Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /usr/local/www/forums-ccxxonline/Sources/Load.php(194) : runtime-created function on line 3
Castles in the Sand

Author Topic: Castles in the Sand  (Read 8044 times)

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« on: October 22, 2008, 03:40:00 pm »
Dawn was nearing as the first of Tatooine's twin suns was beginning to break the horizon.  Five shadowed figures moved stealthily in the false dawn, skulking into position.  The area had been carefully  surveyed in the days prior, and the groups leader, Oroxido Flyingrider, had rehearsed his group well on the mission at hand.

While Oroxido was by no means a Rebel sympathyzer, but he resented the Empire's presence here on his home planet.  Tatooine had been a refuge from the Empire, and the perfect place for a small time criminal like "Rox" and his crew to flourish.  But something had brought the Empire here in earnest, and it was putting a serious dent in his operations.  It was his intention on this early morning to make a dent in their operations.

If the Empire kept its schedule, which it normally did without fail, then three lambda shuttles filled with supplies were about to be landing outside of Bestine, to support the Stormtrooper Garrison there.  It was Rox's goal to take out this particular group of shuttles, hopefully throwing the entire garrison into a panic.  An Army is only as good as its supply line, he reasoned, and he was going to put this one in doubt.

To fullfill this daunting task, Rox and company aquired a pair of PLX-1 launchers from an arms dealer, and at no small expense.  An elaborate plan began to form, and Rox was only involving his top men, and his twi'lek girlfriend T'lirya.  Her job was the most critical, she was to remove the only obstacle to the operation, a pair of Imperial Comm operators occupying a security station on the outskirts of the city.  The station would be able to detect the five intruders, and would send a squad of Sandtroopers out to investigate, not to mention divert the supply shuttles.

Simply destroying the station would send out all kinds of alarms, and once again, the shuttles would divert.  Somehow T'lirya had to entice the operators to let her in the building, and once inside, she had to incapacitate them.  For a few weeks, T'lirya had been chatting with one of the operators, allowing him to think she was interested in him sexually.  Most men would shudder at the thought of having their girlfriend coming on to strangers.  Oroxido was so consumed with the mission that nothing else mattered.  Using his girlfriend in this manner was mission critical.

Oroxido paused behind a rock and looked at his chronometer.  It was all up to his little blue twi'lek now.  If she did her job correctly, he would recieve a message within moments.  All he could do now was wait.

Offline Xenea

  • CSM
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 158
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 04:55:00 pm »
T'lirya sighed as she neared her destination. Rox better follow through on his promises. Her friends told her he was no good, but she didn't care. She loved him.

She'd been watching the Security Station's Operators for a while now and knew their schedules. One of them should be stepping out for a break shortly--the one she'd been flirting with. Her thoughts drifted to the ring she'd be getting soon as this job was over and she smiled.

Hearing the swoosh of the door she quickly went into action.

"Morning", she crooned with a smile as she gently pushed herself off of the pole she'd been leaning against. "Was afraid I'd missed you this morning." Her hips swayed gently as she walked towards him. A few steps away she "mis-stepped" as the heel she'd loosened earlier broke off. He caught her as she slipped, and she smiled as his face flushed when she "accidentally" brushed against his hand as she "fell".

The ground was already hot and she squealed (really just for effect) as her bare foot touched the ground. "Liri!" he called out the name she'd given him as he scooped her up and pushed back inside the Security Station.

As he carried her in, the other operator looked up quizically. She smiled at him. "My ...  shoe". She held up the offending item and giggled.

He set her down and bent to check how badly her foot was injured. She leaned over as well, making sure the other operator got an eyeful. He jumped up and grabbed a med kit. After making sure her foot was fine, she smiled at them both. Putting on her best "innocent-look", she drawled "My HEROES! However can I repay you both?" She knew her plan would work when they looked at each other and one of them cleared a throat nervously. Shrugging her shoulders, she looked around the room. Nodding towards a door, she asked "What's back there?" She smiled when  they was confirmed it was the supply closet.

Taking the hand of the one who carried her she pulled him towards the door. Once inside she slipped her dress down and gave him just enough time to get "comfortable" before wrapping her arms around him and administering the dose from a syringe she'd hidden in the lining of her dress.

Watching his shocked face as he crumpled against the wall, unable to speak, she gave it a few minutes to work all the while giggling and crooning at the now unconscious man. Slipping the other dose out, she called to the other operator, inviting him to join in. Putting her arms around him and kissing as he stepped through the doorway she injected him and lept backwards as he fell. Pulling her dress back up, she flipped her lekku over her shoulders and exited the room.

Pressing the button on her personal comm, she cleared her throat and simply said "It is done."

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2008, 05:34:00 pm »
Oroxido grew silently impatient.  The window of opportunity was quickly closing.  If the comm operators suspected anything, they all had very short lives ahead of them.  Suddenly his comm crackled, "It is done"

He turned and smiled at his group, "Its time."

They crossed the invisible boundary of the security station's sector.  Had T'lirya decided to double cross them, they were now being detected by one of the operators.  Rox shrugged off the notion and continued onward.  She loved him, he thought, why else would she agree to such a plan?  Of course, he had told her they were just disabling the shuttle, and it was very likely no one would be harmed, if the shuttle were even piloted to begin with.  All of it complete fabication of course, but it eased her mind.

He broke the silence when they reached their destination. "Here", he commanded.

If his calculations were correct, they would have to wait only a few minutes more.  He motioned toward the two men lugging the PLX-1 launchers.  "Get the Plex's ready."

They nodded in reply and began to get the heavy weapons ready.  Oroxido sat close, monitoring their progress. His wide grin turned into a nervous smile, as his mind began to race.  What if T'lirya had failed? Maybe they were being watched right now.  What about these men, would one of them talk? Can they really be trusted?  Rox's smile completely faded into near horror.

The stillness of the morning was shattered by the droning of several craft overhead.  Someone had shouted something like, Here they come, but Oroxido didn't even hear it.  He was stunned, staring at the incomming lambda shuttles in disbelief at what his men were about to do.

Suddenly, Oroxido realized his men were screaming at him.  "Rox! Am I taking this shot or what?!?!" screamed the man shouldering the weapon.  "Yes! Yes! Fire! Fire Away!!" He stammered.  A rocket trail streaked into the sky, followed quickly by a second.

The first shot tore into one of the wings of the lead shuttle, which quickly spiraled toward the ground.  The second rocket slammed directly into the nose of the second ship in line, causing it to explode violently into a fireball.  Quickly another two shots rose from the desert floor, one striking the third shuttles tail fin and the other exploding directly below it.  By now the first craft had plowed nose first into the sand below and burst into flames.  The third shuttle also sank from the sky trailing thick smoke behind it.  Oroxido and his men were already running at full speed toward their waiting banthas.

The group disapeared into the desert, confident they had gotten away with their deed.  But Oroxido could not shake an uneasy feeling in his stomach.

Bestine Central Communications Station

The shift was mercifully nearing an end for half the communications staff. Operator 3176 looked down at the radar screen showing all incoming and outgoing atmospheric traffic to Bestine. Three shuttles en route to the supply depot, right on schedule.

"Lambda 2471 Alpha final approach to Bestine Supply Center, acknowledge."

"2471, you are clear for landing, landing pad 301, welcome to Tatooine."

"Roger, 2471 landing at 301, have a good one Bestine"

The operator momentarily closed his eyes and rubbed his temples, thankful for the end of his 12 hour stint in the telecom room.

An alarm tone suddenly began to sound. "Bestine Station, this is Lambda 2471 Alpha, I think we have just been fired upon."

The Lieutenant of the watch rushed over to the Comm Station.

"2471, confirm, you are under attack?"

"Affirmative Bestine ..." Static .... "Mayday! Mayday! This is 2471 and we have been hit. Mulitple rocket trails. Bestine, we are going down hard!!"

The comm went silent. The lieutenant screamed "Scramble some gunships! I want to know what happened!" The Comm Center began to buzz with activity. Well rehearsed on what to do in an emergency, the operators sprung into action. The sector commander would be alerted, the entire garrison would be put on full alert, answers would be sought.

"How did they defeat our early warning system?" The Lieutenant thought aloud,"Someone contact the security station in that sector"

Sandtroopers geared up and mounted gunships, both to look for survivors, and possibly seek some retribution. Word had gotten out that one of the shuttles that went down was carrying a platoon of Sandtroopers. There would be hell to pay.

Offline Xenea

  • CSM
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 158
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2008, 08:16:00 pm »
T'lirya let up on her comm and grabbed her broken shoe.  She neared the door, about to leave, when one of the monitors in the Security Station began to beep.  She'd just turned around to face the monitor when a proximity alarm sounded and then quickly grew quiet.

Momentarily stunned, she examined the monitor more closely. Movement on one of the screens caught her eye and she crossed to it. She spotted the images of a small group entering the secured area. Two of them are obviously carrying something heavy; she breathed a sigh of relief,  it's Rox and the guys. Everything else on the screen was clear.  T'lirya decides it's safer to hang tight while they get set up. Besides, if anyone comes into the area she'll see them and can warn Rox.

She watched as they set up the big guns. Rox got so lucky scoring those. He bragged about it to her for days. Suddenly, the stations comm started picking up voices.

"Lambda 2471 Alpha final approach to Bestine Supply Center, acknowledge."

"2471, you are clear for landing, landing pad 301, welcome to Tatooine."

"Roger, 2471 landing at 301, have a good one Bestine"


As she listened, she noticed a new heat signature on the screen, it was one of the rockets trailing toward the shuttles.

"Bestine Station, this is Lambda 2471 Alpha, I think we have just been fired upon."

"2471, confirm, you are under attack?"


"Affirmative Bestine ..." Static .... "Mayday! Mayday! This is 2471 and we have been hit. Mulitple rocket trails.  Bestine, we are going down hard!!"

Almost instantly explosions rocked the Security Station. The sound was deafening, T'lirya tumbled to the floor in shock and horror. Her mind raced and she realized that she'd just heard the shuttle explode. Tears began to run down her cheeks as emotion flooded over her. She just heard someone die!  Did something go wrong? Did Rox lie to her?
 
The comm activity increases dramatically. She suddenly realizes Bestine Station was attempting to contact the Security Station. T'lirya panics. Frantic, she scrambles to her feet and runs out the of the door and into the morning air.  What had she done?

Offline Krienz

  • COL
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 48
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2008, 10:36:00 am »
The call to the 220th Platoon Headquarters went out early. The first arriving gunships found evidence of a small group of humanoids with banthas escaping into the desert. Lartys (Laat/i) are great ships but they lack range, and there was a tremendous expanse of desert in front of them. On the ground, the Sandtrooper squad leader surveyed the area where the rockets had been launched from. Footprints followed by Bantha tracks wound Northwest into the desert.

The Sandtrooper Squadleader held the comm set to his mouth and spoke,"Captain, they made their escape to the Northwest, we are going to need a long range patrol to follow them."

Major Robert Rogers Military Arsenal, Mos Eclipse, Lok

Krienz sat behind his desk in his low-lit office, hands behind his neck. He had just begun his day with a vigorous workout in the base fitness center when a call from Special Operations Command had  interrupted. A warning order had come from the Sector Command, and he was sending four operatives out to Tatooine for what sounded like a catastrophic incident. He had summoned his two best investigaters, and his two best reconnaissance experts to try to bring this mission to an end.

His assistant, Kyttn, appeared at the door with four rough and ready troopers close behind. A lambda shuttle was already going through its pre-flight as per his orders.

"Show them in Miss Kyttn"

Operatives Talon, Hellion, Ghost and Outlaw assembled before him, wearing serious faces. Krienz downloaded data from the incident to all of them and explained the mission objective, which was very simple: Find out who did this and punish them.

"Talon and Hellion, you are being assigned to the Security Station, find out what went wrong there. Outlaw, Ghost, you are headed into the desert to see where those tracks lead. I wish you all good luck and remember, Who dares wins."

With that, four troopers rose to their feet and went to work, leaving Krienz alone with Kyttn and his thoughts.

Offline kyttn

  • Asst. to the Col.
  • Contractors
  • **
  • Posts: 14
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2008, 11:16:00 am »
The door closed behind the troopers as they left. Kyt paused for a moment before turning toward her boss. Her mind was still reeling from the details of the incident. Unlike Krienz and the troopers, she still wasn't used to the sheer violence they were subjected to.

Glancing over at his desk, she saw something that shocked her even more. Krienz rarely expressed much beyond the occasional annoyance but she could tell he was bothered by this mission. The steeled expression this dangerous man almost always wore was slightly harried this morning. Most who made that connection wouldn't hesitate and would get as far away from him as they could. Kyt couldn't explain it, but as afraid as she was of him at times, she wasn't right now.  Debating for just a moment, she crosses the room towards him.

"Can I get you anything?", she asked softly.

His head barely moved as he responded to her in the negative. But neither did he indicate that he wanted her to leave.

She took a seat and watched as he sat there at his desk, lost in thought. Though outwardly nothing changed, she could almost feel the raw anger and sadness that he was barely managing to contain. She didn't know why, but for some reason she knew she shouldn't leave. And so she sat, quiet and still, waiting.

Offline Karana Talynsun

  • SFC
  • Operatives
  • ***
  • Posts: 154
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2008, 11:38:00 am »
Karana "Talon" Talynsun sat in her seat as the transport started it's landing sequence.  She wore a sleeveless shirt and black cargo vest that showed her tanned muscles, along with black pants and armored boots that stopped just below her knees.  Her black shoulder length hair was neat and tidy and tended to flip outwards at the ends giving her a feminine style that matched her face.  When standing, she towered over most other women and even some men. The woman sitting motionless across from her, Xenea "Hellion" Foxx, was lost in thought. Her long auburn hair, purposefully left loose as usual, created an illusion of softness. The glint in her bright green eyes however, signaled danger to those who knew her well. Drawing one deep breath, she straightened her duster and nodded to Karana.

Karana stepped off the transport in Bestine followed by Xenea.  They grabbed their gear and headed across the city to the location of the Security Station in their report.  Along the way, an Imperial Officer joined them to fill them in on the incident.  Karana rolled her eyes.  They already knew the details from the report and really didn't want to hear a sloppy verbal from an Officer that probably wasn't even there.

She sped up towards the building leaving the Officer trailing her.  The two women paced up the steps and hit the button on the door panel.  The door swooshed open and they stepped inside.  They walked down the hallway to the main room and nodded at the Stormtroopers stationed outside.  Inside were two security officers sitting in chairs looking like they had seen better days.  Stormtroopers lined the room peeping into doors and examining random objects.  Karana couldn't hide a disgusted smirk and grinned at Xenea.  Xenea grinned back and shook her head.

     "Ok everyone get out of here and for star's sake do not touch anything!" Xenea stated firmly.  The troopers stopped and looked up at the woman.  They nodded to the order and quickly exited the room.  

     Karana walked over and punched in the code to lock the door behind them.  Xenea put on some gloves began to examine the room and the closet in which the security officers were found.  Karana moved to the center of the room where the two men sat.  She looked down at them.

"Start talking, what happened here?"

The older looking man of the two looked up and started to stammer. "I-I'm Secu.."

Karana interrupted him, "I didn't ask who you were."

The man paused and looked towards the other man who continued to hold his head down.  "He...He's been seeing this woman some.  A light blue Twi'lek.  It was her."

Karana kneeled down and stared at the second man.  He slowly raised his head to look at her.  "S-she appeared harmless.  I didn't think she'd bother anything."

"That is exactly it!" Karana's voice raised slightly.  "You didn't think." She jabbed him in the forehead with her index finger.  "There are twenty nine soldiers of the Empire dead because of your hormones and the fact that you...didn't...think." The man jerked his head away from her and stared at the ground knowing the trouble he was in.

"Talon." Xenea said calmly.  "Look at this." She held up a first aid kit and some used medical items in a bag.

Karana rose to her feet and joined Xenea across the room.  She turned her head to the side and called to the two men.  "Which one of you are injured?"  Both shook their heads side to side and the older one called out it was used on the twi'lek.  She looked back at Xenea, "Looks like we have a lead."  Xenea grinned back at her.

The older man spoke up, "Her name was Liri...or something."

Xenea walked to the men and kneeled down.  She pulled two forms from her pocket for them to fill out.  "Put your statements here.  Any details no matter how minor.  Description of this Twi'lek and every encounter with her since first meeting.  Be truthful...I dare you to lie to us."  While Xenea explained the forms to the men, Karana took her comm off her belt and contacted Theodorik "Outlaw" Sturmwolke with the news of the evidence. Xenea then walked back to Karana and the two continued looking around the room until the men were finished with their statements.

Xenea took the forms and nodded.  "You'll be handed over to the proper officials and held here in Bestine.  We may need to question you further."  With that she turned and opened the door and walked out.  Karana quickly followed behind her.  As they exited the building the Officer that had trailed them there from their transport stood curiously.

Karana slowed as she passed and gave him a short look.  "Have your troops read up on what the frell not to do at an investigation scene."  The two women walked off to go send their reports to the Colonel and get their evidence analyzed immediately.  Both were mostly silent on the walk back.  There were so many ways this incident could have been avoided and Imperial lives saved.  Though both knew dwelling on what could've been done different would change nothing.  They had no doubts they would get to the bottom of this and track down those responsible.  They would have a name within a few hours, and perhaps some revenge would be exacted.

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2008, 12:08:00 pm »
Ground Zero: 1 Klick outside of Bestine

Lieutenant Theodorik "Outlaw" Sturmwolke and Sergeant Kenn't "Ghost" Emasep arrived at the crash site on a pair of Aratech  Speederbikes.   They dismounted just outside of the Sandtrooper security perimeter, and were immediately approached by a pair of them.

"I think you two are very lost, state your business" growled one of them, visibly on edge.  Outlaw raised his hands to chest height, palms toward the pair.

"Lieutenant Outlaw of the two hundred twentieth platoon" The trooper lowered his weapon, but not his tone.

"ID, sir," he droned, reaching out with one hand.

Outlaw and Ghost both produced ID's, extremely vague, but extremely authentic.  The troopers let up slightly and motioned them forward.

"My CO is over there, Captain Karlsen, he is there with the lead Investigator from the Provost Marshall's office, afraid I didn't catch his name, sir."  Outlaw and Ghost both nodded and walked past the two Sandtroopers without another word.  The two troopers exchanged glances, Ghost heard one of them mumble,"These guys look serious."

Outlaw strode up to the CO and the Marshall, the plates on his Reinforced armor clinking slightly.  He had left his helmet with the speederbike, but he didn't look any less intimidating.  Ghost stood silently behind him, covered head to toe in dark red armor.  The members of the investigation team gave him a wide path as he looked like a very dangerous person.

Outlaw purposely interrupted the pair as they engaged in conversation.

"Lieutenant Outlaw of the 220th Stormtrooper Reconnaisance Platoon," he stated, intentionally not offering his hand.  "Sgt. Ghost and I are not here to interfere in any way, but I want complete copies of all reports and no information kept from me during this investigation."

The Captain began to move his lips, ready to offer protest.

"I have orders directly from Special Operations Command General Hugh Shelton," he stated, handing a disk containing their warning order, scrubbed down of all classified material of course. "Confirmed and verified, now if you will excuse us, we have work to do."

"Understood Lieutenant ..." began the Captain. But Outlaw and Ghost were already moving on towards the wreckage of the first downed shuttle.

Ghost was scanning the area beyond the shuttle with a set of macrobinoculors, in the direction of the launch team's hide site.

"We won't get much here" Ghost offered,"We need to look at that hide sight."

"Agreed"

Ghost pocketed the binos and began to trot toward the speeders.  Outlaw was set to follow, but paused to look at the downed shuttle.  Their part of the investigation did not require an examination of the crash site, but still, Outlaw had wanted to see it.  It served as a reminder of what they were faced with, and how the culprits deserved no mercy.  When the law showed leniency, it was because judges did not see the horror the criminals had caused.  They were sheltered from the results of the deed, and insulated from the families of the deceased.

Outlaw moved closer to the shuttle, taking a handful of sand from the huge mound created by the nose of Lambda 2471 Alpha.  He looked over the mound and noticed it looked almost like a castle, like one a child would build on a beach, only in a much grander scale.

Outlaw's comm began to chirp.  He took it from his belt with his other hand and calmly spoke into it,"Outlaw here".

"We have something," the voice at the other end was Talon.

Outlaw looked down at the mound of sand, then opened his palm allowing the granules to slowly drain out of it.  He spoke into the comm again after a long pause.

"Mission is active, label all your reports Operation Sandcastle."

Offline Krienz

  • COL
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 48
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2008, 12:59:00 pm »
Building 282, Rogers Military Arsenal, Mos Ecilpse, Lok

Krienz had turned his chair toward the wall in his windowless office.  He was vaguely aware of Kyttn sitting silently behind him.  He usually wanted to be alone in times like this, when some of his operatives were out risking life and limb in the name of the Empire.  He was tough on them at times, but he held them all in very high regard, almost like a father would.

His thoughts dwelled on the 29 Sandtroopers killed.  Krienz understood the perils of war, and that security was not free, and sometimes the cost was young lives.  You also do not make it to the rank of Colonel without losing several of your friends in that manner.  Whoever the ememy was, Rebels, Black Sun, Maulers, whoever, they only thought of he and his men as Stormtroopers, as the "established goverment".  There were actual people behind the masks, especially in his unit, which was restricted to non clones only.

He turned slowly in Kyttn's direction when he caught a glimpse of himself in his small wall mirror.  His steel grey eyes were much softer than usual, he looked vulnerable for that brief moment.  He quickly cleared his throat and stood, adjusting his shirt.

"Why are you still here?" he asked, more curious than angry.

Kyttn quickly stood up, "I was just leaving."

"Be sure you send Outlaw's team anything they need, and I want preliminary reports on the situation. Have him bring in Operative Rockhead should we need to track any suspects. Also, alert Operative Wraith and Major Kassel from the 268th the moment we have someone to question."

Kyttn nodded at each demand, then turned to leave.  As she left, she noticed Krienz's eyes locked on her, in a way she had not seen before.

For all he was worth as a man, Krienz could not figure out what it was about this one, but he actually hated to see her leave.

Offline Ruh Shi'od

  • SSG
  • Operatives
  • ***
  • Posts: 73
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2008, 11:09:00 am »
Meanwhile, across the galaxy...

"You think you can run away from your dishonor! Not repay what you owe?" Ruh said furiously as he hoisted the rodian high above his head by his neck.

"No! Please..don't! I can double your pa-" Gardoo began, attempting to plea for his life.

"What? Double my pay? With what? Your stolen money. You dare insult my honor!" Ruh inturrupted even more angry and squeezing down on the light green rodian's neck. He then removed a long, and custom made, vibro blade from his holster along side his DD6 and thrust it into Gardoo's shoulder cause imense pain and pining him to the wall of his hide-out shack.

"Arghh!" he howled.

At that moment, Ruh's comlink chirped inside his helmet. He was recieving a message on a secure channel.

"Ruh Shi'od." the voice came over, "Operative Rockhead, mobilize. Operation Sandcastle - Mission Active. Mission details are being uploaded now. Playtime is over. Outlaw out."

Indeed, play time was over. While Ruh had been spending the last few weeks tracking down Gardoo, an unknown force had been plotting the death of 29 Sandtroopers.

Ruh re-opened the channel. "Theo, what are we looking at here? Rebels?"

"You have the report. Read it." Outlaw came back, annoyed.

"Yea well, you know me. So is it pirates then?"

"We don't know. Could be. Could be pirates, could be Rebels, Black Sun, thugs..."

"Black Sun?" Ruh's interested perked.

"We don't know. Settle down and report in. Outlaw out."

Meanwhile, still pinned to the wall by both Ruh and his vibroblade, Gardoo looked down on the now seemingly lifeless shell of armor. He had heard rumors that this bounty hunter was a droid masquarading in armor. Hoping that it was true and the droid had suddenly lost power he reached for the vibroblade and began to pull on it. It didn't budge. Several repeated attempts failed as well.

Feeling the movement Ruh looked up quizzically. Did he really think he was going to just...get away. Ruh removed another vibroblade and thrust it into the other shoulder. Being held up by two blades and his body weight pulling down on them Gardoo was in agony.

Ruh turned to walk away as Gardoo screamed in pain. Ruh looked back over his shoulder and mumbled, "Play time is over" and continued to move towards the door.

"Y..you can't...leave...me...like this..." Gardoo pleaded.

"You're right, I can't. That is not what I was paid to do. Vangar has a message for you, 'chita chone cho geli rodia!'." Ruh said reaching for his DD6 still with his back to Gardoo.

Ruh then quickly turned around drawing his DD6 from his holster. He fire two acid laced rounds in quick succession into Gardoo's chest. One piercing his heart and the other his lung. As Gardoo looked up and and gasped for air, Ruh fired a final round into his mouth. Gardoo slumped lifeless against the wall. His job was done.

"Sin, ready the ship. Bring her down into the clearing half a klick north. It's time to go to work."

Ruh often broke contact with his unit, the 220th Platoon, to pursue his need for the hunt. However, he also was always there when the unit needed him. Yet, this time he felt he had been out of contact too long and for some reason felt some responsibility for the attack. The death of 29 men rested heavily on his heart.

Offline Xenea

  • CSM
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 158
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2008, 05:28:00 pm »
T'lirya moved through the busy streets of Mos Eisley as quickly as she could. Though she felt somewhat safer here than in Bestine, she still had that horrible feeling that someone was watching her. And where was Rox? He was supposed to meet her hours ago. They had prepared for this sort of thing, however.  Rox said that if he didn't make it to the meeting spot near the starport, she should head directly to the cantina and do her best to blend in. Reluctantly, that's where she was headed, hoping her beloved was not far behind.

T'lirya traded the sun scorched street for the seedy, poorly lit cantina as she entered. The cantina was filled with a healthy mixture of cretins, ranging from small time criminals to deadly assasins. She looked hesitantly around the room, drawing the gaze of a few particularly undesirable figures. It made her skin crawl, but she kept her thoughts focused on her partner, and made her way toward the bar.

Rox had always said bartenders were the eyes and ears of any establishment. With this in mind, she got the attention of the cantinas drink slinger. Liri ordered a drink and casually asked if anyone had been looking for her.  The bartender only offered her a puzzled look, which figured in her favor. Unable to shake that feeling that someone was watching her, she headed to a dimly-lit table in back, hoping for the best.

Anxiety began to get the better of T'lirya as she sipped her drink, recent events weighing heavy on her. She had not slept the night before, and a brief look in the Starport refresher's mirror confirmed what she had surmised, she looked like a hot mess.  All she wanted at this moment was to know that Rox was alright.

She'd been watching the holonet for news, and so far there wasn't anything related to what they'd done. That was probably a good sign, it meant no captured criminals for the propoganda artists to parade in front of the cameras. She still found herself unable to relax. Maybe that was a good thing she reasoned, it would keep her vigilant.

There was some activity near the front of the cantina that caught her attention.  She craned her neck to get a better look, when a woman appeared next to her, nearly scaring her out of her blue skin.  The woman quickly issued a warning, someone was there looking for her.  Her eyes widened, "Rox?" she mouthed happilly. It was then that she froze with fear.  Three very dangerous looking armorclad figures stood out from the rest of the patrons.  A tough looking woman stood at the door, examining every patron.  Her beautiful face stood in stark contrast to the dark brown armor she wore below her neck, and the pistol holstered at her side.  She wore a stern look.  Her two companions were armored from head to toe, and were slowly working through the crowd towards her.  Vile thoughts cascaded through T'lirya's mind as the room seemed to get smaller.  It was only a matter time before they saw her, and she had nowhere to go.

Seargent Ghost had made his living studying people, he was sensitive to the slightest apprehension someone in hiding exibited.  His attention was drawn to a table in the cantinas rear.  He inclined his head slightly, alerting Hellion, who stood guard near the front door.  She tilted her head forward in silent acknowledgment.  Outlaw was now in full tactician mode, surveying the room, running possible scenarios through his head. He marched directly for the bartender.  T'lirya watched as he moved forward, the crowd parting for him as if he had willed it so.  As he neared the bar, Outlaw bumped shoulders with a very drunk patron who hadn't seen him coming.  The mans drink tumbled to the floor, but when he opened his mouth to protest, took full view of what he was up against.  Outlaws six foot three inch frame loomed over the man, his shoulders as wide as a doorway.  The intoxicated customer flashed a nervous smile and sank into the crowd without a word.

T'lirya swallowed hard.  Her thoughts turned to Rox, she had to see him again.  All at once, she decided this was not the end for her.  She rose as quietly as she was able, hoping the bartender would not turn her in.  She made her way to a back room, passing a sleek looking young human woman in a rather revealing outfit.  They momentarily locked eyes, and she saw something that scared her intensely, as if this woman was far more dangerous than all the others.  She did her best to shrug it off, as the woman playfully flipped her cropped dark hair out of her face. 

Her mind working at full speed, T'lirya slipped into the back room and searched for a way out.  She spotted a small window towards the back of the room.  All was not lost, she would get out that tiny window and get out of Mos Eisley.  Unfortunately, she would be forced to break comm silence and let Oroxido know that someone was on to them.  Wait, her commlink, where was it ... in her bag . . . her BAG! She didn't have it. Where did it go? What happened to it?

She had the bag in the cantina, she must have left it under the table.  Panic struck her again, should she leave the bag or try and sneakily fetch it?  She brought her hands to her face forcefully, admonishing herself not to cry.  Okay Liri, she told herself, go and get the bag, there may be something in it that leads her stalkers to Rox.

Emerging from the back room carefully, T'lirya noticed the armored figures were gone.  She was momentarily relieved, until she felt a set of eyes on her.  Fear gripped her as she turned to face the dark haired woman, piercing green eyes trained directly at her.  Before she could speak, a bell rang in her head, Liri, the bag!

Her bag. Where was it? She returned to her table, doing her best not to look frantic. She was certain this was the right table, but there was no bag to be found.  She tried to collect herself one last time, attempted to reach inside of herself for one last ounce of strength.  Thats when she noticed the dark haired womans smile had turned to a fit of laughter, evil, sinister laughter.  T'lirya's eyes grew wide with horror.  She began to turn slowly to face the woman.

"Looking for something?"  The mechanical sounding words came from behind her, from Ghost, who stood imposingly behind her clutching a familiar looking brown satchel.  His armor was as red as human blood, and he looked as if he had spilled much of it in his dangerous life.

"My ... my bag." she said turning to face him.

"This bag?" She barely had time to recognize it before he tossed it to Outlaw, pistol drawn. A quick glance over her shoulder revealed the woman had gone.

"What do we have here?" he said. Ghost had made her uneasy, but the absolute chill in Outlaw's voice brought about sheer terror. 
He motioned to Xenea, who had by now taken a position behind her Lieutenant.

"Hellion," he paused for a moment, "restrain her."

Xenea nodded and moved towards her, placing restraints on her hands.  T'lirya swore she could feel Outlaw's eyes as he stood there, watching her from behind the heavily armored helmet.  His garb showed evidence of years of violence and mayhem.

"Bring her to the Major to confirm her biosignature, and then she is to go to Wraith for interrogation."

The words jabbed directly into her heart, so this is how it would end, she thought.  She prayed she only had the strength to protect the identity of her dear Oroxido.  Come what may.

Offline Nephrite

  • CWO
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 116
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2008, 09:06:00 pm »
CWO Nephrite aka "Wraith" strode deliberately into the garrison outpost in Mos Eisley. Spotting the prisoner she smiled inwardly. "A simpering little Twi," she thought to herself. "Ah well, this shouldn't take too long. Too bad really, I could have used the diversion." She was good at what she did--sometimes too good. And if there was one thing she hated, it was wasting time. Nodding perfunctorily at Outlaw she turned to the blue-skinned female. Without hesitation, she got straight to the point. "Tell us about Bestine."

The Twi burst into tears, professing not to know what was being asked of her. Wraith allowed the fleeting thought that maybe this one would hold out for a bit.

Pretending to acquiesce, Wraith explained to the Twi that they knew who she was, and that it was useless to try and pretend otherwise. As she asked again, the girl gasped and closed her eyes for a moment--as if in pain--before opening them wide and staring up at Wraith. Wraith's face never changed.

"I really don't like to repeat myself. So tell us about Bestine." The girl began to tremble, again denying knowledge of what she was being asked.

Kneeling in front of the Twi, Outlaw pulled out a scanner and pointed it at her shaking hands. "She scans positive for explosive residue, ma'am." Wraith grinned slightly at that obvious fabrication--the scanner tone was one indication, his attempt at appearing subordinate was the other. She knew what he was trying to do. And it was working.

The Twi began to shake harder. Wraith nodded as Outlaw glanced up. "She knows," Wraith said as Outlaw pulled his helmet off and tucked it under his arm. "And she knows I know."

He nodded and shifted his gaze to the Twi.

"I could take her downstairs, and..." speaking softly and deliberately Wraith watched as he placed one hand over the Twi's restrained ones, "shall we say...persuade her, perhaps?"

His eyes not leaving the Twi, he simply said "may not come to that."

"Eh, alright," Wraith kept her voice steady despite the annoyance she was feeling at him taking over. True the girl hadn't given her an answer yet, but they'd only just begun to question her. Still, it was his mission and she had to defer.

"Before you talk, know this..." Outlaw's voice was soft, almost gentle. Hearing him, the Twi started crying softly. "The operation you were a part of, the shooting down of those shuttles...," at that matter-of-fact statement the Twi looked up at Outlaw, the tears streaming down her face. "29 soldiers were killed."

Wraith had to hand it to him, the shock effect was better than anything she'd had planned. Gasping, the girl's face turned white.

"...and they all had families that will miss them."

"No...that...that can't be." Her quiet voice faded off as she struggled to comprehend the reality of what was being said.

The girl shook her head, still trying to deny.

"Yes." Was all he said.

Staring at her for a moment, he continued. "You may not have pulled the trigger on that Plex..." he paused for a moment, watching her shocked face. "...but you know who did." Another pause. "and, you know where the hardware came from."

The girl's eyes dropped to the floor, staring at it vacantly.

"Now..." As he said the word, Wraith could literally feel the defeat as it began to wash over the girl. "Before Miss Wraith here gives you a few marks on that lovely skin of yours..."

"There wasn't supposed to be anyone on board," she managed to choke out in a whisper.

Outlaw nodded at her. "I imagine you were lied to, miss." While his voice still sounded compassionate, Wraith knew him well enough to recognize the deadly undertone his comments were taking on. This mission cut him deeply, deeper than anything she'd seen before. "Give me a name."

The girl gasped and tried to pull her hands out from under his.

After a moment passed, Wraith simply stated, "She'll give me a name, just let me talk to her for a few."

The girl stuttered as she tried to speak and then fell silent, shaking as she cried.

"T'lirya." The girl raised her eyes to his as he said her name. Wraith had to admit, he was good at this. Perhaps better than herself at times."We aren't who you think we are."

"You're going to kill me, aren't you?" She finally whispered her fear.

"I hope we don't have to," was all he said.

"Oh please don't," her voice grew even quieter.

"We are not inquisitors." The girl looked at them. "We are stormtroopers."

"But...but you don't look like stormtroopers..."

"We won't turn you over to the ISB if you give us the information." At that statement from Wraith, T'lirya looks up with eyes wide.

Lifting his hand, Outlaw turned her face back towards his. After a short pause, he touched his index finger to her lower lip. "We are not your regular unit," he says reassuringly. "It's complicated." The girl's shoulders fell, defeated. "You have information imperative to our mission." Again he paused, letting the words sink in. He lowered his hand to rest on hers again. "Give us a name." That last was nearly a whisper.

"Or...Oro..." the girl's voice could barely be heard.

"Oro?" Outlaw's words prodded.

"Oroxido" the name spoken nearly silently.

Outlaw pulled his hand away from hers. "Mm hm" he said as he leaned back. "Mr. Flyingrider."

"You know him?" The Twi's voice indicated some surprise as she asked.

Outlaw nodded as he stood. "We know everyone." Wraith kept a straight face but she chuckled inwardly as that comment registered on the girl. "Wraith," Wraith nodded as he turned to face her, the icy change in his voice chilled even her. "Find out where the Plex's came from." Without waiting for her acknowledgment, he turned his back on her. "I will notify the Major."

"My way?" Wraith asked as he started to walk away.

"Your way," he answered without even turning back around. Wraith knew it for what it was. A command and a dismissal all in one. She heard the Twi gasp behind her. She recognized it as well.

Striding across the room, he nodded to Xenea. "Carry on." So Hellion would remain incase Wraith needed help, that was good.

He pulled his helmet back on as he reached the door. "We have work to do," he spoke to Ghost. "I will arrange a transport for the Twi'lek to our holding area." She heard their voices as they faded into the distance. She pondered for a moment--not sure which unsettled her more. How bothered their stoic commander was over this, or the depths of anger in this one who usually was care-free even when he had to give orders.

Turning back to the Twi, Wraith began. "Give me the name of the one who sold you the launchers." 

Whispering, the girl responded, "they were stolen, ma'am, and I don't know from where."

"Your thoughts betray you."

The girl blanched at the emotionless tone of Wraith's voice and she shakes her head and whispers, "no."

Leaning close to the girl, Wraith whispered, "Your guilt runs deep."

The girl sobbed, trying to curl up into a ball.

Wraith smiled. She'd thought perhaps Outlaw had cracked the girl completely. Seemed there would still be some work to do after all. She had time. The transport would take a bit to be refueled.

"You know, the one you're protecting has already forgotten about you..." As Wraith listened to the soft denials, she knew the seed was planted and starting to grow. The girl was now trying to convince herself, not Wraith.

The comm beeped and Wraith checked the channel. This was a call she couldn't ignore. "Sgt. Major," she motioned to Hellion, "take this thing down to a holding cell. I'll be down directly."

She waited until the two had descended the first flight of stairs before she spoke. "Major, I'm sure the Lt. has provided you the name of our next target."

Major Kassel rarely allowed emotion to slip into her voice, but Wraith could tell from the tone at the other end that this mission had yet another of them on edge. Shaking her head as if the Major were there in the room, she responded to the only other query. "No, ma'am, not yet but I should have that information for you shortly."

She closed the comm channel and turned to head down the stairs. She figured it wouldn't be more than a few minutes 'til she would be able to call the Major back. Certainly long before the transport arrived.

Offline Operative Ghost

  • SFC
  • Operatives
  • ***
  • Posts: 411
    • Tusken Mafia Creations
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2008, 03:04:00 am »
Ghost stood near the door, arms crossed, silently watching Outlaw question T'lirya. He stood up and replaced his helmet, no doubt satisifed with himself.  He hadn't even turned around to answer Wraith's last question.

"Your way," he stated matter of factly.  Even Ghost hastened to think of what was to come for the young twi'lek.

 "We have work to do" Outlaw stated to Ghost, who simply nodded as he fell into step next to him.  The pair made their way into the street again, headed toward the civilian shuttle landing pad.  Ghost listened intently as his Lieutenant outlined the next phase of the operation.  Their investigation of the hide site had given them nothing. Unfortunately, too much time had passed since the terrorists made their getaway, and the desert made short work of removing footprints or bantha tracks.  Theodorik was splitting up his operatives, each going under cover to investigate several known criminal hide outs.

The pair of operatives arrived at the nearly empty shuttleport moments later.  Outlaw purchased a ticket from a battered looking droid and shuffled to the shuttle. He turned to his long time friend.

"If you come up with anything, comm me." The statement was unnessecary. Ghost was a professional, one of the best recon experts in the entire Stormtrooper Corps.  How such an imposing figure could blend into just about any crowd was source of mystery to Outlaw.

Ghost nodded, adding reassuringly, "Immediately."

The shuttle ramp closed leaving Ghost staring at its metallic surface. He watched it disappear behind the surrounding buildings, due north.  Now Ghost would take his own shuttle trip. 

He settled into his starboard side window seat methodically examining each passenger. No one looked out of the ordinary, he thought as he leaned back remaining on his guard.  Ghost turned slightly to the window, watching Mos Eisley drop out of sight behind the mountains. He casually rested his left hand on his satchel,  its dangerous contents disguised by its tattered appearance.  Ghost returned his attention to the shuttles other occupants, small time thugs by his guess.  They were clearly not professionals, so caught up in themselves they didn't even give Ghost a second look.  Dismissing them as no threat, he continued watching the tatooine sand buzz by the window, occasionally stealing looks at them in the reflection on the window.

The shuttle coasted to the landing pad in the small township.  Ghost exited the shuttle last, stopping outside to take note of his surroundings.  He noticed a camera facing the shuttleport perched atop a lightpost.

"Might have to check that later", he noted to himself. Ghost strode down the town's main thoroughfare, leading him to the cantina, "The Trusty Thruster". Ghost walked past the entrance, then doubled back around another building, ensuring he wasn't followed. Confident he had no trailer, he entered the tavern.  Ghost paused in the doorway to allow his heads up display to adjust to the interior lighting.  As he looked over the cantina, he mentally noted all of its patrons, one human at a bar table, two more at a table in the center of the room, and three others at another table 3 meters beyond that. He examined the human at the bar, who looked a bit dazed.

"Excuse me, do you have a moment?"

Ghost's tone was polite but direct, but the man didn't even blink.  Under the influence of something mind altering no doubt, Ghost thought.  He resisted the temptation to knock him flat on his back.

He next moved to the group of three, a human female, a bothan female , and a human male. The human male slouched in his chair, dressed in black armor, sans helmet, and it looked like both he and the armor had seen better days. The female was standing beside him,  both hands rested on the table. He clearly interrupted something here. He turned to the bothan, seated to the woman's right, who was drinking a thick grey liquid Ghost did not recognize on sight.  The armored man was the first to acknowledge Ghost's presence.

"What do you want?" He barked as he scowled at the red armored intruder.

"I am looking for someone," Ghost replied, ignoring the man's tone."A human named Oroxido Flyingrider."

Ghost turned slightly sideways as he noticed he now had the attention of the entire cantina.

"He is tall, medium build, athletic looking.  He has dark hair, long, about shoulder length, possibly longer.  His eyes are dark also."

Ghost paused a moment, allowing the information to sink in.  He noticed the bothan lean forward in interest. Ghost continued.

"He has a high opinion of himself, considers himself a bit of a charmer, and might be trying to pass himself off as a musician, specifically, a mandovial player."

The last comment stirred a reaction from the crowd. The bothan spoke up.

"Someone like that was here before. He was very polite but seemingly in a hurry."  The bothan now had Ghost's full attention.  He made sure his holorecorder captured everything.

"Continue" Ghost prodded.

The human female interupted, "Does this man have a bounty on 'im?"

Ghost nodded, "Afirmative."

"Perhaps this information is worth something then, yes?" asked the bothan.

Ghost turned over his palm revealing a credit chip.  He plunked it down on the wooden table with a dull click.  The diminutive bothan reached for it, Ghost quickly slammed his palm down onto it.

"Tell me more"

The bothan shrugged resigningly.

"Very well, he was here not too long ago, alone. Swinging a mandiviol as you say.  He didn't say much, just having a drink and then wandering over to the shuttle. That's all I know, honest."

Ghost removed his hand from the credit chip.

"Your payment. If you see anything else, you can expect more."

Ghost removed a datapad from his satchel, he would need to hack into the security camera across from the shuttle.  The bothan female stared at the credit chip left on the table, almost afraid to pick it up.  Ghost sensed her apprehension, glancing down at the chip he quipped, "looks like your buying the next round."

The cantina patrons shifted in their seats, not entirely sure what to think of this man, or the mandiviol slinging stranger he sought. They watched as Ghost left the cantina without any more words.  The bothan quickly snatched the chip off of the table.

"Ten Thousand Credits!"she exclaimed.  The other patrons stared wide eyed.

Beneath the chip was a small card, with a comm frequency and a holo mail address on it.  The only name give was "Ghost".  The bothan womans fur stood on end.  This Oroxido was in some serious trouble.

Ghost leaned against the light post adorning the security camera, easily gaining access into its stored video data. There was no sound on the recording he noticed frowning, well, better than nothing.  He watched the footage of Oroxido as he purchased a ticket for Mos Espa, then patiently waited for the shuttle to land.  Ghost was perplexed.  Why would this wanted criminal do his best to be seen in this manner.  The camera on the light post was not hidden in the least, and Oroxido had done nothing to disguise his identity.  He even made no attempt to block his ticket destination from the cameras prying eye.  Was this guy stupid or just that brazen?

As the video continued, Ghost watched as the shuttle landed, lowering its ramp.  Oroxido stepped onto the shuttle without hesitation.  Moments later the shuttle shot off into the distance.  It seemed very straight forward, next stop would be Mos Espa.  Ghost paused a moment, something was clearly not right.

He watched the video again, taking note of every last detail.  The shuttle landed, ramp opened, subject entered ... shuttle took off ... wait a second, he paused.  Ghost saw a set of footprints in the sand opposite the shuttle, they had not been there before it landed.  Oroxido went right out the other side of the craft, knowing the camera was on him.

"You dirty son of a ..."

Ghost activated his comm link on a secure channel.

"Outlaw, our subject is hiding out here in Mos Carova"
SFC. Kentt' "Ghost" Em'asep
Imperial ID Number: TB-0177
220th Long Range Reconnaissance Platoon <CCXX>



Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2008, 05:59:00 pm »
Mos Eisley, Tatooine

The starport was crowded as usual. A young bothan weaved through the crowd, doing his best to fight his way to the Holo News Terminal. Satim didn't follow the news typically, but the news didn't typically involve him directly. At only 20 standard years of age, Satim was the youngest member of Rox's crew. He was also the smallest, not all that unusual being that he was Bothan, but it meant he was always trying to prove himself. He was a scrappy individual, always looking for a fight, and always running his mouth. His value to Rox's crew was his willingness to do anything for the gang, constantly risking illness and injury when no one else in the crew would.

Satim was pretty proud of himself at the moment, and he was having a hard time hiding his toothy grin. To be included in this operation by Oroxido had meant he made it, he was truly a part of the groups inner circle. Two years of doing poodoo work payed off, he thought. It was taking all of his will power to keep quiet about the incident. Three Imperial shuttles, that was quite an accomplishment. He was only slightly dissapointed when the holo news made no mention of the shuttles. Nothing could bring him down now, not even Rox deciding the crew needed to split up for a few days. He laughed to himself when he thought back to Rox handing him a handful of credits, telling him to lay low for a few days. He had one intention with all this scratch, get filthy stinking drunk.

Fifteen Minutes Later ...

Satim smoothed his facial fur as he stood at the cantina's front entrance. Music was filtering out into the street from a band of Bith's jamming out a familiar tune. He began to hum happily, content with his place in the universe. Two of the crew had expressed remorse regarding their crime, Satim laughed it off.

"Who cares?" he thought,"They were worthless Imperial shuttle pilots."

Satim entered the cantina with the swager of a man twice his size. Make way, he thought, dangerous criminal coming through. The patrons in the cantina were less than impressed of course, which Satim took no small offense too. Ingrates all of them, wait till the Empire takes total control of this dust bucket, they will see then, he thought.

Wuher, the local barkeep, gave Satim a sideways look when the bothan plunked down a 100 credit chip.

"Whaddaya want huurton face?" he snarled.

"Jawa beer, you old banthas ass," he shot back, dropping another 100 credit chip next to first.

Wuher instantly wanted to blast the little fur ball's head off but thought better of it. He would leave it to his patrons, who were usually more than willing to straighten out some snot nosed punk that got a little too full of himself. Little jerk probably robbed some old man and is living it up, well he would get his due.

Quickly, Satim was on his third Jawa beer, and he was beginning to annoy the other bar guests. None of them were as impressed with him as much as he was with himself. Stupid small time thugs, he thought, I shot down three Imperial shuttles. He noticed an Aqualish pilot looking him over.

"Hey, what the hell are you looking at?" he growled. The Aqualish huffed and turned away.

"Yeah, thats what I thought. You don't want to mess with me anyway, I kill people for a living,"he bragged.

More people began to take notice of Satim now, and he was enjoying the attention. He leaned against the bar smuggly.

"Thats right, a killer. I kill Imperials too, cus I ain't scared a nobody."

Now he had nearly everyone's ear. He was rather enjoying himself. A human man shuffled into the place next to him at the bar.

"So, you are some kind of assasin then?" The human asked him.

"Bah, assasins kill one person at a time, I shot down three lambda shuttles with a plex launcher."

Satim took the last swallow of his fourth Jawa beer and grinned ear to ear. The other guests laughed, dismissing the stories as the fabrications of a drunken nobody. In his drunken state, however, Satim mistook their laughter, he thought he had impressed them. He felt like a big time gangster now. He was so caught up in his new found attention, that he didn't notice the dimly lit table to his right. A older man sat beneath a hooded cloak, sipping at a hot glass of Aitha. He didn't look particularly dangerous, his grey hair receding, his manner mild and grandfatherly. Other guests shrugged off Satim's ravings as utter fantasy, but this old man knew something they didn't. While Satim continued drinking and bragging, the hooded figure snuck out into the night air.

Moments later, the old man stood silently in a darkened doorway across from the cantinas back entrance. He waited patiently for a young human couple to pass, and then lifted a commlink to his lips.

"Geezer calling Outlaw. Urgent message."

Unknown Safe House, Mos Eisley, Tatooine

Across town from the cantina, the 220th had set up shop in a small nondescript house. They would use this as their forward headquarters until the mission was complete. Four Operatives stood around a rickety wooden table covered in technical equipment. A single lamp hung overhead, giving the figures a foreboding appearance. Rockhead, Hellion, and Talon were cleaning and reassembling weapons, while Ghost was adjusting a set of Low Light Amplification Goggles. Their Lieutenant had excused himself to the rear bedroom to recieve an important communique from Geezer.

Theodorik managed a rare smile as he rejoined the group. He looked down at his chronometer, just over 60 hours after the security station was infiltrated and they had two solid leads. Agent Geezer was attached to the 268th Intelligence Detachment, and was one of the best field operatives in the business. Major Kassel, the Detachment's commander, had sent him to Mos Eisley to do what he did best, blend in and keep his eyes and ears open. It had proved to be a valid assignment as Satim had just bragged his way onto Outlaw and Company's radar.

The Lieutenant relayed the news to his collegues, who continued their work, looking almost unimpressed. The group was clearly "on task", all information received was properly absorbed, dissected, analyzed, and stored into memory. Each member of the team would form educated opinions and draw conclusions based on their training and experience, and then share their thoughts with the group. Rank meant little within the platoon, every idea was entertained. The mission came first always, and the integrity of the 220th a close second. Theodorik looked around the room slowly.

"Questions?" He asked. SFC Talon spoke first.

"Any possibility this bothan witnessed the incident and is trying to take credit for it?"

"Remote," replied Outlaw.

"The security tapes Ghost recovered show clear evidence Oroxido is hiding out in the North East Tatooine area." he continued,"I am assigning Ghost and Talon to that area for recon."

The pair nodded.

"Hellion, Rockhead, I want to explore this connection between Satim and Oroxido.  Before we start combing the city, I want to speak with one of your informants Rockhead."

Rockhead shifted his weight forward with interest.

"Do I get to use some of my 'persuasion' skills? " Rockhead asked.

Outlaw nodded only slightly, chosing to plow forward with his objectives, if any informants needed to be 'persuaded', he had no outward objections.

"If this Satim was really involved, then his big mouth is going to lead us to the rest of this group. Wraith is working on the Twi'lek as we speak, going to get us some more names from Oroxido's crew, as well as how many of them were involved. But I assure you, General Shelton has give us the green light to punish these individuals ourselves. There will be blood shed over this."

A wide grin spread over Rockhead's face. The young Zabrak was a natural killer, spending most of his time chasing down and assasinating rebels and criminals for the Empire. He was a disciplined soldier however, and was brought in by Krienz whenever his tracking skills were needed. He would have his chance to exact some revenge.

Satisfied his troops were all on the same page, Theodorik concentrated on his own weapons. They were getting close to needing them.

Mos Eisley, 48 hours later

A cloaked figure did his best to slink through the back alleys of Mos Eisley.  It was something Oroxido was not used to, all the sneaking around.  He thought of himself as a rogue and a gangster, a brazen sort of ruffian that people both feared and respected.  He had managed to carve out a small niche within the Tatooine criminal element.  His usual penchant for stolen goods and petty theft had actually not given him much of a name within the criminal underworld.  It was debatable whether he understood that he was still a virtual nobody, or his refusal to admit as such was utter dillusion.

What Rox and his gang had done this time was so unspeakable, even some of the seediest locals found it unfathomable he even attempted it.  Word had gotten around pretty quickly that people were looking for him, and it wasn't Imperials.  He had felt a small level of safety in Mos Carova, amongst the other questionable activity there.  The local Krayt dragon population had done well to keep any kind of law enforcement out of the area.  He had been forced to come out of hiding this evening however, he had a problem with a member of his crew that was endangering all of them.  While he could hardly believe he was in such a public place, Satim needed to be silenced.

Oroxido poked his head through the archway of the cantina, looking out into the throng of patrons.   Another member of the gang had visited Mos Carova to inform him that a young bothan was bragging about bringing down three Lambda Shuttles, and living it up with fists full of credits in Mos Eisley, but now Rox saw no sign of him.  He breathed in deeply, trying to stifle his growing panic.

He walked to the bar as casually as he could manage, and questioned the bartender on his bothan comrade.  While Wuher knew instantly who he was referring to, he hadn't seen him at all that day nor did he know where he had gone last night.  While this disturbed Rox, the bartender did admit Satim left on his own power and there wasn't any hints towards violence.

Hoping the young bothan would return to the cantina, Oroxido decided to blend in and play a little mandiviol, hoping to score some gossip. Perhaps he could find out who was following him.  He settled in along a wall next to a pretty twi'lek, who introduced herself as Selria.

In the shadows, and old man spoke barely above a whisper into a commlink.

"Outlaw.  The subject is here ..."

Offline Xenea

  • CSM
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 158
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2008, 03:15:00 pm »
Somewhere outside Mos Eisley

CSM Xenea "Hellion" Foxx opened up a secure channel and put the comm set in Outlaw's waiting hand. "Secure?" he asked.

"Yes," she nodded as she stepped away from his kneeling form.

She took a few moments to study him as he made his call. There was more to this situation--and she didn't just mean the personal comm he'd received a few moments ago that prompted him to request a direct channel through to Corps Command. Something was on his mind. Something he wasn't sharing. But she knew better than to ask, he'd tell her when he was ready.

"Outlaw out" he clipped as he stood and handed her back the comm set.

"Eisley." Outlaw said, "Oroxido was seen here in Eisley."

"What the..." Rockhead's explicative was cut-short by Outlaw.

"Rockhead, you talk to the informant alone.  I want names, and I want to know who sold these terrorists the Plex's.  Do what you have to"

Rockhead's face grew sinister. "Yes sir,"he snarled.

Outlaws eyes locked on Hellion's for a moment, then he turned and started towards the transport. "You're with me."

Hellion nodded once to Rockhead and trotted after Outlaw stepping up her normal stride a bit to match Outlaw's pace.

Sitting on the transport, he finally broke the silence. "I gave the order to detain him, he should be in custody by the time we get there."

She nodded, placing a hand on his arm and letting it rest there for a few moments--not that he could feel it through his armor, but he knew it was there. She'd served with him for too long, he was not just her superior, he was a friend and much more. He continued his silent observation out the window and she retracted her hand.

Central Mos Eisley, 30 minutes later

Striding into the garrison, Hellion immediately knew something wasn't right. And if she could tell, she knew he could. There was virtually no security, all that was visible were two troopers and a female Twi'lek. "What have we here, yet another fake ID..."

The girl protested that it wasn't hers, that he'd set her up.

"Tell us where you're hiding the rest of the IDs..." the troopers made as if to head down to the lower level as Outlaw and Hellion came into view.

"Take her downstairs, I'll be right down," said one of them whose insignia marked him as a private.

"Is that your only prisoner?" Outlaw asked in an icy tone.

The private nodded, "Yes sir, we just arrested her at the cantina for passing off a fake Imperial ID."

From partway down the stairs, Hellion heard the other trooper say "Tell me where you are hiding the rest of them...perhaps a strip search is in order."

She saw Outlaw's shoulders stiffen slightly and knew he'd heard the comment as well.

"And are you aware that while you were pussy-footing around with that little Twi, a dangerous criminal was standing a few feet away and thanks to your incompetence was allowed to escape?"

Though she couldn't see the trooper's face, she was certain that his face had just become as white as his armor at the tone in Outlaw's voice.

"Sir, we ... we didn't..." the trooper started to stammer.

"Enough!" He growled and turned his back on the trooper. "Sgt., enlighten the private while I go see about this prisoner."

Hellion nodded.

"Maybe she'll have some information we can use," he muttered.

As he descended the stairs, the other trooper came up from a different direction.

"Private" she began, holding back a snicker as the trooper saluted her. "Your orders were to proceed to the cantina and detain one Oroxido Flyingrider. Reliable reports placed him there, playing his mandovial, not more than an hour ago. Care to..."

As she spoke the second trooper blurted out "Is she a rebel? I'll question this one." She gave the private credit, his eyes didn't waiver from her.

Not getting a response, the second trooper stepped directly between them, his back to her, and repeated, "she a rebel?"

Staring at the back of his head, she cleared her throat.

"Trooper, step aside," the private urged. Once, then a second time, and a third.

Finally Hellion heard the begged whisper "PLEASE."

The second trooper quickly moved away. Whether it was the 'please' or the fact that Outlaw's voice, speaking in a very soothing tone as he quite obviously offered a refreshment to the prisoner filtered up to the main floor from below, she could only guess.

"Hey, what are you doing with..." she heard him say as he descended the stairs.

"I'm sorry, ma'am, he's ..." the private began and then his voice trailed off when he saw the look in her eyes.

"The criminal you and your 'cohort'," she said the word with some disgust, "let slip, is wanted for a brutal act of terrorism that killed 29 troopers. So as I was saying, care to explain how you ended up with that twi'lek instead of..." the harshness in her voice grew stronger, but she cut off her sentance as the trooper's voice from below grew more strenuous.

The private gulped audibly and shifted his weight. His voice was hoarse when he spoke, "Ma'am, I didn't receive..."

"Never mind," she cut him off. "I'll have a report sent to your commander. A copy of the arrest warrant will be included. Next time, perhaps you'll pay more attention. Dismissed." He seemed glued to his spot so she motioned her head towards the stairway and simply said "GO!"

The private fled down the stairs "Trooper, get the Lt. what he asked for."

Hellion didn't need to be given her orders, she knew the next thing she would be instructed to do and so she moved to a comm terminal and steeled herself as she put in the call. "Hellion here, I need to speak to Jezebel."

As she waited, she listened to the commotion going on down below. She almost pitied the poor trooper, she'd never been on the receiving end of  Theo's wrath but had heard it before. He could be almost as imposing as his older brother when he really wanted to though she'd never told him that.

"Major," she began, "the arrest was no joy here. A full report will be submitted." She paused, listening to the questions at the other end. "No, the only prisoner here is a female Twi. Chances are she saw the target so Outlaw is questioning her now." She paused again and then nodded, "Yes, ma'am, I'll inform him. Hellion out." She sighed as she closed the channel and stood there for a moment.

Curiosity got the better of her, and she moved to the stairs to hear what was going on below.

"Thank you," she heard the twi say. "I feel much better now."

"Good." At the soft tone in his voice Hellion smiled a little. He sounded like Theo now, not Outlaw, and she knew the girl would tell him what he wanted to know. "Let me know if you need another glass."

"So, before those troopers interrupted you, did you happen to see a mandovial player in the cantina?"

"Yes, in fact I was listening to him when they approached me." At that comment the trooper started towards the door but the private pulled him back. "Why do you ask?"

"He's simply wanted for questioning. Nothing to worry about." The girl giggled slightly and Hellion presumed he'd winked at her or tweaked her nose. A masterful flirt, that one. "Selria, right?" he paused a moment. "What else can you tell me about him, Selria?"

"Well...he seemed nervous," she said, "he kept watching the doorway. Like he was looking for someone." She paused for a moment. "Before he started playing, he was speaking to the bartender, Wuher is his name. I wasn't close enough to hear their conversation but he might be able to tell you more."

"Do you think you would recognize him if you saw him again?" Hellion presumed the girl nodded yes because he continued, "Would you be willing to let me know if you do?" Again, the girl must have nodded yes. "I'm glad," his voice almost a whisper now. "Here's my comm information, make sure you don't lose it." The girl giggled again.

"Can I continue questioning MY prisoner now?" The trooper pushed his way back into the cell.

Able to see just inside the cell, she watched as Outlaw stepped protectively in front of the girl. "I think she's earned a bit of a reprieve, don't you?" The gentle tone from before was gone again and the voice was all Outlaw. Hellion heard the trooper start to protest, Outlaw gave the trooper one of his stares--the trooper stopped and said that he'd go get her things.

Turning back to the girl, his voice softened once more. "Ok, they are going to get your things for you and let you go home. Remember to let me know if you see him. His name is Oroxido. Oroxido Flyingrider."

"I will. And I promise I won't let him know you are looking for him."

That comment certainly gained a smile from Outlaw. She could hear it in his voice as he responded, "Thank you."

He turned and exited the cell. As he started up the stairs, he looked up at Hellion. She could see a hint of anger still hiding behind his eyes. "We're done here." He said as he passed her. "Is the Major aware of the situtation?" He turned and looked at Hellion expectantly as they reached the main floor.

"Yes, I already informed her. And I let her know a full report will be submitted."

He gave her a slight smile, "Good. Thank you for taking care of that."

"She also said to tell you that Wraith was successful in achieving what you wanted..." She let that sentance trail off, hoping he'd clue her in on what it was he'd asked for.

That statement got another smile. "Very good." He stopped to check and make sure that the troopers were indeed releasing the Twi'lek.

"The prisoner's name was Selria, she saw Oroxido, spoke to him very briefly.  He also spoke to the bartender, one of Major Jezebel's agents is already on the way over to the cantina to chase down that lead."

The pair emerged from the garrison into the street, Outlaw paused, visibly perplexed.  Hellion turned her head to the side, about to speak, but Outlaw broke the silence first.

"Why would Flyingrider come back here?  Did he figure out Ghost was onto him in Carova?" It was more of a thought outloud than an actual question.  After another few seconds, Outlaw continued to walk.

"The bothan"

"Satim?" Asked Hellion.

"Satim.  Rox came back to Eisley to try and shut him up.  The link between them is confirmed.  Keep Ghost and Talon digging around Mos Carova, you and I are going to see what we know about this bothan."

Offline Nephrite

  • CWO
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 116
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2008, 02:13:00 am »
Building 408, Rogers Military Arsenal, Mos Ecilpse, Lok

Wraith smiled inwardly, things with the girl were progressing nicely. It shouldn't be too much longer.

Wraith even admitted she was a little skeptical at first, Outlaw wanted to use the girl openly to help locate the others. Letting her go free was a dangerous ploy but even if she wasn't willing to aid them, she'd still be useful. Of course Wraith wasn't letting the girl know that. Fear was a powerful thing, something Wraith knew how to use to every advantage. Her appointment within the 220th was no accident. While many of her talents could certainly be of use elsewhere, it was that fine mix of skills that extended far beyond investigation and interrogation that very few recognized. Col. Krienz "Mastermind" Sturmwolke and Major Melyssa "Jezebel" Kassel were two that did. Even Wraith had had to agree with their reasonings when they presented transfer orders to her--she'd have taken the post anyway, even had she not been ordered to.

Her current "project", was the conversion of the little Twi'lek, T'lirya. She'd already provided more details than she realized about the events and the people involved. And now, Wraith was convincing her that "Rox" had betrayed her and had forgotten about her already. Those seeds had been planted at the very start and it hadn't taken much to foster them.

Most would chalk it all up to the holovids and images the girl was seeing of "Rox" with various females--Twi, human, even a Bothan. Mind control? Mind manipulation? Hoaxes, it was claimed. But Wraith had special talents, call it intuition, that allowed her to subtley steer the situation.

She was sitting at a desk in the Detention Center. As she finished her latest report, she leaned back and stretched a bit. She could hear soft whimpers--part denial, part anger--coming from one of the interrogation rooms. The latest surveillance of Rox with a dancer in Eisley was more than a bit compromising. Yes, the girl was almost ready.

Wraith got to her feet and headed back to the interrogation room. As she walked in, the girl stiffened. But that reaction wasn't due to Wraith's presence. Wraith's gaze snapped to the screen. Through narrowed eyes, she watched what the girl was watching. A rugged-looking man who'd been leaning against a back wall pushed himself away from the wall and headed across the room. "Olann," the name was whispered so faintly. The girl wasn't even aware that she'd spoken. Nor was she aware of what she'd unknowingly revealed--and especially not that she'd just provided information for a death warrant.

Wraith turned and exited the room. Taking a deep breath, she opened a comm channel. "Major, we've got an ID on one of the trigger men. Image files will be uploaded to you shortly." She paused only for a moment. "His name is Olann."

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2008, 05:44:00 pm »
Mos Eisley, Tatooine

Satim woke up just around mid day in his rented room.  He was feeling the effects of two consecutive nights of boozing and carousing.  He took a look at his furry mug in the refresher mirror.  No worse for the wear, he thought.  He washed his face and pulled back his hair into a pony tail.  He looked into the mirror and smiled.

He began to hum a tune as he emerged from the refresher.  Sudenly, he stopped dead in his tracks, there was a human figure seated in the darkness of the dining table.  All Satim could see was a pair of worn looking brown boots and a sand colored pair of military pants, the rest was obscured by the darkness.  A closer look revealed a small pistol on the figures lap, Satim gulped and began to speak.

"I ..."

"A woman at the Cantina said you had a room here, Satim.  I've  come here to kill you," spoke the figure first. The voice sounded familiar, but tired and scratchy.

The shadowy figure continued,"Your big mouth is going to get us killed you idiot."

"Rox?" Satim stammered, it sounded like his boss, but he resisted the temptation of a closer look.

"Yeah, its Rox," the voice said with a heavy sigh.  Oroxido shifted out into the light. "What in the hell are you doing carrying on and bragging about shooting down these shuttles?"

Satim was instantly shamed. "Aww Rox, I guess I was just having fun with the whole thing.  This is Mos Eisley, everybody is some criminal or pirate, whats the harm in a little pride in our work?" He asked as he slowly edged toward Rox.

Oroxido stood and punched the bothan in the chest.  "You damn moron, the wrong kind of people are hearing about this thing we did."

Satim was semi-crouched on the floor, doubled over in pain.
He tried to muster an apology but had no breath left in his lungs to do so.  Oroxido contiued his admonishment.

"I was coming here to shoot your damned head off.  But for some reason, I like you," Oroxido said with another heavy sigh.

"Everybody is talking about you here in Eisley, lucky for you, they think you are a complete idiot.  But sooner or later, the wrong person is going to hear about what you are saying, and I can't take the chance you will lead them to me."

"Aww Rox, I would never rat ya out, you know that."

"I doubt you can withsatnd much torture Sat ... "Rox Said voice trailing off. Satim gulped again loudly.

"I am making arrangements for you to get the hell off of Tatooine Satim.  You have to stay off for a long time, maybe months."

Oroxido saw the shock in his henchman's eyes.  It was a pity actually, he really did have a soft spot for the little furball.

"I will have a land speeder coming for you in 1 hour, get in it, and shut up.  The speeder is going to a transport thats taking you to Dantooine.  When you get to Dantooine ... there will be a shuttle that will take you to a lake side resort.  You will have a room reserved for you for the next 3 weeks. Its all paid for." Oroxido paused to let the last part sink in.

"There is a bank account for you there, with 10 thousand credits.  The account number is right here." Oroxido slid a piece of paper toward him.

"Talk to no one, DO NOT speak of this or the damned shuttles, do you get me?"

Satim was speachless for the moment as his mind wandered to the vacation he was about to have.

"Satim! Do you get me?" Oroxido repeated, leaning in face to face with the Bothan.

"Yes ... yes, Rox."

"One last thing, Satim, forget we ever met."

Oroxido rose and holstered the pistol.  Satim offered no protest as his former boss dissapeared out into the city streets.

Offline Ruh Shi'od

  • SSG
  • Operatives
  • ***
  • Posts: 73
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2008, 09:14:00 pm »
Lucky Despot, Upper Level, Mos Eisley, Tatooine
Wrapping up the end of his day with the twin Tatooine suns high in the sky, Aylon Layshun bussed the tables and cleaned the floors.

"Hmpf!" he thought, thinking of a life of better times. A time when he was the high roller leaving behind the mess. A time when he barely was concerned enough with the busboy to even take the time to think ill of him.

Then he thought again, "Well, things could be worse. I could be..."

“Greetings old friend..." a familiar voice said, interrupting his thought and sending a chill through his body. Too afraid to turn around, he quickly realized his back was to the only exit. Not only that, he and the door were separated by the visitor.

"...it has been quite some time, hasn't it?" the man continued in a natural and unassuming voice. A voice that if anyone else would have heard, they would have thought nothing of it. A voice that was calming and friendly. However, Aylon's past with man was anything but calm. Everything, but friendly. The voice brought forth a sense of dread in Aylon that very few things ever did.

"R...R...Rockhead..." he managed to squeeze out after turning around to face his visitor, "...how did you find me". As Aylon turned to face his visitor he saw him standing there, Ruh "Rockhead" Shi'od.

"Find you?" Rockhead laughed, "My friend, did you really think you could hide from  me in the first place? Least of all in a city like this?" He paused."Big time crime..."  

Rockhead said as he continued while looked around,"...to this?"

Rockhead jokingly referred to Aylon as friend, knowing he was far from it. "Friend" was simply a word Rockhead used to address people he met, but did not intend to kill.

Aylon knew it was risky, but he took the chance. Was he foolish enough to think a simple name change and some minor plastic surgery would be able to throw off the most determined of the high level bounty hunters? Apparently so.

"So...you have come to finish me off, have you?" Aylon asked, anticipating what was to come.

"Finish you off? If I had wanted you dead, you would have been so long ago, friend. But, I kept you alive because I saw some use for you in my future endeavors. You really think you've been avoiding bounty hunters because you've been so good at hiding?" Rockhead replied.

Aylon knew it had been a little too easy. But then he thought about the couple of bounty hunters that had come for him since Rockhead.

"Oh...and the few bounty hunters that have come for you since me...I paid them to. Just to keep you on your toes. Keep the fear fresh." He grinned. Rockhead enjoyed toying with his prey. Stringing them along through the final moment.

"So...what is it then? What has brought you to me? What part do I play in this grand plan of yours?" Aylon asked cautiously, fearful of the answer.

"Me? What do I want? Well, if I recall correctly yours was the best Mandalorian Wine in the Inner Rim. I am here simply for a drink." Rockhead said, smirking.

"A drink?" Aylon exclaimed both confused and scared. He thought back to the last time he was asked to have a drink with the man. After a few sips from the first drink he blacked out and awoke to find himself strapped to a table at the mercy of the assassin.

"Yes. I need to ask you about a mouthy Bothan who has been hanging around here lately." he explained.

Slightly more at ease that Rockhead's sights were on someone other than himself, Aylon clumsily sat in the chair nearest to him still holding his try of soiled dishes.  

Following his lead, Ruh walked over and sat at the table nearest to Aylon's.

"Satim?" Aylon replied, recalling the annoying runt.

"Yes, what do you know about him. I want everything."

"He is...very obnoxious. Had plenty of women in and out of his room. All paid, I'm sure."

"Good. When did you see him last?"

"Not long ago. I was out having a smoke before I came here to clean up. He was on his way out. He appeared as though he had been spooked, he seemed worried. Like someone was..." Aylon paused, "after him. You, perhaps?"

"No, he won't ever see what I have coming for him." Rockhead said, with a bit of hate slipping from his lips as he thought back on the 29 fallen.

"By the stars!" Aylon exclaimed, coming to the realization that the Bothan’s stories about being involved in the destruction of the Bestine shuttles were not the ramblings of a drunken fool, "He wasn't lying..."

Realizing he had struck a chord in Aylon's memory, Rockhead angrily stood from his seated position, fiercely throwing his table across the room in the same motion. He grabbed Aylon by the collar and hoisted him high in the air, pulling him over to the bar and slamming his back against the bar's counter. "and where is he now!" Rockhead demanded, hurling Aylon's try of dishes across the floor.

Struck with fear, Aylon was immobilized. Frozen, in a panic. "I...I don't know!" He said. Gasping for what little air he could get, Rockhead’s grip was suffocating him.

"We have played this 'I don't know' game before, Aylon!" Rockhead said grinning, as he removed a blade from its place on his belt. "How did that go over..." he paused as he made a small cut down Aylon's cheek, "...last time."

Aylon cried out, not from the pain of the incision. Instead he cried out from fear of the memories of last time. Aylon searched his thoughts quickly, hoping for a gem of information that could save him. Something to prevent what he feared to come.

"Vex!" Aylon shouted, "Vex drove him somewhere. I...I don't know where or why. But when the Bothan left I saw him getting into Vex's speeder."

Seeing the fear in his eyes, Rockhead knew Aylon's information was genuine. "Good Aylon, you are proving more valuable to me alive. Where can I find Vex?"

"He...he is a local here. I'm not certain, but I think he works for Valara or at least some of the time. He always seems to be in the mix somehow. If anyone knows something, its him." Aylon continued.

"So, you never answered my question...where can I find him." Ruh said, as he peeled away at some of the flesh he had previously cut.

"Uuuungh! Please! Don't! No more!" Aylon cried out, "the slums! He lives in the slums northwest of here."

"and how will I know his flat?" Ruh asked, still toying with the skin on Aylon's face.

"his speeder! It is a sand colored one with some damage on the front! Please, that's all I know...let me go." Aylon exclaimed, in pain.

"All you know? Aylon, my friend. You give yourself too little credit. You must know of some of Vex's or Satim's friends"

"No nothing, please!" he begged.

"Oh Aylon. I know you know more. Perhaps you just need some...encouragement. Inspiration." Rockhead said, pulling the knife from Aylon's face and dancing it across his chest.  

"Perhaps we could go back to my ship, that is where I get all of my inspiration. Maybe you could find a bit of encouragement there."

"NO!" Aylon sobbed. "Please no!"

Rockhead placed the knife in the center of Aylon's chest and pressed the point in slightly, but firmly.

"ROX!" Aylon cried out.

"Go on" Rockhead said, halting his action.

"A friend of his. A mandovial player. Vex introduced me to him when I first started working here. He and Vex seemed close. I beg of you that is all I know! Please let me go! Or kill me, but no more...no more taunting"

Satisfied that he had solidified another link with Rox's gang. Rockhead dropped Aylon to the ground. "For now." Rockhead said, kneeling down over Aylon. "You live for now. I still have use for you yet." Ruh continued as he wiped the blood from his blade onto Aylon's other cheek.

"Also, you should get that looked at. Perhaps my sister-"

"No! Keep her away from me." Aylon interrupted, with mixed emotions of fear and anger.

"Very well," Ruh grinned "Until we meet again, my friend." With their business concluded Rockhead stood up above Aylon preparing to leave. Pausing a moment to place his knife back into his place. As he stared down at Aylon no words were said, but a message was conveyed. You can run, but you cannot hide.

Rockhead turned and headed for the elevator. As he did he looked emotionless up at the camera that had captured the events.

"Sin, make sure this meeting remains a private one" Rockhead commanded to his A.I.

"Acknowledged." She replied.

"Rockhead to Outlaw," Rockhead stated, opening a secure comm. channel. "Got some hot information from an old friend. It appears Satim has skipped town."

"Thats problematic" Outlaw stated after a pause. "Although we may have another lead."

"I've got a lead of my own. Seems Satim was driven to the star port by a local. His name is Vex, he lives in the slums near the Despot. I'll be paying him a visit. I think he is going to be involved with more than just helping Satim skip town. My friend told me Vex and Rox have some sort of history. I'm betting his is going to be our driver." Rockhead continued.

"Very good. Do what you have to do. Outlaw out." Outlaw stated, as he terminated the transmission.

Rockhead always liked the sound of that, what you have to do. He grinned inwardly as he stepped from the elevator and down the barren hall. Rockhead emerged in the gaming area face to face with a familiar looking Bith. He dismissed the Bith from his thoughts and continued on with his mission.

Meanwhile, back up on the upper level Aylon laid fearfully on the floor. Not certain if his assailant was really gone, or if he was playing another game. Tired of lying in fear, Aylon picked himself up and pressed his skin up against his face. It stung, then fell back down. Looking around at the mess that remained, Aylon decided it wasn't worth sticking around. He knew he could never outrun or hide from his hunter, but he was satisfied with still trying.

Northwest Mos Eisley, Tatooine - 15 Minutes later

Rockhead marched through the slums looking for a clue to where Vex was residing. He didn't think it would take so long to find the flat. Or perhaps Vex was still out, meaning it would make the search that much more difficult. He stopped firmly several meters short of a moisture vaporator. He glanced around and caught the gaze of a passing Mos Eisley police officer.

"Sin," he called, "looking for a sand colored speeder with front end damage"

"I have located the vehicle." She replied almost right away. "Thirty-five meters southwest of your current location."

She highlighted and zoomed in on the vehicle using Rockhead's HUD.

Rockhead noted that the vehicle was parked near a rear door to a flat and directly across the front door of another. Which was Vex's? He thought to himself.  It was still too early for filth to be out lurking and a thug like him would probably want a quick and discreet escape if someone came looking for him, probably parked near his back door. He gambled that Vex was still quietly nestled in bed.

Using Sin and his own lock picking skills, he quickly defeated the rear door's lock and security measure. Entering quietly he could hear loud snoring in the other room and detected the faint odor of old Corellian spice. To his right, a potted plant. On the table to his left was a loaded blaster and a few gambling credit chips from the Despot.

Could this the right one? Or is this just typical slum life. On the blaster's grip he saw a red letter "V" in Aurabesh. This was the right place. Lucky.

Rockhead slowly and quietly closed the door behind him and entered the room where his target was slumbering. He found him in his bed above the covers wearing what appeared to be few day old clothes. On the floor sat used injectors of spice. The man lay in his bed face down. On the back of his neck was inked the word "Vexxed", obviously some underworld moniker for the man. Vexed? He certainly will be.

Rockhead sat patiently watching Vex as he slept, resting his feet on the finely woven rug at his feet. He allowed Vex to enjoy his final hour. After about half an hour, Vex began to stir. He rolled onto his side and sleepily opened his eyes. Surprised to see Rockhead in the room, Vex reached under his mattress for his blaster. The blaster that was in the other room. He gasped, fearing his fate. Vex looked upon his visitor, but did not recognize him. He did however, recognize the threat he carried.

"Greetings, pal. You have information I need. Information I will get." Rockhead sneered. Ruh only address those he sought to kill as "pal".

At that, Vex quickly rolled from the bed in an attempt to reach a cabinet in the corner of the room. He tried in vain. At the same time Rockhead stepped up and quickly side-stepped to a position directly behind Vex as he sprawled onto the floor. He raised his right arm and fired a dart containing a toxin into Vex's back. Vex paused at the stinging pain and rolled onto his back. Waiting for the poison to kick in Vex laid there. Surprisingly the sting went away leaving no apparent ill effects. Perhaps the cartridge misfired? Unlikely.

"Now see. I wish you hadn't gone and made me do that. This is going to make things less painful for you and less playful for me." Ruh said as he took steps toward Vex, still lying on his back now with his feet at the foot of the steps which lead to the elevator and backdoor.

"Since you don't have much time left, unless I decide to let you live, I am going to be direct." Rockhead stated as he pulled an object from his belt. He lied about the letting him live part, his fate was sealed the moment Rockhead entered the home. The administration of the toxin just took the fun out of it for Rockhead.

"Right now you probably don't feel much, if anything. That is the way my sister designed it. In a few moments you will begin to get light headed, followed by the inability to move. Then later you will lose sensation in your feet as it progresses to your head. But don't worry, you will get sensation back. It just won't be anything you would ever want to feel." Ruh grinned as he saw the shocked look on Vex's face.

"What? What do you want" He said, terrified and already feeling the light-headed sensation.

"I want to know about Rox" He paused, watching as his eyes grew wide. "and Satim. And all the fun you guys have been having in the desert with Plexes."

"I...I had nothing to do with it. I'm just one of Rox's drivers! I am innocent!" Vex cried. This one cracked far easier than Rockhead would have thought. "It was Rox! It was all his plan. He and Olann got the plexes, but I don't know where from. Just some smuggler outside Anchorhead that Olann knows, think his name is Xiss, hangs around Tosche. Just give me the serum to stop this stuff!". Vex cried as he reached for Rockhead's clenched fist. Grasping at the cure that was not. He was horrified to find that as he reached for the item, the paralysis had set in and his arm fell limp to the floor and his body fell numb.

Rockhead was dumbfounded. Never in as many years as he had been doing this work has anyone ever cracked so quickly. Been so open so easily. Insight to the type of operation and caliber of men Rox was involved in. Scum, all of them.

"So...You want to live? Like the 29 troopers you and your crew killed." Rockhead asked.

"Yes" he managed to mumble. Barely able to speak due to the paralysis which was beginning to subside.

Rockhead threw a capsule down on Vex's chest. "In a moment you will begin to feel as though your are boiling from the inside out. That will be your chance to save yourself. Before the pain is too great....crush this capsule in your hands. The compound will absorb into your skin and deactivate the toxin." Ruh explained, lying.

"Th...th...thank you." He said with pain across his face as the pain began to start.

"No, thank you." Ruh stated as he walked out the back door. Grabbing Vex's pistol on the way out, a trophy for the kill.

Feeling as though the heat from the twin suns themselves had entered his veins, Vex grabbed at the capsule. Vainly tring to crush it in his weakened hand. A crack, finally. After several more tries Vex was able to break away enough of the shell to allow the compoung to come oozing out. A green substance began to cover his hand and then the rest of his body. Vex laid back and relaxed as best he could, still in pain from the internal burning. A calm cool fell over his body.

"Thank the stars", he thought. Feeling safe as the pain subsided.

Then the pain returned more fierce than before. This time on the inside and out. Vex lifted his hand, horrified to find the flesh melting from his body.

"A trick!" he howled his last words, a realization come too late. After the compound had finished its work, Vex was reduced to nothing more than bones and goo.

Outside the house Rockhead stood by, leaving only after hearing the final howl of Vex. He was deserving of it. A righteous kill.

"Rockhead to Outlaw. I'll be heading to Anchorhead for one more visit. A smuggler name Xiss possibly provided the Plexes. Rockhead out." Rockhead spoke into his comm. on the secure channel.

"Acknowledged. Got what you needed from Vex?" Outlaw inquired.

"He won't be a problem to anyone anymore." Rockhead concluded.

"Understood. Report your progress in Anchorhead." Outlaw stated as he ended the communication.

"Sin, ready the 814. I am heading to Anchorhead" Rockhead commanded.

Tosche Station, Anchorhead, Tatooine - Several Hours Later

Dusk was approaching when Rockhead stepped into Tosche station looking for Xiss.  He was confronted by a bothan, who was trying to look threatening ... and failing.  This wasn't Xiss.

"Hey kid, I'm looking for your boss."

"Names Cuan, and Xiss is down there,"he said as he pointed down a set of stairs.  Rockhead descended quietly, Xiss was bent over a speeder, reading a datapad.
 
"Hey Cuan, hand me that scanner" Xiss asked without looking up. When there was no response, Xiss looked up to find an unexpected visitor in place of his assistant.

"Greetings, friend. We need to talk about Olann" Rockhead grinned.

Without warning, Xiss rolled behind the speeder and between a stack of crates. Before Rockhead could even move, he reemerged with a blaster. Firing two quick shots, Xiss ducked into a back room. This one was a lot quicker than his last contact, and quicker than your average gun runner.

Rockhead grabbed a flashbang from his belt and threw it into the room.  Rockhead drew his blade and charged into the room as the stun grenade exploded.  While his oponent was momentarily blinded, Rockhead's visor had shielded his eyes.  He raced into the room and instinctively stuck the smuggler in the side, killing him instantly.

"You were more useful to me alive.” He said, disappointed.

"Rockhead calling Hellion. Xiss was a dead end. Notify Outlaw, over." Rockhead spat into his comm.

Hellion turned to Outlaw, who was standing beside her.  She shook her head, "Xiss was a dead end,"she repeated.

Outlaw nodded, knowing what that meant.  He cursed inwardly, he was hoping to find out how the PLX-1 launchers had made it to Tatooine.

"Bring him in, we need to start pulling all of this information together"

"I am uploading our location. RV with us and we will continue our investigation. Hellion out." She said, her tone sounded annoyed.

Rockhead stepped back letting Xiss body slump onto the ground.  A datapad lay on the ground next to him.  Rockhead raised an eyebrow.

"This could be usefull," he said aloud picking it up.

He examined it a little more closely, noting a few saved communications with Olann.  Jackpot.  Ruh pocketed the datapad and began to ascend the stairs.  He had to tell a little bothan kid that he needed to find a new job.

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2008, 09:21:00 pm »
220th Safe House, Mos Eisley

Outlaw leaned back in an old wooden chair, balancing himself on its rear legs.  At the table in front of him sat his team: Hellion, Talon, Ghost, Wraith, and Rockhead.  Everyone was speaking freely, sharing what they knew and what they suspected with regards to Oroxido and company.

"Okay, lets sum up what we have so far,"  Outlaw spoke up rising from his chair.

"The leader of the gang is Oroxido, who looks like his is hiding out in Mos Carova,"offered Ghost.

"Right, he tried that little trick with the camera ... but he was seen by Geezer in Mos Eisley two days later.  Is it still worth keeping an eye on Carova?" Outlaw questioned.

"Absolutely," interjected Talon. "The locals say he is actually renting a house just north of the city."

Rockhead pounded his fist on the table. "I woulda suggested raiding the place ...  I know that we have to flush out the rest of his gang first .... damn him," he reasoned.

"I know Rock, its frustrating.  I know all of you are getting a little bloodthirsty right now.  You all know full well that it takes hard work to pull this sort of thing off." Outlaw spoke calmly.

Rockhead leaned back in his chair slightly.  He could be patient, that wasn't the hard part.  Things were delicate, they needed to be meticulous in their investigation in order to catch everyone involved.

"Hellion and I connected the bothan, Satim, to Oroxido, confirmed by Rockhead. But, it looks like he skipped town." Outlaw continued.

"The twi'lek gave us another name, Olann, one of the men who fired the launchers most likely." added Wraith.

Rockhead shifted in his seat,"Olann ... Vex claimed that he and Oroxido were the ones that scored the plexes.  When I mentioned his name to the gun runner in Anchorhead, he freaked."

Outlaw nodded.

Ghost spoke next. "I have a recording of Rox meeting with a tall man, very rough around the edges, looks muscular enough to wield a plex."

"I already ran the name Olann through all the known data banks," added Hellion. "That description seems to fit the profile of one Olann Martel, Mos Eisley, Tatooine, He has been tied to Oroxido on several occasions by the MEPD."

"Excellent, three subjects identified," Outlaw allowed a little optimism into his voice. "Olann is possibly in the Carova area with Rox then, he has been seen there at least once meeting with him.  But Rockhead says Satim skipped town.  He scored a datapad that I analyzed, and I think I have a destination."

The others listened to him intently as Outlaw produced the datapad from his satchel.

"Looks like a few encrypted messages between the gun runner, Xiss, and Olann.  Most of them mention the plxes and where to pick them up, etcetera.  But there is one that mentions a three-week stay at a resort, all expenses paid.  The resort is on Dantooine.  I will bet that Xiss helped set up a place for Satim to go and hide out.  Possibly to keep him quiet."

The Operatives at the table indicated agreement with nods.

"Here is how we are breaking this down.  I need someone to keep their ear to the ground here on Tatooine, Talon, you keep eyes on Carova. Rockhead, I need you to look into the connection between Xiss and Oroxido."

"Wraith, we have to do something with that Twi'lek.  I am entertaining any of your ideas."

She nodded and Outlaw continued around the room.

"Hellion, get me a SatCom link-up, I need to call in one more shooter, there is a good chance we are going in to get Satim."

He pasued to think.

"I should have Krienz send one of our scouts out to Dantooine and give me a full recon of the area surrounding the resort. I will also sending Geezer and Vixen to the resort to check in as guests, we need people on the inside. Everyone, lets get to work."

There wasn't even a moments hesitation as the Operatives went about their duties.  Outlaw was calling in "Prowler," an expert at close quarters combat. He would lead a team of himself, Hellion, Ghost, and Prowler to Dantooine in an attempt to snatch Satim. He would stress that Krienz assign a solid scout/sniper to the mission as well.

Outlaw had a lot of planning to do and a short time in which to do it. He smiled, this was the part he enjoyed.

Offline Xenea

  • CSM
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 158
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2008, 11:20:00 pm »
The Resort on the Lake, Dantooine

The trip had been less than enjoyable for Satim, his face showed clear signs of fatigue. The speeder coasted to a stop in what Satim hoped was a nice long vacation. His spirits could use some lifting after the visit from Oroxido. A smile began to form as he thought about the next three weeks, and it was all paid for.

As he stepped out, he took in the setting. The area was lush and tranquil--so different from his home. A sign pointed towards the office and he headed in that direction. A few others milled around in the open area, he was almost too tired to acknowledge them. As he walked, his eyes widened as he took in the sights around him. Signs indicated a casino, a club, a fine restaurant, and pointed towards guest accommodations that were further down towards the lake. An Intergalactic bank loomed in the distance.

He headed into the office to check in.



Fifteen Minutes Later

All expenses paid. That's what Rox had told him and that's what was just explained to him by the desk clerk. As he waited for her to return, he looked around the room and those spirits in need of lifting began to do just that.

He heard voices and the clerk returned. With her was another woman and a rather large man. Satim knew a bodyguard when he saw one and wondered who this woman was.

"'lo there," she said with a very distinct accent. "M' name's A'rai Siltar an' m' the owner and manager of this resort. Welcome. I hear you're going to be with us for a bit. Miss Trin'dy will help if you need anything. Plannin' on goin' to t' lottery t'night? It's over at t' bank in a few hours. Th' pot's a million credits."

Satim's eyes widened as he heard the number. Suddenly he knew he was where he was supposed to be. The purpose rang clear in his mind. He was going to win the lottery. Everyone would know his name. And not as some two-bit criminal. He'd be rich.

"En'j y' stay," the red-headed woman said as she headed out the door with her bodyguard following close behind.

Turning back to the desk, Satim accepted the pass-key that the hostess held out for him. Wide-eyed, he listened to her directions on where to find Cottage #1 and then hurried out the door to find his accommodations.



The Lake Lottery

A Lottery! Satim was on top of the world. He just knew he couldn't lose. Everything had been going his way now and this would be no different. He strode boldly into the bank building. Looking around the room, he saw a pretty Twi'lek in a long, flowing, golden gown. Behind her he could make out a barred window and a line. Sauntering over to her he smiled as he asked "Is that where I buy my ticket?"

She nodded, and let him know that there was a two-ticket maximum.

"Only need one. I'm going to win!" He said confidently. He missed her wry smile as he turned. He walked past a table where a sultry-looking brunette and an older man were seated. His eyes on the prize, he didn't notice them. But they both saw him.

The line moved quickly and he soon had his hands on one ticket. Holding it, he could just feel it was the winning ticket. Turning, he looked around the room. Moving to the refreshment table, he ordered a Jawa Beer. Grabbing the drink he turned and bumped into a cloaked figure. It was the older man he'd passed earlier.

"Jawa Beer, eh," the man said, "bet they don't get a lot of requests for that around here. Never could stomach the stuff myself though I've had my share. Spent a good deal of time on Tatooine in my younger days. You can call me Pappy by the way."

Satim grinned at the mention of his home planet. "I'm Satim and Tatooine's where I'm from! This is my first trip off-world too. This place is great!"

The older man smiled back at him. "First time off-world. Certainly doing it up in style then. Got yourself a ticket for the lottery I see."

Satim nodded. "Yep, and I'm gonna win too. My way is paved with gold. Nobody or nothin' can stop me. Even the Imperials stay away from me now."

At his bragging words, the older man feigned a look of shock. "The Imperials you say. What makes them so afraid of you?"

Satim grinned broadly, knowing he had an audience for his fantastic tale. "Well, let's just say I know my way around. Good with a rocket launcher too. You'd be amazed what a launcher can do to a shuttle when it's aimed right."

"A rocket launcher?" The man's eyes widened in surprise. "Where'd a little guy like you get a hold of one of those."

"Me and my partner got them. And you shoulda seen those shuttles explode." Satim's voice raised even higher in excitement. Here was a man who would fear him. Who would stand in awe. Everyone at the resort would hear of his deeds and know him for the dangerous guy he was.

Sipping his beer, he started to tell more of his adventure his boasting getting even more pompous.

"Excuse me, I need to go take care of something," the man named "Pappy" said. "It's been good talking to you."

After Satim watched the man exit, he moved towards the open room where the drawing would soon be held. He noticed a familiar face nearby, a man he had seen in Mos Eisley several times. As Satim moved towards the man,  "Hi! How are you?"

"Fine..." the man watched him closely but Satim was too excited to notice.

"Good to see a familiar face here. This place is so different from Tatooine. So what are you doing here?"

"Same as you, I suspect. Taking my chances with the lottery drawing."

"Could have saved you the credits. I'm going to win."

"Really? You know that, do you?" The man said with a wry grin.

"Yep, nothing can go wrong for me. I can't lose." Satim's confidence oozed from his every word.

Kaece knew it was quite the contrary for young Satim.  Hellion had inquired about this fur ball.  She hadn't said why he was a person of interest, but Kaece was vaugely aware of the type of work she did.  He made it a point to get to know this little punk, and perhaps secure himself a little information worthy of a reward.  In  their last conversation, Hellion revealed they were planning to arrest Satim, but he had skipped town.  Kaece's own network of spies and informants had led him here.  He wore a frown at the moment, as Hellion had gone comm silent, he wanted to give her the heads up that Satim was hiding here.
 
"So, is this your first time off Tatooine?"

"Yep," Satim nodded exitedly. "I got the trip as a gift from my partner."

"Your partner, eh? What kind of partner would that be?"

Satim's eyes lit up, another one who would listen to all that he'd done and respect him for it. He once again told his story about the launchers, the shuttles, and how even the empire was afraid of him now. The man nodded politely.

"Time for the drawing," a man with a suit on stepped up to the front and read off the winning number.

"That your's?" Kaece asked. Satim frowned for a moment as he looked at his ticket and shook his head negatively.

"Well, it appears we have no winner this week. All proceeds will be added to next week's drawing. Hope to see everyone back here again." The suited man thanked everyone for coming and indicated that refreshments would be available for a while longer.

Satim's eyes brightened at hearing that. Next week. Next week he would win and they'd all see.

"Here, let's go get a drink and you can tell me more about these shuttles you shot down," Kaece motioned to Satim and guided him towards the refreshment table.

"Sure!" Satim's eye's brightened back up at the thought of telling his tale again.

As they neared the table a stunning dark haired woman approached them.  Satim gulped as it looked like she was headed his way.  He smoothed the fur on his face, taking a deep breath.  The woman stepped directly up to them and began to speak.

"Scuse me ..."

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2008, 07:55:00 pm »
High Above Dantooine

The Lambda Shuttle eased into a circular pattern, well out of radar range of the target.  While the Lake Resort may have looked like a sleepy litle resort community, reconnaissance had revealed some sophisticated radar equipment, as well as some serious security measures.  It was no mistake that Satim was hiding out here.  The perplexing part was how a small time thug like Oroxido pulled all of this off.  A three week stay here was expensive.  There was a hunch that this was bigger than some gang of local crooks, and it was growing inside of more than one of the operatives.

Theodorik rose to his feet and faced his three teammates and raised his arms palms up.  The group responded wihtout a word, standing up.  This particular shuttle was a specially modified version for parachute insertions.  Its ramp actually faced the rear, and its engines were modified to allow it to amble along slower.  The drawback was that it was much louder than a normal Lambda Shuttle. "Outlaw" held up two fingers, indicating two minutes till exit.  The jumpers began their final checks and double checks of equipment.  The weight of their equipment had been carefully balanced, so they all would have the same air resistance once they started their decent.  Sgt. Aerynn "Prowler" Sun was the lightest, so she received the heaviest of the kit.  Lieutenant "Outlaw" Sturmwolke's 216 lb frame would carry the least.

Each of the operatives connected their masks into oxygen cylinders and held a thumb skyward.  Once all of them were "good to go", Outlaw reached to his right, and pressed a large red button on the hull.  The shuttle vibrated slightly as the rear  ramp began to lower, the Dantooine air rushing inside.  They were now 15000 feet above the planets surface, and the aircraft was at a significant standoff range, a full 50 klicks away from the resort, outside of its radar detection.  As soon as the team would take the hop, they would pop their chutes and glide in both horizaontally and vertically toward the target.

This was a highly technical insertion, one that came with many dangers.  For one, there was a significant jolt once your canopy opened.  The Operatives would be sore for a few days.  A jumper also had to be wary of hypothermia, no skin could be exposed as it would freeze and die at this altitude.  The high altitude also meant oxygen deprivation which causes hypoxia. That could mean dizziness, giddiness, euphoria, blurred vision, lack of  coordination, and slow reaction time.  While the team was highly trained, there was severe risk involved here.

The light at the front of the cabin turned from red to green, it was time to move.  Ghost, the trained pathfinder, would go first.  Hellion, weilding the SatCom set, went next.  Prowler, would go third, carrying the Medical Kit, and survival equipment.  Outlaw went last, a small computer strapped to his chest.  After a five count, Outlaw opened his canopy.  He quickly looked above him to ensure none of the connections were tangled.  He looked out in front of him, counting the other canopies, Ghost, Hellion, Prowler, all acounted for.  The foursome steered their chutes toward their proper heading, and coasted through the Resort's radar cone undetected.  Outlaw could see on his HUD that Mastermind had sent SSG Isala "Delta" Strider, a long range scout-sniper, on the mission, and she had sent a message.  She had taken the low road, inserting by ground the day before.  Delta was an expert in concealment and had lie in a sniping position watching the comings and goings of the resort.  She confirmed that a bothan, male, brown fur, aproxamately 4 feet tall, early twenties, was indeed moving about at the resort.  Satim was there.

Lake Resort, Dantooine

"Vixen" looked like anything but a Captain in Imperial Intelligence.  She stood 5'6", and had pin straight jet black hair, cropped short above the shoulders. Her frame was athletic and toned, but not dangerous looking. She carried herself with grace, moving about with such fluidity, she seemed to blend into the wind as she drifted past you. She had stunning green eyes, the only real giveaway that she was something other than an exotic dancer.  One look into those eyes and you felt like she knew everything about you, like she was looking right into your soul.

For all her beauty, to think of her as just a pretty face was selling her far short.  Her abilities as an operative were exceptional.  Her main purpose was to infiltrate organizations from the inside, assuming one identity or another.  This time, she was posing as a young debutant from Correllia, off world for her first time seeking adventure.  When she arrived, Vixen naturally was drawn to an interesting old man, a semi retired entertainer who gave a feeling of comfort and protection.  Of course, the old man was none other than Operative Geezer.  The pair seemed to be engaged in conversation about trivial things, the weather, travel, etc.  In actaulity, each agent carefully watched the room, and reported real time intelligence to the approaching entry team.

1 Klick Outside of the Lake Resort 

Outlaw did not like the intel he was getting.  Satim was inside a the resort's bank, waiting on the impending lottery drawing.  The security was tight, and that was a grand understatement.  A tiny camera in Vixen's necklace confirmed, Satim was inside.  But so were several armor clad figures, head to toe in the traditional Mandalorian Bekar, sinister T shaped visor and all.  Outlaw exhaled sharply, pondering.  They were too far in the field to reach Mastermind.  Long range comms would take too long and were horribly unsecure.  It was all on Lieutenant Theodorik "Outlaw" Sturmwolke to make a decision.

They had just made an extremely dangerous infiltration, and no one had been injured.  Trying it again at a later time would be pushing their luck.  Remaining in the field was also not an option, as there were the extraction gunships to think about.  They were in a difficult spot with supplies, and while they were all accomplished at living off the land, no one particularly liked doing it.  As much as he disliked Mandalorians, to take out a few of them here would prove problematic.  Plus, this was a resort, once the shooting started, no one was safe.  The 220th avoided collateral damage.  He would have to somehow get that little bothan pipsqueek outside on open ground, storming the building was out of the question.

The rest of the team was informed of the change of plans.  None of them showed it, but there was a bit of apprehension within the group.  They were all equipped for Close Quarters Combat, Ghost, Hellion, and Prowler all came equipped with carbines.  Outlaw holstered his renegade pistol in favor of his laser rifle, opting for the range and stopping power it offered.  The team was clad in olive drab and brown armor of different makes and styles, all highly customized to suit the user.  The operatives slowly moved into position.

One at a time all the Operatives communicated that they were in position.  Now it was time for the star of the show, Miss Vixen.

"Vixen, this is Outlaw.  I need you to get Satim outside and away from  the two guards at the front door."

Outlaw waited patiently for his acknowledgment.  Vixen rose from her seat and approached the young bothan, who was talking to another man.

"Scuse me dahlin, are you the one they call Satim?" Kaece slumped back slightly out of Satim's view.  The woman looked familiar to him.

"Why yes, I am.  You've heard of me?"

"I certainly have, I have something I need to talk to you about, just me and you, all private like"

Satim's heart raced.  There was a beautiful woman standing there, interested in him.  His ego was completely blinding him now, he couldn't even fathom that it might not be a good idea to follow her. He reached out a furry arm.

"Shall we?" he said.  She took him by the arm, and the pair walked for the door.  Satim turned briefly to the man he had been speaking to.

"Maybe we can have that drink later?"

"Perhaps," was the only answer that came.  All at once Kaece realized why the woman looked familiar.   This was the end of the road for Satim.

Vixen led Satim out into the early evening twi-light of Dantooine.

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2008, 12:15:00 am »
Outlaw steadied his breathing as Vixen came into view in the bank doorway.

"Wait for my signal,"he breathed into the commlink.

Vixen turned momentarily back into the bank, then skipped down the steps.  Satim suddenly came into view, eagerly following her.

"Delta, stay locked on the bothan.  Ghost, Hellion, get ready for the grab.  She is leading him toward your position."

The commlink clicked three times, an acknowledgement from all of them.  Prowler kept her weapon trained on the entrance to the bank, so far, none of the well armed security was showing their faces outside.

"I have the bothan in my sights," reported Delta.

Satim watched Vixen as she moved playfully toward the rivers edge.  He had a smile from ear to ear.  Vixen paused and looked back at him, grinning a sly grin.  Something about it bothered Satim momentarily. The bothan stopped in his tracks, Vixen immediately noticed and whirled around.

"Whats wrong dear?" she asked.

Satim began to get the feeling something was not right.  Why was this woman leading him towards the river?

"Where are we going?" he stammered.

"Just to the river, I have to show you something."

"Wouldn't we be more comfortable in my cottage?"Satim asked, pointing to his right.

Vixen could sense the apprehension in his voice.  He was not going to go quietly.  He was slowly back peddaling, Vixen hoped the team had noticed.  Suddenly, Satim broke into a run back towards the bank entrance.

"Mynock, Mynock," Vixen screamed.  It was the bug out signal, meaning things just went very wrong.  Outlaw cursed aloud and took off running after him at full speed.

"Should I take the shot?" Delta asked.

"No!" was all Outlaw could manage.

Some guests had noticed something was wrong, and one of them alerted the guards inside.  Vixen looked around.  She was lightly armed, and had no place in what was about to happen.  She raced out to her land speeder and sped off over the grassy hills.  Hopefully the commotion that was about to commence would keep anyone from noticing her escape.  To have her cover blown could prove to be a career ender.

"I no longer have a shot, Outlaw" reported Delta, as Satim had run behind a row of AV-21s.  Outlaw continued his charge, his athletic frame quickly gaining on the criminal.

Hellion and Ghost emerged from behind the river bank, and began to double time it in the direction of the bank.  Prowler continued to scan the gathering crowd at the banks front door.

She suddenly reported,"I have armed subjects coming out toward the target"

Two armed humanoids stepped out from the crowd and spotted Satim with Outlaw trailing him at a full sprint.  One of the guards,  in red Mandalorian armor pulled out a pistol and aimed it at Outlaw.

"You, stop!" he shouted.

Satim was 50 meters from the bank, Outlaw 10 meters behind him.  He saw the safety of the bank entrance, and two armed guards coming to his aid.  Outlaw realized there was no stopping this little runt, the guards were alerted, and his entire team was in danger now.  He glanced up and saw now both figures had drawn their weapons.  Outlaw withdrew his renegade pistol and halted his run.  He fired one blast into the center of Satim's back, right between his shoulder blades.  Satim threw both of his hands in the air and gave out a shriek as his knees buckled under him.  He flew forward about a meter and landed face first into the grass, silenced once and for all.

Without a word, the Mandalorian guards dropped to their knees and began to unleash blaster fire on Outlaw's position.  He was immediately struck in the arm, spinning him to his left.  Prowler began to open fire on the guards, pinning them down.  Hellion and Ghost were now firing as they sprinted to their downed Lieutenant.

"Do not hit any civilians,"shouted Outlaw, out of breath.

Hellion and Ghost had made it to their team leader a few seconds later.  Prowler and Delta continued to keep the guards heads down and their fire was withering.

"Grab his straps!" Ghost shouted, referring to Outlaw's web gear straps.

Hellion and Ghost each grabbed Outlaw by a strap at his shoulder and began to drag him down to the river.

Hellion shouted into her comm,"Skyhook this is Vampire, we need an immediate extract."

Two gunships dropped out of their lazy orbit and descended onto the compound.

"Everyone, fall back to the extraction point!" Hellion shouted, she looked down at Outlaw to see blood all over his arm and chest plate.  Suddenly she saw a flash and was knocked backwards.  Intense pain shot up her leg.

"I'm hit," she shouted.

They were at the edge of the river now, Ghost looked up to see that four armed guards were bearing down on them.  He popped above the river bank and sprayed blaster fire at them, causing them to drop to the ground.  Prowler and Delta were now both sprinting to Ghost's positon.

"I can walk, "Outlaw cried out, "get her out of here."

The droning of Larteys could be heard in the distance.  Prowler began helping Outlaw across the river.  Delta continued taking shots over the guards heads, hoping to deter them from following the team.  Ghost looked down at Hellion.

"Close your eyes," he said.

"Skyhook, this is Vampire, hot LZ, repeat, hot LZ!" Outlaw shouted.

The ships swooped down across the river, and the resort guards were hell bent on stopping them from taking off again. Hellion looked up at Ghosts masked face, and blinked.

"Close your eyes," he repeated.

She did as she was told.  Ghost reached down and scooped Hellion up onto his shoulder.  Outlaw was standing outside one of the ships now, screaming, but Ghost hadn't noticed him.  He was focued on nothing but the waiting ship.  Delta and Prowler now flanked the ships open door, unloading everything they had onto the approaching guards.  One of the guards dropped to the ground after taking a blaster bolt to the chest plate.  Suddenly, Prowler lurched forward and howled in pain, as she was struck in the shoulder.

The crew chief of the ship reached out and grabbed Prowler, dragging her into the side.  Delta followed, rifle still pumping shots at the pursuing guards.  Ghost was now 20 meters from the ship, running with Hellion over his shoulder.  Blaster fire erupted all around him as he dashed forward.  An eternity passed as Outlaw watched his team seargent being carried to him.

"Get in and lets go!" Outlaw shouted, jumping onto the transport.

Ghost heaved Hellion into the side of the ship, almost violently.  She crashed down to the deck of the transport in a heap.  Ghost vaulted himself into the ship as it began to take off, blaster fire riccocheting off its reinforced exterior.  The pair of Larties shot off into the sky towards friendlier territory.  Outlaw looked around the cabin of the ship, Delta, Prowler, Hellion, Ghost, and himself.  They had made it, and Satim was dead.

Offline Xenea

  • CSM
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 158
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2008, 06:14:00 pm »
The Resort on the Lake, Dantooine

Dazed, Hellion heard a faraway voice, "Close your eyes", it said. The sound was in slow-motion, the tone deep and distorted like she was at the other end of a tunnel. She struggled. "Close your eyes", it said again. She complied.

The pain shot through her as Ghost tossed her over his shoulder and ran. Each step burned, the fire in her leg getting stronger and stronger. Training kept her from screaming but she knew she whimpered with each step of his stride.

Landing on the deck, she heard herself cry out. She fought the blackness and, trying to focus, she managed to look around the ship. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. They were all there. As she felt the shuttle lurch as it left the ground she relaxed and gave in to the fog.



Cpl. Patrick D. Tillman Medical Center, Mos Eclipse, Lok

Hellion opened her eyes again and looked around the room, the pain in her leg continued at a dull throb. Meds would help but her head had to be clear for her debriefing. Debriefings weren't all that bad, usually. But when things went wrong.... She shuddered. This one was likely to be beyond unpleasant.

She ran back through the events in her mind. Everything started out by the book. Insertion was cake, almost too smooth she pondered. Perhaps that should have been the sign that things were not going to play out like they should.

When Vixen unleashed the bug-out signal, pandemonium ensued. She knew Outlaw's actions would be questioned. And she'd back him on it. They were there to complete a mission. She was sure the split second decision to shoot Satim was not one he made lightly. Frankly, had she been the one to make it, she'd probably have done the same thing. She paused to contemplate that thought and she concluded there was no probably about it. Only the question of whether or not she'd have been able to come to the same conclusion as fast as he had.

She swallowed hard as she remembered what happened next. The blaster fire tearing towards Outlaw, the blood on his armor, the gasp that escaped as she and Ghost dragged him towards the river and the extraction point.

She closed her eyes. The blood on his armor. She had to admit it, that was where she'd messed up. She'd paused a moment too long. Instead of staying on her guard and maintaining primary concern for the safety of the entire unit, she slipped and her concentration turned to assessing his damage. She knew better. And because of that slip, she lay here. She knew they'd all made it out, but she also heard that Prowler had been hit. And that she blamed on herself. If they hadn't had to cover Ghost carrying her to safety, Prowler probably wouldn't have been hit.

She slapped her palm on the side of the med bay and then winced as fire shot through her leg again. No, she wasn't going to enjoy this debriefing at all. As if on cue, the door swooshed open and she looked up to see Major Kassel enter the room.

In the hallway, Ghost slipped towards the door hoping to catch a glimpse before it slid shut. He could see Hellion lying there. Her color looked good at least but the door closed too quickly for him to see anything else. Looking up, he watch Wraith as she walked down the hall. He nodded to her in acknowledgement. She returned his nod as she silently entered the room. This time, Hellion's eyes locked with his just as the door closed. He sighed softly. didn't envy her.



Two hours later

The door opening rousted Ghost from his patient vigil. Wraith and the major exited and, following a nod from Wraith, Ghost slipped inside the room.

Hellion smiled a little as she saw him. He'd literally pounced through the door--the deliberate movement so unlike him. Tired, she leaned her head back against the pillow.

"How's the leg?" he asked her.

"Feels like I got chewed up and spit out by one of those Krayt's near your home," she said. "But the doc says I'll be alright. Guess I'm stuck here for a few days though. Everyone else ok?"

"Prowler was hit but she's doing fine," he answered.

"And Outlaw?" she whispered.

"I'm sure he's just fine. His wound didn't seem too bad," came the next answer.

She nodded and felt a brief moment of relief at the answer. Some of the tension in her body disappeared and she lay there silently for a bit looking at the man who had saved her life.

"Thank you," she whispered, breaking the silence. "And I'm sorry. I almost got you killed."

She couldn't see the expression behind the mask, but she was certain he was scowling at her. She struggled to stay awake, but lost the battle. Ghost stayed there a while, watching her sleep, reassuring himself that she really was alright before he silently slipped from the room.



Two days later

If there was one thing she hated more than anything else, it was being cooped up. Stuck here in this bed was driving her crazy. The meds helped--helped the pain as well as curbing the pent-up energy that coiled tightly inside her waiting to be let loose.

Ghost had come by again. So had Talon and Delta. In fact, almost the entire team had either visited or sent word. All but one. All but the one who mattered most.

The energy threatened to escape. Instead of being able to get it out, it turned inwards and her mind raced on many different scenarios. He hadn't made it out. He had made it out and blamed her for things going wrong. He made it out and didn't care that she was hurt. He ... A thousand different possibilities raced through her mind.

The door slid open and she let her mind hope again. Pride kept the disappointment from displaying on her face. "Heya," she said as Rockhead entered the room.

He frowned at her. "You're getting slow I hear. Guess I'm gonna have to drag you out and teach you how to dodge again, huh?"

"Yea, yea, yea," she smiled at him. "I'm so ready to get out of this bed. Doc said maybe tomorrow."

He slipped her an audio recording before he left the room. It was a cryptic message from Kaece. Listening, she knew it had to be something about the incident at the resort. She tried to concentrate on that, wondering what he was trying to tell her, but her mind kept flitting back to other things.

The doc said maybe she could leave tomorrow. It wouldn't be a moment too soon.

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2009, 05:30:00 pm »
Imperial Star Destroyer Exactor, Dantooine Orbit

Theodorik rolled over in his bed, letting out a comfortable sigh.  He hadn't slept that well in weeks he thought to himself.  He slowly opened his eyes to reveal he was in unfamiliar surroundings.  He lept from his bed in sudden panic.

The memories of the last few days rushed back to him.  He was on an Imperial Star Destroyer, recovering from the raid on Dantooine two days ago.  His legs and back were sore from the parachute insertion, that was pretty standard.  He looked over at his left arm, still bandaged and painful.  The blaster bolt that hit his armor had actually split the exterior plating, causing it to slice through the insulated sheath and lacerate his shoulder.  Blood was everywhere, he remembered.  He had regained most of the movement in the arm, which was good, but infection remained a risk.

Theodorik's team was sent home to Lok to recover, including Xenea and Aerynn, who had both been shot.  Aerynn's wound was minor, her armor and range from the target kept the wound to nothing more than a nasty bruise.  Xenea had taken a bigger hit, however.  He hadn't heard from his crew since they were seperated, something he did not particularly like.

Theodorik was told that he was brought here to meet with someone interesting to the mission.  He appreciated the chance to recover in peace, but he desperately wanted to check on his troops, as well as get back to the business of the mission at hand.

He looked up as his door opened, a uniformed Stormtrooper officer stood pensively.

"Lieutenant Sturmwolke, there are some people who would like to meet with you, ten minutes?"

Theodorik nodded.  Ten minutes later, he was dressed in a Class B uniform, meandering his way up to the command deck.  He made his way off of the bridge elevator, noting three uniformed figures facing away from him, peering out the window at the planet below.  From first glance, it looked like three Stormtrooper officers.  Theodorik began to close the distance between them with a purposefull walk.

One of the Stormtrooper officers turned to him, it was Major General Hugh Shelton of Stormtrooper Corps Command.  Theodorik relaxed slightly.  The second man turned, Captain Jekai, Shelton's advisor.  The third remained fixated out the window.

"Lieutenant, good to see you."

"General, Captain," Theodorik nodded to each.

"I'm afraid I do not know you sir ..." he began.

"The Major here is now assigned to your unit, Lieutenant," Shelton stated matter of factly.

"Assigned to my unit?" Theodorik questioned.

The Major turned and Theodorik's mouth dropped open wide.

"You didn't think I would allow my two brothers to continue on this mission without me?"

Offline Krienz

  • COL
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 48
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2009, 09:09:00 pm »
Mos Eclipse, Lok

Krienz paced the floor of his office, clearly not pleased.  Kyttn sat quietly in her chair, nearly motionless.  Krienz huffed rather audibly.

"Kyt, this thing might be larger than we expected."

She simply nodded. The Resort by the Lake incident had proven to be quite a debacle.  The Resort had been paying their taxes and following Imperial regulations to the letter.  The security force was fully liscensed, not to mention highly trained.  Things were not adding up.

"They may as well have sent him to hide inside a Rebel Stronghold." Krienz complained.

Who was behind this? Satim was not sent to that resort by mistake.  Who was incurring these costs?  Krienz pursed his lips and growled.  He had two operatives in medical and a dead suspect.  His Lieutenant, his baby brother, had been also injured badly.  Emotion seeped into his voice.

"Any word on Theodorik's recovery?" he asked.

"He is well, sir. On limited action for two weeks, but he is going to be fine."

Krienz didn't turn toward Kyttn, he knew his face showed his concern for his brother.  It was getting increasingly difficult for him to stay emotionally detached from this mission.

"And also sir, Major Sturmwolke is aboard the same Star Destroyer as Outlaw.  He is being sent to assist you, he will serve as your Executive Officer I was told."

Krienz nodded.  The Devil himself was coming.  Aliksander had been born on Ordo with Krienz, the two were fraternal twins.  They were raised by their Uncle Irwin when their father disappeared and mother fled Ordo.  Irwin raised the boys according to Mandalorian tradition.  Aliksander was a quiet professional, stern and calculating.  His performance under pressure had earned him the nickname Ice Man.  Aliksander's assignment to this unit and mission meant that someone high ranking was paying attention.

A few hours later

Zehrmatt Gestaad sat at his console, weary.  He was going through all of the  intercepted signals from the preceeding few hours, hoping for something they could use on this Sandcastle operation. He reclined in his chair and turned his eyes toward the ceiling, letting out a heavy sigh.  It was a familiar noise within this room of late, wading through all of the garbage comms and holo messages that the Signals Intelligence people had intercepted.

Zehrmatt was listening to yet another innocuous communique, from a musician to a venue looking for a mandivol player.  Wait, a mandivol player?  He adjusted his head phones and leaned forward.  The message was from a public message terminal on Talus.  A million people could replay the message and not see anything out of the ordinary.  But Zehrmatt was a trained intelligence expert, and he immediately recognized this message as unusual.

"Good day sir, we have been following your musical career with some interest, and we would love to have you come and play for us.  We are pleased to be hosting galaxy renowned magician Wim Magwit, on Saturday next at 7 pm, and would like for you to play a few songs before he performs.  You will be well compensated, as well as reimbursed for your travel expenses.  The job will be at the Corellian Dream cantina, in the great city of Keen, Talus.  We look forward to your reply."

The tone was unusual, the voice didn't sound excited enough to be an entertainment promoter.  Plus, one word kept jumping out at him, the word "job".  It just didn't sound very "entertainer-like", it sounded more like something a mercenary would say.  This was something.

Zehrmatt grabbed the comm link.

"Major Kassel, I have something you need to hear."

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2009, 07:22:00 pm »
Southeast Talus

Olann Martel thought he was rather clever.  He needed to get Oroxido off of Tatooine, that was certain.  His sources in the Tatooine underground told him about a shady characters poking around asking questions.  They were monitoring the comms, he was almost sure of it.  So he devised a plan that was nothing short of genius. Even if Oroxido did not figure out the message was from him, he knew his boss could not resist such an oppurtunity.  Olann's escape to Talus had been easy, so he knew Rox would manage to make it to the gig.

The cantina that was to serve as the meeting spot was being run by servant droids and had a protocol droid behind the bar.  It was a pretty good bet that Olann and Oroxido would be relatively alone.  They had to talk seriously about the people that were chasing them.  Olann didn't even know if Rox knew Satim was dead.  This meet up was critical.

Olann stood at the public terminal, satisfied with the message he had devised, and clicked "Send".  He was so preoccupied with the message, he failed to notice the extremely pretty, but very nosey, twi'lek using the terminal to his left.  She had been listening in to his message, and nearly squealed aloud when she heard him say that Wim Magwit was going to be performing nearby.  It looked like one of those exclusive events, and she had to be there, as she was a big fan of Mr. Magwit and his act.  As soon as Olann left his terminal, the twi'lek sent out her own message, to a very select group of her personal friends.  She could barely contain her excitment.

Mos Eclipse

Krienz stood in front of a large screen, writing instrument in hand.  He had scrawled several notes regarding the meeting that he and Major Kassel were taking as serious intelligence.  Major Kassel stood to his right, arms crossed.  Operatives Rockhead and Vixen had received orders to watch the cantina, and tail the subjects if possible.  A thought crossed his mind suddenly.

"I think this is a great oppurtunity to capture the two of them."

Major Kassel nodded in agreement, arms still crossed.

"The location is remote, there is hardly any activity in the area," She offered,"Yes, I agree completely."

Krienz squinted his eyes and began to nod slowly.  A plan was forming.

"Less than forty eight hours until the meet up, we have to get our best people prepared."

Major Kassel nodded once more.

"Captain Vixen will provide the eyes inside the cantina, Rock we need to set up surveilance in the area and get us a full recon,"she stated.

"Lets get to work,"Krienz's tone had gotten all too serious. He spoke into the console at his desk pressing a button. "Kyttn, I need Lieutenant Outlaw back here immediately."

He wasn't looking forward to pulling all of his people fomr their current assignments.  He was sure Rockhead had been making progress on the Xiss situation. but the clock was ticking, and the wheels were turning.  He had to get people he could trust on this mission.

Mos Carova, Tatooine

Oroxido was at an all time new level of paranoid. He had lost contact with most of his gang now. Satim was off world and more or less out of the picture. Both Davig and Tenaro were attempting to hide out at Jabba's Palace. Olann was doing some investigating, looking into a dangerous looking Bounty Hunter who had been asking questions. It was possible the bounty hunter was responsible for the death of Oroxido's driver, as well as his weapons contact. It was now several days, and no Olann. Rox had his suspicions that Olann jumped off world, perhaps to get away from this entire debacle. Oroxido on the other hand, could not escape off world.

His mind flashed back to his visitor from the day before.She was a middle aged woman, long silver streaked black hair cascading down her back. She spoke with dignity and without condecension. Her persuasive nature had convinced Oroxido that his deed would go unpunished, that he was beyond the reach of the Empire if he worked in concert with her.

"Mr. Flyingrider, you have done well."

"I don't feel like I did a good job, I am scared of my own shadow right now."

"In due time, we will get you off of Tatooine, and into a safe place. But we need you to stay here for now, I cannot tell you why."

"Well, then my price just went up, my friend, I want another ten thousand credits, and I want it ASAP, you hear me?"

"It will be done Oroxido."

"If the rest of my gang found out I did this work for you, they would kill me themselves."

"No need to worry about that, the Rebellion appreciates your efforts, and we will continue to pay you in kind."

The stranger was an agent of General Crix Madine, Imperial defector and Commander of the Alliance Special Forces. Oroxido had sold out to the terrorists.

Oroxido snapped back to the present as his holomail chimed, alerting him to a new message. He listened to a familiar sounding man go on and on about playing a Mandivol gig. A trap, he thought. Oroxido's mind began to race, now they had his holomail address, what was he to do? It was time to move.

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2009, 11:22:00 pm »
Fort Keen, Talus

Olann Martel paced the floor of his rented room.  Fort Keen was home to a relatively active Expeditionary Regiment of the Imperial Army, and was usually a buzzing medium sized township.  But with the civil war raging at all corners of the Empire, the Regiment had been forward deployed to one of the galaxies hot spots, leaving Fort Keen as a sleepy bedroom community for the families and support staff of the Regiment.  Olann took all of this into consideration in setting up his meeting with Rox.

Olann halted in front of the room's mirror and took a long gaze at himself.  He shook his head slowly, hardly believing the life form he had descended into.

"Damn, Oroxido," He cursed aloud.

Olann was bewildered by the entire situation.  He had been skeptical since the plan was in its infancy, but he had to watch out for Rox, a man who frequently got in over his head.  Olann had an inkling someone was holding Rox's hand all this time, but he had no idea just how involved this plot actually was.

"Okay Martel, deep breath,"Olann commanded himself, attempting to control his racing heart.

Olann Martel checked his chronometer one last time, and ventured out into the warm Talus air towards the Corellian Dream Cantina, and hopefully a chance to get his head on straight.  What he was not aware of, was that his plan was already a failure, many times over in fact.  When he arrived at the Cantina, Olann was quite surprised to find quite a few expensive vehicles parked out front.

"What the frelling frell?" He blurted out, slamming his fist into his palm.

It seems word had gotten out that Wim Magwit was performing at this cantina tonight.  Olann screwed his eyes shut, forcing himself to be calm. We will just move somewhere else when Rox gets here, he thought.  He waited politely behind a crowd of well dressed people as they all filtered into the establishment.  Olann sighed noticably, he knew this was a huge leap.  He ordered an ale from the bartender droid and found a seat with a good view of the door.  He didn't notice an attractive brunette in the corner, sipping her hot Aitha.

Captain "Vixen" was just another face in the cantina this night, at least so the other patrons thought.  She had been fitted with a near invisible earpiece and a mic on her bracelet, and was relaying information to Rockhead, who was across the town square monitoring several video monitors as well as a few bugging devices.  The two operatives fretted slightly, as there were far more people here than there should have been.  Suddenly Rockhead let out a growl.

"Vixen, this is Rockhead, are you noticing the clientele in here tonight?"

Vixen was a studier of faces, she had already come to the conclusion Rockhead was about to.  The cantina was loaded with several stars from the Holowood Galactic Studios. Vixen smiled as a pretty twi'lek playfully sauntered past her.

"Yes, Rock, I know who they are, and yes, this is bad."

When the meeting time came and went, Olann began to show visible signs of stress. His third beer had now been drained, and he was making a trip to the bar for a fourth.  He found his seat again, his apprehension now attracting the attention of the other patrons.  There was a growing sense of confusion within the crowd already, as neither the opening act, nor the main attraction had so much as shown their faces.  Olann's fingers ran under the table to his hip and rested on his pistol.  His eyes began to dart around the room.

"What are you looking at?" he shouted to no one in particular.

Suddenly a figure strolled into the room.

"Oroxido?" Olann mumbled as he rose.

His vision was beginning to fail him as the stress, the alcohol, the sleeplessness, all came crashing down onto him.  Olann stumbled towards the figure, weapon now drawn.

"Oroxido?" he called out again.

Vixen noticed the weapon the second Olann rose form the table. She calmly clicked her mic three times in a row, the danger signal.  Olann was heading towards a rather confused twi'lek, weapon drawn but pointed at nothing at all.  He wiped his eyes and realized that he was not in fact looking at Oroxido at all.

Almost involuntarily, Olann fired a laser blast into the ceiling, dislodging a few weakly hung decorations.

"He has a gun!" screamed someone.

Olann whirled around to the crowd menacingly, eyes wide.

"Every one of you, get down on the frelling floor," he commanded.

"Uh oh," muttered Rockhead.

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2009, 11:55:00 pm »
Lieutenant Outlaw sat in a wooden chair, carbine resting on his lap.  He was outfitted in a special camouflaged recon armor, save his helmet which sat on the table in front of him.  SFC Talon and SGM Hellion also occupied chairs in the room, all waiting calmly for an order to strike.  Talon and Hellion had been here since the day before, joining SSG Rockhead during his recon of the area.  They got to know the Correllian dream cantina quite well, its angles, its entrances and exits, the location of all its furniture, all the lines of sight.

Outlaw arrived early this morning to lead the team.  He brought along a medical seargent, callsign "Razor" to act as the team medic.  Razor didn't talk much, she lounged in the back bedroom in full recon armor like it was a nightgown.  She had been trained and recommended by Aliksander, which meant she was very good at her job.  Aliksander had wanted to come himself, but still had his own loose ends to tie up at his old assignment.

The four person entry team was assembled as a stand-by measure, in case something happened with the subjects they were attempting to follow.  There was building concern because of the clientele in the cantina, but not overly so.  Oroxido hadn't even shown up yet, at least that was the last information Rockhead had given him.  Outlaw continued to lean back when he heard the disturbing sound of three clicks on the comm channel.

"Mount up,"he growled.

Razor emerged from the bedroom plunking her helmet on as she walked.  Talon and Hellion were up and waiting for Outlaw at the door.

"Outlaw, this is Rockhead, looks like we have a hostage situation."

"Follow me," Outlaw commanded as he whooshed out into the twilight.

"Whats the SitRep, Rock?"

"Boss, its Olann Martel, Flyingrider never showed, and he panicked. Looks like he has six hostages, including Captain Vixen."

"Rockhead, get to the front door and make sure no one else goes in."

"Already double timing it up there."

Rockhead was racing towards the cantina, he spotted two patrons as they ran out of the front door.  He made his way to one of them, a human woman.

"Whats going on in there?" he shouted.

"I don't know, I was about to go in, when I heard screaming," answered the woman.  She was white as a sheet.

Rockhead adjusted his HUD to get the feed from one of the minicams they had installed.

"Outlaw, I am patching in the interior camera feed to your HUD."

"Roger that, I am about 20 mikes from your position Rock, lets get prepared for entry."

Outlaw and company gathered around the front door of the cantina.  The camera feed came up on everyone's HUD.

"We have a problem," announced Hellion,"he is behind the stone fountain, probably the only place we can't hit him without him seeing us."

In her ear, Vixen heard the news come over the tactical channel.  Maybe there was something she could do.

"Olann Martel," she whispered,"Why don't you let these people go?"

Outside, the entry team was getting into position.

"As soon as he moves into line of sight, we have to rush in," ordered Outlaw.

Inside, Olann was taken aback.

"How did you know my name?" He said wincing.

Olann was confused, how did this woman know his name?

"You be quiet, who are you?" he shouted at her, pointing the pistol inches from her face.  Vixen didn't even flinch.

"Did you look outside? You are a dead man, and you don't know it yet," she deadpanned.  The other guests stared at her wide eyed.  Olann took the bait however, moving up toward the door to take a peek outside.

"He's in sight, everybody go!" shouted Outlaw.

Hellion, positioned at the door, tossed a flash bang onto the floor in front of Olann.  It hit the floor with a loud pop and a bright flash, immediately stunning everyone in the room.  Talon vaulted into the room, firing two shots into Olann's chest, Outlaw rushed in behind her, prepared to fire, but the subject had already been downed.  Hellion and Rockhead stormed into the room, weapons leveled, looking for threats.  Rock rushed to the front of the cantina, to where the hostages had been assembled.

"Subject Down!" Rockhead yelled.

"Everyone get down on the floor!" shouted Hellion, as she joined Rockhead.  She trained her weapon on the crowd in case Olann had brought hidden back-up.

Talon walked calmly to the downed subject, and removed a Nak'tra Crystal knife from her boot.  She kneeled down, setting her knee on Olann's right hand as it was a mere inches from his pistol.  She could hear him gasping for air.  Talon flipped the knife gracefully in her hand and plunged it into Olann's heart, ending his life.

"All Clear!" Shouted Outlaw as he scanned the room.

The guests were dumbfounded.  They had just witnessed a man's life taken.  Talon simply wiped her knife on her thigh and placed it back in her boot.  No harm to any civilians, bad guy dead,  another job well done, she thought.

Offline Theodorik

  • 1LT
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2009, 10:35:00 am »
Mos Eclipse

Major Aliksander Sturmwolke, call sign “Ice Man”, was visibly angry when he heard the report.  He leaned on the sink in his refresher and stared into the mirror.  He had been called to join his twin brother Krienz in the 220th.  Right away he was thrust into the lead of Operation Sandcastle, and the intel he had been reviewing was leading to too many questions and not enough answers.   The latest news of Olann Martel had been bittersweet.  A bad guy out of the way was a good thing, and the team was in top form, taking no casualties and protecting six hostages properly.  But it would have been optimal to get a pair of prisoners to interrogate, as it was getting glaringly obvious that this was much bigger than a group of thugs with a score to settle. “Damn!”

Aliksander forced out a sigh and told himself to relax.  He had to analyze the information he had before him and determine where he might find out more.  At the moment, Major Kassel and her spies were tearing Fort Keen apart, which was a comfort.  Wraith was continuing to work with the twi’lek as well; there was a chance she had more to offer.  He grimaced slightly, thinking back to the report he had just read filed by Outlaw.   “Tatooine,” he said aloud rubbing his chin.

There was more detective work to do there; Outlaw’s report seemed to lead into that direction.  His new troops were going to be spread thin and pushed to the limit on this one, but he was sure they would be up to the challenge.  He offered his reflection a crooked smile; things were under his control now.

Offline Nephrite

  • CWO
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 116
Castles in the Sand
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2009, 08:52:00 pm »
24 Hours Later, 220th Safe House, Mos Eisley

Outlaw responded favorably to his brother’s request. It had more or less been his idea anyway, to go back to Tatooine and see what he could kick loose.  Hellion and Ghost were sent back to Mos Carova, not only because Oroxido had been seen there, but because it had a reputation amongst the criminal element as a “hide out”.

 Rockhead was going to follow up on Xiss, the supposed gun runner that he had been forced to kill at Tosche Station.  Outlaw was headed to Jabba’s Palace to meet a contact of his, hoping the buzz from this situation had gotten his master’s attention.  It was difficult to move high tech weaponry onto Tatooine without Jabba the Hutt knowing about it.  Piecing things together, Outlaw doubted Oroxido was sold the Plex’s by common gun runners.  In any case, Jabba would be angry if he found out about the sale, and possibly trying to find out who was working in his back yard.

A musical chirping began emitting from Outlaw’s wrist.  He thumbed a button on his bracelet to reveal a hologram of Wraith.

“Outlaw, I have information from the twi’lek,” she began.

“Good, let me hear it.”

“Oroxido’s group was five men, Rox, the bothan Satim, and three other humans.  One of which we know is the most recently former Corellian Dream patron Olann Martell.  Rox’s girlfriend is telling me that a grease ball named Tenero was his right hand man, and was the go between for the rocket launchers.  She called him cagey and pretty good at blending in with the other scum on Tatooine.”

“Tenero … got it. You have more?”

“Of course … The last one she calls ‘Dragon’, and she sounds very afraid of that one.  She isn’t ready to offer anything else on that one yet. My agent doesn’t think it’s because she doesn’t want to tell us.  We seem to think there is something sinister about this Dragon that has her fearing for her life; despite all the protection and comfort we’ve offered her.  Oh, and one more thing … “

“Yeah.”

“Talon and Delta are coming to Tatooine.  Talon reported to Major Kassel and the Colonel that she had a lead from an informant in Mos Entha.  They were sent to follow up. That’s all I have for now.”

“Roger that.  Keep me notified of anything that goes down. Outlaw out.”

Wraith’s image disappeared as Outlaw thumbed the bracelet once again.  He turned to look over the room one last time before he departed.  He nodded to himself and let out a satisfied “hmmph”.  Outlaw reached into his vest pocket and removed an incendiary grenade, pulled the pin, and then rolled the explosive under the wooden table at the center of the room.   He was already speeding out of sight on his swoop when the room erupted with an intense white flash.  He didn’t stay to watch the local fire brigade try to contain the flames, he had someone to meet.

 

anything