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Short stories

 
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starwarslegofreak



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Short stories Reply with quote

Dramatis Personae

First Strike Squadron

Major Kale Ridge (Strike One) (human male from Kuat)
Captain Selph Ker (Strike Two) (Shistavanen male from Uvena Prime)
Lieutenant Salairis Eaton (Strike Five, squadron XO) (human female from
Dellalt)
Lieutenant Anton Orden (Strike Six) (human male from Chandrila)
Flight Officer Jace Devlin (Strike Nine) (human male from Coruscant)
Krath “Wraith” Khar’do (Strike Eleven) (Defel male from Af ’El)
Karn Saitek (Strike Eight) (human male from Balmorra)
Tesh Key’fe (Strike Three) (Bothan male from Kothlis)
Rren Pischik (Strike Ten) (Bothan female from Bothawui)
Al’Trrez “Grub” NiitKrrawll’Err (Strike Four) (Talz male from Alzoc III)
Cole Banton (Strike Seven) (human male from Taanab)
Arie N’nieb (Strike Twelve) (Sullustan female from Sullust)
Rontu Nuekysh (Strike Thirteen) (Rodian male from Rodia)

Support Personnel

Toner Marsh (chief mechanic) (human male from Corellia)
Dobber O’Mally (assistant mechanic) (human male from Fondor)
Elly (LE repair droid)
Rotor (R5-D2 unit)

Imperial Forces

Admiral Holt Torne (human male from Carida)
Captain Avry Feuer (commander of the Star Destroyer Asp) (human male from
Eriadu)
Marion Zhanel (human male from Telti)





Prologue

A middle-aged Bimm sat dressed in his finest royal Alderaanian gown at a corner booth in a dingy little cantina located in the Pemblehov District. Disgusting, he thought as he had entered the designated rendezvous. He glanced around the drinking establishment, his head lowered, inconspicuously eyeing the other patrons. Ruffians. All of them. He turned back to his still full glass of Atzerri Ale, the greenish-brown liquid markedly slanted. He pressed down on the table and watched the liquid turn to a level surface. He let the table return to its natural position.
The Bimm decided the moment the dilapidated R-10 droid brought his drink that it was best not to taste the concoction. The slight odor of servo lubricant oil and the black streak of liquid running down the inside confirmed his judgment. He would have to have a talk with the owner.
He had been waiting for over half an hour for his soon-to-be ex-business partner to show. He was becoming irritated. The trip had gone badly from the beginning. First, his personal ship, The Sabacc Dealer, was impounded and searched as soon as he landed, spaceport officials saying he was suspected of carrying contraband. Contraband? What contraband. This is a free-trader world. Then he had to purchase a room for the night in a rundown, greasy motel on the edge of the Plaza, because his ship was held overnight for further inspection. Further inspection my foot. After that, he was accosted by a small band of Meeks wanting a handout. Credits, no less. Filthy rodents. And to top it all off, the human is late. “Humans. They have no sense of time.”
He rested his elbows on the table and slouched forward. He picked at a piece of dried nerf meat stuck to the table, flicking it to the floor. Slobs. He looked around again, an obvious expression on his face. Why did I ever let him pick the place. And why here? “Next time, I pick the meeting place,” Tiga twisted toward his associate sitting next to him and glared. His protruding gut jostled the table. A drop of the greenish-brown liquid trickled down. The Bimm glanced down at the tail of his light robes swaying against the unsanitary floor.
Tiga Loreng Misaari; his parents had named him after the colorful, feathered creatures that inhabited his home planet, scrutinized over his robes looking for any grime that may have collected on them. Tiga Misaari loved wearing the beautiful garments of the dead world, because they were rare and expensive, and extremely extravagant. He especially loved this one because it was yellow. Made out of the purest silk from extinct native killiks, it had a gold sash and trim around the collar, cuffs, and tail. The fact that the gowns were designated to the Royal Family and its closest confidants only made it that much more alluring to passersby, and more fun to wear. He loved the way other sentients gawked in awe as he strode by, believing he was a member of the Royal Family net. Tiga often told inquirers that he used to be a close friend of the late Bail Organa and grew up with his adopted daughter Princess Leia Organa. He had purchased a trunk full five months ago from a trader on Nar Shaddaa for the price of one standard year’s free pass on one of his pleasure yachts. A definite steal. A lowlife trader. One of many. The fool didn’t even know what he had. He caressed the luxuriant fabric enjoying the tender feel against his bare palm.
He checked his wrist crono again. Fifty minutes. “Perfect!” He threw his hands into the air, slamming them down on the table. The drink sloshed over, splashing onto the gown’s sleeve. “I wasted seven days to get here, and for what? Nothing. Who does this fool think he is. He thinks he can play games with me!” Tiga turned to his associate and abruptly stood, catching the rickety table and spilling the greenish-brown substance. He raised his voice, the pitch becoming higher. “Tahoona. Let’s get out of this bantha fodder. He’s not going to show. I hate this place. I hate this planet! It stinks!” Nearby patrons began to turn and listen to the disturbance. “That’s right! I hate your free-trader planet! Atzerri smells worse than Nar Shaddaa or Nal Huttawhatever you scoundrels call it.” Tiga glared down at them not afraid.
The onlookers stared back in silence.
“Stop singing pip-squeak!” a drunken horned Devaronian yelled from the crowd. The throng of listeners broke out in laughter.
“Shut up Bimm,” a voice came from the bar.
“Ya, pip-squeak!” another voice yelled. The laughter grew louder.
“Bimms are funny creatures,” the Devaronian’s inebriated drinking partner said.
The fur covering Tiga’s body began to ruffle in irritation. He was about to yell out another insult when his associate began tugging on his robes. He looked down noticeably annoyed, and was about to admonish Tahoona when he observed two human-shaped feet covered in Atzerri Ale, standing in front of him.

“My sincere apologies, Sir,” Tiga Misaari apologized, staring up at the human towering above him. He grabbed a damp cloth from the R-10 droid that had come to clean up the mess. He hurriedly wiped the table clean catching more of the liquid substance as it dripped off the lip. He moved the table back to position. “My assistant is quite the oaf.” He turned to Tahoona. “Apologize to the man you fool.” Tahoona glared back at him. “Never mind.” He leaned over to whisper in the man’s ear. “He is what you humans call ‘slow’.” Tahoona could still hear him. Tiga tossed the rag and sat down, motioning to the human. He noted his casual attire. It blended well with the other miscreants. He shrugged.
“Now, let us get down to businessthat is why we are here? I hear you are considering selling me a starship.”
The two beings haggled over the price for a few minutes, then agreed on a location for the exchange. Throughout the short meeting Tiga noticed the human squirm several times in his seat. He asked if he was uncomfortable, but was greeted with only silence.
Tiga clapped his hands together, elated. “Perfect. I already have a name picked out.” He displayed his small hands before him in a gesture. “Stardust. What do you think?” The human nodded. “Excellent!” Tiga stood and extended his hand. The hairless human stood, took his hand out of his trouser pocket, and shook it. “I hope I didn’t ruin your boots,” he said glancing down at his feet. “Those are quite nice. They’re made from the hssiss? Of Ambria, right? Very expensive. Black even! Quite nice. You wouldn’t mind telling me where you got those from, would you?”
“No.”
Tiga took the hint. “Well it was nice doing business with you. I hope to do it again soon.” He let go. “If you’ll excuse me, I have some other business to attend to. Tahoona.”




He shook hands with the Bimm again and watched as he and his mute friend departed to speak with the bartender. The talkative one began throwing his hands in the air in a sign of frustration, singing another annoying verse, then turned on his partner. Fools. I can’t stand those sub-sentient creatures. Them and their annoying singing language. He straightened his clothes again. He brushed back what little hair he had left and marched out of the cantina, overhearing part of the conversation. “Oaf! Why didn’t you tell me I had soiled my robes.”

The man stood outside and grabbed the scanner out of his trouser pocket. No tracers. He placed it back, and looked over his outfit. He grimaced. He would have to change. As soon as possible. He waited for a few pedestrians to walk by, out of earshot, then took out his comlink. “Sir.”
“Did the mission succeed,” the other voice responded. It was not a question.
“Yes.”
“Did your people find anything.”
“No, Sir. He and his ship were clean.”
“Good, I didn’t think so. I knew the Bimm wouldn’t be able to resist such a bargain.”
“Sir.” He paused.
“You have a question,” the voice stated sternly.
“Yes Sir. If I may?”
“Freely.”
The man waited for another pedestrian to pass. He spoke a little softer. “Why an ISD. And why so cheap? Even a stripped down version could…” Another pedestrian passed by. The man moved to a side alley and continued. “Even with a stripped down version we could have gotten three times as much as you were asking forat least!”
“Credits are not the issue.”
“Then why that ship, Sir?”
“Believability.”




Chapter 1

The peaceful, quiet slumber that always comes from the boredom of long hyperspace jumps came to an abrupt end.
The rookie fighter pilot Karn Saitek started out of his somewhat comfortable hollow banging his helmeted head on the transparasteel canopy of his A-wing starfighter, despite the built-in seat restraints. He swore. He had been awakened by the high pitched wail of the jump exit indicator. Karn reached to turn it off. Groggily he sat up and shifted in his seat to give his buttocks a rest and checked his onboard crono. Twenty minutes. Plenty of time.
He gingerly unclipped the chinstrap and removed his protective headgear; setting it in his lap, and lightly massaged the tender spot on the crown of his head. He then wiped the sleep from his eyes. “Time to stretch,” he yawned aloud. His back ached not surprisingly. Sitting in such a position for a long time always did that. Tensing and relaxing the back muscles was helpful. Karn rotated his shoulders a couple of times. Reaching over to stroke a cramp out of his leg he cringed noticing a slight pang of stiffness in his neck. The cramped cockpit had been home for him and his fellow eleven squadron members, somewhere out there in the brilliant blue-black kaleidoscope of hyperspace, for the past ten hours.
The A-wing class intercept/fighter, while known for its speed and maneuverability lacks considerably in the way of arm, leg, head, and elbowroom. These are definitely cramped quarters; not the preferred means of transportation through hyperspace, especially in such a long trip.

Karn had been assigned to First Strike twelve weeks ago; a lateral promotion as far as pay grade was concerned, but leaps and bounds in the way of possible combat experience and promotion. Compared to his previous appointment; a marked improvement. Karn slipped on his flight gloves and took a couple of minutes to re-familiarize himself with the controls of his new personal starfighter, one of the perks of being assigned to an active combat ready regiment.
The second he learned of First Strike’s designated starfighter classification he was beaming. Being assigned to a fighter squadron was one thing, but to find out he was going to be entrusted with one of the New Republic’s newest top-of-the-line fighters, that was totally something different, and this was his first mission.
First mission. He repeated it. First mission.
“My first real mission,” Karn stated out loud. The phrase brought a smile to his face. He liked the sound of it.
He had flown assignments before, in fact several of them: inspecting downed nonessential communication relays, escorting non-important dignitaries -- strictly ceremonial, and bulk freighters transferring cargo, and traffic control duty. All very routine. And all very boring. But this was his first sortie. Karn was overcome with giddiness. He still couldn’t believe it. His first real test experience outside the simulators and he had been itching for a scrap since his reassignment.
He winced as he tried to give himself a neck message.
Fifteen minutes.
My first mission. Karn frowned.
He had been repeating that phrase to himself for most of the trip inside his little one-man fighter, but for the first time that phrase brought a sense of dread. What if I screw up? What if I let the enemy get behind me?
What if I…He mouthed the words “number seven.” He didn’t want to think about that. That wouldn’t happen anyway. I have my…
“Oh. I almost forgot.” Karn reached into the left breast pocket of his jumpsuit.
“Sithspawn! Where is it?” He reached deeper into the pocket, grasping, hoping he wasn’t feeling what he thought. Nothing. Nothing. “It’s not here. I know I brought it. Where is it?” He rummaged through his other pockets burying his hands in them, dumping out the contents. “No. No. No! I know I didn’t leave it. I couldn’t have. Not now!”
His gloved hand touched something familiar. “Aha!” He pulled it out clutching it in his fist, and kissed it. “Thank Thon.” Tentatively Karn unclenched his fist revealing what lay there; a crumpled piece of plasteel.
His body relaxed.

Karn Saitek found out while on the short shuttle skip to the Resilience, his new home, that he was taking the place of a much beloved and respected pilot, one who had been with the squad since its inception. This news in and of itself wasn’t anything profound. It was par for the course. Unfortunately in times of war the most common way for pilots to move up within the ranks was by replacing a fallen comrade. The rub was that this former fellow fighter jock he was replacing had been “replaced” by six previous rookies in the past standard year, all of them lost in combat. This made him the seventh in succession of the unluckiest position in one of the most unlucky squadrons in the New Republic fleet. He promised himself he would not become number seven.
Because of all the tragedy First Strike had become a close family. This tight nit group was weary of letting anyone new into the fold. As of yet he still hadn’t been totally accepted. The only one who had was Captain Hal Decker. He was the only member of the squadron to greet him at the hanger bay when he first boarded. He had taken him under his wing right from the start introducing him to the flight crew and other pilots, taking him on the tour of the Resilience, and explaining the situation.
Apparently the pilot he had “replaced,” a Sullustan, had had to be discharged because of some mysterious infection he had received while on leave on Coruscant. People were calling it a plague; the worst kind. The Krytos virus, a horrible disease that appeared to dissolve the flesh of its victims, caused an agonizing and gruesome death, and was 100 percent fatal if not treated. However, it was a relatively simple virus; easily treatable, with a few treatments of Bacta, the universe’s wonder drug. And it only affected a few specific sentient species. Thankfully humans were not one of them, he thought to himself as Hal told him the story.
The problem was that the two leading distributors of Bacta, the Xucphra and Zaltin corporations, often referred to as the Bacta Cartels because of their ever escalating and competitive price gouging, were at war with each other leading to a severe reduction and depletion of Bacta supplies.
Karn had a lot of respect for Captain Decker, not only for befriending him, but for sticking up for him especially when it came to Major Kale Ridge, Decker’s immediate superior, and commander of the flight group, and best friend.
Command had saw fit to promote Ridge and give him his own fighter squadron after the battle to seize control of Coruscant from the Empire. Ridge and his team had tried heroically to defend several troop transports from numerous squadrons of TIEs, so that the commandos could capture one of the Golan II battle stations orbiting above the planet. Ridge brought along Decker, his First Lieutenant, from the previous squad, and First Strike was born.
Karn was astonished, and somewhat embarrassed, to realize that Decker had alienated his best friend and snubbed his nose at the rest of the squad. To make some new guy, he didn’t even know, feel more comfortable in his new surroundings… that going by the previous recruits wouldn’t last two months. “Wow,” he mouthed to himself. A definite class act.
Hal Decker was a tall, thin, and surprisingly very well fit individual Karn discovered when they met and shook hands. He had the typical straight and tight crew cut of a naval officer which enhanced his classically handsome features. He was just over middle-age; at least twenty years his senior and ten years older than Major Ridge, a fatherly figure for the flight group, which consisted of mostly relatively young pilots, as far as the humans went. Karn hadn’t been around other sentient species much in his life. Decker was a stoic man, and the lines on his face and salt and pepper hair gave away his age and experience, but his eyes betrayed that and gave him a youthful, charming demeanor. Karn could tell he was a very well liked and respected leader, and much deserved so.

When he was told a week ago the squadron had been picked to be the point team for an upcoming strike on an Imperial naval base, Karn was elated. He had been hoping to see some action soon, and for a chance to prove himself to the rest of the squad. He had also hoped to at least get one kill on the flight roster. His was the only name on the board without a hash mark next to it.
Decker explained the lingo to him that starfighter jockeys went by in combat during one of their training exercises. TIE fighters, the typical enemy craft, were called “eyeballs.” Then there were the TIE Interceptors, or “squints” newer, faster, more maneuverable, and deadlier, with quad-lasers like the New Republic’s famed X-wing starfighter, and with a stronger hull to boot. A-wings could easily match them speed for speed and agility. Though the Interceptors did have more standard firepower, the A-wing’s shields and the squints lack there of more than compensated for it. Even still Decker suggested it wasn’t a good idea for a rookie to engage them.
TIE Bombers, the slow clumsy cousin, called “dupes” were typically easy pickings for any and every New Republic fighter including the equally as clumsy semi-retired Y-wing. “But,” Decker had warned, practically hammering into his head. “Never engage a dupe head-on. I’ve seen too many young pilots like yourself loose playing chicken with one. You see a lone dupe and get cocky thinking ‘easy kill,’ and go full engine burn towards it, and before you know it, it’s dropped a torp up your nose, and boom. The recovery team comes and all they find is a charred, frozen finger or ear to send home to your parents.”
Karn’s hopes were quickly dashed during the mission briefing, the day before. First Strike’s orders were very strict: do a fly-by of the base, collect data on all ships entering and leaving the target area, then report back. They were not to engage the enemy. If attacked, retreat immediately. First Strike was there only to acquire more precise data for the upcoming assault. Nothing more. To accomplish this task they were to navigate their recon fighters within five klicks of the mobile field base, and do two complete sweeps. This would give Command and the main strike force much needed up-to-date information to better prepare.

New Republic Command had set up patrols of the Mid Rim after the successful occupation of Coruscant; hearing of a possible buildup of enemy forces. By sure dumb luck, a Corellian Gunship, while doing a routine sweep of its sector, stumbled upon a drone ship. Apparently the automaton had blown out its hyperdrive motivator and navigation system after it did an exit jump to make a course change. The crew was astonished to see such a relic. In fact the only one found in recent memory, and in actual use was right after the death of the Emperor during the destruction of his second Death Star at Endor.
The Old Republic had stopped using them as message couriers almost four decades ago because they were slow and unreliable. Most long distance communications now were done by hypercomm, allowing for practically instantaneous news distribution. The most anyone had expected to find was some old tactical information on some long forgotten skirmish before the Clone Wars; the least, nothing. Upon much closer inspection it was discovered to be of Imperial origin, much to the dismay of several high ranking officers after its retrieval.
As it turned out, this type of communication was no surprise at all to New Republic Intelligence. The massive city-covered planet in the Core had been home to a major Imperial Intelligence training facility. Since Rogue Squadron’s much acclaimed incursion into Coruscant some of the Empire’s most talented Intel Specialists and hackers had sought asylum within the New Republic, and had since started working for the Intelligence division. With the overwhelming deluge of qualified, new Intel officers at their disposal NRI had begun intercepting and deciphering all sorts of “secure” Imperial hypercomm transmissions. A few splinter groups of the now defunct Empire had obviously figured this out after several failed attempts to reclaim Coruscant and other worlds. Using drones was just the next obvious means of communicating along vast distances, next to sending actual sentient messengers, and it was only a matter of time till one of those antiquated machines broke down.
The drone turned out to have a wealth of information.
The message inside; however, did surprise NRI’s tech team assigned to break its cypher. The message was from an Imperial captain by the name of Avry Feuer. Its recipient was to an unnamed Imperial admiral requesting assistance on a mounting assault on what had recently become a New Republic major hyperspace lane, part of the Perlemian Trade Route. Unfortunately, the damage caused during the course correction also erased its entire preprogrammed navigational chart, giving the intel team very little clue to its origins and none to its intended destination.
Through very meticulous calculations on fuel expenditures, known Imperial strongholds, and cross-referencing those with hyperspace lanes that would have brought the drone to its last exit jump NRI was able to conclude it had come from somewhere in the Minos Cluster, and after much reconnaissance they had been found.
New Republic Command began cautiously monitoring the fleet’s movements through secret listening posts. After two months of constant surveillance they decided they had obtained enough information to give the preemptive strike force a good indication of what they were up against.

First Strike knew to expect several Victory-Class Star Destroyers; as many as seven, probably a dozen or so Carrack Cruisers and Dreadnaughts, and maybe one or two Imperial-Class Star Destroyers. Other than that, it was a very well educated guess, but a guess none-the-less.
Imperial-Class. Deuce. Victory’s big brother.
So many ships. And that doesn’t include countless fighters and light support craft. At least there aren’t any more of those Supers, Karn reflected.
He recalled viewing the holovid of the battle above Endor as a teenager and seeing the tiny flash that had initiated the demise of the immense flagship Executor. Karn shuttered. He glanced down at the piece of plasteel still in his hand. His gaze shifted toward the onboard crono again.
Five minutes.
He paused, placed the object in his left breast pocket then put his helmet back on.
Karn rubbed his head through the inside of his helmet, easing away the ghost pain. Captain Decker had told him before the team had suited up that it was safe to remove his headgear and seat restraints while he slept during the trip so he could be more comfortable. He had said, “Every inch of extra space you can acquire can make a whole galaxy’s worth of difference, especially in an A-wing.” But Karn had decided against it. He had flown enough escort missions and practiced in enough sims to know the rules and regulations of space flight. The restraints and headgear were designed to prevent or absorb most bodily injury from any sudden jerk or impact. However, his recent test had proven that theory to be inaccurate at best.
Still, you never knew what could happen, Karn mused. You could be gliding comfortably through hyperspace one minute, and the next be suddenly torn back into real space by one of those new interdictor cruisers or some uncharted planetary mass or star and smack your head full force into the canopy. That would end your trip real quick. In more ways than one. He would have to adjust the flight restraints to make them more secure.
Later.
Three minutes. Time for a system check.
He was still grateful for the extra padding the helmet gave. “I could have had a concussion,” he said to himself ruefully. Decker was right though, every inch does help, he thought as he still tried to work one last kink out of his neck. The others had undoubtedly slept much better.
“Next time I’ll try without the helmet…maybe.”

Forty five seconds. Karn tugged on the ends of his flight gloves for a snugger fit.
He interlaced his fingers; stretched his arms out. He heard his knuckles pop.
Thirty seconds. He clasped his chinstrap back in place.
Ten. Karn pulled out his lucky charm, kissed the piece of plasteel again, and placed it securely back in his left breast pocket.
5…4…3…2…
“One.”





Chapter 2

The mottled blue and black of hyperspace dissolved into a tunnel of white lines, then snapped back into the bright pinpricks of distant stars.
Three A-wings shot out simultaneously in front of Karn Saitek. He counted them, ticking them off in his head. He added himself. That’s four. He checked his port; two, then starboard; one. Seven. His eyes rolled up. Eight. Nine. He focused on the radar display. Three below. Five behind.
Seventeen?
More blips emerged on the screen, seeming to split apart. Eighteen? …Nineteen?…Twenty?
Red? The fighter’s Friend/Foe Recognition finally dawned on him.
He felt a sudden, violent explosion from behind.

A tall, lanky figure, wearing the uniform of an Imperial Admiral, stood erect with hands clasped behind the small of his back on the bridge of the Star Destroyer Asp, his flagship. He watched in satisfaction as his fighters instantly overwhelmed the enemy, caught off guard by the surprise attack.
It appears they received the message. The corner of his mouth lifted. Slightly.
The communications chief turned and looked up to his captain seated in the command chair. “Captain.”
“Yes.”
“The Fleet wish to know your orders, Sir.”
. “Have the fleet stand down for now.” Admiral Holt Torne interjected cutting off Captain Avry Feuer’s response. He then turned and looked down at the communications chief standing in the crew pit behind him. The chief nodded in punctuated affirmation and issued the orders to his subordinates. The Admiral glanced back at Captain Feuer seated a few feet behind him then turned his attention back to the viewscreen. “I would like to see what our new pilots are capable of,” he paused. “Don’t you agree Captain.”
“Yes, Admiral.”

Karn’s head snapped forward and felt his body become weightless.
His body slammed back into the flight cushion as the g-force dampeners overcompensated. His head was swimming. He could feel his little fighter flipping end over end tumbling out of control. Every muscle in Karn’s body tensed as he fought to regain control. His A-wing began to respond. He shook off the waning dizziness. He glimpsed a green flash to his right and yanked the control stick to the left and felt the g-forces press him further into the seat. “Scramble, scramble, scramble!” Commander Ridge’s voice shouted into his right ear. “Evasive maneuvers!”
Two squadrons of TIEs screamed past from behind.




“Report,” Major Ridge yelled into the comm, sending his A-wing into a 180-degree arch and vaporizing one enemy fighter. He cycled through the available targets. Star Destroyer, Class-II. He looked again. Behind us? How? He checked the distance indicator. Seven kilometers. He sighed in relief. His attention snapped back to focus.
“…even’s gone.”
“We gotta deuce behind us!”
“Three and Six are disabled,” Grub’s mechanical voice reported back, sending two red lances into a lone enemy fighter.
Seven’s gone? Kale focused on the more pressing issue. “Ignore it. Three? Six? Can you hear me?” Two TIEs screamed past his peripheral vision.
“Six here. I’m a sittin’ womp rat, Sir. Maneuverability and shields gone. Weapons offline. Life-support’s damaged. Hull’s at sixty-five percent,” Lieutenant Orden managed a grin. “Comm still works.”
“Life-support,” Kale pulled back, climbing up, avoiding two deadly blasts. “How bad?”
“Not bad. Don’t know how long it’ll last and don’t wanna stick ‘round to find out.”
“Two. Four. Protect Six.” Ridge dodged another volley. He turned his attention back to his disabled friend. “Hyperdrive?”
“Fried.”
“Can it be fixed?”
“Don’t have much of a choice do I?”
“First priority Lieutenant, reroute everything you got. As soon as it’s repaired we’re outta here.” Kale settled his crosshairs on the remaining wingman and fired. The ball-shaped cockpit erupted in sparks and went dead. “Three! Somebody give me a visual on Three!” He took one last look at the inert object, still intact.




Karn jockeyed his interceptor in behind a TIE, and steadied his craft, waiting for his targeting system to turn green. Come on. Come on. “Gottcha.” He lit him up, searing off the port solar panel. The Imperial fighter tumbled in a spiral trajectory. He caught an explosion over his left shoulder.
“Yeeehaa!” An A-wing roared past overhead.
“Thanks Nine. Just a sec, Sir.” Karn decreased his throttle to a crawl to get a better look. “I see movement!”
“He’s yours Eight. Five, help ‘em out. The rest of you pair up. Nine and Ten. Eleven and Twelve.”




Kale Ridge traced his A-wing’s lasers over an approaching enemy, reducing the Imperial fighter to slag. Guiding his interceptor/fighter towards another advancing TIE he was greeted with four direct hits. He threw his ship into a corkscrew dive avoiding two more blasts. That was too close. Both starfighters banked right and came back for another approach. Stupid move Imp. Kale transferred laser power to deflector shields and cannibalized all his shields to the forward position. Two pairs of beams of supercharged energy shot forward, each striking their intended mark. Out of the fiery ball of debris Kale’s fighter erupted, victorious.
Kale cycled back to the Star Destroyer behind them. It’s not moving? It’s just sitting there. He noted the name. Stardust? Odd.




“Nine, help me out! I’ve got an eyeball suckin’ on my exhaust.”
“I’m tryin’.” Flight Officer Jace Devlin fired and missed, the enemy fighter slipping in and out of his reticle. “Slow down a bit.” He fired again; another miss. “Stop weaving. I’m right behind ya.”
“Easy for you to say,” Rren Pischik retorted.
Flight Officer Jace Devlin reduced his speed to stay behind the TIE’s unprotected aft section. “Steady…steady.” He fired. Two red beams of energy converged on the craft’s ion engine. The engine detonated, propelling the craft upward until it disintegrated.
“It’s about time!”
“You’re welcome Ten.” Jace increased the throttle adjusting power back to his depleted lasers. He listened to the comm.
“Watch your six Eight.”




“I see ‘em.”
Thanks Five,” Karn said as he circled back, watching the crippled TIE as it lulled towards an unknown destination.
“Well here comes two more,” Lieutenant Salairis Eaton said, wiping out one more Imperial from existence.
“Right there, Five.”
Karn raced back towards the still crippled A-wing, switching shields to full forward, and let loose a volley of red-orange bolts not waiting till his computer had a targeting scheme. One heated beam melted through the top corner of the lead TIE’s starboard solar wing array. The other hit home striking dead center, smashing through the cockpit viewport, then ripping out the port ion engine, causing the lead TIE to careen, colliding into his wingman. Both fighters blew up on impact sending shrapnel and debris in all directions. “Two for the price of one! That’s four for me.”
“Good, don’t get cocky.”




“Eleven, you got two eyeballs on your tail.”
“Don’t worry, I see them.” Krath Khar’do accelerated his nimble fighter jinking left then right avoiding the deadly bursts of enemy fire. One blast clipped his starboard stabilizer sending a wash of green energy across the right side of his ship. He checked his shields. They were still holding. Krath cut hard to port, letting his foot off the left rudder. His fighter fishtailed and whipped around. He dropped his speed.
As predicted, the lead TIE overshot, not having enough time to react, and circled back. His wingman, seeing the A-wing’s guns bearing down on him, aborted to come back for another pass.
Classic Imperial squeeze play. Krath waited till both were facing him, then shot towards the oncoming TIE, targeting it. A salvo of green laser bolts rushed towards his craft from both directions. Two more hits. He evened out his shields, relocating power from the lasers to them, dodging as best he could. He watched as the numbers on the distance indicator ticked down. Another hit.
1.2km.
800m.
500m.
200m.
He reached for the repulsor switch.
One-fifty. One hundred. Seventy-five.
Krath fired the landing jets launching his A-wing vertically out of the enemies’ line of fire and rolled the craft upside down just in time to witness a spectacular collision. Krath bared his fangs and howled over the comm.
“Nice,” Lieutenant Selph Ker growled in his ears.
“Thank you Twelve.” Krath smiled.




“Com’on baby, come to life for papa,” Anton Orden whispered trying to coax life out of his wounded little fighter.
“Six. Status report,” Major Ridge called into his ear.
“Uh…um…,” Anton, hunched over, looked at the multiple spliced wires in his hands. “Just a sec.” He picked two, licked his fingers, and twisted them together. “Sithspawn!”
“Lieutenant!” Ridge barked.
“Sorry.” Anton bit his fingers then shook them cursing under his breath. “Almost there, Sir.” Anton peeked above the control board and quickly ducked back down. “Uh, fellas. It’s gettin’ alil’bit crowded over here.” Five Imperial TIE fighters were speeding straight towards him.
“I’ll take care of it.” Captain Hal Decker banked left, receiving a glancing blow to his rear shields. “Four, stay with Six. I’ll see if I can’t get a few of these Imps to follow me.” Hal cut a sharp angle right, raking tertiary fire across their flight path, nailing one, then veered off. He looked over his left shoulder as the four remaining TIEs changed course vectoring in on his flight path. “It worked! These Imps must be rookies.”
Hal accelerated his fighter, transferring all laser power to his engines. Four bursts impacted his aft section. He looked behind him again. Too well. He evened out his shields. Two more hit punching through. Hal switched all remaining shields to the rear. He threw the control stick to the left, three more deadly emerald beams singed his starboard side wiping them out again. “Need some help here!”
“This is Lead. I’m on my way.”
Hal transferred engine power to his shields, causing the fighter to slow. He felt another hit. His fighter shuttered. Hal juked right, one of the lethal beams just missing his port stabilizer. “Guys?”
“On my way.”
Another glanced off his starboard side canopy. He transferred more power to the shields slowing his fighter more. He felt another more violent shutter. Another hit. “Shields gone!” Hal juked left and slammed the control stick down.




Kale Ridge tore through the void of space in a race to save his second in command. “Almost there just hold’er together a little while longer,” Kale spoke into his headset, a slight quiver in his voice.
“I’m gettin’ torn apart!”




Hal looked over his shoulder and saw another glancing blow off his starboard engine and felt sparks sear across his face and jumpsuit. He looked down. “Sensors are gone. I can’t see ‘em.” He searched over both shoulders in a vain attempt to see where the enemy fire was coming from. He threw the flight stick to the left. Nothing happened. He shoved it to the right. Nothing. “I’ve lost controls! I can’t maneuver. Somebody get these guys off…”




“Eject! Hal! Eject!” Kale screamed into the comm.
“I can’…”
Kale watched as two green cylinders converged on their target.

Major Kale Ridge stared in stunned disbelief as his second-in-command’s fighter enveloped into a grotesque incandescent ball of flaming debris, then quickly dissipated. The static reticence rang in his ears. His friend of six years, gone. He slumped in his seat.
“Two’s down! Two’s down!”
“We’ve lost Hal!”
“Oh, no.”




“Sir, the Imp Star is launching more fighters. I count eightmake that twelve. Bombers, Sir.” Jace dodged a pair of lethal verdant rays. “Commander! Commander!”




Out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of a brilliant flash. Kale Ridge shook himself out of his daze. “Six.”
“Hyperdrive’s fixed, Sir.”
“Eight, how’s Three?”
“His comm system must still be out. We haven’t been able to contact him yet.”
“Any other readings?”
“His ship is badly damaged. He isn’t moving.”
Kale didn’t respond.
“Sir?”
“Whatta we do?”
“Leave‘em,” Commander Ridge finally answered.
“Sir?”
“You heard me Five.”
“But…”
“Commander, the dupes!”
“…we can’t just leave him!”
“Sir, they’re locking on. Missiles!”
“Yes we can.”
“But, he might still be alive.”
“They got lock!”
“That’s an order, Lieutenant. We can’t do any thing for him.”
“INCOMING!”
“First Strike, jump to lightspeed!”

Admiral Holt Torne stood erect with hands clasped behind his back on the bridge. He watched as the New Republic starfighters changed course and jumped into hyperspace, his face an unreadable mask.
“Lieutenant. You may reduce to standard visual observation.” The sensors chief complied with the Captain’s orders.
“Captain.”
“Yes, Admiral.” Captain Avry Feuer cut short his conversation with the Search and Recovery team. He raised himself from his captain’s chair, behind the Admiral, and smoothed the creases from his uniform. He marched forward, palming a datacard reader from a nearby officer, positioning himself just behind and to the right. He stood at attention.
“How did my fighters do?” The Admiral remained facing the observation screen; his stance unchanged.
Feuer glanced down at his right hand. “We lost seventeen. Ten from Delta Squadron. Seven from Gamma, Sir.”
“And the Rebels?”
He glanced back down. “A total of three. Two destroyed. One disabled. I just sent a recovery team to retrieve the pilot. Hopefully we can extract some useful information out of the Rebel.”
“I doubt that Captain, but you may do with the pilot as you wish.” He paused, “Your fighters didn’t do quite as well as you had predicted.”
“Yes, Admiral.”
“I had hoped for better results.” He paused, contemplating. “It was just a test.”
“Yes, Admiral.”
“I had planned on letting at least one of them live anyway. A few more doesn’t change things.”
“Yes, Sir.”
Admiral Torne glanced back, cocking his eyebrow, meeting the other’s eyes. “Don’t disappoint me next time, Captain.” He returned his attention back to the screen. “You are relieved.”
“Thank you, Admiral.” Feuer saluted and handed the officer back his datapad, leaving the Admiral to himself.
“Lieutenant, recall our bombers, then join up with the rest of our fleet. Communications.”
“Admiral?”
“Relay a message to the fleet. We are evacuating. They have one standard hour.”
“Yes Sir.”
The lieutenant looked back up from his post. “Admiral? What about the fighters?”
He paused.
“Recall the fighters.”
“Yes, Sir.”
He turned to the weapons station chief. “Power up the forward batteries. When they are within range, fire.” He averted his attention back to the viewscreen, no visible expression on his face.
The Admiral remained, staring out into space, his hands clasped behind his back. Things had not changed. “Not at all.”
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Last edited by starwarslegofreak on Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Lego Apple



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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Short? Smile
This is a work of art, slf! This is something I don't think George Lucas could replicate. I can see it now..... StarWarsLegoFreak Enterprises®: We believe in making quality Star Wars short stories for everybody to treasure.
Lego "Granny Smith" Apple

P.S. I think you have a great deal of potential to be an author.
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Last edited by Lego Apple on Sun May 18, 2008 9:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shee, Apple, did it really take you 4+ hours to read the rest of that? Razz

This is really good, SWLF! While I was reading it, I felt like I was reading an actual Star Wars book! I'm really looking forward to seeing more! Smile You've really got talent in the area of writing!
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starwarslegofreak



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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Lego Apple and Captain Typo. Knowing that Star Wars fans appreciate this little project of mine and can see talent in it gives me a huge boost of confidense. So far I have 3 chapters in the works, and hope to continue this. Chapter 1 should be up relatively soon. Thanks again.
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starwarslegofreak



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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anybody else got any material they would like to share. i'm curious who else dabbles in fiction writing.
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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Chapter 1 is now up. Hopefully yall like it. Any constructive criticism or questions are welcome. Happy reading.
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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarcasm:On- Oh great! You wrote more! And you made it even longer then the last one! Gee, thanks alot. Sarcasm:Off Razz

I can't wait to read this. Just give me some time and I will...

Edit: I'm telling you swlf, you need to become an author. The amount of effort and dedication you put into this amazes beyond description. The way you capture the thrill and excitement, makes me want to read more. I am immensely look forward to future stories.-
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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Apps, I hope it doesn't take you as long to read this as it did last time! Razz

I've read about half of the chapter so far. Can't finish, because I've got to go somewhere. But from what I've seen so far, this is great! I think it is quite a pity that LA and I seem to be the only ones who take the time to read and comment on your writing, because there are many other members who would thoroughly enjoy it, I'm sure! But I'm sure that, as you go along, others will take notice, and then you'll have people other than me and Apple commenting on your work! Wink

Again, Keep up the incredible work, SWLF! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK to everyone that is interested CHAPTER 2 is now up. Hopefully it was worth the wait. Enjoy. Again any comments or criticisms are much appreciated.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bump diddly bump bump Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're lucky I don't have my special buttons anymore, because a needless bump like that is just asking to get thrown in the trash. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for your help in keeping this thread alive don. if you have any other needless replies feel free to get in the last word. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

starwarslegofreak wrote:
thanks for your help in keeping this thread alive don. if you have any other needless replies feel free to get in the last word. Very Happy


Not wise, kid.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the advice toddler. Shocked
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, no... Don't do this, man... Not to boss you around, but you really should stop while you're ahead! Your stories are really brilliant, and it would be a shame if they got sent to lockytown. Shocked
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. I just read this story. Quite good. I've only read a couple of Star Wars novels (since my parents discourage reading books such as these, unless I just finished several massive classics or something...), but I could see this being in one of those Timothy Zahn novels. In fact, the first part of the prologue I thought came from Truce at Bakura, one of two SW novels I've read. VERY GOOD.

I've sort of done some fiction writing, none on my computer though (silly, I know, and I really should type them up), but no SW short stories, or novellettes in your case. Wink Maybe I should start...
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SWLF, currently, I am working on some short stories, but it's borderline 'book length'. My SW one is called 'Red Dawn' or 'Assault on Axiom III' and it takes place in the Clone Wars. I would be unable to post it here as it is 49(and growing!) pages long.


and please ignore the sig on this post Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Btw, SWLF, how long is your short story when put on paper, such as a word document?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to write more! I was considering writing my own and posting them here. But thanks to you, you've spared FBTB the horror of reading my would-be pathetic work! I really can't come near it. Great peice of work here SWLF.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Kit Fisto. If I remember correctly, The Brain, I copied verbatim one page of an X-wing novel in paperback on word and compared it what i have, and it came out to between 75 to 100 pages. That was when i first started writing this so its probably closer to 100 by now.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to read other ppl short stories btw, so feel free to post here. im sure other ppl here would like to read other stories as well.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

starwarslegofreak wrote:
Thank you Kit Fisto. If I remember correctly, The Brain, I copied verbatim one page of an X-wing novel in paperback on word and compared it what i have, and it came out to between 75 to 100 pages. That was when i first started writing this so its probably closer to 100 by now.


1 page of a paperback=75-100 pages in Word? No offense, but that really doesn't add up with my sort of math. Razz
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

:D, no you misunderstood. I typed out 1 page of a paperback novel into word at a 12pt size text. I forget how many pages or fractions of a page that equaled in word. (don't feel like doing the math right now). Then compared that to what I had. Using that estimation I calculated what I had typed and figured that if the story i had so far was published in paperback it would be equivalent somewhere between 75-100 pages.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, a bit more clear. But how many pages was your short story alone in a Word document?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's 43 pages in word now. I don't know what it was when I compared it to paperback.
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