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Slave_1
20 November 2005, 01:37 PM
Malik was always rather ambitious as a child. Growing up he would sell adult holo-vids, small weapons, and chem-sticks to other children in school from his locker, so it was no surprise to his mother when he started taking flight training at the local space port from some rather seedy looking people. It was when he enrolled himself in the Imperial collage for business sciences that he managed to surprise everyone. No one ever knew how he paid for such things, but he always managed to just have enough to get what he wanted, and no one ever questioned it either. He was just too agreeable and too average for anyone to really question his actions or motives. What he wanted now was to get his ship past a blockade so he could drop his cargo of counterfeit credits to his contact on the planet below.

The Freight Shaker was very plain ship as ships went, not giving away any hint of the firepower it contained, or the speeds it could reach. It was just another tired looking freighter trying to make one more run before it got scraped for parts. Now as they progressed in line with the other ships awaiting orbital inspection, he and his crew of three others waited to see if being average would pay off yet again.

“I’ll give three to one we don’t make it with out being boarded.” Tuul proclaimed.

“For a Twi’Lek youre not very smart Tool.” Malik jested back at him.

“And for a human, you are very ugly.” Tuul hated the way most humans seemed unable to get the inflection of his name right, but he had learned to put up with it. If he was ever going to have his own ship, and not just be a co-pilot, he felt he would have to put with a lot.

“You’re on, put me down for twenty.” He said with a nod.

“Decicreds don’t count.”

“Fine! Make it ten credits. Jeeze!” They both started to laugh at themselves as they watched another ship get pulled out of line. “See. They’ve been pulling every fourth or fifth ship from the line, and that one was six spots ahead of us.”

“Don’t count your mynocs before there hatched.”

“Mynocs don’t hatch?” Malik was sure he hadn’t heard otherwise.

“Exactly.” Tuul put on that smirk that annoyed Malik on more than one occasion.

“When has my baby ever let me down before?”

“Well, there was that time on Moriis three, and the time on Nar-Shada, oh oh and that time…”

“Shut up tool.” Malik hated the way the Twi’Lek always seemed to be able to get to him. The two had been friends since they had met on Alderan nearly eight years ago. It was when Malik had watched the young Twi’Lek talk his way out of real tight spot with port security that he had decided to hire him. Tuul had proven himself time and again as a negotiator and wasn’t completely out of his league at the controls of a light freighter.

Tuul laughed again as they watched the two Victory class star destroyers loom ever closer. The Imperials where herding all incoming traffic to Shandra-Iri, the only planet in this system, between them. With there powerful new sensors they could see just about everything inside any ship that moved down the line. If there was anything questionable, the ship was pulled from the line for a boarding inspection, and if anyone failed to comply the new T.I.E.gt’s could make a strong case in the Empire’s favor. It struck Tuul as odd that two capital ships could generate so much fear. After all there were nearly two thousand ships in orbit at any given moment. Then an idea came to him, “What do you suppose would happen if someone made a run for it?”

“They’d be shot.” He knew that look, and it always made him nervous.

“Even if they ran the line?” he asked with his smirk growing to a wicked smile.

“Down the middle?”

“Yea.”

Malik had to think about that. Traffic was heavy today so they would have lots of cover from the Star Destroyers. It was the smaller fighters that worried him. “Let just wait for now.”

Tuul nodded in agreement, but started to adjust the engines for maximum acceleration. They would loose some top end speed, but they didn’t have far to go anyway.

Malik watched him in silence. If they did get pulled in they would never pass an inspection. Just in case, he activated the in-ship intercom, “Kiev, Brax, make sure the tie downs are secure then get to the gun wells. Don’t open the doors, just start the pre-charge.”

Kiev and Brax had hired on from Tatooine nearly a year ago. As brothers they had their own sort of language and always seemed to know what the other was thinking. As Faleen, they intimidated anyone who disagreed with the Malik. There didn’t seem to be any weapon in the galaxy they hadn’t heard of or didn’t know how to use, and they had proven there value to the ship more times than anyone was willing to count. The only reply they gave to the small bridge over the intercom was two clicks, by turning it off and on again. The Freight Shaker’s twin cannons were mounted in the traditional places for a YT-1300, the only difference was the turrets had been modified to retract into the hull of the ship and were surrounded by sensor absorbing plates. It was a good design, but required many hours of maintenance to make sure they would work when needed, and from the inside the modification was more than a little obvious as it nearly blocked one passageway completely.

“Getting nervous?” Tuul asked.

“Luck favors the prepared mind.”

“Then it is a wonder that we ever get lucky.” Tull started to laugh at that, amused with himself even if Malik wasn’t.

“Freight Shaker this is Imperial vessel Dominator, turn to course one one seven five two and prepair for inspection. Failure to comply will be seen as hostile actions.” The voice sounded flat a maybe just a little bored as it came out of the speaker.

“Orders captain?” Tuul asked.

Malik grabbed the thrust controls and jammed them all the way forward, pressing the two back in there seats and straining their restraints. At the same time, Tuul began working sensors and shields. A few seconds later the dorsal and ventral cannons emerged from there hiding places ready for action. Malik tried to keep other larger ships between him and the Imperial vessels, using them for cover as he tried to gain distance from the masive ships. At the same time he needed to keep an eye out for T.I.E. fighters and other picket ships. Then Brax opened fire on an unarmed yacht and the area deteriorated into chaos. The line became a mass of fleeing ships, while the Imperial ships tried to move in. Not sure who fired first, or even who had fired at whom, ships began to fire at each other in the confusion destroying several smaller vessels in the first thirty seconds alone as the Freight Shaker dodged and weaved its way down the line towards the planet.

PsychoInfiltrator
20 November 2005, 04:39 PM
This looks liek its getting off to a good start. I wanna see what the Vics do!

Slave_1
22 November 2005, 10:11 AM
“We have a runner Captain!” came an urgent voice from the port side pit.

Captain Lexam moved to the massive transpara-steel view ports covered the front forward wall of the bridge of the Dominator. He watched as the small ship began accelerating towards the planet. “Smugglers no doubt,” He said as he turned to his first officer, “Lets get two wings on them and notify the locals.”

“Yes Sir.”

He turned back to the viewport to watch the action, and was surprised at how quickly the situation had deteriorated. “Shields up, and cease fire! I said cease fire!”

The massive turbo lasers stopped almost at once, but the damage had been done. The once orderly line of legitimate shipping vessels was now a massive ball of the fleeing and dying. The other Star Destroyer, the Iron Fist, had moved out of position and was actually chasing the smaller vessel towards the planet. Several large ships began making hyperspace jumps to get put of the area as Captain Lexam watched two TIE’s and a light freighter collide in a ball of twisted steel and fire.

“Get rescue crews out to those ships now! Who the blazes gave the order to fire! And tell Captain Ramoes to get his ship back in position this instant!” He seethed. “We are here to maintain order people! Not create chaos!”

The bridge was energized with fear. Everyone down to the lowliest ensign began the frantic task of getting things back to normal as quickly as possible. The last time Captain Lexam had been this mad it was followed by nine court-martials and two deaths.

“Captain?” the first officer asked.

“What!”

“Flight Commander Gunnison has the smugglers spotted and is currently awaiting orders.”

His calm words stung the Captain, reminding him that such displays had no place on the bridge of an Imperial Star Destroyer. Lexam composed himself quickly, looking like a statue as he spoke, “Tell Gunnison to follow them to wherever they are going and await further orders.”

The two men stood facing each other, but this was no contest of wills. Both realized the Captain needed a moment to calm himself before the bridge became as much chaos as what was happening less than a kilometer away. Lexam would find out who fired first, and execute those responsible. No trial, no jury, no questions.

“Thank you.” The Captain whispered.

The first officer nodded then added, “Captain Ramoes has given an acknowledgment and is returning to his former position. Damage estimates are coming in now and repair crews are already on the problem.”

“The damage to the Dominator is not the problem. The political damage caused here by brash re-action rather than forceful thought-out action is the problem. The government of Shandra-Iri is nearly as pacifist as Alderan and today’s incident will not sit well. They may invite us to leave there system which will be bad for both the new order and my own career. If such a request is made, then they will be declared a separatist government and that will mean taking this world by force, which means a rather long period of pacification and my orders where to prevent using such force if able. I will not let the success of this mission be destroyed by a single smuggler and insubordination, am I clear on this matter First Officer Halloway?” The Captain was all business; once again he was in command of himself and his ship.

“Crystal sir. With you permission, the intelligence bird Gazer is returning from their patrol, they could take over for Gunnison.”

“Excellent. However, the smugglers must be made to think they lost Gunnison, not that he just gave up.”

“Not to worry. Gunnison is also our flight instructor. He’ll know just how to handle it.”

“Very well.”

The first officer turned to leave make sure everything went as planned.

“One more thing.” Lexam called to Halloway in a tone of voice that was meant for all on the bridge to hear. He waited for everyone one the bridge to be focused on what he was about to say, then added, “Have Captain Ramoes arrested and brought to me, then notify the ISB of the good Captain’s transgressions.”

Halloway only nodded before heading to the port side command pit to carry out his orders. Captain Lexam turned back to carnage that lay before his ship. He watched as fire suppressant was applied to those vessels still burning and medical ships evacuated civilians from the devastation. No, this would not sit well at all, and someone had to take the fall. Who better than an Imperial Captain that was unable to follow orders to dangle in front of the High Council of Shandra-Iri in a show trial to show that the Empire really does care. Yes, he could salvage this incident, and maybe even come out of it all the better. Only time would tell.

PsychoInfiltrator
22 November 2005, 04:13 PM
Lexam would find out who fired first, and execute those responsible. No trial, no jury, no questions.

I like this guy already...

Slave_1
22 November 2005, 11:24 PM
Thanks :D His name is actually Maxell (as in the people who make blank CD-Roms) spelled backwards and drop an "L". I needed a name and didn't have one ready so I just looked about my desk ;) Still thinking about the next installment.

PsychoInfiltrator
24 November 2005, 05:39 PM
Do make sure, for whichever applicable installment, not to skip the part where the 'No Trial, No Jury, No Questions, Just Executions' actually occurs. To many authors skip the good parts. ;) :) ;)

Slave_1
30 November 2005, 11:17 PM
Sorry this took so long. Its been a little nuts around here lately. I will post more when I have the time.


“Watch it!” Tuul called from the co-pilots seat as they passed with in centimeters of a passenger liner.

“I got it! I got it! Just keep an eye out for those new fighters the Imps are using.” Malik shouted back.

“Ten seconds to air.”

“And tell those two nerf-herders back there to stop shooting already!” Malik had been grateful for there skill with the quads on many occasions. He had also been dismayed at there trigger happiness more than a few times, and this was one of those times. “Plot me a course for The Tube.”

Tuul’s jaw gapped open, “You can’t be serious!”

“Just do it.” He said as the Freight Shaker began to buffet against the dense atmosphere of Shandra-Iri. The Tube as it was referred to, was a maze of passages at nearly street level that wound its way through the massive capital city. Only three other pilots had successfully “Shot the Tube” and only one had ever survived it with his ship intact. Malik hoped he could at least be the second.

Tuul began the calculations and fed the data to the flight computer. He knew he was going to die this day and he felt a little sad that he had never explored any religious aspects of life. He didn’t even make a noise when, after making the changes to there path to the city, Malik shut down the main flight computer. He was saying something about manual control, but at this point he just didn’t care.

Malik dope slapped Tuul across the back of large head, “Wake up fool! I need you.”

Snapped back to the present Tuul was once again all business, “Guns retracted Malik. Brax is on his way here and Kiev is heading for the aft engineering station.”

“Excellent.” Malik whispered as he watched four T.I.E.’s close in on there six. “Let’s see just how good those ships are.”

Tuul began reciting a prayer to whatever god happened to be listening as they passed under the pedestrian walkway that marked the start of The Tube.

darkforcerising
4 December 2005, 10:39 AM
Cool, I'm impressed.

Slave_1
4 December 2005, 12:27 PM
Commander Gunnison and his three wing mates spotted the dilapidated YT-1300 as it was passing under a pedestrian walkway and diving for the lower levels of the city at speeds only the insane, the desperate, or the truly skilled would use. He hope it wasn’t the later in this case. “Wing 2789 this is Gunnison, maintain a large lead on the target. The deck for this chase is fifteen thousand meters; do not go below the deck. I’m going in.” He radioed to his wing mates.

“Sir, this Marrik, shouldn’t we follow?” his wing man answered.

“You have your orders” was his only reply as gave chase. He like the power these GT’s could put out, but it did little for added maneuverability and without shields he would not be able to be as reckless as his quarry was bound to be. Being aware of the fragile political situation he would give them some lead. The last thing he wanted was to have a ship that size smash head on in to an apartment high rise filled with the elderly.

Gunnison watched the ship make a hard dive, bouncing a message droid off its hull as it did. He followed in the dive, and had to use every bit of skill and luck he had to keep from slamming in to pavement below. He had no idea such a large ship could turn that fast.

Slave_1
4 December 2005, 01:12 PM
Sweat poured from Malik as he and Tuul worked to pull the nose of the Freight Shaker up before they hit the street. Normally while in a planets atmosphere they would use just the repulsor lifts to fly the ship, but now they were only used for controlling the ship as the main drive burned at full throttle setting small fires to objects as it passed. Many people were being knocked over from the blast of wind as it passed and everyone who had the luck of seeing what was coming tried to get out of his way. Most were not that lucky.

“We’re gonna die…” moaned Tuul.

“Shut up and give me full port side shields on my mark!” Malik yelled back. He needed laser focus if he was going to pull this off and live to tell about it.

“Ready”

The street they following ended abruptly just ahead in a “T” intersection. Malik dumped all of the power to the main drive and stood the ship on its tail while rotating it to thirty degrees. This had the effect of making the ship look like it had lost control and everyone for five blocks looked for what cover they could as they waited for the explosion they knew would follow the impact.

“Mark!” Malik screamed just seconds before impact. By moving the shield from aft to port, this confused the repulsors and the ship dropped a meter and started to roll on to its side, just as Malik had intended. He gunned the engines, and heard a pinging noise as they wound back up. At the same time the Freight Shaker collided with the building.

Glass and durracrete exploded inwards and the shields forced the ship to skip up and away, passing within centimeters of more of the walkways that crisscrossed the city.

Brax was unfortunate enough to be entering the bridge when it happened and was slammed against the bulkhead, knocking the Faleen unconscious.

Tuuls’ console exploded in a shower of spark. However unlike Malik, Tuul like to be ready and had fire suppressant applied before it became out of control. This still left them without shield control, and the only other place for repulsor control was at Maliks’ chair. Malik was essentially on his own, and all their lives rested in his hands and the capabilities of an aging freighter that had been patched more times than anyone wanted to count. Tuul began to pray again, to whatever gods would listen.

Malik hit full reverse on the engines and nosed the ship down making tumble over a walkway and head down and back the way the came. That’s when he saw the TIE that had been following them

Jax Nova
9 December 2005, 09:44 AM
Nice story! Really like the way you define the charecters.

Yan Kai
9 December 2005, 10:24 AM
Great Job Slave 1! I really like each of the characters and am looking forward to some more info about the two Falleen brothers. I'm a Falleen fan myself. I think that the story is awesome!!!

Slave_1
9 December 2005, 12:07 PM
Inspector Ruuso pulled himself out of the pile of glass that exploded into his office as he picked himself up off of the floor. He wiped his face and shook out his short cropped black hair to get most of the smaller pieces off as he staggered towards the hole that was made by the collision. Recently transferred from Internal Security, he thought Transportation Safety would be a slower pace, he was wrong.

He looked out at the street that lay six levels beneath what was left of his office. Damn smugglers! He thought to himself. He watched an Imperial fighter turn, apparently following the ship that had hit the building, but he was traveling much slower. He didn’t like this Imperial government, but knew they needed help if they were to ever break the strangle hold criminal elements had on the planet.

Emergency vehicles had started to arrive to carry away the dead and dying. Most buildings in the area were in lock down and his office would be getting the evacuation order soon until it was declared safe to be inside.

He heard another explosion and looked up in time to see the Imperial fighter explode. The freighter had rammed it on its way back towards street level. Well, he thought, it may have been years since anyone shot the tube, but we are still ready for you. He kicked glass and furniture around until his found his comlink, and dialed an old friend.

“Internal Security, how may I direct your call?” The automated voice asked.

“Russo calling for Skinner.”

“One moment please” He tried to use the time on hold to calm himself down a bit.

“Jack! How’s life trea…”

Russo cut him off, “We got one shootin’ the tube Terrance.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.” In the background noise of his comlink, he could hear his old friend tapping on keys.

“Done. We’ll be ready.”

“Thanks.”

“You know,” Terrance Skinner started to sound official rather than friendly, ”You’re not suppose to use this line for official business.”

“Spare me the bureaucratic splut. I had enough of that when I was…”

It was Skinner’s turn to cut him off, “Was is the key word here. We have new rules to follow now. Of course you would know that had you stayed.”

Neither spoke for long moment. Both still had bitter feelings about the changes the Empire seemed to bring with it and how it affected everything it touched. Skinner had welcomed the Empires vast resources with out question, and believed he could maintain control of Internal Security despite the enormous pressure. Ruuso on the other hand, believed they would become yet another Imperial world long before it became official in any way. It was this difference that had brought about Ruuso’s decision to leave IS.

“You coming over for dinner on Halday? “, he asked his old friend. Halday was a local custom that came once a year. It was a celebration of there gaining independence nearly a thousand years ago from the Corrilian government, and usually included parades, parties and lots of drink.

“Marge would never forgive me if I didn’t. Maggy is coming too and her sister if it’s ok?”

“Sure. I don’t think I’ve ever met her have I?” Russo asked.

“I don’t think so, but I think you’ll like her.”

“Sounds good. I’ll call you again in about two hours, I need to get cleaned up.”

“Just make sure you use the official line next time, ok?”

“No problem.” He cut the connection. Everything they had just talked about was completely false. None of the people mentioned even existed. By inviting Skinner to dinner, he was actually setting up a meeting. Maggy and her sister were actually covers for two IS agents, and it was understood by both men that any help the IS could offer, they would need an IS agent present to oversee and approve that help. That’s what Maggy and her sister were for.

The only problem was the Empire. Ruuso wondered how far Skinner would be willing to stick his neck out and keep things from the Empire before he caved into their demands in order to keep his job. Not very far, he thought to himself. He headed home to change clothes and get ready for the meeting.

gmjabreson
11 December 2005, 12:37 PM
Very nice, I like the characters. Very well written too.

PsychoInfiltrator
11 December 2005, 04:25 PM
What, no Star Destroyer? ;)

Seriously though, this story is coming along quite well.

Yan Kai
13 December 2005, 10:33 AM
Good story Slave 1! I really like each of the characters that you have introduced so far. Keep it up.:)

Jax Nova
13 December 2005, 02:06 PM
Yes, good story.