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Old 07-01-2008, 01:58 AM   #1
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Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

Hidden Histories

Dear Reader,

Let's first agree on one thing, shall we? Life isn't fair. Consider: you've heard of people like Revan, like Exar Kun, Obi-Wan Kenobi (jumping millenia, I know)... just blurt the name Skywalker and a flurry of names come to mind. Anakin, Luke, Ben... and that's all great, really. But what about the others? Let's bring up another list, shall we?

Ever hear of Casey Vale? No? How about Andra Danning and her team? You're being serious? Hmm... What of Slade Prasanna and his crew? Annika Venn? Reibe Vailar? As for ships, we've got your standard ones...
Tantive IV, Millennium Falcon, Raven's Claw, Executor, yeah? What about the Eagle's Wing, Escape, Eclipse, Echo? That's what I thought. You see? Life isn't fair. Any and all of the people I've just mentioned have lived incredible lives and yet the vast majority of the galactic population doesn't realize they exist.

Let's take this a step further. Ever hear of the Galaxy Hacker? Of course you have. Everyone talks about her at one point or another. "Oh, she's that gal who screwed over a massive number of companies, got freaked out and undid the damage, only to be arrested and never heard from again." Yeah, that's Casey Vale, and if you haven't heard from her, it's because you don't roll in the right circles.

Jabos Team. "Brilliant scientists. Heard they got shipped off on some Imperial contract and went missing." Missing? Hardly. That'd be Andra Danning. You know the rest of the Team spent a full forty years looking for Andra? No, of course you didn't. Again, you're not looking in the right spot.

Slade Prasanna. Well, you've heard the message. "My name isn't important. I'm captain of a ship called
Escape. And escape is what we do best. We do care what you're runnin' from, but if it makes good sense to us, there's a good chance we can help you hide. Put a message out. We'll find you... before they do." You see? Given the right context, you've heard of all of these people. But what made them into what they've become?

These are the stories of the people the galaxy forgot, the Forgotten Histories of people who fought the darkness... and won. Enjoy.

Sincerily,

Reibe Vailar



Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker


Prologue: The Fate of the Galaxy Hacker

Casey Vale awoke slowly, with the faint memory of having been shot with a stun blast from behind. Her whole body ached and her head was spinning... best not try at sitting up just yet. It took several moments for her head to clear enough and, though she still had a splitting headache, she managed to prop herself up against the nearest wall. Only then, she opened her eyes.

She was in a holding cell, she discovered. Slowly, the events before the stun blast came into focus. The planning and execution of the Galaxy Hacks, and the subsequent two weeks of the Empire hunting the Galaxy Hacker, the arrest, and being placed in a holding cell, awaiting a trial. A smile mixed with a grimace on Casey’s lips, amusement mixed with her pain. It had been a fun month, hadn’t it? She had no further time to ponder the events; the door on the other side of the little white room slid open.

“You’re awake,” the Imperial interrogator said, entering flanked by two Stormtroopers. Casey rolled her eyes and immediately regretted it, as it made her a little dizzy.

“You knew that,” she croaked, her mouth dry from the length of time she’d been unconscious. “Or you’d not be here now.”

The man gave her a tight-lipped smile. “Point taken. You know how this works.”

“Not that I’ve...” Casey began. She made an attempt at clearing her dry throat, and coughed. “Can I... water... please?”

The interrogator nodded and stepped forward with a glass of water and Casey drank it gratefully.

“That’s better,” she said appreciatively. “Now, where was I? Oh, that’s right. Yeah, I know how this works, though I’ve never actually been through it before.”

“Why did you do it?” the man asked, squatting down to her eye level.

“What’s your name?” Casey asked curiously in return. With an odd smirk, the man shook his head.

“It doesn’t work that way,” he said. Casey mimicked his grin.

“Why not?” she needled. “You know my name.”

He laughed. “Half the galaxy knows your name. And what you’re famous for.”

Casey grinned. “So what’s the problem with one little hacker knowing your name? What are you famous for?”

“I’m famous for nothing,” the man replied. “And if you must insist, I’m not entirely opposed to confessing. My name is Jattic. Jattic Lukan.”

Casey smiled pleasantly. “Nice to meet you, Jattic Lukan. Ask your questions.”

“Why did you do it?” Jattic asked. Casey cocked her head curiously.

“Do what?” she asked, feigning innocence. Jattic frowned.

“Don’t play ignorant,” he said. “The Galaxy Hacks. Incom Corp., CEC, KDY, and all them? They all lost a massive amount of information. And then, there’s the shipping companies, the cruise lines, the military, and all them... losing star charts, coordinates, and whatnot. And the anti-Empire messages on all those viewscreens and holoprojectors... all comes down to a simple little question: why?”

“Can they prove without a doubt that I’m the Galaxy Hacker?” Casey demanded. “How much proof did they really dig up?”

“That’s the thing about the Empire,” Jattic said, standing once more. “We don’t need undeniable proof unless the Galaxy Hacker strikes again. Just answer the question, will you? It’ll make this easier on both of us.”

“It’s not an easy question,” Casey answered after a moment of thought. “Why? Better to ask ‘why not’, perhaps? But that doesn’t really have an easy answer either.”

“Did you know you’d get caught?” Jattic asked next, wondering for a moment if even Casey knew entirely why she pulled such an outrageous hacking job.

“Only if I wanted to be,” Casey said quickly. “Force knows, I had enough money to duck and run for the Outer Rim and keep on dodging the Imperial bloodhounds.”

“So you wanted to be caught?” Jattic was intrigued. “Why?”

“Did I say that?” Casey laughed. Jattic smiled faintly.

“You implied it. ‘Only if I wanted to be,’ you said. Well, you got caught, which implies you wanted to be. Why?”

“What is it you want to hear?” Casey asked him. “Some blatant lie about how it’s an easy way to expose myself as a hacker so the Empire can give me government hacking jobs? Some long monologue about how the Empire is wrong and this growing Rebel Alliance that people are starting to whisper about should overthrow it?” She snorted. “You’ll get none of that from me.”

Jattic nodded. “And what will I get?” Casey was silent and Jattic decided it was time to move on. He gestured to the Stormtroopers and they left him alone with Casey. “Your friend Sean wanted to see you.”

A smile of longing touched Casey’s lips and Jattic knew that Sean Casey meant something to Casey Vale. Meant a lot.

“He would,” she murmured. “Damned stubborn, that one. Before I went to my parents’ house to be ‘collected’, I sent him a message.”

“Told him what you were doing,” Jattic filled in. “Admitted the Galaxy Hacks were your doing.”

“Oh, he already knew that,” Casey chuckled. “Sean’s a smart one.”

“In school, your peers and some of your teachers called the two of you ‘Sean Casey Vale’, or ‘SCV’. You were very close. What happened? And more importantly, why shouldn’t we arrest Sean Casey as another suspect in the crime?”

“You mean, why should you let him go?” Casey shot back. “I know you’re already holding him.”

“Alright then,” Jattic allowed with a nod. “Why should we let him go?”

“Because he had nothing to do with it,” Casey replied evenly. “You guys know that, even. He’s got a job. Legit. Security consultant, you know? It’s partially by his efforts that you all made the connection that the Galaxy Hacker was me.” With an expression that bordered on frustration and guilt, the woman added, “And he’s already suffered enough... what with me for a friend...”

“That bothers you,” Jattic observed. “Fascinating. You ran the most devastating hack in the galaxy to date and the emotional stress of being your friend is what bothers you?”

Casey was silent, but Jattic could see tears welling up in her eyes. In an odd way, he felt sorry for her. But he had to shake that off. This girl had caused some serious damage to some major companies and they wanted blood. Their bloodlust was only slightly sated by the fact that all the information she’d taken had been returned just hours before her arrest.

“And your family?” Jattic pressed, hating himself for the fact that the interrogation had to go on. “You realize you’ve done a great deal to ruin your entire family’s reputation... your father, your mother, your brother.”

At that, Casey shot him a teary glare, and in a shaky voice she demanded, “What do you want from me? A confession? Do you want me to say that I was heartless enough that I didn’t think of them? That I was only thinking of my career and what I could or could not do?”

“So you thought of them,” Jattic cut in hurriedly. “I didn’t mean to suggest that you didn’t.”

Through her tears, Casey managed a smile. “You’re not like most interrogators.”

A faint smile from Jattic. “I’ve been in the business a long time. Long enough that they tend to let me do and say what I want. Most importantly right now, Casey, I’m an open ear.”

“I’m not much of a closed mouth, am I?” Casey choked out. Jattic crossed the room and sat next to her, in much the same manner as a friend might have done.

“You’re a hacker,” he pointed out. “You lot tend to be all tough and gruff when you’ve got a console out in front of you. That’s your element. This isn’t. You’d be surprised how many hackers cave just at being brought in... but really, Casey, what do you have to hide? I mean, sure you hacked into some of the galaxy’s biggest corporations. But then, you undid the damage, sent all the information back. Empire won’t execute you; they want to hire you... after you serve a total of twelve years in prison...”

“They know they can’t keep me in prison,” Casey complained. Jattic nodded.

“That they do,” he conceded. He smiled faintly. “They held the trial without you there... an odd practice. I’m not even sure how that sits on a legal standpoint. Twelve years, you got. And you have to wear this...” He held out a slim silver band, “... on your upper arm. Left or right, you choose.”

Casey stared at the band. “And then what?”

“And then, you travel,” Jattic replied. “You travel with four guards and the armband. Like you said before, they can’t keep you in a prison. Hell, you’ve escaped from this holding cell three times already, haven’t you?”

Casey’s laughter was choked with sobs and Jattic put a comforting arm around her.

“I’ve signed on as one of your guards, Casey,” he said. “Like I said before, they pretty much let me do whatever I want. And one of these days, you’ll work up the courage to tell me exactly why you gave up friends, family, technology... everything you loved... traded it all for a prison sentence that you knew wouldn’t be spent in prison.”

He squeezed her shoulders and stood. “I’ll let you think on that, and in an hour, I’ll bring your other guards around to meet you. Max Lukan’s one of ‘em. My brother... a riot, you’ll love him. Katera Vincent, a friend of ours. She’s got to be the most unpredictable person you’ve ever met... and Griss Tavar. Don’t really know him, but we’ll keep an eye on him, make sure he’s cool, alright?”

Casey wiped the tears from her cheeks and stood. “Why are you telling me all this?”

Jattic laughed. “You’re spending twelve years with us,” he said. “Thought you might like to know something about your roommates. ‘Cuz that’s what we’ll be, Case. Roomies. Whatever you’re after in this imprisonment, count on us to make it happen, okay?” He grinned. “Be back in an hour.”

Casey watched him go, unsure of what she thought. She understood now why he was such a good interrogator. He’d broken through the barriers, got her crying, got her to admit without words that she’d been arrested willingly, that the Galaxy Hacks were just a piece of a greater puzzle. She’d come so near to telling him what she was after... and then he’d run off. In one second, Casey was cursing her own lack of fortitude, and in the next she couldn’t help but wonder how serious Jattic had been about his offer for help. She supposed she’d find out soon enough.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
One week later...


Dear Sean,


You’ve probably never gotten a letter actually written out by hand. That’s alright... this is the first I’ve ever done. It’s got an odd feel to it... not sure if I like it yet or not. Anyway, I hardly took on this chore to discuss the chore itself, did I? I’d better get straight to the point then.

Sean, I just want to tell you I’m sorry. I know this whole thing had to have been hard on you. After all, the Galaxy Hacks came out of the blue. I mean, I’d always joked about it, sure... but we both knew I never meant for the plan to be more than a private joke. Jattic (one of my guards) told me that you’ve been interrogated seven times since I got arrested and five in the two weeks before. You don’t deserve this, but I didn’t have a choice. One day, I hope you can understand that.

I’m not going to give you any details because then they’ll really get on your case. But just know that there’s a reason behind my actions. And it’s a damned good one. I know that’s not going to make you feel better... it doesn’t really even make me feel better. I just... it had to be said. Tell my parents and my brother I’m sorry.

All my love,

Casey



-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

“You know, when I got that for you, I didn’t actually count on you using it,” Jattic remarked with a chuckle as Casey shut the notebook in which she’d been writing. It had been Casey’s birthday a couple of days earlier and he’d presented it to her then with a laugh, a grin, and a ‘Happy Birthday from all of us’. Casey shrugged and held up her left arm, the silver band plainly visible just below the end of her short sleeve.

“It’s my only source of thought outlet now,” she replied. “Can’t get on the tech thanks to this thing...”

“It’s temporary, Case,” Jattic offered comfortingly. “Though you’ll probably say it’s not temporary enough. Two years, max. Then, you’ll start getting supervised tech time.”

“Makes me feel loads better,” Casey muttered sarcastically. Jattic grinned and shook his head.

“Look at you!” he protested. “You’re like a sulking little kid. Come on, now. Cheer up... what were you writing, anyway?”

For a moment, Casey did not reply. Finally, she said, “Nothing... just a letter to a friend.”

Jattic smiled knowingly and nodded. “Will he ever see the letter?”

With a sad smile, Casey admitted the truth:

“Probably not.”


Mom tells me I need brain food... but if writing ain't that, I don't know what is!

My work in progress:
Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

Have a read, give a review, yah?
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:25 AM   #2
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Prologue II: Spanning the Ten Year Silence

Prologue II: Spanning the Ten Year Silence


(Excerpts from the ‘Journals of Casey Vale’)
Casey Vale: Journal Entry
Force knows what day or time...


See, that's the biggest problem with constant traveling; you can never be quite sure what day it is, let alone what time. Even the year starts to get a bit fuzzy. But by Coruscant standards, I'd have to say it's been roughly six months since I was arrested. I often tell people that the funny thing about being able to escape from prison is that they don't put you in one. What do they do? They give you guards and technology to ensure you don't do the same things you got arrested for.

The armband, then. It's actually quite comfortable. Surprisingly so. Which is good, I suppose, since I can't even take it off to shower. Fully waterproof and everything. Quite the impressive piece of tech. If I get too far from my guards though, the blasted thing will knock me out and alert them to my whereabouts. No running. And no tech. I touch a computer console - or any piece of technology, for that matter - it gives me a not-so-pleasant zap of electricity, right through the arm. Can't count the number of times my arm was numb - for hours at a time - when I first got the thing put on. Zaps me if I try to take it off too... even the slightest skin-touch sets it off. For that, long sleeves are a great blessing.

I'm not really complaining, though. I've become good friends with my guards, odd as it may sound. But when you travel around together for six months, it's kinda hard
not to know them. And they have the power to switch off the armband... which they do oh so occasionally. Typically, they let me show off for people who doubt I am who I say I am. Problem with that is, they tend to then insist that we leave the place immediately afterward. Can't say as I blame them though; after all, they are getting paid to keep me out of trouble... and again, I'm not complaining. It's kinda fun to show off and then vanish.

This is rather new to me, too. Six months I've gone without access to a proper journal. And Jattic bought me this...
book a few months back... not in a datapad. He said they used to read and write in things like this all the time before computer technology accelerated and made it unnecessary. It was a joke on his part, but I'm using it seriously. Who'd have thought that the great Casey Vale would physically write her thoughts into sheets of paper? Ha! I certainly never would have guessed it.

So I'm journaling. But six months is a lot to catch up on and this is a highly inconvenient way to recount it. Perhaps, I'll have to persuade Max or Jattic to buy me a voice recorder. They're the most willing to do what I want so far... anyway, Max is calling for me. I hear they’re taking me somewhere... how did Jattic put it... right, somewhere ‘backwater and beautiful’. Suppose I may as well go see about it...

Well, for now, then,

Casey Vale

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


Casey Vale: Journal Entry
Force knows what day or time... (damned if I’m not already getting tired of writing this...)

Well, I think it’s been something like another month or two. Had some kind of celebration. Max and Jattic were laughing at me because I’ve forgotten – or never bothered to remember – the names of all the galactic holidays. Somewhere ‘backwater and beautiful’ turned into somewhere ‘risky and frightening’. Had another close call with some of my so-called ‘rescuers’. I’m looking forward to the day that they forget I’m even out here... maybe I should change my name. And hide the armband under a shirt... not that doing so would be changing anything, really...

Anyway, so what, eight months now? I’m getting tired of this incessant traveling. Another good reason to change my name. Maybe we can find some nice little planet to settle down. Not all this shuttling about without any clear destination. I’ll have to suggest that to Jattic. Above all, I can’t forget what I’m here for.

Casey Vale

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


Kassa Vick: Journal Entry
I’ve given up on time

Bless me journal, for I have not written. Heh... it’s been what, four years now? I haven’t a clue, really. It’s all sorta blended together. Good memories, bad memories... it’s all sort of a collage built up in my head, and in the shuttle. Jattic said ‘no’ to the settling down idea, but I still adopted a new name. Kassa Vick. I like it. Jattic thought it was funny. Jerk.

He’s in the habit of correcting me now, too. It’s been exactly five years today. You know, it’s amazing how difficult it is to keep track of a book. That’s part of the reason I haven’t written in almost four years. I just can’t place it all that often. The other issue happens to be a lack of interest, you know? There’s just so many things to do in all the places we go.

People seem to have gotten used to the fact that I can’t be found now. And Jattic’s more agreeable to settling down. We bought a little house on Naboo, a truly beautiful place. I’m falling in love with it and we’ve only been here... umm... Jattic says two weeks. I guess that seems about right. Occasionally, people who’ve actually heard of or even seen Casey Vale ask me if I’m her. I politely reply that it’s a common mistake. My name is Kassa Vick. Jattic’s laughing again. Shall I slap him? I’m gonna slap him. There! Done.

So about trust now. My guards aren’t exactly guards anymore. They’re my friends. Good friends too. Last week, Jattic...
yesterday Jattic took the armband off for good. It was kinda weird, since I’d been wearing it for so long. There’s a strip of skin there on my arm that’s paler than the rest... more tender too. Not cool. Jattic looked at it and just shrugged... said it wouldn’t be long before it was back to normal.

Anyway, I’ve taken to accessing technology again. I’m surprised; it hasn’t changed much. But now, I’m finally getting into the real reason for getting myself into lockdown. Jattic’s still trying to get me to fess up with my secrets, but so far, all I’ve told him is that they’re Empire secrets. Jattic and Max were cool about that, but Katera was a little concerned and so was Griss. Of the four of them, I think those two are the most pro-Empire. Not that either of them really are, but... well, I dunno. Have to be careful, I suppose.

Anyway, we’re heading into Theed today, to watch the coronation of a new queen. It’s interesting, this planet. Their queen is chosen by vote every four years... so really, it’s like a democratic government with monarchial titles... not sure I’ll ever get used to that. I dunno, though. We’ll see.

Suppose that’s all for now,

Kassa Vick... ugh, I can’t do this...


Casey Vale


-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


Casey Vale; Journal Entry
Nope


Well, I may know the day and time now, but it’s sort of tradition not to write it down. Been going for near ten years now, and no signs of stopping! Anyway, I’ve been probing deeper into the Empire’s darkest corners, where they keep all their military secrets, schemes for things I shudder to think about. Interrogation machines, invasive lie detectors, brainwashing, cloning. Seems like they’ve got a brainchild in every field of evil. But there’s one thing, the thought of which terrifies me to silence. I can’t imagine the cruel, heartless mind that came up with this.

Security on this project is far higher than any other as well. The Empire wants this one unknown until its debut. But I can’t let that happen. I’ve got to warn someone... or everyone. But mainly, I’ll try to drop this information into the hands of those who can use it. Rebel Alliance, maybe. I hear they’re becoming far more organized than they were back when I got arrested. Maybe they can do something with the information... but that’s assuming I get the information before it’s too late.

As I mentioned before, security on this project is through the roof. I’ve been booted from the system more times in the last seven years than I can count. But I’ve managed to get snippets of information, mostly just photos of this thing being built. I showed Jattic finally, and he’s just as horrified as I am. Not so pro-Empire now, I guess. He showed it to Max and Katera. Griff saw it too, but he seemed impressed more than concerned. I wonder about him sometimes...

Anyway, for the first time in almost ten years, I, Casey Vale am going to reach out to the outside world. I’m going to call Sean. Maybe I haven’t seen him in almost ten years, but I know I can trust him. I have to trust him. Because without him, without any of my friends, including my guards, I couldn’t pull this off... not on my own. Sigh. Well, wish me luck...

Casey Vale


-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


At work, Sean Casey’s computer screen went black. Frustrated by the apparent system failure, Sean leaned back and let out a tired sigh. “Tass!” he yelled, “did you trip over the power cables again?”

A series of alien curses echoed in the hall just off Sean’s office and his eyebrows shot up. “Well...” he mumbled. “That was... sorry I asked...”

[Sean Casey.] White letters jumped out at him. Sean lurched back from his computer, startled. “What?” he murmured. He tapped a few keys, trying to restore his screen.

[Don’t think you’re getting out that easy, Sean.]

Frowning, Sean typed in, [Who is this?] and his words came up light blue.

[Someone who needs your help. Whoa! Nice system you’ve got there... almost kicked me out.]

At that, Sean knew exactly who he was communicating with, but he could scarcely believe it. [Casey?]

[Smart one, you are. But listen. I have very little time before this is discovered by the Imps. I’ve gotta get out quick, but I need you. Get away from Coruscant as quickly as you can... and don’t use your real name.]

Sean frowned. “Casey...” His screen returned to normal. Swearing under his breath, Sean tried to return to his work, but his mind was buzzing. It had been ten years since Casey’s arrest and Sean had never been fully convinced that it was an accident. To have her contact him now in such a covert way confirmed his suspicions and now she needed his help. He grinned. Ten years had passed... but he’d planned for this.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


Dear Imperials,

In short, yes I’ve been contacted by Casey Vale. I have no idea why, nor do I particularly care. She’s my friend and I aim to help her in whatever way I can. Step one, I’m leaving Coruscant. Step two, she’s contacting me. Step three, I have no idea. At any rate, good luck finding me. If I’ve learned one thing in the last ten years, it’s how to avoid you people.

I know you'll read this within a half an hour of the time I save it, so I've got just one more thing to say to you... See you in hell,

Sean Casey



Satisfied with the little trick he was playing on the Empire, Sean Casey boarded a public transport using the name, 'Jatt Grayson'. At the last moment, he tossed the datapad off the transport, where he was sure it would be picked up by the Empire... if some beggar off the street didn't get to it first. And if one of them did... well, then he'd get a nasty surprise when the Imperials got around to finding it.

So here he was, with full identification to prove he was Jatt Grayson, heading for somewhere on the Outer Rim. He had no idea where to look for Casey first, but he knew how to ask questions. He'd find her... sooner or later. And if he didn't, she'd find him.


Mom tells me I need brain food... but if writing ain't that, I don't know what is!

My work in progress:
Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

Have a read, give a review, yah?

Last edited by Writer; 07-01-2008 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:09 AM   #3
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.....I can sum it up in one word: Excellent.
The story flows well, fresh idea, Galaxy Hacker. Where you come up with that. I was to busy reading the excellent story to look for typos, so I dont know if there was any of those. Ill be reading this. Keep it up!


Last edited by HK-42; 07-01-2008 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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Thanks for reading

In all honesty, the idea started out very simply. I had this little idea of a brilliant hacker discovering a terrible Imperial secret and going on the run with it. That was about six months ago, I wanna say. The idea has grown. I entered the first prologue in the Javyar's Cantina contest a couple months back and the only complaint I got was that it was a prologue. Back then, I'd already started writing the rest of the story, and now I'm finally getting around to getting it up here

Happy reading!


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Mom tells me I need brain food... but if writing ain't that, I don't know what is!

My work in progress:
Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

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Old 07-01-2008, 01:51 PM   #5
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Yeah, I remember reading some of this in Javyars.

I have to say that I really like this story so far. As HK said, it is a very fresh idea, and it really does flow well. I am glad that you are continuing on with this story. You have definately drawn me in.

Nice work Writer!

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Old 07-01-2008, 02:37 PM   #6
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Cool story...


Please feed the trolls. XD
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:13 PM   #7
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Good old WildJedi kind of story.

Meh. I finished reading it and, well, I'm still waiting for the actual story to happen.

Not enough to dig out my meat hooks though.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:23 PM   #8
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:04 AM   #9
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Chapter I: Living Legends on the Hunt

Chapter I: Living Legends on the Hunt


"Sean Casey has gone hunting for Casey Vale," a nervous messenger reported to Darth Vader. The Dark Lord nodded once and then the room was dropped into near-silence, with the only sound being Vader's mechanized breathing. Finally, he turned away from the balcony and faced the messenger.

"Send the Hunter and the Rogue after him, if they can be interested," he ordered. "Inform Casey Vale's guards that he is coming."

The messenger bowed and retreated.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


It was a small room, not more than six by six feet. But that was all that was needed. The Hunter and the Rogue used it for meditation, though today only the Rogue was there. Both of them were extremely Force sensitive. And that was part of the reason people were so afraid of them. On the one hand, you never could know what to expect with them. Another issue was the... feeling around them. It was as if you were in the presence of someone or something very old... and yet, neither of them looked old enough to have that feeling attached to them.

The Rogue's name was Annika Venn, and she was called the Rogue for a number of reasons. She claims that years back, she was a Jedi, "back when it meant something," she says. Then, she joined the Sith, "when that meant something more, too." Finally, she gave up on the extremes and became a 'Grey Jedi'. In essence, she became a 'Rogue' to all parties. Though her stories would put her age at least in the two-thousands, she scarcely looks older than twenty-five. Now, she works for whoever pays most... unless it contradicts her sense of justice.

And then, there's the Hunter. The title was shortened from Sith Hunter when she pledged her allegiance to the Emperor. Her stories are even more outrageous than the Rogue's. Reibe Vailar, the Hunter, claims that she met Revan, a claim which puts her age nearer to four-thousand, when she would appear to be just twenty. Recent events have brought her allegiance into question and she's been difficult to contact, for she's been traveling a great deal. But the Empire knows how to contact her.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


"What is it?" Annika Venn asked softly from the center of the small, dark room.

"You have been hired, Rogue," the messenger stated, trying to sound brave. Annika laughed, a sound that made the messenger far more uncomfortable than he'd been just standing in the doorway.

"I have been requested," she corrected. "What's the job?"

"Tracking down a man named Sean Casey," the messenger replied. "Connected to Casey Vale."

"Ah, the Galaxy Hacker's best friend," Annika murmured. "Why?"

"He's going after her," the messenger said. He held out a datapad into the darkness and it was lifted out of his hand. It reached the center of the room and dropped into Annika's hands. She looked it over and tossed it back.

"Intriguing, but no," she said abruptly. The messenger took a step back.

"We're trying to get the Hunter involved," he offered, hoping the Rogue would reconsider.

"If she accepts," Annika sighed. At that moment, Reibe Vailar shoved the messenger roughly aside and entered the little room.

"She does," she announced. The two women embraced. Then, Annika turned to the messenger.

"Inform your master that you have done very well," she said. "The Rogue and the Hunter are on the job."

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


“We got incoming,” Jattic told Casey. “First, your friend Sean left the Imperials a message. Told ‘em he’s coming after you and there’s nothing they can do about it.”

Casey groaned. “Idiot! All they have to do is get to us and he’ll walk right into a bad situation when we finally meet up.”

“It gets worse,” Jattic said. “That mystery informant we’ve been testing has contacted us. She says the Hunter and the Rogue were hired to get to Sean.”

Casey cringed. “That’s... not good news.”

“No,” Jattic agreed. “I’m thinking we’ve just been thrust into a situation we’re not coming back from.”

For several long seconds, Casey did not speak. Then, she nodded. “I always thought that might be the case. It still has to be done.”

Jattic nodded. “Then, it’s time to let the Imperials know we’re not on their side any longer.”

“I’ll get started, then.” Casey stood and left the main room. She walked back to her ‘office’. In this room, they had managed over the years to assemble all of the same hacking technology that Casey had used to pull off the Galaxy Hacks. And now, she would use the same technology to force the Empire to realize that the hacker they pushed down wasn’t going to lie down and do what they wanted. And neither were the guards they’d assigned to her.

“Hey, Case.” Casey let out a yelp of surprise at the voice of Katera Vincent. The female guard’s head popped into view from behind Casey’s desk.

“Kat,” Casey breathed. “You startled me.”

Kat blushed and shook her head. “Sorry,” she said, brushing a strand of curly brown hair out of her face. “I was just checking out that power fluctuation you were talking about last time you logged on.”

“You figure it out?” Casey asked. Kat shrugged and grinned.

“How good am I?” she teased. “You should be good to go. What’s up this time? More sneak peeks?”

“No, we’re going for full-on attention grabbing this time,” Casey answered. “Sean got my message and he got off Coruscant... but he tried to do it with flair, so the Hunter and the Rogue are after him.”

Kat winced. “Ooh... so what’s the plan?”

“We’re blowing their little plan of putting me to use in another couple of years,” Casey replied. “You know those bank accounts we’ve been using these last ten years? Well, we’re going to drain them... set up twenty smaller accounts in place of those ten. Hidden, so's even the Empire can't find them.” She moved around the desk and Kat stood aside to let her at the computer. With a grin, Casey added, “And we’re gonna send a message direct to the Emperor himself.”

“Whoa!” Kat exclaimed. “Sure takes the heat off your friend.”

“That’s the idea,” Casey grinned. “Hang tight. Soon as I’m done with this, I’ll send him a message. And after that, we have to go. Tell Max and Griss to get the ship ready, will you?”

“Gotcha,” Kat answered. “Have fun.”

Casey chuckled. “Yeah, will do...”

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


"Well that was almost painfully easy," Annika remarked softly. Reibe smiled but did not reply immediately, choosing instead to watch 'Jatt Greyson' sleeping fitfully in an uncomfortable spaceliner seat.

"So what would you rather do?" she finally asked. "Kill him off in such ways as the Emperor would be proud of? Or perhaps, we ought to befriend him... hmm?"

"I would be rather interested in learning what prompted his sudden, swift departure to chase after his old girlfriend..."

Reibe rose. "Glad to hear you say that," she said. "Come on, then. Let's go meet the man."

They moved toward the young man, laughing and talking in the manner of two young friends on a trip to somewhere that interested them... though the destination was not quite so very interesting as the events in their young lives. Sean was awake almost instantly as they approached and he watched them guardedly. Initially, they seemed to be ignoring him... but then, Annika asked him politely if the seats across from him were taken. Wordlessly, he shook his head and the two women sat down.

"So," Reibe said, breaking into the conversation she'd been having with Annika, "perhaps, if we are to be seat-mates, we ought to get acquainted." She shoved her hand out to Sean. "I'm Dana Vincent. This is my friend Vikka Wade."

Sean shook her hand cautiously and replied, "Jatt Greyson."

"We were just discussing the merits of our destination," Annika went on, grinning at Reibe. "Or rather, arguing. Dana thinks Naboo is better. Frankly, I prefer Felucia. What do you think?"

Frozen for half a second, Sean had to think quickly. It was far too early to blow his cover... he hadn't even begun to find Casey yet...

"I, uh... I'm inclined to agree with Dana," he offered slowly. Reibe smacked Annika's shoulder with a triumphant grin.

"Told you!" she exclaimed. "People like places where killer diseases aren't all that likely. People like safe."

"So what takes you to a comfortable little place like Naboo?" Annika asked, rubbing her shoulder.

"To get away from the stress of the workplace," Sean replied. The answer came easier, for that was a question he'd thought through.

"Alone?" Reibe wondered doubtfully. "What kind of attractive young man takes a stress-relieving trip to Naboo alone?"

Sean flushed a little. What kind of attractive young man indeed? But this was a good time for a subject change. He grinned. "You think I'm attractive?"

"Well..." Annika began. "You're... well, I'll be honest. You're what... thirty? A little over the age range Dana and me are considering. Not bad for your age, though."

"Ouch," Sean chuckled, wincing in pretended pain. "You cut me to my heart."

"And yet, isn't that what all beautiful young women do?" Reibe sighed, punching Annika's shoulder again. "Be nice, Vikka." To Sean, she said, "You are attractive. Don't let her tell you different." She grinned. "So come on... who you gonna meet up with on Naboo?"

Sean was stuck. That was far too direct a question to dismiss as he had done before. "I... well, I plan on... that is, I'm hoping to see... to see an old friend."

"An old... girl friend?" Annika asked with a sly wink. Now, Sean was uncomfortable. These two girls were hitting a little too close to the mark. Still, the best lies always had a piece of truth to them.

"Well," he said, "I... we never called it that. Best friend, I'd say. We spent more time together than apart, all through our school years. After college, we lost touch. I'm just trying to track her down again... give her a surprise visit."

"Ah, then she doesn't know you're coming," Reibe concluded. She grinned. "You ol' romantic, you."

"And what takes the two of you to Naboo?" Sean asked, eager for another chance to turn the discussion away from him.

"Chance to see something new," Annika answered, looking to Reibe.

"Just visiting home," she said. "I was born on Naboo, lived most of my teen years there." She leaned forward. "You need a guide of the planet, talk to me. I've been everywhere worth going. If your friend is here, I can help you find her."

"Dana Vincent, right?" Sean asked, searching his mind to see if the name meant anything to him. He vaguely recalled that one of Casey’s guards had the same last name... and that made him uneasy. Reibe nodded.

"That's right," she confirmed. Sean nodded.

"Thanks," he said. "I'll keep that in mind." But mentioning Casey Vale was the last thing on his mind.


Mom tells me I need brain food... but if writing ain't that, I don't know what is!

My work in progress:
Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

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Old 07-06-2008, 01:57 PM   #10
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Uh-oh. Thats not good.

Nice addition Writer. It is a very entertaining story. Nice job!

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Old 07-25-2008, 03:54 PM   #11
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good work writer. I believe thats why you are the writer
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:20 PM   #12
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Alright, so there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for why this story has been dormant for six months... umm... just give me a few hours to come up with it

Actually, I've been rather busy up until lately and now that I've come up with time on my hands, I've managed to complete the entire story and will therefore be adding it on here in pieces to keep up the suspense. Hope you enjoy your next dose


Chapter II: A Sudden Reversal/The Hunt Reborn

The public transport landed on Naboo and, as he had no other immediate sources, Sean went with the two women, Dana and Vikka. But the direction they led him was not exactly what he'd had in mind. It was as if they knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish... and that made him uncomfortable. They led him straight to a computer terminal in a public library and, after several moments of heated, whispered debate, the two girls turned to him.

"We've read up on Casey Vale," Annika whispered to Sean. "Your photo came up a couple of times... Sean Casey. Please... don't run off on us. We can help you."

"Who are you?" Sean demanded, thinking very hard about running.

"That's not the issue of this moment," Reibe answered. "Finding Casey Vale is. More importantly, why do you want to find her?"

"Are you Imperials?" Sean asked, breathless. He'd been so absolutely certain they couldn't track him down. Annika laughed.

"They like to think so," she said. "But they have no real power over us."

"A Rogue and a Hunter alone in a dark room," Reibe sang softly. Sean's heart nearly stopped.

"But..." he stammered, "but that's a myth."

"Just like lies, some of the greatest myths are founded in truth," Reibe told him. "I am the Hunter. More properly, Sith Hunter."

"And that makes you..." Sean said, turning to Annika, "... the Rogue?"

Annika smiled faintly. "He has the head knowledge. Let's see him try to work this around the mental blocks I see him running into..."

"This is ridiculous," Sean spat. "You honestly expect me to believe that two young girls such as yourselves are the twins the Emperor has locked away for his special missions?"

"Oh, we aren't twins," Annika countered. "Reibe's my elder by nearly two-thousand years. And we’re clearly not ‘locked away’, am I right?"

"Thanks for making me feel young, squirt," Reibe quipped. To Sean, she said, "But she's right... on both counts. And think of it this way... if we truly worked for the Empire, you'd be dead by now."

"Maybe not," Sean shot back. "If Casey's guards turned against the Empire and all five of them are on the run, you may be using me to track them down."

"No offense, kid," Annika said, "but you were easy to find. We caught up with you just before you left Corellia. Been tailing you for a week now. If we were really after Casey, we'd have gone straight for her... not after you first. We're here because we believe as you do... that Casey had some ulterior motive for getting herself arrested."

"Then you know the Empire's stories..." Sean began.

"Were complete fabrications," Reibe finished for him. "She arrived at her parents’ house, as she'd promised. The feds were waiting there for her. It was all planned."

"So we're asking the same question you are," Annika concluded. "Why would a girl who's been hacking into things all her life suddenly mess up and then drop into a metaphorical prison? She'll tell you..."

"Now, see?" Sean interrupted. "You're sounding like Imperials again."

"What would it take to prove to you that we're on your side?" Reibe asked. "Go ahead and think hard on that. Make it a challenge. We like challenges."

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


"We like challenges, huh?" Annika asked, staring at the viewscreen before them. Reibe, standing next to her was grinning.

"We do indeed," she replied. "How many screens affected, you think?"

"It'd be easier to answer how many planets," Annika said. She looked to her other side, where Sean Casey was staring, open mouthed at the screen.

"How many planets?" he asked faintly.

"Most of the habitable ones," Annika answered. "You like it?"

Sean Casey wasn't sure exactly how to express his feelings over this particular stunt. Within three hours of his challenge being issued, most of the viewscreens on most of the habitable planets in the galaxy were showing this?

It was a simple black background and, in bold, white letters, it proclaimed,
[Free Casey Vale!]

"That's... amazing," Sean finally concluded. "So what's next?"

"Well, right about now, we get a call from the Emperor or his watchdog, demanding to know how we let this happen," Reibe answered.

"And that's 'cuz they'll believe you pulled it off and we were supposed to stop you from doing something like this or worse," Annika added. At that moment, Reibe plucked her comlink from her belt.

"Right on time," she said. With that, she answered the call. To Sean's surprise, it was the Emperor himself.

"We sent you and the Rogue to take care of Sean Casey because you were supposed to be able to get to him before he did something like this," he snarled.

Reibe tapped a few commands into the computer terminal before her and then replied, "We almost did. The Rogue is on his trail. I've just cut the hack from this end. Give it a minute or two for the termination to reach you."

"Do not fail me again, Hunter," the Emperor growled. Reibe laughed.

"Or what?" she asked. "You'll send Vader after me? Neither of you intimidate me, Palpatine. You know that."

The comlink went dead and Reibe laughed. Turning to Sean, she said, "You see? The Emperor is afraid of me."

"Why?" Sean asked slowly. Annika wrapped her arm around his shoulders.

"Because either one of us could almost overpower him," she said. "And with both of us together, he wouldn't stand a chance."

Though he suspected the statement was supposed to put him at ease, Sean Casey couldn't help but be decidedly uncomfortable with it...

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


"Casey, how many times have you hacked in to see its progress?" Max sighed, looking over his charge's shoulder. Casey flinched at his observation and quickly terminated her illegal access.

"At least fifteen," she answered carefully, "... this week. How many times do you think I've been noticed?"

Max managed a small smile. "You haven't," he answered, "but this can only go on so long before you do get caught. And while they wouldn't be able to trace a roaming signal, the fact that we're always on the move would give them an idea of who's doing it... which throws our paychecks into question. Not that it really matters now, not with your little attention-grabbing stunt, and pulling all our money out and all that... but still..."

"Yeah, sorry," Casey muttered, staring at the console. "I just... I'm nervous, you know? Empire comes up with something like that and I just know that it'll take Sean's help to get us past them to drop the news where it'll be of greatest benefit. And anyone he can scrounge up...”

"We're leaving enough of a trail for him to follow," Max offered comfortingly. But Casey was still worried.

"What if he gets caught first?" she asked. "He never was known for his evasive skills... just his ability to lie his way out of anything. But if it's Imperials... and who knows who they'll send?"

"We do, actually, remember?”

Casey groaned. "Sean doesn't stand a chance," she murmured. Jattic grinned.

"He stands a better chance than he would alone," he told her. Casey shot him a puzzled glance.

"But he is alone..." she protested. Then, a light clicked on. "You mean... they..."

"Check the private news channels," Max encouraged, coming in behind Jattic. He eagerly reached over Casey's shoulder and switched one on.

"... is in uproar today as viewscreens around the Empire flashed a proclamation to free Casey Vale. The hack lasted exactly thirty minutes. We have not yet received any reports of suspects in custody, though Sean Casey's name was mentioned. A total of one hundred and fifty planets were affected, as well as numerous spaceliners and cargo freighters..."

"Sean couldn't do something that big on his own," Casey mused. "I couldn't and I'm a better hacker than he is. No one could do all that alone..."

"And now to the conspiracy theory channel," Jattic announced, changing the channel.

"... wasn't really Sean Casey's doing. The Empire would just love to pin the blame on him, but we had someone on Naboo at the time of the hack. Our eyewitness watched Sean Casey depart public transportation with two women. These two women have been all but confirmed as the Hunter and the Rogue. They were responsible for the 'Free Casey Vale' hack, which brings us to wonder just exactly what they're up to..."

Max grinned and switched the viewscreen off. "There you have it," he said. "Your friend has some exceptional help. Not only will he find us; he'll find us fast, and he'll bring two of the most accomplished warriors and pilots in the galaxy with him."

Casey's heart lifted and she laughed. "Gentlemen, this may just be possible."

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


"I heard the news," the Emperor said slowly as Vader bowed before him. "The Hunter and the Rogue are no longer to be trusted. I am sending you with a bounty hunter, Lord Vader. Kavrik Zall is his name. Find Casey Vale before her allies do. This information cannot get out."

Vader bowed lower. "As you wish, my Master." Then, he rose and went to find the bounty hunter.


Mom tells me I need brain food... but if writing ain't that, I don't know what is!

My work in progress:
Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

Have a read, give a review, yah?
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:19 PM   #13
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Yay!

I can't read that whole chapter right now, but trust me--I will

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