Ashes of the Heart (Fehern)
Posts: 184
  • Posted On: May 2 2010 10:59pm
IR-3F System Patrol Ship Forensics, Fehern

The modified patrol ship surged into realspace with its starry vista only tarnished by a yellow sun and a sickly green planet. Lieutenant Wylis stared intently at the swirling clouds of the Eddelian homeworld. That almost looks as bad as what we’re carrying. Half of the crew stared at the world intently too. Of course, that was not saying much, given that the ship only had a dozen crewmembers, but it was more than enough to make Wylis nervous: he quietly flashed a smile and persuaded all of them to get back to work. Wylis stroked a strand of his graying hair, still staring at the planet. They were wrong, but do they deserve this? By the maker we do not know what we do. A mere minute later, the tips of a pair of victory star destroyers jutted out from behind the planet. Wylis smoothed out his uniform. That must be part of the blockading force. One of the men quietly cursed.

“Lieutenant sir, the VSD Harrower is hailing us.”

The man sullenly nodded. “Let’s see it.”

The former entertainer strolled over to the crewman’s console to stare at the flat screen. What captain or commander will I be dealing with now? He glanced at the other face and froze. She was a younger woman, perhaps in her late twenties to early thirties. Her brown eyes looked at him with some hidden amusement.

“What’s the matter, captain?” smiled the woman, “do not tell me that you have never seen a female officer before…”

Wylis suddenly realized that his jaw was hanging wide open. He snapped it shut and produced a dazzling smile. One that he had perfected at the Blue Moon Cantina a decade earlier. Though the atmosphere and context here was far different there than in the cramped bridge of a decades old starship. He slowly shook his head.

“It is nothing, really,” said Wylis, “you just seemed very familiar, some how, as if we had met before.”

She briefly glanced downward, as if looking at another screen, “Well sir, your name does not seem familiar, but I think that I’ve seen your face before…”

She too froze and frowned, “…but it must have been a life time ago. Anyways, the Captain Retil here is the impression that you have recovered some cargo that a smuggler jettisoned while under pursuit by the Harrower two weeks back. Am I correct?”

Wylis slowly nodded. Why am I doing this? She can’t be Miss Graham, can she? Then the Eddelian he met at Inferno two weeks ago entered his mind. But does he deserve it too? Did any of his people deserve it? No. But somehow it doesn’t feel right…

“That is correct.”

“Very good then,” said the woman, “Captain Retil would like you to bring the cargo directly to the Harrower for inspection, as per standard regulations. You haven’t opened it, have you?”


Nor would I ever want to…

“Very good then,” said the female officer, “Captain Retil will be expecting the Slayer to dock with us shortly.”

Lieutenant Wylis nodded, “We will be there as soon as we can.”
Posts: 184
  • Posted On: May 3 2010 1:19am
The ventral side of the gray wedge of the Harrower loomed in the Forensics, known as the Slayer to Fossk’s forces. In the bridge, the dozen crewmen inspected the enemy warship and its extensive weaponry with a mixture of fear and awe. Typically, the men of Task Force Delusion had seen it all when they had worked with the Imperial Navy. But having been away for so long and with a new perspective, everything seemed different. The helmsmen cleared his throat.

“Damn, it’s no Imperial Star Destroyer…but that sure is something…”

Wylis agreed, “Not something I would like to take on in this bucket. Probably would only take a quarter of its weapons to blow us up in one salvo.”

“Not even,” replied the shield operator, “it’d just take a ten of their missile tubes.”

“I’ll take some solace in the fact that we don’t have to fight it.”

“I certainly hope so,” muttered Wylis, “it’s a real pity that Dha’tey and the rest of Inferno Fleet can’t be everywhere at once.”

As the Forensics neared the bay of the Harrower, two shuttles dropped out its hangar bay, unfolded their wing, and surged down to the world below. Wylis glanced at their fading ion drive trails. Unescorted. That means that it’s probably not a combat mission, nor do they feel much danger here. Not that I would if I were them either, given the years they’ve spent here on blockade duty. But that’s good for us, their guard probably won’t be as high as other places that Inferno Fleet has raided. Probably won’t think that we’ll bother, since there’s nothing valuable here to a bunch of mercenaries. It’s a hell of a good thing that we’re not actually mercenaries…The bridge comlink buzzed.

“Attention Slayer. Deactivate your engines. Our tractor beams will take over from here.”

“Roger that Harrower, we’re shutting off our engines.”

A few seconds after the helmsman hit a few buttons, a slight hum disappeared from the room. The ship became eerily silent. Wylis could even hear the slight inhalation of breath from his aquiline nose. The ship slightly shook under the Harrower’s tractor beams, causing Wylis to feel a temporary jolt of fear throughout his body. Just as they neared the ventral hangar bay, the Harrower manipulated the patrol ship away from it. Wylis frowned. They are unto us.

“Relax captain,” said a man, “they’re not onto us. We simply can’t fit in their bay. It’s nothing nearly as large as an ISDs’…”

The Forensics drifted from the ventral side of the Victory Star Destroyer to its dorsal side, presenting an even grander view of the starship’s splendor. Wylis stared at the antiquated bridge of the star destroyer. They still have the observation cylinder…when was the last time this thing was updated? The Harrower pulled the patrol ship closer to its side until the Forensics was nestled up snug to its portside rim. A shudder reverberated throughout the ship as the docking ports clicked together. Wylis muttered to himself.

“It’s show time.”
Posts: 184
  • Posted On: Jan 1 2014 7:06pm
Victory Mk I Star Destroyer Harrower, in orbit via Fehern

“So tell me why didn't you open it sir?”

Wylis glanced around the storage room. Aside from the members of his own crew, the young lieutenant talking to him, there were a handful of men in stormtrooper armor. They didn't seem to quite have the normal discipline he'd seen in the true stormtroopers of the Empire over the years. He guessed that they were local recruits given the armor, and judging by the lieutenant's manner, so were many of the crewmen. And that's a hell of a good sign. Wylis pointed at seals on the duraplast crate.

“Do you see that little gray ooze coming out? It's solid now. But that's soldered on there tightly. One typically needs a plasma welder or a high-grade fusion cutter to open something like that. Why do you think they sealed it like that?”

The man frowned, “Because they didn't want the people to transporting it to be able to open it.”

“Exactly,” congratulated Wylis, “it'd be very difficult for the average smuggler to open up without a tech friend's help, and even then, it'd be impossible to show that they hadn't opened it to their reciever. Unfortunately, the soldering is too thick for the ones on the Slayer to open. Most of our customs work doesn't typically require more than a normal fusion cutter or vibroblade to open.”

“What do you think is in there?”

“Couldn't say,” replied Wylis, “because it's shielded as well. It's obvious of some great importance if they went through all that trouble. But I can't see the Eddelians having something of so much value...”

“Must be though,” said the other officer, resting a hand on the crate, “otherwise Captain Retil wouldn't be so excited to see it. You should have seen how the blockade runner came through here. It jetted past us before we even saw it revert from hyperspace, and came off the planet so quickly we wondered if it had much time to pick much of anything off the world...”

If you only knew that it never even touched the world's surface. But sometimes things have to be made true, even if they're not...Wylis listened raptly as the lieutenant talked about the blockade runner's miracleous escape, which somehow involved it jetting an explosive-filled escape pod into the other victory star destroyer's hull. Wylis was only slighted disappointed to hear that the damage had been relatively minor. A new voice from behind him caught his attention.

“You must be Lieutenant-Commander Izur of the TSA customs service.”

Wylis turned around to face the voice. A lean man wearing an immaculate black uniform with the rank plaque of a captain stood before him. Directly behind him was the female officer he had talked to earlier. Her eyes watched him carefully.

“Indeed sir.”

“I appreciate the time you took to explain to my junior officer about our quandary here, though he seems to have taken a few liberties with his accounts.”

Wylis spared a glance at the younger man, who paled slightly. It suddenly hit him. Of course he has holo-cams here. Half the crew probably wants the contraband that gets stored in here. So here he was listening in on us all along. Retil eyed the infiltrator.

“One can hardly blame him,” defended Wylis, “I understand you haven't seen much action here as of late.”

Unlike the rest of the sector...

“Indeed,” sighed Retil, taking a closer look at the crates taken off the patrol ship, “but that may change soon. I will have one my techs take a look at this shortly...”

Hopefully not too soon...

“Of course.”

“You'll be staying, I'd assume?” questioned Retil, “I imagine you'll want to know what you've been carrying with you all this time...”

If you only knew that I helped packed the crates. But somehow, opening a crate filled with explosives doesn't sound terribly fun to be around. Especially not after Snips has already wired the whole thing. Wylis stared at the crates and nodded.

“I would, but I regret that I should really get my ship back on its patrol route. I would like to certainly follow up with on your findings though,” informed Wylis.

“I've already spoken to the TSA customs service for you,” stated Retil, “they have said that since I have deemed it such an important mission, perhaps the most important of the whole blockade, that you should stay and see and the findings for yourself. You should take the credit for all of this, naturally.”

“I appreciate that effort, Captain. Too much of the time, the custom's service gets lost in the shuffle of these tumultous times.”

“Your crew should be here too,” suggested Retil, “perhaps you can go ensure that everyone is here for the opening.”

“I appreciate that sir,” said the disguised Alliance officer, “let me go get gather them for this occasion.”

Oh frak...He turned to Snips, the other crewmember of the Forensics that had helped supervise the Harrower's crew taking the crates onboard. But the demolition's expert seemed unphased by the plan's complication. Wylis beckoned the other man to come with him. Retil tilted his head to the side.

“Do you really need him Lieutenant-Commander? I was hoping to ask him a few questions...”

“He'll be back shortly,” promised Wylis, “I'm just going to take him so there's another person to round up the rest of my crew from your ship. I let a couple of my men go visit your cantina; they were a little thirsty after spending a few weeks on our boat without any booze.”

“I see,” noted Retil, “well, they've certainly earned their drinks. But don't worry, we'll wait a few minutes if it takes you a bit to drag them from their drinks.”

“I really do appreciate that sir.”