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Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 03-02-2012, 01:40 AM   #1
Belleck Vreikrieg
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Default Rogue Squadron: Rebirth

The first thing Belleck felt was the cold air. The nips and tugs of the Coruscant air recycler were a feeling he had grown quite accustomed to, a feeling he didn't really enjoy. He slowly pushed himself out of his bed, haggardly as he did so. He rubbed his head, the lack of hair a noticable feature on the Commodore.

With a push, he was out of bed. His morning routine, once he left bed, was like drill. He spent almost exactly five minutes in the refresher shower, two minutes to get his white undershirt changed and caffa mixing in his small machine in the kitchen, five minutes to get dressed in his uniform and then roughly thirty seconds to get his caffa with sugar and crème just the way he liked it in his small little thermos. Commodore Belleck Vreikrieg had his morning planned out just the way he needed it to be in order for him to be in the best mood he could be.

It also allowed Captain Gannet Malvar enough time for him to wake up and pick him up from where he lived. He had timed that well enough after the first year, and now it was like clockwork with him and the man he called friend. Gannet and Belleck had formed a friendship over the years that made the two of them very close. Belleck even 'stole' him from New Republic Intelligence, giving him command of the flagship of his fleet.

Politically smart, the man took it to Belleck's happiness. As he sat and turned on the holovision to catch up on the news, he took a sip out of his coffee and watched. He had given the man a five minute lee-way, where he had enough time to maybe catch a segment on the news before Gannet would notify him that he was a few minutes out.

He turned off the holovision when his datapad buzzed, the key-tone of the buzz was the one he had applied specifically to Gannet's messages. He grabbed his small briefcase, placed the numerous datapads he needed for work today and closed it. Grabbing it in his left hand, he walked out of his apartment after he locked it behind him. His wife would wake up in about three hours and get herself ready for work, but...he didn't trust the citizens of Coruscant at all.

When he walked upstairs in the apartment complex, onto the skyroof, he saw a number of vehicles hovering, moving, picking people up, but the black standard sky-car was what pulled his eyes from the normal traffic. He walked directly to it, the top down and the windows tinted to hide the occupants within. The door opened for him, he stepped in, the door closed and then the car took off.

He looked at the Captain and nodded.

“Well, I got some good news, and some bad news.” Gannet started, taking out a small padd with information on the orders he was given directly from the Chief of Naval Operations of the New Republic Navy.

Gannet was a poster boy, the definition of the New Republic officer. Blonde hair, strong jaw, eyes that were so blue it reminded the Commodore about the seas of Mykral III, pale and dark at the same time. He remembered how he first met Gannet, someone who was so prideful of his rank and privledge in the Rebel Alliance, and now the dutiful and politically hungry Gannet he knows today.

Good flag officer, too.

“Lay it on me, Gannet.” He said, looking at the datapad Gannet put into his hands.

“Bad news is that our mission is, and don't exactly quote me on this because I heard this from Admiral Kth'alth, being seconded by a Jedi.”

“Name?”

“Uh, hold on...uh...Ralana. Ralana, uh...I only got a first name.”

“Of course. Enigmatic to the core. What's her primary objective?”

“Apparently, just to observe.” The Captain replied, his body leaning to the left before the car actually turned, a habit of continually making this route to work for the past few years.

“Alright. Not much I could really say against it with how the New Republic handles Jedi relations. But for bad news, that's really, really not bad.” The Commodore chuckled as he leaned with him, before they both straightened. The driver concentrated on the 'road', and Belleck was happy enough that the driver was never exactly the same person.

Means less of a chance for the driver to be distracted.

“No, not really. That datapad has the information on the Jedi I've got. But, the good news.” Gannet smiled, adjusting in his seat as he couldn't even wipe out his grin. “The news is that we're being sent out to the Outer Rim for a reconnaissance route. From what the orders say, that's Tatooine...” Gannet replied, while Belleck leveled his eyes at the Captain.

“Why are you so happy about that?”

“Because, we got Rogue Squadron.”

Commodore Belleck Vreikrieg laughed. “Okay, good joke. What rotation are we on? Blue Squadron and then Vector Squadron?”

“No, seriously, Rogue Squadron. I'm not joking, I'm not being silly, I'm serious. Rogue Squadron.”

Belleck took Gannet's words and let them sink in. The Admiralty was giving him Rogue Squadron. This was a big moment in his life and he completely believed that it was just a joke. He leaned back into the seat and opened the datapad that he was given. It was right there in front of him, the information was glaring, and he was smiling.

This was the step to the big game.

“Well, looks like they're finally trusting me if that's the case.” The Commodore spoke as he leaned back forward to look further at the datapads, reading all the data that Fleet Command appropiated to him and his flagship captain. He smirked a little wider.

“I recognize some of the recent transfers to Rogue Squadron. I think I've met Flight Officer Starlight before, when he was a little higher on the food chain...the others looks very familiar too...all for a simple and routine reconnaissance mission!”


-={}=-


Forty minutes later, Belleck wished he didn't open his mouth.

“Invaded?”

“That's the word right now.” Admiral D'heir spoke, his Duro words cutting through the silence in the room. Belleck had taken it upon himself to lean against the Admiral's desk, his hands over his chest as he looked at the ground, thinking clearly before he looked back at the Duro. The blue-skinned flag officer was dedicated to his duty, but a little lax on discipline; one of the biggest reasons why Belleck would practically sit on the desk, compared to Admiral Thracka's, who he fully suspected would have him shot if he ever did such a thing.

“I can see why they've taken it, but this is out of the way from anything. I thought Intelligence informed us that Imperial border activity, since the Black Fleet crisis, had lessened!”

“This isn't Imperial Command, this is a warlord's personal fleet. One Admiral Dodonna's, actually, but from what our agents have told us, it's much, much worse.” He said, before he dimmed the lights in the room and the holo-projector turned on.

“You're going to give this briefing to Captain Antilles when he arrives, but, for now, I'll tell you. This is Moff Willem von Aath. Have you heard of him?”

“He was my superior officer when I was a Rear Admiral before the fall.” He said, calling back memories as he looked at the holoprotection of the Moff; grey hair, pronouced cheekbones...and he could recall a few other officers who complained about his lack of following the New Order, but, he didn't rightly cared at the time, or now. Not unless it gave him an advantage.

“A few months ago, he resigns from his post as a Moff of the Muunilinst system, a move that surprised everyone in the New Republic. Then, we hear about sightings of him on Coreilla, and now, from what the spies and early egress troops have told us on Tatooine, he's there, with a few extra ships.”

“Well, shit.” Belleck swore, leaning back up and shaking his head. “...So you're sending me?”

“And Rogue Squadron, and a few other support packages.”

“Like the Jedi?” Belleck leveled his eyes. “I don't have a problem with one being seconded to us for this mission, but I want to make note that I don't like not being told about something like that. What's her authority?”

“An observer.”

“Will I have to worry about her taking control of the ship if I seem not be doing my duties?”

“No, she's just an observer.”

He sighed. “I'm sorry, sir, but I just don't like not being informed.”

The Duro looked around for a moment before he looked back at the Commodore. “It's not exactly for you, Belleck, but it's for Rogue Leader. They've come back from a classified mission, and that's all I can say on the matter.”

Belleck sighed. “Yes, sir.”

“Good. You should go and give a briefing to Captain Antilles.”

“Aye, sir.” Belleck said, slipping into a form of attention and giving him a quick salute, before he slipped out of the stance and walked out, datapad in hand.


-={}=-


Corbin Starlight sighed.

Being a part of Rogue Squadron was a great thing, for other pilots. Rogue Squadron was one of the best of the best for the missions they performed, and the X-Wing jocks they had who flew the red banners were some of the best pilots Corbin knew, but those were X-Wings. X-WINGS! Corbin resisted the urge to throw his orders across his small little room.

His E-Wing would be placed in storage, but it would be his if he left. He was stuck with an X-Wing, one without performance modifications, one without the decals painted on, one without a frakking soul. Pixy's Horse, Jack used to call it. It wasn't exactly a part of him but it was the closest thing Corbin had as a friend over the years of flying for squadrons other than Green Squadron.

And now, this. And to top it off, it was Corran Antilles who was commanding Rogue Squadron. He remembered when Corran wasn't in command of his squadron, when he held rank over him, and how much they didn't get along...and now he was going to be flying with him. No, under him!

The urge was too great. He chucked the datapad now. The anger was rising, so he downed it with another shot of whiskey. Alterian, it was supposed to taste like, but it only tasted like the urine of a sar-lacc to him. And yet, he had to drink it. It was in his blood.

All his supplies were packed. The photos, the better alcohol, the documents and the little mementos of his past life as a squadron leader. He had to call it a life, it wasn't the same anymore at all. The only damn excitement was when he was firing that blaster at pirates. Gods, that filled a void in his life, but now, Rogue Squadron.

At least he had Misch coming along with him, or rather he going with her. He liked her; she didn't hold her rank over him, and she didn't treat him like a decrepit war hero. That already put her at the top of his list for 'friends', and so far that was only four people. He liked Jon'son, but, he was getting his own squadron, and from what he heard, near where Green Squadron was operating.

He'd have to call Blue and make sure the Captain gave him the proper squadron commander intiation.

That brought a smile to his face as he grabbed the last bag he needed, one out of two, and he nodded at the now nearly empty room. With a turn-around, he breathed in, exhaled, and then walked out of the room, hearing the door close behind him as he followed his steps out of his cabin.

It was going to be a long, long campaign, he thought to himself. But, that wasn't always a bad thing.

Last edited by Belleck Vreikrieg : 03-02-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 05-27-2012, 07:45 PM   #2
Ralana
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Burning grains of sand swept across her cheeks before becoming trapped in the slow running trail of tears flowing down her face. It burned her skin or perhaps it was the flames burning hungrily at the building not more than a few feet from her form as she cradled the body in her arms. She could feel the flames coming closer to lick the layers off her skin though it only masked the pain that ached inside of her. All of her force energy was being poured into the lifeless body, holding her heart to its own she begged her own body to teach theirs how to beat again. But…there was only one heartbeat, one breath, and one person sobbing, and it was only her. And there was only one thought in her mind, ‘Why?’

No answer. There was no reason. Wrong place, wrong time? It wasn’t fair. She had tried….she was there she should have saved them. But…she had failed. The silence, and the smelling of burning flesh confirmed solidly in her heart. She had failed...Why?

And in response the darkness ebbed in behind her in a misty black cloud circling around her. The flames grew hotter, but still the woman’s body shivered as it answered, “Because you must be reborn…” The mist circled around enveloping her form tightly into a grasp that she could not free herself from. Her skin burned hotter as the Force spun inside of her making the young Jedi begin to feel sick. The raw energy, the power, and unbalanced Force echoed through her for the first time. It called to her, offering power, seducing her to grasp the unknown to unleash her pain. As the Jedi resisted, it pulled at her calling out…


Ralana’s eyes flew open as she gasped heavily. The darkness, the flames, and the energy it was gone, there were only echoes of the nightmare now fleeing the room leaving her only with the morning sun and a sense of unease. Had it only been a dream? Did Jedi only have dreams? Shaking her head the woman rose to her feet looking over at her bag sitting across from her in the empty transport seat. A brow arched as she could hear the pilot speak, “Mistress Jedi, we’re arriving in Coruscant. Any place you want me to take you?”

The woman nodded, “Yes, Headquarters of Rogue Squadron…and please wait for me there. I need to see an old friend before we go to Temple.”

The pilot nodded, “Right away miss…”

*****

Coruscant…it had been quite some time since the Jedi had been there. Master Skywalker had kept her away from the planet, away from the holonet and from the media storm that the Jedi had been under for the past few years. Though she was still very young, she was one of the most well trained in survival tactics, and could easily blend into crowds. Claiming no home planet, having no birth record, and no blood related family had its advantages at times. But now... now it would be time for her to step into the light. Although she was an unknown she would be the perfect observer for the Jedi in the battle for Tatooine. Both the NR and Empire were clueless about her beginnings and so using her past against her was nearly impossible. The only one who knew anything about her was Corran, and even with recent events she trusted him; although, he was part of her assignment as well.

Thus, Ralana was standing outside of his door still deciding on how much of her mission she should or would reveal to him. It had been over a year since the two last saw each other, she was very young and he was much like her older brother. So much had happened to the two of them since he left the temple, and there would never be enough time to catch up. Taking a deep breath as she adjusted her white, cloak the woman reached up a hand going to knock, although she figured he already knew she was there.

“Come in…” His voice called out from behind the closed door. He looked up from his desk seeing the metallic doors slide open and the Jedi enter his office. A look of surprise came over Corran as he stood up, “Ralana? This is a surprise.”

“A good one I hope.” The woman said bowing in a typical Jedi fashion, but as she rose the pilot was already around his desk quick to give his friend a hug. The woman blinked before composing herself and going to return his embrace, “It’s been too long…and you’ve gotten old.”

He laughed softly letting go of the younger woman and looking over her, “As have you...” Grinning he moved over to the other side of the room, “Go on sit down…do you want some café?”

“Yes, please.” She went to take a seat in one of the chairs on the other side of his desk relieved over the warm welcome. “Thank You.”

He nodded, “So…what brings you here?”

“You haven’t been debriefed yet?” Ralana asked surprised, but then she realized not much time had really passed had it?

“No, I’ve…there’s been a lot of changes since I’ve been released from prison.” Corran turned handing the cup of Café to her before going to pour his own. “So you’re coming with us?”

She nodded, “Yes, as an observer.”

“Oh? Observing what?”

“The mission, to be there in case there are negotiations between the NR and the Empire. It’s always good to have a Jedi around for that.”

“Unfortunately from my experience it all depends on the Jedi.” The man paused taking a sip of his caf. “You’re only here to observe?”

She gave him a sad smile, “Well, if Belleck or one of the other commanders requests my aid I am open to give it. As you know, few trust a Jedi these days.” Ralana took a breath before looking up at him, “How are you doing, Corran?”

“Is this part of your observations?”

Ralana sighed, “Corran…”

“The Jedi are worried that I really have taken a turn to the dark side aren’t they?”

“No, Master Skywalker and I…we’re worried about you, but it has little to do with the dark side.”

“I’m sure.” He said curtly before instantly regretting, “Ralana I-“

“It’s fine Corran. You’ve been through a lot these past two years…most of those things would break a man. Master Skywalker wanted me to look in on you and to help you.”

The man nodded, “I’m sorry... I’ve been on the defensive so long lately. I’ve grown paranoid around people who are nice to me because of all this…” He paused watching her take a sip of her café. “How do you like it?”

The Jedi smiled, “A lot, I miss having a good cup. I’m terrible at making coffee…or anything edible…”

“You need more of my cooking lessons then?”

She laughed, “Yes, yes I do…” The Jedi paused looking at her cup for a long moment before taking another sip, “I’m sorry I wasn’t there…during those past months.”

The pilot didn’t say anything for a long moment. Perhaps he was surprised by the apology as it was rare for a Jedi to actually do such a thing. Ralana was not one for disobeying direct orders he knew that from the temple. It was one of the reasons why she was already a knight at such a young age, and why he figured Skywalker had her train other students. It was another reason why she was sent on this mission and not someone else. It would be difficult for anyone with the order not to get emotionally involved in the mission after what the Empire had done to them. Ralana was not perfect, but for the most part she was the one person who had her emotions in check. “It’s fine. You would have come if you could have…I know that.”

The girl bit her lip as she considered arguing with him, but decided against it. “It must have been very difficult…”

He nodded, “Yes…they not only caged me, but they cut me off from the Force.”

Corran looked down at his coffee now deciding to choose his words carefully.
“You showed your integrity by allowing them to do it though, and you’ve proven that your innocent of the charges. As did your friends…”

“Yes, I know. It’s not the same. I know I’ve made mistakes in my past, but I put my life on the line every day for the republic. Frak, not just me, but the lives of my team, the lives of my friends, and the lives of those I love. And after all that to be accused of betraying the very government I’d easily die for…” The man paused having to now put down his coffee as his body almost shook. “I understand why it was done, but-I’d never betray my friends or the NR.“

“I know Corran…”

“Do you?” The man took a very deep breath trying to calm himself, “You don’t understand Ralana. You don’t know how good it felt to break that NR agent’s nose. The Jedi don’t understand things like that…”

Ralana took a moment feeling the tension building up in the room. Letting the feelings stew for a moment she took another long sip of her coffee before, “Just because I’m a Jedi does not mean I don’t have feelings.” She looked over at him, “I understand the why and the reasoning behind it. I just don’t approve, but…” The woman went to put her cup down on the end table before going to stand up, “But shaking my finger at you does nothing.” Walking over to the Captain she went to put a hand on his shoulder, “You’re a good person Corran. Just because you’re not as calm or collective as most Jedi are doesn’t change that fact. And don’t let anyone tell you anything differently.”

The tension inside the man soothed for a moment as he nodded, “Thank you…I’m glad you see that.”

“Of course I do.” Letting go of his arm the woman went to take her final sip of her Café before handing him the cup. “Unfortunately I do have to go. I need to run some errands before we leave, or have a briefing. I’ll feel a little silly…I’m so used to being on my own that I forget how the Military works sometimes. Thank you for the coffee Corran, and the conversation.”

He smiled at her going to take the cup, “You’re welcome, Ralana…when we get back you’ll have to have dinner with Jade and I.”

“I’d like that…”

Last edited by Ralana : 05-30-2012 at 01:47 AM.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 07-05-2012, 10:38 PM   #3
Mischa Margolin
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Mischa lost count of the number of times she had cursed her malfunctioning alarm chrono since she’d hurled it against her bedroom wall after it had failed to go off and wake her up on time. The likely reason for the malfunction being that she’d done the same thing numerous times in the past. But that didn’t change the fact that she was late and unhappy about it to say the least. Why today of all days?

She had skipped breakfast, dressing as quickly as humanly possible in her day uniform before taking only enough time to brush her teeth, grab the go-bag she’d thankfully had the usual foresight to pack the night before, and lock up her apartment with the usual thought running through her head of whether she’d see the place again or not after this new tour of duty.

It still had not given her enough time to catch the next available hoverbus and as for trying to find a taxi in her neighborhood, she stood a better chance of being promoted to Admiral. In hindsight her chosen means to get to the base probably hadn’t been the best idea, but since being late for anything, even her dreaded first day with her newly assigned squadron was one of her pet peeves it had seemed good at the time.

The racing swoop bike had been kept stored, but when she’d pulled the cover off the normally shining chrome and red sleek surfaces were dulled by a thin layer of inescapable Coruscant pollution dust. And usually she would never think of taking it out without a thorough going over by a trusted mechanic after sitting unridden for so long. Even a customized Corellian Sector Swoop Company beauty like this was prone to settled lubricants gumming up the works or power cell and other mechanicals going bad or out of calibration. But who had time for that when they’d barely had enough to brush their teeth.

The controls on the panel had lit up as green as the grass of a Naboo meadow when she’d keyed ignition…mostly. And the thruster and directional controls turned smoothly enough after a bit of priming. The vanes doing the same once the necessary fluids made their way through the works. The fuel cells were reading at three quarter charge. Good enough to get her where she needed to go and when she needed to be there. So all that was left was to stow her bag and get moving.

And she had done so and rather well. Okay maybe too well if the two Coruscant City Constabulary Officers tailing her on swoops of their own were any indication. Mischa glanced at the speed indicator with an expression that was half frown and half grin. Ah that explained it. Oh well, if they were going to try and pull her over she wasn’t going to make it easy on them. The police swoops were on par with the type provided to Imperial Scouts in the past. Made by the same company in fact and to high standards, but still no match for her own machine even on a bad day.

Her grin widening she throttled up on the speed thrusters while increasing power to the lower repulsorlift engine as she approached a narrowing canyon-like grouping of office towers. Accelerating while at the same time pulling back on the right vane’s controls and leaning her body into the turn she whipped around the corner of the second building they passed. Laughing at sight of the flashing lights of the Constabulary’s continuing on a straight path in her mirror. She knew it was just a matter of moments before they’d turn back or try and cut her off at another intersection of buildings, but at the moment she didn’t care. She’d nearly forgotten how much she loved speeding along on this beautiful piece of machinery. The closest thing she could get to flying her fighter without doing so and without the worry and distraction of some Imp or Pirate scum trying to shoot her down.

Of course this wasn’t the ideal time and place to be doing it. And speaking of time, she glanced at the dash’s chrono and swore softly before hit the repulsorlift once more and taking the swoop on a swing around another building surrounded by others low enough in height for her to see her way to the wide, plain-faced tower where Starfighter Command’s base of operations on Coruscant was located once she cleared it.

The unmistakable sound of sirens and someone on one Police Swoop on another saying something she couldn’t quite make out trailed in her wake as she approached the Rogues Headquarters with a grin. Worst that could happen would be a ticket, fine, and maybe couple of days in the brig or in jail depending on which side of the approaching guarded barriers she was stopped on. Maybe a demotion. Either way she was used to these things and maybe it would save her from being a Rogue for a few days longer. Or permanently.

“Might as well make it a military court”, Vac thought as she keyed the transmitter on her collar that would send a signal to the guards at the base of who she was and that she was expected, although not likely being followed by an unwanted escort of Coruscant City’s Finest. Her forward screen reading showed no sign of the repulsor gate in place as she brought the swoop’s throttle back on approach between the two tall imposing New Republic Marine Guards at the base main entry post and shot through. Cutting back her speed even more. Or trying to. The act becoming more imperative as a man nearly crossed her path, eyes going as wide as her own and she swerved to avoid him. Just at the same moment both her left front stabilizer bar and its linkage to the left vane decided they’d had enough action for one day and she lost control, spilling to the hard surface of the decking with a loud, unfinished “AH FRA...! as the swoop flipped to one side and continued on a slowing lazy arc without its rider. The motion almost graceful as it crumpled against the side of a nearby duracrete perimeter barrier.

And all Mischa could do was lie there where she’d landed, the sound of approaching footfalls ringing in her head as she looked up at the man she’d almost hit, his familiar dark eyes looking down at her with concern and she briefly wondered if she’d ended up concussed worse than she thought. Muttering “Oh, hey….Chief?” before the world greyed out and then blackened.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 09-15-2012, 04:00 PM   #4
Corran Antilles
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It had been nice to see Ralana again. Despite his current feelings about the Jedi order. But Corran couldn’t blame her for Ranzen being a pawn played by the politicians. He knew that Ralana was a trusted friend. It would be good to have her at their side when going to Tatooine.

Switching on his datapad, Corran reread the mission details he had gotten from Commodore Vreikrieg while their briefing. The situation didn’t sound too complicated. Some Imps in the orbit and on ground. No orbital platforms, just some Star Destroyers and the mandatory TIE Squadrons. Been there, done that. Corran thought. According to the reports the agents had delivered, it looked as if the Empire tried to use the planet as training base for new recruits. Corran couldn’t think about any other logical reason why the Imperials would occupy Tatooine.

Except very few minerals, the planet just offered some critters and a lot of sand. So it had to be the human resources the Empire were after. Recruiting the youth, frustrated by the boring lives on their parents’ moisture farms. At least that would fit to what Master Skywalker had told about his home planet. And the Empire’s propaganda had been excellent always.

Corran leant his chin into one hand as he finished reading the report and switching to the roster of his new Rogue Squadron. Some spots were still open, while others were manned with pilots from the former Womprat Squadron. Corran wasn’t too enthusiastic about that. The Rats were all excellent pilots, no question, but their behaviour left a lot to be desired. Their files were full of entries about offences contrary to regulations. Obviously there had been no bar brawl in the last two years where they hadn’t been involved. Corran shook his head in disbelief. All fighter pilots had big egos and needed often a relief to the stress of their perilous job. But the Rats broke every record. Hopefully they would integrate into Rogue Squadron. With the Empire as an extern threat, Corran didn’t need any intern fights. Especially not because the Commodore told him to choose a former Rat as XO. In his opinion it would help that they would feel part of the existing squadron. Vreikrieg suggested Margolin.

Better her than Starlight. Corran agreed to that. He had met Corbin Starlight before. The memory didn’t belong to his favourite ones. But nevertheless he needed pilots with experience. The Commodore had assured that the Rogues would get more veteran pilots to fill the gaps in the roster. So far Corran hadn’t received any notes about transfers. Maybe he should check with Fleet Command. Bureaucrats were slow always. But Corran didn’t have a chance to call, as his com unit buzzed already. Surprisingly it was the Squadron’s new chief.

“Mr. Garrett, is there any problem in the hangar?” All of a sudden Corran had a strange gut feeling as he saw the nervous look of the other man, who nodded. “Not directly, Captain, but there has been an accident with one of your pilots at the barriers. It would be better if you…” Corran didn’t wait until the other man finished. “I’m on my way.” He said, getting up from his chair.

Racing along the hallway, Corran expected the worst. He was relieved that there were no blaring alarms, no smoke or sounds of explosions as he arrived at the scene of the accident. All he saw first was some scrap that had been a racing swoop. It looked almost as if it had crashed non-braked into the barrier. In some distance from the machine the driver was laying on the ground, obviously unconscious. Corran recognised Margolin from her file holo. Mr. Garrett was rendering first aid. The Captain knelt down next to him, ready to help. He shot an angry look to the Marines, guarding the barriers normally, and who were just watching now, their weapons ready as if Margolin would be any threat.

“Get us a medic team here.” Corran barked at them, not sure if he was angry about their behaviour or his pilot’s entry. Maybe both. One of the Marines stood at attention almost at Corran’s tone. “Sir, a medic team is already informed. They will be here every minute.” The other man cleared his throat. “But we’ll have to report your pilot. She didn’t pay any attention to the regulations. The Police was chasing her.”

Corran got up on his feet again. “Let that be my worry. According to article 20.24 Lieutenant Margolin was on duty. I called her to the base because of an urgent assignment.” The lie was easy for him, even when he didn’t know why he protected her. But something told him that she would be important for his squadron. Corran had learnt to trust his feelings. Most of the time. “So send any complains and notifications directly to me. Understood?” The Marine nodded and saluted. “Understood, Sir.”

The arrived medic team was about to lift Margolin on a repulsorlift stretcher as she opened her eyes again. “Reporting in, Sir.” She murmured as she recognised him.

“Welcome to the Rogues.” Corran replied, sighing. It just could get better.

As he returned to his office it got even better. The files of some more pilots had arrived. Corran’s eyes widened at the first name.

Marcus Arete. Why of all people did the Commodore send him this man?
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 09-27-2012, 11:43 AM   #5
Marcus Arete
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Marcus sat nervously waiting for Corran to arrive for their appointment. Troutman had set it up, and all Marcus needed to start getting his life back was to convince Corran to overlook the fact that he’d lied to his face.

“No problem, sheesh” Marcus said to himself as he rearranged the datapads in his bag.

The sound of footsteps echoed down the hallway. Marcus tensed up instinctively, and the feeling didn’t fade as he saw his former commander Corran Antilles walk into the reception area near his office. Marcus stood and saluted, only to be told “Get your hand down Marcus, you have to have a rank for me to outrank you, let’s get this over with.”

As Marcus followed Corran into his office, he started to think of why he was here. He could have asked for a lot of things the day Colonel Troutman came to get him out of prison. After a lousy reunion, Troutman just kept saying “Isn’t there anything I can do Marcus?” The first time Marcus let him stew, but the second time…well for some strange reason said get him his Rogue Squadron spot back. He could have asked for a speeder, an apartment, relocation to a new planet and a new life for all they put him through…all of which sounded better then sitting down across from the man who broke his nose not but a few weeks ago.

“How’s the nose?” Corran said, finally looking up from his datapad.

“Healed up fine thanks.” Marcus replied trying to not sound bitter. He had no right to be of course, but when someone breaks your nose, it’s not something that you can just ignore.

“How you like being out…” Marcus started.

“Why are you here?” Corran blurted out and tossed his datapad on the desk.

“I thought this was set…?” Marcus started again.

“Why are you here?” Corran said again. “Tell it to me straight Marcus, we’re not going to rehash what happened, 10 words or less, why I should let you back in my squadron, and not kick you to the curb."

“Well, I” Marucs started again adjusting his goggles.

“8 more” Corran said crossing his arms.

Marcus gritted his teeth, let out an exasperated sigh, and stood up. He examined Corran, and said “All my other friends are dead. And. Redemption.” while counting the words off on his fingers.

Corran scratched his chin, and went back to his datapad with the occasional glance at Marcus. After 30-seconds he said “Interesting, I’ll let you know, thank you for coming in Mr. Arete.” Corran said sipping his café and gesturing to the door.

Marcus glanced at the door and said “That’s it?”

“That’s it, you made a very compelling case, I’ll let you know.” Corran said with a smile.

Marcus started to leave, but then stopped. “You know Corran, I thought you of all people would at least hear me out. Looks like this was all a waste of my time.”

“Not just yours…traitor”

“Oh FRAK YOU! Marcus shouted as Corran readied for an attack of some sort, but Marcus just tossed his bag into his former seat. “Frak you and the speeder you rode in on!”

“Get out of my office!” Corran shouted standing as Marcus started reaching into his bag.

“I’ll get out in a minute, but I’m giving you these.” Marcus said holding up a bunch of datapads. “I did all the legwork to get them, so you are going to see them whether you like it or not!”

“Security” Corran said pushing a button on his desk.

*Marcus tossed 3 datapads on desk*

“The first datapad is my resignation from NRI, you see I never actually wanted to be there anyway, but you already know that because you know I don’t have a rank anymore. The second is all the insidious glowing reports I filed about you and Han. The third is my released military history with the declassified info about my roles on Ithor and Naboo. Interesting reading, man helps liberate two planets, three if you include Vjun, and gets thrown in a hole while labeled a traitor. Sound familiar?”

“Marcus, none of that…”

“But wait, he’s saved the best for last folks” Marcus said calmly holding up a datapad, just as security arrived. Corran stopped them with a hand.

“Leave now Marcus” Corran said giving Marcus one last chance to exit on his own.

“Fine…”Marcus said tossing the last datapad on Corran’s desk. “I’ll leave, as soon as you watch the contents of that datapad.”

Corran dropped his hand, and Marcus didn’t even fight the security as they escorted him out, he just hung his head in failure.

Corran sat down and held his head. “Well that went well” Corran thought as he drank more of his cafe. Corran tried to get back to work, but Marcus had peaked his interest, and he found himself picking up the datapad. It was a holo recording. Corran pressed play.

Colonel Troutman and Marcus appeared on the screen sitting in what appeared to be a prison interrogation room.

“I see, so the two commanding offers of Rogue Squadron will be liabilities in the eyes of the higher up.” Marcus said skimming the Dossier. “Ok, now I understand the why, but why me?” Marcus said without looking up.

The Colonel smiled broadly “Well aside from being a decorated New Republic officer, a more then capable pilot, and one of the best…”

“Sir please cut the crap Sir…” Marcus interrupted

The grin faded “…and because you have an engraved invitation from Cal Stravin to join, it can hardly look like a plant. Also, because I trust you.” The Colonel finished with a sigh.

“What if I refuse?” Marcus asked crossing his arms in defiance.

“You refuse, you refuse, nothing happens to you. Sam Koortyn will go to prison for Grand Theft, and I’m sure we’ll be able to get her on Smuggling and a mess of other charges, she’s had quite the colorful life since she left the academy hasn’t she. As for her beau in there, he’ll be stripped of his rank, and sent to a detainment facility far worse than this one while NRI investigates the matter VERY slowly. By the time he’s been cleared, it’ll be too late.” The Colonel stated the threat very matter-of-factly.

Marcus let his arms drop to his sides, and then began to rub his head stubble “You know I can’t let that happen.” Marcus said finally.

“I do”

Marcus stared at Troutman. Throwing up his hands in the air “Fine I give up, release us, and I’ll see Cal in the morning.”
Troutman smiled, got up, saluted and exited the room. Marcus just sat there for a minute, before slamming his fist against the table and yelling “FRAK!

“Reload” Marcus said to the barkeep.

The bartendar poured him another shot of Coreillian Whiskey, and Marcus downed it. “Reload” he said again, wincing slightly as the liquid burned his throat.

“Why don’t you take a few minutes”, the barkeep said.

Marcus sat up, his goggled eyes looking a lot more menacing then the bloodshot ones behind them and replied “Why don’t you..leave the bottle.” As he tossed his credits on the bar and started laughing.

“Get lost man, you’ve had enough.”

“I already am.” Marcus muttered as he stumbled out of the hotel bar. He rode the lift to his room, manage to stumble in, and collapse on his bed. There he took off his goggles and stared into the inky black sky. Somewhere up there his home planet of Ithor was shining like a green jewel. Just thinking about it made him a little homesick. Maybe he’d go back there and restart his tour business. The feelings of loss and lonliness combined to make him do something he hadn’t done since his adopted mother had died. Pray. “Mother soil, there has been a lot of bad in my life. I’ve seen things that I wish I could forget. I’ve done things that I wish I hadn’t. I’ve lost too many friends to count, and I’m just…adrift. I keep trying to do good, keep trying to fight the good fight, and I keep getting poodoo for my efforts. You say that we should have balance in all things, well things feel very unbalanced right now…isn’t it time for the pendulum to start swinging the other direction?”

*Bling*

Marcus looked to his comm., and read the message from Corran.
“That was more then 10 words…but report for duty first thing in the morning Rogue 9”

Marcus looked back to the stars and said “Um…thanks?”
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 10-28-2012, 02:40 PM   #6
Adok Borys
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He watched the speeder crumple against the duracrete wall. Even before the crash finished unfolding, he'd sprinted toward a nearby hangar, and retrieved a fire extinguisher. Adok Borys played cool foam over the remnants of the speeder. Connections sparked near one of the fuel cells, and he played the fire-suppressing foam over the arcing electricity. The extinguisher fizzled, played out. The spent container clanged to the ground, and Adok glanced around for the pilot. He spied a prone form, auburn hair in a halo on the pavement, someone had already bent over her, checking vitals. He overheard another dark haired figure giving orders, and then introducing himself as the commander of Rogue Squadron. He got a glance of her face and his eyebrows shot up in recognition.

As he reached for his commlink, ululating sirens filled the air, and Adok frowned at the speeders bearing the emblem of the Coruscant Security Force, then a couple of military police speeders touched down. One of the military troopers spoke into a comm on his shoulder, and within a few minutes an ambulance speeder showed up, civilian. No military markings. More military police showed up. Adok glanced around and found his mark.

“Trooper Bartoz.”

The aforementioned trooper jumped around at the mention of his name. Then glanced at the rank insignia on Adok's collar and braced to attention.

“I need to know what hospital they are taking that pilot to. And I need a ride there.”

“Sir, I can't tell you that, and I can't give you a ride,” Bartosz responded. “It's against policy.”

Adok pointed over his shoulder, then fanned a chip folio in front of the soldier. “I'm a lieutenant. I also happen to be assigned to Rogue Squadron. That man you saw there was the commanding officer of Rogue Squadron. I'm sure you've heard the rumors about him, so I won't bore you, but how do you think he'd feel if I, one of his pilots, called up and told him that one Trooper Bartosz, would not assist me in aiding one of his other pilots.”

Bartosz glanced around and his Adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed.

“You might also want to have the swoop, there,” he gestured toward the wreckage, “delivered to the Rogue Squadron hangar. Commander Antilles will need hid for his investigation. And comm ahead and tell them that his representative needs to speak to this pilot. Alone.”

Bartosz nodded and spoke into his comm, glanced at Adok, and began to walk toward a speeder.

“Coming?”

Adok caught up in a few strides, and then hopped into the passeger seat, securing the safety harness as they lifted off.

******
They arrived at the hospital a few seconds behind the ambulance. Adok hopped out of the speeder, briskly walking through a crowd of orderlies to the stretcher. He rested a hand on her shoulder and her eyes blinked open.

“D...D...Dock,” she whispered, sounding surprised.

Adok reached into his pocket, glanced around, and then slid a flask under the blanket. “A Corellian pick me up...for later.” He gave her shoulder a squeeze, and then faded out through the crowd, finding another military police trooper, this one with the chevrons of a sergeant, making entries on a datapad.

Adok flashed the chip folio with orders assigning him to Rogue Squadron in front of the startled sergeant. “Purusuant to Article 20.24 Republic Military Code, this offence was committed while Lieutenant Margolin was on duty. Therefore, Commander Antilles is handling the investigation as an internal Rogue Squadron matter. I am here as his representative. As such, he has directed me to instruct you to remand Lieutenant Margolin to Rogue Squadron custody as soon as she is able.”

The sergeant nodded, and Adok walked out of the hospital followed by a goggling Bartosz.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 11-09-2012, 07:32 PM   #7
Kiernan Azrah
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“Now follow the stylus with just your eyes” Kier directed the woman seated on the exam table before him. He moved the slender metallic implement in several different directions, observing her track it. “Good”, he nodded. “Any headache, muscle stiffness, dizziness, sensitivity to light, blurred vision?” He ran through a list of concussion complications, fighting to keep a smirk from his face as the pilot’s expression seemed to grow more and more annoyed with each question and her steady stream of “Noes” in reply.


“Look, Doctor Azaria,” She said when he’d exhausted the list, “I am fine. Really. I’ve been able to fly in worse conditions that some little bump on the head could ever cause.”

“It’s Azrah” He casually corrected her on his name before letting his tone grow more serious. “Lieutenant Margolin the scans indicate that you suffered a concussion. Luckily it was a mild one, but when…”

“Well if the machines already know what happened”, Mischa cut in, “Why don’t we stop all these other silly tasks and questions and you can just let me out of here so I can report for duty?”

“Machines have their place”, he said, taking a small focused beam glowrod from his pocket and shining it in each of her eyes in turn. “But when it comes to my patients I prefer to trust my own observational skills and knowledge over even the most advanced scanner every time.”

That finally brought a small smile to the woman’s face, “That’s pretty much how I feel when it comes to flying.”

“Precisely.” He replied with a smile of his own, putting the glowrod away then placing his fingertips gently at Mischa’s temples. “I’m just going to move your head a bit each way and need you to let me know if it hurts your head or neck.”

“No! I told you I feel fine” She shook her head, dislodging his light grasp. That annoyed tone from earlier creeping back in. “What would YOU know about flying anyway?”

“Considering that I’ve been at it longer than I have been a doctor.” He gave her a brief appraising look, “and likely a bit longer than you’ve been old enough to fly, I’d say I know more than a little bit about how to handle a bird. And how any type of head injury can affect your reflexes and judgement.” He continued on, ignoring the way she glared and her obvious attempt to try and cut him off again as he made some notations on his datapad. “I also know how being stubborn and not watching out for yourself properly can get you killed.” His gaze went from the data chart in his hands to her face. “Or your squadron mates.” Keeping to himself what he knew about her history with her previous posting.

He made a few more notations in the chart, then read through various screens a bit, not only to acquaint himself with her history but to help give him a reason to ignore the glare she was still giving him and the sound of her fingertips tapping on the edges of the exam table in impatience.

Finally he said, “Well since there appears to be no significant brain tissue injury and we’re not scheduled to fly any major missions within the next day or so as far as I know, I see no reason to keep you off flight status.” He ticked off some checkboxes then signed his name before sending the data in the pad to the central computer.

“Well thank frakking gods” Mischa replied. “Wait what do you mean we're not scheduled?” She asked him, reaching to undo the examination gown’s fastenings slightly.

“I suppose I should have mentioned earlier that we’ll be flying together.” He winked.

“But aren’t you the base flight surgeon?” She asked, eyes going to his rank and the title patch affixed to his uniform.

“I’m a pilot-physician, actually.” He replied, “One who has being spending too much time being the latter lately and not enough the former.”

“So you’re a snub jock?” The pilot’s attitude seemed to relax a bit at that, “When you said you flew earlier I assumed you meant a medical transport or recreationally. One of my favorite members of my former squadron was a doctor as well, but I think he was a bit new at both of those jobs.”

“The Womp Rats, right?” He asked, wondering immediately why the woman tensed up again at the question.

“And you’re wondering how in the nine hells a Womp Rat is good enough to end up in the Rogues is that it?” She scowled.

“Hey” Kier held up his hands defensively, “It was just a question, alright? And you’ll find I tend to be pretty non-judgmental and besides, we’re on the same side.”

“Sorry, Doc. It’s just that our reputation, such as it is, tends to precede us.” Mischa replied. “Usually in a bad way.”

“Well, I have read your file, briefly. You’re a good pilot from what I have seen in there. As are your mates who were transferred, having a few issues aside. Command knows what they’re doing.”

She gave a little snort as if that idea was foreign to her. “Yeah well, we’ll see. So can I get out of this lovely gown and out of this place?” She asked. Untangling the two chains she wore around her neck from the hair at the nape.

“Verpine?” Kier asked, catching sight of the small charm on one of the chains. A perfectly replicated miniature of an x-wing fighter crafted in silvery metal. “May I?”

She nodded, placing the charm in his hand.

Kier examined the nearly weightless model, opening and closing the deployable s-foils. “Marvelous work. My father collects Verpine crafted miniatures and I’d love to get him something like it for his next natal celebration.”

“Thanks.” She smiled, a bit sadly he thought. “My ‘Da had it made for me when I completed flight training. It’s from a piece of metal from the freighter he owned.”

Kier frowned, recalling what he’d read in her chart about her family medical history and there being nothing about her father’s side. “What did he die from?”

“Loirmanii’s Blastonecrosis.” She must had seen the next question coming as he reached for his datapad again. “But I’m not at risk. He was my adoptive father.”

“I’m sorry for your loss, Lieutenant” Kier told her, placing the charm on its chain back against her chest. And I promise I won’t always be…”doctoring” every time we talk.”

“Thank you, and please. Call me Mischa. Or Vac,” She smiled at the questioning look he must have been giving her. “My callsign.”

“You’ll have to tell me the story behind that one some day.” He held out his hand, “And please, call me Kier.” Adding, “Or Cha-Cha.”

“Okay you really need to tell me about how you got that one yourself.” She gave him another smile and shook his offered hand. “So am I clear to go? I’m sure Captain Antilles isn’t finished talking to me about my grand entrance.”

“Yeah.” Kier agreed, “Best to get that over with ASAP. I though I heard something about latrines mentioned in conjunction with your name last time I talked to him.” He added teasingly. “Go ahead and get dressed and I’ll get my report over to the Captain clearing you to fly in a day or so.” He started to pull the privacy curtain closed again, but poked his head back in, eyes going to the pillow on the table. “And save whatever Lieutenant Borys brought you for a later date.” He winked then laughed at the look she gave him in reply.

“Well this is going to be an interesting posting.” He thought to himself, for several reasons, as he walked toward the small work area to complete his report.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 11-13-2012, 11:26 PM   #8
Jelt
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"I have a serious problem here."

Captain Corran Antilles was seated behind his desk, but his posture was anything but relaxed. He leaned forward, fingers steepled but not intertwined, and Jelt could see the tension in his muscles that betrayed his readiness to leap to his feet at any moment and call his lightsaber to his hand. His eyes bored into hers and she would have liked nothing more than to meet his stare head on, but Tyanni wouldn't look at him. Her gaze was fixed in terrified fascination at the two men standing behind his chair.

"Do you realize…" his voice was slow and measured, terrible in its revulsion… "how many men and women are dead because of your actions? The hangar bay explosion alone…" He shook his head.

She wanted to smile at him in derision, to tell him that if he only knew how many people she had killed over the years he might not think her stint in Rogue squadron amounted to much at all. She wanted to laugh at him, at the thought that he expected her to feel any bit of remorse for simply doing what she had been trained and hired to do. But her mouth would not open and her voice deserted her; Tyanni was frozen in her seat, overcome with horror. Angrily Jelt battered at the inside of her head. She was not Tyanni, this was not the time to be Tyanni, Tyanni was dead! But Tyanni wouldn't listen.

Now Corran Antilles stood, his expression grave but without pity. He was still speaking, announcing her sentence, but her ears failed now as well. Dead, dead, dead. You knew this was coming. He was angry with her, of course he was. He had the right to be. The man on the left looked at her like she was a waste of time, a bit of muck on the edge of his boot that had to be dealt with before he could move on. The man on the right betrayed almost no emotion at all. He was a cold steel box of righteous purpose, convinced that he was right and unwilling to consider the idea that he might be wrong. Together the three looked down at the poor quivering heap that was Tyanni Ventyra, but none saw her anymore. The disguise was broken, the ruse ended.

Captain Antilles, Darth Sythis, and Overseer Gayeth all condemned her.

Antilles stepped around his desk and ignited one end of his lightsaber. The noise freed something up from deep inside her. This was it, she wanted to fight! She would take them all down, if only she had her own weapon. But there was nothing. He raised the the blade and Tyanni screamed, and the Force burst out from Jelt in all directions, raging against any who might seek to harm her--


Jelt awoke with a jolt, nestled deep in the feather pillows and silken sheets of Tyanni's large bed in her luxurious apartment. The scream she had heard ended as abruptly as the dream, but the echo of it was still sinking in her throat. And the Force…she could feel everything.

That brought her to full awareness, and she clawed on it like a drowning man would grasp for bits of driftwood. Frantically she pulled it back into herself, bit by straggly bit, shoving it down into its hiding place and clamping the lid down tightly. The familiar sensation of sudden deafness and blindness seized her for a moment, then passed. She found herself breathing heavily, the sheets soaked with sweat. If only she could reach out quietly, just a little, to find out if someone had felt her. But that would be suicide. The only person in the Bela Vistal Tower who would have sensed the sudden outburst live two floors above her in a penthouse. Why oh why did I ask to live here… Slowly and carefully she came back to herself by measured breaths, forcing the panic down. First she checked the tangle of cords and surveillance devices she had retrieved from the air ducts of the building. Everything was there, she had not left one trace. Next she checked her messages.

New Messages (3)

The first was a general memo to members of Rogue Squadron. There was nothing worrisome in its contents.

The second was from Nethiiel.

Received message for you, marked HP. "Cargo arrived at destination, no issues. Location of next party sent to your ship. -BF"

The third was from Antilles. It was short, only a request that she come to his office as soon as she arrived at headquarters that day. And it was sent from his office only ten minutes ago.

Jelt was not given to big sighs of relief, but this one escaped her without challenge. Everything was fine. The large freighter that was her base was safely hidden in a new location. Sythis didn't know that she was posing as Tyanni. The Planet's agents could have no idea who she was posing as. And Antilles--the one person in the building who might have felt her involuntary pulse through the Force--was far away at Navy Headquarters and probably had been for a long while, organizing his new squadron.

And it was about time she got there. Quickly swinging her feet to the floor, Tyanni got up and began preparing herself for the day.

She made one deviation from her normal route to drop the incriminating surveillance equipment out of the speeder over the deepest trench she could find. Even if it didn't fall all the way to Coruscant's lowest levels it wouldn't lead back to her; she had made sure to wipe the memory units and clear it of all her DNA. Once that was finished she flew to headquarters, only to get stopped just inside the first security checkpoint.

"I'm sorry for the delay, Officer Ventyra," the guard said as he handed back her credentials. "There was a incident earlier and security has been heightened in case it was more than an accident."

"And what was the nature of this incident?"

"Speeder crash, Officer. One of the new Rogues, if the rumors are right."

"You would do well not to spread such rumors, trooper. Especially while you are on duty."

"Of course, Officer Ventyra. You're clear to go."

She set the speeder down delicately at the end of the Rogues hangar reserved for private craft, then set off across its vast expanse to the hall that lead to the office section of the building. The place was already crawling with mechanics and technicians, and it was easy to see why. Eleven brand new X-wings filled the main section of the hangar, gleaming with unmarked paint and untarnished alloys. The twelfth fighter was even now being offloaded from the massive transport that was docked adjacent to the hangar's opening, held in place by a combination of repulsorlifts and tractor beams. The logo painted on the cargo ship's side was only partly visible, but Tyanni could make out -ntyra Industries. She allowed herself one tight smile that faded slightly as her eyes continued to travel over the activity and found Mela Roch supervising the descent of the final delivery. Her fellow pilot offered her a curt nod and she returned the gesture in kind, then hurried toward the door.

The office complex was no different than the hangar; people hurried to and fro in the narrow halls, jostling each other in their haste. Tyanni moved slowly and deliberately, not because she was more patient than anyone else, but because she didn't want to risk wrinkling her uniform or mussing her hair. Finally she arrived at Captain Antilles' office and entered at his wave. He returned her salute a bit distractedly, which was understandable considering the amount of paperwork that covered his desk. He cut right to the chase.

"Have you heard about the accident, Ventyra?"

"Yes sir."

"Then you'll understand that I now have more to get done and less people to do it. So I've added a few items to your itinerary for the day." He handed her a datacard which she promptly plugged into her reader. "First I need to you make sure the swoop wreckage was delivered to our hangar, then find Lt. Corbin Starlight and give him this--" She took another datacard-- "and introduce yourself. He's going to be your new wingmate. You ought to get along fine, both being from Teyr. Also, please thank your grandfather for me next time you see him. He's been uncommonly generous with the new equipment. Seems that having you on the squadron is a benefit indeed."

Tyanni blinked at that and would have spoken, but the captain continued. "There's a new technician coming in who needs to be shown around; all the information is there. I'm afraid there's some extra paperwork that needs doing as well. And I do expect you to log your required number of simulator hours today."

"Yes sir."

"Thank you." But instead of dismissing her he stood up and thumbed through a stack of envelopes. "And finally, I am pleased to present you with this emblem as a sign of the New Republic Navy's confidence in you and a recognition of your faithful service." She took the rank badge he held out with hesitant fingers and ran a thumb over it, blinking. "See that you affix that to your uniform immediately. And congratulations on your promotion, Lieutenant."

She shook his hand a bit tentatively. "Ah, thank you sir."

"Good then. Dismissed."

She started to turn and take a step toward the door, but her mind and her feet were going in two different directions. At last the mind won and her feet reluctantly turned back to the desk where the captain had already resumed his paperwork. He glanced up at her with raised brows.

"Unless there is something else, Lieutenant?"

"I--well, sir, I've not been with the squadron six months and I'm being promoted? Not that I'm not grateful, I am, but…"

"Out with it, Ventyra."

She straightened up a little and spoke deliberately. "This isn't because of my family's company furnishing the new X-wings for the squadron is it? Because if so I cannot accept the promotion."

A hint of a smile crossed Antilles' face as he responded. "No, it has nothing to do with the new fighters or Ventyra Industries. You've done well, and you've stayed with the squadron through everything. Consider it well-earned."

She nodded, reassured. "Thank you sir."

"Off with you then."

She turned and left the office, heading back towards the hangar. That's good, that's very good. They would never promote you if they suspected anything. Jelt let that reassurance settle into her comfortable gate and pleasant face as she threaded her way between the frantic crowd that populated the hallways. The wide open space of the hangar was a welcome relief. Ground staff were still moving around, but the large cargo transport had departed and the buzz of activity had settled down to a quiet hum around the twelve gleaming X-wings that were now positioned in a perfect row. In fact the entire hangar appeared perfect except for some activity at the far end where several people were gathered around something that was obviously not a functioning vehicle. Tyanni took in a deep breath and let out a slightly exasperated sigh, smoothed the new badge on her sleeve, shifted her reader to her other hand and marched across the vast expanse of spotless durasteel.

"Who's in charge here?"

A slightly built man with sandy hair turned around and saluted before he even saw who she was. "I am, sir."

He was clearly unfamiliar with this particular hangar and seemed eager to be out of it and back to where he knew where his place was. She returned his salute and glanced down at her reader and at his nameplate before stepping around to survey the pile of metal behind him.

"This is all of the Corellian swoop that crashed on the main entrance causeway?"

"Yes sir. Ma'am. Yes."

She ignored his bumbling. As an aristocrat she was used to giving orders, but she wasn't so military as to demand to be called sir. However, to say ma'am was fine seemed a bit lenient, and she did have a chain of command to respect and uphold.

"Has the Chief Engineer been appraised of the situation and made aware of this new…project?"

"Yes ma'am. Sir."

"All bits and pieces accounted for? The mechanics have everything they need?"

"Yes--"

"Then it would seem you are no longer needed here, Trooper Bartosz." She lowered her head again to update the information on the accident in her reader and looked up to find the man blinking at her, obviously waiting for a formal dismissal.

"I need you to locate Lt. Corbin Starlight for me. He is newly assigned to Rogue Squadron and should be coming in today."

The man continued to blink at her and she gave him her best get-it-done look. "Now, trooper."

"I--yes, of course. Yes sir." He saluted again and made for one of the central computer consoles in the hangar wall. She stepped around the crumpled swoop and had a closer look while he worked, and to the man's credit he waited until she finished speaking with one of the mechanics before delivering his findings.

"Lt. Starlight just checked in through Security, ma'am. He's likely in the pilot's lounge, or on his way there now."

"Thank you, Trooper Bartosz. You may return to your assigned post now."

"Thank you Lieutenant," he said rather breathlessly and took off toward an exit at a quick pace. She headed for a different door. Two corridors later she entered the pilot's lounge.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 11-13-2012, 11:50 PM   #9
Jelt
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The lounge was a rather large room with floor-to-ceiling lockers lining two walls. Benches filled the space before the lockers but the rest of the room was occupied by several tables and the small food-prep station along one wall. Tyanni had entered through the door to the corridor nearest the hangar, but two other doors led into the showers and the office area. Only the captain and his executive officer had their own offices; the rest of the pilots were allotted their own desk in a common room. That was just as well, for aside from reports the paperwork required was fairly minimal. The exception was a case like this in which a squadron was almost completely overhauled. Tyanni felt as if she would probably be at her desk well into the evening today. The sooner she finished with these tasks the better.

Fortunately she didn't have to look far to find Lt. Corbin Starlight. Bartosz's information was very good, for here the new pilot appeared to just be finishing packing a few belongings into the locker emblazoned with a large number 5. Below that the interchangeable nameplate read STARLIGHT. Every locker had apparently been relabeled, and she wondered who had managed to find the time for it. At least it hadn't fallen on her plate. She stepped forward as he turned around and held her hand out.

"Lt. Starlight? I'm Lt. Ventyra. We're to be wingmates."

Starlight looked her up and down, then reached out and shook her hand. "Good to meet you. How long you been flying?"

Tyanni felt her cheeks begin burn as she answered. "I've flown since I was twelve, but I've only have a few months experience in an X-wing."

Fortunately he didn't seem put off by that at all. "I prefer an E-wing myself. Which squadron did you transfer from?"

Oh, here it comes. There was no point in dancing around the subject and Tyanni preferred to get it over with as soon as possible. After all, her new wingmate was going to find out sooner or later and better he hear it from her than from someone else. So she lifted her chin and let a little more ice creep into her voice than she felt, hoping he would understand that she made no apologies for her situation and didn't care if she were judged for it. That was untrue, of course, but she would never let on to that. Her fellow pilots would eat her alive if they figured out how wounded she really was by their behavior.

"Actually Rogue Squadron is my first. I was assigned here shortly before the Vjun mission and have no other military experience. It's a political appointment, you see, and I won't bore you with the details of the arrangement because the point is I'm here, and I'm making the best of it that I can."

His eyebrows rose and he gave her a second once-over. "Other pilots been giving you some flak, huh?"

She shrugged, unwilling to implicate anyone in particular. Starlight folded his arms and regarded her for a moment more. She met his eyes steadily at first, but as the silence grew she glanced uncomfortably around at the lockers, the floor, the ceiling. This was not the impression she had hoped to make, but actually she couldn't imagine it going any other way. It was past time she faced the fact that she would never fit in here, not really.

"I hear we've got brand new fighters. Have you seen them?"

She jerked her attention back to Starlight. "Ah, yes, I have. All twelve, sitting shiny in the main hangar, covered in mechanics. They'll probably want your astromech over there sometime soon. You do have an astromech?"

"I do. But it's designed for the E-wing, so it'll need some work done."

"That shouldn't be a problem. We have the best techs in the Navy."

He smiled a little, just a twitch at the corner of his mouth. She did her best to muster a small smile in return, but she was afraid it wasn't very good. He broke the silence again.

"It's nice to hear the accent."

"Accent?"

"Teyri accent. What part are you from?"

"Oh! Yes, the captain mentioned you were from Teyr. My family lived in Sodonna, but we had a country estate as well, and I spent a lot of time there."

"I grew up in the country as well."

"You don't have an accent…"

"No, I've not been back in some time. The military is my career, so I've lived on Coruscant, or the odd transport, you know."

She didn't know. But she didn't say so. Instead she just nodded and hoped that her disappointment and resignation didn't show on her face. That was it then, the most she and her new wingmate had in common was a distant home planet. He was probably ten years older than her, a vastly more experienced pilot, and an absolute military man. She certainly couldn't expect the same level of support from him as Cyan Madine had given her. She was about to excuse herself when he spoke again.

"Tell you what. When you've got some time why don't we run a few sims. I'd like to get a feel for how you fly, and it'd do you good too. Switching wingmates can be tricky; we might as well get some practice in."

Or maybe it wouldn't be so bad. She nodded, but not too quickly.

"That sounds good."

"Until later then, Lt. Ventyra."

He tucked a file under his arm and had turned to go before she remembered.

"Oh, Lt. Starlight. The captain asked me to give you this." She handed him the datacard. He took it with another slight jerk at the corner of his mouth and nodded his thanks, then exited the room. Tyanni gave him a moment to get down the hall, then sat down on the nearest bench and let out all her breath in a whoosh.

New pilots, new chance to make a good impression! The snide voice in her head taunted her. Ugh, will this nightmare ever be over?

No time soon. Not while the universe is still out to get you.


Tyanni shook her head again and tapped her datapad to bring up the information on the new tech she was supposed to meet. The transport wasn't due to arrive for another hour, so that gave her some time to start on that paperwork. She stood and turned to head for her desk, still looking at the reader, and stopped midstride. The tech's basic information was given just below the schedule for the transport, but the name was enough.

Tacita Darklighter

It was as if an explosion tore Tyanni Ventyra apart, shredding the careful fiction that wove the fabric of her consciousness. Jelt surged to the forefront and the hand that held the reader shook slightly as she read and reread the name. It remained stubbornly the same.

Where have I heard that name?

Dathomir. Dathomir and the witches. Darklighter and her pilot had seen everything. They had seen her use the Force, they had watched her recruit Themyscira for Sythis, they had even been inside the Graystar. Darklighter could destroy everything. Unless I destroy her first.

No. No, that was dangerous. She might be exposed. She needed to stay here, undercover, where she was safe. She wasn't Jelt anymore, she was Tyanni, and Tyanni had never met Darklighter.

The mask is gone, my hair is different, styled, glossy, my eyes are brighter, synthflesh covers my scars, my clothes are couture, my accent is Teyri! I am a high society aristocrat who has never seen or heard of Tacita Darklighter! I am not Force sensitive. I have never been to Dathomir. I don't know of anyone called Jelt. I am Tyanni Ventyra!

No you are not!


But she was, or she had to believe she was. Jelt brought a hand to her head as if that would help stem the pounding headache. Just for now. Just for now, and then she could be herself again. Eventually she would be herself again. Her hand curled in a fist. As much as she hated Sythis for getting her into this and then betraying her, as much as she despised the engineer, Midanyl, as much as she loathed Mela Roch, there was one person involved in this charade Jelt detested more than any, and could not wait to see die.

The blasted, flaming, sithspawn scum Tyanni Ventyra.

Not yet, darling. You still need me.

Slowly Jelt calmed herself. Slowly she lowered her hands and the datapad and walked into the office area. The next hour seemed to drag one minute and fly the next. At last Tyanni stood, straightened her uniform and new rank badge, and headed for the auxiliary hangar where the transport was scheduled to dock. It was right on time, as military transports were wont to be, and several people disembarked and went to one side or another, but only one woman exited. She had dark hair that seemed to be styled in no particular way, but Tyanni liked the cut. A part of her wanted to ask where she had it done, but that wouldn't be professional, and her personal stylist would be very offended if she went to a common hairdresser instead.

"Tacita Darklighter?"

The woman turned. "Yes, that's me."

"Scan your hand here please."

The datapad recorded the scan and gave a blip of approval as the screen went green, confirming that this was indeed Tacita Darklighter. Tyanni studied the screen.

"Thank you. You understand that your posting here is only temporary, pending a transfer as your skills are needed, yes?"

"Yes."

"And you've filled out all the necessary papers."

"Yes, they ought to be here, I filed them yest-"

"I have them right here. Good then." Her gaze then wandered past Darklighter to the man who had exited the transport with her and now stood slightly to the side, arms crossed. His hair was nothing special, just a messy blond with no highlights. The way he carried himself…Tyanni had been with the Rogues long enough now to recognize a pilot when she saw one. But there had been nothing in the information about one of the new Rogues coming in on this transport. She gave him a slight frown.

"And you are?"

You know who he is, idiot, it's that pilot from Dathomir!

"Noah Endawn."

"He's with me," Darklighter interrupted.

She's still playing off the whole dominant female thing it would seem…

Not now! Go away!

Blasted if I--

GO AWAY!


"I'll need to see some credentials if I'm to allow you any further, Endawn."

"Sure thing." The man produced a datacard and handed it to her; she slid it into her reader and glanced over the contents. At that same moment a message light came on confirming that the new technician would be accompanied by a pilot who would be running supplies. She frowned at the pace information was coming through, but with so much going on that was only to be expected.

"Have we met before?"

She glanced up. Endawn was squinting at her as if trying to resolve some image. Darklighter glanced at him and rolled her eyes. Tyanni fought not to release a sigh. She had never seen either of these people before in her life, but that didn't mean they hadn't spotted her holo in a tabloid somewhere. There was no chance they ran in the same circles.

"I'm certain we haven't." She looked back down at the datapad, then stowed it under her arm. "Well everything seems to be in order on this end. I'm Lieutenant Ventyra, I'll be showing you around. Have you ever been to the Rogues complex before?"

"Nope." Darklighter was looking all around with great interest, her expression open and her smile easy. Endawn seemed at ease as well and Tyanni relaxed a little. This would probably be the simplest part of her whole day.

"We'll start where we are then. This is the auxiliary hangar, but you'll work primarily in the main hangar where the X-wings are serviced and in the adjacent tech center since your speciality is in--" she consulted the datapad-- "coding. Now the office center is this way…"

The day was finally starting to look up, and Tyanni warmed to her role as tour guide. This was actually something she was good at, and she was comfortable with someone who was her subordinate. Jelt didn't have an opinion.

Jelt was nowhere to be found.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 11-14-2012, 01:56 AM   #10
Garrett Mendal
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With a sigh, Garrett shook his head as he stepped out of the speeder at the entrance to the Squadron's Headquarters. The fifty some odd floor of one of the many military buildings on Coruscant. No. The floor number was much higher, pilots as they were. Skyscrapers. Above the walk-in entry and security were the offices. Above the offices were the simulators. Then came the hangars. Hard to fit a squadron on one floor in a highrise. Garrett was mostly a mole person when it came to Coruscant. Liked being down below, not in the slums, but not in the highrises either. The sounds of the city overtook him once the doors opened, the speeders zooming by at top speed. The ever-present construction crews, always around fixing something. A city the size of a planet, there was always something broken. He swiped a credit chit, and the speeder took off as he took another sip of his coffee, stifling a yawn as he did so. Up all night as he was, and he got a call from NRI telling him to be here early in the damn morning without a wink of sleep. They probably knew what he was doing and why. Probably did it on purpose. It would be like them. There was a beep from the satchel hanging at his hip. He pulled out the data pad with a bright screen to see the words 'CONTRACT CONFIRMED' in a message from his attourney. Good. That was taken care of. One thing on a list of hundreds.

The door opened smoothly as he approached. From here there were two ways to go. Most bypassed security, being a member of the squadron's maintainence or logistics team. The work day starting. The visitor's desk was empty but for two hideously bored security officers nursing their own cups of coffee. He walked up. "Name? You have an appointment?" The one on the right asked, almost as if by rote, a routine being fulfilled.

"Uh, yea. Garrett Mendal," there was a pause as he took another sip of coffee. "Not a clue who I'm actually meeting. Just where. It's sort of last second."

The guard gave him an up and down look, and no wonder. Garrett's clothing was dissheveled at best, for an informal day at an office, and worn all night besides. Coffee and dinner, if a four AM meal could be called dinner, had been spilled down the front of the shirt. The officer gave him a doubtful look as he muttered, The unshaved face didn't help either. No chance to go home and change meant no chance to clean up at all. He was a well dressed hobo walking into a military installation. "NRI. Well, network says you're who you say you are." The other officer set a datapad of their own in front of him. "Policy is no private weapons in military HQs," he finished as the other guard then set out a container. Garrett dropped his holdout blaster and his vibroblade in the container and pressed his thumb to the datapad, basically a biosignature signing it over to them. The guard did the same, taking custody of the weapons. The guard that'd done all the talking then gave him a visitor's badge and told him as he clipped it to his shirt, "It syncs with the security network. Any door you have access to will open...you get the idea."

"Yea, thanks." Garrett said with a lazy nod and got in line behind the rest of the crew. They moved quick, in a practiced fashion though, and when he reached the front, surely enough, he was automatically let through. A clock on the wall glared at him brightly, he still had time until whatever briefing he'd been drafted to be a part of. Some random situation that had given rise somewhere in the galaxy. They had a tendency to do that. Big galaxies. Huge populations. Things happened. He wandered, almost aimlessly, not keeping track of where he was going, where signs on the wall were pointing. He got a lot of wierd looks from the personnel that worked the HQ, the occasional pilot meandered by in a uniform or flight suit. He wasn't sure if they were actual Rogue Squadron or not, but they were there for whatever reason.

And so he found himself, somewhere on the entry floor still, with a few minutes to spare, in a rather empty, quiet room after taking a round-about path that took him nearly back to the lobby. The far wall, marble, the top with a sentence engraved. IN HONOR OF THOSE MEMBERS OF ROGUE SQUADRON WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THE REPUBLIC. He took another sip of coffee as he looked over the names. There were three lists under the engraving, each fairly long. Names like Biggs Darklighter, Lujayne Forge, and Andoorni Hui, they were written in a seemingly random order, if you didn't know what you were looking for. No. They were written in the order they died. There were even more he didn't recognize. Most he had no chance of recognizing. More names, though, than had ever been pilots in the squadron, that much he could tell about a squadron that carried twelve pilots at any given moment. When Rogue Squadron deployed, everyone deployed. Not just the pilots. The mechanics. And if a ship took a hit, the mechanics took the hit. He was curious now. He pulled a datapad from his satchel, a different datapad this time. His NRI datapad. He held it up to the wall and snapped a picture of the names, something he could look up later on his own time.

"A student of history?" a voice asked from behind him. The voice, used to a certain command.

"Everyone's a student of history," Garrett shot back without looking, without really thinking. "It's just a question of how much." He glanced back for a second. Corran Antilles. "Captain." Probably just barely short enough to fit a fighter unless Garrett missed his guess, but that was neither here nor there. Commanding officer of Rogue Squadron, he was stuck in uniform instead of a flightsuit, going to the briefing with the other officers as he was. Garrett turned, still looking at the Wall, "I was a student of Math though. History is more of a hobby for me. My org told me so little of its history I tend to look into other units' history. You know how it is, I'm sure. The itch of curiousity."

"Oh do we..." there wasn't a chuckle there, but there was the feel of it. More seriously, "I've wondered what the NRI does in honor of their fallen."

Garrett slipped the NRI datapad back into the satchel and answered as Corran stepped up beside him, "A galactic scale organization? They mostly do what you do, the units take care of themselves." Another sip of coffee, it was starting to get close to room temperature. Nasty. "But there are exceptions. The only publicly accessible room at the NRI is the atrium just before security." He spread his arms just slightly in front of the Memorial Wall, taking it in, "You get a wall not dissimilar from this one. No names. Just six hundred eighty seven stars." He shrugged with a quiet chuckle, "I don't think we're here though, to wax poetic about the Other Government Agency." Garrett turned and held out his hand to the Captain, "Garrett Mendal. NRI contracted this out to me."

Corran looked at him for a few seconds. Looked him up and down in much the same manner as the securith guards. Almost cautiously, he took Garrett's hand and shook. "It seems they know something they're not telling us."

Garrett shrugged as he followed Corran back into the headquarters. "They're nothing if they don't have a twisted sense of humor at times. They thought it'd be funny to call me as the sun rose on an all night stakeout. Besides, I love first impressions."

Corran led them to a lift, pressed the screen. The lift spat back a noise about an as yet unauthorized visitor being in the lift. "Override by authorization Corran Antilles." It beeped and went on its way. "Fair enough. Why would they contract you to us?"

"I don't know," Garrett said with a shrug. "They contacted me, told me to show up, didn't say why." The doors opened on the flight training simulator level, the Captain led them out. "I've got no files, I've gotten no briefings." Another sip of coffee, and he almost gagged. Cold. Coffee was drinkable for only so long. He tossed it in a bin they walked by.

"Humor me and guess."

"Stating the obvious," Garrett answered, deadpan, as he rolled his eyes. "Briefing here says fleet action is coming. Me here says your chain of command wants an attempt at real time intel from at least one set of boots on the ground and for more than just a count of ships flying in and out, for whatever that will be worth. Me here also says NRI's field agents are tied up or they'd do it themselves and filter it through their own officer." He shrugged at Corran, "Though some might prefer this way. NRI has strange policies I'm not bound by." He looked up at the ceiling for a second, off to the side a pilot was getting into a simulator to do a run, hell if he knew what was going to be done. Probably just general training, skill maintenance. "I specialize in criminal elements. Take all that in, and we're going to the Outer Rim where the Law don't exist." He shrugged, "But that's a big damn place. Pick your system and I'll tell you no or maybe."

"Not bad for a blind guess," Corran said as he picked up a datapad from one of the simulators and started going over the numbers. "A bit broad, but not bad." He put the datapad back after tapping it a few times, likely authorizing whatever was to come up that day. "I think I like you more than some of the others they've sent our way."

"It's the spilled coffee," Garrett answered, lightly sarcastic. "Adds a little something something."

Corran gestured, "Break room's that way, briefing is two floors up in an hour. We'll get your gear back to you. Long as you're working with us you're one of us as far as that kind of policy goes." He gestured at the other simulators, "I've got to get things moving here, get some more coffee in you."

With that informal goodbye, Corran left him to drift to the break room. And coffee. Coffee. Dear sweet nectar in heaven. Garrett got to the break room without tripping over any of the technology. Trust a military headquarters to get one thing right, if only one thing. There was always at least two pots of coffee waiting fresh in any given break room in the facility. If there wasn't, heads rolled and blood flowed. He poured himself a cup, and took a seat at the table to wait.

Last edited by Garrett Mendal : 11-14-2012 at 08:56 AM.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 11-16-2012, 02:21 AM   #11
Corbin Starlight
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Corbin Starlight. Lieutenant.

The man thought on that as he read the dataslate in front of him. He had the rank symbol on his uniform already, he had to use his new rank a few times when he talked to a few officers and guards he passed along the way, but it didn't hit him until he looked at the box he brought with him from the ship. His bag had the most important stuff, and he had already disposed of that into his personal locker, but this box was special; for him, it carried the things he held most precious in his flight career, something he now viewed as his life. But the one thing that was supposed to be in there, arguably the most important, now rested in the palm of his left hand; the gold, embossed symbol of the rank of Flight Officer.

The insignia was warm to the touch, but old, very old. Admiral Farrior had given to him when he was demoted, as a sign of sadness and regret; he told the then-Captain that the rank insignia was his first rank symbol, one he kept when he was a member of the Rebel Alliance too. It made the joke of his demotion all the more painful to him at the time, but now he recognized the signficance of that.

He was standing in front of a trash can, a simple and easy trash can, and he was debating on tossing the insignia into it.

That rank symbol had meant nothing but anger, depression and everything evil in the Universe to Corbin. He was once a great man, lauded for his pilot skills and his command skill. He commanded a whole flight group of men and women and aliens to fight the Galactic Empire, and any threat they had to fight. He was a damn hero! Was. The rank insignia turned him into a social stigma, something flight commanders passed along to different commanders in hopes to get rid of the 'curse of Pixy'. He became a joke, his whole life meant nothing up to that point. Pulling a Starlight. He hated it.

The rank meant everything to him, in such a bad way, but he couldn't toss it.

It was a part of him. He stared down at the golden color and saw his reflection in it, biting on the inside of his lip and keeping his mental battle in his head. “Should I throw it away?” “Should I keep it?” Questions were racing in his head as he stared at the symbol.

People walked past him, staring at the man. He too was staring, a quick little look into his psyche, before he breathed.

It shaped him into the pilot he was today. He wasn't cautious anymore when he flew, he unlocked that passion that was missing when he fought Cipher on Termina, it humbled him from the arrogant man he once was into the pathe--- no, not right now. He was different. Maybe for the worse, but different. Whatever it meant, it was enough for him to keep it, and he knew exactly the place to put it. But he needed to get to the locker.

With a slight trick of hand, he slipped it into the box and walked, heading to his locker in the lounge. It was not a long journey, but he was a little tired as he made it there. He placed the box into the locker, right above his duffel bag and other items that needed to be in there.

He heard footsteps, coming closer than normal to him. The pilot turned his body around to see who was approaching, before the image of a woman was in front of him, her hand extended.

“Lieutenant Starlight? I'm Lieutenant Ventyra. We're to be wingmates.”

---==---

Corbin Starlight. Lieutenant.

The words were still in his head when he talked to his newest wingmate, a woman from the home he was born on and was raised on. He was still sizing her up as he left her alone by the lockers, two files in his possession as he walked. The first was a collection of notices and letters from Command that authorized his promotion to Lieutenant, an act that still made him uneasy and unsure about what the future had in store for him. The other was notes and orders from the commanding officer of Rogue Squadron: Captain Corran Antilles, something else he wasn't so fond of in this assignment.

When he read the orders, he thought back to his new wingmate. Tyanni Ventyra. The name stuck in his head as he thought back to the meeting. She greeted him with her rank first, and her last name. That struck out of the memories as Corbin made a sharp turn and began his walk to the fighter bay. Quiet, polite, the exact opposite of him and it made him frown. He began to wonder if Antilles did that on purpose before he took another turn, subconsciously following the signs to the hanger bay.

His offer of flying sims had stuck with her, however, thankfully. Not only would it give him a chance to see her skills, but it would give him a chance to see how she acts outside of a random hallway.

There's a lot, Corbin found out, you could learn from someone when you watch them fly. Corbin was fully aware his erratic and by-the-seat-of-his-pants flying showed that he didn't follow the rules, didn't follow the standard maneuvers and tactics of normal piloting. He knew how Jack's reckless dogfighting showed he didn't care so much about dying out there, in space. Leto was controlled, Stone was daring, and the rest of them, he didn't get much time to look at. But he knew, he knew since Termina, that a pilot and their personality can be found by their flight.

It was how he knew Cipher...but he couldn't kid himself with philosophical self-discussion right now about Tyanni and the rest; he really wanted to see if he needed to watch his back when he flew if she wasn't a particularly good pilot or if he could relax a little and know his wingmate was competent. Even if this was Rogue Squadron, he learned never to trust someone in a squadron just because their squadron was popular. He could make it sound like he was being mystical if he wanted to, but as he walked he decided he really didn't care about her personality right now; he needed to know if he could be safe.

He sighed. He was bitter. He blamed it on the lack of alcohol in his body as he walked, his feet gently pattering against the floor, unlike the uniformed guards who walked with a heavy heel. He had a bottle in his duffel bag, some cheap whiskey he picked up before the pilot arrived here, and he was waiting for the right moment to dig into it.

He finally made it to the hanger door before he realized he had two datapads in his hand, and not the small box he was going to grab from his locker before Tyanni struck up a conversation.

“...Feth.” He swore.

He left the Hanger's door and quickly made his way back to the locker. Opening it, he grabbed a small little box and then quickly closed the locker's door with his foot, making his way towards the Hanger again. There was a little speed in his step this time; he wanted to take his time doing what he wanted to do to his X-Wing, and now that time had been decreased.

But when he saw the Hanger, he had to smile.

He was an E-Wing jock, and he always would be, but there was something about looking at the familiar pattern of an X-Wing that made Corbin take it in all over again. Flying one would be a trip down Nostalgia Lane, to see all of his old friends that had gone to the great dogfight in the other dimension, and to relieve his days as a young, temperamental snubjock.

The only difference, as reality set in while he walked through the disciplined and hard-working hanger personnel on his way to the X-Wing marked just for him, was that he was embittered and a little spiteful, especially since his demotion to Flight Officer from the very top of flight command, before he got into the varied and much more political officer ranks. Walking his way through, he came to the resting stop where it was marked “ROGUE 5.”

Rogue 5.

He wasn's used to that yet. He preferred Green 1, or Womprat...whatever the frell the number was, but seeing his new callsign was a little different feeling. “Rogue 5.” It was what was written down in the datapad he was given from Tyanni, confirmed and all. He breathed in as he looked at the sleak frame and electronics package he could see with his trained eyes.

No tampering with that. That was a little beyond his pay-grade.

He set the small box down next to the front landing strut, and grabbed one of the step-up ladders. Dragging it over to the cockpit, he picked up the box with one hand and walked up the steps to the cockpit.

He sat into the pilot's chair, his eyes closing as he placed his hand on the joystick.

Memories flooded back, of Virgillian 3 and serving in Yellow Squadron and other engagements in his life...and it felt good. Not incredible, not the feeling when he gripped an E-Wing joystick, but it was good. He thought it would be worse than what he felt, but it was good enough for him to commit to what he was about to do.

He took the box and opened it. There wasn't hardly anything in it, save for a small paper-picture, a piece of cleaning cloth he had used since Virgillian 3, glue, and a small golden rank insignia. Flight Officer. The one rank that he was dropped down to, the same one that made him look like a fool and an idiot, a single piece of him.

He breathed onto it, a gust of air from his lungs covering it with a white haze of steam before wiping it with the cuff of his uniform. Squeaky clean. He looked at it before he put it on the instrument panel, using the small container of glue on the bottom to give his X-Wing some unauthorized flair, to remind him of the path he walked before he sat here, and to give him something to hold onto. Even if he didn't walk the path he wanted to, he walked a path.

Even if the memories were bad, they shaped him. He had to remind himself that.

“Right.” He said, verbally closing the door on another philosophical rutting in his head before picking up the box and beginning to put more mementos into his X-Wing. One was the small paper-picture he had done of his old command, Green Squadron, with all of the familiar faces smiling back at him. He couldn't help but smile back at them, like he was in the middle of the picture...he looked so much younger back then.

"I bet this bird hasn't been off the assembly line for more than a week, and here you are already ruining it.” A somewhat familiar voice quiped up beyond the rim of the cockpit. Corbin's eyebrow rose as he leaned up to see who was talking to him, especially who spoke as if they knew them. Who the hell did he know that would talk to him like that? But when he saw who it was, he cracked a small smile. He didn't know her as well as he should, he thought, but he recognized the face and voice of Lieutenant Cayenne Rudal easily enough after a second or so of thinking and recalling. At least some of the pilots from Womprat Squadron were here after all, and that made him feel a little better about the posting.

At least somethings never really did change, do they?
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Adding a little spice to the mix
Old 11-16-2012, 02:24 PM   #12
Cayenne Rudal
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A short redhead flew through the spaceport in a hurry. Of course her shuttle would get delayed on the most important day of her life. Of course her bag would get lost in the shuffle, losing her another few hours. She was supposed to have reported to Captain Corran Antilles yesterday afternoon, and here she was on an early Coruscant morning. Late. Sure, it'd been the fastest transfer she'd ever had -- and she'd had a handful -- but being late still bothered the hell out of her. More so this time than ever.

Why was it such a big deal? Little Cayenne Rudal was now a Rogue.

At least, I will be if I can get my ass over there before he gives my spot to someone else, Spice muttered silently to herself as she paced while waiting for her transport to arrive.

An eternity later, the lieutenant got off the vehicle in front of the Rogues' hangar. She was pretty sure she had to get through there to find the office where her new commanding officer resided.

Then Cay stopped in her tracks. The sight in the hangar was almost too beautiful to behold. Twelve X-Wings, perfectly lined up, the separation between them only varying by scant centimeters. And they were all brand spankin' new.

Spice wiped the back of one hand across her mouth to make sure she wasn't drooling. Much. She shook her head to refocus on the task at hand and briskly made her way to the offices housed in the back. A part of her mind noticed how active the entire area was. So many people she didn't know. So many jobs being performed. A true sense of professionalism and purpose permeating the place.

It was a strong reminder of the caliber of squadron she was joining. The short pilot suddenly felt smaller. She straightened her back, raised her head, and told herself repeatedly that she deserved to be here.

She might even believe it, eventually.

Before she even made it to the office of Captain Antilles, Cay nearly ran into the man himself in the corridor. "Sir!" she saluted instantly, hoping every ounce of formality she possessed made it into that motion.

"At ease..." The captain frowned at her for a moment before recognition dawned in his eyes. "... Lieutenant Rudal. I expected you yesterday."

"I'm sorry, sir, my--"

He raised a hand. "It's fine, Lieutenant. I was notified of the delay in your travel. I'm in the middle of something right now, though, so your official welcome will have to wait. I trust you can find your way around the place?"

"Yes, sir!" Though this wasn't the welcome she'd hoped for, and though she'd just met the man, even Cay could tell that her new CO had a lot on his plate.

"Good. I'll see you at the briefing." He offered a nod and resumed his brisk pace down the hallway.

Cay saluted again reflexively before she took a moment to look around and get her bearings back. "Snap out of it, Rudal," she ordered herself aloud. "You're a Rogue now. You don't need a guide."

A tentative glance revealed no one had heard her self pep talk, so Cay readjusted the strap of her bag on her shoulder and eventually tracked down the lounge. A grin popped onto her face when she found her locker. Seeing her name under the "4" label was another reminder that she wasn't dreaming, that she was supposed to be here. Cay stowed her gear and wondered where the other Rogues were.

Her eyes wandered over the other names. Antilles. Margolin. Az--

Spice's brain stopped in its tracks. She hadn't gotten a list of the other members of the squadron yet. Or maybe she had and just hadn't checked her datapad recently enough. Vac's here? As Rogue Two? Awesome! Her head cocked to one side as she wondered how that had happened, but there would be time enough for reunions later. Her eyes returned to the locker names. Azrah. As Rogue Three, that pilot would be her wingmate. Starlight--

What the... There's no frakking way. There are lots of Starlights out there. That are pilots. Right.

Ventyra. Kane. Borys.

Oh hell no. Cay threw her hands in the air and stopped reading right there. Someone's playing an elaborate joke on me. She shook her head. No, there's no time for that. I should track these guys down, just to be sure.

But she didn't see any familiar faces as she continued to explore the building. Eventually Cay wandered back into the hangar, magnetically drawn to the new X-Wings. Not that it mattered, but she wondered which one was hers. Then her gaze fell onto the labels on the floor. The Rogues would be this organized, wouldn't they.

As she made her way down the line toward her new fighter, Spice noticed a familiar head bobbing in the cockpit of the X-Wing next to hers. She slowly crept closer, trying not to be seen, wanting to confirm her suspicion before she made a fool of herself. Yep, there was Pixy, sticking some crap in there. "I bet this bird hasn't been off the assembly line for more than a week, and here you are already ruining it," Spice joked.

Corbin glanced up and managed a smile after recognizing her. "Gotta make my X-Wing my own, you know? Only way to make her purr." He returned his attention to a small box he held, some tightness around his eyes. Cay winced, belatedly realizing what he was doing. That's not crap he's sticking in there. Despite her burning curiosity, there was no way she was going to invade his personal space and try to sneak a peek at what objects he kept around him when he flew. Well, not yet, anyway.

She decided to give him a moment to himself, suddenly regretting her interruption, and began gliding her fingers over her own X-Wing's S-foil. "They are gorgeous," Spice breathed after a brief silence.

"I guess. A new X-Wing kind of makes up for not flying an E-Wing anymore."

She glanced over her shoulder to see Pixy climbing out of his cockpit. Cay had always preferred the X-Wing fighter, so she simply shook her head. "You don't seem surprised to see me."

"I saw your name on the roster earlier. Rogue Four, eh?"

Cay beamed proudly.

"Four means death, you know."

The smile froze and fell off her face. "What?"

He grinned at her, the tightness she'd seen earlier gone. "You'd better take care of yourself out there, Spice."

Cay made a show of rolling up her sleeves. "Okay, Pixy, time to see if your skills can keep up with your mouth. I've got the edge on you in these birds."

"Oh, someone's a little cocky. Just because I haven't flown an X-Wing in a while doesn't mean I can't wipe the floor with you!"

"Bring it on!" Cay suddenly deflated. "Or lead the way." She coughed. "I don't know where the sims are."

Corbin laughed. "Follow me, newbie."

Cay kept up the light banter as he guided her toward the simulators. She hadn't had a chance to spar with words for a while, and she didn't really want to bring back the more somber mood she'd encountered earlier. Besides, it kept her mind off her trepidations about her new posting, too.

Corbin slowed down in one corridor when they encountered yet another face Cay didn't recognize. Somehow the stance of the young woman didn't make her think of a pilot. In fact, it reminded her of some girls she'd known back home. That sense of wealth.

"Lieutenant Ventyra," he greeted her. "We were just on our way to the sims. Care to join us?"

"I have just finished my assigned duties, so yes, I would like that."

Cay, taken aback by Corbin's sudden switch in demeanor and the question itself, cleared her throat. "I'm Ca-- Lieutenant Rudal, newly assigned to Rogue Squadron." It felt strange to call herself that. "I take it you're one of the Rogues?"

Ventyra gave her a respectful nod. "I'm Rogue Six, Lieutenant Starlight's wingmate."

Despite the number of questions popping into her head, Cay crossed her arms as she threw caution to the wind. "You know, Lieutenant, you're going to have a tough time talking to each other out there if you keep using each other's rank and name." She stuck a thumb toward Corbin. "He's Pixy. Don't you have a callsign?"

Corbin blinked but remained silent, apparently curious as well. The faintest of flushes rushed into Ventyra's face. "Princess."

Cay grinned. "That's perfect!"

"It is?"

"Well, I just get this sense that it suits you. I'm guessing you're from a wealthy family?"

The other pilot tilted her head slightly to one side, a questioning look on her face. "You don't know who I am?"

Spice shook her head, suddenly worried. "I just met you. Should I?"

Somehow Princess seemed pleased that Spice had no preconceptions about her. "No, that's fine."

"Are you two going to stand there chatting all day? I'd like to make it to the sims before Spice chickens out," Corbin interjected.

"Hey, I'm still game to compete with you out there." Cay turned and smiled at the other female pilot. "Like he said, my callsign is Spice. I'd love to get to know your flying style, too, Princess."

"Are you going to call me that all the time?"

"I can stick with the mouthful of Lieutenant Ventyra, if you'd prefer."

Ventyra hesitated. "I'll... think about it."

"Well, let's see how this sim run goes, and then you let me know." As they stepped into the room and began prepping three units for a run, Spice realized she was already feeling better about joining the Rogues.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 01-28-2013, 02:06 AM   #13
Mela Roch
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“Attention to orders. Due to your outstanding service in leading Rogue Squadron, and your time in grade, I am within my authority as the commanding officer of Rogue Squadron to confer on you the rank of Lieutenant.”

Captain Antilles took three strides toward Flight Officer Roch and pinned the twin pips of a lieutenant onto Mela Roch's shoulder boards. She braced to an even tigher position of attention, and then executed a textbook salute. Captain Antilles crisply returned her salute, then Lieutenant Roch dropped her hand.

Thrill filled Mela when he addressed her by her new rank, and she saluted again, performed an about face, and walked out of Captain Antilles' office. “Lieutenant.” She tasted the word in mind again, and reached up to touch the pips denoting her new rank. “Lieutenant...”

She looked around. The three other Rogues participating in the simulator run applauded politely. Lieutenant Roch rubbed the insignia and beamed. It anyone had been force sensitive, they'd have felt the joy and sense of belonging radiating from Roch.

Captain Antilles began to speak, and everyone turned their attention to him. “I need to get back to my office and catch up on reports, so, since she's been newly promoted, Lieutenant Roch is in command of this simulator mission.”

She saluted, and then Captain Antilles returned it, pivoted on his heel, and strode toward his office, and Lieutenant Roch felt the burden of responsibility settle on her shoulders. She glanced toward a wall, and an R3-D droid that looked battered enough to have served in the Clone Wars trundled over to where the group of pilots stood. Mela cleared her throat and glanced around. She popped a datacard into the droid and a hologram of Mos Eisley sprung up.

The city sat in a valley dominated by high mountains to either side. Those mountains provided ideal sites for turbolaser and anti-aircraft batteries that could decimate incoming landing craft. The problem dated back to the dim mists of history when humans lived on a single planet and had to storm enemy shorelines with primitive watercraft. Even if the New Republic controlled the high orbitals, that still left the Imperials in possession of the planet and left the population as hostages and ruled out orbital bombardment unless the New Republic wanted to accept massive civilian casualties. Naturally and with valid reason, they did not. All of which added up to infantry. Brutal slogging infantry combat, and in order to clear a path for the infantry to land, Rogue Squadron had to destroy or suppress the anti-starfighter defenses around the spaceport. Which meant either the power generators, the power cables, or the emplacements themselves.

Lieutenant Roch had accepted the assignment from Captain Antilles, and painfully contemplated all of that in the design of the sim. Fortunately, the base had an excellent computer system, able to generate a combat simulation within the parameters that she'd set for it, and she'd used it ruthlessly. Mela had the vaguest notion of the forces that they'd face, or where to find the defenses.

She glanced around at the group, taking a second to look at everyone's face. Starlight. He met her gaze levelly. Ventyra. She crossed her arms across her chest, looked down, and traced circles in the spaceport grime with the toe of her boot. Rudal. Glanced at Rudal. She rolled her eyes. And finally. Arete sauntered up, with a cheery and unapologetic, “Sorry I'm late.” 

Mela felt the anger boil up after that. “Listen the FRAK up, people! We have a frakking job to do,” she swung her hand across the hologram of Mos Eisley, “Those people need us, so you need to get with the program, and listen the FRAK up!”

Roch paused, took a deep breath, held it for a count of three, and then exhaled. She knew she'd overreacted, but this time, the Imperal atrocity had a personal note. Her family lived in the very spot she where she planned to visit mayhem and destroction, and...what if it was one of her torpedoes that blew up their cantina. Duty. The word rang clear in her mind, and she forced the image of the explosion consuming her parents' cantina or her uncle's moisture farm out of her mind.

Roch gestured at the hills over Mos Eisley. “We have to locate and suppress ground-to-air defenses on these hills. If the fleet can break through to the high orbitals, then we'll have space-to-ground fire support. Intel doesn't know what we're up against, but they don't expect many enemy fighters right away, but intel has been wrong before. As far as they know, the Imperials haven't based any fighters at the spaceport, and they're all on the capital ships that should be drawn away by our fleet raid. Ok people. That's all I've got. We go in five.”
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 02-24-2013, 05:32 PM   #14
Garrett Mendal
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Garrett still sat in the simulator floor break room nursing his coffee. The looks he was getting from some of the maintainence people were, at best awkward, but then, some weren't at all surprising. To an extent, most of the technicians on this floor were electricians and programmers more than they were the mechanics and engineers of the hangar. He could tell a married electrician from anyone else, a man with a white shade on his ring finger that bespoke a wedding band he never wore at work lest it become part of the unit he was working on and shock him. Precautions. But then, there was the occasional programmer that he'd swear didn't have a clue what clothing discipline was, and hadn't trimmed their hair in months. Talent over presentation discipline. That's what Rogue Squadron seemed more interested in when they were on base instead of on deployment. Odds are, that changed when they deployed on a starship. Necessity of the field at that point.

Then the announcement came, local to the floor. Technicians to station. Training run to start in five.

"Well, that's interesting," Garrett whispered to himself. He got up and poured himself another cup of coffee. He left the break room for a hectic scene on the floor. The technicians helping quite a few pilots into simulators, four in X-Wing flight suits, the rest in TIE flight suits, Garrett couldn't help but wonder what exercise was going to be run. He roamed the outskirts of the room, generally out of the way of anyone, avoiding tripping over any of the fairly thick power cables that could come from the simulators closer to the walls.

There was a stairwell up to a networking room overlooking the sims, he took the steps two at a time to the open door. The electronic light turned red as he passed through, his passcard setting the security off, but the door had already been bypassed by whoever was running things. A line of ten programmers sat at consoles in the room, two or three of them the somewhat unkempt kind that you hire because they damn well know what they're doing. "Run to start in T-minus sixty seconds," Captain Antilles announced into a headset as he stood behind them, still in his uniform. "All hands ready."

Garrett stood back and watched as the screens kicked to life. Some were dedicated solely to a single fighter, most were split between many. Most were inside some other facility somewhere, hell if he could tell where. Waiting. Four were flying over a desert, approaching a valley city. "You've got to be kidding me," he muttered to himself. "Mos Eisley?"

Corran turned the microphone on his headset up, out of his way. "Got an idea what you're doing now?"

"I can only guess," he retorted. "I've been hired for plenty of different reasons before," Garrett said deadpan. "Never been hired because the Empire trained me. When do the TIEs fly?" He took a sip of coffee. "I presume how many and when says how well the run says my play against the facility went?"

"When should they fly?"

"Details to come later," Garrett said, sipping his coffee again. "It's not a question of if they fly, but when, how many, and from where." He gave a thoughtful shrug as he took a few steps down the aisle to stand behind the programmer monitering the enemy forces. "About half what intelligence estimates they have from one side of the hangar. Entertain yourself with when. Best case is after the last gun emplacement is destroyed, but that's obvious."

"Only one bay?"

"At least until one objective is complete. The rest follow eventually, Imperial damage control being what it is." Garrett motioned at one of the big screens, it had four X-Wings flying over the city targeting gun emplacments on the outskirts. Just the outskirts so far. The city was lighting up as they flew over it. "Send them out too early they get training in retreat. Great, good for them. Send them out too late, or even keep the second bay closed too late, and you overestimate what one intelligence asset can give you."

Corran stood behind one of the programmers, leaning over, talking to thim. "Change the exercise. Let the south hangar bay fly about halfway through. Keep the north until about ninety percent. Have the north bay simulate a malfunction in its doors." Corran walked over, standing next to Garrett to watch the sim run. "How exactly would you keep them from flying?"

"Cut power to the hangar bay doors." Garrett shrugged again, "That'd be the easiest thing to do anyway. Of course I'd want some redundant solutions, but..."

"They'll restore it eventually...and you might not get to both. And for that?"

"Off the top of my head? We need a fleet commander for that," Garrett emptied his coffee cup as he thought. "There's just no simple way for one man to disable a hangar of TIEs that're able to take off. A suppression frigate and a pulse beacon, however, can usually do the job." He gave a more unknowing shrug this time, it was a gesture he could say everything and nothing with. "I don't know, this can change depending on what I find on planet. Depending on what the fleet has to go through to get a shot at the planet. Who knows. Let's see what your people can do so I know what I have to go out of my way for, either way."

Last edited by Jerva Kutac : 02-24-2013 at 06:18 PM. Reason: No sigs in the galaxy
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 02-24-2013, 07:38 PM   #15
Flin Garrett
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Flin leaned against the side of the fighter and watched the grumbling red haired woman for a few minutes before clearing his throat lightly, "Think you missed a spot."

When she quickly swung about to face him he was already preparing to duck in anticipation of her throwing the cloth in her hand in his direction. Instead she gave him a slightly tired smile and went back to cleaning the last bit of the fine layer of dust that had already formed on the surface of the otherwise gleaming factory-new fighter.

"So I wasn't hallucinating from that head injury." She replied. This time she did throw the dusty cloth at him and he caught it deftly with his free hand as she turned to face him, a hand on each hip. "Other than needing a frakking haircut as usual you’re looking good, Chief."

"Not looking too shabby yourself, Vac." He grinned, then wincing in sympathy when he saw the bacta patch on her head. “As hard as that head of yours is, I’m surprised it wasn’t the road surface that was patched up instead.”

“And I’m surprised they’d allow your clumsy butt anywhere near anyone’s starfighter, especially not this squadrons.” She snapped back, but the teasing look in her eyes was just the same as his own while they bantered insults back and forth before finally breaking down and embracing in the kind of hug that old friends who haven’t seen each other in too long tended to do.

“Hey, look at that!” He gestured to the new rank insignia pinned to the woman’s coveralls. “About frakking time too. Could have to do with that little maneuver you pulled during that mission to rescue Admiral Nerys”

She rolled her eyes at him, “Heard about that, huh?”

“We knuckledraggers are always the first to get all the scuttlebutt, you should know that by now, Vac.” He grinned, “I also heard that mission got some higher ups in trouble and the ‘Rats finally disbanded.”

“Yep, you heard right. Command gives you something with one hand and takes something else with the other.” She replied with a frown.

“You should know that’s how it works by now, Misch.” He told her, “Anyway, I’m glad you’re here. Big step up and all that.” He winked.

She glanced around the hangar then shrugged, “I suppose. How the heck did you end up here yourself?”

“The previous chief took a personal LOA and since only the best will do for this squadron I…”

She cut him off, smirking. “Like I said, how did YOU end up here? I’m kidding I know your good at your job, Flin. I’m not the only one long overdue for something good to happen to.”

“Thanks, Vac. I mean that.” He told her. “So, why exactly are you here in my hangar playing cleaning crewman?”

“Well you know that stunt I pulled earlier?” She grimaced at the memory.

“How could I forget, I thought I was going to be the one to end up in the infirmary there for a hot second. Life flashing before my eyes and all that.” He poked her in the arm playfully. ” You always did know how to make an entrance.”

“Yeah, well the CO was less than impressed about the whole headache of having to deal with the CPD and the MPs, not to mention the paperwork involved and so he sent me over here to clean up the new T-65s and to help out wherever else you need me so you’ve got yourself an extra set of hands to toil away for you for a couple of hours.”

“But I explained to the Captain how your swoop malfunctioned.”

“Flin you don’t need to cover for me, I was having too much fun racing those CPD swoop cops and I know I was going too fast and…” She stopped as he raised the hand not holding on his cane and shook his head.

“Misch, listen to me. There was a problem with both the acceleration control cable and a failure in the control chip for the right braking aileron sensor.” He looked back toward the hangar door. “I can go and tell him again right now.”

She waived her hands, “Don’t sweat it, Chief. Trust me, this will be a bit a reprieve before I have to assume my new duties.”

“Fair enough.” He said, “Since I have you here for a while, mind helping me run some checks on the engines of these beautiful new birds? You know how I like getting the pilot’s feedback.”

“My hero,” She picked up a small tool case and walked beside him toward the closest engine nacelle, “You have saved me from what I am sure will be a mountain of extremely tedious paperwork waiting for me in my new office.”

He studied the cowling of the lower port S-foils engine for any defect in the metal, wishing not for the first time that someone could perfect a way to transplant the eyesight of a Verpine to other species. “The XO’s job is never done, eh?” He grinned at the look she gave him. “What? I told you we know everything around here before everyone else does. Congratulations, Misch. Although that means I will have to use even more paint on the side of your fighter.”


“Congratulate me when it lasts.” She replied, passing him a pair of micromagnifying goggles. “I think Antilles only chose me for the job for political reasons to be honest.”

“Misch…”

“I’m serious, Flin.” She interrupted, “There are plenty of Rogues he could have picked, hell even one of the other ‘Rats who were transferred with me. Hells, Starlight has experience commanding his own bloody squadron in the past. Why not him?”

Flin pushed the goggles up onto the top of his head, “Whatever his reason, he chose you. Deal with it. Maybe it is political. You know, making sure that your old squadron has some higher representation in the unit? Antilles doesn’t strike me as a man who makes decisions like that lightly. Trust me. Trust him.”

“I don’t know.” She turned to help him remove the anterior cowling, “It’s just…after being in a squadron like the Rats, it’s such a huge change and…”

“You aren’t sure you can handle it?” He asked

“You know better than that.” She frowned, passing him a spanner, “I don’t back down from challenges. It’s just…coming into a new squadron, especially one with the reputation that the Rogues have from the one the Womp Rats had is a big adjustment enough to have to make. To be given a high profile position within the unit, yeah I thrive on high pressure, but prefer to do so in the cockpit anytime.”

Flin tinkered with the fusial engine’s mounting, adjusting it the tiniest fraction of a centimeter before turning his attention back to her, “Understandable, but I have faith in you. And Antilles does to. And I’m sure Cay as well. Speaking of Spice, I think I still owe her a few credits from that last sabacc game I played back on the Mon Liania. You don’t suppose she’s forgotten about that by now?” He joked, hopefully.

“Oh please, when it comes to pilots and our winnings, we never forget.” She smiled at him, “But I promise I won’t remind her myself.”

“Thanks,” he winked. “It’ll be nice to have some of you ‘Rats around here. I wonder if Dock still has those “special connections” for supplies.”

“Yeah, special and Adok. Two words that belong together.” Mischa smirked

“Just don’t count on him in a fight.” The said it at the same time and laughed.

“You ‘Rats are really moving up in the universe,” Flin said. “Especially Tariq. Although he definitely deserves that position after all he’s had to deal with over the years. Always knew he was kinda sweet on you though and…” He trailed off as he finally looked over at Margolin and saw the expression on her face.

“What position?” She asked. The calm of her voice not matching the look in her eyes and flare of color in her cheeks and Flin wondered, too late, if he had said the wrong thing. “Tariq retired.”

“That’s what I meant.” He backpedaled, or tried to. “Nice retirement. Best position there is…ah frak,” He added when he saw that she wasn’t about to believe him or, based on previous experience, let it go.

He sighed then looked around to see if any of the other crew was listening in, not that it mattered since they likely knew anyway, “Okay, you didn’t hear it from me, but word is that after he’d told the powers that be that he was retiring someone, I heard it was some big shot in a division of NRI came and offered to let him put together and lead some kind of elite team that does covert mission type stuff and he took them up on it.” He shrugged at the scowl she gave, “And that’s all I know.”

“That frakking Huttspawn son of a Sith I…” She was gripping the spanner in a white knuckled death grip and the other hand was balled into a fist and for just a moment Flin worried she was going to take a swing at him for the news, or even worse, at the X-Wing they were working on. And then she slumped a bit, but the fire in her eyes was now tempered with a look of hurt. She closed them and took a deep breath and Flin let himself relax a little. “Do me a favor,” She asked, when she opened her eyes again, “Don’t tell the other former ‘Rats what you told me.”

He nodded his assent, “The way things get around, they might find out on their own eventually, Misch.”

“I know, but for now let’s just keep it between us.” She said and Flin reached out and put a hand on her shoulder.

“Whatever reason he had for keeping it from you, I’m sure it had to be a good one.” He said, expecting her to shrug his hand away at that paltry attempt at an excuse he made for Leto.

Instead she gave him an overly bright smile that didn’t quite touch her eyes and inclined her head at the engine and said. “You done there?” He was unsure if she was talking about the ship, the subject of the discussion, or both.

He dropped his hand, “Help me get the cowling back on and we will be. Let’s get the other engines looked at and then we’ll fire her up and see how she runs.”

“Good. Although with your grubby hands digging around in there, she’ll probably sound like a dying bantha.” She laughed, grabbing the edge of the lower engine’s covering and helping pull it away.

“No, that would be your singing from what I remember.” He laughed, moving back a step to avoid a swat from her hand as she began an off-color…and off-key tune.

“Hush up or I won’t let you take my ship out for a test run when we finish.” He said, placing his hands over his ears.

“YOUR ship? Good to know some things never change.” She said, glaring at him in mock annoyance. “And you still need a frakking haircut.”
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 03-18-2013, 10:31 PM   #16
Jelt
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"Ok people. That's all I've got. We go in five." Roch's voice was even sharper than usual; strange, Tyanni thought, considering the good mood she'd been in when she arrived.

Something brushed the sleeve of her uniform as Rudal leaned over and muttered in Tyanni's ear, "And here all I wanted was a chance to turn Pixy into space dust."

Starlight made a noise of protest and Tyanni was about to reply when she caught Roch's eye and thought better of speaking. The woman seemed very serious about what should have been just another preparatory simulation. Tyanni wasn't sure why she would care so strongly about people on such a backward planet as Tatooine; Roch had never struck her as being an exceptionally compassionate person. But whatever was down there she obviously felt strongly about it. Evidently the other pilots had picked up on this as well, for there was no more speaking until they were all settled into their capsules and the displays were live. The interior of a capital ship's hangar filled her viewport. Tyanni did all of her checks methodically and lifted off when she received clearance to follow the other X-wings out into the space above a dusty planet. Turbolaser fire flashed around her as cruisers and Star Destroyers pummeled each other, but her wing of fighters did not engage them. Their purpose was to slip through and plummet to the surface as quickly as possible.

Roch began giving orders in a terse voice as their wing separated from the rest of squadron and began a run that came close to skimming the underside of their X-wings on the sun-bleached rocks that had managed to push their way through the thick sand of Tatooine. In moments the edge of a cliff became visible: the beginning of the valley where Mos Eisley lay.

"The infantry transports will land to the west," Roch repeated her earlier briefing. "Rogue four, you're with me, our targets are those two power grids on either side of the valley. Five, six, you come in behind us and pick off the turbolasers. Mark in ten. Nine."

The three other pilots acknowledged her orders; they had heard them all on the way down. Right now there were no weapons emplacements of any kind in the hills appearing on Tyanni's scope, but she knew that didn't mean much here. The rocks would shield them for now, but once Roch and Rudal drew their fire she and Starlight could make easy targets of them. Four more blips appeared on her display; that would be the second flight of X-wings approaching from the east to take out the power grids for the anti-aircraft bunkers on that side of the city. Another four blips appeared above them; that wing would be flying high cover, watching for enemy fighters that might happen to stray down from the orbital combat. Abruptly the ground dropped out from beneath them and they followed it, avoiding silhouetting themselves again the sky. Both power grids were easily spotted and Tyanni felt suddenly deflated. Theoretically if they could take those out, all power would be cut to the weapons emplacements in this sector. It was far too straightforward, far too easy. She curled her fingers more tightly around the control stick. "Silver, can you get anything else from the sensor array? There's got to be something else out here." The astromech tweedled out a long string of some nonsense, but the display remained stubbornly the same. She shook her head. "Well, here goes nothing."

On her wing Starlight throttled back to put some distance between the two X-wings ahead of them, and she matched his speed. Already her adrenaline was kicking in, and she didn't like it one bit. There was a skycoaster back in Sodonna that was famous for its terrifying thrills and Tyanni had felt much the same the one time her cousin had convinced her to go for a ride. Some people enjoyed that feeling in the pit of their stomach, but she never had. Flying was different than the coaster, because she was in control of her direction and speed. She had been known to take a risk or two in the skies behind the controls of her yacht, but that was entirely different from flying into combat. It was like the controls were out of her hands here as much as they had been on that coaster. Here is death. Fly into it. She shook her head free of the thought and did her best to ignore the buzz in her head. Her hands were steady and her eyes were clear and that was all that mattered. Ahead of her Roch and Rudal neared their target…and the air burst open in every direction. For a moment Tyanni was afraid they had been taken out that quickly, but the two X-wings remained on her scope, driving hard and fast for the target in the center of all that concentrated fire. The starfighters jerked and rolled as they avoided bolt after bolt, but still they aimed for their goal. It wasn't for them to worry about the fire, that was for herself and Starlight.

"A3." Her wingmate called out a sector and and she brought it to her heads up display and then they were among the fire as well. Starlight went in hard and fast, his fighter screaming past rocks as he accelerated through any fissure and crack he could find, keeping close enough the mountainside that the turbolasers were unable to depress or swivel far enough to hit him. Tyanni followed him without much trouble, glad for all those hours running swoops for Mobquet's race on Teyr. She expected him to slow slightly when the first set of turbolasers came in range, but if anything he sped up. Cannons flashed and three of the turbolasers were reduced to slag, leaving one still firing. Tyanni finished it easily and followed Starlight deeper into the maze. His flying was erratic, and try as she might she could see no method, no strategy. He would simply call out targets, go after them like they were Palpatine himself, and leave the mess behind for her to clean up. She did so meticulously, not leaving one cannon capable of fire behind. But even as his technique seemed random, it seemed familiar somehow. Somewhere she had seen it before…

Dalve!

Jelt surged to the top of her mind, silent since the incident in the hangar with Darklighter and Endawn. A snarl rose against everything that was Ventyra, then died just as quickly. It was okay, even safer to have Tyanni in control when she was just walking around headquarters, but in the cockpit it needed to be Jelt. It had to be Jelt, for the sake of both their lives. Still, she was careful to curb herself and maintain the by-the-book methodical style of flying Tyanni employed. Another weapons emplacement flashed into oblivion before her and she went back to what had woken her up in the first place. Dalve's flying hadn't been quite as unpredictable and irregular as Starlight's, but there was a deadly determination behind every motion, a tenacious ingenuity that brought the echo from far in her memories and made her think that for all she knew, that could be Dalve in the X-wing ahead her. A slow grin crept over her face. Now this is a wingmate I can deal with. Tyanni, on the other hand, probably wouldn't be so pleased. Right now Jelt didn't care much. The mere feeling of being back in a ship in combat and not worrying about betraying anyone was enough to make her happy.

At that moment there was a brilliant flash from somewhere above them and the enemy fire died as Roch's voice came over the comm. "Nice shooting, four."

"You too…" there was pause and Tyanni had to smile at the thought of Rudal's face when she realized she didn't know Roch's callsign. "…ten."

"Next target, D1. Five, six, you two go high, we'll cover."

As they fell into the new formation and shot across the valley, Tyanni noticed the wing to the east doing the same, their own northern power grid destroyed. But something else was moving on the display. Starlight spoke before she could, his voice sharp.

"I've got TIEs coming up from sector 8. One squadron…only six headed our way."

"Let them come to us," Roch's voice was crisp, "and we'll see how those gunners in the mountain feel about firing on their own people."

Rudal spoke up. "They're Imperials, they won't care."

"Wether they do or not we need to draw them away from the city." The harshness was back in Roch's voice and Tyanni winced. There was definitely something down there that she cared about.

Fortunately Rudal turned out to be wrong: as soon as the TIEs reached them the turbolaser fire slowed. But now the task was nothing so straightforward as taking out turbolaser after turbolaser, and Tyanni had never experienced a dogfight in atmosphere this close to the ground. She flew with white knuckles and gritted teeth. Jelt would have been enjoying herself except for the need to limit herself to Tyanni's skill set. As it was there were several very unnecessary close calls. Her wingmate was more than competent though, and she winced at the thought that he was compensating for Tyanni's lack of experience. True, Tyanni was a naturally gifted pilot, but she couldn't have the heiress' skill magically improving in the space of a few weeks. Her frustration came through in her flying now, and ended in one blinding explosion. The debris from the TIE crashed into the side of the mountain with a deafening boom, and no small part of it hit the power grid. Heavy smoke began rising.

"Nice one, Princess!"

"Thanks, Spice." That was all she had time for as two more fighters landed on her tail.

"Six, come down two degrees and over four." Not knowing why, she did as Roch said, her new vector taking her dangerously close to a rocky outcropping. The moment she reached it there was another massive explosion on her stern and the starfighter vibrated furiously in the shockwave. The two TIEs behind her were hit as well, but unlike herself they were still on a course for the mountain, and nature claimed them.

"Good job, five." Roch's voice.

Tyanni checked her display. She and Rudal were relatively unmarked, but Roch and Starlight had both taken minimal damage. Three of the four power grids were down, and the fourth was badly damaged. There were no enemy fighters left in their sector, but in the skies over east Mos Eisley there were only three X-wings remaining. Two TIEs harried them. And even now more were rising from the south hangar, two squadrons this time. The four X-wings high above them were descending to engage, and Tyanni knew what Roch surely had to know as well. The transports were coming, they had to land, and the path had to be cleared for them. Rogue Ten's voice was pained when she gave new orders.

"Four, you're with me. We're taking out any remaining gun emplacements in the city. Five, six, clear out those canyons and get after those fighters when you finish."

They all acknowledged her and Tyanni and Starlight turned to dive into the deep valley and its series of canyons, any defenses of which would be the main hindrance to a force on the ground seeking the quickest way to the city. These weapon emplacements were meant for infantry, however, and not for starfighters. Their tracking was slow. That was just as well, for Tyanni was forced to spend as much attention on avoiding the canyon walls as she spent on taking out battery after battery. Starlight continued in the style of his previous rampage, sometimes concentrating his fire on this side of the canyon, sometimes on that. She followed behind, cleaning up anything that was left. Eventually the canyon widened and they formed up side by side, with her, she thought sourly, on the side closest to the looming southern wall of the canyon. There were only a few more places to clean out here and then they could climb back up to where the real action was… But something was wrong. She glanced from her sensors to the canopy and back again. Jelt had been here before, not very recently, but recently enough that she knew this canyon…and something was different. What should have been an outcropping wasn't, the way the wall sloped here was wrong… The canyon widened briefly then, and they both caught a glimpse of what could only be another power grid like the ones they had destroyed above. And if there was a power grid, that meant there must be heavy turbolasers down here. Yet they had seen none.

Starlight cursed and Jelt echoed him mentally as understanding filled her mind. The emplacements were hidden, and they hadn't fired on the X-wings because they were waiting for the real prize, the ground forces, and wouldn't give themselves away before then. Her wingmate immediately rocketed toward the power grid and she matched his speed, but her eyes were not fixed on his goal. Her eyes were darting all around, from display to canopy, matching the canyon walls to the map in her mind. They had held their fire thus far, but now that the grid was threatened… She saw it at once, a large outcropping that had certainly not been there at the time of her last visit. Now that she knew what she was looking for she could almost see the brittleness of the stone where the cannon fire from the turbolaser underneath would blow it away, and they would fly past it in seconds.

The thoughts flashed through her mind at combat speeds. The first thought was Jelt's and it was simply of self-preservation. If she gave her thrusters a little extra, just enough to pull ahead of Starlight, then when the cannon fire knocked him into the canyon wall he wouldn't take her with him. The second thought was Tyanni's and it was of the mission's success. There was no doubt that Starlight was a better pilot than Ventyra, and the Rogues were that much more likely to succeed if he were the one to live. He had to take out that grid. The third thought was Jelt's again, and it was this: Blast it if I let Dalve die for me again! Later she would come to realize what she had thought and dismiss it. Starlight was nothing like Dalve outside the cockpit. But the style of their flying was so similar that at that moment it might have been her best friend in the starfighter on her wing. And that was enough to make the decision in less than a second from the moment she noticed the turbolaser nest.

She acted then, with Tyanni's motives and Jelt's skill. Briefly she cut her repulsors and stood the starfighter on edge. As soon as she fell far enough she kicked the repulsors back on with enough power to bounce the craft off the canyon wall and under Starlight's X-wing, then brought her thrusters to bear just long enough to bring her back to his level and control the spin…just in time for the massively concentrated energy of four turbolaser batteries to slam into her. Shields flickered and died, leaving the craft relatively untouched by the barrage, but that hadn't been the danger at all. The danger had been in the uncontrollable spin she now found herself in as the blast knocked her sideways toward the canyon wall. For a moment she feared she hadn't allowed herself enough space on her diagonal vector, but then the glow of her wingmate's thrusters passed beneath her, unharmed, and she felt satisfaction as her X-wing met stone with a brilliant flash.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 03-18-2013, 10:32 PM   #17
Jelt
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Black flooded the screen, followed by a list of statistics from the run. She watched them scroll without comprehending any of them, preoccupied instead with the ever increasing knot in the pit of her stomach as what she had just done sunk in. She was dead. Jelt wasn't walking away from something like that, leaving Tyanni in the dust. It had all happened too fast for an ejection, too fast for her to escape even with the Force. No, if she pursued that course of action in a real combat situation she was dead. She had to keep her priorities straight and her mind clear of all the extra voices. Her own life had to be the most important thing, otherwise what was the use of hiding behind Ventyra's harmless facade? A flashing light distracted her and she blinked to find that the summary was finished and the simulator was asking her if she cared to watch the rest of the exercise from her cockpit or on the monitors outside. With a grunt she keyed for the capsule to open.

The scene outside was so different from the chaos over Mos Eisley that Tyanni had to blink for a moment before she got her feet under her and made her way across the room to the large display monitors that alternated views of the virtual battle. There was a separate room where the simulated battle was programmed and monitored, but the most relevant scenes were shown here. Two technicians and a medic sat at a small bank of equipment on the far wall, keeping a close eye on the status of each simulator and its occupant. They were very still, as were the three other pilots watching the battle, and the room was very quiet. She turned her attention back to the large screens and let out a sigh of relief as Starlight vaporized the power grid in the canyon and shot back into the sky to assist the rest of the squadron with a new wave of TIEs that had apparently materialized late from a northern hangar. The dogfight was harder to follow on screen. She started then as the door to the networking room slid open and Antilles stepped through. He did not stop at the nearest monitor, as she expected, nor did he go to the techs on the far wall. Instead he stopped next to her. She saluted and he returned the gesture in an abbreviated manner.

"Lt. Ventyra, would you care to tell me what exactly that was?"

He had to be referring to her last maneuver. Jelt immediately recoiled and made herself as small as possible, letting everything that was Tyanni take control. Tyanni answered honestly, with no trace of contrition or regret.

"Lt. Starlight is a much better pilot than I am, Captain. It seemed to make sense, that is, to be the best option…" she faltered at the look on Antilles' face, suddenly unsure that she had done the right thing. He did not seem angry, only…disappointed?

"This is your first time flying with Starlight, yes?"

"Yes, sir."

He nodded, as if satisfied by something. "Ventyra, I know you don't have much experience with wingmates. You did well enough with Madine, but I'm afraid the situation wasn't the best for teaching trust. And you must learn to trust your wingmate."

Tyanni had opened her mouth automatically to defend Cyan, the only one who had befriended her, but the memory of the second half of the battle at Vjun made her snap her mouth shut. Now was certainly not the time.

"Trust in a wingmate means not only knowing that they will look out for you, but also that they know how to look out for themselves. After all, the mission may depend on them. You said yourself that Starlight is an excellent pilot, and that is true. You need to learn to trust that he can take care of himself." Antilles held up a hand to forestall what she had been about to say. "And yes, it is your job to look out for your wingmate. But you must work as a team. Otherwise I lose a good pilot, or even two." He pointed to the screen, where Starlight's X-wing was engaging two TIE fighters. Along the edge of the screen a display made note that he had no shields left and one engine was about to fail. "He could use his wingmate now, don't you think?"

Tyanni processed all his words in silence, a faint flush rising in her cheeks. Eventually she nodded. "Yes, sir."

He gave her a smile. "You didn't do anything wrong, per se. But I do need to be sure my pilots aren't just throwing their lives away."

She nodded again. "I understand, sir. But…it happened so fast, I'm not sure…"

"That's where practice comes in. You need to get to know your wingmate, fly with him frequently. Once you've worked with someone long enough you can not only trust them, but you can anticipate what they'll do and make those decisions accordingly." He glanced back at the screen. "It seems we've won."

The list of statistics was running over the largest display, and the New Republic had indeed won, but it had been a costly victory. Overall Tyanni knew it was not the way they wanted the actual campaign to go. Pilots began climbing out of simulators around the room, and the door to the rest of the complex was open as technicians hurried in. One came straight to Antilles and handed him a datapad. Tyanni took this as her cue to drift away, but she immediately wished she hadn't. Roch was standing not far off, hands on her hips and eyes narrowed as she followed the stats on the screen. Her frown grew deeper and deeper and Tyanni was starting to attempt to drift elsewhere without appearing too awkward when Roch's eyes turned on her.

"Fine flying today, Ventyra."

Tyanni eyed her warily, unsure if that was a compliment or not. "Thank you. You as well."

Roch shrugged and turned back to the screen. "Shame that turbolaser got you. We could have used you afterwards." Somehow Tyanni could detect no hint of sarcasm in the woman's voice, and that alone shocked her into silence. Rudal came up then and offered a hand to Roch.

"Nice flying. Hey, you must have a callsign?"

Roch only gave her a frosty look and turned her attention back to the stats. Rudal's face twisted into something between a grimace and a smile and she turned to Tyanni.

"You too, Princess. Well, except for that last…you know." Suddenly she appeared very uncomfortable, as if Tyanni were actually dead and she didn't know what to say. The heiress shrugged, attempting to put her at ease again.

"It wasn't anything, really."

"I wouldn't say that."

She turned at Starlight's voice, startled by the look on his face. If it wasn't anger it was something very near.

"It was brave," Rudal interjected, obviously attempting to make up for what Starlight's expression was saying. The man just shook his head.

Tyanni tried to explain, but she didn't get as far as she had with Antilles. "I meant…it was just…you're the better pilot, so…"

He interrupted her, and she suppressed a wince at his brusque tone. "You're worth more alive to the squadron than dead, especially when you compare it to the frakked up wash-up. Don't you dare think your life is worth nothing. Come on, Spice, let her think on that before we fly again."

Tyanni blinked as he turned toward the door. "I don't think my life's worth nothing."

He glanced back and raised an eyebrow pointedly. Sudden anger fed her indignation and she spoke without thinking, louder than she meant to.

"I know exactly what my life is worth!"

The general buzz in the room stilled as heads turned around to see who the raised voice belonged to. She didn't even notice.

"Nine hundred and fifty trillion credits per standard year. That is what Ventyra Industries will lose if I die. Workers will be laid off, factories will shut down, water filtration cores and power cell regulators will not be delivered along with the shipments of turbolasers and starfighters." She shook her head. "But my family is wealthy. They can take that blow. The company will go on, Teyr and Aleron and Corellia and Kuat and Coruscant…they will all keep spinning, and the pacifists will be satisfied. That is why I was given up without a fight. That is why my family sent me here," she spat out the words, "to a starfighter squadron, to die."

The only sounds in the room now were the low tones of monitors asking politely for attention. Her face flushed suddenly when she realized just how far her voice had carried and how many wide eyes were on her. Well aware that everyone was staring she turned to Antilles, her back ramrod straight and saluted him.

"Permission to be dismissed, Captain."

He nodded, and in his eyes she found all the comfort she was likely to today. As the captain he knew the circumstances of her commission, knew just what she had given up by obeying the wishes of her family and coming to Rogue Squadron. Until now he was probably the only one who had known. And right now his eyes were telling her that he understood, and that he sympathized. But when he spoke his tone was no less business-like than before.

"I expect that paperwork by the end of the day. Dismissed."

"Thank you sir."

She spun sharply on one heel and left. The shaking began as soon as the door slid shut behind her, and knowing that she wouldn't make it back to her desk she turned into a narrow service corridor that was currently empty and braced herself against the wall. Tyanni's tears welled behind her eyelids, held back by Jelt's sheer force of will as two images flashed through her mind over and over again, battering down every cold rationalization for an action long past. Over and over again the vibroknife slid between ribs, and over and over again the airlock disengaged to spill the corpse into space. All this talk of Tyanni's death in the future, and only Jelt knew the truth: that the heiress was long dead. For the first time in her life she felt guilt welling up from somewhere deep and dark, and it was shattering. Slowly she turned, put her back against the wall, and slid down to the floor. Back then the woman had just been someone else to use, a tool whose death would enable her to complete a mission. She had ended her life without a single thought or moment of hesitation. Now, in addition to inheriting her identity and security, Jelt had also inherited her burdens, and with them came crushing shame. Only hours before she had thought viciously of Ventyra's death as the end of the charade. Now she could only think of it as something prior to the charade altogether, something that should never have happened. Now it seemed the act would swallow her whole. Angrily she shook her head; this could not be happening to her. Sure, others of her kind had been lost or driven mad when this deep undercover, but she was strong, much stronger than them. This could not be happening. But it was.

With a shuddering sigh she accepted the knowledge, too weary to spend any more rage fighting the only thing that kept her safe from the dispassionate death sentence passed on her by the Sith and her own people, and the New Republic, if they knew what she'd done. An apathetic family and the disdain of her peers was a small price to pay for such protection. Shaking her head she got back to her feet, straightened her uniform, smoothed her hair, and touched a finger beneath each eye to dry the remaining dampness. Another shudder went through her as she turned back to the main corridor and the paperwork that needed doing. For all her determination, four words continued to pound through her mind despite all her efforts to bury them.

Tyanni Ventyra is dead.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 05-07-2013, 03:54 AM   #18
Belleck Vreikrieg
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The heavy beat of the floor clanged with each step of Belleck's foot, attempting to dig into the floor and leave a mark; each time his foot struck, it achieved the effect the Commodore was looking for. His polished shoes clacked and snapped against the metal floor with enough noise to garner people's attention as he walked by. Each time they glanced at them, they stiffened and brought their right hand to a salute, one Belleck always returned.

The walk to Briefing Room Seven Niner was short enough for some, but Belleck was arriving from an emergency briefing across the base; enough Admirals and Vice Admirals were shoving orders and nonsense down his throat and then expected him to make sense of it and present it to his men clearly and understandedly. Of course they'd not simplify it for him, the Commodore thought as he made another turn; that would make it easy for him, and we couldn't have that!

"Commodore on deck!" One of the officers barked, the Captain of the Hofud specifically, and the rest of the flag officers stood up from their seats at the position of attention. Belleck wasted no time at all in saying "At rest," and walked to the front of the room.

The small white room was made for small command briefings, just like this, between a small group of officers. What made it worse for Belleck was that 'small' for the New Republic meant 'a fleet made of five or more ships', and with the five desks in the room, people were meant to share. What he had was four men and one empty desk, and that made Belleck self-conscience.

It'll grow. He assured himself as he stood up. He hated speeches, hated talking in front of people, but the tricks he learned since he was in the Coruscant Pilot Academy helped him greatly in that regard. Reaching down for a glass of water was simple enough, and it allowed him to gather his thoughts once he was sipping at the cool liquid.

"We have a new long range mission; our fleet is striking out against Tatooine."

Lieutenant Commanders Havark and Landt, a Bothan and a Human respectively, looked positively excited. Havark looked like he was a kid on a Bothan holiday, for goodness' sake, and Belleck was happy about that. Gannet, in the back, already knew of the mission and sat quietly, his arms folded across his chest as he waited.

"Tatooine?!" The Captain of the Hofud, a Duro Commander by the name of Baal Stazi, asked out loud with a look of shock across his face. The Commodore nodded as he took another sip, nodding to the Captain in the back. Gannet took the signal and stood up as he walked to the holoprojector.

"This mission is classified top secret, and the New Republic wants to keep it that way until we arrive in system. We may or may not be supported by a heavy fleet, that remains to be seen." The bald fleet officer responded, wasting time until Gannet could activate the projector.

"Fleet composition?" Stazi asked again, tilting his Duro head in a manner that doubly got Belleck's attention.

"Same as the Andarian run; the Sword will be escorted by The Lady, while you stay with the Reliance and keep close to us." Belleck said, sitting down. "Screening anti-snubfighter batteries is going to be the only way to effectively stop any Imperial heavy snubfighter resistance."

"Do we know the enemy commander?" Landt inquired, his deep voice cutting through the room, grabbing the Commodore's attention easily.

"Admiral Willem von Aath, formerly the Moff of the Muunilinst system and now leading the reinforcement fleet over Tatooine." Belleck replied, bringing up a picture from the dataslate he had in his hand and holding it up. None of the officers recognized him.

"I don't think we've ever had to fight him." The Bothan spoke out loud, blinking as he appeared deep in thought.

"That's because you haven't. NR Fleet Command has no real file on the tactics he's employed because most of those records were destroyed when the Palace was hit during the Battle of Coruscant. Before that, though, there was little to no contact, fleet wise, between his forces and the Rebel Alliance; the guy fought pirates."

"So no assumptions?"

"Absolutely no assumptions." Belleck replied. He had a rapport with the three officers; they were given to him when he originally requested fleet command upon his defection five years ago, and he had five long years to mold them to the officers he needed them to be; aggressive, smart badasses. He got the first two parts down, but the last was becoming hard to control. Stazi, in particular, who liked to think he was a Duro Thrawn or something; he had to constantly remind Stazi that there could never be assumptions without hard data.

"The only thing we know for sure about the Admiral is that he's from the Outer Rim and he was promoted through the chain of command after both destructions of the Death Star, like I was." He said, bringing the datapad down. "I had something to prove, so I bet he has something too, even if he was the Moff of Muunilinst for awhile. We're expecting heavy trouble." On that note, he saw Gannet give him a thumbs up, knowing the holoprojector was finally ready to be activated with the data he wanted. With a nod, Gannet flicked a few switches.

The projection activated, giving Belleck and the four commanding officers views of their target; the Tatooine system and the outlying planets that circled its suns. The veteran pilot and now Commodore stood up and walked to the projection. Gannet took that signal again and adjusted the view so space around the Tatooine planet was magnified.

"Our spies on the planet gave us the information we needed; resistance in space is heavy. We counted at least five vessels, two of them Imperial Star Destroyers and one Victory class Star Destroyer. We also confirmed a Strike Cruiser among this Imperial fleet as well."

Everyone was dead silent. Good, thought Belleck, now I have their attention.

"Why us? Our fleet is underwhealmed greatly compared to that!" Lt. Commander Landt exclaimed with wide eyes.

"We're the only group in the air that can effectively strike out in less than four days. All other fleets are either at half or less than half strength, been detailed out to other engagements, or are recovering their losses from the Black Fleet Crisis." Commodore Vreikrieg spoke with resoluteness. "To compensate, our requests for more snubfighter support was granted."

The three officers leaned back in their chairs, all three folding their arms over their chest like Gannet was doing behind them.

"We have four squadrons currently; Ghost Group still has Eidolon and Specter squadrons, our X-Wing boys. Vector's A-Wing squadron is still around and I'll be damned if I let out B-Wing squadron leave us. With that in mind, we have three new squadrons, two of which are going on the Hofud and one on the Sword."

The other officers leaned in. That was good enough news, news that Commodore Vreikrieg reacted favorably to when he was meeting with the group of Admirals that gave him the assignment. He smiled, deciding to save the best piece of news for last.

"We have another detachment of B-Wings from the Second Expeditionary Fleet, 'Banshee' Squadron. They will be assigned to the Hofud and will be part of Ghost Group, fufilling the role that Shield Squadron does for Blade Group. " That meant now he had two squadrons that could do reliable bombing runs on enemy vessels or planet attacks.

He didn't know what he'd do with it.

"With them came an escort group that was meant to primarily work alongside K-Wing bomber craft, but we were given them because of the nature of the mission. Dagger Squadron's compliment of E-Wing Interceptors will fly with us but their primary mission is harass operations and dealing with any long-range threat." Belleck said, bringing up the final chart.

"Our final addition to our snubfighter group is an X-Wing squadron that, because of their skillset, they'll be deployed seperately, and made to assist both groups accomplish their tasks. Gannet, bring up the new Group assignments." Commodore Vreikrieg ordered, stepping away from the holofield for a moment as a slide came up behind him, illuminating the white wall with the new unit list.

Blade Group
Vector Squadron - A-Wing Interceptors (Hofud)
Dagger Squadron - E-Wing Interceptors (Hofud)
Shield Squadron - B-Wing Bombers (Hofud)

Ghost Group
Eidolon Squadron - X-Wing Fighters (Reliance)
Specter Squadron - X-Wing Fighters (Reliance)
Banshee Squadron - B-Wing Bombers (The Lady)

[u]Additional[u/]
Rogue Squadron - X-Wing Fighters (Sword)

He smiled as he looked at each of the flag officer's faces, their eyes widening as they saw the last squadron listed in the updated snubfighter compliment. Specifically, he saw how the fur stood on end on Havark's body, his Bothan eyes taking in the bombshell.

"We've got Rogue Squadron?"

"Command thinks this is an important mission. I agree. That's why for the moment, all of us are going to keep that mindset when you begin preparations for dust off from the holding patterns. That means food, ammo, everything. Double check with your officers and make sure we have room for these new squadrons, which we do but double check anyways."

A cacopy of 'yes sirs' sounded off in the room before Belleck nodded.

"We'll have a more in depth briefing a day out from Tatooine, going over the battle plan specifically. That's all, dismissed."

The officers were at rest before, so they didn't bother to try and salute but instead left, talking to each other. Gannet made his way down to the Commodore and smirked. "Good job. I'm going to prepare the Sword, I'll notify you when it's ready, Commodore."

"Gotcha." The Commodore replied, nodding in the relative ease of conversation he had with Gannet before the Captain saluted and left him alone, or at least that's what it looked like until a shape took hold in the doorway, the figure of a man. Gannet made way for him and the Commodore stopped, smirking.

He wasn't a fool; he expected the spook to show up sooner than later, but he was grateful it wasn't the Jedi he heard about, who he hadn't actually met just yet, or if that was still on the table, but he ignored that thought as he sat back down, looking at the man who walked in.

"I got a feeling you're the spook I've heard about."

"Bingo, sir."

"Let's not waste time on formalities then. Commodore Belleck Vreikrieg."

"Garrett Mendal." He replied back, with a look that Belleck recognized after a moment; the look of a pure, empty gas tank running on fumes. Must have been pulled from an assignment or off-duty. I've been there, pal, the Commodore thought as he gestured to a seat next to him. The man took it and sat down, allowing Belleck to at least sit across from him.

"What do you have for me?" A simple enough request, and it got right to the point. If he toted around, that would tell Belleck a lot about this Garrett Mendal fellow. If he got right to the point, well, that would also tell a lot about the man as well.

"Right to the point?" Garrett asked, an eyebrow raised. "A fighter suppression frigate. Like a Tartan or anything made to perform an anti-snubfighter role."

Belleck nodded. "Alright. That's a big request. I take it you can't tell me your plan?"

"Reading too much into me, Commodore; I don't play those games with information people need to know in secure settings. Had it done to me too much myself. Don't get me wrong, I can't tell you my plan, but mostly because I don't know my plan yet. But if I can't keep those doors shut in a more clandestine fashion, Rogue Squadron needs a backup plan. I think a pulse beacon right outside for a frigate to fire for effect at until ordered otherwise for a few minutes might be easier than coming up with another twelve snubfighters to cover the region."

Belleck leaned back into his chair. That was actually pretty damn smart; if he didn't have to deal with the problems that he didn't have enough ships, that could work.

"...Time window?"

"Enough for Rogue Squadron to do what they need to do until they can deal with the problems." The agent replied cooly. Belleck nodded again, thinking for a moment before he spoke.

"I can give you a period in the battle of maybe a few minutes with my own vessel. Currently..." Belleck began, reaching over to a small switch and flicking it once, waiting before he sighed. Gannet turned off the projector. He couldn't blame him, that was SOP, so Belleck did the next best thing and took his datapad and began to draw the system from memory.

"I got two Mark I Assault Frigates, an Escort Carrier and a MC40a Light Cruiser, going up against a probable fleet consisting of two Star Destroyers, a Victory class and a Strike Crusier." He said, his eyes glancing up from the datapad to the agent, twirling it and pushing it his way. In terms of starship firepower, he was outclassed in a lot of different ways that made it impossible for Belleck to think he could win this fight in a stand-up, starship slugfest.

He had to fight this his way, with snubfighter squadrons. He was putting a big handful of his chips into one pot, but he was hoping his bet would pay off spectacularly; many a battle was won on the Rebel side because of starfighter superiority.

"If it comes to it, and I need to deploy the Assault Frigates differently, Rogue Squadron might not get a chance like that. But maybe I can convince the Admiralty to lend us a captured Tartan or some other sort of suppression frigate. Best I can do right now with prelimenaries in the air."

Garrett nodded as he continued, "How I work is, the more options I give you, the easier both our jobs are. I'll be breaking off from the pack right after I'm briefed this morning to go undercover and set up those options. You guys just pick the ones you like as they approach relevancy. When do we know for sure about the frigate?"

"The pre-operation briefing, about twenty four hours before we make our first hyperspace jump. I'll keep you posted. Anything else?"

Garrett nodded in the negative, and was about to say something before Belleck spoke, standing up. "Good. I'll let you know if something does. Dismissed, excuse me." He said quickly, making his move out of the briefing room.

---

He walked towards Captain Antilles office with purpose in his step, hurried by the prospect that he'd miss the man and he would have to call him on the vidcom later, when he went home to his wife. He didn't want to cut into that time, but luck would smile on him as he knocked on the open door and looked into the office, seeing the man behind the desk look up at him, a semi-organized pile of dataslates in front of him.

"Captain Corran Antilles?" He inquired, eyes looking at him and not at the pile of work in front of him.

"Yes."

He fully leaned out from the door. "Commodore Belleck Vreikrieg. Good to actually meet you." He said, walking into the door way with a smile creasing on his face. Corran nodded and stood up, the two of them making a quick hand shake before Belleck spoke.

Looks like he's just as tired as I am. "I'll make this quick, it's a change from the earlier briefing reports my office sent you last night. Your change of station is on the MC40a Cruiser Sword, my flagship; we have the most supplies on board and the most room between all of the vessels in the fleet."

Corran nodded. "So our billet changed from the Hofud to the Sword?"

"To make room for additional squadrons, yes." Belleck replied, breathing in and nodding. "Either that or you fly with us until we get to Tatooine."

Corran let a tired, small chuckle escape. "I think that's fine."

"Good. Command and I are finalizing the battle plan for the upcoming mission, but right now, I can tell you Rogue Squadron's going to be given a lot of leeway, unless something happens. There will be a formal, inter-squadron briefing about twelve hours before we make our first hyperspace jump, gives you time to get your new squadron members trained and up to date."

Corran acknowledged with a nod and an affirmative 'yes sir'.

"Good. Sorry to trouble you with this in person and not by message; I prefer to meet my squadron leaders in person." Belleck replied, letting a smile creep across his face fully. "The 83rd Scout Flotilla is a force made up of only four ships and currently about seven, full strength squadrons; if I don't get to know the commanders, what kind of Commodore am I?"

Corran nodded. "Very good point sir."

Belleck looked at him, letting the smile stick but his eyes were searching for something. The clues as to why he was even warned about the potential Jedi advisor's reason to be a part of the operation weren't being thrown in his face just yet, but he had to figure it will show sometime in the future.

Might be even wrong, he thought for a moment.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 07-03-2013, 02:34 PM   #19
Garrett Mendal
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His improvised meeting with the Commodore done, Garrett made his way back to the sim floor. He was slightly more awake now, sort of in that late morning rush, more from caffeine then anything. The techs were going over the simulators, tweaking settings as the pilots took a break. Garrett trudged through the room, carving a path through them to the break room. In there, two pilots at one of the tables sharing a mug. A short red-head and a slightly older blonde.

He shuffled over to the coffee makers and pulled down another mug and poured himself yet more, what had to be his seventh since midnight. Whereever it was midnight when he'd looked at his watch at that time. He didn't bother with sugar or cream, just straight black. He walked back over to the pilots and asked, "May I?"

Cay glanced at him, took in his disheveled appearance, and shrugged after exchanging a look with Corbin. "Sure?"

Garrett chuckled as he sat in one of the chairs at the table. "Nice run earlier," he said, attempting to make conversation. "Was like some of my old training sessions back in the day. They can be brutal when they want to drive something in."

She rolled her eyes. "For an official sim, sure, but I'd come in just hoping to kick Pixy's ass a little."

"Like that would have happened," Corbin retorted with a grin.

He sipped his coffee, "Oh you never know. Tempting fate like that." He gave one of his shrugs. "Some of that sim was probably my fault. They changed a few things..."

Cay arched an eyebrow. "Really now? What was it supposed to be like before you butted in?"

"I don't know," Garrett answered with a smile. She rolled her eyes. "If I were to guess they would come out earlier, maybe more concentrated. I told them what I'd be guaranteed to do, what they should play with when training you guys over your sim runs in the coming days."

She suppressed a sigh. "Just a reminder that Rogues need to be ready for anything," Cay replied, shrugging before taking a sip from her mug.

"Oh, don't talk like you're a veteran," Pixy teased. "It is only your first day."

"As a Rogue, yes," she added hastily.

"Everybody's got a Day One," Garrett said with a shrug. He pointed right at Pixy, "You had a day one."

"Glad you can see that," she replied. "What's your story? I'm sure you're not a pilot."

"Pretty good driver at times," he replied with a smirk. "But no. I'm your spook."

She arched an eyebrow. "Spook, huh? Well, you've got the look down for blending in. No one would think twice about you in that getup."

"A few of your techs have already tried to put me to work, thinking I was just someone who stayed up all night." He shrugged, "Apparently I'm doing pretty well."

Cay laughed. "Not intentional, I'd assume? Or do you show up to every job like this?"

"NRI thought it'd be funny to call me at the tail end of an all night stakeout."

"No wonder you're hanging out near the coffee maker," Corbin noted dryly.

"You'd think they'd at least give you time to change or something," Cay said.

"What, and make my life easy?" He shook his head. "Naw. I live all the way in Corelliatown. Anyway, looks like I'm going to Mos Eisley for you guys, but that's just a guess."

"That would make sense. Guess we need someone on the ground to do the boring stuff," she joked.

"Trade you jobs?"

Cay barked a laugh. "Not in a million years."

"Was worth a try," he took another drink of the coffee. "Figured an air conditioned ship might be better than a desert planet."

She shook her head. "I think we'll have enough on our hands to more than make up for the AC. I'm C-- Lieutenant Cayenne Rudal, by the way." She poked a thumb at her squadmate. "This is Lieutenant Corbin Starlight. What's your name?"

"Garrett Mendal," he answered. "Lowly retired NRI agent who still contracts."

"Doubt you're as lowly as you claim if you're getting contracted to work with us," Corbin said. "They wouldn't grab just anyone for a mission like this one could be."

"He has a point," Cay agreed.

"I have my theories."

She smiled over her mug. "Theories you don't feel like sharing, eh?"

"If your mission over Mos Eisley is remotely similar to your sim run I'm going to have two objectives that I can name," he shrugged. He downed the rest of his coffee, and as he poured himself another mug, "First, find all the emplacements so you guys don't have to find them by making yourselves targets. Second, disrupt the Imperial Air Base. Will bet my paycheck on it. But I can't keep them locked down forever...those were the changes I told you about."

Both pilots nodded soberly. "We'd appreciate that kind of ground support," Corbin replied.

"Yeah, and the fewer TIEs coming our way, the better. I'm sure it'll be a hornet's nest as it is."

"You're not wishing for more targets?" he teased.

"Not in this kind of situation," she answered. She decided to change the subject. "How many mugs have you had, Mendal?"

"Since?" he asked as he sat down.

Cay blinked. "Uh, since you last slept?"

"Ohh...." he squinted in thought. "Not too much really. Ten since six am yesterday morning."

"Ten?! I'm surprised it's not shaking in your hands," she exclaimed.

He held up a steady right hand for them to look at, "Been more than a day since I slept after all."

"Well, I hope you get some rest before the mission starts. If we'll be relying on you down there, I don't want you running just on coffee," Cay said.

"You'll have to run on it eventually," he answered, giving Corbin a knowing look. "Inevitable. I've got the trip out there to sleep."

Her shoulders twitched lightly. "Just sayin'."

"Believe me, I know. Not something I like doing." He took a sip of, again hot, mug, "Such is life. I used to be able to do it a lot better in my early days. Now I'll bet you I'll probably sleep through my entire first leg of the trip out."

"Nothing wrong with that," Cay grinned. "Might as well sleep through the downtime if you don't have anything else to do. I'm sure those of us with fewer years can wake you if something came up."

"Tell you guys what," he said, taking another sip. "I like to know the people I'm working for so before I head out ahead of the fleet. Pass word around the squadron, anyone interested in hanging out in Corelliatown for an evening, it's on me."

Cay and Corbin chuckled after glancing at each other. "That's a dangerous thing to say. Some of us can drink quite a bit," Corbin smiled.

"Challenge accepted."

Cay laughed. "We'll be sure to spread the good news."

Last edited by Garrett Mendal : 07-04-2013 at 01:24 PM.
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Re: Rogue Squadron: Rebirth
Old 11-30-2013, 10:41 PM   #20
Mischa Margolin
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“So. Thoughts?”

Mischa turned her attention from the datapad in her hands to the man across the desk who was studying his own.

“Impressive” She replied, scrolling through the report of the sim run. “But this being Rogue Squadron you’d expect nothing less.” She hoped the bare hint of sarcasm in her voice wasn’t too apparent.

“Resorting to flattery already, XO? From what I’ve read of your file that’s a bit out of character.” Corran replied in the same tone, a crooked half-smile on his face.

She had to bite back a smartass response, reminding herself once again that this was a different CO she was dealing with now. A new situation. And to tread carefully until she had a better feel for her new commanding officer, the poster boy for Starfighter Command. Even if this image had been tarnished a bit by recent events, it still outshone her prior superior officer’s reputation.

“In all seriousness, Captain, outside of Lieutenant Ventyra’s little sacrificial maneuver the scores are good for the first time they’ve flown together. I expect they will get even better with time, not that we have much of it before this mission. Integrating a new group of pilots in never seamless. Although we ‘Rats”, She corrected herself, “former ‘Rats may have an easier time of it having seen so many faces come and go.”

She gave him a look as if challenging him to make a comment about her last posting, having grown far too used to getting such reactions from others in the past. But Antilles, to his credit, kept his expression neutral as he gave a nod of his head and said, “Go on.”

“I know not everyone participated, but judging by these scores alone, I think this roster looks workable. Even given Starlight’s record and his unconventional style of flying he’s matchless in the cockpit and partnering him with Ventyra is definitely a good move.” She paused to access and read another of the files.

“Kane and Borys…hmmmm.” She glanced up at Antilles, “That will be interesting.”

“In what way?” He inquired.

She shrugged, “I don’t really know much about Morgan. She had just been transferred to the Womp Rats, for the typical reason many pilots are, right before the disbanding. I do know Adok quite well though.” She added with a fleeting grimace.

“And?”

“It’s not a question of his abilities as a pilot, which are solid and…dependable. On the ground I’ve learned that’s not always the case.” She tapped the stylus in her fingers against the arm of her chair. “Still he has been showing little signs of trying to redeem himself so it might not be a complete disaster.”

“Well if it doesn’t work out I can assign them to the two other new transferees we’re expecting instead.” Corran said. “I’ll make sure you have their files transmitted to you as well if you’ve not received them already.”

“Thanks, but hopefully I’m right about the growing faith I am having in Dock being able to change.” She hoped she was as confident about that as she sounded. “Roch and Arete are familiar with each other and from their personality profiles should work together well.”

Corran nodded, “Roch is definitely headstrong enough to handle him.”

She smiled as she noted the next pair of names. “And Spice can definitely handle the Doctor.”

“Azrah? He seems like a good enough sort.” The Captain said.

“I agree, but he also comes across as a bit of a smartass and Cay is more than capable in that area herself.” Mischa smirked. “She’s a damn good pilot though. Kier, I mean Captain Azrah seems rather capable as well if that TIE sim is any indication” She scanned his file, “Did he spend time in Imperial service?”

Corran shook his head, “No, been with our side since he joined up. Distinguished himself during the Rebellion and after. He just enjoys knowing how to fly anything he can get his hands on from what I hear.”

Mischa gave a small smile at that bit of information, “Well maybe he has some redeeming qualities after all.”

“And what about us?” Corran asked.

“I’m sure we have some as well.” Vac laughed, “Oh you meant as wingmates?” She winked, “Well I’ve not had much luck with pilots named Antilles, but I’ll give you a chance, Cap.”

“Thanks, XO I’ll try to redeem the name.” He gave her that patented crooked grin again. “I heard you took one of the new birds out for a test spin. What did you think?”

“I think it’s nice to have something to fly where you don’t have to worry about a random part falling off or some critical system malfunctioning every time you’re in the black.” She replied, “Saves me from having to tear into the deck crew not to mention the relief of getting my arse back to the flight line in one piece and with fewer grey hairs. I could get used to that.”

“Well it’s not your last squadron and…” Corran started to reply until Mischa held one hand up and that look on her face from earlier returned.

“Think about what you are about to say, Captain.” Her frown deepened.

“I was just going to tell you that in spite of all the publicity and propaganda the Rogues aren’t perfect either so can you please stop getting so defensive every time the ‘Rats are brought up? We’re all on the same side here, Mischa.”

“I’ll try. It’s just that…”

He interjected, “You spent your entire time there defending them and yourself against the rest of the galaxy?”

She nodded, “Yeah. And I always will.”

“Loyalty is a good thing.” Corran smiled. “And a quality I greatly appreciate in an XO. And I hope you will extend that to your new squadron mates as well, so…friends?” He reached one hand across the desk.

Mischa leaned forward and shook it, “I’ll give you a shot, Antilles.” She smirked. “And the rest of the Rogues too.”

“Good.” He replied, “Because like it or not you are one now yourself.” He ran the tip of the stylus across the datapad’s screen, “So tomorrow morning we have a briefing and then command is talking about a possible press conference which you’ll need to attend as well.”

She rolled her eyes at that, “Seriously?”

“Welcome to the command structure. If I have to do it, you must share my pain.” He laughed.

“Great. Is it too late to take that retirement offer?” She asked.

“Yep, like it or not you’re-“

A knock at his door interrupted his reply. “Enter!”

“Sorry to interrupt.” She recognized the deep, Chandrilan-accented male voice even before turning around.

“It’s okay Captain Azrah.” Corran said, “The XO and I were just about done.”

“Good to know. Hope your head’s feeling better, Vac?” Kier asked. “Because my wingmate just told me the NRI spook is buying at the cantina tonight.”

She looked over to Corran, “Press conference in the morning, huh?”

“I’ll see about getting to make it a little later in the day.” He smiled, “Go relax, both of you. Once we head out on this mission who knows how long it will be until I can say that again.”

“Right, see you there.” Kier said as he left the office.

Mischa turned her pad off and stood up, “You going to join us, Cap?”

“I have a few more things to do around here and then we’ll see.” He picked up a small stack of flimsies from the basket on the corner of his desk, “Oooorrrr I could order my XO to take care of them.”

“Bye, Antilles! I’m off-duty!” She replied over her shoulder, already halfway through the door and pretending not to hear him.

“See you later, Number One.” He called after her before turning toward his com and calling up Jade’s frequency. Maybe a night out with his pilots would do him good.
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