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Thread: Shadows of the Republic: Secrets Adrift

  1. #1
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    Jun 2008
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    Closed Thread Shadows of the Republic: Secrets Adrift


    Coruscant. Graveyard Shift. Republic Intelligence. Analysis Station Echo-Nera-12.
    ~ One month since the Battle of Geonosis.

    Darkness had long since descended. The sane and the fortunate had long since abandoned their posts and retreated: some to the safety and security of their bunks; others elsewhere to explore the magic and mystery offered by the Coruscant night. A few solitary souls remained however, by assignment rather than by choice. Thirty officers worked in this particular facility, five analysts and a supervisor staffing one of five floating six-hour shifts. Each team rewarded with twenty-four hours rest for each six they worked, the overlap crawling them through a rotating cycle. By virtue of that cycle, a young Lieutenant fresh from the Republic Academy found himself staring at a computer terminal, wishing intently that he was somewhere else.

    When his aptitude scores had seen him selected for a future as an Intelligence Officer, Atton Kira had been ellated, his perspective clouded by the mystery and intregue that populated the Intelligence service portrayed on the holonet. He had soon come to learn however that the reality was far different. For junior officers such as he, his role featured far more analysis of communications data and sensor telemetry from remote sectors, and far less action, adventure, and attractive women. Someone, he decided, should probably rectify this misconception in the public eye before any more hapless youths found themselves ensnared as he had been.

    Still, he supposed, unleashing a sigh as another page of data scrolled across the screen, there were more dangerous occupations in the Republic military. While the Clones from Geonosis had been brought in to populate the lower echelons, moving the less expendable officers away from the front line and thus further from harm, there were still some who found themselves in positions of danger. Reports passed before his eyes of starships being decimated by Separatist forces far too regularly for his liking, and not all amongst their crew were fortunate enough to have a few million identical copies with the same skills and experiences running around. At least here, in the untouchable safety of Coruscant, the odds of him being shot at by Confederate droids were as close to zero as it was possible to achieve.

    So lost in his internal reverie, it took a few moments before the blinking indicator on the data display in front of him registered in his mind. He frowned, puzzled at the telemetry that was being displayed: as far as the sensors of the automated reconnaissance drone he was monitoring were concerned, a spacecraft had just appeared out of thin air - well, thin vacuum - a few hundred parsecs outside of the Antar system. His body conjured a brief surge of adrenaline, the spike in energy kicking his brain back into a state of responsiveness. He replayed the data, cycling it on through several minutes of the time-delayed recording, running an analysis of any transponder data the drone might have detected. The ship was Confederate: a Separatist freighter, in fact. And if the readings were to be believed, its attitude and velocity suggested that it was drifting.

    "Sir," he called, shifting slightly in his seat to fire his verbal summons across the small room to their supervisor. "I think I've found something."

  2. #2

    A strangely innocuous and innocent beginning. Routine, almost. But then, everything about our lives those days was routine. Every story - every mission - begins with such trivia. An analyst reads something on a data screen. A scout stumbles across some evidence while one routine reconnaissance. A communications officer catches a brief snatch of a distress call. They're all ghosts: glimmers of information. Blink, or let your attention stray for a moment, and they'd be gone.

    But from those seeds of intelligence, far more sinister things can be spawned. Something harmless like a drifting freighter can turn into something dangerous and deadly. But then, for us, that would still be routine. Guess that's what I get for being born a commando.

    Anyway. I'm rambling. I should stop that, really.

    Our mission began pretty simple. Some analyst in a cramped office back on Coruscant spots a Separatist ship on his screens. He tells his supervisor, who tells his supervisor, who wakes up some other sort of supervisor in the middle of the night. Pretty soon, someone is talking to our supervisor, and we're getting dragged out of our bunks in the middle of the night, and loaded onto one of those Consular things - you know, the ships that used to be red before they painted them grey with stripes and grafted guns on the sides?

    Took us a little while to get out there. Guess that's what happens when you're fighting a war that scans a galaxy: can't go anywhere, or do anything too quick, 'cause you've got so damned far to go. We made it though, eventually: me and my squad. Well, my new squad. The high-ups went and mashed us together after our brothers got shot up on Geonosis. Convenient way of covering up their mistake, that: didn't know how to use us properly, so they went and wasted our commando skills mixing us in with the regular infantry. A RC gets trained for solo runs, or small groups. Shove them in with a bunch of RTs, and make 'em walk in lines, and they'll go squish when the droids lob something explosive at them, same as any other Clone. Me and Zero came back in one piece. Rest of us didn't.

    From the sound of it though, Geonosis was tough for Commandos across the board. The two that they stuck us with - Darven and Trey - got to do what they were born to back there, but between the bugs and the clankers, they were the only ones that made it back from their squad.

    I guess we should be proud of that: proud that we survived. Honestly, it was probably luck more than anything else. They bred so many of us on Kamino that some of us are bound to survive. Just statistics, right? One of these days, fate will role what it needs to, and my number will be up.

    RC-1987: that's my number. Riko: that's is my name. Today isn't my day to die; back then wasn't either. But damn it if we didn't come pretty kriffing close.


  3. #3
    As the helmet locked into place, Riko felt the pressure pop his ears as the atmo-seal took hold. He rocked his head from side to side, the wince on his features hidden behind his visor. His last helmet - the one he'd trained with, growing up - had been damaged during a training operation not long before Geonosis; the fact that his armour wasn't functioning properly was one of the reasons they'd chosen him for infantry detail on Geo, in fact. He'd worn regular Trooper gear - albeit decorated up in Sergeant colours - during the battle, and that had felt mighty weird: not having all that extra weight and bulk to lug around. Now he was back in his Commando gear, it felt more familiar, but the replacement helmet he'd been issued with didn't feel quite right. It was probably identical to his old helmet down to the last molecule, but something still felt off about it. Maybe the heat radiating from his head had customised the last one, or the constant use had worn it in. Or maybe everyone's helmets were inherantly uncomfortable, and something had happened during training that had magically made his the exception to the rule.

    The visual interface on his heads-up display kicked in. His arm rose in front of his face, casually checking that the computerised systems were focussing correctly. They were. His eyes also glimpsed the new addition of green on one of his gauntlets. Their training Sergeant had discouraged them from adapting their armour too much - something about unity and oneness - but they weren't in training anymore, and their new squadmates didn't seem to have the same qualms.

    And damn it: the Jedi had made him a Sergeant back on Geonosis. It'd have been idiotic not to paint his armour up appropriately, to make it evident to absolutely everyone within visual range.

    Only visual range, he mused, frowning slightly. Maybe I can get Zero to rig up some sort of transmitter that would advertise it via comms -

    He heard his voice stated; the insistant tone implied that it wasn't the first time he had been addressed. He turned, visor identifying the figure before him as RC-1197, if the paintwork wasn't identification enough. It also appended the nickname that was encoded into the targetting IFF. Darven. Riko had no idea why they called him that. Trey and Zero were obvious, and his own name was derived from Recon. Darven, on the other hand? There was probably some significance, but frankly he'd never been curious enough to get around to asking before. Maybe later, when they got back. If he remembered.

    "Good to go, boss," he stated, guessing at the subject of the question he hadn't been paying attention to. The subvocal microphone in his helmet picked up his voice, retransmitting over the private frequency their squad shared, and pumping it out of his own helmet's speakers. The effect was time-delayed by a slight fraction of a second, and conjured up a strange, slightly robotic echo. Riko had to fight the urge not to test the accuracy of a 'Roger, Roger' battle droid impression.


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