Archive for May, 2012

29
May
12

Taris part 14

Taris part fourteen

I walked away from Stalk’s dead body, over to his men I had killed. I had just shot a man in the head with no remorse. I couldn’t allow what had been going on here to continue; I couldn’t allow the Empire to continue to use this facility to hurt people. Calling in an air strike wasn’t an option, I wasn’t supposed to be here and I wanted to see it done for myself. I found two packages of explosives and rounded up all the frag grenades they had left. I set charges in all four corners of the lobby then timed them to blow in five minutes.

I went out to my speeder it was untouched, the rain still fell on my head as I drove about 500 yards away and waited for the blast. The explosion of yellow flame, dust and rubble made the outline of the building hard to see but when the dust settled I saw that the building was no more. With the cure and the data secure in my belt I headed back to base, in hopes of saving my friends. I made good time back to base, when I arrived they waved me right up to the door of the med center. I got off my speeder and went inside to give the cure to the base doctor and then I looked at the containment field, only one body still inside it was almost fully turned to a rakghoul and its arm was still badly injured. It was Alten. I saw Lechelle weeping over her mother’s body, Lynnda had not turned. Zotta came over put his hand on my shoulder and said, “She didn’t survive to make the transformation. There was nothing we could do.”

“I got the cure my friend, maybe we can still save one of them,” I told Zotta.

I went over to Lechelle who hadn’t notice me come in. The doctors had moved over to Alten and injected him with the Rakghoul cure. Lechelle turned and hugged me, “Dimbo I’m so glad you’re safe.” She could barely speak with the heavy sadness in her voice.

“I tried to make it back in time Lechelle, I’m…I’m so sorry.”

“Me too Dimbo…” she replied. With the sadness plainly on my face knowing she had just lost her mother I did all I could do, I held her.

“Miss Lechelle, your father is conscious again” the doctor said. The cure had reversed his transformation. She quickly went over to the containment cell. Alten spoke to her, I’m not quite sure what he said but she looked at me and then turned to him and shook her head, they embraced and he called for me.

Lechelle stepped away crying, knowing her father was dying. The serum had returned his form but his body had been through to much.

“Dimbo, I…I want–no, I need you to take care of Lechelle. I know she will be safe with you.” Alten whispered as he spoke

“I’m sorry Alten, I tried to get back in time… I tried to save you.”

“It’s ok son, take care of Lechelle now.” I nodded and he put his head down and passed. Lechelle began to weep harder, she lost both her parents on the same day and I had done all I could do to stop it, but failed. I gave the doctors the data on the Rakghoul cure serum from my holo, with that and the other vial they should be able to begin synthesizing it soon. Lechelle had collapsed on the floor exhausted from crying and the devastation of losing the only two people she had ever loved. I called T7 on the holo and told him to meet us at Alten’s store. I picked up Lechelle and carried her out of the Med center and to her fathers store, her store now. No one spoke the whole walk there. T7 met us outside of the store, I took Lechelle inside and laid her on a cot in the back, she soon passed out asleep and I posted T7 to guard her until I returned.

While Zotta and I walked to the command post I told him of my adventure and of what I had found in the Medical building. Of the agent, the cure and of Stalk. I told him everything. And when we got inside I repeated the story to General Garza and Zotta’s Master, I left out the part about Stalk surviving the battle though. That was my memory to bear.

Garza was silent while I told her of all I had found. She was surprised to hear of the Imperials setting up long term operations of Taris.

“Well Lieutenant, I doubt the agent you killed was the only one hanging out on Taris, we will need to double security for the time being.” I nodded in agreement. “And excellent job on finding the cure for the Rakghoul plague, that will prove most helpful during our growing colonization of Taris. I was sorry to hear about your friends,” she finished.

“Thank you General,” I replied. Zotta hadn’t spoken, he just listened and felt my pain.

“Well Lieutenant, on another note T7 was able to assist in uncovering a promising lead, the whereabouts of ‘the General.’” Zotta said.

“Really?” Garza and I said at the same time.

“Yes this was the first opportunity to bring it up. T7 was able to pick up on a lot of comm chatter. Corellia came up a lot in the chatter, enough times to warrant us making a trip to check it out.”

“I agree,” Garza said. “With Stalk dead the Imperial forces will retreat for the time being and with that your mission on Taris has come to an end.”

“General, if I may? I’d like to request a few days off to deal with some person matters. After which we will catch the next transport toward Corellia.”

“Sure thing Lieutenant, I expected as much. No need on the transport ship though, I have something on its way to you right now that should help with your travels. Think of it as a bonus for dealing with the issue on Taris in such a timely fashion. I expect a report when you enter the Corellian system, Garza out.”

The holo flickered off and I was left there with Zotta. With only my friend around I allowed a tear to roll down my cheek and then another, mourning the loss of Alten and Lynnda.

“Leftenant, do not be sad. They are one with the force now. It will be up to us to honor and remember them.” He put his hand on my shoulder to comfort me.

“You’re right my friend. Our group has grown larger, as has my responsibility.” We walked out of the command post, the sun shined through cloudy skies, it was mid day.

I walked back to Lechelle’s place and Zotta went to get us food from the mess hall. I entered to see T7 guarding the main room of the shop, near the door where Lechelle was laying on a cot. T7 had changed the sign outside the shop stating the shop would be closed until further notice. I sat by Lechelle, she was lying in bed but not asleep her face was still red and the tears had dried on her cheeks. She held the covers around her body, likely to never let go. Later that evening I was able to get Lechelle to move about. But she didn’t talk or eat much. Zotta went back to the barracks and I slept in a chair outside Lechelle’s room. The next morning Lechelle and I talked. I explained to her of my mission continuing to Corellia and how I wanted her to come with me.

“Lechelle, I’m so sorry I wasn’t back in time, I’m sorry I failed you, I’m sorry you are alone.’

Lechelle smiled and touched my cheek, “Dimbo, you didn’t fail me you did the best you could against all odds. And you gave me a few minutes with my father before he passed. I’m not alone, I have you and together we will press on. It will take some time but I’m looking forward to the adventure with you.”

“Thank you Lechelle I’ve enjoyed spending time with you. I would have been sad to leave you, I’m glad you want to come with me.” We kissed she smiled and then we just held each other.

Soon after Zotta called me on the Holo, “Leftenant, you need to get to the spaceport. You’re not going to believe this.”

“Roger.” I said, and then closed the channel. Lechelle and I got up and after Lechelle was dressed we made our way to the spaceport.

Zotta meet us outside of the spaceport. “Good morning Lechelle, Good morning Leftenant.” He said.

“Master Zotta, I wanted to tell you thank you so much for your help in trying to save my parents.” Lechelle hugged Zotta, who in turn hugged her back and then bowed to her.

“It was my honor Miss Lechelle, I am sorry for your loss. Your parents are one with the force and I know they were proud of the young women you have become.”

Lechelle nodded.

“So what did you call us down here for?” I asked my Jedi companion.

“Wait till you see this Leftenant.” Zotta waved for us to follow. We made our way through to busy spaceport full of merchant, soldiers and new arrivals of all sorts. We arrived at a military hanger door. When they saw Zotta and I approaching they saluted and opened the door. Standing in front of us was a BT-7 Thunderclap Republic assault spaceship. It was white with yellow markings, the ramp was down and T7 came wheeling out from under it.

“Zotta?” I said, unable to take my eyes off the ship. “Leftenant, I believe this is the ‘bonus’ General Garza was referring too.”

Lechelle walked closer to the ship and said, “Wow, Dimbo! This is a BT-7 Thunderclap, it’s equipped with state-of-the-art armor plating, heavy laser cannons and a modular shield system, not to mention the speed on this thing, and that’s just the outside.”

Zotta and I looked at Lechelle with raised eyebrows.

“Oh, sorry. Um yeah, before we came here Dad sorta taught me a lot about ships. He was a hell of a mechanic; he taught me most of what he knew. There isn’t much I can’t do with a couple of wrenches and some elbow grease.” She smiled and made her way over to give the Thunderclap a closer look.

I laughed a bit and Zotta and I went over to check my new ship out.

After looking around I knew Garza had out done herself. “She’s just arrived Leftenant, straight from the ship yards. I’m having T7 look over a few things but we should be ready to get underway tomorrow evening if you’d like.” Zotta reported.

“Very well Zotta that sounds great. We will need time to load up the supplies from Alten’s shop and make sure T7 sweeps twice for any bugs.” I replied.

Zotta nodded.

Lechelle turned her attention away from the ship toward Zotta and I and said, “Oh that would be great perhaps I can do some trading on Corellia while you and Zotta perform your mission. I’ll go pack.” She smiled and made her way out of the hanger.

I headed over to personnel to get Lechelle added as part of my team. She was going to need access if she was going to be around the military portions of my duties. After getting everything squared away with personnel I went to the barracks to pack up. Zotta was there packing as well. “I thought we’d spend tonight on the ship.” I told Zotta.

“I was thinking the same thing.” Zotta replied.

Later in the afternoon with help from loader droids we loaded up Lechelle’s trade goods and personal belongings onto the ship. I assigned quarters giving Lechelle what would be my private room, while Zotta and I took up residence in the bunkroom area of the ship. It was a simple six man bunkroom nothing fancy but more then enough room for Zotta and I. We stowed our gear, there wasn’t a lot said between the two of us. Zotta was more than used to silence, me lost in my thoughts of the events that had transpired. I walked around the ship watching T7 doing various checks and sweeps. I located the armory and took a good inventory. Garza had done us well.

Later that evening we ate chow at the Mess hall, hopefully for the last time here on Taris, and afterward I received a call telling me we could bury Lynnda and Alten tomorrow. I told Lechelle in her private room and she cried a bit but she knew they were in a better place.

The next morning we got up and went out to a cemetery the Republic had setup just outside of the base. We buried our friends, Lechelle’s parents, in the Taris soil. Not much was said. Lechelle was thankful for those last moments with her father and that was enough. With everything done we made our way back to the ship for preflight checks and departure.

Zotta sat next to me in the copilot seat, me in the pilots chair, calm as ever and Lechelle behind us at the nav station. With all of T7’s checks done we where ready to get off this rock, we cleared the planet’s atmosphere in minutes and with T7’s help we made the calculations for the jump to hyperspace. Our adventures on Taris had come to an end while new adventures on Corellia awaited us. I pressed on the controls and we made the jump…

08
May
12

Taris part 13

Taris Part Thirteen

The rain fell steady on me as I sped through the jungle of Taris, other than me the jungle seemed empty. Rakghouls and wild life alike must have moved into shelter from the rain. I was riding full speed through the rain and jungle, easing on the throttle only to wipe the rain from the visor of my helmet. It took two hours to get to the facility, which seemed like an eternity when your friends were dying. I was able to ride all the way to the front of the building, no rakghouls in sight.

The once tall building was now half a building with ruble piled around it. A large doorway still intact looked to be the only way inside, I approached cautiously. No doubt this was where the rakghouls would come to seek shelter from the rain. I entered the through the doorway into a large lobby area, dimly light from the light coming through the cracks in the walls. The lobby looked as you would think, furniture and ruble scattered about, every thing in disarray. There were rakghoul marks on everything, but dim security lights still lit on the walls. This place still had power. An old directory still stood against one of the walls. Scanning over the holo-display I saw “Research facility fifth floor –Restricted–”

That had to be were the serum was kept. “Breathe” I told myself.  Calm yourself. Don’t allow your feelings to distract you from the task at hand, words Zotta had told me in our short time together repeated in my head. I cleared the rest of the lobby and found a doorway to the stairs. The stairs where clear of rubble mostly. I slowly made my way up the stairs and got to the fourth floor. The stairway was blocked, it was caved in. Looks like I was going need to find another way up to the fifth floor, as I had moved up from floor to floor, the stairway had gotten darker and darker, the security lighting getting dimmer and dimmer.

I opened the door to floor number four and expected to see pitch black. That was, unfortunately for me, not the case. I opened the door to see a brightly lit hallway with power lights running waist high, all the way down the hallway.

“What the…” I said aloud.

I followed the light down the hallway it was nice, carpeted and had been well kept. Someone was here and it wasn’t rakghouls. I came to a door with an entry pad on the wall next to it. I was about to get out my slicing kit when I thought, I wonder… I pressed the enter button and the door opened up, no one was supposed to be here so why would they lock the place? I walked into the laboratory filled with kolto tanks, most empty a few with rakghouls inside of them no scientists though. Weird.  Next to one of the tanks was an Imperial marked case and I looked around inside it, I read the words I had hoped to find, “Rakghoul Serum Cure”. “Imperials! Stang!” I needed to see what they were up to. Why were they here? Was Stalk or ‘the General’ with them? I opened the case to find 2 vials full of serum they looked like two doses. With what I came for in hand I decided to do a little recon. I went to a computer terminal and started searching, mission statements, authorization codes, formulas for the Rakghoul plague cure.

“If they had this cure why hadn’t they sold it yet? It was more than funding their war efforts” I said aloud.

I had completed a download of the formula for the cure and other Intel I thought would be useful when I heard something behind me. Whatever it was it was good, moving softly in the shadows trying to get the jump on me, but I wasn’t about to let that happen again. I placed the vials and the data disk securely in my utility belt but continued to type on the holo terminal as if I was looking for something, waiting for my would be attacker to close the distance.

I breathed and showed every interest in the terminal in front of me at the last second when I heard the faint sound of a virboblade being unsheathed I spun around drew my rifle to the hip and blasted a hole in my would be attackers mid section. The blade that was meant for my back fell, unused, to the floor and my attacker stammered back a step and collapsed.

My would-be attacker was no scientist; he was plain clothed wearing what anyone who wanted to fit into a crowd would wear. But he was no civilian not with the viroblade and the blaster rifle he was carrying. He was Imperial, probably Imperial Intelligence. I searched him for anything vital he might be carrying but I knew better. If he knew I was here it was likely others did too, I needed to get out of here. I made my way over to the door and checked the hallway, empty; I then proceeded to the stairwell. I cleared the stairways just as I had before and made my way into the lobby. I hadn’t taken three steps when lights flashed on overhead and standing in front of me was Stalk and about twenty of his men. The empty, dimly lit lobby I had been in not two hours ago was fully lit and full of soldiers ready to kill me.

“Ah Lieutenant Dimbo, we meet again, I must admit, I’m surprised to see you again after the present I left for you at my previous place of employment.” Stalk smiled as he spoke, plotting my death. I survey my surroundings; I really didn’t have time for this. It had been almost six hours since I left and it was going to take another two to get back to base.

“Hello Stalk, I have to admit I’m impressed with your setup here, manufacturing a cure for the Rakghoul virus is no small feat.”

“Well Dimbo, the serum was still intact when my science team came here. Now manufacturing it to be used as a weapon? That was difficult, which is why you need to die! You blew up that batch that was going to turn the war in the Empire’s favor! I had planned to expose people inside the spaceport and military base, so the rakghouls would over run it.”

While he spoke, I listened, careful not to make any sudden movements. I was standing next to a big semi circle shaped reception desk that was going to be my best choice for cover when the blaster fire started. Stalk continued speaking, “But no matter, soon you will be dead and my new batch of Rakghoul infection serum will be ready to deploy to the spaceport.”

“So your science team came here first to setup shop, they never reported back in causing the Republic to think they had been killed by Rakghouls and then the Republic classified this area level Black?, And then you were free to continue your research?” I said.

“Very good Lieutenant, I had no idea there was a brain under that thick skull.” Stalk joked. I didn’t laugh, I was a good soldier and because of that I was going to be the only one walking out of here alive.

“Well I guess there is only one more thing I need to know then.”

“And what is that?” Stalk asked, he turned to laugh with his men certain of my soon demise.

Like it was part of my body I raised my rifle, launched two frag grenades at the group of soldiers waiting to kill me. Out of my belt I grabbed a concussion grenade and threw it at the feet of Stalk. I jumped behind the reception desk as the soldiers that were still standing returned fire. They had been so confident in their numbers they had left themselves exposed in the open. Secure in my cover I began my attack. Standing up from behind the desk I launched two more frag grenades and began my barrage of blaster fire as blaster bolts raced past my head. Like paper targets these sorry excuse for soldiers went down where they stood. I watched as Stalk, who had recovered from the concussion grenade crawled across the floor like a Kath hound trying to escape from the fight. One of the soldiers managed to close the gap and attack me from the left, I activated my new boots Alten had provided for me and he went flying across the room and was impaled into a piece of rebar sticking out of the ruble. Stalk had made it to the stairway door, in his attempt to escape. I launched a Frag grenade directly at him and he landed next to a pillar and the pillar collapsed on his lower body he lay there motionless. Five soldiers remained, they coward behind a pile of ruble, I could see the fear in their eyes; they were rethinking their defection to the Empire. I launched another frag grenade between the five and after they explosion they fell motionless to the ground.

I walked over to Stalks body. I could hear his faint breathing and he started to cough, he looked up at me and said, “I thought you had another question.” He spat blood at my feet.

“I do,” I pulled my side arm from my hip and aimed it straight at his head, “Where can I find ‘the General’? Tell me and I’ll end you right now, no suffering.”

Stalk looked at the muzzle of my blaster and laughed, “You wouldn’t leave me here, it’s your duty to take me before the Senate, I need medical attention, take me back with you and I’ll tell you everything.”

“Stalk I’ll find ‘the General’ with or without you, if you want to die with clean conscience, tell me.” I looked at him straight faced, I knew I’d never make it back in time carrying him on my speeder if I wanted to save my friends I needed to leave. There was no way I was taking him back with me.

Stalk pressed his lips together in a sign of not saying anything else. I pulled the trigger on my pistol and walked away without a second thought. Stalk had died a traitor to the Republic; he didn’t deserve the chance to stand before the government he had sworn to protect.




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