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Thread: Retrieval Mission: Blind Jump on Geonosis

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    Closed Thread Retrieval Mission: Blind Jump on Geonosis

    Six Years Before The Battle of Endor

    The Rebel Cruiser- Justice For All

    "Your mission is simple," the tall, brown-haired Rebel named Mac Sheridan spoke, "You're to go to Geonosis and infiltrate an Imperial base. It was formerly used as a CIS droid factory during the Clone Wars and the Imperials decided to keep using it. The factory itself is shut down, but the upper level command areas are still in use.

    "We believe the Emperor is getting ready to create a new rank within the Imperial Navy. We want to know what the rank is, who the recipients are, and their orders. Any questions?"

    Aurelias Kazaar gave a smirk and took a puff from his cigar, "Yeh. Why Geonosis?"

    Sheridan gave a sly smile, "Well there's this armor we want you to test..."

    Geonosis: Three Days Later

    Kazaar'd raised hell after that, telling 'em he didn't need the damn thing t'get the mission done. But his superiors, in their infinite frackin' wisdom, were more interesting in making sure the body armor (which reminded him too much of stormie armor 'cept for the color) was 'safe' enough t'use inna group or some sorta poodoo. 'Course they also threatened t'throw him off the mission if he didn't do it, so Kazaar didn't have much of a choice did he? 'Sides, from what he heard, this stuff was so frackin' expensive, only a select few were gonna get t'wear it. So maybe he was supposed t'feel honored by it.

    Not fracking likely.

    But they let him use 'The Twins' (Kazaar's Bryar Blaster Pistols) so he had one thing going his way.

    The sun beat down on the planet's surface, roasting any sorta vegetation which attempted t'grow (not that there was much). If Kazaar had any kinda choice, he'd be elsewhere. On some place that wasn't so hot, and didn't have Imps crawling all over th'place.

    And some frackin' place where he'd be able t'enjoy one of the cigars currently housed on his ship (which, of course, he didn't have either). But when you're supposed t'sneak into an Imperial bunker then why the hell would ya give yourself away with the (wonderful) smell of tobacco?

    The Rebel Agent swore there were times he wished he was still workin' for Gorgja the Hutt. Sometimes.

    He slipped up to the base of a cliff which led up to the fortress below. There were no patrols here, not yet anyway, and with the heat, no real point to 'em. The Geonosians had been relatively quiet after the first battle of the Clone Wars, and Kazaar doubted they'd be causing any more trouble now. So it was just the Imps and whatever creatures made the nights hell.

    Kazaar's muscles tensed as he fired his grappling gun up to the top the cliff. His black-gloved hand pressed a button and he was pulled up to the summit. He paused a moment before climbing up, his helmeted ears catching part of a conversation between a stormtrooper and his superiors (prolly resting comfortably) inside th'base.

    "Alpha Three reporting in. Quiet up here," there was the sound of footsteps as the stormtrooper patrolled the area.

    "Good to hear Alpha Three," whoever the buckethead was talking to had a pretty heavy accent, "Don't get to close to the cliffs."

    "I won't," Kazaar could almost hear the annoyance in the stormie's mechanical voice. It then turned appreciative, "It's a beautiful sight isn't it? Nothing like I had back home."

    "Don't get too comfy Alpha Three. There was a guy named Puros...liked to stare at the sun as it went down. One day...he wasn't watching where he was going. There wasn't enough of his body to ship back to Coruscant after the mongworsts got to him.

    "I'll be careful. I won't get too close. Alpha Three out."

    Kazaar heard the shuffle of footsteps, indicating Alpha Three was walking away from the cliff's edge. The armored Rebel quietly pulled himself to the cliff's summit. He rolled on his back, then came into a crouch. The stormie was 'bout fifteen feet from his location and walking rather leisurely along the plateau. He'd pause every couple steps t'gaze out over the landscape.

    Kazaar used this pause by the Imperial to press his body against the stony outcroppings of the Geonosian spire. When he was sure he wasn't seen, Kazaar started towards the stormtrooper, his hand on his small vibroblade.

    Silently, the Rebel crept near Alpha Three...first ten feet, then five, then two, then a hands breath behind the unsuspecting trooper. With the quickness of a varactyl, Kazaar grabbed the stormtrooper inna vise grip, removing the guy's helmet (and more importantly his comlink) as quickly as possible. He pressed the edge of his blade into the stormie's neck.

    "Don't want ya letting 'em know I'm here," Kazaar growled as he pulled Alpha Three towards the edge.

    "Wh-what do you want?" the trooper's voice was fulla fear, causing Kazaar t'smirk.

    "The location of the command deck. And your commander."

    "F-five levels up. Same with the commander...But you'll never make it. None of you Geonosian bastards can make it."

    Another smirk from the Rebel, "Who said I was Geonosian," he chuckled, "They really are makin' you bucketheads dumber by th'day."

    "A...a Rebel? How did you get here?" the incredulous tone of Alpha Three's voice was unbelievable. Did they really frackin' believe this outpost was safe? From everything?

    "That's for me t'know. See ya."

    With a shove, Kazaar sent the Imperial over the edge, his scream pulled away by a gust of wind that suddenly kicked up. The smile behind Kazaar's helmet was ugly as he watched the impact on the planet's surface. It was gorgeous t'see.

    The former bounty hunter grabbed fallen Imperial's helmet and pressed the comlink.

    "Alpha Three reporting in!" Kazaar's guttural voice went up an octave, "I need help! I just slipped on some gravel. I'm falling...NOOOOOO!"

    With a chuckle, Kazaar tossed the helmet off the edge. A moment later, his black eyes spied a ventilation shaft just to the left of the entryway. He pressed his blade against the edge of the grate, popping it off with the strength of his arm.

    As he slipped his body into the shaft, the Rebel spy heard the sound of the doors opening as two Imperials ran out to inspect Alpha Three's distress call. His mouth twitched inna smirk as he heard one ask for a med team and a squad to respond.

    The perfect distraction. Now all he had t'do was find the commander and that damn list. Then get the hell outta here.
    Last edited by Aurelias Kazaar; Jul 19th, 2007 at 04:38:02 PM. Reason: More editting. I'm never satisfied.

  2. #2
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    As the Rebel crawled through the ductwork, the Imperials were just starting their investigation of the unfortunate death of Alpha Three.

    Lieutenant Fim Ruslan stood at the edge of the skiff as it started its descent towards the base of the cliff. Ruslan was a young officer, fresh outta school, and his features showed it. His face was smooth and his yellow eyes full of youthful vigor. His hair was short and he wore the uniform of an Imperial Officer decently. He was a kinder man, albeit tougher, than the base's former commander and expected as much from himself as he did the men under his command. Although Ruslan was new to the planet, he was intelligent enough to form an almost symbiotic relationship with the stormtroopers' lead sergeant, Marius Zimmer.

    A tough son of a bitch, Zimmer had fought in the Clone Wars and he wasn't someone who took crap from anyone. He was a soldier's soldier both respected and, at the same time, feared. The old trooper only thought it fitting he was given the job of making sure Geonosis wasn't going to separate again from the Empire. After all, they'd been the ones who helped spur on the Clone Wars.

    The skiff reached the base of the cliff and the two Imperials exited. Alpha Three lay in a bloodied heap before them, what was left of his head twisted at an angle. His left arm was missing and his armor was cracked in multiple places. They stared at the body for a few moments before Ruslan spoke.

    "Do you believe he fell, Sergeant?" Ruslan had only seen accidents like this on holovids and it did make his stomach slightly queasy.

    The rough sergeant's eyes were narrowed in a glare, "Alpha Three had been dumb enough to spend time near the cliff's edge before. He had a fracking adventurous streak I couldn't beat outta him if I wanted to. And I tried. The stupid sithspit wouldn't listen. But I gotta admit, sir...Something about this doesn't seem right."

    Ruslan tended to agree with Zimmer on this. "Suggestions then?" He really wasn't qualified for this sort of thing. But, he wanted to learn, and his father had always said asking questions was best.

    "Call in the closest patrols, then sweep the area for any break-ins." Zimmer wasn't stupid. He knew Ruslan had already considered this option.

    The young lieutenant nodded and started speaking into his comlink.


    Kazaar wasn't a big fan of tight places...especially ventilation shafts. They forced his muscular body t'compact inna form that wasn't really his own. He could slip through th'shafts as quietly as possible, but the damn things were still annoying. There'd been one mission on Nar Shaddaa where he'd been forced t'spend a week inna auxiliary garbage chute gathering intel onna alliance between the Empire and a group of pirates. That'd been a fracking scream of a mission. The best part of that damn mission was taking a frackin' shower afterwards. And not having t'worry 'bout accidentally setting on fire any piece of plat which just happened t'fall from the levels above. Kazaar still tried t'avoid going to Nar Shaddaa after that. Too many bad memories.

    He moved as silently as possible through th'metallic tunnel and was kinda impressed with this armor he'd been given. The helmet had three types of lenses: 'normal', 'night-vision' (which he was currently using), and 'thermal'. The armor itself was wrapped so tightly 'round him it hardly made a sound as he crawled, just the occasional *clink* when he moved an arm too fast. But those kinda of noises could be associated with the 'normal' air cycle so the former bounty hunter wasn't too nervous 'bout it. 'Sides, a little death and destruction never hurt anyone.

    The Rebel Spy took a moment to rest his compacted body, while his eyes scanned over a map of the installation. He'd have t'get into a computer area at some point so he could get the turbolift codes to the fifth level. Supposedly, there was a grate about 20 feet from his current location (or at least what Kazaar thought was his current location) which would be his entry into the server room. He had two ways t'get the codes: either hack the computer (even with his lack of computer skills, Kazaar'd been given several computer spikes which could make it easier) or find an Imperial Officer who had access to the top level. As appealing as beating info outta an Imperial was, he'd prolly have a better chance at hacking the computer. They wouldn't fight back or get knocked unconscious if 'squeezed' a certain way.

    Gee, Sheridan, ya made this sound so fracking easy, Kazaar thought as he started crawling towards the server room. What'd ya think they'd give up some kinda color-coded key? Yeah right.

    Two minutes later Kazaar was perched above an opening in the system which led to the server room. Air pumped its way from multiple locations into the room (best way t'make sure they didn't overheat) and Kazaar saw several thick cables coming up from the opening. They then ran in a line away from his current position and down the rest of the shaft. Also coming from the opening was the sound of voices.

    "So they found Alpha Three dead?" this voice was higher-pitched and from the sound of it, rather nervous. Prolly a tech.

    "Yeah," the deeper voice replied, prolly an Impeiral Officer of some type, "Ruslan wants all patrols called in. Just keep an eye out for anything suspicious."

    "Sure thing...although it'd be nice if I had a blaster or something."

    There was a laugh from the tech's companion, "If someone makes it down here, they must be a phantom or something. Or some kinda animal. We've had problems with rogas getting into the compound before. The damned things once destroyed half of our servers. It's why all sensitive info's now kept upstairs."

    The tech gave a nervous chuckle and Kazaar heard the sound of footsteps indicating the Imperial Officer's exit from the room. The Brentaal-raised Alderaanian waited another minute before crawling all the way to the open section. He peeked into the server room, noting the tech was perched over some computer monitor going over specs of something. A smirk formed on his mouth and Kazaar started crawling through the opening. It took some skill but the stealthy Rebel was able to inch his way through the opening in the ceiling, without alerting the tech (helped the computers were *humming* nicely. Guess they were good f'something).

    Kazaar dropped to the floor, landing on the balls of his feet. The tech still hadn't moved (stupid kaffer) and the silent hunter started sneaking towards his prey. He was just near a desk when the far door suddenly swung open. Kazaar hid under the desk as four stormtroopers marched into the room.

    Aw frack.
    Last edited by Aurelias Kazaar; Jul 26th, 2007 at 05:23:09 PM.

  3. #3
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    "So you still don't think this was an accident." Ruslan's sentence was more of a statement than a question. He and Sergeant Zimmer were on their way back up to the base, the body of Alpha Three on a slab in front of them. They hadn't said much since loading the corpse onto the skiff, and the young Imperial officer was ready to continue investigating. If they hadn't been notified of a sandstorm in the area, the Imperial team would probably still be at the scene of the fall.

    "I don't," the helmetless Imperial stormtrooper stated flatly. "The way his helmet lay on the ground, it didn't match the dents on his head. Frell, sir, either he committed suicide or..."

    "There's a murderer on the complex," Ruslan saidgrimly. The thought of either caused his stomach to churn. It wasn't that he feared death, far from it, but the young Imperial was concerned for his career. If this got out, whether it was murder or suicide, it could only hurt himself because he didn't see the signs or recognize weakness within the trooper. It could ruin him. And at the same time, Ruslan was sickened by his own thoughts. A man was dead. There were more important things than Ruslan's career and it was finding out what kind of bastard did this.

    Zimmer recognized the look in Ruslan's young eyes, and the fight within them. It had been something he'd fought before and he knew it was a struggle. But Ruslan settled his expression, and the old stormtrooper knew the right decision had been made.

    "I want you to take his body to the clinic and have the medical staff examine it; see if there's any sort of DNA on it. I want this investigation started an hour ago, and I want to find out if he was murdered or not." Ruslan's expression was resolute, "And if he was, then by the Center of Everything, we'll find him. And roast the burnin' kriffer."

    Zimmer could not have been more proud of his commander, "Yes sir."

    Ruslan's comlink chirped and he answered it.

    "Sorry to bother you sir, but the storm is stronger than we originally thought. We're working on putting countermeasures in effect. Also, sir, we've found something..."


    "What can I do for you?" the tech asked, tapping several buttons on the computer in front of him.

    "Lieutenant Ruslan wanted to know if you've seen or heard anything strange," the lead stormtrooper asked as he hefted his Imperial Repeater Rifle. "We discovered an open grate near the entryway. We figure it's either one of those damned rogas, or we've been infiltrated."

    There was a nod from the pasty-faced tech and the sound of keys *tapping* could be heard throughout the room, "I haven't seen anything, but to be safe I'll redo the code key for the top floor. Tell the lieutenant it will be on his datapad soon. I'll be the only one with a copy."

    The lead stormtrooper gave a grunt in reply and waited for the tech to finish. During all this, one other other bucketheads started walking 'round the tech room. The Imperial soldier took a moment t'stare at the hole in the ceiling, where the thick computer cables led to. He paused, hefted his blaster rifle, then turned and headed back towards the other troopers.

    From his hiding place, Kazaar pulled 'The Twins' from his leg holsters. If the stormies started searching th'room, Kazaar would hafta change his sneaky tactics really fracking quick. Although, he really did prefer a straight frackin' fight t'begin with. But he really didn't trust the armor he was wearing. Sure, it was nice 'n shiny and all, but the former bounty hunter preferred moving 'round, feeling the wind on his face and sweat pouring down his muscles. This armor might keep his body cool but it didn't feel 'right'. And that would pretty much always bug Kazaar. If something didn't feel 'right', didn't feel like an extension of his own body, then it wasn't worth using. 'Sides... everything this vaunted armor did, Kazaar could accomplish with a PSU, a bodysuit, and a black mask. It wasn't that fracking hard.

    The voice of the tech cut into his thoughts, " it reset. Let's go."

    There was the sound of footsteps, the opening of a door, and then silence. The former bounty hunter counted to ten, then stuck his head outta his hiding place, blasters ready. Nothing. No Imperials or droids. A smirk came across Kazaar's face and he headed towards the, now vacant, computer.

    He hated these damn things. In fact, Kazaar didn't just hate computers, he frackin' loathed them. If ya press one wrong damn button the entire system blows and then ya lose messages or some kinda program ya need. Or some other bloody thing would happen and everything went t'hell quickly. The damndest thing 'bout Kazaar's hatred of computers was he actually knew how t'do the basic things on 'em. Write a document? Sure, gimme an hour. Send a message? Sure inna jiff. But all this other poodoo... the writing codes, the hacking of databases... all that stuff the slicers do. Frack that. He swore if one more person told him t'take a computer class he was gonna cut their head off with a dull vibroblade.

    And what he really needed here, he couldn't use. 'Trey', his R5 droid, was a helluva slicer. But Sheridan made this milk run a frackin' solo milk run, so there was no way in space he could use the droid.

    Fracking Sheridan. Fracking computers.

    Kazaar glowered at the screen, trying t'see where this tech had stashed the password. Had t'be somewhere. Beneath his helmet, Kazaar's lips twisted into a scowl. Then his sharp eyes spied it. A flashing icon, indicating 'You Have Received A New Message!". 'Bout fracking time. The Rebel Spy selected th'icon, tried t'open it, then swore voraciously.

    Of course the damn thing was password protected.

    Kazaar reached into his belt and pulled the ten computer spikes from their housing. He coulda used another program, but he figured it'd be easier t'use it on 'The List'. 'Sides... that was a one-time program which couldn't be used again and Kazaar wasn't a complete dunderhead. He had to use every single spike in his possession but he was able t'crack the file he needed. Sure, it took him two minutes t'do it (in fact he almost hear one of the Rebel slicers saying that was 'bout 1:45 too long. Stupid bastich), but he was able to.

    To: Lieutenant Fim Ruslan
    From: Chief Technical Operator Allen Patra

    Due to the suspected infiltration, I have redone the security code to your office, as well as the weapons locker. It is 3480. Please do not lose this.

    A smirk came to the Rebel spy's face. Yeh, I won't lose it. 'Least not till I'm off this overheated rock.

    He headed towards the door, pausing only to pull a small, thin cable from his sleeve. At the end was a crystalline lens, which fed an image t'the lenses in Kazaar's helmet. Kneeling by the door, Kazaar slipped it under and rotated the cable left and right.

    Nothing. The hall was clear.

    Kazaar pulled the camera back into his sleeve and exited the server room. His strides took him quickly, albeit quietly, to the grey turbolift doors. As he waited for the lift, his sharp black eyes spied two Imperial Stormtroopers round a corner and march down the hall. Their backs were to him, but Kazaar still pulled one of The Twins from its holster.

    As the turbolift made a slight *pinging* sound, Kazaar's instincts started screaming. The lift doors slid open and the former bounty hunter pressed his back against the wall next to them. His instincts didn't fail him. Two other bucketheads emerged from the lift and marched, rather sloppily, down the hall.

    He wasted no time slipping into the turbolift and pressing the button for the 5th Floor. When the code request came up, he keyed it in and his eyes flashed in triumph as it was accepted. The lift shot straight up, and Kazaar was almost at his objective.

  4. #4
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    As Kazaar rose upwards in the compound, Lieutenant Ruslan stood by a large microwave dish on the roof. Chief Tech Patra was late, although he had mentioned he was resetting Ruslan's office code so it was forgivable.

    The Imperial Officer turned his eyes towards the approaching sandstorm. It was at least ten minutes away, but Ruslan was certain this would be a lengthy storm. Sandstorms were always tough to gage however, especially on Geonosis. The winds always swirled around in various directions, knocking over soldiers and equipment. But the sand, the sand was the worst. It clogged blasters and armor, made speeders stop working, and, worst of all, got into stormtrooper armor. Gales such as this normally lasted only a few minutes, but occasionally they lasted longer. The longest Ruslan had encountered had been a 45-minute long storm, but tales were told of ancient storms which would last almost a week or longer. That was enough to chill Ruslan's bones.

    Ruslan checked his watch, then crossed his arms. Where was that damned tech?

    His answer came a moment later, as the lift doors opened and Chief Tech Patra hurried onto the roof.

    "Sorry Lieutenant," Patra's squeaky voice said briskly, as he ran over to the large dish, "I realized I was missing a hydrospanner from my toolbox and had to grab a spare one."

    Ruslan nodded. Missing tools were always a problem, it seemed, and even he had lost a personal hydrospanner a few weeks ago.

    "Very well," the Imperial Officer replied, as Patra knelt next to the dish, "I won't write you up, but do not let this happen again."

    The chief tech nodded and smiled. It was times like this he understood why Ruslan was so popular with the people underneath him. He expected a lot from them, but was willing to let some things go if they couldn't be helped. This was one of those instances and, thankfully, Ruslan had been forgiving. Patra had once overheard a conversation between Sergeant Zimmer and another sergeant, discussing their commander. Both believed Ruslan would go far in the military machine that was the Imperial Armed Forces, if he did what many officers did not do and stayed away from the politics which could make the military so unbearable. So far, that was the case. Even on a semi-backwater assignment like Geonosis, the brass back home had heard about Lieutenant Fim Ruslan. Hopefully it would mean a promotion for him, even if he was taken from the rest of the base's presence.

    Of course, Patra thought self-indulgently, there was always the chance of being moved with him. He shoved the thoughts away as he settled about doing his job. There wasn't much work to do: a couple of screws needed to be tightened and the stabilizer needed to be re-aligned as well. But it all needed to be done quickly and, more importantly, correctly. If one stabilizer wasn't aligned it would destroy the whole communication relay, which really wasn't a good thing.

    "Anything I can do to help?"

    Patra looked up and noticed Lieutenant Ruslan was standing above him, hydrospanner in hand. The tech waved him off, saying the job wouldn't take too long, and continued working. Five minutes later everything was set.

    And just in time too. The two Imperials stared out over the Badlands of N'g'zi and watched the billowing cloud of sand and dust race towards them. It had to be at least eight kilometers wide and the wind continued to build, driving the dust closer and closer and closer. Sand stung the Imperials' faces as they hurried towards the lift and the safety of inside. As they ran, the dish started turning to receive a message from somewhere in the vastness of the Empire.


    The turbolift doors *whoosed* open and Kazaar hesitated before entering the small hallway which led t'Ruslan's office. His black eyes peered left 'n right, tryin' t'spy any sorta holocamera that'd alert the Imps to his presence on th'base. He didn't see anything, but still it didn't feel 'right'. These Imperials were so fracking paranoid there normally was something 'round there t'keep unwanted people (like himself) from grabbing their secrets. Cautiously, Kazaar stepped into the office/communications room, his right hand on his blaster. A noise caused him t'tense up and he turned towards the noise...

    ...and smirked. It was a roga, one of those damn things th'Imps were talking 'bout. The crab-like creature had fallen from a hole in the ceiling and somehow used one of its mandibles t'latch onto the holocam on the wall. 'Course th'camera collapsed and the roga tumbled to the ground, but it'd done Kazaar a pretty big favor. Nothing like blind frackin' luck.

    "You must hate th'Empire as much as I do," Kazaar muttered as he sauntered towards the black office door. A small keypad was just off to the left of th'door and the Rebel spy quickly put in the stolen code. The door slid open, but Kazaar didn't enter just yet. Reaching into his utility belt, Kazaar pulled out a very small oval-shaped object. It was something Conner Ship Systems had just started producin', an antipersonnel mine the size of a man's palm. He afixed it just below the keypad, then slipped into the office.

    For something run by Imperials it didn't have th'lavishness of most offices. A simple wooden desk sat in th'middle of the room with a semi-comfortable-looking couch near it. Metal shelves, containing various assundery items: a medal for bravery in the midst of heavy combat, a holo of some older couple, couple books on tactics, and...what th'hell was that a fantasy novel?!?, lined the wall by the door. Behind the desk was his objective, the communications console/computer, its lights blinking in green and yellow. Off to the computer's left was a medium-sized window which stared out onto the Geonosis landscape. 'Course with the damn sandstorm raging, Kazaar couldn't see anything out it. In fact, the sand and dust was so thick it looked like a frackin' wall. Well that was gonna make his escape hell but also make it hell for th'Imps to find him when he got outta this place.

    The former bounty hunter knelt by the communications computer, then pulled out the datacard he'd been given by Sheridan. It was a Russard Industries card, something which hadn't completely been introduced into th'market just yet. 'Parently the company was trying t'get in thick with Palpatine and his goons within th'Inquisitorate. Go frackin' figure. What the hell that company saw with 'em Kazaar could never figure out. It was a deal with th'fracking devil (specially those damned Inqs) and whoever was running that company (guy they called 'Jason the Younger') had t'know it. But people could be pretty frackin' stupid, especially if ya had a ton of credits. And, apparently, Russard had a ton of credits that was f'sure.

    He slid the card into the appropriate slot and let the thing do its 'magic'. He'd been told by Sheridan the card contained a program which would immediately go seek out the list of Grand Admiral names; that all he'd hafta t'do was wait for it to finish and bug out. Kazaar's muscles rippled as he rose from his crouch and stared around the office.

    It was then he saw it, nestled within the confines of a glass-encased weapons locker. The light within the locker gave th'blaster rifle a dull sheen, almost like a siren's call of some sort. It was an Imperial Repeater Rifle. He'd heard stories 'bout these things, how some Moff had developed it to be some kinda superweapon for troops, but decided to make it for general troops instead. Even then, only elite stormtroopers (like there were any) and Imperial commandos got t'carry it. It was a rare weapon, something Kazaar'd fired only once, but damn if he hadn't fallen in love with it right then and there. Hell, the damn thing was calling t'him right now and the Brentaal-raised Alderaanian heeded its call.

    He slipped over to the weapons locker, his mind remembering the code was (supposedly) '3480'. He entered the code quickly and gave a smirk as the weapons locker slid open.

    It was a fracking thing o'beauty, almost prettier than 'The Twins' (almost). Kazaar placed the repeating rifle in his hands and marveled at th'feel of it. It was like an extension of himself, like any weapon oughta be. He was takin' this. Even if it wasn't in his objective.

    Speaking of which...the Rebel spy returned to th'computer t'check the progress of the program. The muscles in his jaws clenched and he uttered a curse. Only 55% complete? This damn thing was supposed t'take only 30 seconds t'finish, what th'hell was going on? Frackin' techheads, I'm gonna murder 'em...


    The ride from the roof to the ground floor was quick for Ruslan and Patra, mainly because they were still amazed by the force of the sandstorm. Neither of them had experienced anything like it and they both breathed long sighs of relief when the turbolift opened on the ground floor. It took only a moment for the Imperial officer to regain his composure and, giving Patra a smart salute, he headed across the compound towards his office.

    "Security to Lieutenant Ruslan," his comlink buzzed and Ruslan was quick to acknowledge the page.

    "We have a bit of a problem, sir. The security camera in your office went out about two minutes ago. We didn't notice it until we did a sweep. Uhhh, sorry sir," the security officer knew neither Ruslan nor Sergeant Zimmer would be far from happy with the lapse of security.

    "I wouldn't be surprised if a roga got loose again," Ruslan groused, "I'm on my way up there now. Have a team meet me at the lift and we'll check it out."

    "Aye, sir."

    "Sergeant Zimmer," Ruslan switched frequencies, "Has Beta Patrol reported back to base yet?"

    "On their way, Lieutenant," Zimmer answered, the noise of the hangar bay in the background, "The scout troopers are in, but the Force-damned Chicken Walker got caught in the storm. They estimate it'll be ten minutes before they can make it in. Permission to speak frankly sir?"

    "Go ahead."

    "I don't like the idea of you going to your office during a potential security breach.You are sending a squad with you, yes?"

    For a moment Ruslan uttered a small curse about Zimmer's ability to stay informed. But if Zimmer didn't know what his superior officer was up to, he wouldn't be doing his job.

    "I have three troopers coming up with me to check it out. If something goes wrong, we'll get a hold of you."

    "Want me to come along, Fim? I'm only in the hangar bay."

    Ruslan shook his head, even if Zimmer couldn't see it. "Get the patrols in. Once we've checked it out, and I've changed uniforms, I'll meet you in the hangar."

    "Aye, sir. Also, sir, this storm is nothing. You shoulda been with me during the Battle of Geonosis during the War. That was a sandstorm."

    The Imperial lieutenant smiled and cut the connection. By this time, he'd made it to the other turbolift and, sure enough, three stormtroopers awaited him. The ride up to Ruslan's office was quick and painless, the Imperials not making much conversation. When they exited the lift, they immediately noticed the broken camera, as well as, the insectoid roga's mandible.

    The lead stormtrooper spoke first, "Looks like it's all clear, sir. You're free to head to your office."

    Ruslan smiled, "Thank you, Corporal. Be out in a moment." He walked around the couch in the waiting room, towards his office door. As he reached it, Ruslan's eyes noticed something odd by the keypad.


    Kazaar's ears picked up a noise from outside th'office. The noise'd been so faint, if he hadn't had earmics in his helmet he prolly woulda missed 'em. Kazaar crept silently over to th'door then slid the small cable-camera under th'door.


    It looked like an oval of some kind, but vaguely familiar. Almost like a--oh shi-

    A *whoomph* came from the office door as the small mine went off. The blast caught Ruslan right in the face. He fell and lay still.


    The Rebel spy'd been able t'pull the cable out before th'blast killed the Imp officer. Immediately, Kazaar pulled his blasters and leaped through the opening door. He had th'element of surprise with 'im since the damn bucketheads were too busy gawking at their dead leader. Kazaar's shots were precise, sending the three stormtroopers to their maker.

    But not, of course, before one of 'em was able t'get off a distress call to th'rest of the fracking base.

    Oh he was frackin' innit now. Just the way he liked it.


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