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Jax Nova
12 February 2008, 02:23 PM
This is a fan fic I wrote a while ago. I let it cool off for a while before posting. Since I have the whole thing writen out already I should have it all posted prettysoon if I don't finish today.

Let me know your honest opinions! Hope you like it.





Imperial Edict 11-02



Chapter 1: Just for Starters

Talia Reed poured over the paperwork on her desk. She brushed her long, dark red hair back behind her ears as she leaned back in her chair and sighed. She was trained as a combatant, she was paid as a combatant, and yet they stuck her behind a desk! She hadn’t joined the Empire for this!


“They said they would supplement my combat with a desk job, not give me combat missions when I could fit it into my paperwork schedule!” Talia thought with frustration. She looked down at the gray uniform, an officer’s uniform. She had never even got to use her sniper armor.


“Start out easy.” Talia repeated her commanding officer’s words with spite. “A special position for new recruits.” she mocked. She was fed up, she was filing an official complaint.


Talia reached for the cold handle on the gray metal desk and forced open the drawer. Rummaging through the stacks of paper she found her data pad lodged between the paper and the side. She dug it out and turned it on.


“Two months…” she told herself angrily. “Two months is too long.” Shaking her head she pressed in her commanding officer’s com number and began to type out her message.



To: Commander Dral
From: Officer Reed.
Subject: Just for Starters

Message: “I would like to report a complaint. Just for starters I signed up two months and three days ago as a combatant not for a desk job. They said they would give me this job to start out with and I would soon have combat missions.”
“Second, (Talia tried to be as professional as possible, not letting her emotions leek through the letter) because of my long desk hours I request that I receive a desk clerks pay as well as a combatants pay, starting from when the job began and continuing as long as you insist I do this job.”
“It’s been, as I stated, two months and three days since I joined. I have yet to go on any combat missions of any kind. I have only used my sniper rifle in training and have not even seen my armor yet.” (Talia pulled away from the key board, resisting the exclamation mark that she knew belonged at the end of that sentence)
“If combat missions are not available I request that I be transferred to another base as soon as possible. Thank you.” (Talia forced herself to type out those last two words)

Officer Talia Reed.



Talia reached for the send button when her office door opened. It was Commander Dral. “Officer Reed, it is not good business conduct to be typing on your personal data pad while on duty.” the short skinny man reminded her.

“Sorry sir.” Talia stood and saluted.

“I have your combat missions finally. It seems the transport that was supposed to relay the message got destroyed by rebels.” the commander explained. “Look over this one for starters. After this you have three more waiting but this is the most pressing.” The sound of those holorecords hitting the top of Talia’s desk released more stress than anything she had tried so far.

“Three more?” Talia asked herself out loud after commander Dral had left. She sat down at her desk and looked over the mission. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She was going to be the second in command on her first combat mission ever. Apparently she was as good as she thought. Her doubts and fears of being unskilled began to fade away once more.

Talia grinned as she red the mission report. She was being promoted to High trooper because of her exceptional sniping abilities. She would be under Sergeant Joel Trix. Joel would choose three more units to complete the team.

The team would travel to Bimmisaari where they would arrive as tourists. Once on the planet surface they would travel deep into the jungle to find a suitable location for a hidden military science facility. Somehow the Rebellion had been finding and destroying other such facilities. But they would never think to look on such a peace loving planet as Bimmisaari.

“When do we leave?” Talia wondered, she hadn’t noticed that it said. She skimmed over the note again, nothing. Finally she looked up at the subject. “Urgent! Mission begins the 17th.”

“The seventeenth!” Talia said out loud. “That’s tomorrow.” She stood up, pushing her chair backwards and sending it rolling into the wall. She hurried over to the door, grabbing her jacket on the way out.

“High Trooper Reed.” a voice called from down the hallway. Talia didn’t even stop to look, the fact she had been promoted slipped her mind. “Officer Reed.” the voice called a second time as Talia hurried down the hall.

Talia turned around to see Commander Dral. “I’m sorry sir. I didn’t realize you were talking to me.” she apologized.

“Since your leaving tomorrow there will be no time for a formal promotion. You now have the rank of High Trooper. And your armor and equipment is waiting in your quarters,” Commander Dral told her.

Talia nodded. “Thank you sir.”

Talia headed back down the hall way to her room. She swung her hand in front of the light sensor and the over head lighting unit came to life. There in the middle of her room was her armor all laid out on her table. The armor was a new design made from the same base layer of cloth as the storm trooper outfits. On top of the black cloth skin suit was a thin layer of black armor substance. Talia ran her hands across the armor, it felt and looked like leather, but the instructions insisted that the wearer could survive a full powered sniper shot anywhere but in the head.

The armor had the same basic set up as the storm trooper armor, the thin leather like lining creating much the same look. The helmet was shaped to the wearers head and equipped with an experimental electronic interface.

Talia smiled, all that hard work had finally paid off. She came in top in her class and received this armor as a bonus reward. And people always told her the Empire was evil.

The Empire was there to protect the republic and the people from terrorists and pirates. That was what her teachers had told her from little on.

Talia turned away from the armor and grabbed her pajamas. She quickly changed and went straight to bed, she had a big day ahead of her.

Jax Nova
12 February 2008, 02:40 PM
Chapter 2: The Gathering Point

The next morning Talia’s alarm went off at five in the morning. A shiver ran down her spine as she threw the blanket off of herself and stepped out of bed. It was always terribly cold in the mornings on Bilbring 3. The small asteroid turn ship factory got most of it’s heat from the factory processes, so overnight everything cooled off.

Talia walked over into her bathroom and took off her shorts and top, turned on the shower and stepped in. The only thing good, in her opinion, about being on this hunk of space rock was the fact that they had low tech equipment which meant water showers instead of hydro showers. She liked showers with real water.

Talia turned up the heat to even out the effects of the cool morning air. She closed her eyes and let the water run over her face. “No, I need to hurry.” she thought shaking her head. Talia stopped for a moment. That was right she needed to hurry, she was leaving today! “Today! I almost forgot!” she thought.

Talia washed briefly and then stepped out of the shower and into the rusted out sonic dryer. She then hurried into her bedroom and rummaged around in her drawer for an outfit. The message had said to wear civilian clothing. “I don’t even know if I have any civilian clothing anymore!” Talia lamented out loud. Finally she found the clothes she had been wearing when she signed up with the empire.

Talia’s mind flashed back to that day. “You’ll see. The empire holds this galaxy together. Without the empire the galaxy would be insanity,” her instructor assured her. Talia grabbed the cloths and began to dress. She was sure she had made the right choice… Even if her father was in the rebellion.

Talia slipped on the sleeveless shirt, simple close fitting pants, and versatile shoes. It was her old training outfit, designed to allow the wearer optimal agility while fighting hand to hand. The clothes were tight, they didn’t fit as well as they did when she was eighteen. She couldn’t believe she had grown in the last two years she had spent at the Imperial academy. But it would have to do for now.

Talia grabbed her things and stuffed them in her small back pack. She was ready to go. She squinted in confusion. Had the message ever said where to go? She picked up the report to read over it again when her data pad sounded. She had a new message from Commander Dral.

Talia pulled her data pad out of her pocket and opened the message. “The waypoint.” she said softly. “And we leave…” she skimmed over the message, not reading most of it. “In three hours?” she groaned. “What am I supposed to do for three hours?” Once Talia read the rest of the message, however, that question was answered.

For the next three hours Talia would be instructed on how to pilot a tie fighter. Although she knew the basics of flight she had never really piloted a ship before. Apparently they were short on pilots, so she was going to have to fly herself to the gathering point.

Talia grabbed her pack and walked out of her room, it was time she was heading down to the docking bay where her instructor would be waiting. The large doors slid open in front of her as she entered the enormous room. Imperial ships lined the floor, creating a jungle of metal.

An overweight man stuck his head around one of the tie fighter wings. “You must be High Trooper Reed.” He extended a greasy hand while Talia saluted him. The man chuckled. “No need for that ma’am I’m just a mechanic. Come on I’ll take you to your instructor.”

“Oh, thanks.” Talia grinned, feeling kind of stupid. She followed the large man over to a side office. Inside she could see a stern looking man of middle age yelling at a new recruit.

“Don’t worry he’s not always that bad.” the fat man comforted Talia. “He tends to be harder on the new recruits… Especially when they crash a ship.” Talia couldn’t help but grin, as did the mechanic.

The door opened and a frightened recruit walked out trembling. “Next!” the Major yelled from inside his office. Talia stepped in and saluted. “Ah, you must be High Trooper Reed. I’m to teach you how to fly a fighter correct?”

“Yes sir.” Talia responded.

The Major walked out the door. “Come on. I trust you’re skilled enough to avoid any accidents?”

“I’ve never actually flown a ship sir, but I know the basics.” Talia responded.

“I asked a simple yes or no question High Trooper and you answered neither yes or no. Do you know enough to keep one of these things in the air?” The Major said, stopping beside a tie fighter.

“Yes sir, I do.” Talia responded.

“Good. For your sake, I hope your right.” The Major stepped inside the fighter.

Talia stepped inside the fighter as well, trying not to be intimidated by the Major. She looked over the controls. At least it looked the same as the Imperial training set up.

“Well, sit down,” The Major ordered.

“Uh… Sorry.” Talia sat down sheepishly in the pilot’s seat.

“Take her out,” The Major instructed.

Talia turned on all the instruments, checked shield strength, systems, armor, capacitor, reactor, and the main controls. All was ready to go. She fired up the engines and slowly lifted up on the joystick. The ship roared to life as it’s engines propelled it through the air with the distinct sound that accompanied a tie fighter.

The mechanic shook his head as he could see the Major through the windshield. He was motioning franticly to Talia to turn away from the landed tie fighter that was just to their right. Talia easily missed the landed ship and soared out of the docking bay doors. The mechanic then turned back to his work on an Imperial decimator that sat near the edge of the large gray room.

By the time the old gray haired mechanic was closing up the last panel on the decimator the training tie was making its way back to the hanger. The man wiped some grease off his sunk-in cheek and toweled down his hands. He glanced down at his data pad as the tie fighter landed.

Talia and the Major walked out of the tie fighter. The mechanic looked over, impressed with the satisfied look on the Major’s face. “You’ve done enough to know your way around one of these ships. But never forget your training soldier.” The Major told Talia.

“Thank you,” Talia said with a salute.

The Major nodded and walked back to his office. “Impressive,” The Mechanic said as he walked up to Talia. “I don’t think I have ever seen him come back without saying something demeaning to his student.”

Talia laughed a bit. “So I guess I did ok then?”

“Yeah,” the man nodded. “I would say so.”

“My names Talia by the way.” Talia extended a friendly hand.

The mechanic wiped off his greasy hand one last time before shaking. “Bim.” he introduced himself. “Bim Bitibinksky. Now come, I’ll take you to your tie fighter.”

Talia paused for a moment in confusion, then jogged to catch up to him. “I get my own tie fighter?”

Bim nodded. “She’s old, but she’s a good ship. I fixed her up right nice for you. Just watch the guns, they pull slightly to the left.”

Talia walked up to the ship. It was a piece of junk, but that didn’t wipe the smile off her face. “Thank you.” she stepped inside the cockpit. It was slightly smaller than the training tie with only room for one person to sit.

“Don’t try to get in dog fights with this thing though. She’s good for stationary targets, transportation, and disabling ships that are in worse shape. But if you go up against a good ship, even with a bad pilot, chances are you loose.” Bim explained.

Talia nodded. “Oh! What’s the time?” she asked herself out loud. She reached for her data pad.

“You’ve got ten minutes to get left.” Bim told her. Talia glanced at the time, he was right.

“Thanks.” Talia said, walking over to grab her backpack off the floor where she set it. Talia paused, the backpack had been moved.

Talia turned to Bim. “Did you-”

“I moved it.” he nodded. “I was working on that tie fighter it got in the way.”

“Oh, ok. Well, I better get going. Thanks for fixing up the ship.” Talia replied.

“Not a problem.” Bim smiled. “Nice meeting you.”

“You to Bim.” Talia said before closing the tie’s door.

Talia fired up the engines… They sounded horrible. But still, she had her own ship. She slowly lifted off, glancing out the window to see Bim smiling and looking at his data pad.

After making it out of the compound and clearing the atmosphere, Talia entered the hyperspace coordinates to the computer and entered hyperspace. The flight was short, but seemed long. “I never knew how lonely it could be in one of these things. At least behind a desk all day you know there are other people around. And you have something to do.” She said out loud.

Talia’s mind flashed back to her father’s face. “I’m going away Talia,” he had told her with sorrow in his eyes. “I’m going off to war.”

She had tried to stop him, tried to convince him not to go. “Please daddy no!”

But he insisted. “They killed your mother Talia. And people died saving us. I have to. I lived with them for a month. You have no idea how lonely those soldiers are. Just to have someone from the outside world to talk to… it was a healing experience for them. I can use my skills to do more good there than here. You’ll be safe with your uncle. I’m sorry you can’t come with me.”

An alarm sounded, Talia almost jerked until she realized it was nothing more than the ship systems telling her she would be exiting hyperspace in a minute or two. Talia sighed. “One day I’ll find you father. Then I can tell you the truth about mother’s death, and who are the true protectors of the civilians.”

Talia buckled up, trying to force the memories out of her head. The ships systems sounded once more, giving her time to prepare for leaving hyperspace. The blue streams of stars slowed and faded to a still sky as the hyper drive shut down. Down below was the planet of Da Soocha V, the landscape dull and brownish red. The planet was covered with stone pinnacles, a rocky world that was suspected to be connected with the rebellion.

It was risky meeting there but the peace loving Bimms or Bimmisaari would be more likely to leave them alone if they thought they were rebels from Da Soocha V than if they knew they were Imperial. And they would only be there for a few short moments, just enough time to catch a shuttle to Bimmisaari. “What could go wrong?” Talia encouraged herself as her nerves started to kick in.

Jax Nova
13 February 2008, 07:06 AM
Chapter 3: Tourist Trap

Talia began her decent, landing in the designated spot. Suddenly her heart skipped a beat. “Wait! This is a planet with suspected Rebel activity and I’m flying a Tie fighter?” she couldn’t believe they had given her a tie! She scanned back over the mission log. Sure enough, it said she was supposed to have been given a neutral ship.

It was to late now, Talia’s ship was setting down. She opened the door to see the rest of the team. “Lets get out of here.” she said as she hurried out.

“Yeah no kidding!” on of the other guys exclaimed. “What were you thinking flying one of those things here?”

“There’s no time to argue!” Sergeant Joel Trix said, stepping into the ship. Talia almost cringed as he ripped the front panel off and started ripping wires and re-wiring. Joel started the engine and then jumped out as the ship started to take off. “Come on lets go!”

The team rushed away over a bridge leading from the stone pinnacle landing platform to the next. They ducked inside of a local shop, snuck out through the back and then entered the nearest Cantina. Joel kept going, out the side door and then on to the next pinnacle and into the largest group of people he could find. Finally he stopped inside of a transport station.

“I don’t think anyone saw us, but we’ll talk about this later.” Joel said, turning to Talia.

Talia felt like an idiot. Why didn’t she think of this before when Bim had given her the tie? She hung her head and followed the rest on the transport. The long silent flight to Bimmisaari was very awkward. She tried not to look at any of the others.

Talia was just starting to forget about what had happened when they landed. “Come on.” Sergeant Trix nudged her shoulder. Talia got up and walked out to the pleasant Asaari tree covered planet. “You guys go into town.” Joel told the others. “High Trooper Reed you come with me.”

Talia followed along as Joel lead her out into the woods. “Ok, now what was that about? Do you realize you could have compromised this entire mission? You could have…” Joel stopped as Talia’s data pad sounded.

Talia reached down for her data pad, there was a message from Commander Dral.



To: High Trooper Talia Reed.
From: Commander Dral
Message:
I just learned about the mix up in ships. The Major assures me that Mr. Bitibinksky is being severely punished for his foolish behaviors. It is my understanding that you tried to convince the mechanic to give you a civilian ship. He told us the whole story. Next time do not be afraid to use force as you threatened. If a lower officer is insubordinate subdue them with whatever force is required.
I trust the mission has not been compromised. If so have Sergeant Trix contact me. If I receive no communiqué from him I will assume that the mission is still on schedule.

Commander Dral.


“What is it?” Sergeant Trix asked Talia coldly.

Talia handed the data pad over to him. His face got a little less stern as he read on. “Well…” Trix handed the data pad back. “I guess you’ve learned from this mistake. Just don’t do something like this again.” the Sergeant said and then walked off.

Talia sighed. “I threatened him, and insisted he give me a civilian ship?” Talia thought silently. She shook her head and tried to gain back her composure. She kept in mind Commander Dral’s words about lower ranking officers being insubordinate and assured herself that she would not allow any of the officers to talk to her as that one man had when she landed.

“Did you tell her off?” the same man’s voice came from behind Talia.

“The situation has been dealt with, there is no reason to discus it further.” Sergeant Trix told the young man.

Talia walked up to he man. She noticed, from his uniform, that he was a Trooper. Talia stepped up close to the Trooper. “If you ever speak to me as you did after my landing again Trooper I will, so help me, enlist my authority to punish you under Imperial edict 150.” Talia said sternly.

The young man backed away, looking slightly surprised. “Fine.” he replied.

“That’s fine Ma’am, to you.” Talia glared.

“Yes Ma’am.” the trooper replied.

Sergeant Trix backed the Trooper away from Talia. “Ok, we’ve all got off on the wrong foot. Now lets put our differences behind us and accomplish this mission.” Joel turned to Talia. “This is High Trooper Talia Reed. Reed, this is Trooper Bill Hemmed, Officer Jane Cloys, and Recruit Cane Shelton.”

Talia nodded, as did the other Imperials. The awkward silence after introductions didn’t last long, Sergeant Trix broke in. “Lets move out.”

The group set up camp after walking a few hours outside of the city. A small fire lit up the faces of the team. Bill Hemmed, a blond haired skinny man of twenty three who almost looked fragile, sat farthest away from Talia. Bill’s long slender nose and unusually small ears made him a very strange looking person, Talia wondered if he was full blood human.

To Bill’s right was Jane Cloys. Jane was a short woman and looked about twenty two years old. Jane had short blond hair and fair skin. Talia figured if it weren’t for her muscular figure she would be very beautiful. But no one joined the army to be pretty.

To Bill’s left was Cane Shelton. Cane was an interesting young man. He didn’t look any more than nineteen years old but he was confident. His skinny built betrayed his great strength and agility as a hand to hand fighter.

Talia momentarily became self conscious noticing that Cane was actually slightly skinnier than she was. “Just slightly.” she told herself. She reminded herself that she did muscle building exercises daily.

“I almost feel naked out here without a gun strapped to my belt.” Bill’s voice broke Talia’s train of thought.

“That’s what’s good about being a hand to hand expert.” Cane replied. “If your in trouble just pick up a good stick off the ground and your as comfortable with that as any weapon.”

“Sticks don’t shoot deadly energy bolts over sixty meters.” Bill retorted. Cane just smiled and stirred the fire as if he had been through this conversation a million times.

Talia noticed that Jane was doing hand exercises that she herself had done in sniper training.

“So, Officer Cloys, you’re a sniper?” Talia asked.

Jane looked up and brushed her bangs over to the side. “Yeah. It’s the most efficient way of killing. Sticks and blasters alike are nothing compared to a pro who can take down a rebel from four thousand meters.”

Bill looked at Jane cynically. “Shut up, no one can do that.”

“Actually, Trooper, some people can.” Talia said, stressing the word “trooper.” “The best of the best, with adequate equipment can. Three people have tied at that record.”

“Flest Glim from Myrkr, Bosk Tiesn from Atzerri, and Shesia Claw from Etti IV.” Jane informed Bill.

“That’s impressive.” Cane admitted.

“Yeah, but it’s not in combat situations. That changes everything.” Bill told them.

“Alright, everybody get some sleep. We have an early day tomorrow.” Trix ordered.

Talia opened her pack and pulled out a single wool blanket. She laid down, covering up and closing her eyes. As the fire started to fade the night got dark as the black of space. Before Talia knew it she was waking up to the sound of a Tiga Loreng, a local bird that thrived on this world where hunting was banned.

Talia sat up, rolling up her blanket. She rubbed her hands along her bare arms as a chill hit her. “I wish I had a long sleeved shirt.” she thought silently.

Sergeant Trix stood up and walked over to the others. One by one he walked along and rolled them over with his foot saying, “Time to get up.” Talia grinned as Cane moaned, Bill almost telling Joel off before realizing who it was.

“What’s the plan?” Talia asked Joel.

“You and Officer Cloys go into town and hang around. Be sure were not being followed. The rest of us are going to go deeper into the forest. According to our scans the best location should be a two week hike inland.” Joel Trix explained.

“Two weeks? You got to be kidding me!” Bill lamented as he rolled up his blue blanket.

“Reed, you and Cloys stick around in town and keep a low profile until I contact you.”

“Yes sir.” Talia replied.

The team separated and moved out. It was a short walk into town. “So what school did you train at?” Talia asked Jane as they walked along.

“Wouldn’t it be better not to talk about that stuff? Just incase someone hears it?” Jane asked.

“Yeah, your right.” Talia agreed.

Once the two were inside the town they found a Cantina to hang out in for a while. Through the window they could see the way they came in and see if anyone left into the woods that direction.

After a few hours Talia decided it was time to move. They had been around to nearly every game table in the place and probably had one to many drinks already. “Lets check out one of those tourist trap places.” Talia suggested.

The two walked out of the door and roamed around the town. That day passed by and the two booked in to a local hotel. The week soon went by, then another. Talia was sure the team had to have made it to their destination by now. Finally a message came from Sergeant Joel Trix.



From: Sergeant Trix
To: High Trooper Reed
Message:
We have some strange developments here. It appears that there are hostiles in the jungle. We never can get a good look at them, they always attack quick and get out. But Cane swore it was a Bimm.
The locals are supposed to be peaceful and have nothing to do with weapons but search their history and see if they have ever had any hostile animals or perhaps a warrior class. If you don’t find anything in a week contact me.


Talia turned off her data pad. “We leaving?” Jane asked, hoping the answer was yes.

“No, not yet. Apparently they’ve encountered hostiles.” Talia said, sitting down on her bed.

Jane was sitting on the second bed in the small green room. “Hostiles? This place isn’t supposed to have any of those.”

“I know.” Talia replied. “We need to search and find out if this planet has a history of hostile animals or a warrior class… Or anything. Looks like a trip to the local library.”

Jane sighed and grabbed her black leather jacket. “I’d rather be killing something.”

Talia and Jane poured over the planet history, events, records. They tried to avoid specific searches but they were getting no where.

“I’m going to go take a break.” Jane announced.

Talia looked up from her data tablet. “Ok, but don’t be to long.”

Jane walked out the library door, leaving Talia alone to continue the research. But it wasn’t ten minutes until Talia received a call on her data pad. The beeping roused her from her reading. Talia laid the data tablet down and pulled out her data pad.

“What’s going on?” Talia asked, seeing it was Jane who was calling.

“I think I found something. Meet me at the souvenir shop.” Jane replied.

“Where?” Talia asked.

“The tourist trap place.” Jane referred to Talia’s previous naming of the shop.

“Oh.” Talia felt a bit stupid now. “Yeah, be there in a bit.”

Talia shut off her data pad and headed over to where Jane was. The shop was open to the outdoors, no walls just a large roof protecting the area from weather. Talia walked in but she didn’t see Jane anywhere. Talia headed over to the shop keeper.

“Excuse me, did you see a woman in here with short blond hair, kind of light skin and really muscular?” Talia asked the shop keeper.

The Bimm shop keeper looked similar to a Bothan, long ears and muzzle, and half furred. The diminutive creatures all wore home spun yellow clothing. “Oh, yes. She wanted to look at something, this way please,” The Bimm answered in her native tongue, a harmonious singsong language.

Talia walked around behind the small counter and followed the short alien into a building a few meters away. As soon as Talia stepped inside the building the door closed and locked behind her. Her instincts told her to run but that wasn’t an option. The lights flashed on, revealing three Bimms, all with guns pointed at her. All three of the Bimms, including the shop keeper, all had red eyes.

Talia inched to her side, as if backing away from the Bimm who began to speak. In fact Talia was inching closer to the Bimm to her right, preparing for an attack.

“Come with us, your friend is waiting,” The Bimm told her.

“Ok, I’ll come. Just don’t hurt me.” Talia played along.

The Bimm to her right stepped closer and nudged her with the gun. She couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. Talia pivoted on the balls of her feet, grabbing the wrists of the Bimm, she then jammed the gun back and up, breaking the thumb of the holder and commandeering the weapon.

The other two Bimms attacked, shooting green energy bolts at Talia as she used the first Bimm as a shield and backed behind a stack of boxes. The two saw Talia poke out from one side of the boxes, both Bimms began shooting. Before they knew it she was on the other side. Two green energy shots flashed from her gun and one of the Bimms dropped to the floor.

Talia once again poked her head around the corner. The Bimm had not moved. Talia stuck her hand around the boxes and fired another shot, hitting the Bimm in the leg. The alien fell to the ground. Talia stepped out and shot one more shot, hitting the Bimm’s gun.

Talia walked up to the creature. “Where is the other woman?” she demanded.

“I tell you nothing!” the creature assured her, but not in the normal singsong voice but a lower more gritty sounding voice.

Talia bent down and grabbed the things hand. “You will tell me,” She assured him. “You have eight fingers, eight toes, two arms, two legs, two ears, and a nose that can all be shot off before you die.”

The Bimm only glared into her eyes. Talia put the gun barrel to the first finger on the Bimm’s hand and fired, blasting off the finger. “Now tell me where she is!” Talia demanded over the screams of pain. “I can stop the pain if you tell me.”

The Bimm struggled, trying to strike Talia in the face with his bloody hand. Talia struck him in the face with her gun, placed the barrel at his next finger and fired. The smell of blood began to flow into the room with the cries of the Bimm.

“Tell me.” Talia said, staying respectively calm. The Bimm still wouldn’t say anything. Talia put the gun to the third finger.

“No! I will tell.” the Bimm finally gave in. “Come I will take you.”

Talia helped the Bimm to his feet. “If your lieing I promise I will kill you.” Talia warned the Bimm.

“No! I don’t lie,” He assured her, limping along.

Talia followed the Bimm into an elevator. The Bimm pressed the button for the lowest floor then a combination of a few more buttons that Talia didn’t catch. The elevator started moving, quickly passing what was portrayed as the lowest floor. When the door opened they were in a dark cavern full of prisons.

Talia froze, seeing dead bodies in the cells as well as dying ones. She tried not to let the shock show as she followed the Bimm to the cell that Jane was in. The prisoners cried out to be freed reaching through the bars to try and grab Talia.

“When you said to meet you at the tourist trap I didn’t realize you meant it literally.” Talia said, walking up to Jane.

“Just let me out of here so I can kill one of these creeps.” Jane urged as the Bimm unlocked the cell door.

As the cell door opened Jane slammed it open, slamming the Bimm between the door and the cell bars. “Your going to d-”

“Leave him.” Talia told Jane.

“He helped capture me!” Jane reminded her.

“Leave him Officer, that’s an order.” Talia said forcibly, accompanying her words with a glare.

Jane’s glare floated back towards the Bimm who sat cowering on the ground. “Fine.”

Talia stepped towards the Bimm. “Who are you and the others? There aren’t supposed to be any warriors or weapons on this planet.”

The Bimm hesitated until Talia lifted her gun. “The Bimms are only vessels,” He spoke. “Long ago the Bimms had a warrior class but soon they found those who were born as warriors were no different from all the others, except one thing. The warriors were hosts to thousands of small viruses. We are those viruses. Since the Bimms outlawed fighting, guns, and all other related items and activities we have had to blend in with society. We use the Bimms body as a life boat.”

Talia squinted in aversion. “So you control them?”

“Yes.” The creature answered.

Talia thought about what she should do with him, but there was little time. As the elevator began to come down Talia shoved the creature in the jail cell and ran behind a rock. The elevator door opened and out walked another ten Bimms, all with red eyes.

Talia opened fire, taking out three of them before they even had time to react. The rest scattered for shelter, diving behind the rocks.

Jane ducked behind the small rock as a shot struck near her on the ground. “What I wouldn’t give for a rifle,” She grieved.

Talia picked out one of the isolated Bimms and fired a few shots at him, hitting him in the neck near the shoulder. “Go get his gun.” Talia told her.

“What?” Jane protested. “Do you want me to get shot?”

“Go! I’ll cover you.” Talia ordered.

Jane sighed and ran for it, Talia firing as fast as the gun would shoot to keep the other Bimms pinned behind their rocks. Jane dived and rolled behind the rock. She grabbed the gun and began shooting.

Two of the Bimms went down, then another as he ran for a safer location. The remaining three began to flee when they saw they were well outmatched. Talia chased after them, Jane shooting one in the back.

“Stop!” Talia yelled.

Jane wasn’t sure if she was talking to the Bimms or her but she kept firing anyway despite the Bimms stopping. Another Bimm dropped to the ground as he stood with his hands in the air.

“Hold your fire!” Talia yelled back to Jane.

Jane stood up and started to reply but Talia cut her off. “Get in the elevator Officer Cloys.”

Jane jogged over to the elevator while Talia approached the last Bimm. Talia walked around behind the Bimm and struck him in the back of the head, knocking him out. Talia then ran over to the elevator and pressed the top floor button. The elevator doors closed and it started climbing upwards.

Jax Nova
14 February 2008, 10:55 AM
Chapter 4: Insubordination

Talia wiped the sweat off her forehead with her bare arm. With all the action she hadn’t realized how much she had been sweating. Her simple gray sleeveless shirt was starting to feel wet to the touch. Talia pulled her shirt away from her skin, letting a puff of air rush in, then be forced out as she released it, the shirt slapping back against her stomach.

Talia sighed as the air brushed past her face and her mind faded to her father once more. She could feel the wind from his Kimogila bomber as it took off from the landing pad, her uncles wet hands against her stomach, keeping her from running after him. Her uncle dried the tears of his niece off his hands and turned her to face him. “He’s going because he loves you. He’s going to protect you and others.”

Talia once again forced the thoughts away. “The Empire is helping people. We may have to do some bad things but ultimately it’s for the good of all.” she thought.

The beep of the elevator snapped Talia back to reality. The doors slid open and the two Imperials exited out into the building. Talia walked carefully towards the door. There didn’t appear to be anyone else in the room.

Jane stopped and grabbed the two guns that were laying on the ground and stuffed them in her pack.

“What are you doing?” Talia asked her.

“Were more than likely going to need them.” Jane answered.

Talia didn’t argue, Jane was right. “Come on.” Talia and Jane hid their guns and stepped out the door. The various aliens browsing the shop didn’t seem to realize them, or that there was no shop keeper. They walked casually out of the shop and towards the edge of town.

Once outside of town they began jogging towards the rest of the team. Talia was sure she could hear something following her. She looked behind her while running, but in the thick Asaari tree forest and thick undergrowth it was hard to see anything.

“I think were being followed.” Jane told Talia as they jogged along.

“I know. I’m going to-” Talia made a sharp left turn as a blaster bolt hit just inches away from her right thigh.

Jane ducked behind a tree and began firing a blanket of shots in the direction of their pursuers. Talia snuck around to the flank, trying to pinpoint the location of their attackers. Finally she could see them, there were only three. Talia approached from behind, attempting to engage the closest one in hand to hand combat.

Talia ducked behind a tree when she accidentally snapped a twig. One of the Bimms turned around and began firing madly, not knowing where she was. Talia dipped down and to the right, getting off a single shot that hit the Bimm in the chest. The other two took off running away from her when they realized their position had been compromised.

Jane, who saw the two coming in her general direction sat quietly. The two passed into her view and she raised her gun and fired. One of the creatures dropped to the ground, sprawling around momentarily before trying to crawl to safety. Jane fired a second time, hitting the wounded Bimm in the back and dropping it dead.

“Hold your fire!” Talia yelled as Jane lifted her gun for another shot.

Jane fired a second shot, hitting the last Bimm at the base of the neck.

Talia ran up to where Jane was. “I said hold your fire!” she shouted.

“I was already in the process of shooting, it was to late.” Jane said with a cold stair.

“That’s a load of rill spit, you had plenty of time to stop.” Talia scolded.

“I couldn’t let him get away. Besides they shot at us they deserved it.” Jane retorted.

Talia switched the gun to her left hand, pulled back, and punched Jane right in the jaw. “From now on you do as your told Officer or I’ll have you quart marshaled for insubordination.” Talia warned her.

Jane took a few steps away from Talia and looked at her with antagonism. “Yes ma’am.”

Talia looked around the jungle, getting her bearings. “Come on lets get moving.”

The two woman walked for the remainder of the day and few hours into the night before stopping to make camp. “Start a fire, I’m going to contact Sergeant Trix and inform him of this new development.” Talia ordered Jane.

Jane walked off into the woods to gather some wood while Talia took out her data pad and got in touch with Joel Trix. “This is Trix, have you guys found anything yet?” Joel’s voice replied to the beeping on his data pad.

Talia held the data pad closer to her mouth. “It appears there was a warrior class a long time ago, but it’s not what you might think. Apparently the warriors were infected by numerous small and intelligent viruses. The viruses take over the body and cause the violent behavior.”

“And you think that’s what attacked us?” Trix asked.

“Yeah, they’re still around. Jane and I had a run in with several of them. Since the Bimms turned towards peace they have had to blend in and continue in secrecy.”

“Alright. Make your way here. If that’s all were dealing with we can fight off any attacks that come. Once we find a place to start building the lab we can call in some reinforcements and begin smuggling in weapons.” Joel replied.

“Alright. We’ll be there as soon as possible.” Talia agreed.

“Were still looking around here for the best spot, mapping it out and dealing with the technical stuff so just track us on the data pad and head towards our position. Trix out.”

Jane had got a small fire going by the time Talia was done talking to Trix. “Don’t make it to big.” Talia reminded Jane.

Jane acknowledged her words but said nothing.

“We’ll have to set up watch until we make it to the others. Get some sleep, I’ll wake you in four hours.” Talia told Jane.

Talia sat down by the fire, a gun resting comfortably in her hand. The night air began to grow cool, and the wet shirt against her skin sent shivers down her spine. She remembered being cold in the winter and her father would tuck her in under all her blankets. She sighed and scooted closer to the fire.

Talia had never let her uncle tuck her in like her father used to. He always said that her father was helping people and one day would return. But until her father returned she was under her uncles authority. But she could never deal with that.

Talia looked up at the night sky, a few stars showing where the tree tops left gaps in the above canopy. Her mind drifted to the many nights she would sneak out with her friends. They all told her if she wanted to help people like her father she should join the Empire. They explained it all so simply. The rebels started as a peaceful resistance but they had grown into terrorists. The Empire simply wanted to protect the people.

Slowly the night flew by and Talia woke Jane for second watch. Then soon morning came and the two were traveling once again. The two week walk was rushed, finished in one week and three days. It was late in the night when the two arrived at the teams camp.

Trooper Hemmed, who was on watch, ducked behind a tree when he heard the two coming. “It’s High Trooper Reed and Officer Cloys.” Talia called out, having seen Hemmed. “Stand down Trooper.”

“You guys got here awfully fast,” Bill commented, stepping out from behind the cover.

“What you didn’t miss us?” Jane asked sarcastically.

“Oh sure I missed you, bright eyes.” Bill snap back.

Sergeant Joel Trix roused from his sleep when he heard the others coming. “No one followed you I trust?” he asked them.

“There were a few who were trailing at first but we took care of them.” Talia replied.

Trix rubbed his eyes and yawned. “Good. You two better get some sleep. Bill I’ll take watch since I’m already up.”

Bill tossed Trix the throwing spear that Cane had made out of a branch. “That, I can do.”

Jane looked over at the stick. “How about a real weapon?” She dug in her bag and pulled out the extra guns and tossed them to Trix.

“Alright!” Bill exclaimed. “Can I have one sir? After all Cane is more comfortable with his spear anyway.”

Joel tossed Bill the second pistol. “Sure. Now you guys get some sleep.”

Cane, who was trying to do just that sighed. “Please get some sleep!”

Talia pulled out her blanket and settled in for the night. The next morning she tried to force open her eyes as her mind told her it was time to wake up, but her eyes didn’t want to work. “Cold ice.” she thought randomly back to the time her uncle would have to put cold ice on her face to wake her up. She had been out with her friends and stayed up way to late.

“It’s time to get up! You have to make it to school in twenty minutes.” he would tell her.

“I’m to tiered.” Talia complained.

“If you miss many more classes your grades are going to drop, and if that happens it means no more of that sniper training you love so much.” he reminded her.

That was about the only thing that got Talia out of bed in the morning. She was fortunate enough to live near the Imperial academy, and they offered the sniper classes, as well as other military training, as an extra circular activity for the students who kept a high grade average.

“It’s time to get up.” Trix’s voice entered Talia’s head, and his foot nudged her side.

Talia forced herself to sit up. “Sorry,” She rubbed her eyes. She took a deep breath and then rolled up her blanket and stuffed it back in her pack. Glancing up at the tree tops she noticed that the sun wasn’t even high enough in the sky to be seen yet. In fact it was just starting to grow light enough to see a decent distance.

“Ok people,” Trix started talking. “We’ve done the mineral, chemical, gas, oil, and water scans. I’m going to send the information to headquarters and their strategists are going to decide the location the underground base is going to be build. Our job now is to start clearing a small area for supplies, building crude shelters to house those supplies and we need to build a transmitter so they can locate us from space.”

Talia looked around, she felt like something was watching them. Was it just her nerves? She shrugged it off and turned her attention back to Sergeant Trix.

“Trooper Hemmed, you start assembling the transmitter. Recruit Shelton, you come with me, were going to start clearing a space over there.” Trix pointed to his right. “High Trooper Reed you and Officer Cloys start gathering any materials that will be suitable for building shelters of any kind.

Talia nodded and headed off to search for the materials they would need. She couldn’t shake the feeling, though, that something was watching her. Her and Jane gathered sticks until night fall yet nothing happened. But the feeling remained.

“It’s just your nerves.” she told herself as she laid down for the night. Soon she drifted off to sleep but even in her dreams she was uneasy. Images of the Bimm she had tortured flashed into her mind. She saw a floor covered in bloody fingers, all having been shot off of their hands. Talia raced for a door to get away but as she exited the building she was faced with a host of fingerless Bimms.

Talia started to panic, suddenly she jerked, waking up with sweat pouring out her pours like a rainforest waterfall. “It’s just a dream,” She told herself. “A silly dream.” Why it even scared her she wasn’t sure. Perhaps it wasn’t the dream that scared her but what she had become, what she had done. Her training had programmed her to do these things without remorse but she wasn’t sure if she could.

Talia laid back down and tried to sleep. Though troubling dreams continued to plague her she soon woke to the morning light of the sun. She sat up and looked around. Sergeant Trix was talking with the Imperial strategists.

After Talia put up her bed she walked over towards Trix. Joel shut off the com-link and turned towards his team. “They’ve chosen the location, I’m downloading the specs into your data pads. We need to start clearing the trees and plants out of this area. Another team with supplies will be here in a day if they can fly here undetected, which shouldn’t be a problem. That means they need a place to land so lets get moving people!”

The rest of the day the team spent clearing a landing space for the three small ships that would arrive. Each ship was large enough to carry two people and enough supplies to last the two of them for a month.

By night fall the landing pad was nearly finished. They worked past dark, got some sleep and then got up early the next morning and began working again. An hour after they started work Trix got a message from the oncoming team.


From: Major Clestorin
To: Sergeant Trix
Message:
Me and my team are about two hours away from Bimmisaari. If the landing pad is not done contact me. If no contact is made we will be arriving on schedule assuming the jamming device prevents the Bimms from picking us up on radar as they should.
If we are compromised we will contact you after clearing the planet.


Trix shut off his data pad and put it back in his pocket. “Ok team we have two hours until they get here. We still need those high branches trimmed and this ground needs to be leveled so lets pick up the pace.”

As suspected the jamming devices worked like a charm and the team arrived in just under two hours. The ships landed and introductions were made. Then both teams continued the work to make way for more men and more supplies.

That night after the teams quit working Talia headed over to get some food when Major Clestorin approached. “Major Blien spoke highly of your flight skills, Trix also informed me of your performance on this mission. From that and how hard you work I am sure you will make a good Imperial leader some day.”

Talia turned around, she wasn’t sure what he was getting at. “Thank you sir.”

“After this mission is over I am in line for receiving charge of my of my own base. I’ll need thirteen hundred crew at least. If I’m fortunate thirteen hundred people like you. There would be a promotion and a pay raise in it for you,” Major Clestorin explained.

“Wow, thanks I appreciate the offer. I’ll think about it and let you know after this mission is complete.” Talia replied.

“I can’t ask anything more,” The Major nodded and returned to his tent.

Major Clestorin reminded Talia of her old instructor in a strange way. She could still hear his voice telling her, “Your ready.”

“Ready for what?” Talia asked.

“Ready to join the Imperial army. I even found an opening on Bilbring 3. It’s not the best place but for starting out it’s a good find.”

Talia smiled, she couldn’t believe that she would be getting another promotion already! It seemed to good to be true. She finished her meal and headed over to lay down for the night when she realized that everyone else was preparing for bed as well.

Talia walked over to Sergeant Trix. “Are we not posting guards tonight?”

“No.” Trix answered. “The Major feels that the threat is minute at best and thinks it’s more efficient to get more rest so we can work better.”

“Do you agree?” Talia asked.

“It’s not my place to question orders High Trooper, nor yours.” Trix informed her.

Talia sighed and walked over to the Major’s tent. “Go to bed Reed.” Trix said from behind her. “That’s an order.”

“This is a bad idea!” Talia insisted.

“Go to bed or I’ll call it insubordination.” Trix warned her.

Talia glared at Trix and walked hesitantly over to her bed. She couldn’t sleep that night, she just knew something was going to happen. But morning came and nothing happened.

The next night, again she could not sleep. This time she could hear sounds in the woods. She tried to shake it off, she told herself it was just animals.

Suddenly she noticed creatures rushing in from all sides. These were no animals, they were Bimms! Talia jumped to her feet, firing the blaster that she held firm in her hand. She fired several shots, dropping the two Bimms that charged her.

The rest of the Bimms rushed through the camp with great speed and attacked the sleeping members. Most woke from Talia’s gun shots but by the time they figured out what was going on it was to late.

Talia fired a few more shots and dropped two more Bimms before the creatures retreated to the woods.

“Help!” A voice hollered from the Major’s tent. Talia rushed over, seeing that Jane and Trix were up to tend to the other wounded. The Major lay on the ground with and ax in his forehead.

Talia gasped in horror. “I couldn’t see… coming. I…” The Major’s hand grasped Talia’s shoulder then fell limp. He was dead.

Talia sat there stunned, she had never seen anyone die before, not like this. She slowly stood to her feet and backed away, letting the tent curtain cover the horrid sight.

Trix walked over to Talia, “The Major?”

Talia shook her head. “He’s dead,” she said in a soft voice.

“Recruit Shelton and the Major’s team are dead also, Cloys is fine and Hemmed is hurting pretty bad.” Trix updated Talia. “They also took all our data pads and broke the transmitter, we can’t contact anyone.”

Talia walked over towards Bill Hemmed and Jane, almost ignoring everything Joel Trix was saying.

Jane had a deep cut in her shoulder that was bleeding bad and a bruise on her head where she had been hit. “I thought Trix said you were fine?” Talia questioned. Trooper Hemmed was laying with a spear through his throat, gasping for air as blood trickled down into his windpipe. “And Hemmed isn’t just hurting bad he’s dying!” Talia exclaimed, turning back to Trix.

“Jane is helping him, were doing the best we can. Now get the medical supplies.” Trix responded.

Talia ran over to the ships and grabbed the medical supplies, she rushed back over to Hemmed but by the time she got there he had quit breathing. “We need to get out of here.” Talia told Trix.

“Were not leaving just because your scared High Trooper. What we need is more recruits who are better armed.” Trix snapped back.

Talia was starting to get over the shock and anger began to settle in. “Or to set up a watch at night!” she antagonized.

“You remember your place High Trooper!” Trix yelled back. “This is my operation and I am going to complete it with flying colors.”

“It’s to late for that.” Jane joined in, surprisingly calm given the recent events.

“I’ll make it worth the loss.” Trix assured her.

Talia clenched her fist. “You can’t put a price on someone’s life!”

“I have, and the Empire does it all the time so get use to it. Now go out there and see if you can find that creature that limped off into the woods. Cloys you help gather up the bodies.” Joel ordered the two remaining team members.

Talia reluctantly walked out into the woods to search for the Bimm that apparently had been wounded. She never noticed a wounded Bimm, however.

Suddenly Talia stopped, there was something behind one of those trees! Slowly she snuck up towards it, ready for anything. She closed in, trying to slow her breathing as adrenalin pumped through her body. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest, and then… Nothing.

The next thing Talia knew she was waking up from a blackout. Pain spasms periodically jolted through her body, and her heart rate was elevated. It felt as though she had been poisoned.

“I told you not to hurt her!” A man’s voice shouted strongly.

“The Bledist extracts were the only tranquilizers I had left sir. I’m sorry,” another voice replied, this one sounding familiar.

Talia heard footsteps coming up from behind her, then a cool hand grabbing her arm. A needle pierced her skin and was pressed gently down into her muscle tissue. Immediately the pain began to subside, her vision cleared and her heart rate dropped to normal.

Talia looked around, she was in a tent, presumably still on Bimmisaari. But only this tent didn’t have Imperials in it, but Rebels! “Who are you?” Talia asked, turning to the men who stood beside her bed.

Before the two men were able to answer she recognized them. The second one, the man with the familiar voice was Bim, the mechanic from the Imperial base! And the second, unless she was hallucinating, was her father!

“I… I don’t understand. I’m hallucinating aren’t I?” Talia asked. She was sure she had to be.

“Talia, your not hallucinating. It’s me, your father!” the tall man had dark tanned skin and square features. His large bone structure was exactly like her fathers, and although she had never seen him with a beard before, there was no mistake that it was him.

“Daddy?” Talia couldn’t believe it. She sat up on the bed and hugged her father as tears streamed from her eyes.

“It’s wonderful to see you again Talia. I’m so very sorry I didn’t come back.” Her father said as he returned her hug.

“She needs to rest sir.” Bim’s voice sounded again.

Collins Reed pulled away from his daughter. “He’s right. The toxins won’t be out of your body for another fifteen minutes. It’s best if you sleep.”

“But…” Talia looked over at Bim again. “You were at the Imperial base.”

“I’m an undercover agent.” Bim told her. “Why do you think I sent you in a Tie fighter? I was trying to compromise the mission.” Bim told her.

“How did you find me?” Talia asked.

“Just incase you were not spotted and capture because of the Tie I placed a tracking device in your pack while you were training with the Major. I can track it using my data pad.” Bim clarified.

“Now get some sleep, I’ll come back in to see you in fifteen minutes.” Collins told her.

Talia nodded and laid back down, closing her eyes and quickly drifting off to sleep due to the toxins and many days of hard work.

Fifteen minutes later Talia was waking up to her father’s gentle nudges on her shoulder. “Talia you need to wake up,” his voice resonated into her dreams.

Talia slowly opened her eyes. “There’s not much time. The Bimmisaari government has been informed of the Imperial presence and our team is leaving in a few minutes. Your team members have been captured and will be taken as prisoners of war. Please come with us willingly I don’t want to see you in a jail cell.” Collins spoke quickly.

“But dad, I can’t. The Empire isn’t evil they are trying to help people. Some in it may be evil and use their power for bad but not all.” she rejected his offer.

“Talia please! The Empire killed your mother. All the Rebels want is for the Emperor to give up his power and let democracy be reinstated. Were not terrorists. We want to make things better,” Collins persuaded.

“I believe working through the system is the only way we can bring democracy back, not by fighting against it.” Talia held firm.

“Perhaps there’s a happy medium.” Bim said as he stepped inside the tent. “Were ready to go Captain. If Talia won’t come willingly then perhaps she can come back with me. We could use another officer on the inside.”

Collins looked at his daughter. “It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I was supposed to come back after a month.” He sighed with regret. “Your old enough to make your own choices. Good by, and I love you.”

Talia stood to her feet and hugged her father tight. “I love you too dad.”

“Sir the ships leaving,” A rebel officer said, poking his head in the tent.

“I’ll be right there.” Collins assured him.

Talia let go and watched her father and the other Rebels leave. “You coming with me?” Bim asked.

“No, I’ll be fine.” Talia promised.

Bim walked off into the woods, disappearing out of sight and leaving Talia all by herself.

Talia grabbed a map that was left behind in the hasty retreat and started back towards their camp. Suddenly someone stepped out from behind a tree with a blaster. Talia reacted, she rushed forwards and grabbed the persons wrists, she pushed the gun to her left and spun backwards into the attacker, landing her elbow in his face. Talia followed through with her spin, ripping the gun out of the attacker’s hand.

It was only after the man lay on the ground looking down the barrel of a blaster that Talia realized it was Sergeant Joel Trix. Joel was wounded but he would live. “Reed!” he exclaimed. “Where were you?” he stood to his feet and grabbed the gun roughly from her hands.

“The rebels… they captured me. When they started leaving in a hurry I was able to escape.” Talia answered.

“They’re gone?” Trix asked.

“I think so, at least some of them.” Talia clarified.

“Good. Lets get back to work then.” Trix said.

Talia was taken aback. “Get back to work?” What did he mean get back to work? The mission was a failure, she knew he was determined but surely even he could see that by now.

“We need to get this place cleaned up and get the transmitter fixed so we can call in more reinforcements.” Trix told her, hobbling over to the broken transmitter and holding his bleeding leg.

“The Bimmisaari government knows were here. The Rebels told them! We’ve got psychopathic virus possessed aliens trying to kill us and we are the only two surviving members! The mission has failed Trix. We should leave now while we still can.” Talia told him.

“Do what I tell you or it’s insubordination!” Trix yelled through gritted teeth.

Talia walked up to him and in a single movement grabbed the gun out of his hand and punched him in the jaw. “No its not, its taking control of an out of hand situation when the commanding officer is unable to make rational decisions anymore. Under Imperial Edict 11-02 I have that authority.”

“You can’t do this!” Trix yelled angrily. “This is my operation!”

“Not anymore.” Talia replied calmly.

Jax Nova
14 February 2008, 11:11 AM
Chapter 5: Homecoming

High Trooper Talia Reed walked over to the three fighters that sat in the clearing. “You can’t leave!” Sergeant Joel Trix told her.

“I’m taking one of these fighters. If you want to stay and get yourself killed that’s fine.” Talia retorted. Talia opened the cockpit and climbed in. She sat down and closed the cockpit when she noticed Trix running over to grab something out of the pile or rubble.

“What is he doing?” she wondered. Trix pulled out a military pack, but it wasn’t just any military pack, it belonged to the demolitions crew. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Talia exclaimed out loud.

Trix ripped open the pack and grabbed the detonator for one of the mines. “You… Leave.” Was all Talia could hear of his irate words that he screamed out.

Talia throttled up the engine and took off just as Joel threw the pack at the ships. The pack hit right at the nose of Talia’s fighter, and when Joel detonated the explosives it sent Talia’s fighter flailing in circles up into the air. Fortunately for her she had engaged the shields before the explosion.

Talia glanced back down at the ground. The entire area was a black burnt spot. Sergeant Joel Trix had blown up not just the fighters but himself as well. Talia sighed heavily. “That guy was as crazy as Commander Dral.” She thought.

Talia was beginning now to wonder if maybe her father was right, maybe the Empire had become corrupt. “If so then it’s my duty to change it.” Talia told herself softly.

Talia flipped a few switches to bypass the damaged systems. Her shields were gone, as well as ninety percent of her armor. Her capacitor was shot, she had no weapons left, and her main reactor was only working at sixty three percent efficiency. The ship was wrecked, but fortunately it was in good enough shape to fly her home if she didn’t run into any complications.

Talia turned on the jamming device to be sure the Bimms would not detect her leaving. Unfortunately the jamming device was ruined as well. “Oh whatever, it’s not like they have ships to chase me with anyway.” Talia told herself.

The greenish blue atmosphere was fast approaching and soon faded into the black of space. Millions of shining stars shone in the darkness. “You’re a star…” Talia repeated the words of Commander Dral when he first picked her to serve at Bilbring 3. “Compared to the other choices that were available.” he had added on the end.

Talia shook her head in confusion and disappointment as she entered the hyperspace coordinates. This wasn’t how her first mission was supposed to go. It was supposed to be a success. But then the doubts that now lingered inside of her asked the question, “Would it be a good thing if it were a success or is it better this way? Is the Emperor truly abusing his power?”

If the Empire had gone bad Talia Reed was going to set things right. She was going to be strong and not give in to the pressure of her fellow Imperials. She was going to fight for what was right and reform the Empire from the inside out.

Talia opened her eyes as the computer beeped, letting her know they would soon be coming out of hyperspace. Apparently she had fallen asleep during the hyperspace trip. The streaking stars slowed and the Bilbring asteroid belt came into view. “Home.” Or was it? She had called the third inhabited asteroid home for the past month or two but she never felt at home.

“Perhaps that transfer I was going to ask for isn’t such a bad idea.” Talia told herself.

Talia slowly took the ship in closer to Bilbring 3. Her com flashed to life with an officer’s voice, “Unidentified shuttle, please give your authorization code.”

Talia pressed the com button. “This is High Trooper Talia Reed requesting permission to land. Authorization Code 92 5 Alpha Z 10.”

“You are cleared for landing High Trooper, we are opening docking bay ten,” The Officer said.

Talia veered the sip off to the right and around to the far side of the asteroid. She headed for the open docking bay, taking the ship in nice and slow just as the Major had taught her. She could still hear his voice. “Don’t go so fast! Now take it in easy, be sure to keep your distance from the edges and other fighters. Pull the nose up.” It was a wonder he ever made it to Major.

Talia brought the ship down to land gently on the bay floor. The cockpit opened and Talia climbed out. There to greet her was the Major. “It looks like I taught you well enough to keep you alive,” he said proudly.

Talia smiled. “Yes sir.”

“Where is the rest of the team?” The Major asked.

Talia shuffled back and forth a bit. “They didn’t make it.”

“I see. You can’t feel bad over lost lives High Trooper. It’s just something we have to deal with. It’s called an acceptable risk. When things go bad we clean up and move on. Understood?” The Major sounded to much like Trix.

“Yes sir.” Talia nodded.

“Well, Commander Dral will want you to meet him in his office for a complete mission debriefing. Now go get changed into your uniform High Trooper.”

Talia nodded and walked off. She glanced over at the ship that Bim had been working on when she met him. She barely even knew the man but she already missed having him around. She missed her father even more now that she knew he was still alive.

The gray walls of the docking bay disappeared as Talia walked through the door into the outer hallway. She walked down the hallway to the turbo lift and made her way to her room.

Talia opened the door to her room and looked around. She had never been so happy to see her things, her space. She walked to the foot of her bed and pulled off her shirt, the smell of blood and sweat penetrated her lungs as she pulled it over her head. Sadly she felt that was a smell she was going to have to get used to.

Talia took off the rest of her cloths and smelled them, even her pants and socks smelled like blood and sweat. They didn’t even get any blood on them, but somehow the smell was there. Talia pulled her sweat and dirt matted hair behind her ears.

Gathering up her cloths she threw them in her hamper. She walked over to her dresser and opened up her drawer. Inside were seven sets of clothing, four Imperial combat outfits, two casual Imperial outfits and one formal Imperial outfit. Talia glanced over at her table where her sniper armor still sat. She had never even used it. She focused in on the Imperial emblem that was painted on the shoulder.

“Is this really the life I want?” she wondered.

As if to answer her question her hand reached in her drawer and grabbed the casual outfit. Talia breathed out heavily as she sat down on her bed and put on the Imperial uniform.

Talia glanced at the time, she had five minutes. She stood up from the side of her bed and walked towards the door. “Be strong.” she told herself. Opening the door Talia walked through the hallways into Commander Dral’s office.

“High Trooper Reed, where is the rest of the team?” Commander Dral asked.

“They didn’t make it.” Talia told him.

“I presume you can explain why?” he asked cynically.

“Yes sir.” Talia confirmed. For the next thirty minutes Talia went over the major highlights of her mission from their arrival on Da Soocha V, to their arrival on Bimmisaari, to the virus infected Bimm attacks, the Rebel presence, the capture of Jane Cloys and her, to her escape, her enactment of Imperial Edict 11-02, and her arrival home.

“So your saying that you willingly disobeyed the orders of a superior officer?” Commander Dral asked her.

“Well…” Talia stopped and took a deep breath. “Be strong” she thought silently. She looked back into Commander Dral’s eyes. “I enacted Imperial Edict 11-02 under correct circumstances. Sergeant Trix was unstable, and this fact is proven by his actions that lead to his death.”

“That mission was important, not just to the Empire but to me.” Commander Dral told her.

Talia was starting to understand. Everyone was in this for a promotion and a pay raise. “The mission was a failure because of a simple mistake of not posting guards as I suggested. Had I been running the mission it more than likely would have succeeded. But now it’s to late, the Bimms, virus infected ones and non virus infected ones, as well as the Rebels know of our interest in the planet. There is no chance of another try succeeding, they will be watching.”

“That’s not for you to decide.” Commander Dral reminded her.

Talia leaned forward in her chair and stared the Commander in the eye. “I used Edict 11-02 once and I will use it again if I see fit, Commander. You have nothing but your own personal interests in mind, so if you had a promotion riding on this it’s to bad. Now if that’s all I’ll cover the mission in more detail in my report.”

The Commander sat up straight. “Walk carefully High Trooper Reed.”

Talia turned and walked out of the Commander’s office. As the door closed behind her chills ran through her body and sent shivers rippling through her skin. She looked down at her hands, they were shaking, and her heart was racing. “I can’t believe I just said that to Commander Dral.” she thought. “I hope he doesn’t demote me.”

Talia walked down the hall and into her room. She sighed heavily as the door closed behind her. Her first mission had been a total failure. But on the bright side she had seen her father. And she did learn to stand up for herself and take charge. Her data pad rang once more and Talia flipped it open. “My next mission?” she asked with frustration. “I just got back.”

As Talia was reading her message she received yet another message, this time from Bim. Bim, had been sentenced to three months extra clean up duty around the factories for his mistake in giving Talia the Tie instead of a civilian ship. They had beat him severally and docked his pay for the next two months. Talia cringed. “That’s harsh.” she thought.

Bim promised to keep in touch and relay messages to her from her father and from her to her father as well. Talia felt like a traitor but she managed to convince herself she wouldn’t consort with the rebels unless it was in the best interest of the people of the Empire. She repeated that to herself over and over again as she fell asleep in bed, awaiting her next mission in the morning.

THE END

IzVenjari
15 February 2008, 03:48 PM
I haven't had a chance to read through this yet, but i will get around to it soon and then post some comments. :)

Jax Nova
17 February 2008, 10:26 AM
Thanks, always appreciate the interest. :) And as always I look forward to your comments.

IzVenjari
25 February 2008, 04:00 PM
Have just had a quick read-through...

I enjoyed the fact you tried to give the characters some unique characteristics - i liked the Jane character (though i'm still not quite sure how she died/or if she did).

Your sentence structure was much improved as well - still a few misused words and some punctuation errors, but on the whole, the sentences flowed a lot better.

I can see that you have obvious ideas that you are trying to portray, so that is good.

Is it ok if i point out a couple of things? Remember, these are only my opinions....

I liked the addition of some flashback sequences to attempt to build background for Talia - however, it might have been better if these were italicized. At times i became confused as to where a flashback ended and the real-time story started again. Adding italics here is easy....put an i in square brackets at the start of each section you want to italicize and an /i in square brackets at the end.

I would have enjoyed a bit more 'flavour' text - some vivid descriptions of things, and similes and metaphors. At times it felt as if the narrative was dragging a bit with scenes that i'm sure were vital to your telling of the story, but i couldn't see how. Vivid descriptions might have helped that a bit - might have helped make everything more alive.

Jax Nova
26 February 2008, 07:34 AM
Hey, thanks for reading and commenting! :) Always appreciate it.

Jane was captured. Talia's father mentions that when she was in the rebel camp.

Yeah, the punctuations, I know I have trouble with. Descriptions, i can see hwo would help as well. Usually i try to give good descriptions and such but I guess I just didn't acomplish that in this story.
Though i don't often seem to use metaphors and similies... Something i will have to consider. Could you possibly give me an example so I am sure I know egsactily what you are talking about?


Hm... I see. That does make sense. I tried to make it clear when the flash backs ended, but I can definitely see how italics could help quite a bit. I tried to use them some places but I couldn't seem to get them to work. I will have to try just typing it in.

Well, as always I am thankfull for your comments and opinions, helps me look at my writing in a different light. :) Thanks.

IzVenjari
26 February 2008, 01:56 PM
An example:
Once the two were inside the town they found a Cantina to hang out in for a while. Through the window they could see the way they came in and see if anyone left into the woods that direction.

After a few hours Talia decided it was time to move. They had been around to nearly every game table in the place and probably had one to many drinks already. “Lets check out one of those tourist trap places.” Talia suggested.

The two walked out of the door and roamed around the town. That day passed by and the two booked in to a local hotel. The week soon went by, then another.This struck me as an important scene - a scene where Talia and Jane are getting frustrated because everything seems so innocuous. However, i had to go back and read through once Jane contacted Talia about the 'tourist trap', because i didn't actually remember it being mentioned.

Remember this is just my personal opinion, nothing else :)....

But i thought perhaps that the tourist trap could have been described at this point in a little bit of detail, with maybe one or two other places - even the cantina - to help give the reader the impression that nothing appeared suspicious to the pair. That way, when we go back to the tourist trap later, it will be already known to us and we can think 'oh ok, so this place wasn't all it seemed, eh?'

And similes and metaphors help people to visualize what you are describing by being able to compare it to something they know. The tourist trap play on words was nice - possibly the highlight of the story to me actually.

A possible example of when to use a simile could have been when we see Jane wantonly killling those Bimm who aren't fighting back and then Talia tells her off (by punching her :D)

You describe Jane's feelings a little by saying..
Jane said with a cold stair (stare)...which is well-done. It helps us to visualize how Jane is looking at her superior officer. Perhaps you could have gone a little further - because obviously Jane is rather angry at this point...
“I couldn’t let him get away. Besides they shot at us they deserved it.” Jane retorted, the anger in her eyes burning like a forest fire...or something like that.

Interestingly, we often use metaphors and similes unthinkingly in our everyday speech and again often unwittingly in our writing. But at times a carefully thought-out metaphor or simile can really add to the reader becoming immersed in the story. More information on similes and metaphors can be found..

=-HERE-= (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphor)

The whole conversation scene with Major Clesterin confused me a little bit as well - particularly as he offers her the chance of promotion, but then dies soon after without Talia really being anywhere close to try to save him. Possibly that could have been left out? Was this conversation designed to affect Talia's feeling further down the line, when she is contemplating betraying the Empire?

I also noticed that a lot of paragraphs started with the word Talia (sometimes up to 7 in a row). It's always a good idea not to start too many paragraphs with the same thing, as the reader can quickly lose interest. In many of those cases i think you could have rearranged the paragraph a little bit..
Talia throttled up the engine and took off just as Joel threw the pack at the ships. The pack hit right at the nose of Talia’s fighter, and when Joel detonated the explosives it sent Talia’s fighter flailing in circles up into the air. Fortunately for her she had engaged the shields before the explosion.

Talia glanced back down at the ground. The entire area was a black burnt spot. Sergeant Joel Trix had blown up not just the fighters but himself as well. Talia sighed heavily. “That guy was as crazy as Commander Dral.” She thought.

Talia was beginning now to wonder if maybe her father was right, maybe the Empire had become corrupt. “If so then it’s my duty to change it.” Talia told herself softly.

Talia flipped a few switches to bypass the damaged systems. Her shields were gone, as well as ninety percent of her armor. Her capacitor was shot, she had no weapons left, and her main reactor was only working at sixty three percent efficiency. The ship was wrecked, but fortunately it was in good enough shape to fly her home if she didn’t run into any complications.

Talia turned on the jamming device to be sure the Bimms would not detect her leaving. Unfortunately the jamming device was ruined as well. “Oh whatever, it’s not like they have ships to chase me with anyway.” Talia told herself.Above is an example of several paragraphs in the last chapter that started with Talia. Perhaps the 2nd paragraph could have started like this...
Glancing back down at the ground as she ascended she noticed the entire area was a black burnt spot.......or something. Do we actually need to refer to Talia by name in this paragraph? The audience already knows we are describing her actions.

The 3rd paragraph could have started like this...
Perhaps her father was right, maybe the Empire had become corrupt....And i actually thought the last paragraph could have been left out.

I apologize if this sounds like a whole lot of criticism - it's all constructive :D...and the only qualification i have to offer such is being an avid reader. As mentioned in my last post, i enjoyed the extra character building elements you attempted to bring to this story - each character was a little more unique - and we got to see a bit of what drove Talia as well.

So well done.:)

Jax Nova
28 February 2008, 06:46 AM
Don't worry, none of it bothers me. In fact, the only thing that could bother me about all that is my own mistakes. I like people to point these things out so I know what to look for.

It's always good to be reminded about these things and to have new things brought to my attention. :) And being an avid reader gives you a lot of authority in the matter I would say. After all readers are the ones a writer needs to please.

I will remember these suggestions as I am typing up my next fan fiction. Hopefully I can correctly incorperate all this into my work. :)

IzVenjari
28 February 2008, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by Jax Nova
I will remember these suggestions as I am typing up my next fan fiction. Hopefully I can correctly incorperate all this into my work. :) You have a very good attitude when it comes to receiving advice Jax, which is great :)

However....don't feel as if you have to incorporate every little piece of advice that you are given by people. I know i have tried this in the past and often i have been disappointed with the end result - and often the advice received from two different people about the same thing can be quite conflicting!

As a writer you have to strike a balance between having enough confidence in your work and ability to see an idea through, and being able to accept criticism and change things if necessary. This can be a difficult thing to achieve. At times, the pride we have in our work might make us reject any criticism we receive point-blank...or we may be so lacking in self-confidence that we try to change everything that we are advised to change, even if it doesn't make sense to us. The balance is obviously somewhere in the middle.

If you ever get a finished work to an agent - and they agree to help you market it to a publisher - you will likely have to endure the editing process and your manuscript may come back a lot different to how it looked when the editors first received it. This is a necessary part of the publishing machine, as editors know what the market wants. However, you still have the right to defend an idea or the thought-processes that led up to it to your agent and the editors.

So i guess my long-winded point is...don't take everything you are told about your work as gospel - that goes for praise or criticism. Evaluate it, compare it to what you already know and what you are trying to achieve and then, if you think it necessary, incorporate it into your work.

And thus endeth my rather long and not necessarily helpful sermon. :)

Happy writing...

Jax Nova
2 March 2008, 06:28 AM
Hah... ok I see. Makes sense.

Thanks again for the advice, as always.