More than One's Armor (Felucia)
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Dec 31 2013 10:41pm
Juaire Mk II-class Corvette Arconit, Felucia System

“Reverting ma'am.”

The boxy craft jetted into realspace to bathe in the faintest glimmers of Felix's distant rays. On the bridge, 1st Lieutenant Trutzig idly swivelled on the bridge's small command chair to glance over her sensor operator's console. The Mon Calamari swiveled about to her face her and shook his head.

“Nothing?” questioned the woman, wrinkling her upper lip.

“No Reaver craft.”

“We lost them then,” sighed the woman, “before we could get another tracker on them...”

“Excuse me ma'am, I was just doing a routine scan of the comm's channels, and I think I know what happened to our missing Reavers.”

Her gray-green eyes turned towards the sandy-haired man, “What is that?”

“Someone else got to them first.”

He rapidly turned and punched a few buttons, zooming in on the world of jungle world of Felucia. A quartet of boxy craft with many atennas jutting out of their hulls floated around the world. Dozens of medium transports flitted back and forth between the world and the larger ship. Looking at the craft closer, Holly noticed a wavy trident insignia blotched across many of the ship's hulls. Her comm's officer rapidly typed in a few commands, allowing multiple unintelligible conversations to flow through the bridge's intercomm system. Even listening closely to it, Holly couldn't recognize the language, or any word in it. Her communication's officer looked at her expectantly.

“Don't you recognize it?”

She shook her head.

“Mando'a,” informed the other man, “the language of the Mandalorians. I can't understand it myself, but I can recognize it.”

“We are a little ways away from Mandalore, if my memory serves me correctly,” mused the woman, “and given their nature, I'm assuming they're mercenaries. You think they got the Reavers?”

“Rumor has it there are Mandalorians, or people claiming to be Mandalorians working in the Thanium sector to protect worlds from the Reavers or the mysterious aliens.”

“Not such a bad thing...”

The man shook his head, “It is when it's a protection racket too.”

Holly sighed, “Inform Command about the Reavers' disappearance, and Helm, take us in towards Felucia. We're going to do a little fact-finding mission.”

“Like Quas Killam?”

Holly shuddered, “I really hope not.”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Jan 4 2014 8:09pm
Minutes turned to hours as the Arconit made a series of micro-jumps that finally resulted in the corvette entering the heart of the system. During that time, the general's daughter and the rest of her crew began deciphering what they could of the little information they had on hand. They had managed to almost conclusively identify the larger starships as Kiltirin Dungeon ships, commonly used by slavers and criminals to move their prisoners around. Yet various similar dungeon ship designs had been used as raiding craft by the Mandalorians for ages. Given their affiliation to some Mandalorian faction, she guessed they were more likely being used as military assault transport than a slave transport. Comparing the fuzzy holo of the ships in orbit to the ones of other dungeon ships in the Arconit's database, Trutzig guessed that they would be well-suited to transporting and releasing hordes of Mandalorian Super Troopers into battle because of their thick slabs of armor and bulky quad turbolaser turrets. She narrowed her eyes. We'd probably do well to keep a little distance between us and them. Her sensor operator cleared his throat.

“We're being scanned by the Mandalorian ships,” informed the Mon Calamari, sparing at glance at his commander.

Holly turned to face her communication's officer, “Any difference in comm's traffic, Boors?”

“Mostly the same,” reported the short man, quickly flipping through several screens, “But their comm arrays seem a little different now on the scanners, not quite sure what they're switching mediums based on the modulation change.”

“In basic pleaes?”

“I'm guessing they're sharing tactical data,” explained the man quietly, “maybe even sensor feed on us if we're being scanned, like Dacar seems to indicate.”

Holly hesitated, “Let's open up a channel to ground control and see if we can talk our way into what's going on here. Flight control, better have some of the fighters ready to scramble just in case those Mandalorians get trigger happy. Helm, take us into orbit, and place us on a similar trajectory as the Mandalorians, but put us a quarter orbit underneath them so we're running parallel to them too. I want to see what they're up to at all times.”

Even as her crew got to work, Trutzig reached into her pocket and grasped a small metallic object a friend had given her prior to this mission. Here's for some more good luck, not that you said we'd ever need it, Bob. The audacian woman flipped her command chair console screen to monitor that of the communication's officer. The rotating cyan Unitas stopped to be replaced by a holo of small saurian with an almost human flattening of their anterior face. Boors gave the alien a quick greeting before transferring the being over to talk to her. A this another one of their colony worlds? Glancing off screen for a second, the alien blinked and stared back at Holly.

“I am Controller Fonti of Felucia Traffic control,” informed the female gossam, “your current acceptable. What brings your ship to Felucia, captain?”

The audacian hesitated, “We were tracking some Reavers who seemed to have entered your system. But it appears that they are gone now.”

The gossam blinked, “You were hunting them too?”

Holly needed, “I take it the Mandalorians above are too?”

“Well,” started Fonti, “they would say that.”

Holly narrowed her eyes, “What you do mean 'say' doing that? They do or they don't...”

“My apologies ma'am, I was unaware you were associated with the Neo Death Watch.”

“Is that who they are?”

“You don't know who they are?” questioned the alien, leaning back in her chair.

Holly shook her head.

“Perhaps...” started Fonti, “perhaps, if you will be here for a while, I am certain several people would like to talk to you about this new Death Watch. I can arrange for a landing area to be made ready for your ship...”

She eyed the alien closely. The gossam from Saleucami always seemed pretty smart, maybe even too smart. And this one first thought we were possible enemies, and now it wants us to land? Clearly they're not very comfortable about the Neo Death Watch, but why show fear of them if they just saved your skin? And why would they want us to know about them? Trutzig shook her head.

“Are you certain there is room for such a ship as large as our own? I can't imagine there being a lot of starship berths down there large enough to hold the Arconit...”

“Oh certainly room will be available,” assured Fonti, “diplomatic vessels have special berths reserved for them at the Kway Teow star port. It's a Stellar-class facility, fully capable of handling all of your ship's and crew's needs, I assure you. And it's just a quick walk away from the capital...”

“We thank you for the offer, but tell me, how much will this pad costs? I just have to-”

“Nothing,” interrupted the gossam, slowing her speech down, “though fueling and certain services may cost some credits.”

She hesitated. A little quick to draw us in, but that little disclaimer there...They are up to something. I suppose that's worth finding out. It's too bad we're too far from Confederate space to have a local CSIS station here to tell us what the hell is going on. But maybe they'll owe us one after this is all sorted out.

“We accept your kind offer,” said Trutzig slowly, leaning back in her chair, “if you will kindly transmit the data too us, we will prepare for landing in the dock of your choosing.”

“Yes, very good Captain.”

Her communication's officer shut down the channel and spared a glance at her, “I've got a bad feeling about this one.”

“Well,” frowned Trutzig, “something isn't quite right here. I'll agree with you on that. But I don't know for sure what exactly.”

Her Mon Calamari officer opened his fish-like mouth, “It's a trap.”

“Possible,” admitted Holly, “we'll just have to keep our eyes peeled see and see what comes at us...”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Jan 5 2014 12:48am
Kiltirin-class Dungeon Ship Adenn, in orbit via Felucia

“Alor'ad,” stated a voice loudly.

“Speak basic,” said the togorian bluntly, turning around to face the armored man, “I am captain, not alor'ad. The droids and some of the crew aren't quite there yet with their command of Mando'a. They will not know of who or what you are speaking about in the heat of battle, unless they happen to pull out a Mando'a dictionary to translate on the fly.”

Even in his blue and orange Mandalorian-style armor, Chief Kotkad seemed to glower at him. Such attitude for a puppet. But I must not let him upset me. Captain Mosgoth calmly smoothed out his striped orange and brown fur. His cat-like face peered at the Mandalorian armor closely, wondering how much of it was the man, how much the armor. His eyes fell onto the large vibrosword strapped to his belt, his namesake. A fitting symbol for one so brave as he is foolish. He smoothed out one of his whiskers.

“The armor fits you better than before we were here,” suggested Mosgoth, pacing around the human in a circle.

“But not well enough to be a true alor, is that it, captain?”

“There are more scratches and dents now, more experience shown. The marks on one's armor reveal the warrior within. The close calls of death just avoided, the abrasions from how he moves in the armor, how he treats his equipment, the amount of preparation...everything about the man, the verd within. It even shows me your friends are.”

“Oh, do tell,” snickered the soldier with the friendliness of a Corellian Sandpanther.

“That pauldron on your left is not an original to your armor. It came from a different set, I can tell by the slight difference in the trimming design. Even if you have repainted Werda's armor, his darkness creeps through his armor, even as it creeps through you now.”

“He wasn't using it any more,” spat out the pretender, “but tell me something more pressing and less mystical. Tell me of these Confederates.”

“What is it that you want to know?”

“Could we beat them in battle?” questioned Kotkad, resting his armored hand on his sword's pommel.

“Today, not tomorrow. But I do not suggest it. No, not yet. They are as suspicious of us as we are of them.”

“But only today?”

Mosgoth's fur rippled.

“It is a scout,” informed the togorian, “We could take and destroy it easily, but there are so many witnesses here...the Confederates would surely know who to hunt, and they would find and kill us. They would simply overwhelm us with numbers, despite the prowess of you and your warriors. No, it is not a fight we should use to make, not here. But the Confederate ship may simply be passing through too, en route to their territories in the Nilgaard Sector. Our best option is to ignore them for the moment, but prepare to pounce once they leave.”

“And if they do not?”

The Togorian's eyes narrowed, “Then things get tricky.”

Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Jan 6 2014 12:47am
Juaire Mk II-class Corvette Arconit, Kway Teow Star Port, Felucia

Holly strolled down the ramp of her starship, her hand brushing about against the butt of her blaster pistol. A pair of C1s marched right behind her, their blue photoreceptors scanning the area around them. Despite having dozens of more C1s behind and all the firepower of the warship at her call, she felt exposed when on land. It was just too uncertain of an environment for the captain. In space, things could be seen for kilometers at end, and enemies widely apparent thousands of kilometers away. When they got to you, there were shields, weapons, and a whole host of technologies ready at the click of a button. On land, she only had her hand and a blaster, nor was she terribly confident in either of them. A pair of gossam awaited her at the end of the ramp. The first appeared to be a soldier of some sort, wielding a bulky blaster rifle almost comically large for his size, and likely designed for a larger species. Yet he seemed to wield it well enough and with more grace than she thought she could. The other one held only a datapad and stylus. Her hair was styled back rather elaborately with a series of copper-like ribbons which matched the color of her dress. Trutzig also noted that the alien was wearing some sort of platform shoe, almost making her as tall as the Confederate captain. Despite her elaborate appearance, Trutzig couldn't make out her exact role from any of the saurian creature's accoutrements.

“Welcome to Felucia, captain,” smiled the gossam, “we are honored to have you here. My name is Methe, and I will be your host for your stay.”

“I see,” noted Holly, sparing a quick glance to check out her surroundings, “I can't say I know how long we'll be staying here.”

“Oh, hopefully as long as you need.”

Or as long as you need, more likely. Her eyes quickly picked out several other Gossam soldiers, walking on top of the upper walls which cordoned off the star port from surrounding jungle. There sure is a lot of them. Granted, they probably have to keep several here just to make sure that some sort of jungle creature just doesn't crash in and eat everyone, but that looks like a missile launcher. If they have beasts that dangerous, then we're in major trouble even if the Felucians aren't going to try and kill us. She turned her gaze back down to the saurian alien.

“How much longer do you expect the Neo Death Watch to stay around in orbit?”

The alien slyly tilted her head to the side, “Oh, well, I don't really know...”

“Do you have an estimate?”

“You seem very interested in these Mandalorians,” observed the gossam, turning her face to eye her more directly.

You don't say? I imagine I would seem a bit more interested in a larger and more powerful military force than my own here...Trutzig nodded.

“Of course I am. They're an unknown force that could possibly harm myself and my ship. How do your people feel about them?”

“That's not for me to say.”

I would translate that into we don't like them. Which confirms our first observation...I wonder...I wonder if we're being used as a shield for something going on between the two of them. Holly pursed her lips.

“My second officer will be here in a second, he is going to start the process for obtaining provisions and maybe some of those other conveniences your flight controller mentioned.”

“Excellent,” noted the gossam, who pulled out a comlink and barked a few orders into it.

“As for myself,” noted Trutzig, “I'd like to talk to your top commander in the area, when he or she has the time. Is it possible for you to arrange that?”

“Well, yes, probably....but there are some other people who wanted to meet you. The mayor of Kway Teow, a couple of us from the local Commerce branch...”

“I understand, but I will only see them after I see a military officer of some sort, someone higher up. There are a few things I need to clarify with them, just to get a mutual understanding. It's just something I like to do since there seems to be a lot of weapons around the place. Is that an anti-aircraft battery over there?”


“Yes,” interrupted the previously silent soldier, “it is. It's not for you, but someone else.”

And that is all I needed to know...
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Jan 6 2014 10:39pm
Several hours passed before an airspeeder arrived to zip Captain Trutzig away to secluded military base on Felucia. But the woman had declined transport, instead deciding to follow the airspeeder in a CG-10 transport off her ship. While the Felucians initially protested, her offer to allow both Methe and her guard transport to the facility appeared to smooth things over. The Centaur surged over Felucia's bizarre landscape, filled with a bewildering number of primite plants. Her eyes drank in the sights of the jungle world before the starship dropped down into a river valley. Hanging tightly to the crash webbing behind the pilot's chair, she watched Felix's rays glint off the jungle river, while the airspeeder ahead of them glided over the same waters. The walls of the valley began to rise again and just around a river bend, the Confederates saw a large cascade of water falling hundreds of meters to meet the sapphire blue waters of the river. Abruptly, the airspeeder jumped through the waterfall and disappeared. Frowning, Trutzig glanced down at the console, but she was too unfamiliar with the layout of the controls and the sensors to get an understanding of the readings before the transport also crossed through the falls and into a subterranean passage. The passage quickly narrowed before widening again as the entrance of a massive cavern. The airspeeder set down in front of them, which the Confederate pilots endeavored to set down their own craft behind. The tiny voice of Methe squeaked out from behind them.

“Welcome to Rainfall Base, Captain Trutzig.”

Trutzig followed the two gossam outside of the transport and waved for a pair of C1s to accompany her. The dank air clung to her skin and brought with it the dueling scents of decaying plants and fragrant spices. Meters later, they rounded a low-hanging formation of gigantic stalactites almost reaching the round to emerge into dimly illuminated hollow which appeared to serve as the command center of the base. Dozens of gossams quietly chatted and manned a number of consoles displaying sensor data as seen from dozens of satellites which orbited the planet. Yet she noted a couple of species she hadn't recognized before among them, including another saurian-like species which was noticeably bottom-heavy, and a half-dozen blue humanoids taller than herself whose faces appeared to be covered in masses of swaying tentacles.

“You must be Captain Trutzig.”

She glanced down to a Gossam standing in front of her. He appeared to be wearing similar garb as Methe's guard, but she noticed some fancier emblems pinned to his collar and a couple of extra medal tabs sewn over where a human's heart would be. Trutzig curtly nodded.

“Captain Trutzig,” informed Methe with a wave of a hand, “this is General Miin, commander of security forces.”

“It is an honor sir. Methe if you could give the two of us a few minutes by ourselves.”

Methe's luminous yellow eyes glanced at both the general and the captain, but the officers remained so still and plain-faced that she quickly glanced downward.

“Of course, I will await for you by the transport.”

“Methe,” suggested General Miin, “perhaps you would enjoy some refreshments in the cafeteria. We won't be long I imagine, and I would like to take a look at your ship. We had some good views of it coming down the river from our remote sensors, but it's not quite the same as it seeing it in person.”

Trutzig, her guards, and General Miin strolled back out of the command center and into the impromptu hangar. Trutzig glanced upward, suddenly noticing racks holding some sort of diminiutive starfighters, not unlike the setup traditionally used on star destroyers to hold Tie Fighters. Miin noticed her glance.

“You've probably never heard of our ships,” stated the gossam, “not that it matters. I hope we never have to use them.”

“War is not a pretty thing.”

Miin snorted, “Not when your craft are as outdated as our own. But your ship looks strong enough to drive the Mandalorians out of orbit.”

“That is what I wanted to talk to you about. I can't seem to get a straight answer out of your fellow Felucians...”

Striding forward on his squat little legs, Miin sighed, “When General Zell left our world just after the end of the Clone Wars, all of us who inhabitanted this world had to come together to throw off the Empire from our world. But it wasn't easy between us gossam, the Felucians, and the Jungle Felucians. I like to think my fellow gossam soldiers quickly adapted to galactic standards to easily integrate with everyone else's type of thinking, but I think you'll find that my fellow gossam, still isolated in their communities and unexposed to little else from the galaxy at large, will come across as a little more circumspect.”

“You still haven't answered my request.”

“Indeed,” replied the alien, running a couple of digits across the hull of transport, “I haven't. I am still a gossam, nor can I inherently overcome all tendecies of my race. I'm just one more forthcoming than the others. The Neo Death Watch hanging above our heads represents the greatest chance of war my world has seen in years. They didn't come here to fight the Reavers, though we are lucky their paths managed to converge at the same time. But for all we know, the Reavers could have followed the Death Watch here. No, the Death Watch is here for tribute. They call it protection money to help keep the sector clean of Reavers. It is if they summoned the Reavers here to prove a point.”

“You didn't have to launch your ships?”

“The Death Watch was already in orbit. They destroyed them.”

“The very Reavers I was tracking,” mused Trutzig.

“The Confederation is operating in our sector now?”

“The Confederation is trying to get a hold on this menace whenever and wherever we can. It means tracking a lot of them down into areas that aren't necessarily Confederate territory.”

General Miin turned his dinosaur-like head around to look up at the woman, “It must be hard operating so far from home and such distant bases.”

“Sometimes,” admitted Trutzig.

“Perhaps we can help each other out,” started Miin, “you've doubtlessly seen that the civilian leadership of our world wants to keep you here.”

“I take it to stave off any potential Death Watch threats?”

“Yes. But the Death Watch is not wholly wrong, there are Reavers that cross in the Thanium sector going from here to there, but only in small numbers. But enough that such a threat could spread if we were unlucky. Our ships are not suited to those sorts of fights, we only have short-range interceptors, but a Confederate fleet based here would have the ability to go out and destroy the Reaver threats in our area.”

“The Confederation won't send out a whole fleet just for that...”

“I agree.”

“What?” questioned Trutzig.

“Which is why it would have to be a Felucian fleet within the Confederate navy. An asset to be jointly useful to us both for our purposes. To fend off the Death Watch and the Reavers.”

“Is that why Methe had a dozens of officials lined up to talk to me?”

Miin nodded, “Such an alliance would be advantageous to both of us...”

“I'm not authorized for such negotiations,” advised Trutzig, “but I can forward it to someone who can. In the meantime, as a possible member of the Confederation, Felucia will fall under my ship, as little as it is, and my protection.”

Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Jan 6 2014 10:40pm
Eight hours later...

Juaire Mk II-class Corvette Arconit, in orbit via Felucia

“All hands on deck, all hands on deck.”

Holly nearly hit her head on the lofted furniture rising out of her bed. What the hell? The klaxons continued to sound, indicating some sort of hazard or threat enough to rouse all of the crew from their bunks. I better not open these doors to find Mandalorians fighting my crew. The blast doors whisked open to reveal spotless light gray walls and a pair of C1s still tirelessly guarding her quarters. One worry down. Wearing most of a uniform, the woman sprinted through a couple doors onto the bridge itself. Half of the bridge crew were in a similarly under-dressed state. Her eyes immediately went to the viewport before turning to Dacar, the officer of the watch. The mon calamari jumped out of the command chair and offered a brief salute to the Audacian.

“Why are we here?” questioned the woman.

“A battle has broken out above, captain. The Felucians have launched a raid the Death Watch ships.”

And since I gave my promise to protect them, we're in on it too. She growled.


“It was a pretty successful surprise attack. The Felucians put up a small drone barge up into orbit, supposedly to deliver the tribute the Death Watch was demanding.”

“I'm guessing it was explosives?”

Dacar shook his head, “It was filled with interceptors and some old CIS battle droids, including a Droch-class Boarding ship. The fighters struck unshielded hulls with laser fire and missiles. The Death Watch isn't looking too good up there. It even looks like they've actually captured most of one of the dungeon ships above.”

“Frak'em. Launch all fighters and the Centaurs and take us up there,” ordered Trutzig.

Sneaky bastards got us into a new war, or at least a skirmish. The boxy starship jetted upwards to enter the battle. While larger than any of the Mandalorian craft, the Arconit was designed as more of a starfighter screening vessel, whose weapons lacked the punch to really hurt opposing warships unlike most warship's the Arconit's size. Emerald quad laser fire jumped out of the Confederate corvette to harass dozens of armored mandalorians who had taken to jetting aroud on their rocket packs to fend off the Felucian attack. While difficult targets for the fast moving interceptors to really make runs on without being exposed, they stood little chance against the combined firepower of the ship's many gun batteries. Emerald bolts promptly incinerated whole halves of the warriors, leading dismember body parts to drift and float through orbit before plummeting and burning up in the atmosphere. The quartet of Starflare launchers rapidly pumped salvos of the large torpedoes into the sides of the Adenn. As they detonated against the heavily armored vessel, the dungeon ship began to lead the other Neo Death Watch vessels away from the jungle world. Only one of the starships, now mostly controlled by a combination of Felucian soldiers in space suits and battle droids remained in orbit. Trutzig frown.

“Pull off pursuit,” decided the woman, “let's finish up capturing this vessel, send over half of our security complement. Dacar, you have the bridge. I'm going to my quarters to make a conference call.”

The woman abruptly snatched a datapad from her console and marched out of the bridge. My father won't be happy about this...and maybe my mentor as well. Her mind briefly flitted to thoughts of the conflict straining the older man's friendship. And all because of me, or would it really be? She shook the thoughts from her mind. It's irrelevant now. What's done is done. I can only attempt to fix it now.
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Jan 7 2014 10:54pm

“ were aware they were planning that?”

The eyes on the hazy figure light years away flashed at her. Holly blinked. Perhaps I've just pissed him off. Dad won't be happy about that. Fortunately, the Rear-Admiral briefly shut his eyes and shook his head.

“Of course not,” rebutted Admiral Lucerne, leaning back in his chair, “though in a way, it was a brilliant plan. Technically, it's their sovereign space, they can do whatever they want. Once the Council ratified their decision to the join the Confederation, you wouldn't have much of choice if you were going to keep your personal promise or not. You would be compelled to assist other Confederate forces in the defense of their homeworld.”

“I didn't even know the Council had approved it.”

“I am sure they would not hesitate to let you know that.”

They must have put the plan in action the minute they'd heard about the results of the vote,” complained Trutzig.

Corise nodded, “And that is why we are soldiers, not diplomats. The gossam do have that bit of reputation for pulling off schemes like that. In any case, congratulations on your victory, Captain. Since this new, reformed Death Watch isn't likely to take that well, I'm going to assign you to guard the world until your new task force arrives. Very shortly, you will be promoted to brevet commander for this new formation.”

“How...large of a command are we talking about?”

“A medium pursuit line, a pair of Suffrens, and a pair of corvettes, including the Arconit,” informed the blonde-haired man, “it should prove sufficient enough to hunt down the Death Watch at what we know their strength to be.”

“And they're stronger than they know?”

“If you see thousands of them with more than their armor, then I suggest you run. At least until reinforcements arrive.”

Trutzig sighed, “It would appear that I do not have much of a choice in this manner.”

“True,” admitted Lucerne, glancing off-screen for a moment, “I will have a few more orders put in, clarifying that you are in command of Felucia's defenses.”

“Even over General Miin?”

Corise nodded, “Assuming he wants any federal help. If he does his own thing, you're not required to follow his lead, but do try to get along with him. I did read your preliminary report. He seems like an able enough commander that I may try to tempt him to transfer over to the Federal army, like your father.”

“Yes sir, I understand.”

“Very good, Lucerne out.”

She offered a stiff salute, which the holographic man quickly returned before blinking out of existence. Trutzig let out a sigh of...something. It wasn't quite relief, but felt almost close enough. If her superior, no, her superior's superior was not angry with her, why did she still feel so stressed? TO be sure, taking command of a larger group would bring additional stress to her, that much she expected, but she hadn't actually assumed command of them yet. Was it the mere expectation, or was she feeling something else? She closed her eyes and mediatated. No, this was something else. Something personal.