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Osetto
06.22.2012 , 01:28 AM | #1
Exponent



Prologue

“The Empire has taken control of the eastern airbase. We’ve yet to receive any communications from within since the takeover. Initial surveillance shows hangars ‘Aurek’ through ‘Grek’ have been infiltrated. No confirmed intel regarding hangar ‘Hesh’. Reports suggest that any fighters, bombers, or shuttles that were being held within those hangars are now assumed to be under Imperial command. The airbase possessed significant automated defenses, mostly light surface-to-air batteries with some outlying turbolaser emplacements for heavier targets. The Imperial ground team assaulted the base managed to take control of said defenses and turn them against us. Any aerial transports we send into the area would be handedly terminated.”

“What of a tactical strike? We could sweep the area with a series of stealth bombers, or perhaps order an orbital bombardment.”

“Ignoring for a moment the base’s superior defensive capabilities, you realize we’d be bombarding our own facilities and assets.”

“Better than allowing them to fall completely into the hands of the Empire.”

“And what of the personnel possibly still within?”

“You said yourself that we’ve received no internal communications since the Imperial takeover. And we both know the Empire’s policy for taking prisoners is…”

“Highly dependent on who the commanding officer is.”

“And who might it be that is leading the Imperial forces currently fortifying themselves in our airbase?”

“Moff Oryk still controls the forces in the main theatre, but the detachment that assaulted our airbase was headed by one Derro Kaven. Reports show a company of soldiers under his sovereign command, bolstered by a couple of support squads from the Moff’s forces.”

“Bolstered even more by the airbase’s captured defenses. The Moff intends for us to divide our attention between the main battlefield and retaking the airbase.”

“Giving him the chance he needs to push through to the Republic command center. But we can’t let them keep their hands on the airbase. If they start using our own munitions against our forces, it will not matter how focused we remain on the primary front.”

“Then what do we do? With their fortifications, it would take hundreds of soldiers to retake the airbase.”

“Not exactly. I’m fairly sure it could be done with exactly one hundred.”

“You mean…”

“Yes. We send in Advent Company.”

----------

We were nearing the war’s end, though no one in the Republic could have told you that. It was almost a year before the Treaty of Coruscant. Before the event that forever changed the dynamics of what it meant to be a soldier. A patriot. The war didn’t seem to be progressing in anyone’s favor. The Republic and Empire would engage in galactic war for almost three decades. Practically half my life. But I dutifully offered those years to the Republic. Joined the army. Served to the best of my ability. Rose through the ranks until I had finally settled upon Captain. Was given control of my own company. Unique in its makeup. In its purpose. We were solitary. We were initiators. We were fast and focused. First contact, ice breakers, alpha strikes, aurek-grade procedures; that’s who we were. We were Advent Company. And I was its Captain. Vesk Korden.

A human male hastily walked through the halls of the makeshift command center that had been erected in the southern vestiges of a bustling cityscape. Republic territory. Civilian populace, but outlying military bases provided a reminder that all was not peaceful. An unneeded reminder, as the Imperial invasion force that was making its way through the city was the only evidence of war one needed. The capital of one of the Republic’s colonial worlds in the Mid Rim, the area was urbanized, but possessed nothing too sufficiently advanced.

The human was adorned up to his neck in military-grade battle armor. The once pristinely white plates that armored his body had been beaten and battered, scuffs and scrapes visibly present throughout the suit. Fading blue highlights graced the armor’s chest and pauldrons in the form of decorative stripes and insignias. The company’s logo remained in its entirety over the soldier’s heart: a rotated ‘aurek’ character with an eight-pointed star situated in the letter’s crevice, encompassed with a circular flair. Passing through a room’s barrier that amounted to little more than a hanging sheet of cloth, the trooper entered what appeared to be an armory.

The company was preparing for deployment. Everyone was suiting up. Taking blasters from the racks. Piling into armored ground transports. There were ninety-four of us on the ground. Six officers tasks with providing logistics, intel, and everything else we needed back in the command center. Advent Company was composed of three platoons. Forward. Left. And Right. Forward Platoon would charge up the center, with the others providing flank support, able to collapse inward should the need arise. Each platoon was comprised of three squads, ten soldiers strong. One designed for offense. One for defense. And one to bridge the two. We didn’t need colors or symbols to distinguish one another. Everyone knew their role. Their place in the family.

The captain made his way to the weapons racks that lined the walls of the armory. He stared at the selection with a discerning gaze. His eyes narrowed and his face scrunched as the soldier looked over the armament. The trooper had seen more than two decades worth of live combat firsthand and his face sufficiently told the tale. Hardened, grizzled features populated the man’s visage, his face only slightly less beat up than his armor. A scar stretched from his left cheek and into the receding hairline of soldier’s military cut brown fibers atop his head.

I took my gear from the racks. Blaster rifle. RDC-12. Sidearm. RDC-14p. Combat knife, sheathed in my bandolier. Three grenades lining my belt. Comm in my ear. Didn’t wear a helmet. Never did. The company had Twi’leks, Duros, Mon Cal’s, and Nautolans amongst it ranks, none of which got the personalized helm needed to accommodate their biology. If I was going to fight by their side, and them by mine, I would operate by their circumstances. Damned things just impair my eyesight anyway.

Captain Korden stepped away from the armory supplies with his gear sufficiently secured to his person. Surveying his surroundings, the trooper saw the hustle of the surrounding personnel dying down. Few soldiers walked the area, the majority of those under his command had already loaded onto nine troop transports, each holding a squad within its innards. The armored personnel carriers stood upon a series of reinforced wheels capable of traversing the rough, urbanized terrain the company would be encountering.

“Platoons check in,” Korden steadfastly stated into his comm.

“Lieutenant Karviss with Forward Platoon. Assault, Voyager, and Bastion squads loaded and ready,” a female voice chatted back.

“Lieutenant Ki’drahn with Left Platoon. Barrage, Flux, and Vigil squads loaded and ready,” a male voice stated.

“Lieutenant Rayna with Right Platoon. Venture, Inertia, and Bulwark squads loaded and ready,” another female voice informed.

“Officer Sonrik, are we clear to proceed?” Korden inquired into his comm.

“Advent Company is good to go, sir,” Sonrik quickly replied from his position in the command center.

I piled in alongside Karviss and Sergeant Jowens of Assault Squad. We’d be storming the occupied airbase head on whilst the side platoons provided support. It would prove to be one hell of a ride, and I… you’re not even listening are you?

----------

Vesk Korden turned his head to the degenerate occupant of the stool adjacent his. Present day. Four years since the war came to an official close. The former Captain found himself not on the battlefield, not amongst military personnel, but sitting at the bar of a luminescent saloon located in Nar Shaddaa’s Promenade. A place for glamorous lowlifes to waste away their lives and credits under the watchful gaze of Hutt Cartel enforcers. No place for a soldier. Then again, he wasn’t a soldier anymore. At least, not like before.

Seeing as to how his ‘new friend’ had drunk himself into a sluggish stupor, ‘softly’ laying his head upon the cold surface of the bar, Korden stood from his stool and pulled a singular credit chit from his officer’s uniform. Gone were the days of battle armor and tactical outfitting, in its place the clothes of a military advisor. Dark gray trousers and officer’s jacket. Blue trim. Standard sidearm in a shoulder holster. Placing the credit chit on the counter, Korden offered an abrupt nod toward the bartender before calmly walking out of the saloon.

Nar Shaddaa. A wretched hive of miscreants, criminals, and murderers. And they’re juuust the people the Republic wants on its side. Well, I suppose they’d rather they just weren’t allied with the Sith instead. Just a lot of credits and business know-how at their disposal and they’re capable retaining their neutrality throughout constant galactic confrontations. And the Republic wants my help convincing certain parties to break that neutrality.

Walking from the confines of the glamorous saloon, the officer was greeted with a conforming vantage as he gazed into the Promenade’s plaza from the second tier walkway that wrapped around it. Golden statues, luminescent trees, market stalls selling everything from the extravagant to mundane-yet-overly-priced. Transients walking to and from the menagerie of outlets for their gluttony and lust. Paying little mind to his surroundings, Korden calmly continued his journey toward an unassuming recess a short distance away from the saloon.

The Republic Embassy. Preliminary diplomatic connections with the local Hutts being carried out within its walls. Not much to show for it so far. Likely many more years before we’re able to secure an alliance with any of the more influential members of the Hutt Cartel. But still, every little bit helps. At least, that’s what I’ve always believed. Always wanted to believe. Imperials are doing the same as us. Trying to kiss up to the Hutts. Attain their favor. Betray them sometime down the line, I’m assuming. Imperial pride doesn’t allow for much long-term alliances. Then again, I doubt we’d treat them much better. Republic isn’t keen on amnesty for their kind. Still, anything to give us an edge over the Empire.

Outside the entrance of the non-descript embassy operated by the Galactic Republic, the vestiges of what sounded like a commotion stemmed from the opposite side of the promenade. Subtle crashes. Shouting. Looking over the ledge of the walkway, Korden saw the subtle blur of colors suggesting a chase in progress. Blue in the front. Red in the back. A young, rutian Twi’lek nearly slipped to the ground as she rounded a sharp corner at full sprint. Recovering instantly, the girl continued to evade a pair of black sentinels. Two armored soldiers attempted to keep up with the lithe target as she made her way across the Promenade. Leaping over the tall ledge that overlooked the plaza below, the Twi’lek caught herself on one of the banisters that hung over the gathered market stalls. Frustrated, the troopers communicated for but a moment before descending the ramp that led to the lower level a short distance away. The Republic officer watched from his overlooking position, studying the events that unfolded below.

Imperials. Bold to be acting so brazenly in such a public district. Bold or stupid. They’re obviously interested in catching the girl. No visible weapons. On the Twi’lek or the Imperials. No reason for the cartel enforcers to interfere…

As the Imperials closed in on the Twi’lek, she knocked over the stacked produce of a nearby market stall. Spreading out on the floor behind her, the Imperial troopers fell to the ground as they stepped and slipped on the assortment of slick fruits.

Maybe a little reason…

Watching as the two Imperials struggled to steady themselves, Korden noticed the Twi’lek was ascending the ramp near his position. As she graced the second level of the promenade, she quickly directed her motion towards the Republic officer. She stopped only when she was right in his face, or would have been if she weren’t bending over exhausted, trying to catch her breath. After only a brief moment of respite, she raised herself and gazed into Korden’s eyes.

Tw’lek. Female. Late teens. Civilian. Unarmed. Distressed, but unusually positive.

“Hi. This is the Republic Embassy right? Yes? Well, I’d like to enlist. Thank you. Goodbye,” the girl hastily stated, words and sentences meshing into one congruous line of almost incomprehensible dialogue.

Before Korden could even respond, the Twi’lek had resumed her motion, dashing beyond the threshold of the Republic embassy. Rounding the corner of the entrance hall, the officer had already lost track of the mysterious fugitive. Taking a step forward, Korden found himself standing in the entrance of the embassy when the sound of a man barking commands resonated behind him. Slowly turning, the former Captain found himself staring down the two Imperial pursuers. Armored and helmed, the faceless grunts of the Sith Empire approached the threshold of the Republic embassy.

Korden stood resolute, impeding their path.
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