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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-09 11:13pm
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Hello, all. This is my very first post here on Star Destroyer Net. And, come to think of it, this is my very first attempt at writing in the Star Wars universe. I hope that you enjoy my tale and feel free to offer any advice, suggestions, critiques, or comments as you see fit. My in-depth knowledge of the SW universe is limited to the movies and a few series, into the Heir to the Empire trilogy. I have mined some stuff from Wookiepedia; but feel free to let me know if I have got some completely wrong.

This is an original work of fiction, set within the Star Wars universe as created by George Lucas. It is not meant for publication, although I retain all rights to my work. Having said that, shall we begin our journey into a time long, long ago, and a galaxy far, far away . . .

Master Arminas

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-10 01:33pm
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Broken Empire

A Fictional Novel set in the Star Wars Universe

Created by George Lucas

Written by Stephen T Bynum

All Rights Reserved



Prologue

As the blast doors leading into the briefing room slid open, the assembled officers of the Empire rose to their feet. Powerful men, one and all, the officers gathered for this meeting ruled the Cyralis Cluster in all but name, answering only to the Fleet Admiral whose boots echoed across the polished floor. And of course, the Emperor and his appointed Moff. But the Emperor was distant, far from this backwater on the rim of the galaxy, and Moff Jendar . . . well, to say that Moff Jendar had the imagination and initiative of a Gamorrean would have been an insult to Gamorreans across the universe. But Moff Jendar was not present today. And if his intelligence was in question, none present dared to deny his cunning and vicious defense of what he viewed as little more than his personal fief.

Fleet Admiral Kell Morvin circled the table with measured steps, but he did not take his seat at the head. Instead he walked up a short flight of stairs to stand before the armored windows set into the bulkhead, his arms crossed behind his back as he gazed out over the collected ships assigned to his command. Finally, he turned around and faced his officers.

“Be seated, gentlemen,” he commanded, as he descended the steps and stood behind his vacant chair—and the empty chair reserved for Moff Jendar.

“Seventeen days ago, the Rebellion achieved a victory over Imperial forces in the Moddell Sector, above the moon Endor in the Endor System. They destroyed the second Death Star being built in orbit, gentlemen—and Imperial casualties were quite . . . heavy. Lord Vader and Admiral Piett were lost aboard the flagship Executor, along with the majority of the ships assigned to Lord Vader’s Death Squadron.”

Absolute silence filled the briefing room, as scores of eyes grew wide. One pasty-faced officer, clad in the white uniform of the Imperial Security Bureau, visibly shook himself. “Lord Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith, is dead?” he gasped.

Kell slowly nodded. “To make matters worse, the Emperor himself had chosen to oversee the final stages of the construction on the Fleet’s newest space station. He was aboard the Death Star when the main reactor was destroyed by Rebel star-fighters on a suicide run.”

Chaos erupted as several officers shouted out denials and others simply looked at Kell in wonder . . . and fear. Kell waited until the noise abated and the last man standing sat once more.

“It has been confirmed. Emperor Palpatine has been dead now for seventeen days, gentlemen. The Empire is in a state of shock, while the Rebel Alliance has gained a . . . a most significant boost. Worlds across the Empire, primarily worlds with an alien sentient species, have declared themselves for the Alliance. Imperial forces are reeling and attempting to consolidate their strength in the Core. They will fail.”

“Treason!” howled Colonel Marius Rael, the senior ISB officer assigned to the Cyralis Sector. “You speak treason, Admiral Morvin—the New Order is eternal!”

“Calm yourself, Colonel,” Kell said softly. “The New Order is built around one man—the Emperor. He has no successor. He has no heir. And with his death, so too will perish the Empire as we know it.”

Rael stood. “Admiral Morvin, you are under arrest for treason, for dereliction of duty, for your lack of faith in the New—AAAHHHHHHHH!” he screamed as a fusillade of blaster bolts caught him squarely between the shoulder blades.

Kell nodded at the two Stormtroopers posted to either side of the blast doors. “Well done, gentlemen. Does anyone else here plan to have me arrested today?”

Only the activation of dozens of fan motors within the rooms venting system broke the silence; the smoke still rising from the charred and smoldering uniform was quickly drawn away.

“The Empire, as we know it, gentlemen, is done. Moff Jendar left this system earlier today in the fastest ship this Fleet had at its disposal. Like many Moffs, his concern is with Coruscant; he seeks to carve his own seat at the table. But he missed the point completely; Coruscant is lost to us.”

More jaws dropped, and Captain Tylan G’deransk started to speak. Then he glanced at the corpse and nothing more than an inarticulate gasp passed his lips.

Kell smiled. “What is your question, Captain G’deransk?”

The commander of the Imperial Star Destroyer Rapacity shook his head. “The Rebels don’t have the strength to seize Coruscant, Admiral Morvin; they can’t possibly take the capital. They literally cannot, Sir.”

“Coruscant has not fallen to the Rebels, gentlemen, but it is lost all the same. Hundreds, thousands of ranking men with the ambition and the desire to step into Palpatine’s shoes are rushing upon Coruscant as we speak. Do not doubt that same desire exists in the heart of many of your own fellow officers—they too are on the move, and rather than defend the Empire, their actions will ensure that it shall Fall.”

Kell stood and he began to pace. “The High Admirals and the Grand Admirals and the Generals will all see themselves as the only legitimate heir of Palpatine—and they will wage a civil war vastly more destructive to the Empire than the Rebellions . . . ineffectual efforts. By the time they are done, Coruscant’s defenses will be a shadow of their former selves, and the Rebels will seize the capital.”

He stopped and bent towards his officers, placing both hands on the table. “They have forgotten our purpose, gentlemen. They will throw away our reason for being in their quest for the Imperial Throne. We will see fractures, and a shattered remnant of our Empire with quarrelling Warlords vying against one another while the Alliance gains greater strength by the day.”

“Humanity itself is placed in danger by these fools. Do you believe that given their treatment at the hand of the Empire; that the Bothans and the Wookies and the Sullustans and all of the other races out there will forgive humans for being the only species given power and authority? Or perhaps, they will forget the past slights and the issue of being forced into slavery and servitude by those who wore our uniforms?”

“No, gentlemen, they will want vengeance. They will seek to do to us what Palpatine and his minions did to them. And if the Alliance succeeds at reforming the Republic as they claim to desire, they will form a new government suffering from all of the sins of the Old Republic, but one that shall be overtly hostile to our own species.”

“We cannot stop that; our forces in Cyralis are too small; our presence here on the rim of the galaxy too inconsequential for the Emperor to have been concerned with building us up to strength.” Kell stood and he smiled. “But that distance also carries with it advantages in this situation, gentlemen.”

“Cyralis is predominately human; there are no native sentient species among the thirty-two inhabited systems of this Cluster. Oh, there are minorities in plenty, but none native to these worlds, colonized by various human governments in the days of the Old Republic. And we will defend these worlds—our worlds—that, gentlemen, is now our duty.”

General Conal Ise frowned. “Admiral, we are quite understrength—yes, you have six Imperator-class Star Destroyers and their escorts, your flagship makes seven; I have a Corp at my disposal as well. But that is a mere pittance of what a proper Sector Group has at their disposal; a pittance dispersed amongst thirty-two worlds. I doubt that we will receive additional reinforcements from the interior, Sir; how then do you plan on holding this Sector against an attack that you yourself admit must eventually come?”

Kell nodded. “Your points are well taken, General Ise. We must build up our strength, and for that it means that Ord Tanis must see its factories and ship-yards brought back online.”

“Ord Tanis?” Ise asked. “Those factories were shut down more than a century ago, at the order of the Chancellor of the Old Republic. They are out-dated and obsolete, Sir.”

“How much has the design of a blaster changed in the past century, General? Or repulsors? Or hyper-drives? No, gentlemen, we shall bring the foundries of Ord Tanis back on-line and add the design schematics of our modern equipment to their data-banks. The industrial complexes were designed for droid workers—droids stored on Ord Tanis by the millions. Gentlemen, once those factories and ship-yards are activated our only limits in building a proper defense force are the pace of resource extraction ships mining the belts of this Cluster and our ability to provide manpower. Need I not remind you that Cyralis contains over fifteen billion humans?”

“The Imperial Security Bureau will howl for your head, Admiral,” another voice interrupted. “They could prove . . . difficult.”

The Fleet Admiral studied the black uniformed Ubiqtorate agent sitting there calmly. The rivalry between the ISB and the Ubiqtorate was legendary, and Kell grinned. “I am ordering that the ISB is to immediately disband—those resisting the order will be eliminated quickly and cleanly. Certain members of the ISB will be arrested and tried for their crimes—their, ah . . . enthusiasm in enforcing even the smallest of Palpatine’s regulations makes them hated by every Imperial citizen in this Sector.” The galaxy at large, Kell thought to himself. “I understand that it will be difficult Director Galen, but can the Ubiqtorate make do without them?”

Galen laughed. “Easily. The ISB incites more rebellion than they quash. For this reason alone, Admiral Morvin, you would gain my support. Are you taking the title of Moff, then? Grand Moff? Dare I say . . . Emperor?”

Kell shook his head. “I . . . would not be the best man for such a task. I know my limitations, gentlemen, and I desire no such political power. But my agents are already contacting a man who I believe will serve admirably in such a role.”

“A puppet?”

“Director Galen, I take no insult at that—but my oath is to the Empire. My choice will be no puppet, and I will serve him as well and as loyally as I served Palpatine. If he accepts my offer, he will be our leader.”

“An untested leader, foisted onto the Cluster by us,” Captain Pyrel Taan muttered.

“Hardly untested, Captain Taan,” Kell answered. “And the Cluster will accept him long before they would follow the rest of us—for he is a native son. It is because of Fleet politics that he no longer wears the uniform . . . politics and the fears that Palpatine had over the concern this officer disagreed with his New Order.”

A dozen pairs of eyes locked on Kell like lasers, and the Fleet Admiral laughed.

“You are recalling . . . HIM?” Ise blurted.

“Do you have a problem with that, General?” Kell asked.

Conal Ise slowly shook his head, and then he began to smile as well. “Actually, I don’t.”


Last edited by masterarminas on 2012-04-10 04:43pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-10 01:34pm
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The Lambda-class shuttle shook as it crossed through the atmospheric interface; despite the cooling systems, the temperature within the troop bay began to rise. Four rows with ten seats each filled the interior of the bay; the outer two with backs against the right and left bulkheads, facing their opposites set back-to-back in the center of the bay. All but two of the seats were filled with an Imperial trooper, clad in the mottled camo pattern common to scout troopers. There the resemblance ended, however. For these troopers were not lightly armed scouts. Most carried a full-sized blaster rifle, albeit with a folding stock and biped. At least eight (two in each row) carried a light repeating auto-blaster. All of them wore a blaster pistol in a holster on their chest, and carried at least one knife (one intrepid trooper wore no fewer than six!). Each had at least two grenades dangling from their armor, and several carried thick satchels filled with explosives for demolitions.

“Hey, Sarge,” a voice rang out over the short-range comm links built into the helmets.

“Vsilisk,” another trooper growled, “unless it is a medical emergency, shut that trap!”

“My heart is broken, Sarge,” Vsilisk answered, “I didn’t get to sit next to you and I am so scared, Sarge . . . hold me, please.”

Chuckles and coughs peppered the comms.

“Vsilisk, you just can’t let it go, huh? Okay, tough guy, you’re on point, once we hit the surface.”

The shuttle shook again.

“Hey, Sarge?”

“Damn it, Vsilisk. What?”

“I don’t get it, Sarge; why the devil do they need an entire special missions platoon to make contact with this guy? I mean, we got orders not to shoot him, but a whole platoon? What’s up with that?”

“Vsilisk, I swear I will put you on the worst detail I can find when we . . .”

“At ease, Sergeant,” a new voice came on the comm.

“Yes, sir,” the sergeant replied.

“Vsilisk,” the lieutenant continued, “this is not an ordinary civilian we going to retrieve. He is a trained special operator who lives away from everyone and everything because he knows that one day some Admiral or General or the Emperor himself, will send a team of assassin’s to take him out just because they do not like leaving loose ends. They are sending us because this civilian would probably cut his way out through a platoon of regular army and Stormtroopers ain’t got a real good grasp on the take him alive option."

Snickers rose over the comm, along with an anonymous voice, "Heck, they can't shoot straight either!"

"Listen up, people!" the officer continued. "This is NOT an exercise, and we are liable to come under fire, there are likely to be booby traps, and we are NOT authorized to waste the target. So, I want everyone on their toes and watching for anything! If you see something suspicious, DON’T touch it! Unless you want to grow a new arm in a bacta tank!”

“Man,” another trooper whispered. “What did this guy do? Did he shack up with Palpatine’s sister or something?”

“Hey, I heard that he called Vader an idiot,” answered another trooper.

“Idiot,” said a fourth as he hit the previous soldier on the back of helmet. “It wasn’t Vader, it was Tarkin.”

“How do you know, Corp?” asked the trooper that the corporal had struck.

“Because it was Vader, he’d be dead by now, don’t you think?”

“Yeah,” said Vsilisk. “But why is this guy so important?”

“Vsilisk,” the Lieutenant answered over the radio, “they didn’t tell me that. I don’t get paid to get told things like that. I get paid to get the jobs they give me done. You get paid to do what I say. Two minutes, people. Get your game faces on," the Lieutenant said as he and another solider stood.

The second trooper, the Platoon Sergeant, turned to face the suddenly alert compartment full of armed men.

“STAND UP!” he yelled. “WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT CHECK!”

One by one, each of the troopers checked his neighbors weapons, grenades, and other gear, tapping the guy in front of them until the four squad leaders gave the platoon sergeant a thumbs up, just as the repulsors began to whine and the ramp started to lower.

The platoon sergeant held up his arm and he waited until he felt the hydraulic shock absorbers in the legs engage; he thrust his arm forward and the troopers filed from the shuttle, spreading out to cover the perimeter. He waited until the Lieutenant passed him by and then he followed down the ramp, the shuttle lifting back off behind him.

As it streaked away in the sky, the veteran trooper scanned the thick foliage beside the creek that had served as their insertion point. Tall narrow evergreens crowded together in the cold rainforest, rocky outcroppings breaking through the fertile, rich soil. Slick moss covered the soil and rocks both, a treacherous hazard even to troopers in armor.

“Skirmish line oriented north-north-west. Maintain radio silence,” the Lieutenant ordered and slowly the troopers began to move out take each step slowly and cautiously.

****************************************************

Trey Vsilisk moved quietly and calmly through the woods. The evening mist was rolling into the valley below, making his vision-enhancers built into the helmet less effective than otherwise. Despite his wisecracks, he was a veteran of the Empire—well trained and with a score of conflicts to his name. Each step that he took was carefully chosen, nearly silent, and he kept to the shadows as a matter of course. The dense forest was quickly thinning out, though, and he slowed his pace, coming to a complete halt as he spotted a small clearing ahead; a stone cottage built against a rearing granite bluff.

He waited and he watched, noting the ribbon of light grey smoke that rose from the chimney; the orange flicking glow that light the window panes. But he heard nothing except the creatures of the night slowly waking to begin their daily hunts. Still, the hairs on the back of his neck began to stand up . . . and he licked his dry lips.

“Delta Six, Delta One-Seven. I’ve got a small building here, just the right size for our target—but something isn’t right,” the point-man whispered.

“One-Seven, Six. We’re converging. Don’t spook him.”

The helmet comm terminated abruptly, and he chuckled. Spook him? Hell, the target had him spooked. The night birds and insects went quiet, and Trey bounced up, spinning around—but he was tackled to the ground by a mass of grasses and moss, his blaster rifle knocked to one side, and then Vsilisk could feel the razor’s edge of a knife pressed against his throat.

“So they finally sent you after me, did they?” the old man whispered. “Assassins sent to kill me in my sleep!”

“PRAETORIAN!” Vsilisk screamed. “By Palpatine’s limp dick, PRAETORIAN!”

The old man’s eyes grew wide. “Who sent you, boy?”

“Morvin, Fleet Admiral Morvin—we aren’t here to kill you!”

The old man chuckled and he leaned back on his haunches, pulling the knife away from Vsilisk’s throat. “Kell? Okay, boy; that name and the codeword means you live . . . for now. Where’s your CO?”

There was the sound of a voice clearing behind the old man, and he half turned to see a half-dozen more troopers coming out of the woods, their blaster rifles leveled as they kept a wary distance. “Right here, General Patrice. Lieutenant Anton L’sard reporting, Sir.”

“Do you always report with a blaster trained on the officer, Lieutenant?”

“More times than I would care to admit, Sir.”

Patrice laughed and he stood up, discarding the ghillie cloak onto the ground, and brushing the loose soil and grass from his bald head, as he sheathed the knife. “I like you, I think. So what does Morvin want?”

“Sir, I was just told . . .” the officer began, but Patrice waved him off.

“Never mind; it was a stupid question.” He held out his hand to Vsilisk and helped the trooper to his feet. “Well, Lieutenant, are we walking out or do you have transport coming?”

“The bird is on the way, Sir.”

“Hey, Vsilisk!” another soldier called out. “I just won fifty credits from the pool! Thanks for getting your ass kicked.”

“I did not get my ass kicked!”

Patrice shook his head. “No, but you damn near got your throat slit, son. ‘Course I was hidden awfully well; you almost stepped on me before you came to a stop.”

“Yeah, you never heard of using a blaster on stun?” Vsilisk asked.

“Swore I’d never again pick up a blaster to shoot people again, my boy,” Patrice answered solemnly.

“You what?” Vsilisk spat. “You nearly cut me from ear to ear!”

“I must have hit your man harder than I thought, Lieutenant L’sard; he doesn’t seem to know the difference between a blaster and a knife.”

The rest of the troopers chuckled, but Vsilisk pressed on gamely. “That makes no sense; you swear not to pick up one weapon so you won’t shoot people, but you’ve no problem with cutting their throats!”

Patrice nodded in agreement. “It is a bit much for a man to totally go cold turkey, son. I am working on it. Just be glad you shouted out that password.”

“Working on it!” Vsilisk gasped, and then two troopers were there, walking him away as he kept saying, “he would have cut me, he would have cut my throat, he would!”

The faint whine of distant repulsorlifts began became audible in the distance. “Well, Lieutenant; shall we see what Kell Morvin wants?”

“Would you like to change first, General?”

“Kell has smelled sweat a time or two in his life, son. Let’s get a move on.”

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-10 01:35pm
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“So you want me to be the civil authority in the Cluster, do you, Kell?” the General asked as he swirled a dark amber liquid in a heavy crystal glass. “And you think that the ISB will just roll over and allow that? Please tell me you are not that stupid.”

Kell Morvin chuckled. “Thom, you know me better than that. Purging the ISB was the first thing I did after Moff Jendar abandoned his post—with the full and enthusiastic support of people of this Sector, I might add. The vast majority of them made the choice to resist, which means that you will not have convene quite so many trials.”

“And the COMPNOR CompForce Units? Conal has a Corp of troopers, true, and you have your Stormtroopers aboard the ships of the Fleet, but Rael had two regiments of those fanatics under his unilateral command. And his troops were concentrated here on Cyralis proper. The Army is garrisoning thirty-two separate systems.”

“We gassed them while they were sleeping in their barracks—the 442nd Special Missions Battalion eliminated their watch-standers and we literally caught the rest sleeping.”

Thom Patrice smiled. “A most poetic ending for those bastards, Kell. Well done.”

The old general stood up and he gazed out the windows of Kell’s private quarters on the flagship Scorpion, the blue and green marbled sphere of Cyralis slowly turning below, half lit by the system’s star. “I see two immediate problems with your plans, Kell. The more pressing concern is that while we claim to be maintaining the Empire, we are—in effect—forming our own state. The majority of your crews and Conal’s troopers are not from the Cluster; many of them will want to return home. That is an ambition that being labeled as a traitor to the Empire may make rather impractical. Some of them might well decide to stay here, but not all. If we do this, you are going to have a lot of unhappy men with guns.”

Thom paused and he smiled. “I have grown accustomed to the idea of being shot one day for no reason other than a Moff or a General or an Admiral or an Imperial Advisor decides to tie up loose ends, Kell. Are you prepared to be shot by a disgruntled enlisted man that can’t ever go home again?”

Now the Fleet Admiral frowned. “They joined the service knowing that they could be killed or assigned anywhere in the Galaxy, Thom. They took an oath . . .”

“As did you and I and every officer involved in this Coup. Come now, Kell, let’s call this what it is. We, of all people, cannot afford to lie to ourselves, if we wish to make this work. Essentially, we are now in a state of Rebellion and Insurrection, and while I agree that the focus of the command structure will be on the interior, that does not mean that every Moff and Grand Moff and flag officer out there will not want and desire our industries and population. We cannot even be assured that Grand Admiral Haldon on Corellia will not assemble two or three dozen Imperators and escort ships, and swoop in here with an entire army of Stormtroopers to put an end to our short-lived endeavor. That reaction is unlikely, to be certain, since I agree that he will be vying for more power and a shot at the throne—but it remains a possibility that we cannot simply discount, Kell.”

“Damn it, Thom, we need those men! We can’t just let them . . .”

“Of course we need them. I am no ideological idiot, Kell. But the people of this Cluster will flock to our cause—and there are enough trained soldiers and spacers among them to fill the gaps of current personnel who want to go home. It is best that we release them now, before they have a chance to become discontent and ripe for rebellion against us.”

“Thom, we have already factored in those former personnel—they are the key for our expansion!”

“Kell, do you want a stable government out here that is able to provide peace and security for the Cluster or do you want to be another Zaarin? Another failure in the long line of men that have opposed the Emperor’s New Order?” Thom shook his head and he took a sip of his drink before he sat back down, facing the Fleet Admiral. “Are you a Patriot, Kell, or are you merely an Opportunist?”

“I would think that you would not have to ask, Sir.”

“No, I do not. Release your men, Kell Morvin. There will more than sufficient volunteers with experience from the systems in the Cluster to replace them. And ample trainees to beef up our forces with as well—if not quite as quickly as you might have hoped.”

The Admiral sat heavily back in his chair, and then he at last nodded. “And what, pray tell, might be your second concern, Moff Patrice?”

Thom grimaced, but he nodded. “I hate that title, Kell, but it does at least give us some cover until the rest of the Empire falls apart. My second concern is your plans for Ord Tanis—you do realize that system has not been officially part of the Cyralis Sector since the New Order reorganized the Outer Rim fifteen years ago? That it is now part of Moff Adair’s Lamaredd Sector.”

Kell snorted. “Of course, my Moff. I can read a map you know. However, while it is technically a part of Moff Adair’s territory, I have been informed by excellent sources that he has not provided a permanent garrison there, it being so far removed from his populated systems. And given the problems he has with the several different indigenous species and the pinpricks that the Rebels constantly give him, he doesn’t patrol Ord Tanis that often either. A frigate or corvette visits the system every few months. I am prepared to offer Adair that we will assume the responsibility for patrolling Ord Tanis—in a show of solidarity, of course—so that he can devote his own resources to fighting the Rebels and putting the aliens back in their place. Now, once we are conducting the patrols, there is no reason to inform him that we have restarted the production lines.”

Thom frowned. “That might work; it might also raise his suspicions as well. Life all Moffs with whom I am acquainted, Adair is very territorial in nature. He may well refuse your offer—and turn his gaze towards us. His deputy, on the other hand,” and Thom smiled grimly, “is a far more pragmatic—and unimaginative—individual. A tool who genuinely believes that all of the Empire works hand in glove towards a common goal, for the good of the New Order and the common citizen. Were something to accidently happen to Moff Adair, I have no doubt that Osar will prove far more accommodating of your offer.”

Kell took a long sip of his drink, as Thom leaned back and raised his own glass to his lips. Draining the glass, the Admiral set down the heavy crystal goblet and nodded. “I have people that I can trust with arranging exactly that sort of fatal accident, Moff Patrice.”

“Good. And once Osar loses control of the situation in Lamaredd, your naval counterparts, and probably many of the army units stationed there, might just consider a well-supplied, secure, and safe Sector, run by . . . professionals such as your and I . . . more akin to their liking.”

Kell refilled his glass from a decanter. “They just might at that, Moff Patrice. They just might.”

And the two men raised their glasses and tapped them together in salute.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-11 12:23pm
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Chapter One

“Attention! Officer on the deck!” announced First Sergeant Braal as the Colonel commanding the 57693rd Infantry Regiment of the Imperial Army walked into the crowded auditorium. The one hundred and fifty-six officers, NCOs, and enlisted personnel assigned to Gamma Company of his Third Battalion quickly rose from their seats.

“Good afternoon, gentlemen,” Colonel Eliad said genially. “Today, this Regiment begins a new era; the entire Sector begins a new era. Since the death of the Emperor and Lord Vader, and the abdication of Moff Jendar, Fleet Admiral Morvin decided that to preserve the dignity and authority of the Galactic Empire, it was necessary to appoint a civilian Moff. Moff Patrice, however, is no ordinary civilian. He served with distinction during the Clone Wars, gentlemen—and he strong feelings on how this arm of the Imperial Army performs. Many of you are considering the early discharge from service that he has offered—but I ask you to consider this as well: what happens when you do go home? The Empire is in chaos, gentlemen; and the Rebels are rapidly taking advantage of that. You may well return to your home system to find it occupied by the alien-loving scum, your city blasted into ruins, your loved ones dead, dying, or homeless.”

“Your discharge may not be accepted by other Imperial officers, who might very well press-gang you into their own formations. Who is to stop them after all? The courts? Tell me, gentlemen, that you are not that naïve.”

Laughter filled the auditorium, and Eliad smiled.

“I thought not. It remains your decision—and I will not interfere. I will say, however, that your service here could make a difference. We are not launching attacks upon our neighbors, after all, and we shall not be called upon to throw away our lives to grasp hold of the Imperial Capital on Coruscant. You could do worse than to serve out the remainder of your enlistment, and then retire here on these worlds of the Cluster.”

“But enough of that! Today, gentlemen, we have gifts from our new Moff. Soon enough, the entire Army will receive their own gift boxes, but you are the first. Moff Patrice fought in the chaos and confusion of the Clone Wars; he fought not from the deck of ship in orbit, but in the mud and blood that we share to this day! And he is gravely concerned with emphasis that the Palpatine’s Empire placed on quantity over quality.”

“Standards of training have lapsed, with more emphasis placed on the recitation of doctrine—political as well as military—than on honing the skills that will keep you and your comrades alive in combat! And that will begin with your gear.”

“Soldiers! Each of you should have a sealed crate on the table in front of you; that crate should have your named and rank stenciled on the lid. If the crate in front of you does not have your name and rank, raise your hand.”

Eliad paused, but none of the soldiers moved. Two of his aides entered the auditorium and carried another crate, placing it on a table near the Colonel. “Excellent! Enter your service identification code into the keypad on the lid to release the seal. Then remove the lid and set it beneath the crate.”

The Colonel did so to his own crate. “Within, you will see a number of items in storage wrapping. As I call out the item, and remove it from my own crate, you will do the same; this will ensure that everyone has received their allotment of gear. You will not open the wrapping until I instruct you to do so? Is that understood?”

“SIR. YES, SIR!” thundered the crowd in answer.

“Very good,” Eliad replied as he lifted the first item from the crate and held it high. It was a plastoid helmet, a dark grey in color, plainly visible through the transparent wrapping material. “One helmet.” He reached in again. “One back-and-breast cuirass piece,” he said as he pulled out a second item.

“STORMTROOPER ARMOR!” An excited voice called out. “They are giving us Stormtrooper armor!”

Eliad glared into the crowd and an uneasy silence settled down, one trooper looking sheepish—while his Sergeant’s glare of daggers promised pain and suffering for embarrassing him before the Regimental commander.

“No, gentlemen. This is not Stormtrooper armor. It is based upon the armor worn by Scout Troopers, but it has several differences. You—and all of the remaining Army personnel in this Sector—will be assigned a suit of armor. This armor is resistant to fragmentation, kinetic damage, provides limited protection against blasters, is equipped with audio and visual enhancement gear, has an integral comm unit, gas filtration units, and a self-contained rebreathing system that will sustain you in the most poisonous of environments.”

Eliad sat down the cuirass and he walked to the edge of the stage. “The Empire never wanted to spend the money to adequately outfit you common soldiers. Instead they squandered our hard-earned tax credits on grandiose Death Stars. Moff Patrice has different priorities; and this armor is merely the first of many force multipliers that we are about to receive, gentlemen. Now, if there are no more questions or exclamations, may we continue?”

****************************************************

“Cease fire! Cease fire! The range is now cold, people! DANIS! What are you doing on my range!” the gunnery range officer shouted as he climbed down the ladder from the observation tower and stormed over to stand over the soldier lying prone behind a line of sandbags.

“Shooting, Sir?” Alvar Danis answered slowly.

“At what? The moon!” the officer spat as he knelt. “Danis you are blasting away without even aiming at your target!”

“I hit it, Lieutenant!”

“No, you nerf-herder, you hit Myklos’ target! And Jelliac’s target, and Xyros’ target AND the rest your bolts finally managed to dig into the berm! Your target doesn’t have a single blast scorch on its surface.”

“It’s not my fault, Lieutenant; this weapon must have bad sights. And you’ve moved the targets back—I’ve never shot at 500 meters before!”

“Give me that weapon,” the Lieutenant growled. He checked the power cell, the safety, and then he lifted the full-sized repeating blaster rifle to his shoulder. And a series of single aimed bolts spat out from the tip of the barrel, streaked down range and impacted against the moving target, all within the center ring.”

The range commander handed the rifle back down to the infantryman. “Nothing wrong with that weapon, soldier! Do I need to send you to medical and see if your eyes are working?”

Danis gulped. “No, no sir.”

The officer knelt once again. “Look, Private. You’ve got a sighting scope on that blaster rifle. You know how to do this; just relax, breathe, and squeeze the trigger at the target. Do you think Moff Patrice is going to be happy if you settle for spray-and-pray?”

“No, Sir.”

“Single aimed shots, son. If you go full auto again, I am going to extra the power cell and transform it in a field suppository just for you.”

He stood up. “Ready on the firing line!” he bellowed as he trotted back to the tower.

****************************************************

Thom Patrice heard the thud of booted feet enter his office, but he continued to read the latest status report from General Ise. When at last he finished with the document, he closed his monitor and looked up at the white-armored Stormtrooper standing before him.

“Sir,” the filtered voice growled, “Trooper CK-8374, reporting as ordered, Sir.”

“Remove your helmet, CK-8374,” Thom said quietly.

The Stormtrooper unlatched the seals and he pulled off his helmet, revealing the features of one of the original batch of clone troopers; his hair lit by silver highlights.

“I have been perusing the records, CK-8374—or should I say Commander Camlaan?”

The clone flinched. “I have not been addressed by that name since the Clone Wars, Moff Patrice. I prefer CK-8374 now.”

“You prefer? CK-8374, do you know me?”

“I know of you, Moff Patrice.”

“You know that I too served in the Clone Wars, correct?”

“You obtained the rank of General before the final battles with the Separatists, Sir. I . . . heard good things about your command.”

Thom nodded and he drummed his fingers against the surface of the polished desk. “I am concerned about the Stormtroopers here in Cyralis, Camlaan. What is your appraisal of their current state? In comparison with the Grand Army of the Republic. Please, be frank.”

The clone stared for a moment, and then he lifted his eyes and plunged ahead. “They are ill-trained and capable of little initiative. Modern clones are not as physically capable as we were during the Wars, Sir. They follow their orders blindly and to the letter, but display no true knowledge; they have no feel for battle. They remain loyal to you, Sir. I mean no disrespect.”

“I know that, Camlaan. What of your birthed brethren? How are they performing?”

Camlaan grimaced. “They are almost worse than the recent clones. They are indoctrinated deeply and are loyal to the death, but they possess few of the skills of a soldier—other than the willingness to die upon command.”

Thom Patrice stood and he walked around his desk to a small alcove, and he poured himself a glass of water. “Would you like one, Commander Camlaan?”

“Thank you, no, Sir. I no longer hold that rank—I am merely a Stormtrooper of the First Order, now.”

“Ah, but you are mistaken, Camlaan. As of today, you are Colonel Camlaan, and it is you that I am tasking with restoring the Stormtrooper Corps of Cyralis to the dignity of the Clone Troopers of the Old Republic.”

“Sir?” asked the startled clone.

“Colonel, I view things very differently from the so recently deceased Emperor. Palpatine saw you and your brothers as expendable, interchangeable, and faceless. He saw you as mere tools with which to build his New Order and institute a reign of terror. I see each and every one of you as a person—an individual—a soldier.”

Thom sat down on the corner of his desk and he took a sip of the water. “There will be no reinforcements coming from the Core, Colonel. The Stormtroopers out here now are all that we will ever have. Even if I possessed Spaarti cylinders, I would not use them—you yourself have seen that produce little more than a body that possesses just rudimentary skill. I want you to hone the Shock Troopers of Cyralis, to train them, to teach them—to make them worthy successors to the Clone Army of old.”

Camlaan licked his lips. “Why me?”

“You were there. We accomplished incredible things during that War, Colonel. Your men—your brothers—were in the forefront and it was their skill and courage that led us to victory. I need that skill and courage now, to give the Regular Army an inspiration. I know you do not appreciate birthed soldiers, but you will have more—there will be no more Clones to replace those who fall. I don’t need cannon fodder, Camlaan—I need men of valor. And I need a veteran like you to teach those troopers, so that can become those men of valor. It is a challenge that your Patriarch would have relished; can you honestly say that you, cloned from him, do not?”

“How long do I have, Sir?”

“Hopefully a year, perhaps two; but rest assured, Colonel, we have no more than that before we will find ourselves embroiled in this new Civil War.”

“I will have a free hand in training?”

“Yes. And I have arranged for certain . . . texts of the old Mandalorian Academies to be made available to you. In addition, I plan on doing away with the Imperial Stormtrooper armor. Who ever thought it a good idea to clad our soldiers in white?”

Thom smiled at the clone. “I have authorized our factories to produce a new version of your old Phase II armor—with a camo-chameleon outer layer pre-programmed with seventy-four different patterns of camouflage. And we will be getting rid of those damn E-11 blaster carbines, Colonel. No, you will accurate and long-ranged blaster rifles, plus a full spectrum of supporting weapons—including artillery.”

“Artillery?” the clone asked in disbelief. “You are building artillery to support us?”

“Of course. Palpatine was a miser where it mattered, and a spendthrift were it didn’t. Yes, Colonel—your Shock Troopers will have artillery, and AT-ATs, and repulsorlifts armored personnel carriers, and engineers, and . . . well, we are reforming this entire Sector Army. Can I count on you to do your part, Colonel Camlaan?”

The clone snapped to attention, his eyes almost glowing with a purpose. “Sir. Yes, sir.”

“Good. In that case, Colonel, I have paperwork to get back to—and you have a Shock Trooper Corps to build.”


Last edited by masterarminas on 2012-04-11 12:28pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-11 12:25pm
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“Phaulkon Control, this is Shuttle Vitorium on final approach. Request that you lower your shields, and provide instructions for landing,” the pilot of the Lambda-class Imperial shuttle broadcast.

“Roger that, Vitorium. Transmit authentication codes.”

“Transmitting, Phaulkon Control.”

“Authentication confirmed, Vitorium. We are lowering defensive shields now. Come to 232 Mark 84 and follow the beacon to Docking Bay 8. Welcome to Phaulkon Station, Moff Patrice.”

“Affirmative, Phaulkon Control. Changing vector to 232 Mark 84 for Docking Bay 8. Vitorium out.”

Thom stood between the seats of the pilot and copilot, and he uttered a low whistle as the true scale of the space station began to become apparent.

“First time visiting Phaulkon, Sir?” the flight engineer asked.

“They had only started construction on the station when I . . . resigned my commission and retired to Cyralis, Flight Officer Dendrick. I can see why Kell insisted that I fly out here to tour it, though; quite impressive—even if it is a mostly stationary target,” he finished with a chuckle.

“Target’s don’t usually shoot back, Moff Patrice,” the gunner added. “She’s got three times the firepower of a Tector, two pressurized repair slips able to accommodate anything up to the size of an Imperator, and carries four full wings of TIEs.”

“True, son. But she can’t evade, and she can’t withdraw into hyper if the fight goes against her. Course, the same can be said of any Fleet station short of the Death Star. And those contraptions seem to have a bad track record—two built, two destroyed with less than a standard month of service between them. I’ll take a good, well-designed, heavily-fortified, planetary-based HQ any day of the week.”

“Begging the Moff’s pardon,” Dendrick continued, “but planet-side isn’t really a good place to pilot a capital warship needing repairs.”

Thom laughed. “Quite right, Dendrick. Old prejudices die hard, I reckon.”

Vitorium slowly flew into the gaping maw of the docking bay, her skin fluorescing momentarily as she broke through the plane of the atmosphere shield. Thom heard a whine as the wings began to fold, and then a dull CLANG as the landing gear deployed and locked into place. And then the pilot set the shuttle down gently against the deck.

Thom shook his head as he spotted the formed ranks and files of Stormtroopers lined both sides of the Docking Bay. “An honor guard. Kell must want something, if he turned out an honor guard.”

“Ah, sir,” the pilot chimed in. “Standing orders from Moff Jendar were that he was to be received by a formal guard of honor any time he toured the Station. To my knowledge, sir, those orders have not been altered.”

Thom frowned. “They will be changed as of today, Lieutenant. There is no sense on wasting time with a formal review every single occasion that I decide to get out of the office and back into the real world—unlike Jendar I don’t need my ego stroked. I’d tell you chaps to grab a drink, but we might be leaving fairly quickly, so don’t wander off too far.”

“Thank you, Sir,” the pilot answered, “but Regs prevent us from drinking or consuming intoxicants for twelve hours before a flight. We will be ready to ferry you back to Cyralis when you want us, Sir.”

“Good man. And a very smooth flight, gentlemen. Thank you.”

Thom stood up straight. “I’d best get down there before the natives get restless,” he said, and then he turned and exited the cockpit.

Dendrick shook his head as he shut down the shuttle’s systems. “He’s a lot nicer than the rumors said—and he actually talked to us.”

“Dendrick, if you have pulled that garbage of chiming in where you had no business with Jendar, you would in irons now,” the pilot answered. “He’s a Moff, and he was a General—no matter how they appear to behave none of those guys ain’t nice. Still, he is quite a change from Jendar and the rest of your holier-than-thou high-ranking officials.”

The pilot sat back, and gazed out at Thom, speaking with station command and Fleet Admiral Morvin. And he shook his head as the Moff approached one of the Stormtroopers and began to inspect him and his weapon. “Quite a change, gentlemen. I believe that we are now officially living in interesting times.”

****************************************************

“Moff Patrice, may I present Commodore Liam Charon, the commanding officer of Phaulkon Station,” Kell said after the old General had descended from the ramp of his shuttle.

Thom extended his hand, and a surprised station commander took it in response. “I have heard nothing but good things about you, Commodore—that makes me wonder what you are hiding,” he continued with a grin.

“Thank you, Sir, and nothing . . . important, Sir. Welcome aboard Phaulkon.”

Thom laughed. “Very good, Commodore; I never fully trust a man with nothing to hide in his past,” but then he turned serious. “As of today, gentlemen, this formal review nonsense ends. We have better things to spend our time on than assembling a guard of honor just for me.”

“An official of your rank and station deserves what few accolades the Fleet can render to him, Moff Patrice,” Kell said solemnly.

Thom glared at him, but Kell simply stood there, his face stoic and at peace. “You are enjoying this, aren’t you? Commodore,” he continued as he turned to face the station commander, “you should know that your Fleet Admiral is a man with a low and mean sense of humor and entirely too caught up in the pomp and grandeur of military ceremony.”

“It is something that we have come to live with, Moff Patrice,” Charon answered glumly, which prompted Kell and Thom both to chuckle. “If you would rather skip the review, I can dismiss the honor guard, Sir.”

Thom looked at the Stormtroopers standing at attention, and he shook his head. “No. Perhaps I need to play me role here,” and he walked over to a trooper picked at random to begin his inspection.

****************************************************

Two hours later, the three men exited a turbolift to stand before a pair of blast doors, guarded by a squad alert Stormtroopers. The Stormtroopers stood straighter at the sight of the Commodore and Fleet Admiral; and while their blaster carbines were not exactly pointed at them, neither were they pointed very far away. A Fleet warrant officer seated behind a desk rose and he nodded a greeting. “Sirs. The facility is ready for inspection.”

“Kell, quit grinning like a child in a confectionary who has his father’s credit rod,” Thom said. “I take it that this is the reason you hauled me out here.”

“It is indeed, my Moff. Open her up, Chief,” the Admiral commanded.

The blast doors slowly parted, and Thom winced as he heard the thrum of heavy machinery, the shrill whine of a metal cutter, the rhythmic thudding of automatic bolters, and the hissing of laser welders. He walked into the large compartment filled with manufacturing equipment and droids working on an assembly line. Shaking his head as sparks flew from the metal plates being formed and twisted into shape. He felt a hand on his arm, and looked over to see Kell pointing towards a small—sound-insulated—office, and he followed along behind the Admiral and the Commodore towards it, climbing a short flight of stairs and then passing through a thick door.

The Moff felt his ears pop when the door closed behind him, shutting out the howl of the plant. “Moff Patrice, may I present Chyrs Ofar, the liaison assigned to Starfighter Testing Station Phaulkon by Sienar Fleet Systems.”

“Madame Ofar,” Thom said as he took her hand and bowed, lightly kissing the back. “A pleasure, madame.”

She looked slightly shocked, but then curtseyed in reply, and said, “Mine as well, your Grace,” in a pronounced Corulag accent. “Have you come to view our work here?”

“I have indeed, Madame,” Thom answered as he gazed on the drawings of different types of TIE fighters plastered to the walls. “That reminds me of the old Actis Starfighter, Madame Ofar. I haven’t seen one of those since the Jedi Purge—outside of a museum, that is.”

“Yes, the Eta-2 Actis. We have been working on several new models of TIE that should prove quite formidable; would you care to see them, Your Grace?”

“Certainly,” Thom answered. He followed the woman as she led him out through another door, into a massive hanger bay filled with several different models of Starfighters.

“Our showroom, Your Grace,” she said with a smile and a bow. “Two years ago, Sienar was contracted to begin a series of tests on the TIE/Advanced x2, conducted in several different systems of the Rim. Originally, the entire project was assigned to the command of Admiral Zaarin, but his ambitions and subsequent rebellion against the Empire ended several . . . promising lines of thought.”

“Currently, we have managed to reconstruct the majority of the finalized design that his pilots dubbed the TIE Avenger, designated as TIE/ad. She is as fast and maneuverable as a TIE Interceptor, carries the same array of quad lasers, is equipped with two concussion missile launchers and a magazine of 8 missiles in total, and features defensive shields roughly equivalent to that of a Rebel A-Wing. The original design also included a pre-programmed hyper-drive; but unfortunately those schematics and design specifications for that piece of equipment was lost during Zaarin’s rampage.”

“Madame Ofar, I have seen a few classified pictures of the TIE Avenger—this is different; the cockpit is that of an Arctis. And . . .” Thom walked around the compact fighter, frowning. “These two protrusions beneath the cockpit; they resemble the lasers on the original TIE Starfighter; this design carries SIX lasers?”

Kell smiled and he walked over. “No, but good eye, my Moff. As Madame Ofar said, we cannot reproduce the compact Hyperdrive found on the original TIE Avenger—so we used that space for other items. The Eta-2 style cockpit gives the pilot more visibility—especially to the flanks, an area where most TIEs have to rely on sensors only. We increased the size of the onboard power plant, giving our Avenger Mk. IIs here better shielding—roughly equal to an X-Wing—and having sufficient power remaining to mount two light ion cannons beneath the cockpit. She can’t fire the ion cannons and the lasers simultaneously, but she can at least carry them both. And there was no loss of either speed or maneuverability—only the ability to travel through hyperspace.”

“Impressive, Admiral Morvin, Madame Ofar; most impressive,” Thom whispered as he laid his hand against the slanted solar panels. “These are the prototypes of your Mk II Avengers?” he added, waving at the other fighters in the bay.

“First production run, Moff Patrice,” the woman from Sienar Fleet Systems answered. “The industrial complex here on Phaulkon will be able to deliver sixty of these fighters every standard month, plus a dozen of our newest TIE bombers.”

“Bombers?” Thom asked, looking up in excitement. “We have new bombers?”

“This way, Your Grace,” Chyrs Ofar said. “Sienar has been working on a replacement for the standard TIE Bomber for six years now. We have finally managed to settle on a prototype that will increase maneuverability, survivability, and firepower, while remaining compact enough to fit within existing hangers. This,” she said, as she pointed to a long, lean, elegant Starfighter with the characteristic bent solar panels of the TIE Interceptor, “is our version of the TIE Scimitar Assault Bomber prototype. Once again, the design is not capable of entering hyperspace on its own, but we used that space to add a second ion engine, providing speed and maneuverability roughly comparable to the TIE/ln fighter commonly used by Imperial forces today. Armament consists of two chin mounted laser cannons and sixteen heavy concussion missiles, proton torpedoes, or bombs, each mounted in an individual launch tube on the ventral surface. We replaced the original cockpit with a version of the one from the Eta-2, once again, improving visibility and pilot situational awareness. The second crewman sits directly behind the pilot and operates two rear-mounted laser cannons that should prove . . . rather surprising to any Rebel attempting to shoot down this craft. The Scimitar is shielded as well—being roughly equal to a late generation Y-Wing.”

Thom nodded. “How many of these fighters and bombers do you have in service, Kell?”

Kell Morvin winced. “Moff Jendar shipped all prior production back to the Core. So, for now we have sixty Avengers and twelve Scimitars.”

“And to outfit our entire Fleet at the current rate of production?” Thom pressed.

“Thirty months. Twice that if you want to replace the TIE assigned to the Army and Garrison duty as well.”

Thom considered for a moment. “Madame Ofar, how difficult will it be to reprogram the factories on Ord Tanis to produce these new fighters? And if we can, how many can those industrial complexes produce?”

Now the liaison frowned as she pulled up a hand computer and ran a few calculations. “Depending on their current condition and whether or not the droid workforce is in place and able to be reactivated—we could upgrade the design schematics in a matter of weeks. Production-wise, those factories could easily manufacture two to three hundred Starfighters each week. Provided that they have the necessary resources and materials on hand, that is.”

“Good. Kell, I want Madame Ofar assigned to Ord Tanis as soon as we assume control of the system.”

“ME? You want me to go to some abandoned world and take charge of your Starfighter production?”

“Madame Ofar, I am not sending you out there alone. Just answer me this: is there anyone else as qualified as you to reprogram those automated factories? These are your designs after all, are they not?”

“Oh, yes, appeal to my vanity and ego—that always works!” she snapped, and then her shoulders slumped. “And in this case, you are right. No one else knows these designs as well as I do.” She looked back up at Patrice. “But this isn’t in my contract—you are going to owe me quite a bit.”

“Done. Were you aware that I have this lovely little world called Velabri that is in need of a new Imperial Governor, Madame Ofar.”

“Velabri? Isn’t that in the Lamaredd Sector?” Chyrs asked as she and the Moff were walking back to her office.

“Why, yes, I believe it is—at the moment. But you know how often things change here in the Outer Rim. And Moff Osar is a good friend of mine.”

“Osar? You must mean Moff Adair?”

“No, madame, I mean Moff Osar. Didn’t you hear about that tragic attack that the Rebels launched on Lamaredd last week? They failed to do much damage to the capital, but they were successful in shooting down Adair’s shuttle—there were no survivors, my dear.”

“Oh. How . . . coincidental.”

“Yes, the demise of such a loyal and attentive Moff is a tragedy, Madame Ofar, but we will somehow make do in his absence.”

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-11 01:07pm
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No thoughts, comments, or suggestions so far? I am now sad. :shock: :shock: :?

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-11 04:54pm
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I think many of us have been following the discussions on this going on over at Spacebattles. There might be some more action once you get the two threads up to date with each other.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-11 07:00pm
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Chapter Two

Ran Karyda, the Deputy Vice-President for Exports (Customizations Sub-Division) of Corellian Engineering Corporation was reading the gloomy projections for the current quarter. He winced, although he knew before he had even picked up the latest financial report that sales had flat-lined in the month since the Battle of Endor. Good-bye, sweet bonus, he thought to him, picturing winged credits flocking away from him. Marya will not be happy when she finds out that we cannot vacation on the Islands this summer.

And when Ran’s wife was unhappy, she usually complained to her father—the man who just so happened to also be Ran’s supervisor. Lovely. My home life is now ruined, my work is ruined. What else could happen to spoil my day?

On cue, his console beeped, and Ran groaned. Why did I tempt fate, he thought. Then he shook his head and he keyed the comm unit.

“Karyda.”

“Boss, I’ve got a customer calling via the Holonet. Ah, I’m not sure exactly how to handle this,” stammered one of his many junior assistants, and Ran groaned, as he recognized the dark haired sales rep.

“Sipkins, if I’ve told you a hundred times . . . never mind. What is the problem?”

“I don’t know if we can meet this order . . . it might not even be legal to meet this order!”

Ran stared at the screen for a moment. “Put it through to my desk, Sipkins. And if it is something that you could have handled, you’ve just forfeited your commission for bothering me.”

The screen blanked, and then it flickered, and it presented an older man, mostly bald and dressed in the uniform of an Imperial Moff. Ran sat up straight in his chair. “I am Ran Karyda, Deputy Vice-President for Customization and Export; how may I assist you today?”

“Master Karyda,” the Moff said with a genial smile. “I hope that you can assist me. I need some ships.”

Ran turned on his best salesman smile. “That is what we do here at CEC, Sir. Have you an account with us, Moff . . .”

“Patrice. I am Moff Patrice of the Cyralis Cluster. I do have access to a sealed account with Corellian Engineering Corporation.”

“Access, Moff Patrice? We do not allow just anyone to access the deposited accounted—CEC is not Kuat Drive Yards, after all.”

“Of course, you don’t. But I wouldn’t have access to this account if I were not authorized, now would I?”

“Perhaps you can give me the account number, and I will check for myself, Moff Patrice.”

“Certainly,” Thom answered, calling out thirty-four letters and numbers in a quick and precise sequence.

Ran’s eyes grew wide as the account information came onto the screen. “This is most . . . unusual, Moff Patrice. There is no name associated with the account.”

“But there is an authorization pass-code, correct?” And Thom recited the pass-code that had once belonged to recently deceased Moff Adair.

The CEC executive punched in the code, and then he smiled again and sat back. “And what may we do for you today, Sir?” he asked.

“I need thirty of your HT-2200 transports.”

“Thirty?” croaked Ran.

Thom smiled, and the screen flickered again. “Thirty. And I need them customized for Imperial service. A more powerful reactor core, four quad laser turrets placed dorsal, ventral, port, and starboard, for starters.”

“Excuse me, for starters?” Ran asked incredulously.

“Yes. I believe your HT-2200 has four separate cargo bays, capable of storing 200 tons each, correct?”

“That’s right.”

“I need them all of the cargo bays converted to Starfighter launch and recovery bays for three TIE . . . series fighters each. The fighters in question measure 10 meters in length, with a width of 6 meters and a height of 4 meters. That will fit, correct?”

Ran swallowed, and he licked his dry lips. “And you will also need personnel quarters for the twelve pilots and four technicians, yes?”

“Yes.”

“Moff Patrice, these . . . modifications will be extremely expensive. And while you certainly have the authority to place this order, CEC has policy that we cannot sell to anyone planning on using our ships against the Empire. Not,” Ran added quickly, as he began to sweat, “that I am accusing you, you do understand.”

“I understand, Master Karyda. And I officially state, for the record, that these ships are not going to be used against the Empire.”

Ran sat back, and he sighed. “Well then. That is all that I was asking for, Moff Patrice. We can have this order filled within the next six months.”

“That’s the problem, Master Karyda. I need them in the next thirty days or I will instead have to go elsewhere. And for that—and the delivery of those ships to Cyralis—I will transfer the total sum in the account on file to Corellian Engineering Corporation.”

Ran blinked once, and then twice. He looked back down at the screen, and the flashing eight digit number blinking there—and he quickly calculated that a sale of this magnitude would more than make him eligible for this quarter’s profit-sharing bonus.

“We can do that, Moff Patrice. Is there a particular color you desire your ships?”

“Imperial Grey, Master Karyda. It is a pleasure doing business with you.”

The Holonet connection abruptly ended. Ran sat there for a second, and then he pulled out a headset comm unit and stood. He thumbed it on. “Attention, all senior personnel. Report to the executive briefing room immediately. We have an order to fill.”

****************************************************

“I cannot sleep, nor walk on the streets of Bartyn’s Landing in peace, Patrice. I cower in this palace, fearing to show my face to my people,” Moff Rilian Osar lamented. “One expects the Rebels to be active here, with so many aliens on this world, and they have been active in the past. Arming the Menahunn, attacking my troops on patrol, stealing supplies, sabotaging the mines—but this! Now they dare to attack their rulers directly! Adair was a good Moff—he kept the population under control and ensured that the mining ships met quota on schedule! And then they shot him out of the sky! I would not have believed this band of rag-tag scoundrels capable of such.”

Thom took a sip of the sickly sweet local drink his host had provided—a bright pink beverage distilled from local fruits—and although he detested the soul taste, he kept any signs of that discomfort reach his face. “How unsporting of them, Osar,” he answered as he sat down the tall, thin glass and it’s bonnet of straws and paper umbrellas.

“You are lucky, Patrice. Your sector is quiet and you cannot comprehend the levels of troubles I have to deal with!”

“That is quite true, Osar. Luck of the draw and all of that; what with my worlds being predominately human—whereas yours are filled to the brim with seditious and rebellious aliens.” And my Fleet Admiral doesn’t sit on his ass all day and let little problems multiply into a crisis of titanic proportions, he thought, but did not voice. Thom gave a sad little smile to his fellow Moff. “It is perhaps only to be expected though; I am quite surprised that you did not see this coming. Adair I can understand overlooking—he wasn’t as . . . seasoned, shall we say . . . a player in the great game of intrigue.”

“See what coming, Patrice? You are making no sense,” the other Moff asked in a puzzled voice, even as his chest swelled at the flattery.

“The Rebels, of course. Come Osar, the Mon Cal and the Quarren squid-men are your best workers—and little more than slaves however free they might be in name. The commander of the Alliance military, as you are well aware, is Akbar, a Mon Calamari himself. A former slave of Grand Moff Tarkin. Surely you see that is all his planning.”

“Yes, yes, I made that connection, Patrice,” Osar sputtered, his confused look now showing real alarm. “You have far more experience in war than I, however. What do you suggest?”

Thom shook his head slowly. “Your population must be feeding him intelligence . . . I would normally say that Akbar would too cautious to attack a Sector capital, let alone one directly on the Corellian Run. But he must know—or suspect—that your Fleet is dispersed in same detachments, and is ripe for defeat in detail. On the heels of the Battle of Endor, seizing a world such as this, a world where his own people are being exploited by ORO-Corp and the Empire; why, surely you see what a threat that is Osar.”

“Akbar is . . . he is coming here? He is coming with the Rebel Fleet?”

“I might well do the same were I in his . . . flippers.” Or I might just ignore this worthless Sector and concentrate on important worlds where the balance of the Galaxy hangs uncertain.

Osar’s jaw worked and his eyes rapidly blinked. “I . . . must reassemble the Fleet, here in orbit. I must bring them back here to Lamaredd and stand shoulder to shoulder in defense of this world.”

“That is one option, Osar. Doing so will open your other populated worlds—filled with their own hives of scum and villainy open to Rebel propaganda and lies.”

“What would you suggest, Patrice?”

Thom smiled again and he lifted that hateful, horrid glass of pink goo and took another sip. “Ahh. As you yourself have said, Osar, my Sector is rather quiet. Can I perhaps offer assistance in patrolling and garrison some of the worlds on our border—freeing your ships of that burden so that they can concentrate in force?”

“You would do that?” Osar asked quietly.

“My dear Osar, we are alone out here on the Rim. If we do not aid each other in our times of need, then who ever will? I extended the same offer to Adair, but alas his pride was too great to accept my humble assistance.”

“I am not Adair, and I see no reason to refuse such a generous offer. Which systems can your forces provide protection for?”

“Oh, Fleet Admiral Morvin and I have discussed this subject in detail, Osar—Shavan II, Brand’s Hold, Valeraan, and Ord Tanis. These four systems are the closest to Cyralis and will not overly extend our own forces.”

“Ord Tanis? That system isn’t even populated, Patrice? Is it truly necessary to garrison it?”

“Come now, Osar. Certainly the entire planet is a heap of rubble, filled with rusted and broken equipment from the Old Republic—decades obsolete even before the Clone Wars. Despite the fact that such . . . junk . . . is useless to you and I, pirates, smugglers, and Rebel scum may still be tempted to dig through the rubble there for parts.”

“True,” Osar mused. “Perhaps Adair and I were mistaken to assign such a low priority to that scrap heap.”

“Water under the bridge, Osar—it was not your call at the time anyway. You knew Adair best; he would have done his own bidding and not yours; you know this.”

“Yes. Patrice, I . . . thank you. I know now what I must do,” the Moff of Lamaredd Sector stood and he walked over to the thick, armored glass plates that protected against sniper fire. “Fear must be our weapon against these disloyal creatures. Fear and terror—Tarkin and the Emperor were right. I shall crush their disloyalty, and end their espionage.”

“And I am quite certain, Osar, that you shall be as successful at that as His Majesty and the Grand Moff were. Now,” Thom said as he too stood. “I am pressed for time, and I must return to Cyralis. We really must have you come for a visit someday soon, Osar. Once you have . . . dealt with the small matter of Rebellion here, that is.”

“That would indeed be nice, a quiet vacation on a world among good loyal Imperials that I can trust. I shall be honored to visit once I have placed these amphibians in their place. Good bye, Moff Patrice; may you have a pleasant voyage home.”

Thom gave a half-bow and then he turned and quickly left his fellow Moff—and that foul-tasting pink brew—behind him.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-11 07:01pm
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“. . . that is the bare bones outline of this operation, gentlemen,” finished Fleet Captain Tylan G’deransk, commander of the Imperator-class Star Destroyer Rapacity. “Questions?”

The nineteen other Imperial Captains and Commanders of the 573rd Battle Squadron sat around the large table in Rapacity’s briefing room. In addition to those officers who whom Tylan had worked for two years, there were two more Captains—Pyor Sharn of the Acclamator-class assault transport Huskee and Ricard San commanding the Carrack-class light cruiser Marshoon. Both of those ships had been attached to the 573rd from the 2899th Troop Squadron, the transport providing space for the engineers and technicians that would evaluate the factory complexes of Ord Tanis, as well as the battalion of army troopers from the 57693rd Infantry Regiment that would comprise the ground garrison. The light cruiser was present only to provide close escort to the big troop carrier.

One of the officers—Command Phoen Nem of the Adamant-class frigate Cavalier—cleared his throat.

“Yes, Commander?” Tylan asked.

“Captain G’deransk, the squadron is tasked with providing patrols and coverage for all four of our new systems, yes? Why then are we proceeding en masse to Ord Tanis? Would it not be more efficient to break up the squadron and head directly for our assigned stations? Sir.”

“Yes it would, Commander Nem. I expect no trouble at Ord Tanis—but regardless, the depot has been abandoned for quite some time. I want the entire squadron on hand to reduce the time required to produce a full sensor mapping of the surface. We will also remain concentrated until the techno-geeks on Huskee disembark and reactivate the command center with power and life support. Just in case there is an emergency. In addition, we need to make this look as if we were not already sitting here, on the verge of our own Sector, ready to jump into Lamaredd. Even thought Moff Patrice has obtained permission for us to provide these systems with protection, us arriving less than six hours after he met with Moff Osar is liable to raise . . . questions; especially if we arrive simultaneously in four systems.”

Low chuckles arose from the table, and Tylan grinned as well.

“Scanning the surface should take about a week to complete in the detail that I want. After which, we detach Task Groups 573.2, 573.3, and 573.4 in sequence over the course of another week, to arrive in their designated systems. Rapacity, the Interdictor cruiser Apprehension, the frigates Cavalier and Gladiator, and the corvette Bissel will remain at Ord Tanis as TG 573.1 and we will serve as the central reserve, should any of you encounter something your commands are unable to handle on their own. Huskee and Marshoon will be returning to Cyralis to rejoin the remainder of the 2899th after we have completed the surface scans and off-loaded all their cargo for the ground base and the orbital yards.”

Captain Ta’bi Makon, the only female officer in the room leaned forward. “You ordered that we will be exiting hyperspace in full readiness, Fleet Captain,” she stated precisely, her grey eyes glinting slightly in the lighting, but doing nothing to soften her features. “This is a fairly routine operation—the stress on our shield generators while exiting hyperspace will take a hundred hours off their service life.”

Tylan slowly nodded. He might not like Captain Makon, but the woman had certainly proven her ability to command the Vindicator-class cruiser Onslaught. And deep inside, Tylan suspected that her formal, aloof manner was partly caused because of his—and other officers—innate distrust of a woman in high ranks. “You are correct, Captain Makon. However, as Fleet Admiral Morvin so recently told all of us, we are only as good in combat as we train. Gentlemen, ladies, we will take this time to train. We will exit hyper with raised shields and weapons hot and manned. We will then combat launch our entire TIE complement and proceed in battle formation into orbit.”

“And our exit coordinates will not be at the standard two hours out from Ord Tanis. This squadron will exit hyperspace fifty thousand kilometers from standard orbit. We will practice like we play, Commanders and Captains. And over the next two weeks we will run drills until your crews are ready to drop. I intend for the 573rd to be the finest Battle Squadron in Cyralis—and if any of you object to that inform me now that so I reassign you to some ground station.”

No further voices were raised and Tylan nodded briskly.

“Captain Dans’yed,” he continued, speaking to the commander of Apprehension, “there are about a dozen old defueled ships in orbital mothballs. I want your gravity-well generators up and running the moment we are in range—they will serve as our simulated targets. Stormtrooper details will conduct mock boarding operations as well.”

He paused and turned his gaze at each and every one of the junior officers in turn. “If there are no further questions or issues, we will enter hyperspace in four hours. Dismissed.”

****************************************************

Command Pared Sh’cate shook his head. “How much of a finder’s fee did you just ask me for?”

The Hutt standing on the bridge of the Alliance armed freighter Daarian, uttered a low laugh. “Hoo, your reaction shows you heard well enough. Cannot your Rebel superiors use these ships?”

“They have no fuel, their reactors are dead cold, their weapons are off-line—they aren’t worth half that!”

“Then you can go elsewhere, rancor-bait. If you can find capital ships for your Alliance any place else.”

“Look, Naboor, you don’t even own these.”

“No. The Empire does. But they come here but seldom; and my agents know their schedule. You have five weeks to take them before they will even notice they are gone.”

“Five weeks? Impossible. You want us to fuel a Venator and three Hammerheads, scrounge up enough men for a skeleton crew, and sneak these ships out of here in the next five weeks?”

“You have five weeks from tomorrow. After that, there will be a patrol ship in system for two days. After which you have will seven weeks before it returns. And if these ships leave this system before I receive my payment, the hidden charges I have placed aboard will detonate.”

“Kerishael!” one of the Rebels cursed in his native tongue. “Hyper emergence, right on bloody top of us!”

Sh’cate and Naboor both glared at each other. “YOU IDIOT, YOU LET YOURSELF BE TRACKED!” they both exclaimed at the same time.

“Oh, blood and martyrs,” the sensor tech whispered. “Imperials. Lots of freaking Imperials—I count twenty-two capital ships . . . including an Imperator.”

“Helm, get us out of here!” Sh’cate yelled, and the Action VI freighter accelerated forward.

“Three hundred plus TIEs inbound, skipper! And, oh joy, they’ve got an Interdictor that just locked down our Hyperdrive.”

Sh’cate looked at the screen in horror. And then she shook her head. “Adjust your course to ram that Imperator Shao-jin. Emergency flank,” she said quietly.

“NO, YOU FOOL!” shouted the Hutt. “Surrender, it is our only chance to live!”

“We are all dead men walking right now, Naboor. Punch it, Shao-jin.”

****************************************************

Tylan stood on the bridge of Rapacity as the Star Destroyer rumbled forward through hyper-space. And then the stars quit spinning and they had emerged.

“Contact! LIVE CONTACT!” One of the pit crew called out. “Action VI freighter docked with the Venator-class Star Destroyer in the boneyard, Captain.”

“Well, well, well. What do we have here?” he mused.

“All TIEs are now away, Sir. Apprehension is training her gravity projectors on the unknown ship.”

“New orders—out Stormtroopers are to board that vessel and capture the crew for interrogation.”

“Sir! They are disengaging from the Venator, and accelerating. Coming to . . . a heading of 000 Mk 0 true. Still accelerating.”

“Those are some brave men over there on that ship, boys. Never forget that they enemy is called that for a reason. All forward ion cannons open fire and disable that ship. Maneuvering you may take evasive action.”

Through the bridge windows, Tylan could see the intense blue-white bolts erupt from dozens of different turrets, streaking away towards the freighter. Most missed the far smaller ship as it desperately attempted to evade, but two caught it square and it’s shields died, the engines faltered and then failed, and it began to drift.

“Tractor beams, Sir?” asked one of the Pit Lieutenants.

“No. They could well have a demolition charge onboard; let’s keep them at arm’s length for now. Besides, the Spacetroopers could use a live fire exercise—inform them that I want live prisoners.”

“At once, Sir.”

Tylan placed his hands behind his back. And he smiled at the sight of the tumbling freighter. Then he frowned. “Lieutenant?”

“Yes, Sir?”

“Inform the ion gunners that their ratio of shots fired versus shots on target was unacceptable. We will be conducting a series of gunnery exercises and woe to them if they fail to improve.”

“At once, Sir.”

****************************************************

“You know that those interrogation techniques are useless against a Hutt,” Naboor spat at Tylan when the Captain stepped into the cargo hold aboard Rapacity hastily converted into a prison cell. “Information is to be bought and sold, human, not torn from the body and mind.”

“Great Naboor,” Tylan said with a sardonic bow. “Oh how the mighty have fallen. A crime lord of your caliber, caught red-handed in the attempt to steal Imperial property—and resell that property the Rebellion. I have no need to interrogate you; the Rebels are singing their own songs.”

“Hoo, hoo, hoo,” the Hutt laughed. “Then why are you here?”

“I am trying to decide if spacing you will be enough to kill that worm-brain of yours—or if instead I should use your massive bulk to give my turbolaser gunners a bit of target practice.”

“Do not be so hasty, human. We can deal; my life and my freedom for . . . information.”

“Why don’t we begin with your life, Great Naboor; and then, if the information is valuable enough, we can discuss your freedom.”

The Hutt laughed again. “Your negotiating skills are exceptional—I do hope one day to repay the favor and make you my guest on Nal Hutta.”

Tylan frowned. “I do not think you will have that opportunity, Naboor the Hutt. Prepare to open the compartment to vacuum,” he ordered the Stormtroopers, who obediently jogged over towards the hatch.

“I have the location of all of the Rebel bases in the adjourning sectors, Captain G’deransk,” the Hutt suddenly said. “ALL of them. Your superiors will well reward you for removing that scum from your worlds.”

Tylan smiled. “That might well buy your life, Naboor—your freedom will require more.”

“More? More! I offer you enough to gain promotions and honor, what more do you desire?”

“You offer me your life in exchange for other lives, Hutt. And it is a bargain that I shall accept, despite my reservations. Your will freedom will require . . . a more personal sacrifice.” Tylan nodded and one Stormtrooper cautiously approached the Hutt holding an electronic manifest.

Naboor took the device and the scrolled through it, and a look of genuine alarm registered on his tremendous platter-sized eyes. “You ask for too much, human!” he bellowed. “This will bankrupt me!”

“Come, Naboor. For a Hutt of power such as yourself, that cannot represent more than a tithe of your accumulated wealth—in exchange for your freedom. It is but a modest sum of equipment and treasure which will allow you to resume your operations—in other Imperial Sectors.”

“A modest sum? You are no Imperial Captain—you are a loan shark. Perhaps I should hire you to run my credit department. Imprison me, then. I shall be alive and laughing when I am released—even if you are dead of old age.”

Tylan laughed. “Imprison you? Never, Great Naboor the Hutt. Prisons can be taken, the prisoners can escape—and future Wardens can be bribed into granting you your freedom. No, our scout ships have located a lush, primeval world, deep within wildspace. No sentient life, no industries, no colonists or explorers to disturb you. I will maroon you there and leave you; deleting all references to the system where I will strand for you for the next thousand years until you perish of causes either natural or otherwise. Alone. With no slaves or servants or wealth.” The Imperial Captain shook his head. “After I have your sex organs removed so that you cannot birth more Hutts, that is. You are aware that the Empire has developed a chemical process to defeat your race’s legendary regeneration.”

Naboor’s eyes narrowed, and then he slumped. “Half this amount. No more.”

“Transfer Great Naboor to the freighter, Trooper,” Tylan said. “Have the medical department prepare for surgery.’

“THREE-QUARTERS!” the Hutt bellowed, but Tylan said nothing as four Stormtroopers approached with force pikes, the tips sparkling with energy.

“Fine! I will meet your terms, you miscreant human slug!” the Hutt bellowed.

“Now, was that so difficult, Great Naboor,” asked Tylan. “Of course, you will remain our guest on Cyralis until the full payment has been delivered to us by your agents. And Naboor?”

“What now, human?” the Hutt sullenly asked.

“The locations and disarm codes for those charges you emplaced are part and parcel of the deal—forget one and you lose not only your freedom but your life as well.”

“I will not forget this, human—nor will I ever forget you,” Naboor grumbled.

Tylan stepped up close. “See that you do not, worm. And if you betray us, then I shall be the worst nightmare you have ever dreamt, come to life. Get him out of here.”

As the Stormtroopers prodded Naboor away, the Captain looked with distaste at the slime trail left behind. “AND GET A CLEANING CREW IN HERE!” he bellowed. “Filthy Hutts.”

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-11 07:03pm
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Chapter Three

Patrice’s guest looked nervous, and with good reason. Aliens such as these were not normally summoned to the Headquarters of a Sector Moff in the Galactic Empire unless either the Moff wanted something very unusual—or if the alien in question was about to forever more disappear. And this collection was most electric indeed: a Bothan, a Gran, an Ithorian, a Mon Calamari, a Nautalon, a Rishii, a Rodian, a Sullustans, a Trandoshan, and a Twi’lek. They all knew each other well—for collectively, these ten were the leaders of their respective species on not only the world of Cyralis, but for the entire Cluster. They had dealt with Moff Jendar and discovered that despite his hard-line rhetoric, the previous Moff had been far more concerned with the quality of his bank accounts than in persecuting the non-human species. Of course, if they had lacked the funds to pay off the Moff, then persecution followed in short order.

But this new Moff, this former General Patrice; he was a new and unknown quantity. So far, the lot of the non-humans under his rule was best stated with a single word: ignored. There had been no crackdowns in the ghettos, no mass arrests or interrogations, no solicitations for bribes. And then he and Admiral Morvin had arrested their own ISB; well, arrested the few who weren’t shot resisting said arrest. And in the month and a half since, there hadn’t been one sweep of local police through the alien quarters of Cyralis’s major cities. It was unheard of.

The door at the far end of the chamber opened, and the bald human Moff walked briskly in. “Sentients, you have my apologies for running behind schedule—it was not intentional. I am quite pleased that all of you accepted my invitation to this meeting,” Thom said as he took his seat with a smile.

Somber, blank faces simply stared at him in return. They knew they had little enough choice in accepting such an ‘invitation’. Not in the Galactic Empire of Palpatine.

“I have asked you here to meet with me here today to inform you of several new proclamations and . . . .adjustments in Imperial law here in Cyralis. As an Imperial Moff, I have broad discretionary powers at my disposal. Those innate powers of my office have since only increased following the tragic and unfortunate death of the Emperor at Endor six weeks ago. I cannot change laws for the entire Empire, sentients, but in this Cluster I can and will alter the local laws.”

Thom paused, and a gaggle of civilian aides began passing out a sheaf of documents to each of the Moff’s guests.

“First, as of today, all laws preventing non-humans who reside in the Cyralis Cluster from serving in the Imperial military branches and government assigned to the Cluster are hereby repealed and revoked.”

“Second, all laws enshrining the discrimination and segregation of non-humans who reside in the Cyralis Cluster in civil matters are hereby repealed and revoked.”

“Third, all laws which prevent non-humans who reside in the Cyralis Cluster from owning property or weapons are hereby repealed and revoked.”

“Fourth, all laws which prevent non-humans who reside in the Cyralis Cluster from casting ballots in local, planetary, and cluster legislation, or which prevent non-humans who reside in the Cyralis Cluster from holding local, planetary, and cluster elected offices, are hereby repealed and revoked.”

“Fifth, all taxation edicts imposed upon non-humans who reside in the Cyralis Cluster that differ from those imposed upon human citizens are hereby repealed and revoked.”

“Sixth, all laws which provide for the enslavement, servitude, and/or any other form of official legal bondage or peonage, other than that resulting from a violation of Imperial law, and the lawful imprisonment and/or execution of the individual performing the criminal act, which are applicable to humans and non-humans who reside in the Cyralis Cluster are hereby repealed and revoked.”

“Seventh, any non-humans who reside in the Cyralis Cluster and who are currently owned in a state of slavery or servitude, peonage or bondage, are hereby immediately and forever declared free sentients.”

“Eighth, all laws which prevent any non-humans who reside in the Cyralis Cluster who wish to travel off-world or to other sectors of the Empire, or non-associated polities within this Galaxy, are herby repealed and revoked.”

One by one, each of the aliens seated at the table looked up at their Moff in a state of absolute shock. Thom smiled, and he nodded.

“Understand this, sentients—I will not tolerate rebellion or insurrection against the lawful authorities of this sector. Nor will I tolerate terrorism leveled against any of the citizenry of Cyralis. Avoid either of those areas, and you and your peoples will find that your life has taken a sharp turn for the better.”

For several minutes, there was nothing but silence in the room, and then the Bothan spoke. “Why?”

Thom grinned. “Because Emperor Palpatine was surprisingly short-sighted and concerned with only his immediate wants, sentients. He was rather like a spoiled child in that regards. He is now gone, and I must rule this Cluster and protect all—all—of her multitude of people’s. We will remain as part of the Empire, but there will be no more pogroms, no more slavery or serfdom, no wage-servitude or debtor’s prisons.”

“You will obey the laws. You will perform your civil duties as is expected of all citizens of this Cluster. Beyond that, you will have equal rights to the human population here. And in exchange for this, I expect only that you do not seek to undermine my government.”

Eyes wide, the Mon Cal opened and closed her mouth, before words finally emerged. “What of Lamaredd Sector? Have you heard of what Moff Osar is doing to our people there? The mass arrests? The executions?”

Thom frowned and he shook his head sadly. “Adair was bad enough, but I fear that Osar will only provoke greater hatred between our peoples. Unfortunately, Madame Teng, I have no authority over Lamaredd—at this time. I will promise you this—that I shall keep a close watch on the situation there; and if events threaten the safety and security of Cyralis . . . well, I shall then have no choice but to intervene in Osar’s affairs.”

“I am certain that all of you would rather prefer a clean sweep of the government here—replacing your former Imperial overlords with the New Republic proclaimed by the Rebel Alliance. That will not be happening. Not in this Sector and not in Lamaredd. Indeed,” Thom mused as he clicked a hidden button beneath the table, brining banks of monitors on the walls to life. “I have already removed their agents from Cyralis.”

Dozens, scores, hundreds, of dead Rebels were pictured on monitors lining the walls of the room. Several of the people at the table flinched—either because the faces were known to them or because of the graphic nature of their deaths.

“They revealed a great deal of information on the Rebel Alliance within this Sector and Lamaredd before their deaths. But I shall grant a period of seven days—at the end of which all those who come forward and confess their crimes will be given complete and unfettered amnesty. On the eighth day, however, I shall seize them, try them, and execute them. The past is behind us, sentients—let us look to the future. And I ask only that you plead with your people to accept my generous offer. Here is chance for a fresh start—to lay down our arms and ensure that civilization is one worthy of the title.”

“Many of these Rebels were human—and I take no more pleasure in their deaths than I do those of your species. Those humans who plot insurrection; they too have seven days to accept my offer of amnesty or flee. I hope that we can once again learn to work together, and let the past bury the past.”

“If you do not believe me, and these edicts before you, sentients; if you fear that I will not keep my word, then you and your people are free to leave Cyralis. You may travel to any destination you wish—should you find a ship and are able to purchase passage.”

Thom stood. “I have stated my position as plainly and simply as I am able, sentients. It is up to you now to choose whether we will have peace and prosperity or bloody harsh war. Make your choice.”

And with that, the Moff turned on his heel and exited the room, leaving ten very flustered individuals in his wake.

****************************************************

Mal Galen arose from his chair where he had watching the hidden cameras in the Conference Room as Thom entered the surveillance chamber.

“‘They revealed a great deal of information on the Rebel Alliance within this Sector and Lamaredd before their deaths,’ is what I believe that you told them. To the best of my knowledge, the only genuine information was in the heads of their leaders—who died before they could be captured,” he said.

“Director Galen, you know that. I know that. They do not know that. Watch them closely. Put surveillance on top of the people they contact once they leave. Watch the people that their contacts in turn contact. And perhaps we might flush out the rest of the Rebels from this Sector completely.”

“You were wasted in the Army, Moff Patrice. It was a sad day for the Ubiqtorate when you decided on that branch instead of Intelligence.”

“What? You don’t think the Army can be subtle?”

“In my experience? No. They normally cannot.”

Thom laughed. “Just watch them. If they decide to turn themselves in . . . fine. If they suddenly relocate and attempt to change their identities, keep them under surveillance. Let them think they have eluded us—and infiltrate their organization. We may just be able to roll up their Operations completely.”

“You don’t think your offer will carry much weight?”

“For some it will. The ones who are fighting for freedom and equal rights under the law; yes, those will be satisfied. They will be especially pleased when the time is right to remove Osar and expand our rule to Lamaredd. But for others, they want revenge. Watch them, Galen. Watch them closely and keep me informed.”

“But of course, my Moff.”

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-11 07:04pm
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Thirty-eight Shock Troopers sat at desks paying close attention to their company commander standing at the screen. Several were taking notes—all were listening intently—as he led them through the data projected onto a wall screen.

“Troopers, this is the BlasTech Cyralis TC-15b multi-role blaster rifle which we will be using. Although not as compact or light-weight as your standard issue E-11 carbines, the TC-15b fires a more powerful bolt and has three times the maximum range. It is also capable of far greater accuracy across its effective range. The base model issued to each of troops includes a folding biped for greater stability and accuracy when shooting from the prone position, a collapsible—not folding—stock to reduce overall length, two power cells—one each in the fore stock and pistol grip—and a Tibana-gas reservoir with sufficient gas for three hundred and sixty individual bolts. Adjustable manual sights are included for redundancy in the event that primary sighting scope—with low-light and thermal imaging capacity—is damaged or otherwise disabled. For greatest accuracy, the weapon fires a single bolt; however, there is a burst-fire mode that permits the rapid-emission of three slightly less powerful bolts—there is no fully automatic fire mode.”

“In addition to the base infantry model, there are three variants which will see use by the Shock Trooper Corps: a separate sniper rifle—the TC-15c(s)—, a full-automatic repeating squad support weapon—the TC-15d—, and a compact short-barreled carbine for close-quarters battle and for issue to officers and heavy weapons troopers—the TC-15e.”

“In addition, our Moff has seen fit to issue every Trooper in the Shock Corps and Sector Army with a DT-12 heavy blaster pistol! This sidearm is a secondary weapon, Troopers, and it will remained holstered unless you lose your rifle to damage or run out of power or gas.”

“Over the next six hours we will cover these weapons in detail, Troopers! And then, following lunch, you will be issued your weapons and we will practice disassembly and assembly until each of you is able to do so blind! We will dry fire the weapons and make certain you know every last micron of its surface—and then after evening chow we will report to the range.”

“We are zeroing in the weapons at night, Sir?” one of the Troopers asked.

“I was under the impression that Shock Troopers were an elite group of fighting me in this army, Devalis,” the Captain answered somewhat indirectly. “The merely difficult is for Army troopers—we accomplish the impossible! Yes, we will be operating on the range at night, without floodlights, Troopers! And if you haven’t managed to zero in your weapons and qualify with your armor’s built in optical systems by dawn—you will be transferred to the Regular Army and out of my Shock Trooper Corps! Is that understood?”

“SIR, YES SIR!” The platoon answered in unison.

“And just to make certain that you are indeed the best, Troopers, the meteorologists have predicted thunderstorms and cold rain for tonight, with occasional wind gusts of up to thirty kilometers per hour.”

The Captain smiled at the stoic faced men of his third platoon. “Good. Shall we begin?”

****************************************************

Shock Trooper of the Third Order Gare Devalis winced as he stood in front of a small cubicle, placed just outside the mess hall. He sighed and he pulled out his credit wand from the belt pouch where it kept it stored.

“You fellows go on ahead; I’ve got to make a call.”

“Man, those things charge you an arm and a leg—and we don’t have that long to eat chow,” one of his companions muttered.

“I know. But I need to make it.”

“We’ll grab you a tray—just make it fast, Gare.”

The rest of the Shock Troopers filed into the mess and Gare stepped into the cubicle and insert the wand in the proper slot.

“Welcome to Galactic Hypercommunications Terminal BXK-CYR-177324292. How may we assist you today?”

“Person-to-person transmission to Corellia PQ-734-656-8790-DAQ-17435.”

“An amount of 250 credits will charged for the first minute of transmission. Each additional minute will result in a charge of 125 credits. Do you wish to continue?”

Gare winced again, but he nodded his head slightly. “Yes.”

There was a long pause, and then the trooper could hear the connection being made. A timer began to log the elapsed time of the call. It rang once, twice, three times, and then four times. Come on, Gare, thought. Finally, on the seventh ring, someone picked up.

“Hello?”

“Let me talk to Lorena, Rachaeon,” Gare said to his mother-in-law.

“Oh, you don’t even spare a kind word for the grandmother of your children. Why she ever married a no-good man like you is beyond me.”

Gare bit his tongue as the seconds continued to accrue.

“Gare? What’s wrong?” his wife asked.

“Look, Lorena, this call is costing us a fortune. Put the apartment on the market—get what you can for the place and the furniture. In four days, there will be a ship—the liner Celestial Dream—docked at the space-port. I’ve got tickets for you and the kids to come out here to Cyralis and join me.” He paused. “It’s for the best, honey; it might be years before I can come home.”

“What? You just want me to pack everything up and move—in four days?”

“No hon . . . you and kids get a 100-kilos for your luggage. Sell the rest.”

“A hundred kilos? Each?”

“Ah, total,” Gare said as the display registered another 125 credit charge.

“We can’t just pack up and move on short notice! The kids have school, I have work! Have you lost your mind?”

“Look, hon; the Wars about to get bad. Cyralis is a safe place—safe for you and the kids and I can see you here. Corellia might not be the best place to stay. The new Moff out here, he’s paying for us to bring our families out if we want to stay—if I go back, I’ll get drafted into some other Imperial force and sent somewhere else.”

“Well, I’ll have to get Mother and Father to sell their stuff as well.”

“Immediate family, hon!” Gare said quickly. “Patrice is only paying for immediate family!”

“You want me to leave them here, on a planet where they are in danger—if it is too dangerous for me and the kids it is too dangerous for them!”

“Look, they will be fine, hon. I just want you and the kids to get out of the way of any possible danger—it’s safe out here, they have good schools, and they need medical specialists like you.”

“And who will watch the kids when you are off playing soldier and I am working, Gare? No, they are coming too, if I have to buy their tickets! And we’ll need another ticket for the kid’s droid.”

Gare groaned. “You’re talking 15,000 credits! At least! We can’t afford it!”

“We’ll sell their place as well—and the kid’s aren’t giving up their Nanny Droid Mother bought them!”

Ding. Another 125 credits were added to the call. “Okay, fine. Bring the whole Clan—just you and the kids had best be on that ship in four days.”

“Are we travelling first-class, Gare? I’ve always wanted to take a cruise down the Run? But it won’t be the same without you.”

“Hon, it’s not first-class. It’s steerage.”

There was a long pause.

“Hon?”

“You are going to owe me, Gare Devalis.”

“Okay, hon. Look, I’ve put down a lease on a place for you and me and the kids; I don’t know where will put your parents.”

“Oh, they can with us until they find a place.”

Gare hit his head against the comm terminal, and it dinged another 125 credit charge.

“Okay,” he managed to croak out. “Look, babe, I’ve gotta to run. Just make sure you are at the docks and you get aboard the Celestial Dream.”

“I understand, Gare. You stay safe,” she said and then the connection terminated.

“Total charge of 625 and credits deducted. Thank you for using Galactic Holocommunications and have a nice day.”

Gare sighed and exited the cubicle. Noticing the clock, he rushed into the mess, hoping to have enough time to eat.


Last edited by masterarminas on 2012-04-11 11:58pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-11 07:27pm
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Okay, that catches us up to where I am in writing. Here are some thoughts on the ships and organization of Cyralis. If you see any glaring errors, feel free to suggest a change.

This is the Sector Fleet of Cyralis, as I have it organized:

3 x Battle Squadrons (including Admiral Morvin's Flag Squadron), each with

Quote:
1 x Imperator I-class Star Destroyer
1 x Immobilizer 418-class Interdiction Cruiser
1 x Vindicator-class Heavy Cruiser
2 x Strike-class Medium Cruiser
2 x Carrack-class Light Cruiser
4 x Millenium-class Light Cruiser, a.k.a. KDY Class 1000
2 x Adamant-class Frigate
2 x Nebulon B-class Frigate
1 x CR70-class Corvette
2 x CR90-class Corvette
2 x CR90a-class Corvette, a.k.a. Assassin-class Corvette


4 x Battle Squadrons, each with

Quote:
1 x Imperator I-class Star Destroyer
2 x Vindicator-class Heavy Cruiser
2 x Strike-class Medium Cruiser
2 x Carrack-class Light Cruiser
4 x Millenium-class Light Cruiser, a.k.a. KDY Class 1000
2 x Adamant-class Frigate
2 x Nebulon B-class Frigate
1 x CR70-class Corvette
2 x CR90-class Corvette
2 x CR90a-class Corvette, a.k.a. Assassin-class Corvette


4 x Troop Squadrons, each with
Quote:
2 x Victory I-class Star Destroyer
4 x Acclamator-class Heavy Assault Ship
2 x Strike-class Medium Cruiser
2 x Carrack-class Light Cruiser
2 x Nebulon B-class Frigate
2 x CR90-class Corvette


Total Force: 188 ships

Quote:
7 x Imperator I-class Star Destroyer
8 x Victory I-class Star Destroyer
16 x Acclamator-class Heavy Assault Ship
3 x Immobilizer 418-class Interdiction Cruiser
11 x Vindicator-class Heavy Cruiser
14 x Strike-class Medium Cruiser
22 x Carrack-class Light Cruiser
28 x Millenium-class Light Cruiser, a.k.a. KDY Class 1000
14 x Adamant-class Frigate
22 x Nebulon B-class Frigate
7 x CR70-class Corvette
22 x CR90-class Corvette
14 x CR90a-class Corvette, a.k.a. Assassin-class Corvette


Plus, Patrice ordered 30 x HT-2200 freighters converted into pocket carriers (12 x TIE, TIE Interceptor, or TIE Avenger Mk II each). Although they are coming without fighters.

The boneyard contained the following 27 warships:

Quote:
1 x Venator-class Star Destroyer
2 x Consular-class Diplomatic Cruiser
3 x Hammerhead-class Cruiser
2 x Tartan-class Cruiser
5 x Vainglorious-class Light Cruiser
1 x Alderaaian War Frigate
3 x DP20-class Frigate
2 x Praetorian-class Frigate
3 x Foray-class Blockade Runner
1 x Marauder-class Corvette
4 x Thantra-class Corvette


The Adamant-class Frigate is not canon. It is an early version of the later Ardent-class Fast Frigate and shares the same arrowhead/wedge shape. The primary differences are as follows: 350-meters in overall length, x2 hyperdrive, twelve dual turbolaser turrets, four dual ion cannon turrets, sixteen quad laser cannons, two tractor beam projectors, Crew 600, Passengers 100, Troops 300, 12 x Fighters, and 2 x Shuttles. These ships are brand new and are being field-tested for future service (which won't be until they are rebuilt as the larger, faster Ardents in canon).

Since we don't have a lot of information on the Vainglorious-class Light Cruisers, this is my take:

Quote:
We have almost NO data on these ships, except they are outdated. I was thinking of 260 meters in overall length, using a narrow wedge-shaped hull (more Interdictor slim than Imperial stout, heh-heh). Class 2 Hyperdrive, but slow in real-space. Not too maneuverable. Six dual light turbolaser turrets, six light turbolasers, eight twin laser cannon turrets, one ion cannon, and one tractor beam projector. Internal hanger for twelve Starfighters and two shuttles. Crew of 200 officers and men, with space for an additional 40 passengers and/or troops. Makes them weaker than the Millenium- and Carrack-class ships, but still useful for patrol ships and corvette busters.


Any critiques or suggestions or advice is welcome.

Master Arminas


Last edited by masterarminas on 2012-04-19 12:21pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-12 01:20pm
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Joined: 2012-04-09 11:06pm
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Chapter Three (cont.)

“I-I can’t shake him! He’s on my six!” Olin Payne called out as he sent his Avenger in a barrel roll, bright red blast bolts streaking past to him above and to his right.

“Reinforce your shields aft, Zeta-Four,” came the calm voice of the squadron commander. “We are almost there.”

Olin adjusted his shield settings, and then he flinched as the fighter shook—but the shields held, absorbing and dissipating much of the power of the X-wing’s laser bolt that had struck him. A red light began rapidly flashing on his console.

“Shields down to 17%! He’s pounding me apart, here!” He dumped his laser power directly into the engines and the agile fighter’s speed momentarily increased, pressing the TIE pilot back into his seat. Olin spun left, he spun right, he climbed, he dived—but the X-wing stayed glued to his tail. But the Rebel fighter slowed his own rate of fire as he too was forced to divert his weapons energy to the engines in order to stay locked onto the TIE. And then a yellow-lit alarm began to flash. “Damn!” Olin snarled. “He’s trying for a missile lock!”

“Just a bit more, Zeta-Four,” the squadron commander said, “we’re nearly in . . . break right, break right, break right, NOW!”

Olin yanked his stick hard right and he heard the Avenger’s frame groan in protest—and the unseen hand of pseudo-gravity gripped him hard, making Olin’s vision begin to grey.

And then the X-Wing broke off at two more Avengers slashed in, their own quadruple laser mounts spitting bolts which flared against the Rebel’s shields. Olin, chopped his engine power, and put the full output of his small reactor into the lasers—as the X-Wing and his squadron mates streaked past, he accelerated once again and added his own fire to the holocaust dancing over the Rebel pilot’s shields—and the X-Wing exploded.

And then the cockpit went dark, the controls died, and Olin could hear the hum of machinery as the simulator settled back down into its resting position. The new, wonderful, high-visibility canopy swung up, flooding Olin with light and sound and two techs reached into his cockpit and helped him unstrap from the mock ejector seat—another feature he had never before had to deal with.

The techs helped him out of the snug cockpit, and down the ladder, unplugging his helmet connectors from the flight suit he wore and pulling the heavy piece of equipment off of his shoulders.

“Payne!” his squadron commander yelled. “What did you think you were doing out there?”

“Engaging the enemy, sir!”

“You left your wing-man, you idiot—you don’t ever leave your wing-man. How many times do I have to remind you of that?”

“I-I got caught up in the fight, Sir. I split-S to take out that A-Wing, and then I just lost track of him in the furball.”

“If you were in a line TIE, or an Interceptor, Payne, you would be dead right now—so would Jin because you left him without a wing-man! Look, boy, the shields and firepower of these new Avengers don’t mean jack if you can’t stay with your wingman. You go out there on your lonesome, the Rebels will get you isolated, and when that happens you will be very dead, Payne.”

“I can take a few hits, Sir. The shields are . . .”

NO, boy. Those shields are good only against a few glancing blows—they do not make you invincible. X-Wings and Y-Wings have had shields ever since the Rebellion started flying them—and you think we haven’t downed them in large numbers, son? The equipment doesn’t mean anything if you can’t fly tactically! If you don’t think through your actions, son, you will die out there. And the sad thing is, you are liable to get good, solid, and disciplined pilots killed at the same time!”

The squadron leader collected himself, and shook his head. “Get into the debriefing room with the rest of the squadron, Payne—before I demote you back to flying shuttles!”

Olin Payne snapped to attention and he saluted; then he turned and began to jog towards the briefing room, and his face dropped as he saw Zach Jin—Zeta-Three, his wing-leader—shaking his head as he stood in the door frame. “Sorry, Zach, I got caught up . . .”

“Save it rook,” the older pilot snarled. “Your only job out there is to stay glued to my wing and protect me! Damn, if I didn’t prefer the old way when only pilots that survived ten missions in an old TIE/ln were allowed to take out an Interceptor or Advanced for a spin. That might cost us a few of you newbies, but at least I’d have someone I can depend on!” he growled, stepping forward and poking Olin the chest with one finger.

“This isn’t a game, Flight Officer Payne—and we aren’t in god-mode. You screw up out there for real, and you will get yourself killed, you will get me killed, and you might just get the entire squadron killed! Look, Olin,” the older pilot forced himself to calm down, “the only way a TIE pilot gets to retire outside of a casket is if he works with his teammates. There is no such thing as an old and bold pilot—cautious pilots are those who live; the bold ones tend to get posthumous medals and commendations. Now if you want to be a bold pilot, I’ll have your ass transferred to Mu Squadron so you fly gunboats. But if you want to be an Avenger pilot, Olin, you have best learn real quick to keep your ass glued to my wing. A wing pair has operate like one brain is commanding both fighters, Olin—we have to stay focused on the same goal, not run off and abandon our buddy just to get an easy kill or two.”

Olin looked down at the deck and he swallowed. “I got caught up and I didn’t think, Zach. It won’t happen again.”

“Oh, I wish I could believe that, Olin,” the older pilot said as he turned and began to walk to the briefing room. Then he stopped and turned back around to face the rookie. “It might be easier to believe that if you didn’t leave my ass hanging in the wind in every single simulation this squadron has flown!”

The veteran pilot stormed off towards the briefing room, and Olin slowly followed.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-13 10:49am
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... Ouch. Now that's a dressing down.



A Tribute to Stupidity: The Robert Scott Anderson Archive (currently offline)
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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-13 01:22pm
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Joined: 2012-04-09 11:06pm
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Chapter Three (cont.)

“And in other news from the Core, the newly formed Imperial Ruling Council is dismissing rumors that two separate Imperial Fleets clashed in the Mimban system. Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard addressed earlier today the rumors that Fleets commanded by Moff Disran and High Admiral Yarquil engaged each other in battle at the strategic system located in the Expansion Region.”

“These rumors are nothing more than Rebel propaganda intended to destroy our citizen’s belief in the New Order, and destroy the unity that the Ruling Council is providing to the Empire in this time of crisis,” the woman with two-toned hair in the broadcast said. “Loyal Imperial Fleet commanders and sector Moffs are not fighting each other—they are searching out and destroying Rebel forces masquerading as Imperial units. Their campaign of manipulation and terrorism will fail—as the Rebels have always failed in the face of superior Imperial forces.”

“Representatives of the so-called New Republic government have, however, provided evidence that upwards of sixty capital warships were lost in the Battle of Mimban—and that both Moff Disran and High Admiral Yarquil were killed aboard their respective flagships. Mon Mothma, the titular leader of the Rebel Alliance and the newly proclaimed head of the fledgling New Republic, has called the Battle of Mimban the first public sign of the rot at the heart of the Imperial System.”

“Imperial officers and political governors are now all but ignoring the central authority on Coruscant,” she said from an undisclosed location. “Factional infighting in the two months since the death of Emperor Palpatine has reached unheard of levels of intensity, with Imperial Fleets squaring off against other Imperial Fleets. These warlords provide all the evidence necessary to see that the Empire itself is doomed to failure, for they must resort to force to maintain their crumbling hold on system after system.”

“Neither Disran nor Yarquil could be reached for comment.”

“From the sporting world, the Galaxy has a new record-breaking mosh-ball team . . .”


“Turn that crap off,” one of the patrons at the café snarled. “Come on, Simone, at least put it on the local news—none of that official information out of the Core can be trusted.”

A chorus of voices divided among those who wanted a new channel and those interested in the mosh-ball tournament rose up, but the server finally changed over to a local Cyralis station.

“Thank the Gods that Moff Patrice isn’t getting us bogged down in that mess,” another customer sipping his drink said.

“I’m not so sure,” a third patron said, as he frowned. “I don’t like what he did with the aliens—he all but said they are equal to us.”

“Would you rather have the Rebels come in here and set up a government which favored the fishmen and the dog-heads? Put them in authority over us? He’s kept a lid on things and managed to keep our boys out of this factional fighting.”

“Are you crazy? That guy’s a loon—look what he did to the ISB and COMPNOR! He killed them out of hand because they [I]supported[/I] the Empire!”

Two patrons stood up and moved away from the man who just protested, and the entire clientele of the café stared at him in amazement.

“You mean he decided to put a stop to their fanatic devotion to every last rule and regulation of the New Order, Horad,” another man said as he folded his old-fashioned paper newssheet. “The ISB didn’t care if you were a human or an alien, a loyal Imperial or a Rebel, they would arrest you if you cracked a joke about Palpatine—and you would lose your teeth in their interrogation. I, for one, don’t miss those bastards one bit.”

Another man piped up. “My brother is a serving officer in the Army here—he said the ISB and COMPNOR were planning on overthrowing our civil institutions and purging the local governments of elected representatives because it was too much like what the Rebels are calling for. Patrice stepped in and he put a stop to them.”

“By killing them?” Horad snarled. “He should have arrested them and put them on trial—some of them might not have been guilty!”

Titters of laughter rang out through the café. “Careful, Horad, I think many folks might feel that you are upset only because you aren’t getting paid for passing the ISB information on your neighbors anymore,” a fifth man added.

Horad glared at the new speaker. “Are you accusing me of being an informer? Of ratting out my friends and neighbors?”

“Did you?” the man asked, casting a look of derision and disdain on the protestor. “Many true-believers in the New Order did—I know several good people, and their families, that disappeared after someone levied an accusation against them. The ISB couldn’t ever admit they were wrong, so the innocent went to the gallows alongside the guilty. We are better off that they are gone now.”

Horad stood up. “You are all idiots—that man Patrice was drummed out of service in disgrace. He was sent back here to exile. He violates the law. He is an alien-loving piece of scum—and he’s playing all of you for fools! He’s no better than those other warlords breaking away from the Empire—he’s just more cautious.”

“So do you have any evidence of that? Or are you just talking out of your ass again, Horad? Six months ago, you insisted that the New Order was winning the fight against the Rebels—how did that work out for Palpatine and Vader at Endor, by the way?”

Laughter rang through the café, and Horad turned a bright shade of red. “They were betrayed—betrayed and sabotaged by men like Patrice! It was one . . .” Horad paused, and he shook his head bitterly, before he continued in a whisper, “it was one of those Jedi I tell you that blew up the Death Star. The Rebels didn’t stand a chance otherwise.”

Raucous laughter rocked the café. “Give it a rest with your Great Jedi Conspiracy theories, Horad! The Jedi are dead and gone—and even if one managed to escape the purge, what does it say about your New Order that a single one of them could destroy the Death Star and kill both Palpatine and Vader?”

Horad shook his head and set his jaw firmly as he backed away to the door. “You are all fools—Patrice doesn’t have our interests at heart, he has his own. And one day, when all of you are shackled in chains to your alien masters, you will all realize I was right!”

He quickly turned around and left, howls of laughter following him into the street.

“Simone,” one of patrons finally gasped as he wipes tears of laughter from his eyes. “Can I get another cup?”

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-13 03:48pm
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Chapter Four

Trey Vsilisk sighed as the stiff breeze bent leafy branches of vegetation into his sight line yet again. For four weeks, the 442nd had been operating on the surface of Havelis here in the Lamaredd Sector: along with the worlds of Tsiphone and Mardoon. Covertly inserted in-system, the special missions teams had one purpose—ramp up ‘Rebel’ activities against the government of Moff Osar and ORO-Corp. So far, the operations had gone off without a hitch; it was not really that far removed from normal special missions operations. The Empire had used such false flags on worlds to convince them of the need to ask for Imperial aid and assistance. And the tactic worked surprisingly well much of the time; people fearing for their lives and property were often willing to give up many of their liberties in exchange for security.

“Sarge?” he whispered.

“Damn it, Vsilisk,” his companion softly snarled, “don’t you ever shut that mouth?”

“We can barely see the target from here Sarge—why didn’t we find a better vantage point?”

“Look you moron, yes, there are better sites from which to observe the mining camp. Much better hides. And if you were defending this site, rather than attacking it, would you not be watching the really good sniper positions?”

“Yeah, but these security guys are clueless, Sarge—they don’t even patrol.”

“Do you want to take the chance they might have droid-sensors dialed in the good ground, Vsilisk? I’d rather not—this position is okay, not great, but okay. And they aren’t likely to be watching it. Which makes it better than okay.”

“Okay,” answered Trey light-heartedly. And then he grew serious. “Movement at 2 o’clock, Sarge—vehicles laden with troops.”

The Sergeant turned his spotting scope onto the river delta below, some four kilometers distant, and he softly whistled. “Loaded for bear, aren’t they Vsilisk?”

“Yes, sir, Sarge,” the trooper answered. “Warbook confirms shoulder flash—3333rd COMPFORCE Regiment; looks like the entire bloody regiment, Sarge.”

“Umber Six,” the sergeant whispered into his encrypted, frequency bouncing radio, “this is OP1. Abort, abort, abort.”

OP1, Umber Six,” came the voice of Lieutenant L’sard. “Situation?”

“Full regiment of COMPFORCE infantry moving into the mining camp, LT,” the Sarge replied. “Wait one.”

The two special missions troopers watched as the open-topped repulsor-lift vehicles came to halt and the fanatically loyal and unquestioning—the brutal and unthinking—COMPFORCE troopers disembarked.

“Umber Six, they are deploying in a skirmish line and . . .” the Sergeant blinked as the distant soldiers began walking forward and firing into the buildings. “Lord above, they are massacring the miners, Sir.”

Understood. Are the miners fighting back?”

“Negative, Umber Six—only the COMPFORCE is engaging.” The crack of blaster bolts and the dull echo of distant grenade explosions reached his ears. “They are firing the camp, LT. Correction—they are firing the housing of the mine workers; they are avoiding the ORO facilities completely.” A different staccato sound began to whine in the distance. “And the ORO Security are now adding their own fire.”

Roger that, OP1. Withdraw and meet us at the rendezvous.”

“Copy that, Umber Six. OP1 out.”

The sergeant shut down his helmet transmitter and slowly turned his head to look at Vsilisk, but the trooper was already packing up the spotting scope and other surveillance gear. “Slow and easy, Vsilisk; aren’t you glad we always watch our targets for twenty-four hours before we go in?”

“I won’t be questioning that wisdom again, Sarge,” Trey answered. “Have they completely lost their minds? I mean there aren’t even any Rebels in that camp?”

“Looks like Osar and ORO have lost their patience with counter-insurgency, Vsilisk. Thing is, this is liable to back-fire and create a lot more resentment—not all of those miners down there are aliens, trooper. Some are just hard-luck, poor, humans who can’t find another line of work. Might just lead to open armed rebellion; you can't push people that are already at the bottom of the barrel this hard and not expect a reaction.”

“Shit,” whispered Trey. “Sarge, if they are doing this—on a third-rate mining facility that doesn’t actually produce that much . . .”

“Yeah. I think our operations here are just about at an end, Vsilisk. LT is gonna need to phone home.”

The last of the packed gear was now fastened onto the outside of the two men’s armor, and they began to slow-crawl backwards through the rocks and brush.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-13 07:56pm
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Chapter Four (cont.)

“You want a drink, Kell?” Thom asked.

“Thank you, Sir,” the Fleet Admiral answered as he took a seat.

“Sir? Rather formal this evening, aren’t we?” Thom Patrice said with a chuckle. He placed some ice in two crystal tumblers and then poured in three fingers worth of liquor in each. Then he picked up one in each hand and walked over to Morvin, handed him a tumbler, and sat down in his own comfortable chair, adjusting the robe he wore over his sleeping attire.

“What brings you to the Sanctum Sanctorum so late, Kell?” he asked after taking a quick sip.

“Events are moving faster than we anticipated, Sir. I have the latest transmissions from Operation Ignition,” Kell said as he set a data-pad on the table between the two men.

“Ah. Did Osar do something moderately stupid—or something incredibly stupid?”

“The latter, I’m afraid,” Kell replied after taking a sip of the stout drink. “I fear that we under-estimated just how unstable Osar is and exactly much influence ORO-Corp had over him—the ‘Rebel’ attacks on their mining operations have their board of directors in a furor. Osar has declared martial law across the Sector, suspended all but the most basic rights, and unleashed his COMPFORCE units to . . . punish those who support the Rebellion.”

Thom sat down his tumbler and he scrolled through the data-pad, frowning as he read the intelligence gathered there. He finished the document, scrolled back up and reread another section two more times, before he set down the device once more.

“And how have the actual Rebel cells reacted?” Thom asked.

Kell smiled. “Since the first massacre escalated into a score, the Alliance units in Lamaredd have begun fighting back—our men haven’t had to do anything except sit back and observe. Osar’s crackdown, however, hasn’t seriously hurt the Rebs in any way, Thom. He is generating extreme hatred for his own government—and ORO-Corp.”

“Things are proceeding as we planned, Kell. The pace may have quickened, but soon enough we will have to—for humanitarian concerns, of course—intervene and remove Osar.”

“That is why I needed to speak with you tonight, Sir. I am well acquainted with some of Osar’s Fleet officers, as you know. And this evening I received a coded message from one of them—Jeth Kord, commanding the Imperator-class Indefatigable. Conditions for the miners on one of Osar’s worlds—Bandaar III—have become intolerable. Every sentient on the planet works for ORO-Corp, and unless they are Security or Management, they are de facto slaves. We didn’t send any of our troops there for Ignition, but we learned from the Hutt that the Rebels have their own cell on world. With their profit margins shrinking, ORO-Corp slashed the salaries of the miners on Bandaar III in half. The miners then revolted; they trashed the local security and took the facilities—and before the Rebels could stop them, they burned the management.”

Thom’s eyes grew wide. “Not in effigy, I take it?”

“No. ORO-Corp took the matter to Osar, although their execs feared losing some face in having to beg for Imperial troops to regain control. They own that world, and it is . . . embarrassing for them to admit their own miners stole it right out from under them. But then the miners broadcast a hyper-comm message, proclaiming that they were seceding from the Empire and announcing they were petitioning to join the New Republic.”

“Osar must have been livid,” Thom said quietly.

“Oh yes. He has dispatched Kord’s Indefatigable to Bandaar III with orders to carry out a Base Delta Zero command.”

Thom froze; his tumbler half-way to his mouth. His jaw opened and then closed. He set down the tumbler. “What was that you said, Kell? I cannot have heard you correctly.”

“I wish you had misheard me. Osar initiated Code Base Delta Zero to be carried out on Bandaar III.”

Thom sat back. “ORO-Corp will withdraw their support of him—Base Delta Zero will destroy their own installations and render the surface lifeless.”

“They protested—Osar then accused them of collusion with the Rebels; the evidence being that they lost an entire planet to them. He has since arrested the board, seized all ORO-Corp assets, and disbanded their security forces—other than those who decided to join his bully-boys. He then announced—Sector-wide—that any of his worlds which remain in a state of rebellion and insurrection will suffer the same penalty as Bandaar III. All armed resistance movements are to turn themselves in for processing and execution; all miners on strike are to return to work within three days. Or else . . .”

Thom groaned, “Please tell me he didn’t?”

Or else, he will authorize Base Delta Zero against each world in a state of insurrection in his Sector in sequence. He concluded by saying that he would rather have one loyal world under his authority than thirty seditious worlds.”

The old General sat heavily back in his chair, and rubbed his bald head with one hand. He picked up the tumbler and took a deep slug, and then sat down the crystal glass once more. “We aren’t ready for Guillotine, are we?”

“Not the full Operation, no. But we might not need the full operation—from what Kord told me, the Fleet mostly considers Osar mad.”

“How soon before he gets to Bandaar III?”

“Seventy-two hours; he can’t delay any longer.”

“Can we . . .”

“Yes. It won’t be pretty and the boys will make mistakes they wouldn’t if we have longer, but yes, Thom, we can pull it off. Especially if Kord and other COs in Osar’s Fleet come over to us. We might even get some of his Army agreeing at the very least to sit this one out—I know Conal has been in contact with several Colonels and Brigadiers on the Lamaredd side of the border.”

“What do you need?”

“Moff Patrice, I request your formal authorization to launch Operation Guillotine.”

“Done. And Kell?”

“Sir,” the Fleet Admiral replied as he and Thom stood.

“Don’t let that little shit get away.”

“Consider it done, Sir.”

Kell Morvin saluted, turned on his heel, and quickly exited Thom’s private quarters. The Moff picked back up his tumbler, drained it, and set down the glass. He then walked over to a wall comm-unit and pressed a button.

“Yes, Sir?” a bright and cheery voice answered from the speaker.

“Assemble the staff; I want everyone in the Conference Room in twenty minutes—and have the droids make several gallons of caf, Mik. We’re going to have a long night, I’m afraid.”

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-13 10:38pm
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Joined: 2012-04-09 11:06pm
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Chapter Four (cont.)

The main pilot briefing room aboard the Star Destroyer Scorpion was absolutely hushed as eighty-three men stared at their Wing commander. “That is correct, gentlemen—conditions in Lamaredd have forced Moff Patrice and Fleet Admiral Morvin to intervene. The problem is that while many of the Imperial ships assigned to the Sector will not stand against us . . . some will. Legally, we have no authority to intervene and remove Moff Osar from power; however, Moff Patrice has determined—and Fleet Admiral Morvin concurs—that the current state of affairs in Lamaredd is threatening to bring this region under the close scrutiny of the Rebel forces. If they are able to seize Lamaredd we will be cut off from the remainder of the Empire. So we are going in.”

The commander paused and he looked over the men under his command—whether they were pilots or gunners. “The Star Destroyers Scorpion and Relentless are the only ships in the Fleet currently equipped with our new Avenger fighters and Scimitar bombers. Both ships are going directly to Lamaredd to deal with Moff Osar and Fleet Admiral Sartan.”

“Even if the majority of Lamaredd Sector Fleet simply sits out this fight, which I doubt, gentlemen; Sartan’s ship will have to be dealt with. That is our assignment.”

The commander lifted a hand-held remote and a holographic image appeared in the center of the room, slowly rotating. “The Justicar, gentlemen. She’s a brand spanking new Allegiance-class Star Destroyer, measuring 600 meters longer than our own Imperators. A new breed of Star Destroyer just now starting to come off the building slips. Sartan used his political connections to arrange to have the third ship of that class assigned as his Flag. We are going to take her.”

Whispered mutters rose from the pilots, and the commander nodded. “You heard correct, gentlemen. We are not trying to destroy the Justicar, but instead we are going to seize her. This wing and the one stationed aboard Relentless will launch attacks on Sartan’s vessel to disable her turrets and pave the way for our Shock Troopers to board and capture her intact.”

Avenger pilots will be tasked with the primary mission of shepherding the Scimitars. Once her main batteries have disabled by the bombers, Admiral Morin’s Star Destroyers and escorts will disable the vessel with ion cannons—and launch the transports that will ferry our Shock Troopers across. Those transports must be protected, gentlemen, and that job falls to us. TIEs from the rest of the Fleet will keep our own capital ships safe, but Lamaredd will definitely be a target rich environment.”

“And now let us examine in detail what your individual squadron’s role will be in this operation. Alpha . . .”

Zach Jin leaned close to Olin Payne as the commander continued his briefing. “Rook,” he whispered, “if you screw this up, I swear by all that is unholy in this universe, I will stuff your ass in a garbage masher until you are paste.”

The young pilot, quickly nodded, a sheen of sweat on his forehead. “We are fighting our own people? Can’t we just call for help?”

“Olin, there is no help out here on the Rim. Just do your job—and stay on my wing, damn it! Leave the worrying for the Admirals who get paid for it. They shouldn’t shoot you for following orders, after all. Maybe.”

Olin just stared at his wing-leader for a moment, and then he jerked his eyes back around to the wing commander. “Meanwhile, Epsilon will provide close defense for Theta’s Scimitars tasked with the starboard batteries. Zeta Squadron will remain in reserve and provide assistance as needed by the other squadrons.”

The commander paused and he looked out past the rotating semi-transparent blue image of the Justicar. “Gentlemen, we will not all be coming home from this one—but our mission is save the lives of Imperial civilians being threatened by a madman. And this is one mission that the Scorpion Wing will successfully complete. We have thirty-four hours before we emerge in the Lamaredd System—the simulators are programmed, gentlemen. So let’s practice this until we get it right.”

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-14 11:19am
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Youngling

Joined: 2009-12-19 10:47am
Posts: 112
loving this so far :twisted:
good job on the witing
i like this "new empire"

hope they make it out of this ok

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-14 01:46pm
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Joined: 2012-04-09 11:06pm
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Here's a little juicy tibbit for those waiting for the next snippet: the Glorious-class Light Star Destroyer. While this class of ships isn't canon (they are my own idea of what a Star Destroyer should have been), two of them will appear in very short order. Let me know what you think.

Master Arminas

Glorious-class Star Destroyer (Light)

Overall Length: 1,250 meters
Hyperdrive: x2
Weapons: 8 x dual heavy turbolaser turrets, 3 x quad heavy turbolaser turrets, 3 x triple medium turbolaser turrets, 24 x medium turbolaser emplacements, 2 x dual heavy ion cannon turrets, 8 x tractor beam projectors
Crew Complement: 20,000 (4,200 minimum)
Passengers: 1,360
Troop Complement: 640
Fighters: 72
Shuttles: 12
Gunboats: 12

The Glorious-class Star Destroyer was introduced near the end of the Clone Wars. This design by Rothana Heavy Engineering was in competition with RHE's parent company (Kuat Drive Yards) Imperator-class for the design, development, and constructions of heavier and more effective Star Destroyer than the Rendili StarDrive Victory-class. Rothana took a more conservative approach than KDY, resulting in a smaller hull and lower costs. The two designs carried virtually the same array of firepower, slightly weaker shielding and lighter hull armor, and each was capable of deploying an entire Wing of Starfighters. Both the Glorious- and Imperator-class Star Destroyers featured Class 2 Hyperdrives and were capable of acheiving the same maximum sub-light speeds, although the more compact Glorious-class were slightly faster in acceleration and a bit more maneuverable. Neither was capable of landing on a planetary surface or operating within a planetoids atmosphere.

The largest difference between the two ships was in the troop capacity. Where the Imperator-class were given facilities for 9,700 troops, their equipment, walkers, tanks, drop-shuttles, and an entire pre-fabricated garrison base that could be deployed from orbit to a planetary surface, the Glorious-class carried just a single battalion of 640 Clone (later Storm) Troopers, with no walkers, tanks, repulsorlift sleds, or other vehicles. Four transports, each capable of carrying 160 troops, were embarked, allowing a Glorious-class ship to transport its battalion to the surface, but many early Imperial naval officers considered this force too weak to accomplish most missions.

Although capable ships in their own right, Chancellor (later Emperor) Palpatine prefered the larger and more intimidating (and expensive) Imperator-class. Only sixty-seven Glorious-class ships would be produced by Rothana for the Old Republic and the Empire before construction came to a halt. Nearly all of these ships remain in service to this day, reclassified as Light Star Destroyers.

In appearance, the Glorious-class used a fairly narrow, wedge-shaped hull very reminiscent of the Venator-class, but with a heavier and more robust Imperator-class style structure on the dorsal surface, including the 'terraced' citedal upon which the bridge tower was placed. Like the Imperator-class, the dual heavy turbolaser turrets were array to the flanks of the citedal, with the two quad heavy turbolaser turrets placed in the 'aft' cutout of the Venator-style hull. The third quad turret was placed in the nose of the Glorious providing excellent forward firepower.

The three triple medium turbolaser turrets were set on the centerline of the main hull, the first terrace, and the second terrace; with the two dual heavy ion cannon turrets set to port and starboard on the third terrace beneath the bridge. Eighteen of the remaining turbolaser emplacements were set in the trenches of the Glorious-class (nine per side), with two ventral mounts covering the hanger bay. The remaining four emplacements were mounted to cover the stern, on the rear of the citedal housing.

Although just 350 meters smaller than the Imperators, the Glorious-class carried a much reduced crew complement: with a total capacity of 22,000 crew, passengers, and troops compared to the nearly 47,000 man full load capacity of an Imperator.


Last edited by masterarminas on 2012-04-14 04:24pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-14 03:57pm
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Redshirt

Joined: 2010-06-05 12:51am
Posts: 23
Great story, can't wait for more.

As for the Glorious, seems a little light on the weapons, I know its a little shorter but with all that space saved by not carrying all those troops and their equipment I would think you'd be able to free up some more room for weapons, it seems particularly light on ion cannons.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-14 04:23pm
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Jedi Master

Joined: 2012-04-09 11:06pm
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Chapter Four (cont.)

“Sir.”

Captain Abril Jonas of the Glorious-class Star Destroyer Ascension turned towards the Pit Lieutenant who spook. “Yes?”

“A large Fleet has just exited hyperspace, Sir.”

Abril frowned. “Rebels?”

“I do not believe so, Sir. Their transponders are flashing the identification codes of the Cyralis Sector Fleet.”

The captain walked down the steep ramp and peered at the readings—sure enough there was a sizable force of Imperial vessels, inbound for Lamaredd. Sixty-nine ships in all: three Imperators, four Victorys, one Immobilizer-418 Interdictor, five Vindicators, ten Strikes, ten Carracks, twelve Millenniums, six Adamants, ten Nebulon-Bs, and eight Acclamators. Abril whistled softly. What is Morvin playing at? Those ships represented the bulk of his Fleet; if they are here, then he barely has enough ships left in Cyralis to patrol his own systems.

“Have we received orders from Justicar?” he asked.

“Negative, Sir.”

“Inform the Flag that we have guests, Lieutenant.”

Abril walked back up the observation platform and he tried to project a calm manner to his crew—although his stomach churned. He pursed his lips, and then nodded to himself. “They could be here to provide assistance, gentlemen, but I do not like that they suddenly appeared without prior warning. Send Ascension to Action Stations—but hold our TIEs in the bay for now.”

“We do have standing orders from the Flag, Sir, that require prior approval before setting General Quarters,” another officer reminded him.

“On my authority—warm up the guns, raise our shields, and get the crew to Action Stations.”

Abril’s officers quickly turned to their tasks and throughout the massive ship alarms began to sound.

“Has Justicar replied to our signal?” he asked.

“We are instructed to stand by and await further instructions, Captain,” the communications officer said as he turned to face Ascension’s lord and master.

Abril frowned. Damn Sartan and his need to control everything, he thought. He moved back along the catwalk to view the sensor projection of the Lamaredd System. Much of Sartan’s Fleet was concentrated here—but not all of it. The Justicar herself, Ascension and her sister ship Leviathan, the Imperator-class Acrimonious, four Victorys, four Vindicators, two Dreadnoughts, eight Strikes, ten Carracks, six Bayonets, twelve Millenniums, eight Lancers, sixteen Nebulon-Bs, and sixteen corvettes. Eighty ships to Morvin’s sixty-nine, but Morvin had no corvettes in his Order of Battle—and those small ships made up a full twenty percent of Sartan’s.

“Hail the Justicar again; I need to speak with Admiral Sartan.”

“Sir, they already said to stand by,” the comm officer interjected.

“Just do it.”

What the devil are you doing out there, Morvin? And whatever it is, why can’t Sartan be just a bit more like you?

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-14 06:15pm
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Joined: 2012-04-09 11:06pm
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Chapter Four (cont.)

Rilian Osar rushed into the communications room of his Palace, nearly knocking over one of the Stormtroopers standing guard beside the door. A blue semi-transparent image of Thom Patrice stood on the holo-projection platform, calmly waiting for him.

“Patrice! What is the meaning of this? I have just been told that your entire Fleet has hypered into Lamaredd!” he shouted.

“And it is a pleasure to see you again, as well, Moff Osar,” Thom said with a smile.

Osar stopped and he stared at the hologram, and then he waved one hand. “What are they doing here?”

“It was my understanding, Osar that your . . . difficulties with the Rebels have intensified. What can I do to help?”

Help?”

“Yes, Osar. After all, if we do not help each other, who will? I thought, perhaps, that since my Sector is quiet at the moment, that at the very least I could send you my Admiral and increase your chances of actually catching the Rebels responsible.”

“You sent him to help me?” Osar asked in a puzzled voice. “But . . . but . . . why didn’t you tell me?”

“Osar, your arrest of the executives of ORO-Corp have made clear that your problems are not limited to the actions of Rebel cells working amongst the population—I could not be certain that they haven’t tapped into your secure communications,” Patrice said in a soothing tone of voice. “We don’t want to give your rats warning enough to jump ship, now do we?”

“Tapped my communications? That explains everything! How they constantly elude my men and slip away leaving only sympathizers behind!”

Thom made an agreeable noise and nodded his head. “Yes; if they are listening in to your orders, it could explain much. My intelligence section has managed to discover the identity of several top leaders of the Rebel cells operating within your Sector . . . Kell Morvin has the details for you, Osar.”

Osar nodded slowly. “I-I had feared that you might have turned against me, Patrice. It seems that I cannot turn around without bumping into another agent of the Rebellion.”

“Now why would I do that, Osar? We both want the same thing—a strong, secure Empire where humanity can live in peace.”

“That was always the point of the New Order, Patrice; thank you. I do not know why I assumed that you were against me.”

“It is understandable, Osar. You are a Moff now, with great power and responsibility—your duties are a greater burden than any you have ever before borne.”

“The other Moffs—the ones in Bitrose, Gaulus, and Pelgrin Sectors—they laughed at me. Laughed when I offered to work with them! They haven’t laughed since I told them I was wiping the Rebel threat clean in my Sector!”

“Now that was short-sighted of them, Osar. We all need a friend out here so far from civilization.”

“And you have been a good friend, Patrice. With your ships we shall end this threat to the Empire.”

“Yes, Osar. We shall soon put an end to this threat.”

“Patrice . . . I have meant to ask you—what were you thinking relaxing your laws on non-humans out there. For a time, I worried that you might be a clandestine rebel yourself.”

“No, Osar,” Patrice laughed. “I am too old to be a Rebel. It is the Empire that I have served all of my life—and Palpatine before there even was an Empire. Can you keep a secret, Osar?” Thom asked as he leaned forward, conspiratorially.

“A secret? Yes, of course, my friend.”

“It is a trap, Osar.”

“A trap?”

“A trap.”

“I don’t understand,” the Moff of Lamaredd lamented.

“You see, by loosening the leash upon their throats, I have given these non-humans the chance to prove their disloyalty to the Empire—my agents are keeping close watch upon them. When the time is right, when they show their true nature, then I will move in and grab them and all they have made contact with, Osar. We will round them all up in one clean sweep.”

“Oh, jolly good, Patrice,” Osar sighed. “Why cannot my people come up with such wonderful ideas as you. If I only had someone of your caliber, this Sector would be the finest in the Empire.”

“Why, thank you, Moff Osar,” Thom said with a bow. “But I am afraid we must now discuss a matter of protocol.”

“Protocol? Concerning what, exactly?”

“Kell Morvin is senior to Whartil Sartan, Osar.”

“Senior? They are both Fleet Admirals, Patrice—and Lamaredd is Sartan’s command.”

“Ah, actually, they are not both Fleet Admirals. I know that you kept for yourself the title of High Admiral, but I find that my duties as a Moff are too intense for me to do so. Last week, I promoted Kell Morvin to High Admiral, so that he can deal with problems too . . . inconsequential for a man of my station.”

“Oh. Well, that’s different then. He does outrank Sartan.”

“Yes. Now, we both certainly want to help your Sector out, Osar—and I have the ships and troops there to solve all of your problems once and for all. But we need a unified chain of command in order to do so. And since Kell outranks your Admiral . . .”

“I see your point, Patrice. Sartan will be furious, but I am the Moff, not he.”

“Why, yes, Osar. Yes you are indeed.”

“You man Morvin will obey my instructions, will he not?”

“You need not be concerned about that, Moff Osar. Kell Morvin is a man that I trust with my own life—his duty is to the Empire and that is where his loyalties lie.”

Osar sighed again. “You are so lucky to have such a blessed Sector, Patrice. I will return him once we cleanse the Rebel scum from my worlds!”

“Osar?”

“Yes, Patrice?”

“As you said, Sartan will be furious about being superseded. Perhaps you should send out a . . . general order to your Fleet informing them that High Admiral Kell Morvin is now the ranking officer and that they are to follow his orders—your orders—to the letter. I do know something of how . . . obstinate . . . military officers can be if they feel slighted. It would be a shame if some of the Rebels escape your grasp because our forces were unable to work together as one united Empire.”

“Yes . . . yes, why thank you again, Patrice. I shall send it immediately! And then, we can make them pay for laughing at me,” Osar growled, his eyes narrowing into slits. Suddenly, he looked up. “I say, Patrice, I’ve never directly issued an order to the Fleet—Sartan has always handled that. Could you . . .”

“Osar. My friend. I have already taken the liberty of sending you the document. It just needs to be signed, embossed with your seal, and your communications technicians can transmit it immediately to the Fleet.”

Osar beamed at Patrice. “What did I ever do to deserve a friend like you, Patrice?”

“Think nothing of it, Osar. And if you have any further problems—don’t hesitate to call. And remember . . . I want Kell Morvin and my ships back when this over and done.”

An aide walked up to Osar with a document, which he quickly read, then signed with a flourish and stamped with his seal of office. “Transmit that to every command in the Sector, Donnael. Priority One, all ships and stations confirm.”

“At once, my Moff,” the aide answered with a bow.

“I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders, Patrice. Thank you again.”

Osar smiled at Patrice and Thom nodded in reply. “And with that, dear Osar, I think my business is done here. Enjoy yourself, my friend—after all you never know which day may be your last.”


Last edited by masterarminas on 2012-04-14 07:21pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: Broken Empire PostPosted: 2012-04-14 06:59pm
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Sith Acolyte
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Joined: 2005-05-18 10:23pm
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Location: Feasting on those who fell in battle
I like this story. It's refreshing to see a Moff that's ruthless but INTELLIGENT and COMPETENT- too many are ruthless but mindlessly sadistic, greedy to the point of self-destruction, or reliant upon character shields to simulate intelligence and competence.



Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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