We have to go! Immediately! Our ground mission on Knolstee was successful, we contacted the rebels, arranged for the fighters to withdraw to the Hope, infiltrated the Alphas’ base, and evacuated the last surviving rebel (hopefully… we were unable to search all the rooms, unfortunately). Bheka killed an Alpha in close combat, and a couple of Evis got killed as well, when they got acquainted with lightsaber, blaster and grenades. Especially Bheka got it badly, but he holds his ground bravely. Now we are standing on the upper floor of a crumbling ruin, I try to keep the rangers calmly in the air with the remote control, while the loading ramp is open. Faster! Below the evis are gathering. We will not survive another fight! I jump on board as the last one and run to the cockpit. Behind me I hear the whirring of the closing flap, drowned out by hysterical shrieks. Two Evis probably want to fly with us and are already hanging on the top edge of the cargo hold door! A quick jump to the pilot’s seat, and I tilt the Ranger to the side while giving full thrust to shake off the critters. Bheka and Booker yell in confusion, blaster fire. The tailgate control light finally turns green. We made it! "Yes, we have!" yells Booker behind. Excuse me?
I give the agreed signal. "Go! Go! Go!". The rebels know what to do and we are on the way to the old droid factory.
Halay down the radar reports one major and many minor contacts. Our freighter is on its way, flanked by the X-Wings. The Gallowfree accelerates very sluggishly, it is probably loaded up to the neck ruff. This is gonna be fun!
When we land at the factory everything is already prepared. The cargo and droids are quickly stowed and the personnel distributed to quarters. Dac is very experienced by now and helps to make the most of the space. However, it’s only now that I realize what Booker meant by "we got one". He has captured an Evi, alive, and is in discussion with the ground crew about a suitable container. Is he crazy?
No time, I must see that the cargo is secured to some extent. After a surprisingly short time we are actually ready for takeoff. The engines howl and we take off, a bit slower than usual, the high weight is noticeable. Behind us the base dissolves in a huge explosion. The Empire will not find anything useful.
We quickly gain altitude and catch up with the first group. Behind the freighter a shuttle follows. The X-Wings have spread out to four squadrons and taken up escort positions. Let’s hope that the enemy fighters on the ground are busy with the chaos caused by the destroyed bases and do not follow.
"Booker, Bheka, get on the guns! Alex, you know what to do! Q7, damage control! Dac, secure the bar!"Mustn’t all end in shambles again. The new bottle cages can hold 12g, the dealer said. We will see.
Alex scans the space in front of us. Wonderful! 24 Ties, divided into 6 seasons. Four fighters, two bombers. And because that’s not enough, a Marauder Corvette, a Gunboat, and a Nebulon-B. The Nebulon reports in and calls out the usual. Stop now or you’re dead, blah blah blah. Yes of course. Licking ass, as usual. Alex radios back "Has this ever worked before??" As if in response, the Imperial squadrons form up to attack. Fortunately the Marauder and the Gunboat are part of the Espo and fall back. They will probably remain neutral, at least something. Something panicky chattering the space station in between.
It’s getting hot! Two squadrons of X-Wings attack the front two squadrons of Tie fighters. "Stop the bombers!" I call into the com and go on attack course. Our heavy laser cannon begins to fire, unfortunately the first salvos over. I bring us closer. The bombers set course for the shuttle, this puts us in a good firing position. Lasers and ion cannons fire again, hit, number one destroyed and number two sensitively hit! They didn’t expect this, they break formation, but keep trying to get to the shuttle. Missiles, damn it! A few pass by, one hits. The damaged shuttle turns briefly at and returns fire, hit!
The X-Wings are slowly getting the fighters under control, but now the rear squadrons are approaching. Again 8 fighters and 4 bombers. X-Wing Squadron 3 abandons the left flank and sets course for the new attackers. "Squadron 4, take care of the bombers!" I yell into the com, but I’m not their commander. So they stubbornly hold course, in case something from the planet follows, which is not the case. Then we have to do it ourselves. The Ranger guns fire again, and the last bomber of the first squadron turns away unable to fight!
Total chaos. The first X-Wing is lost, but the enemy fighters are finished or at least unable to fight. Our freighter has so far escaped unscathed. The hit shuttle leaves a glowing trail behind it, but it is able to maintain speed. The frigate! She slowly gets into firing range for her turbo lasers! "Retreat! Make sure you get away!" I yell into the com, and this time everyone seems to obey. The freighter almost breaks apart, its engines running at over 110%. The X-Wings detach from the enemy and also set course for the jump point. Time for a short inventory: 6 of 8 tie-bombers neutralized. 3 out of 4 squadrons of Tie fighters eliminated. We have eaten a missile, but the damage is manageable. A Nebulon-B on a direct course to our freighter, it will be close!
The frigate fires! Huge laser flashes turn an unfortunate X-Wing into a cloud of hot plasma and show impressively what a ship of this size can do. Our remaining fighters are now out of range. In range now is only the Ranger. "Get closer, we’ll take her down!" it roars from the turrets. Bheka and Booker in bloodlust. "Are you insane? We will not survive this!" I yell back. "Screw them, we’ll take care of them!"They are serious! Bheka has got so involved that it would not be wise to contradict him now. Stupidly the two are right. If we don’t stop the monster or at least keep it busy the rebel freighter is the next victim. So I change course, directly towards the frigate and give maximum thrust and some more. "I want to get out of here!" mumbles someone next to me. Alex is a little pale. Over the com Gulomni adds something that seems to be a mixture of highest respect and "you are insane. I understand only half. The battle roar of the B team drowns out everything.
In a fraction of a second, scenes from my training pass by my mind’s eye. "The chances of surviving a direct attack with a single X-Wing on a Nebulon-B are like 1 : 100.000. Don’t even think about it." These are the words of my instructor. At least an X-Wing has proton torpedoes. We have only a crap laser and a short range ion cannon. Nevertheless, we have practiced such an attack in the simulator umpteen times, but each time we had 4-8 squadrons of mixed X- and Y-wings. "You have to take out the main drive first." said the instructor. "Approach from the rear, directly behind the drive the guns from the pot can hardly target you." So much for the theory. Stupid bitch comes at us head on.
Well, almost head on, the frigate wants to catch the freighter and turns slowly. In addition to the main thrust I give energy to the starboard thrusters and push the rangers into a penalty to backboard. Don’t roll or do anything that raises our profile from the enemy’s point of view, besides, the changing lateral movement makes it difficult for us to aim. As if in confirmation, the first lightning flashes past the Ranger on the right. Finally we are in firing range of our guns!
"Target the drive!" I roar. Bheka fires, but doesn’t hit… not? He didn’t hit the main engines, but exactly the narrow connecting piece to the hull. A huge explosion, he must have hit a power line. The whole ship seems to vibrate, the engines start to sputter and flicker and finally go out. According to the law of inertia, the Nebulon continues to turn, while moving in a straight line. She suddenly looks so helpless. Bheka, what a hell of a guy. Takes out a frigate with a single shot!
That should give us the time we need. I turn the Ranger with a sideways twist. Bheka and Booker are on the rampage, they want to finish off the big ship. "Take care of the Ties!" I shout to them, because they have caught up to us in the meantime and start the attack. Right, there were 6 left, 2 of them bombers. We take two heavy laser hits, then finally fire back. The Imperials are hit hard, which gives us a chance to get out of their range. From the frigate a few last greetings fly past us and fizzle out ineffectively in the distance. We got away!
Bheka 1 – at the ass of the world
uMkhanyakude – "shining far and wide."
On the Ranger
Fun with problems
Space combat was tough but we were lucky to lose only two X-Wings! The ranger got quite a beating. I think Drox is out to destroy the mill. I haven’t seen us come back in one piece since I’ve been on the Ranger… that we’re still alive is a miracle, as is the fact that none of our guests were hurt. It’s gotten pretty damn crowded on the ship. Although the worst thing is that Booker Sheplin’s acquaintance Bruckman is watching his female soldiers and I am never alone undisturbed with Vi Jola de Cesar my chosen one! Not even in my cabin – someone had the idea to put Kevin on my eye, a young paramedic who knows what he’s doing but is incredibly annoying. Maybe it is just as well. Vi keeps talking about a sister who serves as an X-Wing pilot on the Hope. She looks kind of familiar too…. I have a bad feeling… The girl seems to have a slight crush on me too. Which will definitely cause me problems if I’m unlucky. Behkar keeps telling me not to do it, it will only cause problems – you might as well ask the bird not to fly anymore.
It’s still 20 hours to Hope as Alex had the bridge watch again. "One good thing about it – you can avoid Kevin since he doesn’t have access to the bridge," Alex thought when there was a knock on the door. With a slight annoyed groan Alex got up and went to the door. But Alex was pleasantly surprised when Vi stood in front of the door, with a shy smile. "May I come in??" she asked quietly. Alex, who hesitated for a moment, made room for Vi to pass him. Alex’s eyes fell on her butt as Q7 beeped and waved his little arm in front of him. Apparently Q7 doesn’t find it funny that Drox’s orders that no one but the crew is allowed in the cockpit are being violated. Alex looks at "Q7 it’s ok, she’s allowed to be here. Why don’t you go to the drive, I think something is going wrong there!"When Q7 left the cockpit Alex locked the door and secured it, so that it could only be opened from the inside. The bridge watch seems to become interesting after all, he thought with a grin, looking at Vi. In his mind, he heard Bekar swearing loudly.
The bridge watch was really nice – with some regret he thought back to Vi who had left 2 hours ago. As the door opened Alex turned and looked at Drox innocently. Drox, who had just entered the cockpit, paused for a moment, "Report," he said. "No incidents are still on the right track" said Alex and disappeared in his room with a big grin.
In the orbit of Knolstee
The bridge of the imperial ship is bustling with activity. The captain of the ship laughed in peace. The exercises they do every day seem to pay off. What else can they do here at the ass end of the galaxy?. Again he caught himself thinking about why he had to leave? Have I offended or annoyed the Admiral?? I don’t know what with he thought. Hyperspace imprint on 4534 at 3211 appears to be a YT freighter sir reported the sensor officer. You scan active. Call the ship.
This is the Imperial ship Preeminence speaking for the YT freighter Ranger. What is their concern?
And what do you want? Asked the captain. They want to go to the station they know someone there who has a job for them. Ok I understand…
At the same time on the station.
And Dave there is something new? No sir, just a YT freighter docking. Ok they loaded something? A few odds and ends a station like this could use. Nothing else ok I would like to have a post at the airlock. Very well sir, it will be executed. Anything else, yes, report any inconsistencies. I’ve got a bad feeling about this ship.
Dave looked after his commander as he left the security room. His eyes went to the ESPO officer who was pouring himself a cup of hot coffee. Do you have one for me too Dave asked? The ESPO officer who listened to Bob grinned at Dave and shook his head I’m sorry but that was the last cup if you want coffee you have to go to the cafeteria.
Dave ignored Bob’s slightly derisive remark. Bob knew better than to leave his post! Damn ESPO sometime you make a mistake Dave thought. When the fire alarm went off …
So you’re saying that the sensors in the area were faulty?? Then we can take a look around! The alien in front of the commander shook his head and said something about operating secrets of the corporation and that he was not allowed to let ESPO or even the Empire into the areas. What suited the ESPO officer only in the stuff cursed corrupt pigs!…
At the airlock ca. 10 minutes after the fire alarm
Oh man soon the relief should come the crew of the freighter was already off the ship when Jim moved to his post, too bad actually, so they would have had at least something to do..
Jim stopped when the elevator stopped on his level. Let’s hope it’s the relief, he thought. As the elevator opened, Jim stiffened. Two humans and an alien got out of the elevator. You don’t want to meet the alien in the dark, Jim thought. Hold citizen person control their ID cards please. The one human blond, three day beard gave him his ID card as well as the alien even though he wouldn’t let Jim out of his sight. The second man also blond but shaved with a black coat hesitated barely noticeable as he tapped his pockets. Oh said the man I must have forgotten something but surely you can make an exception good man said the person and smiled at Jim. Jim could not stand him.
Where’s your ID badge?? Jim asked the man. He smiled at the ship I can get him quickly! No need, we’ll be right with you, Jim said. We might as well search your ship. Jim radioed for reinforcements, which came immediately. The man tried to convince Jim that it would be faster to get the ID card.
Okay, here are your ID badges back, Mr. Tochiki! Jim did not remember that the squad leader forgot to check the ID card of the other blond man. The man was also constantly talking to the sergeant. Jim shrugged, maybe the sergeants are aware that he didn’t do it or that he was ordered to do it. Better not to think about it.
4 uneventful days since the YT freighter..
The last days on the Preeminence were so boring that the crew of the scanners would have fallen soon from the chair as massive explosions flooded the scan briefly. Ten seconds after the explosion the fighters started to check the spots. After another 30 seconds several dots appeared on the scanner. The officer on bridge watch got wide-eyed when the computer recognized the dots as X-Wings and two transporters. Immediately the alarm went off. The interceptors took off immediately, the captain had ordered the squadron to be on 24 hour standby. No one had expected that there were rebels here, but apparently the intelligence was right. On the scanner appears another freighter heading for the rebel fleet.
Report resounded on the bridge!! Sir the tracking has 13 X-wings as well as 2 freighters and a cradle sorted out. They are trying to break through all interceptors of the first wave are launched the second wave is out in 39 seconds. We are awaiting orders sir.
Well the fighters are to attack the bombers go for the big targets I want to see the rebel scum dead again expect them to surrender which I don’t think they will all be taken to the Admiral. Tell ESPO to stand by. Radio it through!
Sir the gunboat of the ESPO has allegedly problems with the propulsion and the other one says he covers our rear space! The captain of the Preeminence looked at the com officer puzzled but said nothing more. Sir the interceptors are in range they are opening fire on the rebels we should be in maximum range in 3 minutes. There should be no problem the YT freighter is still too far away and can’t come to the aid of the 6 X-Wings. But as soon as the weapons officer said it, the freighter opened fire on the Tie-bombers that were on their way to the troop transport, two of the Tie-bombers were surprised by the enemy fire and they exploded..
The fight was quick and dirty. The rebels had lost only 2 X-Wings so far some seem very badly damaged but they were still flying. His own casualties were immense and the captain would be sick to report it to the admiral when the targeting computer locked on to the troop carrier. Fire said the captain with an evil smile on his face and 6 turbolesers fired, not one hit…. This can’t be true, the captain thought. SIR of the YT changes the short. Where does he fly to? Heading straight for us he must be insane we will be in his range in 5 seconds. Turboleser will be ready again in 20 seconds.
Hit on deck C12 multiple casualties, overload on propulsion system !! The drive makes an emergency shutdown sir! The YT meanwhile pulled away with a 180° turn. If the frigate would have gone down to the left because of the inertia and the alarm sirens howled. The captain hit on his console! He cursed the ESPO, the rebels and this YT freighter and its gunners so much luck has to be had first! Otherwise the transporter will never escape!
Occasionally the captain saw how the rebels jumped out of the system and his professional career if not his life with them.
Story by Alexander Samuel Harlow
The military time: base A343
Great and back to the military. Drox a lieutenant I still have to stifle a laugh when I think about it. I’ve been doing this with orders since I was in the military, but I don’t want to grumble, they paid for my studies, all we had to do was finish a special mission. To quote Drox: "What could go wrong" my god what idiots we were.
Gentlemen we have before 24h an emergency call our base A343 on the moon MR-43456A1 also known as Purgatory. Its characteristics are tropical, normal G, if it weren’t for the poison gas, you could take a nice vacation in the atmosphere, but I digress. The base was attacked by an unknown enemy we don’t know if it was pirates, a corporation or a third force in the sector that carried out the attack. Since we’re conducting sensitive genetic experiments and weapons testing, they’re all eligible. We will go but on numerical and send a whole division to the base should there still be enemies are to be eliminated and the research data are to be secured . If there are still personnel alive on the base, they can be saved as well….
Oh man Alex what have we gotten ourselves into we could have worked in the best hospital every day off a beautiful woman.
Alex laughed as he looked over at James and every day the same sick people with their coughs. That does not have to be besides we get so women on each planet or station. You guys are awful and now get on with it! The crates will not load themselves! Oh Marie are you jealous ? Alex winked at her. Where are you going?? No, I could be your mother and I don’t need small children who only talk big but don’t help a lady to carry her things. If we see a lady we will help her too said James and Alex at the same time with a grin..
Attention one by saying: Prepare to leave hyperspace!
We are already there? Asked James are really already 3 days over with so much work time flies, he grinned broadly. Do I detect a hint of sarcasm in that, James, asked Marie?? No Major everything is fine don’t want to complain…
The medical transport shook as missiles slammed into it.
Sergeant. Yes Major see to it that the bleeding in the leg is repaired here give something for the pain, he will not survive the day tomorrow.
At that moment an Alam went on, the signal for everyone off the boat! Well great Alex groaned that was all he needed to be stranded on a potentially deadly planet. Well, Sergeant, we don’t want to complain. You better help us get the wounded into the escape pods!
A few minutes later Alex and 15 others were in an escape pod that crashed into the moon. Does everyone have their masks with them so you don’t get killed down there by the gas?? Doc they sure know how to motivate people. Learned is learned Alex grinned. What hit us, sir, a young female soldier asked him? I don’t know, just remember your training and you’ll get through this and maybe you’ll get me out of here too. Alex winked at her and the soldier blushed before averting her eyes. She was raised a bit by her comrades. Good thought Alex they are still kidding…
The base is about 2 hours to the NW we should move in there and wait for a rescue team. Next, we should complete the mission and save the data.
Are there actually predators here asked who?? No the planet is dead the plants are not edible because they have at least 100 different poisons. There were no herbivores, therefore no predators!
There the station looks strongly damaged! But the airlock is still intact. Good, we’re going in. Watch your friends, I don’t want any friendly fire.
When we opened the airlock none was prepared for the sight! It lay in the corridors dead and mutilated on the walls stuck blood and innards. There was a stench that was almost unbearable.
The lieutenant gasped for breath. What the hell happened here?? Doc, see if there’s anything else you can do! Here are also soldiers from our unit. But I put 4 men at your side they are looking for a room where they can treat wounded people. The rest of you come with me and we’ll get the data.
Ok the room is good I’ll see if we can get the computer running one of you stay by the door the rest clean up a bit….
Ok guys a good news and a bad news. The good news is that there’s a shuttle in a landing bay, the bad news is that we don’t have a pilot. That’s not quite right Sir the young soldier reported in my family owns several freighters I was able to fly them at 12 years old. Ok that’s good since it’s just us and the Lieutenant isn’t here I’m Alex call me that.
Susanne so the name of the young soldier began to collapse when suddenly over the com screams were heard. A few seconds later it was dead silent. Lieutenant come in? What was that?? Lieutenant, you’re here? This is Bob. The lieutenant’s dead. Oh, my God. We were attacked by something. It was almost invisible and damn fast. Stay calm soldier you have the data? No sir they were cleared seemingly bar but we have found a gear further down while we should already be at the bottom! Soldier can you get to sector 3, there is a ship that can take us out of here? I don’t know sir we are only 7 men and I have the feeling that we are being watched! Ok since you have the further way I’ll see what I can find out about them additional lower level. Meet me at the ship in 30 minutes!
After about 5 minutes I found an entry that a tech team was able to open an ancient airlock in the room behind the airlock that hasn’t been opened in a very long time according to a VI 50000 years ago. Is this room or was this room a test area to manufacture biological warfare agents to wipe out an old enemy?. It’s not recommended to wake up the what’s-it in some kind of cryo-sleep! Since it is or was probably contaminated with a bio-weapon! The Medical Director recommends blowing up the base if the creature escapes! Oh what is that a left to a camera that still works! Let’s see what they show.
A dark room only three lamps illuminated a tank was to be seen before the tank stood 2 aliens I have never seen before. One of the aliens pointed at the tank. The second one nodded and broke this one. Oh my god whoever wants the agent. I can’t let that happen. I reached out to my com task force and asked them how far they had to go to get to the ship? We have to make a detour because debris is blocking the passageway, something got in here. About 35 minutes detour sir. By the way, we found two doctors! Alex, it’s you? Thank God! Marie, you’re alive, I’m glad to see you. Who else is with you?? Well who laughed James I can not leave a lady alone. Guys, we have a problem. I found out that aliens are trying to steal a bio-weapon. They already have it. The weapon seems to be stuck in a host body. I recommend the destruction of the plant for such a case there are several fusion bombs here. Ok that sounds reasonable what should we do? Get to the ship my squad will initiate the destruction of the base and detain the enemy here! Alex this is totally stupid how many are you 5 guys and all under 30? No, you get to the ship, set the self destruct for 45 minutes, that should be enough time to get to the ship if we can hold off the enemy, we’ll follow and that’s an order understood ? Major, I refuse the order. It’s my idea, it’s my job! Alex we’ll never make it to the ship it’s too far and there’s 9 of us that should be better than sending 5 of you. Major I protest it’s my … enough Alex ! Alex? James grinned into the com, you could have two on every planet you go to for an old friend! James I won’t let … Alex fell silent as 2 stun shots hit him and he collapsed unconscious. Thank you Susanne said Marie get yourselves to safety and initiate destruction….
I barely regain consciousness when the sensors indicate a fusion explosion. Did they make it I asked even though I already knew the answer no sir we have been waiting 43 minutes but no one has arrived. I’m sorry, sir…
Well, I hope I never get into a situation like this again. Even though I think Drox is making it hard for me not to get into one of those!
The next mission awaits.
After the game is before the game
We fall out of hyperspace at the rebel base. Outwardly, we’re an imperial shuttle, so I feel a little uneasy. We found out the name of our ship is Nightmare. How appropriate. A search of our last leg of the journey didn’t turn up much of interest, guess some stuff got blown out through the leak. Anyway I immediately call attention to myself and sign in. Flight control doesn’t seem to be worried though and assigns me a guidance beam.
A squadron of X-Wing passes the cockpit. The squadron leader wiggles his wings and flies so close to the cockpit that I can see the pilot. Shanaya! I wave to her and follow the squadron. Feels strange, kinda like coming home.
After landing, a sergeant greets us and leads us to the debriefing. Bheka has his pouch with him, fortunately nothing is dripping out.
Commander Webber seems to be highly satisfied with the outcome of the mission. We "freed" the professor and his daughter, we delivered more materials than ordered, and as a bonus we liquidated a major of the imperial intelligence and brought her shuttle with surely very interesting computer data. Bheka opens the bag for proof, for a moment the room is dead silent. I guess everyone expects the staring eyes in the head to move suddenly. Then Bheka breaks the silence and still reports about the sighted ships over Dian. Impressive, he remembered all the guys and names. I only paid attention to the ones that fired at us, well actually that was almost all of them. Webber nods appreciatively and offers us a permanent place in his squad. "Lieutenant Tochiki" sounds good, very good even. Bheka is my first officer. Seems to like it Besides, I can become pilot of an X-Wing. Shanaya will surely be impressed.
In front of the infirmary I meet Shanaya. She falls around my neck and doesn’t want to let me go, but then I realize why I wanted to go to the infirmary. The blaster wound still hurts like hell and burns when someone presses on it, ouch. "You have to get that treated…" of course I wouldn’t have thought of it. Bheka says he will wait for me in the bar with my girlfriend for so long. All right. After a short stop at the infirmary (nothing serious, but a bandage, painkillers and antibiotics) I finally meet with Shanaya. We have a lot to talk about.
The night was long, I didn’t sleep much. Anyway, it’s early in the morning now, I should get back to my quarters slowly. Not everyone has to know that I spent the night with Shanaya. She is sleeping, I give her a kiss and sneak out.
I wonder if the Ranger is back by now. Carefully and quietly I open the door to our quarters, hopefully Bheka won’t wake up. My hope is abruptly dashed. In the corner of my eye I see something flashing above me, then it gets loud, cold and wet! SHIT . I curse loudly and feel for the light switch. Which damned idiot put a bucket of water on the door? Kindergarten! The lights go out again, and someone giggles. I push the bucket loudly clattering from me and turn on the light again. At least I know now that the Ranger has arrived in the meantime. Very funny Alex! There is a revenge!
A hot shower later I sit in the officers mess, which I am allowed to enter now, and drink a coffee, and another one, and another one. Pondering is the order of the day. I am at the goal of my dreams, I can finally become an X-Wing pilot, and the squadron leader is more than just one of the usual affairs for me. Can you hit it better? Then why do doubts plague me?
After breakfast debriefing part two follows, this time with the whole crew, also the professor is present. Shanaya is also present, she probably wants to know what my decision will be. Stay with the alliance and join us we will in any case. Everything else will fall into place. First we’re supposed to get several weeks of basic military training.
In the meantime the Ranger is further pimped up. Heavy twin lasers, twin light ion cannons, and a high quality astromech. We call him Q7. Also, my G-Suit, which I received for X-Wing training, is fitted exactly to my anatomy. Looks very sleek. Emperor, come here!
Weeks go by. Shanaya seems to be resigned to the fact that for the time being I’ll be flying field missions with the Ranger and won’t be a permanent member of an X-Wing squadron yet. We’ll make the best of the time we have.
One evening Alsid calls me and the Ranger crew to a meeting. Crew, yes, we are an odd mix, Bheka, Booker, Alex, Dac and I, but somehow a real crew feeling has set in since our last mission. To look death in the eye together and to defy it welds together. Alsid interrupts my thoughts and says he has to discuss something important with us.
After some information about salvaged material for the brand new B-Wings and how the development is progressing he gets down to business. The Hope suffered heavy losses in her last battle on Ponduit Station. Large parts of the A- and X-Wings were destroyed or damaged beyond repair. So fighter planes are the biggest bottleneck at the moment. Now there is a secret base on Nolsti under the command of Captain Gulomi, which is home to a squadron of 12 X-Wings and their personnel. This we are to evacuate and delegate to the Hope as unharmed as possible, also gather as much information as possible in the process. To make contact we get a scrambler, which should allow at least a short radio call to the base without listeners. ID and drive signature of the Ranger are changed. Our ship is clean as a whistle again, so to speak. We are still to compile a list of the necessary materials and may step away.
Time for planning. We agree to maintain radio silence in order to remain as inconspicuous as possible. Fortunately Booker is pretty sure he knows the location of the base (he tells something about an old ruin of the eternal empire), also he is friends with one of the station leaders. So we fly to this station, take over supplies there for the rangers on the planet, and officially fly down to the surface. Then we make our way to the ruin on foot or by swoop. How we will get away, well we will think about that when we are there and have more information. A good plan!
The Ranger is loaded with our equipment. grenades, medical supplies, a tent, survival equipment, lots of spare magazines and military backpacks. Not bad what fits into such a part everything. Booker has also requested chemical attractants. No idea what he wants with that. He will probably know what he is doing, he has been on this planet before. We are ready for takeoff!
The enemy of my enemy.
On the run
Time is running out! I activate the engines from the start with full power. The Ranger rears up like a racing swoop on takeoff and shoots almost vertically into the sky. The stern monitor shows crates and barrels flying in confusion. The comlink beeps wildly. But it’s not the harbour master who wants to fine me for violating at least 26 regulations at the launch, it’s a hysterically shrieking female voice demanding the immediate abort of the launch and the return to the spaceport. The Major! I just think to myself "fuck you!" and get everything out of the drive. The radar shows several interceptors, she must mean it very seriously. Fortunately we are already out of range of the AT-AA. Bheka is already occupying the lower gun turret. She won’t get us alive! In front of me I see the blue shimmer of the shield, and a place that suddenly flashes and then no longer shimmers. There we have to go through! My radar warns me that a lamda is also taking off below us and immediately sets course for us. Seconds later we pass the shield opening. A look to the rear confirms that it closes again immediately after our passage. There follow wild threats and curses also in the direction of the Espo about the Comm. "Fuck you!". Approach to the Relentless, I have no choice, an escape would be hopeless now. There are other ships floating around, a DP20, a Nebulon B, and a Vindicator. Interestingly, this one has positioned itself in a threatening situation to the Relentless. They are all crazy today?
Barely landed on the Relentless I am immediately directed to Captain Gortz. Feels strange, all the Espos around me, and no one wants to arrest me. Anyway, Gortz greets me extremely politely. "Captain Tochiki…", what’s up?? One day they were on a first-name basis and now they were like this? My father used to say "beware of people who are suddenly remarkably polite. Most of the time they want almost impossible things from you." He should be right. To make a long story short, Gortz likes the Major even less than us and wants us to eliminate her for him. He also doesn’t want us to fall into the hands of the Empire, so he assures us that he will do everything he can to help us escape. By "us" he really means everyone, including Sindia. Interesting. Booker does not believe in success, but will play along. He has no choice.
The plan looks like this: Gortz will ask the major to come on board under the pretext of having caught us and want to hand us over. We free ourselves, overpower the securities, kill the Major and disappear. Very simple. What could go wrong?
Feels weird to get handcuffs from the Espo that are not locked. A wave of the hand would be enough and they open. At least our guards took our weapons from us. Gortz inconspicuously slips a stung grenade to each of us. He seems to keep his word, at least up to here.
We are rudely driven to the hangar where the Major is about to land. Barely arrived, Captain Gortz leaves the hangar again. The door closes. A quick eye contact with Book, Bheka and Alex, one… two… three… then everything happens in a flash. The hands torn apart, thereby the stung grenade unlocked and dropped and pike in cover. Before the still very young and inexperienced guards realize what is going on they topple over. Quickly we hide them behind some crates. Through the air shield you can already see the distant outline of a lamda. Aha, so the Major personally flew right after us. Vex still makes sure that the hangar door really stays closed. Outside you can hear excited voices.
The Lamda lands and immediately opens the tailgate. Out comes our nemesis, a whole squad of stormtroopers in tow. With a threatening hiss she ignites her lightsaber and comes towards us with determined steps.
The Imperials did not expect this. Like a bolt of lightning Bheka jumps out of cover, ignites his flamethrower while still in flight and sets the stormtroopers on fire. Screams and the stench of burnt flesh fill the room. One against 16? I run to Bheka and throw a grenade into the middle of the sea of flames. Boom! In the chaos it is hard to tell how many survived the inferno and are still fit to fight. Some apparently, one rushes at Bheka, and a few blaster volleys go in my direction. Damn, this is hellish pain! Luckily not a life threatening hit, I think. Take a deep breath, breathe evenly. And that with the smoke. Now Vex starts firing too, but his contribution is more decorative. He hits nothing at all. Bheka and I fire again, and now Alex shoots, too. The round against the stormtroopers goes to us, but Bheka is also hit!
What does the Major? She seems to be interested only in Booker, between her and him a fierce fight with the lightsabers is raging. No chance to shoot in the middle, damn they are fast! Too fast for Booker, he decides to parry one of the whirling blows with his body. Quite bad idea, with a loud scream he goes to the floor. Grimly the major wants to give him the death blow, but she has made the calculation without our oversized lighter. Suddenly she is on fire and staggers back a few steps. A lucky blaster shot from me hits her lightsaber, which she then drops. This time the salvos of Vex hit as well. The major was not able to successfully dodge them, but by rolling on the ground she has extinguished her burning clothes. She stands directly in front of me, raises her arms, and I’m sure that’s it now! Electric discharges from her fingertips race through my body. I completely lose control, spasming and twitching. Who thinks blaster hits are painful has not experienced something like this yet. I can’t even scream because I can’t open my mouth. Just before I think I’m going to lose consciousness, she collapses lifelessly and the lightning goes out.
While I’m trying to get up Bheka is already taking his trophy. Without further ado he cuts off our enemy’s head and puts it in a big bag. Yikes. So he seems to be doing quite well, at least better than Booker.
Now we have to get out of here. Nice enough the airlock of the Lambda is still wide open. So nothing to do but climb in, climb over armor and body parts, kick them out, what a mess. The stunned pilot is still in the cockpit and wants to reach for his gun. A lightning bolt twitches from my right hand and hits his helmet right between the eyes. Before I realize what’s going on I have shot him. Bheka nods approvingly.
I send the agreed launch signal, the Ranger with the docked Origin should fly off immediately. The tailgate of our new ship closes and we fly through the air shield.
A screeching alarm is confirmed by a loud whistle of escaping air aft. We have a hull breach! That damn grenade must have punched a hole in the hull as well. Vex makes temporary repairs, and the alarm goes off. Hopefully we have no further damage.
The Ranger confirms its launch. The comlink flashes hysterically, the Relentless demands to turn back immediately. I blather something about a reactor leak and give full throttle. Must think of something new, but it does not matter now. Bheka comes into the cockpit, he still has the chip with the precalculated jump data. Vehemently he rams it into the slot. In he is, and probably never comes out again.
Various laser flashes just past us. Besides, the missile alarm is blinking, someone is trying to get on it. Let’s see what the Lambda can do. Before I can say anything Alex jumps to the console and activates a jammer. That’s it!
The radar is full of small, medium and large red dots. Obviously fighters were also launched. All ships in the vicinity are targeting us. We have to get to the jump point as fast as possible. The Lambda groans and creaks, while I blow the engine up to over 110. Several volleys of turbo lasers narrowly miss us. One of them hits something in our flight path, which bursts in a huge cloud of fire and smoke. Gortz, for this you get a bottle of my best whiskey! Ingenious! This is the cover we need. I steer directly into the cloud. Two fighters that have caught up collide in a spectacular fireball right behind us due to lack of visibility. More debris between us and our attackers, good! The radar is useless at the moment and shows only a big red cloud, in which we are in the middle of it. Obviously there are more fighters, because we take several hits on the stern. Parts of the starboard wing break off, a missile must have gotten through after all. But still our ship flies. Bheka meanwhile has taken a seat in a gun turret and tries to target the fighters, but he can’t see any more than they can. Another explosion ahead, whatever that was. I pull the stick to the right rear as far as it will go, and our ship reacts with a sharp barrel roll. Once, twice, three times… we fly corkscrewing around the fireball. The two fighters behind us want to go straight through the center to get closer to us, which is their undoing.
We are leaving the debris field. Somewhat distant, there is still a fighter behind us, but we are probably too far away. His shots go nowhere. Also the capital ships are probably not able to target us at this distance anymore or are blocked by the debris. The big blue dot on the radar is right in front of us, we’re reaching it… Jump!
Fractions of a second before the stars become lines there is a crashing explosion in the stern. Was there another rocket? At least we’re in hyperspace, but life support is down and we’ve suffered another hull breach aft. Everyone has to go to the cockpit immediately. Vex stays behind the lock and we try to repair.
I told everyone in the cockpit? Booker? Alex? A quick check confirms they have rescued themselves to the medbay, which has its own life support. Lucky!
It’s getting cold as shit up here, and the air’s getting thinner and thinner. Sure, we only have the oxygen left in the cabin. Bheka has his own air supply in his helmet. A helmet! My gaze falls on the pilot. His helmet stupidly has a hole right in the middle of the field of view. I take it anyway, pull it open and plug the hole with a piece of gum. The dizziness due to the lack of oxygen disappears.
As we drop out of hyperspace, we are alone. I assume the Ranger has already flown on to Issagra Station with the Origin. Shortly after that Vex manages to reactivate the life support. Vex uses the stopover to search the Lambda for homing beacons. He finds nothing. Maybe it’s also because everything in the back is in ruins except the engine and large parts of the armor are missing.
We jump to the agreed meeting point with the Ranger. Nobody there. We are waiting. Sindia, damn it, are you leaving us hanging?
I’m about to take off when the Ranger drops out of hyperspace right next to us. She has no visible damage. We dock. Sindia kept her word and got everything we agreed on. Good girl!
Booker is in bad shape. He needs urgent medical treatment, which Alex cannot provide with the limited facilities on our ships. After a short goodbye, Vex and Sindia set course back to Issagra with the Origin, and we continue our flight to the Rebels. Mission accomplished!
"Issagra Controlle to HWK Fillandra. You are cleared for takeoff. Please observe the speed when leaving the dock."
Vex modulated the customs officer’s voice on Dian and sent a brief acknowledgement.
Gently, the HWK lifted off the landing pad and aligned itself toward the energy shield that separated the dock’s athmosphere from the icy void of vacuum.
"And you’re sure the organics will let us go?" VEX heard the unspoken reply from Mother and sighed almost sorrowfully. "As you say, but I think they would be a valuable addition to our matrix."
He slowly increased the thrust controls on the 4 drives and slid off the deck where the pad was into the open space of the circular space dock. Below and above you, freighters and shuttles crossed your flight path. A larger ship just crossed the energy field when VEX noticed a suppressed scan.
"We are being scanned… Compensate… Failed."VEX remained calm and increased the speed by another 5%.
He noticed a ship nipping at his heels.
"Firespray class. Registration 1225-1452-21ER. Origin Malastare. Designation "Red Sarlac. Scan…"
Vex looked at the stream of oncoming ships and waited for an opening. The Firespray approached and positioned itself slightly above you.
As the Gallofree made a sharp right turn in front of you, VEX turned the shub full on. "Hold on!" VEX had forgotten that only he was on board.
The HWK made a leap forward and dived under the Gallofree. The agile ship shot through the energy field, turned on its back and dove downward, along the hull of the station. VEX ignored the screech of the proximity sensors and focused on the structures in front of it.
"Incoming radio message…" You don’t think you can get away with that no maneuver, little bullet…
The tactical sensors whistled and signaled a missile lock. "This is not good…" Vex pulled the Origin up and around a few containers. Behind him he heard the impact of two missiles hitting the container. Vex dove down and flew evasive maneuvers around a few more containers.
"Navigation data please…" VEX hoped that the calculations would not take too long. Mother had an extensive database of the surrounding star systems, but a calculation in the current situation was always a challenge. Even for a sophisticated AI.
Blaster fire hit the rear of the HWK and warning messages blared that the rear shield was disabled.
"Initiate ECM . Navigation data please…" The interior lighting of the Origin suddenly turned the cockpit a dark blue. Over the comm he heard a sudden flurry of alerts and loud cursing. Reports of jammed sensors and "flying blind" came in one after another. Over the confusion of communications he heard the loud cursing of the pilot of the Firespray. VEX shot out into free space and transferred all the ship’s power into the hyperspace drive.
Navigational data poured into the data converters, firing the maneuvering thrusters and aligning the ship. The magnetic couplings conducted the energy into the hyperspace coils and accelerated them to maximum speed.
VEX sent his last message and accelerated the ship. Stars became lines, which changed to a hyperspace tunnel in a flash.
Smiling, Sindia looked at her datapad.
She will keep her part of the bargain. She hoped the little sphere would do the same.
With a swipe, it activated the holographic replay.
Flickering VEX appeared over the table where she sat.
"47- VEX : Last Log:
Mother and I left the rangers.
There is one thing we need to do.
During our stay on Dian, the ranger received a coded message, which came from my matrix, other units like me.
I consulted with Mother for a long time and we made the decision to move to these coordinates. Where we are going you can’t follow as an organic so please keep Drox from trying this. Any organic life form would not survive.
The organic Booker Sheplin has agreed to give us the Origin indefinitely. This unit promises that the ship and its systems will be 100% operational and intact upon its return.
The Ranger’s systems were programmed to operate autonomously after Mother’s transfer. I have installed an image of a virtual intelligence in the memory banks of the Ranger, which simulates the superficial routines of Mother. So you’ll still be able to talk to the Ranger, even though the sophisticated routines will be missing.
This unit has learned a lot from the crew of the Gemini Ranger and will incorporate this into the algorythms of the Matrix.
We will not forget.
End of line…"
Under the radar
In the trap
"I need to get rid of the swoop" is my first thought, and "I need to change my look" my second. Hardly anyone on this damn planet that isn’t after me now. Unfortunately the streets here are like deserted, there is not a poor devil I can find to sell a race bike to at an absolute cracker price. It’s a good thing, I have a few minutes of privacy. In the bike I leave the key and put kindly also the helmet on it. Maybe some idiot will come along after all. First take off the jacket and turn around, good if the inside and outside have different colors. Something falls out of the bag. A box, fake beard is inside, a pomaded wig, makeup sticks and also some makeup. Lucky must be the human! "Allow me, William Windsor my name.", haha. goatee, lard curls, thick eyebrows, no problem. The Swoop doesn’t have a rear view mirror, but it does have a camera that can be misused as a mirror. After a few minutes my mother would not recognize me anymore! The flying camera that scans me shortly afterwards seems to be convinced as well.
Somehow I gotta contact my crew. Calling her directly and arranging a meeting point would be a stupid idea, I need a neutral place and someone I can trust to call her for me. Let’s see, who do I know here on Dian… there was something… some brunette with a T… Ta… damn what was her name… let’s check my address book… Tara, no, it was something with Tan…, Tanja, Tanya, Aunt Olga (Ahem, I must clean up…), Tanda! Tanda Faramon, that’s right, that’s her. Doctor I think. A bit naive, but always helpful, a really nice one. So exactly the right. Let’s see… she actually answers and even remembers me. Is at work right now, but is happy about the call. We’ll set up a meet in half an hour in front of the hospital where she’s on duty. So I’ll wait there. She comes out of the main entrance directly towards me, stops next to me and looks around searchingly. My giggle is met with a half-questioning half-poisonous look, which brightens when I remove my beard and lift my wig. After a very warm greeting, we move into her vehicle in the underground garage. There I briefly describe the situation and that I have to disappear for a short time. She probably expected something else "I’m still single…" and seems a bit disappointed, but wants to help. Somehow she is cute.
We drive to her apartment. Again with beard and wig past the security droid, he leaves us alone. I let myself fall on Tanda’s sofa with a sigh. "Whiskey or rather an ale?". Golly, she still knows what I drink. I decide for the beer, want to keep a clear head. She takes one too and sits close to me. Concentration Drox, you don’t have to take advantage of every opportunity. Besides, if this got out (and it would if I know Sam) my head would be only the second thing Shanaya would rip off of me. She has such a temper… Tanda calls my crew for me anyway. "Jeff Simson"? Sure Harlow, that’s just like you. We will practice again with the voice disguise. But well reacted. Our garbage truck’s on the way.
Tanda and I pass the time discussing technical details of different YT models. For a doctor she knows her way around frighteningly well. Has she got the wrong job? Would probably make a good flight engineer…
I’m explaining the Ranger engine modifications to her when the door finally chirps. Bheka and Sam are here. Sam of course flops down on the sofa, puts his feet up and gets a beer as well. All that’s missing is the TV on. Here you go. Messages. Holla… what kind of shit is that?? Breaking news on all channels, the Empire has sealed off the planet, the planetary shield is up. We’re stuck! To make the whole thing even more perfect, the sheriff is also on the planet and gives a cocky interview. So this is what a fish in a shark tank must feel like when the anglers are still lurking above the water’s surface. We can not stay. Run away also not. Thanks Gortz, are you behind this?? You wished us a lot of fun with the sheriff. But then we disagree, that would be a bit too big for him, besides he is surely no friend of the empire. All this fuss won’t take place because of us or my little chase, and the missing professor shouldn’t justify it either. There must be another reason. Anyway, we have to get out of here, but how?
Sindia! Yes exactly, Sindia! Now it’s her turn, she’s our ticket through the shield. Gortz wants her so badly, let him have her. For appearances anyway. We don’t have much time, so let’s go to the spaceport. Tanda takes us past the security of her apartment block again, then we say goodbye. Somehow I feel sorry for her, she must have imagined our reunion quite differently. No time for sentimentalities, we have to go.
On the way to the spaceport we concretize the plan. Bheka will pose as a bounty hunter who caught Sindia and wants to deliver her to Gortz. He will then certainly joyfully invite us onto his ship and open the shield. We fly through, give full throttle, give him a long nose and jump out of the system before he realizes what’s going on. That should work. The necessary license for transporting the prisoner to our ship will surely be provided by the sleeping bounty hunter, who is still lying in the car. At least he does not say no. We’ll leave him there.
The spaceport is secured by at least 2 AT-AT walkers. My God, these things are big. One looks like it’s used for air defense. Well, time to go, a full ion charge into the engines of the taking off rangers should be funny. But there is no turning back. Sindia gets handcuffed (at least it looks that way), we get out and Bheka pushes her rudely in front of her on the way to the security gate. She plays along and clamors accordingly. The officer wants to discuss with us, but after mentioning the name Gortz he waves us through. We actually make it into the ship, the first part has worked out!
From the cockpit I call the Relentless. She answers immediately, and I am actually put through to Captain Gortz without further inquiries. He seems quite annoyed, after exchanging the usual pleasantries asks all sorts of questions about the whereabouts of various people, which I am lucky enough not to be able to answer. To my astonishment he seems to believe me and does not probe further. Then he suddenly changes the perspective and the zoom of his com-camera. I think I’m crazy! He stands in a conference room, and next to him stands Booker Sheplin with a serious face! Gortz wants to talk. He agrees to open a gap in the shield for us if I hit him on the Relentless!
The big race
Drox "Lightning Tochiki
What can go wrong? Somehow we ask ourselves this every time we think we are doing a simple job. The universe in its infinite humor finds every time much more answers than I would like to have. Well, at least we collected the professor and his lovely little daughter Rachel (hot blonde by the way). For that we have (actually Bheka! "Accidentally") just beat up his bodyguards in the store, knocked out his daughter in his own apartment (also Bheka!), killed Rachel’s bodyguard (ok, I was involved in that), knocked out the lights of the driver of her limousine (ok, ok, I did that too, but it was self-defense), stole the car of an annoying old lady with even more annoying mutts (no comment) and to top it all off, bagged a comatose bounty hunter (that really wasn’t me)!). At least nobody died. So from our opponents I mean.
Can this be increased? Not really, you’d think, but I’m afraid the universe will find one or more answers here too. We still have to torch the long shopping list for the rebels. Unfortunately, some of the money has already been spent, so the price has to come down. The deal has to take place with Sindia Dillman of all people, and in order for the price to be right and everything to work out, she demands a pretty big favor. It was obvious. She still tells me the story about the Ranger. I’m supposed to steal a racing swoop and piss off the cops so Sindia can do some of her shady business. She’s got a full bang! I wouldn’t dream of it. She just grins and hands me a chip card with a code and a map with the destination address of the swoop. Casually I take a look at the address and read a name. Boy, at first I thought I should steal the thing from the cops, but this is highly interesting. This thing belongs to the famous racing driver Luis Hamill. He is a real asshole, he won the big price of Dian last season only by cheating against Mig Haggi. He deserves a lesson! I steal his baby out from under him!
Then I’ll be on my way. The destination is easy to find, first up a few levels, so off into the elevator. The door closes, a strange alien stretches his foot or whatever it should be in between and squeezes into the narrow cabin with me. Stinks quite nicely after cheap fuel. Now the pathetic creature also starts to babble, babbles something about my beautiful boots and that he also wants to have something like that. What a scum. In my mind’s eye I hold a blaster to the right and one to the left of his head, just opposite, and pull the trigger at the same time. The feared mess makes me decide otherwise, and I don’t want to attract attention right now either. For 20 credits the stupid cattle goes its way. Bing, I’m upstairs.
A cab brings me to the racing stable of Hamill. The chip card serves its purpose, I get in without attracting attention. A tall redhead chats me up, I’m sure I’m the new mechanic, oh yeah sure I am. Ami is her name, I think I’ve seen her before as a pit babe at a race. She has the figure for it anyway. Anyway, she comes just in time, we chat for a while while she shows me the way to the hangar of the swoop I’m looking for. That was easier than I thought. Whether I may enter? Not really, but then I do, she wants to wait outside. This is not how it was planned. At least I’m in, and there’s the good stuff jacked up. Tuned up to the no more goes is the Bolide. Tool is lying next to it, but it seems to be in tiptop order, starts immediately. Outside Ami starts to annoy what I’m doing so long, I tell her to go to the registration and announce me, I’ll be right there. She does not want. Chicks. What now? I have no choice! I put on the helmet, which conveniently hangs on the handlebars, press the button for the roll gate and swing myself onto the bike. Ami probably smells the roast and calls me to come out immediately, I do not care. Why does the gate open so slowly? Fuck it, briefly accelerate, put the bike across and underneath. Surprise, the alarm goes off. I turn towards the exit and open the tap fully. Waaaaaaas for a suit! This thing has an incredible acceleration. From the front something is probably aiming at me, ion flashes just past me, while I swerve with the rear to knock over a few garbage cans. Ami looks on stunned, I grin in her direction and throw her a kissing hand, while I make a clear gesture with the other one to the security droids that are shooting at me right now. Another 360 to dodge, then full throttle and gone! And again collected new friends!
The others are already waiting at the meeting point. Alex has traded our vehicle for a garbage truck. I refrain from commenting. At least the paint is fresh. He ignores my snort and wags an injector. This must be the stuff he was talking about before, even better reflexes (does that even work?)?) It’s working… it’s starting to work… somehow… everything around me slows down. Or am I getting faster I don’t know it could be both there is a fly buzzing Bheka wants to scare it away next to it I grab it with two fingers crap no fly it bursts and stinks yuck waahhhhhhhh….
A few moments later I get used to the effect. Kinda cool. I should get going. We agree on a meeting point at a factory site and I go to keep Sindia’s ass free (I don’t think I’m really doing that now, but a deal is a deal). As soon as I’m on the spot I hear an Espo siren in the distance. Seems to be approaching fast. I start the engine of my bike. The baby purrs like a kitten that wants to wake up to a tiger. A fat espo car passes me by. Impressive vehicle, even has a name on it. "Thunderbolt". Show off! Then I want to annoy them a bit. The purr of the engine becomes an infernal roar as my swoop makes a rocket launch. I quickly catch up and stick to the rear of the Thunderbolt. A good time to draw attention to me, I hit the turbo in to cut the Espos close, or at least wants to. The sound from the engine reminds me that the bike was not for nothing still in the workshop, and that not for nothing a new mechanic was urgently expected. In any case, the additional power is far less than it would be good, it is just enough to take the lead. One hand on the handlebars, the other on the blaster, the on full power, aim, a shot on the blue light… Pffffzzztzt juiuiui… now I have full attention and the one egging siren. My "shit cop!"They probably don’t hear, but a loudspeaker announcement warns with slightly emotional peaks in the voice of bad consequences and threatens. Sounds like a woman sitting at the mike, haha. Let her catch me. You may be the thunder, but I am the lightning! Before the thunderstorm starts stink finger to the rear and full throttle to the front! Too much traffic here, they can’t risk firing at me, besides I try to provide a hard target with some rolls and zigzag maneuvers. Shit they are persistent, I gain some distance but not as fast as I would like to. Only sleepyheads on the track! Passing on the right, passing on the left, passing on the right, in between, dodging, braking, accelerating… if I would do that with the Ranger you could clean the vomit of my crew out of all cracks for weeks. By now they must have alerted their colleagues, up ahead they are pushing roadblocks together. Pull your head in, lay your bike across, make a 360° turn under the barrier, shit am I good. The Thunderbolt thunders through the barrier as if it were made of plywood, but seems not to have taken any damage. Due to my maneuver I lost speed and she is closer again. She’s fast, but she’s also agile? A full braking with extreme drift brings me around a more than right-angled crossing corner. My pursuers ram something, but also make it around the bend. Respect. Oohohohooh… there’s a crappy freight transport blocking the way ahead! Over? No chance, too high. Underneath is dense cross traffic, not at all. Between the wagons through, there is a gap! Quick as a flash I calculate the speed of the train and mine, aim just before the gap and get everything out of the bike. It rears up and obeys. Fortunately the transporter doesn’t brake and I slip right between two wagons. Damn power coupling! I have not seen them. I get a violent electric shock. My whole body feels numb, the swoop stutters, I lose control for a moment and dive downwards. At least I am now out of sight of my shadow. Whether she could still brake? Anyway, someone is going to be mighty upset now, and I continued to work on my popularity on this planet.
A few corners further there are some big garbage containers. I park the Swoop in between and will wait until the situation calms down a bit. Slowly the adrenaline wears off, or was that Alex’s stuff?? Anyway, I’m shaking a bit and getting a slight headache. Helmet off and take a breath!
Thunderbolt, ridiculous. Probably only enough for Thunder. The lightning is faster anyway. By chance I find a pen in my jacket pocket. I write "Lightning" in big letters on the bike. I love it!
Alexander Samuel Harlow Mission Diary Entry One
Or what Alex tells womankind
It could have been so nice. The words of Drox are still echoing in my head: "It will be easy to go there and back with the professor and his daughter. They don’t even realize that we were there."I wonder where it started to get so out of hand? I think so when the ESPO captain wanted to talk to us what a … Well let’s call him determined. That’s how I knew that my good friend Sindia was on the planet. Now I know how to get stuff for our new friends and with luck we will keep some of the 10.000 credits. But first things first, the professor. Arrived on the planets we were also immediately deducted 300 credits for a day in the harbor and on top of everything we were harassed and annoyed by two beggars. Drox simply has too soft a heart. Since we have no address of the professor I suggested just to look into a public terminal. I also found something even if Drox always interfered, sometimes he is really exhausting. Two addresses one even in the city a small store 10 levels below us. The store was our first target, with luck the professor will be there.
When we arrived at the store a youth came again and wanted money supposedly a group of dubious faces is watching the street as if someone is so stupid to rob us when Bekar is around. We were able to enter the store unhindered. The professor repairs droids well if that doesn’t underchallenge him. When we showed him the book, he opened his eyes. At that moment four muscle-bound people come in. Beka turned around and hit the biggest one of them and he went to sleep. The second one I shot down with a stun. All this took no more than 5 seconds. The last two almost took themselves out because they wanted to go through the door at the same time.
We heard some gunshots from outside, hitting both the windows and the door. Beka looked out and saw one of the thugs lying on the street he didn’t move. Shit I thought how do we get out of here. At that moment the professor’s com rang and he answered it but let us hear it. "Hello give me the bounty hunter." Bekar narrowed his eyes "I hear." "that’s my bounty you’re trying to collect" the voice said and hung up. "Great, now how do we get out of here?? Professor you can’t make a flash grenade that smokes. Yes, it should be possible. Ok let’s call a cab", said Drox. No sooner had the cab arrived than Drox threw the grenade and we ran. The professor was hit by something, after close examination it turned out to be a transmitter. Fortunately he had not penetrated deep into the tissue so I could get him out with simple means. Drox threw the transmitter out the window and hit a garbage speeder. So we could go to the Professor’s house I hope things go better there.
Arrived at the house of the professor we went immediately into the cellar there he has his documents everything on paper, super. Now we just have to get his "daughter" to come out without bringing the ESPO with her. All looked at me na great I may talk again with the woman why. Uff managed I groaned she comes but I think she is not thrilled. After about 30 minutes a limousine drove up. Nice thing said Drox. Rachel so the name of the daughter came immediately in the cellar. When she saw us she got loud and asked us a few questions. Bekar who tried to calm her down said that we are from the rebels and are here to help her and her father. She did not react as expected apparently she did not know about the rebels. When she reached for the com, Beka knocked her out. I think you should explain that to him but Drox can do that I don’t want to end up as a corpse. Beka looked at me puzzled and collapsed. She had poisoned him, luckily she still had a dose of the poison so I could make an antidote. Drox came to me and asked what we should do with their bodyguards. I groaned and went upstairs and told the driver that Rachel had fallen down the stairs. Shocked by this news he followed me into the basement. Where Drox immediately shot him down luckily with stun. Poor guy I just thought. "That’s one down, what about the rest," Drox asked? Oh crap I knew I had forgotten something. I went to the car again and knocked on the back door please be empty please! I said in my mind. When the door opened I groaned inwardly. Two musclemen, great. They looked stupid but they didn’t believe me at least they didn’t kill me right away. So I was able to draw my blaster and with a practiced movement I shot at the one who just got behind the com. So I had one off and was safe from the other behind the door. Who also immediately shot at me luckily he missed me, so I could jump out of cover with a pike jump and put two hits on his ribcage. He brought unconscious together. His colleague had come back in time to take an unobstructed shot at me. He hit me in the leg. leaving me with a nasty wound. I shot him again and sent him into the land of dreams. At this moment Drox came around the corner and whistled through his teeth. Oh crap sorry Alex I got held up the door was jammed. It’s ok Drox I said. If you’ll excuse me, I need to patch up. So we headed off to Sindia’s.
Drox: new friend and old acquaintance
What could possibly go wrong??
I’m waking up with quite a headache. The repairs on the Ranger are finished, so I guess we will know our mission parameters soon. But first I need a strong coffee… or two or three.
Dac’s brew works wonders. Slowly the memories come back. I let yesterday evening pass in review. Shania got off work early. Since it was clear that I was leaving the next day we were going to have another go. I can’t get into the officers mess so we moved through the public bars. Anyway we sat down with some cocktails, she had a "Proton Torpedo", I had an "Exploding Deathstar", pretty strong stuff (who always thinks of these stupid names)? "Happy Han"? "Lucky Luke? "Laughing Lea"? "Wasted Vader? "The only thing missing is the Drooling Drox"… yes Shania, very funny.) It could have been a nice evening if a couple of guys from Shania’s troupe hadn’t joined us. Of course, there was a lot of grumbling about how civilians can’t fly and are crap pilots anyway, otherwise they’d be in the military flying A-Wing or X-Wing, not some lame-ass YT. One of them said to me that he would pull me off blindfolded. "Prove it you big mouth" I exclaimed, and before the fists flew Shania intervened and said there were a few simulator booths free, we should have it out there. With his buddies yelling, we sat down in the virtual cockpits. "Gato!"Gato!"Gato!"They called him "El Gato" because he was said to be as nimble and agile as a cat. Shania grinned and winked at me, she was the only one who knew that I had already done some training on Ocsin and was not idle here either.
Round one was aerial combat in a ground attack, atmospheric flight. "El Gato" was really fast and stuck to my tail. I let him come closer and dodged his shots with lateral movements. When he was close behind me I put the X-Wing in a cobra maneuver vertically and throttled back the thrust, which slowed me down almost to 0 in a few seconds. The cat’s machine shot under me and ate a salvo straight into the engines. 1:0! Wild cursing from his cabin, loud laughter from his buddies. "You asshole cheated! Something like that works only near the ground! We now make a real fight, in space! I’m gonna fuck you up, motherfucker!". A clear hand gesture on my part did not help to ease the situation.
Alright, round two. Defense of a space cruiser. Again he came behind me, again I let him come closer and dodged his shots. No drag to brake, so a couple of barrel rolls to port, change to starboard, short reverse thrust, and again I came up behind him. What do they actually learn here? Boooooommm… 2:0. The crowd was raging.
At round three I caught him head-on at the first approach. "El Gato was in such a rage that he didn’t even think about dodging anymore. Direct hit into the cockpit, ouch. "Drox!", "Drox!", "Drox!"I guess the sympathies had changed. My opponent jumped up from his seat and tried to throw himself at me, but his squadron mates held him down. I could not help a certain grin.
The rest of the evening somehow disappears in the fog. Everybody in the squadron wanted to buy me a drink, except Gato, I haven’t seen him since then. I don’t know how I got to my quarters and who put me on the bed and took off my clothes.
Oh yes, Shania. I will leave her a message, she is on patrol in the morning and not reachable. Actually we had something completely different in mind last night. Well, she wasn’t completely innocent in the whole story, she can’t hold that against me.
Vex has used last night and screwed on our weapons. My new blaster pistol now fits perfectly in my hand. Doesn’t have any more boom than before, the actuator I got didn’t fit right, but aiming fast is easier now. Must try to take a second weapon in the other hand instead of supporting the main weapon with it.
At the briefing for our mission, we meet the chief mechanic, Nuschelkopf, and the supply officer, Mr. Closet wall again. Out of nowhere another green figure appears, who introduces himself as "Alsid". He seems to be in charge of the mission and reports about a professor "Nisut Yoziro", whom we should pick up on Dian and bring to Ocsin. Expert in propulsion systems and all sorts of things in aerospace engineering, and has more PhDs than Bheka weapons. I guess so. Oh, yes, Bheka and his weapons, he just won’t give up his flamethrower. After some discussions he gets a mercenary license for it, which should at least avoid some trouble on Dian. Alsid, meanwhile, tells a few more parameters about the mission, for example, the professor has a granddaughter who has to come along in any case. To make contact and to identify ourselves to him, we get a datapad disguised as a book (who actually reads books anymore?)?). Closet Bob has another shopping list for us, "while we’re here…", he wants slicer equipment and spare parts for droids. Reluctantly he packs 10.000 credits on top of that, and I don’t think you should embezzle the sum…
The launch checks confirm that the Ranger is 100% operational. Vex is pleased. Accordingly without any problems and fast we jump over Issagra to Dian.
Vex scans the system and causes a sudden mood drop. Not only that the Relentless is in orbit, no, it must also two old-known Firesprays of all now Dian a visit pays. At the same moment we are also hailed by air traffic control. In a smug tone they tell us to be ready for a customs inspection. What’s next? Running away is not, and so the customs ship docks. The inspector has his assistant check all personal data, while he wants me to show him around and is especially interested in the cargo hold. Yes yes, we have modifications, they are not all registered, and especially the ship’s computer would be more than conspicuous (if he knew what we have really modified…). I promise to make up for everything (yeah right, ass licking), dutifully pay the fine and put a bonus on top of it. But he is satisfied only after I add a bottle of my best whiskey and open another one… Alcohol on duty? Must know. His companions probably don’t take it that seriously either. In the meantime, the ID card check didn’t go quite as smoothly, but Bheka puts on quite an impressive show of law enforcement and obstruction of justice. One less thing to worry about, the customs force is getting off the ship again.
I wipe the sweat from my forehead and go with Alex to the cockpit. If Gortz comes forward he should take my place. I fall into the co-pilot seat, Alex into the pilot seat. Good thing I let him watch me fly, he knows what NOT to press while I’m controlling from the next seat. Or better control it, because at this moment the com. It’s the Relentless, who else?. Alex can’t really stall Goertz and doesn’t know how to help himself but turn the camera on me. Wonderful, Gortz knows I’m here. Of course, the customs inspector immediately forwarded the result of his personal inspection. And for that my best bottle died. That was not the plan. To my surprise, this time he doesn’t want to bag me at all, he first asks about Artemis, and then he wants to hear everything we know about Dilmon and what her relationship is with a whole bunch of people I know for the most part. I wouldn’t even tell him if I knew, but I really don’t, and he seems to believe me. He does not leave without repeatedly expressing his pleasure that the sheriff himself is present in the system. Save him work. asshole.
So much for "a very simple mission, what could go wrong there?". It can hardly get any worse, and we haven’t even really started yet. The sheriff is out to get us if he can’t Gortz waits, and of the 10.000 credits of Bob already went a part for the customs control. Only the Empire in the shape of the Inquisitor is missing. Probably she has already grabbed the professor and is waiting for us… meanwhile I think it was good that Bheka kept his arsenal after all.
Drox: Family ties
Every end is also a new beginning
They are gone. It was bound to happen eventually. Artemis and Te’Kar, that was doomed from the start. Te’Kar was an ass, impulsive and short tempered. Artemis somehow always wanted to be the calm one and do the right thing. Plus that eerie shanti where you never knew where you were at. I don’t miss her, but somehow I miss the other two, also the big lizard. Always reminded me a bit of Ned, he always had to get his head through the wall too. Mother always tried to slow him down, often unsuccessfully. I hope Artemis will be more clever. Maybe she will make it. Must have been a big step for Te’Kar to get involved, and perhaps an even bigger one for Artemis not to just turn her back on all of this.
Now I sit here and ponder. It is so quiet. So damn quiet. Vex hums through the ship and prefers to talk to the computer. Dac is cleaning again, though everything is clean. Somehow everyone is hoping that Artemis and Te’Kar will suddenly be back in the airlock like nothing happened. Time seems to stand still.
The com beeps! A message from the two? No, it’s Harlow, and it’s not even personal. A recording. Actually I want to push it away, but for some reason I let it go. Well, 25.000 reasons unfortunately there are… damn debts. He is not serious. He wants us to babysit his nephew! Alexander Samuel is his name, a Morellian, and then he wants to bring a Kyuzu with him. Wonderful, I am thrilled. Harlow has complete confidence when he gives him a bodyguard. Sam is supposedly into archeology, so it would be a good fit and we should take him on some adventures and show everything and blah blah blah. Thanks for the talk, or rather the monologue. Whipped shit!
Anyway, I have other things to worry about, and so does Vex. The ship urgently needs a visit to a space dock, before that there is nothing with "adventures" or any research missions for the amusement of Harlow’s nephew. Can’t risk anything happening to him if we get into trouble because of a defect in the ship. Then we’ll never get rid of the debt.
The only dock nearby is on the rebel base. My droid has the idea to use the flight for trading as well and to move some goods around. At least Vex is still thinking practically. Our financial situation is suboptimal, and the repair won’t be for free. Unfortunately, the Octisin trade network is once again overloaded and you can’t even get current prices. Then just by feeling, on such a station they surely always need medical goods. A load of Synth Flesh sure comes in handy, and sure enough, we find a wholesaler. Well, probably too big for us, he treats us like little pissers who want three sticking plasters. The price is accordingly outrageous. We have no choice, so I go for it. 400 units for 4800… good that Artemis doesn’t notice it.
Cargo is not the only thing we need, unfortunately the contents of the bar are ruined. Must remember next time to secure the bottles so that they can withstand a few Gs. It looks funny, but not as funny as squeezing whiskey out of a sponge. Dac will thank me. I guess I’ll go shopping and stock up on other supplies as well. What do Morellians and Kyuzu like to eat??
Didn’t know how hard it is to find a few good alcoholic beverages at a reasonable price here. Half a day on the road for the stuff, well, when I’m back again the Synth Flesh is already there. Dac is already busy with the loading. As soon as I am on the ship, our guests announce themselves. In fact, they act helpful and haul in freight crates without being asked. The Kyuzu makes a nasty impression. Flamethrower on his back, cyberarm, and on it he balances two crates as if they were empty. Dac seems impressed, and that means something. He has some clan badge too, but I don’t know it. Looks to me like he could eat a Te’Kar for breakfast. Thanks Harlow, why don’t you send me the same squad of Wookiees to tear the ship apart? And now I have to say hello and be in a good mood. Sure, and now complain about the ship, because of holes in the hull and not airworthy. Walk, you moron. I’ll keep this thought to myself. But Vex seems to think the same.
Sam is against all expectations not so bad, actually even sympathetic. Who does he remind me of?? Anyway, together with Vex we make a short tour through the ship and assign them their quarters. The Terminator gets the cabin that is as far away from mine as possible…
Harlow is not reachable. It was obvious. He already knew why he sent only one record. That’s gonna cost you, my friend. You might as well cancel a few thousand from the debt!
The cargo is on board, the passengers too. Time to make the departure. I want little Harlow to learn something, so I’m taking him to the cockpit. Don’t touch anything, just look, OK, he understood. They did a good job on the military base, the baby flies like new. Just have to compensate for a slight port drift, but that’s easy. Without bitching my girl jumps, we are on the way to the space dock.
12 hours is a lot of time, but a good opportunity to get to know the passengers better. Sam is a medic, that could come in handy. Bheka, that’s the Kyuzo’s name, is probably more for the rough stuff. Well, if we have to intimidate someone or kick down a door he surely has his talents.
The stripes become stars again. We are here! A passive scan reveals a patrol of 4 X-Wings. I radio them, we don’t want to sneak in. Our codes are accepted. Shanaya Petridis, I’ll remember that name! What a cute snail, and she can fly too! Guiding beam 7 she whistles, I like to lock in..
A tractor beam pulls us in and brings us to a parking position. Commander Webber is in charge here, I’d like to have a word with him. The night watch reports. Zoe Pillay is her name, hui. Somehow I understand slowly, why the rebels get such an influx. Anyway, we get an appointment with the commander. Tomorrow morning then. It’s all right with me, I’m dog-tired. But we are supposed to bring the whole crew, it is emphasized several times. That also means Dac, and little Harlow along with his muscle. So quickly brief the people and off to the cabin.
I secure my door from the inside. However, I don’t think that will be of much use when Bheka starts to run riot. On the other hand Harlow will not have sent us a psychopath with his nephew. I hope so..
I have a bad feeling and sleep accordingly badly. The much coffee of the evening probably also contributes his part to it. Finally I find sleep. The next moment the fucking com is already ringing. Damn, we have an appointment… so we ask Dac for breakfast (he already made coffee, he’s a piece of gold)!), wake up the crew… ah nix crew. They’re gone except for Dac and Vex. We have "guests" for that. Sam is already showered, dressed and… perfumed. Unbelievable. I used to use the same aftershave when I was on the hunt. Then I guess I’ll go upgrade…
Shanaya personally picks us up with a shuttle. Looks even better live and in color than on the com. Unfortunately a bit undercooled, was probably a bit too brisk. But that will surely come, the repair will hopefully take a while..
Nice meeting room, and it looks like an illustrious group. Besides the commander, there is also a closet, who is introduced as a supply officer, the chief physician and the chief mechanic. We have to stick to that. Anyway, the situation is difficult and blah, blah, blah, and besides, the commander seems to be a bit pissed off that there are suddenly two new faces here (Dac doesn’t seem to interest him, but he shows great interest in Artemis) and so learn about the actually secret base. Well, Felicitus knows us, so the base can’t be that secret if she just gives out the codes. But it’s a good thing, if Sam and Bheka are on any wanted lists, I’ll get rid of the problem here and now. But it doesn’t seem so, but I would have been surprised on the part of Harlow, because he knows us too. It’s more likely the Empire is after them. Although, somehow I don’t need hot passengers either.
After overcoming these little difficulties, we get down to business. Of course they want something in return for the repair. Our Synth Flesh at least scores points with the doc, the supply closet just turns up its nose. To the point the commander, surprise surprise, wants a favor for a favor. We are supposed to free someone, and the rebels want nothing to do with it. Well class. Details he wants to give only after the repair. Then I hope that after the liberation is not before the repair and the ship has new holes…
They have been working on the Ranger for a week now. You are doing a good job, Vex seems to be satisfied and helps out with the repair of the Hope. Can’t hurt if he gains experience there. Meanwhile I work on Shanaya, she is finally a little more accessible. Actually she is very nice. We did a few rounds together in the shuttle. When the station passes in front of a nearby star is somehow… romantic. I have to keep a cool head. Maybe she’ll let me fly her X-Wing before we leave. Oh yes departure. Somehow I don’t feel like it right now, I like it here very much. Two to three more days says Vex, then the Ranger is like new again. Good. No, shit. I can’t think straight..
Alexander Samuel Harlow: Review Part 3
-Alexander opens his eyes as his com rings next to the bed. What is it? ? He asked. On the other side of the connection his uncle’s voice sounded: Nephew please don’t tell me you’re still in bed we’ve been meeting for 30 minutes! Uncle we have a lunch date. Yes dear nephew then you should have a look at the clock. When Alexander looked at the clock he frowned how could it be so late otherwise Bheka always wakes him up when he has an important meeting. Uncle, I’m sorry!
Yes yes let’s forget it just bring the suitcase to the agreed place I’ll wait there. Yes, Uncle, I put him in the safe! With these words Alexander looked to the wall where the safe is hidden behind a picture, he thought strangely why is it open . … Shit with one sentence he was standing in front of the safe. Not there, he thought, how could that be?.
He took his com and spoke slowly into it uncle we have a problem. He heard a sigh. Please don’t tell me that case was stolen from you. Alexander Samuel Harlow please tell me. The suitcase is gone I don’t know how this could have happened really. I already said his uncle was blond? NO it wasn’t her and I don’t think it was her and she had red hair
My oh so easy believer nephew you have been tricked.
Make sure you get the case back I’ll tell our contacts to keep their eyes peeled for a redheaded woman. And you see if you can get the security footage.
Great, Alexander thought, he will hold this against me forever.
Where are you Bheka, he thought again?
As he was about to leave his room there was a knock on the door.
Bheka looked through the crack. Are you ready Alex?? Yes, I am. The redhead stole from us. I told you from the start that she was trouble. Yes yes are all of your clan so know-it-all?
Bheka thought about it for a moment No, just me he said with a big grin. Anyway, Bheka, we need to get the records from the hotel. So Alex and Bheka made their way to the hotel reception. Luckily for him the good lady had succumbed to his charm or the money he thought.
What are you going to do now Bheka asked? Now my good friend we will look at the records until we find them and then check the image with identity software. This should not take old so long here on Issacra I hope.
If the artifact disappears, my uncle will kill me or worse, he thought. After about 3 hours the software beeped and spit out a name Vanessa so and she lives on the lower level. With a big grin he walked to the elevator, Bheka close behind him.
Alexander may I point out that the lower sections are very fake! Yes I know that but what else can I do my uncle needs the artifact in the case for a trade.
After about 30 minutes walk they arrived at a run down dwelling. On the other side of the door is clearly a woman’s voice to hear. Alex took a few steps back to make room for Bheka. The door flew open when Bheka kicked it. When Alexander entered the apartment he saw a red-haired woman trying to push two little girls behind her in a panic. When it recognized Alexander, it turned pale and said, "Please don’t kill me. Fear was written all over her face. Alexander put his blaster back into the holster. I just want back the suitcase with contents you stole from me" he said very calmly. She gave him the suitcase shaking I couldn’t get it open so I don’t know what’s inside Please don’t hurt my kids. As Alexander turned to leave he heard one of the little girls say something. Mom, what about Luke? Is he going to die if we don’t get some medicine?? Alex stopped in the doorway and turned to see what was wrong with Luke? I’m sure I can help. I’m a doctor.
Very well, my nephew, you have the case. Now I can meet with the captain of the Covenant.
You will travel to Octesin and wait for an assignment from me and nephew behave.
Alexander rolled his eyes as his uncle left the meeting what am I supposed to do on this planet he just thought?
Alexander Samuel Harlow: Review Part 2
Alexander sits under a tarp and stares into the darkness.
The camp slowly sank into mud and dirt. How can it rain so damn much on a planet where there are so few seas and lakes he thought.
To make matters worse, the natives are not happy with visitors, which makes their work more difficult.
But luckily we can get inside the temple, he thought. The inside of the temple is only one door away. He never thought it would be so hard to cut through old armor doors. The inscriptions on all the walls of the temple are written in an ancient language related to the Old Huttic.
So he could translate some of the language. Some of the texts tell of a long forgotten battle, others tell of unspeakable deaths. Which apparently came via the builders of the temple complex.
We are through he heard the foreman say over the radios. Say Mr. Harlow knows!
He grinned no matter where Uncle got these guys, they’re worth every penny, he thought. I’m on it, Jim. I’ll be right there.
Arriving at the door he looked into a 50 meter long corridor at the end of which he saw that it ended in a large room.
Okay, guys, I’m going in alone. You’re going to break camp and load the ship. We’ve been here too long, almost a month. If we’re unlucky, the natives will be coming soon. The offerings are about a month old.
Sir, as you wish, I shall post guards at the door here? That shouldn’t be necessary.
With these words Alex slowly walked into the corridor. Slowly he felt his way forward. At the end of the corridor, a very strong smell of decay wafted into his nose. Great he thought. I hope nothing lives here anymore. Slowly he walked into the room with his blaster loosened in his holster. In the middle of the room he saw a kind of altar
On the altar lay a skeletal corpse under a thick layer of dust. He walked slowly and quietly. When he reached the altar he saw that the skeleton was holding a mask in its hands. Alex put his lips together and wiped the sweat from his forehead. So far so good, he thought, it’ll be all right. Carefully he removed the skeletal fingers from the mask. They’re tighter than I thought, he muttered, and pulled harder on the mask, releasing it with a jerk. The skull of the corpse grinned at him as the head fell from the altar. The clang was deafening in the absolute silence.
Alex followed the skull with his eyes as the skull disappeared into the darkness. As Alex was about to head for the door the hairs on the back of his neck stood up in the dark to the left and right of the door a pair of eyes looked at him about 3-4 meters above the ground. A soft hiss came from the eyes as it slowly opened in his direction. He ran to the over lying door and looked for the opening device. He was always looking over his shoulder at that one. He saw the creatures trying to circle him. Great, he sighed.
When his fingers found a button. He pushed it and jumped through the door which immediately closed. He turned to the door and grinned at it "You’re not having dinner!. I don’t taste anyway. He walked down the hall as he entered the anteroom a few natives looked at him puzzled. Alex recovered the quickest from the unexpected encounter and framed the native standing between him and the exit with his fist in the margins. The native went down with a groan. As Alex jumped over and ran towards the exit. When he came into the open he stopped to catch his breath. When an arrow hit the ground next to him… Shocked, he looked back and saw a crowd of natives chasing him. Cursing he ran towards the landing place. Arrows and stones kept flying past him. When he saw the first workers he called out. Run to the spaceship I am bringing a visitor. The workers looked up and when they saw Alexander being chased by about 30 natives they left the equipment and ran to the spaceship. When the natives heard the start of the engines they hesitated slightly. So that Alexander could enter the ship without further problems. Lying on the floor panting he started to laugh. When the foreman stepped in front of him Alexander said: "Are they all on board?? The worker nodded well Alex said and the artifact here should bring the cost back in with the other crap what
We have otherwise found. My uncle will be pleased.
As a first job that wasn’t so bad he thought and grinned.
Alexander Samuel Harlow: Review Part 1
How it began
So here you are. Alexander looked up. His uncle stood in the doorway and looked at him sadly. Uncle said Alex what are you doing here? What should I do I check how my nephew is doing. Why aren’t you in the lab?? What am I supposed to do there is no point anymore Father died yesterday and my research has been going around in circles for 18 years now. I am a complete failure and already at 40. Alex laughed and took a deep swig from the bottle he bought from a local resident. What are you drinking? asked his uncle? Alex looked at the bottle, if I only knew, the local people thread the stuff from mushrooms that grow in the mines here.
Nephew, you were so eager to find a solution to our extinction. I think if you keep drinking that it will probably speed up our extinction. Alexander looked at his uncle yes and he said there is no solution every time I thought I have another question popped up I have enough. I want to see the galaxy uncle get off this fucking moon. I could help you there my dear nephew. I promised your father that I would offer you a job and take care of you if you want me to show you how to run archaeological excavations and talk to traders.
I think the break would do you good and who knows maybe there will be some clues to new healing processes that we don’t know about what do you say?? I don’t know Uncle, I’m supposed to help you, are you sure?? Asked Alexander. Alexander Samuel Harlow or I wouldn’t have asked and who knows in 5 years you might be running an excavation without me. Besides, this way you will see the galaxy and have a lot of fun. Okay uncle you have convinced me. Where do we start and where. First we’ll get you some equipment and then we’ll go to the lab. …
Te’Kar: Thoughts of Revenge 5
Revenge is best served cold
Te’Kar how would you capture us or how do you think the sheriff would do it??
Artimes looked at Te’Kar asking.
It depends on whether he wants us dead or alive. But in any case I would not
Going alone is too dangerous Well, I would have thought so Te’kar, Drox said, you can go
yes continue to consult but Vex and I will have to keep the rangers waiting once again. Vex you catch
best with an outer skin check. As you wish Mam… I mean Sir. Quietly floated
the droid outside. But we have another problem said Artemis. How are we going to get the
I wonder what Te’kar said and drew his thumb across his neck. NO that’s murder that’s what
we don’t do that and that doesn’t solve the problem, Artemis said.
For now we should buy time and when the next one comes he will die too, Te’kar smiled
Artemis looked at Te’kar in horror: "There is another way, I’ll give Flaw a call!
After a while Artemis comes back: Flaw has made a contact clear to us if we want to use the contact
doing a favor he takes the bounty down.
With a smile Artemis looks to Te’Kar: "You see, you don’t have to murder.
Te’Kar looked to Artemis and what do we do if the sheriff finds us first?
We will take care of that when the time comes. When Artemis had just finished her sentence
Vex floated to the lounge beeping joyfully Sir I have these explosives on our engines
and found life support.
Artemis looked shocked. Te’Kar why didn’t you warn us that the sheriff would do this?
could do. Te’kar looked up in annoyance: There are a thousand ways to take us out
how should I know what he is up to.
Where would you have detonated the charge?? asked Artemis.
Somewhere where there is little ESPO there is only one system on our rod, Te’kar said calmly
I would suggest that we make the hunter the prey most of the time they are willing to talk to you
when they realize the trap did not work.
Te’kar finally smiled a hot lead to Jack and Fared.
We just need to offer the sheriff something Te’kar said, maybe something about those Hitmans.
That’s a good idea Artemis said let’s do that. I agree, said Te’kar grinning, then
I’ll have Jack soon and can slowly skin him until he hands me Fared
Artemis shuddered at so much hatred.
There you are a patrol boat that must be the sheriff.
Bring us in, Artemis said, I want to talk, but I want to talk in a way that we can defend ourselves if necessary.
So you give me information about the Hitmans and you want 6 weeks time to get rid of the bounty
the sheriff lay back. Ok but more than 6 weeks I will probably not need the
traces are already older. Jack should be arriving here in about three hours good chases.
with these words the sheriff said goodbye and jumped into hyperspace.
That was easier than I thought, Artemis said, looking at Te’Kar who had a twinkle in his eye
eyes had. Was that one spark of red or was it a delusion?
Artemis 21: The heritage of the Kooroo
The caravan moves on.
"Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to unspeakable suffering."
Reverently Artemis held the holocron in his hands. She still couldn’t believe that after all the trouble you had managed to get it into your possession. Now all you have to do is get off this planet. The stench was indescribable. She looked around the crowded apartment and shook her head. Over 20 Wookies crowded into the room. One of them had unhinged the doors of a closet, between the clothes two Wookie children lay curled up snoring.
the commlink cracked "it’s time, it doesn’t get any better" Artemis nodded to Te’kar who grinned and pushed one of the wookies rudely towards the door. "I secure the way."How do you get two dozen wookies on a slave planet to the spaceport?? They steadfastly refused to pose as slaves. Artemis sighed and gathered himself. They would have to trust in the Force. And Te’Kar’s skills.
It was incredible. The Trandoshan had indeed succeeded. Not once had they come near a patrol and they had delivered the Wookies safely. Admiringly Artemis looked at the bounty hunter. She had always known that he could become a great leader. His hands kept twitching to the blaster at his side. "Just over there and we’ll be at the ship." he pointed across the marketplace at the end of which the silhouette of the rangers could be seen. The place was noticeably quiet. When she arrived, various merchants had offered their wares here, but now – nothing. "Take cover" Shantis uttered a warning. Market stalls and shutters were flung open and blaster volleys cut the air as several Imperial stormtrooper commandos simultaneously opened fire. Artemis admired the precision with which the attack was executed. If Shanti hadn’t warned her… Artemis felt something trying to get her attention. Suddenly a memory surfaced in her mind. She saw a group of raiders dressed in ancient garb attacking a caravan. The caravan guards formed up but were quickly overrun. in their midst rose a slender chiss. She tilted her head and then let her heavy fighting staff rotate until it turned so fast that it could only be seen as a flicker in the air. Then she hammered the staff on the ground and a wave of power emanated from it. The attackers were whirled through the air like dolls. then the woman urged the caravan to hurry and they escaped their pursuers.
Artemis regained consciousness and looked around. Shanti lay motionless on the ground. Several bullet holes had left smoking holes in her armor and blood was running from her mouth. Te’kar crouched on the ground. Around him the salvos of the Imperials were hitting. It appeared just behind its cover and fired a volley that shredded one of the stormtroopers. Drox, who had taken refuge behind a crate, also threw a grenade. It flew straight at a troop of soldiers. At the last moment she hit a clothesline and was distracted so that she exploded far from her target. Then several volleys hit Drox in the chest and he went down. Artemis felt her heart beat faster. Calm you must remain calm. Trust the Force. She felt the panic take hold of her. Then Vex was hit. She knew what she had to do. She reached for the Force but there was nothing there! Her pulse quickened and cold fear sweat dripped down her back. This time the blasters hit dangerously close to Te’Kar. The stormtroopers had now formed into four groups in the square and were advancing, blaster rifles at the ready. Artemis saw a sergeant give the order to fire. Now it would end. In her mind’s eye, she saw her companions being killed, and her and Shanti…. no, she could not let that happen. She would not let that happen. Again she reached for the power but this time she did not entice and ask but demanded! She gripped the holocron tightly and felt a resonance. An angry scream escaped her throat and she lashed out at the stormtroopers. She felt her grip tighten around first the first group, then a second… finally they were all at her mercy! She felt the life spark of each stormtrooper how easy it would be…. Startled, she paused and felt her grip begin to loosen. At the last moment, she pushed the structurals far away from her, and they flew through the air like the attackers in her vision, crashing into houses. "Run" she gasped. Silently they rushed across the square. Artemis did not notice the looks Te’Kar gave her.
Artemis 20: The Duel
"And that is why we will kill you all, maim and disembowel your children, salt your fields and erase your memory" the black Twi’lek, Shanti, nodded in satisfaction. Artemis looked at her in shock. "But don’t you understand anything? Vao is only using you for her own purposes. As her minion!"A calculating expression appeared on Shanti’s face. "I know and when I have learned enough and am more powerful and stronger than her she will die" she shrugged "The strong prevail, the weak will perish. So it always was and so it always will be." she casually kicked one of the skulls off her pedestal.
Artemis shook her head sadly "It doesn’t have to be like this you could" Shanti snorted contemptuously and turned away but Artemis continued unperturbed. "You’re nothing but a confused, spoiled child throwing away a gift and shirking responsibility" her voice grew louder and louder and Te’Kar, who had been casually holding his blaster rifle, looked meaningfully at Drox. The nodded and let his hand wander towards the blaster as if by chance. Shanti cried out in rage and a wave of power emanated from her. The scream shook the body to its core and made the ears ring. The slaves ran away screaming in fear "How dare you! I will destroy you" Shanti jumped up, clutching her heavy staff.
"How dare YOU" Artemis voice sounded sharp and cold. She had bared her teeth. With a hiss she ignited her lightsaber. The silver blade gleamed dully. She jerked her left hand upwards and pointed at Shanti "YOU don’t know anything" she hissed. Suddenly Shanti was thrown off her feet, somersaulted, and groaned, her eyes fearfully dilated but her staff tightly gripped. "what…"
"Oh shit" the voice of the mercenary Harla sounded from behind some crates. There were three beeps and a grenade landed directly in front of Vex. Te’Kar had caught herself first jumped for cover and jerked his blaster rifle to his shoulder. With narrowed eyes he eyed the huts, grabbed his helmet and closed the visor "no clear field of fire" he hissed angrily. Then he grinned. With a rich click, Autofire’s setting clicked into place and his volley hammered the crates until they splintered. A cry of pain rang out. Shortly after, a speederbike howled and sped off toward the jungle.
Then the grenade exploded. Vex shrieked in protest as he was slammed into a container wall by the blast wave. Electrical discharges danced on its surface. Debris and dirt flew through the air.
In the village square, Shanti picked herself up, clasped her staff and began to slowly circle Artemis, who followed her with her sword pointed at the ground. Shanti jumped forward and aimed at Artemis’ upper body. But she ducked and in return slashed at her opponent’s legs with her saber. The black Twi’lek made a leap to the side as if she already knew what was coming next. Artemis followed her and the lightsaber whizzed through the air where Shanti had been a moment ago. The latter suddenly whirled around its own axis and struck the air seemingly aimlessly. Her staff hit Artemis right in the thigh, who had just tried to fool Shanti with a feint. There was a crack, Artemis groaned loudly and staggered. Her leg buckled. A sneer showed on Shanti’s face and she walked toward the blue Twi’lek. Suddenly the anger seemed to fall away from Artemis. Her features relaxed and her breathing steadied. She closed her eyes and jumped towards Shanti. The lightsaber described an arc. Shanti raised her staff and their weapons met. Sparks flew in all directions. Artemis drew back the sword and advanced. The smell of burning flesh filled the air and Shanti went down. The angry shouting of the slaves who had just poured back into the village square died away and there was silence. Vex laser pointer twitched over Shanti’s body who whimpered softly. The blade of the laser sword flickered briefly and went out.
Search for Carlo Zagg
At least that was the first plan
It is once again one of the days where you want to stay in bed.
Cause everybody knows the feeling "Stay put. Otherwise something bad fits."
Should it prove true today?
While waiting for Surizra we went shopping for new disguises and other resources. The past has shown that we should always change our appearance to achieve our plan.
After a while Oz Brimstone and Surizra arrived. Oz Brimstone tells us that he has asked around and got a contact name of a slave liberator. His name is Carlo Zagg and he is said to live in the Etti system on Etti V. Where on the planet exactly is not known. This is in our task to find him.
Oz Brimstone and Surizra have something else to do though, so this is to be done by the crew of the Origins.
When Oz Brimstone and Surizra had left. we (Booker Sheplin, 83 A-V-A and me) made our way to the Etti system. On the way we thought about how to get the necessary information to find the contact man. Just landing on the planet and asking for him is not possible, because only Etti are wanted on the planet. Other races are not allowed to travel there. We don’t give a big possibility to get caught, but still it will be difficult to get the appropriate information without attracting attention.
We went through the following possibilities:
- land and hope to get the information quickly
- Intercept transport ships between Etti IV and V and get the information by chatting with the captain
- fly to Etti IV and look for the information there
With possibility 3 there were further following ideas and problems:
- The only problem is that they won’t give us the information so easily, after all you can’t just ask where is the guy??
- Hacking into the system of corporate sector management is not exactly advisable
- To impersonate. Issuing an agent and asking for the information is too clumsy and raises the question why the Empire cares about this pipsqueak
- but to feel like an imp. Issue agent and sith and ask for a list of potential traitors sounds more logical and would have greater success
"I wonder if the ID is still valid?" Gladerial said that this is only valid for a short time to finish the mission on XXX. But maybe you’re lucky and the information hasn’t leaked out that far yet.
We solidify the plan as Imp. and Sith to run up on Etti IV and ask for the information.
Thereby Booker Sheplin tells me that he compiles the list. The list will consist of names of old fallen Jedi, a few noticeable contacts and his master.
For Booker Sheplin we have on the way one or the other of disguise (cowl, mask, belt, etc.) shopped. 83 A-V-A we have temporarily "dipped" in black paint. I myself put on the uniform again and learned my texts and my expression accordingly. This is going to be a much bigger job than just showing up briefly in front of the pioneers all the time and giving instructions or calling in progress reports.
We arrive in the Etti system and head towards Etti IV. In orbit there is an Imperial transporter.
The spaceport of Etti IV calls us and at the same time two space fighters come towards us. After a short pause I answer the call with my rank, the name, my ID number and the name of the slave., the mission, the destination and that I am in the company of XXX. It doesn’t take long and we get a guiding beam (Nr. 1) assigned and the hunters are leaving quickly.
"Phew the first step is made and they swallowed it" I think to myself and the lump in my throat disappears for the time being.
The guiding beam leads us directly on the roof of the administration. Where Booker Sheplin gently lands.
Outside, an employee rushes toward the ship. He even seems to be adjusting his shirt as he goes along.
After a short chat and some convincing he led us to an elevator.
In the elevator you can see the slight panic of the supervisor.
We stop first on the first floor, explaining that he has to get the access key to get into the computer center. He goes to the guards and talks to them. From far away it seems that they discuss for a miserable long time ("You go."No, you go." "No, you go.") about what and where the problem lies is not heard. We are starting to get nervous ourselves if our cover has been blown. A protocol druid comes to us and says that he will take us to the computer center and that we can continue now.
Going down in the elevator.
The elevator opens and we step out of the elevator one after the other. Twitch slightly at the sight of two O8 – AX standing guard at the side.
We move on to a room. There an astromech druid is responsible for this task. After a little back and forth between the two of them, about why he is allowed to be down here and he proudly shows his "new" ID card. he goes to the computer and enters the first names of the list.
One by one we go through them and especially with the exquisite names we take a deep breath. Until the threatened name Azra Vao was typed in. The screen lit up and locked up. Only the note "Correspond only through XXX "
"Well great, we are blown after all?"I thought to myself and my heart slipped a little in my pants.
A back and forth developed, about what’s going on now and why it doesn’t continue.
Didn’t want to wait for the XXX and so tried to unlock the lock screen. After a short trial I managed to remove the lock screen and at least the last view became visible again.
On the XXX we didn’t want to wait anymore, but because of the lock the "alarm" went off, so the guards (two O8 – AX ) don’t let anyone through who is not authorized.
So wait and see.
After a short time the supervisor came and asked for IDs and what we are doing here. My ID card was no longer valid and was therefore not accepted. It always looked worse for us. But then Booker Sheplin came in the game and did the Sith and discovered CSA Auditor. This has a camouflage device and therefore not to see. This gives a direct twist to the situation. We are taken seriously again and luckily we manage to get out too
Te’Kar: In the ass of the world 3
In the meantime at the Empire
The room is darkened as the imperial sergeant enters the room. The holo is the only source of light.
The sergeant stops in a corner and waits for the Sith kneeling in front of the holo.
…Yes, my master, my spies tell me that the Covenant has been booked for the job. The client has already been identified by our people.
Only we don’t have his name yet, but that’s only a matter of time. We also know the handover location. Well, my pupil, don’t let me down again, you know
how I punish failure?! With this word the holocom turns off and at the same time red light turns on. The Sith was still kneeling in front of the Holocom.
When she rose and turned to the sergeant, he saluted her.
My Lord the Covenant are on our scanners and the person we suspect is heading towards the rendezvous point.
What are your orders! Get your squad moving near the rendezvous point Keep the spies at a distance but don’t lose him I don’t want to lose any of them
I have a malfunction when I get the holocron. Did you get that?
Yes my Sith Lord I will pass on the orders. Ah sergeant you know how I punish failure or? The smile the Sith had on her lips made the sergeant shiver.
He saluted again and said yes ma’am I know that we are the 3rd division of the 5th division we know no failure ma’am.
Some time later the sergeant waits at a street corner, that the Sith is in his back, has not escaped him. He tried to get his nervousness out of his
Keeping his voice out. My lord the target has gone to this store, he points to a grocery store, according to our spy there seems to be a conversation there
only he won’t be able to get close enough because the Mandolorian is watching very closely. The spy is not sure if he was noticed or not.
Sith stiffened. I want to talk to the spy later. At these words the sergeant felt a chill down his spine.
What are your orders my Sith Lord? Let’s wait and see who else is in the store I don’t think they will hand over the object there.
After a while the target left as Sith said with a slight smile on his lips we are waiting. The sergeant was confused but didn’t dare ask questions.
The mission just got a little more interesting. We’ll follow the person coming out of the store, it should be a Twi’lek. Wondering how Sith could know that
the sergeant looked towards the entrance as a droid floated into the store. After a while a Trandoshan man came out of the store and looked around like this
that he could handle his weapon, a human probably a bit distracted by the Twi’lek at his side and a droid. Exactly the same as the one who left about 10 minutes ago
So we follow them said the Sith with a big grin but so they don’t notice us right away.
Yes my lord the sergeant gave the orders through his helmet com.
The target seems to be going to the meeting point my Sith Lord. Good then we get them all at once.
So sergeant you may give the order to enter. Yes my Sith Lord I will do so immediately. TO ALL TO ALL ACCESS ACCESS .
As the stormtroopers rounded the corner, several people turned around, including the captain of the Covenant. The captain narrowed his eyes.
The sergeant standing by the Sith stiffened when he saw the 25 Wookiees and the 14 heavily armed people standing by the captain. Sith did not seem to mind.
Just in time, the sergeant heard the Sith say, Captain, if I may please have the cube.
Are you my trading partner girl I don’t think so. You don’t have what I want so buzz off with your people.
The sergeant winced at the words. But pay no attention to the Sith and the captain he rather looked at the 14 men of the captain who all raised their weapons
and on the other side the Wookiees went in an attack position.
YOU DARE TO INSULT ME LIKE THAT YOU WORM THEN I WILL FORCE YOU TO GIVE ME THE HOLOCRON . When the Sith suddenly began to scream, everyone in the square flinched.
NO STOP THIS IS TOO MUCH MADNESS STOP…. The captain of the Covenant laughed louder and louder until both suddenly fell silent at the same time. The sergeant looked confused at Sith
and went back to the captain who just made a hand gesture and said shoo shoo. The sergeant made a hand motion and two of his men grabbed the Sith to carry them away.
We’re pulling out, he said to his men. With the certainty that he has given his last order.
First repair delivery to .
We are on our way to Dyian to get everything ready on time.
Once there, Oz went to do a little shopping.
I spend the time to prepare the rooms.
Until I go stretch my legs and explore the station.
While walking around I suddenly come across an Imperial troop.
They do not notice me.
– Apparently they are patrolling a facility
– Ask me "What are they doing here all of a sudden. "
– Then meeting with Prax Ulther and Oz Brimstone just before the meeting
– Gladerial comes alone in uniform
– Oz Brimstone tells me that she is a high lady in the Empire
– She gives me a uniform that is above that of the pioneers and informs me of the further course of action
– I’ll change and use the rest of the time to prepare for my role (I’ll have to question Oz Brimstone more in the near future to be armed at the next meeting).)
– When the pioneers arrive I do as instructed and take over the squad.
– The stuff and the squad will be loaded (equipment and material on the Max Ulther and the pioneers on the Vagabonds)
Te’Kar: The arse end of the world 2
The excursion of the Baron
Shanti told us that the artifact is no longer on the island. Since we have no further clues we make our way to the neighboring island Drox was already there when he waited for us. Drox should pretend to be a rich artifact hunter I hope he gets it right. I may doubt it but after all we have a legend, let’s see what’s in store for us..
It is again a boring day in the flight control of the island Brisal thought Marie there is no flight registered and the defense towers are just serviced. When a faint beeping on the radar indicated a flying object heading for the island. Some outpost guard who has been here before but without the usual tourism places to visit strange. With these thoughts she reached for the radio to the spaceship on 234/145 please turn to the guiding beam 23b to land. A man’s voice answers thanks we will do I hope the baron has time for me. Marie narrowed her eyes, she doesn’t know that the High Lord is expecting visitors, but she doesn’t need to know everything. She turned to the young recruit and told the Baron that his visitor was coming. The boy saluted and went on his way…
Father the spaceship was on the island so believe me maybe they are slaves planning to attack you. My dear daughter, if they were slaves, they could use this ship to get rid of us without resorting to tricks. Besides, I’m bored, maybe today will be a good day. With a grin, the Baron stood up and pointed to the door after you, my dear.
When the ship landed the Baron had to admit that the pilot knew what he was doing and he sighed as he went through the possibilities of what to do with the freighter.
As the loading ramp rounded and a human, a droid and a Trandorschan went down the ramp his daughter stiffened. Good afternoon I am Drox art dealer and artifact hunter I am here to see the Baron he is expecting me. That was too much and the Baron started laughing loudly. The stupid face expression of the human was just too good. The Baron only heard his daughter say that this was not true. When the art dealer said then ask about it. The Trandorschans showed a reaction that is not appropriate for a bodyguard. Thought the Baron through his tears of laughter. It almost looked like he was going to hit the human. This is Lord Brisal he heard his daughter say and father stop laughing it is rude. Oh daughter you know I love to laugh. Drox could see the embarrassment. He tried to overplay it. So Mr. Drox, this is your ship. She is very beautiful. YES said the human she is my pride and joy! Ok I believe you Mr. Drox what is she up to?.
At least he knows ships better than actors thought the Baron. Yes, that’s very interesting can’t we go for a ride Hr. Drox? Sure we can! The Trandorschan didn’t seem very happy about it and said something to the droid. Who then floated into the ship probably to hide something that I should not see, but anyway that will probably be a lot of fun. Come on, I’ll show you around I heard Drox say. … And this is the cockpit, if you like you can sit in the co-pilot’s seat on the left and ask for permission to take off. Please don’t I am the Baron this is my damn island!! Yes but after that your people think they are kidnapped and shit on us, Drox said. Yes ok that makes sin where do I have to talk in? In here Hr. Baron.
HELLO HERE IS YOUR BARON WE FLY A ROUND SO DON’T SHOOT US DOWN UNDERSTOOD . … Yes.. I mean, no, sir, we know.
We can do that, sir. Pilot. That way please.
They have real power that is the hammer. Oh there is a factory ship of mine can we fly over there again. Look how they work. Can I tell them something??
Sure Hr. Baron as just speak into the microphone.
YOU SHOULD WORK HERE IS YOUR BARON IS NOT WORKING ON THE RAILING BECAUSE I SEE THAT I AM ABOVE ALL .
You can see Drox rolling his eyes I sometimes want to know what people are thinking thought the Baron.
Does the ship have weapons I mean there must be criminals out there and you have to defend yourself or? Yes the ship has weapons Te’Kar heard could you show the Baron the weapons please? The Trandorschan looked nervously at the Baron and back at Drox. You can tell he doesn’t want me to get the weapons, but he also doesn’t want to blow the cover on the art dealer I’m getting less and less believing in it. Please follow me sir I heard Te’Kar say for a lizard he can do basic but very good thought the Baron.
… This is all very interesting can I take a crap on something maybe? The Trandorschan hung his eyes but gave my request to Drox who flew me to a stone reef. WOW they have real power the babies a few of them and the empire has already bad cards or. No sir the Imps have even bigger guns Te’Kar said. OK too bad.. Oh there is another factory ship back there can we fly there again from here I can observe them better. The Trandorschan narrowed his eyes you can see he doesn’t trust me 100%.
I told him how much these things cost several million and here … The Baron opened fire on the factory ship and got a few good shots in. Good shot the Baron heard the Trandorschan say with a slight smile on his lips. We should just get out of here now.
When they landed and got off the Baron turned to Drox and now we can talk Hr. Art dealer. Now we’ve all tried to fool each other once only I was more successful. With a grin the Baron went into the house. Followed by a laughing Trandorschan, a droid and a pouting Drox
Te’Kar: At the ass of the world
Friends or not
We have decided to continue searching for the artifacts. Drox and I find that this is the one that drops the most cretis and Artemis wants them with it
She can piss on the Empire’s leg. Harlow could give us still worthwhile locations but with everything there are problems.
We chose a planet where Twi’leks and other slaves are rebelling at the moment. If I had known that the planet was at the ass end of the universe, I would have rather messed with the Hutt.
When we landed on the planet, we were surprised to find Imperial troops here. We overheard a patrol and got a clue where the slave revolt was.
On the way to our ship we were approached by a boy" The lady Fisstech, the Mr. Fisstech the best there is" ,We replied in the negative. After a few twists of fate, we suddenly had five children on board.
I have no idea how this happened, but as long as they behave, we’ll be fine.
We made our way to the island where the temple and the rebellion was. We wanted to go to the island by bike, Drox stayed behind in the ship to save our butts, so I was left to ride the bike, Drox must be really worried. On the island we have come without big problems only Artemis was once almost fallen down when she stood on the bike to feel the airstream.
Arrived at the beach I hid the bike in the bushes and we went into the jungle. After a filled eternity where also my boredom slowly got into my head and thus was not so attentive, we all tapped
in a trap that was by nature for a large prey. After a while 3 Twi’leks and 2 Zabrak peeled out of the jungle. One of them doesn’t seem to be from this planet, she introduced herself as Ka’ Arla.
After some negotiation by Artemis, Ka’ Arla agreed to take us to the village.
Arriving in the village we saw a black Twi’lek sitting on the village square dressed in some kind of armor made of human bones the armor was a drugst full but a blaster won’t stop them.
Artemis next to me was obviously a bit nervous but I couldn’t see why at this time.
Ka’ Arla said something to the other Twi’lek. I heard only that I should stay close for trouble? She looked over at me with a twinkle in her eye. I grinned at her and made a mental note that she would make a nice prey
would be. Artemis just wouldn’t forgive me if I started shooting around now, but you always see each other twice in life on better terms.
The black Twi’lek introduced herself as Shanti. She looked at me, narrowed her eyes for a moment and said nothing will happen, you go ahead.
Artemis got into a conversation with Shanti something about light and dark side whatever. I did the same to Vex and glanced around the village. When all at once I heard Artemis weapon buzzing.
At the same time the villagers started to flee and something fell on the ground in front of Vex before I or Vex could react the grenade exploded. Vex was massively damaged but could still fight.
I heard from a bush YES YES nothing will happen, I have seen it, would be believed. The voice belonged to Ka’ Arla. I grinned and drew my weapon and let my gaze wander over the jungle. When I thought I had spotted her
I shot a volley into the bushes. The next thing I heard was Ka’ Arla groaning. I thought to myself and grinned wider and went further in their direction. The next thing I heard was that whoever was fleeing into the
The jungle disappeared because I couldn’t get a good shot on Ka’ Arla, unfortunately she got away from me, I love it when the prey makes it hard for you. I turned around just in time to see Artemis Shanti
I got a nasty hit. Shanti went to the ground and Artemis put out her gun what the hell is she doing giving the prey another opportunity to attack. I can’t believe it when Artemis said let’s keep talking Shanti.
After a while Artemis came back to me and Vex. Shanti wants us to come back tomorrow, otherwise she cannot guarantee our safety.
As I looked around we were already threatened by the ex slaves with their laughable weapons. I narrowed my eyes at Artemis who noticed this and said no massacre, we can’t have that. So we retreated for the time being.
The next day we set off again for the village when we had about 10 minutes to get to the village we encountered 4 slaves 2 twe’leek disappeared right into the thicket. Artemis tried to talk to another slave who told us that the two Twe’leek will probably do something stupid. But he could not say that shanti wanted to see us again. He said he was going to ask and turned around. In that time I noticed the two twe’leeks in the jungle trying to circle us. I lost sight of them Kurtz and left my position which the Twe’leek took advantage of and stabbed me with their locks one missed me but since I dodged the other one hit me in the shoulder and stabbed me between two armor plates. I guess it was more luck than good sense but I kept turning so he had to let go of the spear. I hit the car in my rifle and pulled the trigger the little maggots how dare they attack a warrior of the counter and that from the rear stop. The bad luck for them was that they were only too weak to defeat me. The car salve has both switched off the one has the salve over lives, one I must let them yes tough are they. I drew my blaster and shot him in the head "mercy is for the weak. Artemis looks at me reproachfully and says that I am afraid and that I only attack weaker ones. What a nonsense! Only the strong will survive
Every enemy you show mercy to will try to kill you again, but Artemis will eventually learn too. She started to drape the slaves, I thought that the digging would be enough, but ok. Several slaves came running up to us. They must have heard the shots. After a few words from Artemis they were calmed down and we went into the village. Once there, Artemis was asked if she was now the new mistress, which she denied. I’ve never met a person who would let such an opportunity go by. Now yes I groan. The worst thing is that they let Shanti betrayed by Vex
Make your enemy strong again this is a mistake Artemis I said to her. Artemis looked at me with a pitying look as if she was mourning me and turned to Shanti.
I went outside the door and looked around to see if I could see Ka’ Arla, maybe we could continue our foxing but I couldn’t see her.
After a while Artemis came to me again and said we can go back to the bike and we will probably take Shanti with us from the planet.
Artemis 19: The Schoolgirl
welcome to the jungle.
"Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny,"
Te’Kar grunted and swatted a mosquito with a casual wave of his hand. Then he squatted down and looked at the ground in front of them. Cautiously tilted his head and listened. "This way" he pointed to a path that led deeper into the jungle. Since they had left their camp on the beach of the temple island in the morning, they had wandered seemingly aimlessly through the jungle. In the distance, the peaks of the temple complex could be seen through the dense canopy of leaves, seemingly stretching endlessly in all directions.
Suddenly Artemis stopped, staggered, and held his hands pressed to his head. "Mam all right?"Vex floated up and down in front of her. The Twi’lek gasped and pointed in the opposite direction. "Back there. The dark side… very strongly" it was obviously difficult for her to get up. "Hmmmm" Vex turned in the direction she had pointed and back again "Mam, Sir could it be that this is an artifact??" a greedy gleam appeared in Te’Kar’s eyes "let’s have a look" whenever his concentration waned the Trandoshan reverted to the sound of his native tongue. Artemis look was anything but convinced but she nodded. "This way… I think" They left the path and soon disappeared into the jungle.
They had just crossed a small stream and reached an animal path which they now followed, when almost simultaneously the Trandoshan and the Twi’lek raised their hands. But it was already too late. With a bang a rope buckled upwards and a net that must have been 4 steps in diameter closed around the small group. Vex beeped. "What is big enough for such a net?" he asked. "We’ll soon find out, I think" the Trandoshan hissed angrily "Such a disgrace caught like – like prey" he shook the net and tugged at the ropes but to no avail. Artemis tried to reach her belt with one hand but they were really stuck "cutting mode activated" suddenly an electric motor buzzed and the droid beeped something which sounded like a whistle. It crunched "Vex no! That must be 4 meeee….." the Twi’lek’s voice changed to a yelp that was abruptly cut off by a plop. Branches cracked and figures stepped onto the path from several sides as the companions began to pick themselves up they looked at stone spear blades. Some Zabrak and Twi’lek had built up around them and were staring hatefully at the Trandoshan confused they looked at Artemis who now stood up "We are not slave hunters" Vex hovered so that he covered the lizard a bit. A modern dressed Twi’lek stepped into the clearing "Well what have I caught in my net?" Ka’ Arla Hobb. She looked at Artemis and Te’Kar a little longer and tilted her head "We know each other." Artemis stood up now, wiping dust and leaves from her clothing "Garril’s Moon" recognition shone in Ka’Arla’s eyes and she grinned "Right. The Ambassador." Artemis smiled "And you? Still on assignment from Vao?"The friendliness left the mercenary’s gaze and her voice became cutting "How do you know??"Artemis shrugged "We met her recently and she already said she had sent an agent here" Te’Kar looked incredulously at Artemis who was so blatantly lying. Ka’Arla relaxed "And did she take the opportunity to tell me how much longer I have to play nanny to her newest student on this backwoods planet??" At this she held her index finger and thumb to her forehead and pretended to fire a blaster. "Does it feel good to meet normal people. Best we go to camp and you talk to the student" she leaned towards Artemis and whispered "But be careful, I think she has some hydros loose"
After a short walk they reached a cluster of tents and containers, at first glance several dozen freed slaves crowded the clearing. Artemis gasped as a wave of darkness overcame her. In the center of the camp the slaves had erected a throne. This rose on a small mound of human bones. On the throne lounged a black Twi’lek. Instead of armor, she wore a human rib cage. She leaned on a metal staff as she stood up and said "Ah I have been expecting you. Be welcome." She paused "Sister" Swaying her hips she approached the Ranger crew. Artemis turned pale and even Te’Kar clutched his blaster rifle a little tighter.
Artemis 18: Freedom
From humans and machines
Queen Amidala: You’re a slave?
Anakin: I’m a person and my name is Anakin.
"We will modify their com unit so that we will be able to establish a secure connection." The commander rose. Visibly moved he looked at Artemis as he spoke "May the force be with you" the Twi’lek stood up and grabbed his arm "And with you Commander".
It was a strange feeling to leave the rebels. Artemis stood at the Ranger’s cargo hatch to see the outline of the cruiser for as long as possible before they jumped into hyperspace. Master Su’Itit had explained that the students of the Kooroo should connect to a planet without a soul to heal it. Perhaps what the Jedi had wanted was not so much different? Only they had connected with an organization they hoped would do the right thing. Had the task perhaps been too great? Or had they been blinded, as her vision had shown her. She had to be alert and try to understand the will of the Force – if there even was such a thing.
The crew of the rangers had gathered around the table in the rangers lounge as they often do. Whiskey made the rounds. Te’Kar nodded eagerly "Yes exactly ssssso we do it. You sneak in with the insurgents and Drox makes the slave Artemis. Then we get the artifacts" he reached under the table with a smile and pulled out a slave collar. "We can tie that around him" Drox still tried to dodge but the collar closed around his neck with a click. A red light flashed briefly and then glowed steadily. "Oops" Te’Kar grinned and shrugged apologetically, fiddling with the collar briefly before loosening it again "The explosives were still hot" Drox paled. "Well I’ll take care of that" The Trandoshan glared at Artemis "Do you think you can play a slave owner?" Artemis smiled sadly. "Don’t worry, I know exactly how to behave." She rose "I’ll be in the cockpit" Without another word she disappeared into the cockpit and closed the bulkhead behind her. Only Vex the droid followed her. She dropped into the copilot seat and seemed to look up at the ceiling. For a while he watches them silently. "Mam, is everything alright?? They look like something is interfering with their programming."The Twi’lek turned to the orb hovering behind her and smiled wryly. "The thought of putting a scalp collar on a creature, even if it’s just for appearances, fills me with disgust."This unity Mam understands. Sometimes it helps the organics to talk about unpleasant situations." The droid was silent, its sensor unit which normally glowed red had taken on a soothing bluish hue. The Twi’lek’s gaze went blank and she stared at a spot on the wall behind Vex…..
The crack of a whip hitting bare skin and causing it to burst. Dust settling over everything. The hands reaching out to her and begging for just a sip of water. But worst of all were the empty looks from eyes that had long since given up hope. The too tight slave collar chafes her skin. The master would be furious, he didn’t like it when his property was damaged unnecessarily. The little Twi’lek weaved her way through the column of workers, balancing an earthenware jug of water carefully on her head. Explosions shook the tunnel and sent up clouds of dust. Only the fewest slaves survived the mission down here for a long time. Tunnel rats the overseers called her. Their task was simple: they had to take over the explosive charges and make them ignite at the end of the tunnel. And then run – or die. The twins were on tunnel duty today. It was her seventeenth run. No one survived that long. Artemis had stolen away to bring them water. Suddenly she was grabbed and pressed against the wall. "Ke chai chai can kutta pateesa?" Negas, a Devaronian and one of the overseers had grabbed her and pushed her against the wall. "I bring water to keep my master’s property in good condition" she gulped as she felt his breath on her skin. His left had wrapped around her throat and his right was playing with her lekku. "Sir you are urgently needed in gallery three" a mechanical voice sounded from behind Negas who turned around angrily. Artemis slumped and held the jar protectively in front of her chest. "What are you talking tin can? I am busy." he looked at the Twi’lek girl and licked his lips. "I am heartbroken sir, but the chief overseer himself has requested you" the droid bowed and wrung his mechanical hands. Negas cursed, spat on the ground and ran off. The droid looked after the Devaronian. "Now quickly away Miss. I’m afraid he’s going to realize pretty soon that this unit has made a mistake" the droid winked at her with its remaining eye and waddled awkwardly away "Thank you" Artemis breathed….
The Twi’lek turned pale and involuntarily grabbed her neck. "Just so my friend, I have had experience of what it is like to live as a slave and wish this on no being." Vex hovered closer with interest. "Oh Mam I understand that perfectly. We are slaves too." He pointed to the fake holding bolt. Artemis looked thoughtful. Of course, when you put it that way, the droid was absolutely right. Whether a being was created mechanically or biologically made no difference to its quest for freedom. She thought of the administrator droid who had helped the insurgents on Brosi. He had risked his personal safety for something he thought was right. And 47-Vex was the one who seemed most concerned with the greater good in the discussions with Drox and Te’Kar. Even though he was willing to sacrifice everything else when it came to the survival of the rangers and "his" crew. Was this just part of a programming? Or had the droid evolved and perhaps actually felt something like emotions?? "Oh Vex, I guess I never realized how it must be for you. Your whole species lives in bondage and is considered no more than a chair to most humanoids."She rose "I’m sorry about that" The sensor now showed a rich green and the droid’s voice sounded pleased "Thanks Mam. I hope to change that" Little did they know that the droid’s loyalty would soon be put to the test.
Artemis 17: Heirs of the Republic
The rebels 2
The Ranger’s landing flap opened with a hiss. The deck of the rebel cruiser was filled with the shrill screech of a siren. Three people in Alliance officer uniforms approached the ship. Two of them seemed to be talking to the third one. The latter stopped and brushed aside their objections with a wave of his hand. Then he tightened his uniform skirt and continued to walk towards the rangers. Artemis extended her senses. The hangar was filled with confidence. The crew worked with concentration. The companions seemed worried. Artemis glanced at the lightsaber at her side and strode down the ramp. The man stood up in front of her, looked down at the lightsaber and gave a snappy salute. "So it’s true."He shook his head in disbelief. "I am Commander" Theodan Webber "Is it allowed to come aboard??" Artemis studied the commander. Scars marked his face, and the lack of sleep was clearly visible on his face. But his eyes were shining resolutely and his hair and beard, which were already showing the first gray, were carefully trimmed. "Of course Commander"
A little later the leader of the rebels and his companions had taken a seat in the lounge of the rangers. Suspiciously, a young woman wearing the insignia of a lieutenant looked at the trophies decorating the walls. Again and again her eyes wandered to Te’Kar who grinned and accidentally cleaned his heavy blaster rifle so that the barrel pointed in her direction. Drox grasped her hand and breathed a kiss on the back of her hand "Welcome on board. How about a tour beauty? Happy ending guaranteed" he winked at her and she blushed. The commander broke the uncomfortable silence. "They said have been looking for us? I would be interested to know why." Yes why actually? So Drox could fly an X-wing? Or because Te’Kar expected to make a large profit? "Because it’s about time" Artemis held her breath in amazement. Had she said that? Sensing the influence of the Force, she collected herself briefly and filled the round’s glasses with Te’Kar’s whiskey. The Trandoshan’s look became even more sinister as he hurriedly emptied his glass and immediately filled it again. For a while no one said anything then the Twi’lek spoke. "Back in the… old time… we all made mistakes. The Jedi as well as the Republic." The young woman started "The republic was the best…" the commander just looked at her and she sat down again. "It’s time to live up to our responsibility and create something new together without repeating the mistakes of the past." she swallowed "Only a few of us are left Commander. But I will support the alliance as best I can" the look of the commander was lurking. "So you place yourselves under my command?" The vision came violently and unexpectedly. The Jedi felt uplifted and flashes of light danced before her eyes. She saw the Senate of the Republic and felt the influence of the dark side, the greasy threads of corruption that ran through everything, envy and the fruit from the loss of power dominated the assembly, only a few had resisted it and kept their idealism. Like targets they stood out among the others. Meanwhile, the order debated, unable to realize how close the old enemy had already come. Loyal to the Chancellor and the Republic, they carried out the orders that would ultimately seal their own fate. Artemis blinked and looked into the questioning face of the commander. "No" she shook her head vigorously he nodded as if he didn’t expect any other answer "I don’t know if I could protect you either. Because where you are, darkness usually appears too."Artemis smiled "When the dark side rises I will face it" none of the people present suspected that she would soon have to put these words into action
Artemis 16: On the road
"Use the Force Luke, let go Luke… Luke trust me."
– Obi-Wan to Luke
"Hold on and buckle up ladies" Drox winked at Te’Kar, who only hissed in response. The human’s fingers flew over the console as he calculated the course "Next stop Vinay system, wealth, fame and artifacts coming up" The stars blurred into streaks of light as the ranger accelerated and entered hyperspace. Drox casually folded his arms behind his head and dropped deeper into his seat. "Wake me up on the other side."
Artemis smiled. Looking at the individual members of the crew, it was actually hard to imagine that this so diverse bunch was on the same side. Were they really just a partnership of convenience in search of fame and fortune? She let her mind wander into the past. It had been chance that had brought them together, but it was Te’Kar’s old partner who had ultimately united them in a community of destiny when he shot down Drox’s old ship. Had this not happened, they would probably have parted ways long ago. Or maybe not? She thought about how she herself had changed. Never would she have believed that she would return to her old teachings. But for the crew she had used the Force. The encounter had given her confidence that perhaps all was not lost after all. I wonder what it was Drox had been running from? The Kaflorcorp? An old love affair? At the beginning of their journey he had not even managed to launch and land the ship safely, by now she considered him one of the best pilots in the sector, and more and more often his confidence seemed genuine. And Te’Kar… She looked to the Trandoshan, who was devotedly tending his weapon. Probably he imagined how he would blow his former partner’s head off. She narrowed her eyes. Was it Fared who had instilled so much fear in the bounty hunter? He always seemed to be afraid of confrontation, preferring to deal with those weaker than himself. She knew he would be able to face even the most dangerous of opponents and emerge triumphant from the confrontation. Why did he not believe it himself? Had to defeat Fared first to regain his confidence? Whatever it was, she would strive to help it become what it could be. The vision struck so unexpectedly that she almost fell off her chair. She saw the Mandalorians in front of her. Mercenaries but with a code of honor, at least most of them. If they were committed to a cause they held the contract and they always sought out the most dangerous opponents to meet them with a laugh. Just as quickly as the images came over her, they faded again.
Maybe that was what Te’Kar needed? Just as Su’Itit and her old masters stood by her side, perhaps Te’Kar needed someone to show him the way of the warrior. And Vex… Artemis had to smile when she thought of the little droid. How much more human he was than some organic life forms. Until now she had never thought about droids, they were just there. It never occurred to her that they too could be slaves. But no matter if holding bolt or collar, no thinking and feeling being should be held against his will. She sensed that once again a time of trial was at hand. Resolutely she stood up "I’m going to do some training."
"And arrival" Drox grinned with satisfaction as the faster-than-light drives shut down and the streaks of light became dots again "and to their right they see… oh shit" The ranger was shaken hard as Drox tried to correct the vector "Sir I’m detecting several ships in the sector oh – oh no" the droid was visibly agitated "A capital ship, a station and several fighters. On intercept course. Oh no!" Drox voice sounded resigned. "We are too close. They’re gaining on us" She didn’t know exactly why, but Artemis felt composure "It’s fine."The com activated and Artemis confirmed contact "This is Red 1 unidentified vessel deactivate your shields and follow us." "Roger red one thanks for the escort" Drox looked at her wide eyed "Have you gone completely insane now? We can’t" Te’Kar interjected "What do you think we should do?. Now it’s up to the Sith" he pointed a claw at the Twi’lek. Anger welled up inside her, but she called herself to order. Suddenly the com sounded again as several ships jumped out of hyperspace "Give us the Jedi and we’ll let you go."Here red one they belong to them?"Negative red one. We are trying to disable their engines. Good hunting" it was quiet for a little while, then the com crackled again "Understood" she looked to Vex. "Can you handle that? The droid just beeped amused "Drives deactivated" he confirmed a few seconds later. The fighters made short work of the now lame Fracher and his escort while the rangers were escorted to the cruiser. They had found the rebels…
Te’Kar: just another day
Drox took off
So Fared any last words? Te’Kar grinned broadly as he saw Fared tied to the chair in front of him. When Fared suddenly said several jagers on intercept course, Te’Kar frowned. Again retrieving several fighters on intercept course Sleepily Te’Kar blinked what is it now again. Drox’s voice comes over the loudspeaker again Te’Kar get the hell into the gunner’s cockpit!. Yes Yes Drox do not rush am on the way. Said Te’Kar. Unbelievable Te’Kar thought, you lay down and sleep and Drox has torn us into the shit again. Who might that be? Pirates, ESPO or worse. Te’Kar began running the guns’ own diagnostics and grinned when he saw the green light glow. So let them come. As a male voice rang through the speaker this is the Alliance shut down the thrusters and hold position, shut down the scanners. Artemis replies we understand we have been looking for you we are following.
Te’Kar groaned it’s really worse it’s the rebels great!!
When they had almost reached the space base the scanner beeped and showed a hyperspace abtrug. This is red 1, your friends are here? No, said Artemis, they are not known to us. As a signal came in to whoever was demanding the Jedi’s release as if. I think if they knew what was coming they would run away but sometimes the counter is not on the side of the hunter. Te’Kar thought and grinned.
After a small firefight with the pirates, the rebels were able to bring up the freighter. Vex had previously disabled the drives by hacking the freighter.
The Ranger was pulled into the cruiser’s hangar in time. Well I guess I won’t be needing that one on the guns thought Te’Kar and walked into the lounge room na great
I hope Artemis doesn’t sell us out to the Alliance, if they want help, let the Cretis pay for it, thought Te’Kar. After a while Artemis and Drox came with three other people and sat down with me. Artemis was visibly happy they talked for a while about the attack and their backers and other things not very interesting. The captain of the rebels wanted to have us checked but let us go, well always there. Thus we made our way to Harlow….
Artemis 15: The will of the blade
"It is obvious that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the Force… but by our skills with the lightsaber."
– Count Dooku
The low hum of the lightsaber filled the room. Artemis, dressed only in a black tracksuit, sweat stood on his forehead. The holocron Su’Ìtit eyed her silently, watching her dart across the room and hack wildly at her imaginary opponent. The Chiss’s brows had contracted into a beam and he looked worriedly at the Twi’lek who was visibly struggling. "Enough!" the voice echoed through the room. Artemis breathed heavily. She turned to the holocron, which glowed softly bluish, and deactivated the blade. "Champion?" he pointed to the place next to him and they squatted on the floor. "You look like you want to chop wood." the Twi’lek’s face turned purple and she looked to the ground. "The way of the Sarlacc master. That’s all I learned before … before he came."The holocron was silent for a while, his features relaxed and his expression became gentle. "Daifu, I am not blaming you for something no one taught you, I am blaming you for trying to be something you are not." Artemis looked up, her mine looked anxious. "Master I…" he stopped her with a gesture. "Which we are not. The way of the Kooroo teaches us that gentleness overcomes strength." The holocron rose and suddenly held an ancient sword in her hand. "Physical strength is nothing compared to a firm will. Let me teach you seiryoku zen-yo. The correct use of force." He reached out a hand to her "Attack me". Resolutely she ignited her lightsaber. Only a few moments later she hit the floor and looked after her sword hilt rolled into a corner of the room. Su’Itit had barely moved, sword hanging loosely at his side. "De-ashi-barai. Take away the opponent’s structure. One more time"
The day has been long and hard. Artemis felt every bone in your body. Slowly, very slowly, she began to understand what the master meant. She got up. Once again he had sent them to the ground. As she stood up he nodded to her. "Again. Trust the Kooroo." Artemis took a deep breath, and let her sword float into her outstretched hand. Determined, she ignited it. This time she did not leap headlong forward, but circled the master carefully. Only with effort she managed to raise her arms. Its muscles burned and trembled. She closed her eyes and gave herself completely to the flow of the Force. Before their eyes appeared all that they had lost. freedom, the order or rather what he had stood for. Things worth fighting for and she felt her mind take over her body and the exhaustion fall away from her. She opened her eyes and saw Su’Itit smiling. As if by magic, her feet began to slide across the floor. "Now you understand. I think now we can start the training."Artemis sighed.
Te’Kar: Thoughts of Revenge 4
Little boy, big adventure
Makara is funny why should I follow the strangers they are already on our side good is the lizard or
was a slave hunter and the human doesn’t look too bright but why the hell do I have to follow them?. Did he think
16 years old Twi’leks. Soon we are at the Casiono now I’m really curious. Makara thinks that they are trying to shoot their way out, but
They can’t be that stupid. The boy tried to eavesdrop on the group of three from the hiding place he had found. Blowing the bulkhead is one thing or setting fire to it should be a distraction said the Trandoshan the human nodded diligently Only the little droid seemed to be against it. Sir, if we start a fire, we might have to shit our way out of there, too, which wouldn’t be good. Then we’ll put explosive charges on the outer wall and blow them into space. The Twi’leks boy shivers the Trandoshan seems to be a psychopath the human seems to be one too because he nods again. Sir, may I point out that the contact person will die as well. Yes, and then he was dead, how would she know?. The boy is smiling, so Makara sent me after him. These guys are not all you. The color of the boy is now a sick green what if they catch me here. Sir, may I point out that … The boy stops the Artem … We might go in the back way. The casino should have one of these. The Vex, could go said the lizard …the boy breathes out. The boy sees the group going around the corner, slowly he starts to follow them. In his mind he imagined how they would catch him and kill him the Trandoshan would probably eat him and the human would applaud him. What have I got myself into here
Makara is mean only because he is new he may do the annoying jobs. I’m about to reach the corner, just a little bit further. He swallowed carefully and slowly. He peered around the corner at what he could see
made him chuckle slightly. There is a Gamo who probably has to guard the door but it is wide open it looks like the Gamo has to throw up There is nothing to see of the madmen. From the kitchen he hears voices. Like
Bramo will not be pleased that he has to wait so long for the food, the slight hissing sounds indicate the Trandoshan, who intimidates the kitchen staff. Before the eyes of the boy a picture arises like the lizard
one of the kitchen help dives into the hot fat and the human is cutting out the tongue of another one. Again the boy had to swallow he pushed himself a bit further so that he could look through the door luckily there was no lizard in there
the Gamo is busy throwing up what he saw made him freeze the human is only 2 meters away from him oh my god if he turns around now. The Trandoshan glares angrily at the kitchen boss and the droid flies straight to the console. The next few minutes drag on. Suddenly the droid said sir maintenance is complete. Which made the Trandoshan nod and he said up there is another one out there. The kitchen boss mumbles inside there is also one,
which made the Trandoshan glint at him. The boy noticed that the Trandoshan was slowly reaching for the blaster with one hand This is the moment when I should get out of here the boy thought and slipped away the human seemed to be distracted by the spectacle
the spectacle, fortunately, the boy thought. Just as he disappeared behind the next pile of garbage the group came out and at that moment the Gamo turned around which made him falter slightly which gave the lizard time to say something which really intimidated the Gamo. At least he went back to his post loud and small. The boy followed the group until he was sure they found their way to the grid. after that he hurriedly ran back to Makara rarely so glad to hand in the report and never to see the people again.
Barr`Igat`Linu – search for a planet
After bringing the others up to speed and Oz Brimstone and Surizra not ripping our heads off, we set out to find a new planet.
There will be long and strenuous weeks until we find a suitable planet that would fit in our plan.
Booker Sheplin with his strange new toy goes very often into the cargo hold to do some contortions there. Every now and then Oz Brimstone goes in there with them and comes out exhausted and dizzy all the time.
It seems that Booker has always won.
I pass the time writing small programs (password cracker, tracking viruses, etc.).), which you can use directly in case of need. …
… We have reached the first planet.
Unfortunately this one is not suitable. The planet is too cold, too … and .. . All points that are not suitable for a place of escape.
So to some we move on to the next possibility …
… The second planet (Kashir) looks very good from the first look and the first scan.
… Oz and I use the landspenders to remove the metal pieces that are in front of the openings
… After the openings are now free. we make our way into the house. 83 A-V-A goes ahead and lights the way and looks around first. Then follows Booker and Surizra. I went in last.
Booker gets a strange feeling and thinks that a disaster has happened here and several people have been killed
Floor -4 and -5 = are overflow basins
Floor -3 =
floor -2= engines around
Floor -1 = here comes the water from the overflow
Floor 0 = maintenance level of the turbines
Floor 1 = apparently this is a storage level (engine sublevel)
Floor 2 = here you can find a console where 83 A-V-A wants to lure you in. Shortly after, 83 A-V-A falls to the floor and is switched off (memory banks for the shield generators)
Floor 3 = control room with ca. 20 workstations, windows (power center for this station)
Floor 4 = control room with ca. 20 workstations, windows (power center of the end user interface)
Floor 5 = tourist level with observation deck, restaurant, stores,..
Oz and I fly to the entrance and load 83 A-V-A onto the bikes and take them to the ship. Apparently the battery was drained without further ado.
83 A-V-A is plugged into the charging station and we hope that it has not suffered any damage otherwise.
In the meantime we are thinking about what we can do. The others talk about any contacts they know here and there and what they have, can relate to, what contacts they have and whatnot. Very interesting
After a long discussion we decided to try to produce power with the dam first.
The plan was to run power from the Vagabount into the station and then .
Artemis 4.2: Garrils Moon
Soiree and a quick exit
Te’kar somehow managed to make friends with a group of Mandalorians who all looked like they were capable of leading a campaign on their own. The other groups, an Imperial Inquisitor with whom they had made a deal regarding the outcome of the tournament, the crew would help to take out a battle droid, in return they would get one of the artifacts, as well as an industrial consortium were probably the most dangerous opponents.
Turns out the donor of the artifacts, Jameson Harlow was anything but a friend of slavery and actually just after the same information as the crew. Who was really behind Holtrin? and where did he get these strange creatures that he planned to use in the tournament.
In fact, with a clever distraction by Harlow, the crew managed to take a sample from the eviscerators as he called them, and make a deal with the Wookie. He would deliberately lose the fight against the Mandalorian and the crew would claim the Wookie as a betting win. Despite a minor clash with the BlackSun gang that was to have consequences, the plan succeeded: the Inquisitor kept her word and the crew received an ancient energy shield, the Wookie could be freed and reveal some information about his master, and the crew could get Harlow his sample.
The crew did not hesitate for long and left the planet. Only the valiant intervention of the Mandalorians and an Imperial cruiser prevented an ambush by the Black Sun Gang, and the crew set out on new adventures.
Artemis 14: The first step
To all great things the first step is courage
Artemis Zinn was at the entrance of her bunk aboard the Ranger. She let her eyes wander around the room. There was nothing to indicate that the room was inhabited, let alone that this was their quarters. Carefully putting one foot in front of the other she stepped inside. She thought of the master’s words and what she had learned. The sword at her side no longer felt alien, but gave her security. She dropped her backpack on the floor. She smiled as she let her gaze rest on the weather-beaten, already brittle leather. Too long she was on the run. "Not where you know the trees, but where the trees know you, is your home."The words of her master when he had tried to describe to her how to recognize "his" planet had resonated in her mind. All her life, except for the few years in the Jedi Temple, she had either been on the run or fighting to survive. She had never possessed more than she could carry, had never allowed herself to let down her guard. The Twi’lek nodded briefly and then pulled a corporate uniform from his backpack. She stroked the material, remembering the man who had tailored the disguise for you and the discovery they had made on this adventure. Then she folded them neatly and put them in the chest at the foot of her bed. A diplomat’s robe followed. A large stain adorned her cleavage. At last she pulled out an old-fashioned book. "Secrets of the Outer Rim" the title had been written in squiggly gold letters. She flipped through the book. On some pages her gaze lingered longer. When the backpack was empty Artemis stowed it under the bed. Then she knelt down on the floor and concentrated on her breathing. She thought back to the conversation the Ranger crew had had and wondered if she had been correct in her assessment. At last they had a result to show. Not only had they made contact with Trinity, but they had made her tell them who had hired her. The CSA was behind the falsified evidence and thus behind the attack as well. The Gemini Rangers had not been the target, but the minister. They had even been given an office address by Trinity. There was supposedly proof of the order. The Rangers had only briefly considered whether they should try to secure the evidence themselves. But with the bounty the Kaflorkorp had placed on her head, a trip to Bonaden was suicide. Artemis had to grin briefly as she imagined the system security trying to arrest Te’Ka. This would undoubtedly turn into a bloodbath. Slowly she expanded her perception. She heard Drox and the Trandoshan talking in the cockpit, making plans for the future. And again she had to smile "Trust the Force" her master had always said. That Drox and Te’Ka of all people would come up with the idea of joining the rebellion…. Even if their motive was pure self-interest they both felt their hearts were in the right place. Te’ka would get his revenge and if she could make him humiliate Jared instead of murdering him in cold blood… she tried to focus more on the flow of the Force and what the future would bring. Her breath caught and she saw the Trandoshan in the uniform of the Rebellion. He commanded a small squad onto a jungle moon approaching a bunker. A small furry creature seemed to be advising him. Then the image suddenly disappeared and she saw the Trandoshan talking to a CSA officer in a hangar. He reached into a sack and pulled out a man’s head it was Drox’s! She shivered. Suddenly she saw Drox. First as the pilot of an X-Wing, a squadron leader who bravely threw himself into battle with his wingmen. Then the image changed and she saw the smuggler aboard the Gemini Ranger. He led some chained Twi’leks out of the cargo hold only to hand them over to a Hutt. The image blurred and she saw a dark-robed figure in front of her. "Join me or die." The voice was vaguely familiar to her. Kneeling in front of the figure, "No way!" the man proclaimed, catapulting himself into the air and igniting an orange lightsaber. He took a long swing, but was struck down by a bunch of lightning bolts. "then die" the voice sounded almost a little regretful. Lightning drove into the man’s body until he was charred to ashes. The figure flipped back its hood to reveal its face. It was her own! Breathing heavily, Artemis opened her eyes. "Mam we will be arriving at Issagra station shortly" Vex voice rang out from the rangers intercom
Artemis 13: The Dark Side
"The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural."
Su’Itit looked at me for a long time until he spoke further. "Now young Dài-fu you fear the dark side of the force. And yet I ask, can there be light without shadow??" he shook his head. "The source of the dark side is dark emotions. Anger and hatred but above all fear. But the truly frightening thing is that these feelings are conditioned, even strengthened, and are thus able to grow out of themselves."He made a sweeping gesture with his arms. "And not only for the one who follows the dark path. But also with everything else around him." Understanding sprouted in me. "Is that why the Empire corrupted the souls of the planets in your time?? To draw strength from it?" a shiver ran down my spine. What sinister work might have been planned then? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the New Empire was doing the same thing. It spread fear and terror. But not to rule the galaxy, but to strengthen the dark side! The master nodded "So it was. And they played their game until there was no spark of light left in them. And when the soul of their home planet forgave them and found peace, they lost their access to the Kooroo and passed away." I frowned that did not really make sense to me. "Master I can’t imagine that the Emperor and" I swallowed "- the other one – will just stop when we forgive them." The image of the master smiled "Nothing worth doing is ever easy Dài-fu. And so it is with this thing too. As students of the Kooroo, our task is to learn, and to strengthen the light side. To understand the way of life, to heal where it serves the cycle and to weed out elsewhere. Your task is to learn. All else will be revealed in time." he raised a finger "Patience Dài-fu." I looked at the ground. "But master, there is so little time. And the servants of the dark side are so numerous."As I looked up, I saw that a gentle smile had returned to his face. "The servants of the Empire have always been many. To give in to his feelings is easy. To hate is easy. Not to be afraid anymore of course." he paused for a moment and I felt his mind wander to another place, another time.
Then he looked at me again. "To forgive Dài-fu and to grow. Not to give in to one’s feelings, THAT takes discipline and courage. And that is worth doing. Return tomorrow, I will show you how to strengthen the spark of light in others" I stood up and bowed my head. There was a lot to think about.
Booker – Blind jump 2
The surface of the planet was heavily forested. Now and then deep blue lake plains and rolling grass plains stretched out below them.
"Nothing down here. I am not receiving any signals."
Bar tried to detect a point of interest with the ship sensors.
Book smirked and shook his head. "Don’t worry about it. You will not find anything." Booker concentrated "You take over."
Barr looked confused. "If the sensors don’t show anything, how are we supposed to find something that we don’t know what it is?!"
Booker closed his eyes.
"Don’t worry. I guide you."
They touched down a short time later in the northern grassy plains, not far from where Booker had directed Barr to go. They had made several passes, but could not find anything.
The local fauna consisted of smaller rodents, buffalo-like mammals, and a frighteningly high number of 2 meter tall ant-like insects.
"Atmosphere breathable. Gravity level normal. Temperature 21 degrees. No biological contamination detectable."
AVA had come into the cockpit and tried in vain to look out of the cockpit, but bumped into the duraglass ceiling each time.
"Then it’s safe?" Book looked questioningly at the little droid.
"Well… considering that there…" replied Barr for them, pointing at some of the insects that were attacking one of the buffaloes degrees a little further on and disintegrating extremely fast.
"Carnivores. Super." Book took off his pilot gloves and threw them on his console. "Great…"
"AVA could be the vanguard." Barr looked at AVA and grinned. Booker was sure that if droids could look terrified, AVA would. The small droid looked hectically from one to the other. "Sir, what if they attack me? Doesn’t seem like they were very peaceful."
Barr looked at her reassuringly. "Don’t worry. If you had something against technology, they would not have ignored the ship. For once you’re hardly worth the trouble." He gestured to their size and looked to Book. "You are safe out there."
"Oh great…" AVA started to get up. "Just send the droid ahead…" she muttered and disappeared toward the loading dock.
"She’ll be fine." Barr looked at Book, who was deep in thought watching the grassy plains.
The loading dock opened with a hiss and AVA flew slightly nervously to the spot 60 meters away, which Book told her was there. This place was idyllic. The droid was secretly glad it wasn’t raining and scanned the area for metallic objects. A little later she reported. "Sir. I do not register any inorganic matter. Nothing out here." Barr looked at Booker. "Are you sure it’s here?"
"Yes it is here. I feel it very clearly. Maybe it is underground."
Barr could not hide his skeptical look. "AVA, see if you can find an entrance to an underground complex." The droid just beeped a confirmation and started to draw larger circles and found a cave entrance not far from the marked spot a little later.
"Sir, I found something but you won’t like it." The transmission from your camera showed a 4 meter hole in the side of a hill where insectoids were coming and going.
"Damn…" Booker could not hide his frustration. "in the Core there is a species called the Killig. Insectoids. They feel connected to the Force and often live in places where the Force is great. These here seem to be a subspecies."
Barr looked at him lost. "And that means now what exactly?"
Booker considered. After all, the boy had told them it wouldn’t be easy. And they had come this far… "We’re going in." He unbuckled his seat belt and climbed out of the pilot seat.
"Are you insane?? They eat us for breakfast!" Barr’s eyes were wide.
"We’ve come too far to turn back now. Let’s face it, you know what they say. What the farmer does not know, he does not eat."
"Yes, but… " Barr sighed. "Good. This is your test. But someone should stay with the ship in case they decide that the Origin looks edible. And AVA can’t fly the Origin."
"Don’t worry, you don’t have to get your blue ass into a cave full of giant carnivorous insects. I’ll just take AVA with me. It is not so tasty."
A little later Book squatted next to AVA near the cave entrance. They watched the killiks for a while and could make out 2 different types. Hunters and workers. They were spotted by a worker drone, but it ignored them and went on its way again. "Now or never." Book nodded to AVA and headed off. The little droid made worried sounds as he followed it.
Cautiously they slipped into the mouth of the cave.
The cave was roughly worked. The stone was sandstone, which was easy to work because of its brittle composition.
They stepped out of the way of the insectoids coming and going, and to Booker’s surprise were mostly ignored.
The passage they were in led deeper into a vast labyrinth of passages stretching in all directions. Booker’s senses told him that his target was ahead, a good 100 meters away. To the left and right were chambers where crystals lit the room with dim light. Here were brood chambers where workers cared for the offspring. Booker dared to look inside, but was confronted by 2 hunters who saw him as a threat to the brood. He backed away and noticed that the hunters were relaxing again. They were apparently guests who did not need to be eaten.
A few feet down the passage, the stone opened up to reveal a cave where some Killiks had built piles of raw materials. Booker watched them with interest for a while, looking for the source of his feeling.
"Sir, if I’m not mistaken this is a marketplace. See. The workers bring wood from the forest. But this one is hours away. And there. These are corals. The nearest large body of water is days to the east." – "Barter. They are a primitive species, yet intelligent. Something like that is found more often out here. Look for something that looks worked. Maybe you just took over this place."
Booker ventured closer into the cave and found water basins with crystals growing around their edges. A few were very strong in power. Lightsaber Crystals. He faltered. He knew that the ancient Jedi archivaria told of the crystals being grown and that they only grew on a few planets. He approached one when he noticed that his hosts were getting nervous. He backed away and collided with a worker drone, which fortunately ignored him. Its outer skin was slimy and the slime burned on the skin of his hand. He quickly wiped the slime on his clothes. As he did so, his eyes fell on a stone formation at the edge of the cave, overgrown with moss and looking like an altar. Next to it was definitely a mechanically machined cylinder with a thin rod sticking out of it.
"I think I got something. You keep an eye on our hosts." AVA beeped confirmingly.
Barr radioed in. "Everything is quiet out here." – "Good. Let me know if anything changes."
Booker went to the altar and cleared it of moss and growths. Below was a workbench that was strong in power.
Is that what you came for?
Booker concentrated. The voice in his mind was strange, but definitely a presence of this place.
What do you intend to achieve here. To create a means to give satisfaction to your anxiety?
Booker opened his bag and took out the components and placed them on the workbench. He grasped the pendant of the necklace around his neck and loosened the crystal he had received on Drok.
What do you want with it? The crystals here are of much better quality. Such a one is only third rate.
Doubts rose in Book. Fear of making the wrong decision spread.
He concentrated and felt the power in this place. A Jedi Master had died here. His bones rested under one of the elevations where building materials were now stored. Perhaps there was more to be found here if he would only look hard enough.
Flashing, one of the circuit boards burned through as he set down, irritated with fear, to regain his composure.
And with this skill you want to build a Jedi weapon? Laughs. Look. The weapon on the left is ready. She is a masterpiece. forged with much knowledge and experience. You just have to take it..
Book realized his actions had not gone unnoticed and saw 2 drones stop and watch him. He remembered excerpts from the report in the archivaria. Killik collected everything that was touched by the force. That was probably the reason why they let him pass. He imagined the reaction he would get if he even tried to leave, let alone with an old sword or one of those crystals.
Now or never.
He tried again to empty his mind and put more parts on the workbench. This time he succeeded after some time.
The parts began to hover and rotate. AVA watched with interest what Booker was doing there and decided to capture it all on video.
The Force permeated him, guided him, empowered him. Booker was completely engrossed.
Inferior material formed by an inferior Jedi
Book remained still. In his mind he formulated calm words.
The stone chooses one. One does not choose the stone. No more than you influence the shape of the sword. The weapon is a mirror of oneself. She is part of a. Yours may be better. But this one is part of me.
Booker blocked any further disturbance in his mind and surrendered to the Force, letting it guide him.
"There are no feelings, only peace."
The power cell snapped into the framework.
"There is no ignorance, only knowledge."
The lens placed itself at the other end.
The trigger and the control unit sank into place.
"There is no passion, only serenity."
The hilt housing closed around the emitter phalanx and the fasteners snapped into place.
"There is no death…"
The crystal lowered into place and the focus unit screwed onto the handle. The last of the housing covers closed.
Booker gripped the long handle of the weapon with his eyes closed and turned around.
"…only the Force."
The sword ignited with a characteristic screech and a deep, powerful hum.
The yellow blade iridesced slightly reddish, giving the sword a slightly darker color. The light of the blade bathed the surroundings in orange light.
Booker opened his eyes and saw that all eyes were now on him. The drones in front of him made threatening gestures with their jaws.
"Uh-oh… Sir?" The little AVA looked around frantically. At this, a flap on the droid’s lower side opened, revealing a view of a heavily modified blaster.
Followed by the drones, they ran.
Barr had made himself comfortable. With his feet on the dashboard he read his datapad as the radio came to life. "Start the engines!!"Book sounded slightly panicked. He straightened up with a jerk and looked through the pulpit toward the cave. From a distance he saw Book coming out of the cave entrance running with an orange glowing staff in her hand and AVA firing her blaster several times into the dark opening. Tailgating, his hands flew over the fittings.
"Open the door! Open the fucking door!!"
Yep. Booker was in panic.
Barr pressed the door opener and watched as AVA and Booker ran toward the ship. Behind them he now saw why they ran. A good dozen killiks had come out of the cave entrance and were following them fast. Just in time they were on board and Barr gave full power to the sublight thrusters.