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Astronimae Nox
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Star Wars: Episode VIII: Binds of Tyranny Forum Index » Fan Activities » Astronimae Nox
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Velora Antana
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 1611
Location: LOLtopia

 Post Posted: Sat, January 13th 2007 10:28am    Post subject: Astronimae Nox
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Reborn!

One

Deputy Gunner Fifth Class Yurjith stared out at the infinite majesty of the stars, and was bored.

Yurjith was not his real name, merely the approximation of one of the human alphabets. He was a member of the populous Yeltron race, and had always been an unimaginative, unskilled and useless person. He was utterly unimportant. However, at least as far as perishing in the opening strike of the greatest war of the millennium was important, he was important.

There was a single flash in the distance, past the corvettes that made up the perimeter of the anchorage, and past the great defence platforms that had stood silent watch over the system for a century. That single flash of light was followed by hundreds, thousands more, and then by so many Yurjith could not conceive of such vastness.

As he sat up and adjusted his Galactic Union uniform, he could see through the thick viewport a cloud of missiles as numerous as a swarm of hornets curve in from an armada that blocked out the sun. He witnessed nearby defence platforms burst apart in brilliant explosions, and as he reached for the alarm button another volley was launched, found his section, and incinerated him.

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

John Arrand awoke to the thunderous sound of what he first thought was a malfunction. More options presented themselves; the vidscreen had turned itself on somehow, during the middle of a war documentary, or someone was playing a trick on him.

Then he realised it was the sound of the floor below him taking a torpedo hit. It would have been filled with white hot fire and then decompressed immediately, and for the unfortunate people nearby, fatally. A feeling of foreboding crept into his mind.

The room shook and John thought he could hear screams, quickly extinguished. Again, the room rocked and his mirror fell off the wall, shattering. Something was definitely wrong, so he struggled out of bed, his limbs strangely heavy, and ran over to the small window - to a view of stars.

At least, that’s what he’d expected. Instead he saw streams of blue and white laser fire darting across his line of vision, the occasional flash of an explosion, and dozens of large capital ships engaged in furious combat. They were at least thirty kilometre* away but it was clear that one side was losing badly, and that was the Union - his side.

A knot formed in his stomach and he found himself unable to move as his arms flopped uselessly to his side. Four years in the service as a pilot and he’d never witnessed an attack on a Galactic Union base. He’d seen small bands of pirates attack commercial stations far out on the fringes of the galaxy, but he’d never seen a direct strike on the premier Galactic government. None of the smaller governments would dare try it, and none of the pirate bands could ever hope to muster the hundreds of warships needed to even consider overwhelming the Kalar Anchorage.

His sense of duty overcame his fear, and John ran over to his wardrobe, threw on a uniform and took his regulation pistol from a drawer on the bedside table. His place was in his fighter, but then he realised just how badly the defence fleet was losing. He’d seen maybe a few dozen heavy ships… in combat with hundreds. By now, his fighter had probably been manned by a reserve pilot. How could I have slept through so much of this?

Nonetheless, his duty was to protect the Anchorage. The pistol was in his hand, a reassuring weight. He checked the charge and had begun to advance on the door when it hissed open of its own accord.

“Anybody in here?” yelled a voice. A submachine gun barrel poked through the opening. John raised his pistol and flicked off the safety catch, clutching the small gun hard as if it was about to escape his grip. His aim wavered over to the shower before he got his muscles under control and trained it on the main door.

“Yeah!” he replied, shouting over the noise of the alarms, the crackling of flames and, growing increasingly nearer, the rattle of machine gun fire and the hiss of lasers. The machine gun fire ceased in dribs and drabs until there was no more.

“I’ve been sent to check this deck’s clear!” the voice replied, the barrel lowered, and the unknown person stepped into the untidy room. She was wearing a grey and black uniform like his, but this did not necessarily mean she had earned it. The training manuals warned every soldier that in the event of war they had to be wary around people they did not know; she was wearing her hair in a way that could not be regulation, but did look very good. This in itself was quite suspicious, but she held the gun like she knew what she was doing, and it was pointing down now. He could easily put a bullet in her heart if he wanted to

I stay here, I die. She’s not on my side I die, he thought, But if she’s not one of ours then who the hell is she? “Let’s go then.” They darted out of his quarters and into the corridor. The corridor was wide and curved slightly around various defences and offices, with ventilation shafts at knee height all along it. As they ran past the ventilation shafts popped their hatches one by one to spew sparks and flame and scraps of scorched clothing onto the charred carpeting. John tried not to think about whose clothing it was, and where it had come from.

The facts could not escape him. He was at the home base of the largest, strongest fleet in the sector. A system that housed half a thousand platforms and docks, dozens of heavy shipyards. On the planet of Kalar itself there were uncountable factories capable of building anything from cooling units to heavy bombers.

These supposedly insurmountable defences had been overcome in far less than an hour. They would have killed enough drew to populate a medium sized city by now, not counting the crews on the guard ships and the ships in dock. Millions of lives extinguished in minutes. For a moment the thought overcame him and the idea of such terrible and callous waste of life made him want to break down, run, hide, and wait for the end. But he kept going.

He began to wonder how he had slept through an attack. The alarms and sirens should have awoken him, but they hadn’t. He had slept through a quarter of an hour that had surpassed Earth’s first global conflict in loss of life. That in itself was suspicious enough, but that a mysterious, beautiful woman had arrived just as he had been roused added to it further. Was she really Union? If so, what the hell was she doing remaining on the station? He was still tired, despite the adrenaline coursing through his body. Was he drugged?

These thoughts were forgotten quickly as the corridor bulged out to go skirt a blazing gun turret station and once they had gone round it they saw several creatures run out of a nearby room, wielding dark but gleaming rifles and wearing dark grey fibrous suits.

With a cry they raised the weapons. The woman who had found John snapped up her weapon and let loose a hail of bullets, knocking over one of the creatures and forcing the others to drop behind some wreckage for cover. John crouched and could just about see them through the rubble; roughly two metres tall, pale blue faces and black hair. Almost human, but they were trying to kill him. He had a sinking feeling that he knew those faces, but he struggled to place them.

He raised his pistol and squeezed the trigger, sending several scarlet darts across the room and into one of their heads. The other broke his cover and was gunned down by another succession of blasts. John lowered the pistol and tried to slow his breathing.

The woman walked up to him, sweating slightly from the exertion of battle and dashing around a blazing space station, and held out her hand. He took it and she hauled him up. “I’m Rillere,” she said, fixing him with a brown eyed gaze, “Rillere Aaltonen.” She stuck out a pale and impeccably manicured hand, a detail John would not normally have noticed, but he was seeing the whole world in vibrant colours and sharp focus now, as adrenaline coursed through his system.

John returned her stare, and they shook hands. “John Arrand,” he said, “You’re from… Karelia?” He asked, checking the power levels on his pistol a second time, and wondering if any of his friends were still alive.

“Turku,” she replied. “Is my accent really that strong?”

“Your accent’s very good,” he told her. She blushed slightly and turned to look along the corridor. There was a stomping of metallic boots echoing along the steel walls, growing nearer and nearer.

“Did you hear something?” she said, and raised the weapon again, moving her finger to the second trigger, the trigger that would fire slow but deadly scarlet laser darts that could tear through attackers. There was silence, and then a horde of blue-faced creatures swarmed into view, firing constantly. Red beams and blasts from pistols and rifles tore past the two, missing by centimetres. John flicked his pistol onto full automatic mode and waved it back and forth across the hallway. The floor, ceiling and walls were drowned in crimson blasts, showering the attackers with sparks. John swore; the pistol was drained.

The invaders retreated a few steps and covered their faces then attacked again as John hammered another charge pack into his pistol with the palm of his hand, ducking behind a fallen beam for cover. He could notice a few scant details in the moment he had; the blue skin, the rubbery yet metallic armour they wore. Rillere pulled him after her into another room and quickly hit the door close button. It began to shut just as one of the aliens reached it, shoving his rifle in between the rapidly closing door sections and only succeeding in having his weapon chopped into two neat halves.

The neatly sheared off gun barrel clattered onto the floor, and then the door began to shake with the blasts of two dozen rifles. John turned to Rillere.

“Those blue faces,” he said, “I’ve never seen aliens like that. Who the hell are they?” There were very few species that had the power to even make a dent in the Union, and they were either its allies or neutral. None of them had the same characteristics as the attackers. Except, he knew those faces somewhere… where?

Seemingly ignoring him to concentrate on their predicament, Rillere slotted a fresh clip into her gun, and started looking around the room they had ended up in. It was an airlock prep room, with benches and lockers on two walls, the door they had entered in on another, and the airlock in-door on the fourth. She opened a locker and pulled out two items made of a nondescript white fabric.

“It’s the Lar’jellians,” she said, in a tone that inspired dread, “They’re back. Suit up; we’re not going back out there.” She tossed one of the items to him, and then handed him a large round helmet. Looking at the item, John realised it was a spacesuit. Warning bells clanged in his mind, but were overridden by the revelation of who the attackers were.

Lar’jellians, of course! “They’ve waited three hundred years to… but the Lar’jellians haven’t been seen out of their space in a hundred years, and I only know that because I did advanced exocultural studies at…” John stopped. “It doesn’t matter right now. We’ve got to make it out of here but… we’re going out there?” he said incredulously, “Into the hottest space battle I’ve ever seen wearing half a centimetre of fibreweave and a goldfish bowl? That’s suicide, sheer suicide.”

She raised an eyebrow. “You’ve never been in Zero-G?” She looked worried for a moment, and then masked it with a look of vague contempt. She strapped on her directional-boost pack and handed him another.

“Well, yeah, I have,” he replied, trying to assert credibility, “When one of my engines fouled up in the middle of a training exercise. But fixing a left intake valve in deep space while surrounded by eleven friendly craft all keeping an eye out for you is not the same as floating through a sneak attack on the Kalar Anchorage!” he took a deep breath and tried to compose himself. The door buckled. John looked at Rillere, then at the door, then at Rillere again.

The whole universe is ending, he thought, an attack. An attack on the Union, and we’re powerless. You want to go into the Big Cold with a strange, beautiful Finnish woman with no proof of her intentions, Arrand?

You know, I can think of worse people to die with, opined a treacherous part of his mind, You must admit you quite like her, don’t you?

“Fine,” he sighed, and started forcing a leg into the suit. The station shook with another blast.

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

The airlock outer door drifted shut behind him silently, and John took a look at his surroundings. The crew module behind him was a half molten wreck, and the nearby stardocks were blazing merrily in the out rush of oxygen from malfunctioning life support units. Far off, the small dots of fighters weaved and danced around monolithic capital ships. John tried not to stare at the stars. He focused on the back of Rillere’s helmet instead and wondered what her position was in the military, if she even had one. A fighter pilot? Not with those nails. A technician? Not with those legs.

Nice legs, too, that part of his mind wheedled again. I’m obviously suffering from stress, he thought, shut up.

John tried to think about something else, and suspicion floated to the top of his mind. Was she actually a Galactic Union soldier? Her shoulder length chestnut hair was definitely not regulation, and neither was the H-67 clip he had seen her reload her gun with. He’d have to be wary, and hope she was not a spy. If she was a spy, he knew what to do.

Everyone knew what happened to spies.

“Where exactly are we going?” he asked her over the radio, as they floated past the molten carcass of a gutted cruiser, charred bodies orbiting in its gravity in a grotesque parody of a solar system. John tried to look away, and couldn’t. Don’t throw up in the suit, moron. The flashes of white and blue gunfire were getting far fewer now in the void, and instead the nearby stardocks, modules and hangars that had remained intact so far were quickly crumbling in a crimson barrage from the unknown ships.

“There’s an undamaged hangar near here, straight ahead,” she replied, “There should be something in there that’s flyable, a freighter or something.” John nodded his helmeted head and gave her a thumbs-up sign. The hangar module’s deck approached, and a static charge ran through their bodies, meaning they had passed the air shield. Gravity quickly restored itself and they fell a meter onto the cold metal of the deck. They knelt there on all fours for a second, shivering. The heating units on the suits must have been on the way out.

John had more important things to worry about when he turned to see a dozen unknown C-shaped fighters heading straight for them. He straightened up and ran for the nearest ship, a polished chrome skiff. Rillere was already there, and had hacked the lock. John filed that under ‘suspicious’ but decided to shrug it off until the immediate threat was gone. He scrambled up the ramp, through a communal sitting area and into a spacious cockpit.

Rillere had taken the co-pilot’s seat and was already flicking start-up switches. John dropped into the pilot’s chair and pressed the ignition switch. The engines roared to life. He turned to Rillere, and then pulled up off the deck and into space in one swift movement. The ship rocked as the hangar module exploded behind them, and then it rocked as crimson energy bolts impacted the shields.

“Does this thing have guns?” he yelled over the alarms. Rillere shrugged and began pushing any buttons within reach, until one slid back a panel. An engraved silver sign above read ‘Defence Systems’.

She grinned and stroked the panel. “Good girl,” she whispered, and shouted. “I think I’ve found it!” she allowed herself a moment of hesitation as to which button to press.

John wrenched the control stick to the side and dodged a large piece of red hot debris, which collided with one of the attacking craft. The pilot regretted this for a very short amount of time. He glanced at Rillere again to see she had begun flicking switches and pressing buttons madly on the ‘defences’ panel. The ship shook again, but not with impact.

John checked the rear camera, so see white bolts of energy and several missiles streaking toward their attackers. The C-ships scattered, and John grinned and turned back to the controls. Rillere had left her seat and was running to a hatch set in the floor of the forward cabin.

“Gun turret,” she explained, lifted the hatch, and slid in. “Right, I think I’ve got it,” she said, her voice muffled now. There was a thump-thump-thump of heavy weapons fire, and a nearby gunboat sized ship flared away into nothingness. John new that a ship of that scale was a flank-protector, and that meant they were heading into the main battle.

“Uh… John?” Rillere called out, “There’s kind of a… a fleet ahead. A big one?” She stared out of the blast-resistant plexiglass at a rapidly approaching armada of multi kilometre*-long ships, each with the C-shaped drive section of the fighters but on a much more massive scale, and a command globe attached. Each was the size of a small city.

“I’m on it, I’m on it!” he exclaimed, pulled the ship up, pushed forward every slider, flicked every un-flicked switch he could reach, and punched the hyperdrive ignition. The stars were starlines and then they were in the shifting white tunnel of hyperspace. A stream of torpedoes shot through the space the ship had occupied half a second earlier.

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

In a gleaming steel control centre at the heart of one of the Lar’jellian Empire’s mightiest warships, Console Officer Kelath turned from his control station and looked up at the Star General. He was an imposing Lar’jellian, more than two metres tall and clad in a black suit of finest flexisteel, his skin a lustrous turquoise. His silk cape was adorned with priceless gems that represented systems in the Lar’jellian Empire. The tailors would have some work soon, Kelath thought for a second, before remembering how much trouble he was in.

“They escaped,” said the Star General. His face was impassive, as it always was, though there was a slight tic in his stony left cheek.

“Yes, sir,” replied Kelath. “I am sorry, General, I-“ the tall Lar’jellian raised a finger to indicate he wanted silence.

“Be still, officer,” he said. “This could be woven into the plan.” Kelath knew nothing of what the General said, but he often said such things and the officer never asked for clarification. Those who did were taken away, had the plan explained to them, and then they were never seen again.

So Kelath nodded silently and said, “Yes, General.”

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

Rillere jumped out of the gun-turret control well and crossed the cockpit to clap John on the shoulder. He grinned and flicked the ship over to autopilot. “Nice shooting,” he said, “I’ll bet they weren’t expecting us to hit their flank.” His face fell as he realised what they had just been through. Rillere sat down in the co-pilot’s seat and her face lapsed into a frown.

“The Kalar Anchorage has been hit,” she said, easing her pistol out of its holster and in again, flicking the safety catch on and off nervously, “Which means… sneak attack.” The idea brought up unpleasant ideas. “Which means…”

“War,” John intoned blankly. He looked out at the swirling starlines and got to work on a control panel, eventually calling up a news feed. It showed footage of other anchorages melting under the barrage of crimson plasma, cities burning from incendiary bombs, vast hordes of blue-faced troops advancing on crumbling defences… and a common motif was that of Union ships floating in space, inert. Dead and gutted, their contents spilt into space.

“Perkele,” Rillere whispered hoarsely, and looked up at the swirling mess of hyperspace. “Where can we go on this route?”

John punched up a view of the hyperspace junction they were approaching, with forty blue tubes coiling off to the left, right and centre. “Highlight routes to planets lost to enemy,” he said. Every route turned an angry scarlet. “Damn!” he cursed, “We’ll have to pick one and hope for the best.” Rillere shook her head and pointed at one route, a thinner hyperspace passage. It was still blue. The label floating to the right of it read “New Stavanger.”

“That route seems to lead to a newly set up colony,” Rillere said, “I heard of it; a joint operation between several Earth nations and a couple of the colonies. Looks to safe enough for us to refuel and get onto a safe route.” John nodded.

“Okay,” he replied, and began to lay in the course. The view of swirling white shifted slightly as the ship moved ‘down’ and into the new passage. John turned to Rillere, “It’ll be a few hours ‘til we’re there,” he said, and stood up to find the sleeping quarters.

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

A man walked alone through the endless corridors of Galactic Union Defence Force Headquarters. He wore the uniform of a Union soldier, but it lacked any rank insignia. Every soldier saluted as he passed and the man nodded at them every time. Finally, a reached a door the end of an extremely long and well-guarded tunnel, a tunnel plated with super-strong perinadium and studded with antipersonnel weaponry, each barrel of every gun controlled by a dozen redundant computer systems. The man had nothing to worry about though, for he was no intruder.

He stroked the control panel next to the door, which slid open slowly. He walked through, into gloom lit only by a handful of screens sitting on a pseudowood desk. A figure was sitting straight-backed in the room’s single chair, which swivelled to face the hooded man.

The person who sat in the chair was also easily seen to be human, even in the shadows. It was young, no more than twenty years old, female and strikingly attractive. The man did not care about this, but did care what she was doing. The screens that glowed softly around her displayed strategy maps, live video feeds from battles, and specifications for several of the Lar’jellians’ most deadly war machines that had been transmitted by spies who could no longer be reached. The woman nodded toward the man who wore no insignia on his uniform.

It would be a usual assumption in the Defence Force that a badge of rank identifies the person who wears it, and their standing in the force. It would be assumed that a lack of any such identifier on a uniform would be the lowest rank in the chain. But they were wrong.

Sometimes you don’t need insignia to pass anywhere. If the system allows it, the guards knew not to ask questions.

If the system lets an unidentified man through, the soldiers know who you are. Such was the nature of the man who stood in the doorway to the most secret room in any building on the whole of planet Earth, or the solar system, or the sector. And of those trillions, this one room was the heart of the Union’s war effort.

It was not as large as the Master Control Room, where fourteen thousand screens broadcasted information to seven thousand technicians who sat in forty rows that were each half a kilometre* wide, nor was it as well known as the Main Briefing Room, where dozens of admirals and Commodores met every day to argue in front of the Joint Chiefs.

This one room was more important than all of them; no one knew of its existence. The construction mechs that had built it had all been converted to their base elements and made into paperweights. It was known only to the head of GU Intelligence, the Chief of Staff and the man who designed it, who was living very comfortably and anonymously seventy thousand light years. Only those three men had the knowledge, and of course the woman who sat in her chair, facing the unidentified man.

She said, “Major.”

The man, the Major, nodded curtly. It was his duty to keep her happy. “Ms Jarath.” The woman smiled.

“That’s Supreme Commander to you,” she replied teasingly. The Major walked up to her and looked down on her. If not for her brilliance he was sure he would have strangled her long ago.

“Let’s not bother ourselves with titles, shall we?” said the Major. It was a fact widely known by everyone in the service of the Galactic Union that the Head of Intelligence was Director Chang. This widely held belief was of course wrong; the Head of Intelligence was man with the rather junior rank of Major when he was behind a desk from 9 to 5 every day, and no rank when he was actually on duty. Intelligence was so secretive that none of them knew this, and the Major liked to keep it this way. “Why did you call me down here? Is it something important?”

The woman, who directed the combined military of the Union, was never seen in meetings. She was represented in meetings and ceremonies by the Chief of Staff, and everyone accepted this. She smiled at him yet again. “Maybe I asked you to come down here because I was lonely?”

“Jarath…” the Major said tersely, fast running out of patience as he always did down here. The young woman who commanded ten billion souls stood up, ran over to him and enfolded him in a passionate embrace.

“I am lonely, Major,” she whispered in his ear, “make love to me.”

The Major blinked, pulled back and looked at her in surprise. She flopped back into her chair and giggled insanely. “Can I help it if you’re such an easy mark? Fine,” she continued hurriedly when she saw the look in his eye. “I brought you down here because of… this.” She pressed a button and the oversized holographic image of a man’s head shimmered into view in front of them. Strange alien characters scrolled underneath it.

The Major walked over to it, not knowing what it was but oddly disturbed by it. “What does it say?” He trailed his fingers through the projection, and a tingle of static electricity travelled up his arm.

“It’s a Lar’jellian transmission, it started as soon as the war did three hours ago. Our best guys have deciphered the language from what we know about Lar’jellian which isn’t a hell of a lot. It says, or so they say: “This man must not be harmed. He must be taken alive.” They’ve sent it to every ship they have. We think.”

“Who is he?” said the Major, pointing at the head. The Major prided himself on knowing everything about anyone important. By his limited definition, this man was therefore not important. Not a politician, or a Commodore, or anything this new enemy could use.

“Just some fighter pilot,” Jarath replied with a smirk of superiority. “Flight Sergeant…” she took a piece of paper from her desk and consulted it. The Major walked around the three-dimensional image, thinking.

“Why would they want to capture a junior-rank member of the armed forces?” he said to himself. “What’s his name, damn it?” he asked Jarath impatiently. She was still scanning the paper.

“Give me a second, Major,” she replied, smiling. “Here’s the name. He’s called… John. John Arrand.”

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

The polished chromium skiff hurtled at impossible speeds through a kaleidoscope of colours too strange and alien to the human eye to be described. Onboard, John sat alone in one of the two small cabins, leaning on one wall and with his feet pressed against the other, staring at the small monitor built into that opposite wall.

Rillere walked in with a rustle of hair and a waft of mild perfume. You’d better not be on the wrong side, thought John, but smiled at her wanly. She smiled down at him with dazzlingly white teeth. “I feel so good,” she sighed, “Finally I get to shower, and there’s even shampoo and…” she noticed his frown. “What is it, Arrand?”

John smirked grimly. “I think after what we’ve been through, it should be John.” She smiled and nodded. She placed a hand on his shoulder.

“Rillere. There’s something bigger though, isn’t there? Something that worries you,” she said, sitting down next to him on the bed, which shifted under her weight. He gave her a nod of his own.

“I find it suspicious that this ship was waiting for us, Ms- Rillere. I find it very suspicious indeed. Two cabins, weapons powerful enough for us to escape but not powerful enough for us to want to stay and fight, full facilities – as you’ve seen,” he said, hoping for a smile. He got one, which lifted his spirits for a moment, until he finished what he was saying. “It’s just too convenient.”

Rillere swallowed, and nodded. She frowned herself, and gave him a look of concern. “But,” she said, “That’s not all, is it?”

John let out a short, bitter laugh. “No,” he conceded, and nodded at the monitor, “This Lar’jellian transmission what I have a problem with.” Rillere followed his gaze. She saw the writing in alien script, and saw the face that floated above it. “I think they might be after someone,” said John. “I’d be a mite pissed if I were them, considering the trouble we gave them back at…” he remembered the carnage of Kalar, and the dead who had floated in space. “Back at the… the. So they want me for something.”

“Paska,” said Rillere, and John grinned.

“You really should teach me some Fin-“ he began, but was interrupted by the lurch out of hyperspace, and then the rather larger jolt of a missile impact.


End of chapter one
_________________

-Grand Admiral, Chief of Staff of Nespis Defence Force-

"LOL DILDOS" - Cray | "FFS" - Ams | "Moff, you should know better." - Han

Alex says:
I outnumber him ten million to one
Alex says:
GOOD ODDS FOR ANY GREEK

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Crazed says:
everytime i talk to alexus, i love him a little more

Holder of the 30,000th post

Inventor of the phrase "I'll get my killin' hat." (Seriously. Google it.)

"My gut can't repel comedy of that magnitude!" - Jace911
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Carlist Rieekan
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 Post Posted: Mon, January 15th 2007 03:02pm    Post subject:
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Dude I remember you kept sending me what youd done of this, when you gonna finish! lol I hate unfinished cliffhangers. :P
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Velora Antana
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 Post Posted: Mon, January 15th 2007 03:18pm    Post subject:
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There's more, old man :P I'll post it later... maybe.
_________________

-Grand Admiral, Chief of Staff of Nespis Defence Force-

"LOL DILDOS" - Cray | "FFS" - Ams | "Moff, you should know better." - Han

Alex says:
I outnumber him ten million to one
Alex says:
GOOD ODDS FOR ANY GREEK

Expand


Crazed says:
everytime i talk to alexus, i love him a little more

Holder of the 30,000th post

Inventor of the phrase "I'll get my killin' hat." (Seriously. Google it.)

"My gut can't repel comedy of that magnitude!" - Jace911
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Velora Antana
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 1611
Location: LOLtopia

 Post Posted: Sat, January 20th 2007 10:36am    Post subject:
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Two

Commodore Martin Hayes was not a happy man as he stood in the hastily erected Command Centre of New Stavanger, leaning on the situation board and staring at the cloud of red dots on it that represented enemy fighters, and the larger representations of enemy capital ships. The attack had begun one hour previously, shortly after news of war had trickled through seventeen separate channels and into the computers of the new colony. It showed no signs of letting up.

One of his officers - a steady Colonel from one of the outer colonies – snapped her head up from her station and yelled over the alarms, “Sir, Narvik reports two more destroyers just dropped into the system at fifteen, nine, thirty two! She’s taken hits. Quite a lot of hits!”

Hayes studied the board again, which confirmed what she had said. Two wireframe destroyers were manoeuvring from their reversion point to deliver massive broadsides into the aging Narvik, and return fire from various nearby corvettes and gunships was ineffective. He swore. “Get Zuikaku and Steadfast over there as fast as possible. The destroyers are an advance party for-“

Before he could tell her his predictions, they came true, right before his eyes. Two massive Lar’jellian battlecruisers shifted into the system right in front of Narvik and her escorts, and promptly blew them into so much radioactive dust and shredded metal. Nearby Union ships began to withdraw to the final defensive line Hayes had drawn up half an hour previously. The front line of the battle lengthened, and several red blips made it past the cordon of blues.

“Damn!” yelled the Colonel, “Sir, Gulbene, Turku and Sherbrooke report they’re in danger of being cut off. They request permission to fall back to shorten the line.” This was the classic breakthrough she had been taught about at the Academy, something the Colonel would have realised as well. Break through part of the line and you threaten it all.

Hayes slammed his fist down on the board and the screen buckled slightly. He straightened up and assessed the situation as fast as he could, a gift that had allowed him to rise to his rank at a comparatively young age. “When they reach the final line the enemy’s big ships will be in weapons range of the colony,” he said, grimly, “and we don’t have a shield…” he looked up into a collection of frightened and expectant eyes, the entire command staff staring at him, their boards unnoticed. None of them had ever seen war first hand. “Oh, damn it, permission granted,” he said.

“Commodore,” the Colonel said, with a measure of surprise in her voice, “We have one new contact, flagged as friendly…” Hayes stared at the board with hope. The Colonel looked disappointed. “It’s only a skiff,” she continued. One small blue blip appeared on the board.

“Right now a skiff is about what we can hope for. Open communications and tell them to get the hell to the defensive line!” Hayes knew that, right at the moment, one small reinforcement was a great relief, and such was the sorry state of his fleet the small ship increased its combat effectiveness by an appreciable amount.

On a monitor hooked into Sherbrooke’s gun camera he watched the small, shining ship dart up and down and spiral to avoid missiles, most of which sailed harmlessly by. Turrets on the underside of the skiff flashed blue and white, blasting off the cockpit of a nearby gunboat, before the small ship was able to get close to the last Union Battlecruiser and follow it to New Stavanger’s moon, where the remnants of the defence were gathering.

Hayes replayed the skiff’s flying on his monitor, and nodded with satisfaction. He could relax now for a precious half hour. There was a lull in the fighting now as both sides regrouped and counted their dead.

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

John glanced at Rillere emerging from the gun-well as he nudged the ship alongside a nearby cruiser, close enough to see through the viewports. One eating area with a wide window seemed to have been hastily converted into a triage area. He could see dozens of wounded. Through another, smaller porthole, he saw a man and a woman kissing each other passionately, silently, evidently happy to be alive and filled with adrenaline from their first taste of combat.

“That was good shooting,” he said to Rillere, impressed. Now for a gentle probe. “You seem to have… mastered this ship… pretty fast.” How could she respond to that without at least some clue about her true intentions, if she was hiding anything.

“That was good flying.” Damn.

John, annoyed for only an instant, smiled at the compliment and had opened his mouth to say something when the communications screen crackled into life. It was dominated by a heavyset man in his forties, who grinned at them both.

”So you are the insane bastards who hop into the middle of a fight and outfly missiles,” he said. The grin widened, and John was stuck for words.

“Um,” he said, falteringly, “Yes. I suppose. Sir.”

The man nodded and said, more solemnly, reminded by the death that had taken place in the previous hour, “I am Commodore Hayes. You can see how bad the situation is here, and so can we. Their jamming is strong enough to block outside communications, so tell me; is there help coming?”

John remembered the molten wrecks at the Kalar Anchorage, where he had slept through an attack it was his job to defend against. He remembered the news footage of similar attacks on dozens of other worlds. Millions dead. Tens of millions.

“No. The Lar’jellians, that’s who’s been attacking, they have wiped out the entire sector fleet, and I think the guard squadrons for other worlds have problems to deal with themselves. You’re on your own.”

The Commodore looked down at his desk, and pinched the bridge of his nose. “We’re on our own, son,” he said, “Right, we’ll have to evacuate the remainder of the colonists and piss off while we still can. Punch right through their fleet and take whatever hyperlane we can find. You had better get onboard the Sherbrooke. I’m on my way up myself.”

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

“So,” said Commodore Hayes, who had ushered them into an office on the Sherbrooke as soon as they had docked, “What exactly is going on?” John and Rillere shifted in their seats and the Commodore rose out of his own chair. He walked over to the small window and stared out at his battered squadron. “Well?” he said with a harder tone.

“From what I saw,” said John, “On the news and… first hand, the Galactic Union has been hit by a massive and perfectly synchronised surprise attack on every border planet we share with the Lar’jellians.”

Forty thousand light years away a similar conference was taking place, as the Head of Intelligence and the Supreme Commander attempted to make some sense of the situation. “But the Lar’jellians are neutral,” said the Major, studying Jarath’s holoboard. Blue dots representing systems were fading into scarlet in their hundreds.

“They were,” the young woman replied, “But.”

“It’s obvious they’ve been the victim of some kind of takeover, a coup,” Rillere told Hayes, “When they last attacked three hundred years ago they lost pretty badly after a year or so, the autocratic government was toppled and they went into a self-imposed period of diplomatic isolation. It must have been a while ago when the coup took place, but we didn’t have any way of knowing.” Hayes kept his face blank, but he was wondering the same thing John was wondering. How does she know so much?

Half a galaxy away, Jarath grabbed the holographic representation of a faraway taskforce with her right hand and dragged it over to a still standing shipyard. A blue line appeared between the two points, and the commander of the taskforce, twenty thousand light-years away, received orders from a senior Admiral who had just been ordered to relay by the Chief of Staff, who always had a comm unit keyed to Jarath’s special frequency. The system worked, in its own way.

“We didn’t know,” Jarath said, trying to nudge the truth out of a reluctant man who was paid to lie. “We didn’t. Did we?” Jarath asked, studying the worry on the Major’s face. The older man was unsure for the first time in twenty years, and it terrified him.

“Well,” said the Major. “Well… we… you’d better come with me. This Arrand man can be found by one of our ships, I’m sure. This is important, and I think we both need some answers.”

Jarath turned to her holo-map and began to set orders, dragging fleets here and there. “One moment, I’m ordering a counterattack to slow them down.” The Major raised an eyebrow in query. “We need time to get the fleets up and running, or the enemy will tear through inactive ships like paper.” Her finger paused over the execute button. The intelligence head nodded, and her finger jabbed down.

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

Hayes moved away from the window and over to Rillere and John, who stood. “Do you two know of any hyperlanes out of this system that I don’t know about?” he said, “Because every escape route seems to be blocked.” All were silent, locked in thought.

Interstellar travel was facilitated by the opening of hyperlanes using advanced knowledge of physics and an insanely expensive amount of equipment. However, once a lane was open it could never be closed. In the lanes, objects were in hyperspace, where the laws of physics were temporarily suspended. It was extraordinarily complicated to understand, and there were few who had mastered the theory.

The two survivors of Kalar shook their heads dejectedly. “No sir,” mumbled John. Hayes scowled and paced back and forth even more, a habit he had promised to his wife that he’d curb. The thought crossed his mind that he might never see her again, which cheered him up slightly. Nonetheless, he had innocents in his charge, and it was his job to deliver them home safely.

“I don’t want to die here,” he replied. “We’ve got a dozen warships and twice as many transports with over half a million civilians onboard. We have to make it out somehow. Somehow being the key word there.”

“However,” said Rillere, “There is one way. We could use the route we used to come in. Steam for it at full speed, bashing right through the enemy blockade before they have time to react, go through what’s left of the Kalar Anchorage and get back to friendly territory.”

The corners of Hayes’ mouth turned up. “That,” he said, “is the most insane idea I have ever heard. We could pull it off though…” he walked over to his desk and flicked on a planning program. “We could do it if we bunch up the transports in the centre of the fleet, but we’ll get banged up a bit heading out of the system’s gravity well.”

“A few hits sounds a lot better than staying here and waiting for them to come and kill us,” volunteered John. Hayes smiled again.

“You got that right,” he said. “If we go through Kalar after this we’ll be on an express route to the Pzarthi system, and the enemy can’t have taken that yet.”

“Why?” asked Rillere.

John smirked, “Pzarthi’s the best defended system in the next sector over. It would take a hundred attacks like the one we saw at Kalar to take it…”

“…and spread out, seizing thousands of worlds, the Lar’jellians are too scattered right now for an attack of that magnitude,” Hayes finished. “Pzarthi sounds like a safe bet.”

“I’ll get to our skiff,” said John, who had quite forgotten how conveniently it had been found. Rillere nodded and followed him out.

Hayes watched them go, and once the door was shut turned to his computer. With long-range transmissions jammed, he just had to hope the needed information was on the ship’s systems.

“Computer,” he said, “Locate records on Aaltonen, Rillere.”

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

“Twelve minutes.”

The short time before a ship reverted to a hostile area from hyperspace was always a hectic one. Ten minutes before arrival Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta shifts would be seated in front of their stations, ready. Usually the crewmen would hastily eat a small meal, but before Kalar the crew was too nervous to eat. Orders had reached the ears of the admiral who had assumed command of a loose collection of shattered guard squadrons and the shattered remnants of sector fleets. Orders to delay the advance of the new enemy for as long as possible.

“Eleven minutes.”

Tractor Beam Operations Supervisor (Third class) Harold Yates was not an extraordinary man. He had no special skills, no impressive abilities. He was simply in the Navy to Do His Job. And his job was to supervise the operation of the ship’s Tertiary Backup Tractor Beam. Not in all his nineteen years of service had the primary, backup and secondary backup tractors all failed. But Yates could comfort himself with the knowledge that if they did… he was there, ready.

“Ten minutes.”

Ensigns Martinez and Y’ta’n’than were in their seats eleven minutes before the ship would revert to Kalar. And as always, their views clashed. This time, it started when Y’ta’n’than offered up a short prayer to the Star Baron, which involved incense and small paper ornaments hung up on his desk.

Martinez curled his upper lip in contempt. A Pluto-born man, he had little patience for religion, like most humans from the colonies. “What has your religion got to do with this battle? I don’t believe in him, most of the crew doesn’t,” Martinez began, typing in the access code for External Monitoring Control.

“Everything, Marty. Everything. If no-one believed, The Baron would exist. He would continue to intervene,” Y’ta’n’than replied. The very antithesis of Martinez, Y’ta’n’than had been born into a deeply religious family of forty, two miles from the birthplace of Baronism.

“And when did The Baron last intervene? The plague on Ternionis? The thing with the Brazilians? The attack on the Union four hours ago?”

“When did The Baron last intervene?” said Y’ta’n’than, smiling with infinite serenity, though many found Baronist serenity to be barely veiled smugness. “Today. The Baron intervenes every day.”

“Oh, the wonderful Baron. Doing what? Making sparrows fall out of the godsdamn sky? Supervising Angels as they dance on the heads of pins?” Martinez began activating the external cameras. “I can’t believe all my requests for transfers have been refused, and now I have to die next to you,” he muttered to himself.

“When a man is faced with a choice between two paths, and walks one way, and that same day the other path is destroyed, that is The Baron intervening in that man's mind. He does not make the choice for him.”

“So he doesn't do anything?”

“Free Will is The Baron's gift to us and The Baron does not take it away. Ever.”

“The Baron made Free Will, yes,” Martinez said, deciding on a new tack, “and did He supposedly give this Free Will to the Lar’jellians? Did He give it to them so they could attack our fleets at anchor and overpower hundreds of planets?”

“Yes… but better free willed people killing millions, than all of us being mindless slaves,” Y’ta’n’than stated. Martinez stared into the alien’s eyes and saw the fierce belief that burned in them.

“Shut up,” he said, and braced himself for battle. The incense wafted up into the high ceiling of the bridge, where it was sucked into the ventilation system.

“Six minutes.”

The gunner’s station for Turrets Forty and Forty-one was a small room in the bowels of the ship, no more than two and half metres high and three wide. Every surface was coated with switches, buttons, sliders, even dials. Wires ran along the floor, under the grey carpet.

Flight Corporal Thomas Sheppard flicked several switches, punched a dozen or so sliver buttons, and turned every dial as far right as could. Just as he was checking turret mobility his partner ran in, panting.

“You’re late, Tarv” said Sheppard, “I readied your station for you.”

“Thanks,” Tarv replied. He sniffed. “Is that incense?”

Sheppard shrugged, donned his headset and took out his lucky gunner’s gloves. Tarv shook his head, adjusted his headset, and frowned. “Has someone else been using this thing?”

“Don’t think so.”

“Three minutes.”

“You nervous, Shep? I mean, this is gonna be a tricky fight.”

“Hell yeah. But all I know is when I see one of their ships, I’m gonna shoot it out of the sky. And I know you will. It’s our job, we’re paid to do it, and billions of people back home are counting on us.”

Tarv nodded, took the control stick in both hands and switched on the monitor. “You’re right, Shep. Although…”

“What?”

“I heard this counterattack that’s coming in… one and a half minutes isn’t exactly meticulously planned.”

“It isn’t?”

“The guy I talked to about it said we’re more sort of being… flung against the enemy to buy a few days for the other fleets to get their act together. He said he heard the Captain speakin’ to the Admiral about it.”

Sheppard looked down at his lucky gloves. “I guess we’re just going to have to rely on these then,” he said.

“Yeah.”

“One minute.”

Onboard the ship’s bridge, Captain Hammond stood and walked up to the forward viewport. He regarded the myriad shades of hyperspace for a few moments, and then turned to his executive officer.

“Prepare for battle,” he said.

The XO nodded, “Yes sir. Standby all weapons! Raise shields, ready auxiliary systems!” he watched as his orders became actions, and turned to the captain, who nodded.

“Five.”

Yates double-checked his tractor beam station with a glance, then turned to one of the monitors he had rigged to show telemetry from one of the forward ExCams. He leant forward, clouding up the screen with his breath.

“Four.”

Y’ta’n’than offered up a last prayer. Martinez tried to ignore him.

“Three.”

Sheppard closed his eyes, opened them, and gripped the stick tighter.

“Two.”

The Captain stared up at the tactical information board, and chewed his lower lip nervously.

“One.”

Eight hundred starships - from hundred meter corvettes to seven kilometre* battleships - tore their way out of hyperspace, and with a jolt appeared in the Kalar system at one of the lesser-used junctions.

Sheppard and Tarv gritted their teeth, tightly squeezed the triggers of their control sticks, and did not let go.

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

An incandescent wall of energy leapt from every gun barrel on every ship in the entire fleet, and smashed through the first wave of the under-strength Lar’jellian defence, perforating the globe-shaped command areas, shredding the U’s of their drive sections. Flame filled the viewports for a second, and then the Lar’jellian defenders struck back. Mighty warships flooded into the Union ships’ field of fire, turrets blazing.

Thousands of sleek manta-shaped Victory-class starfighters blasted out into space, cannons blazing at the uncountable horde of Lar’jellian fighters that roared toward the fleet. The two groups met, and a desperate dogfight erupted.

Yates’ mind wheeled at the complexity of the battle, a myriad pattern of tiny pinpricks of light dancing and weaving. Then he saw the first flash of light as a fighter was destroyed. Then another. And another.

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

Tarv blew another fighter to dust, and another. But more and more kept coming, blasting away at the shields to find weak spots for the gunners on Lar’jellian capital ships. Suddenly, the camera that showed a view of his turret was filled with silver, and then it was gone.

“Sector seventeen shields are out. They torped my gun.”

Sheppard gritted his teeth harder and grimaced. Sweat ran down his brow as he wrenched his gun around to blow away ship after ship. Then he cried out in frustration and snapped back into his seat, threw off his headset. “Me too.”

Tarv switched to a status report. “I guess all we can do now is see how the battle goes.” They watched the number of destroyed fighters skyrocket.

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

Yates bit his nails as he leaned as close to the monitor as possible. More than 40% losses, the fighter screen scattered in pointless dogfighting, the Admiral’s ship under attack… and then three bright flashes detonated on the shields of the battleship the Admiral commanded. The nuclear blasts managed to lower the shields long enough for a barrage to get through. The ship began burning, and kinetic energy from hits had the front half of the ship bending down until it finally snapped off in a cloud of burning shrapnel. Flash-burnt then flash-frozen bodies tumbled out into the abyss.

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

In the twilight of low-power mode, John, Rillere and Hayes stared up at the scan display that showed their convoy of thirty four arrive in a relatively empty Kalar. Two military ships hadn’t made it past the Lar’jellian blockade, but the heavy transports were mostly unscathed.

“Now all we have to do is slip past the limited presence they’ll have left in the system…” said Hayes. John opened his mouth wide and stared at the scans.

“Tell that to them,” he said. Hayes looked up at again to see a swarm of red and blue dots, many blinking out at an impressive rate. Rillere gasped.

“Ah,” said Hayes.

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

The Kalar system, lit by a thousand scarlet fires from the still burning platforms and shipyards, was now lit also by thousands of rounds of white and crimson energy blasts, ripping apart vessels the size of towns in seconds, melting entire fighter squadrons with one detonation.

Through it all flew the tattered remnant of the New Stavanger guard squadron, all guns blazing, trying to clear a path for the lumbering heavy transports in their wake, each one carrying a hundred thousand souls. The scarred warships, with the advantage of surprise, carved a path through the centre of the small - and getting smaller every second- Lar’jellian fleet, which was becoming more and more scattered. The Union fleet that lay on the other side began to loosen formation and pursue, the once tightly-packed group opening up in all directions. Soon all that was left of the Lar’jellian fleet was embers and wreckage.

Hayes, his face tinted red by the flames of burning oxygen tanks, stared out of the window, eyes sunken. “My Gods,” he whispered, and looked again at the strategy board. The blue dots were now easily discernible, and countable. The fleet that had counterattacked at Kalar had been shattered, barely half of its former strength, and it had been facing an enemy fifth as large as that. Hayes gazed out at Kalar itself, a beautiful world speckled with thousands of small islands.

“Can we hold it?” asked John, stepping forward, away from Rillere and toward Hayes. Hayes sagged visibly.

“Contact the fleet commander,” Hayes ordered, hoarsely. “Tell him… tell him we’re ready to leave when he is.”

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

A small shuttle swooped low over the fenced-off jungle of Brazil, making the trees sway with its engines. The authorities knew not to impede it however, and let it pass. The bone-white craft soared over white shores filled with tens of thousands of beings from all around the world, laughing, playing and chatting in the sun. It was clear to the occupants of the shuttle that news of the war had not yet reached everyone.

The vehicle left the packed beach and flew over dozens of privately owned strips of sand. When they reached the last and smallest of these, with the tower-blocks of New Rio glittering in the distance, the ship alighted on the shingle, small waves lapping against its landing struts. A small ramp descended from the underside, and out walked the Major and the Supreme Commander of Galactic Union forces.

The Major strode purposefully toward the small beach house that lay fifty metres back at the artificial jungle’s edge. Jarath strolled after him leisurely, kicking her heels in the sand.

“Why are we here, Major?” she asked. The man was silent and did not look around. Jarath scowled and stopped. She stamped a foot on the beach impetuously. “Answer me, dammit!” she demanded, “You haven’t said a word since we got into the shuttle!”

The Major stopped, still staring at the house. “To get answers.” Jarath ran up to him to draw level. The house was ten metres away now.

“Can we get these answers inside?” she asked, running a hand over her pale arm, “This sun will do murder to my complexion, you know.” The Major smirked, as she knew he would. He relaxed very slightly, allowing his shoulders to droop an uncalculated centimetre or two.

“Perhaps it wouldn’t be so much of a problem if you didn’t spend so much time indoors,” he said, “bathed in the glow of computer screens.” She placed a hand on her hip and scowled even harder.

“I,” she said, “am excitingly fair. Some men happen to like that look, thank you very much. I do technically outrank you, you know. I can indulge in a little designer pale-ness if I want to.”

The Major laughed. “You’re pallid,” he said. “And pasty. Unhealthily so.” He looked up at the clouds as she opened her mouth in shock. “I can’t believe I’m having this conversation,” he murmured.

“What would you know about-“ Jarath began, then stopped abruptly and stared. The Major followed her gaze, and saw that the door to the beach house had opened, and an old man was standing in the shade.

“If you’re done bickering,” he said in a faintly amused voice, “perhaps you’d like tae come in? There’s some tea, coffee and yal on the stove, or something stronger if you’d like a wee nip of something.”

The Major stood straight-backed again, all traces of happiness eradicated from his stony features. “Director McConnell,” he said. The old man admonished him with a wave of his hand.

“Former,” he said, and opened the door fully. “Come in, laddie. You too, miss.” Jarath shrugged and followed the two men inside, to a moderately furnished, but quite small room. The former Director fetched some tiny glasses and filled them with amber liquid. He placed one in front of Jarath and the Major, and then drained his own.

The Major ignored the glass. “Director, I’ve come here because I…” he coughed. “I need your help. The Lar’jellians have-“

“Oh yes, I know about that,” said McConnell, “not a very nice business, no, not at all. I saw it on the news an hour ago. What can I do you for then?” The Major leant forward, his eyes gleaming coldly.

“Did you,” he began, very carefully, “know that this might happen?” Jarath sniffed at the spirit and wiped her eyes.

“It’s Glen Fujiyama, good stuff,” said the Director. The Major glared at him, and McConnell relented. “Well, yes,” he replied, “I had an inkling.”

“An inkling.”

“Oh, aye. I certainly knew that the democratic regime in the Lar’jellians’ space had fallen. It wasn’t deemed important by the other fellows in the department, and it was, after all, top secret.” He tapped his nose and refilled his glass.

“Why was I not informed about this when you retired?” asked the Major. McConnell shrugged dismissively. “Wasn’t deemed important, top secret. As I said.”

“But-“

McConnell raised his palm and the Major was quiet. “I am tired, Major,” he said, “and I am an old man. You’re the Director of Intelligence now, sonny.” The Major bristled. “You’ll have to sort it out. But don’t worry; I know you’ll muddle through, just like you did on your entrance exam.”

“I-“

“You can let yourself out, I trust,” McConnell stated flatly. “Don’t call again.” Protesting silently, the Major headed for the door. Jarath got up to follow him. “Oh, young miss,” the ex-Director called out to her. “Come over here for a moment, will you.”

Jarath walked over to the old man’s chair and looked at him expectantly. She said, “Yes?”

“Something I must whisper in your ear, my dear,” said McConnell, and choked with laughter at the rhyme. The young woman bent down and placed her ear close to his lips. He spoke softly for a few seconds, and then he was silent, asleep.

Out on the beach, the Major watched Jarath walk out of the hut and close the door. There was a certain levity in her steps as she walked at his side back to the shuttle. He looked at her inquisitively. “What?” he asked.

She smiled wickedly. “He says I look pretty, so there.”

“Jarath,” said the Major, turning scarlet. “If you don’t stop talking, I shall do something desperate.” She giggled and skipped over to the ramp, then grabbed one of the landing struts and swung round it.

“You’re so funny,” she said, then paused as if remembering something unimportant. “Oh yes…” she looked up and her lips moved in mock recollection. “He also said something about answers being at… oh, let me recall will you, Major?” He stopped and folded his arms in frustration. “Oh, you child,” she said, “If you’ll get in a huff about it, then fine. He said we should check Tube fifteen, Cryogenics three-eighty, floor minus sixty one in the Defence Force HQ. Shall we go?”

“Yes,” sighed the Major, and followed her into the shuttle. The ship lifted off and rocketed away, away from the carefree beaches of Brazil, and back to war.
_________________

-Grand Admiral, Chief of Staff of Nespis Defence Force-

"LOL DILDOS" - Cray | "FFS" - Ams | "Moff, you should know better." - Han

Alex says:
I outnumber him ten million to one
Alex says:
GOOD ODDS FOR ANY GREEK

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Crazed says:
everytime i talk to alexus, i love him a little more

Holder of the 30,000th post

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