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Castles in the Sand

Author Topic: Castles in the Sand  (Read 8045 times)

Offline Theodorik

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Castles in the Sand
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2010, 11:23:00 pm »
Western Dune Sea, A few hours later

For a repulsorcraft well over thirty years old, the Zephyr-G swoop was still performing solidly Outlaw thought.  Cruising through the desert in the neighborhood of 200 kilometers per hour, the battered swoop bike was built for power and speed and not maneuverability.   Even the most skillful driver could lose control at its top speed.  Currently, it was the fastest and least conspicuous way to travel for the lone operative in the desert.

Clad in sand colored fatigues and a brown swoop helmet, Lieutenant Theodorik Sturmwolke, soldier, had become Theo Sturm, rogue.   As the swoop skimmed a few meters above the shifting sands, Outlaw checked his heading.  He was just West of Wayfar, a desolate settlement on the edge of the Western Dune Sea, and headed directly for Jabba’s Palace.  The Palace had been built around seven hundred years earlier as a monastery, and was currently the base of operations of the notorious crime boss, Jabba Desilijic Tiure.  It was the gathering place of some of the worst criminals, bounty hunters, pirates, and unsavory characters, all willing to spy on or kill one another.  Theo Sturm had built as much of a trust as one could have with Jabba the Hutt.  His presence would bring little alarm to the powers that be at the converted monastery.

Outlaw raised his goggled eyes slightly toward the horizon.  Although his wrist mounted datapad told him he was less than a kilometer from his destination, he saw no trace of the crime lord’s compound as of yet.   He knew there was no reason to adjust course or check his coordinates, it was merely the desert suns playing tricks on his eyes.  Many a traveler seeking audience with Jabba got lost in this manner.  Suddenly, as if appearing out of thin air, the massive stone domes and towers of the foreboding compound loomed overhead.  It was an imposing collection of structures, hardly having the look of a palace, or a monastery for that matter.   Whatever its intended use, the criminal empire’s headquarters befit the manner of its residents and clientele.

The door to the palace’s largest building was before him, a full twenty meters or so tall, and just about as many wide. A few meters from the door, Theodorik brought his craft to a stop and dismounted.  As expected, an electronic eye protruded from the gate to confront the visitor.  Outlaw identified himself.

“Theo Sturm, I have business with one of Jabba’s associates.”

The massive steel door slowly creaked open, and Outlaw stepped into the darkness of the entryway. This was where it began to become dangerous for the operative.  There was always a risk of being discovered when engaging in undercover work, especially within this haven for law breakers.  Cautiously, Outlaw paused to allow his eyes to adjust to the darkness.  He spotted the outline of a humanoid figure to his right, appearing to be poised for attack.  Outlaw continued down the long hallway, seemingly not noticing the interloper crouched in the shadows.

Outlaw felt a disturbance in the air behind him, an ever so slight change in direction of the breeze coming in from outside.  He whirled around, leading with his right foot, solidly connecting with the chest of a knife wielding human male.  Outlaw followed through with the roundhouse kick and brought his left hand down to the man’s neck.

“You have some sort of business with me?” Outlaw snarled, trying to connect the man’s face to a name.

The attacker gasped and shook his head in the negative.  He was just a worthless slug trying to make a name for himself.

“Shanking an unsuspecting visitor, eh?” Outlaw admonished.

He released the man’s neck and scooped his knife off of the floor with the opposite hand. He deposited it into his satchel.

“I will keep this, thank you,” snorted Outlaw as the man crawled backwards into the shadows, hoping no one had seen the altercation.

One of Jabba’s henchmen, Reelo Baruk, had seen the entire scene unfold from the other end of the hall.

“Theo Sturm, you no good bantha turd, you still haven’t lost your touch,” smiled the Rodian.

Reelo was often mistaken for your average mindless grunt, following Jabba’s orders with all brawn and no brain.  That was all by his design, as he could plot and scheme with the best of them.  He was working on several “projects”, one of which was a garbage hauling service, a front for a crime syndicate of his own that he had been building.  Years ago, Theo Sturm had done him several favors, getting him out of hot water with Bib Fortuna, Jabba’s major domo, and thus avoiding trouble with Jabba himself.

“Reelo … you look terrible,” Outlaw joked. “How’s business?”

“It’s picking up!” shouted the Rodian.   He loved that joke, even though he took exception to being called a “garbage man”.

“My friend, I will catch up with you in a few minutes, I am looking for a man named Leksa.”

“Leksa,” he paused. “Leksa Zertab, yes … he is here … He is in the throne room at the moment.”

“You’re the best,” replied Theo, “Jawa beers on me.”

Outlaw patted him on his shoulder and continued to the stairwell. Reelo silently grumbled about hating Jawa beer as his friend disappeared up the stairs.  Jabba’s palace was a bit maze-like, Outlaw remembered, and took care not to take a wrong turn. Nothing attracted attention like being somewhere you didn’t belong, and he had no plans of getting anyone else’s attention, not even Jabba’s.

Ephant Mon, another mid-level gangster was at his usual perch, at the top of the stairs leading to the throne room.  He only offered Outlaw a cursory glance, as he was snout deep in a data pad apparently crunching some numbers.   Mon deduced Outlaw either belonged here, as he had made it past Reelo, or he had killed the Rodian. In either case, Mon wasn’t about to trifle with him.

Outlaw’s senses heightened and he went on the maximum defensive as he neared the doorway to Jabba’s den.  The smells were all there, the grotesque odors from the giant cephalopod crime boss were nearly overpowered by the heavy scent of sweat, dirt, and blood.  Outlaw snuck past a few Gammorean Guards unnoticed, and headed for the dimly lit rear of the immense room. He dare not make eye contact with Bib Fortuna or Jabba, this mission was too important to scrub out of it now.

Leksa Zertab was seated at a small table alone, sipping tea from a tall vessel.  He was not your typical snitch; he was very cool and collected.   He noticed Outlaw immediately, and laid both of his hands palms down onto the table, an indication that he wasn’t going to draw down on the undercover agent.  There was something about Leksa’s demeanor that indicated he had spy training.  Maybe an Imperial spy that had gone rogue, thought Outlaw.

He certainly wasn’t a Rebel spy, he lacked that skewed sense of duty they all had.  It made them fierce on the battlefield, but horrible as spies.  They just couldn’t help wearing their hearts on their sleeves. No, this man was in it for one reason only, and that was financial gain.  The good news for Outlaw was two-fold.  First, he had plenty of credits to throw around and the information was always solid.

“Zertab,” started Outlaw.

“Sit my friend,” Leksa calmly interrupted, gesturing to his right.  He immediately returned his palm to the table top and peered into Outlaw’s eyes.  The man was completely plain looking, brown eyes and brown tussled hair, totally ordinary.  He was the kind of figure that you would ignore; which was just as he had intended it.

“I don’t have time to waste Leksa, I need to get my hands on some big time weaponry, and I need it yesterday.”

Leksa raised an eyebrow but otherwise remained unfazed by the question.
“You know quite well that I am not a gun runner Theo.”

“I know, I know … but I need some big time boom sticks my man, and I need to know who has them for sale with no questions asked.”

Leksa paused a moment to sip his tea.  Outlaw was trying to sound semi-desperate, although it was probably wasted on Leksa.  He knew the game, they both did.  They were sitting across from each other, both men shrouding their intentions in half-truths and outright lies.  It was the way it was played, sometimes just because it was what was expected of you as a spook.

“How big is this boom you are looking for?”

“Plex Launchers, at least three of them.”

Outlaw tried to detect any hints of surprise, but none came.  It was impossible to tell if it meant he was not surprised, or if he was just that much of a block of ice.

“Unless you plan on storming Mos Eisley garrison, you don’t have a chance of getting them on this planet, Theo,” Leksa stated matter-of-factly.  It was as if he was telling Outlaw that he was out of Vercupti.

“A ragged band of mercenaries managed to score two of them, Leks, and you know who I am talking about.  So you can drop the routine.  I am paying you top credits for you to tell me where those nimrods got those frelling hand cannons.”

This time Leksa’s expression changed.  He leaned forward very carefully and looked Outlaw directly in the eye and lowered his voice.

“Theo … Jabba is on the war path over those weapons, not to mention fearing for his life,” Leksa gritted his teeth, “We’ve had the market cornered on stuff that big, and no one here had anything to do with moving those things.”
This time Outlaw was the stoic one.

“And?”

“Jabba is afraid one of his rivals picked up some major connection from off world somewhere.  Or worse … Black Sun might be moving in to this area because of the heat from the Empire elsewhere.”

“But that’s not your gut feeling, is it Leksa?”

Leksa returned to the upright position, and turned his left palm up on the table top.  Outlaw turned his own palm over to reveal a 1000 credit chip.  He looked at the informant with a taunting look.

“Where did the Plex’s come from Leksa?” Outlaw repeated.

“Here’s the deal.  I know what you are up to, Theo Sturm. You are either after the bounty on Flyingrider, or you are working for someone who is.  I know you don’t want Plex’s, I know you are capable of getting them off world.  I also know that Oroxido Flyingrider could most certainly not get them off world.”

Outlaw flipped the chip into Leksa’s palm.  He quickly snatched it and moved it to his front shirt pocket.

“Oroxido Flyingrider was as small as small time comes.  He and that half a brain Bothan tried to break into our circle here a dozen times.  But then he got hooked up with some irregular people, stopped coming around here.  Just because I can, I checked up on him up in Mos Carova, I know a cute little Twi’lek girl that runs the joint.”

Leksa allowed a smile to escape his lips momentarily, and then it quickly faded.

“A man and a woman, the woman was about 50 or so, but still quite attractive for her age … big streak of grey in her hair ...  and the man, one mean mother … not sure of the woman’s name, but the man was calling himself ‘The Dragon’.”
“The Dragon?” Outlaw repeated.

“Theo, you don’t want any part of these guys right now, they are bona fide terrorists. Flyingrider is nothing but a pawn … they even helped him recruit two other thugs, Olann Martell and Tenero.”

Outlaw was slightly perplexed by the last piece of information.  The Mos Eisley Police database had indicated Olann was part of Oroxido’s crew from day one.  Was Leksa lying to him? His eyes said otherwise, there was some legitimate fear there, something rarely to be seen on this man’s face.

Terrorists meant the Rebellion, and it meant that they were resorting to the use of common criminals to take the lives of Imperial soldiers. This war had descended into “by any means necessary”.  Outlaw ended the meeting quietly, assuring Leksa that he would heed his warning.  The man was paid and the two parted company, Leksa returning to his tea, Outlaw slipping out of sight.

The entire drive back to Mos Eisley, Outlaw’s mind was trying to sort through all the information at hand.  The trip to Jabba’s had resulted in even more questions. What was so special about those shuttles the Rebellion had to take them out? Why use Oroxido’s crew? Who doctored the database in regards to Olann Martell? Why go through all of the trouble to do so? Who was this middle aged woman and why did she not come up on the radar before?

Outlaw made his way to his starship and attempted to comm Hellion and Ghost.  He was met with static. Next he tried Talon and Delta, again, nothing.  Rockhead’s comm was offline, as usual.

“Vengeance One to Mos Eisley Control”

“Yeah, whaddaya want?”

“Comm check please.”

“Comm works and yer checks in the mail, get lost.”

Communicator working just fine, Outlaw thought.  He tried to call back to 220’s base on Lok next. Again, he was greeted with only static.  Something was horrifically wrong.  There was only one thing left to do.  He reached down to his comm set and turned the channel dials until he reached the desired setting.

“Outlaw One One Nine calling any station on this network, emergency traffic.”

Offline Theodorik

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Castles in the Sand
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2010, 08:52:00 am »
Mos Eclipse, Lok

The local time was well after midnight, and the rocky landscape of Lok was eerily quiet as it was after nightfall.  The sun had set hours earlier and now the base was enveloped in darkness, save the security lights in a few key locations.  A robed individual moved about the shadows, headed for the most secure area of the facility.

The intruder paused, waiting for a pair of sentries to move past.  Moving very deliberately now, the spy was following the route mapped out for him step by step.  The proper security lights had 'malfunctioned' as planned.  The sentries patrol routes were also just as prescribed.  The next challenge was the fence around the intended destination.  The robed figure crouched in the darkness beside the fence just as he had been told.

Before leaving Rogers Arsenal, his insider had deenergized the electric fence. He made short work of cutting through the mesh fencing and crawled on his belly toward building 408. His primary mission was to tie up a loose end, but he had an opportunity now to do some real damage to this unit.  Already in place were explosives at both the satellite and terrestrial communications hubs, placed by his agent.

The Rebel spy allowed a broad smile to form on his face.  The Imperials had let their ego and blind need for revenge cloud their judgement.  They had trusted the wrong person, and at this very moment, his agent was headed to Tatooine to begin eliminating the operatives one by one.  He was sure they would be shocked to find out one of them had been a traitor.

The spy silently crept along the wall of building 408 to its secure doorway.  He entered the code that was provided for him and the door slid open.  A lone operator was seated at a terminal, he glanced toward the door only momentarily.  Anyone that had the code was a 220th Operative, he wrongly assumed.

"Hey, who the ..."

A silenced striker pistol slumped the operator in his seat.  

Time was limited now.  He entered one more code disabling a security alarm and deenergizing the magnetic locks on the holding cells.  He opened the heavy door to the detention area and cautiously entered, mindful of a possible trap.

There she was, T'lirya the Twi'lek, fast asleep on her jail cell cot.  A pity, he thought as he pointed his striker pistol at her chest.  Her eyes slowly opened, looking directly at his.

"Dragon ..." she whispered.

Davig Dustwaver, also known as "The Dragon" took aim and fired, ending the Twi'lek's life, and thus tying up another loose end.  Now, did he have enough time to deal with this Colonel?  He checked his chronometer, things were still going smoothly.  He hoped the traitor had similar luck on Tatooine.

The figure reloaded his striker pistol and prepared to creep back out into the night.

Offline Theodorik

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Castles in the Sand
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2010, 05:26:00 pm »
Bestine, Tatooine

Bestine, the jewel of Tatooine was what Theodorik had once called it.  It was the Empire’s attempt at fostering some culture on this unforgiving planet.  Hellion settled into her seat on the commercial shuttle.  She was still at a loss as to why she and Ghost were taking a commercial shuttle out to Mos Carova.  Ghost looked restless, pacing the five or six steps from her seat to the rear door of the nearly empty shuttle.  The pilot broke the silence.

“Non-stop flight from Bestine to Mos Carova should be just a few minutes’ folks.”

Ghost stood in the shuttle doorway as it closed.  The pilot shot him a look, almost as if he was going to demand he sit down.  Ghost crossed his arms and leaned on the back of the seat next to him defiantly.  The pilot thought better of admonishing him and returned to his duty.

Hellion sighed, probably a bit too loudly.  The physical and mental exertion was taking its toll on her.  She was amazed by Ghost in that aspect.  It seemed like the punishment of the travel and heightened state of alert that their mission placed on their bodies was enjoyed by her quiet teammate.  Just as the shuttle’s engine began to spin up, Hellion heard a musical chirping emitting from her satchel.  She retrieved her datapad and flipped it open to read the message.

A short distance away

Tenero sat at the outdoor Caf table sipping a fresh Utozz.  He was positioned with his back to the shuttle and slightly behind a government building.  He calmly sipped the soft drink, looking around him for anything out of place.  Satisfied that he was under the radar, he removed a datapad from his shirt pocket and set it on the table.  He looked to his left and saw a rather beautiful woman sipping a tall drink from a straw.  Tenero smiled and she blushed slightly, clearly he was still the handsome and charming fellow he’d been when he served with Theodorik on Naboo.
 
He harbored a lot of hatred toward his former Platoon leader and had energetically accepted this mission in hopes of getting his revenge.  It was Lieutenant Theodorik Sturmwolke’s written charges that led to his court martial, forcing him to escape to the criminal underground here on Tatooine.  He didn’t relish working with Rebels, but Theodorik had to pay.

Tenero took a long sip as he checked his chronometer.
 
“Any second now,” he whispered.

Tenero closed his eyes as the shuttle behind him rose from the desert floor, engine turbines screaming as they neared full power.  Just as the nose of the craft was about to turn to the North, a massive explosion split it in two, debris raining onto the city below.  Tenero continued his sip and simply lowered his head a little.  He scooped the datapad off of the table and sent a short message, a satisfied smile on his lips.

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2010, 05:29:00 pm »
Mos Entha, Tatooine

Talon and Delta landed in Mos Entha just before ten AM local time.  They barely exchanged words as they checked into their room.  Delta sat at a simple white table, going through her inventory.  Talon had come to a crossroads and it was weighing heavily on her at the moment.  The situation had become delicate, and it demanded her immediate action.
 
She wrestled with her thoughts.  What would Outlaw and Hellion and Ghost and the others think about what she was about to do? In her mind it was justified.  All of a sudden, she felt ill, which was unusual for her in such a situation.

“Del, I have to step out for a moment.”

Delta offered a slight nod of acknowledgement and continued her routine.  Talon crossed the threshold of the room into the desert sun, still unsure of the best course of action.  She was sure what the end result had to be, she was sure of it from the moment she asked for Delta to come on this mission with her.

Talon shaded her eyes from the intense pair of suns and pointed her body away from the door leading to Delta.  She rested her hand on her pistol holster and sighed, about to turn toward her mission at hand.

Suddenly a roar rose up from behind her, and Talon was enveloped in white light.  She instantly felt a rush of superheated air on her back, like someone had opened a blast furnace a city block long.  She felt herself being flung across the road, coming to rest hard against another building.  Her mind raced as she tried to grasp a coherent thought.  As she slipped into unconsciousness, she could only wonder if she had been discovered.

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2010, 06:10:00 pm »
Mos Eclipse, Lok

The Dragon emerged from the Building 408 cautiously.  Nothing was out of place; it appeared as if no one knew he was even there.  Davig weaved through the shadows of the structures on the military base to where he was told Colonel Krienz Sturmwolke, the boss of the entire operation, would be at this hour.  He carefully followed the map provided for him; everything was exactly as he had been instructed.

The building he was looking for lay just ahead now.  Davig could clearly see a man, seated at a desk, through a window.  He checked the image of the man he was given and nodded to himself, indeed, that was his mark.  There was no reason to make it dramatic, he thought.  Davig pulled out his pistol and fired two silenced shots into the window.  The man threw up his right arm and then slumped down into the chair.  Davig turned his wrist over and punched a message into his datapad.

He would be ready for extraction any moment now. He just had one last thing to take care of, and then make his way off into the night.  He brought up another screen on his datapad, and placed his thumb over the “detonate” on his screen.

He jokingly counted to himself …. 3 … 2 … 1 …

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2010, 10:31:00 am »
Mos Carova, Tatooine

Agent Regal looked relaxed, Oroxido thought.  That certainly set his mind at ease slightly.  The pair sat in the dimly lit cantina, in the far corner table.  It was like a scene out of a spy novel, completely by Regal's design.  She had this romantic notion about the spy game and how it was played.  She also felt at ease, like her plan had been unfurling rather flawlessly.  The mature brunette was secure enough to be a little dramatic.

"Have a drink Rox, it might enhance your calm a bit," She quipped nonchalantly.

Oroxido sighed heavily and dipped his shoulders resigningly.  He sipped the drink Regal had ordered for him, something light brown, he wasn't sure what it was.  He didn't care at this point, his nerves were so frazzled that he barely knew what he was going to do next.  This had been hardly worth the credits, he thought.  Though now it looked at if things were nearing an end between the Rebellion and himself.

Regal flipped open a small electronic device and nodded satisfactorily.  She pocketed the device and leaned back into the soft cantina seat.

"Well, thats nearly all of them.  I've heard from all three of my agents, with all good news for us.  It looks like this Secret Army has been sufficiently crippled."

Oroxido smiled weakly.

"Come on Rox, its a time to celebrate.  We slowed the Imperial war machine for a while, and you got rich in the process."

While Regal outwardly displayed no signs of worry, she did have some small concerns.  While she had heard from all three of her operatives in the field, she had only heard two of them report success. One had merely reported that she was moments away from completing her mission.  It was this lone operative she had the most doubt in.  She was her inside person, an actual member of the unit, and her information had been extremely valuable.  What if she had second thoughts?

Regal dismissed the thought and turned her attention back to Oroxido.

"My three agents will no longer contact you, nor will I. You have served us well, and you may enjoy the fruits of your labor in peace."

"I can go? I mean ... its over, I can leave?"

"Certainly.  But you can never speak of this, lest we find you and carry out justice."

The criminal swallowed hard.

"I can accept that, and what of Davig and Tenaro?"

"They are with me now, you will no longer see them either."

 Now Oroxido relaxed.  That Davig fellow scared the crap out of him.  He was Rebel Special Forces, through and through, and he was a very dangerous individual.  He wondered which Imperial Operator had gotten the bad luck to be dealt with by him.

Oroxido finished his drink and set the mug down on the table.

"You know what, ma'am? I think I am going to just get the frell out of here."

Regal nodded.

"If you think its best, Rox.  Fare thee well and safe travels."

Oroxido hastily shook the secret agent's hand as he rose.  He grabbed his tattered leather jacket and made his way toward the door.  It looked as if everything was tied up in a neat little package.

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2010, 10:37:00 am »
Mos Eclipse, Lok

Major Aliksander “Ice man” Sturmwolke was seated at the end of his bed, wide awake despite the ungodly hour.  He checked his chronometer; it was just about time now.  Ice put his arm through his tattered flak vest as he rose.   The Major had removed all of the spare power packs and flash grenades; he wouldn’t need them this time.   Resting on the table next to the door was Aliksander’s carbine and a set of night vision goggles.  Ice man picked up both, shouldering the weapon and placing the NVG’s over his head.

A chirping sound emitted from his wrist indicating a message.  A familiar voice simply stated, “Mission Accomplished,” end of message.  Ice sent a reply message as well as two others.  He picked up his commlink.

“Zehrmatt, kill the lights and take all of our communications off-line.”

Ice man looked to his right, at the wall full of weapons, focusing on his favorite.  He managed a smile as he removed his Ranger Hatchet from its place; placing it in his belt at the small of his back.  He stepped to his door and clicked off the lights in his home, preparing to enter the darkness.

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2010, 03:53:00 pm »
Bestine

Hellion flipped open to read the message.  Her eyes instantly grew wide as she bounded up toward Ghost.

“Open the door! Open the door!” She screamed, headed full steam at her partner.

Ghost didn’t hesitate for a second, smashing the glass over the emergency exit handle and yanking it hard, all in one motion.  Hellion tackled him before he could turn to face her, and the two tumbled the nearly 15 feet the ship had risen off of the planet’s surface.

They hit the ground hard, the breath knocked out of them both.   Ghost struggled to see his surroundings, pinned face down into the sand by Hellion.

“Down!” She screamed.

The sky above them was suddenly filled with an orange fireball. The shuttle they had recently been passengers on was now a thousand or more pieces of debris raining planetward. Ghost cursed in a foreign language for several seconds.

“Hellion, what the frack!?!” He exclaimed as he rolled onto his back.  Hellion slid down into the sand next to him.

Out of breath, she rested her hand on his chest, still cradling her small datapad.  Ghost propped himself on his elbows and looked at the message.

Shuttle rigged with explosives. Get off now.

Ice Man


Mos Entha

Pain gripped her body, but Talon continued to fight to stay conscious.  She needed to stay as alert as she could, to better figure out what exactly was going on.  She tried to retrace what had happened in her mind.  Standing in the suns, walking away from the building, intense explosion, she remembered all of that.  Her thoughts were halted when she realized she had been lifted up by a familiar set of arms.

“You have nothing to fear now. I have you,” said the familiar voice.

She tried to look up, but the Tatooine suns glared into her eyes.  She set her eyes toward the ground, spotting a Plex launcher in the sand.

“I’m sorry I had to do it that way, Talon,” reported the voice, as if he had seen her locate the Plex.

Talon heard a door open, and was suddenly out of the sun.  She looked up again, this time confusion washed over her face as she identified her rescuer.

“Rock?” she mumbled.

“No talking right now, Talon …” Rockhead’s voice trailed off.

“Delta, what … happened to Delt …?”

“No talking, Karana, please,” he pleaded. “I will explain everything later.”

She was surprised at the use of her real first name.  Her mind continued to try and make sense out of what had transpired.  Rockhead plunged a small needle into her arm, and she slipped out of consciousness.

He retrieved his datapad from a pocket and spoke a simple message.

“Mission Accomplished”

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2010, 12:41:00 pm »
Tenaro looked back to where the beautiful woman had been sitting, almost as a reflex.  Her chair had been cast back a few feet, he noticed, and she was now crumpled onto the brick patio in a heap. The stunning brunette apeared in distress.  Tenaro saw an oppurtunity to win himself some "hero" points and lept to his feet.

"My dear, are you okay?" He inquired in his sweetest tone.

Tenaro bent down offering his hand to her and she took it, beginning to rise.

"You must be quite afraid right now, are you not?" Tenaro asked, figuring she had been too shocked to answer his first question.

She continued to say nothing as she raised her eyes to meet his.  Tenaro looked into those eyes, expecting to see fear, but instead seeing something entirely different.  The gorgeous lady abruptly leapt into an embrace with Tenaro, their bodies colliding firmly.  She held her face inches from his, grinning into his open mouthed look of horror.

The last thing Tenaro saw were those eyes, playful and seducing.  But there was something else behind them, he now knew, drawing his last breaths.  Vixen released her grasp on him, letting Tenaro's lifeless body drop to the floor with a satisfying thud.

Vixen left him there on the ground, dagger protruding from his heart.  Let him stay there, like the filthy womp rat that he was, she reasoned.  By the time he would be discovered by the local authorities, Captain Shellbee Belle, aka Vixen, would be long gone.

Meanwhile ...

The Dragon pressed down on the screen with his thumb. He was expecting to hear several explosions, but none came.  He pressed his thumb down again, looking at the device he held inquisitively.  Peering out into the base, he was startled to see every light had gone dark.

“Oh no,” he breathed.

Davig franticly stood and ran toward the cover of a berm, a barrier made of the planet’s soil.  Aliksander was already bearing down on his position, the light of the moons and stars amplified by his night vision goggles.  To Ice, it was bright as day, and he knew Davig was not equipped as such.  Aliksander spotted the Dragon as he reached the berm and leveled his carbine.

“Dragon!” he shouted as he fired a shot into the ground, knocking Davig from his feet.  Davig rolled over and rapidly retrieved his pistol, firing a return shot towards his pursuer.  Aliksander dodged the attempt, and quickened his pace.  He allowed his carbine to go slack around his body, dangling from its shoulder strap.  Before Davig could squeeze off a second round, Aliksander connected with a solid kick to the weapon.
 
Davig didn’t watch as the pistol flew atop the barrier, he was already springing to his feet to meet his foe.  Aliksander anticipated his move however, and blocked a flurry of punches from the Rebel Operative. Davig backed off a few feet, avoiding a roundhouse kick directed at his skull.  Aliksander tossed his goggles and his carbine aside, pausing to allow his eyes to adjust to the darkness.  Davig used the respite to catch his breath and size up his enemy.

“Not bad Snowflake,” Davig taunted. “But this Spec Ops trooper is going to show you how it’s done.”

“I eat Spec Ops Troopers for frelling breakfast,” Aliksander answered coldly.

Davig lunged forward at him, unleashing a barrage of punches, each one expertly deflected by Aliksander.  The Rebel swept low with his foot suddenly, knocking Aliksander from his feet to the hard ground.  Davig leapt toward him, intent on finishing him while he lay on his back.  The Ice man rolled right, however, avoiding the attack, and vaulted himself to his feet.  He threw a punch that caught Davig in the jaw, sending the Rebel crashing to the ground a second time.
 
The Dragon struggled to regain his stance, instead receiving another kick to the stomach.  Davig’s gritted his teeth hard, hoping to find that extra energy a Spec Ops Trooper held in reserve.  Summoning his last bit of strength, he rose face Aliksander once again.  Whoever this Imperial was, he was the real deal.

Davig couldn’t hold back now, he knew.  He threw himself onto the Imperial, wrapping his arms around his neck.  But Aliksander deftly escaped the attempted choke hold, and spun Davig face down into the dirt.  That was when Davig spotted his pistol, sliding down the berm wall directly toward his right hand.

The Dragon reached up to grab the weapon as it came down the sloped soil towards him.  Aliksander quickly reached to his back for his hatchet.

“AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!” Davig shrieked suddenly, looking up where his right hand had been.

“You cut off my hand, aaah, aaahh, ahhh,” he continued to scream.

Aliksander glared downward at him, “You deserve far worse terrorist scum.”

Davig realized he had been beaten. “So, am I under arrest then?” He whimpered.

Davig felt the Imperial grab around his head firmly.

“No,” Aliksander calmly replied.
 
He swiftly rotated his hands snapping Davig’s neck, resulting in a sickening crack.  The Dragon was no more.

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2010, 07:31:00 pm »
Outlaw reached down to his comm set and turned the channel dials until he reached the desired setting.

“Outlaw One One Nine calling any station on this network, emergency traffic.”

"Outlaw One One Nine, this is Exactor, Authenticate!" called back a voice.

"Whisky, Whisky, Two, Seven, Nine, Bravo, Kilo, Four, Five, Alpha."

Outlaw hoped it was correct, he was going off of his memory.

"Outlaw One One Nine, authentication is being verified, stand by!" called back the voice, a sense of urgency in its voice.

"Outlaw, this is Commander Latshaw from the ISD Exactor, we've been expecting your radio traffic."

Outlaw was thoroughly confused.

"Sir, I cannot reach anyone on my team, and SatCom is out with my home station. I may need a Quick Reaction Force to investigate."

There was a long pause.  Outlaw grew both more perplexed and concerned with every secdon that ticked by.

"Agent Outlaw, rendezvous with this ship, coordinates are being uploaded to your Nav Computer. Latshaw out."

Outlaw had no choice but to follow orders.  He hoped an explanation awaited him on the Exactor.

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #40 on: July 10, 2010, 10:26:00 pm »
Star Destroyer Exactor

The room was a scant 14 by 10 space, a bed, a small table, and a foot locker were the only forms of furniture breaking the otherwise empty space.  It was an enlisted NCO's quarters, and Theodorik had gotten to know every inch of its floor plan over tha last hour or so.

Theodorik had been sequestered in room since arriving on the Destroyer.  His mind raced as to what was indeed going on.  His team had gone completely silent, as well as his HQ.  Something massive had happened, but he couldn't begin to draw any conclusions as to what.

Theodorik whirled around as the door whooshed open. It was his brother Aliksander, wearing a particularly impish grin.

"Aliks, explain to me what is going on here," he demanded, his left hand and index finger extended in his brother's direction, his right hand perched on his hip.

The stance amused Aliksander, it was one his father and uncles had often taken. He had witnessed many an arguement involving one or more Sturmwolke.  Theodorik hadn't, he had been born years after his mother took him from Ordo and the Mandalorian lifestyle.

"Lieutenant Outlaw ... "Aliksander paused.

"Theo,"he continued, taking a less formal tone.

"There have been major developements with Operation Sandcastle"

Theodorik crossed his arms, squaring his shoulders to the Major.

"What I'm about to tell you Theo cannot leave this room, I am violating protocol just giving you the information I am giving you."

Theo sniffed loudly at that statement.  Military beuracracy at its finest, he thought.

"As you know by now, this incident goes beyond a small band of thugs intent on causing a little trouble for the Empire.  It was discovered by my special projects team quite early that there were Rebel connections to Flyingrider's group.  Thats why I was brought in.  My superior felt this was a good opportunity to kill two kreetle's with one stone, and I was told to bring a suspected Rebel spy onto our team to try and expose them."

Theodorik's expression instantly changed.

"You did what?"shouted Theo.

"Take it easy brother, I took excellent precautions. Anyway, our suspicions were correct, Isala Strider was in fact a Rebel spy.  We intercepted several communications between her and an Operative calling himself The Dragon.  He came to Eclipse to take out Krienz and the twi'lek.   I set him up, giving him the codes he needed to get in, but cutting off his escape. The communiques he thought were from Strider were actually from me"

"You did all of this Aliks?" Theo stammered in disbelief.

"Ha, it gets better.  The weapon we planted for him was a relatively weak striker pistol, and had ordered all the guards to wear flak vests on duty the day before until further notice.  He knocked the wind out of a guard, and hit Krienz's projectile proof window twice, but the only casualty was the twi'lek.  I couldn't figure a way to protect her during all of this."

"You let her be killed Aliksander?"

"Collateral damages my boy, her death will prove to be very small in the grand scheme of things.  In case you're wondering, I took The Dragon out myself, it felt good to throw some knuckles again."

"So why the complete commo silence, what about everyone else?"

"Well, Ghost and Hellion were part of a little Op to catch that Tenaro character. They are resting comfortably on another part of the ship. Unfortunately, he was killed trying to escape by Captain Belle.  But their radio silence was imperative to that Operation.  Rockhead was sent to deal with Strider, who has been eliminated.  Unfortunately, Talon was injured during the ordeal.  Rock is the only one that knows about the spy other than you and I. He is going to remain in Mos Entha until we can figure out what happened to Talon."

Outlaw stood in shock, the news was rather disarming, all of it.  His own brother had placed lives in peril, and some had paid the price for it.  Words failed him at the moment, he could only stare at the Ice Man, mouth open wide.

"The official word will be that Strider and Talynsun are MIA, and the explosion in Entha was tied directly to the terrorist cell we've tracked to Tatooine.  You team will be told very minimal information regarding the actual events.  Captain Belle and Major Kassel will have full knowledge, as will you. Rockhead has some knowledge of the events, but not all.  Honestly, I think I wrapped everything up rather neatly.  All but one thing that is ..."

Theodorik sighed heavily.

"Whats that Aliks?"

"Flyingrider himself. I have passed your information about the female agent with the grey streak in her hair. I hope this leads to something else, but for now, Oroxido Flyingrider has to be punished."

"If Oroxido is in Carova, he must feel comfortable blending in, Aliks, we've had agents there almost this entire investigation."

"He is comfortable because we let him think that all of his people suceeded, which they did not. I have a very special agent to send to Carova to deal with him now. Now that we've located his crew, and proved the Rebel connection, we no longer need him alive."

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2010, 12:54:00 am »
Theodorik pondered for a moment.

"Who is this special agent, brother?"

Oroxido scurried about Mos Carova, getting his things together and trying to secure a ride out of town. The shuttle that normally flew in from Bestine hadn't arrived and the locals were slightly perplexed over it.  He was sure his next move was putting some distance between himself and this place, which had served as his hide-out off and on during this entire caper.  The local criminal element had provided him an opportunity to blend in, he thought.

Oroxido threw his satchel of belongings over his shoulder.  He grinned a little, knowing that he now had enough credits to buy anything he wanted.   He chuckled, allowing himself to relax slightly.  He did it, he was getting away.  He had bought an over priced land speeder and was preparing to head West, possibly to Mos Entha, where he would get passage off world.  He turned to look at his temporary home one last time and sighed.  Satisfied with himself, he threw his satchel into the passengers seat of the speeder. He was nearly ready to depart when he felt an unusually cool breeze on his neck.

Oroxido had no intentions of turning around to investigate the breeze, in his mind, he was already gone, and the local weather was no longer his concern. What did get his attention was the snap-hiss of that ancient weapon.  He had never heard it before in person, but the stories were well told.

He got a sick feeling in his stomach as he whirled around. A woman stood before him, with a long mane of fiery red hair blowing out behind her.  She was bathed in a blue-green light, her eyes glowing the same sinister hue.  The air was still around them, yet her stark black robes flapped about her as if in a windstorm.  The athletically built woman held her two hands above her head, clutching a lightsaber the color of the golden sands between them.  She looked at Oroxido with a wide baneful smile.

Oroxido's next thought was his last. 

"Oh please no ..." he muttered.

Agent Wraith did as she was instructed, and with one violent slash the Sith Lord struck down Oroxido Flyingrider right there in the dusty streets of Mos Carova.

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #42 on: December 19, 2010, 05:55:00 pm »
"A Sith Lord! Aliksander have you lost your fracking mind?!?!" Theodorik exclaimed.

Aliksander looked back at his brother, expression unchanging.

"It was for the good of the mission, all of it was,"Aliksander supplied matter of factly.

Theodrik's face drooped and he dipped his eyes toward the floor.  He was sure he could have figured the entire mess out without resorting to these tactics, or would he? Having a spy within the unit was disturbing, as was the attempts on the lives of his platoon.  Aliksander's plan had lured them all right into the rancor's den.  He didn't want to admit it, but there was real genius behind the plan.  It was the collateral damage involved that was tough to get over.

"So what now Aliks? What about Karana?"

"Her injuries are going to require us to keep her in hiding for awhile."he answered.

Theodorik leaned back into the table. He was glad that he was alive. He was especially glad the mission was completed, despite the reservations he had for the methodology his brother exhibited.

"I've told you all that I know right now Theo,"he concluded.

For now, Theo thought, it would have to be enough.

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2010, 02:22:00 pm »
Mos Entha

Rockhead snapped his datapad closed and pocketed it.  He brought his hand to his chin and rubbed it as he digested what he had read.  The information was unexpected, but not completely shocking.  Agent Talon was the kind of woman that men dreamed about: strong, intelligent, beautiful.  Her time off duty had been her own business, but now, this development.

"Pregnant," he said aloud.

The woman was anything but promiscuous. In the time he had known her, she did have a lover or two.  Rock wondered if the father was anyone from the unit, or stationed in Mos Eclipse for that matter.  Not that he was judgemental on the subject.  Warriors had their own code of conduct. One of the things he knew was that you loved who you could and when you could.

His orders were clear, get Karana "Talon" Talynson to the safe house on Tatooine and keep her there until the child was born.   This was not terribly unusual. It was obvious a pregnant female was of very limited use to the team.  But the unsettling part of the story was the "why?", and why she had to be kept secluded.

It seems Major Sturmwolke has discovered a connection between Talon and one of the rebel's major players in the Outer Rim.  Ice Man was reluctant to provide further details, and Rockhead knew not to pursue it.  He had evolved into the team's, and by default Aliksander's, secret assasin.  The Zabrakian relished the duty, it offered him the perfect balance. He enjoyed the thrill of the chase, the investigation, the intelligence gathering.  But the final step, the coup de grace, the actual carrying out of Imperial Justice, now that thrilled him. He didn't risk jeopardizing his role with the team by asking for information he didn't really need.

Rockhead crossed the small apartment into the room where Karana slept.  He would be moving her tonight under the cover of darkness, to a location being prepared by members of the team's extensive network of spies and loyalists. He was instructed not to give anyone else from the team any information on his current mission.  Aliksander would explain the disapearance of all parties involved, and that was good enough for him.

Rockhead settled into a comfortable chair near Karana's bed and closed his eyes.  He needed his rest, tonight he had to be sharp for his mission.

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2010, 07:27:00 pm »
Mos Eclipse
Bldg 3242
Two Days Later


Theodorik stood alone in the elevator as it brought him underground.  Major Sturmwolke, Aliksander, his brother, had called for a debriefing of their last mission, Operation Sandcastle.  He had allowed extra time for the Operatives to rendezvous back at their Platoon base.  Aliksander reasoned they could use the time to travel, and to recover mentally and physically. Theo scoffed aloud; he knew the mental recovery would take more than 48 hours.

He exited the elevator on sub-level 1.  The walls were adorned with several pieces of Imperial themed artwork.  He turned and smiled at the sign above the elevator, "Recon Commando School: Learn or Die". 

Theodorik turned left and entered the Squad Room, the first portion of which was laid out like a lounge.  On the walls surrounding him were mannequins adorned in Stormtrooper armor of various origins.  Most was worn by specialized Stormtrooper units throughout the Civil War and the various peacekeeping efforts by the Corps. Three sets of Phase II Clone trooper armor were in one corner of the room.  Amongst them was the black and gold Mark VI armor worn by Captain Nicholae Sturmwolke of the Republic’s Shadow Trooper Regiment.
 
The meeting room portion was laid out as expected, with rows of chairs all facing a large blue screen hung on one wall. Aliksander was standing to the right of the screen, engaged in small talk with Sgt Aerynn "Prowler" Sun, who was seated in the first row.  She was undoubtedly more comfortable down here where it was kept cool, as her subspecies of human was intolerant of the heat.  It was obvious Aliksander had taken a liking to her since his arrival, as she was not only a capable soldier but fiercely loyal to the Empire. She had that "mission first" attitude that Aliskander tried to breed in all his troops.

Occupying seats in the second row were Hellion and Ghost, who sat in apparent silence.  Ghost had his right arm slung over his compatriot’s chair. Hellion was leaned forward, elbows on her knees, hair pulled back and messy, clearly exhausted.  Ghost turned his head slightly and offered a small wave of his right hand to Theodorik.  There was much tension in their body language.

CWO Nephrite aka Agent Wraith sat in the end seat of the first row. Theodorik purposely avoided eye contact with her, now knowing that she was a Sith Lord.  His visage dropped into a slight scowl at the thought.  He shivered as he pictured her chopping down Oroxido like a lumberjack having at a tree.

Outlaw recognized several other Operatives having small parts in the mission sitting in the next few rows, Hawkbat, Razor, Onyx, Spider, Torch, and Fixer.  By himself in the back row, was Rockhead.  He sat relaxed with both arms lounged over the chairs flanking his.  He wore a satisfied grin, and appeared to be completely at ease.  Noticeably absent from the room were Talon and Delta.

Aliksander noticed his brother standing in the doorway and spoke.

“Outlaw, welcome home brother. Please, sit so we can get started.”

Theo slid into a seat at the end of the second row and exhaled sharply.

“Troops, as you all know, we are here for the debriefing from Operation Sandcastle.”

Everyone in the room turned their eyes on the Major.  There was palpable apprehension in the room; the team was no doubt wondering where some of their teammates were, and why they weren’t in attendance.

“First, it is my unfortunate duty to inform you all that two of our Operatives, Sergeant Isala “Delta” Strider and Sergeant First Class Karana “Talon” Talynsun, have been killed in action.”

There was a collective gasp in the room. Death was a part of the military life, but it was still difficult to hear a friend of yours had been killed. You just did your best not to dwell on it.  Outlaw knew the truth however, and glared at his brother with disdain. Aliksander’s expression was of genuine concern, expertly concealing his false information.  The fact Strider was a spy had to be a guarded secret, but Theo was failing to see the logic in faking Talon’s death.

“We will be conducting a space burial for both women in two days time.  Their names will be ceremoniously inscribed on the Imperial Special Forces Wall of Honor on Naboo the following day.”

Major “Ice Man” Sturmwolke was going to eject an empty casket into space to further his agenda.

“With the unfortunate part of the briefing behind us, I can officially declare Operation Sandcastle successfully concluded.  All parties directly involved in the murder of our colleagues have met their end.”

He paused to let the room process the information.

“As you all know, Tatooine is very important to us in the search for the terrorists Kenobi and Skywalker, as they recently called that planet home.”

An image of Tatooine appeared on the screen behind the Major as he spoke. He scanned the room and continued.

“Our number of troops on Tatooine has of course been increasing to that end, this teams intentions was to attack our infrastructure there in hopes of stalling our investigation.  We discovered a Rebel agent known as Xiss, real name Amarxiss Indeskies, posing as a gun runner in Anchorhead.  Xiss was part of a team sent to Tatooine to disrupt the Imperial supply lines of this planet.   It is becoming apparent that Xiss goaded a small time criminal into taking the shots at the Lambda Shuttles.”

“It seems Xiss supplied two members of his team, both Rebel Spec Ops troopers, to ensure the mission came to a successful end.  The two troopers were intent on laying the entire blame on one Oroxido Flyingrider and his gang.  We’ve discovered some manipulation of the Mos Eisley Police databanks to indicate that the two troopers were well established locals with extensive criminal ties to Flyingrider.  The Rebels had hoped to sever any connection they had to the events, possibly to make them appear less like murderers.”

The group was taking in the information, most of it uncovered by Theodorik’s team.  This was the first time he was hearing it bundled together into a neat package, however.

“After the shuttles were downed, the 220th responded swiftly to the area, and the plans for further attacks were abandoned.”

Aliksander produced a datapad and held it out at arm’s length.

“This was recovered on Xiss after Rockhead was forced to take him out.  Here is what it contained.”

The screen behind Aliksander changed to a blown up view of Xiss’s datapad. Aliksander pocketed the original.

“Here you can see several messages to encrypted recipients calling off further attacks and organizing an escape for the team.  It seems the intention of the Rebel group was to send Flyingrider's group to a resort on Dantooine where they were planning on disposing of them at a later time.  We of course intercepted this information and killed one of the crew, a bothan named Satim.”

Both Aliksander and Theodorik noticed the satisfied grunts coming from the team whenever the name of a deceased terrorist was mentioned.

“Right about that time, the terrorist cell scattered and went into hiding.  Operative Ghost tracked Flyingrider to a criminally active city name Mos Carova.  We monitored his activity while we flushed his gang out into the open.  Unfortunately this is when the 220th itself became a target, and this is when I was assigned to the team.”

“Olann Martell was able to make it to Talus, but our Signals Intelligence people were able to pin his signal down to Fort Keen.  After he took a few hostages, we were forced to kill him lest we put innocent lives at risk. He held information on his person that led to the two Rebel Spec Ops troopers, Tenaro Kirett and Davig Dustwaver.”

That was completely false Theodorik knew.  Aliksander had picked up the information on the Rebels from monitoring Strider’s communiqus. 

“Through some of our less than desirable connections, we provided false information on some 220th Operatives to these two men, hoping to lure them into the open for capture.  The timing on one of our plans was a little rushed, and Hellion and Ghost were placed in harm’s way.  I apologize for that, but we discovered the plans for that shuttle entirely too late.”

Hellion and Ghost both shuddered as they thought back to how close they were to being blasted into a million pieces.

“A Captain from the 268th was able to spot Kirett shortly after the explosion and attempted to apprehend him, but was again forced to kill him as he tried to escape.  Almost simultaneously Dustwaver, whom Imperial Intelligence had come to call the 'Dragon', brazenly attempted to assassinate Colonel Sturmwolke.”

Aliksander allowed some pride to seep into his voice.

“Of course, I personally dealt with the 'Dragon'.  It was at this point we no longer needed Flyingrider alive, and so we sent in a team to take him out.  In an ironic twist of fate however, our team discovered Flyingrider had been a robbery victim that morning, and lay stabbed in the streets of Mos Carova.  His body was positively identified after it was ‘recovered’ by our local assets.”

Theodorik frowned.  His brother had a lot of information to hide.  The younger Sturmwolke still hadn’t decided what he was going to do with in depth knowledge of the mission.  He had considered sharing it with Hellion and Ghost, but wanted to see exactly what the official version was first.

“Currently, Imperial Inquisition has opened several investigations based on our findings, but for our purposes, Operation Sandcastle is officially ended.”

He took a step forward and paused as the screen slowly faded into a rotating Imperial Crest.

“I have several new assignments and some travel orders for most of you.  I will allow all of you one days time to rest and recover before I give them to you. Dismissed.”

The group began to talk amongst themselves and rise from their seats.

Aliksander quickly added, “and great job everyone.”

Offline Theodorik

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« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2010, 01:45:00 am »
Epilogue:

3 Months Later


Aliksander was reading yet another communique from his brother, the newly promoted Brigadier General Krienz Sturmwolke. His twin brother was now in control of the Special Forces Stormtrooper Corps, and had been assigned to Imperial Center as a result.  There had been doubts at one time about the validity of the 220th's existence.  Their performance during Operation Sandcastle had earned them a massive funding boost, as well as an increase to 50 assigned Operatives.  The teams were now engaged in several different operations at once.

Lieutenant Theodorik "Outlaw" Sturmwolke had volunteered for a mission in the Naboo System and had barely been heard from in the past 3 months.

Sergeant First Class Kentt "Ghost" Em'asep had virtually disappeared.  He was tasked with a risky deep cover operation and had all of his records cleared off of the 220th's databases.  He was last seen at the funeral for Strider and Talysun, it is assumed by the members of the team that he assumed another identity and may be gone for quite awhile, possibly forever.

Major Aliksander "Ice Man" Sturmwolke was named the CO of the 220th of course.  He, unlike his twin brother Krienz, often went into the field and conducted operations with the Operatives. Sergeant Major Xenea "Hellion" Foxx became Aliksander's CSM, and continues to guide the Platoon and keep her new CO out of trouble.

Lieutenant Athena "Onyx" Kobol stepped up to take greater leadership in the unit, mostly filling the gap for the absent Outlaw.

The whereabouts of Sergeant First Class Karana "Talon" Talynsun has been a closely guarded secret.  The majority of the unit, save Rockhead, Ice Man, and Outlaw, still believe she is dead. There had been rumors of her sighting on Corellia and other places, all dismissed by Aliksander of course.

Staff Sergeant Ruh "Rockhead" Shiod continues to carry out the bloodiest of the missions for the 220th.  It is rumored that he will be receiving a promotion in the upcoming days.

The funerals for the fallen Operatives had been very moving.  The entire platoon was in attendance, with the exception of Shiod, to which Foxx and Em'asep took great offense.  It indicated to "Ghost" Em'asep that something was out of the ordinary with their demise.  

Receiving Citations for Operation Sandcastle were:

COL Krienz Sturmwolke, Bronze Star
MAJ Aliksander Sturmwolke, Imperial Cross, Silver Star
MAJ Melyssa Kassel, Bronze Star
CPT Shellbee Belle, Imperial Cross, Silver Star
1LT Theodorik Sturmwolke, Imperial Cross, Silver Star
CWO Nephrite, Silver Star
CSM Xenea Foxx, Imperial Cross, Silver Star
SFC Karana Talynsun, Imperial Medal of Honor (posthumously)
SFC Kennt Em'asep, Imperial Cross, Silver Star (record sealed)
SSG Ruh Shiod, Imperial Cross, Silver Star
SGT Aerynn Sun, Silver Star
SGT Isala Strider, Imperial Medal of Honor (posthumously)
CPL Zehrmatt Gestaad, Bronze Star

The 220th Stormtrooper Reconnaissance Platoon (Long Range) received the Emperor's Royal Unit Citation.