Posts: 1200
  • Posted On: Sep 25 2006 1:51am

"Circumstance does not make the man.
Circumstance reveals man to himself."


"The surest way to corrupt a youth
is to instruct him to hold in higher regard those who think alike
than those who think differently."



18 I.E. (Imperial Era)

Taken from: Reinforcing the Center: Corellia...

The Past…


“Name please?” came a rather cold voice.

A young man in front of him shivered slightly in the damp Corellian air and rattled off his name. He saw that he was but one among a long line of skinny, half-starved young adults though his expression gave nothing away. Almost willing himself into a hardened stone of granite, he might have remained in place all day were it not for the nudge a stormtrooper gave him to move along as the line crept forward.

Even in their armour suits, Stormtroopers knew Corellian winters were nothing to make mock of. He moved forward.

“Name please?” came the question again.

“S… Simon Kaine.” He stated, silently cursing himself that the cold affected his tongue. His resolve burned hotter to remain unmoving, like granite.

The man with the unimpressed voice glanced through his datapad in search of confirmation. Not finding any, his brows furrowed and he suddenly looked up.

Simon could see that the coldness in the man’s voice had nothing to do with the oncoming winter chill. No, the man’s coldness spread into his eyes.

His lips pressed together in a rather flat line and the man’s gaze seemed to rip into Kaine’s soul looking for the answers he sought.

The fact that the man looked up was something of note for the last time he had done it was in front of a small alien boy. The boy was immediately taken out of the line despite his protests and he’d not been seen from again. Kaine wondered if the same would happen to him.

The man’s eyes were shrewd as he asked another question.

“Related to Tiren Kaine?”

Tiren Kaine.. Now there was a name Simon had not heard voiced for a good long while.

“He was my father.” Kaine answered, firmly.

Perhaps too firmly for the man misread his tone and commented to another officer, “We have the son of a traitor in our midst.”

The other young boys seemed to melt away from Simon as if he carried the most virulent disease known to the galaxy.

The other officers came up, making light of the situation. A situation that grated against the young man before them.

That his father had betrayed the Empire hadn’t mattered any which way to a young Simon Kaine for his father had betrayed the only thing that had really mattered to him. He had betrayed his family.

When Simon’s mother was executed in dispensation for the shame brought to their family and when Simon’s grandfather (his mother’s father) had stepped down from the Imperial Senate (the political pressures and the execution of his only daughter bringing the proud man down), where was Tiren Kaine?

If Simon was to execute revenge on his father for the effects his treachery brought to his family’s life, he found he would need to understand things the way the Empire understood things.

And right now, the Empire felt as betrayed by his father as he did.

But their suspicion also carried over to him.

“You came off that transport from the edge of the Unknown Regions didn’t you?”

Kaine could only shrug. He didn’t know where the planet he was taken from was located.

“How did you get that?” the man suddenly asked, pointing to a scar going down the length of Simon’s arm.

“A man with blue skin and glowing eyes gave it to me.” He mumbled, the horrors he had experienced on Arcadia still fresh in his mind.

“An alien lover too eh?” another officer quipped.

The insinuation burned Simon inside. He couldn’t keep the pride out of his voice when he said, “I killed him.”

The seated man’s cold eyes suddenly showed something they hadn’t before. Interest. Then his eyes brushed against the necklace of small skulls that Simon wore.

“So, you admit to murder?” another asked.

Confusion played on Simon’s features, not understanding how these Imperial soldiers didn’t understand. As he looked back at the seated officer, he saw that they did understand and that they were merely playing with him.

He was an oddity.

A thing to them.

The seated man, seeing that he’d get no rise out of Simon, began to lose interest. “Well, we can’t have the son of a traitor around can we?” he asked rather absently and motioned for the stormtrooper to take Simon away.

With grim realization, Simon knew his time was limited now.

Before the stormtrooper could reach him, he leapt at the table intent on striking the seated officer.

The man let out a yelp of surprise at being attacked by a 14 year old. Simon had pulled out a makeshift knife made of bone and stuck the man who had casually dismissed his life with a wave of his hand.

The man cried out as he fell on his back, the 14 year old falling on top of him. He was going to bring his bone knife down over the heart of the officer when two stun blasts from opposite directions caught both Simon and the officer.

“Take that filth away and put one in his head!!” another officer shouted, pointing to Simon’s limp form.

“Sorry Sir. The Governor has issued an order that any man to attack an Imperial soldier shall be immediately arrested.”

The officer bit back an angry retort as an unconscious Simon was pulled off the formerly seated officer.

Rebellious sentiments had been cropping up all over the Empire and the Governor of Corellia had tried to play the diplomat between those representatives of both local government, Imperial Senators who felt their power slipping away and the leaders and soldiers of the Imperial Military.

To make people stand trial for attacks against Imperial Officers, the military would be satisfied (for now) that something was being done and the public would remain satisfied because they felt their “rights” were preserved by the show trial.

Unknown (usually) to those citizens was the fact that anyone who stood against the former Grand Army of the Republic typically did not fare very well.


“Simon Mathias Kaine, son of the traitor Tiren Kaine and former Daughter of the Empire, Celeste Kaine. You stand accused of assaulting an Imperial Officer. How do you plead?”

The 14 year old gazed quietly at the Corellian Magistrates before him, noting their flickering glances to the Imperials of high rank seated somewhere off to the side.

He stood alone before a rather large panel and yet the magistrates squirmed. They reminded him of the “worms” that had plagued his stay on Arcadia. Seeing them in that light put a new spin on his perceptions. Powerful in their own right, the only vision he had for the creatures that had killed his only friend in the hellhole was of them squirming, thrashing about in his hand before he snapped their spine.

They were quick.

But he had learned to be quicker.

He had to or he was dead.

The magistrates too were powerful in their own right, but pitted against the true masters, the Empire, they thrashed and would squirm until their necks were snapped.

He realized that there would be no appeal, no mercy to come from this panel of impotent Corellian officials.

His salvation or destruction would only come from the Empire.

So, it was the Empire that he would fight this day.

But with what?

In his struggle to survive on Arcadia, after the Chiss pirate had killed most of the settlers, he used whatever means necessary to keep one step ahead of the worm infestation.

After a couple of years, the planet’s climate proved too different for the creatures and they began to die off.

That is really what saved the remaining population of Arcadia.

After living in fear for most of that time, he learned to meet the challenges of the unexpected (and sometimes life-threatening) with an equanimity unmatched.

Simon’s eyes gazed to the right and noticed the publicists gathered. News men and women of all sorts gathered for the spectacle.

A child attacking an Imperial official would garner much popularity among seditionists and revolutionaries.

A loss of face here would be bad for the Empire.

But how to keep the Empire’s .. honor intact without losing his life?

The survivor in Kaine surged forward and his mind began to assess his situation accepting and rejecting options as fast as they entered his head.

“Not guilty.” He spoke with convincing assuredness that surprised even him.

The Imperials had not given him anything extra to wear so his arms felt like they were numbing to the bone.

The audience stirred at the statement though they were not surprised.

An Imperial representative stood up in indignation, “What nonsense is this?”

He gestured to the injured officer seated behind him. “Just look at Major Harj! Look at his wounds! How can the boy say he is not guilty of that? Perhaps a motion of mental retardation is in order to put the child out of it’s misery.”

Simon’s eyes narrowed at the chide. “I am not retarded!” he shouted, suddenly realizing that he was playing into the Imperial representative’s hands.

“Then you did attack Major Harj!” he said, rather self satisfied with himself. Then he spoke out into the audience at large. “How can the Empire stand to have it’s officers assaulted and then have the perpetrators go unpunished? To do so would make the Empire weak. To do so would make the Empire impotent to it’s enemies!”

The people were suddenly becoming stirred behind the speech.

The Major gave Simon an evil grin.

Simon was out of his league and he knew it. How could he cope against the very word: Empire.

“Look at the savage! Look at his attire! Look at this primitive necklace! Of course he assaulted the Major and of course, he WILL be punished!”

Even his appearance was being used against him. He hadn’t showered for a few days, having used all his money to transport off of Arcadia.

What could he do?

“For assaulting an Imperial Officer, the punishment is death.” The man stated flatly.

A sudden futility struck Simon as the past few years went by in his mind. And for what? To be killed out of hand by a pig of a man?

He refused to cry as despair began to set in.

“No doubt, the boy may try to curry your favor with a tale of how woeful his life has been, but that is no excuse to assault a superior. The penalty will stand!”

Simon’s open mouth remained open for a bit, caught off guard once again. For that was exactly what Simon was going to do.

The Imperial representative glanced over at the 14 year old.

Kaine was about to hang his head in defeat, when his mother’s voice suddenly entered his mind. Something she had said a long, long time ago.

Something in case he was ever in trouble.

What was it?

The news people were already writing the his eulogy… The boy who was crushed under the weight of the Empire… or something like that possibly.

“Why did I attack your Major?” Simon suddenly asked.

“Because you are mad and crazy..” Major Herj suddenly came to life.

“Why?” Simon asked again.

“Who am I to know the mind of a crazy person?” the Major quipped, his eyes growing triumphant.

“You should.” Simon pressed. “For how many others have you given the choice of death on one hand and death with the other hand before?”

The Major began to stir slightly.

“You are the son of a traitor!” he spat out in contempt.

The Imperial Representative turned an irritated glance to Major’s way and motioned for him to be quiet. “The families of proven traitors are arrested and investigated before being allowed to go free. If found guilty of collaboration, then they are considered traitors as well and punished accordingly.” He said.

“Then why kill me now?” Simon asked, his voice nearly breaking under the stress. “I can’t be a traitor if the Empire did not kill me then.”

The Imperial man shifted at the mention of the word: kill.

“Just because you were not caught then does not mean..” the Major blundered ahead.

“I was 5 years old then! How could I hide from the Empire?” Kaine nearly shouted.

The news people were eating this up but the look on the Imperial Representative’s eyes told Simon that he had crossed the line. He had made the Empire look foolish.

And no one did that.

At least, no one did that and lived.

“Magistrate, the law regarding traitors is..”

“Dispensation.” Simon suddenly interrupted before the Imperial man could finish. “I have .. Dispensation.”

“Young man. Do you know what that means?” the Magistrate, for the first time asked, his voice drawing a scared Simon Kaine’s attention.

The 14 year old nodded. “It means I am no traitor.”

“We shall see..” the Magistrate responded, to which the Imperial man could only nod.


“Simon Mathias Kaine. Father: Tiren Kaine, Former Officer of the Imperial Grand Army, last seen in the Kuat System, presumed to be leading a Rebel Cell.

Mother: Celeste Kaine, Former Daughter of the Empire alcolade, Coruscant nobility,. Father, Senator Jores Vallum, retired.”

The Magistrate reading Kaine’s record looked up at the 14 year old Simon sitting across his desk. Both Imperial Officers were in the office as well, away from the prying eyes of the public.

“Imperial investigations turned up nothing to condemn Tiren’s family. Emperor Palpatine’s general order #523 calling for the execution of the children of any traitor. Dispensation for Simon Kaine granted through execution of mother, Celeste Kaine. Burial notation below.”

The Magistrate looked up at Simon.

“Young man, how did you know about this dispensation?”

“My mother, before she died told me that it could save my life. That it proved I was no traitor. She made me repeat it several times.”

Then Simon looked like he wanted to cry. “I didn’t remember it till today.”

“Well, young man, it is a good thing you remembered. It did save your life.”

He put the file away. “It appears your mother loved you very much.”

Clasping his hands back on his desk the Magistrate looked at the dirty and flimsy clothes the boy wore. “Tell me, Simon, what are you going to do now?”

“I was going to join the military, Sir.”

“You’re too young for that, but I can do one better. How about the Imperial Youth Program?”


“Sort of a pre-Military school...”
Posts: 1200
  • Posted On: Mar 14 2007 10:52pm

Years Later...

"You know, Kaine. Sometimes I wonder about Palpatine's Empire growing a bunch of pussies."

Simon Kaine looked up from his desk at the retired Moff lounging on a sofa glancing over some files that the Supreme Commander had reviewed the night before.

"I take it you've read something disturbing?" he asked dryly.

Zell scowled and gestured to a report he was reading, "Take this Master Gunnery Sergeant Jondd."

"What about him?"

Zell's scowl deepened. "Well look at his medals! He gets a Medal of Valor for what? Transmitting coordinates for damn bombers to bomb? What the fuck? Didn't the fucking bombers know what the fuck to hit? I mean, shit, it was Ord Biniir!"

"I guess that's why it took us two attacks to get it right." Kaine responded not looking up.

"And this Imperial Cross? He got this for leading six men into a dissident HQ and holding a communications array. That's like, giving a fucking medal to Luke Skywalker or Han Solo for holding a fucking Storm Trooper station on the fucking Death Star for ten minutes!"

"Against overwhelming odds.." Kaine interrupted and Zell smirked.

"Overwhelming odds? Against Rebels? Shit. There weren't that fucking many in the whole damn Rebel Alliance. They get two lucky shots on Death Stars and everybody thinks they fucking numbered in the millions! But this! The Bronze Star for fucking boarding a ship which was a rebel ship. Which means, of course, that it was our ship to begin with, just stolen by the fucking rebels. He gets a medal for taking our own ship back?"

"Your point, Zell?"

"It's just... the Empire awarded these medals for something fucking mundane! I mean, if he had massacred the fucking Ewoks with six troopers with repeating blasters, I can see him getting a Ribbon of Valor..."

Kaine smiled in spite of himself, "Don't do the man any favors, Zell."

"Shit, the life of an Imperial soldier means having the guts to get the job done no matter what. They were handing out awards to these people for just doing their fucking duty."

"Ahh.. Zell, with such baubles men are led.." Kaine remarked sagely.

"It just seems too fucking easy. I mean, when Desaria finishes his romp through the Onyxian Commonwealth, you know.. you know, he's gonna expect a fucking medal. For what? Farting and blowing away half the Coalition? Kach Thorton... at least with him you could buy him a fucking beer and he's happy as a lark. But Desaria? We'll have to send our geologists to the next galaxy to find some other rare metal to forge him another fucking medal to add to his collection."

Kaine could not help but grin at Zell's seeming despondence and spread his hands wide, "Ahh.. Zell! To have our problems!"

"I swear, Kaine. You give the man any more medals and he'll end up a droid before you know it! Actually, you could probably melt all the medals he has now and build a fucking AT-AT!"

Kaine waited expectantly.

"Or a plate for Kraken!"

Kaine shook his head.

Pointing to the report, Zell barked out, "And as for Master Gunnery Sergeant here, you saw that every body else dies around him but him!"

"He could be exceptionally lucky," Simon added.

Zell growled and Kaine sighed. "Look, Zell. War is a gamble. And the more we throw ourselves into war, the greater the gamble with our life becomes. Whether we jump in or are thrown into the meat-grinder, it's a toss up if we'll ever come out the other side intact and/or alive.

So for those that do go through the meat-grinder, repeatedly, yes. We will give them medals and continue to do so whether what they do captures the imagination like the exploits of Telan Desaria or are simply written about in a military dossier as with the Master Gunnery Seargent Jondd."

They both sat in silence for a while until Zell spoke up, "You ever think about the old days. Back when you could have killed an entire rebel ship compliment with a spoon and your bare hands and it still would not have satisfied your superior?"

"You talking about the Academy?"

Zell smiled wistfully. "I never went to the Imperial Academy. It was the Old fucking Republic back then. But damn, I taught a few at the Imperial Academy and let me tell you, those were the days!"

"I know, Zell. I was there."

Zell looked up. "Really? I don't remember you."

"It was a long time ago..."

"What year?"


"What year did you start?"

Kaine thought a moment, "It was around 18-19 I.E."

Zell sat back remembering. "They had this great fucking test..."

"The Teron Test?" Simon interrupted.

"You took it?"

Kaine pushed himself back from his desk and turned to look at the lights of the night on Coruscant from the view afforded him from his office.

"I took it."

"Let me guess, they kneeled before you and you let them live?" the old man deadpanned.

Simon's mind stretched back beyond certain events to a time he rarely thought about. "Not quite..." he whispered.
Posts: 1200
  • Posted On: Jul 13 2007 4:42am

The Past...

"Who's the runt, Spanner?" asked the poster child for the Imperial Academy, Lance. It was strange for one of the most popular students in the Academy to be wasting his time and breath on a rather thin and scrawny "techie" like Spanner but the other did not dwell on it thankful for the scrap of attention shown to him.

Spanner adjusted his glasses as if contemplating the question and the source of the inquiry, a rather smallish student sitting off the side of the Olympian Field looking at ... rocks?

"Simian Kaine." he identified and grinned as the older student mulled over the name.

The inevitable question came, "Simian?"

"The barbarian boy from Corellia. You remember, attacked a Major or something. Father is a traitor and all that."

"Traitor eh?" Lance grinned to himself and suddenly began to walk over to the sitting Kaine. As was common with higher learning centers across the galaxy, when the most popular student did something other's inevitably took note.

So it was no surprise that several hidden eyes suddenly turned their attention to the confrontation about to happen.

Kaine was not popular. In fact, he preferred to sit alone. A preferance that the other students happily obliged him with. And now it looked like their patience was about to be rewarded with the loner student getting his rear end kicked from one end of the sector to the other.

"Kaine!" Lance shouted as he approached. "Son of a Traitorous Dog! I expect you to stand at attention when an officer approaches!" As it turned out, Lance was a budding Ensign and let the other lesser attendees at the Academy know it.

It was a fact that even Kaine, loner as he was, would have known.

Still, the younger student remained seated looking at a line of small rocks.

"I said STAND, Kaine!" Lance shouted, clearly not used to having someone ignore him. He kicked at Kaine's feet.

The smaller student threw a look of irritation up at Lance and slowly stood. "Didn't they teach you how to respect an officer, Kaine?"

"I didn't realize you were an officer," Kaine simply stated deadpan.

Lance searched for some emotion but the other boy stood firm, his eyes fixing at a spot behind the Ensign somewhere. And a disinteresting spot at that if the runt's emotionless eyes were saying anything.

"Can't you read?" Lance tapped at the gold rectangle on his left breast and Kaine merely shrugged.

Understanding suddenly dawned on Lance's face and a smile purely feral formed. "You can't read, can you?"

He was in such glee that he failed to notice the shine in the rocks on the ground. He failed to notice that they were bits and broken pieces of the same kind of rock. A hard rock naturally formed in the belly of a gravity rich world like Carida.

When Lance went to grab the idiot-who-could-not-read by the scruff of his neck, Kaine suddenly moved faster than Lance would react.

A sharp burst of pain spread throughout the right shoulder of the Ensign as a solid chunk of a battered piece of flat rock was embedded into his skin like a primitive spear.

He screamed out loud and fell back, amid students and orderlies and MP's suddenly appearing on the scene seemingly out of nowhere.

Simon Kaine just stood there silently until the MP's grabbed his wrists hauling him away.


"I can't fucking believe it. Lance is going to miss this session of Teron? That's fucking great!" came the annoyed voice of a starship Captain down the hall. Kaine sat in a nondescript room with a metal chair and a metal table, both bolted to the floor. The door was slightly ajar allowing him to hear what was going on outside.

"I don't know what to tell you Azrael. The kid has a rock the size of a mini-hydrospanner lodged in his shoulder blade. He'll be in recovery during the shipout. He'll have to skip this session."

"Fuck me! Who the fuck is the fucker that stabbed him?" came the enraged reply.

"Enlistee Simon Kaine. Major Herj's pet project."

"That little fucker the Imperial Youth Program sent over? The savage little bitch with the discipline problems?"

"That's him, Sir."

"Give me a fucking blaster! I'll cure his discipline problem right fucking now!"

"Sir, I don't think.."

"Let me see the little fucker!"

The door swung open and Kaine's eyes widened at the intensity of the gaze of the man staring him down.

"Don't fucking give me the stare-down you little fucker!" Zell spat. "I'll gut your stomach right now and eat your intestines for breakfast!"

The Imperial Captain slammed his hand down on the metal table causing Kaine to jump back in surprise. There was steel in the Captain's voice. "Now, before I piss all over you, I want to know what the fuck you were thinking by stabbing the Ensign?"

Simon was shaking at the ferocity of man's voice. So much so, he started stammering.

"I... I.."

"Fucking out with it!" Zell slammed his hand on the table again and even though tears formed in Simon's eyes, his hands clenched in fists as if trying to refuse their presence.

"It is the law of life.." Kaine said through his teeth, groping for the right words.

"Law of Life? What the hell are you talking about?" Zell snapped out, annoyed.

Kaine's brain searched for adequate words, remembering the holos at the abandoned library on his previous home, Arcadia.

"You remove yourself from the herd. Stand away alone and sooner or later someone will try to impress others with their prowess. It took me several days but a weak one finally came over."

"Lance was an Ensign, you turd! Fools do not get rank!" Zell snapped back.


"Rank is a title. Like turd!" Kaine shot back both fearful and angry. "Rank means nothing! Strength is inside!"

"So, you clearly think yourself the superior. But why did you think him weak? It is the strong who prey on the weak.." Zell remarked, interested in spite of himself.

"He was not preying on me." Indignation showed in Kaine's voice, "He was taunting me... nipping at my heals like a carrion eater does to a lord of beasts! He wanted the show. He craved the show. And so he became the show. I was preying on him." he finished proudly.

At the gumption shown, Zell suddenly barked out a laugh. "Well fuck me! I can see your bloody point..."

His face then clouded. "Now see mine!" He threw the Imperial Academy Rule Book down on the table. "Life's Lesson's aside. You are prohibited from striking someone of higher rank. A Turd does not strike an Ensign! So you still lose!"

Kaine, his eyes drying as righteous anger was taking over stared incredulously at the Captain. "I cannot be tried for something I did not know!" The very unfairness of it all galled him.

Zell reared back in anger of his own, "WHAT THE FUCK?! Are you going to tell me you Turd that you don't know the rules of the Academy? What sort of Turd offers a fucking weak-ass defense like that?"

Simon frowned.

"A turd that cannot read." he answered simply.

Zell couldn't help it.

He burst out laughing again. "Oh.. Fuck me!"

He straighted and turned towards the door, looking out into the hall, "Can someone find a fucking Imprinter!? This fucking kid can't read! No wonder he's a fucking headcase!"

"I'll fucking let you slide this time, turd. I don't like executing ignorant turds. A man measures himself by the quality of his opponents. Remember that!When you fucking learn to read, I'll punish you then!"

And then, as an afterthought, "Turd!"

The Captain left the room yelling at some attendant leaving the boy to ponder his words.
Posts: 1200
  • Posted On: Jan 19 2011 6:15pm

"I don't fucking remember that," Zell exclaimed, looking over at Kaine.

The Supreme Commander smiled faintly. "Well, it made an impression on me."

"Well, at least you learned how to fucking read," Zell remarked sagely. "And look where that got you!"

"Yes, Zell. You are the cornerstone of literacy," Simon replied dryly.

"Fuck, the more you know..." the old man's voice trailed off.

"The Teron Test was a bloody brilliant concept that the Old Republic just did not have the stomach for. Real. Life. Experience. Played hell with the kids but I'll be damned if we did not turn out some of the best soldiers in the galaxy."

"The test was a far cry from simulations," Kaine agreed.

They sat in silence for a little while until Zell slapped his knee. "I can't fucking believe you were the savage!"

"You don't even remember," Simon retorted but Zell waved the comment away.

"When you have lived half the life as I have, it all comes back in bits and pieces."

"You must have sat out a year to learn to read and write. Pushed back a session... You would have been the junior member of the test."

Kaine nodded. "I did and I was. It was not a pleasant time in my life Azrael."

"I guess not. A teenager trying to read and write Basic. I would have beat the living shit out of you until you got it right. Actually, I would have beat the savage out of you too."

Simon Kaine grinned at the old man, "They did."

Zell shrugged, "No wonder you're a fucking cold-ass bastard. So how come you were such a savage?"

"I grew up on a backwater planet that served as a resettlement world for orphans. It was attacked by pirates and they left behind...creatures that preyed on those the pirates couldn't get. I did not really have time to read and write. I learned the lessons of staying alive."

"Feral," Zell grunted and then asked callously, "So how did your parents die?"

"My father joined the Rebellion and my mother was a Senator's daughter. She was allowed to give me dispensation."

"Fuck me! Your mom died in your place because your daddy was a fucking rebel. Now I've fucking heard everything! So dispensation got you out of the legal trouble but how the fuck did you get into the Academy? Typically, orphans who join up become meat-sticks."

"I was too young to join the military so..."

"So some officer sponsored your admission. So what were you? T-60?"

Kaine closed his eyes at the memory, "I was T-74."

Zell sat upright. "What? Did I fucking hear you correctly? Teron-74? That was ... that was some...some clusterfuck!"

"It was that," agreed the Supreme Commander.

"Oh, now I've got to hear this!" the old man said gleefully.

Kaine just sighed.
Posts: 1200
  • Posted On: Jan 19 2011 6:17pm
Teron Test

If there was anything within the Galactic Empire's life that so readily displayed its disregard for people and cultures other than its own, it would be the Teron Test.

While historians do not know exactly when this test was started or the circumstances that surrounded it's creation, it is known that it was named after the first planet associated with it.

This was, at first glance, a 'live' test as opposed to a simulation. A starship, a miniature version of an Imperator Star Destroyer (the High Command of the time was unwilling to invest in the reassigning and maintenance of one of their premier battleships into the care of mere students), was sent out with a crew of cadets to worlds preselected specifically for the Teron Test. The goals surrounding the Test are unknown....

History of the Galactic Empire, 500 ABY
Posts: 1200
  • Posted On: Sep 21 2012 9:15pm

Ensign Viktor looked at the assembled cadets before him at the table and he took a moment to let the aura of command settle onto his features. This was his moment as being chosen to command the students during the Teron Test was something of an honor. And yet, the entire test was a “command” test. There were no real grunts sitting around the table and while most students eyes were on him waiting for his instructions with seeming interest, he also knew they were potential competitors. If he failed, someone would step up to take advantage and his status as commander would evaporate.

The fingers on his hand began to drum on the smooth table top unconsciously as his eyes scanned the faces of each of the people seated. There were Ensigns Bendar, Sasha, Forza, Popol, Kaine, Gilder and Marzullo.

The vessel they were traveling in was considered a “pocket” star destroyer. Still, with only the command crew present, it felt as big as an Imperator and it helped since they were supposed to pretend they were on a fully operational ISD. As it was, their ISD Conqueror was primarily controlled by automation and standard operations carried out by a variety of droids. Even so, Viktor knew he would have to watch the droids. There were rumors of previous tests where a droid could be programmed to panic at a critical time, or even several droids stage a mutiny by their sadistic teachers and test developers. The point was, he could not…should not rely on the logical and complete obedience one learns to expect when dealing with droids.

All he knew was that the vessel was in a lockdown mode whose course could not be altered once the ship made the jump to lightspeed. The operator droids would begin their tasks and the command crew regain control of the ship once it reached its destination and would remain under their control until their mission has completed and the ship made the jump back to lightspeed. A week of traveling at lightspeed each way. It was a long time but their far-flung destination served two purposes. One, it was so remote that the test could be taken without interference and two, if the students succeeded in their mission, the boundaries of the ever expanding New Order would be pushed that much farther out. But success, however much desired, was not a forgone conclusion.

“I hear there was one class where the ship never came back at all,” Cadet Popol was remarking, his mouth making crunching sounds. Eating during a briefing was not standard Imperial Protocol but, Viktor surmised, this was not a standard Imperial mission. It was a small thing for Viktor to allow and also would gain him an ally with the hungry cadet. Kaine cast an annoyed look at Popol but did not speak. Of all the cadets, only Kaine and Forza seemed to wear constant frowns. Viktor’s admiring eye lingered on Cadet Forza as she scanned bits of scrolling data in search of anything that might give them an idea as to where they were going and what they would meet. So far, since they did not know their destination, there was not much to look up and so the shapely cadet decided to gather as much data as possible on the previous tests. Either not noticing or ignoring the commanding cadet’s gaze, she remarked, “There is very little data on previous tests. Unverified comments, rumors and gossip really.” The ship had no communications array except for short range so they could not contact any outside the system they were headed too nor contact anyone or any database while enroute. So Cadet Forza has to copy as much as she could in the short amount of time given. What she got was a drop-in-the-bucket’s worth of data but everyone hoped it was at least quality data as opposed to something inane like Jawa recipes.

“Is there anything in common?” Viktor asked, bringing himself back to the meeting out of Forza’s pants.

The cadet frowned, “Small number of students, small starship, distant planet.”

Everyone was listening intently and shifting with excitement. This would be their time to shine.

“I do not understand why were not given more time to prepare,” Cadet Kaine muttered.

Viktor matched the other cadet’s annoyed expression, “Perhaps they wanted to see how we perform under pressure? We are, after all, the best of the best in our respective class.”

Cadet Bendar cocked his head to the side as if listening for something, “Why are all the viewports closed?”

“Who cares?” Cadet Popol munched down.

“Because it could mean we could be going anywhere? How do we know we aren’t going simply across the Coruscant system and back again for a week only to test on a nearby moon?” Cadet Gilder, a rather portly fellow with a small tuft of facial hair asked.

“We aren’t,” Cadet Marzullo drawled out folding his arms.

“How do you know?” Cadet Sasha asked, her melodic voice betraying a sense of concern.

“We would have felt the slight tremor in the ship making all those starts and stops. Such short distances would have played hell with the inertia dampening systems.” Viktor had to give the cadet a respectful nod. He certainly had not thought of that even though he should have. Evidently, this Marzullo student could pose a threat to his leadership and would require watching.

“Well, they obviously do not want us to see something,” Gilder came back to the view ports.

“People can be hypnotized by the sights of lightspeed travel. Maybe it is a safety concern?” Sasha reasoned.

“Why take away our ability to open them, though?” Bendar asked.

“They must not want us to have an idea of where we are going,” Sasha concluded nervously tapping her teeth with her fingernail. “We could be heading for a black hole or a sun…”

Now Viktor frowned, “Are you suggesting a conspiracy to kill us? I can think of quite a few ways to do that and a lot less expensive too..” seeing Cadet Kaine agree with him. Perhaps there was something to the serious kid after all?

Marzullo chuckled, “Think about it. This destination is supposed to be far away and so it stands to reason that it is not on a major hyperlane. The longer the destination, the more course corrections and vector changes will need to happen, unless..” he paused looking around, “Unless there was a very narrow window of opportunity to make the trip. Hence the rush.”

Viktor stifled a wave of irritation as he saw the others nodding at Cadet Marzullo’s explanation. It did seem reasonable but that did not mean their mission would be reasonable. One of the reasons why Teron was so famous (or infamous) was the fact that it was also deadly. Students were given near free reign to do almost anything they wanted in the effort to complete their mission and the rewards would be grand matched in excitement only by the danger. By rights, he could take a blaster and gun down his fellow students if it would have helped the mission be completed. His mind felt giddy at the prospect of having such power.

Marzullo seemed to smile at Viktor as if sharing an inside joke and Viktor wondered if his musings were transparent to the others letting them know what he was thinking. So far, no one else seemed to have reacted.

Yes, Marzullo was dangerous indeed.

“And yet, accidents do happen,” Viktor said slowly causing Cadet Marzullo’s smile to widen.