Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Las Vegas Nevada
Current Game: Dungeonseige series
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
I finished the Beginning.
I knew I could go farther, but face it people would you rather buy three books of about 300 pages each which will last years, or one monster 1000+page opus that you have to be careful reading to spare the spine?
But even I was unsatisifed. Damn it that was 200 odd pages that literally pour out like water. I got over a thousand hits during the time I wrote it.
And I am still unsatisifed. From what I saw of that last post today, so are some of you. I finished it, will trim and edit it, but that isn;t what you want to see. You want more Breia, More Sanji. You just want more.
So All right already.
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
The Corellian frigate Vengeance dropped out of hyperspace. An instant later Task Force Costigain dropped out behind it. Ten frigates and fifteen corvettes spread in a glittering jewel-like pattern. The seventeen ships of the fleet train were almost an afterthought. Enough ammunition spare parts and fuel to keep the warships in action for a week resided in those lumbering ships, along with a full medical unit. The largest unit ever assembled by the Corellian navy for one purpose.
And they were too late.
Admiral Halley Onasi looked out the transparisteel view ports at the scene of a slaughter. Wreckage stretched farther than the eye could see. According to all of the sensors this morass of wreckage stretched for almost two light seconds, six hundred thousand kilometers, and almost as deep. All that remained of a space station and perhaps thirty ships.
“Report.” She ordered, turning back to her crew.
“Nothing yet, Admiral.” Captain Koori Solo reported. He was in his late twenties, young for this command. But his father’s abilities when it came to flying and knowing where he was in relation to everything around him had held the young officer in good stead. From commander of an attack squadron, to navigator of the old Wayfarer, to first officer of Croyler. Now captain. His career track had been as rapid as a shooting star.
“We’re getting beacons from maybe half a dozen life pods.” He shook his head. “All told there should be over seven hundred pods.” His silence after the statement said more than any rant about almost 8,000 lives snuffed out.
“Concentrate the first division of the corvettes to defend the train. Have the medics on Sanctuary prepare for casualties.” Onasi drummed her fingers on the arm of her chair. “Shuttles are to assume that there are mines ahead.”
That assumption had been valid the last two times they had been attacked in this manner. Croyler was in the yards having her bow replaced after running into a mine field. No one knew how many Reprieve had absorbed before she was destroyed. No one had survived from her crew.
Slowly the shuttles moved in. Each scanned not only their own path, but along both sides as far as the path of their neighbors. The enemy had been tricky in their mine placement. Some had been limpets that would float up, attach to the hull, then explode, or wait until the shuttle had returned to their mother ships before exploding. Others had missile engines attached, and would attack from three times the distance. Missile pods had been discovered in such fields, even stealthed gravitic mines. The possibilities were endless and alarming.
As each shuttle probed forward, they looked not only for the siren calls of life pods, but for anything shaped like one. Something had to have happened to those missing pods.
“Shuttle 71 reports. It has a life pod in sight.” The communications officer reported.
“On visual.” Onasi ordered. Solo had come up beside her, and they watched the screen.
It wasn’t immediately obvious why the pod beacon was inactive. It tumbled through space in a regal spiral. Then as it moved farther, the other side came into view. The pod had been opened as if a maniac had used an axe on a tin of beans. As the opening swept past the camera people screaming silently in death could be seen. Every seat looked to be full.
Solo leaned back. “Send to shuttle 71. Have someone in a suit check that pod for booby traps. If it is not wired to blow, I want it aboard as soon as possible.”
The shuttle slowed, and a man in a suit moved out. Solo pitied the man. He had been in the situation before. Pragmatically it was less expensive to replace a single man than to replace a five thousand credit shuttle or a tenth of a million credit frigate. But if you’re that man who is only worth a handful of credits a week, you can feel, uncared for. Solo looked at the screen, stripping out the suit number. A name came up, and he tapped his com system.
“Be careful, Salazar.” He warned. “These bastards are pretty tricky.”
He heard a breathy laugh. “Not as sneaky as I can be, sir.” Salazar replied. The med reading which had come up with the name showed a high pulse and respiration rate. Solo racked his brain. He knew everyone aboard, and his memory was legendary.
“Like the personnel lift bomb?” He asked.
The heart line spiked.” Hey sir, that wasn’t me!”
“A tub of lubricating grease poured into a weather balloon and suspended above the car of a personnel lift? Command detonated so it soaked six men from Beta shift who just happen to be on the outs with you?” Solo chuckled. “I can’t have two such demonic pranksters aboard.”
The lines slowed. “Well maybe you do sir. But me I doubt it.” The tone was bantering.
“Then take care and get back here in one piece. Better the devil you know than the one you don’t.”
“I heard that, sir.”
Solo keyed off, just listening as Salazar began the slow and steady cant well known to men who worked around sudden death by explosives. “You handled that well.” Onasi commented. “Calm him down, give him a feeling that someone in this abattoir thinks about him, at least briefly.”
“I thought that was part of my job, sir.” Solo replied. The bead that was Salazar was almost within arm’s reach, his suit orbiting the pod as he examined the hull millimeter by millimeter.
“It is.” Onasi’s chuckle was throaty. “But you’d be surprised how many men reach your rank without learning it.”
Solo looked at the older woman. Halley Onasi was older than his father. She had started as a mustang, an officer that was originally an enlisted man. There had been more blocks in her way than Solo could have imagined. He had gone through the Naval Academy, and just about every person he had met there was using his social position to ready themselves for the future, not a career. So many of his classmates were time servers who would attach ‘Corellian Navy; Ret’ to their resume in a couple of years if they hadn‘t already done so.
But Solo had dreamed of space since his father had taken him on his first joy ride at five. Something about expanding his horizons.
Serving under Onasi was something he had dreamed about. To be respected by her...
“Nothing attached to the outside.” Salazar commented. The scanner doesn’t pick up any live circuits under the skin. Moving to the gash now.”
Solo felt a chill. “Salazar, hold position.”
The suit slowed. “Holding position.”
Solo racked his brain again. Everything that Salazar’s suit should have came up as if on a screen before his eyes. “Salazar, I want you to spread your solar shield panel. Push it in front of the gap.”
On screen, the young man spread his panel as instructed, the opaque plastic film tightened as he fed air into the support lines. He slid up beside the pod, pushing the panel over the hole-
The film rippled as bullets ripped through it. Salazar held on grimly as over fifty rounds tore the sheet to shreds.
“Maybe there are two sneaky bastards aboard. Assuming you don’t mind the title, sir.”
“I think my parents would be upset, but I’m proud to be included. We’re going to send off a couple more panels, just in case they loaded more than one gun.” Solo switched off. “Sir, we need some expert advice on this.”
“Who would you suggest?”
“My sister is a member of the Jedi order. I’ve seen her play chess with her back turned to the board, and when she was a kid, fiddled with the lighting circuits without touching them. We need someone like her to help us disarm these mines faster.”
“Unfortunately asking the Jedi for anything is a political decision.” Onasi demurred. “Besides it would take what, a week to get her here from the Coruscant Temple?”
“She’s not there. She’s at home taking a sabbatical.” He shrugged. “And arguing with father. That’s what, a 20 hours round trip?”
“We can’t afford the wasted time.” Onasi demurred. “Sending a ship back, picking her up and bringing her back would take 20 hours true.” She steepled her fingers. “But if I sent a mail packet home in a torpedo, that would only take eight and a half for message to be delivered, and having her here if she comes.” Onasi turned to look at him, her left eye flashing in a wink. “Personal mail is not political as you know.” She turned back to the screen. “Don’t you have some mail to write, Captain?”