Nitch, Naboo

1300 Hours, Friday
 
Major Melyssa “Jezebel” Kassel reclined in her metal chair slightly, feet resting on the metal table unapologetically.   She was digesting the information she had just received.  Across the room sat a mysterious red haired woman, by appearances in her late twenties, hands folded in silence.  Agent Wraith was one of Jezebel’s top intelligence experts, and her first and only choice to interrogate prisoners. Wraith had never attended any formal training sponsored by the Empire and the details behind her assignment to Imperial Intelligence were cloudy at best. Jezebel had convinced the powers that be to anoint the red head as an officer by warrant, thus recognizing her expertise in her field.
 
 So, Agent Wraith carried the rank of Chief Warrant Officer. This was a fact she didn’t flaunt, and not because it was a guarded secret, but because she simply had no use for titles or ranks.  She served the Intelligence agency with much zeal, and obeyed the orders from her Major, but in her heart, she had but one master.
 
“I’m not surprised that Poppy caved in so easily,” Jezebel said finally, Wraith only offered a nod.
 
The Warrant Officer’s grayish green eyes followed her Major’s relaxed figure slowly, sizing her up for signs of deceit.  It was part of Wraith’s training to trust no one, not even her master.  The Major knew this, and had come to terms with it.  The petite blond reasoned that the benefits outweighed the possible down side, which was that Wraith would lose her mind and destroy everyone within sight.
 
“So, let me go through this again.  The RSF turns tail at the sight of Stormtroopers, who abruptly wreak all kinds of havoc and get pulled from the area.  Seeing his chance to seize power, this Merkrit character and his band of thugs take over, ousting the Mayor.  Correct so far?”
 
“Yes, Jezebel, that is correct,” Wraith answered mildly.
 
“Then comes the family feud,” Jezebel continued, “Merkrit’s sons Rebar and Wawo have been rolling with a group of local smugglers prior to the Empire’s involvement.  These bandits are somehow able to get a hold of some real firepower.  The sons take control, of both the band of pirates, and the village, and they let their dear old Dad continue on as a figure head of the entire deal.  Am I still on track?”
 
“Completely on track Major,” the operative replied emotionlessly.
 
“Well, Rebar is dead and we have Leelani in custody, and we can thank Outlaw and company for both of those.  We have to find one Wawo Merkrit next.  He’s been dealt a significant blow to his organization, we should be able to eliminate him easily,” the Major concluded.
 
“I don’t believe removing this group of common smugglers from the area solves our problems completely,” Wraith calmly stated.
 
“Oh, I know there are Rebels and Gungans out there we are going to have to deal with sooner rather than later,” Jezebel explained, “This village needed to be squared away first.”
 
Agent Wraith remained silent. She knew the Major was one of the keenest strategic minds in the intelligence community.  Wraith knew that the Special Forces build up in the area meant the Empire was gearing up to deal with a heavy opposing force.  The Chief Warrant Officer would patiently await her turn to spill some of that opposing force’s blood.
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